Tuesday, 30 July 2013


“God made me a girl. And He did that on purpose. But He asks me to become the kind of girl who is actually useful to His kingdom purposes. I need to become the sort of girl who is unafraid to poke my head into the battle of the ages and cry out, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine who is blaspheming the armies of the living God?” God wants me to wrestle. God wants to stick grit in my girliness. He wants me to be prepared to tangle, to interlock my soul in this eternal combat—- not with other girls, not with sweaty boys, but with Him, and with the otherworldly powers of darkness. He wants me to wrestle in prayer, to grab ahold of His great and precious promises and fight to see them unfurled in living reality on this Earth.”Leslie Ludy.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

That I may gain Christ

Philippians 3:8

What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

How Deep The Father's Love For Us

I will not boast in anything
No gift, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

Monday, 22 July 2013

Real Hospitality

Hebrews 13
Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.  

What truly is hospitality?

We know it is nothing to do with feelings. In fact, its a command that comes in the Bible, twice, after this one "Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters". Is it because we tend to show hospitality to those who make us feel good?

Love in action, is to invite others into our home. To make our home an open place of ministry, blessing, fellowship. Hospitality is the art of being frugal and careful with my resources so that my home is a place of order and beauty, a place where love and welcoming start. My mum does that so well! Growing up, no matter who the person was, I saw my mum living out this scripture.. ...When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just (Luke 14:12-14). It doesnt matter if the guest is rich or poor, I grew up in a home where mum showed them all the same care and love. My parents are some of the most generous and giving people I know.

For a young family, such as ourselves, that is a concept that requires of me some refinement. It means having a preparedness, not just of the functioning of my home, but of my heart.

Hospitality is not showey, it is not proud or pretentious.
I read years ago, a quote I will never forget. "I would rather eat simple peanut butter sandwhiches and enjoy fellowship, than eat a three course meal on my own". Hospitality is not simply an opportunity to showcase my favourite Nigella Lawson recipes, to whip out some awe inspiring Jaimee Oliver number. (Which is not likely, given that Im not prone to amazing masterpieces ;) ) ... but hospitality needs to consider, do I make the other person focus on me, or focus on Jesus? Is it an elegant expression of Gods creativity and blessing on my means? or is it an extravagent display of my inward efforts for approval? Growing up as a child, some of my favourite memories are of visiting our friends who lived on a farm. We spent hours playing spotlight in the dark, pulling hard pears off the plum tree and eating them, and coming in for cheese and relish on toast. It was gourmet to me!

Hospitality is an opportunity to showcase Jesus Christ to my children. It is an opportunity for them to hear the stories and thoughts of other saints, of other people who have walked that narrow road. Its an opportunity for my children to grasp the tangible experience of a life surrendered to Jesus. Its an opportunity to without awareness, have angels about my table.

One of the most important aspects of Hospitality? Have an outward looking heart. It can be nerve wracking talking to strangers, let alone to invite them into your home, and often you can find yourself weighing up whether you have enough space, fun, outgoing-ness, entertainment, energy, order or the kids are on their best behaviour.

One of the things I do often, is that when I feel those 'butterflies' in my stomach as I head out the door to a group of people I dont know very well, or invite strangers into our home, is to pray. I ask God to make me a blessing, to make me a minister of His Word. To give me a word of encouragement for someone or to be a soft place to fall. This isnt a natural functioning for me, especially as Im more of an introvert, but this attitude opens up my heart to give.. the best cure for any depression, anxiety or self awareness.. is to focus on the lives of others.

When looking for practical ways to show hospitality, I enjoyed to read this blog..

Real Food Hospitality {On a Budget} | A Simple Haven

Saturday, 20 July 2013

You make me beautiful!

Our pastor was teaching this morning on marriage and submission. Perhaps not an easy topic, none the less, Sam and I sat riveted in our seats.

In the message, he mentioned Sarah and Abraham. I felt a nod in my Spirit. Ahhh Sarah. Woman of Faith. I enjoyed this afternoon to go home and study Sarah a little more, to read through Genesis..

This is one of my favourite passages of scripture..

