Stories of a good God

Our family has been on a journey for the last 2 or so years.  Our children have got involved in an activity at a high level, which requires sacrifice from all members of the family.  The training is “vocational”, and they started this not long after my husband and I gave them permission to chase after their dreams, to go ahead and shine.  This journey was very unexpected and has my husband and I (with help from family and friends) travelling into the city six days a week (a 1 and a half hour round trip just on the road).

The demands of this has put our family in a dilemma.  Our children are now 12 (my daughter R) and 9 (my son M).  This is a critical age in the children’s Christian walk, yet the thought of the entire family climbing back in the car early each Sunday morning for yet another long car ride (church was over 1 and a half hours away for us) left us feeling drained and exhausted …

We recently came to the realisation that we needed a local body, close, that would be community for us and our children in this season of our lives … and so with great sadness, after 21 years of serving in the same church, we started to look for a place that might be our new “home” …

As this transition played out, many beautiful friends, both Christian and non-Christian, loved on us … without knowing what was going on in our own lives … yes God is Good!

To name a few …

Chicken soup for the soul” one of my most loved Christian buddies said laughing as she stood on my doorstep, unannounced, with fresh chicken soup for my family. I hugged her wanting to share, but knowing it would dishonour our leaders if our pastors were not the first to know of our decision …

Another non-Christian friend texted me … the day my husband spoke to our senior pastor of 21 years … “Hi B – you have been on my mind today…how is everything?? Hope all is well. X”

God was looking out for me and my family … loving us on purpose through what He knew would be hard and painful, and sad …

Over the last 2 or so months I have received kisses from God in  much the same way …

The goodness of God is amazing …

The morning we walked into the church that we have now decided to call “home” the pastor, a vibrant amazing beautiful highly prophetic gifted woman said: “you are the answer to my prayers.  I was praying yesterday and asking for mature Christians with children the same age of my own, and here you are!”

At the time I thought “no pressure” as I held back the tears … thankfully she was gracious …

Her husband, also a pastor at the church is a gifted musician, worship leader … he has a heart for worship, in all forms … the thought is bringing me alive again!

They are hungry for what we are hungry for … and have a great vision for the area … the area in which we live, our burb … where I have stopped for the one numerous times …

I have just received an email from another friend who has heard the news this morning:

I am thrilled your family has found a new local church that is closer to you and I pray the transition is smooth for you and your husband and kids.

I also pray that your whole person (mind, emotions, will, personality, spiritual giftings etc) are welcomed, understood and blessed in your new spiritual home/family and beyond.

People celebrating us as we move … it brought tears to my eyes.

There is a deep sense of excitement stirring in the deepest part of my being …

God has loved us and will continue to love us through the transition, purely and simply because …

God is Good!

 

I was dripping as I stood in line waiting to purchase our Splash Mountain family action photo …  I had been nominated front seat person in the wet but fun ride at Disneyland …  and I looked like a drowned rat!

As I waited for the photo I “heard” the word “sweetness” and I knew it was for the girl serving me at the counter.

I got to the counter and quickly said “hello”, explained that I was a Christian and asked if I could pray for her … She agreed introducing herself as “M”.  I in turn introduced myself.

I took her hand and said I felt she was really sweet. In fact, that there was a real sweetness about her, that the word I had “heard” for her was “sweetness“.

I said I felt that she had been hurt due to that sweetness and I prayed for a healing of those hurts.

I then felt that God wanted her destiny opened and I looked at her, explaining that I felt she had not yet discovered what she really wanted to do, what her passion was.  She agreed that this was the case, and so I declared her destiny open and prophesied that this next season would be a season in which she would find what it was that she was really passionate about, after which I encouraged her that when she found it, which she would in this next season, she should step into it, even though it may take great courage for her to do so …

I smiled, and thanked her for letting me pray … again saying what a beautiful sweetness she had about her and that I could see how beautiful and sweet she was, that God made her that way and that it was not a weakness but something lovely … a strength.

