How to grow deep in transition

Transition is an unusual and challenging time.

In child birth, “transition” is a time of intense focus. Past comforts long gone; there is simply ‘here and now’ with (hopefully) the encouragement of others to carry you through.

The old has passed away.

The new is yet to come, with all its… all its… well, all its newness.

In this season, some may seem intensely judgemental, even harsh in their critique. Motives assigned; unfounded in Truth, yet views held tight all the same. Views, I add, grounded mostly in personal insecurity.

Transition can be a time when critics hit out. Words spoken behind backs of intended targets, causing sadness and pain when uncovered. Mutterings and actions have the power to curse. Christians rarely grasp the power held in their tongue. Or perhaps they do. Regardless, they take aim anyway.

Then there are people who fill us with a sense of love and wonder at their kindness. The ones that run by our side, even though we grow weary. You know not what to say anymore. They remain to encourage anyway.

Years ago, in a different time of transition, it was wildly windy as I drove out of a shopping centre carpark. As I drove, I noticed a tree, supported tightly on either side by wooden stakes. The tree was not free to move. Firmly secured by well-meaning council workers, it had no means of standing on its own. The wind was fierce, so you would think such tightly held binds would keep the little tree stable. You would think the tree had grown well with such support. Instead, both stakes and tree blew horizontally in the violent winds. The root system was non-existent because of the extreme confines of days gone before. Diligent protection afforded the tree had left it inept and incapable of standing alone. In its fall, it took the stakes with it. The entire system, well meant, had failed.

My gaze shifted.

Other trees, also staked, blown by the same wind, were free to move within the confines of looser supports tied to their stakes. These trees were being badly buffeted; however, tethered more loosely, they could remain connected to the strong wooden stakes. There was room for them to rock, yet there was support. They were not so tightly bound they created a fall for all. The gently staked trees bent in the forces, but could stand back upright once the winds subsided.

Being a gardener, I knew those trees free to sway in the winds, had developed the resiliency and depth of root system that allowed them to stand in the forces they now faced. However, I also knew that in such fierce winds they still benefitted from the supports provided by the strong stakes by their sides. In time they would standalone.

I also knew those trees had much stronger root systems than their external growth showed. I knew they would continue to stand in the storms of time. Because they had the strength of the stakes by their sides as they grew, they had stood in times of extreme winds, and because they had not stood alone, they had depths of strength yet unseen. This gave them the greatest chance of longevity. Their root structures, and strength to stand, meant in drought and flood they would be firm. They had not stood alone; neither had they insisted on being held up completely reliant.

Had the council planted either tree without a stake, they would have had no chance of either external growth or hidden root growth. They would have struggled and fallen either way.

It made me think of how, when the winds of change buffet us.

We don’t need people to fall over with us, or to climb in our pit when we fall. For if our supports bend with us too far, we all fall together.

Indeed, we need those that stand by us; ones who will give support while allowing freedom to move in the wind. It is those trees, being buffeted, yet supported in the winds, that grow strong and tall. As they grow they develop a canopy, which joins with others that create a network of support for all the ecosystem that coexists around.

The recent storms and winds that thrashed Melbourne last week have caused me to ponder these things again and again. There are thoughts and whispers of movement on the winds of change that suggest more to come. We need those that have been growing deep, growing strong. We need those who have grown positioned to drink deep of the waters that flow, which will allow them to grow tall into the trees, God has called them to be.

The current storm we all walk through is much like the extreme storms Melbourne has had to endure.

After our storms, fallen trees were everywhere to be seen. Most had little to no root system. These trees had clearly received much shallow watering for quick, superficial growth. In the test of time, they fell, having grown too fast for the depth of root systems below.

There is an urgent need to grow deep. Many have grown hidden, positioned with supports by their side, reaching into the depths of God. They have no perceivable growth, but there is a depth to them only the discerning can see. They hope to be ready for the structures to come.

In transitional times, it is critical to know God’s love and acceptance. In these times, He will bring others by your side to remind you of your worth.

So hold to the encouragement of the past, for it is essential to gird oneself for the race that will come.

And hold to the encouragement that comes in this season, especially from those we see by our sides, holding us fast.

