Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Reason for my blog name

My conversion to Christianity had been dramatic.  I had been very  ' worldly ' previous to my conversion, but had also experienced the supernatural presence of God through a healing when I was a child and a near death experience during my adult life.   When I was about seven years of age, I was brought home from school because I was ill.  As I lay in pain on the sofa in our living room that late afternoon my father, who was a Christian, prayed for me to be made well.  I remember all the room appearing to turn blue and my pain disappeared.  My father had been a lovely person who often, when we children had arguements, would say ' Let's see what the Lord says ', and would find a verse in his Bible that would always settle the arguement and bring peace amongst us.  He was quite a bit older than my mother, and died when I was eleven years of age.  I was actually in the room at his passing.  It left a great void in my life

' Father - where are you? ' said the child in despair
' Father where are you? ' she cried
But in the darkened room there was nobody there
For the father she loved had just died

When I was thirty five I became a Christian and was baptized in water and the baptism of the Holy Spirit followed, with the gift of speaking in tongues enabling me to pray according to the will of God. 

' Father - where are You? ' said the child once again
' Father where are You? ' she cried
But this time it was not as it had been then
For now God was the Father on whom she relied

Through her deepest emotions - love, anger and shame
When her heart was in turmoil You was calling her name
When the hurt that she carried was too much to bear
If it wasn't for You Lord there'd be nobody there

You are always there Jesus though we don't always see
You revealing God's love to the world ....... and to me

 I immedeately began to feel a deep desire to tell others about Jesus and the need for salvation.  I remember once being on a railway station looking into the restaurant at all the people sat in there.  I wondered how many of them knew that we all have to be born again of God's Holy Spirit in order to enter the kingdom of God, and that Jesus is the only name under Heaven by which we might get saved and be reconciled back to God.  It made me want to cry, and there on that railway station I prayed for the people that I saw in the restaurant and all those who did not know about salvation through Jesus.
We were living in a flat in Adelaide, South Australia, at the time.  We had sold our bungalow and were in the process of trying to decide whether we should return to the U.K or move to another state.  That afternoon, after the experience on the railway station, I returned to our flat with this burden for people heavily on my mind.  I entered the flat and went straight to the bathroom.  A soon as I entered the bathroom I was aware of something deeply spiritual.  The whole room suddenly began to change until I was aware that I was standing inside a lighthouse.  I was looking out through a door and could see little boats on a very rough sea.  Each little boat was occupied by just one person, and I was aware that these boats were drifting out on the ocean, that the people had no control over them amd were in danger of drowning.  Then, just as suddenly, I was back in my bathroom, amazed at what I had just experienced.
Shortly after, we returned to the U.K to live in Lancashire,  We stayed with my brother and his family for six weeks and then were given a council house.  Within a short time the Lord led me to some other Christians and added to us until eventually a church became established.  We used to pray and intercede for the area constantly and the Lord continued to add to us.  At that time I suddenly started to write poetry and songs, some which seemed to minister to people and some which were my own personal prayers, which the Lord sometimes answered within the poem itself.  I still had this burden for outsiders which had become even stronger.  I felt like I wanted to stand outside in the street and tell everyone about Jesus but did not know how to.  I prayed to the Lord and felt that all my frustrations, and the answer to them, came out in this poem.

No need to tell You Father what joy is in my heart
No need to tell this family of which I'm now a part
But when I try to tell the world about the way I feel
My words do not express Lord Yourlove which is so real
'Just put your trust in Me child'  You always seem to say
'Be gentle and forgiving - Jesus shows the way'
I call the world through Jesus, this you know is so
For when you first sought Me child I said 'To Him you go'
So do not worry for the world, for he who seeks will find
Just rest, surrounded by my love - life's chains no longer bind
And when you've learnt your Father's ways, each day to you revealed
Then you too will show the world just how my love is sealed

This settled my heart to know that I did not have to worry about other people being visited with salvation, that God was in control, but I also felt that He was going to lead me into evangelism.
The area that we were living in, like most areas, housed some drug addicts and heavy drinkers, and a lot of my prayers were out of concern for them.  One day I read in a newspaper how a nightclub called 'The Lighthouse' had been burned down and people had died in the fire.  I cried bitterly as I recalled my vision and related the loneliness and despair of the people in their little boats on the ocean in my vision to the loneliness and despair that I knew existed in the world of club night life and its so called 'joys'.  I cried for the people who had died in their 'Lighthouse'without maybe ever having experiencing the joys of knowing the Lord.  This anguish also came out in the form of a poem, which I called ......

