Posts Tagged With: miracles

He is able, are we willing?

Can I encourage you that in the busy-ness of our days and in all our preparations and celebrations that we still take time to stop for the one. To take a moment to see if the smile from the shop assistant is only on their mouths and not in their eyes, that the person we talk on the phone to who says their ‘fine’ really are fine? God wants to use us. All He looks for is a willing vessel, no matter how inadequate we feel.

Miracles await those who step out. Beautiful moments of us becoming aware that our God, Jesus, is in fact a living, loving God who can help us face our own storms and see them calm, and can help us show others Him.

Allow me to share a story with you about my yesterday morning.

I was rushing about trying to get our food shop done and banking and other menial but needed tasks. I usually go to the same checkout lady every week if I can, we have lovely chats and over the last few years we have been getting to know one another (well as much as one can at a checkout). However, when I arrived at the checkouts she had a huge line and the lady next to her only had one person, so I opted for the quicker option as I had my three boys with me, and everyone knows how wonderful it is to shop with three energetic boys in tow ;-).20140331_070446

I began to unpack my shopping and noticed that the lady had a bandage on her left hand and that she was unable to lift anything with it (which you can imagine would make it difficult to pack shopping into bags). I asked her if it was very painful and what she had done to it. She was unsure what had happened but said that it happened a few days ago and she had taken a couple of days off work but couldn’t afford to take any more. I felt prompted to pray for her. So I did, in my head. But I felt prompted to tell her I could pray for her. She is from a different culture and religious background than myself and I was a little worried I would scare or offend her but knew that God was impressing on me to tell her that He heals. So I asked her if I could pray for her to my God because He is a healing God and she said yes.

I thought great, she knows I will pray and she’ll remember when the pain goes away it was Jesus who healed her. So I prayed again in my mind. But again, I was prompted that I should lay hands on her and pray out loud. This happens to me often but hadn’t happened in a while.I said to God, ‘ok, if you want me to lay hands on her, you have to make it not so busy so she won’t get in trouble or worry about the customers in line’. It was very busy and people were lining up at every available checkout, even the ones either side of us, but no-one was lining up at ours!! So I said quickly, ‘Let me pray for you now. Can I touch your hurting hand?’ She said yes though looked a little startled. All I said was “God I know you are a healing God and you are a good God. So right now we speak to this hand and say be healed now in the name of Jesus” I had no sooner prayed for her and people began lining up at the checkout. She kept staring at me and rubbing her hand and I paid for my shopping and she had to get on with the other customers. I could feel the presence of God and I asked her if she was ok and she said her hand was all warm. This was all she got to say before the next customer began talking to her.

I don’t know if her hand is healed, but I know she was touched by our God. He is alive and wanting to be involved in our everyday lives and make the mundane become the extraordinary that as Christians should be the norm 🙂 I look forward to seeing her again and believe it will be a good report.

As an aside, I had immense pain shooting through my ear and head and had it for the last day before I prayed for the lady at the checkout. After I prayed for her the pain was gone. I still feel like my ears are blocked but the pain is no longer there. I hope this encourages you to step out believing that God will do what he says he will do.

Bless you 🙂

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Why I don’t write

I often have a conversation with myself as if I was writing for this blog. I so want to update this and write what is going on. And yet, I find myself with countless unfinished posts. There are a few reasons why the posts never get published. And one of them is not that life has become dull. On the contrary. It is rich. We are still seeing miracles and salvations. We are still seeing devastation and sadness.

The real reasons I have not been writing, I will try to explain here. And maybe a few will get it… and the others of you may just think I have clearly lost my head 🙂

1. It (meaning life in the Alice) has all become so normal that it feels that I would be writing about the mundane, regular (which is by no means a lot of people’s regular) routine. Ok routine is probably too strong a word… but the rhythm of our life although to others hectic or bizarre, just feels the norm to us… so I struggle to know what to tell that would be of some interest.

