Friday, November 25, 2005

Growing Up

Precious Saints !!!

Was woken up one morning with this song by Chris Rice (thanks Helga on CCFM) and the first few lines just kinda stuck in my mind for a few days and evoked a ton of memories both good and bad.

What dreams did you have as a child as to what you wanted to be when you grew up and became an adult? Well I wanted to be a fireman, policeman, doctor, vet, soccer star, rock star and so on. As I grew older my ideas changed as to what I wanted to be. So by the time I was a teenager I wanted to be a rock star. Hey I really loved music but did I have any talent? Sad to say just about zero.

So we become all 'grown up' and stumble into a job and the 'real' world starts knocking our dreams to pieces. Sorry man, you can't do that, you're too short, too skinny, too white, too stoopid and so on. I remember going for job interview after job interview where they asked the same dumb questions. "Did you captain the 1st rugby team, 1st soccer team, 1st dis, 1st dat, I see you don't have a post matric qualification"....drone on and on. Hey can't a guy come second here? As a scrawny 20 something I just about used to wet my pants(or something worse) when I went for job interviews.

The other really intelligent question was, "I see you don't have any experience....." Well knock me down with a perfumed pink feather. I had just come out of the army where I was trained to meet interesting people and kill them!!! My young friends and I were giving up our lives to protect your sorry fat backside. How am I gonna get any experience if you don't want to hire me. Well that's what I felt like saying but I really did not have the guts to say it.

Anyways you eventually get a job, get married, get divorced, get married, get divorced and then get married again and hopefully stay employed throughout. And all this time you are kinda thinking to yourself there has just gotta be more to life then this. By the time I'd reached 40 I'd carefully patched up my heart, sealed it reasonably tight and would only let in people if they would be able to give me something in return. I would give love but you better give me some love back.

And then at that stage I had almost reached breaking point. Allie my lovely wife after giving birth to our only son had two nervous breakdowns in the space of three/four years. I mean what had I done to deserve this? I was really losing myself and finding it so difficult to really put others first. Then Allie started seeking for something bigger, higher then herself and she literally upset my whole wheelbarrow of manure. She actually started going to church! This kinda freaked me out initially I mean I was kinda steeling myself to push my wheelbarrow for the rest of my life and work out some kinda plan to make the manure smell better.

Well one thing led to another and one Saturday evening I met my saviour Jesus Christ. WOW!!! He gave me a tiny glimpse of his glory and my life was changed forever. Now I wanna do things 'cause I know that He loved me first, I'm learning more and more His purpose and plan for my life. And guess what I am really super duper special, I'm so precious that God himself came down and died for me. He purchased me with His own blood! Can you actually fathom the depth, the width the height of that love? Not likely this side of heaven. Now all this does not give me a big fat head but makes me feel truly grateful and humble and just wanting to serve Him with all that I have. Oh yeah, am I perfect? No ways, I'm full of holes and frayed at the edges but I'm really trying to love God back and the more I get that right the more I am able to give of His love back to the world.

God just blows me away constantly with His love. A youth pastor from Khayelitsha phoned me yesterday on my cell to tell me that He loves me as a brother in Christ. A woman the other evening introduced me to her sister and said that I'd saved her live. And it goes on and on. I'm not saying all this to get a Noddy badge or to tell you how great I am but to tell you how great God is. Love Him back more and more and you will see how He uses you. Go on I dare you!

Here's that song

The Power Of The Moment (by Chris Rice)

What am I gonna be when I grow up?
How am I gonna make my mark in history?
And what are they gonna write about me when I’m gone?
These are the questions that shape the way I think about what matters
But I have no guarantee of my next heartbeat
And my world’s too big to make a name for myself
And what if no one wants to read about me when I’m gone?
Seems to me that right now’s the only moment that matters

You know the number of my days
So come paint Your pictures on the canvas in my head
And come write Your wisdom on my heart
And teach me the power of a moment
The power of a moment, the power of a moment

In Your kingdom where the least is greatest
The weak are given strength and fools confound the wise
And forever brushes up against a moment’s time
Leaving impressions and drawing me into what really matters

You know the number of my days
So come paint Your pictures on the canvas in my head
And come write Your wisdom on my heart
And teach me the power of a moment
The power of a moment, the power of a moment

I get so distracted by my bigger schemes
Show me the importance of the simple things
Like a word, a seed, a thorn, a nail
And a cup of cold water

You know the number of my days
So come paint Your pictures on the canvas in my head
And come write Your wisdom on my heart
And teach me the power of a moment
The power of a moment, the power of a moment

Copyright Clumsy Fly Music (ASCAP)

LoCTY !!!!!!!

We know what real love is because Christ gave up His life for us. And so we also ought to give up our lives for our Christian brothers and sisters. (1 John 3:16)

Friday, November 4, 2005

Street Evangelism (4)

So another coupla months have gone by and we are still walking up and down Voortrekker Road whenever we can dishing out tracts about “Your Most Important Relationship.”
The devil is still whispering into my ear all the lies and doubts that he has at his disposal. “So do you really think these stupid pieces of paper are going to make any difference in people’s lives, hey who do you think you are to go and interfere without invitation in other people’s lives, it’s really cold tonight much more comfortable in front of the heater, something really good on TV tonight, do you know how dangerous Voortrekker road is at night?…..” and on and on. Just one thing if you are gonna do anything for God’s kingdom be prepared for the lies, the doubts, be prepared to do battle but remember this, that the devil has already been defeated (by Christ on the cross) and he only has as much power as you give him, also don’t go and be no Lone Ranger and do stuff on your own. You are part of the Body of Christ, always pray, always ask for help and if the only help that someone can give you is to pray for your protection then thankfully and gracefully accept it.
Lately God has blessed me with some new people who are as crazy for Christ as I am. So we have a bunch of ‘fruity’ Christians who go out together, normally on Friday evenings and really encourage each other and have wonderful fellowship at the same time.
When you ‘hit’ the street you really do not have any idea what to expect. We always pray for ‘divine appointments’ but I often feel that everyone we meet is a ‘divine appointment’. Just being there out on the street makes a huge statement for the Body of Christ.
We have recently added to our repertoire by going to visit the Goodwood police station after we have walked up to Vasco Boulevard. I remember the first time going in there (the cop shop) and the policeman behind the charge office counter asking me if he could help me. I answered that we would like to help them by praying for them and their families. By the look on his face you could see that this was not something that was covered in his training manual. Anyways God always comes through and the duty commander gave us his blessing and a policewoman joined us in prayer and we gave out a few Gospels of John and some tracts. I just want you to imagine if you can, standing in a passage at the police station on a Friday night praying out loud (and in tongues)to our Father in the name of Jesus Christ for His Holy Spirit to protect and convict all those around you. Awesome stuff!!!!!
During another visit to the cop shop we met up with a woman whose 22 year old son had just been arrested. She was bringing him some McDonalds to eat as he was locked up in a cell. It reminded me so much of Allie and myself and what we went through with Adam at one stage. We invited her to join our prayer circle and afterwards we ministered to her and also prayed for her son. She just could not stop crying. My heart just ached for her. She seemed just so utterly forlorn and alone. Always remember though that Jesus is with you always and He will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5)
So ja all I can say to you is that your faith is like a muscle. If you don’t exercise a muscle it does not get stronger. If you don’t test (do stuff for God) your faith then it isn’t gonna grow much stronger. So just do whatever God is calling you to do, use whatever God has given you for His glory and serve Him. If you are reading this and you reckon you got nothing to give, that’s a lie. Even if all you got is to clean toilets or wash dishes you can do it for the glory of God’s kingdom.
I just would like to thank all those of you walked with me this past year and also those who prayed for this ministry in anyway even if it was just for a second. I really appreciate your loving contributions.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Amazing Love

To You Oh Precious Saints !!!!

Your email boxes over these last coupla weeks must have been decidedly lighter and your eyes more rested due to the fact that I have been on leave for the last two weeks.

So what’s been happening? Plenty ‘stuff’, too much to write all down here but we’ll mention some things.

Well Val (Allies’ sister who is a Sister [nun; geddit?]) came down from Cathcart to stay with us these past two weeks and I tried my level best to cut down on the church “stuff’ for the two weeks so we could spend as much time with Val as possible. We went to early morning mass for two Sundays, hey I even knew the words for quite a few of the songs and also knew quite a few people there.

