Stories of a good God

Archive for the ‘random act of kindness’ Category

Can you see the one before you?

This morning I was a little flat. We are still in stage 4 lockdown in Melbourne, Australia, and although there was some lifting of restrictions last night, the changes do not really change anything for us in our little bubble.

Restless, I pulled on my big girl pants and drove to the naturopath to pick up some tablets.

As I chatted to the owner, I asked her how she was.

She felt the same – a little flat.

We chatted and exchanged comments, and as I did, I noticed the tangible presence of the Holy Spirit.

I stopped and asked: ‘can I pray for you?’

She looked, muttered ‘yes’ and instantly cried.

‘Oh gosh, yes, please, oh, gosh, that would be nice… I don’t know why I’m crying, how kind…’

Her words tumbled out through her tears.

I responded through tears: ‘it’s ok, I can feel the Holy Spirit here, and I felt to offer to pray…’

She came out from around the desk. I asked if I could place my hand on her back. I actually desperately wanted to hug her…

I prayed for her to be refreshed and to receive joy, hope, good sleep, favour for her children who would also remain at home when school returns in a week.

I also felt I heard a word for her, which I gave for the business, and she stepped back wiping away her tears.

There was nothing more to say in that moment.

We both agreed – three more weeks and perhaps it would be better for us both…

Gerberas to give. Nothing to lose ©Beth Kennedy 2020

As I drove away, I thought of the woman who had texted me that morning that she was closing her business. It was too hard. She texted all her customers; I was just one of many. I felt the nudge to drive to the concourse where her shop was located and buy some flowers, so I did, some beautiful large bright happy orange gerberas, thinking I would offer to buy some of her produce to help with the finances of closing shop and moving to the country.

If I was to do this, surely she will be in her shop clearing it out… if I had ‘heard’ right… right?

The shop was closed and no-one was answering my knock!

Maybe I got it wrong…

Frustrated, I then felt to drive back to give them to the naturopath practice.

‘Surely it would cheer her day,’ I thought. Nothing to lose. I did, but I felt it fell flat… I felt foolish…

Maybe I got that wrong…

Still feeling unsatisfied, I drove back to shop area, drove past the shop and the door was still shut with no-one inside.

So I took the Gerberas home ©Beth Kennedy 2020

‘Right’, I thought, ‘I’m driving home’, but it didn’t feel right to just drive home…

Soooooo, I went back again and bought some gerberas (this time smaller bright orange ones), hoping I had ‘got it right’ this time…

Nope – the shop remained shut and empty.

I brought the flowers home and they sit on my kitchen table, bright and cheery.

So I am telling this to encourage those that are giving this ‘stopping for the one’ a go. People that have heard many of my stories think somehow that I get this stuff right, all the time…

I don’t!

You will get it right sometimes.

You will get it wrong sometimes, but if it blesses someone who cares, God loves your heart, and someone gets blessed.

You will get the timing wrong sometimes – I will give it another shot if I can to bless the woman whose business is closing. Let her know her community cares.

And sometimes you just don’t know what you were hearing… but try to step out any

way.

The bottom line is, giving it a go counts – giving it a go is a ‘win’.

So, even though I feel like I missed it, I didn’t.

I loved on a woman who was struggling, and I tried to love on another.

Incline your ear, regardless of how you feel.

Stop for the one as you go, and you will learn, as you go…

And I can guarantee that you will taste and see that…

God is Good!

 

Let me know when you thought you got it right, but then you got it wrong, or you thought you got it wrong… but did you?

ARK in covid-19 update – God is SO GOOD! (and funny)

This is crazy!

Several people have asked for the details of the beautician I gifted money to.

I can provide details to those that want it.

I have reached out to a coffee shop too, but they are yet to respond.

The beautician is overwhelmed.

I looked at her FB page.

She has been caring for international students and the elderly in her area. She has been encouraging others to buy groceries and cook meals etc to help them right through this covid19 time. She has been offering to buy a week’s worth of groceries, to cook a meal, to give what she can, and she has said to people “no shame” just direct message her.