She looked and thanked me saying “you have no idea how much I needed to hear that!

I smiled wanting very much to give her cuddle and a kiss … I told her so  … Saying how I could see what a beautiful girl she was … but that I was bedraggled and dripping wet …

I know she needed to hear how she was sweet and that it was ok to be sweet …

I know that she needed to know that although she did not know what her passion was that she would find it soon and to look for it …

I know she needed a touch from God, because He had asked me to pray for her, and He did so in order for His will to be released on this Earth in her life because He loved her so …

And I know this purely and simply because …

God is Good!

 

Stop by and pray for her” I felt Him urge me again … and so I turned and found a park and got out of the car.

It was a prompting to pray for a girl who was the owner of a local clothing store.  I had been in there 2-3 weeks earlier and at the time I got the distinct feeling that she had wanted a baby, but had not yet conceived.  I had not offered to pray at the time, sensing it was not quite the right time …

This particular morning, on my way out, I felt Him urge me to make time that day to stop and pray.  I was heading out and I asked Him to remind me on my way home if He wanted me to stop.  I was actually flat-out trying to get ready for a major trip overseas, and we were leaving the following day …

True to His word, and to my request, God had reminded me on my return trip, and so, having parked the car, I made my way over to the store.

I wandered in, and after the usual greetings, I told her why I had stopped by.  A little taken aback, she had said yes she had been trying to get pregnant, that it had not happened for her and her husband yet … that she would absolutely like me to pray.

Ironically she had the same name as my daughter, whose conception was a miracle.  I explained the story to her, and laid my hand on her gently and prayed, as I felt led, asking God to do for her what He had done for me those 11 or so years earlier.

She got teary, and said thank you and I left, saying I would pop back in after our trip.

We went away, returned, and life went on as usual until about 3 months later, when I felt the gentle prompting to return to the store … to just wander through and see how she was getting on …

She was there and was serving a customer, so I waited.  When she was done she turned to me and said very quietly, that not even her family knew, but … yes … she was pregnant and she was overjoyed!

She went on to tell me how freaky the timing of my coming into the store that day had been, that her “fertile day” was the day after I had prayed, and that she had conceived that day (God had answered the prayer within 24 hours) … but as she spoke a shadow fell across her face and she said with great vulnerability that she was so frightened that what had been given would be taken away … she was frightened of a miscarriage and she searched my face for confirmation it would be ok …

“No pressure” I thought … but then I chose to step into the truth and told her that God is a Good God, a Kind God, and He does not give just to take away, and that He would not have had me stop to pray for her with that sort of freaky timing, just to allow the baby to die … and I told her so, and I asked if I could pray again …

Looking relieved she said “yes” and I gently laid my hand on her stomach, and prayed for that baby … I prayed that the baby would be healthy, full term, sleep well, and that the pregnancy would  be a blessed and easy one … the fear on her was palpable, but I felt it leave as I prayed and I said to her that when and if the fear returned she was to remind herself of her own testimony … and that God was all over this, that the baby was His own good idea and that the baby would be fine!

Oh faithful one that I am (and I say that with great Aussie irony!) because I did get into the car and start to intercede for her and the baby as I drove away … but as I did I felt a quiet confirmation in my spirit that all would be well and so in faith  I stopped and thanked Him for His loving kindness …

And yes, late last year, I drove past the store and I saw the sign in the window of the store …

It’s a baby boy!”

Purely and simply because …

God is Good!

 

 

 

This is an older story – an early one in my journey of “stopping for the one”.  It was the start of a journey that this man went on over the next year or two, where he started to question his atheistic belief system, and wonder whether he could also be loved by God.  It was also the start of a journey for me where God dealt with me quite firmly about my issues and my embarrassment in stopping in a known environment amongst peers … it is a story in which He essentially says … “get over yourself, stop being a prude, kneel down and pray …”

It was mid Winter and I was driving to school to collect my daughter.  It was smack in the middle of the Aussie Rules football season and in typical Melbourne style it was raining a drizzly type rain.

