Tuesday, 20 December 2011

.:.peer co-mentor.:.

Have you ever thought of yourself as a peer co-mentor?

David and Jonathan had a friendship that was worth praying for and pursuing.
It was meaningful and mutually empowering. 

David and Jonathan:

1.They shared: “Jonathan became one in spirit with David” (1 Samuel 18:1)
-a heart to follow God and do His will (14:6, 17:45-47)
-Interests and skills of war (background)
-the same environment in the house and army of Saul

2. They committed: “we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the LORD” (20:42).
          -to God (Chapter 14)
          -to each other’s best: “Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself” (18:3); “Whatever you want me to do, I’ll do for you” (20:4)
          -to each other’s future and family (20:12-17, 42).

3. They experienced:
          -Protection by watching out for each other (Ch. 20)
          -Openness and trust – they could share anything (20:3)
          -Friendship and fellowship (20:42, and generally implied throughout their story)
          -Strength and encouragement in times of difficult: “Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God” (23:16)
          -Love that was committed to the other’s best, even if it meant personal sacrifice
                   “Don’t be afraid ….My father Saul will not lay a hand on you. You will be king … I will be second to you” (23:17)
          -Sharpening and challenge to follow God

Do you have a friendship like this? I bet each area could always use a bit of strengthening. I’d encourage you to spend a few moments thinking about what area you are doing well in and what area you’d like to focus your energies on. If you’re brave enough, tell your friend what you see them succeeding in. As good friends, it can be tempting to allow suspicion and distrust to form by focusing on your differences. Instead, focus on what you have in common: a common faith, dear and close friendships and a desire to grow into all that God has for you.

Do you realize you are a peer co-mentor?

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.:.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Walking it Well

Walking it well - I’m intrigued by the phrase. It’s a goal to be sure. There are ways in which we can be walking through and responding to difficult times unwell. Those methods are pretty obvious in hind sight, and may have some regrettable consequences. It would be nice to avoid them altogether.

What does walking it well look like? I can’t measure success in this like a true/false quiz; there’s no studying for it beforehand. How do I know if I’m doing it right? Can 40% of my grade come from motive and my desire to do well?

There’s no grade, Sarah. I’m gently reminded.

I believe walking difficult times well begins with a soft heart, which is so hard to develop and live with in a difficult space. Having a soft heart means you live in the reality of the pain more often. And who wants to do that?

In a difficult, painful season of life walking it well requires work and effort that we may feel too exhausted to offer at the time. It means watching our actions and words even more closely because our moral compass isn't pointing straight north with our emotions flying around as they do.

But we do not walk alone, which makes the goal of walking well an achievable option. We won't be perfect; we will trip and fall at times, but Jesus walks with us.

Emmanuel, God with us.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.:.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

.:.Disciplining Kids.:.

This past summer after a week of kid's camp, a leader older than I, and parent himself, approached me and said, "Sarah, you're really gifted at disciplining kids."

Thank you, I think?

It got me thinking.... the point of discipline is restoration, not humiliation. Disciplining a child in the moment out of frustration you're experiencing, just because you need a few moment's peace is not the way to go.

That's reacting instead of responding.

When kids react poorly to a sitution, we often find ourselves asking why they are behaving that way. Perhaps they have forgotten who they are.

"We all have moments of spiritual amnesia where we forget we are sons/daughters of the King. It's not a matter of head knowledge but of the heart." -Michelle Anthony

If we're honest, our own poor life choices stem from insecurity, where we too have forgotten who we are, and our worth in the eyes of the King. And further honesty would admit that at one time, we were where those kids are.

Disciplining a child without providing a glimmer of hope about who they were created to be is pointless. Children know right from wrong - especially when they have been wronged.

The goal rather should be partnering with the work God is doing, helping each child see their potential and empowering them to make better and wiser decisions as they grow.

As a parent or children's ministry worker, you have a golden opportunity to facilitate and foster Biblical Discipline:
- a discipline that brings them closer to God rather than pushing them away;
- a discipline that embraces rather than shuns;
- a discipline that extends grace, over legalism.

