Stories of a good God

Posts tagged ‘giving’

It’s time for the Army of God to rise forth because…God is Good!

Here are two stories that I received by e-mail on Tuesday (24th January 2012), that challenge us all … to step up and out …

These stories demonstrate that we can all do this walk with God in radical obedience and touch people’s lives dramatically “as we go”  … where ever we are … by stopping and listening and acting …

They will challenge the “mature of faith” to step up into it and encourage “the new” to give it a go …

These stories are from a new friend who, with her husband and family, have quickly embedded themselves deep into my family’s hearts … they, as a family, have been deeply impacted by God, especially in the last week or two, and are now stepping out in radical obedience as they listen to God’s heart and His promptings…

My friend writes:

So many amazing things have been happening for me I have to share a few with you.

I went to church 2 weeks ago at OLA, I saw a lady that I knew a long time ago. She looked very unwell, was in a wheel chair and had lost her hair. I felt so strongly I needed to pray for her, so I did. While I was praying I got messages to tell her, I so wanted to approach her and tell her so many things but I could not find the courage. Two weeks passed and it has been on my mind everyday, I have prayed for her and have still felt strongly I needed to speak with her.

Yesterday I downloaded music (Isi de Gersigny) “You are Beautiful”,  I followed what I was being told to do and just went with it. I got in the car and drove to her house which is so very very strange as I did not have the address but I found her. I knew that she lived around P… Street, E Street, maybe S Street but had no house number.  God took me to her home. I didn’t even ring the door bell I just stood there and her husband opened the door and invited me in. He said he remembered me and sees me at church which I was surprised.

He turned the  tv off and together the 3 of us sat and prayed. I told her what I needed to tell her, she wept and her husband told me what I said was exactly how he felt towards his wife. That she is beautiful, an angel in the eyes of God. He put the cd on and she held my hands as the tears flowed.

I left feeling like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders, her husband thanked me for coming, I felt no embarrassment just peace.

Later the same night R and i went to the supermarket.  While collecting the groceries I saw in the corner of my eye a lady shop lifting. I questioned why did God just allow me to see that, what am I supposed to do with that information. I wandered through the supermarket asking for guidance, asking God to help me make the right decision.

Going through the register this same lady was in front of me, she was very thin and had the appearance and energy of someone who was struggling with life. Her grocery items came to a total of around $75, she opened her wallet to pay. I stepped forward (R was thinking what are you doing D, but did not say a word). I looked at the lady and said “i do not want you to get in trouble, but I saw what you did”. I asked her to return the goods onto the counter and i would pay for her shopping. She reached into her top and pulled out the stolen item (a big block of cheese). Her eyes filled up as she told me it was survival that made her do it and that she didn’t really want to and felt terrible. I paid  for her shopping. We then stepped to the side and held hands and prayed, she looked me in the eyes and said you have my word I will never ever ever do that again. She raised her arms in the air and wept as God touched her heart. Rick and I left the supermarket, got in the car and felt that “too drunk to drive feeling”.   We sat quietly and thanked the Lord for creating the unspoken mutual understanding that R and I both have that will allow us to step forward and help others knowing that I have R’s full support and vice versa that he has mine.

Thank you for giving me the strength to follow my heart.

Love D

I think that these two stories say it all …

It’s time for the Army of God to rise forth … It’s time for the goodness of God to be revealed … Its time for us all that believe to enter into the fullness of our destiny as laid down lovers of a good God …

It’s time to walk as a fully authorised Bride of Christ, where ever we go, what ever we do, because …

God IS Good!

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We cannot out give God because God is Good! I’s testimony of a good God.

We cannot out give God.  When we sow as He directs, the harvest will come in … but, we need not only to be ready to sow, obey when told to do so, we also need to be ready and watching to celebrate how He blesses us in return …

This story was received the day I posted my story of regret, just prior to Christmas, about “missing the mark” …

It confirms and affirms that when we obey, instead of using “logic”, God will bless, because He is Good …

The story reads as follows:

Your fruit and veg posting was a double blessing, as we all need to be reminded not only of God’s goodness, but that we can miss it so easily if we let logic take over – something I have done before…

I have a short story you might want to share.

