Dorrigo Life: reflection on trees

My husband, John (who pastors  the Dorrigo LifeSprings Church), and I enjoy, really enjoy, travelling in the car together. Our favourite get-a-ways consist of a car, a country road and somewhere nice. Living on the New England Plateau we often see that trees in isolation do not survive so long as those left as groves, along fence lines or planted as wind breaks. Safety is in numbers. Recently, we came across the peculiar growing habits of the giant Californian Redwood trees, hundreds of feet tall with a tiny tap root. Survival in the often severe storms that come in from the Pacific Ocean is because of the interdependent root system just below the surface.

redwood rootsOur own Eucalypti have a similar structure, shallow rooted to take advantage of the often infrequent rainfall; but in the cleared farmlands , are at risk of weather and the pest attacks that intensify when the natural habitats of the creatures that keep the balances disappear.

It is no wonder that the Holy Spirit tells us to “not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.“(Hebrews 10:25)

“grown together, life entangles us,

the strength of my sister makes me stronger,

the strength of my brother helps me grow taller,

safe in the storm”

Be filled with the fire from Heaven.

 

In the Old Testament, Fire and Presence are often connected in the Scriptures: the flaming torch that passed between the sacrifice while Abram slept, the burning bush, the pillar of fire by night, the fire on Mt Sinai when God was present. For us of the New Covenant, the dedication of Solomon’s temple is particularly relevant.

“When Solomon finished praying, fire flashed down from heaven and burned up the burnt offerings and sacrifices, and the glorious presence of the LORD filled the Temple.” (2 Chronicles 7:1)

When the 120 of the upper room waited by the command of Jesus “until you have been clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49), they experienced the sound of a mighty rushing wind with “tongues of fire” that appeared over each one present. Their lives radically changed from that moment  as they experienced ‘the glorious presence of the Lord’

“… do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?” 1 Corinthians 6:19

Our lives, too, are radically changed, the fundamental nature of our experience as people is altered, to one of living in the power of God when we are clothed with the fire of Heaven.

came_to_bring_fire_to_earth

Living in Dorrigo

cropped-jacaranda.jpgLiving in Dorrigo has proved to be even more delightful than I had anticipated . The sky seems closer, the trees more alive, the soil more generous. The air is consistently keener and sharpens me nicely. Winter has just begun, but like elsewhere, day to day predictions are untrustworthy. Most days are a  gloriously crispy blue and the waterlogged ones have the comforts of work, fires and friendships to compensate.

DSC_1555 The landscape is broad, with lane-ways and country roads that take you into hidden valleys and surprising finds.

DSC_1389 Like this gate; obviously loved, apparently leading no-where, but nevertheless being there, joyous.

The skies are miracles

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and the bush

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and the beach

DSC_1283  are not too far away

 

DSC_0934 and even three day old nasturtium culls look good.

 

The path that brought us here, unexpected and difficult at first, has become a path of peace.

 

“around the throne was a rainbow’… is that where our tears end up?

Dorrigo LifeSprings

Many years ago I saw this picture in the Spirit… a connection between two scriptures. It has continued to encourage myself and others many times since then.

“Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne.3And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne…” Rev 4:2-3

and “You Yourself have recorded my wanderings. Put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your records? ” Psalm 56: 8

promise Inekaprohetic artwork by Ineke Hopgood

I saw Papa God surrounded by the records of all our heart-aches, sorrows and burdens because He had gathered every tear that fell from every eye and collected them in prisms of His love and was shining His light through them,  clothing  Himself with the promises He made…no more…

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The Open Door

open door

Reflections from Dorrigo LifeSprings church service this week.

“As we spent much time in the presence of God, He caused our hearts to be opened to all that is written.” Agnes Ozman, who asked for and received the baptism of the Spirit on January 1st 1901.

When we open our hearts to Him, He will open our hearts to receive revelation and understanding of “all that is written”. “Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures” Luke 24:45

There is also, now, “a door standing open in heaven.” Revelation 4:1,   “an open door which no one can shut, because you have a little power, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name” Revelation 3:8

Jesus says “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in” Revelation 3:20. When we open the door and Jesus comes in, He come in trailing the Glory of an open access to  the presence of God, an access that He will never deny us.

“You are calling us ever onward, through the open door. The door You opened, the door You will never close. You are calling us ever onward , through that always opening door” A praise prayer from my mum, Beverley, 89 years old, a crazy lover of God and one of the delights of my life.