Tag Archives: river of life

The river, fullness and Heidi: A Dream

“Blouberg in Praise” Laurie-Ann Zachar Copple, 2021 (c)

The River, fullness and Heidi – Sept 11, 2022

I’ve been dreaming significant, intense dreams since returning to Canada. I’ll share them with you as I can. This dream is not just for me and it reminds me of the 1990’s Vineyard song, “The River is Here.” I’m pretty sure it’s on YouTube. Now my dreams often have a significant Iris or Alpha leader in them, since I was involved in both movements (and we have always loved the Alpha Course in different formats (prison, seniors’ homes, churches, community centres). Iris will always be a part of my life, just like I have a history with Catch the Fire, Vineyard and the Baptist and Anglican Churches. I’m not surprised when symbols from these movements and churches are shown. It would be the same in your own dreams. Yet, Heidi Baker is often shown as she is: full of joy, faith, hard work, perseverance and LOVE. She’s someone who is intent on obedience to the Holy Spirit and is sensitive to his leading. So, when Heidi (or her husband Rolland) shows up, I pay attention.

Here is the dream: I had an intense dream full of colours, tastes and sounds.  I was quite mobile (not like I currently am in waking life), and I was working with Heidi Baker on the side of a lovely little stream.  There were people who were worshipping and doing a dance in the stream.  Heidi told me that I could take a break from the grunge work that I was happy to do with her.  She told me that I needed to drink deeply and that I could only work and minister by filling up again.  She gave me one of her sweet smiles, and a hug.  

So I walked just a bit further down the stream to find a spot where you could walk over the stream via stepping stones.  However, the stream began to run faster, deeper and wider.  I managed to barely get across, before the stones were underwater, and the current of the now river was running fast.  

The little dancing worship team continued to worship and dance in the shallows, where they welcomed me.  Then the river again grew even wider and more and more of my team members were carried by the current.  They weren’t afraid, but they were full of joy.  I laughed as my teammates received.  I continued to splash, just glad to be mobile and worship without having to sit down.  The river was filling me with life.

As the river grew, you could hear Heidi’s voice over the water, saying, “Thank you, Lord.  Thank you.  We are so thirsty.” 

The river is coming.  The tide is turning towards us.  Are you ready? Let’s pray to become thirsty.

Lord, I ask for those who are reading, as well as myself, that we become thirsty for you. Please soften our hearts to receive your life-giving rain, your Holy Spirit. Give us new wineskins to hold your new wine. Prepare us for a wonderful outpouring from you. Refresh us, as we wait on you for assignments, or as we are currently in an assignment for you. Refresh the new believers to give them extra grace to grow well in your kingdom. And prepare us for the day when many prodigals return and new people come to faith in You. Give us dreams and visions to guide us, and may your scripture come alive to us as we read your story and the story of your people. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

If you have been blessed by this article, please let us know! 

Updates:  For those looking for news, Tony continues his immunotherapy infusions at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto.  Tony had his CT scan recently, but we are waiting on an oncology consult in October to check how the tumour has responded to the immunotherapy (after four treatments).  His fifth infusion is in early October as well. Otherwise, he will continue for some time (years??). We are thankful that his side effects are minimal compared to how chemo was with L-A three years ago.

We are thankful for the skills of Tony’s doctors, and that the tumour in Tony’s lung lining shrinks and even disappears.   Thanks for coming alongside in encouragement and prayer.  

Laurie-Ann is being monitored for hot flashes but cannot yet take hormone replacement therapy due to her past with breast cancer. Perhaps her oncologist will clear it, but there are other ways to treat this menopause left-over. She continues to receive compression therapy for lymphedema but we cannot afford lymphedema massage treatment or physiotherapy due to lack of finances. We are trying to get a disability pension for L-A, but it’s extremely difficult, and even her spine MRI from Worcester, SA is being questioned. The disability pension would morph into an old age pension, so we’re wondering if it will be worth the effort for less than four years (L-A is 61 and will be eligible at age 65 if the age isn’t raised to 67). But we will manage with the Lord’s help, and we are thankful for living at L-A’s dad’s home while we care for him (he is 93, frail, with vascular dementia and incontinence). During this time, while we are in Toronto to care for my dad, we three actually take care of each other.

If you feel led to contribute towards medications, hospital parking, hospital travel expenses, and perhaps lymphedema treatments for L-A, this would be most welcome.  Not everything is covered under Tony’s senior drug plan and OHIP, but don’t feel obligated.  But meanwhile, all L-A’s teachings and articles are online for free to bless you.  Here is our Paypal for any of you who feel led to contribute: https://www.paypal.me/WaystogrowinGod

Laurie-Ann’s Colouring Books:   If you are in South Africa, and would like to purchase one of L-A’s colouring books, some are available at LeRoux and Fourie wine shop on R60 beside Cape Lime.  This is west of Robertson in Western Cape.  Or you can have your own copies printed for you through Print on Demand through Takealot.com. 

Link for Colouring with Jesus 1:  https://www.takealot.com/colouring-with-jesus/PLID68586424

Link for Colouring with Jesus 2: https://www.takealot.com/colouring-with-jesus-2/PLID72991486

We plan to republish the updated books in North American format (and in English only) in the future (after taking care of family).  

L-A is beginning to imagine writing other books, so watch this blog for more info when it comes. Right now she is learning how to write in that format (and may rewrite Holy Ghost Sommelier as well). Here is a little tidbit. Did you know that it’s now the current writing fashion to write shorter books? We guess that L-A’s story (and perhaps Ways to Grow in God), will be shorter in the future. Hmmm. We wonder if that applies to sermons, haha. It depends on which church you attend!

