Categories
Reflections and Poetry

Life is in the Blood – forth phase of Covid: Aftermath part 1 Why did Alan Die?

Why did Alan die?

Who are the crowd of witnesses that is mentioned only once in scripture, in Hebrews 12:1, 

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.”

Is Alan amongst that crowd now, cheering those of us who remain on earth to finish our race? Is he cheering me, and Jordan, and Izzie, and others? Is he interceding with Jesus on our behalf, or for members of his family who have not yet recognised Jesus as their personal and the world’s saviour?

And what of 1 Thessalonians? Chapter 4:13-18 states, 

“But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.

For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.”

We who are wide awake await, along with those who are asleep, for the return of Jesus… which I take to mean that, like us, they are wait for the return of Jesus to earth, though they are in the heavenly realm while we are on the earth, until we meet all again when we are all joined with Jesus in the air.

Perhaps to the LORD there is no difference where the saints are, though for us, we feel great loss at the departure of those who have fallen asleep.

SPIRITUALLY: 

And as for Alan?

One thought: His character had reached the level where he was ready to do what he’s called to do with the LORD.

We are put on this earth for a reason. When we have grown to the level of character that we are called to grow to, we can then go on to complete the works that we are meant to do with GOD.

Alan had reached his level of character. And so perhaps he was given the opportunity to go. That is my explanation, in a spiritual sense, of why Alan went to sleep.

Alan fought hard to remain with us, out of love for us, not out of clinging to life. He had reached a level of desire fully and completely, to surrender to our God. It has been our passion, both of us, to live our lives fully in the spirit, for many months — perhaps even for years. It is still my passion to live a perfectly loving and surrendered life, to do the miracles that Jesus performed, to be full of the grace and truth of GOD.

In the ordeal that was Alan’s illness, we both attained a measure of maturity we didn’t really manage to discuss but we encapsulated it in this instruction we gave to one another to,

“Walk on water”

Alan knew when he left me, that I was able to walk on water and so he could, with peace in his heart, leave me to go where he so wanted to be. We have both been promoted: togetherness is what marriage is about, and advancement is what the Kingdom of GOD is about.

Alan loved. He had huge grace towards others. He did not leave us because that would be unloving. But exhausted physically, he had to stop fighting for life. And he entrusted our lives on earth to me, and I must be ready to take on the responsibility on my own.

I suppose I’ve considered that, if the Lord thinks that I can cope, then I must be able to cope.

What is gone… What remains

Alan and I so wanted to work in joint ministry. I encouraged him to write his teachings, but it wasn’t something he felt compelled to do. He encouraged me to build on my singing ministry, though I felt that season had largely passed. We had ideas but lacked thorough clarity for Sabbath Rest Ministries, a Ministry that we launched but which in the main lay dormant. What I noticed in the last couple of sessions of the Bible school which he lead was that he was even preaching, something he was not originally gifted to do. One dear friend said his teaching on Revelation Bible Study had been promoted too, to a deeper richer level after years of experience.

I was left here because I had grown to the level of character where I could be entrusted to manage without Alan…. to be entrusted with his children, to be entrusted with the level of theological understanding that we were both given together. Yes, Alan was the Bible teacher, and wonderful at it. But theologically, we were very much together in our understanding, love and total trust in GOD’s word and in the finer points of theology.

Revelations: Church of Philadelphia

There is one more related scripture I’d like to highlight in the pursuit to understand “why Alan died”.

Revelations 3:10 states, “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I will also keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.”

Is it possible that the LORD took Alan before tribulation, peril, the end of the world as we know it, simply so he would not have to endure the heartache of the falling world completely fallen?

Verse 12 says, “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more….” Is that what Alan is doing now? I he a pillar in our Lord’s temple? Hallelujah, that is a mighty encouraging thought.

Conclusion

And so, why did Alan die? His body was done. But that is only the visible aspect. Alan died because he was ready to live elsewhere, ready to be used of GOD in the way GOD would want to use him, fully surrendered to Him in a way that we call “glory”.

