Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Wow… time sure fly’s and another year is done and dusted. I know I have been MIA and this coming year is going to be just as busy if not busier. I trust you had a blessed Christmas and I hope this new 2015 will be blessed and all that you wish it will be for you and your family.

Here is a link to DAB; free Daily Audio Bible reading from Brian Hardin. My hubby and my son also listen to DAB every day. It is truly amazing reading the whole Bible through every year. I have done this since 2010 and I can’t ever think of not doing it. It takes me from 20 minutes to occasionally 30 minutes each day to listen to Brian read the Bible. He reads from the New Testament, the Old Testament, Psalms and Proverbs daily. You may like to join us too!
~ Sarah
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Free – Daily Audio Bible

Redeemed

I am redeemed

 

 

 

I love this song. What a fantastic reminder… that we are not who we use to be” we are always changing and “we are redeemed and “set free”. We do not need to be burdened by our past or our past mistakes or sins. The only one who wants to remind you and I of forgiven, forgotten sin, and mistakes, are people who are not wanting the best life for you and I. God isn’t done with us yet. Let’s not be hard on ourselves or other people. We are all a work in progress!

~ Sarah

 

“Redeemed”

Seems like all I could see was the struggle
Haunted by ghosts that lived in my past
Bound up in shackles of all my failures
Wondering how long is this gonna last
Then You look at this prisoner and say to me “son
Stop fighting a fight it’s already been won”I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, now I’m not who I used to be
I am redeemed, I’m redeemedAll my life I have been called unworthy
Named by the voice of my shame and regret
But when I hear You whisper, “Child lift up your head”
I remember, oh God, You’re not done with me yetI am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, now I’m not who I used to beBecause I don’t have to be the old man inside of me
‘Cause his day is long dead and gone
Because I’ve got a new name, a new life, I’m not the same
And a hope that will carry me homeI am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, ’cause I’m not who I used to beI am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, yeah, I’m not who I used to be
Oh, God, I’m not who I used to be
Jesus, I’m not who I used to be
‘Cause I am redeemed
Thank God, redeemed
~ by Big Daddy Weave

Does God Exist?

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I love the way this video gets you thinking. It is up to each individual to choose to believe in God or NOT to believe in God. I believe God gave us that sacred and indelible choice. ~ Sarah

“Two things fill the mind with ever-increasing wonder and awe, the more often and the more intensely the mind of thought is drawn to them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me.”
– Immanuel Kant, Critique of Practical Reason

The greatest act of faith takes place when a man finally decides that he is not God.
– Johann Wolfgang Goethe

If the solar system was brought about by an accidental collision, then the appearance of organic life on this planet was also an accident, and the whole evolution of Man was an accident too. If so, then all our present thoughts are mere accidents – the accidental by-product of the movement of atoms. And this holds for the thoughts of the materialists and astronomers as well as for anyone else’s. But if their thoughts – i.e., Materialism and Astronomy – are mere accidental by-products, why should we believe them to be true? I see no reason for believing that one accident should be able to give me a correct account of all the other accidents. It’s like expecting the accidental shape taken by the splash when you upset a milk-jug should give you a correct account of how the jug was made and why it was upset.
– C.S. Lewis

“What I believe in my heart must make sense in my mind.”
– Ravi Zacharias

A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.
– C.S. Lewis

For when we cease to worship God, we do not worship nothing, we worship anything.
– G. K. Chesterton

The real attitude of sin in the heart towards God is that of being without God; it is pride, the worship of myself, that is the great atheistic fact in human life.
– Oswald Chambers

“It is absurd for the Evolutionist to complain that it is unthinkable for an admittedly unthinkable God to make everything out of nothing, and then pretend that it is more thinkable that nothing should turn itself into everything.”
― G.K. Chesterton

The theory that thought is merely a movement in the brain is, in my opinion, nonsense; for if so, that theory itself would be merely a movement, an event among atoms, which may have speed and direction but of which it would be meaningless to use the words ‘true’ or ‘false’.
– C.S. Lewis

If there is no God, then all that exists is time and chance acting on matter. If this is true then the difference between your thoughts and mine correspond to the difference between shaking up a bottle of Mountain Dew and a bottle of Dr. Pepper. You simply fizz atheistically and I fizz theistically. This means that you do not hold to atheism because it is true , but rather because of a series of chemical reactionsÂ… Â… Morality, tragedy, and sorrow are equally evanescent. They are all empty sensations created by the chemical reactions of the brain, in turn created by too much pizza the night before. If there is no God, then all abstractions are chemical epiphenomena, like swamp gas over fetid water. This means that we have no reason for assigning truth and falsity to the chemical fizz we call reasoning or right and wrong to the irrational reaction we call morality. If no God, mankind is a set of bi-pedal carbon units of mostly water. And nothing else.
– Douglas Wilson

My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? If the whole show was bad and senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be part of the show, find myself in such a violent reaction against it?… Of course I could have given up my idea of justice by saying it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if I did that, then my argument against God collapsed too–for the argument depended on saying the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my fancies. Thus, in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist – in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless – I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality – namely my idea of justice – was full of sense. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never have known it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.
– C.S.Lewis

The atheist can appeal to nothing absolute, nothing objectively true for all people, it is just mere opinion enforced by might. The Christian appeals to a standard outside himself/herself in which truth and qualitative values can be made sense of.
– Peter Huff

For any further questions and answers go to RZIM and pop a key word or question into the search bar.

