Category Archives: revelations

Open Minded

God Rewards All Who Seek Him 

 I’ve prayed with believers and unbelievers alike. Both have heard truth that has set them free and usually if a person doesn’t believe in God before their healing, they know He exists when they are done and have a very new view of Him. 

 “Unbelievers getting healed? How can this be?” you might wonder. Well, there are lots of reasons. God is bigger than we know. He is better at communicating with us than our limited understanding can comprehend. He loves us more than we can imagine and rewards all those who seek Him. 

 Jesus declared, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” When someone gets the truth, they have access to the Father should they decide to go through that door because He is the truth. When they get truth, they are accessing Him. He knows that it is not a part of our natural inclination to go looking for Him unless we need Him, so He reaches out to us and this is one of the ways He does this. 

 Here is an example of someone who did not know God but heard His voice anyway. It happened in the past year. I needed help with my car at home and someone suggested I call a mobile mechanic. The fellow came within the hour of calling him. Seeing as he was going to be working on my car in my garage, I stuck around to see what he was going to do.  

 The guy (I’ll call him Sean) was friendly and got to work right away. He had no trouble finding the problem and showed and explained the problem to me. He was able to fix it right away. He kept an ongoing conversation with me back and forth telling me about his life of forty years and how he ended up doing this for a living. 

 He asked me what I did and I told him I prayed for people and he stiffened saying, “Well the big guy and I don’t get along so good.” 

 Soon though he relaxed again and continued on with the story of his life. As he chatted, he talked about his disappointment with his divorce and how he felt afraid of himself. 

 Curiously, I asked him why. This is a bit of the story as I remember it:  

“My mother-in-law was a piece of work. When she came to visit us, we were always on pins and needles. We couldn’t do anything right. We didn’t cook the food right. We didn’t hold the baby right. We didn’t do ANYTHING right and I mean anything. She was so toxic my wife would get sick and couldn’t sleep.” He sighed deeply. 

 “I tried to keep my mouth shut. My wife didn’t like it when I argued with her so I tried really hard. Sometimes I’d go outside to cool off. Well that wasn’t right either. I wasn’t supportive enough of my wife.” By this time Sean was well into his story. He was finished working on it and kept wiping his hands on a rag from his pocket. 

 “One Christmas, she came and within an hour she was at us. The tree wasn’t in the right place and she was mad about how we put the ornaments on or something. “Blah, blah, blah” he said. “And she was mean. I mean she didn’t just whine, but she cussed and then one day I just had it. She was staying for three days and my wife was running to the bathroom to cry every five minutes. I was holding our daughter and she came running at me yelling about something. She had some kind of pot in her hand and I thought, “Man, she’s going to hit me with my baby in my arms.” I jumped up sideways to protect the baby and she was yelling at me.”  

 “I just snapped.” He looked stricken as he was remembering the day. “I put the baby down in her play pen and I just picked her up by her arms and I kicked the door open and I put her into a snow bank. She was yelling and I yelled louder.” His voice raised as he repeated his speech to her. He said, “‘You are the nastiest woman I have ever met. This is our house not yours. If you cannot be nice in our house you are not welcome here. Go home.” I went back into the house, got her purse, her suitcase and her coat and I took them to her.” Sean looked at me embarrassed. “She left, cussing all the way.” 

“I left my wife and the baby after that. I’m afraid that I will hurt someone. My wife cried for a week after her mom left. She wanted me to make up to her mom, but I couldn’t.” He sighed. 

The Truth Speaks

After a pause, I asked him. “Would you like to know the truth about that situation?”  

 “How would I do that?” he asked.  

 “Well, I’ll ask the “Truth” to tell you more information. There is something in that story you don’t know.” Then I asked Sean, “What did you believe about yourself that day?” 

 After some thought, Sean replied, “I believed I lost control. I was just like my dad who always lost his temper and beat on us.”   

 “So then, I’ll ask “Truth” to tell you what He knows. Let me know what He says, ok?” 

 “Sure,” he said, closing my hood and wiping away some dust from the top of it.  

 “I ask Truth to reveal more to Sean than he now understands.” Then I waited. 

