Reflections and Poetry

What is God: a reflection


God is Yaweh. He is “I Am”. He is Yehova. God is Adonai Elohim and LORD. These are some of His names.


God is good. God is love. God is merciful, kind and patient, gracious and just. These are some of His attributes.


God is Creator of the Universe. God is Abba, Daddy, Father. These are two of His roles.

But what is He?

Relationship… with Whom?

We who are born again, we who are evangelical or charismatic – we focus on the relationship we have with God. But do we fully grasp what God is?

The mighty God of the universe, Creator of sun, moon, stars — and mankind — has given us Himself. Some shun Him in order to determine their own lives, prove their independence, and test His love by denying His existence.

We who know Him through His son Jesus, and having been gifted the same Holy Spirit as fathered Jesus and breathed life into Adam and hovered over the universe when it was a blank slate, we need to recognise just how incredible He is. Because if we truly grasp the incredulity of all His magnificence, we might believe God can heal, God can change our destiny, and God must be obeyed.

What is God?

I’ve been a Believer and follower of Jesus for over thirty years, and I’m still learning. I’m still discovering the width and depth and breadth of God’s power and love. I’m only just beginning to consider His justice and His wrath, which is enough to compel me to walk a better witness, as I don’t wish anyone to encounter His wrath.

What is God? The truth is, my words cannot fully convey what He is. Master. Supreme. Creator. These come the closest to describing what I understand Him to be.

And if I could find the perfect word to encapsulate God’s identity, would it make a difference? Would more people follow? Would more followers bend the knee? Would I be a better person?

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.” (Psalm 111:10a) My God is wonderful, full of grace and truth. But as times are shortening, and I’m beginning to realise that the wrath of the LORD is just as strong as is His love, I am beginning to quake in awe, wonder, praise and fear.

I don’t want to miss His blessings. I know He won’t turn on me and harm me. But I also don’t want to allow others to walk into His wrath, or for any of us to miss the generosity of His love, lavished on me and lavished upon others.

And now too, as I mature, I am only just beginning to grasp: neither do I want Him to miss celebrating with His chosen ones as they receive all He has prepared for them.

God is wise. He allows us to choose. But He also calls. I’m tired of wrestling with myself between receiving from Him and doing things my way. I’m wanting more and more to follow His call.

And as I recognise the incredible awesomeness of His sovereign love and authority, I also want others to see it, to trust it and live under it. It will make them happier, me happier and Our Sovereign LORD happier too.

What a wonderful world He’s created. What a wonderful world it would be if we all knew it!

“The earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness.” (Psalm 24:1a)

Reflections and Poetry

Render unto Caesar: a reflection

Righteous doesn’t always mean willing.

I would never, and have never, cheated on my taxes. In fact, I was a waitress in university and colleagues used to ask me,

“Please don’t declare your tips because the government will come after the rest of us.”

But I declared my tips.

This even before I was a practicing Believer.

I didn’t drink under age… not because I’d get into trouble if I did, nor because I thought it was unhealthy or untasty, but simply because it was illegal.

I was a stickler for the law.

So, I’ve never cheated on my taxes. But in my heart, I have resented having to pay, sometimes. And so, I confess, I’ve been a bit double-minded about it and I think spiritually, have held back my own financial progress because of it.

Finally, recently, I decided to pray to overcome this poor attitude about taxes.

I was led in my private prayer time to one simple verse,

“ And He said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”” (Luke 20:25)

I share this with you for two reasons:

  1. To confess and to reveal that God convicts, heals and restores
  2. To encourage the reader that, if there is something of taxes or similar – paying for a service for example – that financially is a stumbling block, be aware, be released and overcome

I am free to pay my taxes now. I always have, but while the Lord loves a cheerful giver when it comes to offerings and gifts, I think that can even include taxes.

The government needs its income. I’ve struggled since leaving my homeland with the idea of paying foreign governments their dues. I’ve always done so, but sometimes reluctantly. But I’ve learned. And so, to those to whom this message might relate or convict, it’s okay. We love, we learn, we grow… and we pay when the owe.

Reflections and Poetry

Living under the Anointing of the Holy Spirit

It’s spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Snow may have covered the ground until recently, but beneath the snow lay seeds, waiting to germinate, to release new life that will grow toward the sun. Likewise, we who are in Christ have new life which offers freshness, excitement and challenge with the opportunity to grow closer to the Son.

As spring approaches, I reflect on something I’ve experienced which I long to share as I discover how to apply it to my everyday life.

I’ve experienced the anointing of the Holy Spirit. I aspire to live under that anointing, walking as the New Man. I want that anointing so that I can “live and move and have my being” in the LORD.

“… and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:23-24)

The Anointing

It was a deep experience I’ll never forget. For four days, I was living under a sense of Shalom (God’s deep peace which passes all understanding), and moved as though I was living in a warm vat of olive oil. My voice was calmer, my movements slower, my heart full of love, with my mind clear and untroubled.

Have you experienced the presence of God like this? Or like a soft breeze or a hint of oil on your face? His anointing is delicate, sweet, real, and perhaps fleeting, but it tells me I am nearer to God than usual. His anointing draws me into surrender, peace, intimacy and quiet.

Particular scriptures pop into my thoughts as I linger with the Lord. I identify a new significance to their meaning. For example, being “in the world and not of it” means more than choosing God’s morality and closeness with brothers and sisters in the Lord. The scripture also means living in a completely different realm, where a totally different mindset reigns: Grace and the knowledge of Gods’s superior understanding and, perhaps, His revelation supersede logic and methodology. “Living by faith” means more than not taking a salary; it means trusting God for every need, without asking others to fulfil them.

Under the anointing, I am cloaked in God’s presence. I long to remain beneath “the shadow of His wings.” The intangible presence of God is thick enough to cut with a knife and I don’t want to treat it lightly. While I’ve been aware and unaware of the anointing before, this time I understand better and value it more and I pray that I remain under the anointing forever. I want every decision, every bite of food, every song or activity to be an act of intimacy, of grace and of adoration to Him.

How do I know it’s God? I know because the fruit of the Spirit is revealed through me with much more peace, love and joy of Christ.

Have you ever experienced the presence of God like that? Oh Lord, give all of us a taste of your presence, and fill us to the brim that we might draw near to you, perfectly and permanently. Is this madness? Is it eccentric or prophetic? I think Jesus, and after him His disciples, lived in a different realm to where we live. Even we who are in Christ need to put off this earthly existence, where “in him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28, NIV) takes on a new meaning. Living under the influence of the Holy Spirit is where I want to be all the time

The Challenge

I yearn for more of God: A deeper connection with Him and a greater understanding of what it means to have my life surrendered to Him. “Oh, Lord, teach me more about praying Your prayers (rather than my own) and make me more like you, full of Your love, joy and peace” (Galatians 5:22-23) so that I can do all things through you and not on my own.

And with this blessing of anointing and the awareness that life is meant to be lived under it, how do I apply this practically in my life? How will I allow this discovery to change my day-to-day existence?

I plan to step out further in business. As a creative, to focus on business is like walking on water for me—new, flimsy, uncomfortable—but to take God’s lead on business decisions is a leap of faith. If God is for me, who can be against me (Romans 8:31)?

This is a way out of my comfort zone, I’ll have to rely on Him.

