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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

No need to take Offence: character development series

Offence in the life of a follower of Jesus

It seems to me that the most significant consideration regarding offence is not what has been done to us, whether real or imagined, but rather, what our relationship is with Jesus BECAUSE the deeper is our relationship with Jesus, the more able we are to rise above offence and the less we are able to be offended. Was Jesus ever personally offended? Are we following Jesus? Have we asked to be transformed into His likeness? Then how is there room for us to take offence?

What is offence?

What IS offence? By offence I mean the perception that a personal attack has been made toward us and we respond in a hostile way. It is a form of elevation of myself over another person “who has offended me”, whereby I am judging their behaviour, attitude or word toward me as being beneath me. The reality may well be that the person has been offensive, but we always have a choice as to how we react or respond to their action. How I respond reveals my character just as much as how they have acted or spoken reveals theirs.

Once I was offended

There was an occasion as a young Believer when I had a marginally heated discussion with another about baptism. I’d not been immersed but christened as a baby. I took exception to the other person’s suggestion that I ought to be baptised, but later that evening I asked the LORD, “Why did I respond so such hostility?” The inner conviction I felt was, “Because you need to be baptised.” I began to study and soon learned baptism was about full immersion and what Jesus did which pleased the Father.

Ignorance or misunderstanding are often the root of our offence, I think.

Healthy response to the offender

“Judge not lest you be judged” (Matthew 7:1) — leave the offence at the foot of the cross, leave it to GOD to teach the “offender”. Show grace! They may not deserve it, but none of us deserves salvation. Are we not grateful for the grace shown to us by GOD by sending His son?

“Do not look at the speck in your brothers eye and miss the plank in your own.” (Matthew 7:3)

To take offence is to turn a wound into a weapon. Instead, allow the pain to be expressed and then let it go, rather than turn it into judgement, hatred, unjust anger or distain.

You may say “I am justified!” No. You may be wise to remove yourself from the toxic relationship but you do not have the right to sin against another person, for any reason.

Distinguish between their misconduct, even abuse, and your response. Rise above. You do not harm them by showing offence. Rather, you harm yourself and your relationship with GOD.

Offence is hostility and unforgiveness toward someone for a perceived wrong they have done. Leave it to GOD, the perfector of our faith and our person. In this, we rise above the situation and leave the devil and his devices to their self destruction.

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Character Development: new series

Introduction

The development of our character is the chief aim of Paul in his writings to the Gentiles, and the central message of Jesus when he walked the earth. 

Jesus said, “Be perfect just as your father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)

Of his life mission, Paul wrote in his last letter to us, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (1 Timothy 4:7)

As a token expression of the mission GOD has placed in each of our hearts, occasionally I will put together a short comment on any particular character attribute in an effort to highlight qualities GOD is shaping in us. You may use these as springboards for your own prayer, as references to dive into, or as important points to consider as you grow in your own faith or lead others in theirs.

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Politics and Society today Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

The Mind of GOD: on Suffering & Covid?

The Mind of GOD

We speak of seeking the heart of GOD or of being like David, after GOD’s own heart; we talk of the mind of Christ. But what of the mind of GOD? Is that the same?

I came across Jesus’ words to Pilate recently in the weekly Torah portion for Believers (ie the Torah portion with a new testament reference also offered) and find this in John 19:11, “Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.””

I dwell upon unless it had been give you from above. Whether our theology puts Satan in the heavenliness with the LORD or not, the LORD is above all; in GOD’s sovereignty, like Pilate, Satan can no nothing at all without the Father’s ascent.

People say GOD does not allow illness, suffering, death

That the LORD’s will was that His son Jesus should die is irrefutable amongst any Believer. Gethsemane was a heart cry from Jesus to the Father and total surrender to the Father’s will. And so, Jesus was put on the cross and (mercifully) died relatively quickly, within a few hours. He died that we might be saved from eternal death through faith in him. But does that mean we are spared all suffering, all illness, any mortal death? Clearly not for we experience these things.  It is part of live, and struggles are part of our spiritual growth and our humanity.

Historic suffering

Before Jesus, the Hebrews and then the Jews suffered at the hand of GOD. But Numbers 18:22 tells us, “Hereafter the children of Israel shall not come near the tabernacle of meeting, lest they bear sin and die.” Instead, only the priestly Levites could approach. GOD made a way even for the sinning, because He loved His chosen people.

And Yeshua — Jesus — is our way, whether Jew or Gentile, to live to the full both now and forever. This was the mind of GOD from the beginning. Throughout scripture, quoted by Jesus, this was the plan. Isaiah 53 is only one of many reports of how things would come to pass.

And before Jesus was, the Word of GOD was. John 1 tells us, “In the beginning was the word and the word was with GOD and the word was GOD.” And so, united, they speak and live and move. And Jesus, giving up his GOD-head to come to earth, surrendered his will to the Father GOD: Yehovah, I AM.

A Pandemic

As we discuss about Covid, many say it cannot be GOD’s will. And yet He is sovereign. The principalities and powers are subject to Jesus. Colossians 1:16 says, “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.” And later Paul writes, “Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.” (Colossians 2:15)

There is no question, just as we know in Ephesians 6 that principalities and powers are from the demonic realm, that sickness, witchcraft, all powers are subject to GOD.

So, what of this Covid Pandemic? Under whose authority is it? Ultimately it is under the sovereign will of GOD. 

What then, is His purpose in permitting it? 

I have seen increased opportunity for us to take time to spend with GOD. I have seen suffering and even death, yet the option is to allow even these things to draw us closer to Him. For Believers, it is no question to allow this. And we pray for those not yet following GOD through Jesus, that their circumstance will draw their attention to Him. It is His will that all would be saved.

Conclusion

The mind of GOD then, is surely to allow whatever comes to us — even a pandemic, even the threat of sickness and death — to draw us nearer to Him. The details are not to be a battle ground between us, but rather, as we fully surrender to the LORD and in our choosing, we choose His will for our lives: one person by one person at a time, and one crisis by one crisis at at time. That does not mean we do not war against the sickness, but we do so under the leadership of our Messiah and Saviour, and that makes all the difference.

And when things feel tough, I remember and draw upon the truth that the joy of the LORD is my strength! (Nehemiah 8:10)

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Walking by the Spirit

Following the Spirit’s gentle leading

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 is one of the first verses I taught my son when we was very young.

“However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” I’ve always thought John 16:13 was for BIG ideas and revelations. But I am learning it is for small details too… 

Lord, lead me by Your Spirit

I have been asking the LORD for several years to lead me by His Spirit and have had the desire to live by His spirit 100% of the time. This is risky… what if I get a prompt wrong?

I must be growing because He is beginning to lead me more often, prompting me in ways that prove themselves to be His guidance, even in the little things.…

One might say it is witchcraft but I think it is GOD:

Recently, I had an appointment with a person D to show a flat I rent out. The LORD told me he’d be 15 minutes late so to leave an extra long gap before the next appointment to follow after…. 3 days later, the day of the appointments, D was exactly 15 minutes late (at the time of posting, the flat is now let, praise GOD).

Yesterday, I had another viewing. I felt so strongly in my spirit that the person would not come. 10 minutes before the scheduled appointment, the person cancelled.

Last night I had a dream which I remember very clearly… I often dream but rarely remember or “hold onto the content”. I believe as a family Covid is going to infect or try to infect a child, who will, in turn infect others. There is no fear in this for we are all healthy and/or vaccinated/and or have already had the virus. BUT isolation is not helpful to living life, so I believe the LORD has shown me, that in order to protect us from having to self isolate, we need to be vigilant. I will share this with others in the family, and will take the lateral flow tests more frequently this week, to guard against infection and infecting others.

I believe we can live more and more by GOD’s Spirit. These times are tough. Let’s allow our Father to lead and guide us.

If He can share with me, He can share with any brother or sister in the Lord. May I encourage you to ASK Him, and if you have asked Him, wait upon Him, trust and yield to Him, allowing Him to reveal His timing, His schedule, His blessing.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Wise and Foolish Virgins

Matthew 25:1-13

“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’“Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”

We all are saved, but are we all wise?

We must be ready, our spirit lives full of the Holy Spirit’s anointing, brim for Him so that when He comes, we may enter into the marriage feast: enter into the presence of our Lord; enter into the fullness of salvation’s grace, favour, rest, love and everlasting joy.

