Categories
Reflections and Poetry

Spousal Bereavement: in difficult times love makes a difference

A thousand thank you’s is still not nearly enough

How can a wife show love and gratitude for the respect, appreciation and friendship her husband has received in his life and which has been conveyed even after his death, through good wishes, prayers, cards, emails and messages?

How can I crystallise what your kindness has done for me and for my family?

A writer uses words, but I’m bereft of words.

I have discovered somethings new about my husband in his passing: he held deep friendship with some he knew only in passing, and received tremendous respect from colleagues years beyond their working together. He was a good man and I was not the only one who knew it!

Yes, Alan was a fine and godly man. But he was also a friend to so very many people I may never have the pleasure to meet. 

So I say this to those who valued Alan the way that I valued Alan: Thank you for sharing your love of him with me in this time of his departure. It will stay with me to share with his children and his children’s children.

Thank you. And you will always have a friend in me:) 

Much, much love to all.

Sarah

sarahtun@laruspress.com

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

Heart Attack: the first phase of Covid pt 1

The Life is in the Blood aka When the Music Fades (manuscript beginnings about the hospitalisation of Alan Tun)

One morning recently, I awoke to the memory of learning of Alan’s heart attack. Never was I so relieved to hear such bad news.

At the time, my son Jordan and I were joyful at the news of Alan having incurred and overcome a heart attack, because to us, it meant that the doctors had finally found the source of the continual fatigue and lack of healing in Alan since he had been admitted, even and though he’d been getting great care and all the oxygen he needed. Cardiologists dealt with the heart attack by putting two stents in the artery that had been blocked and Alan — conditional on respiration recovery — would soon be home.

So we thought. We all thought: family, doctors, Alan.

It was instead, the beginning of a decline that would be relentless leading to induced coma.

So, the saga of Alans illness and ultimate journey into his glorious destiny with Jesus continues from last week’s introduction, for those who are interested.

I am not one to dwell on the past. One of my favourite scriptures is from Philippians 3, “Forgetting what is behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on…” Paul says. And I am like that in my general attitude to life.

The idea of rehashing what happened to Alan is not what’s on my heart. There is no blame to attach because everyone, from prayerful friends to family and relatives, to doctors and nurses on the wards, worked painfully hard to bring Alan to health, and yet he died. GOD is sovereign, and so couldn’t He have saved Alan? These are not the points spurring on my writing about his time in hospital. So why do it then? It isn’t for catharsis. I suppose I document this because I think it is an interesting story, quite intense and full of scripture and prayer and spiritual warfare, and honouring to a man who fought beyond physical strength to stay in this world for the sake of his family and friends and all those whom he taught… even though he had no fear of death whatsoever and knew he would go to a safer, happier, holier place when ever he did finish here on earth.

The story begins

Alan had been ill since the 19th of December. He’d had a nasty ongoing headache, aches, and enough nausea to mean he had virtually no appetite. I gave him hot echenacia and lemon, vitamins: especially C, D and Zinc (though he refused to take them all daily). He had no fever, no continuous cough, no shortness of breath, no change in taste or smell (except one bad tasting banana, which should have put us on high alert). I’d had the same headache and pains which turned into a cold, and fully recovered after 4 days. Jordan had had a headache a few days before me. We all thought we had the flu of a sort and were taking it in turn.

But one evening, on day 11, I awoke in the night and Alan was on the floor. He told me it was the second time he’d collapsed in the night, even though he said he didn’t feel short of breath or dizzy. Why didn’t I call the emergency straight away?

I phoned the doctor the next day but couldn’t get our own so I left it one more day. On day 13 we spoke with our doctor who was patient and rather emphatic, saying that “of course you have Covid” and she arranged for a clinic appointment.

It was very cold on 31st of December. We drove to the clinic and parked and walked through the cold outdoors to the clinic. I left him with the nurse, not being permitted inside given the Covid restrictions. I’d come back in 30 minutes to collect Alan.

29 minutes later as I was making my way back to the entrance where we’d parted, my mobile rang. It was a pleasant doctor on the line who said Alan had pneumonia. It was probably Covid as well he said, and Alan would be taken to the hospital by ambulance. The doctor answered all my questions. The main issue had been that although Alan was clearly low on Oxygen, settling at about 88% when anything below 92% is a concern, he was — it seems — one of 10% of people who experience silent hypoxia. The fact that their oxygen level is low just doesn’t register warning symptoms. So apart from him landing on the floor a couple of nights, he’d not had any symptoms of chest pain, difficult breathing or climbing of stairs, which are the typical signposts of low oxygen levels triggered by Covid.

