Posts tagged ‘Miracles’

April 25, 2013

A Miracle called Poppy

Poppy

Part 8 in a series on Pregnancy Loss

Finally after 4 months in hospital I was allowed to go home at 28 weeks gestation. I had been on bed rest the entire time and I had no muscle left in my lower back or legs. I would get puffed out very easily. I remember being really freaked driving home as I hadn’t been in a car for 4 months. I kept losing my equilibrium and I held on to the door handle for dear life.

For the next seven weeks I started to buy my first baby stuff and prepare the nest. I would constantly head out to the shops and find I’d over done it. My head and heart were so excited and willing to walk a thousand miles but my body would give me a couple of hundred metres and shut down. I would tire so quickly and be stranded at Ikea, the supermarket or Pumpkin Patch. I would have to sit down and rest for an hour before I could get up and make my way home.

I was thrilled to be home with John and we loved being together again. I think the first night home I bawled my eyes out I was so happy. Two amazing women, who were professional painters, offered to paint our rented unit (for free) while I was hospitalised. Our tired little East Melbourne unit felt like a million dollars freshly painted. I was so grateful for their thoughtful and selfless act.

I would continue to go the hospital, sometimes twice a week for monitoring and ultrasounds but we were out of the danger zone and every day was a bonus. At 33 –  34 weeks I had some protein show up in my urine. After the results of a 24 hour urine collection were processed I was diagnosed with Pre eclampsia and a quick and decisive move was made by the Head of Obstetrics, Prof Permezel, and I was booked in for an emergency caesarean section. When a pregnancy is complicated by pre eclampsia, the baby may grow more slowly than normal in the womb or suffer a potentially harmful oxygen deficiency. Occasionally, pre eclampsia can lead to convulsions (fits), a serious complication known as eclampsia.

Little Poppy Lee was born safely on a beautiful day in November, 2006. Unfortunately the timing caused me to miss a very special day – my only brothers wedding. Sorry Bro – xo. Upon arrival Poppy was sent straight to the NICU (Neo natal Intensive Care Unit) as she was 5 weeks premature. She weighed 2 ½ kilos or 5.1 lbs. She was so tiny. She was to spend a further 3 weeks in hospital herself putting on weight and learning how to suck, breath and swallow. It was so hard to finally have a live baby and not be able to bring her home. I would phone the hospital constantly throughout the night as I got up to express milk. I would leave early in the morning for the hospital and John would come at lunch time and we would both go home somewhere between 7 -8 pm. One of the nurses used to remark how Poppy would sleep so soundly and not make a noise from the time I left in the evening until I arrived the next morning. Apparently as I made my way down the NICU to her bed she would hear my voice as I said hello to other mums and nurses and by time I reached her bedside she would be awake. Poppy had a nasal gastric tube which helped her to drink milk. She hated it and tried to pull it out constantly. I hated it too as you could see how much it annoyed her but she just couldn’t take in enough milk orally and we would have to feed her through her nose. They told us that when she could take enough milk through her mouth she could go home. I willed that little baby to drink more – I just wanted her home with me.

After 3 long weeks Poppy graduated the NICU and we took her home. I was so nervous to have the responsibility of her life in my hands. She adapted to her new world quickly and we bonded as a family. I thank God for my daughter all the time. I am so very grateful for her life and I will never forget the peace, comfort and promises that God gave me to this day. While we would love to have another baby the complications for me and that baby are too great. I underwent surgery to have my tubes tied but I stopped breathing and the surgery was abandoned. John took one for the team and had a vasectomy so another is not possible unless God does a miracle.

When I started this series on Pregnancy Loss I had no idea I would pen some 8,000 words. Some of the posts in this series have been amongst my most well read so thank you for coming on this sad but miraculous journey with me. Your comments strengthened and encouraged me to keep going and I certainly would not have written one post after the other without them. I feel there is a deep need for woman to share their pain, grief and hope as they lay some babies down to rest but give birth to some true miracles. I understand that this is very difficult and not for everyone but for those that can – please tell your story.

Over and Out.

Catherine xoxo

November 8, 2012

Madness in Mexico

Sometime in the early nineties I went on a short-term missions trip to Mexico. Our team of youth and workers stayed on a base in Tecate and each day we drove about 40 minutes to get to the slums of El Florido where we built houses and did outreach with the children.

We raised money for the building materials while still in Vancouver and we had driven convoy style in two mini buses following the I5 highway through California. We stayed overnight in a church  in LA and arrived in Mexico the following day. We stayed at a beautiful and rustic place called the Rancho La Paloma (The Ranch) which provided hospitality and acted as a base for the ministry.  The best feature was the pool which was just filled with water while we were there.

