The World of Lu

Creating a digital heritage while engaging in some quality musings!

Archive for the month “August, 2012”

Hearing God: Eyes & Ears

“The Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing”.

In 1994 a workbook called “Experiencing God” was published and very quickly became quite a success, with many study groups forming to go through the book together.  The book was subtitled “Knowing & Doing the Will of God”.  Henry T. Blackaby was the author.  He states that the central thesis of his book is…

“Knowing God does not come through a program, a study, or a method. Knowing God comes through a relationship with a Person. This is an intimate love relationship with God. Through this relationship, God reveals Himself, His purposes, and His ways; and He invites you to join Him where He is already at work”.

John 5:19 is a cornerstone scripture in his study which says…

John 5:19
Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. (NASB)

The premise is that God the Father is at work in the world around us.  Jesus says he does what he sees the Father doing.  This idea of cooperation and partnership, Blackaby says is found throughout the Bible.  He uses Moses as another example of this premise.  Blackaby contends that God invites us into what he is doing.  He invites us into the adventure of knowing and doing his will.

This is a very exciting concept and biblical truth.  Not only are we to hear for God as is our birthright but we are invited to participate in his great work on the earth.  Blackaby breaks down the path we take from knowing God is at work all the way to doing God’s will.  Below is the 7 step path to “Experiencing God.”

Step 1 we’ve already discussed.  God is at work.  We can actually tune on this and notice such things as people around us becoming spiritually curious, or experiencing some tragedy open to encouragement and prayer, some who had religious background begin to talk about them in nostalgic fashion.  Sometimes God is at work and we do not see the signs until he speaks to us.

Step 2 speaks of having a loving relationship with God as the foundation, with our communication with him be grounded in fellowship and not initially with doing anything. 

In Step 3 out of that relationship we are invited to participate leading us to Step 4 at which point we hear God speak.  God shows what he is doing and asks us to join him in a particular way usually asking us to step out beyond our comfort zone.

In Step 5 we are challenged to step out in faith.  At this point God is wanting to stretch our faith, asking as it were for us to step out of the boat with a chance to walk on water.  We have a decision to make.  Will we or won’t we follow?  Not every communication from God or revelation of his will produces this kind of crisis of belief.  Just the ones where God is work supernaturally and he wants to use us uniquely.

Step 6  finds us surrendering to God, casting our cares on him, leaning not on our own understanding as we repent of our small mindedness or our fear or our selfishness… stepping out of our comfort zone.

In Step 7 we are walking in obedience and Blackaby encourages us saying at this point we are experiencing something new and exciting, we are experiencing God new and afresh and it is exhilarating and amazing.  We see great fruit. We experience God’s provision.  We see miracles and blessings. We see his kingdom come, his will be done and we are ready for more of him and more of this adventure.

John 14:12
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.

The verse above tells us that the mantle of cooperation with the Father, the work of God passes to us from none other than Jesus.

I loved doing the Experiencing God Study.  it is filled with scripture and it never fails to draw me closer to the Lord.  The only down side was that the description of this working with the Father seemed to encompass a much bigger arena than my normal day-to-day life.  So it was harder for me to follow the steps in a regular fashion.  It could also be that I heard from God only to slide back into unbelief or rationalizing away potentially challenging situations.

Ultimately the truth these verses in John and the encouragement of the author to believe God for greater things keep me coming back to place myself in the Father’s hands again.  My heart calls out… “Here I am, use me Lord!”

John 15:15
No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. (NASB)

 

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3 in 5: Super-[natural]-size it for You, Son?

‘You do not have because you do not ask”

We’ve all heard that McDonald’s will Super Size a meal but this part of my story involves God who when asked will Supernatural Size a promise (smile!).

The Promise…

One adopted child, one natural born and a third which God did not reveal the way the child would come…  this was the 3 in 5 Plan.

Options…

Prior to hearing it from God in the shower one morning in June 1984, my wife Nora and I had begun the process of adoption discovery with a group called P.A.C.E. – Parents Adopting Children Everywhere .  We attended a series of classes where all options of adoption were studied including some personal “coming to grips” with the reason we were pursuing adoption (more on these two aspects in future posts! One called The Options of Adoption).

If there was any question left in our minds about going forward with adoption for our first child the revealing of God’s 3 in 5 Plan confirmed our course. You see, the “spiritual” thing might have been to wait for God to bring a miracle and not somehow try to fulfill our desire through a more “natural or controllable” way like adoption.

