Stories of a good God

Archive for the ‘Freedom’ Category

Baptism and Breakthrough – God is Good!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God is Good!

 

Fragrance, colour and freedom…God is Good!

On my husband’s birthday my son and I decided to pop into his work and have a coffee with him.

We found a table at a local coffee shop.  It was a café that we had been to many times before, and I had always felt comfortable there, but this time, as I sat down I felt uneasy. 

I sat and as I waited for our orders to be taken I could smell a strong nauseating smell, a smell that was overpowering and made me want to leave … it was the same smell as someone who I know quite well that suffers from a mental illness … I pondered the smell and looked at the girl next to me and wondered whether she too was struggling with some form of mental illness.

We placed our order, and the two girls at the table next to us left to go upstairs.

There was still a “cloud” or a “heaviness” in the atmosphere … and I looked at the two girls serving, usually joyful … and thought that the girl making coffees looked “grey” … she lacked colour … and the other one swore angrily as she hit her head … a four lettered expletive came out of her mouth in front of my son and I flinched …

I felt grouchy and thought why did I bother and I went upstairs to the bathroom, having a chat to God on the way …

I sensed that He was showing me something, but I did not particularly want to offer to pray … to be quite honest, I just wanted to leave.

We finished up and my husband paid, leaving the shop to adjust my son’s car seat as I waited for my son to finish his snack.

As I did, the girls started to chat to me … and I thought “what the heck” and so I said “I want to pray for you both” …

They said “oh no, you have already paid” …

To which I responded “No … I want to pray for you both … can I pray a blessing for you both?”

They both agreed and so I leant over the counter and took the coffee makers hand and I stretched out and took the other girls hand … they told me their names and I began to pray …

For the coffee maker I prayed favour, I released colour and joy and hope, and I declared her destiny open … she visibly changed colour … her complexion suddenly filling with colour …

I then turned to the other girl and looked at her and I said to her that I felt things had been tough, but that the past was the past but that it was a new day … that the door on the past was closed and I declared her future open … I declared in “new beginnings” …

They both gasped … presumably because it was accurate … and I think that they realised that God had been released in their midst …

The second girl looked at me and said “wait, please wait …will you please do that for the girl upstairs?”

I said “sure but I have to check on my son” …

M had run out of the shop and on checking he was ok and seeing his was with my husband I shouted out what I was doing and disappeared back into the coffee shop …

I went upstairs and the second girl quickly explained in a very excited manner what I had done, how I had said stuff about her past, and that the door to the past was shut … and she said you have to get her to pray for you …

The girl looked at me and agreed.

I asked her name … noting that the strong smell around her had gone and I recognised that the smell had been a sign, a “word of knowledge” which had come in the form of smell, and I knew then, for sure, that I had been set up by God to release freedom upon this girl…

I asked if I could place my hand on her and I prayed … I said to her gently that I sensed she had been sad … very sad and she agreed.

I then said that I sensed that it had gotten so bad that it was now “clinical” … and she agreed … and so I prayed freedom, I told the depression to leave, and I released the joy of the Lord over her … I released peace and then I sensed or rather I “saw” in my mind’s eye an arrow shooting through the darkness and I felt that she had a great gift that had been turned against her and that it had gone bad for her … she needed God to show her how to walk into her gifts and in doing so she would be freed.

I explained that I felt she had a great gift, a gift of insight, that she knew things about people clearly and that she would be precise in her discernment, but that it had been misunderstood, and it had caused her to spiral down into depression … I said it was “time” … time for her to sit in her Daddy’s lap, in God’s lap and be loved and to, from that place, explore what her gift was …

All the while through she nodded in agreement …

I finished praying what I felt led to pray and I gently kissed her on the head, releasing the blessing of the Father upon her, and I told her that it was time for joy, great joy, that I saw her happy, joyfully skipping, dancing running down the street and that that was who she was created to be.

I gave her my number and told her the suburb where I lived … it was not far from her place … and I mentioned to her that we held our nights where she could safely come and sit in the lap of her Father God and learn what her true identity was … a much beloved daughter of the Most High God …

She said she would come … but that this next time she would be inSydney…

I left her, wishing her well … her smiling gently with hope on her horizon that she was not destined for the hopelessness she had been plagued with …

I went downstairs and said thanks to the two girls … saying what an amazing girl the girl upstairs was …

And the two girls stood and stared … the one behind the counter smiling broadly and the other saying earnestly …

“what can we give you … let us give you something … can we give you money … are you in ministry … we must give you something to say thankyou ..”

I looked at her and kissed her on the cheek and just said … “no you cannot give me anything, I am not in full-time ministry, just believe that God loves you and that will be payment enough”

She objected saying “but it was amazing … I felt it … “ and the girl behind the counter was saying “I never felt anything like that … the heat that came on me…”

I smiled and said “you felt the Holy Spirit …”  I said to them both “this is normal Christianity … you too can have a life like this if you believe … this is what Christianity looks and feels like … I am a normal Christian with a powerful God that loves you “ and I told them about our nights and left wishing them well.

