The humility of rest


I have grown to love mornings.  Coffee in hand, sleepy eyes I stumble to the place God and I meet every day.   Legs curled under me, I take a sip and breathe.

The day holds so much.  My lists of things to do never seem to go down no matter how many I cross off.  The vast expanse of Luzon and the villages with no churches or true representation of Jesus cry out to my heart.  The needs, problems and solutions to find followed me through the night and are just as present as they were yesterday.  I hear the busy sounds around as my neighbour’s maid starts her morning routine sweeping outside.

And yet I hear His voice as I do every morning.  “Come to Me”.

It is in this coming to Him, I can find rest.   His presence begins to block out the noise of my soul.  Life with Him is not heavy.  It’s the way I try to manage it myself that is heavy.  My independence.  My analyzing and striving.  My self-reliance, even pride to think that I can accomplish all He has set before me.

Another sip of coffee and I relinquish my busy mind to Him.  My efforts even in this time with Him are useless.  Resting takes letting go.  A humility.  A surrendering to the fact that my endeavors are not what this life in Him is about.  I relax.  I can’t make anything happen.  It’s His strength, not mine.  His perfect timing, not mine.  Surrendering my self-will and plans to His peace.  In humility, I lay my heart before Him.  I don’t have it together.  I don’t know what to do.

All I know is, He says “Come to me”.

As we continually come to Him, we continually experience freedom.

And so, we come.  We surrender every agenda and we rest in You.

Matthew 11:28

God calls children

Do you know that around 40% of missionaries report that they were called as children, and 50% of parents of missionaries say their children were called before the age of 10 years?

As a young girl God was doing just that and drawing me into his heart for the lost in the world.  Starting when I was age 4, my father would travel to Sri Lanka and India for mission trips.  Being a photographer he would come back with beautiful pictures of the people and places.  We had a slide projector and we would watch and listen to his stories.  I would think and dream about these fascinating places and of what God was doing there.

I decided I wanted to be a missionary.  But I would lie in my bed in the dark and tell God there was a big problem.  I wanted to be a missionary but I didn’t think I could because of the snakes and spiders.  I asked Him to help me not be afraid and then a mosquito would start buzzing around my ear.  Hiding under the sheets I would call Dad to come and rescue me.  A tiny moth batting around on the ceiling was an emergency call out situation. There wasn’t any way I would sleep with that in my room!  How could I possibly go to India I wondered?  Surely, God had the wrong girl?  Still, my heart dreamed of serving Him in the nations.  Dad kept slides in little plastic boxes.  Sometimes I’d get them from their boxes and hold them up to the light.  Very carefully I’d put them back in their right place and continue to dream.

How many God given dreams have we buried because of fear.  How many people are walking around unfulfilled, unfruitful and out of sync because the fear they allowed was bigger than the dream God put in their heart.

Or even harsher still, how many of us are living in disobedience because of fear.  It’s time that we acknowledge God is bigger don’t you think?  If he puts it in our hearts to do, with it comes an equipping, grace and provision in every way.

2 Timothy 1:7

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power,love and self-discipline.

Who are we to tell God what we can or cannot do?
He would never ask us to do something impossible.  He will back us up with every resource we need, whether it is miracles, finance, or enabling to do what we couldn’t in the natural.

Maybe you are one of the one’s called to missions as a child?
Maybe for whatever reason you have buried it below excuses, false responsibility, fear of man, “sensible thinking”, selfishness, or maybe the enemy tried to take you out of the race.

It’s time for us all to step into our call.  Take a slide and hold it up to the light.  Put your eyes on the goal…Jesus and all He dreams for you.

Touching Heaven 2018 artworkYour kids or those you know can encounter His presence and love at Touching Heaven in New Zealand, 13-14 July 2018.  This is a two day conference just for children and I am trusting that God will ignite passion and dreams in their hearts that will set the direction of their lives!

Registration and info at



What personality type are you?