The Lighthouse

Father I'm in the lighthouse, I'm in Your sanctuary
Saved from the perils of the world - plucked from the stormy sea
No longer in life's darkness, a light was shone for me
And not because I was righteous, but because I needed to be
Father I see many people outside upon the waves
Tossed about in their boats of fear, seeking the hand that saves
They're drowning in the ocean of misery and pain
Striving to keep feom sinking - but labouring in vain
Father send them Jesus, just like You did with me
Shine the light towards them and change their destiny
Cause them to see their Saviour, Your wonderful, precious Son
Bring them into Your kingdom, and let Your will be done
Father how I love You, and want to praise Your name
I'll bless the name of Jesus ...... and thank my God He came

The Lord started to bring people from the area I was living in across my path, and some of these people woould come to my home for prayer meetings, and would come to church.  Meanwhile I would discuss my desires with a lady friend at church who spoke about maybe the two of us opening a coffee shop called 'The Lighthouse', but nothing came of it.
After living in Lancashire for two years we returned to Bridgend to live and I started attending church where I met my friend, Paula.  We started meeting together regularly for prayer and realized that we were united in the Spirit as far as the burden for the unsaved was concerned.  Paula started writing poetry and songs, and we realized much of our poems appeared to be evangelistic in nature.  We sought the Lord over them and felt we were instructed by Him to put these poems into leaflet form, with corresponding scriptures, and go out into the 'highways and the byways' with them.  This we did and still do.
Soon after, we felt the Lord directing us to Cardiff prison with out poetry and songs, with the Lord telling us that He had 'set before us an open door'.  We went to Cardiff and on the way to the prison we called at the ladies toilet in the market.  I went to put money in a door with 'vacant' on it, and a lady stood at the sink said 'That one's not working, someone just put money in and it would not open'.  I had already dropped the coin into the slot, so I tried to slide the catch across, and the door opened.  'That's strange' the lady said, it would not open just now'.  When I came out of the cubicle someone else put money into the slot and the door would not open.  Both Paula and myself felt that this was a sign going together with the scripture the Lord had given us concerning an open door to us going into the prison.  We went to the prison only to be told that the chaplain was the one we should speak to and that he was not there that day.  I immediately wrote a note telling him what we felt to do and left some of our leaflets to be given to him.  He contacted us on the following Wednesday and, after an arranged meeting, invited us to be prison visitors.  This we did for eighteen months, and during that time were allowed to evangelise to the prisoners, freely sharing our poetry and songs whilst doing so.  We both felt this was our calling from God, to evangelise to those in despair.  I had already shared the story of my vision with Paula, we started to pray to the Lord for 'The Lighthouse', a place where people could come to have a cup of coffee and the gospel, people who may not initially come into the established church buildings.  The Lord had for some time been telling us that we would be a light to the gentiles, and to set the prisoners free, and giving us the ministry to do it through our poetry and songs as well as verbal witnessing.  He was opening doors for us to do this constantly.
One night a friend left a book she was reading in my car after I had dropped her off.  The next morning I read the book.  It was about a man who had also felt a burden for the lost and a desire to have a similar kind of place.  The Lord had provided this place and also the money to purchase it.  I felt that the Lord could be confirming to me through this book that there woould be a place called 'The Lighthouse'. 
That afternoon I had invited my sister and brother in law to my house and also invited Paula.  I was so excited about what I felt was happening that I determined to tell Paula when I saw her that I believed the Lord was speaking about 'The Lighthouse'.  As Paula came through my back garden gate that afternoon I said 'Paula, I think the Lord is speaking about the Lighthouse.'  She was amazed.  She said that she had been waiting for the bus to come up to my house.  She had to go to the bus stop in Market Street in Bridgend because the bus station was closed.  As she sat on the bus she noticed a property for sale across the road, a business property which had been used as a video shop.  She did not think anything of it until the bus went around the town in a full circle coming back to the same place and she was once more right opposite this shop.  Now she felt that her attention was being brought to this property, and she thought about 'The Lighthouse.  'Lord', she said, 'If You are pointing this property out as the future Lighthouse then have Brenda say to me when I see her, 'I think the Lord is talking about 'The Lighthouse'.
