Thursday, December 11, 2008

Yes Virginia there is a Santa Clause

In 1897, Francis P. Church wrote a now-famous editorial in which he told little Virginia O'Hanlon that indeed there was a Santa Claus. Church wrote in the Sun:
"Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist…No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever."

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Quote for the day (15)

If faith never encounters doubt, if truth never struggles with error, if good never battles with evil, how can faith know its own power? In my own pilgrimage, if I have to choose between a faith that has stared doubt in the eye and made it blink, or a naïve faith that has never known the firing line of doubt, I will choose the former every time.



Gary E Parker

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Great Christian Music - I Stand Amazed in the Presence


In the early 1900s, Charles H. Gabriel was the king of gospel music. Gabriel wrote the words and music for a number of hymns used by popular evangelists of his day such as Billy Sunday and his song leader, Homer Rodeheaver.
Gabriel’s hymns reflect a change in the style of gospel music. In the 1800s, hymns were deeply theological and often meditative. But with the revivals of Moody and Sunday, Christians learned to love songs that were fun to sing, highly energetic and easy to remember. Perhaps Gabriel’s most popular hymn is “O That Will Be Glory for Me,” with its rousing chorus. He also wrote “Send the Light,” a stirring missionary call with a tune that drives the singer halfway across the ocean.
These songs, like “I Stand Amazed in the Presence,” focus on a simple emotion and celebrate it. In this case, it is raw amazement at the magnitude of Christ’s sacrifice. We love this song because we can identify with it. How can we help but “stand amazed” in His presence? How marvelous! How wonderful!

Scriptures: Matthew 26:43; Luke 22:41; Romans 5:6-8; Ephesians 3:18-19
Themes: Love of Christ, Passion, Gethsemane, Praise

I stand amazed in the presence
Of Jesus the Nazarene,
And wonder how He could love me,
A sinner, condemned, unclean.

How marvelous! How wonderful!
And my song shall ever be:
How marvelous! How wonderful!
Is my Savior’s love for me!

For me it was in the garden
He prayed, “Not My will, but Thine”;
He had no tears for His own griefs,
But sweat drops of blood for mine.

In pity angels beheld Him,
And came from the world of light
To comfort Him in the sorrows
He bore for my soul that night.

He took my sins and my sorrows,
He made them His very own;
He bore the burden to Calvary
And suffered and died alone.

When with the ransomed in glory
His face I at last shall see,
‘Twill be my joy thru the ages
To sing of His love for me.

Charles Hutchinson Gabriel (1856 – 1932)


Information taken from; The Complete Book of Hymns by William J Petersen and Ardythe Petersen.



Here is a version by the Passion Band featuring Chris Tomlin amongst others, just click on the play button.



Please feel free to give feedback on this player and it's performance. Thanks!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Quote for the day (14)

Now, with God's help, I shall become myself.










Soren Kierkegaard (1813 -1855)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Stay (I'm leaving now.....but I don't want to go....)

Earlier this year one of my close and dear friends, Craig, asked me to go with him to minister to a couple who are close friends of his. The wife had been diagnosed with cancer and it was in an advanced stage and there was nothing that any of the doctors could do. Craig and his wife had been ministering to this couple, since sometime in the previous year and asking their friends to lift them and the couple in prayer.

So after a few false starts we eventually got around to visiting Mike and Karen at their small home in Table View. Karen had just been discharged from the hospice as she just wanted to spend as much time with her family as possible. The doctors had estimated that she had month or possibly two left to live. Karen was 37 at the time and her and Mike had a son and daughter aged 5 and 7.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I have been tagged

I have been tagged by Scott McQueen from Just A Thought on the 1 November and I'm only getting around to it now. So Scott humble apologies for my tardiness and thanks for the tag. Mmmm I'm pretty new at this so lettuce C........7 things huh....

1. I accepted Jesus as my Saviour when I was forty.
2. I used to be a Jehovah's Witness in the 80's
3. I have been divorced twice.
4. I work for the City of Cape Town's Health Directorate as a finance officer, my big boss(Helen Zille) is the worlds best mayor.
5. I have a step-son(Adam 25), step-daughter(Lisa 32), son(Matthew 11) and a grandson(Aronne 7 months)
6. I am married to Allie who puts up with all my nonsense and is the love of my life.
7. I really wanna do something BIG for God(always wanted to write a book, now want to do it for His glory) but I'm coming to realise that He is directing my footsteps and making me more and more aware of His gentle whisper.

Phew didit! Now 'cause I've been so slow I will have to think about who I can tag. That will be for another post methinks.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Quote for the day (13)

How to promote the absence of God.

Avoid silence, avoid solitude, avoid any train of thought that leads off the beaten track. Concentrate on money, sex, status, health and (above all) on your own grievances. Keep the radio on(and the TV). Use plenty of sedation. If you must read books, select them carefully. But you'd be safer to stick to the papers. You'll find the advertisements helpful; especially those with a sexy or snobbish appeal.

C S Lewis (1898 - 1963)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Bible Reading by Matt Redman - Psalm 84:1,2 and 9-12

1 How lovely is your dwelling place,O LORD Almighty! 2 My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. 9 Look upon our shield, O God; look with favor on your anointed one. 10 Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. 11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. 12 O LORD Almighty,blessed is the man who trusts in you.

This Psalm has been sitting in my heart lately, very relative to the election results in the USA.

Matt Redman - Better is One Day

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Quote for the day (12)

Some Christians haven't even attempted to think about whether or not they would die for Jesus because they haven't really been living for Him.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

'She died doing the Lord's work': Mother's grief for aid worker killed by the Taliban for being Christian

Heard this on the radio this morning, it struck a cord within me, just wanted to share it.


The mother of the British woman who was shot dead by Taliban gunmen in Afghanistan has spoken of her grief at losing her daughter.

Gayle Williams, 34, was walking to work in Kabul when she was gunned down by two men on a motorbike because she was working for a Christian organisation.

