Saturday, February 26, 2011

Worship: A State of Heart

Every second Wednesday night our lifegroup gets together. We love our lifegroup and we have been meeting together with (practically) the same group for about 3 years and have formed really close bonds.

Our whole church’s lifegroup studies come from the sermons preached on Sunday’s and the questions are all written by our Teaching Pastor at church, and he is one of the smartest people ever, so the questions are always really in depth and provide a lot of room for discussion. .

This week we were talking about worship. A former pastor of our church spoke at last Sunday’s service on this topic, and so the questions were based on his message.

It brought about some good discussion about worship, but all our talk centred around the music at church on a Sunday.

Then one of our group members raised the question “how do I get led in worship during the week?”

This question, among some of the other things we discussed raised concern in my mind.

What worship really is seems to have been lost to a generation of believers. It scares me a little to think that a whole lot of people, especially new Christians might believe that worship only happens in a church building, that there has to be someone up the front leading you to worship, and that worship only consists of singing songs.

Too often (in my opinion) the singing and music in church is called worship, and that is where the definition of worship gets left.

Colossians 3:23 (Amplified Bible)

“Whatever may be your task, work at it heartily (from the soul), as [something done] for the Lord and not for men”

I gave this verse to the member of our group with the above question. Worship at its core is a state of heart. It is the posture of our heart before God regardless of where our body might be.

Anything (obviously within reason) can be done as worship to God if we have the right posture in our heart.

The reverse can also be true.

Joining in with the singing at church on a Sunday morning doesn’t necessarily mean that you are worshiping. If your heart is wrong, it doesn’t matter what the words are that you read from a screen. If your heart’s posture is wrong, you might as well be reading out your grocery list!

Worship is so much more than what happens inside a church building on a Sunday. Worship wherever you are, as long as your heart is centred on God you can’t go wrong.

And you will never have to be worried about singing out of tune again either, once you realise how worship is much more than singing!

Comforting for some of us, no?


Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Back in October I read this post by Ashley Lancaster.

I then watched a video Ashley posted, then watched another and another, following links on YouTube until I finally stumbled onto this video: Lucy Lane's Gotcha Day

This video changed my life.

I showed it to Dave, then my parents, then my sister, basically anyone I could make sit in front of a computer for 10 minutes.

Every single time I would be in tears.

God was breaking my heart for His little ones.

I announced to Dave that I wanted to adopt one day. He was slightly less enthusiastic about it!

So I prayed about it. I asked God that if it is something that He wants us to do then I would let Him place it on Dave's heart too.

Over the next couple of months I kept finding and reading adoption blogs, and watching more gotcha day videos and I bawled over everyone. You know, the ugly cry.

Then one day when talking about adoption Dave asked if we would ever have any of our own biological children - I think he thought because I had been talking so much about adoption that I meant that we should only adopt! When I said I wanted to do both he was clearly relieved. It was only a few weeks later that he said he wanted to adopt too!

For us right now adoption is something that is in the future. Victorian and Australian Law makes it extremely (read: ridiculously) hard to adopt, especially for international adoption. One of the main regulations is that you must be finished having biological children before you can adopt! Crazy, no?

There is a whole lot of other rules and red tape that almost discourages you from even wanting to go down the adoption path here in Australia. But we are not discouraged. If God wants us to adopt He will make a way!

One of the ideas we have is to apply for the USA's DV lottery in October this year. This will give us an American greencard if we get through the process. Extreme I know, but if it is all part of God's plan, He will take care of it all.

So for now I keep praying. Praying for others adopting, praying that God will make our path clear.

If you could pray for us too that would be great!

Have a lovely evening!

Monday, February 21, 2011


We have a sponsor child. Well, technically Dave has one. Dave started his child sponsorship with Compassion before we were married, so now I have just claimed him to!

We sponsor a little boy from Peru named Emerson. He’s cute!

I can’t even begin to explain what Compassion do and the role they play in improving not just children’s, but whole communities lives.

They are an incredible Christ-centred organisation having a global impact by partnering with local churches.

Have you ever felt like you wanted to do something, but the need in the world just seems so overwhelming? Or like you just don’t know where to start to make a difference? Or maybe even like you have nothing really to offer?

Me too.

That is why I chose to add their button to the blog sidebar today.

How amazing is it that we can all be a part of something that God is doing globally!

How, you might ask?

Easy. Simply choose to sponsor a child. For a small amount of money in our currency a child can have opportunities they would previously only have dreamed about.

If you yourself are struggling financially, but desperately want to be a part of what God is doing, guess what… you can!

Even a one off donation can be pooled together with other donations to be used to create big changes and have lifelong impacts!

Matthew 25:31-45 (New International Version)

The Sheep and the Goats
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

How amazing that by partnering with organisations like Compassion we can be giving to people all over the world, people that it would otherwise be impossible for us to reach on our own!

To Him be the Glory!

Friday, February 18, 2011


"All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have this quote posted on the wall above my desk at home. I was looking at it last night and it got me thinking about all the amazing scenery we are going to see this year on our American road trip. We are going to be witness to some incredible displays of creation!

The Grand Canyon

The Great Smokey Mountains

Niagara Falls

The Mississippi River

Arizona Desert

Atlantic Coast

The sun set over the ocean in California!

I can’t wait to see these places in person and drink in their beauty and magnitude. They are spectacular in pictures, but how much more detail and colour can be seen with our own eyes! And I can't wait for these photos to be ones that I have taken!

It astounds me that people can believe that we are here by chance! All we have to do is look at creation, the nature that is around us. It screams of a passionate, creative, loving God! There really is no possible way that the detail within every living creature and thing could have come about by some random atmospheric collision! Crazy!

