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Life of an Ordinary Aussie Woman

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Quiet My Soul

Saviour I come, quiet my soul, remember,
Redemption’s hill, where Your blood was spilled, for my ransom.
Everything I once held dear, I count it all as loss ~ Lead me to the cross, where Your LOVE poured out…Bring me to my knees, Lord I lay me down, rid me of myself, I belong to You…Oh lead me, lead me to the cross…to Your HEART, to Your HEART!
(Hillsong United)

There is just so much to distract us these days in our modern world from being still with The Lord to keep our minds better aligned with His…

However, I am beginning to see that even this ‘modern-day’ reasoning  is just another excuse from my flesh…You see, I think it’s actually more a pre-existing, human condition, where our fleshly human sinful-nature tries to dominate us, over God…and this is regardless of our age, sex, race, culture or modern-aged societies.  Do you know what I mean?  Let me explain further…

As Christians we are called to live our lives following the example of Jesus Christ...Christianity is NOT just a box one ticks on their Census Form or something for our resumes.

I understand this may sound harsh, but let me assure you that I blog from my heart and own life experiences…Sadly I know what it’s like to say, ‘Yeah I believe in Jesus’ and then live my life as a pagan, for this is how I lived the first decade of my adult life.

Yet we all know (even if it is by our conscience alone) that a Christian lives their life following the example of Jesus Christ, with God’s help and by His grace.

We are saved by Him – and there is NOTHING we can do to earn or deserve this, yet when we are re-birthed by the perfect Holy Spirit we are given a new heart and mind which DESIRES to live our lives on a LOVE PILGRIMAGE towards the new earth and heaven which are to come when Jesus returns.  It is only through Jesus we are able to live our lives truly dedicated to Him reaching others with His gospel.

Yet even though we are re-birthed, we are still in our mortal human bodies for now which rage war with us (even if we know it or not)…

At this stage in my life I am now able to understand better why there have been Christian hermits in the past – people retreating from the world to better connect with God and trying to live their lives in purity as Jesus did – for our human flesh has always tried to tear us away from having God as number one, to the place of having ourselves as a god…it is our human sinful nature and we will ALWAYS find something to distract ourselves with…so the internet is actually an invalid excuse!

Today however, so many of us are blessed to be able to read and study scripture in our native language, regardless of our race or gender and we know that Jesus did not retreat from the world and people...but in solitude He would pray to The Father for extended periods.

How many of us today slow down and sacrifice time from our day to follow Jesus’ example of one-on-one, time in solitude prayer with The Lord?

How often are we getting down on our knees in HUMILITY – laying ourselves down before The Lord of all creation and our lives – pouring our hearts out – interceding – Remembering the cross as our example of a life sacrificed and dedicated to Jesus?

We need to STOP, get rid of any distractions, quiet ourselves and SEEK Him…and what is stopping us when we can choose to sacrifice time and have our own bedrooms?  I think we know the answer, it’s actually our own self (our flesh) which stops us…

Relationships are two way and require our active participation…we must CHOOSE to connect…we must be DEVOTED to pray as it says in Colossians 4:2.

Is He calling You to a closer walk with Him as He has been of me?

If so, please don’t feel like a failing Christian, rather be encouraged because He loves You, and desires for You to be closer to Him, to be more like Jesus, to partner with Him or continue partnering with Him in reaching others for His glory and Kingdom.

I know what my flesh does to me to try and stop me having Jesus as number one and sometimes it really is like the Casting Crowns song suggests – a slow fade.  From my own personal experience my anxiety can begin and I start to feel like I need to make myself extra-busy to be less anxious – I then can get so busy with doing things (even deeds I think are good) that I am too tired or lack time to spend in solitude with The Lord.  This behaviour can then continue for too long, manifesting into a habit and slowly over time resulting in a relationship which is estranged and in need of restoration - and we can wonder how it ever happened.

Yet The Lord in His wonderful way, still draws me back to Him, to a place of humility and dependency upon Him first and foremost – a place of close relationship and connectedness found upon my knees, where my flesh can be properly laid down and His LOVE can fill me, instead of me leading myself and running ahead of Him.

Be encouraged you are dearly loved.

In His service and love, Melanie :)

Friday, 21 November 2014

Mind Power...

