Jesus Christ – our centre and tag line

Thanking God for his grace and seeing me through another week and a week of church ordained fasting. I usually write up a day by day account of the day, but this time I was not led. The word however has come over the series of days as Father would allow and he has been showing me things both in myself and in the Body. We are preparing for an important mission for our City and our towns and it is imperative that we understand what the will of the Lord is.

I struggled to find a title for this piece – but I know it is well – we should not always seek to intellectualize, box in or put labels on what we do, just do and of ‘his’ good pleasure and as led by His blessed holy spirit.

As I write (try to collate all what he has shown me this week), I hear the words from the scripture ‘Watchman, Watchman, what of the hour?

I ask myself , what indeed is the burden and will of the Lord for us in this our season? For this, our church? What might the Lord be saying to me? To us? May the good Lord open our hears, eyes and hearts to hear what he may be saying to me/ to us/ to the Body.

Father knows that from a child, I have loved to be in his house and with the people of God and to pray and to worship . The memory of this, from my youth and as a 7 year old child broke my heart this week as I came home after standing with others in the Family centre at Brunswick Street in my new role as cell leader and in a place /building where I visited oft and prayed in as a child. Great things are being planned for that locality and a great harvest will come out of same.

I saw in the spirit as I was driving back from an event yesterday (up Bradshaw way) a load of fresh glistening fish. They were small but healthy and fresh – I think they are depicting of an age range – perhaps our youth (?)I say : Bring them in Lord.

Last night I stood in front of some of the youth of our city and welcomed them for the first time. This confirmed a word over my life spoken so many years ago . I was able to confirm ‘a seed will serve him and it will be counted unto him for a generation – our generation will serve the Lord.

It is a very special season for our City. I know God is at work and all the days of our lives are ordained and ordered by Him.

I had planned to be part of the evening prayers this week but (i) I felt tired (ii) I felt that Lord say come aside, sit quietly with me and rest . I curled up on my sofa and picked up a random book to wait and to listen. That was Wednesday. By Saturday (this morning ) the word for the week was being repeated and I am led now to write it and as I believe it is a word for me/for us and for this pivotal hour.

In the waiting of the week, events and our lives, stuff happens and is happening. People have lost loved ones, their own lives , others have had serious spiritual life and death issues.

What I hear the Lord saying is several and starts with

James 2:14-17

What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

It is a word for us all.

We must continue to serve, do of his good pleasure as we watch and wait. We must be careful not to miss it.

He is warning us to be careful about our events and structures we are creating. He is saying the enemy has come in devouring what is rightfully ours as we have given consent and are not as vigilant as we need to be. He is saying we need to be careful about designing programs and events, whilst missing the point and the urgency of the hour. We need to ask ourselves is He really at the centre of what we are doing or is he the add on? Are we trying to pander to the whims of the world. Is what we are doing, selling or merchandising simply be seen of men and advancing and building our own house, whilst his lay in ruins? The heart, the fire has gone out.

We must ask ourselves the question in whatever we are doing : Where is the heart in it? Where is the Lord God Jehovah?

He has reminded me through his other servants this week that, He is the only way the truth and the life . We don’t need to add on any frills to make it acceptable to the masses – we don’t need to beat a new drum- Jesus Christ, the Word of God, is perfect theology.

Our proposed mission has been tagged Love Derby week, but where is the Lord God Jehovah mentioned in our strap line? The absence of the Word , ‘Him’ is missing. What are we doing? On what foundation are we building ? In the spirit I feel a sense of displeasure and a warning.

God is love and He sent his son as a demonstration of that love towards us ie whilst we were yet sinners – ie not even thinking of him, Christ died for us. But are we thinking of Him in our events. Do we really love him, or each other? Only we can answer this as individuals.

The Bible says, Greater love has no man than this, than he lay down his life for his friend. (John 15:13) . He says He that loveth not , knoweth not God , for God is love. (1 John 1:4-8). Sometimes we know the love of God in our heads, but He is far from our hearts and our actions. We are all guilty.

The things of God are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone. In all our doing we should seek for His wisdom and understanding we should be careful not to build on the sand.

Jesus Christ should be our tag line. His name and Word should take first place and at the centre of all we say , do and create. We don’t have to apologize. Don’t hide or mask Him. He matters more than our merchandising, or magnificent festivities and events, more than our thrust for numbers (and dare I say) the seeking of bums on seats. Don’t look for numbers, look for the heart. He doesn’t save by the many but by the few.

In Amos 5:21,23,24. He warned the people who were going astray. He despised all their feast days and solemn assemblies. When they were offering up burnt and meat offerings, noise and songs, He could not accept them. Why? Because the foundations were not right.

