My beloved daughter; My beloved son

Who are we?

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.

Sitting to stop (listening to Schubert with scrolling images of beauty provided by dear friend) © Beth Kennedy 2020

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

sit

still

and just

for a moment

breathe…

‘When can we get back to being busy?’ we ask.

The silence in the stopping is, um, well, it’s, …. ‘uncomfortable’.

Le Marque rose citrus fragrance on the wind ©Beth Kennedy 2020

I stop.

I listen.

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.

I look.

Salvia in sunshine © Beth Kennedy 2020

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…

I stop.

I smell.

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…

I stop.

I taste.

Today is the day… © Beth Kennedy 2020

The remains of an almond milk chai, combined with a sweet taste of honey comb and chocolate… ‘just one’ I say…

I stop.

I feel.

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…

I stop.

know…

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…

Pot of Pansies – Joy © Beth Kennedy 2020

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…

BUT

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…

The Father’s heart © Peter Russell 1994

Mark 1:11…

‘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…

God is Good!

© Beth Kennedy 2020

 

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.

Sit, breathe and listen.

See what He says to you through this song:

A Little Longer‘ by Jenn Johnson

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.

Who are we anyway? My beloved daughter… My beloved son

Our family has been in a time of rapid transition.

It’s been a ride.

One aspect of our recent journey has been to start an online zoom group. We always planned to start an online group, and covid-19 made us very aware of why this start up was on God’s heart.

Our zoom group includes people we know and trust. These people will try things out online with us, give us feedback, cut us some slack, while we hopefully sow something of value into them. It’s still nerve-racking because, well, God has to show up!

As with all groups we have run, the first topic we covered was: ‘who are we anyway?’

‘A simple question to answer,’ you may say, but it is surprising just how many (read everyone) struggle with this topic when you scratch the surface. Our religious and societal beliefs are so entrenched – ‘we must perform to be loved’.

I believe that we all struggle with this idea – that we don’t earn our right at the table with God! God approves of us, having done nothing!

Mark 1:11 makes it clear:

‘And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”’ (Mark 1:11 NIV)

Check out this link to Mark 1:11. The different translations, of the same verse say the same thing. In essence:

‘You are my son, I love you, and I am well pleased with you.’

I find this scripture fascinating. It is at the point of Jesus being baptised by John, before Jesus starts his ministry years. Jesus has done nothing to earn his father’s love. It is from this place of identity Jesus enters the desert, fasts, is tempted by the devil and then steps out into his ministry. He has held firm to who he is and whose he is.

The Father loves and approves of Jesus- before Jesus does anything.

Jesus would have studied etc prior to this point in time, but… he had presumably done nothing. He had not stepped into his ministry works.

Every group we have run, we cover the same idea – we are loved, approved and accepted, without works, having done nothing. In fact, we don’t have to do anything to remain in this place; however, when we really catch this concept in its essence, the irony is we can’t help but do something in response.

‘111, My beloved daughter; My beloved son.’

What do you hear Him speak over you today?

Will you just sit and let Him whisper sweet nothings?

Will you let Him sing over you, as you rest in the nook of His arms?

Will you ‘…wait a little longer’ with Him?

He wants us whole, and fully comprehending that we are His beloved daughter or son, in whom He is well pleased. It is from this place of identity that we are to step out and go, and as we do we will shine with His goodness, with His light, with His love because…

God is Good!

Please, sit, breathe and listen. See what He says to you through this song:

‘A Little Longer’ by Jenn Johnson
I particularly like the version on the album ‘We Believe’ but I couldn’t find an authorised website link to that version. The ‘We Believe’ album version is a little quieter, and I personally find it more poignant.

 

One more for the Kingdom…He wooed her well because God is Good!

I was heading interstate a few weeks ago, and while at the airport, I stopped to buy a tea and fruit salad, having rushed the entire day.

As I stood to pay for my purchase I felt the usual prompting to offer to pray for her … to stop for the one … to pray for Mona

She readily agreed to my suggestion after I quickly told her the story from Coles, and I asked what in particular she may need prayer for.  She motioned for me to come over, to the edge of the serving area, and so I followed her to the end of the counter …

She headed up to the end of the counter where it was a little more private and I took her hands in mine.  I blessed her, calling forth her destiny.  I asked her a few questions, sensing that she was in transition, she had just come to the end of something and she was not yet sure what she wanted to do, that she was artistic and so I encouraged her to step into it … she agreed with the words of knowledge and she asked me how I knew, I must be psychic …

I told her that God speaks to us all, and that since He loved her and wanted to reach out to her, through me, in this instance, He would let me know the areas of her life that He wanted to impact, to have prayed for, so I could make His plans a reality through agreeing with His intentions for her life … I explained that this was what Christians called being “prophetic”.

I sensed that I was to invite her into the Kingdom of Heaven, make an invitation to her to ask Jesus into her heart and life, but feeling awkward, I let her get on with her work …

I sat down and chatted to my friend, mentioning that I had “missed it”, he nodded, agreeing, knowing that I had too.  In any case, I drank my tea, and noticed that as we chatted she kept looking over to us …

Not long after … she came right out to us, leaving the serving area, to where we were sitting and asked ernestly:

Will God heal me of something?

