Dare to fight


My attention has recently been drawn to David and his confrontation of Goliath. We know this story, some of us have heard this story since we were small and have grown up with David being a hero to us. We've loved this image of a shepherd boy defeating a skilled, warrior giant! And so we should! 

There are elements of this story that I sometimes feel get overlooked, that we could really apply to our own lives. Firstly, the fact that David was a weak, probably teen or pre-teen, on cheese delivery duty. He wasn't intending to go and fight this giant on this particular errand. He was being a dutiful son, and delivering lunch to his brothers! The fact that he saw the opportunity to fight, shows two things. The extent of the fear in the camp of the soldiers, and the extent of the courage that David showed. 

We may look at ourselves and see a small, weak, pre teen of a spiritual warrior. Certainly, I have fallen prey to these thoughts. We think we are too small to take on the giants that we see, we think we don't have the tools or experience to take them down. So we sit at the back of the camp and, quake in fear and hope the giant doesn't notice us and passes us by. We chose NOT to engage. 

What about those five pebbles? To me, they speak of our gifts. When they are left to themselves, they are just rough, colorless, stones, in a collection of many many stones. They're not 'anything special'. But when these gifts are dusted with the fingerprints of the One who put them there, suddenly these pebbles become something unique, something powerful, something that can be used in a way that no one would have thought of. 

What if we chose to engage with the giants, and stop viewing ourselves as too small? What if we decided to use the 'pebbles' that God has deposited in us? What if we let Him direct those pebbles as we pick them up with the courage that He puts in us? Who knows what giants we will slay! 


Dare to Fly


Excerpt from 'Dare to Ask', Chapter 2 'Dreams and Destiny'

A few years back, I went to a women’s meeting where the topic being spoken about was the desert. I remember that the speaker went into great detail explaining the extent of the process that a caterpillar goes through in order to transition into its new form – a butterfly. 

Two things about this process really struck me and have remained as strong reminders whenever I see butterflies and caterpillars. Firstly, once a caterpillar has built its cocoon, the process it goes through inside involves it being reduced down to a soup-like consistency of about 50 cells. It is literally taken apart and its cells self-destruct. The reconstruction of this creature takes on a completely different cell structure and transforms it into an entirely new form. The process of essentially being melted down to the bare minimum and then being recreated is a painful and seemingly gruesome one, and yet, it’s something that each and every butterfly we see, goes through. 

What a reflection of what we sometimes have to go through in order for God to truly bring us into the beauty of what He has for us. 

The second thing that hit me about this creature is the struggle it goes through to get out of its cocoon once its transformation has been completed. Not only has it been biologically remade into a new form, it now has to struggle to get out and live! 

The cocoon is made from a strong silk that the caterpillar prepares in its own body and spins around itself, which protects the caterpillar and keeps it safe and contained while undergoing the painful transforming process. However, the butterfly has to use all of its newfound strength to get out of its cocoon. What struck me most about this process is that if the butterfly does not struggle and free itself, it will never be able to fly.  

There will be times when this truth can be applied to our own lives. Times when we have to go through the struggle, pressing on and pushing through, so that we can ‘fly’ as a new creation. 

I encourage you to dare to fly! You have made it through the struggle, now you're ready to fly! 

Dare to be heard

microphone - dare to be heard .jpg

At the start of the year I set myself up for a personal challenge; 'To regularly post a video of me sitting at my piano, playing and singing'.

For me, it is a scary challenge, and is definitely a case of 'biting the bullet'. In my first video, I  explained that the reason for the challenge was to do something practical and to 'make a statement' to myself, in order to counteract a lot of negativity I had heard through my life about my voice.  Since I live in the zone of "Dare to..." I decided to hashtag "DareToBeHeard". I found myself really thinking about this statement recently when I was caught in a deeply theological and emotional discussion about the meaning of Israel, it's role in theology, and it's relevance today.  

We had completely opposing viewpoints, and although we were both open and soft in our approach, it really impacted me how nervous I felt to voice this often unpopular opinion. Something rose up in me, and I noticed that my expression of my opinions and beliefs were no longer apologetic, but rather, confident and bold. I don't know what caused this switch, but it was good timing, as I was in the UK, on a trip to record the first "Dare To Ask" EP! 

I found that this confidence carried through in my recordings (which was a huge answer to prayer). More thinking occurred. Why had so many people throughout my life, felt it necessary to comment on my voice? Why had so many found a reason to silence it? Why had so many insisted it wasn't good enough? Why had so many torn it apart and found it to be not 'what they were looking for'? 

Then I realized that I was no longer thinking about my singing voice. 

Then I realized that's probably how a lot of people feel about their voice, their opinions, their beliefs and their experiences. 

It baffles me that in this age when we are supposed to be free, enlightened, educated and inclusive, we all feel the need to conform. We all sense what 'politically incorrect' is, and although we might not always go along with the politically correct view, we feel the pressure to dumb down what we really think, in order to not offend. 

I've always been a person who's been told I'm too blunt, or too loud, or am clearly 'unenlightened' because of my views, and I've never really cared, because I have strong convictions about what I think, and am fairly confident in myself. 

So why does this not transfer to my musical position? 

I guess we are all on a journey of embracing more of who we are. Accepting more of what God made us to be, and finding a boldness to 'own' what we are, and to stop apologizing.   While we must always be willing to change and learn in regards to our views, there are things about us that don't change, that are intricately a part of who were are created to be. These are the things that we must learn are there for a reason, in the way that they're there. These are the parts of us that are a gift to the world because they are unique and will never exist again in history. These are the parts of us that were intended for the world now, at this point in time. 

