Monday, 10 November 2014

Hearing From God is Not Just About a VOICE

Thanks Leonie for the photo!

Sometimes it can be tricky to understand or be sure of what God is saying to us.  For some of us we can't make out what the 'voice' in our head is saying, but I've come to realise it isn't always a voice.   This article that I found in our church newsletter has helped me tremendously, and the lady who wrote it Roslyn Hartwig, has graciously given me permission to use it.    I will be building on it in a few weeks time with a few of my own experiences, and if you are wondering about the difference between body, soul and spirit, have a little read here.

"If we live by the spirit, let us then walk in the Spirit" Galatians 5:25
One of the most recognised ways to do this is to hear what God says and then to obey and do it.  To hear in this way implies words, but is hearing of words (either in your spirit, through the Bible or audibly) the only the way?

I have often wondered why I don't 'hear' God very often.  It has only been recently that I have realised that being led by the Spirit is now always about words heard in your head.   Sometimes, it is action with conscious thought.  
An article I read recently explains it quite well. 
"The better you get at something eg. golf, painting, driving a car, (being led by the spirit,) the less you consciously think.  Talking is too slow!  It is  an inefficient method for guiding our actions.  Nevertheless, this does not mean no thought at all.  When people are skilled, they have internalised their thinking.  What happens is their thinking has become non-verbal.  This is faster and more efficient than language thinking."

The saying 'actions speak louder than words' is, I think, just as true in this context.  When we allow the Spirit to flow through our minds and bodies without explanation or reasoning it with our minds first, God can use us to do His will without hindrance.   So often when we think it over, we allow fear to come to the fore and then we hesitate to do what we know to do.

As for sin within us, this where we must listen to our consciences.  We know when what we do (consciously or unconsciously) is good or bad.  We still need to strive to overcome negative impulses and increase instances of being God inspired instead.

Allow God to touch your spirit first, body second.  Do not try to explain and reason these actions away with your mind.  This is not necessary and can be counter productive to the way of God and the Holy Spirit.  Listen with your spirit only and answer Him with actions; not explanations.

"Do it all for the glory of God."  1 Corinthians 10:31

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Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Not Just Kokoda


There is a picture that lurks in my mind, brought back to me especially by a visit to Caloundra on Queensland’s Central Coast, where I find many commemorative plaques of the soldiers who fought in the Second World War.  I have counted that over one third of the plaques commemorate soldiers who fought in Papua New Guinea.    

The picture that lurks in my mind, is of long rows of grave stones set in a grass cemetery.   Hundreds of graves are lined up in neat rows, many of them marked with the details of an Australian, or Japanese soldier; however there are just as many with the words, ‘Papuan Soldier Unknown’, inscribed on them.

I am walking in a Papua New Guinea cemetery in the city of Lae on the north east coast of the island.  It is really my first glimpse of the war that was fought to keep Australia safe from the Japanese in the Second World War. It is eye-opening to realise how many of our soldiers died in an effort to protect our land, but it is even more eye-opening to realise how many New Guineans died in an effort to help the Australians win.

While Kokoda is the most known name in Papua New Guinea relating to the Second World War, it is astonishing when you realise how many other locations are historical landmarks.  

In 2006, my Dad, myself and a team of four other Australians flew to Papua New Guinea for a six week mission trip, teaching in remote villages on the value of forgiveness in a culture where the ‘payback’ system is very prevalent.  We saw this system in action when a drunk driver killed the aunt of one of our guides.  As a family member it would have been his ‘privilege’ to kill the driver, however he chose forgiveness and broke the chain of death in his family.

Though Kokoda village was a location that we planned to speak at, our itinerary was arranged by locals who sent us to wherever we were asked for and not where we had planned to go.  Though this was at times very confusing, we were privileged to see many war sites in remote villages which many people are unaware of. 