Her mother Pat Williams, who lives in London, said her daughter 'had died doing what she felt the Lord had called her to do.'

Mrs Williams, who, along with her sister Karen who lives in Johannesburg, is considering flying out to Kabul, said: 'Gayle was serving a people that she loved, and felt God called her to be there for such a time as this.

afghan

Gayle was murdered shortly before she was due to arrive at the office. Reports say that two men on a motorcycle shot her and then fled the scene

'We know her life was blessed and she was a blessing to those around her.

'No one could have asked for a more humble daughter with a loving heart.'

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the killing, saying its leaders had ordered the murder of Miss Williams because she was spreading the Christian message.

But the British-registered charity she worked for, SERVE Afghanistan, said this was a 'convenient excuse' for a 'completely opportunistic' killing.

Miss Williams, from London, had been an unpaid volunteer with the organisation for two-and-a-half years, helping to raise awareness of disabilities in Afghanistan and rehabilitating disabled people in their homes.

The aid worker was described by the charity's chairman Mike Lyth as a 'lovely girl' who was passionate about her work, crazy about sport and a lover of life.

He said she had only recently been pulled out of the southern Kandahar province because it was considered too dangerous to work there.

Serve

Shock: Serve spokeswoman Rina van der Ende, addresses reporters in Kabul after Gayle William's execution

Gayle Williams, who was shot dead in Kabul, Afghanistan

Gunned down: Gayle Williams, who was shot dead in Kabul, Afghanistan


'She came back about six months ago as we felt it probably wasn't a good idea to stay on there because we heard the Taliban had been seen coming in,' he said.

'Kabul is supposed to be the safest place in Afghanistan. Our people are thoroughly trained and Gayle always used to come by different routes to avoid risk.

'She gave herself for those who were disadvantaged - that was her passion. It was people who were marginalised and helping them to get on track which drove her on.'

Afghanistan's interior ministry said Miss Williams had been shot in the body and leg with a pistol. She died almost immediately.

A Taliban spokesman claimed she was killed 'because she was working for an organisation which was preaching Christianity in Afghanistan', adding: 'Our ( leaders) issued a decree to kill this woman,' he said. 'This morning our people killed her in Kabul.'

Daolad Khan, who was working on a building site opposite the murder scene, said: 'They raced up the street and stopped in front of the lady. They took out a gun and shot her on the spot. Then they rode off.'

Her Kabul-based colleagues said in a joint statement: 'Gayle never spoke of the rigours and privations of aid work in Kandahar, one of the most difficult places for a young woman to work in the world, but she kept a smile on her face and always had a good-humoured chuckle at the difficulties she must have endured.

'Gayle will be remembered as one of the inspiring people of the world who truly put others before herself.'

Miss Williams, who also holds South African citizenship, attended secondary school in Britain before moving to South Africa where she completed a sports degree with a view to working with the disabled.

killing

Aid agency: Vehicle at the SERVE Afghanistan office for which Gayle Williams was working. Williams was shot to death in the western part of the Kabul, Afghanistan, on Monday.


She moved back to London where she worked with people with special needs, before choosing to work with the charity.

The aid group she worked for - Serving Emergency Relief and Vocational Enterprises - describes itself as a Christian charity registered in Britain.

Its website states that SERVE Afghanistan's purpose is to 'express God's love and bring hope by serving the people of Afghanistan, especially the needy'.

Rina Vamberende, a spokesman for SERVE in Kabul, said the group was a Christian organisation but added: 'They are here to do aid work. It's not the case that they preach, not at all.'

In Afghanistan, proselytising - converting a person from one belief to another - is prohibited by law and other Christian charities have faced severe hostility.

In August, Taliban fanatics killed three women working for the U.S. aid group International Rescue Committee while they were driving in Logar, a province south of Kabul.

Miss Williams' death will lead to a growing sense of insecurity in Kabul. Kidnappings targeting wealthy Afghans have long been a problem, but attacks on Westerners have also increased.

Afghan security officers at the scene of the shooting in Kabul

Militants swoop: Afghan security officers at the scene of the shooting in Kabul


Article taken from the Daily Mail website(Mail Online)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Bringing Scripture To Life

The Psalm Scroll

Every day new discoveries are made that help to bring the pages of Scripture to life. Archaeologists in Israel have uncovered several new sections of an ancient wall that once surrounded Jerusalem, located just south of the Old City. Archaeologists have found part of a wall from the Second Temple period as well as a section built during the Byzantine era. This discovery could help scholars more accurately determine the size and layout of the ancient city of Jerusalem.

Israeli archaeologists have also unearthed evidence corroborating the Book of Jeremiah. A completely intact seal impression or "bula" bearing the name Gedaliahu ben Pashur was uncovered in Jerusalem's ancient City of David. It was found just a few meters from the site where a second seal, belonging to Yuchal ben Shlemiyahu, was found three years ago. In the Book of Jeremiah, both men are mentioned as ministers to King Tzidkiyahu. The Bible says these men demanded that the prophet Jeremiah be put to death, because Jeremiah predicted that Jerusalem would fall to the Babylonians and that anyone who did not surrender would either die by the sword or from famine and pestilence.

Meanwhile the Israeli Antiquities Authority has announced that it is planning to make photographs of the Dead Sea Scrolls available on the internet. The Dead Sea Scrolls are one of the most significant archaeological finds in history and have been described as "the most sought-after and examined documents on earth." The 2,000-year-old scrolls, found in the late 1940s in caves near the Dead Sea east of Jerusalem, contain the earliest known copies of the Old Testament. There are several large scrolls still intact as well as about 15,000 fragments that make up about 900 documents.

The announcement has stirred excitement among archaeologists and Biblical scholars. Using special equipment, experts plan to photograph every single fragment of the scrolls from multiple angles. It will take museum workers two years to complete the project. Then the vast collection of highly detailed photographs will be made available to everyone via the world wide web.

