21/05/2020

Surrounded by Flawed Systems

Posted in Encouragement, Family, Finding Faith, General, Musings, Teen Trials tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:38 am by The Water Bearer

Its not surprising that, during this time when our usual way of life is placed on hold, that many more of us are beginning to see that we are surrounded by flawed systems.

As I list them out, it can be scary to realise that the things we rely on most are unstable and untrustworthy! So, you’ll want to hang on until the end for the good news and the solution to this conundrum.

We only need to switch on free to air TV to find its a flawed system. What used to be a device to entertain and inform, has been tainted by hidden agendas. The news is politically biased and promotes fear, advertising is extremely manipulative, time slots are unreliable, plenty of the content is offensive and mindless, and most of it is misleading. Its no wonder everyone moved on to pay for streaming. $$$

Speaking of making money, have you noticed how many companies alter their products just slightly enough to inconvenience us, but not enough to be found guilty of extortion? Products we’ve paid good hard-earned money for become redundant after only a short use. One example is Apple changing the headphone jack and charging ports on iPhones, so all your old charging cables and headphones are now useless. Money thrown in the bin. Living in a throw-away society has led to us throwing away money and big business knows we have little to no choice but pay up.

Now that I’ve eased you in, how about we investigate something more serious, like education. I’ve spoken to several concerned parents recently who only through the introduction of mandatory home-schooling have they begun to worry about the subject matter being taught to our children. This is something I have been aware of for quite some years, but now many of you are seeing just how often political biases and teacher’s opinions are being taught as facts. And how many of us have complained that our teens weren’t taught how to understand their vote, or how to apply for a home loan, or complete a tax return, or the workings of insurance, or the basic principles of our rights and obligations under constitutional law? Important information that would help steer the course of their lives. And don’t get me started on how words are being misused and their meanings twisted or even abolished, for the sake of simplicity and political correctness. Could the system that is supposed to expand knowledge, really be dumbing down our children?

How about our health system? Its kind of at pinnacle importance currently! How many of us have conditions which doctors have masked with drugs without identifying the cause? How many of you have stopped to research the drugs your GP prescribes? With the global push towards private health, how can we rely on a system that makes a profit by keeping us unwell? Think about it, someone in a big corporation is getting richer simply by exploiting our reality and our natural fear of suffering illness, pain, and death. And let’s not even begin to point out the flaws in the scientific community and the recent pandemic!

And its not just for-profit corporations that have warped agendas, how about churches and charities? Purposed to be places of solace to bolster faith, stand in truth, support the disenfranchised and radiate hope…. yet many of us have found the integrity of such places to be a complete disappointment. Aside from all the revelations of pedophilia, condemnation, and corruption, or the guilt trips set to coax you out of your hard earned dollars, to line their pockets or earn brownie points and gain bragging rights. Most of them simply don’t mean what they say. When integrity has completely left the church, you gotta know Jesus has left the building!

Lets get back to you…

How many of you are concerned about what to feed your family? By now many of you understand that processed and fast foods, which we have all been consuming by the truck load, since the 80’s, are poisoning us. We see the increasing amount of illnesses and allergies, disorders and inflammation, auto-immune conditions and hormone imbalances, syndromes and diseases impacting our quality of life, all of which are exacerbated by GMO’s, sugar, preservatives, artificial additives, hormones, MSG, pesticides, antifungals and more. All of which saturate products we chomp down to survive. We are beginning to see the hypocrisy that an organic meal costs 3-4 times a meal that is filled with poison. Yet even with both parents working full-time (while missing out on knowing what their kids are learning at school or watching on TV), the average family still can’t afford to feed their children non-poisonous food, or afford the medical insurance for when they get sick.

Whilst I would love to go on a spiel about the government, law, and politics, especially with the current restrictions on our freedoms, not to mention mandatory vaccines, microchips, climate change, 5G or the Magna Carta, I feel that is a rabbit-hole we could get lost in for quite some time, and by now you’re probably ready to check out from this blog post and this world with all its flawed systems. So, I will leave all that to your own research and imagination.

It’s reasonable to feel overwhelmed and helpless when surrounded by countless flawed systems, but all is not lost.

We the people are waking up to the scams, the hoaxes, the corruption, we are learning about our rights and our freedoms that our ancestors fought for. We are seeking for spiritual truth over dogma. We are searching out alternative health services and growing our own food, we are challenging our children to think for themselves and avoid swallowing their teacher’s biases.

Just like any good blockbuster, there is good and evil influencing our systems. Most of the systems mentioned above are influenced by the flesh, by greed, selfishness, thirst for power and control. They are influenced by evil, which has always set about to counterfeit the original trustworthy design of the universe.