What will be your new challenge?

Have you prayed? Have you heard God’s call? My prayer for all of us is this: “May we be surrendered, fully inspired and led by God, to grow in our endeavours and to have good success.” (Joshua 1:8).

Examining Biblical Scripture Reflections and Poetry

What is Walking in the Spirit

What is “Being in the Spirit”?

Many discussions will have been and will continue to be about this subject. Evangelicals who are also charismatic have one concept, Evangelicals who do not believe the Gifts of the Spirit are for today will have a different perception.

I am learning that it means more than either.

Being in the Spirit means shunning everything that is our own abilities. our own skills, our own perceptions and interpretations and understanding and surrendering absolutely all to move only according to God’s Will: God’s Spirit leading us.

It is the walk Jesus took. Why would we do anything differently.

“I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.” (John 5:30)

In Matthew, he says, “For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12:50)

And even more profoundly strong is this, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21)

I’m not writing to discuss salvation by works versus salvation by faith. I think most will know I believe wholeheartedly in faith in the Father and in Jesus as His son as the way to salvation and the way to Father God as found in Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God”.

What I am saying is that I’m discovering at a deeper and more profound level as I walk this faith journey, that nothing I can be outside of Jesus is worthy.

And nothing I can do is worthy.

I’m realising nothing outside of the working of the Holy Spirit is worthy to the LORD. And so, I pray and wait – at last I wait patiently – for His call, His move, His anointing, His leading, His summoning to me to give out, surrendering my all for His will and ministry.

I’m an educated person, with several skills and professional experiences as a teacher, a performing artist, a published author, an administrator. BUT this is filthy rags! (Isaiah 64:6)

Now, I must wait for the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippines 3:14)

I feel equipped, but that’s just human feeling. I think I’m prepared, but that’s just my own understanding. I hope I can be useful… Now I’m beginning to show signs of humility and true surrender.

There is a cost to following God. If we really, really want to walk in the Spirit, surrendered to the LORD, we need to lie down our lives, our skills, our agendas, our ambitions and hopes, and give all to His glory.

Maybe I’ll be useful, maybe I won’t. But I’m free from the need to be useful, because I have learned the futility of self-effort and the humility of Jesus’ surrendering his God-head so that he could model the uselessness of human effort as compared the the surrender of the human will to the perfect will of God.

Let us wait upon the LORD (Isaiah 40:31) and let us fulfil the call of God on our lives, fully surrendered, fully humbled, fully obedient to the life He calls us to lead.


Reflections and Poetry

Unfulfilled Dreams… A Reflection

Unfulfilled dreams are nightmares that haunt you.

Try as you may, dreams and desires never really go away. They can be buried but they can just as easily be resurrected.

What I strive for is to revive your latent dreams, that you may pursue them with GOD, should He grant your heart’s desires.

His promises are “Yes” and “Amen”.

I have dreams. I thought they were gone, but recently they were revived, unexpectedly. I volunteered and in the activity, revived a gift I thought was gone. I’d abandoned it for my family. Now, revived, it is still unfulfilled and I wonder, was it best buried or revived?

I don’t know. This is a bit of a pessimistic post, but it has to be shared: A dream is a dream and a desire to be fulfilled must be opened to the sun. Patience and perseverance will bring it to the light. GOD will shower it with His blessing, if it is to be His will, if we are willing agents.

And if it is not to be? It is painful to have something close to the surface but not quite able to reach the light, isn’t it?

Yet, we must hope that in the fulness of time, in this world – or the next – the dream will come to fruition.

A life spent is a life fulfilled. We strive, we seek, we hope and do not yield.

Father God, may we all have our dreams exposed to Your light. Those worthy to give you the glory, may they come to fruition. Those that would lead us astray, we give away. Please settle our hearts to accept your answer.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Reflections and Poetry

New Life: old or new wine skins

Breathing new life into my own, I recognise that God fills me with creativity and as I burst open with expression, I wonder: is this a new wine skin or an old one.

Because I know that only the new wine skin will hold the refreshment that others need.

An Examined Life was a wonderful blog I loved to write up to about 28 months ago, week by week, to those who liked a look into the life of a woman, such as me, who was open enough to share her walk in life honestly and earnestly.

I’ve tried to re-open the Blog as A Life Examined Continues, but while my life continues, the blog hasn’t really. The flavour has changed. I think it was “in the old wine skin” that I was creating and so it didn’t really flourish.

Now I jot my personal notes in Reflections.

This is a new wine skin. This skin has a prophetic edge, is very much based in my walk with Jesus. Time is short, I think, and in this lifetime, I’d like to make every word, every deed, every attempt to reach out to others count; in counting time I’m counting my efforts. So A Life Examined mustn’t continue as I thought, but Reflections must grow out of the seed that was A Life Examined.

Jesus leads me. Where he leads me is into all truth. The truth is, I’m much more surrendered to the Holy Spirit as day proceeds onto the day. My reflections now are less about my life and more about the world around me. Now, as I reflect on the world around me, I share.

Today, I share that new and old wine skins are not the same. The new expands, the new has a sweeter taste, the new has grown beyond the old.

And I share that I am acutely aware that the time for passing by opportunity, for hesitating and procrastination are over. As I gaze out my window and see traffic pass by on the windy road in front of me, I ask: do the drivers know where they are going? And will they arrive where and when they expect?

Reflections is a look at society and how my life fits into it. Reflections is about family, work, play and how it can be fruitful and fulfilling. Reflections is about this life we have and about making the most of it as we live it, not taking any part of it for granted.

Then He [Jesus] spoke a parable to them: “No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved. And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better.” Luke 5:36-39

But the old is not better, it is just what the drinker is used to. I urge you to try the new, and you’ll acquire the taste:)


Reflections and Poetry

Let’s Be Intentional

For me, this is The Year of the Imperative.

I am not alone in believing this is a critical year in our walk with the LORD. Let’s be prepared for the year of fulfilment:

I am urging myself and every reader to move forward in our purposefulness. I am choosing to have minimal projects and seeking to avoid distraction.

I am praying, seeking God’s guidance on what’s important and significant to His plans and purposes, sticking to God things rather than Good things. I’m recognising that there is not “to do” list that is above the importance of God’s “to do” list… and there isn’t time to do both.

I’m asking for God’s peace, calm, serenity, and through that, His productivity, which comes from a rested and focused mind.

This is the Year of the Imperative. So through this prayer, I’m urging us all:

In everything we do, let’s be intentional.

In every encounter,

In every action,

In every activity,

Let 2017 be the year we accomplish that which God has placed in us to do.

Focused on the prise: the high calling of God,

We do All Things through Christ who Gives us Strength.

Determined to fulfil the call and purpose for our lives,

We march on in Love, Compassion, Joy and Peace.

How? Through surrender: we yield to His release, His timing, His voice.

May God bless us as we walk together. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Reflections and Poetry

How to live: As though “Tomorrow is another day” vs “It’s now or never”

During December 2016 I had a prompt from deep within me: “Focus in 2017 because if you don’t do it now you won’t do it ever.”

