The Suitcase

Amidst the crowded streets of Jerusalem
A woman weaves her way slowly
Through the crowds, the noise, the walls of stone
Dragging her suitcase behind her.

Her suitcase of life
Filled with the past. Thoughts of the future.
Carrying the joys, the pain, the memories
The hopes and dreams.

Yet made heavy with the disappointment.
Bulging with fear. Weighted down by discontentment.
Worry and anxiety hiding secretly in its corners.
Grief spilling out from it’s pockets.
Rejection corked in bottles.
Perfectionism wrapped up neatly in boxes.
Sin crouching in her shoes.
Unresolved issues in vacuum sucked bags.
And offence reproducing in the casing.
A spaceless case filled with emotional baggage.

Her journey is slow
And the weight behind her unbearable.
Yet she plods through the throngs
Grumpy as they jostle her
Barking at those in her way
Frustrated at the bulk she is carrying.

But she finds the path
Up to Golgotha
To find that cross
To find that man
That people say can lighten your load.

And when she finds him
Silhouetted against a dark sky
She observes the crown of thorns
The bare feet
The nails
The agony of a man close to death.

He sees her
She is held captive
By a look of love and hope
As she opens her case at the foot of the cross
She whispers through tears ‘ I can carry this no longer’
Please take these from me- I give them to you.

She empties her case
Of every item that ever made it’s home in there
Surrendering them at the cross.
As the drops of blood cover her burdens
And the power of His presence wraps around her.

‘Pick up your case and keeping walking’ he whispers
‘For my burden is light and and you shall have rest for your soul’.


Impart Life


We are created to be impartational people.

I find that God’s word consistently reminds us that we are born again as spirit people therefore we are called to explain “spiritual realities with Spirit- taught words” (1 Corinthians 2:13). The Spirit of God imparts life and that our words, like those of Jesus, are to be full of spirit and life.

Our default, however, can be to communicate truth from our head rather from our spirit. We forget that we are actually transmitters. We are those who pass on something of value, of abstract quality, to others. We are channels through which the spirit flows.

To impart is to deposit something of our own revelation and depth of Holy Spirit experience into the heart and spirit of someone else. My heart has always been to preach, teach, counsel and communicate spirit to spirit. Rather than from my head knowledge to your head space! I desire that you capture my real heart and my spirit-life not just my words. I want to impart vision not share it. We live in an age where people are hungry for authenticity. Therefore we need to understand the power of importance of impartation.

I have increasingly learnt to lead myself from a different zone. I can over think, second guess myself and find my own thoughts confusing! At times I can give space to wrong thoughts that contradict what I actually know deep down is true. But when I stop and allow the Holy Spirit room, I find myself tapping into something deeper and of greater substance. I cannot lead as a pastor from my head or emotions. I have to lead myself and others from my place of revelation and insight. And by my faith, which is not created in my head. It is stirred and birthed in my spirit where revelation lives.

I truly believe that the revival we so long to see in our churches will be stirred by a life giving spirit of unity. That runs deep. In our church, we teach that it is not opinions or preferences that will ever build the church. But a profound unity. That we learn to surrender the ‘I’ for the sake of the ‘we’ so that we form one unit, one body, one harmonious family:
“Make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind”. (Philippians 2:2)

Unity looks and feels like this to me: That I see what you see. I feel what you feel. That I love what you love. That I serve what you serve. That I submit like you submit. That I hunger for God like you hunger for God. That I hold fast to this vision as you hold fast to this vision. THAT is beautiful harmony. Which creates intimacy. And I believe that the more you choose to step into unity, the deeper your friendships will become. Bringing life to you.

If you desire to be more impartational- here are some easy truths to remember: Continue reading

There is power in the right question

~If you do not know how to ask the right question, you will discover nothing~ W E Deming

Over the past year I have been increasingly teaching myself to ask the right questions. Being of the female gender – I seem to possess an inner drive to ask a multitude of questions and have concluded that my brain loves to feed off them! Questions are powerful tools that can ignite hope and lead to new insights. Yet they can also destroy hope and keep us stuck in bad assumptions.