My heart sank.

As I drove home alone I thought, “What am I going to say to Jordan?” our 16 year old son. And I gathered myself up and knew I must be resolutely positive, calm and assured, for there was no point in worrying myself, let alone causing someone else to worry. It was enough of a “message” that Alan would not be home right away because he’d been too ill with pneumonia and had instead been taken to hospital.

About 15 minutes after I arrived home, Alan rang. He sounded rough medically and somewhat dismayed. 

This is not how we thought this day would progress.

Now would begin 18 days of intermittent communication, ups and many medical downs, and an empty canister of oxygen, all which ultimately would lead to his being put into ICU.

More next time for those for whom this is of interest.

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

Service to Honour the Life of Alan Tun

Funeral to be held at 1pm UK time, Monday 29th March: Livestream open link(scroll down on this Homepage): https://tmc-church.org.uk/

to be saved and accessible thereafter: https://tmc-church.org.uk/preacher/tun-alan/

All song selections are chosen from Alan’s personal collection 

Song 

Pie Jesu by Aled Jones 

Pie Jesu, pie Jesu, pie Jesu, pie Jesu
Qui tollis piccata mundi
Dona eis requiem, dona eis requiem
Pie Jesu, pie Jesu, pie Jesu, pie Jesu
Qui tollis piccata mundi
Dona eis requiem, dona eis requiem Agnus Dei, Agnus Dei, Agnus Dei, Agnus Dei Qui tollis piccata mundi
Dona eis requiem, dona eis requiem Sempiternam, sempiternam Sempiternam requiem 

Welcome and Prayer 

by Pastor Deon Esterhuizen 

Reading 

Psalm 23: 1 – 6 by Izzie Jay 

The Lord Is My Shepherd 

I shall not want. 

He makes me to lie down in green pastures; 

He leads me beside the still waters. 

He restores my soul; 

He leads me in the paths of righteousness 

For His name’s sake. 

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 

I will fear no evil; 

For You are with me; 

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. 

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; 

You anoint my head with oil; 

My cup runs over. 

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me 

All the days of my life; 

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Family Eulogy 

by Victor Tun 

Song 

How Great Thou Art by Elvis Presley 

Oh Lord my God when I in awesome wonder Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder
Thy power throughout the universe displayed. When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation And take me home – What joy shall fill my heart Then I shall bow in humble adoration
And there proclaim my God how great Thou art Then sings my soul, my Saviour God to Thee How great Thou art, how great Thou art Then sings my soul, my Saviour God to Thee How great Thou art, how great Thou art. 

Reading 

Scripture Collage
by Jim Goodwin

Verses suggested by colleagues and friends 

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” 

Psalm 91: 1 – 2 

“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honour him.” 

Psalm 91: 14 – 15 

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. 

James 3: 13 

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. 

James 3: 17 – 18 

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

John 10: 10 

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth,
but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it….. 

Joshua 1: 8

“To whom then will you liken Me,
Or to whom shall I be equal?” says the Holy One. 

“Lift up your eyes on high,
And see who has created these things,
Who brings out their host by number;
He calls them all by name,
By the greatness of His might
And the strength of His power;
Not one is missing.” 

Isaiah 40: 25 – 26 

“Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel, And His redeemer, the Lord of hosts: I am the first and I am the last; Besides me there is no other God….” 

Isaiah 44: 6 

Indeed He says, “It is too small a thing that
You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob, And to restore the preserved ones of Israel;
I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles,
That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.” 

Isaiah 49: 6 

Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, And the Lord listened and heard them;
So a book of remembrance was written before Him For those who fear the Lord
And who meditate on His name. 

“They shall be Mine,” says the Lord of hosts, “On the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them
As a man spares his own son who serves him.” 

Malachi 3: 16 – 17 

For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’ 

Isaiah 41: 13 

Precious in the sight of the Lord Is the death of His saints. 

Psalm 116: 15 

His Lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ 

Matthew 25: 23 

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. 

2 Tim 4: 7 – 8 

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. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. 

Philippians 4: 8 – 9 

Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear! 

Matthew 13: 43 

Ministry Eulogy 

by Tim Vince 

Song 

Thy Word by Amy Grant 

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet And a light unto my path. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet And a light unto my path. 