Oh to be in the presence of Jesus is something at which I tremble, and yet something I long for. Don’t we all? 

What are we prepared to do to ensure we are prepared?

What cost to us to ensure our entrance into the Bridal chamber?

Submission, obedience, reverence, thanksgiving and faith.

Submission

To the will of the Father, day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment, there is holiness — as we yield, so we grow.

Obedience

To the prompting of the Holy Spirit as He leads and guides us into all truth.

Reverence

For Yeshua – Messiah, Jesus our Saviour, for all He has done for us and for who He is. Love and fear intermingled: reverential fear of the everlasting, and love for the person of Jesus.

Thanksgiving

For our lives and all Yehovah GOD has done so that we might truly live in His abundant blessings of love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, gentleness, patience, faithfulness and self control. Let us rejoice and be glad!

Faith

We know that all things do work together for good for those who love GOD and are called according to His purpose, that He is working out that very purpose in us, moment by moment, hour by hour, day by day and life by life.

Isaiah 40:3 says, “Prepare the way of the LORD…” We must prepare ourselves to be ready for His arrival. Let us meditate on the Word of GOD, which is Jesus, and let us rest in His presence, waiting upon Him, as His bride.

Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus, Come.

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Greater Dependency

by Gary Gay

The Holy Spirit said, “Greater Dependency, you can’t mess this up, you’re not big enough to mess it up.”

Promotions are here and they come with greater dependency on the Father. He has already given us greater faith; it has already been downloaded in us.  Don’t try and feel it, we just have to step out on it, otherwise we can’t see it or know it. It is now! 

We will love this new thing. It brings us much closer to Him. It is a greater level of relationship and intimacy with Him. 

Gary Gay 10-24-2021 

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Walking in the Spirit: even in what seems trivial

Following the Spirit’s gentle leading

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 is one of the first verses I taught my son when we was very young.

“However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” I’ve always thought John 16:13 was for BIG ideas and revelations. But I am learning it is for small details too…

I have been asking the LORD for several years to lead me by His Spirit and have had the desire to live by His spirit 100% of the time. This is risky… what if I get a prompt wrong?

I must be growing because He is beginning to lead me more often, prompting me in ways that prove themselves to be His guidance, even in the little things.…

One might say it is witchcraft but I think it is GOD:

Recently, I had an appointment with a person D to show a flat I rent out. The LORD told me he’d be 15 minutes late so to leave an extra long gap before the next appointment to follow after…. 3 days later, the day of the appointments, D was exactly 15 minutes late.

Yesterday, I had another viewing. I felt so strongly in my spirit that the person would not come. 10 minutes before the scheduled appointment, the person cancelled.

Last night I had a dream which I remember very clearly… I often dream but rarely remember or “hold onto the content”. I believe as a family Covid is going to infect or try to infect a child, who will, in turn infect others. There is no fear in this for we are all healthy and/or vaccinated/and or have already had the virus. BUT isolation is not helpful to living life, so I believe the LORD has shown me, that in order to protect us from having to self isolate, we need to be vigilant. I will share this with others in the family, and will take the lateral flow tests more frequently this week, to guard against infection and infecting others.

I believe we can live more and more by GOD’s Spirit. These times are tough. Let’s allow our Father to lead and guide us.

If He can share with me, He can share with any brother or sister in the Lord. May I encourage you to ASK Him, and if you have asked Him, wait upon Him, trust and yield to Him, allowing Him to reveal His timing, His schedule, His blessing.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Can Biological Warfare be Confirmed through the Creative Arts?

Movies come to life

I recently saw a film… I won’t name it as I don’t want to create any spoilers for anyone. But within the film, an integral part of the plot was biological warfare.

For me, that was a red flag. It “spoke” to me. It affirmed the thought I’d had and shared last month about bio warfare possibly being behind the Corona Virus pandemic — For me, it leaned heinously toward greater probability, more than I would like to have thought.

The film was made before the pandemic. However, like so many other films worldwide it was not released, because of the closure of cinemas. The making of the film suggests to me that the sort of creative imagination which draws from real fear and concern of the day was not original to me. Just as film and creative art in general often have a hand on the pulse of society before society has even identified itself, so the idea of biological warfare was and is a realistic threat. Art gazes back and reflects society, but it also looks ahead to where we are going. And so, for me, the film is a kind of ‘evidence’ of the possibility I’d perceived; the root behind our pandemic really could be biological warfare.

As a result of this nod to my way of thinking, I am re-posting the substance of a previous post. I hope you will forgive me if you experience this as a barrage or a ‘hitting over the head’ of my point. The thing is, I’m more convinced now than I was when I first wrote the following….

Church Division and Biological Threat

“How good and pleasant it is when brethren dwell together in unity…” (Psalm 133:1) How vital, life-giving, essential and valuable it is.

I don’t have statistics, but I’d hazard a guess that the church body of believers have not been as divided throughout the Church Age until now, as they are over the issue of vaccines and Covid-19. Yes, perhaps the Protestant Reformation was as divisive, or the Puritans v the established Protestant Church. But these divisions help to accent my point: We are not united as a body, and we need to be as an effective witness to the world in these monstrously chaotic times.

“What does it matter what you eat or what you put on…” Yes, our Father in heaven looks out for our welfare. But sadly, folks are drawing battle lines over whether or not to wear a mask, whether or not to take a vaccine. Some in each camp even insinuate that those in the other camp are losing their salvation! Some shout ‘the vaccine contains 666’!

GOD will surely give us clear insight

From my point of view, we are not all prophets. In very recent memory, many established prophets “got it wrong” about the US presidential election. So, it is far easier to prophecy or point a finger at someone and say, “GOD told me you should….” then it is to be accurate. I celebrate the gifts of the Holy Spirit and encourage others to express themselves. But in this current climate, I’d like to look at the fruit from the exercise of these gifts as regards issues surrounding the pandemic.

The fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy peace, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, long-suffering, self control, against which there is no law… (Galatians 5:22-23). In the hostility aroused over the pandemic issues, I see little love, joy or peace…

We are known by our fruits. What sort of fruit is being grown through this wrangle over whether or not to vaccinate? The fruit I’m concerned about is not fruit at all but hard-heartedness. 

Let’s not be hard-hearted

Jesus said regarding divorce, Moses only allowed it because of their hardness of the heart. (Matthew 19:8) Of such hardness Jesus was grieved (Mark 3:5) and Paul wrote of it in Romans 2:5 “But in accordance with your hard and impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of GOD.”

Dear friends, to whom did Jesus refer when he spoke of self-righteousness and hardness of heart? The pharisees. Are we not in jeopardy of behaving as pharisees over this issue of the pandemic? Are we unequally yoking ourselves with unbelievers when we protest and rebel?*

I hope to take us to a peaceful place instead, a place of rightness with others and with GOD as we say like Joshua, “As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

What is going on… really

One reason for protest against the actions and decisions of governments is triggered by a sense we are not being told the truth. That is quite possible… or at least it is possible and highly likely we are not being told the entire truth.

If we are in a place of harmony with our brothers and sisters in Christ, I wish to raise a topic — risking to open a can of worms, seeking to raise an issue that runs to a deeper level than the issue of the pandemic or the vaccine, though inextricably linked to these issues. 

Another possibility or back story to the pandemic entered my own mind recently, as I took time out to relax. As I allowed my mind and body to rest, an idea gradually surfaced in the void: We are in the midst of less a product of a medical pandemic, and much more of biological warfare.

This is pure speculation on my part, though born out of some contemplation after hearing a testimony of an American to some German medics about patent requests going back to 2003 for corona viruses and their vaccines: 

https://www.datascienceassn.org/content/dr-david-e-martin-testimony-july-9th-2021

Tracking my thoughts

How did Anthony Fauci and others know to attempt to patent for corona viruses and their vaccines almost twenty years in advance of this outbreak? How did they know about SARS and Covid-19? (Fauci failed to secure the patents he sought at that time, take note.)

