Tag: listening

Child and Steward

What does a little child see when visiting heaven?

Well, a little child, not daring to look around, keeping eyes directed downwards to the dazzling floor and the Steward Angel’s feet, was shown into His Royal Majesty’s dining room. Sensing His Royal Majesty’s presence and feeling very overwhelmed she was shown a large table and the gold and silver vessels were, well, in a state of disarray, some were fallen, sprawled drunkenly and some looked like they needed a good polish, while others were, the child thought in need of repair.

Normally children are very outspoken, but, this was heaven and this was our Sovereign Lord’s Dining Room and table; besides The Angel had seen the little mouth forming a large, big round ‘O’ that was going to be followed by ‘ What a mess!’ … and was shaking his head.

His Majesty knows all our words before we speak them, and our thoughts, well, even a little child knows that He knows those better than we do.

It is rather a mess. I thought you would like to sort it out, put things in order.”

Now, when our Heavenly Lord speaks to you like that what do you say?

“Oh dear Lord, I can’t” .. the child said.

“I’ve never been taught how. I am sure i would only make it worse”

Just watch my Steward very closely, and listen very carefully. Be sure to do everything he tells you”

Each one of you has received a special grace, so like good stewards responsible for all these varied graces of God, put it at the service of others. If anyone is a speaker, let it be as the words of God: so that in everything God may receive the glory, through Jesus Christ, since to Him alone belong all glory and power for ever and ever Amen

(1 Peter 4. 10-11)

Often things shown in heaven mirror things on earth. In this case, I think of the messy, disordered state of some fellowships, the upsets caused by some who think more highly of themselves than they should; especially those who know they have talents and gifts and are overcome by an almost frantic desire to show them off, rather than use them in service of others and under the direction of the Holy Spirit. And, what about the Table Manners of those who are still living with both feet firmly planted in the world? The quarrels, angry voices and sometimes downright foolishness of some all need correction by a wise and gentle Steward. If other than wise, if other than gentle .. matters only get worse. Children need gentle nurture, kindly admonishment to bring them on.

I post this in gratitude for all who have taught me with quiet, kindness and love, all those who speak softly, patiently as our loving Father in heaven does. And with thanks for the lovely, gentle teaching of the writers of the New Testament letters.

Scripture from NJB

The story from things shown to me, a beginner in the Kingdom of God

Your Comments and thoughts are welcomed and always appreciated


You must forgive

One of the first things we learn as children, is how to stick up for ourselves, and to defend our toys and self interest at all costs. We learn how to squabble, how to fight, to cling to and demand what we think we should have. Fighting whether it be with tiny fists or screaming tantrums comes quite easily, until hopefully we learn better. Sadly some never learn better.

As Christian brothers and sisters we have all heard at some time that our Lord Jesus taught us to turn the other cheek, to treat others as we would want them to treat us, to be generous and to forgive; and yet …

There are times just lately when I have seemed to find myself in the middle of bickering, squabbling friends; and I must be honest I have added to the din. Once the Lord showed me hens in the yard, the farmer came and began to feed them, very generously, plenty of food to go around, not a single hen was going to go hungry, but almost at once the clucking and furious fussing was switched on … almost every hen preferring that handful over there to the handful purposely thrown to them, it seems someone else’s portion is always better than our own. Feathers fly, clucks get louder, and in my picture, the farmer hurried to pick up his favourite hen, tuck her under his arm, and place her in a pen all by herself, saying: Oh not you my pretty. You just stay by yourself awhile and learn better ways…’ by her clucking, you could tell she reckoned she was being blamed for the commotion and didn’t think much of being separated out from the other hens. Her clucks said ‘It’s not my fault. I didn’t start it.’

Whether we are hens, small children or grown Christians who ought to know better, we all at sometimes need to give thought to how we are behaving and to acknowledge that the Lord does desire us to come to Him and learn better ways.

…. Again the Lord showed me two penguins, having the most furious fight, both determined not to give in, but one was getting better of the other, and the smaller of the pair was, I could see in danger of being overcome and maybe killed. It seemed very clear to me, that the “biggest”of the pair only seemed bigger because he was the angriest. His determination fuelled by rage, he was going to finish this business once and for all.

