Friendship with God

Out for a Walk

We absolutely love Pauline's faith and her courage!  We love that God gives us courage, and meets us outside of the church so we can be moved by compassion, encourage the broken and weary, and prophetically release God's call on people's lives!  Thank-you Pauline for this very encouraging testimony!

"Walking around Lafarge Lake this morning, a young man in a wheelchair kept passing me. I noticed that his right leg was missing. I told the Holy Spirit that if He wanted me to pray for him, he had to stop and stay in one spot. Well, he did, just when I was walking near him for a 3rd time. I approached him gently, and inquired about his condition. He told me that he had cancer, and doctors had to amputate his leg. I offered prayer, and he accepted willingly. I commanded his leg to grow back and to be restore fully; I prayed for his immune system to be strengthened. Then, words of encouragement started flowing from my spirit; he would have a long, normal and healthy life; he would heal people suffering from cancer; he would be a blessing for others. I prayed joy, peace and love to inhabit his soul. I could see that he was moved, and I was too as something special was happening, the Kingdom of heaven was at hand. Indeed, that is what we are carrying. I then walked home full of the joy of the Lord."

All because I Smiled...

"At my job, working for the city of surrey, front counter staff, an older gentleman approached my till and started a conversation. Before he did, I smiled and said hello, I guess my friendly nature invited him to then tell me HIS testimony…

This gentleman had a limp walk, paralyzed right arm and was about 80 plus years of age. Bless his heart. We were not busy at the time so he just started to tell me a story of how he got his condition. It all started when he was six years old… he started feeling numb, and occasionally would fall over – losing balance in his right side. Long story short, at age six his condition got worse and was forced to stay at the hospital as the fear of death was approaching his life. Six months in the hospital, he also lost is speech and could not walk. His parents were devastated and at the time brought in a local pastor to pray for his healing. The doctors were sure he was doing to die. The man, telling me the story, looks me in the eyes and says in that moment when the pastor came he prayed and I accept the lord Jesus Christ as my savior (This man has no idea who I am and that I am too a believer of Christ).

Then the man goes, one miraculous day, still not able to walk or talk, he was watching a children’s TV program at the hospital and all of a sudden was able to talk to the TV. He started to talk! Then goes… I thought, well if I can talk I must be able to walk…(increased faith) the man said he got up from his rocking chair he was placed in, and started to walk. A MIRACLE happened that day.

The man, at age 6, accepting the lord Jesus as his savior, was miraculously healed of a death threatening disease. His father at the time was a pilot and the boy with his mother went to see his dad at work. The boy only would limp walk.. but when he saw his father, the boy was able to RUN.

Now fast forward to present day, this older gentleman just came up to me, because I smiled, and basically shared his personal testimony with me of how Jesus healed him at age 6. Then leaves.

All because I smiled at him."

We love hearing what God is doing with Emily in her life, and seeing the doors He's opening for her because of the Love she has to give!

Keeping it Simple

I was standing in the line at Starbucks the other morning, when I saw a social worker who had been involved with our family and our foster son for a couple of years.  I have not seen her for a quite a while as we had been assigned to other case workers over time.  This social worker was looking very tired and worn out as she was waiting for her morning coffee.  While standing there, I felt this wave of compassion and then felt the Holy Spirit whisper "encourage her today."  After ordering and paying for my coffee, I walked over to her and began to reconnect.  After updating her on our foster son' life, I started to encourage her.  I told her how much I appreciated everything she had done for us, how she had protected and helped our foster son, and because of her, he has this incredible opportunity for an amazing life and destiny.  I told her that she was one of the best social workers we have had and that she is amazing at what she does.  As most of us are aware, social workers have a very difficult job, quite often are seen as "the bad guys," so they don't often get positive feedback. As I talked her, her face began to light up and she began to smile.  By the time she left Starbucks, she looked like she had been to the spa.  

