Saturday, August 17, 2013

For the Girls

I just finished reading an amazing book by Rob Bell called Sex God, and thought the following passage was so powerful and spirit-breathed that I just had to share it with you. Allow the words to build up your soul and warm your heart:

"You don't need a man by your side to validate you as a woman. You already are loved and valued. You're good enough exactly as you are. Do you believe this? Because it's true. You have limitless worth and value. If you embrace this truth, it will affect every area of your life, especially your relationship with men.

You are worth dying for.

Your worth does not come from your body, your mind, your work, what you produce, what you put out, how much money you make. Your worth does not come from whether or not you have a man. Your worth does not come from whether or not men notice you. You have inestimable worth that comes from your creator.

You will continue to be tempted in a thousand different ways not to believe this. The temptation will be to go searching for your worth and validity from places other than your creator.

Especially from men.

But you don't have to give yourself away to earn a man's love. You're better than that. You're already loved.

When you give too much of yourself away too quickly, when you show too much skin, you're not being true to yourself. When you dress to show us everything, then in some sense we have all shared in it, or at least been exposed to it. There is a mystery to you, infinite depth and endless complexity.

As the woman says in Song of Songs, "My own vineyard is mine to give." In the ancient Middle East, a vineyard was a euphemism for sexuality. She is saying that she doesn't give herself to just anyone. She is fully in control of herself, and she is not cheap and she is not easy.

Your strength is a beautiful thing. And when you live in it, when you carry yourself with the honour and dignity that are yours, it forces the men around you to relate to you on more than just a flesh level.

You are worth dying for."

(Sex God, Copyright 2007 by Rob Bell)

Love Brooke

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Magnificent Obsession

Have you ever talked with someone who is obsessed with sport? Or schoolyard gossip? Or computer games? Every conversation you have with them, they end up turning it around to their favourite topic, regardless of anyone else's interest. Can get old fast, can't it?!

How about you - do have something (or someone) you're obsessed with? Some celebrity or star whom you constantly think about? A dream for the future that colours every decision you make?

Did you know God has an obsession as well? Yep - He has one all-consuming thought that has actually changed the course of history...


It's true. The Word tells us that God's thoughts towards us outnumber the sand (Psalm 139:18) - wow! He doesn't just think about you from time to time, but deeply cares about every little aspect of your life. Everything He does is bless you and draw you closer to Him. In fact, he is so obsessed with you and your wellbeing that He sacrificed His own son to pay your debt of sin.
You might say that's a Magnificent Obsession! (A term I have admittedly borrowed from Lloyd C Douglas' novel - a great read!)

While we might sometimes wonder if God even notices us and the problems that plague our lives, be assured that we are not only on His mind, but forever planted in His heart. We are His everything, just as He desires to be to us. And when we fully understand this truth, obsessions with celebrities, sports, social status or calorie counting will become an unimportant thing of the past.

Love Brooke

Friday, November 23, 2012

Back on Board

Hi all!

I know it's been quite a while since I uploaded a new post, but I'm finally back and I have exciting news:
I'm a Mum!!

Our beautiful cheeky daughter was born on 6th September and we are loving every minute with her. As you might imagine, I have been quite distracted by her and the whole experience over the past few months and consequently writing has been the last thing on my mind. But we are now settled into our new lives and my thoughts once again turn to you guys - the youth I love and are called to serve. I'm looking forward to getting back to sharing more thoughts, dreams, challenges and inspiration with you all.

And to celebrate, here is a little glimpse of the cuteness and beauty that I am so blessed to be surrounded by every day now...

Love Brooke

Friday, April 13, 2012

Heroes in History

Whether or not you are an avid reader, no doubt there will come a time (school project, youth group presentation, personal study) when you will have an opportunity to learn about a famous person and their impact on history.
Rather than the usual picks of Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela or Abraham Lincoln (who were all great men and we should know their stories regardless), may I suggest a few lesser known but equally fascinating men and women, who not only loved Jesus but also made a difference along the way:

C.S. Lewis
Peter Marshall
Smith Wigglesworth
Martin Luther
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
William Wilberforce
Corrie ten Boom
Charles Spurgeon
Amy Carmichael

These are just some of my personal heroes, people who inspire and encourage me. If you don't know their stories, start a Google search today!
Feel free to add to the list - who do you admire and love to learn about?

Love Brooke

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Last Days?

If you're around Pentecostal churches for any lengthy period of time, sooner or later you will probably hear someone say "we are in the Last Days".
Whether or not its true that we are almost at the end of our current history or not, we are commanded, as followers of Jesus, to live each of our days like it is our last on Earth.

Our lives are not to be wasted or spent on our own selfish pursuits as if we have all the time in the world, says Romans 13. The moment of salvation, that end point that seems to invisibly hang over the human race, is closer now than it has ever been before. Paul proclaims "... it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armour of day... put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts."

Each moment we are given is a gift from God, to be used in bringing Him glory. And while it can be easy to loose focus on our overall purpose, lets be young people who are aware that every second is bringing us closer to the day when we will stand face-to-face with our Savior, and on that day we want to be a generation who can look in His eyes and say: I have loved You with my whole life.

Love Brooke

Friday, March 23, 2012

Romance in Reality

I am a huge fan of period dramas. You know - Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Elizabeth Gaskell; those sort of authors. The kind of weepy, sappy, romantic stories that the BBC love to dramatize and men everywhere love to roll their eyes at!
And growing up, all my dreams of the "perfect guy" looked a lot like Mr Darcy, Mr Knightly, Mr Wentworth & Mr Thornton. I was always fantasizing of the day that I would meet my ideal knight-in-shining-armour, complete with perfect manners & poetic declarations of undying devotion.
But like all girlhood daydreams, it wasn't long before that dream was forced to fade in the harsh light of reality.

Have you been in that place before? When you suddenly wake up and realise that life is NOT like the movies?! Did you feel tricked? Betrayed? I'm sure girls everywhere have asked at one stage or another "Why did they get our hopes up that such men exist in the modern world when I see no evidence of it?" It can be very disheartening, and if you're not careful, can lead to despair and hopelessness.
If you feel like this sometimes, I wish you were sitting right next to me now, armed with some tissues and a mochacchino (!), so I could share some truths with you...

When we believe in and base all our hopes on the romance portrayed in the media, we are settling for a very distorted half-truth. While qualities like honour, chivalry, selflessness and affection are real and relevant expectations for us to desire in a man, those qualities can only exist in a real, flawed man - not a Hollywood-painted version of a man with no faults and sin. Anytime we are lucky enough to meet a man who displays some of the character traits we dream about, chances are they will be equally coupled with other less favourable traits that we're not so fond of. That special someone might be the kind of guy who buys you flowers "just because", but at the same time would rather watch the footy with his mates instead of taking you out to a romantic date. This situation doesn't have to dash your hopes of ever finding "The One". You might just have to revise your expectations of what The One looks like.

So when you're thinking about your future partner and dreaming of the day you'll live Happily Ever After, remind your heart of what the Lord says to desire in love. Not a fairytale dream of white horses and golden carriages, but someone who will put your needs ahead of his in the big things and not sweat the little things. Someone who will stick by you regardless of how much you weigh or cry. Someone who will encourage you to grow closer to God, not him. And someone who is constantly seeking to be a better man, for you.
Because true romance (according to the Creator of Love) looks like this:
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."

Now that's something to hold out for!

Love Brooke