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A Difficult Journey

Recently at the North-West Support Group for MND (motor Neurone disease) I was deeply moved by the plight of several of our members. These people have lost so much and particularly the ability to speak clearly and some are unable to speak at all. They struggle to understand and convey what is happening to them.

 There are numerous people in our community who are struggling with different health problems, some have experienced a stroke, been diagnosed with Parkinson disease, suffered head injuries, or battle with cerebral palsy (these are just a few small examples of the health problems facing our society).

As they struggle with numerous issues they also battle with loss. This loss may be with their voice, sight, hearing ability, independence….

 Think also about their family and friends, for they have also lost part of the person they know and dearly love.

What these women, men and children desire is compassion and empathy – for us to express concern for them as they face their difficult journey. For those who are struggling to speak, this is a frustrating act. As they struggle this may come across as anger because the brain is working quickly, but the ability to form words is simply not functioning.

Ways that we may help:

  • Acknowledge them by saying something like “it’s ok take your time “and them patiently waiting for them.
  • They may need to write, take time to read carefully what they are trying to express.
  • Support them in any way that you can – encourage them and display kindness.

All of us are only a heartbeat away from having something life changing happen. Imagine if you suddenly had the inability to speak, hear, see or walk. How would you feel if you could not communicate, walk, see, hear or be heard?

Whether you like him as an artist or not Eminem has put a challenge out there: “you’d have to walk a thousand miles in my shoes to just see what it’s like to be me!!”. To really understand another person’s life, you would have to walk thousands of kilometres in their shoes.

Let us not judge, and that is very hard to do at times, but instead pause and really think about how difficult their journey feels.

Let us, the people of Tasmania and the North-West Coast, start a movement in our lives and hearts to show move compassion and empathy to the people around us. It will make your life better as well as impact the people around you. Let us display more compassion and empathy to the people around us who are facing a difficult journey. If you accept this challenge it will transform the world!

Many blessings. Keona

My mum, Junene Stephens, is involved in the support group on the North-West coast and is the main author of this. I am so very proud of her and all that she does to try and impact the lives around her.

Christianity – Radical Faith – An open letter to every Christian

As the world swirls with unrest, angry debates and countless problems, it all can feel overwhelming. The world tries to strangle our voices and we can feel as if our little efforts can’t possibly make any difference. But I was reminded that now more than ever the world desperately needs us to stand strong! We are needed to declare God’s truth – for it is promised, in John 8:32, that the truth will set us free.

“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32 New Living Translation

Jesus walked upon this earth with a radical message that wasn’t welcomed or received widely. Jesus made what was seen as absurd and blasphemous statements. Jesus revealed a radical faith that, even to this day, inspires his disciples. I know this because Jesus’ life changing message has reached through time to radically change my life!

In August 2016, I felt like I’d never impact the world. I was in the depths of despair, simply trying to somewhat function. I found the simplest task was virtually impossible to complete as my entire body battled with long-term illness. September 2016 I attended Majestic Women’s retreat with the desperate desire for healing. I’m so pleased to say that at 4:50am on the 4th of September 2016 healing was declared over my life by God.

I’ve got no special qualifications to speak on this matter of faith. All I do have is a long-term relationship with God and for the past 12 months I’ve been asking God to send the Holy Spirit afresh to restore and transform me. I am stepping out with radical faith because “..my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.” Acts 20:24 NLT.

I believe that we have been set into the world for such a time as this (Esther 4:14). That this definitely isn’t the moment to remain silent but rather there is a call to band together, as one unified voice, to declare God’s truths.

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 NLT

I’ve been married for over 21 years, I value my marriage and I desire to share what’s on my heart in an effort to protect marriage. “What I do hope is that my contribution here will not be derided as bigoted or homophobic out of hand, but that it will be seen as part of a civil discussion.” Rev Dr Michael Jensen. Link to his full blog

Marriage is much more than ‘a piece of paper’, it is a covenant – a solemn promise to engage in an exclusive intimate relationship and refrain from intimacy with anyone else.

A covenant is a contract or agreement between two or more parties.  Covenant is how God has chosen to communicate to us, to redeem us, and to guarantee us eternal life in Jesus. An extract from ‘Covenant’ by Matt Slick

The term “covenant” means “a coming together.” In the Bible, the word covenant is translated in Hebrew over 300 times! A covenant is intended by God to be a lifelong fruitful relationship between a man and a woman. Marriage is a vow to God, to each other, our families and our community to remain steadfast in unconditional love, reconciliation and sexual purity, while purposefully growing in our covenant marriage relationship. An extract from ‘What is a Marriage Covenant’.

So I believe that marriage is God honouring and on that basis, therefore, needs to remain as the definition “between a man and a woman”.

Again, I’d state that I don’t have any formal qualifications to speak about this matter. But for 2 decades now I’ve been asking God to grow me into the wife (and mother) He has designed me to be. I desire to be a virtuous woman who lives in awe, wonder and fear of the Lord.

“Charm can be misleading,

And beauty is vain and so quickly fades,

But this virtuous woman lives in the wonder, awe,

And fear of the Lord.” Proverbs 31:30 The Passion Translation

I pray that God’s will is fulfilled in my life, that I can make a difference in the lives of others by helping them to know the God of miracles. I can’t begin to declare I have the answers but I do know God and He’s got the answers and the solutions for EVERY question and EVERY situation!