Sure” my friend said and we listened as she explained what had been wrong.  She explained that she had undergone extensive surgery to remove growths on her uterus, she was still in pain from the surgery … she didn’t want to growths to come back, she wanted a full recovery.

My friend recounted a testimony of a friend who had been completely healed of uterine cancer a couple of weeks before and I then stood, placed my hand on her abdomen … and we prayed … Holy Spirit was all around …

She then looked at me and said excitedly “Do you know anything about numbers?” and she asked me again if I was psychic … she kept on …

I keep getting the same numbers over and over and I do not understand what they all mean.” She explained that, over the last couple of weeks, she kept getting, noticing, seeing 111 and 10:10 …

I laughed saying that those numbers were the exact ones that I often got at very “coincidental” times and I explained how whenever I felt like He had wanted me to stop for someone and I did, that I would often see the sequence of “111” straight after and, after speaking to a Christian friend who could interpret dreams, visions and numbers (thank you DH), I came to understand that it meant, “My Beloved Son” … “My beloved Daughter” or “I love you” … (see Mark 1:11).

The “111 thing” started happening for me just after Leif Hetland had come to our church a year ago.  Leif had released the “Blessing of the Father” … and within a week, these strange coincidences started happening with “111” … it has since become part of my personal vocabulary that God uses to speak to me.  For example, about a week after the Leif Hetland seminar, I had stopped for a girl with a broken arm at the shops with my toddler, when I hadn’t really wanted to stop.  I prayed for her healing and led her to the Lord.  As I left, running late for something and with a toddler who was well and truly over the shops, I flicked on my phone and as I did up flashed 1:11 …

This would happen everywhere, it was ridiculous … 111 on number plates just after pleasing Him, stopping for someone, 111 on an advertisement, or in a headline that I would see just after feeling down, when I felt I had failed Him … it still happens now … last Sunday night, when I had been questioning things and I was feeling sad and challenged, I looked up at the Tour de France on tv, and straight across the backside of the bike rider that panned into the camera shot was … yes … 111 … twice!  Once on his left hip and once on his right hip!  God was saying “I Love You!” … “I see you” … “I appreciate you” … it actually made me laugh … and I always say right back … “I love you too!”

I mentioned the pattern to her and she smiled …

What about 10:10?” she asked

I replied that I had been seeing this everywhere for a while, and a Christian friend who had studied at Bethel had once suggested it was indicating the completion of a cycle and the start of a cycle (thank you JS) … which also made her smile … saying that she had completed a tough time in her life, that she felt the surgery was the end of that time and that she was about to start something new … as confirmed with my prophetic words over her life before …

As we spoke my friend did a quick search and suggested that “111” could also mean “open doors” which also resonated with her … and I laughed saying well … “Jesus IS the door … He is knocking … will you invite Him in …?”

It was at this point that I knew I was to now invite her into a relationship with Jesus …

I pointed out this “coincidence” and the “coincidence of me stopping and asking her if I could pray, after a cycle of a couple of weeks of her seeing and noticing these numbers in such a way that she had been querying it, and I quietly asked her if she wanted to ask Jesus into her heart, explaining a little about it to her and feeling the Holy Spirit, the anointing, swirling all around …

My friend teared up, as did I and she just quietly responded … “yes” …

She prayed asking Jesus to fill her, to come into her heart.  She invited the Holy Spirit to fill her to over flowing … she used her own words after I had explained the basics and what it meant.  I told her God would give her the words … and He did.  I then blessed her, commanding all darkness to leave and for her to be filled with the Light of Jesus …

She glowed, fired up by this all …

My friend and I glowed and dabbed the tears …

I promised that on my way back through the following day I would drop some materials off for her to go through (which I did) and I gave her my number and hugged her goodbye …

She waved us off as we left for our flight … she was afresh and full of the glow of a loving encounter with a Magnificent God …

She had been wooed with the oddities of numbers.  God had positioned me, who had also been wooed in a similar, and strange way … We had connected and God invited her in through the Open Door that is Jesus, into a relationship with Himself …

Her journey began before I came on the scene … and her journey will continue …

She saw and will continue to see, a kind God at work in her life …

She discovered that God so loved her, that He wooed her, He called her … He arranged the ordinary to become so highlighted that her attention was drawn to them, and then He sent a stranger to stop and pray …  one who could unpack some of her journey, having had a similar strange experiences … and He let her know, through this and a stranger taking time to stop for the one that …

God is Good!

Post Script: we all have a journey that is as unique and as special as we are!  We are all positioned in communities and in places where those that will relate to us congregate … God has a purpose and a plan for our lives, including where we go, where we live and what we do … and if we will just stop and listen to Him, walk in His Presence, be aware of the realities of His Kingdom and purposes … we will hear and stop and see His goodness … I encourage you … there are people all around you just waiting for you to be who you are so they can discover whose they can be …