Monthly Archives: June 2013

Face painting!

Recently I have started to do some face painting on my children and even helped at their school summer fair. I have really enjoyed learning different designs and I love the way the kids smile and jump around happy with the result!

I could not stop but think of the times we paint our face with a Christian like mask and are kind happy with ourselves and with the fact that what people see on the outside is a Christian. What about our hearts? What is our life really like? Are we living and walking as a follower of Jesus? Are we making sure what we have on our faces is not a mask? Can people see Jesus in us?

I am thankful that God is forever reminding me that it is so important to truly walk with Him in a way that His love can be seen in me. My prayer is that HE would help me to be more like Him.

God bless!

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Limescale!

I am not sure about you, but if there is one thing I dislike in this part of the UK is limescale! It is awful! I was cleaning the bathrooms today, and the tiles and the bath were disgusting. The marks left were horrible. I cleaned the bathrooms a week ago and it looked like they hadn’t been touched for years!

While I was scrubbing away I started thinking about sin in our lives… I guess it is a little bit like limescale! When you are showering or having a bath you can’t see it, and, provided you dry them quickly the effects of the limescale should be minimum, but, if we leave it, it gets really disgusting in appearance and it is quite unpleasant and dirty. So is sin. Sometimes we can’t even recognize it in our lives. We got so attached to little sins that they just don’t appear to be there anymore. For example, it could be as simple as a thought of jealousy or a bad comment we make about someone else, a white lie we tell.

If we sin and recognize we sinned and we bow before the King and ask for His forgiveness and strength to fight sin in our lives, we will be in a better position and hopefully the marks/consequences of our sins won’t scare us too much. The Bible tells us in 1 John 1:9

But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

When we get too comfortable with sin in our lives that it clouds our perception of things than it is already taking hold and giving our lives a very horrible appearance… like the limescale.

We all make sure we clean our bathrooms once a week, sometimes even more often than that. We don’t want people to come to our houses and think it is dirty and we look after our family. Why not scrub our hearts once a week or even once a day? We need to look deep inside and confess our sins to God, so sin won’t take hold or us.

Get scrubbing!

God bless!

Beautiful noise!

I love listening to an orchestra play! There is an interesting part of the musicians performance that is not very attractive though: the tuning of their instruments! When you are sitting there listening to all of them tuning their different instruments, the noise is awful! It is like a loud, confusing chaos! Then, the maestro, the conductor, taps his baton and immediately there is silence in the room. All eyes are on him. When he starts conducting all the chaos is gone and what is left is beautiful music! Every musician is attentive to the guidance of the conductor and the music fills the air!

In our walk with God, it is like that too. Sometimes it might seem all that is going on is tuning, and the noise produced sounds more like chaos. It is a beautiful noise preparing us for the part we have to play in God’s big orchestra! He is the great Maestro. The most amazing conductor ever seen and the music He directs is of indescribable beauty and complexity! He knows every note, tempo, dynamics and rhythm. HE composed and arranged the music! All we have to do as the “musicians” is keep our eyes on Him and follow His lead. Each one playing their part at the right time in harmony! When we do that, music fills our hearts and gives joy to those around us!

God bless!

Father’s day!

It is hard to believe we are already half way through June and today is father’s day! I had a request for a lemon meringue pie (I was assured it was delicious) and we had a fabulous day celebrating the amazing father my husband is! I am very grateful to God for his life! It is not father’s day in Brazil though, so, I have not sent my dad a card, but I spoke to him and he is an amazing dad too.

I cannot stop but think of our great Father in heaven! The Lord of the universe, the One who spoke and things came into being, the Sustainer of all life – He has adopted us unto His family and through Jesus (if we believe in Him) we can call Him Father.

12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. John 1:12

What an amazing thing that is! How could this be that He would love someone like me and give me an inheritance in heaven! Thank you Lord for loving me! Please help me live in a way that is pleasing to you!

Stuck in the lift!

Have you ever been stuck in the lift all by yourself? It is not nice! I remembered when I got stuck in the lift when I was about 7. It was so dark! We lived on the first floor but my sisters and I would take turns going in the lift and running up the stairs.  One day we had a power cut, I was having my turn in our little game and the lift completely stopped and I was in it, all by myself! The thing is the lift was one of those old ones covered in dark wood and one central bulb and that was it! I don’t even think it had an alarm. It was so dark in there and it felt like an eternity until someone came for me. Apparently, it was only about 30 minutes.

I can still remember sitting on the floor and feeling so alone and so sad. It was almost as if the walls were closing in on me. I cried out for help but could not hear a thing. To this day the thing that I will always be grateful for is the light! Yes! The light!  That little bit of light that was coming through as the security guy was trying to open the door. The minute I saw that light, my heart was filled with hope. I was being rescued and I was happy again. Someone was coming for me! To this day I get a bit nervous inside a lift, even when there are other people there but I am not afraid of the dark anymore! Even a little bit of light in the midst of pure darkness brings hope that cannot be explained!

