Grace and Truth

…all the words of this life…


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Mission Preaching & the Two Birds

March 10th

Preaching at the Homeless mission about six people came up for an altar call afterwards. As I was praying for them I felt that God wanted me to particularly minister to a young, tall, dark-haired woman.

I’d never seen her before. Her striking features reminded me of the gypsies I had seen years ago in Europe.

I simply said to her “God wants to say something to you”, but at that point I had no idea what.

She looked at me expectantly.

I said let’s pray.

So as I prayed for her I saw above her head a black bird and a white bird.

I told her this picture I saw and asked if she knew what it meant. No, she shook her head.

Neither did I. Let’s ask the Lord I said.

So we did and then a question for her:

“Have you ever been involved in the occult?”

“No,” she said, “not the occult. Just sometimes my friends read Tarot for me.”

I explained to her Deuteronomy 18 and that Tarot reading is one type of divination which God forbids. She had no idea.

“And horoscopes is the occult too?” she then asked.

Yes

“And psychic mediums?”

YES

“But that was years ago,” said she.

I told her a story my pastor told me years ago. The occult can be likened to a legal situation we find ourselves in. We spend an hour with a solicitor discussing the matter, but when we leave we decide against pursuing the legal situation after all and let it drop. However that time we have spent with the lawyer must be paid for despite the fact that we have decided to let the matter drop. And you can rest assured that he will make us pay.

When a doorway is opened into the forbidden spiritual realm it is not closed by time, disinterest or our will. It is only closed through our repentance and renunciation.

I then saw that the two birds represented the two kingdoms – one of light and one of darkness. She was trying to mix Christianity with occultism/paganism, but they can’t be mixed. Those two birds are two very different birds and it’s one or the other. A plain and clear choice must be made. And the consequences are eternal.

The devil will try to murder us outright as Christians (physically or spiritually) and if that doesn’t work, he will bring in mixture. Think of Balak engaging a diviner to try to curse Israel. Murder. When that didn’t work what happened? Mixture. Instead the Israelite men began to engage in sexual immorality with Moabite women, then sacrificed to their idols. (Numbers 24 & 25). Murder or mixture.

Well praise the Lord my friend eventually repented of her sin and renounced it all. At the end of the night she lifted her hands in worship and sung with all her might praises to the Lord Jesus Christ, whom is far above all.

“Far above all, far above all. God has exalted Him far above all. Crown Him as Lord at His feet humbly fall. Jesus, Christ Jesus, is far above all.” Christian hymn

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The Order of Suffering

I went to preach at the Homeless Mission on Saturday night and praise the Lord I had the honour of leading two men to Christ afterwards.

pain
acrylic and pastel

I didn’t know what I was going to talk about, I didn’t know how I was even going to be physically able to preach. My body was aching, exhausted, sore and bandaged.

Late October I woke up one morning with both my hands and feet tingling. This was constant and it covered both my feet and hands, up my ankles and wrists, non-stop. The doctors couldn’t explain it and I could get no answers. Then my back began to hurt. Long story short, I have 5 herniated discs in my back. I have been in constant pain since November. December was the worst when it was highly inflamed and agonizing. I spent most of December horizontal, including Christmas Day.

Why do you allow suffering Lord?

Because that is the order of things at the moment. The order of things is suffering.

Obviously I prayed. Although I don’t know if you’d call it prayer or just non-stop desperate cries for help. I certainly couldn’t get on my knees, I couldn’t even sit, but I non stop cried out to the Lord. That’s pretty much all I could do in December. I had all the usual questions : Why me? What have I done to deserve this? Have you finished with me God? Will I ever be ok again?

In late December I had a dream.

I was walking in a grassy field with my two kids. There in the middle of the field was a huge wooden cross standing upright. I made my way over to it.  As soon as we got close to it the presence of the Lord was thick and strong. The children commented on how strong His presence was. I simply wrapped my arms around the thick, square shaped vertical beam of it and cried my heart out.

In fact I woke myself up crying. I was still in the presence of the Lord when I awoke. I could feel the solid wooden beam in my arms still and the thought foremost in my mind was that Jesus’ nail-pierced feet are so far above me, way up high compared to me.