As I drove I saw a stay at home Dad that I had got to know called M.  He was walking to school in the rain.  M is a rough gem who wears shorts and thongs or runners all year round (winter and summer), and who had got many of the women’s tongues wagging up at the school for his lack of  “charm” … in other words he called “a spade a spade”.  I liked him.

I pulled over and offered him a ride.  He responded by saying that that normally he would say no, but that on this day he would say yes because he had hurt his knee.

He jumped into the car and we rode the short distance to school, chatting as we went.  I asked about the knee and he said that it was an old injury that required a knee reconstruction.  By the time we were in the playground waiting for the kids to come out I knew I had to offer to pray, but did not know how to do it with him – in front of all the other mums at school pick up.

God had given me a picture, and I had just learnt that God will sometimes give us a picture of how He wants us to pray to release a healing.  The picture I had received was that I was to kneel down in front of him and place my hand on his bare knee and pray as I knelt.

I offered to pray.  M said did not believe in any of that stuff but that I could give it a go if I wanted.  He then went on to say that if it worked it would be great to be able to play football that Saturday … but he doubted it would work.

I did not want to kneel – it was wet on the ground, he was a man wearing shorts and I felt it was inappropriate to kneel in front of him in the wet with my hand on his bare knee … and, what was worse, it was in front of all the other mums, milling around waiting for their kids to come out of school!

So, in my “wisdom” I placed my hand discreetly on his shoulder and started to pray.  As I prayed I felt/heard a strong rebuke from God who said “Get on your knees” – essentially saying “I showed you how to pray, now do it”.

I took a deep breath, focusing on the fact that M could be healed, and told him that I needed to place my hand on his knee.  And so I knelt in the wet, with the cold and wet coming through my jeans, in front of the car park mums and prayed.  The mums looked at me and I felt very embarrassed, but went on regardless.

While on my knees, feeling very vulnerable, I looked up at him and asked if he felt anything – he said he felt heat and so I kept praying and then asked him to move the knee around … he did and he felt some relief so I prayed again, still on my knees and I then stood and asked him to try it out …

He bent it back and forth and said all the pain was gone.  I asked him to jump on it, jumping up and down next to him as I did.  He jumped up and down on it and looked amazed and said there was no more pain and that he would not have believed it … but that he had felt the heat and that it was amazing, that maybe he was wrong about all this stuff …

Delighted (and that is an understatement!), I got on with collecting my daughter and left it at that …

I saw him the following week and asked how he had got on.  He said, like a little kid, with absolute joy, that he had played his game of footy that Saturday!

And I left knowing without a doubt that …

God is Good!

I had a short amount of time to do some chores, wanting to get back home to complete some study.  I went to the local shopping centre and felt I was to walk through Myers on the way to the shops that I had to visit.  I had my first treasure hunt list in my bag and thought I may find a treasure (see Kevin Dedmon’s book – The Ultimate Treasure Hunt).

I bought a t-shirt in Myers for my husband and was served by a beautiful woman.  I asked if I could pray a blessing for her, telling her that she was obviously a blessing to so many others with her lovely disposition.  She agreed.

I felt nothing in particular as I prayed a 10 fold return on the blessing that she had been for others.  I trusted that God followed the blessing through.

I then headed towards the escalators feeling that I was to go upstairs through Myers to where I thought I was headed …

As I went up the escalator I saw C.  I had prayed for her before – she had graves disease which was causing her right eye to bulge.  She had told me it could eventually cause blindness.  I called to her as she headed up the escalators and I asked how she was.

She told me that she had been loosing more sight and pointed out that her eye was bulging.  I offered to pray a “quickie” since she was heading back to work after a break.  She agreed.

I laid my hand on the side of her face, after asking permission, and prayed, quoting the blind shall see.  She immediately felt something in her eye area.  I laughed and told her that her eye looked less bulgy than before.  I told her to go to the toilets to check it out.  She left excited, saying she would.

