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Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Black and white

 I  was getting ready to go to church and as I reached for my coat I realised that several pieces of clothing I had on were made up of  various patterns of black and white.    I had a strong feeling that  the Holy Spirit was revealing something to me here.    Black and white signifies something that is clear, with no grey areas, and can also stand for something that is written.
Two scriptures came into my mind, one was 'every day in  my life was written in Your book before even one of them was formed.' 
Psalm 139 v. 16.   
The other was 'It is written 'Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.'  
Matthew ch. 4 v.4.

When I got home I looked at what I was wearing that was black and white.   I had a black and white striped top on, a black and white floral scarf and a black mac with white doves on it.  Thoughts started to form in my mind as to what these symbolised to me.  The black and white stripes portrayed the trials and hard times in  my  life,  the black and white flowers conveyed to me the good times. The white doves on the black coat portrayed to me the Holy Spirit's presence in the dark times, and the fact that this pattern was on my outer garment declaring God's protective covering in all situations in my life.   

I thought about the fact that although I had gone through, and still do go through, days of trials and hard times since becoming a believer in Christ, those trials were predestined.  I have also gone through many  good and happy days too, receiving blessings from the Lord, including healings, and these too were predestined.    They were written in His book before even one of them was formed.  Whether it has been a fiery trial to correct me or a fiery trial to bring me to believe a word of blessing that the Lord has spoken to me, it has all been to mature me in Christ. 
Whatever word God has spoken to me I must accept it and try to act on it whatever it will lead me into, whether it be testing me in a trial that will refine me or believing on a promised healing regardless of what my eyes might be seeing.  The carnal mind will always try to justify it's way of reasoning, sometimes by saying it is right to retaliate to what may have been done to me, or by encouraging me to keep a record of wrongs done to me.   That is not what the Holy Spirit instructs me to do however. 
It has not always been easy and He understands that I am flesh and have weaknesses, but I believe absolutely that all things will work together for my good if I follow His instructions to me, and try to live my life according to His will.  
We are told in Romans ch.8 v.28 'And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose'. In John ch.14 v.15 Jesus says 'If you love Me keep My commands' 
From these scriptures I see that the essence of loving Jesus is in keeping His commands, the things that He instructs me to do during my walk with Him.   The renewing of my mind is done through the teaching of the Holy Spirit, not only my comforter but my counsellor.  The necessity to fully follow the instructions that the Lord gives me in His word to me personally, was emphasised to me when I got home from church. 

I had intended that morning to do some washing before I went to church.  My husband said 'Put the washing in the machine, I will see to it later.'  So I put the items to be washed in the machine before I went out.   When I returned I noticed that the washing was still in the machine.  I took it out to find that the clothes were quite wet.  I told my husband that they were very wet and said that there may be something wrong with the machine.  Then he told me that he had moved it on a couple of times because he thought it was taking a long time.  I realized that was probably why the clothes were wet, he had probably moved it on when it was in the process of draining the water out, also the machine spins the clothes twice.

I know that just as there is a cycle that my washing machine must go through to get the perfect end result, so too there is a cycle that I must go through to mature in Christ.  If I don't go through that cycle I will not end up as I should do.  Sometimes I have not been patient enough to wait for the Lord's help in my life when I have sought Him,  or sometimes the enemy has been a bit too strong to cause me not to act on God's instruction, and I have tried to sort things my own way.   All sorts of pictures would form in my mind about what might happen if I did or did not do something.  I am learning slowly not to lean on my own understanding, but to trust in the Lord with all my heart and to do things according to His way of thinking, not mine.  His thoughts are not our thoughts and neither are our ways His ways.   Isaiah ch.55 vs.8,9.   

I might not like the trials while I am waiting for the answer to my prayers and I might not always at first understand  the direction that my life appears to be taking when I try to do what the Holy Spirit is telling me, but at my weakest points the Lord has been strong.  After thirty years of being a believer in Christ I look back on my worldly life and compare it to my life in Jesus and there is no comparison and no doubt as to which one I would choose.  I choose life and blessing, regardless of the trials.

The following are three poems that I would like to include in this post.  The first one is a song that I wrote some years ago, and which still applies,  to ask the Lord to  help me in my battles. 

Change me Lord

Change me Lord according to Your image
bend me Lord according to Your will
You alone can make me what God wants me to be
take my fears and cause me to be still

Help me Lord I'm battle scarred and weary
Satan's hand is much too strong for me
but I know if You will be my friend by my side
my old foe will have to turn and flee

For You alone have conquered
You've won the victory
and I can share these blessings
if You're living inside of me

So change me Lord according to Your image
bend me Lord according to Your will
You alone can make me what God wants me to be
take my fears and cause me to be still

Yes You alone can make me what God wants me to be
take my fears and cause me to be still

Contained within the second one are some questions which I felt the Lord was putting  to me at a specific time, that I felt I had to examine myself over and make a decision about. 

