Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Storms of life’

I am so sick and tired of the devil attacking us! Thankfully I recognize his tactics and I know that it comes from him.

It all started last week with my new debit card I got from a new bank. I barely had it for a few days and when I was in the store buying groceries my card was declined. I knew it couldn’t be because there were not sufficient funds as I had just the previous day deposited quite a large amount into the card, and I was buying for less than 20% of the available balance. So I insisted they try again, and it was once again rejected. Then they phoned for authorisation and it was rejected a third time. By that time I felt like the earth should swallow me up, out of embarrassment, since nothing like this has ever happened to me before. I used to work at one of the largest banks in the country for more than 14 years, so I know pretty much all about what can go wrong with cards like this and I could not think of one single reason why it would be rejected. When I got home I phoned the bank immediately and it seemed they froze my account, because apparently they never received my proof of address and identification, yet I gave it to them twice, once when I applied and then again when I received my card. When I told them that, the lady suddenly said, “O, here it is, yes, we have received it, I am so sorry!” and it took her less than a minute to locate my documents and remove the hold on my account. There was absolutely no reason for this to happen, except to get me upset, and at that stage I didn’t realize yet that the devil had his hand in this…

The next thing was on Tuesday morning I took a bath, got out and felt quite good. I started to blow dry my hair and within 5 minutes of standing there I had an incredible pain in my lower back and right hip, so bad that I had to lie down immediately and it felt like I would pass out if I didn’t. After a while I felt better and went to the kitchen to make myself breakfast. I let the dogs into the house and I saw there was a swollen lump over Shumi’s left eye and on the left side of his head. That is the side where the tumour originally started. It upset me quite a bit to see that…

From there I limped around the house to get ready for the feeding Scheme I volunteer at, but I noticed I could not stand for long. So I went, but I sat down on a chair and told them that my back is really sore. I only stood for the 20 minutes or so that it took for me to hand out the bread, and then I had to sit back down again… I went home from there and by the time I got home I just felt like crying and falling down on the bed. Fortunately I made an appointment with my Chiropractor for later that afternoon, since my back was a little sore the day before already. Then I started to get cramps in my tummy and the devil tried to convince of terrible things happening, but I refused to believe that. Fortunately a while later I recognized the cramps as cramps in my colon, and not related to our baby, and it was due to a typical pregnancy symptom, constipation.

The treatment at the chiropractor helped a lot, and she said it was another typical pregnancy related symptom and not due to sciatica that I used to suffer from. She advised I wear a pregnancy support belt around my hips especially when I stand or walk for a while.

Yesterday morning Shumi looked a lot worse than on Tuesday morning. The swelling looked about double from what it was the day before. I felt a bit better, but I decided to wear the support belt, since we were going shopping for a mattress for the cot we bought last week and for materials to make a mosquito net to cover the cot. I was fine at the first shop but at the second shop I was starting to feel the same again as the previous day, and I told DH that we must finish up so that I can go home. So DH looked for a shop assistant to help us, since we made up our minds about what we wanted to buy. He got one and when she was almost where I was a lady interrupted her and asked her to help her instead and this shop assistant stopped, turned around and started helping this other lady. By that time I was sitting on the floor of the shop since I could not stand any longer. I was upset, but I didn’t say anything, and DH decided that he would find me a chair to sit on. So we found one and I told DH that I’m not moving until he found someone else to help us. Well, I barely sat when one of the shop employees tried to tell me that I was sitting in her way, and that I had to move, so I just moved the chair a bit out of the way, and she saw from my face that I was not feeling well at all, and about to burst into tears, so she left me alone after that. Eventually the other lady was finished with her shopping and the original shop assistant was ready to help us, and a few minutes later we were able to go home.

By that time it was well over an hour later than my usual lunch time and I was feeling very hungry and weak and I think I my blood sugar was also low by that time. We got home and found a letter in the mailbox from the municipality stating that they haven’t received a deposit from us to connect the water and electricity, which is nonsense off course, since they never connect it without the deposit. I wasn’t worried about that, but I asked DH to go sort it out after lunch since I didn’t feel up to standing in any queues. A few moments later we realized our electricity was disconnected and we could not make the lunch we wanted to, so DH just ate a sandwich quickly and got into the car with our proof of payment. I was so upset by then that I just went to lie down and felt like crying and crying. And then I suddenly realized what was happening – all this was happening just to upset us. So I got up again out of bed and decided the devil is not going to get what he wants from me…

I made myself a sandwich, I hung the laundry I did earlier on the line and about half an hour later DH was back saying that they don’t know how or why it happened as the computer system says that we have paid our deposit and it was never supposed to be disconnected at all. Apparently the lady at the municipality was so embarrassed and could not stop apologizing for the inconvenience and another half an hour later our electricity was connected again.

By last night we saw the swelling on Shumi’s head and over his eye was much bigger than yesterday morning and he could almost not see out of that eye anymore because it was swollen so much. So DH sat me down and said that we must now discuss the one thing I have been avoiding for almost a year and a half now, euthanizing Shumi.