Too often we miss the point. We ‘fall into the trap of intellectualizing the words of scripture, noting them, finding interest in them , even finding them amusing and (I add titillating) * but not allowing them to affect our lives or giving others the chance ..’ even (and this is the rub) beginning to project God our Lord Jesus Christ as irrelevant in the way we ‘sell’ and merchandise him or erase him, completely out of the picture..

May God forgive us.

Let us examine ourselves as we prepare for missions and our church events wherever we are or placed in the Body.

In all we say and do, Father wants us to be careful to remember the cross why he came, what we should preach and what we build on.

The cross, the cross – I hear in my spirit – let us fix our gaze on that for a moment. He wants love for Him only and first and horizontal love for each other.

Let us not keep chasing wind, new gadgets or titilations to keep people happy. Lets not trample on our brothers or sisters to be seen of men, to build our ministries, church, or to be seen at the altar….

He says ‘forget not your assembling of yourselves together as the manner of some is ‘ but He is also saying people matter more than meetings. People matter more than our programs and events. Let’s get back to the heart of the matter. Souls for the Kingdom. Healing for his people . Restoration.

He gives us so many opportunities to put faith to work, to our brethren and right under our noses, but sometimes, just sometimes… we prefer to stand afar off, intellectualize. We cant stoop. We cant bend. We want to pretty it up, preach it, teach it and say it, but to do it we don’t find it easy. We will do it for that one, this one, but not that one… we are partial in how we extend love. We will take planes and trains to go do it here and there, but we can’t /don’t (love ) here or for that one… We swallow whole camels and strain at gnats. Father is not pleased.

He says suffer /teach the little children , those I have set amongst you to come unto me, for such is the kingdom of heaven. Teach them well in humbleness of heart and in unity. He is saying ‘Don’t over egg the pudding’ I am, Jesus Christ. Perfect theology.

Preach the simplicity of the gospel and with love. Mixed diets cause deficiency and eventually kill. He is saying go back to basics.

He is showing , we don’t need no other argument or other plea or PA system – he will shut these down , it is enough that he died for us – just say it speak it preach it.

Father is saying, you (and how you feel)) matter to Him more than you jumping through hoops, making up the numbers at another church meeting or chasing the wind with gimmicks and events . He is saying put down the brush and the broom , fix our face, our heart, our gaze on Him. Let him clean his own House. It belongs to him. We are just stewards.

He is saying I have seen your striving, your wanting to please, wanting to do it right, but He wants us to do it from a place of quietness and rest and in righteousness – first things first. He is speaking to all.

He is saying touch not mine anointed and do my prophets no harm. From time to time He will send people amongst us , we need to be careful how we treat the flock. He is saying remember my sheep, some are diseased some are laying by the way side, hurting even now – right under our noses. Some continue to desire to carry weights and because of that many remain in bondage and cant be set free. Blockages can prevent the healing and breakthrough for others. He says the whole head is sick.

He is warning us that the enemy of soul is prowling seeking whom he may devour. He is showing that an entrance has been given to the enemy . The enemy has sought to destroy our precious things. He is seeking to stigmatize, discredit and disgrace. He is devouring and contaminating what is rightfully Fathers and what is rightfully ours and because we let it – we have given place to the devil.

He is saying put Him first. Let him be our tag line and strap line. Review, Reflect , Restore – make peace and in righteousness. Teach my people the good and proper way. Don’t seek to please men, seek to please Him.

He says, if the foundations be destroyed what will my people do?

I close then with the scripture in my ear “what shall we say then, shall we continue is sin (in our own stuff), that grace will abound? God forbid.

I know our God will help us and that right, early.

* Book listening to others by Joyce Huggett p 73

Word that came over a series of days May 2019

CLEANING : THE INSIDE AND OUT

I had thought this would be a quiet Bank Holiday Monday where I would do what I please and relax …. as it happens the Lord used the day to speak to me on a number of accounts and as i busied myself and sought to get my physical house in order. This then is the first word.

I had moved into my new home in January this year. It has taken a while to settle and to put things in position and bed things down , as it were. I cant grumble as the previous owner had left the house in a good condition and all I needed to do was a repaint to freshen it up. I love my home it has been a gift and blessing of the Lord and a promise given. I have been systemically giving stuff away and working on reducing my outgoing and spending. I had thought my affairs were getting in some order at long last…

It is the Easter Bank holiday. The sun has only just started to shine and because of ministry events and being away, this weekend was perhaps the first weekend that I have been able to sit in the front garden and relax. I felt like I had earned the rest. As I sat in my new deck chair, I looked up at the windows to see that they were in need of a clean. I thought (with my Caribbean singy songy thought pattern….) I cant let these neighbors think I am going to keep a ramshackled house and bring the neighborhood down …. it wont take me long to just nip in and get a cloth and do them.

