Thursday, January 15, 2009

Poor Prophets

I've been reading Ezkiel and been very thankful I am not a prophet. As I read of all the things God wanted this man to do - just to be an illustration to the children of Israel was mind blowing, but the most amazing of all was the simple obedience seen in these men.

This man spoke to my heart. His pleading with God for the people - not for his ease or his comfort but for the people all the time. I look at the Corps and wonder how many I want to please and how many I want to make uncomfortable. Then I wonder what I would be prepared to do for God's sake. Would I be prepared to be a walking illustration? I don't think so.

I love God and I love the people he has sent me to minister to and I want them to get to know the message from God but where would I draw the line - I wonder.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Reflections of a tired mind

I am in the process of preparing myself to write the last exam in my post graduate diploma Adult education. I will be pleased when this is all over and I can forget about studying for a while. A good friend wants me to do my Master's degree but I think studying is over for me for a while. I am getting old and my memory doesn't want to work so well any more.

My heart hurts for Israel at the moment. I see so much hurting and so much pain in Israel the Gaza strip is such a tiny piece of land and yet there is so much hatred and so much pain their tonight.

Having been to Israel and seen these places my heart hurts to think that God loves this land so much and yet people are still hurting and being hurt in this wonderful land. I pray for peace in Jerusalem daily. today I pray that God will change hearts and bring peace.

We will again be praying for Israel and Palestine in our meetings on Sunday.

So many of us are making plans to have a good 2009 and our Corps plans will be having their planning meeting on the 20th this to make so many plans for a year that is going to be amazing.

Beth Shan (our home for abused women) has been a great concern for us in that it needs to open in a new house but the house was a problem - Friday is D day so we are praying that God will again make a miracle happen and that we will be able to move into the house very soon. Pray with us for a speedy answer.

a good friend has given Jeff and I a verse from Scripture to encourage us and I am holding on to it with both of my hands

Zep 3:17 The LORD your God is with you; his power gives you victory. The LORD will take delight in you, and in his love he will give you new life. He will sing and be joyful over you

How wonderful for God to sing and be joyful over me! what a beautiful picture of love and hope.

I love the positive statements in Scripture - God is with you - his power gives you victory. I love that and I claim it for my life.

Well I have to put in a time of study now - leadership in teaching can be challenging but even more so when you are teaching adults. I know that God is preparing me for something and I will honour him in all things.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

living Christ's values

Well we are into the new year and we are dying of the heat. It is so hot the dogs are over heating!

I gave Jeff a bonsai for Christmas and its struggling in the heat. I now need to get him a book on how to look after a Bonsai tree. I hope this one does well!! Its been around since 2004 I hope it outlasts us.

Our new territorial Commander has made 2009's theme Living Christ's Values. What an amazing open theme. I had to go back and look at the life of Christ to understand the secret to living like him is behaving like he did to the Father.

He says things like "nothing I do I do without consulting my Father". He put God's agenda ahead of his own, God's love for mankind in place of God's love for him. I am amazed and a little scared to really get down to the nitty gritty on this theme. I have realised that I have to change some of the "accepted" things I do and say.

Its so much easier to live your life in a bubble where everything is predictable. who would have known there would be a storm and the disciples would be fighting for their lives and Jesus would be sleeping - who knew that if you actually get out of the boat you could walk on water. Who would have known that saying "yes I want to be healed" would mean that you would be.

Jesus did not do the expected. he turned the values of the official religious leaders on their heads and they didn't like it. I wonder sometimes if I haven't become an official leader???? do I do the right things because they are valuable or because they are right in my sight??? I'm a little retrospective at the moment so indulge me. I'm second guessing everything I do to make sure my values really do work with Christ's. I'm finding that some of them are really a security blanket that stops me from getting too involved with the "wrong sort".

As an Army Officer I get drained or sapped of energy really quickly when I have to deal with the broken and desperate in life. So often the root of their problem is so easy for me to see but difficult to make them see or even want to fix. How much more annoying must we have been to God in the form of Christ. He must have wanted to shake us sometimes when we didn't get it or we didn't change or we didn't believe cos we didn't see!!