I feel like a failure, that I failed Shumi and my mom, because I believe that God can and wants to heal, and that He’s made provision for it already as a matter of fact, yet my mom had to die and now Shumi will probably have to die too…

It feels like I’m throwing in the towel, that I’m giving up on Shumi, and that I should have been able to get a breakthrough. I mean I got pregnant didn’t I? Why couldn’t my mom and Shumi be healed too? I know the fault does not lie with God, so then it must lie with me, and I just cannot figure out what more I can do, or what else I should have done, or where my weakness lies…

All I know is that the devil attacked me so much more lately to weaken my resolve, to make me tired and get me to sin so that he can gain power from that, and to get me to give in so that he can once again steal, kill and destroy what I don’t want him too… I know the fact that Shumi got cancer is all my fault. In between my second failed IVF and when Shumi got sick a few months later I can distinctly remember saying so many times aloud, “Nothing must happen to Shumi, because I just don’t know if I’ll ever be able to cope with that too…” You see the failures of the 2 IVF’s and a little bit later the failed FET was getting to me, and my mom was diagnosed with cancer also just after my second IVF and it just felt like almost everything was going wrong and I started to fear that something bad will happen to the closest thing I had to a child at that stage and that was Shumi. Saying those things and my fear opened a door for the devil, and allowed him to make Shumi sick…

I slept very poorly again last night, upset about Shumi, and trying to think what else I can do. I know that my faith has wavered a bit since my mom passed away, and that I’ve probably limited God again, by thinking thoughts like, “cancer is so much harder to get healed than infertility.”

All I know is that God has helped us a lot with Shumi – two vets we saw gave Shumi maximum 3 months to live around the middle of July last year. I’ve quoted this before, but I want to share it again:

What is the prognosis for dogs with nasal cavity tumors?
One study of 139 dogs showed that without treatment, the average survival time is 95 days. Another study showed that dogs who underwent surgery alone had median survival 3-6 months, which is comparable to that reported for no treatment. Prognosis of dogs who show symptoms of nose bleeding appears to be worse (median survival of 88 days) compared to those without it (medial survival of 224 days). The median survival time after full course of radiation treatment alone ranges from 8 to 19.7 months, and 43-60% of dogs are alive 1 year after radiation and 11-44% 2 years post-radiation. The use of CT imaging to plan radiation treatment can increase the survival range to 11-19.7 months. Although radiation therapy alone is able to provide local control of nasosinal tumours for approximately 10 months, and thus prolongs the patients’ overall survival, most dogs will eventually die as a result of local disease progression. New approaches to control these tumours need to be developed to further improve the response and overall survival.

Several characteristics are associated with poorer outcomes (shorter survival) in dogs with nasosinal tumours such as being over 10 years old, having a tumour-induced facial deformity, presence of lymph node or other organ metastasis, or lack of resolution of clinical signs after radiation therapy.”

Now if you take into account that Shumi’s nose started bleeding last year in April already and this study said that dogs who had symptoms of nose bleeding had a median survival of 88 days then Shumi should have died somewhere in June or July last year already. That was only when we got the diagnosis of his nasal tumour, and it’s been more than 17 months since his nose bleeds started. I know both vets that have seen Shumi have been baffled as to why he has survived this long without treatment and I really believe it was God, so I will praise Him for that.

I knew facial deformity is one of the symptoms, but I’ve never thought that it would happen so fast. In 2 days his face has swollen up to this:


(I took this picture this morning)

I am scared to take Shumi to the vet and that he will say that we have to have Shumi put down, but I cannot bear to see him suffer either. I had hoped I would never have to make a decision like this. I just cannot take him on my own, I would break down if I have to leave him there, and DH cannot take him today because he has work commitments. Shumi does seem to be uncomfortable and somewhat unhappy about his swollen head, and he definitely does not like it when I touch it, even if it is ever so slightly, but there are also times when he comes to me with a ball in his mouth, wagging his tail with an expression of, “Please mommy, please come play with me!” and then he seems way too healthy to be euthanized…

O, this breaks my heart!

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Last week Saturday I went with 3 other people on a street outreach.  What we do is go into the inner city of our town and hand out tracts, Bibles and speak to people in the street and try to help those who need help.

We came across some people who were in terrible circumstances and referred most of them to the shelter in our town that is managed by a group of churches from different denominations.  It is from this same place that we have the feeding scheme, they hand out food packages, there is an overnight shelter for the homeless, facilities to bath and wash your clothes, they hand out clothing and blankets to those who are in need of it, they shelter women and children who need to get away from abusive family members and they have people who draw up resume’s and they try to find work for all the resume’s they have.

I want to talk about the last couple we came across just before we went home.  They were both elderly, but how old exactly is difficult to say because they really looked bad.  Like beggars, or bums, but they were not entirely homeless.  They live in a wooden hut in the back of what was once a normal stand with a house on it, but the house has been converted into a commune and a lot of small rooms have been built on the stand and there must be at least 20-30 people living there, if not more…

I came to them a bit later than the rest of our group as I talked to a young boy of about 8-9 years first, but when I came closer all I could hear was a lot of screaming, shouting and swearing.  All coming from this couple and they were shouting at the other 3 people of our group. 

“I don’t want to hear anything from this God of yours!  I don’t believe in God!  God is not good, how can He be good if He caused the Tsu.nami in Ja.pan!”  They kept shouting things like that, on and on.  Eventually I was able to get a word in edgewise just to say it wasn’t God that caused all these bad things.  That got their attention, when I said it was all caused by the devil, the man started shouting louder again.  They were upset and mad at God for being in their terrible circumstances.  They were blaming everybody they could think of for the situation they were in, God, the president, the government, us, Christians in general, everybody except themselves.

It was obvious that they were drunk.  The man more than the woman, and it was just before noon.  Eventually we were able to talk a bit with the woman, but the man kept on swearing and shouting.  We women just ignored him, and the man in our group said later he was standing there praying silently.  We asked the woman if she knew about the feeding scheme as they said they were hungry.  They did, they were there once, but they are mad because they say one of the men who volunteer there said he would pick them up and bring them every day as they think it’s too far to walk as they both have problems with their feet, but he never came.  I don’t know what the situation was, I know this man, I haven’t spoken to him about it, but I cannot imagine he would promise that as he is not there every day.  He is a business man who volunteers when he has a chance.  The other days of the week he attends to his business. 

