Jesus Our Captain by Christie Blaikie

The Air Asia incident over the weekend got my attention. Seeing the video footage of people being rattled around as the plane changed course got me thinking about 2017 so far!

We started this year with clear goals and ideas about how this year would work out in our family, church, finances and health. I could not count the amount of turbulent direction course changes we have had in every single one of these areas so far!! For example, we decided to start saving for a building for our church (we were meeting in a big school) so that we could move in around a year into our own space. Before we knew it, there was a fire at Atwell College and we were moved on within 2 weeks! #uncharteredterritory We also started the year thinking we would sell our home and start buying rental properties, and that we would rent too. That quickly changed to us buying a big block to subdivide. We were gong to build side-by-side. Now it’s changed again and we are going to live in the old house at the front and build on the back, sell and then build on the front. #voyageshift So, I’ve felt like such a flake as I tell people that we are doing something different, again! So many freak waves which has made us shift course again, and again, and again.

Ewen and I were chatting this morning and he was talking about how this year has felt like he has been on a sail boat, tacking and jibing ahead, rather than sailing in a straight line! And hasn’t it been exactly like that? 2017 has been an exercise in faith and flexibility. Only last week as I was praying I felt the Holy Spirit speak to me about not being rigid in what I think should happen, but to be flexible in Him. When the plans don’t work out, or when the pain is too raw and the challenges are too hard, we become fixated on getting out of the situation and making it right (according to our own thinking!). Instead, we need to develop flexibility, and learn the unforced rhythms of grace (Matt 11:28:30). Obviously, faith is the key component in this journey. When we are all at sea, relaxing and being flexible are not usually the first things we think of! However, faith is not relying on our own methods, strengths, timing and clever strategies to pull us through, but allowing Jesus our captain to navigate the ship. We have to cooperate with Him every day so we don’t get hit by the boom, and end up in the water flailing around and being tossed to and fro (Eph 4:14).

So, after not being able to see the land clearly for sometime, I feel like it’s coming into full view. My mum in the Lord, Monie told me yesterday she felt like it was a Jude 1:1-2 season just now, and I fully agree.

 I, Jude, am a slave to Jesus Christ and brother to James, writing to those loved by God the Father, called and kept safe by Jesus Christ. Relax, everything’s going to be all right; rest, everything’s coming together; open your hearts, love is on the way!’

It’s all going to work out with Jesus at the helm of our ship, navigating the oceans and violent storms, the currents and prevailing winds and the calm, still waters in the doldrums where there feels as though there is no movement. Watch and see.

Psalm 107:23-32 Some of you set sail in big ships; you put to sea to do business in faraway ports. Out at sea you saw God in action, saw his breathtaking ways with the ocean: With a word he called up the wind— an ocean storm, towering waves! You shot high in the sky, then the bottom dropped out; your hearts were stuck in your throats. You were spun like a top, you reeled like a drunk, you didn’t know which end was up. Then you called out to Godin your desperate condition; he got you out in the nick of time. He quieted the wind down to a whisper, put a muzzle on all the big waves. And you were so glad when the storm died down, and he led you safely back to harbor. So thank God for his marvelous love, for his miracle mercy to the children he loves. Lift high your praises when the people assemble, shout Hallelujah when the elders meet!


The Exchange – 12 steps to take before Easter

Everybody has hurts, hang-ups and habits!

The Bible clearly states “all have sinned.” It is my nature to sin, and it is yours too. None of us is untainted. Because of sin, we’ve all hurt ourselves, we’ve all hurt other people, and others have hurt us. This means each of us have things to deal with in order to live our lives the way God intended.

So this Easter, we are giving you an opportunity to take some of your hurts, hang-ups and habits and exchange them for healing, freedom and peace.

Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.


  1. Identify which hurts, habits and hang-ups you’d like to deal with this Easter, and write them down. Bring the piece of paper on Easter Sunday.

For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. Romans 7:18


  1. Write down the reasons you think those areas are there. Be honest with yourself.

Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord. Lamentations 3:40


  1. Consecrate your life to God again. See the sample prayer below, and ask Him into all the areas of your heart.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. Romans 12:1


PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you boldly in Jesus’ name. Take me as I am. I now give myself – my heart, my mind, my body, my time, talents and treasure to you. Fill me and possess me. I renounce all sins, self and Satan. Jesus, sanctify me. Cleanse me, purge me, purify me. Your will be done in my life, on earth as it is in heaven. Let me manifest a faithful spirit, a pure mind and a sickless body to your glory. Amen.


  1. Confess and surrender your hurts, habits and hang-ups to God. Ask Him to help you in your shortcomings. See prayer below.

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:10

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9


PRAYER: I ask you Holy Spirit to heal these areas of my hurts, hang-ups and habits. I choose to express my feelings of hurt, frustration and negative emotions to you Lord. (Doing this will help you release your emotions). Lord Jesus Christ, I invite you into these memories, habits, hurts and hang-ups and I ask you to bring your healing and Truth. (Allow Him ample time to heal you). Break any ungodly beliefs you have about your hurts, hang-ups and habits, and swap them out for godly beliefs.


  1. Repent before God. (Repentance means: understand what He has done for you, and how He loves you, then because of these things, have a change of heart about sinful behaviour). Ask Him to forgive you for your hurts, hang-ups and habits. Be specific. Understand that there is nothing you need to do for God to earn His forgiveness. It is a free gift.

Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? Romans 2:4


  1. Forgive anyone who needs forgiving that are associated with your hang-ups, and make direct amends where it is possible, or appropriate. Spend some time with the Holy Spirit and ask Him to heal those places in your heart, which are hurt. Forgiveness doesn’t make the other person right, it’s just a choice to not hold them to account for what they did any longer.

