Vision - The Overcomers


Cobblestone Bridge by Thomas Kinkade
                                                                    

The Vision
I was standing overlooking a very wide valley which was really more like a plain. There were trees on the perimeter but it was mostly a grassy area. Nothing was happening and it seemed as if this inaction was going on for a long time. All was silent and nothing was moving. I was about to turn away with the feeling that I was somehow in the wrong place when I heard the word, 'Watch.'

On the crest of the hill of the far side of the valley there was suddenly light which looked like a sunrise even though it was already daytime. At first, this light appeared a warm pink colour as it began to flow across the top of the hill and as it continued to flow it changed from pink to gold. The colour or quality of this flowing light kept changing as it moved until it was an enormous mass of warm, white light entirely filling the valley.

When I looked more closely I could see shapes that looked like people but very difficult to distinguish individually. They were shoulder to shoulder, wearing military uniforms and carrying swords yet so close to one another there didn’t appear to be any differences which I understood was an indication of their unity of spirit and purpose.

In front of this flowing body of white light I suddenly saw dark beings also garbed in some kind of military uniform flying away in panic.

This wonderful valley kept filling with light until the valley could no longer contain it. I turned around and saw a village but rather than the light flowing down the street, it was flowing in the houses. Very quickly beautiful, glowing light flooded out of each window in every building whether it was a home, an office, a store or a stable.


Interpretation
Just as I was waiting for what seemed a very long time at the outset of this vision, so we have been waiting to see a wonderful move of God on this earth. That the light was initially pink was a bit of a question for me and as I researched I discovered that pink often represents ‘man’. This coming move of God will come through those who love Him but are not perfect. Yet even as this presence of Himself continues to grow, we will be purified until only He is seen, which is the indication of the changing colour of the light.

These soldiers, standing shoulder to shoulder, were the overcomers--those who had stumbled and been restored, sinned and been forgiven, finally taken their eyes off themselves and/or the faults of others and had learned to walk in the pure light of Christ. They moved in unison as one body whose sole purpose was the Lord’s purpose. It was difficult to see them because these were the ones who had crucified the flesh and decreased that He might increase. This is how we are supposed to look.

The light which was in them, and completely surrounding them, flowed into the village and brought salvation to the lost, restoration to the backslidden, hope to hurting hearts, healing to broken bodies, rebuilt marriages and families, joy to souls in mourning, peace in place of strife, reverence replaced the profane, peace soothed anger, backbiting gave way to encouragement...and there was love.

The Lord was there.

His name was honoured.

May the Lord bless you and keep you,
Holly



Danger - Keep Out



What’s the giant in your life?

We all have one….or more!

The story of David and Goliath is far more than a lesson for a children’s Sunday School class and has a powerful application to each believer’s life today. A Goliath, or giant, in our life can be any number of things--an attitude we have difficulty controlling, a habit which is bad for us or another person who seems intent on making our life miserable. Without a doubt you can think of something that has taken on gigantic proportions in your life at one time or another.

The question is how to fight these giants. In the story of David and Goliath, the army of Israel had been taunted by Goliath for many days and the army just hadn’t been able to defeat him. Isn’t that just the way the giants in our lives behave? They have their own way of taunting us. If, for example, you’ve made a decision to avoid foods that are bad for you because you know your health is going to suffer, suddenly all you can ‘hear’ is the taunting of the chocolate bar a family member brought home or the wheedling of the doughnut shop when you drive by. The same is true when you make a decision to quench the impulse to fire back with sarcastic comments or talk behind the back of the person in your life who continually raises your ire. Before you might have had trouble thinking of a good comeback on the spot, suddenly you find your head filled with witty or biting ripostes.

Isn’t it always the way.

The giant just keeps taunting you and because you’ve made the decision to rise above the situation it feels as if the situation just hems you in, making a mockery of all your good intentions.

That’s when it’s time to stop flailing and start fighting.

Temptation to do wrong is inevitable. I didn’t say that, it’s in Matthew 18. There will always be temptations in life and being prepared for them is having the knowledge that they will seem to pop up unexpectedly.

Many temptations come along because we’ve put ourselves right in their path. Our associations with people can either influence us for right or wrong so it’s wise to give thought to those who have the ability to sway us one way or another. If we’re battling some form of substance abuse whether it be drugs, alcohol or too much food, it’s wisdom to ensure we keep these things at a distance. This is only common sense.

Temptation to sin gains a foothold in life and then becomes actual sin when we have a complacent or procrastinating attitude. Complacency says “oh, I can handle this” and then eventually makes peace with sin. Procrastination doesn’t see the urgency of dealing with sin now.
.
Each attitude is far more dangerous to the health of our spiritual lives than we often realize. We are told to RUN from evil things. That implies a serious sense of urgency. Faith, even the strongest faith, can be eroded bit by apparently innocuous bit and hence the importance of running from those things the Bible calls sin. In some cases this is our best strategy for fighting the temptation to sin….just run from it.

Other times we need to confront a situation head on the way David did with Goliath. He only fought with some stones and a slingshot which made his weapons seem rather paltry BUT he was fighting with the help of the Lord and that made all the difference. As David knew he had the backing of the Lord to fight the giant, we also know we have the backing or strength of the Lord to help us fight those things that tempt us. Even though we may feel very weak if we keep our focus on Him, He will prove His strength by showing us a way out of the temptations we face.
.We only have to choose to take the way out He provides.