Could the virus be purely man-made and it’s release not an accident? What if SARS was a deliberate attack during the GW Bush administration, against China? What if Covid-19 is a deliberate response? If we are engaged in biological warfare aka germ warfare, then is it no wonder we sense Western governments concealing something from us? It would be too undiplomatic politically, and too scary for citizens to hear these truths, wouldn’t it? Yes, perhaps our governments are not telling us the whole truth, but perhaps that’s for our safety.

We just don’t know what these viruses and vaccines are. We likely are not told the full story. If our governments know far more than they are telling us, maybe it is because telling us would be like putting petrol on a smouldering fire!

What if, I ponder… What if the enemy of my enemy is my friend? Thinking about Bill Gates, what if he’s actually trying to combat the Chinese and we, though caught in the cross-fire, are actually people he is trying to protect (contrary to what many think: that he’s one carrying the match!) What if?! We just don’t know.

In the big scheme of things

On the grand scale, we cannot know everything. Even Jesus didn’t know the date of his return, but only the Father (Matthew 24:36), so how can we possibly have the details of the Last Days, the machinations of Western and Foreign governments today, the intrigue and efforts of big pharma and big business? 

What is relevant to us

Though we don’t know the day or hour of Jesus’ return, and though we don’t know if his return is concurrent or consecutive with many other aspects of End Time prophecy, we do know more and more of his words of the End Times are coming to fruition.** In the big scheme of things, there is a remnant of followers of Jesus, a remnant in relation to the restoration of Israel with Yehovah GOD.

What we can do

We can draw close to GOD. We can be sure we are right with our Father, the Creator of the Universe. We can love Him and love one another just as Jesus commanded (John 13:34); we can dwell, abide, rest in Him.

We live on earth and yet are citizens of heaven, together. We can live together in love, joy and peace, that the world will know us by our love. 

As to wars and rumours of wars, whether they be biological or otherwise, these are not the end. Just as GOD forgives people time and again (Matthew 18:21-22), we too must forgive our enemies and our friends. We do not war against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers. (Ephesians 6:12) And so we do not look at man nor blame man, but we look to GOD and His son, our Saviour Jesus, and follow — by the power of the Holy Spirit — to the ends of the earth, even unto the end of this earth.

We prepare, prepare, prepare: we prepare ourselves through the study of GOD’s Word, we prepare our loved ones through the gospel message, we prepare the world through our love of one another, that Israel and the World might know us by our love, and Yeshua Jesus as reflected through that love.

Hallelujah! Jesus is alive, and so are we. Fear not! Jesus has overcome the World.

What to do with our nervous energy

Never before in my lifetime, and perhaps never in modern time, has society stood still as it did during the lockdowns around the world. What has been beneficial about it?

It has given us time to consider GOD. Have we done it? We who claim our Saviour and Messiah as Jesus/Yeshua, when we have had extra time to be with Yehovah GOD like never before, have we used this time and opportunity wisely?

We can dig into His person, His Word, His love, His embrace and His holiness. If we have not yet done so, we can do so now.

We can come together closely (as things open up), sharing our time, our food, with one another as they did in Acts 4:32-35, “Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.”

And we can love one another as he first loved us.

This my friends, I do believe, is the best way through the fiery times we are in and the fiery times ahead.

Again I say, Hallelujah! Jesus is alive, and so are we. Fear not! Jesus has overcome the World.

  • Some have said they attended protests as an opportunity to evangelise the gospel of Jesus, rather than to actually participate or endorse the protesting. Wonderful! 

** Ezekiel 39-44: the third temple – Is it true that the altar already exists as does the Levitical priesthood?

    Also: Hosea 14:2; Micah 7:18020; Joel 2:15-17

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Loneliness: defining it, identifying it, managing it

I had a dream recently and it helped me to understand loneliness.


The dream took place in an era past, where women wore long dresses — perhaps 150 years ago. The dream was about a young woman who was friendless. She was beautiful, quiet, pleasant, but she had no close friends.

One day she went for a walk with a prostitute. They were an unlikely pair, but they talked and in the end they had 10 minutes of passion which I did not dream but new had occurred.

To the prostitute it was a ministry time — she helped the woman rid herself of emotional tension. To the woman it was “glorious”, and she wondered if she was in love. To me, the physical intimacy was (inappropriately) a means to pause temporarily, the emotional pain and starvation from a lack of intimacy.

I am not advocating sex as therapy, nor am I advocating sex between two woman as righteous. I am advocating a serious look at what we as human beings need to feel whole and loved…. it is not sex. It is a meeting of the heart.

In the dream, I sensed the isolation the young woman felt. It was in an era before psychology, a time when the woman might not have known how to define or even to understanding what she was feeling, or the root of it. It was in an era when homosexuality was not acceptable socially or morally, and so it was not a lifestyle option to be advocated for. The woman was a lover of quiet beauty. For some unknown reason, she was unmarried and quite without family, not because she was an outcast but because there was no one with whom she talked to. She spent her time alone for no particular reason I knew in the dream. She just “was” as characters and situations often are in dreams.

The prostitute appeared in the dream, not as one pursuing income — for certainly that would only have come through engagement with a man. She too was alone, friendless, in a society where prostitutes’ only friends were other prostitutes. She was walking in the wood and came across this young woman and they talked.

I was not privy to their conversation but it was not about sex or lust or even about loneliness. They just talked and somehow had a mutuality. They enjoyed each other’s company. Somehow they also had a ‘moment of passion’. Had the dream continued long I suspect the young woman would have had to cope with great confusion about the relationship, the 10 minutes, what — if anything — to do about it. There was a fleeting moment to conclude the dream when an older man approached the woman, told her of his deep love for her, and she said she thought she was in love with the prostitute. I believe her sharing her secret with him, and his maturity and sincere love, would have directed her to understand her need for others, forgiven (for in that era it would be needed) her the 10 minutes, and guided her toward healthy emotional intimacy. If fact, the older man was probably GOD, the Father for us all, if we will embrace His love and forgiveness.

What this dream confirms for me

We live in a confused and busy society. Intimacy has been replaced with activity. But when the pandemic led to lock down, people’s engagement moved almost completely to online chats and activity halted. We had an opportunity to learn to engage, to engage differently yes but to at least engage. Some have done so, others have despaired from loneliness.

Loneliness is lacking intimacy and the way to cope with loneliness is opening our hearts to others.

To express healthy intimacy, we do not share lightly but wisely, finding others who are trustworthy and with whom we engage on matters beyond the superficial, also letting down the pretence of self-sufficiency.

We share wisely, with others who are trustworthy and non-judgmental.

We share at levels, more deeply with those closer. 

We share most deeply, if we are wise, with our Lord and Saviour Yeshua Jesus, and with the Father, though our walk with the Holy Spirit.

But GOD knows we need people. He created people because He wants to engage with others… He created David and Jonathan, friends who loved one another as brothers. Even Jesus, who had thousands of followers and a 120 numbered disciples, had his closest 12, his dearest 3 and John, “the disciple whom Jesus loved” as his dearest friend.

It is not easy to find close friends. And we become proficient in our society to learn to manage on our own. But we need friends.

Autumn is here and winter is coming

I’m posting this in September because we are approaching the winter season, This is the time when the light fades earlier and people step outside less often, not lingering on the street to chat with neighbours, which is for some, their only opportunity for conversation.

I’m posting this because we live in a society where sex has replaced intimacy for many people. All people are empty inside and are in need of love, care and communication, but sadly, some confuse intimacy and sex and look to fill the void with the latter.

I’m posting this because I realise I lack my truest close friend now that my husband has passed away… although even my husband was not as close to me as Jesus, with whom I receive total understanding.


I’m posting this because we all need intimacy. The deepest intimacy comes through our relationship with Jehovah GOD. But He knows we also need flesh and bone relationship and conversation — not just conversation on a superficial level, though that helps; we need a meeting of the heart. Sometimes this springs from shared activity; sometimes from analytical conversation and a sharing of ideas — a meeting of the mind. But we do need it. We are made that way. And it’s okay to yearn for it when we lack it.

I recently read in Elizabeth Elliot’s book Suffering is Never for Nothing, that love ultimately leads to suffering. I am not advocating suffering but I am advocating taking the risk of sharing earnestly with carefully chosen persons, which may lead to disappointment, suffering. Even though it might, I say this in advance: Don’t give up.

