Thursday, 16 April 2020

Make your choice?

The last painting Dave did just before he died was called the 'Narrow Gate'. It was going to be a trilogy but he only did this one. The three were going to show the choice we all have to make. To die to ourselves and live for Jesus so having Him as number one in our lives. To have all the pleasures and delights of this world for ourselves and not consider our eternal future. Or not make any decision, 'I'll be alright'. Dave was very much alive, larger than life in fact, and realising he was dying was an enormous shock.  But his heart was very much to remind people there is only one way the Narrow Gate and the broad road leads to destruction and that road is crowded. Matthew 7:13-14 

In the light of all that is going on in the world at this time I have been asking myself why do I think I can go through all my life with no serious persecution. Jesus did say the world would hate us. 'Just remember, when the unbelieving world hates you, they first hated me.' John 15:18 We have seen an enemy in the last few weeks that is very real and wants to indiscriminately destroy people. But as we saw at the Cross, the enemy thought he had finished Jesus off and all His followers with Him, but within three days the whole situation had turned around when Jesus rose from the dead. Then 50 days later all His followers who were terrified, were filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit and there were over 3,000 little 'Jesuses' running around, adding to that number every day, Acts 2:47.

The world was in chaos when Jesus was crucified. It was the same for the disciples as well as for the religious leaders who didn't understand what was going on. There was a lot of insecurity, feelings were running high, and then Jesus appeared. Even more uncertainty, this has never happened before. So the disciples decided to just isolate themselves, in fear, or go back to the old job, something familiar. 'We could Pray; pray; pray'.


The room shook and the Holy Spirit came just as Jesus had told them 'And I will send you the Divine Encourager from the very presence of My Father. He will come to you, the Spirit of Truth, emanating from the Father, and He will speak to you about Me. 27 And you will tell everyone the truth about Me, for you have walked with Me from the start.' John 15:26,27 TPT.


Today is the most amazing opportunity to focus our time and effort and energy on developing a really loving, close and intimate relationship with Jesus, pray, pray, pray. Know exactly who we are in Christ and all that He has paid to give us. Listen and be led by the Holy Spirit moment by moment, every moment is to used not wasted.


So let us make sure we have chosen the narrow way and no amount of persecution or temptation or desperation will draw us away from the Highway Jesus paid for us to journey on.



Thursday, 9 April 2020

The First Good Friday

It is impossible adequately to describe the horror of that day. Events had moved quickly from the arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane to the trials and Peter's denial of his Lord, from the trumped-up charges, to the near-acquittal, to the mocking, the scourging, and then to the handing over of an innocent man to the howling religious mob whipped to a frenzy by the chief priests. Horror enough you may say, but now, Jesus whose beard had been yanked out, whose back had been laid open to the bone all over, whose flesh must have been hanging from Him like so much raw meat, was forced to carry His cross to the final place of execution.

This stumbling, agonising and breath-sapping procession was through streets (Via Dolorosa) thronged with a crowd which just a few short days ago was heralding Him as their king, but was now raucously deriding Him. He had been sentenced to death and was therefore regarded as a dead man already. He was fair game for all the horrors which could be inflicted on a condemned man on the public road to His death.
       

Was He kicked, pushed from side to side of the street, jeered, spat upon, and reviled? Perhaps rubbish and sewage was thrown over Him.... perhaps we shall never know, but human nature today allows us to think that the final footsteps of His life were more horrific than we might care to consider.

Whatever happened, Jesus could carry His cross no longer. The Roman executioners pressed Simon from Cyrene in North Africa into carrying it the remainder of the way. Finally, at the place called Golgotha - the place of the skull - Skull Hill, Jesus was flung to the cross and nailed there. The common practice was to use spikes through the forearms so that as the victim hung upright, He would not tear the spike through His hand and free His arm. 
Spikes were driven through His feet - probably His ankles, rupturing tendons, ligaments, muscles and joints - you see nobody cared anymore, Jesus was just another condemned non-entity, a joke, He would be dead in a few hours anyway. And then they hoisted the cross up ............ do you think they carefully put it in the ground so as not to jar the body more than necessary!? I don't think so.................

You saved others, but you can't save yourself ................ Get yourself and us down from here ......... Perhaps Elijah will come and get Him, let's wait and see ............ What's that He said? ......... Why is the sky getting dark, it’s hardly past lunch-time? It's pitch black!! .......... Why is the ground shaking? ..........Who are those people? ..........What's happening?!!!!!!

Questions: Dare you answer them truthfully?
·                     What would you have done?
·                     What stand would you have taken in this final unfolding of horror?
·                     Do you jeer at injustice now?
·                     Who is Jesus to you?
·                     What claim does the Son of God have on your life?

