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Life of an Ordinary Aussie Woman

Friday, 23 October 2015

All My Life

“Hey, I've looked All my Life for you, And now you're here...Hey, I've spent All my Life with you, All my Life, All my Life…”
"All My Life" is a hit song written by Karla Bonoff and performed as duet by Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville…

I cannot help but connect with the love of Jesus when I listen to this timeless classic!

Of late I’ve been feeling like I am falling in love with Jesus, my Lord, my God, my Everything even more deeply and it is the most amazing experience of my whole life! One that I could have never imagined or created…I know it is only possible by His miraculous hand.

Even though I have been born-again for the last decade, I am continuing to come out of the wilderness I’ve been in for around four years since my ex-husband left. I have been experiencing of late a fresh perspective and appreciation of God’s wondrous ways. His sovereignty, mercy, grace, faithfulness, protection, timing and promises being revealed as I feel so loved and held in His unmoveable peace.

I write as one who was once a prodigal. As one who threw an amazing relationship with my heavenly Father away…I was a little ‘Jesus girl’ but the enemy got to me and robbed me of my relationship and peace…

I know what Jesus meant when He spoke about those who are forgiven much, loving much…I was just like the sinful woman and still am awed at His grace and mercy…I love Him so much. You can read the bible story here, well worth a few minutes of your time.

But of late as I see His hand over the lives of mine and my children’s moving so strongly and lovingly I am honestly left, simply speechless.

Here I am just an ordinary Aussie woman, yet living an extraordinary life of grace and peace because of my extraordinary, amazing, heavenly Father, all because He loves me and I accept it.

Someone I know suggested to me yesterday in relation to possibly selling something it would be best if I said only half the truth to ensure I got the best price for the benefit of my family…

I was not annoyed at their comment because I know that’s how I too once thought and I actually felt nothing but peace and joy in knowing that I had no desire to do what they suggested.

So I shared with them that before I was born again I was ruled by my flesh and money...but I did not have intimacy and peace with God...So now I don’t want to do something my conscience doesn't allow and thereby block that closeness.

You see, I know my God is Holy and Perfect and gives His children hearts that want to walk in His goodness and purity. I know God says liars shall not inherit the Kingdom of God and this is once how I was, but I suffered terribly with anxiety in my rebellion. 

There is so much freedom in Christ for all eternity. I know my heavenly Father loves me and owns everything - there's nothing He can't give me. If I live faithlessly and begin to again be ruled by the dollar I will not have His peace as I'll be trying to control everything and no longer trusting Him! The devil wants me anxious and fearful not my heavenly Father.

I would much rather be struggling to make ends meet if The Lord allows it, as I know even in that I have His peace as He can use even that for His Kingdom and glory! I would much rather make a new friend and have peace with God above an extra $1,000. I want to shine the truth that peace with God through Christ brings wellness...not a devious woman who leaves a wake of hurt and regret through dishonesty, cause I know what that's like. It's like betraying your parent to buy a Subway franchise and your Father says, "Why, when I would have given you the whole family business?"

Intimacy and relationship with my heavenly Father leaves me singing…

Am I really here in your arms, It’s just like I dreamed it would be
I feel like we're frozen in time And you're the only one I can see.

Hey, I've looked All my Life for you, And now you're here
Hey, I've spent All my Life with you, All my Life

And I never really knew how to love, I just hoped somehow I'd see
Asked for a little help from above, Send that angel down to me
Hey, I've looked All my Life for you, And now you're here
Hey, I've spent All my Life with you, All my Life

I never thought that I could feel a love so tender
I never thought I could let those feelings show
But now my heart is on my sleeve and this love will never leave
I know, I know

Hey, I've looked All my Life for you, And now you're here
Hey, I've spent All my Life with you, All my Life, All my Life!

To be back in the arms of my heavenly Father who will never leave or forsake me is where I want to always be…I was looking for Him in all of my rebellion and didn’t even know it…and even when I left Him He never left me, He spent each day still protecting me and waiting for me to return to Him. I looked all my life for Him and spent all my life with Him…but now He’s here with me, all my life, all my life!

In His love, Melanie :)

Saturday, 17 October 2015

More Than A Coincidence!

Of late I’ve really been getting a fresh insight into God’s sovereignty over my life while deliberately trying to be obedient to His voice saying ‘slow down, be still and trust me…’

Truth be told, He has been saying… ‘Be still and know…’ to me for quite some time now, but I can have trouble being still. I was hearing ‘be still and know…’ from so many sources that I even considered writing a book on the topic but each attempt fizzled…Hmmm maybe because I wasn’t being still?? Yes, I can be slow at times, yet He is so gentle and patient with me.