Its no coincidence that our planet is precisely located to facilitate life perfectly, where 1 degree closer or further away from the sun would result in our destruction. Its no coincidence that organic food is best for us or that natural remedies hold untold healing capabilities. Its no coincidence that families succeed and survive better when they are a solid unit. Its no coincidence that intelligence grows as we discover more opportunities to ask questions and think for ourselves. Its no coincidence that evil is being exposed and its systems are being revealed as flawed, for the scriptures have spoken of these things for millennia. But in the end it ALL works out perfectly!

Therefore, I encourage you to have hope, especially those who have avoided reading scripture. This is all exactly how God said it would go, He warned us through His sevants the Prophets, but we chose our own way, we allowed our unrighteous urges and indulgences to drive the systems of this world instead of submitting to God’s wisdom. But the good news is that He also put in a contingency plan, so that none should perish. A Saviour, an intercessor, someone who upended evil’s opportunity for success, someone who told us that a new system, one completely other-worldly, would come in place of all current systems. A new government with Christ in charge! He passed the test, He overcame the desires of the flesh to overpower us. Instead, Christ showed us that serving all, having faith and giving up His life, His rulership and His rights for His people is what a trustworthy ruler looks like. All there is left to do is come to Him and await His return as King!

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

09/04/2020

Stupid Covid…It doesn’t even feel like Easter

Posted in Encouragement, Finding Faith tagged , , , , , at 5:33 pm by The Water Bearer

So tomorrow is Good Friday, and I know you’ve said it doesn’t even feel like Easter, which got me thinking.

Is it because no one is planning their long weekend vacations, or taking the kids on road trips? Many people were sent home from work weeks ago, so there’s none of that longing for a break, no counting down the hours until clock off. There’s no churches open to worship and share communion in. The pubs are all shut, and parties all illegal.

This is what Easter has come to mean to us, and we need our rituals, our revelry, and our routines to make things feel ‘real’.

But if were honest, its the state of the world that doesn’t feel real, but perhaps this is the most real and Biblical Easter seen for many generations!

There’s a strange anxious energy in the air, sleepless nights, weird constant dreams, schedules and plans thrown to the wind, the common law is now like shifting sand beneath our feet, we have no idea where we stand, and as each question is answered, six new questions appear in its place. The world as we know it is disappearing before our eyes and literally God only knows what the world will look like on the other side of Covid-19.

If I were alive in the days of Christ, in the lead up to His world altering cross debut, I imagine some of these same experiences were likely. When those drops of blood dripped from His brow in the garden before His arrest, there would have been this unfamiliar heightened spiritual activity too. After Christ’s death and resurrection, the world as they knew it would never be the same again.

In our Christian culture, where Christmas and Easter are celebrated every year, some Bible stories are familiar. Many of us would be familiar with the countless warnings from God to His people, that a captivity was coming if we refuse to turn to God. I don’t know about you but this sure feels like being captives. Or how about the infamous story of the ten plagues, and the Passover, where the spirit of death struck the modern city of its day, taking the lives of those without protection and leaving others untouched. Kind of like an unknown virus that is both a killer and asymptomatic at the same time, yet no one seems to know who it will strike down and who it will miss.

I’ve lost count of how many people have asked me in recent days to “put in a good word with the man upstairs” for them. Isn’t Easter the perfect reminder that each person, every single one of you, has an advocate in Heaven, vouching to God on your behalf, His own precious blood shed in your honour. You don’t need me, though you’re all in my prayers, myself included, but as my teen daughters bestie constantly quips “Y’all need Jesus!” for He is already putting in a good word for you! Hallelujah! 🙌

This Easter, we don’t need a church to worship, for all it takes is recognition and deep gratitude in our souls. We don’t need a party, for countless unseen angels filling the sky, are already celebrating the softening of our hearts. We don’t need a vacation, for time on this earth is fleeting and never meant to be our permanent home. We don’t need our distractions and our dysfunctions to survive another day, for when all the noise of life becomes quiet our ears can hear more clearly the still small voice to guide us.

The trials we face right now, are simply a test, the furnace to purify the priceless worth of precious metal, the melting pot of affliction to refine us. The clearing away of all our imperfections, our indulgences and our weaknesses, to strengthen and renew our faith.

My prayer for us this Easter is for all to be covered with the precious blood of The Lamb of God, and for hope to spill over in abundance at the possibilities of a New World.

May God bless you and give you His peace this Easter ❤️

23/03/2020

Love Conquers Fear

Posted in Encouragement, Finding Faith tagged , , , , , , , at 4:31 pm by The Water Bearer

 

“Aren’t you panicking about your trip?”

If I had a dollar for every time I have been asked this question in the past two weeks… well I could possibly afford some of that loo roll being auctioned off on eBay!