Last Thursday we are just sitting in the lounge around about 5pm when suddenly the front door opens (for some reason or the other it was not locked) and in walks Adam. Talk about jaw dropping, blown away time. To just let you get some idea of the impact of his entrance, we had not heard a single word from him for more than a month. Allie was really worried about him, what with Rita and Katrina doing there dance of destruction across the southern parts of the USA. Because of all the damage that the hurricanes have caused, the entertainment season has been curtailed and the owner of the fare started to send the guys back home. It was just so good to see him. He’d been travelling for 30 hours. A few days earlier I’d had a dream that he’d come home and it was so real that when I woke up I thought that he was in the house (yeah I cried then, no one saw me except God). He (Adam) also came bearing gifts for us and this from a guy who until last year was not interested in paying rent. It was so apparent that God had “kept” him in this very difficult time. We had a great time of fellowship (actually mind blowing) as a family talking about our amazingly awesome God. Then we went to visit Lisa (his sister) and Donovan (Lisas’ hubbie). Well I was very proud (ooh dangeroos) of myself as I did not cry but at times His Holy Spirit was just sooo close. Then on Friday morning we dropped Mattie off at school and all the while I’m just thinking of God’s amazing love and the tears just came.

This past Sunday morning I paid a visit to the Full Gospel church in Bothasig. I’m walking innocently down the aisle when Paul B comes to greet me and nonchalantly asks me if I would say the opening prayer. WHO ME !!! Hey you got it wrong I’m just visiting here. I had a good coupla excuses welling up from within but the only thing that came out after the WHO ME bit was, “Okay just call me when you need me.” That was such a blessing and honour thank you (in hindsight) Paul B for jolting me out of my comfort zone.

Then we go to Goodwood Methodist in the evening and Adam comes with. We are singing praises to God and out of the corner of my eye I see Adam raise His hands in worship and my throat just thickens up and I’m shattered and can’t sing. And it’s all ‘bout His amazing love.

I always knew from my earliest memories that God was this all powerful being (He is) who would just zap you if you stepped outta line. From my later “religious” experiences this just seemed to be more and more highlighted. Then when I thought I’d found the “true” God at one stage it actually just made me feel more of a wretch (yaargh you miserable worm). The only way to live from there on in was to deny Him. And then I met His Holy Spirit and for the first time in my life I experienced the love of God. The only more amazing thing than my own personal encounter and awakening with God is to see how His love works in others lives. I just want you all out there to know that if you are aware of Gods’ love for you then you are truly blessed ‘cause there are millions of people out there who just have no idea of this simple (but mind blowing) truth.

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he
may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being
rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to
know this love that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:14-19).

Amazing Love - Newsboys

I’m forgiven, because You were forsaken
I’m accepted, You were condemned
I’m alive and well, Your spirit is within me
Because You died and rose again

Amazing love, how can it be
That you my king would die for me?
Amazing love, I know it’s true
And it’s my joy to honour You
In all I do I honour You

You are my king
You are my king
Jesus you are my king
(Written by Billy Foot)

LoCTY !!!!!

Monday, September 5, 2005

The Weekend Behind

Precious Saints !!!!!!

How would you feel if you had broadly advertised to all and sundry (with quite a touch of humour if I may say so myself) as to just exactly what you had planned for the up and coming weekend and then exhorted and encouraged as much people as you could think of to join you in these various activities. And then bang, crash everything falls flat.
You see when I (check the I!) was making these plans I was already in denial. I was sick (no not only in the head like normal but physically) and of course I was just going ahead with my (check the my!) plans telling everybody and especially myself that I’m so ‘fine’ that you could hardly see me. I almost managed to convince myself but not my body. Even last Thursday morning after vomiting (yaargh solly 4 gruesome details) in both my bathrooms (just checking that they both could handle the emergency) I just said to me (check the me!) “ Gee I now feel so much better!?!” And so it was, high ho, high ho and off to work I go. But later……I could not get my mind to work over the matter (especially all that mucus, aargh!!!) and then it really did matter and I gave in/up/down and dragged my body, which felt like it weighed a million tons off to home and somehow I managed to get there and just crashed into bed.
So there we had it weekend gone for a burton. No cell group, street evangelism, soup kitchen…..etc etc. How could people actually manage without me! Actually everyone did scintillatingly incredibly well and those that stepped up to the plate were blessed. To all of you (I know some of you did not actually think you had it in you) who helped out Jesus these last coupla days while I’ve been examining my bedroom ceiling, thank you very much, you are a huge blessing to me and Allie. Oh yeah Allie had to cancel her weekend away to look after the South African patient (sic).
However there is so much more. With God there always is (go check out Ephesians 3:14-21). Peter C phones me on Friday night thinking I’m out doing Street Evangelism. Meantime I’m snug in bed reading last weekends Sunday Grimes (ouch, heaven forbid!) Anyways he asks to come around (he was practically at my doorstep when he phoned) and we have some coffee and chat. He just firstly explains how God led him to our place. Pete’s phone goes off and it’s Eugene and Carla they were wanting to visit some relatives in Kensington but got lost and God laid it on Genie’s heart to go visit Pete, I just gave Pete the thumbs up and he directed them to our place. They rocked up and eventually came in for coffee. We dimmed the lights and listened to At The Foot of the Cross. Then followed an awesome time of ministry as we ministered to each other and Pete also ministered and prayed for another couple over his cell. God gave me a word for Carla and Genie as we prayed for them and they later said it was so spot on. Then we prayed for Pete. He lay down on the couch and Genie started praying over him. I was kneeling down close to his ear, when suddenly Pete has a word for me. I mean what’s wrong with the man…..we are ministering to him!!!!! He tells me that God is going to loosen my tongue tonight and give me my first word and it’s going to mean holy. I’m already running a mild temperature and now I start sweating bullets (I apparently wasn’t the only one). His Holy Spirit gently knocks me onto my backside and suddenly there it is, a word from my heart to my head, I could hardly figure out wot was happening so eventually I just open my mouth and out comes the word and so ends just over four years of waiting. We are all blown away. Genie is face down on the floor worshipping God and eventually I get up and put on some music. We chat and eventually everybody goes home. Allie comes through as she was watching a movie with Mattie. She shares with me that she had been praying with us all the way through and that she also knew what word Peter was going to say before he said it and she was blown away and I just get even more blown away (like hey check the bugs in my teeth!!!). We chat, have coffee and I pray for her and I use my new prayer language (by this time got a few more words) and it’s awesome.
Eventually we go to bed, but I cannot sleep. So I end up praying the whole night practising how to call up this one word (which means holy) from my heart which then sets off the other words that I have. I get words and prayer insight into some people’s lives at about 5 o’clock in the morning. Fell asleep sometime after that.
Saturday was just a continuation of his blessings. Playing all kinds of games with Mattie, visits, SMS, phone calls from the Body of Christ. Sunday I started to feel slightly more human but just took things easy. Then off to church, first time out of the house since Thursday (except for one scintillating visit to the doc on Friday!). It was so good to come to God’s house and worship with His people. Then ministry and I got to pray for a coupla people and then it was Pete’s turn. I had to give Him what God had told me that Saturday morning. Anyways we pray for him and he is rested in the spirit. While he is down on the floor doing some carpet time he starts smiling and laughing a little. Ah queue for me so I just tell God’s Holy Spirit to rattle Pete’s teeth and give him a bellyache and then he’s rolling around on the floor like a two year old laughing his head of (lhho).
Well that’s all (I’m sure some of you suffering from eye and brain strain are saying ‘R U kidding!’) but I haven’t really covered it all ‘cause with God there is always so much more. But that’s all I can manage to get out for now (some of U R are saying wot a relief!).
Just remember when your plans appear to fall apart; just then really start looking for Him ‘cause He probably then really wants to do some serious work with you. Of course I can’t leave you without this one. “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” If you seek me with all your heart you will find me. (there is no doubt there at all) [ Jeremiah 29:11 & 13]

Give to the wind your fear
Hope and be undismayed
God hears your sighs and counts your tears
God will lift up
God will lift up
Lift up your head

God will lift up your head
God will lift up your head
God will lift up your head
He will lift up, lift up your head

Leave to His sovereign way
To choose and to command
Then shall we wandering on His way
Know how wise and how strong
How wise and how strong


Through waves and clouds and storms
He gently clears the way
Wait because in His time, so shall this night
Soon end in joy
Soon end in joy
Soon end in joy
Soon end in joy.

By Jars of Clay off the CD Redemption Songs (lotsa venerable old hymns put in a modern musical context)

LoCTY !!!!!

Monday, August 29, 2005

At The Foot of the Cross

Precious Saints!!!!!!

I have no idea how to describe in writing the events and occurrences of this past Adult Alpha weekend. I will try to convey something of what it was like. To those of you who were there (in whateva capacity) I humbly apologise in advance my lack of being able to convey the way that God manifested His presence, through His Holy Spirit at the Manyano Centre in Paarl this past weekend.

It was really mind blowing, gut wrenching, teeth rattling, tender loving, heart breaking, belly aching (from laughter), tension filled, exhausting, restoring, breaking down, building up, tear stained.... I could go on and on.... But it is really something to experience when God's grace meets evil and sin head on. No words will ever be enough.