Her tag is “never give up because great things take time.”

This woman who I “randomly” chose to give money to, in order to support her business, so she in turn can give away vouchers (WIN/WIN/WIN) is giving of herself already.

That is so God!

Well, it’s her time to be blessed.

God sees her!

If you want her banking details to bless her socks off…to give so she is supported and so she in turn can give, please DM me and I’ll provide them.

Thank you to those who have already re-posted on Facebook. Thank you also to those who have committed to this project. There are readers on this blog that have also committed – thank you! See comments below and please support their business if you’re local.

And to those who have acted without commenting, thank you 🌷

You’re amazing 😊

God IS Good!

(and He makes me laugh!)

Create an ARK in covid-19 through Acts of Random Kindness – God is Good!

Yesterday I read that areas of our community in Melbourne were being put into more strict lockdown. There was a profile of a woman who ran a beauty business in one affected suburb. I sat feeling helpless, but then I thought, why not give some money to her business? I then thought maybe I could buy a voucher for her to give away to someone in her neighbourhood when she reopened. It would be a win/win/win – I sow into healing the area, she receives financial support for her business, she will then bless someone I don’t know and that person will receive some money off a treatment as an act of random kindness (ARK).

WIN/WIN/WIN

I usually would not post these sorts of things, truly believing Matthew 6:3-5:

“But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”

However, as I suggested the same to a friend, I had the thought:

“what if we all reached out and just gave a little: $10, $20, $50… what we could manage, whatever God laid on our hearts, to a business in lockdown in our city, in our nation, and then encouraged that business to bless someone with that gift in the form of a voucher and give that to someone they felt needed the help?”

I then thought:

“what if I posted the idea and a few people did the same… we would start an ARK movement (acts of random kindness movement).”

I figured I would have to get over my shyness about this – which looks like it contradicts the above scripture, but if I can encourage just one person to do the same, then I figure we are planting God’s goodness, kindness, His character into the areas affected the worst by this insidious virus, and that such ARK actions will change the atmosphere

No-one need know what our beliefs are, they just know that we see them, that we love them, and that we care. I believe that the act has to have no strings attached.

So I encourage you, google some businesses, and give in the worst affected areas.

Yes, you are relying on them paying the voucher forward. But, even if they don’t, it doesn’t matter because as we give we are sowing God’s goodness. It will not only be a blessing in the natural but warfare in the spiritual realm. It WILL make a difference because we are sowing in faith and because…

God is Good!

Please share below if you action this idea – it will encourage me if you have and I won’t feel so exposed in writing this post 🙂

PS: I must acknowledge Ruthie Young and her post I Marvel at the Wisdom of Our God  for the acronym ARK: “Acts of Random Kindness.” I had heard of this acronym before, but her post reminded me of it, and I feel it is so apt in this time when we all need our ARK to ride the storms we are in on a global scale. Thank you Ruthie for your beautiful kindness and gentleness. 

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!

Hey, you…God is Good!

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:

Hey, you.

Yep, you.

The one feeling a little weary.

Carrying that load.

Fighting this battle.

You’re beautiful, you know that?

It’s true.

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.

It’s BIG.

World-changing big.

Life-altering big.

Make-it-over-that-mountain big.

BIG enough for you to do what you need to do.

Because your strength is as big as the God in you.

Copyright: Holley Gerth 2011

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 …

God is Good!

A random act of kindness…God is Good!

Last Saturday while I was waiting for my daughter’s ballet class to finish I caught up with a new friend, a friend who has already blessed my life in many ways …

As we finished up, she saw a friend of hers, a woman she had told me about, a woman who was also kind, gentle and gracious.  She said hello to her friend and as she spoke her friend suddenly said with tears …

“Please excuse me, my dog died last night …”

As her friend said this I was filled with compassion for her and nearly started crying too … I feel like a sop when that happens, because I can tear up so easily at times, especially when I am filled with compassion or love or empathy … filled with Him … for another …

I touched her hand … aware that I was a complete stranger and not wanting to “get in her space,” and I gave my condolences …

I said goodbye to my friend, and with another hour and a half to wait, I wondered what I was to do. I asked God, and with a suddenness I knew I had to buy this woman flowers … a ballet mum too … what would she think?!