So, what drives me is this sense of urgency to do all I’ve been called to do, now. To give all to God:

  1. following His lead obediently and passionately, as I surrender to the New Man within me, who is free from angst, self-will, frustration and impatience (which otherwise so often leads me into a state of emotional distraction that prevents me from living the joyful life Father has for me).2.
  2. publishing the documents – books and blogs – which have been on the shelf or in my heart and need to see the light of day, so that others can gain from the insights our Creator has given to me.
  3. supporting my family as wife and mother, so that my husband and son can be all they have been created to be, and express their love for Father in their unique and special ways.

I think storms lie ahead. In fact, we are in the storm even now, perhaps even in the eye of the storm.

Matthew 24 describes the latter days, the End Times before Jesus will return in glory, to judge the earth and to receive his Bride, also known as the Church of Believers….

So many of the earthquakes, rumours of wars, persecutions…. are in full swing already.

How do I cope? I focus on His call, and the responsibilities He’s given me to fulfil, now.

As I dig into God, I will overcome the trials and see His purposes fulfilled in my life.

Hebrews 6:19 reads, “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil.”

And there’s an old song based on this scripture:

First of five verses:

Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,

When the clouds unfold their wings of strife?

When the strong tides lift and the cables strain,

Will your anchor drift, or firm remain?


We have an anchor that keeps the soul

Steadfast and sure while the billows roll,

Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,

Grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love.

I feel as though I’m on a stream train. At the start of 2017 it left the station, and I’m riding, not driving but nevertheless moving forward, gaining momentum. I’m moving from Calling into Ministry, gaining clarity, gaining speed, gaining momentum.

The fulfilment of God’s promises are imminent. He is intentional, and I join Him, carrying this sense that what I do now is imperative to His purposes.

This is the End of the Age.

Jesus will return.

There is already an almighty battle in the heavens which is manifesting on the earth.

Is the Battle of Armageddon imminent? Who knows when such things will come to pass?

My Call has been and is to inspire, encourage, equip, and empower Believers. Like Peter, who ministered to the Jews and who was convicted of His call to righteousness, my first call is to reach to those already following Jesus, and to compel them to complete their course, to fulfil their Call.

Never have I felt so compelled to be ordered, focused, alert, ready… never have I felt the promises of God so close to fulfilment. And so I choose to live as though “It’s now or never” because I think it is! And I encourage each of you to do the same.

Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,

When the clouds unfold their wings of strife?

When the strong tides lift and the cables strain,

Will your anchor drift, or firm remain?

We have an anchor that keeps the soul

Steadfast and sure while the billows roll,

Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,

Grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love.

Reflections and Poetry

What brings Life: a reflection

Love. Joy. Peace.

These are life-giving states of being. When I am full of love, I bring love to others.
When I am full of the Joy of my Lord, I emanate joy and others can catch it.

When I walk in God’s Shalom – His peace which passes all understanding – I offer peace to others.

Those things which bring life to us, when shared, bring life to others.

I’m realising, as I allow myself to surrender to what comes along my path, that I have more peace, because I’m surrendered to the unfolding events of the day. I have more joy, because within me is hope, strength and a rejoicing in the Lord who gives me my breath. And I have more love, because I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) and that my soul knows very well.

I am loved for who I am, not for what I do; that is satisfying and an encouragement that reaches out to others, both naturally and supernaturally.

Love. Joy. Peace. To be received and to be shared. Hallelujah!

Reflections and Poetry

Placing Myself At God’s Disposal: a reflection

As we walk with the LORD, we always face challenges and blessings. In my case, for many months, I have had a singular desire above all others: to walk by faith, always in the spirit, and not in the flesh.

“That which is spirit is spirit, and that which is flesh is flesh.” (John 3:6)

Paul says, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7)

God has been taking me at my word and has been giving me opportunities to surrender to Him. I’m excited, because I see that I am honouring Him more as I choose to surrender the urges to follow my own desires, impulses, and wilful determinations, and instead to walk His path.

There isn’t a formula for drawing close to God. One thing that I do that draws me closer on a daily basis, is that I read His word (I like Psalms especially), pray (including in Tongues) and sing. “Reign in me” is one song that, when I sing it prayerfully, helps me to open up to God’s presence. And He comes.

Benefits and Changes because of the Spirit-filled Walk:

I am letting go of Control and growing Self Control (Gal 5:22-23). Each day, I consciously choose to pray, to linger over His Word and to ask what I’m meant to focus on today.

I am discovering that most days I do far less, yet I accomplish far more. I am deepening my connection with the LORD and in so doing, I’m deepening the ministry He’s given me, becoming clearer in my thoughts and more capable in  my actions. The added bonus is that I’m experiencing far less stress. Remember, His yoke is easy, his burden is light (Matt 11:30).

Walking only in the spirit is a process I may not complete this side of Eternity, but I’m making progress. The result is that “my” time and my talents are getting more use. I am more fulfilled, because I’m not following my own error-ridden agenda. His agenda is fulfilling, because it is that which He has purposed for me to do. Given that He is my creator, He knows best what will fulfil me:)

The path to living a surrendered life has included a change in life style. Instead of planning my time, I’m becoming more spontaneous again – the way I was when I was younger.

I’m finding I’m growing in patience with others (and myself). My attitude is more gracious. I’m practicing that love includes honouring and serving others.

I’m learning to resist the urge to give an opinion and taking courage to speak God’s insight as He shares with me.

I’m less prone to being indignant. Because pride has many faces, I can choose not to act out of wounded pride, becoming distrustful or hostel to others. Instead I’m freer and let others make their mistakes, as I make mine, without seeing their actions as an attack toward me, and without condemning them for being fallible.

I’m facing a personal fear: that I must control my time and the use of my energy and ability. Instead, in surrender, I’m using my God-given talent and life experience that I’ve developed over the years in a more fluid way. I’m more relaxed and more productive, daily moving in the direction that will yield more progress.

I’m fighting and defeating self-importance – allowing God to raise me up instead of looking for the person(s) or opportunity that holds my destiny.

I’m learning God blesses me when He sees I’m ready. I’m being pruned. And every pruning is a move towards readiness. Joseph was in prison for a long while before he acted in the authority God had ordained for him.

I’ve been practicing how to honour my hubby more and more, deferring to him more often without resistance.

Encouragement to You the Reader:

As I’ve been learning that self justification, self defence, self anything – is not important, I want to encourage you also. As we follow God’s lead, and trust that He protects us, we die to the flesh that has been preventing our breakthrough.

When you feel a block to your personal progress or to your calling, what can you do? I recommend that you don’t fight it, but step over it, ignore it, and do whatever it takes to stop allowing it to affect you.

God is our breakthrough. Trusting in Him and living our lives totally surrendered to Him brings the breakthrough we so earnestly desire.

God promises us the desires of our heart.

A Simple Prayer:

May we walk more yielded to Father GOD, so that we might receive from Him the creativity and direction He inspires us to walk: full of grace, harmony and confidence, being as He has created us to be, fulfilled and fulfilling the purposes He has for us for these days.

Psalm 27:14

“Wait on the LORD;

Be of good courage,

And He shall strengthen your heart;

Wait, I say, on the LORD!”

Reflections and Poetry

Facing old Giants – reflection on giving away your Right of Way (Sacrifice)

Do you notice that every now and then something happens to us to stir our emotional pot? And how do we deal with it?Do we succumb to the temptation to overheat, or do we keep our cool?

