Like what you read?

Life of an Ordinary Aussie Woman

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Mission to where? Finding Significance.

Sometimes I have felt as if my life is not enough.

It’s not big enough. Not grand enough. Not exciting enough.

That I am not making enough of an impact in this loud, huge world.

Do you know what I mean?

It is times like this that when I see others achieving, and receiving praise, self-doubt plays on my mind. I begin to self-evaluate and analyse my choices over and over.

I feel small and insignificant. I can feel ‘stuck in the rut’ of life.

I begin to question my life’s mission for I long to have a life that is significant.

A life that counted for something when I am gone.

Yes, I feel like this sometimes, even as a Christian.

I feel like this when I am tired from caring all week for my family. When I am enduring another ‘hot flush’ or feeling anxious from perimenopause.  

I can feel like this when other people’s problems and poor choices weigh upon my heart, or when my own children are continually challenging me.

Yes, I feel like this sometimes, even as a Christian.

Today we can see so many, so many people, with loud, impressive lives (yes even within the Church) we can begin to feel insignificant…Can you relate?

Yet I know without knowing scripture we have no foundation for when the self-doubt comes. We can falsely think Christianity is all about making the loudest noise, to make a difference in this world.

But when I come humbly to scripture I find peace.

I find peace because I read nothing about loud, impressive, flashy lives.

I find peace because I read that salvation is God’s work. Salvation from my sin and continued forgiveness by having been made a child of God, is only possible through Jesus Christ.

My high ideas, standards and ideals all melt away and I find rest again.

So when I begin to feel insignificant and the self-doubt comes, I turn in prayer to scripture to refocus, and find reassurance once again for my life’s mission.

I understand my desire for significance is common, human vanity. I know that I am loved and my value rests upon Christ in me, and nothing else.

All of scripture is clear. And I state ALL because we need to read all of it, not just favourite verses. We need to read it ALL – Old and New Testaments. Letters as a whole. Books as complete works.

It’s my opinion people struggle to comprehend scripture and ‘trouble’ passages as they call them, as they read scripture from an analytical perspective rather than a personal, self-reflecting one. They address scripture as an ordinary book, rather than a powerful supernatural one. They read without praying first to Jesus and Jesus alone, for a softened heart and enlightenment…praying with a heart that desires to be changed.

Scripture as a whole makes things clear.

It’s God’s mission to make us His children.

It is our mission to make disciples.

It’s the Church’s mission to mature disciples.

We read right throughout the Holy Bible from Old to New Testament, God’s desire and plan to forgive and redeem us to become His own children. We read it from Genesis right through to Revelation. We read of God’s perfect standards, our human willful pride, and of His amazing patience, fair judgements, and love. We learn about His offer of forgiveness when we repent, and of what it means to be His child, compared to a child of the world, and therefore the devil.

We read that it is our mission to make disciples and of the lives of those who have done so before us. Of lives that have given up everything in order to reach others. Of lives that have paid the price and cost of being a disciple themselves who love Jesus and others above everything else the world offers. We read of the life-long tireless efforts, not big, flashy lives.

We read of the church’s work in strengthening and maturing believers. We read Paul’s letters that The Lord has provided us with for maturity. We read of mature believers working hard, giving much, and leading quiet, holy lives…making and raising disciples while they themselves are maturing.

Jesus does not put heavy burdens upon us, we do.

Jesus simply says we are to be found ready when He returns. We are to be found ready by loving, for love does not sin or hurt others. We are to be found making disciples and this is a life-long effort that begins in humility by loving our own family first and foremost.  

We need to stop comparing ourselves to others and desiring to be loved by everyone.

We need to stop desiring to be significant for this is just human vanity.

Let’s just simply live lives that truly love others, openly, honestly and faithfully to be found ready as we read the disciples did. Let’s promote Him above ourselves and draw near to Him each day to find rest and peace. Then if later He raises us up, so be it. His Will be done and not ours. Let’s care more about our character rather than our status, for “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6b

Love Melanie.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Valentine’s Day 2018: How much is too much?

Here we are again.

Another 14th of February, so yet another Valentine’s Day.

Looking back over Life of an Ordinary Aussie Woman, I’ve written about this day a few times. You can read those posts if you like by clicking the links…

Each past post was written while I was unmarried…yet I sit here today as a married woman, so I’m forced to ponder if now writing on this topic would be like rubbing salt into open wounds for some people who read my blog.  I would never want to do that as I know how it can be a challenging day at different times during our lives for many, many different reasons.

