Saturday, December 4

Field of Dreams

So I was just watching 'Field of Dreams' and couldn't help but think of how much we can apply to our lives....

All of us have a field of dreams of sorts. Many of ours will look different to the one in the movie [I don't know how many Australians dream of baseball] none the less we have a field. 
But is our field being tended? has it been built? or are we growing something - that is good, but not right for us over the top?

Build it and he will come. 

It was a big step of faith for Ray [Kevin Costner] to build his baseball field. It got me thinking as to what or if there is something in my life that I need to build for something else to happen. Build and he will come, I heard, as Build and He [God] will come.  I know God is here - there are times though when we need to exercise our faith and put action to our thoughts, effectively building something so He can move. 

And like in the movie, where Ray thought it was all for one thing, to see another, and another and another thing happen. When we take our step of faith it can be for something we couldn't have imagined. Couldn't have seen otherwise or possibly just simply weren't ready for. 

Where would the story be if the voice Ray had heard said "Build a baseball field so that you can reconnect with your father" Ray wasn't ready to jump right in. He needed to build the field, which started to build his faith. Then the team started to build. First 8 players, then more - Ray had more people to find to bring to the field - stepping out/branching out from just changing his property he when to another state to bring back a man whom he'd never met. His faith grew more. Each step gave him the confidence to move onto the next. 

Likewise, we can grow our faith, by listening for God's voice and acting on it. 
Following each step. And being patient. The wonders of time lapse and movie magic skim across the 6months at least that Ray waited before anyone came to play on his field. Time in which he could have given up, taken down the field and replanted crops. Instead he stuck to it, waiting, knowing that he was doing the right thing. 
The time was necessary. His faith in his actions needed to sit to get a strong grip. If he hadn't spent that time waiting, and strengthening his resolve when he went to find Terrance Mann he would've folded at the first rebuttal. 

By stepping out in faith, and sticking to his guns, not wavering because of others opinions when the time was right others could see. When the time was right his brother in law could finally see the players, and see the benefit in his "crazy" actions. And when the time was right Ray reconnected with his father. 

Ray's field of dreams was a baseball field with his father. Rewarded for his faithfulness with hundreds coming, paying to look around the farm and watch the game. 

What's your field look like? What stage are you at? 
hearing the voice

be careful to not sit too long when you've heard, trying to figure out the meaning. Think of it like an exam - when you sit too long pondering the answer you miss it - it's simpler then you think and staring you in the face. 

Your field of dreams is ripe for the harvest - open up the door to your potential. 
Build, it will come. 


Saturday, September 25

Life lessons from a butterfly?

I may flit, and I may flutter, "randomly" choosing direction, But I am always on course.
- A butterfly

Well a butterfly didn't actually say it, I wrote it down. Its true though don't you think?
Sometimes we feel as if we're careening out of control. Or that we have no direction because we are unsure of where we're going next. Sometimes we don't feel like we are doing all we are meant to be doing because everything appears so random.
Well what if all these "random directions" are our course?
Maybe we need to occasionally stop and just let things flow.  But how do we do that without losing our momentum? I''m not sure. I think taking a look at the butterfly can help us. A butterfly lives out its potential every day that it wakes up and does what it instinctively knows.

There is the saying to "stop and smell the roses", but that comes with the danger of being so focused on the detail that you miss the big picture. Taking a day to veg out and watch your favourite movies can be really beneficial for recharging. Sitting in front of the TV mindlessly for a month is not.
The butterfly spends its day going about what it was made for. It doesn't worry about whats for dinner or if this is the "right path" it just goes.
Flittering and Fluttering through life, stopping here, passing by there. Yes our lives are have much more complexities then a butterfly but when it comes to priorities I think the butterfly has it sorted.
The work for the day is always completed, time has been taken to stop by and appreciate beauty, and a few fun loop-de-loops have been thrown in the mix for good measure.

Maybe work life balance is about a balanced scale at all. Maybe life is too complex to fit into any of our human measurements. If thats the case then maybe we should stop worrying about trying to get everything balanced and checked, and just enjoy.

Many of you will have heard of the saying "if you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life" before. Most take that as 'do what you enjoy', I don't know if you've ever experienced this, but sometimes doing what you love as a career can suck all the joy and fun out of it. Leaving you empty and no longer loving it.  So what do we do? How about we choose each day to love whatever it is we're doing.
Its worth a try right? What harm could there be in choosing to love today. As we start to love the day, I think we'll find the days more enjoyable, and also find ways to add in little loop-de-loops of fun, and before we know it - we'll be living like butterflies.

Instinctively following our dreams, and blasting into and through our potential.

Tuesday, September 14

Gear every word to your target Goal

So I’ve found this great job I’m applying for and now I am busy writing the best resume and application to ensure an interview.
While reading about how to write this prefect eye catching top 5% resume I came across this simple sentence.
“Gear every word to your target Goal”
So simple, so obvious but it still needs to be said. Why? I guess we always somehow manage to overlook the obvious, and make things more complicated then they actually are or should be.
As I have been a job seeker for the better part of this year I have noticed that resume’s that aren’t targeted get no-where.
Without a target a resume floats through space (in online applications) and maybe will be looked at where-ever it lands. So I’ve been trying to concentrate on what my target is. It’s been surprisingly hard. Try asking yourself: what do I REALLY want? Then go for it.
Yeah, not always a straight-up answer.
The more I think about what I want the more I realise that it always comes down to ins some form or another, being in a counsellor/stylist type role spending time with people and helping them regain their lost confidence, find their confidence if they’ve never known where it’s hiding. Starting with feeling confident in how they are dressed to face the world. There’s more to it, and it all confused me as to what the job is that I should be applying for. I didn’t know quite how to define what it is that I want to do. Until yesterday. I was on and I came across a new category in the search bar, using that I found the ad for a new “Westfield Insider”.
Going through the job description all I could say was YES! This is it. It feels good to know what it is that I want. Because now- now I can step into it. I really believe that once we see what it is that we are here for that we can step into it, claim it, hold it and completely own it.
 This thing that we’re here for is our potential. It feels good to know where your potential lies so that you can swoop in and scoop it up.
Hmm I’ve digressed….
Let’s swing this back – Like in a resume you need to “gear every word to your target goal” In life we should also gear our words. Where are your words currently directed?