Too many of us try to force ourselves into shapes we were never supposed to fit in. We silence our views because we're afraid of the backlash. We silence our voices because we don't have the same sound as the current favorite. We shut away our beliefs because they are not the same as the millennial pastor on Instagram. 

I don't know about you, but I am a little fed up of being silenced, and I am asking God for the courage to be me, to be who I was made to be, and to dare to be heard.  

Listen: "Awakened" - an original song by Simcha

Pressing on

pressing on.jpg

I hate cheesy New Years blog posts that try to convince you that the passing of a new day will somehow magically cause a reset in our lives, and that we get to start again come 00:01 on January 1st. 

So this won't be one. 

We don't get to hit reset. We have to live with all that went down in the previous year, and although we may have renewed hope that the next year will be better, there is no guarantee of this, and we don't always know how to make that happen. 

For many, the year that has passed has been difficult, challenging, gut wrenching, soul destroying and lonely. For others, it was been the opposite, finding fresh release, new life and excitement in life. It doesn't actually matter, because in either case, we all have to get up in the morning and do each day. We are all in the same boat in the mornings. We can choose how we engage with the day. Are we going to allow the circumstances to dictate how we feel and how we engage? Or are we going to choose joy?  

I do believe that God is prompting people to press in further, to listen harder, to worship with reckless abandon. We cannot drift, coasting along in life, assuming that everything we have done up until now must be the fullness of what God has for us. The scriptures tell us in Proverbs 29:18 that "without vision, the people perish". I believe that it is time for us to wrestle God for the vision He has for us. We are not created to aimlessly float through life without drive, without passion and without something to work towards, whether in secret or public. We are created to have hopes, dreams and things we long for. Yes, there is a tension of knowing when it is the right time to push these things through, but they should be there never the less. 

I keep meeting people who tell me they have no dreams. They have no vision, and they have no passions. To these people I say - PRESS IN! PUSH THROUGH! There is more! We're never done, not even when we're dead! He always has more! He always has abundance! We are made to partner with HIM, He isn't short on ideas on how to put our amazing gifts and abilities to use, with His hands. Sometimes I wonder if God isn't waiting for us to say to Him "Father - I really, really really want to do this!"! Maybe he's waiting for us to have passion about something, anything! You see, he made us with opinions, with thoughts, feelings and awareness of who we are. With that *should* come desires, ideas, and something that propels us forward through each day. 

While I don't like the concept of New Year, I do think it is a good opportunity to make adjustments, to really look in the mirror and make some new commitments. Maybe we need to commit to searching His heart, to hearing His voice that sings over us. Maybe we need to wrestle harder for seeing His ideas and dreams over us. Pressing in is tough. It isn't something we can do while sitting on the sofa with our feet up. It requires a level of physical fitness, determination and perseverance when it feels like we're failing. 

But isn't this what life is all about? 

Situations, circumstances and life, which tests us. How do we make it through? How much determination do we have to get through, and to persevere, and to come through triumphant? 

I find myself very determined to press in, determined to hear His heart, determined to dig deeper, to push my limits and to discover new life and fresh breakthrough. 

Who wants to join me? 



Designed for Vulnerability


I just got home from 10 days away on the Ascend Carmel program, where I serve on the leadership team. Many amazing things happened during this 10 days, most of which are not my stories to tell. But the thing that most impacted me about this 10 days away, was the courage that the participants showed in being vulnerable. 

From the minute they walked through the front door, into a guest house full of strangers, they were all committed to each other, to walking through the journey they were on together, and to creating a safe place for each other to be real. 

It really got me thinking about vulnerability. We are programmed to view it as a dangerous place to live. It's a state that holds great risk, and in our minds, will end in tears. Throughout my life I have always been told one of my greatest flaws is that I trust people too easily or quickly, and that I'm too open with my heart. In other words, I live in a state of vulnerability. For many years, I tried to fight this, as I had been convinced that it was going to get me hurt, and actually - it did. But I realized a long time ago, that actually what I did, was deliberately turn my heart of flesh into a heart of stone, and undoing that was far more painful than the hurt I'd experienced in my vulnerable state.

Since going through the painful process of unfreezing my heart, I have come to see how this is one of my gifts, and to embrace it, and all that comes with it. Including the hurt. What I discovered is that this place is actually a welcoming place. It's a place that others feel safe, at home and taken care of. This is why all our participants on Ascend felt so able to be vulnerable from the get go. They felt welcomed, at home and taken care of, both by each other and by the leadership. 

I have witnessed the incredible strength that is exhibited in someone making themselves vulnerable to another, or to God. It isn't a place of weakness, it is a place of courage, of choice and of incredible healing and refreshment. It's where the truth is faced, accepted and love is exchanged.

When you deconstruct what takes place when a person is vulnerable, it begs the question why we aren't vulnerable all the time!
The problem is self.
When we see someone else's vulnerability as an opportunity to feel better about ourselves, that's when dangers arise. But if we were more conscious of the beauty of the exchange that can take place between two intentionally vulnerable people, we would all be better off. 

When people are vulnerable together, strength is found, courage is raised, love is given and relationships are made that will last a life time. And most important - We are real. 

Because actually, It is when we are vulnerable, that we are at our most real, raw, naked selves. 


The power of choice

choice .jpg

Recently I was faced with a choice. For me it was clear which was right and which was wrong, and my head never had to debate which the right choice was. It was obvious and clear.

What surprised me was how much my heart and emotions had to debate the choice. 

It really got me thinking about the fact that we're given free choice, God gave us free will. He doesn't bend our will to fit His, He lets us to choose. And He lets us choose in our own time. 

