“Mud in the eye” – “When the time comes…”

(Jim’s second blog.)

After the experence in Te Anau (previous blog) I became friends with a Dutch guy, Hans, at night tech college. We needed to swat for our finals so Hans invited me to his flat one evening to go over some notes and ask questions of each other.

After about an hour and a half we tired of the questions and swat so we went into the living room where I was introduced to another flatmate who was watching TV.

As TV was a new medium in the 60s and my parents could not afford such an expensive luxury (the same price as a second hand car) I was not familiar with the faces or newsreaders on the one local TV station. I was glued to the screen.

We watched a documentary of a small town in Canturbury, NZ, high-lighting different occupations and trades – butcher, baker, candle stick maker – and including the local church. Staight away Hans spoke to the flat mate and said, “This is Jim’s thing – the church.”

John (not his real name) said, “What do you mean?”

Hans passed it off with, “He’s a Billy Graham man or something.”

John then started to ask me questions about me being a Christian. We talked about the universe and that science was a fact but it cannot deal with the supernatural power of God.

(Note: Asking Jesus to come into your life is a supernatural experience. Being born again is the most life-changing experience you will have in a life time.)

The most amazing thing that was happening to me was that every time John asked a question I answered but I knew logically and from learning I actually didn’t know the answer proving …..

Mark 13: 11 …do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.

We debated and talked till 2 in the morning. John invited me over for tea that night and we talked and debated again until 2 the following morning.

John then asked to come to church. We sat at the back and all my friends were “oohing” and “ahhing” because John was the local TV news reader, whom they recognised.

John commited his life to Jesus and started a life work with a Christian mininstry.

This is the second time in my short life that God used me simply because I was willing and available. I was amazed at the answers that I could give as needed to convince “John” of the existence of a real and loving God and his son, Jesus.

Do you have a similar experience? I’d love to hear about it.

Next time… God uses broken people.

Advertisements

Just wondering… and pondering…

Do you ever wonder..? just wonder…? Things like…

What are you here for?

Why do you love to do certain things?

Why…??

What…??

As I sit at my desk watching the world go by I realise it is a while since I have written a blog post… So why should I write one now?  Why not just sit and ponder?

IMG_7161
So easy to sit here and just watch the world (and tide) go by…!

…Because I realise that I love to write… and I love to write not just for myself but to inspire others in some way … if possible.

…And then I start thinking about my other passions… photography, reading, travel…

Why photography?  Because it helps me capture things I am passionate about… God’s creation, family, friends…

IMG_2372

Why do I love to read?  Because that is my “escape”… I delve into someone else’s world and hide from the reality of my own… books I read must be “easy-reads” – nothing too detailed or descriptive and I generally only read before sleep at night so I don’t want to be stimulated… boring, eh?!

Why travel? Because there is a big wide world out there and much of it is so beautiful and waiting for me to photograph it! I don’t like cities or shopping (though this hasn’t always been the case and I concede that it may change again…) and I’m past the age where I will risk physical injury unnecessarily (adventure tourism-type activities), so my “bucket list” includes trips to such places as Scotland and Nova Scotia (chasing my heritage) rather than London and New York, for instance. Until the doors open for travel to such distant places I am happy to continue exploring the “corners” of New Zealand.

IMG_3243
One of my favourite “corners” of the world!

Now, I know I have many more years behind me than are before me but I keep quoting (to myself as much as to anyone else) CS Lewis: “You are never too old to set another goal or dream another dream.”

So, I encourage you to activate your dreams, follow your passions and move forward… You are on this earth for a reason.

You have gifts and talents (probably those things you are passionate about).

You are able to inspire, bless and encourage others… do so with excitement and joy and purpose…

And do let me know if I have triggered “something” in you… cos then you will bless and encourage me knowing you have read this little blurb…

“Mud in Your Eye”

This is an experiment on networking through my website and Facebook…

Jim, my husband, is keen to start a blog with the above name “Mud in Your Eye” (the reason for this name will be explained if this goes ahead.) But before he does this he is keen to see what sort of discussion he generates by posting his first blog on my site… i.e. he would love any response/questions/comments … Interested?  Read on…

Can your dreams come true?