However slowing down and being obedient each day to the smaller, softer promptings over my own good ideas has allowed for more of His peace to fill me and for more encounters to see His hand at work over my life which has been an amazing blessing…I hadn’t realised how long it had been since I’d seen this…

Let me tell you about one of my recent encounters…

Recently I needed to drive to Melbourne (a two hour trip) to collect my children from the airport. The first hour of the trip was fine but then my car began jerking and making a strange sound like it was struggling to get fuel…this happened just before I left a main town, the last one on my journey until the city.

I was concerned so I called my local mechanic who suggested it could be the fuel filter and I should get it checked out; so I did a U-turn to head back into town. The first mechanical person I approached seemed to have no desire to help me at all, and honestly I was shocked thinking something like, ‘Why is this man so unresponsive?’ He pointed me up the road, so off I set to the next mechanic. The second man although he wanted to help, informed me he did not have a fuel filter for my car and also pointed me up the road… Feeling somewhat concerned and frustrated thinking that I’d have to now cancel an appointment I’d also arranged, I pulled up to the third business and walked into the office.

I then had to repeat my dilemma to a third man. This man however was quick to respond and in no time had the dirty fuel filter replaced. I thanked him and quickly got back on the road. After around 20 minutes the car began playing up again and the helpful 3rd mechanic willingly gave me advice over the phone. The car once again came good after a short time and then I made it hassle free the rest of the way to Melbourne. I was left feeling very blessed that I had encountered such a helpful person!

The next day I collected my children and set off. The car ran perfectly all the way to where? The exact same town! And although it was late on a Saturday afternoon the 3rd mechanic was still at his garage due to a local person needing a job done before work on Monday. However when he test-drove my car it would not repeat the problem! So I had to set off once again, to only find myself needing to call and receive advice on how to get home safely…

I was exhausted and felt like car trouble was the last thing I needed but at the same time I was also really impressed with the Christian character this stranger had displayed…I could not help but know there was no coincidence I had car trouble twice in the exact same town and was helped each time by the exact same mechanic! I could not help but realise that The Lord was crossing my path with this man’s for His own good purpose.

I sensed God had been taking note of this man’s heart for others and was putting me across his path to get his attention…

I have since found out that this man helps passing drivers when no-one else is open; he regularly visits his friend’s sick wife in a Melbourne hospital and regularly drives his apprentice home which is around 45kms from his workshop…what other good deeds, who knows? But God does…

The mechanic told me he knows our meeting is not a coincidence and that God is trying to speak to him; that he swears too much for Jesus’ liking but is trying to be better…

I told him that St. Peter (previously called Simon) was a swearing fisherman before he encountered Jesus and said to Him, "Go away from me Lord, I am a sinful man..."

I cannot help but think of the god-fearing Roman Centurion whom God led Peter to, to share the Gospel of Jesus with in Acts 10. God works in a spiritual realm we do not understand, but wonderfully get to be a part of as His children re-born by His blessed Holy Spirit!

So the next time you find yourself in an unexpected predicament, my advice is to be patient and quiet to see what He’s wanting to do through you. For we are not the Saviour but shine the truth of Jesus to others. People will sense we are different. We may only be a seed that someone else will water but this is how it should be, as He is the only One who deserves glory and the acclaim!

In His service, Melanie.

Let me leave you with a wonderful message of truth, 'God works in mysterious ways'...An hour of your life well spent!

Monday, 5 October 2015

Why the shedding of blood – Why is a blood sacrifice even necessary?

Sometimes it’s difficult for us to comprehend things of God and I am not excluding myself in this statement by any means. But what I do enjoy is the journey I believe God is taking me on, to understand Him and His ways more and more, as I walk with Him each day through Jesus Christ.

For example I used to struggle to comprehend that God, (Yahweh or Jehovah) has no beginning and no end – how God ALWAYS existed. It wasn’t until I came to a place of understanding God was not a part of our created order, yet time is, that I could begin to fathom God’s immensity and sovereignty over ALL of creation including time which we personally are constrained to as a part of creation.

I’ve had some really cool conversations with a beautiful friend of mine recently discussing her question as to WHY God requires a blood sacrifice at all. She asked openly and honestly why God couldn’t just absolve sins without any blood sacrifice? I loved her question and said that I too had pondered this question in my own mind – I even know of some who believe this theological understanding of God or doctrine to be non-Christian and stemming from pagan rituals. That Jesus died only because of corrupt people.