2. It has become more personal. More real. Most of the people I would want to tell the stories of have become deeply connected to me and my family and to their families. Sometimes, I feel like it is sharing secrets (and although I have always as much as I can sought permission to share what I do) I don’t know how to explain some of the stuff I see. It is much more involved and complicated than it first appears.

3. I don’t trust what some people will do with what I have written. Some people like to take things out of context. Some people like to glorify it, and use that as an excuse about why they are not living a ‘naturally supernatural’ life. Others, use my posts as a way into the people’s or their families lives and do more harm than good. And I know there are others of you that are just encouraged and encourage me: so please for those of you in that category forgive my rant 🙂 ).

and lastly,

4. I haven’t known how to say, that as good as it is here, and as wonderful as it is to see God move and transform lives,  there is also a whole lot of bodgy stuff going on here, and I’m not talking about the non-believers… and that sickens me and saddens me and angers me, and I have been seeking the Father what I do about this that will help bring change and I know for this to occur I will need to do it in His Spirit as it won’t be effective otherwise, I will be merely joining them in their self-glorification, etc…

So… maybe now this is off my chest, new things will merge. new posts will appear… I want to share some of the testimonies, just not sure how or when.

Let me say how grateful I am for those of you who pray for me and my family. We seek in our lives in all things to honour Christ, to love people and to be transparent. I expect that other believers will do the same, and find myself hurt when they aren’t and don’t. But I suppose that gives me more opportunities to forgive, just like Christ forgives me :-). (Perhaps I should be like some of my friends who say they never have any expectations on people and therefore never get hurt or offended- but I don’t seem to be able to do that without shutting people out emotionally). A wise friend of mine has said we have to learn to be expectant without any expectations. When I have achieved that, I will let you know 🙂 in the mean time, please continue to uphold me in your prayers and I too will uphold you in mine.

Bless you,

Reb

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the year that was

So apparently 2013 has come and gone already. Wow. What a year.

We have been in Alice for almost 2 years now and this was definitely packed in and a time of growing and learning. I had a read of my personal journal entries from last year, and was interested by a post written in January. I felt that God had said that it would be a year that I would need to hold on tight, and had the verse ‘those who trust in the Lord are as Mount Zion, they will not be moved (or shaken)’. Oh my, if only I had knew what truth that verse held for the year to come!

Allow if you will for me to reflect on some things I have learnt and/or been reminded of in this last year.

1. Jesus when he was on this earth never put much weight on whether people approved of him or not, because it says that he knew their hearts and how fickle they were (are 🙂 ).

This has been helpful for me to remember when I’ve found people flattering me or when they have been outright slandering me, or the one’s that think they are above me. Jesus’ response teaches me to get to the place where I can respond in the same way (not that I have fully achieved this, but that I am aware of it is on the way). Jesus knew where to get his worth ,from his Father… and me? I’m working on doing the same, because the Father’s thoughts on me are unchanging.

2. Doing things scared is much better than not doing it at all.

2013 was a year of me starting to take risks again. I did things I would have done years ago, but that I had  stopped because I had let fear of man and failure creep in. I went in a 24 hr dance marathon with some friends (turned out to be one of the highlights of my year), I sung solos, I entered a 24hr film comp, I directed and performed in a drama in front of thousands of people.

3. Forgiveness isn’t the same as denial, it is freedom.

This year I came to some realisations that people I had cared for deeply, didn’t care the same for me, and my expectations of them to care had just allowed hurt to fester in my life. Other people had treated my family badly and still treat us with disdain even though we weren’t at fault. We have been let down countless times and the list goes on… I assume you could all write your own stories :-)… BUT God was teaching me a deeper forgiveness than I had experienced before. It was literally like he was walking me through some very dark places  but we did not stop there. I felt raw, but could feel his deep healing working as he unveiled truths (not always pleasant truths, but truths nonetheless). These truths are to allow me to still be in contact with these people but go in with my eyes open, deal with things in my own heart and guard against attacks from without.