I did the outside window first and then went in to do the inside.

As I was doing the inside, the Lord began to speak to me about spiritual things. He pointed to the challenge that was facing me right in front of my eyes. I had thought the outside of the windows were brilliantly done but as I went inside, I could see not only was the inside in desperate need, but that the outside also needed another going over again….. In fact , the more I cleaned the inside and the sun shone through, the more I could see the outside needing attention here and there. Lord help…!!!

I then heard the word in my spirt outside of the platter and then the word of the Lord came to me.

The scripture is from Matthew 23:25 . Here the Lord made the rebuke to the scribes and Pharisees. He said

Woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; for you make clean the outside of the cup and the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess

In Luke the rebuke is extended with ‘the inward parts of many are full of ravening and wickedness’

Ouch…!!! I would be arrogant to think that the word is for others and not for me. I am examining myself. I know that the Holy Spirit ministers to us so we can also minister to others and he has instructed me to write what he gives me and so i write.

In Peter 3:3- 4 (and I paraphrase) Father speaks to the women, ‘let not your adorning be of plaiting of the hair and of wearing of gold, or putting on of apparel, but let it be the hidden man of the heart, which is incorruptible.

Father knows the desires of my heart. He knows the things i love and those which move me. But I am not above the word and have to examine myself.

We can’t put effort into our physical homes, appearances and our spiritual homes state, lies wanting. We are all striving to perfection. but we are not perfected yet. This is not a get out clause either. I believe he would have me say : we have to grow up too. We can’t just work on the outside or make excuses for why we stay in the same state, year in, year out. Our inner man must be renewed day by day. Don’t wait for the sun to shine before we fix up as it will be too late and our sorry state will be seen by all. We need to start now. We need to first clean that which is within the cup and platter, so that the outside may be clean also. We do this through honest reflection, prayer and fasting . We do this through looking through the lense of his Word; we do this by seeking forgiveness for ourselves and for others. May Father help us.

PRAYER

Father, thank you for your illuminated word to me this day. Your intention is not to destroy us, control us, or condemn us. You are not like man. Your desire is to see us use free will to take up our cross and come up to the mark of the high calling which is in Christ Jesus.

Father, you set an example for us through the life and death of your son. Your son, Jesus, who made himself of no reputation but took upon himself the form of a servant and humbled himself, even to the death of the cross. Even on the cross you forgave those who had hurt and wronged you. You did it for us. Your desire is to see us leave those things behind which so easily beset us. The things that weigh us down keeping us busy and distracted away from you, our real prize. The self protection, self rule and pride which keeps us from genuine Christian love and from ever learning, but never coming to the knowledge of the truth – ie the platter needs cleaning on the inside.

Father, bring us back to the simplicity of seeking and serving you. Empty us of our own stuff and selves to the point of just wanting to reflect you and fellowship in your suffering.

Lord, you said in your word that those who cling to the world will lose it, but if we surrender and cling to you , we will find and inherit eternal life.

Father we would be clean and have eternal life. Help us?

We were baptized into your body and our house is your temple. Help us to consider our ways. If there is any hatred or wickedness in our heart, Lord root it out. If there is extortion excess, or ego continue to show us. Take away anything that is obscuring our sight , vision or walk with you. Anything that is getting in the way of serving you or marring your glory, remove it.

Father, we have become so comfortable in our own skin, our own abilities and strength and even in that which we own. We have put things in front of you. We have learned to play the pious religious game – to put on a front to fit in with the Jones. We continue to stock pile, build houses, warehouses, own horses and chariots, not realizing all is vanity and vexation of spirit. The things which are physical will be destroyed but the spiritual things are eternal.

Lord, without you in the order of things, education, children, houses and possessions means nothing. You give and you take away. Bring balance to our lives and our affairs in all that we do. Take away greed, gluttony, lust and the pride. Help us not to chase after the wind, fame or profession.

Thank you for nudging us. Help us not just to be a hearer, but a doer of your word. Help us to discharge your message as you instruct and for the saving of some with the spirit of grace and meekness.

Keep us trusting in you, ever looking to you.

You are the author and finisher of our faith.

Linda J – WRITING PAST MIDNIGHT..

April 2019

RISE UP YE MEN OF GOD

And here we are again. It only seems like yesterday when we were out parading our passions and purpose for the Lord. I often think about what was going on deep in the bowels of the grave as Jesus wrestled with principalities and powers and overcame those three days.

