MY SONG FOUND IN THE STORM

Jesus commanded His disciples. ‘Let us go to the other side…’
-Mark 4: 35 – 41
 
They ‘left the crowd behind…’ This was to be a personal test for the disciples alone. ‘Tired as He was’ Jesus went to sleep in the boat. Then a furious storm started. The waves were higher than the boat. Initially, the disciples did not bother to wake Jesus, knowing Him to be a carpenter and a teacher. Jesus was not a fisherman like most of them. He cannot help… or so they thought… But when the wind increased and the boat was almost overturned, they cried to Him in despair: ‘Teacher, don’t You care if we drown?’ Jesus woke up and rebuked the winds. The storm suddenly stopped and it was completely calm. But in the midst of that wonderful peace, Jesus rebuked His disciples for their doubt. They looked at Him as a class teacher, as a liability in the midst of a crisis. It was obvious that they lacked mature faith in Him. They did not believe that Jesus is God ‘who never sleeps or slumbers,’ in control of all things.
Just like them, many believers trust God only before or after the storm. But in the middle of a crisis, they reverse back to their elementary fears and doubts. They go to their natural way of thinking, to the common sense of the flesh, and like lost children, they panic and cry. Mature faith remains unmoved by circumstances, trusting the God who can stop the wind with His very breath. Mature faith has the same peace before, in the middle and at the end of the trial. Trials are like tunnels. Before the train enters the tunnel, it is light. Suddenly darkness comes. For a time it seems as though the darkness will never end. That pain, that weeping, that loneliness… it seems like it will go on forever. But at the end of the tunnel the sun shines once more. Tunnels are not graveyards. We are just passing through. All these trials and temptations, all these things you battle with, they only come ‘to pass.’ Our life should not depend on the circumstances. Christ is our life. Our faith is rooted in the Cross and in the Promises of God. Heaven is our destination. Joy is our portion. Eternal life is our inheritance. These are blessed things that have come to stay. Do you boast about your faith only when your feet are set on dry land? Do you have the same faith in the middle of the storms of life? Remember, it was Jesus who said: ‘Let us go to the other side.’ Do you trust Jesus to finish what He has started in you? Do you trust Jesus in between the shores? Do you trust Him when He is silent? Do you trust Him when He is sleeping? Do you trust Him when He answers the prayer of others, but ignores your own?
This is my testimony: Jesus has been with me always. I am a witness to His faithful fellowship, no matter the circumstances. His Word comes to me with power. He has been with me in riches and poverty, in sickness and in health, at home and abroad. Why will I doubt Him now? Why will I fear the end of the matter? Why will I fret in the midst of things unknown? Why will I be sad when men betray me? Why will I lose my temper when men provoke me? He has commanded me to rejoice always, so I will rejoice! He is my Shepherd and He is my God!
 
In Christ I declare:
Jesus is my Savior and my Lord! I trust God before, in the middle and after the storms of life! As for me and my household, we shall serve the Lord! Always! And forever! ‘This is my story; this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long…’
In Jesus’ name,
Amen!
 
(From my Book The Doe of the Morning)
Ship
 
(I took this picture from the 13th floor of our cruise ship. A passenger was left behind. He missed the ship. A courageous speed boat faced the mighty waves and brought him back as we were already cruising in the North Sea. I have never seen so much effort done to help a single man not to miss ‘his destiny’… how much more God will take care of us to the end so that no one will be left behind….Wonderful…)

A ROMANTIC ADVENTURE OF A SECRET FIND

“I will give you the treasures of darkness; riches stored in secret places; so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name!” (Is 45:3)

Do you want to be embarrassed and overwhelmed by an Account with ‘no withdrawal limit’? Then come to the Cross! Look long on the Crucified! Touch His Blood! Hear His Voice! Feel the death of the past! Sing a New Song! All is for you!
Whatever treasure you find there is yours! And it is free! The price has been paid! The Lamb has overcome!

In Christ I declare: I have access to all the wisdom of God! I have the mind of Christ! I have free entrance to all the million years of treasures, hidden away from the eyes of evil men and devils, visible and invisible! My wealth is gloriously safe! My wealth is a gift from the Father! In Jesus’ name, Amen!

LORD, GIVE ME YOU!

 

“Please show me Your glory.” (Ex 33:18)

This evening, the prayer meeting was wonderful. This ‘wonderfulness’ was not because we were smart, spiritual or strong. It was purely because the Wonderful Counselor was in our midst. Initially, we tried to pray some little prayers but ‘the engine oil’ of the anointing was not enough for such a time as this… Wobbling between petty requests, we finally got to the mind of the Spirit. He said: ‘Glory!’ This became was our congregational and individual prayer: “Oh, Lord, Please show me Your glory.” (Ex 33:18). We also prayed: ‘Lord, give me You!’

