In danger of choking!!

The other night I had a dream about a catalytic converter. I am not a mechanic nor an engineer, but the Lord showed me a number of things from this dream.

The word our dear Pastor preached last Sunday about the value of the chair, the table and reading (basically sitting at Fathers feet and taking time out to hear read and grow),was part of my discipline this morning . The Lord indeed set the table…and brought back a dream to me from what I thought was a random choice of reading material Abundant Simplicity by Jan Johnson 2011.

As I read , the dream I had three days ago, came immediately back to me.

Let me explain the dream and then share the revelation.

In my dream I had seen that not only had I forgotten to put my brakes on my car but as I tried to leap into it, to stop it reversing down the road or into someone’s car, I mounted the kerb and the catalytic converter was bashed off. That was the dream..

I keep a journal so I know I had the dream on the 10th December. I researched what a catalytic converter is supposed to do.

A catalytic converter is an exhaust emission control device that reduces toxic gases and pollutants in exhaust gas from an internal combustion engine into less-toxic pollutants by catalyzing a redox reaction (an oxidation and a reduction reaction). courtesy Wikipedia*.

I said I wasn’t a mechanic, but in a nutshell, a catalytic converter is on the vehicle for a purpose and it reduces toxicity. I understood what the dream might be saying and the warning on one level , and parked it (so to speak ). I have learned that the Lord speaks , line upon line, here a little there a little…. I knew there was more to it.

Today I find it.

In encouraging a more simplistic life and way of being, Jan writes,

‘We can get hold of the genuine transformation we desire, because we are trying to breathe in the oxygen of real life with God, without breathing out the daily chaos which chokes out such interaction. Abundant Simplicity p 8 .

What I believe Father saying is from my dream (and in my own words) is the following:

We will make mistakes and errors and cant make progress, when we don’t practice letting go and letting God. We are at risk of exhausting ourselves and becoming toxic, if we dont slow down , put the hand break on and take stock of where we are.

How to?

The author states … ‘we practice simplicity when we intentionally arrange our life around God – what he is doing in this world and let the rest drop off… ‘p9

Don’t you just love how Father speaks ?

This word is clearly for me and I own it and am examining myself, but it may have resonance with you(?). The Lord has taught me to give a portion to seven and to eight as we don’t know what evil is on the earth ( Ecclesiastes 11:2) and so I will always share what I get where I think it might be necessary… Do Listen…

Let’s not close down his voice through feigned protocols and man made forms of respectability. He’s trying to get a word in… He wants to talk with us, for each other, for the betterment of our churches, our community, our nation.

He has commissioned me to write and to say. He is speaking to us each and every day.

Prayer

Father , I thank you for your word which has acted like a catalyst for self examination. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. It brightens my dark understanding .You know the way that I take ; You open up the portals of heaven to show us wisdom , your mercy and your grace. You are a gentle Father.

Lord you desire good things for us – to rest and to wait on you. You don’t want us to be bruised or bashed about or to break down and fail but you want us to flow from within in the spirit. Lord help us to consider our ways. The things that keeps us rushing from A to B which takes us away from you. Lord take us away from anything that is toxic or produces poison in our environment – be that people or places or things. Father , you be our priority , our shield and buckler, our necessary mechanic and food , resource and friend in our times of need. You be the air we breathe.

Thank you for your gift of revelation and knowledge that you have imparted to us and our world. May we use these gifts wisely to help others. Lord we lay ourselves before you and ask you to continue to shining your spot light on areas of our life that needs adjustment.

Yours always

Your daughter , Linda J

*please consider making a donation to Wikipedia. This resource has been an invaluable tool for me in my personal , social and spiritual development and currently it is free.

Let the Blood Speak..!

I have been reading ‘Accessing the Courts of Heaven’ by Robert Henderson this morning. I have been significantly moved. The author asks us to contrast the blood of Abel with the shed blood of Christ to enable a better understanding of the blood ‘crying out’ for God to step in to act on a matter.

In Abel’s case, the Lord said to Cain (his murderer) , ‘the blood of your brother cries out from the earth for vengeance ‘ (see Genesis 4:10). In the case of Jesus, the Lord God shows us that his blood cries (present continuous tense ) out for mercy and forgiveness , for his assailants (yes forgiveness) for those who forsook and murdered him), which includes me and you.

I am sitting reflecting on this in a new way , ie as a mother for a son taken unjustly . It is 5:00 am in the morning but for the first time my spirit man is raised in indignation for this assault and in a generation where life is taken so cheaply.