Let me tell you about a dream I had…

It was Queen’s Birthday weekend, 1969. I was soon to celebrate my twentieth birthday and had recently completed a building apprenticeship. I took my car (Mark 1 Ford Zephyr) and three friends to my sister Heather’s place in Te Anau. We stopped for a feed of fish and chips on the way and arrived fairly late in the evening as we travelled after work that Friday from Dunedin (New Zealand).

I bunked on a couch in the sun room. The others were scattered throughout the house.  It had been a long day and immediately I fell asleep.

Before dawn I started to dream… I saw myself standing at the edge of Lake Te Anau baptising a person in the water. Next I saw myself speaking in a church. I woke from the dream with a feeling of peace and well-being. I kept this dream to myself.

That morning we all took a guided tour to the glow worm caves across the lake. On returning my sister introduced us to a guy named Peter (who worked for Telecom). Peter spoke of making a commitment to Christ at a Billy Graham crusade in Carisbrook, Dunedin, two weeks previously.

Peter asked me to water baptise him in the lake as his church, or anyone else for that matter, did not perform the ceremony (my dream temporarily forgotten).  I immediately said that he would need to come to Dunedin where a pastor would perform the ceremony. Peter said, “The Bible does not qualify who baptises. I would like you to baptise me in the lake.”  (Having been a follower of Jesus Christ for the last 4-5 years I realised he certainly had a point.)

We then proceeded to the lake with towels and swim wear. With 3 or 4 people looking on, Peter spoke about his commitment to follow Jesus Christ. I then immersed Peter under the water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and in the name of Jesus.

As soon as I lifted Peter out of the water the dream came back to me. I still kept this to myself as I realized I could be speaking at the Presbyterian Church, which Peter attended, the following morning.

Peter invited us to attend church with him…  I spent a nervous night wondering what might come to pass!

We arrived at the church just after 11am next morning. I was thinking “it” was not going to happen.  But Peter came running out of the church saying that I would be speaking as the minister had the mumps and the Sunday school teacher said I could speak instead.

The small church was full.  What a challenge to say the least!  The only thing I could think of was to repeat Billy Graham’s word from two weeks previous – a message of salvation. 

I spoke from the heart with a clear voice.  I had an interesting experience while delivering the message – I saw people with their arms up around their faces and the Lord said to me, “They’re fighting what you’re saying” because my words were relevant to their lives.

Was this a call for me to ministry? It certainly was a very actual realisation of my dream – both the baptism and the preaching. 

So, tell me, have you had prophetic dreams which have eventuated? 

(Joel 2:28 ….Your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.)

Mavis

Earlier this week an elderly friend of mine passed from this life. Mavis wasn’t a close friend and I hadn’t spent a lot of time with her. However, I certainly did consider her a friend, not simply an acquaintance.

Why? Because when I saw her, usually weekly, she greeted me with enthusiasm, a smile and a hug. She enquired about my health, that of my husband, and anything else of pertinence of which she was aware in my life. She listened to me, encouraged me if and when necessary or relevant, and simply added a positive and generous dimension to my life.

As far as I am aware Mavis didn’t reach any public acclaim in her life (but maybe she was too humble to share of long-ago achievements) but she did touch many lives in many ways and most of us, including me, may never, this side of heaven, know of these acts of kindness and generosity.

I will miss my friend and her bubbly, joy-filled face… but I will remember her. Even though our relationship wasn’t long or deep she has left a legacy – a legacy of hope in eternal life. A legacy of a relationship with a very personal friend – Jesus.

Jesus was her constant companion. Someone to turn to in a time of need and someone to share the joys of life with. Mavis was an intercessor, a pray-er. She knew that Jesus was “just a prayer away” and called on him constantly, usually, I believe, on behalf of others. Most of these “others” probably don’t know of and will never be aware of the prayers prayed for them. But I must believe that these prayers made a difference in so many lives… and because of this Mavis’s legacy lives on.

It is always worth considering what sort of legacy each one of us will leave when we are called “home”. Will we be remembered for the successes we achieved financially, academically,  in sport or any number of social or public spheres? Or will our legacy be one of sowing good, joy, comfort, encouragement into people’s lives? How will our children and grandchildren speak of us?  What will friends and even acquaintances say about us?

