Grace and Truth

…all the words of this life…


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Update: Meriam Ibrahim Charged With Fraud, Banned From Leaving

We need to continue to pray for our sister…

'I Am NOT Ashamed of the Gospel of Christ!'

This story is surrounded by confusion, I will continue to search for updates on this. The Daily Mail is reporting an exclusive story that Meriam is being charged with fraud, and can not leave Sudan.  It’s bad enough that our state department is evidently inept at protecting it’s citizens abroad, now this.  Why wasn’t officials with her, why didn’t officials have a team to protect her, why wasn’t she met at the door of the prison and taken to a transport plane?  They knew that she had received death threats, they knew that her family wanted to kill her.  Now they have let her be detained long enough for this.  Pray for her and her family.  Pray for intervention from God.  Pray for protection.

(Daily Mail)  The Sudanese woman who was sentenced to death for being a Christian has been released from her latest detention but has been charged with…

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From Muhammed to Jesus

“Belinda, why hasn’t anyone told me before that Jesus rose from the dead?”cropped-jesus.jpg

This was Muslim woman *Safa’s question to me when I first shared the gospel with her just over a year ago…

On Friday I had the great honour and privilege of baptizing Safa*- our first adult convert to be baptized in our Mission.

 

With her permission I will share with you a little of Safa’s story…

Safa moved to Australia with her family when she was six years old. She was brought up a Muslim in a Muslim family. She remembers her father regularly went to mosque to make his prayers.

 

As time went on her family life broke down and violence became a part of it. As Safa grew up she turned away from her childhood faith and entered into an albeit God-less existence, although she stilled called herself a Muslim. Over the course of the years a pre-arranged marriage which didn’t work out, another violently abusive relationship and then the arrival of a baby boy had caused Safa to withdraw from much of life.

As she struggled to bring up her son as a single mother, she remembers spending most of her days simply staring out the window. Eventually she was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and turned to alcohol to alleviate some of the pain of her past.

Most days at midday she would begin to drink and would keep going right till 2 or 3am.

How I became a part of Safa’s life is through the food pantry. We have run this ministry from our garage for five years now. Another single mother whom we had helped with food parcels told me she knew someone who needed help – Safa. So one day I took food around to Safa. As well as the food, I popped into the bag a Bible and a Christian tract. This continued for a few weeks until one day Safa told me she had been reading the Bible but didn’t understand what she was reading. She invited me in for a coffee and to explain it to her.

I shared the basic gospel of Jesus Christ with her. This was when she had said to me:

“Belinda, why hasn’t anyone told me before that Jesus rose from the dead?”

From six years old she had lived in this “Christian” country – and it was not until she was in her forties that she heard the gospel. How terribly sad.

Then she said to me:

“But Belinda- If Jesus rose from the dead that means God is real!”

Her simple faith stunned me. Never before had I come across this beautiful child-like faith. I admit I almost did not know how to react to it. Antagonism, skepticism – these reactions were all familiar to me, but this was something new.

As I left her house that day I praised the Lord. I praised Him for His mercy and lovingkindess, I praised Him that He had sent me to Safa. I praised Him for her childlike faith and beauty.

Week by week we began meeting and reading the Bible together. Safa was full of questions. She couldn’t get enough of this incredible Book. New meaning was coming into her life and suddenly she began seeing that God was real.

“Belinda, I have never before noticed how beautiful those flowers are! It is like I am seeing them for the first time!” Safa said this sort of statement to me regularly as God’s beautiful creation unfolded before her for the first time.

Safa even began dreaming. She dreamt she was dropping down a big hole on her way to hell when suddenly she was saved. Some nights Safa would wake herself up talking aloud to Jesus. She said His presence was so very close to her.

All of this was so encouraging to me and I rejoiced in the Lord.  However one thing was bothering me. I had smelled alcohol on Safa on a number of occasions. I didn’t know anything much about her or her past at this point, but I knew the smell of alcohol and I knew what it meant.

 

At that time I had just come out of a very difficult situation with another alcoholic that we had been ministering to. He had never confessed his alcoholism to us but it was obvious by the copious amounts of drink he consumed whenever we saw him. He had hurt us incredibly by lying to us, abusing us and then ultimately rejecting us as we tried to reach Him with God’s love. That is another story, but now being confronted with another person enslaved to alcohol was potentially too much for me to bear in my recent hurt. I spoke to God about this regularly. I didn’t know what He was going to do about it but I knew that I couldn’t bear being lied to again.

