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Archive for April, 2010

Angry at God.

Why LORD? Why, oh why, oh why Lord? You give and take away. It hurts when you take away Lord. I don’t understand why you take away that which seems to be good for me Lord. Did i do something wrong, did i idolise and worship someone other than you Lord? How is this good for me Lord, how will i grow from this? I cannot see the benefits of such a loss. Please Lord explain to me why this had to happen. Reveal to me how i might grow in character from this as i am at a loss. I feel like the veil has been pulled over my eyes so that i am unable to see you now my Lord. I can’t see you as clearly as before. Where should i look and find you Lord? Please forgive me for my sin against you Lord. Forgive my anger towards you – i feel hurt and lack understanding. Please help me to understand and grant me the wisdom and strength to endure these changes. Grant me a willing Spirit to sustain me and give me the heart to seek you and to persevere in seeking you that i may see you and hear you more clearly, Lord, my God.

Your will be done.

Amen

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The Gift of Grace.

Before you read the following dream please bear in mind that dreams are more often than not ‘Weird’ – especially my dreams. Our minds often can’t recall all of the content and so where this happens it may fill in the gaps with nonsense. I will try to leave out the nonsensical parts of the dream for your own good as well as my already damaged reputation. Read and enjoy! I hope you get the point of the story.

I awoke this morning at 6:00am exactly according to my clock. I was so pleased to have finally got the point that i had to write my dream down. When i share this type of dream i do so because i feel that God has given me insight through it. Some bits are missing. I have written it as i had when i woke up – i hope you understand it.

A gangster is trying to get at a group of us because one of our men has done something wrong and now has the gangster’s gun. We are in a house or block of flats, as i recall looking out of the window down towards a screeching red sports car as it pulls up outside. One of the women hides the gun on top of a cluttered fridge-freezer but it is still visible. I tried to push it further back out of sight but didn’t want to get my finger-prints on the gun. We all begin to fret and panic. We know that the gangster is coming to kill us all. I begin explaining to my daughter what might happen to us if the bad men get to us. The woman who hid the gun tries desperately to find a way out. One man goes to plead with his wife and confess the truth of what he has been involved in. The man who stole the gun goes to talk with the gangster about a life-changing event involving a song called ‘You never cease to amaze me’ and a beautiful young woman is held ransom and sits petrified as another man with the gangster holds her hostage.

The key points of the dream are when the truth is being explained – the confession of the husband to his wife – as she sits and listens it is like her whole world is falling apart – i see what she sees – a vision of her holding her head, totally distraught, in an aeroplane as it hurls towards the ground at speed. The other truth being shared is the song and its explanation and how it has changed this man’s way of thinking and way of life – his whole world in-fact. I see him sitting in-front of the gangster not only smiling but laughing as he shares the joy of the insightful song and it’s truth, to the gangster, who sits there with many shots of brandy or whisky, lined up, and listening to the story with gun in hand and decision making in his heart. He is relaxed but hasn’t heard all of the story yet and so hasn’t made up his mind as to his next move – so he listens to the life-changing story from the gun thief. And so the story of the song is explained with a cheerful heart and as the truth is told and explained – hearts are changed. (I only heard a very small part of the story but i got the point – the following is a few of the song lyrics).

‘You never cease to amaze me; you work in wonderful mystery; you cover me with your mercy; you never stop amazing me; you were exalted in majesty; you came down in humility, broke chains – you made me free; you never cease to amaze me. All praise to Him who saves, who conquered death and scorned the grave – the priceless treasure freely spent, has purchased grace that knows no end – to Him we sing now on and on ….’

Can you see it? When the truth of God’s love and Jesus’ self-sacrifice is explained as shown in bold above, hearts are changed, lives are saved, truth is revealed and love is won over. The priceless treasure – Jesus – is freely spent – sacrificed – and has bought us freedom – an eternal grace from an eternal loving God.

In my dream we were all part of the gangster’s death list, in some way we were all guilty and involved in trying to cover up the sin. The gangster represents the sinner who by hearing and believing the story could be saved as is the husband who is confessing his sin. The gun – the destructor – represents sin that brings death; as does the lie of the husband. The wife who has unknowingly participated in the lie realises her sin and the part she played as she is told the truth, she understands her fall from grace that leads to death and she is crushed at heart and broken in spirit.

I woke up before seeing what happened to the woman and her husband and before seeing if the gangster’s heart was changed and whether or not the gun thief was successful with his explanation of the truth that sets us free. I’d like to think that it was a happy ending.

Please feel free to express your thoughts and any ideas at other ways of looking at the dream. I do like to hear a different perspective on things – it broadens my understanding. Thankyou and may God bless you!

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no-one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV)

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12.04.10 – Humble me!

12.04.10

“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 14:11 NIV)

I read this passage only very briefly yesterday before i went to church but it stayed with me. As i went into church i proceeded to the front (which is unlike me) and sat down, waiting for our new minister to arrive. Then i began to feel self-conscious, realising that i was sitting at the front where everyone could see me, feeling vulnerable and exposed – i generally sit further back in the church.

Anyway after switching my focus back to why i was there – to worship my God – i began to relax and the service began. It was a great service and although i missed our last minister, i liked this man’s style. He really got us to focus on Jesus and also on eachother – this i found very helpful, for our church in particular, as it made us all aware of those around us and the unity of the body of Christ which is where i feel we were lacking, in fellowship.

Back to the main point (as i’ve wandered a little) during the service i felt God’s presence in a very intimate and humbling way. As i worshipped and became aware of God’s presence the verse above came to mind and aware of where i had sat in the church i suddenly felt that i had put myself in a position of importance and exalted myself in some way. I began to question myself as to why i was sat there, where i felt i was being called to be and whether i was exalting myself or not. I felt so humbled and very exposed as if naked to all, i knew God was enlightening me to the importance of humility.