In the transitional time of waiting, when the old has passed away, and the new is yet to come, we cannot overestimate the importance of standing with others by our sides.

Community is ever more increasing in its importance, so find those that will stand by your side and cause you to grow.

Seek the ones who will stand firm, like the stakes that stood by the sides of the second tree I saw in the winds. These stand firm in the Truths, and refuse to fall. These will give you the room to be you, to be strengthened, yet buffeted about. Their strength and grace is in their ability to stand firm in their faith, regardless of circumstances. Ones whose bonds allow you to shift and to move to find your feet, yet hold you steady enough until you are ready to grow tall into the tree you are.

We all need those that will stand by our sides and see us for who we are…

There are tethers that bind, and then there are tethers that cause growth.

 

 

 

Those that cause growth will stand by your side and say:

‘Stand! Grow deep! Now run!’

They will see that though you are the smallest of all seeds, yet when you grow, you will be the largest of garden plants and you will become a tree that the birds may come and perch in its branches (Matt 13:32) because…

God is Good!

Reaching into an empty barrel only to find more than enough

Sometimes we have nothing left in the tank. The sense of tiredness is real. Self care is essential, so as you read, balance the message with permission to rest.

We reach into the empty barrel believing we have nothing to give; only to find an abundant flow.

I was at kindy pick up for my 3-year-old son when I saw a mum who I had prayed for previously at a play date. She had asked why I was fasting. I explained Australia was in revival and a mighty move of God was afoot across our wonderful nation. As we spoke, she shared some of her private and very painful history, after which I prayed for her. While I prayed, she felt electricity running up her arms, and she cried, feeling His presence course through her body. She had encountered a good and loving God.

On this day, she looked tired. I asked her about this, and the tears flowed. I gently placed my hand on her shoulder and prayed, releasing peace and rest. She reported her sleep was ok, but she was not feeling refreshed from her sleep. I prayed again, asking that one hour of sleep would be as four. I hugged her, nearly crying myself, and said to call if she wanted prayer again.

With said 3-year-old in tow, I planned to head home. Instead, I ‘knew’ I needed to go to a local shopping district. It was close to Christmas, so shopping was not what I felt like doing. However, hearing the nudge, I headed to the store I felt compelled to visit.

Uncertain why I was there, I looked. Feeling exhausted, I did not believe I had anything to give.

My barrel was empty.

Wandering about, I feigned interest. I noticed a woman with a brace on her wrist.

‘Person found,’ I thought.

I approached her and asked about the brace.

She had torn tendons in her wrist and thumb, so I offered to pray. She agreed and as I prayed she felt tingles, which continued long after I finished and she completed her shopping.

I turned towards God once more, knowing I had not completed the task. I felt tired, so I argued a little, but ultimately decided I would stay.

I could not shake the feeling I had not found who or what I was there for.

A woman had watched me closely as I prayed. I was aware of her, but I had ignored the feeling. I felt her watching me again and wondered if she was stalking me through the store.

 

Crossing her path, I smiled and turned to pass politely, but she suddenly stepped forward to speak.

Earnestly she said she felt stressed. She explained the stress was because she was hosting her son’s wedding reception at her home, followed closely by Christmas.

I agreed that would be stressful.

‘Thank you,’ she said.

The exchange puzzled me. Perhaps she needed to be seen.

I wandered on with my son, but there she was again…

I was sure she was intentionally placing herself in my path.

She engaged me in further conversation.

Tired, I did not want to chat. Small talk is a gift, a gift I do not posses. I have to work at it.

I stopped the sour grapes and simply threw caution to the wind. I offered to pray.

Excited, she readily agreed. She said she saw me on the other side of the store, praying for the other woman.

‘Ah, she had been watching me,’ I thought, ‘and she wanted prayer.’

Her name was Joy, so I prayed for Joy. I prayed for Joy to be released into her destiny; for joy (the Spirit of Joy) to come upon and within her; for Joy to receive ‘joy’; and for Joy to be Joy and all that entailed. In fact, it was the season for JOY!

I also prayed for the other circumstances she had shared.

As I prayed, I looked at her.

‘You can feel that, can’t you?’

