Monday, 21 September 2015

When a mustard seed is all you need, because God understands small

The Bible is full of possibilities. It makes a mockery of being boxed in and colouring within lines of expectations. It's within the best selling book of all time that we learn of infinite possibilities.

It's where we learn that dry bones can live, if you speak to it and let God breathe life into it.

It's where a boy can defeat a giant with a sling, a stone and God's unseen hand.

It's where Daniel can sit with the king of the Jungle and not be moved.

If you don't believe me, ask Moses about the Red Sea.

There is another way to phrase the possibilities of the Bible. In one word.    


I've been to a lot of churches. I attended one, where hugs were new every Sunday morning. Their patron saint was Thomas the Apostle. Yes. Doubting Thomas.

I like Thomas. He was real. Honest. He said 'Except I shall see in his hands the prints of the nails,and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side,I will not believe.'(John 20:25)He would not believe,even though his fellow disciples told him they had seen him. And who could blame him?  Do we always believe others when they say they have had an encounter with Jesus?

Thomas the disciple wasn't an extra ordinary human, he was just a mere man, Jesus- another man that walked alongside him.


How could Thomas after seeing Jesus' miracles, had the benefit of his teaching, having eaten with him, drank with him, learning at his feet not believe that Jesus could overcome death and be raised from the dead? Didn't he remember what happened with Lazarus?

He didn't believe because he was a mere mortal, as mortals we often suffer from forgetfulness and preface hard things not as possibilities but as impossible.

The possibilities are infinite in God.

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith, it is Impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.'

The Bible is about possibilities.

That word faith, the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1) is poignant.

We live in a tangible world. We see all we want, we hold, touch, feel and smell everything we hold dear.And many things we don't. Evidence is tangible, it can be proven, over and over. It has a formula.

I was going through a difficult time, and a friend said, just have faith. Where do I buy that? How do I hold it and put it in a box? That is ...well...Impossible. In my search to find faith I landed on the verse, 'faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains'(Mathew 17:20). Hmmmm...I thought, OK, let's see how much faith I can muster. Then I did one thing. I Googled a mustard seed and the picture astounded me. It shamed my unbelief. It quieted impossible.It was small. So small.

The picture shifted things, I only had energy for small. Small could move a mountain. Small could slay giant.

Possibility slayed impossibility.

Now to pleasing God - if all things are possible in  Him and through Him, if He mentions impossible, you know it's serious. You know you've been sent straight to the principal's office. You're in big trouble!

A friend and I were talking recently and my doubts were exposed, yet again, and she reminded me - without faith, it's impossible to please God. Doubt is the absence of faith. Then you find yourself on the outside of God's will. You find yourself living with impossible when He already told you all is possible.

I'm a doubter, I think the reason I don't take anything at face value is because - I'm a thinker. I have an over active imagination and brain. I like to oppose just for the sake of opposing- because researching the opposing point is just more fun- it's more challenging. It goes against the grain.  After-all, what good is a brain if you don't exercise it? if you don't think things through;if you don't get your own understanding?

I believe I doubt because when I believe in things, in people, more often than not, they disappoint. And doubt started to accuse belief. It called belief a liar. A heart-breaker. A cheat. An impossible dream.

Doubt, like all things, has an origin, it begins with a planted seed. A seed that dies in us, a seed that we put out in sunlight. A seed we water. A seed that grows. A seed that bears fruit. The fruit of doubt, leave a stain on the teeth, and a bitter after taste on the tongue. It aches the belly. It blocks the heart. It rots the soul.

The fruits of doubt - fear- unbelief- insecurity-indifference- un-forgiveness - phobias. Impossibilities become endless.

The best way to kill a plant, is when it's a seed. The best way to kill a seed? Remove it from it's source of nourishment. This is one of the enemy's cleverest tricks.

Jesus knew we know and believe tangible, he knew we would wrestle with the body and the spirit man. I believe the mustard seed reference is deliberate. Its small, sometimes for most of us, it's the best that we can do- it's an apt small beginning  not to despise.

I understand small, sometimes all we see is small, all we feel is small, all we get is small. A small paycheck. A small raise. A small idea.A small start. Small makes many things possible. Even if you dream big- your biggest dream is small to God. You, he said cannot imagine all the things that he has planned for you. (1 Corinthians 2:9)Imagine that!

So much faith,possibilities, hope, purpose, can come from small.

There are times when having faith feels like that lie you tell yourself when you have a cheat day for 5 days straight. Others simplify it to being positive.Having good thoughts. Attracting positive energy from the 'universe'. Faith is more than positive thinking and I dare say bigger than the universe.

 I won't lie-faith is hard for me.Faith sometimes feels like hard concrete on soft shoulders. It's just not practical. 


That's where renewing of a mind comes in. When seeing the impossible becomes possible, when you lose your earthly vision and walk without the lines of expectations. You do that faith walk. You believe in possible dreams.

