A Close Call!

I was so far out of my comfort zone that things could hardly have been worse! Here I was, a rather shy nineteen year old student travelling a long distance by train in Northern Spain alone, when disaster struck!

I ought to have flown out from England with the two friends who, like me, were going to the Universidad de Zaragoza summer course. As it happened, Spanish friends had already invited me to spend the previous week with them in Barcelona, where we had had the time of our lives together. For that reason, I found myself travelling the three hundred or so miles to the summer course in the cool of Aragon’s Pyrenees on my own. There was just one vital rail connection to be sure not to miss.

Well, you’ve guessed it! When the train ground to a halt, the station master told me I had missed my connection. He didn’t accept the timetable I had been given in Barcelona, retorting, “¡En Barcelona no saben nada!” (“They don’t know a thing in Barcelona!”). To my relief, as the next day was Sunday there was an early excursion train into the mountains leaving at 5.30. It suited me perfectly.

Taking a quick look at the station master, I knew that the very last thing I should do was to spend a night on his station! My suitcase was quickly stowed safely away in a luggage locker and, clutching my overnight bag, I headed for a hostel he had recommended. With my auburn hair and freckled sunburnt face I attracted attention wherever I went in Spain. I was the object of close scrutiny as I tried to enjoy my evening meal. I could not get out of that restaurant quickly enough! A pleasant young woman showed me to my room.

For the first time ever, I found myself having to convince the person who showed me to my room that I was capable of locking the door! First she locked it herself, then unlocked it and, removing the key, handed it to me saying, “Now let me see you lock it!” I began to hear warning bells.

Exhausted by the events of the day I soon went to bed. I was hoping for a good night’s sleep in view of my very early start the following morning. I had carefully locked the door, of course, and had also taken the precaution of wedging a chair firmly underneath the door handle.

A sudden commotion directly below my open bedroom window caused me to freeze in horror. I heard excited voices and understood every word. Men were piling chairs on top of tables in an effort to break into my room that way! I gathered my wits about me just in time, and leapt out of bed, firmly closing the window despite the stifling heat.

My anxiety intensified further when two men took up residence in the room next door to mine. Through the paper thin wall I could hear them planning to break in. They were relishing the fact that I was alone. I knew, of course, that it had not been a good idea for me to travel alone like that but, in the circumstances, I had no alternative. Those men obviously thought that I was not a force to be reckoned with. What they failed to realise, however, was that — despite appearances — I was not alone.

I was still a baby Christian. In fact, it was only a few months since I had asked Jesus to come and live in my heart, trusting Him to be my Saviour. I knew for certain that Jesus loved me deeply and that He would never leave my side. Jesus was well able to help me find my way out of dire straits such as these. I prayed with all my heart that night to be kept safe from the very real danger of those men breaking down my door. Their arrival was now imminent according to what I was overhearing. By then I was fully dressed and had hidden my passport and money under the mattress. Suddenly, the men’s door opened. Within seconds, there they were: banging on my door and shouting as they rattled the door handle. Fortunately my door withstood the onslaught and, muttering and cursing in frustration, after a few minutes they gave up and went back to their own room.

Was my terrifying ordeal over yet? Apparently not! The next words that I overheard caused me immense consternation. The men were talking about making a second attempt to break down my door at 2.00 a.m. Naturally I thought that this time they would surely bring with them something with which to break the lock… and then I would be totally at their mercy. It was at this point that I was strongly tempted to dwell on my circumstances rather than looking to the Lord for help. All sorts of thoughts raced through my mind in quick succession. To be honest, my mind was in turmoil. However, I pulled myself together as I remembered the promise of Jesus to be with us all the time.

I kept a close eye on my watch. Sure enough, as the hands showed that two o’clock had arrived, the men opened their door yet again and made a beeline for mine. This time I really was scared out of my wits. I felt utterly helpless. I did not know what in the world to do. I was simply panic stricken. I could barely think straight. Yet if ever clear thinking was called for it was now — right now! With my heart in my mouth, and summoning up every ounce of faith I could muster, I committed myself into the hands of the Lord. He has never let me down, even when my faith was wavering. The men were banging repeatedly on my door, shaking it furiously and rattling the handle as they cursed. Their every effort proved to be in vain and they were eventually obliged to give up — and this time it was for good. Jesus was THERE for me, of course!

Needless to say, I didn’t sleep a wink all night. Three times those men had attempted to break into my room and I was emotionally drained. In view of my very early Sunday morning train — the only one of the day — I continued to keep an eye on the time. I retrieved my passport and money from the hiding place under the mattress, and quietly opened the door to make for the bar and a much-needed coffee before heading off to the station. To my disgust, the men had heard my movements and had the audacity to lie in wait for me, positioning themselves one on either side of my door. At the top of their voices they shouted “¡Criatura!” (“You baby!”) as, deliberately ignoring them, I passed quickly between them and reached the comparative safety of the bar. There I enjoyed a strong coffee and settled my account.

Dawn was breaking as I left that awful hostel, shaking the dust from off my feet. The headlights of an occasional vehicle lit up the way ahead from time to time as I hurried to the station. Under no circumstances must I miss that one and only train! I was uncomfortably aware of the fact that I was still potentially in danger as I walked alone down that country road at such an hour. Railways came late to Spain and many stations were built a distance from the towns. During the working day a frequent nation-wide *RENFE bus service transported the passengers between stations and towns. As I walked briskly in the light of the breaking dawn, the air was filled with the shrill sound of crickets. It was surreal.

* Red Nacional de Ferrocarriles Españoles

The Sunday excursion train arrived at the station on time, full of happy normal people enjoying their one free day. I found myself able to relax at long last and began chatting to those sitting near me. As soon as I reached Jaca, where the University of Saragossa Summer School was being held in the pleasant cool of the Pyrenees, I had a long soak in a warm bath. That did me a power of good because, to add insult to injury, I had acquired no fewer than nineteen mosquito bites in that frightful place on that fateful night!

Out of the frying pan into the fire?

What an experience the Summer School proved to be! Our Spanish had improved by leaps and bounds. We had great fun together and learned some simply hilarious folk songs. We went on a number of fascinating full-day excursions and learned some very interesting Spanish history. Those weeks went by only too quickly and soon my two friends and I were travelling by train to Barcelona where we had to spend a night before catching our return flight. We booked into economically priced accommodation for one night and, as we were unable to get a room for three, I found myself alone, while the other two shared.

When the lady of the house showed me my room, to my horror I noticed straightaway that not only did the door have no lock, but it wouldn’t even shut — it was going to be permanently ajar! My heart sank… but there was nowhere else. This was even worse than my previous experience because at least the door there had a lock! I went to bed, pushing a chair up against my door to prevent the bright light from the hallway keeping me awake. After a while, the front doorbell rang. To my unspeakable horror, I heard a man asking the lady of the house who was staying there! She unwisely told him that there were three English señoritas, two together in one room and the third one right there, near the front door. What she said next sent shudders down my spine: “¡Que no le pase nada!” (“Don’t let anything happen to her!”). I wondered for the second time that summer what sort of place I had landed in!

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Note from So Greatly Loved

This is exactly what happened to me in the summer of 1962, after my first year at Leeds. In those days, students of Modern Languages could choose whether to spend one term or four terms abroad from Easter of their second year. I badly wanted to spend a whole year in Spain, after a term in France. I asked my parents whether they would be happy for me to choose the longer option; I would get work in Spain but would still need some financial help from them. To be fair to them, I told my parents the full story that you have just read. To my enormous relief, they said I was well able to look after myself, and I could feel free to go abroad for four terms with their blessing.

My Testimony is that without the faithfulness of our Lord Jesus, it could all so easily have ended in disaster, and even have brought the completion of my studies and my career prospects to an abrupt end. I am so grateful to Him.

Get Off to a Good Start

I can’t think of anything more wonderful to look forward to than waking up in the morning and, before even getting out of bed, searching for His presence and greeting Him — knowing that whether I see or hear Him or not, HE IS THERE, waiting for me, with eager anticipation, to wake up and begin my day with Him again.

He is just SO in love with each and every one of us! Let’s all determine to truly embrace His words here and greet Him each morning with the same Joy He has for us!

Jesus began, “My daughter, My Bride. I long for you to recognize My presence beside you every day. I long to raise you up when you feel bowed down by life’s challenges. Yet when you awake, you do not immediately recognize My presence beside you. Dear one, that is when I am the closest to you. The enemy wants you to focus on your coffee and vitamins for help so that he can, in the meantime, insert his evil thoughts into your mind.

“May I say, by the time you finish those things, you have already been infected with negativity. That is why he stresses those physical helps to awaken you. In the meantime, your mind is like a wet sponge, taking in all the poison he has prepared for you. ‘I don’t feel well. I am so tired. I can’t think straight. I’m not up to this! I don’t want to fail You, Jesus, but I’m hopeless, I’m depressed…’

“Does that sound familiar? These are words programmed into your consciousness first thing in the morning. That is why, when you put on the Helmet of Salvation, you short-circuit a ruinous day that he had planned for you. A day where you just drag around from one thing to the next, feeling numbed by the word curses he has applied to handicap you.

“It is time for all of you, My people, to put an end to this insidious tactic the devils have used on you to keep you from My higher calling in your life. If your attitude is that you can barely make it through the day, you will not grow into the fullness of who I have called you to be. This is why I have asked you to put on the full armor, before you do anything else. These are times where the proliferation of evil is so great, you cannot afford to be slack in protecting yourselves.”