She nodded, close to tears.

When I finished, she stared at me and asked if I knew some Christians on her street in a nearby suburb.

‘Oh no, here we go,’ I thought, but then she told me their names.

They were my pastors!

She said I was just like them – she told me she had been watching them.

‘… and now she had been watching me too,’ I thought wryly.

It was clear in that moment God was on her case. It was not a coincidence I was in that store. I was there for no apparent reason other than a hunch. My pastors’ witness impacted her. She was the one God had set His heart upon and sent me. She had a hunger to encounter the God my pastors knew; the God I knew; the God she wanted to know too- the one we all called ‘Lord,’ the one we all called Jesus.

I was there for her!

I explained I had not known why I had come to the shop. Yet, it was now apparent to me I had come for her.

It was apparent that God was on her case.

I wished her well and finished up in the shop.

My barrel was empty today-but God.

Life is busy at Christmas time. Children are excited, their behaviour can challenge. People make demands; others can be unkind. We can feel our barrel is empty and we have nothing to give.

However, God’s barrel is never empty. Despite me and my circumstances, as I reached into my empty barrel, God came through and touched three women – all in the space of an hour. Each woman needed a touch of God; all for different reasons.

As long as I will stop for the one, regardless of how I feel, regardless of me, my God will move to touch a hurting world.

Today I saw His arm long enough to embrace others through me; His grace sufficient for my needs to be met and His desires fulfilled. My barrel may feel dry, but His barrel is always full – His power is ever present.

Despite me, wine will always flow.

Since this day I have discovered people are watching. I know if they watch for long enough I will disappoint them because I am mere human; but if they will see through me to Him… that will not disappoint.

I have prayed for many who have yearned for a touch from God. There have been many such occasions. In my daughter’s school, a young teacher cried when I offered to pray. She explained she had been waiting, hoping for prayer. This shocked me, because I always felt so awkward in offering. But here was a woman desperate for the moment God saw her heart’s cry. Through her tears she said she thought she was going to miss out; I assured her God saw and loved her- she would never miss out.

We may think we are at the bottom of our barrel, there is nothing more to give. But, in the empty barrel, there is always more.

Wine will flow regardless of me because…

God is Good!

 

The God who sees (Part 1)

©Guilherme Stecanella

If anyone has read my stories, they know I believe in stopping for the one. The masses are exciting and they matter. The big impact is glorious. Yet there is something so very special about the one. Never forget, He is the Father that encourages with the story of the one lost sheep.

Sometimes in stopping for the one, in taking time to sit, listen and serve, I can become quite despondent. I wonder whether it really makes a difference.

Today I gave my time to support others. I spent longer than planned. An hour out of a day, with an extra half hour, does not seem too much; but when you are in a busy world, it makes a tremendous difference.

Feeling a little flat after, I roused myself. I must have made an impact, given how flat I felt. Walking with my son in the sunshine, I reminded myself that God had asked me to do what I had done, yet the niggle remained – had I just wasted my time?

Intellectually you know you are doing the right thing, but…

Master M and I stopped for lunch at a local cafe. I randomly looked at my mobile phone… 1:11.

‘I love you’ I heard Him whisper.

‘I love you too’ I responded and ate my lunch.

As I went inside to pay, I thought about an ARK (Act of Random Kindness) I had performed over a week before in the same cafe. I don’t talk too much about these, and I would not normally be writing about this one, but the goodness and kindness of God radiates by sharing what happened today. It’s my hope you see Him in this story. It’s my wish that you hear His heart. I trust it will encourage you to look for Him yourself when you feel as I felt today…

He is the God who sees (Genesis 16:13).

©Nathan Dumlao

Just over a week ago, I had left a sum of money at this cafe. It was enough for 10 or more coffees to be given away to whom ever they pleased. Amazed and delighted, the girl behind the til chatted about never seeing something like this before. She was so excited by the idea. I laughed and said that she would have fun giving the coffees away. The tangible atmosphere in the cafe buzzed with Holy Spirit.

This came to mind as I walked in to pay my bill. I wondered why I had bothered, noting the grouchy exchange I had with the owner late last week when I had tried to be friendly. (Note: my stinking thinking). I checked myself and my attitude, and I smiled as I paid and left.