We are a lonely society, with more connections than we know how to handle, and perhaps without one or two we really need. 

I pray for us all, that intimacy with the Father will grow, and that He will lead us to others who will help to fulfil that void, the emptiness of loneliness, that only an earnest and healthy relationship with a fellow human being can fill.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ Watchman on Alert BLOG

Biological Warfare, End Times and being united as One Body

“How good and pleasant it is when brethren dwell together in unity…” (Psalm 133:1) How vital, life-giving, essential and valuable it is.

I don’t have statistics, but I’d hazard a guess that the church body of believers have not been as divided throughout the Church Age until now, as they are over the issue of vaccines and Covid-19. Yes, perhaps the Protestant Reformation was as divisive, or the Puritans v the established Protestant Church. But these divisions help to accent my point: We are not united as a body, and we need to be as an effective witness to the world in these monstrously chaotic times.

“What does it matter what you eat or what you put on…” Yes, our Father in heaven looks out for our welfare. But sadly, folks are drawing battle lines over whether or not to wear a mask, whether or not to take a vaccine. Some in each camp even insinuate that those in the other camp are losing their salvation! Some shout ‘the vaccine contains 666’!

GOD will surely give us clear insight

From my point of view, we are not all prophets. In very recent memory, many established prophets “got it wrong” about the US presidential election. So, it is far easier to prophecy or point a finger at someone and say, “GOD told me you should….” than it is to be accurate. I celebrate the gifts of the Holy Spirit and encourage others to express themselves. But in this current climate, I’d like to look at the fruit from the exercise of these gifts as regards issues surrounding the pandemic.

The fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy peace, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, long-suffering, self control, against which there is no law… (Galatians 5:22-23). In the hostility aroused over the pandemic issues, I see little love, joy or peace…

We are known by our fruits. What sort of fruit is being grown through this wrangle over whether or not to vaccinate? The fruit I’m concerned about is not fruit at all but hard-heartedness. 

Let’s not be hard-hearted

Jesus said regarding divorce, Moses only allowed it because of their hardness of the heart. (Matthew 19:8) Of such hardness Jesus was grieved (Mark 3:5) and Paul wrote of it in Romans 2:5 “But in accordance with your hard and impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of GOD.”

Dear friends, to whom did Jesus refer when he spoke of self-righteousness and hardness of heart? The pharisees. Are we not in jeopardy of behaving as pharisees over this issue of the pandemic. Are we unequally yoking ourselves with unbelievers when we protest and rebel.*

Instead, I want to take us to a peaceful place, a place of rightness with others and with GOD as we say like Joshua, “As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

What may really be going on

One reason for protest against the actions and decisions of governments is triggered by a sense we are not being told the truth. That is quite possible… or at least not the entire truth.

Once we are in a place of harmony with our brothers and sisters in Christ, I wish to raise a topic — risking to open a can of worms, seeking to raise an issue that runs to a deeper level than the issue of the pandemic or the vaccine, though inextricably linked to these issues. 

Another possibility or back story to the pandemic entered my own mind recently, as I took time out to relax. When I allowed my thoughts to rest, gradually, an idea came to me and took root: that we are in the midst of, not so much a pandemic, but of biological warfare.

This is pure speculation on my part, though born out of some contemplation after hearing a testimony of an American to some German medics about patent requests going back to 2003 for corona viruses and their vaccines: 

https://www.datascienceassn.org/content/dr-david-e-martin-testimony-july-9th-2021

My thinking trail

How did Anthony Fauci and others know to attempt to patent for corona viruses and their vaccines? How did they know so far in advance of SARS and Covid-19? (Fauci failed to secure the patents he sought at that time, take note.)

What if the virus is purely man-made and it’s release is not an accident? What if SARS was a deliberate attack during the GW Bush administration, against China? What if Covid-19 is a deliberate response? If we are engaged in biological warfare aka germ warfare, then is it no wonder we sense Western governments concealing something from us? It would be too undiplomatic politically, and too scary for citizens, to hear these truths, wouldn’t it?

And so, we just don’t know… what these viruses and vaccines are. And we perhaps don’t know the full story — Perhaps, if our governments know far more than they are telling us, maybe it is because telling us would be like putting petrol on a smouldering fire!

What if, I ponder, what if the enemy of my enemy is my friend? Thinking about Bill Gates, what if he’s actually trying to combat the Chinese and we, though caught in the cross-fire, are actually people he is trying to protect (contrary to what many think: that he’s one carrying the match!) What if?! We just don’t know.

In the big scheme of things

On the grand scale, we cannot know everything. Even Jesus didn’t know the date of his return, but only the Father (Matthew 24:36), so how can we possibly have the details of the Last Days, the machinations of Western and Foreign governments today, the intrigue and efforts of big pharma and big business? 

What is relevant to us

Though we don’t know the day or hour of Jesus’ return, and though we don’t know if his return is concurrent or consecutive with many other aspects of End Time prophecy, we do know more and more of his words of the End Times are coming to fruition.** In the big scheme of things, there is a remnant of followers of Jesus, a remnant in relation to the restoration of Israel with Yehovah GOD.

What we can do

We can draw close to GOD. We can be sure we are right with our Father, the Creator of the Universe. We can love Him and love one another has Jesus commanded (John 13:34) and dwell, abide, rest in Him.

We are citizens of earth and citizens of heaven, together. We can live together in love, joy and peace, that the world will know us by our love. 

As to wars and rumours of wars, whether they be biological or otherwise, these are not the end. Just as GOD forgives time and again (Matthew 18:21-22), we too must forgive our enemies and our friends. We do not war against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers. (Ephesians 6:12) And so we do not look at man nor blame man, but we look to GOD and His son, our Saviour Jesus, and follow — by the power of the Holy Spirit — to the ends of the earth, even unto the end of this earth.

We prepare, prepare, prepare: we prepare ourselves through the study of GOD’s Word, we prepare our loved ones through the gospel message, we prepare the world through our love of one another, that Israel and the World might know us by our love, and Yeshua Jesus as reflected through that love.

Hallelujah! Jesus is alive, and so are we. Fear not! Jesus has overcome the World.

What to do with our nervous energy

Never before in my lifetime, and perhaps never in modern time, has society stood still as it did during the lockdowns around the world. What was beneficial in this time?

It has gaven us time to consider GOD. Have we done it? We who claim our Saviour and Messiah as Jesus/Yeshua, when we have had extra time to be with Yehovah GOD like never before, have we used this time and opportunity wisely?

We can dig into His person, His Word, His love, His embrace and His holiness. If we have not yet, we can do so now.

We can come close together (as things open up), sharing our time, our food, with one another as they did in Acts 4:32-35, “Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.”

And we can love one another as he first loved us.

This my friends, I do believe, is the best way through the fiery times we are in and the fiery times ahead.

Again I say, Hallelujah! Jesus is alive, and so are we. Fear not! Jesus has overcome the World.

  • Some have said they attended protests as an opportunity to evangelise the gospel of Jesus, rather than to actually participate or endorse the protesting. Wonderful! 

** Ezekiel 39-44: the third temple – Is it true that the altar already exists as does the Levitical priesthood?

    Also: Hosea 14:2; Micah 7:18020; Joel 2:15-17

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Gluttony is Rife

This is a rarely examined topic, perhaps because we — in the West — are guilty, and eating is such a part of our lifestyle that we don’t see over indulgence for what it really is…

Recently, I was convicted by the LORD. Oh, I am not hugely overweight or ill; I exercise and eat a lot of fresh fruit and veggies. But I eat more than I need, and I snack. That is common. But is it righteous?

How I was convicted

When my husband Alan was seriously ill in hospital this past winter, I did a lot of praying, often late into the night. I didn’t feel much like preparing meals, let alone eating them. And so, I began to lose weight, weight which I’d been aiming to lose for nearly 10 years.

Alan passed away on 10th March this year. I didn’t feel much like eating after that either.

Then I began to realise I had been in the habit of eating far more food, far more often, than I actually needed.

Determined to make something positive from that horrible 3 months, I decided I didn’t want to regain the weight I’d lost. And I haven’t. How did I do that? By accepting that I eat far more than I require, and I eat more frequently than I need as well.

In the course of changing my eating habits, I realised how poor they’d been. I realised I’d been reliant on food, with eating as an activity and taste being a higher priority than necessity.