Sometimes God…

We regularly had sought prayer at meetings and conferences.  At one such meeting we asked Larry Tomczak, friend, pastor and Christian leader, to pray for us.  Larry was all too happy to oblige.  After praying he had a word of encouragement.  He said “Sometimes God withholds children so that we might adopt a child He wants to place in our lives…  And after that he brings the couple a natural born child”.

He was releasing us from any possible guilt of feeling we were not living up to anybody’s expectations including our own.  Legalism and condemnation for not having enough faith is a sad and nasty place to get caught in. Thank you for speaking grace Larry… plus Larry is no slouch when it comes to faith!  We received grace and faith that day, a great combination!

Time to Ask…

Once we had confirmed we were proceeding with adoption God prompted a scripture to me.  James 4:2

James 4:2  You do not have because you do not ask

He was encouraging me to ask.  I knew right away what it was because I had been thinking about it a bit.  I had wanted to ask God to confirm the first child’s adoption with some kind of supernatural sign.  I wanted this child to know that God Himself had placed him or her in our family.

Motive Check…

Was it selfish of me to ask for such a confirmation? James 4:3 says…

James 4:3  You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.

Did I have wrong motives?  Did I want more for my own glory or reputation?  Good questions… I thought on it for awhile and came to the conclusion that… No, I felt no conviction of the Holy Spirit.  I just wanted my son to experience all the grace and destiny and love I could pray in for him.  And that God could provide.  I believed that God had a very special purpose for his life.

So I Asked…

So I asked God to bless this child.  To confirm his adoption supernaturally.  To let him know that the path of his life was not an accident and that the Sovereign Lord of the Universe was in control and was at the helm guiding him through to his divine purpose.

Pretty heady stuff… but I prayed it just the same!

The scripture God had given my wife and Nora for the 3 in 5 Plan children was already pretty heady!

“Behold, I and the children whom the Lord has given me are for signs and wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion.” Isaiah 8:18

So God answered my prayer and brought about some signs and wonders in ways I could not have expected.  More of this wonderful  first child testimony in an upcoming post.  (Got a lot of writing ahead of me I know but it’s oh so much fun and joy! Wish I had more time!)

Final Thoughts

As I was writing all of this down I realized how amazing this was in a way I had forgotten.  The 3 in 5 plan and this supernaturalized adoption are quite the evangelistic tools.  Atheists say God does not exist and try to tear apart the Bible.  The 3 in 5 plan is a testimony of God interacting in a personal and supernatural way in our ordinary lives.  God does reveal Himself in this time of history dominated by scientific materialism!

He asks  “Super-natural-size it for you, Son?  I just say, “Yes, Sir!”

Hearing God: The Word Alive!

The Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword

Soon after I got saved in 1978 I had a profound experience that on the surface did not seem all that amazing.  One day I walked into a Christian Bookstore called Words of Wisdom and after perusing all the wonderful Christian books that I couldn’t afford I settled into listening to a young lady who was talking to the owner.  This gal was very excited and began elating over one passage in The First Book of Corinthians.

As I listened I noticed something while she was enthusiastically sharing her scriptural discovery. I was not getting as excited about what she was sharing as she was. Same for those around me.  What the young lady was sharing was good, in fact, very good… I mean we are talking the Bible! And it definitely spoke to her.  But that was the point… it spoke to her.  She had had a very personal encounter with this section of scripture and she had experienced quite an “Ah-ha!” moment.  

In such moments the words of the Bible seem to leap off the page… and they seem to come alive… alive just for the reader!  It’s as if God has wrapped a gift for you and it was unwrapping before your very eyes. The book store owner knew this and understood that this young lady had experienced something very special. That’s why she smiled knowingly while the girl spoke and even drew her out more about God had shown her.  As she did that the rest of us were able to join in a bit more though not at the same level this young lady did.  That day, I learned two valuable lessons.

God’s Word is Alive

First I learned that this phenomenon I had witnessed was another piece in my understanding of how God communicates with us.  The Bible describes it as the Holy Spirit enlightening our hearts with the truth of God’s word.

