Access points

After getting over an injury, I returned to training over the past two months. During an exhausting training ride and run session with a friend the other day, we ran past a front yard with a sprinkler running. It was a 35-degree day my friend was extremely hot and exhausted, she said “I just want to run under that sprinkler”, so I dared her to jump the fence. To my surprise she did, next thing we hear “hey, what are you doing?” she replied “just grabbing some water”, as she was soaking under the sprinkler, we heard again “hey, what are you doing?!”. Clearly my friend was not welcome to help herself to the water from the sprinkler, no matter how hot or thirsty, the message was loud and clear. Jumping over the fence, we continued on the run.

As we ran, the story of the woman at the well came to mind; the woman finds Jesus at the well experiences refreshment that changes her life. John 4:13-14 says, “Jesus is the living water, that whoever drinks of water will be refreshed, and never thirst again”. What a thought, what a claim. The story continues and the woman has an exchange with Jesus, He speaks into her life, brings hope, faith and encouragement. He reveals the truth of his identity to her and in one encounter He literally changes her life, future, past and present.

Some times life can leave us needing and desiring refreshment. We can get so busy running from thing to thing, that we become exhausted and need access to water. Often there are people around us that thirst for more than this world can offer. What the woman at the well experienced, was the thirst quenching refreshment that satisfied and refreshed like nothing in this world could. It’s encouraging to know that, “Jesus is the source of living water”, He encourages us, loves us and brings a sense of hope and expectation for the future, an experience of faith in our reality. Many of us are very aware that “Jesus is the hope of the world”, yet forget that “He lives in us” Gal 2:20. Therefore we, you and I are a source of living water! We have living water, free for all, a tap of un-ending access.

Our training session come to an end along side the local golf course that day, as we passed we noticed it had huge sprinklers running, with free access to water, not only that a gate to enter in. My friend made sure she made the most of the free access to not just one sprinkler, but two very large sprinklers, a cooling and refreshing moment allowing her to finish the last kilometer. It had me thinking, if I am an access point to living water is my tap accessible? Is my yard accessible? Or do I have the fence up so high no one can get to it? I don’t want to be the yelling neighbour with the unapproachable yard, because one encounter with this living water not only refreshes, but also can change a person’s future, past and present. Today there is some one in our work places, our schools, communities, and mothers groups, families that needs an exchange with Jesus. You and I are access points for people to encounter Jesus, a place of refreshment for those who are thirsty. Let’s ensure we are accessible, and lets be generous to those who thirst for living water.

Proverbs 11:25 “The generous will prosper; 
those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.”

What a year it has been so far!

A few people have asked “where is Sharee and what is she doing?”


As some of you may know, earlier this year I decided to do some further studies in leadership and ministry. Around the same time I felt a strong desire to visit the United States. I didn’t know why exactly, I just had a heart for the US, and I still do. I spoke with my pastors, mentors, leaders and family and after a couple of months of discussions, fasting and prayer I decided to go over and check it out.

I went to a number of fantastic churches, church planting conferences and training, met lots of amazing people, pastors and leaders from across the nation. I heard first hand so many stories of God’s grace and intervention in people’s lives. Over and over it was a case of right people, in the right place, at the right time. I was so blessed. It was an exciting trip with lots of growth, development and lots of study. While there a number of ministry opportunities based in the US opened up for me, however after the interviews processes I felt that none of the positions were where God was leading me.

I have since returned from the US and will continue my studies for the remainder of the year. At this stage I am currently in country Victoria, working with some local churches on leadership training and development, and will continue to serve God, and the local church through itinerate ministry and other opportunities that open up. If I can serve you in any way please contact me on the details below.

I look forward to what new things God has in store for the remainder of this year and as I look ahead to what God wants to do in 2015.

It isn’t easy but it is necessary.

At the moment I am studying a few subjects at Alphacrucis College. I am excited about the idea of completing a Masters degree, however the process has been the most frustrating,  all-consuming and isolating experience I have had, making me wonder whether it’s worth it. With an essay due and time restraints I was not sure if I could complete it. At one point I lost five days of research when my computer crashed due to an “internal server error” leaving me annoyed and at breaking point. The essay consumed more time and energy than I would have liked to give to it and there were other things I would have preferred to focus on. I often found myself wishing that I could just be finished, so I could move on to do other things I needed and wanted to do.

