God gave me kisses on Thursday. I had been flat, I needed encouragement.
He is the God who sees…
The next day, I saw a great friend. You know the type: encouraging, positive, loves your quirkiness and knows you well enough to brush the dirt away gently to reveal the gold while calling you higher. Community matters!
Home again, I sorted daughter responsibilities, and felt to take our dog for a quick walk. Her life long buddy died recently, and she is more needy these days.
As I walked I thought about two random moments from years ago. Both these moments involved drunk guys. Andrew had stopped for them. One was a homeless man whom Andrew took shopping – he had cried tears in delight as Andrew ‘just happened’ to pick up his favourite foods and load up the trolley. The other man wept in the dark as Andrew sat by his side in the local football stadium, talking about his broken marriage.
These ‘random’ memories should have pointed me to what would happen next – but I was none the wiser.
As I walked into the local footy oval, I saw a man to my left. At his feet was a wine box, with a couple of bottles of champagne.
He averted his gaze. I sensed sensed his shame and as I did my heart went out to him. His despair and sadness was tangible. With a nudge to acknowledge him as I walked past, I smiled gently.
‘Hello,’ I said.
A quiet ‘hello’ came back.
I continued to walk, and I ‘saw’ in my mind’s eye a picture of me sitting next to him on the park bench, talking.
I never choose to sit down next to drunk men at parks.
I prayed instead.
The image in my mind stuck.
‘I will stop for him and sit if you like. Just let me know if I stop on my first or second lap.’
As I came near to where he sat, he got up.
‘Oh, he’s leaving,’ I thought, ‘missed it.’
However, to my surprise, he merely shifted along to the next park bench. Some men had been working on the turf, so I reasoned he was perhaps uncomfortable. He seemed a gentle soul. He later told me he had become too hot in the sun.
His shift of seating made it difficult to join him, so as I walked close to the boundary fence instead and said, ‘Are you ok?’
‘No, I’m not, I’m actually really struggling,’ he replied.
His vulnerability was raw.
‘Wow, that must be tough. Do you want to talk about it?’ I asked.
He did, and he started talking.
After a little while, I mentioned I was a Christian. I explained I had felt prompted to come over to see if he was ok. Note: I have great local non-Christian friends who would have done the same.
I told him about the picture I had of us sitting and chatting. He said that sounded nice.
We sat side by side on the park bench. I listened some more. He spoke. I prayed for him. He wept.
I told Him about the God who sees him, who loved him right as he was. I spoke briefly of my messes…
I told him God did not judge the drinking, the pain, the mess, the self medicating; instead, I explained, God adored him. I responded to a comment that God did not judge him, that Jesus had dealt with all that, but then I said I was not there to preach.
I repeated God loved him so much and merely hated the drink because it hurt him. I also said that God sees and hates the hurt that he was trying to stifle, and like a good Father wants to see him set free in order to have a wonderful life.
As I prayed, I saw a picture of a little boy. The boy was so full of joy and excitement about football that his eyes shone with delight. Speaking to the broken dream in his heart, I prayed for the boy who had played football and cricket at the very oval we sat beside.
I told him he could not be any more loved than he was right now, just as he was. He shared his struggles to believe in a God that could ‘allow’ such pain in the world. I told him he had good questions, and I responded by telling him of my own struggles with faith when faced with the brutality my refugee clients had survived.
We kept talking, he wept, he drank, and my dog sat patiently by my side.
Eventually he said how much my saying ‘hello’ had meant to him.
It was a tiny, yet significant, act of kindness.
I shared how God prompted me to sit by his side, and how I had prayed for him as I walked all around the oval.
‘Really?’ he said…
I said simply, ‘He is the God who sees, He loves you, He cares’ and I thought of my encounter the day before.
He is the God who sees…
Eventually I stood, I needed to leave. I had to return home to help my mother, whose sister (my aunt) had just died. Promising to leave Andrew’s number at the reception of his accommodation, I said we would love to see him for a coffee. Drunk or not, it was ok; he was welcome just to catch up.
He said he would like that.
I felt the urge to give him a hug; but ignored it the first time. Feeling it again, I offered him a hug. He immediately responded ‘yes’ and threw his arms around me in a way that he was desperate for love. He was hungry for the acceptance that only human warmth can provide. As I hugged him, I hoped he felt the Father’s heart. I could feel his basic human need to be seen and to be loved.
I hope he calls for a cuppa.
I also hope he can kick the addiction and step into his inheritance. I had prayed a future I saw.
He has kicked the habit before. I believe he will again.
Yet, even if he can’t, he knows there is a God who loves him, right where he is at. He knows there is a God who sent a random female stranger to sit and talk on a park bench for an hour.
