Stand Firm: Taking Refuge through Faith in Jesus

The image of God as our shield is one that is probably most associated with the ‘wisdom books’ of the Bible. Reading Psalms and Proverbs, this is not an unusual concept; in fact, we are quite used to hearing verses such as:

The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.” (Ps 28:7),

The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Ps 18:2)

“Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.” (Prov 30:5)

Continue reading

I’m Busier Than You

“How’s your week been?” “Oh you know, it’s been busy…’.

Sound familiar?
Without fail, no matter who I talk to, whether I ask the question or answer it, I have this conversation many times per week. And you know what this says about us? We are all busy.

In my first few years of my medical degree, I was busy. Really busy. And it got to the stage where it would annoy me when other people told me they were busy because they couldn’t possibly be as busy as me; they had no idea what sort of hours I worked, how much I had to learn, what sort of pressure I was under – they didn’t understand busy.

Continue reading

Stand Firm: Preparedness in the Gospel of Peace

” And, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.” (Eph 6:15)

When thinking about our preparedness for a spiritual battle, being ready for war against Satan and evil, ‘peace’ is probably not the first word that comes to your mind. In fact, when I first sat down to look at this verse in Ephesians in order to write this post, I had absolutely no idea what I was going to say. The Belt of Truth and Breastplate of Righteousness are rich and deep, but at face value are also somewhat self explanatory- they make sense in the scene of battle. But shoes of peace – maybe not so much. Does it mean we should be pursuing peace? Or searching for peace? Or if we wear these said shoes we will have peace despite a raging battle around us?

Continue reading

Reflecting on Christian Labels and Unity in Christ

Just recently as I have been reading a few different blogs and articles, and some of the social media responses to these, I have been struck by how quickly we as Christians can be to prescribe labels to ourselves and to each other, even if they are not accurate. Labels are often shaped by our denominations or theological standing, such as being ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative,’ or ‘Pentecostal’ or reformed’. Admittedly, the majority of what I have seen has been a fight against being ‘legalistic’, whilst also being very defensive of ‘grace-covering-all’- but I have no doubt that the name-calling and labeling goes both ways, and that judgement is often handed out on those who do not fit into the ‘good-Christian’ image.

Continue reading

Heart Questions: An Active and Dependent Faith

Just recently I had a job interview for an intern position (first-year-out doctor) at my local hospital. This interview, alongside a couple of references from doctors I had worked with, determined whether I got to stay where I am currently living and my husband keep his job or if we would need to pack up and move away from our church and families next year. The interview went averagely. It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t amazing- I really had no idea what the result would be.

Continue reading

Stand Firm: Protecting Your Heart with Jesus’ Righteousness

If I was to ever be sent into battle and was only allowed one piece of armour (a ridiculous hypothetical situation I know, but bear with me), I think it would be a tough choice between a breastplate to protect my heart and lungs, or a helmet to protect my brain. An injury almost anywhere to the body can be life threatening if you lose enough blood, but ultimately without a functioning heart or lungs (or brain to control them) you have a death sentence. Hence in battle, protecting these vital organs is essential for survival. So today we continue our series on standing firm by looking at the breastplate of righteousness, and how righteousness is a fundamental part of our battle against Satan’s schemes.

Continue reading