“Oh Lord. Stop it!” I cried.

“What do you want me to do?”

“Separate them. Please”

And the Lord did.

After a short while I looked and saw a pair of penguins doing a dainty penguin shuffle together, reconciled, quarrel forgotten. Anger is a terrible thing when it grows so big it’s out of control. Even if the angry person, is the one who has been wronged, anger is not the answer, and neither is insistence on our own way,

Love is never rude, and never seeks its own advantage, it does not take offence or store up grievances.

“You must always forgive,”

If your brother does something wrong, rebuke him and if he is sorry forgive him. And if he wrongs you

Seven times a day and seven times comes back to you and says “I am sorry.” You must forgive him.

( Luke 17. 3-4)

Remember also if we are too angry we can’t hear God speak to us ~ He cannot restrain us, he cannot reach down and remove us from the fight and the injury and harm we may cause, even to those who love us.

“But Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at God’s right hand. ‘Look! I can see heaven thrown open,’ he said, ‘and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’ All the members of the council shouted out and stopped their ears with their hands; then they made a concerted rush at him, thrust him out of the city and stoned him. The witnesses put down their clothes at the feet of a young man called Saul. As they were stoning him, Stephen said in invocation, ‘Lord Jesus receive my spirit.’ Then he knelt down and said aloud, “Lord do not hold this sin against them.’ And with these words he fell asleep. (Acts 7. 55-60)

Scriptures taken from NJB

Be Joyous, other brothers and sisters will come…

There are times, and this is one of them, when I wish I had time and the skill to draw and paint some of the things shown to me by the Lord from time to time, please read this very short post: it is truthful and not presented boastfully in any way at all; perhaps it will speak to someone who has been feeling as I have lately, or maybe it will speak to them about something entirely else. Please don’t feel shy about expressing your thoughts via comments.

I hunted for a suitable image, and thought the one above most suitable, the credit says “by anonymous artist” but if anyone has information to the contrary I will be very pleased to give credit…

I have been praying with a deep sense of loneliness, that the Lord will send brothers and sisters to build up Fellowship, Worship and Prayer at my church…. ours is a congregation made of older people without the energy and ability to do many things: this is what I saw.

It was morning and I woke up to find myself in the Craftsman’s workshop, He was busy at an extremely long bench, marking out measurements on a length of wood, he was happily, totally absorbed in his work, and did not see the little child who came in, and stood silently gazing up for sometime, before asking,

“What Father doing? Why wood so long?”

At this point, a gentle voice called to me, “Be joyous, listen and receive what is said.”

The Father turned, looked down on his son and answered,

“Building another room.. other brothers and sisters will come.”

I have been reflecting on this for a few days, it was a happy, contented scene, and I can see, two Fathers one Joseph, Earthly Father of Jesus and the other His Heavenly one. Joseph preparing for the enlargement of his family and God our Heavenly Father preparing for the enlargement of His family also:

We are well aware that God works with those who love Him, those who have been called in accordance with His purpose, and turns everything to their good. He decided beforehand who were destined to be moulded to the pattern of His Son, so that He should be the eldest of many brothers; it was those so destined that He called; those that He called, He justified, and those that He has justified He has brought into glory.’

Truly, I do believe that God has a purpose and a plan.. we just don’t have access to His calendar and schedule, or blueprint!

Whatever we pray for we can be confident He hears, what we need to do is watch like Jesus in Joseph’s workshop, like Jesus at the Father’s side and listen. Heaven still speaks, and look!

Outside, posted to the door of the Craftsman Shop a sign:


Scriptures from NJB

Don’t judge a book… or church mouse

People like things are not always what they seem; I learnt not to judge a book by its cover a long time ago. The most wonderful, wise and beautiful things may be hiding within battered, frail covers of an old book, the one with the broken spine thrown on to the charity shop book shelf.. may be the one containing the priceless word treasures to restore your broken heart or spirit.

Don’t judge a book by it’s cover or believe you can tell the man or woman beloved by God by their appearance, education or by what they boast. I learnt that lesson long ago as well.