We were some way down the street, when a girl chased behind us.

‘I was that girl that you left all that money with on the til the other day, you will never guess what happened…’

I smiled and waited…

‘You broke something open that day. I’ve never seen it before, but two more people came in that day and they also left money for free coffees for others…’

‘Wow,’ I responded, ‘that is bizarre.’

I know people leave money in cafes. It happens regularly at another cafe a suburb away from where I live. But, she had never seen it happen in this cafe.

© Brooke Cagle

She had not finished her story. She was so excited, she repeated herself.

‘I had to tell you, you broke something open that day, you started something that day, you broke it open that day, and others followed you and did the same, you caused something to start that day, what you did opened something up…’

I smiled and was a little embarrassed. Thanking her for sharing it with me, I told her to have a beautiful afternoon, and we walked on in the sunshine.

I heard the Father’s voice. He spoke to me through her excitement and declaration of what had occurred. he reminded me of my purpose, having first reminded me that I was loved.

I was nearly in tears.

She did not know I was feeling flat.

She did not know I have had those same words spoken over me many times. She did not know I had been told I would break things open, and that others would follow.

Being a breaker sounds fun, glamorous even.

It’s not.

There’s rarely people encouraging you to walk forward.

Stepping out in faith is spelt: R I S K.

There’s often jeering from the sidelines. People regularly misunderstand motives. Many, even ‘friends,’ want you to stop where they are at, so as not to cause them too much discomfort.

It’s lonely.

©Limor Zellermayer

The point is, God knew my heart, my thoughts today, and He met me with, ‘I love you.’ Even though I was entertaining thoughts of ‘poor me’ and ‘stinking thinking.’

He then said, ‘thank you, I see you’ and He affirmed my identity and purpose.

Through an excited young woman, He showed me the end of a story. I rarely see what happens next, but she had remembered me and had witnessed to me the marvellous results of stopping for the one, and the flow on impact that an act of kindness had. It was His idea; it was my idea; it was both our ideas… His nudge so intangible. A joy to do, feel the atmospheres shift and watch the delight. She witnessed two more people give money away to bless others they did not know… and she somehow recognised that the act of obedience had broken something open for others to follow.

God heard my heart today, and He met it with a kiss. He did so through an unknowing girl who witnessed generosity break out in her workplace. God knew I needed a reminder that I was loved, that he saw me, and he met me in my need. And He will do so for you too, if you look to see because…

God is Good!

Fruit happens… Coffee & God’s heart for the one

Last Friday I caught up with two beautiful Christian friends. I do life with them. They make up my writers/life accountability group.

Coffee cup filled with love ©Ben Libby @benlibby

We met for the first time in person since February. The joy was tangible. We exchanged gifts, laughter poured out, and we released shouts of glee into the outdoor restaurant.

The waitress, a young woman maybe in her late 20’s stopped and smiled: ‘oh I love gifts, Christmas is my favourite time of the year, I just love giving gifts- thank you for reminding me of this.’

We chatted briefly and offered to pray for her.

She quickly said yes.

I prophesied, noting the tattoos that ran up her arms, and released God’s heart of love for her. I said I saw her writing and felt she was a poet… I encouraged her to keep writing and spoke to other things I knew.

She was a poet, and many of the other words also affirmed her. They spoke to her heart. She was not a Christian yet, and she was clearly hungry for the love and the joy we carried as a group.

Later, she saw us outside the café, and spoke again to us, asking where we went to church, calling us angels. I told her what church I attended online and spoke more into her situation. She shared that she had been suicidal during lockdown and she struggled with drugs.

‘God can deal with that,’ I said.

She looked at me and asked, ‘Can I hug you?’

I responded ‘Of course’ and as we hugged, I whispered to her she was beautiful, I kissed her on the cheek and we exchanged details….

