Dear Dad

I have to let you go. I thought I had, and that through supernatural bravery bestowed on me through Gods loving mercy I had survived the ordeal. And I had, through His supernatural loving mercy, but He has also shown me that my grieving is okay. I wore strong armour but now He is asking me to put down my sword and fall back into His arms again, because I have a future that I need to attend to. 

A future I have been so afraid of. Fear vistied me at the start of each new year, and I allowed it to instruct me to question what was next out there to attack me. I tried to prepare myself for whatever doom might lay before me. I believed that death somehow reigned, no matter how hard my efforts to fight it. I realize now that Gods ways are eternal, and death gives way to life and not the other way around. LIfe, a beautiful life awaits me, as it does surround me. 

I don’t need to sacrifice another dad to be close to God, I need only to rest in His promises and allow His plans for me to take effect in the trust and action of my faith. 

Dad, I so loved to care for you. I am sorry daddy, I am so sorry for all that you suffered. And I thank you, for always silently letting me know that you were at peace, and that we weren’t faced with your own fears. I am so grateful to have been there up until your last, and having drawn together the way we all did in celebration of the life you lived. You have left a huge legacy behind dad. Thank you. I am so grateful for you.

I sing rhymes with Abigail now, and that is so special. She asked about you the other day, she wanted to know where you were. With a lump in my throat and a hesitation having to try explain it all to her, my precious two year old, I replied, “With Jesus baby, my dad is with Jesus.” At her aunty Cals house the other day she ran to me and exclaimed excitedly that she had something to show me. Allowing her to take the lead, I found myself at a family photograph – mommy, your FOUR girls, and yourself. She pointed to you and shouted happliy, “that’s your dad, that’s your dad!” 

You will always be my dad, even across the distance we now share. I know it’s safe to let go because of that. It doesn’t mean I won’t tell my children about you, I will all the time, and it doesn’t mean I have to say goodbye to the reflection I see of you when I look in the mirror. Never ever dad, will I forget. I am at peace with this now and it is another one of my great appreciations – to see you when I look at myself. 

I have a future dad, and it’s looking bright and I feel God telling me to release all my fears, and to step onto the water with Him, to walk on it. I am crazy in love with the life He has given me, the guidance, the love. I no longer believe that I need to hold on to that time in the knowledge that He was there because I realize that He has gone before Me and I now need to follow Him to experience all that He has for me. 

Oh the most extraordinary ways He revealed Himself when you were ill – how could I have managed otherwise? 

But I became too comfortable dad and I held to that past experience because I knew that He was there. In fear of the future, I took all my dreams and put them in a treasure box, and that’s where I stayed, next to my box, in bittersweet memory of all that was. 

And now I am at the place where I am ever so ready to open that box of treasures, to pursue them, to take the hand of God and walk in my dreams towards my purpose. 

I understand that God works in seasons and I don’t have to “lose you” all over again in order to gain the intimacy I had with God at that time of my life – I need to embrace this season and enjoy the presence and mysteries of Him and His love. 

Ecclesiastes 3 v 11 – The God given task

 He has made everything beautiful in its time, He has put eternity in their hearts…..

I am excited now, to see His kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. 

And I also know you will be happy for me dad, as I make my way. I know that you know that I love you with an everlasting love and I know you understand and even more so support that I have a future which I need to attend to.

Thank you dad, for your love. I love you, I miss you, always xoxo 

Feels like home to me

The True Vine

John 15 v 1 – 8 : (Jesus speaks)
” I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away ; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to yo you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in Him, bears much fruit ; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered ; and they gather him and throw Him into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me and my words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, so you will be my disciples.”

Love and Joy Perfected
John 15 v 9 – 11 : (Jesus speaks)
“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you ; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.”
“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in You, and that your joy may be full. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

Care. Direction. Discipline. Growth. Provision. Fulfillment. Restoration. Relationship. Strength. Sustainability. Guidance. Identity. Love.
Home.
A place to call home.

That is all the above means to me, and so much more I am sure I would find in this invitation, to abide in Him, in love, that He may abide in us.
It reminds me of a quiet time I once had – sinking myself into the couch, I asked Him, “Lord, what is it that feels so familiar? I am so at home with you.”
I guess I already knew the answer, but still it blows me away, the love He has for His children.