Tomorrow we proclaim He arose and won the battle over sin and death and the grave.

Hallelujah – Because He Lives, We Live.

Let me encourage you whichever part you are playing in the Body – we are called out to be firebrands in the darkness.

Called out to be the light of God in a dark and dreary world.

As we traverse through our neighborhoods tomorrow or whenever we go, be intentional and conscious with each step that we are a light , a torch, the flame of the gospel ; that as we move , we are destroying darkness and reclaiming the land.

We don’t have to be the speaker, the preacher, but just by our very presence and our hearts aflame in unity, is a witness to the gates of hell – that Jehovah did it and will do it again, and again..

We are taking ground.

We are taking the Good News of Jesus to our community, to our streets , to the nations.

Praise the Lord Jesus Christ who walks with us and the host of holy angels

How the world needs the joy and peace of the Holy Ghost.

“Sing” says the spirit as I write –

What shall I sing ?

I hear a song and refrain as follows:

“Rise up ye men of God

Give heart and soul and mind and strength

To serve the King of Kings

To serve the King of Kings

Rise up O men of God

His Kingdom tarries long

Bring in the day of brotherhood

And end the night of wrong

and end the night of wrong.

…and so as we prepare to lift our national flags and banners , I close with the penultimate stanza of the song by Phil Keaggy

Lift high the Cross of Christ

Tread where his feet have trod

As brothers of the Son of Man

Rise up O men of God

Rise up O men of God

Written by Evangelist Linda J

April 20/4/19

In the Year of Our Lord

Murder, Mob Rule and Monkey Dust

Written by Linda J 1/9/2018

Lord take over our streets

Heal our land

Lord we commit our cities and nation to you even what you have placed in our hands

Your hands are wide

Your love is shed abroad for all

You are an ever present help in our time of need

Oh how we need You

Clean up our churches, our city our land and our nation

By the Power of the Holy Ghost

Let your anointing flow through the blood lines, through the isle, aisles and regions

Through our cobbled streets , our own backyards and through our own impenitent hearts

Lord, we come against murder, mob rule and monkey dust

We come against fights, fits, fury , fornication, fear

We come against hatred, malice jealousy

The things that puts and pits a brother, brethren, a nation, a neighbor against each other

The things that separates us from you

Break the spirit of pride, self rule

That Luciferian, vociferous, viper spirit that has taken hold

That spirit that has taken hold in our churches, institutions – the spirit of lawlessness that has taken over our land

That spirit that has castrated, poisoned and blinded us

Take away the sting and stench of sin in all its forms and which leads to death – bring back life to our dead, diseased parts

Help us look, see YOU and return to the cross – away with self-rule

Lord you said if YOU be lifted up

YOU would draw all men onto YOU

Break the cliques and the adulation of men, the mouse and human dung and doing and man made ideologies

Thwart the purposes and plans of the enemy. Thwart the backroom, (behind the scenes) stealth, devious games and divination. Remove the dagger and the blade. Remove the assassins and the usurpers.

As we lift up your name in our homes, churches, streets, city and nations , let the Captain of the army host ARISE and let the enemy be scattered.

You instruct me to write and to say

Linda J

A LETTER – A WORD ON ENDURANCE

By Linda J

22/3/19

Praise the Lord Jesus Christ,

I am so sorry I couldn’t have been with you tonight. I had to travel out of Derby on an appointment late evening and I have a early start with traveling to Grantham tomorrow at the start of the weekend of serving in the Mission 24 missions and Connect, which gathers evangelists from across the country. Father knows, I would love to spend more time with you, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

You know I work full time, so it is on top of that I have to fit in personal things, like clean the fridge, put the garbage out and spending precious time with our Father. I am not complaining, but explaining the context of my life just now. I would have loved to have been with you.

Like Paul, I am on a course… and I must run my race and I want to run it well.

Father woke me this morning . He knows what is on my mind. He said ‘Have I not said … signs and wonders will follow those that believe?’ He is encouraging me (like Jonathan Conrathe my current leader does) to ‘stay with it’ until the power for change comes.

I have seen the signs and wonders in many dreams and visions and I believe we are on a precipe to see the mighty works of God in our time, if we just continue to hold on and believe.

I wanted to share that I attended an event on Tuesday night called the Secret Place and was blessed by a testimony from an international minister and how he broke the spirit of fear for him and his children against attacks from drug lords. They had already taken the wife and mother. She was dead, because of addiction. He was just about to give into their demands , but said “enough is enough” – calling on our Father and praying in the Holy Ghost and making a stand.

