Expecting the sweet but getting the sour

It’s Christmas morning 2017. I’m banging about already whilst the rest of the world is asleep. My daughter will have a few words for me when she wakes…

I thought I would go down turn the low lights on and make myself a light breakfast – toast and jam. Mmmm.

As I buttered and ‘jammed’ the toast I could smell a distinct soury vinegary smell . What’s that I thought. I couldn’t identify what it might be. Then I tasted the toast. Yuk. The blackcurrent jam clearly gone off. However when I turned the label to the light what I thought was jam, was beetroot chutney..!

I thought how interesting. It looked like .. but was not. (I’ve had that lesson before )The lights were dim in the kitchen and I just hadn’t seen.

As I chuckled to myself . I felt a nudge, a word stirring in my spirit. This is a word I must write by way of admonishment .

It is now nearing the end of January 2018. God has been good and has been revealing , pouring out and ministering truths. I have resurrected the experience and the piece. This is me. Not one morsel he gives me must fall to the ground .

I am thinking how God is also looking for the sweet in us ,not the sour. How he must grimace and be disappointed when he reaches for us and all he finds is that we are either not ready, or we are sour or bitter. I thought about the scriptures that talk about fruit.

Jesus cursed the fig tree when it should have been in season, but bore no fruit. (Matthew 21:19). In the parable of the vineyard (Luke 13:7 ) he Lord admonishes of the futility of keeping a fruitless vine in the ground. In another (Matthew 25:30) he speaks about the unprofitable servant(where the servant didn’t use what he was given)rather burying it. The servant did this because his heart right. He had a wrong spirit against his boss, the landlord, the owner. As a result , the little he had was taken away and painful judgement brought against him.

God wants our hearts to be right , for us to produce good things, to bring forth a pleasant taste and aroma. He expects us to multiply that which he has given us and not let it go off, go sour or bitter. Anything to do with Gods kingdom , advances multiplies and increases . It smells and tastes good. He wants us to humble ourselves, to receive from him – to eat the fat and drink the sweet, and in our season.

The only reason we give off a bad taste or aroma, often is to do with pride, sin, disobedience and rebellion. We live in a rebellious generation. There is a stench of sin going up into Fathers nose. We need to examine ourselves. Are we sweet (a pleasant thing) or have we gone off and become rotten or sour? Do people wince when we are around? Do we pour vinegar or gall onto Gods things or good things including his servants ? Is what we bring, manipulative of the senses, destructive, acidic or corrosive?

The prophet Isaiah brought a stern word in chapter 3 against the mincing daughters of Zion who thought they were sweet but there really was a bad smell .

On behalf of the Lord he said:

“Because the daughters of Zion are haughty,

and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes,

walking and mincing as they go,

and making a tinkling with their feet:

…..the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of th(eir)head of the ….And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink ” (see Isaiah 3:16 and onwards).

This word came from something quite innocuous on a day of celebration. God uses the foolish things to instruct and sometime to confound. I believe He is a good God. I believe that he wants to reveal things to us and from his word. I believe He wants us to to taste and see that he is good , to have choice to have fun celebrate, but he also to warn us about our heart state, our condition , the dangers of surfeiting (that word just popped – it means gorging or living to excess because we can ) . He wants to warn us about what is really important.

I pray that the Lord will be merciful to us and give us time to see ourselves (and where we need to) to humble ourselves, to turn, to bring forth a sweet savour to Him and to others. He wants us to be children who walk in the light; to stop gorging and drinking vinegar but taste of his vine.

I pray like David that he will renew a right spirit within us. That all our days will be fruitful days and light will shine upon our ways.

Walk Like a King

Occasionally I walk to work. It is so refreshing to get the wind under your sails , to put the world to rights and commune with God.

I see a lot of people on my journey and it is so interesting what faces, moods, greetings I see and receive.

Using the eyes of my heart (Ephesians 1:18-19) I can discern so much about that person – who they are, their attitude and even about family functioning.

Take this morning, I saw a lovely young man in school uniform just coming out of his house. He locked the front door behind him. He was a tall, white , English boy. He saw me and smiled. The way he carried himself and his greeting, spoke volumes to me. It told me this boy knows who he is and where he is going. He exuded confidence. He looked like royalty – He looked like a star.

I thought about us Christians as children of God and the confidence we should have in our Heavenly Father. I reflected that despite this knowledge of our parentage, many of us walk head bowed and almost apologise for being who we are. Some of us can hardly greet each other, or look each other in the eye. It seems we have something to hide, uncomfortable with who we are or members of our own family.

We put on our masks, have a false idea of what stands for holiness or humility or being children of God. We bruise others by our cold indifferent stares, our lack of care and regard. We don’t really know Christ or speak to his blessed holy sprit.