We may not achieve “great things” (most of us don’t!) but we can still always share encouragement, joy, comfort, peace, love whenever we have the opportunity and leave a lasting legacy…

Love… again

While I’m still working on the topic of “Agape Love” I thought I’d let a little more overflow here… and as I was writing about road rage, while taking a short break, I checked my Facebook page and what popped up but a post by a friend who had just witnessed a case of road rage. How timely was that!!

Maybe you are a “perfect” driver and never make a misdemeanour on the road? Or you’re so well organised that you’re never in a hurry? If so, you’re certainly one in a million!  But I am like most of the rest of us and I’m sure I turn in front of other cars when I’ve mis-judged their speed (occasionally), and sometimes I leave for an appointment just a couple of minutes later than I intended and get annoyed at all the red lights… yes… you too? Okay, if your day has already been “bad”, I understand the frustration is compounded.

BUT… it is NOT the other person’s fault!  Understand that we are all human and we do all make mistakes… Some of our population is older that the rest of us and older folk do lose their ability to react quickly… One day young ones will be “oldies” too!

So, my lesson here… don’t be easily provoked.  It doesn’t do any good to anyone!

And what about our “me first” attitude? From an early age our children are taught to seek the best – for themselves.  Now, that is fine in itself, but is it at the cost of others? Surely the world would be a better place is we put others first preferring the good of others before our own desires.

This begins from a polite “You go ahead” at the supermarket or “Can I help?” Years ago when I often caught a bus we were taught to give our seat to women or older commuters if there were no vacant seats. I wonder how often this is done today?

In my study on love I have found myself wanting in many ways, but as I continue to read and absorb I am very aware of aspects in my life that can show improvement… have I given you food for thought, too?  I certainly hope so!

We can make the world a better place – one step, one action and one day at a time!

Love

I’m taking a break from my “Blogging” today as I have been preparing a talk on “Love” and just feel to share some thoughts here.  Specifically, my talk is about the agape love of God but please don’t stop reading just because you “don’t believe in God” or believe in a different God to me… as an old song sung by Christopher Cross says “love is love in any language”.

But the thing that has struck me as I’ve been reading and meditating and reflecting is that  (and hey! – here’s another song)… “What the World Needs Now is Love, Sweet Love”

(What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of
What the world needs now is love, sweet love,
No not just for some but for everyone.)

I don’t know that there’s “too little of…” but it sure is true that it’s something everyone needs. And not only needs for ourselves but needs to give.

My study has focussed on the “love”chapter in the Bible – 1 Corinthians 13.  Many of you will have heard that read at weddings, or maybe even had it read at you own wedding.  Unfortunately, often at times like that, it’s just words. But when we take note of those words, what a powerful difference it could make in our lives and those of folk we know, work with, love, or even just meet at the supermarket.

I love the concept of “paying it forward” where one good deed is passed on to the next person and that recipient then passes it on and this continues (forever would be lovely!). What do you think stops the “paying it forward”? Selfishness? “I can’t afford to pay for the next person’s coffee…” “I haven’t got the resources/time/money to help…”?? Don’t let that stop you… share a little bit of generosity with someone real soon!

One aspect that “kills” love is the way we tend to keep a record of wrongs.  “But I emptied the dishwasher last time…. “; “It’s her turn to set the table…” Familiar comments from your children? And these sentiments continue into adulthood.  Okay, I understand that sharing is great, especially sharing of mundane tasks, but imagine if children could be taught that it is wonderful to serve even in the mundane things no matter how many times siblings have or have not also done so.

One final aspect of “love” I want to share today is how the media (and so frequently us) tend to “celebrate” the sins or downfall of others.  For some reason we get excited when we hear of the latest scandal amongst celebrities or politicians. The public buy magazines to see photos of their “idols” or “heroes” caught out by the paparazzi. Why? Because if we can be disgusted by famous figures we feel morally superior. If they are so bad, we can’t be…

So to sum it up …

  1. Look for the good in others and help whenever possible… “Can I take a photo of all of you?” when the person behind the lens is being excluded.
  2. Be polite…”You go first…” We all learnt as children that pushing in was rude.
  3. Help… “Let me do that…” no matter how many times you have done it previously.
  4. Don’t listen to gossip, no matter how spectacular … or go a bit further and pray for the “sinner”… Not one of us is perfect!

One little act at a time … wouldn’t it be wonderful to overcome the hatred that exists today by sharing a little love each and every day??