Pulling back; stepping through… God is Good!

Collecting my 5-year-old son from kindy, I felt to pop up to the local shopping centre for a coffee and a donut. A regular ‘treat’ for the two of us.

I had thought we were heading straight home. I was feeling tired, but sensing the prompting of God to go to the shops, I asked my son,

‘Do you get Southland or home? Ask God.’

My son, knowing how to ‘play the game,’ piped up from the back seat, ‘Southland.’

Continuing the ‘game’ I said, ‘do you get DJ’s or M?’

I was sensing to park at the Myer end of the shopping complex.

He instantly responded, ‘M! What does that mean, Mum?’

I steered the car toward Southland and explained where we were going and what “M” meant.

We found a carpark, and I quietly hoped the trip was just a ‘treat’ for the two of us, rather than an ‘assignment’, but as we walked into the centre, I saw a man in a wheelchair and felt a familiar prompting from God.

I ignored it.

I know, but I am being honest here!

I told you I will share the good, the bad and the ugly. Being human, I falter. I simply did not want to stop for anyone. I just wanted a treat with my boy.

I had been told the day before that I was ‘stressed.’ My doctor must know, right?

Pathetic reasoning, but I am being honest.

I walked on, ignoring the wheelchair; ignoring the knowing; ignoring the invitation.

Feeling sad, I apologised to God.

He loved me all the same, regardless of my ‘performance.’ Knowing this, I still felt sad at my response. There was no self-condemnation (not for long anyway) but there was a sense of deep sadness. There was God’s sadness and my sadness intermingled. I spoke to myself, bringing to mind my own testimonies of a good God who had seen me through time and time again when I had stopped for the one, yet I just did not want to risk failure and stop for the one yet again.

Regardless of my choices, my son and I thoroughly enjoyed our time together.

On our way out of the centre, we walked past another wheelchair. Well, it was not a ‘wheelchair’

per se, it was a person in a wheelchair. It was a person loved and seen by a good God. It’s important to remember they too are people He wants to touch. If only He can get through us!

I noted the gentle prompting as I walked past.

My little boy looked up at me and said quietly: ‘there’s a wheelchair mummy’.

From the mouths of babes!

I looked at him and said, ‘should we pray for him? You ask God.’

My boy got a ‘no’ but I looked back at the man and knew. I knew my boy knew too.

‘Come on,’ I said.

We approached the man, said ‘hello’, and I explained what had happened. I added the testimony of the broken legs being healed, and I asked if I could pray for him.

‘You’ll have to be quick because my wife is in the toilets,’ he responded.

With that I introduced us and asked what the problem was.

His name was Dave.

He had muscular dystrophy.

‘Incurable,’ he said.

‘But for a miracle,’ I said, ‘so we will pray for a miracle!’

I held his hand and prayed, feeling the anointing flow.

A few moments passed, and as I felt the release I finished and I repeated the testimony of little A’s healing, explaining that her healing came over two weeks.

I thanked him for allowing me to pray, and he thanked me and as I turned and walked away with my son.

As soon as I turned, I faced another wheelchair!

My boy looked and said ‘maybe we should pray for him too!’

‘Maybe we should,’ I thought.

I wish I could say I did.

I didn’t.

Sometimes it can be all too much.

In those times, we push back at the resistance to walk through to the Promise.

 

These are the times we feel we have nothing to give – BUT GOD!

(See When my barrel was empty… then God for such a story).

There were many invitations on this day.

I answered just once.

I look back and recognise it was an invitation into an upgrade…

We are always free to choose.

A friend said to me later that day,

‘We are not Jesus, we are being transformed.’

I agreed.

She followed up with, ‘That, of course, does not excuse us from not walking as Jesus did.’

And with that, she had called me to the standard.

She was calling me to be who I am in Christ.

Yes, we are all human – we are not Jesus. Yet, we are all called to be like Him, to believe Him when he says:

“I tell you the truth anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12) (emphasis added)

 

I believe God invites us into encounters. God invites us to co-labour with Him to achieve His purposes, for the world, for others, for the one, but also for us.

Every time we say ‘yes,’ He celebrates.

I feel the Father’s joy every time I say ‘yes,’ but His joy is not about our obedience. We are not automaton. His joy flows every time we say ‘yes Lord’ because we step more deeply into our identity in Him when we do.

