“If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?” Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956.
Nothing has caused more division as far as I know, than the age of Covid19. The debate goes beyond the left/right dichotomy, aligning people from all walks of life who otherwise would have nothing in common. The point of difference and unity is the mask, a literal representation of all that is wrong with today. It seems a tiny thing in light of the bigger issues, though unfortunately, it holds deeper implications and as such, has arguably become 21st century’s most divisive issue, even causing rifts in the Christian community.
Fall outs, arguments, and literal fights are breaking out everywhere, on the ground and on-line. The problem is, deep down we know it’s all one big fat lie, whichever camp you find yourself, whether Christian or not, we all know we are being lied to. Some of us either haven’t accepted it yet, or have much to gain from the lies. These are confusing and scary times, but take heart and remember, God’s word hosts a wealth of wisdom and has proven to be a source of strength.
We can hardly blame those who fell for the narrative, after all, mainstream media and the corporate oligarchs can sound quite convincing blasting repeatedly from zombie boxes. This is otherwise known as a type of brainwashing. God’s word says, they shall be sent a strong delusion, that they should believe a lie (2 Thess 2:11-12 KJV). It beggars belief that anyone would intentionally support an obvious lie, yet here we are with so many masking up complicit in that lie, so convinced that a mask will save them from dying.
Death is a part of life and living means eventually dying. Human beings are a resilient folk, having survived multiple plagues throughout history. We are still here. Let the evolutionary process do its job, stop partaking in the lie and pacifying people’s fears by wearing a mask. Embrace faith over fear. If we, being children of the Most High are the light of the world, perhaps it is time to lose the masks, proclaim the freedom we have in Christ, and encourage others not to live in fear, “for you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord: walk as children of light” (Eph 5:8 KJV).
Whilst masking off is not the same as proselytising in the frontline on the Gaza strip, it can be almost as scary. People actually pray before going out mask off. Sure it might take time for others to draw those conclusions but allow God to work through you. Let His word go out freely, in love, boldly, let your countenance shine as the light in this dark and fearful world. God says to fear not, ‘”peace I leave you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27, KJV). The world can promise you peace if you do everything their way, but it is not God’s peace that surpasses all understanding.
For those who mask off daily enduring the bitter looks, the grumbling behind masks, the verbal abuse and the passive aggressive stalking, and intimidation tactics, continue smiling. We know death comes to us all and it may not come through the virus, but we also know masks will not protect us when our time is up. Those who don that mask daily do not know better, let’s show them there is nothing to fear by smiling at death. And if they happen to ask you where your mask is, maybe tell them where your faith is instead.
Besides being locked up in Communist State Victoriastan, we have also recently endured extremely low temperatures, severe biting winds and falling debris everywhere. The state is a literal, spiritual, and economic mess!
So this morning when I received a text re: a power outage at the kids’ school, deeply suppressed feelings of fear and panic floated to the surface. My mind leapt forward to apocalyptic end time movies wherein people are storming their local grocery stores, raiding them for supplies, and I saw myself without power, heat or any form of communication, looking very small, and feeling truly vulnerable.
In that same moment, a text came in from my pastor re: tonight’s Bible Study. Naturally, I shared my fears and proceeded to interrogate him as to whether the Church had a plan for a time where there will be fuel shortages and power outages, making it impossible for us to fellowship. I don’t know any people of faith neighboring me, my church is all over the world. I suggested it might be worth investing in bikes as another means of travel for when that time ever arrived. “We need a plan!” I messaged desperately.
This was sent in response. 1 John 5:4 “For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world-our faith.” Amazing how God’s word is always a calming voice, alleviating all fears.
At the end of everything, all we have is our Faith and Jesus or faith in Christ. Are you in the faith? Praise and worship in times of angst and fear, allow God to take you to that higher place and FEAR NOT.
A comedy of manners poking fun at the bourgeoisie, apathetic to and complicit in the rise of communism and other evils. The constant interruptions to social feastings offer depth to otherwise meaningless, banal lives. Reality and truth lies beneath beautiful facades in comical ways, yet are continuously ignored, avoided or brushed away by the constant move toward the next unsatisfying social occasion. A fictional true story with which we can all identify. We can laugh at ourselves or wake up to the truth and do something about it or we can do both. Sadly funny, made me laugh whilst making me hungry at the same time, literally!
“Only those who decline to scramble up the career ladder are interesting as human beings. Nothing is more boring than a man with a career.” ― Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956
Being a mum in the 21st century of woke idealogues, cultural degenerates and racial propagandists is challenging to say the least. Keenly aware of the cultural and political climate surrounding us, most red-pilled mummas are forced to contend with the evil spirit of this age at a personal and spiritual level. We are in the business of intentionally and consistently countering every nefarious jab at our young, mindless, impressionable off-spring. It’s where the rubber hits the road we are affected and bombarded daily, and not just in the muesli bar aisles of Coles supermarkets where specials beckon us consume endlessly, but in our families, schools and churches.