We spent a weekend in the awesome shadow of the cross. The shadow that it cast over us was that of God's grace, mercy, kindness, forgiveness, faith, hope and love as we stood the whole weekend at the foot of the cross and gave over our baggage and helped others to give over theirs, and then left it there at the foot of the cross, for Jesus Christ our saviour to deal with. I just want you to know that there is no way that I can fully convey to you out there as to what an awesome God we serve.

God the Father (yeah our Daddy God) ministered to, and equipped us to minister, through His Son Jesus Christ our saviour and indwelt us with His Holy Spirit. We experienced the triune God first hand and lemme tell you from a former major 'head' person there is absolutely no ways you can wrap your mind around that one. You just trust and obey, do it and experience it.

Flashes of 'stuff' come across my mind. People being hurt by other people’s sin and their own. Murder, suicide, abuse, loss, unforgiveness and on and on a real pot pourri of sin. The young woman whose father had been murdered 'bout 10 years ago, the man whose brother had committed suicide and the last time he saw his brother alive he told him to 'buzz off', just to give some examples. People hanging on to their fears, guilt and unforgiveness, for 10,15, 25 years and then God comes to set them free. The humility, servant heart and love of those on the team. Madeline, the co leader of the prayer team falling down the stairs, being taken to hospital by ambulance for x-rays and then coming back with a neck brace and continuing the spiritual battle. Seeing God fill some of the men on the prayer team with the spirit of joy, to see grown men rolling around on the floor laughing like two year olds, stamping their feet and streaming tears of laughter, this causing everyone else to fall about laughing as well. Talk about a spiritual high. God just kinda 'popping' info into my head as I'm ministering and praying for people. God in the smallest of details just everywhere. Amazing conversations and fellowship. The feeling of absolute bone crunching tiredness after coming home and having given everything that you had for His Kingdom. Having such a feeling of love and gratitude to our Daddy God for the family He has given me.

Then the celebration service at Goodwood Meth on Sunday evening. The youngsters also had their Youth Alpha weekend and their band did a great rendition of Tell The World (it pumped!!! we jumped). Great message on salvation by Mike (just hit the sweet spot), testimonies from the youngsters and adults 'bout wot God did for them this weekend and more great praise and worship from the Adult Alpha band, the church was rocking with the Rock of our salvation Jesus Christ. As I was walking out to go home I was blessed to see the amazingly touching site of the youth ministering to each other. Like a real WOW (Walking on Water) moment.

So if I try and record everything that God did this weekend I think I would easily be able to write a book of substantial thickness maybe even a 'coupla volumes. But this is wot I've managed. For some of you this is already too much of an opus maximus (you know like one of the Roman emperors) and you will have to read it in serial (rice crispies, cornflakes, fruit loops et al) format.

Ain't it awesome to know we serve a living God? I just have to say that the greatest privilege, blessing and honour in the universe is to serve Him, nothing else compares. If you are just sitting on the light of the world which you have, just take a step of faith and do something for Him. If you wanna mock, jeer, not believe, be skeptical, God actually tells you, you can test everything that He says and does. For two thousand years now the Gospel of Jesus Christ has stood as the truth despite every effort to discredit it and break it down, there are thousands of men and women who, over this period, have tried to break down the Gospel and the majority of them who honestly examined the facts became Christians themselves. So while God's grace is still being extended to you, use your God given free will and examine the facts with an open mind (yes an open and free mind) and see what you come up with. Go on make the effort, it will be the best thing that you have ever done in your life.

At the foot of the cross
Where grace and suffering meet
You have shown me Your love
Through the judgment You received
And You've won my heart
Yes You've won my heart
Now I can
Trade these ashes in for beauty
And wear forgiveness like a crown
Coming to kiss the feet of mercy
I lay every burden down
At the foot of the cross
At the foot of the cross
Where I am made complete
You have given me life
Through the death You bore for me
I'm laying every burden down
I'm laying every burden down

Music and lyrics by Kathryn Scott
© 2003 Vertical Worship Songs

LoCTY !!!!!

PS Please pass on to anyone you want
PSS Thank you for your prayers
PSP Peter B please pass on to your mailing list

Monday, July 4, 2005

Kentucky Fried Church

Oh Precious Saints How Are You Today ?!!!

This past two weeks God has just given me so many opportunities to minister the Truth of the Gospel to people in everyday life. Now ministry isn't always what we think it is. Nope, sometimes ministry is just a smile, a light touch, lending your ear to listen and sometimes it's something you do that the other person is not even aware of. To minister in the world around us we often have to gain people's trust by showing them the love of God before we can talk to them about the love of God. Also know this, that even the smallest act of kindness stands out in stark contrast to the general ways of this world. Sorry my friends if you just go waltzing around telling everybody that Jesus loves them and then think you are doing an ace job, well you are not.

I went off to have my hair cut on Saturday morning and as I passed KFC there were about 10 or so of the Bothasig street people sitting on the low wooden fence. I greeted them as I walked past. I was in a caste iron hurry, so many things to do. As I was zooming past (clunk, clunk, caste iron, gettit? OK if you don't) one of the guys called out to me "Hey dominee I've got a question on holy communion?" I turned back, all my priorities seemed to instantly change. I walked back and chatted to them about the Gospel. There I was, speaking to the "dregs" of society, the people who this world system has vomited out, sorry no place for you, you drink, you stink (no serious they smell). As I was talking to them about God's love and sin, I was really looking at them and there was a yearning in my heart to see them all in heaven, to see them all glorified. What a sight that will be! After about 15 minutes I closed off and left. It was an awesome time with God.

Allie and myself were also on soup kitchen duty that Saturday night. During the course of the afternoon though this kind of don't wanna do, don't wanna go feeling crept into my soul. So I really had a battle to get up and go and be obedient to His will. Me selfish, no ways! But that's wot it was.

As it so often happens God blessed us all so much at soup kitchen. Again seeing the people in God's stark but loving reality, the lost, broken, homeless, helpless, hopeless. All we could do is show them all that God loves them. We fed them, shook hands, hugged, listened, spoke to and prayed for them. It was an almost unobtrusive ministry it just fitted in and was so spiritual. Ever tried praying for someone who is just weeping quietly in their brokenness and then you suddenly have a self appointed prayer partner who shouts in your ear every two seconds, "hallelujah, yes Jesus, praise the lord..." and so on. While we were trying to leave (most nights people just don't want to let you go) one of the men, Conrad, well spoken and eloquent (no seriously) just spoke out in excitement, "What those two men (Craig & Peter K) have told me has really changed the way I think about myself." I was also so blessed by those working all around me just showing God's love.

Now and again I question myself as to what we are really doing at soup kitchen. The whole practical accountant side of me kicks in and I start thinking of programs, sustainability, economics, job creation, education and I can go on and on (I'm good at that, going on and on..). But that's me talking and thinking. What we are just trying to do is show them the greatest gift of all which is God's love through the death of His son Jesus Christ. On the way home I just felt so humbled as I always do when God, who is always looking for available and obedient people which He can use, uses me.

In the early hours of Sunday morning I woke up with my left eye feeling really painful my right eye was not feeling too good either. I stumbled to the bathroom, switched on the light and checked out my eyes in the mirror. My left eye was swollen and bloodshot and my right eye also was not looking too good. I put some eye drops in both eyes and crept back into bed. I just said to God if this is the price I must pay for working in His kingdom today then that's okay. But if it is His will then can He take the pain away and heal me. I fell asleep and when I awoke about three hours later my eyes were absolutely fine and I was ready for another day with our creator.

So today even if it is a black and blue Monday, smile, be kind 'cause you are showing the gospel of Christ! And if you open and read this on Tuesday or Wednesday that ain't no excuse either.

I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know : the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve. - Albert Schweitzer (they say this oke was quite clever)

If We Are the Body - Casting Crowns

Its crowded in worship today
As she slips in trying to fade into the faces
The girls teasing laughter is carrying farther than they know
Farther than they know

But if we are the body
Why aren't His arms reaching?
Why aren't His hands healing?
Why aren't His words teaching?
And if we are the body
Why aren't His feet going?
Why is His love not showing them there is a way?
There is a way

A traveller is far away from home
He sheds his coat and quietly sinks into the back row
The weight of their judgemental glances
Tell him that his chances are better out on the road

Jesus paid much too high a price
For us to pick and choose who should come
And we are the body of Christ

Jesus is the way

And now dear children, continue to live in fellowship with Christ so that when He returns you will be full of courage and not shrink back from him in shame. Since we know that God is always right, we also know that all who do what is right are his children. ( 1 John 2 : 28 & 29)

LoCTY !!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2005

Better is one day......

To The Precious Saints!!!!