It’s a ‘win-win.’

The world gets touched; we get transformed!

He loves us, regardless of whether we say ‘yes Lord.’

However, we will feel the Father’s delight when we choose to step in, up, and out. As we do, we reach further into the promises of God for our own life, and for the lives of those around us. When we co-labour with Him, we are connecting with a Father’s loving heart, for us and for the one we stop for. That heart is full of splendour and glory simply because…

God is Good!

The God who sees (part 2)

© Sam Manns
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.

© Michael Odelberth

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.

© Alicja Gancarz

‘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.

© Jen Theodore

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…

© Natasha Ivanchikhina

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…

God is Good!

© Suhash Villuri

Post lockdown shopping with Jesus… Kindness matters… #grateful

Grateful Photo by Dylan Ferreira on Unsplash

The Friday afternoon, after the coffee with friends where we found a treasure in a girl with a heart tattoo, I dropped my daughter to an appointment and went browsing in a local clothing store.

Wandering in I said ‘hi’, chose a few pieces to try on, and popped into the change room.

The owner and I were chatting about the recent lockdown that lasted 4-6 months here in Melbourne. We discussed the businesses we each knew that had closed, the people we knew that had been ill with covid, the people that were so very angry… at everything… and those that had struggled…

She asked me how I had coped.

‘Gratitude’ I said.

‘Choosing joy, while acknowledging heart ache and sadness…’

‘Gratitude…’ I said again.

In chatting we realised we had both chosen gratitude. We acknowledged the fear, the pain, the loss, but we had also looked at all that we were grateful for, the things we did have, and noted that we lived in a safe country, a beautiful country, and that kindness was the primary response that would get Melbourne back up and running.

In between dresses the owner paused, looking at me she said, ‘you look really spiritual’.

I laughed. I looked like a post covid-19 lockdown me. A little bigger than she had last seen me, and that was all. She has seen me over the years regularly. I often walked into browse her shop.

The difference?

She was spiritually open.

We chatted some more, and as I paid for my new dress I offered to pray for her.

She agreed, and so I released the Kingdom of Heaven into her store, I blessed the work of her hands, and her business, I honoured her in her walk of grace in a difficult time with her ex business partner, I spoke of what I sensed would or could be future plans, places to open further stores, business blueprints and ideas…

I essentially spoke God’s heart for her and her business, including the business development plans she had held in her heart…

She was shocked, and exclaimed it was in line with her very thoughts.

I laughed and said that was God affirming her ideas and plans.

Sensing I had finished what I needed to pray, I ended the prayer.

She cried… and asked: ‘can I hug you?’

‘Yes’ I said

And so she stepped out and around into my arms and we hugged as she wept…

It was the second hug of the day from a stranger, that God had set His sights upon.

‘There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God’

Psalm 46:4

I retell this story, not to big note or brag, but to demonstrate that if I can do this, anyone can.

I’m not perfect.

I don’t always get it right.

But God knows; God sees; God loves…

He has a heart to see the one before us, and if we will listen, love and let Him flow out, He will take care of the rest, because…

God is Good!

Post Script:

I prayed for one more person this same day. There were no hugs, there were no tears, I provided a listening ear. It was a chat at a sweet store (we were buying lollies for Christmas stockings) but there was no overt element that showed me the recipient was impacted. It is normal to have encounters of great breakthrough, and then encounters that would leave you wondering why bother. It’s all good, any attempt is a ‘win’, as long as I step forth in love. It is not a notch on the belt… it is purely seeing a need and sensing a desire to bless or love the person before you, knowing that…

God is Good!

 

Just do the next thing – God is Good!

So often in our lives, futures imagined, dreams envisioned, must be laid down. It is in these moments we have a choice: do we allow God to direct our steps, even though we are all at sea, disappointed, hurt; or, do we try to control everything, and keep directing our lives where we think we should go, regardless.

A while back, I felt a stirring in my heart.  We had just changed churches, and we were still trying to find our feet.  Our old church had been big, loud, there was a weekly mosh pit I had danced and worshipped in, and people were hungry for things of the Spirit. The church we had landed in was small, intimate, and sedate, at least sedate compared to what we had been used to, but regardless, we felt it was the right fit, and we believed the church was on the cusp of revival.