"Grace understands that the only real solution for our children’s sin is the work of Christ on their behalf. . .  Legalism uses outside forces to help children maintain their moral walk. Their strength is based on the environment they live in. Grace, on the other hand, sees the strength of children by what is inside them—more specifically, Who is inside them." - Tim Kimmel

I've found the conscious parenting page on Facebook to be a great resource for similar daily reminders and some tips.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.:.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

By The Fruit

When I was younger, I used to think that God was up in heaven eating grapes while He watched our lives on a big screen TV. I figured that if He could see everything I was doing, and if He knew everything about me, then there must be cameras on me at all times. It then, somehow, stood to reason that for every good and bad thing I did, I got a check mark or an 'x' by my name on the whiteboard he held in front of Him. Where did I pick up these ideas?!

Over the years, I've come to realize that He is much more involved than I could have ever imagined. And He knows me more intimately than I know myself. Yet, when He invites me to dance with Him, I withdraw and protest, "But Lord, you don't really know who you're asking. I have stains and blemishes and I'll just embarrass you. You don't want to dance with me." As if He didn't know my faults. And He gently extends His arm to me and asks me to dance again, saying, "Sarah, I know those things, even better than you do, and I still want to dance with you."

This picture of an invitation to dance absolutely astounds me. How can He be so loving and gentle and pursue me with such patience? Especially if He knows how filthy and unworthy I am!
Why is it so hard to accept grace? For me, it's because I have to remove my pride, accept that I'm a sinner saved only by grace, and then accept that God is a bigger 'person' than me because I wouldn't have the love to do for others what He does for me. And that process is hard, because I'm a selfish, sinful person - I was born that way. (Reference to Lady Ga-Ga not intended.)

"The Lord works by the fruit of His Spirit." -Cal MacFarlane

And what are those fruit? They are found in Galations 5 starting at verse 22.
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

The Lord works by the Fruit of His Spirit. Therefore, what truly stands to reason, is that He is gentle and patient with us. There is no scoreboard, no cut-throat competition. He lovingly works through those characteristics and develops them in me.

By using the very traits themselves to work them in me, I experience what the fruit I'm bearing should look like in my life. I need to follow the Spirit's example. So whether I'm mentoring youth or teaching kids, I need to be participating in the work that God is already doing in their lives. I need to gently and lovingly come alongside in partnership with God. It is not my responsibility to make sure someone converts to my faith or my opinion of what they should be doing with their life. Instead, I need to bear the fruit of the Spirit, following the example of the Spirit's work in my life: patiently, gently and lovingly coming alongside and speaking truth.

God would rather dance with me than watch me from a distance. He would rather show kindness, goodness and self-control than their counterparts. My beloved works by His expectations.

Oh how He loves us so!

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.:.

Friday, 28 October 2011

an empowering perspective

The following are quotes from a collection of speeches that Michelle Anthony gave at the Upswing Children's Ministry Conference hosted in Edmonton, AB, Canada in Sept. 2011. The quotes were directed to children's ministry workers but I think they have just as much relevance to parents today. These snippets of her conversation caught my heart's attention and I haven't been the same since.

1. The mind and soul learn differently.

2. Your job in a child's life is to nurture and train the soul.

3. This generation is anemic in soul care. We are soul doctors.

4. The work is not ours, that is up to the Lord. But we need to allow the divine to flow through us to meet those we encounter: our kids, friends, other parents, etc.

5. If you know nothing satifies like Jesus, a lack of faith will fear kids taking part of the world. I don't mean have a lack of boundaries or rules, but if you know they won't be satisfied with the world, why are you scared to let them have a taste of it?

6. Stop saying to kids "Don't love the world". Instead offer kids something more compelling that they can do, like "Love Jesus."

7. When I hoist my sail, I am cooperating with the wind. If I want to change my direction, I take my sail down. Are we cooperating with the Spirit and the work He is doing in our kids' lives?

8. It is so rare to have someone cooperate with the Spirit in this crooked and depraved generation. So much so that when it happens, it glows!

9. God redeems everything. His wind is always blowing.

10. Sometimes we don't turn to God with issues because we think they are too trivial for Him. How that breaks His heart.

11. The end goal is faith. Faith is what Jesus will be looking for when He comes back.
Faith is 1. Conviction 2. Personal surrender of heart 3. Corresponding conduct based on the first two.

12. We want to see kids know God's voice, desire to obey it, and obey it in the power of His Spirit.

13. Inheritance - Passed down - Artifacts - Dishes - Objects with stories - Sentimentality. How are you posturing your heart so as to pass on your faith? ... We need to be in constant communication about everything with God; He is in charge. We need a posture of dependance. Passing on faith from generation to generation was God's idea and design.

