The ring, and the unnamed servant

doves-eyesIn a way the courtship I wrote about in my story The Kingdom reminds me of the Bible story in Genesis 24 of Isaac and Rebecca.  Isaac’s bride had to come from his father’s country.  The father sent an unnamed servant to go and get her. 

The unnamed servant met Rebecca at a well.  He watched her closely.  When she fulfilled the signs the servant looked for, he gave her a ring and two bracelets.   Rebecca went on a journey with the servant to find Isaac, and she first clapped eyes on Isaac when he had gone out into the Prayer in desertdesert in the evening to meditate.  The servant announced to her who Isaac was, and Rebecca veiled herself.  The servant told Isaac all he had done.  Rebecca became the wife of Isaac, and he loved her.

I could have written those scenes in the Kingdom with that in mind, but I had no way of knowing about “Isaac” when I wrote about the desert and the wells.  I just went where God led.

The unnamed servant was sent with gifts and jewellery to fetch the bride.  He put the ring on the bride.  The unnamed servant is a type for the Holy Spirit.

My rings both have interesting stories behind them.  God supplied the wedding ring out of thin air, and it came first.  Then after I met “Isaac”, a beautiful and very valuable engagement ring came from “Isaac’s” Grandmother in Florida, over 8,000 miles away.

Hosea 2-19

In the story I write called “The Kingdom”, the King told me “Isaac” was going to be my husband.  The story about the gold wedding ring that just appeared one day out of nowhere is in my book.

When I met “Isaac”, he told me his mother’s maiden name was “Isaacson”.  By then I knew he was the husband, but it was still an amazing confirmation.

As soon as “Isaac” knew I was the one, he wanted to get a ring on my finger right away.

The only trouble was he’d just started a business and had no money.  When I pointed out the obvious, he just believed God would help him out with the ring.  And God did.  His mother told him she had a ring just waiting for him.  It was a huge rock!  It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever been given.

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Trouble

Trouble.  This world guarantees it.
Job, a just man who was severely tested, wrote
Man is born for trouble, as surely as sparks fly upwards.”  Job 5:7

Trouble can be caused by bad people.  The book of Proverbs from the Bible, says;

Do not set foot on the path of the wicked
or walk in the way of evildoers.
 Avoid it, do not travel on it;
turn from it and go on your way.
 For they cannot rest until they do evil;
they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble.
 They eat the bread of wickedness
and drink the wine of violence.  Proverbs 4:14

Taylor Swift - Trouble

Trouble, the funny version

Taylor Swift sings about it here in her song “Trouble”.   Here’s a 25 sec clip, which my daughter showed to me.  It’s the funny version.

I have warned about bad people in a post called
“Here be Dragons”.

But what if we can’t avoid them, like at work?  Jesus understands trouble.  He was born for it.

He promised “In the world you will have trouble. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”  Sometimes He’ll take us through it – to test us, or teach us.  And sometimes He’ll take us around it.

My advice; fear God more than man.  By fear I mean “have concern for”.

I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
    he delivered me from all my fears.

Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
Fear the LORD, you his saints,
for those who fear him lack nothing.  Psalm 34:4-8

This is true, I sought the Lord, and He answered me.  He led me through a bad place, promising it would be a door of hope.  The story is told in my book where I travelled through the Valley of Achor.  Achor means trouble.  Its a place that people on pilgrimage had to go through to get to Zion.  You don’t have to travel it alone.

Hosea 2-14

Fight or flight

fight-or-flight-cartoonIn the Kingdom, we are commanded to stand and fight, with all the armour that God gives us.

Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Ephesians 6:10

 

But there is a situation where we are not to stand our ground.

When it comes to sexual temptation, we have to run!

Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 1 Corinthians 6:8

If you remember the story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife, Joseph ran for it.

She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me! ” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.  Genesis 39:12

Its like the Gambler song;

You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em,
Know when to walk away, know when to run.

My book deals with temptation in different places.  Did I run?  You’ll have to read the book to find out.

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.  1 Corinthians 10:13

flee-sexual-immorality

Big promises, small beginnings

Zechariah4_10I once made God a big promise;  that if He lifted me out of my circumstances, I would put no restrictions on Him – the sky would be the limit.  I hadn’t factored in what He’d want to do with me. 

When I made this extravagant promise I was living in small town New Zealand, after having lived in Sydney.  After Sydney, I despised the town I was living in.  All I wanted to do was get back to Australia.  For a few months my dream was realised.  I lived in Canberra, Australia’s capital.

But like a boomerang I ended up back in New Zealand, again.  I asked God how can the sky be the limit back in a small town of a small country?

He told me not to despise the day of small things.

I have learned since then that what matters is its not where we live but what we live.

Did I overcome the small town limitations that I chafed against?  My book tells the story.

Comma, comma, comma,,,, chameleon?

Alpha and exploring the meaning of life

In the next chapter of the Kingdom, I went to an Alpha course with my friend “White Flower”, to further explore the meaning of life and our Christian faith. 

Bear Grylls recommends Alpha.  You don’t have to be a Christian to go to Alpha, although you will probably encounter the Lord while doing the course, if you haven’t already met Him.  The churches running Alpha make all explorers feel very welcome.

