Journey or Destination part 2

geesje-vera2

Journey or Destination? By Geesje

https://stumblingtowardsthelightblog.wordpress.com/

 

I can safely say that on November 30th, 2016 I received Christ in my heart. In spite of all that has happened before then, and my faith in God being older than that, the joy of being saved was never mine until recently.

It has changed me in a way I always thought was impossible. Yes, I have heard the stories and read the testimonies that claim there was a sudden peace in surrendering, asking for and being granted forgiveness after repenting, and accepting the gift of the Cross. In spite of my being baptized in 2010, I had never experienced it for myself.

Finally, my heart was changed, in the middle of a pile of laundry, as I admitted I cannot do it alone. I am not strong enough. I need Him.

My journey to get to this point has been a long one, with a lot of ups-and-downs along the way. My long distance pen-pal Jack, whom I have never seen in person, has been an inspiration and a wealth of knowledge when it comes to my travels on the path to my Savior. Jack now blogging at www.JesusChristExalted.com sent me emails, books, and music over the past 20 years, that have helped me to get to know the Lord better. Getting to know him as a gifted poet, Jack has shared his faith and his knowledge with me during the times when I was on spiritual crossroads in my life.

Jack pointed me to the Lord’s Prayer when I needed help to pray all those years ago. He was also the one I turned to on that November-night, when I felt lost, hurt, alone and so confused about what it was that God could want for me in my current situation. What would God want FROM me ?!?!

Jack pointed me to Matthew 5 and 6 in the Bible, and to a chapter in 1 Corinthians, so that I could read for myself what the answer was in God’s own Word. And reading, I did! And while reading those words I knew that what Jesus asked of me in Matthew 5 and 6, I could not do. I was not strong enough. I would have to have help.

God’s help.

So I got down on my knees and prayed. Prayed for Jesus to come and save me, to help me fight the darkness I felt surrounding me, to take my troubles and my worries from me, help me to be who He wants me to be, and help me to do what He wants me to do, rather than what I think is best.

I asked Him to forgive my sins, and change my ways from the inside out. And He did!

The years of struggle and slow progress to get to that point made me think I was “there”, that I had arrived, so to speak. I felt elated, walking on clouds! Happy to finally be saved and feeling like the Lord was really with me, inside of me, changing me from the inside out. I felt like singing His praises all day, and literally did.

And then, a couple of days later, Jack told me I needed to find a church close by, to be my family in Christ and to learn more. His own online guidance was not enough for a Newborn like myself, that I needed actual spiritual family…

For as long as I can remember, Jack has been the only spiritual family I have had. Even though living at the other side of the Atlantic, he has been there online during my struggles and questions. Jack has been the one to suggest I start this blog. Jack has been the one suggesting I start singing again. Jack has been like the voice of God to me.

And now he told me that I would have to find a family. And I didn’t like it one bit. I felt disappointed, rejected and abandoned. I didn’t need anyone over here, did I?! I had not before, and I was saved now. I had finally reached my destination, had I not?!

No. I had not.

It took a picture of my daughter to make me realize that I had been foolish to think so. My precious 4 year old, 7 pm on New Year’s eve, outside while it was dark.

Holding fireworks in her hand for the first time, her little safety glasses on, wide-eyed and oh so proud. She was lighting fireworks like the adults, and she was a really BIG girl now! Oh the look in her eyes, thinking she ‘had it made’! … not knowing that her ‘fireworks’ were merely  sparklers and throw-downs. Literally child’s play compared to what would go up in to the sky, later, at midnight.

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Yes, to her it was immense. But in reality, she was still at the start of her journey to being grownup. It will take several more years of growing up for her to experience the real fireworks at midnight. A lot of falling and getting back up, questions and struggles to learn and understand the risks that are involved and the consequences of her actions and choices.

In her eyes I saw my own feelings reflected: I had felt like I was all grownup now, like I had arrived at my destination and from here on it would all be a piece of cake. That I had overcome all danger and all sin and all struggle to finally be a saved Christian for real! My pride got the better of me, and I thought I could handle it, from now on. What Jack had tried to tell me was that he wanted to make sure that I would find all the support, help, and care that I need as a Newborn.

 

Because this is not a destination, but rather the start of another journey. Being reborn comes with a whole new world of challenges, experiences and questions. All of those needs are way more than a single brother in Christ, no matter how kind and Guided he may be, can answer and take care of from across the Ocean. I am not abandoned nor rejected. I will not lose the family I feel I have…. no, He simply wants for me to find more family!

