Friday, 14 July 2017

FMF - When you Decide

Five Minute Friday, writing for 5 minutes, Here Goes!




Comfort. I'm left thinking about the Tour De France stage today, of course I'm watching so much of it everyday that I even dream about bike racing. But comfort looks this way to me.....the leader of the race suddenly looses his lead and the yellow jersey goes on to the shoulders of someone else. The following day your team performance is the best and while you are sprinting through the mountain descents, you are also pushng hard up the steep climbs. All the while you are staring straight ahead at the yellow jersey, something you once had on your shoulders now rests on someone elses, discomfort. There's nothing comfortable in finding a way to undo that reality, sweat dripping like water, every inch of you aches and you pain, that's what I came here for, that's what I've trained for, what I've waited for, what I've given everything for. And what if it doesn't work out, what if there's a sudden plot twist, a change of pace, your legs won't go, there's nothing comfortable about this, uncomfortable. Close your eyes, you ignore the flash of yellow you suddenly decide to pass and you turn your face left. Right next to you is a team mate shouting across race radio into your ears; "you've got this, take the gap, believe in yourself, I'm right along side you." You look around and notice no one else has a team mate with them but you do. He wears the same jersey, the same yellow helmet, he rides the same bike and you know him. His voice crackles in to your ears and you go, attacking that yellow jersey, suddenly you believe in yourself. And your ability to tackle this plot twist. You don't need a yellow jersey to believe, you only need your Team Mates voice and your own belief. Comfort. This is what you came here for, what you've trained for, it looks different but you're a racer after all, so you decide to race, with your Team Mate alongside you, so keep on racing....
Stop!
Linkng with Kate M

I've written alot about the lessons I've learned through watching cycling, you can see them here:
 
Cycling Life Lessons // Cycling Songs:
When you've Only Got One Gear 
Crashed Out 
The Penultimate Climb 
Cobblestones of Hope 
Walk the Plank 
A Legacy on Tour

Monday, 10 July 2017

When you've only got one Gear


July equals Tour De France and that means cosying up in front of the telly with sweets, blankets and watching cycling. It's a fun reality I've learned to embrace because of my hubby's love of cycling. I'm okay with the fact that I first started watching cycling because of him, I used to think girls were strange when they did that, not any more! To be honest I learn a lot about life from cycling, it's the one sport that has opened my eyes to a lot of different truths about life. I've blogged about them one year (I'll put the links below!) and this year it's the same. 

Yesterday's stage was gruesome, ugly and crazy, and I lost my favourite cyclist to a bad crash. But the main story that touched my heart was the stage winners story. Rigoberto Uran is a cyclist from Colombia, at the age of 14 his father deserted his mother, so Rigoberto had to take to the streets selling lottery tickets to help his mom. A local cycling team took him in and helped him, he started riding and he went up the ranks, today he's an amazing cyclist.

Yesterday however, there were a number of bad crashes on stage 9, during one crash a knocked down cyclist hit Rigo's bicycle and the gears on his bike got stuck. Stuck bike gears means no gearing whatsoever, and Rigo's bike got stuck in the highest gear possible, which meant he was riding at his maximum output all the time for 20 kilometres against the toughest and strongest men in the race. And guess what, Rigo won! He came across the line and he humbly accepted the win. Minutes later I watched an interview with the sport director of his team. In the interview the director said how intelligent of a rider Rigo is, how he calculates things, works it all out and often that means he gives up at certain times because he feels he cannot win based on calculation. That morning his director told him, "Rigo today is your day, don't think about it, forget and do it." Because Rigo had only one gear, the hardest one, there was no space for over-thinking, over analysing or calculations. He had nothing to lose and so he just did it and he won. 

I was left thinking how that speaks to life. We doubt ourselves, left with the calculations on who deserves the honour, who deserves grace from God, or for their God - dreams to become a reality. Left calculating our options, instead of risking it all and sowing our talents wholeheartedly. We all do that and it's nothing to be guilty for, it's just who we are sometimes, the calculators. Until God decides to stick us in one gear and we have to climb, we are forced to face ourselves and what we see is not a loser, but a winner. We see our worth and our strength, our abilities, we see that we are worthy and chosen and loved. We see that we have more then enough for the road of life. Sometimes that stuck gear looks like a job loss, that takes you in a different direction. Or a closed door that leads you to write that book, the one you've been dreaming about for years. Or it looks like growth and self-belief, stronger faith, better relationships or the wished for things suddenly becoming reality. It's not just self - doubt that can cause our delay in believing in who we are, humility also does that. That may sound strange but I have recognised how humility is a character trait some people carry from their childhood. Humility is a great trait, it's present in the best of people and often the greatest individuals in the Bible were the most humble. It's just a lesson to learn how humility can co-exist with greatness, as Holly Gerth once wrote, "discovering who we are should lead to praise, not pride." Humble people are often afraid of great triumphs because they fear pride, so to learn how triumph leads to praise not pride is a sigh of relief. Whatever holds you back from believing today dear friend, kick it, give it all you got, today is your day, it's time for the win. Believe! Because you really can!

