Tag Archive: miracles


Faith

Of recent days the sad passing of my Aunty Lorraine to cancer has brought some interesting dialogue across my path regarding the “faith issue”.  There have been some disappointing responses.  These comments have come from people a little too quick to shoot from the hip.  Unwise and hurtful!

To my way of thinking I believe this train of thought is irresponsible, immature and extremely shallow.  It also brings negatively to the body of Christ, which doesn’t help our infiltration of the Gospel to a hurting and dying world.

Simply put, faith is believing, trusting in God.  He is a God that performs the miraculous.  He is a supernatural God and as Christians we must have faith.  Without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God!  We must believe.  We must believe His word. Someone put it this way, “Faith spelled is risk!”

The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen, as the author of Hebrews says.

What people have called the “hyper faith” movement I plainly describe this way: Faith people are those that are trying to put into practice what God’s word says while others doubt, waver and are tossed to and fro by every whim.

The “faith teaching”, as they call it, has it’s extremes like anything.  I understand that in some cases there has been manipulation of funds for their cause, which is wrong and sinful, but on the whole faith people are normal Christians just endeavouring to live out their faith the best way they can.  We are called to walk by faith.

The Gift of Faith has been given to some and is hard for others to grasp that kind of extra-ordinary faith.  My suggestion is: Don’t criticize what you don’t have, but thank God for what you do have.

If you were sick, I would believe with you and your family to the very last breath that God would heal.  In the sovereignty of God, we commit our ways to God as the “Great Umpire in the Sky”.  He knows the end from the beginning.

He knows best and will do what is best!  We call it “God’s Sovereignty”.  That is the “faith mentality”.

I find that some intellectuals can struggle with these points of view because it sometimes just doesn’t make sense.  Analyzing and critiquing doesn’t lead to the God kind of faith we pursue. Understanding is as important as knowledge! Let’s get both!

If you formulate your thinking and theology from the excesses in the body of Christ you will become unbalanced and lop sided.  Don’t complicate what is straight forward.  Simply believe!!!!

There’s faith that delivers and faith that endures.  I love the quote, “Beaten paths are made by beaten men but faith refuses to live among the dead. If you mix with unbelief the dust of unbelief will rub off onto you.”

Smith Wigglesworth said – ” I’m not here to entertain you, but to bring you to a place where you can laugh at the impossible”.

At the end of the day, all we have is faith in God and His Word.  Nothing more and nothing less, after you strip away all of the peripherals.  Imagine how different the accounts in the Bible would be if faith was not pursued…

–          Elijah would never have been able to ask the widow to gather empty jars that would miraculously be filled with oil

–          Joshua would never have witnessed the crumbling of the walls of Jericho

–          Moses would have never made it across the Red Sea

–          Mary would never have become pregnant with the Saviour of the world!

–          Crippled, deaf, mute and lame people would never have been healed

–          Children and adults alike would never have been raised from the dead

–          Peter would never have walked on water

–          Two fish and a loaf of bread would never have fed over 5,000 people

–          And the list goes on and on!

Can you imagine!  If we have the faith to believe the Word of God, then it seems only fit that we live with that sort of faith every day in our own lives.

How do you get Faith? Faith comes through an understanding and revelation of God’s word.  Faith comes by hearing, and hearing the Word of God.  It always gets back to what God’s word says.  Love His word.  Understand His word.  Live in the truth of God’s word.  That is what will set you free in all these areas.

Being vs Doing!

IMG_1290Living in victory each day is being!

Walking in the light of His love and acceptance is liberating only if you know His truth and know this truth in your heart.

We tend to do and do and do and then do more!  Rather, we need to acknowledge that we are who we are and that’s how God made us.

Simply be.  “Be.”

We are made in His image, growing from glory to glory, faith to faith.

Being is relaxing in who God says you are…

Not trying to be something or someone that we are not.

God says that His “mercy is new every morning” – it’s a new day, a fresh start, a new beginning and therefore we are to live today as if it is the first day of our lives.

Contentment is the key to being.  Doing represents running around, stress, deadlines, etc.

Don’t allow small things to be blown out of proportion and become more important than they need.

Think about it – in 1 week, will it still be this urgent or this important?  If not, then relax a little more and give people around you a break!  They’re probably feeling the brunt of your stress and frustration.

