06/08/2019

To KNOW Who You Are

Posted in Encouragement, Finding Faith, Musings, Self-Awareness tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:41 am by The Water Bearer

If I had a dollar for every time in my life when I hid my own truth, and willingly swallowed someone else’s opinion, I would be a very rich woman. Far too often, a people pleaser will stay quiet when someone needs to speak up for the truth, and a people pleaser does this because they have no idea who they really are.

It was a couple of decades ago when I first realised my people pleasing tendencies and began to question the costs of going with the flow, I started speaking up, I stopped always following the advice of others, and began to stop believing every judgmental opinion cast upon me. Sure, I’ve come a long way, but realistically, I still catch myself giving a few pieces of mental real estate to those who have proven they don’t know me, nor have my back.

That is something I still find disturbing.

Iron sharpens iron, and I want to be sharp! I am not so deceived to believe that I am incapable of being wrong, I am well aware of the sinful nature that tries to trick me into defending it when it rises up and undermines my character, as I am sure many of you will nod in agreement. Most often, the negative opinions aim to undermine my faith and my message, or to accuse my heart of arrogance & self-righteousness.

So I go away and pray “Lord, I know I am capable of being arrogant, just spend 5 minutes with my ego! I know I am capable of being self-righteous, just spend 5 minutes watching adverts for reality TV with me to witness the judgmental comments fly! Lord, I know I am capable of doubt, in those moments when my faith is shaken. Yet in each situation, when I have spoken boldly of your truth, and the wonders you have led me through, and shared the wisdom you have graciously shared with me, read my heart Lord and show me my sin.”

Then I can trust His mercy and conviction to tenderly handle my short-comings, and reveal to me where HE wants me to improve. And the added bonus is He can create situations that actually bring about the changes He wants!

I’ve always tried to give value to each persons voice, because I value their soul and perspective, and don’t want to be blind-sided by my own ignorance, but there is a line that must be drawn in order for me to step even more boldly into my purpose. And that is to still value the soul of each human being, but not simply see myself through their eyes, nor change my truth to suit their narrative. It is far too toxic, especially looking through the eyes of those who aren’t even aware of their own arrogance, their own ignorance, their own doubts, or their own self-righteousness.

They don’t know themselves, so how can they know me & how can they know you?

There is only ONE who knows our hearts, even better than we know ourselves… and He is the ONLY one we can depend on when it comes to knowing who we are. The scriptures have the perfect precision of discerning the intentions of our hearts and revealing to us where we’re being led astray by our nature, or our ego, or the enemy.

Men and women of Remnant Faith have been called to speak boldly, especially in times when its not popular or convenient. And be assured if we do this, we will be persecuted for it, just as our Lord Himself was. It is the voices that make us doubt who we are that prevent us fulfilling this calling.

So here is a reminder to focus on who God knows me to be… (Feel free to apply it to yourself too!)

I am His!

Whoever the world thinks I am is none of my concern if I know who I am!

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04/07/2019

Folau’s Poor Doctrine & a Media Shit Storm!

Posted in Musings, Self-Awareness tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 11:31 am by The Water Bearer

I know I know, If you’re an Aussie you’re probably sick of hearing everyone voice their opinions on the recent scandal surrounding Australian Rugby Player, Israel Folau.

I’m sorry, but I promise this won’t be like any of what you have heard so far!

But for those of you across the pond around the world who are unfamiliar, here’s the highlights as far as I can tell.

  • He had a contract to play Rugby Union for Australia.
  • He used his position as an influencer to share some meme’s on social media that were deemed homophobic, hate speech.
  • He was warned he would lose his contract if he did it again.
  • Oops, He did it again.
  • He lost his $4million contract.
  • He started a #gofundme page to raise the money to fight Rugby Australia in court under grounds of Religious Expression.
  • #gofundme closed his page and refunded all his donations to the contributors.
  • Most of Australia laughed at his page closure, saying “serves the homophobe right”.
  • Australian Christian Lobby used their platform to reopen his campaign. Folau received more than triple the refunded donations in two days (over 2 million AUD).
  • Rage ensued across our nation as arguments were voiced on either side, for Freedom of Religious Expression and Freedom of Speech vs Hate Speech, Homophobia fury and defense of Contractual Law.

So what did he post that sparked this media fire?

 

I’ll not bore you with the typical arguments that “he broke the terms of his contract” vs “Religious Expression is Constitutional Law and therefore overrides contractual law” and I won’t get into the fact that the word “homosexuals” was picked up and ran with as “hate speech”, when clearly the message was for everyone, as ALL of us are guilty of at least a few things on that list.

Even one Atheist was quoted saying “Folau’s post was no more filled with hate than smoking warnings on cigarettes is hatred against smokers”.

Yep as you can see, Everyone has an opinion!

This blog is called Inner Angels and Enemies, So I’d like to take a deeper look under the hood of what’s really going on here.

This meme is a classic example of poor doctrine, and theological ignorance, and clearly touches on a sore spot in our current societal climate. However, as I’ve written many times before, in my posts The Beauty of Hell and Are You Chasing People Away?  and Religion Vs Relationship, if you want to be obliterated in open debate, then tell someone they’re headed for Eternal Burning Hell in front of me!