 

And then He did it.

 

One night I dropped food into Safa. She met me on her front porch. She was ready to accept Christ as her Lord and Saviour and to give Him her life. Suddenly the floodgates were opened and she confessed. She confessed her sins to me, she confessed her alcoholism and the hold it had on her. She confessed she was powerless against it. I knew then that this situation was different from the last. That God was working in her and that He had had her confess in absolute childlike honesty everything to me.

 

This was the beginning of Safa being set free.

 

There on her front porch we prayed together. She gave her life to Christ and I broke the power of the demon of alcohol over her in the Name of Jesus.

Safa says that was the night that everything changed.   Even though she still drank, the alcohol lost its grip on her there and then.

 

She began reducing her intake. Her doctors became concerned. They told her she was reducing it too fast and that she would go into cardiac arrest.

She said  “But if I don’t need it why should I drink it?”

They encouraged her to drink more. They said her body needs it. They were scared of what would happen.

When she refused, they helplessly told her to ring the Drug and Alcohol helpline, which she did.

After explaining to the man at the Drug and Alcohol line her situation he told her to continue with what she was doing.  he was amazed by how well she was doing. When he asked her the cause of this sudden change in her life she told him:

“I have gotten to know Jesus.” She ended up witnessing to him on the phone. He asked if he could share her story with the other drug and alcohol counsellors he worked with….

 

Safa asked me one day how she should now answer on official documents as to her religion – should she write “Muslim” or “Christian”?

 

I answered by asking her “Well, Safa, who do you follow – Muhammed or Jesus?”

 

“Jesus!” She exclaimed, “I follow Jesus.  I am a Christian!”

And so Safa was baptized on Friday in front of the ladies from our women’s prayer group.

Safa has found a Man she can trust. A Man who will never harm her or abuse her in any way. A Man who gave up His very life for her.

A Man she is totally in love with….. That Man of Galilee.

On Friday Safa obeyed her Lord and was identified with Him in His death, burial and resurrection.

I am absolutely overjoyed that God led me to Safa. I feel so privileged to have been with her every step of the way as she came to also know Jesus, my wonderful Saviour. I feel so privileged to be able to continue to disciple Safa and watch her grow.

I praise God with the angels in heaven that “there is a new name written down in glory”.

Hallelujah to the Lamb of God!

But one thing I can never forget is her question to me:

“Belinda, why hasn’t anyone told me before that Jesus rose from the dead?”

 

*Name has been changed to protect privacy


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Occult Practices and Public Schools

I am becoming increasingly alarmed at the occult practices that are being introduced to my children in public school and even in kindergarten.  As momentum increases to try to remove Christian Religious Education from public schools, it alarms me that I see the pagan influences increasing.

My daughter is in grade 4 and my son in grade 1.  Every year so far there has been a battle with regards to this issue.

When my son was in his last term of kindergarten he had a substitute teacher for the last few weeks to cover maternity leave.  She had the kids sit in a circle and pass around a stick.  This stick had a string attached to the end of it with a feather attached to the string.  She asked them to wish for a pet as they held the stick.  She also practiced visualization and meditation with them.  She would get them to visualise their parents as tiny and in the palms of their own hands as they said some sort of mantra exerting their own will over their parents.  When my husband and I found out about this we were extremely alarmed.  We complained to the kindergarten.  They could see nothing wrong with what she was doing and said she was encouraging “imagination” etc.  It was only when we threatened his permanent removal from the centre that they arranged a meeting with us and they agreed to stop this kind of “teaching”.  These kids were 4 years old at the time.

I have had to go up to school when my daughter was in grade one and meet with her teacher as I heard that she was about to start reading a famous story about witches to the class.  I requested that she consider not reading the book, but if she were to go ahead with it that my daughter be removed from the class whilst she read the story.  She decided to not go ahead with it.

In grade two my daughter’s teacher began leading them through guided meditation and visualization as they lay on the floor.

