….mountains 

I’ve not a lot to say today – shocking and unexpected I know😉. What I posted on my Facebook page in a 20 second ‘ah-huh‘ moment covers a lot of what I’ve been pondering this week. 

…..Here my moment of ‘ahhh’ …..
Never lose hope…. God is always always at work in and around your life. If you ask Him to show you what He’s doing, He’ll show you a glimpse, a sneak peak of the masterpiece He’s working. 
It was followed by this image. 


Quote Cred: inspirationalquotesmagazine.com

You’re  that masterpiece and ‘ you have been assigned this mountain to show others it can be moved‘. Don’t like the sound of it, me neither, and yet at other times I’m totally inspired by it. It all depends on the perspective that hour or minute is taking. This I know without doubt- God may not have caused this mountain and he certainly didn’t push me and cause me to tear my ACL (or any of the other things that are going on in life). That’s down to choices, situations and stupid tree branches played a part in the drawing me into my failed arty photo. But now I have this mountain, it’s assigned to me to overcome it with Him. 

 God does have the know how, wisdom, healing and endurance to get me up and over the mountain I face. For me it’s trusting my knee, learning to walk evenly on both legs again and bending and stretching it without thought, fear or concern. It’s going so slow in my mind, but then I remember I’m only 35 days into a year long recovery according to doctors, physiotherapy and my reading. Realistically, its barely to first base camp on what seems like Everest. 

I don’t know what your mountain is, but God will talk you thru each base camp to the very summit, if you’ll allow Him on the journey. He may not have caused the circumstances but He knows how you feel, respond and what you believe about them in the depths where no one else knows you. He see, He knows, He understands and He wants to walk His with you. 
All to often we call ‘pick me up and drop me on the other side of this‘, but I’m learning step by step, season by season that what you learn on the climb is important for the next mountain climb. There’s always another mountain 🤔


Photo Cred: Me (Queenstown NZ 2017)

Mountains aren’t always negative, think of the view from the top. You’ll see at the summit, what you never can from the valley. So walk on up, this mountain is for climbing and the view of victory from the top is going to be spectacular!!

Until next time

Happy Pondering 

i hope i am ……

eight-teen-questionsHey all, I’m sitting hear flicking through Facebook and wondering – why am I silenced by all I see. And when I say i’m silenced, I mean for a talker, there are no words to describe now I feel about what I see. There’s a constant barrage of hate, put downs, name throwing towards strangers online, some might call it trolling. There’s ridiculous small punishments for horrendous crimes, the glorification of prisoners coming home from overseas by the media and personal agenda creeping into business, corporate and political circles.  There’s the banter if you dare disagree with someone that you hate them or are intolerant. There’s the rights of ‘I’ before the responsibility of ‘I’.
And with all we see its easy and understandable why you can just shrug your shoulders and go – I don’t care, I don’t know what to do about it, can I even say what I think we should do about it? But maybe that’s part of the problem – we look at society which clearly needs change and apply a “i” mantra, when maybe the question is, what should ‘we’ be doing in response to what ‘we’ see.

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Who is this we she speaks of? Well, the ‘we’ could be the people you do life with, share a house with, work with.  But -we could even draw the circle a little closer and say the ‘we’ is God and Me. What does He say about what He sees? How does His heart break for the lonely, hurting and broken.  We used to sing a song that said break my heart for what breaks yours, everything I have for your kingdoms cause...‘ .I’ve often thought, as the words have left my lips.  Do I really want to know what breaks His heart, I mean do I really what to experience the heartbreak God feels about what He sees happening in the  corners of the earth? And the answer is yes, I do want to know how He feels about it all, and with comes the free steak knives, of yes, it might hurt.  I mean, we might, be changed with compassion towards people we previously judged, or maybe we have such an indignation about the injustice we see, that we, dare ask the question of God – what do you want me to do about it?
road-sign-with-hope-and-skyThe song also utters the words, ‘everything I have for your kingdoms cause‘.  This is where the rubber hits the road.  I know that if we dare ask God, to show us His heart on the matter, that He is also going to reveal to us the action He is calling us to do in response to the matter. It could be simple, it could be small or it could be earth changing marvelous and costly. And so as I ramble my thoughts at you via my keyboard – I ask this one simple question – are you brave enough to ask God to break your heart for what breaks His, everyday and respond to it? I hope I am
Until next time, happy pondering xx

Ruth: Your Seen….

