Whose plan: ours or God’s?


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He planned to divorce her quietly. What a good guy. He’s been told his fiancé, Mary, is pregnant. But he’s not the father. But the law provides him with an out. But rather than publicly humiliating Mary, Joseph decides to break it off quietly.

Based on my various readings, most men, at the time, would have called the engagement off. The only question was how best to do it.

His plan was sound. He felt humiliated and didn’t quite understand the miraculous nature of the situation. I take it Joseph wasn’t fully aware of his lineage or the significant part he was to play in being the second last in the line that began with Abraham (Matthew 1:17)

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Living a Dependent Life


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I learnt independence at an early age. I got myself around by walking and catching public transport (as early as 10 years old), and entertained myself in my own worlds of sports and stories.

My two brothers and sister similarly were very independent growing up. Even though we’d come together regularly, we all cherished our alone time.

I’ve found it interesting my two boys are very dependent on others for entertainment and activity. Now that isn’t a bad thing at all. However, I’ve often struggled with their dependence and prided myself on my ability to get things done by myself.

“Many people view dependence as a despicable condition, so they strive to be as self-sufficient as possible.”1


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“The Power of Weakness”, Keith Giles

17254288I received this 100 page ebook as part of a giveaway as a result of buying Frank Viola’s new book. Gee, I hope the other gifts I downloaded are as good as this one.

Pastor Giles takes us through the stories of key Biblical figures: Jesus, Solomon, Moses, Samson, David, Gideon to name a few. He demonstrates using Scripture how they only “succeeded” by emptying themselves to fully surrender their lives to God. Samson, for example, was only powerful because the Holy Spirit equipped him with incredible strength.

This book comes at an important time for the church where I believe we may have forgotten this critical aspect of faith. God can only use us when we let Him by depending on Him. All of these Biblical people were weak so they depended on the Father to provide the power.

Well written with strong Biblical references. My only suggestion for improvement would be if we saw some modern day examples of this phenomenon. I get the concept and want to do it, but I’m still not quite sure how to. What do I need to do when I wake up each day to be “weak” and therefore depend on Jesus?

Highly recommended – 4/5

Puffed up


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I’ve had the good fortune of experiencing my first ever “Blog Tour” this past week. 30 readers with blogs requested a copy of Angelguard from Kregel on the premise they would commit to read it and write a review on their blog. I’ve enjoyed interacting with readers in providing additional information as well as reading their reviews.

In this review cycle it’s hard not to get too “me focused”. Last week I wrote about discouragement when reading reviews so that it doesn’t create hardness in our heart. Recently, I’ve read a few articles from other authors about gaining their affirmation from sales figures, glowing reviews and such like.

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The Mystery of the Manna


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I’m often asking the Lord for answers. Whether it’s about what’s going on with Angelguard, prayers for people who are struggling, or simply about the fact I might have woken up feeling unwell. A day doesn’t go by when I’m not asking Him, “so what about this or that.”

Do you do that?

The extent of my questioning God increases significantly when times are tough or uncertain. For example, a job proposal is rejected or my dad’s health relapses. “Why God?” and “is this the end?” are questions I’m sure I’ve asked many times in relation to those two matters.

I’ve been reading through the Old Testament as part of my Lenten experience of completing the entire Bible. This week I finished Job. I think most of us are familiar with his story; Job was “totally devoted to God and hated evil with a passion.” I’d like to be described as such. He was also extremely wealthy and “the most influential man in all the East.”

Wow, a really impressive guy in my estimation.

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Lent Reflections – You’re in Charge!


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I planned to share a post on ‘repentance’, which I will do over the next few days; however, I got struck yesterday by the “3 occurrences” nudge that I thought was useful to share.

Have you ever found that a verse or a message appears 3 times in a very short period of time? Do you take any special notice of it?

I do. I believe it’s one of the gentle nudges from the Lord.

Yesterday I was working through my devotionals and two of them referred specifically to The Lord’s Prayer. Interestingly, both emphasised a different perspective.

Now you might say that’s only twice, so it’s just a coincidence. However, prior to that whilst eating breakfast I happened to read Margaret Feinberg’s daily email with the heading: “How can the Lord’s Prayer Transform you forever?”

So I was a goner – 3 strikes. There was something specific that God wanted me to notice from the prayer.

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He Shall Be Exalted!

Photo Credit: http://ourlibrary.mornpen.vic.gov.au

So we’re now at the fifth element of the Holy Spirit POWER acronym : Exalting the Father.

According to the “Free Dictionary” on the web, to exalt means:

–       To raise in rank, character, or status; elevate.

–       To glorify, praise, or honour.

–       To increase the effect or intensity of; heighten.

Jesus lived a life glorifying the Father.

“Jesus answered, ‘My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me. 17 Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. 18 Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.’”(John 7:16-18 NIV)

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Our Heart

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The Bible speaks a lot about our heart. The New Testament alone mentions it 149 times, the four gospels 49 times.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30)

 I expect you’re familiar with the above verse. Besides the fact the heart is mentioned first, I like the repetition of “all”:

“all your heart

all your soul

all your mind

all your strength”

Why all?

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A Kid’s eye view of the world

Take a moment to think about how you felt when you were last on a great adventure or holiday. When you saw something incredible for the first time. Maybe it was the Grand Canyon, the Eiffel Tower or your first time at Disneyland.

Or perhaps you can remember a time as a kid or when one of your kids saw something special for the first time? Read more