Digging Up the Truth

Any archaeological discoveries that appear to substantiate the Biblical account of history undermine the Palestinian cause. Such discoveries underscore Israel's long and rich history in the Promised Land. It is a legacy that Israel's enemies would like to erase. They claim that the idea of a historical Jewish homeland is a hoax – invented to justify Israel's occupation of Palestine.

Yet with each passing year, more new discoveries are made which corroborate Jewish claims to the Holy Land. This explains why Wakf (Islamic Trust) officials, bulldoze sensitive archaeological sites on the Temple Mount with blatant disregard for the treasures buried there. Israeli archaeologists and volunteers have sifted through the piles of ruins discarded by Wakf officials - rubble taken from the Temple Mount to a city garbage dump. Amidst the rubble they have uncovered numerous history-rich artifacts dating back to the First and Second Temple periods.

Article from Koinonia House

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Quote for the day (11)

To avoid criticism do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.

Monday, October 13, 2008

What a friend we have in Jesus

Just thought I'd share this email with you....

Precious Saints and dear friends in Christ!!!

What a friend we have in Jesus!!!! That is actually an old, old song but oh so true.

Sunday night at church I didn’t feel particularly spiritual, actually felt a bit empty and dry, had a really hectic week with the flu, laryngitis and backwards and forwards visiting my mom (she had broken her hip a week ago) in Tygerberg hospital, dealing with the old age home, doctors and nurses etc…. felt tired, worn out….

For those of you who were there Ronnie (our minister) was talking about getting a special touch from Jesus, then he made an altar call. Oh Ronnie why’d you do dat? I was planning on scooting straight out of church as soon as it had finished to get home as early as possible in order to go to bed as soon as possible.

Then the altar call. And boy did the people come up. I didn’t feel like going up, I wanted to go to bed! Anyways I had a few choices but it just basically meant getting past my current emotional status and being obedient to His call. It wasn’t just Ronnie who called for the ministry team to come up, His Holy Spirit just called me as well. I went up, unsure as to what to do. There were so many people and seemingly so few of the ministry team. I was led off to the one side and then just started ministering to people one on one. I just kinda put ‘me’ outta the way and His Holy Spirit just came and worked powerfully through me. And all this time He was just so much more than touching me, He was guiding me, showing me His incomparable love that He has for His children. I was just quietly and gently blown away. Clint and Debbie (Roach) assisted me in places, so many things happened, tongues, tears, resting in His spirit and time just stood still. Then when I turned to my dearly beloved friend Clint, who had been helping me with ministry I could just see that he wanted a special touch from Christ. So I just took the opportunity to pray with and for him. What a beautiful moment. What happened between God and Clint is his story to tell.

So there you go, oh yeah and His touch just lingers and lingers on and on. Did I fully understand what happened on Sunday night? No not really I just experienced it constantly checked it with His word and then trusted in Him. As always I’m stunned, amazed by the way God works, He constantly takes the ordinary and does the extraordinary. What amazing grace, love and mercy.

LoCTY!!!!

PS I did get an early mornings sleep. I fell asleep reading a book about the Psalms at about 1.30am.
PPS I had no intention initially of writing any of this ‘stuff’!!! I was just gonna say hi to you all via Pete’s email.

Came across a rap version of the old song by Bobby Jones. Here it is.


What A Friend We Have In Jesus - Bobby Jones

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Quote for the day (10)



I can live for two months on a good compliment.








Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Bloggers given new Ten Commandments by church leaders


Just wanted to share this article, thought it very interesting……

Christian bloggers have been given a new set of 'Ten Commandments' aimed at delivering them from the temptations of online arguments.

Article from The Daily Telegraph by Alastair Jamieson


The guidelines have been drawn up at a conference in London by the Evangelical Alliance in response to concern at how religious blogs can quickly descend into vitriol.

The commandments, based on those delivered to Moses by God at the top of Mount Sinai, order bloggers not to "make an idol" of their web space, not to misuse their screen name by using anonymity to sin and to remember the Sabbath by taking one day off a week from blogging. They also order: "You shall not use the web to commit or permit adultery in your mind."

The Evangelical Alliance is an umbrella group founded in 1846 that represents thousands of churches of most denominations nationwide

Bloggers are commanded to honour their fellow bloggers and not to get too upset by their mistakes. They shall not murder the reputation of another blogger, shall not give false testimony against a fellow blogger and shall not steal the blog content of another.

Bloggers are also told to be content with their own creation and not to covet their neighbour's blog ranking. Many thousands of blogs have sprung up in the past few years, offering easy access to online opinion forums to any user of the internet.

The "instant access" nature of most blogs means people posting comments often do so in the heat of passion and rarely stop to reflect, as they would if giving a lecture or writing a letter.

The result can be intemperate and sometimes foul language aimed at either the author of the blog or other contributors.

Krish Kandiah, executive director of Churches in Mission, said: "These commandments are virtual rather than set in stone, but are offered to the blogging community as a way to link the Ten Commandments with the art of blogging.

"In the ever-changing information age, what we need is wisdom for life, and God communicates wisdom to our culture through the Bible on every issue from social justice to social networking."

Mark Meynell, senior associate minister for All Souls Church, Langham Place, London, said: "The internet is merely the latest step in the evolution of human communication – and so like any other new medium, it presents us with huge opportunities as well as challenges.

"It is essential that Christians make the most of it because we believe we have good news that is as relevant to those in cyberspace as it is for those in real space."

Ten commandments for bloggers:

1 You shall not put your blog before your integrity

2 You shall not make an idol of your blog

3 You shall not misuse your screen name by using your anonymity to sin

4 Remember the Sabbath day by taking one day off a week from your blog

5 Honour your fellow-bloggers above yourselves and do not give undue significance to their mistakes

6 You shall not murder someone else's honour, reputation or feelings

7 You shall not use the web to commit or permit adultery in your mind

8 You shall not steal another person's content

9 You shall not give false testimony against your fellow-blogger

10 You shall not covet your neighbour's blog ranking. Be content with your own content

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Quote for the day (9)

There is no point in cutting off a person's nose and then giving them a rose to smell.