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Ever feel like your not seen? That what you do goes unnoticed or worse people only see the times you muck up and not the good. 

Here in the second chapter of Ruth we see Ruth question Boaz as to why she has found favour in his eyes (if you didn’t watch the amazing little video last week; I’d go check it out today https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=T5ks19z5q9w) Boaz, the land owner where she’s gleaning (picking up scraps) answers her by telling her- it’s all been ‘fully reported‘ to me. All the good stuff you’ve been doing since. Not only did he know, but people where impressed enough to give a great report on her character when asked (life goals hey!)

He then pronounced a blessing over her life in Ruth 2:12 

May the LORD repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.” (NIV). 

Be encouraged today, even when you think no one sees the good that you’re contributing to life- God does! And often time, so does someone else and they can be praying that God pours out His love, peace and favour in your world. 

But let’s not just be people who wait for someone to love on us, to encourage us, build us up; let’s be people to tell others what we love about them, encourage them, build them up.

Until next time 

 Happy Pondering xx

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i want to know what love is…

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I’ve heard is stated simply ‘show God’s love practically and give to those in need’. Heidi Baker frames it this way, ‘love looks like something’. For God, it looked like Jesus coming to earth and dying upon a cross for all of humanity, throughout all time. The Bible says God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor 5:21). Blows me away, that’s a whole lot of love right there!
We all hate the word sin, because it seems like judgment; but truth is everyone mucks up, and the result of mucking up is that we are distanced from God. Look at the world, there’s lying, cheating, hating, grudges, pride, stubbornness, doubt, low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression. I know you’re thinking, some of them aren’t sin- you’re right in a way. But some of them are the effect of the mucked up state of our lives and world. Life is full cause and effect.  Drink too much; get drunk.  Eat too much; put on weight. Doubt yourself and your potential; welcome low self-esteem. Don’t talk to God about your concerns and worries; open the door to fear and anxiety.  Try to long to be strong in your own strength…. .  Hope your catching my drift.  And here’s where I’m heading with it, (but before I do.  I don’t lightly say that issues of depression, low self-esteem, anxiety are an effect of a mucked up world, I say it from a place, where I’ve seen it, lived, it, battled it and been able to find strength in God as I’ve moved thru it.) .  Ok, as I was saying ….. Hope your catching my drift.  And here’s where I’m heading with it, in spite of all of this, God choose, and Jesus agreed to come and sacrifice His life, so that we could come into relationship with God and step into freedom from all the cause and effects that make the world, and our worlds – simply mucked uP!

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Often, we hear God spoken about and think of Him as some judgemental dude, who either has old glass windows in a building or a mega big building filled with riches.  But that’s more an image of religion- a lifestyle of do’s and don’ts.  However, there is an opportunity to have a relationship with God, where you can talk to Him about the very real things that are going on in your life.  To read the Bible and see how some of those Old Testament girls and guys actually have stories which can help you out in the tough times you’re facing.  To welcome the Comforter (AKA Holy Spirit) into your life and have one who will help, guide, encourage and talk with you about life.  And as we approach Easter this year, I just wanted to encourage you not to just think about the Hot Cross Buns, Chocolate and Easter Bunny; but instead ask:
  • How am I really doing at life? . (I always seem to do this – I ask you to ask massive questions, in a light -hearted manner.  Sorry, if it’s a brain bender).
  • Could I use a relationship with God to help me get through the day?
  • Does what I’m reading, question what I’ve known of God.
  • Do I know God or do I just know a little about Him.
  • Am I happy with my relationship with God
Just a few things to ponder as we sip on coffee and eat (hopefully) a delicious Lindt Bunny (… see I’ll eat Chocolate too this Easter).  Knowing that as I do, I can chat with my God about the very real highs and lows of life.  And that’s worth celebrating each and every day.  Not just when the supermarket throws hot cross buns (yummy) and choc eggs at me.
And if, as you have pondered those questions, you think, I’d like to know more about the God she talks about.  Start this way ‘hey God, can we talk, I’d like to know if you’re really there….’.  I’m sure He’ll answer you, after all its His nature to talk to those He loves.
Until next week
Happy pondering xx

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Sacrifice – groan…. I can almost hear it audibly as I type.  What’s she gonna tell me I have to give up now… groan.

