The God who sees

©Guilherme Stecanella

If anyone has read my stories, they know I believe in stopping for the one. The masses are exciting and they matter. The big impact is glorious. Yet there is something so very special about the one. Never forget, He is the Father that encourages with the story of the one lost sheep.

Sometimes in stopping for the one, in taking time to sit, listen and serve, I can become quite despondent. I wonder whether it really makes a difference.

Today I gave my time to support others. I spent longer than planned. An hour out of a day, with an extra half hour, does not seem too much; but when you are in a busy world, it makes a tremendous difference.

Feeling a little flat after, I roused myself. I must have made an impact, given how flat I felt. Walking with my son in the sunshine, I reminded myself that God had asked me to do what I had done, yet the niggle remained – had I just wasted my time?

Intellectually you know you are doing the right thing, but…

Master M and I stopped for lunch at a local cafe. I randomly looked at my mobile phone… 1:11.

‘I love you’ I heard Him whisper.

‘I love you too’ I responded and ate my lunch.

As I went inside to pay, I thought about an ARK (Act of Random Kindness) I had performed over a week before in the same cafe. I don’t talk too much about these, and I would not normally be writing about this one, but the goodness and kindness of God radiates by sharing what happened today. It’s my hope you see Him in this story. It’s my wish that you hear His heart. I trust it will encourage you to look for Him yourself when you feel as I felt today…

He is the God who sees (Genesis 16:13).

©Nathan Dumlao

Just over a week ago, I had left a sum of money at this cafe. It was enough for 10 or more coffees to be given away to whom ever they pleased. Amazed and delighted, the girl behind the til chatted about never seeing something like this before. She was so excited by the idea. I laughed and said that she would have fun giving the coffees away. The tangible atmosphere in the cafe buzzed with Holy Spirit.

This came to mind as I walked in to pay my bill. I wondered why I had bothered, noting the grouchy exchange I had with the owner late last week when I had tried to be friendly. (Note: my stinking thinking). I checked myself and my attitude, and I smiled as I paid and left.

We were some way down the street, when a girl chased behind us.

‘I was that girl that you left all that money with on the til the other day, you will never guess what happened…’

I smiled and waited…

‘You broke something open that day. I’ve never seen it before, but two more people came in that day and they also left money for free coffees for others…’

‘Wow,’ I responded, ‘that is bizarre.’

I know people leave money in cafes. It happens regularly at another cafe a suburb away from where I live. But, she had never seen it happen in this cafe.

© Brooke Cagle

She had not finished her story. She was so excited, she repeated herself.

‘I had to tell you, you broke something open that day, you started something that day, you broke it open that day, and others followed you and did the same, you caused something to start that day, what you did opened something up…’

I smiled and was a little embarrassed. Thanking her for sharing it with me, I told her to have a beautiful afternoon, and we walked on in the sunshine.

I heard the Father’s voice. He spoke to me through her excitement and declaration of what had occurred. he reminded me of my purpose, having first reminded me that I was loved.

I was nearly in tears.

She did not know I was feeling flat.

She did not know I have had those same words spoken over me many times. She did not know I had been told I would break things open, and that others would follow.

Being a breaker sounds fun, glamorous even.

It’s not.

There’s rarely people encouraging you to walk forward.

Stepping out in faith is spelt: R I S K.

There’s often jeering from the sidelines. People regularly misunderstand motives. Many, even ‘friends,’ want you to stop where they are at, so as not to cause them too much discomfort.

It’s lonely.

The point is, God knew my heart, my thoughts today, and He met me with, ‘I love you.’ Even though I was entertaining thoughts of ‘poor me’ and ‘stinking thinking.’

He then said, ‘thank you, I see you’ and He affirmed my identity and purpose.

Through an excited young woman, He showed me the end of a story. I rarely see what happens next, but she had remembered me and had witnessed to me the marvellous results of stopping for the one, and the flow on impact that an act of kindness had. It was His idea; it was my idea; it was both our ideas… His nudge so intangible. A joy to do, feel the atmospheres shift and watch the delight. She witnessed two more people give money away to bless others they did not know… and she somehow recognised that the act of obedience had broken something open for others to follow.

God heard my heart today, and He met it with a kiss. He did so through an unknowing girl who witnessed generosity break out in her workplace. God knew I needed a reminder that I was loved, that he saw me, and he met me in my need. And He will do so for you too, if you look to see because…

God is Good!

