A Showcase Exhibit

People“I will make a nation out of the long lost, a showcase exhibit of God’s rule in action.” Micah 4 The Message.

Can you imagine what this would look like, a gathered company of people who are loved by God and who love him in return?  The imagery of this verse is so beautiful to me, God’s far reaching love for the long lost and his desire to exhibit in them what it looks like to be found and loved by God.

Imagine if people could see the love of God in action, by real people who were far from God, far from hope, people who knew what it was like to need mercy and find it, who knew what it was to be lost and find purpose. People who believed that the very words of God could be read and understood that they were not lost from knowing the one who had made them and purposed them to live a life that would bring honor and glory to the King of Kings.

Imagine if such a people lived for a God who was known for how he loved. Who set his rule by how the earth could be filled with kindness and hope, compassion and brave servant-hood, the kind that resulted in the care and building up of humanity. What if their God was so good that he cared not only for the successful but that his eyes saw those who were missed by society, the refugee, the poor, the broken, the widow and the fatherless. What if this King gathered a people where he would choose to give them the same vision he had to bring blessing to the last and the least.

The thought of such a God would create music on the earth, a song would sound that had never been heard before because an Ancient King of Kings, the same one who had told the story of the earth had created new life where there was desolation.

Can you imagine if in all his power and splendor what would transpire when he moved heaven and earth to establish such a people. If rather than being far off he walked in the pages of history with them, showing them himself what God’s rule in action looked like as his feet touched earth.

Such a God would be worthy of my whole hearted devotion and would create a movement that would transcend time, power, nation and politics.

I love that for me this is more than an idea, it is the story of Jesus found in the pages of the bible, with footsteps in history who most perfectly showed God’s rule in action and continues to work through his imperfect church to exhibit his kindness.

Love, Grace and New Songs for your day

Rachel x

Life at Lightning Speed

Meadow

“Be Still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

Life has felt at lightning speed the last few weeks. I have found myself repeating the same lines over and again, ‘when Shane is back from the US it will be simpler’… ‘Life is on a tightrope of organisation if one thing is out…’, it didn’t feel like that as much before I was working full time.

I feel like the mantra of our home lately has been ‘come on, everybody get ready and in the car’. Life has been full of a thousand blessings. I love my job, I love my family, I love our church and all that they involve. It is like living with rich abundant blessing, but moving at lightning speed I wonder whether I am missing it along the way, or hurrying my family to enjoy the same breakneck speed, when they would rather be curled up reading a book.

I know to some the thought of being busy or moving at lightning speed sounds horrific, hell on a stick. But I love it, I love that our life is full of growth and opportunity, I genuinely love life moving at high speed.

This week there were meetings, gala days {thanks Daniel}, excursions, extraordinary meetings, visiting churches, churches visiting, swimming lessons, teaching, writing, making lunches, cooking, washing, cleaning, people over for dinner, book week, crazy sock day, running a weekend conference, walking Darby, missed hair appointments {this was truly devastating, sorry Sasha x}. Just a week, Packed full with blessing {the cleaning is debatably a blessing, but we are gonna’ roll with it}.

My reflection this week, has been that I can have a busy life, but I need a slow spirit. Not getting caught up in the rush of activity or the desire to be at the next thing yesterday. But enjoying each moment as they come and keeping in step with a rested soul.

Making time to rest with God and continually seek his will in ALL of the things, {I will be writing a post on how I do this soon} not rushing ahead of God, but striding along close behind waiting on his leading and only in his strength. Making time to enjoy small paused moments like perfect hipster coffee, made by perfect hipsters at a perfect hipster cafe on a city day before work begins. I do realize this involves coffee which only speed things up, the irony is not lost on me.

Love, Grace and a slowness of spirit for your day

Rachel x

Into the Ocean

 Ocean

“The Waters saw you, God, the waters saw you and writhed; the very depths were convulsed. the clouds poured down water, the heavens resounded with thunder; your arrows flashed back and forth. Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind, your lightning lit up the word; the earth trembled and quaked. Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen. You led your people like a flock, by the hand of Moses and Aaron.”

Psalm 77:16-20 NIV Bible 

Walking in to deep water, into that which is unknown and scary and to call upon God, awaiting an answer, will his help come? Will he deliver? Will he hear? In Psalm 77 the writer recalls God’s ancient wonders, the stories of old, that tell of who The Lord is and what he has done. Recalling to himself the creator’s wonder and magnificent rescues. Stories of assurance that when all seems lost, when there seems to be no way forward, God has worked for his people in supernatural abundance, in a way no one could have imagined.

