Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Directed by a Divine Compass (Part 3)

(continued from previous post)

My friend Marion continued to be experience the amazing love of the Holy Spirit.
Some days later, again I was going to the mall and the same thing happened, only this time I went into a jewelry store. I admired some gold and diamond earrings and decided I didn’t want to spend much so I would look at the costume jewelry. I found some almost identical and bought them. When I tried to leave the store, I couldn’t get through the door. I walked around the store and tried again. I still couldn’t leave. I took a run at the door but the invisible wall was there.
I finally got the message. I went back to the counter where the gold and diamond earrings were and asked to try them on. I felt God’s presence as I did.

I returned the cheap earrings and got the others at a price I would normally never dream of spending.

I walked out of the store feeling God’s love and knowing he wanted me to have the best not the imitation.

Beyond Understanding

There are times when the Holy Spirit still leads me in this way, but I can resist it if I want to. I am so glad I have had the opportunity to know what it’s like to have God so present.

Now I understand, how in countries where there is persecution, people can be led to meetings with no knowledge of where they are going. God is so able to do things beyond our understanding.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Directed by A Divine Compass (part 2)

(continued from previous post)

My friend Marion tells this most amazing story about the wonderful love of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit continued to direct me in the same way in the months ahead. Most amazingly, two years later, the Christmas after my husband died, I remember telling God I couldn’t deal with buying Christmas presents and if I was to buy gifts He would have to do it.

I went out to the Burlington Mall for some other reason and when I got to the intersection of Fairview and Brant Streets I couldn’t turn left. There was a wall there. I had to make a quick decision, so I turned right and ended at Mapleview Mall.

I walked through the mall and every so often I hit the same invisible wall. I found if I pushed into it, it was heavy going and I couldn’t breathe so I would turn in the direction that I was free to walk.

In the stores I was able to enter, I would see items my son or daughter had wanted. Within a short time, I had something for everyone in the family. Not one of the presents was my idea but all turned out to be perfect.

(to be continued)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Directed by a Divine Compass

My friend Marion has this most amazing story about the wonderful comfort and friendship of the Holy Spirit in a tough situation.

Sixteen years ago, a friend phoned me one day and told me that God was putting a compass in me that would direct me. At that time things were tough. My husband, who was not a Christian, was in hospital after having a heart attack and I was visiting him every day.

While praying during that trying time, God showed me a vision. In the vision I was sitting in a church and someone I knew walked across the front of the church, then up the aisle. I walked up to her and she spoke something to me.

God also gave me a scripture verse, “His sickness is not unto death but for God’s glory.”

Aferwards, I went to the hospital. When I left the hospital it was very late and I was tired. Halfway home, an invisible wall blocked my way. I could not drive through it. It felt like I was pushing into a powerful force field.

Yielding, I turned the car around and headed into Hamilton. I knew there was an intercessory prayer conference on and I decided even though it was late I would go there. I drove to the church, went in and sat down.

The meeting had finished but there were people at the front praying.

As I watched, the person I had seen in my vision walked across the front of the church. I realized I was in the wrong seat so I moved over to where I had been in the vision and in a little while she came walking up the aisle.

Everything happened as it had in the vision. I told her what was happening with my husband and she said, “His sickness is not unto death but for God’s glory.”

God confirmed what I needed to take me through the weeks ahead during which my husband almost died twice but, according to the doctors, had two miraculous recoveries.

(to be continued)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

You Know It's More Than a Simple Pastime When....

Allison and I habitually play Scrabble. Several evenings each week, we'll pull out the board and have a game or two. We've been doing this so much the Scrabbleboard box is falling apart. We've taped it back together more than several times.

Then I discovered Scrabble on Facebook. I can play Scrabble on Facebook with a number of friends at the same time. At present I have three games going. 

I wake up at night with Scrabble tiles moving across my mind. Interesting seven letter words pop out from the pages of the books I read. I log onto Facebook numerous times per day to see if it's my turn to play in any of my games.

My Scrabble-playing has become an addiction.

I decided to limit myself. I'm only allowing myself one move per game per day, except when the game is just about over and a few final moves will finish it.

This strategy has helped calm my addiction. Each morning I make my moves, contemplate future moves and wait...for the next day.

This morning I was praying for a friend who was facing a tough day involving a court appearance. I heard the Lord say, "fast." But, it wasn't food he was asking me to fast, it was Scrabble.