Eve was still alive when Abel was murdered and she went onto have another son Seth… but you can’t replace a child for another and one cannot but, understand her grief. The plans she must have for Abel, taken so abruptly and by the hand of his brother.   You can almost hear the exasperation and horror in the voice of  God as he exclaimed to Cain ‘What have you done?”  . From then on the spirit of murder and and untimely death reigned here on earth.

Fast forward to Calvary.  

We know Jesus’ mother would have been severely distressed to see her son stripped, whipped and hung on a cross to die when he was innocent – came to seek and save that which was lost – The book of John 19:25 records her as being there at the foot of the cross.

The pain of a mother’s heart, the indignation, the injustice of a life taken just went to a new level, in my understanding and as I am reading today.

I am moved in my spirit not because I have only just realised the atrocity that happened to our Lord, but something else has shifted in my spirit.  

What is that you might well ask?

It is the sense of the depth of sacrifice made for us by and through the shedding of his blood.

Jesus was moved to compassion to stand in the gap for us on the cross and we know there was a plan and a purpose of redemption through this selfless act.  His death and shed blood, brought immunity to us , immunity from eternal damnation if we, but would receive it from his spent cup.

The issue of the blood that speaks,  is so deep.. I am only just touching the surface.

What is the message of salvation and the blood that I seek to impart here?

If we can but catch a little of the love and compassion a mother has for her children(see also the diplomatic immunity case that is currently in the news )  it will assist us in understanding the heartfelt fervency, the sense of indignation from a mother, a father against an injustice happening to a son or a daughter.  This is the sense of indignation our God had for us – that he said ‘let the blood of my son speak…. no other remedy for you and I, was possible. No other person was found worthy.

Our Lord Jesus laid down his life willing for us (the innocent for the guilty) so that we can be pardoned from our sins – namely our salvation –  the clearing of past sins (from Adam) and whenever we might sin in the future – if ….we receive it by faith in his Name.

Once through….washed and sanctified, we have access to the Father, the righteous judge, through the  courts of heaven again through his blood. The blood, shed, brings a perpetual washing – not just once a year (like under the old mosaic law and covenant ), but a new and better way, daily access and once and for all.

In terms or prayer and intercession, (which is the subject matter of Henderson book) the shed blood of Jesus meted out mercy and grace and pardon, so we can approach his courts , not only for ourselves but for others in His Name.  

Indeed, the author writes ‘when you start picking what the shed blood of Jesus did and does, it cannot but stir up the passion of God inside of you to enter into his courts to get the job done (through prayer and  intercession) and to ensure we utilise the power of the blood calling on his Name.

If we can grasp and understand the authority we have been given and be able to use that in prayer and intercession, we can intercede correctly and wrest the souls of our children, our nations back from the land of he enemy and do greater things (I see body parts being restored) in His name.

Reader, the shed blood of Jesus speaks to better things than that of Abel’s- it is redemptive, full of mercy and was shed for all.  

I will leave you with the following imperatives:

  • In times of peril, let the blood speak
  • In situations of death, disease and distress, let the blood speak.

Let the shed blood of Jesus speak into your life and into that situation . Call on it, claim it. It was shed for me and for you and for this very reason , that we can come boldly to the throne of grace .

Pursue your birthright, the remedy for your sin which is found in faith in Jesus Christ.

The blood of Jesus spoke (and is speaking )and will forever be a testimony for you in the courts of heaven.

Let the blood speak and silence the accuser of the brethren, in Jesus’ Name.

Evangelist Linda J

14/12/19

IS ANYBODY (T) HERE? ​​​TAKING A CHANCE AT RADICAL PRESENCE                    

It goes without saying that working with people with Alzheimer’s or dementia or significant mental health difficulties, require different types of approaches, if we are to reach them in terms of the compassionate, emotional and spiritual care. This is because many of these individuals have lost the ability to connect, engage, respond, make or sustain meaningful relationships.

In my experience of working in the Trust as a hospital chaplain, i found that one can make a relationship with a patient one day , seek to do great things eg contributing to the rehabilitation , then find that on your next ward visit they have been discharged somewhere back into the community, often without notice or recourse to us. We therefore as professionals in whatever capacity and wherever we are placed, have a very short time span/window to connect and show that we care.

One approach which is breaking ground , particularly in the field of dementia (but not exclusively)is the benefit of using music therapeutically and just ‘being there’ and holding the patient in the space , for the time allowed. (My italics and emphasis).