14. Where you aim your heart and what you believe determines the outcome of your life for eternity.surrendered life to obedience, where we put God's word into action; a life of being hearers and doers of the word.

15. When we talk about faith, we think to the house built on the rock. What is the rock? It's a surrendered life of obedience marked by putting God's word into action by being hearers and doers of the word.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.:.

Thursday, 27 October 2011


When was the last time you had a really good work out? I'm talking about one of those good-for-the-soul, gave-a-little-extra, feel-on-top-of-the-world-even-though-you-can't-stand-up-anymore workouts. Maybe you went for a run or perhaps you participated in a group class of some kind? I confess I haven't had one of those physical workouts in a while.

But I'm really okay with that ... because recently, I have other muscles that are being toned, worked and pushed: the muscles of my faith. Don't get me wrong, I totally endorse physical activity as a healthy way to release stress, especially during difficult soul journey moments.

But sometimes the soul work the Lord is doing in us requires all of our physical strength too. Perhaps that's why it's so important to be in good shape - so that when our hearts and souls are in those immediate pressure situations, we can draw on the strength we have developed. At the very least, that is most definitely why we need to be strengthening our faith muscles in the off seasons.

So often though, we don't train our faith muscles in the less intense seasons of our heart journeys. Yet, it is in the quiet times where we rest and build up our strength for the times when we are tested. Reading the Bible, seeking the Lord, and practicing spiritual disciplines all contribute to exercising our faith muscles.

Jesus practiced in the off seasons. The Bible says that “Jesus grew in wisdom…” (Luke 2:52). Being fully human, he had to learn and prepare before he too was tested. And He drew on those lessons during his desert temptation - quoting scripture He had spent time memorizing. For a while, I thought that those verses and the strength to resist just magically came to Him because He was fully God. But He was also fully human, and He had to learn. What an amazing example He sets for us. We know firsthand that it’s not as easy as a wave of a magic wand.

When the muscles of our faith are tested,
it looks painful {just like the physical}.

Training is not easy work. It takes motivation, effort and discipline. It’s a very real reality for me that I pretty much need to exert the same amount of effort to psych myself up for a work out that the workout itself will take. But isn’t it true that the worthwhile things take effort?

Our faith muscles need to grow too. At times, it will be painful for us. It’s also painful to watch others go through those seasons – whether it’s our kids, friends, those we work with or other family members. But we have a trainer who knows what He’s doing. We can trust Him. He knows us so much more intimately than we know ourselves.

Are you in a time of training right now? Utilize it. Are you in a time of testing right now? Endure it. God is in control – you can trust that both of these seasons have value, and whatever one you’re currently in, have faith that you will see the other one soon.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.:.

Thursday, 20 October 2011


I babysit two kids twice a week for two hours at a time. Try saying that ten times fast. I absolutely love it.

This family also has two cats. I used to love kittens when I young, until I was old enough to realize that they turned into cats. I've never been the biggest fan of cats. I think my distain for cats began in my teenage years. And now, in hindsight, I believe it came from being so like a cat - the selfishness, the short temper, and the conceit. As I've grown older, I've changed and so has my view on cats - just a little. I know now that they are a little more affectionate than I gave them credit for. This new view is largely credited to Ernie, one of the family pets where I babysit.

So there I was, starting an ordinary Wednesday afternoon with the kids when Ernie comes up to me for his regular back scratch. He purrs and jumps on my lap, and confidently plops himself down on his back, encouraging a tummy rub. I obliged.

I couldn't have anticipated what happened next.

Ernie pooped. On my pants.
Turns out Ernie is a little sick.
Turns out Ernie has diarrhea.

It gave me a whole new understanding to the phrase, "Cat caught your tongue?".
I was speechless.

Feeling only slightly bad for the sick cat, I turn to the five year old and ask her to go get some paper towel, baby wipes, tissues, anything. She obediently runs away complaining about the stench. Lucky girl, she could move from the smell. Ugh.

Mixed with sympathy and laughter, the words "Did you know that cat feces can carry toxoplasmosis?" was the response I received from both my Mother and best friend when I told them. Please note: should you ever be as unfortunate as I was to encounter such a situation in your own life, make sure you scrub and wash REALLY well.