He has Risen

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It is a wonderful time of year here in New Zealand it is starting to get cold and crisp. We are still packing and busy getting ready for our overseas move. So I won’t be here on Living In Grace often. In the mean time here is a chalk board print I made. Feel free to print it for your personal use. Or if you wish you may PIN it or also use it in your blog as long it is not altered in anyway and you kindly link back here. Thanks 🙂

I love Matthew 28:5-7. Imagine if an Angel appeared to you. How would you feel? I love that the Angel tells the woman to not be afraid. Believing by faith, and seeing someone or experiencing an event, face to face is different. The woman was seeking Jesus. She may have heard the stories about Jesus or perhaps may have even listened to Jesus preaching and was told of His death and resurrection. I am sure it would have been a difficult concept to grasp. Imagine seeking Jesus but meeting an Angel instead. Not only that, the Angel told her the good news, of Christ’s death and resurrection and that she would see Jesus in Galilee. Passover is not just about Jesus’ death and resurrection it is also about remembering redeeming of what was once lost, forgiveness of sin, grace, mercy, blessings, love that He pours out upon us daily. We are called to die to sin and we have been given new life through Christ. Life on earth is fleeting in comparison to our eternal life with Christ. For Christians we have hope and we have a future beyond this world. At this time of year I like to personally make an effort to take stock and let go of any thing that hinders my heart, mind and life. I like to think on how much Christ has already redeemed and restored my heart, life and my past. I am always amazed at how He shows up for me just when I need Him most, He gives me joy and hope for a wonderful future for me and all His children.

I hope you have a great week and a lovely Passover/Easter.
~ Sarah xxx

The angel answered the women, “Don’t be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus, who has been crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, just like he said. Come, see the place where the Lord was lying. Go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has risen from the dead, and behold, he goes before you into Galilee; there you will see him.’ Behold, I have told you.”
Matthew 28:5-7 (WEB)

10 BEST TIPS FOR MOVING

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I have hardly blogged lately because we have been crazy busy with Christmas festivities. Also with finish writing my book and also preparing for moving to another country things have just been crazy. We have moved so many times it is not that daunting anymore BUT there is still lots to do and the energy that it takes to do it all is ridiculous! With this move we have decided to cull as much as possible. Our last international move we brought my much loved appliances like our Westinghouse fridge, Bosch washing machine, sewing machine, and even our car to our new place. This time we are going to try to do the less is more approach. The reality is often cheaper to buy new on the other side of your international move than to pay transport costs. I have been enjoying emptying closets and getting rid of stuff. I ask myself a few questions as I go like;

Do we use it regularly?
Is it too old or worn?
Is it useful?
Is it beautiful?
Is it sentimental or important?
Do we love it?

If the answer is no then it has to go!!

We have moved internationally and also locally. We have moved to be closer to family, for work, and also for Christian Ministry reasons. No matter what the reason for moving it takes a huge amount of energy and planning. Whether moving locally or internationally moving needs to get done.

Moving house can be one of the most stressful times in your life. So is losing your job, divorce, end of a relationship or the death of a family member or close friend. So we have had a number of those things happen recently. I am so thankful that I can put my hope and trust in the Lord. Moving can be stressful but I really feel that God is carrying me atm. Psalms 130:5 says: “I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope”. AND Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” These scriptures give me comfort and strength as we wait on God and trust him for the next season in our lives.

In the end moving house and countries was one way to declutter our lives. Albeit a drastic way to declutter!

Tips for a less stressful move:

1. Get organised in advance. If you leave everything until the last-minute it will be stressful. In New Zealand we sold our house and then rented it back from the new owner. This gave us time to sort and organise the house and all our stuff before moving day. When living in the USA we were able to give our stuff away to some International students at CCU. The stuff we wanted to keep we flew it to Australia and it was quite cheap from Ohio. Which was awesome. In Australia we were able to give away and sell lots by using a local Facebook page where people came and collected bits and pieces before we moved to New Zealand. NOW we have another international move and we are sorting and organizing everything. Here is how we are doing it…

I have four categories.
First category is stuff to keep. The keeping stuff is the stuff you will box up last or move to your new home. This first category has your clothes and all the things you use on a day to day basis. The furniture that you will keep.
Second category is to give away and recycle.
Third category is sell in a garage sale or online.
Fourth category is to throw away.

