Some need renovation; others deconstruction. Some are renovating; while many are consumed with the build.
Yet others, the quiet ones with no meeting place of sorts, know it is time to meet at Water’s edge for it is there that ancient pathways head towards Fresh Wine.
I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. John 10:9
I’ve had a couple of dreams of late.
One recent one, which brings comfort, especially as I repeatedly take it to God to seek clarification of it’s meaning, as He exposes layers upon layers, even through daily ‘happenings’ within our home through this time of so called ‘lock down’ was as follows:
I found myself in a shopping area in Ringwood, which is the suburb where I grew up in Melbourne, Australia. I was in the carpark of Target Square. As I walked I felt uneasy, and as I looked around I started to note that there were terrorists all around me, huddled in groups, with guns.
Naturally I was frightened, and I hoped they would not see me. As I walked I saw that they indeed did not see me, but they were huddled ready for action. The fear was palpable. I tried not to draw attention to myself, hoping they would not open fire.
[yes lots for me to unpack people …]
The dream then shifted. I don’t recall much of the mid-part, but all I sense about it was that I had been hiding, running, avoiding detection, perhaps with others too.
The final scene, I was in a labyrinth like area, with a group of others. The walls were high, and I was trapped, with pretty much nowhere to go. We could keep running, but it would continue to be more of the same, we would be trapped avoiding detection, hiding from the terror, trying to survive, but it was just more of the same.
The group that had been running with me were to my right. To my left, towering before me as I stood, was a huge, ancient looking heavy set wooden door, with dark metal work, hinges etc, much like you would find on a castle. It was HUGE. The door was of significant (read very large) proportions.
I stood with the door before me – to my left. It hinged on the left. The people with me begged me not to open the door. They were full of fear of what was beyond the door. They said it could have the terrorists on the other side. I was hesitant, I could feel the anxiety. I too feared what could be behind the door, but I said to them ‘what other choice do we have but to open the door and go through, there is nowhere else for us to go, I must open the door, it may be a way out.’ I could not longer run and hide, I had to take the risk and open the door.
And so I did … I opened the door.
As I did, I saw beyond. It is difficult to explain what I saw as I stood on the thresh hold.
To try to explain what I saw would be like trying to explain colour to a blind man. The best I can do is to refer to how, in The Wizard of Oz movie, it shifts from black and white to multicoloured – but that just does not do it justice. It was so technicoloured, and what was beyond vibrated with energy, with life. How technicolour it was, how vibrant it really was …
Beyond that door was a technicoloured vibrant scene, it vibrated, it shimmered, it shimmered, it shimmered. There were greens, golds, yellows, and hints of red … it was as if seeing it out of the corner of my eye … there was life beyond the ancient of doors … there was safety.
It was a garden, but the shimmering meant I could not quite see it all with clarity … I had to step in 🙂
I smiled and looked at those with me , the group full of fear. I let them know we were safe, and I woke as I stepped through the door.
We are in days of wonder, yet the spirit of fear is yapping at our heels. I understand we are in a global pandemic … but God!
There is sadness, there is sickness, there is fear, there is loss of jobs, there is crisis … but God!
Terrorists trade on fear, and on uncertainty. They trade in the idea that you have no idea where they may strike, who they may hit next – the fear becomes palpable.
Through my legal work with refugees, hearing their stories, I have studied the impact of terrorism. I have met people in my work who have survived church massacres. I have sat through videos of unspeakable atrocity. The fear is palpable, and insipid and dark and dangerous – it is the thing in the atmosphere world wide now …
So I call upon the spirit of Hope, Faith, Kindness, Healing, family, Unity, Love …
I call forth the prophets, the seers, the creatives to find the Ancient of Days, to step through the Door that is there … and to encourage the others that hold back in fear that it is ok, it is safe to step through The Door …
Open The Door to freedom those that have gone before …
Open The Door to Safety … those that have been there before …
Step through and meet the Ancient of Days …. those that seek …
Step through to Freedom, where you need to run and hide no more …
Step through to taste and see that …
God is Good!
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.
Today was a good day!
We had a beautiful day of sunshine.
I cleaned, did some work, encouraged some people, took a call to help a friend (a pre Christian and we talked about Christian stuff amongst the other stuff), did some loads of washing, did some pro bono work, watered my garden (I am a garden person and these last few days I have got back into the garden after 6 years of never managing to due to ballet runs), had a coffee with my husband, encouraged my children … and …
did I mention it was a beautiful warm day of sunshine here in Melbourne Australia?