Our minds truly are so amazing, to even compare them to the most super-advanced-computer is lacking…

Our minds are so powerful they can impact our whole lives…
I have found our perception and attitude can totally change the way we experience LIFE…

Do you know what I mean?

For example, two different people can go through the same difficult challenge together, yet handle it differently…one in their distress trusting The Lord to make a way, praying, continuing to hope and remaining calm…the other becoming angry at God, not speaking to Him, having explosive outbursts and becoming exhausted from straining in their own strength…

I acknowledge we are all different people…yet for those of us who are Christians we should be growing to become more like Christ…this is a real part of our faith...our minds SHOULD be continually being transformed to be MORE LIKE HIS!

We are made in God’s image, and it makes my jaw drop to even try and comprehend how awesome He is…He is so much more than I can imagine from my limited human understanding! Yet, even though we are made in His image and are incredibly intelligent, we are still not God and we therefore need HIM to work in us for mental-wellbeing.

Yes, medication can help, yet we still need God for true, complete holistic healing and this can take time, for as Christians we GROW to be more like Christ continually…this is a continuing process which sometimes has growth spurts and quiet winters.

I want to share with you that I am saying all this as someone who knows what mental illness is like...I know what it’s like to struggle with unhelpful thoughts.

Yet I also know how powerful God is and therefore how important it is to let our thoughts be captive to Christ, as recommended in 2 Corinthians 10: 3-5.

Both Romans 12: 1-2 and Ephesians 4: 17-24 speak of our minds being renewed so that we can live life God’s way…

I’m NOT afraid to say it is only staying close to Christ daily through a devoted life filled with prayer and scripture reading that we can continually be transformed…I don’t care if people want to say I am a JESUS FREAK, old fashioned or legalistic…I am not here to please people rather speak the TRUTH (Galatians 1:10 and  Acts 5:29)…the world’s activities will not strengthen us in Christ, rather they actually deplete us.

Jesus said that we MUST abide in Him to be able to do anything for Him, see John 15: 1-11 and when our thoughts are captive to Him we then can know God’s will as specified in Romans 12: 1-2

In John 15, after Jesus teaches about abiding in Him to bear fruit as His disciples, He goes on to say that we are to LOVE ONE ANOTHER – and to lay down our lives for one another!  See John 15.

I’m NOT proclaiming a WORKS doctrine above grace. But I would like to say that Jesus knows what is best for us and does ask us to put our faith into action.  I also want to testify to how He has been transforming my mind over the years to LOVE others more and how by doing this my mental health has been affected in a positive HUGE way…

Jesus did teach about how we should be found when He returns, you can read some of it here; Luke 12: 35-48; 21: 34-36Matthew 24: 36-51.

So I ask you, if today was your last day how would you spend it?  What if you viewed each day as an opportunity, as a disciple of Jesus to LOVE, how would that change your life?

What if instead of thinking negative thoughts like…(I’m NOT good enough…my life sucks…I always fail…what’s the point those people are just hypocrites…Oh Jesus just come back and take me out of my misery…I have nothing to live for, no-one to share my life with…) We changed our focus to – I am saved by God’s grace, there is nothing I can do to change this, but in response to His free-gift I want to be found LOVING as His disciple when He returns or I am called home?

What if we let Him transform our minds daily to be more like His (some days will be harder than others)?  What if we prayed and read scripture more in solitude with Him?  What if we didn’t strive to do good deeds…rather we let Him transform our mind daily to reveal to us how we can show others His LOVE?
What if we did LESS better? 

What if we focused upon impacting the individuals in our lives with His LOVE?

What if we had the mind of Christ more often?

In His love, Melanie J

Thursday, 20 November 2014

DISCONNECTION in a Social Media focused WORLD...

It’s interesting how people can feel so connected these days to others through social media…Yet we also know of the real isolation many people can experience today due to people making voice or face contact less and less…

I'm sure we've all read or heard something like;

"I have 600 Facebook friends, yet am all alone..."

There has been some healthy encouragement more recently for people to get off-line more, to realise the addictiveness of social media and the possible factions they could be creating in their lives with their IRL family and friends.