I started to walk, hoping to find a florist.  I trusted she would still be in the coffee place I had met her in when I got back, thinking how she may find me a bit “odd” to do something like that, but I thought “what can it hurt to give her flowers … to do something kind …? … but still!”

I eventually ended up at one of the train stations in the city, and found my way to a flower stall.  I immediately saw some miniature cyclamens … and I knew I was to buy her the deep pink ones …

“Odd,” I thought, feeling a bit shy about it.  I looked at the other flowers on sale … she seemed so gracious that I thought I should perhaps buy her a potted orchid but I kept being drawn back to the deep pink cyclamens …

I selected the plant I felt God draw me to, bought them and asked for them to be wrapped.

I wandered back past the coffee shop … she wasn’t there …

“Blow, I thought” and decided on my friend’s suggestion (who I had just spoken to on the phone about another matter) to leave them with a person at the ballet school to pass them on …

Still with time to wait I went back to the same coffee shop to sit down outside and have another cup of tea, thinking I may see her again …

I got on with a bit of texting, sipped my tea, and contemplated life, looked at the passers-by, enjoyed the greenery of the trees over the road … and as I did she walked past …

I called out and said a bit awkwardly “… these are for you, I hope you don’t mind, but I felt to get them for you … I just wanted to bless you …”

She looked and cried, tears ran down her cheeks and she told me a little of the story.

I said I had felt to get her the pink cyclamens …

The tears kept running down her cheeks and she said that her little beloved dog’s collar was the same pink, and the dressing gown that belonged to her daughter that her little dog had been buried in, was purple (the cyclamens had touches of purple at their base, and the flowers were wrapped in purple).

Only God!” I thought.

I said I had felt to get her the hot pink … and had thought they may be able to sit on her kitchen table in memory of her dog …

She said “thank you, it’s so kind”

I backed away, not wanting to invade her space in any way … but I said “I just wanted to bless you … I hope it is ok … just a random act of kindness …”

And I wished her well.

We had spoken about more than just that, but the exchange was brief, in that I wanted to really respect her privacy, but I said I would sit for a while longer if she felt like stopping later, but if not, there would be no offence …

And so I finished my tea in the morning sunshine … she didn’t come back, and that was ok … she was too tender….

Regardless … I don’t believe the “coincidence” was lost on her …

I had mentioned praying for her family, but other than that I didn’t mention Jesus, I didn’t pray for her then and there, I didn’t get in her face about anything, including the God coincidence …. I just gave her the flowers that just happened to be the same colour as the collar on her little dog and the gown in her little dog was buried …

Did I feel awkward?

Yes!

But I know when God moves us to do something, it is worth feeling awkward for, it is worth taking the risk and obeying, for you never really know what is gong on in a person’s life … but He does and perhaps through that one act of obedience, that one act of kindness they too will know that …

God is Good!

Pedicures and the Father’s Blessing…God is Good!

While away a friend gave me a voucher for a pedicure as a gift … a pedicure that I booked in for last Friday morning. 

I woke on Friday, not feeling the best, and thought about calling to cancel … but I then thought that the appointment may be a “God appointment” and so I took a deep breath, and went regardless, knowing I would enjoy the pedicure in any event … and the effect of fine feet afterwards …

As soon as I got to my appointment the feeling of being unwell lifted and I happily chatted to the gorgeous girl who had been assigned to me about colour …

As I sat and had my feet scrubbed I sensed that this was a God appointment and I felt that I was to pray, a little later, for this girl with whom I had struck up an immediate rapport. 

