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Inspiration

I Wasn’t Prepared For It!

During this last half term in U.K. schools, I was privileged to spend the day with one of my spiritual grand children. We watched a movie, went round to an arcade and then she kept going on about wanting to go to ‘build a bear workshop’ in the shopping mall. Now, I’ve been to this shopping mall numerous times and I’ve never seen the shop before; but my granddaughter told me to pick a map so we could find the shop. The level of insistent was great, that I had never noticed before.

We got in and I saw a large number of children and a very colourful shop; ok, so we were definitely in the right place. As I walked through the door, one of the assistants knew I was confused and asked me if I needed assistance; which I did. I was told that we should pick a bear (to buy!) and then walk round the shop, going from one station to the other to stuff the bear, pick a name, a voice, glitter etc for the bear! First, I was thinking we were going into a play centre, so I thought we would sit down and she would build a bear and we would go; not knowing it was ‘buy a bear!’ I kept telling myself it wasn’t about the money, but I was feeling as if the shop’s intention is to entice children and force parents into appeasing the children because they’ve seen all these eye level appealing things for their ‘perfect bear’.

My granddaughter was asked to name the bear and even got a birth certificate for it!! All this alarmed me but I had to keep going from station to station – we were in a line and at this point it was difficult to turn round and walk out; first, what do you tell your child and second everyone would be wondering why you can’t spend on your child; so you’re likely to be judged as uncaring!!
We finally got to a place where I had to put my foot down. My granddaughter picked a glittery pink dress and shoes for her bear! I went, ‘oh no…I refuse to buy a dress and heeled shoes for a 4 legged bear!!!’ I said to her, ‘no we don’t want that’ but she said to me ‘grandma’ yes I do want that, you don’t have to, don’t worry: it’s for my bear not yours!’ How was I to explain to her?! So I started all over again that I would definitely be happy to buy her or even her doll a glittery dress and shoes, but surely not a 4 legged bear! She reluctantly but nicely followed me as I chose to buy a bag instead and I told her I got the bag for her and not the bear.

By the time we got to the checkout desk, I was a genuinely shocked grandma and even blamed the cashier and said that I thought the shop was unfair to children and parents. To which he answered me by asking; oh, would you like a membership card for a discount next time? I said oh NO; there wouldn’t be a next time now I know what this is all about. I looked around and realised that other parents were happily going from station to station having a good time and happily flashing their credit cards… what’s the difference between them and myself I thought? Expectation & Preparation!

When you expect something, you’re prepared for it and able to handle it better than someone who is completely unprepared.

One of the beautiful scriptures that helps with this issue of preparedness and expectation is

Joshua 3:5
Joshua told the people, prepare yourselves for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders amongst you.

God wanted to visit His people so He could launch them into what He had prepared for them ahead, they needed to get ready so they could experience and enjoy His visitation and the associated blessings. Expectation always leads to preparation and then the result that follows is not a surprise. At Gateway Chapel, this year is our year of Divine Visitation and we expect God’s visitation in every area of our lives and are not surprised as the miracles keep pouring in.

The other parents in the shop knew what to expect and prepared for it, so they joyfully went from stand to stand, whereas I surely wasn’t prepared enough and didn’t enjoy the experience – I’m not even certain my spiritual granddaughter enjoyed it either – hopefully she will not remember her experience with her dramatic grandma in the shop!

Prepare to experience great things from God this year and your dreams will surely come to pass according to His will in Jesus name

God is on your side!

PB

Categories
Inspiration

How Sharing Broke Barriers

It happened in Jerusalem last week, after a long day where we encountered God; we were at dinner and had just received a package for one of us in the group.

It was the birthday of one of our brothers and his lovely wife sent him a gift package with cakes. After receiving the pack we went on to sing the all popular ‘happy birthday’ song. As we broke out singing, Pastor Eddie noticed a lovely Chinese lady who chose to join in singing our celebratory song. Not long after everyone in the dining room started singing along, we finished and it was time to cut and share the cakes.

We got our lovely hospitality lady to do the honours.  At that point Pastor Eddie insisted she served the Chinese lady a piece of cake; and I added that we should serve the others before sharing what was left amongst ourselves. Miraculously, all the people from the other three tables took a piece each and the cakes still went round at our table too, but another exciting thing then happened.

Each of the groups then felt they needed to sing a song for our birthday boy. There was a group from Austria another from Portugal and another from China. Each group went into singing – one after the other. We then decided to sing a song as well and before we knew it, two tables were joined together and then there started a subtle (or not so subtle) competition. The atmosphere lit up! Servers stopped servicing and started watching – mobile phone cameras went live and social media postings too. It was so much fun and of course, we had now moved away from a ‘thank you song’ to a praise contest! As it is the culture in Gateway, we love fun and also love to win, so there was no letting go! We were not going to be outdone – so we went from song to song until we sang the final song of ‘blessed’ as we usually do at GWC.

Our little cake sharing created a change in environment that broke down barriers of languages, peoples, colour & culture. We finished and went round to hug and kiss one another. It was an evening like no other; though we didn’t speak the same language; love, warmth, giving and sharing has no language barrier.

The little incident reminded me of the scripture that says:

‘Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.’ Hebrew 13:16

Sharing, even in the most unusual place and time is a good thing that is both pleasing to God and helps break barriers with man. When we learn to share, we receive the blessing that is beyond what we could have expected by keeping things to ourselves. Our evening could never have been that colourful, fun and memorable without us sharing. I will therefore implore you to learn to share.