Thank you, Ernie, for giving me one more reason not to like cats. In one fell swoop, you have undone all the hope you had started to give me. Back to square one.

Thank you, Ernie, for reminding me to be thankful in life for the little things and the reminder not to take myself too seriously.

Praying that you would be encouraged to smile amidst whatever unexpected 'crap' comes your way today.... literal or otherwise.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.:.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

.:.It's okay, right?.:.

Her five year old determination was taking over: the desire to be independant and able to do things on her own. She had already asked for my help once, she was sure she wouldn't need to again.


The piece of construction paper had ripped almost in half as she had tried to pull it from the pack.

Oh no. How was she going to react? Tears? Anger? A firm resolve not to make a card anymore?

A look of startlement came over her face.
Blink. Silence. Blink. More silence.
Each blink seemed to parrallel an acceptance of the situation.
Processing... accept... blink. Repeat.

A few seconds went by, she looked at me and said, "It's okay that my beautiful pink paper ripped, right?"

A look of startlement came over MY face.
Blink {processing, accept and repeat}. Blink.

Why wasn't she upset?! She had been so careful, and now it was ruined.
My perfectionist tendencies emerged
and I projected my own internal immediate reactions onto her.

"Yes, it is okay." I responded, astounded by how the maturity her response showed highlighted my own immaturity.

She continued to take the page out of the book, placed it in front of her and started to decorate it.

The pink paper won't ever be the same, but it is okay. It will still look beautiful. It is still usable. It will still be loved by whoever receives that card because she saw it's potential.

Two hours babysitting... and the Lord teaches me about His grace and redemptive heart.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.:.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Aggressive Little Boys

Boys and girls were created differently; it's not rocket science. Both genders were made in God's image and when brought together, make a beautiful picture of completeness.

In babysitting, internships and life experiences, I've noticed the aggressive tendencies of little (and bigger) boys.

The Bible says to "love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind and with all your strength" (Mk. 12:30). Jesus says this is the greatest commandment and is to be prioritized over all others.

Did you catch the last point? We are to love God with our strength. What does it mean to love God with our strength?

Strength of heart: Loving God by being willing to endure all things; loving God by trusting in Him and His plans that exceed our own.

Strength of soul: Loving God by knowing His voice, desiring to obey His call and following through in obedience in the power of His Spirit.

Strength of mind: Loving God by using our free will to obey His precepts; loving God by growing in knowledge of Him and applying His wisdom to our lives; loving God by using our creativity.

Strength of strength: Loving God with the physical strength we possess; loving God by serving others; loving God by protecting others.

Strength is not a negative trait; it’s how you use your strength that matters.

If you have little boys you are trying to raise up to be godly men, who will stand firm in their faith and protect their families, I suggest you teach them to harness their strength and to use it to honor God.

Don't condemn their strength, but rather the poor ways they use it. In a moment where they have mistakenly used their strength for harm, rather than saying it is bad or wrong, say, “That's not what your strength is for”. Teach boys to praise God with all their strength.

As a boy moves from childhood to manhood, they need to be taught how to use their strength. Boys need to be affirmed in their strength. They were created to love adventure, to want to slay dragons and win a princess’ heart.

Loving God with all our strength is a command and calling for both genders. But it looks different when it’s lived out. And that’s a very good thing.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.:.

This post is linked to Growing Home's Teach Me Tuesdays. Link up too!
This post is linked to WLW's Wednesday Link Up Party. Link up too!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

.:.fighting on the way to church.:.

"Why do we fight on the way to church
and not the grocery store?
It's the same mini-van!"
-Pastor Steve Aitkins

I have a theory. It's not a very profound idea, it's just a trend I've noticed: Doing things that are good for you takes extra motivation. Exercise .:. Entertaining guests .:. Eating healthy .:. Entering worship with a prepared heart on a Sunday morning.... the list continues.

Ephesians 612 says "our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." So why are we surprised? Of course the enemy wants to stop you from fellowshipping with other believers and being fed spiritually. For the most part, he doesn't care about the physical food, so you can go to the grocery store in the same mini-van, but WW3 threatens to break out in your car on Sunday mornings.