I have discovered that one of my keys to successfully handling others is in asking the RIGHT questions. Sitting in a leadership seminar last year, I heard someone say: the best leaders are the best question masters. A bell rang on the inside of me and since then I’ve been on a journey to unpack that truth further.

I have stepped back and discovered afresh that certain negative questions I ask of myself are very undermining as they can quickly take me to a place of either uncertainty; inadequacy or frustration and subsequently I have no creative energy to answer them. For example: Why is this so hard? Why bother? Why do I waste so much time? Why do I keep saying the wrong thing at the wrong time? Why do Dutch people do it like THAT? God – why did you let that happen?

So I have begun to consider carefully the questions I ask of myself and others whom I am pastoring. To choose to ask a question that empowers me and creates possibilities and FAITH. A green GO question and not a red one! For instance: How can I be productive with my time? As opposed to a WHY question: Why do I waste so much time?

My life spins around others all the time. Discipling, pastoring, in and out of interesting/ challenging conversations, leading people and encouraging them in their walk with Jesus. And I have found conversations more fruitful and more constructive when I have sought to carefully ask strategic questions to draw out truth, heart and motives. To seek to understand. I have always treasured the truth in this verse:

Proverbs 14:33 Wisdom lies in the heart of the discerning

I can be hot headed when I THINK about what I REALLY would like to say to people! It’s too easy to hastily rush in- with my own assumptions- and fail to draw out truth wisely, the nuggets of information I need, truth that will empower me to help deal with the situation and make someone genuinely feel that I want to hear their side of the story. The right, open- ended questions give me:

· Time to consider,

· Truth to reflect back to that person,

· A chance to dig a little deeper, and

· An opportunity for them to unburden or confess.

Put simply, wise questions equip me; to deal with myself wisely and locate the real issues in my heart, to work on my marriage more positively, to understand my kids more fully and to lead others more effectively.


I created this poem to capture the heart of the woman in Mark 5 who had been subject to bleeding for 12 years. Her pain- her faith- her stretch- her healing. A remarkably brave woman…..


She hovered in the shadows of her life
Weighed down by years of pain
Crushed by disappointment
Mourning for lost dreams
Afraid of the crowds
Unclean and hidden from view
Tired and worn out from waiting
A shadow of the woman she once was

Yet that day. When He came
A surge of faith so audacious rose in her heart
To dare to do the impossible
The unacceptable
The unthinkable
To touch a man while she bled
To touch the Son of God.

She pushed through her fear
The shadows of darkness
And every obstacle that stood against her
She found him as she searched for Him
In total silence she stretched out in the unseen realm
She stretched out her trembling hand to him
Catching the fringe of his cloak
And entered a sacred moment
Creating a freedom miracle of her very own
Which transformed her life

He stopped.
Turning around in the throngs of people
Searching for her
For this woman who drew out his anointing
With her heart of faith

She fell trembling at his feet
Her story unfolding
In the shadow of her Saviour
And hears those beautiful words Spoken over her life
‘Daughter- your faith is what healed you.
Arise. Go in peace. You are free from your shadowlands.
Your shackles are gone.
I have turned your pools of tears into pools of blessing, your sorrow into joyful dancing.’

My thoughts are defeating me!

Lift up your eyes

In Colossians 3:1 Paul urges us not to shuffle along with our eyes to the ground, absorbed with just the things in front of us. But to ‘look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ- that’s where the action is. See things from HIS perspective’ (the Message)

Working out our salvation is largely about understanding how incredible and real the new nature God has placed within us is, and then THINKING and behaving in alignment with it. Our sinful nature is cut away and we have a new spiritual DNA. We are called to put to uproot and sever everything from our old life that is connected with death and darkness. Because EVERYTHING about us has been RAISED up. Our identity, our vision, our purpose, our self worth. And our thinking needs to follow…..

What you focus and think upon on is what will supremely shape you. Hence the need to be transformed by the renewing of our mind. Raising our thinking from earthly mindedness to thinking God thoughts.

Our thoughts take us somewhere. Negative, angry, jealous, defeated, fearful thoughts take us on a journey down the wrong pathway. Which is why Paul says in Romans- SET your mind on what the Spirit desires.