My Bestie and I have a UK trip planned and paid for this year in June. Its a dream we’ve been fantasizing about for over 20 years. I left UK 38 years ago, left behind Grandparents, Godparents and Cousins, Aunties and Uncles. Plus I have a gorgeous grown-up daughter living in London who I haven’t seen in 19 months and extended family and friends. My Bestie is Scottish and left her homeland, friends and family 20 years ago. Neither of us have been back since! To say we are looking forward to this trip is a massive understatement!

By the looks of these travel bans, we may very well need to postpone it, but I’m happy to wait and see what happens and deal with that in a couple of months time… and no I’m not panicking.

What is there to fear exactly? The dissolution of my plans? Let me be very clear when I say this… If God doesn’t want me to go, then I don’t want to go! and if He wants me to go then no stinking virus is going to stop Him!

James 4:13-15 “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.”

Proverbs 19:21Many plans are in a man’s heart, But the counsel of the LORD will stand.”

Jeremiah 10:23Lord, I know that people’s lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps.”

I’ve suffered from severe anxiety for years, on top of bipolar disorder, and panic attacks and episodes aren’t fun, but they pass. But funnily enough, the stuff I panic about is the stuff I think I can control, like car accidents, making a mistake, running late, making the right choices as a parent, finding food that won’t make me ill, or how to respond in social interactions. But the big stuff, the real scary stuff, doesn’t really bother me. I have peace and acceptance about the big stuff.

Why? You ask.

Simply because God is awesome and He takes care of the big stuff for me. I’m not always trustworthy, but He is!

Of course just like everyone, I have to combat the fears the enemy tries to whisper, trying to get me to use my power and my emotions, tempting me to throw my weight around to try to get what I want, but I’ve got a long list of evidence to lean on that I can trust God completely. This blog is filled with just such evidence.

Jeremiah 9:23This is what the Lord says: “Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the Lord.”

Our relationship with God is not based on rituals or restrictions or church attendance, it has always been and will always be a wrestling match deep down in the dirt and depths of our own heart. Its in thoughts and motives, its in submission and obedience, its in sacrifices and gratitude, midnight confessions and prayerful tears. The first step is to BELIEVE so He can show us His love, not just say we believe, but to walk it out every day in the face of fear.

So if you look around and see the big stuff and its causing you to panic, remember that God is there, He is real, He is waiting for us to open our heart to Him. He wants to rescue us and set us free! Its never too late to turn to Him.

His Love Conquers Fear!

 

 

29/11/2019

Do Not Fear… Easier Said Than Done

Posted in Encouragement, Finding Faith, Musings, Self-Awareness tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 5:43 am by The Water Bearer

Are you sick of the fear of not being good enough?

Now if your automatic response is, I don’t have that fear, I’m awesome… Let me stop you right there.

Self-Help Author, Life coach and Mega Influencer Tony Robbins says, that throughout his coaching experience of people from all walks of life, from plebs to presidents, that EVERYONE has this fear!

The ways this fear manifests is different for everyone, which is what makes it such a hard fear to pin down, not like the obvious fear of heights or closed spaces. This fear hides behind masks, pretending to be positive. It takes the shape of our motivations and passions, giving us an identity and an excuse to hang onto it, so we will never want to let it go.

One example could be a burning desire to do good and help people…. my hand is up!

Helping people is good and it feels good.. Right!

Now I’m not saying the surface action of helping people is a negative thing, but its the intention behind it which could be fed by this fear of not being good enough. Actually, the intention behind all actions has me curious.

For those who want to help others, a question to ask ourselves is, Do I need to help people? or Do I want to help people?

Again, you may automatically respond that you want to help. End of story. But when we start to consider our core beliefs around those who we think need our help, whether they accept that help or not, things start to become clearer.

How do you feel when you see a solvable problem in someone’s life that they won’t fix? Ugh!

Does the disappointment make you surge with a need to control something or someone? Yup!

Does it make you want to help those in your sphere more, you know the ones who let you fix things for them? Right!

Okay, So it may not be helping others that is your thing. So what drives you? No, really? It could be your relationship status. It could be your kids. It could be your art. It could be your image. It could be your career. It could be good times with your family & friends. It could be your financial plan. It could be your self-care routine.

This is a tough question, but can you hold the space of life’s discomfort without that thing or would that make you feel less than good enough?

See my point here is our deepest fears can drive our needs, which show up in our lives in many different ways, especially in our strongest urges.

To be perfectly honest I’m tired of trying to “Help People” who don’t really need or want my help, I’m tired of how that leaves a feeling of disappointment, as if my noble cause has become a burden somehow. Because let’s face it, some people love their problems; their drama gives them a story to share, a sense of space and time, a place in this world… And it’s their life to suffer through after all. So why should my sense of peace and acceptance suffer at their hands? Because deep down I need to attend to that fear, that drives me to ‘help people’ in order to feel I have achieved my purpose.