Part of organizing is getting quotes for your move and then confirming all your plans at least three weeks before your big move.

REMEMBER your pets. This is more involved for an international move. You will need to make sure they have had all the shots and they have the correct carriers that your airline will accept. Some of their shots will need to be done three months in advance so visit your veterinary clinic to know what you need.

2. Start selling or giving away non-essential items as soon as you can. Don’t wait! Leaving things to the last-minute will add stress to an already potentially stressful time. I have some health issues so I need to take things slowly or I will end up very ill which won’t help with our move.

3. Organise your important papers and personal information. Get a folder for essential documents like passports, medical information, birth certificates. Make sure you photo copy passports (if moving overseas) of all the members of the family. Give the children copies of your passport as well. Sort out your personal photos. We scanned all our photo’s so we could take them overseas with us on a hard drive and know they wouldn’t get damaged in storage. We gave small album of photo’s to each of the kids special friends. I also made up a tiny album for each of the kids to take with them of important friends and family to pop into their bags and to show new friends.

4. Be kind to yourself and your family. Make things easy. Take time to catch up with friends and family. Visit all those places you will miss when you leave. Have dinner out or buy dinner in. Make up a new family saying. Don’t forget to encourage the kids. Ours was/is “every last step on a journey is a new step in an adventure.” They loved this and while traveling we would often say this family quote.

5. Take this opportunity to simplify. There’s no point in keeping stuff you haven’t used or probably will never use. Storing, moving or sending it to another state or overseas may cost more than replacing it. If you haven’t used it in 6 months then it is time to let it go. Don’t get rid of anything you feel is personal or sentimental and that you may regret not having in the future. In saying that you can’t keep every tiny little scrap of paper your child ever drew on either. We took photo’s of some items the kids had made or pictures and kept those on a hard drive. Easy to store a hard drive than a million bits of papers and sock dolls etc.

6. Have a garage sale or eBay your stuff. Any money you make can help towards the cost of move. AND the less you have the easier and cheaper your move will be!

7. Packing. Start packing up things early. Especially books you are not reading and any non-essentials. Buy a huge roll of bubble wrap, tape, cardboard corners for pictures, marker pens. Try local shops and ask if they want to get rid of their boxes. They often are happy to reduce their rubbish pile. BUT with an international you will need proper boxes.

If you can afford it, seriously consider having the professional packers do your packing for you. Then you won’t need to bother with packing apart from personal items and you will save your back. We have packed ourselves BUT the times we have had the professionals pack for us it was much less stressful and our backs were thankful too. With international moves you will need professional packers check boxes.

Give the kids a limit to how many boxes they can fill with toys. Let them pack some of their boxes themselves. Get rid of worn clothing or things that they will grow out of. If you don’t limit the boxes you will have everything from a scrap of paper to soft toy’s coming out your ears.

My best advice I can give you while packing is to listen to happy music. I listen to Christian and or jazz music on the stereo or computer while I pack. And if you are packing on your own why not listen on your iPod. You can’t be stressed and grumpy if you a listening to Godly or perky music. You know what they say in Proverbs 17:22 “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.” You need all your strength while in the process of moving.

8. Friends and Family. Don’t forget to put aside time to visit and say goodbye to friends and family. I know I said this earlier but there will be someone you forgot. Now is the time to remember them! Go out for dinner or have coffee and enjoy spending time with your friends. Some friends or family may not be able to understand your leap of faith and may get upset. Listen and encourage them. Often they are more upset because they themselves can’t do what you are doing and feel uncomfortable. Sometimes it is because they feel you are leaving them behind. Reassure them that we all have seasons in our lives where change occurs. Make sure you have Skype and/or e-mail to keep up the contact. Now is the time to let unhealthy relationships go.

Let the kids have their friends stay over and let them stay up as long as they can. You could have a movie marathon and let them sleep in the lounge or put the TV in their room and watch movies all night. You will find that those kids who can’t stay awake will happily sleep while the others chat all night long. Especially teenage girls!!!

9. Moving day. Don’t pack up your kettle or coffee machine up until the last-minute. OR if you do be sure to make time to run to the cafe’ for takeaway coffee. I guarantee you will be needing a tea or coffee on your moving day. Finally have a good clean up or hire a cleaner. At the end of a stressful day you will be thankful to see the cleaners come and magically clean your house up.

10. Enjoy your new adventure and new home.

Here is a LINK to Overseas Packers and Movers. We used them and they were excellent for us. On their website they have lots of helpful hints and tips for your move whether your move is a local one or an international move.