In Proverbs 15v4 it says: “Gentle words are a tree of life; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit”.
When we’re talking for the sake of talking, what are we saying? Is it even worth the breath it takes? Our words can be a gift to those around us. Are your words a tree of life? Do your words build others up or tear them down?

From It's got Potential

The world could be such a better place if we spoke to each other with a little courtesy.
I ask you to take the time to think about what you are saying. Think about how they will be received, and if your words won’t be received well, maybe you can try keeping them in. Instead of giving out hurtful, deceitful words, give words of encouragement. Build up the people around you with words that are like a life giving tree.  
Make your target to promote life and wholeness. Gear every word to that targeted goal.

Now I really must get back to my resume writing.....

Monday, September 6

Spring Makeover

Incase you are wondering where you are, you're not lost. You are at the right place,
I decided to give my blog a spring makeover. I hope you like it.


Heroic Hopes - the hero complex

I don't know about you, but when I'm reading I'll often identify with- imagine myself as - the hero or heroine.
As a kid many dream of being a hero; superheroes, policemen/women, firefighters, soldiers, pilots, doctors, nurses.
Maybe if I study Psychology I'll know why this is, but its like we have this -- almost a built in desire, or need to help. We want to direct others away from danger and toward safety. I guess we all have a little bit of a hero complex.

When I read the "Tomorrow" series, by John Marsden, I wanted to be Ellie. This is in the scenario that war came to Australia like it does in the book. If I were to be anyone in the group I want to be one leading, taking charge and showing the way. If I were shipwrecked on an island I would be the one making teams to search for civilisation and water, prioritising and getting the people organised. At least I hope that would be me.

In situations these heroic hopes have their place and are necessary. But what happens when they [the heroic hopes] are out of place, or go askew?
Professionally {Dr's, nurses, firefighters etc} when the hero syndrome/complex kicks in you see rational people suddenly, secretly making situations which they can then 'find' and be the hero. Its scary, innocent people could be put in harms way.

Personally you can end up taking care of everyone but yourself.
Unbridled hero complexion can be an effort of proof. To you or to others, it can be trying to prove anything, its as individual as each person. The effort to prove will tire you out, perfectionism and stress is heaped upon your life. While your busy taking care of everyone else - who is taking care of you?
You have potential to be and do great things. When that involves leadership be careful to avoid the pitfalls of the hero complex. Desire to be a hero, I don't think is a bad thing. But when that desire consumes all around you, I'd start worrying.
Basically what I'm trying to say, is you don't always have to be the strongest.
For example:

Last week I picked up a bug, Thursday I was dreadfully sick. Thursday is also the day I volunteer as the team leader for the hosts/ushers at my church. Now even though I've woken up feeling terrible, barely have the energy or strength to sit up let alone get out of bed I convince myself that there is no one else who can do what I do. I push myself out of bed, get dressed and head off. Now this morning I had many signals which told me to stay in bed, but I ignored them all. I went ahead and did what do each week, well kind of, I was very slow, very weak and even quieter then usual. As the nausea makes me cry, I sit at the back of the auditorium during the Praise and Worship section with tears flowing down my face. The tears may be falling, but I'm going to stay, because that's my responsibility. Even though numerous friends have told me to go home , I don't listen.
Till finally it gets through. A friend sits beside me, we converse, "why don't you go home. There are a million people here to help. Go home". Finally I go!

And guess what. The sky didn't fall, the meeting didn't fall apart, people weren't lost because I wasn't there. My team took charge, because thats who they are, thats how I've lead them. Others stepped in where they saw the need.
When the hero complex kicks in we are blinded to seeing that there are people around us to help. We are blinded to our own needs.
In our potential we are also able to called, morally required if thats not too strong words, to lift others to their potential. But we can't do that if we are blinded by heroic desires. We become less and less able when we neglect our needs, emotionally, spiritually, physically. Please - don't forget to take care of you, be your own hero.

So to reach your potential, don't forget to keep one eye on your health, one looking out that you don't have blinders sneaking up on you, and one on your goal. [Its the new maths, it all adds up ;)]
You are strong. You do have potential. You are able to fill that potential.

Sunday, August 29


Wow it has been a long time since I've written. I'm sorry. I know that those who read this [Mum and Dad I'm talking to you] miss hearing my thoughts so I will endeavor to be regular from here on out.

This last few months have been... interesting. I've been out of work and on a strict budget. That budget did not include any internet allowance. So as it came harder for me to find inspiration to write about, not having home access to here became a good excuse to slow down. Then time got away from me.
Now things are looking up, I may be without work still but I believe employment is close by. I have also moved house and this time internet access is included in my rent. I've learnt and am still learning much about myself, my faith and my God.
Overtime I may share snippets of these last few "missing" [from the blog] months, but for now my plan is to pick up from here and move forward.

The purpose I first felt for this blog, was to inspire y'all of your potential. To inspire you to reach for it and not give up.
I slipped up when I stopped writing, I wasn't just inspiring you, I was reminding myself of truths that I need to hear. When I got scared of my potential, this began to look too hard. So I put it aside in the 'too hard basket', I have a terrible habit of not picking things up OUT of said basket.
Like when I'm sewing, there is the 'box of death' where half finished garments spend their days wondering if they'll ever be finished.

Just recently I've begun to be reminded that its' not my confidence that I need to reach my potential. Its confidence in my God.
I was talking this afternoon about what I want in life, and I was telling my friend how I think things have been so hard because I've been too afraid to pick up my potential. Too afraid to risk my reputation. Which is annoying because in my mind I don't care what people think - until it comes time for me to speak, or act. I freeze.

