Testimony Tuesday – Grandad’s story

My Granddad, David was a Christian and man of faith. I never met him as unfortunately, he died before I was born but I still have his little anointing bottle which has been passed on to me and which I still use today. It came from the Smith Wigglesworth ministries.

David had a stroke in 1943 and wrote out the testimony of his healing. I have it today written in his own hand. It always encourages me when I read it and it reminds me that Jesus is the same today, yesterday and forever and He still heals. I thought it would be encouraging to share David’s testimony with you today. The language is old fashioned but the meaning is the same. I hope you find it uplifting as I do.

“I was a strong healthy man all my days having experienced little trouble up to sixty years of age.   One morning on the 15th September 1943, I rose to go to my work as usual.  Arriving there, I fell very sick.  I tried to work on but the sickness made me give up and start for home.  I arrived home, my wife meeting me at the door.  I was telling her of my feeling when I fell into her arms and the power immediately left the whole of my left side.

After I was taken in bed my first thoughts were of Jesus and of His healing power and I remembered that verse in the 11th Chapter of Mark’s gospel.  “Therefore I say until you, whatever things you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them”. Instead of a sadness and depression following, a perfect peace and calm came to my heart, a peace that could only come from Jesus Christ my Lord and Saviour.

The next day the Doctor called and said I had taken a shock (Hemiplegia), paralysis of one side of the body and blood pressure.   I was to be kept very quiet as it would be a long time before I would be able to go around again.  In fact, I would not be able to work again.  Many friends were praying that God in His great mercy and loving kindness would lay His healing hand upon me.

On November 30th, having been 11 weeks in bed and still praying for God’s healing touch; I continually kept repeating to myself these words -” God help me. Thou has said Lord in thy precious word 11th Chapter of Mark. All things whatsoever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye received them and ye shall have them”.

On this day the Pastor of the Pentecostal Assembly, Hope Street, Leith, with his wife called to see me. He had been asked by a friend of mine to call. After a little talk on the deep things of Christ and if I believed that Christ could heal today as when He was upon earth, I said yes, he laid his hands on me and prayed earnestly for my deliverance, calling on me in the Name of the Lord to rise and walk. This I did for about 6 yards into the kitchen and sat down on a chair. I felt that the Lord had touched me, for from that moment, I began to mend, praising God with a joy unspeakable.

I sat on the chair for over an hour and a half. As I rose to go back to bed it seemed as if the evil one was determined to crush me down on the floor, as I felt so weak and helpless, but I called on God to deliver me and take me back to bed the way He took me out and this He did.

Ever since then, I have went on gaining strength every day, the power coming gradually back to me. I have had no special treatment any further than up in the morning at nine o’clock attempting to improve my walking.

A month later the Doctor called.  With astonishment he looked at me and said “you are up”.  “Yes”, I said, “this is the work of the Lord”.   “Well, I will tell you” said the Doctor “you are a marvel, really it is wonderful, your prayers have been heard and answered.  I was delighted to hear Doctor say that my prayers had been answered.  I do thank God for His wonderful touch to my body and enabling me to walk when the power was completely out of my leg, no life also in my arm and fingers.  To God be all the glory.  

Dear friends, people of faith are not moved by anything they see or hear, not puffed up, they live in meekness and grow in grace.   The people of faith, said a great preacher, do not live in time, they are begun in eternity, they do not count on the things that are but rely on the things that are not.  Faith is a restful realisation of the gracious and almighty presence of an eternal God.  Divine power is laid hold of through believing prayers and by its means men are fundamentally changed, circumstances modified and miracles of grace wrought to the glory of God.   May we ever follow the spiritual way, for spiritual results can only be obtained by spiritual methods.

Yes friends, the life of faith here below is a life of trial from first to last and that is no more or less with every believer.  The promise had been given to Abraham that he would have a son, and it was many years before that promise was fulfilled, and yet it is said of him that against hope he believed in hope that he might become the father of many nations, and staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith giving glory to God.  Now this faith was afterwards crowned, the promise was fulfilled and Isaac was born.  He waited long, but he learned in a peculiar manner, the faithfulness of God to His promises. 

Perhaps we may have to live some years to wait on the Lord, for some good which he intends to confer upon us. It does not matter how long we may have to wait, don’t grow weary in well doing, for you can rest assured that when it does come it was worth waiting for. God never lets you down, no matter how long you may be tried. If we could only remember that, at these burning moments of test and seek the face of Christ, we would hear Him say “Fear not, for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name, thou are mine.”