It’s the little things…

Community matters
© Beth Kennedy 2021

I felt the nudge to get out and go for a walk in the sunshine. There was 40 minutes before an online class started. I was a little flat, and did not feel inclined, but I recognised the nudge and so I knew to go.

Heading out, I asked which way. In my ‘wisdom’, I was sure a walk towards the beach was in order.

‘Turn right,’ I heard instead, and flashes of my local coffee shop played across my consciousness. ‘Head there, get yourself a coffee and head home.’

‘Alright’ I thought and enjoying the sunshine I did. I walked to the local that knew and loved me well.

While there, one of the junior staff members asked me how I was. In return, I asked her too.

‘Not too well’ she responded, and after enquiring further she told me her concerns, and her thoughts around the next steps she might take.

‘Give me your hand,’ I said. ‘I’m going to pray for you.’

She did, and I did.

Coffee in hand, I wished her a brilliant day, and headed home. Thinking I would head back the quick way, I checked with Him who knew…

Nope.

A clear picture emerged, and I felt a prompting to walk home past the park, essentially the way I had walked before.

Sipping my coffee, I was happily anticipating my online class. I felt sheer delight in God, and I could tangibly sense His pleasure in me and in my delight in the morning adventure. Yes, I know. It is a tad ‘Pollyanna,’ but I don’t care. We need more Pollyanna’s that delight in the little things, for they release joy as they go!

As I walked past the park, a lone koala teddy bear toy caught my gaze. He was lying face up on the footpath. I considered leaving him on a fence so the family could return to find him readily; but seeing children playing in the park, I felt to head over and check who he may belong to, even though it may well run me late for my class.

Checking with the few mums who had children and prams, I came up stumps. Readers, in Australia this means I had no success.

Noting the time and wondering if I might have just left it on the fence, yet knowing I had heard not to, I headed back to place the teddy on the fence. I took photos so I could post it on a local Facebook group and hoped that the little owner would reunite with what looked like a well loved toy.

As I finished taking the photos, I noticed in the distance a mum with a child in a pram, hurrying up the path.

Picking up the teddy, I headed towards her. A little shy face peered at me, and with an outstretched hand the little person took the precious koala from me.

Delighted, the mum said what a beautiful thing to do. I felt silly and said she would have found him, anyway.

We exchanged a few more words, and I said goodbye, wishing her well, agreeing that our local community was a lovely place to live.

I walked home logging onto my class late. I briefly wondered what it was all about. Had I missed it? Perplexed, I dismissed it, giving it no more thought.

It was not until this morning as I again headed out for a quick 20-minute walk in the late morning sunshine that it came to mind. God had reminded me I needed to buy some food for 4 hungry boys due to arrive after school, and He encouraged me to go before my class. It was on this walk I asked again what this minor interaction had been all about.

‘Community matters,’ He said.

‘Community matters?’ I responded. ‘I know community matters…’ and then the penny dropped.

Face-to-face connection is so important. I was a stay at home mum. I have also worked from home for 20-plus years. I know how important it is to get out and talk to real live human beings; to smile at people; be in the sunshine; grab a coffee on a walk; sit at a coffee shop to work where they know you and you know them. The brief interactions, the smiles, the encouraging words, and exchange of loving ideas and knowledge about life… it all matters.

In the grand scheme of life, these are such little things – but are they?

In responding to a prompt to have a quick walk in the sunshine, towards my community, rather than in isolation along the beach, I received and gave some loving interaction. I know Christians and non-Christians that are great at this. In this season we are being called to our neighbourhoods.

The Sesame Street song comes to mind that asks ‘who are the people in your neighbourhood?’

The walk blessed me. I chatted to people in my local coffee shop; I stopped to listen to a young girl with some challenges; I smiled at the people doing yoga in the park; and I nodded at a shop owner as I passed by. I stopped to chat to mums in the park, and finally, I chatted to the mum with the child that had lost the toy koala. All incidental moments; all Kingdom in design.

That interaction with the mum, while it ran me late, showed that mum, who perhaps was a little lonely, that she lived in a community that cared enough to stop for the little things, like a lost toy. A little thing to me – a huge thing in a mum’s life with a little one that needs that toy to sleep.

I looked at her and said she looked like she was doing a superb job. We exchanged a few ideas. I said it gets easier, that they end up in school in no time. And I verbally affirmed that she indeed lived in a beautiful neighbourhood. (Bill Meyer I see you!).