Being is plodding along vibrantly or relaxing for easy power.

My encouragement is for you to declutter your life.

Keep the main thing, the main thing!

Enjoy the journey of life and learn to stop and smell the roses.

Inhale and then exhale.

Slowly.

Get the full benefit of the scent, not just a whif.

Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

His rest will create our best.

PC300052And so it had begun.  We were married!  The beginning of the rest of our lives was right there in front of us…not in the distance, but right there and we were walking into it!

Kyls had spent weeks researching the perfect spot for us to have our honeymoon…all 2 days of it!  Kylie had to go straight back to work so we wanted something that would be secluded, quiet, beautiful and cosy.  We had found a lovely little eco lodge on a bluff in the Coffin Bay area that was nestled on 100 acres.  It was far from anyone and serene enough to meet our needs for the weekend.

We arrived at the lovely little lodge to discover that the man who owned the place actually had a house on there too.  And, not just on the same property, but his house was under the extension that he had built as his eco lodge…THAT WE WERE STAYING IN!!!!

To make matters even funnier, it just so happened that his bedroom happened to be directly under our bedroom and living area.  Nice.

Such a friendly host, the poor gentleman didn’t quite get any of Kyls’s hints that it was our honeymoon…he just kept coming back to visit with us!  He was such a talkative chap, it was difficult to get a word in and make our point clear.

HONEYMOON.

NEWLYWEDS.

SECLUSION.

2 DAYS.

NO PEOPLE.

Nope.  Didn’t work!  The lovely man thought that we might be hungry and so he, generously and kindly, brought us up 2 bowls of delicious, fresh, homemade mushroom soup, with mushrooms that he had picked that morning from the paddocks around the house, and hot, crusty bread.  It really was great, but we really did just want some space and time to ourselves.  Surely, that was understandable!

The space was nice…there was a small living/dining/kitchen area, kind of like a cabin in a holiday park, a nice bedroom and an open bathroon with 270 degree windows….great view…if it was as secluded as we had thought!

Kyls decided that since it was so cold and since we’d not really had the opportunity to have a proper shower at the hotel (they gave us no clean towels..go figure!) she would shower now…especially since it seemed that the friendly host had finally left us in peace.

Showered and dry from a just warm shower, just like most girls, Kyls needed to dry her hair…out came the hair dryer and out went the power.  We were discovering fast that our perfect little eco lodge really meant – little power, low temperature heating and housing below!

Somehow, from out of nowhere, our friend, the chatting host, appeared!  He informed us that a hair dryer used too much power and so, with the weather having been so overcast recently the solar panels weren’t fully charged.  Ergo, we didn’t have very hot water and we had a limited power supply!  No more hairdryer for Kyls!

What a funny start to our marriage and honeymoon!

Over the two days, we enjoyed creative meals (we had very limited supplies and the closest shops was 1 hour away – and it was closed because it was a public holiday!), spurts of time with no power and lengths of timw with power.  Fortunately, Kyls had brought with us all of the candle that were left over from the wedding which meant that at night time, we at least had some light.

The gas heater was fan forced and so relied on the electricity that did and didn’t work.  Our laptop was our source of music, running on battery power.  Our little sink was our washing tub and the line downstairs, near the hosts room, was our washing line!  Our lovely wooden posted bed made more sounds than an old door in a scary movie…and that was just when we walked in the room!  The balcony, however, had a sensational view. It overlooked a peaceful little bay and early in the mornings we heard and saw native birds on the rails.  It was very romantic when we thought about it!

We figured that God was just exercsing His sense of humour and extending ours…we had to laugh or we could have been devastated.  But, Kyls being Kyls, made every moment fun and enjoyable.  We had a great time together (in spite of the power going off more that 7 times (I think) in 2 1/2 days!  We were able to appreciate and enjoy the solitude (eventually) and each other for a few precious moments before we came back to full time reality!

When we finally did arrive home, we walked in to a beautifully clean and inviting house.  Friends had organised a beautiful meal and there were more gifts to open.  Kyls unpacked…in our house…her house.

We were married.  We were one.  We were together, in our own home, delightfully happy and content.  At last.

