Archive for June, 2012

June 27, 2012

Making Decisions with God

How much would like God to tell you with unmistakable clarity exactly what he wants you to do at church, in your career, with your house, with your marriage, in every area of life that you have questions about?

In my experience Christians are desperate for guidance.  We want to know what God wants us to do – we pray hard, we ponder, and we grasp any indication that we feel the Lord gives us about what we should do.  And I’m no different.

I’ve heard various theories over the years.  Some put a lot of weight on Paul’s comment that we should let the peace of God guard our hearts and our minds (Phil 4:6).  Others put emphasis on getting the advice of others.

The best that I have ever heard on this topic is from Philip Jensen’s little book Guidance and the Voice of God.  Jensen says that there are 3 levels of decision:

  • Holy  vs  Unholy
  • Wise  vs  Unwise
  • Trivial

Holiness

If you are tossing up whether to leave your spouse and jump in bed with someone else’s spouse then you don’t need to spend a whole night in prayer to know what God wants you to do.  It is a question of holiness.  The bible says “the marriage bed must be kept pure” Heb 13:4.  So that settles that.  That sounds obvious, but it still has to be said – if you decide to do what is holy each and every time you have a choice then you have just made 95% of the decisions that matter in your life.

Wisdom

Then there are decisions where you need wisdom.  What does God want you to do for a job?  Where does he want you to live?  Who does he want you to marry?  These are big issues in our lives.  They are important decisions.  How do we get them right?  Here are some ideas that are a mixture of Jensen’s and mine.

Do what you think God wants you to do, and be open to him pushing you in a different direction.  Paul’s missionary journeys give us an example here.  Paul was clearly told by God to start travelling and preaching – see Acts 13:1-4.  But God didn’t give him a route.  So Paul just went from one town to another.  Then, on one occasion Paul says that he and his team tried to “enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.” (Acts 16:7)  Because Paul was open to God he simply went along doing what he thought God wanted him to.  Paul visited many towns before his attempt to go to Bithynia.  We have no evidence that God thought those plans were good or bad.  But all of a sudden God expresses a view.  So live where you want.  Take the job that you want.  Commit to the church that you want to.  But be open to God speaking to you at any point along the journey.

To make the wisest possible choices get God’s wisdom and God’s priorities into your heart.  The more time that you spend in prayer and in reading the scriptures such as Proverbs the more you will be intuitively attracted to better options.  Psalms says “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Ps 37:4)  I think that the more you love God the more that his desires become aligned with your desires.  Does that help you decide where to live?  What job?  Who to marry?  I think that it does.  When you have His heart you can weigh up the pros and cons of any decision with the right balance.

Make sure that you are doing the last thing that the Lord definitely told you to do.  To stick with the example of Paul and his trips, if he did not go to Macedonia as God clearly directed him in a vision then I don’t think that God would speak to him very frequently in the months and years that followed.  So if there is something in your life that you feel God clearly directed you to do,l make sure that you have done it.  Don’t expect further instructions if you disobeyed the last set.

Trivial

And then there are trivial decisions.  What does God want you to have for breakfast?  I don’t know.  I don’t think He cares.  I plan to have vegemite toast.  Have what you want.

John

June 27, 2012

An Open Gratitude Letter

A dream of mine came true a couple of years ago. I made it on to a reality TV show! It was a documentary called “House of Food Obsessive’s’. I loved every minute of it. It was a fantastic experience of which I have no regrets. As part of the journey the producers asked us to write a gratitude letter. After much thought I chose to write it to my dearest husband John. I was filmed reading it to him. This is what it said:

Dear John,

I have chosen to write you this gratitude letter to you because I want to thank you for the incredible impact you have made on my life not just as my husband but as my best friend. When we met almost 14 years ago I didn’t know what lay ahead. I would never have guessed then that we would marry, have a gorgeous daughter and live happily ever after.

The things that I like about you the most are your spirit of generosity, your absolute unwavering passion toward politics, sport, God and me. Your gift of wisdom and you’re your application of that in and to real life situations. You continue to reveal a person who is deep and rich in character and godliness.I totally and utterly gave my heart away to you 14 years ago. I thank you for taking me into your heart and making me a part of your family.

