grit and virtue

The secret prayer of breakthrough in your life!

break me

We are so trained by today’s Western Christian culture to avoid anything that’s hard or a struggle, and to run away from difficulty. Life has become all about making it as easy and yet as fulfilled as possible. We’re bombarded with ads from people who’ve figured out the secret to making money on the beach, or a new ‘get rich quick’ scheme. We are convinced that we shouldn’t have to work hard and nothing should ever be a struggle, and if it is - we’re doing it wrong.

A sentence that I find myself saying over and over is ‘the principles of the Kingdom are always the opposite fo the world’. I think this is as true as ever these days. There is a strange juxtaposition of the millennial over-emotional state, and ‘owning’ their emotions, while also not wanting to engage the wrestling match that God calls us up to. It seems strange to me that people are so willing to fight for a culture that gives permission to any and all emotions at any time, while also having this sense of entitlement to an easy life.

I would suggest that the most effective prayer we can be praying is that God would simply break us.
It’s a dangerous and serious prayer - because God will do it. He is always looking for a fully surrendered heart, one that is mouldable and teachable, and more often than not - he needs to break some stuff in order to mould and teach.

We are experts in crafting this cocoon around ourselves. We take great care of this mask. It’s what we present to the world as the real us. It’s what we present to God as the real us. Some of us actually spend more time on mainting the mask than the heart behind it. We think we can con the world around us that this beautifully presented, ‘instagram-able’ mask is real, and more to the point, we think we can con God.

When we pray these dangerous prayers expecting God to gently massage our mask and be happy that we’ve prayed the prayer. But God isn’t interested in the mask. He didn’t make it. We did.
God is only interested in his creations, those that have eternal value - our souls.

We so often look at the events that bring us to our knees as bad things. We ask God to release us, rescue us, take us OUT, “make it stop'“! But we don’t realise that the events we’re walking through are connected to the prayers we’ve prayed!

What if God is allowing us to be smashed by the storm, because he is trying to answer that prayer for “MORE” that we prayed? Maybe he’s allowing these waves to break off the cocoon of junk we’ve plastered all over ourselves, because he needs to reach what’s beneath it - the beautiful creation he wants to connect with. Could it be that he’s not actually breaking us so much as stripping off the mask we’ve presenedt to him, so that the real us can commune with him?

I don’t believe God ever destroys his own creation - not since the flood when he promised he wouldn’t do it again. Therefore, I don’t believe God would ever break the essence of a person. I believe we have become so attached to the mask that we can no longer tell the difference between it and us, so when God allows it to break, we feel it. It’s become a part of who we think we are - but it’s not.

The mask is a man made impression of a person, based on what we think the world wants us to be. It’s a plastic counterfeit of a supernatural and eternal treasure. How can we possibly out-create the creator?

Maybe God is so committed to partnering with the created version of you, that he’s willing to allow you to walk through the storm you’re in, because he knows it’s the only way the mask will come unstuck. Maybe God is so heartbroken that we think our version of ourselves is better than his, that he’s guided us straight into the desert so that we can be confronted with the real, unmasked, raw version of ourselves and become reacquainted with it, so that he can too.

Maybe God is longing to pierce the masquerade we present, and takes our prayers for ‘more Lord'!’ as an invitation of pursuit. He is willing to pursue the innermost part of you that is his image, to the ends of time, because he knows how it can impact the world, and partner with him for the Kingdom.

The secret is to pray “break me”…

Dare to Be

We are so good at putting ourselves and others in boxes. We don’t allow for people to be. Just be. We have an incessant need to figure out which box we fit best in and can’t deal with it when we meet people we can’t put in a box.

Raising kids who know who they are

Raising kids who know who they are

I never thought I'd write about being a parent or having kids, but recently I've been really excited to have gained a clearer understanding of my kids and their destinies. Most importantly, what I have learned is applicable to everyone, not just those in a parental role.

Dare to dance

Dare to dance

Not all of us like to dance. Some people go through all of life without ever giving it a try. Some make a lifestyle of dance and others of us pine for a time where we used to dance as a way of life. 

For me, I spent much of my life watching dance, teaching dance and dancing myself. It was when I was crippled by back pain that I started pulling back from the thing I so loved. Now if I see dances and dance movies that harken back to my previous life, I find it upsetting and saddening to think back to how my body used to feel and move. 

Dare to Breathe...

Dare to Breathe...

Breathing. 

It's an involuntary action that we do whether we're awake or asleep, thinking about it, or not, resting or running, happy or sad. We all breathe. Sometimes we are more aware of our breathing patterns than at other times. We may try breathing exercises or be intentional about slowing our breathing down for health reasons, but we all go through a large proportion of the day without thinking about our breathing. 

What about the breath of God? What effect does that have on my life? 

Overcome Me

Overcome Me

Being overcome by something doesn't usually have positive connotations. It implies succumbing to something, giving in to something that is too strong for us to withstand. It's not something that comes with choice, it's something that overpowers us and that goes against our will. 

This is a picture painted with the colour of fear, and doesn't appeal to even the strongest of us.

What if that is exactly what needs to happen? 

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. 

Just imagine...

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

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. 

Fresh Oil

Fresh 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.