December 03, 2012


I've been reading Exodus 2 and seeing again the exciting patterns that are set before us in Moses' life.

Moses had discovered a little more about who he was, was moving away from the familiar of his upbringing and then got so zealous about it that he killed someone.  He then freaked out, Pharaoh found out, and he had to run for his life.  Doesn't look like the best start, but I know I've done some pretty messy things myself!

So, Moses finds himself in Midian sitting by a well.  In that place he met some nice girls, scared away some shepherds, helped the girls get water, and then eventually was invited home for dinner.  He was the guy who came for dinner and stayed a long time...well, until God moved him into the next phase of his life.

It's such a great picture of what to do when you don't know what to do!

It's just a time to sit down and draw deeply out of everything we know of God. To be still and know He exists even if we don't know anything else right then.  To read the stories of the bible heroes and see that they had valleys and mountaintops in their lives, and to look below the obvious for the patterns that are set out for us.  Like the woman at the well who met and talked with Jesus and was given the gift of friendship and a drink of eternal life, so also Moses got to move forward from that place and ended up with a life and a wife!

For Moses the turning point came at the well.  For many of us the turning point comes when we are willing to sit still for a moment and allow God to flow in and around our lives rather than being busy doing it all for ourselves.

Look what happened at the well:  It was a place where people gathered.  It was a refreshing/drinking place.  It was a place of meeting and encounter with new people.  So often we move into isolation when struggling, but Moses actually sat down where he knew people would come and go.  Maybe we should consider where and how we drink from the well, and know where we will go when we need to sit with God for a moment.

In this season that points us to the new life that came with the birth of Jesus Christ let's remember that He came to give us life, He came to bring us water we could drink that would sustain us forever.  What an amazing time of remembrance this is, and how wonderful to celebrate it with others.

November 08, 2012


Recently I've been reading back into books and quotes that I keep because they've impacted me greatly.

The first is a small book by Mother Teresa of Calcutta, "A Simple Path" which reminds me what life is really about and forces me to keep things simple and real when I've started to get caught up in things that may not count at all for eternity.

I love this comment on LOVE:

"The success of love is in the loving - it is not in the result of loving.  Of course it is natural in love to want the best for the other person but whether it turns out that way or not does not determine the value of what we have done.  The more we can remove this priority for results the more we can learn about the contemplative element of love."

My question to myself is, can I love without return, or even the hope of it, because I remain in Love Himself, and He remains in me?

The other old thing I re-read this week is a short poem by Alexander Solzenitsyn which is a great reflection on LIFE by a man who lived it with great suffering, great joy, and great faith.


How easy for me to live with you, O Lord!

How easy for me to believe in You!

When my mind parts in bewilderment or falters,

When the most intelligent people see no further than this day's end,

and do not know what must be done tomorrow,

You grant me the serene certitude

that You exist and that You will take care

that not all the paths of good be closed.

Atop the ridge of earthy fame

I look back in wonder at the path

which I alone could never have found

a wondrous path through despair to this point

from which I, too, could transmit to mankind

a reflection of Your rays.

And as much as I must still reflect

You will give me.

But as much as I cannot take up

You will have already assigned to others.

During prayer this week I heard the Lord clearly say "As it was in the days of Noah..." which sent me to read Matthew 24 again.  It continues on to say "so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man."  These verses are a reminder that I need to look at how I live LIFE and how I LOVE those around me every day.  They do not fill me with trepidation, but remind me that one day (and no one knows which one!) Jesus will suddenly be standing on the earth again and in an instant everything will change.  It assures me that there will be life on this planet and a world to rule ... happy thought!

September 10, 2012


It's been a while since I wrote here ... so much happening in this season and so many challenges.

I read in the Herald today of the spring storms that are currently blowing over the country and how there will be a few icy blasts to follow!  In the last couple of days I have found myself constantly thinking about 'spring rains' that water the earth and cause new growth.

How many of us have been experiencing our own spring storms in the last little while?  Do we run and hide from them, or turn our faces into the rain and wind in order that we might be watered and new growth will come out of our lives, even if the buffeting is uncomfortable?

This weekend I read again the beautiful little book by Gene Edwards "A Tale of Three Kings".  I had been asking the Lord for a word that I knew was from Him in this season, and when He brought it I knew He was talking to me about 'dodging spears'.  David could at any time have picked up (or pulled out!) a spear thrown by King Saul and very accurately thrown it back - but the making of the new king, one after God's own heart, was that he dodged them and didn't throw them back.  He learnt how to position himself in God in ALL circumstances and it held him pretty steady through the challenges of  the rest of his life.