I find that there are situations in my life that keep playing – like a CD stuck on the same tune, rather than moving on to the next – and I’ve learned to accept these replays as a test. I can gauge my growth by my response relative to the last time I experienced a similar thing.

Right now what I seem to be aware of is the temptation to demand justice or respect when I’ve been treated (or decide I’ve been treated) unreasonably.

Jesus never justified himself and never defended himself. Some loved him, some despised him, some betrayed him. He never overheated at the way he was treated.

I’m learning to focus less on myself and more on relating successfully with others. My family, to begin with, are very dear to me. And yet, they are the folks I most quickly react to – in the negative – if I feel it is justified. But there’s the rub! We are not to be door matts, but neither are we to be easily provoked,

Love… “Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil” (1 Corinthians 13:5 KJV)

Often the LORD was provoked to anger (see Numbers, Deuteronomy, Judges, Samuel, Kings…) but justifiable anger over the sin of mankind is quite different from reacting to a minor – probably unintentional – slight by a loved one.

Oh, let us love one another and our families and friends. Let us not overheat at disruption or a display of rudeness, but let us share our disquiet in a way that is gentle, using it as an encouragement to grow closer rather than to break apart. Let us run our race with grace and forgiveness, always deferring to one another.

Let us take the high ground, and defer to the other. And let this graciousness begin with me:)

Reflections and Poetry

TOTAL SURRENDER into the NEW: an A-B-C reflection

I’m Finishing What I Started:

As we move into November, we are nearing the end of the calendar year. I for one am not stopping long to take stock, because I’m moving toward the finish line and, like-it-or-not, time is running past to accomplish all that I’m called to do this year.

I have found building Larus Press a challenge, sometimes beyond me. I have persevered because the LORD has told me to write. And I love it. But I have also found my weaknesses have been exposed and have flourished: I am scatty, lacking in focus and controlling, and that blocks productivity, growth and creativity.

But though I may sound anxious, I am anxious for nothing (Philippians 4:6)

The new Logo sets the stage for change; oh, it’s still me and it’s still the gull, because nothing quite fits me like a gull: scavenger, survivor, free to fly with the will and the way to do it, not

necessarily beautifully or gracefully, or silently, but steadfastly. That’s me in the flesh.

In the Spirit, I’m a dove: gentle and thoughtful, committed and loyal, free yet bound to serve.

Either way, I have a clear view.

And the work of Our God: Yaweh, Adonai, Yehovah within me guarantees transformation in me and I hope through me to you, too.

As I approach this new chapter, still in the old year, I’m seeking to:

Avoid mental overload, starting each day full of His direction

Be open, full of freshness to the One who inspires me

Committed to focusing on the one task I have at a time, because Jesus kept others waiting until God gave him the time to move; letting go of control!

Don’t stall or procrastinate: this is a tough one, but is am eager to follow, and obey

Each day I will hope to fulfil my commission for that day

Forgetting what lies behind, I reach for what is ahead (Philippians 3:13)

My Challenge:

As I work in a quiet and focused way, methodically and patiently like never before, I avoid distraction and the mental overload that too many opportunities causes. Yes, there is too much to learn, too much to do “to keep on top”, and so I won’t. Instead, I throw all that “rushing” away (each day, if necessary) to keep a clear mind and an open spirit to how the LORD GOD chooses – or does not choose – to use me. For me, patience is as key as letting go of control.

This seems like a New Year’s Resolution. Well, it isn’t, though it has only just past the new year in the Hebrew Calendar….No, this is personal revelation in action.

To myself and to all of us, shall I remind:

Let us Stay within our Revelation. Our God, in His grace and mercy, has given us gifts to use, hands to create, minds to contemplate His wonder, His love, His creation and His commission.

So, let us Be subject unto God: James 4:7 says, “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”

And as we surrender, we experience true freedom. As we let go of control, though the road may be scary or difficult, we remember like Job, “But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.” (Job 23:10)

Amen and Amen.


Reflections and Poetry

Keep from Idols: a reflection

Once upon a time I was a performing artist. In fact I’m coming back into the professional arena after over a dozen years’ absence. But today I’m thinking, not about now, nor the intervening years, but about the early days.

This morning as I was doing my usual stretching to keep flexible… the years are waxing and waning even as I write… the words that popped into my head were,

“Keep from Idols”

I didn’t receive this phrase as a warning, but as a remembrance. You see, years ago as an actress, when I was an extra and struggling to get into shows, I was afraid. I felt nervous, small, intimidated by the world of the theatre, even though I had a uniquely marvellous voice.

Why was I afraid?

Because I thought so many others were so much better than I was: better actors, better singers, just better and more talented. I envied them, admired them, and elevated them above myself. I didn’t know it at the time, but I idolised their position, thought I was unworthy, and so I sabotaged any hope of breakthrough into that world.

I had Idols, which took away my confidence and brought fear in its stead. This prevented me from being free to be all I was meant to be.

I had nothing to fear, but I was afraid. And so, although I achieved a high professional standard, I never “made it big” because of my fear.

So readers, as we embark on 2017 we reach toward the ultimate goals for our lives, I’d like to alert you to the lesson I learned. Although I was a firm believer and follower of Jesus, I nevertheless, unwittingly, had idols. I idolised no one in particular, but I feared others; I feared them because of their achievements and their high status. This inhibited me. It prevented me from befriending them and from receiving the favour – and the work – that was available to me. It limited my creative expression and prevented me from walking in the fullness that the skills and talents I’d honed had equipped me for. Most of all, it limited God from working in and through me to reflect His love and beauty and grace.

Let us have no idols. Yes let us have our dreams, ambitions, desires, and goals. These are God-given hopes and dreams, but we need to be sure they are surrendered to Him. Let us enjoy our opportunities, yet not place ourselves high, but humbly recognise our abilities are God-given, our mission is God-given, and there is nothing that cannot be done through Christ who gives us strength. (Philippians 4:13)


Reflections and Poetry

This Christmastime: a reflection

This Christmas is a time to remember the baby born to change the world. He has changed the world for all, even for those who do not believe. Through him, our laws reflect love and justice. Through him, we learn forgiveness, patience, kindness, gentleness. May this new year of 2017 be the beginning of the time when we who believe live as though this is our last opportunity to share the love of our lives, Jesus. May you be blessed from top to toe and pass on the blessing of Jesus’ love.

Love from Sarah Tun @ Larus Press

Reflections and Poetry

As America Goes to the Polls: a reflection

As America goes to the Polls and the world watches and waits,
A prayer:

“Sound the Trumpet
Soar, Oh Angels.
One speaks of Your Righteousness
One You have chosen – beyond reason.
Your glory prevails over All the Earth.
Let Jerusalem arise.
Let Peace arise.
Let Truth arise.
With the TRUMPet.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

In 2 Chronicles 36:22 God convicted King Cyrus to enable the Walls of Jerusalem to be re-built. He was not a Jew, he was not saved, but he was used by God.

Now the walls of American ideology need to be rebuilt. Christianity needs a voice again in the US. God has brought forward one such man. Beyond reason, He has allowed Donald Trump to herald a rebuilding of American Values, including Judeo-Christian values.

He is not a good man, but he is, I believe, God’s man, for such a time as this.

Blessings upon American as it votes, and blessings upon you and I as we pray for God’s will to be done today in the United States.

