Walk. Believe. Become.

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Over the past few weeks I’ve been stuck around John 12 in my morning devotions. In fact I think it has become my all time favourite chapter in the New Testament.

Have you ever read to a part in a book, whether it be the Bible or not, where you just have to stop, let the depth of the words you’ve just read soak in and attempt, albeit multiple times, to keep on reading?

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This was me with John 12 in The Message. I literally couldn’t turn the page. I read, reread, and read again sentences with such punch, particularly John 12, verses 20 through to 26.

Now it is Christmas, I’ve put John away and hit up Luke. I’ll come back to him though and discover more amazing insights into who Jesus is and what He has done for us.

“How marvellous, how boundless
Is Your love, is Your love
How wonderful, sacrificial
Is Your love for me”

You Bled – Rend Collective Experiment

This one time, I was told I might have cancer…

This week marks a fairly significant anniversary in my life.

Last year, after I arrived home from StormCo Nyngan, I found a lump on my breast. My first thought was “Oh crap. I have breast cancer. I better get that checked out.”

Accompanying that suspicious lump,  I also found a weird lump at the base of my neck on my shoulder. These lumps were swollen lymph nodes and the doctor found more of them under my underarms.

So this all led to many blood tests, ultrasounds, specialist appointments and finally a biopsy (day-surgery fun and games) of 3 samples – my swollen lymph node on my breast and neck, and a sample of my bruise on my arm.

Richie and I kept all this on the down low because we didn’t want to create a stir if it all came to nothing.

The following are my unedited journal entries from April 27 through to May 17, plus some funny instagram photos. Truthfully, I’m no Anne Frank – I don’t keep a journal normally, but at the time I felt a strong sense that I needed to write stuff down as a way of processing what I was going through. Also, I sensed I needed to do it just in case my journey was going to end that year. Maybe someone who was to read it would find some strength and encouragement.

27 April /2012
I feel I’m at a crossroads ready to hear a prognosis I won’t receive for about 3 weeks. I’m ready to throw on my “I’m gonna to punch Lymphoma in the face” sign. But I’m also ready to start dancing around the room punching the air and giving people high-fives for a bit of hoo-haa over nothing.

I’m so at peace it’s a little scary. “What ever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, “It is well, it is well, with my soul”. Whatever you do, don’t be mistaken, it’s not denial. I read somewhere on Twitter today, the greatest asset I hold is my faith. I can’t believe how much I have packed into only 31 years of life. As I sat in the Oncologists waiting room yesterday afternoon I thought “Stuff! If I was to die, there is really only 2 things that I wouldn’t have done in my life time: 1) Have a baby 2) Own a property… that’s it!!! People die not having done a quarter of the things that I’ve squeezed into 31 years.

I’m extremely grateful that Jesus commands my destiny. No power of hell, no scheme of man, could ever pluck me from his hand. For I am his, and He is mine, here in the power of Christ I stand.

Sign, sealed and delivered – Praise the Lord, I’m saved.

1 May 2012
Talk about an amazing network of family and friends I’ve got. 4 precious individuals who prayed for me today. Besides my Mum, sister and my Dad praying for me last night at the office, today it was fantastic to be covered in prayer.

After our Directors meeting this morning, Rob held one of my hands and laid his other hand on my shoulder and prayed for healing. Jacqs called me from Perth after Richie called Dan to tell them what was going on. She prayed for continued strength in my faith no matter what I face. Tonight Cheonneth stepped out of his Re:Framed meeting to call and check in on Richie, and pray with me over the phone. Then while I was writing this, Richie came round to my side of the bed and knelt down, and prayed. I definitely feel that I surrounded with prayer warriors.

Then there was a beautiful email from Auntie Shirley and a Facebook message from Aleks filled with hope based scripture and promises of prayer. Then there was the simple statement from Delmai – Keep your eyes on the Lord.

Wow. I’m totally in awe and totally blessed.

9 May 2012

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All dressed up nowhere to go. Also refuses to turn when I say “Look at me! I want to remember your smile!” – taken in the reception of Day Surgery at the SAN

Finally the day is here. My first operation in 31 years of being alive. Last night and this morning I’ve been inundated with calls and SMS’ of promises of prayers and well wishes. This morning I really just want to go to Bunnings and get my Anti-mould hangings for the cupboard because my stupid return voucher ends in a few days. Stupid Bunnings. I feel positive and confident until Richie opens his mouth, plus this morning when I got an SMS from Zan. I think I got teary because she has been through it all a few years ago. Painting the Soul Sisters painting with her and the other girls had much more significance than what she will ever realise. Her testimony touched me in a very raw way. Especially when she was explaining why she started painting… She said “You know when I had my operation to have my Lymph nodes taken out…” HELLO! So close to home. VP was the only other person in the room who knew why I was crying while we listened so intently to her.