1 Peter 3

Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives,  when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

Oh how powerful, what an incredible message about beauty.

I know some older woman might find it hilarious for me to say so, but here at 35, I face fresh awareness of how quickly exterior beauty fades. All the supposed 'charm' that might have been mine to use, quickly fades. What Im left with, is knowing what it really means, to possess an internal beauty. And how powerful it is to live in that knowing.
Also how dangerous it is to live outside of that.

Outside of that, is a chasing after the wind. An emptiness. An insecurity, a weakness that breeds death and discontentment. The world offers many ways to put the breaks on aging.. but all its values are built around a message "you are not beautiful with the evidence of years upon your life". We shouldnt be structuring ANY of our values around the worlds ideals.

God clearly says that our beauty is the "inner self". In the NKJV its aptly referred to as the "hidden person".

What kind of person is a hidden person? Well, she is submissive, she is fearless, she is quiet and gentle in spirit. She is sure of her value in Jesus Christ. She is holy and reverent. She is obedient and respectful.

Isnt it hard sometimes, to cultivate the inner hidden person?
Sarah is also a real woman. Read Genesis 17 to 21 and you can clearly see the times that Sarah displayed behaviour that didnt reflect the kind of beauty 1 Peter referred to. Sarah's life was less than ideal. Its easy to imagine that Abraham might have been this amazing faith filled husband who was noble and leading, spiritual and strong.

He wasnt always! What about in Genesis 20 when he leads Sarah off to Egypt, and tells her to lie and say that she is his sister so that his own life is preserved. Cowardly! Sarah gets taken in to the Palace, she's beautiful and fair game.. and its *Gods Grace* that the King doesnt take Sarah into his bed. God speaks to King Abimelech in a dream and she is preserved.

Is that not there, an incredibally defining moment of Sarah's beauty? Im in awe of her. She is submissive to her husband. Was she scared? Would you have been? I cant help but wonder if Sarah thought this was divine justice for her foolishness at getting Abraham to sleep with Hagar. Maybe she was tempted to be direspectful to Abraham, undermine him, be loud and moaning and irreverant. Or just maybe, Sarah had come to realise many times over, how actions borne out of fear, led to consequences that hurt far too deep.. and that trust in Jesus Christ, mattered more than anything. The hidden person.

You are not wrong that the hidden person will cost you a lot!

For me, Facebook has become an area where God has been growing my understanding of the 'hidden person'. Facebook can so easily become a platform for areas of inappropriateness. It so easily can become a time waster, a place to boast, draw attention to ourselves, to paint a picture of an unreal me. It can be a place of great temptation. Dont get me wrong, I see the benefits of facebook too!! But for me, its been one area where God has been challenging me "does this cultivate the hidden person?"

The answer for me has been to significantly reduce my time on Facebook to a mere half an hour a week, with Sam, one evening.

There are many other areas also, where life throws at us the opportunity to either grow, or squander, the hidden person. Pinterest.. Twitter.. Instagram... thats just a few! Like Sarah, we are faced with so many fears and values that the world throws at us, and its easy to start measuring our success through our own means, to grade our ideals t, to be fed messages which heap upon the disappointments in our soul. 

We can only be free from those things, when we, like Sarah, are willing to place our full trust and dependancy on the Lord. When like Sarah, we can cultivate a reverence and holiness in our conduct and countenance, that comes from where? Being hidden in Him.

Thats where beauty starts.


Friday, 19 July 2013

The Hidden Person...

New King James Version "Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God." 1 Pet 3:3

For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Col 3:3

But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory. 1 Cor 2:7

I will give you the treasures of darkness And hidden riches of secret places, That you may know that I, the Lord, Who call you by your name, Am the God of Israel. Isaiah 45:3
And He has made My mouth like a sharp sword; In the shadow of His hand He has hidden Me, And made Me a polished shaft; In His quiver He has hidden Me.” Isaiah 49:2
Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. Matt 10:26
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Mat 13:44


Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Hidden in Him...