I was keen to serve somewhere.  I felt an urge to start a regular prayer group, and a recently made friend and I started fortnight meetings to pray for our church, the community and beyond; but, I was still restless.

Something was stirring.

Back in the late 1990s I often travelled to Far North Western Australia, where I provided legal representation to people who were illegally entering Australia by boat. It is common to refer to these people as “boat people,” or illegal migrants (because of their status of having no visas of entry). They predominantly came from Iraq. Some came from Algeria. A few were from China. That was the mix of countries when I was working. After I finished at that law firm the Afghans came – they were tough cases.

The stories moved me, the politics of human rights law saddened me, and the other lawyers laughed at me, saying: “you wear your heart on your sleeve” (a weakness in their mind). To this I would respond, “if I was in their position I would rather someone like me representing me, then someone like you.”

I didn’t stay in refugee work for long, and I left my position as junior lawyer to start a business of my own as a corporate consultant, while providing immigration legal advice to people on the side, just to keep my toe in. I referred any refugee work – it was too emotional, and too political. That was until 10 years ago.

When my youngest was about three, I received a call from a Melbourne businessman who wanted migration advice for a Christian Egyptian family he had met while overseas. The father was an Anglican Minister. The businessman wanted to help them. It was to be a straightforward case, but once involved I realised there were very serious persecution risks at play for the family involved. Each time I went to refer the case on, each time I tried to shake myself loose, I would feel God on it – He wanted me to see it through. While the case would have qualified as a refugee case (they were being persecuted for their faith) we did not run the case as a refugee case. Instead, we needed to run the case differently (the refugee landscape had changed and was getting increasingly difficult to negotiate). It took years, but we got the family into Australia under a different visa category. This case confirmed that I didn’t want to do refugee work ever again! The responsibility, the sorrow and the desperation, the trauma…

The Egyptian family that came established the first Arabic Anglican Church in Australia. Other Arabic churches exist, but not of this denomination. And, as I write, they now lead two such churches in Victoria (one in Melbourne, the other in Geelong). They head up a vibrant, growing Christian community. All led by the beautiful family who God would not let me shake loose – people I now call friends. The family reach the Arabic world in Melbourne, and people come to Christ.

Anyway…

We had just changed churches. All my dreams, plans, hopes and vision had fallen away. I was a ballet mum in a world of ballet I never saw coming (yes God has a sense of humour) and I was in a small quiet church, albeit, earmarked for revival. I wanted to serve God, but I did not see any opportunity to do so in my passion and gifting, and so I prayed a prayer that I do not recommend, unless you are ready to just obey!

I prayed: “God, I can’t see where or how I can serve you here. I want to honour leadership. There is no favour to teach what I know, or to release what I carry, but I want to serve you, what do you want me to do, I’ll do anything you ask me to do, I just want to serve you.”

I prayed the prayer, and I thought I knew how God would answer it.

That weekend we attended the opening of the new Arabic Anglican Church, on the other side of town. We were to witness the baptisms of recent converts, and the church’s official opening.  The service was full of the Holy Spirit. The worship was wonderful – all in Arabic, with a different beat, a different feel, but God was there, and I could tangibly feel Him. It was fun.

We stayed for dinner, and as we tried to eat, the people pressed in on me.  Refugees from Syria, refugees from Iraq, all trying to get the rest of their family here. People with heart break and need. They represented the cases I avoided for years. I prayed for many, prophesied over others, and listened to their stories. They all wanted my help, for word had got around.

Heading home I said to my husband I was feeling a stirring. I confessed what I had prayed. I could not believe it – God was calling me to act for these people, and it horrified me. Yes, I felt for them, but I did not want to do their legal work for them, I didn’t want to feel their pain, hear the details, they were all so desperate. And the legal landscape had radically changed – I was underqualified… but God!

When I prayed, I had not envisioned this! When I prayed, I thought He would release me into my gifting in our church, in our local body, somewhere… anywhere. I thought He would place favour on me to minister, that I would have a green light to step up into my calling, while honouring, supporting and loving our leadership, or even maybe out into elsewhere. Anywhere where I could ignite others with a passion for God.

It was not to be.

Instead, I walked into the pain, trauma and hurt of these people.

I argued with God that others were more qualified, better trained, up to date, and professional. God just came straight back at me: “Step up.”

Every time I went to Him He would say: “step up.”