Exhausted and worn out parents, I see you drop your kids off in the Children's Ministry. I see the effort it took to get there five minutes late instead of the usual ten. I encourage you to persevere. I don't have kids myself, but I remember arguing with my sister and parents on the way to church.... from the fight at home about wearing nylons, to the one in the driveway about which sister had the front seat last time and got it this time to the battle over my social life while on the drive to church.  

My parents are incredible. No matter how argumentative we were as girls/ siblings/ teens/ every other excuse, my parents recognized the importance of having a prepared heart prior to entering church. They did everything in their power to mediate the important arguments, and disperse the unimportant ones.

Here are some tips I gleaned from my Mom and Dad that turned our family's Sunday mornings from Argument Avenue to Cease-fire Court:

1. We listened to music on the way to church, usually worship music.:.It was Adventures in Odyssey when I was younger. My sister and I LOVED that series!

2. My parents asked questions to generate and control the discussion. These steered away from controversial subjects and were light and fun.

3. My parents used the layaway technique. They don't call it that, but it's what I came to call it when I saw them use it. On the way to church, if a controversial topic emerged and tempers started to rise, they said, "This is obviously important to you that we discuss this, but we don't have time on the way to church, why don't you bring it up after church for us to talk about?" And those times when it did need to be talked about, we then had the time to devote to it. But most often, the urgency my teenage self thought was there on that particular topic really didn't exist, and I didn't bring it up after church.
{As the parent, you set the tone and the standard for what is acceptable. You don't need to engage in that moment. You know that, right?}

4. My parents made Sunday mornings special with special breakfasts we were only allowed on the weekends, and they too would get dressed up, have their Bibles by the door ready to go. Their enthusiasm and example {eventually} were contagious.
{Your relationship with God really is where it begins.}

Don't settle for arriving halfway through the first song.
And don't be disappointed when you do.
Hang in there. It's worth it.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.:.

This post is linked to TimeWarp Wife's Titus 2sday Link up too!
This post is linked to Growing Home's Teach me Tuesdays. Link up too!
This post is linked to WLW's Wednesday Link Up Party. Link up too!

Monday, 26 September 2011

Removing the Veneer

It takes great courage to remove the veneer and let others see that things are not okay. When I first started reading blogs prior to starting Posture of Learning, I was drawn to authors, like Tricia, who blogged from their life experiences, including the good and the bad. I could not read enough posts from authors who were courageous enough to admit mistakes or be honest about the pain they have walked through, because I could relate to them.

I came to realize that removing the veneer can only happen
when you’ve made peace with your story in its entirety.

In my own life, there are times/seasons/experiences that are not okay, like abuse. The abusive behavior I’ve experienced is not okay, but the fact that it has shaped me and that God can use that part of my story, in its full brokeness, for His glory, is what I need{ed} to embrace. Knowing that God is redeeming and healing everything helped me accept and become okay with this being my story.

Only then, did I realize, that I could remove the veneer in my own life. I had to become okay with my own story in its fullness (which doesn’t mean saying the circumstances themselves are okay), before it became okay with me for others to see it.

I will never say I’m glad that my story includes abuse or separation. These taboo words are part of my story, but they don’t define me. And the Lord uses these situations for good. My relationship with Him, my view on life and my ability to minister to others in pain would not be what they are if God didn’t redeem these circumstances. He is working it out and molding me into the woman He wants me to be. You know, God doesn’t entrust journeys like these to just anyone. I doubt I’ll ever be glad, but I am/will continue to be okay with it.

No one's life is perfect, but some people try really hard to pretend their life is that way for fear of what others will think. I would add that there is a fear of what they themselves think. I've been there. I hid behind a veener because I wasn't okay with my own brokeness. But it didn't help me or anyone; veneers are poor coping mechanisms.

Veneers may seem to be protective, but they aren't. They come in all shades and sizes and promise fool proofing and perfection, but they are fake. The overlays don’t help heal what’s underneath. Veneers curtain us from the world, for better and for worse.

I have actual veneers on my teeth. And I get compliments on my smile all the time. But they aren't complimenting anything natural, they compliment the fake, and I know it every time they say it. It doesn't matter that the veneers match the work the braces did that my parents paid for. It doesn't matter that my teeth were naturally this white... the veneers are there, portraying a false sense of perfection.