The severe trials which God sometimes sends are seldom of long duration, they are not only sent in wisdom and love but held in the same grip of love and wisdom. Life itself is short, and when on some emergency the Lord calls his child to suffer, we see with what tenderness the Lord comes to his relief. He never asks his child to stand more then he is able. Whatever portion of suffering may be allotted to us here, may we be enabled to say continually, not my will but thine be done O’ Lord, thus glorifying Him forever.” The end.

It inspires me that these words of testimony were written in 1943. Praise God for those who have travelled before us and encourage us to be strong in our faith and to glorify our Father in heaven.

Grandad David

#Testimony Tuesday – Pam’s story

As it was Mother’s Day on Sunday then I just had to re-share my Mum’s healing testimony today for #TestimonyTuesday. She’s 84 now and an inspiring woman of faith.

My mum married my Dad, Bill when she was young. He was a reservist in the army and was posted to Somerset in England for his basic training. Dad was Scottish from Edinburgh and so a long way from home. He decided to visit the local Pentecostal church which my Mum attended. It was love at first sight according to Mum. I don’t think she wanted to let Dad out of her sight from that time onwards but unfortunately Dad was later posted overseas for the Suez crises.

Mum was only 18 and a young mum when she was taken ill suddenly. She had been out for the day on a Church outing. On the way home she developed a bad headache which she put down to tiredness. It got worse and worse though and eventually she became so ill that she was taken to hospital.

Mum was diagnosed with suspected Meningitis and put into the isolation hospital. All she can really remember of that time is having lumber-punctures to drain the fluid from her spine which she said were terribly painful. She dreaded them. The Doctors told her family that it was not looking good and that my Dad needed to be sent for immediately from abroad as she was not likely to pull through.

My grandad contacted the army and Dad was brought home from his posting in Cyprus. It was the 1950s so communication wasn’t easy. The army wouldn’t tell him either what was wrong with Mum so he expected the worst. Dad kept the newspaper cuttings from the time which we still have. They are a bit brown but you can still read them.

Mum had taken a turn for the worse. My mum’s parents were not churchgoers but her Aunt Mabel was and it was my Aunt who had taken my mum to church from a young girl. Mum had become a Christian and been baptised. The church committed to praying for mum and they decided to have an all-night prayer vigil for her when they heard the news that she was not expected to survive. They sent prayer cloths in to the hospital and were faithful in praying for her recovery and healing. She made it through that night and the worst was over. There was a breakthrough. Praise God.

From that time on, Mum started to get better and better and the Doctors were amazed at her recovery. They told her though that in their opinion she would still not be able to walk again. Mum was convinced though that she had been healed and was determined to show the Doctors that she would walk. She recovered her strength and was soon up and about. The Doctors were so pleased that she was able to walk that they agreed that she could leave the hospital after many months and continue her recovery at home.

Mum is convinced that God healed her in answer to prayer. Without prayer she is sure that she would not have survived the meningitis. I’m grateful for those faithful brothers and sisters in Christ who committed to pray through the night for her. I’m especially grateful that God answered prayer and she made it because otherwise I wouldn’t be here today. Thank the Lord for His mercies.

If you need God to move in your situation today, or for someone else, then I hope this testimony encourages you and gives you hope. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. Amen.

Enjoying a day by the river

Rivers…

I love rivers.

These are photos I took of the river Mawddach as it flows into the sea at Barmouth, Wales. It is such a beautiful place. Serene, peaceful yet full of life. It flows.

The river as it flows to the sea
The view from above on the hill..

The bible speaks of a beautiful river. The river of life which flows from God’s throne.

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever”. Revelation 22:1-5

I long to see that heavenly river but the good news is that we don’t have to wait to experience spiritual life in all its fullness until heaven. We can drink of that living water right now and the river of life – the Holy Spirit can fill us and also flow through us to help those around us.

Jesus says that He is the living water. If we drink of Him, we will never thirst again. Not only that but we will be assured of Eternal life. We will live forever with God.

To have that assurance of eternal life, the bible teaches us that it is necessary to repent and confess our sins, accept Jesus as our saviour who has taken our sins on himself and be baptised and follow Jesus.