I pray blessing, honour, favour, strength, courage, boldness and determination over every single Christians. I ask the Holy Spirit to impart a radical faith so that we have the ability to speak/do the things God is calling us to complete.

I pray that those who are stumbling in the dark will see the light – Isaiah 9:2. That they will taste and see that the Lord is good – Psalms 34:8. That their ears will be open to the still small voice calling them to an abundant life – John 10:10.

At 11:03 pm on the 14th August 2017, as I was trying to sleep, I was praying. I saw Australia as if I was standing on a huge map, Tasmania was to my right and the rest of Australia was above me. (I’m very new to all this so I ask for your grace) I saw this huge chair that was sitting on top of Australia and I could see someone sitting in it. Then it began to rattle and then shake, the movement grew into such violence that the person was toppled off. Then the Lord of Lord, the King of Kings, the great I AM came and sat on the seat.

What shook the seat were our prayers, our praise and our desire for the Lord to reign supreme.

All of Australia was then covered and protected under God’s royal train!

Oh Lord bring this to pass!!!

“Our Father dwelling in the heavenly realms,

May the glory of Your Name

Be the center on which our lives turn.

Manifest Your kingdom-realm,

And cause Your every purpose to be fulfilled on earth,

Just as it is fulfilled in heaven!

We acknowledge You as our Provider

Of all that we need each day.

Forgive us the wrongs we have done as we ourselves

Release forgiveness to those who have wronged us.

Rescue us every time we face tribulations

And set us free from evil.

For You are the King who rules

With power and glory forever!” Matthew 6:9-14 The Passion Translation

Practical ways to get involved:

Sign up to support Coalition for Marriage They are focusing on the “4 consequences: Gender Identity; Freedom of Religion; Safe Schools program; and Freedom of Speech”

Check out: Marriage Week – this is “an annual celebration, initiated in Australia in 2007, to reinforce and promote the benefits/importance of marriage and increase awareness and value of pre-marriage and in-marriage education.” 10th – 16th September 2017

Family Life Australia – “Family Life’s mission is to enable children, young people and families to thrive in caring communities.”

Join The Australian Catholic Marriage and Family Council (ACMFC) for a “month of prayer and fasting to be held in parishes, schools and homes across the nation during the month of October 2016.”

Try and attend a prayer meeting Shift the Nation of Australia ‘October 31st 2017 is the 500 year anniversary of the Reformation. It is also the 100 year anniversary of the ANZAC ‘Light Horse Charge’ on Beersheba. The significance of these two events in church and world history is monumental. They have shaped the world we live in today!! November 11 is ‘Remembrance Day,’ where we remember those who gave their lives for our freedom. It is just 12 days after 31st October. The number ’12’ is the number of government.  The Lord encouraged  us to ‘Take these 12 days and make a ‘governmental shift’ over Australia, enthroning Jesus as Lord in our nation!’ 12 nights in 12 locations around Australia.’’

Partners In Prayer. Aussie Breakthrough Anointing 1917 and 100 years later – spiritual breakthrough! “We are not just commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Australian Light Horse Charge at Beer Sheva on 31 October 1917 – we are uniting to fulfill our spiritual destiny! We Aussies have a Breakthrough Anointing that will carry the knowledge of the glory of God to all the earth if we arise at this crucial time and say “Yes” to who we are called to be!”

Keep up the good fight! Written to you with much love and many blessings, Keona

Songs to encourage you:

‘I Am Yours’ – Lauren Daigle – YouTube Clip; ‘Cornerstone’ – Hillsong Worship – YouTube Clip; ‘Our Father’ – Bethel Music & Jenn Johnson – YouTube Clip; ‘You Light Me’ – Zions Hill & Carolyn Billing – YouTube Clip; ‘Revelation Song’  – Kari Jobe – YouTube Clip; and ‘Our God Is With Us’ – Rita Springer – YouTube Clip.

Picture credit

The Album ‘Battles’ by Rita Springer

I’ve been so impacted by the album ‘Battles’ by Rita Springer that I felt encouraged to share it with you.

I hadn’t heard about Rita until this album so here’s a quick snippet of who she is: her motto is “To make the Lord famous in whatever I do with my worship and relationship with Him.”. In 2008 she started a worship school call DIVE – Deep Innovative Vertical Expression. You can read more about her on her webpage Rita Springer 

The album opens with a powerful reminder:

“Every imposter, every contender will fail to compare with You
There is no kingdom, authority, power like Yours
No one more royal, no one more loyal than one God, one truth
No other kingdom, no other freedom like Yours
No greater rescue than when You came through with strong love, strong love
All my accusers, silenced and scattered by You
Your people arising, we realize it is finished, it’s finished
Stand in the promise it is accomplished in You
You are high, high and lifted up
Strong and mighty enough, You are King
And I hide, covered by Your wings
And it’s there You fight for me
And every battle, every battle is Yours”

Part lyrics of ‘Every Battle’ written by Rita Springer and Kalley Heiligenthal. Full lyrics via Lyricshall