Indian Proverb

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bible Reading by Oscar Pistorius - Hebrews 12:1-3

Oscar Pistorius (Blade Runner) winning the 400m gold at the Bejing Paralympics 2008, thus completing his hat trick of golds.

1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Quote for the day (8)

Jesus of Nazareth, without money and arms, conquered more millions than Alexander, Caesar, Mohammed, and Napoleon; without science and learning, He shed more light on things human and divine than all philosophers and schools combined; without the eloquence of schools, He spoke words of life such as never were spoken before or since, and produced effects which lie beyond the reach of any orator or poet; without writing a single line, He has set more pens in motion, and furnished themes for more sermons, orations, discussions, learned volumes, works of art and sweet songs of praise, than the whole army of great men of ancient and modern times. Born in a manger, and crucified as a malefactor, He now controls the destinies of the civilized world, and rules a spiritual empire which embraces one-third of the inhabitants of the globe. There never was in this world a life so unpretending, modest, and lowly in its outward form and condition, and yet producing such extraordinary effects upon all ages, nations, and classes of men. The annals of history produce no other example of such complete and astonishing success in spite of the absence of those material, social, literary, and artistic powers and influences which are indispensable to success for a mere man.

Philip Schaff (1819 - 1893)

PS. I know this is not the normal short one but worth it!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Who is this knocking......?

Who is this knocking at the door of my heart?
I don’t want to let whoever it is in
I have opened the door of my heart
A thousand times before
And let people in
And all they do is rip my heart apart
And leave me bleeding and hurt
Dazed, broken and confused and wondering
Why, oh why did I ever let them in?
So I patch up my heart stitch it ever tighter
And reinforce my hearts door
But my heart keeps on bleeding out
More love and more love
And I get so little back
And feel I don’t have any love left
To give anymore…….
It’s all bled out and been sucked up
By those I’ve let in before
As I peer through the curtain of my soul
I cannot see anyone on the doorstep of my heart
But I feel that someone is just gently knocking
Knocking on the door of my heart
I’m too afraid to let them in
But just maybe this time it will be different
Why do I lie to myself in this way?
I’ve said that a thousand times before
And it’s never been good
And my heart is so fragile
Feels like it’s broken into millions of tiny pieces
I just can’t keep it together anymore
And I really don’t know what to do

Oh if only we knew
That the man who came to earth
Whose heart, soul and body
Bled and died for you
Is knocking on the door of your heart today
And only He can take your broken heart
And make it whole again
Only He can give the unconditional love
You so desperately crave
There is no one else like Him
So just open up the door of your heart
And let Him in.

Revelation 3:20 & 21
























Light of The World by William Holman Hunt 1854

Monday, September 15, 2008

Quote for the day (7)


If there were no God, there would be no Atheists.








G.K.Chesterton (1874 - 1936)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Great Christian Music - Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah


The author of this hymn, William Williams, had been preparing for a career in medicine, but one Sunday morning he heard a man preaching in a Welsh churchyard. He responded in faith, and his life was drastically changed. For forty-three years, he preached and sang throughout Wales and became known as the poet laureate of the Welsh revival. Soon all Wales was singing their way to the coal mines and rugby and soccer matches, and this became their favorite marching song. (Just imagine that…..goosebumps!!)
In the hymn, Williams compares the Christian life to the Israelites trek through the wilderness. He refers to God feeding the children of Israel with manna, leading them with fire and a cloudy pillar, and finally guiding them across the Jordan River into Canaan, the promised land.

Scriptures: Exodus 13:22; Exodus 16:15; Psalm 48:14 Isaiah 58:11
Themes: Guidance, Deliverance, Security

Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah,
Pilgrim through this barren land;
I am weak, but Thou are mighty;
Hold me with Thy powerful hand;
Bread of heaven, Bread of heaven,
Feed me now and evermore,
Feed me now and evermore,

Open now the crystal fountain,
Whence the healing stream doth flow;
Let the fire and cloudy pillar
Lead me all my journey through;
Strong deliverer, strong deliverer,
Be Thou still my strength and shield,
Be Thou still my strength and shield.

When I tread the verge of Jordan,
Bid my anxious fears subside;
Death of death and hell’s destruction,
Land me safe on Canaan’s side;
Songs of praises, songs of praises
I will ever give to Thee,
I will ever give to Thee.

Here is a version done by Robin Mark and The Mandate live at the Waterfront Hall in 2003.



William Williams (1717 – 1791)

Information taken from; The Complete Book of Hymns by William J Petersen and Ardythe Petersen.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Quote for the day (6)


A man who won't die for something is not fit to live





Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929 – 1968)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Jesus on (the mainline) my doorstep

So it must have been just going on eight in the evening when Allie called me to come and eat supper. I’d had a long tough day at work only getting home at six that evening and was just starting to unwind. I was looking forward to just watching something not too mentally challenging on television.

Suddenly the doorbell went. I wasn’t feeling up to being very social and I didn’t even really feel like answering the door but with a big inward sigh I went anyway. When I opened the door my heart sank even further, for there stood Portia and Claude in all their forlorn glory. Portia and Claude are a homeless couple who live on the street and they come on a semi regular basis to beg for food from either my wife or myself. “Oh Lord,” I thought as I spoke to Jesus, “do I really have to do this now?” I just wanted them to go away and to top it all they were really falling over drunk and shouting and screaming at each other.I told them to be quiet and to wait while I made them some sandwiches. I wanted to get rid of them as quickly as possible.

I went to the kitchen and Allie said that we had some chicken breyani over after she had dished up for us. So I put the breyani in two containers, heated it in the microwave, buttered some bread and got some fruit from the fridge. All the time I’m busy with the food I can hear Claude and Portia shouting and swearing at each other outside my kitchen window.

