Saturday, 28 November 2009


What is it? A change is as good as a rest – or is it?
1. Cessation of work, exertion, or activity.
2. Peace, ease, or refreshment resulting from sleep or the cessation of an activity.
3. Sleep or quiet relaxation.
4. Relief or freedom from disquiet or disturbance.
5. Mental or emotional tranquillity.

Remember to take time
Ease off, ease down,
Turn to tranquility
This seems to be a progression.

How do we rest?

1.Remember to take time, Remember God’s goodness: Time and again the Bible tells us to rest one day a week. This is not about being ‘religious’ – it’s for our health!
eg Exodus 35:2
For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD.
Yes but how? Deliberately choose NOT to do things on the ‘to do’ list, try to get chores done on other days, ease off on the email or texting…Choose to spend the time with God. Sometimes I’m too wound up to be able to collapse in my chair with the Bible or a ‘good book’ – but I can go for a walk, put a praise tape on and dance round the kitchen, even start speaking out loud to God.

Psalm 33
1 Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous;
it is fitting for the upright to praise him.
2 Praise the LORD with the harp;
make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.
3 Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully, and shout for joy.
4 For the word of the LORD is right and true;
he is faithful in all he does.
5 The LORD loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of his unfailing love.

Or, in The Message:
Good people, cheer God! Right-living people sound best when praising.
Use guitars to reinforce your Hallelujahs!
Play his praise on a grand piano!
Invent your own new song to him;
give him a trumpet fanfare.
For GOD's Word is solid to the core;
everything he makes is sound inside and out.
He loves it when everything fits,
when his world is in plumb-line true.
Earth is drenched
in GOD's affectionate satisfaction.

We can rest when we know we are 'in true' with God.

2.Ease off, ease down,

2 Samuel 7 God gave David rest from his enemies, Deuteronomy 25:19
‘When the LORD your God gives you rest from all the enemies around you in the land he is giving you to possess as an inheritance’ The Israelites received rest from their enemies, we can trust God that he too will give us rest from our enemies.

Who or what are our ‘enemies’?
I venture to suggest that these can be things and people which rob us of our relationship with God. Identify them. Demanding children or parents? Demanding colleagues? Demanding friends? A demanding self, giving ourselves an impossible ‘to do list’ or even a ‘do it perfectly’ list. It’s hard, but possible, to say ‘no’ from time to time. Some of the things we do we don’t need to do. ‘It’s as good as it gets’ is a useful phrase.

3. Stop

Psalm 16
7 I will praise the LORD, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me. 8 I have set the LORD always before me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,

10 because you will not abandon me to the grave, [c]
nor will you let your Holy One [d] see decay.
11 You have made [e] known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand

When I am stressed and over busy, the first thing to suffer – apart from my temper – is my sleep. My mind starts churning and, even when I am not consciously worrying over something like a dog with a bone, there is still so much churning around subconsciously that I stay awake.
Sometimes, it is only by repeating the words of Scripture over and over again that I can actually slow myself down enough:

Psalm 33 again: this puts my life in perspective as I look to God and who HE is and that my plans and purposes will only come about in HIS will:

10 The LORD foils the plans of the nations;
he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.
11 But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever,
the purposes of his heart through all generations.
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he chose for his inheritance.
13 From heaven the LORD looks down
and sees all mankind;
14 from his dwelling place he watches
all who live on earth-
15 he who forms the hearts of all,
who considers everything they do.
16 No king is saved by the size of his army;
no warrior escapes by his great strength.
17 A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
despite all its great strength it cannot save.
18 But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
19 to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine.
20 We wait in hope for the LORD;
he is our help and our shield.
21 In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
22 May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD,
even as we put our hope in you.

4.Turn to tranquillity

Psalm 91

1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. [a]
2 I will say [b] of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."

Psalm 116:6-8 (New International Version)
6 The LORD protects the simplehearted;
when I was in great need, he saved me.
7 Be at rest once more, O my soul,
for the LORD has been good to you.
8 For you, O LORD, have delivered my soul from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling,

So REST in God and HIS purposes. Find God’s good way. Jeremiah 6:16
This is what the LORD says: "Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.

Matthew 11:28-30 (New International Version)
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

For more inspiration, look at Lisa Notes post...

Tuesday, 24 November 2009


For the first time for months, I took the dog out just after 6 this morning. (I've not been lazy, particularly, but have had a dodgy knee which has been very painful. Turns out it's osteoarthritis, but that's another story...).
It was dark. Pitch dark, so we walked along in almost total darkness.
Every so often I'd flick my torch on, but we know the way so well that I didn't need to.
Is my walk with Jesus as trusting? Don't I demand a torch of knowledge and wisdom to see by? Why isn't it just enough to walk so closely with him that we touch?
Every so often, a car would come by. Most cars dipped their lights, so I could still see, but some didn't. The headlights were blinding, wiping out everything else. Then, once past, it was momentarily SO dark that I couldn't see anything.
So even with the light I was blinded, and consequently even more so without it.
But God's light isn't like that.
God's light is gentle and helpful.
God's light is also so awesomely bright, that it is ALL we see - without being dazzled. We see Jesus in all his glory. We can see our world as well- our beautiful, God'created world - but our focus is on Jesus.
There will come a day when Jesus is all we see. His kingdom will come.
But it will also come, in a fainter way, now.
Today, I want to be dazzled by Jesus.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Lysa Terkeust

I wanted to put a direct link to this wonderful blog post - but couldn't. It's at Lysa's blog:

I was in the audience at a concert one night amazed by the size of the arena, the volume of the cheers and applause, and the excitement of being in this moment. At one point all eyes went to a ten year old little girl who was acknowledged by the singer and given the happy birthday wish of a lifetime.