So I am looking at churches around here. To see if there is a church that could be the family that I need. I no longer feel rejected or abandoned. I feel blessed because I am not travelling alone. And my brother in Christ? He is helping me, pointing out local churches that might be suitable that he finds through the Internet, sending me links and even looking up websites.

My God is a great God, for He has given me everything I need and more to grow so that I won’t have to be a newly born forever. And I thank Him for working His miraculous ways, across oceans and through cyberspace, with me every step on this journey. Because a journey is what it is. And that is what He does!

 

Geesje https://stumblingtowardsthelightblog.wordpress.com/

Netherlands

Deuteronomy 31:8 The Lord himself will go before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forget you. Don’t be afraid and don’t worry.

Journey or Destination Part 1 The STAR

Dutch Windmill
Dutch Windmill 2016

Journey of Destination? part 1

THE STAR

It was a long time ago. But I can still remember.

 

My parents and brother were gone from home. Watching the house and the dog, I must have been 20 something years old when the NEWS crushed my world and called my whole existence into question.

 

Earlier that year, my family had been shocked by the murder of my cousin’s baby girl. She was not even one year old, found outside of the house, and drowned in a ditch.

 

Babies like that don’t get up and walk outside while her parents are taking an 8 minute stroll, walking the dog together. It should have been perfectly safe for 8 minutes alone in her perfectly safe crib inside her perfectly safe house. Instead, someone came in, took her outside, dropped her in a ditch, and left her to die.

 

It had shocked our family.

 

Shortly after the girl had died, Jack helped me find a way to understand that perhaps her story on earth was fulfilled. Perhaps there were things God saw in her future we could not yet see, but God thought it better for her to come Home to Him. She would rest in His peace.

 

The biggest shock came a few weeks later. I was alone at the house when I heard the news. The woman who was supposedly responsible for the murder of my cousin’s baby was being set free by

the Justice Department because of lack of evidence. She was known to be ‘confused’ and there was a pretty clear vision of what had happened that night, but not all of it could be proven. So she was set free.

 

Hearing that news sent my head spinning and my heart crying out!

d-field-morning

HOW?! How could this be? How could this young life end and this woman not pay for it? What kind of justice is that? What kind of

God would let someone get away with something as unforgivable as this!!?

My anger demanded some kind of punishment, some kind of justice, some kind of sign that God was Watching this! and Judging! DOING something!!!

 

To hear of this woman being set free, was just one shock too many for my fragile faith. This was not the God I had believed in for so long as a child. Not the righteous, just, and honest God who punishes the wrong and loves the right. If HE could not do something about this, who could?

 

I felt the ground fall from beneath me.  I was lost! It felt as if God had abandoned me. If He were not around, then what had I been believing in?

 

Perhaps my parents and brother were right after all, and it was all just stories that they told children in school. To my family, it was a mystery how I had kept believing in the stories from the Bible I heard in school. They did not believe there was a God, and I was feeling like my certainty, my childlike trust in this God I had heard about, may have been a mistake indeed!

 

I needed not call my family to talk about this. They would have answered “God is not real.” But I was not ready to accept that kind of an answer.

 

That evening, I had to show up for duty at the local radio station. I was to be technical assistance for a few program makers and then spent the last 2 hours playing non-stop music until the airtime was over.

I rode my bike over to the studio and tried my best to get through the first two hours without too much talking.

The second program maker left the studio, the board meeting had finished up early as well, and the station manager dropped by the studio to let me know that I would be the one to close up the studio for the night. I closed the door behind them, making sure I would not be surprised by anyone coming in that had no business being there.

 

And started playing songs. Just random stuff I pulled out of the cd boxes next to me. And while I did, I could feel my questions just keep on whirling around in my head.

 

WHY?!! Why would she be allowed to walk free when my cousin and his family would have to live the rest of their lives with this loss?

 

While closing up, wandering about in that old house built in 1875,that we used for a studio, I found myself crying.

Angry tears. And then whispering. Angry whispers. Talking. Urgently talking. Shouting. Screaming. Yelling. Angry words. Angry questions. Questioning God out loud. Telling Him how angry I was, how unjust He had been. How much He had let me down! How furious I was!

 

And then, after a while… how sad I was, how confused and afraid I was, how lost I felt, thinking about a world without Him. But also how difficult it was for me to still believe that He was still true, still around… if He would let stuff like this happen.

d-morning-closer

Ain’t it funny, how you can tell whether someone is listening or not? How you can tell the difference between someone listening to you or reading the newspaper, while hidden behind that newspaper…?

 

Alone, in the last room that was still lit, I sat down on the floor and realized that He had been listening. All the time. To my yelling. To my whispering, my shouting, my screaming, my questions, my doubt and my fear.