Someone lent me a DVD on the life of Padre Pio - it is amazingly well done and again emphasises that this life in God doesn't follow the comfortable path!  However, when this man prayed God moved and wonderful things took place.  Again I saw an example of a man who was prepared to be positioned in God, regardless of the personal cost.

The final gem was going to see "How Far is Heaven", the gentle documentary film about the Sisters of Compassion at Jerusalem on the Wanganui River.  The three remaining sisters lead a prayerful and practical life that is quietly redemptive.  It's a beautiful and poignant movie.

Without doubt I know that my God is calling me deeper into the life of prayer that has always been my journey with Him.  In this past week I have been encouraged and inspired to turn my face into this current wind and allow Him to reshape and water me ready for what is to come.

I am reminded of the words that have always challenged my heart in John 14 where Jesus speaks of what He knows and expects for us:

"I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing.  He will do even greater things than these because I am going to the Father.  And I will do whatever you ask in My Name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.  You may ask me for anything in My Name, and I will do it."

Lord, teach us to pray.


August 06, 2012


Friday morning I was working in a group of women who currently have no homes, no partners, no money, but have embraced the need for all that to change and are working hard at being remarkable mothers.  Their unbridled enthusiasm for finding the tools and skills to make life work for them was joyful and encouraging.

Saturday morning I was working in a group of women who currently have large homes, husbands, more than adequate finance and apparently very successful lives.  However, I found in them the same enthusiasm to embrace life, be great mothers, and do what was most fulfilling and rewarding.

How often we are influenced by outward appearance, and how often we are totally wrong in our assumptions.

The love of God for both groups of women is abundant and all-encompassing.  He holds nothing back from any of them, and desires only that they will live their lives in the fullness of all He has created them to be.  They in turn encourage and support one another and without even realising it move in the gifts He has planted within them.  They nurture their children and each other, working to find a way towards the next season in their lives.

I am so glad to be one of their company, pressing onward and upward towards the goal He knows far better than I do.

July 17, 2012


On Sunday 8 July, as I spent some time quietly in prayer, I heard and felt a loud rumbling sound.  I could see a huge cloud of light brown dust moving quite rapidly towards me.  There was a strong sense that the cloud represented God's ability to surprise us with an intervention in the affairs of men.

Psalms 18:12 and 18:42 speak of God's presence in clouds:

Out of the brightness of His presence clouds advanced.

I beat them as fine as dust borne on the wind. (David speaking of overcoming his enemies).

Psalm 104:3b He makes clouds His chariot and rides on the wings of the wind.

In a scriptural sense dust represents the frail nature of man, e.g. Adam formed out of the dust of the earth, and Psalm 104:29b When you take away their breath, they die and return to the dust.

The overall sense I gained out of what I saw was that God is advancing rapidly towards us in a cloud that is connected to man's frail humanity.

If I were to expand on that, I suspect that we are going to see Him move in the most unexpected way and in unexpected places - those areas where man's strength is least and his frailty is exposed.  He is going to move powerfully in the midst of frail human flesh and reveal His glory in a most amazing way.

Lord, help us to see with Your eyes, hear with Your ears, and understand with Your heart, in order that we do not miss what You are planning to do in our day.

June 25, 2012

Prophetic Mission/Message

Last week I found a new Merton book in the second hand bookshop, it's a gem entitled "Contemplation in a World of Action".  A great read for anyone digging into thoughts on modern monasticism.  This is a series of essays by the man who gave a lifetime to considering and living that topic.

Thomas Merton writes about the contemplative life as a 'special dimension of inner discipline and experience, a certain integrity and fullness of personal development, which are not compatible with a purely external, alienated, busy-busy existence.  This does not mean that they are incompatible with action, with creative work, with dedicated love.  On the contrary, these all go together.  A certain depth of disciplined experience is a necessary ground for fruitful action'.

The quote below is from the introduction, written by Jean Leclercq O.S.B who gives us a wonderful insight into Merton, but also something each of us could consider in the light of how we walk out our own lives.