When I feel afraid,
And think I’ve lost my way. Still, You’re there right beside me. Nothing will I fear
As long as You are near; Please be near me to the end. 

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet And a light unto my path. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet And a light unto my path. 

I will not forget
Your love for me and yet, My heart forever is wandering. Jesus be my guide,
And hold me to Your side, And I will love you to the end. 

Nothing will I fear
As long as You are near; Please be near me to the end. 

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet And a light unto my path. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet And a light unto my path. And a light unto my path. You’re the light unto my path. 

Reading 

Romans 8: 1 – 39 by Sarah Tun 

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.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made
me free from the law of sin and death.
For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh,
on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh,
That the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death,
but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God;
for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.
So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin,
but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
Therefore, brethren, we are debtors – not to the flesh,
to live according to the flesh.
For if you live according to the flesh you will die;
but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that
we are children of God,
And if children, then heirs – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 

For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly
waits for the revealing of the sons of God.
For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly,
but because of Him who subjected it in hope;
because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage
of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
For we know that the whole creation groans and
labours with birth pangs together until now.
Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even
we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.
For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope;
for why does one still hope for what he sees?
But if we hope for what we do not see,
we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the
Spirit is, because He makes intercession
for the saints according to the will of God.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things?
If God is for us, who can be against us?
He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died,
and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation,
or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: 

“For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” 

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come. 

Nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Time of Prayer 

by Pastor Deon Esterhuizen 

Song 

From A Distance by Cliff Richard 

From a distance, the world looks blue and green And the snow capped mountains so white From a distance the ocean meets the stream And the eagle takes to flight. 

From a distance, there is harmony
And it echoes through the land
It’s the voice of hope, it’s the voice of peace It’s the voice of everyone. 

From a distance, we all have enough And no one is in need
There are no guns, no bombs and no disease No hungry mouths to feed. 

For a moment we are instruments Marching in a common band
Playing songs of hope, playing songs of peace They’re the songs of everyone. 

God is watching us God is watching us
God is watching us, from a distance. 

From a distance, you look like my friend Even though we are at war
From a distance, I can’t comprehend What all this war is for. 

What we need is love and harmony Let it echo through the land
It’s the hope of hopes, it’s the love of loves It’s the heart of everyone
It’s the hope of hopes, it’s the love of loves It’s the song of everyone. 

Sing out songs of Hope Sing out songs of Freedom Sing out songs of Love Sing out songs of Peace Sing out songs of Justice Sing out songs of Harmony Sing out songs of Love Sing out Everyone… 

Socially distanced light refreshments will be served in the church hall after the service.

Afterword:

Alan Tun: Total freedom in Christ by Sarah Tun 

Our lovely Alan has gone 

“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) 

With Alan’s inverted thinking, 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. 

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! 

Complete article at https://www.laruspress.com 

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

Wives spoil your husbands: a reflection

I awoke about 4am this morning (Friday 12th March 2021) and as I lay in bed, feeling a little bit chilly, I just drifted in my thoughts.

Then, I sensed some movement. And I sat up. I believe Georg was in the room….

In the course of Alan’s hospitalisation, there was much spiritual warfare, as those of faith can well imagine. During that time, I believe the LORD introduced more to me about angels than I had ever contemplated before. But that is another topic, for another time. Suffice to say, I believe Georg was the name of Alan’s designated angel. Alan and I had not ever really discussed angels. In our many years discussing the Word of God that wasn’t a topic particularly on the list. But I believe some time during January/February, I became aware of an angel named Georg who was Alan’s angel. 

Georg was, I believe, in the room early this morning. 

“Georg” I called out softly. He stopped, poised somewhere between our wardrobes opposite the end of our bed, and the door from the room. 


He didn’t speak. But I knew he was listening. 


I considered for a while. I was wondering what he was doing there, but sensed he had something with him, something of Alan’s that he was taking with him, and that this was the last time he would be in here, in the house, and that I’d never experience his presence again. He was leaving because there was no reason any longer for him to be present.

He — or GOD — had allowed me to wake up, so that I’d know he was there.

“If you are allowed to speak to Alan, would you tell him from me… I loved him. I admired him so much. I only fully realised what an amazing man he was after he’d gone to the hospital. I’m sorry. I should have spoiled him more.”