It’s the middle of the road mummas whose hearts break when we see our children being indoctrinated by leftist dogma, the degenerate entertainment industry and flesh-feeding consumer lifestyle. It’s our children forced to accept feminism, transgendarism and anti-Christianism. What are mums to do but shut up, grin, and bear it, join a political group or lobby group or any group and get in the ring and fight like crazy Karens shouting for people to wake up and take the red pill. There is room for all that and more, in Christ. Until we swallow the Jesus pill, we can never be truly effective or red-pilled.
Having raised seven human beings of my own, I can tell you firsthand, sin lives in the heart of every individual. From the minute these beautiful babes are born, they have needs, sometimes we can fulfil their ever-longing, somewhat parasitical needs, often we cannot. Try as we might to establish near perfect lives for our less than perfect offspring, we fail every time. Well-intentioned mums try desperately to protect our children from the ills of the world to the point of eliminating competition, keeping up with the Jones’ and pandering to their every desire. All the while, unintentionally fuelling the evil onslaught inflicted upon us by the powers that be, through consumerism and hedonism. Wrapping our children in cotton wool, we added to the world’s problems. We fell for the cultural narrative, aspiring to perfectionism through the aesthetically pleasing, luxury Western lifestyle. Personally, I imagined sending my children to childcare and dreamt of ways to earn more, be more and have more. After all, life was for the taking, carpe diem, right? Wrong. Turns out, life and living are more than the endless consumption of goods and services.
Thank God, I woke up! And not “woke” in the liberal sense of the word, I mean spiritually awakened. In Christ. So I spent most of the other half of mumma life purposely resisting the culture. In a desperate attempt to protect our children from the potential degeneracy encroaching upon their lives, we pulled them out of school and home-schooled. We controlled their friendships, social media and entertainment, whilst immersing them deeply in the church, hoping all this would lead to them resisting the culture for themselves and ultimately their salvation. At this point, the closest we have come to achieving these goals are 2 baptisms and constant backsliding. The result of twenty plus years of resistance, censorship, pushback, constant infighting, debates, heartbreak, and pain has resulted in very little on their spiritual and social lives. Sure, I get glimpses of hope in some interactions, but only Christ knows and understands the depths and needs of the human heart.
Society reflects the family, so whilst muesli-brained mummas look out for the specials, we know whom to look for as especially needed to fight back against the spirit of this age. It’s by the power of Christ we make that umpteenth phone call to a teacher regarding inappropriate content in our students’ health curriculum. It’s the love of God which compels our fingers take to the keyboard to write yet another email on why we think a book should be banned from the reading list.
It is we who are forced to watch prayerfully and almost haplessly as our children are tattooed, prostituted, and brainwashed by the cultural imaginary. We endure their eye rolls and their back chatting whilst ignoring their constant requests for the latest gadgets and fads. We are the ones desperately pleading with them to understand the lyrics of the latest song by that new degenerate rap (BS) artist. We caution them to rethink the Tik Tok lives through which they vicariously live, to put on a longer skirt or longer top or just to cover their butts! We beg them not to watch the latest Hollywood blockbuster or at the very least, question the underlying ideology in the movie wherein girls can do anything, and boys cannot. It’s a painstakingly relentless, unthankful task and we are the true minorities in a world too cool for mums like us.
Taken largely for granted, we are the home-makers and home-bakers, the full-time mums working hard in the trenches to keep life traditionally Christian and untainted by the evil all around and within us. We are the ones on our knees, daily praying for their souls, hoping against hope they survive the onslaught of daily evils encroaching upon their half-brained minds. It’s an understatement to say it’s bloody difficult and yes, we cry much, we also laugh much, we could be diagnosed as bipolar. Sometimes we need a drink or two, maybe three. Sometimes we even drink with our adult children, cos what the heck, we’ve tried everything else. We need some fun too.
The culture war has always been fought for in the frontlines by every day, ordinary people, like muesli-brained mummas. Political activism, protests, lobbying govt, campaigning and pinpointing groups to blame can make a whole lot of sense on a superficial level, but the big and deeper picture is in the minutia. Where Black Lives Matter (BLM), Antifa, degenerate Marxist groups and corrupt governments seek to tear down the God-ordained, natural order of things, a White Lives Matter (WLM) movement springs up in opposition.
Each group can identify the source of their oppression, give reasons for their narrative, and justify their existence. These groups, like us mummas, are simply staking out a place that’s ours. A place for our children, a safe place wherein we can all feel a sense of belonging, a place where justice prevails, a place of like-minds, of peace, of goodness. Isn’t that what most people want, peace, love and dare I say, kumbaya. We want to live in communities which reflect ourselves, a place where most people look like us, talk like us and walk like us. We rarely enjoy confrontation and the constant challenge of having to defend our values, beliefs, and existence.