It’s quite the thing, isn’t it? Those quirky little personality tests on facebook or elsewhere on the internet, telling us who we are as if we didn’t know.  Most of us have done one some time in their life.

For years, I’ve known my “personality type” according to Myers-Briggs.  INFP.  Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving.  I’ve also had people tell me who I am.  My introverted, feeling ways have made me seem like an unlikely leader.  Before I left for the Philippines, someone in authority told me, “You are just not a leader”.  That was interesting.  For sure, I didn’t feel like a leader.  I didn’t feel strong enough and I could see that I was not the charismatic, loud, center of everything type of person.  In fact, I often retreated in big group situations.  But something rose up in me that day and under my breath I said “You have no idea.”  I believe now that was the Holy Spirit.  God was calling me to something so outside of my personality and comfort zone, and I could not be boxed or limited by what Myers Briggs said, or anyone else for that matter.

“Stay in your lane” is a phrase I’ve heard a lot recently. This means stay in the place of your strength, of your talent and gifting and I do agree with this to some extent.

But my question is, who determines your lane?  Is it you?  Are you limiting what you will do because of what you believe about yourself?  What if God wants you out of your area of comfort and strength, and totally cast at His feet in dependence?  What if your lane is living an extraordinary, supernatural life?

I have been thinking about the disciples.  What a bunch of personalities there!
Peter, the crazy go-off-at-the mouth, impulsive, people-pleasing one.
Thomas, the questioning one, who had to see it to believe it.
Simon, the Zealot who would rather die for what was right than live under wrong
John, the one intimate with Jesus, who loved to rest on Him and hear His heart.

And He says to this mixed lot, “Proclaim this message: ‘The Kingdom of heaven has come near’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons….”  Matthew 10:7-8
Jesus didn’t say “I’m going to say something now John but don’t worry, this isn’t for you.  I know you are an introvert and you really would rather just be with me.  I know your personality type and you should stay in your lane.  I’ll send Peter. He’s extrovert and he will go anywhere and say anything to anyone.  It’s his personality.”

Quite the opposite.  Despite the different personalities and giftings, Jesus sent out all 12 disciples.  The introvert went as well as the extrovert to preach and demonstrate the good news of Jesus!
His command is still the same for us as it was for the disciples.  In the same way, he is calling us to live supernaturally beyond our natural personalities and giftings.  So many times, I’m in over my head and actually it is the best place to be.  Here I know I have nothing in myself to make it work and God is going to have to do it.  In our weakness, His strength is seen.

Stay in your lane?  Our lane, no matter our personality, is obedience to Him.

Go!  People are waiting for you!

The dark night

The dark places are my favorite places.
The light shines brightest there.  In the darkness and in the hopelessness.

A few weeks ago, I experienced what may have been one of my favorite times of ministry ever.  We were in one of the darkest places in our city – at the local government hospital.  Health care in this facility is overcrowded and underfunded.  Old and broken-down facilities.  People line the hallways in beds.  The unconditioned air is heavy with the smell of sickness and the atmosphere dripping with fear.

It was night and we were on a mission.  A group of young people gathered outside the hospital.  In a circle, we began to worship.  His presence was so real in that place of darkness.  As the sound wafted through the night air and into the windows of the hospital, groups broke away to go to minister to people.  They carried with them thermoses of hot milo and siopao (steamed pork bun) to give away.  In this hospital, every patient must have someone with them 24/7.  Called ‘watchers” they tend to the care of the patient. They too are in the overcrowded wards with a small plastic chair for the night if they are lucky.  We wanted to minister to them as well as the sick.

The worship continued and atmosphere was changing.  People began coming towards the sound of worship.  Like moths drawn to the light.  I looked around and saw little clumps of our youth ministering with people in different ways.  Some approaching people with food.  Some praying.  Some just talking.  Some worshipping.

