Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Story: HOPE UNlimited

She stood with her hands resting on the rim of the bathroom basin. Her head was pounding, and there was the taste of bile in her mouth. Slowly she raised her head and stared at her reflection through a curtain of blond hair. The young lady hardly recognised the woman that was looking back at her.

The ‘monster’ in the mirror, had black smudges around her eyes, with streaks down her cheeks. Had she been crying? Her hair was greasy and the dark roots of her blond high-lighted hair were obvious. The reflection was dressed in a crumpled long sleeved top, and jeans that had degenerated to become small shorts. Was she getting fat?

The rag doll stared at her reflection and started crying, although she avoided moving her head too much.
“I don’t want this…” she said, as she bent over the tap to cup water in her hand to drink.

“Where have you been?”

The question startled her and sent shockwaves through her head and constricted her airway.

“Out” she replied to her mother’s question, as she turned to face her nemesis in the doorway to the bathroom.

“When I came home last night from my date with Brian, you weren’t home. That was just after midnight! I told you that you were grounded for disappearing last weekend, and that you had to baby sit your brother!”

The daughter retorted sarcastically, “Michael is fourteen! He doesn’t need a baby sitter, he needs a life! He locks himself away in his room and gets up to all kinds of things in there. I’ve been through his room and you’d be horrified at his choice of reading material. Then there’s his computer!”

“He’s not the problem! You are!” her mother spat, as she turned and slammed the bathroom door behind her

The young woman opened her mouth to say something, but couldn’t think of anything to say. She just turned to her reflection and mouthed,
“I hate you.”

There were flickering images of the previous night flashing like frames from a broken news reel. The pictures were of her…doing things…She wretched.
“Please tell me that was just a dream. A nightmare…” she whispered.

She felt sick. She felt so ashamed. Then there were the flashes of guilt, and self-loathing that came with the few snapshots of the previous night’s misadventure. She tried her best to escape the overwhelming desire to run.
To run, and run, and run!

During the course of the day the young lady had taken more paracetamol and aspirin than she should and had drunk loads of water. She felt half human again. Her friends had called her and told her that there was a party tonight at a nightclub and they had VIP tickets. Their only problem was transport. The almost rhetorical question had been asked if her mother was going out, and could they take her car. She asked herself the same questions that she had asked many times before: Were they really her friends? Why were they her friends? Did they actually care about her? These friends of hers only seemed to include her and accept her if she was ‘doing stuff’. She was always the one who had to drink more than the guys. She was always the one who had to ask guys to dance with her friends, while she sat alone. She always had to do the things they didn’t want to do. She felt like some kind of freaky experiment! Nobody understood, and nobody cared.

Anyway, her mother would be out all night. Michael would be holed up in his room, and the car would be available. She knew where the spare key was hidden (discovered on one of her raids into her mother’s make-up) and it shouldn’t be too much of a problem to take the car. Without a licence, she would just have to keep to the back roads, and sit on a cushion to make herself look older. Even as these thoughts went through her mind, she was already feeling twinges of guilt. This was really dishonest, and wasn’t the same as stealing gold coins from her mother’s purse.

Oh well! She would get the five of them to the VIP party, have a blast (she wouldn’t drink of course!) and have the car back by eleven. Too easy!

Later that evening, her mother left shouting for both Michael and her ‘not to wait up’. It was a familiar attempt at humour. The young woman stood brushing her hair, and looked completely different from the ‘monster’ that had been the reflection earlier that day. She was well turned out for a seventeen year old.
“I don’t look so bad” she told herself, as she regained some confidence in herself and her appearance. She turned around and went into her room which could only be described as ‘hectic’. She sat down heavily on the small spare corner of her bed and glanced over to the family portrait taken so many years ago. The photo was taken on Phillip Island looking out to Seal Rock. They looked so happy, so perfect. A real family! She smiled weakly as she looked at the five year old with pig-tails and toothless grin. Michael was squinting against the sunlight, as he sat in the crook of his mother’s arm. Her mother looked young and pretty. The picture was the last one of them together as a family. She vaguely remembered, her mother sitting her down, with Michael and saying;
“Daddy’s gone on a big airplane to do business in America! He’s only going for a short while and then he’ll be home with lots of presents for you!”