When we stop and evaluate the intentions of our hearts, its important to recognise our resistance to the discomforts of life, for its in these responses that we can better understand where our hearts need to increase in acceptance. Acceptance of the journey instead of a focus on the goal, the acceptance of holding the space of discomfort without having to improve it, the acceptance of self without the fear of not being good enough.

Acceptance is a tough one, probably the toughest, and for me its impossible without faith. Surrendering all my ambition, all my desire, all my defenses, all my identity and my value into the care of my trustworthy and loving Heavenly Father is the only time I can drink from the ‘Well of Acceptance’ and not come up still thirsty.

How bout you?

13/09/2019

Where is God in all this Bullshit?

Posted in Finding Faith, Musings, Self-Awareness tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 4:29 pm by The Water Bearer

We’ve all heard the argument that “If God is real, He must be a douche to allow all the horrors of this world to happen.”

This is such a cliched and somewhat ignorant stance… because WE chose thisus humans.

We were warned this would happen, patiently pleaded with to avoid it.

But…

We decided we don’t need to have a relationship with God. We decided not to heed His warnings. We decided not to participate in His agreement. We devalued His promises to bless and protect us, because instead we used our free will to choose to decide right and wrong for ourselves, whatever suits us. And really who can blame us, if institutional religion is our alternative! Sadly, the damage done throughout history in God’s name has warped our understanding of God and many have completely rejected the principles of scripture, and decided we are better off deciding right from wrong for ourselves. We’ve used this freedom to Judge God… How self-righteous we are! In the process we have created a busy indulgent world and cut ourselves off from the still small voice of God within. This is what Eve fell for in the garden, when she was told “the instant you eat it you will become like God, for your eyes will be opened—you will be able to distinguish good from evil.”

The enemy is a dead-set Liar! Of course we aren’t simply able to distinguish good from evil, not perfectly, not without total self-awareness first! (and that is one hell of an undertaking!)

To those who use the argument that God allows dysfunction to happen, I’ll ask; When the offer comes to choose for yourself what is right or wrong, do you take it, or deny yourself and trust God?

Eve didn’t deny herself or trust God. Only a handful truly have. Those who have denied themselves and trusted God, steered western culture towards freedom and unity, towards blessing and healing, prosperity and protection, but many many more have not…

And here we are…

Its an unimaginably hard thing to trust God, because its not until we test Him that we learn of His trustworthiness. In order to test God, we must play our part, and that means denying ourselves.

OUCH right!

Think of it this way…

As a wellness instructor, I see people everyday who are battling one health concern or another. And its easy to become bitter and blame God for dropping us into these defective bodies. In today’s day and age, we have so much information and awareness about how to look after our bodies, and yet we continue in our unhealthy habits. We refuse to deny ourselves the ease, indulgence and comfort we’ve convinced ourselves we deserve. How can we blame anyone but ourselves when we experience preventable health issues?

We are living longer than ever in human history and yet are riddled with chronic disease (many of which are preventable), we would rather live forever and shake our fist at the sky when we suffer, than accept death as part of the human condition and TRUST GOD with our eternity. So we resisted and chose a different reality than the one God wanted to bless us with, and again here we are.

Its the same as with our faith, if we spend our days ignoring our prayer life, ignoring the scriptures, ignoring the still small voice of God within us, and avoiding giving thanks for all that we DO HAVE, How can we expect God to keep up to His end of the agreement? How can we blame God for the dysfunction we asked for, by thinking we can do a better job of deciding right from wrong than Him? How can we expect God to swoop in and fix everything for us, when we chose to go down the road that takes us as far from Him as possible?

Seems pretty simple to me, but what would I know, I’m only human.. I could be wrong, and so could you? And that’s precisely why we need God.

As believers it is up to us refresh the faith of this world. No more gimmicks, No more manipulation, No more threats of a future HELL! Use the hell we experience right now as evidence that we need to change our ways. Those of us who are genuine in our faith walk will have plenty of actual lived experience and testimony of how AWESOME God is, without having to bully people. They don’t fall for the fear tactics of the media. They walk in faith between the blessings and the curses. Remember, it makes no difference what the state of the world appears to be, because God is still faithful to His word even when we aren’t and we know who wins in the end. Yeeeew!

06/08/2019

To KNOW Who You Are

Posted in Encouragement, Finding Faith, Musings, Self-Awareness tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:41 am by The Water Bearer

If I had a dollar for every time in my life when I hid my own truth, and willingly swallowed someone else’s opinion, I would be a very rich woman. Far too often, a people pleaser will stay quiet when someone needs to speak up for the truth, and a people pleaser does this because they have no idea who they really are.

