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 !!!!!!!!

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