Seeds for Growth

Weekly reflections to encourage and inspire


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Can you let go?

“As you mature you let go of power and grow into wisdom.
Let go and let people come to you of their own volition.”

I heard the above said at a professional learning session the other day. It got me thinking that we must have the same attitude as Christ Jesus, Philippians 2:5.

To let go of “power” or in other words “control” we have to fight an inherent desire to be selfish. Often I have found the temptation is to cling to relationships or positions of leadership because I am afraid of what I may lose if I let go.

I believe that if we love something or someone we are to let “it” or “them” go, that is wisdom. If it remains or returns to you it means that there is an ability to see and act in the interests of others and there is a genuine freedom and health in the relationship or circumstance.

Can you hold everything lightly? in the palm of your hand? Are you afraid to loosen your grip?

We are immature when we have difficulty seeing things from another view point and don’t concern ourselves with the interests of others. When we tightly cling onto and control what we most love and desire.

Jesus always concerned Himself with what was best for another person.

Jesus never forces us to come to Him. He has our best interests at heart. In His wisdom He lets us “His beloved sons and daughters” GO so that we can come to Him of our own volition. Our relationship with Him is not one of control but love and freewill.

That is wisdom and this is LOVE.

Until next time

Leisa


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# PUSH

The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages.

Even youths grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall.
But those who HOPE in the Lord will RENEW their STRENGTH; they will SOAR on wings like eagles.
Isaiah 40

We all get tired and may be for some of you this year’s theme of soaring seems tiresome.
You may not have the energy for it. Many of you over the holidays have been enjoying hanging out in your “nests” ie bedrooms, friend’s bedrooms, homes with family and friends and you have become very comfortable.
Just like a baby eagle in their nest high up in the trees, where they have their food bought them and all their needs provided for.

But if they are going to learn to SOAR they have to leave the nest.
The mother has to PUSH them out of the nest.

Why does the thrill of SOARING have to begin with the fear of falling?
Like the eagle you are born to fly, to soar, to rise above your circumstances and become the  men and women that God has made you to be.

There are great plans for your lives, great HOPE and a FUTURE.

But we all need a PUSH or we will be content to stay in our nests.
Some of you may be afraid to leave your comfort zones.
Some of you may not want to leave your comfort zones, for you there is no reason to.
Some of you will be excited to SOAR and can’t wait to leap out of the nest.
2015 will push and stretch you (in the nicest possible way) to reach your potential and God is with you every step of the way.

He will never leave you nor forsake you and that is for each and every one of you, not just those of you who are Christians.

He is never too tired or busy to help or listen.

His strength is your strength so that you can rise on wings like eagles.

So allow yourself to be #PUSHED! It will be OK!

Until next time

Leisa


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What is soaring?

The Eagle is a bird of freedom.
The wings of an eagle allow them to fly and soar on a wind thermal.
Eagles reduce the energy necessary for flight by bringing their relatively large wings (per body weight) over thermal columns of rising air, without being destroyed.
This enables them to soar through the air and rise above potential difficulties.
The eagle is an aerodynamic marvel, a perfect flying machine, well able to maintain lengthy periods of flight without undue exertion, except for the occasional flap of the wing tips, to counter wind currents.
Eagles soar higher than practically any other bird as they understand the thermal currents more than most, if not all birds.
Airline pilots intercept eagles soaring above the heights few other birds could achieve.

This  year is about learning to SOAR.

What would allow you to ride above the thermal/currents of life?
I am very aware that each and every one of us are unique and have our own individual stories.
For some of you it may be a struggle because life for you is like a strong current that wants to pull you down.