We are not in the dark ages anymore people… Most of us are more scared of what our friends and peers think of us, than where we will spend our eternity after this life.

It’s time we realised that manipulating and blackmailing people into the Christian faith is a cheap trick which fills church pews with inauthentic mask-wearers who become the very reason people are flooding out of the church and away from God in droves, and lets face it, these threats are not Christ-like in any way, shape or form.

Yes I know that the scripture’s talk of ‘Hell’ where the ‘worm never dies’ and ‘eternal fire & brimstone’, but until we actually die, we don’t really know what comes next. Surely, if your a genuine believer, who has a true relationship with God, then you will have plenty of actual personal testimony to encourage people into the fold, without needing to resort to playing God!

Yes it is playing God!

The exact thing that apparently got Lucifer kicked out of the heavenly courts.

No wonder, institutional faith is riddled with so much corruption.

We are all human, and God alone is God who reads the human heart and looks not to external behaviour. Lets leave the big rulings to Him hey!

Folau didn’t exclude anyone and he doesn’t have the keys to the kingdom so lets drop this ridiculous argument! PLEASE!

So perhaps you might be thinking after reading all this, that because I’m against Folau’s meme that I must hope he loses in court? Just as the rest of the haters do!

But you couldn’t be father from the truth.

For some time I have noticed a hidden conspiracy, lurking under the surface of this world, deep in the spiritual sub-structure of weak men’s hearts.

It is a war against words.

The word LOGOS is the Word of God, which in spoken form, has the power to bring creation into existence. His word in written form, or scripture, has the power to overthrow strong holds, divides soul from spirit, and discerns the intentions of the heart. Scripture explains that the power of life and death are in the tongue.

Words are a mighty and powerful weapon!

As Voltaire said so beautifully I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” I may not agree with what Folau said, but I will defend his right to freedom of speech, even if it severely damages the reputation of the God I know and love, even if I believe he has missed the truth entirely. I just simply trust God to sort each of us out and I know I will be in agreement with whatever He decides, even if its at my own sufferance.

I defend Folau’s right to speak because I feel with all the attacks against freedom of speech, and the increasing limitations due to shifty concepts of “hate speech”, before long none of us will be able to voice our beliefs, our opinions, and debate the very issues like this that need some discussion!

As someone who has spent their entire life trying to stop speaking my opinions and having no such luck, if I don’t speak now while I still can, very soon I too will be silenced, and so will you.

This Folau incident was nothing more than a media propaganda shit storm trying to incite anger within the LGBT community so they will fight to change laws, handing over more and more rights to our government, and less rights to the people, because of nothing more than a knee jerk, emotional reaction, without any genuine freedom for ALL in sight.

The LGBT community might recall that it wasn’t so long ago when they weren’t allowed to speak their opinions and belief’s in public, or how many Christian’s actually died to fight for their right to share their faith publicly, but oh how quickly the rights of others become fodder for the crowd mentality when you’re on the other side of the argument!

 

 

 

12/05/2019

Is there a Quick Fix for Evil?

Posted in Finding Faith, Musings, Self-Awareness tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:55 am by The Water Bearer

I was recently invited to a healing and deliverance evening, a dear friend of mine asked me to go with him to give some spiritual discernment. The reason for his interest was curious and open as his faith has begun to blossom in the past few years, plus he was invited by someone we have known for decades. Still, as with all things ‘religious’ we can’t go in with blind faith, except blind faith in God, specifically the God we have a personal daily relationship with.

I appreciate that the people who ran this event, and the guy who invited us along, had good and perhaps even the best of intentions. They believe in the healing blood of Christ and had quite a bit to say on their experience with deliverance from demonic possession, and healing. I’ve seen events like this before, when I was very young. However, they seem archaic and unsophisticated to me these days.

Picture grown men standing in front of a group of seemingly sane and healthy people, (no one was deaf or lame or having fits of demonic insanity) they stood calling out to a whole host of specific evil spirits such as witchcraft, false tongues, Jezebel, psychology and unforgiveness, etc and requesting the demons ‘manifest’ before them as they claim to burn them with the fire of the anointing which the ‘Holy spirit’ had apparently filled the room with. This ‘calling out’ type performance went on for more than an hour, while everyone in attendance was asked to stay in prayer and connect to what they want to change in their life. I was disturbed initially, because while I consider myself someone who prays almost consistently throughout each day, focused prayer for that long was like running a marathon. I was equally disturbing being encouraged to empower my own will instead of submission in prayer.

There are a number of other reasons, besides the common ‘this is bullshit’ assumption, as to why I came away feeling disturbed. Let me be clear when I say that I’m not a sceptic, I’m emphatically discerning, and casting out demons is no game, it is something I have had some personal experience with, but I struggle to find authenticity in these dramatic performance type scenarios. I wasn’t around in Jesus’s day, and I’ve never witnessed (with my own eyes) any instant healings personally. The only way I’ve witnessed a soul tie be broken and someone finally purge an entity that has held them captive, is with love. Pure, close, personal, challenging, faithful, patient love. Love that endures, loves that hopes, love that never fails. Ok, yes fervent Prayer and Love. And the times I’ve experienced miraculous healing has been in God’s perfect timing, as my faith grew, and not much to do with who prayed for me.