Once upon a time, there was a small Christian, very quiet but always happy to lend a hand when a hand was needed. Her friend was outgoing, bubbly and super confident, as often happens with friends, they both found themselves choosing new, different paths in following Jesus; and as the Lord often arranges it, they came together, for a time, many years later. When the quiet one, answering a call from heaven to watch over a newly born Christian accompanied her to the church where the bubbly, confident one had become a “founding member”

The night before the first visit, the quiet one was wakened from sleep by the sound of dripping water, drip, drip, drip,… was there a leak, raining in, bathroom tap left running? Quietly, the quiet one switched on lights and investigated.

Nothing! No rain drops under the eaves, no leaky pipes or taps. The quiet one snuggled down under the covers. Drip, drip, drip…

“Oh I get it. Is that you Lord?”

“…. do something for Me. Be a mother to my children”

Never overconfident, she replied doubtfully, “Oh Lord Jesús, I don’t think I can ever be a mother to your children… ooohhh”

He was showing her a young girl, from her childhood, carefully tying her headscarf in a tidy bow under her chin. “At least be a big sister.”

“I will try. Where are the children?”

“Everywhere you will ever go.”

So, first steps into a new church, reunion with an old friend, who hugged and announced to all present that here was “the church mouse” … the quiet one did not deny this but with customary quietness took a seat. It took just about 5 minutes for her to realise that this church was charismatic, red hot, on fire for God another 5 and someone was calling out “the children are here.”

Another 5 and she knew this lovely, vibrant, enthusiastic family had a problem that would finally result in its scattering … the Holy Spirit was plainly saying there was a thief in the midst.

It puzzled the quiet one, that the children were being taught, insistently that the Holy Spirit never reveals anything which might cause the children to feel ashamed. It puzzled her further that a picture received, was counted as “a word from God” that a meaning could be attributed in a matter of moments. That these pictures were always promises of good gifts and financial blessing for the church … when plainly….

To cut a long story short, less than two years after this new church had formed its Pastor and teacher went to prison for theft.

I posted this true story, because there are still “children” out there who are being conned, duped, deceived by people who look “alright on the outside” … they boast of many gifts, but deny the Spirit of Truth when He witnesses against them.

Many of those “children” lost faith and broke faith with the Lord when finally the truth came out … the bubbly confident one lost a lot of sparkle…

The quiet one carried on being a “big sister” and says wherever she goes “the children are always there”

My dear friends, not every Spirit is to be trusted, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets are at large in the world.”

1 John 4.1 (N.J.B)

He said, ‘Go’

Fresh peas …

I was invited to a friend’s home, to share good company and conversation with other friends of the Lord, from other churches, other traditions, other ways… we all had one thing in common, we all had many years of seeking to serve and please God. All of us, had started our journey with the Lord from different ‘feeder paths – yet here we were all in the Way and on the Way.

I woke next morning comfortable and quiet, the Holy Spirit nudged into my happy space with,

“Are you rich, my friend”

I smiled he was bringing to mind my friend’s home, compared to mine a palace. But there again, she had a husband and together they had a business of their own and I have been a single woman, I gave my Yes to His call as a young girl, still not old enough to vote – still ‘waiting for the key to the door’ as the older generations called it. Well the Lord gave me a most precious key to another door … won’t dwell on that now.

In the early light I was making out familiar shapes of my own humbler possessions;

“Yes, Lord, I am rich. Everything I need God has provided and will provide.” I answered happily.

Now the conversation at my friend’s home had been about the scarcity of young people in our churches, and where are tomorrow’s church leaders and elders, so the next words didn’t surprise me.

“Go,” the Lord says, and “Tell whoever has the heart to go, especially those who are young, to go, tell them don’t wait.

“Provide yourselves with no gold or silver, not even with coppers for your purses, with no haversack for the journey or spare tunic or a staff, for the labourer deserves His keep.”

I smiled. Nothing in this world, compares to the riches of the Kingdom of God.

“Yes Lord, but we do need to take something with us, we need to be dressed for the Gospel. We need compassion, kindness a heart like yours, we need to take your teaching and word with us.”

