About Me

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South Africa
My husband, Brett and I live in beautiful South Africa and have been blessed with the most precious family. We have 2 very beautiful and brave daughters, Tianna (15) and Angelee (12) and a very precious little boy called Zac who touched our hearts forever in his 1 day here on earth. We never would have imagined that we would have to live this side of Heaven without our sweet boy who was born with half a heart, but every day Jesus carries us through and is teaching us more than ever how to live, laugh and love fully. 3 years ago our faithful Great Restorer graciously blessed us once again with another son ... our beloved Gabriel ... a ray of sunshine in all our lives! "Love in Action" is our journey as a family to love the way Jesus is teaching us to love and live.

Blog Archive

31 August 2011

Isn't He Lovely?! Oh so Lovely!

Precious friends ... the more I get to know my Jesus, the more I am overwhelmed by what love truly looks like. I have to start this post by saying that to know Him is to love Him. He truly is the best depiction of what love looks like because, He is love in every way. He is more beautiful and wonderful than any words could ever express. He truly is. If you don't see Him like this ... seek Him out for yourself. To all who seek Him, He is found. Never go on just the picture of somebody else's opinion of Jesus ... take the time to seek Him out for yourself. If you look at His life in the pages of your Bible, you will discover His heart and your heart will forever be captivated. 
When I started this journey of "love in action" through this blog, I never would have known the rich treasures Jesus would reveal to me about Himself in the midst of what many would see as a nightmare. What I have found is perfect peace and confidence of faith in Him beyond any of my own human reasoning. What I have found is the heart of Jesus and how wonderful He truly is. After loving Him for 29 years I am realising how much more there is to love and discover. I have hardly scraped the surface! His wisdom and goodness go way beyond what my mind can take in which is obviously why He reveals Himself to me one day at a time ;0)
So let me get to some of the things He has been showing me lately.
Well, you all know by now how He has been teaching me to have a confident faith in Him with regards to His promises about our baby boy's healed heart. This confidence of faith can only come based on revelation of His Word, and oh how He has gone above and beyond in showing us His wonderful heart for Zac. Just a glimpse of this little boys destiny in God blows me away. Hebrews 11:1 has been an absolute anchor for me. "Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen, it gives us assurance about things we cannot see." What I have been learning is that hope in itself has no substance. Hoping that God will answer our prayer is vastly different to having the faith that confidently holds God to the truth that He is always faithful to His Word. When faith / believing God, is added to our hope ... we have substance people!!! Solid substance and assurance that God is able & willing :0)
I have gone through such a range of questions with the Lord and have come to see with clarity that unless you get God's Word on the matter that you are believing for, you cannot have immovable faith or peace of heart. Only seeing Jesus' Word gives you confidence to believe what Jesus says in John 14:12-14 "I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, if anyone steadfastly believes in Me, he will himself be able to do the things that I do; and he will do even greater things than these, because I go to My Father. And I will do (I Myself will grant) whatever you ask in My name (as presenting all that I AM), so that the Father may be glorified and extolled in (through) the Son. (Yes) I will grant (I Myself will do for you) whatever you shall ask in My Name (as presenting all that I AM.)" (Amplified version). This is the confidence Jesus wants each of us as believers to have. This is the very reason that we are called "believers". He is looking for us to BELIEVE in all that He is!!! This has HUGE impact on our lives here on earth and in Heaven!
So here's what struck my heart today. Hebrews 7:25-26 says "Therefore He is able also to save to the uttermost (completely, perfectly, finally and for all time and eternity) those who come to God through Him, since He is always living to make petition to God and intercede with Him and intervene for them. (Here is) the High Priest (perfectly adapted) to our needs, as was fitting - holy, blameless, unstained by sin, separated from sinners, and exalted higher than the heavens."
Ok, stick with me here for just a little longer ... that word "save" to the uttermost is the Greek word "sozo" which means "to save i.e. to deliver or protect (lit. or fig.) to heal, preserve, save (self), do well, be (make) whole"! Oh my Word! This is the beautiful and wonderful Jesus that I was shouting out about at the beginning of my post! This is how He saves! To the UTTERMOST and in EVERY WAY!!! Do you see how wonderful He is! This is the kind of help He gives to "those who come to God through Him". That salvation includes EVERYTHING that we will ever need this side of heaven and for all eternity! This is why I know with confidence that my son's heart is healed. This is why I know with confidence that ANYTHING you are facing and dealing with is just another opportunity for Him to show His salvation and love to you. He doesn't just want you to accept what you are going through. He wants to save, heal, deliver, protect, preserve, do well and make whole anything that is simply too impossible for you. This is the very God who is praying and interceding for you every single day until you meet Him face to face in heaven. This is Jesus! The One who is "perfectly adapted to your every need". 
Now you know why I can rejoice while I patiently wait to hold my perfectly loved and whole son. My Jesus is praying and interceding over his life as He is over my daughters lives, my husband's life and my very own life EVERY DAY. He is the One praying over your life today and waiting for you to simply believe so that He can do all that He has spoken over your life!!! Oh how He loves you. Isn't He lovely?! So very lovely!!!
In whatever you are facing today, take some time out to discover His heart on the matter. You will come away with peace and assurance that no man can ever steal from you. 
All my love xxx
Janine