As mummas living in the reality that exists, we continue to speak out daily, lovingly, often angrily. We do so in the hopes of establishing a near perfect utopia. Whilst we may not be in positions of notoriety, infamous for open activism or held up as martyrs in the public domain, it’s the hand that rocks the cradle that rules the world. It is the muesli mummas globally, quietly fighting in the unseen places. Our war is one that is intimately spiritual and heart-breakingly personal. It is in Christ from whence we must launch all our battles and remember always, we may impact a whole generation, but we may only impact one soul. So before going out to battle, take the Jesus pill, wash it down with some water, and with a helping of mumma’s muesli, maybe, just maybe, the battle on all fronts will not only be fruitful and meaningful but eternally victorious.
And the opening of the prison to thosewhoare bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
And they shall rebuild the old ruins,
They shall raise up the former desolations,
And they shall repair the ruined cities,
The desolations of many generations.” (Isa 61:2-4)
Formerly a home-schooling family of nine, on a single income and a tight budget, we learned to value everything, rarely threw anything out, and always tried to look for creative ways to recycle. We would practice textiles and design using old clothes, moderately worn out linen or marked down fabric purchased from op-shops.
Building on the philosophy which underpinned the quilting industry, our family business was born. Beauty for Ashes has been 20 years in the making but we now intentionally rescue, restore, and re-purpose fabric into reversible, washable, funky bags.
Having recently survived a critical life event, our desire is to pay forward our blessings to others who may be or are going through similar situations. As with our philosophy on unwanted fabric, we believe there is no life too far gone or beyond reach. Every life is valuable and with the right tools and support, restoration and transformation is possible.
When you purchase the Beauty for Ashes bags, you are in the business of restoring, empowering and re-purposing lives. No two bags are alike and are as unique as each individual’s fingerprint. Made at home, with love, by a loving Australian family.
Jesus draws three conclusions in Mark 10:8–9. He says (1) in verse 8, “So they are no longer two but one flesh.” In other words, since God said in Genesis 2:24, “They shall become one flesh,” therefore Jesus concludes for his day and ours: “So they are [now] no longer two but one flesh.” Marriage is that kind of union—very profound, just as Christ and the church are one body (Rom. 12:5).
Then (2) the second conclusion Jesus draws is that this union of one flesh is the creation—the work—of God, not man. He says in verse 9, “What therefore God has joined together . . .” So even though two humans decide to get married, and a human pastor or priest or justice of the peace or some other person solemnizes and legalizes the union, all of that is secondary to the main actor, namely, God. “What God has joined together . . .” God is the main actor in the event of marriage.
Then (3) Jesus draws the conclusion at the end of verse 9: “Let not man separate.” The word translated “man” here (“Let not man separate”) is not the word for male over against female, but the word for human over against divine. The contrast is: “If God joined the man and woman in marriage, then mere humans have no right to separate what he joined.” That’s Jesus’ third conclusion from Genesis 1–2. Since God created this sacred union with this sacred purpose to display the unbreakable firmness of his covenant love for his people, it simply does not lie within man’s rights to destroy what God created.
Jesus did not come simply to affirm the Mosaic law. He came to fulfill it in his own consuming, forgiving, justifying obedience and death, and then to take his ransomed and forgiven and justified followers into the higher standards that were really intended when all of Moses is properly understood.
IF God has called you to be really like Jesus He will draw you into
a life of crucifixion and humility, and put upon you such demands
of obedience, that you will not be able to follow other people, or
measure yourself by other Christians, and in many ways He will
seem to let other people do things which He will not let you do.
Other Christians and ministers who seem very religious and useful,
may push themselves, pull wires, and work schemes to carry out
their plans, but you cannot do it, and if you attempt it, you will
meet with such failure and rebuke from the Lord as to make you
Others may boast of themselves, of their work, of their successes,
of their writings, but the Holy Spirit will not allow you to do any
such thing, and if you begin it, He will lead you into some deep
mortification that will make you despise yourself and all your good works.
Others may be allowed to succeed in making money, or may have
a legacy left to them, but it is likely God will keep you poor,
because He wants you to have something far better than gold,
namely, a helpless dependence upon Him, that He may have the
privilege of supplying your needs day by day out of an unseen treasury.
The Lord may let others be honored and put forward, and keep
you hidden in obscurity, because He wants to produce some
choice fragrant fruit for His coming glory, which can only be
produced in the shade. He may let others be great, but keep you
small. He may let others do a work for Him and get the credit for
it, but He will make you work and toil on without knowing how
much you are doing; and then to make your work still more
precious He may let others get credit for the work which you have
done, and thus make YOUR REWARD TEN Times GREATER
When JESUS COMES.