See how to receive all that Jesus died to give you, He loves you more than you have ever been loved before. For the eternal value of all our lives, this Friday is the best ever. Check this new life out at 'Joy for Life'


Friday, 20 March 2020

God woke me up

There was once a perfect man that throughout His whole life, from His first breath, knew and understood that He was going to go through betrayal, ridicule, torture and great suffering ending in an horrendous and agonising death at 33 years old. The same man had also always known that He was going to go through such suffering to rescue you and I. That beautiful man lived every day of His short life knowing all the terrible things that were going to happen to Him and living it to offer us an eternal salvation. Of course that man is Jesus Christ. Now I give thanks for Him daily and have such gratitude that He suffered for me, (for all who believe in Him) yet up until recently I mostly didn’t give Him a thought.

Strangely/Not strangely my whole career had lead me to be working with the sort of people that Jesus Himself had cared for; people with mental health issues, complex needs, those living with fear and pain and those on the outskirts of society.

So after decades of witnessing real suffering I started searching for an answer, a deeper understanding and meaning to life. What I needed, of course, was Jesus but my experiences lead me to become involved in the New Age doctrine; where the belief is that we are all our own god and we create our own destiny. I was learning from Mediums and communicating with spirits never really knowingwhat those spirits were. I was using crystals to supposedly heal myself; Tarot cards to blindly guide my daily decisions; Reiki and manifestation practices. Did I think God was in those things? I certainly didn’t think the enemy was. I didn’t even know that there was an enemy.

A few years later not long ago, as I lay sound asleep, I was awoken by a loud male voice clearly saying the single word: ‘Deuteronomy’. You may not be familiar with this word, I know I wasn’t, so I looked it up; a book in The Bible. I found it on my phone and read it all as quickly as I could. The more I read the more I felt deep down scared.“When you come into the land that the LORD your God is giving you, you shall notlearn to follow the abominable practices of those nations. There shall not be foundamong you ...anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens,or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires ofthe dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD. And becauseof these abominations the LORD your God is driving them out before you. You shallbe blameless before the LORD your God.” Deuteronomy 18:9-14 ESV

I knew that only God could have spoken to me. Only He knew where my life was at. Only He knew the enormity of the sin attached to my New Age connections. Only He knew how much I needed to read and understand Deuteronomy. I realised He wanted me to be saved and so I started to read The Bible. I researched God and Jesus and The Holy Spirit like it was the most important thing in my life to know about them, and it was. I stopped my New Age study and practices. I stopped a course before the end. I threw out or burnt all my New Age notes, objects, books, cards, crystals and computer files that had any connection to that way of being and believing. I actually realised that all they ‘promised’ had never materialised, there was ‘no fruit’ as The Bible says. I repented and prayed, I watched sermons from different church denominations and YouTube videos on every aspect of The Bible, both for and against, and I talked to good people that felt the same as I did. I needed to make a considered opinion on God, Jesus, The Holy Spirit and my life’s direction going forward. I was blessed with a new and true belief that God really does love me. I could see that what I had been involved in was against God yet He didn’t give up on me. He had spoken to me and given me what I needed to change and get to know Him as my true Father. He literally saved my soul.

I have learnt that God doesn’t waste any of our experiences and whatever we think of ourselves He knows we are perfect in His image. So please believe me when I say that I know that you are not too broken, too evil, too selfish, too sinful, too old or too lost for Him to love you and save you too.

‘The Lord your God turned the curse into a blessing for you because The Lord your God loved you.’Deuteronomy 23:5

By K.D. 19.03.2020
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Saturday, 14 March 2020

His promise may have a condition?

I have heard so many people, teachers and preachers speaking out the wonderful promise from Jeremiah 29:11 'For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.'

Isn't this the most amazing promise, we all want everything to go well, not to be tough, to be comfortable, not painful. But when I heard this quoted so often without the changes expected, I felt the Holy Spirit say 'look further'💬 'then you will come and pray..... then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me (as a vital necessity) and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart'. Jeremiah 29:12-13

So here is the 'condition' for this wonderful promise. So WE have something to do as the Holy Spirit leads us. Then He is free to show us His wonderful plans. We need to pray. to SEARCH FOR HIM WITH OUR WHOLE HEART!

To see what this looks like, when Abraham gave his whole heart, listen to Bob Fitts singing 'Sacrifice'

Now I have been challenged about looking at the whole picture when I love a promise, it helps me to be so joyful knowing Father will keep His side when I do mine.

For example, let us check this out! So Psalm 37:4,5 TPT says 'Make God the utmost delight and pleasure of your life, and He will provide for you what you desire the most. Give God the right to direct your life, and as you trust Him along the way, you'll find HE pulled it off perfectly!' So to receive the Life of Jesus we would like, the condition is to put Him as number one, give Him total control and TRUST Him.