Our days are filled with choices, large and small, and many of them don't make any difference to the direction of our lives.  Do we have tea or coffee? Do we take a second helping of dinner? Do we have a bath or a shower? Laundry today, or tomorrow? Going for a run or watching TV? 

None of these choices really matter. 

But what if we kept making the same choice over and over..
If I drink coffee every day in the afternoon, I'll most likely start losing sleep. 
If I repeatedly take second helpings of dinner, I will gain weight. 
If I indulge in a bath every day, I will not be available to my family (and my water bill will bankrupt us!)
If I always put laundry off until tomorrow, I'll end up being naked tomorrow!
If I never go for a run, I'll never hit my targets, or gain fitness. 

Suddenly our choices have affected the direction of our lives.

Sometimes our daily, insignificant, mundane choices affect the direction our lives go in more than we think. They seem to creep up on us, and suddenly jump out at us, having been transformed into a huge issue. 

That second helping, in an of itself, is insignificant, we all do it! But what if after 6 months, or after 2 years, or after 10 years, of repeatedly taking more than we need, we are confronted with being massively over weight? Suddenly, that small choice has become a huge problem. 

The same can be said of many choices we make. It is so easy to suddenly find ourselves in deep water, because we hadn't realized how far out we'd been paddling. What is amazing is that in this situation, we have a choice again. We can continue to go deeper into the unknown, and potentially drown, or we can choose to return to shore. Put our lives in order, and continue life in a safe place. 

This isn't to say that we should never take risks. We should! I believe that God loves a trusting heart, who isn't afraid of risk! But there is always discernment in risk. 

Sometimes we paddle out just far enough that we feel those sudden butterflies in our stomach, when we know that we are about to enter a dangerous place. We can choose what we do. For me, when I hit this place, I probably stood there for longer than I should. I saw the attraction of playing in the waves, the thrill of the unknown, and the fun of the spray. 

What eventually got my heart and emotions to catch up with my head, was the gripping fear of the strength of the undercurrent. This wasn't a safe current that you can play in and have fun with. This was a rip tide, that you cannot go against, and probably won't survive. In that instance, I put my feet down, turned 180 degrees, and chose to walk away. 

What did I learn? 
The liberty of knowing that I chose the right thing. The conflict is gone. My heart is clear, and matches my head.  The path I've chosen I can embrace and appreciate it all the more, because I've chosen it. It's mine. No one forced me, no one talked me into it, no one convinced me. I chose it for myself. 

And this is why God loves choice. 

He wants us to choose Him in the same way. To have a clear heart. To embrace the path with Him that we've chosen, and appreciate it, because we've chosen Him. He's ours, and we are His. No one has forced us to choose Him. No one talks us into it, and no one convinces us. We chose Him for ourselves. 

That is the most powerful choice we can ever make. 

Own it.


Recently I've been thinking a lot about how we have to walk through lessons and seasons more than once.  It's a shame we don't learn all we need to learn the first time we encounter a lesson. Like children, it seems that we need constant reminders and experiences that help us re-learn the lessons He needs us to learn. 

We spend so much of our time fighting the season we’re in, or apologizing for our struggle, wallowing in self pity or depression, and going to great lengths to cheer ourselves up. 

What if we decided to embrace where we’re at, and to trust that God put us there for a reason, and if we really do trust Him, then we can find joy in any season. What if we stopped apologizing for the rough time we’re having, and started being honest with ourselves and those around us, and just said “I’m struggling, but God is good”. What if we stopped feeling ashamed for the difficulties we’re facing, like it’s an indication of how in control we are, or how ‘good’ a person we are, and held our heads high and decided that if God is asking me to face this, He has something good to do, because He is good. 

Own the season you’re in. Don’t let it get tainted by fake and unrealistic standards of normality. Everyone goes through seasons of hardship, struggles, depression, anger, disappointment and isolation. It’s how we respond to these seasons that determines how long they will last. If we live in denial, and put on the polite “I’m fine” mask, then this season will last longer, as God will have to break the mask down to get you to be real. If we own the season, and approach it with honesty, expectation and humility, it will pass by faster, and you will learn and receive more from God than you ever expected. 

Those desires and dreams in our hearts are often just on the other side of these seasons. But it is during this season that they feel most far away, and most impossible. That is half the test - to chose to believe that God is good. To chose to believe that it’s not an accident that you’re walking through this season, and that He has not given up on the potential in you, He’s trying to bring it out. 



Just imagine...


I've been thinking a lot about our imaginations. 

Why have we been created to imagine things as they are not? Or to imagine entire new things up? 

I heard this quote from Steven Furtick recently, that really challenged me; "God created our imaginations to be a play ground, but the enemy has made them into a battle ground. The enemy will try and attack your destiny, and the first thing he'll do, is try and put a stronghold in your imagination." 

It got me thinking about how actually, as adults, we view our imagination almost as a dirty word. As something childish. As something that is immature, and not something to be indulged. 

This is probably because most of us have got some sort of a stronghold in our imaginations, and not only us, but our children. Whether that is a pornography addiction by the age of 12, or the fantasy gaming life that has gradually become more real to you than your actual life. Maybe it's all the beautiful things you'd like to do in your house, or the latest fitness guru's instragram feed, or the beautiful teens you wish you looked like, on snapchat. Whatever it is, most of us have areas of our imagination that probably don't need feeding. 

So I got thinking, why is it that the enemy is so concerned about our imagination? Why attack it so consistently? What is so significant about the ability to almost 'pretend' things to be different to how they are? 

God is a God of dreams, he loves us to imagine, create, he loves us to think outside of our little bubble, because that is where He is found. He isn’t locked into a linear time line, with all the rules and constructs that we have created. He is outside of that, and longs for us to join Him. 