I checked out the sheets on sale in Myers and then felt to go to Adairs instead … where I got the best product and price … God’s favour and blessing!  I returned some shoes and then felt that I was to head straight back through the third floor of Myer to go home – I thought I would stop for a takeaway coffee  …

As I headed through the 3rd floor God reminded me that I needed to buy some pyjamas for M.  I felt great – this limited shopping time was turning out to be an excellent time of prayer, ticking off chores, and blessing and favour all rolled up in one … a smorgasbord outing with God!

I stood with my purchases at the cash register and waited.  An older lady called J was all anxious etc.  Her credit card would not work – I wanted to get home, but chose to remain calm and I offered to pay for her goods.  She accepted and then told me about her grandkids and started to cry.  I said to wait and I would pray for her.

She waited as I paid for my purchase and we stood to the side and prayed. She wept under the anointing.

She then started to pour her heart some more.  I wrote off the rest of the time I had and figured God would redeem the time and that she was far more important.  I suggested we have coffee (I knew I was getting my coffee at some stage).  I bought her a hot chocolate and listened while she told me her story in the middle of Myers.

I offered to pray some more.  She had arthritis – I held her hand, commanded the arthritis to go, and then felt to take her to her “God space”.

When she had located her God space she said God was “way up in Heaven” and she was “down here with me” (we were still sitting in Myer).  I said “ask Him to come closer”.  She did.  I asked her where He was.  She said on the couch opposite us. I said “do you want Him to come closer?” – she said “yes”.

I said “ask Him to come closer”; she did, and started to cry.  The anointing grew heavy.  I asked where He was and she said He was kneeling right in front of her and that He was saying that He had forgiven her.  I told her to tell Him what she wanted to tell Him – she wept and said sorry for being away from Him.

I then felt to say would you like to ask Him into your heart.  She said she had a long time ago, but I said do you want to ask Him again, afresh – she said “yes”.

She recommitted her life to Him and shook and wept as he started to heal her broken heart. The anointing was very strong and thick – it grew stronger and stronger each time she asked Him to come closer and closer –  I shook a bit and could feel Him all over us.  She could feel tingling on/in her hands.

We talked some more and she asked Holy Spirit to come and wash her clean, and back into her heart.

After she had recommitted her life to Jesus Christ I prayed and told the demonic to go and not come back, and for Holy Spirit to fill her completely up.  I also prayed an impartation of the gift of healing (she said she wanted it – her husband was in a wheel chair due to some condition).

I gave her my number.  We talked about church and about a seminar I was going to where Joshua Mills was talking – inviting her to come.  I told her how I had seen an arm growing out at a Joshua Mills seminar last year – she said her husband’s arm was shorter than the other (a coincidence? … no).  I said he could be healed and that it was worth coming.  She said she wanted to get back to church – I made some suggestions.

We talked a little longer and I walked her through the shopping centre to a point where I hugged and kissed her goodbye – telling her to call and how God loved her so much that He had sent someone to be there and to call her Home to Him.

Throughout the entire “encounter” she said people were watching us.  She said that there was a man during our coffee that looked just like a man from her past – a Christian that had cared for her when she had suffered from post natal depression after her first child, many years ago … I do not think that was a coincidence  either … God was so very on her case.

As we parted I told her she was an answer to my prayers – that the orphans would come home … and they are because …

God is Good!

I have a dear friend who lives overseas.  She has consistently been there for me in my challenges, to encourage, love and support me … and I hope she would say the same for me …

Recently times have got tough, and my friend and her husband decided to sell their home in Australia.  It was a decision that was not taken lightly, but they decided to remain in the country where they were for their children’s sake, in a place with opportunities where they felt their children would be best served to step into what they felt was their children’s destiny.

It has been a difficult and trying few years, and the sale of the house seemed like a guage which, when sold, would perhaps give some relief.

