Take me away…

Take me away, a secret place
A sweet escape, take me away
Take me away to better days
Take me away, a hiding place

– Natasha Bedingfield, Pocket Full Of Sunshine

My heart started crying out this song to my Abba these past few days.

When life gets tough, my first reaction is instinctively to ask to be rescued, for a quick escape so I don’t have to deal with whatever is currently facing me.

Afterwards, it used to be I would escape into a bag of sour cream potato chips or a sitcom, licking my wounds and berating myself for rolling over and taking a beating yet again. 

We never learn to be proactive and change our ways by just thinking about it. We need to do it.

Instead of being passive and keeping my hurts buried in the hidden spaces within, I am learning to run to the secret place.

His embrace.

I am invited there 24/7.
365 days a year.
And on into eternity!

I stopped short quite some time ago as I was headed down the wrong path of response when it hit me.

Why wait for eternity to fix everything? Why not now?

If we are called to supernaturally live in, through and with Him…then here on earth is where we need to do so.

Just as Jesus did.

Jesus took Himself away at times. Not to kick his wounds or hide away, but to reconnect. Becoming rejuvenated and reinvigorated for the plans He was to walk out with His Father. (Luke 16:16, Mark 1:35)

Jesus never backed down from doing His Father’s business where He saw His Father inviting Him into a situation.

I need to do the same.

Instead of allowing fear and survival instincts to drive me, I need to choose faith and supernatural instincts to guide me.

He promises to always be with us, and show us how to live free.

Our part is to choose to stay in His embrace through our days, and refuse to allow the lure of other pleasures to steal us from where our souls and spirits know is where we belong.

With Him.

He may take you away from a situation by prompting you to remove yourself from it.

He may guide you as to what to pray to shift the atmosphere.

He may tell you what to say to diffuse discord and bring peace.

The whole time, He will be with you.

I would rather be in His embrace in a hurricane than left alone to my own devices.

Lead me away from what doesn’t work, Abba, and keep me headed on the path You have for me. May I run to You first, and You alone, when the storms begin to circle.

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what a Word

Words have the power to bless, uproot, encourage, surgically impact or curse.

Sometimes all in the same day.

And when words are both your primary love language and part of your job, words can pierce far beyond the speaker’s intention.

There is One, however, who knows the power of words.

He not only inspired the writing of His written Word, He is continously speaking life, instruction and hope in the here and now.

For He is the living Word.

God also knows the power of a hurtful, deliberate word, for He spends many resources helping us to see how forgiveness can restore us from their negative impact.

There is one Psalm I turn to when I need a reminder of how much words matter to God.

Psalm 119.

The longest Psalm, it encompasses us from conception and beyond, from pain and hurt to life, from walking a wayward path to one of purpose.

Nor only is His Word is to be our guide, which the psalmist refer to,  but He Himself is to be our guide.

The Living Word as contained within the Word.

For the Word is just a bunch of words if you refuse the Living Word access to you, to change you through His words as He speaks life into you. All the weary, wounded, wary or wandering.

Without the Author pointing out the words He has for you to change your circumstances, meet you in the moment, restore your footing on the Rock…. the Word becomes just beautifully, skillfully written poetry or history.

The Word doesn’t want His Words to return without blessing.

He wants us to hear and see Him in the Word. For it is a reflection of who He is,  what he can do, where He wants to take you, what He has its store for you, and why.

The Living Word poured Himself into His Word….

●So we would know we are not alone when we feel disconnected.
●So we would see His heart when ours has been ravaged.
●So we would hear His direction when we are at a crossroads.
●So we would sense His Presence despite our loneliness.
●So we can taste His goodness when all we see appears to be dark.
●So we can experience Him more deeply as we get to know who He is.

His Word is relevant regardless of your age, stage, looks, quirks, status or race.

As He has made us all, His Word is designed for us all.

Take a hold of the gift He has given us and invite Him to make His Words come alive to you in a such a way you know you have connected with him.

If you need to chew on one or two verse, do so.  Create a graphic, doodle the words, print them out and post them to memorize them.

Allow His Words to come alive within you and bring you back to life.

The living Word is waiting for you within every page of His Word.

The situations may have a historical place in time, but the God revealed and contained within them is beyond time and place, for He is alive!

Invite Him to speak, and wait expectantly for His Words.  God has never stopped speaking His love to us since Eden, and will never stop until each of us are home with Him where we belong.

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Intertwined

I love reading the Psalms. In fact, I am about to embark on reading the whole book for the 4th time in just over two years.