So let us check out any promises we have for our life and see if there is anything we could be doing to cooperate with Father God

Saturday, 15 February 2020

IN THE WHISPER


At the beginning of this year I felt the tug in my heart to get rid of social media for one month. Like millions of other people across the world I was looking at the year ahead and wanting to put some healthy habits in place. What I thought would be setting the habit of not being on my phone as much turned out to be so much more.

In this last month I have been amazed at how much more I have heard God speak to me and how I have felt His presence closer than ever before.

In our already busy lives, when we get a spare minute what do we choose to do…. We bury our face in our phone, watching other people live their lives whilst ours passes by.
During this month I have learnt that God is in the whisper and if we are not careful we can drown out His voice by occupying ourselves with the various other things in life that fight for our time and attention. By not being present we feel less of His presence.
11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 1 KINGS 19:3 -13 NIV
IN THE WHISPER
I love this moment between God and Elijah. So often we think God’s voice is loud but I have often found that God speaks to us in a whisper. I recently read that the reason God speaks to us in a whisper is because it’s intimate, He wants us to draw close to Him so that we can hear what He wants to say to us. God longs to have this kind of relationship with us, He wants to speak to us.
Maybe like me He has been trying to speak to you all this time but you are too busy to hear His whisper calling you closer to Him.

What’s one thing you could do today to stop and be present so that you can hear what God is trying to whisper to you?

With thanks to Katie Sutton 💕

Sunday, 9 February 2020

Our new Blogger! Keeping it in the family!.

Before going to Australia in December to catch up with two very precious daughters and their families, I felt I needed to write my will. (Sure sign I am growing up) It is very simple but my most valuable eternal asset is the 'Joy for Life' web site including the studies. I do not want J4L to die with me, not that I am planning on leaving earth for my Heavenly home yet, but would like to plan and be responsible for an amazing tool Father God gave me back in 1993.

The world is changing in its attitude to Christianity, from within the Body of Christ, with the compromise on what the Bible says and how vital the Truth is. God does not dilute His rules and thank Him He does NOT dilute His LOVE either as we need His love and mercy more than ever. From outside the Church people are far more open to scoff belief in Jesus Christ than in years gone bye.

I know from the thousands who download J4L studies all over the world this tool is being used, and will be more and more as people want Truth from the Word of God.

So while in Australia at the beginning of the year, I felt led to ask Katie and Keegan Sutton, my granddaughter and her husband, to take on this responsibility. Katie is working in a Church and she and Keegan are very open to the Lord's leading for their future together. Katie will start by contributing blogs. She will also try and make J4L and the blog move out into the public forum of Facebook and Instagram. She is very gifted and talented so will use these God given gifts for the modernizing of the whole web site and keeping us out there for every precious person who needs to know Jesus died for them and loves them passionately.

Thursday, 7 November 2019

To heal or not to heal?

During the last few months my body seems to be getting weaker; I have seen the GP; the Physiotherapist; tried a few changes of medication with no seeming positive result. Lots of questions, Is it grief? Psychosomatic? Sin in my life? Not pacing myself? Not obeying the leading of the Holy Spirit? And lots of the rest of the accusatory psychobabble that seems to come from my self pity or the liar from hell.


I had prayed and prayed for healing also others had prayed one on one, and in a group for me.
But then I read this 'Therefore, so that I would not become arrogant, a thorn in the flesh was given me, a messenger of Satan to trouble me - so that I would not become arrogant. I asked the Lord three times about this, that it would depart from me. But He said to me, 'My Grace is enough for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness',2 Corinthians 12:7-9. When reading this verse in the past I had always focused on the 'messenger of Satan' part and felt there was an easy answer to that, just use the authority that Jesus had paid the price to give me. But hang on - this is Paul speaking and after three prayer sessions he was still suffering weakness. Twice in this single verse it says 'arrogant' and I realised Father God has been so good to me I can be very arrogant and lack compassion for people who are suffering. I am learning to fly above hardships, division, grief, disappointment and pain, as Father God told me He would teach me.



So then I will boast most gladly about my weakness, so that the power of Christ may reside in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, with insults, with troubles, with persecutions, and difficulties for the sake of Christ, for whenever I am weak I am strong in Him, 2 Corinthians 12:9,10.

So gone are the days of the accuser telling me how inferior I am; God doesn't want to heal me; I am useless as I can't do everything! I now need to 'consider it nothing but joy when I fall into all sorts of trials, because I know that the testing of my faith produces endurance........' James 1:2 

Of course I would love to have healing by supernatural or natural means but until that time I choose life in all it fullness in this season, and learn all my Father wants to teach me as I focus on Jesus 'the author and perfecter of my faith'. It is so much easier to focus on Him when I am not rushing round and being over the top on my cleaning schedule. If I use this time to draw closer to Him, praying, worshiping and in the Word, this time will only last as long as it is doing me good.

Checkout https://www.joyforlife.org/index.php/real-church-12/