These last coupla days the combination of the song and the verses of Psalm 84 have been so deeply ingrained within me. That I would wake up in the mornings with the words already in my mind and on my lips.
This past Saturday Lisa and Matthew went down to the community hall in Edgemead to sell Lisa’s pillows and Matt’s beaded jewellery (which he made himself). This was the Edgemead Arts and Crafts Fair. Allie and myself went with them in the morning to help set up and stayed a little while. We returned a bit later and stayed till it finished which was at 2pm.
I was just looking at all the people and with this song and the words of the Psalm mulling around in my brain I suddenly felt like a doorkeeper. The doorkeeper to eternal healing, eternal joy, eternal love and eternal life. How do I get people to approach the door? How do I get them to knock? How do I help them open the door? Of course the only problem with those questions is the “I” part. It’s not really about me at all, it’s all about God. It’s all about our saviour Jesus Christ and the Helper, His Holy Spirit, ‘cause without them we can do nothing (John 15:5).
So I did not jump up on a table and start preaching hell and damnation (it is tempting sometimes but it’s not really my style!) but just watched and waited. I saw a couple pushing a handicapped boy in a special pram who looked to be about Mattie’s age. Suddenly the penny dropped. It was Ruan, the boy who fell into the swimming pool about two/three years ago and the Holy Spirit led us to pray for him in hospital and also to pray for his parents Herman and Sheila at their home (do you remember Donny and Ashley?) I lost sight of them but found them again when I took a walk to the library. I chatted to Herman and Sheila (mostly to Herman) and I realised then that I had absolutely no idea of what they had been through and what they are still going through. Phew they must be really digging deep. I remember His Holy Spirit letting me feel some of their pain that convicted me to go and pray for them a few years ago. I wept for them then, at the time it was so close and personal, I just had to do it, ‘cause Jesus wanted me to.
We came home and Mattie was quite chuffed ‘cause he had sold some of his stuff (more money for toyz). I was in the garage when I heard someone calling me. “Dominee, dominee!” it was Sara. She is an alcoholic, (part of the street people of Bothasig) who I had not seen for about a year. She told me a sad story of the guy (John) whom she had been looking after for years. They went up to Johns family ‘bout a year ago and the family eventually kicked her out. So there she was in my (God’s!) driveway railing against God and just asking WHY? So I’d like to say God infused me with His Holy wisdom and all the ‘right’ answers came out. I did not have a clue wot to say. So I just reached out and hugged her as she wept and sobbed her heart out. Just then her friend came past and I gently passed her on to her friend and asked her to look after Sara.
Saturday night was soup kitchen and there all the brokenness is so apparent. Grant met two guys there who he’d known for years. He and Clint prayed and ministered to them. It is so difficult to comprehend how hard and far some people have fallen in their lives.
As we walk in this world we come across people that are fragile like glass and many of them have been shattered so that they have all these sharp pieces which cut you and make you bleed when you minister to them. But somehow or the other the love of God heals, it definitely heals me and gives me the strength to continue to do His will and I see that the more people open themselves to the true love of God the more He heals. Everyday I see and hear all the suffering in this world, I so long for His dwelling place which is so aptly put in Psalm 84, and His word promises that every tear will be wiped away (Rev 7:17 & 21:4). But for now I am here to try my best to let His Spirit work in me and through me and show His love, grace and mercy. I can only encourage you to keep on trying as well.
To borrow the phrase from Ronnie van Eck (Sunday nights service) get out of the boat and if you keep your eyes on Jesus you can walk on water.

Psalm 84

How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and flesh cry out for the living God.
Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself
where she may have her young- a place near your altar,
O Lord Almighty, my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you
Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
They go from strength to strength till each appears before God in Zion.
Hear my prayer O Lord God Almighty; listen to me,
O God of Jacob.
Look upon our shield, O God; look with favour on your anointed one.
Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God then dwell in the tents of the wicked.
For the Lord God is a sun and a shield; the Lord bestows favour and honour;
No good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.
O Lord Almighty blessed is the man who trusts in you.

Better Is One Day - Matt Redman

How lovely is your dwelling place
Oh, Lord Almighty
For my soul longs and even faints for You
For here my heart is satisfied
Within Your presence
I sing beneath the shadow of Your wings

Better is one day in Your courts
Better is one day in Your house
Better is one day in Your courts
Than thousands elsewhere

One thing I ask and I would seek
To see Your beauty
To find You in the place Your glory dwells

Better is one day in Your courts
Better is one day in Your house
Better is one day in Your courts
Than thousands elsewhere

My heart and flesh cry out
For You, the living God
Your Spirit’s water to my soul
I’ve tasted and I’ve seen
Come once again to me
I will draw near to You
I will draw near to You


LoCTY !!!!

Monday, June 6, 2005

Met Eish

To The Precious Saints !!!!

I just recently volunteered to be what is termed a HIV/AIDS Peer Educator in my workplace which is the Health Department of the Unicity of Cape Town. This position(you have to fit it in with your designated work) is to educate and help employees within the work situation relating to HIV/AIDS, STI's and TB. Ja you know the kinda stuff that makes for light hearted conversation around the braai. His Holy Spirit has been gently convicting me to make use of this opportunity to give God glory. So I've been the loyal, faithful and obedient servant and immediately jumped into the gap. Eikona!! For 'bout three years now every time this subject has come up I have come up with the stock answer,"I'M TOO BUSY!" Ah I see you nodding your head, familiar phrase huh. Of course I'm just too important to do something like that. And I mean I just cannot see myself handing out condoms on the street corner and then also demonstrating to a packed audience how to use one, using a prop (ag sies, use your imagination!). In the meantime people are slowly dieing without knowing that they have a saviour. So I took the step and put my trust in my (and your and the worlds) Saviour.
So I get trained up and then last Friday (27 May) we go to this team building meeting at Steenbras Dam. I get on the council bus at 8am on a cold and wet morning not having a clue what to expect. Then we drive off from town to pick up various people en route to Steenbras. The more people we pick up the noisier everyone gets. I then realise that I'm the only Christian on the bus of about 20 mense. I seriously doubted God at that moment 'cause the general tone of the conversation and the language is enuff to make my ears fall off and turn the air within the bus blue. Also I painfully notice that I'm the only 'whitey' there as well, "Lord what on earth am I doing here, did you arrange this? Okay sorry it's just a rhetorical question." From time to time the guys/gals would shout a question at me, "Hey Raymond is jy oraait? Hey Raymond is jy lief vir die council?" When they asked me ,"Is jy lief vir die council?" I answered that, " Ek is lief vir die mense in die council."
Of course you know what started to happen I started to see these people as.......people, not colours, unbelievers, loudmouths, I just saw them as people who Christ died for. Just remember you don't have sole rights on Jesus Christ by how good you are or how good you look.
Anyways we eventually arrive at the picnic area of Steenbras dam. I meet quite a few Christians there and the proceedings are opened up with a prayer. We do intro's and some talks are given and some other bonding stuff. The work stuff is closed off with a powerful prayer by one of the HIV/AIDS co-ordinators which just blows me away. Then time to eat (lekker braai) and mingle I get the chance to speak to quite a few people (hey man I'm still the only whitey!). A couple of the okes break out a bottle of White Horse (Die Witperd) and start pouring stiff whiskeys (sorry Klipdrift) met eish! Some of the okes start pulling my leg gently, "Hey Ray is jy oraait? How 'bout some eish? Looks like whiteys are immune to HIV/AIDS!, " and so on. Well eventually I accepted the offer (come on it was cold) of some eish and someone handed me what looked like at least a triple whiskey met eish. That really broke the eish and the okes really appreciated that I would share a dop with them. We chatted and the one thing that came through is that these okes cared, they really cared enuff to try their best to do something for their fellow workers and that warmed my heart (mebbe the whiskey also played its part!)
We piled back on the bus and on the way back I was offered and accepted some more whiskey and eish. The guys and gals never got drunk or out of hand but actually were amazingly open and friendly to me. When I eventually got off the bus in Goodwood (Allie came to pick me up, no I wasn't falling all over the place!) and I felt that I had just experienced something really special. It felt that my territory for the Lord and His glory had just increased considerably.

We are Christ's ambassadors, and God is using us to speak to you. We urge you, as though Christ himself were here pleading with you, "Be reconciled to God!" (2 Cornthians 5:20)

Here I Go Again
2 Corinthians 5: 16-21 / Romans 10:14

Father hear my prayer
I need the perfect words
Words that he will hear
And know they’re straight from You
I don’t know what to say
I only know it hurts
To see my only friend slowly fade away

So maybe this time I’ll speak the words of life
With Your fire in my eyes
But that old familiar fear is tearing at my words
What am I so afraid of?

‘Cause here I go again
Talkin’ ‘bout the rain
And mulling over things that won’t live past today
And as I dance around the truth
Time is not his friend
This might be my last chance to tell him that
You love him
But here I go again, here I go again

Lord , You love him so, You gave Your only Son
If he will just believe; he will never die
But how then will he know what he has never heard
Lord he has never seen mirrored in my life

This might be my last chance to tell him that You love him
This might be my last chance to tell him that You love him
You love him, You love him
What am I so afraid
What am I so afraid
What am I so afraid of?
How then will he know
What he has never heard

Lyrics: Mark Hall / Music: Casting Crowns

LoCTY !!!!!!!!