 After a minute or two he looked at me. 

 “So, did you get anything?” I asked. 

 “Well…” Sean hesitated. 

 “Well?” I asked. “Just spit it out and we can evaluate it together.” 

Turning his face away from me he said, “Ok, I got that I did show self-control that day. There were a lot of things I could have done that were way worse. I didn’t hurt her. She was just so nasty and I couldn’t stand it anymore. She kept telling me I wasn’t a real man. She was always calling my wife names. I wanted to do a lot of things, but I didn’t.” Then he ducked his head and looked at me again. 

 “Is there any other truth?” I asked. 

 “I’m not sure what this means,” he said. “I’m hearing, ‘I’m not disappointed with you either. You are forgivable.’ What’s that all about?” 

 At that point in the conversation I explained to him that the Lord Jesus Christ was the one speaking to him because He is the way the truth and the life. The conversation continued for a short while and Sean had much to think about. It would be wonderful to know that he made a decision for Christ right then and there, but he didn’t. That’s between the Lord and him. His phone rang and he left shortly after. I paid him and blessed him on his way. 

It is my prayer for you that you keep an open mind. Maybe the Lord will reveal truth to you as well and you will know more than you once thought. 

 

Do You Want Your Life to be Fruitful?

The Fruit of the Spirit

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22 & 23

I remember when I first understood this verse. I’d memorized it and tried for years to produce this kind of fruit in my life. It was written on a plaque over my stove and I reviewed it often. 

I had a large family and was a busy mom. I knew I wasn’t doing a very good job of loving. I didn’t know what joy was. My home was chaotic, not peaceful and I’d regularly run out of patience, kindness and gentleness. As I saw it the only thing I was any good at was faithfulness to my husband and children.

The Light Slowly Dawns 

One day as I looked at the plaque, I was bemoaning my lack of obvious fruit, confessing my sin of impatience and unkindness once again after yet another episode of barking at the kids.

I stopped suddenly in the middle of stirring the pot on the stove when I heard a near audible voice say, “Read that plaque again.” 

So, I began to rattle off the line “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” 

“Can you read it more slowly, please.”

“Ok,” I replied, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace…”

“Stop. Again, more slowly,” the voice interrupted.

“The fruit of the Spirit is love.”

“STOP!” more sternly. “Now one more time SLOWLY.”

With a sigh I began, “The fruuuuit of the Spiiirrriiiit.”

“Stop,” the voice interrupted yet again. “Did you get it?”

“What?” I cried exasperated. I had no idea.

The Simple Lesson

“It says the fruit of the SPIRIT. It does not say the fruit of you. If you want more patience and love, then ask the Spirit to grow some.”

On that day a light dawned in me. There I was trying to produce what only the Spirit of Christ can give. Since that day, I experienced times when only a prayer for more fruit in my life saved a relationship. This was most evident while I was raising my children. I remember one day particularly when I was tired and one of my children was particularly defiant and rebellious. I wanted to throw her out the window but managed to have enough self-control in me to command her to go to her room so that I would not act on instinct. As she ran up the stairs she announced to me that I was a horrible mother. Ouch.

I chased her up the stairs to deal with her. I was arrested mid-way and felt prompted to ask for a boost of patience. By the time I reached her room, she had thrown herself onto her bed screaming into her pillow. 

I knelt beside the bed and silently asked the Lord to grow more fruit in me. I immediately felt calmer. A new atmosphere of peace seemed to flow into the room. My daughter stopped screaming and her shoulders began to shake. I was wondering what was going on so I asked her. “Sweetheart, what are you thinking?”

She suddenly jumped up onto her knees with a big smile on her face. “I just want to hug you mommy,” she giggled. I cannot explain the transformation that just happened before my very eyes. Not only did I enjoy a new measure of spiritual fruit in that moment, but so did she. 

With a new perspective on these nine “fruit of the Spirit”, I began to see the difference between love according to the Spirit and love according to mankind. The Holy Spirit is very giving. Joy is not related to circumstances and neither are the rest of the fruit. 

May you invite the Spirit of Christ into your life and discover all the wonders of His fruit when they start growing in you.   