 

Nuh, it’s not like that at all. Sure, there is an element of giving up something, it’s even in the definition 😉 , but look at what follows … ‘for the sake of something regarded as MORE important or worthy’.  In simple terms is it really a sacrifice to give up the last Tim Tam Biscuit (yumm… I’m on a no chocolate or coffee self-imposed thing, at the moment, and each time I type about them, it’s like I can remember the fabulousness of them.  Anyway, focus ER!) As I was saying before, I licked my lips, is giving up the last Tim Tam biscuit really a sacrifice when the person you’re giving it to means so much more to you.  Ok, bad example for all the chocolate lovers out there who are screaming at me – Yes!

 

But the key thing in sacrifice is that the thing you are giving up, is of lesser value than the ‘who’ you are giving it too.  Where it gets harder to comprehend, is that people have sacrificed their own lives, for the freedom and safety of others.  That’s where love enters the equation of sacrifice. We see it time and time again, when people lay themselves down as a sacrifice, whether it be a teacher giving a kidney to a student (saw that on the new the other week – amazing !!). A mate in war, giving there life for another; or someone intervening in a fight they wander past on the street.   We hear it said in news reports all the time, it’s what anyone would have done.  Deep down we know its no though. And this is where the challenge lies.

I consider it a case of preferring another to yourself. And here’s where the challenge is applicable every day.  Do I prefer Bob more than the last Tim Tam, do I prefer the red car merging in before me, more than I do my own driving agenda. Do I prefer my friends and family, and therefore compromise my wants for the benefit of them.

So whilst sacrifice is about giving up things, it’s also about loving others first.

Until next week

Happy Pondering

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quote lover!

I love quotes… words on a page that elicit a brain and heart jolt. It can be on a myriad of topics- in fact- they usually are rangeing from leadership inspiration to travel, changing the world and keeping our thinking on track. Simply, these formed word groupings seem to bounce around, bringing inspiration, challenge, growth, and pleasant memories. Not all create the same reaction but some stay a little longer- maybe for a month, year or decades. What are you favourites, I’d love to know… but in the meantime here’s my Top 10 (for this week anyway) Enjoy!
quote-love-looks-like-something-heidi-baker-58-75-261.Heidi Baker, oh, she nailed us. Love looks like something! Argh so true, it’s easy to be deceived, but there’s actually a few things  written about it by God and if it don’t measure up- it ain’t love!

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2.  Christine Caine – wow – what a powerhouse! i jumped into a podcast of her’s the other week about this, she was talking about her knee injury, surgery and recovery – but the principle applies to loads of things.

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3. This has been a fav for years. Yep, He’s at work, I especially see it when I look back 🙂
all-progress-takes-place-outside-the-comfort-zone 4. Admiral Mc Craven: from a 15 minute YouTube speak this grabbed me. It just stirred something within me- a sense at even in our biggest trials, there’s more we can bring to the table.
careerlesson_explainitto6yearold5. Oh the need to be clear! This is challenging but reaps its reward in both communicating and in solidify what you already know.
3697 6. God’s got you and this challenge it might just be the making of you!
416ae50d40ce325ab628cd845881f5de7. There’s always something to be grateful for in life.

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8.I love me some travel (time to plan another trip me thinks) 

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9. Leadership- I could have picked any one of a 100 from my Pinterest boards but this one sings loud today 🙂

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10.You’ve got something to bring to this time in history, don’t sit back, rather be the you- you are destined and created to be for this week, month, year and decade. You can be the someone that did something 

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11.I know I know I said 10- but there are SO many I haven’t included, so just one more. This one challenges me in the way I conduct life both when at home and when away- whether that be overseas or down the road.
  I’d love to know what some of your favourite quotes are, feel free to leave them in the comment section
Seeya next week,
Happy Pondering xx
P.S I know some of you may be thinking she didnt include any Bible verse as her favourite quotes – nup – not today, instead  I’ll be featuring them during the year as I  write a few series on some of them  🙂 

stronger…..

