Tag Archives: God

Attitude #4 of a Giant Slayer – Perserverance

9 Jun

This was written by my pastor at His People Joburg, feel free to follow her on Twitter @CarolGossman, she most certainly follows hard after God!

he 85 year old stood triumphantly overlooking the battlefield. Strewn before him were Anakite soldiers as far as he could see. Many of the slain were over 9 foot tall – gaints! This 85 year old was Caleb. The man who 45 years earlier had stood before Moses and declared that they could take the land. He had watched as an entire generation had died out in the wilderness through 40 years of wandering. Then, he and his clan had helped many of the tribes of Israel take their land. He had fought many battles and seen many other families come into their inheritance. Finally at the end of Joshua’s campaign to take over Canaan, Caleb speaks up…

“So here I am today, eighty-five years old! I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the Lord helping me, I will drive them out just as he said.” (Joshua 14:10-14)

Caleb was given Hebron, some of the best land, but he had to wait 45 years for it. In those 45 years he wasn’t sitting around sulking, he was helping others come into their inheritance, helping them achieve their God-given dreams. All the while God was training him for some of the greatest victories Joshua’s military campaign would see – the taking of Hebron, Caleb’s inheritance.

Hebrews 6:12
 We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.

Perseverance may be described as living consistently as if victory is assured. Perseverance is faith in action, it is believing that our circumstances don’t have the final say – God does. It means living with the belief that God really is a good God and that He will fulfill all His promises. Don’t give up on what God has promised you. When things seem not to be going your way – help someone else fulfill his or her dream and see what doors God will open for you.

IN SUMMARY

Giant slayers are:
• Partnered with God
• Wholehearted and Unashamed
• Fear-Facing
• Persevering

YOU ARE A GIANT SLAYER; YOU EAT IMPOSSIBILITY FOR BREAKFAST!

Invisible Friends

29 May

As an adult I have come to understand that while we may “feel” lonely, we are never alone. We live in a world that is unseen but as real as you and I. Before my brother, Naldo was born, my parents said that I used to have an imaginary friend and their name was “Twel”. I’m laughing just thinking about it now. My mother told me that I said Twel lived in the corner of my ceiling. For all I know, it could have been rats running a mock in our home’s ceiling but they said I used to play outside with my friend often.

I’ve spent a long time searching for the ad that apparently “proved” that I had an imaginary friend. I think it’s an old KFC advert. If I recall correctly, it starts off with a little girl sitting with her invisible friend in the garden and her dad is mowing the lawn when he moves the mower in front a patch of grass and she is livid. She’s mad because her dad just mowed her friend over and it ends with him taking her and her friend for ice-cream. When I saw this ad for the first time I got it immediately but the rest of my family was left confused until I explained the situation and they said that only someone who’s had an imaginary friend would understand that. So it was a big joke!

Needless to say, growing up, I’ve had somewhat of an active imagination to the point where I could not and still can’t watch horror movies and suspense-thrillers are pushing it. As a child, I would have such vivid dreams that I to me, they were as real as the people around us.

Back to the invisible friends, my mother thought I was seeing demons! Being somewhat inquisitive about this subject, I went onto John Paul Jackson’s Ministry website and found some really interesting stuff. He speaks a lot about the prophetic and dreams. This is what he has to say and I loved it so I had to share it with you. At least this way I know I’m not a crack-pot but knowing that we have the host of heaven surrounding us on every side is a wonderful, welcomed comfort.

Did you have invisible friends when you were a child — playmates only you could see? Concerned parents occasionally approach me about this topic. What are “invisible friends”? Are they dangerous? Is this a sign of a prophetic gift? What should parents do when their children insist these people are real? Though I am not the final authority on the topic, I do have some ideas based on Scripture and personal experience.

When it comes to their children having invisible friends, many Christian parents assume the worst. It’s a familiar spirit! It’s a spirit guide! That could very well be true, but remember: For every counterfeit, there is an original. In other words, there is a strong possibility that when children play with invisible friends, they are really seeing and interacting with angels — and often, they are aware of that.