May the Lord strengthen you in the battle with your particular Goliath,
Holly

His divine power gives us everything we need for living a godly life. He has promised that you will escape the decadence all around you caused by evil desires and that you will share in His divine nature. So make every effort to apply the benefits of these promises to your life. 1 Peter 1: 4a-5a
















When God Puts His Finger On Something

Water War by Jan Piller - used with permission
                                                       
So think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the special blessings that will come to you at the return of Jesus Christ. Obey God because you are His children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of doing evil; you didn’t know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God--who chose you to be His children--is holy. For He Himself has said, ‘You must be holy because I am holy. 1 Peter 1: 13-16

When the Lord puts His finger on something in our lives it seems as if the pressure just won’t let up until we make the choice to do His will. We hear the voice of our conscience nagging at us which we often try to push to the back of our minds. Finally the nagging just becomes so insistent we decide to do something about it.

Obedience--it’s one of the toughest things in the Christian life because usually the very thing the Lord wants us to do, or not do, is something we quite like doing. I’m not talking about robbing banks. Most of us don’t have to deal with an overwhelming temptation to rob a bank or commit some other sort of dastardly deed of that nature. No, usually it’s something like changing an attitude, behaviour or habit with which our conscience is troubled.

Some things are obvious. There are basic issues most everyone in the world agrees are wrong. We all know robbing a bank is wrong just as we know pilfering from the office petty cash is too. That’s not the sort of thing I’m referring to here though. I’m speaking of the kinds of things that have been longstanding issues in our lives like controlling our anger or gossiping or being lazy or telling lies or misconduct in relationships or any of the myriad of things that are part of the human condition.

And the human condition is the whole point. We don’t like to feel as if we’re limited to what we can and cannot do and if we take a hard look at the root causes of some of these habits we’ll find a whole lot of pride and rebellion. Actually pride and rebellion really aren’t all that different from each other and pretty much any ‘sin’ you can think of is rooted in pride. Pride is that streak in us that says ‘all that matters is ME or MY opinion or what I want.’

Do you ever wonder why God even cares whether or not you stop doing something that isn’t harming another living soul though? Well, first of all, it could be argued that everything we do has consequences for both ourselves and others, however, that’s a discussion for another day. At the moment, I’m thinking of the way God is actually trying to protect us from future harm when He puts the pressure on something today. For example, if we hold a bitter and unforgiving attitude toward someone it’s easy to see how that attitude grows into terrible proportions over the years until that ‘root of bitterness’ becomes a full blown tree and takes over our lives. It not only causes stress and unhappiness but over a long period can affect our health.

Logical isn’t it? So why do we have such trouble simply being obedient. Think of a young child or even a teenager. When events in their lives come to a head, as a parent you want to say to them head, ‘If you had just done what you were told we could have avoided this mess.” We know it with our children so why do we have so much trouble as adults when God is speaking to us about the same old issue we’ve been fighting Him on for years?

Because we actually like these inappropriate behaviours.

Because we want our own way.

Does that sound like a rebellious attitude to you? Well, welcome to my world . . . . and I would venture to say the world of most Christians who are making a serious attempt to live their lives as God would have them do and struggling in the process.

I’ve been looking at a passage of scripture in 1 Peter, ‘So think clearly and exercise self-control.” That’s interesting. We’re supposed to think clearly…use our reasoning or mental capability to engage logical thought. That being the case, look at the very thing you’re struggling with today and take it to its logical conclusion if you choose NOT to do the thing God is telling you. What are the ramifications if you continue? What is the potential fall-out? Who, besides yourself, could be hurt?
If you ask yourself those questions you begin to see the personal advantages in obedience. That's the Me-ward aspect of obedience.

This passage of scripture also says, “You must be holy because I am holy.” That’s an entirely different angle. This is obedience that reflects the glory and holiness of God in our lives. This is God-ward obedience. It is the kind that squashes the inner attitude of rebellion; one that says, ‘He must increase and I must decrease’; one that cherishes the holiness of God as more valuable than my present gratification.

Then, just to make obedience really appealing, God promises special blessings to those who walk in His will. You would think that alone would be enough to keep us on the straight and narrow.
One thing I absolutely know to be true. God has promised when we are tempted to sin He will provide a way out. This promise He keeps and does so on a regular basis. He knows how weak we are but if we’re paying attention to that finger He’s been using to put the pressure on our conscience He will point to a path that leads us out of temptation.

Trust Him for it …….and keep your eyes open so you can see the way He will provide.
Holly

But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it. 1 Corinthians 10: 13-14

















Spiritual Winter - Madame Jeanne Guyon




THE BLESSEDNESS OF WINTER
by Jeanne Guyon (1648-1717)

From: Final Steps in Christian Maturity
ISBN: 0-940232-22-7

I see the season of winter as an excellent example of the transforming work of the Lord in a Christian’s life. When winter comes, the vegetable world, it seems to me, reflects the image of the purifying which God does in order to remove imperfections from the life of one of His children.

