Wednesday, 5 September 2012
Wednesday, 29 August 2012
Venice Beach, California. Beautiful beach, bodies, sand and sun. Seems the ideal place. A place everyone wants to be. Yet I left there with a very sad heart. So many folk walking around, laying in the sun, or just sitting who are so high I wonder if they know where they actually are. A young girl sitting on the boardwalk with a sign that simply says "HUNGRY, will take any of your left overs." I counted 6 shops advertising "Medicinal Marijuana" from U$30 to U$40 at discounted prices. Sage leaves being sold everywhere and some shops advertising "Salvia" this causes strong hallucinations and out of body experiences. As I walked around I was wondering to myself, "Could I ever allow my child to end up like some of these people who live here, on the beach, or around the corner out of the sight of the police only to return as soon as the sun is up to start their day again?" No matter what our children do to us or to society or to themselves I could never imagine allowing this to be where they end up. The sadness around this beautiful setting is tangible. As we gave this young girl a pizza slice from our "left overs" I looked her in the eyes and said God Bless you, she looked away. I gave her a bottle of water and again said God Bless you. I should have done more. I feel guilt at missed opportunity, I feel sadness for these young and old who have ended up in a situation like this. Where are their parents, children, siblings? The unseen?
Thursday, 28 June 2012
|Our beautiful Layla...hiding her face..I felt like doing this...|
This last week has been "tough"...I have had to take a very long look at myself, my motivation and my work. I have always worked in projects, community or something "good" for others. This last week God has been refining me - we normally call it "refining fire"...I can tell you the heat was put to maximum...we have been taught that the "hotter the fire" the more perfect the result...my word....it was difficult and hard.
I had to examine myself and why I do what I do. While pondering this and wondering about all the blessings and failures I came to realise that I had to change a lot about me. The main one being my "prideful" attitude. I love to talk about what I do, the projects I am involved in and the blessings we have received. I talk to anyone I meet taking every opportunity and I have justified this in my own mind that when I speak to them about what "I" do I ask them if there is anything they can do to help us (donations, time, etc) - so justifying my "prideful conversation". God guided me to the scripture below..I have quoted it in two different translations:
Matthew 6: 3 & 4
NIV - 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Message - 2-4"When you do something for someone else, don't call attention to yourself. You've seen them in action, I'm sure—'playactors' I call them— treating prayer meeting and street corner alike as a stage, acting compassionate as long as someone is watching, playing to the crowds. They get applause, true, but that's all they get. When you help someone out, don't think about how it looks. Just do it—quietly and unobtrusively. That is the way your God, who conceived you in love, working behind the scenes, helps you out."
I spoke to a very trusted spiritual friend and explained to her what was going on in my mind and heart and told her that I look at her and her peaceful attitude and generous heart and I would love to be more like her and less like me...and she told me that she struggles with exactly the same. Did this make me feel better...no...this was my journey and if we share a path then I know that at least I am not alone in this and I felt comforted and not as condemned as I had been feeling.
I know I am loved unconditionally, I am righteous in Christ, I just need to take care that the God I am serving is my God, Lord and Savior and not my work.
I thank God that He is constantly REFINING me .... I thank God that He has opened my eyes and ears to His teaching. I thank God that He has made me brave enough to share this with folk who I have been "boastful" to....I thank God that I am forgiven and loved by Him. I ask you for forgiveness if I have been boastful instead of humble.Inspiring blogger:
Monday, 18 June 2012
|Fikile....wonderful dedicated mother|
This is Fikile she is the mom of Phindie and Phindile...the twins I have messaged about before. Phindile is the little one who is having glasses fitted to try and rectify her very severe squint.
Fikile is HIV positive and I have her permission to publish her photo and her story. Her CD4 count is below 300 which is terminal. She gets a monthly grant from the government of R560 which is US$73 PER MONTH.
This is the only income she has. The father of her children threw a lit paraffin stove at her when she confronted him about the fact that she had tested positive for HIV - he had never disclosed his status to her....her burns landed her in hospital while pregnant with her twin girls. He is in jail serving a 5 year sentence. She has tried to find work but struggles due to her scars - people turn her away. She is dedicated to her two little girls and does not eat unless they have eaten - she does not take her ARV's as she does not eat often enough and the doctors have told her not to take the medication unless she has eaten. This is one of the stories from our school....she has asked me if she can come and work for me so that when she dies I can look after her twin daughters - who do not carry the HIVirus - Praise God. I am not able to employ her as I have folk working for me already.
|Phindie & Phindile with their new blankets|
If you would like in any way to support them even if it is a written message to Fikile that I will give to her - please do so and God bless you as you hopefully remember them in your prayers. Our PayPal account button is published on the BLOG. Thank you....
