Blessed To Be A Blessing!

Sue’s Views
It has been a delight to see people helping others over the past few days. Times of crisis often bring out the best in people. They make us realise how blessed we are. I love the way this fountain is designed. Each branch is set at just the right angle to be able to receive water from the branch above while ….. at the same time ….. passing water on to the branch below. That’s a great picture of our lives. We receive ….. and we give. In that way we never become stagnant. The blessings we receive are not for us ….. but for others.

Blame Game

Sue’s Views
Whenever a disaster happens ….. it seems we have to find someone to blame! ‘It’s the governments fault’ ….. or the council ….. or climate change! Whilst we need to be accountable and as prepared as we possibly can ….. there will always be incidents that are unexpected or beyond our ability to prevent. The fact is ….. we live in a fallen world. The majority of people mean well ….. but the human heart is basically selfish. Right from the beginning ….. Adam blamed Eve ….. and Eve blamed the devil! And yes ….. ultimately he is to blame ….. but we have choices whether or not to listen to his lies and temptations. I remember being taught that when I point the finger at someone ….. there are three fingers pointing back at me! Ouch!

Signs

After a weekend of mayhem around our city due to torrential rain and flooding ….. I came home from work last night to these sights! The double rainbow was so big and seemed so close that I couldn’t get it in one photo. The sky looked golden and everything seemed to glow! I take it as a sign of hope for our city. The first rainbow was God’s promise to never destroy the earth by flooding again after Noah’s flood. And He will keep His promise. But it could be a sign of something else! 
“When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes.”
Jesus is going to return to this earth one day ….. and it could be very soon! Are you ready?

School Holiday Fun

Sue’s Views
The school holidays are almost over and Mums are no doubt breathing a sigh of relief! I spent some time with these darlings yesterday! We decided to go for a walk and told these two to hold hands when we crossed the road. They proceeded to hold hands all the way! So precious! Both are 4 years old and both thought they were ‘looking after’ the other one! Well done Mums and Dads for making it through!

How Big Are Your Dreams?

Sue’s Views
How big are your dreams? Many little boys are impressed by diggers or excavators and dream of driving one some day. I wonder if this crane operator ever dreamed he’d be doing this! Seeing this sight yesterday gave me a quick lesson on perspective ….. and challenged me to think about the size of my dreams. God is so much greater than most of us realise ….. and His dreams for us are way bigger than our wildest dreams!
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
    and no mind has imagined
what God has prepared
    for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9

Supernatural!

Sue’s Views
Today’s movies and tv shows reflect a facination for the Supernatural. From zombies and werewolves to superheroes and avatars ….. there is no limit to the possibilities. The definition of ‘supernatural’ is ‘attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature.’ To me ….. living a supernatural life means living above the standards and limitations of our natural tendencies. Jesus ….. the greatest super hero of all times ….. was the perfect example. He taught his disciples to ‘love their enemies’ ….. ‘to do good to those who persecuted them’ ….. ‘to go the second mile’ ….. ‘to give sacrificially’. Not exactly hit movie material ….. but things that require power beyond our selves. He gave us that power by sending the Holy Spirit to be our helper ….. guide ….. strength ….. and everything we need to overcome our enemy. In His own words: 
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released,
that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free,
and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.”

Self Image

Sue’s Views
What do you see when you look in the mirror? The image we have of ourselves is often distorted by low self esteem. It’s like looking through a filter that highlights all our imperfections and flaws. We are drawn to the lines on our face ….. the blemishes on our skin ….. and the extra weight we are carrying.  Next time ….. try to look past all that and see someone who is doing their best to live a good life ….. working hard ….. and giving to others. God’s idea of beauty is very different to ours. He is more concerned with your heart than your outward appearance!

Ancient Paths

Sue’s Views
 After a recent visit to our city of Auckland ….. I was interested to see some of the iconic buildings that still exist but are now dwarfed by the more modern structures. These historic buildings represent Auckland city to me! They have been there all my life …..are established ….. and (let’s face it) there’s no comparison between the old and new architecture! It reminds me of how ideas have changed. Beliefs we have grown up with are being challenged and questioned by concepts that overshadow and obliterate what we’ve always known as truth. We need to be forward thinking and progress is good ….. but truth is truth and ….. when it is changed ….. it becomes a lie. 
“Ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”
—  Jeremiah 6:16

Suddenly!

Sue’s Views
I love the way this very ordinary plant suddenly produces these beautiful flowers! We can sometimes feel ‘ugly’ and unproductive. We tell ourselves ‘This is as good as it gets for me’. But ….. little do we know ….. that through our struggles and disappointment ….. something wonderful is being produced within us! It might seem a long time coming. It might seem like everyone else is blooming but not you. But your ‘suddenly’ is coming! Then it will all make sense!

Keep On Keeping On!

Sue’s Views
So much of the Christian journey is about perseverance ….. endurance ….. and determination. That’s because we are facing so much opposition! We are going against the flow ….. pushing back the forces of darkness ….. and resisting the devil’s attempts to make us conform! Jesus said “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” If you are struggling ….. don’t give up! This is not the time to rest ….. but it’s coming! For now ….. we must:
 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8 NLT