Cycling Life Lessons // Cycling Songs:
Crashed Out 
The Penultimate Climb 
Cobblestones of Hope 
Walk the Plank 
A Legacy on Tour 

 
I'm sharing with Holley Gerth
And Susan Mead

Friday, 30 June 2017

I will Double It - FMF

Five Minute Friday Writing, on the prompt "bless," Go!


I had this memory pop up today while I was brushing my teeth, while pondering on the very real questions and fears about some new nudges I feel towards the unknown things. I remembered how when I still lived at home, I travelled a lot. And as I saved towards my trips, my father would say to me, "child whatever you save up as spending money towards your trip, I will double it." And he kept his promise everytime. I knew it wasn't about the money, but it was about working hard at something, he wanted to teach me what it felt like to give of myself towards something. My father could have given me the money I needed, but he didn't. Instead we worked together towards a common goal, in this we had a sense of oneness and co - working, unity and a goal in sight. I would work hard to save every penny and when I would bring my savings to him just before a trip, he would smile, pleased. And then he'd give me not double, butwhatever I needed in total for the trip. I never took this for granted, because he could have changed his mind, but he didn't. In some invisible way, we were working together. And my dad is no saint, in fact we had a lot of hard times, and we did not get along that well, but he still gave me many good things, blessings. I guess I am reminded of that scripture which says; "So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him" (Matthew 7:11). With all the uncertainty within me towards the new unknown, perhaps this was not a random memory but a reminder. A promise, a nudge.....

STOP!
LInking with Kate 
 

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Maternal Comes Straight From The Greatest Depths Of The Heart


I have learned that God’s heart may be fatherly, but it is also a heart of nurture, passion and compassion. He birthed the world from His mouth and we became His redeemed seed at our birth on the cross. He carries us on His chest and makes us to drink of His life. He always is and always will be hiding us in the shadow of His wings, just like mother birds do. He speaks to us about this brooding that He does, over our lives and He sacrificed so much so that we could be born from His blood.

Though I may not bear a birth of blood and see a new born life emerge, I have come to face the image in the mirror of myself, the one that is maternal. To be restored to Christ, means that I have had a heart transplant, resulting in the desire to nurture and nourish those I am called to serve. I am called to spiritually mother and when I first heard that call, it was unexpected. Yet, as spiritual mothers, we dry the tears of the very men and women looking to us to help them face a fatherless home or absent mom. We help those yearning to overcome abandonment and neglect, drug addiction, abuse and just plain weariness or the pain of a purposeless life. My spiritual mom, for example, was a woman who was penniless, but she shared her home with me when I was coming out of an abusive relationship and she helped me believe in God’s love again. She gave the speech at my wedding and she only added to my life in ways I am eternally grateful for, even though I still have my earthly parents...

This week I am blessed to be sharing my story about being a spiritual mom, over at Imperishable Beauty. I wrote this story 6 months ago, but perhaps someone out there needs to hear it today.... Come and Join me!
 

Monday, 26 June 2017

Returning to what was Left Behind


I held the gold key with its thick maroon tassel between my hands. It was my twenty-first birthday and the key was a gift my parents purchased in Spain. A memento from the old city of Grenada, once home to hundreds of Jews until an edict was signed into law by the Catholic kings. The edict demanded that all practicing Jews leave the Spanish territories within four months. Along with the key was a tiny piece of paper retelling the history of a fateful night, March 31, 1492. Mourning Jews left Spain with the keys from their homes in Grenada in their pockets and passed them down from generation to generation in hopes their descendants would one day return to what had been left behind.

The key I held in my hand was a replica, but it was a thoughtful gift. As a child, I longed to visit the Middle East. I had an atlas I read over and over again. It was just a collection of maps, but it represented passage to a land I knew nothing about, a Jewish land of silent deserts and walls that saw generations come and ago. My parents knew this and my pull toward everything Jewish, including the Jewish rabbi named Jesus, whom I already followed like a disciple and had since the age of seventeen. That was how I understood him, as a Jewish rabbi with copper skin, dark hair, a thick beard, and dark eyes.

My heritage was not an interest of mine until I held that key in my hands. A week after my twenty-first birthday, I questioned my paternal grandfather on our heritage. White South Africans typically carry the ancestral blood of Germans, Dutch, French, Portuguese, Italians, and British people, to name but a few. Because our lineages are intricate and hard to trace, I assumed my grandparents did not know our family lineage. But my grandfather emerged with a Hebrew book and a secret his family had kept hidden not only from his grandchildren but also from his children. “We are Jewish..........

I'm sharing my Story over at Off the Page, Join me!
 

Friday, 16 June 2017

FMF - You're an Investment

Five Minute Friday, writing on "Worth," GO!


