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❤️

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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

In..formation

It’s been a long old week. This word came to me in the middle of the week as I was walking to work. I have been walking for health and fitness reasons and also to listen and to hear, what Father may be saying. As I approached the gates of my offices, my attention was drawn to a group of seagulls/birds/geese positioned above me in the sky. They were holding height, in a definite V shape and in a organized fashion. I had seen this before, but this time the Holy Spirt gave me the word ‘in formation’ . He said “write it down”, I have something to convey. I made mental note and promised to come back to it – to dig deeper later and to see what Father is saying.

It is Saturday morning and the word hasn’t left me. My spirit takes me to the memory of the scripture

‘ where the carcass is there the eagles will be gathered together’ (Matthew 24:28). The birds I had seen on Wednesday, were in formation- as they know it is the season, or timing of something coming, they knew they needed to be ready, they are preparing to travel, they are going somewhere.

My research into the reason why they do this, informs me that they are preparing to migrate to warmer climes. Winter is coming and they sense the snap and the peril of same in the air on their welfare and their livelihood. They gather together in this V shape to begin their journey. They fly in this shape to conserve energy and to make the most of the wind. It is the same formation used in military flight missions to improve fuel efficiency. One bird takes the lead and then the lead task is rotated, to prevent flight fatigue. As each bird flies, vortex is created which can benefit the other birds – flying in the wings if you like (and if they are in position). They get a free lift by the ‘up wash‘ created by the wind of the other birds. The birds have to flap together, tracing the same path, that the leader bird has left.

In a study by Steven Portugal (and others) on how the bald ibis (an endangered species) do this formation, they found that not only do the birds benefit from the up wash created by the other birds , they can also take evasive action when affected by any down wash created by the leader bird. The researchers found that the impetus to fly in this fashion, isn’t something the birds learn from the adults, (for it was this group’s virgin flight) but they seem to picked up the information quickly from each other ie the best way to fly , to stay up and to to remain in sync. The researchers offered no further explanation to this quick learning or instinct on the part of the birds, than the incredulity of it . But the Lord whispers to me this morning as I write , ‘the birds learn instinctively and as they remain and stay in the flow’.

The Lord speaks so beautifully.

He is saying so much from this and from the picture He gave me in the Wednesday sky. He is saying Information , ‘wisdom’ is the principle thing and in all our getting get understanding. He is saying wisdom, knowledge and understanding, will keep us in tune with him , take us to our destination and in safety. We have to not only be in the know but in the flow….He is helping me to see and to say , there is a way that may seem right to an individual, but outside of Christ (our leader), it will be destruction; without the guidance of his Holy Spirit ie directing us when to stand, sit or walk, what to chose, what to do and when, we will get caught up in the down wash and fall to the ground.

He says : No man is an island, or none is better than the other, we are all needed to keep the ship afloat and to steer it to its final destination. There is a part for each to play – sometimes at the front, sometimes on the wing, sometimes at the back. Know your place and part. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel or do it in our own strength, but we must work together for good. He says, tread where he has trod. The path has already been marked out for us and by the direction and leading of the Word and His blessed Holy Spirit.

Long ago , he told me to say: He on his way. Those who know Him best , knows this and (like the migratory birds) know the time and the season we are in. The scripture says , as the lighting comes out of the east and shines to the west, so shall the coming of man be, it will be ‘a suddenly’.

Dark days and a cold snap is coming. Who will be able to stand? We must be ready to go and to flow.

Let us not waste time, precious energy, or resources trying to do it ourselves, or in our own strength. Let us be patient with the passion and the purpose He has given each one of us and for the good of the whole.

Stay in shape, in sync and for this next difficult season. Get in position, in place. Get ready!!

Unity is strength. It is there the Lord commands the blessing, even life for evermore. (Psalms 133:1-3)

By Evangelist Linda J

August 2019

Prayer

Father we thank you . For there is nothing new under the sun. You have given us information to guide us from storms and perils and to reach our destination safely. You have shown us that what is in the natural, so it is in the spiritual.

Father we bless you – you are our present help in a time of need. You are the good Shepherd that looks after the sheep. The cattle on a thousand hills are yours, the gulls, the ibis and the sparrows yours too. You give us wisdom and understanding in the day and in the night seasons. You light our lamp. You whisper sweet peace to us and lead us with your right hand of righteousness.