One of my favourite books ever, is Corrie Ten Boom 'The Hiding Place'. A story of a woman who survives Ravensbruck, being sent there after hiding jews in a small room in her house, to save their lives.
Its an incredible story of courage, bravery, trust, forgiveness. In my teens I lost count of how many times I read and read the story, its message soaking deep into the core of my being.. that no matter how much we suffer, God is there, more present, more real than our deepest fears.

This morning I read this verse Isaiah 49: 2
"And He has made My mouth like a sharp sword;
In the shadow of His hand He has hidden Me,
And made Me a polished shaft;
In His quiver He has hidden Me.”

The past couple of days I have cried out to God more than ever. Seeking God for a courage, a wisdom, a holiness that is NOTHING to do with my own, and everything to do with Him. 
Oh how faithful He was to answer. And his answer was not as I would expect, He simply spoke to me this "I have hidden you in me".

Like Corrie Ten Boom, not hidden from trouble, trials, temptations, pain... hidden, in Him, to be refined. Hidden to be sharpened. Hidden to be polished and ready to be an instrument of truth, an instrument ready for His service. Sometimes simply hidden from the extent of what I am myself, till I am simply lost in Him.

Thank you Jesus that over and over, in my brokenness, I find whole ness and security, peace and rest in You.
You are my souls delight.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

More Than Flowers..

Someone once asked me "how do you know Sam will be faithful to you?". It was a valid question. They were questioning my assurance of his commitment to his vows. They'd experienced what it was to be decieved, to have their heart broken, to be cheated on. So their question was simply this: we are all human, therefore, why would you trust in a man?

What a valid question.

No one has shown me a picture of faithfulness here on earth, like Sam has. He had loved me, before he knew me. He had kept all the most precious and deepest things of his heart, just for me, even before I was on the scene. My confidence in his faithfulness was that he proved it, long before I was his, and he was mine.

If I were honest with that friend that day, I would have told her, that if I had anyone I was most doubtful of, it was myself. No, not because I am not wholeheartedly and absolutely enraptured with Samuel James Cahill. But because I am human. Because the Bible speaks clearly "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it" Jeremiah 17:9.

I read a friends post the other day; 'Is anybody a worse enemy to you than you are? Has anyone lied to you more than you've lied to you? Anyone broken promises to you more than you've broken promises to you? No. You're the problem. God is the answer!' Matt Chandler.

Faithfulness Ive found, requires a rawness, requires a sacrifice of pride and a willingness to walk in the light. It requires a broken-ness which yields a fragrance that is so beautiful. Where's is its foundation? The Cross!

Faithfulness starts in the heart. Its the small decisions. Its the transparency with Jesus Christ first, and then one another. Those secret and quiet decisions are so important... its from there that either life or death is borne.

Some things that Ive learnt along the way...

*Fill your minds with good things! For me, faithfulness is not simply keeping my body for Sam, but my heart, mind, attitudes and decisions. Comparison is often the worst way in which we breed unfaithfulness. We compare, and our own insecurities come to the surface. Instead of celebrating anothers joy, we commiserate over our own dissapointments and unmet needs. Ive learnt to take such thoughts quickly to the Cross and remember afresh; only Jesus can fulfill the deepest desires of my life! Ive learnt to think upon the things of God and things that are good, right, pure etc! It not only frees me to love on Sam, but to recieve love from Sam without him having to 'fill my tank'.

*Leave no area out: My Visa card used to have a picture of Sam on it.. simply to remind me everytime I pulled it out "does this financial decision prove faithfulness". The smallest of areas matter! Dont let anything become an area that is 'hidden' from your spouse. If your unmarried, work now to be faithful! Faithfulness starts long before that wedding day. Sam lets me read all his communication from cellphones to facebook messages, and he is welcome to do the same with me. We have friends of the same sex who share things in confidence and its not always wise to confide those things in our spouses.. but as a rule.. there are no secrets! From hidden bags of bought clothing to hidden notes. Its all in the light!

*Think things through to the end. Sometimes as woman, living in moments of insecurity and fear, we can have these fantasies of being whisked off our feet by someone incredibally adoring and wonderful.. and even if for but a flash, something within goes "oh thats appealing". When these thoughts have flashed across my mind, I think them through to the end! Sin is ugly! Suddenly, when Im staring at the end picture, devastated lives, ugliness, unhealthyness, broken-ness, heartache, pain, loss, destroyed lives... its reality no longer even sits on the shelf with any enticement.