Monday, May 30, 2005

Street Evangelism (3)

Ya so here I am with a million excuses as to why I have not written a report on the street ministry since last year. Actually I’ll spare you all and just tell it like it is. Just excuse the going back to the future bit.

On the 18th December last year just the week before Christmas we handed out Christmas cards and chocolate to the people we met. Helga and Sean were with me. We had quite a ball and struck up some interesting conversations with all types of people. Just about everyone we handed out to asked us, “How much do these cost?” Our reply was on these lines “ Absolutely free, gratis, no follow up calls, no telemarketing….” and so on. This gave us the gap to talk about God’s wonderful gift of salvation to mankind and His incredible love for us. We did not work this out before hand it just kinda happened.

I remember we handed out to the petrol pump attendant at the one garage and there was quite a well heeled dude filling up his BMW and I went up to him and gave him a chocolate and a card and I told him that this is for him as well. Christ died for everyone in the world. He just kinda smiled at me and said thank you.

Shortly after Christmas I had a fight with my Kreepy Krawly in our swimming pool and needless to say the Kreepy whipped my butt or actually broke my toe and bruised the rest of my foot. So it was very painful to walk for about two months even if it was just going to the toilet. So guess what? No street evangelism for a while.

Then we eventually got back out on the street in March again with Clint and Sean. By that time I could manage a very speedy hobble with not much pain. It was a blustery windswept night, the kinda lekker south easter that blows holes in your body. We met a young man early on in the evening who just rushed past us in a caste iron hurry. Saying he has no time even for just taking a tract. As he walked past me I was already praying for him without realising it. Suddenly he turned around and started talking to the three of us. Asking us tons of questions for about 10 to 15 minutes. I then invited him to give his life to Jesus. I would like to say that we led him to Christ there and then but sadly he declined the offer. We had quite a few encounters that night but that one has stuck in my memory.

Sometimes people throw the tracts away right there and then but we the wind often blows them back to us and we just pick them up and hand them to someone else.

After that evening in March we ran out of tracts and have just been waiting to get all the logistics sorted out to order some more.

During this time (Jan –Mar) one of the women who we met on the street has come to do Alpha and has had a wonderful renewal of her faith by His Holy Spirit. She gave her testimony during the Alpha celebration evening in February and is currently attending the cell group which I facilitate and coming to church with Allie and myself. God is good. All the time and all the time…..God is good. Hope you said it with me.

So as you can see when you serve Jesus everything is just plain sailing without any problems at all. So if you have any problems then our Lord doesn’t want you to do that ministry. Yeah…….right……..pull the other one. No not that toe it’s still healing, the other one. Jesus said “If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you cling to your life you will lose it ; but if you give it up for me, you will find it.” He also said that in this world we will have trouble but that he has conquered the world. Go find the scriptures yourself.

So if you do have opposition and difficulties in your ministry pray and ask Jesus and listen to the gentle whisper of His Holy Spirit which will guide you through your trails and give you the strength to persevere.

LoCTY (= Love of Christ to You)

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Allie's Testimony

To give a little background before I found my Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ; Val(my sister)and my Mom (now dead 8 years) prayed for me for years (sort of reminds me of St Augustine!) So before I actually came to accept Him I into my heart, I had people praying for me.

My husband Raymond and myself found Jesus in a mighty way just about 4 years ago and we have never looked back and never will. He is our Lord and Master and the controller of our lives. We thank Him every day for coming into our lives, for knocking and knocking on the door of our hearts and never giving up until we opened up and let Him in.
I always knew who He was and always "believed" (in my head, not my heart)as I was brought up a Roman Catholic by a Mom and Dad who always went to church, sent me to a Catholic school, I did my First communion, was confirmed but immediately stopped going to church once I had left school. Maybe going only at Christmas time. I was even married in a Catholic church to Lisa's Dad, but the words I spoke and the vows I took did not mean much - they were done because that is what had to be done.
I was divorced from Cecil twice, first time when Lisa was 5 years old and the second time when she was 14. By that time we had our son too, Adam. He was then 3 going on 4.
I did not bring my children up in the way of the Lord. They of course knew about Him and my Mom was the instrument in keeping them in the right path, taking them to Catechism, making sure they did their First Communion and Lisa was also confirmed. She used to be involved in the Youth group of our local church but somewhere along the way she also stopped this and going to church. Adam was not even confirmed as my Mom had died by then and I could not be bothered.
I put God on the back burner but always, always knew that something was missing in my life. I was 31 when we were divorced for the second and final time and went on a totally wrong path, jolling, sleeping with anyone I met, drinking and partying! I was never a "bad" person but was not a good person either. I met Steve and for 3 years was in a disastrous relationship - he was mentally and emotionally abusive to me and hated Lisa and tolerated Adam. Finally I met my wonderful husband Raymond at age 37. He was 4 years younger than me, had been divorced twice and very badly hurt by both wives, he had no children and gladly and wonderfully accepted both Lisa and Adam. Lisa was 18 and Adam was 8. Both of my children accepted him gladly too and after knowing each other just over 1 year we got married. We married at my sister's place with a minister (who a friend told us about) but although we again said our vows, we still did not have God in our marriage. When I was nearly 42 we had Matthew. I was approximately 3 months pregnant when Lisa went over to U.S.A. After I had my beautiful son Matthew, I had to have a major operation, hysterectomy as well as a bowel and bladder repair which had both dropped. Something happened to me during that Op which led to me going into a terrible depression and having to be admitted to a hospital under a Psychiatrist and also 6 sessions of E.C.T. (Electro Convulsive Treatment). I was put on an antidepressant called Aropax (which I am still on after 8 years) due to a clinical imbalance (my body is not able to produce seratonin on it's own) so the pills help my body to do this.
During this time, I started searching for Jesus. Still I did not take the step. Three years after this I took myself off these pills and what a disaster - I went down into a deep hole of depression from which I struggled to get out. I even had to resign my job (where I had been for 8 years) as we could not tell when I would be well enough to go back and they would not wait. No compassion shown to me as many people do not understand depression and think that you can just snap out of it! After a month I was better after going back onto the pills and I was re-employed half days - praise the Lord - I LOVE working half days.
Lisa was a wonderful and compassionate daughter during this time and a tremendous source of comfort and strength both to me and Raymond.
This time the Lord knocked so hard at the door of my heart and I really started searching in earnest. By the November of that year 2000, I started going to the Goodwood Methodist Church through an invitation by my best friend from school days (with whom I had been friends since 13 years of age). Raymond and I bumped into her at a restaurant one Saturday morning and somehow got on to the subject of God. I went with her that Sunday evening to church, loved the worship and Mike Crommelin the minister. I asked Raymond to come with me and 3 weeks later he came (not really wanting to - did not agree with "organized" religions - he had been a Jehovah's witness for 4 years before I met him and had become majorly disillusioned with them). We have not looked back since then. We did the Alpha course in Feb. of 2001 and since then have served on the team in various capacities. I got involved with the children's ministry in our social concerns section and visited at a children's home and was bringing a little coloured girl, Madelyn, every second weekend since she was 7 - she is now 11. (I have taken a break from the social concerns for this year and as Madelyn is reconciled with her Mom and goes to her every second weekend I have stopped taking her home.) I used to visit St Joseph's every second Friday and play with the kids. They are really a blessing from God and helped in my own healing. We were also both Sunday school teachers (I still am but Raymond has taken a break this year – he is visiting other Christian churches in the area as this is what God has been asking him to do)
At Sunday School I am with the 6 year olds and Raymond was with the 16 year olds. We also ran the soup kitchen on Goodwood main road for 2 years and although we are not running it now, (we do it only once a month now), I still make a huge pot of soup every 2nd Saturday, and Raymond does Street Evangelism about twice a month on a Saturday evening, down Voortrekker Road. We also have both done the Emmaus walk - a spiritual walk which is run all around the world. We did it at Manyano centre in Paarl.
Raymond is also involved in the Men’s ministry of our church called ‘Maxi-Men’ which is held every second Monday evening at someone’s house. I also go on the alternative Monday to our Women’s fellowship called JOY (Join Young and Old) at Adele’s place in Monte Vista. Raymond also goes to a Saturday morning men’s fellowship at the Salem church in Bothasig. Raymond is also involved with the Youth Emmaus called Chrylasis and is on the prayer team.
We belong to a cell/bible study group of which Raymond is the facilitator, every Thursday evening. We are currently doing the “Purpose driven Life” by Rick Warren. Wonderful!!
We love going to church and worshipping the Lord and this really is a "happy clappy" church (which in earlier years I scorned and said I would never go to one of those churches!) We praise the Lord in spirit and in truth with clapping of hands and with our bodies and minds. We absolutely love it and love Jesus. Our church is a Holy Spirit filled church and you can feel the love and warmth there. This is my testimony and I know that I know that I know that the Lord has something major planned for me and Raymond to do in the future. We wait upon His calling.
My Matthew (8 years old now) is being brought up as Lisa and Adam should have been, with Jesus very much in his life. You ask him who is the strongest and the biggest and he points straight up and says Jesus and God! If we forget to say grace before meals he reminds us and every film that comes on and has swearing in it, he switches off!
My son Adam (21) is in the U.S.A. at the moment working on the Carnivals and he wonderfully and mightily accepted the Lord Jesus Christ into his heart in March a few weeks before he left to go over. I praise the Lord our God as we have been praying and praying for him!
He is even ‘preaching’ to the other guys over there who do not know Jesus and is playing his Christian CD’s loud even though the others think he is mad! Thank you Jesus!
We now just want to serve God and do whatever He wants us to do in our lives. He has a perfect plan for all of us and we will continue to trust in Him and be His people of Grace.