And what is home exactly? Well, it’s a place where we find a room to rest, a room to cleanse ourselves, a room for when we hunger and the thirst. Within these rooms, we find our family, to share with us our laughter, joy and relationships. It is the place from where we carry ourselves into the world, the place that moulds us into who we are. It is our foundation, our place of return. It’s finding yourself in a place of warmth and comfort, trust, love and hope. A place that lacks in judgement but rejoices in the truth. It is returning home, returning to Him, and remembering that He is the place that we come from and the identity that we carry with us.

Jesus really illustrates for us the way to get there, to find our home again.
And then there is also the verse from John 14 v 1 – 6, which respectfully has many interpretations, but Jesus speaks to us of a place He prepares for us, in His Fathers house. This He spoke before His death on the cross, after which he returned.

“Let not your hearts be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In my Fathers house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself ; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.
Thomas said to Him’ “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?”
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me”

To abide in Him, and He in us – He Himself is home to me.

And this is where the video posted comes into it, a song so beautifully sung by Chantel Kreviazuk. I just love it! Although I am not sure it was intended to be a Christian song but perhaps a love song, it still speaks to me of the times we don’t abide in Him, all the emptiness we feel apart from Him, and all that we find in Him when we do. Our way, truth and life. A place that prepares us, to teach the world of this place that we call home.

Let there be light

I absolutely love the way that light expels darkness. I love lighting a candle in a dark room and watching how the darkness seems to disappear. I think further how the flame burns brighter the darker it is around it.

And more than anything, I love how this can compare to life. The light over darkness ‘principle’ has been a pillar to me in so many ways.

I really used to let my mind wonder to all the things that could go wrong, where they would go wrong and how they would go wrong – I had it all figured out! In all my fear, the Lord spoke to me about it. He said, “But what about all the things that could go right?”

Romans 8 v 28  – 39 (I LOVE THIS PASSAGE!) –  And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, whohave been calledaccording to his purpose. For those God foreknewhe also predestinedto be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstbornamong many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

More Than Conquerors

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any chargeagainst those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who diedmore than that, who was raised to lifeis at the right hand of Godand is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of Godthat is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I read this verse over and over and over, and it WOWs me every time. He makes ALL things work together for the good of those who love Him…ALL things, that includes the bad stuff – that means that ALL the bad stuff that has happened, the way people have hurt us, or the way life seemed to have been unfair to us, He will make it work for your good. And if God is for us then who can be against us, because absolutely NOTHING – not even the bad stuff – trouble, hardship, persecution,death, demons – can separate us from the love of God that is in Jesus Christ our Lord. You are protected.  

Wow, I get so excited – because do we remember what love is and how perfectly it casts out all fear? (Corinthians 13 v 4 – 8  and 1 John 4 v 18) Do we actually realize how incredibly strong His love is?

He also spoke to me about the verse in Phillians 4 v 8 – Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

Often I have thought to myself, “But that’s Him. He is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy.”  Let yourself stand in awe of Him, and in expectancy that in all His goodness, He will meet you where you need Him most.  

This all brought light to my darkened mind some time ago. Instead of thinking all the things that could go wrong, I consider all that could go right. I expect to meet Him in the darkest place, and I expect that light to shine brighter the darker it is. .

When He created the heavens and earth, it took only one command from Him, and there was light.

And I also wonder, if it weren’t for the darkness, would we appreciate the light?  

My heart’s been so sore, so desperate at times. Those times are the times I am now grateful for. They taught me a lot, about myself and about my God.

Romans 21 v 12 says Do not let yourselves be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.

A candle, burning bright – not overcome by darkness, but overcoming darkness by only a single flame.

To the heart that fears and the world that craves, where there is darkness, God said it so beautifully in Genesis 1 v 3“Let there be light.”Image

When creation sings…

It all began in the garden of Eden – His first creation the heavens and earth – the handiwork of God. May we never forget to stop and smell the roses, to bask in the sun that provides us with our light, our warmth – a new day dawning, proving to darkness itself that it has not forever a place in our hearts. Be reminded of the stars –  we cannot count them, as true to His promises in the darkest times of our lives. Psalm 136 v 9 : The moon and stars to rule over the night, for His steadfast love endures forever. 