He created us with an imagination that can perceive things differently to the reality we’re in. He made us with the ability to dream things, hope for things that are ‘other’. Things that are not founded on our daily life, our daily routine, but transcend that, and make us 3 dimensional.

We’re created to be able to think stories up, have imaginary friends, play in an alternate universe, all the things that kids do, and we encourage! But for some reason we squash this and put a lid on tight, when we hit adulthood. 

Our imagination is pure creativity. And that is the image of God. 

Everything we see, every breath we take, are all a creation ongoing, continuing. 

And our imagination, dreaming, allowing ourselves to see things other than how they are, is how we partner with Him. 

He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.” Ecc 3:11

We are not designed to live life aiming for the end date of our physical death. We are designed to live eternally. He has put eternity in our hearts, and I believe that our dreams, our imaginings, our deep passions and yearnings come from a place that echoes with eternity. 

Isn't it time we took back our imaginations, and used them to Glorify God? 


Nothing is wasted

“When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, "Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” - John 6:12 

This verse is so powerful. Within the context of the story one could pass over this verse and think only of the left over food that the disciples were seeing. But if we dig a little deeper, it can transform how we view the events of our life. 

We are headed to a marriage feast with the Lamb (Rev 19:9), where He will be united with a pure and spotless bride who He has made worthy. I don’t believe that God will look back over our lives and say “those crumbs in his life - throw them away”. He takes all the pieces, even the left over, spat out, moldy crumby parts of our life, and says “Let nothing be wasted”.

How liberating! He can use all things, and He can make all things new (Rev 21:5). 

We often condemn ourselves to a life that is less than what He planned because of mistakes we have made, or poor choices we’ve made. Yet He knew every choice we would make along the way and is willing to use them, to not let them go to waste, if only we give Him control of the basket of bread, that is our life. Not only that, but the very things that we think have ‘ruined us’, can be redeemed and made to be the greatest tools for His Kingdom purposes. 

Nothing we do is a surprise to our maker. He has a habit of taking our greatest failures, and making them His greatest opportunities. If we would only invite Him in. 

No matter what I consider the ‘crumbs’ of my life to be, I have to decide to let God gather them and use them. He will not let anything be wasted if I give them to Him.

Blind Obedience

Great is Your Faithfulness...

Great is Your Faithfulness...

It's been a while since I wrote a blog post, because the last time I wrote, it turned into a book! 

I never intended to write a book, and it was the last thing on my 'to do' list, but ultimately, for me, it became an act of obedience. Completely blind obedience. 

Blind obedience is really hard. I see if in my kids, they want to know why, when, what and a million other questions along the way, but don't often obey blindly. Actually I'm kind of glad, because it means they question things in a healthy way, but there are times when we do just need to plain obey. 

It says in the scriptures that "obedience is better than sacrifice" (1Sam 15:22) and what I have learned is that often it's the decision to obey that is harder. Once you've made the decision to obey, the sacrifices that have to be made along the way seem less of a sacrifice, because you're obeying the Voice One who called and there is no greater act. Also, if you're anything like me, the drive to see it through, and complete the task put before you, also makes some of the sacrifices pale to insignificance. 

When I wrote the book, I had absolutely no idea what God was going to do with it, if anything at all. I was stressed and desperately praying that God would show me His strategy, and reveal what I needed to do to 'steward' what He had given me. It never occurred to me to do nothing. But actually what I've learned is that actually, God doesn't need me to do an aggressive Facebook campaign, or pay a ton of money for paid advertising, because when He breathes on something, it's goes to places and heights that no money could have ever bought. 

Blind obedience is hard for humans, because we're programed to need or want more information, and we don't like trusting when we don't have it. I am in no way done with this lesson, but I feel like I was given an opportunity for God to fully prove Himself to me. 

But then I got thinking. We don't often give God the opportunity to prove Himself, because we don't like to blindly trust and obey. Actually, God will always be faithful and will always prove Himself, because it's in His character to be faithful, He cannot be anything else. He can only complete what He's spoken, because if He doesn't, then He's not God. It's actually us who are the problem in this test we put before God. We wait for God to do His bit before we are willing to do our bit. But that's not how it works.

How can we know He'll catch us, if we never jump?  
How can we know He'll open the door, if we never approach it? 
How can we know He'll bring things to life, if we never let Him breathe on it? 

Actually, our test of God, is really a test of us. 

God never changes. He's always faithful. He's always true. He will always surprise us. 
It's us who need to trust that our obedience will always be seen, always be rewarded one way or another, even if it's in ways we don't expect. 

Go on.... take the safety net away, and let Him catch you..

The Desert Cry

Desert Cry
Desert Cry

"Speak tenderly to me, Be patient in your love. Speak words of hope, And free me, You are making all things new"

Today I was leading worship, and we truly had a wonderfully intimate time with God, where his presence was tangible in the room. For some reason my mind immediately went to Hosea and the amazing story of him and his wife, Gomer. This love story which dances between the story of Hosea and Gomer, and God and Israel, has so many facets to it, and so many things to be learned from it. Most famous is probably the verse "I will allure her to the desert and speak tenderly to her".  There is so much in that one sentence.

The word 'allure', means 'to woo'. It has romantic connotations, and is a word which indicates a deep and passionate love and interest.

Desert is a dry, difficult place to be, with little or no physical refreshment to the body. Hot sun, dry heat, no water, and dangerous conditions, it's not a place to get lost! But for some reason God wants to 'allure' us there.


He has great plans for us once we're there. He wants us to be in a place with no distractions, with no ability to depend on ourselves, and no people around to take our gaze off Him. He wants us to be in a difficult place, because it's only when we're in a difficult place that we can see him plainly. We can hear Him speaking to us. We can hear those tender words of love and affection that He is s0 desperately longing to whisper to our hearts, if we could only hear Him.