4. Don’t get distracted.

Look after the people God has entrusted in our care. Keep the main thing, the main thing. Protect the sheep from the wolves but let God deal with people with their own agenda.

5. God’s grace IS sufficient for me and His power is made perfect in weakness.

Sometimes I have felt so tired and not enough time to stop. But it is in those times, when I have not much of myself to give, that I have seen God work in His miraculous power. I’d pray for someone and they would begin to get excited and they would be healed. Or they’d ask what they might do to be saved. Or there’d be a stack load of kids turn up hungry for learning the Bible. Or the latest one, he would multiply our dinner to feed all the people who just randomly showed up at our doorstep with nothing. Just love how our God does that. Mostly, it reminds me, it’s not about me… It’s about HIM… It’s always about HIM 🙂

AND lastly but not least

6. Laugh. Lots. Let your hair down. Never forget where you come from, but don’t get stuck there.

 

Bless you all. Thanks for taking this journey with me. I pray that 2014 is a year you say yes to God and what he is doing. I’m going to give it my best shot. And if last year was the year of ‘hold on’ or ‘stand firm’,  then this is the year of ‘thrust’,20130911_160722 of moving forward, of breakthrough. Get ready to run. It’s going to be fantastic!

Reb

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God’s ways are higher

The grief we witness here on a regular basis is at times overwhelming, but on the other hand, having the people of Central Australia as a part of our lives, and the way we have been embraced, and the stories we have been told, which we otherwise would never have known have far outweighed the sorrow. Our opportunities to share of God’s love with their families are wonderful, but when people share with us their journey of faith and their wisdom we are bestowed treasures.

What I wouldn’t give to see these wonderful ladies and men healed so they could return to their families and their homes, and we pray and believe for that to happen. But God’s ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts.

I hear a lot about the latest catch cry ‘on earth as in heaven’ and what people think that means like bringing our idea of perfection here and all people are healed etc… well I think it is possibly deeper than that. Healings are great yes, prosperity is comfortable yes… but gold comes through the fire and is refined… and is lasting… perhaps on earth as it is in heaven is more about our will bending to His, our ambitions being set aside for His, and our ways, not taking precedence of His…Things will not be perfect this side of heaven and God is not interested in us taking glory for ourselves and becoming a big name, he is interested in matters of the heart… persecution came on the early church because they needed to spread the word… perhaps sometimes our earthly suffering is sometimes the same…God giving opportunity for us to expand our reach…I know I would maybe have never met these people if they were not here in town… and I see that even in the midst of sickness and suffering, that they are making an impact on the lives of others… on my life… by being here… I am by no means saying that God is a sadistic god who uses our suffering for his gain… I’m just thinking on how God utilises these things in our lives to bring about his purposes…all this to say… I am thankful for my richer life and the different perspectives I am seeing because of the life of the people I have met…

I do get glimpses of ‘on earth as it is in heaven’ but not usually how one would expect: it’s by looking in people’s eyes and hearing their heartbeat.alice-springs-pictures-3

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The word of their testimony

The team from Stirling Source Church in South Australia arrived on our doorstep last Saturday afternoon not knowing what the week ahead might hold for them. Most of the team were seasoned yearly visitors to the Alice, but this year we decided to change things up.

For many of them, it was the first time they shared their testimonies. A few of them felt they didn’t really have much to share, but as they looked over their lives they realised that God had taken them all on a journey, and they could speak of God’s grace and faithfulness on their sometimes difficult and individual paths. As the week progressed, so did their confidence, and people were moved and the

team sharing at the hostel

opportunities for prayer increased.

Never underestimate the power of  your testimony. As said in the book of Revelation

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death

Our testimony is one third of the integral way we overcome the enemy, and the team got an opportunity to see how powerful their testimonies are. People responded with wanting prayer (experiencing God healing people), to others wanting to share parts of

their own stories as well as experiencing people come to salvation and rededicating their lives.