Gluttony is defined as unhealthy indulgence, habitual greed or excess in eating or drinking. It isn’t attractive (nor is the consequence of it). But according to the definitions, it is far more common amongst us than we might like to think.

I’ve attempted to execute more self control when it comes to eating.

Gluttony a sin?

The body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), and so of course we will consider anything we do in light of this.

Although gluttony is one of the “seven deadly sins”, that concept is not specific to the Bible; yet, we do recognise that we are responsible for our attitudes and actions. Excess of any kind could be considered a form of idolatry, and certainly it shows a lack of self control. But all this is a bit legalistic, isn’t it, when we look at behaviour rather than the heart.

Why do we over-eat? To comfort ourselves? And yet, the Holy Spirit is our comforter (John 14:15-17; Acts 9:31). If we eat to comfort, are we pushing the Spirit of GOD away?

Why do we over-eat? To celebrate? Doesn’t Jesus endorse celebration; witness the marriage at Cana, where he turned water into wine (John 2:1-6). Doesn’t the Father, as he created the Feast days (2 Chronicles 8:13)!

And yet, when we look into our hearts, do we need to over-indulge, and if so, why?

I am not endorsing gluttony. I am not, on the other hand, declaring celebration to be ungodly. I am encouraging myself to take responsibility and control over when, what and how much I eat. Just because I can eat whatever I like, and have the relative means to do so, does not mean it is wise or healthy or even godly.

What did Jesus say in Matthew, “For John came neither eating or drinking, and they say, ‘he has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘look a glutton and a winebibber…” but as Paul says in Romans 14:17, “for the kingdom of GOD is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

Whatever we do, let our minds be sharp and our hearts pure, allowing the word of GOD to dwell in us, and allowing our convictions to renew our minds with our actions to follow.

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue, and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)

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Politics and Society today Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Biological Bombshell

Reflections on Current Events: A possibility and what to do with it

Sitting still one afternoon this week, I just stopped everything for a couple of hours. And what was the result?

My mind began to do some simple addition.

I’m not saying I was or was not “in the Spirit”. I’m not going to ask anyone to agree or to disagree with me. I’m just taking stock of where the world is at the moment and something has begun to dawn on me… 

This particular afternoon, I had just listened to 30 minutes with Amir Tsarfati on TV7’s Times Observer (Teach us to Number our Days and Redeem the Time) discussing the geopolitical alliances that are being drawn up around the world which match Biblical prophecy. A few days’ previously, I’d heard a report given by David E Martin on the Data Science Association broadcast, stating in America that Covid patents and their vaccines were applied for as early as 2003 and continuously through the 2010’s. How could that be, when Covid-19 only first appeared on the scene in late 2019 in China?

What I’m about to suggest is not an attack on UK government.

My own view is that most governments are trying to protect people and are doing their best to deal with this virus. I believe that of my own government here in the UK. And contrary to the media hype which likes to pull down any and all government decision and action for their failure to be perfect, I think the motive behind an action is far more significant than any particular action or its relative success. So I am at relative peace with my own government, believing that whilst they may not be telling us the whole truth, they are attempting to protect us and our health.

But, in amidst this “climate of quiet” a light has dawned…

Before I made any decision whether I believed this brightening light of an idea, I messaged a dear friend, well-read on matters Covid, and aligned with me in the love of the LORD and the importance of Israel in these Last Days. She concurred with my thoughts, for the LORD has been revealing similar to her over a period of time, which for her began with dreams in 2017…. 

What is afoot?

I suspect and might now go as far as to conclude that we are engaged in biological warfare. I would purport to support this view further and suggest that Sars and Covid 19 were not accidents in nature, but deliberate attacks on foreign nations, respectively from the US to attack China and China to respond upon the Western world in particular. And I suspect the governments are all acutely aware of the situation.

In the natural, this is mere suspicion and I cannot prove it. I am not stating this as a conclusion or fact. Rather, I think it is simply the new reality we live in: nations are under attack and this chief method of attack is biological.

How I draw my conclusions

As I said above, I was taking time to reflect, and this is what came from the depth of my mind. Is it from GOD? I do not know. I think it is sound and it does not contradict scripture. Matthew 24 mentions plagues in the last days. How the plagues arise is not explained. We can assume it is disease, but there is nothing to prevent the possibility that it arises through “germ warfare”.

What do I do with this?

As or if the LORD leads me to do more than write here about it, so be it. It is more important what I do not do with it: I do not use it as a campaign to vent my dislike with how things are manifesting on the earth; Jesus did not imply the Last Days would be pleasant; we are called to pray for our governments and to obey the hands that lead us for GOD brings us our governments. 

I do not use it as a campaign against the government or media for keeping it secret for I suspect silence is their means to prevent full-scale panic. I do not use it to attack or despise other nation states, for “we do not war against flesh and blood but against principalities, powers….” (Ephesians 6:10 onwards) 

If anything at all, I use this as a catapult to minister to others the love and salvation of Yeshua Jesus.

“Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33b)

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Street Evangelism: a short testimony of encouragement

What a whirlwind, what a hope. It seems after two decades, life is being rebirth into street evangelism.

Oh, it never died. Street pastors have been working tirelessly, and food banks and lay people have continued to provide food to the homeless. 

But in my life and that of those around me, far fewer have been out on the streets in recent years. So when the opportunity came to me, I heard the still small voice and followed it.

I changed my plans for the day, joined three brothers in the Lord, and went to Oxford High Street. Oxford: centre of academia. Oxford: where history meets contemporary lifestyle. Oxford: where for a few hours, residents met an opportunity as GOD knocked on the door of their hearts. 

Many responded: some with anger, some with mocking, some with hope. We talked to the hopeful, dialogued with the cynical, prayed for the people who passed by.

There were two souls saved, one who learned the name of Jesus for the first time ever. One couple who accepted prayer and perhaps went away considering a lifestyle change.

There was hope in our hearts and we four shared a meal together before disbanding.

There is hope in my heart that there will be much more of this.

For this I live and move and have my being.

When was the last time you felt alive in your life in Christ? It should be every day. May it be so, for me and for you. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Ecclesiastes 1 & 3

Who is seeking wisdom in these days?

In prayer, I sought to ask the LORD, what should I post this week and send out in the newsletter. He led me to Philippians 4:8 and to encourage the reader to consider this in light of Ecclesiastes, Chapters 1 and 3. If we are in the End Times, and I do believe we are, how appropriate it is to consider Solomon’s life, his wisdom and his mistakes as we contemplate our own lives as we walk with our Lord Jesus…..

Chapter 1:

The words of the Preacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem.

“Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher,

“Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.”

What profit has a man from all his labour

In which he toils under the sun?

One generation passes away, and another generation comes;

But the earth abides forever.

The sun also rises, and the sun goes down,

And hastens to the place it arose.

The wind goes toward the south,

And turns around to the north;

The wind whirls about continually,

And comes again on its circuit.

All the rivers run into the sea,

Yet the sea is not full;

To the place from which the rivers come,

There they return again.

All things are full of labour;

Men cannot express it.

The eye is not satisfied with seeing,

Nor the ear filled with hearing.

*

That which has been is what will be,

That which is done is what will be done,

And there is nothing new under the sun.

Is there anything of which it may be said,

“See, this is new”?

It has already been in ancient times before us.

There is no remembrance of former things

Nor will there be any remembrance of things that are to come

By those who will come after.

*

I, the Preacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. And I set my heart to seek and search out wisdom concerning all that is done under the heaven; this burdensome task God has given to the sons of man, by which they may be exercised. I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed, all is vanity and grasping for the wind.

What is crooked cannot be made straight,

And what is lacking cannot be numbered.

I communed with my heart, saying, “Look, I have attained greatness, and I have gained wisdom than all who were before me in Jerusalem. My heart has understood great wisdom and knowledge.” And I set my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is grasping for the wind.

For in much wisdom is much grief,

And he who increases knowledge, increases sorrow.”