Do You Remember What I've Done? 2

Yo Saints !!!!!!

So there I was feeling pretty chuffed with myself for heeding the gentle whisper of His Holy Spirit and wearing my heart on my sleeve for you wacky (but much loved) bunch of people. And then there were a coupla emails and phone calls back to me. The general line of comment was something like this "Hey bozo, where is the attachment? Where is the testimony, did you FORGET to attach it?!, Do you actually know how to work your email package?"
Phew you guys are a tuff audience. Actually I was just doing the good husband, trusted confidant thing. I had not asked Allie her permission to send out her testimony to the bunch of you, but I did that last night and she is happy to do that.
So here it is and something extra as well as I also include the way God used this testimony yesterday and just remember this started with Paul and Belinda's testimonies.
All of you out there have a miraculous testimony, although you might not think so, your testimony can break down walls, barriers and be an incredible instrument for God. Your testimony is a living day by day sacrifice to your Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ which takes in the past, present and future, never be ashamed of it, wear it as a shining badge inside and outside you, a badge that shines/reflects God's glory. I just smile when people say God don't do no miracles today. The greatest miracle in the universe is when we are reconciled back to God through the blood of Jesus Christ, when we reach that point in our lives when we acknowledge Him as the Lord of our lives, King of Kings, King of Glory.
Below are two emails between Allie and Belinda.

Hi Monds,
See the email below from Belinda.

Well, yes I was sitting the lounge yesterday watching something on TV whilst Matt and Chadd were playing. The phone rang and it was Belinda!. We had such a lovely long chat. The last two times we saw each other was firstly 8+ years ago at my Mom's funeral (I was 6 months pregnant and I think she was 1 month). Then shortly afterwards when I had Matt and he was just born and she was still pregnant, Val and I went to visit. We did not see each other again, perhaps the time was not right. But what am I saying, God's timing is perfect and that is why He has brought us together again!.
She said that she had just read Val's letter and was looking out of the window wondering how she could reach her Mom and Dad. By the way her Mom is my sister Val's best friend who worked in Barclays bank with her before she became a nun. Her Mom and Dad are also Roman Catholic and she considers Belinda a bit of a black sheep as she and her husband Paul now belong to the AOG in Edgemead and not the Catholic church. She turned back to her computer and there was an email waiting for her. MINE!!
She read it with joy and tears and sometime later phoned me and we had a beautiful conversation, sharing and laughing and just overwhelmed that we had such similar testimonies. A 'coincidence'? I don't think so - more likely a GOD incidence.
She asked also if she could share my testimony with her Mom and Dad and others and I said of course. Testimonies are to be shared with everyone. Even the shortest of testimonies is a great witness to God our Loving Heavenly Father.
Praise God from whom all blessings come.
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose".
Romans 8:28
God Bless
Love Allie

God is good.

From Belinda

I just finished reading a letter from Aunty Val...from PE.

AND just turned to my computer..... and opened mail from her sister!!!

so amazing...... I am about to read your testimony now.

Thanks in advance.

I know that this communication is not by chance.....

I know that God has a plan.

I am so excited.

chat later...


Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Do You Remember What I've Done?

Dear Precious Saints !!!!!

So I'm getting a few emails and phone calls asking "Are you well? Where have you been? Do you need someone to talk to? I'm really missing your mail.When r u gonna write yr book?," some of you have probably noticed that your inbox just ain't been so full lately (probably breathing a sigh of relief). I gotta watch the comments and stuff 'cause you know I'm painfully human at times and all these encouraging comments could go just straight to my head and then my head would swell to such an extent that I would not be able to get out of the office to go home. But please don't stop saying wot ever you wanna say. I really don't have any excuses it's not that I haven't had anything to say and share its just that I don't always know how to express it out here in black on white.
Well as per usual I'm working (yeah I do that) and I decide to check my email. Ah, a email from Allie (my wife). I innocently open it up totally unprepared for the contents (she did tell me earlier on, but I forget!?) and on the attachment is Allie's testimony. She had sent it to a couple whose testimony we had recently read. Well I read through it (this is the first time that she has written it out) and phew it was just blow away time. Outside some union members were chanting and demonstrating, but me I was a mess I was crying without even realising it. You know we are so quick to forget God's love, grace and mercy in our lives, we sometimes meander off into a side street which is a dead end and there we sit howling at the moon, shaking our fists at God all kinda bitter and frustrated. Where ever you are now, whatever you are doing just take a moment to reflect, meditate on what God has done in your life so far and what it has cost Him and if your heart is hard let His spirit come in and soften your heart and if you what. I have a my own cry room, it is the last toilet cubicle against the wall....I'm getting a sign for the door.

Concerning the Gentiles (datz most of us), God says in the prophecy of Hosea, "Those who where not my people, I will now call my people. And I will love those whom I did not love before. (Romans 9:25 from Hosea 2:23)

"If my life is fruitless, it doesn't matter who praises me, and if my life is fruitful it doesn't matter who criticizes me." - John Bunyan.

Will I believe You when You say
Your hand will guide my every way
Will I receive the words You say
Every moment of every day

I will walk by faith even when I cannot see
Because this broken road
Prepares Your will for me

Help me to rid my endless fears
You've been so faithful for all my years
With one breath you made me new
Your grace covers all I do

I will walk by faith even when I cannot see
Because this broken road
Prepares Your will for me

Well I'm broken but I still see Your face
Well You've spoken
Pouring out Your words of grace

I will walk by faith even when I cannot see
Because this broken road
Prepares Your will for me
(Walk By Faith written and performed by Jeremy Camp)

LoCTY !!!!!!

PS Thank you Paul and Belinda keep shining.
PPS Just in case you are wondering or confused the "I've" in the subject header is definitely not me but God!

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

I Need You Now

To The Precious Saints !!!!

Every morning I wake up, do you think I thank and praise and worship my Saviour? Of course I do! I mean you all know me as this wonderful, incredible, fine upstanding Christian to whom you all look up to as such a great example. Yeah right ! Lemme tell you anything good you see in me is from God (James 1:17) and that is only made possible by His love, grace and mercy which I'm slowly coming to realise through Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit. Sometimes I'm in despair for those around me, sometimes I'm so lost, in a panic, don't have the courage to get up and go out in this crazy world which is driven by pride and fear. I ask God what do you really want me to do in this crazy mixed up world today? I'm really a paralysis analysis oke. But you know if I humble myself and talk to Him ('cause we all can) He reaches down and through His love, He restores my eternal hope and says just trust me,you are my child and I have given you the authority of my son, 'cause without Jesus this world just does not make any sense at all.
So in these past few days I have carefully walked (with Jesus) through all kinds of 'things' good and bad and when I'm feeling lost, when I'm hurting, when I see those around me being hurt, thousands dying in natural catastrophes,wars, whose fault is it? Who does the 'world' blame? You got it, God. Even those who don't believe he exists will quite contritely tell you that is why they cannot believe in Him 'cause of all the 'bad' stuff going on in the world today. Man, even they know something is wrong and mankind has not been able to fix it and is not 'evolving' into something better, forget all the nasty four letter words, there is one three letter word that blows them all away and that word is SIN. Jesus in Matthew 24 told us that in the last days these things would happen. Paul on many occasions expands on this in his letters to the various churches and then there is the book of Revelation. How many of us read the bible, how many of us pick up the pattern as to how God dealt with the Jews in the Old Testament? So many just dis the bible without even having opened it. They ask you to explain your faith without referring to the bible, ha now that is a good way to install a crunching handicap. Just because people believe or disbelieve something does not make it the truth but as Solomon (some wise oke) said there is nothing new under the sun.
Ag Raymond you know people have been saying that for years, that the end of the world is nigh. So how can we take this seriously anymore this is really the genre of crackpots and lunatics. Don't worry, they laughed at Noah as well, who was this crazy old man building this colossal contraption in his back yard. They stopped laughing when they started to drown. There is a cliché that goes like this, "the only thing we learn from history is that we don't learn anything at all."
Of course then there is that other wannabe god. Satan who comes to lie, cheat and destroy, has anyone noticed him? What is his main aim, you mean you don't know? Come on, he wants to either stop you from getting to a relationship with God or if you have one to drive a wedge in it and break it down, he wants you to act outside of God's love and purely for yourself. He wants you to worship him. Just perchance do you see any evidence of his handiwork in this world today. But don't be fooled he is already defeated but he wants to take you down with him.
But when I look at people, when I deal with them I know Jesus died for each and everyone (John 3:16) on this messed up planet no matter what you believe but the only way out is through Him (remember the song by Sir Cliff) and I know I need my Saviour Jesus Christ every day of my life to help me do His will and to help me show His love, grace and mercy.

