Is God Sometimes Invisible? Part 1

During the first couple of weeks living in a new state, no home of our own, new folk, new places, new streets, (i.e. nothing familiar), I admit I felt a little lost at times.

Not only was I in a very unfamiliar place but it also seemed like God had all but removed Himself from the experience. And God was the very reason for our move!

One day when I took Rocky for a walk I really poured my heart out to God. “Help me to find you in this place Lord” I cried with tears. “But if I’m to be here and still not see you, give me Your faith to go on regardless”.

As I walked around the side of a pond I came to three trees. I instinctively felt the Lord was drawing my attention to the trees ( He hadn’t really left :-)).

As I walked up to one of the trees which at the time was heavy with luscious life, I stroked the trunk. I noticed it’s bark was coming off in little square-like patches, yet each piece that was lifting wasn’t loose. If I had pulled at a lifting piece I may have torn at the tree itself so I just studied it and ran my hand over it.

It had patches of different stages of the peeling bark so it was rather multicoloured- a patch of light green new tree trunk here, a patch of old darker brown bark there, a patch of pale grey bark in other places and patches of cream in yet other places.

“What is it You’re showing me Lord?” I asked through gentle tears and a downcast soul.

So I stood back a few paces from the tree and observed at a slight distance what I had just been examining up close.

The tree looked like the Australian Military camouflage uniform. In fact it was almost identical! One could be forgiven for believing the design for the uniform was actually fashioned from this type of tree. It’s camouflage pattern and colouring was perfect.

Then it came. ” I am alive and well in this place but I am hidden. It will take a trained eye to see Me”.

Sigh.  “Train my eyes Lord”.

13You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. 14‘I will be found by you,’ declares the LORD, (Jeremiah 29:13-14)

God brought Derek and I to this new place to learn Christ more in the body of believers here. We had known Christ a certain way before, yes in many different ways. However, we sensed that God wanted us to learn Christ afresh and in a way we never had before. This was calling for a ‘trained eye’ (of-course Christ is our Teacher) and a desperate heart to seek after Him where we are.

And so we have ’embarked’ on a new subject in this school of Christ, which is knowing Christ in His Body.

Stay tuned for Part 2…..

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How You Have Changed My Life Through The World Of Blogging

Before I stopped dying my hair!

Sending a BIG HUG to all my blogger friends and blog followers! I cannot describe how you encourage me.

Not that long ago, blogging was an unknown medium to me. It is a world that has slowly opened up to me as a result of being introduced to well-known blogger Frank Viola on frankviola.org by my husband. It’s a long story short, but very basically, through reading Frank’s books, my husband and I found ourselves in touch with one of Frank’s colleagues, Milt Rodriguez who also has a blog called therebuilders.org. (There you will find any number of life giving podcasts on the Lord and His Eternal Purpose).

Subsequently, after two years of knowing Milt and his wife Mary personally, and of following Frank’s blog, about a year ago another bunch of bloggers appeared on my radar, 3rdrace.org. These brothers and sisters are workers being trained by Milt & Mary, in the planting of churches that are organic expressions of Christ, with no other foundation than Christ Jesus. I started following their blog and found my heart indescribably strengthened and filled with joy in knowing this incredible Jesus of ours. Even today, when I get an alert of a new post I get so excited! “Yay – it’s more of Jesus!” I say.

One day, I noticed another blogger who was following their blog, her name is Amanda of All and in All.  I started to read Amanda’s blog and there I found another sister with a similar hunger and pursuit of the Lord.  She has a rich insight into Christ that I could drink from and find my heart encouraged and lifted up to the Lord again and again. We ended up getting in touch by email and even Skype and now we are in regular contact. What a precious sister she is, talking with her is like talking with Jesus Himself. Then I found others.

I was beginning to see there is a whole bunch of brothers and sisters out there in cyberspace who are voices crying out in the wilderness. I was inspired and felt led by the Lord and encouraged by other significant folk in my life, to also start blogging. This has changed my life.

How has blogging changed my life?

As I meditate on the Lord and abide in Him daily (and 3rdrace.org have an amazing series on abiding in Christ through Andrew Murray’s book of the same title), I need an outlet.  Although I am part of a small ekklesia where I live and where we experience beautiful expressions of the Lord together, we are often kept apart by distance. So being able to ‘share’ Christ in this way has been an incredible experience!

Not only has my exploration of Christ been expanded, but I see He is bigger and more colourful through all the many members of His body, than I ever knew! I feel so ‘encouraged’ –  I can’t think of a better word. I’m encouraged that I am not alone, I have genuine brothers and sisters who have so much of Christ living in them, from all over the world, being expressed through their unique lives, and I can receive and touch Christ simply by reading what they have to say. This is because they write with the Life of God that is inside of them. They draw from the well daily that is Jesus Christ and that well NEVER runs dry.

To date, I have 27 followers who I love and cherish and pray for. I don’t know why they (you :-)) follow my blog, I can only imagine they maybe experiencing even just a little bit of that same encouragement and body life that I experience.  Now, I visit the blogs of those who follow my blog, and I find such rich insights and vision into the Lord’s Eternal Purpose of having Christ truly and organically expressed through His many membered body here on earth. How wonderful to receive Christ through so many members, each offering a unique aspect of the Lord’s character. No longer do we need to be limited to just one man or woman from a pulpit! (maybe that’s for another blog? – though there are a lot of blog posts out there on this subject).

I read the comments made by others on all these other blog sites and I find more brothers and sisters! What an ENORMOUS body of believers Jesus has! And found in so many obscure pockets in the world.

Brothers and sisters, blogger, followers of my blog, readers, friends – I want to thank you from a very deep place inside of me, for being vessels of the Lord’s life to me.  Your blog posts, comments, ‘likes’, your prayers, your support, your love, your vision of Christ, your struggles, your faith, your courage, your pursuit of Christ…..I am so grateful.

I never understood why as Christians we are often encouraged to blog/write. Now I know why.

If you’re a believer into Christ, and you feel isolated and alone in your journey, unable to fellowship in a face-to-face community, I pray that this post encourages you. I too, encourage you to start blogging, even if you don’t publish until if and when you feel ready.

I know Frank Viola is shortly releasing a new online program to connect believers who want to pursue the Lord in a deeper way, and who are lacking that face-to-face community with those of like mind. If you are interested, you may want to check it out here at www.thedeeperchristianlife.com.

May the Lord Jesus continue to live in and through His body and bind us together, across distant lands and over vast oceans, with His own love.

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