Do to others as you would have them do to you. Luke 6:31

 Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23-24


  1. Forgive yourself for letting these hurts, hang-ups and habits rob you from experiencing the fullness of life!

Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead Philippians 3:13

for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. 1 John 3:20


  1. Are there any members of your family who have the same hurts, hang-ups and habits? Cut off spiritual curses. See prayer below.

maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.” Exodus 34:7


PRAYER: I confess the sins of my ancestors, parents and my own sins of ___________. I choose to forgive and release my ancestors, as well as all others who have influenced me for these sins and curses. (Be specific). I ask you to forgive me, Lord, for these sins and for yielding to them. I receive your forgiveness. On the basis of your forgiveness, Lord, I choose to forgive myself for entering into these sins. I renounce the sins and curses of ___________. I break these powers from my life and the lives of my descendants through the redemptive work of Christ on the cross. I receive God’s freedom from these sins and the resulting curses. I receive ________________.


  1. Find 3-4 scriptures that directly speak to the hurt, hang up or habit that you want to exchange and speak them over your life daily. Meditate on them, and let them wash away your hurts, hang-ups and habits.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. Colossians 3:16

 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Joshua 1:8


  1. Find someone trustworthy (small group leader?) to admit your hurts, hang-ups and habits to and ask them to pray for you.

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. James 5:16

Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore them gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Galatians 6:1


  1. Spend time in worship, and soak in God’s presence. Let Him heal you and wash over you. You could try Hillsong, Elevation worship, Bethel Music or Julie True has great soaking music.

Rather, worship the Lord your God; it is he who will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.” 2 Kings 17:39

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26


  1. Put on the Armor of God. Use this prayer as an outline to help you prepare for each day, while you are working through hurts, hang-ups and habits. First, put on the Armor of God, and then ask the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom, guide your steps, and help you stand and fight against the enemy daily.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:10-17


The Helmet of Salvation

Thank You, Lord, for my salvation. I receive it in a new and fresh way from You and I declare that nothing can separate me now from the

love of Christ and the place I shall ever have in Your kingdom.

The Breastplate of Righteousness

Lord, I wear Your righteousness today against all condemnation and corruption. Fit me with Your holiness and purity—defend me from all assaults against my heart.

The Belt of Truth

Lord, I put on the belt of truth. I choose a lifestyle of honesty and integrity. Show me the truths I so desperately need today. Expose the lies that I am not even aware that I believe.

The Shoes of the Gospel of Peace

I choose to live for the gospel at all times. Show me how I can be a part of what You are doing on the earth. Keep me focused on the path You want me to walk.

The Shield of Faith

Jesus, I lift the confidence that You are good against every lie and every assault of the enemy. You have good in store for me. Nothing is coming today that can overcome me because You are with me.

The Sword of the Spirit

Holy Spirit, show me specifically today the truths of the Word of God that I will need to counter the snares of the enemy. Bring them to mind throughout the day.



Summer Book Club – Part 2 of Present Over Perfect


In this session, you’ll be encouraged to bring before God all of your observations, assessments and questions about what to keep and what to shed, as it relates to your current endeavors, obligations, and pursuits – and to do so boldly, courageously with open hands, and an open heart.

“Part of being an adult is taking responsibility for resting your body and soul. And part of being an adult is learning to meet your own needs, because when it comes down to it, with a few exceptions, no one else is going to do it for you”. Shauna.

Questions for discussion:

  1. The five disciplines that have most helped Shauna during this four year period of remaking her life from the inside-out appear below, along with a brief definition of each. Which of the five feel most relevant or personally compelling to you during this season of your life, and why? Check the ones that apply, and explain your decision to your group.


à Silence/solitude [The state of being contentedly alone]

à Contemplative/centering prayer [Focusing intently on and silently celebrating a singular attribute of God’s, such as His graciousness, holiness, or all sufficiency, while in a mind set and heart posture of prayer]

à Rest/Sabbath [Ceasing from all labours for a day, according to God’s original commandment]

à Lectio divinia [literally “divine reading”; the practice of reading and meditating on a passage of Scripture in order to deepen one’s intimacy with God and enrich one’s knowledge of his word]

à Spiritual direction/counselling [Communicating with another person (or people) as a means for furthering one’s spiritual growth]


  1. Read 2 Corinthians 7:1. What fears, obligations, obstacles or other constraints present in your life today threaten to keep you from making “a clean break with everything that defiles or distracts” you, as the verse suggests?
  2. Blanket the earth, you tell the snow

Soak the countryside you instruct the rain

And, make your mark, you tell me, you tell us all.

Not a self made mark, mind you.

But a God-made one.

The God who thunders wondrously,

Who acts so mightily that our minds are blown,

This God is the one who wants to work in us, through us, around us,

Leaving our mark – leaving His mark – on this world.
What mark does God hope to leave on the world through you – and through us all?

  1. Are there any other spiritual disciplines that you have learnt that help you on your Christian journey?


  1. Seven solid spiritually directed questions to ask yourself and discuss. Maybe choose a couple.
  • What important decisions are you weighing these days? How would your choices differ if you made them based on fear versus faith?
  • How would you assess your current spiritual growth? How would your spouse/parents/closest friends/ministry partners/etc assess where you are spiritually?
  • What is a single word that best describes your present emotional state? How does speaking out that word make you feel?
  • What self care measures have you been taking lately, and how are those practices fueling you and fulfilling you?
  • How would you describe your prayer practices this week/month/year? Does your vision for prayer life match your present reality, or does a gap exist?
  • When did you last celebrate a spiritual victory of some sort? What progress had you made?
  • What is bringing you peace these days?


Solo work

For all the energized thrills of undisciplined living – the adventures! The risk taking! The spontaneity! The rush! – progress always has discipline to thank. For example, take weight regulation, both those who are overweight and those who are underweight don’t take off or put on kilos without disciplining themselves when it comes to exercise and food. It’s true for friendships, financial progress, psychological progress, rehabilitative progress, and spiritual progress. We grow toward God when we move toward Him, one small step at a time.



  • Select a 20 minute slot, calendar it.
  • Find a quiet place, detach from people and your phone; sit down in a comfortable position; take a few deep breaths, sink into the quiet surroundings, coming down and calming down each moment that passes.
  • Record your thoughts

Centering Prayer

  • Whatever you choose to think on – a word, an attribute, an icon or a name (some following) – commit to sit for 20 minutes and allow God to prompt you toward wholeness and holiness.
  • Record your experiences on centering prayer

Sabbath Keeping

  • A day for rest, a day for play. A gift.
  • Clear your schedule for one day this week, and let that calendar entry stay totally blank. We are not how hard we work.
  • After the day, reflect on the experience of the Sabbath.

