The Tabernacle

Creating 'spaces' to experience the presence of God

DISCERNMENT – UNDERSTANDING THE TIMES AND SEASONS

June 17th, 2020

“I’m not going back! I don’t want to do the same old thing anymore. I’m done with it. I am tired of simply going through the motions.”

The echoes of many as the world slowly emerges out of Lockdown across the globe. 

What is our way forward? How do we not get blindsided by the familiarity of the old and how do we not simply stumble mind numbingly into the new?

This is a day that demands discernment of us. I do not believe it is a option for us anymore. We must be willing to learn and practice this God given gift of discernment.

After 20 years of living and pioneering in different nations, moving into the new, new seasons, new ways of life and ministry, new levels in gifts, new cultures and language, we could not of done any of this without discernment. 

It is an incredibly vital gift but not always an easy gift to understand or work with. Practice, mistakes, successes, vulnerability, courage, confusion, clarity is found on the terrain of discernment.

WHAT IS IT…
In the Scriptures, Discernment is a gift from God and a gift for protection and direction. Sounds exactly what we need right now eh?

There 2 types of Discernment. Today we will look at the first type.

In Matthew 2:2, the Wise Men visited baby Jesus led by seeing “His star in the East”. They discerned the signs of the times through a sign in the sky. This discernment has to do with signs often in nature, times and seasons. 

This discernment was used right through the Scriptures. 1 Chronicles 12:32 identifies a tribe who were known for this gift, the Tribe of Issachar. 

We are told that “these men understood the signs of the times and knew the best course for Israel to take.

This gift is an anointing. One which God continues to give today. One to pursue. This gift is something we can ask God for.

In 1 Kings 3:9 King Solomon, one of the greatest Kings to ever have lived on earth, asks of God “give me an understanding heart to judge your people that I may discern between good and evil.” 

Asking is something God loves us to do! It takes humility and curiosity to ask. Asking is a key quality of the worlds most effective leaders and pioneers. They dare to ask in order to discern. This was the one thing King Solomon chose to ask for above all other options. 

WHY DO WE NEED DISCERNMENT…
How often have we seen that our greatest mistakes have been when we have ignored what we discerned? So often we’ve ignored because:
-we didn’t want to see what we were discerning
-we didn’t understand what we were receiving through this gift – we needed emotional, spiritual and sensory upgrades
– We had no space for it to be a spirit and not a person that was being discerned
-the information wasn’t rational enough for us
-we couldn’t believe that someone had a wrong heart
-we haven’t learnt to recognize God’s Spirit, God’s angels or demons in this form before

So as you consider your responsibilities as a child of God, leader, parent, spouse, citizen of your nation and what you don’t want to go back to, don’t move forward without this gift of discernment. 

It is one of the most beautiful gifts for connecting with the heart of God that we have.

WANT MORE on Discernment?

Check out the FREE Discernment and Intercession Workshop

Trust in the midst of change

June 10th, 2020

We’ve been pondering change. Change is here again as Covid restrictions shift or lift across the nations. 

The dance with change is something we can’t opt out of. It is a collective change as much as it is personal. 

Change is tiring. Change puts tension on our ideas, expectations and values.

Change is emotional and spiritual as much as it is physical. 

When we move into change, vulnerability, fear, uncertainty and risk litter this terrain like stones on a road. 

In a world that works hard at insuring itself against uncertainty to maintain comfort and control, change is an intruder. 

But change is also exciting. Change birth’s new. It invites us to upgrades in how we see God, how we see ourselves and how we see the moment we are in. 

We’ve proven we can do massive global change. The internet was a global change we all had to navigate. And it has bought the gift of connection in this Covid season on an unprecedented scale. 

Change brings us some of its greatest gifts. Like what do I do with vulnerability and fear when they mount on our horizon like forming storm clouds?

How do I or we as a society navigate uncertainty? Can I identify how I do change or does change simply do me? 

Taking responsibility for ourselves in change is courage. Choosing how we dance with change is brave. God created us to be the head and not the tail to be wagged by it. 

Easy to let fear take or be our voice. Easy to blame others for the discomfort this dance of change brings. 

Fear and hate are human reactive emotions. They are also spirits. And they want to be loud voices in our world enticing us to move outside of our best selves and what we really value. 

There is an invitation in this hour of change again, who will we trust in this “new normal”? Our fears, our hate, our discomfort or God? 



Want more? 
Check out How to Breakthrough Fear and Master Courage e-Course on our online Learning Platform All4Him.Thinkific.com

Stand in Your Spiritual Authority!

May 6th, 2020

7 years ago a International Christian Leader here in Australia said something that so resonated. They said, “The greatest and most urgent need in the church and in our lives is for the gift of Discernment.”

This is no more true now than it was then. There is no lack of opinions and experiences that can leave us wondering. The world has changed. Especially now. 

So when we come to this gift of Discernment, 
first and fore-mostly it is a call to a conversation with God 
and a gift to recognize His Presence, His person.

This is the basis, the lens for how to use this gift. We are always looking for Him and what He is doing.

We will discern a lot of things today as we move through this day. Information including spiritual, is coming to us in so many ways. Spiritual data is constantly being computed. What do we do with it? 

Discernment gives us a way to see what God is doing.
.
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Want more?