I do however love to use the blog as an encouragement for others and therefore I have once again decided to write down my thoughts on such a day as this…

I am sitting here thinking, “How much is too much?”

I know of people who refuse to celebrate Valentine’s Day remarking it’s a money making day for Hallmark…I sit here also as an Aussie and think of my friends who remark, “It’s an American tradition and we’re not America!” I think of people who resent the day for how it makes them feel and I think of the people who declare, “I show love every day and don’t need a date on the calendar!” while pondering, how much is too much?

So I try to think objectively as 1. An Aussie, 2.Someone who knows what it’s like to be single and grieve loss on this day 3.As someone who also dislikes commercialism tainting special times (yes, especially Christmas!) and 4.As someone who also tries to show love EVERYDAY to others.

My thoughts quickly travel to other ‘special days’ such as Christmas and Easter, family holidays and birthdays. So I wonder do we really need to purposefully stop each year to reflect upon Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection? Do we really need to stop and purposefully spend quality time as a family each year, or eat birthday cake every time it’s someone’s birthday (that’s a lot of cake each year)? Do we really need a day to celebrate romantic love?

I am left with my own answer which is this. 

No, we don’t need to do any of these things above, in fact sometimes our budget doesn’t allow it. Everyone is entitled to their own choice to keep whatever traditions they choose. However we cannot ignore that we do keep our traditions, as being purposeful and keeping cultural traditions is important to HELP show others we love them. Plus many things in life which are great fun and show we care, can be free or inexpensive when we take a little time and think creatively.

While Valentine’s Day has previously been about romantic love, here in Australia over the past decade or more, I’ve noticed a change. It seems Valentine’s Day has become more of a day for anyone to reach out to those they care about and show some love. I know of young people who use it a chance to show appreciation and friendship love to others. I know of single people who use it as a day to send messages of love and support to their other single friends. And I know of some people who still do extravagant romantic deeds on this day (like my husband who proposed this exact day last year)…

And again I ponder how much is too much?

I believe when it comes to love and support I say there’s no such thing as too much…

Yes, we can show love every day, (indeed we should)…Just as we can think of Jesus’ sacrifice and triumph every day and be thankful (indeed we should)…Yet it is good to take a moment, to stop and be purposeful in our actions…and this is how I personally feel about Valentine’s Day.

So, in short, reach out and tell someone you care this Valentine’s Day…They may just really need it.

Love Mel xx

Friday, 9 February 2018

The outer expresses the inner: More than being lean.

Jesus said outward qualities are only an expression of the inner person. That it is from the heart either love or hatred comes forth. What externally enters a person (such as food) has no value to change the inner. You can read it here.

I decided this week to try and eat more healthily and lose some weight. This was a decision to actively work towards better physical health, yet I know it doesn’t matter how lean I am, true beauty comes from how I love the people in my life…

I believe it’s natural to look for external things to fulfil us and give us joy. We all enjoy new exciting things and feeling special. However it’s actually altruistic day-to-day giving that truly makes life so much richer, and more meaningful.

The character Anne of Green Gables when declaring her love for Gilbert in the series, declares this so eloquently;

“I went looking for my ideals outside of myself and discovered it’s not what the world holds for you, it’s what you bring to it. The dreams dearest to my heart are right here…”

What good is it then if we’re super lean and fit, and/or mega wealthy and a horrible person? How rich is our life if we’re super popular and well known, yet awfully alone for lack of a true friend? How good really is our life if people can’t honestly write a decent obituary for us when we die? Is it really okay for young people to get great grades at school, or know all the answers at youth group, yet at home disobey and disrespect their parents?

Does any of this even matter? I think yes.

So as I look from an external perspective at my body and work towards the shortish goal of becoming physically more healthier, I’m also forced to look at my heart, as I struggle with very real physical challenges that come with this goal, such as cravings and tiredness.

The Lord challenged His people in the Old Testament (Isaiah 58:3-20) when he declared they only fast to quarrel and fight. He told them this would not profit them any favour with Him.

The saying, ‘the means sometimes justifies the end’ is not true. Life is a journey and we need to have personal integrity in all situations and emotions we may experience along the way.

Scripture says it perfectly, “we are but a vapour” (James 4:14; Psalm 103:15 and 1 Peter 1:24). Yes, our life here is incredibly short. We could be gone tomorrow or Jesus could return.