The Holy Spirit will put a strict watch over you, with a jealous love,
and will rebuke you for little words and feelings or for wasting your
time, which other Christians never feel distressed over. SO make
up your mind that God is an Infinitely Sovereign Being, and has a
right to do as He pleases with His own. He may not explain to
you a thousand things which puzzle your reason in His dealings
with you, but if you absolutely sell yourself to be His love slave,
He will wrap you up in Jealous Love, and bestow upon you many
blessings which come only to those who are in the inner circle.
Settle it forever, then that you are to DEAL DIRECTLY WITH
THE HOLY SPIRIT, and that He is to have the privilege of tying
your tongue, or chaining your hand, or closing your eyes, in ways
that He does not seem to use with others. Now, when you are
so possessed with the living God that you are, in your secret
heart, pleased and delighted over this PECULIAR, PERSONAL,
PRIVATE, JEALOUS GUARDIANSHIP and MANAGEMENT OF
the HOLY SPIRIT OVER YOUR LIFE, then you will have found
the vestibule of Heaven.
WHEN YOU ARE forgotten, neglected, or purposefully set at
naught, and you smile inwardly, glorying in the insult or the
oversight, because thereby you are counted worthy to suffer with
Christ, THAT IS VICTORY.
WHEN YOUR GOOD is evil spoken of, when your wishes are
crossed, when your taste is offended, when your advice is
disregarded, when your opinions are ridiculed, and you take it
all in patient, loving silence, THAT IS VICTORY.
WHEN YOU ARE content with any food, raiment, climate,
society, solitude,or any interruption by the will of God, THAT
The pound of flesh, which I demand of him,
Is dearly bought; ’tis mine, and I will have it:
If you deny me, fie upon your law!
There is no force in the decrees of Venice:
I stand for judgment: answer, shall I have it? (Act 4, Scene 1. Merchant of Venice)
The courtroom scene in The Merchant of Venice gives a compelling account of the human condition as it highlights the hypocrisies of religion and the law. Although Shylock seems to be getting a fair trial, he’s already condemned, as the court makes a mockery of words like mercy and justice. Shakespeare’s courtroom scene vividly paints a picture of man’s pride, life’s injustices and the consequences of being unable to forgive.
Obviously, Shylock endured much persecution, pain and degradation at the hands of Antonio and the Christian Venetians and undoubtedly, we are able to empathise with his hurt and desire for justice and revenge. We see in Shylock a picture of a man who has been hard done by for much of his life. Despised by men and even by his own daughter, he’s marred with bitterness, pride and vengeance. Justifiable though he may be, he’s not entirely innocent.
As much as it’s possible to understand Shylock, we are torn between seeing him get his pound of flesh and waiting with bated breath for him to show some semblance of mercy. We want him to rise above his circumstances, forgive the Venetians and accept the offer from Antonio. We plead for him to prove himself better before the court and the audience, to extend the virtues of forgiveness, humility, kindness and mercy.
We often see this scene played out daily in our own lives. We’ve all seen people unable to forgive, hardened by anger and vengeance. Bitterness, pride and hatred are like scars on their faces. I’ve seen it in my children when they fight, in my family and amongst friends. We all want our day in court, revenge…. a pound of flesh. Alas! The reality is, life simply is not fair. The courts get it wrong many times; people make mistakes and accidents happen. I almost killed a boy today, or at least very nearly seriously injured him. Thank God, I was driving less than the speed required. Had I been going just 5km faster, instead of him bumping me, it could’ve been me running him down and over. I couldn’t even imagine what it would feel like to live with the guilt of taking someone’s life, let alone a child’s life. How could his family ever forgive me? How would I forgive myself? There are people who live with that kind of guilt for much of their lives. Forgiveness frees us of such unproductive and destructive emotions.
We have all been hurt and we have all at some point, caused pain in others. The fact is, no one is better than the other, there is no one innocent before God. Just like the Venetians who backed Shylock into a corner and Shylock who lashed out from his corner wielding a knife. We are all just a bunch of filthy, rotten sinners in need of a Savior. A Savior who will whisper, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.” “Love your enemies and pray for those who use you and persecute you.” Liberating advice, loving advice, gracious, humble, life-giving advice.
Eventually, we see Shylock’s relentless pursuit of justice and revenge come to a bitter end. He is brought to an excruciatingly painful low, forced into submission and humiliated in the presence of his enemies. We walk away from this scene with genuine sorrow in our hearts for the man. But we walk away knowing that the day will soon come when we all shall see justice. A day when we all stand before the true judge to give an account for every word spoken and every dirty deed done in darkness. Until that day comes, do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God.
“He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8)
Matthew 5:44 (NKJV)
Luke 23:34 (NKJV)