Check out FREE Discernment and Intercession Workshop

Winning the Battle of Your Mind in the midst of Covid-19

April 15th, 2020

Who has your first thought in the morning when you wake up? 

•Negativity – as the news/social media gets checked? •Anxiety as you wonder will I have a job, a business at the end of the week?
•Pain as you feel a physical twinge because of illness or injury?
•Grief, because you have lost your job, your normal life or loved one?
•Fear of not enough – I call it the ‘scarcity treadmill’ – not enough time, money, support, government intervention or God intervention.. Just not enough!

It doesn’t take long for something to ‘barter’ for our thoughts, especially at the moment.

And then what? What do we do with that thought?

Do we mercilessly pound it out on ourselves and whirl around in a shame storm? Do we become a voice of negativity to those around us? Do we grab at something to distract us and numb it? Do we reach out to others and message them?

If you’re like me, you’ve done it all. So let’s get curious… 

Over the years as I began to notice what the first thought was that came to me. I began see rhythms and seasons and themes pop up external to me. Not everything you think, is from you! This gave me a heads up on what was in the atmosphere.

Our battle is “not against blood and flesh but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places.” Ephesians? ?6:12? ?AMP??

Atmosphere’s are full of thoughts and suggestions. This is the domain of the Prince of the Air. (Ephesians 2:2) This is what we are to take authority over and shift. This is part of what we do in prayer and intercession.

Then I noticed patterns about myself. This gave me a fabulous opportunity for upgrade. Our souls need maturing as we work the spiritual dimension and our gifts.

Romans 12:2 says “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans? ?12:2? ?

We need to continually let God renew our mind, our thinking. This is not a shameful thing this is a promotion thing!

As we get renewed by God’s thoughts, and learn His ways and His presence, we discover what He has gifted us with. These gifts He does not want to remain immature. Maturity is expensive and it’s hard work but so is immaturity! 

So Intercessors, Discerners, Prophetic, Word of Knowledge, Mercy, Compassion, these gifts have a unique experience with what’s in an atmosphere. Being renewed in the mind is critical for these gifts.

There is a real battle going on for your first thought in the morning! 

It is a battle over who is renewing your mind and who is owning your gifts. The call and gifts God gives us He never takes back (Romans 11:29). So either He gets our gifts first thing in the morning, or negativity, anxiety, pain, fear will.

God’s battling for your first thought! And he wants to overwhelm you with the very thing you are most wanting!!

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
??Lamentations? ?3:22-23? 

Hack #1

So tomorrow morning when you wake up, grab your first thought and thank God for his love and mercy that is new for you that morning.

List off what your thankful for! It will focus you on what YOU HAVE not on what you don’t have right now.

Thankfulness attracts His presence. Psalm 100:4 says ‘We enter His gates with thankfulness’

Hack #2

Ask God what He is doing today? Receive what you first hear no matter how unexpected it may sound. He is more eager to speak than we are to hear! Instead of giving doubt and unbelief credit, give faith and God credit that He is well able to do more than you expect!

Vulnerability is risk and uncertainty, and that’s faith! This is what we do when we exercise our faith. Let’s stop exercising our unbelief and exercise our faith in God’s ability.

Who has your first thought in the morning when you wake up?

Want more?

Free 8 Min Video – 6 Quick Hacks on Dealing with Anxiety and Helping Your Kids with it

Getting through the Emotion of the Global Health Crisis

March 19th, 2020

I walked into the supermarket yesterday. My son was with me. As I grabbed the trolley and wiped it down, we took off for what once used to be a no brainer exercise.

As we ventured into the store, my spirit lifted to see shelves stocked with bread and fresh food. Curiously and a little excitedly, I moved through the supermarket grabbing the items I needed. And then..

My son suddenly grabbed my arm and said in a tone of amazement, “Mum look at the meat section!” I glanced across to see the entire meat section empty. 

Looking at me, he said curiously “Really?” Gazing into eyes innocent of pandemics but filled with excitement at the adventure and confusion over the vulnerability of the present, I reached out and touched his arm, responding gently, “Yes. It’s been like that this past week.”

We walked on and turned into an isle and a view that now has become a ‘normal’ sight, empty.

I left the supermarket that afternoon, realizing the emotional impact that these past weeks have already had on us all. I realised how comforting it was for one small moment to walk in and see shelves full with provision and possibilities. And I realized how draining and even scary it had become to see the opposite.

Just putting food on the table was now a major project. 

This is the other impact of the conoravirus. It is the impact of emotion.

What will we do with this impact? We can’t dodge it. We can’t stop the impact. It will literally kill us if we numb or deny our emotions. 

To feel is to be human. To feel is to be created in the image of God. 

I know personally, that right now I can not walk through this moment in history that has suddenlied upon us all, without acknowledging and understanding what on earth, I am feeling. 

If I do not acknowledge what I am feeling, what others around me are feeling, I will find that my core values, my awareness of God’s presence and clear thinking won’t lead me, emotion will.

Emotions are valuable servants but lousy leaders.

What’s going to lead you in the flour isle? That’s a potentially scary place right now because it confronts us with the question, what are we going to feed our children? We feel that keenly as Mums and Dads. That is a literal threat to our survival. 

No matter what our occupation, emotion is part of it, especially right now. Loss, scarcity, fear of disease are big emotions in this crisis. How can they serve us? So much of life is an emotional conversation.