 This parable of the Master, this giving master, this loving master. Giving talents to his workers, freely and without them even asking. To one is given 5 because it was so decided, but to another 2 and yet another, 1. Talents not meaning our gifts are skills, is money, a lot of money. A measurement of currency that equals 10 000 times a simple denarii. So if my daily wage of what I earn today is a simple $100 a day, times that by my lifes work of 30 years, this would mean God has invested in to my life, a muilt million dollar investment. Superabundance, grace upon grace, blessing upon blessing, He has invested in me. This investment is not a simple money treasure, but lately it means I am seeing the work of my hands for the Kingdom, in a different way. I am an investment, my Father has spent exclusive time on my design, each skill, each gift, each personality quirk, love and like, passion and joy is the unique expression of His deep love and investment. I'm not just given gifts, I am invested in and that's because Abba finds us worth it. I once read an interview with Donald Trump, where he said his father didn't give him a big start up, his dad only gave him $1 000 000 to begin a business. I rolled my eyes, a million bucks sure whose dad can afford to give them that! And yet, our lives as humans created by a Loving Master, means freely He has given, freely He has blessed and freely we have received because He thought we were worth it. Shame on us for burying it in the ground or thinking we don't have worth, His investment alone tells us we have worth. And perhaps we should go all Donald Trump like with our investment, and produce a billion fold exclusively for God's Kingdom! 

Stop! Linking with Kate M 

Saturday, 3 June 2017

The Door of Return - Writing Elsewhere


The humid air licked at my fringe as I waited beneath the bell tower on the grass of a wine farm in Cape Town, my beloved home town. The air played with the rope that hung from the brass bell and as I looked up, I noticed a plaque to the left of where I stood. It was just a normal day out for me, acting like a tourist in my own city. Yet this bell unnerved me, as I stood waiting for my husband on the lawn. Curiosity gripped me and I walked over to the plaque. It held the words slavery on it and bled with the slave stories of the Cape. Small drawings were etched in to the brass depicting what life had been like for the slaves who lived on this farm. 

 That night I prayed in tears for the broken lives left behind in slavery and for those that still live as modern day slaves through human trafficking and abuse. I heard His words fill the air, I am the Door, I am the Return. These words were truth and though they referred to the beauty of Grace’s redemption I knew they meant something more. A week later someone we knew via social media, invited my husband and I to preach the word of God with her on a mission trip to Ghana.......

The rest of my story evokes deep emotion in me, come and join me over at the 
 

Friday, 2 June 2017

One I can't see - FMF

Joining my crew at the new FMF crib and Kate hit the nail this week on the word "future," for me this is a hot topic right now.... No editing, unplanned writing here goes.... 5 minutes!


I've struggled to find my feet since we came back from our U.S.A. trip. We've done ministry trips before and sometimes re-entry is a challenge, but this time it was different. Something shifted within us and within God's plan for us. I recognise though that we could have that shift and receive an unknown new, because both my husband and I, have grown so much spiritually over the past year or so. Our spirits were bigger and more able to carry a greater load then before. That was something I did not recognise after we arrived home. During this time of struggling to find our hope and place, I have come to learn and see a lot. Yahweh doesn't show it to me all at once, but little by little He is pulling the curtain back on the things that have happened. On the things He has done, like this truth about our growth and maturing. Little by little I can see clearer, truths about myself and how He has prepared me for different things, along with these truths, He is calming my heart with the gentle comfort that the future looks good. Don't settle, He keeps on telling me, don't settle for lesser dreams or goals. Even when I slowly slip in to doubt about a life that does not quite make sense most days, He just keeps reminding me of His constant nearness and big plan. One I can't see just yet....

Stop!
Linking with Five Minute Friday 
 

Thursday, 1 June 2017

My Classics!


 I'm not sure how many people read Classic books these days, but when I started university back in 2004, it was thing! I'm a classic lover and my small collection of classics exploded as an undergrad English literature student. We were handed a folio paper with 20 books on, every year. I remember spending holidays reading, weekends away with friends reading, braaing (that's cooking meat on on an open fire) and reading. It was a bizarre world that somehow left me changed. Those days and hours of reading became formational, I learnt a language of poetry that stirred my passion to find my own truths. Those stories of hope and hopelessless, of love and second chances, of death and life, pain, sorrow and characters resembling people I knew, well they all mattered. I remember the first time I met Mr Darcy, the first time Anne Elliott started blooming again, the dislike of Causabon and the haunting image of Dover Beach, (a place I've actually visited in real life!). Well, this week I am taking part in the love of classic fiction and going against the grain of modern reading and diving in to the classics, as part of the #ReadUpStream challenge. Here's my five favourite classic memories:

1 - Edith Wharton's Age of Innocence. Depicting the inner conflict of the Old pre - war New York society versus upper class New York after the war. 
2 - My favourite Persuasion by Jane Austen. Everything about Persuasion moved me, my mom and I took a trip to Bath where we visited all the Jane Austen sites and places that featured in her books. It made the story come alive, I've actually just written an article on this, watch out for it soon!
3 - Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold. This image of a man desiring change from oppression and staring across the channel from Dover over to France where the French Revolution has already begun. Poetry is so much a part of the social issues of our day, poets are the teachers through whose eyes we see societies feelings. This poem stayed with me.
4 - Gerard Manley Hopkins, a poet my high school teacher made us read. True he was always melancholy and questioning, but quite interesting.
5 - Wole Soyinka, Ake the years of Childhood. Every year in university we were handed a list of African writers we had to read, a lot of them wrote some seriously shocking things I did not read. But Wole Soyinka was a whole different story, Ake is a biography with a compelling narrative written n 1981. 

