Testimony Tuesday

I’m starting to blog a series of true stories of how people came to know Jesus, or of other significant events. We call them testimonies. This one by a friend of ours called Dave is the first to kick off the series.

No longer an Ostrich

Up until the age of 33, Christianity for me was a target for ridicule, the name of Jesus a swear word, the existence of God as remote as the moon, and the thought of eternal life – far fetched.

Working in sales, selling machinery, since the age of 19, I considered my life reasonably successful. I enjoyed sport, meeting with my friends, drinking beer and having a loving wife and family.

Like everyone else, life gave me my share of kicks in the teeth; broken relationships, redundancy and the death of my much loved mother. Adopting the ostrich position or joking my way through things generally worked but when my wife became a Christian and I saw new joy in her face, I knew something was up.

It was not, however, until God spoke to me that I ever doubted my atheist views. After six months of resisting God, I gave up running from his love. I asked God to forgive me for the many things I had done wrong and to take charge of my life, not knowing what would happen.

I met Jesus Christ for the first time and He changed my life wonderfully – the past hurts dealt with, a new joy and intimacy with my wife Lesley, renewed self confidence, and best of all, experiencing the love of Jesus Christ.

No longer do I curse Jesus but I thank Him for His free gift of eternal life, His friendship and new hope for the future. To know the creator of the universe is the greatest privilege of all.

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Hope

but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles,
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

(Isaiah 40:31)

…when I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God whose word I praise, In God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?

(Psalm 56:3-4)

There are so many more words in the bible about hope. real hope is Jesus. In who he is, what he’s done and does, and just him really. Hope is so much more than what we see, what we plan, what we wish for.

Hope is the big picture. Why are we here? What is our purpose? What are we? Who are we? What happens when this life ends? I was reading John 6 this morning and this shot out at me:

All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast  out. 

For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 

And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has  given me, but raise it up on the last day. 

For this is the will of my Father, that everyone looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on  the last day.”

(emphasis all mine)

Now that’s hope…If you come to Jesus, he will never cast you out, you will have new life with him and not only new life but eternal life…this is what you were made for….

I need to go now, it’s getting increasingly hard to do these posts whilst the babies are up..due to the youngest climbing on me and trying to either tap the keyboard or sit on it. 😀 and also the oldest has just come downstairs and told me I need to wipe his wee off the floor of the bathroom..!(tmi?)

We have someone from a removals company coming round on Monday to assess how much stuff we have and quote us a price for moving…things are moving slowly!…

 

 

 

No condemnation

The bible tells us that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. No condemnation. None! But I know I often/usually do not live like this. So I’ve started a bible study through you version on it and am talking to God, doodling ideas and thoughts and generally asking God’s spirit to show me the truth.

I think through past stuff, things that have happened, things I’ve done I still hold onto feeling worthless when In fact the opposite is true, because of Jesus.

The Holy Spirit cleanses us from all unrighteousness and although we still do sin, in the bible study it pointed something out I’ve never thought of before – we now hate the sin, even though we may still do it. Isn’t that a gift!!!?? Even if it doesn’t always feel like it. Haha.

In other news, our littlest is now sleeping in his cot and It’s going fairly well. And he can now climb stairs and onto the settee. Nothing is safe any more! He climbed on this morning because his brother was sat there eating a banana and J then shared it with him. Which was nice!

I love these little parts of life. Watching them change and grow. Finding things out, learning things. It happens so fast at this age too. Life is most definitely a miracle.

Northumberland (No 1 off bucket list)

We have been up for a couple of days (Chris and I and the boys).  I have been coming up to Northumberland for years, first with my family (mum and dad and sister), then with my eldest daughter – mainly camping then, because it was affordable and fun. Now with Chris and the boys. Northumberland seems to be a bit addictive. I just love the coast, it is wild, stretches for miles and it is windy and amazing. No built up promenades here! You can also still take your dog on the beach no matter what time of year it is.

