Important Day In History


On this day: 8th June 1978

Naomi James breaks the solo round-the-world sailing record by two days with her 53 ft yacht Express Crusader when she crossed the finish line in Dartmouth taking 272 days to complete the record.

Also on that day…

The Bajanpoet was born!


Happy Birthday

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!!!!!!!!

Another “I’m Not Dead” Post…


I have some stuff going on in my mind but just haven’t gotten around to blogging about it yet.

Don’t fear -The Hand of God isn’t short (or cut off! 😆 )  Ok, bad pun.

Seriously, I have a couple ideas I want to post on.  Thank you for not forgetting me.   Keep praying!

Personal Devotions: Faith in Action!


Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense? (James 2:14-17, MSG)

I’m reading through the book of James with a friend.  This morning, while reading James 2, the concept of faith being inextricably linked to works was highlighted.  The fact is, you can’t have one without the other.  As the Message Bible continues:

18I can already hear one of you agreeing by saying, “Sounds good. You take care of the faith department, I’ll handle the works department.”

Not so fast. You can no more show me your works apart from your faith than I can show you my faith apart from my works. Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove.

You need both.  It’s so important that both faith and works be together that The Message has a word picture of a corpse if they are separated:

Do you suppose for a minute that you can cut faith and works in two and not end up with a corpse on your hands? (vs 20, MSG)

and

The very moment you separate body and spirit, you end up with a corpse. Separate faith and works and you get the same thing: a corpse. (vs 26, MSG)

So, here’s my action!  James also mentions what ‘religion’ means  to God…

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.  James 1:27 (NIV)

My friend, Alece, is the president of a ministry Thrive Africa, whose mission, from their website, is to “disciple Believers, equip leaders, and strengthen the Church in Southern Africa.”  She continues, ” We accomplish this through AIDS preventionpastoral development,discipleship classesyouth camps,mission trips, and more.”

I placed a banner to their store on my blog, and I’ve been folllowing Alece’s story on her personal blog Grit and Glory.

22Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror24and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.

She has become a blog friend – one who I connect with through her words on her blog, and through her story… but reading this Scripture today I am inspired to DO SOMETHING.  I am thinking about my finances and what I can do to help her ministry, but the SOMETHING I can start with is free… highlight her, her ministry, and their need here.

Thrive Africa needs assistance. Here’s part of the need from their website:

We have set a goal to raise $80,000 in new support by June 1.

$60,000 in one-time gifts by April 15

to get us up-to-date on our operating expenses

$20,000 in new monthly commitments by June 1

to continue our programs at current levels.

It is a God sized request for a God sized vision.  I want to help.  And I’m asking all to help as well.  Let us not just hear what the word says. Let’s do what it says, and help.

For more information, go to Impact South Africa, from Thrive Africa.

And get to know Alece, and her inspirational and authentic story at her personal blog – Grit and Glory.

Personal Devotions – Rest


29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.

30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;

31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
(Isa 40:29-31 NIV)

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This post is overdue…. sorry about that 🙂  You can see why I needed the rest – this post was sitting in my Drafts folder unfinished (un-started – just the title!)  for a week before I could get to it….

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I have been pondering these verses about rest for a little while now.  Isaiah 40:31 was given to me prophetically by one of my best friends and chief intercessors, who told me that God wanted me to rest.  I was known to others and to myself as prophet, encourager, listener, advisor, friend, confidant, minister… all these things … for so long – that being told I needed to stop them for a time of sabbatical threw me into a tail spin.  I had an identity crisis.

It was hard to unplug, hard to stop the good things like praying for people, prophesying, seeing God’s hand in deliverance even over the internet… it still is hard.  But I’m trying to make it good.  I’m trying to obey the word of the Lord, and work Isa 40:31 into my life.  “They that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength….” (KJV)   Once you wait your strength shall be renewed. That’s a promise.  So I’m being deliberate…..