Then a chance to make a powerful declaration:

“There is no verdict, no lie that separates me from Your hand
You are the First and the Last
Forever Your Word will stand”

Part lyrics of ‘I Believe In You’ written by Josh Alltop and Rita Springer. Full lyrics via Lyricshall

Although the situation surrounding me feels impossible I can be assured that God is faithful:

“He is my faithful Father, calling me out of the dark
Night cannot whisper away what He said in the light
He is my firm foundation, my anchor won’t be moved
Storms may collide but my soul is on fire with His word
He is the only healer, His love will never fail
And all my belief dares to defeat every lie
He is a strong, high tower, fear will not find me there
’cause I come alive with His promise inside of my heart
Christ Redeemer, we remember He has won the war
Jesus, Mighty Overcomer, our Defender has conquered
Wind, listen to the sound of power on my lips
Jesus has broken the curse, He has never lost a battle
Who are you great mountain, that you should not bow low
Jesus defeated the darkness, He has never lost a battle”

Part lyrics of ‘Never Lost’ written by Catherine Mullins and Rita Springer. Full lyrics via Lyricshall

The song that started my whole interest in this album, reminds me to wait, trust, praise, have hope – for Jesus has the victory!

“You go before I know that You’ve even gone to win my war
Your love becomes my greatest defense
It leads me from the dry wilderness
And all I did was praise
And all I did was worship
All I did was bow down
All I did was stay still
Hallelujah, You have saved me
So much better this way
Hallelujah, great Defender
So much better Your way
When I thought I lost me, You knew where I left me
You reintroduce me to Your love
You picked up all my pieces, put me back together
You are the Defender of my heart”

‘Defender’ part lyrics written by John-Paul Gentile, Steffany Gretzinger and Rita Springer. Full lyrics via Lyricshall

A reminder that God is Immanuel – God with me!

“Where there is conflict, sometimes we retreat
Where there is struggle, we may fail to see
Our God is with us, our God is with us, He will never leave
When found in the ashes, we still have a chance
Where there is mourning, oh don’t forget to dance
Cause our God is with us, our God is with us, He will never leave
Where there are shadows, He becomes the light
If we go into battle, He will win the fight
Cause our God is with us, our God is with us, He will never leave
He is for us, no one can stop what He’s doing
He is with us, and we will see all that He promised
He does not forsake us, hate us or make us walk alone
He is always right there, stays where He can see the storm
We just have to hold on, stay strong, know He has our best in mind
Our God is with us, our God is with us”

Part lyrics of ‘Our God Is With Us’ written by David Binion, Nicole Binion and Rita Springer. Full lyrics via Lyricshall

I am to keep confidently waiting, knowing that God is fighting for me!

“You have given everything my heart could ever need
And all You ask is I believe
And I am resting safe inside Your promise to provide
And nothing could ever change Your love
Your love for me, Your love for me
There is no striving
There is no striving in Your love
Freely You have given
Freely You have given to us
You never ask that I earn Your affection
I could never earn something that’s free
I never have to fight for Your attention
Because Your eyes are ever upon me”

Part lyrics of ‘There Is No Striving’ written by Jenn Johnson and Matt Stinton. Full lyrics via Lyricshall

There is no delays or interruptions to God’s plans for my life, when I commit my future to Him I can be assured that it will unfold His way and in His timing. I just need to hang on and keep declaring, keep praising and doing what is set before me right now to do:

“Your ways are better than mine
You always have perfect timing
There’s not a thought in my mind
That can change, what You feel for me
Your love is deep and it’s wide
I couldn’t climb its height if I tried
There’s no place I could hide
Where Your love wouldn’t come and find me
No mountain too high, no valley too low
No sorrow too deep that You don’t know
No arrow too fast, no struggle outlasts
You’re stronger than that, stronger than that
You remain the same, You never change”

‘You Remain The Same’ part lyrics, written by Josh Alltop and Rita Springer. Full lyrics via Lyricshall

So once again I lay it ALL down at Jesus’ feet:

“To You I sing, it’s You that I worship
All that I hold, I’m letting go
It’s You I adore, God You are perfect
All that I lack, I know You are
I tell my knees to buckle
The sooner I fall, You have it all
I tell my heart surrender
The sooner I let go, You take control
You are my hope, You are my treasure
In chaos I’ve known, You are faithful
I surrender, I surrender
I surrender all I am and all I question
I give You everything, You can take anything
You have control, You have control”

‘You Have Control’ part lyrics written by Daniel Bashta and Rita Springer. Full lyrics via Lyricshall

I’m likely to sing this one with my liquid words:

“I just want to sit at Your feet and sing
I just want to sit at Your feet and tell You
Everything that was lost
Everything that was lost is found
I just want to sit at Your feet and say
What You did for me is no small thing
All that I have to give
All that I have to give is Yours
You’re the only One that calls something broken beautiful
You’re the only One that calls something crippled healed
You’re the only One that leaves ninety-nine to find one lost
And carry me on Your shoulders home
I just want to sit at Your feet and sing
I just want to sit at Your feet and worship
For everything that You’ve done
Every way that You’ve come, thank You
There is nothing hidden from Your sight
Nothing in the way can stop Your rescue
I am always ever on Your mind
In the end I’ll look exactly like You
Thank You, thank You, God
Thank You, Jesus, thank You, God
Thank You for loving me
Thank You for seeing me, Jesus
Thank You, Jesus”

