21/05/2012

God….Really?*

Posted in Encouragement, Finding Faith, Musings tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 1:23 pm by The Water Bearer

Most people who know me know that I have faith. I often get called ‘religious’ which progressively makes my skin crawl. These days I am quick to correct them, stating that “I am faithful, not religious!” I love to share stories about the wonderful things God has done in my life, but sometimes my stories are simply laughed at and dismissed.  I am not surprised by this anymore and I try not to feel any offense. I realise the damage that has been done to the reputation of God through many years of worldly disagreements and disappointments, which led to war and doubt.

It saddens me that the God I know is getting a bad rap because His name is too often used as a front for ‘religious humans’ to hide behind. I believe most church goers mean well, but with all their influence, why are so many people increasingly deterred away from God due to their opinion of the church? For example I do not currently attend church and neither does many of my faithful friends and family. Ask yourselves honestly, how common is the reaction to want to run when someone introduces themselves as ‘A Born Again Christian’?

Is it simply that we may have had an experience with ‘religiosity’, or ‘crackpots’, rather than with the awesome and abundant love from God?

Isn’t it possible that someone who claimed to represent God to us may have let us down, betrayed our trust, or even caused us or someone we love pain? Therefore we may mistakenly apply the onus to fall back onto God and not the mere human using His name.

I personally would rather the onus fell back onto the enemy within the church, rather than blaming God for everything. So that we would continue to pursue His internal voice and build a relationship with Him, no matter what this world could do to us to try and cause lack of faith.

The Apostle Paul, wrote in the book of Thessalonians that the enemy of God would sit at the head of the church claiming to be God. (2 Thess 2:4 “The son of destruction, who puts himself against all authority, lifting himself up over all which is named God or is given worship; so that he takes his seat in the Temple of God, putting himself forward as God.”)

Are we searching for God and finding His counterfeit?

I believe this counterfeit is fooling masses. If this enemy is actually an ‘angel of light’, he is not quite the obvious “red-horned” ugliness which we imagine we should be aware of. Thinking about it, I believe the enemy knows God very well, he was the Lord’s right-hand man, His closest associate. Who else could portray our Heavenly Father so convincingly, yet destroy faith in Him in the process?

I believe we need to seek into our own hearts where the true spirit of God lies and ask Him to show us His TRUTH. We need to strive to not settle for anything less, refusing to allow ourselves to be seduced by an easier, more attractive, and yet less righteous path.

We can test it by reading the Bible and researching to see if what we are led to believe lines up with what we read in God’s word and be humbled under His authority and virtue. If nothing else it’s a good read and a great guide for ways to handle the ups and downs of life.

I used to read the headlines from the back cover of the Sunday Mail every week, and every week the title was too appropriate for what I needed to hear. There are too many for me to mention but you would spin out if I could remember them all. My Dad and I used to laugh and shake our heads at the level of coincidence that was beyond almost any understanding, except that of a divine message. One Sunday morning, my husband asked me to grab him a paper while I was at the shop. It had been many months since I had bought the paper or read any ‘headlines’ and at that time I was feeling particularly distant from God. As I drove I spoke to Him in my heart, “Lord, have I slipped away? Have you still got me?” The radio was playing in the background, and as I pulled into my driveway a new song was introduced, as it started the melody caught my attention, as music often does, and rather than turning it off I sat in the car for a moment to listen. While I sat there, I remembered the paper and the headlines I had once applied to myself, so I flicked the paper over to see “I WON’T LET YOU DOWN” sprawled across the back page in huge black letters. I looked up and smiled, the chorus of the song kicked in and the male voice sang in a country twang “I won’t let you down!”

If God wants us to be convinced that we have come into contact with Him, He can make a confirmation appear in any unlikely place, wherever 2 or 3 witnesses (signs) confirm a word from the Almighty, you then know you have struck something directly from Him!

Many can inspire us, teach us, and guide us, and the enemy is always out to trick and deceive us, I recommend we never stop testing the things we are led to believe, never stop asking God questions and let Him be the only one we trust to show us His TRUTH!