The auction was set for Saturday 24th October 2015 … just two weeks ago.  The Melbourne market had been hot, but it had started to settle.  Things on the property market front were quietening down; however, but they could not have planned a more perfect Spring day … the sun was out, barely a cloud in the sky, barely a breeze, the birds were singing … it was a really glorious day … I felt like Pollyanna with the sense of joy I had … and I texted her so, saying I was praying for a glorious and blessed outcome for her … I said:

I will pray and have been for 11am favour favour favour It’s a lovely morning here so good day of an auction xxx

A text came back …

Thank you! And thanks for remembering.  Have not slept well, kept dreaming it was passed in. Bit nervous.”

I read and my heart sank a little for her … I asked: “Was the dream dark or bright and in colour”

Bright in colour. Why?” came the response …

My heart sank a little more for her and I replied:

If it’s a God dream it is usually bright and in colour.  What else about the dream that you remember?

Everything …” she replied “… The bidder’s faces, their cars, the inside of the house (which I haven’t seen since we fixed it for tenants). The sky, the trees, the yard. My parents being there, the agent, etc

What happened?” I responded “Just tell it like you saw it …

all the while my mind was whirring, knowing that God gives us dreams … warning dreams … and my heart sank a little lower worrying that maybe God was preparing her for the house to not sell … after all she had been through, I didn’t know what to say … or to pray … so instead I waited for the fullness of the dream …

She wrote:

“I was in the house, walking around each room checking out the curtains I had bought for the tenancy … I was in the home office whilst the auction was going on … only one bidder bid, but it was under reserve so the house didn’t sell.  I was at the front door watching them leave with the agent. My parents and I talking, me upset. Beautiful Spring morning, sunshine, no wind, smell of ocean air. … My dad’s ute parked in the drive way. (some details deleted).”

By this time it was 9.38am … I felt panic.  I knew I had to pray for an interpretation, I had to step out … so I did! There was no time. I knew that God is a good God! That it was a God dream! That there was good being said in the dream! But where was the good in a passed in house that they needed to sell at auction?

I tried to call her, but she didn’t pick up, so I started to text frantically with what I thought the dream might mean …

There were details that were obvious to me which I briefly outlined … but as I texted and prayed for a correct interpretation it suddenly sank into my spirit what the essential message was that the dream was giving her …

Excited I hoped she would understand what I meant in the text … it would be so much easier to explain verbally … but I gave it my best shot …

I said:

The dream could be about you and where you are at.  It’s a bright clear dream in colour. God may be letting you know that He is there and He knows. …

I continued to text as it came, praying frantically … by the time I got what I thought was the crux of the dream it was 10.41am … with the auction starting at 11am … even so I felt it click in my spirit that I felt that this essentially was the meaning …

“… it may also be letting you know He has it all in hand and to trust. Standing at the front door is the place of looking out to the future. You were not in your back yard but at the front door! … Your father’s ute in the driveway (a ute is like a truck with an open tray at the back for those non-Aussie readers).  Utes move things. Your father God His ute (vehicle for moving things) is parked in the drive way.  It’s ready to go God’s vehicle is ready to move things xxxx”

She responded that she was amazed at what there was in the dream (much detail has been taken out in this story and the dream was amazing … full of purpose, promise, invitation,  it was an amazing, encouraging and beautiful dream once you really looked!) … by now it was 10.49am … and I am still praying frantically …

I continued:

“In a nut shell you have been working hard (office) to move this house when all the time your Father’s ute (God’s vehicle) is parked ready to move things for you as you stand on the cusp of your future (front door).  Hand the auction outcome and the sale over to Him and watch Him move on your behalf!!!

Love you xxx

Sitting at home praying xxx

It was 10.53 …

A text comes back at 11.17am …

Keep praying!!!!!

I keep praying and text her that I am doing so at 11.19 … and by 11.20am I feet a click in my spirit and I just knew it was done … I texted her:

“It’s done just watch it work out xxx”

I waited … and thanked God … and wandered around my house waiting to hear … and thanked God … and waited … and thanked God … and wandered restlessly around my own house … and waited to hear … and thanked God … when finally at 11.59am the text comes back:

“Thank you for everything!!!!!!!