I have been slowly improving through January until now. Every day I get a little better until…last Friday night I sat down on the couch with a cup of black tea in my hand. As I sat down, focussed on protecting my back, I spilled the whole cup of scalding water in my lap. The pain was intense. I ran straight to the shower/bath.

Though He slay me yet I will trust Him

Job was all I could think about in the bath. Job worshipping God despite his circumstances. I worshipped God in the bath, in the pain.  Eventually I went into shock and an ambulance took me to hospital. Apparently if you burn yourself in an area larger than your hand then as your body tries to cool down the burn, your body temperature drops too far and you can go into shock. In hospital….Second degree burns, potential plastic surgery….

So there I was on Saturday night, in pain, still recovering from my back injury, legs and groin dressed in bandages, moving like an elderly lady, having no idea what I am going to say to these homeless people, to the suffering, the scarred and wounded…..

The order of things is suffering.

Man chose his way and now it must run to completion

Man has to be allowed to run with his independence from God to full growth because He will never impinge on his free will. But man has to see that the way he has chosen will never work.

Suffering will be brought to full-bloom

“Except those days be shortened no flesh shall be saved, but for the elect’s sake God will shorten those days”

Then Christ’s order will be ushered in.

To suffer is to be human. To suffer is to be Christian. It is through many hardships we must enter the Kingdom of God (Acts 14:22).

But there is One who left the glories of heaven and chose to enter the order of suffering. When Jesus took on human flesh He willingly took on human suffering. And He suffered more than any other human: beaten beyond human recognition, betrayed, abandoned, forsaken by God.

He chose the order of suffering for you and me. He stepped into it and brought us redemption. Not that we won’t have problems and suffering any more as His children and friends, in fact we may have more, but that He will be with us through it all.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;” Isaiah 43:2

The other day my prayers changed. I was lying on the floor asking Him to heal my wounds. I looked at the scars on my leg and suddenly I loved them. I felt great affection for those ugly brown, bubbly burn marks.

They identified me with my Saviour

And I thank Him for them now. I don’t want them to completely go. I want them to stay so I “bear on my body the scars that show I belong to Jesus” (Gal 6:17)

I shared my suffering, pain, wounds and the great, great love of our scarred Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ with the homeless on Saturday. The presence of the Lord was strong as we came together in our suffering and brought two new babes with us to cling to that old rugged cross.

 

Belinda 🙂


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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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How to Preach in the Spirit

On Saturday night I preached at an inner-city mission. And praise the Lord a prostitute was saved!

After all these years of street-preaching and never being invited to preach anywhere, I have actually been invited to preach monthly at this inner city Mission for the homeless and disadvantaged.Image result for picture of the prostitute jesus

The thing is I don’t know how to do “normal” preaching. I can’t get three points and then a conclusion and stand behind a pulpit.

As part of my Chaplaincy course I’ve just been reading an essay on how to be an “Effective Communicator” as a preacher.  Even though this article does make some valid points, I find it rather sad that it is all about how to get your points across, how to make sure the audience remembers what you’ve said, how to be an effective communicator etc etc.

The Holy Spirit doesn’t seem to come into it at all – it’s all fleshly business-speak.  In these days of downloadable sermons and effective sound-bytes there is a need for anointed preaching again. For goodness sake let’s get back to the power of the Holy Spirit!  So here’s my “how-to” list to preach in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Preaching in the Spirit

  • Be in an intimate relationship with Jesus. If you’re not, then please don’t preach.  Really.
  • Be constantly in the Word.  It just needs to be a part of you.
  • Check your heart. If there’s anything between you and God deal with it immediately.
  • Cry. Yes, weep. This is hugely important.  Weeping is the key to the anointing.  This is something that cannot be forced, so ask God to break you for the sins of the people you will be preaching to. Preaching should ALWAYS come from a place of brokenness but it usually never does, and that’s why power in preaching is so rare these days.
  • Ask Him for His heart, for His burden, for what He wants to say.   Even if you only get one scripture from Him it is enough. It is better to preach that one verse for 5 minutes if it’s from His heart than to preach for 30 minutes from your flesh.
  • Yield yourself to Him and His will. Ask Him to have His way in you and for you to be a vessel for Him.
  • Pray before you go: For Him to fill you with His Spirit; for the people’s hearts to be prepared; for the Spirit to preach through you right into the spiritual realm. You will need to resist the devil – all his methods, his agents, his interruptions, anything he would seek to do to disrupt or interfere with God’s message being delivered.
  • Cry again.
  • Thank God for the victory we have in Christ Jesus.
  • Go in Holy Ghost boldness, knowing it’s not about you, but about Him.

