Stories of a good God

Archive for the ‘God’s love’ Category

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!

More prayer in the ICU … His Little Princess … God is Good!

Kindy Teacher’s husband – praying in hospital and a balloon gift from God … Thursday 14th October 2010

Following on from the previous story, I called L in the afternoon to see how he had got on.  He had been diagnosed with double pneumonia, which had gone to the heart.  He also had oedema (swelling) from the knees down and was in the ICU unit in hospital. He said that after the prayer the night before he had experienced the “best sleep since being here”.  He said wanted me to come back when I could … and he asked would I come back that night…

I told him I had prayed through the night before – God had put him on my heart at 11pm and 4 am – and that many others had also been praying for him.

I knew I was tired from the night before.  It had been over an hours round trip driving the night before and I had got home late. It was also a logistical balancing act with my husband getting home and looking after the children for the bedtime routine with me walking out as soon as he walked in. The experience from the night before had stretched me emotionally … I had battled the fears and the doubts of “who did I think I was!” … and I was so very tired … but I felt God wanted me to … so I went back again to the hospital that night, still feeling apprehensive, but knowing that this was as much my journey as L’s.

I felt Psalm 3 was for him and told him so.  I felt God say “start at the feet”, so I asked if I could uncover his feet and I saw (and he confirmed) that the oedema had reduced somewhat.  He also said he had experienced a lovely night’s sleep the night before – very peaceful – and the breathing was better than it had been.

I laid hands on his feet and began to pray.  There was a very gentle anointing in the room.  As I prayed I “saw” him on a mountain side, walking, with angels either side of him and a mass of people behind him.  The scene started out as winter but changed into spring, with him breathing deeply.  I told him what I saw, I prophesied and prayed it in – he said nothing.  I ignored the nerves I felt, the doubts that niggled on the edge of my mind, the feeling of looking foolish and I chose to feel encouraged by what I “saw” and not go to “that place” of doubt.

He said he had pulled a muscle coughing and was in pain, so with his permission I laid my hand on the spot, and as I did so my hand got very hot – he said he felt the heat too.  I then read Psalm 3 over him, prayed it in and laid my hand on his chest.  Just as the night before, the coughing began and phlegm came up.  I sensed a penetration from Heaven of his chest (pin point needles of light going in to heal his lungs – I felt the tiny pin points, small and sharp on the back of my hand).  I told him what I “saw/felt” and again “prayed it in” thanking God for what was happening.   I then prayed until he stopped coughing and he took the oxygen tube off and rested it on his chest – leaving it there.

I then knew it was time to anoint him with oil – first on his forehead and then on the bottom of his feet declaring him healed from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet!  With this completed I tucked his feet back into his bed, told him to rest, go to sleep and I would leave quietly as I had the night before.  I felt awkward, but prayed until I felt God say “that’s enough” and I quietly left with him breathing gently, without the oxygen mask.

I walked out into the darkness of the night.  It was cold and had been blowing a storm.  As I walked to my car I saw a shiny pink object on the ground it was a small pink balloon on the ground.  I picked it up thinking how my little girl would love it, knowing it was from God, it had to be from God, for it to just happen to be there at that point in time given how windy the night had been. I lent down and picked it up.  I was tired, and felt fully stretched to my limits in terms of comfort … and as I picked the balloon up I saw written across it “A New Little Princess” with a picture of a crown.  As I saw the words I knew it was a message of encouragement for me, not my little girl.  It was a message from a loving Pappa encouraging me, letting me know He saw my tiredness, my being stretched, my discomfort as I grew … that I was His little Princess and although I was stretched to my limits I was still His little girl and He loved me … and it was then in the cold windy night that I knew without a doubt that this challenging time of stepping out into His promises for another was as much about me, and my identity as it was about L and his wife … God was proud of me, and He was telling me I was His Little Princess purely and simply because … 

God is good!

The synchronicity of walking with God … God is Good!

Special time with God and prayer for kindy teacher’s husband – Wednesday 13th October 2010

After school drop off, and a few other jobs, I had about 40 minutes to spend with God.  I felt inclined to go and sit and have coffee at a coffee shop right on the water’s edge.

I headed to the coffee spot and sat quietly sensing God saying to just enjoy the quiet – no need to “do” anything.  As I got this and settled into just being with God in the moment, nothing else, I looked down and saw a little feather sitting on my lap …

God is kind … and funny too … He made me smile in that moment, and even now when I recollect it, the memory makes me smile still …

After sitting peacefully for a while I texted a word of encouragement to a new Christian and headed off to collect M from kindy.