It is possible to please him, with faith, with belief, with holding on to the wind as it whistles through the trees.

I'll go with...blessed is he that will believe without seeing the nail pierced hand.(John 20:29) I'm there for that.

What is your 'possible' story? Share it here so we can grow in faith together.

Scripture Reading: Hebrews 11

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Saturday, 12 September 2015

When delay feels like denial and you are just about ready to give up

When delay feels like denial and I am just about ready to give up, I Yell.
I yell at the driver in front of me that's moving as slow as my dreams,
I yell at my children and watch their eyes die.
I yell at the chicken for burning in the pot, but mostly, I really just want to YELL at God.

I want to say :
Hey God, I am really sick and tired of being sick and tired. I'm really tired of this almost state of being. I almost there- but almost doesn't count! It doesn't! What good is an almost perfect job? What good is an almost perfect husband I have never met ? What good is an almost breakthrough? Tell me!!
Almost. It doesn't count and I'm just done.

Mr. Jesus- I'm almost done with you. But. Almost doesn't count.

You're four days late- Lord I don't understand why you waited so long! If you are like me, and you find yourself in a jam and you are looking to an all knowing God to solve it- four days is just that- 4 days. I am counting 1 - 2 - 3 - 4! Four days- I waited, your move - now show up- just show up already!

I'm living in earth's time. Not heaven's time. And for me - time is almost over.
If it's a season- well that's 3 months- why do I have to live a season that lasting for years though?

I'm not Joseph, I'm not Job, I'm not Father Abraham, I'm just me. Tanya.
An ordinary girl, in an ordinary world wondering where is my super-natural breakthrough. Why isn't God fighting for me? Why isn't he making a way for me? Why, if he grants the desires of your heart- he doesn't just do it already?

I almost feel abandoned - but - almost doesn't count.

I do suppose that Joseph must have felt just like me when he sat in that prison cell waiting for his God to show up and show out. I do suppose he had days like this. Days when he felt denied. I wonder if he at any time almost gave up on God? I wonder what he said to himself in those days when the wind left and the air was hot with disappointment.

Those almost state days are the days where the wind is totally sucked out of the atmosphere, and all you feel is an angry heat. You become hard with yourself. You become hard with others. Those days are filled with regret and next day apologies.

On these days though - Mr. Jesus doles out extra grace. You have to allow yourself to feel it. You have to let the wind back in. Grace always wins.

What do you do when delay feels like denial and you almost want to give up on God?

Remember that almost - well - it doesn't count.

Those days, when your feet hit the cold hard tiles of life, you stand, on solid ground- put one foot in front of the other and inhale. Feel that breath? It's the breath of life and you've still got it. There is no almost about that! Which means you better make it count!

On these days pray, praise, plan. In that order. 

On those days when delay masquerades itself as denial, remember those 2 days that the wind was sucked out of the atmosphere and the heat scarred the whole earth. Remember that day 3 didn't almost come - it came with a wind that lifts you up in perfect peace. Remember the price paid to redeem your dreams - your hopes - your fears- your tears.

On those days:
Be patient with yourself.
Be patient with others.
Be patient with God.

When you cant see his plan, when you don't understand- TRUST HIS HEART

Scripture readings; Genesis 37- 41(Joseph's Story), Isaiah 26:3

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Wednesday, 9 September 2015

What your shadow teaches you about God's perfect light

I don't like people in my personal space, its a pet peeve.

I claim an arms length - 360°. Stand outside that circle - please; unless I invite you in. 

That's rare.

I smile a lot, a lot- that's not an invitation. I laugh even more- again, not an 

invitation. I'm sociable, approachable, an extroverted introvert - not 

invitations to come into my circle.

I guard my 360°.

I'm not big on hugging.

My family knows, my friends know. My kids, well, they know but they don't really care about my 360° of separation. They get to come in. They are the exception to my stupidity. 

Before I even had kids, I started going to a church that hugged. A lot. Hugs were new every Sunday morning. I groaned in anticipation and did the Christian boy dates Christian girl kinna hug...what's that you ask? Well, its that hug where you're so far apart that a train could pass through. You pat each other on the back and smile- toothless. 

Yes, that's how I greeted somebody in Jesus' name. It went on for years, I improved a tad, sometimes, the space could only accommodate a bicycle and the pats on the back became rubs- I tried- it was the best I could do.

I'm not a fan of happy morning people. I roll my eyes at their gleefulness.

I wasn't a big fan of hugging in relationships either, and public displays of affection? Nope, not me. I am that girl that yells-' Get a room!' And those priceless Kodak moments you see at the airports? Where people hug and spin in the air after being apart for a New York minute?!

It's not like I don't love or I'm not happy to see a person after a few days or' happiness... is... Internal - yes- my happiness in an introvert.

And ain't nothing wrong with that!

Or is there?

Can you love with 360° of separation?

