THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life

Love: The Foundation for Life 2


sociedad argentina de horticultura 23In the previous post I laid a foundation for love. I said, “My love for God and His love for me leads to a deep relationship and consistent connection to the right foundation and way to live. My love for His enables me to remain connected to and living out truth and His will no matter that situation around me.”

The outflow of this love was the hardest part for me to understand. I was so used to being loved based on what I did, could do or brought to the table. I was used to basing my value and that of others on tangibles and actuals. How could I begin to understand unconditional love and acceptance? I needed to get this right and only God could show me.

To explain this, I was given a new family, a new place to belong. One father with many siblings but I continued to live in the old way of expectation not expectancy. I waited with baited breath when I met the family. I was waiting to be questioned, judged, assessed, evaluated, you name it, before being accepted. I waited and waited and waited but all Daddy did was to welcome me with open arms and push me to seek God more and hear Him for myself. Daddy was more interested that I was growing daily and that my walk with God was according to his plan for me than concerned about whether or not I fitted in. He knew something I didn’t and I would just have to find out for myself and it took a while.

I wanted to get the approval of my siblings to feel like I belong and the connection wasn’t forthcoming at the rate I wanted so I got frustrated. I had so much more to learn. For so long I wondered what I needed to do to be accepted and appreciated and nothing I did or said seemed to yield the desired results. The truth was that I was looking in the wrong direction. I had to stop and listen and slowly but surely I got it. I finally understood & accepted God’s unconditional love including chastisement and things begun to change. The warmth I’d so desperately desired begun to unfold once I got it and this changed my life and perception of the people around me completely.

I had to understand what God truly meant when He talks about love. He commands us to love others as He loves me. 1

Picture courtesy of Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura
Picture courtesy of Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura

John 4:19 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB) We ourselves love now because he loved us first.What that means is that the first example of love is how God loves me totally and unconditionally. I must then take that love and pass it on to the world around me. I must learn to live with people devoid of expectation but full of His love.

It has slowly begun to make sense what “love your neighbours as yourself means (Mark 12:31). Simply put it means that my external state and actions reflect my internal state. So, if I love God, I can love me & others and the opposite is also true. I can only hate or mistreat others if I have no understanding of God and His everlasting love for me. To love people is to treat them as God sees them. This means letting go of my personal preconceived ideas and standards applied to others and hear what God says about each one then respond to them as such. Each time I meet someone; I must stop and ask God who they are to him, who they are to me, what I need to give to them and what I need to receive from them. So that when I need to be soft I am, when I need to be firm I am, when I need to walk away I do, when I need to walk towards I do. The bottom line is that I learn to live from a place of love and instruction.

The hardest part of the process has been freeing people from my personal expectations and standards. There was a way I liked to relate to people. I give everything in me with no holds barred; I keep in constant touch, I look for people, I want to spend time with them and be super part of their lives. In return I expected a lot from people and often didn’t tell them what I expected. This was counterproductive because I was always tired and expended because I expected…keyword expected…people to reciprocate with the same level of intensity that I gave. Truth be told, no one can give back even a smidgen of what I give out because they are not me and cannot do it like I do. I had to learn to live life and love differently.

purple flowers 4Learning to love people as God loves them has freed me to walk weightless and free. Oh I still need people to walk with me but now I talk openly, I ask them to do things and be part of my walk, I ask how I can help them…I talk. I no longer get upset when they don’t do all I want. Instead, I ask God for clear direction and instruction on the next step. This experience has helped me realise that as I begin to move in the right direction, revelation unfolds. As revelation unfolds I find peace and joy. I can’t say I’ve reached the peak yet but I keep walking because I know one day it’ll be all sorted. Even as the journey continues I find strength in the knowledge that I’m a work in progress. In moments of growth I find strength in knowing others have gone before me and made it.

It continually amazes me how good God is. Indeed God is a wonder…I stand amazed.

John 15:13 (NIV) Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life

Love: The Foundation for Life 1


One day, my mentor told me something that stopped me so short I had to literally take a deep breath and think for several days. He said I needed “to spend less time talking truth and more time judging my actions and motives to see if they conform with Truth.”  Yes! I needed to confirm whether I lived my life in a way that is directly attributable to the leading of The Holy Spirit or if I lived in a way that is based on laws in my mind that stem from culture, normal behaviour, social expectations etc or if I lived with both elements at work.sociedad argentina de horticultura 50 gladiolus

At the time, it was inconceivable that I could have lived my life in an unclear path but since I had been asked the question I owed it to myself to take an honest look at life. I wondered how to do this effectively. I began to watch my feelings, thoughts, desires, moods, hurts, joys etc. and indeed there was a lot in my life that was talk but had no heart. I hadn’t realized just how much around me was based on hot air. I know that sounds funny when I write it, but there was lots of hot air.