26 August 2011

Smiling through those "sometimes tears"

Along this crazy journey, sometimes Brett and I just cry. When talking about the faithfulness of how God is walking so closely to us and through all the processing, sometimes we have those moments where we can't stop the tears. Isn't there a verse somewhere where it says God collects every one of our tears? He sees us through every emotion we face. 
Today I thought I would share some of the precious gifts that we have received along the way in the last few days. I have mentioned a few times how blessed we have been by the children that have been praying for Zac and our family. Just this week I was blessed with  this little home made bookmark for my Bible from such a precious little girl named Katie. Oh how it touches my heart!!!
How profound is that one little statement "I hope that God will help you throw your stress". How brilliant! Yes Lord!!! That is one thing I have learned in the last few weeks ... to "throw my stress" on the Lord in exchange for His "heart peace"!
Talking about "heart peace", here is another precious hand made gift ...
Oh how I cried when I received this! This sign was made for us and has been mounted in Zac's room. God knows Brett and I so well and exactly what will speak to our hearts. Not only does it hold the phrase that God gave me the morning that we would hear troubling news, but it was made from Brett's favourite wood ... iron wood / railway sleeper. The significance is astonishing to us. It is one of the toughest woods. How "Jesus" is this gift!!! His peace is able to see us through even the toughest situations!!!
This week my action step in faith has been to get Zac's room together. I still need to get a rug and a few finishing touches, but look how sweet it is looking so far :0) 
I love sitting in his rocking chair and reading the Word. It cheers my heart to be in his little room.
Talking about the prayers prayed from this chair, on Monday morning after dropping the girls off at school I went to check on their hamsters. My heart sank. Angelee's hamster cage had been bumped open and the cage was empty! This is her first hamster and she LOVES him. I immediately sent out a desperate prayer to God and called Brett. He rushed home from work with one of his staff members and we turned the house inside out looking for Bree. Gone! No where to be found! He had escaped Sunday night, the doors had been left open during the day until I discovered his escape and our expert hunter, Mr. Cosmo the terrier had been inside. My heart was just aching to have to tell Angelee the news when I fetched her from school. As I knew she would, she burst into tears. I promised to take her to the pet shop to choose another one and she looked at me and said "No Mommy. I want Bree. Jesus will help me find him." Oh my goodness. My heart was in my throat. What was I going to do if she couldn't find him? How could I protect her heart from becoming disappointed? 
That afternoon sent me into tears in that rocking chair. I listened to her for hours calling out her hamsters name and searching inside and outside, shaking a little box of seeds. My mommy's heart just broke. I told the Lord that I had faith for a creative miracle for Zac's heart, but seeing my child's faith for this hamster to be found and me not being able to do anything but trust Him. It just seemed so huge to me in the scale of everything else that we have been standing for. 
Tuesday - came and went. I asked Angelee again if I couldn't take her to the pet shop. "No mommy. Jesus will help me find Bree". Wednesday morning I woke up with one of the girls crying just before 4am. The wind was howling and she was scared. After tucking her back in bed I lay there thinking how that poor hamster must be trying to survive outside in all the wind. Brett and I were convinced it had escaped into the great outdoors. I heard Tianna get out of bed, switch on the light and I was about to go give her what for for waking up the whole house when I heard her screaming "I found Bree ... I found Bree". At 4am she found the hamster at the bottom of the ladder of her bunk bed!!!! I wanted to sob!!!! No one will ever know how this boosted my faith and made me so aware of Jesus' arms holding me close. Oh how He is interested in the big things and the small things. He heard Angelee's faith ... and protected and built it up by giving her the very thing she had asked Him for. How can I doubt the goodness of my Jesus and His heart to answer the cries of my heart when I see Him tending to all the details of our hearts!
May you have a wonderful weekend celebrating our amazing Saviour who sees all and is always able and always willing!!!
All my love xxx
Janine