‘Carry Me’ written by John-Paul Gentile and Rita Springer. Full lyrics via Lyricshall

On the 18th of April The Passion Translation posted a devotion “There is nothing I will not conquer when you trust Me”, I printed this devotion out and stuck it on my bathroom wall. As the circumstances surrounding me felt as if they were suffocating me, I would go into my bathroom and read this devotion again and again and again. The one main promise that I clung to was: ‘It no longer matters if you are alone in your sacred quest. For I will cast out loneliness from your heart.’. When I felt so alone, in the battle, I reminded myself that God promised to be there right alongside me! I would remind myself that I have an amazing husband who loves me and is supporting me; family and friends praying and supporting me! This song reminded me so much of the promise that I’m not alone, I’m never alone! I’m being loved into wholeness:

“When You look at me You see all that’s weak and frail in me
You reach for like it’s treasure
What it is I must confess, all I ever needed was
To be loved whole, just to be loved whole
You’re my pot of gold at the end of the rainbow
I’m the reason why You hung the moon
If everything collides, it doesn’t matter
If all I had, if all I had was You, oh God
If all I had was You
If all I have is You, I’m okay, I’m okay
If all I have is You, I’m just fine”

‘I’m Okay’ part lyrics written by Rita Springer. Full lyrics via Lyricshall

I need to keep declaring the truth:

“Even in the why
In the middle of the night I say
You are good
Though my prayers are heard
The response is Yours, God
You are good
When the arrows fly
I will stand behind the truth
You are good
You tell my heart be still
And so God I will ’cause I know
That You’re good
Sorrow may last the whole night but
Joy comes in the morning light
You are the sunrise, You are the sunrise
There is no mistaking Your light
You are faithful, God You are faithful
You have never left my side
You are good and You never change, God
You are good and You never change Your ways”

‘You Never Change’ part lyrics written by: Mia Fieldes, Rita Baloche. Full lyrics via Lyricshall

I hope and pray that you’re encouraged, as I am, by these words.

Many blessings, Keona

Defender // Battles // Rita Springer – YouTube lyrics video

Revived Through Worship

When my alarm went off, at 7:30am, I felt so exhausted. I desperately wanted to go back to sleep. BUT I felt challenged to not accept that feeling and instead focus on God.

“Fully immerse yourselves into the Lord Jesus the Anointed One, and don’t waste even a moment’s thought on your former identity to awaken its selfish desires.” Romans 13:14 The Passion Translation

I put on worship music and when the second song played “Find Me” I rolled myself out of bed and sung my heart out. I wanted to keep worshipping but I was getting cold so I grabbed my doona and wrapped up while I watched the sun rise over the houses.

“You’re my place of quiet retreat, and your wrap-around presence becomes my shield as I wrap myself in your Word!” Psalm 119:114 The Passion Translation

It was so special. I stayed there for 30 minutes just praising God. I felt revived through worship. I had a ‘to do’ list but I had sensed all this week that I needed to be fluid (flow with ease as God leads; be elegant and graceful; as well as adaptable and flexible) so I made some encouragements up for some lovely ladies and even got to catch up with 2 of them!

I’ve been seeking God on a particular idea I’ve had and I was reminded that I need to focus on my original ‘to do’ list:

  • Chase God
  • Pray
  • Write

As my focus shifted from the-things-I’m-pressing-in-for towards God I’ve felt such a sense of peace.

I’m to seek the Kingdom of God above all else, steep my life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions, and live righteously – reflect the attitude and character of God! I don’t need to worry about missing out because I’ll find all my everyday human concerns will be met, for God will give me everything I need. inspired by Matthew 6:33

That’s truly amazing and powerful promise to cling to!

So I take refuge in God by placing my complete and utter trust in Him. I have great hope and confident expectation. I know that God will keep me in His perfect and constant peace as I focus my mind on Him. Inspired by Isaiah 26:3

Taking my eyes off the situation and fixing them on Jesus realigns me – my selfish ambitions fall away! As I spend time with God I am revived through worship and able to focus on what He requires me to do!

A dear friend sent me a link to a song and as I played it the word struck my heart:

“You go before I know
That You’ve gone to win my war
Your love becomes my greatest defense
It leads me from the dry wilderness

All I did was praise
All I need to do is worship
Lord I will just bow down
I’m just gonna stay still”

Part lyrics of ‘Defender’ written by John-Paul Gentile, Steffany Gretzinger, and Rita Springer

‘Defender’ – Rita Springer YouTube lyrics video

I was so inspired by that one song that I decided I needed to listen to the whole album and each song has been so encouraging to me!

I pray that you can also lay down whatever challenge you face and allow God to revive you.

Many blessings, Keona

A Mini Quest

Today I was feeling adventurous. I went on a mini quest to find a waterfall. I had limited instructions on how to find it and without any signs of its existence I drove past it! I turned around at the road which indicated I’d gone too far and ventured for another look. The ‘car park’ that had been mentioned in the instructions was a slight extension of the road and the path had no signs.

