“After Mother Teresa died, I was in an interview with some reporter who asked me if Mother Teresa’s spirit will live on. I said, “To be honest, Mother Teresa died a long time ago, when she gave her life to Jesus. The joy and compassion and love that the world finds so magnetic are only Jesus, and that is eternal.’”—Shane Claiborne
“To mean it when I say that I want my life to count for His glory is to drive a stake through the heart of self - a painful and determined dying to me that must be a part of every day I live”—Louie Giglio
“The city of God, a city on its knees, is a diverse city, stronger for the differences of its individual inhabitants, but united in its pursuit to establish God’s goodness upon the earth for all humanity.”—Tobymac
“￼“I don’t leave a lot of things open-ended theologically. I believe there’s one God. I believe that Jesus is the only way to heaven. I believe we’re all sinners. I believe in a real hell and a real heaven. So I’m a Bible guy, for sure. I don’t make any apologies about that.”—Mark Driscoll
“God’s paramount goal for each of us is a heart awakened with love for Jesus that yields a life willing to sacrifice everything, and it can only happen through passion. Impassioned love is the fuel that we were made to burn.”—Banning Liebscher - Jesus Culture
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”—
“Agape doesn’t love somebody because they’re worthy.
Agape makes them worthy by the strength and power of its love.
Agape doesn’t love somebody because they’re beautiful.
Agape loves in such a way that it makes them beautiful.”—Rob Bell
In the last few days and weeks, I have realised that I am so abundantly blessed,
this isn’t so much an in-depth post, rather just a huge huge thank you.
It is an absolute privilege to work with, to stand alongside, and to believe in you some of the most amazing people I will ever meet. You encourage me when I need it most…
I treasure you all so much & I hope you always know that.
Philippians 1:3:I thank my God every time I remember you
I haven’t posted in a while; Things have been pretty busy!
Today, however, is a day that I honestly think I will remember for the rest of my life; and I figured that was worth writing about.
As I woke this morning and turned on the TV; I saw a replay of the footage as the first Chilean Miner was brought to the surface… As I carried on watching this incredible rescuing operation I realised what a defining moment this was.
69 days spent underground & finally they were brought to daylight.
It literally brought tears to my eyes.
These guys clung to hope & people all around the world cried out in prayer for them & Thanked God.
An amazing, Amazing story of hope - As the pastor to the president stated ‘Even unbelievers are claiming this is a miracle’
As the wife of Ariel Ticona gave birth to a baby girl while he was still trapped he appropriately asked his wife to name her Esperanza, which means ‘hope’ in Spanish
The mother of trapped miner Victor Zamora said: ‘There were 34 miners down there - the 33 with the Spirit of God’
Amongst all the miners the foreman has told them he will be the last to be rescued; he demonstrates that true leading isn’t always done from the front.
The kingdom values we see expressed here are ones we cannot afford to miss.
It was such a picture of salvation & testimony to the power of Faith and Hope.
Each miner individually rescued, regardless of his past circumstances, brought back from the depths; It reminds me of how truly lost and broken I was, and how Jesus gave me hope and brought me back from the depths where I was dead in sin.
As some of them cling to bibles, some drop to their knees in prayer & they sing of how ‘they’ve got a friend in Jesus’ The questions of faith seem to be on many people’s lips.
Psalm 71:14 : But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more
As the rescue operation continues & in the weeks ahead as people continue to ask the questions of faith; I pray that God will be glorified in ways that I cannot even imagine.
As a global people may we be:
Joyful in hope, patient in affliction & faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12
Because once you choose hope, anything is possible..
“From the East we’re gonna say ‘He Alone Is God’ &From the West they’re gonna echo back ‘He is Faithful and True’ - From the North it’s gonna come out of a new generation ‘Jesus is Life’ &From the South it’ll echo back ‘He is Mighty to Save’ &the World is gonna hear a generation shout for the Fame of Jesus”—Louie Giglio - Passion Livelink
We live in a world which uses the word love all the time.
But when a word is so often used – it can so easily lose it’s true meaning.
When we compare the world view to the biblical view of Love – We are so far off track.
John 3:16 says – for God so LOVED the world….
In the greek language there exists more than one word for love – but the one used here – AGAPE.
Agape love – less of an affection – a conscious decision – less feeling – more action.