Our dog met the sea for the first time today, he wasn’t that keen, he had a few snaps at the waves as they were coming in and ran madly about on a long lead.  He was much better when we started throwing a stick in, he then started running in and out without much problem. For the first time I can remember though, the beach we were on was busy with loads of people on and other dogs, so there was too much noise and disturbance for him really, I think it made him a bit anxious.

It was a very mixed day today, funny how we have all these expectations and plans and it never turns out how we think. It was good but also bad, I was absolutely shattered because we didn’t get here until late last night and then the boys wouldn’t go to bed because it was exciting and then they got up early. So I’ve been quite moody….. but! we went to the beach AND we went for icecream, J loved that. I love the beach, I love the smell, the sea, rocks, sitting on the sand, just breathing it all in and being there. Also got some paddling in, which was great. The baby loved the sea too, kicking and splashing like mad. I think he is going to be quite adventurous.

The journey up last night was something else, the M1 was heaving, then there were the most torrential downpours and lightning, huge flashes and forked lightning too, which made the sky look purpley/pink. We then had to stop to feed the baby (he was crying and crying) and Chris went for a little wander and found a man who needed a jump start, so we drove over to do that, (he ended up having a bump start). It perhaps doesn’t sound like the most ideal situation but it was strangely peaceful. J was asleep in the back, I was feeding the baby in the dark in the front and Chris was outside helping the people who had broken down. The darkness and quietness made it easy to focus on the baby and it was lovely, a bit of quiet time with him. I could also look at Chris from a distance as he was talking to this man and his family and helping them. It sometimes helps to look from a distance. He was all lit up. He really likes helping people, I don’t think I really got that before but I saw it in his face last night. Not for himself, just because he likes helping people, because that is how God has made him.

Then after we had got there and settled (after midnight), we lost the dog. I didn’t check the gate on the balcony when I let him out and he went for a walk on his own. I searched around the campsite on foot, then got back in with the full intention of taking the car out to search for him. When I opened the door to go back out to the car, he appeared at the door, soaking wet from the rain but perfectly alright. We were so glad, and we were so relieved he came back. He has never been there before. I had been praying and praying as I was walking around, calling and whistling him and I fully believe it was God who brought him back and I’m very glad he did.

 

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Not even a ripple

That’s how Chris described the moving situation this week. Nothing, nothing at all. I’ve heard this is normal but it is frustrating. If we actually knew whether an offer accepted in principle was just an offer accepted or not, it would be fine…I’m guessing (as someone kindly commented earlier in the week) we’ll suddenly hear from everyone at some point and it will all go through.

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This photo was taken when we went to Carsington Water this week. It was a beautiful day. It was the day when I felt stressy and serious and we went out. We were VERY hot but it was a good day. We took a picnic again, my boy loves his picnics and we built things out of big stones and fended off geese.

So I guess we just keep on looking up at our maker and seeking him and keep on keeping on. I love Psalm 27, I read it a lot when I was first saved. It is very calming and beautiful. You have said, “Seek my face.”My heart says to you, “Your face, Lord, do I seek. Always Lord, always.

As a side note I’m quite interested in keeping some geese, I will have to read more about them and what types there are. I think they are good for field rotation with the sheep and keeping the worm count down too. Will get back to you when I’ve read more!

 

 

last post until Monday – healing

It occurred to me today that I’ve lost my focus a bit in regards to taking opportunities given to me by God. Specifically opportunities to pray for people and declare healing over them.

And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mark 16:17-18)

selective focus photography of child s hand on person s palm
Photo by Juan Pablo Arenas on Pexels.com

The reason it occurred to me was I’d just taken the dog out with the kids around a local reservoir and in the car park I was sat in the car, another one pulled up with a couple in it and I gave them my parking ticket because there was time left on it. I believe I then missed/did not take a God opportunity that was given me. The man was with his wife and he said at least twice, we are only here briefly to have a look around, we can’t go far because my wife has a dodgy knee. Immediately, “pray” popped into my mind, but instead there was an awkward silence and I said well it is very nice here  and then reversed out and left. Driving up the lane, I knew I should have prayed for her and I nearly went back and again didn’t….