And, overall, it blessed me, probably more than I blessed anyone I stopped for.

It reminded me, community matters!

I know the sort of community I want to live in – and so I seek to be the change…

And so how do we create the community we want to live in?

It’s the little things that matter.

We stop for the one.

We chat, we love, and we encourage.

It is in this way that together we impact a nation, one kind act at a time… a grassroots movement…

It is the little things that matter, and God sees them all and cares for each one because…

God is good!

Love looks like something…

So, this is the beautiful Nikita who writes poetry and loves gifts. She encountered Love a couple of weeks ago when my friends and I had coffee…

Love looks like something
© Nikita Borg 2020
Days after we spoke with her, a group of Christians from another church had coffee there. The pastor chatted to her, and she told him her story of meeting us. He invited her to his church. She plans to go. Ironically, it’s the same church I would have suggested to her, but I had felt not to push it, but allow her to go on her own journey. Now I know why I was to stand back – God had it all in hand. The church is just perfect to accept her creativity, beauty, and gentleness of heart.
I will let her tell more of her story.
She gets it…
this is NORMAL Christianity, this is what Love looks like…❤️
Nikita writes on her Facebook page:

hello facebook, please meet L 🌞 L is a dear friend of mine. he is exactly like you and I. He has a heart and soul and a really beautiful dream; to spread the words of love and kindness. He is an incredibly colourful human with an old soul wiseness and a phenomenal artist as you can see! He is almost always peacefully planted outside the ANZ bank in _____ sipping coffee, smoking making art, being, interacting with anyone that chooses to interact with him. I know I really enjoy buying his art as gifts for others and myself but him all to his own, the human that he is, the alphabet he created and the love he emits he is the most kind and whole soul I’ll probably ever meet. So yes this is a huge plug to get you all to support him and buy his art but he also likes flat whites with two sugars and hugs. I gave him a big hug today and he cried and cried and said nobody had done that for years. So if your lucky enough to befriend him and your a hunger just go for it 💙
Not long after she wrote this post she privately messaged me:

I gave myself to God today in front of everyone at fire church I cried and cried and felt a weight lifted and the pastor I knew came over and said a prayer for me and I feel so different. THANK-YOU! I would also be very interested in a more formal church. Can always go to two…… where do you go?

I LOVE JESUS

Three words:

God is Good!

Love looks like something.

Will you leak Heaven as you go?
What does it look like for you?
I’d love to hear your testimonies.

Stop for the one regardless of lockdown

Late last year, I bumped into a friend I had not seen for years.

We briefly chatted, and then she surprised me by suggesting we catch up. She said she loved spending time with me years ago, and would love to catch up for lunch. I was delighted, but a little surprised.

Trust me… I am nothing special.

We had lunch and chatted and spoke a little about our own personal challenges. She shared her heart and as she spoke I saw a picture of her sitting at an easel doing art. I asked her about it, explaining that I ‘saw’ her doing something like painting under a tree.

I need to state this friend may not label herself as a ‘Christian’, but she does believe in the goodness of human beings. She believes that we are responsible to others and ourselves to make good choices. She believes it is our responsibility to leave the world a better place than it was before we were in it.

She does know that I do call myself a ‘Christian’, and she accepts me, for all my flaws and inconsistencies that brings.

I go gently in my Christian talk, because I don’t want to offend her – she is my friend, and friends are kind to one another. Friends do not shove values or belief systems down each other’s throats, yet they are not threatened by a difference of opinion, or a healthy discussion. Friends can agree to disagree while honouring the difference of opinion. I find her attitude generous and gracious.

The last time we spoke was years ago, pre prophetic training. I was prophetic back then (news flash: we all are!) but I just didn’t realise I was and I had not learnt how to listen and then mention what I ‘saw’ or ‘sensed’ for people.

So I asked about the painting (with no Christian ease) and she told me she LOVED painting/drawing. I told her what had happened; she accepted what I said, and we moved on in our conversation.

I encouraged her to join an art class, buy some supplies, and recommended a few more personal things, and we went on our way. She was encouraging to me too; it’s a two-way deal people. She was not, and is not a ‘project’, she is a friend, a real live friend, and I see her because I want to, not because she needs saving…

Red hot keen Christians that carry belts with notches please read the above paragraph again…

My friend is not a ‘notch on the belt’… I like her and accept her, and I would continue to see her as a friend even if she never accepted Jesus into her heart!