Today… well it’s a pictorial mini blog 🙂 

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Actually this picture says most of what is bouncing around this brain. There’s always more to add, but rather than add more words for more words sake I’d rather go deeper. So I’ve this question to ask- when life gets tough, where to do go; inward, outward or upward? I’ve an immediate definition for each of those word- but as you decipher them in your way, take a little time to ponder the answer that comes.
 Remember you are much loved by God, and He’ll stand with you and help you thru anything.  So lean into Him today
Until next time,Happy Pondering 
Oh, before you go… I wanted to remind you of the sozoTALK Facebook page launch on March  2nd…. well actually- it’s been sitting there in the background while I disciplined myself to write weekly. So it everything I’ve posted from the last 6 months already to visit. Look forward to seeing you there soon

armoured up! P.1

As promised here we are starting the first series planned for 2017… hope you enjoy the ride:) 

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The armour of God – amazing! During a study in 2016, by Priscilla Shirer, I spend 6 weeks just focused on the armour of God, those 8 little verses found in Eph 6:10-18.  But as I studied them God poured out an amazing image before me, which I’ll be writing about over the coming weeks. 
But before I dig into it, let’s have a read of them from The Message translation….
10-12 And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.
13-18 Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.
Shirer says ‘The first step in utilizing my spiritual resources is recognise I have them’ and I couldn’t agree more. You can’t use what you don’t know you have. Furthermore, you can’t use to the fullest potential what you don’t know how to use. Like we chatted about ever so briefly last time, if we don’t know the purpose of something  then we set ourselves up to be disappointed, disillusioned and in dispute with the intention of a great thing and in this case the armour that God has given us through the relationship we have available with Him.
We’ve all seen an instruction book and thrown it aside to muddle our way though. But, sometimes when we do that, there’s a few screws left from building the furniture or a feature we never use because we don’t understand the symbol. God has given us access to spiritual resources, once we recognise them and then learn about them, we need to actively engage in learning to live with them daily, not just in crisis mode. The greatest way to learn is through relationship with Jesus, ongoing communication- prayer. It’s the activator, the initiator, the connection point, the glue in our relationships with Him. 
I’m going to be unpacking this passage and a few thoughts over the coming weeks.  Like many passages we can read them and re-read them and then one day – bam! It hits you in a new way (but more on that next week).   Today is about getting the thinking juices going and I’ll leave you to ponder this;  If ‘God is strong and He wants you strong’, how do you think you’re going with that?
Until Next week
Happy Pondering x
Bonus Thought 🙂 When was the last time you chatted to God? Its tough to be in relationship with someone when you don’t talk to them; the same applies to God.  The trouble being, He is ultimately the strongest one  and the one who wants to be your strength, always.  He wants to be included in your life – so why not include Him a little more!

2003

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‘I believe that dots/days you think are nothing and don’t contribute to the picture of your life; from a distance in heaven will be the intricate detail that gives the picture its beauty’ E.S
(diary note from 2003 ~a lifetime ago)
This little thought jumped off the page last night, issuing a reminder that all days are made equal. Sure what we do with them, lends them a different weight when we look back across the horizon of life; as some we photograph on our memory as significant. Days such as weddings, holidays, birthdays, adventure, heartbreak, tragedy and sorrow.  But in the everyday in and out of life, the washing, the cleaning, the working, the responsibility, comes the sustained fragrance of your life – its true beauty, is revealed when no one’s looking.  After all, we dont live the social media show wheel of life that’s often displayed in the world of Facebook and Instagram.  Instead, we live the normal, the mundane; mixed with the extraordinary – the adventure.  So whether your day, today is mundane, a little glint of adventure, or full on extraordinary. Know that in the tapestry of life, each is needed to create a beautiful masterpiece. And God has created such an amazing masterpiece in you, ( yep you 🙂) you are precious and amazing whether your day is or not.  
Until next week,
Happy Pondering x 

 

be obsessively grateful!

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Gratitude. Thankful. Positive. There is always something to be thankful for- even in the darkest of dark storm seasons. I’ve challenged myself to lift the gratitude quotient in my life numerous times- the latest being a few months ago.  And the thing that set it off was a visit to Kikki K on a totally unrelated shopping mission. Specific stationary sets you up for success lol, and helps you find things in life to be grateful for (like specialised stationery shops, with gratitude notebooks).

Only a few week after the challenge began, I stumbled across an article which described the physiological benefits of looking for things to be grateful for even when you think there’s none. Apparently it’s good for your health- mental well being and all that (so now im healthier too – go me!)
 
It’s all too easy to forget to be grateful when life’s good and just as easy to be overcome with darkness when life’s not. So today I challenge you- what are you grateful for. How’s your gratitude quotient. Can you list three things you’re grateful for? It’s where it starts- and then tomorrow list another three, and the days after that and that and that.
Until next time,
Happy gratitude -ing
 
Oh, don’t worry about repeats, sometimes you realise just how grateful you are for things….
… like chocolate 😉