Yesterday, God gave me kisses…
He was the God who sees…
Today God gave him kisses…
He IS the God that sees…
I hope and trust that this man at the park tasted to see that…
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…
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.
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.
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.
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…
We had a few hours on a Saturday to do child free Christmas shopping before going to a movie. With our list in hand, we did not know that Jesus had His own Christmas shopping list for us to do too…!
I was in the ‘ladies’ when I found the first on His list. God told me to pray for someone outside my cubicle. Side note: Yes, He talks to me everywhere.
‘She has been a great blessing to others for many, many years, I want you to bless her’.
As I washed my hands, I looked at ‘her’ in the mirror.
She was an elderly woman waiting for her granddaughter. I introduced myself and stated that that I believed she had been a great blessing to many people over the years. I then asked if I could pray a blessing over her. She looked surprised but agreed.
Her name was Joy.
She was the second Joy I had prayed for that week and I mentally noted the ‘coincidence.’
I blessed Joy knowing that she knew Joy and was familiar with the Joy of God. She teared up a little as I prayed and blessed her, and once done, she asked if I would also pray for her granddaughter. I agreed and prayed and prophesied over her granddaughter, declaring her destiny would open and unfold, that she was a pillar and a leader in the coming move of God, which I believed would be a move that came through the youth in power. Joy excitedly said she had been praying for revival for years…
My husband had been waiting patiently outside. He knew what was going on inside because people were coming out from the bathroom saying in amazement that there was “someone praying in there for people…” and pointing back to the door. Andrew knew what I was up to and laughed. I hadn’t thought about that sort of impact, but it was quite funny…
Jesus assignment done, we got a coffee and discussed our shopping…
As we waited for our coffees, I popped into another store to “bag” our first item. C served me, and yes, God had me pray for her. C was a young girl (about 16) who “felt” the anointing as I prayed. I prophesied she would discover who she was and why she was in the next two years. She had said she did not know, but my gosh, she was a marvellous girl!. I headed off with my purchase and sat with my husband to finish our coffee…
I felt I had done my dash, and we headed off to a sporting store. We purchased nothing, but on our way out I walked past a very disabled girl with her parents. Strapped into her wheelchair, her arms and legs fastened down. The girl’s body was small, deformed, and she displayed no control over her head movements. I felt God’s strong desire for me to pray, but I was so intimidated by the severity of her condition. I internally argued with God as we walked away from the store, but ultimately said:
‘Ok, for You, I’m willing to do it…’ and I went back to search the shop.
I found the girl with her parents waiting at the checkout. The intensity of my nerves made it an extreme fight to approach them. I fought the extreme urge to walk away, knowing that God really wanted me to ask if I could pray for her…
Stopping in front of her chair, I asked her parents if I could pray. I desperately did not want them to feel that I felt sorry for them, but I also wanted them to know that I cared. They agreed, so I knelt and addressed their daughter, who could not talk at all.
She was dribbling and had an angry-looking rash on her face from the dampness of her dribble. Her hands were unformed, and her body was tiny. I knelt and taking her hand in mine, and I quietly introduced myself. Her parents looked weary and watched on as I prayed, and her father leant in to listen.
As I prayed, she locked her gaze on mine. I believe she could clearly feel God as I prayed for her. The frantic movements slowed, and she held onto my gaze several times. I prayed for her parents too and asked God to provide solutions.
Leaving the store, I thanked the girl and parents for stopping and allowing me to pray for them. I felt wobbly and said to Andrew it must be nerves; instead he encouraged me, suggesting it was the intensity of anointing…
“Ok” I thought, “big one down”, shake, shake, shake, “gosh, ok, deep breath” shake, shake, shake…
I slowly settled down as we walked through Big W, fighting the negative thoughts, the accusations of failure and the residual impact of the nerves.
As the legs stopped shaking, I could focus on our task at hand. Andrew encouraging me all the way, we successfully made further purchases.
As we left God prompted me to pray for the cashier who said to me ‘I am not a Christian’ to which I said something like ‘that doesn’t matter, I can still bless you’ which I promptly did, placing my hand on his elbow as I spoke peace over him for this season of business.
It was time for our movie, so we headed toward the theatre. To our surprise, we had calmly and easily done all our shopping.
I felt quite successful, having bagged all that we had, and I waited while Andrew put our purchases into the car. As I stood, I tried to ignore a young girl in a wheelchair. I had noticed her out of the corner of my eye. I calmly ignored the very brief, quiet prompting, preferring to hear the louder “no” that came very much on top of the whispered ‘pray for her’. The prompt was so subtle, and I wanted to get to our movie on time, so I tried to ignore her, and I literally turned my back.
I stood and argued internally, but it was no good; I knew I had to stop for this one too.