True, Powerful, Godly Love holds no account of wrongs and yet these guys were intent on making anyone in the room who experiences, for example unforgiveness, feel possessed, and then offered a false hope to relieve the victim of these ‘evil spirits’. Again, I’m not a sceptic, I’m emphatically discerning. I’m not denying the awesome power of the blood of Christ, I have seen for myself how powerful it is. Nor am I dismissing the toxic effect unforgiveness, among other disorders, can have on our health and our hearts. However, aside from the Lord’s return, there is no end to evil, no quick fix, no one time cure all for the evil within us. As I’ve touched on before, the Cross and achieving the Born Again condition are continuously increasing processes of development. I love how Steve Furtick says it something like this… “Salvation is immediate, but sanctification requires a process! Forgiveness is instant once you recognise the truth of Christ on the cross, but freedom happens little by little!”

It is how we endure with faith and confession in the face of our sinful human nature that keeps us hungering and thirsting for righteousness, it keeps us humbly at the foot of the cross. The love found there has the power to help us overcome the things which seek to enslave us, such as sexual depravity, addiction, gossip, and so on however there will always be deeper evil in us, such as selfishness, bitterness, pride, fear, greed, envy, stubbornness etc. When they hint that simply ‘calling out’ a demon allows the victim to be ‘free’, it suggests that there is only a certain number of demons in someone and once they have been ‘cast out’ then there are no more demons! I have strong inclination that this is a lie from the pit of hell!

Its a false hope to claim that there is an end to the demons within us, for as long as we have breath we have sin, the blood of Christ has paid for and removed the death penalty of sin, but to be free from captivity of sin is a very specific heart condition, until then we are still in the process of purging our inner enemies! Even afterwards, we aren’t sin-free because we intercede for others, we experience sin, even if its not coming from within our own hearts. This deliverance performance is the exact type of thinking that has led many so-called ‘Christians’ into comparing sins between each other, creating a hierarchy of dominant believers who falsely judge the hearts of others. It makes my blood boil, for ALL have fallen short of the glory of God, and continue to do so as long we live! This is why we need a saviour daily! Why we need to take up our cross daily!

Even the apostle Paul, prayed for God to remove his tormenting demon, his ‘thorn in the flesh’, but God showed Paul how that demonic weakness was the very opportunity to perfect God’s power!

“So to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-9

This blog has been dedicated for 7 years to exposing the enemy in his true form, within us! If you want to understand how these systems work and find your own personal deliverance, then search through the archives of this blog until your heart is content. Self-awareness and a personal relationship with God are the most vital sanctifying aspects of any faith walk, we battle the enemy as long as we are in the flesh, for the purpose of revealing God’s power in our lives so that we may have unwavering faith during these end days. Let’s not skip over that process looking for a “quick fix”. Let’s trust that God knows how to handle these beasts within and is willing to guide and teach us if we turn our ear to His voice and are willing to obey, even if we suffer for it. Let’s not deceive ourselves into thinking we have a better way to heaven than His way.

Remember, we know who wins in the end, until then we keep on taking up whichever cross the Lord has deemed us able to carry. We do it willingly. We do it trustingly. Allowing God to use our circumstances to purge the soul ties from our lives, bearing with one another and trusting the Lord with our own personal thorns in the flesh. Allowing His light to shine brightest in our weakness, so that He may receive all glory, and not us or our deliverance ministers.

07/03/2019

Shifting The Blame

Posted in Musings, Self-Awareness tagged , , , , , , , at 1:05 pm by The Water Bearer

I’m pretty lucky to have found a select group of people who defy our current untrustworthy culture. The people I trust in this world are far from perfect, none of us are. The reason this group are trusted is because they own their own shit. They have the courage to have the hard conversations, to admit when they’ve let their emotions get the better of them, to recognise when they deserve the consequences for those times they refused to listen to their conscience, and to face someone to address issues without resorting to abuse, gossip or slander.

These people give me so much hope! Though sadly, they are few and far between.

Our culture is so warped, it has become too scared to admit its faults (possibly for fear of a liability suit) that we’ve lost the art of conflict resolution. Its far more common to make excuses or ignore personal faults and magnify these same faults in others, than to seek resolution to conflicts with a little honesty, humility and compassion.

The masses of legal action pointing fingers at human errors has gotten way out of hand, and had some serious consequences on they way we resolve societal problems. It’s almost as if we find our flawed humanity as far too big an inconvenience that we no longer accept it as part of reality. We are now shocked beyond words when we suffer at the hands of someones mistake, and allow that shock to catapult our emotions into condemnation and worse. The rage increases when they refuse to own up, surely denial adds to the injustice, and yet saying sorry now admits liability, so we just don’t hear it.

But there is something profound about a genuine apology, it can resolve so much tension. Maybe we would hear more apologies if society just remembered how to accept one, without always demanding compensation. There is no denying that we all mess up royally from time to time, and people get hurt, yet there’s something wonderful about being able to admit your flaws without fear of ridicule and rejection.

It has only been in the last half of my life that I got to experience the value of these things. Once I understood the grace of Christ, I knew I could be honest with myself and with Him. This gave me the courage to be honest with others as well.