About 10 years ago I decided that for me, Christmas would be a time when I gave Jesus a birthday present since everyone else seemed to be getting presents on His birthday. I believed the amount I it was right for me to give was $200 and it has been my greatest pleasure each year to wait in anticipation as God showed me to whom His present would be given.

Sometimes it has been a stranger in the street, sometimes a single mother I worked with and sometimes an elderly couple at church, or a sick neighbour.

This year I knew to whom God’s gift would go, but my work hours were dramatically reduced over the past month due to a new competitor opening in the area. This has left my funds dramatically depleted and, other than my young nephew, no one was getting a present. My credit card was $583 over its limit – I had to used it to pay bills, and in faith I prayed for the extra hours to get the $200 for God’s present, but when it came, with a credit card debt that high, logic kicked in about having to honour my debts first. (What greater debt do I have than to the Lord).

As I prayed I was reminded not to worry about tomorrow so I released my $200 to the Lord.

Within 24 hours, and with no one knowing I was $583 over my credit card limit, I got a call from a friend who had just had lunch with another friend who had money he wanted to sow. He had $1200 and felt I was to be given some of it. As they prayed, he felt the Lord told him to give me $600 and a few hours later it was in my account.

God showed me, yet again, that when I take care of the things He has put on my heart, I can trust Him to take care of the other things.

Not only was it enough to cover the excess credit card bill, it was also triple the amount I had given the Lord!

I wonder why I ever hesitated when God has repeatedly provided in miraculous ways.

And He will always provide because …

God is Good!

Even when we miss it … God is Good!

Hearing God’s voice as we go … to be in His Presence as we walk out our every day life, to hear and step in time, in tune, with His heart beat is surely one of life’s greatest pleasures and delights …

Even when we are listening … even when we hear … we can still miss the mark … He loves us thoroughly, regardless …

Last Friday I placed an order for fruit and vegetables.  As I did felt an inclination to place an order for some friends that were due to return from being overseas the same weekend …

I emailed a query about delivery times, our delivery cycle was for Tuesday, their area was for a Thursday and so I used “logic” to figure I must have heard wrong, since by Thursday these friends would well and truly be home from holidays and would be organised enough to have their supplies in the fridge … I also figured I could place the order later since their cut off time was a few days later than when I was ordering, so I figured I had time …

Yesterday, the following Thursday morning I sent a text message to my friend and received a text back saying she was ill, and had no food in the house and had done no shopping …

I instantly felt a pang of regret …

I texted back I would pray and with a full day scheduled I rang the organic company knowing full well that the cut off date was past and that they would be packing their boxes, for their last day of delivery before the Christmas break of a month … it would be a miracle to be able to arrange a box of produce!

I rang, explained my dilemma.  Thankfully they related, since they are Christians, and promised to do their best, but that they had really only bought enough produce for the current order cycle since they were shutting after this run for Christmas … I prayed for a multiplication of food and waited …

About an hour later, I received a call and was told they had enough for a small box of produce with a few extras …

So, I arranged for the delivery.

The family that received the box were delighted, but I still apologised to them for missing the mark … I knew I had needed to order a bigger box, not delay the obedience, but to hear and obey, and so they had not received their full blessing …

The moral of the story … even when we listen, and hear … we can still miss God’s voice, His will.  My role is to be obedient, not “logical”, because we really do not know what is going on in other peoples’ lives … our choice to obey immediately, or not, can impact others dramatically …

Now yes, I acknowledge that this was not a life and death situation like the bus full of children story, but still …we are a body and we need to support one another … we need to listen and obey … for …

… if you love Me, you will obey [Me] … (John 14:15)

I could have erred on generosity, rather than logic (I’d rather “miss it” and err on the side of generosity and kindness) … if we believe we hear from Him, and we all do, and if we feel we are being asked to do something that resonates with His character of loving kindness, generosity, abundance, encouraging, uplifting …then we cannot go far wrong …

Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:12)

And, as a body we need one another … with Christ as the head

From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (Ephesians 4:16)

So we need to obey, we need to encourage one another, bless one another, up hold one another … in the natural and in the spiritual with prayer … and if we do the unity and love that we show for one another will radiate His glory for …

God is Good!