In grade four this practice still continues in her classroom but, praise God, after much prayer about this the teacher has now given the children the option to “opt out” of it.  My daughter now giggles and chats quietly with a friend or reads a book as it goes on.

A “reflections” garden is now being planned and designed for the school with winding pathways and orbs.  Maybe I am getting overly alarmed, but this to me also sounds a bit worrying.

There seems to me to be a double-standard here – get rid of Christian education, remove the history of our Judeo-Christian heritage here in Australia, but practices from another religion such as Zen Buddhism or Hinduism are acceptable.

I know that nature abhors a vacuum, and so the removal of Christianity in any form from our schools will have to be replaced with something else.

My husband and I feel we are really left with no choice but to pull the kids out and put them in a Christian school.  But what about those families who cannot afford this option?

Has anyone else experienced anything similar?  Would love to hear any feedback.

 

 

 

 

 


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Do You Have a Secret History?

With God I mean.wind

Do you look back at all the times when you were alone with Him in His presence? When He had called to you “Come away” with Him and you hearkened His voice and went?

Do you have a “secret place…in the clefts of the rock
Where He can see your face,
Where He can hear your voice;” ?  (see SoS 2:14)

Do you remember those times when you sat at His feet and wept?

When you sat there like Mary and learned of Him…?

When He shared Himself with you and He was revealed…?

When your eyes were opened to His beauty and glory…?

When He unfolded the work He has for you…?

 

Do you have a golden thread running through the tapestry of your life?

gold threadAll those times when nobody else knew or saw, but you were with Him, where He was?

Times that you look back on with almost painful joy….

When the household was dark and quiet, asleep, but you were there on your knees wrapped up in the glories of heaven, tears streaming down your face?

All those times in the dark quietness of the prayer closet, where your roots went down deep.  Where you were established. Where nobody else saw.

Only your Creator.

It is those times spent with God, where nobody else sees – where if you were to try to describe it to another that words just woudn’t do justice – that is the place where your relationship with Jesus is rooted and established, like the roots of a tree. That is where true Holy Ghost ministry is born. That is where His life is imparted to you and to me.

 

A secret history with God is necessary first to establish roots in each of us. Once the root system has been established below in the dark then the tree is able to begin its slow emergence up into the sunshine.   This is the realm where others can see the result, or the fruit, of the work of the unseen deep.

“Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls…” Psalm 42:7

The result of your time spent alone with God.

It’s never too late to start….Jesus2

Get alone with God.

Spend time with Him. Don’t count the minutes.

Just be unhurried…

 

The secret is unhurried prayer.

 

 

God bless you friend.

 

 

 


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Missionary Quotations: Paris Reidhead1

“If I had my way, I would declare a moratorium on public preaching of ‘the plan of salvation’ in America for one toparis rh two years. Then I would call on everyone who has use of the airwaves and the pulpits to preach the holiness of God, the righteousness of God, and the Law of God until sinners would cry out, ‘What must we do to be saved?” Then I would take them off in a corner and whisper the gospel to them…. Such drastic action is needed because we have a gospel hardened generation of sinners by telling them how to be saved before they have any understanding why they need to be saved.”

 

 

 


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Street Preaching Last Night – An Epic Battle

soldiersThe Hare Krishna’s came back as we were preaching.  Two weeks ago, as I wrote about here, they came and did their dance to Krishna but left after only a few minutes.

Well last night they came as I began to preach.  But this time they stayed.

This time they had an amp with them and sang songs and chanted mantras to Krishna whilst they danced.  It was loud.

I kept preaching though.  I kept on, like last time:

“Jesus is the Way, the Truth, the LIfe. No one comes to the Father but by Him…”  etc

“There is no other Name under heaven by which humankind can be saved than the Name of Jesus…”

On they stayed.

On I kept preaching.

“Jesus is Lord.  And at the Name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord to the glory of the Father!”

It went on.  Multitudes of people came over to see what was going on. They were fascinated.  It was a battle and everyone knew it.  Many people video-ed all of it on their phones (if you see it on YouTube, let me know!)

10 minutes – I began calling out the words to “Amazing Grace”.

hareThe Hare Krishnas became frenzied. Faster and faster they got, they worked themselves into an ecstatic frenzy. They reminded me of the prophets of Baal as they cried out to their “god” to answer them on Mount Carmel.

