DAY 7: SHAMA

Today’s word from the Lord is ‘SHAMA’. Shama means to listen and obey.

When God first told me to set aside 7 days to do this blog, He started by reminding me of the dreams I mention in my post titled “Snakes in Boots”. (http://sparklingforest.co.za/snakes-in-boots/)

In those dreams, He warned me of the coming storms of life, but also encouraged me that if I LISTENED and OBEYED His still small voice, I would be kept safe during those times.

He then showed me how Covid-19 was just one of those storms to which He had been alluding. There will be more. He challenged me to set aside 7 days purposely to listen to what He was saying, and then to share it publically on this blog in order to encourage others. It was NOT intended to be a “devotional” with any specific structure or theme, and it was NOT planned. I had no idea what He would do or say. The result has been these 7 articles.

As I have mediated tonight and waited on Him to speak to me, amazingly, I see a message thread forming, through these 7 articles. It’s not a new message in any way, but one He clearly wants us to hear again!

Let’s do a quick overview of what He has been saying:

Get Hungry: We need to empty ourselves of all that keeps us ‘full’ and ‘satisfied’ without Jesus. We need to let go of so many worldly pleasures that are keeping us from experiencing and enjoying the fullness of intimacy with Jesus. Turn down the ‘noise’ of life and really lean in to hear His voice.

Shine your Light : Jesus is in us and so we need to walk in faith, not fear, activating the authority we have already been given, in all areas of our lives. We need to be that ‘city upon the hill’ so that people can see Jesus’ light in us.

Wash Hands and Heart: God longs to purify and sanctify us as we apply His blood daily through humility and repentance. Pride must fall as we daily follow the conviction of Holy Spirit and repent. This is not about being saved. This is about becoming a pure Bride for Christ.

Come away with Me: Gods hand is stretched out to us. The invitation is there to follow Him into the Desert/Wilderness. It may not be easy, but He is faithful to be with us. As He ‘speaks tenderly’ to us, He brings healing and restoration to the dry and broken places in our hearts. Are you willing to be led by Him?

Nothing is too hard for Me: This is a reminder for those who think that God couldn’t possibly forgive or heal them. Also, a reminder that during this time of Covid-19, no prayer is too big for God to answer.

Pomegranates or Apples?:  A challenge to really trust in God’s goodness, even when, in the natural, it doesn’t seem evident. Learning to trust His voice and our spiritual senses is vital for these times. We need to refresh our spiritual senses and be led by them – not our circumstances or fleshly ‘feelings’.

Shama:  Shama means to Listen and Obey. First and foremost God desires OUR HEART. He wants our heart to be purified and undefiled, so that everything we do and are flows out of a heart of Love. If we ‘obey’ without Love, then it is religion. But when we obey out of a place of pure love, there is a freedom and intimacy like no other. Out of intimacy comes blessing and God blesses us to be a blessing to others.

God says,”Will you walk with Me, listening to My voice and doing as I ask of you or will you compromise and live a life where you walk with Me as it pleases you, when it pleases you? Come away with Me on this journey so that I can prepare you, so that I can make you ready where I find oil in your lamp when the bridegroom returns” 

Reading for today is Psalm 91.

You can also read “Crumbs or Cake?” about the Groom and His Bride.  http://sparklingforest.co.za/crumbs-or-cake/

A personal note:

If you enjoyed these articles, you can find more similar ones under the category, “FAITH” on my blog. God often speaks to me through visions and dreams and now and then, I like to share something. Please feel free to leave comments that will be an encouragement to others.

DAY 6: POMEGRANATES OR APPLES?

Today I was reminded of a vision I had during worship one day:

In the vision I saw an angel standing in the front of the church holding a large fruit in his hands. In my spirit in knew that he was holding a pomegranate, but to my natural eyes it looked like a big green apple! I was slightly confused – was I seeing an apple or was I seeing a pomegranate? What I was seeing in the spirit did not coincide with what I seemed to be seeing in the “natural”.

I asked the Lord to clarify it for me. As I waited for His answer, I noticed that some people were looking at the fruit in the angel’s hands and were shaking their heads in disappointment and disbelief. They were holding themselves back from reaching out and grabbing the fruit, because it was not what they were hoping for and because it didn’t look how they thought it should look. In other words, I knew they wanted the pomegranate, but they could only see the apple. They remained standing where they were, immobilised by doubt, suspicion and even fear.