Right now, I feel strong when I’m alone – one with my thoughts and one with My God. I’m comfortable. I’m at peace. I’m at rest. As Lumpy said to Nathan on the day he had his operation, “I’ll either wake up and see you, or I’ll wake up and see Jesus.”

I almost want to ban Richie from pre-Op. Last night he told me that he was going to go sit in the Chapel while I was in surgery. Do you blame me? I’m going to tell him to go and see a movie and trust that God has this in the bag.

Now I’ve got to go shave my legs, my underarms and wash my hair. I’m not sure when I’ll be able to that again.

Just got a SMS from Dan saying “Google task of the morning look up Heidelberg Catechism focussing on Qu 27 & 28. Dooooo it” He is so funny.

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High Five for God! Rocking and rolling :) – Taken in post-Op

10 May 2012
Went to bed filled with thankfulness and woke up overflowing with thankfulness to God. I totally felt amazing yesterday when I came out into Post-Op. That is because God was totally carrying me right through the whole thing.

Downsides of the whole thing:
Can’t wear a bra
These drugs make me so woosey that I can’t think straight – at all.

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Recuperating in the sun – love winter sun at Ferndale

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Stupid drugs.

17 May 2012 – Morning:
I feel like its Christmas. I’m getting a present today and I don’t know what it is. I’m a little excited and a little anxious… more excited though. You know how you get sometimes when you get a present, and you don’t like it or it doesn’t fit and you hope that there is a return/exchange voucher in that box so you can take the present back?!?

Anyway, I have a funny feeling the results are going to come out inconclusive.

Through the journey so far I have had three pictures in my mind:
1. The underarm of Jesus – this is the picture I had ready to “take me to my happy place” when they gave me the anesthetic last week. The sneaky buggers gave it to me without any warning. I think it was because I was so relaxed and happy. The underarm of Jesus is where you find warmth, protection, strength, security, rest.

2. I heard God clearly say to me in Dr Duffy’s surgery: “You’re in My boat.” When Dr Duffy mentioned the words specialist and lymphoma my immediate thought was God I need you in my boat – I need you. When I heard His words it was like he came down face to face, between Dr Duffy and myself and pointed to me lovingly and reassured me that He has got this. “You’re in My boat.”

3. In the shadow of His wings. Since those incredible images, I’ve felt it has been quiet on the “Bec & God” front. I read this week a quote that went something like “It’s extremely quiet when you are tucked under the wings of the Father.” This is exactly how I feel. It’s deathly quiet. But I’m protected, I’m secure and God is battling this “whatever” for me.

17 May 2012 – Night:
I’m a walking miracle. It’s nothing but a miracle when your Oncologist says to you “Well it’s good news. I’m really stoked actually, because I was 90% convinced that you had Lymphoma.” Out of the mouth of an Associate Professor who is top of his field. “If I was a betting man…”

What an amazing day. I laid in bed with the electric blanket on and secretly planned not to get up – it was too warm and cozy.

But I gritted my teeth and went to work for a couple of hours and then got picked up by Gret and Cade and taken to Sam’s to hang out for a few hours together with Lysh and Auntie Betty.

There were tears and laughing and an enormous amount of relief when we (just Richie and I) sat just outside the doctor’s surgery and started to make the calls. First Mum and Dad who were at home at #2, then Vanessa who was at work, then Rod and Derna and then we sent text messages to everyone else to let them know.

“NO LYMPHOMA Praise God, completely benign. But something is up with my immune system. My Oncologist said “I’m pretty stoked really! I was 90% convinced you were going to have some kind of Lymphoma.” He said that he only got the final results this morning. Total miracle. Thank you for your prayers and support, Bec & Richie.”

All glory to God – He hasn’t finished with me yet.

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Girlfriend photo post-Oncologist appointment

Wednesday Words to Live By – 2 Corinthians 13:14

2 Corinthians 13:14

New International Version (NIV)

14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

grace love fellowship

Found here or on Instagram via @goodnessfeed

I saw this on Instagram this morning and gave my self a face palm. This would have been a perfect “goodbye” for the last Soul Sisters Night last year. Why, why, why (?!?) didn’t I choose my words better.