I have been part of a closed pastor’s group in New York since 2010 and have been blessed by Pastor Carter Conlon, on many occasions. Pastor Conlon runs the Times Square church, which I hope to attend in person one day. I woke up early yesterday as he had sent a message. The message was in the context of perilous times being here and about endurance. I listened attentively, as I very much needed that word this week, on so many levels (and in particular) , as I prepare for international travel and all that can go with that..

Pastor Conlon taught from Matthew 24. In essence : What shall give us the ability to endure? What does endurance mean anyway?

Endurance means staying behind or going … because it is necessary for someone’s sake. That is, (in the Christian context) someone else’s sake (my emphasis). Endurance is having the patience to cope with people who live recklessly, who reject or rage against you. It is staying with it, with them … against all odds.

As I listened to the message, the Holy Spirit brought back our church and an incident that occurred on Sunday morning. A dishevelled looking man had come in right before the start of the first service. I went to say hello. He said he was hungry and cold and hadn’t eaten. He was an adult , but looked like a child. I said I would try and get him something. I went and begged for a roll from the relish team in the canteen (they were so gracious)and also made him a cup of tea. I sneaked it past onlookers and some of the leaders…I thought I would get told off. The man took the tea and the cob. I would have brought bacon butty too, but it wasn’t ready. I thought I had done what Father would have wanted. I left him to eat, but went back just before the service started to see how he was. I asked “are you alright now?” The man cussed me down… !! He said ‘if that is all your God can provide. He can stick it..! He had already eaten the cob and still drinking from the cup.

I wasn’t offended (my how I have changed…) . I was sad. I thought to myself, I had gone all that way for him, but he is ungrateful. The man then went onto denigrate Father and said he doesn’t believe in my God. I wasn’t going to take him on, so I smiled and said “I’m sorry you feel like that” . I moved on, seeking to guard my heart and prepare my worship. The bible tells me anyway wisdom is to high for a fool.

As I walked away, I remembered the scripture Father had taught me long ago ‘all day long, I stretched out my hand to a disobedient and gainsaying people‘ (Romans 10:21).

Pastor Conlon’s message on endurance brought this incident and many others back to me. This is not the first time I have witnessed or been subjected to this scenario and I doubt it will be the last. It’s been a period of challenge on many sides.

Essentially, he taught that you can’t keep on doing good in situations like this, unless your inner man has been changed. You can’t do it yourself. You will be destroyed. Flesh will war against the spirit all the time. Flesh will always rise up to attack the child of and the proper responses which are rooted in the spirit and of God.

We will suffer rejection, scorn and scoffing from those we love dear and have given time to. But we must keep giving the cup … For his sake we are counted as sheep for the slaughter. The disciples cut and ran, when the pressure was on and the attacks were coming against Jesus. Our nearest and dearest, people (and even our brethren) will sometimes hurt and despise us, but we stand and endure.

As he is, so are we, in this world. I have said before the prophet’s life is a metaphor.

Father has shown me that we are not alone in persecution, there are a number of his servants imprisoned, silenced, buffeted, neglected by the sleight of men, overwhelmed, rejected, wounded , despairing in diverse places. He wants us to know he has seen, but to continue to endure hardship as good soldiers. He will bring us out in the end.

We live in days of lawlessness, where the spirit of deception, and rejection is on the rampage, when we see that standards of righteousness and Truth trampled down to the ground. But stand.

The Bible warns us, that when we think it is peace and safety, sudden attacks or destruction comes upon us. We are to expect these things but also victory.

Perilous times are here. We see people maiming /killing themselves, being killed by the sword and by the mouth and where we are being sold down the river and for a morsel of bread – but endure we must.

I thought about the real reason for this piece – letting go of my comfort zone, preparing again to go. As evangelists, we will traverse towns and cities, countries and nations, when perhaps we could have stayed in our warm cozy beds. But we go. We take the ministry of Jesus alongside the attacks, because we are those that endure (and must) for the gospel sake. We do it for the love of God and the spirit of Christ working in us. We cant do it ourselves, but Christ in us is the hope of glory.

In our walk of endurance , we have to not only love God and his word, but people and nations. Pastor shared that even stalwart wanting to be sincere Christians, struggle with loving all people.

There are/will be difficult people, challenging situations and nations. Some don’t want to know Him or You…But endure we must.

Don’t let offense rob you of your joy peace, hope and love or your power to do. Don’t let your love wax cold. Go. Endure. Sin abounds, but the spirit of grace, much more abounds. Smile in the face of adversity

There is much more to say including the need to take a spiritual selfie* from time to time ie to see where we stand on these issues, but lets leave that one for another day…!

I want to close with a prayer.

