Expansion!

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What’s needed to go to the next level? What tools will I need,  do I have what I need, what needs refining? This is a question which I’ve asked over numerous season of life.  Whether it’s because I’ve returned to study again! (I seem to love writing essays – its seems a little strange even to me😊) or because I’m starting a new work, ministry or life adventures.

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In times of expansion it’s easy to look at what we seem to be struggling and failing at – but there is also a whole other side to it. What about the excitement that underlies a time of expansion.  Sure, there can be plain tiredness and brain hurt, but there is also this drive, a push to achieve all that is laid out before you. It’s exciting and exhausting wrapped into one and it causes us to laugh and smile at the huge workload because we know that it’s being used to grow us unto the next season of life.

Did you know that you, yes you, can achieve so much more than you’ve ever given yourself credit for? You have this untapped potential! You are growing into an amazing person.  You have exponential potential, expansion is going to show your friends and family and maybe even you what you are made of! But, I know this for sure, God is never going to be surprised by the array of things you can achieve. You know it doesn’t matter now many times you’ve failed, quit or struggled with things in your life, because God sees the you, the real you are under all the junk, expectation you heap upon yourself and trials. You are valuable beyond compare!

It is God who I credit for an expansion season, because in my doubt, concern and worry- He simply says ‘I’ve got it covered!’. Without Him, I’d be a mess. I’ve no idea what comes next, but I know God goes with me and therefore the unknown is an adventure awaiting me. He goes with you too.

When life throws you a season of expansion, grab it with both fists, for you never know, the wonder you’ve always desired maybe just over the horizon.

Ps Erinruth Smith 

Why Study?

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It’s a question I’ve asked many times when talking with people about why they want to study. The answers can be wide and varied – and not always what you might expect. Some people have a strong sense of what they want to study and what they hope to accomplish as a result. They have a clear plan for completing study with inroads for potential future vocations. Other people study because they are bored with their current job, they want a new challenge or just want to learn for the sake of learning without having any real reason to study.

Whatever the motivation for studying is, here are a few good things to consider when contemplating study:

 The Peace of God – God wants to see all of us grow and achieve. However, we always want to be doing God’s will at the right time in our life. So it’s good pray and seek wise counsel before committing to study.

Time length of the course – are you prepared to stick with the course for its entirety? Even with full-time/part-time/external study options, make sure you can see yourself actually completing the course.

Your Time commitment for study – are you prepared to make space in your weekly routine to make sure you have enough time for keeping up with the study load? This is always the biggest obstacle for people once they start studying so it’s worth considering beforehand.

Goals or aims for what you will do after study – You don’t necessarily need a clear plan of exactly what you’re going to do once you finish.  However, if you have goals or ideas, it helps to keep you on track for completion and gives you a vision of what your study can lead to.

Who benefits from the study – is the study only of interest to you, or can you see it having an impact on others? Again, this can give you a sense of purpose for studying if you see the benefits to yourself and others.

Weird Stuff We Do

We do weird stuff because we’re trying to get God to bless us. We’ll travel long distances, at enormous cost, to visit a particular place where the blessing is currently being manifest in some way. We’ll fast for days and pray for hours, both in tongues and in our own languages. Some people have denied themselves sleep for extended periods and others have cut themselves off from human contact. Most, although perhaps not all, of these are valuable spiritual disciplines which can, if entered into with the right motives and in submission to the will of God, be of great value. The problem is that these right motives are elusive unless we have right understanding of the blessing of God.