How lovely is it to know you can have grace, love and fellowship from Jesus, God the Father and the Holy Spirit?

…. and YAY for a new blog theme!!!!

Colour Conference 2012

This year I was able to attend Colour with my Mum and one of my besties.

Like always we had an amazing time.

I don’t want to spoil it for the girls who are attending Conference 2, but below are some instagrams from our time at the conference.

Hello Brooke – she is so gifted.

There were women everywhere! Heaps of pregnant women too!

This is Karyn enlightening Mum on some random topic – there were tears of laughter!

I loved this part of the program where they gave a bike. We were in tears.

I’m sorry, but I love this woman. Bobbie is hilarious! Plus she is full of wisdom and encouragement.

Some of the gems, or pearls of wisdom, I picked up from the conference include:

“Let’s be an oasis of peace in a world gone crazy.” Bobbie Houston

“Every seed of destiny needs to be sown in good soil.” Bobbie Houston referring to Psalms 92:12-15

“It’s very fashionable to save the world – let us not ever let the main focus be lost. We must point people home to the Father. People need clear signposts home. Home to God, home to Heaven.” Bobbie Houston

“How different our lives would be if we addressed ourselves and all around us were refered to ‘Most Loved Disciple’.” Beth Moore

“You are the SHE in the WE.” Beth Moore referring to John 20:2

“When Jesus was around, Mary Magdalene was identified not by her past, but now identified what she was delivered to.” Beth Moore

“You can’t afford to live in the ‘One day when…’ fantasy land.” Donna Crouch

“No matter how old we are, we are called to serve the Lord. We can’t lay down, we have to rise up and continue.” Betty Johnson, Pastoral Carer who lost her husband in the last 6 months.

“When we talk, nothing happens. When He talks, worlds come into existence.” Priscilla Shirer

“Don’t get caught up in your temporary circumstances that you don’t realise that eternal plans are being served.” Priscilla Shirer

“Don’t doubt Him, just come to Him. Don’t invest so much energy in debating and doubting, use this energy to seek Him.” Priscilla Shirer

“For the applause of Heaven, not of people.” Priscilla Shirer

“God: Stop gambling with my Grace.” Priscilla Shirer

“The Bible is a rescue plan for lost people.” Priscilla Shirer

“When you are marked by God, you don’t need to be marketed by man.” Christine Caine

 

If you are keen to read what my take-aways were from last year, you can read about it here

Wednesday Words To Live By – John 3:16

My Wednesday Words are totally late (not if you live in the USA!!!), but I am still going to post this one today.

While waiting for a client this morning (at the sparrows crack! N.B. I’ve combined sparrow’s fart with crack of dawn – thanks Dad for pulling me up on it ;P) to sign some contracts, I was browsing Pinterest and found this:

*Found here on Pinterest – FYI – not a massive fan of the original blog site name and that’s kinda why I have referred you to Pinterest… you’ll work it out.

I love it this tat, but to be honest, I’m not the kinda gal to get one… but I think it is pretty amazing.

This is my favourite translation of the above verse:

John 3:16

The Message (MSG)

 16-18“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again.

Wednesday Words To Live By – Mathew 28:19

Photo: Taken in the foyer at Mamarapha College, Perth, W.A.

After Jesus died for us on the cross and rose again, and before he ascended to Heaven, he gave his disciples the above instruction/charge/commission. The story is explained in Matthew 28… It’s known as “The Great Commission”.

Matthew 28:16-20 The Message (MSG)

16-17Meanwhile, the eleven disciples were on their way to Galilee, headed for the mountain Jesus had set for their reunion. The moment they saw him they worshiped him. Some, though, held back, not sure about worship, about risking themselves totally.18-20Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.”

What I love about this verse is that he was very clear on what he wanted the disciples, and us, to do. Heavy, but awesome.

The part I like the best however, is His last sentence: “I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.” is such an incredible promise – the level of reassurance is brilliant.

Hope you are enjoying your Wednesday!

Happy Sabbath from Madeira

20110806-025222.jpgSabbath Lunch at Marcus’ Grandma & Grandpa’s

Happy Sabbath from Madeira.

I haven’t blogged since last month – it’s been a bit of a hiatus and that is because there has been no time to blog during this crazy week. I really need to go back and fill in the blanks since Lourdes.

At lunch today Marcus asked me why I hadn’t blogged about Madeira.

I told him I didn’t like it.

I lied.