As cold comes on the wings of a winter storm, the trees gradually begin to lose their leaves. The green is soon changed into a funereal brown; soon the leaves fall away and die. Behold the tree’s appearance now! It looks stripped and desolate. Behold the loss of summer’s beautiful garment. What happens as you look upon that poor tree? You see a revelation.

Under all the beautiful leaves there had been all sorts of irregularities and defects. The defects had been invisible because of the beautiful leaves. Now those defects are startlingly revealed! The tree is no longer beautiful in its surface appearance. But has the tree actually changed? Not at all. Everything is exactly as it was before. The beauty of the outward life of the leaves had only hidden what was always present.

The same is true of you. The same is true of all believers. We can each look so beautiful….until life disappears! Then, no matter who, the Christian is revealed as full of defects. As the Lord works on you to produce purification, you will appear stripped of all your virtues. But, in the tree, there is life inside; and, as the tree, you are not actually becoming worse, you are simply seeing yourself for what you really are. Know that somewhere deep within the tree of winter there is still the life that produced last spring’s beautiful leaves.

No, the believer’s inmost being has not been deprived of its essential virtue. He has lost no advantages. He has only lost something human, a sense of his own personal goodness, and he has discovered, instead, his utter wretchedness. He has lost the ease of following the Lord. That ease was born more of ignorance of self than anything else.

As with the tree, so with you.

The Christian, now spoiled and naked, appears in his own eyes to be a denuded thing’ and all those around him see his defects for the first time: defects which were previously veiled, concealed by outward graces.

Sometimes such revelation is so devastating to the pride of a Christ he simply never recovers, and decided to be a Christian on some other level; or gives up following the Lord entirely.
Throughout the long cold winter, the tree certainly appears as dead as the very deadest of all trees in the forest. The tree knows no reality. Here is total destruction, it seems. But the truth lies somewhere else.

That tree is actually undergoing and submitting to a process which preserves its life and strengthens the tree. After all, what does winter do to a tree? It contracts the tree’s exterior. The life deep within is no longer uselessly expended! Its life, rather, is concentrated within the deepest part of the trunk and in the hidden portions of the root. The life is forced deeper and deeper into the inmost part of the tree.

Winter preserves the tree, no matter how dead the tree may appear. Yes, its leaves have fallen away and its true deformed state has been exposed; yet the tree has never been more alive than at that time. During the winter, the source and principle of life is more firmly established than at any other season.

In all the other season, the tree employs the whole force of its life in adorning and beautifying itself. But it does so at the expense of expending its life, taking its very vitality from the roots and the deepest part of the trunk. There must be winter. Winter is necessary for the tree if it is to live, survive and flourish.

Virtue has a way of sinking deep within the Christian, while totally disappearing from the surface, leaving the outward and natural defects in very conspicuous view.

If we have eyes to see, then we see that this is beautiful.

Grace operates in your life in exactly the same way. God will take away the leaves. Something will cause them to fall. The outward virtue will collapse. He does this that He may strengthen the principle of virtue. The source of virtue must be built up. Something deep within the soul is still functioning. Somewhere within the spirit the functions that are the highest (in God’s estimation) have never rested. What is going on is exceedingly hidden. It is humble.

What is happening is pure love.

What is going on in the inmost part is absolute abandonment and contempt of self. The inward man is making progress. The soul in venturing forth into the interior. True, it seems that the operations of God are concentrated on the external parts of the believer, and even a moment’s glance reveals that the exterior things are not pleasant to look upon. Yet, in truth, no new defects in the soul have developed. Only the uncovering of old faults has come about. And, as they are exposed, they are better healed.

If you dare the spiritual pilgrimage, you need to remember in times of calamity, and in times of what appear to be dry spells, and in that time which men will call a spiritual winter: Life is there.

If winter comes…….
















Vision - Church, Wake Up!


CHURCH, WAKE-UP!


I saw a man, dressed in casual beige slacks and a very dark green sweater walking along a laneway. A hedge lined one side of this lane and on the other side was a view of the sea. The man had his hands in his pockets and was looking out at a sailboat through a slight haze on the water. After he paused to take in the sight, he continued walking along the lane, whistling with his head tilted back a little.


Several airplanes flew overhead and the man stopped to watch them. They weren’t ordinary passenger planes but looked much more sleek and streamlined… I think they were jets. After they passed overhead the man continued down the lane.


Then I saw this man standing in front of an old fashioned bakery. It had large, paned windows and a screen door that creaked when it opened. He stood in front of the bakery window for a moment to see what was on display and then went into the store. Inside, he ordered some tarts and the baker, wearing a long, white butcher-style apron put the tarts in a paper bag and handed them to the man. While the man was waiting for his change he leaned very casually against the counter and asked if the baker had heard the sound of the planes overhead. Because they had been so loud it was clear the man expected the baker to say ‘yes.’ However, the baker hadn’t heard a thing. The man then left the shop and walked down the street of a very quaint village, eating a tart as he walked.


I then saw this same man in a well-appointed hotel room, decorated in the American Federal style. He was in front of a mirror tying a bow tie and wearing a tuxedo. When he was satisfied with his appearance, he looked out a mullioned window to the street to see if his hired car and driver was waiting for him.