The natural man does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God. For they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Cor 2:14

In the vision, I stepped forward and took a big bite out of the apple. When I did that, pomegranate seeds spilt out! Only then, I heard the Lord say that He was offering gifts before us, but we were not reaching out and grabbing what He was putting before us because we were only seeing them from one perspective. We weren’t fully trusting in Him and in His Goodness to provide what we truly needed. He was longing for us to step forward in faith and thanksgiving for what He was offering us and in doing so we would unlock the potential for so much more. Our trust in Him, and gratitude, unlocks His blessing.

I also realised that He was emphasising the importance of focusing on the spiritual rather than the natural and that what we see with our physical eyes is not always the reality in the spiritual realm.

We need to ask Him to open our spiritual eyes to see the TRUTH of a situation, so that, even when we think He has not heard our hearts’ desires, we can know and trust that He still has the absolute best for us.

We can Trust, Taste and See that He is Good. He has so much more for than we can even imagine or begin to expect.

O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him”. Psalm 34:8. KJV

Prayer: Thank you, Father that we can always trust in your goodness to us. Open our spiritual eyes to discern the things that come from you Holy Spirit. Embolden us with courage and faith to grab hold of all that you are placing before us. Teach us to step forward even when we cannot understand what we are seeing in the natural. We want to discover and receive all that you have for us. Amen.

 Holy Spirit, are there any other areas in my life where I need to be ‘seeing with my spiritual eyes’ instead of my natural?  

Day 5: NOTHING IS TOO HARD FOR ME

Today, I heard God say, “Nothing is too hard for Me“. He led me to share this excerpt from ‘the 30 Day Praise Challenge’ by Becky Harling:

‘I am never shocked, surprised, or caught off guard. I know there are moments in your life when circumstances feel impossible, when you cannot see any solutions to the challenges you are facing. Trust Me in the midst of your difficult moments. Seize them as opportunities to praise Me for My sovereign power.

As you thank Me in advance for the solutions I hold, I will enlarge your heart to hold greater faith. At first, focusing on My sovereignty may feel scary, but as you grow more comfortable in your times of praise it will become a source of strength and comfort. Recognise how small you are in comparison to Me. This is a form of worship. As you bow before Me, your ability to trust Me will grow. Watch and see what I will do. Nothing is too difficult for me Me. Did you catch that? Nothing, absolutely nothing, is too difficult for me.’

DAY 4: COME AWAY WITH ME

Today I have the Norah Jones song, “Come Away with Me” in my head. I can’t think when last I heard that song, but God often uses it to speak to me!

Today He says:

Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes; I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way.  She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them. Then she will say, ‘I will go back to my husband as at first, for then I was better off than now.’ Hosea 2:6-7.

Therefore, behold, I will allure her and lead her to the wilderness, and speak to her tenderly. 15There I will give back her vineyards and make the Valley of Achor into a gateway of hope. There she will respond as she did in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt.” Hosea 2:14-16

The Lord is jealous for our attention and time. He is relentless in His pursuit of us. During this time of “Social Distancing/Isolation”, some people will welcome the escape, while many will really feel like they are in a Wilderness. Regardless of your view of this time, God is calling you away with Him into a place of deeper intimacy.

Even though we may be ‘walled in’ and even though he may be ‘alluring us’ – it is still an invitation to come away with Him. We have the choice to say yes or no. The encouragement is that He is there with you in the Wilderness, speaking tenderly to you, not leaving you to fend for yourself!

How will you respond? Will you be willing to step into the Wilderness with him to see what He has to reveal to you? What will you sacrifice for a deeper relationship with Him today?

DAY 3: WASH HANDS (and heart)

‘My people are diligently washing their hands, but they don’t ask Me to wash them and cleanse them from their filthiness (and brokenness) so that they can enter into my presence with clean hands and pure heart.’

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

For a while, God has been speaking to me about His desire for His people to have a new heart. Many of us are ‘saved’ but we still have filthy hearts from pride or brokenness from unmet needs and hurts. God’s longing is to heal and restore us completely so that we can truly enter into the fullness of Him and all He is. However, we need to humble ourselves and, with an attitude of repentance ask Him to cleanse us- daily!

If we are willing, Holy Spirit is faithful to show us the ‘spots on our gowns’ that need ‘cleaning’ and healing.