What happens when he whispers to us?

We are made new! It is impossible to be spoken to tenderly by the King of the universe, the Maker of all things, the Messiah, Saviour and Lord of all, without being changed. In an instant. This is a rehearsal for eternity! When we see him we will be changed in an instant! But we can begin the process now, if we'll only accept that alluring call into the difficult place.

We are so desperate NOT to enter the desert. We go kicking and screaming, and complain the whole way! But what happens when there is no one there to hear the complaints anymore, and nothing to remind you of what you left behind? You forget what was so 'great' about your life, and realise that most of it is plastic, and worthless, and you couldn't probably do without it!

When you're in the desert, you really deal with yourself. You realise what idols have been on your heart all along, which you hadn't even seen. You hear the way you talk which you may not have noticed before. You realise the way you've been looking at others, or the way you've been hoping others will see you. You see what's become your standard for life are so far away from what God's standards for life are. It's only when you're in a place where it's all taken away, that you realise non of it matters, and most of it was wrong.

You are truly free to see.

It's at this point that God gently whispers those words of hope, those words of truth, those words of love which set you free from all that bound you before, and makes all things new within you.

It's in the desert that we are most deeply refreshed, renewed and satisfied by Him. I love how God makes the places we most dread going to, the most incredible places of restoration.

I don't know about you, but I'd quite like to live in the desert.

Your Great Rescue

sailing-boat "Grace abounds In waves so strong I'm all out at sea I'm right where I want to be Grace abounds Engulfing me all around I'm all out at sea Right where I want to be Until you've done all you need in Just me and You.. In your great rescue. "


Life is an ocean. It's full of twists and turns, currents pulling you in directions you didn't know existed, it can get rough in an instant, but can also be so beautiful and refreshing at times too. I don't believe there has ever been a person who hasn't experienced the choppy, tumultuous times life can throw at us, even the most sheltered and luxurious of lives have these times. It's not always circumstantial, it's out inner being that can encounter these waves crashing in, and that is universal.

Sometimes we're ready and waiting for these waves, because we know we're walking through a storm , we saw it coming, it started with a light drizzle, the winds picked up, and we were ready, with our coats, boots, umbrellas, and we're heading as quickly as we can to get 'out'!  Although we may not anticipate every wave, we are almost prepared for dealing with them because we know, we're living in a storm.

Other times we're happily enjoying a quiet, peaceful picnic for the soul, and in an instant we are being pounded with the lashing rain's of a storm that arrived with no warning. We're not ready, we're left outside in our summer clothes getting soaked to the bone! Our picnic is ruined, our food has turned to a soggy mess which is no longer appetising or satisfying. The rain stings our skin, and we can't see anything clearly, so we just sit there, getting drenched by the rain, hoping it'll pass quickly so we can get back to life!

But what if God had a plan in the suddenness of the storm? What if he meant to 'catch you unawares'? What if he didn't want that food to satisfy you anymore? What if he has things he wants to do in you during the storm? What if he wants you to stop fighting the tides, and give all control to his currents. Let Him carry you. Even if that means being all out at sea, with seemingly no hope, and no direction. Would you let him? Probably not!

God knows that he gets a lot less done in us when we're ready, and prepared to fix all the things which are going 'wrong' around us. We don't look to see if these circumstances are God's way of doing a work in us, we just get on and fix it. I believe that's why some storms come 'suddenly' and out of the blue. Because in His mercy - he saves us from ourselves, from our incessant need to fix everything and find the easy way out.

What if we're supposed to embrace the storm, and all it brings, and trust that He's good. He's always good. His grace abounds, engulfs us, surrounds us, it carries us in His currents to the places He wants us to be. If we stop fighting it, we might discover that we have been transformed, washed clean, renewed, restored and directed in ways we never could have accomplished for ourselves.

What if God isn't as interested in saving us from our circumstances, as He is in saving us from ourselves? What if the circumstances are his tools?

What if God is leading us right into the eye of the storm, and being in the storm with Him, IS His great rescue plan?


Nothing Can Move Me

GIrl on a rock "Nothing can move me,  Nothing can move me,  Your joy came in the morning..  Your promise will keep me,  Your word it will lead me,  From death to life.."


Have you ever fallen in a fast flowing river? I have.

When I was a kid I used to go do water sports in the river which ran through the middle of the city. One time my wind sail caught a current of wind and took me out of the safe area, an inlet, or dock where we did our activities, and took me into the main body of water where I immediately felt the strong pull of a massively powerful river. I fell off my board almost immediately and began screaming for help. I realised instantly that although this huge river looked lazy and slow, it was powerful and swollen, had the potential to suck me under and lose me in it's depths. Fortunately for me, my coach was nearby and got to me before I got carried away. I don't remember much of this episode because I think I was completely overtaken by fear, but what I do remember was that moment my coach got hold of me and pulled me up onto the safety of the deck, the sheer relief was so enormous, it totally overwhelmed me. The deck was so solid, immovable, safe and still. The complete opposite of how I'd felt in that water - which I had no control over.

Recently I was struck by how I could describe an experience God took me through in my personal life, in the exact same way. I felt like I'd been lifted out of this situation I had no control over, which could have destroyed me, could have taken me to places I would have been lost to, and really had huge power over me. I didn't even realise that I was screaming for help until I realised that God had rescued me! He heard the cry of my heard without me even needing to utter it. He saw me, saw the danger and grabbed me before it took me away.