Our emotional veneers work the same way. They portray a false reality, and some buy into it. But we know deep down that they’re not seeing the whole story. Colossians 39 says, “Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices”. There is a sense in which we lie to others when we put up these veneers. At the same time, there needs to be an appropriate transparency. We shouldn’t divulge every detail to each passing stranger, acquaintance and friend. We shouldn’t give our pearls to pigs (Matthew 7:6). And your story is precious, don’t think otherwise.

But maybe, just maybe, our story needs to be shared, for our own sake as much as others’, and our veneers need to be removed… even if it’s just for a day or an hour at a time. Let’s replace false with faith, trusting in God to give us wisdom and discernment on how to navigate appropriate transparency and live with integrity.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.:.

Friday, 9 September 2011

.:.Shining Armour.:.

Last night, I read through Ephesians with some friends. Reading through a book of the Bible in one sitting is very different from reading through that same book slowly a few verses at a time, and both ways of reading are so enriching. This little section stood out to me last night:

Ephesians 610Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God..." (emphasis mine).

Standing and wearing the armour is sometimes enough. Other days, you fight and the battle is long and hard. But some days, just standing with the armour on will scare the enemy away, because you look prepared to fight... even if you don't feel like it. That is good news, friends. Because some days, all my energy goes into standing up and not an ounce of me is left to fight. {But just stand? I can do that! I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...} Thank you, Lord, that you equip us for all situations, and that some days, to stand and wear the armour is all you ask me to do, as you fight the battle for me.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.:.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Being a Burden Bearer

"A burden shared is a burden halved.
A joy shared is joy doubled."
-Author unknown

If you have a friend going through something difficult and feel lost as to how to care for her, take heart, you are probably doing more than you think.

Below are the five biggest blessings I've received from my burden bearers. These are the lessons I've learned about being a good friend from their example:

1.  Silence.
As a rule: Nothing is okay. What I mean by this is that it is okay to say nothing, because nothing right now in her world is really okay. Silence is wonderful; silence is the path that allows the burden to be transferred. It’s in the silent moments where her heart becomes lighter as yours becomes heavier. Bless your heart, dear friend of the hurting, for placing yourself in that moment. Don't be afraid of the silence. The one hurting knows there is not much to say, but having someone sit in silence {even on the other end of the phone} is truly enough.

2. Saying no.
Say no to hearing all the details – you’re a partial burden bearer – if one person could handle the whole truth, your friend wouldn’t be confiding in you in the first place.

3. Safety
Keep her confidence. Be someone that your friend can share anything with because she knows you won't tell anyone without her permission (with the exception of safety being compromised). But know that if she feels safe, then she won't be guarded; understand that her words may be illogical at times, she may need to vent to gain clarity for herself. Allow her to continue to speak without fear of judgement. Don't allow her to listen to lies; let her ask questions aloud without answering them yourself. And don't jump on the first thing she says that you don't agree with. Being a burden bearer requires trust and a certain amount of bandwidth for your friend to speak her thoughts; she may not agree with everything that comes out of her own mouth at this time, but speaking it aloud will allow her to realize that.

4. Truth.
Speak truth every time you meet. Truth about her worth to God, truth about God's character and truth about the situation. Don't allow her to listen to the lies of the enemy. Speaking truth repeatedly helps the hurting hear God more clearly and silence the lies.

5. Point to God
Finish each meeting well. Pray for her, when you're together, and afterwards. Always point the hurting to depend on God, to look for where He is at work (because He is), and to press in to Him. Point them to scripture. Model trusting the Lord in this time with that particular situation.

Remember that you are a vessel as a burden bearer. And ultimately, you are a partner in God's work. You do this for His glory; He will give you the grace and wisdom you need.

Praise be to the Lord,
to God our Saviour,
who daily bears our burdens.
-Psalm 68:19 

This post is linked to TimeWarp Wife's Titus 2sday Link up too!
This post is linked to WLW's Wednesday Link Up Party. Link up too!


A paper cut does not need stitches, but it still hurts. We have seven layers of skin. The deeper the wound, the longer it will take to heal, and the more care and attention it requires. Perhaps we also have emotional layers that act similar. But we can’t stitch emotional wounds.

If our wounds are left unattended, the healing process will be prolonged or even paralyzed; our hurts can cripple us. The deeper the pain, the higher the potential for prolonged damage. Emotional wounds are incapable of being numbed by an anesthetic, though some try by various means. If our wounds are tended, the pain can increase for a time, before mending. Though it is never quite the same, is it? Deep wounds rarely return to their full, whole beginning; they scar.

