Almond Grove

Have you ever had a dream come true?  I found myself in a place I had seen in a dream – a particularly auspicious dream.  Years before I’d dreamed of staying at a lodge of sorts, which lead to an Almond grove.  According to my dream dictionary, to dream of Almond trees meant I could look forward with certainty to a happy marriage.

About four years later I met the man I was going to marry, and one weekend in the winter we stayed at a lodge of sorts with a group of people from his college course. 

I learned that our hosts had planted some Almond trees on the lodge grounds and I recognised I was in the place I’d dreamed if.  The trees weren’t as spectacular as the grove in my dream, but the surrounding land at Otaki Gorge was every bit as beautiful.  Otaki Gorge was the location in New Zealand which represented The Shire woods in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies.

Otaki in Maori means the place of a staff stuck in the ground.

Otaki river

Otaki forks

To have the dream fulfilled was an awesome experience.

There is a proverb that says “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12.

In the Kingdom dreams do come true, if you seek the Kingdom first.  There is a promise in the Bible; “Seek your happiness in God, and He will grant you your heart’s desire.”  Psalm 37:4

It’s true.  If you read my story, you’ll see how good God was to me, and I am no more deserving than anyone else.

Choose this day …

WChoicee live in a sea of possibilities and choices.  Some choices are bigger than others, for instance who we will marry, or where we will spend eternity.  Sometimes we are the answer to someone’s prayer. 

On Easter Monday we picked up a guy from the side of the road, I’ll call him Shaun.  This guy didn’t have a lot of choices to make at this point of his journey – just stick his thumb out or keep walking north.  He was stuck in the North Island at Easter without any money or transport.

We had a choice to make too.  Should we turn the car around?  We’d gone past him, but 3kms up the road the Lord asked my husband to turn the car around and go get him.  I’m glad we obeyed.  We found out he’d been standing for two hours waiting for a lift, and hadn’t eaten for two days.

While he was sleeping his friend had ditched him at a motel, taking his pack and wallet.  Shaun told us his friend had got onto meth, which he hadn’t known abour prior to their reunion at Easter.  He noticed how much it had changed his friend, and had a bad feeling about it.  The bad feeling hadn’t stopped him being robbed.

choose wiselySomeone at Taupo (the town he’d been stranded at) contacted a church at Tokoroa – a town further north.  The church told him they could help with accomodation until he could get back to the South Island, he just needed to put $40 towards it.  We gave Shaun the $40, plus the food left over from the long weekend, including some Easter eggs.

I asked Shaun if he knew who was helping him, and what Easter was all about.  Shaun didn’t know, so we explained how Christ had died on the cross for our sins.

Click here if you want to know about salvation.

Shaun realised he had a choice to make, and somewhere between Taupo and Tokoroa, he made Christ his Lord.  It’s the biggest and most important choice he has ever made or will make.

If you know you have a choice to make about the Lord, then don’t delay.  It’s getting dark out there.  Choose this day whom you will serve.

Now to the next most important choice, who we will marry.  I chose my first husband, and it didn’t work out.  When I came to know the Lord, I asked Him to choose the next one.  The Lord promised I would remarry, and told me He had a guy already chosen for me.  In the Kingdom I referred to this man as the ‘chosen’, and (after I met ‘Ishmael’) I called him ‘Issac’.

‘Isaac’ had been praying for a wife.  When he arrived in my life seven years later, he believed the Lord had someone else for him.  It tripped me up big time.  Isaac didn’t know he was ‘the chosen’, and I was grumpy and not saying anything.  I expected if I knew about him, it would logically follow he would know about me.  Not necessarily!  Chapter 62 Choosing the Chosen tells the story.

Sometimes we are the answer to someon’e prayer.  Happy choose day!

 

 

Salus per Aquam, Healing through waters

Te Waihou River

Te Waihou river, meaning “new water”

Christmas for us in NZ is in the summer, and its usually when we do our travel.  In the same Christmas holiday where I discovered the Te Waihou River with its sapphire blue water, mentioned in my post ‘Come to the River‘, I also discovered the unique spa town about three hours south of where I live called “Te Aroha”.

Aroha is the Maori word for love, and Te Aroha means ‘mountain of love or ‘loved one‘.

Mokena Geyser

The Mokena Geyser at Te Aroha

The domain where the hot springs are was decked out in the fashion of the European Spas in the 1880’s, and it hasn’t changed.   The Te Aroha Hot Springs Domain is a unique place, the only complete Edwardian Domain in New Zealand, and the site of the Mokena Geyser, a geyser of hot soda water … the only one of its kind in the world.

It comes up from a depth of 70 meters and plays every 40 minutes.  It was named after the Maori chief, Mokena Te Hau, an early Christian convert who gifted the land to us.  His memorial Cairn is next to the No.8 Drinking Fountain, where you can drink the soda water for free.