People can smell belt notching a mile away!

Hence this story…

Within 24 hours I received a message saying that she had ticked off all three items we discussed, and we promised we would catch up again – she would tell me how she got on with her projects, and I would share how I was getting on with mine.

We caught up briefly before Christmas. At the time she was very thankful, and I felt embarrassed because while I was the mouthpiece and the ears (I listened to her and God), I just encouraged her to step into something she loved, into something God created her to do…

Well…

Fast forward to lockdown stage 4 in Melbourne, Australia. We can now be out for total 2 hours (with one other person if they are not from our home). I have thought of my friend a few times over the last 6 months, but about 10 days ago, I acted on the thought (I believe the prompting) and I texted her to arrange a walk.

As we walked, our discussion got deep quickly, and she asked me a little about my belief in God. She shared her views on many things, God, faith, spirituality. She chatted, I listened; I chatted, she listened…

We will catch up again this Wednesday.

Christians on social media seem to think because we cannot gather in a church building that somehow we cannot do anything effective for the Kingdom, we can’t impact people.

This is nonsense.

There are many ways to ‘stop for the one’.

Sometimes it means stopping for the one stranger on the street – as you walk past you offer to pray, or give them a word of encouragement, or just shout them a coffee.

Other times it’s the phone call that you feel you could make, or the email you could send… and you call or you send it.

Sometimes it’s the prophetic inclination you have for your boss and you share it at work, without declaring ‘thus says the Lord’… there is no need to declare a prophetic inclination in that way – just be relatable.

Other times, it’s just catching up with a friend who happens, unbeknownst to you, to need encouragement. That friend needs someone to SEE them warts and all and call out ‘you are loved my friend’. Sometimes we just need to call out the gold… regardless of whether they ever come to Christ.

It’s about being the Body (not doing the Body). It’s about being human. It’s about moving in response to His heart beat for yourself and others, and in this all will see that…

God is Good!

 

Stepping out in lockdown – God is Good!

Recently, as lockdown in Melbourne, Australia lifted somewhat, I headed out to my favourite organic store. I have known the current owners for 10 years or more.

A few years ago, one owner told me she had received a diagnosis of kidney cancer, and was all clear. She had then regained her vitality with the help of a naturopath – a practitioner she was recommending to me.

Recently, while at the store, we exchanged our usual pleasantries, and I mentioned the naturopath, saying I had referred my niece to her. She told me she had not seen her naturopath for some time, but she said she needed to go back since she felt that the cancer had returned – she was having some pain and other urinary tract issues.

I asked her about her urologist. It turned out that she was seeing the same one my mother had been seeing two years ago. That specialist did not seem to have the answers for my mother’s many complicated and life-threatening issues, so I T whether she was happy with the specialist. She said ‘no’, so I told how we had been fortunate enough to find another for my mother, by ‘chance’ who, while wanting in her bedside manner, was excellent, and was the only expert who had worked out my mother’s many issues. She had got my mother well and functional at 88, after 15 months of repeated hospital visits.

T asked me for the specialist details, and I then asked her if I could pray. She said ‘absolutely,’ so I said I would stand behind her, and I asked if she was ok with it. I told her I would place my hand on her lower back, while keeping at a distance. Note: it is still a requirement we keep 1.5m distance by law here in Melbourne, and sadly, restrictions have toughened up again because of hot spots breaking out as I write.

I stepped behind T. I placed my hand on her lower back, and I prayed. I commanded healing to come, peace to come, the oil of the Holy Spirit to flow – whatever came to mind as I listened to God’s prompting. She stood calmly, but it moved her. She teared up. She was visibly shaken. I desperately wanted to hug her. I told her I wanted to give her a cuddle. She felt God’s Presence. I released His love on her back and He reached into her heart.

Yes, through me, He releases His love. Does this make me a better, more holy, somehow stronger Christian? No, sadly no! It makes Him amazing that He can use anyone, including me, even when I feel weak (and I was feeling depleted and weak on that day). I’m still in awe that He will flow through me. Actually, I’m like an excited child every time He moves like this through me. I am amazed that the God who created the universe lives in me, and will flow through little me!