John the Baptist came with the message of repentance in preparing the way for Jesus. People were convicted of their sins and went to him to be baptised in the River Jordan. Even Jesus who knew no sin went to be baptised by John.

A believer being baptised

What an amazing experience it is to be baptised. I still remember being baptised at my local church back in 1977 in the baptismal tank just like in this photo. My brother was fortunate to go to Israel and get baptised in the River Jordan…how wonderful that was.

Healing – The river Jordan was also a place of healing for Naaman the leper – we read the story in 2 Kings 5. The prophet Elisha told Naaman to go and wash in the River Jordan which Naaman was not happy about at all.

His ego was hurt because Elisha the prophet did not come out to see him personally and would not take any gifts from him. Naaman thought the River Jordan was dirty and nothing compared to the rivers of Damascus. It wasn’t the river itself in the story that healed Naaman but his obedience to the word of God. God healed him according to the prophet’s word.

My friends, don’t let ego or pride stop you receiving what God has for you whether that is salvation or healing.

I pray that you too will discover the river of life in Christ Jesus and drink of that living water if you have not done so yet.

On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.’ By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified” John 7:37-39

There is a scripture that is very precious to me which to me speaks of revival and an outpouring of the Spirit of God with many coming to know Jesus. The Lord has brought these verses back to our fellowship very recently. I pray these verses for these times we live in now. That many will discover God’s love for them and salvation in Christ Jesus. That they will discover the true river of life.

The man brought me back to the entrance to the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple towards the east (for the temple faced east). The water was coming down from under the south side of the temple, south of the altar. He then brought me out through the north gate and led me round the outside to the outer gate facing east, and the water was trickling from the south side.

As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits and then led me through water that was ankle-deep. He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist.

He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in – a river that no one could cross.

He asked me, ‘Son of man, do you see this?’

Then he led me back to the bank of the river. When I arrived there, I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river. He said to me, ‘This water flows towards the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, where it enters the Dead Sea. When it empties into the sea, the salty water there becomes fresh.

Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live. Fishermen will stand along the shore; from En Gedi to En Eglaim there will be places for spreading nets. The fish will be of many kinds – like the fish of the Mediterranean Sea.

But the swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they will be left for salt. Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.’ Ezekiel 47:1-12

I pray the dry valleys in our lives, fellowships, communities and nations will be filled with the river of God and we will allow the river of life to flow through us. That the water in us won’t become stagnant like the salt marshes but will be always be fresh.

As the disciples of Jesus became fishers of men I pray that this is a time for many fishermen to arise and proclaim the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

There is eternal life, a river of living water and it is found in Jesus Christ.

Blessings to you this day.

Beware of Jealousy

Jealousy and envy truly is the green eyed monster. I want to warn you to take jealousy seriously and do not allow it to have any place in you, your family or your church. It is extremely destructive and there should be no place for it in the body of Christ.

If the spirit of jealousy is allowed to influence believers and ensnare them then it will cause division, strife and can also cause physical sickness.

This is what I want to warn you about today and make you aware of the dangers of jealousy.

Jealousy leads to mistrust, division, confusion and strife in the body of Christ.

James 3:16 “For where envy & self seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing is there

Jealousy comes from a fear of losing our place.

Losing our place in someone’s affections, losing our place of influence, our place of authority, our place of importance, our place of favour.

The fear arises- Someone else is going to take my place or someone else has taken my place.

If that wrong thought takes hold then the person will be jealous of the one that they believe has taken or is going to take their place.

It could be a place in ministry or in leadership in the church or group that they think should be theirs. In their mind it belongs to them.

If someone is jealous of you then they will usually struggle to hide it. It will manifest itself in some way – either in malicious gossip or criticism behind your back or if they are very bold then viciously to your face – it’s more likely to be poison spread to others but if the person is very bitter then they will do their utmost to pull you down by direct attacks on you.

If they are doing it all very subtly behind your back then you may be oblivious to this attack on you and its source. If this is happening to you then you may well be suffering problems in one way or another from the spiritual attack on you. It can manifest as sickness, physical pain, extreme fatigue or tiredness in your body.

If you are suffering from extreme tiredness, headaches, neck or back pain and there is no obvious physical cause then I urge you to pray about it. Ask the Holy Spirit, who is the spirit of truth, to reveal whether this is a spiritual attack on you. Pray for discernment.