Anger welled up inside of her that bordered on hatred, as she recalled how they waited and waited. He never came home. Many years later, he would re-appear seeking separation and what would turn out to be an emotional long distance divorce. As the mystery unravelled, it became clear what had happened. He had ‘met’ somebody, and ‘things just went on from there…’ What kind of man…husband…father would just dump a family, and live a ‘normal’ life thousands of kilometres away, with different people, perhaps even a new family.

Her mother had struggled more than most. She never got closure in the early years of his disappearance. The man, who was supposed to be her father, discarded a woman and two young children. There was no real ‘family’ to speak of, and support came in the form of Welfare services, and occasional hampers from a local church. Then there were her mother’s boyfriends – a long stream of them. The nice ones never stayed, and her mother battled to rid herself of the bad ones. She remembered her mother saying to her and her brother, that they didn’t need a father. Men were bad news! They were good for nothing! Sadly, that didn’t extend to her social life.

The young lady’s eyes started burning, and her throat tightened as she remembered all the comments she endured at school. Her heart really went out to Michael who had been bullied and teased relentlessly. They were both misfits, outcasts. Many times they had been the kids without parents attending school concerts, and sports events. Their mother was always working; and as she always reminded her burdensome children, that she was “sacrificing everything to keep them out of foster homes”. Her whole life seemed to be a dark hole of loneliness, despair, and total helplessness. It seemed like a cycle of failure and disappointment. Nobody understood! Her mother didn’t care and her friends just used her to do crazy things they were too scared (or maybe too smart) to do.

She glanced at the bedside clock, it was eight thirty. Time to go! She took the spare key for the car in her hand and looked at it with some trepidation. She grabbed her handbag, walked out of her bedroom and closed the door. She hesitated in front of Michael’s door, and then thought against telling him she was going out. He wouldn’t care anyway. She walked towards the car nervously after locking the front door, and got in. The few driving lessons she’d had would come in useful. Here goes!

The night proved to be exciting, as the adrenalin rush from collecting her mates and driving them around in her mother’s car continued onto the dance floor. She felt on top of the world! However, as the night wore on she was convinced to ‘take the edge off’ and so anxiously she drank a couple of shooters. It went downhill from there…


There were a lot of unfamiliar sounds. People talking, a wheel of a trolley making a rattling noise as it was pushed. The bed in which she lay was at an unfamiliar angle. Her lower back itched from bunched sheets, and when she tried to adjust her position her arm seemed to be glued to her side. Her mouth was parched.

She gingerly opened eyes, and with a great deal of effort the young lady focussed on her surroundings while trying to moisten the inside of her mouth with her tongue. Strangely there were some familiar aspects to this experience. Slowly the woman turned her head.

Two realisations hit her simultaneously as her gaze came to rest on her mother’s anxious face. She was in a hospital ward, and her mother was very upset. The knot that had started forming in her stomach tightened, and she felt nausea rising up to sit at the back of her throat. Fighting down the shear terror she was feeling, she managed to croak;

Her mother’s green eyes were swollen, and one could tell she had been crying - a lot.
“What were you thinking?”

The young lady’s brain almost hurt when she unsuccessfully tried to remember what had happened. As she was battling through her shock, and disorientation her mother continued.

“I just don’t understand! Why would you do this?”

What had happened?

“Not only did you write my car off – drunk! – but you also got hurt and ended up in here! Then there’s the police!” her mother stated, and then asked, “Why are you doing this to me? What have I done to deserve this?”

Absolute horror rushed through her body, followed by waves of shame, guilt, and remorse. She couldn’t speak…

The mother stood up shaking her head. Standing up straight, her mother tried in vain to wipe the dark smears away under her eyes. She turned around, and started to walk out the ward slowly.

“Mum...” the daughter called softly and hoarsely. All she received in reply was a raised hand as her mother walked away.
“I wish I had died”, she whispered as her mother brushed passed a middle aged man leaning against the doorway.
She just about to close her eyes and turn away, when she saw the man walking towards her.

He was holding a white rose in his hand. The young woman looked at him suspiciously. He was in his early forties. The man looked decent. He was clean shaven, short hair, and dressed with a collared shirt, a sports jacket, and jeans. He came and stood next to her bed. He had a soft smile, and a caring look about him. He lay the white rose down on the table beside her, and she noticed a card attached to the stem with a golden ribbon. Suddenly, the woman felt very self conscious. He spoke quietly, and gently;

“We are here for you. We want to help you.”

“Who are you?” she rasped.