*Be accountable. I have friends that I welcome their rebuke and input. I have wisely chosen a few select friends who I can share honestly with. Whose wisdom I welcome. How I conduct myself around others, in how I interact in friendships, and how I live out my life. Their counsel has often been so refreshing in my life. And I know its true when the Bible says that "Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses." Proverbs 27:6. I want to add here a side note, dont be 'touchy' with such dear friends. Its a risk to them to be honest and they, like you, are learners. Value them, make it easy for them to be real!

*Stay in the Word and pray together. The fastest road to failure is to simply walk without Jesus.
I have some amazing Godly friends who I so look to up to. Their lives radiate the love of Christ. They would cringe if I boasted their perfection. In truth, they are people who have been broken and surrendered to the foot of the Cross. Their stories of redemption testify to Gods grace. They are lives whove been redeemed, whove been lifted out of the mud. And I LOVE them. I love that their lives radiate their daily walk with Him. Pray alone and together. One couple I know, have an auto text that comes up every evening at the same time "pray together". When it beeps, and we are there, I can almost feel the smile of Jesus upon them.

*Lay down your lives for each other. 'Fireproof', is one of my favourite movies ever. He treats her badly, she falls for another man, and their marriage looks shattered. But he comes to the Cross and finds what true love is! From that place, he loves on her, even when unreturned, he keeps winning her heart. He counts no sacrifice too great! Its such a reminder to me... count nothing too much for your spouse.. from cleaning up the kitchen table when you dont feel like, letting your spouse sleep in on Saturday morning when youve been up all night, to giving up the last piece of chocolate or cake. Sometimes I dont 'feel' like doing it! In those times I remember, 'someone' else probably would. Love your spouse, as you do Jesus!!

I love the lyrics of this song..

"I want you to see me
living out my love for you daily
I want you to hear me
adoring you with every word I speak
I want you to catch me
serving you in ways you won't suppose to see
It's then you'll know
Far more than flowers could ever show

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Solely HIS

"The preoccupations of young women don't seem to change much from generation to generaton. But in every generation there seem to be a few who make other choices." Elisabeth Elliot.

The Lord has been challenging my heart this week so deeply. I had a dream the other night in which my heart was laid bare before Jesus. There wasnt any words spoken, nor was there a need. All that was there, He knew, and I was yielded. Repentant. Open.

Perhaps it doesn't seem so exciting the idea of being broken and open before Jesus. Yet it was.

For suddenly there was nothing between Him and I.

As Ive gone about this week, the dream has stayed with me. The days passing have brought it meaning. I realize that what He is asking of me, is obedience, a willing choice to honour Him with the smallest of decisions in my heart.

Simple choices as to what I let entertain me. What I choose to listen to. Speak. What I choose to think upon. What I choose to wear. What I glance over. I wonder, if there was a Pinterest board, for these kind of images that we as woman, that I, Fleur, set as 'delights', what would that board look like? If we saw it all collated into one board, would it reflect the things of Jesus Christ?

Its not that I believe that its wrong to like things that are creative and beautiful. I love beautiful things! But does my heart find its fullness and purpose there, or do those things push me further into loving Jesus?

I allowed my heart to consider today, if my souls Pinterest board would boast the character of Christ? Would it be filled with the sweetness of His presence. Would it show time spent on my knees. Would it show images of perfume poured out. Would it have tears of pain for the hurting and broken. Would it show the cross? Would it reflect the powerful radiance of His being? Would it show steadfastness and a willingness to forego comfort for eternal joy?

I want that knowing of HIS life. I want a life that reflects as Psalm 1, a woman whose delight is in the Lord. Wholeheartedly and singularly His. A heart that seeks His opinion, that prefers Him. A life that lives for His praise. Eyes that light up with His truth.

Jesus. I hear your call. I hear you beckoning me above the dreams for which Ive defined myself. I hear you calling me into dreams of things Ive yet to know. And I will obey.