If someone is jealous of you then the fiery darts of the enemy are being aimed in your direction. If they are finding their mark then they need to be dealt with.

When the attack comes from a brother or sister in Christ then it will generally hit you in your back and the spirit of jealousy will go for your head which is why often there can be a face, neck or back pain as a result. Our backs are the unprotected part of us because we are supposed to be there for each other – standing back to back with each other. Attacks are not supposed to come from each other within the body of believers.

If you discern that a spirit of jealousy is afflicting you then pray with a trusted friend. Rebuke the spirit of jealousy and break off its effects on you in Jesus name and in the authority of His name, pray for healing and restoration in your body and forgive and bless the person who is jealous of you. It does not matter whether you do or do not know who it is – bless those who curse you. Pray for them.

If reading this you have recognised that you are a jealous person and have been jealous of someone then I urge you to repent of it – ask the Lord’s forgiveness and pray for and bless that person instead. Pray for healing for any hurts that you have caused through your jealousy whether physical, emotional or spiritual. Rebuke the spirit of jealousy in Jesus’ name and pray for release of its hold over you. Pray that the Lord will strengthen you to submit this area of your mind and emotions to the Lord and to resist the enemy from having this stronghold in your life. Pray that you are also healed from the effect of jealousy in your heart and body.

A sound heart is life to the body but envy is rottenness to the bones – Proverbs 14:30

There is no need for jealousy amongst believers because we all have our unique place in the body of Christ. There is a place for you, a place for me and a place for each of us.

The Promise

Have you been given a promise by God which you are yet to see fulfilled?

Recently, the Lord has been stirring my heart about a promise that He gave me about the place I live. Many years ago, I saw in the Spirit a vision of people falling in the streets crying out to God for salvation. They were overcome with conviction of sin by the power of the Holy Spirit. I saw a river of God’s healing and restoring presence flowing through our town and region.

The bible verses the Lord showed me were from Ezekiel 47 which talks of the river of God flowing from the temple and getting deeper and deeper. These verses particularly spoke to me of the fishermen having full nets. Many people were being saved and healed.

“When I returned, there, along the bank of the river, were very many trees on one side and the other. Then he said to me: “This water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the valley, and enters the sea. When it reaches the sea, its waters are healed. And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes. It shall be that fishermen will stand by it from En Gedi to En Eglaim; they will be places for spreading their nets. Their fish will be of the same kinds as the fish of the Great Sea, exceedingly many.
Ezekiel 47:7-10

Over the years I and friends and many others have prayed for our town and area. The Lord is stirring us once again through His Holy Spirit and reminding me of this promise. I have also been really encouraged by posts from fellow Christian bloggers. Their posts about the faithfulness of God and in particular the post about Simeon and Anna. Both had been promised that they would see the Messiah, the Saviour and they did with their own eyes.

And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said: “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word; For my eyes have seen Your salvation Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel.”
Luke 2:25-32”

When the Lord called us out of the fellowship I had been in for 25 years it was a difficult decision but the Holy Spirit had made it clear it was time to move. I went to meet the Pastor of the new fellowship and he asked me about my passion and vision. I told him about this Promise from God.

He listened and then told me to turn over a piece of paper which was face down on the table next to me. I did and on it was written Ezekiel 47: River of God. I was overcome because the Lord was powerfully confirming not just the promise but that I was being led by the Holy Spirit on the next part of the journey to seeing this promise fulfilled. Praise God. The Pastor had a similar vision for this area which had brought him from Turkey to the church (more of which for another post).

What promise is the Lord stirring in your hearts today? Is there a promise you need to actively start praying about and it’s fulfilment? Follow where the Holy Spirit leads you dear friend. Our Lord can do exceedingly more than we could ever imagine by His power and grace.

Blessings.

Testimony Tuesday

Morning all, I’ve been reminded and encouraged from reading recent posts by other Christian Bloggers of the power of our testimonies so I thought today I would join in #TestimonyTuesday. I’m hoping some of the friends I’ve made on WordPress will share their testimonies on #TestimonyTuesday too.

This is my testimony of a time when I was not only physically healed by God, but also a testimony of the Lord preparing me for what happened by giving me a Word of Wisdom in advance. The Providence of God.