I must admit, the hardest thing about praying for owners of shops, or service people in stores, is that people are constantly walking around the store, and often customers suddenly appear, out of nowhere, and need or want service. As soon as I started praying, a customer walked to the counter and stood watching us. I felt awkward. No matter how many times I have done this, I still feel awkward. It’s inconvenient, it’s uncomfortable, but Jesus never promised us comfort, he just said ‘follow me’ and He goes about doing His Father’s business.

Is it easy?

Yes, actually it IS easy.

Is it convenient?

Rarely!

And so, I ask you, as you walk through your day, who can you reach out and ‘touch’ with His love. Who is He prompting you to stop for and reach out to?

Is stopping and praying for someone, like I have here, too much for you?

If ‘yes’ then ask God to bring to mind someone you can just send out a card to; send a text to; call up and arrange a zoom cuppa with; or go for a walk with? Stop and ask:

‘God, who would you like me to encourage today?’

I know He will give you a name or a face. Someone will come to mind. He wants you to hear for them more than you want to hear for them. And, when you get that prompt, I encourage you with all my heart, to step out and just say “hey, how are you doing?” Alternatively, send them a card, send them a text, suggest a walk, even just pray for them in the privacy of your home, and together, we will extend the Kingdom of Heaven.

I know He will move on your behalf as you step out in obedience.

He will delight in you, and He will touch them for His name’s sake.

I know this because…

God is Good!

Salt preserves – being community in the world … God is Good!

Yesterday I posted about the time I had to stop and breathe. During this time God came and nurtured me, and gave me a list of dot points to “do” (note: it is a high priority to “be” every day, before I “do”).

One of my dot points was literally: “JMAB – skype lessons.”

JMAB is an elite ballet school.  It provides excellent dance tuition to literally hundreds of children, who represent 100’s of families in our wider community.  The school has existed for YEARS!

With the prospect of community distancing, schools shutting, and our suburbs getting ready to go into shut down I became acutely aware of the needs of our ballet school, and how very vulnerable the staff would be feeling. Now, this was last week people, so Australia was still not really seeing the writing on the wall.  I have always prayed for every school community that we are a part of, and this school is no exception, and so, as this season of challenge accelerated over the last few weeks I have found myself praying more and more for JMAB staff.

Now, I have learnt to hold my tongue with God ideas, and to go gently gently, especially with pre Christians, although on this I stuff up all the time.  So, I sat on this idea and waited for God’s timing, for a natural opportunity to make the suggestion.

It came Sunday afternoon!

I received a text that the school would be shut down due to State Government guidelines.

I texted the staff member back saying:

Hi S

We have set up a studio in our lounge room. We would love privates by video by video – what are your thoughts? This way we can support the studio financially through this time and the kids can keep training xxx

Note: I wanted to keep the idea small to start with, but I saw it HUGE – much bigger than just the odd private lesson

I then texted more:

We are setting up our cameras etc too 🙂 Maybe J could put the level 2 music and other music online for the kids too.  There is so much we can do as a community to keep JMAB going xxx

As I texted, I read what I wrote to my husband and as I did waves of the Presence, or surges of God’s anointing came and covered me powerfully. It took me by surprise, but though laughter, and it’s intensity I thought “ok God must be on this”.

Then suddenly the phone rang.

It was S.

We then proceeded to have a discussion. I told S I had been praying for them all and that last week I had felt I had received this idea as I prayed for them.  I told her I wanted her to know they were not alone, and that they were important to us.  That JMAB and staff were important to the community.

S had a number of challenges with the idea.  She was already defeated and deflated. I gently came back with decent suggestions to counter the issues (the ideas just came people) and as I did she slowly warmed to the idea and even started saying how it could perhaps work, and she started problem solving for herself, and she started to sound more hopeful. I knew not to be too intense, to let the idea slowly simmer. After quite a lengthy call, I hung up hopeful, trusting and praying that she would communicate the ideas to J, the principal of the school.

I had to trust God!

Yesterday I drove my daughter to the school to empty her locker, and while there my daughter saw J, the principal teacher.

J said to my daughter that she hoped to see her soon … AND she said that she was hoping to do some classes online … !!!

When my daughter jumped back into the car and told me MY HEART SANG!!

We are called to be salt and light to the world (Matthew 5:13-16).

Salt preserves.

Salt brings cohesion to a recipe, it binds the flavours together.

Salt also highlights and intensifies flavours.

I’m hoping God’s salt will preserve JMAB and staff in this time of uncertainty for so many.  Just a sprinkle, and I trust He will do the rest – because He cares more for them than I do.