The ministry into the El Florido slums was nothing short of life changing but the most amazing experience for me came at the Ranch on a day off from visiting the slums. On this particular day we had taken the youth to the markets in Rosarita. Despite repeated warnings not to buy fireworks which were sold in excess several youth bought some and snuck them back to the Ranch.  Later that afternoon during a rest period they lit them down near the boys dormitory. The conditions were ripe for a bushfire. Everything was dry and it was hot and windy – the place was a tinderbox. I was one of the first leaders to notice the fire that had started as a result of a spark that came from the fireworks. It was spreading quickly. We got a bucket brigade going down the hill from the main hall as there were no hoses. Just when I thought it was under control the fire jumped from the top of one tree over the road to another tree on the other side of the road. A dry grass field opened up on the other side of the road an accelerant for any fire. I honestly thought we are going to burn down Mexico. I was the only Aussie on the trip and knew full well the destructive and relentless nature of bushfires.

Without thought for life or limb and being far more athletic than I am now, I jumped the two barbwire fences on either side of the road to get into the field where the fire was now burning rapidly. The owner of the field, a Mexican farmer, came hurtling down the hill in his old pick up truck with a hose on board. I stood with his little hose in hand just ahead of the fire which was now burning steadily across the field getting more and more out of control. As the fire raced closer I became surrounded by smoke. Not knowing anymore which direction the fire was I started to hose a circle of water around my body. I was very scared and I thought this is it. I thought I was going to die. My life seemed to pass before my eyes and my last thought went something like this…’If I die in this field it will wreck the lives of these youth forever.’ At that, I looked up to heaven and yelled ‘GOD, HELPPPPP MEEEE’ At that exact moment a sharp strong wind came from behind me and within a few minutes the fire was completely out. The sudden change of wind had turned the fire back on itself.  With no fuel there was no more fire. When the smoke cleared I could see a black ominous ring of burnt grass around me. I had been surrounded by the fire without knowing it.  To this day I believe that God did a Miracle in Mexico.

Shortly after the fire was out the Tecate Fire Brigade arrived – four men on the back of a pick up truck with some hoses. That’s Mexico for ya!!

Over and Out,

Catherine xoxo

July 18, 2012

The Working of Miracles

It makes sense to me that in every congregation, in every church, in every nation on Earth there are those that God has gifted to move in the working of miracles. But let’s suppose for now that this wasn’t the case and we were all equally ‘ungifted’ in this area. Jesus makes a bold statement to all people in John 14:12 which should give us all some hope to seeing miracles happen.

‘Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these.’

Is there any way we can position ourselves better to see the reality of these words in our life? I believe there are four things every Christian can do to be better positioned to see miracles happen in their life:

Know Him, Know His will

Jesus only ever did what He saw the Father doing. How then can I see what the Father is doing and do it too? Simply, through relationship. Jesus cultivated a life of prayer and fasting often retreating to quiet places to pray to the Father. We can deepen our relationship with the Father by reading His book which reveals His heart, His plans and His purposes. Also, we can ask Him what He wants us to do.  Everyday this is my prayer. ‘Father, I want to see what you see, I want to do what you want me to do. I make myself available to you in whatever way you choose to use me.’ Jesus had miraculous encounters doing some very ordinary tasks – attending a wedding, sailing from one place to another, visiting a well for some water. Jesus did miracles ‘as He went’ from here to there. The miracles John listed earlier from the book of Acts were done in the ordinary lives of ordinary people. They weren’t superstars – they had just spent heaps of time with Jesus. They did life with Him for 3 ½ years. They knew Him – and the bible says if we know Him we know the Father.

Clean Hands, Pure Heart

I believe we must have clean hands and a pure heart to be used by God. Even in Christ, we all sin even though we don’t have to anymore. We all hold onto issues with others for too long, letting our forgiveness accounts get too long. Pornography, stealing, lying, gossip, being judgemental, loving money more than God, self-righteousness, being religious and jealousy are issues that can trip us up and block us from ‘hearing and seeing’ what the Father is doing. Sin blocks us from hearing from God (Ps. 66:18) .  I strongly encourage you to keep short ‘sin’ accounts with all men and God and cultivate a life of Godly character.

Faith – the big One!

Without Faith it is impossible to please God BUT how do you know if you have faith or not when praying for a miracle? I believe the key to answering this question is found in Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” – Simply, faith sees that which isn’t physically available yet. Faith sees what is when it isn’t! We know that Jesus did what He ‘saw’ the Father doing. How did He ‘see’ it? Most likely in His mind. We are told to have the ‘mind of Christ’. Why? because our minds can be yielded to other ‘mindsets’ and ‘agenda’s’ but if we can set our mind apart for Christ, yielding to His plan and purpose we give opportuinity for our ‘Christ mind’ to act as a ‘godly movie screen’ for the Holy Spirit to show us a ‘picture’ of what the Father is doing. Didn’t Jesus teach us to pray for it to be ‘on Earth as it is in Heaven’  For example – imagine you are praying for someone who is dying of cancer? How does cancer look in Heaven to the Father – its totally gone!  There is no diease or illness in Heaven! Therefore, I can ask God to show me a picture of the person totally well – free of the cancer that is upon them.  Once I see a picture of that person totally healed revealed on my ‘Christ mind’  I can pray with faith because I can ‘see’ what the Father ‘sees’ in Heaven  and I can then ‘believe’ how it  should be on Earth. That is what faith looks like!