I read the other day in a book by Max Lucado of such love between an elderly couple, married for fifty years, the wife has spent the last 10 years suffering from dementia. He did his best to care for her at home but as she grew sicker and he grew older, he admitted her to fulltime care. But even then – He said this ‘I arrive at 6:15am, you’d think I was getting paid. I feed her, bathe her and stay with her. I will until one of us dies’
Agape love which bears a faint resemblance to that of God’s love for us.
If we jump back to the beginning, think about the story of Creation.
God creates man and woman, and gives them free will.
He gives them choices – they can Love God or they can choose not to. Guess what?
They consistently chose not to.
One translation I read of Genesis 6:6 says this:
Then God was sorry he had made humankind on earth – it pained his heart.
These people saw God as having a heart- a heart that feels, that responds, a heart that hurts, feels pain –
And the cause – people.
Because God gave people freedom – to love who they want, and not love who they want.
Let me tell you something:
Love is risky.
God takes a massive risk here – and the result – they break his heart.
Over, and over, and over again, they break his heart and chose not to love him.
So God, the all-powerful creator of the universe, needs to express his love for our broken world in a new way..How does he do it?
If he just showed up – would people draw closer?
My guess is they’d be terrified.
How can God connect with humanity?
By stripping himself of ultimate power and authority.
Because that’s how love works – the almighty who made the universe recognises the need to enter his creation as a man.
His entire life was about stripping away the power and control – choosing a path of love – Guys it was a choice.
And we read on about Jesus and his message – there was conflict between him and the religious and political leaders. The authority they had was threatened. Why?
Because that’s what love does.
It threatens the empires of power and control and wealth and manipulation.
Jesus showed us the ultimate picture of Love:
Lyrics from My Jesus – Todd Agnew:
Pretty blue eyes and curly brown hair and a clear complexion, Is how you see Him as He dies for Your sins, But the Word says He was battered and scarred Or did you miss that part, Sometimes I doubt we’d recognize Him
They beat him, They made him carry his own deathbed, and then they killed him.
Sometimes we oversimplify this. Try and paint a nice picture of it.
It was gruesome, it was violent.
But you know?
It had to be.
When we know how big the problem of sin in our world is, we understand the punishment needed.
And God took this upon himself.
The King of Kings
He exchanged the worship of angels for the company of murderers and sinners.
He could hold the universe in his palm but he gave it up to become a human.
He knew that those he loved would mock him.. He did it anyway.
The hand that held the Universe took the nail of a soldier.
That’s what love does. It puts the beloved before itself.
Love goes the distance.
Jesus chose the time confinements of our world over limitless eternity, he chose to become like us
Emmanuel – God with us.
Have you ever thought about this?
He could have given it up, at any step along the way, he could have called it quits.
At ANY point, he could have said ‘enough’ but he didn’t.
Because he is love.
The cross is greatest expression of love that this world has ever known.
Sheer, unadulterated love.
Stripped of everything that could get in the way.
Naked and vulnerable, hanging on a cross; He says
‘I did this for you. What will you do with me?’
And for 1000’s of years – the cross has been seen by many as so central to life.
It tells us of God’s pain – his broken heart. He made the first move and is waiting for our response.
Ever given yourself to someone and had to wait for their response? Left feeling vulnerable?
Look to the cross; Its God’s way of saying – I know what it’s like.
In the midst of an execution scene the creator tells creation ‘I know how you feel’
At the cross we present our wounds to God – and he takes them.
My Gap Year is officially over…. Tomorrow I become a student again.
I’ve got lots of emotions running through my head, but I just wanna focus on one -
I am so so unbelievably thankful.
I’m thankful for those who gave me the space to figure out where it was that God was directing me.
I’m thankful for opportunities I was blessed with during my year out.
I’m thankful that there were people to show me God had other plans for me than Medicine.
I’m thankful to the church for allowing me to fulfill my calling.
I’m thankful to God for placing this dream within me; I’m totally unworthy of it.
I’m thankful to all who continue to support me on this journey.
I’m thankful to everyone I met at Community week - for just being great.
I’m thankful for the basic things I have which I sometimes take for granted.
I’m thankful that I have a Saviour, a Healer and a Redeemer in Jesus;
The same Yesterday, Today and Forever.
There’s so much more to say but I’ll leave it there. As I embark on this journey and take this step of faith. I pray that God may change me, transform me, and fill me anew with his Spirit to make me more like the woman of God he created me to be.