Jesus shares something very dear to His heart

“Now I wish to impart to you another secret, so very dear to My heart. You have taken on the world with Me, My Bride. Shall I leave you weak and helpless? No, My Loved Ones. I am at your right hand, holding you up as you grasp to take hold of your footing each day. I do not leave you on your own. Many of you, like Clare, are pushing physical exhaustion every day — and I have told you to come to Me in the Blessed Sacrament. Ask for the strength you need as you receive Me, and I will equip you.

“But even more have I extended to you. Indeed, I live inside of you, but I manifest also on the outside. As you arise in the morning, I put My arm around you and help you to your feet. I stand beside you always, but you do not recognize that I am there. As a result, you do not lean on Me, dear ones.

“Yes, lean on Me. And even more, count on Me to keep you up and moving, to keep your mind clear. To be present as you pray. To even help you with your prayers if you reach out to Me and ask. ‘Jesus, help me pray. Please, help me worship. Help me be faithful to You and what is appropriate for me in these moments.’ In this way, you will fulfill My will and have victory over that cloud of oppression that so often assails you — even in your body — enveloping your mind.

“Delight in My presence in the morning! Speak to Me. Tell Me how much I mean to you and how you cannot live without Me. In this way, we will be blessed together to handle the day. Now, that’s what I call a good start!”

Jesus, Dress Me in the Armor of God

THE HELMET OF SALVATION: Place tightly the earflaps, guarding my ears from the enemy’s lies and whisperings. Set the Guard of Love over my mouth, that I speak with Your words, Your inflections of voice. Lower the Filter of Mercy and Compassion over my eyes, that I may see the world through Your shed Blood. Make impenetrable the helmet’s crown — the Dome of Protection — over my mind, sealing out the projections, suggestions and dredged-up memories of the evil ones. Let Your mind be within me: Let me think with, consider with and act on Your thoughts, not my own, until You make them one and the same.

I DECLARE: I am Yours and You are mine: we are One. I pledge to strive with all my heart, mind and will to let no sin or demon ever separate me from You, stand between us, or cause my heart or mind to wander, even a step, from Your side.

THE BREASTPLATE: Gather up all that is Yours, now cleansed – my heart, my spirit, my soul, my mind, my will, my garden – and protect it within Your Breastplate of Righteousness. May the enemy’s weapons bounce off, and may their excrement slide off, nothing staying, nothing sticking. Grant me the Grace NOT to form chinks, through my sin, in this Armor that protects where You dwell within me, thereby allowing the demons access.

THE BELT: Wrap the Belt of Truth firmly around me, sealing and closing up access to the enemy through finely crafted lies and deceits, into the place where You dwell, as a thief would enter a Home. Reveal to me Truth in all occasions, and help me never to bend, ignore or deny it. Let me always seek the Truth and speak the Truth.

THE SANDALS: May my feet be shod with the Gospel of Peace. Let my feet walk upon the Waters of Peace with each step, eyes firmly fixed on You – and may it flow out from each step in ever-widening circles, touching the hearts, minds and attitudes of those that surround me, and I interact with throughout the day. Secure within me the Peace that Passes All Understanding.

THE SWORD AND SHIELD: I take now Holy Spirit’s Sword in my hand. I take from Your hand the Shield of Faith. Teach me to use these with Your Wisdom, Your Power, Your Authority — and to never shy away from a battle You have sent me to engage in. It is ONLY through Your Power, Strength and Authority that I am enabled to do this. Let me never, ever allow Pride a foothold here.

THE CLOAK OF HUMILITY: Cover me now, and all of Your Armor, with the Cloak of Humility. Conceal ME beneath its folds and hood; let others see NOTHING but You shining out from within.

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Note from So Greatly Loved

Carol Jennings, leader of the Heart Dwellers prayer warrior team to which I belong, wrote ‘Jesus, Dress me in the Armor of God’ together with the Lord. I pray her beautiful prayer first thing every morning. I am sharing it now with Carol’s permission.

The message ‘Get Off to a Good Start’ was given to Clare du Bois and posted on the Still Small Voice channel on Vimeo.

For more information go to heartdwellers.org

How a Root of Bitterness Changes Your Destiny and DNA

Clare was sharing with Jesus some issues that were on her heart. Jesus said to her, “The point is not to give up. This is Satan’s plan. Using the analogy of lions on the hunt, they look for the ones who are separated. Be smarter than the adversary. Cling to and forgive your friends when they wound you.

“I did not give up on Peter. It is written that I ‘did not entrust Myself to men, for I knew their hearts’ (John 2:24). As close as Peter was to Me, I knew his weakness. I knew he was not ready to die for Me. He loved Me but overestimated his strength. Peter did not know himself. He overrated his devotion, his love, even though I had appointed him chief of the apostles. In his zeal and self-confidence, he believed nothing could turn him away from Me.

“I am asking you, children: take a long look in the mirror and know yourselves. Ask My Holy Spirit to reveal your true weaknesses. What will this accomplish? Compassion and forgiveness for those who betray you. I want My Body mended, put back together. Satan has spent the last 2,000 years contriving plans that would push the members of My Body apart, further and further.

“If you are dividing My Body, you are working for Satan. You are being used by the demons if you are separating brethren. If you are taking the failings of others as a final door slammed shut, you are creating pockets of bitterness for the demons to create strongholds in your life, not the lives of those who hurt you. They will walk on, but you will stumble because of what you are holding onto. That is why forgiving is a work of charity, a work of mercy. It makes up for judgment, calumny, and lying. What sin has severed, you can restore by your charity. Just as surely as wounds heal, forgiveness cleanses those pockets of corruption and allows tender flesh to grow back.

“When you refuse to forgive, you are only demonstrating your lack of knowledge of self. This calls Me to your side. Now, I must reveal to you your weakness and how you fail others. I do it again and again and again until you finally understand and learn to forgive and go on.”

Jesus continued, “But there is a form of pride deadly to the soul. When you refuse to see how you, in the past, have failed and wounded others. When you refuse to see how you, in the present, are wounding others. When you elevate yourself above others and pridefully bury your head in the sand, refusing to see the truth about yourself, you are killing your soul and preparing the soil of your heart for a root of bitterness to grow deep and wide. Why does that matter, you ask? A root of bitterness is a toxic root. It gives off deadly acids, much like the soil beneath the cedar tree. Nothing can grow beneath a cedar, because what is released from the roots is toxic to other plants. That means the soil in the garden of your soul is being poisoned. All that can flourish in this toxic soil is anger, resentment, retaliation, jealousy and hatred. Then you must work to disguise these evils under a smile and fair words. This will eventually wear you out and open the door for disease in your body.

“Hatred, unforgiveness, retaliation and bitterness create energy waves that poison your body. These feelings can be measured electronically. They actually weaken and change your DNA, allowing cancer cells to proliferate.

“This is the environment the demons plant their seeds in. Discontent opens the door to sin, retaliation, gossip, stealing, plotting evil and cheating. Your lives become a tangled web for unclean things, and soon the fragrant garden you once had is turned into a wretched tangle of darkness, where demons defecate to fertilize roots of bitterness growing all around you — until all your good intention is snuffed out and you are controlled by self-defense, bitterness and fear.

“You have a choice to make, My children. You can either play into the enemy’s hands or resist him, crying out to Me ‘Lord, deliver me from evil!’

“I am asking you to choose. Will you let go of the past, forgive and embrace a life of forgiveness? Or will you stubbornly hold onto the failures of others? Understand, what little vestige of bitterness you entertain or bury without resolution will affect your future. You will make choices based on avoiding these past hurts and may very well cut yourself off from life. Many times the very place your destiny lies in — many times — that is the very place where you will be most attacked.

“Satan has ways of knowing when you are destined for something, and he will plan and engineer many a trap to spring on you and cause you to abandon that way, cutting you off from your destiny and forcing you to choose another path, rather than the one I had for you.

“Yes, it is up to you, very much up to you. You cannot advance in My Kingdom without tremendous effort in the area of humility, charity and forgiveness. It is simply impossible. I will not use a bitter vessel to carry My choice wines. The vessel must be clean and sweet, lest the wine I died to procure for you becomes bitter. The rewards are out of this world, but the work of dying to yourself, knowing yourself, admitting your failures and weaknesses, is not for sissies. Either you are brave and relentless in taming your carnal nature or you are weak and cowardly, and run from it. In which case, it takes over and controls you.

“You all have a choice to make. I see to it along the path of life that opportunities for self-will, self-love, and selfish ambition are put before you. I allow you to live that life until you are sick of yourselves and want to become holy, a vessel fit for the King’s table. I arrange the lessons and try you over and over again. When I see that love and humility triumph, I advance you to the next level and we begin again. When I see it fail, we go round and round and round the mountain again, or you weary of Me and wander off into the world.

“Please, make your choices wisely. I am forever at your side calling you upward. But the climb is painful! Once you make up your mind to forsake your pride and defensiveness, I lift you up into My arms and carry you all the way to the top. This is My Heart’s desire. Will you come with Me? Or will you abandon Me, like so many others have done? Do you have courage, character and relentless honesty with yourself? Or are you just getting by…

“Please, make your choice wisely. I long to carry you tenderly in My arms. I long to comfort you. Please. Make your choice wisely.”

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Note from So Greatly Loved

This message, given by Jesus to Clare du Bois and shared on Vimeo, is an enormous challenge to me. I am working on it, and pray that it may make a significant change in your life too. May God bless you as we all press on together in Him.

For further information go to heartdwellers.org

Astonishing Breakthroughs!

What Jesus is doing in my life is truly awesome. To illustrate how thrilling my recent physical breakthroughs are, I’ll try to explain how indescribably difficult — virtually impossible — certain essential everyday activities used to be for me.