How far will you follow Me

How far will you follow Me
along this narrow track
when the path becomes too lonely
will you think of turning back
will you yearn for the things you left behind
when I called you to be apart
are there things that belong to your world of sin
lying dormant within your heart

How far will you follow Me
along this lonely road
when you suffer man's rejection
will it prove too great a load
will you stand within my guiding light
no matter where it leads
and will you listen to my Father's voice
saying 'Child.... go plant the seeds'

Yes how far will you follow Me
along the path to life
will the trials be too much for you 
..... of sickness and of strife
Or will you hold on fast to faith
remembering what I have said
that faith in your Lord has a power
that can even raise the dead

The third one is a poem I wrote with which I would like to encourage everyone who might be finding these trials are making it hard to continue to trust in the One who has the ability to move mountains.

The Lord won't let you stumble

The Lord won't let you stumble
as He brings you through the fire
He'll keep your feet on the stepping stones
and guide you across the mire
Just keep your eyes looking forward
as you walk the narrow track
your problems will only engulf you
if you try to take them back
Remember the Lord has your burdens
He holds your life in His hand
If you trust Him you'll see the Father
and you'll enter the promised land

What I gain from being a 'doer' of God's word to me in Christ and not just a 'hearer' of that word far outweighs what my carnal mind tries to tell me I might lose in this world, and I have always been greatly encouraged by these words.

But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.   What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ   and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ – the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.    I want to know Christ – yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,   and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.   Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead,   I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.
                                                   Philippians ch..3 vs.7-14


child of God said...

Hi Brenda,

So nice to see you posting again!! :)

Our trials are hard but the rewards are well worth it. The more of a 'rocky sea' that we must endure here on earth, you can be sure that what we are doing is affecting the kingdom of Satan and delivering mighty blows into his headquarters. The trials Father puts us through is because He knows how powerful and effective the ministry He has given us will be and He needs to mold us and test us.

I was taught that if you were a Christian your life would be smooth. Well that is nothing but a false teaching and I now see and understand that the closer you walk with the Lord, the more difficult your life here on earth will be.

God is working good!!! I encourage you sister to continue to press in and do not let the spirit of dispare pull you down.

I enjoyed your beautiful poems, thank you for sharing.


Patrinas Pencil said...

"...but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me."

The Christian life is a process. from glory to glory the scripture says...

2 Corinthians 3:18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

also... "When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me." 1 Cor 13:11.

and ..."Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely." 1 Cor 13:12

We don't mature without time, trials and experiences to teach us.. I love the way you humbly approach your christian life... you are introspective.. and that is a very good barometer for a healthy life with Christ.

I also love the way you see things...things that another may not see...because your mind and spirit are open to God's will and therefore His instruction and His enlightenment or His eyesight on a matter.

I also love your creative side... the gift of poetry and song and writing... all a way God uses His gifts in you to Share His love and truth.

Well done thou good and faithful servant....

hugs to you tonight..
God is smiling on you...
you are a daughter of the MOST HIGH KING! May He be glorified by His creation in you!

patrina <")>><

Ken said...

Hi Brenda,
I am excited to see that you have written a post for us to read. Way too often I find that I want to lean on my own understanding. But the Lord has all the wisdom and knowledge of the universe. He knows the end from the beginning, why is it that we want to trust ourselves when God knows what is right and best. There is no better place to be than walking in obedience in God's word. Thank you for sharing this and may God bless,

Brenda said...

Hi child of God,
that's right, we do not have a smooth life but the trials are well worth the outcome when we trust in the Lord. There was a lot more that I wanted to put into this post but it would have been too long and it is not the time right now, so I just added a couple more sentences to clarify what I wanted to share more. I have never actually felt despair in my walk with the Lord, rather a strong desire to be able to have my faith in His absolute authority to do all that I feel Him showing me increase. Also I want to be changed into what He wants me to be and have realized that His ways are very different and my life improves vastly the more I allow Him to change my way of thinking.
God bless, keep up the good work of your lovely ministry of prayer.

Brenda said...