Yet honestly even though I know all these truths in my mind, I still struggle for I am in my human skin. It’s only by sticking close to Jesus and Jesus alone that I can be an authentic loving person, even when no one is watching.

I can relate to ‘Anne of Green Gables’ for the dreams dearest to my own heart are here with me, and therefore how I treat them and myself matters.

I do believe it’s natural to look for external things to fulfill us and give us joy, as we all enjoy new exciting things and feeling special. However it is altruistic day-to-day giving that truly makes life so much richer, and more meaningful and I’ve found Jesus is the One who makes it possible to live this way, while we remain embodied in selfish and demanding, human flesh.

Instead of facing a difficult problem and later praying, “Jesus, I’ve done it again, please forgive me...” Perhaps we should pray, “Keep me from temptation by changing my heart to be like yours…”

Then the inner will change the outer. 

We will make good choices that honour The Lord, ourselves and others. We will be beautiful and healthy from the inside out. This doesn’t mean we won’t ever stumble or struggle, but we will be much healthier people because we will look much deeper at our hearts and need for Jesus to be within us. When we keep our eyes upon Him who sees all, we will be able to live more altruistically and find meaning, for this life is but a vapour and we need to be ready to meet Him.

In love, Melanie.

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Let It Flow.

Some people who have been long time readers of the blog will know, I’m a creative person who loves to make beautiful things. For example the majority of my blog post pictures for years were my own photographs of where I lived, or of art pieces I made or drew.

I had studied fine arts at school like most people, but it wasn’t until 2013 that I returned to ‘art class’. I wanted to get back into art and knew my skills needed polishing. Plus I had been single for a year and also wanted some healthy, adult interaction. It was around the same time of beginning this blog, as the blog too was a healthy, expressive outlet for my creativity and a way to connect with others.

Fast forward to the end of 2016 when I met my now husband, and we connected both as mature Christians and as creative people. It wasn’t long until we found out about acrylic pouring and began experimenting with this modern art technique. It was a great way for us to connect and bond. We were able to see each other’s temperament when things didn’t go quite to plan!

One of my recent paintings, 'Ocean Swell'.
Acrylic painting has an expression, “let it flow”, as you let the fluid paint run and expand over the surface. It’s mesmerising as the paint reacts with the insoluble silicon and makes incredible ‘cells’ bursting with colour. It can be quite a tense wait to see what will organically form before your eyes, before you’re able to do anything else…

So much has happened for me over the past year, more than I could have ever imagined possible in such a short amount of time, but after settling in together as a family we’re back to creating paintings and it’s got me thinking about how just like with the paintings, we must ‘let it flow’ in life to remain in God’s Will. By this I mean going with things naturally, patiently waiting then reacting when we can see what we’re dealing with.

At times in my life I have felt anxious about remaining in God’s Will, to the point where I’ve made myself stress so much I was not very joyful. I know I put this burden upon myself, but sometimes it’s difficult when we’re not sure about what our next step should be…

I have found as I’ve journeyed along and tried to discern His Will for my life, that as long as I’m not sinning it’s been fine to step on some ‘steps’ to test whether or not they’re for me. There have been times when I’ve been absolutely sure of His Will and it has happened (like when I met Richard) and other times when I’ve been sure something was right and it didn’t work out…

In those times however I needed to patiently wait and ‘let it flow’ to discern further in regards to what my next step should be, if anything. Just like acrylic painting, it can be a tense time waiting to see what comes to the surface and what the next step should be.

Recently I resigned from school chaplaincy to return to home-schooling the boys as I knew they needed me. I was quite sure that while they studied I should as well. I planned to complete a Graduate Diploma in Christian Counselling. I prayed about it, and it all seemed to ‘fit’ in my mind. Yet as life began to ‘flow’ and I began doing some schooling with the boys, I quickly realised that progressing with the study at this time would be too much for me. Before the course officially began I cancelled my enrolment.

'Pink Tulip on black gloss' I painted this last night.
I was finding that come late afternoon and evening, I had no energy left for further academics. Interestingly, since I’ve made the decision to not study at this time, I have found a renewed energy for acrylic pouring. I am less stressed, and Richard and I are really enjoying making art together again. Yes, God is good, all the time. It’s we who often put the burdens upon ourselves.

I have found sometimes we just need to relax and ‘let it flow’. I believe organic, spiritual growth, is a wonderful blessing from The Lord that is natural and healthy. When we get anxious and stressed our vision can become clouded…worse still we can panic and then push for our own will, rather than His.