Staying in the village Konje, near the historical war site Gona, where many Japanese soldiers landed to begin their trek across Kokoda, Dad asked one of the locals what a large impression in the ground was.  He suspected that it was an impression caused by a hurricane that had torn a coconut tree out by the roots but was very surprised to find that it was where a bomb had hit during the war. 

With our eyes opened to the history of the place, we began to explore a little in our afternoon breaks when we should have been taking naps to prepare for the late night teaching sessions we were giving. 

Protected from the harsh sun by large hats, plenty of sunscreen and long-sleeved shirts, we hiked down the rough road to the Gona beach.  Marking the way were scattered graves, overgrown by weeds and grass.  A native pointed out to us the old overgrown mission hospital close to the waterfront that was abandoned during the war and another pointed out where a lone cross stood, stating that during an Australian air raid many Japanese soldiers had hidden in the church adjoined to it thinking it would be safe.  After the bomb, the cross was the only thing that remained standing.

 

 

Down at the beautiful picturesque beach where the most amazing blue waves rolled on the sparkling black sand, an old man recollects his memories of the war.

“This beach is where the Japanese soldiers land and the Australians try to shoot them down.  Soon this beach is covered in dead bodies and the river flows red with blood.  We hear them coming and we not know what to do and we just drop our babies and we run to the mountains.  We not know who to help when we see soldiers, whether it is the Australians we should help or the Japanese.  No one tell us why this happen here.”

After six weeks hearing similar stories and realising our ignorance of the war that was fought in Papua New Guinea, we began researching the history of the war in Papua New Guinea, collecting and reading many books and speaking with others who had been in the country during the wartime.

Today Kokoda is a very popular trek and many stories are emerging of people who have spent time trekking the trail and how their lives have been changed by it.   Though we were unable to trek the trail in 2006, we realised that it was not just Kokoda where the battle was fought but that many lives and places were impacted by the war and though the Australians fought for our land it was the many innocent ‘Papuan Soldiers Unknown’ that played a large part in fighting so our nation could remain safe.

 

 Linking up at Thriving Thursdays

 

 
           
 

 

 


Monday, 3 November 2014

Have You Ever Had a Prophetic Word?

Thanks Suzy for the two nature photos
 
It’s a question that I regularly ask people  and for some people that might sound like a really strange question, while others of you may be asking what is a ‘prophetic word’?
I ask people this question because often this can lead to a deeper conversation than how’s the weather? Or how are you going?  To which most people answer, ‘fine thanks,’ even when they aren’t. 
When you ask people whether they have ever had a prophetic word, for some it leads to a question of what is a prophetic word, which I’ll discuss in a moment or two, and for others it leads to them sharing their dreams and desires for the future because this is often what a prophetic word is.  A glimpse into the future where our dreams and desires match up with God’s because often the desires inside of us are put there by Him to fulfil.
So a prophetic word is when God gives someone else who is filled with His Holy Spirit a glimpse into your future or your now to encourage you, and it really should be encouraging.  It should be calling you into your destiny. Your destiny is where God sees you in 1 year or ten years time and a prophetic word gives you a sense of what & where that is.  It gives you hope that one day you’ll be out of the place you’re currently in and some days that hope is what keeps a person going.

