Monday, 13 August 2018

Breaking down walls

Been reading lately about Nehemiah the guy behind the wall - what a mighty man of God - He went way out of his way to do God's will - to re-build the wall around the Holy City after the great desolation of city by the Babylonians and most of the Israelites had been taken captive.

He was indeed a real warrior of God and he was used mightily knowing that this was God's calling on his life to re-build the City of God.

Well this blog is not about re-building walls but knocking a few down!.

When I look back on my past (which is something I often don't do because God has moved me on greatly) I am astounded just how much things have changed and how God has worked in not only my life but those of my wife's also.

I, like Nehemiah had built walls around me. Walls to me were pretty essential,they were what I thought were walls of safety and secrecy. Walls I could hide behind and not show the world. Walls where I could hide my true feelings and what I was deep inside.

I liked my walls because they didn't let the world in - I reckon I could keep all my idiosyncrasies and foibles that the rest of humanity didn't need to know about. I was and still am to a degree a private person and during the time before God called me, my secrecy and hiding the REAL me was oh so important!

When I came to Christ and really surrendered all to Him, I slowly began to realise just how many walls I had built over the years - not only that, but I was overwhelmed by just how thick and reclusive my walls had become.

It seemed that over the years I had re-enforced my walls over and over again and I was staggered to realise that my walls had made me so inward thinking and really very selfish - nothing like what God had called us to be.

I had to start breaking down my walls and even now I am still working at doing just that -even after all these years.

Please take heart, if you are like me and built heaps of walls - you really need to pick up that hammer and get to work. SPOILER ALERT!!!! You won't be even able to contemplate starting without your foreman helping you and advising you how to go about it - YOU CAN'T DO IT ON YOUR OWN!

The great part about it is that after God came into my life, His Spirit opened my eyes to my magnificent and so well built walls - they were so well made but I suddenly realised they really had to come down.

So with God's amazing help I grabbed the hammer and between God (who did most of the work) and myself we started on the first wall. I would like to share just some of the many walls that I had constructed over the years and we, that is God and myself, are still working hard to knock over.

The wall of jealousy

this one was the 1st one the HS directed me to - what an awesome wall it was - we both laid into it with vigour but it seemed as soon as we started to knock it down that it was so old and so well built it started to grow again!!! It had to take us both several years before we finally started to make some headway - even know there are remains of that stubborn wall still remaining.

No sooner had I started to make some progress with this huge wall - God brought to attention just how many walls  there were for us to work on - it seemed that as soon as we started on one wall there seemed to be more and more and more - I felt like giving up but God encouraged me and reassured me that his love for me was true.

The wall of worry

Was the next one. Worrying should not be part of the believers life - on saying that how do we overcome worry?

God clearly teaches us in 1 Peter 5:7 to "cast all anxiety on him because he cares for you". It's not in God's plan for us to cart around our worries and anxiety. He is so prepared to take them from us.

Now if you are anything like me and that wall has been around for so many years - please don't think you can't ask for help with this one - it takes a fair bit of effort! - Try as I might this one was pretty stubborn. There is medication available and if your worries are causing your anxiety, please don't think you are letting God down to go and ask for extra help - I did and I feel so much better.

The wall of self-pity

This one was a doozy! Not sure about you but I reckon we are all born with a wall of self-pity just waiting for us to grow it bigger and bigger - we love to protect our egos and our rights and the "what about me" syndrome. The wall of ME is a toughie!

When we keep on indulging our SELF we start living for SELF and take our minds off God completely. In Philippians 2:3 God says to us "do nothing out of selfish ambition and vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others ahead of yourself

The wall of doubt or non belief

Doubt can be so disabling!  James 1 tells us that when we pray we should pray without doubt using our faith - so doubt can be a destroyer and satan loves to use our doubts to destroy not only our minds but our bodies also.

I was a tiger for doubting - and may I say that doubting can be a normal set of circumstances, at some stage or other we have all doubted, and our enemy knows that and tries to use it against us time and time again.