It was just over 18 years ago when I hit the bottom of my shame pit. My behaviour had gotten so out of hand, I was the worst version of myself and the shame of it almost killed me. I clearly remember sitting down with a friend and confessing it all. I’m not sure why I felt I could open up and tell this guy my innermost skeletons, but I still did it. I expected shock, horror and a lot of guilt trips, but instead he barely battered an eyelash, he listened, he understood and strangely enough he still saw my value. That man showed me what its like to not have to hide my flaws out of fear of rejection, instead I felt loved like I never had before. See, people often ‘love’ our best selves, yet hold our worst self against us, like a trophy of our worthlessness. A trophy that gives them permission to berate and belittle and condemn. Not this guy. He saw my absolute worst and ended up marrying me anyway! (Go figure)

I’m not sure how we can undo the damage this blame culture is having on our relationships and our lives. We have become bound up by so much red tape that no one knows who is accountable for what anymore. The lines of accountability are so blurred that we no longer know which way is up!

So once again I fall at the feet of Our Saviour and plead with Him to help us learn how to love each other at our worst and not be so offended by human faults, and to bring back the beauty of self-awareness. Then we may no longer have to hide our sins, no longer have to pretend we aren’t scared and broken and capable of hurting people. Can we see ourselves through God’s eyes and claim our limitless worth and face our demons, for we all have both. None are innocent, yet all are loved.

02/01/2019

Setting Intentions for 2019

Posted in Encouragement, Finding Faith, Musings, Self-Awareness tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 9:28 am by The Water Bearer

How do you approach a New Year?

It feels so shiny and fresh, doesn’t it! A clean slate to paint a new masterpiece.

I’m not a fan of making new year’s resolutions, I kind of see them like I see marriage ceremonies in the modern world, a “promise” that can easily be broken. There is something powerful about our words, our vows, and when they become watered down and meaningless a little piece of that power dies. As I look about the world I see a lot of dying power and meaningless promises. So, instead of making another promise that I may break, I start my new year by setting intentions.

An intention is something you come back to over and over, so that if you drift off track, or ‘fail to stay true’ there is no loss of power, just a little refocus back to your intention and away you go again.

Before I share my intentions for 2019, a little backstory…

The past 4 years have exploded for me in my calling and gifts. Something about my time in Africa opened up my faith to levels that I felt even my biggest most unfathomable dreams were somehow possible. So, I took some time out from writing my novel (a promise I made to God 20 years ago), and began the task to create and open Sanctuary Stretch. Since then I have been overwhelmed with an abundance of ideas of how I can build this ministry/business, which has kept my focus from returning completely back to my promised novel.

By the last half of 2018 I was at the end of my tether. I had created this amazing program and was running a few classes and workshops, and yet I felt defeated. By having so much inspiration, and starting a dozen new mini-projects, none of which came to completion, I was just so sick of wasting precious time. God was showing me in every direction that time was fleeting and the final round was upon us and yet I felt if I held onto these alluring mini-goals I could still reach the finish line before time runs out.

So as this new year dawned, I didn’t want to drag the frustration of last year into this shiny new year. I decided to take some time on my favourite beach to reflect on the past year, pray, quieten the noise of my mind and the world, and listen for what God was trying to tell me.

The intentions that came out of that time on the beach were 3 fold:

  1. To deny my own will and give God the floor to bring His Will into fruition (or in other words, to see the eternal rewards, rather than looking for mini ‘worldly’ rewards).
  2. To spend more time practicing what God has taught me, instead of always trying to teach it to others (especially those who may not have asked for it).
  3. To be more relaxed with myself and my family over our mistakes and missteps. (I am hyper-responsible sometimes and need to practice more tolerance and learn to laugh at myself more).

I took some time to journal out these intentions, and as a way to ensure I had denied my own will, I sat at God’s feet and cast lots, (this is a great way to discover how God wants to proceed) I held up every one of my projects and asked which ones I was meant to push forward with, which to throw out and which to put aside for the time being.

Some were a deadest NO, others were WAIT, but wouldn’t you know it.. I got the go ahead on only one project.

The Novel.

I’m so grateful that God prompted me to wake up and smell the urgency of keeping my promise. Now I can enter 2019 with my intentions set and one goal to focus on, turning the 55,107 word, 89 page document into a fully-fledged book. Wow that’s scary to say out loud!!

ARGH! I’m going to need so much help!

Good job “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” (Philippians 4:13)

Mini goals are so much easier, tempting us with small rewards, and yet the big stuff, the stuff that requires a heap more faith, that is where the real and lasting rewards lie.

What are your intentions for this blank canvas, 2019? Are you sick of wasting precious time as well and ready to keep that big promise?

 

07/12/2018

2018! What was that?

Posted in Encouragement, Finding Faith, Musings, Self-Awareness tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 11:55 am by The Water Bearer

I was hesitant to publish this post, because it exposes my more controversial insights. However, I am too excited not to record this for future reflection! I know I’m not alone when I say that 2018 was one epic, hectic, uncharted, warp-speed, challenging and astounding year! I’m unsure how many people out there notice spiritual patterns… But I for one see them everywhere, and 2018 was riddled with a few very specific sequences.