The following Monday night I received a message:

‘Beth thank-you all three of you beautiful angels have inspired me to actually go to a church I was heavily drawn to before seeing you which is close to me thank you thank you thank you’

And then Saturday evening, I received this message:

Beth…. I am so overwhelmed and appreciative to tell you I HAVE given myself to god. I cried and cried after work today as I pulled into my driveway and realised I had given myself and I feel so happy to be back with god and to love god and know that he loves me. I feel so happy to be where I belong. You had such a big influence on this as did your friends. I showed this emotion to my mum and she has always gently felt the same but I suppose I wasn’t ready. And then this poem just now the first poem as I open the book….

 

In my daily life since talking with god I feel him and feel peace and when I give I feel perfect and know it is in perfect sense to do so
THANK-YOU THANK-YOU THANK-YOU BETH
❤️

She said:

I felt drawn to a man today to buy him a smiley face biscuit and so I did and he was delighted and his friend said what made you do that and I said I had a tingly in my tummy to do so and the tinglys are clear and strong and warm and just thank-you so much ❤️
[author’s note: anyone can do this!]

Now, I may look like I am the hero in this interaction.

I ‘m not.

As a group, the three of us felt love for one another, and we were expressing our sheer Joy… she was drawn by the Joy fruit in our life…

The three of us just stopped and turned to see a beautiful, gifted girl, and said yes to being the conduit of a loving God, a Father who loved her without reserve. He did the rest…

 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

(Galatians 5:22-23)

My friends and I are still in contact with her.

We will be by her side as much as she wants us to be, to encourage her and love her as best we can… because we are not perfect.

We know that as long as she holds onto the love of the Father’s heart of Jesus, she will be ok because…

God is Good!

As an addendum, this beautiful heart wrote:

I am so emotional for you and the gift you are I am so thankful and so happy

I wrote two poems just now just flowed straight out of me and I am going to publish my own book of poetry ❤️

THANK-YOU

PS: I am happy to answer questions about this encounter. This was one of three for the day, as I went about my Friday. I will post about the next in a future post.

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.

What you carry you spread – the honey will flow because God is Good!

Circis Avondale – joy to behold ©Beth Kennedy 2020

I returned from a daily walk last week and noted how beautiful my blossom trees looked. I stopped to take some photos:

These trees make my heart sing. It is the simple things that bring me great delight. Yes… that is a cabbage in my front garden – beauty, form and function.

I have a larger Circis Avondale at the other end of the row, but I did not have a great photo of that one to show you.

Circis Avondale – pollen laden bees in Melbourne ©Beth Kennedy 2020

As I photographed the trees I saw many bees heavy laden with pollen.

This brought a greater sense of delight as I recognised God’s hand in the moment.

Earlier the same day a friend had sent me a word given by Mary Forsythe (Kingdom Living Ministries) for Melbourne.

Listen to the word here: Word for Melbourne

Two days before, the state government advised Melbourne residents that we were staying in strict level 4 lockdown for a further 2 weeks.

Mary heard about this, and she prayed.

As she prayed the name of our city stood out to her as Mel….bourne.

‘Mel’ means honey…

She felt God say that Mel (honey) will be born in this season. God is digging deep wells for greater capacity in the people of Melbourne. Fresh honey will come from the additional time of lockdown BUT with the extra two weeks there will also be an added pressure. Hence, it was essential we guard our hearts and minds.

For those that do not know, ‘honey’ speaks of God’s glory, His abundance, His wealth, His anointing, His favour. Honey has a natural sweetness, and it is a natural form of energy. Honey also has healing qualities: it is anti-microbal, anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. Raw honey fights infection and boosts immunity. Honey has incredible wound healing properties…

The Bible describes the Promised Land as a ‘…land flowing with milk and honey‘… (see Exodus 3:8 is just the first of many references that can be found). The Promised land is promises fulfilled – a place to thrive and a place of abundant provision.

Of interest, Melbourne was born out of another golden substance – gold.

And so, with the word listened to that morning, and the bees in my garden, heavy laden with pollen to carry to the hive… I realised:

Here is an opportunity to gather the pollen for the honey.

Here is an opportunity to choose God over circumstance… not grumble and mummer… and instead say ‘BUT GOD!’

We will spread whatever we carry, just as bees cross pollinate plants as they go.

It is up to us, what we pollinate with…

Fear, harsh words, judgement, criticism…

Or will we cross pollinate with Kingdom?