24 August 2011

While we Wait

I have to confess that I have been a Christian for 29 years ... have loved the Bible, even attended Bible School for 2 years studying and seeing it come alive, but never given it the priority as I have over this last year, especially this last month. Have I read it, loved it, been encouraged by it and even preached from it ... yes! ... but never have I clung to it as a lifeline as I have over this last month. Before the 'paw paw hit the fan" (so to speak - hee hee) 3 weeks ago, I felt so compelled by the revelation that Jesus is the very Word of God (John 1:1) sitting across from me, teaching me of His very heart and desires each time I pick it up. Oh my goodness! It has totally changed my view of loving the Word of God. I see it so clearly as God speaking to me. It is because of this that Brett, Tianna, Angelee and I are held in His Supernatural peace. That "peace that surpasses all understanding" spoken of in Philippians 4:7 has literally in every way "mounted guard over our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus". (Amplified Bible). We are so fully persuaded of the promises He has given us to hold to, that even the children, at such a potentially stressful time are so peaceful and settled. This can only be Jesus and the peace that He Himself gives to all who believe. 
This is the amazing part of knowing Christ. No matter what we go through, HE HAS A PROMISE OF LIFE AND HOPE FOR US TO CLING TO IN HIS WORD. Jesus never said we would not have tough times, but He does say over and over again that He will deliver us out of them all if we call upon Him. We don't just have to settle for the hardship we find ourselves in. Jesus has the solution to anything we will ever face. I believe that with all my heart. He has not given us a full inheritance and covenant that lacks in any way. He is the God who said it is His desire that we not only have life, but that we have ABUNDANT life. (John 10:10) The Amplified Bible says it this way "The thief (satan) comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).
As I was about to go to sleep the other night, I heard His gentle whisper to my heart "My Word is the window to my heart". Jesus sees so clearly what we face day by day. He sees each one of the "complexities" that we see. He stands in the middle of it all and for those who will come to His Word for answers ... He will reveal His heart and will of how to stand and what we can believe. He has made His will so very clear to us on how to stand in our situation. 
I think that often times the hardest part of our faith walk is in the waiting ... that time frame in between asking and seeing the evidence of your prayer answered. The Lord has personally led me to the place of " ... they shall not be put to shame who WAIT FOR, LOOK FOR, HOPE FOR, AND EXPECT ME." (Isaiah 49:23). Is it an easy place to wait ... no. But it becomes so much easier that while you wait, IN FAITH, you are waiting with all your expectation being in God and the truth of His promises. Every time doubt rises in my mind, even in the smallest ways I am reminded that God cannot lie and that every one of His promises are YES and AMEN. Let's look at that in 2 Corinthians 1:20 "For ALL the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us." All of a sudden when we get a heart understanding of this, our waiting is not done in fear or anxiety or with uncertainty. Our waiting is done in confident trust, with sure hope that He is able. He is the One who watches over His Word to bring it to pass. Every one of those promises He has given to you ... are YES and AMEN when you are looking to Him in expectation and in faith.
I have learned that faith is not just hope alone or merely asking and then hoping that He will answer. Faith is being fully convinced of God's will and character and KNOWING that He is always true to His Word.
I know my recent posts are all about faith ... but these last 3 weeks have taught me what Jesus said in Mark 11:22-24 "And Jesus, replying, said to them, 'Have faith in God (constantly). Truly I tell you, whoever says to this mountain, Be lifted up and thrown into the sea! and does not doubt at all in his heart but believes that what he says will take place, it will be done for him. For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will get it."
What I understand in those verses is that Jesus is teaching us to seek out His will and when we have found it regarding our circumstances, to ask with confidence in faith and we will see those mountains moved. 
I know there are so many questions about faith. I do not have all the answers, but Jesus does. All I want to encourage you with today is what He has been revealing to me, that it is His desire to show you how to stand in whatever situation you find yourself in. He is the God of all hope. Take your questions to Him today. Look into His Word. He has comfort, encouragement and so much wisdom to share with you! (James 1:5) 
All my love xxx
Janine   