What on earth am I talking about? Well let me explain….

The first and most obvious was the fluctuation in time. Each year we all hear the cliché, “Time gets faster every year” But this year was significantly faster than most, because it was jam packed with developments in the spiritual calendar. I doubt we could maintain this speed for long without going insane, so I for one am interested to see exactly what the time fluctuations will be in 2019.

In 2018 I noticed some huge life-altering changes, as well as some pretty intense attacks, plus the purging of some life-long strong holds, there were huge revelations and breakthroughs, and last but definitely not least I noticed evidence of God tying up loose ends and separating the wheat from the chaff.

First lets look a little at the overarching and perhaps most interesting aspect of the 2018 spiritual patterns, the separating the wheat from the chaff, which is creating a huge divide between those who have hearts that soften under God’s hand, and those who hold onto their stubborn ignorance. I say ignorance because all those who I’ve seen fall into this pattern of separation were given many many chances to turn their hearts and their ears to God’s call, and instead chose to close off their hearts and block their ears, in order to cling to what suits them better., i.e their own understanding and place in the world.

There has been a significant amount of evidence that God is tying up loose ends as well in 2018. Especially as those who have been persecuted and ridiculed in the past are now being vindicated and those who stood against the remnant are being exposed. The chaff and the persecutors seem to have nowhere hide as God reveals the consequences of having enough rope to hang oneself.

The chickens have come home to roost, and I trust God and I know His judgments are fair and justified, because He alone can read the hearts of men. Still I feel sadness for those who are now suffering. And I don’t mean suffering like the spiritual warfare many of us are suffering under, the frequent yet temporary spiritual attacks or death by a thousand papercuts. No, the suffering I am seeing goes right to the pit of Hell and they aren’t escaping it. They are struggling to find any way out, because there is only one way out, and that’s through the Cross!

He is ready to separate the chaff from the wheat with his winnowing fork. Then he will clean up the threshing area, gathering the wheat into his barn but burning the chaff with never-ending fire.” Matt 3:12 NLT

So that my friends is the revealing of the ‘chaff’.

As for the wheat! Well it’s time to raise the roof if you are counted as Wheat! Yeeew!

It seems 2018 was the year for change and a year for truth (well for those who value truth at least!). Those of us who had been held captive by lies for far too long saw the light split through and bring clarity! So much clarity, which in turn empowered the courage to take leaps of faith and accept the changes on the horizon, rather than plodding along as normal. This shift saw changes in family dynamics, career paths, finances, schooling, health, location and even faith. It was refreshing, but not without its pains. As with all spiritual empowerment there comes backlash. The intensity of the attacks rose significantly this year, however they seemed short lived for those with strong faith. Just a day here and a week there of distress followed by another incredible and intimate burst of faith. When going through these distress patterns its always important to ask ourselves, “What is God purging from my life?” Often the answer is not just the obvious superficial cleansing but a deeper hidden motive which needs pulling out at the root. This is fabulous news for those who’ve been praying for personal breakthroughs!

Back to touch on that earlier point of ‘incredible and intimate bursts of faith’, the amount of revelation throughout 2018 has been outstanding for those who are open to hearing it. Epiphanies are coming thick and fast as God reveals His secrets to those who trust in Him. If we can manage to hold onto our sanity during the attacks, then the highs are Heavenly indeed!

“Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” Jeremiah 33:3 (KJV)

If none of this makes sense to you, I apologise for the confusion. Those who see the world with physical eyes instead of seeing the spiritual world with their hearts, will surely be confused by this post.

All I have to say is simply this. If what I am seeing is accurate then you will know if you are wheat or you are chaff. You know if you constantly turn your ear to hear God’s voice and follow Him through thick and thin, or if you have chosen not to listen and go your own way.

It’s not too late….. but something BIG is coming so let’s be willing to do whatever it takes to be on the winning side! A little discernment and self-awareness goes a long way!

I’d love to hear if your insights can confirm or deny these patterns. Please get in touch. xx

06/11/2018

The Beauty of Hell

Posted in Encouragement, Finding Faith, Musings, Self-Awareness tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 12:06 pm by The Water Bearer

Aren’t you tired of hearing the warning and seeing the cartoons of “Eternal Burning Hell” as the place for those who aren’t righteous and ‘saved’? Those who know me know I get wildly angry around this threat!

Let’s at least agree to the fact that NO ONE actually knows what happens after we pass through death, except those who’ve died, but we can’t really ask them can we? Scriptures give us some hints, but it keeps its secrets hidden for a good reason. If we’re honest, all of us have an idea in our heads of what we would like to happen to the very worst of mankind, but we have to recognise that we DO NOT KNOW! Its not a good look, trying to scare people with some words in a book they don’t value.

As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.” Ecclesiastes 11:5

To be frank, I prefer to leave the things I can’t possibly yet understand to God and trust Him that the end result will be fair.

FIRE & BRIM…… What?

While that fantastical threat of ‘Fire & Brimstone’ (what the hell is brimstone anyway?) has been a worthy motivator for conversion to Christianity for millennia, I find the afterlife less motivation than the “Hell on Earth” that we are all familiar with in the here and now.