Well I opened our front door and called them to collect their food. I told them that they must go and eat their food as quickly as possible otherwise it would get cold. They then started accusing each other and telling me to pray for the others sins. So Claude was listing all Portia’s sins and saying that I really have to pray for her, and Portia was doing the same regarding Claude. I really didn’t feel like praying for either of them. I just wanted them to go and leave me in peace. I told them that they were too drunk and noisy for me to pray for them. I had no sooner uttered those words when I just ‘felt’ convicted to pray for both of them. I put one of my hands on each of their shoulders and just started praying for both of them. Suddenly amidst all the chaos and brokenness there was peace. They were both quiet and I felt at peace. It was a beautiful moment. Claude just started weeping quietly and then Portia. I prayed for a little while and then it was over. Claude and Portia thanked me, then gave some money to me for me to keep for them and then walked off into the night. It was a stunning moment with the Holy Spirit and made me reflect on the mercy, grace and love of Christ for days to come.

Then out of nowhere I got this song stuck in my head. I used to have it in my old vinyl collection so I’ll just share it here with you.


Jesus On The Mainline - Ry Cooder


I know Jesus is on that mainline
Tell Him what you want
Jesus is on that mainline
Tell Him what you want
Jesus is on that mainline
Tell Him what you want
Call Him up and tell Him what you want

Well, the line ain't never busy
Tell Him what you want
Wo, that line ain't never busy
Tell Him what you want
Well, the line ain't never busy
Tell Him what you want
Keep on calling Him up
And tell Him what you want

Well, if you want His kingdom
Tell Him what you want
If you want His kingdom
Tell Him what you want
If want His kingdom
Tell Him what you want
Call Him up, call Him up, call Him up, call Him up
You can call Him up and tell Him what you want

Well, if you're sick and wanna get well
Tell Him what you want
Well, if you're sick and you wanna get well
Tell Him what you want

35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' (Matthew 25:35-40)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Great Christian Music - I'll Fly Away

The son of tenant farmers in the Indian Territory that is now Oklahoma, Albert Brumley quit school after tenth grade and didn’t have much of a future to look forward too-except pick cotton for the rest of his life. Then, when he was sixteen years old, he attended a singing school in his farm community of Rock Island and discovered he could sing better than most adults and he could harmonize, too.
So at nineteen he went to a music school in the Ozark Mountains to learn how to write music. He dropped out after a year and went back to picking cotton. One day while picking cotton, he started singing a popular song called “The Prisoner’s Song.” I was like that prisoner, he thought. When he saw a bird flying to a better place, young Albert got an idea for a new song. He returned to music school and continued to struggle with his idea for a song. Seven years later, he felt the song was ready to be published. Immediately, it became a favourite.
In time, Brumley became known as the world’s most recorded songwriter, but none of his songs rivaled the popularity of “I’ll Fly Away.”

Scriptures: 2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18
Themes: Heaven, Hope, Death

Some glad morning when this life is o’er, I’ll fly away;
To a home on God’s celestial shore, I’ll fly away.

I’ll fly away, O glory, I’ll fly away;
When I die , hallelujah, by and by, I’ll fly away.

When the shadows of this life have gone, I’ll fly away;
Like a bird from prison bars has flown, I’ll fly away.

Just a few more weary days and then, I’ll fly away;
To a land where joys shall never end, I’ll fly away.

Here is a great version by Jars of Clay off their 2005 album Redemption Songs where they recorded some great old hymns.



Albert E. Brumley (1905 – 1977)

Information taken from; The Complete Book of Hymns by William J Petersen and Ardythe Petersen

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Quote for the day (5)


When a man is wrapped up in himself, he makes a pretty small package.






John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Have you heard......the news today?

So have you heard the news today?
Screaming out at you today
From every possible source
Your television, the internet, your mobile
The newspapers, magazines and word of mouth
Gotta stay apace with what’s happening
In the world today
Gotta get organized to be informed
So I know what’s really going on
Even though most of it’s bad
Just war, murder, and disasters
And a million ways to make a million
Screaming at me everyday
Until I’m totally overwhelmed
And retreat into a state
Of being comfortably numb
And what I’m really looking for……
Is hope to hang onto
A love to hold close
To see me through
But it all seems to fade away
In the screams of the everyday
But the real news
Is the good news
And it’s over three and a half thousand years old
But it’s up to date everyday
About a man who came to die
For you and me
To give us all a hope to hang onto
And a love to hold close
So have you heard His good news today?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Bible Reading by Third Day - Psalm 36:5-10

5 Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. 6 Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. O LORD, you preserve both man and beast. 7 How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings. 8 They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights. 9 For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light. 10 Continue your love to those who know you, your righteousness to the upright in heart.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Quote for the day (4)

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.

Jim Elliot (1927 - 1956)


Jim and four other missionaries where speared to death while evangelizing to the Aucus Indian tribe in Ecuador in 1956. I recommend the book written by Jim Elliot's wife Elisabeth; Through Gates of Splendor, it is compelling reading.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Angels in the slips

Often when I arrive home from work I get greeted at the door by our dog, Pixie and my son, Matthew (now 11). They really do a number on me, a kinda one, two combo. First of all as I unlock and open our front door Pixie will come running up to me. She doesn’t just wag her tail she wags her whole body. I’m always so overwhelmed by her greeting and then Matthew who is hiding behind the door will jump out and shout as loud as he can at me. Talk about a defib machine, my heart (ab) normally jumps up into my throat and stays there pulsating at a supersonic rate for at least five minutes. I fall for this trick as regular as clockwork.

Of course Matthew wants me to play ‘something’ with him. It might be cricket, soccer, rugby, chess, a board game or any other game that we have cooked up amongst the two of us. So after I have been ‘woken up’ from the rigors of my work day and then have slipped into something more comfortable we go out and put in some playtime with each other.