Alan left my presence because I could be trusted. That I find totally encouraging. I miss him, long for him. But I’ve processed until in some deep measure I have answered why? I have peace, knowing Alan is right where he wants to be: in harmony with the Holy Spirit, in discovery of the answers to questions he could not fathom out in his own study of the Bible, and full of absolute joy.

During one recent church service, I felt the LORD’s presence upon me and He said, “Alan is worshipping in total freedom now”.

For those not of faith, how can I know this? It is my life’s work, hope and mission to know GOD better. The test is the fruit. The fruit born out of the pain, prayer and suffering that Alan endured in his illness and I endured alongside him in spiritual prayer, has manifested in more love, more hope, more joy, more goodness. These are called the “fruits of the Spirit” and they ripened in Alan and are ripening in me.

Praise the LORD. If we pursue Truth it will always be revealed and manifested. If we seek, we will find. GOD is consistent and He is good in honouring His Word. Thank you LORD for guiding me until I have had revelation of why Alan died. In his death there is more opportunity for those who love the LORD to grow, which was Alan’s passion. And for those who don’t yet embrace GOD, they may consider why Alan lived the way he did. A peek into a Bible which meant so much to Alan, will help an unbeliever to discover the secrets of Alan’s heart and mine.

MEDICALLY: 

Leviticus 17:11 states “the life is in the blood…”

The medics kept thinning Alan’s blood in order to prevent clotting and to bring down the heart rate. It did neither, though it rendered Alan weak and feeble and prolonged his life. The doctors weren’t able to see the connection between Alan’s continual weakness and the thinning of his blood.

I asked for vitamins to boost the “life” in Alan, but except for Vitamin D they rejected any other request, citing no medical proof the vitamins did any good. I specifically asked for Zinc and CoQ10; they declined.

I believe wholeheartedly that the doctors did all they knew how to do. But they could not attack the virus (that was finally defeated when I saw two spiders and D and I prayed until the spiritual attackers were dead, dead, dead) and they did not recognise by thinning the blood they were extracting the life out of my husband. 

In the end, his small intestines died, either from malnutrition or blood clots, the former eluded to just before his death, the latter cited on the death certificate.

I am not bitter or angry. I am sad that my husband died and didn’t need to have died. And yet, I pray this message reaches doctors and the public: 

“Mankind needs GOD. Britain needs GOD. Doctors are not GOD, nor is the NHS  (National Health Service), nor is the government. Although all these parties do their best, they are a small, weak, minuscule power against death and darkness compared to GOD.”

Alan is in a better place now, and will never grow old. That is a bittersweet truth. I am left raising a beautiful young man on my own, yet with a host of family and friends who love us both dearly. 

Lesson for me, for us all

It is still too soon to know all the lessons that I will receive from the loss of Alan’s life on earth, but there will be more, of that I am certain. 

There are short term lessons such as, I have learned how to receive and that I am valued and loved for myself; I have seen how my son matured through the experience of my husband’s illness. I have experienced the role of conductor as I sought spiritual prayer warriors to pray Alan to health. But Alan did not have to die in order for me to learn these lessons. These lessons and more were learned through the trial and not his death.


Perhaps one lesson through this is for us all: To trust GOD and accept His will, and discover that death can come even when the LORD does not will it. Could this be true? Can a sovereign GOD not be sovereign? 

Where do man’s actions and God’s will intersect and where do they divide or run parallel, I do not know. The body of the man died, but his should and spirit live on.

GOD said to me repeatedly and confirmed it through others also, “Alan will recover”. God is not a liar. And Alan did revive and recover — though only to pass away ultimately. So how is it that Alan was not restored to life? He did not return home to thrive as was believed by thousands praying. 

With the very best of intent, man intervened and destroyed that possibility. Man is finite where GOD is infinite. That, for now, is what I know.

May GOD bless each and every one who reads this post, and may you find encouragement, enrichment and continue to thrive as you develop your relationship with the Father of All.

Amen

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

Umbrella of Hope

Does anyone know 

the depth of your power

the strength of your love

the force of your will?

All have fallen short

from grace we descend

to mercy and love

pleading forgiveness.

Does anyone know

the height of your cover

the breadth of your presence

the umbrella of hope?