Back under a tree in the shadows stood a man.  He was staring as our young people worshipped.  Carrying a hot bowl of champorado (chocolate rice porridge) I smiled and asked him how his day was.  Immediately, he replied. “It’s not a good day”.  Looking perplexed he nevertheless took the champorado from my hands.  “My son has cancer.  It’s been three weeks we have been here now.  I heard the music and I came to see what it was.”  He was in despair.  His son only 18 years old and with little money for his treatment.  We prayed with Him, encouraging Him with the faithfulness of God.  His eyes filled with tears he said “Will you be here tomorrow night?”  Oh my goodness, I wish.  There is so much opportunity and such wide open doors.  The harvest is so ripe.  Jesus send labourers!

So many people were touched with His love that night.  Many of our youth entered the hospital and prayed for patients.  I managed to get past a guard also.  Someone from our team had already given him a steaming bowl of champorado so maybe that helped!  After being inside one of the wards and walking back outside, I was struck with an overwhelming joy that we get to bring His hope. The worship was playing.  Our young people were shining in the darkness.  Jesus was being glorified in that place!  And we are going back!

It’s not complicated

A thin and exhausted woman stood in front of me.  She glanced at her children, unkept, dirty, high on glue and looked back at me.  Her kids were refusing to come home because of the environment there but they were also on a highway to self-destruction sleeping on the streets.  Despite their “colourful” character, they had already stolen a piece of our hearts.  We had been taking food and love to the kids in the local park.  These kids were notorious at that time and we had been pouring all we could into their broken little empty hearts.  Street-wise, with all the tricks of the trade, they set us on a fast track course in loving unconditionally.  It’s easy to say those words however when your love is tested at every turn, it’s another ball game.  Well, I guess not another one.  But the real one.

When God gave us the name “His Heart Ministries”, it came with a huge responsibility.  I feel it constantly.  We cannot carry that name unless we do everything we can to truly be the heart of God.  That takes a constant refining and re-firing.  Some of the disappointments that arise can cause us to become cynical or natural in our thinking. However, the heart of God hurtles towards brokenness and rejection with love and redemption.

“Please come and teach my children about Jesus” she pleaded.

We walked the narrow path to her house, winding through small homes, propped on hillsides made with various pieces of iron patched together anyway possible.  Yasmin and I had no idea what we would find.  With no local language and no interpreter we were well out of our depth.  Stepping up into a little corrugated iron house, we found there was no room for our feet.  The floor covered with children expectantly waiting.  Word had got out that we were coming!

We worshipped.  No one else sang.  How could they?  They didn’t know the words.  Most of the words didn’t mean a whole lot to them anyway.  So we closed our eyes and set our hearts on Jesus.  His presence flowed in that tiny broken house and His love began pouring over hearts.  Parents stood outside peering through the windows.  Hungry for something real – God was wooing them to Himself with love.

prayer mel

We told of God’s love but we had no local language, except a few phrases we had learnt out of necessity with the street kids. Words like “No, Wait, Later, Let me see, What is your name and I love you”.  These words although good didn’t go far in communicating about God.  Some of the kids tried their best to translate.  Talk about in over our heads.

No option but to SHOW His love.  Explanations wouldn’t cut it.  We had to BE Him.  Unconditional love was tested over and over.  We had to show that His love never stops and neither would ours.  Although in the natural so much was missing in this picture His love and presence got under the radar and their hearts began to melt.  Pastors had been coming and going from this area for years.  Burnt out and discouraged they would leave.  But the simple, true message of the gospel was being preached – mostly without words.  The love of God – so radical and so great it is irresistible.

It’s not complicated.  Let’s love.

“Preach the gospel, and if necessary use words”

A House Church is not…

Ok, so I need to get this off my chest.

A house church is not a “small group”.  It is not a “bible study”.  It’s not something additional to a traditional church model service you may attend.  It is a church, a body of believers – Ekklesia – “called out ones”.

I’ve had some interesting conversations with people who have no grid for this.  When I tell them about what God is doing here in the Philippines sometimes I can see them shut down.  They hear the word house church and somehow to them it’s not legitimate.