Walking over to the girl’s mother, I introduced myself, asked what her daughter had done and if I could pray. The Mum’s name was ‘A’ and was also with her teenage son, who looked like he had down syndrome, but who we later found out had autism. She looked back at me and immediately said yes, that would be great.
I knelt by the young girl (she was 14 years old) and she told me a brick wall had fallen on her, crushing and breaking one leg. The damage included the growth plate, so they had to do the same with the other leg in order that the legs would grow at the same rate.
I placed my hands on her legs (after she also gave me permission) and I prayed. She felt heat. I continued to pray and prophesy, while her friends stood by our side, politely not looking.
I asked her if she had asked Jesus into her heart. She said she had, but on a prompt I said ‘let’s do it again’ and so in response she asked Jesus into her heart. I suggested she ask that He fill her up, so she did. I continued to pray and when she said “enough” (a boundary we had agreed upon before I prayed) I thanked her and looked at her mother who then thanked me.
I thought I was going to go into the movie theatre after this and time was ticking along. We had not been to a movie for years by ourselves, so it was a real treat. However, I felt to pray for her brother and so turning to the mother I asked if I could pray for him too. She again readily agreed.
The boy called “B” was 16 years old. He swayed heavily under the anointing, and I motioned to Andrew, who quickly steadied him. He was incredibly ‘open’ to God’s presence.
I felt to suggest he say, ‘Jesus, come into my heart’
I then felt to suggest to him, ‘say Jesus fill me up,’
B said ‘Jesus fill me up’, and on saying it he kept saying it, over and over, laughing and swaying heavily under the anointing.
I finished and turned to the mother, knowing I had to pray for her too.
‘Well, this is more important than being on time for the movie,’ I thought and I offered to pray.
As I prayed for the mother, the compassion of God came upon me and I nearly cried. She looked like she did too. I received words of knowledge about her–she was struggling (that was obviously a possibility given her two kids) she was making major decisions, and she was a single Mum.
She told me she had 3 children and had told my husband prior to me praying that she had found the recent challenges with her daughter’s injury tough. I prayed, and she quietly received; she was so very thirsty for God and drank Him in, and as I finished praying for her, I placed my arms around her and held her close for a long, long time.
I went to release my hug, but she hung on, so I hugged her some more and when I felt it was enough, I again tried to disengage, but she again hung on again. So, I continued to hold her, yet feeling quite embarrassed by now. Again I went to release her, but she continued to hang onto me quietly. I tried again, and she hung on again… so I just stood in the middle of the busy shopping centre and let her drink and cling to me for what seemed an eternity…
I gave her our church card, and I wrote my private number on it so she could call me if she felt she wanted.
As we walked away my husband said to me he believed we were there, not so much for the daughter, but for the Mother, who had been through such a tough time, for Jesus says:
‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me… streams of living water will flow from within him.’John 7:38-39
We saw our movie, but we missed the promos. This did not bother us at all. We even had time to go to the bathroom and settle in before the movie started. God had it all timed beautifully and I am so glad that I did not rush because He had treasures in the darkness to give…
This is what the Lord says to his anointed…
‘I will go before you and will level the mountains;
I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron.
Every person I encountered was a treasure in the darkness, waiting to be discovered. Each was a treasure set out for me to discover, to find, to uncover and my footsteps ordered by a loving and knowing God. He not only blessed us with the miracle of a great time together, Christmas shopping in the Christmas rush, but He also entrusted 10 people that all needed a touch from their mighty and loving God. Ten people altered for ever more. He left those treasures out for me to find because …
God is Good.
Post Script: The shopping day was a Saturday, a few years ago now. I wrote the story up on a Tuesday, and just as I finished writing the mum rang me with the following report:
Her daughter stood without crutches on the Sunday;
Her son lost his aggression and was much calmer. There was a change in his eyes, and they looked ‘more alert.’ He had stopped asking about his father who left the family earlier that and she said the ‘worry has lifted from his face’, he is ‘much calmer’. She told me he continues to say ‘Jesus fill me up’ and is laying hands on his mother and family friends and asking ‘can you feel that?’ and she can;
The mum (A) felt much more at peace (in her home and in herself). The night before meeting us she was suicidal, and when she saw us across the shops, she stood willing us to come over. She said there was a light around both Andrew and I that she saw and wanted to be near. From that afternoon A cared for herself properly, eating 3 meals a day, and was feeling at peace.
A told me she had thought about the encounter every day. She believed it was not a coincidence that we met. Just before she met us she had looked for a car park and just knew that she would find one on the middle level (where she met us) at about 1.30pm, just in time to meet us after getting her daughter out of the car with the wheelchair. She said that she had told her daughter that there would be a car park for them in that place, and there was a reason for the delay in finding one.