I’ve had many prophetic words and the first one I remember getting was when I was 14 in PNG, that I write about in my book, “Dad and Me in PNG.”    It was our farewell party in Lae, the next day we were flying to Popondetta for the 2nd leg of our ministry trip and Pastor Peter Igorabi, our host suddenly started saying things that I’d never told him, but that I wanted to do in the future, dreams and desires, and Dad said it was a prophecy, a prophetic word.
A prophetic word should be speaking what is truth and not what is true.    What is true is where we are now and it might be an absolute bog hole, what is truth is who and where God is calling us to be and it gives hope to get there.   
Have you ever had a time when someone has ranted and raved to you about how dumb, fat, useless, immature you are?  Has that ever helped you change or did it just make you angry?   Good friends need to encourage us to where we need to be and if that’s through a prophetic word that God has shown them, great!
Prophecy is mentioned in the Bible in 1 Corinthians 12 where it lists the spiritual gifts, eg prophecy, words of wisdom, words of knowledge, tongues, interpretation of tongues, discernment of spirits,  signs and wonders, supernatural faith and healing.   I don’t believe these gifts died out with the apostles, because love hasn’t failed.
I have been so blessed to receive prophetic words, and sometimes it is as simple as someone at church giving me a hug and saying, I just feel that the joy of the Lord is going to be really important in this next season, and then I go through a rough trot.     It doesn’t have to be thus saith the Lord ‘you will go to China for three years.’   That sort of thing really needs to be confirmed several times and you would need a peace in your heart to go through with that because it’s the peace of God that is to lead us and guard our hearts and minds.   (Phillipians 4:7)

So what I’ve done with my prophetic words is to make sure I record it either on my phone or written out and then I have gathered them all together into a book and some days it is so wonderful to read through that book and see the personal promises that God has for my life.   
Like the one about God wanting me to jump off high diving boards in life and be brave but He's got angels for me . . . or dance before the Lord in humility even if people misunderstand you and think you are uppity . . . or when Sunday School was really hard and a kind older man in our church said that even when we didn't see things happening we were there helping pick out the burs and nasties from the kids spirits or when we've been through hard season . . . don't regret the way you've done things, a new season is coming. 
I've had some that are a lot more directional than these and they have been something I've already been praying about, so they have been more confirming and several people with no knowledge of what the other has said have spoken these things to me.
So . . . have you ever had a prophetic word?  Has it been helpful to you or caused you distress?  If you’ve never had a prophetic word, I encourage you to ask God for one.  

Linking up at:
Cornerstone Confessions
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Thursday, 23 October 2014

What is De Ja Vu?



Have you ever had that feeling whilst going through your normal day, that you’ve been there before, you spoken to that person about that thing before or you’ve had a glimpse of that situation in the past, but you know that you could not have possibly really been there?

I have that all the time, and actually so does my husband.   What does it mean?   I’ve been told by a number of Christians that it is of the devil but I don’t believe them and I’m going to tell you why. 

One day my husband was riding his bike with a friend in a particular area when he had flash back or prophetic fast forward of that scene in his mind where his friend had been killed by the truck and so he yelled out to his friend to be careful and the friend stopped riding and the truck drove on by. 

So if it was used to save a life, than why are Christians calling it bad?   I believe because they don’t know the roots.    See God loves to show us things that are going to happen in the future to encourage us, to warn us, and to show us how to pray.    These gifts are called prophecy and a word of knowledge and a word of wisdom, and are referred to in 1 Corinthians 12:  7But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; 9to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,…

Who knows though that Satan loves to counterfeit good things so that we get confused and scared of them?  What God intends for good and our benefit, the enemy loves to distort. 

Here is an article that I found really helpful in understanding de ja vu, and perhaps it’s not the full picture but it’s a good start.


So have you experienced this before?  Was it scary or helpful? 
 
Linking up at:

 

Equipping Godly Women

 
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Monday, 20 October 2014

Dead Doctors Don't Lie




I first discovered Dead Doctor’s Don’t Lie when my mother-in-law sent me a link in a an e-mail.  I must admit I didn’t watch it straight away, because to be honest, I found health stuff very confusing, but once I had watched this link, it seemed to me like a lot of missing pieces in my health understanding suddenly fell into place. 

 

Maybe like me, you would get utterly confused when walking into a chemist/pharmacist because there were so many bottles with similar things on them, with different brands, and they all claimed similar but different things, and like me you didn’t have enough money to experiment and see what did or didn’t work.   I’m now no longer confused, and I’d like to  tell you a little bit about this book and cd/dvd, because it has the power to dramatically improve your health, and I don’t say that lightly, as it has helped thousands and even millions of people who have suffered from arthritis, diabetes, depression, and 400 other diseases.   For some people like me, it has just helped with energy, and preventing my gums from bleeding (calcium deficiency), but for others it has helped them get out of wheelchairs.  