She is a mum of a four-year-old boy, and a step-mum to two teenage girls.  She lives in a large country town, not far from Melbourne, and the girls live in a Melbourne suburb, not far from where I live.  As we chatted I also discovered that her mum was a mid-wife, at the hospital where I had my two children, and as we talked even further, we worked out that her mum had helped me deliver my first child … on reflection (after the God encounter) I realised that this too was no coincidence … this appointment had been set up … way back in 2003!

As the pedicure came to an end I said “I would love to pray for you”.

She said “sure” and her eyes immediately filled with tears … the Holy Spirit was physically tangible around us.

I stood and took her hand in mine and invited the Holy Spirit to come (even though He was already there) and her eyes overflowed with tears as the anointing came even more powerfully …

I prayed as I felt led … I declared her destiny open, I declared open doors over her life, I blessed her and released favour.

I then felt to pray a Father’s Blessing over her and as I did, with my hand on her head she openly wept … and I gently kissed her on the forehead.

I asked her if she had asked Jesus into her heart – she responded “we’re Catholics, of course” so I said “just ask Holy Spirit to fill you up”. And she did … with tears running down her face.

I kissed her on the cheek and held her for a very long time as she cried, and I told her gently that she was beautiful, that God delighted in her, that she no longer had to do it on her own, and that although her natural father had not been there for her, God was, and it was time for her to go to Him … I said how she had been so very strong for so very long, but that now, it was time for her to go to Him and allow Him to take the load and, to hold her …

I briefly talked to her about going to where God was for her (her “God space“) and explained (aware of the time) that where that was would always feel safe, it would feel for her like she had felt as I had prayed … surrounded and filled with love – she nodded with me saying it had felt very safe and full of love.

I sat in the waiting room as she got me a tea and I asked if she ever came up to Melbourne on Tuesday nights … She said her partner visited his girls on a Tuesday night.  I explained I held a group on a Tuesday night for people to discover more of God … the timing another coincidence that she pointed out to me and … I gave her my details and said she would be welcome to come if she wanted … or she could just call …

Whether she calls or not, or comes or not, she has had an encounter with the Creator of the universe … she has had an encounter with God … she has had an encounter with a Father, with a loving Father, a God who is a Father who “so loved the world that He gave His one and only son … ” (John 3:16 – emphasis added) … she tasted and saw that God is Good (Psalm 34:8)…

I hope she chooses to call or email … I hope she chooses to come to our nights … where that will lead I do not know, but I do know that if she chooses to go on her journey with God, as her loving Father, as her Loving Saviour, as her Loving Friend … she will  see that …

God is Good!

It’s time for the Army of God to rise forth because…God is Good!

Here are two stories that I received by e-mail on Tuesday (24th January 2012), that challenge us all … to step up and out …

These stories demonstrate that we can all do this walk with God in radical obedience and touch people’s lives dramatically “as we go”  … where ever we are … by stopping and listening and acting …

They will challenge the “mature of faith” to step up into it and encourage “the new” to give it a go …

These stories are from a new friend who, with her husband and family, have quickly embedded themselves deep into my family’s hearts … they, as a family, have been deeply impacted by God, especially in the last week or two, and are now stepping out in radical obedience as they listen to God’s heart and His promptings…

My friend writes:

So many amazing things have been happening for me I have to share a few with you.

I went to church 2 weeks ago at OLA, I saw a lady that I knew a long time ago. She looked very unwell, was in a wheel chair and had lost her hair. I felt so strongly I needed to pray for her, so I did. While I was praying I got messages to tell her, I so wanted to approach her and tell her so many things but I could not find the courage. Two weeks passed and it has been on my mind everyday, I have prayed for her and have still felt strongly I needed to speak with her.

Yesterday I downloaded music (Isi de Gersigny) “You are Beautiful”,  I followed what I was being told to do and just went with it. I got in the car and drove to her house which is so very very strange as I did not have the address but I found her. I knew that she lived around P… Street, E Street, maybe S Street but had no house number.  God took me to her home. I didn’t even ring the door bell I just stood there and her husband opened the door and invited me in. He said he remembered me and sees me at church which I was surprised.