“Hope Unlimited”.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Story: Step by step

A young lady stood still. Well… as still as she could. Her whole body seemed to be shaking, especially her legs and knees. Her forearms were cramping, and she seemed to be squeezing the perspiration out of the Tightrope instructor’s big hands as he stood behind her. She could feel his presence behind her, and continually tested the security of his grip - just to make sure. They were standing on a platform with the tightrope in front of it. There was little comfort in the fact that she was blindfolded, and that she couldn’t see how high she was from the ground. Her sight had been covered since she entered the arena, and she struggled to figure out how she got up there.
“Am I crazy?” she thought.“Am I out of my mind to be trying to do this? What could I possibly learn from facing this fear?”
“It’s time.” came the deep voice from behind her.“Take your index fingers…these ones…point them down in the palms of my hands, and use your fingertips for balance.”
She followed his instructions, although every muscle in her hands and wrists screamed with resistance.
“Now,” he said, “feel the wire in front you with your foot. Can you feel it?”
“Yes…” she breathed.
“Lean on it like I showed you.”
The woman leaned on her foot. Although the blindfold was over her eyes, it felt as if it was of her nose and mouth, and it was difficult to breathe. Her toes were starting to cramp, her knee was shaking, and her thigh was burning.
“I can’t do this…” she whispered.
“Yes, you can.” came the baritone voice behind her.“Now slide your other foot up and place it in front of the other.”
She did as she was told. Every fibre of her being wanted to turn around and grab onto the instructor. He sensed this in her body language and reassured her once more.
“Don’t worry, I’m here.”
She was now on the wire! The only things separating her from certain death, were those two palms. Only her tiny fingertips prevented her from plummeting fatally towards the ground.
The instructor told her, “Now, another step.”
And so it continued, step by step. It never got easier. This went on for an eternity until she was shocked to hear him say,
“Okay, stand still.”
The perspiration was pouring off her now. She could feel it running down her back like tiny streams.
“Take off your blindfold.” came the next instruction.
“I can’t…” she whispered.“I’ll fall.”
“No you won’t, I’m here.”
Her mind raced. How was her going to stop them from falling, after all they were standing on a tightrope!The young lady’s fingertips seemed cemented to those palms.
“You have to remove your fingers from my hands to take off the blindfold. Don’t rush…”
Slowly she lifted the heavy finger tips from his palms and gingerly brought her hands up behind her head. Her fingers couldn’t move! Finally she managed to pry the bond apart. As it fell away, the brightness of the light almost blinded her, and she wobbled - grasping for those hands. Sure enough they were there. The woman’s eyes adjusted and focussed. What she saw wanted to make her cry and scream with relief, anger, humiliation, and joy.
There she was - three feet from the ground! On her left was someone ready to catch her if she fell that way. There was someone on her right side too. Then there was those familiar hands, reaching from behind her, holding her hands. She continued to stand still on the wire.
“I…I…don’t understand!” she croaked, as the tears ran down her cheeks.
The instructor answered;
“You thought your greatest fear was of heights. Today you discovered that your greatest fear is to be alone.”“What you have learned is that, no matter how frightening the challenge is before you, you will conquer it with someone by your side.”“Also, your fears are often not grounded in fact, but more assumption and deceit. You thought you were high off the ground, but you weren’t. Your fear was in fact unfounded. You were blindfolded and your intellect and circumstance lied to you. They told you that you would fall.” he continued,“Your faith, and trust was in me not to let you fall. Not only that, although you were only three feet from the ground, I made sure that there was someone to catch you should you stumble and fall.”

Proverbs 3: 5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight”

Hebrews 13:5 “I will never leave you, nor forsake you”

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Deception of Drunkeness: Drinking from the River of Death

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I pen this email with great sadness. The Deception of Drunkenness has invaded our churches - its leadership, its cell groups, and its members. It has become a normal occurrence in the church. I am led by the Spirit of God to bring forth this argument in obedience. I would also not ask you to challenge me, for it is not me that seeks to cause offence, but rather it is the Holy Spirit convicting us of sin, and He is looking for repentance from His people who are called to be Holy - separate from the world.

I am a rehabilitated alcoholic. I failed many times in my life to control this demon in my own strength. Going to Alcoholics Anonymous twice a week could not rescue me. It was the saving power of Jesus Christ that set me free. I could not do it without God. To Him are all the Praise and the Glory! I would be nothing without Him!