In this life I’ve had a taste of how horrible Hell on Earth is without my Saviour by my side. That Hellish feeling where everything becomes overwhelming, and fear takes hold, that state of hopelessness and lack of feeling God’s love is unbearable. It’s the place of our crucible, which according to Merriam-Webster means; “a place or situation in which concentrated forces interact to cause or influence change or development“. The truth of this Hell I speak of, didn’t become a distant memory once I asked my Lord to take hold of me and never let me go. Not at all, now He just goes to Hell with me, and because He’s been there before, He can show me the way out, time and time again. Hell still holds its usual bite, but these days I know there is much more than suffering going on.

Even the best of us will go to this Hell at some point, ‘saved’ or not, but the deciding factor as to whether you stay there, or find God and follow His guidance to get out, is not simply a religious act. It’s a conversion of the heart, a listening for His voice in the core of your being when everything around you is in turmoil. Its the very act of being able to identify your own sinful motives, find and trust God personally, gain the lesson and then see the beneficial evidence in the aftermath of that heart transformation.

Then you are resurrected out of hell and into hope, unity, love and peace with God.

Or in other words, you get a taste of absolute HEAVEN on EARTH!

From this perspective, sending someone to Hell is a divine and loving act, remember He sent His own SON there! For it’s the birthplace of freedom from sin!

Some of you won’t follow me from here on out, so before you leave me mid-paragraph, just know that there is no need to keep using your imagination and Scriptural threats to ‘encourage’ people to turn to God. You can use Scripture to confirm your own personal experiences of Heaven and Hell on Earth and share them, at least then your warnings don’t seem like idle threats you can’t back up with priceless tangible experience.

For those special few who grasp this and are hungry for more, lets dig into this together….

PACK YOUR CROSS & GO TO HELL!

Now that we’ve gotten rid of any fakers, let get real. Just because I said the sinner’s prayer and I completely believe that Jesus died for my sins on the cross, went to Hell, and was resurrected, (Yeeew AMEN!) doesn’t mean I have never again sinned or had to suffer the consequences for my sins. I may not need to worry about what comes after my death, but while I’m still here there is still plenty of work to be done, and plenty of unrighteous motives still hidden in my heart that need to be purged. And yours too…. even if you’re not aware of them.

Thankfully I know just the guy to help ‘burn off the dross’ Psalm 119:119 and purify my heart and yours. Please don’t fall for the illusion, it’s a life-long process, and while I more often experience Heaven on Earth since falling in love with Yahweh, than periods of Hell, doesn’t mean I don’t still need to go there from time to time and kill off a deeper level of sin.

“The Son of Man must suffer many things,” He said. “He must be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and He must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.” Then Jesus said to all of them, “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.…” (Luke 9:22-24)

I don’t believe Jesus was being facetious for dramatic effect or simply referring to the direction of our physical lives. There is a clear message in this Scripture that has helped me find comfort in my own personal experiences of Hell. That, regular awareness of my current and hidden sins will bring me to the cross in deep remorse, where I am willing to give up the sin I was poisoned by, which will take me into a season of Hell, in which I will depend completely on my Saviour to bring me out and then experience the wonderful benefits of the “Born Again” condition on the other side of it all. That’s exactly how I feel. I feel renewed, free from the burden and influence of that sin, a new creation, and deeply in love with my Lord more than ever before…. If that’s at all possible.

Most of you who have stayed with me thus far will know this isn’t a one-time event, and it hasn’t been done ‘for you’ so that you can ignore your sins or pretend they aren’t there. This is a systematic and vital part of the faith journey. In fact, the more sins you identify… THE BETTER! Sure, you’ll go through Hell, but there is no avoiding it, and you don’t have to stay there! You don’t have to go alone! And the Heaven on the other side is incredibly worth it!

“For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.”
2 Corinthians 7:10

HELL ON EARTH IS ENOUGH MOTIVATION

Perhaps those of you who value this process, will now be more comfortable using your own admission of purging sin, of Hell on Earth, and the brilliance of the Cross, to encourage others to connect with Christ.

Not because of the fear of some unfathomable place after you die, but because suffering here is real and it can be Hell: If its not a matter of if I go to Hell but when, I’d rather not go alone. Would you? We can carry our cross in one hand and hold our Saviours’ hand with the other. There is more than enough motivation in this to fall head over heels in love with our Lord once He meets you in Hell and shows you the way out. … because you never know, if you go alone you just may find yourself stuck there for what feels like eternity.

05/10/2018

The Itchy Jumper

Posted in Encouragement, Finding Faith, Musings, Self-Awareness tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 10:17 am by The Water Bearer


I’m struggling to put into words what is happening to me right now….. Trust me, this is not something I’m used to, I can always find some verbal acrobatics to wrap around what God is doing and how my soul is responding. Alas sometimes there are no familiar words.

Its just well ….. New.

And admittedly, not very comfortable.

Like wearing that tight itchy woolen jumper which your favourite Nanna handmade and watched with delight as you stretched it over your body. You can’t simply discard it, it is far too precious, but wearing it attacks your thoughts, constantly begging to be removed, to soften, to fit.