And that it was all right. But it was not. NOT enough. It was NOT alright! My stubborn mind needed proof! Because I had believed Him there before hadn’t I? In spite of what my family said, I had believed God was there!

 

And yet, He could not be. Because why would He let this woman walk free. How COULD He?!?

 

So if there really was a plan for this, if He really had this covered, and most of all, if He wanted me to believe that He was real, He was going to have to show me. And I told Him, it had to be rather obvious, because I was really not gonna go ahead and fall for “just anything” this time.

 

I sat there and waited, but nothing happened.       Nothing.    Well, beside the clock ticking on and the building getting colder from the heater being automatically turned off…

So I got up and finished the closing up. Numb and sore from my outbursts, I put on the alarm after cleaning up the last dishes, and locked the door. I turned around on the steps to the front door, to walk to my bike. The same steps I had stood on, so many nights before this one, doing the exact same thing.

And this time, I looked up and saw it. A HUGE star. Glittering like a diamond, almost as if saying

 

“Hello there!”

 

And all the way home on my bike, that big glittering star was shining ahead of me. It seemed to be there every turn I made, every corner I took. Staring me right in the eye. Right until I arrived home.

 

My sign from God that He is here. Everywhere. If I care to look.

I felt peace knowing that He would listen to me, and even answer my cry, however futile I may be in this huge world. That I mattered enough to Him to have that star shine brightly for me.

Now that I had proof, I had 2 choices. I could go insane trying to hold on to my control, my ideas of what justice is and what should happen.

Or I could give it up. Give up trying to understand what His reasons might be. Surrender my need to know, my need to understand, and trust in Him. No longer question Him, or His presence.

And that is what I did. I surrendered to Him. I didn’t have to understand anymore. I just had to believe. Trust. And surrender.

Sounds so simple, don’t it? It does when I write it down now. But that was only the first time I have surrendered to God. Because control is hard to give up. My need to understand is strong. I am proud enough to think I know a lot and curious enough to want to learn more. But to give up that pride, that need to know, need to understand… is one of the things that I have had to keep on doing on a conscious level or I would slip right back in to my questioning.

d-kerstkindje-glas-in-lood-1

One thing I have not questioned like this anymore, ever, is whether God  is real or not. Since that day, I have been sure of it. I have been talking to Him, although I hardly ever visit a church, although my family still has no idea why I am so certain of God. He has been there on so many occasions, if only I put my ego aside and care to listen to what He wants from me. Through relationship trouble, addictions, re-organizations at work, and depression, I have seen Him there. I have felt His Hand on my back, felt His Arms around me, felt Him listening, guiding me.

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for more of Geesje’s writing, see and like her blog:

www.StumblingTowardsTheLight.com

Father’s Worship

Father’s Worship

5/1/96

We won’t rush rudely into Your Presence

To get what we need and then leave-

We have now come to You as we are.

So please, bathe us ’til fit to receive.

 

Though our past flashes failures that whip,

Or successes that hold us at bay.

Can not deal with tomorrow.

Such grace we can’t borrow.

We seize Your great plan for today.

 

Turn our hearts into sweet harmony,

As our wills You align into one;

Our desires are open to You.

We have come here to follow the Son.

 

Whether working the fields ripe for harvest

Or lone in the closet of pray’r,

As our Christ is exalted,

And we are anointed,

We’ll go where You go – anywhere.

 

 

Waiting, hungry with anticipation

For whispers of Your loving Word.

Drawing close to hear all that You’re saying

Because of our thirst for You, Lord.

 

 

Whether snuggl’d close, safe in Your lap,

Giggling, bouncing so high on Your knee,

All our cares are erased

By Your tender embrace;

We’re together, alone, feeling free.

 

You’re the focus of our full attention.

We watch for the look in Your eyes,

As we hush for the beat of Your heart,

We are carried by You through the skies.

 

We can climb back up into Your lap

Once again just to bounce on Your knee

To be loved, yes, restored,

Heal’d, protected, and more,

Happy, salting the earth, being free.

 

‘Fore we leave from this place of Your Goodness,

To walk among people again,

Change our lives prepp’d to carry Your Presence;

Your passion to dwell among man.

Barriers to Freedom

 

spiritwar real

 

Barriers to Freedom

Deception vs. Truth (study 1 John 1: 5– 2: 2)

Are you aware that you have been believing any lies concerning life, yourself, others, etc.? _________

Are you aware of any of the following self-deceptions?

___Denial of reality

___Fantasy escape

___Attempts to identify self as someone else

___Emotional passivity

___Attempt to retreat to earlier stage of life

___Venting feelings on people weaker than those who hurt you

 

Are you given to defending yourself by any of the following?