In a nut shell, the good is, aside from the above:
My husband has settled into working at home. My 16 year old daughter and my 12 (nearly 13) year old son have settled into online schooling with their respective schools. I work from home anyway … so the difference for me is a full house, and no running around doing ballet runs for children :-). School term finished today, and my son has his birthday this weekend – we will bake a cake, skype family and sing happy birthday and find the joy in it all.
There is a peace, it does feel like the peace in the midst of the storm, but there is peace.
Indeed, Lana Vawser (and others) have released words that it is a time of ‘Selah’, a time to pause, reflect AND a time to lift up Jesus above all, for as we do He will lift up all mankind to Himself, and that’s where we need to be (lifted up to Jesus) (see John 12:32). Check out the Psalms where this term is used, and try stopping, pausing for a moment and think, contemplate the Word you just read …
Better still read (and declare) Psalm 91 and contemplate our beautiful God.
And so I will continue to rest upon a life scripture of mine, Phil 4:4-8, which exhorts us to:
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
So I will pray.
I will petition.
And, with thanksgiving I present my requests to God … and those requests are fierce and in line with Doug Addison’s prayer to break the covid19 virus and …
I have peace, thank God I have Peace!
And I pray you do too …
Regardless I will focus and think on all things that are:
even if my mind wants to go else where, I will train it back, purely and simply because …
God is Good!
Interestingly, I felt God ask me to post daily (which if you are a fellow blogger you know that is quite a lot of work, especially if you are rather verbose like I can tend to be ;-). So, if these posts are a little rough and ready – apologies!
It was therefore ironic when a fellow blogger (chrissblog11) today asked me to join other Christian bloggers and post an encouraging verse every day! Chrissblog11 wants to ‘start a hope movement to stop fear in these times.’ Well this is what I am doing too – releasing over the air waves that GOD IS GOOD! Declare it to the world, the world wide web … the WWW. that GOD IS ALWAYS GOOD!
While away a friend gave me a voucher for a pedicure as a gift … a pedicure that I booked in for last Friday morning.
I woke on Friday, not feeling the best, and thought about calling to cancel … but I then thought that the appointment may be a “God appointment” and so I took a deep breath, and went regardless, knowing I would enjoy the pedicure in any event … and the effect of fine feet afterwards …
As soon as I got to my appointment the feeling of being unwell lifted and I happily chatted to the gorgeous girl who had been assigned to me about colour …
As I sat and had my feet scrubbed I sensed that this was a God appointment and I felt that I was to pray, a little later, for this girl with whom I had struck up an immediate rapport.
She is a mum of a four-year-old boy, and a step-mum to two teenage girls. She lives in a large country town, not far from Melbourne, and the girls live in a Melbourne suburb, not far from where I live. As we chatted I also discovered that her mum was a mid-wife, at the hospital where I had my two children, and as we talked even further, we worked out that her mum had helped me deliver my first child … on reflection (after the God encounter) I realised that this too was no coincidence … this appointment had been set up … way back in 2003!
As the pedicure came to an end I said “I would love to pray for you”.
She said “sure” and her eyes immediately filled with tears … the Holy Spirit was physically tangible around us.
I stood and took her hand in mine and invited the Holy Spirit to come (even though He was already there) and her eyes overflowed with tears as the anointing came even more powerfully …
I prayed as I felt led … I declared her destiny open, I declared open doors over her life, I blessed her and released favour.
I then felt to pray a Father’s Blessing over her and as I did, with my hand on her head she openly wept … and I gently kissed her on the forehead.
I asked her if she had asked Jesus into her heart – she responded “we’re Catholics, of course” so I said “just ask Holy Spirit to fill you up”. And she did … with tears running down her face.
I kissed her on the cheek and held her for a very long time as she cried, and I told her gently that she was beautiful, that God delighted in her, that she no longer had to do it on her own, and that although her natural father had not been there for her, God was, and it was time for her to go to Him … I said how she had been so very strong for so very long, but that now, it was time for her to go to Him and allow Him to take the load and, to hold her …
I briefly talked to her about going to where God was for her (her “God space“) and explained (aware of the time) that where that was would always feel safe, it would feel for her like she had felt as I had prayed … surrounded and filled with love – she nodded with me saying it had felt very safe and full of love.
