A Word

This is the word which has come this week over a series of seeings and revelations.

I am realizing if I don’t use my gift it becomes redundant so I start again. He called me to write.

I start with a prayer

Sometimes Lord I cannot pray with my mouth, but may my heart and pen render the words, the prayer and praise, that is pleasing to your ears. May my heart be moved with the things that moves you.

Look down Holy Father on the affairs of men, your creation. Lord we have become darkened, diseased and despondent by sin’s long reach , tentacles pulling us down and down. Squeezing the very life from us. As a python squeezes the very life out of an helpless animal caught in its wake , so have we been lying down in places and position we should not have been. We lay prostrate like dumb dogs which cannot bark. Eyes and ears open but dumbfounded , oblivious , perplexed to what it is that holds us stupefied and bound. It is (says your word)our own iniquities that have separated us from your love, but still you remind us ‘whilst we were yet sinners’, you died.

As I write , I hear the refrain ‘the Lord delights in showing mercy’ a comfort this has been to my soul. So be merciful unto us O Lord. Try us one more time.

Let us not be like Esau who sold and sought for his birthright with bitters tears – but found it not . Let us not lose our place, discard, abandon, merchandise or trade-in, our prized possession , which is : Christ in us the hope of Glory.

Let us be watchful, vigilant unto prayer lest the enemy sneaks in unawares (nay now under our noses … ) and steal our prized possession.

Let us guard our hearts with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life – not what is in our bag or purses or our ability to pay or pave out our way – standing or status.

Let us not hold onto or harbor worldly possessions or malice, but hold onto the key and keys which you gave for eternal life, starting with love.

There is no mountain too high, no river too deep that your amazing love and light cannot reach.

You are our bridge of hope amidst the chasm and chaos and perils of this world. Let us not jump too soon or move too late . Let us wait and be obedient to your holy timing and calling.

Your name is a strong tower, our rock of defence – our eternal hiding place.

You have shown that you are forming a beautiful diamond, a magnus opus , a work of art shooting upwards and outwards from the fiery furnace , connecting your people, the nations together to form your glorious multifaceted church.

Help those who lead to lead well and in your name , those who teach likewise. Break the spirit of pride and of Egypt , amongst us. Take away the foxes,the spiders, the snakes and the strong bulls of Bashan. Give us lowly Shepherds after your own heart.

And so as I have seen and heard this week, so I have written. I am Father’s daughter, but not above the reproof or the remedy. May he help us.

I close with Isaiah 28:20-29

For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it:
and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it.
21 For the Lord shall rise up as in mount Perazim,
he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon,
that he may do his work, his strange work;
and bring to pass his act, his strange act.
22 Now therefore be ye not mockers,
lest your bands be made strong:
for I have heard from the Lord God of hosts
a consumption, even determined
upon the whole earth.

Evangelist Linda J
Writing under scribe and prophetic unction .

Thanksgiving and Praise

A song of thanksgiving and praise by Linda J 18/10/19❤️

He teaches my hands to war and my fingers to fight so that a bow is broken by mine arms. He showed me what had been ‘cooked up’ for me and ordered my very next step . He whispered in my ear and my heart saying ‘this is the way , walk ye in it’ he said ‘faith linda , comes by hearing and hearing by my word’ I heard what he said about asking and asked. I heard him say ‘receive’ that your joy may be full so I received and said Thankyou!!! I saw those things which are not as though they were and so they became my reality. He has never failed me yet. My joy is full and my cup runneth over. He put me ahead of my enemies when they were too strong for me. He hid me in the cleft of the rock. He covered me with his skirts and called me Beloved. He fought my battles and covered my shame. There is nothing too hard for my God and he came down to fight for me in the day of my adversity . I cannot hold my peace . I am jealous for Him. I will shout my praise of Him from the roof tops. He made me. He bore me. He does all things well. He calls me beautiful joyful spirit . That is who I am. That is my name ❤️

Prayer

Father you spent a long time crafting me, and You do not make worthless things. Against the lies of the enemy and the opinions of mere mortals who were not there when You were busy fashioning me, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! Thanks for making me for Your glory. Thanks for paying attention to me at creation and for continuing to watch over me. I would never take You for granted. I thank you, High God!

“Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something.

Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.”

Psalm‬ ‭139:13-16‬ ‭MSG

Ministers of Grace Not Grudge

By Evangelist Linda J

The Lord is speaking

We need the power of God in us to be able to minister grace and to represent him accurately here on earth in front of the people.

We, being the called of God, are his standard bearer, setting standards, modeling what He would want us to represent on his behalf here on earth.

We are God’s mouthpiece and our hearts should be in a state of grace at all times, so that what comes out from our hearts and mouths is seasoned with grace.

The Bible says , guard your heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life.

We can only extend life to others from a state of grace. This grace comes from God.

Moses was God’s representative – God’s standard bearer, chosen to stand in the gap, but he lost it. The people of Israel angered him at the water of strife leading him to speak inadvisably with his lips and to use physical force. Moses’ response cost him the physical promises of God because of how he responded to challenge. Moses was angered and held a grudge against the people. The behaviors of the people was very wrong and no doubt very trying, but God was more interested in how his chosen instrument, responded.

Matthews Chapter 10 tells us of the perils that await the called out ones. We are sent out as sheep amongst wolves, called to stand before judges and governors , rejected and betrayed. A lot of ministers don’t fulfill the calling of God because they fall at the first hurdle, succumb to the attacks or remain in a state of unforgiveness, holding grudges against their brother or sister, some even holding grudge against God. Moses failed to represent God appropriately in the sight of the people, because he was fed up and angry at their constant whining and attacks of his leadership. At one point he also became angry with God. Moses failed to sanctify God in the sight of the people by the way he behaved. As a result, he failed to see promises of God for his life , his ministry whilst he was on earth.

What is the call of God on your life on earth? Only you can answer that .

Don’t fall short due to inappropriate responses when under pressure or attacks. The promises of God are always yes and amen. Our responses should be similarly measured.

Ask yourself : Is your physical behavior marrying up with what is really in your heart. What do others see or experience? Are you a channel of blessing to others or are you a hinderance to their souls needs. Are you holding onto unresolved issues, grudges, bitterness? How are you responding to your brother, sister? When was the last time you looked that brother, sister in the eye and comforted and encouraged them?

I am speaking to those in lay positions, but particularly those in leadership and in pivotal positions , the latter who might hinder (or worse) , infect the flock and the work of God by their attitude or behavior.

There is much to deduce from the story of Moses when he smote the rock. What are our responses when things seem stuck. Do we abandon the grace of God and become vengeful? Are we taking the rod to smite the rock? Leave the flock, man or woman of God alone, stop picking , hectoring, maligning, undermining. Minister grace.

Our fight (the Bible says ) should not be against each other, flesh and blood. If we hurt and attack each other, we are actually hurting God. His word tells us if we do anything to these little ones, we actually do it to Him.

How much of God’s grace dwells in us as ministers to respond appropriately at all times? Time for the magnifier. Has the grace run out? When we are tired of the work, the rejection, insult, back biting, dark days, dry difficult days, when men and women turn their backs on our service our kindness, how do we respond?

Are we making choices, decisions and judgements from a place of quietness and rest or are we doing this from the flesh? Where are the reserves of the grace stored? Where does it come from ?

Can we minister the grace of God when all around gives way? Can we say like brother Paul ‘by the grace of God, I am what I am’ and be confident that we are drawing from Him, representing him in sanctification and word of the truth?

These and so many more questions are for each and every one of us as we seek more of his grace to minister to seek and save the lost.