After speaking to this woman for a while one of the ladies with us (H), realized she knows this woman.  H has been helping out the people in our inner city for years now and it was her idea to start the shelter, and with the help from some other people and different churches they were able to get it started less than a year ago.  She was involved with other Christian organizations years ago and this woman used to work for one of these organizations that used to hand out food packages to those in need.  She was fired though because she stole the food packages and sold it to buy alcohol.  This woman did not admit this, H told us about it later.  She and H talked about people they used to know and we eventually left promising to bring them food and some shoes.  H took it to them about 30 minutes later.

All afternoon I kept on thinking about these people.  They were in a terrible situation, I agree with that, but they weren’t the worst off I have ever seen.  Both of them receive a small state pension, and they should be able to pay rent for the wooden hut with it and buy some food and clothes at least.  I have seen a single mother with 2 children live in similar circumstances, and the only income she received was the same small state pension, that this couple earns, but because she is one person she gets half of what they do, and with that she had to pay rent, buy food and clothes for 3 people, and pay school fees.

The husband kept shouting at us, “Why don’t you go buy me some bread, I’m hungry!”  He is expecting others to give things to him.  He doesn’t ask, he demands, and I wasn’t with when H took them their food and the shoes, but I wonder if he even said thank you.  They live about 1 kilometre from a place that will give them food and clothes for free, but they do not make use of it, because they refuse to walk there.  I looked at their feet, and to tell the truth I could not see much wrong with them, except for them being dirty… 

They have an income, their rent should be less than half of their income and they should be able to afford food, but they are hungry, and drunk.  The closest shop that sells alcohol is further away than where we hand out food, and I wonder how they get hold of their alcohol.  It seems alcohol takes preference above food and clothes. 

It may sound like I’m being judgemental here, but I’m not – I’m stating what I saw and heard.  My heart aches for these people that they are in this situation, but the thing that is the worst for me is that it is all so unnecessary.  They don’t have to live like that, but to change it they will have to stop blaming everyone else and start to take action and responsibility for themselves.  We can try to help them, but somewhere they must try to help themselves too.

I think it’s because their situation was so bad, and how much their lives that have been messed up, that made me see how we give power to the devil to do bad things to us.  It’s not so easy to see your own mistakes.  It felt like my eyes were suddenly opened and a lot of things that I have learnt just suddenly came together.  I could see clearly how these people’s sins, their attitude, the words they say, their actions, their drinking, their unforgiveness, their fear, strive in their lives, how all of that gave power to the devil and how they allowed the devil to do a lot of bad stuff to them. 

All they think off, is that God is doing it all to them.  They don’t know God and that He loves them, but that is something I have learnt.  God just wants what is good for us; He wants the best for us.  God loves all of us, so much, that He paid the ultimate price, so that we can come to Him.

John 3:16 (NIV):  16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV):  11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

They don’t know that God does not punish us, because Jesus took our punishment upon Himself on the cross.  They don’t know that God is not like a human parent – who is fallible.  Humans punish each other, to teach someone a lesson, but God does not work that way.  God does not even allow bad stuff to happen us, we allow it!  That is what they did – by her own actions this woman lost her job, and probably by their own actions of drinking they also can’t get another. 

I wrote a post a while ago about fear and how that give the devil power to do things to you.  But we give the devil power in other ways too, like I mentioned earlier.  God has given us the 10 commandments for our own good, not just because He wanted to impose rules on us.  All of those commandments are there for a good reason.  So the reason God does not want us to sin is because it is bad for us.  Through sin we allow bad things to happen to us.  It not so that God can punish us when we sin.  

Even other things like forgiveness are there for you and not for the other person.  If you have an unforgiving heart you do yourself damage, most of the time the other person doesn’t even know you are mad at them!  Jealousy and envy make you feel bad, it eats into you and can make you a nasty person no-one wants to be around.  It doesn’t do any harm to the one you are jealous about, unless you act upon that jealousy.  But most of us don’t act upon it – we just let it simmer inside us. 

I still haven’t worked out exactly how it works in my own life.  I don’t have all the answers yet, for instance, I still haven’t figured out how I gave the devil the power to kill our babies and cause my miscarriage, like I said it’s not so easy to see your own faults, but I do realize that it must have been my fault.  I know it’s not God’s fault because God wants to bless me and love me.  I have learnt so much about who God is and what He wants for us, that I know it cannot be Him. 

Actually the opposite of what I’ve told you is also true.  If we live obedient lives it cannot go bad with us. 

Colossians 3:12-15 (NIV):  12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.   15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

Deuteronomy 28:1-4 (NIV):  1 If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands that I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth.    2 All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God: 3You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.    4 The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock— the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.”

Psalm 91:9-15 (NIV):  9 If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, 10 no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.   11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.  13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.  14 “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.  15 He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.”

Isaiah 54:17 (NIV):  17 no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me, declares the LORD.”

Psalm 37:4 (KJV):  4 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Now, don’t you rather want what the last 4 scripture’s promises?  I know I do, and now since I’ve seen this situation, it’s much easier to resist temptation.  I just think of the bad things I might be allowing, and the blessings I’ll be losing out on…

Read Full Post »

Yesterday I wanted to write a post on something else completely, but I had no inspiration…  So I looked for some other message to encourage me, and was I glad I found this one!  It’s a long message from Joy.ce Me.yer again, so I think I must break it up into a few posts… 

“Today I want to talk to you about the authority and the power that you have as a believer in Jesus Christ.  You know we can all go to church and look religious with one another but that does not mean it’s working behind closed doors at home.  I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not but the Bible says we are supposed to live in victory.  Like have joy, peace, have a good relationship with God, good relationships with people, and have our needs met, have energy, feel good, have creativity…

You are not supposed to be under anything.  He is your glory and the lifter of your head.  We according to the Bible are the head and not the tail, above and not beneath, (Deuteronomy 28:13) and somehow or another when you talk to people, they are always under something…  “How are you?”  “I’m under attack…”,“I’m under depression…”, “I am under a burden…”,“I am under, under, under….”