Lectio Divina

  • Lectio divina dates back to the third century and was established as a monastic practice in the 6th century by St Benedict.
  • The four parts include reading, meditating, prayer, and contemplation.
  • Carve out 20 minutes, take a journal and a pen and a secluded place (toilet!?). Select a passage (some below), chew away!
  • Reflect



We’ve made it at last – through the pain and through the dissection of the roles that cause the pain, and through the tangle of yeses and nos that reinforce the role that cause the pain, and through the discovery of the disciplines that guide us into a new space, a new reality, a life marked not be other people’s expectations of who we are and what we should do, but rather of prizing God’s opinion – and His opinion alone. Now we’ve reached the fifth and final session of the series, to a session that is all about love. Truly anything healthy and strong, anything laudable and excellent has at its centre a core of love. And regardless of the nuances that define the life you desire, surely it includes at least some of those descriptors – whole, not fragments; holy, not profane; healthy, not diseased; strong instead of brittle; excellent, not tacky or cheap. In session 5, we will explore the love that is available to you, the love that can remake you, the love that ironically has been there all along.

Questions for discussion:

  1. Describe a time when you felt deeply loved. What were the circumstances, who was involved, and why was the experience so impactful to you?


  1. Reflect on these thoughts together. “Without a soul, we are machines. Without a soul, we are robots. We can perform duties, but we can’t feel and create and express and connect”. During this season of life, what does soul care look like for you? Does your self assessment land you more on the end of the spectrum that considers soul care as optional, or on the end where it is valued as a fundamental part of loving a connected life?


  1. What attitudes, expectations, neuroses, habits, responsibilities, obligations, commitments, or relationships do you think you would have to upend in order to care more faithfully and purposefully for your soul? How willing would you be to upend them, if holiness and beauty were guaranteed by-products of your hard work? What, if anything, stands in your way?


  1. How do you respond to Shauna’s assertion that God’s love – the diamond necklace that we’ve frantically been searching for – has been here before us, around us inside of us, all along? What does the decision to embrace that love have to do with the health and wholeness of our soul?


  1. For Shauna’s son Henry, what he wanted more of was “this”, which in the moment meant more quality family time at home, just hanging out, playing with lego. What is the “more this” you find yourself longing for? That thing that might just right-size your life and lighten it to the point where you could comfortably carry it for once?

Solo work

The chasm only gets bridged by love, God’ love. God’s great love for us. It’s the only way to get from here to there. The chasm doesn’t get bridged by buffers, or by striving, or by really hard work. No, this bridge is steadied by hand-holding and song-singing, by whispered encouragement and long boat rides, by slow cooked meals and conversation that isn’t rushed. This is the love. This is where the soul feels its worth, here in the hands of God.


For Shauna, the journey toward love involved not a complete rebuilding of her life, but rather a return to the life she once knew. It involved reclaiming vital things she’d left behind – whimsy, yes, but also self-forgiveness, relational fortitude, deep faith.

For you, what would such a reclamation project involve? Maybe you were totally alive in your faith in high school; or you were selfless and compassionate and serving in missions. You might look back on early childhood and remember all the Scripture verse you committed to memory? Or else you could be one who was generally laid back, never pushing, never rushing, never uptight… and yet across these last ten years or so, where did that free spirit go?

On the path below, note the dates (or general time frames) of key seasons of your life and descriptions that fit you at that time.


Present Over Perfect – Summer Book Club Session 1

Spend some time eating, and talking about the book – favourite quotes and chapters.


Let’s explore the inner battles we all face and emboldens us with the reminder that the selfish structures we’ve built can be rebuilt, the harmful systems we’ve shaped can be reshaped, and the fruitless deeds we’ve done can be redone. That is, if we’re willing to change.

Questions for discussion:

  1. Shauna’s watershed moment was when she realized she had created her own perfect life that was driving her crazy, and that chronic busyness that surrounded her was her own doing. She described it two sins: gluttony and pride.

‘I want to taste and experience absolutely everything, and I want to be perceived as wildly competent.’ p.19

If you had to name the swirl of dirt, dust and disorder that tends to follow you around, what would you call it? Constant drama, maybe, or chronic busyness? The drive toward perfectionism, perhaps, or the need to control?

  1. There’s no there, there.

Often we say, when there is enough money in the bank, or I’ve hit that magic number on the scales, or when my kids overcome this hurdle, I’ll find rest. This is a lie! There is no there, there. The there is here and now – and we must learn to rest in the journey. What lies are you believing about the there, there?


Solo work:

“It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time:

  • repetitive, loveless, cheap sex
  • a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage
  • frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness
  • trinket gods
  • magic-show religion
  • paranoid lonliness
  • cutthroat competition
  • all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants
  • a brutal temper
  • an impotence to love and be loved
  • divided homes and divided lives
  • small minded and lopsided pursuits
  • the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival
  • uncontrolled and cuncontrollbale addictions
  • ugly parodies of community

Galatians 5:19-21

When we realize that the life we have created for ourselves is far from the life we dream of, the gap between the two, as depicted below can cause us to despair. How will we ever get from here to there? How can we close the gap?



These questions can seem unanswerable, and in our frustration and a deep seated sense of futility, we turn to buffers such as busyness, overworking, striving and straining, working out obsessively, shopping compulsively, using harmful drugs, overindulging in alcohol, engaging in illicit sex, blowing money on gambling, and more – all in an attempt to build that coveted bridge. Have you seen this dynamic play out in your own life? What did you hope the preferred buffers would provide for you, and how well were they able to deliver on the promises they made?

How would you describe the life you’re living now, the one that may need an overhaul, a rebuilding, right from the ground up? Circle any of the adjectives below that apply to the characteristics you’d like to leave behind (add your own if you wish).