Monday, March 21, 2011

God Uses Whatever to Get Our Attention

This is an excerpt from Blooming, This Pilgrim's Progress

Cleaning Up

One gusty, grey, garbage-day morning while waiting patiently in the van in the driveway for Angela and Allison so I could drive them to school, I noticed some of the garbage from the townhouses across the road had blown into the middle of the intersection next to our home.

I had an urge to run out and pick up this garbage, but I noticed a garbage man in a reflector vest pacing on the other side of the road apparently waiting for traffic to subside so he could do it.

Then I realized he didn’t intend to pick up the garbage; he was merely watching it. Now why would that be? Maybe the garbage people were fed up with the way garbage was always allowed to blow around. Maybe this was evidence for a supervisor to behold.

On the drive to the girls’ school and home again, I pondered the garbage situation. I came to the conclusion that the only neighbourly thing to do would be to pick up that garbage myself.

Sure enough when I came back to the intersection, the garbage was still in the middle of the road, but now a garbage truck was parked right beside it—and not a garbage man in sight. There was hardly room for my vehicle to drive by.

I parked the van, then marched into the intersection where I picked up a Tide box and a much larger box. For boxes that had blown out onto the road, they were surprisingly heavy. In fact, I noticed they were packed with garbage, but I doggedly carried them to the sidewalk.

“Ma’am, ma’am. What are you doing?” I heard as I heaved the Tide box onto the garbage pile in front of the townhouses where I was sure it had come from. I was about to drag the larger box over as well.

“I’m cleaning up,” I proclaimed indignantly. “There is no reason to keep garbage in the middle of the road.”

“Yes, there is, ma’am,” he explained patiently. “We spilled hydraulic fluid here. Our line sprang a leak. If a car drives over that it could cause a serious accident.”

“Oh sorry,” I mumbled as I dropped the big heavy make-shift pylon back onto the road. For the first time I noticed the slippery oily fluid all over my hands.

When I got home I had to scrub my hands and wash both my coat and pants.

Moral of the story: don’t be too quick to judge other people’s garbage.

How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? (Matthew 7:4)

How often do we as good Christian citizens judge and try to clean up someone else’s garbage? What we judge as garbage may really be pylons. Wouldn’t it be better to come alongside? Be a friend. Listen. Find out what’s really needed. Offer to be available. That way we’re less likely to end up with oily goo all over ourselves.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

God Has it Covered

My friend Linda writes:

He sends forth His word and heals them....Psalm 107:20

Jesus is the Word, and He doesn't only use scripture to deliver us, but I would never have imagined that  a ‘rubber ducky’ word could be used to set this captive free.

One Sunday morning during a church service we were asked to get up out of our comfortable chairs to minister to one another. A certain wonderful lady came to me and told me about a vision God had given her. She saw me as a rubber ducky. Everytime the enemy tried to put me under, I would bob right back up.

For some time I had been in much distress with thoughts that I couldn't overcome. No matter what I did spiritually, the thoughts continued to bombard me. I finally told the Lord He had to fight the battle.

Then, He reminded me that I was like a rubber ducky. The Holy Spirit rose up within me. I said, "Devil, I'm like a rubber ducky and no matter what you do, I am going to bob back up."

Jesus was in those words. Instantly I had complete peace.

I identify with the disciples in the boat on the raging sea when Jesus calmed the storm with His words.

Monday, March 14, 2011

"Come to Me" - a Book Worth Reading

I've just finished reading the novel, Come to Me.

If you don't already love Jesus, you will after you read this book.

This is an historical novel from the point of view of Mary, the mother of Jesus. I had a difficult time getting into the novel because it is so true to scripture, which means that much of the time as I was reading, my brain would be telling me, "I already know this."

But, the writing style is very pleasant so I kept reading.

I'm glad I did.

If you ever wanted gospel gaps filled logically, this book does that.

The author Laura Davis has wonderful insights:
about Jesus' childhood,
about how Mary felt when she got pregnant,
about Joseph,
about Jesus' relationship with his mother,
about how Judas could do what he did....

Laura has put a supernatural story into the ordinary, making it even more extraordinary.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Jesus to the Rescue

Lisa writes:
When I was in university many years ago, I was in a deep bottomless pit of despair. When I went to bed that night I felt like there was no hope left and I was completely alone. Then I had the most amazing dream. And it wasn't just the dream but the feeling of peace and hopefulness that filled me afterward that was most astounding.

In this dream I was in a rowboat. The water was calm. There was a figure in the boat with me. I couldn't see his face but I knew I was in the presence of Jesus. He made one simple gesture that saved me from the darkness - He held out his hand.