As Eugene Peterson has said, the psalms encompass the whole scope of human life in one book.

And I am about to read it again for the first time!

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I have now read the Psalms through in the NIV, ESV and the MSG translations.

I am about to rack open the Passion translation, and I can hardly wait.

For me, reading a different translation helps me take in thr Psalms afresh, and invite Him to speak through them to me again, as if it’s the first time!

But even more than that becomes the way I am learning to see the Word as a whole interwoven through out the Bible, the more I study the Psalms.

When I read Psalm 1:1 and am reminded how my delight comes from Him, it reminds me how much he has shown His love to Israel, His chosen people and how He delights in us, Zephaniah 3:17. How we can please God with our worship and praise the pleasing offerings mentioned in Numbers 29:2 & 2 Corinthians 2:15.
David’s many psalms, including Psalm 62:8, remind me to be fully honest and pour my heart out like water before the Lord, again mentioned in Lamentations 2:19.

I could go on and on, and I am so glad he continues to reveal Himself to us through His Word as we invite Holy Spirit to be our guide!

For even though I am focusing on thr Psalms, the living Word is continuing to focus on me, a day reshape me as I interact with Him!

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pace or pursuit

Is the pace at which I am doing God’s work destroying God’s work in me? Bill Hybels

There are days where I feel like I can’t catch my breath. One thing after another gets crossed off my to-do list, until I collapse on the sofa at the end of the night and wonder where my day, and my inner peace went.

Many of the things I did were good things.  But I am awakening to realize that not all of them needed to be done by ME.

I have a loving husband and two adult children, with a cute cat and a pygmy hedgehog living with me in our cozy nest.  This year, with three of us working and one in school full time, I have had to pull back on doing all the cooking, and use the crackpot more and assign nights to cook based on who is home first.  The cleaning jobs are fairly equally divided too. Not everyone is as tidy as the others, but working as a team leaves more time for family fun this way, with no one person carrying the weight alone.

All I do at home, my job or church may be His work.

But if I lose sight of how and what He is wanting me to do when and set my own pace, I can bring it all down through my attempt to do it all, in my own strength.

What we do on our own can be good, but what we are able to do with God can be great!!!

I have a few gifts and talents which God has given me (mostly around communication & community).  I am becoming increasingly aware of the fact that not all I do is meant for me to be doing.

Which means that the pace I am trying to maintain is a waste if I am not achieving His best for me at the end of the day.

Instead of trying to organize myself into obedience, I am taking a different tact this year….

I am pursuing God as my main priority.

There will always be jobs to be done, for we will always have work of one kind or another until we get to heaven.

If pursuing Him first causes me to allow him more fully to work through me, I need to lay myself down each day, and let Him set my pace.

Pausing to make sure I am running in pace with Jesus and all He has for me to do and become is more important to my well being.

Ultimately God is to be my pace setter.

My part is to give Him the space he needs within me to see the mext step ahead, as He equips me to meet each task to the best of my ability in Him.

I refuse to not answer the call He is stirring up deep within because I am keeping a frenzied pace without His purposes for me in mind.

I have no more space for the kind of waste in my life, Beloved.

Join me as we slow down before His throne, settle in at His feet, and ask Him to open our eyes to the things which matter most to Him, while He leads us to the peace within as He reminds us who we truly are, and what it is he has for us to do today.

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May the #wonder of living life at His pace overtake all of our busyness as we seek him first!

snapshots of thanks

Giving thanks doesn’t have to sound melodious or look beautifully wrapped in order to be genuine, or appreciated.

God looks at the heart, and we should too.

One of my children had a teacher when in grade 2 who positively impacted me in this area.

I may have mentioned how she referred to each child as her favorite, and treated them as if they were as well. 

But the reason she was able to do so was because she was thankful.
She showed it in how she worked with kids. She loved to be there,  showing them she cared and how happy she was to spend the day with them.

Thankfulness speaks through our actions most times louder than our words.

The Psalms are filled with verses of thanks, which I used to think was despite all the woes and pleas for rescue & intervention.

I now know the thanks is there because the psalmists discovered the wondrous truth that God was with them through all they faced, and couldn’t help but give thanks for the revelation…

Even if the circumstances didn’t change for the better in the waiting.

When David was pleading with God to spare his first son with Bathesheba, He fervently fasted and worshipped.

When the child died and afterwards, he still continued to worship God.