14/05/2012

A Grieving Heart**

Posted in Encouragement, Family, Finding Faith, Musings tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 9:42 pm by The Water Bearer

Until the passing of my Dad from cancer a couple of years ago I had not previously suffered the loss of anyone who was extremely close to my heart. It was such a shock to my inner spirit, even though I consciously knew it was coming, I had no idea how I would handle the grief of such a loss.

He was the most spiritually-powerful person in my life who would fervently pray for me when I was too deep in my own weakness to pray for myself, which of course was when I needed it the most. He was my mentor, my confidant and my friend and the hole he left in my life is proving to be extremely hard to fill.

I guess I am lucky in the sense that he helped me to build such intensely strong beliefs, and somewhat of an understanding of the spiritual realm, I truly believe to my core that I will be with him for eternity when I too leave this physical realm. He has left reverberations throughout my spirit so that I can hear his voice from time to time, sometimes I dream vivid dreams where I am spending time with him, it’s almost like I get a nights holiday to visit him in that place where time and gravity does not exist. Sometimes I get a sign specifically relating to him and a memory which I believe he wants me to remember and to apply to a current situation, a bit like advice from beyond.

Yet I miss him dearly, it is strange that life just goes on without someone. I remember that first day when I woke up without feeling the weight of his death on my chest, when it wasn’t the first thing to float into my conscious mind from the distant sleep I was emerging from, it was scary, like I was forgetting that he was gone, and thinking he was just at his house waiting for me to visit. Then something would happen, I would hear a song, or see a picture, perhaps find a piece of paper with his unique handwriting on it, and it would hit me all over again like a punch to my stomach and a tear to my eye. He is really gone!

Recently I had a friend share with me her pain and confusion at the loss of her own father, quite simply the anger she feels at how unfair it was for him to be taken from her and in a way she could not fathom he deserved. It is so hard for our carnal human minds to comprehend all that is going on in the universe. I have had many experiences and interactions with the spiritual realm and yet my mind still has trouble grasping for the tangible reality of it. I feel a sense of duty to try and bring my friend some comfort and perhaps perspective in the midst of her pain. I am praying about it as I write this, asking for the Lord to give me the words to explain why these things are part of a plan we cannot yet see the final design of.

I believe this place is merely a stage for us to perform a role upon; a place to act out all mannerisms of human nature to develop our character and qualify for the position we will take up permanently in the next place. A temporary stepping stone in the midst of a more permanent yet spiritual world. If you can imagine a sphere similar to earth’s atmosphere, and picture it as a parallel universe where all the mysteries of life are no longer hidden from our human sight or understanding. Then take a paper thin layer and place it around the sphere, this layer represents the physical realm. It is connected to, but also separate from the spiritual realm. The physical realm is only a tiny element of the universe in its entirety, full of limitations yet vital to our personal journey. If you lay eternity out in a timeline form with no beginning and no end, imagine how tiny the blip of a human lifetime would be! A mere 70-80 years more or less is nothing compared to the infinite existence of the spiritual platform. So why does it feel like it goes on forever and then ends abruptly and somewhat finitely? As we grow older, we usually grow more distant and cynical in connection to the spiritual realm. This place is all we can see and touch,it can harden our minds and can prevent openness to unknown things. There are a chosen few who have a heightened sensitivity to all things spiritual, a bit like having a few extra radio stations than is widely available. (I believe this metaphor gives a basic way to shed some light on people such as psychics, mediums, paranormal investigators etc.) It is just as common as someone with an extra special gift for mathematical equations, science, or perhaps medicine, an extra level of awareness in a particular field is all.

We are not meant to stay here, this life is hard, full of aging disabilities, poor health, worries, disappointments, heartaches and unmet expectations. The sooner we are taken to the next place the sooner we must be needed in our next and permanent role. The butterfly effect from any life-force here is evident to some more than others; that those touched by a life, no matter how long or short that life may be, are caught up the universes unfolding design. The feelings and experiences brought about by connection to a life or the loss of it are essential to the development of the people they connected with.

Of course there are many, many wonderful and joyful things to experience here as well, I am not a pessimist by any means, I believe there are elements of both heaven and hell on earth to help us discern the path we choose and give us a taste of what is to come. We are not meant to understand everything yet, that is why it is called faith. Faith – meaning trust, confidence, and reliance.