While for others you may be gliding but you could go onto higher heights but don’t know how to get there because you don’t understand how to ride the current.
Not one of you is the same.
You all matter to God, He LOVES each of you very much and CARES about your lives whether you are gliding, soaring, flapping, or stuck in a strong current.
God has made us all unique individuals and that also means that life will have its own unique set of challenges for each of you.
As the eagle mounts the wind he’s in control but the thermal provides the power, and the lift, to enable him to soar higher, longer and further.
We can learn to soar without effort.
For a Christian the presence of God is within them, the Holy Spirit helps to keep us afloat.
When the Spirit of God lives in you He will carry you to the thermal currents so that you glide and work through with Him, all of life’s challenges and difficulties.
May 2015 be a year when you learn to SOAR.

Until next time

Leisa


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2015 A Year to SOAR

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But those who HOPE in the LORD will renew their strength. They will SOAR on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31

As Christians we are challenged not to live a mediocre life that is mundane and boring.
Jesus says, in

John 10:10
I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.

That is what God still wants for us today, to live abundantly, to rise above the average in life, to seize the moment and to really live.
No matter what your circumstances or the circumstances in our world today.
My challenge for you  is to become ‘Eagle Christians’, Christians who take God at His word ie believe the bible and allow God to move through your lives to reach others and teach them how to SOAR.
Many people are not soaring because they do not know Jesus.
Or they do know Jesus but are hurting and struggling with their own problems and need to be encouraged in their walk with Him
May be you are one of those people.
We are all not exempt from life’s problems and I encourage you to be real with one another and pray for one another in your ups and downs in life.
The question is
“Are you willing to become a spiritual eagle?”
I grew up in church and always believed in God. I went to a Christian school and thought I was a Christian. Christianity had become a way of life for me.
When I was 17 and went to University I discovered the
Christians didn’t just believe in God but lived like He was a priority in their life.
They put God first in everything they did.
Soon after I made a decision that I didn’t just want Jesus as my saviour – someone who I knew had died for my sins and secured a place in heaven for me, but I also wanted to make Him LORD of my Life.
That meant me moving over and letting Him take the steering wheel and drive my life, I would take my hands off and let Him take control.
Can I share this is a BIG key in how to SOAR in life, by letting Jesus be Lord of your life.
You cannot do this in your own strength you need the STRENGTH, FREEDOM, POWER, COURAGE, and FAITHFULNESS of God to assist you.
You cannot be strong, free, powerful, courageous and faithful without God’s help and His Holy Spirit who lives in you.
And the way to receive that is by making Him Lord and learning to TRUST in Him as your Lord and Saviour.
This is a life long journey and one you will not regret taking.

Until next time

Leisa


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Final thoughts for 2014

This year has been one of reflections for me with Seeds for Growth.
If I were to summarize where I am in my journey this year it would be

…..make every effort to be found spotless and blameless and at peace with Him.
2 Peter 3: 11-18

I have learnt that we need to make every effort to be pure and holy, that we should strive after this; but not from our own self effort but from a love relationship with our Saviour.

Peace is found when we can accept that despite all our best efforts to be found spotless we can’t be spotless in our own strength, nor does God expect us to be.

The irony is He LOVES us just as we are, in our MESS.

We don’t need to find value in pre-eminence, prosperity, position, promotions, or popularity.
We don’t have to be right, or first, or recognised or praised, or rewarded.

We don’t have to PROVE ourselves to any one, He LOVES and ACCEPTS us where we are.

God urges us to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus the author and perfecter of our FAITH and to TRUST Him in His way and time to make us more and more like Jesus.

We can find PEACE in the tension of our brokenness and the call to be holy, blameless and spotless.

I look forward to writing in 2015 where the year’s theme for Seeds for Growth is SOAR.

Have a Happy New Year and thanks for following this blog.

Leisa


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Thought’s on Identity

This past week I have been studying Shelia Walsh’s series ‘The Storm Inside’

Trade the Chaos of How you Feel for the Truth of Who You Are.