Today I have seen a correlation between online connecting and our connecting with Jesus…bear with me on this…

Firstly, don’t get me wrong, I am both a supporter and user of social media, yet having used it for years I am also aware of both its positive attributes and limitations…

Sometimes it surprises me when I speak with people and they remark about having read my blog or seen updates of mine on Facebook and I hear a ‘familiarity’ in their voice with me, without having REALLY connected with me – You see for me, mostly I haven’t had any contact with them…I have no idea they’ve read a post or few, or that they’ve seen some of my recent family pics...

It can be strange to connect with a person who feels they know me from things I’ve written or shared yet who hasn’t spoken to me in a longish time…other times I find it strange when I find out people have come up with their own opinion of me based on some blog posts and pictures of mine…

The truth is I blog when inspired, so there are many things in my life which I don’t share about, or feel I need to write about…the thoughts and stories I share are only a sample of me…If people REALLY wanted to know me they’d need to spend time with me and have an IRL relationship with me.

Written communication is fantastic, don’t get me wrong…I am a fan of writing and enjoy expressing myself this way…When The Lord reached me in 2005 it was through His written Word (The Holy Bible) that He spoke to me through and the Holy Spirit used to convict me of my sin…and I still love The Bible today and read it devotionally to connect with The Lord – yet it cannot replace an IRL relationship with God through Jesus Christ!

Sometimes people think they know ALL about Jesus and even claim this to others based upon what they’ve read in scripture – there are people who think they KNOW Jesus from the Bible and then still reject Him as God…

Yet in the Gospel of John we read that there are MANY other things Jesus did, so MANY that the world could not contain the books that would be written if all His deeds were written down (John 21:25).  St. John lets us know just earlier that he wrote this gospel so we may BELIEVE in Jesus and receive LIFE in His Name (John 20:31). This is because it is Jesus who is the way for eternal life – not our own self-knowledge…it is Him living in us through the blessed Holy Spirit that we have LIFE in His Name – it is a IRL relationship!

St. John wrote down Jesus' own words about this fact in John 5:39-40.   ‘You search the scriptures because you think in them you have eternal life; and it is they that testify on my behalf. Yet you refuse to come to me to have LIFE.’

A line of scripture jumped out at me today, it was; ‘It was no messenger or angel but His presence that saved them, in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; He lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.’ (Isaiah 63:9)

We can never be saved from our separation from our Holy creator by anything we do…even when we think we have turned to Him; He has already ordained it, reaching us with His LOVE.  He reaches us with His LOVE, pities us, forgives and redeems us, and restores us to Him BECAUSE He Himself made the way…by God the Son becoming a human being and dying our death for us.

It is by HIS PRESENCE we are saved.

God came down to us…Jesus Christ!

And it is by God, the blessed Holy Spirit living in us that we have eternal life with God beginning from our re-birth continuing for all eternity…

It is by HIS PRESENCE we are saved.

Read: Ephesians 1:11-15

Sometimes we think we really connect to others through their social media updates or their blog posts…yet we KNOW this contact is limited!  We KNOW that to have a real relationship with the person, it takes IRL connecting…

It’s like when people who don’t have a personal, IRL relationship with Jesus go to church…they hear the scripture read and songs sung, yet it doesn’t always connect with their heart because they haven’t called out to Him for an IRL personal relationship.

Sometimes we’re deceived by the devil into thinking that by our knowledge and good deeds we can be alright with God…Yet It is by HIS PRESENCE we are saved.

Jesus has done it all – and we ALL need Him for eternal LIFE!

I urge you to stop living the world’s lie and connect with Him IRL TODAY – call out to Him in prayer…Ask Him in His Name to forgive you, to re-birth you by the blessed Holy Spirit and for Him to be YOUR God leading you today and always!  Then get yourself a Bible and ask Him to lead you to a faithful church.

Stop looking at Jesus from the distance; like scrolling through your newsfeed online hoping to connect – don’t be isolated or separated from Him any longer have an IRL eternal relationship with Him beginning TODAY!