I preached Isaiah 1:18 on Saturday night: “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.”

The Holy Spirit had impressed upon me that it was all about being honest with God, calling a sin a sin.  So that’s what I preached. Afterwards there was a time of ministry and the prostitute came to me and we cried together and she was saved, praise the Lord. The pastor said at the end of the night that there had been a shift in the Spirit tonight, that there was a new honesty and people were being real.

And that’s the point: a shift in the spiritual realm. T Austin Sparks called it “preaching to the back of things.”

Preaching to the flesh is a waste of time. The flesh cannot receive the things of the Spirit. People may feel inspired in the emotional realm for a while, but nothing changes.  No, we must preach to the back of things. We preach to the angels, the devils, to the spirit of man, to Christ Himself. And that’s when things happen.

I’m happy to answer any questions about this article!

Blessings,

Belinda :0)

 

 

 

 


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Missionary Quotations: My 11 Year Old Daughter


Usually I share here a quote by a famous missionary. But today I’m sharing something my 11-year old daughter Lucy has done:

Yesterday she asked me for my street-chalk. This is not so unusual in itself as she sometimes draws pictures in the driveway and pavement outside.

This time however was a bit different. When I went out there and saw what she’s written I just couldn’t stop smiling. I’ve taken photos of what she’s drawn and written on the pavement outside our house and at the bottom of our driveway for all passers by to

see:

image image image

No soft-peddling, political – correctness there! Out of the mouth of babes….needless to say, I am one proud mumma.

🙂

blessings,

belinda


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The Lord Looks After His Own

Friday street-preaching I encountered a hostility which I have never encountered before.  It actually left me a little flinders stdisturbed all weekend.

I was there with my little group, 5 of us, and my new PA, graciously provided by God. Because it was raining we set up under the shelter at the train station.

Before long I was preaching and praise the Lord, the anointing fell down on that place. People were listening, some were recording on their mobile phones. One of the ladies with me said it was so amazing that she felt to repent all over again.

But then out came the cops. One of them said that I can’t preach there, I need a permit , blah blah etc. I had done my homework and so very respectfully I told him that I am allowed to preach without a permit as it comes under the Freedom of Speech Act. He acquiesced but told me to turn the PA down, it was too loud (I’ve never had that problem before!).

So we kept going. We had many good conversations with people – a syncretistic muslim who simultaneously is reading the Bible and the Q’uran. He said he is going to come back again to continue our conversation. A confused Christian who thought that his occult gifts had been given him by God in order to help others. He left saying that he is going home to get rid of all his astrology etc books and tapes, renounce it all and repent. I pray that he did.

woman preacherThen preaching again. Then the anointing again. Then the cops again.

This time he was agitated.

“No, you cant keep doing this! You have to go now!”

I didn’t know what to do to be honest, as I am of the opinion to respect authority. However I knew he was on Satan’s errand and that I was perfectly within my rights to be there.

However, God stepped in on my behalf and the policeman’s partner, whom previously had said nothing, quietly said, “Just turn it down a bit more.”

So I did and I never saw them again.

But that’s when the real fun began. I went around handing out tracts to people and came to a bloke who was physically huge with a long, white beard. He looked like a biker. I tried to hand him a tract and immediately he started blaspheming Jesus. As I could see that the conversation was going nowhere I started to move away from him. That’s when he started on me.

“You crazy, deluded lady! You are crazy.  You think you know Jesus.  Oh you’ve met Him have you?” He said this while looking me in the eye and then openly laughed a mocking laugh at me.

I’ve been called many things before, actually things a lot worse than what he called me. I’ve had horrendous swear words, blasphemies thrown at me while preaching. I’ve had people laugh and shake their heads at me, but somehow this was worse than all of that. I think it’s because he looked at me in the eye while he said it and laughed. It was disturbing. I realised that this man was full of demons.  A mocking spirit was very obvious and I took myself away from him.