You see, Alan and I had a really solid marriage. We were quite different in our personalities and cultures. In fact, it was only in the last six months I’d begun to identify the part of him who was a Burmese man: passive, solid but not particularly assertive, and certainly not aggressive in any way. Alan was one hundred percent confident, but had no need or propensity to put himself forward. That’s the part of him I identify as “Burmese”. I shared that with him some time before Christmas. I’m glad.

This aspect of him I never really understood until 2020. I don’t know how I began to recognise it, but I do know why: because I’d always found his “leading from the back foot” frustrating and didn’t understand why he didn’t assert himself more. Oh, I’m sure he did in his own way in his world of work. Certainly he was a successful manager of people in the City of London. In discovering the link between his birth culture and his personality, I relaxed about our lives together much more. 

But in his absence when he’d gone to hospital, I learned so much more about our marriage: his identity and mine, and ours together. And so now, I regret I didn’t spoil him. By that I mean, I didn’t acquiesce easily (being of North American culture where one has to stand for oneself), didn’t often relent when I disagreed until I “understood” where Alan was coming from, until recently. I admired his gift as a Bible teacher and we talked a great deal about the Word together. And our principles and desire to grow in the character of GOD was perfectly alined. But in the little hobbies he had, I never listened endlessly about hi fi or watches, about the workshop and DIY, and I teased him about his enjoyment of “rubbish” tv: mindless programmes which he occasionally enjoyed about people buying abandoned storage locker contents for resale or individuals trying to get a good price from a pawn shop on their attic junk (thankfully, I did sit and enjoy them with him from time to time).

I tried to cook the sort of food he liked and adored his approach to GOD’s Word. I admired his integrity and selfless determination to live a godly life. But I didn’t listen to him enough about the little things and I talked as much as I listened, or more. I didn’t encourage his somewhat eccentric preference for music. And I didn’t help him very well when he wanted help around the house; he just wanted me to sit while he did a task and pass tools to him. I was rubbish at that, usually wandering off to do something while I was awaiting the next request, then missing the next instruction, if I remembered to return to him at all. I wish now, that I had done so much better at “helping” him.

I wish I’d spoiled him so much more. I would have, I believe, had he returned home from hospital, because I’d come to understand the man much better. I’m grateful I had the opportunity more than once during the hospital ordeal to wrap it all up by saying, “Alan I respect you,” and “I have learned patience”.

So, if I have a pearl of wisdom to share about the passing of my dear husband Alan Tun, in its summation it would be: wives, spoil your husbands more than you do (unless you already do a great, great deal). Because they need it. It’s part of their make-up as men, whether they demonstrate it or not. 

“Blessing and honour, glory and power, be unto the Ancient of Days.” And LORD, please let Alan know, if there is a way for him to know, that I wish I’d honoured him better by spoiling him more, and yes, now, I think I love him almost perfectly. 

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

Letting Go

“Walk on water,” he told me on the 5th of January. He was having an angiogram.

All went well.

Last night when I saw him, I asked him, “Do you remember telling me to walk on water?” 

He said, “Yes.”

“Now,” I said, “it’s your turn.”

I know we walked on water together. For a time. But then his spirit ascended and mine remains.

My darling husband, I know you rest in peace.

Alan Tun

17.05.1958 – 10.03.2021

A fine and godly man.

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

24 Hours alone: a poem

Last night the LORD left me. 

I was in despair

In despair, I didn’t know He’d left

I just felt despair.

Last night I sought the LORD

He was quiet, I was fraught

I sought the LORD 

and He did not reply.

After weeks of calm

Methodical detachment and trust

I was emotional:

Angry and afraid.

But I did not flee

Nor blame or denounce

I did not succumb to my flesh

But clung to His Spirit in me.

His grace is enough

His love is sufficient

His truth is all

And I am bathed once again.

Know this: we grow

Then we are tested

When we have a choice,

We yield and are saved

All over again.

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

Living in the Eye of the Storm

When there are storms in life, as there most certainly will be, how do we live as a testament to our faith in a glorious and powerful GOD? Living in the eye of the storm, we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus.

Only God

Our focus is on the issue, but instead, when we transfer it from the problem onto Jesus, the storm which rages around us has no effect. 

Practically speaking, praise music helps enormously, listening constantly to uplifting, Spirit-led music. For me, the LORD lays specific songs onto my heart, at certain times, to play again and again, until my mind becomes quiet. 

