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Monday, 10 September 2018

Reason for my blog name

I have decided to repost one of the first posts I put up, with some slight adjustments, to explain the 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 arguments, would say ' Let's see what the Lord says ', and would find a verse in his Bible that would always settle the argument 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, as scripture says that it is speaking mysteries to God.   1 Corinthians ch.14. v.2:-
 'For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit.'

' 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. 

Jesus answered and said unto him, 'Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God'  John ch. 3 v.3

'Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.' Acts ch. 4 v.12

 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.  As 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.  It was so strange that the keys to that council house became available on the day we entered the UK , but the house had to be redecorated and cleaned so the keys were not given out until six weeks later.

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 Your love 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 .
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 we left my phone number and some of our leaflets to be given to him.  He contacted me on the following Wednesday and, after an arranged meeting, invited us to be prison visitors on the lifers' wing. 
This we did for eighteen months, and during that time were allowed to evangelise to the prisoners, freely sharing our poetry and songs ( even being allowed to take my guitar in) 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 one day 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 was determined to tell Paula when I saw her that I believed the Lord was speaking about 'The Lighthouse' cafe.  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 darkness'  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 also my thoughts are once again on the 'Lighthouse cafe'.

24 comments:

Crown of Beauty said...

I read every word of this post. Thank you. It was so inspiring.

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

Nice Tesimony, Brenda! Praise God, for a faithful servant, such as you.

Brenda said...

Hello Crown of Beauty, lovely to meet you. I don't think I have been over to your blog, I shall do so soon. Thank you for your kind comment, all glory to our Father God and Lord Jesus.

Brenda said...

Hi Keith, I know this testimony was long but there many people who I interact with that have not known my early testimony, so I just thought I would repost it with a few adjustments regarding time. Thank you for your kind words but I would say 'Praise God for a faithful Son, such as Y'shua.

What is coming into my mind right now is 'And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death' Revelation ch. 12 v.11.
Hallelujah!!

Laurie Collett said...

Hi Brenda,
What a compelling read and amazing testimony! If we listen for His still, small voice, it is miraculous how He brings all things together -- people and circumstances -- to accomplish His divine purpose with His perfect timing. May God bless you for being so attuned to His will.
Laurie

Keith said...

Hey Brenda, You made me smile, when you mentioned the length of your testimony. Whenever length of a message of any kind is mentioned, I think of Eutychus, who was rewarded with another chance at life, when he fell out the window, while listening to Paul. Ones testimony is only as long as needed. I never grow tired of hearing how the Lord has moved one of the Remnant, even if I may think it was long. :-) LOL

Brenda said...

Hi Laurie,
you are so right about listening to His still, small voice and how He brings things together. If I listened to what the enemy in my carnal mind was telling me my life would be in chaos. I feel the most important thing in my life is to hear what the Lord is saying to me and do my best not to just be a 'hearer' of that Word but a 'doer' of that Word. Forever learning Laurie as I journey to the promised land.

Brenda said...

Hi Keith,
I just read Acts ch.20. I could say that I have seen my husband fall asleep when I talk to much :-). However, getting on to the serious side - the incident regarding Eutychus reminds me yet again of the miraculous power of God, and His gifts of this power to us.

Keith said...

I think it's in our genes to fall asleep, when our wives are talking. I can't help it, she has such a soothing voice. :-) LOL Yes, totally agree. The Eutychus Incident shows that God has a loving and rewarding heart. Eutychus wanted to hear God's Word so bad, that he ignored any signs of sleepiness and the fact that he was leaning out a window. Obviously, we know that he fell out of the window and died. Because of his faithfulness, to the Word, God allowed Paul to lay his hands upon him and resuscitate him. Pretty cool story.

Sandi said...

"Sandra means 'one who helps men' "

This is my name. I have bookmark in my bible that says, "Helper of Mankind."

I felt like I should flip to it just now and read Proverbs 1:21 about wisdom calling out in the streets. Does that speak to you?

Brenda said...

Hi Keith,
I think I may have told you before (or may not have), when we are out and about and we get talking to people (which I love doing)my husband says to them 'If you see any two legged donkeys around town, it's because Brenda's talked the hind legs off them'. :-) I don't know if that is a saying in the US.
Where you say in your comment ' Because of his faithfulness, to the Word, God allowed Paul to lay his hands upon him and resuscitate him. Pretty cool story', those gifts are available now. We just need to allow the Holy Spirit to be activated within the gathering of ourselves together.

Brenda said...

