Grace and Truth

…all the words of this life…


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Join This Chariot

About three weeks ago I had a dream that a couple of people were coming to our house for prayer. But when I opened the front door a stream of people came in and kept coming…and coming. All different races of people. I wondered how they knew to come. They said

“We knew you’d be open!”

Our lounge was packed with people and I lifted up my hands and said “No social distancing here!”

The dream ended.

During the lockdown we had been doing a Bible study every morning and two others had been joining us via Messenger. So we just thought now we are “allowed” to have two people come to our house we will just invite them on a Sunday morning to continue this bible study, but now in person.

That was three weeks ago and every week more and more people have come on a Sunday. We have such a blessed time of worship, bible study, prayer and eat lunch together. Yesterday was beautiful.  We had guys join us from a Christian halfway house, where they take in men who have come out of jail or rehab and give them a place to live and a job.

The Lord spoke to us about House of Saul versus House of David and the outcasts going to David in the cave at Adullum….

On Friday I said to the Lord “What is going on?” This home-Church thing seems to be taking off at our place FAST, like it’s almost out of our control.

we have literally just opened the doors and people have come.

He gave me this scripture in our family bible study and confirmed It the next day as I was reading the book “Anointed for Burial”

”Go and join this chariot” Acts 8:29

As my friend Tim Shey has said , I think we just need to follow the cloud at the moment guys.

Be willing to do things differently because suddenly all our plans have been interrupted. Like the old thing is dead now. We’ve got to just follow the Lord.

And as my other friend (and spiritual father) Bill Randles has said – the church needs to meet in flesh and blood.

bless you,

Belinda

 


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Will the Western Church Please Stand Up

The Western Church is so used to being hunkered down inside it’s four walls that this lockdown is not so different than what it’s become accustomed to.

(Apart from the tithes of course.)

In fact, it comes as a mild relief to have the excuse not to evangelize or minister at all. “Well what can we do, we are in lockdown??”

Cosy and comfy in our Christian bubbles we console ourselves that we can’t do anything anyway so why not turn on Netflix?

I had a fellow minister say to me today “Belinda, why are we the only ones who will still minister to people?”

And I’m sure we aren’t actually the only ones, but it kinda feels like it sometimes. I guess this is what we already knew – the church isn’t the buildings, it’s the living, mystical Body of Christ.

He had actually asked someone else first to minister to the guy last week who’d been heavily involved in the occult but he’d said no. He is not ministering to anyone during the pandemic….

…And we led this guy to Christ…

He’s also asked people to help him feed the baby Christians that had recently come to Christ in his ministry, but they’d also said no. No to bible study…because of the pandemic.

Listen, I’m not advocating for unwisely putting people in harm’s way at this time. I also understand that some people are genuinely fearful of the virus and of copping a fine for being out, and the fines are huge. But also- what the heck?? I can’t help comparing us with the apostles in Acts…what would those who “turned the world upside down” do right now?

 

“So one came and told them, [f]saying, “Look, the men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people!”
Then the captain went with the officers and brought them without violence, for they feared the people, lest they should be stoned. And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest asked them, 28 saying, “Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!”
But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.” ….
And they agreed with him, and when they had called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for [j]His name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.” Acts 5

 

 

 


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Paul Brought the Gospel to Rome from Home Lockdown

Paul was under house-arrest in Rome for two years.  Chained to a prison guard, he couldn’t leave his own home.

“The Rise of A.I.” acrylic and gouache

Sound familiar…?

During his home-imprisonment he asked the Church to pray for him :

“and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that in it I may speak boldly as I ought to speak” Ephesians 6:19, 20 (emphasis mine)

Paul couldn’t go to church, he couldn’t street-preach, he couldn’t go to Synagogue.  Paul was physically restricted as soon as he arrived in Rome, and that’s how he stayed for two whole years.  But in it, in this very situation Paul was asking for prayer to be able to speak forth the gospel boldly.

Do we think Paul’s situation caught God by surprise?  Do we think He did not know that Paul’s arrival in Rome would be under hard circumstances? That His man would not be free to move about as previously?  No – it was in to this very situation that God brought Paul, and thus the gospel, to Rome.

At that time Rome was becoming the centre of the world’s wealth.  The art, the artists, the architects were moving there as it became recognised as the world’s most cosmopolitan city.  This place was of diverse culture, containing many different beliefs and ideas.  In some ways it was advanced, as in the case of women’s rights.  It was to this worldly city that God chose to send His man, chained and bound to one small house.

God’s strategy to evangelise a whole city was through a man bound to his own home.