***

Chapter 3:

To everything there is a season,

And a time for every purpose under heaven:

A time to be born,

And a time to die;

A time to plant,

And a time to pluck up what is planted;

A time to kill,

And a time to heal;

A time to be break down,

And a time to build up;

A time to weep,

And a time to laugh;

A time to mourn,

And a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones,

And a time to gather stones;

A time to embrace,

And a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to gain,

And a time to lose;

A time to keep,

And a time to throw away;

A time to tear,

And a time to sew;

A time to keep silence,

And a time to speak;

A time to love,

And a time to hate;

A time of war,

And a time of peace.

*

What profit has the worker from that in which he labours? I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity into their hearts, except that no one can find the work that God does from beginning to end.

I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labour — it is the gift of God.

*

I know that whatever God does

It shall be forever.

Nothing can be added to it,

And nothing taken from it.

God does it, that men should fear before Him.

That which has already been,

And what is to be has already been;

And God requires an account of what is past.

*

Moreover I saw under the sun:

In the place of judgment wickedness was there;

And in the place of righteousness,

Iniquity was there.

*

I said in my heart,

“God shall judge the righteous and the wicked,

For there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.”

*

I said in my heart, “Concerning the condition of the sons of men, God tests them, that they might see that they themselves are like animals.”

For what happens to the sons of men also happens to animals; one thing befalls them: as one dies, so dies the other. Surely they all have one breath; man has no advantage over animals, for all is vanity. All go to one place: all are from the dust, and all return to dust. Who knows the spirit of the sons of men, which goes upward, and the spirit of the animal which goes down to the earth? So I perceived that nothing is better than that a man should rejoice in his own works, for that is his heritage. For who can bring him to see what will happen after him?

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Three keys to following Jesus

In my walk with Jesus as a believer, I have realised three keys to following Jesus. These are:

  1. recognising the grace of GOD in my life, 
  2. having a hopeful attitude in life, and 
  3. being aware my perspective toward others must be to put others first.

These are the three keys to my life today, as a follower of Jesus.

Grace of GOD

I have been overwhelmed at the amount of grace GOD has provided as I adjust to the death of my husband. The LORD has upheld me and my teenage son, and others in the family. He has made us stronger than one could ever imagine; we are detached from emotionalism or self pity, wise beyond our experience in how to allow ourselves to grieve without being swamped by the grief, and have been dowsed in the prayer of many others. His grace has been enormous.


Recently, I became particularly aware of His grace through His lifting of some of it.

In the last month, I have been extremely busy with work to do. I have had to focus and have had less time than previously to process all the thoughts, spiritual questions, and paperwork which has arisen with Alan’s passing and my being the sole executor of his estate. When the work arose I thought, “Well, the LORD must think I can manage.”

As I engaged in my responsibilities, I continued to spend time with the LORD, but regrettably less, as I had so much taking up my time. Then I became aware that I was reacting with irritation or impatience as I had been before Alan became ill… part of my flesh which was then burnt away, I thought, through his illness and passing. But here it was again, and I didn’t like it.

I did have confirmation through a faithful and courageous sister in the LORD who spoke to me, gently, that I was not showing thoughtfulness as I might otherwise show. Her word to me was confirmation of what I was already sensing: I need the grace of GOD to live, breathe and move forward in life.

The Lesson: Never underestimate the power and range of God’s grace, and never underestimate its importance and value. 

Hopeful attitude

I made a decision when my husband died to trust the LORD, even though I’d lost my husband.

No matter what happens in life, the sovereignty of GOD will carry us when we allow it.

The Lesson: Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart….”

Putting others first

I am a diligent worker, responsible, reliable, organised. That’s all good, but sometimes I get tunnel vision. I am told that I am a loving and a kind person. However, there are plenty of times I can confess to allowing the need to get a job done to take priority over my love toward others. 

Something happened to me during the weeks and months of Alan’s hospitalisation… I relaxed about the “to do’s” in my life. Everything was put aside to engage with Alan, and with the LORD, to secure Alan’s recovery. After Alan passed away, this translated to the care of family and friends in their grieving as well.

By nature I’m pragmatic. While I don’t want to lose the qualities that enable me to get a job done, I don’t want to forfeit the nature I’ve acquired more recently to put the needs of others before the need to get a job done.

The Lesson: God gives us enough hours to do the things that need to be done. We don’t need to lose sensitivity and patience in the process of fulfilling our responsibilities. My nature does not need to be dictated by how much I have to do.

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

We always have a choice

We always have a choice

What we think or how we act upon our thoughts is up to us. We do not have to be a victim to our emotions or our judgments. Rather, what we choose to put our attention to is our way forward…

Emotion is powerful, and sometimes deceptive. When we recognise a pattern in our behaviour, where our emotional reaction to powerful feelings of anger, fear or annoyance tipping into judgementalism — either against ourselves or someone else which brings about chaos, we need to break the cycle. We need to address the emotion; but we do so with consideration and care. It is not by reacting or even responding (which tends to be a more gentle way of taking action than a knee-jerk reaction), but by making a conscious choice to pray, contemplate, meditate, reflect… anything but react to our emotions. For whatever circumstances may come our way, it is our emotional response which is of our own making and of our own choice. Never do we have no choice, never.

How can I say “never”?

I am coming on pretty strongly… How can I say “never respond by feeling”? What about love, passion, enthusiasm? Ah, I am not saying we must avoid all feeling but I am saying it is important we are not driven by our feelings. Feelings are intense and momentary. We can enjoy feeling. But they are often lacking in the fruit of the Spirit — acting in competition to it in fact.

We always have a choice

Choice comes when we allow our Father Yehovah to renew our minds.

This morning I was thinking about my husband who died just four months ago. I was going down a line of “What if we’d made different medical choices?” and I realised quickly the futility of that line of thought.

I am not avoiding reality by doing so, but rather choosing what I allow my mind to dwell on. I can catch myself thinking life-giving thoughts or catch myself thinking hopelessness and despair. I catch and release by conscious choice, not by the power of emotion.

When I dwell on the Lord, and dwell on his presence, my spirit soars and I am able to handle whatever circumstances may come. This is how I got through my husband’s illness and death; I will not abandon a good and proven strategy to be overtaken by negativity, futility and frustration.

I can choose how I spend my day, my life. I can choose joy and peace — and I do. I allow the Lord to draw me to His truths, and as I do, He shows me the pathway of clarity, peace and discovery. Sometimes these discoveries will be exciting and sometimes they will be painful. But when I dwell in His presence, and choose to abide in thoughts of hope and life, those areas which are painful will come in due course, but with the covering of His timing and the presence of His Spirit.

That is choosing life. And it is the Way I encourage us all to take.

Scriptures to dwell upon


Philippians 2:9-11 says, “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” 

When we think about Jesus, our minds are taken to a wide open place full of goodness and away from the narrow view of ourselves.

Jesus brings reality and he brings life, all the more abundantly when we abide in Him and allow our thoughts to reflect the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faith, patience and self control…. “Against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23)

Finally, we can make our thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5) and tear down that death-inciting force which attempts to poison our lives by poisoning our thoughts. In principle, we can take any thought, pinpoint it and literally peg it down, tell it to stay and turn our backs on it, leaving it forever.

Of course the bedrock of all of this comment is Romans 12:1-2. We must be surrendered and allow the LORD to renew our minds if we are to overcome, to grow, and to be the persons GOD has created us to be. How we think leads to how we behave. Let us be filled with the Spirit, with renewed minds of Jesus.

Let us all walk on water

Dwell, abide, be still… These words surround us, draw us toward the presence of GOD. His presence allows us to be above the storm and to walk on water rather than be swamped by it. It is our choice. It is our responsibility. It is our hope.

…. forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, [we] press on… (Philippians 3:13) This is perhaps my favourite scripture, because it allows me to move forward in Him, regardless of what has already gone before.

Amen.

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Words Matter: they define our thinking

What matters is matter

In physics, matter is that which is concrete, tangible, evident.

Although our words seem intangible, yet words matter — and are matter. In reality, our words make truth, create truth. That which is spoken can all the more become reality, simply in the speaking. 

“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with GOD and the Word was GOD.” John 1:1 and “In the beginning GOD created…” Genesis 1:1

Imagine this: The Word spoke and the earth, the universe, all points in between and surrounding, came into being. That is powerful. The intangible became tangible, simply by being spoken into reality.