Hi Patrina,
I love every scripture that you have written, I find that scripture has the ability to do something in my spirit that nothing else can match, and I know that you and all who are born of the Holy Spirit feel the same. I believe that God is in every inch of our lives and is able to speak to us in many ways that confirm what He is trying to teach us, and I have always seen things this way in my walk with the Lord. Thankyou for your lovely blessing Patrina, God bless you in your lovely ministry.

Brenda said...

Hi Ken,
I felt to write the post because the incident with the clothes was speaking to me and I haven't been able to spend that much time on blogger lately. I am a bit more organized now so I must catch up on my reading more. I think the main reason we lean on our own understanding often is that the carnal mind is still the place where the old deceiver asks 'Did God really say?' As you say, there is no better place to be than walking in obedience to God's word, and that's what we must remember to tell the one who was a 'liar from the beginning' every time he pays a visit eh?
God bless you in your lovely encouraging writings.

Eya Ayambem said...

Hi Brenda, thanks for posting again. The washing machine illustration has so much meaning. Thanks gain.

Brenda said...

Hi Eya,
I was just thinking about you as I was about to turn on my computer to read some blogs. The Lord very often speaks to me through the simplest of things, and I am always amazed at His ability to arrange things so that there is such meaning to these everyday events. Since I have been blogging I find that communicating with all other believers this way is the kind of gathering that Jesus intended the church to be, where everyone shares what they have to share, whether it be spiritual or happy chatter, and have Him as the centre of that gathering.
Just going over to have a look at your lovely blog.
God bless you and your family Eya

Unknown said...

Wow, Brenda! Thirty years in the Lord and still standing-what a great testimony. The Lord will keep you standing to the very end. I love this post, especially how you used your black and white outfit to illustrate what you want to say. One thing also ministered to me strongly: The commandments of the Lord are clearly spelled out for believers to follow-no grey areas in between like we humans try to bring in.
...and that washing machine analogy? So, apt! If we do not go through the process, we come out half baked. So many beautiful lessons to draw from this post. God bless you for sharing.

Never Forsaken said...

Hi Brenda, I am sorry it took me this long to comment, this is actually my second attempt...I don't know what went wrong first time around...I just want firstly to express my appreciation for your writing...The way you appreciate how the Lord speaks through even the simplest of our everyday things, from the choice in clothing, to the laundry...This resonates with other believers because God uses these things
(the small stuff)to speak to us most of the time...face it, big events normally do not occur very often in our lives, and that is a good thing. When Jesus is the central focal point of a Christian's life, then He is present in everything! That makes a Christian's life very wonderful and even the most mundane life is an adventure!
When you described the meaning of the designs on your clothing...I saw it as a 'covering'. I am reminded of Psalm 91 where it says he covers us with his feathers, and I think of all the little birds who huddle against the severe weather wrapped in their feathers staying firmly perched upon the branches of the pine tree in my yard.I feel like The Lord is telling us that no matter what happens around us, we are always safe and warm as long as we remain there under His covering.

Brenda said...

Hi Unyime-Ivy,
I think the Lord definately speaks through the still small voice in our minds too, you are the second person that I was thinking of this week just before I turned on my computer and found a comment from. I love the way that this church gathering on line builds one another up both in comments and in blogs, as does your excellent blog. This is how it was meant to be, we are all different parts of God's church on Earth. When you say about still standing in the Lord after thirty years, a scripture comes straight into my mind. 'Lord to whom do we go You have the words of eternal life?' There is wisdom within the trials, and now that I know what I have gained in the Lord, and still press on to gain, how foolish I would be to let the thief in.
Lovely to see you and God bless you

Brenda said...

Hi Lisa,
Amen to everything you have put in your comment, that is exactly how I see it, the Lord's covering through the storms. I also love, like you, the way His love is reflected within creation. Even the harsh weather sometimes reveals His love. Although bush fires can be very distressing, I remember when we lived in Australia that after some bush fires have destroyed an area the most amazingly beautiful flowers and plants shoot up. It reflects to me His love in His correction. Yes His covering is in our lives in the harder times too. Please don't worry if you are not able to comment on all posts, I do not worry about those things. I have visits to blogs sometimes and do not have time to read all or comment on that particular post at that particular time, and go back to it later. I just love coming over to your lovely blog and all the others when I am able. As with your little Emma's situation, we all experience so many similar situations and are able to empathize with each other.
God bless you and your family.

T-Childs said...

Wonderful post Brenda; even the washing machine can teach us something valuable hey?!

Brenda said...

Hi Tim,
thankyou, yes I find it amazing how God knows how to speak to us through the simplest of things.

Paul G said...

Hi Brenda.
Again an excellent post and good illustrations.