PRAYER

Father, your word says that many are the afflictions of the righteous, but you deliver us from them all. Deliver us from the snare of the fowler and the noisome pestilence. Deliver us from spiritual abuse and oppression. Give us a heart like yours – a heart of love and staying power – spiritual endurance with, and for others.

Father, help us to understand that the race is not for the swift nor the strong, but those that endure to the end. Help us not to be weary in well doing, but to keep going against the odds. Give us courage to finish the race – finishing well.

Lord your word said that He that endures to the end, the same shall be saved. We are being saved. For this we give you thanks and praise.

Increase in us the gift of faith, gift of patience and the gift of love for you, and others.

Let those that know us/need you, see you working in us and through us, which is their access and hope of glory.

Your daughter Linda J

*I will write another word on the spiritual selfie , when I get time..😳❤️

Taking Down Our Tee Pees..!!

By Linda J 1/2/19

I had the wonderful opportunity to support the youth ministry last night. I started working with young people from the 80’s as a leader for the Council and it was a joy to get back into the saddle (so to speak) although the Lord was speaking to me about rocking the cradle* as I stood behind the young people listening to Him for instruction and as they worshipped.

This morning, I am up early and reflecting. I thought about some of the wonderful prayer station ideas that had been put together. There was a particular station that caught my eye its colors and arrangement. It involved a tee pee.. (wigwam/tent) a mirror and lovely set of light bulbs. It was symbolic of a meeting place with God and seeing ones unique identity in God. The young people were encouraged to see themselves as how God sees them and to leave their unique mark (finger print) in the ‘mirror of his Word‘ (my added emphasis). I smiled as He looked back at me and I left my own…

At the end of the evening when the leaders were dismantling the stations, I chose to dismantle the tee pee and it folded up so nicely..

I thought no more about it until this morning when I was up reflecting and reading the Word. I saw a picture of the tee pee as I read 2 Corinthians 5:10 New international version in particular. Here it is – see if you see what I see?

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. 2 Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, 3 because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. 4 For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

6 Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7 For we live by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the Body whether good or bad’

Simply put, (and this is my inspiration ..) even though we see that the tee pee with all his beautiful lights, has been put away, the essence of who we are in him remains and should remain.

God is a spirit and they that worship Him must worship him in spirit and in Truth. It is not what we do in the physical, that has any eternal currency or value, but what we do in the spirit. It is those who walk by and live in the spirit, who are the sons/daughters : children of God. We come to him groaning on bended knee crawling into our tents our meeting place, desiring to see more of Him reflected in us. We desire for the old covering, the old man, the old tent of our making to be folded up and as we seek to put on our Christ.

We live by faith, not by sight. Whether we can physically see the Tee pee (a place of trysting, resting or self examination) or not, we can trust that we remain ‘In Him‘ , if we continue to do the things which we know are pleasing to Him and the things which will accurately reflect and represent Him. We can share this, our confidence, with our young people (even with the world), as we work with and minister to them.

Further, if we rest and maintain an accurate identity ‘in Him ’, we shall make our final home and final resting place with Him, when all this earth is finally swallowed up in victory and all what is perishable taken away.

He is our sure foundation and it is in Him we move, live and have our being.

By Linda J in the year of our Lord February 2019

* I will write a word on rocking the cradle later ….remind me!!

I’m No Tar Baby!!

When I was a little girl, I read the story of Brer Rabbit and the notorious story of the tar baby. The tar baby was a ploy by Mr Fox to entrap and ensnare Brer Rabbit and so that he could have him for his supper…

The tar baby was an image that looked like a person, but made out of black tar. When Brer Rabbit passed and said good morning to what he thought was a person (and the person didn’t respond), Brer Rabbit became angry and attacked the tar baby and became stuck to it. The story ends well for Brer Rabbit , (due to his sheer ingenuity). I use it here as I believe it has has profound historical and current secular and spiritual connotations.

My race of people ie black peoples have come through decades of oppression and where there has been much sensitivities about how we use and determine the color black and how we reframe positive and negative representations of same and ourselves. How we articulate our individual experience of oppression, has been elusive, as there is a tendency to put us all in one box and generalize (ie it happens to all and it is like this for all). Or worse, forcing each black people to conform to a general stereotype of what black should do and look like. This results in closing down and minimizing what it has meant to individuals on a personal basis, rather than the institutional.

It has taken years to develop my own self esteem and identity and in Christ. I am who I am. I am the loved of God, the healed of the Lord and the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus – none of my step will slide. He loves me just as I am, but he desires that I not be ensnared in sin. Because of this knowledge, I walk circumspect not as a fool, but as wise. I also declare regularly that no weapon formed against me shall prosper and say that those that rise up against me, shall be condemned. However, the tar baby has and continues to represent my experience of being denigrated, bullied and labeled as a black female and now even a Christian woman, leader, and in our times.