The kindy teacher had been overseas for a holiday and today was her first day back.  During this time her husband had developed double pneumonia and was hospitalised in Hungary.  They had just managed to get him home, at which time her husband was immediately admitted into hospital due to the infection going to his heart.

We had been praying for them since Monday, which was when we had first heard the news, and as I drove to kindy I had a sense that I was to pray for her with another friend from kindy that also attended our church.

I spoke to M’s teacher who said she wanted prayer for her husband and we waited for all the children to leave, and for my friend from church to arrive to collect her son.  When we were all there we joined hands and started to pray.  Another Mum saw us and joined the group … like another Christian coming out of “the closet”, so to speak.  There we all were in the middle of the kindy, holding hands and praying for M’s teacher’s husband, the new Mum prayed in tongues, and a beautiful sense of God enveloped us all.  The other girls later said they felt electricity as we prayed.  We also prayed for God’s peace to envelop and stay with M’s teacher – which she said she felt.

I then offered to go to the hospital to pray for her husband, which M’s teacher said she would like.  She said she would arrange it with her husband. 

The encounter was was a truly lovely moment – with a divinely timed appointment with the other Christian Mum who attends another local church … God is so lovely in how He times these things … and boy did that Mum get fired up with the encounter and seeing how we could pray for people in public

It was on this day that I started to feel a beautiful synchronicity happening as I walked with God.  There was a sense of great peace and calm that was escorting me through life (as would a gentleman escort a lady to a dance).  It felt so lovely, so peaceful, even warm … so lovely in fact that I wondered if I had somehow missed something … and it was then that I realised what was “missing” so to speak … there was an absolute absence of striving … I was, and as I write now I am gently reminded that this is how life is meant to be, how we are designed to walk … in peace with a quiet sense of joy indescribable with a God whom loves us, with a complete absence of striving, and I believe that this is the case purely because …

God is Good!

Prayer at Kindy – Monday Arvo 11 October 2010

This was an early “stepping out on a word of knowledge” in front of people I knew and respected and while it may seem a mundane testimony, it wasn’t for me … for me, it was a huge step of faith … hearing a word of knowledge and stepping out to ask if it was relevant (and you will see I was the second person to ask the question so I think she got her answer in “2 or 3 witnesses”). It was also huge to even offer to pray, not just to couch the suggestion of water in everyday terms, I had a strong urging to pray … and she was touched …
In addition, while the sense of the anointing is not always present, I left the encounter greatly blessed and drenched in the Love of God … I was greatly encouraged and blessed, as was she purely because … God is Good!

God is Good!

We popped into R’s old kindy after school to donate some items and for R to say “hello” to her old kindy teacher Mrs D.  While chatting to Mrs D we met a new kindy assistant who Mrs D said went to a local church, thinking we may go to the same place – we didn’t, we exchanged polite greetings and we kept talking to Mrs D.

As the new assistant was leaving she mentioned that she had to collect her son to take him to cricket training, but then mentioned that he may not go because she had received a call from him that he had been suffering from a headache. 

God instantly gave me the word “water” for him, and so feeling a little foolish I asked her if he drank enough water … she said someone else had asked that and that she would encourage him to…

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Children learn what they live … God is Good!

A book was left in my letter box.  There was no card, no note … just a book.  The book is called Their name is Today: Reclaiming Childhood in a Hostile World” by Johann Christoph Arnold.  I have not read it yet … so I cannot attest one way or another as to its value but it looks good …

I brought the book into my home, wondering who had left it for me … wondering whether it was for me, whether it had been put into the right letter box.  At first I had thought it must be junk mail … until I looked a little closer … I then wondered whether the book was left there by accident …?  I doubted it … many people know that I love books on parenting, books that call children into their destiny, that discuss how to equip them into becoming the best that they can be … books like The woman who changed her brain: How I left my learning disability behind and other stories of cognitive transformation by Barbara Arrow-Smith Young.  Books like this fascinate me, and so I thought perhaps someone, knowing my interests, had popped it into my letter box.  I don’t know, but I’m going to read it in any case because as I flicked through its pages briefly … and glanced at a few passages … it looked promising … the passages I read as I wandered up my hallway immediately inspired me … including this at page 94:

Children Learn What They Live

By Dorothy Law Nolte PhD Writer and Family Counsellor

If children live with criticism,
They learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility,
They learn to fight.
If children live with ridicule,
They learn to be shy.
If children live with shame,
They learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement,
They learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance,
They learn to be patient.
If children live with praise,
They learn to appreciate.
If children live with acceptance,
They learn to love.
If children live with approval,
They learn to like themselves.
If children live with honesty,
They learn truthfulness.
If children live with security,
They learn to have faith in themselves and others.
If children live with friendliness,
They learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

Copyright © 1972/1975 by Dorothy Law Nolte

This is the author-approved short version.
click here for link to the long version

As I read, I knew I needed to post this poem/commentary onto God is Good!  This was no coincidence.  The book had to be for me … (and a friend who I called, thinking she had left it for me but she hadn’t … she is a children’s pastor and after reading two passages to her, she put her name on it next!)