Father, help us to understand the times and the seasons and to number our days preparing our hearts unto wisdom. We don’t know when the axe will fall in any of our lives, but we know if it falls (and before you return) there it will lie until the day of judgment.

Help us to get ready for that great and terrible day and for the day when you shall put in an appearance. Help us to use our resources wisely, including those you have called out and placed amongst us for our advancement and edification.

May we rise together and soar as one new man, in You.

You at our helm, captain of the army host -our ship. Help us to stand tall and to smile at the storms.

Thank you for this beautiful word and for the prayer you have laid on my heart.

Your daughter Linda J

‘…….and nothing shall offend them’

The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth his handiwork, day unto day uttereth speech and night unto night knowledge. There is no speech or language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun. Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoice the as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heave and his circuit unto the ends of it and there is NOTHING hid from the heat thereof.” Psalms 19:1-6

What a beautiful scripture.

Thanking God for a new day and the opportunity to share what is on my heart. I woke up at 5am to take my daughter to work…. I am turning and turning (it’s not worth going back to sleep) and then the above scripture came to mind and I was prompted to write and to flow. I am the Lord’s vessel and he has asked me to write. May what I share be edifying.

It has been a week of challenges and spiritual attacks – both on the left and on the right, but I am more than conqueror.

Thanks be to God, I have proven the scripture that ‘before we ask he answers’.

I was troubled on Wednesday night on my bed (about a matter) and was preparing my stand and to take on a system. By the time the morning came, the answer I was seeking, was delivered… It was incredulous. The word truly says ‘you will not have to fight in this battle, it belongs to the Lord’. (2 Chronicles 20:15-20).

Praise be to our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Many, are the afflictions of the righteous, but He delivers us from them all. (Psalms 34:19).

I was sharing with a dear sister this week the scripture ‘touch not mine anointed and do my prophets no harm’ (1 Chronicles 16:22; Psalms 105:15). This was because at the moment, I seem to be everyone’s tar baby….. attacks raining down from all sides. If it were not for the Lord Jesus Christ and his keeping power I would have become discouraged and stumbled and fell. Like David, I have had to encourage myself in the Lord. An old Pastor (now late) once said to me ‘ Linda, a boy does not throw stones at a fruitless tree’. We need to see the attacks from that perspective. That said, we also need to know, when we throw stones, or indeed touch God’s people, we are actually poking God in his eye.

The word says be careful how you entertain strangers, for many have entertained angels unaware (Hebrews 13:2). Be careful how we treat those sent amongst us. Be careful how we treat the seed of God. I speak first to the church and the Body of Christ . I say this as Father will judge them who are outside.

As children of God, we are the light of the world. Father uses the metaphor of us being candlesticks throughout His word, but we need to take heed, lest we allow gross darkness (from our partialities, double mindedness and double dealings) to snuff out our light, or our candlestick moved out of its place. (see Revelation 2:5)

Repent and forgive.

Thank God for my sisters in Christ who have encouraged me over the past week. You know who you are. The word says, He (Father God) sets the solitary in families (Psalms 68:6) . I have not been without consolation or comfort. May Father reward you richly.

One dear friend sent this beautiful scripture this morning which prompted this piece: ‘Rob not the poor, because he is poor, neither oppress the afflicted in the gate: For the Lord will plead their cause and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them.(Proverbs 22:22-23)

Prayer

And so we ask the Lord for forgiveness if we have hurt or harmed anyone this week. If we have fallen short of his glory, we just lay it down at the cross.

None of us are exempt from the light of God on our dark places and thank Him for that. Give respect to the dark places of the earth. Help us to respect the seed of God.

We ask Lord to protect the gate (our eye gate, our ear gate, the doors of our hearts, our physical home and work places, our going out and our coming ins). We ask for covering and protection over our minds, soul, spirit and body . Whether we are at home or afar – be our rest and stay Holy Father. Teach us to number our days and to apply our hearts into wisdom. We plead for mercy for our oppressors and ask that mercy triumphs over judgment in all situations concerning us.

We do ask for your intervention, in a week of tumultuous personal and political changes, uncertainties , attacks and new seasons. In a week where we hear of another young person (my daughter’s friend) taking their own life. Where others have been given negative or bad reports in life and death situations. You say Father, that you rather not the death of a sinner. Your heart is pained for our soul. You are touched with the feelings of our infirmities. As your children, (sons and daughters), we cannot but be moved too with compassion ie knowing the eternal perils that await those who have not made their call and election sure, or those that have fallen foul, or short, of your glory and those who seek to remain stuck there.