We bristle with the boldness of others who share Him. We do very little to advance kingdom, reach out to others or take steps forward.

We are children of a King and therefore our step and our deportment should be like that of king. Anyone who ever watched The King and I, with Yule Brenner, will recall his many children (little kings in the making) how they exuded confidence held the sceptre in hand, ready to say and to do – making decrees.

Let us remind ourselves who we are, who we represent and where we are going.

Let us greet each other in the House and the world with aplomb and confidence.

Let us pick up the sceptre and speak boldly doing of his good pleasure.

Let us say hello to him.

Let us show our love and care to others and the joy we have about the new day. Let us take responsibility for the physical and emotional safety and security of our House.

Let us take off the masks, allow people to know who we are and see the faith, hope and confidence we have in Him, who is our Heavenly Father.

Prayer

Father, thank you for the inheritance you have given us. We have a rich heritage and we need not be afraid. I pray that you will help us have a better understanding of who we are and how we are to be, as we ‘walk out’ each day.

Help us to see the glory within, the greatness of your power to behave and to do, like kings.

Let us not miss any opportunity to represent kingdom – to shine like the sons and daughters we are, so that people can know that ‘you are’ (sic) and that you are a good good Father.

Written by

Evangelist Linda J

In the Year of our Lord

19th Jan 2018

New wine

I was reading Luke chapter 5 this morning and the scripture took in new and fresh meaning in terms of the context and season we are in. We are at the start of a new year and we have been seeking the Lord and asking him to do something new for us but what is it that often gets in the way?

Listen :

“No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved”. Luke 5:36-38.

We often ask the Lord to do new things in us, with us and for us but want to stay stuck with our old ways and try to tag it on to make it fit, but it doesn’t and won’t. We can’t see beyond the end of our noses and some of us have very short noses…self included.

We try to use our own applications to make things stick or fit , but it won’t. There is often nothing wrong with the old but if God directs change or a pattern of how things are to be in this season then we must be obedient. I am not suggesting a change in his commandments here either , so take heed!

Father has the oversight of the battle and He alone knows what is necessary in this season in terms of the soldier of Christ and warfare.

The old garment can be seen as our old bruised and damaged hearts or our minds, our old ways which is in desperate need of repair. God can not heal or use us unless we allow a change to take place.

As in major surgery new body parts won’t work unless there is acceptance and agreement in the Body. New life won’t come without this and there is a danger of death, disease or amputation.

You wouldn’t harness a race horse with a pig to go anywhere. Different heights, different stature, different callings. One looking ahead, one looking down scratching around in the mud.

Two cannot walk unless they agree, they will be out of sync, out of time and we will just hobble along rather than be able to run our race or fight that attack coming against the Body.

We need to stop trying to make things fit into our old ways of being and doing. We need to listen, rend our hearts, let go of the old hurts and impediments , including those which are sanctimonious and religious – Father was talking to the scribes and Pharisees in this parable from Luke. We are too stiff not pliable enough. We need to lift up our hearts , our cups our old garb… and let God restore, repair and fill us anew.

Written by

Linda J

17/1/18

Is there a mountain in your way?

I wrote this piece after my daily reading of Matthew today the 2nd day of the New Year 2018. I got to Matthew 28:16 and saw something new. Jesus appointed his disciples in a mountain. Mountains are usually symbolic of blocks, barriers huge obstacles. I had been reading about kingdom values and had been thinking about the prison ministry, I support in Uganda which I have called Ssendi under the lead evangelist there called Peter Ssendi. I thought about how the men and women there might be feeling at this time of year still incarcerated , still with major blocks or challenges (physical and spiritual) . I wrote it with them in my mind’s eye – or is it Father’s? I share it with you :

Is there a mountain in your way ?

Jesus appointed his disciples in a mountain. Is there a mountain in your way? Has doubts and fears arose? – The Lord is standing by to deliver you, direct you – in your time of uncertainty , to take you to the other side. He is in the mountain with you . He is seeking to take you to place where he can use you, can commission you, a place where he can appoint you to do good works.

All things work together for good. God is the author and finisher of our faith. He can turn any bad situation or choice around. Any health issue, life plan or decision that was not of him, he can turn around. Don’t resist the mountain, go up, go round , go through it, with Jesus.

The bible says , ‘Give respect to the dark places of the earth’ – both darkness and light have their place, but chose to come out into that marvellous light, on the other side. Choose to come out on top.

Recognise where you are at and what brought you there. Recognise, Reflect. Some situations are not of our own doing, but God has allowed and for his glory. Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, so that he can exalt you (lift you up , bring you out) in His good time.

His timing is the right time and He comes when you call, when you are asking – guess what ? He has already answered and that answer is Yes and Amen. He knows who you are . He knows what you need. That thing that will bring you to an acceptable end – both in this life and the next.