 

The religious spirits tried to hinder the flow. They tried to distract us, reminding us about our natural needs. Suddenly, angry voices remembered us that we need to cook for tomorrow; that we need to pay the house rent at the end of the moth and school fees for children… But the Holy Spirit, the Lifter of our heads was pointing to much higher. ‘Where Lord?’…It was a good choice to disengage from looking around, from looking at our circumstances… Nothing new in Nigeria… same old stuff, not worthy to be brought before the throne of grace… but what else should we pray for?…

 

With the strength that moves the mountains, we looked up on the beautiful face of Jesus… the Author and Finisher of our faith… Without faith no one can pleases the Lord… Faith makes us pleasing to God… it was so refreshing to feel pleasing to our Savior… Then Grace sang a solo song… the song of the unmerited favor money cannot buy… ‘Amazing grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me… I once was lost… But now… But now!!! I am found!!! Was blind but now I see! Grace is greater than all our sins… We rejoiced in the grace released at Calvary… Old things passed away before our very eyes… all things changed and became new… It is a newness that lasts forever, the unfading newness of life… Then the heavenlies opened and we were invited in… We steeped in like Moses…Like David… No fear…  we are walking on the clouds of glory… I’m not afraid! ‘Show me Your glory!’

 

For a second I panicked… I looked around… simple men and women… from Effutun, Nigeria… None was properly dressed… No designer clothes… just some Tee-shirts and jeans… We did not look like much… It flashed thru my mind that if the big men of God knew the release of glory here, they could have come to fill their buckets with it… But none came… It was the glory love of the Father for us… for us… for us… We looked like the servants who filled the jars of water at the wedding in Cana… we were entrusted with the secret of the party when the sadness melted in jars of clay…We kept pouring wine to others…The Bride must be happy tonight… the special wine kept for the last hour… We got drunk in His presence… We ‘managed’ to say ‘Thank You’ to the King of Glory… Shaking, we gratefully piled one crown on top of another, we crowned Him as the King of kings… Fear free and glory gazing we bowed down to worship Him alone…

FH 7-4

THERE SHALL BE SHOWERS OF BLESSING 

“There shall be showers of blessing;
This is the promise of love;
There shall be seasons refreshing,
Sent from the Savior above.

There shall be showers of blessing,
Precious reviving again;
Over the hills and the valleys,
Sound of abundance of rain.

There shall be showers of blessing;
Send them upon us, O Lord;
Grant to us now a refreshing;
Come, and now honor Thy word.

Showers of blessing,
Showers of blessing we need;
Mercy drops round us are falling,
But for the showers we plead.”

(Daniel W. Whittle)

(The picture below is dated: 4 July 2014…the brethren from our church pouring the concrete on the drive way of Father’s House Bible Church, Effurun-Warri, Nigeria…every body was working with zeal and joy… I remember that it was raining but everybody counted the rain not as a problem, but as a blessing)

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AUTUMN IN ROMANIA

I was born in Romania. Over there, it is autumn now. Since 1980 I live in Nigeria (Africa). For all these years I did not experience ‘autumn’ here. I sometimes miss my Europe weather. I still remember the golden color of the leaves, the cooling of the air, the time of harvest, a romantic sadness and the preparation for winter. To me, memories are like poems. I tried to adjust to a place that has only two seasons: ‘Hot and dry’ and ‘Hot and wet’. But in my spirit I still follow the pattern instilled in my childhood. My spirit finds order in ‘the old things’, tested by time and captured by fading pictures. For me, this is reaping time, harvest time! Wherever you are, there must be a time to seat down and count your losses, your gains, and all the blessings that have come your way. “Thank You Abba Father, for everything!”
 
(In the picture, me visiting my home town, Orsova, Romania, last autumn. Behind me is the secondary school I attended where my parents were teachers too. Like the leaves at my feet, these are golden memories…)
SLL 54

BE HOLY AND GET UP! 

“A righteous person may fall seven times, but he gets up again. However, one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked.” (PV 24:16)

“There is no single definition of holiness. There are dozens, hundreds. This is the basic definition: Holiness is being like God, who is holy. It means being spiritually and morally pure, hating sin! There is another definition that I am particularly fond of: being holy means getting up immediately every time you fall!!! Each time you fall into sin, or you make a mistake, look at your wrist watch and see how long does it take you to get up from your fall! The faster, the better! The more you hate sin, the holier you are! You should quickly acknowledge and confess your sin, repent of it, with humility and joy.

Holiness doesn’t mean never falling into sin. It means being able to say as fast as possible: ‘Lord I am sorry for my sin! I am sorry that I have grieved Your Holy Spirit! I declare that Your grace is enough for me! Yes, Lord, I confess that I have fallen a thousand times. But thanks to You, I have gotten up again, a thousand and one times. Right now, this very moment, I hold Your hand and I get up from this dirty ugly gutter of sin! You are the Lifter of my head! I praise you for my lifting, for the restoration of my testimony as a righteous man (woman). I receive strength to stand in You! I receive peace and joy! You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains! To You alone be all the glory! Your Word is yes and amen! In Jesus’ name I pray, amen!’

Quick and deep repentance done with humility and thanksgiving is a peculiar mark of holiness!

“I am the Lord your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy” (Lev 11:44)

fall and rise

LET YOUR GLORY FALL

“Let the weight of Your glory cover us
Let the life of Your river flow
Let the truth of Your kingdom reign in us
Let the weight of Your glory fall…”

Safety is not the absence of danger, but living in the center of the presence of God.
Move on closer to the Throne of God!
Disappear in His shadow of light.
Lean on His everlasting arms.
Listen to the heart beat of the Father.
The fragrance of incense offered by the saints caresses your cheeks.
No noise, no fear, no worry! Too high for all that…
The Bridegroom smiles and calls your name…
Now, you are safe!

‘He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord: He is my refuge, my fortress, my God in whom I trust’ (Ps 91:1, 2)

(Pictures of me and my husband during the Sunday service today)

SLL 53

RSL 8