Grace and Truth

…all the words of this life…


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Preaching the Kingdom and a Stolen iPhone

While I was preaching at the homeless mission on Saturday night my mobile phone was stolen.

It was an iPhone and contained my life on it – emails, access to this blog, photos, contacts etc. I saw the young lady touch my phone and I knew in my spirit that she was going to take it, but while I preached it didn’t even concern me, it simply left my mind.

But when I had finished it hit me that she had disappeared and so had my phone. And then I got annoyed, frustrated and concerned. Identity-theft, violation of privacy, indignation at her audacity all these thoughts and emotions were swirling around in my mind while I searched for her within the building and outside, all in vain.

And the other thing in my mind: that I was already being tested on the very thing I had just finished preaching about. I had spoken about broken-ness being the qualification in God’s kingdom for ministry. God’s breaking of the power of the flesh, the crucifixion of it. How He wants us to no longer react from the soulish realm, the realm of emotion and intellect, but instead to walk in the Spirit and live in His kingdom of love, forgiveness and mercy.

So we traced my phone by GPS and saw that she had walked down the road about 10 minutes and got onto a train. After that we lost trace of her.

I was mad, I won’t deny it. How dare she steal my phone? I was also mad at myself. Why didn’t I retrieve my phone when I saw her touching it?

I tried to call my stolen phone three times and she ignored it. She sent a message to one of my contacts telling them to tell me that I am not getting my phone back. I began to imagine all sorts of revenge scenarios.  What I would say to her had I the chance! Thank God He didn’t let me talk to her then.

One of the things I had just preached about was how the natural man wants revenge and to “get his own back”.

I went home and changed all my passwords on everything. Then I sent her a message. A message to my own phone which was now hers. I knew her name because we had chatted before she stole my phone.

I told her that I forgave her for breaking my trust and stealing my phone. I told her I prayed she would find peace and blessed her and I shared the gospel with her over text. I prayed that God would convict her and bring her into His kingdom.

The next day we disabled the stolen phone and I got a new phone. Because the old phone was disabled I was now able to re-use my old number. That’s when the phone calls began.

A blocked number rang the first time and I answered. It was a guy asking who I am? I wouldn’t tell him but asked who he was. Then cursing and obscenities down the phone from him and a female in the background. I hung up. They rang back, my husband answered this time.

“Tell Belinda she’s not getting her phone back….” Then he told me husband all sorts of lies about me. Cursing and obscenities again.

They proceeded to ring all through the evening and even through the night. We obviously stopped answering the phone and rang the police. They advised me to change my number, which I have now done.

All I can say is that the devil was obviously very stirred up and was trying to provoke a fleshly reaction from me. If I had given in to it surely it would have been a defeat. But if we react in the kingdom way, of love and forgiveness, of blessing those who curse us, of praying for those who spitefully use us, then we will always have the victory over the works of darkness!

Blessings! 🙂

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This is my Beloved, and This is my Friend

Drawn August 2015. Pencil/pastel

Drawn August 2015. Pencil/pastel

He is chief among ten thousand

His head is like finest gold

His body is carved ivory

With sapphires laid in the mould

 

This King of kings

This Lord of lords

Surely none can compare

Yet who may be this blessed one

To Him who is “All Fair”?

 

This is the Bride He’s purchased

With His own spotless blood

There is no blemish in her

She’s made perfect in holy Love

 

The Heavenly Storehouse is opened

To provide a bridal dress

Precious stones to adorn

Sapphire, emerald and amethyst

 

She will be made ready

And will watch for Him and wait

For the King will not tarry long

Time is getting late

 

(Based on Song of Solomon)

 


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Street Preaching Tonight

It was different tonight than it’s ever been.flinders st

It began pretty much the same as usual, but at some point I noticed the Hare Krishna’s dancing their noisy way towards us.

Great

With their colourful clothes, tambourines and dancing they make it all but impossible to preach the gospel.  They usually pull up in a wide circle in front of where we are preaching and dance and sing for sometimes 10-15 minutes.

Usually we get pushed to the sidelines amongst all the colourful chaos and the tourists bustling to take photos of them.  Standing on the sidelines politely waiting for them to finish their worship ceremony to their false god is absolutely frustrating.  It feels like Satan has got one over on us.

Something I’ve learnt: if you give Satan an inch – he will take a mile.

We are in a spiritual battle and being on the city streets you cannot forget it.

So tonight as they approached I grabbed the microphone and began preaching. As they came up to us I kept going.  They waved to me, I waved back.  I was polite, but not polite enough to stop. I preached:

“Jesus said ‘I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life, no man comes to the Father but by Me”.

They kept going.  I kept going: “There is no other name under heaven by which man can be saved, than the Name of Jesus!”  Sometimes I just called out “Jesus! Jesus!” over their noise.

They stayed for maybe two minutes then gave up and left.

But then it happened…

bourbonstreet1As I was preaching, I began weeping.

Yes, weeping.  In front of lots of people. It was weird. I couldn’t stop it. I felt God’s heart breaking for these lost sinners.  I felt Him yearning for them to come home.  It wasn’t me being emotional or sad – it was Him calling to them through me.  I wept as I preached to them His heart.