As I sat there and thought about how exciting it must have been for that little girl to get the attention thousands others craved from this star, my mind wandered away from the concert.

I imagined Jesus standing up on that stage. I imagined the whole crowd fading away as He points his finger straight up to me. Little ol’ insignificant me, sitting in row 116, section R, seat 24. And then He speaks straight to me, “I love you Lysa and I have chosen you. Can we spend some time talking about this?”

I smiled. Then the reality of the concert brought real life crashing back. To the rock star the person sitting in row 116, section R, seat 24 is just another face in the crowd.

But to Jesus there is no such thing as just another face in the crowd. Somehow to God, we are all unique souls who He desires to call out, recognize and invite into a more intimate setting.

Unlike a human pop star, Jesus can give this kind of individual attention without excluding others. Every single person in the crowd could have their own individual encounter with Him. The only requirements are the desire to experience Him and the belief that it is possible. Sadly, very few people have either of these.

I know. I used to have the kind of relationship with God where I viewed Him as The One who makes sweeping glances over thousands of people per minute just to make sure no one was getting out of line. But the possibility to have God pause in the midst of everyday life to spend a little time with just me wasn’t in my scope of possibilities at all.

It almost seems a bit presumptuous to think God would want to notice me, choose me, call on me, and converse with me- doesn’t it?

Maybe the answer to this question is yes in human terms but not in Biblical terms.

In human terms the word “chosen,” sends my mind reeling back to playground kickball days. These were not some of my finer childhood memories.

“Chosen” was not at all a word I would have used to describe myself.

So, when I first heard that word in relation to God’s feelings toward me, I couldn’t process it. In human terms it did seem quite presumptuous to think that God would pause to pay attention to me. My earthly Daddy never did that. My kickball team mates certainly didn’t do that. It seemed quite upside down to think that a girl the world ignored and passed over would actually be handpicked, on purpose, by God.

The Bible is full of reassurances that this is exactly the way God wants us to process life.

Colossians 3: 12 says, “Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

Psalm 25:12 says, “Who, then, is the man that fears the LORD ? He will instruct him in the way chosen for him.”

And John 15:19 says, “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.”

I am a chosen person, with a chosen way, who has been handpicked by God on purpose to live a chosen life set apart in this world. But please don’t mistake this as an exclusive country club type membership. No, this is the truth that every person can stand on no matter their race, background, or their past. If you proclaim Jesus Christ, son of God, as your Lord and Savior, this is your chosen reality.

The problem is we have been trained to process life based on the way we feel. We think we must feel love for love to exist. We think we must feel wanted for it to be true that we are chosen. We think we must feel God’s presence for Him to really be close. But God never meant for us to feel our way to Him.

God wants us to stand on the absolute truth that He is with us no matter how our feelings may try and betray that reality. When I process life through my feelings I am left deceived and disillusioned. When I process life through God’s truth I am divinely comforted by His love and made confident in His calling on my life.

So, back to that concert when Jesus gave me the visual of Him calling out to me- choosing me, I learned something profound that night.

God made each of us with a vulnerable place inside our souls to be wanted, loved, and chosen above all others. I think that’s what ultimately drives people on both sides of an arena filled stage. The one on the stage is looking to have this vulnerable placed filled by the screaming crowd. The screaming crowd somehow thinks this famous person has it all figured out so if they can just get close maybe some of that fulfillment will rub off on them.

All the while Jesus stands off to the side and wonders if anyone realizes He’s the One our souls long for… not the fame… not the attention of the famous… and not the millions of other things we’ll spend our lives thinking we must have.

The answer to our deepest desires is not the seemingly perfect life… not the most romantic husband…not the smartest and most well behaved kids… not the bigger house… not the better job… not the awards and recognition of man and not in trying to feel our way to God.

It’s making the choice to recognize that God is close. Whether we’re at a concert, on a playground in the middle of a sorry kickball game, or sitting in a chair in our den- God is there. Loving. Assuring. Teaching. Calling. Choosing to spend time with us.

Becoming more than a good Bible Study Girl means never settling for needing to feel our way to God or to simply limit our experience of Him to those few minutes we call our quiet time.

It’s being able to sit in the noise of the arena of life with every worldly distraction imaginable bombarding you and suddenly thinking of Him- talking with Him- smiling with Him- and realizing every longing I’ve ever had in life to be more than just the girl in row 116, section R, seat 24 is already filled. By Him. The One who sees me as chosen.