My passion, my heart is to help. Specifically to help others realise the strength and power within themselves. The strength that God gives us through Christ in us.
Think of the show "how to look good naked" with Carson Kressley. The heart of that is so aligned with my heart.  When I have looked at the big picture of how this could outwork itself in my life, its been to big for me to grasp. I haven't been able to find the beginning. Or have I? I've toyed with ideas of starting to sell at markets, to sell paintings or little things I've made. But I've held back, something came up, the market wasn't right......
As I spoke with this friend earlier He touched the idea that in selling my art, I'm selling myself. And that is why I'm afraid.
Is that right? Possibly, It definitely struck a chord in me but it needs more thought and prayer to answer.
The more we spoke the more 'confidence' came to mind. Maybe "lack of self confidence" is more correct.  Which ever it was, it is that my confidence is faulty that I am fearful of striking out.

So where should my confidence be?
In my head I know my confidence is in God. Someone forgot to tell my heart that.
My confidence to jump into the unknown should be in the arms of the God who will catch me.
Not in myself, all I have to do is propel myself forward, my confident trust should be in the one who protects me, provides for me and loves me so unconditionally that even if I fail today tomorrow is fresh, new and full of promise.

I'm the one on the left, with the look of worry...
When a child jumps into the arms of her father, she doesn't put her confidence in herself. She puts it in her father to catch her. Maybe sometimes for our earthly fathers we're a little misguided as their grip may slip. But our heavenly father has perfect grip. We won't fall.

The pictures are of me in January - when I went jetty jumping with my little sis, and cousin. And just like I could trust that the water here was deep enough that I'd be safe I can trust that it safe to jump into the deep waters of God's provision, care, love.......
it took awhile but in the end I did jump. 3x.

Wednesday, April 28

Great Expectations

We all have them. Good or bad they are there. Expectations for a day, a moment, a year...

Now reality doesn't always meet our expectations. Sometimes it exceeds, sometimes it is far below. When this happens we can't let this moment of disappointment stop us from having an expectant heart! For I think it is terribly dangerous to live without expectation.
Expectation motivates us. Gives is the push to do, to act. It guides our preparation. It is our preparation for the unknown.

This past Sunday was Anzac day and it got me thinking about what the Anzac's would have been expecting as they prepared for the battle at Gallipoli .
On the one hand they could have been expecting the worst; fear, pain, isolation, hunger, death. On the other hand; victory, heroism, greatness.
I imagine that thoughts of all of these ran through their minds, all wrapped up, gripped tightly in the fear of the unknown.
For many young men this was their first taste of war. The unknown of reality was hidden to them. But they weren't there alone, they were led by men who had been there before. Men who knew the realities of warfare. These men were able to instill a degree of expectation into the younger men. Teach them how to prepare, where and when to focus their strengths.

If these young men went in blind, with no expectations they would have been prepared for what they then faced. Their preparations would have lacked the essential components that would strengthen them, protect them in the battle.
Living without expectation would have been the death of them.

In a similar way, we too face death if we live without expectation. Not a physical death, but an emotional, spiritual death.
We battle each day. Some days, months are easier - we don't see any war. Other days we feel it, and we feel it hard. The day ends and we're battered, bruised wondering how we will face the new dawn.

How do we face the new dawn?
1) We remember that it is a NEW dawn.
A fresh day, new expectations [I want to point out that I'm talking about our own expectations for the day, not  the ones we feel from others]
With the new dawn you get a fresh expectation for victory.

Its a new dawn, a new day, a new hope.....

2) We remember that we are NOT alone.
Warrior soldier, you stand to face this day shoulder to shoulder with others. Each hoping and expecting a new victory in the new day. each warrior has walked through life gaining experience to share.
They are all able to help build your expectation for victory, prepare  you for the battle, teach you where and how to focus your strength.

Some days it's hard, nigh impossible to focus on the positive. To have great expectations. But you CAN do it! You ARE strong enough!
Maybe you don't feel strong enough today to face the battle. Take the time instead to encourage the warriors around you. Teach them what you know, because you do have something worthwhile to share. You have past experiences you've learnt from, you can share and teach other warriors of what to expect, how to prepare, where to focus their strength.
I bet as you start to tell your story you'll start to see the strength. The strength that is in and always has been inside you.

You can have great expectations. And see great results.
There is a saying:
Blessed is the man (or woman) who expects nothing. For he (she) will never be disappointed. 
can I add;
and never will he (she) see the fruits of achievement, the potential of the day.

If we don't expect, don't hope, or have vision for great things tomorrow - we will never be prepared to act, we'll never make it happen. We will never see it come.
Without that first expectation [dream, hope, vision] we will not see the great things we are capable of.

No matter the hurts and disappointments of your past there is still hope and vision of good for your future. Give room to again have an expectant heart. Trust God that you will see your dreams come.

Expectation gives room to preparation; preparation for strength to face the challenge of making your dream a reality.

Sunrise over Brisbane ANZAC morning.

Thursday, April 22

Go. Be. Love.

I'm not totally sure of all the blogging ettiqutte rules, but today for your little slice of inspiration I'd like to direct you to my friends blog:

Go. Be. Love. The world needs you.
As I'm here at the library, speed reading to catch up on blogs I miss read it at first as
"go be the love. the world needs you"
Either way it is a beautiful call. The world does need you. The world needs your love.
Maybe the thought of the whole world is a bit big for you. But you can change the world of at least one person around you.
You don't need to try and be everything to the world. You can be the world to one person.

Sometimes, I've found that when I take my eyes off of my own situation and look to my hands and look to others. I realise that I have a lot to give. As I stop focusing on me, and start to look up and out I realise that I really am blessed. I am able to be there for the people around me.
Maybe it`s the distraction from your everyday, but when you look back your situation, which appeared overwhelming before is now not so big. Now you have the fresh perspective needed to conquer it.

Loving on others, going, being. Small things Big effects - on you, on those around you.