House sold for $y

$x more than thought (kiss) I am soooooooo relieved.”

I feel such delight for her, and thank God, a big smile on my face, and I nearly start crying as I pace the house thanking Him … it has been a tough journey for her and God came through …

I’m itching to know, I sense she did, I felt that God said to me that she had … but I want to know for sure and I so text:

Did you give it to God before the auction? I am so pleased xxxx

The text comes back …

“Funny you should ask that. I did!!!!

When you told me to ‘hand the auction over … watch him move’. I made a concious decision at that very moment to do what you said.  Then I got a tingling feeling and just a split second of this incredible serene feeling & then it was gone again.”

I grinned some more … and got even more teary and replied:

“… He moved it for you! His ute was ready and waiting. Utes move things!

That feeling – that’s God’s peace that surpasses all knowledge and understanding

God is Good! xxx

Don’t forget to thank Him xx

And you know … she didn’t forget to thank Him!

She thanked Him all day!

She had the most glorious day …

She was caught in a torrential down pour and resigned herself to the fact that she would get drenched … and a friend turns up and gives her an umbrella … she texts me this and says …

Time to give more over to him I think.

She then goes to a class, and forgets her shoes … but someone had a spare pair which they lent her … and she texts after this at 2.30pm:

“I haven’t had this much good fortune in a very long time.  I am very grateful he is giving me some happiness today. It’s been long overdue!”

Essentially the rest of my friend’s day went well.  So well in fact she tells me she felt guilty!

She wants some more of that peace …

She wants some more of being able to let go and let God …

Yet she, like us all, are on a journey …

All I know, and I have told her so, that He is absolutely on her case.  He is inviting her into relationship with Him.  He wants to carry her load for her in His ute … and this I know … not just because of her beautiful and glorious dream … or because of the feeling of peace she got that she wants more of … not because her day went well … but simply and purely because …

God is Good!

At some stage of this journey, after the food etc I had felt to give to the kindy teacher and her husband a couple of small pamphlets on healing and keeping healing.  I also felt to pop in a pamphlet on who Jesus was … it was a little book (one of a pack of 10 that I had bought many years prior on the prompting of God) that was called “Why Jesus?”.  I think it was written by Nicky Gumble, but I could be wrong.  It was a little red book that I had handed out as I felt I was  meant to over the years, and this was my last copy … I gave it to them, hoping it would not cause offence.

My relationship with the kindy teacher remained positive, she returned my bags I had provided the food in with her note, and she gave me updates on how L was doing.  Christmas was coming and life was busy with two small children. The kindy teacher gave me updates and said how much she wanted us to come back and pray for L again.  When school and kindy finished we would make a time to visit and to pray for L again … but in the meantime I got updates and I would pray, thanking God I had not completely botched it!

Eventually, we arranged to visit L and the kindy teacher at their home.  I can’t remember all the details, but my husband A and I went along, and we prayed for L, answering their questions about God.  They then pulled out the little red book, and sheepishly said to me that this little red book had given them a prayer to pray, and that the little red book advised that, if they prayed this prayer then they should tell someone … and they looked at us and giggled and said that they had prayed the prayer and they were now telling me … they had become Christians!

I was shocked and delighted for them … but they said there was a story that I had to hear …

They told me that L had suddenly got better after the prayer, he had then slipped back a bit, but while all this was happening, L’s son and wife in South Africa had been given a little red book … !!!

Yes it was THE SAME little red book I had given them here in Australia …

They said that his son had spoken to them about Jesus … he had told them that he had become a Christian and he wanted the same for them … well as they spoke to him, they told him about their little red book … and their decision to become Christians … and they told A and I with giggles of delight that simultaneously on the other side of the world, completely independent of us, they had all become Christians at the same time … after reading the same little red book …

I was flabbergasted!

It was so God!

It made me laugh and cry simultaneously … of all the things for God to line up … to show the entire family (and me) that He was on the case and had it in hand …

Simply and basically all I could say to them at that moment was, that well …

God is Good!

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