21 August 2011

The Incredible Miracles as we've been Standing for Zac's Miracle

Our very precious friends, the Lord has been revealing SO MUCH of Himself to Brett and I and our children through this journey we are walking with Him every day. Brett has his own post that he would like to share soon too as Zac's daddy. We have never experienced His amazing Presence like we are experiencing right now in our lives as He is walking with us and leading us in how to believe and stand leaning COMPLETELY on HIM. It is the most comforting place we have ever experienced. Throughout the day His Word guards our minds. Even as we sleep we hear Him talking to us in our dreams. As a mother it delights my heart to overflowing to hear how He is talking to my daughters in this and holding them so secure in His peace and rest. He continues to speak life and confidence to us over and over again.
Pondering these things the Lord began to show me that even along the way to what Brett and I see as the evidence of Zac's heart miracle ... there are so many amazing miracles taking place. I want to share just some of what is happening, because this whole journey us Robinson's are on right now is so much bigger than just us. I have shared in each post that the day we first got news of any problem, that morning, before my appointment and us even hearing any worrisome news about Zac's heart, God showed me in the book of Colossians 1:2 in the Amplified Bible that He has given us "heart peace". 2 verses down it then delclares how to have faith - to lean entirely in confidant trust in God's power, wisdom and goodness. I believe that this is the promise not only for us and Zac to hold onto ... but that this miracle is all about "heart peace" for every believer standing with us and looking to Jesus for their own miracle. What we are learning day by day is that only gazing into Jesus, who is the very Word of God (John 1:1) are we able to have confidant heart peace.
As I look back on these last 2 crazy weeks I see how EVERY TIME before we got a bad report medically speaking, God had already sent us a promise from His Word filled with such certainty and directness to what we were about to hear, so that we could lean upon and hold Him to. I actually now laugh at how committed He is to keeping Brett and I in confidant faith because as I think "Lord where in Your Word did you say ... (whatever it is I need to bolster my courage), either my phone beeps with a message of that EXACT verse typed out and sent to me from a loving family member or friend, or I pick up a book and as I read that very chapter, it starts talking all about that subject! This is why Hebrews 11:1 says that "Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen, it gives us assurance about things we cannot see." (New Living Translation). The Amplified Bible explains this verse by explaining that faith in the Word (Jesus Christ) is the "title deed" to what we are believing and holding Him to. This set me free on Friday when I read it, because when you have the title deed to something, IT BELONGS TO YOU!!! 
On Friday we got the confirmed diagnosis in writing from the specialist we just saw in Cape Town and her associates. It was so painful to read ... but then God sent us that very same day His report through a friend interceding for us of a vision backed up from the Word of God through the story of Nehemiah that He showed her that same morning. One day I will have to post that email. After reading that I was reminded of the verse which says "Whose report will you believe? We shall believe the report of the Lord!". 
The miracles that Brett and I are seeing come so much through the messages pouring in through sms's, phone calls, facebook messages and blog messages. (If I have not responded my thanks to you personally yet - I am so sorry. It's just been such a full time but oh how your messages have ministered to us as a family!!! THANK YOU). People are telling us how Jesus is teaching them to believe! From people we know to people we have never met, telling us of how many of God's children are in faith for Zac's miracle ... from little children praying in a nursery school for Jesus to "heal the little boy with a broken heart", to parents sharing how their children are reminding them to pray as a family for Zac's Jesus miracle, to churches and groups of people in bible studies all around South Africa, USA, the UK, the Middle East and even Brazil all believing that Zac has his miracle! I will never know this side of Heaven how many have stood in the gap for us, but how I cannot wait to hug each person who has encouraged us during this time. 
Another great encouragement to Brett and I is to see how God's children are looking to Him and searching out His will / His promises in the Word of God. As they search out these promises to encourage us, I know that God is revealing His heart to deliver, save and bless to them too as they are standing for His breakthrough's in their lives. 
I've had a dear friend share how her unsaved extended family are looking to God for a miracle. What a beautiful miracle! Both Brett and I stand humbled before God to be receiving encouragement from dear friends who have walked mightily in faith and complete devotion to Jesus through loss who are encouraging us to keep looking to Jesus. Oh how compassionate Jesus is in the heart of His people. It just makes me want to weep! We have received the most incredible stories from people around the world who have entrusted their children into Jesus' capable hands through surgeries and seen the faithfulness of God as mighty Healer. We have been told of countless incredible creative miracles too. The children of God are testifying right now!!! Through God's presence in the midst of their losses and victories, they are testifying how present He is and how capable He is of the impossible! What power comes through this as believers! The book of Revelation declares that "they overcame him by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony". The more we testify to the goodness of God, the more faith rises in our hearts to believe for what the world would say is impossible. Oh Jesus ... You are Magnificent!        
I know this is a super long post, but I wanted to end with these words shared by Smith Wigglesworth. "There is a rest of faith; there is a faith that rests in confidence on God. God's promises never fail. 'Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.' (Romans 10:17). The Word of God can create an irresistible faith, a faith that is never daunted, a faith that never gives up and never fails. We fail to realize the largeness of our Father's supply. We forget that He has a supply that cannot be exhausted. It pleases Him when we ask for much. 'If you then, being evil, know how to give GOOD GIFTS to your children, HOW MUCH MORE will your Father who is in heaven give GOOD THINGS to those who ASK HIM.' (Matthew 7:11)"
My precious friends, our God cannot fail! He is the rock that is higher than us. He is the Everlasting, Almighty One. He is the God who is "the same yesterday, today, and forever." (Hebrews 13:8). Oh how He loves us, comforts us, carries us, strengthens us and gives us a secure hope in Him. 
Sending you all much love and encouragement from a heart that is held in place by the God of all peace.
Janine