And when I argued I couldn’t do it, He just said “trust me – step up.”

I suggested I refer, that others were better than me in this area of law He just said: “yes, but they won’t pray as you will.”

And so I stepped up…

I did not know what I was doing, but each step of the way he would say:

“just do the next thing you know to do.”

When I quietened myself enough, I would know what I had to do next. The anxiety was dreadful. The stories traumatic. One day I cried my way through the reading and the videos, but each time I turned aside to talk to Him he would say again:

“Just do the next thing you know to do.”

So, in this time of change, turmoil and challenge, when our plans for 2020 seem lost in a haze of virus, lockdown, and shifting worlds. In a year that is not what we thought it would be, I encourage you to do as I am also trying to do (thankfully with friends and wise counsel by my side) and ask Him what he would have you do. Instead of looking at the entire job at hand, the surrounding trauma, the pain within you, while acknowledging that it is there, ask Him:

“What next?”

And then do it…

Just do the next thing you know to do.

Then it would be: “send that email”, “write that statement”, “make that phone call”…

Little baby steps.

And once taken I sought Him again, I would breathe, pray, listen, obey…

And as you do, the pieces will fall together, the focus will come, and the peace and the joy will rest upon you because…

God is Good!

And there was rain – God is Good!

This is a friend’s testimony. It demonstrates how obedience, prayer and daring to believe can cause breakthrough for communities and areas of land. I hope this testimony is an encouragement in this time for all of us to continue to pray for breakthrough – for the rains of the Holy Spirit to come and demolish every demonic stronghold, every demonic attack, every sin, every sickness and for those rains of His Holy Spirit to flood the lands with healing, salvation, joy, peace, righteousness, and hope because … God is Good!

A, my friend, thank you for daring to take this prophetic praying journey as a woman on your own, sleeping in your car, through the centre of Australia, and for being willing to go as God led. I honour you for your bravery and sheer determination to believe that one woman, with God is a majority.

A writes:

In June 2018 I felt God ask me to take my Subaru Outback (an all wheel drive station wagon) and go outback [middle of Australia through dessert etc].

I travelled up the centre of Australia, a trip I had never done before. I slept in my car, and did my best to listen to where God wanted me to go.

This is one of the many stories on my journey.

I had stayed overnight in freezing conditions at the Orroroo Caravan Park in South Australia, so cold the water pipes had frozen over.

I left early the following morning to visit Magnetic Hill, a hill that has a magnetic attraction that is so powerful it will literally pull your car up hill. You shut off the ignition, put the car in neutral, take the hand brake off and your car moves – up hill.

When I arrived I couldn’t find any signs to show me what to do, and with no one around to ask I decided to pull over to see if I could get mobile [cell phone] reception. As I pulled over I noted that there was a dead sheep, the area was in deep drought and this was a common sight, but as I checked my phone I noticed a small amount of movement.

Grabbing my drink bottle I went through the pasture gate to investigate and found that the sheep was indeed alive, but struggling. I gave it some of my water, and fed it some hay from nearby, and spoke gently to him, reassuring I would find someone to help.

On the other side of the dirt road there was another driveway. I jumped back in my car and drove down it in the hope I would find a farmhouse or someone to help. There were big sheds and a car, but after wandering around and calling out for a while I found no one so I left a note with my mobile number on the driver’s seat of the car informing him about the sheep.

I went on my way, praying that the sheep would be ok, and as I did I found a small hand made sign telling visitors what to do in order to experience Magnetic Hill it said to put your car in neutral, let the brake off, and the car would travel uphill,

So I had fun. I went forwards a few times, and also tried it with the hill behind me so the car was taken up the hill backwards too. It was a strange experience, and it had me intrigued.

On my way out I saw a farmer, so I stopped and told him about the sheep. It turned out that it had been his car I had left the note in. He said it was his neighbour’s farm across the road but he would see to the sheep. I asked why the sheep couldn’t get up and he went on to explain that the sheep would be weak from lack of feed due to the drought.

I responded by saying, ‘okay, I will pray for rain.’

I drove on my way, relieved that the sheep would be cared for, and as I did I prayed for rain, tipping half the water in my drink bottle out the window onto the dusty road as a prophetic act.

That evening I received a text from the farmer to say he had righted the sheep and that it was going to be fine.