It entered my mind that he was so big he could probably kill me with one punch. Now this is not a typical thought for me on the street. I rarely ever feel unsure or threatened out there because the presence of the Lord is so real.

Anyhow I started preaching again and he stayed to heckle me. This was ok by me though. Strange as it sounds I enjoy a good heckle. I find the Holy Spirit anointing is so strong when I am being heckled. Also, it draws a crowd, and therefore more people hear the gospel.

He was screaming at me while I preached. You know – crazy lady, blah blah blah. He was trying to drown me out and he almost did because my PA had been turned down so much. He shut up for a little while until I preached about the coming day of wrath and to flee to Jesus from the wrath that is to come. Well, that set him right off again.

“You are preaching hate!! Hate preacher. I’ll get you for religious vilification.”  For a while all I could hear was the word “hate”.

I realised he was waving around a Q’uran. Aha – not a biker dude, an Aussie muslim convert.

Well he kept going and I kept going. There was a crowd. It was quite fun.

Every now and then though a thought would pop in my mind that he may come over and break my arm with one flick of his wrist. He really hated me, that much I knew.

To my left then I noticed were two men standing there. They looked like workmen because they were wearing orange high-vis vests. They were standing in the rain, although they could have easily fit under the cover. They stood together and quietly talked whilst intensely watching the big man screaming at me.

They never once looked at me, nor even in my direction. They kept their eyes firmly planted on him, and I immediately knew that they were there to protect me. I just knew that my Father had sent them to watch over me and that if screaming man took one step towards me they would intervene.

I wonder if they were angels? I have no idea if they were or not, but I knew like I knew that God had sent them there.

After I finished preaching and started packing up to leave the big man was still screaming at me. He was still saying that he was going to get me for religious vilification.

The two workmen were still standing watching him.  When he finally shut up and started losing interest I looked back and they were gone.

cropped-jesus.jpgAnyway then we went to McDonalds for lunch and praised God for an awesome time.

One thing I know for sure : that when we obey the Lord He will provide for us and He will watch over us. I left there with the sense that Jesus is happy with us.

God bless you my dear brothers and sisters,

Belinda

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Street Preaching and the Homeless

Friday we went into the city to street preach.  flinders st

Unfortunately my PA didn’t work properly, on every third word or so it would cut out.  So I couldn’t preach as my voice isn’t naturally strong.

But God sent Tony, the homeless man whom we met two times ago.

Tony used his God-given, very loud, male voice to open-air preach. Thank God for men.

Tony has no home, no money, hardly any clothes.  But I tell you what – he is one of the best preachers I’ve ever heard.  Not just one of the best street-preachers, but I mean, any preacher.  That includes pastors, televangelists, you know, the ones who’ve grown rich on Churchianity.

On the street, his home, Tony shares his testimony. He was a drug addict who’d done time in prison.  He was a murderer of the heart.  But one day he met Jesus.  And Jesus changed him.

“You may think I’m crazy!” he cries, “Well I am!  I am crazy for Jesus!”

Praise God for that.

open airWhere are all the pastors, the ministers, the ones who get paid to stand up in front of a nice, middle-class congregation on a Sunday morning?  Where are they?  I have not seen them on the streets.

Instead God is using us, a ragtag bunch of women, and one homeless guy.

“In that day I will assemble the lame and gather the outcasts and those whom I’ve afflicted.  I will make the lame a remnant and the outcast a strong nation.” Micah 4:6

 

Truly God uses the lame, the weak, the outcast.  Btw, of us women:

1 is an ex-muslim, ex-alcoholic, ex-agoraphobic (see From Muhammed to Jesus)

1 is an ex-atheist

1 is an ex-Christian cult

All glory to the Lord Jesus Christ!

 

So Jesus used us outcasts to save “D”, another homeless man, on Friday.  He came up to us and told us he is a thief and a drug addict. No hope for him.  I told him about the thief on the cross.  He said he shot up ice that morning.

Tony sat with him on the ground and talked with him.  He ended up leading him to Christ.

I have rarely seen a more beautiful sight than two homeless guys sitting together talking about the love of God.  One in the love of Christ leading the other to Christ.

“Christianity is one beggar telling another beggar where he found bread”

(Oh – and the Lord sent me a Christian after we finished on Friday who provided another PA for us! He is a good God.)

Blessings,

Belinda 🙂