Psalm 91:1 - He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most high shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I was standing on the beach this summer, the sun tanning an X in my back, and I looked down and I was standing on my shadow. I hadn't seen my shadow in a bit, it's been following me around for ages but I just totally forgot about it. Adults lose the novelty and excitement of having a shadow.

But as shadows go, mine brought me to Psalm 91. How very close one has to be to another to be under their shadow!

I realized that I would be invading the Almighty's personal space to be under his shadow and my 360° of separation brought me to introspection. And a little bit of shame.

My mind took me investigating here,(the teacher in me) and I discovered to make a shadow you need just three things. 

1. Light 

2. An object 

3. A surface 

 Pretty simple stuff right?

The science of it is simply this, a shadow is made when an object blocks light- a dark object, the shadow will fall on the side farthest away from the light. If the light is before us the shadow falls behind us, if the light is behind of us, then the shadow falls in front get the picture right? 

Light - the Son - Jesus is the light of the world.(John 8:12)

An object- translucent and opaque - like us...dark...blocks the light.

A surface - earth - let's cast our shadow on that.

A shadow is that bridge

There is a 360° coverage of shadow wherever there is light. God's got you covered.Interestingly, the science also reveals that the closer you go towards the light source the bigger the shadow gets,the reverse also true- this speaks volumes. That shadow that Jesus invites you to abide under, envelopes you the closer you are but even IF you aren't as close as you should be, you are still protected. Hope for the non-believer and back-sliders. God says abide under the shadow. Close. Breath to breath. Sharing a secret place. A vulnerable place. Up close and in a personal space.

Jesus knew all about the secret place of the most high, when he was on earth, whenever he was about to start something major, he always separated Himself, prayed and fasted. That's how you abide under the shadow- that's how you claim the protection. He knew. 

Psalm 91 is powerful, filled with promises. I used to read it and think, this could never apply to me, after all, who am I to be applying the same words the devil used to tempt Jesus? 

11-12'He will give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways, they shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thee dash thy foot against a stone.' 

Surely, this was written to fulfill Jesus' temptation by the devil only and could never apply to me! Am I to believe that if I abide in the secret place of the most high, under his shadow that he'll give his angels charge!

I'll let that marinate overnight, so it can soak to the bones and plump up the flesh.

This is not an invitation for people to invade personal spaces now, its an invitation to examine why we feel like we need barriers between ourselves and God's people.

It's an invitation to examine why we can't love, hug, and give people the protection of an embrace, but demand it of God. Yes, He says nothing can separate us from His love but he also asks us this- how can you love God whom you hath not seen but hate your brother that you do see? We have to get our own humanity in touch and outside of separation.

If you can't be a part of my shadow, do I deserve the shadow of the Almighty?

Recently I heard a preacher say a smile is her overjoyed, over the moon response...its her 'yaay', its the best she can do after a lifetime of abuse. And I got that, I totally understood. I haven't had a lifetime of abuse but many life lessons through disappointments. It's why I have my 360, it was to protect, but overtime, like many man-made solutions- it had the opposite effect. Instead of protecting, it became a barrier. A self made prison of personal space. 

It's a long road back and a lot of cracks for a potter to repair but I think the potter I've got is up to the task, he comes highly recommended... So I'm about ready to relinquish control,

Control of the 360..

But it's not an invitation...'s more of a soft launch...give me some time and maybe a hug. Soon.

Do you have pet peeves that separates you from God's people?

Scriptures to ponder: Psalm 91, John 8.

Related post : How to be colour blind in a red hot summer of tears

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Thursday, 3 September 2015

How to be colour blind in a red hot summer of tears


He walked on water.

He invited one of us to do the same.

He did.

Then he started to look where he was, he looked at the waves, he took his

eyes off God.

He became afraid.

He started to sink...

Until – he took His hand.

The blood.

Red blood, shed, for us – for what?


I looked in disbelief at red on the shores

A baby, dead in red, blood red.

My heart sank.

I felt that pain only a parent can know. A child lost, hope dashed. And I cried

for the state of the world.

My heart screams why?
I feel hopeless. Helpless. Hapless.

Then I felt anger, angry that people are risking their lives to live as free
I am angry that people value borders over people
I am angry that countries are building walls instead of bridges
I am angry because Jesus gave his life already...

He gave his life already!!

What more is He supposed to do?
What more can He do?

He painted our freedom in red. Blood red.

But still red washes up on shores.
A baby in red.
And no one cares.

We post pictures of our dinner.

I'm sad.
I don't know what to say
I don't know how to pray
It's been a very hot summer
When the world screamed #blacklivesmatter


The only colour that really matters is red.
Blood red.

We fight to preserve a land that's not our own
Why don't these poor people leave us alone?
Our resources are already stretched thin
We don't want you,
Matters not the colour of your skin.

But if you looked to Him, and not on the wave
So many of these poor people could be saved

Red – washed up on the shore
A man froze the image in time
A world watched – for the very first time
A father wishes to be dead
Government official became talking heads


All I see is red.
Blood red.

Already shed.

 For Aylan.........

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