I am determined that this is going to be God's year to act in the Corps, in my family and in me. I am expecting great things. Maybe some of my value systems may just be turned on their heads a little.

till next time. see ya

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Wow it feels like forever since last I wrote my thoughts down. My life has been a steam roller of work, work and sleep. feelings and emotions are optional extras at times. We have secured a house to house the programme Beth Shan. What a wonderful statement to make. Sure there are problems - perhaps more like challenges but they are just sent to keep you humble and totally reliant of God. God makes me want to giggle when he sorts a problem out almost immediately or when he whams you with an aha moment as he sorts something out overnight that has kept you up most nights.

We are praying to open Beth Shan in February. Many are saying it won't happen but I know God has a trick or two up his sleeve- I like the idea that God smiles at our roadblocks. the most exciting aspect of the new Beth Shan is that it will be a place of healing of Agape love and understanding, a place of quiet from a terrible life and a place of shelter from the storm. We will also have the element of women who had been through the horrible experience of being trafficked. I guess that will be one of our biggest challenges. They are survivors and have learnt how to be tough and how to get what you want in desperate ways. God must give us the wisdom to work lovingly with these ladies but also restorative. Making sure they will once again be able to live in a "normal" society after being so badly abused by fellow human beings.

As I look at the world today I see not much has changed. The corporate conscious of society has just dulled even more then it was in the past. Now we turn a blind eye to so much more then our forefather's did. Apartheid was terrible but slavery has to be worse. Genocide was disgusting as we look at it in history but we allow it in our life time and for me in my own continent.

The truth of power corrupting and absolute power corrupting absolutely is so evident in Africa. How we pray that God would bless Africa and we thank Him for men like Angus Buchan who stands and preaches repentance and confession of sins.

Africa has a bleeding heart that needs fixing but the eyes of those living in Africa will tell you that hope has almost left us. almost but not completely. God bless Africa!!

Christmas has come and gone and 2008 has closed its door. I loved Christmas this year. After our morning service which was well attended we headed out for the Free State and spent a few days (3) at Moreson in Vreda. Its a hunting lodge - canned lions no less !!!!!- But also a camping site with an indoor pool and the kids got to play with lion and tiger cubs. they had free access to them and the boys in particular loved that experience. it was only as we stayed there that we discovered the true nature of the lodge. But I am pleased to say that a law has just come out banning canned lion hunting. so maybe moreson will become a lion sanctuary I hope so!

We came back in time to prepare for Old Year's eve service. We decided to hold it at our home and the young people brought their guitars and keyboard and drums and we sang praises to our Great God. We looked at new hopes, new desires and new decisions. We asked God for direction for 2009 and thanked Him for his Faithfulness in 2008. It was a great evening at midnight we were singing -"You are awesome in this place Mighty God" to the sound of an incredible thunderstorm hitting our garage - where we moved to when the rain began to threaten). It was amazing just to bow before the king of the universe and offer to him ourlives for another year.

Our verse for this year is Luke 4:18-19 taken from the Message
God's spirit is on me; He's chosen me to preach the Message of good news to the poor, sent me to announce pardon to the prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, to set the burdened and battered free, to announce, "this is God's year to act".

So allow me to announce to you all "this is God's year to act". As a church we are beleiving this so much and standing on it as our foundation. We know that God has great things in store for us and we are going to preach it, announce it, do miracles in His name and shout from the roof tops this is God's year to act. We are taking God at His word and know that that's a good thing to do.

So pray for us. As a family we are doing well. Nicole (my second eldest ) has just past matric. She passed really well and we are really proud of her. She start at university this year studying Bcom accounting. I know that even in this God will undertake to make sure she is financally able to get through her studies. We praise him for the 10 thousand already received.

matthew and Mark start with the senior phase of their high school career and are very excited. natalie has a job at Truworths (a clothing store) and a steady boyfriend so she too is beginning to be settled. jeff and I love each other more every day. We are so interdependent on one another its a little scary at times. I thank God for my life partner and ask that I may know how best to serve him.

So from us to you all God bless and keep true to Him. My hightest prayer for 2009 is that I may be worthy of His love and that he may continue to work His work of grace in my heart so that I can be more and more like him. I want to be holy even as he is holy. Too high - well I'm striving toward that goal.