Most of us like the end result but not the process. So often we don’t want to embrace the process, we just want to arrive at the destination. But what I have discovered is that God is a God of the process. When He created the earth and all that is in it, He did it over seven days, and the reality is He built process into our lives when He created us.

James 1:2-4 tells us that we are to “count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” The process brings us to a place of completion.

I have encountered many people, myself included, that would like to fast forward to the end of the process. But in doing so we would miss out on so much.  Once I had finished the major essay the sense of completion and satisfaction was incredible. It empowered me, it gave purpose to my pain and it gave me the energy and passion to continue to tackle the mountain of essays in front of me.

However if I had quit or had tried to skip the steps to get to the end of the process it would have led to failure, greater frustration, lack of wisdom and undeveloped faith and knowledge.  When we try to skip steps it can result in premature and undeveloped faith.  Sometimes the process isn’t easy, but the reality is that it is necessary.

So how do we survive the process? Ephesians 3:20 says “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us”We can overlook His power in the process of straining towards what is ahead, where the exceedingly, abundantly above is our focus. It is His power at work in us that gets us through the process. We have a promise. Remember that what “He starts, He finishes” (Phil 1:6). So let’s embrace the process.

If you have failed, get back up. If you’re succeeding, keep going. If you’re stuck, access His power! Whether you fail or succeed  – He loves you! Despite the outcome or results; He doesn’t judge you but compels you to keep moving forward. Don’t quit.

What He is incubating in your life right now is necessary for the future! ENDURE!

Body Armour

I have had such a great time this past couple of weeks riding motorbikes with some new friends in Florida on terrain that’s different to what I’m used to.  On one particular day we were riding through incredible amounts of sand.  I was slightly intimidated because the bike drifts in the sand and is harder to handle. Usually I would approach a situation like that with confidence and boldness. However, because I am travelling in the US, I don’t have all my armour that I would usually ride with. As a result I was riding with some hesitancy. To commit to certain terrain and approach the jumps and turns with confidence was difficult. I had an underlying fear of falling off the bike and suffering a serious injury. I did have a helmet on but no body armour, and not the right boots. If I had all my gear I know I would approach the riding with confidence and boldness.

This got me thinking about our faith journey, the many terrains and unknown tracks we take, and how Paul encourages us in Ephesians 6:11 that we are to “put on the FULL armour of Christ, not in part but in whole.” Armour allows us to approach the terrains of life with confidence. Wearing only part of the armour makes us susceptible to attack or injury. The helmet protects the head, but without the body armour your vital organs are at risk of injury.

However, when wearing the full armour, you’re empowered, protected and can have confidence. Further to that verse 11 tells us that we should “put on the whole armour of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the enemy.” This armour is not only for protection, but it gives you the strength to stand and brings longevity to your faith journey.
You can have confidence to approach your faith journey in any terrain, through the bends, jumps, ditches, sand, mud and rain. These are inevitable, but if you have the right armour you can confidently and boldly come through it without hesitating.

Be sure to be equipped and wear the full amour on the journey of faith! In any terrain or attack, you are protected and will be to stand and remain.

Turn-by-turn

I love my Apple iPhone. I love that I have Maps and she tells me where to go! But have you noticed that Apple Maps has changed?! You can no longer zoom in and out to see up and down your overall route. I was in Dallas, Texas recently and I wanted to get a better view of the route I was on, and to know exactly where my destination was. I like to zoom in and out and follow the path ahead of time, so I know what is ahead. I was at a set of lights trying to zoom out on the map and see ahead and it kept shrinking back to my location. This was making me frustrated and annoyed. I guess it is the control freak in me. I personally like to know the turns, streets and the exact destination of where I am going.