So, how do you know if you have the faith to pray for a miracle – ask yourself can I see it? Not once has God failed to ‘show me’ what I need to see to have the faith to pray and believe.

Have a go!

It doesn’t matter how much ‘time’ you spend with the Father or how ‘clean and pure’ you are or how much you practise ‘seeing’ in faith there comes a moment when you’re literally required to ‘activate’ all of that and actually DO SOMETHING or SAY SOMETHING.  And it is only when you open yourself up to that moment and step out that you are perfectly positioned for God to take over and do His part – the miracle itself! Those that cultivate the ‘working of miracles’ around there life are not necessarily gifted to do so they are just willing to position there hearts, hands and faith in a way that God is free to do something. No matter the level of gifting if you never pray for a miracle or lay hands on the sick you will never see miracles.

When do people look for a miracle? People look to God for a miracle in the hour of their deepest and most desperate need when all else has failed. They often have nothing to lose and everything to gain. I remind myself of this as I step into the realm of faith and miracles. I refuse  to allow my pride or fear rob someone else of the opportunity to see God do something miraculous for them.

I want you to know it is not Ok with me that you are sick and need a miracle. It is not Ok with me that you need a financial miracle. It is not Ok with me if you need another sort of miracle and you can’t find anyone to pray. I will make myself available. I will pray my best prayer for you and your situation.

Email me: blogsidebyside@gmail.com

Blessings,

Catherine xox

July 18, 2012

Positioned to do Miracles Part 1

The book of Acts is a history of the early church written by Luke to help his friend Theophilus understand the faith of which he has become a part.  It follows on from the gospel of Luke, picking up the story after Jesus rose from the dead but before he ascended to heaven.

Of course the chapter divisions that we see on our bibles were not in the original text.  However here is an interesting question – what happens in every single chapter of Acts until chapter 15?

Answer – something miraculous.  In each and every one of the first 14 chapters there is an event that is supernatural.

In chapter 1 Jesus ascends into heaven.  In chapter 2 the church is born with flames of fire and speaking in tongues.  In chapter 3 the crippled beggar is healed.  In chapter 4 there was a supernatural earthquake where the church met (in response to their prayer that God would do miracles).  In chapter 5 there were 2 supernatural executions (yikes!) and even Peter’s shadow was healing the sick.  In chapter 6 Stephen, who “performed amazing miracles and signs”, was arrested but has his face supernaturally radiant.  In chapter 7 Stephen sees a vision of Jesus in heaven as he addresses those who arrested him.  In chapter 8 Philip is taken by the Holy Spirit after he finishes leading the Ethiopian eunuch to Christ.  In chapter 9 Jesus appears to Saul on the road to Damascus, and as an afterthought Peter raises someone from the dead.  In chapter 10 an angel arranges a meeting between Peter and Cornelius, after Peter has a vision from God.  In chapter 11 the church organises its welfare program on the basis of a prophecy about a coming famine given in one of their meetings.  In chapter 12 Peter miraculously escapes from prison when an angel busts him out, after first waking him up.  Chapter 13 sees Paul’s first mission’s trip which was started after the Holy Spirit speaks during a prayer meeting and tells the church what to do, and then an opponent of their ministry is struck blind.  Chapter 14 has Paul and Barnabas continuing to travel, “and the Lord proved their message was true by giving them power to do miraculous signs and wonders. (v 3)”.

It is clear that in the life of the early church miracles abounded.  It wasn’t just healings either – it was all sorts of supernatural events. Can you imagine being a part of a church where miracles are normal?  Where the supernatural movement of the Holy Spirit was just what happens in a normal week?  Most Christians I know long to have that decisive intervention of the Holy Spirit in both their lives and in their church involvement.

It seems to me that the best way to bring it about is to be out on the cutting edge of what God is doing.  When Paul was doing missions in places that had never had a Christian witness before it was all happening.

Scholars believe that Acts covers the church’s first 30 years or so.  So very roughly, each chapter is a year or so on from the cross.  If you came to Christ in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, and then lived the rest of your life in Jerusalem then you might end up in your second and third decade of your Christian life reminiscing about how good it was in the first decade.  But if you made yourself available for what God was doing further afield, then you would have fresh stories to add to the ones from earlier on in your Christian life.

We can’t know for certain what the church in Jerusalem was like when Luke is talking about the church in other places – it would not be right to imply an absence of miracles from the silence of Acts about the Jerusalem church.

But what we can know for sure is that where the gospel was advancing miracles continued to abound.  And I am certain that it is still true today.

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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