I sat in the waiting room as she got me a tea and I asked if she ever came up to Melbourne on Tuesday nights … She said her partner visited his girls on a Tuesday night. I explained I held a group on a Tuesday night for people to discover more of God … the timing another coincidence that she pointed out to me and … I gave her my details and said she would be welcome to come if she wanted … or she could just call …
Whether she calls or not, or comes or not, she has had an encounter with the Creator of the universe … she has had an encounter with God … she has had an encounter with a Father, with a loving Father, a God who is a Father who “so loved the world that He gave His one and only son … ” (John 3:16 – emphasis added) … she tasted and saw that God is Good (Psalm 34:8)…
I hope she chooses to call or email … I hope she chooses to come to our nights … where that will lead I do not know, but I do know that if she chooses to go on her journey with God, as her loving Father, as her Loving Saviour, as her Loving Friend … she will see that …
God is Good!
Here are two stories that I received by e-mail on Tuesday (24th January 2012), that challenge us all … to step up and out …
These stories demonstrate that we can all do this walk with God in radical obedience and touch people’s lives dramatically “as we go” … where ever we are … by stopping and listening and acting …
They will challenge the “mature of faith” to step up into it and encourage “the new” to give it a go …
These stories are from a new friend who, with her husband and family, have quickly embedded themselves deep into my family’s hearts … they, as a family, have been deeply impacted by God, especially in the last week or two, and are now stepping out in radical obedience as they listen to God’s heart and His promptings…
My friend writes:
So many amazing things have been happening for me I have to share a few with you.
I went to church 2 weeks ago at OLA, I saw a lady that I knew a long time ago. She looked very unwell, was in a wheel chair and had lost her hair. I felt so strongly I needed to pray for her, so I did. While I was praying I got messages to tell her, I so wanted to approach her and tell her so many things but I could not find the courage. Two weeks passed and it has been on my mind everyday, I have prayed for her and have still felt strongly I needed to speak with her.
Yesterday I downloaded music (Isi de Gersigny) “You are Beautiful”, I followed what I was being told to do and just went with it. I got in the car and drove to her house which is so very very strange as I did not have the address but I found her. I knew that she lived around P… Street, E Street, maybe S Street but had no house number. God took me to her home. I didn’t even ring the door bell I just stood there and her husband opened the door and invited me in. He said he remembered me and sees me at church which I was surprised.
He turned the tv off and together the 3 of us sat and prayed. I told her what I needed to tell her, she wept and her husband told me what I said was exactly how he felt towards his wife. That she is beautiful, an angel in the eyes of God. He put the cd on and she held my hands as the tears flowed.
I left feeling like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders, her husband thanked me for coming, I felt no embarrassment just peace.
Later the same night R and i went to the supermarket. While collecting the groceries I saw in the corner of my eye a lady shop lifting. I questioned why did God just allow me to see that, what am I supposed to do with that information. I wandered through the supermarket asking for guidance, asking God to help me make the right decision.
Going through the register this same lady was in front of me, she was very thin and had the appearance and energy of someone who was struggling with life. Her grocery items came to a total of around $75, she opened her wallet to pay. I stepped forward (R was thinking what are you doing D, but did not say a word). I looked at the lady and said “i do not want you to get in trouble, but I saw what you did”. I asked her to return the goods onto the counter and i would pay for her shopping. She reached into her top and pulled out the stolen item (a big block of cheese). Her eyes filled up as she told me it was survival that made her do it and that she didn’t really want to and felt terrible. I paid for her shopping. We then stepped to the side and held hands and prayed, she looked me in the eyes and said you have my word I will never ever ever do that again. She raised her arms in the air and wept as God touched her heart. Rick and I left the supermarket, got in the car and felt that “too drunk to drive feeling”. We sat quietly and thanked the Lord for creating the unspoken mutual understanding that R and I both have that will allow us to step forward and help others knowing that I have R’s full support and vice versa that he has mine.
Thank you for giving me the strength to follow my heart.
I think that these two stories say it all …
It’s time for the Army of God to rise forth … It’s time for the goodness of God to be revealed … Its time for us all that believe to enter into the fullness of our destiny as laid down lovers of a good God …
It’s time to walk as a fully authorised Bride of Christ, where ever we go, what ever we do, because …
God IS Good!
We cannot out give God. When we sow as He directs, the harvest will come in … but, we need not only to be ready to sow, obey when told to do so, we also need to be ready and watching to celebrate how He blesses us in return …
This story was received the day I posted my story of regret, just prior to Christmas, about “missing the mark” …
It confirms and affirms that when we obey, instead of using “logic”, God will bless, because He is Good …
The story reads as follows:
Your fruit and veg posting was a double blessing, as we all need to be reminded not only of God’s goodness, but that we can miss it so easily if we let logic take over – something I have done before…
I have a short story you might want to share.