I share this story not to bring attention to myself, but to demonstrate that sometimes releasing the Kingdom of God is simpler than we think.  Quite often God wants to meet people in unexpected ways.   

Don't get me wrong, I love the stories of miracles, healing, and God encounters. I love the testimonies of God doing the impossible, but sometimes the miracle people need in that moment is God's kindness and love. They may need a smile, or a cup of coffee just to know that they are loved and cared for.  Quite often, we are only looking for the huge miracle, like praying for the guy in a wheelchair, that we miss out an opportunity for God to release His love in other ways. 

I think the key to releasing heaven on earth is learning to abide in Him.  When we spend time getting to know Him, know His voice, recognize what He is saying and doing, then we can respond.  Jesus did only what He saw the Father doing.  We have been invited into this same relationship.  Jesus said we will do even greater things than He did.  I think it begins by knowing the Spirit's voice and responding to it.  It is about losing the boxes and paradigms on how we think things should look like.  Instead, it's responding in that moment to the smallest and simplest of things when He reveals it to you.  Maybe it's buying a cup of coffee, calling someone, giving flowers, or maybe it is praying for the sick person for healing, or giving a stranger a prophetic word. Instead of pressuring ourselves, let's keep it simple.  His spirit lives inside of each one of us.  Get to know His voice, know His love and goodness in your own life.

Ask for opportunities every day to release His love and His presence to others.   During your day, be aware of His presence and focus on Him.   Respond when you hear His voice and watch and see what amazing things He does in and through you.  Celebrate that you are in a partnership with Him, and enjoy the journey.

Abiding & Trusting

There are a couple things in life that really get me excited - Coffee, blogging and Jesus. So when Dani approached me with the opportunity to write for you guys about this season of my life, needless to say I was rather excited to sit down with an iced latte, in a cute little coffee shop and pour my heart out. I love being able to share what the Lord is doing in my life in hopes that someone out there is this big world is moved, impacted or even changed. Lets start of by introducing myself, Hi, my name is Melissa, I'm 22 years old and this season of my life has been anything but boring. It has been a season characterized by learning what it really means to trust and abide in the Lord.

Over the course of the last 3 years I have been studying at Summit Pacific Bible college with the hopes of graduating and becoming a Pastor. That was my plan. I knew I had variety of pastoral giftings and most of the people around me had labeled me as a pastor. With the best intentions they called out all of these awesome giftings in me and encouraged me in my direction. With a year and a half left, it finally hit me, this whole time I had neglected to even consider if this was my plan or the Lord's plan for my life. This realization sent my life into a little bit of a whirlwind. The life I had grown so comfortable with was gone. I dropped out of bible college, and got a job working at Starbucks. I went from living on campus with all my friends, to moving back home with my parents and brother. It was like my life did a complete 180 and I was back at square one. No idea what I was doing or where I was going. In some ways I guess you could say I felt a bit like a failure. I felt like I had lost control on my life and I didn’t know how to get it back. I knew that now, more than ever before in my life, I needed to really learn how to Trust the Lord. The whole time I could hear His still, small voice whispering, “Melissa, do you trust me?” During this time, Proverbs 3:5-6 really came to life for me.

“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 your paths straight.”

This was a verse I had known for the majority of my life, but until this moment it never really stuck. Thus the theme of this last few months burst into existence. Completely immersing myself in trusting the Lord that has yet to give me any reason to not trust him. Learning to trust that HE has a plan for me and that He’s not leaving me out to dry. Trusting that even though it's the unknown and even though it might not be the most typically exciting season, that He's got countless blessings for me on the other side. Trusting that He has a purpose for this season and every other season. Trusting that He sees the big picture — the whole picture and all I can see is what is in front of me. By no means do I have all the answers and yes, most days I really suck at trusting Him, but the point is I'm getting there. I'm acknowledging that His plan is far greater than any plan I could come up with. Do I know where i’m going to be in the next couple years? Nope. Do I know what my career is going to be? Nope. Does that completely freak me out? 100%, but I’m OK with that. He’s got me — right in the palm of His hand and He’s never going to let go of me. I am His beloved.