It was a couple of decades ago when I first realised my people pleasing tendencies and began to question the costs of going with the flow, I started speaking up, I stopped always following the advice of others, and began to stop believing every judgmental opinion cast upon me. Sure, I’ve come a long way, but realistically, I still catch myself giving a few pieces of mental real estate to those who have proven they don’t know me, nor have my back.

That is something I still find disturbing.

Iron sharpens iron, and I want to be sharp! I am not so deceived to believe that I am incapable of being wrong, I am well aware of the sinful nature that tries to trick me into defending it when it rises up and undermines my character, as I am sure many of you will nod in agreement. Most often, the negative opinions aim to undermine my faith and my message, or to accuse my heart of arrogance & self-righteousness.

So I go away and pray “Lord, I know I am capable of being arrogant, just spend 5 minutes with my ego! I know I am capable of being self-righteous, just spend 5 minutes watching adverts for reality TV with me to witness the judgmental comments fly! Lord, I know I am capable of doubt, in those moments when my faith is shaken. Yet in each situation, when I have spoken boldly of your truth, and the wonders you have led me through, and shared the wisdom you have graciously shared with me, read my heart Lord and show me my sin.”

Then I can trust His mercy and conviction to tenderly handle my short-comings, and reveal to me where HE wants me to improve. And the added bonus is He can create situations that actually bring about the changes He wants!

I’ve always tried to give value to each persons voice, because I value their soul and perspective, and don’t want to be blind-sided by my own ignorance, but there is a line that must be drawn in order for me to step even more boldly into my purpose. And that is to still value the soul of each human being, but not simply see myself through their eyes, nor change my truth to suit their narrative. It is far too toxic, especially looking through the eyes of those who aren’t even aware of their own arrogance, their own ignorance, their own doubts, or their own self-righteousness.

They don’t know themselves, so how can they know me & how can they know you?

There is only ONE who knows our hearts, even better than we know ourselves… and He is the ONLY one we can depend on when it comes to knowing who we are. The scriptures have the perfect precision of discerning the intentions of our hearts and revealing to us where we’re being led astray by our nature, or our ego, or the enemy.

Men and women of Remnant Faith have been called to speak boldly, especially in times when its not popular or convenient. And be assured if we do this, we will be persecuted for it, just as our Lord Himself was. It is the voices that make us doubt who we are that prevent us fulfilling this calling.

So here is a reminder to focus on who God knows me to be… (Feel free to apply it to yourself too!)

I am His!

Whoever the world thinks I am is none of my concern if I know who I am!

17/06/2019

Catching Zzzz’s & Escape plans

Posted in Encouragement, Finding Faith, Self-Awareness tagged , , , , , , , , at 2:41 pm by The Water Bearer

Loud snores rattle out across the room, as the group lay on their Pilates mats in astronaut’s rest pose, trying to stay focused on the guided relaxation portion of the class.

This is a common occupational hazard if you’re a meditation instructor.

Its hard for clients to direct their attention to the “sounds around them” without bursting into laughter at the chainsaw buzzing from someone’s nasal cavity. :o)

I’ve been told that having the ability to put someone to sleep (especially at their first class) is a unique gift I have. I must admit, it is sweet that they are so comfortable in my class that sleep is easy to find.

However, jokes aside, there is something about it that highlights the necessity for increased mindfulness practice in today’s world.

While I’m flattered that some find my voice and relaxation techniques so relaxing that they drift off to slumber, this is not exactly what Sanctuary Stretch is aiming for. If we are on auto-pilot hour after hour and mind-wandering is our mind’s default setting, then trying to slow thoughts and focus them is extremely difficult at first. The mind simply looks for an escape, because focused attention for that long at that slow pace is like lifting weights for our concentration. Falling asleep is a common and initial phase when practicing mindfulness meditation, but its not helpful if we are still falling asleep regularly after a few months of practice.

Many of my clients come to Sanctuary Stretch to help with mental health struggles, as well as seeking flexibility and physical wellbeing. When reality is a place of emotional upheaval, or fear, or pain, or lack of hope, its common for a client to be searching for an ESCAPE.

Peace is certainly a state we are aiming for, however escaping reality to find peace is not a healthy long-term solution. I try to encourage my clients to practice staying awake, staying with me, and watching out for the mind’s escape plans.

You may be asking.. “What’s so wrong with falling asleep during meditation?” (Aside from the obvious snoring that is!)

One of the reasons I believe in the practice of Sanctuary Stretch so deeply, is because it is a carefully considered strategy to combat the struggles of life. That’s right I said combat! Because Combat reminds us of what’s at stake.

I understand the desire to want to escape, to wish you could give up, to feel the pressure is just too much sometimes, I honestly do, just read this post to see for yourself. But I know you are capable of much more than you give yourself credit for, and there are resources that can fill up your arsenal so that rather than looking for an escape, you are more likely to step forward to the front line of the war for your soul and feel competent because you have on your armour, you have your weapons, and your know how to use them.