We decided to go to enquire about the property.  Shortly after, I had a dream in which someone was saying to me 'You have to move into number thirty five'  I told them 'I don't want to move into thirty five, it hasn't got a garden'.  When we were shown around the property we were told it was number thirty five, and it was up for sale for thirty five thousand pounds.  We didn't have the money and someone else bought it, an Indian man.  We prayed about this and still we felt that the Lord was speaking about 'The Lighthouse', telling us through Joshua ch.1 that we would go in and possess the land, and through Esther ch.4 that we had come for such a time as this.  Paula actually went to work for the man who had bought the property.  He owned bed sits in another part of town as well, and she went to clean them.  I used to go with her sometimes and the Lord gave us many opportunities to witness to the tenants, who were mostly young males.  At one time Paula thought she might sell her house and try to buy the property in Market Street, it had a flat upstairs, but she did not have enough money to do so.  Several times we were offered the chance of renting the property, but we did not have enough money and planning permission was refused for a cafe at that time because of the fact that there was no pavement fronting it.
About this time I started creating laminated poetry wall hangings, little cards, painted picture poems and other little Christian crafts, and Paula started making crocheted shawls, bags and other  crafts, these  increased and we often thought they would be suitable for selling and displaying in 'The Lighthouse'.  The property in Market street was let to several people but never for any length of time until, I believe, it became a hairdressers several years ago.
I had stopped thinking about the property becoming 'The Lighthouse', then something happened.  I had been to Neath with my husband and while there a lady came into my mind whom I had not seen or thought of for some years.  The next day I saw her in Bridgend and she had a young man with her who was concerned about something that had happened to him that he felt he had no control over and did not understand.  I gave him one of my Christian leaflets that I felt would speak directly into his situation, and he asked if I would come to the lady's house soon to speak with him.  The lady also invited me to her house, and asked me to pray for her, that she had to go into hospital becaus she had cancer.  She told me that the last time I had seen her I had given her a poem because she was upset about something, that it had helped her and that she had also passed it on to a man who had lost his sixteen year old son.  She then asked if I would write her another poem because she was sick.  I told her that I had a poem which I believed would speak to her, and that I would bring it with me to her house.  I asked if I could bring a friend with me and she said I could.  Paula said she would come with me and I rang up a couple of days later, when this lady told me of a friend who had tried to kill herself.  I arranged for us to go that afternoon, and took with me another poem and scripture for the friend.  During the couple of hours we spent there, several peoples' lives were shown to be in such darkness, and yet I could see the Lord's purpose in our visit.  the lady we were visiting had previously had an experience where she believed that God had brought a friend out of a coma as a result of her seeking Him.When I came home I started to think about the need for the Lord to be in everyone's life and over the next few days I felt the need to pray and to intercede, crying for these people.  One evening shortly after, I was tidying up my files on my computer when I came across something I had not seen for years, I had forgotten that it was on my computer.  It was a letter to the owner of the shop in Market Street, asking him if he would let Paula and myself rent the premises.  The letter was dated November 26th 1998.  As I read the letter on my computer screen I realized that the date that day was also November 26th, nine years later.  I had to ask myself, 'Is the Lord in this?'
Some strange things happened during the next couple of weeks.  I was putting a little booklet together called 'The world lies in dardness'  The church that I was attending was open at night on weekends to allow people who might need help to come in.  There are many pubs and clubs open in the town and people sometimes get injured in fights or become distressed, and pastors from the town's churches patrol the area.  It came into my mind that it might be nice to leave the booklet around for them to read if they wished.  I thought I might take it to the pastor of the church.  I took it down on the Tuesday ladies' meeting and he was there preaching about being a light to the gentiles.  I had given him the book when I walked in and could not help but notice that so many things that he preached were similar to what was in the booklet.  I also thought about the Lighthouse poem being in the front of the booklet and wondered, once again, if the Lighthouse cafe might come into being.
Shortly after, we were in the process of moving to Llandybie, near Ammanford in West Wales, and I thought 'What about the Lighthouse?' Then the banker made a mistake twice in my name, calling me Sandra, and printing out insurance cover twice with that name on it.  I thought about how the building we wanted for the Lighthouse used to be called 'Sandra's'.  Sandra means 'one who helps men' or exciter of love', and that is part of the work of the Holy Spirit in us.  Since coming to our new home my prayers for what I am to do with all that I feel I have been brought to write have increased passionately, and recently I have been brought through several events to find myself sat in front of a computer feeling very strongly that I should set up this blog.