This is my burden for today. Forgive me if you don’t agree with me. Pray with me if you do. Blessings to all of you who read these words.

Reflections and Poetry

Don’t Blame the Devil

Don’t Blame the Devil

Sometimes rotten things happen to us; but God is sovereign and He knows what we face. He’s here to comfort, to encourage and to help us overcome our obstacles .

When you put these these two ideas together: that God is sovereign and that rotten things can happen, that suggests that God allows rotten things to happen to us, right?

Theology can be argued in so many ways. But if you believe as I do, that God is God – all powerful and all knowing – that implies that He knows when we suffer. So, if He knows, why does He let it go on anyway?

In the past I’ve written that “without opposition, we don’t become strong.” I believe that to be true. Further, while God doesn’t orchestrate rotten things happening, sometimes He allows it, because that is the only/best way to ensure we learn and grow from where we are now, toward who He has created us to be.

When we pursue the Call of God, there will be challenges we must face. I think it’s very important that we don’t get tricked into thinking these obstacles must only be endured or fought. Rather, if we reckon they are for our good, they won’t seem so large, we get a head start on overcoming, and we use the opposition to hurl us forward. When we accept God is in all things, we are spurred on; when we embrace opposition, we discover what God has for us and grow.

Holiness is an old word and a new aim when we are seeking to live a surrendered life which will bring fulfilment, satisfaction in our life’s work, and internal peace – the peace that passes all understanding. As we live a life surrendered to God, we will encounter opposition. We can “do Spiritual Warfare”. But it’s important to note, I think, that before we battle the heavenly realms, we also recognise the LORD is trying to teach us something. If we only look at opposition as something to be fought, rather than something to learn from, we miss God’s reason for allowing the trouble in the first place. If we miss the point, we miss the lesson, and that is a pity. Further, like school, if we miss the lesson, we probably have to face it again, so that ultimately we can overcome.

I believe it is through overcoming, that we draw closer to fulfilling God’s Call in our lives.

Reflections and Poetry

Personality Matters: a reflection

at-t-endowment-aug-2013“Good Grief”

When we loose someone we love, it is natural to grieve.

I’m in the grieving process, not because a loved one has died, but because I have decided to have a personality overhaul. Inevitably, parts of me will have to go…

I’ve discovered that personality matters. Call me slow! I didn’t realise how much it matters until recently. I’ve focused my entire adult life on growing in character. Based upon plenty of scripture, my priority has always been to take the right path – even if it’s the hard path (and it usually is), to be sincere (which sometimes is intense or less than vivacious), and to work hard (demonstrating determination which sometimes spills into wilfulness). I’ve always been willing to grow and learn, in order to become a better person.

But do you know how sometimes a new idea begins to dawn and you feel drawn to think about something in particular? Well, lately I’ve been looking around me at other people, people who are no more skilled or capable than I am but who seem to have more success with others or projects, and I wonder: Why not me?

I recognise what most of them have is consistent cheerfulness; their personalities light up a room… and it makes a difference to their lives!

Now I realise: We can choose our disposition and our attitude. We can choose our personality. And we can make a difference in our lives.

My close friends love me because I’m trustworthy and loyal; others come to me because I’m knowledgeable or supportive. But, I suspect, no one enjoys my company specifically because I’m fun!

So, I’m going to be fun: cheerful, a bright spark, a person who brings joy into a room as I enter.

My grandmother, Sarah McPherson, was that sort of person. Everyone loved her, across all generations. I admired her so much I took her name. That was over twenty-five years ago. But now, it’s time I gleaned more from her than her first name. It’s time I adopt personality traits that she had. It isn’t so I’ll be loved or admired by the way, but so I can sow more joy into others’ lives.

Last night as I weighed up my personality and found it wanting, I reckoned I had three choices:

  1. I could drown myself in the Mediterranean; it’s not far from where I live.
  2. I could write about how I was feeling.
  3. I could watch Sky News and eat a chocolate bar.

I chose the latter… and that brought me out of myself, gave me good cheer, believe-it-or-not, and a hope that now I’m on a good track to something lively, for myself and for others too.

This personality make-over could require some attention and energy in order to reboot and relaunch. But what will make it relatively simple is one tweak: to take a change in attitude.

When I was young, life wasn’t perfect (who’s is?). I became a serious sort of person, perhaps as a result of sad encounters or difficult experiences. Although I’ve always been an optimist, I’ve also safe-guarded myself with worry and anticipation of crises in case they happen. An optimist, my personality has not been upbeat to match my overall outlook.

Now, I choose to change my attitude. I choose to trust people more, and take courage to embrace each day and encounter knowing the past is over, the present is now, and the future is in God’s capable hands.

I can change my personality simply by changing my attitude. In fact, I already have 🙂

Readers: may you have a great day ahead!

Reflections and Poetry

In A Rut: a reflection

In A Rut…

When I was 30, I had been teaching for nearly a decade (and loving it), was single (divorced), and unhappy. I didn’t realize it but I was in a rut.

I had a career I loved, was exploring acting – which for a university Drama Grad was typical but also belated, because I had focused on directing as an undergrad –  and dealing with personal and family issues which would never really go away. In spite of the family issues, I had two fabulous cats, a super best friend and several other very good ones, and had much to be thankful for.

But I was literally in the shower one evening and told myself, “I’m not really happy.” I wondered, “What should I do? What would make me happy?”

I reasoned that what would make me happy would be to go to New York and study acting. And so I began a process that would change my life forever.

As a born again Christian, I prayed about this idea. Given that I’d never been a radical sort of person and this was making a fairly radical change to my life, I told the Lord I would move forward on this until May, when I’d have to give notice at my job in order to be granted a sabbatical. If circumstances suggested “You’re clear to go,” I’d go, and if they weren’t by then, then I would stay where I was and continue living as I was living.

By May I’d been offered a place at Neighbourhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York City, and my current job was being shifted from a school whose drama programme I’d developed to another school. I took the former as encouragement to take the risk and go to New York, and the latter likewise.

So I gave notice, gave my rented apartment over to a good friend, and left.

Life would never be the same. I ended up in London, England after that year in New York, where I married a wonderful man and remained for two decades, eventually re-settling – surprisingly – near the same town in Ontario that I’d left.


Now I’m in Spain. And I think I’m in a rut.

How could anyone get into a rut who has lived on 3 continents (briefly including Asia where hubby and I spend some months while he was on secondment), had several careers, given birth at age 45, delighted in the intimacy of the Holy Spirit, and befriended folks from all over the world (New York and London are hugely international cities)?

Currently, I feel as though I’m stagnating.

I love what I do, which is to write, write, write – when I’m not raising my son and standing in support of my husband. I pray daily, that God would show me the pathway I am meant to tread, and engage with the people I’m meant to engage with. I spend hours on the computer (and my eyesight suffers for it), sharing with others on blogs and diving into imaginary people’s experiences through fiction. And yet, I’m not living.

What is the problem this time? Whereas the first time I was in a rut was because there were more people to meet and more things to do in the big wide world than I could do locally, now having done all that, I realize it all boils down to community.

Community is vital to one’s emotional fulfilment (see final written blog post at Revelation TV under presenter’s blogs). And I haven’t got much of it in this foreign country of wonderful people, sights and features of art.