18 August 2011

The Kind of Miracle we are Believing for

Firstly, thank you once again for all the wonderful messages of love and encouragement. Our hearts are so overwhelmed by all the love that keeps flowing our way. I am truly seeing what "Love in Action" looks like. My house is filled with bunches of flowers ... meals and treats keep being dropped off and my phone hardly stays silent with messages of hope and encouragement. God is hugging us through each of your acts of love. 
Let me fill you in on the last few days.
Tuesday we flew out to Cape Town. Our appointment was in the late afternoon, but my phone kept beeping with the most incredible promises of God to bolster our hearts. This was the scan to determine a diagnosis of Zac's little heart. Every scripture and word of encouragement that was sent to us that morning became a pillar for us to lean into during that appointment.
The scan was one and a half hours long. She started out by weighing him and checking out all his organs. He has gained weight and moved from the lowest growth curve into just under average. That is a victory. Every limb, feature and organ is perfect. The blood tests ruled out chromosome defects ... another victory. Then she scanned the heart. Yikes people. It was the longest hour and a half as the the serious and weighty atmosphere desended into that little room. You know it's bad when the assistant nurse looks at the scan then walks over to you and pats your leg and looks so very sorry for what she is seeing. Then the specialist began talking. 
I will never forget how hard that appointment was as long as I live. Brett and I just held each others hands for all we were worth as she told us what any parent dreads to hear ... that there is very little to no hope medically speaking. The defects in the heart she was scanning were what they term very complex ... beyond the standard heart operations that are still very serious but operable. This heart, though beating, had too many defects. Where she should see 4 chambers, she saw 1. Where she should see 2 tubes, she saw only one. She noted the coortation of the aorta my Doctor suspected and then still noticed that the arch of the aorta was too narrow. Each defect alone is a huge complex defect ... never mind all of this put together. She said she would have to work together with a pediatric cardiologist to see if any of this could be operable but she didn't sound very hopeful. When Brett asked if Zac can survive once born with his heart in this condition she said no. We felt like we were standing outside watching in on somebody else's scan. How could things go from healthy and fine all the way through the pregnancy to this? She said we have to deliver in Cape Town if there is to be any chance of survival and that is only if they deem they can operate. We are still waiting to hear what her and her colleague have agreed upon as their diagnosis. As we were about to leave, the assistant nurse came up to me and said she saw we had hope coming in but she wanted me to know that this was very bad. She said it was the worst heart case she has ever seen in her career and that there isn't much hope. I just cried my eyes out. Brett and I walked to the car, held onto each other and I sobbed. All through that scan I could feel Him embracing my heart asking me to trust a little longer ... that His fingerprints will be shown to be over Zac's heart. In that parking lot Brett and I decided that nothing had changed. We were still trusting in God for the same miracle we asked for in the first place ... a new heart from Him for Zac. Brett reminded me of Jairus in the Bible, that even after his daughter had died he went to find Jesus and asked Him to come and heal his little girl. Jesus did! We made the decision that God has led us so graciously, day by day over these last 2 weeks to trust and lean entirely into Him and to ask Him with fearless faith for Zac's miracle and that is what we will continue to do. Medical Science may not be able to help our son, but we know the One who is Creator of Heaven and earth - the maker of man who keeps reminding us that HE is knitting Zac together in my womb. HE is qualified for this job. HE is the only One more than equal to this occasion.
So friends, you may notice that I talk about Zac's heart scan on Tuesday in the past tense ... that is because Brett and I are leaning into the Word and Promises of the Living God to see that we have already claimed a new, strong, healthy heart from our Loving Saviour for Zac. We are choosing to believe in what God CAN do. This is the covenant that God Almighty has made with Zac already. He is the One who has showed us that we are not to waver in our trust, but to be fully convinced that that which we have asked for in faith, according to His Word, believing that we have received it, we can have. We cannot believe anything less. We know that Zac is a gift from God and has an incredible destiny in God, as we all do and that it will glorify God to have him live out each of his days bearing witness to the fact that God keeps His promises. 
So that's where we are in the journey. This is a radical walk of faith for Brett and I, yet we have never had more peace in our hearts ... total "heart peace". While I cannot see Jesus with my physical eyes, I have never been more aware of His presence walking me through every minute of everyday.
My prayer is that even as God is encouraging and holding Brett and I up and teaching us how to walk in faith for our miracle, so will you hear our Heavenly Father's hope and heartbeat for you as you are trusting Him for your miracle. May you be carried by His grace and heart peace as we are. In the midst of the hardest storm, Jesus has stilled our hearts and we know He is taking us safely to the other side of Zac's miracle. This is the same Jesus who stands in your boat today, willing to take you to the other side of your miracle. 
All my love xxx
Janine

13 August 2011

"Fearless Confidence" ... why I can have it!