During our discussion on the telephone, A gave her heart to Christ. We talked at length and she shared some of her story with me. She also asked for and received the gift of tongues, feeling a ‘tingling up and down her legs’ as we prayed. She also felt the tingles over her head, as she had done earlier. Her ‘spirit spot’ burned lightly as we talked and prayed.
Post Post Script:
I kept in contact with A over Christmas and eventually arranged a coffee at my home in mid-January.
The bell rang, and on answering the door A was with her daughter who was standing. Her daughter’s name also begins with A so I will call her Little A. I stood looking at Little A and they both laughed at my shock. Little A was walking, without leg braces, without a wheelchair and without a walking stick.
After my initial shock, they came into my home where I heard the story.
Little A had stood for the first time unaided the day after I had prayed for her. She had been told on 6th January by her physiotherapist that she would need the wheelchair, leg braces and a crutch for another 6 weeks. Yet, she was walking completely unaided on 18th January… 12 days later! At the six week mark she was back training with cadets.
Apparently she had been walking not long after being prayed for. They had gone on holidays after Christmas at a caravan park in Phillip Island. They took the wheelchair, but had not used it, and she had been walking unaided since.
So, here she was, walking well, on Wednesday 18th January, having had two broken legs and having been told she would need a wheelchair, leg braces and a walking stick for at least another 6 weeks on 6th January…!
On this visit, Little A explained that she still needed more strength in her legs. I laid hands on her legs and called strength into her thigh muscles and as I did her mother, my daughter and I noticed her knee caps moving up and down with no input from her, as if her thigh muscles were being contracted and released. She did not feel it, it just happened.
She stood and tried them out and I prayed again, and it happened again…
Her Mother and I concluded her thigh muscles must have been being strengthened supernaturally. It was the oddest thing to watch her knee caps bobbing up and down in a rapid movement!
After we finished praying and we went for a walk during which I heard more of her story.
Apparently A’s family transformed. Her son was no longer violent, she was walking in abundant favour, disputes settled supernaturally, with no effort on her part. She shared how she had told a friend who was also in a place of despair how she too could be free-she was ready to give what she had received away to others!
A said the entire journey had been remarkable, the turnaround, marvellous…
I just listened in awe, knowing that it was all a miracle, and I noted that I nearly did not stop for them because I wanted to get to the movies on time…
I wondered how many others I had simply walked past…
How many others may have had a life transformed… had I stopped for the one…
I am certain that there is no condemnation in Christ, but how His heart yearns for us to recognise and to step into who we truly are, to co-labour with Him in the family business.
… all creation groans…
Will we be bold enough to step into our inheritance and bring others with us?
Dare weto lay claim to the “treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places” (Is45:3) and set them free?
Dare wetake people by the hand and say “come”?
God is breath taking in His beauty, in His kindness, in His Glory!
Questions of identity stir. The depth of that quest for self is confronting, and so we keep busy, we keep moving…
The world says ‘Go, go, go!’
So we run.
We run until the light of the day goes, and when it has we flick the switch for more light and we party, eat, see friends, turn on screens, call people, text, comment, blog, find other things to do… for we must… not…. dare…. keep… still…, even for one moment! If we stop, that issue of self may chase us down and face us off squarely, showing us we are merely a puff of smoke on the horizon of the earth…
So who are we?
Recently we have had to
for a moment
‘When can we get back to being busy?’ we ask.
The silence in the stopping is, um, well, it’s, …. ‘uncomfortable’.
My breath, the wind in the trees, birds, neighbours banging doors, traffic, a baby crying at a nearby child care centre, the whirl of the train as it pulls into the station close to my home (the wind must be a northerly for me to hear that), a plane, builders making a buzzing noise with an unknown machine, another train, school bells… these are just some sounds I hear around me…
I stop again.
A white butterfly, white roses, purple salvia, the orange/gold pansies planted in March, sunshine, a fly, green leaves stirring in the winds, shadows, sunlight, the greying woodgrain on the table where I work. It seasons with the weather…
Heat of the day, wet grass in the sun, jasmine blended with the fragrance of roses, hints of citrus riding high on the warm northerly breeze of the day, fertiliser spread on newly planted gardenias…
The remains of an almond milk chai, combined with a sweet taste of honey comb and chocolate… ‘just one’ I say…
The heat on my skin, the hem of my dress briefly flutters across the skin of my leg in the breeze as I sit and write, the touch of the keys as I strike the keyboard, my hands are dry, my hair blows in the wind and tickles my face…
The world is groaning.
The earth vibrates to the sound of Creation – I hear it through my feet.
Life will go on, regardless of what I do, or don’t do (for even doing nothing is a choice).
… I know I am Beth…
I know I am loved – by husband, family, friends, God…
I know that regardless of what I do today, this day will pass. Use it for good, or not, again it is my choice…
I hope I use it for good…
The doing isn’t me, but neither are the sounds, sights, smells, tastes, feelings, knowings…
So who am I?