WHAT DO ANGELS LOOK LIKE?

The Bible says that we won’t always be able to tell the difference between humans and angels:

“Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.”
— Hebrews 13:2

It would be very difficult for us to “unwittingly” entertain angels if they looked like angels. We would know exactly what they were if they were glowing or had six-foot wingspans. Instead, based on this Scripture, we can assume that sometimes, angels look just like you and me. They may appear to us as painters, mathematicians or doctors; they may look African, Irish or Hispanic. They may even look like children.

The night Diane and I brought Micah home from the hospital, I was visited by two angels: a 7-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy. I didn’t immediately understand they were angels, because they were unlike any angels I had seen before. They began to tell me different things about Micah, and I asked them, “How do you know that?”

“Because we’re angels sent from the throne of God,” they replied.

“You’re not angels,” I said. “I know what angels are like. They’re bigger than you. They’re adult-sized. Some of them are really huge, and some of them are really muscular, and some of them are really fast, and you’re not any of that. You’re just a 7-year-old little girl and a 10-year-old little boy.”

“You haven’t seen everything,” they answered.

“What do you mean?”

“Well, you don’t know that many of us choose to take the form of a child when we are assigned to that child. Your children talk to us, because we take a form that doesn’t threaten them but allows them to become what God created them to become. We’re here to help them, not to prove we’re anything. Here’s another one of us now!”

A little boy approached, and the girl said, “Tell him what’s going on.”

“I was there,” the second boy told me. “I saw them up in the throne room, and I saw God giving them the assignment to watch over your son Micah. What they tell you, you need to do, because I saw God giving them the command.”

WHAT SHOULD PARENTS DO?

As time progresses, I think we will discover again and again that we “haven’t seen everything” yet. In the meantime, if your children are playing with invisible friends, talk to them about it. Find out how they feel when they’re playing with them. Do they feel happy? Peaceful? Scared? If your children show any hesitancy, rephrase your questions and ask again. In most cases, their answers will reveal to you exactly who sent these invisible playmates.

Remember that in biblical times, it was common knowledge that angels sometimes take the visage of the people they protect; why else would the Christians meeting in Mary’s house have thought it was Peter’s angel at the door (Acts 12:12–15)? I remember being a child and talking to angels who looked like my friends, but I knew they were angels. They told me what they were, but I also just knew. Your children will likely “just know” as well.

Be open to the possibility that God is communicating to your children via people, objects or animals (remember Balaam’s donkey) only they can see. If you raise your children in the way God has set before them, they will see and know things that are humanly impossible for them to see and know. They will be able to interact with Heaven, as God intended all of us to do. They will have eyes to see.

Video

He’s ALL around

23 May

Economics II has been the bane of my existence from last year already. I really enjoy the subject but clearly does not feel the same about me. Know I understand that the “system” is designed that not everyone passes and all that but what I have truly come to understand is how powerful our words actually are. You know how you hear something and say (in your head): “that sounds true, yeah sure” and then one day it clicks and your heart goes: “know that you KNOW, watch what you say!”

Back to Economics II, for a while now all I’ve been saying and honestly meaning is that I JUST want to pass but when I got my year mark today and saw that I DID JUST pass, I was honestly disappointed! What I want is to pass REALLY WELL. Becoming an Economist means that I need to know my beans and if I want a great company to hire me, then I have to show what I’ve “achieved” in the starting blocks. I do understand that a degree is not the be all and end all, I’ve had many a conversation about this with friends.

The point of my little story today is that after all my stress and studying, I barely made my year-mark which enables me to write the exam! Barely, by-the-skin-of-my-teeth!!! When I left the notice board, it was not a pretty sight. I got into my car, put my iPod on and set the Gospel playlist to randomly select songs for some encouragement. My eyes nearly popped out of my head when I saw the title of the song: “I know that You are for me” by Kari Jobe. People! God is everywhere! And He’s there for us even when we don’t expect it.