Stories of secret santas … God is Good!

What is it about this season that causes people to become generous-hearted? 

It is more than just the season … I know this for sure, given the number of stressed shop staff that I have spoken to that have mentioned the unpleasant treatment they have been receiving from stressed and busy people racing through the shops to get “the shopping done” …

There is that, the unpleasantness, but then there is something else, an atmosphere, or an attitude which can be caught, which can be spread, which can be given away and which can change atmospheres … we can release it as we go, and in doing so it has the potential to change districts, cities and even nations … Christians and non-Christians alike can “catch” the breeze on this one, and regardless of belief systems an attitude of generosity can be caught, can infect people …

A blogger visited my site, and in turn I visited his.  His blog appears to generally be more political in nature … but there, in the midst of political comment, is a piece about the generosity of people toward strangers … a story that has impacted others in such a tremendous way that those others have then gone on and done the same … a story that in turn has inspired more acts of generosity, which in turn have caused more acts of generosity and so on … the potential is endless … His loving kindness is infectious …

I encourage you to read this simple story and marvel at how a basic anonymous act of kindness can impact others … and how in turn such an act can then resonate through a community … it is a story of how “a secret santa pays for other people’s lay-buys for Christmas” … please take the time to read … it warms the heart!

Reading this story reminded me  of my own such experience, posted over a year ago which I recount now:

We decided to go out for dinner where the river meets the bay.  It was a beautiful night.  We were all tired, but it was fun to go and as a family we headed out to enjoy a balmy Friday evening together.

The children enjoyed watching the boats, gobbled their dinner and we had a lovely evening.  I sat and finished my drink and A went to pay for our meal.

When A came back with a receipt he said “look at how much the bill was?”  Expecting a big bill, I looked and was surprised at how small it was … I thought “there were no problems with the meal, we had made no complaints, what was going on?”

I looked at A and he said “Santa paid for our meal”.

Incredulous I looked at him and said “what?”

A complete stranger had picked up our entire food bill and wished to remain anonymous – the waitress said that she was instructed to say “Santa had paid”.

We were amazed, a bit shocked … in fact rather incredulous … and felt so very blessed …

My daughter and I prayed for whoever they were and released a 100 fold, a 1000 fold return, blessing them where we sat …

I wrote a short note of thanks … “Dear Santa …” and handed it to the waitress who was beaming as she watched the Goodness of God unfold in our lives … as she watched God’s love unfold in our lives – what a witness … to us and her!

God’s goodness, His loving kindness is remarkable … a complete stranger released it upon us … we did taste and see that God is good … and as I write this testimony I am still amazed at how loved I feel by a complete stranger and by a gloriously good God!

God is Good!

Bill Johnson tell’s a story of how one person from his church in Redding California paid for a person’s coffee at Star Bucks and in doing so started a chain reaction where each person that came after them “paid it forward” … they paid for the next one, who paid for the next one … and so on and so on … the “chain” of generosity remained unbroken for some hours … something had shifted in the atmosphere … the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand and had been released …

Could you be a “Secret Santa” and bless someone?  You could even be an “out there” Christian and pay for a stranger’s groceries, or bread (click here for related story) … they in turn may pay it forward … 

Go ahead, be a secret Santa, but please, also, make a decision not to be a secret Christian.  Let God out of the box, take Jesus out of the Church and onto the streets, out of your Sunday and into your every day … let God out of you … let the river of life flow from within … if you do He will impact nations through you … it only takes one … with God … to alter the course of history … so imagine what an army of us could do if we just let Him out, if we would stop and pray for the one and believe what He says we are capable of in the Bible … it would be miraculous, it would be magnificent … all “the Earth would be filled with the knowledge of the Glory of God” (Hab 2:14) … his goodness, His loving kindness, because …

God is Good!

