Thursday, 28 March 2013

Whats in the garage?

The garage, a place of storage, a place of dealing with things later when time allows, a place often  of mess.  That's whats in our garage anyway.

I woke up out of my sleep last night with this 'there's something in the garage'.  So at midnight I woke up Jim and got him out checking out the garage and I found the cars had been left unlocked outside with the windows down, the water heater in the prayer room (one of our garages) was still on from the prayer time that morning, milk on the bench and so thankful that I was woken to check things out.

But after this I then had another dream and in this dream we were quests at someone's home invited for dinner but in this home after dinner the host was so concerned about her home and the particular way her curtain was hung it was really fascinating.  She was so wrapped up in her house and how things should be done that she failed to notice her husband sitting on the chair waiting to talk to her and in the end he got up and just walked out, their marriage over and she never noticed or cared about it as she was so concerned about her house.

As I was thinking about this I realised this is so much the case with so many in society today.  In dream language curtains talk about the fleshy veil and in looking at this dream this lady was so concerned about things of the flesh that she forgot about and didn't spend any time with her husband and her relationship with him to the point he just got up and left, unnoticed.

I believe this is a warning for us today that we not get caught up in the things of the flesh, our homes, our possessions, our own desires, that we don't even notice those relationships around us that are disintegrating and falling apart.  If we don't take that time and spend it with those who are important to us we may find that those relationships will no longer be there and you will one day wonder where those people went to.  I remember my grandfather at a very old age recognising that his family was the most important thing in life but by that stage he has spent all his life playing golf and not spending that time needed in the earlier years building that relationship with his family.

The reason I share the bit at the beginning about the garage is because your family, your relationships are not something that should be put in the garage for later, to sort out when you have time because if your garage is anything like Jims, you never get back to it.  All the best intentions of the world but because it is out there, it is like out of sight out of mind and so our relationships need to be something that we don't store up for another day, but to put it in a place of prominence so you don't forget what is important and to spend that time with the people in your world.

Many blessings this Easter!  Take the time to consider what is important in life and perhaps readjust some areas to make way for the things that are really of value - each other.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

How do we honour?

This morning I am pondering how we truly show honour to people?  I was thinking about how to honour some people and the Lord said to me “Sarah honour them the way you want to receive honour.”  I found that really interesting as it made me question as to what I see as honour toward me in my own life.

While mowing the lawns I came to see that honour is actually shown more deeply from people when it is given from the heart, sown by that particular persons love language perhaps and so often we don’t receive the honour that people are giving us if we are expecting it a certain way.  For instance the other day a beautiful lady in the Lord gave me a couple of very small roses to wear on my clothes.   It was so beautiful and so touched my heart and spoke volumes to me and the honour and love she was showing me because she had thought of me.  Often we miss the love and honour someone is trying to show us because we see it from how we expect to receive it.  Another lady gave me a gift to give to my daughter which just blew me away and so touched our hearts of her thoughtfulness and love toward us as a family even though she has only met my daughter once or twice.

So in thinking about it I thought that actually love and honour towards someone is shown I believe more deeply through the love languages that people have and they can be all different.  For one it may be gift giving, for another time spent with people, for another seeing a need and fulfilling it where they can, for another just listening to someone.

So along with me, lets look out for the honour that is given in our lives although perhaps different to how you may give it and we will see and appreciate how much God is showing his love toward us through people because every good gift is from God.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Journeys in life we are called to do alone

There are things that we have to journey in life that can be very lonely places.  Places where we feel that nobody else understands how we feel.  Places where we hurt, where we struggle, where we question.

For many of us that will look different for each one of us at different times of our lives.  Some of these areas of loneliness are:
Grief - Death of someone close to you
Singleness and wanting to be married
Abuse – sexual, verbal
Our beliefs and standing up for them when no one else understands or believes
Wanting children but unable to have them for whatever reason
Financial ruin
Health & physical issues

These are just some of the areas that come to mind for me and I am sure most of you can relate to an area in some way but there will be other areas as well.

These are places where we cry out to God or to whoever will hear our cry.  Places like Hannah in 1 Samuel 1:10 where in “bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the Lord”.  They are places where in our soul there is a bitterness, or a grief, a struggle, that can overwhelm us and in these places what do we do, where do we go for help?

For many of us we go to our friends and cry out for help but often this can be a place where we feel let down by people.  They don’t seem to understand our pain, our struggle, or for whatever reason they don’t see it.  For Hannah in her pain she wept and cried out to the Lord.  For me I have cried out to people but have learnt that they can only temporarily, if at all, ease my pain and so I have learnt that for complete understanding and a way forward I have had to go to the Lord.
But in learning to take it to him, I find relief, I find rest, I find peace.  Although the situation may not go away, the assurance that God knows my pain, knows my need, knows my desires and that I can trust in him to work things together for good, gives me the strength I need to continue on. 