If you do commit yourself to Jesus and need prayer please feel free to email me at

Praise Him eternally for true LIFE - His presence with us!
Melanie :)

Sunday, 16 November 2014


I can remember being in hospital recovering from my first caesarean section birth in 2002, trying to enjoy my newborn son and interact with others but being so foggy-headed on PAIN-RELIEF medication, I felt I couldn’t connect properly…I actually asked what PAIN-RELIEF medication I was on, and to be taken off it for an alternative, as I could not stand feeling less than switched-on…

Now I’m not saying PAIN-RELIEF isn’t appropriate…Rather, I see a parallel between this story, my daily life struggles, and my own self-medicating options which can leave me less functional for The Lord (bear with me on this).

Here in our Western world we live with basically everything readily available ‘on tap’…Our slightest discomforts can be readily met with something offering a quick comfort and we utilise our resources so quickly…This lifestyle I think had its roots laid with good intentions. 

You see, none of us like pain and if we feel pain, or see others suffering we like to help solve the problem.  We’ve become really good at offering people a quick-fix solution to show love; for example, Got a headache? Here, take a paracetamol…Feeling down? Here, have a free meal on me…Struggling with your love life? Let’s go shopping or out to the bar…

Yet this way of excessive PAIN-RELIEF living, leaves us unequipped to grow in resilience…I believe, quite similar to the recent abuse of antibiotic medication ruining people’s God-given immune system.

When we face problems in our life (and I’m writing here from experience) for example; loneliness, job loss or financial strain, loss of a relationship, challenges with our children, just to name a few small examples…I know how easy it can be to self-medicate…

I think being raised during these last days and without Godly examples, we quickly seek to dull our pain, rather than properly deal with it with The Lord, by choosing options like; burying ourselves in work, eating more, spending sprees, alcohol or drug abuse, cosmetic surgery, excessive time spent on fun/distracting activities, running away to escape…

We are not trained to pray more, in solitude spend time with The Lord, to seek Christian counselling, to work for forgiveness and even reconciliation where possible, to wait upon The Lord for healing in His time, to seek to do good to others where God leads during this time of hardship.

If this post is bringing anything to the forefront of your mind and is perhaps challenging for you, please don’t be discouraged or feel judged, as I really am writing from experience and from a heart desiring God's true healing…I do know what it’s like to self-medicate myself with distractions – Yet I also know God’s grace to try again; allowing Him to heal me, waiting upon His timing and finding my refuge and PAIN-RELIEF in Him…I also know how wonderful I actually feel from His real PAIN-RELIEF, how less foggy-headed I feel and how much more useful I can be then for His Kingdom when I am not distracted by my own self-medicating or should I rather say self-sabotaging choices.

He is the true healer, so be encouraged to seek Him, He doesn’t turn us His service, Melanie :)

Friday, 14 November 2014

A Song of Praise...

I seek You, Loving Lord Jesus
I seek You, Loving Lord Jesus
Forgive my sin, make me new
All of me is turned to You…

I need You, Perfect Lord Jesus
I need You, Perfect Lord Jesus
Take my heart, make it Yours
Renew my mind to know You more…

I praise You, Blessed Lord Jesus
I praise You, Blessed Lord Jesus
By Your stripes, we are made whole
Come and saturate my soul…

I lay me down, Merciful Jesus
I lay me down, Merciful Jesus
My life, I give to You
No looking back, redeemed, brand new…

Transform me, Living Lord Jesus
Transform me, Living Lord Jesus
Make my will, align with Yours
Carrying my cross through open doors…

Keep me Yours, Saviour Lord Jesus
Keep me Yours, Saviour Lord Jesus
Your grace, it makes complete
Safe with You my Mercy Seat…

I thank You, Messiah Lord Jesus
I thank You, Messiah Lord Jesus
Eternal freedom, is Your gift
Great High Priest, You fill the rift…

Come to me, Precious Lord Jesus
Come to me, Precious Lord Jesus
Fill me now, with Your love
Set my mind on what’s above…

I trust You forever, King Lord Jesus
I trust You forever, King Lord Jesus
Your ways, are not the world’s
Forever now I am Your girl…

I sing to You, Holy Lord Jesus
I sing to You, Holy Lord Jesus
My soul, You’ve given peace
More than enough Your Holy fleece…

Friday, 7 November 2014

Amazing Grace: A Post Dedicated To My Friend Who Has Passed Away

In December 2002 I moved with my firstborn son to a small rural town in Victoria.