In any event, I knew I needed to post … if purely to invoke thought about how we raise our children … how we treat the children around us … how we treat one another as God’s children … how we “hear” from God as children … for isn’t He the perfect parent?

And so, agree with Dorothy Law Noite, that children (that is all of us) learn through what I would call “loving kindness” for it is loving kindness that leads us to repentance (a change of mind and hence behaviour) (Romans 2:4).  I believe that we learn best this way, and I believe that this is so purely and simply because …

God is Good!

Hey, you…God is Good!

Anyone that knows me personally knows that my family and I, have been going through a massive transition.  Mostly wonderful, lots of stretching, some challenging … some shaking … but all for good!

In transition it can be difficult (more so for some than others) to not feel completely overwhelmed, especially when the change is sudden and swift.

Looking back, you can see God’s handprint all over it.  Fortunately I had listened to seemingly odd instructions like “don’t pick that one up … let go of that commitment … tell them you are not available (although in the natural you are) … only pick that one up until the end of the year …” My husband has had similar experiences and seasons are now ending for him too … we can see God’s hand print all over it … and although the panic may arise we declare with our mouths that God has it in hand, that He orchestrated all this and He will make a way forward …

None of it’s been bad … in fact it is as a result of walking in God’s favour that such a shift is taking place … you can see His favour all over it … and we know His purposes are in it … yet such changes can be unsettling to say the least …

Last year was also a very tough year for many reasons … and so we came to the end of 2013 looking for some quiet, some peace … we didn’t get it, but break through came … all over the place … starting in late January!

It is in these seasons we can get overwhelmed with the transition, with the shaking, with the chaos, and forget to see His hand in our every day life …

Well … if you look and hold onto His goodness you will find it …

When I was at my lowest about a week and a half ago, I sat on the couch, and was willing myself to get moving, reminding myself that it would all settle.  As I got up and going there was a knock at the door and there standing in my doorway was an angel … a friend who has had such a massive and challenging journey herself in the last three years … She said:

“I just felt I had to come”,

and in her hands were roses and chocolates.

I teared up … knowing she was letting me know I was loved by her and God was letting me know that I was loved by Him … He had sent her, she had heard His prompting, and she responded … the timing was supernatural!

She came in.  We had a tea, we had a chat, and she left … me not just knowing intellectually that God is Good, God is Love but experiencing His goodness … His Love …

A week later, I get a call from the same girl …

“I have made dinner for you and it’s on your doorstep” …

Now please know, her child has been severely ill.  Is hospitalized regularly, and had just undergone surgery … yet she was responding to a God urge to bless me whose entire family is walking in favour and breakthrough.  She regularly celebrates our joy, our break through and our success as if it were her own, knowing that her family’s is coming, she genuinely feeds on the goodness of God in her own life and in other’s lives, knowing that the ultimate breakthrough in healing for daughter is on it’s way …

And the kisses kept coming …

Two friends prophesy at a conference … I bump into loved friends, all of who are a delight to see, and, most recently, a card arrives in the post, from another friend who I have known since I was four, completely out of my church circle, and outside of my local community circle … she said later she knew she had to do what she did … and the card said:

Hey, you.

Yep, you.

The one feeling a little weary.

Carrying that load.

Fighting this battle.

You’re beautiful, you know that?

It’s true.

And you can do this with Him.

With His power.

I know it.

I feel it.

Keep going, girl.

You feel like your strength is small.

But it’s not.

It’s BIG.

World-changing big.

Life-altering big.

Make-it-over-that-mountain big.

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

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

Copyright: Holley Gerth 2011

This one did me in and it made me get very teary.  I read it a lot at the moment.

God knew what I was walking in, and He had told a friend to be His hands, His heart to me … she had taken time shop and to write and to send … she had taken the time to listen to her Father in Heaven and to co-labour with Him … and in her doing so she encouraged a friend unknowingly at a crucial time of challenge and stretch …

I don’t believe He has done all this for me because I go out and do stuff for Him, I believe that He does this for me because I am His most Beloved Daughter … His Beloved Son …

I believe He does this purely and simple because …

God is Good!

Sleeping in the storm … God is Good!

