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