Some of these journeys in life are very lonely journeys but it is through these times where we find where our strength comes from.  We are not alone.   The Lord knows our pain, understands our struggle and is with us in our time of need.  He is always there even when we can’t feel him, touch him, hear him or see him.

People can try and help and will often say things in this time that are from their heart, words that can help direct us, but when we are in these places often we don’t hear them as we are so downcast and cannot see a way out sometimes.

There are many lonely experiences for people shown throughout the bible that we can relate too in our own experiences; 

Esther was called to be queen and to step forward in a situation that only she could change through courage and a willingness to put her life on the line, even though there were people standing with her in prayer.  She was very alone in stepping forward.

Abraham was called by God to bring Isaac as a sacrifice, a very harrowing journey for any parent but because of his trust in his God, he could walk it.

Job and the loss of everything around him.
Hannah in barrenness
David in the death of a child and the struggles of temptation of sexual sin.
And the list goes on.

All of these stories in the bible give us strength to walk our journey and show us that it is alright to experience the pain and suffering that we sometimes feel, the questionings of why etc.  That we don’t have to have it all together, all of the time.  That as it says in Ecclesiastes, there is a time and season for everything but that everything is made beautiful in its time.
The Bible is full of hope that helps us in our time of need.  In our journey that we feel where no one understands our struggle, we can go to some of these stories and find people that can relate with our experience and the way through that the Lord has brought into their lives which encourage us on in the place we are in.

May the Lord strengthen you with all grace in your journeys in life that are a place of difficulty.

A love that lays its life down for another.....

Something that Jim and I are working through is the understandings of grace and freedom that is flying around at the moment and how that effects our lives and how we live it out on a daily basis with those around us.

We live in a society that is instant, that we have what we want whenever we want it.  That its all about me and my freedoms of thinking, of speech, of rights as dictated by the law under a democratic system.
So how does that effect how we behave and think as a Christian under a 'Kingdom' system of authority, of servanthood and yielding, dare I put the word 'submitting', choosing to be a 'bond slave' for Christ?
Of surrending our rights so that the person alongside is built up and not made to feel worse because of where they are at which is not the same place as me?

I see it time and time again as we fight for our rights to be 'free' under Christ, start to walk in that freedom, then lord that freedom over other people and to a point of actually judging where another person is at in their walk, and in so doing putting yourself above others.  And sometimes finding ourselves saying "well its your issue and not mine so you have to deal with it."

Paul writes about becoming all things to all people in order that he might win a few.  How do we not put a stumbling block in front of our brother because we love him and so we willingly surrender our freedom of say for example speech and swear as we do in our freedom, but choose not to,  because we know that it effects someone else perhaps because they are from a different generation and that is offensive to them and because we love our brother we don't want to do anything that might be offensive to them.

I myself have struggled with this as I love to preach, am called to preach and fly when I preach but in preaching and going into all different churches, different denominations, different belief systems, different places of where people are at and knowing the freedoms I have found in Christ, how do I bring that preaching and the manifestations of the power of God to the level of where they are at in way that doesn't cause offence but leads them higher without demanding of them to be at the same place I am at?  It has been and continues to be a real challenge to me and one in which I am still asking the Lord to teach me and show me the way.

But it is something I want to grow in is the walking in the freedoms I have found in the Lord and at the same time still loving my brother or sister in such a way that I willingly surrender my freedoms in lifting them higher.   I believe that is the call of Christians in loving is to lay down our lives for our brother.  John 15:13  "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends".  And of course we can't do this once again in our own strength but as I ask the Lord to show me how I may love people better he shows me things that I can do which builds relationships rather than tears it down, and he also shows me areas where I have caused offense in the past so that I can change the way in the future.  God is soooo good that he has soooo much for us and those around us and as we lay our lives down he lifts us up!

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Don't be deceived - be careful who you are following

I had this dream the other day where I saw a whole bunch of my friends following after a lady who was popular and well known and they were going to hear her but as they got in her possession she was evil and was out to kill them, she was deliberately deceiving them.
I found myself in this dream warning the people not to follow her and so now I find myself warning people about being deceived and not to follow after people.

We are not to follow after people, we are to follow after God and Jesus Christ.  We are not to look to people for what they can give us but we are to look to God.  If we look to God and read his word then it is harder to become deceived because the word of God is truth and it reveals truth as we read it and we find the areas of error that may be coming in.

I find myself sometimes heading down a certain direction and becoming a little unbalanced in my theology (my beliefs) until I read the word again which brings me back in line and on track.

It is good to read and to listen to other people and their opinions but be careful that you align it all with the word of God.  If you are reading more of other peoples stuff or listening to other people more than having your own time with the word and with the Lord, then it is easier to head down a certain track than getting a balanced view and so you become susceptible to becoming deceived.