DL_beargrylls_flyer

To conform, or transform?

On our last night of Alpha, this is what we were taught;

Monarch chrysalis“There are two types of Christian; the chrysalis and the chameleon. The chrysalis is completely transformed, whereas the chameleon merely changes colour to suit its surroundings.  Make a new start, let God transform you inwardly by a complete change.” 

I had always found safety in conforming.  I would stare out from my camouflage at a world of hurt.  Finally, I came to a place where I had to choose what I was going to be.

Conforming would have been the safe option, but I would have stayed a chameleon.

My transformation happened in steps.

First, the cocoon.  God had been teaching me about boundaries.  Now He wanted me to enforce them.   Transforming myself felt scary and dangerous, but I had to do it if I was to leave behind the things that harmed me.

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2

So when it came to the last question in Alpha, how can I make the most of the rest of my life?   I had to decide whether to be a chameleon, or a chrysalis, whether to use camouflage, or a cocoon, whether to conform, or transform.

My story about that is told in my book.

Comma comma comma Chameleon

Look where you’re going

At the end of the movie Castaway, Chuck Noland, played by Tom Hanks, is left standing at a crossroads with a decision to make, after delivering his final package, a box which bore angels wings on the address.  

crossroads - Castaway

He’d been through a lot – a plane crash, five years on a desert island, and finally a rescue at sea from the raft he made.  If he chooses one way, “there’s a whole lot of nothing to Canada”.

If he chose to go back to the woman who gave him directions, it may lead to love, and rest for his soul.  After all, she owns the ranch with the angels wings.

Castaway, final scene: youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=tvGHSvfnlsQ&feature=fvwp

So he’s standing in the middle of the crossroads, looking.  In the Kingdom, I too had come to a place where I had to look where I was going.  The word was;

“Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls.” Jeremiah 6:16 

My friend had come to his own crossroads, but he wasn’t going my way.  We were both solo parents, and our children loved each other like siblings.  I was worried about what would happen to the kid’s friendships but the Lord let me see I wasn’t responsible for my friend’s bad decisions.

All I wanted to do was heal from an abusive relationship, not deal with his rubbish.  I’d pretty much written my friend out of my story “The Kingdom”, but gave him his chapters as I told him what I needed from a friendship. Duh!

This character appeared as “the Minstrel” in my book.

I wanted him to look at where he was going.  It was a foolish move.  He was so ego driven he interpreted it as a love story.  But that’s for the next chapter.

I chose my way, the ancient path.  It was a good way, and it has led to rest for my soul.

My friend chose his way, “a whole lot of nothing to Canada”.  He let go of diamonds to sift through stones, and never did find a mother for his girls.  Our children also had to part ways at the crossroads, but reestablished their friendship five years later at their new school.  They remained friends until adulthood.

Their Dad tried to reestablish contact with me as well, but I’d taken a different road.  He is still mad at me and yelling horrible things, sixteen years later, from hundreds of kilometers away.  I’ve chosen to ignore him.

His voice gets fainter the further I travel.

The rhema word

The Bible is called “the Word of God.”  The word is “God breathed,” for it comes from the mouth of God.

Man shall not love by bread aloneGod breathed.

 

There is the Logos word, and the Rhema word.  The Logos is the entire bible, the whole counsel of God, meant for our spiritual instruction and teaching of doctrine.  Its God’s Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth.  It has a general application.

The Rhema is the confessed word, which is creative and can be a promise, affirmation or command.  It has a specific application.  In Greek, the word Rhema means “an utterance.”  For the believer, its a word that “speaks” from the Bible for personal application.  Its precious and very valuable.  It applies to a current situation, issue or need and is timely.  When we receive it, it is called “a word.”

The Kingdom story chronicles what I heard from the Lord speaking to me through the Rhema word.  I’ve treasured the words of the Lord and constructed the Kingdom as a place to store them.  Some of the things the Lord told me found their fulfillment several years and chapters later.

For example, early in my walk with the Lord I was given a word, which I recorded in The Kingdom – Signs

“Set up road signs;
put up guideposts.
Take note of the highway,
the road that you take.

Return, O Virgin Israel,
return to the town you left.
How long will you wander,
faithless daughter?
The LORD will create a new thing on earth—
a woman will encircle a man.”  Jeremiah 31:21-22

When I received this Rhema word, I was in a bad relationship I needed to leave.  I was now a follower of “the way”, learning about “the truth”, traveling towards “the life.”

I needed guidance in the way I was living, and to know where the Lord wanted me to be.

This word instructed me to mark the road I took, to setup signs and guideposts.  When I noticed a sign or received a word to guide me, I wrote about it in the Kingdom.  The chapters were my guideposts.

The second part of the word about returning to the town I left was in answer to a question I had about my place in the world.  I wanted to return to Sydney but was stuck in a small town in NZ, bringing up two kids on my own.  The word was to “return to the town I left,” but I didn’t know what that meant.  The part about “walking around a man in a circle” had me completely baffled, but I recorded it in my story.  It was to be revealed in the future.

The chapter about the circle began at “the place of the Tower.”

sand-circles