Of course the remedy for doubting is faith and Romans tells us that faith comes from hearing the Word of God and acting upon it - cool advice!

I have learnt over the years to trust God and DOUBT MY DOUBTS - that has helped me no end - Doubting my doubts instead of doubting God is a sure way of being able to see your way clearly to where God has become a faithful and trustworthy friend even when things take a really bad turn your faith and trust in God will definitely see you through.

The wall of pride

WOW!! this was a toughie for me as well and still is!

Pride can be such a downward slippery slope, if you lose your footing it can be so so hard to regain your balance - Pride in lots of ways is OK - we can be proud of a job well done or in our case of our Grandblessing's achievements - then there is the other sort pride - the pride that God hates!

That's the sort of pride that conceives sin such as conceit or trying to woo the pat on the back - wanting to get the limelight and giving ourselves the credit for something that someone else has achieved or more importantly what God has achieved!

It can be such a stumbling block for a lot of prideful people - narcissism and self-adoration are two main pointers to pride in oneself and totally abhorrent to God.

These are just a few of the walls that God and I are still working on - I can't help but to look over my life and I am awed by how God has worked in my life and what He has done so far - but on saying that we both have a long way to go.

My clear advice is to get right with God (that is essential) pick up that sledge hammer, and get to work - you may be like me and realise just how many walls you have built around your life - Ask God to clearly show you where to start.

It's a very powerful prayer and one you should not undertake lightly! It can have amazing and huge changefull effects on yours and your family's lives.

So God bless you as you drag on your Hi Viz safety overalls, your trusting sledge and even your wrecking ball - Get going but be prepared for a real lot of work - just like the PANTENE add - "it won't happen over night BUT it will happen".





Friday, 3 August 2018

Turning Failures into Victories

I shared a few months ago about the kids book called THE COW TRIPPED OVER THE MOON - based on old nursery rhyme. Here is the link if you are interested.

https://itsbygracealone.blogspot.com/2017/09/andthe-cow-tripped-over-moon.html

Written by Tony Wilson for his son Jack, it tells the story of how the cow tried so many times to jump over the moon and failed miserably every time - but the thing is she kept trying until amazingly she succeeded.

The message I was trying to get over in that particular blog was perseverance - the cow never gave up - this month however I have gleaned yet another message from the same book and that is how we can turn our failures into victories.

The moral behind this funny but poignant children's book is to keep going and keep starting over no matter how many times you seemingly never seem to hit the mark that you wanted to in the first place.

Have you ever had to start over and felt you can't possible do this?

Keeping that in mine I was thinking as I write this blog how few things are more traumatic than saying goodbye to close family and old friends that you have known for years and a place you have called home.

Even the most adventurous among us get's knots in our stomachs at the thought of starting over.

Making new friends, learning a new job, finding a new church and getting familiar with a new area - can cause stress and trigger all sorts of nervous conditions.

The 'UP' side of course is being able to make a fresh start - a clean slate - a brand new beginning that can offer us all sorts of delights - we can even ditch a bad reputation if it comes to that!

Jesus' amazing sacrifice on Calvary that dark but beautiful day made a way for us puny humans to find the miraculous gift of God's on-going forgiveness as long as we have accepted that forgiveness and traded in our old life with all of it's foibles, frailties, revenge-seeking and anger.

Believing and trusting in God teaches all of us that a new start is constantly available and possible with Jesus by our sides.

Unfortunately forgiveness is not perfection and making a new start as a follower of Jesus can be an on-going struggle and there will be many times when we have to come back to the cross asking for forgiveness and repenting and 'starting over' with God.

With God we have a constant supply of "new starts" provided to us with all love, mercy and grace from an all-giving, all-consuming God - provided of course by our own personal encounter with the living and ever-saving Jesus Christ.

One of the satan's greatest weapons against us is tempting us to believe the lie that we are too sinful for God. Everybody makes mistakes, and some mistakes are bigger than others. But no sin is too great that God can't or won't forgive it.

It's truly magnificent that a 'new start' with God can liberate you and me from the powerful hold that guilt and fear and yes! even memories of failure or how you 'used' to be can have over our frail humanity!