*Be compassionate just as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned, forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and overflowing will be poured into your lap; because the standard you use will be the standard used for you

“All who know this, are ready. Go,” says the Lord, “tell the older ones, tell the younger ones… wait for nothing and no one Go!”

He showed me a full pod of peas, freshly picked, young, green, tender, and sweet.

“Hold them in your hand just a little while and consider them just a little while, and ask Me about those things you don’t understand.

I smile, so many, many years ago He called me His little pe… .

Please feel free to share your thoughts on the peas.

I used the New Jerusalem Bible for the scripture quotes:

Matthew 10:9

Luke 6: 36-38

Oh Yes, I Really Said That

Often men credit women with having far too much to say. Sometimes that can be true!

Yes, I a woman, really said that, but,

Sometimes men can also have far too much to say.

Borrowing an expression from Saint Paul, ‘ I know a woman in Christ who heard The Lord speaking to her from the mountain top, “Woman you will be a sweet savour, when you have learnt to hold your tongue.”

Yes you really just read that as well!

What that woman keeps hidden in her heart is the gentleness, the sweetness of the rebuke, for more than 40 years she has remembered, held on to that sweet, still tone.

On another occasion the same woman was given a vision of The Lord Jesus who sat silently and spoke not a single word, but listened.

Oh yes she questioned why a vision, but not a word?

If you are a man, you may well be smiling to yourself at all this, and perhaps saying to yourself, “Probably he couldn’t get a word in edge-wise”

It is an age-old controversy between men and women isn’t it? Women should speak less and listen more, and after all, didn’t Saint Paul say, that he, Paul, didn’t suffer a woman to speak?

Read how Jesus took three men to a high mountain top, ( Mark 9: 2-8) and how there Peter, James and John saw Moses and Elijah talking with Jesus whose appearance became dazzling bright, read of Peter being so afraid, he didn’t know what to say, and then both read and listen to the words from the Divine Voice which came from the cloud,

“This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!”

Yes. Men should also listen before they speak and isn’t there a gentle rebuke there … On that mountain, these 3 men heard from heaven of how our Saviour would die, but wasn’t it Mary, a woman who believing his testimony anointed the body of Christ with expensive perfume beforehand at the house in Bethany? (John 12v3), after he had washed their feet.

Continue reading “Oh Yes, I Really Said That”

Eh? What Was That You Said?

ImageA wise old owl lived in an oak

The more he saw the less he spoke;

The less he spoke the more he heard;

Why aren’t we like that wise old bird?

(Edward Hersey Richards)
Walked in on a quarrel the other day, heard some words which were best left unsaid and it turned out that the verbal strife was caused by one of the parties mishearing someone else. Well now, what a carry on! An outbreak of war of the ear splitting kind because some one had only half an ear for something said, passed it one and then got fired up and armed to the teeth with language of the invective kind! Invective? That’s a good word for a Wednesday evening, better than some of the words used on this occasion at least.
Are you a good listener, my apology to anyone who is deaf – just like to say that having watched deaf people sign, you are all pretty good at listening your way, and excellent when it comes to reading lips and body language and all those other things which I might not ‘see’ – some deaf people are better at ‘listening and hearing it right’ then some hearing folk might think.

Being a ‘good listener’ is not such a natural gift as we might think either, we can learn how to be a ‘good listener’ and with self discipline and patience we can all achieve a measure of proficiency in this area. I am sure we have all known times when we needed to get things off our chest, think things out aloud and have valued the discrete friend who just sat there, took it all and said nothing… hush … not to a soul, and never mentioned it again to us either, unless of course, we asked…

‘Oh, that I had someone to hear me,’ says Job (31:35) He had listeners alright. But getting their two bits in was more important than really listening to poor old Job and to blame easier than to have compassion.

James, bless him, might have learnt his wisdom the hard way too, most of us do, ‘everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry’ (James 1:19)

Me? well I am still learning, and taking to heart this saying from Proverbs (1:5)

…let the wise listen and add to their learning.’I would rather be known as a wise old owl than a fire-belching dragon.