Day 2: YOUR LIGHT WITHIN

Last night my four-year old daughter and I went to the room to read the bedtime story, but the light was off. Usually, she would be hesitant to walk into the room until the light was switched on for her. However, on this evening, she didn’t. As she entered the dark room, she said, “Look mommy, I’m not afraid of the dark, I’m brave!”

“And who made you so brave? I asked her. “Jesus!” she said right away.

“Oh, is that because ‘Jesus shines His light in the dark’? I asked, quoting one of her favourite songs.

To my surprise she answered, “No, Jesus didn’t need to shine His light this time, because I had my own light inside me to see.”

Well, needless to say I was quite blown away as this was not something I had ever told her or that we have really spoken about. In that moment, I felt the presence of Holy Spirit and a spirit of Revelation acknowledging this innocent statement, which was actually such a declaration of faith and truth!

We do indeed have a light within us. In Matthew 5:14, Jesus calls us the “light of the world”. Yes, He IS the light (John 8:12), but as a follower of Jesus, we have Jesus- and His light- within us. He wants us to let Him shine through us, but also to walk in the faith, authority and confidence that is given to us.

Today God is saying, don’t succumb to the darkness around you, but stand brave and full of faith. Be that ‘city on a hill’ whose light cannot be hidden, and help others find their way back into the light, and into hope.

DAY 1: GET HUNGRY!

This morning the Lord reminded me of a vivid vision He gave me during a time of worship while I was living in China. Although it was a word given long ago, He said it was relevant for many people at this time. 

In the vision I saw a very long, ornate dining table beautifully set in a large banqueting hall. On the table were the most incredible and delicious looking platters of food. Some of the food I could not even distinguish, I had never seen anything like it before. There were dishes and plates and bowls of food that covered the entire table, and I knew that Jesus had prepared each dish himself, especially for the guests.

There were people seated all around the the table, but they weren’t eating a thing. They were just sitting there looking at all the food with such regret and disappointment. I saw that they weren’t eating because their stomachs were SO FULL! The actual word that came to me was STUFFED! They really wanted to enjoy the feast, but because they had already ‘stuffed’ themselves with their own food, they could not enjoy a thing that was in front of them.

I could sense Jesus’ absolute desperation in wanting to share so much more with each person sitting there, so much more of Himself, but everyone was too full to receive all that He had for them. I could also sense His sadness that their own meal had satisfied them, knowing that what He had prepared was so much better.

Jesus is desperate for us to really ’empty’ ourselves and get back to a place of being hungry for Him and excited for all He has for us.

This ‘Lockdown’ time of ‘slowing down’, being stripped of all that keeps us busy and ‘full’, is a great opportunity to stop, rest, breathe, be…and grow hungry.

 The other thing I heard today was Him saying, “A change of perspective” and then I saw Him flipping the words “Lock Down” around until it became “Freeing Up”!

I immediately understood that God wants His people to view this time of being ‘housebound’ as liberating, not restraining! This is not easy for many- I can totally understand (I have two small kids!)

The change of perspective comes in focusing not on what one can’t do anymore, but what one can do!

For some of you, aside from finally having time to take that bubble bath, do that hair mask, build that puzzle with your son, or have that family supper together at the table; there also may be time now to be like Mary, and sit at His feet, incline your ear, and really, really get to know Him.

What’s the deal with Essential Oils…and why do I use them?

As already mentioned on my website, (http://sparklingforest.co.za/what-does-living-whole-mean-to-me/) over the last couple of years I have been on a journey of healing from Hashimoto’s Disease. It has been an interesting time of discovery during which I have learnt so much.

While consulting a Homeopath to assist me in understanding this Autoimmune Disease, I learnt about “cellular memory”. I learnt how even though I had worked though a particular childhood trauma both emotionally and spiritually, my body was still carrying the memory of the trauma, which in turn, was still affecting my health. I started praying into this and asking God how I would be able to ‘heal’ my distorted cellular memory.

Over time, He revealed to me that one of the ways to alter or ‘reprogram’ our cells, is through the use of Essential Oils. At the time I did not understand much about these precious oils, so I began to find out as much as I could about them and their amazing properties.

There is so much one could write about these oils and one can get quite technical trying to explain it all, but in terms of cellular memory, in a nutshell, this is how it works. Apparently three important constituents in Essential Oils, namely Phenylpropanoids, Monoterpenes, and Sesquiterpenes (also known as “PMS”) work together in a very powerful way. 