From majestic mountains we all wish to conquer, to the smallest of seeds taking root in the ground, freely provided for on its journey towards the light. So humbling!  

None is better, each with its individual purpose. We are alike, in our beating hearts and longing souls.  

Creation sings – can you hear it? 

I wonder –  would a flower wish to be anything other than the beauty it already is? 

“If you knew who God made you to be, you wouldn’t want to be anyone else.” – Bill Johnson

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.” Psalm 19 v 1-3 NIV 

 

Redemption

I believe in redemption…and because I believe in redemption I cannot believe in defeat. 

I will not believe in defeat. I will not accept anything that is not of Christ. 

Many would wonder how, in today’s world, I could make such a statement…

The answer to this is quite simple really – I met with defeat, yet I am redeemed. 

Could it be that He heard me? 

I spent most of my younger years swallowed up in a deep pit of depression. Very quietly, many a times, I wondered if I was ever going to find my way out of the big black hole. Was I destined to tears for the rest of my life? Destined to the fear I constantly experienced? Was death an option? I was in a complete state of emotional turmoil. I also spent a lot of time in prayer – a time I wouldn’t have even called prayer time, but a cry to escape. Yes, He heard me. Because now, I am free. 

I am free because I came face to face with grace. I came face to face with joy, with hope, with peace. 

Don’t you think it amazing, that Jesus said to His disciples, as we see in the book of John 14, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not be afraid.” Wow…He had enough peace still to give….even with the knowledge of all He had to endure!

We teach our two year old baby girl of this Jesus that mommy and daddy love so dearly. At first, I had to rethink my answer to the question I quite innocently asked her, “Where is Jesus, baby”? 

I think that we as Christians often miss a fundamental point – Christ is not on the cross. He was, but we was not defeated. He is not in the grave. He was, but He was redeemed.

We call it a sin to not obey the Word of God, and yes, I agree, but with this comes another challenge to perhaps reassess our understanding of sin.

Joshua 1 v 9 says : “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and very courageous. Be not afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” 

If this is a command, and we are not strong and we are not courageous, and we are afraid and discouraged, then are we disobeying the Word of God? Are we sinning, without even realizing it? 

This is where we need to reconsider. I believe that sin, summed up, is to be out of the presence of God. When Christ took our sin on the cross, the presence left…Was this perhaps a demonstration to us, that in the absence of the presence, we find sin, or it finds us? 

I think it’s something to consider. And not something to feel guilty of…if anything, it’s something to cause us to pursue Him, with passion. A telling sign that we need to move just a little bit closer to Him…In His presence is fullness of joy, at His right hand are pleasures forever more. He makes known to me that path of life – Psalm 16 v 11.

I came across quote by CS Lewis: “Christianity seems at first to be about morality, rules, guilt, and virtue, yet it leads you out of that, into something beyond. 

Another verse that comes to mind is 1 John 4 v 19 : We love Him because He first loved us. 

He wants you. He has pursued you. He took your sin, for you. We forget that too, and we feel that we are so deep in our sin that we have no right to Him. That’s not true. We love Him because He first loved us. Love never fails. 

I am disturbed…..

 

I am reading an awesome book at the moment by Kay Warren, called Say Yes to God (formerly dangerous surrender…I can’t help but wonder if dangerous surrender sounded too dangerous for us readers….I must admit, I felt a little nervous picking this book up!)

I am only 50 pages in and I am captivated.  And inspired.  And perhaps a little nervous!

You see, days before I read the book, I listened and prayed the lyrics of a Hillsong song, Hosanna….

 

 “Heal my heart and make it clean,

Open up my eyes to the things unseen,

Show me how to love like You have loved me…

Break my heart for what breaks Yours

Everything I am for your Kingdoms cause….”

 

It all fits together. This book speaks of her experience in walking into an invitation with God, a dangerous surrender, how she surrendered, and how she found life.

It all began when God made her “disturbed”, as she describes it.

Disturbed. It’s an interesting word to use.

 And you know what? I thought about it yesterday – I am disturbed.