Sometimes we don't realise what God rescued us from, without hindsight. Sometimes we really do reach the depths of despair, and hit rock bottom before God grabs us, we all have different stories, and different experiences of God's rescue plans, but one thing we all have in common is that immovable place He puts us. His rock, His peace, His rest, where nothing and no one can move you. Nothing can rob this from you - they can try, but it can never be stolen. It's His precious gift to us - He sets us on a rock, props us up, dries us off, washes us clean, and as His word says - "Nothing can separate us from Him".

I've found through my rescue experiences that after that initial plucking from imminent danger, we are often plunged into a night of the soul - a time where nothing much happens, we're left alone with our thoughts, our prayers and our relief that the situation has changed. It's a time for deep healing, deep restoration and often painful realisations, but after night time, always comes morning. And with the morning comes new mercies, He knows what the soul can bare, what the mind can cope with, and what the heart can carry. His mercies are always towards us, His mercy always triumphs over judgement, and He loves to show His mercy. Even when we deserve to be left to that swirling current and be swept away, He shows His mercy, because that's who He is.

Only when we have a full realisation of that mercy in the dawn of this new day, that undeserved, and unending mercy that He shows towards us, can our morning truly break,  and that joy can burst forth. That joy which wells from places we didn't know existed, bubbling up from that deep place of relief, is what leads us into understanding His promises for us, that He led us from death, to life. From drowning, to flourishing. From despair to joy.

From this place, nothing can move me.

Won't you break me?

  broken clay"Made of clay

I pour myself out

I don’t have the strength

So Lord I ask, Won’t you break me

I’m alabaster..." 


The woman with the alabaster jar has to be one of the most well known and loved stories in the Bible. It talks of a woman scorned, who should have been turned away and rejected, in the culture of the day, she was known to be unclean, she was thought to be embarrassing herself, and was a woman.  All reasons for her to be forgotten. But she isn't forgotten, she is remembered, and Yeshua said himself that she would be remembered through the generations. For me, this is a beautiful thing which can't be ignored. Yes, she was embraced and accepted by Yeshua, but more than that - she was remembered. Appreciated. Her act was commemorated. Why?

What did she do that was so important for us to remember? Was it simply that she was accepted, where the religious leaders of the day would have rejected her? Was it that she was tenacious enough to reach Yeshua, through all the obstacles in her way? Was it that she washed his feet with her tears? It may be for all these reasons, they are all reason enough to remember her! Her act of outrageous worship was one to learn so much from!

I love that the Bible is full of completely absurd, extremely tenacious women, who definitely fell from the same tree as Jacob - in that they refused to give up until they got what they wanted. This woman would have been pushed, shoved, scorned, she probably had to cover her head and most likely, her face, in order to get anywhere close to Yeshua. She had to hear comments, rude remarks, and would probably have felt judged at every turn she made, but she kept going, because she had to reach his feet. She had to weep, she had to give him something. She had to acknowledge Him as her messiah. And the way she did it, I think it one of the greatest pictures there is in the Bible of how we should interact with our messiah.

She fell at her His feet. Undone by his presence. She had no words, she had nothing to give. She poured herself out, she wept. She wasn't afraid to give extravagantly, even though all those around her shamed her for doing something so foolish - she smashed open her jar of perfume with reckless abandon, without a second thought, and poured it, unashamedly on the feet of her saviour. She didn't hesitate, she didn't care what she heard, all she wanted was to be completely abandoned to Him. She trusted that she would be accepted, she trusted that He knew her heart. She trusted that He would truly see into her, where others just saw past her.

This is how we should be each day. We are that jar of clay, we need to fall at our messiah's feet, knowing we have nothing to offer, unless it's been made whole by Him. We sometimes don't even have the strength to ask him to break us, but really that's the best prayer we can pray. It's a dangerous prayer, because He'll do it. Being broken isn't easy, but it's truly the most beautiful thing He can do to us, because what comes out of us when we are broken and poured out at His feet, is such a treasured and precious fragrance unto Him, that he will be pleased. He will see into us, like He saw into her, and He will remember.

That is true worship.

Of course He doesn't leave us broken, He doesn't leave things in pieces. He is a God of order, a God of restoration, a God of making all things new, a God of new seasons, a God of second (and more!) chances, a God of compassion and love. He gently breaks us, so he can restore us, and mould into what He always intended us to be. He brings us back to what he purposed for us. He also intended for the woman with the alabaster jar to worship Him, but she had to reach the end of herself before she felt she needed to do it!

We are so good at fixing ourselves too, we patch things up, thinking we're 'healed', only to find a little way down the road that actually, it would have been much better to just ask God to fix us. But often by the time we get round to doing this, the only way to be fixed is to be broken, and reset - like a bone which has healed in the wrong place. But how wonderful that our God is gentle, and will never break a bruised reed, or snuff out a smouldering flame. He is a God of patience, and tenderness. He will walk with us on this journey of brokenness, and carry us if needed.

"So Lord I ask, Won't you break me.."

The question really is - do you dare to ask this?


Who's on the throne?

throne of your heart "There is space only for you On the throne of my heart. I long and yearn to sit at your feet. Just to be with you, Just to stand in your presence, Just to see you in your Glory, Just to hear your voice This is all my soul desires"

It's really easy to say that we love God, we adore God, we put no one else before God, we worship God, we serve God, and a thousand other things about how we interact with God.

Recently I was challenged about really, who, or what is on the throne of my heart? Who or what is taking that space from, or sharing that space with Yeshua?

For me, this challenge came in the form of food and exercise. After having 3 kids I was determined to take control of the situation, get fit, lose weight and live more healthily. I threw myself at it, working out daily, trying many different eating programs which left me rigidly following plans which had no 'give' to them. I enjoyed it! It got results! I got fit! I gained muscle tone! I made it to many personal goals, like running 5K! I did it! right?