Burdened            anxious            joyless            competitive

Tough                        cutthroat            hyper focused            fearful

Lonely            restless            loveless            heavy

Regretful             isolated            efficient            exhausted

Stuffed            effective            hard                        divided

Perfect            proud                        hurried            sad

Single-minded            brutal                        busy            task-oriented

Materialistic            stressful            frenzied            undisciplined

Overdisciplined            reactive            exasperating

Impersonal            unchecked            frustrating            addictive

Compulsive            flabby            friendless            erratic

Productive            hopeless            ugly            scattered            selfish

Hustling            disheveled            multi-tasking            structured

Rage-filled            wearying            ____________            _________


  • Read Titus 3:3-8
  • Turn it into a prayer. A) Thank you for your word, I am reminded that… B) What this tells me about You is… C) As it relates to me and my struggle… D) Please give me….



Let’s peel back the next layer and ask, ‘why am I doing this?’ What is it in me that keeps things moving so breakneck fast, that believes achieving will keep me safe, that sacrifices my own health and happiness so that people who aren’t me will think I’m doing a good job, in some vague, moving target kind of way? p.58


Questions for discussion:

  1. Name a fictional TV or movie character who (at least in part) reminds you of yourself, and explain why.


  1. Read page 40. What role would you say you play – in your family of origin, in your relationships, at work, in your circle of friends, and so forth? If you were asked to assign descriptions to it, what words would you use? Here’s some help. Circle the words that apply, and discuss.

The dependable one            The workhorse            The cynic

The shock absorber            The pessimist            The naysayer

The cautious one The decision maker The spontaneous one

The caregiver            The boss            The life of the party

The relational glue            The ideas person            The pusher

The social planner            The control freak            The negotiator

The people pleaser            The available one            The multitasker

The funny one            The jokester            The others-centred one

The topper            The sports buff            The best mum

The skeptic            The trivia hound            The eternal optimist

The know-it-all            The creative one            The talker

The health nut            The inexhaustible            The holy one

The deep one The one in the know The self deprecating

The encouraging one            The peacemaker            The giver

The one who has it altogether The quiet one The questioner


These roles can have benefits, they can also have negative effects. What sacrifices fo you find yourself making to play the role you find yourself playing?


If you could reclaim one lost trait, one thing that used to be true of you, but you dropped it along the way, what would it be and why? Here’s a list to help, or come up with your own.



Solo work:

Your solo work this time, involves looking closely at the key role you’ve been holding onto, and mustering the resolve to release your grip. Within each of the following categories, describe the message involving what you were meant to say, think and respond.

Messaging from parents:

Messaging from siblings:

Messaging from friends:

Messaging from church:

Messaging from teachers or coaches:

Messaging from bosses or colleagues:

Other messages I received:


God wants to play all the roles. All the pushing and producing, straining and striving, all the contrivances and role-playing and all the hustle and bustle and forcing and drive – to all of it, God says, “Here, I’ll take that – really, I never meant for you to carry that load.”

Picture yourself handing him the script – every line, every stage cue, every scene – and then picture yourself weightless and free. Ready for a baby step today? If you’re the control freak, let things unfold unorchestrated, just for this day, or this week. If you’re the chronic overworker, pick up a magazine and pop down on the couch. If you’re the relational glue in your family, forego the hyper communicative phone calls just once. If you’re the health nut, try a donut. Loosen your grip on the role you’ve been playing long enough to toy with allowing a new narrative to step in. You might be shocked to learn the whole world will keep spinning, and that you’re a whole lot happier in the end.

What’s one baby step you can take today, along these lines?


For all its sparkly personality, “yes” only tells half the story, because you can’t have yes without no. Each time you offer a yes, you by definition also offer a no. Or a series of nos, depending on how consequential that yes proves to be. Let’s delve into the yeses and nos that dictate our actions, which determine the pace of – and the peace in – our lives.

Questions for discussion:

  1. Are you by nature more of a spontaneous/adventuresome/eager “yes” person or more of a well ordered/circumspect/sober-minded “no” person? What predispositions, priorities, or experiences have shaped you in this regard?


  1. Read the last paragraph on pg 44, onto midway through pg 55 and on the story of the chairs.

Look over the themes and realities of your life today and assess how many chairs are currently set up. A chair could be volunteering at your child’s school, or being the one your friends can call on whenever they need a hot meal, a ride, childcare, or a listening ear; or the worker who may stay up late to make sure the project is completed; or serving at the church’s events. How satisfied or dissatisfied are you with the number of chairs you see set up? What thoughts come to mind as you consider the fact that you can add or take down chairs at will?

Often, chairs feel nonnegotiable – keeping your house well ordered and clean, etc, etc but if you were given permission to remove one chair from your life, which would you remove and why?

  1. Read this poem together.


And no.

Two game-changing, path paving words.

Yes to this, no to that, and before you know it, the course it set.

The course marked by contentment and calm, or else by chaos and craving.

By pushing and hustling and stress.

“Come to me, you who are weary,” God says.

“Come to me and I’ll give you rest.”

I want that rest, but who has time?

My yeses have left me too busy.

Too busy being… busy.


The word alone makes me ache.

I’m tired at a level that sleep on it’s own can’t address.

I’m soul tired.

Something is off in my soul.

The something comes down to yes, and also no.

Those yes-yes-yeses, they were rampant,

And consequential like you can’t believe.

Those yeses I so quickly said made me say no, and no and no.

No to the things that matter,

No to family,

No to soul-care.

No to rest and groundedness,

No to connection and peace.

I don’t want to be a “no” person! Life is too short for no.

And yet in this season, I see no for what it is:

An anchor, a life preserver, a friend.


Read page 116 and discuss with your group on ‘should’ being a warning sign.


Solo work:

Take a look at the graphic below. Then, on the chart that follows, begin to map your current relational connections. Which areas have been adversely impacted by your yeses?


First-circle connections (God + closest confidants) Second circle connections (extended family and close friends) Third circle connections (people you know, but not well) Fourth circle connections (acquaintances. Friends of friends)



The Post


By Sally Samuel-Olver


For me, the final days of February 2016 were daunting. Overwhelm, disorder, panic, frustration consumed me. Caring for my family, caring for myself, caring about life felt insurmountable.