Next the man entered an extremely formal dining room. It was the type of room one sees in very old and expensive estate homes…like one of the old Vanderbilt mansions. There was a very long dining table and at each place there was a tuxedo-clad man. They all appeared to have been waiting for the arrival of this man and looked very pleased to see him as well as pleased for whatever reason they were gathering. The host came and welcomed the man by shaking his hand and asking him to have a seat at the table.


The host stood at the head of the table and said,
“Well gentlemen, we’re all here now. Our plan is underway. We’ve had a few delays along the way but I think I can safely say the plan has been launched.”


Once again I saw the lane by the sea. There was no one there and nothing moving. This went on for a few minutes. Everything was pleasant and peaceful, the sun was shining, there was a slight breeze and small waves lapping on the edge of the shore.


Suddenly there was an explosion with dirt, rocks and debris shooting high in the air.  Then I saw a huge, silver cannon. It was very shiny and modern rather than a 19th century type of armament.

I looked toward the village as if I was standing at its entrance and there was another explosion in the business area. There was a church on a hill and I watched as the steeple was blown off.


When I asked the Lord, “Why aren’t there any people running or screaming?”


He replied, “They’re asleep.”


Church, please wake up!
Holly 





Vision - A Very Narrow Path

Mountain Path - billmunnsgallery.com



I was standing under a maple tree. A low branch filled with leaves was partly obscuring what was beyond but when I leaned forward to see past the leaves I saw a dirt path on which stood a very still figure. He was dressed in a long, white robe with a hood and a gold braided belt tied around his waist. I kept looking, not making a sound or a move and neither did he. It was almost as if He was frozen in place.


Then I decided to step out from under the branch and it was that which seemed to cause him to turn toward me. As he did so, I realized it was Jesus.

The He said to me,
“Will you follow Me?”

“Yes,” I replied.

So I went over to the dirt path which was extremely narrow and started following Him as He began to walk. On the left side of the path there was an incredibly steep drop and given my fear of heights I chose not to look down. On the right side there was a grass shoulder but not particularly wide, with a few rocks and weeds and then a hill that rose up just as sharply as the drop on the left side.

He walked around a bit of a bend and suddenly the path was on the side of a mountain with a very long drop below and to my right was basically a wall of rock.

I said in a very shaken voice, “Jesus, you know I’m afraid of heights.”

“Do you trust Me to lead you safely?” He asked.

I did answer ‘yes’ but my legs were shaking so badly I was having trouble putting one foot in front of the other. He moved very slowly and I knew He was doing this because He really did understand how each step was so frightening to me.

“What are we doing here, Lord?” I asked Him.

“Tell them I will be asking them to do things which will frighten them but I want them to look past their fear and see Me leading them. My path has become very narrow but if they will simply keep their eyes on Me, I will lead them safely.” 



Through Christ you have come to trust in God. 
And because God raised Christ from the dead 
and gave Him great glory, your faith and hope
 can be placed confidently in God. 
1 Peter 1: 21

May the Lord bless you and keep you, 
Holly










Vision - The Soldier Bride





I saw a group of Canadian soldiers, men and women, standing in the foyer of a building. There were only a handful of them, perhaps six or eight and they were waiting for a vehicle to come and pick them up. I understood them to be a well-trained, elite unit. As I watched, they were busy doing small things like adjusting a belt or double checking their packs to make sure they had everything. I saw one man lean over and adjust the sock inside his boot.

Next I saw a very beautiful white flower. It was a camellia and I immediately understood that as a flower traditionally used for weddings, I was seeing the Bride in these soldiers.

Then I next saw these soldiers unloading cargo from the belly of an airplane. The plane was remarkably close to the ground and the cargo door was under the wing of the plane. One soldier had to bend low to unload the boxes and then passed them to the other soldiers, rather in the way of a bucket brigade. The impression was that they were working efficiently as a team.

Next I saw this elite team individually crawling through a row of tunnels and I understood that these tunnels were under the Canadian/American border. Each soldier was in full battle gear and wearing heavy backpacks filled with supplies they’d taken from the plane.

Then I found myself following one of the soldiers as he was walking through an American city. I knew it was American because I saw a J.C. Penney sign dangling from the side of a building. The city looked like pictures of Iraq after the bombing and looting with a few stores, offices and houses standing but in very bad condition. There was debris everywhere and as I looked around I realized everything was a grey/beige colour except for the J.C. Penney sign, the soldier in forest green uniform and half of a McDonald’s arch. The other half was crumbled.

There wasn’t a person on the street except for the soldier, however, there were people in the buildings peeking through boarded up windows. These boards weren’t sheets of plywood but looked instead as if people had used any kind of wood they could find. In each of these windows I could see eyes and they were following the soldier as he walked down the street. Their fear was obvious and I understood that fear to be because of his uniform.

I knew the people needed the supplies the soldier was carrying but they were too afraid to call out and ask for them. I also wondered why the soldier didn’t offer the supplies but realized he was entirely focused on whatever his mission was.

Then I saw a young, African American man lying bleeding on the sidewalk in front of what was once a store.. His eyes were closed and he was clearly moments away from death. The soldier stopped, looked at the man and simply said, “Rise up.” With that the young man opened his eyes and lifted one arm which the soldier grasped, helping the man to his feet. This man looked completely stunned and incredulous as he stood staring at the soldier and after a few moments he yelled, “I’m healed.”