It isn’t really a rut… it’s more like a crater. I’m stuck inside an empty space where only people – real life relationships beyond family – can fill.

I’m feeling a whole lot better now than I did a week or a month ago. That’s because I’ve engaged with a few people, face-to-face, on some level of heart-to-heart, and that has made all the difference.

At the end of the day, whether you find yourself stagnating – in a rut, or in a crater – good friendship is probably the cure. If “Home is where the heart is” then surely the heart can only be where there are people in your life with whom you can connect, and feel you make a difference in their lives as they do in yours.

Thanks to those who’ve rescued me this week.

Now I wonder who needs a rescue? Who can I reach out the right hand of fellowship to, and make a tiny difference to their lives today?

Blessings… It’s good to be back at A Life Examined (formerly: and now )

Reflections and Poetry

Handling Unwarranted Criticism: Preparing for God’s Call

When we take a stand for Jesus, we will face opposition. Some will criticize us; much of the accusations will be unfair or untrue.

Although it is one of several hurdles we face when we seek to fulfill God’s Call, there is a good feature about criticism, even the unwarranted variety.

If we are slandered, it can be heart-breaking. But if our character is held in question without justification, the good aspect to it is that we learn to sift and to use attack as a touchstone. Whatever the criticism, we can lean against the accusation and check ourselves to ENSURE it is invalid. We can look at our relationship with the Lord and praise Him, thankful that the attack is invalid. (Or where there is validity, we can repent and be set free from it.) As we delve into our conscience and recognize the accusation is untrue, we become stronger and more confident in who we are.

The voice of unwarranted criticism tries to tell us we are supposed to be perfect and points to a crack in our character.

Well, there are cracks in our character so long as we are on this journey of life. We are not perfect, but nor is the attacker giving his uninvited critique. And thanks to our surrendered life, we are seeking to be perfected and can be hugely thankful for that process, against which no attack has ammunition.

“No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, And their righteousness is from Me,” Says the Lord.” (Isaiah 54:17)

Knowing who we are in Christ and who God is shaping us to be, does not set us above error nor correction. But it does shore up defense against unfair attack upon our motives or behaviour, and enables us to rise above the judgment. We can face opposition, even nasty criticism, knowing God is the perfecter of our faith, personality and character.

“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)

Reflections and Poetry

The Roots of Self-Condemnation: Preparing for God’s Call

We can be pretty hard on ourselves. Failure is inevitable and we must persevere through our mistakes in order to reach the goal: Fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives.

One of the last things we need do, when we are aiming to live in the fullness of God, is to put ourselves down, condemning ourselves for our short-comings.

Often self-condemnation is seen as a form of pride. That may be. And pride comes before a fall. So, better to be aware of our pride. But pride isn’t always the reason behind our being overly-self critical. Some of us may have heard criticism from a tender age and so we automatically hear it in our heads as adults.

Recently, I received a letter from someone who doesn’t think well of me. In reading the opening sentence of the letter, I realized I was about to receive a series of criticism. There would be grains of truth in some of the accusations, because I’m not perfect.

Then I realized, while my imperfections do not excuse my past mistakes, neither is the accuser perfect. I had a EUREKA moment. I realized that I don’t have to feel shame for being imperfect and nor do I have to defend myself, but rather I can accept the imperfections both of myself and of the other person. That’s a move of God’s grace within me.

Please don’t confuse my meaning. I’m not saying we ignore our failings or excuse them. Being aware of our faults and wanting to become better people is healthy; it’s part of the process of maturity. But that is not the same as living in condemnation from ourselves or from others, because we are not perfect.

As an aside, I’d also say, the accuser (the devil) loves to make us think about our shortcomings, and he’ll use others to do it. But let’s remember that the other person doing the accusing is also flawed. Part of their flawed nature may well include the skewed vision they have of you.

“There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1) If you are experiencing condemnation from within or from another, it is not of the Lord. We are responsible to take on board our faults and repent, learn and grow. But condemnation is a sign of criticism that is, at least, exaggerated and purposed to oppress.

Overcoming condemnation will teach you to know the difference between valid complaint and invalid accusation. And it will enable you to move from darkness to light, in the pursuit of fulfilling God’s Call on your life.

Reflections and Poetry

Coping with False Assumptions: Preparing you God’s Call

Those of us who seek to walk in our Calling will face opposition. Opposition makes us stronger, but in the natural, it is unpleasant and undesirable.

There are all kinds of hurdles we must overcome; it is in the overcoming that we are prepared to fulfill the Call. No matter what the plans and purposes for our lives, there are themes of opposition which we must face. So, I’m beginning a Series which will seek to address several of these areas in the attempt to prepare you for them before they arise, so you can recognize them and tackle them from a position of awareness and strength.

One hurdle to overcome is Facing False Assumptions.

When Assumptions are made about us, how do we respond?

First, I think that people have a natural tendency to define one another, and to group people based on their own past experiences. Have you had the experience of encountering someone new who reminds you of an old friend or relative? Perhaps you’ve assumed they are very similar in character because they look, sound or behave similarly. And yet, this new person will have a whole set of different experiences and DNA that will define them, and probably they are very different from the person they remind you of. You many well have grouped these two people together and may have unconsciously made assumptions about the new person without even realizing it.

Or, have you a person in your life with whom you have shared a series of experiences, and have therefore defined how they will probably respond in a new set of circumstances? If so, then you are making assumptions about the person. They may be correct assumptions, but they are still assumptions.

Now, let’s look at how others form opinions about you. We know that first impressions are important, because that sets the tone for a relationship. It is far easier to gain someone’s respect when we make a good first impression than a poor one, and poor first impressions create an uphill battle to a good relationship. We have some influence over how to create a good first impression. But with cultural differences, even the way we meet and greet can be misconstrued. All we can do is to be loving and sincerely interested in the other person, be respectful and polite, and aim to begin a positive and life-giving relationship.

When we know we have done our best to be courteous and considerate, we can stem the tide of self-condemnation (another hurdle I’ll address next time). But from time-to-time through no fault of our own, wrong assumptions – negative assumptions – will be made about us. We will face judgment and criticism. Knowing we are innocent is one way of preventing guilt and shame. But still we face a hurdle because of someone else’s false assumption.

How do we respond to the false assumption? Do we ignore, confront, side-step or become oppressed by it?

If we allow ourselves to be oppressed, we will prolong the time it takes to enter our Calling.

If we ignore or side-step it, we might be able to demonstrate, through our courage and conviction, that the assumption has been false. Or the filter through which we are seen may distort their perception of us even further.

If we confront it, we run the risk of making things worse – making the relationship more strained.

It isn’t easy to overcome false assumptions.

If we pray, we will act out of spiritual wisdom and not natural, and will find the way forward.

People will limit your Call, ability, gifting, with their assumptions. We face opposition in order to grow in faith and confidence. As we listen to God’s voice, He will guide us, and help us to navigate through the blockage. Wait upon the Lord. Be still and wait upon the Lord. (Psalm 27:14)

“But those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

Blessings to you!


Reflections and Poetry

An Examined Life Re-Launches: a reflection


I live an examined life. It’s simply who I am: introspective, reflective, prayerful. I used to blog about my life. Then I stopped writing about my observations and the lessons life was teaching me. The last post on “A Life Examined” Blogspot was in April 2015. Now I’m starting again… picking up where I left off, to share my life with you.

