Garden Gifts

I love it when my garden receives garden gifts.

My definition of a garden gift is where plants grow when I haven’t planted them. The most common garden gifts are pumpkins and tomatoes.

Here are some of my acquired gifts

This pumpkin vine is just one of many which have sprouted from the compost

Asian Greens

 Tromboncini Zucchini

I have to mention that this Tromboncini Zucchini vine died but came back to life and is now doing better than when it was first alive……I call it my Lazarus vine.

These are mango seeds that struck in my worm farm

And here are tomato plants

Garden gifts add a special spark to gardening and I am always grateful for the free food. I feel like it’s the way God had intended it.

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I Sat And The World Still Spun

I am a big advocate of having moments where I sit and doing nothing.

No, I am not lazy.

When I sit I am relaxed and I think, plan, regain lost energy, talk to God and soak in his presence as if I were bathing in love.

I have always been one to sit and ponder, to look at the beauty that surrounds me and not be caught up in unnecessary frenzy’s that seem to bother other people.

No, I am not arrogant.

I recognise that I do not function well when I am rushing here and there or when other people want to project their values onto me.

I look at this world and I see it rushing where everything is a race, tested, must have outcomes, must look a certain way, must be a certain way.

I stop amongst the busy crowd. I take my antenna of my head and walk beneath the noise.

Some are rushing through life from one thing to the next. My head gets dizzy when I think about it. Zoom, zoom, no time to enjoy. no time to take in the moment; just no time.

Is life meant to be this way?

Do you know why I sit without guilt? I sit because it would be an insult to God if I didn’t. This life is a gift and there are many things in this world that just don’t interest me. I am not interested maintaining an appearance  of wealth. I don’t care if I have to wait for a bus or walk to a destination. What I care about is my health and that of my family. I care about being an artist and making sure this world is coloured by it. I care about looking out for the broken and undervalued. I care about listening to God and acting upon that rather than what I think is right.  I care about guarding the slow pace and not getting caught up with silly drama’s.

So I sit and when I do the world still spins on its axis and life goes on. I didn’t need to save the world today, I just needed to show loving kindness to the people who live in it.

A Shift With My Journalling

I started to journal regularly at café’s shortly after my mum passed away and when I did I started with a cheap soft cover lined journal. When I had completed that one, I decided to spend a bit more money and honour what I was writing and found my first Pepper Pot journal.

It’s been five pretty and committed years of scribing my thoughts as I have sipped coffee in satisfying contentment.

I was getting to the end of my current journal and this is when  the hunt begins for a new Pepper Pot however, this year was difficult and none of the regular haunts stocked them any more, like none!! I searched for a good two months and even went searching while I was in Perth just recently.

NONE

This is when I really started to talk to God about my journal conundrum and my discussion with God has led me in a whole new journalling direction.

I bought myself a visual diary and lets just say that I’m glad I listened to God when he spoke “It’s a new day”

So armed with my new journal style I went to a cafe and came up with this

I really enjoy this new style and feel released and free. I have also noticed that something powerful is happening as I am doing this. It feels as though I have connected with God in a way that is beyond myself and that when I am drawing, I am praying.

I have also experienced some powerful unexpected moments like the time I met a lovely family from Saudi Arabia. The little boy drew a picture of me which I will treasure forever.

I have also noticed that by drawing it is helping me get my ideas for preaching or teaching and my brain is getting into some kind of order.

This is some of my notes for a sermon that I am working on

This is the start of my lesson plan for teaching about Permaculture

It’s like the flood gates have opened and I’m feeling refreshed at this shift in my journalling. It’s like paddling in a canoe with the current on my side and all of creation is cheering me on. It’s a joy, it’s powerful, It’s love.

 

When the Noise Stopped

Just recently I have noticed that I am once again able to participate in our church band.

How did this happen?

My son stopped having melt downs and has learnt the art of contentment.

It reminds me of when I lived on the highway and for most of my life I never really noticed the traffic noise or the trains out the back. Growing up living on the highway was a normal part of life and I really didn’t know any better.

Many years later a by- pass was developed which meant that all of the traffic no longer went past mum’s house. The first week of it being opened I noticed something really strange; I noticed the birds singing and I could hear neighbours conversations.

What struck me about all of this, was how I didn’t  notice the  noise of the traffic and how clearly it had affected my ability to hear other things. I liken this illustration to how I didn’t realise the noise of VCFS or disability was affecting my ability to participate in the church band among other things.

This is a stunning revelation and shows me that I am not one who can multi task and nor should I. I’m a slow and steady person and that’s why I’m going to win the race. If I can’t do everything than that’s okay.

I will learn from this and will never feel the guilt of not doing enough again…..seriously why do we burden ourselves with false guilt??? From now on I am deeming it inappropriate guilt because we are human beings for goodness sake!! Enjoy being human OKAY!!!!

Sorry, just got a bit preachy then.

So I’ve taken a moment of reflection and now I can’t wait to enjoy the next chapter of my life.