For days this weight burdened me. It convinced me that I was useless, so I prayed often. I was praying intently for clarity and absolution, when I heard God say “Sally, I don’t need you to be happy, I don’t need you to be sad. I don’t need you to be a saint, a puritan, or ethereal. What I do need you to be is authentic. I want to know what is happening in the depths of your soul right now, so I can begin to heal you.”

Evidently, I heard what I wanted to hear and conveniently misinterpreted the Lord’s request for my authenticity, as a green light to spray my pent up grievances all over social media. I proceeded to compose a righteous rant, in an effort to make sense, and be released of the oppressive sadness I was carrying. I justified my aggressive attack as an attempt to be ‘real’, to be ‘exposed’, ‘to be ‘vulnerable’. No. If I’m going to be ‘real’, the motive behind ‘the post’, was to glean attention and validation from my fellow social media ‘friends’ and ‘followers’.

For a brief moment, I felt liberated. I was exonerated by my five minutes of ‘raw honesty’. It seemed that so many others exploited the opportunity to project uncouth thoughts and opinions on social media. Why couldn’t I? It’s not like I did it often.

The next morning when I was connecting with God, I heard him bluntly ask “So what was all that about?!” I replied “Dear Lord Jesus, I just longed to be free for a moment. Free to speak my mind, free to speak the truth, free to articulate my true feelings with complete abandon”. God replied “An eloquent response, not convinced! What is going on??!!” God already knew the answer to His question, so feeding him another guised explanation was futile. God wanted me to discover the true answers to His questions for myself. I took a moment and stilled my mind. I searched for the true answers within my heart, because this time, I was going to answer God sincerely.

After a few moments, of uncomfortable reflection, the answers to His questions came screaming to the forefront of my mind and I prayed, “Dear Lord Jesus, please forgive me and thank you for helping me see the truth. ‘The post’ was an unconscious cry for attention. Lord, I was feeling so down and so lonely. I longed for approval, I longed for connection, I longed to be heard”.

I heard God say “NOW we’re getting somewhere! Let’s start from there’. I knew I was hearing the voice of God, because only God can communicate to me with equal parts authority and compassion. He said, “Sal, couple of things. First and foremost, I love you. I loved you before ‘the post’, I love you after ‘the post’ – my love for ALL my children is unconditional and everlasting and that includes YOU!”

He went on to say “Secondly, in the future, if you need attention, YOU COME TO ME! If you need validation, YOU COME TO ME! If you need connection, YOU COME TO ME! If EVER you need to be heard, YOU! COME! TO! ME!”. In this moment, I felt the true exoneration and validation I was searching for.

In the spirit of being truthful, I balled like a baby. Tears still come to my eyes when I replay these words in my mind. I took a wealth of understanding from this encounter. I learned, that NOTHING has the power to deliver us, like the love and grace of our Lord – No person, no item, no substance, no title and certainly no post. Jesus wants to be the One who lifts my spirits and make me whole, and I am saying YES! I am humbly receiving His Divine blessing with an open heart and deep thanksgiving.

I have now made a promise to Jesus. When I feel compelled to ‘comment’, ‘tag’ or ‘like’ uploads on social media, from now on, before hitting ‘post’ or ‘send’, I promise to examine my motives for doing so, and will discern if the action is coming from a place of love, or a place of emotional deficit.

“Thank you Jesus. Thank you for loving me SO much, that you would invest such an important and valuable lesson in me before it was too late. Eternal love and praise to you Dear God. ALL the glory be to you. In Jesus Mighty Name, Amen”


A Fresh Start – Prayer Book for 2016 Fast

A Fresh Start

Starting the year off with less of the old and more of God.

Oasis is a church founded on prayer. We believe that wherever we go, we must first go there in prayer. We believe prayer and reading the Bible can’t just be routine; they’re meant to be the heartbeat of your life, your daily connection to God. But developing this discipline won’t happen by accident. 1 Timothy 4:7-8 says to “take time and trouble to keep yourself spiritually fit.” No one can go to the gym for you and no one can grow your prayer life for you.


This book is designed to help you start your year strong by learning to pray with purpose, joining your prayers with God’s word so that you’re equipped for any season or situation you may face. On each page you will find a theme paired with a story from the Bible and a promise from God. Take time to read each set of scriptures, reflect on how they relate to the theme and connect with each other, and allow God to speak to you as you do so. Our hope is that through doing this you will discover the great joy that comes from living a fresh and clean life, as you allow Jesus to shape and direct your life.


Pastors Ewen + Christie Blaikie


DAY 01


PRAYER Father, Forgive Them: The Cry Of Jesus Luke 23:26-34

1 John 1:9








DAY 02



PRAYER Jesus, Remember Me: The Criminal On The Cross Luke 23:39-43


PROMISE Hebrews 11:1-12








DAY 03



PRAYER God, Have Mercy On Me, A Sinner: The Tax Collector Luke 18:9-14


PROMISE Ephesians 2:4-10








DAY 04


PRAYER Increase Our Faith: The Disciples & A Demon Possessed Boy Matthew 17:14-20