Its pretty clear to me, that having the confidence to face life’s trials is far more realistic and beneficial than trying to avoid them. Our Inner Enemies of doubt and fear are hell-bent on depleting our confidence and faith, they want us to feel helpless in the face of struggles and trauma. But let’s not fall for the lie that Life is meant to be easy! Its not! Falling for this lie only leads to self-limiting beliefs and bitterness. The friction and contention we come up against in life has a very specific purpose – To prepare us, to mature us, to show us what we are capable of, and to help us reach our highest potential.

Without these things we become atrophic, useless, and defeated, when we didn’t even accept or realise that we are in a war.

So next time you practice mindfulness meditation, catch yourself before your mind escapes, and use your intention to strengthen the muscles of the mind, to get familiar and skillful at wielding the weapons of faith and self-awareness so that you may claim your victory, rather than your retreat!

12/05/2019

Is there a Quick Fix for Evil?

Posted in Finding Faith, Musings, Self-Awareness tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:55 am by The Water Bearer

I was recently invited to a healing and deliverance evening, a dear friend of mine asked me to go with him to give some spiritual discernment. The reason for his interest was curious and open as his faith has begun to blossom in the past few years, plus he was invited by someone we have known for decades. Still, as with all things ‘religious’ we can’t go in with blind faith, except blind faith in God, specifically the God we have a personal daily relationship with.

I appreciate that the people who ran this event, and the guy who invited us along, had good and perhaps even the best of intentions. They believe in the healing blood of Christ and had quite a bit to say on their experience with deliverance from demonic possession, and healing. I’ve seen events like this before, when I was very young. However, they seem archaic and unsophisticated to me these days.

Picture grown men standing in front of a group of seemingly sane and healthy people, (no one was deaf or lame or having fits of demonic insanity) they stood calling out to a whole host of specific evil spirits such as witchcraft, false tongues, Jezebel, psychology and unforgiveness, etc and requesting the demons ‘manifest’ before them as they claim to burn them with the fire of the anointing which the ‘Holy spirit’ had apparently filled the room with. This ‘calling out’ type performance went on for more than an hour, while everyone in attendance was asked to stay in prayer and connect to what they want to change in their life. I was disturbed initially, because while I consider myself someone who prays almost consistently throughout each day, focused prayer for that long was like running a marathon. I was equally disturbing being encouraged to empower my own will instead of submission in prayer.

There are a number of other reasons, besides the common ‘this is bullshit’ assumption, as to why I came away feeling disturbed. Let me be clear when I say that I’m not a sceptic, I’m emphatically discerning, and casting out demons is no game, it is something I have had some personal experience with, but I struggle to find authenticity in these dramatic performance type scenarios. I wasn’t around in Jesus’s day, and I’ve never witnessed (with my own eyes) any instant healings personally. The only way I’ve witnessed a soul tie be broken and someone finally purge an entity that has held them captive, is with love. Pure, close, personal, challenging, faithful, patient love. Love that endures, loves that hopes, love that never fails. Ok, yes fervent Prayer and Love. And the times I’ve experienced miraculous healing has been in God’s perfect timing, as my faith grew, and not much to do with who prayed for me.

True, Powerful, Godly Love holds no account of wrongs and yet these guys were intent on making anyone in the room who experiences, for example unforgiveness, feel possessed, and then offered a false hope to relieve the victim of these ‘evil spirits’. Again, I’m not a sceptic, I’m emphatically discerning. I’m not denying the awesome power of the blood of Christ, I have seen for myself how powerful it is. Nor am I dismissing the toxic effect unforgiveness, among other disorders, can have on our health and our hearts. However, aside from the Lord’s return, there is no end to evil, no quick fix, no one time cure all for the evil within us. As I’ve touched on before, the Cross and achieving the Born Again condition are continuously increasing processes of development. I love how Steve Furtick says it something like this… “Salvation is immediate, but sanctification requires a process! Forgiveness is instant once you recognise the truth of Christ on the cross, but freedom happens little by little!”

It is how we endure with faith and confession in the face of our sinful human nature that keeps us hungering and thirsting for righteousness, it keeps us humbly at the foot of the cross. The love found there has the power to help us overcome the things which seek to enslave us, such as sexual depravity, addiction, gossip, and so on however there will always be deeper evil in us, such as selfishness, bitterness, pride, fear, greed, envy, stubbornness etc. When they hint that simply ‘calling out’ a demon allows the victim to be ‘free’, it suggests that there is only a certain number of demons in someone and once they have been ‘cast out’ then there are no more demons! I have strong inclination that this is a lie from the pit of hell!