I come from a history (and a period) of being the only black girl in my class, the only black officer of the court, the only black manager, the only black female evangelist in our current cohort group – although let me say in the latter, I am accepted in love and have felt Father’s heart and a sense of belonging.

From an objects relation theory point of view, we need to see positive representations of ourselves in all walks of life, for us to have a good Id, sense of belonging, to enable growth and to develop well. I think I know what I am talking about when made to feel different, dumbed down, or not having positive representations of myself around me, to feed my self esteem.

I also understand how our race can carry the blame and shame for all societies ills and how we can also internalize it and perpetuate it against each other. I also understand the detriment not only for the victim, but also the victimizer. In the Brer Rabbit story, you will read that the fox ends up getting stuck to what he himself had created. There is detriment for us all if we dont take heed.

Inspiration

Today, I want to focus on the spiritual analogy of a tar baby and what it might mean for Christians. Brer Rabbit’s reaction to being ignored is a lesson of us from the get go, to grasp. The Bible says that offense will come but woe to the one who causes it(Matthew 18:7) Father tells us that we can be angry but not to sin (Ephesians 4:26). We need to be careful about our responses.

Yesterday whilst I was being taught on a subject in Misson 24 training and to do with the early Christians, I heard that the emperor Nero was an emperor who burned the Christians in vats of tar. Almost immediately, I had a revelation of the spirit behind this labeling and stigmatizing and which can occur for blacks and Christians, both in the Church and also in the workplace. Interestingly like Mr Fox, the emperor Nero made a rope for his own next (so to speak) and history records him as committing suicide.

Let me say, we don’t rejoice in our enemies downfall. Father would rather not the death of a sinner and we shouldn’t either. But we stand sure footed on the word of God, which says he will avenge us, in his own good time.

Thank God for Jesus, the Bible says that the rod of the wicked (the tar) will not rest upon the lot of the righteous, lest the righteous put forth their hand unto iniquity. Psalms 125:3. God will avenge us speedily and that right, early. Psalms 46:5

Don’t be a tar baby, be stuck up, or allow others to label or stick sleights or hurts on you. In your patience you will possess not only your soul, but your hide… Humble yourselves and rise above it. Put on the whole armor of God and make your stand.

For those of you feeling under attack, being poured out, or being labeled – those stuck in jobs, careers, ambitions or lost identities, don’t let the enemy reframe you, remodel you, dumb you down, out fox you, or have you for supper… As our leader Jonathan C said yesterday (and like Brer Rabbit did) walk in a place of surrender.

You give up your supper… Fast and Pray. Ask God to reaffirm who you are in Him. Ask him for divine strategies, for wisdom and understanding. I know it will be well with you.

Let me end with this scripture:

Come let us return unto the Lord for He has torn so that he may heal us. He has stricken so that he may bind us up. After 2 days, He will revive us and on the 3rd day, He will raise us up, that we may live before Him. Hosea 6:1-2

From my sick bed

Linda Joyce

One of Father’s daughters

18/1/19

The Prayer, the Thief, the Pen and the Slipper

I got up early diligently packing items and loaded my car – I did this before devotion as I wanted to use the very early part of the morning with no traffic and no nosey neighbors… I packed about three or four boxes and my beautiful Pom Pom silver light for my bedroom – I have had it years. I then thought I would go and rest and do some devotion. I would take the stuff to the house later.

I lay on my bed and meditated and prayed for certain people including my daughter. The voice on the audio* said close your eyes and let go, so I let go – the message was about love.

I felt that I had achieved something and I was at peace. I then had the impetus to go take the things to the new house before church so I got up and went down. As I opened my car door, I could see that the things were not as i had left them. I could see that some things had been taken including a box of food with a brand new tub of salt, vitamins, prescription contact lenses and I think a brand new pair of boots which I had treated myself to at Christmas. I was devastated.

I remembered the scripture : The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy.

I may not have locked the door or someone has a key to my car(?). I couldn’t understand how it happened.

I took the rest of the stuff quickly to the new house and unloaded. It was the last day of fast and it should have been a good day, but I had a sense of disturbance and sadness in my heart about what happened. I felt cheated, violated and angry. It was also perplexing because I cant remember what else is in the boxes.

