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Latest Update

Hey lovely people!

Pray you are all doing great. We have just started school holidays for two weeks which I can hear all the parents shouting a loud AMEN!! I love school holidays. We have less routine, fun outings, fun kids stuff going on at church, new kids, movies, sleep ins, lots of cooking….. OVERALL AWESOME!!

This Monday, I go in for treatment number 5. To be honest, I am a little nervous, I guess because I know now what to expect. Yet, at the same time I am pretty focussed on just getting in there and getting it done. Then, I can say ONLY ONE MORE TO GO!!

Thank you for your continued prayers. Prayers that the side effects will be minimal and that the chemo does everything that it needs to do… in JESUS NAME.

My heart truly goes out to all walking through tough times. I am reading this book at the moment by Max Lucado called  ‘ You’ll Get Through This’. I recommend it to anyone who is finding life tough at the moment. It is SO good for the soul. I am learning to fully be present in the season that I am in and not to resent it or get angry because of the frustration it can bring. Rather to thank God in this very season. This is a decision that I make every day. Some days this is easier than others. But the one constant is Gods awesome presence. I am learning that I can live without many things, but NOT His presence, not for one moment. Oh, so much to say…

I am SUPER sad at not being able to travel with the team and my hubby to Rwanda for the Global Walk of Hope. We are joining with our Rwandan family to remember those who perished in the genocide 20 years ago. We remain committed to standing alongside this nation and work together in the rebuilding. To see what is emerging from this great land is nothing short of breathtaking as they lead a revolution of genuine forgiveness and HOPE. Praying for our teams who are there now, and those heading over this week. Praying for safety, for health, and for an outrageously productive time together as they build new friendships and serve the people of Rwanda in ways that bring about lasting change.

OK. Gonna sign off now as we are heading off to our dear friends home for dinner. To be honest, I’ve never been so grateful for faithful, uncomplicated friends. Hallelujah! God is SO good.

Love and appreciate you all very much.

Darls xx

The Story of the Woman at the Well

I have loved this story from the woman at the well and her encounter with Jesus for many years and as is the nature of the Word of God, the more I meditate on these scriptures, the more I learn.

There is much to discover through these verses. Truthful worship is not a matter of where or when or even how we worship, but the real crux of this message is about the longing of our hearts before God and His majesty revealed in our midst when He responds as He must according to James 4:8.

Its humbling to remember, that WHENEVER Jesus comes close, whenever God draws near, He sees past ALL of our mistakes, our failings, our regrets, our highs and lows, and He goes straight to the deeper issues of the heart.

A little worship war starts between Jesus and the woman regarding HOW we worship, and WHO we worship. She speaks of her state as a Samaritan and their method of doing things whilst Jesus spoke of the Jews and their love for the things of God. Oh how I would have loved to have been at the well eavesdropping on that day!!

Recently, I saw something SO fresh and loved it. When Jesus said ‘ believe me woman, a TIME is coming, and has now come’, he spoke of the future, AND of the present, and this woman is made VERY aware of the TIME and the urgency of the hour she was living in.

She was out at noon, full sun, to draw water in peace, away from the judgemental opinions of others, yet in her heart she was still longing and WAITING for the promised Messiah ( verse 25) ‘ I KNOW He is coming’, she said.

When I read this I am reminded of one of Martin Smith’s more recent songs called ‘Waiting Here For YOU’ as you hear the same kind of heart longing for God to come close. Just like Jesus did that day.

In verse 35 Jesus says to her, ‘Is it still months? Raise Your Eyes, the time is NOW.’

I am SO much more aware of time and its value the older I get. We cannot get back the time we waste and that each one of us has been placed, ON PURPOSE, for such a TIME as this.

I LOVE how in the presence of JESUS, this Samaritan woman found exactly WHO her heart had been longing for. As it is for us all, to fully accept who we are, we need to go back to the ONE who made us and once we truly understand how valuable we are, we understand that OUR times are important.

In verse 28 we are told she leaves her water jar, trades the old for the new, leaves the temporal water for living water and she RUNS into HIS ways. The great exchange at work again. SUCH is her passion, that she leads MANY people to Christ.

My lovely friends, you can sit by the well of regret and self-pity OR draw near to the well-spring of life, our Jesus Christ, to whom all worship and praise is due, both now and evermore.

This story has always encouraged me in my passion for leading worship, and importance of the times in which we’ve been placed. For there is NOTHING that compares to leading people to ‘the cup that can never run dry’…

Much love,

Darlene Z.

Another Update from this Journey

DZ & Ruthie

 

 

Hello lovely friends and family..

Just thought I’d send a little mini update and a little photo of me and Ruthie Feather. Me with my beanie clad bald head a grateful heart and my lovely grand baby.

Would I rather NOT be walking through this? Absolutely, however what I am learning is that God is close to the brokenhearted in ways I only dreamed of and this brings me ENDLESS HOPE.

Today is treatment number FOUR!! And I can see the end of chemo from the top of this mountain. It is indeed a mountain and my heart goes out to all living this out like I am. Even though I am NO expert in all of this, I have a few of my little tips I am using for walking through.

THE WORD. This has been my top priority. I have a folder of daily scriptures to read over myself which my darling friend Miriam Webster made up for me. These scriptures lead me to continued HOPE and TRUST. Declaring scripture and reading it loud when my heart trembles or my emotions go AWOL. Through this treatment I have been super tired.. SO, reading out loud has been awesome.

I have sent to my phone every a subscription daily bible stucy from Joyce Meyer, Nicky Gumbal, and Ps Joseph Prince. These are like heaven to me and I look forward to waking up everyday to these promises. Again, they lead me to the Word, which leads me to my own other studies. Heb 12:4 from the Message translation ‘God means what He says, what He says goes. His powerful word is sharp as a surgeons scalpel,cutting through everything whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to Gods word. We can’t get away from it, no matter what.’ LOVE this xx my hope.

PRAYING FRIENDS AND FAMILY. ALL I can say is THANKYOU. There are times that I literally FEEL the prayers of the saints close and afar carrying me. And when I have been unable to utter a prayer. I know someone is praying. You have no idea the comfort this brings. When I am able, rest assured I pray for all of you. My hubby is my rock, my girls are fiercely loyal and covered by many prayers and supported by friends.. my heart is SO thankful.

WORSHIP. The word is clear about bringing our prayers, our worship, our songs, before, during and after any storms that may come our way.  So I sit at my piano when I can and simply love Jesus. I open the Psalms and let my heart come out. I play worship songs, many instrumentals or free worship moments I find on live albums by many of my faves.

This morning, Ps Joseph Prince was singing the whole song of ‘turn your eyes upon Jesus’ and I was moved to tears. My soul sang along as I prepared to go to church. It amazes me what God will use if you allow Him access to your heart.

GREAT FOOD. Ok, this has been trial and error for me. AT first, I went FULLY raw food… juicing like a mad woman (which I still do a lot of) but with my type of chemo I have learned I must have my food cooked to keep germs at bay (white blood cell count alert!.. ended up in hospital a few times.. not intending to go again).

SO, lots of soups which are nutricious, tasty, wild salmon, and steamed broccoli with every meal.. basically, whatever I feel like, if it is good for me and I simply eat it when I feel like eating. Mark reckons I’ve turned into a random foodie. AS your taste buds die off, its hard to always know, but doing my best thanks to family and friends cooking like champions for me AND my family.

EXERCISE. All my training, beach runs, lifting weights. I have not been able to manage. BUT, I am walking whenever I can. Out in the sunshine, sometimes just to the end of the street but sometimes a longer way. The sunshine is a great place to find yourself thanking God for every day, and the walking is a great way to keep your system feeling at its best despite everything.

LAUGHTER. Just making sure your friends feel ok to pop in, send you silly videos, sit and chat and laugh and cry.. its SO good for the soul. This is such an intense time, and doctors appointments can be very confronting, a merry soul definitely does good like a medicine. Thank You Proverbs 17:22!!

JUST DO WHAT YOU CAN. I have been busy in the home when I can, writing songs, playing with my grand-babies and cooking, all simply when I can.

Don’t push yourself just be kind to yourself.

AND LASTLY.. A GOOD JOURNAL. Writing down my thoughts which I will gather later. Writing down the God whispers and even the days of silence. Writing down how my body feels on certain days so I am more prepared next treatment. Writing down scriptures that those I trust to speak into my situation have felt to share with me. This book brings me comfort and is helping my emotions to have an outlet.. also gives me somewhere to place random song lyrics, random thoughts, random ramblings and so on…

Anyways, theres a few little tips for you if you need them..…

I am also gathering a great collection of head gear and wraps to make me feel good while I look, well a little interesting!! Glad its becoming winter in Oz!!

Thank You again everyone. I’ll be laying low this week, but my heart is good, God is faithful and I see the horizon and it looks GOOD!!!

Much much love xx D

Another Update….

Well friends, it’s the first day of autumn in OZ. It’s rainy, overcast and absolutely lovely. I can hear the ocean, thrashing about, from my bedroom window and it is purely good tonic for my soul.

I head into my third round of chemo on Monday. Praise God I have reached my halfway point. This entire journey has truly been a mind game. Keeping my MIND focused on all God says, instead of how I am feeling, which is becoming a little fragile at times. In this, I keep going to my book of promises that I have been writing in. In this book are my  list of scriptures that I absorb like a daily tonic. It is in this space that I find rest.

During this whole process, I have received so many great encouraging letters and emails from those who have walked through the fire and come out smelling smoke free at the other end. I cannot begin to express how this fuels my soul for the days ahead. I would like to say a HUGE Thank You to my friends around the planet and at home who are SO DAILY in and on this journey with me.

Today, I again read the scriptures that Pastor Kirk Pankratz from Oklahama sent me that they spoke over their daughter last year when she battled a certain cancer. SO awesone to hear the great story of God’s victory in and through it all.  Here are some of them:

Psalm 91:15-16 - He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him My salvation.

2 Timothy 1:7 - For God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

1 John 4:4 - You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

Romans 8:37 - Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

Phillipians 4:13 - I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Isaiah 59:19 - When the enemy comes in like a flood, the spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.

Luke 1 :37 - For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment.

Again and again, God’s word trumps our adversities. It’s His nature to heal and to rescue. Never forget that. It’s all based on His great love for us – not on anything we have done.

This week, my dear friend, Liz Clout, taught at our women’s gathering. She spoke about it is no longer ‘I ‘that lives, but Christ who lives in me. Once we are saved, ‘I’ no longer exists, but rather, life is done in the plural and understanding the reality of Jesus always being with us. It was SUCH a great message. Thanks Lizzie!!!

Also in this season, I am very aware that my suffering is small compared to what many are suffering on the earth. The answer to it all has got to be Jesus led. Open hearts in prayer, open hands in service, open ears to the Holy Spirit, and open doors to all who need comfort.

So.. with much love in my heart I sign off for a couple of weeks. We will chat again soon..

Greater things are yet to come..

Darls.. xx