The road few find

Kaukatea Valley Rd 1978 resized
The road I grew up on was a difficult road that few bothered to travel without good reason. Our nearest neighbours were a mile away, so we could be as noisy as we liked. 

‘Mount Zion,’ the sheep station at the end of our road straddled two valleys – ours and Longacre, and part of it bordered our farm. Mount Zion could be accessed from a paper road which connected with our road – but you had to know where it was.  I used to ride there to get horses shod.

I learned to drive on that road and it was difficult, handling a motorbike on the gravel.

Poplars that had grown from fence battens the original farmers used lined the road. Number eight wire was used with the fence battens.  There were lots of interesting places along the road – even a cave, which is included in the video clip below.

This is the actual road, filmed by a motorcyclist.

So that’s my narrow road in the natural.  There’s another road, and another Zion.  Named as “the King’s holy mountain and the place where God dwells with man,” Mount Zion is referenced in the Bible at least 52 times.

The Bible points to the narrow road which leads to Zion.  Jesus said on the mountain, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”  Matthew 7:13-14

In my thirties I wandered off, got lost and found myself on the wrong road.  I couldn’t find a lot of help when I wanted to get off that road.  After two unsuccessful attempts at counseling I gave up and turned to the pages of the Bible, because one of the King’s names is “Wonderful Counselor.”

This is his promise; “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”  Psalm 32:8

I had to get some help from somewhere.  So I went to the King for counseling.  It was the best thing I ever did.

In New Zealand we’ve had to be resourceful because of the difficulty sourcing stuff, being at the ends of the earth as we are.  We are known to “fix things with number eight wire.”  Using inventive number eight wire mentality, and thinking outside the box, I built a world I could go into and hear from the King, who counseled me on the way I should go.  I wrote down His words in my story.

As for the setting, God knew I’d write it into a book later on in life.  My book is a paper road that leads to Zion.  It’s for those who want a good, unconventional read from a traveler, a stranger, a sojourner on the road not well-traveled.  I promise you that you’ll never read another story like it.

Click on the Amazon link at the top right-hand side of the page to purchase the book.

Kaukatea Valley

Kaukatea Valley Road


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The wall

Have you ever encountered an obstacle that seemed unsurmountable?  Its called “hitting the wall.”  What’s been your wall? 

walk the wall

“Walk the wall!” A scene from “An Officer and a Gentleman”

Statistics was the wall I came up against, a paper I had to pass to qualify for a Diploma of Business.  We had four weeks to complete it.  I just couldn’t do it, I hadn’t been able to understand maths since the age of ten.  When I prayed about it, I knew I had to “throw my heart over the bar”.

Years before, I had won a major spiritual battle against bad thoughts.  After I’d got rid of the worry and hate, God wanted me to fill my mind with positive thoughts, so I read a book my Norman Vincent Peale, “The power of positive thinking.”

One of the things Norman Vincent Peale said was this;

Throw your heart over the bar and your body will follow.  Throw your faith over your difficulty, throw your affirmation over every barrier, throw your visualisation over your obstacles.  Fire the heart with where you want to go and what you want to be.  Get it so deeply fixed in your unconscious that you will not take no for an answer, then your entire personality will follow where your heart leads.”     

It reminds me of a scene from the movie “An Officer and a Gentleman” that came out in 1982 with the hit song “Up where we belong.”  Anyway, the scene I am talking about is where the only female cadet on the course has a wall she has to scale.  The hero wouldn’t let her give up.  He coached her over the wall; “Walk the wall! Seeger! Seeger, walk! Seeger! Don’t you let go! You walk that wall! Pull! Pull! Pull, Candidate Seeger!”  

Psalm 18-29

Have you ever hit the wall?  If you can’t seem to get over, consult God before you give up.  He will know whether you can do it or not.  He and my husband helped me scale the wall, just like the hero in the movie.

Did I pass Statistics at College?  I did, I never used it in my business – but I have used Statistics in a major revelation about the 153 fish.

Leaving town, for God’s sake

You have a dream job, a great family, and you are happy in the town you are living in.  Would you give it all up, and uproot your family to go and do what the Lord wanted?

choice

I did.  Ten years ago.  It wasn’t easy.  My best friend thought it was a risky move.  Has it been worth it?  Yes.  Was I comfortable doing it?  No, but I have flown higher and gone further than I would have if left in my comfort zone.

Years before, the Lord told me there were two ways I could go. I could choose a hard yet interesting path, where everything I was given would be tested.   Or I could settle down under His protection and still have His blessing.

Why did I do it?  In the Lords prayer, we pray “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done.”  This was something that was God’s will, and I wanted to do it for Him.  And I’d chosen the harder, higher road.

If you have been following my story, the next chapter is the close of my old life.  I had been asked by the Lord to go to a college in a different part of the country to live as an adult student.