There are many alcoholics struggling with temptation on a daily basis. They have the victory every day, one day at a time, through the strength of the Holy Spirit. Socially they (like me) should avoid bars, pubs, and parties where alcohol is served. However, it is becoming prevalent in the church today for alcohol to be consumed by Christians at social gatherings. Who has ever heard of praying, and laying of hands, and then going for a drink afterwards? What is this Deception of Drunkenness?

What are we showing those in the world? How holy are we? What about our brothers and sisters successfully battling with the demons of alcohol or drug addiction? What is the message at social gatherings where Christians consume alcohol? Why would you not consider causing someone to stumble, or placing temptation before them?

Romans 14: 21

20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offence. 21 It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.

1 Corinthians 8: 13

9 But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. 10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol's temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? 11 And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 12 But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.

Habakkuk 2:15
15 " Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbour, Pressing him to your bottle, Even to make him drunk, That you may look on his nakedness!
I have put forward most of my argument from the New Testament, because I realise that it could be argued that we live under Grace and not under the Law of the Old Testament.

Here are some scriptures that support how God feels about drunkenness and drunkards:
Matthew 24: 49

48 But if that evil servant says in his heart, 'My master is delaying his coming,' 49 and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, 50 the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, 51 and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Luke 12: 19

19 And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry."' 20 But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?'

Luke 12: 45

45 But if that servant says in his heart, 'My master is delaying his coming,' and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk, 46 the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. 47 And that servant who knew his master's will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.

1 Corinthians 11: 21

20 Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord's Supper. 21 For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you.

1 Corinthians 15: 32

32 If, in the manner of men, I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantage is it to me? If the dead do not rise, "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!"33 Do not be deceived: "Evil company corrupts good habits." 34 Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.

1 Thessalonians 5: 7

5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.11 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.

Listen to what the Lord says about leadership:

1 Timothy 3 : 1-13

1 This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behaviour, hospitable, able to teach; 3 not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; 4 one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence 5 (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); 6 not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

8 Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money, 9 holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. 10 But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless. 11 Likewise, their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things. 12 Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. 13 For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Herewith direct references to the sin of drunkenness:

Luke 21:34

34 "But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man."

Romans 13: 13

12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfil its lusts.

1 Corinthians 5: 11

11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner-not even to eat with such a person.

1 Corinthians 6: 10

9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

Galatians 5: 21

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Ephesians 5: 18

17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.

1 Peter 4: 3

3 For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles-when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. 4 In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you.

Some thoughts to consider:

Nowhere does it say that drinking a beer, or having a glass of wine is a sin. DRUNKENNESS is a sin!
Where is the line between sobriety and drunkenness? Once you are tipsy it's already too late! You have sinned! If you know that you may get tipsy, then in my mind that is premeditated sin!
Why have an alcoholic beverage, unless you want to feel "better". That is, an altered state of being - under the influence of alcohol - sinning. Why drink at all! What is one drink going to do for you? Is it pride? If you have to drink, so you don't feel like an outcast - is it fear? How about shame? These are not exactly godly emotions.
Alcohol changes personalities. Most people drink to relax, to become more outgoing, to be more sociable. They drink to feel better, or to escape their problems. This is opening oneself up to the influence of demonic forces.
Drinking socially at Christian get-togethers, to make oneself more socially acceptable is Liquid Idolatry!
Why be filled with the spirit from a bottle, when one can be filled with the Holy Spirit. After all there is "no high, like the Most High!".


One has to ask oneself is it worth it? Is it wise, or honourable to Drink from the River of Death?

I want to make a diffrence...

I want to change our city...
I want to make a difference...
I want to challenge the way things are done...
I want law, and morals, and good family values...

Do you remember Daniel?..
What about Joseph?..

I am a friend of the Almighty God...
It is Him whom I fear...
I have the heart of David...
I seek the wisdom of God, like Solomon...

Am I a King? Yes...
Am I a Priest? Yes...
I want to be a Priest to the Kings...

I want to make a difference...

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Story: Acorns and Oak trees...

Acorns and Oak trees...

Creak, squeak...
Creak, squeak...

The rusty bench swing creaked and squeaked, as the silver haired couple sat together holding hands. There was a faint golden glow, on their faces, all over them in fact. The sun was setting after a warm autumn day.

"It's beautiful isn't it." stated the elderly patriarch.
"Yes, it is." replied his wife, partner, and friend of many years.