Paul may have been restricted, but never is the Gospel of Jesus Christ restricted!

Never will it be restrained.

God still used Paul, even chained to a prison-guard, unable to leave his own home. One man, in one house, but in that one house God brought revival to Rome.

“So when they had appointed him a day, many came to him at his lodging, to whom he explained and solemnly testified of the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the Prophets, from morning till evening.”  Acts 28:23

Do we think this Covid-19 pandemic has caught God by surprise? Do we think He had no idea all the churches would be shutdown and outlawed?  Of course He knew.  And it is into this very situation that He has called us.

The gospel of Jesus Christ cannot be stopped, no matter if our church buildings are shut.  The gospel will go forth.

The gates of hell will never prevail against His Church!  It’s time to recognise that this is how God has chosen to use us for this season.  God’s plans are not being stymied by the enemy, God is still Sovereign and from the Throne He has decreed that right now this is how His church will go forth.

Without high-tech sound systems, church buildings and programs, once again from the simplicity of our homes!  Prayer with our families, Bible studies online, prayer in the closet.  Could this be God’s plan…?

We have the internet, social media, telephones. We can walk around our neighbourhoods, dropping leaflets in letterboxes. We have many ways we can answer God’s call from our homes:

““Whom shall I send,
And who will go for Us?”

Who will join me in saying “Here I am Lord, send me!”

“Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him.” Acts 28:30,31

Blessings,

Belinda 🙂


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The Way to Get Through This

My husband was on a business trip in the
USA when the World Health Organisation declared the coronavirus a Pandemic.

Things had already started to become strange up until that point but on that day everything turned and people went crazy here in Australia.

Just like that, toilet paper, pasta, hand sanitizer was stripped from the shelves and by the time I got there I couldn’t find any.  I remember the anxiety as I walked into the shops to find bare shelves, three children to look after and my husband far away.

The burden of responsibility to look after my family lay heavily on my shoulders. At heart I am a homemaker, and when I couldn’t get the basics for my family it struck me much more forcibly than anything else. I wasn’t afraid of the actual virus, I still am not. But those bare shelves brought some fear up in me I never expected.

The Lord was so very kind to me. He began to wake me up every night in the middle of the night, in fact He is still doing it to this day. I would get up and go into my prayer closet.

just me and Him.

I would cry, sometimes just sob at His feet. It wasn’t just about the toilet paper. I felt something had shifted in the spiritual realm. I felt everything was different now. And boy did I want my husband home.

I’ve always been a pray-er but those times with the Lord at night became my lifeline, literally. Without them I would not have coped. He gave me the strength to meet each day. He taught me to trust Him in a way I never have before and He turned my mourning in to dancing.

I would go in with a heavy and burdened heart. And I would come out of my prayer closet rejoicing.

Truly in the presence of the Lord there is fullness of joy. Really .

The joy that Christ gave me in those times became my strength for the day ahead.

Now we are in lockdown here in Australia, have been for two weeks. All the churches are shut, even the small ones. We are not allowed to meet in groups of more than 2, apart from our own household.

What do we do in such a situation? How do we get through with faith intact, with hope and peace?

It’s only in the Lords presence – and I can testify to it.

Every night He, in His grace, wakes me up still. It’s the only time I am alone now with a husband working from home and 3 kids locked out of school.

”where else would I go but to the Lord”

He is our strength, He is our hope and deliverer. Our shield and the horn of our salvation. Trust in Him, He never fails.

 

Bless you my brothers and sisters in this difficult season.

Belinda


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Purim – When the Enemy’s Plans are the Cause of His Downfall

It is the feast of Purim today.  Purim is from the book of Esther.

In the book of Esther, Haman (the enemy of Gods people) made gallows to hang Mordecai, but because of Esther’s intercession, he was hanged on his own gallows. So we see the plans of the enemy were the cause of his own downfall.

So now,as the people of God, as we rise up in intercession, the plans the enemy tries to use against us will be the cause of his ultimate defeat! Hallelujah to the Lamb!

”So they hanged Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai…” Esther 7:10

Ultimately this is a picture that points to Christ. For where else is it so powerfully displayed that the means the enemy, satan, tried to use to destroy the Son of God at the cross, was the place of his ultimate defeat, and of Christ’s complete victory over the powers of darkness?

We have nothing to fear brothers and sisters, even from the Coronavirus, for the Lord knows the way , even if we don’t. And as we stay close to Him we are safe and in the place of victory.

Blessings,

belinda

The Man in the Gap – Acrylic on canvas