Last Thursday I was free for the first time this year to walk up to my daughter’s school to collect her … 6-year-old M had a play date straight after school and there were no after school activities to rush to …

This particular day had been a typical Melbourne Spring day … sunshine in the morning, proceeded with rain patches … rain patches … and then rain … no patch … just rain … rain … and so by about 2pm I prayed and said:

God, I would like to collect R from school, and I would like to walk up to get her … so we can walk home quietly and talk to one another

After my request/prayer, I then spoke to the weather and said: “in the name of Jesus you will stop raining at 3pm …” and I quietly agreed with myself that I would walk up if the rain had stopped by three … in faith that the rain had stopped …

I thought nothing more, until 3pm came around, the skies were cloudy, but clear and lighter … and so I gathered my rain coat and umbrella (“oh, yea of little faith” you may say … I would say “wisdom” :-)) and I joyfully made my way up to my daughters school, entering the grounds a different way to normal, just sensing God’s gentle guidance about the way I should go, the pathway to take …

I was really really early and pondered what to do.  I thought about a few a options and felt God say “just sit down” and so I decided to sit outside her classroom and enjoy the moment of solitude … trying not to feel like a goose being so early …

Not much time had passed when one of the teachers walked out of the class room and said “Hello” …

She was all smiles and said “I was thinking about you a couple of days ago …”

Now, she is another I have prayed for … a few times.

The first time was with the school chaplain in a prayer meeting … where we prayed for staff …

The second time was with her, when God basically said to say “Can I pray for you, it’s your turn … you have not been overlooked …” to which she had responded with tears “oh yes, I have so wanted you to pray for me, I’ve been waiting for you to pray for me …” …

At the time I had seen Heaven’s delight at her being born and I told her the details of what I saw, the celebration in Heaven, the joy and delight of the angels and I confirmed that God had His sights set on her …”

She cried …

I asked if I could hug her …

She threw herself into my arms saying passionately “YES”!

The encounter was quite dramatic for her … she was hungry for a touch from God …

I have prayed one other time for her that I can think of … and suggested that she may like to join us some time at our home, where we help people to learn about and access God for themselves … she said she would like that …

Anyway …. I digress …

This particular afternoon last week she walked over to me and I felt to see if she needed a hug …

She did, so I hugged her and asked if she were ok …

I then prayed for her as I held her (she’s only little) and released “peace”.  I then felt to say that she would learn how to sleep in the storm, that if she could sleep in a storm, then she truly knew that she had peace … and I started to tell her the story of Jesus asleep in the storm (see Matt 8:24 and Mark 4:37) … and I said I felt that this story was just for her … that God wanted to be her Peace … that when we can rest in the storm, then we know we truly have “Peace” …

She gasped and said … that is exactly the scripture that Rev P gave me when I spoke to her, referring to the Book of Matthew …

I laughed, and said “that is soooo funny, and soooo God …”

I explained that He loved her and that the Bible says that through 2 or 3 witnesses He will confirm a thing (2 Corinthians 13:1) … and that here He was confirming that this was her scripture … one she could read, learn, ponder upon and ask Him, what she needed to draw out of it … I encouraged her to sit and ask God questions about the scripture and to journal what she “heard” … “felt” Him say to her …

Now, she’s not yet a Christian … I think … but I cannot really know … but here was God giving her a scripture for this season of her life, through the school chaplain and myself, independently, giving her confirmation of who He wanted to be for her, and in doing so showing her how much He loved her, had her in His sights, while teaching her, drawing her to His word … teaching her to incline her ear to Him …

She was shocked and amazed and jumped up and down excitedly saying over and over how amazing it was … and to be honest, while this sort of thing has happened over and over to me, I’m still like a kid in a candy shop … I still delight and am amazed and I am still in awe when it happens like this … I said, laughing … “I know I get a real shock every time He does this too … ”

She got a little teary and I said to her that if she ever felt the need she could call, that I was happy to give her my number (since protocol dictated that she should not get it off the school data base) to which she said she would do so and would want to get in contact when the school year had finished … protocol again …

I nodded at the wisdom in that, in that, while she is not my daughters teacher, she is still close at hand and the year needed to be complete …

Still excited at what God had just done for her she jumped around (she is like a fun, joy filled fire cracker … the angels really did rejoice over her when she was born … she is a delight) and she bounded back into class saying …

“I know why you were here early”  (I had told her I had got here early and felt like a goose) … “you were were here early FOR ME!  You were here early FOR! ME!” and she laughed and bounded and bounced full of delight and joy all the way back into her room …

I think that she was right.  I was there early for her … and through this encounter and other encounters (through me and who ever else God brings to her, like Rev P) she is catching the fact that God loves her … she is clearly learning … she clearly knows that … God loves HER and that

God is Good!

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