But then I stopped preaching because I began to think.  That can be a problem whilst preaching.  The anointing lifts off when you start to really think, especially if you wonder what people are thinking of you.  Now I kind of wish I kept going because that’s never happened to me before and I think I probably stopped it before God was done.  Sorry Lord.

Important point: I believe God wants to raise up preachers who are broken for the sins of the people.

You see, there are preachers who preach the cold, hard truth of the gospel.  They want the authority that gives them, but they don’t take any responsibility for the people.

Then there are preachers who in response to the above have taken out most of the truth of the gospel and replaced it with psychology or self-help or something else human.  They want to take responsibility for the people, yet they have no God-given authority to do so.

God is raising up those who will “speak the truth in love”.  We can get rid of neither love nor truth, and that is what so many have done.

God gives authority to those who will take responsibility.  And being willing to take street_preaching in chicago 1930responsibility for others brings authority.

We need to speak the whole truth of the gospel – yes, including sin, the law, hell and judgment.  BUT we need to speak the truth from a heart that has been broken for the people’s sins.  We have no right to be preaching to people about whom we couldn’t care less. That is not God’s heart.  That has never been His way.  Think of Moses, Samuel, Jesus, Paul…  We need to be willing to take responsibility for them by standing in the gap and interceding.

Preaching and intercessory prayer go hand-in-hand

Just as:

Authority and responsibility go hand-in-hand

May our mighty God bless you!

If sinners be dammed, at least let them leap to Hell over our bodies. If they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees. Let no one GO there UNWARNED and UNPRAYED for.” Charles Spurgeon

 

 

 

 


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Grief and the Song of Moses

Grief is strange.

You go along fine for a while. And then all of a sudden…another wave descends, and you are plunged beneath the depths of it. It encompasses you and you have no choice but to let it carry you along for a while.

Then after you’ve been thrown around for a bit, after you’re soaked through with tears and your heart pierced with pain and memories, the grief sets you down and rolls away again.

Until the next wave….

Last August my friend Jenny went to be with the Lord. It was sudden, unexpected.

Four days after Jenny went, my Grandma also went to be Jesus.

I went into shock when my Grandma went.

Jenny called me “her angel”….Jenny was “my Jenny”.
Grandma called me “dearest”…..I called her my “Granny Apple-Bee”, or GAB for short.

I miss them so much.

I don’t understand why they had to go at the same time.

But I know Jesus. And even though it was terrible and painful and incomprehensible, and sometimes still is, yet will I trust Him. He is my life. Without Him I am undone.

My Grandma’s favourite hymn was “I am weak, but thou art strong”. OH Lord help me.

My Jenny’s favourite song was “The Song of Moses”. I still haven’t been able to listen to it since she went home but I am putting the link here for you to watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xF-Ald7IPfA in honour of her and my Granny-Apple-Bee. It is one of the most beautiful songs in the world, straight from Revelation 15.

I love knowing that they are with Him in heaven singing the Song of Moses and of the Lamb.

God bless you this Passover season


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Love Looks Like Something

We can talk about Lovehelping-hand-1

all we want,

Philosophize,

Discuss and reason

 

Talk about how it should feel

Until it becomes so high and lofty

that it is almost un-real.

 

But Love, real Love, looks like something

It is practical

Down-to-earth

 

Love looks like:

Taking food to your neighbour

For their needs to be met,

Or welcoming an outcast

into your precious home

(Would you use your best tea-set?)

 

 

Love looks like:

Becoming a friend to someone unlikely

Or calling with encouragement

on the telephone

 

Love looks like:

Going to the streets

And searching out the lost

to find that one missing sheep

Whatever the cost

 

Love looks like:

Cold metal nails

Driven into pure hands,

One crying out

“Father, forgive them!”

While His blood pours

To the ground

 

Love doesn’t always look tidy

Love doesn’t always smell good

Love is not convenient

But Love we should

 

True Love propels to action,

It is faith in its outworking.

True love is not afraid

To get its hands a little dirty.

 

If we could just look past

the quasi-“love” that we’ve been sold

We would find that it is the most real thing

In this earth

It’s effects untold…

 

 


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The Mystery of the Cross

I woke up one morning with this in my head, and wrote it in my journal:

The cross is ugly,

The cross is beautiful.

The cross kills,

The cross gives life.

The cross is God’s hatred towards sin,

The cross is God’s love towards us.

On the one hand, the cross deals a death blow to pride, vanity and selfishness

On the other hand it’s beauty is evident by the suffering of a sinless Saviour

Who can say whether it is one or the other?

It is both.

For Jesus is meant death, pain and suffering,

If we follow Him, it will for us too.

But this is the only way to life and hope

You can’t have the life of the Saviour

Without first, having the death of the Saviour

You can’t take a short-cut

First the pain, then the relief,

First the sorrow, then the joy,

First the death, then the life

“Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it stays alone: but if it die, it brings forth much fruit.” (John 12:24)