The soldier started walking again and now the young man was following him, jumping up and down as he did and calling out, “I’m healed, I’m healed! This guy healed me.”

The soldier replied, “I didn’t heal you, Jesus Christ did.” In the strange silence of the street these words seemed very loud.

Meanwhile, the people inside the buildings were still watching and still afraid to come out and the soldier continued walking down the street, now apparently looking for something else.

Then the soldier stopped at a place where the asphalt of the road had heaved from some force and a huge chunk of the road was almost vertical leaving a gaping hole in the ground. The soldier stopped and in the hole were three children. One was a little African American girl wearing a dirty white blouse and the other two were little boys in grubby, stripped t-shirts. When they saw the soldier they looked so terrified I wanted to hug them and tell them he wouldn’t hurt them. I have never seen such frightened children.

The soldier leaned down to help them out of the hole and they kept shrinking back trying to avoid his hands until the young man told them they would be safe. Although they clearly didn’t believe him they were so afraid of the soldier they didn’t fight him any longer. As they got out of the hole, they clung to the legs of the young African American man, whose name was apparently Alphonse.

The soldier opened his backpack and took out some water and some special candies that were a kind of meal replacement enriched with vitamins and gave one to each child.

At that point, the soldier seemed to know he had to keep moving. He was still looking very focused and now as he turned down another street Alphonse and the three children were following him.

We walked past more grey/beige damaged storefronts on one side of the street but oddly on the other side of the street there was the federal Capital Building surrounded by beautiful, well-maintained lawns and trees. I walked along wondering if this was an indication of government officials who had safe and clean shelter and food while the citizens were struggling on their own without supplies. (In spite of the fact I saw the Capital Building I am not sure that this was Washington.)

The soldier walked down several more blocks until he came to a two-storey, flat-roofed building with a set of exterior stairs leading to the second floor. We all followed him up and watched as he knocked on a dull, red door. At his knock, we saw a pair of eyes looking through a very small window and then the soldier said,

“I come in the name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.”

With that, the person inside opened the door and we all went into a large room with a big table in the centre and about ten or twelve people, both men and women. The children were still terribly frightened and three women came over and each took a child over to a chair and sat down and held them on their laps. In spite of the fact the children would have normally been too old to sit on a lap, these children just held on for dear life. It was a heart wrenching scene.

The people in the room were wary of the soldier but he simply pulled off his backpack, opened it up on the table and started pulling out packages wrapped in silver foil. It was food and he was giving this packets out to each person in the room. Then he pulled out some very small Bibles.
When a couple of the women saw the Bibles, they looked absolutely terrified and had tears in their eyes. One of the women said,


“If they find us with Bibles they’ll send us to the camps.”

Nevertheless, each person gratefully and eagerly took a Bible.

Then I saw a white curtain billowing into the room from an opened door, opposite to where we’d come in. There was a brilliant light and suddenly Jesus walked into the room. He immediately looked at the children with such compassion and sadness that I got tears in my eyes and especially as I saw those children run right up to Him to hug Him. He held each of them and as He did I could see them changing from terrified and traumatized children to looking rosy and happy.

All the adults had fallen to their knees the moment Jesus walked into the room. They were bent low with their heads bowed. I wanted to do the very same thing but heard the Spirit say, “Watch.”

I watched as Jesus held these children and then said to the others in the room,

“From this day on do not be afraid. I am with you and I will be with you to help you. I will protect you. You will find shelter and you will find necessary food. In just a while your troubles will be over. Watch for Me. I am coming soon.”

“Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor. The Lord rescues them in times of trouble. The Lord protects them and keeps them alive. He gives them prosperity and rescues them from their enemies. The Lord nurses them when they are sick and eases their pain and discomfort.” Psalm 41: 1-3



Vision - The Wedding Invitation Has A Reply Card



I entered a house. It was a typical suburban, side split house one sees from the 1960’s or 1970’s. As I walked into the front entry of this house there stood a man holding something white.

The man had sandy blond hair and a full mustache. He was dressed in blue jeans and a red plaid shirt…all very neat and clean but in simple, working clothes. I looked at his face briefly and noted that in spite of his very somber expression he appeared to be extremely kind.

Without speaking a word, he extended his hand with the white object. It was a folded card and I knew without being told it was the reply card for a wedding invitation. It remained in his hand because he was extending it for the purpose of showing me something. He opened the card and though I expected to see something written, instead I saw something that more closely resembled a television or computer screen except that it was completely three-dimensional.


I was immediately struck by the startlingly beautiful green blades of grass that appeared to be growing right out of this screen. These blades were the most stunning shade of green I’ve ever seen because they radiated light--the light was coming from within the blades and more gorgeous than any grass I could ever imagine. Suddenly, behind the blades of this grass there were missiles exploding. I could see the explosions and the smoke billowing up behind the grass blades but it didn’t diminish the radiant light of the green in the least.

As I gave the man a questioning look about what I was seeing, he merely looked back at me wordlessly but I somehow knew I was supposed to climb the staircase that was just to the left of me.

