Flying Free: The Adventure of Faith

My feet have just landed back on Australian soil; jetlag is still heavy in my eyelids. What an adventure to travel to America with my family (including our active one-year-old toddler!). This was my third time recording in Nashville, and each time I’ve seen God move in incredible ways to make it possible for this average Australian girl to live her dream and record music that shares a message of faith and hope.

This time I was even more aware of God’s provision because I now have a baby to care for! As a new mum (who often feels overwhelmed), I was blown away when I sensed God’s encouragement to move forward and prepare for a new album! Spending time in His Word, I felt Him promise He would enable me to pour love into my son and also pour my strength into writing new music. I felt challenged to trust the promise in Isaiah 40:11, ‘He will gently and carefully lead those nursing their young.’ So my husband and I stepped into this latest recording project with both excitement and anxiety, knowing we were totally reliant on God to make it possible.

I’ve poured my heart, time, prayers and energy into this album. I’ve sat at the piano each day, wearing my baby in the carrier (which he LOVES, turns out!), labouring over new lyrics and melodies. Then I recorded the scratch tracks in my home studio, and sent them over to Nashville. I have been blown away to see God guide and provide for each step, miraculously making a way for me to juggle my dual callings of music ministry and motherhood.

Our family travelled to America for the actual recording. It was an incredible, faith-building experience for all of us, and I was invigorated as I poured my heart into the recordings.

we should live adventurously and do what God has called us to do in the midst of the uncertainties

It is a thrill to live your dreams and, in my experience, it is always worthwhile to follow Christ in the adventure of obedience. I remember learning this the first time I travelled to Nashville, sensing God’s directive to take the risk and go in faith. One memory stands out from that trip. As we were walking to our connecting flight in LA, we were stopped by a TV reporter who asked us if we were concerned about the Terror Alert announced by the US government the previous day. Terror alert?! We had no idea there was a terror alert announced, warning people to be wary of travel! I remember feeling disconcerted but, as our connecting flight was leaving soon, we excused ourselves and hurried to find our gate. I boarded the plane, thinking: ‘Actually, this doesn’t make me wary to travel, because I believe my life is in God’s hands! I am not at the mercy of a terrorist! God has led me here, He a plan for me, and my life is His concern!’

I have learned that the abundant life Jesus gives often involves taking risks to follow Him in obedience. I’m not suggesting we should disregard wisdom and run into the arms of danger. Rather, we should accept His invitation to live adventurously and do what God has called us to do in the midst of the uncertainties.

Now, fresh back from this latest recording adventure, I’ve seen God once again make a way for what seemed impossible in this season of life. Following His lead is humbling and inspiring; and walking in obedience creates a platform for Him to shine!

Our world is often uncertain, scary and dark, but God is faithful in every season, so we can live adventurous, joyful lives despite that. With this in mind, my new album is called Seasons, with songs that paint His faithfulness through the changes of life. I trust these songs will spur listeners on in their own adventures of faith.

Jealousy Destroys

 

‘Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear.’ 1 John 4:18 NLT

Solomon writes, ‘Jealousy is cruel as the grave.’ (Song of Solomon 8:6 KJV) There are many practical applications for this verse and one of them is jealousy which corrodes every relationship. When you’re jealous of others, you distrust them and, if you can, try to control them. That’s doubly true when someone has betrayed you previously. Your jealous fear of it happening again can make your friend, partner or spouse feel like you’ve locked a ball-and-chain to their legs. And if you keep doing it long enough you’ll create the very thing you fear—you’ll end up driving them away. Even if they do stick around, they may isolate themselves emotionally from you.

With that in mind, here’s what the Bible has to say: ‘We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in His love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them… as we live in God, our love grows more perfect… Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear.’ (1 John 4:16–18 NLT) When you know that God loves you in spite of your imperfections, your sense of self-worth grows and you start believing you are worthy of affection and friendship. If you believe it, others can too.

It’s like getting out of prison—a prison of your own making called ‘jealousy’. Today God wants to set you free from jealousy and give you the relationships you’ve always longed for. Talk to Him about it.

SoulFood: Ex 20:1–3, Deut 6:1–9, Mk 12:28–34, Rev 2:1–7

word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2018

Today’s Readings

Exodus 20:1–3 ()

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20:1 And God spoke all these words, saying,

“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

“You shall have no other gods before me.

Deuteronomy 6:1–9 ()

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6:1 “Now this is the commandment—the statutes and the rules—that the LORD your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it, that you may fear the LORD your God, you and your son and your son's son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long. Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Mark 12:28–34 ()

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28 And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32 And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. 33 And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34 And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions.

Revelation 2:1–7 ()

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2:1 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands.

“‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name's sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’

Sun 07 January, 2018


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