The study is written for women and looks at the lives of 8 key women in the bible and how they trade the lies from strong emotions for God’s truths of who He says they are.
I have read a lot about my Identity in Christ throughout the years. In fact when I came to understand who I was in Christ it was key to moving me forward in healing.
Twenty years on I still have to remind myself who I am in Jesus and firmly decide to embrace what He says about me and not the lies that satan wants to implant in my thought’s.
Life will throw storms our way and how we respond to those storms can make or break us. The storms I faced twenty years ago are different to the storms I have faced in 2014.
It intrigued me that I can still struggle with the same strong emotions of Fear, Regret, Shame, Insecurity, Insignificance, Despair, Disappointment etc ( that Shelia mentions in her book) today but in relation to different circumstances. The lies I had once conquered can be cleverly reborn by the kingdom of darkness as new “storms” come our way.
We have to become alert to this enemy tactic to resew what ground has been taken. Strong emotions can resurface when new challenges and circumstances come our way and it can be easy to slip back into old habits of believing
• God is not good
• God does not love me
• I am unworthy etc etc
I am challenged afresh to stand on the TRUTH of who God says I am and to believe as Shelia Walsh says
Jesus IS GREATER than ANY STORM We FACE!’
If you are struggling with your identity I encourage you to read and do ‘The Storm Inside’ series by Shelia Walsh and guys Neil T Andersons ‘Who I am in Christ’
If you feel OK and know who you are in Christ remain vigilant and be aware of those strong emotions that may try and rock your position in Christ.
Stand firm and hold onto your position in Christ for we have been

raised up together and seated together in the Heavenly Places with Christ Jesus”
Ephesians 2:6

Until next time

Leisa


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The Lord is my helper

The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid.

What can man do to me?

Hebrews 13:6

Did you know that the Lord is your helper? Sometimes I forget that. When the troubles of life pile up I can find myself trying to do it all in my own strength. I can find myself “flapping around” trying to fix my problems, making little progress.
For example, many times I have felt overwhelmed with the challenge of autism in my son’s life and the struggle that goes with it. There are so many appointments to manage and therapies to work on at home that in my own strength it would have been impossible to keep up.
I quickly found myself burning out. Then the Lord gently reminded me of

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles.

Isaiah 40:31

What does that mean practically to me I asked Jesus?
He replied, “the eagle is a bird of freedom and I want you to learn to be free in me. I am your helper do not be afraid, I will help you”
“How?” I asked Jesus “I can’t just change into a “relaxed person when things are so stressful”
Jesus again replied “ journey with me closely and I will teach you to fly like an eagle”
The wings of an eagle allow them to fly and soar on a wind thermal without being destroyed.
Jesus was telling me He does not want me or you to be destroyed by the trauma’s, difficulties, challenges and sorrows that life throws our way.
He wants us to stop flapping in our own strength and soar in the power and strength of His. That can only occur if we embark on a personal journey of trust and love with Jesus.
Are you up for the challenge?
It is not easy learning to rest and do life His way and not in our own strength.

I have discovered HIS WAY is the ONLY WAY and the reward is peace and intimacy with our Heavenly Father who loves to help us in our time of trouble.

