Dear brothers and sisters
"Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matt 6:33-34
We have recently heard about the parable of the farmer who sowed his seed. We heard that some seed fell along the path, some on rocky ground and then others among thorns. How easily ‘thorns’ can come into our life and rob us of God’s Word taking root. These ‘thorns’ can be good things like eg. progressing in our job…., At the time we think it’s good, but in the end it can end up taking us away from God. When they become number one they usurp God’s place and end up competing with God for our attention. 
One way to overcome this is to “Seek first His Kingdom…” We don’t have to compete for these things because God has said, in His Word, that if we put Him first everything else will naturally flow from this. God desires to bless us. 
So let’s be the good soil where His Word (seed) falls and produces a crop – hundredfold, sixtyfold, thirtyfold… as we seek His Kingdom first. 

Your brother in Christ.  

Here is testimony of a healing at the recent Alpha Day:
You may remember that a Word on Knowledge was spoken about someone that Jesus wanted to heal with a sore back, more specifically for shoulder blades. I put my hand up as I have had chronic pain in my shoulder blades from stress for years. Someone else put their hand up too, so after I was prayed over initially and didn't feel much change, I thought it must have been a Word for the other person.

Near the end of the session, we were asked to put our hands up for more prayers if needed, so I put my hand up again. I had my mum and another lady praying over me and I could feel the warmth of the Holy Spirit. I think you must have walked past and prayed over me three times, each time asking questions which were spot on. It was like you were in my head so God must have been really clearly speaking to you.  

You asked me if my issue was stress related. I said yes but didn't mention that I had suffered from a severe case of Burnout where I was emotionally, physically and spiritually distressed and had been since December. My digestive system had shut down and I was producing ridiculous amounts of the stress hormone cortisol which I couldn't get rid of each day - thus my body shutting down (Burnout). 

You then asked if I felt like I had gone a bit crazy in the head lately. A side effect of burnout, due to the emotional distress and excess cortisol, are depressive thoughts and severe anxiety. I had experienced many weeks of not really knowing where I was or if I was physically or mentally present. You prayed over me that I would never go to that dark place again.

You then came back and prayed specifically for the little girl inside of me to let go of the stress and heightened state of alert that I was clinging on to and that it was time to stop thinking I had to be on guard and perform for others. The performance comment was specifically what my GP had told me needed to let go of in order for me to get better. Although I had been off work for 5-6 weeks at that stage, was exercising, eating well and doing nothing more stressful than sitting on the couch all day, I was unable to relax. I would find myself sitting with clenched fists each day, even when just sitting on the couch. I was also exercising excessively and receiving therapeutic massage and cupping from my Physio each week to release the excess cortisol I was still producing. After the prayer, I felt a huge release from inside, but didn't associate it with my back. I think I sobbed a million tears that day too so I was still exhausted when I got home.

It was the next day after the Gathering when I realised that I hadn't had Scott use the bullet massager on my shoulder blades the night before. He had been doing that religiously for me daily for many months. It was then that I also realised that my shoulder blades were no longer hurting and there was no tension there either. I kept searching for it with my hand, but the pain and tension was gone. It reminded me of Psalm 37 "...indeed you will look carefully for his place, But it shall be no more...". I had been claiming this Scripture daily for healing from Burnout since February and although I was now trusting God, He had provided for us financially so I could stay home, I was feeling much better and had received other healing along the way, God chose that day to heal me of the cause of the Burnout. I have realised since then that it was the driving factor in me pushing myself to extreme lengths to succeed to be seen. Prior to this, the little girl inside me had believed that she had to look after herself and that she had to be on guard at all times for over 40 years, so the weight that was lifted was huge. 

I am now able to relax for the first time in my life without any effort from myself and even more importantly, I don't feel guilty for doing so. I also no longer wear my mouthguard to bed because I'm not clenching my teeth. Before that day it had been a daily battle to consciously slow myself down, walk slowly and even to get to sleep. I couldn't sit still or concentrate for anything other than short periods of time. Since my healing, there is no more effort from me required to "be still" (which is what I know God wanted me to do). It didn't happen all at once. Layer by layer, God healed me and just as He said, the battle was always His. 
I have since visited my Physio, who was so surprised when I went back for my visit and said that she couldn't believe the difference, so much so that she pushed my next appointment to be 4 weeks later. Throughout my many weekly sessions over the previous 2 months, I had been sharing with her about my experience which included how I believed that ultimately, God would heal me. She had always been professional, polite and not commented as we are of different faiths, but this time she was able to see it with her own eyes. 

Last week I had to find a new GP as Scott and I moved house during my Burnout too. As part of the usual first visit, the GP had to take my blood pressure. It had been 145/95 the last time it was taken which gave cause for them to do an ECG. After my healing, I received my first normal blood pressure reading in 14 years. I was shocked when she said it was excellent (129/77). It had been high for so many years prior to my burnout despite no physical reason for it. I guess that's what happens when God heals your heart. Everything else falls into place too. During this process I have transitioned from being self-reliant to God-reliant.

I thought it was important to share with you to say thank you for being open to hearing God's voice and allowing Him to use you for my healing. This has encouraged me to ask God to use me as well.
Please pray for our upcoming outreaches over the next couple of months:
Healing Service - MAY 
Aim To Love course - APRIL to JUNE (follow up from Alpha)
Inner Healing Outreach - JUNE
Aim To Love monthly meetings with Uganda and Melbourne - APRIL to SEPTEMBER

We have an amazing God!
Phillip shares on "Escaping the Thorn Garden"
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