My healing happened during an Alpha course and to be entirely honest I wasn’t expecting it. For those who are not familiar with Alpha – it is a course for people wanting to find out more about the Christian faith. It wasn’t a healing service and I wasn’t there specifically for healing but the opportunity arose and I responded. It just so happened that one of the leaders on the course also had a healing ministry.

To set the scene, I had been in a car accident a week or two before the meeting. Our car had been written off and I had whiplash and a crushing injury to my chest from the impact and from the air bag which had been inflated in the accident. I was in pain in my neck and chest and having physio as my movement was restricted.

The amazing thing about the car accident was that the Lord had already given me a word of Wisdom from a friend about what to do in such an accident. It was a head on collision but I had remembered my friend explaining to me (she had recently been involved in a bad car accident) that it was better to hit another car head on (the bonnet is longer and designed to take the impact) rather than swerve and then the other car hits your passenger door and badly injures your passenger. This was exactly the situation I found myself in not long after that conversation. God was already ahead of me and preparing me.

I had been driving home after collecting my daughters from school when another car drove across the road at speed straight in front of us. We couldn’t avoid hitting it but instead of following my natural instinct to swerve, I remembered my friend’s advice and told my children to brace for impact and we hit the other car head on. The impact was very severe but fortunately, the front of the car took the brunt of it. The air bags protected us. Although, we were all injured in the accident it could have been a lot worse. I thank the Lord for His protection.

So as I say, I find myself at this meeting and the leader is talking about the gifts of the Holy Spirit and asking if anyone present needs healing. I put my hand up because I was still experiencing a lot of pain in my neck and chest from the impact. The leader laid hands on me and prayed for Jesus to heal me and for all my bones, ligaments and muscles to come into alignment and be healed.

As he prayed for me, I felt my body change and knew instantly that I had been healed. The best way I can describe the feeling is that it felt like someone was inflating a balloon inside my chest. I felt my chest actually expand and the pain in my chest, neck and shoulder instantly disappeared. Praise God it was wonderful and the first time I physically felt the healing power of Jesus for myself in this way.

Praise God that Jesus is our healer and still heals us today. Thank you Lord.

Name above all Names

Family Time

Morning friends and welcome to the weekend. I had a different post for this morning but I think the Lord had other ideas so I have put it back into drafts for another day. This week for me has been a hard one at work with lots of challenges and I’m sure there are some other readers out there who may be thinking the same. I’m really glad to have this weekend to rest and recharge my batteries. The Lord certainly knows that we need to have time to come away and rest.

The weekend for me is a break from the demands of work, it’s precious family time and I also look forward to fellowshipping with my church family on Sunday.

“I rejoiced with those who said to me,
    “Let us go to the house of the Lord.”

Psalm 122: 1

These bible verses came to me this morning as I was meditating and spending time with the Lord. I thought yes, that is how I feel when I go to join my church family. I’m joyful. I’m excited and expectant. I’m really happy to be with them for lots of reasons. Not only because they love, encourage, bless me and strengthen me but I am blessed by our times of corporate praise & worship and prayer. I not only receive but I also have the opportunity to serve. Giving and Receiving.

The preaching is also excellent – Our pastor has started a new series on Romans and the teaching is edifying and it is Christ Centred with a focus on Discovery, Discipleship and Declare. We are on a journey together to discover God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and our story in His story (the Bible), to be discipled and grow in the Word, firmly rooted in sound Christian doctrine and then to declare – share our testimony and faith with others.

Now you may be reading this and thinking that is not what I feel about Church family. I can understand that because at one stage in my life I felt like that too. I was so badly hurt by “Church” that I vowed that I would never step foot in a church again. I never lost my faith in God but I spent 12 years in a wilderness until the Lord drew me back to a loving church family. I repented and broke that vow off my life because I realised that I had been deceived and robbed of such a beautiful gift of fellowship.

Now I could have justified my behaviour and stayed in that wilderness. No doubt I could also have found people with the same or worst experiences and we would have reinforced in each other that justification for never going to Church again. The Lord knew my experiences and how I had been hurt. However, God also knew the plans He had for me and it wasn’t to leave me in that wilderness. God loved me too much for that and He loves you as well. God healed my hurts and led me to the right fellowship of believers.

The Lord knows today how you have been hurt too. He healed me and He can heal you too. I pray today that the Lord will speak into your heart, bring release and healing to the pain so that you can once again find believers who will help you start on a journey of fellowship again.