19 comments:

Child of God said...

Hi Brenda,
What an awesome story!! I just love how God is working and directing you. Isn't this just totally what He wants? To spread His Word of forgiveness and healing to our spirit and body. To bring us into fellowship with Him!

I am so glad we met here on line.

Blessings sister,
<><

Brenda Rees said...

Hi child of God,
Yes, this is what God wants. I have tried to get into your site to read your original testimony, but could not. I must have been doing something wrong, I am pretty green on blogs. I thought I would try again but notice that the site address is not on your blog.

Child of God said...

Hi Brenda,
You can read that first post of mine by going to my blog page. It is November 2012 called 'Stepping out in obedience'.

Hope you find it.

Blessings,
<><

joy Ojay said...

Hi Brenda, I thank God for leading me to find you. Your story has so inspired me. Thanks.

God is truly with you!

Brenda said...

Hello Joy,
If someone would have told me a couple of years ago that I would have a blog, I would not have even known what a blog was. There are so many things that have happened since I have come to the Lord, that I know it would not be possible for me to bring about, that nothing could convince me that God is not real, and that Jesus is the only mediator between man and God. Even coming to this house was done in a way that could only be done by the Lord, we were even shown the name of the person who would buy our house. I love this on line church and feel connected to so many lovely people, including you.

Patrina's Pencil said...

Brenda,

what an awesome journey with the Lord. I was captivated by your walk of FAITH. So glad I found this post to get myself acquainted with you.

The Lighthouse has always spoken to me too. I've even had a dream of driving so close to a lighthouse...that the splash of waves showered my car as I passed. Later, inside the lighthouse, for an up close and personal view...I saw myself sitting alone in a room with an untouched bowl of ice cream. She (i) was looking forlorn and in a daze. As i am running towards the high tower of the lighthouse, i do a a double take...as I recognize myself alone in this room...joyless and despondent. I even address myself...'What are you doing? don't you want to see the top?" Staring into space, she offered no response.

I continued to the top!

This dream was at least 4 or 5 years ago. Revelation has not been solidified ...but your journey of faith has brought it to mind.

I think fear has isolated me...stopped me from moving forward...even though my heart still lures me onward.

You have not let fear own you or your purpose. How empowering your story has been to me. You have become a lighthouse of LOVE & HOPE to the perishing. God is directing your path. He will lead you to your lighthouse ...in His time. I believe this!Your journey of faith will be rewarded.

Thank you for taking the time to share your story. I am encouraged and blessed to have visited you here tonight.

blessings to you
patrina

faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark

Brenda said...

Hello Patrina,
how lovely to meet you. Yes I believe your dream is speaking maybe about fear of some sort. The fact that you were driving in your car past the lighthouse and the water splashing onto it speaks to me of the call of God to you in the modern world. Seeing yourself alone and not eating speaks to me of you looking at the spiritual side of yourself which is in the lighthouse but not eating the food. You questioning your despondent 'self' about not wanting to see the top speaks to me about you trying to motivate yourself towards the light, which is at the top. You say that fear has stopped you from moving on. Don't let it Patrina,whatever the fear might be, God's perfect love will cast out that fear if you allow it to. I have learned that fear is only a tool of the enemy that can be easily smashed with the sword of the Lord. I have not become weak by doing what I believe God wants me to do, I have become strong in Him and find truth in all that He speaks to me. Whatever you hear Him speak to you Patrina, endeavor to do and never lean on your own understanding. He will lead you into places that bring a peace unimaginable.
God bless you in your walk.