  • 1. Firstly, the receptor sites are cleaned, allowing the proper transfer of hormones, peptides, neurotransmitters, and other intracellular messengers, (this is the role of the Phenylpropanoids).
  • 2. Secondly, the wrong information stored in the DNA is ‘deprogrammed’ or ‘erased’ from cellular memory (role of the Sesquiterpenes)
  • 3. Thirdly, the cells are reprogrammed with the correct information so that they can function properly (role of Monoterpenes).

Aside from reprogramming DNA, Essential Oils have endless properties and uses that can benefit us.  

According to David Steward (“The Blood- Brain Barrier), one drop of essential oil contains approximately 40 million-trillion molecules. We have 100 trillion cells in our bodies. One drop of essential oil contains enough molecules to cover every cell in our bodies with 40, 000 molecules!

I use Essential Oils on myself for the purposes of assisting my thyroid, reprogramming cellular memory and my overall health and well-being. I also use Essential Oils on my family (kids included) and in my business. I like to harness the power of Essential Oils during particular Reflexology treatments that I offer, as well as during counsel and prayer sessions with my clients.

Healthy Gut, Healthy Tot : Simple Tips for enhancing the Nutritional wellbeing of your child

It is well recognised that a healthy and wholesome diet, whether in adulthood, childhood or infancy, is vital for maintaining and protecting a healthy gut and ensuring optimal longterm health.

It goes without saying that processed foods are not gut friendly, and do not provide the range of essential nutrients that are available from garden fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs.

The essential dietary proteins and healthy fats that support optimal growth in infancy may also be augmented by some simple measures that are inexpensive and easy to implement.

Here are MY top 6 EASY tips for dietary changes that support optimal growth and development:

1. Introduce Probiotics

The importance of good gut health can’t be stressed enough and quality probiotics play a vital role in this area. Both my girls had to switch to formula quite early and right away I added Probiotics drops (along with Vit D and Omega 3 drops) to their bottles.

As they have grown older, I have introduced them to homemade Kombucha or Kefir which a friend once described as “probiotics on steroids”! Dr Joseph Mercola says, “ The microflora in your gut plays an active role in a wide variety of diseases, and, naturally, it stands to reason they affect your health status throughout your life…the importance of probiotics increase with advancing age, but maintaining a healthy gut is really essential from birth onward.”

Homemade Kefir or Kombucha can serve as an alternative to fizzy cold drinks

2. Limit Sugar (and processed food)

This is a no-brainer and yet I am still amazed at how uninformed many people can be when it comes to their children’s health.

Processed foods are not only devoid of essential nutrients, but invariably contain too much sugar in the form of refined carbohydrates. Since sugar promotes the growth of bad bacteria in the gut, it also serves to restrict the growth of beneficial bacteria, thereby disrupting the normal healthy gut flora balance. This imbalance may lead to inflammation in the gut lining and ultimately to a ‘leaky gut’ in which nutrient absorption may be impaired and toxins absorbed too readily into the bloodstream.

There is sufficient evidence to support the notion that with such a disruption to the gut lining other medical conditions may arise, such as allergies, skin conditions, or digestive difficulties.

Try offer your children whole food as often as possible

3. Add Chia Seeds (or Ground Flax Seeds)

Chia Seeds (and Ground Flax Seeds) are a great addition to any meal or bake for your toddler. They are extremely nutritious foods filled with fibre, protein, omega-3 and macro-nutrients.

They don’t have a strong flavour are gluten-free and a little go a long way!

Add them to oats, smoothies, or yogurt with berries as a breakfast alternative, or any homemade bakes such as muffins, flapjacks, or bread. Soak Chia seeds overnight in water to become gelatinous and add to full cream plain yogurt. Both are a guaranteed natural help for easing constipation or just keeping your child regular.

I started using them from when my children were 7 months old – sparingly at first and then increasing volume as they have grown older.

4. Herbs, Spices and Organic powders

Once your baby has been introduced to all the fruits and vegetables at 5-6 months old, don’t be afraid to add herbs and spices to his or her meals. As early as 7months old, I would add Cinnamon to Oats, Tumeric and Paprika to meat dishes, and mixed herbs to soups.

Organic cacao can be added to oats, smoothies or date balls and is natural source of magnesium for your child. Cinnamon has potent antioxidant activity, helps fight inflammation and has been shown to lower cholesterol and blood sugar. Tumeric is strongly anti-inflammatory. Basil appears to improve immune function and inhibit the growth of bacteria, yeasts and molds and Rosemary can suppress allergic responses and nasal congestion. These are just a few examples.