To follow this meditation on a verse that wasn’t even being preached on at that time yet was relevant, our minister mentioned something that stuck with me and i can’t stop thinking about it. He said something along the lines of being prepared to follow through that which we have asked for. My mind became aware of the saying ‘be careful what you pray for’ and on later reflection of another passage in Luke chapter 14 verses 29-30 it says about the importance of being able to follow through with that which we begin to build.

“For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying ‘ This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’ (Luke 14:29-30 NIV)

If i was reluctant before to put myself forward for anything in the church, i am much more reluctant now. Whatever God has planned for me, i want to do, but i now question myself as to whether i can follow it through. I thought that a recent test in perseverance had proved that i would, but another more recent test has been a failure, although i plan to persevere at trying again and again until in God’s strength i get it right.

I despise pride and often pray to God that He will humble me and on this particular occasion He certainly did – how glorious is our God!

I now pray dear Lord that you will continue to keep me humble and that you will reveal Your plans for me and give me the courage, strength and perseverance to endure whatever comes my way for Your glory. May i carry my cross daily and fix my eyes on You my Lord Jesus.  Amen.

27.09.10

On reading this post again i can now see that i was feeling very vulnerable at the time of this experience and yet i saw myself as exalting myself. I don’t like to be in the limelight, i never have done, it’s a place of exposure. I think it shows bravery to place yourself in such a vulnerable position – i admire that. However i have learned something else from this – that those of us who sit at the back of the church are doing so because we lack courage and we desire to be in control by being in a position of domination. We are out of sight of others, we can see what everyone else is doing and yet we ourselves are hiding in a sense. This is new insight for me and will help me to understand others better within our congregation as well as myself.

If you disagree strongly with this new perspective then please let me know. I value your feedback.

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The following dream was insightful and although the content may seem strange, i learned a lot from it.

Nov. 2009

The dream began with the announcement that evil character out of Eastenders – Janine was going to marry a very old vicar (okay i know it sounds bizarre already but bear with me, keeping in mind that it’s her evil character that is significant). So, many people flock to the vicar’s church and wait to see the man that  is suddenly in the spot-light.

The church is derelict and the grounds are overgrown. We wait and wait for the vicar to give his sermon but he doesn’t turn up. So i go outside to look for him and find him sitting in the grounds picking grass, weeds and flowers. I kneel down and he asks me outright “why do you think she is marrying me?” I replied “so that God can use her publicity to get these people here, so that He can speak through you, to them.” He looked at me and said “well done!”

The vicar stood up and followed me back into the church where the restless crowd had begun to gossip, we can hear them as we enter. The vicar is still holding the bunch of growth in his hand ( i had picked a weed and thrown it into a skip and felt bad about it as this man held onto the bunch as though it was all precious; grass, weeds and flowers alike). The vicar sat down, as i tried to scramble clumsily back to my seat and a couple of comments were made – one encouraging and the other criticising. Then i awoke.

In the dream i felt a high regard for the vicar and believed that God was using him for something special – i believed that God was going to speak through him and i was keen to hear what He had to say. Yet the only things he said to me are mentioned above, as i have written. “Well done!” was a really appreciated comment from him. I felt like i had passed some sort of test, where i had allowed God to use me and speak through me. I had been aware that God had given me the insight into the reason why Janine had proposed marriage to the old vicar. When i think about the fact that God was using sly and craftily behaving Janine and her own reasons and tactics for wanting to marry the vicar – God’s plan was so much bigger. He already knew what was going on and was also using, what many viewed as a bad and possibly dangerous situation for the vicar, for His own good purpose – to speak to others through the vicar and in this particular case, to me. I also realised that God was not only using the vicar to speak through, but He was speaking through me as well – amazing! 

I was left with a feeling of awe from this dream. The fact that this vicar was aware that All things are precious to God – the grass, weeds and flowers. He was a humble vicar yet he had an authority about him and yet he also treated me as equal. In my eyes he stood out from the crowd because of his strange lowly appearance. He had long white hair, piercing blue eyes, a relaxed and humble posture, seemed gentle and wise and caring for all things.

What struck me most of all in this dream was the ‘Bigger picture’ in the background, where all things are set, and the goodness that comes from every bad situation, it’s already there, in place – and God has it all in His hands, He knows it all – Amazing!

Psalm 139

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Why do you judge me?

Did you not know that i was tainted before i came to Christ? Was it not evident that i was a sinner with untold sins? Did i not make myself clear on that point? And now ….? Now that i have been washed clean with the blood of Christ, and in the knowledge that i am alive in Him because He has taken the punishment of my sin upon Himself, am i not now free of all condemning charges against me?

Then why, oh why, please tell me, do you look down your nose at me, do you look at me in disgust and then avert your eyes from me ? Do you think i am not ashamed by my past? Yet my Father in heaven has forgiven me. And you, with all your Godly knowledge, do you dare to judge me? Who are you to judge me?

“If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7-8 NIV).

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” (Matt. 7:3 NIV).

Have you not been taught this from a young age? Has your mind become so clouded with perfectionism that you judge those you meet as though you are perfect in every way? Do you see the sinner or the sin? Is your heart so pure that to look upon sin would corrupt you in some way?

It is a time past – a burden shed – because of a gracious God who loves and forgives such sinners as myself. You would do well to be as gracious.

Therefore i urge you to be merciful to others, to see them as God sees them and not to judge them.

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:37-38 NIV).

Glory to God!

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