How do we be salt?

We release Him as we go, we release His ideas as we go, and we pray for people (in our prayer closets, and in the open). We seek His ideas for them, and if we have the opportunity we gently communicate those ideas (whether saying He gave them or not)

How do we not lose our saltiness?

We spend time with the One who created everything,  We read His word, we worship, we pray, we journal … we dream with God.

And as we do, in these uncertain times, more than ever people will see that …

God is Good!

 

Treasure at the Tip – God is Good!

One of our more retiring, gentle members of our group, called P, has been moved more and more by Holy Spirit to step out and pray for those around him as he goes.  He was the person who stopped and gave all he had in his wallet to a busker in this earlier story here and he was the person who was prompted to pray for a girl at Nandos in this story here

Our church recently hosted carols for Christmas.  He noticed a guy sitting outside in the warmth of the evening and he felt a prompting, which he is becoming more accustomed to recognise now, and he went over and quietly chatted to this person.  This act of stepping out for P is huge, as I said he is a gentle giant … gentle and mighty!

He also told me another recent God is Good story this last Sunday … where he found treasure at the tip.

P said he felt he was meant to drop some trash off at the tip on his way to work.  He headed off and unknowingly headed towards a complete God set up.

He said he stood in the line at the counter to pay, and a young girl looked at him and said something like “you look like your an older man, a father, a husband, will you please give me some advice about something?”

P was a little taken aback but said “sure” and the girl proceeded to show him a picture saved on her phone screen of the Superman actor in costume.  She said ” my partner doesn’t like me having this as my screen saver, he thinks it’s wrong and is really upset, what do you think?”  She apparently had been taking a poll with people as they came to the counter.

P looked at her and asked her a few questions (wise, gentle mighty giant).  He asked her why she thought her partner would not like it.  He explained that his wife had been through a tough divorce before meeting and marrying P and she would not like it if P had a photo of another woman (even dressed up in costume) on his phone, that it would be odd to do something like that.  He then asked the girl whether her partner may feel rejected, or had gone through anything to make him feel rejected, and she said yes that he had been through a nasty breakup/divorce.  P then suggested she reflect on that, and  the light started to dawn.

He then said to this girl, would you like me to pray for you (he did this while the line got longer behind him with people waiting to pay (bold, wise, mighty, gentle giant).  She said that she would love that, and so he prayed for her.

P had trash to drop at the tip.

God had treasure for P to find.

Because P is becoming more attuned to the voice of God as he goes about his day, he is finding the treasure hidden for him, and he is loving that treasure as God directs, and as he does, he is showing the world around him that they are loved, they are valuable and that …

God is Good!

Stop, listen, obey, bless … God is Good!

We are currently running a connect group called “Sitting at the Feet of the Father”.  The purpose of this group is to encourage others (and ourselves) to fully step into our identity in Christ, and in doing so, not only will we lead a love filled, victorious life in Christ, but we will be blessed to be a blessing.  Being filled with God’s love cannot but overflow to those around us as we go!

Graham Cooke’s many teachings (both free resources and bought) at Brilliant Perspectives has been, well … brilliant!

Last night we wrote double-blind prophetic words for people we did not know (they were mature Christian who knew what we were doing so they were a safe place to land).  It was time to step out of the boat.  Giving lovely words to one another within the safety of the group is one thing, but to turn our gaze outwards, to others we don’t know, well that spells “R.I.S.K” which when its God directed is actually called FAITH.  We look forward to hearing about the impact of the words soon.

I have no doubt that God is good, and that He wants to speak to us more than we want to hear Him.  I also have no doubt that God is good and that He wants to speak to us about others, more than we want to hear Him.

Last Sunday, our pastor was preaching on the kindness, on the love of God.  My daughter had a friend at church, who subsequently sobbed and gave her heart to Christ.  My daughter had said that this friend was her “one” that God had highlighted to her as the one she would lead to Christ un this season (our church has a program currently called “everyone lead one”).

One of the members of our connect group, who I will call John, said he was also touched deeply by the message.  That same day, while leaving a local shopping centre, having grown in listening and obeying, he saw a busker who, in his view, wasn’t that good at busking – but God wanted John to bless the busker with everything John had in his wallet.  John argued, he resisted, he said to God “$2 is enough”.  However, God was adamant and John knew that he was to give the busker everything he had in his wallet.  John argued some more, and said “I’ll give him $2” and even went to get the change from his car, but God would not let up, so John obeyed, and gave the busker everything he had in his wallet.  John said the busker was quite overwhelmed.

