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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Faith is a Delicate Thing: both a choice and a gift

“Praise the LORD, O my soul!

While I live I will praise the LORD;

I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.” (Psalm 146:1)

Faith is delicate: both a choice and a gift

As I embrace this psalm I am aware of how my attitude is instrumental to my faith. Yes, faith is a gift of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) but my attitude is my own. By the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:1-2) we can have the mind of Christ, but this depends upon the choice we make daily, whether to embrace the LORD or to embrace the world. 

Gratitude is a way forward

When we face all circumstances, we can rejoice. But how? One recent Shabbat morning, I began to list all the good things in my life. Though life is fleeting and both joys and sorrows come in like measure, we can choose which events, conditions, or circumstances we dwell on. Choose life! Choose Jesus. Choose abundant life because he came to give us life and that more abundantly. (John 10:10)

More Faith

When our hearts are downcast, when situations are full of strife rather than life, what do we do? We are human beings, made of flesh with blood coursing through our veins. What if we feel overwhelmed by our external circumstances or our internal frustrations? Then we ask the LORD for more faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for. Faith is the evidence of what is unseen, intangible. (Hebrews 11:1) Faith carries us when what we experience is bleak. Faith enables us to endure. Faith is not what we drum up by our will, but rather it is a gift from GOD. GOD is a giver of good gifts; when we ask, He is able to deliver.

Trust Faith

When we feel at the end of our tether, we look to faith which endures. Our feelings are fleeting. They are robust and passionate and all-encompassing at times, but they are only based on our thoughts and attitudes. Faith endures beyond ourselves. Trust faith, that which we know in our hearts and have built through life experience, that which is in the word of GOD which never fails us.

Emotions are temporary, but faith endures.

Trust faith. Choose faith. Ask for more. And allow endurance in our faith to carry us through any challenge, surprise or obstacle. 

When the Hebrews were in the most desperate situation, trapped between the Red Sea and the advancing Egyptians, all looked bleak. But Moses took faith and proved the salvation of the LORD. We each face our Red Seas and our Egyptians from time to time, but we have our LORD, who is mightier than any sea of affliction or man of war. Trust faith: “stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD”. (Exodus 14:13) Be still, wait upon the LORD, allowing Him to renew your strength and deliver you from all fear, affliction, entrapment or snare of the enemy. 


Hallelujah, Jesus conquered and through him we also are “more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37) Trust GOD, ask for faith, and he will deliver.

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Crises produce Miraculous Discoveries

Lessons out of Crises

I learned while Alan was sick how miracles are manifested, healings are fulfilled: We watch and we pray until it is agreed in heaven. Then, we leave it to GOD. And we see how crises produce miraculous discoveries.

I learned how to ignore sentiments of others which are a deterrent. Yes, people love and care and want to help. But sometimes they have needs and when you are called to focus upon the healing of your spouse, attention cannot be diverted.

I experienced significant and practical application for “the two shall become one flesh” (Matthew 19:5); a spouse can literally stand in the place of the other: to breathe, eat, pray when the other cannot.

I learned to embrace the fear of the LORD rather than to shrink from it; GOD can be scary, only because He is all-powerful. He is also all-loving, so we do not need to shrink from Him.

I learned to appreciate the input of others but not to respect any of it above the wisdom that comes directly to me from GOD. Doctors, nurses, well-meaning experts and friends: we can hear their opinions but we do not have to accept them. In fact, in great measure, I learned to reject opinion of others in favour of Truth.

Why Covid?

One purpose behind this Covid… has been to encourage people to look up! and to pray to GOD. He has all the insight and all the answers. It may require more patience (also called long-suffering) on our part, to wait upon Him and to wait for the manifestation of His answers. But that is a gift from GOD (Galatians 5:22) for which we can easily ask. Remember, “the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (James 5:6) And so, as we surround ourselves with others (Psalm 133:1) who know how to pray, we learn and grow. And GOD shares with us His pathway to the miraculous.

Amongst believers — illness, pandemic, world panic (however it is veiled as progressive science) can draw us to rely more upon Him, to look more to Him, to grow more like Him. That has been and continues to be my aim.

