A Christian’s heavenly journey with his feet on the ground. Treasures shared that are discovered along the way.
Please note that this blog has now moved to: "Senior Eagle walking with Father"

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Christian Healing - 7 Personal

These last posts have been just a few of my thoughts on Christian healing. Not quite random, as I hope I have written as led by the Spirit. I am concerned however, not to give the impression in anyway that I am an expert. There is only one expert and his name is Jesus. So I feel I need to say where I stand personally on healing - if you haven’t worked that out already:

Over thirty years ago, my wife was diagnosed with an aggressive form of the disabling disease rheumatoid arthritis and told she could be in a wheelchair within four years. This changed the direction of our lives forever, was instrumental on bringing us to the Lord and set us on a course of discovery that drew us closer to Jesus in our struggles. My wife, although the illness progressed and is physically disabled to a degree, still lives to the full and the wheelchair did not materialise. Her doctors and others are amazed.

Several years ago I developed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - M.E. - and since then in looking to the Lord have received some healing. It’s as if He has been healing me slowly, ‘on the drip’, as I try to walk with Father in obedience. The last two or three years have been particularly challenging for us both. My wife experiencing two accidents - one in which she nearly died - and I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. It has been a bumpy ride.

In our walk we have seen God enable us in amazing ways that we never thought possible. We still believe that God heals, but in His way and in His time. We live for today. We are even less sure what God has for us ‘tomorrow’, our future is in hands, we trust Him, He has brought us through so far and will not let us down. We are forever expectant.

If you would like to hear from my wife’s viewpoint, she is the Guest Blogger on my Senior Eagle blog this week. Look under: “The Thirty Nine Steps”.


Christian Healing - 6 Corporate

There is often so much emphasis on the individual’s walk with God, we can forget there is a corporate or community dimension.

From time to time we hear testimonies to healing. It’s there all right, but in dribs and drabs. But I have often wondered why the evidence of healing isn’t more widespread. I would like to see an avalanche. After all Jesus said that if we abided in Him we would do what He did and even more! There may be many reasons for this lack, but I think one reason is because of unbelief and disunity within a church, group, area local or a whole nation. It’s like God holds back the floodgates, waiting for our response?

On the other hand I have experienced from time to time, in small gatherings or groups, - but not much recently - where there was a real honest openness to God and to each other, that the Holy Spirit descended upon us tangibly, touching and moving everyone present. I believe this is the environment, the atmosphere that gives God the freedom to act powerfully.

I only have to walk down the street to see the need on people’s faces. It’s unmistakable. Our response can be to pray inwardly for each person we meet. I have also found that when in conversation I offer to pray for them, it is nearly always welcomed. I should do it more often, because God anoints boldness. There have been times occasionally when it is received with indifference or rejection. Like the time when I was so moved by a man I saw with both legs in plaster, that I asked if he would like me to pray with Him. He refused most strongly and angrily, but I noticed as he was speaking he could not look at me. Maybe he was still in shock and perhaps I was a tad insensitive, but I know that in His love God will not let him forget that time. I leave the outcome to Him.

“How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron's beard, down upon the collar of his robes. - For there the LORD bestows his blessing - ” Psalm 133:1-3

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:16 New International Version


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Christian Healing - 5 Abiding

Abiding is absolutely key. This is where our Christian walk starts and continues to be maintained. When we make our home with Jesus the Bible comes alive and we begin to be in tune with God.

In our need for healing, it is in this heart to heart relationship that God hears our cry. This is where we hear His Word and especially those living personal Words just for us. Words that bring hope and life into our situation. But this is where the battle really commences. Satan just does not like this.

We may become aware of Satan’s lies, as fear and doubt try to get a hold. Taunts like “Who do you think you are?” or “Come on get real, you don’t really believe this do you?!” But as we continue to abide in Him surrounded by His love, we are safe from all the flaming arrows and missiles that come our way. They just cannot touch us. As we shelter wrapped in Father’s cloak we are assured of His comfort and His victory.

Pain and discomfort can cause us to sink and make it difficult to keep our focus on Him. Pain is very wearing and at worst it feels like trying to see through a fog. At such times I feel the only thing to do - and the best - is to surrender in complete trust. Throw ourselves into Father’s arms knowing He will fight the battle for us and bring us through.

Our focus of course, is not on the promised healing, but on the Promiser and Healer, so the bottom line is absolute surrender. This gives the Holy Spirit absolute freedom to move in our lives, whenever and however. The opposite to this is complaining - which I am well familiar with - and only serves to prolong the process. Unconditional yielding to God is tantamount to saying, ‘I yield to you Father whether you heal me or not.’ This may seem paradoxical, but it’s no different to saying we have to ‘lose our life to gain it.’ Knowing God will do what he said he will do, means we can do this. We trust Him. This is such a simple childlike heart action, but I for one have found it not easy and has often taken some crisis to bring it about.

