Monday 18 November 2019

Are you troubled?

By Jenny Glazebrook

I wanted to share with you my message from conference this year. I know many members of CWD were there, but perhaps you're like me and need to be constantly reminded of what it's really all about.

So here it is in written form, starting with the Bible passage:

Luke 10:38-42

 At the Home of Martha and Mary

Image courtesy of Pinterest
38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.

39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

(All Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™)

My question to you is, Are you troubled by many things? 

Sometimes we can live in a constant state of anxiety and intensity, never really settled and at peace. This world places so many demands on us.

And as writers, it's even more so.
          You must follow the rules of writing.
          You must share what you write with others.
          You must have an agent.
          You must be published.
          You must market and build an author platform.
          You must be on social media.
          You must know your target audience and create an author brand.

Images courtesy of Google Images
And then there’s the competition.
        To be successful, you must write this many books.
        You must have good reviews.
        You must enter competitions and have those particular judges approve of your work.
        You must have people willing to endorse your work.

The list goes on.

We can get to a point where we don’t even know who we are anymore, or why we began to write in the first place. We become defined by what others think of us, by what we have done or supposedly achieved.

I just want us to pause a moment and put all of that aside.
I want us to hear Jesus say to us, ‘You are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed – or indeed, only one.’

So what is that one thing Jesus says is needed?

Amelia with her gosling, and then again 8 months later
This is my youngest daughter, Amy or Amelia. She is nine years old. This is her with her pet goose. Named Sarah. The second picture is taken 8 months later after we realised we needed to change Sarah's name to Tom.
Amy loves animals and has a beautiful heart, but she also battles many things in everyday life. She has autism, ADHD, anxiety and depression, Van der Woude syndrome (which caused her cleft lip and palate) and has recently been diagnosed with a rare form of diabetes.
A few months ago, we were at one of her soccer games and she was sitting, waiting for the next game. A little girl fell down and hurt herself and Amy raced over and gave her a hug. Then a bit later, a toddler was getting restless and distressed, so Amy picked a flower and took it over and gave it to her. The little girl cheered up. She accidentally screwed up the flower with her chubby little toddler hands so Amy went and found her another one.
And then, a bit later, a lady was speaking to me and I was vaguely aware that Amy was sitting up the top of a grand stand talking to a boy around her age. His father was sitting there, too. I heard her say something about Jesus and I worried because Amy often doesn’t understand social situations or read social cues. But the lady I was speaking to wasn’t giving me a chance to get away.

That night I asked Amy what she was talking to the boy about. She said, as they sat up there, the boy said ‘How cool is it that we can see the whole soccer field from up here?’

And she said, ‘You know what’s even cooler? God can see every soccer field in the world at the same time.’

The boy was amazed and wanted to know more about God, so she told him how even though he’s so big and powerful he loves every person and died for them so that if they or sorry for the things they’ve done wrong and believe in Jesus, they will be forever with him when they die.

Then she told him how each night she reads stories from the Bible with her dad and they talk to Jesus about anything that’s worrying them.

The boy said he didn’t know about God before, but now he knew he believed too.

To Amy, it was an everyday situation coming from her heart of compassion and love for Jesus. But I know there was rejoicing in heaven at that moment.

Then a couple of weeks later was the soccer presentation. Amy doesn’t always understand the rules but she tries her best. Her favourite part about soccer, she says, is making friends with the opposition. Sometimes during a game she’ll miss the ball coming her way because she’s making friends with the player she’s supposed to be marking.
So Amy didn’t receive any special recognition, but another girl on her team received two trophies.
Amy said to me, ‘Mum, it’s never happened before, but I feel a bit jealous. She got two trophies.’

And so I asked Amy, do you think God would be delighted if you got all the trophies in the world? Or do you think he’s delighted that you love him and share his love and tell others about him? 

Which is better; to have trophies, or to love Jesus and to see that boy in heaven when you get there because you shared Jesus love with him?

Her eyes lit up and she smiled and I knew she got it.

My question to us, is, ‘Do we get it?’

Are we focused on the trophies of this life? In the recognition, in the competition, comparing ourselves to others? On that book deal we’re desperately striving for?
Or are we focused on Jesus; on letting all we are and all we do flow from worship and joy of knowing Him?

Note that Jesus didn’t say to Martha, ‘you are doing too many things’ … It wasn’t what Martha was doing, but why she was doing it and how she felt about it. She was driven. Exhausted. Frustrated. Doing it all in her own strength. Comparing herself to her sister. She was focused on what she was doing compared to what her sister was doing.

So what is the one thing Jesus says is needed?
Again, we immediately start thinking, ‘yes, what do I need to do?’ But the one thing that is needed … is Jesus. It is not about him requiring anything of us. It’s about us realising what we need from Him!