Word of Warning

There is no need for weakness in this battle, the battle which belongs to the LORD. “For GOD has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

If you believe GOD, believe that, and if you believe that, live it!

Some might suggest I am denying the difficult path I am now on, that of one who has lost her husband and best friend. But rather, may I encourage readers that I am taking the word of GOD for what it is: living and powerful, and that gives me comfort and courage.

Hallelujah, the LORD reigns in us.

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

The Life is in the Blood: beginnings of a manuscript

How a perfectly healthy man died of Covid

On 10th March 2021, Alan Tun went to be with the LORD. This is not a euphemism for he died. Isaiah 44:6 says he is not dead but is alive.

Alan was my lovely husband. This is the story of how he battled, how we battled for him, and how we lost but he won! Death has no victory for the one who trusts in Jesus, but oh, there is a sting for those who remain behind.

For those who do not know Alan Tun, he was a Bible teacher, as called in Ephesians 4. He was a modest yet confident man, never promoting himself but always willing to teach anyone who would listen, how to look inside of scripture for the kernels of life that bring us to a deeper understanding of the truths in Biblical scripture. We had excellent discussions together, and the LORD made us totally compatible theologically. No matter how annoyed we might get with one another, no matter how we might misunderstand one another on a human level as married couples often do, we always saw theological things from the same perspective. God gave us that gift. And so I think I can tell this story from our perspective, even though Alan and I had relatively few words from the time he first took sick.

On 19th December, Alan began to feel unwell, with a headache, general weakness and loss of appetite. This is the place where the story begins…. of how a perfectly healthy man died, not directly of Covid-19, but from other issues which arose as a result, even to include the valiant medical attempts to save his life.

This is a spiritual look at why Alan’s home address has changed, and how those of us who remain on earth have a choice as to how we recognise God in the story, or don’t. Those who knew Alan will know that to him, choice is man’s most important freedom. As a barrister and Bible teacher, he simply would present the facts and allow others to decide: do we want to believe the Bible and live by it, do we want to be s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d? Or do we want to live within our own limited but safe mental framework, religious teaching, or anti-God perspective? The choice is ours and the consequences are ours. 

Now Alan has no limitations. That is exciting. And that is how I choose to accept his death — and his new life — apart and yet together with me.

(It is quite possible this book may be presented partially in serial form on a weekly basis… but I shall take one week at a time)

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Mourning: the Key is Perspective

When we keep our eyes on Jesus

One of the deep lessons I learned in the weeks praying vehemently for Alan’s recovery was to keep my eyes on Jesus, and to ignore the storm that was raging.

Now as Alan has passed away, I am learning the importance of applying the same lessons as I work through the process of grieving.

Romans 12:2 says, “Be thou transformed by the renewing of your mind…”

How we think and perceive is at the very core of how we live, minister and overcome.

I had two really lousy days this week, then I remembered to focus my eyes, my attention on Jesus. In so doing, my soul is revived.

I cannot articulate all that is going on with me, as the wife of a lovely man who went “too soon” — from our perspective. 

Gazing into the world

From my window earlier this week, I watched as an elderly man mowed the lawn of his even older relative. I thought, There he is, and Alan was only 62. I do not begrudge the longer life of another man. But it was hard at that moment not to wonder why Alan had to go so soon.

And yet, I come full circle, realising that Alan was ready. The LORD was ready. I was not ready but I must catch up.

I feel much of my married life, in so many ways, was catching up to Alan. 


Focus

When we mourn, we keep our eyes on the Master. He will not leave, he will not forsake, and in time, he will even answer many of our questions. Some answers we will not receive until we meet him face to face. But in the meantime, we can watch, listen, read the Word, and actively wait for the answers to some of our questions. I find music really helpful; it lifts and carries me through.

And always we can hope that what seems dim now will become much clearer, in time. “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12)

God bless

Alan’s funeral will be held at 1pm on Monday 29th March. For those who want to view it as is it livestreamed: https://tmc-church.org.uk/ No password or permission required to view.

For those who want to view it later: https://tmc-church.org.uk/preacher/tun-alan/

I will post a link to the Order of Service on my Facebook page and also on this website.