God is not afraid of emotion and he is not afraid of our emotion. He made them and they serve us. They are great servants but lousy masters. 

So How Do We Handle Emotion in this Emotional Moment?

  1. Acknowledge what you are feeling? Fear, Anxiety, Shame and Grief are big emotions right now for us all.
  2. Share what you are feeling with God. 1 Peter 5:7 says, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” Sit down and list out what it is that you are feeling. You can do this verbally, in drawing, in words.
  3. Then put them down on the floor in front of you and ask God, “What do you say about all this?” Listen! Write down, draw out and when done share with someone what He said. Be a voice of hope.
  4. Share what you are feeling with some one who has earned to right to hear your story. Part of emotional intelligence is not only being aware of what you are feeling, but what others around you are feeling. Decide: * Is this the best moment for them to hear me?  *Ask them if they have a moment for you to share. Don’t just unload because they walked in the room. 
  5. Reach out to your friends and check in with how they are going? The emotions of fear, anxiety, shame and grief by nature make us aware of ourselves. Reaching out helps you move through emotion and activates you into caring for others.
  6. Talk a walk. Even if you’re in social isolation, it has still been recommended to take short walks. It clears your mind and heart and connects you with the wider world and God’s creation.

We are human and we its ok to feel that! God loves our authenticity and our humanness. 

We are in this together!

Want more?

Students who are in the isolation phase of this Health Crisis are sharing how relieved and hopeful they are, as they are learning how to cope better emotionally through self-isolation and the tragedy around them.

Check out our short video e-course on How to Master Emotional Intelligence. Practical, Fun and Empowering!

HOW CAN WE RESPOND TO THIS MOMENT in 2020?

March 12th, 2020

2020 has been a very challenging year for Australia as a community. Bushfires raging over the country for weeks, then floods and now conoravirus. And all in a very short period of time. 

These are uncontrollable externals which challenge our sense of feeling safe. To feel safe is a primary need God built in us. It is to be human. 

I was considering this morning, how Australians are confronted again with feeling vulnerable and even afraid. 

Easily to get drawn into the lie that vulnerability is weakness and even shameful. 

These words came to my spirit, “When Jesus saw the vast crowds of people, His heart was deeply moved with compassion, because they seemed weary and helpless..” Matthew 9:36

When we see the crowds, our fellow country men, doing not typical things like cleaning out shelves in shops, let our heart be moved with compassion. For surely it will be moved by something. 

Compassion is the greatest gift we can give to each other and to our country. Judgement and shaming are not our friends. 

People are responding from a context that has been burly this year. 

Our nation is resilient and kind. It has a beauty so unique. God is doing an unusual new thing in our nation. These are exciting days. God’s presence inhabits our compassion and our praises. 

SO WHAT DOES COMPASSION LOOK LIKE? 

1. When you see what you see, let it move your heart. Don’t numb it. Don’t rationalise it. Don’t be afraid of your heart being moved. Lean into it. It’s the birth place of compassion. 

2. Ask God how does He see what you’re seeing? 

3. Practice Generosity – Generosity is considering what is the most generous interpretation of another’s actions, words and intentions. In other words, it’s choosing to believe that people are doing to best they can

4. Practice Empathy instead of Judgement. Empathy is hearing the perspective and emotion of others without judging it. 

5. Take responsibility for the energy you bring into any space, including the social media space. 

God bless you as you navigate this yourselves. We are in it with you! The glory of God is upon Australia! Great is His compassion over you and with our nation.

Want more…

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How to Deal with Anxiety and Help our Children Deal with it

February 26th, 2020

Anxiety. Everyone is talking about it. That’s great! 

What we acknowledge, we can do something about. 

2020 sure has come out with some heavy weight challenges! Fires, floods, coronavirus, talk of global economy heading for some tough days ahead. 

Volatility, uncertainty and complexity have found us. So has anxiety for many. 

Anxiety is an emotion and an experience. Anxiety is defined as:

  • uncertainty
  • Overwhelming fear
  • Competing demands on our time
  • and social discomfort1.

That definition believe it or not, is a normal response to life!

It is human to feel anxiety. 

In fact anxiety is so much a part of our human experience that the Bible addresses it directly, so can we especially with our children.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” Philippians 4:6 NLT

Why is Anxiety being talked about?

I believe that part of our rumble with culture right now is giving space to and being compassionate towards our humanity. 

Many are challenging current culture in its need to rehumanise. The dehumanising we see on social media and in daily interaction is unsustainable. 

Jesus was and remains fully human yet fully God, such is the esteem God gives to human. (Phil 2:6-11)

The rumble we are all facing is with a culture that seemingly is unrelenting in it’s “be perfect” doctrine.

We were at the Dentist the other day (that’s always a fun experience!!? ? ) The Dentist made a comment in passing to me. He said that he is having more and more 10 year olds coming in asking for braces when there is little wrong with their teeth because they want perfect teeth and they want to be like everyone else! 

Anxiety and perfect don’t go together says a culture that become problem focused and blame orientated rather than possibly focused. 

NeuroScientist Dr Caroline Leaf has been challenging the notion that anxiety is mental illness. Her research and the research of other Social Scientists shows that anxiety is part of the human experience and normal human response. 