We have written a lot of beautiful and meaningful cards to each other over the years and I think they express…..along the way a lot of what I am grateful for…. I have pulled some meaningful quotes from them.

Countdown to the Wedding – February 12, 1999

182 days to go. May the days go fast but be full.

Valentines Day – Married about 6 months – February 14, 2000

Many of the qualities I have looked to Jesus for I have recognized in you. You are my protector, provider, my best friend, my solid rock, my defender, the lover of my soul, my refreshing. You’re so much more things to me then this short list!

Married four years – Easter Day 2003

You are fun to be with and you make me laugh. You are also patient when I need you to be, loving when I am being a sooky la la, strong and wise when I am wacky and you’re a great companion and my heart is all yours forever.

Six years married – March 2, 2005

I enjoy the protection and refuge that you offer as my husband. I feel safe and sure as time moves on around us. You are never far from me…always just close enough for me to reach out to. I thank you for giving me someone to respect and honour. I know you to be a great man with greater greatness yet to be revealed.

Easter 2005

Thank you for your spiritual leadership all these years we have been married. From Easter to Easter in the years to come may you grow in your capacity to be Christ-like. I will follow you as you follow Him.

Fathers Day (Poppy is in utero) September 2006

You will be without doubt an exceptional father to our beautiful baby girl. She will love you to bits just like her mother does. Thank you for taking such good care of me so I could take care of her.

Card to John after being in hospital for 4 months pregnant with Poppy – Oct. 3, 2006

Thank you for being a big part of ‘project nest’. Being apart from you for those 4 months was very difficult and I am so much happier being home with you.’

Random Card April 29, 2007

You’re my best friend John.  I have always enjoyed talking to you even about sports! Thank you for being such a great husband. You’re also an amazing father. You juggle lots of balls in the air and you do it so well.

Valentine’s Day, Married Eight Years – February 14, 2008

Things I love about you over our entire relationship number the stars in the sky – too many to count!

Ninth Wedding Anniversary – August 15, 2008

It is a joy to share the days with you and know that my best friend will be with me always. I love what has been, I live for today and look forward to every day that is to come. Share them all with me.

John’s Birthday – August 12, 2009

Some things I love about you and have for 10 years:

  • Your passion
  • The thinker in you
  • Your love for hugs
  • The great decisions you make for our family
  • Your twinkly blue eyes
  • Your soft gentle nature

Filming for TV show – Thursday 22 July, 2010

You have profoundly changed me John Warren. I am so much more than the sum of my parts because of you and I could never repay you for all the love, adoration and mercy you have shown to me through out our life together. You have been my greatest mentor in this thing we call life and I have learnt so much from you. Thank you, my best and closest friend, my lover and husband , the father of my children and a simple man who loves and lives his life with incredible integrity, incredible passion, incredible wisdom and incredible mercy.

You’re the whole package. My love and respect are yours forever. Thank you for sharing this life with me.

Just another day in Blog World, 27th June, 2012

It is just another joy to share the world of blogging with you. It’s funny that the ‘lemon tree’ which we planted as a symbol of our love continues to die. It’s slow agonising death is more indicative of the fact that we have 2 black thumbs then our love for one another. The truth is we are in a beautiful season of harmony, unity and love. I sense the winds of change swirling about us which will only further enhance our relationship. Our dreams are taking flight…

I love you my darling husband.

Forever and Always,

Catherine xox

PS Who do you need to thank? Who needs to be the recipient of a ‘gratitude letter from you?

June 20, 2012

It’s Not the Structure, It’s the People

In 2011 my church was going through serious, high level, internal conflict.  We had government by eldership, and underneath the eldership there was a board of management.  I was on both groups.

Our problems became so great that our senior pastor called on the State Executive of the Assemblies of God to make some recommendations and help us sort out our mess.  The State Executive sent along Ps Ian Kruithoff, who is in charge of church health and church planting in Victoria.  This means that Ian spends half of his entire working life travelling around the state putting out fires like ours and the other half of his time goes to church planting.