At the start of my journey with the Lord I would have lacked the faith to move north and go to College in mid life.  By the time I met and married Isaac, I had learned that God is faithful, and He always has our highest best at heart.  He is worth it.   And there’s a promise in the Bible that God will reward the people He asks to do it;

And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.  Matthew 19:29

I hated the town I left for most of the time I lived there.  I hadn’t been born there, my father had moved us into the area when I was twelve.  I’ve had some horrible jobs and relationships in that town, jobs and relationships I put up with because I believed I had no other choice.  It would have been easier to leave if I was still in that situation.  I wasn’t, I had a dream job, good friends and a husband I loved.  It made all the difference to how I saw the place.  The town was no longer a prison, and I was no longer a victim.

There’s a line that Janis Joplin sang in “Me and Bobby McGee”, that goes “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.”  That’s not the kind of freedom that Christ gives us.  We are free to choose.  God knows its not a choice when there is nothing to miss or leave behind.

Perhaps you are only free to leave when you are truly happy.

Jesus said “For those the son sets free, are free indeed.  John 8:36″  That’s true.  “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” Galations 5:1. 

Before we go, here are some photos of the town I left, the place where I finally found happiness.

 

My house

My house from the Durie Hill Tower

Durie Hill Lift and Tower

The Durie Hill Elevator and Tower

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wanganui panorama

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

Honk honk, the company we keep

In a chapter of my book ‘Pearls to Pigs’ the friend I called “the Minstrel” and I went our separate ways.  I’d gone the extra mile for him, but we reached a crossroads and I chose a different road. 

Before leaving the crossroads I gave him the chapters of the Kingdom, where he had appeared in the story.  I always do it for friends I am going to part company with.

Unfortunately he took if for a love story, and we did not part on friendly terms.  He read those chapters to everybody, without context.  I had been a silly goose.

GanderWithPetPigCDSCF3270-725184

I had to learn not to give pearls to pigs.  I nearly stopped writing the Kingdom story at that point, but the main character – the King, wanted me to stick with it.  If you read my story you will see how He led a badly wounded princess to a better place and I believe He wants to use the story for His purposes.

So at this point in my journey, I had suffered harm and needed healthier people to be friends with.  A companion of fools suffers harm, but he who walks with wise grows wise.  Proverbs 13:20

I kept White Flower.  She liked to gossip but had good qualities.  Walking with her was difficult – but in the end, she proved to be true.  Deborah and Kate had joined me, and now we meet the Bright One and his wife Princess Neen, who I found while traveling through a place called ‘the Flatlands.’

They became friends with me, and my friends.  The Bright One and Neen brought in Prince Dom.  My kids brought in “Mara” and her son from across the road.  We were all following the Lord, in a natural, non religious way.

I am glad they got into formation with me.  If I had been a goose I could not have flown on my own.

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.

A stumble along the way

When I first sought the King, and His Kingdom, I was not righteous.  He welcomed me anyway, and built a relationship with me where I became righteous.  Not self-righteous.  Righteousness is right standing before the King – which leads to self assurance.  In the Kingdom, righteousness is a relationship with the King, protection for the heart, and a road to travel.

Proverbs-2

When my feet first hit the road of righteousness, I could barely discern it.  It gets brighter the further you travel along it.  I still had my old friendships, and some were no friends at all.

Back then, I could not love others as myself, for I had not learned to love myself.  I was seeking my self worth in the eyes and opinions of other people, especially men.  The King, who promised to restore my soul and lead me within the paths of righteousness, had warned me about that.  My self esteem has improved since that time and I now enjoy healthy friendships.

In the Kingdom righteousness is like food and drink. I had such a craving for words of affirmation.  Its my love language, and I had never heard it spoken.  My soul hungered and thirsted for affirmation, leaving me vulnerable to flattery.  I learned some bitter lessons about seeking my worth from other people.  Jesus said in Matthew 5:6 “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”   It is from Him that I now see my true worth.

The devil knew where I was vulnerable.  Temptation came in the way of a person I thought of at the time as a friend, who I realised later cared nothing for me.

A violent person entices their neighbor and leads them down a path that is not good.  Proverbs 16:29

I did venture down the wrong path, but fortunately I hadn’t gone too far before I saw where it was headed.  This time.

In the Kingdom there is a better path, called righteousness.  As I said, I didn’t keep to it in the beginning, but I chose it in the end, and it led to happiness, peace, and confidence.

And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever.  Isaiah 32:17

proverbs12_28

Righteousness is also there for our protection, a piece of armour that covers our heart. 

Here is a lesson I learned about righteousness, “How big do you think our hearts should be?” someone once asked me.

Naively, I stretched my arms wide to indicate ‘big.’

“No” my friend said, holding out the palm of her hand,  “the heart should be big enough to fit in the palm of your hand, so it can be protected.”

I never forgot the lesson.

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is a wellspring of life.”  Proverbs 4:23