Remember that the key is less is more – rather have your child reap the benefits of a dash of the spice, than overdo it and have them be put off forever!

5. Switch to Full cream Dairy and avoid “Low Fat”.

The problem with “low fat” dairy products is that in order to replace the good fat which has been removed, sugars are invariably added to the product. Don’t believe the marketing propaganda that low- fat is better, and learn to appreciate the importance of healthy fats in your child’s dietary intake.

Learn to read product labels and avoid the high sugar content products, As these may be a hidden cause of bloating, diarrhoea, cramps or other digestive issues. Allergies and skin issues may also benefit from a limited dairy consumption.

6. Water, water, water

Get your child hooked on water from day one by limiting the introduction and use of conventional juices, fizzy drinks and even fresh fruit juice. This is not to say they can never have anything except water, but where possible, do not make sugary and fizzy drinks even an option. Add flavour to water naturally by adding berries, lemon, apples, cucumber, Rooibos etc.

Always have a bottle of water or sippy cup available for them to access throughout the day. Not only will this help to limit their sugar intake but water benefits numerous bodily functions including the digestive system and brain function. Just be mindful of the source of the water you are using – heavily chlorinated or fluoridated water may impair your child’s capacity for absorbing iodine which is essential for healthy thyroid support. 

There are many other ways for you to enhance your child’s nutritional well-being without too much effort. I have found that making one small change at a time is far more manageable than trying to tackle everything at once.

Not everyone in your family may initially embrace a change, but over time you will reap the benefits of persevering.

Article approved by Dr Neville S. Wilson http://drnevillewilson.com

Release your Song

I recently watched a You Tube video titled, “Do GMO plants sing?” https://youtu.be/L4CONoyIMaw It was a fascinating study done by Alexandra Christ to determine whether or not GMO plants “sing” or make music, as non-GMO plants appear to do.

This article is not to debate whether or not plants do or don’t in fact sing, but rather it is about the revelations that came to me while watching the video. Over time we have come to understand that plants do respond to our words, but I must admit that to actually hear the plant producing music or “singing” as Alexander calls it, touched something deep within my spirit.

When the music began, for me, there was only one word to describe what I was hearing and what the plant was in fact doing. It was worship!

The Bible has numerous references to creation (living and non-living) worshiping and praising God, but there are verses where the word “sing” is specifically used (see below for examples). Hearing the plant’s music gave these verses a whole new level of meaning for me.

I’ve always believed in the power of spirit-led worship to change atmospheres, bring breakthrough, healing and the release of miracles. In the video, it wasn’t only the fact that a plant could sing that amazed me, but rather the way that the non-GMO plant appeared to “help” the GMO plant to find its “identity” and “remind it of its song” as Alexander Christ puts it. I had two major revelations impressed upon me.

Firstly, through the video, Holy Spirit reminded me of our God-given ability (and mandate) to bring life to the barrenness around us, to awaken dormant hearts and spirits back into a place of identity and worship, not only through our words, but through our SONG. As it says in Ephesians 5:19, we should encourage one another in ‘psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart’.

Secondly, if a plant could “find its song” after hearing another plant sing how much more powerful is our worship to our surroundings? Not only is our singing of spiritual songs necessary to bring life to PEOPLE around us, but it can also be used to awaken and bring life to ALL CREATION around us!

This has had such significance to me during this time of drought. As I walk and run through our farm, Holy Spirit is impressing on me to sing my song over the land. As I do so, I hope and trust that my worship will “remind” it of its true identity and to awaken it back to life!

APPENDIX A:

Some other articles you may be interested to read:

http://thespiritscience.net/2015/06/15/nasa-discovers-planets-and-stars-give-off-music-this-is-what-it-sounds-like/

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/plants-dont-have-mouths-but-they-can-sing_b_6771526

https://www.sciencealert.com/flowers-may-not-have-ears-but-they-can-still-technically-hear-say-scientists “Scientists have found evidence that plants can actually hear the buzz of passing bees and produce sweeter nectar in response to entice the flying insects in”

APPENDIX B:

Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the LORD hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted. Isaiah 49:13 (KJV)

All the earth worships you and sings praises to you; they sing praises to your name Psalm 66:4

For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Isaiah 55:12

Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before the LORD… Psalm 96: 11-13