It still makes me cry to think about it to this day.

I will never forget that dream - if I ever had any doubts that I was a child of God, that dream erased all of them. I know that I will always belong to Him. Thank you, God.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My Life is a Holy Spirit Story

When we get down to basics we realize everyone’s life is a Holy Spirit story. We all belong to God. He made us. He loves us. Some of us just don’t know it yet. Everything that happens to us is about God. He’s always speaking to us. When we start paying attention, that’s when amazing things happen.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Write about School Lunches

Write about school lunches suggested Anne Lamott in her book about writing, I’m reading to help me write the novel I’m writing. Writing about school lunches is supposed to kick in some memories, bring out something worth keeping to put in the novel.

For me school lunches were actually remarkably similar everyday—a peanutbutter and jam sandwich everyday. A juicy orange every day. My mother was a big believer in a citrus fruit everyday to prevent scurvy. It worked. We never acquired scurvy. We didn’t catch many colds either. And a cookie everyday—homemade or sometimes store-bought. That was it. My lunch. We weren’t allowed to trade lunch items. I don’t know whose rule that was, but we weren’t allowed so we didn’t. I gobbled the lunch down and went out for recess with the rest of the kids after post-lunch devotional and prayer led by the teacher.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What are Holy Spirit Stories?

Holy Spirit stories are about how God meets you in your life. You pray, He answers. You call out, He sends help.

Holy Spirit stories are real and powerful—especially while they are happening.

Sometimes when you remember them and try to explain them so others will understand, they sound almost lame. Why is that?

Is it because you took out some of the supernatural bits—tailored the story to your audience?  Is it because you tried to explain things in a logical way? Is it because He met you in such an impossible-to-describe intimate personal way? 

I would love to hear your thoughts on Holy Spirit stories. I would love to hear your Holy Spirit stories—big or small. How does God answer your prayers?

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Holy Spirit Brings Understanding

Dave attended some meetings at the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship church during the renewal and became born again. When he went back to his home church he had a new revelation and understanding of scripture and songs. The hymns and Bible verses came alive.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Trading Up With the Holy Spirit

Lynn has been participating in a “Sozo” Holy Spirit study group. She asked the Holy Spirit to show her the lies she believed pertaining to relationships and life at home. The Holy Spirit brought things to her memory. As He did this, she would give Him the junk. The Holy Spirit would give her His good things in return. Now those issues which used to push her buttons, don’t. The entire button panel has been removed.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

God Knows Where That Is...

Before he was married Don needed help finding things. He would pray, “Lord show me where it is.” Then he would picture a room—kitchen, living room, entry way.

The Spirit would lead him through each picture showing him where to look for whatever it was he had misplaced. Then Don would physically walk to exactly where the thing was located. Soon Don was asking the Holy Spirit where to look before even starting a hunt.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

One of My Holy Spirit Stories

Several years ago I volunteered to help at an outreach event in Copps Coliseum. The Holy Spirit impressed on me to bring $20. At the event I met a woman who had come specifically for the bag of groceries promised to everyone who would come. The food was to be handed out much later in the afternoon. This woman had come by bus from Stoney Creek, was diabetic and had not brought her medication with her. She would have to return home without the promised food. She was very disappointed and discouraged. The Holy Spirit directed me to give her the $20. The joy on that woman's facepriceless.

Workers at the event had been warned to guard their personal possessions against possible theft. I obediently tucked my coat into an obscure spot. Just before it was time to head home, I retrieved my jacket and set it down on a bench. A few moments later it was gone. I received an assurance from the Holy Spirit that someone very much needed this jacket. I left the event praising the Lord.

On the way home, in my spirit, I heard, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

Do you have Holy Spirit stories? Share them here.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Another Holy Spirit Story

Bill (who is in his seventies now) grew up in a God-fearing family in The Netherlands. He doesn’t know when he became born-again, but in his teens he made a greater commitment to the Lord.

As a young man he became a sailor. Many Christians believed this was not a career for a young Christian man. Yet, Bill’s father said, “We need Christian sailors.” Bill very much appreciated his father's confidence in him.

On duty at sea, in the noisy engine room of the ship Sunday nights Bill would sing the Psalms of David. He sang loudly with great joy. (An engine room on a ship was a very noisy place.)

Simultaneously back at home his family always held Sunday evening prayers. In the engine room Bill could physically hear his father praying for him to be prepared to stand up for Christ.