I am disturbed that we all prefer to live our lives, pretending not to notice the needs of others, protecting ourselves from the heartbreak of it all.

I drove passed an accident yesterday and felt sick to my stomach – it was a terrible sight to see.

Further more, I found out later that day that an 8 year old boy was hurt and if I heard correctly on the radio, he passed away.

Now how, I thought to myself, can I just rest this evening (I believe we need to rest, don’t get me wrong) knowing that there is a family with a broken heart in this world? A family who needs a touch, a prayer, an example of Christ to release their faith. We can be the demonstration of Christ as they need it.

Yes I am. I am disturbed.

I am disturbed that we block ourselves off when we can be Christ to the world.

I am disturbed that we don’t take responsibility to pray for fear that should the prayer not get answered (as we expect) that we ourselves will look bad…so we just don’t pray!?

I am disturbed that we live with our insecurities – we allow them to linger, to affect our perspectives and our relationships – we don’t fight to drive them out…!  We are not fighting for freedom..!

I am disturbed that we hear of a devastating story and thank God it wasn’t us….! (ouch!)

I am disturbed that we as people of Christ believe we have the right to judge others against the Word of God, when Jesus Himself , in John 8, protected the adulteress, saying to the crowds “let he who is without sin cast the first stone”

I am disturbed that we don’t realise, even near enough, that Christ is not only with us but in us – the hope of glory (Col 1 v 27)

I am disturbed. Yes I am.

But I hold to the hope, because Christ is in us. And He is victorious, mighty to save.

His Kingdom will come, on earth as it is in heaven.

I lift my hands and surrender – as Kay Warren says, give up the ‘Kingdom of me,’  and I ask the way for His Kingdom come.

With His ways extravagant, magnificent, His love never failing….!  His Word alone honest and true, not forgetting the experience of Him and His Word reigning in our lives. What a beautiful sight! Yes please, His Kingdom needs to come…!

 

Father,

Heal my heart and make it clean,

Open up my eyes to the things unseen

Show me how to love like You have loved me.

Break my heart for what breaks yours,

Everything I am for your Kingdoms cause…

 

“I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit (which is in you.) Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into Gods love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” Ephesians 3:16 – 19 NLT (Italics my own)

 

I love something Bill Johnson once said. He was saying how we all ask how God could allow certain things to happen. The book of Job is the perfect example. We all ask how God could have allowed all that to happen to Job..? We focus on Job, what happened to him. We don’t realise Job is the question and that Jesus is the answer.

Oswald Chambers said in his book Utmost for His highest, “If through a broken heart God can bring His purposes to pass in the world, then thank Him for breaking your heart”  

For without a broken piece, how could we experience the One who puts it all back together again?  

Peace out…Gods kind of peace…and much love,

Tam

xoxo

Hey, daddy!

I write this poem as an outlet for the things I wish to speak about with my dear father, who passed away four years ago after a short battle with cancer. 

It has no specific christian reference, although upon writing it my heart filled with gratitude to my heavenly Father who so beautifully orchestrates my life and answers my prayers. 

You will notice that it has no specific emotional tone either. This is not intentional – I believe it is a reflection of my heart towards this topic. It’s bitter sweet for me. It’s a one way dialogue, updating my dad on the happenings in my life. I want him to know that I am at peace with the loss of him, but also that I miss him everyday and that I believe doesn’t go away. I know He is at peace too, and I want him to know more than anything, that I think about him and that I am so happy with the way my life is turning out. 

 

Hey, daddy

I made dumplings last night

I think you would be proud

I thought of you as I took each bite

Your instructions in my mind did sound.

 

Hey, daddy

Sometimes I wonder what you’re doing

I know you’re in a place you lived your live wishing

Of all the things you can do in heaven

I only imagine you to be fishing.

 

Hey, daddy

Did you see our little girl,

She is confident and bold,

With her blue eyes and blonde hair

She’s the best in our world.

 

Hey, daddy

I am so happily married

To the man you approved

My tears he has always buried

My heart, with his love, he always moves.

 

Hey, daddy

I don’t wonder where you have gone

In heaven or among the stars

I only look as far as the mirror daddy

And often, there you are.