Brenda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brenda said...

Hello Patrina again,( sorry, deleted comment because of typing error )
I was just getting ready to go out and your comment came back into my mind. I wondered what you meant when you said 'He will lead you to your lighthouse ...in His time. I believe this! Your journey of faith will be rewarded.' You meant the cafe didn't you? I have wondered if this blog is 'the lighthouse' that God had brought to my attention, and yet it is strange that you have left a comment on this post because it has been strongly in my mind that the Lord may be wanting us to move back to the town where the lighthouse cafe was pointed out to my friend and myself, and even in my mind that the cafe may come about. If what you have said, if you did mean the cafe, is prophetec then the Lord will bring it to pass. God bless you and keep you in His wonderful light.

Patrina's Pencil said...

Brenda,
I did mean the Lighthouse cafe. Your faith walk has been growing you towards your original heart's desire. I believe It is His heart's desire for you. I believe I was sent to this post to encourage you. I am attracted to LIGHT! I love lighthouses. I have had a dream to live in one or open one as a bed and breakfast. So we have a similar interest. When I saw the lighthouse on your header...my heart was full of emotion. Then i just scrolled through your popular post and was drawn to this post.

Happenstance or God? I can't say. I don't consider myself prophetic...but i do often perceive things with with His discernment. Like you, I see and hear God's voice in many ways and forms. the Holy Spirit is always interceding for us and guiding us to His best for us.

Whether you are to make a move back to the original place of insight or not...is between you and God...and of course your hubby :) But consider the possibility that God has brought you this far...to this place...for new direction. Possibly planting the Lighthouse where you live now. Just consider all your options and ask of the Lord what His desire is for His Lighthouse planting.

I know He has had you on this faith journey for His reasons and His purpose in you. He will never leave you. His promises are true. He speaks to you in a treasured soul language that He knows you can interpret with the help of His Holy Spirit. I know this about you just by what I have read here in this post.

So...dear soul, carry on. you are right where He wants you...open and bendable to His will. His will ...will be accomplished in you. I have no doubt of that!

Blessings for your tomorrow...in today's seed planting.

you are a blessing to so many already...it is true!


hugs

patrina <")>><

Patrina's Pencil said...

Brenda,

interesting that this is the WORD for today on my blog.... I thot of you and your contemplative questions. And know...you are counted among the wise.

“Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise. Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” -Proverbs 19:20-21

Also,in my own contemplation... back at my place, I see that my current post - posted before I ever found my way here... poses more contemplation - concerning your present contemplative thots associated with my comments on the Lighthouse Cafe.

So, consider the question I posed over at my place...in light of what the Holy Spirit is saying to you deep in your spirit.

What are you planting...for tomorrow's FIND?

Protect your seed. It is priceless! It contains all the DNA to grow a full Harvest!

hugs again,
patrina <")>><

Brenda said...

Thankyou Patrina,
I know the Lord will direct my path, and I know He brought us here. There were supernatural things happened to show me that He wanted us in this house, the Lord even showed me the name of the man who would buy our last home in a very unique way, and drew me to the little church gathering that I attend at the moment.
God bless you.

Patrina's Pencil said...

I have no doubt that He is directing your path!

now in reply to your comment about my dream...

A new thot jumped out at me when you wrote ... "The fact that you were driving in your car past the lighthouse and the water splashing onto it speaks to me of the call of God to you in the modern world."

interesting thot. It was so real..I could smell the salty air. I was in a convertible. I do remember a measure of fear...being so close to the water. The water was flowing across the road that I was driving on.

I need to find in my dream journals , exactly when I had that dream. the time and season of the dream is revealing. Now 4-5 years down the road, new light will probably shine from the unknown of all it represents.

but you are correct...i believe it is fear that held me back...still holds me...from the tower - the lighthouse windows that stretch as far as the eye can travel....my sight is limited on the lower level. I know God wants me to travel to the top. He has things planned for me to see from that position. I think its the 'little girl' in me that gets stuck. I still cope with childhood fears that the adult me fights with faith. But i can only go so far with out my inner child. She is a part of me. so...today, i see that it is my responsibility to partner with the Holy Spirit - to help her learn to trust the seed that has been placed in her hands - regardless of what others think or say.

