Saturday, November 29, 2008

Alone in the forest and other visions

I kinda feel like I have entered a desert phase again. Up until last week, I had the joy of the Lord literally bubbling from within. My heart skipped, leaped and hopped at life and I could just praise and give thanks to the Lord for every little thing that came my way.

Then suddenly, Bham, stone cold silence. My prayer life has dried up, my little conversations with God are one way and their ain't no joy from this sister!
I have been asking the Lord if its sin that has closed the door, and still the silence.

Last night I was struggling to sleep. I normally do a relaxation technique to help me where I picture a long corridor with lots of doors. As you walk along the corridor you put all your worries, thoughts etc in the rooms, close the door and relax until all the doors are closed. Normally by the end I am peaceful and ready to sleep. However this time, when I got to the end of the corridor, I was suddenly in a forest. I was alone and I was a little child. A rider on a horse came along. It was Jesus. He got off his horse and just hugged me. He hugged me for a long time, then picked me up on the horse and showed me a beautiful horizon scene. Then I was put down in the forest and off He sped on His horse.

This experience left me so tired that I fell asleep very quickly. I have no idea what this means. Was the forest the "desert". Did the hug mean I am with you and you are loved (as I felt very loved). Did the horizon mean that that He was showing me the future and it will get better? And then I was left alone. Does this mean yep, your staying in the desert?The second one recent one I wanted to share was that I was in a dry river bed. I was an elephant and I had to dig deep down to get the water. I asked the Lord to please show me what this meant. The Lord clearly said that I was not to go find another watering hole, but to stay and dig in this dry bed. As I dug I got a little bit of water, and then it disappeared and so I had to keep digging and digging.

A shitty Christian

I was really bothered on Thursday. A friend came around to visit and while she was there she got a call saying that another friends son had just tragically died. He was taking pictures on the railway line and was hit by the train.

She was really upset by the news. The worst part was that I was so unsympathetic. I have no idea what was wrong with me. I could not comfort her at all, and that is so unlike me! When she left she asked me to please pray for the family. Now as a Christian, I should have been the one to offer to pray, not the other way around.

That evening, in my quiet time of worship. I spoke to the Lord about this, and this cold hearted spirit that I had towards this situation. I could not even pray in words for the bereaved family, and so I prayed in the spirit as I still had no feelings.

It really upset me as to why I would be like this.

Anyone felt like this, or can offer some sane advice?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Celebration of Woman of God

I received an evaluation form to fill out in which I had to evaluate our small ladies Mentoring group, and If I felt "Mentoring ladies" had had an impact in my life this year. At first, I didn't really think so, and I didn't have much to write about.

On Wednesday evening I went to our Mentoring Ladies end of year Gala. Almost all the ladies from the small groups where there, about 90 of us. After supper, it was time to hear various ladies testimonies. The topic was exactly what I was struggling to write about in my evaluation form. I heard about 15 woman thank God. Marriages and relationships had been restored, friendships had blossomed and grown, relationships with the Lord had deepened, hearts had been healed etc. I was so touched as I listened that the tears poured down my cheeks and I kept blowing my nose like a fog horn.
The Lord was stripping pride and, I had been gently reminded of Gods love for us. Isn't God Great! He is such a restorer.

He reminded me of my first mentoring group I had joined. I was a very broken woman, carrying lots of hurt from the past, and to be honest I was a prickily thorn. This small group created a safe place for me to lower high walls and to begin to experience the Father heart of God.

Now I no longer walk in shame,condemnation and with severe insecurities. I am a changed woman, set free by the blood of Jesus, and it was through mentoring this change occured. I look back at our group this year, and realise how much I have helped others in my group. From a needy woman, I have been able to help those in need.So, as I am about to fill in my evaluation form,I have got a good report to write down.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Full of Pride

I had to go drop off some files at my accountant, and so I thought afterwards I would have some "me" time by getting a cuppachino at "Betty's little coffee shop" nearby, and reading my latest book, "The practise of the presence of God". Well, by the time I got to page eight I was wiping the tears away, and could not go any further. As I was reading how humble this monk was, and how in utterly everything, and I mean everything, he gave what ever he was thinking and doing over to God, the Lord just showed me things in my life that need serious adjustment. PRIDE, PRIDE PRIDE. Its never fun when the creator of the universe says, "Karen, you think too highly of yourself". Kinda knocks you sideways!
As I was reading, I watched this old man, watching me intensely! I would read a bit, cry a bit, blow my nose, scribble a bit, on a post it pad I found in my bag, and then pick up the book and then read a bit more. As I said I didn't get very far, closing it at page 8.