Rewind to 2014…

Let’s rewind to 2014 — when my struggle began to be intense. There were certain things which we all have to do every day which were almost impossible for me because of the severe pain and limitations of my acute osteo-arthritis. Believe it or not, one of the most difficult things for me was actually getting into bed at the end of the day! My joints are badly worn down and there is no cartilage cushion to prevent them grating painfully (and sometimes noisily!) together — but something significantly changed very recently.

Since I could not get onto a bed for eight long years (2006-2014), I had to sleep in my recliner chair in our living room while my husband had the bedroom to himself. During those eight years, because I was unable to lie down flat to sleep I gradually became deformed. I am permanently shaped like a banana now!

However, God was very good to us and enabled us to get an amazing bargain after a house move: a double electric adjustable profiling bed which adjusts separately for both of us, and fits perfectly into our small bedroom. The cost of these beds is normally astronomical. Originally, the bed we needed was on offer online at half price, but the company reduced it a great deal further for us as they had only one left to our specification in their factory warehouse clearance department. God’s timing is always spot on!

I was so looking forward to sleeping in a bed again after all those years, but one thing caused me excruciating pain — actually getting into bed! Firstly, I had to sit down and throw myself backwards onto the mattress. It was rather like taking a leap of faith in reverse. My right leg made it easily onto the bed, but my left leg did not as the left hip joint is even more badly worn away than the right one. Therefore, since 2014 I have had to use a ‘leg raiser’ on my left leg. It looks like a dog collar and lead all in one piece. I had to put the large loop round my left foot and hold on tightly to the small loop at the other end of this device, raising my left leg as I threw myself backwards onto the bed, pulling very hard on the leg raiser so that, hopefully, my left leg would join my right leg and they would both land safely together on the bed.

It was such a lengthy process for me to get into bed every night. I used to pray really hard for enough faith to be able to make it! I would sit for at least five minutes (leg raiser in position) trying to drum up enough faith to get onto the bed by quoting over and over Philippians 4:13 in the Amplified Bible, “I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me. [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me…]”  I used to say that powerful Scripture out loud over and over again until I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I really was “ready for anything and equal to anything through Him” and that our Lord Jesus definitely was “infusing inner strength into me.”

Eventually, after many long weeks of struggling to get into bed night after night, one glorious evening it all changed for the better. The Lord graciously had compassion on me and I saw Jesus come running to help me! I believe it was a vision — and not my imagination. It was the first time I saw Jesus. In sheer gratitude, I said “Jesus, I trust in You!” Then, with my leg raiser already in position, I threw myself backwards onto the bed in faith, knowing — not hoping — that this time I would get into bed easily. I did!

From that evening onwards, night after night I closed my eyes and in my spirit I saw Jesus come running — really running — to help me, with His arms outstretched towards me and a big smile on His face! It was so easy with Jesus on the job! I no longer had to sit for five minutes, as I used to do, drumming up the faith I so badly needed…

As I have said, this was the first time I actually saw Jesus; and I continued to see Him like that whenever I said “Jesus, I trust in You!” while trying to get onto the bed. I’m only sharing this in order to illustrate what a wonderful measure of healing I received from Jesus in my joints at the end of June this year. Thanks to Morphine, my excruciating pain had been less for some time, nevertheless I continued having to rely heavily on my leg raiser to enable me to get into bed — until one recent Monday evening.

This is how I realised beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Lord had done something really marvellous for me: I had just put my left foot into the leg raiser as usual, and was sitting on the bed about to throw myself backwards onto the mattress. However, it had escaped my notice that my foot had somehow slipped out of the leg raiser — until it was too late and, to my horror, I was already descending backwards onto the mattress without that indispensable Disability aid round my left foot!!!  It was at precisely that point that I realised Jesus must have strengthened my left hip, because BOTH my legs went sailing HIGH in the air and landed together on the mattress, without the leg raiser. It had fallen off and was lying limply on the floor beside the bed. This was a God moment! It was AWESOME!!!

Another healing touch from Jesus

But it doesn’t stop there! When my care-giver arrived to get me up the following morning, I got out of bed straightaway and puzzled her by asking if she would watch me getting back in! She was astonished at the sudden improvement. A few minutes later she gave me a shower and hair wash. I sit on a shower stool for that, and she likes me to lean right back while she’s rinsing the shampoo out of my long hair. I really dislike that part because my neck hurts so badly. I’ve had five whiplash injuries over the years, one of which necessitated a twelve-week course of physiotherapy which culminated in traction on my neck. To my unspeakable horror, a machine was programmed to ‘pull’ my head rhythmically out of my body for a set period of time, while I was left unattended in a curtained cubicle, clutching a panic button for dear life. It was very scary indeed.

Anyway, when the time came to lean back during my hair wash, instead of gingerly bending my neck backwards slowly,  little by little, I went straight back — until I was almost touching the wall. Later, my care-giver told me that she had been alarmed at first when I suddenly leaned so far backwards because I had never been able to do that before — and I usually made a fuss!

Yet another healing touch from Jesus

For many years I’ve had great difficulty standing up for even two or three minutes at a time. The following day, I decided that the books, folders, sewing things and odds and ends beside my recliner chair in the living room needed to be reorganised as it was all in such a big muddle, and things were difficult for me to access. I found one thing after another that I hadn’t seen for quite a while, and I began happily piling up the items on the seat of my recliner chair while I stood on my feet reorganising that area. By then I couldn’t have sat down even if I’d wanted to as there were things piled up precariously all over my seat!! It was sheer joy to be able to stand, and I was enjoying myself so much that I kept on and on working. To my astonishment, I was able to stand up for OVER THREE QUARTERS OF AN HOUR! When I told my care-giver about it later during her early evening visit, she said that she had also noticed that I’m now walking with my walker more briskly too. I am undoubtedly in the middle of receiving a considerable measure of miracle healing from Jesus!

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Note from So Greatly Loved

What do you want the Lord to do for you? Are you in need of a miracle in your life? The mercy of our Heavenly Father is unfathomable. He delights in blessing every one of His children and He has no favourites. The Word of God says, “No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.” Psalm 84:11. If your heart is to please the Lord, you are one of His children who is walking uprightly. You qualify!

Think about it for a moment: could it be true of you that “Ye have not because ye ask not?” James 4:2. But it doesn’t even end there, because verse three warns us about the importance of checking our motives in praying for what we want. The confirmation that it is God’s will for us to pray for something in particular is to ask ourself whether, deep down in our spirit, we have peace. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Let the peace of God rule in your hearts…” See Colossians 3:15. The original Greek word Paul used for ‘rule’ literally means ‘to act as an umpire.’ In other words, since a whistle is blown when a foul has been committed, if the umpire does not blow his whistle, we are not in the wrong, and so the Holy Spirit is clearly saying, “Go ahead!”

Pray, and believe with all your heart, for your much-needed miracle… and don’t forget to thank Him for the answer. See Philippians 4:6-7, where Paul mentioned the importance of thanking God for the answer in advance, and also said that the peace of God would keep our hearts.

When we were missionaries in India, it was a great joy to my husband and me to teach in the village churches on real Bible Faith. As I was writing this conclusion, the Lord told me to share in future posts the super-effective and life-transforming teaching on real Bible Faith that impacted those lovely Indian Christians so powerfully.

Watch this space!

Like A Little Child

Jesus has taught me that the more childlike and simple I am in my faith, the more easily I will receive from Him those things for which I am praying.

Jesus said some interesting things about the simplicity of little children. Just think about it for a moment… To a little child, if Daddy has promised something that he or she is longing for, they just know that Daddy will keep his word. They are very likely to tell anyone who will listen, “Daddy’s going to give me…” or Daddy’s going to take me to…” Little children don’t doubt for a moment that Daddy will keep his word.

To a little one it’s a done deal because Daddy always keeps his word. Always!! It is not surprising, therefore, that Jesus said, “Whoever humbles himself like a little child is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven.” (Matthew 18:4). Little children have total faith in Daddy.

In many places in the gospels, Jesus taught the absolute necessity of believing that we will receive what we are praying for. The emphasis is mine in the Scriptures below:

“And all things, whatsoever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.” Matthew 21:22

“All things are possible to him that believes.” Mark 9:13

“Verily, I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” Matthew 17:20

How I began to hear Jesus

During my student days in London in the mid-1960s, when I had known Jesus for barely five years, a friend whom I greatly respected because she was at Bible College and knew so very much more than I did, told me that it was possible to hear Jesus speaking in our prayer times. I hadn’t heard about that before and decided to give it a go. In my next quiet time I said “Jesus, *Jean has told me says it’s possible for me to hear You speaking. I would really like to hear You speaking to me, please.” That is all I said — then I simply expected Jesus to start speaking to me. He did so straightaway, and has been speaking to me ever since that day.

[the *name has been changed]

I do not mean that I heard an audible voice! No, certainly not! But what began for me, like for scores of my Christian friends, is that Jesus started to speak clearly to me in my spirit, deep down in my innermost being — the real me. It was something like when you suddenly have a thought such as, “Oh, I must phone Mum today” — an unmistakably clear impression. We do not hear voices! I do hope I’m making that clear!

We must listen if we want to hear Jesus

A thrilling, much deeper, walk with Jesus now began for me. He spoke loving words of encouragement day after day and made the Bible come alive. He also spoke much-needed words of correction from time to time. One day Jesus said, “Every single thing I do in your life is for your highest good” Everything that Jesus says or does is always done in love, because He IS love. In my journals, I have been keeping a record of all these precious words of Jesus so that I may be able to turn to them again and again.

For the Bible record that Jesus does indeed speak to to those who belong to Him, turn to the gospel of John, chapter 10, where Jesus refers to Himself as a Good Shepherd who knows His sheep (verse 14). He goes on to say in John 10:27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”

The Highlight of My Day

The most precious part of every day is when I take Holy Communion. A lovely time of worship helps me to prepare. One day during my Lord’s Supper Jesus said to me, “We are One, My beloved: I in you, and you in Me; we are inseparably One. How I cherish times of Communion with My beloved children!”