So this is my off the beaten track list of classics, what's on your list!

Friday, 26 May 2017

Not Visiting, Remaining

Five Minute Friday! I'm writing for five minutes on two different prompts, visit and remain. Here goes!


I climbed quietly beneath the sheets as hubby snored gently. The light was off and I lay looking round the room, talking with God. I carried in my heart the weeks long burdens of dissapointment, sadness and fear. All relevant and all real. I lay there speaking to my Great King sharing honestly about the things I just couldn't grasp or understand and with it all the messiness of emotional pain. I struggled to identify one word that could sum up what I was going through, but right before my eyes closed I found it. And I whispered it in to the ear of the Saviour, I'm losing hope. 

This morning I woke up refreshed and revived, with a scripture turning around in my heart. I made an image of the scripture laid on my heart from God and even posted it on my Instagram. 
As I shared the image, I felt the power of the Holy Spirit overtake me and I wrote a message for others but also for me. I poured a cup of tea and said God how do you want me to pray today? Just then I read a post that came through on my phone about the process of Lectio Divina, the process of listening to Gods voice and promise through a passage of scripture. I sat down and prayed for some time before turning to the passage in Hosea that had been in my mind. I sat with God listening to His heartbeat, with peace and calmness and He began speaking. The hours floated by as He gave me a glimpse in to my present and my future, what He is doing with my valley and the beautiful promises He is giving. I needed it, so so much. As I closed my Bible, a sudden lie of the enemy snuck in, the seed of doubt. Did God really promise such goodness! As the seed floated up, I picked up my phone and an email sat in my inbox. When I opened it, it had been forwarded from a Bible place whose emails I never open but somehow this one I opened. And right at the top was the verse passage and five verses from Hoshea that God had given me. Only God could do that! With this confirmation I beheld the truth that God's promises do not visit, they remain. Just like His Love, and Faithfulness, His unrelenting pursuit of our hearts and Lives. He is so good, and I am so grateful for this water for my soul. 

 Sharing with Five Minute Friday 
And The Grove

Friday, 12 May 2017

The moms who did not Bear - FMF

Five Minute Friday, writing for 5 unedited minutes, and it's the time I let my heart write. No head, just heart and whatever comes out, comes out, sometimes its revelation even for myself! Here goes! This weeks prompt is "mom." 


I've never incorporated the word mom in to my world, simply because I knew I did not want my own children, people find that strange. The fact that hubby and I did not want to be parents to our own children one day. But it's simple really, we love children and have a deep heart for orphans and our spiritual children, the ones we've mentored and loved over the years. We love our nieces, and aunty me over here is forever buying my 4 month old little niece all the little things I can afford (and can't afford). I love her, but mom? Not my identity and not God's either it would seem. I went in to a pre-menapausal state at the age of 29 when my body stopped producing estrogen. It was a very difficult time as hormones play such a huge role in our bodies, more then we know. And at that age and the complications I had, I had to decide on some hormone replacements or a hysterectomy. People gasped when they heard that, but hubby and I knew it was a prayerful decision we could live with. I did not have a hysterectomy and finally this body responded to different treatments and I'm all fixed up now. The part of my identity that has formed around the word mom, is simply somehow being a spiritual mama to many. I love advocating for adoptions and connecting with women that have, this comes from a deep place because Love is part of who we are as children. I have a wonderful earthly mom whom I an thankful for and many spiritual moms over the years, I am so glad for each and every single one of them, I just love them. And the women who have come and invested in my life with love, without having birthed me, they are the ones I hold closest to my heart and to my phone, when days are hard. So perhaps the spiritual moms we have do become the ones we truly value and remember, I think so.

Linking up with Kate M

Thursday, 11 May 2017

When my husband folds the undies


I grabbed my art equipment and headed for the door. My hubby stood over the sink, washing dishes. I kissed him, and silently paused just to watch him soaking the soiled plates. The moment was sacred. He was doing the dishes so that I could live a dream and he was happy to do it. So many times, I have walked out the door, on way to a radio interview, or a woman’s meeting and hubby has taken care of the floors or dishes.

 Where I am stronger, I boldly lead. Where he is stronger, he helps, he aids and he settles the fires that can burn out of control especially in ministry. We help one another and boldly place the Messiah as the head of our home. Our testimony and our scars have borne witness to the equality that we have been given as children of God. We never hesitate to love and serve one another, even in our imperfections, of which we have plenty.......