Over the years since my car accident and even since reuniting with my Dad some years prior, I’ve watched as God has unearthed secret inner enemies from my soul and given me opportunities to practice making new decisions without the influence of each one. Each was a strange and foreign experience; practicing life with a brand new insight, and deeper awareness felt just like wearing that jumper. I always felt extremely self-conscious.. I simply could not blend in!

Does that even make sense?

Let me give a couple of examples….

Once I realised the secret within me which believed in false versions of love, I was given opportunities to practice changing the way my emotions led me down that path… It was awkward to not rely on auto-pilot, or default to beliefs I’d held for decades. It took a forceful mindful effort to rethink my actions, and not to give way to old habits and old ways of thinking. After many years of practice I now recognise true love almost instinctively.

Once I realised the secret of my ‘Daddy Issues‘, I was given opportunities to build my security from faith in The Almighty, rather than expect it from human beings. It was uncomfortable to be watchful and ask the questions, what is my motive here, who am I relying on, am I doing it again? These days, I see security in every direction. Amen!

There have been thousands of these inner enemies over the past two decades.

And now I’m facing another one. The itchy jumper is back! Ugh!

This time, the secret is the deep archaic desire to please people, to be loved, be heard, accepted, understood, valued.

With the arrival of my new business/ministry venture it’s far too easy to be seduced into looking at the external landmarks, the number of clients, the evidence of connection, the potential, the expansion, as the gauge of its success. A powerful motivator isn’t it! Yet, I’m aware that this seduction may very well pollute the purity of my motives, empowering that secret desire and letting it push me outside of God’s will.

I refuse to go on allowing my deepest inner critic or the fault-finders in my life to misconstrue my value or success. I will not make another step towards that goal. It’s almost like an alter in the high places in Canaan which God warned His children to destroy. I wanted to burn Sanctuary Stretch to the ground rather than risk building an idol.

The itchy jumper is that I shall fail. Fail to live up to other people’s expectations. Fail to get through to those who aren’t yet ready for this message. Fail to be completely understood. Fail to be popular. Fail to be successful. I chose to fail because….

I’d rather fail, I’d rather see it all fall in a heap, than allow inner enemies to corrupt it. I aim to seek approval of God alone, His promises to me are not reliant upon what others think. People look to the outside, but my Lord, He looks to the heart! The deepest, truest part of the heart!

And so here I am, still helping my clients, still running workshops, still writing blogs and class programs and meditations, but without any of the potential to appease the inner desire or feed my inner enemies. I wait on Him, wearing that itchy jumper, expecting His promises will be kept without any help from my inner enemies.

I wonder if others out there know how this itchy jumper feels? Do you rip it off? Soak it in fabric softener? Wear a long-sleeved shirt underneath? Or do you tolerate it? Learn from it? Wear it in until it becomes your favourite jumper in the world!

03/09/2018

Accepting All the Seasons of You

Posted in Encouragement, Musings, Self-Awareness, Teen Trials tagged , , , , , , , , at 8:52 am by The Water Bearer

I tend to think of moods and emotions as patterns. Perhaps this comes from my Cyclothymia diagnosis (a mood disorder under the banner of Bipolar). Those cyclic patterns of highs and lows are something I’ve trained myself to understand and watch for. The hardest part was learning to accept them and not resist them or be ashamed of them. These emotional patterns remind me of the seasons.

Our Father Creator knew exactly what He was doing when He created the seasonal patterns that encompass our lives on this planet. The earth bursts with life in times of productivity, and growth, we might think of these seasons in our own lives as basking in sunshine, but just like the earth, parts of us at times die off, we lose hope, and retreat behind the doors of our souls.  

People often call me Claire-Bear, which is pretty funny around winter, cause just like a bear I tend to hibernate. I find it so hard to be my best self in Winter. I’m more irritable, less motivated, unsure of myself and feel sadness easily. So I withdraw, stay inside, have early nights, limited social calls and have to work harder on my self-care… I’m so glad that Winter here in Australia is over!

How about you? Everyone is different. Some of you get more irritable in the summer heat, looking for any escape. Thank God for air-conditioning right! We all accept our seasonal physical life, but why do we struggle so much to accept the seasonal patterns woven throughout our emotional landscape?

We are all guilty of trying to “Cheer up” a loved one or acquaintance who’s voicing unpleasant emotions. It seems no one likes to be around a misery-guts. Fair enough if they do nothing else but stay miserable and don’t want to recognise it or deal with it, yes that sux to be around! My Lord! But it seems ALL periods of negative emotion have become stigmatised.

I know this all too well. It happened to me just after my car accident, when I experienced my first of many severe depressive episodes. I wish I had a dollar for every time someone tried to change me, or took offense to my low mood. So few people recognise the value of our low times. We tend to avoid them, supress them, numb them and hide them behind a veil of unhealthy denial, just to save face. Although, I found tremendous value from those lowest moments. Now please understand me, I’m not suggesting the low times should be our aim, not at all, but they are a season that is there for good reason and we need to stop trying to avoid that reality. We need to change the way we speak around those who are going through a low mood. We need to stop jumping to conclusions that those experiencing periods of unhappiness are guilty of failing at life or faith!