The Bible is full of stories about people who were antagonistic, even openly rebellious toward God, but humbled themselves, repented and were forgiven.

Whatever sin you may have committed, true repentance that comes directly from the heart can bring you back into a relationship with God - no matter how bad or serious that sin may be.

Of course we all are governed by the laws and we may have to pay the price humanly speaking for actually breaking the law of the land, but in God's eyes a true repentant sinner, saved by His amazing grace is forgiven if we come to Him in true humility and earnestness.

The promises of God as described in His Word as "new every morning" (Lamentations 3: 22-23) sort of says it all as far as I am concerned.

The very nature of God through His grace and never-ending mercy, gives us all the perfect way to make our failures into victories - awesome and amazing is our God!

So instead of giving up or thinking that the situation is hopeless, turn your life back to God and earnestly seek His forgiveness. Jesus' sacrifice has covered your sin and mine and He is waiting to accept us back with loving arms.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

GOD is contagious

2018 hasn't been the best year for us personally down here in Australia - We  have had a tough year - it seems we have lurched from one crisis to another.

Recently, after recovering from a scam that would have been devastating financially we were then hot with the news that our youngest grandblessing is suffering from a mild form of epilepsy called Absence Seizures.

It means she has to undergo a battery of tests just to make sure that everything is OK and that there is no underlying serious condition that needs addressing. A worrying time for all. 

Then we had the phone call that sort of tested out faith and our well being. 

A friend of mine whom had I thought was pretty close and who had contacted me six months prior and confided that he was suffering from a mental illness, phoned me again and wanted to meet up for a coffee.

It was during this meeting that he told me that my sense of humour and my personality traits were the two main reasons triggering his mental problems and it would be best if I changed to suit his condition or else we would have to terminate our friendship.

As you can imaging I was pretty shocked and disappointed - he also told me that he was terminating the friendship of a member of his family for something that happened 20 years prior and for very similar reasons.

He was pretty stark and REALLY harsh in his condemnation of me and through the conversation (if you could call it that - it was pretty one-sided) I could feel my heart beating faster and my anger rising in my throat as he accused me over and over of the things that happened in our friendship that had triggered his illness. He also attacked my faith in God.

But alas that wasn't all - I was then faced with fall-out from a family incident that has driven doubt and a would-be wedge between my siblings that could see us all floundering around trying to take sides!!

What do we do when our world is suddenly shattered and people try hard to bring you down - How do we react when MEANNESS rules and keeps getting fueled by more and more anger which seemingly knows no end.

Well something inside of me wanted REVENGE with a capital "R." I wanted so much to defend myself and to tell the aggressors just where to get off! I wanted so badly to be mean back to them in  a BIG way.

The thing is Jesus in His amazing wisdom can override our human instincts to attack and keep on attacking! God is SO much bigger than our desire for revenge - He is actually CONTAGIOUS in His love.

In return for His contagious love - he makes our attitudes also contagious!

This is something that I am still coming to terms with even though I am getting older and older - Contagious attitudes can quickly spread to others around you - I could have so easily had two GIGANTIC arguments just in the last two weeks alone - I am certainly praising God that His contagious love stopped me from doing just that.

On saying all that - does this mean that we become 'doormats' for everyone to walk over at their will? Not at all!!

BUT we definitely don't have to take their attitudes onto us. We don't have to use their way of 'fighting' and adopt it as ours. Our GOD is so much bigger than man's attitudes.

Without God our attitudes can be so contagious. Meanness breeds meanness - hostility breeds hostility - revenge breeds revenge. Oh what a sorry world we live in! BUT.....

With God our very attitude can be ruled by Him. God's graciousness and Mercy can overrule our desire for revenge and retribution.

Let's be grace-filled by the very mercy of God - and if really nasty and vindictive people don't want to and are so very negative and mean towards you to accept that then there MUST come a point in time when you HAVE to walk away.

There are so many positive people who love Jesus like you do and there are also so many needful projects in this flawed world that really do require our love, kindness and compassion that we should be focusing our efforts there to the very glory of God.