Yet I believe if I asserted this I would not be holding onto the belief that scripture is inerrant; (see 2 Timothy 3:16-17) or to the Gospel that Jesus' death and resurrection to life are true and necessary. For scripture states Jesus was the perfect and needed sacrifice for the atonement of sin – It is by His blood alone that we are cleansed and His righteousness that is imputed to us when we repent of our sins and call upon The Lord God in the Name of Jesus. Here are some foundational scriptures for consideration:

A segment of Isaiah 53: ‘But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.’ NRSV 53:5-6.

Romans 4:25: 'He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.'

1 Peter 2:24-25: 'He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.'

 Hebrews 9:22:‘Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.’ And remember Jesus did not come to do away with the Law but fulfill it see Matthew 5:17.

This blog post is not intended to be a thorough paper I would write for Bible College, as my blog has never intended to publish such works like that of mine – Rather on here I write predominately for non-church people, to give them some things to ponder in an easy to understand manner. Therefore I would highly recommend reading all of Hebrews 9 for a better understanding of the Old Testament sacrifices and Christ’s final one.

Okay, so if I take the New Testament as God’s Word that Jesus was allowed to suffer under the hand of man to die the death my sins rightly deserve I still then have the question of why…Why is blood necessary, why isn’t a wash in water like a baptism of repentance enough? Is God bloodthirsty? Yet how could this be when God is called LOVE?

So I come to a place of wondering, even scientifically about blood and about God’s character.

When I read scripture I see God as good and just. I see our created universe as good by having order, yet broken by the consequence of sin.

I see a loving creator who wanted relationship with those made in His image. He made us immortal, immensely creative, with our own free will and with the ability to pro-create to steward this world…How awesome is that?

I see our Heavenly Father as One who is Holy and perfect (by the standards He teaches us) and as One who is therefore a just judge. We know that justice is right by our own conscience. We know for example that harming the innocent needs punishment…Yet we struggle when we have to look in the mirror at ourselves thinking; surely my sin isn’t THAT bad? Yet to God’s standards sin is sin, it is ultimately rebellion and results in separation from Him as He cannot have sin near Him – think of those who touched the arc of the covenant where God’s presence was – they died instantly. Remember the need for the huge curtain veil covering the holy of holies in the temple? You see sin = death. It’s like a math equation. It’s a part of our created order and a good judge doesn’t bypass established law.

So if I understand that God cannot have any sin in His presence, yet desires a relationship with us as He intended from the beginning of creation, without taking our free-will away from us and will not disturb our created order and sin = death; I can understand why Adam and Eve HAD to leave His presence in the garden and of why mankind became mortal and therefore of WHY God made the first blood sacrifice in the garden when He killed the animal to make clothing for Adam and Eve before they left, for blood is the life-source of man, not water; see Deuteronomy 12:23 and Leviticus 17:11-14.

Blood is the life source of mankind and animals. Yes we need water to survive, food too, but white blood cells contain our DNA!

Losing blood results in the loss of life and sin = death, the loss of life.

It helps me to think of how a woman sheds blood after ovulation if she doesn’t conceive. Blood is shed for cleansing. A new lining replaces the old for a new cycle of ovulation and a possible new life. The womb needs cleansing for new life to grow there, the blood ‘life’ lining is shed to cleanse the woman internally, for the blood contains life and in my opinion is a way of God showing us that blood cleansing is necessary. It stumps evolutionists as to why human females menstruate when the vast majority of animals do not.

A woman sheds blood for new life to grow inside her, what a wonderful gift that is.

God is not bloodthirsty. He is LOVE and loves us so much He became a human being and shed His blood for us, for the forgiveness of our sins when we call upon the Name of Jesus, resulting in NEW LIFE a cleansed spiritual re-birth which results in life for all eternity in His presence.

One more point relating to the necessity of blood. Because blood is a person’s life-source, it is also an oath. Think of how as children some people used to ‘blood swear’. The shedding of blood is like the ultimate oath or signed agreement. This is why when God in the Old Testament made His covenant agreements there was an animal sacrifice He passed through as Spirit (see Genesis 15) and this is why Jesus blood is God’s promise of the new covenant He is openly offering to ALL people by simply verbally acknowledging their need for forgiveness and re-birth – we don’t need to swear by our blood, the blood’s already been shed by God Himself when He became a physical human being. It’s like the ultimate contract is sitting on your kitchen table and all you have to do is commit – yet the enemy tries to hide it under your bills and junk mail…

Yes, God is a good judge and He is waiting for all His children to repent and trust in Jesus as their God before He returns to judge righteously all those who reject Him and belong to the enemy.

I hope this post has been helpful, especially for my beautiful friend whom asked me to write it and is easy to understand. 

Love Melanie.