PROMISE John 3:16







DAY 05



PRAYER It Is Written: Jesus Resists Temptation Luke 4:1-13


PROMISE 1 Corinthians 10:13








DAY 06



PRAYER Save Us: The Disciples In The Storm Matthew 8:23-27


PROMISE Isaiah 43:1-2








DAY 07



PRAYER Deliver Us: Hezekiah Seeks The Lord 2 Kings 19:15-19


PROMISE Psalm 46:1-3








DAY 08



PRAYER Help Us: Relying On God 2 Chronicles 14:9-12


PROMISE Psalm 91:1-2








DAY 09



PRAYER The Lord Is My Rock: The Prayer Of David Psalm 18


PROMISE Psalm 34:17-18








DAY 10



PRAYER Our Eyes Are On You: Finding Peace In God 2 Chronicles 20:1-12


PROMISE Philippians 4:6-7








DAY 11


Give Me Wisdom: The Prayer Of Solomon 2 Chronicles 1:7-10


PROMISE James 1:5








DAY 12



PRAYER Go In Confidence: Gideon’s Calling Judges 6:11-17


PROMISE Philippians 1:6








DAY 13



PRAYER Give Me Strength: Overcoming The Odds Exodus 17:8-13


PROMISE Isaiah 41:10








DAY 14



PRAYER Answer Me: Elijah On Mount Carmel 1 Kings 18:36-39


PROMISE Matthew 7:7-8








DAY 15

PRAYER In The Fire: Blessing Through Trail Daniel 3:16-30


PROMISE Romans 8:28








DAY 16



PRAYER Grant Me Favor: Nehemiah Returns To Jerusalem Nehemiah 1:1-11


PROMISE Philippians 4:19








DAY 17



PRAYER Expand My Influence: The Prayer Of Jabez 1 Chronicles 4:10


PROMISE Psalm 1:1-3








DAY 18



PRAYER God Lead Us: I Know You By Name Exodus 33:12-17


PROMISE Proverbs 3:5-6








DAY 19



PRAYER God’s Timing: A Story From The Life Of Joseph Genesis 50:14-21


PROMISE 2 Peter 1:6








DAY 20



PRAYER Give Me This Water: The Story Of The Samaritan Woman John 4:1-42


PROMISE Isaiah 55








DAY 21



PRAYER God With Us: Do Not Fear Numbers 14:1-9


PROMISE Jeremiah 29:11










Praying and Fasting 2016


Monday 1st February – Sunday 14th February


Prayer and fasting season is an incredible time to join together with the rest of our community and seek God’s face for our lives, our families and our church for 2016. It’s without a doubt, the most powerful way to start your year – it sets up the rest of the year with good fruit and momentum.


Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Romans 12:1


It is a critical time, and should be taken seriously. EVERYTHING rises and falls on prayer, and we want an amazing year for you all, and Oasis!


And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’. Mark 11:17a




Why Fast?

  • Fasting was an expected discipline in both the Old and New Testament eras. For example, Moses fasted at least two recorded forty-day periods. Jesus fasted 40 days and reminded His followers to fast, “when you fast,” not if you fast.
  • Fasting and prayer can restore the loss of the “first love” for your Lord and result in a more intimate relationship with Christ.
  • Fasting is a biblical way to truly humble yourself in the sight of God (Psalm 35:13; Ezra 8:21). King David said, “I humble myself through fasting.”
  • Fasting enables the Holy Spirit to reveal your true spiritual condition, resulting in brokenness, repentance, and a transformed life.
  • The Holy Spirit will quicken the Word of God in your heart and His truth will become more meaningful to you!
  • Fasting can transform your prayer life into a richer and more personal experience.
  • Fasting can result in a dynamic personal revival in your own life-and make you a channel of revival to others.


How to Begin

Start with a clear goal. Be specific. Why are you fasting? Do you need direction, healing, restoration of marriage or family issues? Are you facing financial difficulties? Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance. Pray daily and read the Bible.



Preparing Spiritually

Confess your sins to God. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal areas of weakness. Forgive all who have offended you and ask forgiveness from those you may have offended (Mark 11:25Luke 11:417:3-4). Surrender your life fully to Jesus Christ and reject the worldly desires that try to hinder you (Romans 12:1-2).


Deciding What to Fast

The type of fasting you choose is up to you. You could go on a full fast in which you only drink liquids, or you may desire to fast like Daniel, who abstained from sweets and meats, and the only liquid he drank was water. Remember to replace that time with prayer and Bible study. See below for more examples.


What to Expect

When you fast your body detoxifies, eliminating toxins from your system. This can cause mild discomfort such as headaches and irritability during withdrawal from caffeine and sugars. And naturally, you will have hunger pains. Limit your activity and exercise moderately. Take time to rest. Fasting brings about miraculous results. You are following Jesus’ example when you fast. Spend time listening to praise and worship. Pray as often as you can throughout the day. Get away from the normal distractions as much as possible and keep your heart and mind set on seeking God’s face.


How to End

Don’t overeat when the time comes to end your fast. Begin eating solid food gradually; eat small portions or snacks.



Full Fast

Drink only liquids (you establish the number of days).


The Daniel Fast

Eat no meat, no sweets and no bread. Drink water and juice. Eat fruits and vegetables.


3-Day Fast

This fast can be a Full Fast, Daniel Fast or give up at least one item of food.


Partial Fast

A partial fast is from 6:00 am to 3:00 pm or from sun up to sundown. You can select from three types of fasting —a Full Fast, Daniel Fast or give up at least one item of food. Children may like to join in, and give up sugar, or lollies, or even bakery items.


Examples of Fasting in the Bible


Old Testament

  • Moses fasted 40 days on behalf of Israel’s sin: Deuteronomy 9:9, 18, 25-29; 10:10.
  • David fasted and mourned the death of Saul: 2 Samuel 1:12.
  • David fasted and mourned the death of Abner: 2 Samuel 3:35.
  • David fasted and mourned the death of his child: 2 Samuel 12:16.
  • Elijah fasted 40 days after fleeing from Jezebel: 1 Kings 19:7-18.
  • Ahab fasted and humbled himself before God: 1 Kings 21:27-29.
  • Darius fasted in concern for Daniel: Daniel 6:18-24.
  • Daniel fasted on behalf of Judah’s sin while reading Jeremiah’s prophecy: Daniel 9:1-19.
  • Daniel fasted regarding a mysterious vision from God: Daniel 10:3-13.
  • Esther fasted on behalf of her people: Esther 4:13-16.
  • Ezra fasted and wept for the sins of the returning remnant: Ezra 10:6-17.
  • Nehemiah fasted and mourned over the broken walls of Jerusalem: Nehemiah 1:4-2:10.
  • The people of Ninevah fasted after hearing the message of Jonah: Jonah


New Testament

  • Anna fasted for the redemption of Jerusalem through the coming Messiah: Luke 2:37.
  • Jesus fasted 40 days before his temptation and the beginning of his ministry: Matthew 4:1-11.
  • The disciples of John the Baptist fasted: Matthew 9:14-15.
  • The elders in Antioch fasted before sending off Paul and Barnabas: Acts 13:1-5.
  • Cornelius fasted and sought God’s plan of salvation: Acts 10:30.
  • Paul fasted three day fast after his Damascus Road encounter: Acts 9:9.
  • Paul fasted 14 days while at sea on a sinking ship: Acts 27:33-34.




