Whatsoever Magazine

Archive for the ‘Lauren’s Editorials’ Category

This year has begun with a bang for sure. I feel God is teaching me so much already, and even though He may be speaking to me in a zillion areas of my life, I feel like I’m in the baby stages of learning. Do I have anything to share?

One thing that has suddenly come to mind (the prompting of the Holy Spirit, perhaps?) is a verse God pointed out late in January. I had been thinking about the new year a lot, wondering what it might hold for me. I really had no idea! I had thoughts of minor things I want to achieve personally, but nothing grand, nor anything about what God might have in mind. I wondered what God would teach me, what adventures I’d have, and what changes would be made. I also wondered if I would be faithful to do God’s will. I wrote to some friends while pondering all these things:

This year seems different. My heart feels kind of full of I don’t know what. Happy excitement, expectations, as well as a bit of apprehension maybe? It’s odd. But it’s exciting. I was trying to think of a word to describe how I feel about this year, and one came to mind that I really think fits what I’m feeling—and that is ripe. It’s almost like there are a lot of things building up and now they’re ripe for the picking. And I guess that’s where the apprehension comes in. If something is ripe, then it needs to be harvested. I feel like God is opening up lots of doors of opportunities and lessons (or laying out a field of ripe fruits) and I have to harvest them. I’m kind of nervous that I won’t take the opportunities God has given me. But I’m excited, too. I know that He’ll help me and give me the ability to do His will.

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AND LET US not grow weary of doing good. (Galatians 6:9)

About ten or so years ago our family learned a new phrase: Happy Backs. It was a little trainer in manners. Mum and Dad would use it (and sometimes still do) when we were slouching; it would be a cheery reminder to correct our posture.

I think that Galatians 6:9 is the same kind of reminder to me. Maybe we could call it Happy Hearts. We get tired and worn out, and we tend to ‘slouch’ in our spiritual walk, but this reminds us to keep a happy heart while doing God’s will.

There is one particular area in which I tend to slouch, and I’m sure it’s the same for many of you—the practise of daily devotions. May I encourage you with something that helped me correct my spiritual posture in this area?

Read the rest of this entry »

Do not quench the Spirit.

I quenched the Spirit. It hurt. Not only me, but God as well.

I had often, actually tons of times, read this verse here that says “Do not quench the Spirit” and similarly, I had wondered what it meant. I read it over and over not knowing what it was to quench the Spirit, but knowing it ought not to be done!

As time passed I slowly started to understand it, realising that we ought not to stop the Holy Spirit’s working. Say if a child came and asked for me to read them a story about Jesus, it would be wrong, and quenching the Spirit if I were to say “Not now, I’m busy”.

So that’s the simple conclusion I came to about this verse.
 
Now, for an example, may I tell you a story of one day when I did exactly what I ought not to have done? Read the rest of this entry »

Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand. Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.[1]

Picture this:
It is a lovely cool Spring morning. The sun is shining after a night of storm. Leaves blown off trees lie around, and puddles of water lie over soft mud. But the sun is shining and everything is looking nice and green.

A little girl sees the bright day and decides she would like to go out for a walk, so her daddy and big brother take her out. They all stroll along, daddy and big brother on either side of the little girl, hand in hand. They walk a little way, and then the little girl notices a puddle up ahead. ‘That looks fun to jump in,’ she thinks to herself. Her big brother suddenly gets a great idea: ‘Why don’t you hop up on my shoulders Little Sis?’ he asks her. The little girl sees both options, knowing that they will both be quite fun— though the puddle looks a little more inviting. But after thinking a bit harder, she realizes that if she goes in the puddle, afterwards she is going to be in a bad way. So she jumps up on big brother’s shoulders and has a ride. ‘It’s more fun than I first thought’, she realises. After a lovely ride she hops down and continues walking. ‘It’s so lovely out with daddy and big brother.’

They keep walking for a while but the little girl gets worn out and her legs are tired of walking. She wants to sit down and rest. But with encouragement from daddy and big brother, she keeps going. Suddenly rain starts to fall. Daddy picks up the little girl and he and big brother run to find shelter. They find a tree to hide under, and daddy holds the little girl close and wraps his jacket around her to protect her. Soon the rain stops and the trio set off again. Just one more corner and they skip the rest of the way home. ‘What a fun and adventurous walk.!’

Does this story sound kind of familiar to you? I think it should. Try to imagine yourself as the little girl. The story is analogical of your life as a Christian. Daddy is God, and Big Brother is Jesus!

Our life is very much like this: We walk along our life’s road enjoying little pleasantries. Certain things pop up (like mud puddles that look fun at first, but could end up disastrous) and we have a choice to make. Jesus always provides a better way of doing things, and even if it doesn’t seem so at first, it turns out far better than we could have imagined in the end.

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.[2]

And just like the little girl who gets weary after a while of walking, we get tired of plodding along on our walk. But, just like the daddy and big brother, God encourages us and spurs us along. He encourages us to keep going. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.[3] …Let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus…[4]

In our walk we face ‘storms’ also. We can always count on God’s protection in these times. Hide me under the shadow of Thy wings.[5]

It’s great to be able to walk through life being able to rely upon a marvellous, loving God, who is working for our best to His glory!