One evening while playing cricket in the parking lot of the restaurant opposite our house I happened to notice the statues behind the fence in the nursery. The restaurant is on the premises of the nursery. They were statues of large angels and it was almost as though they were set out as slip fielders behind Matthew while he batted. Oh how my heart longed to see the real angels that I know are all around us. I looked up at the palm trees whose branches were swaying in the wind and I drifted off for a while in my imagination trying to think what heaven is like and what it would be like to meet and see Jesus for the first time…….oh I can only imagine.

Of course then Matthew shouted to me, “When are you gonna throw the ball?” I came out of my reverie. I often feel like leaving all this pain and suffering behind and just be with Jesus but then I see all those around me whom I love and I wanna be there for them as much as I possibly can and most of all I want to do God’s will.

The apostle Paul put it so well in his letter to the Philippians;
21 For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. 22 But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. 23 I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. 24 But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live. 25 Knowing this, I am convinced that I will remain alive so I can continue to help all of you grow and experience the joy of your faith. 26 And when I come to you again, you will have even more reason to take pride in Christ Jesus because of what he is doing through me. (Philippians 1:21-26)

That night while saying goodnight to Matt I asked him if he really enjoys playing cricket with his klutzy dad. I seriously lack talent in the bat and ball department of sport. He kinda gave me this funny look as if to say, “Now what kinda question is that?” When he replied he just said, “Of course I do dad!” He just then asked me to pray for him and there oftentimes wells up within me so many emotions and such a feeling of gratitude that God has given me this opportunity of getting to know and love Matthew as a father. God teaches me so many times through the relationship I have with my son as to how He feels about me as His son. For now I can only imagine what it will be like when one day in His time all His promises will be fulfilled.

I Can Only Imagine by Mercy Me

I can only imagine
What it will be like
When I walk
By your side

I can only imagine
What my eyes will see
When your face
Is before me
I can only imagine

I can only imagine

[Chorus:]
Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel
Will I dance for you Jesus or in awe of you be still
Will I stand in your presence or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine

I can only imagine

I can only imagine
When that day comes
And I find myself
Standing in the Son

I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever
Forever worship You
I can only imagine

I can only imagine

[Chorus]

I can only imagine [x2]

I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever, forever worship you

I can only imagine




LoCTY!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Great Christian Music - Rock of Ages


It may seem strange that such a sedate hymn as “Rock of Ages” was written by a feisty, pugnacious man named Augustus Toplady. Converted under a Methodist evangelist while attending the University of Dublin, Toplady decided to prepare for the ministry. Although he was impressed with the spirit of Methodism, Toplady strongly disagreed with the Wesleyan theology and waged a running battle with the Wesleys through tracts, sermons and even hymns. “Wesley,” said Toplady, “is guilty of Satan’s shamelessness.” To which Wesley retorted,” I do not fight with chimney sweeps!”

Toplady wrote “Rock of Ages” to conclude a magazine article in which he emphasized that, just as England could never repay its national debt, so humans through their own efforts could never satisfy the eternal justice of God. He died of tuberculosis and overwork at the age of thirty-eight, two years after he published his own hymnal, in which “Rock of Ages” and Charles Wesley’s “Jesus, Lover of My Soul” were placed side by side.

Scriptures: Exodus 33:17-23; Psalm 62:5-8; 1 Corinthians 10:1-4
Themes: Salvation, Refuge, Forgiveness

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Save from wrath and make me pure.

Could my tears forever flow,
Could my zeal no languor know,
These for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone.
In my hand no price I bring;
Simply to Thy cross I cling.

While I draw this fleeting breath,
When my eyes shall close in death,
When I rise to worlds unknown,
And behold Thee on Thy throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.

Augustus Montague Toplady (1740 -1778)


Information taken from; The Complete Book of Hymns by William J Petersen and Ardythe Petersen

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Quote for the day (3)


The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.

Ernest Hemingway (1899 – 1961)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Travellin'

I take a journey everyday
Cover a good few miles
But never seem to go anywhere
I go back and forth
Back and forth
And always end up in the same place
The engine revs and windscreen wipers
Are my back beat
Some of us travel all over this world
But never really seem to go anywhere
Come back with memories and pictures
Of how a place has touched their lives
We gotta change that
It’s not the place
It’s the people
Instead how can we touch lives
With His truth
So that their lives will change for eternity
Let us then start the longest journey
The journey that is within us
And who we really are deep inside

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Bible Reading done by nature - Genesis 9:8-17


8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: 9 "I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you 10 and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth. 11 I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth."

12 And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth."

17 So God said to Noah, "This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth."

Monday, July 7, 2008

Glory


Hi Everyone,

Just lately Matthew and myself have been keenly following and watching the Euro 2008 soccer finals held in Austria and Switzerland. The tournament was won by Spain who beat Germany by one goal to nil in the final. See the pic above which I think just epitomizes the glory of Spain’s achievement.

While watching this tournament it got me thinking as to why does mankind chase after glory so much. In sport, at work and life in general. We will associate ourselves with a sports team or an individual so that in some way we can be connected to and share in their glory.

However mankind’s glory does not last for long and soon fades.

Solomon who was a very wise, powerful and rich king about three thousand years ago was pondering on the meaning of his life as he entered into his twilight years. He was a man who really had everything and had chased after glory all his life. Surveying his kingdom and all his achievements he came to the conclusion that everything becomes meaningless if you do not have the one true God in your life and give Him all the glory. You can go read about it in Ecclesiastes in the old testament in the bible.

We have been made in God’s image for God’s glory. Jesus when He was down here on earth glorified His Father God by being obedient to God, even to the point of death. This opened the way, for all who choose Him, back to the God of all glory. The new testament is full of statements where God says He will glorify us in order that we may more fully glorify Him. I’ll just put down a few here.