If this speaks to you then take it slowly is my advice. One step at a time. It doesn’t have to be anything big or overwhelming to start the journey back. It could be a small step to connect with a fellow believer – the Lord puts us in families for our benefit. I believe the Lord has the right family for you and I pray that the Holy Spirit will lead you and bring you into that family. I just really believe it’s time to move from that place of wilderness to a place of family. Making the heart decision to ask the Lord to lead you to the right family for you will be the start that is needed.

Bless you today my friends.

We all need a helping hand

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Wounded Sheep..Strong Sheep

We recently returned from a church weekend away in beautiful Wales. It was so lovely to spend this time away in fellowship with our Christian family and to hear great teaching. Sharing meals together, chatting, fun, worship, prayer…all those things pre-Covid I took for granted. How precious they are.

The Holy Spirit was certainly present and moving in our midsts during that weekend away and many shared what they received from the Lord. Today, I want to share a picture that my dear friend Heather received and also the bible verses which the Lord gave her about the picture.

I believe there are brothers and sisters in Christ who connect with us through this blog who also need to hear this.

Heather saw a picture of a large flock of sheep who were all moving in one direction and from her perspective onto new pastures. At the front she could see some really strong and healthy sheep who were forging ahead with the Shepherd walking alongside them. However, at the back of the flock there were some sheep lagging well behind. The stragglers who were struggling.

These sheep were all wounded in some way. Some were limping, injured and crippled. Some had bad eyesight or were partly blinded and couldn’t see clearly where they were going. They kept bumping into things. Other sheep couldn’t hear clearly what the Shepherd at the front was saying. They were partly deaf and asking “What’s He saying”

These sheep at the back felt like losing heart and giving up. They couldn’t keep up with the other sheep. They were struggling and falling further behind. They were discouraged. They didn’t feel like they belonged.

However, the Shepherd was looking back and He noticed those sheep. He left the other sheep and goes right to the back of the flock to them. He starts calling each of those sheep by name because He knows them by name. He tells each one that He knows their name. The Shepherd tells each one that He will walk with them. He will heal them and He will take them into the new pasture.

These are the bible verses from Ezekiel:

For thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I Myself will search for My flock and seek them out. As a shepherd cares for his sheep on the day that he is among his scattered flock, so I will care for My sheep; and I will rescue them from all the places to which they were scattered on a cloudy and gloomy day. I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries and bring them to their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the streams, and in all the inhabited places of the land. I will feed them in a good pasture, and their grazing ground will be on the mountain heights of Israel. There they will lie down on good grazing ground and feed in rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I will feed My flock and I will let them lie down [to rest],” says the Lord God. “

I will seek the lost, bring back the scattered, bandage the crippled, and strengthen the weak and the sick; but I will destroy the fat and the strong [who have become hard-hearted and perverse]. I will feed them with judgment and punishment.”
Ezekiel 34:11-17

There is great comfort and encouragement in this picture as Jesus who is our great and chief Shepherd seeks out those sheep who are lost and wounded but there is also I believe a gentle warning to those who are forging ahead at the front.

There is a danger that those sheep who are strong in faith and doctrine and pressing ahead will not remember and help those in the flock who are weak and struggling. They could become hard hearted to those who are more weak in faith or wounded. Those limping and carrying wounds may need help and support from past emotional wounds and abuse. Those not seeing or hearing clearly could be affected by false teaching or doctrine or sin. Let us not forget that the Lord has given gifts of ministry and service within the church that we may help each other grow and mature.

Is the Lord also calling you by name to walk alongside and help one of His wounded sheep with Him today?

Are you a wounded sheep who is suffering? Then be encouraged because Jesus the great Shepherd has seen you, will come to you right where you are and knows exactly what you need to heal and restore you. Don’t give up but look up.

Thank you Lord that you found me when I was lost, weak and hurting. Now let me also be a shepherd to those you bring into the fold. Amen.

Bill’s story – Lessons from my Father

I don’t usually do two posts in a day, so this is a new experience for me. I earlier shared my Mum, Pam’s story of her experience with Meningitis in Pam’s story. As it is Father’s Day then I want to honour my Dad, William or Bill as he was usually called, and tell you about him.