Also something I find on a regular basis when I am praying for people is that when God brings a word of knowledge for healing or for whatever reason and people come to prayer, very quickly in receiving prayer the focus turns to the person praying for them rather than to God.  And so I encourage you when receiving prayer to keep our eyes on Jesus and not look to man as the Lord is our healer.  It is only God who heals, not man.

I Cor 3:5-7  "What, after all, is Apollos?  And what is Paul?  Only servants, through whom you came to believe - as the Lord has assigned to each his task  I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.  So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow."

Monday, 11 March 2013

Isaiah 54 Stretch wide the tent pegs

We had a special night of people meeting from all different places, different churches, different towns and coming together in fellowship, food and worship was just wonderful.  People who had not met before but became connected to others from across the body of Christ. From the Far North to Waipukura.

There was definitely a call for each one of us to 'stretch wide the tent pegs' like that in Isaiah 54.  That now is not a time for holding back but for enlargement, that today is the day of salvation, that today is the day of Gods favour and each one of us have a responsibility to stretch out our boundaries and step out in faith into what the Lord has said for our lives.  So that is a challenge I bring to all those who read this - stretch out your tent pegs.

On the night it was like an orchestra that tunes up its instruments and then finally plays a great sound in harmony, is a little what it was like on the night in the spirit.  Initially all of us finding our tune individually and then together corporately coming together.  And that is to be expected when you have different denominations, different generations etc coming together that it takes a bit to find the tune where we all flow together but as the night progressed the Lord brought the sound of the spirit of unity, brought the transforming presence of God as we worshipped, as we focused on Him and not on others, as we loved on each other.  

I just love what the Lord is doing and what he is teaching both Jim and I and those around us.  We are continually learning.  The question I want to put out there is what was God teaching you and showing you through this time, what are the areas in your life that you need to stretch out the tent pegs?  

If you have testimonies we would love to hear them as people were prayed for healing in various things and we would love the glory to go to God.  Don't hold back the testimonies because it denies what the Lord has done, whether it be a physical healing or emotionally God setting something right in your life.  Please share the testimonies, if not to us then to those around you.  Lets give the Lord the glory due his name!





Thursday, 7 March 2013

Has a giant moved back into your place? Does your bathroom need repainting?

The other day I had a couple of dreams that I believe the Lord is speaking in and they actually are speaking about the same thing.

The first one I saw the inside of a bathroom being repainted.  The walls, ceilings, everything was being painted and the colour changed.
The bathroom is a place of cleansing and by it being repainted I believe that God is wanting us to do some internal work in our lives, things that need changing.

The second one was I saw Giants coming from another place and moving into houses and they were like giant trees and they blended into the walls and you couldn't tell they were they as they moulded into the walls but they were there.
There was a sense of familiarity about them and so I believe there are some things that have moved back into places that shouldn't be there but because we are familiar with them we don't even notice them.  And I know for myself this past week things like 'perfectionism' is something that is familiar with me that actually is like a giant in my life and it causes me and others around me stress when this giant moves back in.  I was talking to Jim about this and what are the giants in our lives and really it comes down to anything that sets itself up against the Kingdom of God which is righteousness, peace and joy and all the fruit of the Spirit found in Gal 6.

So I encourage you to take a look at your lives and check out whether some familiar giants have moved back into your home that shouldn't be there.   Once recognising the giants, perhaps a giant of fear over finances, or a giant of inferiority, or a giant of pride, a giant of anger, whatever the giant may be, we then need to seek out the truth and speak the truth and tell that giant to get out.
So for example for me over the giant perfectionism, reminding myself that I don't need to have it all together in a society that says I do.  God gives us enough for us to do each day and if I find myself getting stressed it is because I am doing more than I need too and that stress is transferred to others and is more often than not self imposed and not from God.  God doesn't care if my bathroom is messy for a day or two.  God doesn't care if my bed doesn't get made.  These are things we care about and yes it is good to be organised but the Lord would rather my bed was not made and I was in peace than my bed made and everyone in the household stressed out because of an unmade bed.  If I died tomorrow an unmade bed is not going to be significant at all.  So the reminder of the truth of some of our situations is like throwing a stone at a giant.   So lets fling a few truth stones and kill those giants that take away our peace, our righteousness and our joy and instead be filled to overflowing with the Kingdom of God that effects and changes nations simply because we walk in his peace, his righteousness and his joy!

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Wednesday 6 March

This Wednesday night at Puketaha Hall we have Peter & Helen Brown sharing of their recent trip to Thailand and Cambodia ministering with Randy Clark and team.  They have come home with a great passion for more and want to share what the Lord has given to others so come expectant and bring friends who need healing!