Free from Things Others Do

Free from Things Others Do

Have you ever noticed that you seem to be the target of a series of people in your life who do negative things to you? Let me explain what I mean by that by telling you a story from my own life.

When I was about 22 years old, I was a single mother of a little girl. I had a “friend” who wanted to give me a pair of ski pants for a four-year-old boy. They were torn at the knees, worn out at the ankles and the elastic straps over the shoulders were stretched out beyond help. I tried to refuse them. 

She told me, “I know you will need them, you are poor and I am doing you a favour here. Take good care of them and give them back to me when you are done with them. They are important to me because they are a keepsake to me.”

I tried again to refuse them, but she wouldn’t hear of it and I didn’t have the strength to offend her by insisting on refusing her offer. I knew that this “gift” had strings attached. I thought she would expect them back in better condition than she had given them to me. 

I was really bothered by this strange act of kindness which didn’t feel good at all. I felt trapped into storing something I didn’t want, and that I would be obliged to dress my cute little girl in ugly worn brown snow pants three to four years down the road.

Over the course of the next couple of years others gave me “gifts” with strings attached. Even though I said thank you again and again, it seemed I was never grateful “enough”.

Finally, I found someone I could talk to who understood the problem. She asked the Lord on my behalf where the problem began. I was taken back to an incident in my childhood at our small-town skating rink when I was about six years old.

My mom usually accompanied my brothers and me to the rink and supervised us there. She did not help us to skate, much as I wished she would. My brothers had great balance and skill in skating, but I was wobbly. One day she could not accompany us. My brothers begged her to let us go and she finally succumbed and said yes provided we all stick together and watch out for each other.

We were six, seven and nine years old. The minute we got there, my brothers forgot their pledge and I stumbled my way onto the ice. There was one man there who had often helped other children to skate. He offered me his hand and I gratefully accepted. I stayed on my feet as he guided me around the rink slowly and carefully. I was thrilled.

Where Fear Sets In

After two rounds of the rink, he lifted me up and plopped me on the side boards. With a hand on either side of me, I felt a sudden rush of fear. I frantically looked around for my brothers and could not spot them. All the other adults were behind glass in the warm up room chatting with one another and not looking at the ice. The man leaned very close to me and said, “I did something nice for you, now you owe me and have to do something nice for me.”

“What do you want?” I whimpered. 

“You owe me a kiss.” he said.

I felt trapped and there seemed to be no one to help me. I’d been trained as a child to be quiet and didn’t know yet that there were exceptions to the rule.

Finding Truth in the Past that Affects the Future

As I recounted the story to my friend, she asked Jesus to bring me truth. As I was feeling the fear of the memory and the sting of the words, “I did something nice for you, now you owe me.” I suddenly saw Jesus appear between us facing me. 

“That is a lie,” Jesus told me. “If a person offers a gift, they do not have the right to get paid for it.” Then He took a cloth and wiped a little chalk board clean in front of the man.

The memory faded and my little girl heart felt safe and secure. Then the Lord turned to me and said, “You don’t owe me anything either. You’ve been trying to pay me back for salvation from the moment you accepted me as your Lord. Salvation is a free gift offered to anyone who will receive it.”

I was surprised to hear that. “What about serving you as Lord and Master?” I wondered.

“Certainly, I am your Lord and your Master. But I would much prefer it if you would serve me because you want to, not because you have to. Service given in love is far more precious to me than service out of obligation.”

Immediately, I felt a peace and a love wash over me and through me that is very hard to describe. Yet it was tangible to me and I felt warmly loved and treasured. It’s easy to serve someone who makes me feel so loved.

Since that day, I have received many gifts and have enjoyed them without any strings attached. Some of those gifts may have been given by people who normally attach expectations of deep and abiding gratitude or special treatment of their gift (like putting their picture in a prominent place in my living room), but I have not been affected by it since Jesus revealed the truth to me. Furthermore, I have had no more trouble with inappropriate sexual demands since then either. You can have this too.

Getting Rid of Nightmares.

Getting Rid of Nightmares

Years ago, one of my daughters brought a friend home. We will call him Hank. He was a young man who did not have any religious background. He’d been warned that I was a “Jesus Freak” and that I was very religious. One day I was asked to entertain him for her while she went on an errand.