Tuesday, April 13

Apologies in advance:

Hi there readers,
I just wanted to let you know that my posts for the immediate future may be coming much more infrequently.
I am in the middle of changing internet providers [well i've ended my current agreement and haven't found a new one yet] and so for the next little while I will be sponging off of friends and their internet, whenever and where-ever I can.

In the meantime I encourage you to keep searching out your potential. Believe in yourself. You will succeed :)
I'm sorry I can't be here more for you.

all my love,

 But you have made me as strong as a wild ox, you have anointed me with the finest oil.
 Psalm 92v10

Saturday, April 10

Confident and Strong.

I love the wind blowing through my hair. Absolutely adore it. When I'm away from traffic I'll wind the windows down, turn up the radio and drive fast [not speeding, just fast] just basking in the pure joy of feeling the sun on my skin and the wind in my hair. Having needed to tighten my budget recently I can't just go for a drive anymore.  But I did find a substitute.
Swing-sets. :D

Twisting and turning, spinning around. Swinging so high you think you can fly. Leaning right back so all you see is the sky.
It doesn't just make me happy, doesn't just make me smile. It touches deep down into my soul. It gives me a confidence in the knowledge that I am beautiful.
Feeling my hair whisk around in the wind makes me feel like I am Pocahontas.

Pocahontas would probably be my favourite of all the Disney princess's, a strong and independent women. Standing up for truth and justice for all. She may be a cartoon, but she can still be a role model.
She goes through life confident in who she is. Not conforming to someone else's agenda. Pocahontas stands tall in all her glory. Her society demands she act differently, it wants her to stop being who she is and fit their mould.
That I think may be her strongest attribute. Not bending or swaying to the desires of another. She didn't wish away her days, hoping desperately to be like someone else. She ran through life embracing all the good it offered, reveling in the natural, confidant and strong.

Confidence, its a theme here. A theme for good reason. Far too many people lack confidence, and in lacking confidence we lack strength.
The more confident I feel the better posture I have, my walk is more assured and direct.
The more confident I am in an answer to trivia the stronger I hold my ground.
The more confident I am in my message the stronger my voice holds and carries.
The list goes on and on
Confidence and strength go hand in hand.
So what makes you confident? What is it that makes you feel on top of the world? What is it that when you're in that moment you smile, your eyes close of their own accord, its like your soul lights up in that moment.

I want you to always remember that moment. Always hold on to that memory. This is your point of reference, when the world is pulling you in every direction, you hardly know which way is up. You remember your confidence. Your moment of pure joy and confidence.
With your confidence comes your strength. So no matter whats going on, you are strong. You can hold onto your values. You have the strength.

Thursday, April 8

Embracing my inner hippie

So during the week we [my flatmate and I] were chatting with our neighbour, as the conversation flows along it comes up: "Esther's a hippie"
"no I'm not".... Just because I wear tie dye and listen to country music.....
After some reflection on my defense; I realised that deep down, I actually do embrace some of the philosophies.

Now this realisation, this epiphany if I may call it that came to me as I was on the swings at the local park. The park where I've been going this week so I can just pause, breathe in nature and for a while pretend I can't hear the cars on the highway. The only thing that could have made the day better was if 1: I actually was far enough away to not hear the traffic and 2: if I could have stayed a little longer, spending the time with like minded people.... in our own little self sufficient community....... :D

If this makes me a hippie, then I guess I am one.
We really should care better for our environment. We should use less chemicals unnecessarily in our homes. We should eat locally grown foods, grown without chemical pesticides. We should use less electricity and water. Home cooking does taste better, because its made with love, something mass production can never bottle. We should take the time to appreciate the simple things in life.

But this is just one side of me. One facet of my complex being. So I shall embrace this side of me as I embrace all my other facets. We all need to embrace our quirkiness. We were made with love purpose and care. It wastes too much energy to fight who we are....

Peace Love and Happiness man  and Hope. Never forget Hope. 

Being the busy person

I can't think of anytime there was someone cruising through life, doing the barest minimum to get by who ends up doing something great. Maybe there's someone in a movie, but I don't know of anyone in life who has had this happen.

Theres a saying that goes "if you want something done, ask a busy person to do it" . I believe it. At one point in my life I was skeptical of it, but I really believe it is true.
I think that success must somehow nurture motivation. I guess this is what busy people thrive on, they see something to completion and they want to do the next thing. They're always eager, maybe sometimes overeager to be multitasking.

I have all these ideas of what to do with my life. But not a single one will happen if I don't get up off my butt and do something. I may not have a job to keep me busy, but there are plenty of tasks around me that I could turn my hand to. We are people of purpose. I want  you to see your potential, to be able to grab it with both hands and let it take you on the wildest ride of your life. I don't want you to see it, and wave as it goes by. You have the strength within you to grab it. All the little things you've been doing, the experiences you've had, the emotions that have rocked you. They've all been making you stronger. Giving you the strength to grab onto your potential.

While you may be sitting at home thinking you are miles away from your potential, miles from reaching your dreams. You are actually in the perfect position. I know it sounds crazy right? Even as I write this it sounds strange. But stick with me - it will make sense.
Right now you are growing your mind with whatever it is you're doing.
A job that seems left field of your dream? Our dreams have  a funny way of requiring a skill learnt in a place we'd never have thought we would use again.
Maybe like me you are 'in between' jobs. The perfect place, slightly challenging as we go through the task of practicing, trying new things - as random as you can imagine. Our challenge is to do this with limited if existing finances.
One thing I'm learning is how to trust God, and time and time again I'm being shown how much he cares, and he will always provide.
I am fortunate enough to have the time to be artistic, to nourish my soul with good Bible teaching, to explore different avenues of where I may go next.
Now I don't think it is absolutely necessary to be outside of the workforce while I do this, but for me, that's the way its happening. For you it may mean you spend your weekends with one more hobby. Just work within your situation.
Right now you are building towards something you may not have even dreamed of yet.
The thing to remember is that you can learn from where you are. So tuck it away in your memories, you never know when you'll need it.