Trusting Him, can be painful at times. It’s a completely selfless act. It truly requires you to pick up your cross, but I promise you it is SO worth it. The feeling is so rewarding in the long run and like they say nothing worth having ever came easy. Not only did my life drastically improve when I started to trust Him and abide in His words and promises but my relationship with the Lord has been flourishing. So go ahead, try trusting Him a little more, see how your life changes. In fact I dare you to begin to really trust Him. The outcome is so beautiful.

- Melissa

 

 
 

Melissa is a barista at Starbucks and from Langley.  She is passionate about seeing young women fall in love with their creator and at the same time seeing ho valued and precious they are!  Melissa has her own blog; My Beloved is redefining what it means to be a women in today's world. Creating a culture of women that are confident, bold, and full of joy. Most of all, creating a culture of women that are completely captivated by their Father, and live lives that are a reflection of Him.

WEBSITE - My Beloved

What do you see? | Part 1

A few years ago, I had a fairly weird experience. Which now isn't uncommon but at the time it definitely was. It was during my first year at Ministry School, where I was pushed, pulled and dragged through all kinds of wonderful opportunities. All of which I am definitely grateful for! (We should never become accustomed to comfort.) The one I want to highlight in particular was 'Creativity'; which to me was a foreign idea. The first 24 years of my life probably included some forms of creativity, especially my younger years. But the older I got the less I really took notice, explored or played with it. I do remember taking up the guitar at around 7, before stopping at 8. I also remember drawing and painting as a child. But by High school, Art and Music were probably my least favourite classes.

Jumping back to Ministry School; one night after class, I spent some time in the Prayer Room. Now, this isn't remotely as boring as it sounds. In fact, it changed prayer for me completely. There's all kinds of fun things you can do in there, one of which is to draw (If you're finding prayer boring, do something different). At first I began playing around with some ideas that I thought were... Well literally just good ideas.  Mostly they were things that I thought would be good additions to either my future or to the lives of people I knew. Actually, I was kind of being a little bit selfish!

After a while I began drawing a birds eye view of a particular area in my city, buildings, roads and businesses (Still all just for fun). Then I decided that one of the buildings I had sketched would be an awesome location for a Church. So I decided, in my little make believe world, to give it to the Church I was currently attending whilst home in England. I got really into it and even started taking over other buildings that were closely situated (Picture the board game RISK) "this would be an awesome place for lots of people to worship” "this one would be an awesome Healing Rooms, where people can come for prayer". I never prayed over them as far as I can remember, it was more of an inside acknowledgement to God that I thought the ideas would be awesome. Afterwards, I packed it up and went on with the rest of the School year.

Fast forward to around 9 months later.

When I got home for for Summer holidays (vacation), I received a phone call from one of the Pastors at my Church. He began to tell me that a friend of mine (who'd come to visit me during the School year) had mentioned that I had a prophetic word about a Church building whilst at School. He asked if I would mind sharing it with them, so I said yes. Honestly, I hadn't planned on telling anyone (because I had completely forgotten), and didn't think that my friend would remember something like that, let alone think it was important enough to mention to anyone else. Long story short, I shared my word and showed my drawings. Much to everyone's surprise, my sketch was seemingly becoming a reality. They were looking at buying one of the three buildings in my drawing. Not perfectly accurate, but close enough! There are a lot of buildings in that city. What made it more surprising was that none of this was public knowledge at this point. Every possible question went through my mind, including the most obvious: Did I make that happen? Just so we are clear, the Church chose not to buy that building in the end. They thought carefully about it for a while but it never happened. Which presented me even more questions! Was that a fluke then? If so next time can I just have next weeks Lottery numbers? What was the point of all that? It didn't happen, so am I a false prophet...? What started off as a nice idea in my imagination began to become a reality, right before my eyes.