Its a false hope to claim that there is an end to the demons within us, for as long as we have breath we have sin, the blood of Christ has paid for and removed the death penalty of sin, but to be free from captivity of sin is a very specific heart condition, until then we are still in the process of purging our inner enemies! Even afterwards, we aren’t sin-free because we intercede for others, we experience sin, even if its not coming from within our own hearts. This deliverance performance is the exact type of thinking that has led many so-called ‘Christians’ into comparing sins between each other, creating a hierarchy of dominant believers who falsely judge the hearts of others. It makes my blood boil, for ALL have fallen short of the glory of God, and continue to do so as long we live! This is why we need a saviour daily! Why we need to take up our cross daily!

Even the apostle Paul, prayed for God to remove his tormenting demon, his ‘thorn in the flesh’, but God showed Paul how that demonic weakness was the very opportunity to perfect God’s power!

“So to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-9

This blog has been dedicated for 7 years to exposing the enemy in his true form, within us! If you want to understand how these systems work and find your own personal deliverance, then search through the archives of this blog until your heart is content. Self-awareness and a personal relationship with God are the most vital sanctifying aspects of any faith walk, we battle the enemy as long as we are in the flesh, for the purpose of revealing God’s power in our lives so that we may have unwavering faith during these end days. Let’s not skip over that process looking for a “quick fix”. Let’s trust that God knows how to handle these beasts within and is willing to guide and teach us if we turn our ear to His voice and are willing to obey, even if we suffer for it. Let’s not deceive ourselves into thinking we have a better way to heaven than His way.

Remember, we know who wins in the end, until then we keep on taking up whichever cross the Lord has deemed us able to carry. We do it willingly. We do it trustingly. Allowing God to use our circumstances to purge the soul ties from our lives, bearing with one another and trusting the Lord with our own personal thorns in the flesh. Allowing His light to shine brightest in our weakness, so that He may receive all glory, and not us or our deliverance ministers.

02/01/2019

Setting Intentions for 2019

Posted in Encouragement, Finding Faith, Musings, Self-Awareness tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 9:28 am by The Water Bearer

How do you approach a New Year?

It feels so shiny and fresh, doesn’t it! A clean slate to paint a new masterpiece.

I’m not a fan of making new year’s resolutions, I kind of see them like I see marriage ceremonies in the modern world, a “promise” that can easily be broken. There is something powerful about our words, our vows, and when they become watered down and meaningless a little piece of that power dies. As I look about the world I see a lot of dying power and meaningless promises. So, instead of making another promise that I may break, I start my new year by setting intentions.

An intention is something you come back to over and over, so that if you drift off track, or ‘fail to stay true’ there is no loss of power, just a little refocus back to your intention and away you go again.

Before I share my intentions for 2019, a little backstory…

The past 4 years have exploded for me in my calling and gifts. Something about my time in Africa opened up my faith to levels that I felt even my biggest most unfathomable dreams were somehow possible. So, I took some time out from writing my novel (a promise I made to God 20 years ago), and began the task to create and open Sanctuary Stretch. Since then I have been overwhelmed with an abundance of ideas of how I can build this ministry/business, which has kept my focus from returning completely back to my promised novel.

By the last half of 2018 I was at the end of my tether. I had created this amazing program and was running a few classes and workshops, and yet I felt defeated. By having so much inspiration, and starting a dozen new mini-projects, none of which came to completion, I was just so sick of wasting precious time. God was showing me in every direction that time was fleeting and the final round was upon us and yet I felt if I held onto these alluring mini-goals I could still reach the finish line before time runs out.

So as this new year dawned, I didn’t want to drag the frustration of last year into this shiny new year. I decided to take some time on my favourite beach to reflect on the past year, pray, quieten the noise of my mind and the world, and listen for what God was trying to tell me.

The intentions that came out of that time on the beach were 3 fold:

  1. To deny my own will and give God the floor to bring His Will into fruition (or in other words, to see the eternal rewards, rather than looking for mini ‘worldly’ rewards).
  2. To spend more time practicing what God has taught me, instead of always trying to teach it to others (especially those who may not have asked for it).
  3. To be more relaxed with myself and my family over our mistakes and missteps. (I am hyper-responsible sometimes and need to practice more tolerance and learn to laugh at myself more).

I took some time to journal out these intentions, and as a way to ensure I had denied my own will, I sat at God’s feet and cast lots, (this is a great way to discover how God wants to proceed) I held up every one of my projects and asked which ones I was meant to push forward with, which to throw out and which to put aside for the time being.

Some were a deadest NO, others were WAIT, but wouldn’t you know it.. I got the go ahead on only one project.

The Novel.

I’m so grateful that God prompted me to wake up and smell the urgency of keeping my promise. Now I can enter 2019 with my intentions set and one goal to focus on, turning the 55,107 word, 89 page document into a fully-fledged book. Wow that’s scary to say out loud!!

ARGH! I’m going to need so much help!