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Alan Tun: total freedom in Christ

My darling husband is totally free.

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” (Galatians 5:1)

These words of Paul refer to the Jewish law of circumcision, but also relate to this life on earth. We are aware of the trappings of this life, although we are aware we are meant to live an abundant life.

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)

The earth is in war. There is evil and sorrow, there is goodness and joy; yes, there is much joy in life. There is beauty in earth, sea, sky, relationships and so much more. And yet… heaven has even more.

With Alan’s inverted thinking, then taking the Gospel for exactly what it says and with no assumptions, leads us to the logical conclusion that death is not to be mourned, not for the person who has died. He has moved to an address which offers so much more.

I am not a robot. I am not dead. So I mourn. I have a 16 year old son who will now grow like is father but without him. It is tragic, but only remains a tragedy if we refuse to look beyond our limited vision.

Why did this happen?

Since we know that GOD is good and rewards those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6), and since I’ve already established in my mind, as well as in my experience with Alan in his last hours, that Alan was ready to go to be with him, then on what basis did the LORD think of me? Did He abandon me or my son? Not at all.

My logical conclusion to what has occurred is that he trusts me to be able to handle this life without my husband. He trusts our son to grow up in the knowledge of the LORD even without his father. We trust in the LORD with all our hearts (Proverbs 3:5) and so when we look to that scripture, to actually implement it, we can choose to trust it.

Alan’s perspective

Alan always looked at scripture afresh. He looked deeply, rather than at an obvious understanding. We need the obvious when we are young, but as we age in faith (Alan came to the LORD as a teen), we see through the glass more clearly.

“For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12)

Now that Alan has left us, he sees it all. His perspective will not be limited to his logical, truthful, consistent approach to scripture, but will be limitless, inspired and full of all truth.

All glory to GOD!

Be transformed

What would most honour Alan’s life other than a look at the Word of GOD?

Romans 12:2 says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

Are we going to allow ourselves the freedom to walk in this truth?

The logic of prayer is that if you pray and receive, then you walk in the change. As hundreds of people prayed for Alan’s recovery, though he died, now they are praying for his family who are alive. And so I have the peace and sometimes even a bit of joy, as I work through the natural changes that come with my husband’s passing.

The world is a complex place, full of both joy and sorrow. We mourn the dead for ourselves much more than for what they lose in departing. Although there is much in life, when a life is moved to heaven to the man who loves His LORD, why mourn? He no longer suffers frustration, injustice, heartache, or imperfection.

My understanding of Alan

Alan had transformed to be near to the person GOD created him to be as possible. So it was time for his mission in Heaven.

To my mind, Alan has passed away because:

He was refined to the image GOD had of him

He was ready to go

He had more to learn that was only available in Heaven

And so…

I miss my dear Alan, but I am confident that the tasks each of us has are to be carried out in different places. I wish it were not so, and yet, Thy will be done, LORD. 

“The Joy of the LORD is our strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)

When we meet tragedy, we must allow ourselves to live in it, but also allow ourselves to overcome it. We who know Jesus are different from the world, and so we must walk differently.

Alan is well worth listening to. If you’d like to do so,

For Alan’s bible study audios and visuals you can go to: 

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

For Bible studies with other presenters, go to: https://www.revelationtv.com and look up the huge supply of Bible Studies.

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

A Testimony of Grace

“My grace is sufficient” He reminded me, as I prayed before going to visit my husband in hospital…. Here is a testimony of grace, which followed after.

I had asked the LORD, “Is there anything in particular you want me to say”, asking in advance because it is so hard to sense GOD’s presence in a hospital. “My grace is sufficient” was His response. And I knew also, I must pray for His presence to be with us as I visited.

The visit was short, because my hubby was weak and tired, partly because the doctors had given him a medicine that historically drains his blood pressure, medicine they think he needs (therefore they keep trying), which I can see he does not (because I and others like me have prayed the Lord’s protection against medicine he does not need).

I left the meeting and was full of emotion, primarily frustration at the blindness of the well-meaning, well-trained doctors. What precipitated was a 24 hour period without GOD’s grace, though it would take me overnight to even realise the grace had gone.