Well, God told me one time if you stay on the attack, you won’t be under attack!  When you know who you are, really know who you are, and what God has given you…  I mean the promises that He has given us and what He says He will do, not only for us but through us…  See everything from God is to you and through you.  It’s not just to you so you can feel happy and have a nice little life, but it’s so something can go through you to heal and repair another life so the same thing can happen there, and as it goes on and on and on, that’s how the Gospel is spread.

So I had all these years of just being a mess at home behind closed doors and back in the 70’s I cried out to God.  I said:  “God, you got to do something in my life.  Something is missing.”  It’s amazing sometimes that we run to people to find our answers and we don’t get them, but when you go to God, God might give you an answer that is a little bit surprising to you.  Well, God touched my life that day in 1976 in February in my car.  There was a great movement of God going on at the time.  People were being filled with His Spirit all over the earth in every denomination and the Gifts of the Spirit were experiencing a real revival.  You may or may not know anything about the Gifts of the Spirit in the Bible, but I’ll talk to you just a little bit about them today. 

God has provided a way for us to live supernaturally.  Not just naturally but supernaturally.  We can live ordinary, everyday life and be so happy that we can hardly stand it.  We can be fruitful, we can be powerful, and we can overcome anything in our past through Christ who strengthens us. 

Well, God worked in my life and I started to learn about the power of God and I started to learn about my authority as a believer.  But in those early days there was a lot of teaching about faith and about spiritual warfare and it – whether I heard it wrong or it came across wrong, I’m not sure, but I think a lot of people had the same opinion than I had, that to have authority over the devil meant that you should never have any problems.  That anytime you had a problem, you should be able to resist that, rebuke it, and get rid of it.  Well I said, “I rebuke you devil,” until I just completely wore my rebuker out.  I didn’t have one more rebuke left in me and I still had all the problems.

So exercising authority over Satan is not just yelling at the devil, and learning certain spiritual warfare principles…  It’s about learning how you can be victorious right in the middle of situations.  How you can have what would be a very difficult situation and yet live above it.  The Bible never promises us no problems, as a matter of fact it promises us the opposite.  Jesus said in John 16:33,   “in the world you will have tribulation – cheer up.  I have overcome the world.”  The Amplified says, “I have deprived it of the power to harm you.”  Something may be around you but it can’t get in you.  And it’s really not what goes on around us that’s our problem, it’s what gets in us.  It’s our attitude toward it and whether or not we let it defeat us spiritually.  It’s so important that you stay strong spiritually.  I’m so proud of you for taking this time to come and set aside this time to be with God and to hear the word, because the Bible says, “the strong spirit of a man sustains him in bodily pain and trouble.”  I don’t know what’s coming up in my life next week.  You don’t either.  We get surprises, some of them are nice, we enjoy them, and some of them are things we wish would never happen.  But I know one thing:  I can’t wait until I have a problem to get prepared.  I have to stay strong and be ready for whatever comes, because the Bible says I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  It doesn’t matter what it is.  Romans 8 says, “we are more than conquerors through Christ who loves us.”

Well what does it mean to be more than a conqueror?  I mean, I think just being a conqueror would be pretty cool.  But what does it mean to be more than a conqueror?  I think it means that before the trouble ever starts I already know I’ve got the victory.  I think it means that I don’t have to live afraid of what’s going to happen or afraid of bad news or afraid of what going on in the world.  Everybody today is just talking about the world is such a mess and what’s going on in the world and we don’t know what’s going to happen, and that’s true, we don’t.  The world is a mess; we don’t know what’s going to happen.  Things look bad.  But you know what my response is every time?  It’s not that I’m sticking my head in the sand and ignoring it, I know what’s going on but my answer is, “I’m going to stay happy.”  I am going to stay happy, I’m not going to let it get in me, I’m going to do my part, I’m going to do what I need to do, but the joy of the Lord is our strength.  And if we give that up we have no strength to do anything.  Amen?  You can’t let it get in you.

Paul prayed a wonderful thing in Philippians 3:10.  He said, “I am determined to know Him, and the power of His resurrection.”  Power.  It just makes me so mad and sad to think that I was in Church for 10 years, working in church, busy at church, going to everything at church and nobody ever told me I had any power.  Nobody ever told me that God would be powerful through me.   I heard some about the power of God, but I didn’t know that I had any.  So many people live weak, pathetic, pitiful, little bitty, beat up, beat down lives because nobody has told them that through God they have power and they have authority.  Well, I’m telling you today that you are the head and not the tail, that you are above and not beneath, you’re in Christ and He has been given all authority and everything is under His feet.  And if it’s under His feet then it’s under your feet.

You need to know who you are and you need to start walking in the authority that you have and exercising the power that has been given to you.  Everything God has given you is released through believing it.  I don’t care what your life is like right now, I don’t care how bad it is or how long you’ve had your problem – You have power!  And all you have to do is to be taught how to use it.  And when you look around it, you’re a mess and you don’t let it defeat you, you say, “I don’t care what it looks like, I know that God is faithful.  I’m not going to quit and I’m not going to give up because I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  I will get over my past and I will get out of debt, and I will get healthy and well, and I will not give my kids to the devil because greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.”

See here is the truth:  In Christ you have already overcome it.  You’re just learning it.  See you’ve already got the victory; somebody just needs to tell you that you’ve got it.  And somebody just needs to remind you that you’ve got it, and you need to stand up for it and say, “Devil it’s mine and you ain’t taking it.”