Letting it flow, isn’t being complacent, it’s patiently waiting rather than reacting too early. It’s expectantly waiting for assurance on the next step. The next step may be to continue forward or to retreat back, and either is fine when it’s His Will.

He really loves us so much He doesn’t burden us beyond what’s good for us, rather He wants to grow us naturally and organically. Organic growth is a process that requires we stay close to Him as our gardener. Just as Jesus said we must remain grafted onto God’s vine through Him, we cannot be obedient to His Will without being connected to Him as His children. When we are secure in our relationship with Him, it makes it easier to relax and ‘let it flow’ while we patiently await to see what forms and becomes clear before our eyes…Indeed waiting and letting things flow can be very wise indeed.

He calls us to peace, and there is so much peace in relaxing and trusting Him, as we stay close to Him observing, and letting it flow.

With much love, Melanie.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Another Teen Suicide: Building resilience in youth through true hope.

A youth suicide from bullying is once again headlining news here in Australia at this time.

It moves me to my core as a mother of 3 teenagers.

It moves me as a professional who has worked with children and youth for over 20 years.

And it moves me as a Christian.

I am deeply grieved thinking about the loss of a wonderful young life, and I admit I cannot bear thinking about how this family must feel or to extend this thinking to my own teenage sons…yet I do, as I not only believe what I say, I try to live what I say.

For those of you unaware, I made the decision recently to stop working as a school chaplain caring for the wellbeing of other children and youth, to be more present with my own 3 teenagers who like many others are facing their own struggles.

After two years of chaplaincy I have returned to homeschooling my boys who have often faced bullying and isolation in school. Honestly it’s not an easy job to homeschool my children but I also know the limitations of schools and will not shirk my responsibility to care for my own children God has blessed me with.

From my study and experience I’ve been taught that we need to work towards building resilience in the children and youth we work with…or grit as one academic calls it. The ability to bounce back from set-backs, to have a positive internal belief that you are worthy (aka a good self-esteem), and an understanding that you never stop learning (growth mindset).

With staggeringly high and alarming statistics in Australia today concerning mental health issues such as psychosis, anxiety, depression and suicide, along with a massive decline in church attendance, schools have taken on the wellbeing role of community for many Australian children and youth.

While schools do not want to replace the role of parents or upset people, family values, morals, ethics and progressive cultural beliefs are very much a part of education today, as they have been for a long time.

It’s my personal belief that a large number of people working in Australian schools today feel they are only putting ‘band-aids’ on problems beyond their abilities or control, and are mostly reactive in their wellbeing rather than proactive. It seems as if the problem of family dysfunction which results in bullying and poor mental health has ‘overnight’ become an epidemic.

Again we’re hearing via the media a call for more public awareness and people sharing about their own experiences of bullying to help create a culture of change. And while this has some merit, (similar to the #metoo sexual harassment movement) this is also reactive rather than pro-active.

We know from psychology in order for people to be more resilient they need to have a hope for the future, beyond what they’re going through at any particular time. We also know that to have a hope for a better tomorrow or optimistic outlook, it begins with cultivating a grateful attitude or character for what we have rather than a focus on what we don’t…

Now if I’m sounding preachy that’s probably because what I just said sounds similar to what’s in the Bible. Yet I assure you this is modern psychology…you can look it up.

So many schools (which now include wellbeing education) instruct mindfulness to students. These sessions instruct class members how to focus upon themselves and to thank themselves for what they have; to breath deep to relax and see energy (bubbles) float off themselves, and so on and so forth. The education department now teaches students how to be a good person based on the premise that this makes a good citizen, rather than this is moral righteousness. They teach our children that we come from nothing or a big bang which eventually became an ape, and expect our children to have gratefulness and a hope for the future…

Many people today in Australia look down upon families who are Christian and furthermore upon those who are Christian and homeschool…yet they also feel helpless and ill-equipped to deal with their own family problems. They do not comprehend what is happening to their child from a ‘good home’…

No family is perfect or immune from problems, not even Christian homeschooling ones.

The best families able to fight this epidemic I believe are the ones willing to fight in love as a soldier of Christ, and take on the responsibility of equipping their children with true self-belief, gratefulness and hope that comes from Jesus alone.

This is true pro-active parenting. 
It is not a ‘band-aid’. 
It is the anchor for one’s soul.

The enemy comes to kill and destroy. The enemy will take out as many lives as possible, and the poor children who do not know the truth about this life are like sheep to the slaughterhouse.

So many young people today find life meaningless and disappointing. They do not get to experience true joy and fulfilment, as they don’t know the Creator and Saviour. For them life is a puzzle with too many missing pieces…escapism suddenly become very appealing.

Psychology basically tells us that gratefulness leads to optimism, optimism leads to resilience, resilience leads to good self-esteem and good self-esteem leads to good mental health. But this will always remain a theory with missing conviction…It is a lie of the enemy that tells us we’ll be fine on our own...We can do all things on our own.

God tells us through His Word that we are fallible human beings born in a sinful state, separated from Him by sin, and that we need forgiveness and reconciliation only possible by His own sacrificial atonement.

He tells us of the lacking state we find ourselves in, and of the joy He is willing to give us when we repent of our sins and give our life to Him.

He tells us that upon the cross He died a death that can become ours, so that we will live eternally in the new world that is to come. He tells us He gave His life as a human being in trade for ours.

He then tells us that all things are possible for His reconciled children, through Jesus Christ who will give them the strength and courage.

The world tells us we can become resilient on our own by being grateful to ourselves. The Bible actually says this…

Suffering as Christians produces perseverance, perseverance produces character, and character produces hope (Romans 5:3)

Let me paraphrase it for today, with some modern psychological wording:
Hard circumstances as Christians produces grit, and grit produces decent hardworking human beings, and decent hardworking people create optimistic communities.

So many young people are not equipped to face challenges as they have no foundation for suffering and persecution. Sadly so many have no foundation as an anchor in the storm of bullying or poor mental health. Also sadly many feel they have no adults in their life to whom they can turn to for the support they need. From experience I believe this is because they are looking for the missing puzzle piece. They are looking for God’s genuine agape love. They are looking for support from people with something they don’t have – a strong core and anchor who is Jesus. Yet sadly there aren’t many Christians here in Australia in comparison nowadays to the majority.

Young people today need to hear they are not accidental creations…or highly advanced mammals. They need to hear they are human beings created in the image of a loving and awesome God who wants to become their best friend. They need to hear they struggle in this world because of sin as we all do, but there is a solution provided if they choose to repent and follow Jesus. They need to hear of God’s love displayed upon the cross and of the ‘good plan’ He has for them which is why the enemy wants to snuff them out...

Let’s not give our kids an ‘Aspirin’ when we can take them to the Great Physician. Let’s not be satisfied with more awareness of mental health…Let’s go forth by the grace of God and live the Gospel to all whom we encounter! 

By His Grace, Melanie.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Freedom in Euthanasia?

Euthanasia has become legal in Victoria, where I live in Australia.

On November the 29th 2017, my state became the first in Australia to legalise assisted dying.

People have fought for the right to have the legal freedom to suicide (with assistance) if they are able to convince a doctor they are suffering while living and continuing to live will only extend their pain and suffering…so a compassionate plea is made to have their life ended.

My own biological dad suicided some years ago.
He was mentally unwell at the time and if this law was passed I think he could have convinced a doctor to grant and assist euthanasia. He could always deliver a compelling argument. Yet my dad was more than likely (I am not a clinician) mentally ill all, or most of his life…and he still had marriages, children and successful  businesses…

I am left to ponder, what did he gain from his suicide other than a quick fix for his pain?

Could he not have gained more from therapy, such as restored mental health and relationships with others? The law in Victoria once said yes to this.

The truth is as human beings we don’t like suffering in any form.

We don’t like to see others suffer and go through pain, so we want a quick fix to relieve their misery. You may wonder what is wrong with this? Yet is this not alike putting a lame animal “out of its misery”? Yes, we don’t like others to suffer and we certainly don’t enjoy it ourselves.

Most people do not like suffering in any form. Who enjoys self-sacrifice and suffering for their family? I know I don’t. I recently stopped work in order to care more for my family by Homeschooling again and have needed to take stock of less income and recognition, for the huge work I will be doing…I mean we all love our kids but it’s a huge sacrifice to be around teenagers 24/7 with their hormonal outbursts and negative behaviour at times (sorry just being honest).

Who enjoys therapy sessions to heal from trauma? Seriously! Who likes going over the details of horrific events to ‘process’ and deal with the junk in your head?

Who likes working hours and hours to pay bills and provide? Yes, even when you ‘love’ your job and are really good at it. It’s tough to consistently work to a high bar and give your best to often ungrateful strangers.

Who enjoys working on broken relationships? Who wants to suffer in loving someone else who is struggling to show the same love back? What’s more, who wants to suffer monogamy when something new is on offer? How often today do we hear the catch-phrase, “Live your truth”... In other words “be as selfish as you want”!