The ‘proselytizing’ of perfectionism as a way to do life it being questioned.

When we loose touch with human and make “perfect” our goal, anxiety and scarcity rise. 

So how do we navigate anxiety and help our children? 

Philippians 4:6 says “Do not worry or be anxious!‘  How do we do the “do not?” That’s really hard sometimes! 

1. Realizing that you are feeling or experiencing anxiety is liberating

 When we feel it and our children feel it, take note and get them to take note of how anxiety feels for them.

The thing about emotions is that we experience emotion uniquely. For some anxiety might be felt as a quickening of heart beat, for others they might feel a churn in their stomach. How we feel emotion is unique to us and that emotion will be felt on our body. 

2. Lean into the emotion of anxiety don’t shut it down or numb it

Don’t be afraid of emotion. God isn’t afraid of emotion and he’s not afraid of you feeling emotion! Emotions are not sinful. 

Graeme Cooke says he sees the fruit of the spirit as the emotions of God! 

Philippians 4:6 advises “instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need.” You have to lean into anxiety to pray about it. Teach your children to pray and pray with them.

3. Anxiety as with all emotions, is communicating a need 

Philippians 4:6 acknowledges this when it says, “Tell God what you need”.  Ask yourself, “I am feeling anxious about… , I need…”

You are a son/ daughter of God. You have value. Emotions tell us what we need as a valuable person. 

You’re needs matter as do your children’s. Sometimes all our children need is our full attention, or a hug, or play a game with them, or take them out for a special meal, or to turn off negativity on the internet or TV. Let them share their needs with you.

Ask them to ask Jesus what does He want to give them now to meet their needs.

4. When we pray about what is making us anxious, we begin to shift our focus

Social scientists have classified emotions in order to help us understand them. Anxiety is an emotion that they call a ‘self conscious affect’, meaning this emotion makes you aware of yourself, conscious of you. 

Yes because it is communicating a need you have!

When we pray, we begin to shift our focus from ourselves to one who has a solution, a answer, a direction. We are not always around for our children but Jesus the Omnipresent one is! When we teach them to pray about their ‘worries’ to Jesus, they are defeating the lies that they are alone, orphaned, abandoned, helpless, powerless.

Prayer shifts us from fear back to love! Every thought will either come from fear or love! When I am anxious, I have bought into something that’s inferior.

5. “.. and thank him for all he has done” 

Thankfulness is one of the greatest, most powerful skills you can cultivate. Thankfulness is a container for our prayer and worship, meaning it is a way to pray! We deserpately need to teach ourselves and our children to be thankful!

If you focused on just this one key, you would be astounded at the impact and power of thankfulness over anxiety and any other atmosphere.

Thankfulness shifts us from problem focused to possibility focused. It shifts us from focus of self to focus of power, possibilities and answers beyond ourselves. 

Thankfulness keeps us conscious of blessing and stops us being overwhelmed with need and lack. 

Thankfulness is humility. It acknowledges that someone else had something and gave something we did not have. 

Thankfulness attracts the presence of God and the favor of man (Psalm 22:3), and thankfulness reframes our anxious thoughts towards hope. 

Thankfulness is practical. Have a thankfulness journal or note on your iPhone. Make it a family practice at dinner time to share 2 things each family member is thankful for. 

6. Memorise Scripture

Make a fun family game of memorising Philippians 4:6!

The power of this ‘living word’ to come back to our minds and our children’s just when we need it. Memorising the Bible develops a possibilities focus and builds the skill of hope and faith in something bigger than themselves.

So next time you feel anxiety, comfort and compliment yourself on being human. Be kind to yourself. When you are kind to yourself, kindness to others is more possible. Shaming yourself only begets shame.

Acknowledge and say you’re feeling anxious. No shame in that, infact that’s what courage looks like. When you invite your children to share that they are feeling anxious, you are building courage and connection in them.

Pray and choose thankfulness. It will change your family and your anxiety!

For more:

Check out our video e-Course How to Breakthrough Fear and Master Courage

When the Universe Calls

February 6th, 2020

Working in a soul sucking job

Moving

Experiencing loss

Marriage

Divorce

Parenting 

Retiring

Failure

Disappointment


“The universe is not short on wake up calls. We are just quick on hitting the snooze button.” 1. 

And then what?

I was visiting a relative last week and they shared how they had been out walking. A neighbours 9yr old son was playing out front of his house on the footpath where they were walking. 

Suddenly the 9 yr boy ran into them with his bike. Then he did it again. My relative asked him not to do that as it was hurting them. He did it again. 

Looking up and appealing to the mother who sat looking at her phone, the mother responsed in dispair, “I just don’t know what to do with him. All the rest of his brothers and sisters I could parent but not this one.”

We all know that feeling of being utterly lost and the powerless feeling of not know where to get help. The universe is definitely not short on wake up calls and appealing to our need for upgrades! 

So what is calling on you this year? God has answers, and that’s our power, we are NOT ALONE!!! There is more available to us that just ourselves. 

The message of humanism shouts it’s just you and what you know! 

But we are sons and daughters of God who have 24/7 access to an eternal and supernatural God. Where we end, He continues! 

So don’t hit the snooze button when the universe calls. Connect with His Presence. 

Want more: 

Experiencing the Presence of God video e-Course. Sharpen your ability to discern God’s Presence with you. 