Ephesians 1:17-18
17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
The Bible is not to be a dead, lifeless book.  Though it is good for learning the principles of a godly life and the character of God and his plan of salvation it is also meant to speak to our hearts personally.  Let’s look at the following scripture…

Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (NASB)

We notice that the Word of God is described here as being “living”  and “active”.  This to me describes the unwrapping of the gift. Studying or reading the Bible should never be just a rote exercise or just limited to an academic study (though there is nothing wrong with educating our minds with the things of God) but if that is all then I submit that one’s Christian life will be rather lifeless and dull (no gifts!).  Let’s look at a translation that tries to expand things for us…

Hebrews 4:12
For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart. (Amplified) 

I like the words “energizing” and “effective”.  The young lady at the book store was definitely energized but not in a caffeine induced sort of way.  Something had “penetrated” her heart with communication very personal from God. It was that living word, the Rhema or spoken word of God.  I encourage you to ask God to speak and make his word alive as you read it.  Not everything we will read will come bursting off the pages but I will guarantee you’ll start with a great sense of anticipation once you know that God wants to communicate to you through the Bible.

We are Made Alive to God’s Word

Second, I recognized that things changed when I became a Christian with regard to the Bible.  As I mentioned in my previous post  Hearing God: Our Birthright our salvation is linked with hearing God.  The following three verses reinforce this point.

James 1:21
So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls. (NLT)

The initial word God sends is meant to be “planted in our hearts”.  This phrase has me thinking of new life that is living and active and ready to grow in our hearts.

1 Peter 1:23
For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God.

And this new life originates in the eternal, living word of God, not dead but alive and dynamic and ready to work in our hearts.  Once this is done the scripture below is true for us. Not only is God’s Word living but we are alive to God’s communication to us.

 John 8:47
He who is of God hears the words of God

Finally we see Jesus uniting the two, the written Word of God and the spoken Word together.

 Matthew 4:4
But He (Jesus) answered and said, “It is written, ‘ MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.’” 

He says first in response to temptation – It is written… this piece is result of him knowing, studying and even memorizing the life-giving scriptures.

Second, he says that there is a nourishment a daily bread or food that is the Word that proceeds… out of the mouth of God.

Evidence of our Conversion

God’s Word is living and we are made alive to God’s Word.  This is something that happens to even the newest believer.  Over the years people have asked me how can they know that someone is a Christian.  Obviously only God knows for sure.  And He’s good at letting us know. 

But I began to answer many moons ago that when I see a person interacting with the scriptures in a living way, in that I see God speaking to them and them hearing and responding then I feel a strong confidence to say, Yes, that person is born again.  From that communication comes a hunger and a thirst that is wondrous to see. To that I say, bring on the gifts!

Hearing God: The Birthright

~ How does one hear from God?

I asked myself this question a number of times after I got saved in 1978.  How do I know it’s just not me making things up?

My conversion was pretty powerful and supernatural.  Plus I always had a sensitivity and inclination to the more spiritual side of life, a built-in curiosity about the unseen realm of the spirit. So I was pretty eager to know how I could “know”.  And I thought, “Hey, if this is supposed to be a personal RELATIONSHIP with God, well there’s got to be some conversation coming back at me!”

You can imagine my excitement when I heard that a speaker was going to talk on the subject at a weekly Tuesday night gathering in Washington DC called TAG or Take And Give.  The worship and the dual teaching ministry of this man and Larry Tomczak made this the place to be for young and old alike.  You had to arrive way early to get a decent seat.

The speaker initially planned to talk about the topic for one week but it stretched out an additional session.  He covered the Still Small Voice of Elijah (1 Kings 19:11-13)  which meant God didn’t have to yell and encouraged us to learn to hear by initially having what was called a “quiet time”.  A “quiet time” was usually 20-60 minutes one would set aside each morning to start the day.  It would be a time of praise, prayer and fellowship “with” God.

He said that the world around us makes too much noise and I needed a quiet time to block it out to really hear.  To become familiar with his voice.

No iPod, iPad, iPhone, Tablet, PC, Mac or Android! Well maybe an iPad for scriptures and journal entries! (grin!)

I had read that Jesus repeatedly said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” (Matt 11:15, Mark 4:9, 4:23, Luke 8:8) which means there is a different way to hear from God than you would do normally.  Different ears? Spiritual ears!  He even said there were some who would “keep on hearing but not understand.”  Ouch!  I was getting a little discouraged… what was it going to take to get my spiritual ears working proficiently.  Eager and attentive I listened carefully to every word, even taking notes.

Then it came, a most important statement from the mouth of Jesus… “My sheep hear my voice, I know them and they follow me.” (John 10:27)  His sheep, aka his followers, “hear” his voice!

There it was… this kind of hearing was a done deal, (no if, ands or buts) it could be called the birthright of every believer!  Of each individual Christian!  So being born again I was born to hear the voice of God.  I left encouraged for that still small voice was something I was created to hear.  I had the ears!