Controlling our thought life is a choice and it’s not all easy as we default to old patterns of thinking. The answer: our connection and relationship with the Holy Spirit. He is our connector to heaven. His role is to direct your eyes to look up and remind you of who you really are. He is your BUT GOD.

So when you feel defeated in your mind:

BELIEVE and be convinced you have a NEW nature and the old you is buried. Else you will always live with defeated thoughts

Make a choice. To let the Spirit of God within you take control and lead your thinking.

Allow the Spirit to interrupt and intercept your thoughts. Else they take root. Take those negative thoughts hostage from running free! Capture defeated thoughts about yourself. This is your battle with your enemy and you have the power to WIN!

Tap into the power of the Spirit within you. Take time. Allow Him to remind you of God’s Word, meditate on whatever is true and remember who you are and whom you are called to represent.

You are MORE than a conqueror!


She is a Colossians Tree


She stands
Exuding an undeniable presence
To those who cross her path

Leaves of brilliant green
Branches bent with sweet fruit
An immovable trunk of stature
A home for the birds of the air
Adventurous children
Shade for the weary traveller

She fears no season
For she knows each carries a purpose
She sends her roots down deep and wide
Faithfully tapping into all that’s good below
Securing her in the soil of richness

She knows her secret to success
The key to every season
In the dark cold days
When gusts of sharp wind seek to topple her
She extends her roots in hidden places.
Stretching…. seeking…
Pursuing the food that sustains her
Anchoring herself
Into the soil where she was planted

In the warm summer sun
She bears her abundant fruit
And attractive flowers
A blessing to passers by
The sweet produce
Of hidden roots in rich soil.

She does not stand alone
She sees dawn to dusk
With the trees planted around her
Their roots intertwining
Absorbing the goodness of the soil
Growing together toward the sun

Those who admire her height
Her beauty
Her foliage of freshness
Who stand in her presence and smile
Will never see that her depth…
Is her crowning glory

She is a Colossians Tree
Confident in her roots
Her life hidden in her Creator
Bearing fruit in every season.

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Anti Fluffy. Bring on the Power!

My head and heart are in the most wonderful space. Planning, dreaming, discussing, imagining, praying over our 2014 Everywoman Dutch Gathering for our C3 Churches. 12 days away…

I am convinced of this: that there is so often untapped power in gatherings of Christian women. I have been a pastor for many years and I am so acutely aware
of the secret worries in the hearts of women when they meet together. The fluffy and soft haze of perfume and conversation. The edge of female competition. The foreboding anxiety…will you be able to connect and click with others? Wondering what other women think of you. Hoping you are embraced for who you are not who you are trying to be. The vulnerability off carrying fresh wounds and pain into a female only environment! Eek…

Unknowingly, many women forget that deep down we all carry those same doubts and inhibitions at different points of our life. And we all have a desire in us to want to be known.

There are untold riches and strength in coming together as women in order to learn from each others journeys and hear how God has woven His goodness into our lives. Across the generations. There is a sacredness in committing ourselves to others in order to do life together and determining ourselves to grow past and beyond the inadequacies we feel as women.

There is nothing like feeling His love together, being inspired together, facing our giants together, praying over each other together, standing together and declaring that nothing is impossible with God before you and great women around you.

If you live in the Netherlands- don’t miss this opportunity!! ☺☺
Carve out time for yourself to hear God just for you. Whilst being surrounded by an army of loving, vivacious and awesome women. You may just position yourself for beautiful new friendships. And a whole lot more….


A Walk….. and a Whisper

Jesus looked at Peter. And asked:
“Do you love me?”
“Do you truly love me?”

I heard that same whisper settle into my heart
As I walked in autumnal leaves
” Tell me that you love me….
I long to hear it as words from your lips
Tell me you love me being your Father
That you love me just for who I AM”

So I did
I showered God with my love
Telling Jesus I loved Him for His sacrifice
And the Holy Spirit for His presence

Realizing again how easy it is
To just love God for what He does
Thanking Him when He breaks through
Being with Him because I need something from Him

But Jesus gently asks
“Do you love me
Simply for who I am
And what I represent in your life?
Never lose the precious reason
Why you build my kingdom
It starts and ends with the beautiful truth
That I first loved you
And you love me”.


