All posts tagged: faith

When you forget the sound of your own name

I don’t often hear my name spoken. There’s a lot of “Mummycomewipemybottoooom!” (full volume, echoing into the neighbourhood!) There’s “Aw, mu-um, pleeease can I watch the iPad until I make Oscar the Grouch look like a sweet little kitten?” Oh, and there’s “Go ask your mum,” and “Want a cuppa Mummy?” because even hubby has it on default. I love being a mum. LOVE it. And I love being called “Mummy,” “Mum,” “Mama,” and even “Mumazella” (my son’s invention). But I cannot deny that when I hear my name spoken by loved ones, the one written on my birth certificate, a shock wave travels up my spine. It takes a little moment to subconsciously remind myself that the arrangement of those letters just uttered, that single syllable, belongs to me. Claire. Is this sounding strange? It could be a mum thing. Or maybe people in positions of leadership get it too – when you’re so used to honorifics of Mr, Mrs, Dr, Sir and so on that your own name sounds foreign. Perhaps people who have …

“I collapsed and died in the hospital ward”

This article is part of the #flamfaces series. Here, Noel Towns of Launceston shares a snippet of his story. I put my faith in Christ at the very young age of eight years and have felt His guidance throughout my journey, maintaining regular times of Bible reading and prayer. I have wrestled with the challenges and tensions between my faith and real world experience in both personal and business spheres for my entire life. Over a 40-year real estate career I often experienced my faith values intersecting and informing appropriate ethical behaviour in the work place. Our faith also led my wife ‘Chris’ and I to adopt four Ethiopian siblings to add to our family of five biological children. This has been an exciting and rewarding experience and an ongoing journey. We now have 25 grandchildren and still counting! A major turning point in my life occurred in August 2016 when I was raced to hospital with a septic gallbladder, which needed to be removed. Before that happened though, I collapsed and died in the hospital ward due …

“Indescribable peace” in the midst of cancer battle

This article is part of the #flamfaces series. Here, Matt Kuipers of Launceston shares some of his story. Being a Christian, I always thought I was a pretty ‘good’ person, who contributes well to society. As far as I can remember I have always been assured of belonging to God’s family, which gives me comfort and assurance in a life after death. However my faith had never really been significantly challenged. In December 2016 I was diagnosed with rectal cancer at the age of 34. After many scans it became apparent that the cancer had spread to my liver upgrading it to stage four. Through chemoradiation and surgery the cancer was successfully removed from my rectum but the tumours in my liver continued to grow in both size and number. Throughout the whole crazy journey, including diagnosis, never have I questioned my faith. I do not put this down to having a really strong, well-developed faith. In fact, I think the opposite is true. To sit there in total peace while one of your doctors is telling you that …

“For 13 years after our girls died, I tried hard to have little to do with God.”

This article is part of the #flamfaces series. Say hello to Karen Mace of Launceston. It was a Saturday evening in November. We were expecting people from church over for dinner and I was preparing my dish for the evening. Miriam had already left to babysit for a couple coming to dinner, Ross was at a concert practice, and Sarah said she would bath Ileana. I noticed a sudden, sharp pain in the chest as the thought that Sarah and Ileana were taking too long popped into my head. I walked to the bathroom and noticed the silence, the sense that I was walking in dense fog, the feeling of panic rising up in me. That night my still-uncertain faith was snatched from me and shaken so hard I could no longer recognise it. For 13 years after our girls died I tried hard to have little to do with God. I kept my back to Him and my hands over my ears. Despite this I knew he was there, and I sensed Him intervening in things at times, …

Trusting Jesus with my self-worth is a daily decision

This article is part of the #flamfaces series. Say hello to Sarah Haberle of Launceston. My life is a tapestry of God’s love – He has been present throughout every challenge, hardship and joy. I have experienced miracles and bear testimony to the truth that Jesus is alive. My early and late teenage years were up and down times – one minute Jesus was my everything, the next I was enjoying a life spent completely on myself and on whatever I wanted to do. One night, I was out at a pub. It was around 1am and I suddenly felt myself snap into the sober. I looked around the room and realised I hardly knew these ‘friends’ and just as suddenly I knew I was done with a life of emptiness without Jesus. I drove to a friend’s house at 2am and they welcomed me, clothed me and held me as I cried and made the decision to leave that life behind for good and choose Jesus and His love. God is always, always, with me I grew up …

What is #FLAMfaces?

Hello. I just want to let you in on something that’s about to come to fruition in this space in coming weeks. It’s based on this verse: “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” 1 Peter 3:15. God has been whispering, nudging and hip-and-shouldering me lately towards this project that gives ordinary, everyday people a platform to share about their faith; about their extraordinary God. When I’ve read that verse in the past, I’ve felt somewhat overwhelmed. I’m much better with the written word than the spoken word! But the verse doesn’t specify, does it? It just says, be ready! And anyway, writing helps to cement new thoughts and learnings in the brain, so it comes to mind more readily in conversation. So, I have started asking local folk who live with Jesus as their saviour to do this: to speak  (write!) gently and respectfully about the reason …

Turning dizzy into delight

She’s spinning. Spinning faster and faster. Red tulle flounces and tubby pink arms are flung wide with abandon. She is squealing. A bubbling, gurgling, ecstatic noise that begins to rumble in me too. We are laughing together. Her spinning. Me laughing, but not. Laughing and cringing at her freedom. She is slowing. Tussled hair settles on shoulders. Tulle lights on knees. Arms drop to sides. And she staggers. “Me so busy, mummy,” she says. “You mean dizzy?” I laugh. Busy. Dizzy. Same difference. I’ve just spun out of a Megasaurus week where events and responsibilities merged one into another into another. There was a fair whack of troubleshooting, of costume changes, of finding a replacement here and a stand-in there. When people asked, “How’s your week been?” it would have been perfectly appropriate to reply “dizzy” instead of “busy”. Same difference. Lately God has pressed a word into my mind. Stamp into wax. Finger into clay. Cutter into cookie dough. The word is DELIGHT. “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the …

A poem. About God. And I’m no poet.

I wrote a poem this morning. I did it during my quiet time. And this is no brag, friends, because I’ve been absent from daily hangouts with my Maker lately. Confession is liberating hey. So I was perusing the scriptures and there was this compulsion to pull out my journal and write. So I did. Interrupted somewhat by a little person who wanted to be on my lap. Then off. Then on. Then crying because I said no. Anyway. This is what resulted. I’m sharing it – not because I think it’s any rival to the likes of Tennyson or Keats – but because it was a creative act of worship, of honesty and oneness that you might like to try. For me, it was just a matter of picking up the pen and letting it lead me somewhere. How do I describe you? You are vapour, whiff, mirage, question mark apparition, something my head so swiftly calculates as void. Sometimes you are here, deep in the core, flame, heat searing outward, flushed face, scalding …