Hank: “Soooo, I hear you’re pretty religious.”

Me smiling, “You might say that. It depends on your definition.”

Hank: “She says you pray a lot. What do you pray about?”

A bit surprised by his childlike question I replied, “One of the ways I pray is to have a conversation with people who are struggling with some kind of issue in their lives where they feel stuck and can’t get free on their own, like fear of spiders or nightmares. That sort of thing. We invite Jesus into the conversation so that they can get unstuck.”

Squirming, Hank says, “Did she tell you about me?”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Well, about my nightmares.” he said.

“No,” I told him. “I didn’t know that.”

“I had one last night.” He shivered.

“That must make it hard for you to sleep.”

Hank shivered again. “Yeah I haven’t hardly slept since I was a teenager. They used to be every day, but now I get them four to five times a week.” 

“Well, Hank,” I said, “would you be open to an experiment? Instead of telling you about how I pray with people, how about I show you instead and we can use your nightmares as my example?”

The young man agreed. He began to tell me about this terrible dream he’d been having for more than ten years. In the dream, he was always falling off a cliff. Each time he woke, he was about to hit the ground. In this young man’s case, the fearful nightmares were based on a real live event that occurred when he was a youth.

The Young Man’s Story

The boy grew up near the badlands of his nation. There are deep valleys that dip hundreds of feet below a prairie flatland made up of largely clay and sedimentary rocks with very little vegetation on steep slopes. They are quite amazing to a tourist since you cannot see them as you approach them. They just suddenly appear out of nowhere. They are great crevasses of coloured layers of fine rock.

One particular day, he and a buddy were riding their bikes toward the badlands with plans to dig for dinosaur bones all afternoon. In the last few hundred yards before reaching their destination, one fellow challenged the other to a race to the finish where they would park their gear and get started. Hank got there first. Too late, he saw the valley appear out of nowhere. Slamming on his brakes as hard as he could, he was not able to prevent himself from going over the cliff with his front tire. 

Hank flew over the handle bars twisting his body so that his bicycle went one way and he went the other. He flipped, landing hard on his belly feet first. With all his might, he tried to slow himself down by digging his sneaker toes into the loose grit and clawing the hard but slippery surface with his nails, ripping the sneakers, his jeans and his skin in the process. 

His friend managed to stop on time and watched in horror as he saw his best friend disappear over the edge. Peering over cautiously and terrified by what he might see, he looked down perhaps forty to sixty feet to see Hank hanging over a small lip of steep incline by his waist, feet dangling in the air. He had just barely stopped from plunging another 200-300 feet below.

As Hank dangled precariously over the edge, terrified to move or even breath, his buddy called down, “Hang on Hank. I’m going to get help. Don’t MOVE”.

Hank had no intention of moving. He was so scared. He knew he was hurt, but also knew that if he fell any further, he’d be broken to pieces on the floor of the valley. He hung there between life and death for more than an hour before he could hear the fire truck approaching with the siren blaring.

The rescue itself took another hour as they cautiously built a safety station around him, made him secure and pulled him up from the precipice. It was a near death experience that replayed itself in his dreams for years.

What Made the Memory Stick in His Dreams?

When I asked him what he believed about himself in that memory, Hank was able to identify several beliefs.

•He was going to die and probably go to hell 

•He was stupid for racing with his friend 

•His life was worthless since they took their time getting back to him 

•He was an idiot to have even thought of going out there with a friend without telling an adult where they were going or having planned for this kind of event.   

•He should have known better. It was his own fault. 

These beliefs and the fear connected to them made the memory remain stuck in his mind. Some of these beliefs came from the mouths of those he trusted. Some were based on his interpretation of what happened that day. Needless to say, a lot can go on in your mind in an hour while you are waiting to be rescued from a life-threatening situation.

When I asked Hank if he was open to hearing what Jesus had to say to him, he said yes. 

Almost Immediately, I saw him shrink into his seat. “That’s so weird,” he said. 

“What?” I asked him. 

“I just see this big guy fly through the air at me. He caught me and stopped me and held me on the edge of that cliff until the rescuers came to get me. I can feel his arms under my armpits.” At that point Hank began to cry openly. “He was there, man. He’s real. It feels so real”. 

I quietly waited for the tears to subside. “What would He like you to know?” I asked.

“Wow,” said Hank in awe. “He says I’m going to be ok and I’m not going to die until my time is up. He says His name is Jesus, and He has some pretty good plans for me. He just flew down there and caught me. He stopped me from going over the edge. Just like that! He was there. He says I don’t have to go to hell. I’m not stupid. It wasn’t my fault. It just happened. Wow. Wow. Wow.”

“How do you feel now when you think about that incident?” I queried.

“Wow. I feel so safe and secure. I’m not shaking anymore. I’m so peaceful. Man, that is such a strange feeling. What a trip.” he marvelled. 

“So, Hank, is there any reason you can think of that you wouldn’t want to follow this Jesus so you can find out what good plans He has for you?”

The rest, as they say, is history. He did not have another nightmare while at our home during the visit.

Recovering from Disappointment

Recovering from Disappointment

In this blog post I want to share with you a word I believe I received from the Lord that really helped me to overcome one of my greatest disappointments. I had been married for twenty five years. It had not been the worst of marriages nor had it been the best. We had separated and I’d always hoped we would reconcile and somehow it would all work out. During the course of the following three years, I’d experienced a series of disappointments. The greatest of these was finding out for the first time that my husband was in a gay relationship. Although this news explained a lot of our marital problems, I was nonetheless very sorry that I would not have a marriage recovery.

When God Answers “No”

In the aftermath of that shocking discovery, I went on a trip to California with a personal development organization. It was a four day weekend full of unique activities and instructions to help each of us increase our productivity, believe in ourselves and the like.

During one of the particular challenges, I  knew I was going to need a little help from my friend Jesus. The exercise required an excellent balance and bodily strength that I did not quite possess. As I watched different people attempt the challenge, some succeeded and some didn’t. The safety of all was clearly demonstrated for everyone. I decided it was my turn to try it.

I threw up a little prayer asking Jesus to please help me to succeed at the challenge. It was just a little thing, but I knew that if I managed to succeed, it would be a slight miracle and I’d be the first one to give Him glory for it. I proceeded with a hope that I’d enjoy the thrill of doing something just a little bit beyond my known abilities.

I got to the apex of the maneuver, the very part that would be the hardest. I whispered to the Lord, “Here we go,” and launched myself up and off the challenge. I’d failed to complete the final round. Those in charge of my harness floated me to the ground amid cheers and applause from the onlookers as a sign of encouragement for a good effort. I smiled when my picture was taken, all the while masking my deep disappointment in the Lord for answering my prayer with a resounding “NO”.

God Gives an Explanation

A few minutes later, having my harness removed and passed on to the next challenger, I went for a long walk toward the rest rooms. All the while wondering (whining) why the Lord couldn’t give me this one little thing I’d asked for. About halfway to the washroom, I was done asking and paused long enough to hear His answer.

“Muriel, I know you were just asking for this one little thing and I could have given it to you and in another circumstance, I might have. But, if I had given you this one little thing, you would have then proceeded to ask me for a much bigger thing. You would have asked me to change your husband into the man of your dreams.”

As I heard it, I realized that it was absolutely true. I had to agree.

“Now,” He continued, “about your husband, I am a God of choice. He made his. Will you please let him go?”

Coming into Agreement With God

Again, I saw the truth in the matter. I came into agreement with Him and proceeded with the divorce as soon as I got home. I was no longer attached to false hope and I was able to release my ex-husband to his own choices and accept them for what they were. It was very freeing. Had I asked for the greater miracle after receiving my first little one, my disappointment would have been much bigger.

God’s Ways are Better than My Way

We will not always appreciate God’s answers. If the whole world was as we would have it be, I’m not sure it would be a better place. I’m glad that God is a God of choice. I do wish people made different ones sometimes, but God is always good. There is no doubt in my mind. When He spoke to me that day, He was very kind and gentle. There was no condemnation in it. He knows me and loves both me and the man who disappointed me. Its much easier to be ok in spite of my circumstances when I get an explanation from God.