Meanwhile, my colouring sheets are available to children’s ministries for free; please send us your email address and let us know you would like some.  Bless you, and thank you for your prayers and support!

Love, Laurie-Ann

Living Water to Thirsty People

(image by Sheilasheart.com)

by Laurie-Ann Copple.
Given in Kissy (suburb of Freetown, Sierra Leone) April 2010

Talks in Africa series

(Props: Need glass of water, jug of water)
(Hold up a glass or a jug of water)

I prayed for what the Lord would say to you today through the Word of God and my teaching, and I kept getting pictures of the living water of God.   Look at this glass of water, it is something that we as people cannot do without, we need to drink and we get thirsty.

(THIRST)   My friends, I know that we are a thirsty people both physically and in our souls. We were made by the Lord to love him and be loved by him. Throughout the Bible, the Spirit of God is talked about as living water, a river, rain, a deep well and other pictures of water. This makes sense because as people, we are made up of 70 per cent water and I have been told that we need to drink lots of water to stay healthy. So while we are seeking the Lord for spiritual health, we are going to discover a few of those water images that are in the Bible.

We long to be loved, we long to be satisfied with what we do, and in our relationship with God. In Isaiah 55, we are given an invitation to come drink at the waters, and even the poor with no money are invited to come and buy wine and milk without cost. The Lord invites us in to listen to Him, to eat what is good for your soul and you will delight in the richest of fare (Isa 55:1-2). I am not talking about food for the stomach here, as much as I really like rice. I am talking about spiritual food for your souls and the living water that completely satisfies the thirst you have inside you. This thirst is our longing to sense that God is here with us and will give us a deep peace that we can find nowhere else. This gives us a feeling of being deeply loved so we know that even when we have troubles, God will care for us and give help in handling what we need to do.

(RIVER) In Ezekiel 47, the prophet is given a vision and sees a river of living water coming out from under the Temple in Jerusalem and flowing east. Imagine that the Sierra Leone river connects with this heavenly river. All you need to do is to walk into it.

You probably don’t swim in the Sierra Leone river right now, do you? But imagine that it’s God’s river, right here in Kissy, here in Freetown. This river is clean, and full of the life that God gives. It’s like God has breathed life into the river.

In Ezekiel 47, the prophet walks to the east, and an angel measures the depth of the river water. The depth of the river gets deeper from ankle-deep, to knee-deep, to waist-deep to a depth where he could only swim and no longer walk across the river.

Along the shores of the river there used to be a lifeless desert, but because the river was full of life, all the land along the shores were now as beautiful and full of life as a garden in spring. This river of God is full of life. There is a song that we sing in some Canadian churches called ‘The River of God.’ Some of its words go like this: “The River of God, is teeming (or really full) with life, and all who touch it can be revived, and those who linger on this river’s shore, will come back thirsting for more of the Lord.” This is a song full of laughter and joy, which is what the Holy Spirit of God fill us with as we delight in Him. Psalm 34:8 gives us the promise to “Taste and see that the Lord is good, happy are those who trust in Him.” This happiness is not something like laughing at a funny story or a joke, but a deep contentment that stays with you even on difficult days and reminds you that God never leaves you. When the song talks about the river giving life, being revived, and wanting more, what do you think of? It sounds like healing, it sounds like being full of God’s presence, and it sounds like fun!

It is this same river of life that is mentioned in the book of Revelation at the end of the Bible. This river is in Heaven, but also in a spiritual way, the Holy Spirit fills us with that river as we submit to Jesus. It is this river that Jesus talks about in John 7: 37-39. At one time Jesus came to the celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem. During this celebration, the priest would pour out water from a jug (like the one I now have) into a trough. He did this to act out what Ezekiel had written about in the Bible concerning the life-giving river coming from the Temple of God. While the priest was pouring out the water for that year’s Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus was there. He cried out to the crowd, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this he meant the [Holy] Spirit, whom all those who believed in him were later to receive.

Do you also remember the Samaritan Woman at the well in the Gospel of John? When Jesus asked for some water, she was shocked because she was not Jewish like he was, and she was like the lowest class of people and a woman as well! She was very surprised he had noticed her. It would have been like a rich person noticing someone who lives on the streets. In Canada we have some people who are poor and live on the streets – others in the same city may walk by them and not notice them. They may pretend the street people are not there, so these needy people become invisible. This lady likely felt invisible and we find out later that she was considered an outcast. But Jesus spoke to her.

He tells her about the living water and she responds with a thirst and curiosity that grows as she begins to find out who Jesus really is. Jesus says to her in John 4: 13 – “Everyone who drinks this [well] water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” This is eternal life, with springs of water where you are satisfied. My friends, does that make you feel thirsty for more??

So my friends, I’m going to invite the Holy Spirit to come in a deeper way. And while I do this, I am going to pour out water from a jug, just like that priest did in the book of John. “Heavenly Father, I ask for you to become more real to us today, come and fill this place with your Holy Spirit as we lift up Jesus. When I begin to pour the water from the jug, we ask for your living water, your living river to flow to and through this place. And as part of your bride, we say along with the Holy Spirit, from Revelation 22:17, “Let whoever who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, come! And whoever wishes, let them take the free gift of the water of life.”

(Pour the water from the jug into a bowl and pray as the Holy Spirit leads…)

Blessings and happy swimming in the river!

Laurie-Ann Copple

(An earlier version of this talk was given in Lahore, Pakistan in December 2007)

living water jug