The testimonies were one highlight of an extremely hot and challenging week for the team. Another was their faith in action, doing some yard blitzes for those unable to do so themselves. This was a blessing to the families as they saw people who barely knew them working hard to make their lives easier.

One of t

he ways some of the team ministered to us was when they took time for our children. In particular, Becky and Vanessa who gave up some of their ‘free time’ to play with the boys and teach them sewing. Thanks ladies, this was beautiful.

My prayer for this team is that they will grow in their knowledge and understanding of their God the Father who was willing to lay down his most precious possession for them, his Son, and that this will spur them on to live a life of good works as an outworking of His love in them.stirling team

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the eyes have it

God is moving. well actually, He never stops moving, we just become more aware of the fact sometimes.

At the moment, He seems to be particularly interested in eyes. A couple of weeks ago, whilst praying with a lady from church at a connect group she had healing to her eyes. Hopefully you can read below….Image

And then, this Sunday we were just about to start our Sunday worship service and a lady who was singing who needs glasses to read any print, kept taking her glasses off and cleaning them because she couldn’t see the print properly, it was all foggy… after a couple of times she looked at the sheet without her glasses, and could see the words perfectly. She put her glasses back on. foggy. took them off. Clear.

Her eyesight was healed! Saw her this morning, and she’s pumped about reading her Bible without her glasses…

Seems like it’s a season for eyes to be healed. And just like in the natural, so it often is in the spiritual.

Last Sunday morning, there was an amazing time in the Sunday School room. We were teaching on how Peter and John were on their way to the temple and were asked by a lame man for money, but money they didn’t have… but because of Jesus… when they prayed, the man was healed and began to walk and leap and praise God. We then shared the stories that are happening around us and that when they say yes to the Holy Spirit and Jesus working in their lives the same things can happen with them when they pray. Their spiritual eyes were opening…

The children were  all (miracle in itself)  standing, worshiping God, and we asked if they wanted prayer to close their eyes and put their hands out. Well they all wanted prayer and waited as we went round from child to child. All were touched by the Holy Spirit and a few after were saying they felt really wobbly on their feet as we were praying. I look forward to hearing what miracles Jesus does through these children as they step out in faith….

Exciting times.

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Jesus healing

On Wednesday we have a bible study for some new Christians in our church, this particular week for different reasons we only had one lady show up, and so rather than do the formal study we asked if there was anything she would like to know about. She said that she wanted to know more about the story from the kid’s talk on Sunday which was on the theme ‘i want more’. We discussed the passage about the woman who came to Jesus persisting he listen to her. From there we talked of her family and how God had been moving in their lives and she told us of her brother-in-law’s sister who was staying with them at the moment. This lady has been bedridden. She has so much pain in her back she even eats lying down. She had tried everything from doctors to witch doctors and other healing methods, but she hadn’t encountered Jesus. So we shared the story from Acts 19 where Paul prayed over some handkerchiefs and aprons and the people got healed.

We asked her if she wanted us to do this for this lady, she was keen but had nothing of hers with her. so, we prayed over a tissue and believed that as our friend took it home the lady would be healed.

And she was… Our wonderful Jesus, showed up.

She is now sitting up and eating, and the pain is gone! Others in the family wanted to touch the tissue to get a touch, but we know there’s nothing special about a tissue… it’s the power of Jesus, alive and real today, working through his people, who are asking and open to his touch. And then that faith being transferred to others because they see a powerful God at work, who is intimately involved with our everyday lives and struggles.

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Jesus moments

There are days when all flows just how planned and you feel extremely satisfied with life and all that it is…. and then there’s the rest of the days. The plodding days, the downright awful days, the freak me out days, the overtired, overworked, over people days… and it is in those days that one would like to retreat into hibernation, or drive off in to the sunset, or consume a whole tub of chocolate ice cream and then feel guilty about that and consume a mega block of Cadbury chocolate to overcome the guilt… of course I’ve only heard about those days, I’ve never done that ;-).