After church one Sunday Ian took the Board out for lunch.  As soon as we had him in the car he was peppered with questions about what the best structure for church government is.  Where do the eldership, the Board, the senior pastor, the congregation and everyone else fit in?  Who should be accountable to whom?  If anyone was going to have an opinion on this subject it would be Ian.  His answer stunned me.  He said, “It doesn’t matter.  It’s not the structure, it’s the people.”

He went on to say that he has seen all sorts of systems used and every variation of them – and his conclusion is that they can all work well, and they can all blow up.  The thing that makes the difference is the people.  Where there is holiness, humility and submission then the structure will work.  Where those are absent the structure will fail.  And that is true for every single structure that exists.

I was stunned.  I was sure that in his role Ian would have seen so many different systems that he would have an opinion on what works best and what does not.  I mean even if it is ultimately the people, surely some systems work better to facilitate people being at their best, and others would be unhelpful?  I actually didn’t believe him, so I pressed further.  “But Ian, after all that you have seen around the state surely you would have a preference for one particular model?”  No.  All I got was, “It’s not the structure it’s the people.”

I am someone who finds church government very interesting.  If you have been following this blog for the past 17 weeks you have probably picked that up.  I could not believe that someone with so much experience of church government could have such a view about the different ways it is done.

It’s not the structure, it’s the people.  It’s so blunt, it leaves no room to move.  I keep thinking that there must be an exception to the rule, some sort of scenario in which yes, the structure is finally to blame.  But not according to someone who has seen a lot more church conflict than me, or anyone else that I know of.

So what your church needs is not the right system.  You don’t need to re-work your constitution, or re-jig the organisational flow chart.  If you do those things, don’t expect the changes to transform the place.  What your church needs is people who love God, love each other and are filled with holiness and humility.  That, and that alone, is what will safeguard you from conflict.

Do you agree?

John

June 20, 2012

Ten Inclusions for every Christian’s Bucket List

As a Christian I believe in eternal life and this belief strongly shapes the way I live my life in the now. I believe that life on Earth is not all there is and that when I die my spirit will live forever in eternity with God. This is called Heaven.

While not comprehensive, here is a list of things I think every Christian should do before they die….

 1. Lead Someone to Christ 

There is no greater joy this side of Heaven then to tell someone about the Good News of Jesus Christ and have them receive it for themselves.  If you know Christ and you’re practising respiration right now than there is a great plan & purpose to your life and God most definitely wants to use you to tell others about Him.

2. Go on a short-term mission’s trip

I have been on two short-term trips. One of them was to Mexico to build a house in the El Florido slum area. The poverty of the people was so confronting that I realised t I held an unexpressed belief that poor people were unhappy and such was their need that they had nothing to give. At one point I got lost in the slum area for almost a whole day and happened on a Christian family of 8. Each day began with just not ever enough of anything they needed. Their faith was so rich because they had to trust God  daily for food, work, water and safety. I took  these things for granted.  It was inspiring. They’re generosity toward me that day was so overwhelming it reduced me to tears. A missions trip will change you forever.

3. Find out what your Spiritual gifts are and use them

So, how do you know what your spiritual gifts are?

  •  You’re good at it.
  • You enjoy using it.
  • Others  recognize it in you.

When you know and use your God-given spiritual gifts and then nurture them with education and use the gift matures. The joy and fulfilment you personally get from using it will determine the depth to which you pursue it.

4. Read the bible cover to cover in a year

The benefit of reading the bible daily has had a huge impact on my day-to-day life and growth as a Christian. I have discovered the perfect ‘reading bible’ for me. This year I bought a ‘one year bible’ that has literally cut the bible up for me. So I flip once to today’s date and I read some old testament, some new testament followed by a bit of the psalms and a few verses from a proverb. It is brilliant and makes my day.

 5. Wash Someone’s feet

There is something powerful and moving about this simple act. My former Pastor in Canada did it for me and it was beautiful. I wept silently overcome by the moment. This great man of God that I respected was down on his knees washing my stinky, gnarly feet.  When we wash someone’s feet, we take on the position of the lowest of servants. True humility is required.

6. Write out your testimony

We will all die one day and you can make it known that you want your ‘testimony’ included in the Eulogy.  The people you love most in the world will probably be there and they will be positioned by their grief to hear some good news. Don’t let them down. This is ‘securest moment’ you’ll ever have to tell people what Christ did for you.