 

 

Home

Just recently (well maybe for the past year) I have been very busy making the rented house that we live in a home. One of the things that have made this space feel like home is our backyard chickens.

Good morning ladies

Last year I had an incredibly significant dream. I dreamt that I was at my mum’s house and I was tending a garden in the back yard, I was also creating mosaic arts works. As I was doing this I said “but I don’t live here, it’s not my house?” and God replied “this is your inheritance” and I repeated “but I don’t own this house any more, we sold it” and again God said “this is your inheritance” and again I insisted to God “we sold the house, it doesn’t belong to me” and finally God’s answer “Tamar, this is your inheritance”

I woke from and knew immediately what the dream was about. God was telling me that even though I am living in a rented house I am to love it as though I own it. I was being told and given permission by the almighty God to live like a child with an inheritance.

That’s quite a revelation to walk in and one that has given me much peace an excitement. You see by following what God has instructed me to I have been busy planting gardens and building a positive future. Okay, what if the landlord boots us out?

So?

The knowledge that I have gained in my heart about gardens, design or sustainability can never be taken from me. The land lord only has a piece of paper that declares that he is the owner of the property and we take care of the property and pay the rent as responsible citizens that we are.

My inheritance is much more than just ownership……it goes deeper than that.

So enough of the chit-chat and here is some pictures of the creative fun that I have been having making this little abode more than just a dwelling.

 

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This is just the beginning and my head is buzzing with joy as I live as one who has an inheritance in God.

 

 

 

My Cult Experience

This is a little bit hard for me to write and I’m not really sure why,  as over the years I have been quite willing to share this strange chapter of my life.

As a child I had good discernment of who was a good person and who was bad and responded accordingly. When I got a bit older, for some reason I forgot how to use my discernment. I think it was because at 17 I gave my life to Jesus and decided it was time to love everybody, which there’s nothing wrong with that. With my new-found faith I became free to enjoy people without my shy mask and went about life being full of much zeal but lacking in some  necessary wisdom.

It had been a few years down the track when I got mixed up with a group that, at first glance had me feeling a bit cautious and instead of listening to my gut instinct about them I went along  with the ride. I was introduced to this group by friends from Sydney who would come down for weekends to stay in a house next to one of my local friend.

They had met a prophetess who somehow inspired more zeal and excitement for the Lord. Some of them even gave up surfing for six months or one of them cut his hair as a sign of his devotion to the Lord. After about a year of them praising their new prophetess the group decided to evangelise  my small town.

They decided to do this at the tail end of the Christmas holidays way back in 1993 (I think). At first I could sense that the prophetess was playing her cards carefully on my behalf because she could tell I wasn’t to be won over that easily.  When I look back she was playing a very smooth game.

I suppose that I should explain a bit of what this cult was all about? They were a Christian based cult that took one scripture about demon possession and claimed that everyone was indeed, demon possessed

I will skip to the night where I had my (so-called) deliverance where I thought that I was possessed. I wasn’t going to attend that meeting, however one of my friends who had become a hard-core convert pulled out all of  the manipulation tactics and somehow I was convinced to go. When we arrived, there was an evangelist giving a talk and then we all broke up in little groups. I had two young women either side of me praying and giving me instructions on how to breathe. “As the air that you breathe” and as I was doing funny breaths they were praying things like “COME OUT in the name of JESUS”!

Right there, the continuing of mind control which I will say was a form of hypnosis. Strange breathing along side with repeated statements is a recipe to make one suggestible for the next stage. The next stage was when the Prophetess came up to me and placed oil on the palm of my hands. When that happened, I was on the floor like a women possessed, out of control and thrashing about like a child having a tantrum. Whatever demon that they said I had, I would act it out. The process seemed to go forever and I was exhausted and when I thought it was over it I’d go to just sit up and everyone would drive more devils out of me.

After the night had finished my vulnerability to this group had increased dramatically, as I suddenly was bombarded with thoughts like, I need this group. Who else was doing this type of deliverance? No body else understands my predicament like this group does!! That’s called priming someone for isolation. I was also ready for the prophetess to tell me whom I should marry. EEEkkkkk.

The next day I was full of confusion and when I went to prayer meeting at my own church the Pastor began to warn every one of the group which only increased my confusion. I then went and sat on the stair case in the foyer. I prayed to God for help and I asked that he send to me a specific person in the church who I knew could give me clarity. The next minute that person had walked out of the prayer meeting, walked up the stairs where I was sitting and said “So what’s going on?”

The relief was like melting butter. We talked.  She said lots of good things about love and reminded me of scriptures that explain how this group was not doing God’s will.  After that, our youth pastor gave us (by then the whole group who had attended that night were gathered)  the same scriptures and reminded us how much we were loved by our church. Our then Pastor also joined us and prayed with us. The aftermath happened with love and care and I was able to overcome my experience without too much damage.

Days after my true freedom experience  I had to confront someone from the cult. It was difficult as I had to kick them out of my house but necessary as I am not a slave to man I am a child of God.