Approximately four months ago I felt God speak to me about heading to the USA. I spoke with my Senior Pastors, our movement leaders, parents and mentors. After much prayer, fasting and consideration, God started to open up some opportunities to head over to the USA. The plan was not specific, the destination seemed very general, simply “go.” So in February I sold everything to embark on the journey that God opened up. I sold my business, within 24 hours of advertising it, my personal possessions, all on a word from God, “go.” Now I have started the “scouting out the land.” With no known outcome or specific details, just simply based on a word, “go.” It reminded me of when God said to Abraham, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you.” Genesis 12:1

As I started to think about it, the more I realised I am a planner, I had a two year, five year and ten year plan. I like to have an idea of exactly where I am heading. This trip is out of character for a planner, what was I thinking?! Sitting at that intersection in Dallas, Texas feeling overwhelmed, I felt a prompting in my spirit, “Sharee this is the journey you are on right now, you’re here with no specific details or known destination. But I know the destination, do you trust me to take you turn-by-turn?”

God reinforced His word from Jeremiah 29:11 in my heart, “For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord.”  This comforted me.  He knows the end destination and while this journey has been an exhilarating adventure, it has at times been overwhelming and isolating. Yet I have confidence in what God has in store. I want to encourage you to embrace the season you’re currently in. Know that His plan is perfect and you will end up at the destination He has for you. Proverb 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”  It’s the walk of faith, just listen to His voice, follow His turn-by-turn instructions and you will arrive at your destination.

Break the silence.

My last post was about the power of words and how all words have incredible power.  Words are the framework that we base our values on and result in who we are today. Words form who we become.

In the same way I want to focus on the power of unspoken words.
Have you ever had a thought about someone and thought I should tell them, but throughout the busyness of the day it slipped your mind? Or maybe you decided that they don’t need to hear it, that it would only build their ego. Or maybe you thought it would reflect badly on you. There are countless reasons why we often don’t speak out. We know words have power and I believe that unspoken words have as much power as spoken words, to tear us down. Both spoken and unspoken words have the power to shape us.

I watched a little girl in the formative years of her life trying to get the attention, love and approval of her father. The father was busy on the phone when she approached him. Dressed in her favorite dress, dancing across the room, she arrived at his feet. She tugged on his shirt and whispered, “Daddy?” The father turned to escape the noise and she ran around him to get his attention. He again turned away and the little girl, amidst the echo of the loud phone conversation, walked away, shoulders slumped, with a tear in her eye and a shattered heart.
What she didn’t realise was she caught her Daddy’s eye while he was on the phone and he had thought to himself, “My precious princess. Isn’t she beautiful?” As a result of the father’s unspoken words, his little girl was filled with disappointment and discouragement without a word being said.

As soon as he was off the phone he raced to find her, swept her off her feet and whisked her into the air in his arms. He said over and over again, “My beautiful little princess. Daddy’s little girl. I love your eyes, I love your smile, I love your cheeks, I love all of you to the moon and back.” Simple, playful, truthful and fun. Spoken and unspoken words are powerful. Silence can be destructive, I encourage you today not to just think encouragement but to speak it out. Break the silence, be constructive with your words, affirm, encourage, inspire and watch people come to life. Proverbs 18:21 says, “the power of life & death are in the tongue.” Create life with your words today!

Your encouragement could change someone’s life, bringing hope and encouragement. Don’t leave it until it’s too late. Hebrews 3:13 says, “Let’s encourage one another today, while it is still today.”

Words, spoken, unspoken are so powerful

At the supermarket the other day I found myself in line behind a father and son. The child was misbehaving, but not anything out of the ordinary for a typical 3 or 4 year old. The father was trying to get his son to behave but in the process was yelling out profanities. The father used statements like “you useless…brat, you do nothing but mess up, you’re a waste of time, why did I bother having you, you’re a stupid…” Clearly I am not using the exact, harsh words to describe it but you can imagine.

I watched this 3 or 4 year old take all that was being said and then continue behaving accordingly. These are formative years for a child that will have such a great impact on him and his future.  Trying to recreate a new belief system is a painful and challenging ordeal. I have discovered that if you give a title to somebody they will live up to that in their actions, attitudes and beliefs. This then creates issues like insecurity, poor self-image and lack of confidence. Words are so powerful.

Words all have incredible power whether they are written, spoken,  shown in action or even unspoken. Power to build up and tear down. Words shape us. They are the framework that we base our values on and result in who we are today. Words form who we become. I have watched people come to life through words of encouragement or simply truth.   In the same way I have watched words cut people deeply and destroy lives and futures. Proverbs 10:21 says that the“lips of the righteous flourish many.”  We have the incredible privilege of drawing the best out of people with our words, or we can use them to destroy and tear people down.