So deliberate, in fact, that for a time, I’m on vacation.  It’s nice not to have the constant demands of husband and father for a bit.  I can just be.  I didn’t even have to rush and get up to cook breakfast like I usually do – I came down to my own father having finished breakfast, rather than having to do it myself! (Hallelujah chorus in background!)

So, here I am.  Trying to get rest.  Wondering whether I should feel guilty for feeling so free… and just wanting to rest, not only from responsibility, but learning how to rest in God as well.

Father God, show me how to enter your rest.  Help me to stop striving. Help me to not work, but take this time as a Sabbath time, holy unto you.  Help me to come back refreshed, but also with a plan as to how to move forward.  Speak to me during this time, so that it will not have been a time to just goof off, but that I would seriously hear what you are saying to me during this quiet time.  I ask that for those of us who read here, that you extend your rest to them as well.  Thinking about my friends who are battle weary,  frustrated or even just weary ( my last convo with Annie – love you little sis!) and I ask for rest for them too!  Thank you Lord!  AMEN.

Welcome to the Hand of God!


This is a special welcome to every new member of the Hand of God, especially those personally invited by my new family at the Daily Audio Bible community.  I have made a whole new set of friends on the chat rooms there, and want to shout out AmariNanny, Calico, Dennis, Servant-Ken, Newme, Jai, Southampton and all the others that I’ve started to connect with.

So, if you’re new, you’re wondering what this blog is all about, right?  Right?  Well, according to my About page (didya see that coming? Didya?…):

The purpose of the Hand of God is to chronicle God’s hand in my life, and testify of the things God does when I pray for others.  Here you will see slices of heaven on earth, where the miraculous meets the mundane.  I also share parts of my life and try to be as open online as I am in person.

Here there are several testimonies of God working supernaturally in my life and in the lives of others around me:

My Supernatural Stories series

Here is my series on deliverance teaching – Deliverance Foundations

Here’s another series I’ve done – Life Together series

Ok! That’s a lot!  I’ll post another links page for more forays into the innards of the blog.

Please comment in the blog if you find something you like, or contact me at handofgod.blog (at) gmail (dot) com.

Table Churches


Stumbled onto this blog post Fulcrum Express, and this post,  Improbable Church, where the author starts off with

The church that meets together at my home each Friday evening to share a meal, encounter God and minister one to another is an improbable assembly of believers and even not-yet believers. We cut across races, cultures, nationalities, social status, and so many other lines — producing a rich tapestry of interwoven lives.

I love his explanation of how the church meets in his context – share a meal, encounter God and minister to one another.  That is so simple, yet so profound!  A mottley crew of people of all walks of life – even people who have not yet committed to the faith… that’s so awesome!

It makes me remember my friend Archie, who’s starting a whole new expression of the body of Christ called Fresh Connection.  He told me the first time people are meeting is this Wednesday – I told him I’d love to be there online.. maybe we can see how that can work.  God’s doing some great things!

His post references another post on the same blog site, “Table Church, Podium Church and Facilitating Leadership” which has an interesting ‘twist’ to the New Testament church model, made popular by the proliferation of ‘house based’ or ‘cell based’ churches that are gaining popularity.

The first part of this new post speaks to the author’s having to deal with a controlling pastor and how this experience made him search the Scriptures to find Biblical evidence of leadership.  He says, in part:

“Church” as it’s come to be is now largely pastor led and podium focused, with professional “ministry” and largely passive pew sitters. We have lost the New Testament pattern of a community of believers served by local elders and other leaders, who function in a collegial framework of diverse gifts to sacrificially equip all believers for works of service as we all minister to each other. See Eph. 4:11-12 & 16.

So there’s the challenge of our day: Do we want New Testament leadership that is facilitating rather than controlling, elders who are engaged rather than pastor-centric, and ministry that is diversified rather than centralized? Are we willing to take back our churches and once again be the church?

He coins an interesting term for traditionally styled churches – podium churches.  I don’t want to beat the dead horse of traditonal vs non traditional churches specifically… I want to get to how the church is shaped in his context – what he  calls ‘table churches‘.