For He knew the same God who had been with him facing the lions, Goliath, King Saul and the Philistines was still with him.

And David could still praise Him for who He is despite his loss.

Sometimes it is in the hard places where the deepest encounters with God and revelations from His Spirit can be found.

And I believe being thankful is key.

There was a widow in the New Testament who Jesus pointed out, who gave two small coins as an offering.  Those two coins  represented a good amount of her budget, and I suspect God highlighted her to show she gave out of her great thanks for His provision.

And I saw that same characteristic in my child’s grade 2 teacher.

That teacher impacted me not because her life was perfect, but because she lived out an attitude of gratitude for all the blessings she had, instead of focusing on what she was lacking.

We can do the same.

We have the Maker of Heaven & Earth.  We have God with us, alongside us and within us.

Knowing He is with us, forever, outweighs any lack we might be encountering in the temporary.

And because of His great love, grace and mercy which He extends to us, we can always have Him to be grateful for.

Thanksliving is living your life with a visible attitude of gratitude.

Nor because everything will always be going your way, but because the God over everything is guiding your way, from right beside you and will never stop doing so.

We can give Him thanks at all times, for He never fails to reveal His love for us, and He doesn’t know the meaning of the word quit!

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snapshots of thanks

Giving thanks doesn’t have to sound melodious or look beautifully wrapped in order to be genuine, or appreciated.

God looks at the heart, and we should too.

One of my children had a teacher when in grade 2 who positively impacted me in this area.

I may have mentioned how she referred to each child as her favorite, and treated them as if they were as well. 

But the reason she was able to do so was because she was thankful.
She showed it in how she worked with kids. She loved to be there,  showing them she cared and how happy she was to spend the day with them.

Thankfulness speaks through our actions most times louder than our words.

The Psalms are filled with verses of thanks, which I used to think was despite all the woes and pleas for rescue & intervention.

I now know the thanks is there because the psalmists discovered the wondrous truth that God was with them through all they faced, and couldn’t help but give thanks for the revelation…

Even if the circumstances didn’t change for the better in the waiting.

When David was pleading with God to spare his first son with Bathesheba, He fervently fasted and worshipped.

When the child died and afterwards, he still continued to worship God.

For He knew the same God who had been with him facing the lions, Goliath, King Saul and the Philistines was still with him.

And David could still praise Him for who He is despite his loss.

Sometimes it is in the hard places where the deepest encounters with God and revelations from His Spirit can be found.

And I believe being thankful is key.

That teacher impacted me not because her life was perfect, but because she lived out an attitude of gratitude for all the blessings she had, instead of focusing on what she was lacking.

We can do the same.

We have the Maker of Heaven & Earth.  We have God with us, alongside us and within us.

Knowing He is with us, forever, outweighs any lack we might be encountering in the temporary.

And because of His great love, grace and mercy which He extends to us, we can always have Him to be grateful for.

Thanksliving is living your life with a visible attitude of gratitude.

Nor because everything will always be going your way, but because the God over everything is guiding your way, from right beside you and will never stop doing so.

We can give Him thanks at all times, for He never fails to reveal His love for us, and He doesn’t know the meaning of the word quit!

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when our walk can speak louder than our talk

There are times when the walls are meant to come down, and God wants us to know it is because of who He is, not due to the works of our hands.

Dive into Joshua with me, and take a peek at the battle for Jericho with me today.

In Joshua 6, we meet up with the Israelites outside of heavily fortified Jericho.  First on the list to be overthrown in order to take the Promised Land.

And in verse one, we are informed no one could go in, and no one was getting out.

Now we know that didn’t used to be the case, because two of the spies managed to get in (in Joshua 4) and meet Rahab, who told them how all of Jericho was petrified from hearing about their God.  We can only assume Jericho tightened its security after that encounter.

In Joshua 5, we get confirmation in verse 1 that all the kings in the area heard how God dried up the Jordan for the Israelites to cross and their “hearts melted in fear” as they lost their courage to face them in battle.

Then the weirdest timing I ever heard of for preparing for battle happened in Joshua 5:2.  God instructed Joshua to circumcise the Israelites again.  Which may seem a bit strange, but since they had been wandering for 40 years, the circumcised generation had all passed away, and their children needed it done.

I don’t know about you, but if i had been hearing rumours the town we were set to conquer was petrified of us, I would be wanting to strike while the fear was at its all time high.  Not recover from surgery before war.

But three things happened because of their obedience, which spoke louder than i expected as I continued to read this passage.