I realised that the emotions I was feeling when I first walked in were not my own …the smell was not that girl’s smell … the heaviness was not my own … but it was all an invitation from God to pray for three girls needing a Father’s blessing, needing an encounter with a loving God … they needed to know they were loved …

I am glad I stopped, and had not run … I had nearly missed it …

The entire encounter was so rewarding … leaving them embraced in the afterglow of having been loved and held and kissed by a loving God …

I was in awe of the fact that God would use me … me so to impact them so powerfully and I was reminded that I must just step out … He does the rest …

I cannot concoct the power … I cannot heal the depression … I cannot change destinies … I cannot fix even a head ache … not without Panadol …

But, I can stop, I can offer to pray … I can release heaven and reveal His goodness … I can then step out of the way and let God do the rest … the rest is His job, and He does His job so very well, the rest is marvellous because …

God is Good!

Finding the Father’s heart…finding freedom, finding treasure…God is Good! praise report

There is something happening across our church at the moment … lost things, things that have been searched for, things missed and thought lost … are being found … in very bizarre places and in very bizarre ways!

This is wonderful and marvelous, and the stories are awe-inspiring … but I believe God is doing something deeper than just “getting our stuff back” for us because he loves us … I believe He is revealing His heart … His heart for the lost … His heart for lost treasures and I sense that as He calls us to go deep in Him, and as we find our freedom in Him to be all we are created to be, as we discover our identity, He is also asking us to feel His heart beat, to feel His heart and to step out into a lost and dark world and bring light … to help bring the treasures home …

About eight months ago I bought my seven-year-old daughter a small necklace from Swarovski.  It was a necklace with a little crystal pink heart on it, with a little butterfly to the side. She declared it was God’s heart for her … God’s heart of healing … and the butterfly was her freedom in Him. It was a precious gift that she held dear.

Not long after, she lost the necklace – she had worn it only a few times, and to lose something this precious to her was not in character at all … it had just “vanished”

We searched everywhere for it. We checked her luggage, where it was meant to be, we checked her room and eventually, after searching for it and praying for its return, we decided it was well and truly lost. She wept, realising something precious was gone …

On the final day of summer holidays, I resolved to replace this pendent … I don’t know why, but I just felt it was ok for her to have another and so we popped into the store from where it had been bought and found they still had stock …

I stood at the counter with the box in my hand and hesitated, checking with God about the purchase.  As I did I “saw” the boxes that my daughter has from the store – she has bought many little crystal trinkets  from there, and I felt he wanted us to return home first, to look in all the Swarovski boxes she had.  I asked the pendant to be held for 24 hours so we could go home and do as God had prompted … feeling a bit foolish, but figuring we had nothing to lose in being obedient.

We left the store and I explained all this to my daughter … She had no objections, having seen God return many of her most precious items time and time (see her blog God is Good for Kids for a few stories).

We went to the movies that afternoon, after which we returned home and I encouraged her to go and do the search. She went to her bedroom and took out all her Swarovski boxes and bags. I gave her some time to complete the task and then looked in to see how she had got on – no necklace.

I still felt the urge to check, the job was not finished … it was such a strong feeling by this stage that I sat on the bed with her and systematically went through each and every box, large and small, emptying each of its foam contents to check completely.

I then checked each box’s label, to see if we had found the pendant’s box … and I noted that it was not in the pile … this was strange since she is such an organised little poppet and keeps all of the boxes and warranties in one place.

I looked and said “we need to find the pendant’s box to be sure.”

She looked at me and said that she had found everything.

I insisted we look for the box feeling certain I had to check everywhere before giving in to defeat … each and every little blue box I could find needed to be opened and checked …

I opened the cupboard door and put my hand behind a wooden box on a shelf and found one more box behind some bits and pieces.

I showed her and quickly checked the label – it was the pendant’s box. 

Now I must admit … I have experienced lost items being found (see the missing plate story which saved us $400) but I still had my doubts …

I opened the box, and lifted the velvet flap … barely daring to believe, and, as I lifted the insert, sure enough there, shining in the sunlight drifting through the window was a little pink heart and butterfly, perfectly placed into the box like new … the chain laced through the foam insert perfectly, as if it were freshly bought and carefully placed …

She gasped and laughed and said “I can hardly believe it” … we thanked Jesus and over and over she said “that is amazing, that is so amazing … it was lost and now it is found…” (Yes …  from the mouths of babes!).

This is not an isolated story – similar stories are happening right across our church … and it is no coincidence that these “finds” are occurring …

In this instance, we had lost God’s heart and His gift of freedom … but with a search, with seeking … it was found …

Jesus says … I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly (John 10:10 NKJV).

What is precious was lost, but now is found … returned to its rightful owner, returned to its rightful place … see Luke 15

I believe this is just one of the many such stories that are indicating to us that it is time for:

What was lost being found …

The Lord says: I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name. (Isaiah 45:3 NIV)

What was lost is now found … what was lost will be found …

It’s time to hear the heartbeat of God … the heartbeat of freedom …

The lost will be found … the harvest is plentiful …

It is time for those precious and lost to be found for it is time for the harvest..

Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” (Matthew 9:37 NIV)

He is calling us to a search … he wants to give us His treasures, people hidden in darkness … He is calling them home to Himself, home to His heart of love … home to their freedom for… what is lost will be found because …

God is Good!

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