As I scrambled across rocks


Scaled a short rock wall, no quest is complete without a rock wall to scurry up right?!


Walked through a cave – all excellent adventures should have a cave!


The short path finally revealed the sight I was hoping for!


It was a truly special moment. As I sat and listened to the water cascade I felt so blessed!

The Light To My Path

I was feeling adventurous so I decided to go for a short stroll on my sister’s bush block. I’d been given instructions on how to find my way back to the house and I felt excited at the thought of exploring the bush. As I set off the excitement grew! I have missed being able to do stuff like this, during the depths of my illness doing simple short walks was virtually impossible.

The plan was straightforward at first, I simply had to follow the road but then it got complicated. As I turned off the road onto the bush paths what felt familiar quickly became confusing. I came to an intersection where there was a sign “private property” and I could see the family treehouse. The intersection had 2 options: the path that went past the treehouse or straight ahead. In the map in my mind the path back to the house was the one straight ahead. So I pressed on straight ahead thinking that I’d stumble back to the house at any minute. As I was presented with another intersection I went right thinking that I’d certainly be back at the house soon.

As the light began to fade the bush suddenly made me feel completely isolated, lost and alone (apart from our family dog of course). As the paths pressed further and further into the unknown the adventure began to feel like a test for survival. As I began to doubt the choice I’d made, at that intersection AGES ago, I had to choose to press on or to back track to that sign. A few more steps and I realized I simply had to turn back. As I made my way back I stated to doubt the way back, in the fading light none of the paths looked familiar.
My communion with God became a desperate prayer for guidance. I declared that God was the light to my path:

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” PSALM 119:105 (Amplified).

A song started to sing in my head: Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. When I feel afraid, and think I’ve lost my way. Still, you’re there right beside me. Nothing will I fear as long as you are near; please be near me to the end. I will not forget Your love for me and yet, my heart forever is wandering. Jesus be my guide, and hold me to your side, and I will love you to the end. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. You’re the light unto my path. ‘Thy Word’ by Amy Grant.

 

light to my path 2
The bush was extremely thick and the paths were not marked

Finally! I came back to the sign and took the path that wound past the tree house (which I couldn’t see by this stage). As the light faded even more I was grateful that the path was quite wide and therefore defined. Then suddenly the water tanks I’d been expecting to see peeked out at me from the bush. I was so grateful that I’d made it back! I collapsed into a chair and quickly gulped down water.

That night as I snuggled down under the blankets I was extremely thankful to be sleeping in bed and not the bush!

Blessed be the LORD, my God, for He has heard the voice of my passionate pleas for mercy. The LORD is my strength and my impenetrable shield! My heart trusts, with unwavering confidence, in Him and therefore my heart greatly rejoices! I can jump for joy; burst forth with ecstatic passionate praise; and shout and sing my thanks to Him for I am helped! The Lord is my unyielding inner strength; Mighty Protector; and He is the fortress of my salvation. Bless Your inheritance! Be my shepherd, keep leading me forward and carry me forever! PSALM 28:6-9 AMP, MSG, ESV, NCV and TPT paraphrased

As I reflect upon that adventure I pray that in life I will follow the little signs and promptings God places in front of me, which will lead and direct me along the path He has set for me. I pray that my pride won’t stop me from backtracking when I make a wrong turn and need to retreat. May I be continually grateful for the guidance God provides.

“He offers a resting place for me in his luxurious love. His tracks take me to an oasis of peace, the quiet brook of bliss. That’s where he restores and revives my life. He opens before me pathways to God’s pleasure, and leads me along in his footsteps of righteousness so that I can bring honor to his name.” Psalms 23:2-3 The Passion Translation

Many blessings!

‘Thy Word’ – Amy Grant – lyrics YouTube clip

‘Breathe’ – Michael W. Smith – lyrics YouTube clip

Peace Slipped From My Mind

Last week as I prepared for a trip to see family, I found myself increasingly harried – my to do list seemed to be growing instead of shortening, despite my best efforts to get it all done!

As I kept trying to do more I felt anxiety arise that I’d never get it all done as well as tiredness set in. I kept telling myself ‘I’ll just do this and then I’ll sit down’, but then I’d remember something else that needed doing and I’d quickly do that. There was a vicious cycle happening: doing > anxiety about the more yet to do > a need to rest > an urgency to keep doing.

It all became too much and I knew that if I had to drive soon I simply had to rest. I laid down in bed and the thoughts kept racing. I took a few deep breaths to steady my heart down and fell into a deep sleep.

I awoke feeling much better and managed to drive safely.

I look back on that day with much embarrassment at how easily I got flustered, at how readily I got anxious and snappy.

The verse that I had been declaring over my mind had been forgotten:

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (New Living Translation)

One of my favorite songs had slipped from my mind for a little while

God I look to You, I won’t be overwhelmed

Give me vision to see things like You do

God I look to You, You’re where my help comes from

Give me wisdom; You know just what to do

“God I Look To You” Bethel Music

Thankfully I knew that I had to listen to the promptings to rest, I simply had to admit ‘defeat’ from my to do list and rest. It’s still so hard for me to not be able to accomplish all that I long to do, it is still so hard to see how much restoration that needs to take place.