Let me explain the hot air. How many times did I say that I know God has promised to supply a need but all the while I am cooking options in my head in case He doesn’t come through? How many times did I do things because I was taught that it was expected without re-checking it with God if that was the right way for this time? How often in conversations did I say something like ‘that’s how we’ve always done it’ and then gone ahead and done it that way anyway? How often did I put aside an idea because I was so worried about what people would say or think about me? The demand to examine everything against truth caused a startling discovery in me. Until then I had assumed that my life was fully based truth and for a good part that was true yet there were still large parts of it that were out of whack based on something else that needed to be put back in.

I realised that at an early age, we are taught to adapt to what was or has worked in the past, to keep appearances with the rest of the world, to assume that because God has worked things out one way for a while He will always work it out that way, to believe that if I did my part God would do His part the way I expected Him to. Suddenly I no longer wondered why it IMG_20130513_134248is so hard for many of us to say that we need help, or why some people are unable to get out of their current circumstances but don’t know how to ask for help. I realised many of us are too scared to show true selves because we are unsure that we will be loved in return. Then the critical question of all came up…Am I affected by this?

Oh my! This was a hard question and it was not an answer I wanted to look for yet I knew that if I wanted to grow I needed to face this off and be real with myself. Urrggh! The answer was astoundingly scary! Am I too scared to face my life and show my true self because I was afraid I wouldn’t be accepted? Yes. Next question: Is my life fully based on truth and truth alone? No. Seemed strange but it was true. Strangely though, I didn’t even have an idea it was like that because it was hidden very deep in me. In all honesty, when I came face to face with it I almost jumped out of my skin. Honestly I didn’t like what I found.

There was only one way to deal with this and that was to begin the process of dealing with my heart and all related attitudes. The process of getting closer to where I needed to be wasn’t as hard as I thought I would be, especially when I learnt to really accept God’s love. I had to understand that God loves me with and through all my weaknesses. He deals with me one sector or section at a time; He loves me regardless of myself and chooses to love me always. How profound. My love for God and His love for me lead to a deep relationship and consistent connection to the right foundation and way to live. My love for His enables me to remain connected to and living out truth and His will no matter that situation around me.sociedad Argentina de Horticultura 5

This was the start of a long internal discussion that honestly is still going on. I ask myself many questions at every turn:

  • Why am I doing this?
  • What drives this decision or action I am about to take or have taken?
  • What value will this decision or action bring to others?
  • Does this decision or action honour God?
  • Will this decision or action help change my corner of the world?
  • Does this decision or action align with my purpose, pattern and platform?

Every day is a new experience and every day is a classroom. Walk with me as you do.

THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life

Audacious & Fresh Possibilities


I had the genuine pleasure of attending a webinar by Michael Hyatt on goal setting on January 8th 2015 and it was mind michael hyattblowing. I am still processing a lot of it but I want to share my greatest ‘aha’ moment of the day.

Michael Hyatt said…Get Past The Past…yes…Get Past the Past. In the beginning I wanted to laugh at the statement but later in the day I had time to really think and it made sense. Let me help. In life, things don’t always go the way we want them to and life is often harder than we anticipate. At one point or other, we experience the big emotions of fear, uncertainty and doubt because of these things that happen. Yet, it’s not what we experience that matters rather how we deal with these experiences. Often we feel these big emotions because of unresolved experiences in the past. Don’t quit on me yet as I explain.

When we fail at something or don’t do it as well as we would like, our internal response is often to remember the event one way or another. This often becomes the starting point for the list of things we cannot do well. This list often creates a list of fears and discomfort. We have to deal with these feeling or we will lose out on great things in life. To deal with these emotions, we all need to externalise the failures, assess and work through them in totality. After all, ‘The future doesn’t equal the past.’ Did you know that, ‘failure always makes something good possible?’ Michael Hyatt. These possibilities are what we must focus on.

baby animals 1This caught and held my attention. As I looked back at 2014 with this renewed mindset, I actually began to see possibilities that were created by the challenges I went through. This thought process consolidated something I had only begun to understand in the last three weeks. The hard times almost took everything out of me but with this new hindsight I realised that these times gave me an opportunity to really understand me and grow in areas I will need to prosper in 2015 and beyond.

As I thought, I realised that I need to get past personal fear and doubt about my abilities. I need to reconnect to my personal purpose and my pattern. I need to understand how I am created to function and where I thrive. Once that is done, I need to live in that pattern for the rest of my life. I now understand deeper that the circumstances of my life will change but I have to be able to rise above each circumstance and find solid ground to walk on back out of the hard place.

So I want to go back to the statement ‘The future doesn’t equal the past.’ This statement really blew my mind on one hand and totally encouraged me on the other. It means that I can move from lack to abundance, loss to fail, failure to success, as easily as I can change my mind. Do you think it’s too simple to be true? Well, in reality, the starting point to changing the course of my life is to change my mind. Note I said the starting point. There will be things I need to do after that but I must start with the way I think about and relate to life based on my thoughts.

possibilitiesRemember Proverbs 23:7? ‘For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he…’ This makes it simple to understand that the success of my life depends on my focus and consistent keen renewal of my mind. I can reach further and go higher if I constantly work on my mind and keep at it since my future doesn’t equal my past.