Through Him (Jesus) we also have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:2)
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the coming glory to be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18)
Our bodies sown in dishonor, to be raised in glory; sown in weakness, to be raised in power. (1 Corinthians 15:43)
But we all with our face having been unveiled, having beheld the glory of the Lord as in a mirror, are being changed into the same image from glory to glory, which comes from the Lord , who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18)


Meaning of glory from dictionary.com
very great praise, honor, or distinction bestowed by common consent
something that is a source of honor, fame or admiration; a distinguished ornament or an object of pride
adoring praise or worshipful thanksgiving
resplendent beauty of magnificence
a state of great splendour, magnificence, or prosperity
a state of absolute happiness, gratification, contentment, etc.
the splendor and bliss of heaven

So it’s no wonder we hunger and thirst for glory because we were made to glorify the God of all glory and if we chase after any other glory it will become meaningless.


Glory - Casting Crowns


You are holy in this place
You are worthy of my praise and we worship You
Jesus we worship You

You're the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords
You're the Master of the Universe
You're the Ruler of all Nations
And we sing to You, sing to You

When You call my name, I'll run to You
I'll do anything You ask me to
Falling on my knees I worship You, my Lord
We give You GLORY

Alle Alleluia
Alle Alleluia
Alle Alleluia
Alle Alleluia
Alle Alleluia


LoCTY!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Quote for the day (2)



Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.

John Wesley (1703 – 1791)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Broken Heart

Hi Everyone

This past Monday (23 June) our men’s fellowship, Maximen, from the church met at the home of one of the guys in the group.

We where scheduled to watch the last Louie Giglio DVD in the series which was the teaching on hope and how Jesus is our anchor of hope in times of gut wrenching despair and loss. In my email reminder to the group I apologized for getting behind in the program and that we should have already been finished with this series of DVDs. One of the reasons was that the previous week the DVD player at our other venue broke down and we could not show the ‘scheduled’ DVD. One of the young guys (Arnie) in the group emailed me right back and said, “By now God is saying what program?” I chewed on that comment right up till we gathered for the meeting; it just kinda stayed in my mind rambling around there.

Anyways Monday comes and Johan joins the group for the first time in about three months. I was so pleased to see him. We were chatting and he wanted to tell me something about tithing and give me his current testimony regarding this. I heard him incorrectly and thought he said timing like in God’s timing. Well I eventually sorted out my hearing/listening deficiency and we had a good chat before we started the evening.

Then we all sat down and we started the DVD. I’d watched the DVD about two months before but had forgotten (some would say not surprising) the details of the message. As we were watching the penny suddenly dropped (GERCHUNK!!). Louie was talking about a young girl of 22 who five months after becoming a Christian died in a motor accident. Johan had just lost his dearly beloved niece of 21 in a motor accident in January. I felt like running to the DVD player and switching it off (couldn’t find the remote) but the Holy Spirit just calmed me and told me this is it, God’s program. I was sitting behind Johan and I put my hand on his shoulder, he grabbed it with his hand and held onto my hand almost to the end of the DVD. He was crying. I felt like I could feel his pain.

When the DVD finished I pondered briefly on how to continue. I was going to show the group a live recording of the song My Hope Is You by Third Day (based on Psalm 25). I thought it might be a bit on the loud side for what had just transpired. The Holy Spirit gave me peace and I played it. When it was finished I spoke to the group and I told Johan that if we had been running as planned (my plan!) we would not have shown this DVD tonight. I also told him about the email comment I’d received from Arnie.

Johan then just broke……. His whole body shook in pain, grief and loss as he just cried and cried. He knew this evening was for him. We gathered around him and just put a hand on his shoulder, a hand on his arm and just prayed for him and for God to heal him and for strength. This maybe went on for around 10 minutes and Johan also prayed and cried out to God, sometimes in tongues.

Eventually at the right time it was finished. Then Johan just quietly told us about his niece and the beautiful relationship that he had with her. Her dad had died and Johan was like a father to her, even their birthdays were just a few days apart.

The evening then drew to a close and Johan ended up giving me a lift home and we just chatted to each other and Johan encouraged me greatly with loving words.

Phew! What a program, what a teaching, what a lesson from God.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them and be their God. They will be His people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:3 & 4)

My Hope is You - Third Day

To You, O Lord, I lift my soul
In You, O God, I place my trust
Do not let me be put to shame
Nor let my enemies triumph over me

My hope is You
Show me Your ways
Guide me in truth
In all my days
My hope is You

I am, O Lord, filled with Your love
You are, O God, my salvation
Guard my life and rescue me
My broken spirit shouts
My mended heart cries out

My hope is You.......
(Third Day 1997 taken from Psalm 25)



LoCTY!

NB. I’ve used this song before on another posting. Thought about putting up another song here, just for the sake of variety, but this is the one that I was played on the evening. Sometimes I play songs because the Holy Spirit previously has blessed me by giving me a song and then I go out and share and/or use it in a teaching/writing.

Friday, June 27, 2008

A quote for the day (1)


Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards.

Aldous Huxley

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Inside Out

Hey There

Have you stood in front of a mirror lately? Did you like what you saw? Probably not! Too many wrinkles, creases, ouch look at my stomach, and all those pieces that just kinda stick out in all the wrong places. HELP I’m a complete mess! What to do? Apply make up, exercise program, plastic surgery, improve posture, accessorise……. go shopping….go drinking. (By the way this is a unisex thing just pick out the pieces that apply to you.)

Sadly we live in a world where we idolize the body beautiful. Sooo much hangs on just the way we look and we feel that pressure on a daily basis. This makes many of us feel so insecure. Many people get rewarded in this life just by the way they look. And to think that they had little or nothing to do with it, it is just God’s gift to them.

We would rather deal with how people look on the outside then really get to know them and what makes them tick. We tend to avoid people who are ‘odd’ looking and don’t meet our criteria as far as looks go.

But here we have God who loves us from the inside out and not from the outside in. Sadly again many of us so absolutely don’t believe that. But it’s true, absolutely and irrevocably true.