Prayer

So father we thank you for your word. Your word to us has the divine power to cause changes. Father none of us are perfect, but we strive to perfection day by day. May the same spirit that dwelled in your son Jesus, be seen in us. He was full of grace and truth. May this be our portion.

Father take away anything that would get in the way of us being ministers of grace to your people. We are your representatives here on earth. Help us to magnify and amplify you in everything we say and do.

Let us not be only hearers of the word whilst our actions testify against us .

Lord we are spirit being and your spirit reveals to us the deep and hidden things which are open also to you.

Lord help us to bear one another’s burdens and treat others as we would want to be treated.

Help us to realize that everyone we meet has been created in your image . How we respond to them is how we are responding to you, period. There is no respecter of persons with you.

Father we long for your gentleness to be seen amongst us. The genuine care and compassion we so long for, not empty words , feigned lips and dark hearts.

Lord we can fool each other, but we cant fool you.

Peel back the hard skins of our hearts before we stand before you the righteous judge with whom we will have much to do.

Open our curtains, shine light on our darkness.

Blow your wind so that every foul thing and cobweb is blown out from the crevices of our minds, hearts, spirit and soul and our church houses in good time.

Bring a spirit of peace and unity to dealings our conversations and our affairs.

Let nothing get in the way of your right rule and right ways.

Holy Father, to you be the glory.

Your right hand has been revealed

We know we have the victory

ARE YOU SERIOUS?….

Written by Evangelist Linda J

John McEnroe became famous for this phrase when he felt aggrieved by the umpires judgement of a serve, or a decision in the game of tennis. I am laying on my bed reflecting on the day’s events and this word came to me and more.

Our Pastor spoke eloquently (and I felt genuinely) about love, righteousness and truth and forgiveness today. He spoke about us working together in love, not bruising or bashing other parts of the body. He gave many examples of how we can sometimes do this to each other.

The first commandment is loving God with all your heart soul and body, the second is to love your neighbor as yourself, but we all know many are not really serious about loving God or the things of God (their brother or sister), but continue to play lip service to what it means to be a child of God and worse ….. they think God does not see.

The scripture the Lord brought to me both on Friday night during a time of intercession (before Pastor’s preach) and tonight, is Isaiah Chapter 1. He has brought this word before and sadly it is a reflection of the state of the Body both near and far.

It is the same theme that I feel the spirit is speaking expressly to the church(es) , this very hour.

In Isaiah chapter 1 we read of a damning prophetic word which was brought against the state of Israel spoke out by the prophet Isaiah the son of Amos. I believe this state of Israel as it was seen then by God is reflective of the local and corporate Body of Christ today – individuals who make up (and by design or default ) affect the whole.

During prayers of Friday night someone else brought Ephesians 5 . It was a long scripture, but from the throne room. I could feel the cry and pain of Father’s heart for the state of his people – his church, his Body. Among other things that night , the spirit was urging us to ‘have not fellowship with the unfruithful works of darkness but rather reprove them’ (Ephesians 5:11).

The spirit spoke and speaks, expressly about the union between us and Father , each other , but essentially that which exists between a man and wife a metaphor for the Church. But there are those hating their own flesh…. We see parts of the Body puffed up, holding other parts to ransom, full of hatred and bitterness, which ought not to be so. God only knows what happens in secret and under the covers of darkness.

In the house, (both parliament, public and presbytery ..says the Lord ..) we see many jumping to positions of power, running to the altar to lay hands on the vulnerable, but they themselves are empty cymbals and clanging bells , no love, no light or life, not right with God or their fellow man.

When a call for prayer goes out, nay even scheduled prayer, we make excuses, we cant pray, or push , or wait with him an hour ….. The absence of many is very telling. Our priorities are so wrong. This ought not to be so.

Where is the Church of Jesus Christ in this last hour?

As we prepare to fast this week, it would behove us to read and reflect on Isaiah 1 and Ephesians 5 in their entirety.