Good job “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” (Philippians 4:13)

Mini goals are so much easier, tempting us with small rewards, and yet the big stuff, the stuff that requires a heap more faith, that is where the real and lasting rewards lie.

What are your intentions for this blank canvas, 2019? Are you sick of wasting precious time as well and ready to keep that big promise?

 

07/12/2018

2018! What was that?

Posted in Encouragement, Finding Faith, Musings, Self-Awareness tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 11:55 am by The Water Bearer

I was hesitant to publish this post, because it exposes my more controversial insights. However, I am too excited not to record this for future reflection! I know I’m not alone when I say that 2018 was one epic, hectic, uncharted, warp-speed, challenging and astounding year! I’m unsure how many people out there notice spiritual patterns… But I for one see them everywhere, and 2018 was riddled with a few very specific sequences.

What on earth am I talking about? Well let me explain….

The first and most obvious was the fluctuation in time. Each year we all hear the cliché, “Time gets faster every year” But this year was significantly faster than most, because it was jam packed with developments in the spiritual calendar. I doubt we could maintain this speed for long without going insane, so I for one am interested to see exactly what the time fluctuations will be in 2019.

In 2018 I noticed some huge life-altering changes, as well as some pretty intense attacks, plus the purging of some life-long strong holds, there were huge revelations and breakthroughs, and last but definitely not least I noticed evidence of God tying up loose ends and separating the wheat from the chaff.

First lets look a little at the overarching and perhaps most interesting aspect of the 2018 spiritual patterns, the separating the wheat from the chaff, which is creating a huge divide between those who have hearts that soften under God’s hand, and those who hold onto their stubborn ignorance. I say ignorance because all those who I’ve seen fall into this pattern of separation were given many many chances to turn their hearts and their ears to God’s call, and instead chose to close off their hearts and block their ears, in order to cling to what suits them better., i.e their own understanding and place in the world.

There has been a significant amount of evidence that God is tying up loose ends as well in 2018. Especially as those who have been persecuted and ridiculed in the past are now being vindicated and those who stood against the remnant are being exposed. The chaff and the persecutors seem to have nowhere hide as God reveals the consequences of having enough rope to hang oneself.

The chickens have come home to roost, and I trust God and I know His judgments are fair and justified, because He alone can read the hearts of men. Still I feel sadness for those who are now suffering. And I don’t mean suffering like the spiritual warfare many of us are suffering under, the frequent yet temporary spiritual attacks or death by a thousand papercuts. No, the suffering I am seeing goes right to the pit of Hell and they aren’t escaping it. They are struggling to find any way out, because there is only one way out, and that’s through the Cross!

He is ready to separate the chaff from the wheat with his winnowing fork. Then he will clean up the threshing area, gathering the wheat into his barn but burning the chaff with never-ending fire.” Matt 3:12 NLT

So that my friends is the revealing of the ‘chaff’.

As for the wheat! Well it’s time to raise the roof if you are counted as Wheat! Yeeew!

It seems 2018 was the year for change and a year for truth (well for those who value truth at least!). Those of us who had been held captive by lies for far too long saw the light split through and bring clarity! So much clarity, which in turn empowered the courage to take leaps of faith and accept the changes on the horizon, rather than plodding along as normal. This shift saw changes in family dynamics, career paths, finances, schooling, health, location and even faith. It was refreshing, but not without its pains. As with all spiritual empowerment there comes backlash. The intensity of the attacks rose significantly this year, however they seemed short lived for those with strong faith. Just a day here and a week there of distress followed by another incredible and intimate burst of faith. When going through these distress patterns its always important to ask ourselves, “What is God purging from my life?” Often the answer is not just the obvious superficial cleansing but a deeper hidden motive which needs pulling out at the root. This is fabulous news for those who’ve been praying for personal breakthroughs!

Back to touch on that earlier point of ‘incredible and intimate bursts of faith’, the amount of revelation throughout 2018 has been outstanding for those who are open to hearing it. Epiphanies are coming thick and fast as God reveals His secrets to those who trust in Him. If we can manage to hold onto our sanity during the attacks, then the highs are Heavenly indeed!

“Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” Jeremiah 33:3 (KJV)

If none of this makes sense to you, I apologise for the confusion. Those who see the world with physical eyes instead of seeing the spiritual world with their hearts, will surely be confused by this post.

All I have to say is simply this. If what I am seeing is accurate then you will know if you are wheat or you are chaff. You know if you constantly turn your ear to hear God’s voice and follow Him through thick and thin, or if you have chosen not to listen and go your own way.

It’s not too late….. but something BIG is coming so let’s be willing to do whatever it takes to be on the winning side! A little discernment and self-awareness goes a long way!

I’d love to hear if your insights can confirm or deny these patterns. Please get in touch. xx

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