So not only are bad faults contagious and if we spend long enough with mean and distrustful people there is a real possibility we will catch their negativeness BUT on saying that the opposite is more than true!

God Himself is contagious!

If we let His grace, mercy, truth and love into our lives then can be spread about to all we meet - it's in our faces and in our lives just who we belong to.

So let's choose God - HE'S CONTAGIOUS!


Monday, 2 July 2018

.....And diamonds stud the heavens

Listening to a good old Cliff Richard song as I jogged before dawn this morning called Miss You Nights I was struck by the phrase he used "Midnight diamonds stud my heavens". It was still very dark being a new moon and all and as I stopped in a particularly dark place I glanced at the heavens and was completely awestruck.

The stars were amazing - made me wonder yet again how awesome is our God.

When you think about it here we are perched on a spinning giant ball hurtling through space at a rate of half a km every second - we are spinning at 1,675 km's an hour.

That borders on the bizarre really - freakish even - when you actually take time to analyse it.

We are the only planet in this huge amazing cosmos that supports life - lunging through the atmosphere, circling a gigantic fiery planet big enough to fit 1.3 million 'earths' in it's vastness at 108,000 km's an hour.


That is totally  mind blowing - when you stop and actually think of our sun - it's huge; amazing - spell binding - a fiery ball of gas and plasma which can blind us if we look at it for any length of time.


The sun is the very centre of the solar system and here we are hurtling around it at incredible speed and yet the very force of our spinning creating 'gravity' which keeps our feet on the ground. We don't appear to be spinning and we feel we are on a firm footing and yet we are actually rushing at incredible speed.


You can't possibly feel that all of this just happened to fall into place - the balance of the universe alone is enough to make God real in every sense.


The Bible says in Romans 1:20 that we have no excuse WHATEVER in not knowing God. - the whole creation screams at us of a Creator God -  God: awesome in power, majesty and might Our God that you can see in everything.


God has revealed Himself plainly in creation: he created you and me - we didn't just evolve - we were created uniquely and divinely not just some accident in space spat out in an explosion of molten fluid and gases.


God created and we sinned - we were the ones who turned our backs on Him - He has always been the same and will be for eternity - This old world of ours will gradually teeter and spin out of control BUT God will remain - Yesterday, today and for eternity.


You have really got to to hear this! - God loves us - you and me - He sent His own Son to bear the punishment which should have been metered out to us - Our punishment - not His - Our sin - not His. He took our sins and killed them stone dead on that cross all those years ago.


Its totally and utterly crazy that God; the creator of this amazing spinning universe had His own son punished for us and why?


Because he loves us that much - The very God, the Creator God, the majestic God, the awesome God, loves you; actually LOVES you.


He loves us and wants desperately to have a personal relationship with us: again, how spellbinding is that!!! - the very Architect of the Universe wants to have a personal relationship with you!!!


We have to make a choice here; Gods wants desperately to forgive your sins  and have that personal relationship with Him BUT you have to choose to accept Him.


Thing is - when we actually stand before our Mighty God we only have one plea and that is JESUS - He paid my penalty for me - He paid the price that should have been mine. When God looks at me He will see Jesus - Will you be able to say the same?


Today, even right now you can KNOW for sure that when you die you will spend eternity with God. You need to get alone with God and accept His amazing offer of forgiveness and let Him change your life.


Begin this awesome walk with God - You will never be the same again - even in the bad times He is there with you.


The God of the universe LOVES you! - He wants so much for you to come to Him.Don't delay there is nothing to delay about! - You can know today for sure that Heaven is yours - It's time to stop, think and act. Today is the day of salvation.



Saturday, 16 June 2018

Yesterday's gone!

Nick Vujicic is a literally a walking miracle!!!  I say that because Nick was born without arms or legs - he tried to drown himself when he was just 10 years old - can you believe that? - fortunately for us he couldn't do it - GOD HAD A PLAN FOR HIS LIFE

He has such a remarkable testimony he is so sure that just a glimpse of Jesus can change a life so much - when you are broken and really in despair - Give your all to Jesus - He can take you through each day - If you hold on to Jesus your yesterdays are gone and forgotten, along with your guilt along with your shame along with your hopelessness and despair.