There is an anger that we should not have but an anger that we should have.  And I think we need to have a little holy anger.  You need to know who you are in Christ, and I’ll tell you one thing – if you’re not going to stand up for your rights, nobody else is going to.  Satan is a liar, a thief and an accuser.  He’ll kill everything good that God wants to give you if you let him.

“Well, I’m praying for God to help me.”  God has already helped you.  What you need to do now is walk in it.  “Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have already given it unto you.”  (Joshua 1:3)  All you have to do is take the victory.

Romans 5:17 says that we are to reign as kings in life through Jesus Christ.  Wow!  Do you feel that you’re reigning as a king in life?  Or do you feel that all your circumstances and situations are reigning over you?  Who has authority in your life?  Is it your circumstances?  Are other people manipulating or controlling you?  Is your past still in authority?  Is the devil ruling you?  Or are you reigning as a king in life through Jesus Christ? 

Let’s look at Matthew 28:18:  “Jesus approached and, breaking the silence, said to them, All authority (all power and rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”  Jesus said, “all authority has been given unto me” and the inference here is that He is giving it to us because He says, now you go in my power and do whatever I’ve asked you to do.  There is nothing that you cannot do that God has asked you to do.  Let me tell you something, if you‘re in a marriage that is difficult, you might be married to the worst rascal in the state, but you’re going to tell me, “I believe God told me to stay with him, I believe God told me to stick it out,” then I don’t want to hear you complaining, I don’t want to hear you murmuring, I don’t even want to hear you tell me how hard it’s all the time.  What I want to hear you say is:  “I can do this, because God has asked me to do it, and I can do it with victory.  I can do it with a good attitude, and I’m going to win this thing in Jesus name.”

You say:  “But the devil’s got so much power over me and I just wish he would leave me alone.”  Well, he ain’t going to leave you alone.  Get over it.  I’m convinced the devil hates me. I’m totally convinced, but we are even because I hate him too, and I hate evil, and I hate what he does to people and you see that I know that greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.  “He can come against me one way, but he is going to flee before me seven ways.”  (Deuteronomy 28:7)

Luke 10:19 (Amp):  19Behold! I have given you authority and power to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and [physical and mental strength and ability] over all the power that the enemy [possesses]; and nothing shall in any way harm you.”

Yes, the devil’s got power, but you’ve got more power than he does!”

Read Full Post »

Once a month we have a street outreach in our town centre.  It’s a few people from different churches that come together and we go out and hand out Bibles and tracts.  I try to join them every month, but I manage to go about 10 times a year.  We went again this past Saturday.

One lady had a meaningful discussion with a young man who was hurt by “Christians” in the past.  This young man is exploring different religions at the moment, but not Christianity, so I get the feeling he is looking for some meaning in his life.  But he also admits that there are certain things he doesn’t want to give up, to become a Christian.  So he spoke to this lady, but he refused any tracts and a Bible.  That made me think back to certain times in my life.

I have said before that I grew up going to church and Sunday school.  We were also taught about Jesus Christ in School, and Bible study was one of our subjects.  It was one of the easy ones, one or 2 classes a week and it didn’t count for much on our report cards and it was also not compulsory (I remember some of my class mates were excused when their parents didn’t want them to attend).  So I had a strong Christian background and I certainly believed in God and Jesus Christ, but at best I think I was religious.  I certainly didn’t have a personal relationship with God. 

There were times when we went to church and there were times when we didn’t bother for years.  There was also a time where I almost never read my Bible or prayed.  In the really tough times I would go on my knees and pray to God, but as soon as things got better I would backslide again.  There was a time when I think I was mad at God.  I didn’t conciously think:  “I’m mad at God”, but I avoided praying, going to church and reading my Bible and I think I blamed God for the fact that I didn’t get pregnant.  I was also very bitter and jealous, especially when I heard stories of other people who got pregnant so easily, and sometimes I felt like they didn’t deserve it.  And off course that I deserved it more… 

After meeting some people who were Born again Christians with a personal relationship with God, and who were obviously Spirit filled, I decided that I also wanted whatever it was that they had.  So I started to seek God again.  I started to listen to church services on the radio, I started to read my Bible again and look for messages elsewhere.  But there was still something that held me back.  There was something that prevented me to surrender it all to God.  And I didn’t know what it was or why…

Eventually after our first IVF failed I had a total emotional breakdown.  I decided to start watching Christian programmes on TV.  I didn’t know who to watch so I just picked out programs where the name spoke to me.  That is where I started watching the programmes of Joy.ce Mey.er.  Eventually I felt that I was so “broken” that I had to surrender it all to God.  I could not go on without God, I just didn’t have any other options anymore.  I don’t know what it was that prevented me from giving my whole heart to God, maybe it was the thought of giving up sin in my life.  Not that I had any really bad habits that I had to give up.  Nothing like drugs or an affair or porn or anything like that, but more things like the thought that I was not allowed to lie anymore.  I wasn’t even such a terrible liar – but like most people I prefered the occasional “white lie”  in certain situations.  Other issues that bothered me were unforgiveness, and selfishness, I was very reluctant to let that go.  I think I thought that I could never sin again, and as soon as I did, I would be in big trouble.   And I didn’t think I would be able to go through life without sin, which is off course right, we can never do that! 

When I think back I know it was ignorance that prevented me – I didn’t know Who God is, I just thought I would be punished the moment I sinned again, as I was supposed to know better.  Today I’m so glad that I did surrender to God – it is so worth while and I cannot understand why I hesitated.  It is impossible to describe fully what God did for me.  He healed me emotionally, He gave me hope, He helped me, He gave me strength when I needed it and comfort when I needed it.  I was so depressed at one stage that I felt that I couldn’t go on living.  I was in a dark hole of despair and I saw no way out, yet God healed me of that depression completely!  Without any help from any doctors or any medication!  My quality of life is so much better, because I am a happier person, even through all the difficult times, or should I say especially in the difficult times. 