And so I come to my first point which is this: What we say — and even that which we think whether we speak it or not — matters. Jesus said if we even lust after a woman we have committed sin in our hearts…

Align our thoughts and our words to GOD

Our thinking needs to be aligned with GOD or we create a reality that is less than optimal. 

The first step to aligning our thinking with GOD is to recognise we have a choice in what we think; there is fleshly thinking and there is surrendered thinking. This is what Paul was referring to when he wrote about the renewing of our minds in Romans chapter 12:2

“Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind…” 

Where we stumble in our thoughts and words

To begin then, let’s recognise — let’s agree — that we always have a choice. We do not have to be victim to our thoughts or our words. That is negative emotion creeping in, blocking our peace, our submission to the Father and our relationship to the Holy Spirit. “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit…” (Ephesians 4:30)

Choice

What we choose to think, what we choose to say, can be GOD-given and GOD-centred, or me-centred and flesh-centred. 

Choose life… and that more abundantly. Let’s begin with our words and our thoughts.

Proposed action

Meditate on this principle and if you “get it” great! If not, keep meditating until you do. Try going to the scriptures, using Bible Gateway online to look up “thoughts”, “word”, “speaking” and the like. What does GOD say to you, directly and/or through His Word, to bring you to a fuller understanding of the power of our words and our thoughts in our lives?

“Be perfect as our father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)

“Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12)

These aren’t just instructions or commands. Rather, these are promises that are possible when we trust the Word, lean not on our own understanding, but allow our minds to be renewed by the Lord Jesus so that we catch all his meaning…. and our lives are transformed into his likeness.

Amen.

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Recovery from Loss and Facing Times Ahead

Green shoots of Recovery from Loss

When you have completed a typical task that requires concentration and mental agility, when you’ve done it to your usual standard and you look over it and say, “Oh, that’s alright!” you then might realise you didn’t think of your lost loved one, or feel any weight of distraction in the doing of the task. You recognise, “Ah, I must be recovering.”

That’s what happened to me in May and I’ve been doing alright since. I’d say I”m in recovery mode.

Recovery

Just as recovery from illness can take time, even when the the actual illness is behind you, so too can recovery from grief take time.

“To every thing there is a season and a time to everything under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

Facing times ahead

Now my workload is increasing and I’m finding it requires an energy and mental agility I didn’t know I had it… and I don’t quite. But that is the LORD nudging me forward. That is all part of His goodness.

The LORD always knows what’s in store in our lives, even though we may not. Paul says in 2 Timothy that there will always be persecution. And so, as many of our societies today are celebrating evil and denigrating good, it is logical to think persecution is coming our way. 

What about Persecution

Any believer may be hit by persecution without much warning. This can be a direct blow to us, or to a loved one. We pray for protection — may the glory of the LORD be our rear guard — but we also acknowledge the reality of attack and seek the strengthening of our faith.

I believe we all need to be ready for changing circumstances, some of which may cause us grief: loss of status, loss of employment, or even loss of a loved one.

Know this: with Persecution comes help

“You will keep you in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3

Whatever may come, He prepares us. Whatever may come, we will recover. If our life is taken, those left behind will recover. Just as persecution is part of the believer’s walk, so too is recovery. 

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me. Bless His holy name. Hallelujah! Such is the best way forward: praise!

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Power of GOD in Ephesians

How closely have you looked at Ephesians lately?

The power of God is encapsulated in Ephesians. Have you had a taste lately?

I was reading it through recently and paused after chapter 3, so overwhelmed and amazed at the promises therein….

“that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body,” and “that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man,” (Ephesians 3:6a, 16)

Yes, it is the letter that winds up in chapter 6 teaching us about spiritual warfare. But even before that chapter, it is rich in the promises of the power of GOD to all who believe and are children, followers of Jesus. All the power of the promises to Israel, all of the power of the resurrection of Jesus, all of the power of those who believe are expressed in Ephesians, open to gentiles as well as Jews.

I urge you

Study it. Digest it. Allow it to cover your soul and capture your spirit. Trust it. The Word of the Lord is rich and powerful… Allow it to embrace you and you will grow exponentially. This is what each of us needs — to grow into the likeness of our saviour and lord, Jesus, Yeshua Messiah. Today, why not begin with Ephesians…..

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Shaking off the Dust of Condemnation

No Condemnation

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1)

This verse is key to our ministry. How? Without the condemnation of those who despise the Jesus in us, we are free to express our faith without looking over our shoulders, thwarting the evil expressed through others. This is vital.

Jesus said of those who do not accept the gospel, we are to shake the dust off our feet. Why? Because that dust is condemnation which seeks — and often does — weaken us.

We are not to carry a spirit of fear, but of power, love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7) but how can we do that when we are battling the rejection and sorrow of those who reject us, reject Jesus in us, reject and condemn us? It is impossible to placate a spirit of condemnation. We must walk away, walk toward freedom, and accept that some will not accept us as we are and so we must leave them to their own opinion and sadly, to their own condemnation. 

Victory for Christ lies in leaving behind all that is not Christ. It may be family, it may be hopes and dreams. But the promise of freedom is sure. 

Freedom

Freedom is walking toward Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. Freedom is not doing, having or getting what we want. It is not our will but GOD’s will in us that brings us freedom, for there is no gain in receiving merely what we want, but there is much freedom and victory in yielding our will to GOD’s and receiving His deliverance from self. Free will is not my will; it is freedom from my will. Hallelujah!

Salvation is not only for eternity in heaven. It is freedom from fear, in the here and now, freedom from the condemnation and rejection of others. Walk away. It’s alright in God’s eyes that we “give up and leave to Him” the salvation of others. In fact, it is His command. 

In Matthew 10:14, speaking to his disciples Jesus says, “And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or that city, shake off the dust from your feet.”

He knew rejection hurts, and to that he said, just shake it off!

Love but Leave

Love others. Love your enemies. Turn the other cheek: Yes. But shake off the dust from those who will not accept the gospel in you. Love from a distance. Your ministry will survive. In fact, it will thrive without the condemnation that often brings with it self-doubt and a deterioration of the confidence so needed to walk the walk of GOD. 

Trust GOD in all circumstances

Release those who reject you. Walk away. Test and see what the LORD will bring instead.

In Jesus’ name, I pray we all are able to do this. Amen.

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Equality in Marriage – from Hosea

A verse reveals GOD’s equality in marriage

There are so many verses that create controversy between man and woman over equality, submission and the like.

I’m going to dwell at Hosea 2:16 today, just for a moment. This is for your reflection and consideration.

Hosea 2:16 says, ““And it shall be, in that day,” says the LORD, “that you will call Me My Husband and no longer call Me My Master.””

We know that we are the bride of Christ, called so because of the references Jesus uses toward us as his bride. In Matthew 25, with the parable of the wise and foolish virgins, Jesus provides this familiar point of reference.

But in Hosea, we are spoken of as the bride of Almighty GOD. 

Of course, Hosea was the prophet called to marry a prostitute as a prophetic gesture to point to the compromise and prostitution of Israel against the LORD. Hosea suffered, to mark the LORD’s rejection by His chosen people.

But in this verse, we see how dearly He longs for relationship and that we do not need to fear Him in the sense of a slave to his master, but to embrace him as a wife does her husband.

This verse speaks to me of mutual love and devotion, not about submission, obedience or suppression.

Those husbands who love their wives as they do themselves (Ephesians 5:25; Mark 12:31) with respect, value and appreciation, do so in the way the Father loves us all. The marriage relationship should not be about who reigns, but about how love rains down upon us and nurtures us.

In that day we shall all call him My Husband. Oh for that day on earth to give such glimpses of peace and glory. Amen.

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Why does a Bible teacher teach?

My husband was a teacher of the Word of GOD. My son has a godparent who is also a teacher of the Word. What makes teachers tick? Why does a Bible teacher teach?

Background

When I met my husband Alan, he was 34. 

The LORD had told him when we first met to “take care of this woman” as I was newly arrived in England to study. As our friendship developed, Alan shared with me some things about his calling to teach. He had devoured Bible resources as well as the Word itself during undergraduate university days, often ignoring his courses of academic study (engineering) preferring to study GOD’s Word.