 7. Store up Treasure in Heaven

‘Treasure’ is something we value. The treasures of earth are temporal. They include places, things and material possessions. The treasures of heaven are stored up for us through the practice of spiritual acts such as – prayer, fasting, giving, forgiveness, faith, hope, love, relationship with God and His family and the hope of eternal life in Heaven with our Father.

There is a treasure that is beyond this earth we ought to value and want more than anything else.

8. Do a prolonged Fast

What are we doing when we fast? We are signalling to God that we are hungrier for His Kingdom than for ours! Going without food is not the only thing you can fast but personally I have found no quicker way to realise ‘who I am’ in the light of ‘who He is’. My humanity is obvious to me within hours.

9. See miracles

A couple of years ago I met a man in his fifties who had been a Christian for quite a while. He mentioned that he’d never seen a miracle. I was shocked because I’ve had the privilege of seeing many.  I once spoke into the ear of a woman deaf from birth and heard it pop open, I’ve seen one leg shorter than the other grow out,  I’ve experienced supernatural strength and power when required and  I’ve seen the wind miraculously change direction and put out a fire one metre from my feet.

Everyday, I let God know – I am available to be used by you. Lord, ‘as I go’ about my day please use me to touch the lives of those I come across. I recently stepped out in faith and boldness with my local florist and acting upon a word of knowledge given to me by God I was able to greatly encourage her with God’s love.

10. For your encouragement I’ve shared nine of the ten things on my bucket list. For my encouragement, what is one thing that you would add to this bucket list? 

Over and Out,

Catherine xox

June 13, 2012

Who runs the church?

As soon as you decide that Christians should meet together then you are faced with decisions about how the meeting should be organised and who should be in charge (if anyone).  The most obvious thing that can be said about church government is that if God wanted it done a particular way then he could have told us.  The fact that the bible verses on this subject have been interpreted differently over the years means that with whatever version you prefer it would be best to hold your opinion with respect for those who do it differently.

In the textbooks there are 3 main kinds of way of running a church.  Rather than use their technical names I will describe them by saying who is in charge.

  1.  The bishop is in charge.  Catholic and Anglican churches have a hierarchical structure where each local church is overseen by a bishop who has authority over a number of different churches.  The bishop answers to the archbishop, and so on.
  2.  The elders are in charge.  Presbyterian and most Assemblies of God churches are run by a group of elders.
  3.  The congregation is in charge.  Most Baptist churches and Churches of Christ have government by the whole congregation.  There are regular votes on everything from trivial matters to the tenure of the pastor.

Whilst these are the 3 main systems there are numerous variations within the 3 main streams.  For example Anglican dioceses (that is the area that one bishop has authority over) have some autonomy, whereas Catholic bishops and archbishops are accountable all the way up the hierarchy to the pope.  Some churches that have an eldership have a ‘pure’ model where the elders add to their number from time to time, but others have the elders elected by the congregation.

So which is best?

In my view the most biblical support exists for government by eldership.  That seems to be how the early church was structured when churches were planted beyond Jerusalem.  Titus 1 gives an example of how elders were appointed to provide government after new churches had been birthed.  If you want to see more about what the various scriptures say a useful article can be found here.

I once had the chance to discuss this issue with one of the most experienced Pentecostal leaders in Victoria, and I was shaken by what he said about the best form of church government.  What he said will be the subject of my next post.

What about you?  Have you seen one kind of government work well?  Not work at all?  Something in between?

John

June 13, 2012

Only One Life to Live

At the age of 15 I had heard of the person of Jesus but I didn’t really get what He was all about. At the time I was one of the most unpopular students at the private girls high school I attended and in my desperate need for company I attended a lunchtime Christian group meeting. They won me over with a competition to see how many TV snack biscuits you could shove in your mouth. I won – 14! I can’t even remember if there was a prize such was the GLORY of the moment.

During the next school holiday break a couple of the girls who attended the Christian group invited me to attend basketball camp. My mother was more than happy to get rid of me so off I went. I loved basketball and played regularly for the Eltham Wildcats. The difference with this group was that they would ‘pray’ at the beginning of the match to ask God to help them win the game. You could see the other team huddled around doing the same thing. Screw that, I thought, I was going to show God that we didn’t need his help.  My future nickname in basketball became ‘Tank’.