Lord your word says ‘great peace have they that love your law and nothing, shall offend them’ ( Psalms 119:165). Help us to abide in your grace. Let us examine ourselves. Let us not sweat the small stuff, but let us address the weightier matters in this hour and which concerns Kingdom.

Help us to stop calling the kettle .. Let the trumpet sound. It is very late. Your word has gone out to the ends of the earth. It won’t return empty.

Your word says: that your law is perfect, converting the soul, your testimony is sure , making wise the simple. Your statutes are right and is a rejoicing of the heart, your commandments are pure, enlightening the eyes. (Psalms 19).

Enlighten our eyes. Help us to see. Let your word flow and take root into our hearts. Let there be rejoicing in You. Change our hard stony hearts.

Help us to love one another in sincerity and truth, not through feigned lips or hypocrisy, not through eye-service, back-biting , back-scratching, or men pleasing.

Lord, wisdom is justified of her children. We are your children and the sheep of your pasture. Take away the snap and the bark, the veiled/cut eye and the tut tut tut.

Help us to seek the peace of the city in all we say and do. Help us to look each other in the face. Help us to do something nice for someone else, without seeking return or reward.

Father, You have good plans for us. It’s time for us to grow up and mature and to take hold.

Our fight is not against each other or even the world’s dictates, leaders politicians or politics, but against principalities and powers, rulers of darkness, spiritual wickedness in high places. Well do we know and quote the scriptures again and again. Help us now to see . To see how late it is in the hour , to see the harvest waiting , ready for reaping.

Away with the rote, rhythm and rituals. Take us back to a place of prostrate, prayer in the spirit, for that is where the battles and souls for men are won.

I close with:

“Great peace, have they that love thy lay and Nothing shall offend them… ”

Pray for us

Linda J

A time as this (working title may change )

By Linda J June 2019

It has been an interesting week. A week where I thought Father hasn’t been speaking but lo …today I am nudged to see that he has been speaking all week connecting and reminding me of his purpose, his principles and his divine laws.

There is too much to put it all here, but I will try and connect the dots.

It started with reassurance in my *Minute with Maxwell , that ‘you don’t have to survive’. What a strange title I thought. Maxwell reminded me that the Apostle Paul, completely flung himself into challenge and was ready to die for the cause of the gospel: Paul had said “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend, that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus ‘ Philippians 3:12.

He said elsewhere

“But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God” Acts 20:24

And so I was emboldened.

I had been given some news in the cold light of day. News that might mean the whole of my livelihood may be jeopardized. Notwithstanding the Lord has reassured me that he knows the end from the beginning and it is his counsel for my life that will stand. Nothing ….nothing or nobody can separate me /us from his love. None of these things, (not the spite or spats) …. back or hand biting …jagged teeth or spears, move me.

What I learned again this week is that our discomfort and angst comes when we try to hold onto things to tightly, when we try to hold onto our lives when we seek to please men. Serving God is about setting our faces like flint , free falling and letting him catch us. It’s a steely resolve , it’s a walk and a leap of faith.

As I stood in the community worship event – first of its kind in the neighborhood – last night .. the Lord showed me the reality of divine destiny and divine appointments. I hadn’t planned to be at the Gathering . God knows I was tired. i had just put a chicken in the oven (first meal of the day) and was about to prepare dinner… , but he ordered my steps and I was compelled to go . Chicken can wait.

I realized as I stood and uttered my praise in that house at the top of Overdale Road, how marvelous are his works. I was brought up literally across the road from this house, now the YWAM centre . As I worshipped (now as an adult) – my life and circumstances , path and journey, flashed before me and Father reminded me of his providence and provision and that he has led me safe thus far . He has led me for such a time as this.

I nearly died three times in my life through ill health. My heart cried out, as I saw that God had preserved me for this very hour, for salvation and for worship.

When I was at death’s door (as a child and young woman) , I didn’t know the Lord. Having stepped through the door in faith, I can see the seriousness of the peril that awaits those who stay outside. So many closer to me have died suddenly , in their prime , even my own eldest daughter and without warning. I too could have been catapulted into hell without knowing my Savior. God had preserved and prepared me for this very time, for such a time as this. How can I not worship?

Someone greeted me with ‘whatever is happening in the community, you always seem to be there Linda !!” Yes. But not my will but His. This being here, at the heart and centre of things, is my destiny. I will leave my footprint, my thumb print on the map. I intend to run my race and run it well. My sound has gone out and the enemy knows I am here and alive and kicking …. This weekend I found myself doing the things that I have been created for : To take the heart and passion of Jesus Christ to the nations, to pray and to worship.