Jesus said ‘Mary has chosen what is better.’
Mary chose Jesus. Above all else. It is a choice. In our busy lives, we have to choose to come to Him. That is all that is needed. To know and love Jesus.
You’d be amazed how many verses in the Bible are about this!

Jesus said: Matthew 11:28
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

1 Chronicles 16:11
Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!

Philippians 4:6
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God.

Psalm 62:8
Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

Isaiah 30:15
This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: ‘In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.’

Psalm 46:10
He says, ‘Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’

Exodus 14:14  The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

This last verse is from when the Israelites were being chased by the Egyptians. They wanted to reach the promised land. They saw no way forward – the sea was blocking their path. The enemy blocking behind.

What is your battle? What is blocking your path? 

Don’t give up. Wait for the Lord. Be still.

Maybe you’ve struggled for years to get your work published and your Christian brother or sister has their writing snapped up straight away by a publisher or agent.

What should you do?

Don't be discouraged. Don't strive harder. Come to Jesus.       

2 Corinthians 3:3
‘You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.’

It’s not what you write down on paper that matters, but what is written on your heart … not what you do, but who you are!

Yes, we are writers. It’s a gift He’s given us. But He doesn’t say we have to publish a book to love Him, to help people, to be who He wants us to be.

That urgency to write things down … God will give you the time you need. He has marked out your days. He has given you all you need. Rest in Him and you will have more to offer.

He is our inspiration. Anything good that comes from us, really comes from Him.

And what happens when we sit at his feet, when we take a moment to be still and know that He is God? To wait on Him, delight in Him as He delights in us?

It becomes a way of life. We learn to listen for His voice, to notice His tap on our shoulder.

And our inspiration is limitless because God is limitless.

Ken Duncan is an amazing Australian photographer. And he’s a Christian. He says that sometimes God gives him a tap on the shoulder and he turns around and there is an amazing photo opportunity he could never have imagined.

It is worth looking at the photo in this link:  The Master Sculptor Most people take a picture of the beach and ocean, but Ken heard God say, ‘turn around.’ And there was this amazing rock, sculptured by God. It’s an award-winning photo.

There’s also an incredible story about how his famous photos of Midnight Oil came about. You can see the photo here: Midnight Oil

This is the most famous shot of Midnight Oil – on this day, some people were making a documentary, pushing one another to get the best shots. Ken had been invited to take a photo and been given priority. But instead, he held back, waiting for others to get their shots.

It wasn’t a good day for photos and it was getting worse. The people making the documentary finally finished and Ken had an idea. He could take a photo on the dry lake. As he set up, everyone came to watch. The clouds were bad, the light was bad. But suddenly a great gust of wind blew, blowing off the hats of the band members, and the sun broke through the clouds.

Everyone watching scrambled over each other, trying to get their cameras out, one even got the cord stuck around another’s neck in his urgency to get the photo. But they were too late and Ken had his

The photos God had given him.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be like those camera men who are just out for themselves, using their own skills to clamber to the top. And then finding when they get there it’s not they dreamed of after all.

I don’t want to rush ahead of God only to find that when I finally hold my dreams and ambitions in my grasp, there is nothing of value left.

I want to wait for God’s tap on my shoulder. To let Him show me the world through His eyes.

So let’s open our hands to receive what God has given us.

Let’s sit at His feet and wait for His inspiration … what He has to say.

I have a friend in Gundagai where I live, who met Jesus at the lowest, darkest point in her life. It was about ten years ago. Her son had taken his own life, and she didn’t want to go on. But Jesus revealed Himself to her.

She has now, after living without God for 50 years, become the Anglican reverend in our small town. The love of Jesus shines from her. And people can see that she is a new creation – a completely different person to who she was.

She told me how, every morning as she wakes up, she asks the Lord what He has for that day. And every time she sits down to write a sermon she lifts her hand up in worship to receive from God, asking Him for His words.

She said that the day the joy in serving God in this way, being in full-time ministry, is gone, that is the day she will stop. And seek Him for what is next.

And though she is often run off her feet, her face shines with His love and joy. From her heart flows love for all the lost and broken, the addicts, every person she sees. She doesn’t have all the Christian jargon, the years of Christian experience and church upbringing. All she has is Jesus and her heart’s desire is to love him with all her heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love her neighbour as herself.

She would like to write her incredible story someday. And she probably will. But a book is not her calling. Loving Jesus and delighting in Him as He delights in her is her calling. And it is our calling, too. It is all that is needed.

A published book might be part of it. It may not be.

You are a child of God. That is enough.

Why do we feel we have to be extraordinary? That we have to stand out? That is what the world tells us.

When Jesus says to come to Him. To receive from Him. Rest in Him. We don’t need to be extraordinary, because He is. And when people see us do amazing things, we want them to see that really, it is all Him.