You and I are agents of change. We can literally create life or death with our words. In our families, schools, work places, down the street at the shops, anywhere our lives encounter people. Choose carefully what you say and see the futures you can help shape. Proverbs 18:21 says the “power of life & death are in the tongue.”  We have the ability to create life with our words. So as Hebrews 3:13 says let’s,“encourage one another today, while it is still today.”

 

Excess baggage

Ever gone somewhere and packed clothing and then realised upon your return that you didn’t wear half of it?  While packing my bags to get ready for another trip, I was reminded of the extra luggage I had lugged halfway around the world.  “Why did I bring this? Do I need this? Do I need that?” I found myself asking.  I threw a few things out along the way to lighten the load, but there were some things that I didn’t want to let go of.

Thinking about it further I realised there is a lot of baggage that we carry through life that we don’t want to let go of. There are things that we hold on to that weigh us down, things we don’t want to let go of; past hurts, offense, unforgiveness, regret and things we can’t change. Maybe someone hurt you, or someone you trusted betrayed you. If we hold on to these experiences they add weight, excess baggage, to our lives.  We are reminded in the passage in Hebrews 12:1 that we are in a race.  The idea of trying to run a race with luggage and so much weight makes no sense.  Why would we do that?  The writer says, “Let us lay aside every weight … and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”  Maybe it’s time for you to lay aside, to leave behind, to run without that weight. It brings such freedom, imagine running the race without excess baggage.

At the end of the trip I was trying to squeeze in some extra shopping. Between myself and my friend we had shopped well, maybe a little too well. When weighing our bags at the airport check-in my friend’s bags were 6 kilograms over the allocated weight.  “There is a $100 charge for each bag that’s overweight,” the hostess said.  I looked at my friend, then looked at my bags.  “Let’s weigh mine,” I said. The scales showed my two bags were each 3 kilograms under, phew! We had avoided the excess baggage charge this time. So we rearranged some luggage, spread it out over my underweight bags, and saved her a couple of hundred dollars in excess baggage, that we could definitely not afford.

There are two problems with excess baggage: 1. It’s a pain to lug around; and 2. It comes at a cost.

You can’t afford to carry the excess baggage any longer – it’s going to cost you more than you’re able to pay. In 1 Peter 5:7 Jesus encourages us to, “cast our burdens upon him.”  Jesus is saying – I have the space and ability to carry this for you, it’s time to lay it aside and throw off the weight.  Today, take the time to unload the excess baggage, to transfer the weight. Don’t let it cost you, when Jesus has already paid the price.

What God starts, He finishes

After a few weeks break from running due to wintery weather, spring decided to pay a visit, so I started out for my usual routine run.  Approximately 3km in I had tired legs, was exhausted and feeling the stretch. I thought, “I am glad that I am not at the gym on the treadmill, because I would probably bail based on how I feel right now.” Being out on the track meant I had no options. I got out there and now I had to make my way home. You can’t just bail and decide you’re done and stop there, you have to finish. I remembered when Paul said, “I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”

We can have an incredible confidence that, even when our flesh wants to bail, He says, “I started it, I will finish it.”

Aren’t you glad that when you have those “I want to bail” moments that you serve a God who doesn’t have too hard days, or tiredness to make Him retire? What He started out, He will finish. When He says in Revelation 1:8, “I am the Alpha, and the Omega, I am the beginning and the end,” He means it. He is who He says He is.

Usually the moment you want to quit, comes right before the miracle happens. Paul encourages us in Galations 6:9, “ So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” Sometimes it’s just a matter of pushing on even when it hurts or it’s hard. After running another 1km with the burn in my legs, all of a sudden I hit a new level of energy. The fatigue and exhaustion seemed to have left my body and I found a new momentum. I ran 8km that day and finished what I had started, feeling great, but I had to push on or I never would have finished. We reap the rewards when we push on.

Consider the race that you are in. There is a beginning and there is an end. The bonus we have is that He is with us from the start and will see us through to the end.  Hebrews 13:5 says, “He will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Keep running your race with confidence. He has the end in mind.