This reminds me of the question I posed in my last post... "What do I hold in my hand...that the Lord wants to release?"

hummmmm..... writing is so healing, isn't it? so revealing. it opens doors in us that can't be opened in some other normal way. thats why the Lord told me in 2007..."I give you dreams in the night and revelation as you write".

I will re-examine my seed ...and write as He directs...so that my planting has the DNA for a full harvest.

thanks, Brenda,
for your insight and for your ear.

much love and prayers,
patrina <")>><

Alex Horton said...

There's a lot to like in this post, especially the ministry you and your friend did with the poetry. However, one thing: where in the Bible is there ever an incident where the air turned blue after someone was healed?

Brenda said...

Hello Alex,
I only noticed this comment today. I have no idea why all the room turned blue, only that it did. Years later, after I became born again when I was living in Australia, my husband and myself returned to Wales. I was telling my sister about my experience becoming a Christian, and she told me that our father had laid hands on her after she was brought home from work at the age of fifteen. She said she immediately fell asleep and when she awoke she was well and free from pain.

Brenda said...

Hi Alex again,
I have just realized that the way I have described what happened when my father prayed might give the wrong picture. When I said 'all the room turned blue', what I should have written is 'all the room appeared to turn blue', because it was only to me and through my eyes it appeared to turn blue. I shall have to edit my post in the same way.

Patrinas Pencil said...

Brenda...

RE: Alex's comment regarding your words ..."As I lay in pain on the sofa in our living room that late afternoon my father, who was a Christian, prayed for me to be made well. I remember all the room appearing to turn blue and my pain disappeared."

In my study tonight...I actually stumbled onto this verse...I thot of your Healing story immediately since Alex brought it back to our attention by leaving a comment. How designed is that! Thank you Alex. I think the Lord just gave His answer. Because of this scripture...I think you saw the FORM of Christ when the room turned blue. And as if the very essence of Heaven - like the fullness of Christ hovered about you! How awesome it that! Like Jesus the Healer touching you on earth as it is in heaven! WOW! You don't have to agree...it was your experience. But it was truly an eye opening moment for me. I would have loved to have met your father. sounds like he had an intimate relationship with the Lord! Interesting that you and your sister were both healed by your Father's bold faith! Love it!

Blessings my friend
Patrina <")>><

The Covenant Sealed
Exodous 24:9-10 NIV

…9 Then Moses went up with Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, 10 and they saw the God of Israel; and under His feet there appeared to be a pavement of sapphire, as clear as the sky itself.

NLT ...a surface of brilliant blue lapis lazuli, as clear as the sky itself.

King James 2000 Bible ...a sapphire stone, and as it were the very heaven in its clearness.

a sapphire, bright and glorious, may denote the liberty they now enjoyed in exchange for their bondage.

sapphire—one of the most valuable and lustrous of the precious gems—of a sky-blue or light azure color and frequently chosen to describe the throne of God (see Eze 1:26; 10:1).

The Hebrew sappir, is without doubt the sapphire; which is a most beautiful precious stone of a fine blue colour, second only to the diamond in lustre, hardness, and value. The ancient oriental sapphire is supposed to have been the same as the lapis lazuli. It glitters with golden spots; and is of an azure or sky-blue colour, but rarely intermixed with purple.

Brenda said...

Patrina,
thank you for your lovely comment, there are things and words in it that connect with many things the Lord has shown me in the past, even connected with starting this blog. I believe absolutely that the blue colour was to do with the Lord and your verse, at this perfect timing appears to fit. I have had many strange experiences in my walk with the Lord as I see you and many other Christians have. In a church gathering that the Lord sent me to be with in another town I used to pray and see a brilliant flashing light with a white dove flapping its wings in front of my closed eyes, and I've only just realized as I am typing this that it was exactly the same as the dove on your blog. I felt at the time that if I opened my eyes when this was happening the light would be blinding.
God bless you Patrina, yes I do believe that Alex was meant to leave that comment, everything is connected.

Alex Horton said...

Cool! I never noticed about the blue colour in that verse before.