Texts from the Queen

Yesterday I got a text message from Queen Lizzy (you know, the one who rules England). She said, “Tell me everything ur worried about. Hand the burdens over to me. I really care about u.”

disbelieving face stockxDon’t believe that one? How about this?

“Cast all your anxiety on Him (God) because He cares for you.”
1 Peter 5:7 NIV

Even more crazy, but it’s true.

Personally, I tend to either take this completely for granted, or swing wildly the other way and feel like God doesn’t care at all.

What I should do is stay in awe of the fact that God takes the time and effort to share my burdens, and hang onto Him and not let go.

It’s the level of detail that really gets me, when I bother to properly think about it. The Bible says “cast ALL your anxiety on Him”.

Not only the big things, like my career (or lack of it). Whether my book will ever be published. Whether I’m saving enough money. Whether I’m making the right decisions.

All my anxiety. Every little bit of it.

How I’ll finish my Christmas shopping. How I’ll survive work today. Stressing that there’s no garlic bread left in the freezer (don’t laugh – we take garlic bread seriously in our home).

Why does God say ‘all’? Because He’s interested in ALL of me. He wants to know me. He wants to help me with my burdens. He wants me to trust Him. It’s all about intimate relationship.

Same goes for you.

And why would He want that?

Well, that’s a terrific question. We sure don’t deserve this kind of nitty-gritty attention. That’s what makes it so mind-blowing.

So, we have the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving God willing to take on our worries and… we’re still holding onto them?

I often have to peel my fingers away from whatever is stressing me out, but I’m finding that it’s worth it. Pinky finger by pinky finger.

It’s Here!

The start of my novel is now online!

There’s a taster below; follow the link to read the first three chapters of Open Your Eyes.

Open Your Eyes

What if someone could see into your soul?
All your wounds. All your darkness. All your potential. All your beauty.
How would you react?

Nathan Scott’s eyes see more than most. Penetrating past flesh and bone, they slice down to the very soul.
So when he moves to the small Kansas town of Grangeville, Nathan sees that jealously, suspicion and fear are tearing the local church apart. What’s more, the minister’s intriguing niece seems determined to avoid him.
While the congregation knows about Nathan’s sight, no one is aware of his secret mission – to find his estranged father.
While tensions build and relationships grow more complicated, Nathan is faced with two of the greatest challenges of his life.
Can he love a father who has done nothing to deserve it? And can he unite his church before it self-destructs?

To read the first three chapters of Open Your Eyes, follow this link.

Open Your Eyes

 

The Big Reveal

The wait is nearly over; the first few chapters of my novel Open Your Eyes will be available on this blog by Sunday!!!

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It will also be available on the Authonomy website; if you want to check out other new ideas from novelists around the world, visit http://www.authonomy.com.

And if anybody feels like logging in to Authonomy and adding my book to their bookshelf, that will help boost my ranking and be much appreciated!

If you can’t wait that long to read something, check out my next short story, The Kingdom.

Click this link or find it in the Parables section.

The Kingdom

The Kingdom youth group version

 

Does Anybody See Me?

Does God take any notice of me?

It’s a very good question.

With seven billion people scurrying around on this planet, it’s easy to feel like we’re flying under God’s radar. With so many people to deal with, how much time could He really have left for me? Is He even interested?

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I think that Jesus’ words, as recorded in the Book of Matthew, answer that question with a big fat YES!

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.

“Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.

Are you not much more valuable than they?

“Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.

“If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?

“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Matt 6:25-34 NIV (emphasis mine)

Jesus used a lot of words to hammer home this one basic point: do not worry.

God promised that if we put him first, He will supply what we need.

So what does that imply?

Number one: God knows if you’re seeking him first. So He must be paying attention to you.

Did you hear me?

HE IS PAYING ATTENTION TO YOU.

Not just Australia as a whole (though He is watching that too). Not even just your church as a whole. YOU. He is profoundly interested in the state of your heart.

And that leads us to point number two.

God wants you to seek Him first.

Him, and Him alone. Similar to how a husband wants to be the only man for his wife, multiplied by about a hundred million billion squillion.

God loves you enough to get jealous over you.

And that’s a pretty personal, intimate kind of love.

 

Breaking out of the Box

Have you ever given much thought to the first two words of the Lord’s Prayer?

Have they ever struck you as life-altering?

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If you’ve grown up in the church like me, you could probably recite this prayer in your sleep. I think I could do it in a coma.

“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.”

Matthew 6:9-13 NIV

“Our Father” – stop right there.

In the original language, where is says ‘Father’, Jesus actually used the word for Dad or Daddy.

Hmmm.

Not Your Majesty. Not Your Honour. Not even Sir.

Dad.

Wow. Can we even comprehend the enormity of that? Try for a moment.

The God who made more galaxies than there are people, wants us to call Him Dad. The God who made Everest and the Grand Canyon like He was playing in a sandpit, wants us to call Him Dad. The God who could wipe out the universe or create a new one in a split second, wants us to call Him Dad.

Woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow.

Sounds like a pretty personal relationship to me.

And how about the rest of the prayer? Jesus instructs us to pray for our needs, for help in temptation and for forgiveness. All remarkable.

Does the President want to hear about how your day went? Will a judge care enough to ensure you have a way out of every tempting situation? Is your employer in a position to forgive you for everything you’ve done wrong?

Nope, nope, and nope.

Yet often we think of God as little more than a ruler, a judge, or a boss.

God is obviously much, much more than any of those boxes we’ve put Him in.