He turned the  tv off and together the 3 of us sat and prayed. I told her what I needed to tell her, she wept and her husband told me what I said was exactly how he felt towards his wife. That she is beautiful, an angel in the eyes of God. He put the cd on and she held my hands as the tears flowed.

I left feeling like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders, her husband thanked me for coming, I felt no embarrassment just peace.

Later the same night R and i went to the supermarket.  While collecting the groceries I saw in the corner of my eye a lady shop lifting. I questioned why did God just allow me to see that, what am I supposed to do with that information. I wandered through the supermarket asking for guidance, asking God to help me make the right decision.

Going through the register this same lady was in front of me, she was very thin and had the appearance and energy of someone who was struggling with life. Her grocery items came to a total of around $75, she opened her wallet to pay. I stepped forward (R was thinking what are you doing D, but did not say a word). I looked at the lady and said “i do not want you to get in trouble, but I saw what you did”. I asked her to return the goods onto the counter and i would pay for her shopping. She reached into her top and pulled out the stolen item (a big block of cheese). Her eyes filled up as she told me it was survival that made her do it and that she didn’t really want to and felt terrible. I paid  for her shopping. We then stepped to the side and held hands and prayed, she looked me in the eyes and said you have my word I will never ever ever do that again. She raised her arms in the air and wept as God touched her heart. Rick and I left the supermarket, got in the car and felt that “too drunk to drive feeling”.   We sat quietly and thanked the Lord for creating the unspoken mutual understanding that R and I both have that will allow us to step forward and help others knowing that I have R’s full support and vice versa that he has mine.

Thank you for giving me the strength to follow my heart.

Love D

I think that these two stories say it all …

It’s time for the Army of God to rise forth … It’s time for the goodness of God to be revealed … Its time for us all that believe to enter into the fullness of our destiny as laid down lovers of a good God …

It’s time to walk as a fully authorised Bride of Christ, where ever we go, what ever we do, because …

God IS Good!

We cannot out give God because God is Good! I’s testimony of a good God.

We cannot out give God.  When we sow as He directs, the harvest will come in … but, we need not only to be ready to sow, obey when told to do so, we also need to be ready and watching to celebrate how He blesses us in return …

This story was received the day I posted my story of regret, just prior to Christmas, about “missing the mark” …

It confirms and affirms that when we obey, instead of using “logic”, God will bless, because He is Good …

The story reads as follows:

Your fruit and veg posting was a double blessing, as we all need to be reminded not only of God’s goodness, but that we can miss it so easily if we let logic take over – something I have done before…

I have a short story you might want to share.

About 10 years ago I decided that for me, Christmas would be a time when I gave Jesus a birthday present since everyone else seemed to be getting presents on His birthday. I believed the amount I it was right for me to give was $200 and it has been my greatest pleasure each year to wait in anticipation as God showed me to whom His present would be given.

Sometimes it has been a stranger in the street, sometimes a single mother I worked with and sometimes an elderly couple at church, or a sick neighbour.

This year I knew to whom God’s gift would go, but my work hours were dramatically reduced over the past month due to a new competitor opening in the area. This has left my funds dramatically depleted and, other than my young nephew, no one was getting a present. My credit card was $583 over its limit – I had to used it to pay bills, and in faith I prayed for the extra hours to get the $200 for God’s present, but when it came, with a credit card debt that high, logic kicked in about having to honour my debts first. (What greater debt do I have than to the Lord).

As I prayed I was reminded not to worry about tomorrow so I released my $200 to the Lord.

Within 24 hours, and with no one knowing I was $583 over my credit card limit, I got a call from a friend who had just had lunch with another friend who had money he wanted to sow. He had $1200 and felt I was to be given some of it. As they prayed, he felt the Lord told him to give me $600 and a few hours later it was in my account.

God showed me, yet again, that when I take care of the things He has put on my heart, I can trust Him to take care of the other things.