Before he was one year old I joined the local mother’s playgroup for some much needed support and social contact.  I was blessed to meet many inspiring, hardworking local Aussie women and to gain support and knowledge for my new chapter of motherhood.  I connected with one woman who had two sons; the second was very close in age to my eldest…for privacy reasons, I will call her here a pseudo name of ‘Sonia’.

Back then I wasn’t living my life committed to Christ.  I worked as the local performing arts teacher and Playgroup was my main way for making friends.   The group of playgroup mums all witnessed my life then being blessed to have another two sons.  My third son was born at the end of April 2005 and it was around that time I received the news that Sonia’s second son, the one the same age as my eldest, had died very suddenly – the cause unknown, a SIDS case.

This was such devastating news…I’m quite sure Sonia by this time also had a third son who would have been around six months old…My world was rocked with the frailty of life…my playgroup friend so similar to me…A mum with three boys had lost her middle child!

I was blessed to be born again not long later that year and The Lord drew me closer to Sonia.  I was so happy for her when she later was blessed with a fourth child – a beautiful daughter.  Sonia was Roman Catholic and even though I saw her shed tears over the loss of her second son, I don’t believe she ever blamed God – rather she was glad He was taking care of him and that she would see him again one day in heaven!

Our friendship wasn’t always smooth yet it was still real and even after moving away I knew I would always be welcome for coffee at Sonia’s place. 

Not long after I became single Sonia was diagnosed with secondary cancer in the worst stage.  If my memory serves me correctly she was advised that with treatment she could be hopeful of having a decade with her young family…this was possibly 2012/2013.  There was positive attitude because she had survived a rare form of cancer earlier in her life when she was 17…and this was around two decades later.

Around 2 months ago Sonia was rushed to hospital as she was having trouble walking – they discovered a tumour on her spine and she had radiation for the week…However they then said she only had a few months left in their opinion.  I was blessed to visit her then and we hung out together as old girlfriends…I shared with her the latest happenings in my life around one of her treatments.

Only around two weeks later I received the news that she was in fact in her last days.  I went to see her but she wasn’t awake…however I was able to lay hands on her and pray for her, committing her to Christ which I felt I had to do…I also was blessed to chat again with her dad and husband.

My friend Sonia passed away peacefully in the early hours of this morning.

Today I am grieving.

It’s not I am grieving without HOPE…for indeed I hold to the truth of eternal life through Christ.

I am grieving the frailty of life once again…I am grieving the brokenness of our world yet to be restored as I know God’s good design did not include grief and death.

I understand why Jesus cried over the death of His friend Lazarus – for this is NOT the way life should be – death is the opposite of LIFE.
When the full number of God’s children return to Him through Jesus, Jesus will return to fully establish His Kingdom and bring about the perfect restoration of heaven and earth as one, where there will be NO SIN OR DEATH.

Sonia was not even 40 years old and leaves behind a loving godly husband and three children.

Sometimes with the bustle of life we can forget the frailty of life and our mortality…Sometimes we don’t want to think about it, living as if we have forever here or as if there is no creator to ever meet one day…

Yet this is not really living and I believe I can say this, as I once lived like this.  I lived solely for myself and I never felt a sense of completeness deep within…Rather there was an emptiness, a lacking.

Now even living with the reality of the frailty of life I have peace and life makes sense. I know the very real frailty of my human condition has been met by my good creator and Father in heaven…For the consequence of sin is death, eternal separation from our Holy Creator who cannot have sin near Him. 

We are born with a sinful nature because of Adam…

Yet God, because He is LOVE, Himself has made the way for our forgiveness and reconciliation – He has done what we cannot do – He became a MAN and died our death so that when we believe that Jesus Christ is God in the flesh we pass from death to ETERNAL LIFE forever.

God has made the way and reached out to us…

It is only because of His goodness and grace that we are able to CONFESS our sinful nature to God and admit our need for forgiveness and reconciliation and NEED for CHRIST!  He re-births us with His blessed, perfect Holy Spirit which is why we become changed to LIVE for HIM and will receive eternal life.

Life is fragile in our humanness.