Am I a sum of these things?
The answer to that question is a journey deep within, and yet also beyond self. It is far; and yet the Answer is right there before us, asking us to stop, see, and know…
Where to start?
‘It’s here’, He whispers:
‘My Beloved daughter,’
‘My Beloved son.’
The Father spoke over Jesus at the time of baptism:
‘You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.‘ Mark 1:11 (ESV)
This declaration of love and acceptance comes before Jesus starts his ministry; before he starts the doing. Jesus has done nothing to earn His Father’s love… He IS loved – just for being. It is from this place of identity Jesus enters the desert, fasts, is tempted and then steps into ministry, into His life’s great opus. Jesus holds firm to who he is and whose he is. From that place of understanding He knows who, Whose, and ultimately what he is called to do…
‘111 My beloved daughter; 111 My beloved son,’ He whispers to us on the wind.
Do you hear Him?
Will you sit and hear His heart for you?
Will you stop long enough and allow Him to sing over you… love you as you rest in the nook of His arms?
Will you ‘…wait a little longer’?
The quest to find out who we are, and so discover what we are called to do starts first with understanding we are His…
The age old question of ‘where do I come from, who am I?’ is pivotal… it’s primal.
We discover the answer when we learn to sit and listen to His heart beat. In doing so we find that we are completely, utterly, and even recklessly loved by the Creator of the universe; and, it is in doing so that each of us will find ourselves because…
The question of identity and purpose are interchangeable, and are revealed through process. We will be running groups to help people discover who and whose they are next year. If you are interested in these please contact us and we will let you know about any upcoming programs.
I particularly like the version on the album ‘We Believe‘ but I could not find an authorised website to link to that version. The version on the ‘We Believe‘ album is a little quieter, and I personally find it more poignant.
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…
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…
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 its meaning, as He exposes layers upon layers, even through daily ‘happenings’ within our home through this time of so called ‘lock down’ was:
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 noted 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. They 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 recall little of the mid-part, but all I sense about it was that I had been hiding, running, avoiding detection, perhaps with others too.
In the last scene, I was in a labyrinth like area with a group of others. The walls were high. Trapped, with pretty much nowhere to go, we could keep running, but it would continue to be more of the same. We would remain trapped, avoiding detection, hiding from the terror, trying to survive. Just more of the same.
The group that running with me was 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 in 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. Hesitantly, I paused, feeling 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 no 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 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… I can see it now as I write, and it leaves me breathless.
Beyond the door was a technicolour, vibrant scene. It vibrated; it shimmered, and it shimmered, and it shimmered. There were greens, golds, yellows, and hints of red. It was as if seeing it out of the corner of my eye, the shimmering life, the vibrating colour, humming with physical sound. It vibrated through my body, a visceral invitation to more.
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 with clarity.
I had to step in.
I smiled and looked at those with me. The group so full of fear. I let them know we were safe.
I woke just 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 a loss of jobs, there is crisis… but God!
Terrorists trade on fear, and on uncertainty. They trade on the idea that they may strike anywhere. They generate the fear through never knowing who they may hit next. The fear becomes palpable, real.
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 visceral, insipid, dark and dangerous. It is the thing in the atmosphere worldwide 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 and to step through the Door. I call them forth to encourage 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 and yearn.
Step through to Freedom, where you need to run, to 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.
I wrote this testimony up a few years ago, but I never published it. I feel it’s time to publish it now, so that it may serve as encouragement to those who are journeying something similar, to those that need to know that they are worthy of love, and of loving again, and for those too that need to know that their prayers matter because God is Good!
There is a local fruit and vegetable shop in my suburb. The staff are friendly, they stop and say “hi”. It’s my local community, part of “my turf”. There have been a number of prayer assignments there over the years, and the most recent one was just last Friday …
A couple of years ago, the manager of this store helped me out and was exceptionally kind. He is that sort of bloke … a beautiful example of an ordinary person being kind to another human being! A little while later he saw me in the store and asked how I was doing. I said great compared to where I had been, thanks to people like him around me. I then got on to ask him how he was doing …
He looked and opened up his heart to me. He had just journeyed through a divorce he said. She had been his best friend. There were no children from the relationship, which he felt was a blessing. He still hurt. He looked ready to cry.
I wasn’t too sure what to say at the time, but he said passionately that he never wanted to go through loving another person again. He said he would never marry again – it hurt too much when it fell apart. Everything about me went on alert … he was cursing himself out of the place of his extreme pain. looked at him and said quietly:
“now that would be a shame. Your’e a good man, and it would be sad to deprive someone of you … you would make a wonderful husband and a wonderful father … your a kind person and generous hearted, and it would be such a shame for you to not be willing to risk again …”
The tears nearly brimmed over as the words hit his open heart. He thanked me and I smiled at him, wanting to fix his pain, but knowing I couldn’t do that …
I had wanted to pray for him then and there, but felt unsure and so as I left I started to pray for him privately. Calling healing, love and blessing into his life.