The wispy clouds were like bronze...and copper...and gold 'gashes' in the faint blue sky. The golden orb was sinking below the undulating ridge in the distance.
The old man looked down at his hand gently holding that of his spouse. He noticed again the lines, the almost translucent skin, and the liver spots - 'Signs of autumn', he thought.

"Do you think we've done enough?" he asked, squinting into the twilight.
"Look at what you have done. See that grove of oak trees?" she asked.
"When you planted that grove 40 years ago, were you planting acorns or oak trees?"
"Oak trees." came the reply.
"You had the vision to plant oak trees - not just acorns - to leave a legacy that would outlive you."

The man smiled as he looked at the the wooden rungs nailed to the the trunk of one of the bigger oaks. They led up into the boughs to the tree house which his son, his grandson and granddaughter had helped him build. Boy, had they had fun! It was the time he taught his grandson to shout "Hallelujah!", when he hit his finger with the hammer; and how, as the tears streamed down his face creating dark streaks on his dusty cheeks, he told his father that the pain was gone. 'My, how the time has flown.' he mused. He closed his eyes. He could almost hear all the grandchildren laugh and scream, as he chased them through the trees with the watering can. As he ran, he looked to the porch where he could see, with a lump in his throat and burning eyes, his son and daughter standing in the summer sun, with their arms on each others shoulders laughing at the "Old man" chasing their offspring. He felt so happy - and proud!

"Isn't it strange that these oak trees only produce acorns after 20 years? That's a generation!" the man thought aloud.
"Yes, it is the Lord's way of allowing the tree to be strong, and mature with deep roots, before it bears fruit."
"Mmmnn...both Gabriel and Michaela took acorns from those trees, to plant in their gardens. Do you know that those oaks are bearing acorns now, twenty years later?" he chuckled shaking his head.

His wife turned with a sparkle in her eyes, and looked at him lovingly, "You planted oak trees, so that your children could plant oak trees - that is the legacy that you have left for the generations to follow. You have shown your children and grandchildren your purpose and vision. You have brought your children up in the ways of the Lord, and they are raising theirs' the same way. They will continue to grow, and bear fruit because of the seeds you have planted, and by the deep roots of Christ you have nurtured."
"Mmmnnn...", he smiled.
His spouse turned again to face the sliver of sun slowly descending into the folds of night. They moved a little closer, and he rested his head on hers.
"Tomorrow I'm going to plant some oak trees." he said.
"Good idea, our great grandchildren will soon need some to plant in their gardens".

Creak, squeak...
Creak, squeak...

Matthew 13: 23
"And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty."

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Winds of Change...

I was lying in bed last night listening to the wind howling, and the Lord spoke to me and said:

"Listen to the wind. It symbolises the winds of change I am bringing to you, to the church, and to your city. It is a fresh, strong wind that is blowing away all the stagnant, dirty, and polluted air in your life. The wind has to be strong, because there are bad attitudes, unforgiveness, and stale / limited perceptions of who you are. The air of guilt, shame, and condemnation were hanging heavily in the air. I am not the Prince of the Air - the devil, but the Creator of the Wind, and I determine now, that this Wind of Change will bring a newness to your lives. Stand and face the wind. Feel it blow all those 'old things' away. Feel it refresh and strengthen your Spirit.

It is your choice, I am giving you the opportunity to embrace the Winds of Change. It may not be comfortable now, but the rewards in Me will be great!

Feel My Spirit blow through yours, as it tears away at those things which would seek to distract you from who you really are.

Victorious! Triumphant! Overcomers!
Prosperous! Healed! Joyful!

This Wind of Change will bring a newness to your marriages. It will bring refreshing to old relationships. It will strengthen your Spirit, and bring peace.

Hurricanes, Tornados, Typhoons, Cyclones, Gales: these describe strong and powerful winds. None is as powerful as my Wind of Change.

Embrace it! Have faith, and hold onto Me. After all, a Father holds onto the hands of His children in strong winds.

Shea ghi thenabastighi shua ga.

I AM!"

Thursday, September 21, 2006

A vision...

I had a vision:

I was inside a drop of pond water. I could see Daphnia, Hydra, and other little organisms scurrying around busily - legs paddling, antennae flicking about. My view zooms out through the lenses of a microscope, to me sitting looking through the microscope, Zoom out again, to the building I'm sitting in, then the world (view of planet earth), then the solar system revolving around our sun, then our solar system within our galaxy, then the galaxy within the universe filled with galaxies, then God looking at a drop of water - our universe.