With Jesus He will help you start all over again when you are broken - Here is the link to his song and testimony - I pray that it will help you as much as did me

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrV_ZvwZRvw

Jesus will capture your heart in a very special way and if your testimony is anything like mine your heart will need capturing in a big way - I was such a slave to sin.

Yet Jesus turned me around - I had wondered far and wide and turned my back on the precious Lord Jesus who shed His blood for me on the dark but beautiful day on Calvary all those years ago.

God is my refuge in my storms - He is far beyond the ocean waves and when I go through the raging times I will not be overcome I am not afraid. God is with me all the time. God keeps His promises - and I know He will see me through.

God has won the battle and he is beside me at all times and he knows the battles I face and he will definitely see me through.

You too can have this amazing certainty in your life too. Changing hearts is really up to God and if we as offenders come to God in true repentance then He will turn us completely around and make us into new creations washed clean by His shed blood.

In Isaiah 43 and verse 25 God says through Isaiah very plainly that He blots out our sins/transgressions and he chooses to forget our sins entirely. It is most interesting because God is almighty and created the world of course He CHOOSES not to remember - Amazing you must agree.

God's amazing forgiveness helps us to 'put to bed' finally, our past whatever our past entails. God choosing to forget our past enables us to move ahead stepping out with Him and having Him to guide wherever he would take us.

God could so easily treat us all as we deserve but instead He gave us a way out and sent Jesus to be our penalty payer and in Psalm 103 and verse 12 He tells us exactly how far he has removed our past from us - look it up it is unmeasureable.

Does this mean that we no longer sin when we become His? Unfortunately no - we still have that old self living inside of us but like so many recorded in the Bible we can forget what is behind us and step out boldly with God knowing He will not only forgive us but He chooses to forget our sins and put them behind His back.

With God you can live every day just as He has ordained for your life - you can put behind you the past with your sins and foibles - you can move ahead into a new life with Jesus.

In Philippians 3:13 Paul tells how he and we can forget what is behind and we can look forward to what lies ahead - what a great encouragement is that! YESTERDAY IS GONE and with Jesus beside us we can take each day as it comes to us with all of it's troubles and woes with all of its happiness and love in fact anything that this world dishes out to us.

Once we have repented of past sins and failures, no matter what they are, God, in His mercy and love and forgiveness will not hold us accountable for any of them.

Sure we mess up - I am the King of mess ups, but I know that God forgives me and washes me clean each and every time. I praise Him for that. This is another reason that SueAnn and I love writing because we both want to proclaim EXACTLY what Christ has done for us and He can do EXACTLY the same for you!

Make today a very special day in your life. Repent of your past sins and turn to Jesus right now.
In fact if you pray a prayer, from your heart and honestly mean it in your own words, something like this:-

Dear Lord, today I ask that you forgive my past
Please take my life and help me to step out with you
Lord I confess you as Lord and Saviour
Fill me with your spirit and make me your child
Help me when I mess up to come to you knowing that you love me
Thank you for your forgiveness.

Once again my beautiful friend from Lubbock Texas - Felicia Galey has inspired me to include a song from my friends in the Solomon Islands called  'One day at a Time'.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qxYPE3xm8Q

May God go with you this week as He and you put your past well and truly where it belongs - in the  past. And know for sure that God in His love will choose to forget and forgive









Saturday, 2 June 2018

The Hero of Harlem - the Subway Superman

Wesley Autrey the Hero of Harlem - The 2007 Subway Superman - What brought this guy to be included in the list of 100 men and women whose power or moral example transformed the world?

That year was extra special for Wesley:-

This was written by Donald Trump in 2007 and I quote:-

"Autrey, 51, was waiting for the subway in New York when a young man suffered a seizure and fell onto the tracks. A train was coming into the station, and Autrey knew the man would be killed, so he quickly jumped onto the tracks and covered the man with his body.

