David Pawson -  The Holy Spirit Series Pt7 - Acts Part 1

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Thoughtful Thoughts 13.5.2022 by John Dunning. The Holy Spirit Pt. 7;

Disciples filled with the Holy Spirit series;- Lillian Trasher 

Introduction…

This series is based on what God was able to do with disciples filled with the Holy Spirit. 

Lillian can teach us the importance of allowing ourselves to be taught by God’s Word and the Holy Spirit, as David said, in the Psalms. (Even if that means ignoring church leaders!)

1). Lillian Trasher’s call and preparation…

A little-known missionary started an orphanage in Egypt which became the largest in the Middle East. Lillian Trasher’s call from God was so intense she broke off her engagement to a minister to follow God’s call for her to go to Egypt to start an orphanage. 

Turned down by a missionary society for being too poor and dependent, Lillian Trasher left the USA without support, simply trusting God to provide all the resources needed. She even worked as a cleaner to raise enough money for the ship fare. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTeR7gj0koM

2). Lillian Trasher’s orphanage miracles…

A book by Janet & Geoff Benge on Lillian Trasher walks us through her life of faith. Lillian Trasher left it to God to provide accommodation, food, and clothes for whatever number of children God sent. Supplies simply kept arriving for the orphanage. From that book, this;-

"Do you mean to say you have no food for tomorrow?" the Egyptian man sputtered. 

"Well, yes," Lillian replied.

The man exclaimed, "How awful! Will you be able to sleep tonight?"

One of the orphan girls laughed out loud and said, "Why! Mama never has any food for tomorrow, and she never loses sleep over it!"

And again;- "When Lillian Trasher founded Egypt's first orphanage, others thought that a lone American woman with no means of support would surely be killed or starve to death. But Lillian - certain of God's guidance - stood by her earlier promise to Him, 'If ever I can do anything for You, just let me know - and I'll do it.'

In the midst of poverty, war, and deadly epidemics, Lillian faced each day with a heart of trust, modeling the life she hoped her children would someday live in their own homes. During fifty tumultuous years, this ‘Mother of the Nile’ cared for thousands of desperate children - with unwavering faith, that God does indeed look after the orphans.

“By 1923 the Orphanage at Asyût was also housing widows and the blind, and the headcount was 300.  Sometimes the orphanage ran out of food, but miraculous intervention always arrived in time.  On one such occasion, the residents woke up to find nothing to eat—not even day-old bread or sour milk.  Unfazed, Trasher gathered her charges around the empty table and told them to thank God for the wonderful meal he would send them.  After the Amen was uttered, a truck pulled up to the back of the orphanage and unloaded sacks of flour, rice, beans, peas, and crates of milk, bread, and eggs—the gift of an anonymous donor”.

Everyone become very protective of the orphanage, to the point where it was renamed “The Lillian Trasher Orphanage” after her death, and it still exists today. 

3). Legacy…

There was a time when missionaries were nicknamed ‘The people of the Book’ by locals. That nickname has been lost in the mists of time. Instead, now, I hear Christians quoting church leaders, or worse still, making excuses for the church. Listen, there was a time when missionaries used coffins as suitcases when leaving home to go overseas, knowing that most missionaries never returned, (due to either being killed or dying of disease.)

Now compare those heroes of the faith with church leaders who dress up as if they are Roman emperors for their church services as if they were in charge of something. That attitude problem of being above others, which they have, continues to this day. Before leaving the Anglican church, even when asked simply to lead the prayers, I was told I had to wear the London Bible College ‘Hood’, because I was told, “people expected it”. That was the only time it ever got worn, as I left to become a Baptist, but it shows how ludicrous it has all become. 

Conversely, some leaders of American megachurches misquote scripture by saying that they are the “head and not the tail”. This air of superiority is not only ludicrous, but the opposite of everything Jesus taught about following Him. Then they twist scripture by quoting the Old Covenant to get money out of people. Many years ago, there was an American poll, where the general public were asked to list in order, how they rated certain professions. The public rated TV evangelists along with prostitutes. Yet in New Zealand, the Salvation Army was voted by the public as the best people to be given NZ$1million by a gas station. This shows that the general public are far more astute than we give them credit for. 

Conclusion…

We need to return to Jesus teaching, just as our examples of true servants of God have, who simply believed Him, and introduced hospitals, schools, and numerous social reforms, not just in Britain but overseas where women were often killed by cultures using their religion to justify it. We take for granted the reforms that came about because there were Christians who trusted in God and acted in faith to change the world. (For example, today in history, May 12th, Florence Nightingale was born who started hospitals, but more on that next time!) So many things would not have happened if these Christians had not believed that the Holy Spirit of God was for Christians today just as much as for New Testament disciples. 

4). Names of the Holy Spirit series… Spirit of Wisdom

a). -Ephesians 1:17

“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know HIM better.”

This is John Dunning signing off from “Thoughtful Thoughts” for another week.

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