He wasn’t particularly diplomatic with people when I first met him, because the Word was his priority. But he loved the LORD and knew he was called to teach His Word. He met with opposition, and I suppose as a trained barrister, didn’t mind a good conversational scrap! I thought it was because he wasn’t great with people. But it would prove not his imperfect social skills — which GOD in him would later come to perfect — that held him back. What prevented his teaching from advancing at a relatively young age was his “unorthodox” perspective. He did not teach wrongly, for the call of a teacher is very strict and woe to any who misstep. 

James writes, “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.” (James 3:1)

No compromise

No, Alan’s teaching has proved to be rock solid, though his thinking was often unconventional rather than neatly fitting into the Evangelical box. He looked at scripture: not at what was taught by others as convention but what was actually there. He made no common assumption, but rather challenged assumption to see what the Word said, no more no less. That attitude has always reminded me of the texts about maintaining the accuracy of the Bible text.

In Revelation 22:18-19, John writes, “For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”

What a Bible teacher teaches

Alan and other teachers may not always go with the flow of common interpretation of scripture or rely on Sunday School perspective. What Alan and others who are called to teach (which is not the same as preaching) is revelation of the Word of GOD, no more, no less. Their motivation is to make the Word more accessible to others and never to compromise

Something palatable can be dangerously close to something untrue; a called forth teacher will devote time and attention to every thought before sharing. Just as there were false prophets in times of the Jewish Covenant as we read in the Old Testament, so were there also false teachers in the New. 

“But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies,” (2 Timothy 2:1)

Look for simple but deeply profound truths

A teacher of GOD’s Word will challenge, encourage, and convict those who have listening ears to hear. The teacher wants his audience to discover for themselves what mysteries are within the Word.

Never underestimate the depth of GOD’s Word or doubt the unveiling of new thought to our old minds. As Jesus said, “No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; or else the new piece pulls away from the old, and the tear is made worse. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine bursts the wineskins, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins.” (Mark 2:21-22)

We need to be open to what GOD’s Word actually says, rather than what we think it says based upon sermons or Sunday School. We need to study to show ourselves approved and a good, godly teacher will enable us to do that.

Challenge yourself to read the Word

What is really there? Concepts exist in the Bible that are not actually stated. And some belief systems are built upon misconception and false assumption.

For example, did you know the word “Trinity” is not in the Bible? And nowhere does it say “God the son”? Did you know that the animals in the ark were not a single pair each of every animal type? There were 7 pairs of some and not of all. Why not all the same?

Did you know the single verse “wives submit to your own husbands” is followed by “husbands love your wives” followed by eight more verses outlining how men are to do that?

Do you know that every significant marker in Jesus’ calendar was preceded by Old Testament law and feasts?

Look for yourself… 

It is possible to learn, simply by reading the Bible. If you listen enough to how Alan teaches, you’ll catch how to read for profound truths and relationship for yourself. You can hear some teachings here: 

https://tmc-church.org.uk/preacher/tun-alan/

Or go to www.revelationtv.com and look up old Bible Study programmes where Alan is part of a group of three men, looking deeply into the Word of our God.

So all, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

What is Worry?

What is Worry?

Worry is simply looking to the outcome rather than trusting in GOD.

Worry changes nothing but strives to give us a false sense of control. It is pointless and it is harmful, robbing us of the profound testimony of our faith in Jesus and those around us, of GOD’s assurance and of His peace. But we can overcome.

Psalm 37:7 says, “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.”

Worry not. Fret not. We are looking in the wrong direction when we worry.  Look up, look out! Let us not look forward to the future as though we have an influence over it. Rather let us look up to GOD, look out to those we love, look into the Word of GOD which takes us to Him, then we shall continue to move forward in faith. 

“And the peace of GOD, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7) 

May this be so. Amen. Hallelujah!

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Widows, Orphans and Psalm 35

Why GOD emphasises protection of Widows and Orphans

In His word, GOD emphasises protection of widows and orphans. Why?
Because they have lost their covering and they are more vulnerable in society as a result.

“Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” (James 1:27)

Covering

The concept of covering goes back centuries. Covering is that protection from harm that comes to children through their parents, particularly their fathers. Western society has lost this sense of covering and we witness much damage. Women without their father’s covering so often languish in bad relationships or promiscuity, because they have freedom without the wisdom that comes from a father’s care. Statistics reflect that boys without fathers have a significantly higher risk of engaging in criminal activity and generally score more poorly at school than those with fathers.

Virgins have their father’s covering. Children and wives have the father/husband. But only GOD covers those lacking husbands and fathers. And throughout his letters, Paul in particular draws attention to this.

“A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, is GOD in His holy habitation.” (Psalm 68:5)

Fatherless

The loss of a father is profound. GOD knows this and offers provision today through His Church. It is also ingrained in Jewish culture, which goes back to Biblical times.

When vulnerable

Recently, I was reading Psalm 35. I tend to dwell inside the Psalms each morning to start my day. Psalm 35 is packed with protection and defence, asking GOD’s help and protection from those whom we have loved but who have turned against us:

“Fierce witnesses rise up; They ask me things that I do not know.

They reward me evil for good, to the sorrow of my soul.

But as for me, when they were sick,

My clothing was sackcloth; I humbled myself with fasting;

And my prayer would return to my own heart.

I paced about as though he were my friend or brother; I bowed down heavily, as one who mourns for his mother.” (Psalm 35:11-14)

I realise that before I was widowed, with those who didn’t accept me, my husband covered me. Now, I must allow GOD to guide, protect and cover me against those who may wish to contend with me.

“Plead my cause, O LORD, with those who strive with me; 

Fight against those who fight against me…. And my tongue shall speak of Your righteousness

And of Your praise all the day long.” (Psalm 35:1, 28)

I’m choosing my battles more carefully than ever. Some battles arise that are not worth the effort, whilst others are essential to GOD’s witness.

Moving forward

Sadly, we will always encounter challenging circumstances and those who do not accept us. Nevertheless, GOD gives us the ability to be full of His grace toward all, without becoming victims. Prayer and the LORD cover us, though we may be fatherless or spouseless; we are never powerless, never without protection.

Offer help and comfort 

“They also opened their mouth wide against me, and said, “Aha, aha!

Our eyes have seen it.”

This You have seen, O LORD; do not keep silence.

O Lord, do not be far from me.

Stir up Yourself, and awake to my vindication,

To my cause, my GOD and my Lord.” (Psalm 35:21-23)

As we read scripture, we see others have come before us who have suffered unrighteous treatment and condemnation. We are not defenceless and have the LORD at our side. As we draw attention to GOD’s Word we find He has given us the words and thoughts to pray which will cover and deliver us.

Victory

“Let them be ashamed and brought to mutual confusion who rejoiced at my hurt; Let them be clothed with shame and dishonour…” (Psalm 35:26)

However, “Let the should for joy and be glad, who saviour my righteous cause” (Psalm 27a)

We pray for protection from enemy attack and for confusion over those forces which would seek our destruction. We celebrate those who give us support and praise GOD for them in our lives.

Resolution

“And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD; it shall rejoice in His salvation.

All my bones shall say, “LORD, who is like you, delivering the poor and the needy from him who plunders him?” (Psalm 35:9-10)

The LORD offers us divine protection, covering, and delivers us from evil. Challenge and attack may come, to strengthen our faith and relationship with GOD. But in facing the challenges and trusting in the LORD, we grow stronger.

We can “trust in the shelter of Your wings” (Psalm 61:4) but for those times when we must persevere in a spiritual battle, He covers us and gives us the strength needed, whether we are fatherless, widowed, or simply walking our faith journey on our own.

“….Blessed are all those who wait for Him.” (Isaiah 30:18)

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Manifesting the Miraculous

Never give up. Never give in. Believe. Ask of the Lord, the Healer.

As we trust in Him unconditionally, He will manifest His healing and deliverance.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

And

“For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death.” (Philippians 1:19-20)

We do not know how the LORD will respond to our prayers but He will always respond to our prayers. Deliverance will come. Trust it is the best deliverance, be it life or death, because it is the LORD’s deliverance.

The miraculous is not impossible and not incredible. It is spiritual. The Spirit is without limit. Let us not put limits upon the Holy Spirit, but may we surrender our will, our body, our mind to the Holy Spirit and entrust Him to work through us. Then the miraculous may be manifested.

Hallelujah!