The water is nice to drink, naturally carbonated without the sugar or preservatives.  Coke’s not the real thing, THIS is the real thing.  The pools are nice too.

The word ‘Spa’ is an acronym for Salus per Aquam or healing through waters.

In order for this unique fountain to be found at the Spa, it needed two things – a gift to the people from a chief, and for the people who discovered the healing power of the water to have enough faith in it to dig a bore 70 meters down to find the well.

There is a another great gift of water, a gift of God mentioned in the Bible.  All you need is faith to find it.  The scene is Jacob’s well in Samaria.  When Jesus met the woman at the well, He said;

‘If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water’.

‘Sir’, the woman said, ‘you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get the living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself?’

Jesus answered ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’  John 5:15

A great chief has given us a great gift, living water.  There is only one place in the world where it can be found.  All you need is to do to get this living water is to ask Jesus for it.

The water He gives is even better than the soda water at Te Aroha.  He will satisfy your thirsty spirit, and it well up within you to eternal life.  Its the ultimate spa gift, a gift of Aroha (love) from the King.  I hope you have received or will receive this gift of God for yourself.

Come all who thirst, come to the water.

The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" 
And let the one who hears say, "Come!" 
Let the one who is thirsty come; and 
let the one who wishes, 
take the free gift of the water of life.  
Revelation 22:17  

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 Way, The Truth, and The Life

How can we know the way to the Kingdom?

Thomas said, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  John 14 1-6

Remember this if you are feeling lost in the wilderness.

God has promised; “I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you shall go: I will guide you with my eye.”  Psalm32:8

Without the Way, you can go nowhere

Without the Truth, you can know nothing

Without the Life, you cannot live

I AM the Way you should follow

I AM the Truth you should believe

I AM the Life you can hope for

I AM the Way that is protected

I AM the Truth that is flawless

I AM the Life that has no end

I AM the straightest Way

I AM the perfect Truth

I AM the happiest Life.

TheWay_TheTruth_TheLife

Prayers, Petitions, and Princesses

After I rid myself of “Silver-tongue” the abuser , I found myself alone with my children.  I took stock of my changed life and looked around me.  Who could I trust?  I now walked a different path from the one that led me to ruin.  I needed to find friends who were walking the same road, or find my way alone. 

“White Flower” had also asked the King to teach her His paths.  She lived just down the street and became a close friend.  It seemed natural to get together over coffee and pray, while our kids played together.

We hadn’t a clue how to pray together though, or what to pray.  The Lord told me to “pray the Word”.  I took it to mean find appropriate scriptures and then pray them in the context of the situation.  The King would speak a verse, and off we’d go to find it.  Back then, I did not have Bible software or a concordance.  My Bible got very well thumbed.  I wore out two paperback Bibles in six years, the first was the ‘Good News’ and the second was the ‘NIV’ translation.

We would come back to him with our petitions, speaking His word.

For example I prayed the Word in Psalm 25;

Show me your ways, Lord,
    teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
    for you are God my Savior,
    and my hope is in you all day long.
Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love,
    for they are from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth
    and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
    for you, Lord, are good.  Psalm 25:4-7

psalm-25-v_452

I found that praying the word is a great way to go to the Lord, using His own words.  The King honours His word.

My book is full of me talking to the King – which is praying to Him using the Word.  The faithful King responded in kind.  If you read my book you will see His replies and revelations have come true in real life.

Avoiding the void

broken-heart_2830_1024x768

God can heal a broken heart, but He needs all the pieces

In leaving an unhappy relationship, it’s very hard to deal with the empty space or feeling of amputation.  I had to adjust to being alone.  

All sorts of unhappy fear filled thoughts went through my mind after I left my abuser, things he said, thoughts like “I’ll never find anyone else”.  I had to recognise those negative, fearful thoughts as a lie. 

It’s what I now call “stinking thinking.”  FEAR is simply “False Evidence Appearing Real”.    I changed my thoughts to “So I’ll be alone for now.  That’s good because I need to heal.”    I reminded myself of what I read in a book called “Safe places” that “Healthy people would rather be alone than in a sick relationship.”

I said to myself “Better a dry crust in a house full of peace, than a feast in a house full of trouble.” Proverbs 17:1

I promised myself that alone is not forever, I would get through with the Lord’s mercy and help, and one day I was going to meet a good man.”  This thought was the truth.  Whenever I wavered in doubt the Lord reminded me of His promise.

After I’d got finally got rid of my abuser, suddenly all the chaos stopped.  It was like life had flat lined.  Nature abhors a vacuum, and so did I.  For a while, I felt like I was in an empty void, a space I had to cross where I wavered between fear and temptation.

The temptation was to fill the space, get into another relationship with the next Prince Charming, the next Mr Wrong.  I believe without wisdom it’s possible to have the same relationship over and over, even though their names are different.  I needed wisdom.

“The Mourning After” deals with what happened next.