Forever we yearn

forever we strive

forever we bend —

refusing to break.

Does anyone know

the truth of your Word

the language of trust

the heart of you?

Does anyone know

who You really are?

Categories
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.

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

Transformation: life with — and without Alan: a reflection

I woke up this morning and for just a second, I forgot my husband was dead. It gave me the opportunity to recognise how much GOD has been transforming me, as well as the gift of experiencing once again, however briefly, life with Alan.

And when I remembered life with Alan, I felt whole. 

I’m able to contrast how different the feeling inside of me is, from what I used to live. No matter how much courage the LORD provides, no matter how much assurance I feel, no matter how safe I am, there is a hole. By his grace, I have avoided self pity. By his grace, I do not wake in the morning in floods of tears or weighed down with a sense of grief. Supernaturally, the LORD has covered me and through the prayers of brothers and sisters in Christ, for which I am hugely grateful, I am okay:) But there is a hole where Alan was in my life and life for just a second this morning did not have that hole. I was freer, lighter and more assured, just for a split second. Thank you LORD for revealing the contrast, because in the contrast, I can see a little of the pathway you are carving out for me…

Processing life

I have a tendency to process my thoughts and feelings. By process I mean “to put into context who I am in Jesus”, where I am going, and where I came from.  What I’m about to write is candid, earnest, and a reflection of my innermost thoughts. I do this because I hope it will be useful to someone else, and because I’m lacking people to talk to who have known me for much of my life. My husband of 28 years is gone, my family is far away, my parents passed away some time ago, and friends and Christian family around me have not known me very long. This is partly because we moved around quite a bit and so roots are shallow — because of the relatively short space of time I’ve lived where I am now, and partly because like most people, I don’t reveal myself completely, I’m not surrounded by people who know me really well. I hide, or try to hide, the imperfections, and put on my kindest, warmest persona in public.


But like so many of us, I am deeply imperfect. 

Yesterday I had a conversation with a sister in Christ. Apparently, I had spoken a couple of things in a prayer meeting that jarred with others. It’s really good that this sister came forward to share with me, and also really good that we could have an honest conversation. There was no defensiveness in me, and no blame from her. Hallelujah! GOD was present in us both. To describe the conversation will take me on a tangent but it is important to the point I am seeking to make in this post which is that GOD is available in every moment, every encounter.

We chatted as women do… Then she said that a couple of people had come to her after our most recent online meeting, unsettled by a couple of things I’d said. Would I mind if she told me what was was their concern?

I like honesty, however, history reared its head and I thought of gossip and hearsay and the pain that these has caused in my life. So I said that I prefer when someone speaks to me directly.

But in the end we both clarified and she went ahead to say that by my encouraging a two people in the meeting, in fact I had therefore discouraged those whom I hadn’t encouraged. I never saw encouragement/discouragement in that light before. 

Secondly, I had made a theological point in the meeting which is that when we overcome something, we gain in the Spirit, an authority over it. I used Covid as an example, which I have had and have overcome (and I suppose I should have used back aches or something less inflammatory). I suspect like the first example, the others took me to mean I have authority in something others haven’t, which is not what I said, nor what I meant, but nevertheless my words carry responsibility and I had spoken somewhat carelessly.

My sister knew I did not intend to hurt and she was gracious. She wondered if I might be feeling a strain after Alan had passed away. I also shared that in the last few weeks I had felt pushed in busyness beyond my comfort zone, and had spent relatively little time to be still with the LORD, which I craved.

Busyness

I have noticed for a few weeks, maybe up to four, that I have had far less time to sit with the LORD, and have been drawing on my inner resources to do some work that needs to be done. Today I noticed I was a little short-tempered with a customer service person who had rung me for information on a kitchen delivery*. Oh, fortunately, I didn’t lose my temper, but internally, I was tense and I know that reflected onto our conversation.

I have been making a lot of decisions lately: the paperwork mostly finished as the executor to Alan’s estate, the result is income coming in and responsibility for decision-making going out, and a little arrogance at my ability to manage has likely crept in.