“If Merton was convinced that he had a mission it was because he knew that he had a message.  A message is not necessarily a scholarly lecture – and when Merton spoke from a platform he was not at his best.  He was not dealing, after all, with abstract knowledge, timeless science, a course which could be given again and again, unchanged, each year.  According to its etymology, which is the same as that of mission, a message is always composed of truths sent (missus) to a person, a group, a period in time, to satisfy an expectation and sometimes to answer a call to help.  Those who receive it may not even have understood their need, but even before they recognize it and are able to express it in words, they have been looking for that message and hoping that someone will come to help them and that God will send them a messenger.  A message is, therefore, something prophetic, mobile, running, even flying – St. Bernard used the word praevolare (to fly) – to fulfil man’s hopes.  They take it for granted that it’s author, or messenger, has had a glimpse of the solution for their problem; prophecy implies the gift of anticipation.  But each time the pace quickens, each time that anyone sees farther than the “man of the actual moment”, as Kierkengaard put it, there is bound to be opposition.  A message is something for which one must suffer and occasionally die.  Certainly a message cannot remain a personal possession:  definitely it must be “delivered”.“

Our capacity to be more of His message is expanded in the time spent walking and talking with the Lord, guided and instructed by His Word and His Spirit.  Out of this place He can send out the message to be delivered, whether it be in personal presence, letter, book, or spoken word.  May God grant us the grace and capacity to be the messengers of truths that  run and fly to fulfil man's hopes.

June 05, 2012

Teach us to pray .....

Some years ago, when I thought I knew a little about prayer, a very well-known prophetic man from overseas gave me a word "The Lord is going to teach you how to pray".  It took me by surprise and required some processing, but now with the wisdom of hindsight I realise it was one of the more significant words I've ever received.  I had led prayer meetings and taught on prayer here and overseas, prayed through this nation a couple of times, ministered constantly in prayer, and had begun to think I knew a thing or two.  Of even more concern was the fact that others had begun to think that too and had put me in a box.  A whole lot had become about works and special ability!
The outworking of that particular word has taken me down some strange paths and involved some very profound lessons.  Currently I am in the happy place of knowing how greatly prayer is about God and there is not a whole lot I actually need to know except Him. The process has made it constantly simpler day by day and year by year.  The bottom line seems to be that I just need to know that God is Who He says He is, and agree with what He says.
I think of John 15 as one of the greatest foundations to the life that is prayer as the Lord asks us to remain in Him and He in us, all summed up in John 15:16 & 17 You did not choose me but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit - fruit that will last.  THEN the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.  This is my command : Love each other.  If we abide in Love Himself we are much more likely to pray in accordance with what is in His heart!
The Message puts it this way: But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon.
A little passage from Thomas Merton's journal of November 13, 1965 summed it all up for me the other day - such simplicity and beauty.
"This morning when I was saying Prime under the pine trees at the front of the hermitage, I watched a wounded deer limping along in the field, one leg incapacitated.  I was terribly sad at this and began weeping bitterly.  Then something quite extraordinary happened.  I will never forget standing there weeping and looking at the deer standing still looking at me questioningly for a long time, a minute or so.  The deer bounded off without any sign of trouble."

May 21, 2012

Solitary Moments

There is a quality in the stillness of autumn that provokes me to deeper thought and quiet moments more than any other time of year,  a consideration of what it meant for Adam and Eve to walk with their Creator in the garden - the incredible thought that they received fresh revelation and relationship every day!  We have that same opportunity if we want to take it.

It seems that here in the quiet solitary place with You Lord is where I belong and am at peace.  Everything else, while good, feels like a puff of smoke in comparison.  And yet, I come and go as life demands and am grateful for these hours that sustain me through the rest!

If You do not fill me with life I am just a husk without a kernel - no substance, only a shell!

More than ever now I need your love, Your presence, Your voice.  How can I navigate this world without You, how can anyone survive alone?

And so, I have become dependent now on You, the source of my life, the fire that warms and fuels me, the wisdom that makes sense of the senseless, the love that is always enough.  More and more YOU become the way, truth and life, and I am grateful.

May 07, 2012

The Nation

In recent weeks I have been greatly impacted by Psalm 125, verse 3 in particular and have not been able to let go of it.
"The sceptre of the wicked will not remain over the land allotted to the righteous, for then the righteous might use their hands to do evil."
Yesterday in prayer it seemed to grow and become a loud cry to the Lord, to resound over our nation in these days.
Lord, may the sceptre of the wicked not remain over the land allotted to the righteous.  May You rule and reign and have all authority over us and over this nation.  May the government be upon Your shoulders for You rule with justice, mercy and grace and in righteousness.
You alone are God of nations and You alone are the Creator of all, and You alone give life and light.  Turn Your face towards us O God, let Your light shine over this nation that all darkness will flee.
Just as You brought salvation and deliverance to Your people Israel, Lord bring Your goodness to this nation.  Arise, be seen in the midst of us, O Lord, with healing in Your wings.
Restore us, refresh us, redeem us with Your Truth, Your Love, Your Word.  Speak words of life into the heart of this nation and cause us to arise, stand, and abide in You alone.