Autrey does construction work, and he has good instincts about confined spaces. He realised there might be a chance of survival if he could keep the man still until the train passed.

It passed over them with inches to spare, so close that there was grease on Autrey's cap from the train.
I have great respect for construction workers and Wesley Autrey is a great example of why I do. They work hard, and every day requires courage. Autrey automatically became an influential person by merit of his extraordinary bravery, which I hope will encourage and inspire other people to follow his example."

WOW!! What a story - when I was reading about Wesley's act of bravery I was gobsmacked to say the least - It really made me wonder if I would even think of doing such a thing in such a split second?

I am awestruck by that man's courage and bravery in saving the life of 20 year-old film student  Cameron Hellopeter.

When I had time to digest exactly what Wesley had done my mind traveled to another Hero - a Spiritual Hero - A hero of mighty proportions - A Hero of incredible fortitude and courage and a Hero who not only was prepared to lay down His life for one man but willingly laid down His life for all of us.

Yes! you guessed it - Our Lord and Saviour - JESUS the Christ.

The moral courage of Jesus is beyond words - more than mortal man can ever express - His bravery and love for mankind is above and beyond anything that has gone before and will ever be seen in the future.

On the night Jesus was handed over to be crucified, he knew what lay ahead of him and He knew what the Garden of Gethsemane held for him - a band of brutal soldiers - a so-called friend and colleague plotting his downfall for mere monetary gain - A hostile throng of people - He knew what was coming.

He could have escaped while the going was good - He could have hidden anywhere - I'm positive without the slightest doubt that the rest of his disciples would have assisted him if he had confided in them.

He could have been taken straight to Heaven right in front of the soldiers eyes or he could have asked His father for a band of mighty warrior angels to surround and protect Him. - He was the Son of God after all!

Those angels could have carried Him away or struck them all dead in an instant but NO! He knew what the Father had sent Him to earth for - he was our Warrior Prince of Peace, The MIGHTY King of Kings - His courage to stand alone and accept what was inevitable for Him is so awe-inspiring it blows me away.

Jesus stayed in that garden - in the place where He knew he would be arrested - He calmly let the soldiers man-handle him to Pilot and thence to the crowd - whipped beaten, mocked, scorned and finally nailed to a cross to die a criminals death and all for what??

Jesus. the one they sought in the garden that night, willingly gave himself over to be crucified to save us from our sins and often our very dreaded past.

Jesus paid OUR penalties for us - Jesus, the sinless one, offered Himself to die instead of us. He paid the price for your sins and mine that night - He could have easily come down from that cross and I daresay what a HUGE surprise they would have all got had he done so. But NO! he stayed where He was to pay that price for you and me - WHAT LOVE IS THAT!

So what  truths can we take away with us today from such bravery and courage of Jesus?

Jesus died for the ungodly, for the unloved, for the sinners and yes! even for enemies - He prayed for them as they mocked him as they drove those nails into his hands and feet.

Jesus'death paid for your sins - He died in your place assuring you of a place in heaven for eternity with Him but only if you turn to Him and ask Him to lead your life - if you focus on Him and trust Him with all of your heart - not just sometimes but all the time.

Jesus took the wrath of God on Himself and willingly gave up His life for you and me. Peter writes in 1 Peter 2: 24 "Jesus Himself bore our sin in his body on the tree that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed".

What amazing love was this? What incredible courage and bravery especially given that He didn't have to do it!

So what are you going to do with Jesus? - He gave all for you - there is a song from way way back called just this WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH JESUS? - my dear friend Felicia from Lubbock Texas encourages me to put a song on my blog so here goes. Here is the link.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJii3o_gOiU

I love the ending of this song that my 16 year old sister used to sing such a long time ago now - but the last stanza says "One day your heart will be asking - What will he do with me?"

It's such a good question - What will God do with us if we haven't given Him our hearts?

Jesus died for you - that should be enough!