Perhaps we fear the scar or the reaction of people when they see our scar.
Perhaps we fear the increased pain that comes with rehabilitation.
Perhaps we fear facing ourselves, knowing the wholeness of our beginning and so knowing what we have lost and may not regain {this side of heaven}.

Fear keeps us from healing.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

In my unbelief

"He is our deliverer.
He may not deliver you from a situation,
but He'll deliver you in the situation."
- Grant Fishbook


Sometimes I can become so filled with anger and injustice at a situation. In those times, help me remember that you are just and are our deliverer.
Help me believe more strongly that you see all and do hear our prayers. We are not hidden from you. And not only do you see and hear but you care and WILL ACT. Help my unbelief. Remind me to look to the past - for you have revealed your faithfulness.

Fair does not mean equal. You are a just God and I will trust in your judgments for your ways are higher than my ways.


.:.Note to Self.:.

Patience is important.
Always remember that others are on a journey of growth.
Never underestimate what God can and is doing in someone's life.
Be prepared to speak truth...repeatedly.
And be patient.
What makes you feel like a broken record is healing and feeding a soul.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Well Intentioned

"We judge ourselves
based on our motives
while others judge us
based on our actions."
-Dan Gabor

Sometimes there is a great disconnect from our motives to our actions.
We can be so well intentioned, and still come across hurtful or offensive.
If you've ever been on an overseas mission trip,
you'll know what I mean by that.

Or have you ever been in charge of an
event/lesson plan/etc that completely flopped?
Then you also know what I mean.

Or how about in your home or your marriage?
(Did you just get a knot in your tummy too?)

I know that I can be the most well intentioned person at times,
wanting to fix habits, speak encouragement, clean/tidy that one room, get the to-do list finally done, or go out of my way to do something nice for my spouse...
....but then excuses come and I make other priorities.

Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
but the Lord weighs the heart.
-Proverbs 21:2

Where your treasure is,
there your heart will be also.
-Matthew 6:21

Yes, the Lord weighs the heart and sees our intentions and motives.
In doing so, He also sees our priorities and where we place our treasure.

Sometimes, having the right motivations can be good enough.
Sometimes, we need to have the follow through as well.

And there is grace for when we don't meet our standards.
There is also grace for when we don't meet God's standards - which is a much more important goal. But let's remember that the disconnect from our words/intentions to our actions/follow through does have an impact on others.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.:.

This post is linked up to TimeWarp Wife's Titus 2sday Link up!

Friday, 19 August 2011

.:.love-led mentoring.:.

Speaking the truth to others in love is hard.
It is so important that our words are love-led and not love-less.

Remember that all people are on a journey.
Look for and seize teachable moments.
Recognize that God is working in you and others in the difficult moments.

Our role is often just to help others see where God is working in them,
so as to encourage them and see them grow.

Keep perspective.
Our battles are spiritual. Christ has victory.

Keep focused on God, wait on Him.
Point others to Him in good and bad times.

Encourage those in difficult times to listen to the Lord who is speaking to them and to soften their hearts as part of their response.

Always speak truth.
Remind them of truth so they will hear God more easily and have lies silenced.


Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.:.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Two Sources

Remember where your strength comes from and you'll remember it will never run empty.

The word "strength" in the above sentence could be substituted with:
forgiveness, grace, love, wisdom, purity, peace, joy, patience or confidence.

I suppose it works on the other extreme too with words like:
anger, lust, bitterness, resentment, folly, fear or dissention.

These characterisitics come from two very different origins,
but both sources are abounding and open to thristy travellers.

Where are you getting filled?

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.:.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

.:.Spices and Dust.:.

The true character of a woman
doesn't come from whether she is capable or willing to do things,
but rather if she can do those things with joy for the glory of God.

...like dusting off a spice rack. Wouldn't you know that's the dustiest place in my kitchen?
No recognition will come when their tops are wiped down and still I will say,
"Thank you, Lord, for all you provide,
for spices in the food you so graciously supply
and for a family to serve in this home you have given.
You have put a song of joy in my heart!"

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.:.

This post is linked to WLW's Wednesday Link Up Party. Link up too!