Lauren Carey
Notes: [1]Psalm 73:23-24, [2]1 Corinthians 10:13, [3]Galatians 6:9, [4]Hebrews 12:1b,2a, [5] Psalm 17:8
from Whatsoever Magazine, Volume 8 #3

Do you ever feel peculiar? I do, often.

We are at a time in this world where sin is becoming more and more prominent and Christ is convicting more and more Christians to obey His Word in a stronger way.

The Bible states in Titus 2:14 that Christ is purifying us, His people, so that we are becoming less and less like the world—in the way we speak, act, dress, basically, live our lives—and this makes us feel like we are strange to the world and we aren’t right because we are not like everyone else.

Several times in this last year I have allowed the world’s way of thinking to make me depressed about not conforming, and I wished that I could ‘fit in’, so to speak.

But God blessed me one day (He does every day, but I’m specifically talking about this day) by showing me this verse: 1 Peter 2:9 “But ye are a chosen generation, and royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.”

There are so many wonderful parts to this Scripture. Let’s break it down a bit:
~‘But ye are a chosen generation…’
God has chosen us. Isn’t that exciting? We’re not just drawn out of a hat; we were purposely chosen by God!
~‘a royal priesthood, and holy nation…’
God is making us a holy people. I can’t wait for the day when we’re totally perfected!
~‘a peculiar people…’
We are indeed a strange bunch, but there’s a reason for that, so don’t lose heart.
~‘that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you…’
We are different so that we can bring glory to God! We, when we obey God, and appear odd to the world, are showing praises to God to the world.
~‘out of the darkness into His marvellous light.’
It is a marvellous light! And our obedience to Christ and peculiarity are lights to those who are in the darkness. Praise God for redeeming His people out of that darkness!

Before I read this verse I felt like a misfit. Now I know I’m one!

God doesn’t want us to fit in and be like the world. In fact, it really pleases Him when we don’t. We are like foreign travellers—we are visiting, and we enjoy the scenery for while, but never really fit in. God created us to be different and stand out as His people.

This is so relieving to realize, because instead of feeling in the wrong for being different, God has shown me that He is pleased with me when I obey Him and choose not to fit in.

So next time you begin to wish you were born in a different century or on a different planet, just remember 1 Peter 2:9, that God created you a peculiar person, and He loves you like that. Praise Him while being peculiar!

Misfits for Jesus? Yep!

Blessings to you all!

Lauren Carey
reprinted from Whatsoever Magazine, Volume 8 #2

“If only I had a shirt that better matches this skirt!” “I really need some new writing paper” “I’ve got hardly any money and I need to buy so many things.”

These are thoughts I often find myself thinking—too often actually— and God is showing me that He has a problem with me thinking those things!

Over the last year God has been teaching me many things, all based around a verse in the Bible, which is well known to many of us:

But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus [1].

Up until June of last year our family owned a patchwork shop that I worked in and for. I earned regular money, and it was plenty to give me all the little pleasures that money buys, and that I wanted.
We closed the shop, after it had been open for five and a half years, and I had no regular income.
Then started what I think will be a life-long lesson of learning to trust God to supply all my needs—and of learning what real needs are!

There are many things that I love to buy—writing paper to write to dear friends, music both to listen to and to learn, instruments to play, gifts to buy for people, sweets to enjoy, and the list goes on… but are any of these needs? I often think they are. “Well, it is a ministry to write to friends and share the love of God” But… do I really need fancy paper? “God wants us to praise Him with music” But… if I have a voice why not use that? “It’s their birthday—I have to buy a gift” But… why not use the skills and the supplies God has given me and make a gift?

Wanting these things, and complaining when I don’t have them, is basically saying that I don’t believe that God provides for me, nor am I trusting Him.
Don’t get me wrong. All of these ‘wants’ are perfectly fine. In fact, God loves to bless us —For the Lord takes pleasure in His people [2]—but do we really need all these things?

God has blessed me to overflowing, and has given me all I need, and heaps more! He has blessed me with pleasurable things, such as instruments to play, but He has also blessed me in showing me that I don’t need these things to live a life that blesses Him. And that is the main reason we live, isn’t it?

So what do I need in order to serve God? All that I need spiritually is a heart to believe, God’s Word, and God’s people so that I can learn more about Him, don’t I?

To survive physically I need a home for protection, food for sustenance, and clothing for warmth—-all of which I have in abundance, thanks to God!

But I don’t even need to worry about having these things because of God’s promises to us: Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body more than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.[3]

God has promised to supply all our needs, by (or through) Christ Jesus: If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. [4]

God is faithful in giving us all we need, and we need to trust Him entirely to perform His will—not take things into our own hands… or minds!
God loves His children, and He loves to bless them in providing their needs. And He goes even further…
Over this last year, when I’ve had all that I really needed, God has opened up more opportunities for me to earn money so that I may enjoy little pleasures!
I’m so thankful to God for showing me His truth, giving me the grace and strength to trust Him, and blessing me by providing all my needs and more! I pray that He blesses you too!

Lauren Carey
reprinted from Whatsoever Magazine, Volume 8 #1
Notes: 1. .Phil. 4:19, 2. Psalm 149:4, 3. Matt. 6:25-29, 4. John 14:14.