 

So, let me start at the start with this one.  Joel Wallach, the author, grew up on a farm in the US and noticed that they would feed their livestock extra minerals mixed in with their stockfeed, but not take the minerals themselves, but his father told him to stop asking tricky questions and get back to work.

 

It was a question that never left him and so he trained as a vet, and was involved in a project where he performed thousands of autopsies on animals that had died from ‘natural causes’.  He started discovering that these natural causes could be traced to mineral deficiencies, eg, a whole heap of turkeys that died from aneurysms, were copper deficient, and once the stock feed was supplemented with copper, the farm did not have that issue again. 

 

He also diagnosed the first case of cystic fibrosis in an animal – a monkey, and discovered that it too could be linked back to a mineral deficiency.   

 

Dr Wallach was very excited about all these discoveries because he realised that the mineral supplements would work equally well in humans as they would in animals, but the drug companies were not thrilled to hear this, and he was constantly quelled and ridiculed by them and other health officials.   

 

He decided to train as a doctor and on completing his course in half the time, opened a practice where he began to treat people with minerals.  His clinic was flooded with people driving from states away because the treatments were working when their own doctors had given up hope. 

 

Dr Wallach had also become involved in the network marketing company, Amway, in the evenings, looking for a good retirement fund, and was selling their vitamins in his clinic.    After various dramas with his business partners in his clinic, Dr Wallach thought that it could be more successful to sell the minerals that people needed through network marketing, and it would help far more people than just his little clinic could, and it certainly has.

 

After a few initial partnerships with other companies, Dr Wallach started his own company, Youngevity 90 for Life, because there are 90 essential minerals, vitamins and fatty acids that the body needs to stay at optimum health. 

 
He regularly conducts seminars on various health topics, and also sells the minerals that are greatly improving people’s health.     You can look up his seminars on Youtube, the most famous being, Dead Doctor’s Don’t Lie, or you can buy his audio cd from here if you are in the USA, or here if you are in Australia or NZ.    If you are in Australia, and are interested, please let me know, as I have become a consultant and would love to help you on your journey, in negotiating which products would be best for you.   

Linking up at: The Loft


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Saturday, 11 October 2014

Compelled by Love: Caring when you Can't

So I'm writing for 5 minutes on Saturday because Friday escaped and several blog ideas are getting mashed in together.  It's a book review in the rawest of forms, it's what God is teaching me now and it's about being moved with compassion.   This is one of my favourite books, because God uses different books in different seasons to show us things.
 
 
Go:
Sometimes it's hard to care any more, when one more tide of bad news washes over you.  Another stabbing, murder, suicide, robbery, ebola outbreak, beheading, kidnapping, rape.  Some days I don't turn the news on because I don't want to know anymore.  Then my husband comes homes and tells me everything he's heard because he loves the news, and I just don't.    I've tried to make it a habit to stop and pray for the bad things I hear happening on the news and to get him to stop and pray too, even to put some time and thought into it. 
I do want to care though, I want my heart to break at what God's heart breaks at.  I want to live a life Compelled by Love, like Heidi Baker, a missionary in Africa who just pours out God's love.  Her life has a motto to 'stop for the one', even though she's a crazy lady who has stopped counting the amount of people God's raised from the dead through her, how many blind eyes have been healed, how many deaf ears heard.  The story goes though that when she first started going to villages, she would announce that God wanted to heal blind eyes, call everyone forward and pray for them . . . and nothing would happen, except the angry villagers would start stoning her and the team.   She had a promise from God and she cared, and she pushed through and came back, and back and back and God started acting mightily as she obeyed and followed Him.   
I sometimes wonder though whether I would have kept coming back, or run back to my safe compound when that first rock was thrown. 
Stop:
Heidi's written a book called, Compelled by Love and it unpacks the sermon on the mount in the most radical of ways, challenging everything you ever thought life and love were about.  It's not something that we could ever live on our own.  We need God's grace, His supernatural empowering for life. 
 