So, what do you do with that?

In Hebrews 11:3, it says "By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible."

It's my opinion that everything we see, including this Mac-book I'm using to write; Before it was ever seen in the physical world, someone had to first envision it by imagination.

A great example of this would be Walt Disney, who's ideas revolutionized the entertainment industry during the Twentieth century. His employees were, and still are named 'Imagineers', a term coined by merging the Imagination with the skill of Engineering. They quite literally were told they had one job.... To dream of new ideas and extend the borders of the Magic Kingdom. Eventually, Walt's ideas turned into the Happiest Place on Earth; The wonder filled theme parks we all know and love. These, including their characters, were first ideas that were birthed in the imagination. He wasn't scared to dream and he became pregnant with a vision which has changed the world. Some would say that the imagination can be dangerous, and I would have to agree, that can be true. But the renewed mind (Rom 12:2) is a sanctified imagination.

Just to be clear, by sharing these two stories I am not attempting to compare myself to Walt Disney. Nor my weird experience to Walt's world changing secret sauce. In fact the only person my experience has changed is me; In the way I see myself, see God and Prayer. What Walt Disney imagined, he created. And it changed much of the World.

So what is my point?

God said that we were made in His image and in His likeness (Gen 1:26).

In other words: What God imagined about Himself, we became.

You are like your Dad!

You have the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:16).

God wants to create with you. He is the Great Creator, and He's not finished creating. Actually that's where you come in. I wonder how many God (good) ideas we've dismissed or passed off under the guise of greed or "that's not something we pray for"? Could false humility be robbing the World of new inventions, new technology and creative solutions to global issues? The religious spirit would love to keep you boxed in vein repetition, repeating acceptable prayers. Does God want to use YOU to give birth to these kinds of ideas? If you are feeling as though prayer has become a boxed routine, do something different.

One thing I failed to mention earlier. The first building in my drawing was actually already owned by a furniture store... called DREAMS.

What is in your spirit?... What do YOU see?

Thanksgiving & Purpose

I have spent this past week diving into "Strengthening Yourself in the Lord" by Bill Johnson.  I haven't read this book for about 6 years, but it has been so ground shaking for me this week.  I am currently reading about thanksgiving, and the power that thanksgiving has over disarming hell.  Not only does thanksgiving prepare the way for the Lord's presence, but it also calls us into the true reality of who God has called us to be.  When we become inner-focused, or navel gazing as I like to call it, we lose focus of who God is, what He has done, and we give access and open a door towards partnering with the enemy. 

Thanksgiving, even in the hardest of seasons, is a weapon that can destroy the plans of the enemy.  Right after we got married, when I was the only one working while we awaited Andy's immigration process, I think thanksgiving saved me.  Even when we were down to the last 30 cents, and I was dog-tired, I continually praised Him and gave thanks for everything that God was doing in our lives.  I was thankful for the small things, the big things, and even the most ridiculous things... but it began to shift my perspective, and kept my focus on Him, not the lack. 

The following is an excerpt from Bill's book.  If you haven't read it, I will give you my copy... it has given me so many tools to walking in Faith, even when it feels hard.

"When God tell us to give Him thanks, He is not insinuating that He gives in order to get something from us.  God doesn't manipulate us with His gifts.  He wants us to thank Him because thankfulness acknowledges the truth about our lives.  And when we agree with the truth, then the truth sets us free to see and manifest the greatness that He has put in us as the ones He has made in Him Image.  When we withhold thanks from God, we are actually cutting ourselves off from who we are.

In Romans 1:18-21, Paul explains that God has not kept who He is a secret.  Knowing God is not hard.  It is actually the most obvious thing in the world- all you have to do is glorify Him as God and be thankful.  This response, because it agrees with the truth, give you open access to the vast treasures of the knowledge of God.  But without that response, your thoughts become futile and your heart darkened.  Futile means purposeless.  When we fail to sustain the response of thanksgiving for everything in our lives, our thinking is cut off from our purpose in God.  "When we lose sight of our purpose, we will inevitably make choices that are outside of God's intentions for our lives."