___Covering up your weaknesses by overdoing your strengths ___Blaming others for your own problems

___Rationalization to justify yourself

 

Bitterness vs. Forgiveness (study Ephesians 4: 31– 32)

Ask God to bring to mind every relationship in which you have feelings of resentment or bitterness (including God), and list them. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________

 

Ask God to reveal to you every person who needs to forgive you, and list them. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Rebellion vs. Submission (study Romans 13: 1– 5)

Examine yourself with regard to any rebelliousness in relation to each of the following.

Notice that each passage promises a blessing for a submissive response.

  1. Civil government (1 Timothy 2: 1– 3; 1 Peter 2: 13– 17)
  2. Parents (Ephesians 6: 1– 3)
  3. Husband (1 Peter 3: 1– 6)
  4. Employer (Ephesians 6: 5– 8; 1 Peter 2: 18– 21)
  5. Church leaders (Hebrews 13: 17) Record any thoughts that come to you in this regard. ________________________________________ ________________________________________

Pride vs. Humility (study James 4: 6– 10)

Examine yourself to see if you are consciously or unconsciously seeking your will more than God’s. Record any thoughts that come to you in this regard. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Bondage vs. Freedom (study Galatians 5: 1)

Examine yourself in the light of the following passages:

Romans 1: 24– 31

1 Corinthians 6: 9– 11

Galatians 5: 19– 21

Revelation 21: 8; 22: 15

Record any thoughts that come to your mind in this regard. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Taken from Two Hours to Freedom by Charles H. Kraft Chosen Books, a Division of Baker Publishing Group Grand Rapids, Michigan (Pages 157, 158).

Others May, You Can Not

Early in my relationship with Jesus, I surrendered to this calling. I was never the same after I first read this tract.

I want to say that His “peculiar, personal, private, jealous guardianship and management” is a wonderful experience!!! -JMc

 

OTHERS MAY, YOU CANNOT 

If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. (Matthew 16:24-25)

If God has called you to be truly like Jesus in all your spirit, He will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility. He will put on you such demands of obedience that you will not be allowed to follow other Christians.

In many ways, He seems to let other good people do things which He will not let you do. Others who seem to be very religious and useful may push themselves, pull wires, and scheme to carry out their plans, but you cannot. If you attempt it, you will meet with such failure and rebuke from the Lord as to make you sorely penitent.

Others can brag about themselves, their work, their successes, their writings, but the Holy Spirit will not allow you to do any such thing. If you begin to do so, He will lead you into some deep mortification that will make you despise yourself and all your good works.

Others will be allowed to succeed in making great sums of money, or having a legacy left to them, or in having luxuries, but God may supply you only on a day-to-day basis, because He wants you to have something far better than gold, a helpless dependence on Him and His unseen treasury.

The Lord may let others be honored and put forward while keeping you hidden in obscurity because He wants to produce some choice, fragrant fruit for His coming glory, which can only be produced in the shade.

God may let others be great, but keep you small. He will let others do a work for Him and get the credit, but He will make you work and toil without knowing how much you are doing. Then, to make your work still more precious, He will let others get the credit for the work which you have done; this to teach you the message of the Cross, humility, and something of the value of being cloaked with His nature.

The Holy Spirit will put a strict watch on you, and with a jealous love rebuke you for careless words and feelings, or for wasting your time, which other Christians never seem distressed over. So make up your mind that God is an infinite Sovereign and has a right to do as He pleases with His own, and that He may not explain to you a thousand things which may puzzle your reason in His dealings with you.

God will take you at your word. If you absolutely sell yourself to be His slave, He will wrap you up in a jealous love and let other people say and do many things that you cannot.

Settle it forever; you are to deal directly with the Holy Spirit, He is to have the privilege of tying your tongue or chaining your hand or closing your eyes in ways which others are not dealt with.

However, know this great secret of the Kingdom: When you are so completely possessed with the Living God that you are, in your secret heart, pleased and delighted over this peculiar, personal, private, jealous guardianship and management of the Holy Spirit over your life, you will have found the vestibule of heaven, the high calling of God.

 

By G.D. Watson

G.D.Watson (1845-1924) was a Wesleyan Methodist minister and evangelist based in Los Angeles. His evangelistic campaigns took him to England, the West Indies, New Zealand, Australia, Japan and Korea. He also wrote several books. www.BulletinInserts.org

Launch Out Into the Deep and Let Down Your Nets For A Catch Part 3

Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch Part 3

Luke 5: 4 When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”

crashing surf

Is Jesus welcome where you work? Not bums, but busy about their responsibilities, Jesus was looking for workers. Laziness is not a quality God desires in His harvesters. They weren’t passive either.