It was sometime later, a few months maybe, or longer, I saw him and there was a gleam to his eye and a quickness to his step … I said “hello” and commented on how he was looking. He looked at me and told me that he had met someone special … I smiled and asked for some more details. I let him know that I had prayed for him after I left the day he had told me of his divorce and he excitedly said that the prayers had been answered. I laughed and said that I was delighted for him, that he was too special to hide himself under a rock forever … he grinned and thanked me again saying that he had taken on my words of encouragement sometime ago …
I offered to pray for him at this point and he agreed, telling me some of what he felt he wanted prayer for …
Well this first relationship did not pan out, and he has seen a few more people … but he is not crushed each time. He is still hopeful that one day he will meet a person with whom he can share his life…
I see him regularly and catch up with how he is each time … he is a part of my community, and a blessing to those that he works for, and that work under his supervision. Sometimes I will pray for him, other times it is purely pleasantries.
The last time I saw him was a few Fridays ago. I was sitting outside a coffee shop having a cuppa with my husband in the sunshine. There was the usual banter, and a bit of Aussie teasing, and I asked him what he was up to while the store was closed (where he worked was being renovated). He told me he was heading off to Dubai for a holiday so I called him over and prayed for him again, asked God to bless him and to make his paths straight, and that He would be granted wisdom.
He grinned and looked at us both and said he planned to have a brilliant time …
I watched him walk away and thought of the kindness he had shown me. I thought of the broken man he had been when he had poured his heart out in the store a little later, and how he had healed and grown strong again, knowing that he was worth being loved and that he was worth loving again …
Did my prayers make a difference? I don’t know for sure, I’d like to believe so. What I do know is that he poured his heart out to me in the middle of the store, and that in that moment I could speak life into the place of pain in his heart. These words hit home, and he said they had meant a great deal. I had a strong burden on my heart for him as I left, and I prayed and lifted him up to my God. Would he have healed anyway … maybe … but what I know and believe is that to walk as Jesus walked, when we feel compassion for people, we are to stop and pray (whether we do that face to face or privately that’s between you and God) but regardless I do not believe that God gives us a heart for people to just feel sad … but to do something about it. I believe these prayers matter, and I believe that these prayers make a difference. I believe that we are called to the lost, hurting and wounded, and I believe that God sends them to us to speak life into them because …
Anyone that knows me personally knows that my family and I, have been going through a massive transition. Mostly wonderful, lots of stretching, some challenging … some shaking … but all for good!
In transition it can be difficult (more so for some than others) to not feel completely overwhelmed, especially when the change is sudden and swift.
Looking back, you can see God’s handprint all over it. Fortunately I had listened to seemingly odd instructions like “don’t pick that one up … let go of that commitment … tell them you are not available (although in the natural you are) … only pick that one up until the end of the year …” My husband has had similar experiences and seasons are now ending for him too … we can see God’s hand print all over it … and although the panic may arise we declare with our mouths that God has it in hand, that He orchestrated all this and He will make a way forward …
None of it’s been bad … in fact it is as a result of walking in God’s favour that such a shift is taking place … you can see His favour all over it … and we know His purposes are in it … yet such changes can be unsettling to say the least …
Last year was also a very tough year for many reasons … and so we came to the end of 2013 looking for some quiet, some peace … we didn’t get it, but break through came … all over the place … starting in late January!
It is in these seasons we can get overwhelmed with the transition, with the shaking, with the chaos, and forget to see His hand in our every day life …
Well … if you look and hold onto His goodness you will find it …
When I was at my lowest about a week and a half ago, I sat on the couch, and was willing myself to get moving, reminding myself that it would all settle. As I got up and going there was a knock at the door and there standing in my doorway was an angel … a friend who has had such a massive and challenging journey herself in the last three years … She said:
“I just felt I had to come”,
and in her hands were roses and chocolates.
I teared up … knowing she was letting me know I was loved by her and God was letting me know that I was loved by Him … He had sent her, she had heard His prompting, and she responded … the timing was supernatural!
She came in. We had a tea, we had a chat, and she left … me not just knowing intellectually that God is Good, God is Love but experiencing His goodness … His Love …
A week later, I get a call from the same girl …
“I have made dinner for you and it’s on your doorstep” …
Now please know, her child has been severely ill. Is hospitalized regularly, and had just undergone surgery … yet she was responding to a God urge to bless me whose entire family is walking in favour and breakthrough. She regularly celebrates our joy, our break through and our success as if it were her own, knowing that her family’s is coming, she genuinely feeds on the goodness of God in her own life and in other’s lives, knowing that the ultimate breakthrough in healing for daughter is on it’s way …
And the kisses kept coming …
Two friends prophesy at a conference … I bump into loved friends, all of who are a delight to see, and, most recently, a card arrives in the post, from another friend who I have known since I was four, completely out of my church circle, and outside of my local community circle … she said later she knew she had to do what she did … and the card said:
The one feeling a little weary.