I am so grateful that as I struggled with my feelings I was reminded of this quote:

“Healing won’t take place overnight. Instead it’s an exquisite process where God peels away layer by layer. But as you heal, something profound begins to take place.” Suzie Eller

I am so grateful that I’ve got grace in my life. That my husband came home and didn’t judge me for being so harried but instead lovingly helped pack the car. I’m so encouraged that God knows me and in His amazing grace loves me still:

Psalm 139:1-6 The Passion Translation
“Lord, you know everything there is to know about me.
You’ve examined my innermost being with your loving gaze. You perceive every movement of my heart and soul,
and understand my every thought before it even enters my mind. You are so intimately aware of me, Lord, you read my heart like an open book
and you know all the words I’m about to speak
before I even start a sentence!
You know every step I will take, before my journey even begins!
You’ve gone into my future to prepare the way,
and in kindness you follow behind me
to spare me from the harm of my past.
With your hand of love upon my life,
you impart a Father’s blessing to me.
This is just too wonderful, deep, and incomprehensible!
Your understanding of me brings me wonder and strength.”

Many Blessings

‘God I Look To You’ – Bethel & Francesca Battistelli – YouTube lyric clip

‘Extravagant’ – Bethel Music – YouTube lyric clip

‘Wonderful Peace’ – Don Moen – YouTube lyric clip

‘Let The Peace Of God Reign’ – Hillsong & Darlene Zschech – YouTube lyric clip

 

Constant Communion Consciousenss

“Discovering our true identity is a basic need of the human heart. Until we find our identity, we will be searching for the rest of our lives for peace and fulfilment.” Bob George

The last 3 years have been tough. My inability to perform the simplest task screamed inadequacy and failure! All I could see for a long time was my worthlessness. My struggle with inability left me questioning my value. Upon reflection, I realise that I placed my value in what I could do NOT who I am.  I was so quick to adopt that false label, which was hateful and hurtful. Satan then fanned those incorrect labels into a flame that threatened to consume me. It doesn’t matter what that false label is as long as it isn’t the fact that I am a child of God. I was searching for who I was but unable to find the answers. I realised that unless I allowed God to reveal my true identity I would be lost within those false labels.

“Listen to God’s voice above all others. When you know who HE says you are, it doesn’t matter who THEY say you are.” #WithoutRival Lisa Bevere

September last year I attended a Majestic Women retreat where healing was declared over my life. Not only was healing placed into my spirit but a hunger to know more about God.

November last year I attended another Majestic Women event. The speaker touched on communion. She mentioned Romans 8 and explained that we are adopted children of God. She went on to explain that there is a work happening within in us, where we will be revealed as who we were originally created to be! So, I wrote: ” I am no longer a sinner for I am a daughter of God!”.

Later she went on to talk about having communion daily. She explained that it is a symbol of desiring to be transformed from the inside out!

This concept was a complete new revelation for me! She explained that we can take communion on our own and it doesn’t have to be a piece of bread and juice, it can be our cereal and cup of tea that represent the communion elements. That opened up a whole new realm of thinking and I realized that it’s not about what I consume but why I consume.

I’ve been on journey of discovering more about God, more about this concept of daily communion and therefore more about me!

As Heidi Baker states in her book Compelled By Love: “We must, in love, empty ourselves and become poor in spirit to gain the riches of heaven and be filled with Him. The Christian life is all about union and communion.”

I sensed a deep desire within to eat the Bread of Life daily. I knew that daily I needed to be cleansed afresh in Jesus’ blood.

Matthew 5:6 Amplified Bible (AMP) “Blessed [joyful, nourished by God’s goodness] are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness [those who actively seek right standing with God], for they will be [completely] satisfied.”

A great desire grew within me to be totally transformed into who God has created me to be! This is promised in 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NLT): “So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord – who is the Spirit – makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.”. This promises an exciting journey of continually transforming from one version of me into another, constantly improving and becoming more like Christ.

“….when your identity is in Christ, your identity is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Criticism can’t change it. Failing can’t shake it. The headlines can’t ruin it. Lists can’t determine it.
When your identity is in the Rock, your identity is rock-solid. As long as God is for you, it doesn’t matter what mountain rises ahead of you. You aren’t your yesterday, you aren’t your messes, you aren’t your failures, you aren’t your brokenness.” Ann Voskamp

As I’ve embarked on this act of communion each day It has become so much more to me than a ritual and far beyond symbols of sacrifice.

Communion has become a consciousness – I’m on a journey where my identity as God’s heir is becoming my reality!

Another statement that Heidi Baker makes in her book is that “We must all be pliable in the Master’s hands. For He wants to turn you upside down in order to turn the world upside down (Acts 17:6).”

Today I desperately desire to Ignite in you a passion to know more about God and therefore more about who you really are. This will enable you to live out the great calling upon your life.

We were created to be in relationship with God – be in constant communion with Him.

God loves you more than you can ever imagine. God loved you before you even drew breath and He displayed His great love for you by sending Jesus to die upon a cross. This was God’s display of His extravagant love. But it didn’t end there! Jesus was raised from the dead so that we could join him in heaven. The Holy Spirit was sent to enable us, equip us and encourage us right now. Right in this moment God wants to grow your capacity to receive His love, which will grow your ability!