I call that a “win”!

John heard from God.  He obeyed God.  He blessed a man busking, and even though he did not pray, preach, teach or even mention Jesus, I believe that John left a fragrance of Heaven, that changed the atmosphere, and that the fragrance left will stay with the busker to recognise again, it was an encounter with the generosity and love of God, for the busker, and for John.  For we do not battle “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” (Eph 6:12 NIV).  Fruit of the Spirit practised and grown is warfare in the Spirit … it shifts atmospheres and changes realities.

What is God asking you to do?

Could you pay for the next person’s coffee in the line at the coffee shop?  Just whisper the instructions to the person at the til, and feel the atmosphere shift around you.

Could you buy a homeless person some groceries?  A single mum in our group did that recently, she didn’t know if it was in direct obedience to a God prompting, she just felt to do it.  I suggested that she was listening and moving as the Spirit directed, without her even knowing it. She left the fragrance of God.

Could you leave a gift on the step of someone you know that is struggling with an emotional challenge, or that may be lonely?

What about asking God for a simple word of encouragement?  Write it down on a card, and pop it into the person’s letter box.  If that is too hard, or takes up too much time, text it, and let the person know you (and God) are thinking about them.  And if someone does come to mind – don’t forget to pray for them too!

Or could you even offer to pray for the one you walk by on the street, the one that God highlights to you as needing prayer?  Can you feel His nudge? Can you hear His gentle prompting?  He loves you with a furious love; and He loves those you walk past every day with a similarly furious love too.

I trust that as you stop and ask God who He would like to encourge, He will show you someone, and I encourage you to listen and obey, and as you do I know both you and the person will be blessed because …

God is Good!

 

 

She keeps on seeing that God is Good! (Praise report and more)

This afternoon we had 5 children who needed to get outside. Even though the Spring warmth had turned cold and windy,  we decided to head down to a beach cafe.  After a bit of a play, we stopped for a cuppa. We have been visiting this place for nearly 20 years. A number of years ago a young Russian girl had started work there. She was young, single, a beautiful girl with an amazing loyal work ethic. Naturally she is now is older, still beautiful and still works hard.  Time and again we have showed up and when we have seen her, we have seen that God has had her set in His sights.

To give some history, the first time I prayed for her, she was wanting a visa, we prayed for her, sensing at the time that God wanted us to stop and pray for her.  We offered, she said “yes” and we prayed.  Her visa came.

A while later, we visited again, and I sensed that she would dearly love to meet someone who she could share a life with, someone to marry and start a family.  As yet, at the time, she had not met anyone, and she was lonely.  I can remember sensing again this time to offer to pray, she said yes and confirmed that my feeling was right, she did want to meet someone special, and so I prayed, feeling God’s heart on it, and she agreed with tears.  Not long after, she met a man, whom she married and has been the love of her life.

A few years passed before we saw her again.  I don’t know why, but our paths did not cross.  I can remember seeing her and thinking she would not recognise me, but she did as I enquired about her life and whether she had met anyone.  She had, and was married!  Naturally I was delighted, and again as she spoke I felt a gentle nudge of the Holy Spirit.   I was sensing that she wanted a child, but I had to go cautiously on this one.  I asked her gently, explaining that I knew it was none of my business, if she wanted children.  Her demeanour dropped as she explained, she desperately wanted children but had not yet become pregnant.  I explained my sense, and she agreed to prayer, tears coming down her cheeks.  I gently prayed and she received in faith, and …. 😉

The next time I saw her was a few months later, she was clearly pregnant (GO God!).  She was beaming and so very happy.  She was still working hard at the cafe but she was happy, content and looking forward to the birth of her child … I was delighted …

A period of time passed again, and we did not see her for some time, but eventually, I’m not sure the time frame, we saw her and she said life was good.  She had her baby, she had her husband, she had her job … I looked at her and as we spoke I “saw” a house with a little white picket fence and I offered to pray, asking her about whether she wanted a home of her own – she did, so I told her what I “saw” and we prayed …

Well, I saw her again today.  I can’t remember if I knew that she had bought land or not, but today I said hello, she remembered us with a smile as she cleared the table, and I asked her if she had her home.  She replied that they had their land but they were waiting for the permits for the builder to build and it had been a year of trying to get the paperwork.  So yes, I offered to pray again, reminding her of the visa, the husband, the child (who she said was now four years old) and said let’s pray, and so I took her hand and called in the paperwork to completion, I called that home in for her in the name of Jesus, and she stood and received and smiled and agreed saying “yes please Jesus”, because she knows beyond a doubt that …

God is Good!