About 10 years ago I decided that for me, Christmas would be a time when I gave Jesus a birthday present since everyone else seemed to be getting presents on His birthday. I believed the amount I it was right for me to give was $200 and it has been my greatest pleasure each year to wait in anticipation as God showed me to whom His present would be given.
Sometimes it has been a stranger in the street, sometimes a single mother I worked with and sometimes an elderly couple at church, or a sick neighbour.
This year I knew to whom God’s gift would go, but my work hours were dramatically reduced over the past month due to a new competitor opening in the area. This has left my funds dramatically depleted and, other than my young nephew, no one was getting a present. My credit card was $583 over its limit – I had to used it to pay bills, and in faith I prayed for the extra hours to get the $200 for God’s present, but when it came, with a credit card debt that high, logic kicked in about having to honour my debts first. (What greater debt do I have than to the Lord).
As I prayed I was reminded not to worry about tomorrow so I released my $200 to the Lord.
Within 24 hours, and with no one knowing I was $583 over my credit card limit, I got a call from a friend who had just had lunch with another friend who had money he wanted to sow. He had $1200 and felt I was to be given some of it. As they prayed, he felt the Lord told him to give me $600 and a few hours later it was in my account.
God showed me, yet again, that when I take care of the things He has put on my heart, I can trust Him to take care of the other things.
Not only was it enough to cover the excess credit card bill, it was also triple the amount I had given the Lord!
I wonder why I ever hesitated when God has repeatedly provided in miraculous ways.
And He will always provide because …
God is Good!
In this world of instant this and instant that, how many times do we miss what God is doing and somehow give up on a miracle that may have already started to happen, if we just hung in there to see it to maturity?
Do we speak life … or death over our worlds for “life and death is in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21). Do you speak life, and celebrate even small beginnings, or do you speak death in discouragement and disappointment …
This is a brilliant testimony of God’s goodness. A healing, blooming into fullness over time … it is still continuing even as I write …
This testimony (lengthy but so worth the read) was sent to friends of mine. My friends had the same type of healing take place in the life of their own boy, who is now a grown man. My friends’ child had been diagnosed with cerebral palsy too and was later declared infertile … he has since grown into a completely healthy functioning adult man who is a happy husband and father …
My friends did not give up and continued to pull down on the Promises of God and while doing so they also foster cared for over 70 children … I know … it amazes me too!
So, I ask … what miracle is around the corner for you? We all love the instant fixes, the eyes that open, the ears that hear, the lame that walk instantly, but often a healing can be a process … it comes as a seed that must grow … and in that process there is a coming closer into relationship with a loving Father God, who wants good things for His children (Matthew 7:11)…
I believe we must celebrate all stories of breakthrough, all stories of triumph, for in each story of breakthrough is the promise of our own breakthrough … this is why I love these stories … God is no respecter of persons and … “they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony…” (Rev 12:11) … there is power in the blood and in the word of our testimony … and so read and prepare for the hour of breakthrough in your own life and be blessed as you declare His goodness in your own lives and into the lives of others …
My friend writes:
We became involved in this because of the miracles in our son P’s life. When A’s parents came forward for prayer, we were called and asked to tell them about our journey [author’s note: there is power in the testimony]. We prayed with them until Bill Johnson and Leif Hetland were free to come and pray. It was such a privilege to be ‘involved’ in this miracle…. HE is GOOD!
The testimony then goes on to say …
In January 2010 my two precious twin daughters were born almost 3 months before they were due, weighing in at only 2 pound 11 oz.
Within 24 hours my first born, A was diagnosed with significant brain damage, due to a major cerebral artery stroke. We were told she would probably die, but even if she did survive we were told she would have cerebral palsy and would never walk, talk properly or see properly and would not function normally in general. A’s younger sister was skinny and premature but ok.
So began our major faith walk with the Lord.
Early on the Lord gave me a dream in which I saw her running to me on the first day she came home from school. I refused to believe she wouldn’t walk. I told the doctors I was expecting a miracle. Jesus was there over her isolette in the ICU ward and He wasn’t going to disappoint us. She was going to be perfect just as He created her.
I cried. I screamed at God. How could you let this happen to my darling daughter? Why? My husband and I struggled with our faith. I realized that a faith that hadn’t been tested, couldn’t be trusted. I clung to Him desperately.