Manage is a relative term of course. Firstly, if our temperament is affected or our character hampered, we are not really coping or managing. I firmly believe that to the degree we are in our own strength rather than moving with the Holy Spirit, that is a degree of failure. We all are failed and that’s why we need Jeshua / Jesus. I assure you dear reader, that am not being hard on myself. By his grace, I have come a long way in the 35+ years walking with Him, Hallelujah! But with Alan’s passing, a huge anointing/covering/blessing has been put into, over or upon me, and some of that has receded in recent weeks, largely due to a lack of time spent being still with GOD.

I think the LORD revealed to me this morning where I was in my spiritual journey a few months ago by giving me a glimpse of life before Alan died, so I could see how much in these few months since his illness, I have grown.

And I think the phone call from a dear sister give me a glimpse of how I’d fallen a little out of that growth in recent days.

Always thanking GOD

Every encounter, every moment, we are graced by GOD. Sometimes I wonder, have we been over-trained in spiritual warfare and do we sometimes look at discomfort in our lives as an attack, rather than as a lesson or warning? We can embrace the moments of discomfort as part of our learning, and when we do, we gain self discovery and a deepening of Jesus within us.

A fine balance between confidence and humility, arrogance and inner strength

What I have learned is that all goodness, all good gifts, truly do come from GOD. I am not a good person without Him. I am not a kind person without Him. I am not a wise person without Him.

By His grace and His grace alone, I am living without feeling miserable today — or any day. By his love, I am loving. Through His joy, I laugh. By His mercy I am able to cry — to release sadness — and then to feel alive again.

I need the grace of GOD

I need the grace of GOD in my life more than I’ve ever needed it before, because I have more decisions, more encounters, more responsibility than I have ever had before. His grace has been carrying me, and I ask LORD, please fill me with continually with your grace.

Apology


To anyone I’ve grieved recently, I’m truly sorry. To anyone I’ve been abrupt with or impatient with, I apologise. To anyone I’ve not expressed gratitude at a kindness, please forgive me. To anyone to whom my words have brought confusion, I am sorry, for GOD is not the author of confusion.

I am not my normal self. Folks will give me a lot of latitude for that, because out of compassion they recognise I am a recent widow and I am going through a difficult time; I fully appreciate their grace. But also, by His grace, and only His grace, I hope I never will be the same again, because I hope He will continue to improve me and grow me.

I want to continue with “The Life is in the Blood” journey of Alan’s battle with Covid and his hospitalisation because, in a way, it speaks for Alan. I’ve not posted anything of it in the last few weeks. I hope you’ll bear with me when there are breaks. 

Every blessing.

* Alan and I purchased some rental flats which I’ve been managing for fourteen years; one of them has needed a new kitchen for some time and a recent vacancy has allowed me the opportunity to have one installed.

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

The Finely Dressed Man: a poem

Once upon a time

There was a finely dressed man

He lived here and there

to fulfil his mandate

Blessing others

By teaching the Word.

*

Then one day

He spoke against the Virus

Thought it was overblown

til it blew him away

To heaven he went

Leaving surprise in his wake.

*

What are we to do?

Now that he is gone

Trust in the LORD

though the man was not restored;

Instead misperception led him

Now with his Maker.

*

We live one life

Making most of our moments

The finely dressed man

gave love and wisdom away

Where was supply

When he needed it most?

*

GOD knows, loves

And He forgives

God bears witness

of our love for Him

When all are gone

He remains, embracing.

*

Once upon a time

Was this finely dressed man

Who loved and was loved

til the end of his time

Now he stands dressed in majesty

Before his LORD.

*

Clothes don’t make the man

But GOD dresses him

In love, truth, beauty and joy

To wear his heart

Carry his dream

Always heavenward.

*

Once upon a time

Was the finely dressed man

Too shortly spent 

he came, he went

When heaven sent

Then all lament.

*

It is done, it is done

Life is finished 

All too soon….

Yet the finely dressed man

Amongst the Cloud of Witnesses

Rejoices.

*

Robed in the company 

Of angels.

Categories
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.

Categories
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.