Do it in your time, your way. You can do in one evening or over a few weeks. You make it fit your lifestyle. Check it out at All4Him.Thinkific.com

  1. B. Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection, Hazelden Publishing, 2010

Heart Revolution – What will the future of our jobs look like?

November 13th, 2019

15 years ago at a YWAM Leaders Training in the UK, one of the Trainers invited us to read through the Bible and draw a heart next to the word heart, every time we read it. 

Well 15 yrs on, I’m still drawing hearts as I read through the bible. 

I am not alone. There is a movement, an awakening of the heart that is taking place globally.

When I read these words recently from Minouche Shafik of the London School of Economics, I was excited and amazed. This is from the London School of Economics!!

“In the past, jobs were about muscles, now they’re about brains but in the future they’ll be about heart.”

Proverbs 23:7 says “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” Your heart thinks! It has thoughts and stories. 

Whether it is some of the great Christian leaders of our time like Henri Neuwon, Danny Silk, Bill Johnson or the late Jan Vanier, or influential Social Scientists like Brene Brown or NeuroSurgeons like Dr Caroline Leaf, the world is beginning to address what the Bible has for thousands of years talked about, the heart. 

Infact the leading field of research in Psychology currently is Heart Math.

There is an awakening of the inner journey not just the outer journey of our lives that is gaining considerable momentum in the western world. 

God has always loved and valued the heart over and above the external. He doesn’t trip up on our appearance or behaviours. 

“For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” I Samuel 16:7

It’s actually our heart journey that God values the most and more and more leaders from all sectors of life are looking for this in their choices for working with people. 

A lot of what is blowing up businesses, communities, churches and individual lives, has more to about our heart intelligence than perhaps anything else. 

This is why God is committed to giving us a new heart. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”  Ezekiel? ?36:26? 

What we feel, what we think, how we perceive through our heart and the choices of actions we make from them, God cares about. Especially about how we feel, think and perceive Him. 

It’s a heart journey God takes us on. A journey where honor not shame, flavours all He does with us. 

This is a revolution. 

Want more? 

Read more on the Heart Revolution.. Check out my article, Culture Shift – What world are you Living in?

Consider checkout our video e-Course Living Courage – How to Live the Power of Vulnerability at All4Him.Thinkific.com 

Using Your Authority in words

November 7th, 2019

“.. The garment of praise instead of a disheartened spirit. So they will be called the trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.” ISAIAH? ?61:3? 

Sometimes you just have to turn up your favourite worship song, dance and sing it to God, to shift a-not-fun-to-be-with atmosphere! 

It’s not about what others think, it’s about you taking your authority that comes through your words and putting it to what God says. 

Don’t let the enemy use your authority in your words, to what He’s filling the atmosphere with. 

A garment of praise applies to praising God and to those around you. Use your words to encourage. 

Authenticity is not just being real with what’s tough, to those who’ve earned the right to hear your story, it’s being real with what goodness is around you too.

Intercession is Boundaries

November 1st, 2019

Our journey is not merely travelled on a human level, it is also travelled on a spiritual level. Boundaries are needed here also. 

This is the power of prayer. It gives us a way in relationship and partnership with God to declare what is ok and not ok (boundaries) in the spirit realm. 

Jesus spoke of this when he said “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”Matthew? ?18:18? ?

Build boundaries in prayer!

Be Boundried But Kind

November 1st, 2019

Funny how our boundaries are rarely celebrated. Gosh they can be hard, sometimes a messy work. I’m not a specialist on them, just a ever learning traveller like most of us!

The thing about boundaries is that we can experience push back, punishment, shaming and even that 2nd most avoided emotion we dread, grief. 

I’ve been pondering lately how why it is common and somewhat “ok” in our society, to punish and shame when boundaries especially new boundaries are communicated. It confronts our entitlement and our other dysfunctions. 

WHAT ARE BOUNDARIES?

Boundaries define us. They rumble with our identity, whether that is our individual identity, our organisational identity or national identity. 

They are vulnerable because it shows what is really important to us. They reveal what we care about in our heart, and what we value. 

When respect is low and shame and fear is high, the more it seems is the pushback, punishment and shaming. 

We all loose when we loose sight of the worth of the one before us, regardless of their position, history or values. 

This was the thing about Jesus. He never lost sight of our worth nor his! Even when hell’s pushback claimed his life! 

His boundaries around what His Father asked of him and what He loved and valued, were unmoved. 

He showed us it takes courage to show up. But that is the kindest thing we can do to ourselves and to others. 

In a recent study, it was discovered that the most compassionate people, were the most boundried. 

We are actually not being compassionate or loving, when we are not boundried. This is true with our children as much as it is true in our workplace. 

So how are we going to receive the showing up of others boundaries? Can we respect their choices (even when we disagree) or will we shame, manipulate and punish them? 

I can’t help but wonder if Isaiah in Isaiah 60:1 wasn’t appealing to our boundaries when he inspired us to “Arise and shine!” 

Will we show up, rise, shine and be kind by communicating respectfully to others what we really value and what’s important to us (boundaries)?

Feeling a bit stuck or under pressure with boundaries? Learn how to show up by doing our video based e-Course – How to live the Power of Vulnerability. Enrol here All4Him.Thinkific.com

How to Win Your Life – Higher Thinking

October 2nd, 2019

God thinks glorious thoughts about you continuously! 