It was a short staircase of perhaps 7 or 8 steps and as I climbed I saw a white hall in front of me. There were two open doors at the end of the hall but between the staircase and these rooms was a closet with white painted double doors and locked brass door knobs. These two doors kept bulging outward into the hall as if they were made of very pliable material. I could hear a lot of loud and angry noise behind the door but individual voices were indiscernible and I knew it was filled with darkness.

The door kept bulging out and I just stood watching it for long minutes, not sure whether to keep walking down the hall or stay where I was. Then I was torn between the curiosity of what was going on behind that door and the desire to walk down the narrow hall. The two rooms at the end drew my eye just as forcefully as the bulging closet doors because there was such an intense light coming from each of the rooms. I also wasn’t sure that passing these closet doors was either smart or safe because it appeared the locking mechanism would give out at any second.

As I stood undecided I knew I had three choices. I could stay where I was, on the fence as it were. Or I could try to open the closet doors and see what was going on. Or I could continue down the hall toward these beautifully lit rooms. Once I realized the choices I knew the only option was to walk down the narrow hall and to do so safely it was essential to completely ignore the bulging closet…not to even look at it again if I was going to arrive safely to those rooms where there was indescribable light and Presence.

What was more compelling than the curiously heaving closet was the way the hall was filled with light, peace and a remarkable gentleness. It was these characteristics which made the noises behind the closet pale into insignificance.


The meaning of this vision was shown to me as follows:

The house represents “the House” or the Church and is, I believe, a message for others as well as myself.

The man was a messenger. Although he was dressed in humble work clothes, I couldn’t help but notice how exceptionally clean he, and his clothing, was. He was a fellow worker for the Lord who had been through his ‘cleaning’ process and was bringing a message/invitation to the Body, who is the Bride, and hence the wedding reply card.

The picture of the beautiful green grass with missiles exploding in the background is the first part of the message. It indicates that the Bride is going to face great trials and has been preparing for that with the refining process she has been through but the radiant green grass represents the glorious deliverance of the Lord in the midst of those trials. [1]

The stairs indicate the Bride is now preparing, or ready, to climb to the next level (transitioning) but there will be decisions to be made. Each person will have to decide whether they are going to go forward with the Lord past obstacles, stay where they are or retreat. As I have been considering this I believe the Lord has indicated that any of us who think we wouldn’t possibly retreat have a dangerous mindset. Rather like Peter before he denied the Lord. (note to self: are you reading this carefully?)

But what was in the closet? As I prayed about this, I believe the Lord showed me that it was filled with pride, jealousy, selfishness, quarrels and fights, backbiting and gossip for the enemy will attempt to wage a new and more intense-than-ever war against God’s people by using God’s people who become involved or ensnared with such things. [2] Any one of these things will become an enormous stumbling block for both ourselves and for those we wish to reach for Christ. What must be noted is that the closet was locked. The only way the viciousness of what was behind the doors would have been allowed out was if I had unlocked the door myself.

The hall was narrow and filled with the characteristics of light, peace and gentleness that can only come from the Spirit of God and it is there where we must remain. Walking forward with our focus entirely on the Light of Christ and we must keep going not allowing ourselves to be distracted [3] or discouraged [4] by the darkness of pride and the sins which accompany it.


May the Lord bless you and keep you,
Holly

[1] These trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold--and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold. So if your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honour on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. 1 Peter 1: 7
Patient endurance is what you need now, so you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that He has promised. Hebrews 10: 36


But He brought His people safely out of Egypt, loaded with silver and gold; there were no sick or feeble among them. Egypt was glad when they were gone, for the dread of them was great. The Lord spread out a cloud above them as a covering and gave them a great fire to light the darkness. They asked for meat, and He sent them quail; He gave them manna--bread from heaven. He opened up a rock, and water gushed out to form a river through the dry and barren land. For He remembered His sacred promise to Abraham His servant. So He brought His people out of Egypt with joy, His chosen ones with rejoicing.Psalm 105: 37-43


[2] But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, He will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to His cross and crucified them there. If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or irritate one another, or be jealous of one another.Galatians 5: 22-26


[3] It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt. He was not afraid of the king. Moses kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the One who is invisible. Hebrews 10: 27


[4] But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So don’t get tired of doing what is good. Don’t get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time. Whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone, especially to our Christian brothers and sisters.Galatians 6



Times Of Testing





“As evening came, Jesus said to His disciples, 
‘Let’s cross to the other side of the lake. He was already in the boat, 
so they started out, leaving the crowds behind. 
But soon a fierce storm arose. High waves began to break 
into the boat until it was nearly full of water.
Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat 
with His head on a cushion. Frantically they woke Him up, shouting, 
‘Teacher, don’t you even care that we are going to drown?” 
Mark 4: 35-38



The often quoted “there are no atheists in foxholes” is a cliché only because it’s true. When we face trials in our lives, it's not only wise but necessary to look to God for help as our faith is tested and usually strained to the limit.

Trials have a very real and important purpose in the life of faith for many of these trials are actually a testing to expand faith. It’s not the sort of testing one thinks of when writing an exam precisely where a pass or fail is the point. Testing is more like working a muscle to increase its strength. It’s the way God uses circumstances in our lives to develop greater faith in our lives as opposed to the idea that He’s standing there with a report card recording our passing or failing grade.