Once upon a time we used to treat gender issues as psychological disorders, but so many today can’t be bothered with the long hard journey needed to deal with these problems…So now these issues have a different label, and the quick-fix hormonal treatment/surgery is offered. Sadly today we don’t often hear about the wonderful success stories of people recovered from gender related psychological disorders with the help from wonderful clinicians.

Once upon a time when a female was pregnant out of wedlock, she had to ‘suffer’ by the having the child. Nowadays she can go to a clinic and have an abortion…even if she is married and simply does not want the child or pregnancy. Again sadly we don’t often hear anymore today of the wonderful outcomes of the woman and the ‘unwanted child’. We don’t hear of the incredible bonds and life experiences when people rally to raise the child together or of adoption.

Today there is a cultural narrative in the West told to us and our children that in order to experience freedom, we must be free from any hardship or suffering. In order to be agents of positive change in our world we must embrace all truths and personal choices as valid.

And we are beginning to face the consequences.

The consequence of a rapid rise in family dysfunction and mental illness diagnoses…the production of even more dysfunctional, broken, lazy, selfish and disrespectful, adults and children.

And the truth is, even for simply claiming this I will be hated upon, as the narrative is so embedded. It is deeply embedded already in common people who don’t want to do the hard yards of suffering for a better outcome and who are blinded by the seductive lights of the lustful depraved world that will suck their souls. The sad truth is that the common people are actually truly hungry and thirsty for change and a better life, yet they’re dying from starvation and thirst due to their own stubborn pride and laziness.

Everyone WANTS change but it seems today most are not willing to suffer for it to occur.

Everyone WANTS change but again it seems today most are unwilling to be the change themselves. The question they ponder is, “Why can’t everyone else…?”

Today so many of our family and friends are believing the lie, that in order to experience freedom, we must be free from any hardship or suffering. The lie that truth is personal rather than factual.

Euthanasia is therefore now for most who live this cultural narrative, a ‘no-brainer’. Why would someone suffer if they can be free from pain? Furthermore, why would God be against this if He doesn’t want us to suffer and not be happy? This then logically leads to the new ‘gospel’ that God accepts all truths and changes, just as we do culturally because the bible is a work of literature and problematic for modern-day issues.

This is a lie that keeps people trapped. People trapped in their illness and dysfunction, when Jesus came to heal the sick and set the captives of sin free for eternity.

The sins we see today are not new…regardless of how old or new one’s cultural lens is.

Change and suffering is hard. But God does not change. He changes us and this is true freedom. This is the True Gospel.

God does not leave you dead in your sin. He gives you forgiveness and His blessed Holy Spirit to live with a new desire to live according to His ways as in scripture through Jesus Christ alone.

Death is not freedom. Without forgiveness of our sins and being reconciled to God as His children through Jesus, death only leads to eternal separation and suffering, also called hell. And yes, this is what Jesus said.

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life and no-one comes to The Father except through me”. (John 14:6)

Jesus said for us to take up our cross of suffering and follow Him and His ‘yolk’ is light. He said we will endure suffering for bearing His Name, but He also said for us to ‘take courage’ for He will be with us, and we have a great reward coming of eternal life upon the new earth that is to come.

Euthanasia is not freedom, it’s just another quick-fix that leads to continued brokenness rather than healing. Brokenness on the other side of the grave, and brokenness for the people left behind. It is not compassionate to let people make wrong life-altering decisions. It is not compassionate to tell people a false gospel that leaves them trapped in their sin. I would not like to be a hospital chaplain today who is unable to share the true Gospel due to legislation….

What have we become?

A product of our own choices.

I made the best choice in life and found true healing and freedom from my rebellious, lazy, and broken human nature and His Name is Jesus.

Yes, today there is a cultural narrative in the West told to us and our children that in order to experience freedom, we must be free from any hardship or suffering. In order to be agents of positive change in our world we must embrace all and truths and personal choices as valid. This is a lie of the enemy.

There is true freedom and the ability to heal, through enduring the pain of transformation when we give our heart and life to Jesus.

The true love of Jesus which we CAN HAVE through Him looks like this:
“Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 1:4-7, NRSV).

There is no freedom in living your own truth – It will only lead to enslaving and breaking you.

True freedom is found in Christ alone. It will lead you on a road of healing and love that is not easy, yet leads to peace and joy.

In His Service, Melanie.