I attended a course recently by Guy Harrison at the Oxford University entitled ‘Radical Presence’ . It helped me as a Chaplain see the continued value of our role and also the need for cascading the learning, so that others become more intentional about their presence, when on the wards or when going about chaplaincy business. It also helped me see how to use and utilise music as a medium.

Being radically present is essentially ‘being there’. One author puts it as using ‘self’ as a resource (Ewan Kelly (2012).

Being radically present is an ‘approach’ rather than a ‘fixed’ model. It is about

• Being intentional
• Being conscious of the skills we are using any encounter
• Seeing ‘listening’ as a form of hospitality (and one can listen with eyes and heart)
• Being passionately interested
• Drawing from palliative care models (where appropriate)
• And my favourite phrase….. ‘letting our patient lead the dance’

I carried out an exercise of ‘letting the patient lead the dance’ and using music recently (Nov 2014) on one of our units. It was an unintentional happening, but I was still equipped. This is what happened:

I had not been able to get into the usual room to do my work as it was locked. I thought I would sit in the canteen area where I could see a trickle of patients coming in for their weekly injection and/or coffee. I quickly grabbed the non-intrusive beat box with flashing lights out of my handbag. It is the size of a can of coke and works via blue tooth and was intended for a session later that day on the Edward Street unit.
I selected some well-known music from my iphone with words which I thought were apt and would perhaps match where most of the client group might be finding themselves at this time. I sat quietly, head down writing up notes so as not to look too obvious or intrusive.

I sensed the atmosphere changed in the room. One by one patients (who would not normally come up and speak) came and sat down with me or made eye contact and smiled. It was amazing. Music acted as a medium and had drawn the individual up side by side to me , clearly seeking further engagement.

When I was training to be a social worker in the late ‘80’s, I came across a quote which I have never forgotten. It said that ‘the environment we create controls us’. It was a comment made in relation to residential care for children and young people. I have found that it is relevant with adults and older adults , in a hospital institutional setting or anywhere we are purporting to offer care and services.

There is much we can do in breaking down the some time cold clinical environments which our client group come into. Using music as a medium is powerful and carthartic including the need to be ‘present’ (fully engaged and intentional) for the purpose of reaching our users. During the above encounter, I had some very interesting and useful conversations about the journey some had made into the Trust. With music as a medium (or cushion if you like), I found that patients begin to find their own rhythm and dance (my italics) in their personal journey and recovery.

Linda J Clifford-Hayes
May 2014

What kind of King Are You?

Evangelist Linda J

I am up early and feel led to write . As indicated yesterday, I have been stuck in the book of Kings II for a while . I want to learn and want to grow. I have been reading and comparing the actions of the anointed kings of Israel and those of Judah. I have been making a list of those who followed the example of the Lord such as Joash, Uzziah, Jotham, Hezekiah and Josiah and the many who did evil in his sight – Ahaziah, Jordan, the Jeroboam II ; Ahaz, Hosea, Manasseh , to name but a few. What is interesting to read , was the age that these young men became king and how they used or misused the legacy or authority handed down to them and how they finally exited the world either in peace, praise or disgrace. I am sure there are more parallels to draw and in time and already the Lord is revealing.

This morning I wake to see another famous handsome black rapper Juice Wrld has died, from a ‘medical emergency’ we are told in the headlines : aged 21 – Note we had one two days ago from knife crime – much more over the preceding weeks. It’s almost the norm now.

I think of my daughters and my family, those saved and those unsaved. I think of all the other greats (men and women of my generation that have gone too young). I click on to find out a bit more about this rap artist who I have never heard of and find a live clip of one of his concerts. I see thousands of people in adulation , with little candles rocking to his vibes, lyrics and music. I cant hear what he is saying, but I understand the pull of the stage and what it must have meant to him so young, to have all those in reverence, essentially worshipping him…

I read the messages of condolences and what this young man has meant to many.

I am led to contrast his passing with the notification of the passing of our Dear Pastor Bonnke, (7/12/19) known for his large evangelical crusades where thousands and thousands would jostle to get there and to listen to the word of God. Many would be snatched from hell as a result of this anointed orator allowing God to use him selflessly in this way, for others. I myself a product of the many messages preached by Pastor Bonnke.

Two stages, two different messages. Two different types of kings, two different dispensations – one ministering darkness and death and the other ministering light and life through Jesus Christ.