Please choose God’s words of life, encouragement, kindness, forgiveness…

We will harvest what we gather… we will spread what we carry…

So let us gather Kingdom mind sets and prepare for the honey to flow.

Let’s see the gold, the goodness, and the glory in one another – call it out!

Let’s help one another grow in our capacity to carry heaven everywhere we go, so we cross pollinate, just by being who we are… in the same way bees cross pollinate by doing what bees are designed to do

And as we do, as we go, and as we beeee…. we will release His goodness, His glory, His honey because…

God is Good!

 

What honey are you carrying?

Is there some mindsets, thoughts, behaviours and attitudes that are inhibiting you from carrying good pollen as you go?

Can you see God’s goodness, regardless of our circumstances right now?

Please tell us about it below.

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 🌷

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God IS Good!

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Prophetic dream – open the door & enter in

I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. John 10:9

I’ve had a couple of dreams of late.

Who hasn’t?

One recent one, which brings comfort, especially as I repeatedly take it to God to seek clarification of its meaning, as He exposes layers upon layers, even through daily ‘happenings’ within our home through this time of so called ‘lock down’ was:

I found myself in a shopping area in Ringwood, which is the suburb where I grew up in Melbourne, Australia. I was in the carpark of Target Square. As I walked I felt uneasy, and as I looked around, I noted that there were terrorists all around me, huddled in groups with guns.

Naturally I was frightened, and I hoped they would not see me. As I walked I saw that they indeed did not see me. They huddled, ready for action. The fear was palpable. I tried not to draw attention to myself, hoping they would not open fire.

[yes lots for me to unpack people …]

The dream then shifted. I recall little of the mid-part, but all I sense about it was that I had been hiding, running, avoiding detection, perhaps with others too.

In the last scene, I was in a labyrinth like area with a group of others. The walls were high. Trapped, with pretty much nowhere to go, we could keep running, but it would continue to be more of the same. We would remain trapped, avoiding detection, hiding from the terror, trying to survive. Just more of the same.

The group that running with me was to my right. To my left, towering before me as I stood, was a huge, ancient looking heavy set wooden door, with dark metal work, hinges, etc, much like you would find in a castle. It was HUGE. The door was of significant (read very large) proportions.

I stood with the door before me – to my left. It hinged on the left. The people with me begged me not to open the door. They were full of fear of what was beyond the door. They said it could have the terrorists on the other side. Hesitantly, I paused, feeling the anxiety. I too feared what could be behind the door, but I said to them:

‘What other choice do we have but to open the door and go through? There is nowhere else for us to go. I must open the door, it may be a way out.’

I could no longer run and hide. I had to take the risk and open the door.

And so I did … I opened the door.

As I did, I saw beyond. It is difficult to explain what I saw as I stood on the thresh hold.

To explain what I saw would be like trying to explain colour to a blind man. The best I can do is to refer to how, in The Wizard of Oz movie, it shifts from black and white to multicoloured – but that just does not do it justice. It was so technicoloured, and what was beyond vibrated with energy, with life. How technicolour it was, how vibrant it really was… I can see it now as I write, and it leaves me breathless.

Beyond the door was a technicolour, vibrant scene. It vibrated; it shimmered, and it shimmered, and it shimmered. There were greens, golds, yellows, and hints of red. It was as if seeing it out of the corner of my eye, the shimmering life, the vibrating colour, humming with physical sound. It vibrated through my body, a visceral invitation to more.

There was life beyond the ancient of doors.

There was safety.

It was a garden, but the shimmering meant I could not quite see it with clarity.

I had to step in.

I smiled and looked at those with me. The group so full of fear. I let them know we were safe.

I woke just as I stepped through the door.

We are in days of wonder, yet the spirit of fear is yapping at our heels. I understand we are in a global pandemic … but God!

There is sadness, there is sickness, there is fear, there is a loss of jobs, there is crisis… but God!

Terrorists trade on fear, and on uncertainty. They trade on the idea that they may strike anywhere. They generate the fear through never knowing who they may hit next. The fear becomes palpable, real.

Through my legal work with refugees, hearing their stories, I have studied the impact of terrorism. I have met people in my work who have survived church massacres. I have sat through videos of unspeakable atrocity. The fear is visceral, insipid, dark and dangerous. It is the thing in the atmosphere worldwide now.

So I call upon the spirit of Hope, Faith, Kindness, Healing, family, Unity, Love.

I call forth the prophets, the seers, the creatives to find the Ancient of Days and to step through the Door. I call them forth to encourage others that hold back in fear, that it is ok, it is safe, to step through The Door.

Open The Door to freedom those that have gone before.

Open The Door to Safety; those that have been there before.

Step through and meet the Ancient of Days; those that seek and yearn.

Step through to Freedom, where you need to run, to hide no more.

Step through to taste and see that …

God is Good!

 

 

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.

Rev 3:20

 

 

See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.   

Isaiah 43:19

 

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!

 

 

 

Sometimes it’s the little things that count … October 2010

I have never finished writing up the story of the kindy teacher and her husband.  Life got busy and the journey on this one was intense.  It was, as many stories, one that did not finish with the first, or the second encounter, but as with life with God, there was a journey to be had … for both the teacher and her husband … and me.

It was not long after I had attended the ICU the second time, and had the feedback that L was doing really well, that I dropped my son M off at kindy for his session and received a very aggressive response from the kindy teacher.   L had suddenly gone backwards, and had started to experience arrhythmia (a disturbed heart rhythm).  While some arrhythmias don’t affect your overall health, others are more serious, even life threatening … and L’s were apparently serious enough to require surgery and from memory a  a pace maker to regulate his heart beat.

Now while I knew I was not responsible, I felt responsible.  I barely made it back to the car before the tears started and by the time I was home I was a sobbing mess.  I called a friend, an older wiser Christian, who encouraged me, said it was part of the battle, and that it would be ok … and after the phone call, even though I wanted to call another friend to wallow in my misery, I knew that God expected me to come to Him, to appeal to Him, to take my heart break to Him … so I did …

I spent time pouring out my heart. I spent some time praying.  I spent time declaring.  I spent time worshiping. And then I listened … and all I got was to go shopping for the kindy teacher, to give her a decent serve of my bolognaise sauce with some spaghetti pasta and to fill er cupboards with wholesome nourishing food … and a few treats.  I knew she didn’t need me to give her Christian platitudes, or to even offer to pray again … she was angry with me and angry at God because her husband had taken a set back, she was rejecting me, and with me she was rejecting my God and I felt like a failure.

I did what I was told, feeling all the while helpless and frustrated … I felt like I had given them hope and I felt responsible for the let down … I felt responsible for “failing” them … and I knew the kindy teacher felt the same way … she was icy and angry!

I pulled myself together, bought the bits and pieces I felt to buy her and braced myself for the kindy pickup.

I quietly left the package with the teacher, explaining what was in the package of groceries for her, including the bolognaise sauce and spaghetti pasta, I got my son and left … telling her that I would continue to pray, and that I was sad there had been a set back.

The next time I saw her she gave me back my bags with a note, her demeanour completely changed … she said that what I had done was in her view the “most Christian thing anyone could ever do” … she had completely melted … through one act of kindness … through a bag of groceries and a cooked dinner … through an act … through a doing word … through His Love …

I was shocked, but relieved … and it had been God that had give me the solution … no trying to fix it in my own strength was going to work … instead I had to come to Him and listen … so that I could release His desire for her, so that I could hear what she needed … not what I wanted to do … which by this stage was to run!

She said no-one had ever shown her such kindness, and that she believed that what I had done was truly what it was to be a Christian (not that I agree since my father, who was at best agnostic often did acts of kindness for people but it’s what she thought one was) … and all I had done was to show her LOVE as a verb rather than say the word LOVE as a noun … I had shopped, given her some groceries and given her a meal in a challenging and scary time …

There is no way I could have known what an impact that one act would have  … but God knew … and that one act of kindness seemed to open the door of her heart … and you will see, as the next chapter unfolds, that while He used me in Australia he was preparing another in South Africa … where He was lining up lives, situations and people all for the kindy teacher and her husband because …

God is Good!