At the end of the school holiday’s someone invited me to join the youth group at Diamond Valley Baptist Church. I only said yes because the boys were cute. I had no interest in the God part and for the better part of a year I attended both the Friday night youth service and the Sunday night evening service. I would leave the service during the sermon to go outside and have a smoke. I remember at one Friday night youth service sneaking into the Pastors office during a game of ‘Murder in the Dark’ and making out with a boy under the desk. I was a naughty girl.

One night,  in the July of 1984, just weeks before my sixteenth birthday they had a guest speaker visit. I didn’t leave the service that night as the was very compelling right from the first moment.  I was captivated by his account of the life of Jesus and how He had lived  and I was  enthralled with the re-telling of His miraculous exploits. His torture and death on the cross bought hot tears to my eyes and I was moved by the biblical account of these events.  At the end of the sermon I was completely overwhelmed with the implications of what the life and sacrifice of Jesus meant for me personally. I had been presented with a problem of which Jesus had put forward the only solution.  I couldn’t escape the choice that had been laid out before me. We only have one life to live here on Earth…..would I accept the gift of eternal life Jesus was offering me and then live that life with meaning and purpose as He had? I became very uncomfortable with these thoughts and questions. What was happening to me?

The speaker asked if there was anyone in the room that wanted to ask Jesus into their life. I thought I was going to have a heart attack my heart was beating that quickly. I wanted to go up but no-one else was moving. I was not walking up to the front with everyone staring at the back of my head. The room was very quiet as the speaker just let the question hang in the air a little longer. As the speaker brought things to a close I started  feeling safe again and ever so smugly challenged God with  ‘I’ll go up if one other person goes up’. It was as if what I had been thinking was then played through an earpiece to the speaker as he then decided to wait a little longer for people to respond. I wanted to yell out ‘give up mate no one is coming up!!’.  The air in the room had become thick with awkwardness. I felt so sorry for the speaker. He begged the ‘Christians’ in the room to pray for those that did not know the Lord. The two girls from my high school who had asked me to come to basketball camp and had invited me to come to church had their heads down – I knew they were praying for me. I almost laughed out aloud because I knew their prayers were useless even though my heart was racing. Mr Awkward would not let this thing go and I wanted to smack him down. I was screaming in my head ‘LET IT GO’.

Suddenly without warning there was some movement over on the left hand side of the room. A young boy about 8 years old started to walk down to the front of the room. In a matter of probably a second I stood up too and as I did at least 50 other people did as well. There was barely room to spit up the front as it was so packed. I could not have cared less. That night I saw the one life I had lived in my mind. I could see this massive pile of rubbish with this sign right on the top with my name on it. My life, thus far, had been nothing but a big pile of garbage. I asked Jesus to forgive me for the life I had lived and I accepted the payment He had made for me on the cross and I asked Him to come and live inside my heart and at that I saw this rain fall on the garbage dump and just wash it all away. In my mind’s eye I stood with the sign in my hands that had my name on it, cleaner than clean. Sparkling new. It was like that first shower you have after you‘ve been camping for a week. I knew immediately that I was different and that something had changed. I remember telling my mum that night that I had become a Christian. She said to me something like ‘we’ll see if that lasts.’ In just a few weeks’ time it will be almost 28 years since that day. I think it is safe to say it’s lasted and will continue to last till the day I breathe my last breath.

I’m His. Forever.

What about you? Where are you at in your life? You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by giving your life over to Jesus. He loves you. Maybe your heart is beating a little too fast and you’re very uncomfortable with where your thoughts and feelings have taken you. Unlike me you can just get up and walk away from the computer but God will not forget the reaction you are having and He will come after you with the full force of His love. Often there is a fierce battle for our heart as other parties are loath to relinquish their hold on our life.  Don’t run away, you’ve been doing that your whole life. Give Jesus a chance and trust Him with your heart and let Him clean you from the inside out. It’s never too late.  There is nothing you’ve done that Jesus hasn’t already forgiven you for.  He laid down the one life He had, just for you. Make your life count too!