God bless you this week as you contemplate exactly what Jesus did and why - Like Wesley there are many many heroes - putting their own lives at risk to save others.

Hand your life over to Jesus today and put yourself in the loving hands of the greatest hero of all time.



Monday, 14 May 2018

Focusing

The very first time I had ever seen REAL snow was when I was a young father and we holidayed  way over in the Australia's snowy mountain region in lower NSW.

It was there, and I might add at the beginning of a blizzard, that we took the chair lift to the top of the mountain with the two kids.

The chair lift only held two at a time, so we decided that our eldest child - Mr two year old, Danny,  went with Mum and I was left holding our one year old, Rachael.  As the chair lift came and whisked them both away. they seemed to be having a wonderful time with Danny squealing in delight.

Then suddenly it was our turn. The guy handling the lift said "Don't look down" and quickly grabbed Rachael while I scrambled on.

All I remember of that journey up that very steep mountainside was a screaming baby and I mean SCREAMING - she was so frightened of that guy grabbing her she became hysterical.

I tried valiantly to put the seat belt around us both as she tried with all her might to get off that thing and get to her mother - I had no option but to look down as I used every ounce of muscle to hold that wriggling child in that chair.

Never was a father more glad to be at the top of a mountain in a blizzard - thankfully there was a restaurant there and as we sat there looking at that white out with the wind blowing and snow I was just so grateful to have my family - it was such a touch and go situation.

All I could think of during that time was WHOA!!! such a long way down with the snow so deep and wind blowing -  if we fell there would be no way we would ever survive let alone be found!

As I sat in that tea house for a few hours and waited till the worst of the storm had passed with the little ones warm and playing I was just so grateful.

The words of the guy on the chair lift kept coming back to me - DON'T LOOK DOWN  - I have often wondered about those words and just what he meant.

I guess it was the sheer drop and all that snow and wind I suppose it could  really overwhelm you as it did me - all I could think of was to keep my little girl safe and get to the top as soon as possible.

It was during that time that the Word of God came to me in a clear and special way.

I hadn't been walking with God - I had just been way too busy - I was paying off a mortgage and working my butt off trying to get a hold of our finances, while Sue was busy being a full time Mum.

I guess in lots of ways I was looking down - I used to go to church but as far as making a commitment to God and giving my life over to Him - no way! - I was far too busy!

As the years went on I have never forgotten that special day - I ended up making a total commitment to God but I must admit it still took me a quite a few years.

Focusing on Jesus is the only way to counteract all the things that happen to you through this crazy life we all seem to live - Sue was diagnosed with cancer and again the only way we seemed to be able to cope was to focus on Jesus.

Just recently we were the victims of a fraud which amounted to quite a bit of money.
It was a trying time yet we got through it - it took quite a while and the only way we coped was to focus on Jesus.

Our youngest Grandblessing is undergoing tests as I write this blog to determine just why she has these absence seizures, which only last seconds, but still a great concern. How do we cope with that - to keep focusing on Jesus

There a few things we can do to help us keep focusing on Jesus - Prayer and getting into God's word is essential to keep our attention drawn again and again to Jesus the very one who gave His life for us.

The other thing we need to do is to trust God - I know it is often easier said than done but I have proven through our blackest times that trusting in God and keeping our eyes fixed on Him, who alone has the ability to see us through whatever it is we are facing. We still may have to go through it BUT God will see us there on the other side.

A full commitment and the beginning of a relationship with Jesus manifests itself in a deep down peace which I can't possibly explain except to say that concern for what you are going through is still there but somehow the foundation of your relationship sort of keeps you going and strengthens you to face the troubles ahead.

One of my dear friends and one of my supporters Felicia Galey from Lubbock Texas, suggested I include a music link in this blog to assist in the message that I have been given by God - well here is one from one of my very favourite groups - SELAH

Turn your Eyes Upon Jesus

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLoH6wixFlk


God is waiting to welcome you - Just like He welcomed me even though I had strayed away for almost fourteen years. Turn your eyes on Him and focus on Him alone - you can be changed for good for ever.

God go with you this week as you focus on Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith.