Saturday, 30 August 2014

Reach for Me

Five Minute Friday! 

Reach, reach out, reach in. Take my hand reaching to me - God You reach to me when I am on the boat, caught floating between the lilies, on the voyage, the voyage to Aslan's Home so I can find the Lion and hear Him roar... reach, reach to me help me land on the stone littered beach, free and safe within. Reach to me God, reach for me pull me out of the storm tossed sea.
Please wont you reach and pull me in, because sometimes it's just too stormy out here and all I can feel is the rocking ship within. Reach for me, pull me in help me point the compass in the right direction when Your Eyes I cannot see. Reaching in, I am reaching in for me but she seems to be a-shaking. The lilies seem nice, comforting as they drift along the sides of the boat. I point my compass upwards and see this is where I am going, straight upwards - that's where my focus needs to be. I am glad for the shifting, my boat is gliding along and I love it here, where the white lilies pull me to the shore where Your footprints are steady in the sand. Just now, I need to find you and while I run along the sand I am sure You are pursuing me instead of this pursuit of You. Because essentially that's always how it is isn't it - how You pursue me while I'm pursuing You. I would just like to ask you now that I've landed safely - if You could still reach for me and pull me back to You and back to me....


Thursday, 28 August 2014

Are you Spreading Fear or Hope?

Let’s face it the world is currently in a state of turmoil and you don’t have to look far to see it. The media is jam packing the minds of everyday people with fear-inducing news headlines. That’s the agenda of the media and the thrill-seeking marketing scheme that newspapers go for. Fear creates fear and when fear comes in, masses of people become like a stampede of crazed cattle.
As far as news headlines are concerned, I am aware of what is going on but I don’t read the news. I am here on this planet in this walk of faith to hear only what my God wants me to hear –that is my walk and my conviction and it keeps me from the fear that media is trying to evoke in people. What does God’s word say about fear among the masses?

Judges 7: 1 - 6
Then Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) and all the people who were with him, rose early and camped beside the spring of Harod; and the camp of Midian was on the north side of them by the hill of Moreh in the valley.  The Lord said to Gideon, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give Midian into their hands, for Israel would become boastful, saying, ‘My own power has delivered me.’ Now therefore come, proclaim in the hearing of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is afraid and trembling, let him return and depart from Mount Gilead.’” So 22,000 people returned, but 10,000 remained. Then the Lord said to Gideon, “The people are still too many; bring them down to the water and I will test them for you there. Therefore it shall be that he of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go with you; but everyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go.”  So he brought the people down to the water. And the Lord said to Gideon, “You shall separate everyone who laps the water with his tongue as a dog laps, as well as everyone who kneels to drink.” Now the number of those who lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, was 300 men; but all the rest of the people kneeled to drink water.
This scene in the book of Judges describes the scene just before Gideon and only 300 men defeat an entire army of Midianites. The key to understanding this verse lies in the Torah.

Deuteronomy 20: 1, 8
When you go out to battle against your enemies and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt, is with you. Then the officers shall speak further to the people and say, ‘Who is the man that is afraid and fainthearted? Let him depart and return to his house, so that he might not make his brothers’ hearts melt like his heart.’ When the officers have finished speaking to the people, they shall appoint commanders of armies at the head of the people.
Yahweh ordained that, if any among His army were fearful, faint hearted and scared that these were to return home because when pervasive fear grips someone it can easily spread in the camp and cause the hearts of others to melt. The Hebrew word here for melt literally means to liquefy, to become discouraged, grieved or faint. Let’s relate to this on a visual level. Most of us remember epic battle scenes where the army is discouraged and then one guy (or girl) rides in, usually on a horse and gives a profoundly moving and motivating speech! This happens in Braveheart, Gladiator, and countless others.
It’s the moment where a saviour –type figure comes in and stirs the fire inside; this fire eradicates fear and can cause the army to win the battle or war.
This is what faith and hope in whom God truly is, is suppose to do for us because in verse 1 of Deuteronomy 20, God has already given us the outcome to the fight. He already tells us do not be afraid because I am with you. Yes, the world is in turmoil and yes we are all facing our own personal battles and giants that resemble Goliath sometimes but here is the question you need to answer. Are you someone who likes spreading fear in the camp or are you a person who gives hope? It is not wrong to fear but it is wrong to give in to fear. We will all fear at some stage in our lives, but to give in to it, is not our call. Our call is to fight and believe that God is with us no matter where we are. Perhaps it is time to stop reading the news – and talking about it at dinner parties. I find that people, in particular men, like to do this and it gnaws at my very last nerve. I have also come to see that people who don’t really know what else to talk about, usually turn to the weather and then to the news. I recently had someone meet up with my husband and I unexpectedly. After 10 minutes the individual launched in to a full news report for the past week. I was stumped at how well he knew the news but how little he knew about God’s Hope and Glory, even though he professed to have some sense of a prayer life. This is not a judgment it’s just a fact – because after we parted ways there was such a heaviness that stayed behind. Fear was present in his speech and in his discouragement at society’s crimes and murders, however God was missing from his speech and from his life, how truly sad. This is zapping the life that Yeshua has purchased so highly for us – the life of completeness and contentment in His pasture.  He is the Good Shepherd and as one of his sheep, we should not fear this daily life we live, instead let’s trust our Shepherd to lead us. Even through the desert wastelands and the high table Mountains, He knows the way and He will protect us. Give up on the news and start reading the Word of God – because it is profoundly more truthful and more accurate in terms of end time prophecies and let’s be a people of hope, not melting discouragement! There is so much goodness of God to talk about, so much Love from Messiah to celebrate and so much time we can spend together just speaking of His Miracles and countless love touches to our hearts. Like the song Amazing Grace so aptly says “When we've been there ten thousand years Bright shining as the sun. We've no less days to sing God's praise than when we've first begun.Let’s start singing Gods praises today!!

How can you bring hope in to a fearful situation this week?

Romans 12:12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer!

 I’m having Coffee For Your Heart with my friend Holley Gerth

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Wordless - Photo!

My husband had an operation last week and while he was in the hospital - we were missing one another, so I decided to rendezvous at my favourite place and send him a message! <3 Since Wednesdays are Wordless (I'm a day early!) I'm sharing my pic and sending it out again for my hubs!

Linking up with Wordless Wednesday

Pottery Hearts for Women's Day

The peeps over at Create with Joy - Inspire me Monday, have inspired me this Tuesday (okay I'm a day late!) to share something I have made with the rest of the world. So I will share with you something I just recently made, a real gift from the heart. Four months ago, Father shared something special with me that I needed to make in a pottery class, although I had never done pottery in my life before! So I started pottery classes and took it week by week - on this post I am not sharing what Father told me to make, rather I am sharing something really cool that I made in my very last pottery class....
The 9th of August is Women's Day in South Africa and to celebrate, I hosted a women's day event where we spoke about Gendercide. Added to the program was ministry by a harpist and a speaker who shared her adopted sons story with us. It was a very deep day with many tissues and many hearts been touched. So for the day I made pottery hearts, little gifts from my heart and from the heart of God. I rolled out a large slab and used cookie cutters to cut out the hearts and then I put holes in each one for a string or necklace cord to go through. I used three different underglazes, blue, white and pink. They were gifts made with love! Once they were fired, they looked so beautiful. The ladies at the afternoon were blessed by the gifts they received on the day and if you have someone who can fire your goods, pottery gifts are beautiful gifts to give on birthdays and events. Sadly, I did not get any pictures of all the hearts so I can only share a picture of some of the pink hearts - but it was a real joy to make these! 
Linking up with Inspire Me Monday

Friday, 22 August 2014

Five Minute Friday - Change

Five Minute Friday Time - Go!!
Many years ago I had a friend who would often say “it takes one man to start a revolution.” He would usually say this at parties or braais (barbeques) when no one wanted to be the first man or woman to dish some food up. While he would say this with intense humour, the saying always stuck with me. Last weekend my mom and I had a conversation about the French Revolution. Her forefathers were French Hugenots who came to South Africa to escape religious persecution in Europe, so French history interests her somewhat. Despite the glitz and glamour that the French Revolution seems to hold on people – history attests to the bad nature of the whole thing. More people died through senseless brutality, more blood was spilled and lives lost in the French Revolution then before the peasants revolted against the aristocracy. This led me to thinking that we really have to know what we are fighting for. Yes God is calling us to change things, but are we doing it His way or in the way of the world? While many organisations and individuals are feeding orphans and aiding refugees, are they doing it alongside the Gospel, the Love and Mercy of Christ or is He sidelined? If we are the light of the world, are we not hiding that light by helping others as believers but not sharing Gods love? There seems to be a growing trend to do this and I am strongly against it, because true justice, true love and true change was shown to us right from the Garden of Eden – when God provided a covering for our sins. Ultimately our true redemption and real change can only come through the One who gave it all – Messiah Yeshua our Change maker and History Shaper. Be the change you want to see in the world but make sure you are doing it His way in His Power and in His Name.
Linking up with Kate Motaung

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Dance to the Song

I want to sing today, tonight to let it all out - to dance and sing and just rejoice for my King is everything!
Hear the music play, sing, dance and sway. Life with You my King is such a beautiful dance and I just love this dance of Grace and intimacy. You and I live in a world where no one else exists - it's only us, You and me, the princess and the King. Let's dance and sway - dance this life away, together! For purpose, for life, for love - forgetting everyone and everything, I was made for You. Take my eyes away from everything, I fix them on your Face, to know you more, to love you - to be known and loved by you that's what it's all for. People have so much to learn - so much to learn about taking their eyes from the crowd and fix them on you, for what good is it to be known but unknown by You - the only One who matters. 
Dance, I have left it all to follow you, I want nothing of it, I want only You! Let the robes of yesterday burn, today I put on the garment of praise - the flowers are here, the promised flowers have come, let's dance beneath the stars and let's sway!

*Yeshua's (Jesus') Love is so personal, I really want to encourage you today to find your own path and your own walk. Don't carve out someone else's path, each one of us was made for a special dance, for a unique song - maybe its a waltz, maybe its a two-step or a vibrant salsa whatever the case, you need to find Your Lover's song and the dance He dances with you. Get your eyes off the crowd, I sense Him saying - fix it all on Him and let it all go! dance with Him because He alone is worthy. Find the purpose for your life, and then give it all away, like Picasso said "the meaning of life is to find your gift. the purpose of life is to give it all away......"

Monday, 18 August 2014

A headscarf of Purpose

Yes these are all my headscarves. In fact these are only one half of a whole booty treasure of headscarves I now have in my care. I have collected scarves for over four years now and as I am able, I still acquire more!
My love of scarves came in just before I got married. I spent many years in the synagogue and in my studies there God exposed me to the beauty of head coverings. I never thought of headscarves as something that was a male versus female thing, because Judaism does not see it like that. In fact headscarves are all about being in touch with your own unique femininity. Whatever the case, what I did feel was a passion to wear a headscarf from time to time and to just enjoy it. Many people wear hats, berets and scarves for a plethora of different reasons and I always enjoyed the eccentric. So I started collecting headscarves and wearing them as and when I was led to. I never embraced all the theology behind it but rather I connected to the feeling I had and communicated with Yeshua about it often. He taught me so much when I first started wearing scarves that deepened my strength and my understanding of many things. And then I was involved in a car accident and thank Father I was unharmed but badly whiplashed in my spine. I had a previous back injury so the alignment of my spine was completely out. I could no longer wear anything on my head as my neck would go in to a spasm, so I folded up my headscarves and put them away. I felt sad about it from time to time and missed the beauty of tieing and celebrating a headscarf that was uniquely me and uniquely entwined with my personal walk with God. But I let it go. After that we moved from city to country where people stared at me funny when I wore something on my head so I really sealed up the headscarf idea and thought my season with it is over. That was 2012. But Yahweh God He is just amazing because in my life, He places so many things within my heart that is always for a purpose in His perfect time. So I left the headscarves until suddenly at the beginning of this year I crossed paths with 2 Jewish young ladies who sell headscarves for a living. Their creativity, warmth and glow ignited that headscarf love in me again! This time I popped off to the shop and started all over again, with the newness of life and healing that God brought to my body and to my being. I bought loads of things - scarves and accessories and began practicing. I felt a part of me reawaken and I knew God was indeed smiling, for the little girl who loved to dress up was resurrecting again! I love to admire materials, fabrics, old fashioned clothing and vintage ideas that are uniquely different. As my wedding co-coordinator once told me "you are eccentric in the best of ways!" Coming from a creative, eccentric person himself, he meant it as a compliment and I embraced it as such. Anyway what people dont often realise is that tieing a headscarf is no easy feat, it's practice, it's time and it's creative boldness. It's an art form. But everyone has a unique touch. Today when I walk in to stores I always scan the scarves to the left and to the right, even if I am engaged in a conversation. The thing I really wanted to share today is this... recently my aunt was diagnosed with cancer and has had to have chemotherapy and radium. This process is cruel to the human body and is traumatic, yesterday we gathered at a family lunch and I had not seen her for quite some time. My mom asked me to bring some headscarves with to show her how to tie them, as her hair has now started falling off. I wrapped a few scarves up and took it to the lunch. Towards the end of the afternoon, she took a seat and I asked her about her scalp. She told me it was very sensitive and so I began to work gently, tieing a turban and then working a few accessories around it. In that moment I realised how nothing in my life (and in yours too!) is an accident. My love of headscarves can give life to someone else because for some, losing their hair is incredibly traumatic and undignified. As I tied that scarf, I knew that our passions and our loves can be acts of love and compassion to someone else. Being able to tie a headscarf for her was a blessing to me in so many ways and I have such a sense that perhaps I would like to bring this hope and this beautifying gift to someone else out there, fighting cancer. May God's will prevail.
 I want to encourage you today to think about the little loves, the things that are passions inside of you and then give them to God and ask Him; "Father how may I use this to bless someone else" and I guarantee you that you have that love for something because God placed it inside of you.. I do not believe in chance because throughout my life I have seen how little things I most enjoyed, were the things God gave me to enjoy and in the hands of a Mighty God, He uses them for the good. May God use all you are and all you have for His Kingdom alone!
With shalom in Yeshua!

Saturday, 16 August 2014

A Touching Story Given Away

Yesterday it was an unexpected desire for a real strawberry milkshake that took my mom, hubby and I out on an unexpected drive. I was longing for that milkshake and so we took the 15 minute drive out of town for that milkshake. I confess it was a long drive for a milkshake but I felt that I had to have that specific one. 
While I was drinking my milkshake and reclining comfortably on a couch-like chair, my mom and hubby ate huge waffles with ice cream and strawberries. People were all over the show, in and out, in and out when suddenly a woman walked in the back door with a big basket in her hand. I wondered at what she was carrying, she looked like someone carrying confetti out to guests on a wedding day. So I watched her as she walked, she smiled and stopped by our table for a little chat. As I peered in to her basket I felt like one of those little five year old girls with ribbons in my hair, shouting "it's a puppy!" The cutest miniature dachshund lie in the basket of blankets, snugly and sleepily. Wow my mom and I exclaimed (my mom has two dachshunds!) and we both asked about the dog. The lady seemed drawn to us and started sharing with us, as though she had to speak to us that day.

"I fell out of a four story building overseas" she said, "I fell on to my head and was in a coma for several months. If I was here in South Africa I would have been dead but overseas where I was, a team of seven specialists worked on me and I recovered."
I listened to her story and just stood breathless, we all connected in that moment. "Do you have any memory loss?" I asked.
"Yes I do, I cant remember short term. I was engaged as well but I cant remember it, I dont even remember the guy! We broke up 3 months before the accident - so you see what a blessing in disguise!" she smiled.
A blessing? I thought.
"I have moved in with my mom and am staying there, I dont remember much short term."
"So your life really is like that Vow movie," I added. "Well, dogs are good for healing."
"Exactly! That is why I got her, she is a part of my healing journey now and I am naming her after my childhood dog."

We said our final words and she parted, still holding her basket as though she was the flower girl, as though she had to give it away or give something out.  My heart felt really moved and pained at her story, and at the trauma or impact of the accident which still lingers on her gait, on her form and on her face. I pray for her, I pray for her healing. Her positive attitude and gentleness really struck me and I wonder today at the beautiful power of our stories. Our life stories can seem so painful at times, so unnecessary, and yet someone else's story can impact a stranger. Our circles in life cross sometimes for just brief moments but our impacts can last longer. I sometimes feel we go out of our ways on the roads of life - both physically and spiritually, so that we can encounter or hear something that is meant for us to hear. I am grateful to God for the stories that I have heard from the people I was meant to meet. Some stories pick us up and others leave us down. I like the stories where God picks us up and allows us to see His Love touches, His Grace and even the resilence He gives to the Human spirit so that we can survive and ultimately thrive.
 May your story be one that picks others up - even if it is a painful story, because of Gods Grace and His Love that flows through it. Never underestimate the power of your words or of your story! That lady whose brief moments were spent sharing with us, really did transform her in to a flower girl - with something beautiful to give out. Some of our stories are cut in to hearts, others may be flowers or appear like vapor bubbles blown on the wind. But ultimately when they are seen in the right light and given over to the Healing Hand of God, they have the universal ability to be confetti that we throw over others - confetti that we give away, for others to give away, and so the circle continues..

Five Minute Friday: Tell

Five Minute Friday Post!

God tells us so many things. So many things that are beautiful, so many things that are real, that are beautiful, that are raw.

God tells us:
-          I am swift to forgive
-          I am slow to anger
-          Abundantly Kind and Faithful
-          Abundantly True and Merciful

He tells us:
-          I am a righteous God
-          A Judge of truth
-          A doting Papa
-          A Loving Father
-          And Disciplining Dad

He wants to tell us:
-          Open Your eyes and see what My hands have made
-          Open Your ears and I will tell you of things I have planned
-          Stop running from me, run to me, stop running away from what You think I don’t see
-          I am all you need, this running is making you tired

He longs to tell us:
-          You are a pure and spotless bride
-          Come and inherit the Kingdom of my Father
-          Well done my Good and Faithful servant, well done!

The truth is that our ears are too deaf and our hearts are so untouched by Gods unfathomable love that we cannot hear most of these things and if we do not get ourselves sorted, we won’t hear any of these things! God has so much He wants to tell us, but He won’t share His Glory with the unholy or the profane. It’s time for a cleansing, time for a clean up so that our ears are unblocked to hear the things most unspeakable from an unfathomable, awesome God!
Linking up with Kate Motaung 

Friday, 8 August 2014

Five Minute Friday: Fill

Five Minute Friday - a time to write, a time to be real, no checking just plain truth. Glad to be hooking up with Kate Motaung from now on, who also shares some South African flavour!

I am so ready to fill, to start newness and to fill. Fill our photo albums of memories with new things, with new life, with new being. We sat beneath the umbrella with lanterns gleaning bright - I love all you did for me and all you will still do. No one knows the path we paved to get here, no one knows and thank God that is true or else it wouldn't be ours alone. Tonight we lit the lanterns and we watched them go - one blue, one purple - one for you, one for me and we stared until we could see them no more. Its time to for something new, time to be a new kind of full because we are emptied out of the old. It's time for God to fill our petrol tanks and light up our tyres beneath the monster trucks that we are, He has set us on that race track pulled back and then let us go - it's time. For the wounds and all that was of so many and so much to be erased, it's new. It's time, God's time and I am expectantly full. We take hands - the three corded strand not easily broken, and we run in to Gods Plan and into His wide Hands, He smiles and laughs, His silly children we are. He is the One who has done it all and in to the future He will do more - I love you my hubby, I love you my Daddy! For this day I rejoice - the day God chose to make two one, happy anniversary! 
Linking up with Kate Motaung

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Being Real

As my husband and I were driving home this evening, I was lulled in to the beauty of the dark grey sky and thinking of how far God has brought me and how truly amazing He is. My husband turned the radio on and we tuned in to a Christian radio station which we hardly ever listen to. Two women’s voices floated across the airwaves. The guest on the show was a gospel singer who started sharing her testimony on the radio. She spoke about her divorce and how locked up she was in her own life. She shared that God convicted her about the walls she had around her and although she was involved in women’s ministry for many years, she was never truly real about her struggles or about the pain she was experiencing in her life. When she finally became real about her own pain in her own intimate times with God, she could start becoming real with others about it. Her story and her words really resonated with me because it is something that Father has shared with me in the past too but on a larger scale. He shared with me that women need to get real about themselves and about their lives. So many times because of our own hurt and mistrust, we struggle to connect with one another. Now I want to wave a flag of caution here as well, I do not think that you should share your troubles and sorrows that are intimate with everyone, I believe that only where God leads you should you share, but being real is another matter altogether. Being real is admitting to the good things and the bad things. It’s about being able to say – this was hard, or that was bad, or this is good or I am struggling in this place. It’s about being real about the good things too. It's bot about airing all the laundry, it's about being authentic and original.

There is an image that stayed with me from the very first time I saw the movie Frozen. It’s the image of Anna after her parent’s funeral. She is sitting on the one side of the door, while her sister Elsa is on the other side. Both are hurting. Both are scared but neither one can see each others pain or know each other’s fears, because they have locked each other out of their worlds. They are both stuck behind closed doors. But both are devastated. How can we reach out to one another if we cannot know each others pains? How can we expect others to help us if we won’t first let them in? Our hearts tell who we really are and only our hearts can tell the stories others do not see. Our hearts reflect our very beings and our hearts are often the very thing we have a problem showing.

Again, I am talking here about being real with others; I am not talking about sharing with everyone and leaving your heart unguarded, because the Bible tells us that we need to guard our heart before all things because it’s the source of life. We need to guard our hearts because many people wont understand what is inside, especially if you have walked a road of cost to get to where you are today, it’s not about being silly with it, it’s about being real. Stop pretending, stop telling lies about what you are hiding, stop trying to pretend you have the perfect world if your world is actually falling apart. Stop shrugging off your pain if you are really hurting and most importantly of all, stop being “un-real” with the One who made you. We often try so hard to keep it all together when God just sometimes needs us to be real; in fact He wants us to be real with Him all the time. He is not afraid of the pain or the shame, or the unforgiveness or the failure to change, He knows it all already. How awesome is that – and He stills accepts us nonetheless. I want to be real, I want to be the authentic me I was created to be. Realness is beautiful – we cannot hide behind our closed walls and unopened doors. Maybe you need to get real with your husband, or with your family, or with your neighbour or even your dog, whomever, wherever – let’s be real, let’s be authentic, stop trying to hide and let God come inside – be the real you, you have a story to tell that the world needs.