Though reassuring to know that “my sheep hear my voice” there was still a problem. Wasn’t I back to square one?  How do you hear and how do you know it’s the Lord?  But the encouragement I had received stuck. I thought, it’s just a matter of time before I am hearing,  No sweat, I’ve got the spiritual birthright!

Soon after that day came the turning point… Romans 10:17 (NASB) came alive for me.

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

What was key about this scripture?  There are two Greek words, Logos and Rhema which are translated “word”.  Logos is used normally for the written word and Rhema would be used in most cases to represent the spoken dynamic word of God.  In this verse Rhema is used.  This dynamic word of Christ must be heard by the listener in order for the faith that leads to salvation be realized.

So this means that for anyone to be saved they must first hear from God.  So I had already heard the voice of the shepherd.  The still small voice was not a future experience.  I had already crossed that threshold.  To be saved you must hear!!

I began to reflect on the promptings and revelations and the “hearing” that preceded the day I fully responded in faith to the gospel invitation.  This was a breakthrough and an exciting beginning of a confident two-way relationship!

From then on I was able to encourage others to enter into the two-way communication with God that started on the day they trusted wholeheartedly in the work of Christ on the cross!

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

So rejoice, it is your spiritual birthright!

The 3 in 5 Plan: Shower Talk

Shower talk?!? Yeah, I talk in the shower, for sure… that’s when a lot of my significant conversations with God take place.  I don’t know, some people sing in the shower (one of the few places where almost everyone sounds good!)… some hum (easier on the ears)… some scrub in silence… but me, I talk to the King of the Universe.

Somehow the hot water flowing over my head relaxes me and I’m suddenly pouring out my heart about something that’s bothering me.  Or there’s a great need I know about and I’m asking God to please, please do something about it.  Then there are times when all seems right with the world and I’m thanking my Creator for all His love and all the good stuff that is happening.  And sometimes… He talks back!

Yeah, I admit it.  I am one of those folks you rather not run into.  What do you do or what can you say when someone says to you, “God spoke to me?”  Oh, that’s really nice… uh, was it like audible?  Or do you say, “Hey I think I left an egg frying on the hood of my car and I think it’s done… uh, it’s an experiment… you know it’s been five days of 100 degrees outside and I really should get it… so see you later, OK?”

Telling someone you heard from God can be scary for the person who did the listening (like me!).  Did I really hear?  How can I know?   People will think I’m crazy… especially if it’s predictive.  Thoughts like that go through your head.  But then there’s also the feeling of assurance, confidence and faith that you know are not natural to you. Such are the promises of God when they are personal and powerful. And if the conversation is something you do on a regular basis you begin to know the “voice”.  Sometimes audible but most of the time there are impressions, pictures or key words.  Or just a calming Yes or a gentle NO.

When I went into the shower that day in June of 1984 I began to talk to God about the dilemma my wife Nora and I faced.  The first 3 in 5 Plan blog tells how we were diagnosed as acutely infertile.  I said, “God I know you can do miracles and all kinds of wondrous things like give us natural-born children just like with Abraham and Sarah in the Old Testament.”  I expressed my confidence in what God has done and what he can do… however I added a personal caveat in that I wanted… I said, Abraham was real old, over 100 and I’d really like to have some fun time with my kids at a much younger age.  Is there anything we can do about it?

And that’s when it happened… I believe I heard God say that He would give me 3 children in 5 years.  One would be adopted, one natural-born and one he was not going to tell me!  It was not a wishy-washy faint impression… it was strong and specific.  I was amazed and quite taken aback.  I did not expect such a communication though of course I had hoped for one just like this!  Thus the 3 in 5 Plan was born.

After the shower I found my wife, Nora to tell her the news. Her response was one of delight.  She had already been looking through the eyes of faith at the promise of a natural-born child.  In fact she had written an entry in her journal with the expectation of the baby’s future arrival.

We had been praying about adoption.  The adoption idea didn’t start with the infertility but blossomed during our engagement on a beautiful day trip along Skyline drive. We both expressed a desire to adopt a child in the future, maybe even more than one!  Little did we know what the future would hold.  And little did we know that God was preparing our hearts for what was to come. This made pursuing adoption so much easier.  A future post will feature our adoption journey with some insights and advice when considering that option.