Sure of course it’s so nice to see those we love happy and bursting with motivation, but usually the best motivation and long-lasting mature faith is born from the seasons of emotional winter in our lives. Its time to change this stigma. Its time we accepted these patterns of life as the nothing more than reality and stopped placing unnecessary expectations on ourselves and others. We don’t look at the winter months and decide its a sign that the earth is doomed, or is less of a planet than Mercury which is always in sunshine. Remember that nothing grows on Mercury! We know that the seasons all have their purpose and we accept each season for what it is, temporary.

The most severe episodes I have been through over the past decade or so were pretty clear cut transformations. The person who went into them was changed for the better on the way out. I’ve killed off things like co-dependence, emotional manipulation, low self-worth, toxic relationships, limiting beliefs, generational curses and so much more! Our God knows what parts of us are ready to die off, and these emotional winters are just the catalyst for that purging.

I hope you accept whichever season you are in and not allow what’s meant to be temporary to become a permanent condition. Learn to ride it out, to trust God with it, gleaning the lessons, and benefitting from the death of the unhealthiest parts of your soul so you can burst with life once again, even better and brighter than before!


28/08/2018

How Healthy is Your Mind?

Posted in Encouragement, Finding Faith, Musings, Self-Awareness, Teen Trials tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 3:16 pm by The Water Bearer

I often wonder why some people aren’t as concerned about their mental health as others. It seems to me in this current age of high stress and constant busyness, more of us would be vigilant at ensuring the healthy condition of our minds.

I’ve seen too many people out there wondering why they are trapped in an unhealthy and unhappy life, who avoid assessing their mental health for fear of the stigma attached. I was one of those myself until my car accident forced me to take a closer look at the way my mind works and why.

That old saying comes to mind “Talking to yourself is the first sign of madness.” I actually believe the opposite is true. If we don’t ask ourselves questions we believe the first thing that comes to mind and stay the same without growth or reaching our potential.

Over the past decade or so I have noticed people tend to fall into one of the following three common categories when it comes to mind health. I wonder if you recognise these traits?

Group 1 – IGNORE their Mental Health

This category contains those who take no time to be curious about the motives of their hearts. They don’t ask “why did I do that or say that?” even if they are abusive and dysfunctional, because they seem to believe the first excuse that comes to mind. They choose not to investigate the condition of their emotional health. They never ask themselves “what is the universe or God trying to purge from the selfish core of my soul?” They ignore or deny the feedback they receive from the social cues of the world. Rather than wondering how they can change themselves to adapt to their world, they waste copious amounts of effort and emotion on fighting against it. I’ve come to notice the fear that controls this group. They are afraid of facing their flaws, everyone else is the problem, even God’s plan is wrong (in some way or another). They often hate silence and can’t stand to be still or alone. They are likely to fight against a sleepless night rather than accept the words of that still small voice within.

Category 2 – BLAME their Mental Health

This group are the ones who know that life is unfair and yet use it to their own reward. Having a diagnosis of mental health, physical pain or grief often becomes a label used to avoid getting healthy and happy. Its far easier to get sympathy and sidestep the difficult challenges and responsibility of getting back on track after each trial. This group self-sabotage, finding excuses to stay miserable, usually thriving on drama and stress and become addicted to contributing negativity to the world. Blaming the reality of life and God for their discontent comes naturally, rather than seeking to discover the hope, growth and fortitude that is born from trials. They may ask for help and yet follow none of the advice given. I’ve noticed the bitterness that drives this group. It is deep seated and poisonous to their souls and ours if we stay around them too long.

You may know someone who fits into one or both of the above categories, you may even be one yourself, I wouldn’t be surprised. I have been there too….. In fact they’re easy to waver in and out from time to time.

It takes wisdom to see that giving sympathy and attention as rewards is actually enabling these groups to stay miserable. Yet our culture has somehow forgotten how to voice the truth with tact and honesty, and so we choose not to say anything at all, while our loved ones stay trapped in their misery.

And yet let’s not lose all hope, for we still have the third group to go. These people are actually more common than we might think, they just don’t broadcast their self-care.

Category 3 – NURTURE their Mental Health

This group of people understand the difficulties of life, they take the hits, go through moments of weakness and low periods. Some have been diagnosed with a mental illness, some have not. The things they have in common are self-awareness, self-responsibility, and trust. They make no excuses for their mistakes and struggles, they focus on the lessons. They accept the dark times as opportunities to see the light again one day. Faith gives them hope and courage to push on. They direct their efforts to caring for and protecting their mental health by setting up certain guidelines to follow that won’t lead them into a pit of self-pity. They practice letting go of control and being grateful, they practice being still and appreciate silence. They aim for a good sleeping routine and have very few unhealthy indulgences. They choose wisely who they spend time with. They pay attention to their own emotional stability and listen to sound advice in order to arrange themselves in a way that steers their course closer to the person they hope to be. They are committed to learning the truth about themselves, and the impact they can have on those they come into contact with. They are humble enough to admit when they are wrong and assertive enough to stand up for their truth.

As I look out into the faces of Sanctuary Stretch clients I see these qualities being nurtured. Some have only just begun their journey and others are well and truly reaping the benefits after committing to the practice.

Perhaps like me, you realise you are ready to change groups? I did it, and you can too.

 

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