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

Life: A Leaf – a reflection

Life is like a leaf —

delicate and beautiful

We can let go the tree

and float and drift

Or hang onto the stock,

maintain our nutrients.

Though most may let go

I remain

where safety and freedom

suspend in equal balance.

The Lord is our rock —

he is also the Tree of Life

Remaining in him we choose

complete freedom

in security.

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

Decision-making: Flying solo – a reflection

The hardest part about losing one’s spouse, after the initial tragedy has been overcome, is the decision-making alone.

Alan and I made decisions together. In fact, we often saw a different perspective and didn’t agree…. but we discussed and worked out the way forward. Alone, there is no one to work out the choices, no one to debate or discuss with, no one to check my perspective; I am alone.

I caught myself feeling sorry for myself yesterday. It’s a no-go area…. Life ebbs and flows. We all face difficult circumstances. Some experience persecution, some loss, some irritating inconvenience. But each of us must rise above the circumstances, “walk on water”, trust — and lean upon — GOD and know He is our advisor, our shelter, our love and our friend.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “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.”

Peace comes from knowing and trusting Father GOD. It does not come from our circumstances. Loneliness can be overcome far more easily when we trust Him. So, I seek His advice, perspective, through prayer, reading the word, asking friends for insight (and then weighing it), and through resting in Him. 

I have many decisions and choices to make along life’s way. I miss Alan being in that process. But GOD didn’t allow this situation to abandon me. He allowed it so that I might draw more closely upon Him. And I am. Hallelujah!

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Reflections and Poetry

Life is in the Blood: ICU – third phase of Covid p3

The Life is in the Blood:

Visions from the LORD, prayers of others

There were so many images of life ahead for Alan, there was so much encouragement from a vast network of believers who were praying, there was so much hope and confidence in the LORD, as I navigated through the time of Alan’s unconsciousness. 

The steadfast prayers of the saints, some of whom I know — and many who got wind of Alan’s illness through that network and were praying through — these were such a huge support which kept me going. In fact, those who prayed for Alan have gone on to pray for us as a family since, and I find it absolutely remarkable how well we are doing in spite of Alan’s passing away. 

I am aware of GOD’s presence and know the prayers of His faithful saints are making such an impact on an otherwise horrible situation.

Two pathways

On several occasions, two parallel paths presented themselves to me, and I always chose the one of life. 

Dream: dressed in black

One morning I awoke from a dream in which I was wearing black — the quintessential funeral clothing. I prayed against anything that could be deemed an obvious interpretation.

I shared it with a prayer network as well, a group of fine prayerful folk, who also prayed against an outcome to Alan’s hospitalisation where I would be wearing black.

Although fleeting, two different paths that would lead from Alan’s intubation: one of death and one of life, came to mind from time to time. I don’t remember anything specific, just that there were two possibilities. I dismissed one.

I always chose to observe the thought, path, expectation that Alan would lived. I thought that was how the LORD was calling me to focus. In hindsight, perhaps he was letting me know it might go either way.

Release to the LORD

Three weeks after Alan regained consciousness, with steady improvement in fits and starts, and doctors at last expecting him to live, Alan was exhausted and asking when he could leave ICU.

I remember as I drove home from hospital the day Alan had stomach pain, the same day Dr M had begun the information sessions to give Alan context for his current situation (as mentioned in the last blog post), I remember distinctly passing the shops I have passed many times, and I said,

“LORD, you said Alan would recover, and I believe You. I turn it all over to you. Whatever outcome you decide, I surrender to…”

Hours later I would get a call to say Alan’s condition had worsened; the stomach pain had been a marker indicating some complications had arisen. Hours after that, I was invited in to hospital; moments after arrival, I was told Alan was not going to survive the night.

We must surrender

In all things, we must trust GOD. Did I give up on Alan? No! Did I give up on the power of GOD? No. What I did was give GOD the freedom to do as He knew best. 

After Alan’s passing, one dear friend said the LORD had told him that… “Alan was tired and just wanted to come home.”

I believe that if my release on that drive home the day before Alan died had any effect, it was to release the LORD to give Alan an answer to his prayer — to be set free from exhaustion and pain.