Carrying that load.
Fighting this battle.
You’re beautiful, you know that?
And you can do this with Him.
With His power.
I know it.
I feel it.
Keep going, girl.
You feel like your strength is small.
But it’s not.
BIG enough for you to do what you need to do.
Because your strength is as big as the God in you.
This one did me in and it made me get very teary. I read it a lot at the moment.
God knew what I was walking in, and He had told a friend to be His hands, His heart to me … she had taken time shop and to write and to send … she had taken the time to listen to her Father in Heaven and to co-labour with Him … and in her doing so she encouraged a friend unknowingly at a crucial time of challenge and stretch …
I don’t believe He has done all this for me because I go out and do stuff for Him, I believe that He does this for me because I am His most Beloved Daughter … His Beloved Son …
I believe He does this purely and simple because …
I was driving back from dropping my son at school. I often take the route past my daughter’s school, and as I do I pray for the school, the teachers, those in authority, the children, the school community at large … I did so this morning, sensing to drive past and pray, to bless the staff, and as I drove there was one staff member in particular that came to mind …
As I drove closer, I felt Him, I felt his Joy Indescribable, and I had a flash back to earlier this morning of the same staff member hugging a student. I knew I was to stop on my way, run in and give this person a hug, a big hug, and tell her she was loved, that she was doing a great job. I had seen her, at drop off, bending down to one of the little ones coming into school, and giving them a cuddle. At the time I had smiled to myself thinking of the love she was giving out. I now knew I was to do the same for her, and in fact, as I write, I now recognise that I had felt the desire to run across the road and hug her earlier that morning … perhaps I had missed His first prompt!
I pulled over in the glorious autumn sunshine, ran in, saw another staff member and called out over my shoulder that I just had to give a particular staff member a hug. I saw the person and said …
“I need to give you a hug!”
She stood straight up, stepped over her papers, and with her arms open wide she let me hug her. I said as we hugged:
“You are well loved! You are doing a great job! I saw you hugging the girls this morning, loving on them, and now God wants me to give YOU a hug!”
We stood and hugged for ages. Now I must say that hugging is not my “thing” … touch is not my “love language” but when God tells me to hug, I hug, and I know that if I do I get a Love hug too because the love I feel as He pours Himself through, over and around me is amazing … I get touched and saturated in Him as well! Now, I must say, I loved this hug! I genuinely love this person. I feel safe around her, and the joy and love I feel for her is not just Heaven sent, it is genuinely me as well … and so it was His love and joy for her, but mine as well … and so the hug was equally a blessing to me as it was to her!
She stood back, covered in goose bumps and said “oooo that was good, you’re a good hugger … I felt that … look I’m covered in goose bumps”.
I smiled and said “He just wanted you to know you were loved and your doing a great job” and I went to leave saying “have a great day!” …
I went to walk past the first staff member I had seen, calling out my cheerio full of the Joy Indescribable that is Him and I felt the overwhelming desire to hug her as well, and so I offered a hug to which she replied:
“I’m always up for a hug”
And she ran over and threw her arms around me and as we hugged she said:
“Oh, you ARE a good hugger!”
I gave her a kiss on the cheek as I hugged her and the other staff member called out:
“It’s a good hug … I’ve got goose bumps all over me … up and down my legs …”
I called out grinning that I loved it too … that like a hose, when you turn it on and let water pour through, you get wet too, the hose gets wet with water too … that as I release Him, I get the His love too … and it’s GOOD … it’s SOOOO GOOD!
I ran out the door into the sunshine feeling Him flowing all around, and through me. As I drove homewards I realised I could smell their perfume on my coat. I smiled realising that I too had left a deposit of perfume on them … the Fragrance of Heaven, the Fragrance of Love, and that, like me with their perfume, they would carry His fragrance throughout the day … and in turn they would affect others … it was His fragrance of love, it is so infectious, and they had been imbued with it … as had I … as we had all stood and cuddled each other.
One of them had called, as I ran out the door “I needed that” and I can honestly say that “I needed it too!”