The Lord's voice:

"Just as you would look and see the smallest of creatures in a drop of water, so I see you. The difference is that I KNOW YOU! I have always known you. I know how you are, and where you are. I know what you feel - your joy, your suffering, your pleasure, and your pain. Do you not realise I AM? I AM bigger than your imagination, bigger than your problems, and far bigger than your solutions. The words - eternity and eternal - are too small.

I have set a place aside for you which surpasses every snippet of Heaven I have ever shown or revealed to you!
What is the Kingdom of Heaven? Can you perceive the Kingdom of Heaven... My Heaven? My Son talks to you about My Kingdom, and He is revealing mysteries that you have not yet had revelation about. Meditate upon that...

Do not view me only as your Father, nor as your friend...I AM! Those who fear me in reverence, will see MY Glory. Those that search for Me in MY Word and in the spirit will find ME, and MY Grace.
Yes, I AM!
Can you not see that I AM within you? Do you not conceive my love for you - that I have chosen YOU!
Chosen YOU!
You! My friend and my child...

Whatever you feel, or experience, ask open your lives to receive Me - fully - to receive My will for you ON EARTH, AS IT IS IN HEAVEN!
My will for your is bigger than your comprehension.

Consider, and embrace I AM!"

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A childrens story: Unity!

As the moon slipped into bed and the sun yawned over the horizon, a cry of desperation and fear rose up from the misty slumber of the wetland.

Hippo bellowed in frustration. She was stuck! She had gone foraging that night, as Hippo’s do, but as she was returning at dawn to the safety and comfort of the river she had sunk heavily, up to her flanks, in the muddy river bank and she was completely immobilised!

Fish Eagle heard Hippo’s desperate call and dropped from his lofty, lightning scarred perch on a Willow and scoured the river until he spotted Hippo. He assessed the situation from overhead. Then he shrilled,
“Rally together all you inhabitants of the wetland! Hippo is in grave danger!”
Hippo was indeed in serious trouble, for in the distance Fish Eagle eyed the almost unnoticeable wake forming on the glasslike surface of the river.

Again Fish Eagle's cry echoed out across the wetland,
“Everyone gather around Hippo, she needs all of you! Crocodile is on his way!”
He could see that drastic action needed to be taken, as he viewed the potential disaster unfolding before him.

Buffalo, Flamingo, Otter, Terrapin, Heron, Weaver and the Bees were there in a flash. There were reeds close by, waist deep at the waters edge.
The flustered friends’ voices rose in panic as they tried to devise a plan to save Hippo!

Suddenly Otter squinted skyward and called out in his loudest voice,
Fish Eagle cocked his head inquisitively against the blue canvass of the early morning sky.
When Otter had finished relating his idea the others scoffed at Otter’s plan and doubted that it could work. Unperturbed he gazed at Fish Eagle seeking his approval. Seeing the bigger picture and the impending danger, the leader said determinedly;
“Do it.”

Heron stood close to the quivering bulk of Hippo and comforted her by talking softly into her flattened ears. She looked into Hippo’s eyes with a comical side to side motion which distracted Hippo and helped her feel slightly more composed.

Otter then called to Terrapin;
“Please ask the reeds if they may be of use in this critical rescue.” Unquestioningly the reeds yielded to the plan.
Terrapin then bit off a few strands at the lower end of the reeds stems. The Weavers took the reeds that Terrapin had placed before them and immediately started to strip the leaves into thin manageable pieces. Then they began the task of plaiting and weaving a most magnificent rope!

Fish Eagle’s heart started to race as he spied Crocodile slinking even closer to Hippo. As he glared down at Crocodile, Crocodile lifted his head ever so slightly and Fish Eagle could see his enormous, jagged smile.
“Hurry!” He cried out to the others.
Flamingo flapped her beautiful pink wings, fluffed her feathers and danced around excitedly, not really doing much, but encouraging and motivating the rescue party.
“You can do it! You can do it!” she shrieked.

Otter called on the Bees to maintain unity between the animals.
“Bees, you need to make sure that everybody has what they need. You must communicate my instructions to everybody, at the precise moment, so that the plan does not fail.”