When I get time and space, I like to reflect and think. I have been thinking on 2015, and without a doubt it’s been the most stretching and busy season of our lives: moving from our family home, starting a church, balancing church with family life, and part time jobs.

Now that I am thinking, I can see the spiritual growth that I have undergone this year. I used to think spiritual growth was about encountering God, and becoming more, well, ‘spiritual’. Maybe I thought I’d see angels and have fiery God encounters and I would be able to prophesy over people in the street… I no longer think this way. I can see now, that spiritual growth, is more about becoming more like Jesus, which is oxy-moronic anyway, as ‘growth’ means ‘decrease’ in the kingdom of God. More of Him, less of me. Less of my money, less of my will, less of my TIME, less of my choices, less of my options, less offense, less freedom even…. Much less. Yet, in the less, I have become more. I’ve been stretched beyond my wildest dreams, I’ve been stretched to lead, I’ve been stretched to love, I’ve been stretched to be humble, stretched to be fully reliant on Him. Just when I thought I couldn’t handle one more thing… there it is again.

It’s not good to save people from hard things. Our natural human instinct is to save people from pain, or hard situations. If someone had saved me from this year, I would not have grown. I would have missed the opportunity to become more like Jesus – to love more, have more character, develop more spiritual fruit, and depend on Him more than ever. Empathise with people, love them well and cheer them on, but don’t rescue them from hard things! And, don’t empower them to escape – it’s the only thing that grows us. Staying in it, facing it head on and owning it. People need to feel the full weight and gravity of their circumstance so they can empower change in their own lives!

It could probably be called the ‘law of selflessness’. The more intrinsically we allow God to push us to the end of ourselves, the more He is able to move in us, through us and to others. Sometimes we settle in the land of selfish (I’ve definitely been there before!). We like to have our cake, and eat it too (I love cake). We sit just where we feel like we are Christian-enough, but don’t ever let God challenge us to give up more self, for the more of God. How will we ever grow and do great things sitting on the fence of ‘just enough’? Great people do great things. Great in the sense of selfless things. They make their lives count for something bigger than just themselves. It takes bravery, heartache at times, loss of personal time, steadfastness, confronting fears and rejection (and so much more!), but only those people get to taste the glory of growth and greatness.

Here’s some ideas; attend prayer meetings, start a small group, get baptized, read the bible in a year (you version), raise the next generation by becoming a kid’s or youth worker, develop your relationship with God and start more dialogue with Him, serve more/give more: time, money or resource, mentor someone, be mentored by someone, tell more people about Jesus, pray for people more, give up your addictions and crutches (ie, take a year without alcohol), do some bible study or a ministry course, attend alpha, etc, etc. The opportunities for growth and greatness are knocking on your front door.

Now to change tack slightly…

Every year for at least 10 years, I have sat with the Holy Spirit through December and January and allowed Him to wash over me and highlight ONE thing to me each year that we should work on, pray for or dream on. Some of the things I remember we (the Holy Spirit and me!) have spent a year on are; learning to love people better (that was a big year J), learning to become more like Mary and less like Martha, overcoming fear, last year was ‘promises, people and places’. This year was BRAVERY and courage.

When we meditate with Him, He takes us through a well thought out road of encounter that brings about change (and thus, don’t rescue people from hard things – it could be the result of a prayer prayed). If New Year’s resolutions feel hard and powerless, try just one thing (even one word), and team up with the Holy Spirit; He knows what you need. Then reflect throughout the year and watch your life grow.



Are you dreaming big for 2016?

Are you dreaming big for 2016?

I trust that you have all had a wonderful Christmas time with your loved ones. For us that has been time together with family, opening presents, swimming in the pool with the kids, and of course too much good food!

Christmas and holidays can be a great time to relax and take stock of the year that’s been. I’ve also found it very helpful, (before I relax too much!) to scan the horizon of the year ahead and start to dream about what’s in store.

God speaks to us through our dreams and our visions. They are the things that keep us moving forward. If we don’t have any, we die! Proverbs says “without vision, the people perish.” If we are willing to just take the year as it comes, then life is going to get in the way of God’s plan for us. We’re just going to be reacting to problems as they arise, holding ground at best. We could even fall back into old habits without realising it.

We need to start the year out with a big dream!

God gave Abraham in the Bible a big dream. He said, “I am going to give you so many children, they’ll be like the stars in the sky.” What an awesome promise! But Abraham and his wife Sarah were old, and they had no children. Abraham could have taken stock of his inventory and thought, “that’s never going to happen!” “Maybe God’s promise to me was nothing more than that left-over hummus I ate last night!”

It was going to take real, staunch faith for Abraham to believe God even though everything he saw around him didn’t stack up. But Abraham did believe, and in Hebrews the writer says that it was “credited to him as righteousness.” Abraham and Sarah did have a son in their old age, Isaac. Isaac was the father of Jacob, who God gave the name Israel, and the rest – as they say- is history.

So what’s your dream? What has God put in your heart that seems a bit crazy? Impossible even? I want to encourage you to dream big for next year. Don’t hold back! Allow the Holy Spirit to breathe his thoughts into your hearts and minds. I can guarantee he’ll give you some crazy, impossible ideas! He wants to partner with you to achieve great things, just like he partnered with Abraham all those years ago.

Maybe it’s a dream for a new job, or a career, or a house. Maybe it’s a dream for something creative – to write something that will encourage others, or to write a song, or even to start a business. Maybe it’s simply the dream to break an addiction! God has something big in store for you.