People in our lives will come forward too. And I use my spiritual discernment, honed for such a time as this, to consider who the LORD has appointed at this time to support me as I intercede or pray through the storm, until it passes. This has nothing to do with friendship, or offence. This has to do with calming the storm! Some people will be called, and will carry a burden or an anointing, others will not. To “get the job done” we must use the people the LORD has provided.

Trust God

Has GOD made you a promise or uttered a word into your ear? Stand on it! We do not know why specific storms arise, but we know all storms are opportunities to grow. Maybe the enemy has a foothold somehow, or maybe the enemy is being used to demonstrate your strength against him. Remember righteous Job and the pain he suffered, simply to show satan how faithful Job was to GOD. Ultimately he received his reward. We can trust GOD in any storm, as the master of the storm and as our righteousness.

Stand

No matter how stormy the sea, stand in it. No matter how rocky the boat, stand upon the waters, look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (who incidentally literally calmed the storm for his frightened disciples), and do not yield to fear or foe.

Be Nimble

Paradoxically, we also need to be nimble as we experience the situation. 

As the storm rages, it will take twists and turns. Allow GOD to lead you through it. Keep your balance in the waves, and trust the leading of the LORD to take you to the shore. He will. He always honours His promises.

No Storm is Impossible to calm

The storm may rage, it may seem unconquerable.

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who [loves] us.” (Romans 8:37)

Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, and the storm will subside.

Categories
Reflections and Poetry Watchman on Alert BLOG

Healing GOD’s Way

Suggestions come thick and fast, earnest suggestions, encouragements, hopes, ambitions and spirit-filled replies. When someone is ill and prayer is called for, we ask for healing. It comes and I say, “Thank you,” and “Glory to GOD for that.” I’m also saying we need healing God’s way.

“Test all things; hold fast what is good.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21

Others words and mine

I am so grateful to every person who has written, texted or posted to me with a word about or for my husband’s overcoming of Covid-19. Like me, many have sought the Lord to ask His will and His way.

My husband is now well on the way to recovery. The worst is passed. May the best be yet to come. All glory to GOD!

The heart of this post is not to draw a conclusion as to how the recovery will be fully manifested. At this stage, my husband is on a long road to recovery, the recovery the Lord promised me the day before Alan went to hospital. I’ve no doubt he will recover. I have no doubt I heard the LORD… And just in case I might have doubted, He confirmed it 3 more ways since His initial message, “Alan will recover.”

So what about “what if’s”?

Doctors want the best for their patients, and work hard to attain it. And yet they are trained to be very adept at drawing the worst scenarios for family members. 

When you’re given a what if that contradicts the word from the Lord, reject it — but graciously. It may irk the doctors as you don’t acknowledge their concern. But your loyalty is not to them but to the patient. Overriding the word of a doctor dismisses the enemy in a heartbeat.

And if you’re given a word from a relative or friend that pushes a particular agenda, even if you hope for that agenda, stand firm on what the LORD has said. 

There have been times when intercession led to supernatural requests but a backlash came to bite my husband immediately thereafter. I’ve since prayed that issue through so it doesn’t happen again.

The Sovereign LORD is in charge 

“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 3:4-5)

Our LORD is outside time. He can work any way He wants to work. I give Him carte blanche — unrestricted access to Alan, to me, to my family’s health and healing. 

The Lord may choose to do a quick thing. It could confound and astound medics in a Western hospital if a critical patient suddenly stood up fully restored. Or it may build and deepen faith where a patient is quietly restored to full health when he was on the brink of death. The LORD knows the best way.

I do know this (which was shared recently by a dear prayerful friend):

“The eternal God is your refuge, And underneath are the everlasting arms; He will thrust out the enemy from before you, And will say, ‘Destroy!’” 

(Deuteronomy 33:27)

We aren’t to lag behind; yet let’s not rush ahead of the LORD either. 

I don’t know whether the healing process will be extraordinarily quick, or slow, or in line with the natural course of physical healing. I’m open and it would be great for my husband not to have to fight his way back in the physical to full health and strength. He has rescued Alan from sickness and will deliver him to health. But, I do know, and have learned, that healing will be done GOD’s way. And there is no better way.

Hallelujah!

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Reflections and Poetry Watchman on Alert BLOG

Facing a Storm: self importance must go

I don’t matter

One of the first things I learned when in a knock down, drag out fight for the health and safety of someone I love was that I don’t matter. This battle is not about me. When facing a storm, self importance must go!