Significantly Isaiah says ‘when ye come to appear before me who hath required this at your hand to tread my courts? In fact what the scripture is saying in modern parlance if you like.. : Are you serious ? Are you seriously asking me to look at that? move amongst that? or answer that? What really do you expect me (God) to do?

Bring no more vain oblations’ , your man-made incense is an abomination unto me. Isaiah 1:13

Don’t call a fast and then not be prepared to hear what the spirit is saying unto the churches, as that would be an anathema to the Lord. He is weary with it. Don’t insult the Holy Spirit with feigned love and piety for him or others , with forms and fashions which look like….. but are not of God. Let us consider our ways , reflect on our steps be prepared to hear some home truths, Be prepared to change or ways.

Before we lay hands on others….. make sure that our hearts are free and that there are no encumbrance , otherwise it weakens, makes sick and contaminates the whole. That is why….. (the Lord already spoke on this 1 Corinthians 12:30) we see many sick, diseased and dying and why we cant see break through in our day.

No, But, Are You really Serious?

May Father help all of us as we wrestle with our flesh and bring it under to the obedience of Christ.

Written under unction

August 2019

End of Life*

Well you’ve heard the expression ‘end of …’ meaning ‘that’s it !” meaning : ill hear no more of it or meaning, I don’t intend to say another word on it… Well today I want to use the expression end of but in terms of end of life.

End of life , is a relatively new phrase introduced as a dignified terminology for those or their loved ones dealing with a diagnosis of incurable terminal cancer and having not many days to go. We all know that death for all of us is inevitable. Indeed, I lost my eldest daughter suddenly with no warning. Then, there was no end of life discussion , she was here one hour and gone the next without, warning and in her prime. The Bible does say it is appointed unto man once to die, but many of us don’t know when or how. To know your last days on earth is imminent must be something else, especially if you don’t know where you will spend eternity for the soul never dies.

My second eldest brother died last year to cancer. That’s was the first time I became aware of end of life pathway and all that goes with that. Like a number of men , my brother didn’t seek help when he was feeling unwell, preferring to brave out whatever he was struggling with. He was a bit of a free spirit, our Charlie, he never stayed in one place long enough for one to know what he was doing or up to … Always smiling , never having a bad word to say about anyone. A real peace maker. He looked okay on the outside. By the time he did stand still long enough to be seen by a consultant, the cancer had spread and advancing, with a prognosis of weeks not years.

We did all we could to make his last few days as comfortable as one can. We used what was at our disposal and we challenged some of the statutory norms and arrangements. We were able to bring him home closer to us for end of life care.

Thanks be to God he humbled himself just in time to acknowledge the Lord Jesus as his Lord and Savior and the only Shepherd that can bring comfort at the end of days. Charlie had always known about Jesus but had not received him. Instead , he had put Haile Selassie at the fore front, as his ‘god’ if you like. For most of his adult years, he lived as a Rastafarian . Thanks be to God he had sufficient faculty at the end (the cancer had spread to parts of his brain) to understand and accept the Lord Jesus Christ and I witness of that blessed grace received just in time.

It is appointed unto man once to die but after death the judgment. Hebrews 9:27

My brother was laid to rest just under a year now (Sep 3), but i am brought back with a jolt hearing the news that someone else i know very well is also being prepared for ‘end of life’ the doctors feeling they can do more more. She is relatively young and my heart is again pained. I have attempted to go see her, but was promptly told and incredulously ‘she’s end of life ‘ them meaning : she wont want anyone seeing her, or what is the point? End of…

It is so sad and I am not able to push in this scenario. My other close friend passed this way, but some years now, but I was able to visit her and hug her and pray with her. I don’t pretend to be an expert on how to act or respond in these situations, but what I know is my heart is extremely touched.

As I lay on my bed this week in the year of our Lord 2019, I began to ponder what it must feel like to be given such a report ie days to live. How does a human being deal with this? How? How does one reconcile news that there will be a time very soon … when your eyes will close and you will leave this earth forever?