The contrast with the message of Kings made even more poignant and at a time of threatened impeachment (USA), jostling for political power, now being seen across many nations even my own country the UK. The question whether to stay or to go (Brexit) looming large on everyone’s mind. What many don’t realise, that in matters of life and death we don’t have a choice to stay or to go … And death is no respecter of persons.

The bible says it’s appointed unto man once to die, but after death the judgement. I ponder what people have given in exchange for their soul, self comfort, aggrandizement, adulation of men. Am I making the right transactions? Never mind the state of the nations, what is the state of my soul?

I am reminded that King Moab in the book of Kings sacrificed his own son for spiritual and political power and advancement. (See 2 Kings 3:27). I note that the Bible warns us : As it was in the beginning, so it will be in the end. Lovers of pleasure more than lovers of the one true God- the God who loves them and gave himself as a ransom.

Whenever we hear of such tragic news we mustn’t be complacent. We don’t have to know the soul that has parted to be moved. It is a wake up call. The ringing of a bell. The world and the church have to wake up; many of our sons, our children, are unwittingly being sacrificed to Molech, right in front of our eyes under our very noses.

We have been caught betwixt and between two standards , we have traded our birth right, our gifting, our kingly anointing, to be seen and accepted of men.

I say this , as I am persuaded, that each nation has a divine call on it ie a divine assignment and destiny. For sure the UK has a heritage and destiny in God and for spreading the gospel; but again we see the catering of pole positions far from Jehovah God; we see the watering down of our Christian laws and values to accommodate Nehustan …(read Kings) and Molech. But I raise this in this hour particularly for our black males, our youth. I see the gifting and the prowess which has been misused . The enemy has wreaked havoc on the lives of our people from the beginning. I hear the crack of the slave master whip. I hear the death knell. We must raise the alarm. As mothers, as sisters, as daughters and as ministers., we must make a stand. Snatch them back ..!

As I am writing this piece (and as an evangelist), the scripture jumps out in my mind, ‘it is appointed unto man once to die and after death the judgment’ (Hebrews 9:27). I ask the question : What kind of king are you/we on the earth? How are we ruling and reigning? What legacy are we leaving behind? More seriously, not where are you spending Christmas … but where will you be spending eternity? Juice Wrld thought he might be doing a gig, my adult daughter attending a party. But too late ..

The Bible tells us ‘Wide is the way that lead to destruction and many there be that find it. It tells us that narrow is the way that leads to life and few there be that find it. (Matthew 7:14). Bonnke lived 79 years, this rap artist lived only 21 years, many of his peers are dying even earlier – wasted lives, wasted gifts – gifted, handsome, look smart but nothing to show for their eternal destination.

The Bible says ‘youth is the time to serve the Lord before the evil day draws nigh’. (Ecclesiastes 12:1) .

I cannot but pray for the loss of this life and the impact of the losing of a loved one on those left behind. I write as a mother whose adult daughter was taken suddenly on Christmas Day – no warning – not a victim of knife crime. Just , time up.

Prayer

Father, all have sinned and come short of your glory , myself included , but your word says that your grace is sufficient if we call on you in a day of trouble- repent and turn away from our asherah poles , our brass and brazen ways , if we turn away from sin.

Lord, we pray and seek your increased anointing and ability to stand and to share the gospel of good news with all , so that hearts and eyes can be open and each soul has an opportunity to say Yes or No.

Father, you created us in your image. you said you rather not he death of a sinner. You have left a simple route and a way back to you through the death and sacrifice of your son, Jesus Christ. Lord take away the spirit of aeon from us, the spirit of pride, death and self-adulation. Take away the hardness of our hearts and ears. Let us see ourselves – we may look beautiful on the outside, but you hear and see the true state of our hearts and the song that our soul really sings.

Father, what shall we say then, shall we continue in sin that grace may abound, God forbid. Your word says that there is a way that seems right unto a man but after death the judgment.

We ask for peace for those who have lost a loved one this week , for Pastor Bonnke’s dear wife, for this young man’s loved ones and all the many others we hear about almost daily in our time – taken suddenly without warning , many tragically.

Father, You have made those who call on you kings and priests. Help us to take the scepter and rule and reign in righteousness. Raise up anointed men and women of God who are not afraid of the kings commandments. Those who will not compromise with Truth. Those who will seek to destroy the false gods and altars and to lay down their lives and represent you to the hilt . Let our lives be channels of blessings whatever we do and wherever you send us .

These and other mercies I ask in your son’s name.

9 Dec 2019