I am dreaming big dreams for Oasis Church this year! I am looking forward to seeing us grow in number, with new families connecting and finding life. I’m dreaming of our church community bringing family and friends to church to see what all the fuss is about! I’m dreaming about more people getting baptised and committing their lives to Jesus. I’m dreaming of our kids’ church growing exponentially, and many primary-aged children discovering the joy of knowing their saviour. I’m dreaming for our youth as we launch out, connecting with teenagers at Atwell College, and bringing young people to faith in the church. I’m dreaming of a thriving small group culture, with people able to connect with one another as a spiritual family. I’m dreaming of a church always growing beyond its borders.

Sound impossible? Then we’re on the right track! Dream big, partner with the Holy Spirit and watch him do a miracle through you!


How are you?

What good does it do for us if we gain outward success and accolades, but our soul (interior life) is falling apart, broken down and trapped in useless and painful emotions?

Answer: Very little! Here’s another question. How are you going?

Do you answer that question with how your outward world is? My kids, my work, my appearance, my study, my football team (FYI the Dockers), my pile of washing (always affects my soul!), my _______ (enter your word). Your outward life is mostly about what you have and what other people see and know about you (as opposed to what you see and know about you – there is a vast difference).

How about your interior life? Our souls are the real us. They are our private world, where there are no accolades and success is immeasurable. It’s hard to gauge how well we are doing at life in our souls. Is my soul well? Or, is my soul unwell? How do I know?

Maya Angelou once said, ‘people will never remember what you said, but they’ll remember how you made them feel’. You could even say, people won’t remember what you had externally, but they’ll remember who you were.

While on holidays in Denmark recently, we spent some time at the scenic Greens Pool. There was a family who I enjoyed observing and listening to. I listened for clues, and found they were a married couple from Mandurah with two lovely girls. The man wore his elastic waisted boardies ‘too high’ on his particularly hairy torso and he talked in strong ocker slang. His wife was in trackies and flannels at the beach on a beautiful warm day. And there they were, kindly and enthusiastically engaging with a family on holidays from Singapore. The conversations ensued for around an hour – the Mandurah family so warm and friendly sharing about Australia and holidays and comparing lives with the Singaporean family. And it was awkward… and so genuine. There was nothing about this family that would point to external success, and yet their souls were rich. It moved me.

I want a soul that screams to me, and everyone I meet that I. Am. WELL! On my life journey, I’ve experienced both soul health and illness. Here’s a few thoughts about a soul that is unwell…

There is little peace. If the soul has no centre, no home, nowhere to settle after a long day, or a long season there is limited peace. This soul battles over the moments in the day when things weren’t ok. It searches and searches things over, looking for different solutions but it’s unable to rest in much. If things have been done that the soul is ashamed of, it won’t rest until it’s justified it’s behaviour, so the soul can feel like it’s a good person again. It has trouble making decisions. It looks to external circumstances for happiness. And happiness comes and then it goes and that’s a problem for the soul with no home. The soul was made to have a centre in Peace. The soul was made to need rest. The soul was made to cast it’s cares on the One who is able to bring solutions. 

There is little self control. A sick soul lets it’s appetites rule. We ALL have appetites to control – but when the soul is sick, it feeds on momentary pleasures. Feelings rarely represent truth. It tries to fill itself with things that will make it feel full and better. More things, more fun, more holidays, more sex, more money, more muscles (less fat), more success, more food, more alcohol, more clothes, more ________ (enter your word here – you’re getting good at this!). Mental emotion and mental energy runs high, often leading to anxiety. Scenarios are rehashed, stress levels rise, grudges are carried for too long, offence sets in and the soul is just not able to get out of the trap – even though it feels like poison. Stop. Just stop. Let go…  Freedom is found in boundaries. We are not at our best when we allow ourselves to do whatever we feelThe soul was made to bring order for the good of the whole person. It was made to work within safe boundaries. The soul was made to find strength in the Mighty One. The soul was made to forgive.

There is little courage. A sick soul is vulnerable. It’s thrown around – tossed to and fro by the waves of the sea. If the sea is calm, the sick soul can keep level. If the sea is tumultuous, the sick soul is threatened with going under the waves of insecurity, hopelessness and FEAR. It fears that if it was truly known, it’d be rejected. Why? The sick soul doesn’t believe it’s worth much. As a consequence, dreams don’t get lived out, risks aren’t taken, life becomes; a mundane, daily ritual of breathing in and out, eating and sleeping. And this breeds comparison. And competition. And in these things, there is certain soul sickness, even unto death. The soul was made to have an anchor. It was made to be courageous in hope, faith and love. The soul was made to be loved, and is designed to be capable of great dreams and wonders. 

There is a lot of self. Self fulfilment, self exploration, self expression, self harm, self belief, self love, be yourself, self care, selfies, surely all leads to self centredness? But what if your self is up the creek without a paddle? What if your self doesn’t have the strength to lift itself up? The more ‘self’ we try to stuff into our souls, the sicker they become. Self: A tiny little being, revolving around and relying on it’s own self-ability to find meaning and health. If we are trying to find meaning and health in self, surely we are going to be limited by, well, ourselves? I do believe this is one of the reasons depression is so rampant in our era. We are looking inside to find peace and joy on the inside of self, when self is empty. Self is sick. And that feels hopeless. The soul was not made only for itself. It finds great health in loving and serving others. Peace and joy are found in the experience of the One who abounds in it. The soul was made to have meaningful, enriching and giving fellowship with God and people. The soul was made to have God in the centre of it’s world, not self in the centre of it’s world.
Our souls were made to experience and find pleasure in life – thrive not just survive. We were made for peace and joy. Although, peace and joy don’t start outside then in, they start inside then out. When the harsh light of day shines and reveals our desperate flaws (it will also reveal our remarkable strengths!), we have two choices.  We can be self-defensive, put up our walls, turn a blind eye to our soul illness, tell people to stop judging us and watch the sickness get worse. Or, we can be brave, and recognise when we come up short, and do something to change. We can all get better, right? There’s freedom in seeing the sickness in our souls – it gives us the ability to have a fresh start, make new decisions and get on our way to health.  Yep, I could find peace and joy in my soul by not trying to pretend, but by owning all of me and having another go at life. After all, I have my soul for eternity.