Wrong. I reached an all time low, emotionally, when I realised that if I was going to maintain this weight loss and fitness level I was going to have to deny myself constantly, discipline myself relentlessly, and have no leeway for the rest of my life. That isn't living. That is slavery.

I was desperate - it was something I'd struggled with since I was a child, I cried out to God, and it came crashing in on me - I had never sought to hear what God's opinion was on this matter. I had tried to fix it completely humanly, completely scientifically, and it wasn't His way!

Over the next few days and weeks came a very deep and at times, painful process of realising how much I had put things before Him. Even when it was with good intention, and a 'right' desire - to be healthy and look after my body. I suddenly felt freedom for the first time in my life in this area, and once I understood that God had made a way for us to live healthily, without plans, calorie counting, restricting myself, without viewing foods as 'good' or 'bad' - and guess what? I was free and I lost weight.

The amazing side effect of weight loss isn't what I'm writing about here, I realised how many times I'd not run to God when I felt down - I'd run to a chocolate bar. I had this horrible realisation that I'd put a piece of chocolate on the throne of my heart, rather than the Almighty creator of heaven and earth. Chocolate.

For you it may not have anything to do with food or exercise - it may be music, work, technology, money, friends, ministry, family - it could literally be anything - where do you run when you want comfort?

It's hard to run to God because it's usually the moments when we need to run to him, that he feels furthest away! So we find a quick fix, which usually becomes a crutch without us even knowing or noticing. We shove things between us and God which fix us for a few minutes, or even hours, but it doesn't deal with the root.

For me, the root was emotional - I was a comfort eater, and I didn't even notice! I had no idea how many times a day I ran to food instead of God, and until I found a strategy to distinguish between my heart needing to be fed, and my stomach needing to be fed. Up until this point I couldn't tell the difference, and used my self made comforter for both - food. Now I learned the difference I could feed my heart on God, and my stomach on food. Both in their rightful - and enjoyable, places.

Recently a good friend and co-worker quoted "The final question presented to humanity is this: Who will you worship?". I was worshipping food, fitness and the ideal of being thin and muscly, and I didn't even realise.

Whatever gets our most attention is what we worship. Those things can be good things - like our families, being a good mom, being a good friend. But if those things become slightly too emphasised, and it becomes a crutch where we gain even the smallest amount of identity, then they've climbed up onto that throne and have taken the place of the King. I'm not saying we should deny who we are, I am a mom, there is an aspect of that being my identity, but it's not the summation of who I am, it's a part of the calling and role that God has for me. My identity, the essence of who I am made to be, is wrapped up in Him.

As I've walked through this process it's becoming increasingly clear to me that this is what God does with us. He gently peels things away, he strips us back, getting rid of the 'stuff' we wrap ourselves us in. He wants us to be who he made us to be - without all the bolt-ons we add. He's stripping us back to the original design, and yes, he'll use all we've been through to enhance that, and teach us things, but we think we can outsmart God so often. We think we can help Him out by adding things to the already perfect recipe. God didn't leave things out when we made us - he got it right - exactly right.

When we clutter up our throne room, with little bits and stuff which we think we need, the process of emptying, ordering, stripping back and restoring get harder and harder, more and more painful. Some of those things have taken up residence in your throne room for decades! Those are hard things to root out - but you see, the King wants a clear throne room, with no distractions, where he can speak, and you hear clearly. Where you can run to Him and not trip, where He can love you, and you can not share it with anything else.

The question is - are you willing to clear the throne room? You may find unexpected things sitting on your throne - like I did. You may already know what sits on your throne. In either case, the King is ready to be given back his throne, He's waiting on your acceptance of this challenge to gently re-order your throne room, and let him take up permanent residence.



Rest your soul

bed_field_051"In me all things are possible

In me all things are made new

All things made perfect in my hands...

So rest your soul "

Ever dreamed of something, worked towards it tirelessly, imagined life as if the dream were the reality, but eventually given up on it? I think most of us have. We all have a deep place in our souls where we dream of what we could be. Our dreams for ourselves were often God's dreams for us, before he gave them to us to dream. I haven't often met someone who's dream bears no relation to who they are - we are usually fairly self aware in our dreaming.

We often give up on our dreams because 'life gets in the way'. We think what we're doing, and what we're busy with all day has nothing to do with what we spend dreaming about in our 'off time'.

What if all the things we think are distractions, or even sometimes a direct attack on our dreams, are actually part of the preparation for the fulfilment of our dreams? For me, my childhood and adolescent dreams are still buried deep in my heart, and for the longest time I thought they were foolish, unenlightened and immature. Recently God has challenged me in a very raw and deep way, not to scoff at and disregard the things he put in my heart. Just because I was a child, or a young person, with less life experience doesn't mean those dreams were wrong, they were simply innocent and uncorrupted.

Sometimes the dreams of our youth are too big for us to handle as younger  adults, and we need to mature in order to handle our dreams. We taint the dreams with worldly desires and ambition, rather than waiting for God's perfect hand and timing to bring them forth.

Recently God has taken me on a journey of restoration of the things he spoke to me as a child, and as a young person. Dreams which have been shot down so many times I'd given up on them completely. The word for the season is "I am making all things new. I am making OLD things new". Sometimes in the all inclusive use of the word "all", we forget that that includes the old things. The things we left on the shelf, at the back, and allowed the dust to fall on. The things we abandoned, and shoved in a box and sealed the lid on tight. Right now, God is gently taking those boxes out from the back of the closet, dusting them down, and taking out those dreams, and showing me that now, I might be ready to handle them.