I’ve said nothing so far about the medical profession and healing. I have no doubt that God works through doctors and treatments. Where would we be without them? But I’m not sure I would describe it as divine healing. Doctors do not have all the answers and some prescribed drugs are toxic with side effects that can have a drastic effect upon our quality of life. Enough said.

God does a proper job.

“Whoever goes to the LORD for safety, whoever remains under the protection of the Almighty, can say to him, "You are my defender and protector. You are my God; in you I trust." He will keep you safe from all hidden dangers and from all deadly diseases.” Psalm 91:1-3 Good News Bible

“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, then you will ask for anything you wish, and you shall have it.” John 15:7 Good News Bible


Friday, March 27, 2009

Christian Healing - 4 Discernment

God is always speaking to us, if only we are open to listen. It will always be in accord with His Word, but in a way that is right for each of us individually. There is every reason to believe therefore, that He will speak to us when we are sick.

Some refer to God’s healing as a mystery, but there is no mystery in that God heals today, as it’s written in His Word. All we have to do is believe. What we don’t know is how and when God brings this into fruition within us so that it is evident. Some healing seems to be almost immediate, in others it happens gradually over time and others are waiting for years. Healing may be a process, but it’s not a procedure, but in the context of a intimate loving relationship.

There was a time when I was listening to and praying for others and more or less followed the same pattern. This seemed to work for while, until I realised that I had to listen to God and learn to flow with what the Holy Spirit was doing. Discernment is essential. After all, Jesus only did what ‘he saw His Father doing.’ So I am always wary when I hear someone giving the impression that, ‘this is how it is done or this is the pattern!’

I believe that as we progress in our Christian walk He is more and more concerned for our relationship with Him and our whole well-being. He knows us better than we know ourselves and sees the Big Picture. He knows the future plans He has for us. It may be that our attitude or behaviour pattern is getting in the way and He may want to deal with that first. To use a simple example: if I am banging my head against a brick wall harming myself, I may take painkillers to stop the headache. But God doesn’t want us to keep popping the pills, but deal with the root cause. Again, if we harbour unforgiveness against someone, especially towards our parents, we may need to forgive before we can receive the healing.

What I am trying to say, is that we need to believe, but God may have something to say to us in our situation, there may be steps for us to take before we can receive. God is full of surprises and loves us too much to leave us where we are.

"He told me everything I ever did." John 4:39

"Our Father in heaven: - may your Kingdom come; may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. - - If you forgive others the wrongs they have done to you, your Father in heaven will also forgive you.” Matthew 6

"There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men." 1 Corinthians 12:6 New International Version


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Christian Healing - 3 Wholeness

I believe Jesus came to set us free as a whole person, so healing includes not just for the body, but emotional, mental and spiritual. They are all linked.

In fact unresolved emotions can have a disabling effect. For example: I used to suffer from a kind of panic that I called claustrophobia. It meant that I avoided, if possible, going into any enclosed space, such as a lift (elevator), the London Underground (Subway) or any situation where I wasn’t in control. I was eventually healed of this by facing the scary feeling with Jesus. It was soon put to the test. When landing after a crowded transatlantic flight, the plane’s exit doors refused to open.

Buried feelings, like anger for example, if not taken responsibility for and resolved, can even erupt in other ways such as physical illness.

These ‘wounds’ may be rooted in a past trauma and need courage to allow Jesus into that painful place. We may need help at first from an experienced prayer minister or prayer counsellor. Either way, it’s in intimacy with Jesus that healing takes place, so all the ‘minister’ will be doing really is bringing us into God’s presence and allowing the Holy Spirit to do His healing work.

He will meet with us at our point of need.

“May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Christian Healing - 2 Desperation

Thoughts on Christian Healing continued:

It may sound obvious, but healing cannot really begin unless the ‘wound’ is brought out into the open and shown to Father - and in the case of emotional healing, the pain is owned and expressed.

Usually if a child hurts itself, he or she goes running to their parents and shows their ‘wound’ to them. The child is comforted, the wound bathed and cleaned and made better. There may even be a discussion on how it happened and how to avoid it happening again.

In this simple straight forward action there is an acceptance that something is wrong, a complete trust in the parent that it will be healed and also a degree of desperation.