 I'm writing over at Jessica Galan's this week, about the marriage and equality, join me! When my Husband

Thursday, 30 March 2017

My Unexpected Journey to Fight Gendercide


In China, a basin of water sits on the table, warm water waiting for another Chinese soul. After the mother gives birth, a baby boy is washed clean in this basin and tears of joy stream down his proud parent’s cheeks. However, it is a regular practice to hold down a baby girl’s tiny form under the basin’s water, her breath swallowed whole by this baptism of death. Her life discarded and unwanted, all because she was born female. This routine killing of baby girls in China is called gendercide, and thirty-four million girls have been killed in the last thirty years....

Please join me over at Off the Page to read about how God called me to the fight against gendercide. This topic is so close to my heart and I really want to share it with you!

My Gendercide Journey

Friday, 24 March 2017

Let Logic or Faith Lead?


 My chest is tight, my palms are sweaty, I can barely hold back my tears. I’m an emotional mess. I’m undone in this place of prayer. I struggle to find the words I need—but I know He knows. Nine months ago, I was given a vision by God to create, steward, and lead. This unraveled into an opportunity to recreate the stories of 13 extraordinary women in a photo essay that would finally culminate in an exhibition in an art gallery in Cape Town, South Africa. God provided faithfully every step—until the provision dried up and I entered the desert.....

I'm writing over at YMI this week about a journey of faith, please join me to read the rest of my story! Let Faith Lead - YMI Today 
 



To Embrace the Temporary

Five Minute Friday, writing this week on the prompt, embrace... Go!


 It’s hard to embrace what you inevitably know, you will leave behind. And I wonder about this guardedness of temporary embraces. My husband and I are in the kind of ministry, where we often go to places to establish, commission and do God’s work in that place, but we move on. We never stay and less times do we return. Not because our hearts don’t long to, but because our Saviour says, I have other nations for you, different plans, different places. The harvest is plentiful, the labourers, few. I think about this momentary moments we share with others, the moments that carry the deepest weight because they are Heavens moments. So perhaps the temporary purchases something eternal, salvation or destiny, perhaps both. Then I think about people who come in to my life and leave, so much of it feels seasonal and sure that season can last for a month to a few years, eventually though we as people move on. My mom had friends of 30 years and even their lives journeys split. Is it just so? Do we embrace temporarily in a place where we are guarded or unguarded for a while? Is that the deep divine message of life God is really teaching me, and us all? Yesterday while reading my bible I read a verse I’ve read before, only this time it was the one I needed to pause on. It was a verse about the Holy Spirit, and how the Spirit of God is within us as a taste of things to come. I sat thinking at all the beauty of Yeshua I have encountered this side of life. I thought about His presence, and His peace, His Love and His truth. I breathed in, fighting for peace at present. And then I closed my eyes and held in my heart the small tiny embers of these things and suddenly I was filled with awe, one day I will not have to endure the temporary. The temporary loves or joys, the temporary beautifuls, I will be tasting the main meal, not just the starter. One day it will all be permanent, and forever, real and without end and His presence and Person I will embrace and finally there will be no more ends, just a forever beginning….


Linking with Kate M

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Just so you know...


My book has been out seven months. I may be forgiven in thinking it's been longer, because for me it has been of course, from start to finish. The hype around releasing a book is crazy! Your publisher gets you excited about launches and newspaper articles and all sort fo things. You go from radio station to radio station, meeting to meeting and if you know me, that's exciting stuff for my "experiencer" personality. I thrive in planning, organising, networking and anything that spells "new." So when my book finally got released, it was a gift that felt surreal.

There was a particular book store I had walked passed for years, with its beautiful big glass windows, showcasing a handful of books and I often paused wishing one day something I had written would be in that window. Imagine my amazement at one day walking past that store and seeing Yehudit in the window! It felt like the air was sucked out of me and I was transported in to some heavenly place. Little gifts from God were planted everywhere in those first few weeks and I was grateful for every one of them. 

Fast forward several months and it feels so long ago. Two weeks ago, a dear friend posted a picture of himself holding Yehudit in his arms. He had seen it at a bookstore in his local mall and snapped away - what a great friend! He posted this picture on social media and when he did I told him, gosh releasing that book feels so far away, like it's old and forgotten now. His reply breathed life my way, "no it's not old! People are still picking it up for the very first time and once they read it, it's new and then it starts all over again."

His words were incredibly heartfelt and true. So today when my publisher surprised me by email with the words "Yehudit is unexpectedly in one of S.A.'s most popular magazines," I was totally excited. I bought this magazine and opened it excitedly. The feelings were new, the excitement new and different, age and faithfully stewarding Yehudit has turned my excitement in to something deeper. It's all part of my journey, and part of me and it's new everytime. Yeshua is also reminding me how He has not forgotten this beautiful, heaven birthed story. I always knew it was a seed I needed to plant and walk away for others to eat from it. I always knew it was His and today, He showed me again with such love that, He is always working where no eye can see. This is encouragement for me, as I set my heart on new things both in my present and in my future. God is working where I cannot see. So faithfully, so "big" and so powerfully, in deep Love, with passion for His child. He is always working and never too early but never late. I'm taking courage today with this sure promise that He knows and always has my best interest at heart, surprising me with Love Gifts every step of the way -just so I know I am not alone and that it will be alright in the end. This goes for you too precious one, He is working hard where no eye can see, working it out for your good, never early but always on time.


 If you haven't yet grabbed Yehudit, you can over at Amazon

Friday, 17 February 2017

Is Faith Brave?

FMF - writing on the word "weak!" Unedited, free flow of writing, set the timer for 5 and let's hit it! go!

This week Abba Father has been leading me back to the yellowed pages of Narnia. I've been reading it with fresh tears, never before has the story pulled on me but now it's new. New because I'm in a different place and the revelation and truth are pouring through the lines as though God Himself were the narrator and no one can hear the words but me. I am struck by Peter's first battle. New sword, a wolf about to attack his sister and her desperate cries for help. It's a moment filled with the deepest fear and yet the presence of bravery. "Peter did not feel very brave; indeed, he felt he was going to be sick. But that made no difference to what he had to do.” 


Brave Faith. It's my journey at present, with no other Voice but God's. Peter did not feel brave, he felt something quite different from braver or even faith. He was in all regards ill - equipped to take on a wolf who led the white witch's army, but none of this mattered really. It made no difference to his purpose or his destiny. He was fearful but he still held out his sword, he still shook as the wolf lunged towards him and he still defeated the wolf, thereby saving his sisters life. He may have felt weak - ill equipped, or scared but it did not hinder what he was called to do. In many ways fear is a natural part of life. It is there when things are new, when things are scary or unknown, or questionable. It is there when we stand on the sidelines and finally God calls us to play on the centre stage of life. It is there when we lean over the edge of the boat like Peter did and say "here Yeshua (Jesus), pick me, let me walk on the water with you!" 

Fear is there, but it makes no difference. What did make a difference was the choice Peter made while standing in the forest of Narnia, to go forward instead of backward. And in so doing a part of his identity was revealed, he was knighted by Aslan himself and he became Sir Peter Wolfs-Bane. If you stop when fear or uncertainty calls, you will miss the blessing of deeper identity and intimacy with the King. To go where fear is present only means that you have gone in to a place where you feel small and weak, and thats the very place of bravery, a place of destiny, a place of calling.

Linking with Kate M

 Hey I'm a Guest Writer over at Y Am I this week, do you want to take a look? I'm getting real about the day I overlooked my marriage vows! Truly marriage is a deep blessing, but we have to share the truth especially with our children! My Marriage Vows!

Friday, 10 February 2017

Am I safe to you?

Five Minute Friday, a flash mob of bold writers writing their hearts out for five  minutes on a single prompt, this week it's safe... Here Goes....



It's a wooden dance floor, shiny and comfortable for little feet like mine. I'm gently barefoot, the way I like to be. We move and just like that the lights dim and the music is perfect. I close my eyes and He holds me close, embraced tightly and gently all at once. Shadows move across the floors, shadows of people I know, mere shadows but He is real. He holds my hand and our frame is locked. Gently, gently. 

Then He leans in right where I can feel His breath, "am I safe to you?" He asks me.

I am startled by the question I have often asked myself. Is my Saviour safe? I cannot lie about the doubt I sometimes feel. And I stand fully looking in to my heart, is God safe, does He have my best interest at heart? Am I absolutely sure I trust Him, am I absolutely able to let every guard down and be completely naked before Him, transparent, unhiding, unguarded, convinced even when the waves roar, that He is safe? My heart rests and breathes content, "I want you to be," I answer. Then He pulls me deeper in to His embrace in a gentle turn of the dance. And I pause to look at the shadows of people I know dancing around me and I wonder the same thing, is your God safe to you?

STOP Linking up with Kate M 

 Hey Guys, I'm writing over at Velvet Ashes this week on racial issues, reflecting on how the brave actions of one small child shifted fear and perception, join me to read out a Border Crossing

Friday, 3 February 2017

Breathing, Living

Five Minute Friday - Prompt Breathe, Go!


Breathe in, breathe out just to check I'm still living. The heart monitor takes no breathe before it beeps, attached to the heart that holds me here, this breathe coming from within. I'm alive.

Close my eyes and feel this heartbeat, feel this breath. It's not enough to be simply breathing, simply living. Keep my eyes closed, tears fall through my webbed eye lashes, smack the bed sheets beneath him. It's not enough to be merely living. 

Open my palms, surrender. To the sound not of this heartbeat, but to Heaven. Not enough to be simply feeling, want to be finally living. He enters this place, this medical ward for barely there people, He comes in and I'm set free. 

Open my eyes and I'm alive. Breathe out and steam fills the holy space where this Kiss of Grace has redeemed life for me. I'm free, fully alive. Get up, feet touch tender grass, open fields call to me, the road to my left glistens before me. Feel the smile of my lighter chest, the rhythm of God's breath within me, fully alive, birthed from the Wood of the Cross. Fully living, alive....

Stop!
Sharing with Kate M
 Hey Guys - all you fabulous people, my amazing hubby overhauled my author Website - since I've grown a lot, I'm so happy we could change it up! I would so love you to check it out - laurenjacobs.co.za
  

Friday, 27 January 2017

FMF - Little Bits, I Grasp

FMF - Five Minutes of unedited free flow of words on the prompt of "Control," let's Go!


I stand in a heap, my days needs, deadlines and things, all lie like pieces of paper littered on the floor at a party. Except this is no party, it's me needing to figure things out. I turn on the computer and peer at the screen, brace myself with this new challenge called decluttering. I take my time, step out on to the balcony and sit down beneath the warm night sky that glistens and gleams beautifully. How long has it been, since I have done this, this very thing that often leaves me refreshed, breathing more easily. God joins me on my red cushion, bringing His knees up to His chest like I do when I have need of Him. He speaks to me about what to take on and what not to take on. He teaches me about how to live freely. I am stilled. I understand more about my life, more about my time. I rise to my feet and return to my chair. Little bit by little bit, each day passes and I grasp tiny bits of projects and deadlines - I look to the Holy Spirit and ask Him, is this one for me? I respond with working, little bits by little bits, as I can, as I am able. When he says no, I toss it away, happy to be knowing that not everything has to be handled by me. Tiny steps, little threads sewing in to this life's tapestry. This deep inner working of knowing that I am in control of how and what I can do, and to this time un-management queen, this means more then anyone can know!

STOP! Sharing with Kate M 

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

She Leads Africa Interview

It was a beautiful, profound privilege to be interviewed for She Leads Africa. The questions I was asked brought out the profound passion I understand to be the calling of a writer and the honesty of standing up for gender equality as a religious leader. God really speaks to me when I am asked questions, because those questions take me to the core of honesty and I learn through them. I hope you can glean something from this interview. "Forget Perfection, and embrace what you have to Give.

Read all about what I define as a Storyteller, what do I think makes a good storyteller, and a whole lot more over at She Leads - Interview

Friday, 20 January 2017

A Mentors Refinement

Five Minute Friday, on the Prompt "Refine," Go!


I've been thinking a lot about what it means to be a mentor, what it means to be called in to that position by Yahweh our God. I've thought a lot lately about the special role of mentors and how throughout my own life, God placed mentors or spiritual moms (and a dad) in my own life. They never stayed forever, but they were there for a season. Some were older than my mom and others were a bit younger, age was not the issue. Rather, it was the person with the deposit that I needed, whom God positioned in my life. I am so so grateful for each and every single person who mentored me - men and women. My masters degree mentor was and is an amazing man of God, through His Life God taught me about Love, free love, selfless love. This was the love this man displayed. Through the life of the woman who was my spiritual mom for many years (she passed away three years ago), God allowed her to speak truth in to my heart in a time when I was coming out of an abusive relationship in my early twenties. I can list the beautiful gifts, teachings, understanding and deposits, a long list of people gave to me. Now however, I am thinking about my own role in the future, as a mentor. I am so blessed to know that one special woman I was blessed to mentor, has now taken such bold steps in her own life to throw herself in to God's call for her. She has abandoned comforts for mission work in deepest Africa, even without her family supporting her. For me, I have witnessed this growth and am so amazed at how deep her commitment goes. For me, sure I was placed as a mentor in her life for a time, now as a friend, but in all honesty, it's up to the person being mentored, to give it all to God. They wont become the person they are called to be without surrendering to Gor, no matter how awesome their mentor may be! And the biggest gift a mentor can offer is to be warm, and compassionate but also to be an instrument called to refine. We have to challenge, we have to push boundaries by God's prompting and we have to tell the truth. Now, as I sit these days thinking about mentors and mentorship, I wonder what the future is bringing to me in terms of other people who may need something I can give. It's exciting to think about! And not the least bit challenging!

STop! LInking with Kate M

Thursday, 19 January 2017

The Journey of Miles


Moses was a walker.
His leather sandals held miles on their tread, more tread then some cars do. How do I know that? Because the Torah tells us about the journey of the Israelites, but it also tells us about the journeys of Moses, the leader of the people. There's one specific trip Moses takes, which has gripped me over the past week. It's one particular trip he takes up mount Sinai to meet with Yahweh at God's command.


Moses took a total of nine trips up that same mountain, nine. Nine times he went up to meet with the Great I am! But on this one occassion something happens when he gets up the mountain that seems pretty awful in a way. The bump and sweat up Mount Sinai is no joke, even today, it's a hard journey. Some break bones, others take a camel up halfway, all in all it still takes 3 to 4 hours up even in our modern world, there's even cafes en route these days! But in Moses' day, there were no luxuries, it was a hard grind to the top, taking hours. So, 4 hours up and 4 hours down, that was the drill. So in Exodus 19 we are faced with the beautiful moment where Yahweh chooses to give His people, His Torah. Not only that, He also tells them the purpose for their redemption, to become a holy nation, a kingdom of priests set apart to Him alone (verses 5 - 6). Then Moses goes up the mountain a few times and relays messages to the people from God and then from God to the people. But in verse 20 - 21, 23 - 24 this happens....