The power of one – receiving so that you may give …

We are all significant in our sphere of influence. 

One tiny “random” act of kindness has the power to change worlds.

Some time last year we decided to head up to our local pizza place for dinner.  Outside was a gentle broken man, who was clearly drunk and homeless … he asked us for some money …

Instead of giving money we took him into the pizza place and bought him a take-away meal.  While there we were told by the owners that people would often buy him food there. 

As we waited for his food to cook both my husband and I prayed for him, releasing healing and freedom upon him, we prayed that He would  know the love of God, and feel accepted.  As we prayed we knew we needed to take him shopping, and so, exchanging glances, I took the children to order our meals and my husband took the man to the supermarket next door to buy some supplies, to meet his needs, at least for the next few days …

The shopping excursion seemed to take an exceptionally long time, and I got quite restless, questioning why it was taking so long, but eventually my husband returned from the shopping excursion and recounted the following to us as we ate our meal …

The man was homeless, but often stayed in a shelter in St Kilda, a local suburb of Melbourne.  My husband took him round the shelves of the supermarket and asked him what he needed, and then my husband asked him what he wanted

They bought toiletries, razors, soap etc, and some basic items of food … bread, butter, fruit, vegetables.  My husband then suggested they buy meat … and the man excitedly said how great that would be and so they went and got some good cuts of meat and as they did the man said he would go back to the shelter where there was a BBQ close by and he would BBQ up a fine feast …

My husband then asked what else he would like and the man looked at him and quietly said with tears “I love peanut butter” … and so they bought peanut butter … not because this man needed peanut butter, but because this man liked peanut butter …

As they shopped the man kept saying how unworthy he felt of accepting the items and my husband kept responding that that was not how God saw him … the man wept each time my husband confirmed that he was accepted and worthy …

At the end of their shopping, before they said their goodbyes, my husband prayed with the man again … praying that he would find permanent accommodation, that God would heal him with respect to his feeling unworthy, unloved … and he prayed worth, acceptance and love … again there was much weeping from the man …

We have not seen this man again … he headed off into the night with his dinner and his supplies …

We trust he felt the love of God, not just hearing the prayers prayed, not just receiving the money spent, and not just eating the take-away meal … but through the time spent together – my husband and him, shopping together to buy items needed and items wanted … that he felt loved and accepted and worthy …

I trust the man felt loved … for a while at least … who knows the experience has done for him … but I trust the prayers have been answered …

Apparently the man left my husband joyfully planning his meat BBQ … he went into the night headed for a shelter with his supplies and with his beloved peanut butter in hand …

I recount this story, not to blow our trumpet, but to ask, who is in your sphere of influence? Will you stop for the one?

This story is told in response to a beautiful movie clip that I found on a blog site that belongs to someone who visited my blog site recently …

Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you …” (Acts 3:6)

The clip (click here to view) runs for 10 minutes … but it is a 10 minutes that is worth your time, and may change your life.  I believe it captures the heart of God as demonstrated through a homeless man who sits and receives … and then gives what little he has away … impacting others in his sphere of influence … regardless of what little he has …

It reminds me that we must sit and wait to receive from the Father … to then take what we have received (whether we think it little or big), and give it away as we go … to you the pennies or the prayers may be meaningless, but to another they change destinies …

God may be calling you to give away money, or to take a homeless person shopping … he may be asking you to stop and smile at the sales clerk … or to pray for the woman in the store where you are that clearly has a broken arm … He may just be wanting you to stop, and spend some time with Him … just because …

There is power in one … with God … no matter our sphere of influence we can change the world … one “random” act of kindness at a time … so why not “pay it forward” and give what God has given you away … and in doing so you will release a power that changes lives for the better because …

God is Good!

Who is waiting for you “to bother”? Healing and roses from a loving God.

Who is waiting for you to bother … who is waiting for you to be who you are? 

I have been accused of taking too long to “tell them” about God’s Goodness … what are we waiting for?

