Friday, February 27, 2015

The Gift of Love Goes on Giving

Sarah and Jonas - Brooklyn Bridge, NY
I met Sara Goff online and asked her to share her story.

Back in 1996, I was working long hours as a buyer in New York's fashion industry. In the evenings I began working on a vague idea for a novel. I felt empty inside and wanted to make a difference in someone's life.

I tried different areas of voluntary community work but nothing filled the emptiness. One evening, alone in my Manhattan apartment, I sat on the floor sobbing and praying in earnest, "God take my life and do something with it. I've gotten this far, but you can do so much more. here I am use me for some purpose."

After several years before my life began to change. I lost my father to cancer and then I changed my job in fashion just to pay the bills. I found more time for my writing and pursued that.

Shortly after, I met Jonas. he became not only the best friend in my life but my husband. We rented out the apartment and travelled the world.

 A trip to Kenya opened my eyes to a level of giving I had not witnessed before. I met a young Masai girl whose generosity planted a seed in my heart for charity that finally bloomed. At this time we lived with our son - just a few months old - in Sweden where I had time and space to think. I felt the urge to seek out new relationships through a worthwhile project.

I knew of struggling schools in Kenya and a care centre for street kids in the Philippines. Sara eventually set up a website to give these children the opportunity to express their creativity and individualism and in doing that instilling hope and confidence.

The answer to many prayers became Lift the Lid, a registered US charity that is building classrooms, a science lab, a lunch program, sanitary guidance to girls, books, and writing competitions. All to give a voice to underprivileged students by publishing their writing.

Thank you Sara. A beautiful story of how God uses ordinary people to change lives.

Friday, February 20, 2015


Robert and Lori Evans are an interesting and energetic couple. They host a TV show together.  Catch

No doubt this has drawn them closer in their marriage as they honour the Lord in their endeavours.

Robert is a ACSM Certified Personal Trainer (American College of Sports Medicine) and has been active in Kung Fu (martial arts) since 1993. After years of training people in martial arts the Lord is now using those experiences for God's glory to help encourage Christians to exercise and have a desire to take care of their Temple of the Holy Spirit by being physically fit and honoring the Lord with their lives in all things.  

 Lori has experienced a multitude of surgeries and illnesses in her adult life. Through God's miraculous healing hand and an encounter with the Lord Jesus, she is now using those experiences to help Christians understand the benefits of proper nutrition and learning the word of God. She has an evangelist's heart and a desire for everyone to learn and receive the Love of Christ and live victoriously each day through the word of God.

Christian Fitness was birthed from a burden
concerning the sedentary lifestyle that many have adopted not fully realizing the negative affect it is having on their physical health, with Christians being no exception.

The Evans say:

We are all called to be disciples and to be a witness of God's glory and everlasting promise. In order to carry out this commission, we must be spiritually and physically strong. God has opened the door for Christian Fitness to provide an opportunity to assist followers of Jesus to live a spiritually strong life and healthier lifestyle.

Oops! I have been neglecting to walk the block lately! I must get back to it. What about you? 

Friday, February 13, 2015


Wedding Day - 1973
I asked my friend, Sue, to share how she met her future husband, Ken.

Looking back in retrospect-it's amazing how God takes care of His own. Both Ken and I were "outreach" kids from non-Christian homes with catholic backgrounds. My parents moved around a lot when I was growing up- I went to five different schools before high school, but they finally settled in Leichhardt - where they had both grown up and met, just in time for me to start high school.

Through outreach contacts to my father, I was picked up every Sunday and taken to Hebron Hall and learned about the love of God and His son Jesus - something that was a bit lacking at times at home.

By the time I was about 14,  there was a young married couple from Campsie Assembly who came with one of their "outreach" boys, and like all newly married couples, they felt a responsibility to find a suitable interest for their young, serious, Ken. After settling in and sussing out the prospects, they made their choice and tried to encourage him to take an interest.
One thing about Ken - he likes to steer his own ship - and this was not the direction he was going.
We were in youth group together with a mutual friend base, and our beliefs were the same. But even though I thought he was gorgeous and had an enormous crush on him - he refused to be moved.

Twice I asked him to my Y12 formal - and each time he fobbed me off - preferring to go to the movies with his mates. I remember woefully moaning to my nan about his lack of interest - and she laughed, giving her words of wisdom that there were plenty of other fish in the sea. But I told her, 'I intend to marry him.' She laughed even harder then. Ah, the flightiness of youth.

Once I finished school I had just about given up - then - out of the blue- he asked me out to dinner! He's such a romantic at times - never forgets birthday or anniversaries - I even get flowers for Valentines Day.

I asked him many years later why he finally asked me out - and he replied - "I finally gave in to the inevitable". Fortunately for him he elaborated. He said he knew in his heart that God had said this is the one - but as I said before - he likes to steer his own course- got to love the man - warts and all.

We've had our ups and downs- but our vows before God are what are most important to us - never to be taken lightly. This year we celebrate 42 years of marriage - but really its a lifetime of growing up together. All praise to God!

Thursday, February 5, 2015


Celebrating 50 years of Marriage
What about this modern idea of happily ever
after? Does it have a place or do we abandon the
idea altogether to embrace the refining fire of
Not at all. Happiness is a very real result of a healthy marriage. Even modern social research
 shows that marriage historically offers more
happiness than singleness or divorce.

However,.happiness is not the primary goal of
your marriage. Becoming more beautiful by
becoming your best self—more loving, joyful,
peaceful, patient, kind, faithful, gentle,
 self-controlled—is the goal.

Marriage—like fire—can be an all-consuming and potentially painful substance. But also like
a fire, it can refine us. And like Michelangelos's chisel liberating the figures inside of a rock, 
marriage is a tool that the Divine uses to make us beautiful.

Author Tyler Ward say goes on to say:
I know that marriage can be one of the more challenging things we experience in life. And I know that at times, it demands far more than we feel we can give. I know there are moments when walking away seems like the only sane and rational thing to do. Yet I also know that marriage multiplies what we can become—both as individuals and as couples.
Marriage, even though it will introduce us to some of life’s most arduous moments, has brilliant intentions in mind. It’s unapologetically interested in chipping away at our dysfunctional thoughts, patterns, and postures in life and inviting us—and our spouses—to become the best version of ourselves.

When we remember this brilliant intention to liberate us—the beautiful statues trapped within our own mess—we begin to see a hopeful view of the relationship, even in its darkest times.

This vision of marriage takes the expectation off of our spouses to make us happy and recreates the expectation that our marriage exists to help us grow.  It turns our focus from personal fulfillment to mutual personal development.

*This is an excerpt of Marriage Rebranded: Modern Misconceptions & the Unnatural Art of Loving Another Person. by Tyler Ward