Firstly ... thank you so much for all the prayers that have been prayed with us for our sweet baby boy! All the love and encouragement Brett and I have experienced is so humbling! I can honestly say that both us and the girls have such "heart peace". It is a peace that can only come from God Himself.
We just heard that our appointment in Cape Town with the pediatric heart specialist is on Tuesday. Brett and I are seeing this as an opportunity for God to do a creative miracle in our little boys heart so that when we go to the scan they won't be able to find anything wrong :0) I have received so many amazing messages of hope and encouragement from so many that have absolutely saturated Brett and my heart. A constant verse that keeps coming through is from Psalm 139:13-14 (Amplified Bible) "For You did form my inward parts; You did knit me together in my mothers womb. I will confess and praise You for You are fearful and wonderful and for the awful wonder of my birth! Wonderful are Your works, and that my inner self knows right well." I stand in awe that God has given man the knowledge and ability in this day and age to be able to fix hearts. I have been so encouraged from many who have had to walk this route of open heart surgery with their babies and have seen the faithfulness of a miracle working God shine through. This encourages Brett and I deeply! Right now, up until we hear otherwise we are asking the One who is still knitting our little boy together in my womb to knit his little heart whole before he is born. 
I want to share with you today how real God has made Himself known to me in all of this, because my heart is so much that it be an encouragement to anyone who might read this to see Jesus standing in the midst of their tests or storms.
I shared with you in my earlier 2 posts how before we even knew that there was anything wrong with Zac, minutes before my scan God gave me 2 promises from Colossians 1 that He has given me "heart peace" and also that having faith means to lean entirely and trust completely in His power, wisdom and goodness. As I was having the more detailed scan on Tuesday I again heard His gentle whisper that His peace covers Zac's heart.
Yesterday as I was getting ready for the day all these thoughts assailed my mind. You know ... the "what if" kind of thoughts. Immediately I started wondering where I had read in the Bible that we are to be "fully convinced" that what we have asked in faith He is able to do. I needed to hear Him assure my heart again that we can indeed ask for Zac to be healed without a surgeons knife ever touching his little body. Even as a type this, it is a faith test for. But here comes my encouragement to you of how close Jesus is to us even in the workings of our thoughts ... as worry started to build in my mind, my phoned beeped. It was probably 3 minutes after thinking about looking up this verse. As I opened my phone, some precious friend had typed out that exact verse and sent it to me!!! My Jesus is even sifting through the very thoughts in my head to assure that incredible "heart peace". Here's the passage sent to encourage me: "No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, FULLY CONVINCED that God was able to do what He had promised." Romans 4:20-21. How exact is that! Word for word encouragement on the exact wording I was asking God about! Later in the day another friend sent me this encouragement from 1 John 5:14-15 "Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him."
I share these promises with you today to encourage you with whatever you need a miracle for. You and I can have fearless confidence in God, not because of anything we do, but simply because of all that He is. He is love. He is the God of the impossibles. Ask Him for a promise to hold Him to. He delights to bring His promises to pass!