Since our infertility was confirmed, we had been seeking God for direction and encouragement.  Exploring scripture through a Bible Study by Bryn Jones on Faith we came across a verse that stirred vision and hope and planted expectant faith in our hearts.  It helped produce the fertile soil from which the 3 in 5 Plan would sprout.  It comes from the book of Isaiah, verse 18 of chapter 8…

“Behold, I and the children whom the Lord has given me are for signs and wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion.” Isaiah 8:18

For signs…  and for wonders!  I never cease being amazed at what God has done!   That day years ago a promise was born… 3 children for signs and wonders in 5 years! Now that’s a real shower talk revelation!

London 2012: Next Stop, George Lane!

 

GEORGE LANE CONFUSION

Some controversy arose just before my trip as to where I lived at the time of my birth.  My brother Sig had gone to London some 12 years ago and brought back photos (which I don’t believe I’ve ever seen) of the home where my mom and dad lived in during our time in London.

I did not remember the house number exactly but thought it was 6 George Lane which when googled turned out to be on a block covered in townhouses. Problem?  Sig said it was a detached home and definitely not a townhouse.  Talking to my cousin Christine she confirmed my brother’s contention that it was certainly not a townhouse but a detached home.  So maybe I had the wrong street altogether.  Additionally the birth certificates I sent for had not arrived.  Not a very encouraging thought on the day I am heading out to the UK.

Online picture of George Lane… no detached homes, what to do?

HOSPITAL, NO… REGISTRY, YES!

I had hoped things would clear up when I went to the hospital both Christine and I were born in. But Lewisham Hospital was a dead-end.  Construction blockage! No records available! See you later!  I would need to go the Registry in Lewisham. Thank you very much!!  (See Part 1 for my Lewisham Hospital Adventure https://theworldoflu.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/london-return-to-roots/)

But my disappointment was short-lived. Turns out the Lewisham Registry was next door!

The Lewisham Registry – Would the information I needed be available to me?

As you can see it is a rather small building.  Entering you come up to the main counter quite quickly.  I was greeted immediately by a registry clerk.  I explained my situation.  The clerk responded that she couldn’t give me that information flat out.  Yes the residential address of my parents was available  but it could only be given to me in document form.  How long to get a document I asked.  Clerk said I would have to come back in a few days to get it.  Dead end?

The Lewisham Coat of Arms above the outside door told me I had arrived at the right place, at the doorstep of all that was official in town! But would bureaucracy thwart my quest?

Undeterred I continued my plea explaining that I had sent out for my Birth Certificate and had not received it though it had been at least 4 weeks ago.  And all I really needed was the address.  I took a deep breath and proceeded with my “in the beginning I was Adam” story (https://theworldoflu.wordpress.com/2012/07/09/in-the-beginning-i-was-adam/) hopeful that I could sway her some way.  Of course I said, I was now Chris (grin!) and she could easily verify that because Christopher is listed on the birth certificate as a baptismal name.  She was listening a little more intently… this was not your run of the mill birth certificate sob story! I told her I knew the full birth name on the certificate was Adam George and I knew my Mom’s maiden name and Dad’s name and gosh, even the street name. Sheesh, I just needed the house number!

It seems that another lady, the head clerk, was also listening and once I had communicated my mom and dad’s names she had slipped out a side door and was soon in the room with an old ledger that was quite wide.  She flipped through the pages like some wizardly official rifling through a Hogwarts ledger, asking me to confirm the birth date. Then stopped at a page with beautiful fountain pen ink scrolled names… my heart jumped when my eyes alighted on the cursive “Christopher George”.  She said, are you confident of the street name?  My mind raced… could I have been wrong all these years?!? No I couldn’t have been.  I blurted out, yes!  She said, you’re right… 158 George Lane it is. As she said it I saw the penned entry upside down 158 on the ledger and knew my quest was safe!

 ON TO GEORGE LANE!

Freshly energized I stepped out of the Registry and started snapping photos of the building and additional shots of the hospital. I walked from the newest to oldest sections of it as posted in Part 1 London 2012: Return to Roots – https://theworldoflu.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/london-return-to-roots/.  Below is the map of my route to my first ever home!

Start at A – Lewisham Hospital and Registry
End at B – 158 George Lane

Below is a similar map but definitely not Google, Bing or MapQuest!  It’s High Street and George Lane in Lewisham circa 1894!  The Lewisham Union Workhouse is seen on the hospital side of High Street! See Part 1 to see a photo of the Workhouse entrance. I think it’s pretty cool that the two maps bear distinct similarities especially the route I would be walking.  During 1894 – 1895 a new addition would be built and the Workhouse would become the first iteration of Lewisham Hospital. A brief history of Lewisham can be found online along with this map at http://www.ideal-homes.org.uk/lewisham/assets/histories/lewisham

Map of Lewisham c.1894
I added the route to 158 George Lane
Both roads on my route existed back then!