As Christians, we should know God doesn’t live in temples made by human hands and yet oddly enough we see the building as being some sort of qualifier as to whether there is a church or not.  God’s church are His people.

Romans 16:5 says “greet the church that is in their house”.   Oh! I guess it was a church – in a house!

We are His church.  We, at His Heart are a living community of believers.  We actively shine, love and be Jesus all day every day.  We meet in houses in communities.  We visit one another and care for one another.  When a member is sick, another member will visit and pray.  When someone needs food, the church in that community comes together to provide food.  We often gather in tiny homes no bigger than what would be a small bedroom in the West. Everyone crowds in. Kids, mothers with babies, fathers, grandparents, teenagers, dogs, cats, and sometimes even a mouse scampering around the edges.

The roof can be made of leaky corrugated iron and perhaps the floor is made of dirt but nothing can stop God showing up as hungry hearts unite. Worship begins and His presence falls like rain.  Tears flow.  Children raise their hands to worship. Hearts and bodies are healed.  People grow as they read the scripture together and encourage each other to apply it to their life.  We share communion and people are baptized in water as they choose to follow Him.

When we get too big to fit in a house or too big for people to truly flourish and be cared for, we simply multiply in two.  Half meet in one house and the other half in a different house.  We don’t have to wait to raise money to extend our building so we can handle growth.  All we need is a place where the believers can encourage each other.  Even a shady tree is enough.

Simple church.

Childlike Trust

IMG_0218Not long ago we drove 3.5 hours to find people on the heart of God.  We didn’t know anyone but we came across Sandy*.  Her eyes held a depth of hopelessness and disbelief like I didn’t know existed.  I have seen my share of hopelessness here but this took my breath away.  Living in poverty in a flood zone with her husband and six children, her life had been one of misery. She was born to a blind father and a crippled mother, and because of this had only known financial hardship and ridicule.

No hope for the future.  All of it smashed as everywhere she looked were problems and insurmountable challenges.  What could we do?  God has good things for her.  How can we lift her out of her despair?  Holy Spirit how do we partner with you here?  We took her shopping!  Piling up groceries, she stood crying holding on to her cart in the supermarket.  We told her of God’s love and that He cares.

A few days later, we sat with her outside her home as she ran into the arms of her loving Papa.  She ran into hope.  She ran into her great future in Him.  There was no immediate natural change to her circumstances at this point but her face shone!  Jesus broke through the darkness with His hope and light.

There was a song we had on a Bill Gaither record, back in the day.  It was one of my favorites and I would sing it over and over.

I’m just a child!  My life is still before me
I just can’t wait, to see what God has for me,
But I know that I will trust Him
And I’ll wait to see what life will bring for me.

When I thought about the words, often a feeling of absolute exhilaration would rush over me.  Now I know and recognize that it was the Holy Spirit.  Sometimes I felt like I would burst!  I clearly remember, driving along in our car with Mum during one of these encounter moments.  I shuffled forward to the edge of the back seat so I could lean through the gap in between the front seats to get Mum’s attention.  “Mum, I’m just so excited to see what God has for me!”.  “Oh, that’s good” she replied, as she drove and juggled probably a hundred of other things in her mind as a mother of four kids would be.  By her reaction, I knew she didn’t really understand quite what was going on for me at that moment.  I sat back in my seat but I kept on singing.

Childlike trust and wonder.  You know, I’m now in my late forties, but sometimes I still sing that song.  I still have great expectations for the future and am excited to see what God will do through my life.  I want to remain in that childlike position of perfect trust whether I’m in a dark season or not.

I pray that your heart will be filled with His hope.  I pray that you will be exhilarated by His goodness and promises and that He will bring you into a place of perfect trust and peace.
Let’s grow down.  Childlike trust.  He has good plans.

Journeying with you,
With love,

*Sandy is not her real name