We change atmospheres.  We change realities.  We bless as we go …

We don’t have to …

We get to …

As I have mentioned previously, my daughter has recently changed schools.  I had thought, maybe hoped, that I could perhaps “fly under the radar” for a while … but God has us all positioned for assignments as we go … where ever we go … healing, loving, encouraging, giving … we are the salt and He wants to sprinkle us through our society, where ever we may be, to release His fragrance … to make a difference.

A few weeks ago I had bought my daughter’s teacher some flowers for International Teacher’s Day.  I also wanted to thank her new teacher for taking extra care of my girl, and for going well beyond the call of duty.  I got her some pink roses, colour as chosen by my four-year-old son, who declared to me that the roses had to be dark pink “because she is beautiful!” I readily agreed.  On this occasion I had gone, but I had missed her, so I left them at reception with a girl who popped them into a vase and left them on the teacher’s desk in the hope they would last the weekend – they did.

Two weeks later, on Thursday 17th November 2011, Mrs R kept “popping up” in my mind and so I started to pray for her.  I knew that she had not been well and as I prayed I felt to purchase some roses and I “saw” a picture of red roses.

I argued on this one with God, wondering if it was just my imagination … but, feeling it was something God wanted me to do, I did it, feeling a bit of a dill since I had only just bought her some flowers only two weeks prior …

I knew that these roses had to be red since they were a gift from God, a gift to say “I love you” …

I was running late for pick up on a very hot day, and told God that he better make it possible for me to get there on time!  I rushed into the school, late, in the heat, with my four-year-old in tow and ran to the classroom … no Mrs R!

I ran to reception and spoke to the girl there … no Mrs R! … she had gone home early ill …

I lifted the flowers to show the receptionist, feeling foolish, and the receptionist smiled and said “oh no not again”.  I smiled, rapidly backing away after leaving the flowers with her, and explained I was a Christian and had felt that Mrs R was still not right and had been praying for her and had felt to get the roses to encourage her in a tough time …

The receptionist said she would immediately email Mrs R and let her know about the roses, that she would be thrilled … and confirmed that she would not be in the following day due to the illness …

Suffice to say, I was really embarrassed and was a tad miffed at God … He knew she wasn’t there … perhaps I had got the timing wrong, perhaps I had got it wrong, perhaps, perhaps, perhaps … and then I thought … well I knew that He had wanted me to do this, so regardless I had tried to be obedient … and I convinced myself that it really did not matter that I was fast on the track of being dubbed the “crazy Christian woman who keeps giving the teacher flowers when she is not ever there to receive them”.

I kept praying for Mrs R.

The following day (Friday morning) I got an email …

I just wanted to express my thanks for the beautiful roses, you are extremely thoughtful! Hopefully a few days of rest will have me feeling back to my usual healthy self.
Have a lovely weekend and thanks again!
Kind regards,

I responded saying:

You are welcome – in fact it was on a “gut feel” that you were having a pretty tough time, and as a Christian family we like to encourage people when they are having such times, especially when they are put on our hearts to pray for them as you have been for me (this reads very awkwardly and I had hoped to verbally explain) … in any case, I have been praying for you as prompted, and felt that God wanted to give you the flowers and little chocolate … a “kiss from God” so to speak to encourage you in whatever you are dealing with … but as I said, much easier to verbally explain than in writing.

I have learnt through experience that when I feel a prompting like I did yesterday it is best to act on them, rather look like a dag (authors note: “dag” is an Australian term meaning “look silly”) than miss it …

Rest well, and have a lovely weekend.

I thought “I will explain better when I see her next, but either way … I have shown my colours! “

The following Monday I went to pick up and had a really tight turn around with ballet and tennis for the two children.

I was a bit early and Mrs R came out to me to say “thank you” again … and I confirmed that I was a Christian … that the first lot of flowers had been from me to say “thank you” but that the second lot of flowers were from God to say “I love you” … and I went on to explain that I had been praying for her, I had sensed that she had been ill and had been praying for her when I felt Him tell me to get the flowers (and a silver heart chocolate) to let her know that she was “on His mind” and that “He loved her…!”