As Crocodile cruised around the bend in the river, Fish Eagle shouted;
“Here he comes!”
The Weavers would not have enough time to complete their masterpiece!
Fear seeped into the hearts of the animals.
Suddenly Terrapin raised her head from under the murky water;
“Otter, would you help me please?”
“Certainly,” replied Otter.
Terrapin and Otter disappeared into the river and swam upstream to consult with Big Fish. They found him floating lazily in a pool near the river bank. Terrapin hurriedly asked him;
“Fish we need your assistance in saving Hippo from Crocodile, but it will be a very dangerous task!”
“Tell me what you want me to do.” He replied.
“We would like you to be a decoy to distract Crocodile whilst we try to rescue Hippo.”
“What’s in it for me?” flicked Fish.
“We will persuade Hippo to protect you from Crocodile and ask her to provide you with shade during the heat of the day.”
“I’ll do it.” Fish agreed.

Terrapin and Otter watched with relief as Fish raced downstream towards Crocodile. Otter returned to the bank and Terrapin lurked in the shallows in case Fish needed her help, if he got into trouble. As he neared the smirking Crocodile, Fish leapt up and danced on the water in a glittering flurry of colour. Crocodile’s head snapped to the side as he was distracted by the flashing, silvery form of Fish.
Crocodile sped after Fish. The plan had worked!

Urgent activity continued on the river bank. The sun baked down on Hippo’s back as Heron tried in vain to protect her from the scorching heat. A chorus of chirps from the Weavers above alerted Otter, he looked up and saw that the rope was now complete. What a magnificent rope it was too. The quality of the workmanship had never been seen by the crowd before. It was truly awesome and strong.

Otter stood on his two hind legs and called to Buffalo for his assistance.
“Buffalo, bend down so that we may tie this rope around your horns. We will tie the other end around Hippo’s neck and once it is secured Fish Eagle will give the call for you to pull Hippo out of his muddy trap. All the animals will help you too!”
“Bees, make sure everyone is in place…”

So the rope was deftly fastened to Buffalo and Hippo. All the animals grasped the rope and took their positions at either Hippo’s or Buffalo’s rump in preparation to push.
Everyone tensed and held their breath. Buffalo took up the slack.

“NOW!” cried Fish Eagle as he swooped down over the gathering.

Buffalo tugged, the animals heaved, the bees counted 1…2…3…pull and with a loud ‘plop!’ Hippo was freed from his muddy trap!
“Hooray!” shouted everyone!
“We’ve done it!”

Just as everybody was congratulating one another, Hippo whispered,
Everyone turned to see Crocodile corner Fish in the shallows.
“Oh no!”

The animals froze as Hippo bellowed and charged towards the river where Fish was struggling to swim with any strength. Crocodile waded up to Fish and opened his enormous mouth. Fish resigned himself to his fate, his colour waning with his hope. Crocodile’s mouth suddenly snapped shut! All who had their eyes closed heard a thrashing in the water. They pried their eyes open to see Hippo with one foot firmly planted on the head of Crocodile! Fish slipped away, in relief, to the dark depths of the river. Hippo took her massive hoof off Crocodile’s head and he thundered into the river to get as far away as he could.

Later that day, after the festivities and congratulations had died down, Fish Eagle landed on his perch in the Willow tree. Calm had settled over the wetland.

Hippo was safe and as her eyes and ears protruded from the surface of the river, there nestled between her huge legs was a very content Fish. A new, true relationship had been formed, based on strength and trust!

Story: Winning the race!

At an important celebration on the bank of a mighty river, a great king declared that he would create a new position of honour and huge significance in his kingdom. This would entitle the recipient to sit at his feet where very few men had ever had the privilege of doing so.

All the men of the kingdom accepted the challenge for this prestigious honour. Many trials and tests were completed and in the end only the three strongest contestants remained. The king laid down the final challenge which was to take place before his annual feast. The three finalists were to swim up the mighty river from a given point downstream and the first one to sit at the king's feet would receive the honour and the king’s many the blessings.

The king ordered the three men to be covered in red clay - from their feet to their heads. Then the competition began, heralded by a huge trumpet blast. The men dived into the raging river and begin their grueling swim upstream towards the palace.

After a quarter of the distance, the first man climbed out and ran along the bank. Just before the finish line in the reception area, there was a bend in the river where the young man jumped back in and briskly completed the rest of the swim to the applause of the crowd. He rushed towards the throne but as he neared it the king ordered his guards to arrest him. The king banished the young man from the feast and he was led away in disgrace. The court officials were shocked and could not understand the king’s actions.