As if I had not been encouraged enough, just before I went to sleep my phoned beeped again with another message. A friend sent me the meaning of Zac's name in her name book: "God remembers His children and His promises. The bearer of the name is a witness to this and represent it in his calling." The verse attached says "Nevertheless, I will (earnestly) remember My covenant with you in the days of your youth and I will establish with you an everlasting covenant." Ezekiel 16:60
Oh my gracious ... how can I worry at all when my God has filled my heart with such direct promises!!! This my dear friends is why Brett and I are able to have joy in the midst of the craziest storm we have ever faced. This is the only reason why our hearts are secure in peace. May you too lean entirely into all that He is knowing that His power, wisdom and goodness is strong enough to calm whatever storm you may be facing too.
All my love xxx
Janine

10 August 2011

Believing for Zac's Miracle

Yesterday we went for the Doppler Scan that I mentioned in my last post. As I woke up the morning of the scan I was greeted by this beautiful message from a friend: xxx Protection, Love, Peace, Faithfulness, Understanding, Believe. xxx "Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see." Hebrews 11:1.  Little did I know how much I would have to hold onto this beautiful Jesus Promise. 
At the scan we noticed that our little boy is a little underweight, but I have peace about this. The lovely Dr. scanning was so encouraging as we went from limb to limb and organ to organ just checking out our precious boy from top to toe ;0) As she scanned his heart, I heard the Almighty's quiet assurance that "Zac's heart is protected with My Peace". At the end of the scan the Dr. told us that she had some big concerns. She noticed that our sweet boy has a heart defect, but she does not have the qualifications to diagnose. She and my gynie are arranging to send me for these same scans with a heart specialist in Cape Town. We were shocked speechless. I am now 30 weeks - in my last trimester and there have been no signs of any heart problems throughout the pregnancy. Apparently it is very difficult to see, so the fact that my gynie felt suspicious at our last scan tells us that God has been at work all along watching out for our little boy. I will only know when I see the Doctors in Cape Town what condition his little heart is in. My Doctor is expecting an immediate heart operation at his birth, but Brett and I are so aware of the peace and presence of our Almighty Saviour in all of this and are trusting for a miracle in the womb! He gave us such clear and beautiful promises before we even knew there were any problems. He prepared us with the promise that we can have His "heart peace" even as He is protecting Zac's little heart with that same overshadowing peace. In the face of one of the biggest storms we have ever faced I have the most astounding peace. It is tangible, strong and comforting beyond words could ever express. I know that Jesus is in our boat and that it will not sink!!! Please stand with us in believing for Zac's miracle! Just take a look at our sweet and very peaceful little man.
If you too are facing a storm of any kind ... our precious and powerful Jesus is reminding you too today that He offers you His heart peace! He wants to be all the strength, comfort and joy that you may need. Oh how He loves each of us and never leaves us for a moment. He understands completely and has all we need to endure. May you feel His arms of love wrapped around your heart today even as I hold onto His beautiful and strong embrace.
All my love xxx
Janine 