She looked at me in shock and said “was it instinct?”

I said “No, its called being prophetic, hearing from God.  We can all do it …” and I felt the Holy Spirit swirl around as I spoke … she could too and she teared up …

She said it was amazing.  She said that a colleague had dropped the roses off for her that night and that it was so strange because “it lifted Friday afternoon” (her sickness, whatever it was) and from that time on she was fine … she had put 2 and 2 together and realised the timing of the prayer, the roses, the email …

She stared at me and said “stay there, I want to talk to you some more”… and she dismissed the children …

I knew I was late … but I also knew this was “a God appointment” and so I put my own agenda on hold, and waited …

She came back to me and looked at me again … and said “I want to know more …” so I told her again … I had felt to pray for her, had got the flowers, had missed her, and felt a dill, but the flowers were from God and it was His way of letting her know that He loved her … that she was on His heart, and I confirmed that we could all hear from God … she was still teary … and said over again more than once … “that someone would bother”  She said that she had felt loved, she had felt cared for … and she had felt “so touched that someone would bother”…

Just then a child through a temper tantrum … she got flustered, and even though she came back to me the “moment” was gone for her … but I know it was a “moment” she will never forget …

Who in your world is waiting for you to bother?

Who in your world is waiting for you to stop and care?

Who in your word is waiting for you to step out and take a risk …?

There is risk in stopping for the one … a risk of being laughed at, rejected, mocked …

But then there is also the “risk” that we may just impact a life for God … they may get healed … they may feel loved … the deaf may hear … the lame may walk … the mute may speak … the dead may be raised … His love may be released … if we will just stop and try … if we will choose to step into who we are all called to be as Christians …

We must be people who are bothered … we must learn to stop for the one because …

God is Good!

What he really wanted was sausage rolls for dinner …

I have a beautiful friend who ministers in church, and ministers in life …

She is a Mum of four, a woman of great wisdom and every time I get to speak with her I am amazed at how beautiful she is, how gentle she is, and how wise she is … she just oozes wisdom, especially regarding the issue of raising children (see her blog on raising kids at: http://parentboost.wordpress.com/ ) … and I hazard a guess she does not even know how just being with her, how just listening to her is full of gems for life, gems that are freely and abundantly given …

Well, I was fortunate enough to be able to drive her home the other night, and as we drove she told me about how she had been arranging dinners for a woman whose husband had been receiving treatment for cancer.  The woman had said that she was doing ok with meals, but my friend said that she did not just want this woman to do ok, but to be abundant…

The dinners come from my friend’s circle of friends and she asks people to advise her when they will be cooking for the family, so that there could be some sort of organisation to the timing of meals for this family in need.

One day a woman came to her with sausage rolls.  The woman said that she had felt to cook sausage rolls.  My friend looked and thought “sausage rolls!? Sausage rolls … for dinner?” but, with the grace that she does all things she gratefully accepted the gift of food for the family, and hoped that it would be received well.

She took the sausage rolls to the family and gave it to the wife who received the meal with thanks…

My friend was later told by the woman that her husband, that night had said earlier something like … “you know what I really want for dinner … I really want sausage rolls “ … and the woman had thought “I just cannot manage sausage rolls “ … and then my friend came with sausage rolls for the family’s dinner, feeling that it was somehow inadequate, but in fact it was just what the man who was battling with cancer wanted … what he really wanted was sausage rolls for dinner!

God knew what that man wanted … He knew what that man needed …

That one act of receiving the sausage rolls that had been made with love, that were received with doubt but with faith and love, and that were then given with love … told that man and his family that God knew what he wanted, God knew what he needed, and that God cared … that He was keeping them in the palm of His hand …

What that man wanted … was sausage rolls for dinner …

And God delivered.

Sometimes it is the little and simple things that impact and communicate God’s heart the most effectively.  We may have no idea why we are doing something, but the simple little promptings from a loving God, followed in faith can have the biggest of impacts …

In delivering the sausage rolls, my friend was delivering God’s love … and that family knew beyond a doubt that …

God is good!

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