So when I heard this young man didn’t want to surrender his life to God, but that he was indeed searching for some divine guidance, it made me want to shake him and tell him what happened in my life.  But I didn’t speak to him, I only saw him from afar and today I’m sad that I missed the oppurtunity to speak to him…

After writing the above I saw this clip on God Tube – it’s about a man who died in a plane crash and what happened to him after he died and how he was miraculously brought back to life.  At the end Mick.ey Robin.son tells us his theory about why we don’t want to surrender it all to God.  He says he thinks it is fear and the fact that we feel we are not good enough…  So even though most of this clip is not about surrendering it all to God, it ends on that note, and that’s why I want to include it in this post.

http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=DDDYLPNX

Read Full Post »

Last year was rough. One of the toughest ever, but I think also one of the most memorable. So much happened and although I felt at times that I would not survive it, I did! I don’t want to complain in this post, because you all know by know what my hardships were. Instead I want to marvel at God – how absolutely awsome He is and what He did for us.

When I think back to the beginning of the year I couldn’t wait to get my hysteroscopy over and done with, to remove the polyp and get going with my FET. The operation was really easy and I healed well. I had read up a lot about intralipids and I just had this feeling that the intralipids was what I needed to get pregnant and even though my FS did not believe it would work I was able to convince him that it could not hurt to try it.

In February we went ahead with a natural FET – no medication before hand as the FS explained to me that high levels of oestrogen was causing the polyps. I had a perfect follicle and lining and I was triggered when the follicle was big enough. I had 9 embryo’s left from my previous IVF. With my previous IVF they transferred three 8 cell embryo’s on day 3 and the rest were all frozen. There were 2 more 8 cell embryo’s frozen, some 6 cells, some 4 cells and even a 2 cell. I knew not all were good enough, but I had hoped that I would at least be able to do 2 FET’s. On ET day I was told only 2 survived the thaw out of the 9. Those 2 were only 3 cells each and bad quality – the worst quality they rate at my clinic. So it was no surprise that even though I had the intralipids for the first time I didn’t get pregnant. Intralipids cannot fix bad quality embryo’s. It was still a shock and a big disappointment to me to get the news of a BFN only a few days before my birthday. The interesting thing was that this time my beta was 2. Previously I always got a beta of <5 on the report. I don’t know whether it meant something or not, it was still a BFN, but it was certainly the first time that I knew some HCG was in my body.

I went to see my FS about 2 weeks later and he suggested that we do a mini IVF. For 3 reasons: 1. He didn’t want to give me too strong medication as it could cause another polyp, 2. I stimmed well, I made 14 eggs with both previous IVF’s which my FS found that to be too much anyway, and 3. My embryo’s did not do well with the freezing and thawing process and that was another reason not to get too many embryo’s. Initially we said the FET’s would be our last chance, but when the FS suggested the mini IVF, and the costs were quite a bit less than a normal IVF, we decided to make a plan and go ahead with it.

I started writing in the beginning of the year, but I was not comfortable to share it with anyone. It did not come easy, but I managed to write down some stuff that was incredibly hard to admit to myself let alone anyone else. Some time in March I felt compelled to start this blog, but the writing style and topics were so different to what I wrote about previously. This time it was not hard to write at all. It came easy and I loved it. I think most of it did not come from me, but was inspired by the Holy Spirit, because every time I try to write something about other stuff, it’s hard again, and just does not seem to work…

At first when I got my BFP I found it strange to have battled infertility for 10.5 years and suddenly only a month after I started my blog I’m pregnant. How’s that for timing? I cannot believe that it was coincidence. Another thing that I realized much later was that just after I started my blog, Shumi started to get sick. I just didn’t realize it at the time. In the first week of April Shumi started to get nosebleeds, not a lot and not too often, but enough for me to take him to the vet. I remember this as it was around his birthday which is the 5th of April. The vet mentioned that it could be cancer, but I refused to even entertain the thought. The bleeding stopped after the visit to the vet and I didn’t think about it again until a few months later. My mom had also just stopped her radiation treatment and we were all hopeful that she was completely healed.

Our pregnancy was off course the highlight of the year – something that was just a dream come true and a absolute miracle to us. I cannot tell you in words the joy we felt in knowing that eventually I was pregnant. The thought of miscarriage did not even cross my mind. I always thought that God would protect me from miscarriage – we battled so long to get pregnant, I just assumed that everything would go well afterwards, that we deserved a problem free pregnancy. Or in the least that God would not take away the miracle that He gave us in the first place. I was so wrong in my thinking!

But I did miscarry and shortly afterwards Shumi got sick again and was diagnosed with cancer, my mom found out she had to go for Chemo therapy, because the PET scan was inconclusive and they could not say whether she had cancer or not, so it was best to be cautious and treat her for cancer…

That was when I felt the bottom had dropped out completely. I had lost our miracle baby and the closest thing to a child of our own was our beloved dog Shumi, who was terminally ill, and more than 1 vet told us there is nothing they can do for him, and all of that together with my mom’s illness was just about too much to handle. I felt like I was going to lose my mind, and I had so many questions regarding why this was happening to us. One day I read an article in the “Joy” magazine about Jo.hn G La.ke Mini.stries after I begged God to give me answers to all my questions. That led me to listen to their course “The Di.vine Hea.ling Tech.nician” and that opened my eyes to a whole different side of God, and Jesus Christ and my view on Christianity. God also led me to some other resources that confirmed what I learnt there, and if you look back to my previous posts you will see that I mention them all.