Brothers and sisters, we share the same gift of writing, but more important than this, we share the same Jesus who gave us the gift. Our Saviour. Let’s not ever let writing or publishing become something we feel we must do, something that is a burden, a scramble to the top, a battle against others who are already there.

If you are tired or discouraged, come to Jesus.

Let’s remember the one thing that is needed – knowing Jesus. To worship Him, delight in Him and depend on Him. To know and love Him as we rest in complete confidence at His feet.

All else will flow from that.

It will be something of infinite value, beyond what you could ever do on your own.

And you will find true peace and rest.

In Jesus.


Lord, you know our hearts. You know our dreams. Each one of us here has struggled. It’s not easy being a writer, there are so many demands placed on us. Lord Jesus, we come to you today, to rest at your feet; to look to you for inspiration, for your plans for us. We don’t choose fame, or money, or a name for ourselves. We choose to come to you and rest in you. We choose you. Above all else.

We love you Jesus.


Jenny Glazebrook lives in the country town of Gundagai with her husband, Rob and 4 children along with many pets. She is the published author of 7 novels, 1 traditionally published, and 6 self published. She has another novel due for release on 7th December this year. She writes because words burn within her. She is an experienced inspirational speaker and a chaplain for the Omega Writers' Conference. She loves to encourage others to walk closer with God and hear His voice each day. 
Jenny’s website is:


  1. This was a wonderful message when you delivered it at Omega Jenny, and it's a powerful reminder now. Thanks for sharing again.

    1. Thanks David. I find I need to be reminded often as life is so busy. I see you have more novels coming out, too! May God use them for His glory and continue to give you the time and inspiration to write and market ... so much involved!

  2. What a precious word, Jenny. Thank you so much for sharing it here. I'm especially grateful as I wasn't able to attend the conference this year (though I heard great reports about the message you shared from others). Jesus spoke his peace and encouragement to me through your words today as I read them. Yes, it is so easy to become overwhelmed with our own inadequacies when we focus on all those tasks. But, it is also so easy to be overwhelmed with God's amazing love, strengthening and provision as we focus our attention on him. Thanks for the reminder.

    1. You're welcome! When I tried to write a new blog post and nothing came, I thought maybe it was worth sharing this for those who didn't hear it. I'm so glad God spoke to you through it. May God's peace and encouragement continue to fill you!

  3. Thank you, Jenny. A beautiful reminder to focus on the right things. Our God is indeed wonderful :).

    1. Thank you for commenting, Sue! Yes, we do have a wonderful God!

  4. What a beautiful inspiring post Jenny. And the next best thing seeing I wasn't there to hear you speak it out was to read it now. Thanks so much for sharing. What a powerful reminder that all we need is Jesus. And that He is enough. I am amazed at your precious little girl - please tell her I am sure she has won many trophies already in the courts of heaven for the way she freely shares her faith and for the way she understands spiritual truth! She's amazing. She must have her Mum's genes! :) Also loved the story of Ken Duncan. You are so right. We need to be positioned where God wants us - and then the rest will flow automatically. I enjoyed the story of the Anglican Reverend in your town. She sounds very special and how wonderful that God has used her so much and continues to shine through her. Thank you for a beautiful post as we step into the Christmas season. All we need is Jesus. That's a truth I am passionate about. Thank you for reiterating it so well dear Jenny. Bless you my beautiful friend. Thank you for sharing.

    1. I really missed you there, Anusha! And yes, I will tell Amy. And Wendy, the Anglican Reverend has been such a blessing to so many, including me. I first connected with her five years ago when she heard my father was dying of cancer and offered to come to Canberra with me and visit him - she had only recently lost her husband to cancer, but she was exactly who God knew I needed with her compassion and understanding. Reminds me of your next book (Can't wait until it's out!) We really do need each other, don't we?

  5. Thanks Jenny. I was blessed by your talk at conference - and again today. I so appreciate your warm, humble, compassionate heart. We can never be reminded too often to set our hearts on Jesus. He is our source and our goal.

    1. I definitely need the reminder. I find it so easy to get lost in it all! Sometimes we need to be reminded by a child of what really matters. Thank you for your encouraging comment!

  6. Thank you Jenny, for that encouraging, soothing and sensible post. I'm sure we all need that sort of counsel regularly. I'm going to read it over again straight away.

    1. I know you know just how difficult the journey is, Paula! May God continue to use your amazing books to bless many, and also give you the time and space to rest in Him!

  7. Dear Jenny! You have no idea just how much I needed to revisit your beautiful message from Omega! I've just returned from celebrating my youngest son's 40th birthday in Perth over the weekend and am missing them dreadfully; your reminder of what is important puts everything in perspective and I can rest in the knowledge that God has everything in his hands. Thank you for sharing this again today beautiful girl - and thank you again for sharing your precious family with us all!

  8. Thank you Jenny. What a beautiful, thoughtful post (and what a lovely daughter.)