Simon’s simple perspective had him “washing the nets”. Simon’s team had not caught fish, but decided to be respectable about failing. There is a known rhythm in working and resting. Giving and receiving, praying and preaching.

Maybe it was “net repairing and washing” time of day. My pro fishing guide son can tell you that there are times of day that are better and worse for expecting to catch anything. Maybe the weather is more favorable some hours than others. Here in the Texas Panhandle, we expect the winds to pick up as the day goes on. Can you picture Simon throwing a net into the wind to have it blown right back into his face? We can.

My guide son ( http://www.ltdguideservice.com –shameless plug) will also tell you that fish move around based on the water temperature, wind direction, phases of the moon, etc. Maybe the hour determined the location of fish and feasibility of fishing.  Maybe there were avoidable dangers in the deep at this time.

Simon, the Pro, knew when to be on the lake and when to be on the shore. Jesus’ timing is no less than perfect, ever. Jesus shows up and uses a boat that was strategically at shore.

Then:

One Command from the Creator gave Courage to the Craftsmen….

 

To be continued….

http://biblehub.com/interlinear/luke/5.htm

Sharee’s Testimony of Deliverance

As I have been going through some major changes in my life, I have been seeking direction and reassurance in the path that God has set me on. Just this morning, I awoke after dealing with rampant sickness and difficulty in my family when I finally had the opportunity to respond to a message from a long-time friend. He let me know he had moved several hours away from the same place in which I had previously encountered similar issues to his. Bondage, frustration, drug-addiction, and attempts to change – all to no avail. I encouraged him as best as I could in the moment and then proceeded to embrace all the goodness this  day would hold. I am a fighter, a survivor. I hunger and thirst for Truth, hold no secrets of my own, and am constantly seeking help in areas that are too difficult for me to overcome alone. I have found that serving others helps me to share light with them and offer encouragement on a particularly elevated level. During this magnificent day, I had the pleasure of getting to know a new friend a little more and encountered an experience that took me back to one of the greatest days of my life. Let’s rewind a bit.
It was the year 2009 and I was struggling greatly. I was saved, baptized, and had begun a  new life. I was constantly in my Bible – so much so, that I read it from cover to cover in about 4 months. However, I was still mixed in with old acquaintances and old habits that would one day result in nothing short of death if I did not change. One day, I was alone at my residence. I flushed down the toilet a major “investment” that I had purchased for someone else that didn’t go through. I was exhausted. There in my bedroom, I looked out of the window into the beaming sunlight and I uttered these words, “God, please help me rest.” Immediately, I heard a response. One word – “Rest.” So, that is exactly what I did.
I slept for a while, and when I awoke, I perceived the beams of the sun rays as red-hot lasers scanning every inch of my surroundings continually. I lay there in a cold sweat, not sure of what I was experiencing. I heard the voices of my little sister and mother praying on the other side of my bedroom door. Being still felt so uncomfortable, so I moved a bit. Once I did that, I heard dogs barking and footsteps pounding. I heard my little sister’s whispered screams of, “Sharee! Be quiet! Be still! Please!” So I did just that. Not many more moments passed and I began to feel the breath of dogs and their wet noses around the bed. I couldn’t “see” them, but I knew they were there, and that I was no longer just in my bedroom. I was in the midst of a prison that I had created! Once I was still long enough, the dogs retreated. This happened several more times. I thought my life was over.
After many more moments, the guard dogs left and pigs took their places. As I moved, they returned. Eventually, I was still long enough that nobody came. I could no longer hear my sister and mother on the other side of the door. And in all reality, nobody was there except for me. I laid there a while longer, terribly afraid. The rays of the sun transformed from the beams of a hot laser and into a  healing light, as the flames of a fire lancing a wound.
When I awoke, I looked up dogs and pigs in the Word and encountered the Truth of this verse: Matthew 7:6 (NKJV) Do not give what is holy to the dogs, nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces. Once I came back to awareness and stepped out of the vision, I knew something was different about me. I no longer had a desire to run in the circles that I had before. My life began to transform. This is a story that I am not ashamed of. This is a story of an  event that changed my life dramatically and re-charted my course, re-aligning me with my destiny. I pray it does the same for you.
That day, all “alone” in my bedroom, I was healed, delivered and set free from ties that had bound me for so long. I never struggled in that area nor went down that path again. Jesus and His saving grace chased me down that day. Since I allowed him into my heart, my life has been so full. When I encounter difficulties throughout the days, this vision is a constant reminder of Who I am, Whose I am, what only He can do, and that my story was not through. Be encouraged.