March 06, 2012



This week I've been thinking about the wonder of this communion meal that Christ left us, that we might remember Him.  It is a gift of love and such a triumphant gift!

It reminds us that God so loved the world that He gave ... His only Son.

It reminds us of the love that carried Jesus to the cross, out of the grave, and triumphantly into heaven.

We eat, drink, and remember - love, victory, and triumph over sin, death, and every work of the enemy.

This is powerful in every way, it fills us and reminds us that His love has great power and that He is indeed LOVE.

Today I came across a related thought from Thomas Merton that is worth holding in the heart when beholding the wonder of what the Lord has done for us as we walk through these days leading to the remembrance of Jesus' death and resurrection.

"I who am without love cannot become love unless Love identifies me with Himself.  But if He sends His own Love, Himself, to act and love in me and in all that I do, then I shall be transformed, I shall discover who I am and shall possess my true identity by losing myself in Him."

Thomas Merton "New Seeds of Contemplation"

February 25, 2012


My focus through this season of Lent, the beautiful walk towards Easter with all it's significance, is on the greatness of God.
Our true fulfillment and future is not found in what we, or any other person, thinks, but in what God knows.  Our way forward is IN Him and WITH Him, trusting that He truly is the beginning and the end and is the only One who sees the big picture.
I do not know how to build with my own hands, only with my heart.  It is a quiet place filled with His love and presence in which all things are possible and nothing too difficult for Him.
The prayer is not in the asking, it is in the knowing, and therefore it is not hindered by my finite view of things but safely in the hands of the One who is infinite.
In this place He truly becomes my Way, Truth and Life.
Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."
Psalm 48:14 For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.
For each of us as we stand before you in this season Lord, release us from the thoughts and ideas of ourselves and others, and lead us into what You KNOW is Your plan and purpose for us.  Pour the water and oil of Your Spirit over us and cause us to be flexible Lord - clay in Your hands - so that You can shape and place us as You please.

February 17, 2012



Recently when praying for a friend I heard the Lord say “a cloud the size of a man’s hand”. It sent me back into the story of Elijah to explore what God was drawing to our attention in this particular time.

That night I took the photo above of the clouds in the sky at sunset.

1 Kings 18:41

And Elijah said to Ahab “Go, eat and drink, for there is the SOUND of a heavy rain”


…… but Elijah climbed to the top of Mount Carmel, bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees.

Elijah sat there connected to the very earth that needed the rain so desperately.

The servant went to look toward the sea seven times before he finally reported

“a cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea”. Finally ‘a heavy rain came on’.

Are we asking that our ears would be opened to hear the sounds of what God is doing in the heavenly realms, not just the obvious sounds around us right now?

18:46 The power of the Lord came upon Elijah and tucking his cloak into his belt, he ran ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel.

Elijah had done battle with the prophets of Baal, it had been a big day, and yet when the rain came God gave him the power to run all the way to Jezreel faster than a chariot.

We are waiting for the rain which will bring God’s power into our lives in a new way.

Jezebel didn’t like it! It was immediately tested, and Elijah went into the desert, sat under a broom tree and prayed to die! “I have had enough Lord!” I wonder how many times we have said that!

At the point where all that God required Elijah to do had been done, he had experienced the backlash of the enemy’s displeasure, and he had completely run out of all his own strength, God and the angels began to move on his behalf.

The Lord sent angels to care for and FEED him, give him STRENGTH again, and MOVE him on – 40 days and nights journey to Mount Horeb – the MOUNTAIN OF GOD.

It’s important to observe the pattern here for it repeats in our own lives.

Elijah did great exploits, but they were nothing compared to what God did, and what God had prepared for him on the mountain.

On the mountain top God revealed Himself to Elijah in a new way, and He re-commissioned Elijah to go out again. There was a change of level and function of operation in the Lord’s call on his life.

We must be prepared to walk on the mountain top, in the valley, through the desert, and back to the mountain top again – it is the way forward. We cannot afford to despise any part of the journey or working of God, but embrace it as part of the His life in us.

The night I took the picture the whole sky was filled with little clouds 'the size of a man's hand' - may we have eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to understand His working in our lives and in the season we find ourselves in.