S. Knowles said...

A very wonderful post Brenda. I am glad I got around to reading it tonight, it is very encouraging and your poems are great. I'm going to share one of them and hope they can encourage others as well. May God continue to bless you sister.

Brenda said...

Hi Paul,
nice to hear from you again. Thankyou for your encouraging comment, I trust all is well with you. I must come over and pay you a visit. God bless.

Brenda said...

Hi Sateigdra,
thankyou for your kind comment, lovely to hear from you. I hope the poem will encourage those you share it with, I will pray for them too. The Lord is our strength, and our weaknesses are always in the flesh.

Laurie Collett said...

Brenda, I love the way you hear the Holy Spirit speaking to you in daily life! He has so many meaningful lessons, and you are such an apt and attentive pupil. We are blessed that you share these lessons with us. The poems are absolutely beautiful and filled with truth.
God bless,

Brenda said...

Hi Laurie,
thankyou for visiting and your kind words. I know that you love the Lord from reading your blog. I feel an absolute blessing in being able to interact with all the people I have come into contact with since coming onto the blog. It is a church gathering on line that is building one another up exactly as the Lord would want us to. I love the way that the creator of everything existing is able to communicate His ways to us in order to bring us back to Him.
God bless you and your family





Brenda said...

I am so glad that you were refreshed through the words of the poems. I know it is not the actual poems, but the truth of God's word reflected in them that is the true comfort. God knows exactly what each of us needs at a specific time. Although He brought me to write them years ago He knew you would need those words today. That is the kind of love that He has for us, a love like no other. I too have experienced great sadness at the loss of loved ones and persecution from those I did not expect it from. I remember coming home crying once because of it and opened my Bible to find staring out at me 'If they did it to me they will do it to you'. God has comforted me in those areas and reminded me that we do not war against flesh and blood, that it is a spiritual warfare, this helps me as far as forgiveness is concerned and makes me able to pray for those who may persecute me. Also I know, as I am sure that you do, that the Lord is able to comfort in very sad situations like no other can. When my mother died we put on the gravestone 'Those who live beyond this world can not be separated by it.' We are in this world but not of this world and know that God is with us in our grief. May God bless you and comfort you.

Reformed rebel said...

So glad to read this from you Brenda. I like your poems. The Lord won't let you stumble is great! Keep writing. I enjoy it.
Blessings to you

Brenda said...

Hi Chell,
thankyou for visiting, and your kind words. I hope you are ok. I must catch up on my reading all the blogs I love reading, including yours. I have been trying to put some writings together and can not believe how quickly the time goes.
God bless.


LUKE 10: 16
“Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me.”

JOHN 15:18
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. 24 If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’

Brenda said...

How beautiful and comforting are the words of the Lord. I have been in the world and know that what appears to be a broad place is a restricted, narrow place. Since being in the Lord what people in the world might consider a narrow restricted place has become for me a broad place. The Lord brings us into such a beautiful place with a peace that is never found in the world. I would want that every human being would have what only God can give - salvation in Jesus.
Thankyou for sharing those lovely scriptures.

Aritha said...

Thank you Brenda, for this post linked to everyday life. You have a unique voice in the blog world and I love it to read. (Now you are in my blogroll. - so I see your new postings)

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

Hi Jedida,( made a spelling mistake on my first attempt )
lovely to hear from you. I have been trying to keep up with reading blogs, writing a little booklet of testimonies that I hope to be able to share on my blog, and doing everyday chores. I love reading everyone's blogs, yours included, and love on line communication. My life gets busier as I get older and I love it. God bless, hope you and your family are well.

Morgan Nascimento said...

Hello, congratulations on your blog!
If you can visit this blog:
Thank you for your attention

Brenda said...

Hi Morgan,
Just visited your blog, very nice. Seems we both write about love eh? We can find no greater love than that found in Jesus.

Lista said...

Hi Brenda,
This is a Nice Post. I liked your Poems and the whole Mood of your Post is so Comforting and Peaceful. Very Nice. I'll be Back.

Brenda said...

Hi Lista,
nice to hear from you. Thank you for your kind comment, I must come over and see what you are doing on your blog.

Lista said...

Thanks Brenda,
The Problem that I'm having is that I want to Reach Non-Christians and they seem to come around more when I have Discussed Politics with them and then when I switch to Religious Subjects, they become much more Silent and there are not as many Comments. I have some Ideas of what I might Post, yet I am still Praying about it.

By all means do come by. You are always welcome on my Blog.

Brenda said...

That is the best thing to pray about it Lista,because it has to be the Lord who does the building through us anyway, otherwise we would be labouring in vain.