I don't want to be cut off from the purpose that God has laid out for me.  God has designed a plan and purpose for me, and so if walking in thanksgiving is a way that I can partner with who He has called me to be.. I am going to do it.  Even when it is hard, even when I'm dead tired, and I need people to hold me up.  Thanksgiving leads me to His purpose and calling.  Thanksgiving keeps me SANE and ALIVE.

Process to Promise

About a year ago, I was sitting in our neighborhood Starbucks.  Andy was at work, I had been doing some editing and was taking a break.  At the time, I felt as if I had been running on fumes, and feeling like we had walked through some disappointments.  There were many unanswered questions, and what felt like pain-numbing silence on the other end.  Who knows that when your not hearing from Him, it doesn't mean He isn't speaking- He's just changed the way He's speaking; it is the beauty of this relationship.  As I was sitting there, I felt prompted to read Luke.

I began reading, not with any purpose, or looking for a solution, but just to read.  As I read the first chapter, I began to feel alive.  I couldn't go beyond Chapter one... Now, I literally got stuck in the FIRST chapter of Luke... For months.  The first chapter of Luke is all about John being announced to Zacharias; Elizabeth getting pregnant, and the conception of Jesus.  Two woman, both pregnant with children who would grow and change the world upside down. 

"Now after those days (Zacharias') wife, Elizabeth conceived; and she hid herself for five months, saying, 'Thus the Lord has dealt with me, in the days when He looked on me, to take away my REPROACH among people.'" -Luke 1:24 & 25

Reproach:  the expression of disapproval or disappointment

I was stunned by Elizabeth.  Here is a woman who was childless, and barren for so many years of her life, and YET she hides herself away for 5 months so the Lord could deal with her heart, her disappointment in the moment of promises being fulfilled.  How many times in life have we been disappointed (I could probably raise both hands and both feet right now) and done the complete opposite?  Maybe even made friends with disappointment, creating a victim mentality over our lives... missing the promise as it comes to fruition because the reproach is still too great in our hearts.  Elizabeth conceived this long awaited promise of a son, and immediately recognized that she had partnered with disappointment, and spent fives months with the Lord, walking out healing. 

What blows my mind, is that in month six, the angel Gabriel appears to her cousin, Mary.  So let's just get this straight:  Elizabeth, who has spent five months walking out personal healing with the Lord, giving Him tons of praise for the fulfillment of such an incredible promise, has a virginal cousin, who has found FAVOR with the Lord and conceives the Son of God.  God partners with us in process- He loves sacrifice, especially of the heart. Maybe the sacrifice of your heart is the open door to someone else walking into their destiny, the way Elizabeth was for Mary.  

The enemy wants to use disappointment of the past and the promises that have not come to pass to rob us of a life full of partnership with the Lord.  Don't let disappointment rob you of inheritance!  God has a greater reality for us to walk into!  He has promises He wants to see us fulfill- because we are His children!  God has already seen our victory, "He is the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End." (Rev. 22:13).  He isn't testing us- He is good!  He isn't giving us disappointment because He is nasty or because we haven't passed some test yet.  No, He's holding our hand, cheering us on, pushing us towards victory!   He knew that despite the disappointment of being barren for years, Elizabeth would walk out the renewing of her mind, being able to partner with heaven to literally see heaven come in the form of a man; Jesus. 

So what promises has the Lord given you?  Where can you count it all joy, and hold the promises in your heart, while walking through whatever process your in right now? 

I'm not perfect at this, and this has been my walk for the last year.  I want to constantly be placing what God IS doing in my mind, so that I am renewing my mind, restoring my heart, and getting rid of disappointment.  I want to be free to see others run after the promises the Lord has given them.