Trust The Process

Embrace My process and you will see My outcome. Know that for you, the process might be in the valley but the outcome is on the mountain. Everybody wants outcome, beloved – but very few comprehend my purposes in the valley, in the low places. There are shadows in the valley that reflect the purposes I am stepping you through that will not be clear to your understanding. On the mountain however, you will see the big picture and the far horizon I have defined as your personal destiny.” (The Father Says Today 4 October 2017)

We all like to think in terms of ‘goals’. In fact the whole thrust of the ‘self improvement’ movement is about goals. If you don’t have goals, you will not succeed. If you don’t have goals you’d better get working and define some ASAP, if you want to be successful in life. This is the story we are fed.

And just what does ‘being successful in life’ entail in this scenario?

Wealth? Power? Position? Happiness?

The strange thing is that people who set out to attain these things by worldly means, though they may be successful, are rarely contented with the results, even if they achieve them. There is always something else – something elusive that they cannot quite put their finger on, that they find is lacking in their ‘successful’ lives.

That is because they are focusing on the wrong thing – they are focusing on goals rather than submitting to process. In other words, they are focusing on what they can obtain rather than what they can become. (And by ‘what they can become’ I don’t mean wealthy, powerful, important or happy.) We tend to forget the character-building qualities of ‘process’.

As a mundane, physical example from real life, I was talking to a retired builder recently. He said when he started out as a builder’s apprentice, he and his fellow apprentices spent months wheeling barrows of concrete along planks and dumping them into place in the foundations of buildings. “One thing is for sure,” he said, “We put on muscle and we put on skills of balance and navigation with barrowloads of cement, that stood us in good stead for years, working on scaffoldings.” He added that these days, because the whole focus of technology is on quick results, young men coming into the building industry don’t want to ‘waste time’ acquiring physical skills – they just want to drive around in flash company vehicles and draw fat salaries – and they expect it to happen FAST.

The Father isn’t interested in ‘fast’. He isn’t interested in these kinds of goals – He is interested in how we develop in character and in our hearts, and for this purpose He leads us along a path where we cannot see the end from the beginning.

Ever since the Lord put me on the track of rearing sheep on this land in June, though the prospect excited me in many ways, I couldn’t see what relevance it had to serving Him and doing His work. I am fairly isolated here (by choice), except for my contacts and graphics outreach ministry on the Internet. I felt as if my dreams for this property were too personal to be relevant to His work. Nonetheless I stepped forward along the path, getting my outbuildings repaired, mending fences, clearing weeds (with gorse that’s ongoing) and getting the land drainage shipshape again.

The big ‘plus’ was that once I decided not to sell up, a huge weight came off my shoulders.  I now have confidence in His working in my life, and am learning to stop planning, pushing and striving, and to put the load onto Him. It’s now truly ‘one day at a time’:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

How well we know this scripture – how little we apply it!

Pursuing the prospects of growing and processing wool, I researched local interest in spinning and weaving.    I find there is a club here that meets weekly in a cafe (what a good idea!), and its members teach people to spin and weave. I’m looking forward to attending this coming week.   That’s a change – I never once wanted to belong to a local art club!  What’s more, although I gave away all my mother’s spinning, weaving and dyeing books to a Lions Club book fundraising sale 2 years ago (“I’ll never use these!”), I’ve tracked down and bought off TradeMe the two books I most remember seeing in her collection. Hallelujah!

Believe me, if there ever was an example of stepping forward in blind faith, this sure is it. I’ve never spun in my life.

Then, as I was finishing off the last post, the Lord drew to my attention a passage from one of my favorite books; ‘My Descent Into Death‘ by Howard Storm. The title of this book is daunting, I know, but it recounts one of the most amazing NDEs of all time.   Howard was an atheist, an extremely intelligent man. He died in hospital in Paris from a ruptured duodenum, but instead of the oblivion he expected, found himself under attack by evil spiritual beings. He was saved by Jesus when childhood memories caused him in final desperation to call out to the Savior.

Howard had a life review and was then granted a ‘question time’ with the Lord. One of the many questions he asked was about the future of life in this world and he was told that the world is at the beginning of a spiritual revolution.  In fact, he didn’t believe it, and he told the Lord as much.

He was shown a beautiful natural woodland setting, with people passing by. He saw no evidence of technology. No technology was needed because all people could communicate telepathically and people had the power to control matter and energy. The people wore garments of woven materials and exotic ornaments made of metal.

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. ” (Matthew 6:9-13)

What really intrigued me about this picture was the dress and jewelry of the people Howard saw. The description indicates a return to human craft and creativity in place of mass-production technology. I can’t think of anything better!    As I mentioned in my last post, a revival of traditional handcrafting skills is already under way –  even down to the old hand spinning techniques, with young women now into spinning wool, and teaching others.    That surprised me at first, but could this be the beginning of the ‘anti-industrial’ revolution that we need so desperately?   Could this be why the Lord has led me out of the corporate world and anchored me here so I could be part of this revolution?

“Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth’, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away…” (Revelation 21:1)

As well as a brain, the Father gave us a body – and the activity and dexterity of that body feeds back into the development of the brain. Sadly, we have got to the point where bodily skills and dexterity are less and less at a premium. Computers and machines are exercising skills that we should be exercising.   Hello??   Looks like we are being undermined by the very technology we created to serve us: maybe some of the science fiction horror stories in film, TV and books are not so far off the mark.

Note: Jesus did not teach His followers to pray, “Father, we can’t wait to get to heaven.” He taught them to pray for the manifestation of the Kingdom here on earth.  We should be working towards that now.

The world is ripe for a spiritual revolution, followed by His Kingdom Come.  This is an exciting time.

Blessings,

Patricia

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My Sheep Hear My Voice – Rethink?

Discard the old wineskin. The old way of thinking and the old way of doing things hasn’t worked for you anyway, so set that aside…  Empty your hands of the failed things of the past so a new assignment and a new vision can find its place in your heart.  There is nothing to be gained in trying to produce yesterday’s fruit with the energies of today.  Let that all go.”  (The Father Says Today 28 September 2017)

This is a lesson being taught me right now.  “The failed things of the past” clearly includes a disastrous term breeding dairy goats from 1986-1995 (terminated because my herd contracted a fatal disease).  But am I also being asked to think again about my current proposals for breeding Damara sheep?

In July I bought my first Damara sheep because when I thought about running sheep on this land again, like my mother had done, my reaction was, “I don’t want all the dramas of docking, crutching and shearing, thank you!”  As it happens, the three lambs recently born to these ewes all have a breed called ‘Gotland’ in their bloodline.

Last week, searching for more Damaras, I was led to a breeder about 4 hours’ journey south of here.   She has the breed I was looking for, but also Gotlands – that name again!  Is the Lord telling me something?

I did some research.  Gotlands are originally from the Baltic – a wool sheep with very fine, dark grey wool.   Then the Lord seemed to be saying to me:

Well Pat, with the Damaras you have 2 products – either breeding stock or meat. Breeding stock isn’t always easy to sell – especially up here in the boondocks. And you know you don’t like selling animals for meat. With these Gotlands, you have a very fine, beautiful wool fleece product.”

I didn’t want the bother of shearing?   Hmmm…  Rethink required?

So I pulled out my mom’s spinning wheel – which over the years I’ve never got rid of.   I have no documentation, and it doesn’t look like anything on the website of our largest NZ maker of spinning wheels. Never mind – I take a photo, email it to them and say, “What model is this?” Got an almost immediate reply, “This isn’t one of ours, it was called the Pipy and you can find the history and documentation here…”

Memories came flooding back – now I remember my mom calling it the Pipy. It’s a great NZ wheel, made in 1968, and it seems the design originated with an old Irish spinning wheel that came out of a bombed house in London after the war, was bought at a second-hand shop, and brought to New Zealand.  This elegant wheel that used to be NZ made, is now discontinued.   But the son of the man who made the wheels has started making spare parts for them. Hallelujah!

Incidentally, for all those who think of spinning as a pastime of little old ladies, research on YouTube and other websites shows many young women are now into spinning wool – and teaching others, too…   Well, well!

I had intended to go on an 8+ hour round trip this morning to pick up a couple of Damara lambs (or whatever – keep an open mind) from the breeder.  Yesterday morning I was thinking about the proposed journey and not feeling very enthusiastic about it.  I shared with the Lord my concern and uncertainties and He said:

This is the path – walk in it.”  OK Lord…   I got on with preparing my vehicle for the journey.

Then Lo and Behold out of the blue last night the breeder rang me to say she now has only one pedigree Damara lamb left.  What do I want to do?   I poured out to her what I’d been thinking. We had a long chat (she is a spinner, it turns out) and I’ve decided to switch horses in mid stream, buy Gotlands from her next year instead, and go into wool: a product that can be sold, not only locally, but also on the Internet.    I think I can see some other angles too – about which, more later.

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
(John 10:2-4, 27)

So I’m not half way down the line to Auckland right now, I’m sitting here at my PC and thinking, “The Lord works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform…”

Quite often, He has to re-educate us in the process.

More next time.

Patricia

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Turn Around!

You are going to TAKE OVER and DISPOSSESS the goat nations and the goat cities and the goat economies until the SHEEP of My possession will take the high places and establish a testimony to My name.”   (The Father Says Today 11 August 2017)

I’m sure this refers not just to nations, but to all of the 7 Mountains of Influence.  Control of these mountains needs desperately to be recovered from the powers and principalities of the enemy.  Here is confirmation that this is in The Father’s plan.

I’ve been out of circulation for quite a few months – and there’s a reason for that.   Back in late 2014 I was struck by a nasty disease called polymyalgia, which came close at the time to destroying my mobility.  Fortunately, once diagnosed, the solution was revealed – prednisone.