So many of the things I believed were proven wrong. I learnt that God does not cause or even allow illness, or infertility or miscarriages. I learnt that the person to blame was the devil, not God. I learnt that I was doing a lot of stuff wrong and that my wrong actions allowed these bad things to happen. I learnt to trust God completely, and to stop trusting in myself, medicine and doctors. I’m not saying it’s wrong to trust in medicine or doctors, but that in certain instances they will still fail you, and then there is nothing else you can trust in but God, and that was what I had to do. I had to learn to be patient, to be at peace, to stop worrying and find rest with God. I learnt there is power in the Word of God, and the words we speak and the thoughts we think. If those words or thoughts are negative, then it will influence your life negatively, and if you are positive it will influence your life positively. I learnt to see and appreciate the small miracles from day to day. I learnt to accept and receive God’s blessings and love, to stay close to Him and let Him comfort me. I learnt to start expecting good things to happen, and not to get discouraged when they don’t happen as quickly as I would like it to happen. I learnt to be obedient to God and do what He requires from me.

I was really impatient in the beginning when I learnt about God’s healing power – I wanted instant healing, like you read about in the Bible, but I learnt that it does not always happen instantly. I believe it works differently for everybody, because we don’t always understand or learn our lessons quickly. When I did not see results quickly I tried to get help from others, but it seems God wanted me to deal with this on my own. I get the idea He wants me to grow and learn from this, and not get anyone else to fix it for me. At the moment we haven’t had a breakthrough yet, but I’m expecting it any day now.

My mom will probably go for another PET scan soon, and I’m hoping that this time there will be no doubt that she is completely healed from her cancer. She still has some IBS symptoms, she was admitted to hospital about a week before Christmas with terrible pain, but it turned out to be the after effects of the barium enema and nothing serious. She tells me she feels better every day.

I’m expecting a pregnancy every month, so far it hasn’t happened, but it also hasn’t discouraged me from hoping that this month will be it. What I have found is that my cycles are getting longer again and my lutual phase is longer, the spotting that I had before AF arrives is getting less again, my CM is becoming more like egg white consistency again and I have no more pain assocated with the adenomyosis like previous months. I can feel the inside of my pelvic area is more sensitive during ovulation, so I’m assuming it’s ovulation pains, which I normally also never feel.

Shumi is much better – he has no more snot, and his eye looks good, but he has had quite a bit of nose bleeds again. There is still some swelling on top of his nose and his nose is still mostly blocked, but he has a lot of energy, he eats well and looks well. It is almost 6 months after the vet said that he will only live a “couple” of months.

So in summary: It was a hard year, with intensely sad moments that I did not know how to cope with or survive at the time, but I have learnt and grown so much and God has been such a rock for me to lean on. I have felt His intense love for me, I realised that He hurts just as much as we do in the difficult moments, and that He just wants all that is good for us.   So I cannot say that 2010 was just a bad year – it was also a good year! But I’m not so brave to say that I would do it again though!

Psalm 50:14-15(NIV): 14 Sacrifice thank- offerings to God, fulfil your vows to the Most High, 15 and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honour me.”

Read Full Post »

After yesterdays post I though I would post a link to the song:  “While I’m Waiting” by Jo.hn Wal.ler.  I just love this song, it is so beautiful.  I heard it the first time while I was watching the movie Fireproof, which is an awsome movie by the way, and I think especially helpful for people who are struggling with marital problems.   I don’t think however that this movie’s audience is limited to those with marital problems, because it certainly appealed to me and thank God we have no such problems.

Lately this song is one of those that I listen a lot to, it has special significance because I am in a stage of waiting, or like Joy.ce Mey.er likes to call it:  “the middle.”  When you are in the middle of a difficult situation, and not through it yet.  This song is a good example of praising God when times are hard…  I listen to it very often and it helps especially to get through the times when it seems like nothing is happening… 

I have learnt so much about waiting recently, that we have to wait in expectation, and that we must expect good things to happen to us, that we need to praise and worship in those times and to actually thank God for what he is going to do for us. 

I heard a message from Joy.ce recently on your attitude and going through the “wilderness,” as she also likes to call it, and it seems that the time we spend in the “wilderness” or “the middle” depends on us.  If we are going to have the right attitude the time spend there can be significantly reduced. 

So instead of complaining or questioning God, I like to listen and sing along to this song and rather praise and worship Him!

I’m just posting the link to Yo.u Tu.be because of restrictions from So.ny En.tertain.ment:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6X71sXagUY

Read Full Post »

I haven’t posted in a while because we were incredibly busy.  DH left last night for a work conference and there was so much we had to do to get ready.  So much to organize and very little time to do it in, so blogging had to take a back seat, but now I’m alone at home, except for the 3 dogs of course, for about a week and I can concentrate on blogging again. 

Last night when I was lying exhausted in bed, awake at about 2h00 in the morning (Shumi woke me up), I realized that we have been under attack again.  The devil is so sly – he uses your circumstances to make you weak and then he tries to attack with full might!  He has well laid out plans and he is quite patient in executing those plans! 