It was about a week later I overheard a conversation between campers saying they had just been to Magnetic Hill, and they mentioned that it had been raining while they were there – after I had prayed.

I was overjoyed that my prayer had been answered and also that I had overheard that my prayer had been answered in that conversation. I ask, what are the chances of that?

The chances of that are ‘BUT GOD’ I say.

He will not only answer your prayers for the nations, but He will also show you at times how He does answer your prayers, so that you can see that you and God are a majority because

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16

‘God wins with a pair of 2’s’ (Bill Johnson).

And this is purely and simply because not only is He powerful, but …

God is also very, very Good!

And he would love again because God is Good!

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 …

God is Good!

 

 

 

Prayer releases Heaven’s bulls eye … God is Good!

The purpose of these posts is to declare and remember that God is Good!

This is something that I have resolved in my heart – that no matter what … God is Good!

In the storm – He is there.

In the calm – He is there.

And – He is Good!

God is ALWAYS GOOD!

Graham Cooke teaches this so well. In the midst of challenges and hardship, Graham teaches us that we should stop and ask (my summation of Graham’s teaching – Graham is so much more eloquent):

‘God what are You doing right now, I know your’e up to something, and it’s always good, it’s always for my benefit. God, who do You want to be for me right now? How do you see that person right now? How can I agree with you God for that person in prayer?’

Every challenge is an opportunity to grow, and every tough awful event is an opportunity to learn more about God, His character, and who He wants to be for us. And, the best part is, once we get it we can pass it on – it’s our inheritance to share with others!

In the midst of storms, our own storms or other’s storms, or in this case, we are all in the storm, we have an opportunity to ask:

‘God what are you up to? How do you see me? How do you see X? …’

It will always be kind, because He is a kind Father It will always be redemptive, because that is Who He is!

And so, I encourage you to seek Him first, see how He sees others, or situations, and pray it, declare it, release it … always blessing, always favour, always good, always redemptive – for Jesus did not come to condemn the world … He came to save it! John 3:17

It is God’s kindness that leads to us to repentance (the changing of minds) see Romans 2:3-4

So I will continue to post at this time, and declare the Truth that God is a Good God and He is in a Good Mood!

I will continue to post because it is by the blood of the Lamb and by the power of my testimony, your testimony, our testimonies, that the attack of the enemy is defeated (Rev 12:11) …

So, release your testimony and call on the blood of the lamb, and pray as God leads you, knowing that as you pray you are painting a target in the spirit realm on that person, over that situation, in that land, one that we may not see in the natural, but it is there, and God knows it’s there and He will hit the mark (and I want to hear about it when He does) because …

God IS Good!

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The sweet sweet presence of God – God is Good!

Last week my husband and I went for a walk up to our local supermarket. It had been very hot and we were treating our children, who were at home watching a movie, to some ice cream.

As we checked out our few items at self-service, I noticed that the young girl overseeing the area had a bandage wrapped around her right hand.  I looked at her and smiled, and felt the familiar nudge from God.  I didn’t want to ignore the nudge, but I also didn’t want to force it.  The checkout kiosk closest to her had just become clear, so I made my way over to it with our items.

As we stood and checked out our items, I turned to her and motioning to her bandage I mentioned that it looked nasty and I asked her how she did it.  She responded that she had cut it deeply with a kitchen knife …

I winced in sympathy, and said to her “this may seem a little strange but, could I pray for your hand to be healed quickly?  I’m a Christian and I would love to pray for you.”

“Sure” she said and I told her my name as she told me hers and I put my hand out to take her hand gently in mine, as she, misunderstanding my gesture, went to shake my hand in greeting.

“No … sorry”, I smiled “I just want to touch your hand gently” and she nodded  leaving her hand out for me to pray, and I prayed, touching her hand gently with mine.

The sense of God swept over us and as it did I felt that she was looking for a new job.  I looked at her and asked her if this was the case and she nodded … looking a little blown away (I was pretty sure she felt the power of God too) and so I prayed for her new job, I prayed for favour and for the doors of her destiny to open, for her to find what she was created for, and that she would flourish …

Finishing up, I thanked her for allowing me to pray and wished her a brilliant day and we left.

This is a simple story, but the sense of God’s presence was powerful, and the sense of His sheer pleasure as I did as He desired was gentle and sweet.

As we walked home, neither my husband nor I mentioned anything about it.  For me anyway, it felt like a very sweet holy moment, and I nearly didn’t want to discuss it.  Eventually, about half way home  A turned to me and said “well done” and gave me a hug and he then said “did you feel the anointing on that?  It was powerful and I wondered if you felt it …”

I nodded saying I had, and I said that it had felt good to step out and pray for her in that way with such a clear leading from the Holy Spirit, with no striving, no fear, and with such a strong sense of His presence as I did what He asked …

In fact it just felt good to be out walking, doing life and stopping for the one because …

God is Good!

Baptism and Breakthrough – God is Good!

You may recall a story I wrote up  story about a friend of mine receiving peace after seeking prayer when she was advised that her husband, whom had been imprisoned for a serious crime against her, had been let out of jail early.  See link here for story. Well I felt it high time to update the story.

My friend “H” has plugged into our new local church.  She comes, sits, receives from God, receives prayer, at times cries and all the while she is being healed by a good God.  She has also become involved with a community who love and encourage her and she loves and encourages them back. She has brought a friend who has occasionally visited, and she has consistently pursued God, as He has pursued her.

H has two teenage girls.  While resistant to coming to church themselves, they have seen the difference and have supported their mum in attending church.  The eldest, a dancer, has received prayer, and has recently suggested that a prayer request be sent out for her little sister who has recently been quite ill.

The eldest was in a vocational ballet training school, but with the release of her father from jail and the associated trauma, she started to suffer from increasing panic attacks and anxiety. The church community prayed for H and her girls, and their various challenges.  Little by little we have seen break through after breakthrough come about in all their lives.

H’s ballet daughter found a brilliant local ballet teacher who loved and encouraged her and although the panic attacks continued around attending the vocational training school, she found someone who would encourage her and who was kind and understanding to her challenges.

The opportunity for baptisms came around, and I encouraged H to learn about baptisms and be baptised.  She committed to the weekly classes with our pastor and she went from strength to strength, looking forward to the day of her “dunking” knowing that much would wash away in the shear act of obedience to God’s word.

H’s day of baptism came, and her entire family came to celebrate the day.  A large number of us headed down to the beach (a short walk from church) and celebrated as she committed her life to Jesus in public.  Her daughters were intrigued and were happy for her.

Now recently, as a church, we have just come out of three weeks of prayer and fasting.  On a Sunday morning,  just prior to the service H told me that her ballet daughter had frozen that morning with another panic attack and had been incapable of getting up and going to a concert rehearsal at her new ballet teacher’s school.  Her daughter was exhausted and asleep at home.

The service began with the usual worship, and then an elder got up with a huge thick piece of chain in his hands, and he proceeded to talk about how Jesus had set us free.  We had all been given a little piece of chain as we had walked in, and he encouraged us to come forward and cast our chains down at the foot of the cross.  As H went forward, tears streaming,  she cast hers down and myself and another church friend gently laid our hands on her back as she cried.  We knelt, and prayed with her, for freedom from the past, the pain etc for both her and her girls, knowing that as we prayed we were standing before God in the gap for her girls.

The moment was over, and we retuned to our seats, and within minutes H turned to me, smiled and whispered that she had to go and take her daughter to the rehearsal!  Her daughter had texted that she had just got up and she wanted to go to the rehearsal – the panic and fear was gone … the chains had been cast down … FREEDOM!

H later said the timing was amazing, that it would have been as she cast the chain and we had prayed that her daughter had decided to go to the rehearsal.  H shone with the excitement knowing that she had just witnessed another miracle, that as she had cast that chain down at the foot of the cross, and she had prayed for freedom for her daughters, her eldest had received it in the form of relief from anxiety and a desire to get on with the practise session.  Apparently the day went without a hitch and her girl came home shining.  I don’t believe that she has had an anxiety attack about ballet since …

The back story to all this is that the elder is a very quiet, gentle man, not prone to prophetic acts but he had a strong sense twice that week that he needed to lead the way he did that morning with the chains.  And so, loving God more than his own comfort, he had gone and bought the chains, and done what he felt God was asking of him, and through that act of obedience, and the prayer and the holy moment that followed (for there was a real tangible sense of holiness in the air), a young girl had been set free of anxiety for the day, and she could dance once again, all because …

God is Good!

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God is Good!