 

15 minutes…

My voice started hurting, my chest was heaving. I prayed to God that He would sustain me to keep going.  I saw why He has prompted me to get fit lately.

I looked into the crowd as I proclaimed that “Jesus is Lord” and there was a gift from God.  A young lady with her hands in the air crying out “Amen! Jesus is Lord!”

She became my lifeline.  I looked to her as it went on.  She encouraged me to keep going.

I didn’t know what else to do.  I lifted my hands in the air and shut my eyes and cried out:

“Jesus, I proclaim that You are Lord over this station!  You are Lord. I praise the Lamb who was slain from the foundation of the world!  I praise you Lord! Hallelujah to the Lamb!”

The Hare Krishna’s left.battle

Praise God.

I kept preaching for another minute, then the gift-from-God young lady came over and asked if she could sing.  She had never sung by herself in a public street before but the presence of God was so strong.

She sung a beautiful song all about Jesus.

Some people from the crowd hung around to talk to some of the guys.

There was a great battle last night, but there was a great victory for the kingdom of God too!

Needless to say, it has taken me all day today to recover…:)

“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.” 2 Corinthians 2:14

 


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First Time I Street-Preached it Wasn’t on the Street

The first time I street-preached it wasn’t on the street.IMG_2504

It was in my prayer closet – my daughter’s bedroom.

A hairbrush was my microphone, the Lord Jesus my audience.

Just me and Him.

I wept and pleaded for sinners to turn to God, to flee from the wrath that is to come. I preached my heart out, to Him.

Then I fell on my face and wept and wept. I was under the anointing and I knew He was pleased.

 

Mind you, it took a long time to get me to even this point. First there was the call to preach years before, then sometime later He commissioned me with Isaiah 40.

Both of these occurred when I was alone with Him in my prayer closet.

The commissioning was terrifying. I was so scared that I was shaking and ran out to my husband crying “God has just commissioned me! But I don’t know what for!”  I was almost too scared to ever return to the prayer closet again. Both times I knew He was calling me to something but I did not have a clear picture of what it was.

He had asked me “Will you feed the multitudes?” and I had said yes, but at the time I didn’t understand what that meant.

Then came the dreams and “visions”. One dream was of me standing on a box in the CBD of the city and preaching God’s coming judgment, warning people in suits to flee from the wrath that is to come.

Another dream was of hell. It so terrified me that in my dream I awoke and ran to my front door crying out “I have to warn people not to go there!”

There was the “vision” of me preaching during the day in the city with a certain huge guy standing next to me, almost as a bodyguard. (This was fulfilled last year).

Then I actually began going out to the street, Friday nights into the city. I didn’t preach for probably a year though. I spoke with people, prayed with them, handed out tracts. The pastor I went with kept encouraging me to preach but I’d say “No, no, I couldn’t”.

cropped-girl-praying1.jpg

Meanwhile Jesus was training me in my prayer closet. He was having me preach to Him. Sometime around this time I discovered two other occurrences of God’s similar training methods:

  • One was in Angus Buchan’s biography. This book details how God also first taught him to preach in his prayer closet, the cornfield. He would stand in the back of his truck and preach to the corn stalks.

 

  • The other occurrence was David Wilkerson. Before he went to the streets of New York God had him walk the fields around his home and pray and prophesy to the trees.

 

My first night of street-preaching, actually on the street, eventually arrived. I can’t remember why this particular night I said “Yes” when the pastor asked me to preach, but I did.

I got up there, terrified, microphone in one hand, Bible in the other. I deliberately held the open Bible two inches from my face as I read it so nobody could see me and I couldn’t see them. I read out John 3:16. Someone said “Amen” as they walked past me, then I turned the microphone off.

That was it.

That was all I could manage at the time. But I have been trained since, and I am still being trained.

And it was the Lord who trained me.

He trained me in the school of the prayer closet. He trained me by the Holy Spirit, through tears and through prayer. He taught me that when I preach I am to preach to Him. Even on the streets. Even surrounded by crowds. It is Him I am preaching to, it is Him.

I felt to write this today. It is the season of Pentecost and I feel it is for someone in particular to read, so I pray that this will bless, encourage and inspire whoever it is for.

In Jesus’s wonderful Name, Amen.