And he was seen – Praise report God is Good!

My last story, “And he was seen – God is Good” was about a young man who was at the end of his dance training in an elite training facility.  He had felt that he had never been seen, that somehow he was hidden, but one night God had other plans.  A few months ago I felt God asked me to step out and stop to pray for him.  I was to declare that it was his time to be seen, to shine, and for the doors of his destiny to open … I was to declare those doors open in the name of Jesus Christ.

Well God has been busy in this young mans life.  I saw him yesterday, and he gave me permission to write a further story outlining what else had happened so far.

What this young man told me after the first encounter was that he had been contacted by the director of a great British dance company, and he had been offered a job – just after we had prayed and released God’s will on earth through prayer and declaration.  The start date of this job offer was a little early (this year), and would not have allowed the young man to complete his training and qualifications, and so we prayed for favour as he wrote to the director to negotiate a later start date.  In response to his email, the director did offer a later start date, but it was a little too late (late next year), and so we prayed again that the job would be brought forward, and that the contracts would be coming forthwith, and yes, he was offered an earlier start date, which allowed him travel time, time to settle and a great start time … and the contracts came …

Unbeknown to him, I started to ask God that he would be seen by a major Australian company, that he would be seen and given opportunities to shine …

A couple of weeks ago, I saw him in his workplace, looking tired but happy and he said that the director of the Australian company had given him opportunities to dance with the touring company.  The roles he had been offered were unexpected, but very welcomed by him.  He explained that the director had recognised particular gifts in him for a few roles, and so gave him the roles in their touring arm of the company … it was his chance to shine … and so he did 🙂

I was delighted as he told me his story, and I fessed up that I had been praying for him.  I then encouraged him to rest, since he looked very tired, and he allowed me to pray for a deep refreshing rest as he came into this current season of exams and finalisation of his education.

Unexpectedly, I saw this young man again yesterday morning.  I greeted him and asked how things were going for him, and to my absolute delight he happily told me that a great interstate dance company had offered him a contract, as had a major New Zealand company,  but, he said he was still planning to pursue the British offer – he said it felt right in his heart. I was so pleased for him and said so, telling him that when God opened those doors He really opened those doors … he laughed agreeing with me.

With the year-end coming I asked when his exams were, and I said I would pray for him.  I mentioned that it would be lovely if he would let me know by email how he gets on occasionally.  He said he would.  I said that he was on a wonderful journey, and I hoped he knows that he is loved by a good God.  For him at this stage, he has said to me that he isn’t too sure what that grid looks like, what it’s all about.  I explained that it was ok for him not to be too sure – it was a journey of discovery, that God was pursuing him – all he need to do was to pray and ask for God’s guidance, about anything, and God would respond.   I explained that there would be a quiet assurance that he would feel about the right decisions and choices, that one of the ways to know is that he is at peace with the decision, that it would sit right in his heart …

Let the peace of Christ [the inner calm of one who walks daily with Him] be the controlling factor in your hearts [deciding and settling questions that arise]. To this peace indeed you were called as members in one body [of believers]. And be thankful [to God always].  (Colossians 3:15)  See link here

I said to him that as a Christian I believe I know what happened for him, and who it was that had asked me to pray for him, but I explained that he was on his own journey.  I said I was happy to answer any questions he had to the best of my ability, but it was his journey, and that no-one could or should force the issue on him.  I then briefly told him about a friend who was deeply afraid of the Christian faith and who had, over a 3-4 year journey, discovered the Christian God for herself.  I explained that she was now a worship leader in her local church.  I added, with emphasis, that it was her journey with God … and so too it would be his journey with God.

As many of you will know, a journey with God is not a single encounter, but a life journey, a continuous coming deeper into a relationship with a loving God.  So, I am trusting that this young mans’ encounter with a loving God will continue.  I hope he will reach out to God for himself as he steps into this next phase of his life.  I hope he is able to establish a grid for what has happened for him to date, as he comes to know that God thoroughly and absolutely adores him for him, just as he is.  I am trusting and hoping that he will continue to discover that, without any doubt …

God is Good!