  The Lord descended to the top of Mount Sinai
and called Moses to the top of the mountain.
So Moses went up
and YHWH said to him,
“Go back down and warn the people.." 
 
Moses said to the Lord,
“The people cannot come up Mount Sinai, because
you yourself warned us, ‘Put limits around
the mountain and set it apart as holy.’
YHWH replied, “Go down and bring Aaron up with you."

Moses gets to the top after a long tiring walk of a couple of hours and he is told by God to go back down. Imagine, hearing those words - go back down on another long journey after you've just travelled up. These words really struck me as I allowed them to sink in. All the way up, just to be commissioned for another journey down and up again. 

But truthfully, I don't know what happened for Moses as he journeyed down. I don't know what he needed to learn from the experience of 9 to 12 hours of journeying on one day! I don't know if something shifted in his spirit, if there was something he needed to learn from the hard journey. Perhaps the Almighty wanted him to feel something or understand something. It seems to be that the journey was of utmost importance to God. This strange, unnecessary trip could have been a trip that changed things for Moses, it could have been a trip of learning, of breaking, of growing. It so mirrors our unfathomable trips of life too. Maybe it's not going as smooth as you thought it would go, maybe you are facing unnecssary pauses or periods of waiting. Maybe there is opposition, or despair, worry or weariness. Maybe there's an extra wait, or extra mountain you have to climb, and it's hard. But on the other side of that journey, maybe it's the place where you will grow to break, and break to grow. Or maybe in the "going down" God will show up in a greater way then before. Even waiting is a place of destiny. I don't know why friend, why when you just got to the top, you have to go back down again but our Abba is good and He knows. He will use the rugged, unmarked, dusty path to grow you, to help you, to teach you and it may not be easy but it's always for your good. Look what Moses got out of his journeys up and down that mountain, he got to hear the very Voice of God and to see the very Glory of God. He got nearness, intimacy and fresh word everyday more then anyone before him. He got called "spokesman for God," humble man, who was blessed to know the King. And that is purpose beyond belief. I pray that our mountains will be places like that. Don't give up, the journey is worth purpose!
 

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

You Turn because it's Me, Father


Father. What a special gift to know that we are Loved by Father. Yet, not everyone starts off knowing a father's love and when the wounds of fatherlessness are present, it takes the journey of Perfect Love to heal it. Father, the journey, the reality, the depth and the messages, it's all part of what I have and continue to write. This week I am over by Altarwork, sharing my poem entitled Father. I pray it blesses and speaks to you and maybe you want to send it on to someone who needs to know Father's gate is always open for them to come home!

Altarwork - Father Poem 

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Stumbling Beautiful


I'm over at Grace Notes today, writing about how I stumbled in to Beautiful, on a trip some years back, to Venice! This piece is really about finding beauty in the strangest, most unexpected places and how that beauty can touch your heart and leave you refreshed!

Join me over here - Stumbling Upon Beautiful in Venice

Arrivederci!

Friday, 6 January 2017

FMF - I stood on the edge to Connect

First FMF for the Year! Lets go, writing on the prompt #connect!


 Snow settled in some parts, and everyone is snapping away. But down here South, here in Africa, we are summering it up, with soaring heat and fires. December was a movement of a month and connecting happened differently then expected. The first week of December we flew up North to be present at a old friends wedding. The beauty of the wedding struck me when we arrived on Friday (the day before the big day!) and we were surrounded by all the friends we have back home. They flew up too! And while we were there we sat breaking bread for our Friday night sabbath and we ate together. The sound of laughter, jokes and the steady flow of conversation was literally beautiful music. We spent moments connecting, hearing, listening, talking, engaging. On Saturday morning my husband and I checked in to the hotel where we were staying the rest of the weekend after a busy few days (we had arrived earlier in the week for ministry before the wedding, so we were tired!!). I took some time out for myself and walked out in to the big grass patch in front of our hotel. As I wandered on to the grass, a deep peace washed over me and when I peered down to where my feet were, I found myself standing on the edge of a circle in the green. I waited on the edge of the circle and then stepped in to it. I stood there, fully connected. Connected with God, with myself and with the realisation that it was the friends surrounding me and the community I found myself in that had given my spirit a refreshing hug or kiss of life. I stood in the circle looking down at my feet, allowing the tears to fall freely. I was embraced by the love I felt all around me. The love I felt in the friendships I was able to connect afresh with. Truth is, we all stay in the same suburb but we hardly ever see each other. The wedding was a wonder moment of connection, where we danced together and laughed together. It was a place of connecting. When we returned back home, connecting happened over a hospital bed, it happened when I shared the joy with my family, the joy of my baby nieces entry in to the world. Holding her I felt love surrounding me like a forcefield. Connection happened when she was a mere hour old and it happened in ways differnt then I expected and how grateful I am for that!
Stop! Linking over at Kate's