What a beautiful place to find rest when we feel lost, or need our courage strengthened to face a  season that seems a storming ocean. In that moment, how can I recount to myself the stories of a Savior? The one who lived, died and came back fighting, a rescuer with salvation in his hands and his feet. Crowned King over an Empty Cross.

How will the grandest story of all inform my fears and lay them to rest? How will the Word of God filled with the whisper and declaration of Jesus bring courage? Hidden in the Chief Shepherd’s hands are the marks and story of salvation. His salvation reminds me that he is strong and good, and that he is and always has been for me, he loves me. His story is for all people, but I am not lost in the many.

Love, Grace and Courage for your day,

Rachel x

Eyes Fixed

eyes

Last night was small group at my house. Shane and I adore these people, we really love them. We meet every week sharing life – the highs the lows and everything in between. I learn to live with my home being imperfect and real, which for someone who loves to have everything in order is quite the challenge. I hope that it serves them that one day when and if they have kids, they will invite their friends over even {especially} when life does not quite look like a perfect photo. Bless them, they have coped well.

We are reading the book of 1 Samuel together and this book is full of adventure, the kind  of story where there is never a dull moment… As we read Chapter 18 of the story, right after the infamous David and Goliath chapter, all the people were praising Saul – the King, and David – the warrior. In the midst of all the action, this is the verse that stood out to me.

“Saul was very angry; this refrain displeased him greatly. “they have credited David with tens  “of thousands”, he thought. “But me with only thousands. What more can he get but the Kingdom”. And from that time on Saul kept a close eye on David.” 1 Samuel 18:8 NIV

Here he was {Saul} the King of the people, anointed by God to be the leader shepherd and he was jealous of his warrior musician {David}. Saul was a man charged with the care of the people, a Kingdom before him, and he stood – strong, powerful, and intimidated.

Man, that is such a familiar picture, so simple and plain. His eyes were looking in the wrong direction. As leader of the people he heard and interpreted the voice of the people according to his weakness and was distracted by the desire for personal glory. He lost his calling, and fixed his eyes on the wrong person. As King his eyes should have been heavenward seeking the will and call of God, in order to lead the people God so loved. Instead he looked to David whom he saw as his rival, not even his enemy, but the one who could take all that was his.

When we are called by God to do a task, and the task becomes bigger than the one who gave it, when the detail of our assignment becomes greater than who it is for. Our eyes are fixed elsewhere.

I want my eyes fixed heavenward. I want to live with an audience of one. Not swayed by waves of opinion but grounded firmly in the one who knows me, loves me and saves me. I want to be found in step with him, I want to look to him for calling and journey steps. I don’t want to look sideways, eyes fixed on what someone else is doing. I want to run my race, set before me with all Jesus has called me to do, in this moment. I am praying for that. Because heaven knows, it is all too easy to look sideways.

Love, Grace and a quiet moment for your day

Rachel x

A New Moment

Sunrise“But there’s one other thing I remember, and remembering I keep a grip on hope: God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up. They’re created new every morning. How great is your faithfulness! I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over). He’s all I’ve got left.” Lamentations 3:22-24 (The Message Eugene Peterson) 

Glorious.

A freshly opened opportunity full of new moments. New chances. New memories.

This picture to me is like capturing the kiss of God upon the earth, that says you can begin again. There is new hope. A chance to stand up again, to move forward. Look afresh at yesterday with the eyes of today.

I love that the beautiful character of God can be seen in his creation, and so potently in the breaking in of each new day. A daily reminder that his heart creates glorious new beginnings, and better days.

A prompt to grace in the everyday.

Love, Grace and a beautiful sunrise for your mornings

Rachel x

Deep Wells of Salvation

water“‘Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.” With Joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.’

Isaiah 12:2-3 NIV 

Gorgeous.

What an image, such a beautiful picture of a God who has Salvation in bucket loads. In wells, God type wells – Deep Stores of Salvation. I have this image in my mind of a people who know a God with plenty of Salvation. So much you can draw from the wells with Joy. It is not sparse. He is not meager with it, he is not holding back, he is not being stingy with salvation.

He has it in spades. Oceans of it, pouring over and out. Like a person in a distant foreign land who can draw from an abundant well, buckets of water with gladness. God’s salvation is given in plenty, more than enough, it brings that same kind of relief, and exuberant joy. The people who know what it is to experience that kind of joy, relief and deep peace cannot then help but exclaim to the earth;

“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world. Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion…”

Isaiah 12:4-6

A great rescue has taken place, and the people are unable to be silent. Unable to hide his name, instead cannot help but announce to the world that all is well, salvation is found, there is no reason to fear, no reason to dread, no reason to lose sleep, to be lost and alone, salvation has come and he has a name.

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