Others may say, “Take care of yourself” and that is a sensible safeguard to suggest. But I would be the first to say, if in serious air turbulence on a plane, the adult puts his own mask on before his child. Why? Because if you put it on the child and then you pass out, who is going to take care of the child?

So, yes, when we are engaged in a struggle, we must take care of our nutrition, welfare and safety. When Elijah confronted the other prophets, GOD reigned down. But then Elijah was confronted by Jezebel, he ran away, terrified. Why? In some measure because he was tired and hungry. So we must take care of our practical, physical needs when we are caring for others. 


But whether a battle for another soul is physical, spiritual or emotional, our needs are not important. Not really. And we must not look to pamper ourselves. This is not the time.

When I don’t matter, I don’t fear

Fear of man is one of the few things that can really stop a spirit-filled mature Believer from fulfilling his or her calling in Jesus. When the thoughts, opinions or feelings of others do not distract us from our battle, we can focus and persevere. We cannot take care of others outside the storm, when we are called to be inside it. Commit them to the LORD and trust them to Him.

LOVE is key, always. But fear is counter to love. It’s important we understand our motives, put our own concerns to the side, and do that which the LORD has called us to do.

Love is never rude

When we face a storm and others are a distraction, we must focus on the battle at hand. But love is never rude, or dismissive, or disrespectful of others.  Addressing the interruptions of others is important: we need discernment, wisdom and grace. We do not have to alter our course, but rather weigh up and balance the priority with the desires of others. The storm comes first. If there is room beyond that, what needs attention? 

Love does not have to cater to others, be it their needs or their expectations. So often we misperceive expectations anyway; we may think they are asking something of us when really they simply have our best at heart. Either way, it is alright to ignore that which is not priority, so long as we ignore it graciously, lovingly, respectfully. How do we do that? We don’t fret or negate our task. In our hearts, we care for others, though that cannot perhaps be expressed at this particular time.

Above all, trust our own motives

When we battle a storm, we are in crisis. We can trust the LORD and put everything into His hands, and yet, He is calling us to persevere. There is no need to second-guess ourselves when we are committed to doing the task the LORD has assigned us to.

When in a storm, we cannot live life as we normally live. The storm must be addressed. We trust Jesus in the storm and focus all of our attention on him. In doing so, we have not time or space to think about ourselves or in fact, think about others outside the storm. Instead, we carry on our responsibility and entrust others beyond our care to the LORD. Hopefully, they will accept our calling. Loving them will help. But fearing their disappointment does not honour them and is a distraction from the storm and from Jesus. When we have already relinquished our self importance we can trust our motives are pure: simply to overcome the storm, trusting Jesus throughout.

What really matters in a storm

What really matters in any storm is Jesus, because he overcomes the storm for us. Our focus on him diminishes the storm’s power. And if our storm concerns the welfare and safety of another who is defenceless, then we put all of our trust in the Lord for his or her rescue.

Storms do not come to harm us but to grow us. Knowing this get us through and enables us to be the hands and feet of Jesus, who is the author and finisher of our faith, the prince of peace, and the light of the world. If we really trust him and believe he is the Son of GOD, then we will know, regardless of the storm, what really matters will overcome, to the glory of GOD the Father.

“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10) 

Abundant life comes through trusting the Lord through all storm and strife, not looking to the situation nor to ourselves. Jesus will overcome any storm, when we trust him and allow him to do that which he is able.

Psalm 91 for the storm

May angels guard and keep. May we stand in the gap for those who cannot speak. May the LORD Almighty give us long life.

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”

Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.

He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.

You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,

Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.

A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.

Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.

Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,

10 

No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;

11 

For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.

12 

In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.

13 

You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.

14 

“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.

15 

He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honour him.

16 

With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.”

Every blessing, 

Sarah 

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Reflections and Poetry Watchman on Alert BLOG

GOD is (a poem)

GOD is

We are a whiff, a puff of smoke

A breath

That only exists because of who

GOD is

GOD is mighty, harsh, intransigent and yet

GOD is merciful, gentle, kind

We are ants, a seed ungerminated

A thought

That only exists because of who

GOD is

GOD is creative, expressive, complete and yet

GOD is gently bending to earth

We are unstable, needy, greedy

A whim

That only exists because of who

GOD is

GOD is gracious, timely, wise and yet

GOD gives grace to the humble

We are that which GOD has created

So that we might become like Him

We only exist because of who

GOD is.