Jesus had those days (though I’m pretty sure he didn’t eat the chocolate). Ooo now before you super theology spirro gurus write me off as a heretic, I’ll give some Biblical evidence for my radical observations and explain where I’m going… When Jesus had ‘one of those days’, he withdrew to the solitary places. When his cousin John got beheaded, he withdrew to the solitary places to grieve Matthew 14:13 and it says in Luke 5:15 that Jesus often withdrew to the lonely places to pray. There is a time, and this is the one I am thinking on today, that Jesus says to his close disciples, “Come away, to a quiet place and get some rest” and so they sail to another area, but arriving there and about to rest and recoup, Jesus sees the crowds that had caught wind of where he was going, and he has compassion on them and began to teach them, and then went on to feed them all… over 5000 of them… It was supposedly his ‘down time’. His  ‘me and my friends time’ and yet when he saw the people he was overwhelmed with compassion for them because he saw they were like sheep without a shepherd… they needed care and guidance and sustenance which he had in his hand to provide.

I have felt in this place, where I have withdrawn to the solitary (well tried to :-)) places in need of some rest, and it will be in those times that someone will come or call, in need -physical, spiritual, relational and I have felt what I call a “Jesus moment” about to take place. His compassion (not my own), His sustenance, His power and His provision give me what I need, at that moment to fill the need of the other person.

Now before you all get concerned that I am saying that we should all give up our rest time, me time etc… that is not what I am saying. We need time to refill and spend time letting the Holy Spirit replenish our temple (our body). We also need to set boundaries with people and not always do everything for them…

What I am saying… is that there will be times when we think we can give no more, when our tank is depleted, when we are exhausted, when we are justified in our time out, but a person will come or call with a need, and Jesus will prompt us to say ‘yes’ to the compassion that He can give us for his wounded treasures, and be amazed at His grace flowing through us and extending to others. It is often in those times I have seen the greatest breakthroughs and miracles, because it is literally less of me and more of Him… purely a “Jesus moment”. He will give you rest, and He says He will empower you to run and not grow weary…

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Miracles are beginning to flow

Last night (Thursday) we went for our usual visit to a local hostel. The only difference being Ben wasn’t able to come, but my Mum and Dad rocked up which was nice. So the boys and I headed there, picking up a bus load of friends on the way around and went and sung and shared the Bible as per usual. Then we began to pray for those who needed prayer. Some had headaches, some chest pain, and some aching legs and feet. As we laid hands on them, I could feel that God was at work (as He always is , just sometimes I fail to notice 🙂 ). The first lady I prayed for had strong chest pain- but as we prayed it stopped! We prayed for about 5 people that night and all of them said the pain was gone! Not just then, but still was gone when we left. You should have seen the smiles on their faces as God touched them. Praise our God hey. He loves His people and loves to work in signs and wonders.

I rejoice that He is touching  His people. I believe however, this is just the start. There is a lady there that needs to go in for an operation on her eyes. Well we prayed and are believing that her eyes will be healed and there will be no need for an operation. The people we visit on Thursday nights need lots of new things some need: new kidneys, new hips, new legs, new eyes. I know that for some they will have to wait until they reach heaven for these, but I do believe that God wants to heal people now. I trust that we will see the day soon where our friends here on dialysis will need it no more and they can return to their homes (some very far away) and they will be a testimony that our God is a MIRACLE WORKING GOD. We don’t want miracles for miracles sake. We want testimonies that we can share of what the power of our Jesus can do through the Holy SPirit in peoples lives. We want a new generation to experience God in the same tangible way that we have, and more. It is what we all need. It will bring transformation.

Rejoice with me, at the healings that are happening… but please PRAY to our Living God, that we will continue to see His Living Water flow and touch the lives of those we meet. Thank you for joining with us.

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