Hi Sandi,
I looked up that verse on Google just now, and where it has the word 'wall' it has a reference 'd', and when I looked it up at the bottom of the page it referred to the word 'wall' as being translated as 'noisy street corners':-
d. Proverbs 1:21 Septuagint; Hebrew / at noisy street corners

This is what my friend and myself were called to do for thirty two years, go out into the streets with leaflets containing poems and scriptures that the Lord has given us, and songs that the Lord has given us also.
I have still got those leaflets, and although I am now in a different part of the UK I am not sure whether I am to continue doing this. A man came to the church gathering that I go to last week and said that the Lord had spoken to him concerning a person there who must do full ministry in what the Lord has called them to do. I had prayer concerning this and so I am waiting on the Lord for His answer. I did not feel I could just go out on my own without instruction from the Lord as when He called my friend and myself to do this in Wales, he gave us the verse saying that He sent them out in twos. Mark ch. 6 v.7.
He will show me whether the giving out of leaflets has come to an end for me or not.

Keith said...

Absolutely, I totally agree that the gifts of the Spirit are available, including healing. However, with all things, God holds the reigns on their usage and they are only able to be used according to his Word and Will. A great example is the misusage of tongues. Ive heard of far too many incidents of churches using tongues as an indicator of whether or not you are saved.

Keith said...

By the way, here in the states, the saying is, “She’ll talk your arm off.” It’s the same sentiment. :-) LOL

Brenda said...

Hi Keith,
'tongues' for me is 'speaking mysteries to God'. Also, I see 'being saved' as an on-going learning of God's ways and thoughts, line upon line, and precept upon precept. The more I learn from that Word, my daily Manna, the more I want to learn.

Never Forsaken said...

Brenda, the way the Lord speaks to you through seemingly ordinary event or things..never ceases to amaze and inspire me!
Lighthouses have always been a source of communication with the Lord for me too!
If I remember correctly, one of my very first blog posts was about a lighthouse! I am drawn to them, so I do have many photographs of lighthouses around the state that I live, which is a peninsula shaped just like a mitten..I like to say that we are held safely in the center of God's hand..and he even p[laced us in the center of this mitten here on earth too!
Many times I have wondered if He would place us somewhere different, but always as I trust in Him more and more I know that we have a mission field wherever we are.

Brenda said...

Hi Lisa,
I agree with what you have said in your comment regarding where God places us, I have always been happy to go 'where ever the Lord leads me', and we have lived in many places, with the finances to do that always supplied by Him. I like what you have said about the peninsular you are on (I had to look up the meaning of the word 'mitten' as I have not come across it before.
Lighthouses are very significant in my life, as you can see, and I would love you to repost what you put on your blog about one.
God bless you Lisa.

Jephyr! said...

Hi! Brenda, It was wonderful to read more about your life and testimony, and all that God has put on your heart. When I was younger I'd hear people talking about God putting a "burden for the unsaved" on their hearts and didn't understand then — but as I get older I understand that more and more. Your anguish over the people lost in the fire resonated with me because the first thing I always think about when I hear about someone's death now — is whether or not they were saved and where they will be in eternity. Thanks as always for sharing here, and commenting on my blog. I pray that God is giving you His Peace and Comfort in all that he is binging you through.

Brenda said...

Hi Jephyr,

I love your blog and have a lot to catch up on. It is lovely to see you over here. I don't know if I have told you before but I love art too, especially painting tigers and portraits, but have not done so for a long time, as I seem to be busier the older I get.
Yes, I have a passionate desire to spread the gospel, especially as I had my near death experience, and that was before I was born of God's Spirit. The way God speaks to us through that Word is amazing!
God bless you Zephyr, will be catching up on your posts very soon.

Keith said...

As you know Brenda, that is how we both pursue God. Unfortunately, as you know, the gifts are being abused and misused, within the church for the glory of Satan or an individual, rather than God. That is why we continue to stress the Truth of his Word over all things. Because it is through the Word of God that we become Echad with Yahweh, through Y’shua, The Messiah, Echad in Spirit.

Brenda said...

Hi Keith,
I still have much to learn, and I agree with what you have said. I am forever learning and I absolutely believe that we must all build one another up with both the gifts that God has given to His church and testimonies that each experiences. I have put up my latest testimony of our lovely Lord's power, and hope that I have worded it in a way that everyone can understand.
I continue to say to our lovely Lord 'I love thee O Lord my strength.'
God bless you and yours Keith.

S. Knowles said...

Hopefully one day God, if He wills it, will grant you this Lighthouse, Brenda. He knows your heart's desire to spread the good news to those who need to hear it. What you said about the ministry in the prison for those in there for life is very encouraging. I hope many of those you shared the Gospel with became born again. Thanks for sharing this story. A reminder to pay attention to what God may be showing us and just an encouragement to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. :-) God bless and keep you.

Brenda said...

Hi Sateigdra,
I have always wondered if there would be a Lighthouse café one day, although it could be that the café might be my 'Lighthouse' blog, a place where God has enabled me to 'eat and drink' of His Spiritual food that He has given to all of us. Without Him I would not have even thought of putting a 'blog' up, He led me one day to someone who spoke about blogs and how to set them up. It is so true that every day of our lives is written in His book before even one of them was formed.
God bless you Sateigdra.