Let me explain:  Last week, about Friday I noticed that one of the folds on Shumi’s nose was bigger than it used to be and that the area around his left eye is much more swollen than around his right eye.  Now the left hand side of his face is where the tumour was diagnosed.  It has also always been the side where the snot and blood used to come out of his nose until that nostril got blocked and since then it’s coming out of his left eye.  Ever since Saturday night Shumi has had trouble breathing at night, and he has been gasping for air at times so loud that he wakes us.  Yesterday his nose started bleeding again, but this time the blood came out of his right nostril.  So it seems like he is getting worse again, and it seems that he is at a new worse off stage, a stage he has never been at before…

The devil used our busy circumstances and lack of sleep, and pain to try and weaken us.  (I have had a terrible back pain, and pain in my left shoulder for the last few days too.)  I started hearing those horrible lies he likes to tell us again yesterday, but I brushed them off, refusing to listen to them.  But when I came home after dropping DH off at the airport last night and I had finally a chance to relax, I could hear the lies much louder.  “What if Shumi does not get healed?  What if he dies soon?  What if he is suffering – maybe it would be better to let him go…” 

Let me tell you it is incredibly hard to keep your faith and trust in God, when circumstances around you either don’t change or change for the worse.  I keep looking for encouragement and hope to keep me going, and most of the resources I’ve read do not mention how hard it is to endure when your circumstances don’t seem to change.  I don’t want to lie to you all – and that’s why I’m telling all this like it is.  It always sounds so easy – Just keep trusting in God, keep your faith.  Let me tell you I have felt like a failure when I was not able to do that!

Ephesians 6:12-17 (NIV):   “12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  13 Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

I have heard quite a lot of messages about spiritual warfare and on the above verses from Joy.ce Me.yer, but never consciously realised that I was already engaged in warfare and wielding those weapons, until last night. 

The belt of truth:   I’ve learnt a lot lately – especially the truth about God – who He really is and what He wants for us and from us.  It’s becoming second nature to me now.  I recognise a lot of lies immediately for what they are.  And I thought a year ago I knew what the truth was – I have learnt so much recently and it amazes me.  But I’m sure there is still a lot more to learn!

The breastplate of righteousness:  I never really understood the word righteousness, until Joy.ce Me.yer explained it properly in one of her teachings.  It means to be in right standing with God.  On our own we will never be able to be in right standing with God, but through His mercy and the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus paid for us, we are put into right standing.  It was something that I thought I never deserved – it took a long time for that to sink in and accept – that I have righteousness before God, through Jesus Christ.  I always thought I was not worthy, because of my sinful nature.

The shoes of peace:  This one was really hard to achieve and is even harder to maintain.  But it helps if you know the truth, and if you trust in God, completely.  I think that is 2 keys you really need to achieve peace.  It is also one of the fruits of the spirit, and therefore I think only possible with the help of the Holy Spirit…

The Shield of faith:  Faith is also incredibly hard to maintain as time goes by and you do not see continued improvement.  As a matter of fact if you see the complete opposite like us with Shumi, where it seems like he is getting worse, then it is a hard thing, to stay strong in your faith. 

The helmet of salvation: This one was one of the first that I could accept – that I have achieved salvation through the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.  It is also something that must really sink in and become a revelation – I have been saved by Jesus Christ! Once you realise that you have been saved then it easier to accept that you are a new covenant son of God, and all that comes with it.  I realised that I can use the name of Jesus Christ with authority, because of my relationship, my salvation and my right standing with God.  That revelation came a lot later than the one of salvation though!

Sword of the spirit – God’s Word:  This I’ve blogged a lot about, but what I never realized was that it doesn’t help to just say the verses.  We must meditate on them.  They must become real to us.  We must get a revelation on those scriptures.  We must know in our heart that those scriptures are true.  To have no more doubts about them.  So that when we hear a lie, we can without a moment’s hesitation refute the lie with a scripture to prove it wrong. 

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (Amp):  4For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds, 5[Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasoning’s and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One),”

What are strongholds?  Well years ago cities were strongholds.  They were built atop a hill or a mountain, often enclosed with walls, and they were very difficult to defeat by their enemies.  In the Bible it means a lie that the devil tells us which we believe so much that we cannot envisage it not being true.  We are held captive or are incapacitated by that lie.  There are so many strongholds that have been exposed to me recently – and I have been actively trying to share it with as many people as possible.  But strongholds can also differ from person to person – on your circumstances and what you’ve learnt through your life.  For example:  a lot of infertile people just don’t believe that they can get pregnant – they want to believe it, but deep down they think it’s impossible, because their circumstances have told them that so far it’s been impossible.  That kind of stronghold is very difficult to recognize as a stronghold and to break free from that is also incredibly difficult.  Believe me – that was definitely one of my strongholds…

Except for the above weapons what else do I do?  I praise God, I worship God and I keep expecting good things to happen, especially in those times when our circumstances point to the opposite.  I make a point of doing all of it when I feel I’m under attack, and it’s starting to become second nature to me.  I don’t think I need to tell you here that my time spent with God is getting more and more lately, because that is the only time I can keep up and keep on without giving up!  It a conscious effort that I have to make, and I have to make time for all this which in itself is not always easy!

I’m finding comfort in the following scriptures because they tell me that God is with me in this difficult time and that in the end it will be worth it if I don’t give up. 

Isaiah 43:2 (NIV):  2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”

Galatians 6:9 (NIV):  9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” 

I don’t want to hammer just on the negative.  Let me just add that there have been small victories and those also help to keep me going.  Remember the big lump on Shumi’s back?  It’s completely gone – no sign of it anymore.  I don’t know what it was, but it was rock hard and big and now it’s gone.  I believe God healed that!  There were some specific times where things looked really bad with Shumi, and then suddenly he was much better again, especially when we kept going without doubting, confessing scriptures, laying hands on him and rebuking the devil.  I have also seen some results from praising God and expecting good things.  At times when Shumi had trouble breathing at night for instance – If I kept at it for 15 minutes to about half an hour his breathing would get much better and calmer and I think for that very reason Shumi is following me around everywhere lately.  Usually he wants to be outside most of the day, but lately he is not far from me, and when he is not feeling well he comes to me and wants me to touch him.  I am praising God for those small victories and I believe that soon those victories will become bigger and bigger!   All thanks to God off course!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »