Stories of a good God

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!)

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. 

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!

Recently, as lockdown in Melbourne, Australia lifted somewhat, I headed out to my favourite organic store. I have known the current owners for 10 years or more.

A few years ago, one owner told me she had received a diagnosis of kidney cancer, and was all clear. She had then regained her vitality with the help of a naturopath – a practitioner she was recommending to me.

Recently, while at the store, we exchanged our usual pleasantries, and I mentioned the naturopath, saying I had referred my niece to her. She told me she had not seen her naturopath for some time, but she said she needed to go back since she felt that the cancer had returned – she was having some pain and other urinary tract issues.

I asked her about her urologist. It turned out that she was seeing the same one my mother had been seeing two years ago. That specialist did not seem to have the answers for my mother’s many complicated and life-threatening issues, so I T whether she was happy with the specialist. She said ‘no’, so I told how we had been fortunate enough to find another for my mother, by ‘chance’ who, while wanting in her bedside manner, was excellent, and was the only expert who had worked out my mother’s many issues. She had got my mother well and functional at 88, after 15 months of repeated hospital visits.

T asked me for the specialist details, and I then asked her if I could pray. She said ‘absolutely,’ so I said I would stand behind her, and I asked if she was ok with it. I told her I would place my hand on her lower back, while keeping at a distance. Note: it is still a requirement we keep 1.5m distance by law here in Melbourne, and sadly, restrictions have toughened up again because of hot spots breaking out as I write.

I stepped behind T. I placed my hand on her lower back, and I prayed. I commanded healing to come, peace to come, the oil of the Holy Spirit to flow – whatever came to mind as I listened to God’s prompting. She stood calmly, but it moved her. She teared up. She was visibly shaken. I desperately wanted to hug her. I told her I wanted to give her a cuddle. She felt God’s Presence. I released His love on her back and He reached into her heart.

Yes, through me, He releases His love. Does this make me a better, more holy, somehow stronger Christian? No, sadly no! It makes Him amazing that He can use anyone, including me, even when I feel weak (and I was feeling depleted and weak on that day). I’m still in awe that He will flow through me. Actually, I’m like an excited child every time He moves like this through me. I am amazed that the God who created the universe lives in me, and will flow through little me!

I must admit, the hardest thing about praying for owners of shops, or service people in stores, is that people are constantly walking around the store, and often customers suddenly appear, out of nowhere, and need or want service. As soon as I started praying, a customer walked to the counter and stood watching us. I felt awkward. No matter how many times I have done this, I still feel awkward. It’s inconvenient, it’s uncomfortable, but Jesus never promised us comfort, he just said ‘follow me’ and He goes about doing His Father’s business.

Is it easy?

Yes, actually it IS easy.

Is it convenient?

Rarely!

And so, I ask you, as you walk through your day, who can you reach out and ‘touch’ with His love. Who is He prompting you to stop for and reach out to?

Is stopping and praying for someone, like I have here, too much for you?

If ‘yes’ then ask God to bring to mind someone you can just send out a card to; send a text to; call up and arrange a zoom cuppa with; or go for a walk with? Stop and ask:

‘God, who would you like me to encourage today?’

I know He will give you a name or a face. Someone will come to mind. He wants you to hear for them more than you want to hear for them. And, when you get that prompt, I encourage you with all my heart, to step out and just say “hey, how are you doing?” Alternatively, send them a card, send them a text, suggest a walk, even just pray for them in the privacy of your home, and together, we will extend the Kingdom of Heaven.

I know He will move on your behalf as you step out in obedience.

He will delight in you, and He will touch them for His name’s sake.

I know this because…

God is Good!

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 it’s meaning, as He exposes layers upon layers, even through daily ‘happenings’ within our home through this time of so called ‘lock down’ was as follows:

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 started to note 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, but they were 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 don’t recall much of the mid-part, but all I sense about it was that I had been hiding, running, avoiding detection, perhaps with others too.

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

The group that had been running with me were 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 on 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. I was hesitant, I could feel 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 not 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. I stood on the thresh hold.

To try 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 …

Beyond that door was a technicoloured vibrant scene, it vibrated, it shimmered, it shimmered, it shimmered. There were greens, golds, yellows, and hints of red … it was as if seeing it out of the corner of my eye … 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 all with clarity … I had to step in 🙂

I smiled and looked at those with me , the group full of fear. I let them know we were safe, and I woke 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 loss of jobs, there is crisis … but God!

Terrorists trade on fear, and on uncertainty. They trade in the idea that you have no idea where they may strike, who they may hit next – the fear becomes palpable.

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 palpable, and insipid and dark and dangerous – it is the thing in the atmosphere world wide 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, to step through the Door that is there … and to encourage the 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 …

Step through to freedom, where you need to run and hide no more …

Step through and 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

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!

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!

 

 

 

Today was a good day!

We had a beautiful day of sunshine.

I cleaned, did some work, encouraged some people, took a call to help a friend (a pre Christian and we talked about Christian stuff amongst the other stuff), did some loads of washing, did some pro bono work, watered my garden (I am a garden person and these last few days I have got back into the garden after 6 years of never managing to due to ballet runs), had a coffee with my husband, encouraged my children … and …

did I mention it was a beautiful warm day of sunshine here in Melbourne Australia?

In a nut shell, the good is, aside from the above:

My husband has settled into working at home. My 16 year old daughter and my 12 (nearly 13) year old son have settled into online schooling with their respective schools. I work from home anyway … so the difference for me is a full house, and no running around doing ballet runs for children :-). School term finished today, and my son has his birthday this weekend – we will bake a cake, skype family and sing happy birthday and find the joy in it all.

There is a peace, it does feel like the peace in the midst of the storm, but there is peace.

Indeed, Lana Vawser (and others) have released words that it is a time of ‘Selah’, a time to pause, reflect AND a time to lift up Jesus above all, for as we do He will lift up all mankind to Himself, and that’s where we need to be (lifted up to Jesus) (see John 12:32). Check out the Psalms where this term is used, and try stopping, pausing for a moment and think, contemplate the Word you just read …

Better still read (and declare) Psalm 91 and contemplate our beautiful God.

And so I will continue to rest upon a life scripture of mine, Phil 4:4-8, which exhorts us to:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

So I will pray.

I will petition.

And, with thanksgiving I present my requests to God … and those requests are fierce and in line with Doug Addison’s prayer  to break the covid19 virus and …

I have peace, thank God I have Peace!

And I pray you do too …

Regardless I will focus and think on all things that are:

  • true
  • noble
  • right
  • pure
  • lovely
  • admirable
  • excellent
  • praiseworthy

even if my mind wants to go else where, I will train it back, purely and simply because …

God is Good!

Interestingly, I felt God ask me to post daily (which if you are a fellow blogger you know that is quite a lot of work, especially if you are rather verbose like I can tend to be ;-). So, if these posts are a little rough and ready – apologies!

It was therefore ironic when a fellow blogger (chrissblog11) today asked me to join other Christian bloggers and post an encouraging verse every day! Chrissblog11 wants to ‘start a hope movement to stop fear in these times.’ Well this is what I am doing too – releasing over the air waves that GOD IS GOOD! Declare it to the world, the world wide web … the WWW. that GOD IS ALWAYS 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

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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My last two posts have been about obedience to God in a place of rest rather than striving.

This story occurred last week as I went about my day.  Toilet paper, meat, vegetables, fruit, pasta, rice had flown off the shelves, and our supermarket shelves were bare.

I had just dropped my daughter to her ballet training when a ballet teacher Miss A ran up to the car to apologise for opening the studio late. I smiled and said not to worry. I was keen to get to the plant nursery (a job I had planned for over a week).  However, rather than being able to wave a cheery ‘goodbye’ and speed off I saw that she looked distressed.

I had to stop and slow down for the one.

Miss A started to pour her heart out about her fears.  She feared her loss of income, how she had not been able to buy anything at the supermarket (where she had been and run late that morning), how she was running low in toilet paper, and food, and she had so many to feed at home, including two growing teenagers training at an elite level in ballet.  She then said how worried she was for her 14-year-old daughter who had cried with fright, how her son’s training was being interrupted, and how all the overseas scholarship training and performing opportunities had dried up due to the virus.

I looked at her distressed face, stopped, remembering we were to bring ‘Hope” to the world. I recalled that I was born for such a time as this (even though I felt just as useless) and I spoke out the good, how blessed she was that she could continue to train her beautiful children, how I had been praying for the studio, for the staff, that it would be ok, that we would all be ok, that maybe we could do some distance training online … (gently, gently I dropped that last idea in since it was as yet unformed in my heart – it would not be until the following day that God confirmed this to be a suggestion).

I really didn’t have any answers for her and felt a bit useless; however, as I drove off, I prayed, and as I did I felt my morning gently being rearranged by an invisible but very present Fatherly hand.

I was to go back to my home suburb. This made no sense to me, but I listened and as I drove I felt to go to my local greengrocer/mini market.

“Ok God I will, what have I got to lose if I’m wrong, and then I’ll head to the nursery.”

Gardening is my thing and with enforced home time looming, and a birthday gift voucher burning a hole in my pocket, I wanted to get to my purchase before shops shut. I never did get to the nursery that day …

I walked into the local shop, and to my surprise there was loads of everything – there was an abundance of food … fresh chicken, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pasta, rice everything she said she needed but could find …

As I wandered and bought a few things for our home (chicken and sweet potatoes and potatoes) I felt a nudge to text the teacher.  I was a little reluctant – I just don’t like looking too keen if you know what I mean, but on the nudge I texted, and then rang, leaving a message.

She rang back quickly and I explained there was plenty of food – what did she want?

She said she would go later, to which I replied, “no, I will do the shopping for you to be sure you have what you need.”

In a nutshell, I got a shopping list from her and I loaded my trolley with her shopping needs chicken, wraps, corn, sweet potatoes, brown rice, potatoes, leek, vegetable stock … the list went on.

At the end of the call she breathlessly said: “I told LS (her daughter) that people’s kindness would shine through and we would be ok.”

I agreed, we would be ok … and I agreed that her daughter would see people’s kindness shine through this time, even though she had been so frightened by the bare shelves she had seen that morning.

Now, while I would like to take credit for this all, I must say, it was not me … I just did the shopping!

Had God not told me to go to this particular shop, I would not have done so.  Had I not gone, I would not have then felt the nudge to text/call her when I was surrounded by all the abundance. Had I not stopped to listen to her heart felt fears and needs, I would not have known she had those needs. To be honest, as I walked around the shop I felt absolutely moral bound to call her, now I knew her need, to let her know there was so much food.  I had to be sure she would be ok.

It was SO like My Father, to lead me to abundance in a seemingly barren place.

I was blessed, because I was able to purchase for my home, but as I did I could also do His shopping for the one that was on His heart. Both Miss A and I were blessed.

In a nut shell, I bundled the items up, and dropped them to the studio when I collected my daughter. Miss A’s teenagers would have enough protein to keep dancing and the family would have some fresh food for at least the next few days.

After this I knew to step back again. To have kept shopping for her like that would have made her feel embarrassed. I obey, and wait for the next nudge. It is in this way God releases (albeit through a pretty broken vessel by now) His goodness.

She knew I had been praying for them all.

Her needs were met for the day, and I continue to pray for her and all the studio staff in the days to come, purely and simply because …

God is so very Good!

Please – if you have a story of stopping and serving in this time of challenge, big or small, share it below, or message me so I can share it because it glorifies God to have His goodness shared, and in the testimony is the power to call upon His name to “do it again Lord.” If we all just stop for the one as we go, global wide, people will taste and see that God is Good!

 

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