I do know that I want to know God the way Brother Lawrence knew God.
I know that I say I want to submit it all to Him, but I don't, but I really want to...make sense?
I know that the more I seek him the more painful it is. The more we seek him, the more we get what we wish for! He puts circumstances in our lives that change us. I feel like I am constantly rubbing up against a cheese grater, yet I keep saying more.........I want to be more like Christ.

Any one wanting to share with me?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Breaking out of the Mould

On Monday night I went to my mentoring woman's group,(these are small groups which gets together every two weeks/month to fellowship and go through a book/dvd that our church recommends etc.)

I dont usually open or close these meetings in prayer, nor do I often prayer aloud as I never feel completely comfortable. On Sunday night I finished the book " Listening to God" by Joyce Huggett. In her last chapter she urges the reader to not copy someone else's prayer style. Suddenly it dawned on me, this is why I have always felt uncomfortable. It wasn't about prayer, nor about praying aloud, it was that the style is completely different to how I pray alone. I never pray long winded prayer requests, so no wonder I felt tongue tied all the time.
I nervously asked if I could open the group in prayer. I asked everyone to please be still for 5 minutes and pray in their heart. I just prayed aloud, asking God to meet with us as HE feels fit, and then we went silent.

I could feel the ticking of the clock get louder and louder, and my heart started beating faster and faster. I tried to quieten my mind and just focus on the cross, and what it symbolizes for me.
Well, nothing profound happened to me nor anyone else during those 5 minutes, and so the meeting started. Towards the end of the meeting, as a friend was sharing what the chapter in our study book meant for her, the Lord gave me a very clear vision for her. I asked God to please show me scripture to back it up, and He did.

Now I knew without a doubt that if I had not been "still" and had not been brave enough to ask our group to pray differently I would not have been given this encounter to bless my friend.

My prayer tonight is Lord, teach me how to be humble. To know that I am the pot and your are the potter. To learn that as I venture forth in this direction, I am to always place you First. It is so easy to let my pride get in the way, and so to take my eyes off Christ. I ask this in Jesus name. Amen.

My aim in life......practice the presence of God

I have just started the book Practice the Presence of God, by Brother Lawrence

My desire is to be continually in God's presence throughout the day. I do pretty well doing this, doing menial tasks that don't involve thinking, such as house work, gardening, or walking on the treadmill, but once I sit down in my office to work, my brain switches to work mode and stays like that.

Hopefully this book will share some insight into how to incorporate secular and my faith all day long.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Lord is my Shepard

I was so tired yet could not sleep so I started meditating.

I meditated on a few verses of Psalm 23. I pictured myself as a sheep being lead to green pastures. I visualised laying under a big shady tree, feeling the cool grass on my skin. I heard a stream running close by.I just rested and rested under that tree.

I kept thinking about the Shepard looking after me, and I did not need to worry about anything whilst I rested a while.
It was such a peaceful experience. I think I rested more in that state, than I would have had I been sleeping.

Thank you Jesus that you really are my good Shepard. I wish I could feel such utter peace every day and not let worldly worries get to me. My prayer today is that I look to you in my day to day activities and focus on what is good, pure and true, walking in peace and love, especially with my husband and my kids. Amen.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The pilgrimage

The path I am on is not a new path at all, but in this day and age it seems new as the practices are not very common today.

When I first felt called to prayer, I felt that I was doing something wrong as I wanted to pray in silence, and so I have been lead towards contemplative prayer, which is embracing that silence and learning to Listen to God.