So here it is Marcus!!!

This place is incredible. The landscape is stunningly diverse. The mountains feel like the Himalayas (summits more like Aussie alpine), the small fishing village up the road looks like something from the Greek Isles and the weather feels kinda like Hawaii. There are no level roads in Funchal, except for the freeway to the airport. You either go up or down the side of the mountain and the roads are steep and narrow.

My photos are going to be a bit ordinary so you need to watch out for my blogging sister… hint hint Fan!

We’ve had a fun time in Madeira, (that’s a bit of an understatement really) and no doubt we’ll come back and do some more walking and exploring in a few years with Marcus and Vanessa.

20110806-025314.jpgThe view from Grandma’s driveway

20110806-025339.jpgFishing village at Camera de Lobos – close to where Winston Churchill lived

20110806-030545.jpg Summit of Pico do Arieiro – 3rd highest mountain on 1818 metres. This is where we opened Sabbath last night.

Happy Sabbath from Toulouse, France

Hi Team.

Happy Sabbath from Toulouse.

We went to church this morning and met some really nice people who spoke to us in English. This is a big deal for us, because we haven’t found a lot of people south of Carcassonne who do – our Frenglish is getting a massive work-out. The service was in French and I impressed Richie with how I sang along to all the french praise and worship songs. Just as we perfect our Frenglish, we’ll cross the boarder and start speaking Spanglish.

Back to our hotel we went for a relaxing arvo and Richie played YouTube vids of his favourite hymns. Hilariously, he sung along to every one of them. He came across this one which I felt I needed to share. The honky-tonk piano rules and the kid is a classic.

Enjoy!

Get your WOSE on!

As mentioned in my previous post, this week was full-on.

Richie hosted WOSE (Week of Spiritual Emphasis) at his school (Sydney Adventist College) this year alongside the Pastoral Team and Jodi Wright from NZ. Remember last year? You can read all about that here.

This year he seemed to pack more into the week including music and choir workshops for the kids with Endless Praise, “Pasta with the Pastor” and of course the favourite each year, “Pancakes with the Pastor”. Here is a little vid from one of the workshops…

This vid is from Friday morning’s Praise & Worship

Some of the below picts are a little out of focus, but I figured you wouldn’t care. They were taken on Friday night.

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Above is the lovely Linda who worked beside Richie as the program coordinator.

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Billy and Jono Otto came down to play on Friday night.

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Benton and Caitlin did a great job of the ice-breakers each day, and on Friday night they got Marcus up to do the Pedometer challenge against a few of the kids. It was hilarious!

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Beyond Words…

This is highlighted in my copy of Steps to Christ.

“The heart of God yearns over His earthly children with a love stronger than death. In giving up His Son, He has poured out to us all heaven in one gift. The Saviour’s life and death and intercession, the ministry of angels, the pleading of the Spirit, the Father working above and through all, the unceasing interest of heavenly beings,–all are enlisted in behalf of man’s redemption.”
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I am beyond words.

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This is Love

 

1 John 4:9 (New King James Version)

9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.

How great has your Easter been?

My Good Friday adventure was fun, and church yesterday was brilliant. Last night I got to hang with VP with a little Gossip Girl and Glee.

But unfortunately this morning I burnt my 1 and a half Hot Cross Buns. They were the left-overs from the dozen Gret brought on Friday night.

So what did you get up to?

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Wednesday Words to Live By – Mark 10:13-16

 

I found the above image on Flickr one day when I was scouting for inspiration. It is entitled “Comfort” and is of the photographers mother, another pastor’s wife, and his niece.

“My mother asked me to take a picture of her and my niece. I thought this expressed the bond between Grandmother and Grandchild.” Mark Patton explains on his Flickr site.

Truth is, I could see my Mums hands on that Bible and my daughters hands, lightly wrapped around hers.

Mark 10:13-16 (The Message)

13-16The people brought children to Jesus, hoping he might touch them. The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus was irate and let them know it: “Don’t push these children away. Don’t ever get between them and me. These children are at the very center of life in the kingdom. Mark this: Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in.” Then, gathering the children up in his arms, he laid his hands of blessing on them.

I love this bit. It’s a “Don’t mess with me” statement made by Jesus: “Don’t ever get between them and me. These children are at the very center of life in the kingdom.”

Mark Patton retains all rights to the above image “Comfort” – please contact him directly through Flickr for details and permission to use.

Wednesday Words to Live By is inspired by She Smiles A The Future

Colour

Happy Sabbath peeps!