I moved to Spain from Canada nearly two years ago, and in the early days of adjusting, I put on hold a lot of my writing projects. “A Life Examined” blog was one of them. Over the last eighteen months or so, I have been making new discoveries and now it’s time to share again.

So, have a look at SarahTunExamineLife-Original-BLOGSPOT and then come back here. What will I write about? Me! In what context? I do not know.

But we’ll explore together – Spain, God’s Call, Raising my Son, Marriage, Living Spiritually, Making Progress – then Regression, and so on.

Join me on an adventure called life. In this case, it’s my life – A Life Examined – for you to discover, share and expand alongside me.

Every blessing.

Reflections and Poetry

Facing Opposition: Preparing for God’s Call

“Without opposition we never become strong.”

This quote – which is actually my own – hangs beneath a magnet on the fridge and is referred to by members of my family periodically. As we continue to wrestle, and to fight the good fight, we need to remember the reality of opposition.

When we seek God’s Call and choose to walk in His ways, our flesh tends to resist surrender. Or sometimes people throw doubt our way; our faith can be shaky and vulnerable to opposition. And then there’s the enemy himself, throwing problems and complications at us, trying to force us to give up.

But God is sovereign. He knows our Call and everything we face is preparation to enable us to fulfill it.

Thankfully, it isn’t in our own strength that we are called to fight. Instead God gives us what we need to face the opposition: He gives us grace, the fruits of the Spirit and the gifts as well.

“It’s not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord of Hosts” (Zech 4:6)

Quite simply, in order to be prepared for God’s Call, we need to face and overcome opposition. It is through opposition that our character is built. It is through opposition that we learn to rely on God. It is through opposition that we discover the authority and power of God that is within us.

This is my perspective on the Christian Journey. My ambition is to enable all of you to move forward on that journey.

Today I want to start with a rallying cry. We may face hurdles but none we can’t overcome. Where there is opposition, there is triumph. Where there is pain, there is breakthrough. And where there is the LORD’s will, there is abundant joy.

The Call of God is to be discovered, embraced, and lived. Therein is fulfillment – both for God’s purposes and to our reward. I hope and pray that each reader will receive what s/he needs in order to continue on the path to perfection: fully human, fully alive, fully satisfied that s/he is living the life God has created.


This newsletter marks the re-launch of “Soaring Post”. It has been dormant for many months, as I focused on fiction and on making guest contributions to other sites (see below for links).

Many new people have joined. Welcome to each and every subscriber, old and new. I hope this new phase of our adventure with Jesus will bear much fruit for God’s Kingdom.

In Christ we are all on the same page 🙂 but I’d like to take a moment to introduce the newsletter and LARUS PRESS, so that we are all in the same paragraph.

“Soaring Post” at LARUS PRESS exists to prepare you for God’s Call.

If like me you believe time is short, there is no time like the present to give God our All. We rely on the Bible, the inerrant Word of God. We depend on the inspiration of the Holy Spirit who dwells within every believer. We are called to “be strong” and to persevere against inconveniences, obstacles and opposition, so that we can grow in love and overcome fear.

Isn’t the goal for every believer to become all loving and completely fearless?

My passion is to be prepared to be all God has called me to be. I want that for you as well, so that you can achieve your purpose, as you grow more and more like Jesus.

There is no greater satisfaction than to fulfill God’s Call in our lives. There is no greater peace than in knowing we are in His perfect will. There is no greater joy than to experience fully the life we’ve been given to lead.

God’s Call on my life is to discern, watch and pray. My call to action is to write my discoveries in order to encourage, prepare, illuminate and motivate all of us, so that we can bring God glory and we can experience the satisfaction, peace and joy God has for us.

“Sarah Tun @ Larus Press: Building the Kingdom one Reader at a Time” means recognizing the challenge to become the persons God has created us to be, so that we do all God has given us to do.

Let us allow the LORD to unveil His plan and timing for each of us. Please embrace with me: the beginning… God bless.

And if you have 3 friends for whom you’d like the same, please forward this on, that they too might board this new train.

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”

Ephesians 6:10-11

Reflections and Poetry

Parenting Our Children’s Abilities and Disabilities

What do we do when our perfectly good children behave consistently badly?

There are so many identified conditions now that effect children … autism, Asperger’s, ADD or ADHD, OCD, ODD, specific learning disabilities such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, … shortcomings that effect their social awareness and / or interaction as well as their educational growth. Does your child still throw tantrums at age 8? Can she not sit still? Does he seem fearful or dismissive of peers? Is she finding learning or socializing particularly difficult and getting overly frustrated with herself? Why does your perfectly good child behave badly?

When children misbehave as toddlers or young children, we see it as typical, at least to a degree. Tantrums are meant to gradually wane into cooperative behaviour, so long as parents are vigilant in their training. But what about family situations where a child’s heart or a teen’s desire is clearly to comply, but her behaviour doesn’t follow your direction? We can teach or discipline a child into an attitude of – and behaviour of – responsibility, but only to the degree they have the desire or skill to follow. What if a child seems to have the will to behave appropriately, but not the way, despite all your efforts to show her?

When they have the desire then we’re all in a very good place. But what about those children who want to cooperate but seem to unable to ‘get the message’?

When a child has a mild handicap – a lack of ability to cope socially, academically or emotionally in certain ways – then we need to maintain our expectations so they can grow into responsible adults, but modify our practices so they can discover and learn what most children absorb naturally. I’ve been discovering this myself within my own family.

We can, as people of God, have our children tested and labeled for disability. However, we can also research their symptoms ourselves and pray for God’s healing and transformation.

I write to encourage all parents: children may or may not have a condition such as the above, but they will have shortcomings. How do we cope when a child is consistently ‘difficult’?

If you suspect something may be lacking in your child’s equipment to socialize, moralize, learn or emote in a way that is constructive, teach him how do to it. Research to uncover any descriptions or symptoms that match your child’s behaviour. Be patient. Share your frustration but keep your anger, and lavish love on him. Prayer (and fasting) are tools the LORD provides for breakthrough.

The most important aspect to raising children is to integrate their faith-life with their secular. For example, Jesus is the healer, and as Paul says, our bodies are a living sacrifice and our minds need to be renewed by faith (Romans 12:1-2). This truth is for any person, including a child. As you learn about your child’s learning difficulty or shortcoming, apply God’s Word to your methodology to help him. Teach him that as a child of God, he is chosen by God, and victorious in all things (Phil 4:13). Pray about his identity in Christ and then sow that identity into him. For example, I believe my son is called to be a peace-maker. So, I will share with him what God says about peace-making, and that it needs to be a part of his behaviour to sow peace. In this I am encouraging him to rise to his identity and purpose in Christ, even at an early age. How I put it to him will depend on his age, of course, but I will use it as a means to motivate him beyond his fears or frustrations.

As you unveil a disability in your child – if you unveil a disability in your child – the discovery will, inevitably, uncover wounds that have developed because she has been misunderstood up until now, or because too high a level of expectation was placed upon her, given the shortcoming.