Is there a mountain in your way ? Climb it with Jesus. The mountain may be the turning point of your life. Some mountains have openings which you can go through, find that opening , that door, go through with Jesus.

Some mountains have grassy terrains and trees dotted here and there. Find the /a planting of the Lord, the right branch ; find the right space, the right position to be at rest and in safety with him. A place away from the storms, away from the rain – He is your shield and shelter . He is ‘the Branch’, the root from Jesse, the everlasting arm on which you can depend.

He will shield you, strongly defend you. The branch will not break, you will like Zacheus not have to crane your neck, (or second guess) to see the other side; It is you ! He will go with you , show you the way to get off and out . He will meet you at your level , where you are at – He will be there at the foot of your mountain , looking down as he did toward those standing at the foot of the cross.

At the foot of your mountain? Seeing a cross? Just waiting for change? Just worship him.

Evangelist Linda J Clifford -Hayes

Crossing Over 2

I wrote this prayer at 5:00 am 31st December 2017, it was the words God inscribed on my heart for us, for this season. It is written in the steps and pattern of prayer He has thought me over the years. I am calling it ‘Crossing Over’ for want a new title.

Crossing Over 2017

Holy God

Righteous Father

Maker of the Universe

It is to you we come

Lord we don’t know how to pray or what to say

But let your Holy Spirit speak and guide

Lord, we present ourselves to you first

All our sins and weaknesses, the things we do and say which makes you sad

Father we repent of things done in our mind, soul and body

Things we are conscious of and those where we are still blind to – those still hidden in darkness

Lord we look back on the 365 days you have given us

We repent of any wasted time

Any folly

Anything that didn’t give you the glory

As we stand on the precipe of a new year – we don’t want to take any load which is not of you, or from you ,

any pattern or weaknesses which is not befitting of the kingdom,

we want to leave behind

Lord help us go over light, steadfast in our footsteps and with hinds feet

Help us to take only the things you want us to take

Help us to cross over well and reach the other side

Father, Your mercies have been new to us every morning

We continue to trust in your faithfulness

Knowing that the work you have started in us, you are able to complete until the day of Jesus Christ

Our souls cry ‘Maranatha’

Come quickly Lord Jesus

Teach us to number our days

None of us know our times –

The length of our days are in your hands

Help us to be conscious of the season we are in

Of the lateness of this hour

Lord, you have given each and every one of us the capacity and ability to do of your good pleasure

A heart, mind and spirit to seek after you, if indeed, you are our heart’s desire

You have said in your word, that we should have no other gods before you

Fill all our vision

Help us this day (as we shake off the old year- the old wine skin )to name our idols and to lay them down at the foot of the cross

Father, there is none like you

Your love for us is unfathomable

When we were naked

You covered us with your skirt

When we are wounded and weary

You feel it, You care

Help us to say like David,

One thing have I desired of the Lord to seek after him all the days of my life, that I may dwell in his courts forever

Oh how we need you to visit us

Oh how we need your presence in our house

To be tabernacled in you and you

in us – Shekinah King of Glory

Help us to seek after righteousness

To grow up and mature in you

Help us not be a stumbling block in the way of any other

As your word says ‘as far as it remains with us, to be at peace with all men’

Lord, help us to hear when you call

Listen when you answer

To not repeat the same mistakes

Let us not be that rebellious ‘house’

Ever seeking for a sign, a word which has already been written, given, spoken, sent.

Give us wisdom and understanding

To discern the good and proper way.

We pray this prayer not only for ourselves but for our brothers, our sisters

those without a voice – who can’t /don’t know how to, pray

the strong standing in the gap, bearing the infirmity of the weak, as you have taught us

You say if two of us agree anything on earth, it will be done

We are in agreement for seeing your kingdom come in us and on earth as it is in heaven

We are in agreement for signs and wonders, because we believe

We are in agreement for love, truth and mercy to be at the door posts of our hearts, homes and our city

Let it be renowned abroad that we are the people who know God

Let it be renowned abroad that we have your mark – that we are a people, a building, where God’s hand is,and moves

Let the city in which we live be a city, set upon a hill that cannot be hid-

strengthen our stakes, let them go down deep,

enlarge our territories

Restore our land

Remember the nations which are before and amongst us

We are in agreement for you to loose every chain and to set captives free

Let us be a light shining in the dark The example to those who are seeking an answer for Truth

Those looking to us for mercy and for grace

Help us to be good stewards of what you have bestowed upon us, indeed good stewards of your blessed Holy Spirit

Let our comings and our goings be of you

Our sleeping and our waking with you

Help us to delight ourselves in You

Let your joy be our everlasting strength.

We close this year with joy

Knowing that you do all things well

Written by

Prayer Evangelist Linda J