Perhaps you think the idea of trials for the sake of increased faith sounds like God is inflicting cruel and unusual punishment but that would be missing the point. In this life we’re constantly in training as Christians which is why the Bible so often uses military analogies. The battles for which we train and face are meant to equip us to fight against the enemies like pride or self-sufficiency or fear or idolatries … pretty much the whole gamut of sin that pervades so much of our lives.

Every trial we face isn’t necessarily a test but certainly every trial is an opportunity for the growth of faith. In each one with which we find ourselves coping we have a new and wonderful opportunity to see the hand of God which is always ready to help in times of trouble. He promises to be our refuge and strength and He always lives up to His promises.

Like most of His promises though, there is a condition. It is that we are to ‘stay with Him’. It makes me think of the way a 911 emergency operator will keep a person on the line while waiting for the police or ambulance to arrive. The operator will ask some questions deliberately posed to keep the person on the line with advice, direction or a calming effect. We only get advice, direction or that calming effect from the Lord IF we stay on the line, as it were. As we are connected to Him in order to hear His still, small voice, He shows us the way through the circumstances. In this, our faith and trust grows by leaps and bounds.

During a time of testing it’s wise to simply obey whatever we believe the Lord is telling us as we spend time in His presence. You are spending time in His presence aren’t you? The worst possible response during a time of difficulty is to avoid God in a kind of sulk or because you’re distracted by your circumstances. When we spend time in His presence we find peace and it’s when our minds and hearts are peaceful we are most able to cope with the problems at hand. It also makes us more clear headed so we can actually hear what He’s saying.

The shortest way through any trial or time of testing is simply to be obedient. It can actually be the hardest thing to do even if it may be the most logical in terms of the Christian life but it’s a surefire way to get through the situation more easily. God will reveal something, or several ‘somethings’, about which He requires us to obey. The wisest course to just do what we’re told!

A time of testing will also produce patience. There are times when we are required to wait.

And wait.

And wait some more.

That’s when the ‘faith muscle’ really gets a workout. However, during any time of waiting God provides whatever is needed to get through the day whether it be something material or a word of peace or encouragement. The key is not to get discouraged or to give up for there is a harvest of blessing we reap when we ‘soldier on’ with Him.

He has promised He will be with us no matter what the circumstances are. We can count on His protection when we remain close to Him and obey His instructions.
So…..

“When He woke up, He rebuked the wind and said to the water, 
’Quiet down!’ Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was great calm. 
And He asked them, ’Why are you so afraid? 
Do you still not have faith in Me?” 
Mark 4: 40



May the Lord bless you and keep you,
Holly














Vision - Tied Up In Church




Before me was a large tree loaded with apples though it was much larger than a normal apple tree. The tree was in a beautiful park-like setting with a manicured lawn and many other large trees throughout, quite typical of a city park or an old estate home.

Under the tree there was a long, rectangular table with a red and white gingham cloth. There were a few people walking about and they were dressed in 1950’s clothing. I saw some children and particularly a man and woman. The man was wearing a shirt and tie with the jacket of his suit slung over one shoulder. The woman had on a powder blue shirtwaist dress with a full skirt. It was the clothing that gave me the understanding it was the 50’s.

The table was set up for the church picnic but there wasn’t any food on it.

A brief flash of something to my left caught my eye. It was a huge great white shark which loomed over the scene with an evil grin and then disappeared.

Beyond the tree, the people and the table there was a house that appeared to have been built in the 1910’s in the craftsman style with a large, screened-in veranda at the front. There wasn’t any question of needing permission to enter the house so I went up the front steps and into this veranda. It was much darker inside than I thought it would be considering the sunny, summer day outside.

As I walked into the hall I saw the dining room with a long table and around it were chairs occupied by people. There was no food on this table either. Each person had their hands behind the backs of the chairs and their entire torso was tied to the chairs with heavy rope. They each had a gag on their mouths.

There was nothing about these people that suggested they were in distress. They looked quite content, or resigned, to their situation.

I went up the stairs at the end of the hall and on the second floor there were several closed doors. Behind one door I was aware of a sexual encounter in progress. Behind the door across the hall I was aware there were two men counting money.

There was a small, narrow staircase that led up to an attic. When I went up there I saw many, very dusty boxes and they were all filled with Bibles.

When I went back downstairs and outside I saw the strangest thing. Standing there about eight feet tall was Mr. Peanut. I heard him say with showman enthusiasm, “C’mon inside! We’re putting on a show!”

The people who had been on the lawn looked delighted and happily went into the house.

I went and stood sadly under the oversized apple tree and asked, “Why are they in there Lord?”

He replied, “They are naïve people who have been deceived by smooth talk and glowing words. They don’t know any better and they are deceived by those who have turned faith in Me into a peanut gallery show.”

Then I asked, “Once they go in there they’re tied to those chairs. What will happen to them Lord?”

The Lord replied, “This is the condition of many who call themselves My Church but I will protect and deliver all those who are Mine. I will send them those who will speak My truth. I will open the eyes of those who want their eyes opened.”

“My sheep recognize My voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them away from Me, for My Father has given them to Me, and He is more powerful than anyone else. So no one can take them from Me.” John 10: 27-29

May the Lord bless you and keep you,
Holly


Vision - 1920's Roadster



August 2008


Standing by the side of a country highway, I saw a car speedily approaching. I was surprised to see it was a 1920’s roadster and very bright yellow. As the car got closer, I saw there were four people in it and from what I could see they were all dressed in clothing of the 1920’s. They were laughing and having a fine time together just enjoying a sunny day out in the country.