Living with Simplicity Part 3

Here are some final thoughts around this theme of living with greater Simplicity. Sometimes we just need to step back, learn to release what is superfluous so that we can enjoy this incredible life’s journey we are on without being weighed down by necessary worries and emotional, mental baggage.

1. Determine yourself to appreciate the little things in life. As you get older, you realize those small moments were more precious than you thought at the time. We can miss something we should treasure because in our heads we are caught up with questions that STEAL. “ Do I look ok? Is this looking perfect? Why are they saying that? Why do I have to wait? I really should be doing something else?” Ahhhhhhhh…Simply enjoy your kids when they are young, the walks along the beach at sunset, the road trip with friends…and a thousand other moments ♥
2. Become content with what you have now and rejoice in the way things are. A simple mindset that can actually set you free…
3. Be a simple friend! One who does not complicate friendships by holding grudges, complaining about life, full of hidden motives and high expectation of others. My most precious friendships are those that are simple in nature. Those that do not burden me or leave me feeling confused as to what that person thinks of me. Those that simply love me, laugh with me and stand by me no matter what.
4. If you know that you have a habit of complicating situations in your head (o that’s me!!) or saying the wrong thing in a conversation, just step back in those moments and take a breath. Sometimes we take a simple task or a simple conversation and we throw into them too many questions and expectations and before we know it, we have squeezed the life and joy out of something that was straightforward.
5. Try and make as many pre determined decisions as you can in life. That are based on the values you hold. As a family, we have made many of these from attending church, how we discipline our kids, how we spend our money. We then just simply KNOW what to do rather than debate in our heads the way forward depending on how we FEEL in that given moment of decision.
7. Spend some time decluttering your house. In the words of William Morris “ have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful”!! If our homes are full of junk, cupboards that are bulging with STUFF and paperwork that sits dusty on the shelves, it saps time and mental energy in the most subtle ways. I am still working on that one…

Simple thoughts…. profound results. Love to hear your wisdom on the matter….feel free to comment!


Living with Simplicity Part 2

I have been contemplating a single thought recently. That we can spend so much time and energy on things that don’t matter-we often fail to focus on what does matter. What are the true things that really matter in all areas of our life? How can we live with a simplicity that defines our life?

Paul writes in Ephesians , ‘…throw off your…former way of life…let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes’ (4: 22-23 NLT).

It’s all about being renewed, getting rid of all the emotional and mental clutter in our lives. You and I can escape to a log cabin in the mountains and try and relieve life’s pressures, busyness and baggage. But true Simplicity is something you need to cultivate daily within and around yourself.

So I have outlined a bunch of thoughts and tips that have been guiding me into a simpler way of doing life. Some are huge…and take real perseverance to breakthrough in 🙂

1. Remember what your One thing is in life. My one thing, above all else in life, is to know Jesus and make Him known. My heart is to keep that central in all I do and think, which continually brings perspective when times get tough and big decisions have to be made.
2. Know that Jesus is enough. He truly is. If everything else falls away, when relationships are not working, when bad news lingers – He is still enough for you.
3. Take situations or conversations that are difficult and that need wisdom straight to God first, before you talk to others and spend hours wrestling with them! Learn to leave things with Him and trust that He will work for you and will give you the wisdom you need.
4. Forgive an offense quickly else your heart can get clogged up with frustration and bitterness which leads you to build walls and not bridges between you and others.
5. Allow God to deal with your emotional baggage from the past. Your disappointment, unanswered questions, the pain you have faced. Else they fill your mind and hold you back. They drag our spirit down and continually force us to look backwards and not forwards. They prevent you from simply enjoying the here and now and hold you captive from walking in the simple freedom Jesus has for you.
6. Learn to say no. I have learnt that to simplify my life, I have to stop always saying YES! If you are a people pleaser saying No can be difficult, but you are in danger of filling up your time with commitments you cannot fulfill and that take you away from what you really should be doing.

Some golden nuggets that I hope bring some inspiration.
Part 3 is on its way….