The Holy Ghost brought back the Apostle Paul to me as an example and encouragement of the difference between the response to end of life as a child of God, to those who don’t know Him and his promises. At the end of his days and incarceration, the Apostle Paul knew he didn’t have long; his life was to be taken, nay as he puts it ‘ready to be offered’ ie. Hexess the one laying it down. But look at his testimony – look at what he said :

‘ …..the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness’

2 Timothy 4:7

What confidence. What faith. What blessed hope and calling.

When my time comes, this is how I want to go. With my shield in my hand (my faith) and my head held high, (my crown) looking up to Jesus the author and finisher of my faith. Not for me the end of life in how we understand that pathway and terminology , but job well done , heading home, I have somewhere to be…

For the Christian, the end of life here, is the beginning of life there (in glory) with Him our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The Bible says ‘ to be absent in the body, is to present with the Lord’ 2 Corinthians 5:8.

So brethren, let us live our lives well in preparation of that blessed hope. Knowing that the day is fast approaching and that he has gone to prepare a place for us because he loves us . A place where (as Revelation 21:4 says) there is no more sickness, no more heartache, no more tears, no more suffering, no more dying. We shall reign with Him. That’s what he has promised. Let us also (whenever we have opportunity) share the good news with that somebody, before it is too late.

Ever scribing

Yours in His Name

Linda J❤️

Day in the life of Linda J

PPK writes PPK writes

DAY IN THE LIFE OF A HOSPITAL CHAPLIN – an extract from my journal

Her name came from a fairytale, but hers did not look like a happy ending. There was no prince charming on hand to whisk her off. Her toes and feet (now gnarled and swollen) would not fit any glass slipper.  It had been her birthday last week. I had learned this from the person who had been visiting her, when I had stopped to introduce myself. She had been here a while and likely to be detained a bit longer. The visitor had said she was a neighbor and that her adult children didn’t visit. I didn’t ask why, as it might come across as judgmental, or add to her pains.
I know (I thought) , I will get her a belated birthday card and send via the ward through the post. In doing so, I would serve two purposes , try to establish a relationship and to bring some normality back to her life.   I suspect that receiving your own personal post to be something refreshing when you are incarcerated in hospital for a while. I chose one from the unused stock from my mantelpiece at home– one which was happy upbeat – or at least I thought so.

I arrived at a subsequent visit a week later. The birthday card had not reached her. I asked the attendant nurse if he had seen it. He told me he didn’t know, as he was ‘only Bank’ meaning he was not a regular member of staff. He finished what he was doing.  I thought he doesn’t care. He came back 15 minutes later with the unopened card in his hand. It appears that it had been sitting in the office for a while. No one had thought to pass it onto her.

I sat and watched her try to open the well-sealed envelope with her arthritic fingers. I waited eagerly for her smile. No smile came. She made several unsuccessful attempts to put the card in her old knitted, cardigan pocket. She squashed it and the pink envelope into her pocket.   Rising to stand , she looked at me and said ‘thank you , anyway….’ . She walked off.  It was the ‘anyway’ that told me (cross culturally), that she might not be happy – either the card came too late, didn’t meet her full expectations, or the effort it had taken to retrieve it (and to put it away), had exasperated her, reinforcing her declining abilities.  Had I been the conduit of a painful reminder of the latter?

I sat waiting, hoping she would return and that she might talk or share. She did, but chose another seat on the other side of the ward.  One , where I believe she purposed that there would be no space for me!

I waited a respectful few minutes (so that she wouldn’t interpret my own departure as a sign of my upset). I said goodbye to her and the other patients sitting nearby. She waved me off with a back -handed wave, eyes averted.  I winced inside, the others, oblivious to the snub which had just transpired.