I love this journey because at this point I'd given up on so many of these dreams, that there's not doubt that if any of them happen, I know it's purely and only because He decided it was time.  Not only does God restore the dreams he gave, he suddenly opens your eyes to see how all the things you've walked through, which seemed so painful, or pointless, or at times a waste of time, actually makes you more able to achieve this dream in a way that points to Him so much more than you would have if you'd have accomplished things alone, and in your own strength.

My favourite thing about this journey of restoration is that I don't need to fret, worry, strive or push anything. We all have the potential to strive after our dreams, and to push hard to make them happen. Sometimes this is the path that God has for us, and the pushing and working is part of his refining of us in the accomplishment of those dreams. Sometimes however, he wishes to do things without the pushing and striving. He wants us to be so absolutely convinced about His hand in it, that he brings it about in a way which is seemingly impossible. He created the Universe. All things are possible. My story at this point is an accumulation of seemingly impossible events colliding into one massive blessing, which points towards my dream. I couldn't have manufactured any of the circumstances I find myself in, even with all the striving and pushing and hard work in the world. They are simply Him. His work. His hand. Making all things perfect.

And the best thing about this?


My soul can breath. He's got this. His hand is on it all. It's not hard for him. I can breath, exhale, find His joy in the moments, and Rest.

That is heaven, on earth.

Fresh Oil

olive oil"Let the pressure be just right.Let the darkness be fleeting and never lonely, So that what comes forth is pure,  and an oil you're pleased with"

On a recent family visit,  I had the privilege of  seeing my son operate an ancient olive press. He followed the instructions given to him perfectly, and pressed a few (not quite ripe!) olives and we saw the beginnings of oil coming forth from them.

Ever since then, the enormity of the meaning of the olive press has been made more real to me than ever. The struggle that each olive goes through to produce this precious oil, is such a representation of what God is doing with us. We need to be squeezed, refined, and put under pressure in order of that pure offering to found in us.

Do we dare to ask for that pressure? That's a dangerous prayer..

It's a scary thing to be thrown into the olive press, I have to trust that the press won't crush me completely, that I will survive this ordeal. This trust has to be coupled with knowing that God loves me, he isn't out to crush me, he will not give me more than I can bare, and he wants the best for me. I have to trust that the pressure which I'm subjected to is just right, even when I think, in my humanity, that it's too much, I must trust that God knows me better than I know myself. The pressure is just right.

When an olive is in a press, it's not only subjected to pressure, it's surrounded by other olives, all of which are also being subjected to pressure, from different angles and at different times. This is also true of our journey with God. We are never alone, even if we rest assured that God is with us and doing a great thing in us through this pressure, we also know that others are also going through their own press, their own journey, their own story.

As that great olive grinder rolls around in it's rut, there is a moment, when it passes over the olives for the very first time, that those olives are in complete darkness. This is the time of the most intense pressure, but it's also the time when the most pure oil is produced.

I have been learning recently to embrace the times of darkness, of pressure and squeezing, trusting that this is God's beautiful way of getting the most pure and sacred of offerings to come forth from my heart.

No one said it would be easy, but do we dare to ask for the process that brings about the most precious and pure of sacrifices?

Overcome Me

facedown-2"I give all of meOvercome me"

Recently I was challenged about whether the news (and sharing the news) was promoting love towards the 'other side'. I was shocked by this question, as I don't consider myself as negative towards the 'other side', rather a realist about what's going on. I'm not against them, it's just what happens to be going on. But the more I thought about it, the more I realised that although I say  i'm neutral, I have definitely felt fear in the past 2 weeks.

Then I got thinking about fear. Why do I feel fear? One of my favourite speakers says fear is  "False Evidence Appearing Real". Sometimes that's true - but in this case, i really believe that I felt fear because of a lack of perfect love. If I truly love, I shouldn't fear.

How do I get to this perfect love? How does one achieve it? Where does it come from? These are questions which can only be found when I'm facedown, stripped back, and pruned way back. When I'm completely out of the way, with none of myself in the picture. Only when I am put to death, and no longer a threat to myself, can that love come in, and overtake me. That love which is completely unnatural, and shouldn't exist. The love which allows me to love the ones that human nature teaches me to hate, and fear. The love which gives compassion and understanding in place of anger, bitterness and revenge.

The only way that this love can cast out fear is if it overtcomes me completely, absolutely and leaves no trace of the former me. Then I can love. Then I can see things clearly. Then and only then, there is no fear.

Dare to Ask

Rahad blog
Rahad blog

"Can I come with you? Do I dare to ask?Can I join with you?Do I let this moment pass?" 

One of my favourite stories is that of Rahab. Have you ever stopped to ask just how bold she was to ask the spies to let her join them? She was a prostitute, a gentile, very definitely classified as 'unclean', and moreover, she was a woman.

Yet she grabbed a moment that came her way, and did not let it go. She was tenacious, and courageous, and she fought for a change in her circumstances, in a way that you don't often see. She refused to accept that the spies coming to her residence was a coincidence, there was a reason, something was happening, and she didn't rest until she saw it through.

The thing I love most about her story, is that the exact symbol of her profession, the scarlet threads in the window, the advertisement of her trade,  became the exact symbol that allowed her to be rescued and freed. It was by these threads that the Israelites were able to identify Rahab's quarters and rescue her and her family according to their agreement. What a beautiful picture of redemption!

Rahab grabbed her moment, she had her eyes open to see that each opportunity that came her way could be the one to bring about change, a shift in direction, or in her case, a completely different life. She was able to find her freedom, and joined the lineage of Yeshua, along with several other unlikely women like her, who God chose to raise his sons ancestors.

What would you dare to ask?