How do we get to that place of living radical love?   I've tried doing it in my own strength, to force myself to go talk to someone and it doesn't work.  
 I was listening to a sermon last week about carrying and living God's Kingdom but the one thing that was highlighted for me was that Jesus was moved with compassion.  So often we pray for boldness to go and do God's work and while we need that, it's compassion that moves us, when we see things how God does, when we start crying out 'break my heart for what breaks yours' like in the Hillsong song Hosanna, albums Saviour King and All of the Above.
This audio clip  and script by Jennifer Toledo, who wrote Children and the Supernatural, talks about a fascinating vision God gave her and how He sees all the atrocities that take place on earth and how He wants us to see them. 
Sometimes love isn't pretty pictures and hearts . . .
Jennifer Toledo is one of my favourite role models, but like Heidi Baker, she is also crazy in the best of ways.  On one of her audio clips she talks about travelling into an incredibly dangerous area of Africa and how she just knew she needed to go talk to these people about God but the rest of the team didn't want to because they thought it was too dangerous, and they could all quite possibly get killed.  
My heart sunk when she said that because I knew then that I would be sitting with the rest of the team.  I mean, I've done my share of dangerous crazy stuff, avoiding 3 hold ups in one day in PNG, but I knew I needed some more of God's love, so right now I'm crying out for a heart of compassion.  I really do hope you can find time to listen to Jennifer's audio clip, because maybe God wants you too, to go to that radical place of love, to the weeping room that you'll find out about in the clip. 
 
 
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Friday, 10 October 2014

Children and the Supernatural

This book is a real favourite of mine, and it's author Jennifer Toledo, is one of my inspirations in Christianity. 

Do you want your faith stirred and inspired to the point of action?  Or perhaps you want to see your children communicating with God in a way that is beyond their wildest dreams? Enter Jennifer Toledo, a woman with a call of God on her life to inspire the children and parents of the nations.

I first heard of Jennifer Toledo when I was 16, speaking on a cd called the Undiluted Gospel, a message of how she found herself in one of the most famine-stricken areas of Africa as a single young woman, and the strategies God gave her to see the people set free, including children.  I found it again this year and played it for our  Tuesday night group to listen to.   Right towards the end she began to speak about how she was training to children to walk in the supernutral, a topic that we had been searching for inspiration on. 

We ran a Google search on Ms Toledo and discovered her new book, Children and the Supernatural, published by Charisma House.  This inspiring book records numerous testimonies of how God is working with and through children around the world.  She shares how she has seen God heal children of emotional, spiritual and physical disabilities and how she has led groups of children into African hospitals to pray for the sick, resulting in the closure of the hospital.  However, supernatural encounters are not just happening in Africa and other 3rd world countries, but also in America. 
 
Eyes that See &; Ears that Hear, is a revolutionary handbook written in a simple child-like manner, inspiring readers young and old alike, that hearing from God really is quite easy, and that the type of relationship God desires with each of us is revolutionary.  Describing God as a ‘chatterbox’ Jennifer encourages children to ask God any questions relating to their daily life before teaching them how to check that what they receive is indeed Godly counsel.  She provides activities to help them hear clearly and accurately before suggesting ideas that they can use in outreach.   We have just started  reading Children and the Supernatural to the children at our Sunday School, which has inspired them to start seeking God for what He wants to speak to them.  We will begin using Eyes that See & Ears that Hear this Sunday, and plan to work through the introduction with them this term.   

Children and the Supernatural can be ordered from Koorong, for Australian buyers, while Eyes that See & Ears that Hear is available from: http://expression58.org/store-2/#!/~/category/id=1878695&offset=0&sort=normal

Linking up at: Arabah Joy and the Loft