Faith, Personal Growth, Prayer, purpose, Uncategorized

Day 4: “Chart Your Course”

Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

Philippians 4:8-9 (MSG)

One reason to spend 21 days fasting and praying to kick off 2020 is to set an intentional course for yourself this year. The direction you’re heading is not some arbitrary path. You haven’t been abducted and put on an uncharted bus ride. You’re not on a raft out to sea, drifting with the tide.

Praise God!

You have the mind of Christ. You head in the direction of your dominant thought patterns. Pause and ask yourself what you are saying to yourself about YOU? Your life? Your circumstances? Your partner? Your kids? Whatever you’re focussed on mentally grows larger in the lens you’re holding.

Make an adjustment today: shift your eyes eastward towards gratitude. Look to the west and ponder what’s best about your circumstances. Magnify the solid ground God you stand upon in God’s word. Face heavenward and remind yourself how much God loves you, his beautiful creation. Choose your course based on positivity, nobility, graciousness and right-living. Not on tit for tat dramas with people in your life who are directionless. Not on negative feelings, fear, worry or condemnation. You are intentional. Your steps are ordered.

You’re empowered knowing life is not a series of haphazard events that just come at you like waves tossing on the beach, pulling you under, sucking you out in a rip. No. You hold the oars and steer yourself towards God’s perfect truth and it starts in the map of your mind. Your direction is secure and you can rest knowing God is with you.

*Today, write out what direction you would like to see your life take in 2020. Do you need to change direction with a job or big decision that you’ve been putting off? What hurdles have blocked your course that you can remove now and prayerfully consider? If you lean towards negative thought patterns, put into practise taking those thoughts captive and submitting them to Christ. Choose positivity no matter how hard it seems. Talk out loud if you need to. You must give yourself the right trajectory as you set out on this God adventure.

Faith, God Speaks, Lift Church, Newcastle, Pictures, Uncategorized

Slowing Down Makes Me Notice

map of 20km run

What I love about training for my first marathon is that the “busy-ness” of the 100km/hr life I lead building Lift Church and raising three kids slows down to 10km/hr as I pound the pavement in training runs 5 days a week. Recently on a 20km run from my house in Belmont down to Caves Beach, I observed many things I have never really seen before. I’ve driven and I’ve sat passenger in a car down the Pacific Highway many times. The magnificent views of the ocean and Lake Macquarie pass by in an instant.

I don’t notice the slight undulations of the road or the bumps and uneven bits in the grass. I take no note of the smells with my windows rolled up; nor do I contemplate the old houses and rusty mailboxes, wondering how long its been since they have opened for communication. Nope. When I’m riding in a car, these are merely background images racing past my subconscious mind, rarely ever making me glance twice.

Yet, when I’m afoot, looking down to keep my stride through the parts with no path, I notice them all. The RunKeeper updates in my ear saying another five minutes have passed give me pause to remember exactly where I am on the road…

I can feel the gaps between the wooden planks on the bridge. The aroma of meat pies from the Bakers Cottage in Belmont South contrasts the stinky fish being caught as I cross Swansea Bridge. I resent the exhaust from passing cars and relish the fresh outdoor fragrance of trees and flowers on Fernleigh Track.

I’m reminded like never before that God is alongside me. He is Omni-present. He is Omniscient and Omnipotent. He sees above and below, to where I’m facing and from where I’ve come. I think I’m in control, metaphorically marking out my steady path so I avoid disappointment and pain; but he already knows the potholes and wrong turns I’ll make. He is never disillusioned or disappointed in me.

He numbers the hair on my head and died for me before I ever lived. He knows the fluctuations of my moods and the uneven ways of my motives. Every step I have taken and every one I’ve yet to take are ordered by him and I don’t even notice most of the time. I’m passing through this life, all 37 years, with speed and persistence as if I have somewhere important to go. All the while, he’s alongside me, patiently holding his hand out for me to slow down and consider his ways.

I think I’ve noticed a slight rise in elevation as I approach Swansea Heads, clever in my mind at how strong I’ve become and how long I have run. I am surprised at the beauty; how did I never notice it before? swansea headsMy Father, in his glory, gently reminds me that he created those waves with the work of his mighty hands and the revelation is all mine. Nothing has ever occurred to the One is WAS, who IS and who IS TO COME.

I run and I wonder the story of the broken down shack, all tagged with graffiti and disregarded as refuse. broken down shackI think of my own life and the damaged places and wounded bits and rest in knowing my God still finds me useful and worthy of his love, despite the scars.

No matter what rocky path might come my way or what heartache or tragedy takes my breath away, my God steadies me and secures my steps and my faith. For it’s not in the ground itself that I place my security. My assurance lies not in the width of my path.

swanseaIt’s in knowing the One whose

Faithfulness

Equals

Fidelity.

He maps my course and gives me comfort when the path seems too narrow and enmity enters in. He can calm a raging sea inside of me when I waver. He lifts me from the clay when I’m bogged down heavy and sets me on a rock, firm and surefooted again. His wing shelters me and his promises shift me toward everything I need and everywhere I should go. I only have to slow down to notice.

If you don’t know the God I’m talking about or have questions about your own faith journey, I’d love to introduce you to your Heavenly Father and come alongside you in your walk. Please contact me here.