God is on your side!

PB

Categories
Inspiration

Help me out!

I was in a very tricky situation; just arriving at Liverpool Street only to realise I didn’t chart my course properly neither did I have enough battery life to map my route nor to spend time on the phone with one of my helpful contacts to direct me.  So I did what the Holy Spirit whispered to my heart to do.

I called one of my special brothers who lives in London and knows a lot about the city. I didn’t have enough battery life to get a description, so I sent a WhatsApp message of my challenge and the postcode I was trying to get to. Within a few minutes, he called me back and said to give him 3 minutes – I was still within the time I needed to get to my destination, so that was cool and I was certain he would find and send me the appropriate route to get there before my phone battery finally ran out.

About 3 minutes later, I saw this God sent brother of mine walking towards me! No way!! What were the odds, I was stuck in the city of London and he worked in a building that is about 3 minutes away from where I was going. I was elated and just marvelled at God and His continued provision of help and assistance just at the time of need. He could have not been in the office on that day, but he was. He could have gone for his lunch break but he was around. He could have been in a meeting, but he wasnt. There were many alternatives to him being at work and to showing up to guide me just when I needed it.

As I saw him, I felt relief knowing that I could no longer be trapped nor stranded in London! For one, I now had access to a communication device that had battery life and second, he had a very high chance of knowing the location I was going to. He surely did and took me along to the place which was less than 5 minutes away, yet I didn’t know where to go! From my unknowing view, there were many routes and I wasn’t sure of the correct one, yet when the one that knew came, it was so straight forward and the location I was headed to was close by.

The help I received from this brother of mine was beyond what I really could have imagined and reminded me of how God goes above and beyond to help us daily. His word says

‘God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in trouble’ Psalm 46:1

God is ever set to help us out if we call upon His help when we need Him. If we do not call for His help, we can be groping in darkness and suffering – not because God does not want to help, but because we did not ask for His help.

I am pleased to inform you that I was led to the address I needed to get to and also was helped back to the station after my meeting. I couldn’t have asked for more. A call for help once led to complete help that brought total peace.

My word of encouragement for you is that you should rest assured that God is ready to help you – as long as you’re ready to call on Him.

God is on your side! 

Categories
Inspiration

Sweet to shriek

As I sat at the Doctor’s reception earlier
this week, alongside me in the reception were a few people
that included a lady with her two children – a baby girl and
a toddler. As the wait got longer the toddler got more
restless and really started playing up. It was a drama that
embarrassed the mum, yet attracted few of us in the
reception – for different reasons.The toddler started first by being very
nice to her mum and baby sister. She mentioned the fact that
she wanted to give her sister a kiss, she was so sweet! mum
allowed it and it all looked so nice. She then went on to
take her seat like a sweet and well mannered young girl.
Within 2 minutes she got restless and started questioning
mum on when they would be called by the doctors. Less than
another minute later, she asked the mum if she could sit on
mums lap. Mum welcomed her but equally warned her that she
needed to settle down –  She then went all sweet again
with… ‘mum, I love you!’ All of us in the waiting room
looked at her with so much emotion; some, (the
inexperienced) almost envying mum for having such a sweet
toddler, and some of us, (the experienced) knowing that the
situation can easily degenerate if not managed despite the
sweetness of the toddler.

After a few minutes, the young girl
looked again at mum and said, I really want to go in to the
doctors now, I don’t want to wait anymore. To which mum
said ‘you have to wait your turn.’ She looked mum
straight in the eyes and said ‘I don’t want to wait
again mum’. This time around she raised her voice a notch
and showed a crumpled face. Again, mum warned her sternly,
to which she responded with, ‘mummy, I love you and a can
I have a cuddle please.’ Once more hearts melted towards
her. That drama/ cycle  went on for a short while and
every time the toddler is not having her way, she gets worse
in her tantrum and as mum attempts to set her in order, she
turns to the manipulation of displaying love so she can be
allowed to do what she wanted.

As I watch this drama unfold between a
now stressed mum and this restless toddler( no longer sweet)
who had now gone from making everyone smile and laugh into
shrieking which made everyone cringe – I started thinking
beyond this little one and our varying reactions in the
waiting room of life. The adults around were equally
frustrated with the wait, but were managing theirs by
getting occupied and doing something else; reading
newspapers, texting, checking phones etc. All in all,
everyone was experiencing delays and the wait wasn’t
exciting. We however showed or managed our displeasure in
different ways.

The bible had examples of many people
that have had to wait for things, and like the doctor
surgery waiting room, there were varied reaction to the
waiting. Some murmured, grumbled, blamed, cried, abandoned,
created alternatives and so on.

But the bible says

Be still before the Lord, and WAIT
PATIENTLY for Him to act. Don’t worry when people success
in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.
Psalm 37:7

From this scripture above, it is clear
that there will likely be a period of waiting and
there  is also a way to wait for God. Wait for God
patiently. We do that because we have an assurance that He
will always come through for us and act on our behalf.

What we should always avoid however is
looking around at others who seem to be having ‘the
success’ of that moment. The toddler got more restless as
the others in the waiting room were called and every time
that happened to others, she threw more tantrum asking mum
‘why not us! ‘ she turned from sweet to shrieking…
because she had to wait!

Remember if you are waiting for a
promise of God today,  it’s always great to wait for
Him patiently, because when He delivers, He delivers fully,
completely and beyond your imaginations. One more scripture
on this all important topic….

Wait patiently for the Lord, be brave
and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord. Psalm
27:14

God is on your side!