Soon after we got home, after almost 3 months in hospital, we started to see signs of paralysis – symptoms of cerebral palsy. The knots in my stomach got worse and I’d lye in bed at night and couldn’t sleep because I was fearful for her future. The enemy would get in my ear, and harass me that she would never walk.
But, I remembered the hope I have in Jesus and the dream, the promise He gave me.
In May 2011, my daughter and I were at an all time low. She would sit on the floor and sob because she couldn’t move. Big fat tears would roll down her cheeks. She’d watch her sister running around and it would just break my heart. She couldn’t crawl. She could only sit. Even then, she’d often fall back and smack her head on the floor. The whole right side of her body was paralyzed and in a state of spasticity. All she wanted was for me to hold her constantly and carry her everywhere. That was impossible and I felt like I couldn’t bear it much longer.
I cried out to the Lord … we can’t take much more Lord, we need a breakthrough soon! He said to me she would start walking in August. It seemed too long away but we just clung to the faith He’d given us.
In August I was driving home from a medical appointment and the Holy Spirit hit me hard and said He wanted me to take A down to Melbourne for Bill Johnson to pray for her. Before I got married, I had lived just outside of Melbourne and had attended Stairway Church but now I lived in rural Victoria, 3 hours away.
Bill Johnson and Leif Hetland were visiting Stairway Church that weekend of August 20th. Problem was, their conference was in a few days, and I had no tickets.
In faith, we made plans to go, and believed we were going to receive prayer. My husband and I took our three children (all under 2 years old!) to Melbourne, three hours away. Everything possible seemed to happen to prevent us getting there. We even lost our accommodation, so we had to drive there and back on the same day – 6 hours in total. We waited until the end of the conference, when the ministry team were praying over everyone, and then we walked right through the doors holding A. Thank God no one stopped us. The presence of God was in that place and we were getting in there no matter what! We waited in line and it came time for Bill and Leif to pray for her. Nothing happened…
We left for home believing for a miracle. The kids screamed pretty much the whole 3 hours home. My husband and I were emotionally spent.
The healing started slowly. She started pulling herself up to her knees; then she started pulling herself up to standing. A few months later she was cruising around furniture; and, then she was walking along the fence at the play ground! Then she was walking with us holding onto her two hands.
Before long, she was walking with us holding her one hand, the good one. Then it was walking holding just the affected hand.
And then … we hit a painfully slow period of nothing …nothing…nothing … it was like watching grass grow.
I downloaded Danny Silk’s message on “Master of the Breakthrough”. I knew something was building. We prayed, we declared. We prayed, we declared. Then last Sunday at church we sang a victory song about the deaf will hear, the blind will see, the LAME WILL WALK, the dead will rise, and I believe, that Jesus Christ is alive! We chanted that over and over and danced in the Spirit. We declared A would be dancing on her tiptoes, for Jesus!
The next day, on Monday, I woke up and read this scripture:
“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”( Matthew 7:11).
A few hours later – A let go of the couch, and started walking completely alone, towards me!!!
It was an unforgettable, indescribable moment.
She’s wobbly, she is still falling and giggling, but Hallelujah … she is walking due to the amazing resurrection power of Jesus Christ! She is beating all the odds!
A is still learning to use her right arm and hand, particularly her fingers, but we just know that it won’t be long and a complete and total creative miracle will have happened!
She WILL be dancing on those cute little tippy toes. Who knows, maybe one day she’ll play the piano. She has also been talking, I’ve been teaching her to say ‘God’ and ‘Jesus’. Her eyes are perfect, she can see as well as her little sister.
All glory to God! He truly is THE Healer and Restorer. Thank you Lord from the bottom of our hearts! We are so grateful to our King.
A’s testimony to Jesus is going to be broadcast to everyone we come across. He is so worthy of all of the glory. And we can honestly say we are blessed to have been taken through this journey. We just can’t help but spread the word, of, “Look what the Lord has done!!!!” Hallelujah!
What seed of a miracle has been planted in your world?
What seed of a miracle could you release to others?
If the healing, whether your own or someone you love, or someone you have prayed for has not yet materialised in the natural … do not lose faith, but know the breakthrough is there … the breakthrough of another holds the promise of the breakthrough in your own life …
For unto us a child is born … (Isaiah 9:6)
And I know all this is so because …
God is Good!
Post Script: In getting permission to recount this testimony the following comment came back from the family on Christmas Day 2011:
PS: the medical professionals are all saying, it is just unheard of for a hemiplegic cerebral palsy child to be walking before 2 AND without her AFO (ankle foot orthotic). Truly is a miracle!