Stories of a good God

Posts tagged ‘random act of kindness’

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!

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A random act of kindness…God is Good!

Last Saturday while I was waiting for my daughter’s ballet class to finish I caught up with a new friend, a friend who has already blessed my life in many ways …

As we finished up, she saw a friend of hers, a woman she had told me about, a woman who was also kind, gentle and gracious.  She said hello to her friend and as she spoke her friend suddenly said with tears …

“Please excuse me, my dog died last night …”

As her friend said this I was filled with compassion for her and nearly started crying too … I feel like a sop when that happens, because I can tear up so easily at times, especially when I am filled with compassion or love or empathy … filled with Him … for another …

I touched her hand … aware that I was a complete stranger and not wanting to “get in her space,” and I gave my condolences …

I said goodbye to my friend, and with another hour and a half to wait, I wondered what I was to do. I asked God, and with a suddenness I knew I had to buy this woman flowers … a ballet mum too … what would she think?!

I started to walk, hoping to find a florist.  I trusted she would still be in the coffee place I had met her in when I got back, thinking how she may find me a bit “odd” to do something like that, but I thought “what can it hurt to give her flowers … to do something kind …? … but still!”

I eventually ended up at one of the train stations in the city, and found my way to a flower stall.  I immediately saw some miniature cyclamens … and I knew I was to buy her the deep pink ones …

“Odd,” I thought, feeling a bit shy about it.  I looked at the other flowers on sale … she seemed so gracious that I thought I should perhaps buy her a potted orchid but I kept being drawn back to the deep pink cyclamens …

I selected the plant I felt God draw me to, bought them and asked for them to be wrapped.

I wandered back past the coffee shop … she wasn’t there …

“Blow, I thought” and decided on my friend’s suggestion (who I had just spoken to on the phone about another matter) to leave them with a person at the ballet school to pass them on …

Still with time to wait I went back to the same coffee shop to sit down outside and have another cup of tea, thinking I may see her again …

I got on with a bit of texting, sipped my tea, and contemplated life, looked at the passers-by, enjoyed the greenery of the trees over the road … and as I did she walked past …

I called out and said a bit awkwardly “… these are for you, I hope you don’t mind, but I felt to get them for you … I just wanted to bless you …”

She looked and cried, tears ran down her cheeks and she told me a little of the story.

I said I had felt to get her the pink cyclamens …

The tears kept running down her cheeks and she said that her little beloved dog’s collar was the same pink, and the dressing gown that belonged to her daughter that her little dog had been buried in, was purple (the cyclamens had touches of purple at their base, and the flowers were wrapped in purple).

Only God!” I thought.

I said I had felt to get her the hot pink … and had thought they may be able to sit on her kitchen table in memory of her dog …

She said “thank you, it’s so kind”

I backed away, not wanting to invade her space in any way … but I said “I just wanted to bless you … I hope it is ok … just a random act of kindness …”

And I wished her well.

We had spoken about more than just that, but the exchange was brief, in that I wanted to really respect her privacy, but I said I would sit for a while longer if she felt like stopping later, but if not, there would be no offence …

And so I finished my tea in the morning sunshine … she didn’t come back, and that was ok … she was too tender….

Regardless … I don’t believe the “coincidence” was lost on her …

I had mentioned praying for her family, but other than that I didn’t mention Jesus, I didn’t pray for her then and there, I didn’t get in her face about anything, including the God coincidence …. I just gave her the flowers that just happened to be the same colour as the collar on her little dog and the gown in her little dog was buried …

Did I feel awkward?

Yes!

But I know when God moves us to do something, it is worth feeling awkward for, it is worth taking the risk and obeying, for you never really know what is gong on in a person’s life … but He does and perhaps through that one act of obedience, that one act of kindness they too will know that …

God is Good!

Pedicures and the Father’s Blessing…God is Good!

While away a friend gave me a voucher for a pedicure as a gift … a pedicure that I booked in for last Friday morning. 

I woke on Friday, not feeling the best, and thought about calling to cancel … but I then thought that the appointment may be a “God appointment” and so I took a deep breath, and went regardless, knowing I would enjoy the pedicure in any event … and the effect of fine feet afterwards …

As soon as I got to my appointment the feeling of being unwell lifted and I happily chatted to the gorgeous girl who had been assigned to me about colour …

As I sat and had my feet scrubbed I sensed that this was a God appointment and I felt that I was to pray, a little later, for this girl with whom I had struck up an immediate rapport. 

She is a mum of a four-year-old boy, and a step-mum to two teenage girls.  She lives in a large country town, not far from Melbourne, and the girls live in a Melbourne suburb, not far from where I live.  As we chatted I also discovered that her mum was a mid-wife, at the hospital where I had my two children, and as we talked even further, we worked out that her mum had helped me deliver my first child … on reflection (after the God encounter) I realised that this too was no coincidence … this appointment had been set up … way back in 2003!

As the pedicure came to an end I said “I would love to pray for you”.

She said “sure” and her eyes immediately filled with tears … the Holy Spirit was physically tangible around us.

I stood and took her hand in mine and invited the Holy Spirit to come (even though He was already there) and her eyes overflowed with tears as the anointing came even more powerfully …

I prayed as I felt led … I declared her destiny open, I declared open doors over her life, I blessed her and released favour.

I then felt to pray a Father’s Blessing over her and as I did, with my hand on her head she openly wept … and I gently kissed her on the forehead.

I asked her if she had asked Jesus into her heart – she responded “we’re Catholics, of course” so I said “just ask Holy Spirit to fill you up”. And she did … with tears running down her face.

I kissed her on the cheek and held her for a very long time as she cried, and I told her gently that she was beautiful, that God delighted in her, that she no longer had to do it on her own, and that although her natural father had not been there for her, God was, and it was time for her to go to Him … I said how she had been so very strong for so very long, but that now, it was time for her to go to Him and allow Him to take the load and, to hold her …

I briefly talked to her about going to where God was for her (her “God space“) and explained (aware of the time) that where that was would always feel safe, it would feel for her like she had felt as I had prayed … surrounded and filled with love – she nodded with me saying it had felt very safe and full of love.

I sat in the waiting room as she got me a tea and I asked if she ever came up to Melbourne on Tuesday nights … She said her partner visited his girls on a Tuesday night.  I explained I held a group on a Tuesday night for people to discover more of God … the timing another coincidence that she pointed out to me and … I gave her my details and said she would be welcome to come if she wanted … or she could just call …

Whether she calls or not, or comes or not, she has had an encounter with the Creator of the universe … she has had an encounter with God … she has had an encounter with a Father, with a loving Father, a God who is a Father who “so loved the world that He gave His one and only son … ” (John 3:16 – emphasis added) … she tasted and saw that God is Good (Psalm 34:8)…

I hope she chooses to call or email … I hope she chooses to come to our nights … where that will lead I do not know, but I do know that if she chooses to go on her journey with God, as her loving Father, as her Loving Saviour, as her Loving Friend … she will  see that …

God is Good!

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!

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!

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!

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