I've never seen that little town where You where born
It was long before my time and far away
But as time goes on I think about You more and more
And wonder what it was like in those days
I wish I could have walked with You
You might have called me friend
But there's no way I could have known You then

But I know You now
I know Your name
A lot of awesome things You did and why you came

I didn't know You when You helped that lame man rise up from his bed
I didn't know You when You stood there and called Lazarus from the dead
But I know You now

I didn't see You feed that tired hungry crowd with five loaves and two fish one afternoon
And I didn't see You catch Peter's hand so he wouldn't drown
When he tried to walk on water like You
I couldn't see Your face when You taught those little kids
There's just no way I could have seen You then

But I see You now
I see Your love
I see a tiny glimpse of You in every one of us
I didn't see You on the Mount of Olives crying as You prayed
I couldn't see You when You were kissed by Judas and betrayed
But I see You now

Oh , I didn't need You when that cruel and angry mob shouted "crucify him"
And I couldn't have needed You when they laughed and mocked You
But it could be that I'm a little bit like them

'Cause I need You now
I need Your grace
And how I needed Your forgiveness to be saved

I didn't need You when Pilate's soldiers beat You to the ground
I didn't need You when You hung there bleeding from Your thorny crown

But I need You now
Oh, I need You now
I need You now......
(I need You now,words by Kelly Shiver performed by Billy Ray Cyrus from the album The Other Side)

LoCTY !!!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Who Am I ?

Dearly Beloved Precious Saints !!!!

About a week or so ago we had a prayer breakfast at Goodwood Methodist Church.

Yea so we're going to go to this prayer breakfast. So I wake up in the early hours of Saturday morning expecting to be so 'tooned' into the right spiritual mode brimming up and overflowing with God's Holy Spirit, full of ideas (whose?mine! or His) 'bout what, who & how to pray. So I lay there in bed and my mind is an absolute blank and I feel as spiritual as a vrot banana.
Eventually I get up, just kinda enjoyed the all round silence (not often my mind is blank, normally a trillion, zillion things mulling around there) for an hour or so and then did all those incredibly exciting spiritual things, going to the loo, (don't forget to flush or is that floss.... yea, yea)brushing teeth (hoping the mirror don't crack when I look into it, think the flush... er floss comes in here) and getting dressed.
So off to church still feeling (watch your emotions) a zillion miles from God and His love. Allie, myself and Matthew arrive about a half hour before things start. Clint G and Donny are there already and they are praying up on the stage and they are weeping before God. And I kinda get a stab of jealously in my soul, wot have they got that I haven't. The church is quiet, softly dark, there are only the five of us there. A worship CD is on. "Okay my Lord," I prayed," whatever you want from me to do here in this place I'm willing, just use me please."
I walked down the aisle of that empty church and as I turned around to face the front I see all the empty pews and God's spirit just hit me with a mighty force, so much it hurt. The song that was playing was Who Am I by Casting Crowns and the words just cut into my spirit and soul. My eight year old son Matthew was actually following me down the aisle and he caught up to me and hugged me as I was sobbing and I just kept on saying to Mattie that we must just ask Jesus to bring the people to Him, over and over and over. Weeping for the lost, weeping for the hurting, weeping for those of you who couldn't be there, weeping for the Body of Christ not exercising it's power and trust in God, weeping for the times we are so distracted from doing God's will, just weeping.....
I kinda pulled myself together as more people started to come in. Some had just dropped everything and decided to come. Some were not sure if they should actually be there.
We prayed and ministered to each other and then some of us just came and shared such deep things (their giants) to the group there that I was moved to tears again. All the time Matthew, although he had brought toys to play with just stayed with us, stayed so close, so quiet and still.
Eventually we finished up and chatted over coffee and some food, reluctant to leave. It is so good to be in the presence of God even if it hurts. There weren't many of us there about 14 or so but how blessed we were because we were there. Available, ready, willing and obedient.

Who am I, that the Lord of all the earth
Would care to know my name
Would care to feel my hurt
Who am I, that the Bright and Morning Star
Would choose to light the way
For my ever wandering heart

Not because of who I am
But because of what You've done
Not because of what I've done
But because of who You are

I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
A vapor in the wind
Still You hear me when I'm calling
Lord You catch me when I'm falling
And You've told me who I am
I am Yours, I am Yours

Who am I, that the eyes that see my sin
Would look on me with love and watch me rise again
Who am I, that the voice that calmed the sea
Would call out through the rain
And calm the storm in me

I am Yours
Whom shall I fear
Whom shall I fear
'Cause I am Yours
I am Yours
(Who Am I by Casting Crowns)

LoCTY !!!!!!!

PS Don't forget the Holy Week services at Goodwood Methodist starting at 7pm every evening this week. Good Friday is a morning service at 9am only. Go on make yourself available to God.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

No Greater Love.....

To The Precious Saints !!!!

Today I sit here totally overwhelmed by the majesty of God's love. I'm just kinda sitting here at work plonking away mechanically at my keyboard but my soul, spirit, mind and body my whole inner and outer being is totally consumed by God's love. I'm crying in gratitude for the work He has done this past Alpha weekend, I'm crying in gratitude for the way He works through ordinary everyday people (yea jars of clay) and transcends us into such magnificent instruments of love and healing. Do I understand it. No not really but I feel it somewhere deep down inside. When I woke up this morning I went to prepare Matthews cereal and I wept (kinda like that old Neil Diamond song, crying in your pretzels) I went to shave, as I looked in the mirror I wept (okay I know some of you are thinking if they looked in the mirror and saw my face they'd also weep!).
Did we see mountains move? Did we see limbs grow back or any such physical miracles? No not really. But what we did see is all types of brokenness being healed. Spiritual eyes being opened as the truth was revealed by His Spirit to His children. We saw God saving lives for eternity.
Some snapshots. Mike's(our minister) friend giving His life to Christ and being filled with His Holy Spirit. Mike has been praying for him for 33 years. A women giving her testimony about falling so far from God, she used to be a lay preacher in Namibia, saying basically that God's love never fails. She was invited to Alpha by the guys doing Street Evangelism last year in November. You know just one of those chance meetings(yea right!)
We shared the weekend with the Roman Catholic Church (St Josephs) of Goodwood and they too were just blown away by the experience. They had just never experienced anything like this before. The raw (but gentle) power of God's love. When the Holy Spirit ministry was in progress many of them just stayed watching, after they had been prayed for, and just could not get enough.
Then on to an extended period of praise and worship and it was so great to see everyone worshiping the one true God in spirit and truth. Yes His Holy Spirit brings unity in Christ!
So many things to write about the weekend I cannot possibly put them all down here.
On to Sunday evening. And we have a celebration service, the church is packed and man do I get goosebumps when 400 or so people worship God with all they've got. God's grace and mercy just continued to flow as after the service so many people came up for ministry. This morning Allie received an SMS thanking us for prayer given last night. I have received phone calls about last nights service this morning at work, thanks for prayers and just how awesome it was.

Thank you all for your prayers for the weekend.

Over the mountains and the sea
Your river runs with love for me
And I will open up my heart
And let the Healer set me free

I'm happy to be in the truth
And I will daily lift my hands
For I will always sing
Of when Your love came down

I could sing of Your love forever
I could sing of Your love forever

Oh, I feel like dancing
It's foolishness, I know
But when the world has seen the Light
They will dance with joy
Like we're dancing now

I could sing of Your love forever
I could sing of Your love forever
I could sing of Your love forever
I could sing of Your love forever
(I Could Sing of Your Love Forever by Delirious)

LoCTY !!!!

PS Peter B I'm only sending this to you internally so it makes it easier for you to pass it on to your group.

Monday, February 21, 2005


To The Precious Saints !!!!!!!

Ya YOU, don't look around or behind you or at the person next to you and if you are working away by your little lonesome self, don't feel lonely 'cause He is with you always. Jesus is saying U RRRR PRECIOUS TO HIM he paid the highest price that one can pay for anyone. So no matter how vrot you are feeling today that does not change this truth.