Just stop and let that sink in. Lean into that thought! 

God thinks glorious thoughts about you continuously! 

God is good. This is His nature. He cannot move outside of His nature. So it’s gloriously good thoughts he is CONTINUALLY thinking about you!

Psalm 139:6 says about God, “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high”

He thinks high. And He thinks highly of you. 

Doesn’t that make you feel good? You may even find yourself sitting up a bit straighter as you lean into that thought right now. 

But if after a minute there comes a little nagging thought of “Who do you think you are to beleive this?”, that’s shame!

This is what the emotion of shames says. It also says, “I’m bad. I’m not enough.” This is why being shamed and shaming others hurts us so much. It makes us feel low. 

And when this is multiplied on a community level, organisational level, church level or family level, that is a powerful and crippling narrative that will destroy these cultures if not addressed. 

Such I beleive is the moment in time we are living in. Shame culture has found us. 

There is a big difference between who we are and what we do. God never confuses our identity with our choices and actions. 

He’s very jealous over how we think and what level our thinking is. His thinking is high. It’s going to stretch us. 

Thinking on the glorious thoughts God has of us is not a proud and arrogant thing to do. It is actually one of the pieces of armour God gives us to survive life, it is our belt of truth. (Eph 6:14)

God’s higher thinking actually requires of us humility, learners heart and the very powerful way of freedom, forgiveness. 

We are human. He knows we are but dust (Ecc 3:20 ) and He doesn’t shame us for that. Neither can we of ourselves or others!

There is no more powerful way of moving through both shame and life, than dwelling on the fact that God thinks glorious thoughts about you!

Get practical and ask Him right now, “God would you share with me, what is one of your glorious thoughts you are having about me today?”

What do you think about you? About others?

It matters.

 

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Boundaries, Vulnerability and Hate – The rumble with identity

September 11th, 2019

Funny how our boundaries are rarely celebrated.
Gosh they can be hard, sometimes messy work. I’m not a specialist on them, just a traveller who loves learning! 

The thing about boundaries is that we can experience push back, consequence and even that 2nd most avoided emotion we all dread, grief. 

Growth is a costly business. Doesn’t matter what is the nature of growth. It costs. Anyone is business knows that!

I’ve been pondering lately how in society it is common and somewhat “ok” to punish and shame when boundaries especially new boundaries are communicated. It confronts our entitlement and some other dysfunctions. 

When the love level in us is low, the Bible says we reach for punishment. 1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment, so the one who is afraid is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love].”

Many social scientists, civil authorities and Christian leaders have been growing more noisy in their concern around the wave of hatred crashing across the nation’s. Many saying it has increased alarmingly the last 12months. 

It’s a fearful thing to be around hate. Hate drains out love. Punishment is a management tool and it has an array of overt and subtle options from rolling the eyes to outright displays of harm. 

So what’s the blessing for a new boundary? It reveals our need for an upgrade in God’s love! 

Boundaries can define us. They are vulnerable because it shows what is really important to us. They reveal what we care about in our heart, and what we value. 

It takes courage to show up. But that is the kindest thing we can do. Clear is kind says Brene Brown. 

Being clear with our boundaries, is where I see some of our greatest challenges and growth points are currently in the Western World. And I wonder how much of that is because really we are in one huge rumble with identity?

Our boundaries are not walls we hit people with but a statement of what’s ok and what’s not around what we treasure, what we identify with. 

I have just completed uploading a training series online around living courageously. It’s ok for people to show the work to their family, colleagues, connect groups. But it’s not ok to not pay for it or take my name and website off it. 

This is a boundary. They are more than what’s not ok, they are a communication of what’s ok too! Boundaries keep value on us and on what we are doing. That’s our responsibility.

But it’s vulnerable to do that. And here is a lesson I keep learning over and over, vulnerability and learning how to do that, walk with that is so much of the story of our lives! 

So next time you see your teenager, spouse or work colleague trying to practice boundaries, celebrate their courage and get curious about who they are trying to define themselves as. 

Let’s be honest with our need for more of God’s love and turn the tide of hate. It’s not who we really are. It’s not what we want in the world we are building for our children. 

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Time to Rebel – no more, not enough!

September 4th, 2019

Over the years I have struggled with scarcity. Its a rotten mindset. Scarcity says “not enough”. Not enough time, not enough money, not enough happening, not enough house, not enough holidays, NOT ENOUGH!! We can “not enough” God, our faith communities, our leaders, our children’s opportunities and schools, our spouse’s input in the home or marriage. We can ‘not enough’ anything. And we do. 

About 10 years ago I experienced something that began to kill this plague of scarcity. It was a culture of honor. I encountered the God who honors us because He never looses sight of who we really are. I experienced honor for what was, for who I was, for who and what others were and it joyfully shook me to my foundations.

In the most pleasant good way, the Lord began to show me errors in my thinking and therefore way of living. He was readdressing the truth that HE is a GOOD shepherd and I shall NOT LACK! (Ps 23:1) Lack! what a cursed mindset! It cripples our faith in God, our courage and our relationships. Yet we are discipled so well in this by the consume and produce to justify our worth world we live in.