The Bible tells us that Jesus is the Light of the world:

12 Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” John 8:12

This world is full of darkness and for so many people it seems as if that is all there is. They are trapped and can’t get out! The circumstances of their lives, or the choices they have made seem like the end. Jesus is saying His light will lead to life and those who follow Him won’t have to be afraid of the darkness. His light is  a million times more powerful than that little light I saw when I was stuck in the lift all those years ago! He is offering a rescue – It is an open invitation to come to the light! Now imagine how much happier and filled with hope you would be when your trust is completely in Him, the Light of the world!

I am very grateful for the way Jesus reminded me of His power and His goodness to me today!

God bless.

How would you run a race?

How would you run a race? You might never really have thought about this question before, or you might be the kind of person that knows exactly how to do it! I don’t run. I don’t particularly like it but I admire those who can, and do it because they love it. Last year during the Olympic games, I really enjoyed watching the athletes run their different races. Their concentration, their effort, their dedication and determination to run, to win, to even just cross the finish line are amazing!  The athletes just focus on that finish line and they give their all. Sometimes, when something unexpected happens, such as a fall, they get up and keep running, because their eyes are on that finish line! I suppose for an athlete not finishing a race is worse than losing it.

The apostle Paul write to the Philippians to exhort and encourage them to keep pressing on keeping their eyes on the prize.

12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it,[d] but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Philippians 3:12-14

Paul begins by saying to them he has not yet achieved the goal. In verses 10-11 of the same chapter he says:

10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, 11 so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!

The great apostle Paul wanted to know Christ in every way possible, and he is pressing on focussing on the prize, which is most and above all to Know Jesus. Being in heaven means being with Jesus. What an amazing prize that is!

Paul was telling them he was not living in the past, he wasn’t looking to the left or to the right, but he was looking forward to what lies ahead! I have never seen an athlete run looking backwards! When we live our lives as if we were prisoners of our past deeds we will not focus on our prize. Jesus has rescued us. He has offered us forgiveness and we are free from our past. Let me just say one thing here: learning from past mistakes is important, or feeling sorry for past sins is part of becoming a transformed person, but dwelling in the past is a dangerous thing because it takes our focus away from Jesus.

We are urged to press on! Look ahead! Focus on the finish line! Focus on the prize! I don’t want to pretend this is an easy thing. We live in a busy world and we do allow ourselves to get caught up in it. As mums, we do need to look after our families, teach our children, manage our homes well, do laundry, cook… the list goes on and on. Somehow we need to press on. We need to remind ourselves of the amazing prize awaiting for us! We need let Jesus inspire us over and over again. We need to rely on His strength to press on. If the prize is to know Him, how do we do it? We  might start by studying His word! Jesus is God and has authority over all things. If He is God, we must conclude His word is true. If his word is true, we must conclude we need to obey it and live it out! That is our next step. Talking to Jesus is also important, so prayer needs to be present in our lives. Spending time with Godly people is another way to Know Jesus better. Sharing  Him with other people is an exciting way to deepen the relationship with Him. This is not a finished list, just some simple steps.

How are you running your race?

Always hope!

I can hardly believe we are in June already! It has been such a cold year here in the UK. We had a picnic today at a beautiful garden not too far from where we live but we were still wearing jumpers. As we walked around the garden and looked at the beautiful tress and flowers, I could not help but think about God and his wonderful creation. As I watched the kids run around with big smiles on their faces, my heart was filled with joy and thankfulness that our God blessed us with their lives. As I watched my husband so gentle and kind, giving time to his lovely mum and the kids, I could not help but feel so grateful that God brought him into my life to make me a better person! I am truly a blessed woman!

After the busy day running around we stopped to watch a bit of TV and the news were so sad. Lots of murders, violence and injustice all around the word! I was reading some news about my home country and it was so depressing… so many people distorting God’s ways and wanting to make changes for their own gain and in a real loud voice choosing to ignore God. For a moment all the happiness I felt earlier in the day seemed to have disappeared. I sat down to write. I looked at the screen with a heavy heart and then I picked my Bible up and opened it looking for encouragement for my soul and this is what I read:

“22 The faithful love of the Lord never ends!  His mercies never cease. 23 Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. 24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” 25 The Lord is good to those who depend on him,to those who search for him.” Lamentations 3:22-25

I read these verses and it was like watching the sunrise on a nice beach! You see the amazing light and the colours in the sky and the water and the freshness of a new day. It was God gently reminding me, that it is because of His love that this corrupt and broken world is not destroyed. It is because of His immense love for his children that his mercies are renewed every morning! I can shout out loud that “I will hope in Him”. How wonderful it is to be reminded that “The Lord is good to those who depend on Him!”

So, as I finish this day and this post I can look back at the beginning of this first day of June and say: it is so true! God IS good to those who depend on Him. This morning I was reminded of that when we were out on our picnic. I sat down with a heart that had for a moment let the sadness of this world make it heavy and in a gentle embrace I was so encouraged by God’s word!

I look forward to what tomorrow will bring because it will be a new day full of God’s mercies and hope still remains!

God bless.