It then occurred to me that I used to look for every opportunity to pray for people, especially for healing and that I hadn’t done this as part of my normal everyday life for quite a while – apart from at home with the children. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a self condemning, “I’m so baaaad” post, it is an observation that I believe the Holy Spirit highlighted to me and is such an opportunity.

So I am going to include any testimonies of prayer, God moving, people being prayed for or not and healings as part of this blog. I am praying and asking now for more opportunities in this area as part of our everyday lives. I love the part where the scripture says “you will lay hands on the sick and they will recover” it says they “will” recover and also it says “recover” and that means they will not always be instantaneously healed on that occasion.

Recovery is an act of restoration, something that Jesus is very good at. If you are sick today, ask him to help you. Also, myself or Chris would love to pray with you or for you. Feel free to post pray requests or message them.

If you read the New Testament there are multiple accounts of Jesus healing the sick and also in my own life since being saved by Jesus I have seen people healed including myself. I would also LOVE people to post in the comments testimonies of their own healing through God.

in my own life – I have had my womb healed and since had two babies, prior to this I had a miscarriage and I do believe there was something wrong with my womb which caused this.

My husband Chris had such a bad back he could hardly bend or move on occasions when I first met him, he was healed, suddenly, without any prayer at all. I had been talking about healing to him the day before and then his back was healed the next day.

I have a friend who was healed from extensive cancer with secondaries.

I have seen someone who could only walk with severe pain then run down the aisle and jump and clap his feet together.

But….I would like to see more…..

The greatest healing of all is actually the gift of salvation, in which healing in every way takes place and you are reunited with God through Jesus sacrifice and resurrection. However, God obviously, (when you read scripture) also wants to heal people from illness and disease. I also know that healing does not always take place, not healing that we see, but I trust God in this and it does not detract from the love and power of God, it just means we do not understand how the big picture works.

There is so much you can say on this subject, it is a massive thing and when you start looking into it there are debates about it, ways recommended of doing it, petitional prayer vs commanding the illness or whatever it is to leave, but I want to keep it simple and just be prompted by the Holy Spirit (God) on how to pray and what to pray for.

I have been fascinated by God healing people for a few years or so now, as a nurse I used to pray when I was dressing wounds, looking after people with terminal illness etc, not always with them knowing, often very quietly, occasionally with them. There was one occasion when I was dressing someone’s leg, she had very extensive skin loss/ulceration to both lower legs and her bed bound husband suddenly sat bolt upright and started singing Abide with me really well and really loudly. It was great.

I love looking at something, say a wound and knowing that God can recreate skin and flesh and make the area new, just at a word. That he can rebuild and renew people, that he can heal anything and anyone, that he can and does cure cancer. I also know (as I have already mentioned) that not everyone gets healed but that God is still good and still wants you to know him.

 

I made jam!

idolise me! (Joke, really, joke…)

 

I did though! really!

It’s Friday and time for a thankful post. I’ve been thinking a lot recently about being thankful and challenging the opposite of this, which I think often takes the form of bitterness and resentment. I feel that the scripture about looking at whatever is excellent, has been given me and it keeps coming up in my thoughts. I said before, I think it was in my ode to Chris, that God tells us to look for the excellence and anything worthy of praise.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

I also think of this verse a lot at the moment:

Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,

This is in Phillipians 2, and it says directly before this that ‘it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure’.

So, I am asking the Holy Spirit to help me in this, well lead me really.

The verse I’ve quoted before out of John in which Jesus says “I do not give as the world gives…” is a favourite of mine.

I get angry and frustrated because we live in such a beautiful place, but life can be so confusing. We laugh at purity and goodness, relegate relationships, justify behaviour in any way we can and put others down because of our own selfish motives. Jesus knows and sees all of this and still says “I love you, invite me in…” and you know what? he then changes us.

What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
    nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him (1 Corinthians 2:9)

The world has us believe many things and puts many burdens on us. Jesus takes our burdens from us and gives us peace and freedom. “should we choose to accept it…”

I may be wrong but I think most of us want true love and true acceptance and true peace and the only, the only! place this is found is in Jesus Christ.

Ask him.

Today, I am thankful.