Speaking to complete strangers is not something that one would want to do naturally on a cloudy Saturday morning – neither do I have anything good in me to give anyone, but the love of Christ compels me – should compel us. He told us to “Go” and for God’s sake.

As for me, I turn into a different person; As I step, I see and feel Father’s heart and compassion and longing for his people. It is his heart. His work not ours.

Last night as I worshipped, I saw Jesus stand at the top of our community and heard the words in my spirit ‘if any man thirst let him come and drink of the water of life freely’ John 7:37-38 . It was profound. Father is calling us to draw near in this hour. He is wanting to refresh and to restore our thirsty souls. He is calling us to pure, spirit filled worship. As we fill up with his life and pour out in prayer, praise and worship , we will be that tree of healing for the nations, for others, round about.

As we worship , we are watered and as we are watered, his love is poured out to all. It is a love thing.

**Tomczak states that ‘out of the deeds of love today comes the destinies of tomorrow’ . We dont know whose life we will touch by planting a small seed, but plant we must, water we must. The fields are white in our day, ready for harvest.

How do I end this impromptu piece ? ***Oswald says it best when he says ‘ Our lives are a ‘culmination of preparatory purposes, which began way before our birth’. Father is working everything out for our good.

Rise up now. Its my time and your time. Its time to get ready, pray , praise and worship.

It is time to prepare to welcome back our King.

Lind J in the Year of Our Lord

23rd June 2019

* see John Maxwell on leadership

** see Divine appointments by Larry Tomczack

*** see See leadership by TL Oswald

UGANDA – COMING OUT AS PURE GOLD

Who will believe my report and to whom has the hand of the Lord been revealed?

I am just back from Mityana , Uganda after a 5 day successful mission with our leader Jonathan Conrathe and the mission 24 team. I am one of the current interns. It is June 2019 in the year of our Lord . This would be my third time in Uganda , a country that made me cry the first time I beheld its beauty , its red earth when I heard the prayers the worship and rhythm and soft nature of its people .

Today (and by way of record), I can write : thanks be to God who has caused us to triumph in his name and made manifest the savor of his knowledge by us in every place( 2 Corinthians 2:14) and where we stood.

We stood in the market place, amongst the dried fish and hung meats. We stood amongst women sewing their wares and men mending their shoes, we stood sometimes in peril on street corners with Imelda at the helm hailing repentance from wooden benches to those who were lost. Here and there and everywhere we preached the unadulterated gospel of Jesus Christ and to the rhythm of the drum – The Jenny Wrens of this world, Warrior Wayne, Jentle (sic) Joe , blessed Bruno, Calm cool and collected Connor, stealy Scott and tenacious Tracey, Brave Brian and Loopy, (Gloria adios) Luis… all as interns present and past , weaved their individual witness and message of everlasting hope in the Name of Jesus, and for this part/neck of the world. We saw the young and old receive. The little children led the way and came unto him. Many were saved, many touched and many healed and set free. The Oh yessesss ….could be heard from the school room and play ground , thanks be to Brent, and all Glory goes to our Father, the Son and his blessed Holy Spirit.

Father prepared a table for us in the presence of our enemies. We worshipped with exuberance, both coming in and going out of the country and in great freedom that only the knowledge of the protection that the saving power of God gives through his son and amongst a people and a nation that know their God.

Thank you Mityana for receiving the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. God knows your Name. The Bible says that he who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet receives a prophet’s reward. Matthew 10:41

Thank you Jonathan and Justin for steering the ship, for your own mature contributions and making this a mission to remember. Not one word will fall to the ground.

As I relax back in my own bed in the UK, I remember the promises of God for Uganda brought to me in 2012 now almost 7 years ago .

Though ye have lien amongst the pots , yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold’ Psalms 68:13

Uganda and her peoples belong to God and He watches over his word to perform it.

The Lord would show me two things for Uganda this very week a bag of gold coins suspended from the heavens and a picture of Uganda like Issachar – a strong ass and whilst currently bowed down as a servant between two burdens, (Genesis 49:15-16) she and her children are coming out as pure gold. Glory to God!!

May the blessings of Abraham fall on Uganda.

Evangelist Linda J

Mission 24 internship

June 2019 ❤️

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, that 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 in 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