For two or three years I have been taking Holy Communion every day on my own at home. I am disabled and housebound, and haven’t been able to go to church for many years. It is extremely rare for me to have any visitors, apart from my twice-daily care-givers’ visits, and the occasional home visit from a doctor or nurse. Holy Communion is a particularly powerful source of strength to me, drawing me much closer to Jesus and helping me to grow in the Lord. I endeavour to spend as long as I possibly can in worship before my Communion.

Our worship is very important indeed to the Lord. Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well that our Heavenly Father is always seeking true worshippers: those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:23)

It is an enormous blessing if we can manage to spend prolonged periods of time in worship during the day, pouring out the love of our hearts to the Lord as we listen to anointed music. The international Prayer Warrior team to which I’m privileged to belong does this every day. We make our own playlist of worship songs that speak deeply to us and set it on Shuffle, relying on the Holy Spirit to play the songs of His choice for us. It is awesome to see Him working so meaningfully in this way.

Watch this space because there’s still . . .

Did God Really Do That?!

A few months ago, I was browsing through one of The Leprosy Mission’s reasonably priced catalogues hoping to find a birthday present for my sister. I easily chose something for her that she would love.

In their catalogues, in addition to beautiful craft items and outstanding greeting cards, The Leprosy Mission also suggests ways in which customers may like to help a leprosy-affected person by donating something they desperately need. There are items such as a robust pair of sandals designed to enable feet badly damaged by leprosy to be supported and protected (costing only £10 GBP), or goats they can breed and sell the milk in order to make a living. There is, in fact, a wide range of much-needed gifts to help people who are victims of this cruel disease. 

Leprosy-affected people are outcasts from society and are barely managing to survive. One suggested donation to help them grabbed my attention, but there was no way I could afford it. It was a donkey.

The donkey would provide transport and also enable a leprosy-affected family to farm their tiny plot of land. I was fighting back the tears as I read about how these families suffer. It was a struggle for me, but the Lord won. As I made the phone call to order my sister’s birthday present, I heard myself paying to donate a donkey too!

Then this happened…

Two or three days after I had placed my order, our son, who helps his elderly disabled parents as much as he can, was busy emptying the tumble dryer in the garage for us and bringing items into the house in a laundry basket for me to sort. Suddenly, to our amazement, a couple of crisp new £5 notes fell out of the washing. Wow! Wherever did they come from?!

Another laundry basket came into the house. More £5 notes fell out of the washing – from T-shirts and a fitted sheet – and then more, and still more… until we had £50 in total – all in crisp new fivers!

It was a mystery to us all

No one, apart from our son, had been into the garage to attend to the washing. The awesome thing is that it’s rare for us to have even one fiver in the house. We don’t get fivers at ATM machines, or at Cashback in our large grocery stores. There were no garments with pockets in any of that washing, so nobody could have left money in a pocket – and in any case, as I’ve said, not one of us had a fiver.

Four people witnessed this surreal incident taking place: my husband, our son, our lovely Polish care-giver, and me. We could hardly believe our eyes and thought we were dreaming. Our care-giver, with a twinkle in her eye, asked if she could borrow our tumbler!

How much was my donation to The Leprosy Mission for a donkey to help a struggling leprosy-affected family? It was exactly £50!!!

Another awesome thing…

I love to give, and had asked the Lord to somehow increase my income to enable me to give more to His work. Another astonishing thing is happening to me now. Rather than bank online, I have to use telephone banking because of my Dyscalculia problem. I am astonished sometimes when the adviser reads my balance and recent transactions over the phone; there is often more money in my modest account than there ‘should’ be. We simply cannot out give God! It’s a wonderful place to be – out on a limb with Jesus – looking only unto Him.

By the way, if it’s on my heart to give to the Lord, I always remind myself that it was not the enemy who gave me that idea!

God is faithful

God has promised that He will supply all our needs, and also that He will not fail us. He wants us to ask Him for what we need, and He even explains why we sometimes fail to receive from Him. James gives two reasons for this:

How God views our giving

In the Bible we read that while Jesus was teaching in the Temple, He saw people throwing money into the Temple treasury. “Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And He called unto Him His disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: for all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.” Mark 12:41-44

I, personally, find the above Scripture very encouraging because it makes clear that God views our giving to His work in terms of what we keep back for ourselves, rather than the actual amount we give.

Jesus also said:

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Note from So Greatly Loved

The Leprosy Mission states that it is “a Christian international development charity, transforming and empowering the lives of people affected by leprosy. As well as providing opportunities for early diagnosis and treatment, we offer gifts of healthcare, rehabilitation, education, vocational training, housing, sanitation and a fresh water supply.
That’s why our Gifts for Life are specifically chosen to meet all a person’s needs. They go beyond medical care to restore dignity, hope and independence to lives affected by this cruel disease.”

What really happened to our washing?

There is no way, naturally speaking, that even a single £5 note could have found its way into our washing… but £50 in fivers?! Well, there is absolutely no way that could have happened – unless by a miracle. The only conclusion I can arrive at, therefore, is that our Heavenly Father blessed me for giving what was beyond my means, in order to assure me that He is faithful… that He is no man’s debtor… and that we can never out give Him. But to me the most precious thought of all, is that whatever we do to help another who is in need, we are doing for Jesus.

High Time For A Reality Check!

Thank You, precious Lord Jesus, for explaining to us the laws of Heaven and Holiness. Mercy Lord, Mercy.

“My dear ones,” Clare continued, “all the prayers in the world will do little for the man or woman who belittles and emotionally injures their spouse. Do you suppose you can go to church, tithe, go to men’s Breakfasts or Women’s Aglow meetings, come home — and despise your spouse? Do you really think that will make up for your meanness of heart? Let me tell you plainly, it will not. I have not discussed this topic yet, but it is time: People are of the impression that when they die they go to Heaven or Hell. That is not the case — not according to Jesus or the teaching of the Apostles, the Early Church, or even the Jewish people. They most frequently go to a place of purification that Scripture describes as ‘Prison.’

1 Peter 3:19 After being made alive, Jesus went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits.”

1 Peter 4:6 “For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.” [emphasis mine]

“The Catholic Church gives the name ‘Purgatory’ to the final purification of all who die in God’s grace and friendship but are still imperfectly purified. Judaism also believes in the possibility of after-death purification and may even use the word ‘purgatory’ to present its understanding of the meaning of the similar rabbinical concept of Gehenna.

Matthew 5:25-26 “Reconcile quickly with your adversary, while you are still on the way to court. Otherwise he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.”

There needs to be some clarification about the doctrine of Purgatory and the Roman Catholic Church, which is NOT the same Church that we are following. We’re following the Early Church: pre-Rome — before Rome and all the changes that came. We will call ‘purgatory’ by the Bible’s name: ‘Purification.’ This is not a doctrine of the Catholics; it is the doctrine of the Early Church from Peter to Tertullian. But because of the perversion of the doctrine, where people were told their loved ones wouldn’t go to Heaven unless they paid for a Mass, or paid their tithes, etc, it became a lever to force more dollars out of the poor and the widows. This was one of the most despicable things that was done, and caused Martin Luther to leave the Church, but that does not excuse Christianity from not following the teachings of the Apostles.

I know you will say, “Purification gets done on our way to Heaven, doesn’t it? You know, like a great spiritual shower, washing away the spots, wrinkles and blemishes?” Well, apparently not — or Jesus wouldn’t have said in Matthew 5:26 “Truly, I say to you, you will never get out [of prison] until you have paid the last penny.” The ‘penny’ represents the most minor sins that one commits.

What is Purification?

“My dear ones,” Clare continued, “let me share with you what I believe this purification truly is. Have you ever done something really, really wrong that you didn’t acknowledge as wrong before you did it, but tried to explain it away? Have you ever gossiped and hurt someone’s reputation, causing them to lose their job, or trouble in a marriage? Or perhaps you were in an accident where a child or adult was killed, and the accident was your fault. When you found out that you were in the wrong, and were responsible for the suffering of innocent people, how did you feel?

“I have done things in my past that I was very ashamed of. And when the Lord confronted me with what I had done and who I had hurt, it was like molten metal being poured over my body. My face turned red, my knees started to shake, and I had to sit down.

“Possibly you got some bad news that caused that reaction in you. I believe that feeling is the fire of purification in realising what I had done. It was shock, and I couldn’t put my mind around it. All I could do was be dumb until God gave me the grace to acknowledge and face it.

“Now for us on this Earth, we inhabit a body which acts as a buffer or insulation from the spiritual world, which is very intense energy. But when we leave the body behind, there is no longer any buffer. We are without food, water, distractions, bodily comforts, friends to call, excuses to make. We are stripped down to the naked soul, which is now under the fire of conviction — with no Ben and Jerry’s to eat, no wine to drink, with no one nearby to blame. We are like raw skin before the Lord. Every slight little breeze stings and burns when the top layer of skin has been removed.

At this point I thought, “You know, Lord, maybe You should explain this?” Jesus answered me and said, “No, you are doing quite well. And this should be explained from a human point of view to understand what it is that burns. So, please proceed.”

Clare continued, “Okay. For example, when I was in the world and sinful, I thought I had a health problem, because my feminine cycle had stopped. I just shoved it under the rug and kept on getting photography assignments. And right in the middle of a National Geographic assignment, I noticed some body changes. My belly was getting bigger and my pants wouldn’t zip. And I thought, ‘I must be sick.’ Well… I went to the doctor, and after testing me he said, “You’re pregnant.” I nearly fainted. I had been in denial. I have never ever felt anything so earth shaking. Conviction flowed through me like fire. I was paralysed and didn’t know where to turn or what to do. I was in shock.