  1. God gave the place where they obeyed Him a new name, Gilgal (which means roll), to signify He had rolled away their past in Egypt. (Joshua 5:9)
  2. When they celebrated their first Passover in the new land, the manna stopped the next day. (Joshua 5:10-12)  This confirmed for the people God has given them the Promised Land, as not only their home, but through which He would provide for them.
  3. Joshua had a vision where he confronted a warrior he didn’t recognize, asking if he was for Israel or its enemies. (Joshua 5:13)  The commander of the Lord’s army (Joshua 5:14) replied he had now arrived, and that the ground they were on was holy.  Joshua then asked him what message God had for him.

When we pick up Joshua 6 again in verse 2, I believe we hear the message the commander of God’s army passed on to Joshua in that holy moment.

God was about to deliver Jericho into Israel’s hand through their obedience, not their might.

Here was the message:  March the army around the city once a day for 6 days. Have 7 priests carry their trumpets ahead of the ark, at the front of the procession. Have them blow their trumpets, but stay silent. On the 7th day, march around Jericho seven times.  Then, when you hear the trumpets sound a long blast, everyone shout loudly. Then the walls will collapse, and you can take the city. (Joshua 5:2-5)

This might sound more than a little crazy to you and I, but don’t forget who God gave this message to.

Joshua saw Moses come off the mountain with the 10 Commandments God Himself inscribed in rock.  Manna & quail fell 6 days a week from heaven. Their clothing & shoes never wore out, despite 40 years of wear and tear. God’s Presence was visible to His people. The crossing of the Red Sea & the Jordan. Joshua might even have seen the plagues on Egypt.

There is no word telling us that Joshua took a moment to think it over, or was apprehensive at all about God’s instruction.

In Joshua 5:6-15, Joshua instructed the army to follow His directions. When the final trumpet blast sounded in verse 16, he commanded the army to shout, for God has given them the city but to give all inside of it to the Lord, save Rahab and those in her house.

In Joshua 5:20-25, we see Israel obeying.

Israel won this mighty battle because they walked as God commanded them to. Even when it might have brought them derision across the land as the days went on and they only walked around Jericho’s outside, without saying a word save for the trumpets’ sound.  Even when those walls must have looked indestructible, and solid as they kept walking about it.

They kept their feet on the path God had for them, and let their actions speak His ways loud and clear.

Their worship was their obedience.

There are times when the walls we are facing will not come down except through His might, and our obedience to follow His instructions, no matter how strange they may be.

For His ways are beyond ours, and we don’t see the whole picture clearly.  We don’t always know all the players involved in the battle, but God does.  We may not need to know everything that is going on, but He knows.

Our walk speaks louder than our talk when it is God speaking through our obedience.

I have walls ahead of me.  God isn’t finished with me yet, so I know the road up ahead for me to move into the fullness He has planned for me will not be all smooth sailing, or an easy jaunt.

But I am not facing these walls on my own.  Even if some of them may have been of my own making.

God will overcome them as I bring them to Him, and follow His lead to see them fall.

His might, His power, His holiness, Him in all His majestic gloriousness is more than a match for any wall standing against Him or His children.

On the other side of that wall, Israel discovered the wild might of their God battling for them in a way they might never have discovered had they not put one foot behind the other and walked out their part.

Today, you and I have the same opportunity.

For the same God desires to set us free of the walls of our own making, and to bring down the obstacles hindering us from where He desires for us to be.

Spend some time with Him. Ask Him what your part is to seeing the walls within and in front of you coming down. Listen for Holy Spirit’s guidance.  Confirm what you hear.

Once you know it was His voice?

Whatever He tells you to do, do it.

And watch Him show Himself strong as He battles for you, Beloved!

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Leaaaad me…

Lead me by Your truth and teach me, for You are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in You.  Psalm 25:3 (NLT)

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I am a sheep, and I am honest enough to admit it.

I need a Shepherd to lead me.

I need to be taught the difference between truth and lies.

I need to be rescued when I am left to my own devices.

I need someone to listen to my bleats and comfort me when I am scared.

More than anything else, I know I need to follow.

When I keep my eyes on Jesus, I tend not to stray. As I follow Him, my hope factor increases throughout my day.

Where You lead, my Shepherd, I will follow. I know You are my rescuer and worthy of my trust. I know You’ve got me covered, and I am safe in Your embrace.