Where ever you are, you have the ability to find the balance. That perfect balance for you [the tipping point is unique to us all] where you are taking time to relax and at the same time be busy with many things. I have been lucky [hmm is lucky the right word?] enough to see where both ends of the scale are for me. Now I'm working on finding that centre- its not easy. But then whoever said figuring out life would be easy?

When we are busy, doing what we can where we are. That's the perfect place for life and for God to give us the open doors to more. Once we are showing that we can use what is in front of us, be faithful with what we've got, then we'll be given more to work with.

Success nurtures motivation. Its so true. How many times have you heard it said "if I can do that, I can do anything". Gosh I've been saying it so many times this year. Its amazing what can happen when we open our eyes to the new, embrace the challenges of the new.

Maybe you need to start yourself small, an easy target that you know you will reach. With that success under your belt you have the power of knowledge that you can. With that power you can race up the staircase of challenges you will face. You'll get to do the victory dance. [are you getting a mental picture of rocky going up those stairs too?]  :)

I don't know what you'll do, but my challenge right now? Is to draw. To make a number of quality artworks that are worthy to be displayed. I have 1 week from today to get this unknown quantity done. Because once I've succeeded here I will know that I am capable of creating enough to hold a stall at the upcoming market in 5weeks time. From a one off stall...... who knows where things could go.

"if you want something done, ask a busy person to do it" I don't know about you, but I want people to think of me as someone who gets things done. 

A work in progress.....

Monday, April 5

If the boot fits.....

I like that we don't need to conform to meet God.
He doesn't want us changing who we are to try and fit some mold. Instead he meets us where we are, and how we are.

I was fortunate enough to get to meet Greg Spears while I was in Texas in winter 09/10.
I find it so encouraging to see God making a way. The article outlines how cowboys have felt out of place in the church. How many times have you heard that before? That the church is irrelevant, old fashioned, out of touch.
" It has been his experience that cowboys just don't feel comfortable in church and many social situations, but do relate to things that are culturally relevant to their experiences."
Being the loving God that he is, there is now a way, a place for the cowboys of Texas and all of America to come together.
People often ask, "why are there so many different churches and denominations?" Theres probably a million answers. We could spend years debating the theology and doctrines, rather I think the best thing to do is not compare the Christian churches, but embrace what they are doing. They are reaching God's people. He knows where you are comfortable. There's a church where you fit. With all these choices you can find one that is relevant to you, fits your life, is in touch with your experiences.

How good does it feel to know that God has taken care of even the seemingly small detail of where you can go to church, all so you can grow. So you can be yourself.  Hiding who you are, conforming to someone else's ideals is uncomfortable, painful even. It's like wearing a pair of shoes 2,3 sizes to small. It hurts! It cuts off the circulation and if worn for too long leaves lasting damage to your feet. Compare that to the sheer bliss of slipping your feet into a pair of shoes that seem to be made specifically for you. The comfort, the walking pleasure....

So go ahead and give yourself some relief, wear well fitting shoes. Be all you can be, be all of who you are.
Embrace your desires, gifts and talents. They make you who you are. Never hide them to "fit in". Let your life shine.

Friday, April 2

Dance like no ones watching, Sing like no ones listening.

And I will praise you with a new song. My heart will praise you LORD.

This Heart inside me beats because, you loved enough to take my cross, now I'm Alive.

Sing of his love in the morning, and his faithfulness, his faithfulness at night.

Make a Joyful noise unto the LORD for he is worthy to be praised. 

If I don't praise you the rocks will soon cry out. cry out. cry out. 

Sitting in the park, while I ate my lunch today, these lines from songs kept running through my head.
I opened my notebook, and found this verse staring up at me from some past notes....
Isaiah 12v2-6
2Surely God is my salvation; I will trust & not be afraid.
The LORD, the LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation
5 Sing to the LORD for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world
6Sing aloud and sing for joy people of Zion for great is the Holy One of Israel among you. 

Praise, and i think possibly even song itself, is more powerful and significant to our lives then we let ourselves believe. Have a think about how you go about changing your mood, you most likely put on some music, how do you set the mood? lights and music.
Music, Song is all around us.
Its in the warble of the magpie, the rustling of the wind in the trees. I guess that's natures way of praising their maker. They make noise how they can.
Nature, without a voice cries louder then I do!
How come this is happening?  Simple answer? - Fear.
With all my knowledge of God's power, the power in me, the power of prayer. Somehow, I let myself become afraid of the potential waiting to be released. Somehow when I see what I could do, its seems impossible, or stupid to have even thought of.
And why? why be afraid, in essence, of me?? Now that is something silly.
What is that famous quote, goes something like this:
Our greatest fear, is not that we are weak, But that we are capable far beyond our measure. 
One the one hand, I am shocked that what is holding us back, is ourselves. On the other hand, I 100% agree and identify with that.

How can I combat this fear?
I guess, the same way I fight the dark - I turn on the light. 
And at this point in my life, that means putting my words out there. 
Opening up my voice, allowing God's word to speak through me to you. To encourage you. 
And while I'm away from the computer, how do I keep the light on? well, I think I've got to hang on to that confidence I have when I'm singing in the car......
You know, when your cruising down the highway, music pumping, no one can see you no one can hear you, you singing along at the top of your voice, no holding back. In the car you are a rockstar, the best voice, a Grammy winning star. 
We may not all have record selling voices, but our potential is our song. When we do what we were created to do. That is as a sweet, sweet song to our maker's ear. 

This week, be bold, don't hold back. Sing like no ones listening. 

No one else can sing your song, No one else can say what you have to say. Be bold, I know there is boldness inside you. I believe in you. You are valuable, worthy to be heard.

Tuesday, March 30

Permission to follow your Desires.

I want you to know you are loved. Passionately loved.