Yet God has made the way…DON’T put off being forgiven and restored, confess your sins and need for Christ in the Saving Name of Jesus…don’t wait for your death bed, you may not get one…and from this Ordinary Aussie Woman who knows what life is like walking it with Christ, I urge you to call out and receive the peace and fulfillment which passes BEYOND all comprehension…THIS is true LIFE!

None of us deserve this awesome, free gift…this is why we call it AMAZING GRACE!

So grab a hold of it today and be transformed through JESUS CHRIST…Just get down on your knees and call out to God through Jesus Christ – cry out your need for Him!  For forgiveness and re-birth…for a life to be truly committed to Him!

Peace to you, in Jesus’ Perfect Name, Melanie J

Saturday, 1 November 2014

I will wait for You...

Sometimes in our Christian lives we can feel soooo wonderful  - On top of the world!

We feel so close to Jesus being daily energised by Him – we’re on fire for Him.

His joy is so very present that it is tangible - we can virtually taste joy.

We know with all our being that nothing can separate us from His love - that all things are possible with Him.

Sometimes people remark about how they feel like this early after their conversion…Then sometimes things change…

Now let me be clear, yes sometimes our circumstances do really change – but God does not change.

The truth is there may be times in our lives when we may feel our circumstances couldn’t get any worse…our reality may be overwhelming.

Do you know what I mean?

There really are some very awful things people, including long-time Christians, encounter during their lives…
Mental illness
Death of a spouse or child

Just to list a few examples…

These major stresses can impact our whole being…our lives can enter seasons which we NEVER saw coming – these difficult days can leave us pondering our faith and relationship with God – even His character…especially with the unhelpful teaching that can float around that nothing bad happens to Christians.

The truth is that Christians are in the world, just not of it and endure just like others…

Christians are persecuted for their faith in the One True God…and persecution is even a blessing for bearing Christ’s Name! Accidents can just happen.  People sometimes just choose to hurt us.  There are also times when we stuff up and are convicted of our sin...

Sometimes our road is NOT smooth and we can carry so much weight and condemnation upon our shoulders, wondering where God is in our lives? Yes, even as Christians!

Yet we must remember that God is good always – even if our circumstances change He doesn’t, and He loves us just as much as when we were first saved!  We MUST stand on scripture and understand that He is still with us, we just need to draw closer to Him for strength and when we confess our sins He forgives.

There is no condemnation for those in Christ and NOTHING can separate us from His love – No life event can change our eternal heritage for this is the power of Christ living in us!

During the days of extreme hardship we MUST continue to PRAY…getting down on our knees, pouring our hearts out, learning patience and endurance…

Being a Christian is NOT easy, it is the narrow way, yet superhuman strength to endure is available!  We have a HOPE that is unfading…

Please know if you feel at the end of your tether you are NOT alone…we ALL get to this place and we can GROW from it by choosing to NOT GIVE UP, rather stay close to Christ…we must WAIT for Him and His timing for healing and change.

I know what it’s like to feel my heart break and to endure…

Our world is broken…but He will return to fully establish His Kingdom of PEACE and RIGHTEOUSNESS…Sin will be NO MORE! 

So keep praying…even if you feel you can’t hear or see Him!
There will be a new season…He will restore you to health and you will feel close to Him once again!

All my love, Melanie.

Let me leave you with the song and lyrics, I will wait by Darlene Zschech.

I will not be in a hurry, I will pour out my heart on my knees
I would rather have You in this moment than anything
Though the storms may rage around me
In thee I will rest my soul, Lord I love You more, than life itself, this I know

I will wait for You, I will wait
Lord I'll wait for You, I will wait….

In Your presence I surrender, Laying down all my foolish pride
And this deep calls out to deep, I will love You with all my life

And I'll wait for You, I will wait
Yes I'll wait for You, I will wait
Lord I'll wait for You, I will wait
Yes I'll wait for You, I will wait

Oh teach me God, to know You more
Lord I hunger and, I, thirst for You
Oh teach me God, to hear your voice
Never missing any Word You speak to me
Oh teach me God, to follow You
When You say to go, I will go
Oh teach me God, to trust in You
Never holding back, giving everything…….I 'll give You everything I am…..everything…..

I will wait for You, I will wait
Yes I'll wait for You, I will wait
I'll wait for You, Follow You, Trust You