All posts tagged: Jesus

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 …

These 33-year-old hands

I’m looking at my hands in the shower as the water runs over them, filling up the liminal lines, smoothing the ridges, the whorls that make up the unique geography of my skin. These 33-year-old hands. I’m thinking that 33 is how old Jesus was when he died. It’s a sobering thought. Who he is, who I am. What he was prepared to die for, what I am prepared to die for. His ministry, my ministry. His relationship with Father, my relationship with Father. His body, my body. And our hands. My hands; they smooth out sheets… spread peanut butter sandwiches… stick Star Wars bandaids on knees… tap-tap-tap on computer keys… swipe hair from eyes… stir soup… grip steering wheel… cup faces. His hands; they gestured in emphasis of teachings… washed dusty feet… brushed tears from eyes… rubbed forehead and temples… clasped tight under a murmuring mouth… stroked the fetlock of a donkey… turned tables over… ripped bread in two… comforted. His hands invited brute nails through flesh and bone. I look at my own pale …

Why I Don’t Have a Best Friend.

It used to bother me that I didn’t have a “bestie”. I thought I was a little bit less, somehow, because I couldn’t name someone as my exclusive nearest and dearest in the realms of friendship. You know the kind. The kind who proudly declared that I was their BFF and I could declare it back. Joined at the hip. We might have crawled around in the sun together as babies while our mums yakked on a picnic rug. And as we grew up, the bank of shared experiences made us inseparable. I didn’t have that. Perhaps it was because my parents seemed to move house every two years (and often that meant schools too), or perhaps it has more to do with my personality. I had a special friendship in high school. We were the only newbies in a class full of established friendships. We were tight. But that was my teens, navigating the complexities of growing up. Now, right now, I don’t have a best friend and I’m good with that. What I do have …

Into the Secret Garden of His Presence

I’d been thinking it all wrong. We were in church, singing. I love singing those songs that carry me to a place of peace and worship, songs that focus my attention on what I wish I’d been focusing on all week long; God’s love for me. So many distractions, still. I squeezed my eyes shut, raised my hands, palms up, surrender. When distractions buzz around my head I focus on Jesus – his name, his presence, even the image of him. I block out the reality of all the bodies around me and their voices and their eyes, I block them all out, or I try, so that it’s just the two of us. That’s what I did today. As the music crescendoed I pictured Jesus up there in the sky, high above me, looking down benevolently. There may have even been some fluffy white clouds at his feet. I’m surprised at myself. Even as I put the thought bubble into words. What was I thinking? What kind of stereotyped version of my Saviour had I conjured up …

My All Time Favourite Birthday Present

It’s an awkward thing, opening presents, isn’t it? Kids have this marvellous rite of passage to react authentically to the gift they have just unwrapped. If they throw it to the side or make some brazen comment like, “It’s just clothes!” – we laugh at them, call them cute for speaking their mind. But in Adult Land, whether it’s a wonderfully thoughtful birthday gift or an I-grabbed-it-from-the-newsagent-on-the-way-here gift, there’s a certain etiquette to be adhered to. The card must be opened first, for example. A comment on the wrapping doesn’t go astray. Some will employ humour by wrestling a little with the method of wrap adhesion (tape, string, staples…) before ripping the paper apart with childish gusto (delightful diversion tactic, really). There might be layers to peel back, building tension to crescendo as cellophane, bubble wrap, tissue paper and styrofoam are gently removed to reveal… what? The moment of truth: can you let your genuine reaction free? Or will you be needing those rusty high school drama class skills once again? It was my birthday today. Would you …

Five ways to keep Easter real

Easter is the most important time on the Christian calendar, right? Which explains why I get to this time of the year and fret over how I can give Easter its due weight of significance. God gave so much for us – how can I appropriately acknowledge that? Not in a religious way, mind, but in a way that focuses my thinking and gives new revelation of Easter’s gift. With two little ones in the fold, I’m also conscious of the way we do Easter for them. I’m not opposed to a good old Easter egg hunt, but I want them to grow up with a clear understanding that this time of the year is more about Jesus than chocolate. Which is why I sat down and wrote these five things I’ll be focusing on this Easter to keep it real. ONE. Attend a gathering of some description. It could be a church service or an Easter parade, a festival, feast or mass. The important thing is to be part of a throng of like-minded people. …

The Boy Who Needs Our Prayers

The whiff of smoke gets up your nose, doesn’t it? That acrid smell of destruction has become familiar this summer to the point where it lurks right here in my home. I’ve carried it in on clothes unpegged from the clothesline and it’s been known to slink indoors as I kick off my shoes. This smoke that lingers like the grief of countless trees bowed to flames – it makes me think of the grief that has curled around Tasmanians who heard of 24-year-old Sarah Paino who died in Hobart on an early Friday morning a week and a half back, after she dropped her baker partner to work. Sarah was a mother of two. Her two-year-old son was in the back seat and her 32-week-gestation baby was delivered alive after her death. The grief has held such sting because of the injustice, the sad unfairness of a family fractured due to the choices of a 15-year-old boy who allegedly stole a car and was taking it for a joy ride when he collided with …

Why We’re So Intrigued By Injury

Every parent knows that a Bandaid on a child is so much more than an adhesive strip to mop up blood and keep dirt out of a scrape. The power of these magical stickers should never be underestimated. What’s more, the colourful cartoon characters printed on the more expensive varieties are a novelty du force. The humble Bandaid is a gallant defender of the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ maxim that most parents cling to. Have you noticed how the fine motor skills required to tear open the packet, peel away the fiddly leaves and then smooth the apparatus across the lesion without touching the site of grief brings a beautiful distraction from the trauma of the incident itself? Wonderful invention. But the most perplexing result is observed beyond adult supervision, in the playground, with another little mate seated beside. They are peeling the Bandaid away to, “Come look!” and “Awww!” and to boast “I cut it on dad’s fishing lure!” Yep. There’s the little blubbering mess suddenly dry-eyed, ripping off the dressing to show …