Lately I feel like i'm being stalked,  by God, telling me He loves me. Ever since I went to the Colour conference earlier this month I've been followed by the verse in Ephesians, Chapter 3v 20
Now all Glory to GOD, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more then we might ask or think. 
I've been hearing so many references to it. It can't be a coincidence. As I right this, I've just been reminded of another reference to this. One I wear everyday and haven't noticed until now; 2007 my dear, dear sister chose to buy each of us [herself and all 3 of my sisters] a ring. And she had it inscribed; Ephesians 3:14-4:6.  I cannot escape it! I read it, thought "that's so lovely a verse" put a ribbon marker in my bible, and then thought not to much of the verse. The ring itself held more sentimental value. For me it strongly represented the unity of my sisters and I, even though at that point we lived far from each other [actually we still do].
For a number of years I've had this prayer over my life and never really understood it, till now. Now its coming alive to me.
I'm finally realising just how deep, how wide, how long, how high His love is for me. Finally I'm beginning to see how it affects my life, my potential.

Last night I decided to read all of Ephesians. Figuring, if this one verse is so good, there must be more around it. There is.
Chapter 1v4
Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be Holy and without fault in his eyes. 5 God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. 
How awesome is that. Before I had the chance to think about trying to earn God's love, he'd already chosen me as family. He wanted me, he wants you. You are loved. And you have great potential.

As my walk with God has gotten stronger, as our relationship builds, I've begun to see that God doesn't want to tell me what to do. I've asked, pleaded, begged even "tell me what you want me to do, I'll do it!!"
 But no, God wants me to decide. "Make a choice, do it, I'll be there with you." Well thanks, that totally clears my head of the million and one ideas flying through it. I was really hoping you'd just tell me, a clear answer. But God has something better then that.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, and again and again until your sick of hearing it, then one more time to make sure you understand. You were made with care, love, attention and PURPOSE.
When you were made, you were designed, designed to be passionate. To fervently desire the things in your heart. God put them there. Whatever it is you want, to be a; doctor, explorer, musician, artist, fireman/fire-woman, politician, teacher, archeologist, the list is endless. Whichever fits you, the spark for that passion comes from God.
That is his will for you, for your life. Better then God just telling us what to do. He puts it in us at the very beginning.

Psalm 139 talks of the carefully planned out design taken in making you, I read it and hear God whisper "you are my dream, made to my specifications" That means the things I desire, come from God. If he took the time to  put the desires into my heart and soul, he won't be upset when I follow them.

You are loved, by someone who cares about all of you. Who wants to see you reach your potential.
You have permission to follow your desire.
Ephesians 4:1 Therefore I , a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God.
God who is able. He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more then you could ask, think, hope or dream!
That is alot to take in. I have plenty of time to myself at the moment so I get to dream about what my career could be like, what my life could be. No matter how outlandish the thought, how ambitious the dream, My God can do it!. Through His mighty power at work within us... I've got the power. You have the power.

The enormity is slightly scary. But it is that healthy kind of fear that propels us forward and doesn't hold us back. So go ahead. Follow your desire, whatever it may be.

Monday, March 29

Charlie's Harmonic Business Plan

Brought to you via the Logan City Inside Special Lifestyle Magazine, March 2010 edition.

Charlie's Harmonic Business Plan
Roger Seach, Business Architect, ENACT Harmonic

Part 3
Saturday morning - Charlie and his son Alan are in the study at home. Alan has set up a flip chart.
"What do you want out of life, Dad?"

His father stared in amazement. "What's that got to do with business planning?"
"Dad, if you don't know what you want you life to look like, how will you know what your business needs to provide?"

"Alan, I just want to get the business plan done and get on with it. I don't want psychoanalysis."
"Dad, if you build a house, you have plans, right? You choose the house plans based on what you want that house to contribute to your life, right?"

Charlie nodded.

"So, Dad, we are going to build the business based on what you want it to contribute to your life. Why should it be any different to the house?"

Charlie was silent.

"Now, Dad, let's start with time you want to be working. Let's plan what you will be doing with your time over the next few years"

Charlie decided that in 5 years he wanted to be working 20 hours per week. "But that's impossible", he said to his son.
"No, Dad, it's not. What do you want to spend your free time on?"

"Golf", Charlie replied.
"Okay, dad, how many days do you want to play golf each week?"

"This is ridiculous!" said Charlie. "This is not a business plan! A business plan is a collection of facts and figures that you can give to the bank manager to get a loan. I saw on that Steve Swift did when he wanted to buy a truck."

Alan smiled. "Dad, most people think a business plan is just that. A collection of facts and figures prepared for a particular need and then lost or used as a doorstop on a windy day. YOUR business plan is going to be the motivational document of your business. It will be the rootstock of the flourishing tree that your business is going to become. Trust me!"
"I am yet to be convinced.", replied the father. 

"That's why you need to trust me", responded Alan.

Alan and Charlie spent half of Saturday working out his goals and broke for lunch. Charlie had never known such an experience. As a tradey, he was used to practical and tangible stuff that you could see, touch and measure. He found it difficult "getting in touch with himself" as Alan put it. However, during lunch, he felt a strange new self-awareness. 

"You know, Alan, there may be some benefit to this malarkey after all." He admitted. "I am actually starting to see where I want to be headed but I'm buggered if I know how we are going to get there!"

Alan smiled the smile of wisdom. "That will come later, dad. Before you start to work out the route to do your deliveries, don't you first work out all the places you have to go? Then don't you deliver on the route that is the most efficient in time and distance?"

"Of course", replied Charlie. "It would be wasteful and silly not to."
"So, if we are going to work out our business plan, don't we have to first decide were we are going and define that?" mentored the son. 

"Now i see. If I work out what I want in life, then I can work out where all the resources will come from to achieve it! An the resources will have to come out of the business!" The light dawned and was so sudden, it almost shone out of Charlie's eyes. 
"Yes dad, you are finally starting to get the picture. We CLARIFY then we UNDERSTAND then we PRIORITISE!

I call it the "CUP" process. Clarify, Understand, Prioritise.

"Come on, son", said the older man. "Hurry and finish your coffee. We need to get this CUP of our filling up!"

Alan smiled with satisfaction and finished his coffee.

Running Shoes

God doesn't call the equipped, He equips the called.