The second young man had the same idea as the first. He climbed out at the halfway mark and ran along the bank as far as the bend in the river. From here he completed the swim. He leapt out of the water, to a thunderous applause, and started running towards the throne. The king shouted that he be arrested and also banished him from the feast in disgrace. There was huge consternation in the crowd! Everyone was confused, yet once again the court officials obeyed the king's command.

After the celebrations had begun and the feast had started, a young man dragged himself out of the water and staggered towards the throne. The crowd had dispersed to join in the festivities so there was no applause for the third man. He collapsed at the king’s feet. The king rejoiced and covered him with his royal robe and bestowed many gifts and blessings upon him.

The court officials were discouraged by the king’s actions and asked in anticipation;
"Master...how is it that the young man who came last, who finished long after the first two men, received the honour? Why not the first or the second man?"

The king smiled and replied;
"The test was to swim all the way up the river to sit at my feet. It was only by completing the entire swim that all the red clay was washed off the third man. He was the only one who honestly completed the task and therefore the only one worthy enough to sit at my feet!"

Matthew 20: 16

"And so it is, many who are first now, will be last then; and those who are last will be first"

Story: The penguin who wanted to fly...

As the Antarctic wind’s icy fingers stroked the egg beneath a warm underbelly. Fine fractures appeared, and soon became cracks in the mottled egg’s shell. After struggling for a while, the chick pushed her dark grey head through the membrane, blinked a couple of times and croaked;
The downy underbelly moved, and raised itself, allowing a gust of frigid air to envelop the emerging chick. A huge yellow iris appeared from above and focussed on the little one.
“Hello dear! It’s Mama!”
So the parent child relationship began…

A few days after Penny freed herself from her capsule, she was allowed to peek at the world around her. The first thing she saw, as she peered out from under the cosy ‘roof’ into the steel grey sky, was an albatross. Its huge wings lifting it, on unseen cushions of air. It was so beautiful and graceful!
“Yes dear?”
“Will I look like that, when I’m big?” asked Penny.
“Why no, Penny! You’re a penguin!” Penny’s mother chuckled.

A little confused, Penny asked;
“What’s a penguin?”
“You’ll see!” replied her Mama.

More and more Penny was left exposed to drizzle, sleet, snow and freezing winds, as her mother went in search of pilchards and squid. Penny stared in horror as terns and gulls attacked the grey downy chicks around her. She ducked on several occasions as the enemy swooped down to prey on the helpless offspring that dotted the landscape.

Penny’s yellow eyes always widened and stared (distracted), at the gliding albatross that soared overhead.
“I wish I could fly like that! I don’t want to be a stubby, waddling penguin with funny wings. I want to be an albatross!” Penny dreamed.

Penny whined, and moaned to her mother every day;
“I want to fly! It’s not fair – look at me – I want to be an albatross! I want to fly!”
Mama always smiled sadly and patiently encouraged the young chick;
“You’re the most beautiful penguin in the whole world. You are special, and unique! Learn to love who you are, not what you’re not.”

After six weeks Penny, who was now a young adult, stood in front of her mother. She was beautiful! She had sleek, black feathers which reflected a rainbow of colours in the weak Antarctic sunshine.
“Oh my!” exclaimed Mama, “You’ve grown into the most beautiful penguin in the colony! I have never seen anyone as exquisite as you!”
Penny dropped her head ashamedly and mumbled;
“I’m not an albatross, and I’ll never fly”.
Penny’s mother got cross and retorted;
“I agree that you are not an albatross. You’ll never be an albatross! You can be the best, the most beautiful penguin though! Follow me…”

So Penny waddled after her Mama, sheepishly, until they got to the rocky sea shore. She bounded, hopped and stumbled her way over to where the water ebbed and flowed upon the stones.
Mama turned to Penny and commanded;
Penny looked at her mother, then the sky, then at her stubby wings which she waved half-heartedly.
Mama pushed her into the sea, and Penny screamed in terror;
“Mama! I am all wet and I’ve told you I can’t fly!”

“Please trust me! Come…!” implored Mama as she disappeared beneath the wavelets.
Penny was afraid, yet she followed her mother.

She took a deep breath, plunged beneath the surface…and flew!

You are wonderfully and fearfully created in the Lord’s image! You’re a beautiful jewel created by the Hand of God. When you look into the mirror, look carefully, because you will see the fingerprints of God all over you! He created you to be beautiful! You are beautiful! If you have doubts about yourself, remember the Penguin who wanted to fly…