Thank God.  Kylie’s Psalm, her word from God had finally come to pass for both of us…

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.  Psalm 37:4

PC150032What do you do when you feel that life has all but passed you by and that all your hopes and dreams seem to have been both stolen or denied based on other peoples choices?

You keep the faith.  You look to the One who called you by name and knows your future and your every tear.  You remind yourself that there is a better day coming even though the storm clouds look darker than the night sky.  You call to mind the promises that God has given – both in His Word and in your personal walk with Him.

It’s no secret that the biggest tragedy of my life occurred just a few short years ago.  My life was suddenly turned upside down and tragically almost everything that I thought was solid in my life, everything that I held dear was ripped out from under me.  Opinions were created and manipulated by people who had a San Ballat spirit. 

I was at a place in my life where I thought that I would never again see the blessings of God in a way that I had seen and had imagined. 

After the move from my previous church, I worked in the fashion industry for some time all the while knowing that God had called me and anointed me for the ministry.  I was, all of a sudden, in a place that meant I had to put into practice many of the lessons and principles that I had preached over many years.  I had to determine in my heart if I was going to trust God with all that I had left and be totally surrendered to Him and His mercy or if I was going to be like so many others and just call the shots myself. 

I chose to do the former.  I chose to put myself into the hands of my loving Heavenly Father and I chose to believe that as I stepped out in faith He would not only pave the way for me, but that He would provide all that He had promised. 

In my willingness to simply serve God and do whatever my hands found to do, I was offered a job driving a truck of thoroughbred horses across the country.  For a man who loves horses, this seemed like a great opportunity.  That was until I had my lessons!  In spite of all my efforts, it became obvious that truck driving was not going to be for me. 

It was during this time that I received a call from the Executive of the South Australian AOG.  They invited me to take on a 6 month interim position at a church in Whyalla (where is Whyalla? I thought!).  In my spirit I felt God quietly, yet distinctly, say to me, “Ted, I wanted to see if you would be willing even to drive trucks for me”.  What an incredibly humbling and exciting revelation.

I found that Whyalla was not only 4 hours from Adelaide but that it was also classed as a desert space!  I was moving from the lush Brisbane lifestyle with my family to the dusty country outback where I knew not a soul.  What on earth was I doing and more to the point, what on earth was God doing?

I moved to Whyalla and my Dad joined me for the first few weeks (I needed someone to talk to!).  Within a few days I was overwhelmed with the realisation of the decision and the move that I had made.  I had not only left a beautiful place, but I had left all that I knew, all who had supported me and encouraged and loved me through my darkest hours.  I had also left behind my most treasured possessions – my boys, Kristan and Harry. 

This affected me dramatically, but my strength, as always, was found in God.  I spent many hours walking and praying and crying out to God, seeking His purpose for bringing me to this seemingly deserted and isolated place.  Very soon I was to discover that God indeed had a plan so much greater and sweeter than I could have ever imagined. 

I had met Kylie when I first arrived in Whyalla – she had set up the house that I was to live in and was partly responsible for bringing me to Whyalla as she was on the church Board.  After a few weeks of watching and listening, I asked her out for coffee.  She went on school camp and we spent the three days texting and getting to know each other.

When she returned, we did go out for coffee.  I told her all of the reasons as to why she should not be interested in me and laid out very clearly all the reasons why we should not pursue a friendship.  I was divorced.  I had 2 children.  I was bald.  I was 42.  I was a minister.  To each thing that I listed, she calmly smiled and told me that none of it was going to sway her from what God had spoken to her heart – I was the man that she had waited for – “the man that God would bring through the doors of a church”.

I was supposed to be in Whyalla for 6 months.  4 weeks into this, Kylie and I were developing a deep friendship and a growing respect.  I had not only fallen in love with Whyalla and the people, but I had fallen in love with a short, brown haired girl with a big smile and a huge love for Jesus. 

I had a miracle from God.  A bitter sweet miracle.  Bitter in that I missed my boys (and still do) terribly.  Sweet in that I had found a woman of character and strength who believes that her purpose is to love me – my soul mate.  That, knowing what I’ve been though, is a miracle of great magnitude.

“For I know the plans I have for you”, says the Lord.  “Plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”

It’s not easy, but it is real and it is true.  God knows.  God cares.  God is faithful.