If we are willing to release His Goodness in whatever form or shape it takes, we are doubly blessed by Him … in fact, I believe, we are more blessed than those who receive! When we are willing to stop on our way and release His Goodness, His Kindness, in His way … we get wet, we get saturated by Him too … in fact, I think that these words describe it to a tee … and those words are … pure and simple …
Last Thursday I was free for the first time this year to walk up to my daughter’s school to collect her … 6-year-old M had a play date straight after school and there were no after school activities to rush to …
This particular day had been a typical Melbourne Spring day … sunshine in the morning, proceeded with rain patches … rain patches … and then rain … no patch … just rain … rain … and so by about 2pm I prayed and said:
“God, I would like to collect R from school, and I would like to walk up to get her … so we can walk home quietly and talk to one another”
After my request/prayer, I then spoke to the weather and said: “in the name of Jesus you will stop raining at 3pm …” and I quietly agreed with myself that I would walk up if the rain had stopped by three … in faith that the rain had stopped …
I thought nothing more, until 3pm came around, the skies were cloudy, but clear and lighter … and so I gathered my rain coat and umbrella (“oh, yea of little faith” you may say … I would say “wisdom” :-)) and I joyfully made my way up to my daughters school, entering the grounds a different way to normal, just sensing God’s gentle guidance about the way I should go, the pathway to take …
I was really really early and pondered what to do. I thought about a few a options and felt God say “just sit down” and so I decided to sit outside her classroom and enjoy the moment of solitude … trying not to feel like a goose being so early …
Not much time had passed when one of the teachers walked out of the class room and said “Hello” …
She was all smiles and said “I was thinking about you a couple of days ago …”
Now, she is another I have prayed for … a few times.
The first time was with the school chaplain in a prayer meeting … where we prayed for staff …
The second time was with her, when God basically said to say “Can I pray for you, it’s your turn … you have not been overlooked …” to which she had responded with tears “oh yes, I have so wanted you to pray for me, I’ve been waiting for you to pray for me …” …
At the time I had seen Heaven’s delight at her being born and I told her the details of what I saw, the celebration in Heaven, the joy and delight of the angels and I confirmed that God had His sights set on her …”
She cried …
I asked if I could hug her …
She threw herself into my arms saying passionately “YES”!
The encounter was quite dramatic for her … she was hungry for a touch from God …
I have prayed one other time for her that I can think of … and suggested that she may like to join us some time at our home, where we help people to learn about and access God for themselves … she said she would like that …
Anyway …. I digress …
This particular afternoon last week she walked over to me and I felt to see if she needed a hug …
She did, so I hugged her and asked if she were ok …
I then prayed for her as I held her (she’s only little) and released “peace”. I then felt to say that she would learn how to sleep in the storm, that if she could sleep in a storm, then she truly knew that she had peace … and I started to tell her the story of Jesus asleep in the storm (see Matt 8:24 and Mark 4:37) … and I said I felt that this story was just for her … that God wanted to be her Peace … that when we can rest in the storm, then we know we truly have “Peace” …
She gasped and said … that is exactly the scripture that Rev P gave me when I spoke to her, referring to the Book of Matthew …
I laughed, and said “that is soooo funny, and soooo God …”
I explained that He loved her and that the Bible says that through 2 or 3 witnesses He will confirm a thing (2 Corinthians 13:1) … and that here He was confirming that this was her scripture … one she could read, learn, ponder upon and ask Him, what she needed to draw out of it … I encouraged her to sit and ask God questions about the scripture and to journal what she “heard” … “felt” Him say to her …
Now, she’s not yet a Christian … I think … but I cannot really know … but here was God giving her a scripture for this season of her life, through the school chaplain and myself, independently, giving her confirmation of whoHe wanted to be for her, and in doing so showing her how much He loved her, had her in His sights, while teaching her, drawing her to His word … teaching her to incline her ear to Him …
She was shocked and amazed and jumped up and down excitedly saying over and over how amazing it was … and to be honest, while this sort of thing has happened over and over to me, I’m still like a kid in a candy shop … I still delight and am amazed and I am still in awe when it happens like this … I said, laughing … “I know I get a real shock every time He does this too … ”
She got a little teary and I said to her that if she ever felt the need she could call, that I was happy to give her my number (since protocol dictated that she should not get it off the school data base) to which she said she would do so and would want to get in contact when the school year had finished … protocol again …
I nodded at the wisdom in that, in that, while she is not my daughters teacher, she is still close at hand and the year needed to be complete …
Still excited at what God had just done for her she jumped around (she is like a fun, joy filled fire cracker … the angels really did rejoice over her when she was born … she is a delight) and she bounded back into class saying …
“I know why you were here early” (I had told her I had got here early and felt like a goose) … “you were were here early FOR ME! You were here early FOR! ME!” and she laughed and bounded and bounced full of delight and joy all the way back into her room …
I think that she was right. I wasthere early for her … and through this encounter and other encounters (through me and who ever else God brings to her, like Rev P) she is catching the fact that God loves her … she is clearly learning … she clearly knows that … God loves HER and that