In William Paul Young’s book The Shack, the main character is chatting to Jesus, Sarayu (the Holy Sprit) and God about priority and God states: “I don’t just want a piece of you and a piece of your life. Even if you were able, which you are not, to give me the biggest piece, that is not what I want. I want all of you and all of every part of you and your day.”

God wants to be part of every moment of our lives so that each and every minute can be orchestrated by Him!

Let’s look at the main verse I reflect on, Romans 8, and some wonderful things I’ve discovered:

Why Jesus was sent: The law of Moses was unable to save us. So God did what the law could not do, he sent his own son in a body like the body we sinners have!

Jesus then became the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us! Jesus now sits in the place of honour pleading our case!

What are the results of Jesus’ great sacrifice?

There is no longer any condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus because we are freed from the power of sin that leads to death. The spirit lives within us and gives us life!

Overwhelming victory is ours through Christ!

Nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of God!

We are children of God because of His spirit within us! Together with Christ we are heirs to God’s glory!
When we let the Holy Spirit control our minds it leads us to life and peace.

Romans 8 reminds us that:

  • We are chosen
  • We are called
  • We have been given right standing
  • We have been given God’s glory
  • The very same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead resides in us!

Now that last one is truly mind blowing! If we can grasp that it changes our lives!

Declare it: The very same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead resides in me!

Truly believe that powerful statement and allow it to become life altering truth!

Truly live that powerful truth and allow it to empower you to alter the world!

 “God calls us to be one with Him and each other. God calls all of us to love Him with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, loving our neighbours as ourselves.” Heidi Baker.

The emblems are symbols of something very sacred!

  • Communion acknowledges what Jesus did for us on the cross.
  • Communion reminds us of our position as children of God.
  • Communion grants us an opportunity to begin to transform into the image of God – into who we were created to be!

2 Corinthians 7:1 (NLT) “Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete holiness because we fear God.”

My prayer:

“Lord words cannot truly express the gratitude I have for what you’ve done for me!

Lord I thank you so much for your body which was bruised and broken for me! I declare afresh that by your stripes I have received physical healing!

Lord I thank you so much for your blood that was willingly poured out for me! That your blood cleanses me afresh today;  wipes all record of sin from my life and actually deals with the root of sin in my life! I thank you for the cup of blessing, your precious blood, that gives me spiritual healing!

May your power fill me today afresh, transform me from the inside out to become who you have created me to be! Fill me with your resurrection spirit so that I am empowered for the work you set before me. Amen!”

Many blessings, Keona

At The Cross (Love Ran Red) – Chris Tomlin – YouTube lyrics & chords clip

Healer – Kari Jobe – YouTube clip

Compelled By Love – Heidi Baker -Koorong book link

I Remember Now

When I was in the midst of my adrenal fatigue battle my memory was terrible. When I was grabbing some groceries, I would think about something I needed to get in the next aisle and 2 steps later completely forget; or I’d try to speak and forget what something was called – the classic was when I told my son off for playing with the curtains when in fact he was playing with the candles, this is now a family joke. The most scariest was when I unintentionally shop lifted..

I went to a shopping centre to pick up a ring that had been replaced and saw a shop had a sale on so I thought “great I’ll be super organised and get my mother in law’s birthday present for next month”.

Feeling quite fuzzy I focused on the sale rack and tried to think of the best size. I saw a really cool leopard print top for myself and grabbed it along with a top for my mother in law. I tried both tops on but decided that I wouldn’t get the top for myself as I didn’t like the fit. On the way to the checkout I hung the top up on a rack outside the change rooms, sat the top for my mother in law on the counter and had a quick look at another sale rack. The very helpful sales assistant pointed out some great accessory bargains which I then looked at and grabbed a couple of items. I paid and walked out feeling quite pleased.  As I was going through the list in my phone of what I had next to do I felt really quite fuzzy. I pushed myself to get the couple of things from Kmart but abandoned my list after that and went to the car. I grabbed lunch from the drive through at McDonalds, I had wanted to go to Banjos and grab a nice salad roll but it was too far for me to walk when I was feeling so woozy.

As I pulled into my garage I looked down and noticed that I had dropped some lunch on my lap, I looked again at my top thinking that it looked different. I got out of the car and had a closer look. SHOCK HORROR I felt sick! I had the insert on from the top that I tried on!!!! I quickly grabbed the receipt out of the bag and rang the store. Shaking I apologised profusely about my mistake and promised to return the top that day.

I grabbed my book “Adrenal Fatigue the 21st Century Stress Syndrome” by James L Wilson and quickly scanned for the page that talks about memory loss and the inability to concentrate. I copied the page and highlighted: “The adrenals also have an effect on mental states. As a result, people with adrenal fatigue show a tendency toward increased fears, anxiety and depression, have intervals of confusion, increased difficulties in concentrating and less acute memory recall.”

I laid down for a rest but found sleep impossible. God has grown me so much and I aim to be a Proverbs 31 woman, a godly woman, it is not in my nature to shop lift. I pride myself in my integrity and honesty! I am horrified that this happened. I was frustrated that my brain wouldn’t make the connections it needed to make.

