Thursday, 27 October 2011

It's time to be determined!

   This week Miss Three morphed into Miss Four! While to me she looks the same, sadly, my three year old has departed. The four year old is now a proud owner of her first push bike, complete with training wheels. In no time she was flying around the park, yard and streets.
   Yesterday, her mother suggested she left the bike at home and walked to the school to collect the older children.  She was very indignant. 'But, I'm four! Four year old legs ride bikes! They don't walk!'
It doesn't feel like it, but it must be four years since I watched as she pushed her way into the world. She was determined as a baby, and she has forced her way into life from that day on. The youngest of five siblings, she quickly learned how to charm the family into meeting her every want!
   She reminds me of Jesus's strange words about taking the Kingdom of God by force. She knows what she wants and what is hers by right of birth. If she wants to sleep with her brother or sister she claims that place. Thirsty in the night? She yells until Mum fixes it. Wants to stretch out on the whole lounge, she kicks everyone else off! (Yes, she is learning to share...slowly!) Hungry? She raids the fridge.
   Jesus also said that unless we become as a little child, we can never enter the Kingdom of God. Ahhh, it is starting to make sense.  I've been born into the Kingdom. Everything Father God owns is mine. I have access to the throne room, the store room, the angels, the table that's prepared for me. It is not a time for standing back and being shy. I think I'll follow Miss Four's example and barge straight in and claim everything that is mine!  Want to come with me?

Thursday, 20 October 2011

What others think is none of my business.

    Thanks to the wonder of technology and the iPhone, today I listened to Heidi Baker address the Voice of the Apostles conference in Baltimore.  She has planted 10,000 churches in Mozambique and rescued countless thousands of orphans from the streets in that nation. She is my hero! 
    Today she taught me a valuable lesson. 
    As her mission has a desperate need for bibles, she was excited when offered a large quantity from a well known Bible distributor. But then he added, 'We can only distribute them through men.'
I was instantly angry. How could he say such a thing to the woman who is one of the most successful missionaries of our age? How could he be so rude?
    But I was taken by her response. 'Men! I can get thousands of men! How many would you like?'
    Then she explained. 'At that time I had to make a choice. Would I be offended and risk losing the generous gift? No! There was no reason for me to be offended and I wanted those bibles.' She remained gracious and received thousands of Bibles for her people.
    Ouch! I wonder how many times I have missed a blessing because I took offense? How many times has my attitude been soured when I've taken exception to something expressed, when it was not my place to judge the statement?
    I have a wise friend that often says, 'What other people think of me is none of my business!' 
There could be a corollary. 'When other people think differently to me, it is none of my business!'
Ah, Lord. Help my reactions to be gracious and tender, for tomorrow I may have to eat them!

Thursday, 13 October 2011

The gate crasher who concealed himself just before my dinner party

'Eeekk!' A door slammed.
My niece, who lived with us, ran into the kitchen, white faced and shaking. 'A snake...a snake in the toilet.'
I took a deep breathe and went to investigate. Pushing the door open, I peered into the room. 'I can't see a snake.'
' the lid!' She was hiding behind me.
I did and there it was! A large carpet snake, curled within the bowl of the toilet. And it was only a few minutes until ten of our best clients were coming to a dinner party!
I did what any calm hostess does! I bellowed for my husband. He scratched his head while I fretted. Would I have to tell my guests that we couldn't offer toilet facilities?
'Steve, WHAT are you going to do?'
'It's okay. Calm down! I have a plan.'
'I'll get Lance's help. He's an old bushy. He'll know what to do.' The door bell rang.
When our client, Lance, arrived, there were six guests in my lounge room who heard Steve say, 'Come with me. We have a little matter to take care of.'
His wife raised an eyebrow. 'What is that about?'
I sunk into the nearest lounge. 'Believe me, you don't want to know!'
As the other men gathered around my toilet door to offer advice and be entertained, Bob removed the uninvited guest amid much frivolity. When the men returned, they assured the women they had located the broken grate where the reptile had invaded our private space.
'We covered it with a brick. He won't come back!'
However I noticed everyone carefully watching how much they drank that night. No wanted to have to use that loo!

Friday, 7 October 2011

Some conversations are painful!

The conversation pierced my heart. Poison tipped arrows seemed to penetrate deep into my flesh. It was only a conversation; no one physically injured me, but the physical pain was intense.
As we chatted, she had asked three simple questions.