I believe in healing for the family as a whole, both of the disability and the trauma that comes with unmet expectations. I recognize that healing may not be the course for all children with a disability. God has reasons for allowing ‘thorns in our sides’ (2 Cor 12:7-10) too. But I believe, in this age of Google, where there is a library of information in your home, we can study and identify the issue, learn and work with our children through the difficulty. With the quality and quantity of responsibility placed by God on our children, we can – and must – raise them to their calling, nurturing them in the process.

Ready: Discover God’s call for your children.

Set: Raise them to that call. Don’t allow a disability to rule, but use it as a tool to teach your child blessing, humility, grace, courage, and perseverance.

Go: Be realistic, be faithful, be steadfast, be optimistic, be patient, be loving.


Reflections and Poetry

Seeking Breakthrough: A Practical Faith


Seeking Breakthrough in our work: Each of us has some form of work – industry that consumes our time and hopefully allows us to express and blossom in our gifts. I am a writer, so I’ll talk about blogging, but this could be applied to any artist, or any career for that matter, where you find you are not experiencing the fullness of what you have hoped and aspired to achieve.

How do you find the breakthrough you’ve been praying for?

“On blogging, getting discovered and God’s grace”

Blogging takes time. First, it takes time to develop a personal style, theme and voice; and then it takes more time to establish your audience. For the Christian, we can lay aside all our ideas, pray, and ask God to lead us by His Spirit, to show us the prophetic words, images and timing that we can develop in order to reach the audience He has for us.

But, like everybody else, then we practice. We practice the craft of writing because that is who we are. As fiction author Ana Menendez writes, “But writing, like reading, is an intensely personal act. If I could no longer create a world, then all possible worlds suddenly <would be> lost to me.” (Searching for the Real and the True, “Poets and Writers” Magazine, ‘The Inspiration Issue’, Jan/Feb 2011, pg 26).

In addition to the joy of self-expression, we need an income for our exertion. Or, if we are financially self-sufficient, we at least want the results of our creative efforts to be seen by others; success may not be measured in money, but usually we create and desire to share our creations. The overarching reason we blog is to be read – to be seen, to develop a profile – so our work is marketed. It isn’t easy to ‘be discovered’.

How do we get breakthrough? I’ve settled on three particular patterns for success. One may be for you…

Pattern I: The shortcut to your discovery on the world stage may be through the serendipitous moment. First, you receive inspiration, which provokes you to ‘write now!’ Then, knowing when your ‘defining moment’ has come and acting upon it is fundamental to success. Many who have achieved notoriety in any range of fields have expressed an experience that led to success which can be condensed to the following*:

  1. Listening for the ‘call’
  2. Believing in what they ‘heard’
  3. Taking Action
  4. Serendipity – the divine ingredient that took them ‘over the top of the hill’

These people were alert to their own talents and asserted themselves at the key moments when their efforts and the ebb and flow of humanity would collide, pointing the way to their discovery.

Pattern II: An alternative ‘key’ to unlocking your visibility may be in writing to a large audience with a specific need. You title the message perfectly in order for Google to pick it up through their Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and your post or blog or book or video promo goes VIRAL!

Pattern III: Discovery may come through the ‘surrendering of all your effort’ and by yielding your time and work to God. Then you wait for His call… wait until He issues it. This supernatural approach will probably involve more work than it may seem, with fasting, prayer, intercession and acts of service being ingredients.

As for me, I’ve chosen the surrendered approach, yielding to the LORD as completely as I can. I’m discovering that, as I increase my time in fellowship with him, as I fast sometimes, pray always, and wait, I begin to hear Him and His direction for my work.

Most recently, I discovered in this process that, while I thought I’d surrendered my work to Him, most of the creative work that I was doing was based on my will. I thought I was supposed to do “X” because it’s part of the general procedure I follow as a writer – which God has clearly called me to do – and as an entrepreneur of my work. But most of this, in my case, was of my own making and has so far born relatively little fruit. Now I realize: Ah! No wonder it’s been too much for me to manage! It’s been my workload, my burden, not His. I know, “His yoke is easy and His burden is light.” Now I’m realigning my theology with my practice. Time will reveal the impact this will have on my outreach.

For me, this third pattern is the most fundamental. It is all-important. Allow me to take you back to the place in prayer that I was when I made the discovery that has changed my work day competely. Here, I believe, is an all-important kernel for transformation toward Christ.

I was in the third day of a three day fast. I was alone in my study, a place of calm and focus. I reached out to the LORD toward the end of a long, busy and rewarding Sunday. It was about 7 pm.

I told God I wanted to yield everything to Him (including my personal and work life), and to surrender completely. Immediately impressed upon me was the fiction writing project I’m working on currently, a project which was initiated by the LORD many years and several projects ago. Then as I continued in prayer, my long list of writing projects came to my mind, and along with them, a glimpse of various responsibilities surrounding them. Only then did I hear in my heart,

‘The fiction project is a project which comes from my heart. The other work comes from my mind – from my will, not His.’

My world has changed with this revelation. All the activities and responsibilities I had put upon myself to be busy, to tick the boxes, to stretch toward my goal of having my work read were my burdens, not those of the LORD. In this, I have discovered the edge of the knife that divides the supernatural agenda from the natural. It’s as the scripture in Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (NKJV)

I am recognizing the division between my ideas and God’s, my inspirations and His.

Next I wondered, did Jesus feel tempted by Satan after the 40 day fast? Or was that perhaps a less difficult battle than the temptations he faced daily in his ministry. Did his heart go out to someone, his thoughts to another, but His Father pointed him in a third direction and say ‘go there’, and Jesus went?

My journey began with a prayer, asking God to help me to surrender completely. It was not the first time I’d prayed this prayer and it probably won’t be the last. But this time, when my attention again merged into the present world, I realized I knew Jesus better than I had before I started. As well, I’d discovered I’d been sidetracked from the main purpose of my work. Though I’ve worked diligently at my projects, I was living my agenda instead of His.

I hope that I am now changed permanently. I hope this transformation of my mind will ensure my ordered steps are His, and that the labour of my hands and my mind draw closer to the work (and timing) God has ordained for me.

Will my new direction stick? And will it gain me exposure, ultimately? I hope it will stick, not so I gain exposure, but because my relationship with my Father is deepening. If He wants my work to be seen, then I have to believe He’ll guide me to the people, the projects, and the strategies that will work to get the job done, and make the exposure happen.

And, I hope the sharing of my experience will inspire others who are still looking for breakthrough. Let’s take courage, ‘let go’, and to do the work God has implanted in us to do. It isn’t easier to walk the supernatural path than the natural one, but it is the one I choose because I know God is faithful.

In Jeremiah 29:11 scripture says, For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (NIV)

Joshua was encouraged before he entered the promised land. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (NKJV, Joshua 1:9)

Ready: Choose the method you plan to use in order to have your words, music, inventions, discoveries, work validated.

Set: Have a focused mind and a clear eye for the pathway before you. Love those around you as you step out to complete the work set before you. Be bold, be confident, and be sure – this is your time and your strategy and your moment. Give it all you’ve got!

Go: God’s grace, love, assurance and passion are within you. May you discover the blessings awaiting you.

*Kurt Kettner-Borough, Pastor of The Wave, Puerto Banus, Spain (c) 2015

OTHER OF MY BLOGGING CAN BE SPOTTED AT: Useful insights and related thoughts drawn from my personal day-to-day journey

and Sharing what I learn from God when I manage to listen