The car slowed down considerably as it came close to me, though they were entirely unaware of my presence. When I looked over my shoulder to see their reason for stopping, I saw a huge pile of broken rocks on the middle of the road. There was a very rocky mountain around which this road had been created and apparently there had been a rock slide. The road was completely impassable.

The driver got out of the car and his clothing was an indication of his personality. He was wearing pleated, light coloured slacks and a green, knit vest. He walked over to the rocks and with a very sincere and determined manner knelt down and began to look for a path through which he could drive the car. He was completely absorbed with the task and I understood him to be genuinely concerned about finding a solution to their problem.

When I looked back toward the vehicle I saw that one of the women was getting out of it. She was wearing a mid-calf length dark skirt and a midi-style sweater to match. I saw the collar of her white blouse around the neckline of the sweater. Her clothing indicated she, too, was a very sincere person, modestly clothed and her expression also showed a determined but gentle attitude to find a solution to the dilemma. However, now all around the car were huge piles of rock. The car was completely surrounded by them with no discernible way through. In spite of this, the woman got to her knees and began to look at the rocks behind the car and said, “I know there’s a way back. I’ll find it here somehow.”

Then the second woman emerged from the car and was a striking contrast to the man and other woman. She was wearing a fairly long, beige wrap around coat with a fur-trimmed collar, a cloche hat and an arrogant expression. As she closed the car door, she sat on the running board crossing her legs and lighting up a cigarette in one of those long holders considered fashionable in the 1920’s. She was nonchalant about the predicament and expecting the others to find a solution to it.

When I looked beyond her I saw the second man now standing at the side of the car and he now had my entire attention. In spite of the fact that he was well dressed in a light coloured business suit, it wasn’t his clothing which made him so worth watching--it was his posture. He was standing at full attention with his right hand over his heart and I immediately thought of the way Americans do this when they are repeating the Pledge of Allegiance.

He was looking at the sky above the pile of rocks, about a forty-five degree angle from the direction of the road. I followed his gaze but couldn’t see what it was he was staring at, however, since his focus was so riveted on the sky I continued to look until I saw a hand. The hand then became a pointed index finger and when I looked at where it was pointing I suddenly saw a v-shaped path through the rocks. This path wasn’t at all discernible until the finger pointed it out nor was it a simple and clean path for it would require a bit of climbing over the rubble, but it was a way through.

The man told the others about the path but the first man was too busy trying to find his own way. The same thing was true for the woman who was trying to go back the way they came. The arrogant woman just ignored him because she was waiting for someone to come to move the rocks.

So the man who saw the finger in the sky began to pick his way through the ‘v’ in the rocks and I started to follow him because I wanted to see where he was going. It only took a few steps until I saw what was ahead. It was a beautiful, green valley filled with fruit trees and a log cabin and it wasn’t even very far.



I believe the Lord has shown me these aspects to this vision:

Economic

It was set in the 1920’s because it was a time not unlike what we’ve experienced for the last few decades here in North America with abundance of materials things. The car, the clothing and the laughter while they were driving before the rock slide all indicate ‘the good life’. The rock slide represents a sudden economic mess.

Types of Christians

The more important point of this vision is, I believe, the way each person handled the trial. The first man was a sincere and genuine person but one determined to do things his own way and in his own power.

The first woman was one who wanted to sincerely find a path but her desire to go back the way they came represents doing things as they’ve always been done and that will no longer work in the days ahead.

The second woman was the selfish and prideful one who let others do the work and had little concern about her attitude. Her priorities were very material.

However, it was the second man who represents the true believer. He stood with focused attention on the Lord, not the circumstances. His hand over his heart was an indication that he trusted entirely in the Lord to show him the way through the difficulty and his trust was not misplaced when he was able to see with supernatural eyes the path the Lord was setting before him.

There is a great deal we’re hearing about what is coming in terms of some very difficult times ahead. We’re expecting a great and glorious move of the Lord but we also are hearing about the fire of judgement coming to the world. I see both illustrated in this vision.

The assurance of the Lord’s protection and provision is ours IF our hearts are given over to Him entirely and our focus remains solely on Him.

No matter whether the various trials that come our way are personal or global, the principle always holds true….

“Lord, You are my strength and fortress, my refuge in the day of trouble.”Jeremiah 16: 19

Sin

There is one other, important consideration in this vision and it’s the way we deal with sin.

The first man is a picture of the times we try to deal with sin in our own strength. Undoubtedly, our own will is of extreme importance regarding our choices but to attempt to conquer sin in our own strength is the path of failure.

Or perhaps like the first woman we haven’t let go of the past and it prevents us from moving on.

Then there is the second woman who represents the person who doesn’t even care to do anything about the sin in his/her life.

But then there’s the second man. He is the one the Lord delivers from his sin. It is this person who knows deliverance only comes from the Lord, who is willing to let go of the past, knows the renunciation of sin cannot be done by only by willing it away but only through the grace of the Lord who makes a way when we are tempted.


May the Lord bless you and keep you,
Holly