As I was returning to the flat and turning the corner of the street in my car, I saw out of the corner of my eye a black plastic bag on the corner. I felt the Lord say this is not a bag of rubbish go and look. As I parked up and ran to the corner and looked into the bag which was ripped , I saw my daughter’s new skate boots and my diamanté slippers which presumably had been dropped by the thief as the plastic bag gave way in his hands as he was running off. Those skates are heavy…

Inspiration

I am up early reflecting on the events of yesterday. The Lord has thought me that there is a message in most moments of our lives if we but look.

The Bible says when we think peace and safety then sudden destruction comes upon us like a woman with child. (1 Thessalonians 5:3)

It also says lay up treasures on heaven not on earth where thieves break in and steal. (Matthew 6:20) This is something I am working on this season.

It is the second time I have been robbed whilst going to pray or in fasting. I know it is a backlash – had I not written about this the day before? We were asked to share what we had got from the Lord throughout the fasting and I have been sharing. I couldn’t share this last night as it would have been too long a tale..

Despite the devastation, I had prayed for my daughter earlier that morning. I prayed that the Lord would protect all that concerns her and I was so pleased her brand new skates had survived the robbery. I love her so much because of what we have been through. I also smiled at my two slippers that were also left. Do you know why? It was a message from my Father.

When I was first called out to ministry in 2006, the Lord gave me a dream a vision about a pen and a slipper. The pen he instructed me to write and the slipper was about evangelism – how beautiful are the feet… (Song of Songs 7:1)

Interestingly most of the food stuff I had packed in the boxes were approaching out of date and I had thought, I wonder if the Hope team would want them for their clients. Although it is a nasty feeling for someone to break into your property, the thief saved me a job of throwing some of those items out.

However, I am upset about the boots and I am praying for a miracle..and putting our God on record.

The scriptures truly says He will turn everything out for our good. (Psalms30:11). I have come to know He does and He will .

Prayer

Father you are our heavy weight, you will arrest and take care of everything that concerns us. You are the light that shines in our darkness. Lord you will not suffer your anointed to see corruption. Your word says that we should not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy his soul when he is hungry, but that when he is found he will store seven fold. Lord, I am not upset about the food or the other things I am able to let those go…but I would like my boots back..

Thank you for protecting my daughter and all that concerns her. May this little experience show her that you care about even the seemingly insignificant things of our lives.

Lord we are the light of the world and the salt of the earth and those things can never be taken from us. Help us to continue to give rather than to store up treasures here on earth where thieves break in and steal. Help us to be vigilant be watchful as the enemy of soul prowls round seeking whom he may devour.

Thank you specially for this week where you have re kindled and reignited the gift to pray and to write. Thank you are helping me to see things as you see them and to release and share what you have given me to the world so they too can be encouraged, know you are alive and have a hope.

Thank you for the future and the hope and the blessing of a new home and the ability to do of your good pleasure.

Your daughter

Linda J

You called me Beautiful , Joyful Spirit

* see bible apps – Faith comes by Hearing

AFTER THE FAST – STAND, WALK, REJOICE

Day 7 and final day of our church Fast

It was after Jesus fasted in the wilderness that the devil came in and took him to a high pinnacle and tempted Him. (See Matthew 4 ). Jesus withstood Him by the word and so will we.

We have stood together as a church and a Body to fast and we are going to continue to Stand and to Walk as one new man. We are not those who are going throw ourselves down or give place to the devil. We are not going to trust in horses or chariots or in ourselves. We are going to remain in love and in unity so that He can continue to do a good work in, and amongst us.

We have His word on our lips and a two edged sword in our hands and we are going to wield them so the enemy flees. They will come in one way, but flee 7 ways.

Let us rejoice and be glad in Him.

He has strengthened the bars of our gates and our children are blessed.

Peace reigns in our homes and in our workplaces because each day we host the Prince of Peace.

Peace will be in our borders, in our town, city and nation because we prayed. Our defenses are sure ; we will be like those who dream and our mouths will be filled with laughter. We will eat the finest of wheat.

His winds will blow and His waters will flow and we shall be healed.

No weapon that has been formed against us shall prosper. For who can stand against our God? He is for us, who will dare take Him on?

He counts the stars by number. He knows our name. He delights not in human or animal strength, but delights in those who fear him and hope in his mercy.

He delights in You. He delights in Me.

He will hear our cries speedily in this seasons. He will not hide his face from us.

We will hear His knock knock on the windows of our hearts and his loving kindness in the morning, and night seasons. This is my testimony.

We will continue to have testimonies of the greatness of our God.

We will be delivered from our enemies; non of our steps will slide.

We will walk sure footed like hinds on the slope of any mountain, leaning on his everlasting arms.

We will stand

We will walk

We will reach our final destination.

Praise Ye The Lord

Linda J

13/1/19

In the Year of Our Lord