I began to be a regular church goer about 6 yrs ago. I had been brought up a Catholic but when I went to a Charismatic church one day, I felt as if I had truly "come home". I loved the vibrancy of the worship and the pastors where so down to earth and real. Under this church I have grown to know and love the Lord with all my heart.

Now, as I am being called to stillness, meditation, fasting and other old disciplines, I wonder am I being lead way from the Charismatic, or am I meant to embrace both?

Last night I prayed that I would have the strength to go to church today. I woke up tired, but not exhausted, so I am thrilled. I want to meet God today. I want to go with a sense of expectation, expecting........

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The fire is out.

Where my soul once rejoiced with joy now I am flat with exhaustion.
The fire has died.
The warm coals have turned to cold ash, and all that is left in the hearth is the remains of what once was.

If I have sinned, show me the error of my ways so I may repend and be brought back into your council.

Lord, we seemed so close on holiday. You spoke reams and volumes to me. Your word was alive and everything seemed to jump out the pages.

Now I feel like I am falling apart.
I cannot go on like this with this constant utter exhaustion.
My emotions are drained.
I cant even have our continuous daily chats as I am so tired.
My brain has literally switched off.

I am scared.
I need you.
You feel so close, yet so far, and I dont like that feeling.
My prayer life has dried up.

Its been a week now and I want to turn back the clock.
I am desperate for you Lord.
Lord, Lord, Father, Help!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Dog tired

Okay so I am now back home from leave and more tired than ever, so go figure! I thought I would come back refreshed, with a spring in my step. Today I came to the conclusion that its time to see the Dr again, as I am just not winning here.

Putting the health issue aside, I wanted to share the following:
The great thing about driving alot on holiday is that you have time, lots of time. I used my time to read the Word, and the some books which I feel a new direction God is leading me towards. I am currently reading "Listening to God" bu Joyce Huggett; "Celebration of Discipline" by Richard Foster and Becoming a Prayer Warrior by Elizabeth Alves. All three are meaty books which take loads to time to ponder and digest.

I know I am being called to prayer. This is not something new, I have known this for years. The problem is that I am like a horse biting on the champ and wanting to run ahead of God. Kinda like saying, okay Lord, you have put this desire in my heart, who, when how etc are we going to pray for today, lets get a programme going and lets get started.Go, go, go!!! However God has not released me and in fact I feel as if I have been reigned in, so to speak and so I get fustrated and think maybe its all in my mind.

The biggest calling I have at the moment is to " Be still and know that I am God". I am being called to stillness. Stillness in prayer, stillness in my work life, my marriage, in fact everything. Now for a doer, this is the hardest thing I have had to do. It has taken me ages to cotton onto what God is saying and most of the time I dont think I get it right. Partly as I have no idea how to be "a Mary". To just sit still at the foot of the father! To just gaze into the eyes of Jesus and know how deeply I am loved.
The other part of being still is listening. Listening and learning. And with learning comes change.

I am now tired so I am going to log off. Chat tomorrow about change........

The Authority of Christ

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Authority of Christ

Last night I had a real break through in my prayer life.
I had a symbolic vision of a side of a house being built a while ago and the cement had dried firmly, but it had taken a long time. I sensed that if weight had been placed on it earlier on, it would have collapsed. This symbolized my faith. I may have desired to move forward in my prayer life (as this is my gifting area), but the Lord knew I was not ready.

In my quiet time last night I was praying and was lead to 2 Cor 4:13. It is written- I believed therefore I have spoken, with the same spirit of faith, we believe and therefore we speak.
That verse was a revelation scripture for me and I was filled with such authority as never before and a real step up in a new level of faith. Up to vs 18, was confirmation of what I have been wrestling with for the last few weeks. When I went into warfare prayer later on, I spoke with such conviction and authority as never before. I had always struggled in warfare prayer as even though the Word says we have the authority to pull down principalites and cast out demons and more, in Jesus' name, I just did not believe that I could and when I tried to I just felt phony. This was the first time that I knew that I knew that I am victorious in Christ, and if felt great.

Afterwards I just thanked God and gave Him the praise and Glory, called him Jehovah Nisi, for He really was my victorious banner.