06 August 2011

What does "Faith" look like?

Some people read the Bible as an act of duty to God. I don't believe that is the entire freedom that God has in His heart for us as to the "why" we should read the Bible. He has shown us that we can never deserve the love He has for us. It is given unconditionally. I must admit that I was one of those people for a long time, until I started to read how many times God reminds us that it was His grace that saved us when we were still locked up in our sins, bad habits, guilt and shame. Yes ... in the book of Ephesians we read that we were saved by grace, through faith - that simple heart believing that Jesus is who He has always said that He is ... that we love Him only because He first loved us. I start my post this way, because these days I look at the Bible as my conversations with Jesus. In John 1:1 Jesus tells us that He IS the Word of God. It has changed the whole dynamic of my Bible reading time. When I pick it up I know He is sitting right here with me talking to me. I am teaching my children that if they want to see what Jesus looks like or hear Him talking to them, they can read the Bible to hear His very words to them. Just this week I was reminded again how closely He is interested and involved in our lives and He has just the right thing to say to us to guide us through whatever it is that we are facing.
On Wednesday morning a group of us girls met for some tea and Bible reading time. We were talking through Colossians Chapter 1. As we started I heard His gentle whisper that for each of us ladies, somewhere hidden in this chapter was a promise for each of us personally. Two verses spoke so clearly to my heart. In verse 2 Paul greets the reader with this prayer: "Grace (spiritual favor and blessing) to you and (heart) peace from God our Father." I had never seen that before ... "heart peace"! God knows everything that we will face and in the midst of whatever that may look like, He gives us the favor and blessing to have heart peace no matter what we may face! 
The next verse is verse 4 which says "For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus (the leaning of your entire human personality on Him in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom and goodness) and of the love which you (have and show) for all the saints (God's consecrated ones)." What an amazing picture of what Faith looks like! Faith is the leaning / trusting of our entire human personality on Him in absolute trust ... having complete confidence in His power, wisdom and goodness that He has intended towards us! What a clear and beautiful picture of what faith looks like. It is us depending on Him. I see the picture in my mind of leaning up against all that He is ... all His goodness, strength, stability, peace, protection and goodness. 
Straight after my time with the girls I had to run off to my next scan. I will be 30 weeks on Monday so the scans are every 2 weeks from now. It was so awesome to see our baby boy again and his peaceful little face. The Doc did all the scans and picked up that he is a little smaller than where he should be and also that there are signs of calcification starting in my placenta which is a little early and so he wants me to go for a doppler scan next week. Immediately my heart started pounding full of worry and questions and that's when I heard His gentle whisper ... "Heart peace my Jan ... I offer you heart peace". Wow. He gave me these 2 promises within the same hour that I would hear unsettling news at our scan and now every time I tend towards worrying thoughts I get the picture of leaning in complete confidence and trust on HIS power, wisdom and goodness to protect Zac and overshadow Him with His protection. While the doctors look at my track history of premature births, I can focus my heart on His peace knowing that He is able to bring our sweet boy to us when he will be strong and healthy to be born.
I pray that this testimony of what I discovered in God this week will encourage you. As you pick up the Bible,  hear His promises of hope, wisdom and encouragement to help you in whatever it is that you are facing in your life today. He sees you and He cares so much!!!
All my love xxx
Janine