We sometimes need to get desperate. Like when I crushed my thumb or when a large rock fell on our son’s hand or when my wife developed a life-threatening condition in a foreign country. In each case, mustering whatever faith I had, I reached out to God with every fibre of my being, until I was assured that I had made connection, He had heard and it was in hand. In each case healing was manifest. I believe God always answers our heart cries.

With long term illness it can seem more compicated. But is it possible that sometimes we have to get desperate before we turn to God and really mean business? For some reason we may have been in denial or thought ‘this is as good as it gets.’ We may have tried all medical avenues, followed any number of special diets, dabbled in various alternative practices, but the illness still persists. Do we have to get desperate before we go all the way on a healing journey God's way, no matter what?

More to come - -

“Give praise to the LORD; he has heard my cry for help. Psalm 28:6 Good News Bible


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Christian Healing - 1 Basics

I'm writing a series of brief posts on the subject of Christian Healing. Not the ‘Gospel according to Wayfarerjon’ I hasten to add, but neither are they merely theoretical. These are a few thoughts that have come out of my struggles and searching as a pragmatic Christian needing healing - physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I am still learning.

You may have your own thoughts and I will be pleased to hear your constructive comments.

Wherever Jesus went he forgave man’s sin and healed the sick. You can hardly turn a page of the Gospels without reading this. For Jesus, forgiveness and healing went together, as part of the salvation package. It’s strange how some of us separate the two and find it much easier to have faith in God for forgiveness, but not necessarily for healing.

I believe most strongly that Jesus still heals today. The Bible tells me so, the Spirit within me witnesses to this and I have experienced to a degree, such has given me a longing to see more. We can’t add to this salvation. I suppose it’s like having money in the bank - an indestructible bank. All we have to do is make a withdrawal.

There’s more to come --

“Christ himself carried our sins in his body to the cross, so that we might die to sin and live for righteousness. It is by his wounds that you have been healed” 1Peter 2:24

“Praise the LORD, my soul, and do not forget how kind he is. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.” Psalm 103:2-3


Friday, March 13, 2009

Secret Thoughts

Look at me folks,
working hard for the Lord.
I’m so much in demand,
there’s no time to be bored

Listen to me folks,
I’ve the right turn of phrase
to speak to your need
and keep your faith ablaze

Look at my badge folks
that I so proudly wear.
I’ve an important role,
but there’s so much to bear.

Notice me folks,
I so need your support
I’m wearing myself out
and wondered what you thought.

Look at Me my son
Allow Me to be centre stage
and do a work through you.
What you do may not be seen,
will not be all the rage,
but there will be peace in your heart.

“For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” Colossians 3:3 New International Version


Monday, March 09, 2009

Daddy, My Daddy!

We watched the delightful film adaptation of E. Nesbit's novel "The Railway Children" - the original version - again the other week.

I am always touched by the scene where the elder daughter woke one morning feeling 'strange' and said she had to be alone. She went down to the railway station and a train pulled in. The platform emptied, but as the train pulled away, there in the distance emerging from a cloud of steam, was her father. This was her father she hadn't seen for several years. She exclaimed, "Daddy, my Daddy!"

Some of us come from families that were in part dysfunctional and so haven't experienced the degree of fathering that we really needed as children. Not their fault, that's just how it was. The wonderful thing as Christians, is that we can experience the Father's love. When we reach out and express our need for Him, he comes running towards us. It's what he is waiting for.

At a time when the child in me was deeply touched and moved by the closeness of Father God, I experienced this intimate impromptu moment. I have never written a song before, but these words, simple and personal, just burst out as I walked along the beach. I offer them to you, as they are, unfinished. There was a tune too, but I didn't’ write that down.

Father Oh Father
I love you I do
I want you to come and love me too
I want to feel you close to me
To walk and talk and play with me
How I love you Father I do
I love to dance and walk with you
I love to see the twinkle in your eyes.

Son, Oh son, I feel so proud
When you come and reach out your hand;
Something happens inside of me
When you want to walk and talk with me.

Daddy, O daddy, I love you too
I love to dance and skip with you,
Come and put your arms around me.

"So he got up and went to his father. "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him." Luke 15:20 New International Version


Sunday, March 08, 2009

Are We Ready

A friend of ours has died. We hadn’t known her many years, but we like her very very much. She was a really genuine person and we loved her.

My wife and I visited her in hospital a few days before she died. She was frightened and having difficulty breathing and longed to be out in the fresh air, back home amidst familiar surroundings. Our hearts went out to her as we so easily identified with her longing and the fear of letting go. We held hands and talked about Jesus and finally prayed with her, before leaving.

Jesus of course, came to set us free from the fear of death in all its aspects, so it’s best to face any fears while we can. I’m so glad of my experience some years ago, when Father led me into a situation where I had to deal with and come through the fear of loneliness and fear of death.