Until next time

Leisa


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Unknown but Known

Last night I watched a movie called ‘Unknown’
Dr. Martin Harris (Liam Neeson) awakens after a car accident in Berlin to discover that his wife (January Jones) suddenly doesn’t recognize him and another man (Aidan Quinn) has assumed his identity. Ignored by disbelieving authorities and hunted by mysterious assassins, he finds himself alone, tired and on the run. Aided by an unlikely ally (Diane Kruger), Martin plunges headlong into a deadly mystery that will force him to question his sanity, his identity, and just how far he’s willing to go to uncover the truth.
The hero in this movie is in an extreme situation. He is on a quest to regain his identity. Spoiler alert – only he discovers he is not who he thought he was . It turns out that he is a trained killer (an assassin) and when he discovers this he is horrified and seeks to undo a murder plot he has been part of.
For the majority of this movie Martin Harris genuinely believes that he is a “good  man who loves his wife” Yet he has no idea about the seriousness of his reality, what he is involved in and the consequences of it upon his life.
Fortunately for Martin when he becomes aware of the reality of his life he is very sorry and intercepts a bomb he planted that is scheduled to kill many and target specifically one man.
Sin is serious.
Deception is serious.
Many people in our world are unaware of the reality of sin and the consequence it has upon their lives.
How many people live one way looking like “good people” on the outside when in reality their lives are anything but “good?”
How easy it is to be deceived? even genuinely deceived.
You don’t have to be an assassin in a car crash with amnesia to be deceived.
The apostle Peter was deceived, he denied knowing  Jesus,yet believed himself to be a man of integrity; Judas was deceived and betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.
How well did these men know themselves?
Not very well I dare say. Yet Jesus knew them, they were not a mystery to Him.
Despite the deception Jesus offered a path of restoration. Peter accepted it and Judas rejected it.
I find it fascinating that Jesus at the last supper offers Judas communion first, he is giving him a chance.
We may not know ourselves very well but we are completely known to God. Martin in the movie (if this was real life) was completely known and his life did not surprise God.
Martin was sorry and made a choice to face his reality and walk a path of restoration.
Your life does not surprise God.
Could you be real like Martin and accept your reality whatever that is, maybe it is facing debt, coming to terms with the fact your spouse is never coming back, the impact of abuse on your life, addictive behaviour etc etc
Once the first step of acknowledging the truth of your reality is embraced know that we have a God who says in
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we deceive ourselves and make Him out to be a liar and His word is not in us.
When we face reality and let the unknown in our lives become known to ourselves and confess it to our creator, then we are made pure and like just as if we had never sinned.
Gina says to Martin in the movie
“What matters is what you do now, Martin.”
What matters is what we do now.
Will you remain in deception like Judas who walked a road that lead to death or be like Peter who allowed Jesus to heal and restore him?
It is not easy but I believe that Jesus wants us to be real because our unknowns are already known to Him.
Until next time
Leisa


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Stand and Face

This week I have been reading about and contemplating Joshua from the bible. Partly spurred on by the fact that he is known as a mighty warrior, a man of faith, and that 18 years ago I named my own son after him.
How interesting that he too is being led into the military and only God knows what battles lie before him.
Battles take on many shapes and forms. They can be personal ie gaining ground or victory in your life over a besetting sin or corporate ie taking a stand on an issue that is morally wrong in your community.
Battles require courage. They also require us to be able face fear and TRUST.
Often we are thrust into battle without even wanting it. For example, you may have to fight for custody of your children, for your property if it is threatened by a natural disaster etc
The Israelites had to move into battle if they were going to secure the Promised Land. There were giants that needed to be conquered so that they could live in peace.
When Joshua and Caleb came back and reported what they found the Israelites were terrified and they did not want to move into the land of milk and honey they had been promised.
Consequently they continued to wander in the wilderness while it was the next generation that was willing to fight and stand their ground.
Phillip Keller in his book Joshua says on page 20
Our role in life is to trust God, no matter how difficult the situation may appear. We are not here to dispute our dilemma with Him, nor challenge His capacity to care for us, nor question His management of our affairs.
To me that seemed a harsh statement when I first read it, but I have come to grasp the authors wisdom.
Much ground is lost when we dispute and question our dilemma for hours on end with God rather than standing and fighting with God’s strength the battles laid before us.
The Israelites seriously questioned God’s wisdom in leading them into the Promised Land and as a result they never entered in, they died in the desert.
Are you your own worst enemy when it comes to accomplishing God’s intentions for you?
Sometimes I feel we spend so much time resisting what God has for us because we are fearful of what may happen.
If we are not careful we can become like the Israelites who allowed themselves to be swallowed by fear and died in a desert wasteland.
I don’t know about you but I want to learn to TRUST and OBEY for there is no other way so that I can enter into all that God has for me.
He is with you in the battles you face today!
Until next time

Leisa