I continue on in my own healing journey. The more healing I get, the easier it is to get to know this God I serve. He truly is a great lover of my soul.

You Can Know the Truth.

You Can Know the Truth

The Bible says in John 8:32, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”

Is that even possible? According to the Bible Jesus is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”

If Jesus is the Truth, then when we interact with the truth, we are interacting with Jesus. If you get to know the Truth, then He can set you free from all kinds of emotional bondage.

What do you want to be free from today? Most likely, that which keeps you stuck. Jesus is looking for volunteers not slaves. He came here to give us our freedom back from whence it was stolen. I’ve found that Jesus is quite willing to help us in any area we are stuck with.

That reminds me of an experience I had. I met a woman in a coffee shop. She seemed very tired and worn out. As I walked by her, I leaned forward and asked her if she was ok because she seemed so weary. She looked at me with surprise and wryly remarked “If you had about an hour, I could tell you a story.”

“Actually I do have about an hour but I need my coffee and the bathroom first. If you want to tell me your story, you’ll still be here when I get back. Ok?” I responded.

Sure enough, she was still there when I got out of the bathroom. She began to tell me her story. It was an account of despair. She had been widowed in her fifties, her family were far away, and she’d experienced a great deal of loneliness since her husband had passed away. She lived on a farm and tried to make it work again because it was the only livelihood she knew, but it was tough trying to do it alone.

She had met a fellow farmer at a cooperative meeting who was full of ideas and strength. He was looking for a partnership of some kind. He’d been a butcher for many years and wanted a place suitable to set up a small butcher shop. She and her former husband had raised their own animals and had a small butcher shop next to the barn where they used to butcher their own animals for family. It hadn’t been used since the children left home and her husband had gotten too sick to help her.

It seemed like a good fit for her. She was not romantically inclined towards the neighbour but he seemed to know what he was about and so she allowed him to look the place over and set up shop. She had no idea what she was signing up for.

In a few short weeks, he was giving her orders left right and centre. He had virtually enslaved her. Every day he had new orders for her. “Buy these chickens, scrub the tables, vacuum and disinfect the floors, buy that calf and that set of lambs, feed those animals, you will need a dog.” On and on it went like she as his personal slave. She was exhausted and bewildered. She couldn’t seem to refuse his orders and she couldn’t seem to get rid of him.

When I met her in the coffee shop, she was beyond weary, and had gone to town without her phone so she couldn’t hear from him for a while till she could come up with a solution. She needed to get her farm back from this control freak.

I asked her if she was open to a bit of help? She gave me a resounding “YES” I explained to her that being trapped was based on beliefs. Did she want to know the Truth that would set her free?

On that day, she discovered a series of beliefs that had held her captive.

  • She was helpless
  • She was weak
  • She got herself into this on her own therefore had to get herself out on her own
  • It was all her fault
  • If she told anyone in her family about this they would be angry with her and punish her for it and make it worse.
  • No one loved her enough to help her or care.

In the course of perhaps an hour, she received truth over each argument set up against her and her face reflected the renewing of her strength with each new revelation. When I asked if there was any Bible verse that would convince her that she might be hearing from God, she asked if there was a Book of Jere-something or another. I asked if it was Jeremiah she was thinking of.

“Yes, that’s it she said.” Then she asked what on earth two 911’s meant.

I was a little confused by the question.

I see 2-911’s. She wrote it down on a napkin.

“WELL”, I exclaimed, “that would be Jeremiah 29:11 I believe.” And I quoted it to her from memory. “I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a hope and a future.”

She looked at me with great surprise. “It says that in the Bible?”

“Yes and would you like to know who said all those things to you today?” I asked her.

“Yes” she replied so I  introduced her to Jesus.

I’d like to say her problems were all solved that day. But she did have to go back and deal with a very belligerent controlling person. She went to face the challenge with peace and determination.

She told her children. They were very supportive and helped her work through everything. Last I’d heard she sold the farm and moved to the city where 2 of her children lived so she did work it out in due season.

There is hope. When we meet the living Truth, He sets us free.