Dad’s experience of God’s healing power in his life was very different to Mum’s. We are all unique and no-one’s story is exactly the same. Every story has value and we all have something to share. This is why I believe in the power of testimony. Your story with its uniqueness of relationship with God the Father, Jesus the Son and Holy Spirit will speak to someone.

I believe that God truly knows what is best for each one of us and learning to surrender to him and trusting God when things don’t go according to our plans is a valuable life lesson. Dad’s experiences helped me to understand and see that God’s grace is sufficient for us and how God gives us the grace and strength we need to hold on and persevere in times of testing and suffering.

My Dad, Bill was quite a character. He was a passionate Christian who loved to share the gospel with everyone he met. He was full of energy, never still and very engaging..a cheeky chappie as they say and loved to talk. He could have made a living by talking…He was a big supporter of many Christian ministries and particularly loved T L Osborn, Oral Roberts, Billy Graham. Luis Palau and Reinhard Bonnke.

Dad worked hard. He worked the night shift in a factory and sometimes I would hardly see him. I’d be going out to school and he’d be coming in from work. He had big plans though for when he eventually retired. He was going to take Mum travelling in one of those big Winnebagos. This prompted much laughter in our family as Dad was well known for getting lost and being quite incapable of reading a map. Mum wasn’t much better either so I had quickly learnt to become chief navigator on our family holidays from a young age.

However, sadly those plans were not meant to be. Dad retired at 60 but then almost immediately suffered a massive stroke which rendered him paralysed down one side of his body. He was confined to a wheelchair. We would have loved him to have been miraculously healed but those prayers were not answered. We were grateful though to have him still with us. Dad could still laugh and joke and he still continued to share the gospel. In hospital he had a poster by his bed of Jesus standing beside the empty tomb. I don’t know what happened to him when he was so ill in hospital and unconscious but when he recovered, he could not talk about Jesus without being moved to tears and tell people how much he loved Jesus. It was very humbling to see.

Further tragedy was to strike not long after though when Dad suffered another major stroke. This time it was on the other side of his brain and took his speech. He could no longer talk as he did. It was very hard to see him struggle to express himself. He could utter sounds which we started to learn to interpret and we could still understand some words, especially when he was saying “Jesus”.

During this time, Dad could have become embittered and angry at his lot and how his life had turned out but he didn’t. He faithfully attended church and loved watching and listening to great preachers. He was still grateful to God and he knew that there were also many people who were worse off and suffering much more than him. He was always a big supporter of the Barnabus Fund and taught us that it was important to support fellow believers who were being persecuted and suffering greatly for their faith in other nations.

Dad had lost his independence and all ability to look after himself and was totally reliant on my Mum, my brother and his carers to do everything for him, getting him up, washing, dressing and even feeding. He had limited movement in his right arm but was very weak. He sometimes got frustrated when we couldn’t understand him but he maintained his cheerfulness and was able to cope with what had happened to him. It was only through God’s grace operating in his life that I believe enabled him to be like that. He was a testimony to me and others of God’s grace and peace in action.

Although, Dad was never fully physically healed, he did experience times of God’s healing in his body. One time, I recall was when he was taken extremely ill with pneumonia and was in the hospital. We were called to his bedside because the doctors did not think he would survive the Pneumonia. The chief registrar and doctor stood at the bottom of his bed and it was the first time that I had heard what is called the “death rattle”. It’s the most horrible sound of someone struggling to breathe and effectively taking their lasts breaths. It is a rattling sound from deep within the chest.

I had called my friends from the hospital to pray and I had asked God to take Dad if it was his time but if not, then to restore him to us. It was all I could think to ask God for at that time. We had the comfort as a Christian family to know that Dad would go to be with his Lord Jesus, but truthfully I didn’t want to let him go. He was my Dad and a big influence in my life. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye yet.

As we all waited by his bed, Dad suddenly stirred and pointed to the corner of the room. We couldn’t see anything but I believe that he could see something in the spiritual realm. They say the veil into the spiritual realm is thin at such times. I felt prompted to tell Dad that it wasn’t his time to go. He should tell whoever was there that he wasn’t ready to go with them. I can’t explain what happened next but Dad seemed to relax and continued on breathing but his breathing started to change. It became quieter and more regular. His face changed and was more relaxed.

After a while of this the Registrar stated that he didn’t think Dad was going to die after all that day and they would come back later!! Praise God, Dad recovered and lived for many more years after that day.