Friday, 1 June 2012
I have a confession. I was asked to help with a cause that looked after endangered children. Obviously I jumped at the opportunity – it is what I do. BUT – the brakes were quickly put on when I realised that the custodians of the cause were a married couple – they were two women. Everything in me said no this is not right, this is sinful, and this is so far removed from the will of God. I even asked counsel from trusted spiritual friends and all but one told me about unequal yoking, take care not to get involved, etc. One of my very wise friends Hayley invited me to coffee and she allowed me to discuss my feelings and together we realised how wrong I was.
Yes homosexuality is sin – but so is lying, deceit, adultery, murder, rape, abuse, not paying taxes.
Who am I to judge these two women – this is an opportunity for me to confess my immediate judgment of them and to ask them to forgive me. Am I any better than them? Am I perfect in my walk with Jesus? Absolutely not. I fall every day. I struggle with stuff. But my stuff is more than often hidden from the world it is secret stuff…the outward me looks all put together – but you don’t know my struggles – I hide them well. If you truly knew me and my struggles would you also say “Oh no, I cannot be with her, she is a sinner?”
We are all sinners – I do not believe that there are levels of sin. I believe that we have opportunity to minister to anyone no matter what their confession is. I know we are instructed in the Bible by Paul -
Anything that is in conflict with the nature of God and His will is sinful. His nature and will are revealed plainly in the Bible, and as such those things that are contrary to Him are plain as well. There is an objective standard. We can know the difference between right and wrong. And after determining the difference, we ought to be careful to avoid all sin. Paul's question in 2 Corinthians 6:14, is a rhetorical one. He states, "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?"
Matthew 28:18-20 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
This is the foundation for evangelism and cross-cultural missions work in Christian theology. Because the Lord's instructions were to go to all nations and that He would be with us until the very end of the age, Christians of all generations have embraced this command. As many have said, it's not "The Great Suggestion." No, the Lord has commanded us to put our faith in action.
I will value your comments. I am going to meet with these ladies, confess to them my judgment, ask their forgiveness and then show them the work of Jesus that was done for ALL of us.
Wednesday, 23 May 2012
In a previous blog I wrote after attending a funeral of a very loved lady - I asked the question about making sure you do not wait for a funeral to let the person you love know how much you love them, how much you are amazed by them, how proud you are of them, etc.
Now my question is what are you doing about "End Times"? Are you preparing your life for it, and are you doing enough about your family to prepare them for the time Christ returns? Are you serious about reconciling with estranged family? My sister and I with our 2 brothers are in a time of enormous hurt. She is not speaking to any of us due to a misunderstanding that I do not actually understand however she is determined not to allow any form of reconciliation at all. My heart is broken, I have tried everything I can to try and understand her comments, have asked her to forgive me if I am the cause of her pain (that she says she is feeling), begged her to allow reconciliation before it is too late. But she is determined to remain silent, distant, hurt.
I ask you what you are doing and I am in a crisis of my own. So I have to ask myself the same question.
We are called to the Great Commission - with time shortening each day - are we making an impact on our world?
IMAGINE IF IN ONE DAY - EVERY PERSON OF THE WORLD SMILED AT SOMEONE THEY DID NOT KNOW. WHAT A HAPPY DAY THAT WOULD BE - and who knows it may open a door to be able to minister to that person. Will you take the challenge and smile at someone you do not know, and see if it allows for you to say hello as well, to tell them your story, to tell them the story of the love of Christ.
ARE YOU WILLING TO TAKE UP THE CHALLENGE?
Tuesday, 15 May 2012
|Vuyani - Gang member - we never saw him smile once in the week he was with us. Life was just too hard.|
This young boy joined us for a week of fun and fellowship at our Kids Week project held in the middle of Hillbrow - a part of Johannesburg city that is notorious for drug dealing, prostitutes, gangs, gun fights, murder, etc etc.
One morning we witnessed the murder of a pedestrian who was walking past the church. He was randomly shot by a passer by. This was a normal occurance for the children who were with us.
These children learn from their environment. Rape, assault, abuse, etc. All part of their normal day. We offered them a safe place and showed them how to touch each other in a loving way, how to play like a child, how to be silly doing action songs, how to laugh, how to trust someone who used to be a stranger, and we showed them a little of what Jesus was to us. As much as they learnt from us as a team - we learnt so much more from them.
We as adults have such a responsibility to children especially those vulnerable ones - the Bible is very cautioning to us with this regard. I pray that you take the time to get to know a vulnerable child and show them the love of Christ.
“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven." Matthew 18:9