If you ask the majority of people about Mondays, you kinda get the colour answer, black, blue or a combo black and blue, if its really a bomb of a day. Mondays are such clichés, everything seems to go wrong and what makes it so difficult is that my brain is still in neutral weekend mode when Monday springs up on me and screams in my ear SURPRISE!!!! its Monday. Oh what joy. I'm looking so forward to going to work, all those exciting deadlines, playing with exciting financial packages, meeting all those terribly depressed and morose people. Everyone is just so hyped and motivated to serve their fellow citizens in Cape Town, yea right.

So there I am hanging on to a leather handle of the bus, like a choice piece of meat, while trying not to put too much weight on my fractured toe. The bus is crammed, standing room only. Yea running late again, gee wot a surprise. We are caught in a tailback from Cape Town to Timbuktu and everyone is enjoying sucking in all the free carbon monoxide fumes. Its stifling hot in the bus and a woman is virtually fainting as she decides discretion is the better part of valour and sits down on the floor. I'm miffed I can't read or sleep as the bus driver tries doing his best Schumacher impression all the way to town.

A couple of years ago my spirit would have been crushed to the point of desperation. My thought then was. Man is this it? Is this all that life is cracked up to be? This endless joyless trudge of spending most of your time doing something you don't want to do. Now and again you get a "happy spark" when something good happens to you and you hang on to that memory and cherish it. You collect those memories, you treasure them and you try your best to plan and create new happy moments. When you go through a dark times then you call up those happy moments and you also look forward to creating those new ones. But this is such an inadequate philosophy to use in your life, you start falling apart from within, but that's okay as long as you look good and fashionable from the outside. I'm Kooel ! Oh yea what about you dieing some day? Listen I've got enuff on my plate I'll deal with that when it comes up.

Thank goodness Allie, when she was going through some of the darkest moments of her life started asking the same questions that I had been ignoring for years. She really started truly searching and eventually found a place and a person of truth. Me I was not interested. Church!!! Huh that's just a place full of hypocrites (always room for another one hey). Somehow through God's grace and mercy and the love of Christ He reached out and changed our lives forever.

So now when I hang around (literally) on the bus seemingly going nowhere slowly, I know that this life is just a mist, a millisecond compared to eternity and its definitely not all there is. I'm going to live forever with Jesus in heaven 'cause He bought me with a price and nothing can separate me from His great and all consuming love. And He has a purpose and plan for my life while I'm here. So if you feel like nothing and pretty vrot then join me and all the Saints and dare to believe in the promises of God. Put quite simply it's the plain everlasting, loving, truth.

We have heard the thunder
We have seen the storm
Echoes of your kingdom coming
Rumours of our home
Where one day we will stand before you Lord
Our altogether beautiful reward
And we will give you glory, bring you honour
King above all kings, you deserve our everything
We will lift our voices with your praises
Jesus you are our King
Though now we walk in darkness
Though now we see in part
Right now we're warmed by the burning flames
Of the fire in our hearts
You've promised you will lead us to your throne
Where we will worship you and you alone
(King by Tree 63)

LoCTY !!!!!!!!!!

PS There are quite a few scriptures in here but have fun and work them out 4 yer self. Go on don't be so lazzzzy !

Monday, January 31, 2005


To The Precious Saints !!!!

Max Lucado tells the story about when he was a little boy and he went fishing with his dad. They rowed out quite far and Max couldn't see the shoreline. Suddenly a storm came up and the water become really rough and the wind was howling. Whenever Max looked out at the water he felt terribly afraid but when he looked at his big strong dad he felt assured and unafraid. You see his dad was big and strong and he knew exactly what to do and where he was going as he rowed their little boat to shore. Max decided that he'd rather just continue to look at his dad and feel confident that his dad would save them then look at the swirling water around them and be afraid.
We must be like that. We must focus on God the Father in all we do and all we go through. This life is full of distractions that will blur our focus and many times shift it totally away. That is the work of Satan who plays on our weak and sinful nature. We must know this that we are in a battle every day of our lives and the outcome of this battle has eternal consequences.
However God has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ (the Lamb of God) and Jesus has left us with the helper, His Holy Spirit and Jesus is constantly interceding for us to His Father.
This focus on God was so important that it is the first of the ten commandments for the Jewish nation in the wilderness. This first commandment was summed up in Deuteronomy 6:4 & 5 "Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength." When Jesus was here on earth he said that this first law and that you love your neighbour as yourself summed up and encompassed the whole law.
Today whatever you are going through, whatever you are doing keep your focus on God. Know all that He has already done for you, what He is doing for you now and what He will do for you in the future. And then more then that in this battle fight for your family, your friends your church because God wants you to stand firm and fight. But not in your own strength He wants you to draw your strength from Him.
Then as I looked over the situation, I called together the leaders and the people and said to them, "Don't be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your friends, your families and your homes!" (Nehemiah 4:14)
So never cease praying and encouraging each other and I leave you with this prayer from Paul to the church at Ephesus. When I first read this again three years ago(the last time I'd read it was 12 years before that as a JW, it did not have the same impact on me then) on the bus I wanted to shout it out to everyone on the bus, it just blew me away(and still does).
When I think of the wisdom and scope of God's plan, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father the creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit. And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvellous love. And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high and how deep his love really is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we could ever dare to ask or hope. May he be given glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever through endless ages. Amen (Ephesians 3:14-21)

Can we get an Amen? Or are you too busy, too under pressure, going through something, couldn't really be bothered, somebody has hurt you, angry with someone, angry with the church or angry with God. Just adjust your focus back to the Father and fight to keep it there. He knows you better than you know yourself!


Thursday, January 20, 2005

A Reminder From Stanley

To The Saints !!!!!

Last night saw the start of Alpha. It is always with mixed feelings/emotions that one approaches serving on team for the start of the first Alpha course for the year. There is excitement, passion, apprehension, fear, doubt and often (but not always) there is something that happens in your life in the week leading up to Alpha that brings out and highlights our weak and sinful nature. During this week we have have been subjected again to family tension and Allie has borne the brunt of this from her son Adam.
So on to the first night and Allie initially did not much feel like going but eventually she decided to go with me. Things went okay and we were enjoying the evening. While sitting in the small group Kevin came walking up to me and said he had a message from Mandy(who was looking after Matthew) that our car had been stolen and was in Delft and that we should phone her to get the number for the police there.
Of course I would like to tell you that I stayed calm and made all the right Christian responses and called an immediate prayer meeting or whateva but I flipped, I panicked, my heart came up in my throat, then sank down to my shoes (and then continued with this yo yo motion). Allie and myself hurried to the office, on the way there I looked out to where our car was parked (what was I looking for? It wasn't there!) and I said to Allie that its gone! By this time I was doing the good husband thing and trying to blame Allie "you see I told you to put a gear lock on the car, or get an immobiliser fitted but you wouldn't listen" (haaa, can you see Christ in me). Allie phoned Mandy and got the number of the police in Delft, Mandy also told Allie that the car was damaged. Allie was so upset at this time and she was crying she said "I told you I should not have come tonight....." I phoned the cops. While I was dialling their number I suddenly felt a calmness come over me and in my heart I said Lord whateva, I'll still love you and serve you. It was a strange feeling because I wanted to panic, I was enjoying it, I wanted to vent my frustration at the world, tell everyone who cared to listen how unfair life is(so wots new).
Eventually the cops answered the phone and the sergeant who I had to speak to took forever to come to the phone. When he eventually got there he asked if I was Mrs D White (ke ching! the penny dropped) it was Stanley (our old Mazda) who had been stolen. We had sold the car through a dealer friend when we bought our new car and the new owner had not yet registered it in his name. What a relief.
But then where is our car? I went to have another look (carefully this time) I was so blinded by my panic that I did not even see that our car was exactly in the same spot where Allie had parked it. Nope it had not moved at all. Of course I now had to put up with some good natured comments from the rest of the team about my eyesight, about immediate answered pray from the prayer team but it was all done in love.
Its just a reminder to us all as to how grateful we must be for every blessing and how grateful we must be that we have the truth and that we serve a God that loves us so much that He came down and died for us, so that we could be with Him forever. Sounds contrite, too good to be true, well my friends it is the TRUTH and you have it, it has been revealed to you. As Josh McDowell said the plain things are the main things and the main things are the plain things.

Mystery of mysteries
That you could love someone like me
In your hands eternity
And yet you have the time for me
A love so undeserved
You held nothing in reserve
Heaven played its symphony
I took your hand and you rescued me
Grace like a river
Is flowing down, is flowing down
It's flowing down to me
Staring at my history
Was all alone but never free
The sands of time have let me see
Your faithful shadow next to me
A love so unreserved
I did nothing to deserve
Love so free but what's the cost
To carry this old rugged cross
I love you, I thank you
I'm nothing without your Grace like a river
(Grace Like A River by Delirious?)

This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. (1 John 4:10)

LoCTY !!!!

PS Thanks Michelle you really handled the group fantastically well last night despite the distraction.

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