If you would like me to pray for you or with you then email me on:

blogsidebyside@gmail.com

Over and Out,

Catherine xo

June 6, 2012

My Various Churches – Eastside AOG

This is the second blog post in a series based on the 6 local churches that I have been a part of in my life.  The first post was about St  Paul’s Anglican Church, Castle Hill and can be found here.  In 1997, at age 23, I moved from Sydney to Melbourne.  Looking back now I can’t believe how relaxed I was about such a huge step.  I guess that’s what happens when you are in your early 20’s – there’s not always a lot of planning that goes on.  I just loaded up the car and 900 kilometres later I was there.

Once I arrived I then had the task of finding a church to join.  As things turned out I ended up at Eastside AOG, which is in Bayswater, on the Eastern fringe of the city.  One of my housemates attended and as I got to know some of the other people there through him I became a part of the church too.  Eastside at that time was a medium sized church with about 150 to 200 people per Sunday.

For me, it didn’t work out.  The Senior Pastor, Chris Sutton, and I simply didn’t hit it off.  It was all very civil and pleasant, but personality wise we just didn’t get each other.  But God was sovereign over my move to Eastside and I thank him for the great people I met there.  Here are 3 good things about my time at Eastside:

The Youth Leadership Team

Phill Brake (yes, it is meant to have the double-l) was the youth pastor at Eastside.  Phill was and is a very loving man.  He was a pastor’s child and I say without hesitation that he is one of the most Christlike men that I have met.  When I look back now on the youth leadership team that I was a part of it was a very eclectic group.  We were a bunch of people that hung out every week, but if it was not for the local church we just would not have moved in the same circles.  That is surely one of the triumphs of the local church – the way that it brings people together who have little in common apart from Christ and moulds them together to form a team.

They Dreamed Big

At Eastside there was a genuine hunger for growth.  The church wanted to make an impact on the area.  There was no contentedness with being the size that we were when there were so many people in the surrounding suburbs who did not know Christ.  As far as I could tell the church was not growing, and those arriving were about the same in number as those leaving.  But always the passion was to grow and reach the lost, and that was reflected in the name, which indicated that the vision was for the whole Eastern half of the city.

Chris Sutton’s Integrity

As I learnt more about the history of the church I discovered that there had been a number of Pentecostal churches in the area before Eastside was planted in about 1982.  A good number of those churches in the 70’s and 80’s folded or were weakened by ministers who fell morally.  There were a number of families that had to work through the hurt of seeing their pastor sin and be removed from leadership.  Chris Sutton was a man of rock solid integrity, and I can see the wisdom of God in putting him there when integrity, stability and faithfulness were badly needed.  To his eternal credit he certainly delivered that for the 20 years and more that he pastored Eastside.

Chris Sutton has moved back to Adelaide, from where he and his family originally came.  Eastside is now called Eastside Church, and is led by Artie and Alana Shepherd, whom I have never met.   But I pray that under their leadership it might continue to think big and do big things for the gospel.

John

June 6, 2012

My First Rendezvous with a Miracle

Most of the supernatural encounters I have experienced have happened outside of the four walls of the church. The ministry of Jesus Christ which set the bar for what a ‘supernatural’ life might look was the same. In His first miracle Jesus truly showed He had some Aussie in Him by turning water into wine at a wedding. My former pastor put it like this – Jesus was an ‘as you go Christian’. That is  – as He was going  from here to there doing life He would encounter real people living real lives and He would minister to them in all manner of ways most of which involved supernatural miracles.

Throughout my life I have had some fairly radical ‘as you go’ supernatural encounters. I could probably be more proactive at seeking out these experiences but everyday I just let God know that I’m available to be used by Him in whatever way He sees fit and things just seem to happen.

I attended Bible College in Vancouver, Canada from 1989 -1992 and lived with a couple of other female students. I worked part-time at a burger joint called A&W to cover my bills. One Friday night as I made my way home from work I was walking up the corridor to our second floor apartment. I could hear a woman crying out for help. It wasn’t that loud but there was no mistaking the fear in her voice. The cry was coming from the apartment directly opposite my own. We were new to the building and we hadn’t yet met any of the neighbours. I stopped to listen and I could only hear my own heart beating loudly. Again the cry for help came. At that moment my heart was filled with courage and I committed myself to getting involved. I said to God ‘You better cover me because I’m going in.’ and at that I knocked on the door of the apartment where the cry was coming from.