Do you know that moment, when suddenly something you’ve heard a thousand times before makes sense? Sometimes it’s a song and you now get the underlying meaning, other times it’s a catchphrase that jumps out at you and you realise just how profound it really is.
Or maybe you’ve heard a similar theme of sermons across your lifetime and one day it clicks and you realise how deeply it affects your life.
For instance since high school you’ve been hearing all these “just do it” “actions to back up your words” “don’t be afraid just go with God” sermons. 5,6,7 years later you wake up one morning and realise you just need to do it. You realise that its not worth being afraid of what people think of you and your actions. In the end it’s only God’s opinion that matters on whether you did or did not act. So you start that blog you’d been putting off because you ‘couldn’t decide on a theme’…..

I woke up this morning, first with a song stuck in my head – random much? And secondly I decided that I truly would start going for a morning walk/jog. So I got up, had a hot cross bun for breakfast and went to get dressed. At which point it started to rain…..
All the old excuses started to run through my mind.
  • I need proper running shoes.
  • I need proper running clothes.
  • I need someone to run with.
  • How will I carry my keys and phone without any pockets? Etc etc
At all this I had to stop and say. Wow. I’ll never go running if I keep waiting on that one last thing. I can't wait for the 'perfect' weather. And if i keep tweaking this and don't post it soon the morning will be gone and i'll still not have been on that run!

If you get equipped before we know what to do with it we put that equipment on the shelf, to the back of the drawer. Right now you’re probably thinking “but I thought we had to be prepared, you know the scouts motto and all that” Yes be prepared.
But searching out equipment before you know what you need isn’t helpful. 99% of the time that equipment will never be used, eventually get thrown out. All because you weren’t prepared.
Preparation takes action. You actively find out more. You work with what you’ve got. You use what's in your hands [or whats on your feet].
Then as you progress, you’ll realise you’re in it. And you’re equipped. God provides for us what we need as we need it, not a minute earlier. Many times in life we have to step out blindfolded. We aren't given a shopping list of things we'll need. We simply need to trust; in God, trust what we do know and let the rest come to us.

As you go about today, this week, month year; as that thought pops into your mind, and you think “I can do this” don’t waste time worrying about what you don’t have. Look at what you do have. You may have just a ratty old pair of paint splattered sneakers, but they are a start. 
Your potential is endless, limitless. It is not defined nor contained by the material things you have. Your potential starts in your spirit, it grows as you nourish your soul. 

If you feel you’re being called to go somewhere, do something say something don’t focus on what you think is missing. Focus on what you’ve got. Prepare you heart, mind, body and soul. Each step along the way will equip you with what you need.
Our God who is able to do; to do exceedingly abundantly greater then we could ever ask, think, hope or dream of sees the bigger picture, has the perfect perspective.  He will equip you as you need it. He knows your potential [He created you with purpose remember] you can trust that He won’t let you down, won’t leave you hanging, won’t leave you. You'll get what you need.

Just get out there.  Go for a jog ;) See what happens.

Friday, March 26

Smashing Glass

I love seeing people realise they are stronger.

Its a great theme in movies, like in "Romancing the Stone" the leading lady Joan Wilder is asked to take a map to Colombia to save her sister. Even though she is scared of Colombia she goes, her love for her sister is stronger then her fear. Every step of the movie she grows stronger and bolder. Becoming more and more confident with every minute. By the end of the movie she wins the fight, when at the start she hid under a bus; Joan Wilder found her confidence.

Reality shows also like the 'face your fears' theme. In the Biggest Loser this week the final 4 were taken to New Zealand and had to face many adventure challenges. I was watching as Phoebe climbed that rope ladder to the top of the mast, shared her joy as she celebrated conquering her fear of heights. My heart skipped with hers as the headed down and Michelle the trainer informs her that she isn't climbing all the way down "since you're here, you're going to jump". All to well I identified the knee knocking feeling as you stare down at the water, knowing you are about to fling yourself out into the air and plunge into the depths. Your breathing changes, your heart starts pounding. I couldn't help but smile like an idiot when she jumped. Sharing her joy at breaking into a new confidence.

Twice I have been in a similar situation. Once have I succeeded.

Finding the confidence to take chances, doesn't come in a single moment. Theres not one moment where I look back and can say 'yup there is the point where i became self confident and assured.' It is a series of moments, some small, some big. Some we don't even realise matter. Every choice we make redefines who we are.
Though that first time I found myself atop a pole, harnessed and asked to jump out and grab a trapeze bar. I couldn't jump. [truth be told, with my height, if I'd just stretched I probably could have reached it] Yes fear gripped me, squeezed me tight blocking any confidence I did have. But it didn't completely get me. I didn't jump, but I didn't climb back down and give up either. I did what I could. It may have looked a little wussy, sitting down on the pole and letting the safety guys pull the ropes to lower me down.
In a roundabout way I succeeded. I didn't realise it then, but the people around me did. This happened at my school 'leadership camp', and at the final night, in our groups we did one of those "warm and fuzzy" exercises. Kind of like the Snap Cup from Legally Blonde. Each person has nice things written down about them from the others. I still have mine somewhere, it was written anonymously but there was one in particular that I still remember, it still warms my heart almost 6yrs on:
I like how you give everything your best go. 
Even when you're obviously scared you do your best at every activity.
I had the confidence to try and didn't realise it. So I guess I succeeded then too. Even if it doesn't look like a typical 'success'.

Roughly 5 yrs on, this time my cousin wants to go jetty jumping.
I've matured a heck of a lot since last time. I've learnt a lot about myself too.
It did take some persuading [full blown peer pressure ;)] to get me over the edge, even more to get me to jump. But I did it :D and I couldn't be prouder. I even got a photo. Sometimes all we need is a small success, sometimes we need a breakthrough.

Try and visual a glass ceiling over your life. Your potential reaches the sky -  it can not be contained by mere glass, it goes far beyond that ceiling. But our confidence issues, lies we believe; they make up that ceiling. And every time we try, every time we attempt, we put a crack in the glass.
All the milestones I've passed since that camp, finishing school, moving out of home, living on a ranch, jetty jumping in Coffs etc they've all been chipping away at the glass ceiling.