When I left the Registry I was aware that George Lane was on the bus route as a stop before the hospital but what I did not know was that George Lane would have a serious right hand turn to it.  I got a little disoriented at the fork in the road and had to ask a delivery truck driver how the street had become Radford Road.  

Regaining my bearings with his help I arrived at my destination. 158 turned out to be a duplex home and sad to say it was in a bit of disrepair.   The home attached to it was nicely painted and kept while this corner unit was in serious need of paint!

Here I am at last! 158 George Lane!
I like the stone wall in front!

It was drizzling again as I walked up George Lane but as I looked around the rain stopped and the sun came out. 

The front door – Anybody got some paint?!?

Unfortunately the door did not offer much of an encouragement but having looked at the home next door I was able to image this space painted and cleaned up.  When it was time to bring the preemie home decades ago this was the door Mom and Dad would have brought me through.

Me and my mom… heading home, I’m sure!

My mom and dad have both passed away, my dad over 30 years ago.   My mom last year on the same day my brother Rick died years earlier, July 24.  Memories flooded my mind as I stood at the door and I thought… I wish I could have shared this moment with her.  I would have loved to have heard the stories of London that she never told.  Photos have a way of awakening memories. 

1 – 5 – 8 This is the place!
Same address on my parent’s wedding invitation. It was the place of their reception

This address, 158 George Lane appears on another document that I missed seeing before I came to London.  It’s my Mom and Dad’s wedding invitation.  A reception was to be held after the ceremony at the grandparents residence on 158 George Lane.  My brother Sig had found it after my mom died and gave me one.

158 has been divided into at least two flats
Note the 2 additional entrances in this shot!

Some serious work was done on this place… I noticed the different colored brick on left and wondered what needed to be closed up or was that the original brick? The door at the sharp corner was obviously added but when I had no idea.  Definitely got the dish network system going strong with three attached to the building.  How many people were living here? I wish I had time to knock on the door on the left.  Someone was home but I would have to leave too soon.

The Back Door

Felt like a paparazzi sneaking around the residence.  Maybe people thought I was some kind of thief casing the joint!  That thought quickly became quite laughable as I re-accessed the shape of the home!  Anyway the place was for sale so I could have been some real estate agent getting my own pics of the place to show a client.

The back yard is not too bad in size
Tony would like the hammock!

It had a backyard… I must have played out here… I learned to walk here and lived out a portion of my terrible two’s in the yard!  I know for sure that my mom would have stuck me out in the pram as an infant no matter how cold to get some fresh air.  It was an interesting custom I heard that she would do.  Getting fresh air was important, not matter what!

Going outside? Fire up the pram!
I am totally ready!

 So I swung around to the back alley/driveway to get a better picture of the back side of the house.  The place seemed covered in a canopy of greenery.  But I got a couple of shots, one of the dormers of the top floor.  Did I get my own room before we moved?

A shot from the back alley

Green, green, green… oh there’s the back of the house!  Love the chimney… lots of fireplaces in the homes in Lewisham and London, of course.

Back dormer windows & classic London chimney!

Don’t want to leave but get a nice picture of the brick wall (wonder how old?) and couldn’t help getting the for sale sign.  Hope somebody fixes it up so when I come back again it will look really, really nice!

This Fixer-Upper is for sale!
Corner lot and all!

Getting ready to leave I snap a picture across the street.  George Lane was here before 1894.   Lot of history… Wonder what it looked like back then.

Across the street looking northeast **(added postscript at the end)

Turned to head back to down George Lane.  At the end of the street is the fork in the road.  More like a sharp left to continue on George Lane from here.

Looking west down George Lane
You can see some of the townhouses that I saw online

One last shot of the For Sale sign and the house as I head out to look for the church I was baptized in. 

For Sale… Hope the new owners fix it up real nice.
It needs a good facelift!

**Postscript – As I was looking over this post I saw something I had not noticed before in one of the pictures… the photo of the homes across the street… I had not noticed that they too were duplexes and if I am seeing it correctly they are the same type of homes as 158.  So this is what my old home could look like and… could have looked like!  As I look back at the photos of 158 I can picture it being painted and fixed up.  The bay window on 158 looks very similar to one of the bay windows across the street.  Nice revelation!  Leaves me with a good feeling.  My brother said my mother spoke of a white house and now I can picture it!  CL

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