Our appointed times are truly in God’s hands. God as our Heavenly Father loves us much more than we can understand. I thank God that my earthly father is now safe in Father God’s care. Dad went to be with the Lord in 2006. I’m sure Bill will have lots to tell me one day when we meet again which we surely will.

Dad always said he was looking forward to getting to heaven. One thing he wanted to do was meet the Apostle Paul. He had lots of questions for him…it makes me smile to think of my Dad chewing the ear off the Apostle Paul..one of his great bible heroes. Bless him.

Dad’s favourite scripture was Psalm 84: It was the reading at his funeral. His favourite verse was:

A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked.
Psalm 84:10

Dad’s enjoying eternity in God’s courts now and I’m sure he has never been happier.

Dad as a young man

Pam’s story

So yesterday I posted about my belief in a God that heals in God’s Healing Power and promised to share my Mum, Pam’s testimony of her recovery from Meningitis.

My mum married my Dad, Bill when she was young. He was a reservist in the army and was posted to Somerset in England for his basic training. Dad was Scottish and a long way from home. He decided to visit the local Pentecostal church which my Mum attended. It was love at first sight according to Mum and I don’t think she wanted to let him out of her sight from that time onwards. They married but then my Dad was posted overseas because of the Suez crisis. Mum stayed behind with my brother, Ian who was just a young baby.

Mum was still young herself, only 18 years old, a young mother when she was taken ill suddenly with Meningitis. She had been out for the day on a Church outing. On the way home on the coach she got a bad headache which she put down to tiredness . It got worse and worse though and eventually she became so ill that they took her to the hospital.

She was diagnosed with suspected Meningitis and put into the isolation hospital. All she can really remember of that time is having the lumber-punctures to drain the fluid from her spine which she said were terribly painful. She dreaded them. The Doctors told her family that it was not looking good and that my Dad needed to be sent for immediately from abroad as she was not likely to pull through.

My grandad contacted the army and Dad was brought home as quickly as they could from Cyprus. It still took him some time to get home though. It was the 1950s so communication wasn’t easy. Even travel on army planes took some time. The army wouldn’t tell him either what was wrong with his wife and he was naturally extremely worried and expecting the worst. Dad kept the newspaper cuttings from the time which we still have. They are a bit brown but you can still read them.

My mum’s parents were not churchgoers but her Aunt Mabel was and it was my Aunt who had taken my mum to church. Mum had become a Christian and been baptised. The church committed to praying for mum and they decided to have an all-night prayer vigil for her when they heard the news that she was not expected to survive the night. They sent prayer cloths in for her to the hospital and were faithful in praying for her recovery and healing. She made it through the night and the worst was over. There was a breakthrough. There is power in prayer and in corporate prayer when believers come together.

From that time on, Mum started to get better and better and the Doctors were amazed at her recovery. They told her though that in their opinion she would still not be able to walk again. Mum was convinced though that she had been healed and was determined to show the Doctors that she would walk. She recovered her strength and was soon up and about. The Doctors were so pleased that she was able to walk that they agreed that she could leave the hospital and continue her recovery at home. Mum is convinced that God healed her in answer to prayer. Without prayer she is sure that she would not have survived that night. I’m grateful for those faithful brothers and sisters in Christ who committed to pray through the night for her. I’m especially grateful that God answered prayer and she made it because otherwise I wouldn’t be here today. Thank the Lord for His mercies. If you need God to move in your situation then I hope this encourages you to pray to God and trust and believe that He will hear and answer your prayers.

She’s doing well for 82 😀

The encouraging thing is that because Mum had experienced God’s healing touch, she had faith in God to heal. She always encouraged us to pray in all situations. I remember one occasion when Mum had broken her ankle. She had been playing on my daughters scooter (she’d forgotten her age) and fallen. She was in plaster but still insisted on going to church. That night there was a visiting preacher, Martin Scott who had a prophetic ministry. He picked Mum out of the crowd and said that he could tell she was a woman of strong faith. He believed God was going to heal her ankle. It was incredible because Mum felt a heat in her leg and her ankle soon recovered.

It’s good to share testimonies of God’s grace to us and the good things He does. God is with us in all times of life, the good but also the trials and times of difficulty. As a family we have also had those times too. I’ll share more about those times and how God has sustained us in times of sickness and tragedy in other posts. Have a blessed day.