Aaargh!  Well I wasn’t entirely happy with THAT, but does one want to walk freely or not?  In addition, polymyalgia was causing mayhem with my blood – too many platelets, anemia etc.  So my doctor put me on a modest dose of prednisone and over the period of about 18 months we tailed it back and achieved a recovery.  (Which some say is impossible.  Well, I’ve got news for you…)

In the meantime, however, I had an accident and went to a chiropractor – fortunately a very good one.   So we entered into a process of sorting out the curves in my spine and re-stabilizing my backbone.

I’d been quite depressed at the time of the polymyalgia.  The only answer seemed to be to move away from this place, which I’ve been associated with for 47 years and have loved dearly.  I’d even got to the point where I wasn’t interested anymore.

But things kept getting in my way – including shortage of finances to get the place tidied up for sale.  On top of that I had a tree fall on my roof (damage? – oh yes!) and a second tree taken down because it was in danger of following suit.   Fallout everywhere.  Funds getting even lower.   I seemed to be stuck in mud.

Maybe I wasn’t meant to go?

Then just before last Christmas, the tide started to turn.  We began to win with the chiropractic. I was no longer limping.  I’m now getting around my land as in the old days – steep and hilly as it is – and working quite hard, if carefully.  There are a few things I now cannot do, but apart from that, the recovery is little short of miraculous.  I will go into this in more detail in a later post.

I decided to stay – how could I ever have thought of leaving?  To keep my grass down I’ve taken on breeding rare breeds Damara sheep.  My first 2 bought in early July are a Damara/Arapawa cross and her daughter.  Both have had lambs – and the lambs at 2 weeks old are a delight.  Damaras hail from Namibia and are thought to be a breed from the Mediterranean that gradually moved south through Africa – a Middle East connection even in this!

My mother bred black Romney sheep here for the wool, and I am pleased to be into sheep now, rather than goats (much as I loved them).  Somehow, ever since I was born again in late 2006, I’ve not got over the biblical distinction between sheep and goats, where the sheep are seen as the flock that knows the Shepherd’s voice and needs protection, and the goats as somehow different:  notwithstanding that both species were herded by the patriarchs, and both contributed great value to the Jewish economy.   Clearly also, if sheep and goats were herded together, there were times when they simply HAD to be separated, for reasons of logistics.

I think it’s worth noting that the iconography that links the image of the goat to Baal and Satan is in fact of fairly recent origin – the Phoenecians and Canaanites depicted Baal as either a man or a man with a bull’s head.  In the bible, Satan is ‘the old serpent’.

The Good Shepherd

Jesus characterized himself, not as a fisher of men, though He used that metaphor to draw in His first disciples, who were fishermen – but as ‘The Good Shepherd’, and sheep feature so many times in His sayings and parables.  I am very happy now to have changed species, and to be in the category of ‘shepherds‘!    Every day I get great joy from this.

The prophecy I quote at the top of this post came to me on 11 August.  It fitted so clearly with what I was doing that it spoke volumes and gave me great comfort.

Jesus foretold this of Himself at His second coming:

“When he finally arrives, blazing in beauty and all his angels with him, the Son of Man will take his place on his glorious throne. Then all the nations will be arranged before him and he will sort the people out, much as a shepherd sorts out sheep and goats, putting sheep to his right and goats to his left.”  (Matthew 25:32-33: The Message)

Hallelujah!

Patricia

 

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My Sheep Hear My Voice

sheep-iiconEarly morning at the most famous church in New Zealand, and certainly the most photographed. This is the Church of The Good Shepherd on the shores of Lake Tekapo in the wild mountain country of the McKenzie Basin in the South Island.

The church was built in 1935 by a number of families farming remote hill stations in the area, originally for their own use. It has a large window behind the altar that looks out on the mountains across the lake.  Clearly, those farmers saw the magnificent country around them as evidence of the Creator’s hand, and they wanted to be reminded of that as they came to worship.

sheep_700

Jesus (The Good Shepherd) said,  “The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
(John 10:2-4, 27)

He also said (at John 10:11), “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”

And that is exactly what He did.

Even now, the world has not come to a full realization of what that means.

He saved every one of those who will follow Him once and for all by paying the ultimate price on the cross.  That offer of salvation is still open, and as spiritual beings we all have an eternity of life ahead of us.  How are we planning to spend it?

So many still rush blindly to destruction, thinking only of the first death, the death of the body.  Thinking, “Once that’s over, it’s all over.  May as well get the max out of this life.”  How foolish that is.  For there still remains the second death, which is the lake of fire where all who have chosen to separate themselves from God by their sin and ungodly living will dwell for eternity.

Jesus made it clear, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep…      I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.”  (John 10:7, 9)

But He will not allow sin and all its ramifications into the New Heaven and the New Earth.  Once was enough.

Think on it.

Patricia

Artwork and Products available in my Damascus Road Gallery. Or click on the images.

sheep-products

http://damascusroad.news

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