The home-based model for the first three centuries of church history was firmly rooted in the New Testament, where believers met, fellowshipped, shared communion and a meal together in each other’s homes. Interestingly, and contrary to our current male dominated “churches” where women are typically excluded from key roles, those home fellowships were often hosted by women such as Mark’s mom in Jerusalem (Acts 12:12), Lydia in Philippi (Acts 16:15 & 40), and Priscilla in Ephesus and then Rome (Rom. 16:3-5 and 1 Cor. 16:19).

That’s the beginning of his context.  He mentions that Jesus himself orchestrated the home based model

Jesus himself established this pattern of home-oriented fellowship in Luke 10:1-11. He sent seventy disciples, two by two, to find houses of peace (likely headed by those who were not yet believers) to serve as focal points for bringing the Kingdom of God into a new town or village.

The author says that he focused this text – wrongly – on the disciples, but that the fulcrum was the homes of peace that the disciples were to use to operate from:

For too long, I wrongly focused in this passage on the disciples. After all, they were the ones sent out by Jesus himself and I thought they were the most important element for advancing God’s Kingdom. In reality, however, the key was those homes of peace, where hospitality and blessing could flow forth and draw people in. Absent such households, the disciples could do nothing and were commanded to shake the dust off their feet as they left for the next town.

Again, he says

I don’t think this focus by Jesus, Peter or Paul on using peaceful homes as the foundation for authentic fellowship, discipleship and church growth was an accident. It simply is not possible for people to feel the intimacy and security needed to open up, share with each other, develop their gifts, and minister one to another in larger, podium-focused meetings. Plus, homes of peace are the ideal setting for being the church, because the gift of hospitality naturally draws people in and fosters authentic relationships.

So how does he express the meeting of the believers? These are the points in his article that are expanded on:

New Testament churches typically met in homes where people shared communion and fellowship over a meal.

When New Testament Christians gathered together, they each were to come with something to contribute so they could minister one to another.

Table churches are not supplements or tack-on’s for podium churches. If anything, it should be the other way around!

Jesus told us to go out into the world to gather the harvest, and that’s what New Testament Christians did.

I will encourage you to read the article, but basically I will end with one more quote from this author:

Go! Find a household of peace or, if there are no households, then a person of peace — even if they are not yet believers. Bless them by asking what they need Jesus to do for them, then pray for them. If the Lord confirms his blessing by meeting them in their needs, you don’t have to “organize” things. They, instead, will call their friends and neighbors to come and share a meal at their house as they exclaim what the Lord has done for them. They will be excited and God will use their natural gift of hospitality and peace to attract people into the Kingdom.

From there, it’s easy — ask those who come (even if they are not yet Christians!) to share with each other what God is saying to them as he draws them to himself. They just sort of naturally become Christians without needing to be pushed!

In fact, I’m seeing on average about two to three people testify each week, sitting around various tables, that God met them over the prior week and they committed their lives to Jesus. Others in that fellowship will quickly come beside them to help them to find their own gifts, teach them to expect that God will continue to speak to them, and to lean that God will give them whatever is needed to minister one to another. Sometimes I jump in, but mostly I just sit back and watch ‘em take off!

Question: Why do you blog?


Got into a heated discussion with someone who suggested I stop blogging because I have too much of my life on public display. I disagreed.

I blog for social reasons as well as to testify to God’s goodness to me.  I blog because I have gotten major support from the blogosphere as I go through my struggles.  I have gotten the major part of my support from people I met through my blog.   I ministered through my blog as well, but that is on hiatus for the moment – right now it is to give and receive encouragement and have connection with other parts of the Body of Christ.  If someone has gone through what I have and can relate, so much the better – we might have a great conversation.  If not, it at least it might be a good read, right? Right now,  God has encouraged me to blog my devotions so that I can get more consistent with it – make the devotion fun by mixing it with something I enjoy doing, you know?

However, this argument made me start to think.  If you blog, why do you?