The door was pulled open inwards and to the left I could see a couple cowering in the corner. They appeared to be very scared. A big man’s face came into to view through the partially open door. I asked if everything was ok and he told me that it was and to go away. Just as he was about to shut the door in my face I heard the whimper of a woman even though I could not see her and with that I stuck my foot in the door just before it closed. I then pushed the door further open. A very big man – a goliath of sorts had already turned his attention back to a very petite woman whose terrified eyes pleaded with me to help her. Goliath turned around and he was very angry. Whatever had been about to happen had been clearly interrupted and he was not a happy camper. Not one bit.

A violent fury washed over his face and I could the smell the strong scent of alcohol. He started to yell and swear at me – well at least I think that is what he did because for some reason I suddenly couldn’t hear a word he was saying. I started to smile a bit because without any sound he looked really funny going off his rocker. This made him even angrier. He tried to use the door to push me out of the apartment but I was having none of that. I was INVOLVED now. When it dawned on him that the plans had changed he went to either hit me or physically push me and then the unexplainable happened. I reached up and grabbed the shoulders of this man who was easily over 6 ft tall and weighed at least 120 kilos (240 lbs). I squeezed him hard and then as if he was a child I picked him up off the ground and threw him at least 5 metres down the corridor of the apartment building and at the same time I said ‘In the name of Jesus, I rebuke you’. He got up off the floor and looked back at me and with terror he ran for his life. Everyone stood shocked. Literally mouths dropped open, including my own.

The story went like this; the couple who were renting the apartment had invited the other two over as a blind date set up. They had all been drinking and doing recreational drugs all day. Goliath had begun to make advances toward the woman and had become increasingly aggressive until he’d tried to drag her to a bedroom to rape her. The other couple were too scared to call the police because of the all the drug paraphernalia and were in no condition to physically apprehend him because they were out of it. It was at this point that I entered the scene.

While I have ‘attended’ a building called a church for many years I have always instinctively understood that it’s just bricks and mortar. Jesus doesn’t live there because He lives in me. The simple truth is that WE are the church, the literal body of Christ. He’s not pinned to an address. You and I are His living legs, arms and voice. We all have the potential to live ‘as you go’ supernatural lives.  Sadly, even though Jesus lives in billions of people world-wide He is imprisoned by a cultural lie that tells us that the supernatural is just make-believe and only for TV shows.

Jesus is relevant and real and He is still using His church, which is you and me, to deliver the supernatural to a world that so desperately needs it. Let what is in you come out of you!

Maybe your reading this blog post and you need a supernatural act of God in your circumstances. You’ve done everything you can do and you’re at breaking point. Something has just got to give and right now your in a place that you have nothing to lose. Maybe you need a healing miracle for yourself or someone you love, maybe you need a financial miracle or you need breakthrough in a relationship with someone.  Maybe  you need a miracle that can supernaturally free you from an addiction that is robbing you of joy in your life. Maybe you’ve been trying to get pregnant and you’ve lost all hope that it will ever happen for you. Whatever your need, Jesus absolutely loves you and cares about that miracle you need, and so do I.

I absolutely want you to hear this – I will stand with you and believe and pray for the miraculous breakthrough you need in your life or in the life of someone you love. My email address is at the bottom of this post. May God give you the tiniest seed of faith and courage right now to do that, to send me an email to ask me to pray. I promise you that I will do it. I am committed to getting INVOLVED!  Better still, If you live anywhere near Australia then come to a Planetshakers Miracle and Testimony Service held every Sunday night at 5.30 pm at the Melbourne City Campus. God is showing up and doing miracles. There is one with your name on it. I don’t care if you’re not a christian, I don’t care if you’re a buddhist, I don’t care if you’re an atheist,  if you need a miracle – COME! If you click on the link below you can get the address details and if you let me know you’re coming I’ll meet you there!

Your miracle awaits you, give God a chance to turn your life and your situation around!

Planetshakers

My private email address: blogsidebyside@gmail.com

Peace be with you. Over and Out,

Catherine xo

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