It was truly terrifying! I felt so betrayed by my own mind – the very thing that was supposed to help me had in fact failed me completely! I returned the top and the ladies were very understanding but it left me feeling afraid to go shopping again for quite some time.

Recently I read something that really caught my attention:

“You see, we just tend to sit in our problems and not even realise what they are when the spirit of forgetting strikes. And the monumental nature of some of the things we forget is… well, monumental. The spirit of forgetting is one that dismembers truth. And so, from that, we can tell one of the best approaches to overcoming it: ask God for the re-integration of truth in our lives.” Anne Hamilton

This revealed to me that there is a spirit that can cause me to forget, forget in many different ways and many different things. BUT most importantly this spirit can make me forget my real identity. Scary! But the good news is that if there is a spirit that makes me forget then there has to be a spirit that helps me remember. So I rebuked the spirit of forgetfulness in my life and I declared that God has given me the spirit of remembering – remembering who I am – a child of God!

My statement or excuse prior to this declaration was ‘I just can’t remember’ but I now declare God’s truth – that my mind is being transformed and my memory is being restored – I remember now.

Our minds are so precious and valuable and it’s wonderful to know that God values our minds so much that he gives us His very own peace to guard them: “….the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 NKJV

My prayer for you today is that God will restore to you a memory buzzing with His glorious rich truths.

My own prayer today is this: Lord I once again lay my past down, enable me to forget about the things I no longer need to carry. I lift my eyes and my heart towards heaven, I press forward with my head high and my spirit rejuvenated to press forward towards ALL that God calls me to through Jesus. Inspired by Philippians‬ ‭3:13-14‬ ‭

Many blessings

Keona

You Light Me Live Zions Hill & Carolyn Billing with lyrics – YouTube clip

Faithful To The End // Paul & Hannah McClure // Have It All Official Lyric Video

Photo cred – novelrobinson – Pixabay

Anne Hamilton’s Facebook link

A God Led Revolution

On the 27th of May, I wrote: I thank you Lord that I am being restored, rewired, realigned, renewed, re-established, rearranged, redesigned, recalibrated, retuned, readjusted, redeveloped, recast, reconstructed, refashioned, reformed, remodelled, renovated, reshaped, revamped, revised, rejuvenated….

I shared this with a few friends and one friend encouraged me to delve into the word revolution and so I started studying it. Here’s what I’ve discovered so far:

Revolution pronounced rev-uh-loo-shuh n. It is said to be derived from the Latin word revolūtiō the act of revolving (turning around).

Revolution is when a fundamental change in political power or organisational structures happens in a short amount of time. A concerted group rise up in revolt against current authorities and take control. A complete change will result from one constitution to another or an extreme modification of an existing constitution will happen. A radical, abrupt and pervasive change will occur in society and the social structure.

A sudden, complete or marked change occurs in something!

“Yet so often it seems that victory eludes us. It is when our self-confidence is finally destroyed and is replaced with dependence upon God that we have victory.” K.P. Yoannan

 I need a God led revolution to bring a dramatic change to my life, which will enable me to bring a dramatic change to the world around me!!!

Through Christ Jesus I have received a free gift from God of salvation. This means my old sinful self was crucified and put to death with Jesus. Christ was raised from the dead so that I may live a new life, one where sin no longer has any power over my life! Therefore, the power of sin is void in my life – a dramatic revolution has occurred all because Jesus is now seated in glory and honour. I am able to live under the freedom of God’s grace. I choose to obey God, wholeheartedly obey His teachings, which means that I can live out a righteous life. (Inspired by Romans 6)

My personal revolution declaration:

  • I’m no longer a slave to sin, it NO longer controls me or has any power over me!
  • For I’m controlled by God and He enables me to live life abundantly!
  • From my personal revolution, I can instigate a worldwide revolution – declare the world IS under new management which is God’s management!

My prayer from various song lyrics:

God I look to You, I won’t be overwhelmed
Give me vision to see things like You do
God I look to You, You’re where my help comes from
Give me wisdom, You know just what to do

Beautiful Surrender is where I wanna be, locked into Your arms, for all eternity

Come and take my hand, You can lead me where You please

That Beautiful Surrender is chasing after me

You make me brave, You call me out beyond the shore into the waves
You make me brave, no fear can hinder now the Love that made a way

You make me brave, no fear can hinder now the promises You’ve made

I give it all to You, God

Trusting that You’ll make something beautiful out of me

“Through a revolution in our identity, we can think with divine purpose. Such a change begins with a revelation of Him.” Bill Johnson

Many blessings

Keona

‘When We Have Failed – What Next?’ K P Yohannan – Koorong book link

‘GOD I LOOK TO YOU’ – written by Jenn Johnson, Ian McIntosh – YouTube clip

‘BEAUTIFUL SURRENDER’ – written by Melissa Helser, Jonathan David Helser, Molly

Skaggs – YouTube clip

‘YOU MAKE ME BRAVE’ -written by Amanda Cook – YouTube clip

Pic Cred – Unsplash via pexels

‘Nothing I Hold On To’ – UNITED PURSUIT – Written by Will Reagan – YouTube clip