The depth of hope that has sprung in my heart, mind and life following this realisation is inexplicable. I hope it does the same for you. As you plan out your year; connect deeply with your purpose, find the will of God and set audaciously big goals that will bring Him the greatest glory ever. Remember, you are blessed in every way and every age group.

Shalom.

THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life

Here’s Every Blessing For You in 2015


2014 was an amazing year and ended on a high. On 13th October 2014 I wrote a blog about Judy Niemeyer and a tribute to her life. On December 28th 2014, we had a farewell event from her as she goes home. It was really a celebration of life and love with God and in God and God at work through her. It was colourful and alive with sights and sounds. It was warm, fun and worth every bit of energy and emotion put into it. Oh, there were over 400 people including children and adults.

The theme of the event was Life. Vibrant life is beautiful, a sweet aroma, colourful, enjoyable, full of joy, hope, laughter and even tears. To depict this, we chose the following colours:

  • Lime green – representing freshness, resting in the Lord and eternal life
  • Orange – representing a relationship and companionship with God
  • Yellow – representing Sonshine, sunshine and joy

larry blessing 10The greatest part of the event was a series of blessings pronounced on everyone by Larry based on age. It was really nice. Can you remember the last time an elder laid a hand on you and blessed you? I can and this event reminded me just how important these connections are. Everyone was asked to stand when their respective age group was called. The other interesting thing is that as the age groups got higher in number, fewer people stood. Meaning that the team in attendance was young and it reminded me that no matter how young or old we are we can impact people across all ages. The largest age groups were the thirties and forties.

Below are the blessings by age group so that each of us will connect to something new this year. Read, receive and hold fast to the blessing for your age group for 2015 and the rest of your life.

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Psalm 119:

“Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth and it endures” (119:89-90, NIV).

  1. Children and Youth (0-19)larry blessings 1

“How can the young keep their way pure? By living according to God’s revelation” (Larry’s version 119:9).

The pure way is God’s design for your lives. There is nothing better for your life than that design.

Do all you can to keep that original design. May your parents, siblings, extended family, neighbours, teachers, friends, and church help you live according to God’s revelation.

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.

 

larry blesssing 72. The Teachable Twenties

“Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your revelation” (119:18).

By this time you have come to know many things about human life.

Each year you have accumulated more knowledge about that life. And now, you still want to know more.

Above all else, however, we would want you to seek the knowledge of God’s LIFE in Christ.

So keep your eyes open to that knowledge revealed in God’s word.

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.

 

3. The Tireless Thirties

“I run in the path of your revelation for you have set my heart free (119:32, my version).

These are bold, busy, searching, energetic years for you. 

In all your activity in the pursuit of the things of human life –family, children, jobs, careers, relationships, travel, gadgets – our prayer for you is that you will be eager for the things of God.larry blessing 4

Don’t let the things of human life entangle you. Enjoy hearts set free in Christ.

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.

 

4. The Fiery Forties

“Let your compassion come to me that I may live, for your revelation is my delight” (119:77).

These are the years of one’s passions. You have learned to stay on long after others have given up.

You have refused to leave well enough alone.

You have chosen those things that deserve nothing less than the best you can imagine. 

You have begun to give your best to something you care about and you have begun to ask others to do the same.

During these fired up times, may you see that human passion works best when wedded to the compassion of God’s LIFE and that compassion is what God’s revelation reveals.

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.

larry blessing 75. The Forceful Fifties

“I am always ready to risk my life; I have not forgotten your revelation (119:109).

To be forceful is to be daring, powerful, strong, dynamic, influential, persuasive, and convincing.

You have probably been tempted to exert these attributes in previous decades and you may have missed out on teachable qualities in your twenties, priorities in your thirties, and even the passions of the forties. 

But these attributes come best to you in your fifties when lessons, choices, and passions have matured.

So our prayer is that you will be forceful in godly ways, letting God’s LIFE settle into the inner workings of your life.  

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.

6. The Sacred Sixties

“I have more insight than all my teachers and more understanding than the elders, for I meditate on and obey your revelation” (119:100-101, my version).

This is your time to reflect, remember, and recall – to contemplate, meditate and deliberate. 

It is a time to finish up a life work, to turn things over to others, to compile memories, lessons, and instructions.

May all such activities have a sacred cast to them for you as you trace God’s LIFE in and through your life.

May you provide memories and reminders to those who follow you.larry blessing 8

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.

7. The Significant Seventies and Eighties

“Long ago I learned from your revelation that you established them to last forever” (119:152).

These are the decades when you begin to look at your life in decades, not years and months.

You’re happy if you can remember which decade some event happened.

But you also begin to make a big distinction between that which lasts forever and that which does not.

That’s what makes the decades significant and the decisions substantial.

May God give you clear sight on his vision, his dream, and his plan.

May he prompt you to point all the younger generations to the same. 

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.

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Shalom and many blessings in 2015

larry blessing 6 larry blessing 11 larry blessing 5 larry blessing 7

Shalom and many blessings in 2014