“Purgatory — Purification — is very real: a very real place. And if I died today I think I would go there. You see, my attitudes are at times sinful and not holy. This leaves a filthy stain on my Bridal Garment and ways in which I have damaged others and not repented for. Christ atoned for our sins on the Cross, but He did not repair the damages we incurred. We still have reparation to do. And if repentance is only skin deep, we are not under the conviction we need to be to dissolve those ugly stains off our wedding gowns.”

“So, if we mentally, physically, or emotionally injure others, there will come a time when we have to repair the damages and change the state of our heart that caused us to think that way and do those things. If it doesn’t happen before death, the Lord has mercifully made a provision which has been referred to as the ‘Prison’— and has come to mean a place of purification. It is a place of suffering where those who die in the state of grace, but have not yet changed their toxic attitudes, can work with grace to arrive at purity of heart and perfect brotherly love.

“Let’s say that a Christian man gets into an argument with his wife and says cruel things to her, then he walks out the door and is hit by a car and dies. Let’s say that man is a good Christian — with a temper he has never mastered. He is not a criminal; he doesn’t beat his wife physically. He feeds the poor and takes care of his children, but indulges in a bad temper and wounds her with his words. When he dies, he should go to Heaven. But there is only one problem: a toxic attitude like his cannot enter Heaven, which is a place of eternal joy. At that point, he sees himself as he is. Without the distractions of a physical body, clothing, and such. He sees the state of his soul and knows he cannot enter Heaven that way. And it hits him like a Mac truck. But instead of being run over, it ignites his heart with true contrition that burns like an atomic fire in his soul. He sees his sinfulness and what it has done to others — and the flames of remorse consume him.

“Have you ever had that happen to you? An unpleasant reality you were avoiding looking at, or were blind to, all of a sudden becomes real — like getting a positive result on a pregnancy test when you’re 16 and your whole world just collapses in waves of fear all around you. Purgatory is a state of such grief over the habits of sin in your life that you refused to give up, that you are consumed in the spiritual fires of purification without anyone to comfort you, anyone to talk to, any food to eat or distract you, any water to drink. It is a place of total spiritual torment. Yet, if you were to ask the person if they wanted to get out, they would answer, “Not until I can go to Heaven!” Heaven looms before them. Jesus visits them. The Blessed Mother visits them. And they do get occasional consolations and strengthening graces.

“Jesus has made a provision — whether this place is a physical place (which I tend to believe) or not. The man is shocked by the state of his soul and is on fire in his spiritual body, with pain and remorse for this terrible habit. So, Jesus takes him aside into a place where other souls are undergoing purification, and grace works with him until he totally repents and is free from this attitude. Then he is cleansed and ready to enter Heaven.

“For those who are abusive to your spouse, your children, or even your elderly parents — this is a major wake up call. Please, change your ways while you are still on this Earth, dear ones. You don’t want to go to Purgatory for even five minutes.”

I was reminded of these Scriptures:

Matthew 5:17-20 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to abolish them, but to fulfill them. For I tell you truly, until heaven and earth pass away, not a single jot, not a stroke of a pen, will disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. So then, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do likewise will be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whoever practices and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

2 Corinthians 7:1 “Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.”

Hebrews 12:23 “To the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in Heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work.”

1 Corinthians 3:11-15 “For no one can lay a foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw, his workmanship will be evident, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will prove the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive a reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss. He himself will be saved, but only as if through the flames.”

“Well, I believe that this is what purification by fire is all about. Burning conviction with no way to escape. Your life rolls out before you and you feel like a complete fool. You’re stunned, because you are seeing the consequences of your sins for the first time in God’s mirror.”

1 Corinthians 15:29 “Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them?”

1 Peter 3:18-22 “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits—to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water. And this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into Heaven and is at God’s right hand — with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.” So, here Peter talks about the Lord making proclamation to the imprisoned spirits.

Clare asked Jesus, Lord, have you something to add?

Jesus replied, “My heart for you, My People, is that in the hour of your death, you fly Heavenward. Unimpeded — straight into My waiting arms. That you eat the fruits and herbs of the trees along the River of Life and are fully healed and restored from the damage done to you on Earth.

“I want every one of you to see Me face to face. But this cannot happen clearly and completely until the layers of film from sin are washed clean.

“Each day, I come to you with the things that must be changed in your nature, by an act of your will. I shower you with love and affirm you. So that strengthened, you can avoid occasions of sin. I love you tenderly, so that you can in turn change your anger and rancor to love for others and avoid the fires of Purgatory.

“But if you will not come to Me each day and spend the time necessary for these healings to take place, you will walk out the door and continue to offend one another — because you are lacking in compassion and love. You are lacking, because you are not putting the right priority on being with Me, One on one.

“When that Day comes, the day of your departure from Earth, stripped of all earthly distractions and sensations — you will stand before My mirror and see every imperfection and habitual pattern of sin. You will feel your lack of love and your anger keenly and recognize yourself as being full of the toxic poison of rancor, greed, lust, and so many other sins that you have allowed to take root and live in you.

“You have known those things were there, but you didn’t realize that a time would come when YOU, not I, would have to work through them to pass through the gates of Heaven.

“Oh, what a day that will be!! Glorious for those of you who wept over your shortcomings and sins. Because though you may have been weak and fallen before coming to Heaven, if you were resolute and daily conquering yourself, mercy will be extended to you. It was your resoluteness, backed by action, that gained the pardon.

“But for others who have been avoiding that Day, it will be terrible. You will shake before My mirror and want to run and hide, so filthy will you appear to yourself and all in Heaven. Please, please, make it the number one priority to spend deep prayer time with Me and repent for your indiscretions. Repent and repair the damage you’ve done to other souls.

“Come to Me asking for the grace of true contrition and Mercy. I, on My part, will do what I can to bring you along to the state where you can finally be with Me and the Saints in Heaven.

“But My children, you must pass through the fires of remorse for your habitual sins you have refused to conquer. These cannot come with you into Heaven; they must be completely overcome.

“I know that you who are from a Protestant background are going to kick at this teaching and this reality. But should I refrain from giving it to you because others lied to you and did not form your conscience properly? Or should I give you the opportunity to change while there is yet time for you? I love you dearly. I cannot withhold the truth from you, lest you incur greater debts in your lives” [emphasis mine]

“When I told the parable of the guest at the wedding feast, I mentioned that one was improperly clad. That one had not put forth any effort to correct his faults and repair the damage he did to others — that is why he was excluded. And so, you can ascertain from this that you will not be taken in the Rapture — unless you have either conquered your faults, or are sincerely committed to conquering them every day. In which case, you will be sure to receive Mercy and come with Me.”

“I love you, Beloved Brides. I love you so tenderly as I see you struggle each day to overcome temptations and sins. You bring great joy to all of Heaven with your commitment to be Mine and Mine alone. Oh, how I cherish you!”

Clare spoke again:

Jesus is coming for a holy Church that is entirely without spot, wrinkle, or blemish

A spot comes when you are involved in something unclean, and it splashes on you. Like gossip. It splatters all over your wedding gown.

A wrinkle is what you develop from habitual patterns of sin that you refuse to deal with.

A blemish is an uncleanness from inside of you that manifests as a stain from beneath your gown. It can also be a rip or a tear from being careless.

“In any case, these are things that you know you should deal with, but you cover them with denial until they hit you upside the head, and you can no longer avoid or deny them. And I believe that if you have these patterns of sin and have not addressed them, that you will need to be purified before you can enter Heaven.

“But I also believe that if you are not in denial, and you have been working on them with all your strength, I believe the Lord in His mercy may wipe them away. That is, however, if you have exercised mercy towards others. “Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.” Matthew 5:7

“So I relate to the place of purification by fire as an inner state of searing conviction that causes me to review my actions and repent. God in His Mercy has established, I believe, a place where we can go through this purifying fire and come out ready to enter Heaven.

“Think about it for a moment. Let’s say I was jealous of someone and spread malicious lies about them to ruin their reputation. I knew it was wrong, but I was driven to do it anyway by my bitterness. I tried and tried to smear them so they would never have a good reputation again. And this was a lifelong habit I kept hidden from others, but still did to every person that offended me or made me jealous.

“Then let’s suppose I got into a car wreck, was thrown 50 feet in the air and died on impact. I had accepted the Lord as my Saviour, gone to church, prayed, tithed and fed the poor. And I really did love Jesus. But I was self-righteous in my thinking, and thought of the persons that offended me, that they should be brought down. So, I continued in this evil habit, ruining the lives of many people along the way. (Now, I didn’t do that. I’m just giving you an example.)

“So what do you think? Should Jesus take such a person to Heaven where they will no doubt be jealous of everyone? Should He send them to Hell? Or should He take them to a place of purification where they can truly learn that what they were doing was wrong. And at the same time, truly want to stop? You see, Purgatory, or the place of Purification, is God’s great Mercy at work.

Some encouraging news

“The souls undergoing Purification can pray for us! They have already made the same mistakes we are making, and they can relate to our weakness. In their situation, they have nowhere to go; only time to repent and cry. So, the Lord gives them an opportunity to be charitable to other souls that are on Earth and do not know how bad off they are in God’s eyes. And we in turn pray for them to be released quickly.”

Jesus Longs For Every One Of His Brides To Be With Him At The Wedding Feast

Jesus said to Clare, “My Dove, you have done very well. Yet no one can plumb the depths of My Mercy and predict who will be detained in the purifying fires, and who will not. This is one reason why My Father is taking so long to give the word for the Rapture to begin.

