The Soul Whisperer

How does God take an out-of-control, fear-filled, abused person and turn them into a contented, happy and gentle soul?

How does he change us from self-centred, get-my-own-way-at-any-cost individuals to behaving like mature people who listen to and obey his commands?

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Horse Whisperer Peter Grieve – Photography by Rhonda Jobe

Peter Grieve is a member of our church family and a friend.  He is also a horse listener/whisperer who is renowned for his work with troubled horses.  It occurred to me that his technique with horses reflects the way God works with us.  So I asked if he would agree to share some thoughts about his work and allow us to take photos of him in action with horses.  He kindly obliged.

A whisper rather than a whip.

The horse whisperer gains the trust of a horse by his gentle approach, his soft voice, his encouragement, and kind touch. The wild brumby; the troubled mare; the neglected foal; the abused gelding; all may buck and fight and be ready to bite or kick when approached.  But with patience and kindness the horse whisperer gains their trust.  He cannot mount or train until the horse trusts him. Continue reading “The Soul Whisperer”

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Still moments in our busy world

My world is not as busy as it used to be.  I’m retired from secular work and life is a little more relaxed nowadays.  I still keep myself busy but I’ve learned to pace myself and say no to some things.  And, I get to choose my busyness…… and, mostly I get a full night’s sleep.

However I do remember those hectic days when my children were young and l longed for sleep and some me-time.  Day after day, week after week, year after year.  Would it ever end?

Yes it did.  My kids grew up and I replaced one kind of busyness with another kind – work and study.

I do remember the bewildering busyness of those early days though.  A sick child; the never ending household chores; the deadlines to be met; the mess of a washing machine overflow; the friend who phoned needing a shoulder to lean on; the homework; the meals to prepare; the sports training.  I’d fall into bed at night and long for sleep, knowing full well the sick child would wake before long and need my attention.

I’d pray:  “Lord, where is far far away and how do I get there?” Continue reading “Still moments in our busy world”

Why Lord? Learning to live with mystery

IMG_9776Earlier this week we attended the funeral of a dear friend killed in a tragic car accident.  She was godly, wise and at the peak of her counselling influence.  In her early 60’s she had life’s experience to add to her years of academic study along with the accumulated  evaluation of her client’s cases.  She was a dearly loved wife, mother and gran.

The question on all our lips is “why”!   To our minds, her death makes no sense.  “Taken too soon” and “We needed her here”, were phrases I heard expressed more than once.  Shock and grief automatically elicit the why question.

It is not wrong to ask why.  In fact, it is only natural.

From our point of view, God should have intervened.  Why didn’t he? Continue reading “Why Lord? Learning to live with mystery”

You’ve invited God into your life…Is that really what it’s all about!

I remember as a child asking Jesus to “come into my heart”.  We used to sing the song in Sunday School “Into my heart, into my heart, come into my heart Lord Jesus. Come in today, come in to stay. Come into my heart Lord Jesus.”

I lived very contentedly knowing that Jesus was in my life and I had peace and contentment with that awareness.  It wasn’t till years later that I begun to realise what a very limited view this is of what had actually occurred that day I invited Jesus into my life. 

With this concept,  I am the focal character and God comes into my life. I open my heart’s door to God’s knocking. I add God to my life. 

How very gracious of me!!!  It almost sounds like I am doing God a favour.   He is there to meet my needs and save me – it is all about me.  

I adopt God.

But the truth is much more exciting, much more incredible, much more mystifying. Continue reading “You’ve invited God into your life…Is that really what it’s all about!”

So you’ve invited Jesus into your life!

girl-praying-hands-eyelashes-41942What does that even look like?

The world is full of people with different concepts about God.  The atheist doesn’t acknowledge there is a God; the agnostic isn’t sure; the believer concludes God exists but may or may not want to interact with Him.  Some believers seek to know God through religion or philosophy.  And the Christian is someone who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. And that because of his death and resurrection, our sins are forgiven and through Him we encounter God in a personal and powerful way.  So they invite Jesus into their lives and seek to follow his guidance and teachings.

This mystical reality is experienced by many millions around the world.

Although God is only ever a prayer away, people tend to drift along in life doing their own thing, completely oblivious to what God may think or desire.  It’s often not until some crisis occurs that their thoughts turn towards God.  Then they either cry out for his help or become angry because of the way things have turned out.

For others, the awareness of God may come through the wonder-filled beauty in life; the intricacies of creation; the love of a friend; the birth of a baby; romantic love.  These are all miracles that defy the notion that there is no God.  As we ponder them we are drawn to wanting to know the one who is the source of these miracles.

We actually have the opportunity to interact with God at any time in any place. But, being a gentleman, God waits to be invited into our lives.  He never forces, and is always ready to hear our most feeble call. 

So let’s say you have come to the point where you have invited Jesus into your life. 

What kind of relationship do you have in mind now that Jesus is your friend and companion and you’ve invited him to share life with youWhat are your expectations? Continue reading “So you’ve invited Jesus into your life!”

Mothering – a difficult and important job

 

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With my mother and my daughter
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With my son and grandchildren

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mothers Day – Yes, it’s that time of the year again when we turn our thoughts to honouring our mums.  Of all the jobs we undertake in life, mothering is the most important and challenging. What a responsibility!  To take a brand new life and embark on the task of raising that child to be a healthy contributing member of society.  And, as Christians, we add the mission of raising them to love and honour God.

Of course we read all the books on parenting and have a plan in mind – which usually entails doing differently some things our parents did which we consider unsuitable nowadays.   After all, we’re prone to point our fingers at our mothers to excuse our own shortcomings and struggles. If it weren’t for their poor parenting skills I’d have turned out better!!!

No one needs to tell us how important mothering is and we think we are prepared for the task.  It comes as a shock to find out just how complicated mothering really is. Continue reading “Mothering – a difficult and important job”

Why we Christians celebrate Easter.

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Photo by The Church of Almighty God on Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND a caption

As Easter approaches many people will ask Christians why we celebrate the Easter story. Is it still significant today?  Can people really have an encounter with God?  Is it important?  The short answer is yes, yes and yes.

People love to tell the story of how they met God and what God means to them, and I love hearing them.  Each individual story is significant and important and holy.  Each is unique, for God interacts with us at the level of our understanding; of our worldview; of our emotional state (messy or stable).  Your story is important, but it is only one of many millions of little stories within the larger story of God’s interaction with humanity.  I want to summarise all our stories by telling you two stories.

The first one is about Adam and Eve and God. The second story is of You and Me and God.  They are basically mirror images – the same story but reversed.  

And the Easter story – the story of Jesus’s death and resurrection is at the centre. 

The mirror, as it were, that reverses the stories…………

Continue reading “Why we Christians celebrate Easter.”