REFLECTIONS

It is said that ‘if in caring relationships the offering of ourselves through a visit or touch or verbal response is mis-timed or unwanted , we may be perturbed by any upset carried to the other and the sense of rejection we may inwardly feel. (Kelly (2012): 13). I felt it. I am beginning to understand the real face of depression, flat, emotionless and disaffected. I am realizing how much of ourselves we bare in these encounters. Reaching out to another, involves taking risks. Who would have thought it eh? Risk management in chaplaincy visiting?    ‘Attentive waiting with another, is a truly draining and intensive activity’ (op cit p30) that is,  simultaneously being quietly present and unobtrusive, yet intimately active,  constantly processing what is heard seen and felt (emphasis added).

Would I put myself through this and make myself vulnerable again?  Needs must. It goes with the call and territory.  Our kind gestures as professional ’spiritual visitors’ , may never be reciprocated, but reach out we must. These people are  very poorly people, the rejection on their part to us, not necessarily done by design or intent.
Linda J Clifford-Hayes
May 2014

Living it out through death

Three times the same word has been brought up this week. First in the message Pastor preached on Sunday. In a powerful illustration Pastor said whether being applauded or denigrated : dead men don’t /cant react.

We were reviewing the word in our cell group last night – chewing it over, chewing it over . Many of us sharing our own personal experience of being under attack and having to put /keep the ‘old man’ down….!

I shared how Pastor’s message really opened my eyes to how we ought to ‘consider ourselves as dead’. I know the scripture well, but it had been the first time that I had a new revelation and caught something tangible of how to practically work it out, as a believer. I reasoned and reckon that when Christ died , I died. When i was baptised (30 years ago..), the old Linda got buried. It is a new person living in me and through me and I have the mind of Christ.

I am now reclining on my bed at the start of the weekend and I say to myself , I will finish my book ‘A call to courage’ by Michal Goll which i had started in the week. The first random page I turn to says :

‘Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord Romans 6:11. The author is writing about Bertha Smith who had been on the front lines in 70 years plus of successful revival and healing ministry. Part of her mantra was ‘you cant consecrate the old self, you have to assign it to death’. Smith encountered many personal , societal, institutional, cultural , spiritual and denominational battles as a missionary to China and overcame . This included her own personal , physical healing through the level of faith she had.

I would say (as Apostle Paul would and wrote) the old self has already been assigned to death. When he died, we died , when he rose, we rose and are seated with him in heavenly places. There is no more you or I but Christ. But we cant live unless we have died , that is, completely confessed and surrendered everything (including wanting to retaliate following offence), to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

May we stay dead to sin so that we might truly live.

Prayer

My prayer for you and for myself is that we not only catch but hold onto the power of life through death. That we begin to live out the life through the acknowledgement of the exchange that has already taken place on the cross. May we realise that the old man (the old you and the old me) is buried , dead, cant react, cant hear, cant feel, and that we are a new creation in Jesus Christ. He too was tempted on all points and succeeded in his earthly life and without sin.

We declare through prayer that :

Our thoughts are the thoughts of Christ. We think like him and behave like him.

Old things are past away and behold we are brand new.

It is a brand new me walking and breathing singing songs of Zion.

It is a brand new me/us responding in ways that only Christ would.

Praying that the Christ in us, continues to be the hope of glory.

Praying that we continue to grow in grace and that this wonderful grace (the essence of Him) abound more and more .

Asking Him to fill up our new wine skins (our body, soul and spirit) with newness and richness of life.

As we abide in him and He in us, may the fullness of the Godhead been seen in us, bodily….

My brothers and my sisters :

May the old man (and all he ever stood for) never surface.

No more face on or face offs or one upmanships.

No more cruel jibes, cunning or manipulation.

No more secret sin, gossip or malice.

In times of need, may each consider each other before ourselves

Let us put each other first.

May we shine like the Son of God with grace on our lips and healings in our wings.

Because He bids me write and pray

Prayer Evangelist Linda J

Copyright May 2018