Not enough began to be dismantled in me though honor. As an Australian this is such a nothing word. It holds no meaning, no usage in our everyday life. If anything, its all a bit of a joke really. Honor! Hah! We scoff at it while knowing no experience or understanding of it.

And yet I was drawn by this honor I was experiencing and stirred by Biblical instructions like “Honor ALL people.” (1 Peter 2:17) All people! What?!!! Isn’t Honor something you earn?

But I didn’t earn my honor. My self-righteousness was getting a loving kick in the teeth. It was HIS honorable way with me, that realized my value, my worth. And we all have some measure of that.

Perfection, pride, rejection, shame, religious spirit was under the hammer, and thank God! Experiencing honor as one who has value, not because of my productivity or association or success, confronted that scarcity mindset. 

Honor taught me to celebrate what was, not stumble as scarcity leads us to, over what is not. Honor Taught me that I am honorable and it has nothing to do with what others do or not, it has to do with me. Honor taught me gratitude and the power of gratefulness in the endless little things.

Not buying into Scarcity is still a journey I’m on. But boy life is way more fun and I am way more fun to be with as a result of this journey away from the desert lands of ‘not enough.”

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The Power of Grace on our Words

August 30th, 2019

Our words are powerful! Our words not only release insight, information, definition and identity but ‘grace’.

This is true for good or for bad. Tell someone they are an idiot and it releases a ‘grace’ for that. 

Tell someone they are beautiful (which is to edify), and it imparts a grace to be that!

Because the word ‘charis’ used here for grace, means ‘influence on the heart’.

Our words impart an ‘influence’ on the hearts of others.

Words of prophecy, of encouragement, speak what heaven sees and with them a grace to be them.

Our words in prayer and intercession stir up and partner with heaven’s culture to move on earth. Heavens heart is influenced and imparted with grace as we pray!

God spoke into creation everything that surrounds you as you read these words. There was a grace for what was spoken to become.

Jesus, called the ‘Word’ that became flesh in John 1. Our words become substance, flesh as it were as did His. 

Our words engage the natural realm and the supernatural, the spirit realm. John 4 says, “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John? ?4:23-24? ?

What grace do you want to release today? It will be through your words.

“And never let ugly or hateful words come from your mouth, but instead let your words become beautiful gifts that encourage others; do this by speaking words of grace to help them.” Ephesians? ?4:29

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Shaming Others doesn’t bring change

August 1st, 2019

I was reversing out from my parking spot. 

We all know how precious those things have become in our world of 7 billion people. 

I reversed out onto the middle of an empty road. As I did I noticed a car was already waiting for my parking spot. 

Just as I put my car into drive and began inching forward, the waiting car drove in front of me and pulled into the spot. 

Slamming on my brakes, I was shocked. 

As the driver pulled in, a jogger ran past them and yelled “You d____!” Shaking her fist and pointing at the driver as she did so.

Stunned at the 1,2,3 of unexpected events. I continued my turn of the steering wheel, clearing the middle of the road and drove off. 

Fear and shaming had just run that moment. If you ever doubt that much of life isn’t a emotional discourse, consider this event. 

Happens more than we like to admit. Our parking lots have become shaming fields. Our cars weapons. And driving an experience in dehumanisation. 

When did we ever get the idea that shame can drive the kind of change we all really want in our society? 

Shaming others never has produced change that is positive, because shame attacks our identity. 

When we confuse behaviour with identity we are on dangerous grounds. 

And this was the power of Jesus. He never lost sight of who we are despite our vulnerability and our behaviour. 

He knew to be human is to be vulnerable. He valued vulnerability not shamed it. 

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How to turn a nation?

June 19th, 2019

Sometimes to turn a nation we have to rebuild an altar to God. 

1 Kings 18 records a defining moment in the history of Israel. This moment was not just about a family, a community, a organisation being turned, but an entire nation!

What turned it? A person rebuilding of an altar to God. This was the great powwow between Elijah and the Prophets of Baal. 

Both built altars. Only one saw the presence of God fall on it.

Altars are places that house anything you consult with before acting. Anything you check in with to get your identity, your values, your direction, your power from.

It has always been about altars, because our entire physiology was wired for worship. In that space, we draw meaning of life and for life. We are meaning making machines.

Turning a nation, turning the narrative of what gives us meaning, is found at the altar of what we worship.

In fact, future generations are depending upon us to come face to face right now with what we worship. 

How can we create a space for worship to God? What does building an altar look like? Is it really that big a deal for my nation?

These are key questions that over the years I have wrestled with.

Many years ago, when I first started to create a space for God in my life, I would wrestle, toss, think about all kinds of things, get up, sit down, walk around. Wrestless. 

Had no idea of what I was waiting for or doing. All I knew was that I had been pulled. Pulled to a space, a time and to Him.

I had no idea what that meant or would mean now nearly 20 years on.

So I learned to ask. I learned to ask what he wanted, what he saw, what he was thinking about, what was on his heart. I began the learning of connection, of worship, of building an altar to him in presence of other altars.

And I’m still learning today

During one of these such times, he took me to Isa 40:31. “Those that wait upon the Lord, will renew their strength. They will raise on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”

My eyes fell to the word, wait. What an uncool word for one who loves immediacy, action, adventure and decision making!

Wait!

I hate waiting. I hate waiting in Doctors waiting room. I hate waiting for the light to change on the road. Loathed it as a kid! Still mostly do.