Today’s post also appears on
Remade Community 🙂

Note: The fact this devotion which I wrote several weeks ago happens to be posted on the exact day my hubby is having some surgery is sooooo God in His timing. Perfect. and a reminder He’s got me covered beyond my full comprehension. So grateful He reminded me He is our Shepherd again today! 🙂

Planning on reminding myself about this audibly today & worshipping my Shepherd along with Amanda Cook on our way to the hospital!

clinging tightly

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When my children were babies & toddlers, they used to cling tightly to me when we were in new situations or meeting new people.
As a mum, I adored those pressing in close snuggly opportunities which helped build their trust as they learned they could count of me to protect them.

As a little girl, my world shifted suddenly with the early death of my father and need for my mother to head to work full time. I felt unanchored, a feeling which stayed with me for more than a decade until I encountered God, and everything shifted once again.

Before Him, I tried clinging to my friends, boyfriends, my wit & sarcasm, music, reading & writing…..but all fell short of meeting the deeply rooted need for security which was begging to be watered as only God can.

Because clinging to anything but Him leaves us empty handed instead of tightly held.

We were made to be “cling ons” to Hope. Not the kind of window clings which unattach themselves as the elements change, nor the kind of Klingons who wreak havoc wherever they go.

We are meant to cling tightly to the One we were always meant to be rooted in.

The Only One who is our Rock solid security.

Whose foundation will never fail, whose embrace will always reek of grace & mercy, whose love for you & me is never ending, forevermore!

I am no longer ashamed about picturing myself clinging to His feet, pouring my heart out in worship, adoration & petition.

I am not ashamed of needing my hand held, despite being well into adulthood.

I know how desperately I need to be lead, fed, cared for & protected as I go through each day.

And I intend to cling on to Him, my Life Giver, for dear life as I move through the moments of each day.

The best parts of increasingly clinging on to Him?

He delights in holding on to us too! And He will never let us go.

when the going gets rough

I get a bit queasy on buses & boats.

As long as I can keep my eyes fixed on a permanent spot, I am able to calm myself.

In our daily lives, the waters can become rough with towering waves in the blink of an eye.

Insecurity & doubt can rise to try and crash over us.

That task you thought was impossible you now know is almost unachievable the closer you get to it.

And then He lovingly whispers to you, “Do not be afraid, I am here.”

The words “I am” at first don’t seem too deep, just letting the reader know the person speaking is there.

But God’s very name IS “I AM”.

So its not just a person present, but the God of all ages, past present & future, who is right there in that moment.

Once a day, you can read a verse where God speaks to His children, “Do not be afraid,” or “Fear not.”

Coz He knows many of us need that daily reminder to soak in deep. To help center us in the storm. To keep our eyes on the StormKeeper instead of the storm itself.

God is not a distant being far removed from His creation, His children.

He dug in deep for the long haul wit humanity since He first brought Adam & Eve to life.

He stepped in and made a way back Home for all who believe in Him though Jesus.

But He didn’t stop there.

The Word is filled with stories of broken, stumbling people like you and I. Ones who break the rules, veer off the path, leap before looking or react without thinking it through.

God has woven Himself through each and every story recorded in the Word.  Literally & figuratively.

He literally is the same God now as He was in those recorded stories.

For I AM never ages.

He is not bound by the laws of time & space as humanity is, God He was, is and always will be.

For I AM is beyond our limits.

He has not hidden His heart from His children, but lavishly displays it every single day.

Through each sunrise & sunset.
Through each new birth.
Through each rain drop, gust of wind, new growth in the gardens & fields.
Through each act of love where the receiver’s needs are placed ahead of the giver’s.
Through each smile, hug, belong hand.
Through His Words, recorded across time, language & culture, encompassing a small glimpse into the mighty I AM we can spend eternity getting to know in His entirety.
Through His Son, the anchor of God’s love in any storm which may come our way. He is the Lighthouse showing us the way back Home, in His embrace.
Through Holy Spirit, the GPS reminding us the way to take, and how much we are loved as we make our way towards Him.
Through the love of the Father. Who will never stop calling to us above the waves to hold on, He’s got us.

Feeling a little seasick from the storm?

Stop filling your eyes with the view of the storm.

Start fixing your hope, your heart on the Anchor above it all.

God is the only one who will never fail you in any storm. His commitment to you lead Him to the cross, His love for you kept Him there. His desire for you caused Him to overturn death & make His way back to you.

The God I write about is alive.
Active. The Great “I AM.”

His promise holds fast.
Do not be afraid, I AM with you.
Every day, through every storm, in everything.

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