As I reflect upon this experience I know that it made me wiser, it caused me to trust my discernment, I realised that not everyone who claims that they know Jesus Christ actually knows Jesus Christ, it created a stronger desire to read the word of God and it made me more compassionate for those who are trapped in abusive relationships or situations.

I know that I follow a loving God who does not use manipulation or control as we have all been blessed with a free will. I do not give up on meeting with other believers as the bible instructs and I test the spirit with the word of God so that I will never be trapped by a man made lie ever again.

If you can identify with this story and are worried about yourself or a loved one please reach out to your local church or if you need more intense help I have connected some resources below.

Resources

Cult Information and Family Support Inc.
Cult Consulting Australia 

ReachOut.com

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Serenity

Awe the serenity

Serenity for me is found in many places

I know God through Jesus

and he gives me a place of rest.

serenity

Believe it or not being completely immersed in mud is serenity

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This river from my home town is serenity and I often have peaceful dreams of it

Being at the community garden and sitting under a tree is serenity

Without further commentary  let me show you more images that help me feel the serenity

Heart’s Desires and 2014

I would have to say that 2014 was a year where many of my heart’s desires have come to realisation or, that I have done something that has been out of my comfort zone and normal routine.

The year started with us owning chickens. We have been chicken people now for a whole year. In that time we have enjoyed fresh eggs, we have watched broody chooks look after their babies and have felt the warm fuzzy feelings that one has when one owns chooks.

One of the major big things for me this year was when I went on a cruise. I was a cruise virgin before and now I have been converted and will say….”cruises are awesome”

I also got to celebrate my belated 40th and just renamed it my double 21st. Thank you all who came to celebrate with me as I now have some special memories of you all. It was also great how all the kids that came enjoyed themselves the most. To me this is how you know you have hosted a great party. As part of my hearts desire I got to deck the place out in Tamar style, which is something to get excited about.

One of the most crazy and out there things that I got to be a part of was a pantomime where we performed it in the community garden. It started of as a silly idea that grew into an experience that I will never forget. It fulfilled my need to perform, to execute an idea, to have a dream, to play dress ups, to gather people of all different talents, to see people discover their talent, to have fun, to see others have fun, to meet new people and to celebrate community.

Invitation to BHCG Pantomime

This year also fulfilled one of my long-awaited desire for Christians gathering from all different churches to worship God. This came about when my husband and I met Patrick on Facebook and from there Worship mob Shellharbour was birthed.

One of the most oddest desires that came to pass this year was the opportunity to be buried in mud. Oh yes…..it was ammmmmmazzzzing.

One of the most relaxing things that I have ever experienced. For more info check out Mud fun Australia 

And finally the last day of the year Jason and myself got to experience a zip line through the tree tops. It’s something that I have always wanted to do and now, if you live in the Illawarra area you can.

How many unreal things can happen in just one year? and this is only a glimpse of what my heart has seen. I look forward to 2015 and I can see that I will have to put more desires within my heart as I am sure there are more fun things to experience in life.

Happy New Year everyone!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Husband The Worshipper

I want to talk about my husband Jason who is the worship leader of our church, Grace Church Shellharbour City. I consider him to be a very unconventional leader who doesn’t fit the western-pentecostal- charismatic image at all. In fact, we as husband and wife lead unconventionally ; Jase leads from the front and I lead from the back.

How did this happen? Well you can read about the tale here.

I don’t really want to dwell on the past but describe what has come to pass and how proud of Jason I am. Over the five years that he has been worship leader he has wanted to quit so many times that I really  have lost count. He never chased this leadership role, yet has embraced it as the true worshipper  that he is (except for the countless times that he has wanted to quit). What I am trying to say is that he is not one to chase after power, just God!!

Why has God kept him there?

I’ll tell you why

He is one who the Father seeks for as Jesus said “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” – John 4:23-24

He wakes every morning and worships God, he seeks others who want to worship God, he is faithful to God, family, church and he has allowed God to increase his vision so that we can record our own church album.

My husband is quiet, therefore quietly spoken and he is not business minded nor does he sprout out buzz words. He is who he is.

I love him

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1 Peter 2:9

The other day I took a walk down to my local shopping centre when I noticed this tag

I was immediately struck by the prophetic nature of the image, so I took a pic and proclaimed 1 Peter 2:9 over the person who scribed it

 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession,that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

I want to clarify that I do not condone tagging or criminal behaviour, yet looking at this tag gave me hope for this city. God loves the people who live in this post code and lets not forget it.

A week after capturing the tag we had our band  fund-raiser so that we can purchase equipment to record our songs. I had no intention of doing any prophetic art but after the prompting of one of our church members I thought, what a good idea.

As I started painting that night, I had no clue about what I was going to create until God reminded me of the tag.

The image down the bottom is a big symbolic hug. Not only does Jesus want to call this post code his royal priest hood but he wants to give it a big Heavenly hug.

I’m glad that I captured the tag, as today it was gone. It was white washed over and as we all know,  tagging is naughty.