But now, the word “wait” was beaming at me. 

“Wait on the Lord.” 

Hmm. Those words, but what on earth does that look like??

I flipped to the Hebrew Dictionary for this verse. “Wait” is the word qavah, And then my jaw dropped.

Means to “bind together by twisting.” Yep that’s exactly how it felt. Loads of twisting.. tossing.. moving around… 

And this began my journey of building a space, a worship to God. It was a tossing, turning, twisting thing. It was tangible. It was physical. His presence when it encountered me, caused a physical response of qavah!

We experience that all the time as we get build connection with friends and community. We sit in conversation and experience a twisting, turning, dancing as it where of subjects, nuances, themes. As words are exchanged, hearts are moving, twisting together

or not.

And this is the rhythm of relationship, of connecting, of building a space where I worship. 

And this is the turning. The turning of an individual heart, a family, a nation. It begins at the altar.

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How to respond to being shamed or mocked?

June 19th, 2019

Philip arrived ecstatically excited. Before he could talk about anything else, he burst out with the news of all news.

The news he had waited for his entire life. Infact the news his community and nation had waited for, for over 400 years.

He met his friend Nathanael with the sensational announcement, “We have found him… Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph!”  (John 1:45)

Nathanael met Philip’s uncontained excitement with, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”

What a wet blanket moment. Ever had one of those moments? 

Super excited at an idea for your business, the results of a test, a life changing revelation just had as you encountered God, a brilliant discovery in the hardware shop to solve a problem you’d been working on for a week… 

and it’s met with indifference, rejection, or even argument.

We’ve all had them and dare I say, all responded like this too. They provoke all kinds of emotions in us from shame to defensiveness to curiosity.

What do we do when we are shamed or mocked about something we’re excited about, convinced of and believe in?

We live in a culture that has changed. It’s a culture that most social scientists would agree is now a shamed based culture. Meaning that the behaviours and belief that people are living and wrestling with are around shame.

Shame is anything that says we are less than, that we are not … enough in.” Shame is an emotion and experience that re identifies us. It rumbles with our identity.

Philip’s response gives us a key, a way home through such moments.

He replied, “Come and see.” (John 1:46) What!!! What kind of response is that? What about being right and putting Nathanael in his place?!!

Philip chose to not stumble over Nathanael’s response. He chose not to be offended or shame Nathanael. 

Instead Philip chose curiosity. 

Curiosity is powerful! It invites us away from what we think or believe may be going on, into a space to learn more. 

Curiosity is about connection and choosing connection over and above opinion. 

This is also the power of honor. Philip honored Nathanael’s position and journey. He could see the person above the behaviour. 

When Nathanael did encounter Jesus, Jesus continued his encounter with honour. He called out the gold in him, “an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit.” (John 1:47) 

No shame can stand when honor comes.

Jesus saw the person, and spoke to Nathanael’s identity. It changed the game, changed the narrative and changed Nathanael’s destiny.

Next time try curiosity. Try honouring the person above the behaviour. Gosh it can be hard but we can do hard things! This is really Living Courage! 

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How to break out of discouraging, negative atmospheres

May 24th, 2019
Discouragement, negativity and slander has been around and very present in the atmosphere these past few weeks.

 

The devil has no problem slandering us and God! He loves to yank on lies like you are not important after all who do you think you are, what you are doing with God is not important.

Disrespect has always been a key signature of his ways.

Earlier this week I was getting annoyed with this stinky atmosphere. It is an atmosphere that does not reflect heaven’s.

So I sat down with Father God and asked him for the key to shut this up.

He immediately took me to Nehemiah.
“When Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies heard that I had rebuilt the wall and that there were no more breaks in it—even though I hadn’t yet installed the gates—Sanballat and Geshem sent this message: “Come and meet with us at Kephirim in the valley of Ono.” I knew they were scheming to hurt me so I sent messengers back with this: “I’m doing a great work; I can’t come down. Why should the work come to a standstill just so I can come down to see you?” Nehemiah? ?6:2-3? ?MSG??

When the enemy talks to us he definitely wants to draw us into the valley of O No!! O no valley is a negative, foreboding place.

Negativity shuts down heaven and God’s truth!

I love Nehemiah response! It was sassy and full of authority. “I’m doing a great work; I can’t come down. Why should the work come to a standstill just so I can come down to see you?”

His knew his authority and used it to stay in truth and hold value on God, himself and the work God has given to him to steward.

Discouragement, negativity and slander targets our authority. It will always ask us to come down. Come down in our thinking, our honor, our behaviours, our choices.

Remember your authority. God always asks us to come up, lift our eyes up, keep our eyes on Jesus.

We sit as CO-HEIRs with Jesus Christ whose name every knee will bow, who is the mighty glorious powerful son of the Most High God.

Our position is high, it’s next to Jesus!

Hebrews? ?10:35 says? “Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.”

Nehemiah was rebuilding the wall to stop the enemies coming into Jerusalem. For too long they had torn Jerusalem apart.

Nehemiah was building a new normal! We are on the same mission!

Use your authority and reply to the Devil’s slander, discouragement, and negativity, “I’m doing a great work; I can’t come down. Why should the work come to a standstill just so I can come down to see you?”

God bless you with the sassy authorative anointing of Nehemiah! 

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