When I was younger I thought I was immortal, but physical death can happen at any time. It’s during this lifetime that we need to prepare in readiness. I had a conversation with an older acquaintance the other day and he spoke of wanting to die painlessly at a certain age. I replied that I will go when God decides I am ready to go and not until then. I don’t know what it will be like when I come to the final letting go, but hope that it will just be a continuation of being at peace in the presence of Jesus, to actually being with Him face to face.

Are we ready?

“Since the children, as he calls them, are people of flesh and blood, Jesus himself became like them and shared their human nature. He did this so that through his death he might destroy the Devil, who has the power over death, and in this way set free those who were slaves all their lives because of their fear of death.” Hebrews 2:14-15 New International Version


Thursday, March 05, 2009

Firsthand Christians

One of the marks of a Christian is a longing to meet with others of like mind and a hunger for God and godly teaching. Unfortunately in the early years - and not so early - I was often easily influenced. I hung on every word of anointed speakers and devoured the latest books of other’s experience as they came of the press. I even quoted from what I had read or heard as if it was my own discovery. The problem wasn’t necessarily with the teaching, but that I was living off the benefit of the struggles of faith of others. That was good, but to some extent I was a copier or ‘secondhand Christian!’

I’m sure that any pastor or minister worth his salt doesn’t want to control his flock or want them to be a clone of himself, along with all his own imperfections. Rather he would strive to encourage them in their own walk with Jesus and discover their purpose in life for themselves. But copying is prevalent. I have even known instances where members of a fellowship have dressed like their pastor.

I shudder to think of some of the church activities I have been involved in - “this is what we do” - and looking back I wonder whether God was in any of it. Because I felt a definite call of God I put myself forward for the ordained ministry in the Anglican Church. I couldn’t see at the time what else it could be! After two trying years of being processed, a bishop informed me that the answer was ‘not yet’ and that I should ‘go back to the desert.’ I found that an unhelpful remark of which I had no understanding.

I have benefited from a number of Christians who have encouraged, counselled and prayed with me over the years. These were people I respected and looked up to and were available at just the right time. Eventually however, for one reason or another those connections passed on. The supporting props were no longer there.

In my resolve to follow God in obedience I found myself in a sort of wilderness. And as the truth of the situation finally sunk in, I felt the desolation and loneliness. It was only then I had some idea of what that bishop was rather insensitively getting at. So began an earnest focusing on Father and a journey of personal discovery that would not have happened otherwise.

Now I’ve said before that I have always been a fan of Elijah. Admired his close relationship with God, boldness of speech, miracle-working and compassion. I even identified with his fear of a woman and escape to a cave. But I ignored the years he spent wandering in the wilderness being moulded by God.

Elisha followed his mentor Elijah wherever he went. He wouldn’t be put off and wanted what he had got. Elijah said he could have that, provided he kept his eyes on him as he was taken up to heaven. A difficult thing to do with all the fireworks, flashing lights and activity going on all around Elijah! Elisha then had to cross the Jordan and go it alone and find his own way.

We are all different, but I feel that if we want to be God’s man or woman, a ‘firsthand Christian,’ there may come a time when we find ourselves isolated for a purpose.

“Elisha saw this and cried out, "My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!" And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them apart.” 2Kings 2:12 New International Version

“It is better to trust in the LORD than to depend on human leaders.” Psalm 118:9 New International Version


Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Are You Saying - ?

The following statement may be acceptable to most people, even though it is challenging. This may be particularly so, if like me, you were brought up with a strong work ethic, even believing you will only get ‘somewhere’ by your own efforts.

The Kingdom of God is a magnificent thing, more valuable than anything we could ever own. If this is what we desire then we must be prepared to give up some things that are standing in the way. This is true, but I believe there is a truer interpretation of the verse quoted at the bottom of this post.

Are you saying to me that Someone

has been seeking me out all this time

and watching over me all these years
because he wants me more than anything else,

wants to lavish his love upon me for ever and ever

and has given up all that is precious, even his life?

For me?

Are you saying to me that this Someone

has a great longing for me and

thinks I am amazingly beautiful and lovable,

a rare treasure beyond compare?

What me?

With all my defects, warts, ugly thoughts and failings?

This is too hard for me to understand

I just can’t get my head round it.

But somehow, it touches something deep down within me

more than I can say.

I ---

"Also, the Kingdom of heaven is like this. A man is looking for fine pearls, and when he finds one that is unusually fine, he goes and sells everything he has, and buys that pearl.” Matthew 13:45-46 Good News Bible