WOW! Praise the LORD! As I sit editing this, I’m hoping it will be easy to follow and comprehend, hoping it will help, suddenly a Christian lady whom I work with walks in and hands me a book. She has no idea of what I am writing about, yet I sense the spirit world using her to give me the nudge I need to trust my words.

The book is a true story titled – “Heaven is for Real” by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent …… Here is a link to see an interview with Colton Burpo now 11years old –   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhT36Dizo2s&feature=related  

The back cover reads:
“Do you remember the hospital Colton?” Sonja said. “Yes, Mommy, I remember,” He said “That’s where the angels sang to me.”
When Colton Burpo made it through an emergency appendectomy, his family was overjoyed at his miraculous survival. What they weren’t expecting, though, was the story that emerged in the months that followed – a story as beautiful as it was extraordinary, detailing their little boy’s trip to heaven and back.
Colton, not yet four years old, told his parents he left his body during the surgery – and authenticated that claim by describing exactly what his parents were doing in another part of the hospital while he was being operated on. He talked of visiting heaven and relayed stories told to him by people he met there whom he had never met in life, sharing events that happened even before he was born. He also astonished his parents with descriptions and obscure details about heaven that matched the Bible exactly, though he had not yet learned to read.
With disarming innocence and the plainspoken boldness of a child, Colton tells of meeting long-departed family members. He describes Jesus, the angels, how ‘really, really big‘ God is, and how much God loves us. Retold by his father, but using Colton’s uniquely simple words, Heaven is for Real offers a glimpse of the world that awaits us, where as Colton says, “Nobody is old and nobody wears glasses.”
Heaven is for real will forever change the way you think of eternity, offering the chance to see, and believe, like a child.
“A beautifully written glimpse into heaven that will encourage those who doubt and thrill those who believe.” – Ron Hall, co-author of Same kind of difference as me.

I have not yet read this book, however what I have shared here gave me chills over my entire body as I read it. I thanked my work friend with a hug and a tear in my eye, I’m not sure if she knows how much I appreciate that she was used by angels to confirm to me all that I have written here. I feel I had no choice but to tack it onto the bottom of this blog, and I can’t wait to get reading this book!

10/05/2012

My encounter with God, a true miracle!*

Posted in Encouragement, Family, Finding Faith tagged , , , , , , , , , at 9:18 am by The Water Bearer

“She’s pink and wiggly”, that’s what they said passing me a photo of my daughter, 3months premature, weighing a tiny 1 pound. I was 18, scared and groggy from the anesthetic. I was told of the baby inside me only 3 months earlier and strangely went insane for the colour mint green. Booties, bibs, outfits, even the bath! I was broke and couldn’t buy nice things for the nursery so I bought a roll of material, yep mint green, I made the quilts, curtains, a baby bag, bumpers, pillows, a nappy stacker, everything was mint green!

At 23 weeks pregnant I was told my baby was coming early and was too small to survive. Somehow I found faith to believe if God wanted me to be a Mum I would be, and if He didn’t I would accept His will. I would do my best to understand motherhood was not yet my time. Two weeks later my baby was still hanging on inside me yet I was traumatised, restricted to a hospital bed, stressed by the possibility of loosing my baby, wheeling between the birthing suite and the ward and back again, told my baby was coming, then wasn’t. I couldn’t cope anymore, I cried out to God “Please knock me out and wake me when it’s over!”.

The next morning they knocked me out (Emergency caesarean). When I woke they told me that my daughter now had a 50% chance of survival, they wheeled my bed towards hers in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit), I noticed all the other babies were wearing bonnets (to help keep their tiny temperature up). Boys in blue, girls in pink, some in white, but I knew God was watching over my tiny baby girl, I knew deep down that she would be ok when I saw the one and only mint green bonnet sitting on her tiny head. I asked if someone had told the nurses, or asked for that particular colour but the nurse said she grabbed it out of the drawer and didn’t think twice.

My little miracle sent from above is turning 16yrs old this month, and is still miraculous proof of God’s existence!

I would love to hear of your miraculous encounters with God, please share them below. Blessing to you all!

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