The thing about a glass ceiling, is that its transparent. Your vision, your potential isn't impaired by it. You can keep on going, chances are you've already cracked, smashed and broken through the glass so don't stop now. Keep going. Keep trying. Your potential is within your reach.

Thursday, March 25

Courage. Encourage.

It takes courage to encourage.
Think about it, I bet theres a time when you didn't speak up to encourage someone. To have spoken up then may have had repercussions in your own life, or maybe you were just a little scared to speak up.

For far too long I've believed the lie that I have nothing to say, or if I did no one would hear, or care.
So when I've had friends in need of encouragement I haven't always spoken up. As I've gotten older I've gotten bolder, but there has still been this great fear that has torn at who I am.

I believe that we are made with and for a purpose. But how do we find that purpose? I think often it is closely tied with our desires, those desires deep deep down that we often hide from the world, even sometimes from the people we love.
These desires, or passions, to me they feel like a they are a part of my genetic makeup. When we deny them, it tears at our soul. And so it should, to deny who we are can not be healthy, for us or those around us. Still we do it and I just don't know why - Fear? really what is there to fear?

I think it was in high school when I first started to feel the desire to lead and encourage. To step up if no-one else would and lead the team to victory. Speak to women and build their confidence [even when I felt I had none...]. Actually, it may have been earlier - how else do I explain the chronically shy girl who nominated herself for sports captain? Whenever it was, sometime as an early teen, part of me wanted to speak up and be heard.
But I let fear get in my way.  For those who don't know, I naturally have a very soft voice, it takes a conscious effort to speak up and project my voice. All through school whenever needed to address the class I'd stand up front and maybe be heard by the front row. Its getting better, as I said earlier, as I get older I'm getting bolder.
When I'd hear the call for a leader, somewhere in my mind I would think "I can do that" and instead of listening to that I listened to the louder lie that 'no-one would hear you', that 'you aren't strong enough'.
I regret that.
I regret not taking those chances, imagine what confidence I could have now if only I'd taken the chance then.  But  I froze.

As an adult there are still [many] times when I freeze. All courage leaves me. S many times I have seen someone, and had that niggling feeling that I should do something, say something. Instead of acting, I froze. I don't know what I should have done at those times, what would have come of them.

My point, I do have one, is that it takes Courage. It takes courage to Encourage. To encourage others, to encourage yourself.
 Its been said that we are all our own biggest critic. If that is true then can we not also be our own biggest encouragement??
It takes a little confidence, a little faith, a little courage to believe in YOU. To believe you are right. To believe YOU CAN. To believe you have the strength.
This is why I am here, writing to you. Because I can no longer stand idly by and watch. No longer can I ignore the cry of my soul that screams "I have something to offer!!!"
Slowly but surely I am learning that I am strong. I am capable. I have a voice. Praise God that in this day it doesn't matter that I have one of the softest voices in the world. Right here is a platform perfectly suited to my circumstances! I still feel scared of putting my words out there. But I have started to find my courage, my strength.

I want you to see your confidence shine as you fill your potential. Because the truth is:
 You are capable. You are worthy. You are beautiful. You will succeed. You have a voice.
Search yourself, find your courage, you have a dream a desire and you are valued enough to see it come to pass.

  • A pinch of confidence
  • A pinch of faith
  • A hope and a prayer

If I mix these together I find the courage, in the place I once could never have believed I'd find it. In me.

Tuesday, March 23

Overwhelming Love

Have you ever been on the receiving end of an overwhelming act of love? And not realised it?

Our parents sacrifice for us on a daily basis – I know I can always steal a chip [or two ;)] off of my Dad’s plate. When I’m in a pinch my Mum will loan me some money – even when it can end up leaving her short. Everyday I am blessed with wonderful loving parents, and I don’t know if I truly let them know just how much I love them, and am Thankful for all they’ve done for me.

I think parent’s have this…. I’m not sure what it is, a switch? That flips on when we become parents? A new emotion?, or is it just a part of parental love? Whatever it is, it makes them fiercely protect their baby. No matter how old their babies get (22, 26, 25, 14) a parent, a father will protect and provide support. Prevent their child from pain and separation.
I’m acutely aware of this after my own Dad’s brush with Cancer.
The first chance I get to speak with him, and His concern is for me, all he asks for in Prayer support – is that his girls have support, people surrounding them in this tough time to hold them up when he can’t. He had his own peace and belief for healing [which he got! AMEN!!!] 
His request for us to take to our churches and pastors was to ask for support for us.
Here he is, lying in hospital with a collapsed lung, told he has cancer that has spread from the kidneys to his lungs and his concerns are for my wellbeing!! Talk about an overwhelming love!
12months on and I still tear up when I think of this moment. How things could have turned out, how better they are now then we could have imagined.
I am blessed to have parents of such a high calibre.  

They aren’t the only ones to love with this all-encompassing love.
In the same way that my Dad’s thoughts were on the wellbeing of his daughters God’s thoughts are on the wellbeing of his Daughters and Sons. When faced with the decision of seeing his children hurting or standing in their place – taking the punishment for them He took it.
It’s not an unfamiliar concept, one person taking a bullet for another.  Name any Hollywood blockbuster, there is always a point where someone  will step in front of a bullet, take the blame for something they didn’t do. Love wins out, not the sexual love [which will inevitably be in the movie too] but a platonic love, agape love. Pure, overwhelming love.

Right now with Easter just a week away a lot of people are thinking about this moment that I’ve allured to. The moment on the cross, I don’t know about you but for me this year [this week] I view it all anew. Like I’ve been awakened to this love, and I’m overwhelmed.
I can’t hold in all this love that is poured on my life. Now I know that not everyone has the same experience with parents as I do, I’m not trying to rub my fortunes in your face. I just want to share.  Please, take another look at this moment of love. Open your heart to it let it help unravel the mysteries of your potential.