“I do not want to see any of My Brides excluded from the wedding feast because they were detained for purification. Yes, there will be some who will. But the ones who were willing to suffer and work hard on their faults, they will come with Me to the Wedding banquet.

“This is another reason why I told the parable of the wedding feast and the man improperly dressed. His sin had worn his clothing threadbare, filthy, and unfit for a celebration. He had a long habit of not repenting, and therefore he was unfit for the Feast. He was saved, though, by his confession of Me as his Savior.

“But the others came to Me each day and wept over their sins, begging Me to deliver them. And doing many acts of reparation — not only for their sins, but for the sins of others.

“You ask, what is reparation? It is the soul who sees the evil that is done in the world, and is struck to the core by insults against Me, abortions, dishonest governments, and all manner of unrighteousness. And there are those who are so united with Me — when I grieve, they grieve. And in this way, they are repairing the damage of those who sinned against Me. And that brings Me comfort.

“There is no pat answer as to whether or not you will need purifying. But if you love Me with all your heart, your mind, and your strength, and love your brother as yourself, you have very little to worry about. Rather, you will constantly be aware of temptations, faults, and lapses — and you will repent immediately.

“Remember, My Heart is a heart of Mercy. And I see every tear drop you cry over others and cry over your sins. And though you are weak, I am full of Mercy for you, because of the way you have been merciful to others.

“Purify yourselves, My Brides, especially in this hour, from sloth, which hurts the entire Body and deprives them of the nourishment you could have given if only you had tried a little harder.”

Clare added, That was the end of Jesus’ message. And I feel very convicted about it. In conclusion, I want to say that we are returning to the Early Church, the way it was before Rome. The truths the Lord has given us are the living fulfilment of His many allegories and teachings that were strictly defended and adhered to by the famous Christian leaders such as Saints Cyprian, Ambrose, Jerome, Pope St. Gregory, Tertullian, St. Anthony, other early church apostles and martyrs that formed the bedrock foundation of His Church — Living Stones.”

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Note from So Greatly Loved

I am sure that, like me, many will now be taking on board the teaching Clare gives us here from the Lord, and are praying for the grace of ongoing deep contrition for our sins. I, personally, have benefited considerably from this teaching. How true it is that “Nothing is more valuable than the time you have today.” What an awesome message this is and one that we should all take extremely seriously without delay, for our own sake.

My own background and how this teaching changed my life

I was raised Methodist, then attended an evangelical Anglican Church throughout my University years; later I became Pentecostal. This message left me reeling in shock! Some seriously hard, life-changing decisions have been made since I heard this teaching! I am now frequently praying in tears for the grace of ongoing, searing contrition over my sins. Tears are a gift from God that He will readily give to us if we ask Him. This message has indeed been a major wake-up call for me. I am now also praying for souls in ‘Prison’ something I would never have known was the right thing to do until very recently.

It has struck me what a terrible shock my devout, staunch Methodist parents would have had if they found themselves undergoing the fires of purification when they died we knew nothing at all about it then. How privileged we are nowadays to be Heart Dwellers, taught by Jesus through His chosen vessel, Clare du Bois, by the Grace of God.

Note: Ezekiel and Clare du Bois are not Catholic but, during the years when the Lord was preparing them for the ministry, He led them to spend a period of years in various very different denominations. They found Jesus in every one of the churches. Clare’s testimony is extremely interesting; you can access it on the website at heartdwellers.org

Final Exams For The Rapture Are In Progress

“This is an interesting time right now,” Clare said, “and I want to thank the Lord for giving us an advance warning that the time for Final Exams has come. Jesus is even grading the papers to see who will qualify for the Rapture. I pray this message will not fall upon deaf ears, but that His Reluctant Bride will rally to His side and pass her finals. Amen.”

Jesus replied, “The Bride is not being attentive. She’s not paying attention, and it’s a dangerous time for her. Many are preoccupied with the world, Clare. Much in the same way you are when you devote time to a project. It is hard to get your attention back on Me. But you have been faithful, and I am not faulting you.

“Once the Rapture happens, there will no longer be ‘church as usual’. It will be gone. Those who were on fire will be taken Home, leaving My uncommitted children to cope and ask some very hard questions, ‘Why? Why wasn’t I taken??’ Well, I am here to tell you why.

Jesus explains why some will be left behind

“When was the last time you gave time and money to feed the poor families and people on the streets?

When was the last time you spent all night in prayer? When was the last time you spent two hours in prayer for several days a week? When is the last time you looked at your conscience and found gossip and slander that you had spread? When was the last time you recognised selfishness in yourself? Are you even looking for these things? When was the last time you defended an innocent victim of slander? When was the last time you had scorn and contempt for someone you considered below you? When was the last time you went out of your way because someone needed attention and you were busy with a project?

Jesus continued, “When was the last time you took a careful look at your soul with Holy Spirit, and repented for so many things you should have done but didn’t do. And so many things you did that you shouldn’t have done? All your questions about ‘Why I was left behind?’ will be answered for you in a very brief amount of time if you seriously sit down and take a real look at the state of your soul…

“Are you doing things to be noticed, for acclaim? Or are you doing things for Me that I asked of you that might be a little more lack-lustre and go unnoticed? I guarantee you, the little things add up in Heaven. I see what man does not see. And I especially see the little things that caused you inconvenience, but that you shook off your own concern to take care of it, because there was a real need. Sacrifice.

“Are you selfishly headed off to finish a project, Katy bar the door? Or do you relent to tend to the injured? Clare knows exactly what I mean, because I have been drilling her in charity and patience. Many times she is at a critical point with a message, with the painting, with a song, with a personal concern of hers — and I inspire Ezekiel [he is Clare’s husband] to call for help.

“Yes, My Love. I have been doing this deliberately. I watch your attitude before you pick up the phone, after you pick it up, when you deliver the help, and when you come back. And most times, you do very well. Knowing that what you just did was to care for Me in My needs. Not angry or irritated for the interruptions, but resolute to be sweet and charitable.

“I do the same with all of you, dear ones. I am continually testing My Bride to see if she will come to My side when I need her comfort. Either as I am now, or in the distressing disguise of another. I want to see My Bride about My Business. And if there is a soul in distress, I am right there with them. I want to see all of you responding with charity, hospitality, and cheerfully from the heart. That is what brings Me the greatest comfort.

“Yes, I am happy each one of you are doing what needs to be done, per assignment from Me. But I also check to see where your heart and priorities are. Will you drop a pet project, even from Me, to serve a glass of cool water to a thirsty child?

“Yes, you could say these are finals. Term papers. Tests to see if you learned the lessons taught in the University of Brotherly Love on Planet Earth. That is precisely what I am doing with you. Will you forego your very focused work to help another who is floundering? To be present at a wedding or a funeral?

The ones who know My heart and act on it will be Raptured

Jesus continued, “These are finals, Clare. Everyone is experiencing an extraordinary amount of distraction and trouble, because I am finding out who knows My heart and acts on it—and who doesn’t know My heart. The ones who know My heart and act on it will be Raptured.

“The others, still buried in frustrations with their projects and carrying a train of guilt over the people and situations they decided to snub or forego… Well. There is little time left for you, dear ones. Repent and reform. Carry out the desires of My heart before your own.

“This lesson is linked to Pride. Yes, Pride says, ‘What I am doing has been commissioned by God, and I am not leaving off with that to handle YOUR situation that YOU are responsible for in your own life!’ In other words, ‘What God wants is more important than your plight and distress.’ No, I say to you. What I want is NOT what matters in moments like these. There is a time to ignore distractions, and there is a time to respond with all your heart. Charity and the whispering of My Spirit will help you to discern.

You must learn to love until it hurts

“I am talking about those among you who have made a habit of ignoring the needs of others to satisfy yourselves. I’m talking about the desperate needy who have sought you out. I brought them to you as a test. I want to see My Love for you in action, poured out on others.

“Because you do not set aside hours to be filled by Me, your heart is cold and unresponsive. You cannot give what you do not have, so you pass them by, or pass them on to others. My children, the standards of Heaven are much different from yours. You must learn to love until it hurts.”

At this point Clare opened her Bible to 1 Corinthians 13:1-13:

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a ringing gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have absolute faith so as to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and exult in the surrender of my body, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no account of wrongs. Love takes no pleasure in evil but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

And then the Scripture goes on to mention the coveted spiritual gifts, the things that we think will make us outstanding Christians:

“But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be restrained; where there is knowledge, it will be dismissed. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial passes away. Now we see but a dim reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love; but the greatest of these is love.”

We may be left behind to learn love, compassion and mercy

Jesus continued, “If you are preparing for the Rapture by sparring with other Christians over doctrinal interpretations, seeking positions of leadership and teaching, facilitating conferences and speaking at them—while harshly judging the little ones that aren’t so capable—you will be sorely disappointed on that Day. Those who were nothing in the sight of the world will ascend. And you will be left behind to learn love, compassion, mercy, and honoring the lowliest soul— because they were purchased with My Blood and I dwell in them.”

[Clare speaking now] “Dear ones, if I as a speaker filled a conference room, but retained scorn and contempt for the lame and poor, even passing them by in their need on the way to preach… What kind of reward awaits me on that day? Didn’t the Lord say that tax collectors and sinners would precede the self-righteous Pharisees into Heaven?

“On the other hand, if a poor one on the way to the conference saw the distress of a man on the street and stopped to buy him a burger and drink—knowing he would wouldn’t get a good seat at the conference for stopping but caring more for the poor soul. What will his reward be?