The words are so beautifully written. “I know that you are for me. I know that you are for me. I know that You will never forsake me in my weakness and I know that You have come down, even if to write upon my heart, to remind me of who you are.”

Take heart, no matter where you’re at, declare the brightness of your future BOLDLY and watch God step alongside you to see it fulfilled.

Hope still remains

18 Apr

So from THIS post you could tell I was having an off day – hell, even Stevie Wonder could see what a sad and sorry state I was in. In this little piece of cyber-space I get to share almost everything and bear my soul. Sometimes its not so nice (just ask my husband) but then there are moments where God in His utmost grace gently reminds me again and again to keep on going, His angels have never left my side.

 I have been having a really hard time at varsity adjusting to the increased work load, not only do I have a full time schedule but once a week I attend a part-time class at night too. Motherly duties don’t end (nor do wifely ones for that matter) but I would really love my helper to stay in to make it a little easier but that’s another story for another day. Back to my hectic life! This week while my boys were away I’ve got the chance to work in peace until really late and I’m halfway through catching up on the stuff I wanted to get done – ALL varsity work by the way, none of that while-the-cats-away-the-mouse-must-play story. This little mouse is working towards getting some cheddar, hahahaha. But because my life is so hectic, I feel anxious too often throughout the day, every day. Honestly, there is not a day that does not go by where I don’t think about how much work I have to get through or have not gotten to. I am very happy to admit that I have so far passed 3 of my 4 formal tests and the fail was really a fail but not one that I can’t recover from. I know I should be passing 4 out of 4 but YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND HOW BAD, BAD REALLY IS. It’s to the point where NORMAL students, you know, the ones without a husband and family to take care of have dropped a subject or two just to ensure that they can pass the three they are carrying on with, so it’s not just poor old (in the nicest sense of the word) me having a little pity party.

 But let me get back to the main thing here. On Sunday, when I attended church, my pastor (and Jesus I love her because she says she such amazing stuff) @CarolGossman said that if you ever feel: confused, anxious, fearful, insecure and  a bunch of other stuff then there’s something wrong with your connection to God!!! I don’t know about you but that spoke straight to me like the heavens opened and God could not have said it more directly!!! God is about love and rest, peace and joy, He’s so full of goodness that there is nothing but goodness waiting for me.  Know this about me, I’m a daddy’s girl through and through so what I’m about to illustrate came naturally. Crawling into my physical father’s lap as a child was something I loved to do all the time. Back at church and in my seat, I pictured myself crawling into God’s lap, laying my head on his shoulder and feeling his arms around me and it started to disappear. The anxiety about passing, about finding gainful (in every sense of that word) employment and a place we can call home. I’m not saying it didn’t matter anymore because it still does (very much so) but what left was the heaviness that wanting those things so badly brought. In that peaceful and beautiful moment, my connection was restored. Not just to heaven’s resources but to the very heart of a good, loving and faithful Father who wants nothing more than to enjoy me.

 Towards the end of last year I got two very simple yet utterly earth-shattering prophecies for me. Hold your horses, I’m not going to the nations or anything glorious like that but these two prophecies have served as anchors for my soul. The first one was that God delighted in me. He not only loved me but He likes me. The sound of my name is resplendent and I am inviting to His senses. The second was that while I was looking for God out there somewhere, I had lost or forgotten that He is so near and so present; He’s always beside me and only a breath away. How soothing and remedying is that? How moving is it to know that I may never get an audience with the Presidents of the world but the God and Creator of the known universe is happy with me! He freakin’ likes silly, neurotic, stressed-Eric me! He totally digs me! Now why on earth wouldn’t THAT God not want to move the heavens to see me succeed in this life???? Like seriously! If I believe that He is just that good, then faith demands that I live like that.