The despair I was experiencing in the day that followed the visit to hospital was new in this journey of my husband’s recovery. By nature an emotive person, for the last 2 months, I’d been filled with calm detachment, resolve, and determination. Some of these descriptions come from others who have observed me, some of my own recognition. But suffice to say, I gradually realised my patience, a gift from GOD (Galatians 5:22), had been spent and I was needing His grace so that I would not become hardened toward this situation nor to anyone.

I was tested. 

Half way through the next day, a doctor rang to tell me they were lifting the medication that so badly reduces the blood pressure (Praise the LORD) and were taking a test of an internal organ — one the LORD had confirmed was healed.

After the phone call, the oppression which had hounded me since the night before began to lift. At the 24 hour mark, I realised His grace had returned and I’d been on a journey of discovery: discovery of what it is like without His grace; what it is like for those who lack relationship with the Creator of the Universe; what it is like when I am not bathed in His anointing; the distance from my past, when I didn’t know as much of His grace as I do now — how hard hearted or judgmental I can become when I am not in His grace. 


Yes, I was under attack from the enemy. But I was also being tested: how would I behave without the grace of GOD? Would I fall back into old habits or had my character changed? Was I tempted by my emotions or was I grounded in love for Him and others?

I think I passed the test, although of course that is for the LORD to decide. There were moments in that 24 hours when I had options: I could do what I deemed best, or wait; I could follow my will, or give way to the LORD. 

Hallelujah! I think I did not fail. Even without His evident presence, I think I had sufficient grace. I did not lose my temper or give way to despair. Truly, His grace is all any of us needs.

So, when His grace is present, trust Him; and if His grace has lifted, trust Him even more, for it will return. His grace is sufficient to carry us through. Truly, we can “do all things through Christ who gives [us] strength”. (Philippians 4:13) 

Categories
Examining Biblical Scripture Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Spirit v Flesh

When all is said and done, the Spirit brings life and the flesh does not. 

We have a choice in this life as to how to be guided: spirit v flesh — which will we choose?

“Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” (2 Corinthians 3:17)

Spiritual Walk

For those of us who know Jesus, every road we walk, every journey we take, is an opportunity to grow spiritually. As we surrender, so we grow into maturity and into freedom. It is so vital to embrace whatever comes our way, if we want to walk the Jesus Way.

There are no coincidences, no mistakes, and no surprises for GOD. He is sovereign and as we embrace that reality, we find great peace. Yes, we make mistakes, but Our God has room for our mistakes. It is better to walk in peace than to fuss about mistakes. 

Our mistakes are part of the roadmap — markers taking us closer to our destination: dwelling in the unity of the Spirit with our Saviour. As we yield to the Lord, surrendering our time, efforts and hearts, we grow closer to him and we become more like him.

Jesus said to his disciples, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.” (John 15:4)

Fleshly Walk

On the other hand, when we seek our own will, or fret or fear our circumstances, we feed into the flesh, where there is no real power or revelation. We might get what we think we want, but it will not be fulfilling.

“… those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed….” 2 Peter 2:10

Though we may be most capable, yet, His capabilities far outweigh our own.

Surrender, Pray, Praise

May I encourage us all, myself included, to walk the walk of faith, focusing on what the Word of GOD speaks into our situations, and yield not to the flesh. 

How do we do that? 

We take time: We stand still and see the salvation of our God (Exodus 14:13).  We wait upon the LORD to renew our strength. (Isaiah 40:31) We worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness (Psalm 29:2). We trust and obey (Isaiah 50:10).


The fruit of the Spirit

I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

Now the works of the flesh are evident,which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God. 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.” (Galatians 5:16-26)

As we yield to the Lord, we see His provision and His wisdom. So, let us trust in Him and lean not on our own mental processes (Proverbs 3:5). 

Acknowledging Him enables us to walk by faith and see His salvation in all our circumstances. The outcome is as the LORD chooses, but when we rest in that throughout any situation, we have that peace of GOD which truly does pass all understanding. (Philippians 4:7)

Hallelujah! The Lord reigns.