“We really have it upside down. And the Lord is beginning to turn Church buildings upside down and empty them, because He wants a pure and intimate relationship with each of us. Not just for us to listen to a finely-tuned sermon and think we’ve satisfied the law of the Sabbath.” Clare then quoted this Scripture:

“Unto You do I lift up my eyes, O You Who are enthroned in Heaven. Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, and as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, until He has mercy and loving-kindness for us. Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy and loving-kindness for us, for we are exceedingly satiated with contempt. Our life is exceedingly filled with the scorning and scoffing of those who are at ease and with the contempt of the proud.” Psalm 123

“That’s interesting. ‘The poor and faithful are focused on the Lord’s face, on His needs, on what He is doing, while the rich are full of scorn and contempt.’ And I have to ask, ‘How many are still truly waiting for that day? How many are so busy with the world that they exclaim, “I have a house to buy, a marriage to attend, and a new car to pick up. I don’t have time for this prophetic nonsense. Nothing ever comes of it, anyway!” How many of us respond to their attitude with a silent prayer? Or do we think in our hearts, ‘Well, he’s right; nothing’s happened yet.'” At that point Clare turned to the Lord and asked Him if He had something to add.

Jesus replied, ‘Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, and as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God. Truly this is what I want from you all. I want your eyes on Me and what I am doing from moment to moment. Right now, there is not enough prayer going out to prevent catastrophes. I need more prayer from you, My dear ones. I need deeper and more focused prayer. And of course, every sacrifice you can offer Me carries a load of graces to be showered from Heaven— not only for your needs, but the needs of others.

Rest and Recuperate

“Times are winding down. We are still in the danger zone, and many of you are exhausted from fasting and praying. But I say to you, nothing you’ve sacrificed for Me has been in vain. When you become exhausted, do not continue to push it. Rather, rest and recuperate. Then I will raise you up again, especially through communion, that you may resume all your efforts. But do not make the mistake of thinking you are immortal and invincible. You, too, need to rest.

“During that time of rest, seek Me. Seek Rhemas from the Scriptures or the website [heartdwellers.org]. Keep your attention focused on Me. Do not fall prey to wasting time with entertainments, although a few innocent breaks will help you regain your perspective.

“And most of all pray, with all your heart, that the impending events will be circumvented and people’s hearts will turn to Me.

“This is My complaint. Even My Brides have become insensitive to My tears and distress. They have taken their eyes off the hand of their Master at a time when He has great need of them.

“Please, Beloved ones. I need your attention, your prayers, and your love. Whether you show your love to the little ones who have needs, or through declining to indulge your appetites— whatever you do for Me, I take as a wedding present, a sign of love for your Groom. And I am deeply appreciative.

“So, I ask you, dear ones. Humble yourselves. Examine your habits and attitudes. Repent of any wrong-doing in the sight of the angels. Go out of your way for others. And most of all, soften your hearts as you keep your gaze steadily on My hands, so that you can fulfil My needs.

“Then you will be taken in the Rapture, because you have made your minute-to-minute priority to be one and the same with Mine. This makes you My dearly beloved ones, and I prepare the place for you at My Wedding Feast. Do these things and you will hear, ‘Well done, My good and faithful Servant. Enter into your Master’s joy.’”

__________________

Note from So Greatly Loved

This message, given by Jesus to Clare du Bois, has made a deep impression on me. Without a shadow of a doubt, time is running out. Please join me in taking this simple, but profound, message very seriously.

It’s high time to wake up and make sure that we pass our final exams!

Get Ready For Your Journey

Clare enquired, “What is on your mind for Your people, Lord?”

Jesus replied, “Getting ready. Getting ready to meet Me. Preparing their hearts before My mirror and asking forgiveness for what they see that is not right.

“I am asking for a deeper look, a more candid look, not glossing anything over. It is incomprehensible to you, My children, the demands of personal holiness. Because of My mercy, much is overlooked. But rather than be shocked, I want you to spend time with My Holy Spirit and ask Him to reveal the darkness still inside of you. When you discover it, I don’t want you going over the deep end. I already knew it was there. All I want for you to do is confess it, ask forgiveness and make a resolution in your heart to avoid those sins and pray for the grace not to repeat them. You see, though you fall and are not perfect, because you confess and work on it I will forgive you and continue to pour out the graces you need to finally overcome your faults. You do not have to be perfect but you do need to be perfectly repentant.

“The heart of this exercise is preparation and readiness to face Me. So much will be forgiven and removed on the way up to Heaven, but I do insist that you forgive everyone that ever offended you. I don’t want this experience marred by unforgiveness. What may help you in that area is that whoever was a challenge and injured you, had My permission. I am not the author of evil, but I did allow it as a challenge in loving others and dying to yourself. So, ultimately you can only blame Me for allowing it. Therefore be sure that you forgive the person, that you forgive yourself, and that you forgive Me. Cover all three bases.

“Ask Me to remove the root of bitterness you allowed to grow in your heart and defile it. There most certainly is a root of bitterness in every one of you. It is your job with My Holy Spirit to identify it, renounce it and pray I will remove it. This exercise should not take you long, and it will not hinder your going into eternity. There are many of you that could be detained for unforgiveness. If you have bitterness in your heart, it is the ugliest of stains and will show right on the front of your wedding gown. So, be sure to rid yourself of that. Disarm it. By that I mean, refuse to allow it to pull you into a fury. Renounce this anger and unforgiveness in My Name and refuse to connect with it. If you are faithful to make an honest effort, I will surely be faithful to totally remove it.

“Selfishness is another flaw that you should repent of. Look for those times when you could have done something for another but didn’t bother: either because you didn’t want to, or you didn’t feel up to it. Do you know that many times I heal a malady because you went out of yourself to give, even when you were sick? There is a dynamic here. Satan knows ahead of time, sometimes, that a test is coming, or that you will rub shoulders with someone really in need. So he sends demons to push all your buttons, get you upset and distracted so you miss the good deed you should have done. This is oh, so common. When you see a multitude of things pushing your buttons, be on the look out for the ‘why’ of all those distractions. Is there someone coming to you for help, is there a meeting planned, is there an occasion of some sort?

“Understand that the demons also have limited energy, so they pick their opportunities to trouble you according to the importance of what is coming up in your life. If it is very important and they know about it ahead of time (which they mostly do because they alert one another that such and such is going to happen or so and so is on the way) they quickly put 2 and 2 together, seeing that there is an occasion of virtue and helping another soul in need. They try to distract you or get you to cancel the meeting. Or they wear you out so you have nothing left for that person I’m sending you who, by the way, was very important to Me.

“Another thing to be aware of in selfishness is the self-important attitude, ‘I’m too busy for the likes of you.’ The ‘you aren’t important enough to me to stop what I’m doing’ attitude. This is abhorrent to Me. Now we are getting into PRIDE, which is truly at the root of all evil. Selfishness will lead to Pride and self-righteousness. Look for those times when your conscience twinged and you ignored it. Those are very good indicators of hidden sin. My Beautiful Bride, I am not saying these things to make you feel badly. I am saying them so you will stand clean before me. Sin is dirty. Unconfessed sin continues to be dirty. But sin confessed and forgiven exists no longer, it has been cancelled out. I want all My Brides to have their sins cancelled out.

“Self-will, selfish ambition and jealousy that cause you to follow your own path rather than Mine, are also important to confess. If you are not sure, better safe than sorry. Better knowing that you recognised it than hiding it and having Me bring it up. Oh, so much better. Here is a list for you to use in checking your behaviour: Fear, Pride, Jealousy, Judgment, Anger, Laziness, Greed (acquisition), Gluttony, and Lust. Pay particular attention to those things that you do habitually when you know in your spirit you should be doing otherwise. They are an indication of disorder in your life and idolatry, because you put them before Me. These are indeed wrinkles in your dress. As I said before, this is not to discourage or reprimand you. It is to prepare you to meet Me without spot, wrinkle or blemish.

“A spot is something you allow to defile you, something you watch you shouldn’t have watched, something you said you shouldn’t have said, a feeling you engaged that you should have rejected. A blemish is an indication of inner contamination of the spirit. It comes up because something isn’t right inside. It could be an attitude that contaminates everything you do, like selfishness, fear, retaliation. A wrinkle is formed by a long-standing habit of sinful or disordered behaviour. Having to work on Sunday, because you are in debt over your head, is the symptom of a wrinkle. The avarice caused you to want and to buy; then to pay it off you must deny Me the time I ask you to set aside every week for rest and rejuvenation with Me. Some of you are forced to work on Sunday or the Sabbath because that is the only work you could get. I am not legalistically condemning you for this. Did I not pick grains on the Sabbath? Did I not heal on the Sabbath? There is an attitude of heart that is so greedy that every spare moment is used to procure what is wanted.

“There is another attitude of heart that sets aside another day for Me when the appointed days are taken up out of necessity. I wish for you not to get into arguments about which day of the week is holy. I will not instruct you on this, because it leads to a religious spirit. I want your heart, not your lip service and obedience to the law. Yes, I can hear the stones flying through the air now. This attitude of heart is deadly to a personal relationship with Me. You will note, it was the scribes and pharisees that refused their hearts to Me, because I did not support their Sabbath rules in a way suitable to them.

“Do you know what one of their main concerns was with Me? I threatened their income from the sale of sacrifices and coin changing. Yes, they garnered quite a nice income on all that went on in the temple precincts and their greatest threat was that they no longer would have an income from these illicit activities. That is a wrinkle. The habit of having more and better caused them to twist their consciences in order to provide for their excesses.

“Some of you, especially the young ones, will over-react in fear to this. Please, My precious dear ones, this is not condemnation of you. It is to make you aware of the righteousness of God and how very deep it goes. Most of you do not have properly formed consciences. You were not raised on the Word in a holy household. So I must take you back to those roots and reveal to you how some of the things you were never taught are important. But I am not a legalistic God. I am full of mercy, understanding and forgiveness. I want your heart. I want you to love Me, to trust Me, to come to Me and speak with Me about your weaknesses, your sin and insecurities and fears. I want to help you overcome these things.