 That was Sunday, when all this wonderful revelation came to me and it was only really today when I felt anxious again, that I made a conscious decision to not give into it. I am going to consciously rest in the TRUTH that I will be okay no matter what. My life is good because He is in it. And on top of that, a young friend of mine who doesn’t serve the Lord or attend as many lectures as I do and yet he is getting much better marks than I am. Praise God for that (and for youth) but my point is that he is still enjoying his life and not letting all the stress bog him down and I want some of that! I want to enjoy my life and not let it pass me by. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for hard work (I’ve got some mad workaholic tendencies) but there’s so much more to take joy and pleasure in.

 Dream boards  are something I think everyone should have put up in a room or put somewhere to remind ourselves never to stop dreaming. Follow me on Pinterest and you’ll see what I’m about. I would love to have one printed of my home actually. I want my crazy out-there dreams to be kept alive. Becoming a top Economist is still very much something I want to pursue and even know to say it out loud is daunting and almost embarrassing but I have to change the way I feel about my dreams – as clichéd as it sounds its bladdy true – if I don’t believe it, no one else will. There is always hope! The bible says that these remain: Faith, Hope and Love

 We may not be able to keep up with the Richens’ or the Ranas’ and that’s not how I view my friendships in any way but I still have so much to be grateful for – our home and all other good (non-material) things will come! I’m giving God the opportunity to blow my mind and I know He’s not going to disappoint.

Attitude 2 and 3 of a Giant Slayer – Being Wholehearted & Facing Our Fears

16 Apr

This was written by my pastor at His People Joburg, feel free to follow her on Twitter @CarolGossman, she most certainly follows hard after God!

GIANT-SLAYING ATTITUDE #2 – BEING WHOLEHEARTED

Numbers 14:24 But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.

To follow God wholeheartedly means to bring all of your heart (your emotions, will and desire) into each situation. Unfortunately most of us have been hurt at some stage in our lives and the most common way of dealing with emotional pain is to hide that part of our hearts away. We hide our pain behind blame-shifting (unforgiveness), pretending, trying to forget and anger. This makes us feel a bit better for a while but ultimately means that that part of our heart is locked away from the presence of God. Hurt may happen time and time again and each time we may shut away part of our hearts. This means that when we face life’s ups and downs we only have a small part of our hearts left. We are a shadow of who God created us to be, with most of our hearts locked away for protection. This is not a recipe for success. God wants to unlock the hidden parts of our hearts, heal them and restore them to wholeness. This requires us being honest and open about what we have been through and allowing God to speak to, love and heal even the ugliest and most secret parts of our lives. God wants us to live authentically and without veils. That is, being the same on the inside as we are on the outside; living truthfully and unashamed.

GIANT-SLAYING ATTITUDE #3 – FACING OUR FEARS

When I was young we used to go to a small town on the KZN South Coast for holidays. The beach was very steep and as a result the sea got deep very quickly and the waves were very big. I longed to go out past the breakers to swim with my Dad but whenever I tried the waves would intimidate me. I would run away from them but they caught me, tumbled me over and over, and dumped me unceremoniously on the beach. After many frustrating days I discovered that if I ran towards the waves and caught them before they broke that instead of them tumbling me I simply floated over the top of them. It was a breakthrough! I got my wish…I spent many happy hours splashing around with my Dad.

Most giants are projections of our fears and I have discovered over the years that they are very similar to those waves of my childhood. When we face them and move forward, they are seldom as bad as we thought they would be. Please notice that I didn’t say that we would always be unafraid –we are all afraid sometimes, but we don’t have to live running from the things we fear, they are conquerable.

1 Samuel 17:48–49 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 49 Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.

As David moved toward Goliath, God took the small stone that David slung and used it to kill Goliath. It is seldom that a grown man, let alone a giant would be killed by a single stone, but God will use any effort that we exert in faith to bring us victory.

God will use what you have to destroy the giants in your life, live partnered with Him, wholeheartedly and facing your fears and victory is assured!

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