Not only was it enough to cover the excess credit card bill, it was also triple the amount I had given the Lord!

I wonder why I ever hesitated when God has repeatedly provided in miraculous ways.

And He will always provide because …

God is Good!

Stories of secret santas … God is Good!

What is it about this season that causes people to become generous-hearted? 

It is more than just the season … I know this for sure, given the number of stressed shop staff that I have spoken to that have mentioned the unpleasant treatment they have been receiving from stressed and busy people racing through the shops to get “the shopping done” …

There is that, the unpleasantness, but then there is something else, an atmosphere, or an attitude which can be caught, which can be spread, which can be given away and which can change atmospheres … we can release it as we go, and in doing so it has the potential to change districts, cities and even nations … Christians and non-Christians alike can “catch” the breeze on this one, and regardless of belief systems an attitude of generosity can be caught, can infect people …

A blogger visited my site, and in turn I visited his.  His blog appears to generally be more political in nature … but there, in the midst of political comment, is a piece about the generosity of people toward strangers … a story that has impacted others in such a tremendous way that those others have then gone on and done the same … a story that in turn has inspired more acts of generosity, which in turn have caused more acts of generosity and so on … the potential is endless … His loving kindness is infectious …

I encourage you to read this simple story and marvel at how a basic anonymous act of kindness can impact others … and how in turn such an act can then resonate through a community … it is a story of how “a secret santa pays for other people’s lay-buys for Christmas” … please take the time to read … it warms the heart!

Reading this story reminded me  of my own such experience, posted over a year ago which I recount now:

We decided to go out for dinner where the river meets the bay.  It was a beautiful night.  We were all tired, but it was fun to go and as a family we headed out to enjoy a balmy Friday evening together.

The children enjoyed watching the boats, gobbled their dinner and we had a lovely evening.  I sat and finished my drink and A went to pay for our meal.

When A came back with a receipt he said “look at how much the bill was?”  Expecting a big bill, I looked and was surprised at how small it was … I thought “there were no problems with the meal, we had made no complaints, what was going on?”

I looked at A and he said “Santa paid for our meal”.

Incredulous I looked at him and said “what?”

A complete stranger had picked up our entire food bill and wished to remain anonymous – the waitress said that she was instructed to say “Santa had paid”.

We were amazed, a bit shocked … in fact rather incredulous … and felt so very blessed …

My daughter and I prayed for whoever they were and released a 100 fold, a 1000 fold return, blessing them where we sat …

I wrote a short note of thanks … “Dear Santa …” and handed it to the waitress who was beaming as she watched the Goodness of God unfold in our lives … as she watched God’s love unfold in our lives – what a witness … to us and her!

God’s goodness, His loving kindness is remarkable … a complete stranger released it upon us … we did taste and see that God is good … and as I write this testimony I am still amazed at how loved I feel by a complete stranger and by a gloriously good God!

God is Good!

Bill Johnson tell’s a story of how one person from his church in Redding California paid for a person’s coffee at Star Bucks and in doing so started a chain reaction where each person that came after them “paid it forward” … they paid for the next one, who paid for the next one … and so on and so on … the “chain” of generosity remained unbroken for some hours … something had shifted in the atmosphere … the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand and had been released …

Could you be a “Secret Santa” and bless someone?  You could even be an “out there” Christian and pay for a stranger’s groceries, or bread (click here for related story) … they in turn may pay it forward … 

Go ahead, be a secret Santa, but please, also, make a decision not to be a secret Christian.  Let God out of the box, take Jesus out of the Church and onto the streets, out of your Sunday and into your every day … let God out of you … let the river of life flow from within … if you do He will impact nations through you … it only takes one … with God … to alter the course of history … so imagine what an army of us could do if we just let Him out, if we would stop and pray for the one and believe what He says we are capable of in the Bible … it would be miraculous, it would be magnificent … all “the Earth would be filled with the knowledge of the Glory of God” (Hab 2:14) … his goodness, His loving kindness, because …

God is Good!

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