“The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Psalm 91:1

Have a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Life Imagined

Because life is what we make it, and all too often I really don’t make that much of it. I was thinking about life and what I want from it, and last night at our life group we were talking about living a Kingdom first kind of life and that started me thinking.

And me thinking is often a bad idea, just ask my husband!

But anyway, my thinking led to a list of things that I imagine for and about my life. I simply started writing my list, I didn’t over think it, I didn’t even make it overly spiritual, I just listed whatever came to mind.

So, here it is, in all its incompleteness and changeableness

1. I want to do something with my life. Not just anything ordinary, I want to live an extraordinary life.

2. I want to find a job that I love, that pays me well, that I can do when and how I want to.

3. I want to have a house with a pool and a big kitchen where family and friends gather, where kids run around in the yard, where the guys stand around the BBQ, and the girls giggle and chat.

4. I want to find more joy and beauty in life, in the everyday.

5. I want to raise children who are independent, loving, caring individuals. Children who are confident, are fearless, friendly and generous, who stand up for what is right, and care about people who are different.

6. I want to make holidays and birthdays incredibly meaningful and special.

7. I want to create memories out of everyday life.

8. I want to create a wonderful magical childhood for my children one day, with dining table forts, chalk drawing on the footpath, baking, dress-ups, crafting and creating, box cars, tree houses, mud pies, ice-cream, a love of books, picnics, beach trips, bubble blowing, cupcakes…you get the idea

9. Sweet night time prayers with our littles when we have them.

10. I want to create more - art, writing, learning how to take beautiful photographs

Enjoying the start to the weekend!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Revelation of Knowing

I had a slight revelation today.

You don’t really know someone, until you take the time to get to know them.

It might sound simple, or even a little silly, “of course you have to know someone to know them!”

But I really mean that in a very deep, personal way. We can know people, but still not really know them.

We cannot truly know another until we hear their story, learn about their life journey, and understand their hurts and sorrows, because it is in the hurts and sorrows that our very true and real self comes to life.

Unless we have understanding we will not have tolerance.

I had these thoughts as I was driving home from work today. As I was packing up to leave a conversation started up between me and one of the ladies I share an office with. I started my job because this woman needed to take time off, and I could never figure out whether it was because she was sick, or she had a family member who was sick, the information I was given at the time was very incomplete and it gave me the impression that not to many of the other staff in our department really knew the whole story.

When this lady returned to work, I was also kept on staff, and for about 12 months after she came back, I felt like she resented the fact that they had kept me on. We also have been sharing a student, and I have for nearly 2 years now had more hours than she has with him. She has a very special attachment to this student as she has worked with him for years.

There have been numerous occasions where I have felt that she is speaking down to me, treating me as inferior and I have many times not wanted to continue with the job because of how bad it made me feel.

I managed to get through it and she seems to have somewhat warmed to me these last 6 months. And then came today’s conversation.

She opened up and revealed to me why she had been away and they needed to get me in to replace her for a time.

Her son had a psychotic episode and broke all of her fingers.

He suffers from mental health issues as well as Asperger’s Syndrome, and one particular night had a massive episode that resulted in my colleague having to fight a court issued restraining order against him – she is his soul carer.

There is so much about the people around us that we don’t know, that we don’t understand. Things that explain behaviours and quirks, attitudes and opinions and I am all too often guilty of jumping to conclusions without having all the facts, without getting to know them.

How much more can I tolerate those quirks when I understand what is going on in the background of someone’s life. And how much more will I take the time to really know those around me.

And seriously, how much better is juice when you drink it from a wine glass! Just sayin’…

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Halfway though another weekend, and I just can't believe how quickly this year is going. The very first week of the school year went by with relatively few hiccups so that was good - I'm not holding my breath though!

Our weather has been crazy lately. Last weekend was so hot, and all throughout the week it has been humid and warm. However, Friday afternoon I was driving home from work, the sky was cloudy, but I could still see blue sky. As I was going along one street completely out of nowhere the heavens opened up, and we had a massive downpour for the next 20 minutes!

I got home and I didn't want my shoes to get wet, so I took them off, put them in my handbag, and ran inside bare foot! It was fabulous, I felt like a kid again. I probably looked ridiculous as I ran, laughing, trying to unlock my front door!

And two hours later....this was the view from my backyard


Wednesday, February 2, 2011


This weekend just passed could almost be considered my perfect weekend. Saturday afternoon was spent at the Jan Juc beach with some friends with near perfect weather. We just lay on towels soaking up the sunshine, catching up on the latest news. I was then able to talk Dave into stopping at my favourite ice-cream shop in Torquay for the best blood-orange gelati! Mmm so good.

Sunday morning we played hooky from church and headed back to the beach. This time it was just the two of us. The traffic was crazy so instead of heading further down the coast like we had planned, we just went to Juc again.

We had to park further away from the beach than ever before, and once we hit the sand we found out why – a massive surf carnival was on. Surf Life Saving clubs from all over Victoria were there hogging the entire beach!

We did manage to find a quiet patch of sand and spent the next few hours either swimming or just soaking up some rays. We left before it got too hot (40 was the expected temp for the day!) and once again stopped for ice-cream (choc mint chip this time, it just can’t be beaten!)

We got home and crashed for a few hours, then had oven cooked fish and chips for dinner.

It was a blissful weekend, the kind where the days blend together and the hours seem to stretch. It was the perfect way to spend the weekend before the kids come back to school and I’m into crazy busy mode for the next 10 weeks. I love lazy weekends soaking up the summer.