Last weekend, I was at Colour and it was awesome.

For me it is like a spiritual reality check each year.

Taken with my LX5 - hello newb!

 It’s an opportunity to step out of the ordinary and into a bubble where I can examine what is in my heart and what God has on His heart for me.

Worship was amazing - Loved that we all faced into each other.

It’s just a bunch of girls (ok, so 10,000 of them!) in one room, from all different types of churches, without prejudice or judgement, worshipping God and learning about current global humanitarian projects.

Screens were amazing

I got to hang with the Gold Coast “Coast-Lifers”, Bronny and Carrie now New South Welshmen, and the Lovely Mon who goes to our church at K-Ville. Mum was also able to come one of the days which I loved.

Our little friend Leila at her first Colour

Packed to the rafters

 

Some of my favourite Colour bits and pieces:

“Passion is energy to the soul. Hype is energy without sincerity.” Jeanne Mayo

“Fear is not the opposite of faith, it’s putting your faith in the wrong things.” Craig Groeschel

“God didn’t anoint Governments to heal the world, He anointed the Church.” Bobbie Houston

Based on Eph 2:8 “Christ saved you – it was a gift from God. We are not saved by good works, but we are saved for good works.” Craig Groeschel

“Our beauty is not just in our form, but beauty is created in our function.” Craig Groeschel

“He uses everything in your life to bring about His purpose.” Craig Groeschel

“If you don’t like yourself – let God remake you.” Craig Groeschel

“A title can never give you true authority, a character can only do that.” Jeanne Mayo

“Happiness is an inside job – develop character in your present that’s needed in your future!” Jeanne Mayo

“Our marriages were never made meant to be a power struggle. Our marriage is a power union.” Lisa Bevere

Enjoy your weekend!

Sermon Prep

What does sermon prep look like in our house?

Prayer – lots of it. Happens everyday, every night, on the way to work… If you don’t have the Holy Spirit then you don’t have a sermon. You just have a story with no Godly substance. Divine inspiration is what it’s about.

The Word – the ultimate Road Map to life; a glimpse into Our Fathers heart and a glimpse in the Man who talked the talk and walked the walk. Instruction for this life and preparation for the next in Heaven.

Music – usually Gaither. Yep, Gaither. Plenty of it. Richie almost wet himself with excitement when he heard that they are coming to Sydney next year. Gaither music gets this Pastors focus set on The Cross.

Then it ends with…

“Babe, do you want to hear my sermon?”

Growing Spiritually

Last Friday I received our Church e-Newsletter “What’s On” and the devotional at the top of the newsletter caught my eye. I really liked it and wanted to share it.

This week we picked the first tomatoes and cucumber’s from our garden plot. Earlier in the week we harvested cabbage, silver beet, carrots, broccoli, lettuce, and rocket etc from the patch. The amazing thing is that we have never seen these vegetables actually growing. The broccoli and cabbage plants we grew from tiny seeds – similar to the size of a grain of sand. They were planted in special soil which was watered regularly. After a few days of sunshine, water and healthy soil little leaves burst through the dirt. With regular watering they grew until we transplanted them into the main garden. But we never saw them growing, but they did! That’s why we’ve been enjoying garden soup and beautiful salads. These plants grew enough and matured enough to harvest.

Spiritual growth is like that. Children are planted in the soil of healthy Christian home’s where what you do is more important than what is said. The Body of Christ, the Church is also soil (healthy or unhealthy) into which people are ‘planted’. When the Son of Righteousness beams into our souls through parents, significant others and via the Holy Spirit at church the seeds of genuine Christianity sprout. Through Bible reading, prayer, and meditation; through involvement in Sabbath School, the Church Services and life of the Church we interact and grow. All of a sudden we realise that seeds of spirituality, planted years ago are blossoming in the lives of young people and adults. What was a mere ‘mustard’ seed grows into a healthy Christian person, nurtured by caring parents and ‘significant other’ church people. These people become engaged in the service of the Church and serve others, helping, caring and sharing God’s love.

Peters writes “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10. I invite you as parents and Church members to share God’s grace today and every day so that people with whom you live, mix with and associate with, will grow spiritually.

Pastor Alex Curry

I really liked this in particular: “I invite you as parents and Church members to share God’s grace today and every day so that people with whom you live, mix with and associate with, will grow spiritually.”

So who are you going to share God’s grace with today?

Photo Courtesy of http://tinyurl.com/2egfmb3