“If you have something you cannot change and you fear it is displeasing to Me, talk to Me about it. I will help you. It may not even be wrong-doing on your part. It may very well be from the father of lies, who is continually trying to make you feel badly about yourself. Yes! Condemnation is his favourite tool. Why, you ask? Because if he can convince you that you are bad and worthless, and that I am a severe judge, you will avoid Me and never come into My arms and trust Me.

“So, do not over-react to this message. Rather take it as a checklist. You are going on a journey, you need to get your things together. Work on your list and I will help you with each thing you are afraid to face. Use your **Bible Promise Book in order to verify whether something is right or wrong. Watch for things in your environment, a sign from Me: a bird singing, a heart shape in your food or a leaf on the ground. A love song in the store, a sweet wash of contentment suddenly flooding over your soul. These are ways I encourage you and show you that I am not only with you but I approve of you and all your efforts are indeed pleasing to Me.

“So, what I am telling you, in a nutshell, is simply prepare yourself in repentance to meet Me. Just as you would wash and shower before a big event, wash yourself in My love and forgiveness. Don’t be afraid to confess anything. Remember, I was there when it happened and I will forgive what you confess. Let’s do this together. I am all for you, I will sustain you in your weakness, I will not abandon you. I love you deeply, do not be afraid.”

Note from So Greatly Loved

This message was given by Jesus to Clare du Bois. The Still Small Voice channel on Vimeo is an anointed ministry that is helping many thousands of Christians worldwide to become Heart Dwellers – to enjoy a much deeper and more intimate walk with Jesus, and to learn from Jesus’ teaching how to prepare for His soon coming in the Rapture. Countless Christians are being transformed by these messages.

Still Small Voice is a registered charity which is making an enormous difference in the Third World. The impact made by these teachings, and the wide range of charitable works of this ministry, is nothing short of remarkable. It is no wonder that the enemy is so malicious in his attacks against Still Small Voice.

For further information visit the website heartdwellers.org

**The Bible Promise Book is published by Barbour Books and is available from Amazon. It is an invaluable help in discernment. There is much guidance on discernment on the heartdwellers.org website, plus teaching on getting a Rhema word from the Lord and lists of the Still Small Voice videos… and much more. The video transcripts are available in a number of languages.

From Limping to Leaping: Our Puppy’s Creative Miracle

This is the true story of the amazing miracle Jesus gave to our dearly beloved Yellow Labrador puppy. It was great fun taking Jess to Dog Club every Friday, where he was learning to be a good Labrador! The troubled teenager we were fostering at that time came to Dog Club with us. It was somehow therapeutic for her to be there.

At Dog Club Jess had a great friend: a Chocolate Labrador bitch called Fido. How those two messed about together! They quickly became friends for life. It was so cute to see them together.

Weeks went by and Jess was growing quickly. However, to our consternation, he began to squeal in pain and limp as he walked. Something was terribly wrong with him. We were all heartbroken to see our beloved puppy in such distress. The dog trainer said that Jess had a hip problem, and recommended a local vet who specialised in large dogs and looked after our county’s Police dogs.

We made an appointment for Jess. The vet took x-rays. To our unspeakable horror, we saw that although one of Jess’s hips had a perfectly formed U-shaped hip socket, the other side had only a tiny one-inch piece of bone. In other words there was no hip socket on that side! The news was not good: either Jess must have an immediate hip replacement ‘op or be put down straightaway. There was no way we could afford that operation — the vet’s fees were simply astronomical!

However, we were not without hope. When you know Jesus there is always hope. Always! We left the surgery, telling the vet we would “think it over” but we knew already in our hearts exactly what we would do: we would entrust the whole tragic situation to our Best Friend — our Lord Jesus. This was a perfect opportunity for us to be an example to our foster daughter, too, and exercise childlike faith.

What would you have done, I wonder? Jesus showed us step by step exactly what to do. In the same way that the Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Corinth in the first century, that is how we were to respond. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians, 5:7 “We walk by faith, not by sight.”

So my husband and I began learning to ‘walk’ by faith, keeping our eyes on Jesus, and not dwelling on what our eyes could see. I mean that we had to take our eyes off the problem and not dwell on the horrendous condition of our pet. His plight was heartbreaking: what we could see was that Jess was limping badly; what we could hear was his pitiful squealing in pain. Our eyes had to be fixed on Jesus who, after all, loved Jess even more than we did. Boy! Was this a steep learning curve for us!

We knew without a doubt that there is absolutely nothing that our God cannot do. We had faith, but was it strong enough for a miracle? Nothing less than a creative miracle from the Creator would meet Jess’s need. In simple childlike faith we asked God to heal our beloved puppy. We needed a Scripture to encourage our faith: something unshakable to stand on. Our attention was drawn to the letter of the Apostle Paul to the church at Rome. In chapter 4 he writes about the faith of the great Patriarch Abraham. In advanced old age, Abraham still had no son; but God had promised him twenty-five years earlier that he would have a son and that his descendants would be numberless (See Genesis 15:5).

In Romans 4:17 (The Amplified Bible) the Apostle writes something staggering! He states that God “gives life to the dead and speaks of the nonexistent things (that He has foretold and promised) as though they already existed” See also Genesis 17:5. We are encouraged in the New Testament to imitate God so, we thought, if God declares something exists before it actually does, we can do that too — in faith — in expectation.

However does that work? Well, my husband and I simply began to thank God for giving our puppy a new hip. We expected it to happen. Real faith is expecting whatever it is we need to become reality. Faith is not at all complicated. Our Jess had no difficulty receiving his miracle from Jesus; he did not have any doubt, and neither did we!

Dogs can be very sensitive to spiritual things. Every day Jess would come up to me several times throughout the day, and nuzzle between my legs as I stood, pushing through until his head was behind me and his poorly hip was in front of me. He would wait there for prayer, wagging his tail in excitement. I laid one hand on his poorly hip, holding my Bible in the other. How I wish you could have seen him! I read out loud from my Bible and my husband and I prayed, thanking God together for the miracle Jess needed.

Romans chapter 4, verses 19 – 21 in the Amplified Bible (which gives the full meaning of the original Greek language) provide us with a beautiful picture of the faith of Abraham. My husband and I endeavoured to be like Abraham who, “did not weaken in faith. . . No unbelief or distrust made him waver (doubtingly question) concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong and was empowered by faith as he gave praise and glory to God, Fully satisfied and assured that God was able and mighty to keep His word and to do what He had promised.”

Time after time, day after day, after day, as Jess would come expectantly to us for prayer, we would pray over him, declaring our faith, telling the Lord that we were not wavering or questioning Him, but that we praised Him with all our hearts for His answer, giving all the glory to Him.

Time went by. Jess continued to come several times a day whenever he wanted prayer. One day Jess’s best friend at Dog Club, the Chocolate Labrador, Fido, came to tea with her mistress. My friend took one look at Jess and said, “Your dog is still limping!” I did not deny it; that would not have been honest! However, I used the word that Jesus Himself used in Mark 16:18, KJV, when talking to His disciples about praying for the sick. Jesus said, “they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.” I simply replied, “He is recovering!” Was there any evidence of that? No, not yet, but when you are in faith, you know that God is at work, and you do not speak negatives or pay any heed to contradicting circumstances. That is paramount, and it is precisely at this point that we can fail to receive a much-needed miracle.

Three weeks went by and our precious prayer times with Jess continued. He kept coming up to us, nudging us waiting to be prayed with several times a day, day after day, after day. . . Until one glorious morning, as I was working in the kitchen, I happened to look through the window to see Jess in the garden, leaping high in the air — full of the joys of spring — beside himself with joy… from limping to leaping indeed!

A request for a further hip x-ray showed us what we already knew: Jess now had two perfect U-shaped hip sockets – to the glory of God! I think the vet was in shock! I must point out that my husband and I had done nothing extraordinary. We had simply followed the clear guidelines in the Bible. God always backs His Word as we speak it in faith. Always. By that I mean that if we speak according to what God says in the Bible, without doubting in our hearts, He will honour our faith.

If you know anyone who does not believe that Jesus rose from the dead, that He is alive and that He still performs miracles today, tell them to watch this space, because there’s

Note from So Greatly Loved

This creative miracle took place many years ago and Jesse is now leaping about happily in Heaven. Unknown to my husband and me, God was preparing us both for the Mission Field by stretching our faith to the uttermost. It had been heartbreaking for us to see our beloved Labrador puppy suffer such pain. We were to witness indescribable suffering in India in years to come, and our faith had to be strong in order to be able to pray in unshakable faith for those desperately needy Indian people.

There is a need for much more teaching on the simplicity of really childlike faith. Many of us in the West are so sophisticated; it’s as though we think that simplicity is beneath us. Hmmm… take a look at what Jesus said in Matthew 18 about little children.

Recently, a close family member, who is very dear to me, also had a serious hip problem. His hip had been neglected far too long and the bones had become fused together. At a hospital consultation, he was told that it would be a complex operation – much less straightforward than it would otherwise have been. In fact, the consultant said he was astounded that that he could even manage to shuffle slowly with two sticks, an inch at a time!

Jesus spoke to me, telling me to pray with him for total healing. He reminded me of how we had trusted Him to heal our beloved puppy so many years previously. Jesus said, “Do what you did then!” Jesus was referring to the simple childlike faith we had moved in – never doubting for a moment that Jesse would be totally healed. We had flatly refused to listen to negative comments from anyone at all. I prayed for this dear one and, at the time of this update, we are mid-miracle. Every day shows the healing hand of God at work.