When God was looking for a new King of Israel he said this to His prophet Samuel.
“Do not consider his appearance or his height……The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”(1 Samuel 16:7)

From Psalm 139 again it tells us that God knitted us together in our mother’s womb and created our inmost being. We were made in a secret place and we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Now that sounds a whole lot more creative, beautiful and artistic then you kinda just got here by a series of accidents.Yippee for evolution the ultimate theory of discouragement in this life!!

Then there is love. Nope evolution has no answer to that one, how we want to be loved and how we want to love others. The ultimate definition of love is found in 1 Corinthians 13. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

And you know what? This is the way that God loves you and He is just waiting for you when you dunno who you are. When you are cut up inside aching and bleeding and not even worrying what you look like on the outside ‘cause the pain is just too much. When you doubt that He exists at all, when you feel you have been led astray. All you have to do is take hold of Jesus’ hand and He will meet you in your deepest darkest place and shine His love (as in 1 Corinthians 13) into your heart. Mebbe this will be your first time, mebbe you already know you can do this but think you can’t ……..you can. The psalmist says in the Old Testament “The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in love……as far as the east is from the west, that’s how far He has removed our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:8-13)

So how is your heart today? How are you deep down inside of you? Just open up your heart to Jesus because He made your heart in the first place and He knows how to heal it ‘cause His love is from the inside out.


From The Inside Out - Hillsong United


A thousand times I've failed
Still your mercy remains
And should I stumble again
Still I'm caught in your grace

Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame
In my heart, in my soul, Lord I give you control
Consume me from the inside out Lord
Let justice and praise become my embrace
To love You from the inside out

Your will above all else, my purpose remains
The art of losing myself in bringing you praise

Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame
In my heart, in my soul, Lord I give you control
Consume me from the inside out Lord
Let justice and praise become my embrace
To love You from the inside out

Chorus 2x
Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame
And the cry of my heart is to bring You praise
From the inside out Lord, my soul cries out


LoCTY!!!!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Have A Little Faith In Me

Hi


So this Saturday morning just got back from a men’s group at Salem Full Gospel church which is held fortnightly from 7am to roughly 8.30am.


We just chatted about faith. The guys just shared the battles in their lives and how their faith is being tested and also things that they have been through in the past.


One man’s current battle with cancer, another praying and waiting on God for seven years for his wife to fall pregnant. Another who just this past week was threatened of being charged with fraud relating to his job and this was in relation to a mistake a colleague had made. A man who was a missionary at the time in Europe shared how his life fell apart when funds for the mission were mismanaged and his wife miscarried. And there were others in that group who I know have tough battles in their lives. Sometimes in the group it comes out in different ways, anger, fear, tears. This is the real gritty ‘stuff’ no one liners here or high fives or perfunctory slaps on the back. We listen, we share our experiences, we draw alongside each other, we encourage each other with the hope we have in Jesus Christ, we ask for strength and wisdom from His Holy Spirit and we look to the truth in the word of God.


So there are no easy answers. God doesn’t give them. Instead He asks questions of us and we need to work out answers to His questions.


Jesus said in this life we will have trouble BUT(A BIG BUT) take heart I (Jesus) have overcome the world (John 16.33). So Jesus is saying through Him we have a hope not just for what is happening in our lives now but way and far beyond that. The promises in the word of God are breathtaking,basically a summation of all our desires, wants, needs and longings.


I share some scriptures that were read in the meeting.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. (James 1:2-5)

Job says, ‘I am innocent, but God denies me justice. Although I am right, I am considered a liar, although I am guiltless, his arrow inflicts an incurable wound. What man is like Job, who drinks scorn like water? (Book of Job 34: 5-7, Job asks God why bad things are happening to him)


This is part of God’s answer.


Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said: “Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone — while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?


Of course God’s full answer is in the person Jesus Christ.


Then I just want to add this one;


Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?” Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

(Daniel 3: 15-18, when the three young Hebrews were threatened with death by the king of Babylon)


So my friends just have a little faith in Him. I know easier said/written/sung then done………


Here is a song that has just kinda been hanging around in my head lately. I know it is a person to person song but sometimes I can imagine Jesus singing/talking to me something like the words in this song, but only deeper more profoundly. A few artists have done this but this version is by Jewel. I could not get a full length version by John Hiatt. Anyways just click on the play button and enjoy the song.




Have A Little Faith In Me - Jewel

When the road gets dark
And you can no longer see
Just let my love throw a spark, baby
Have a little faith in me

When the tears you cry
Are all you can believe
Just give these loving arms a try, baby
Have a little faith in me

Have a little faith in me
Have a little faith in me
Have a little faith in me
Have a little faith in me

When your secret heart
Cannot speak so easily
Come here darlin
From a whisper start
To have a little faith in me

When your backs against the wall
Just turn around, you will see
I will catch ya, I will catch your fall
Just have a little faith in me

Have a little faith in me
Have a little faith in me
Have a little faith in me
Have a little faith in me

Well, Ive been loving you for such a long, long time baby
Expecting nothing in return
Just for you to have a little faith in me
You see time, time is our friend for you and me
Cause for us there is no end
All you gotta do is have a little faith in me
I said I will hold you up, I will hold you up
Your strength gives me enough
So have a little faith in me
Hey baby, oh, baby
All ya gotta do is have a little faith in me
All ya gotta do is have a little faith in me
A little faith in me


LoCTY!!!!!


Saturday, May 24, 2008

Take A Look At Me

I tried to walk fast past
Didn’t make it
He called out to me
Hey what’s the hurry ?
Didn’t you see me?
I know I smell a bit
And my clothes are torn and dirty
My ‘colour’ is a different ‘colour’
And I come from another country
But have the courage to see me
To speak to me
To look me in the eye
Did you know I am also made in His image
Just like you
I’m not asking for money
But just that you see me as human
So be brave
Have courage
And really take a good look at me
Who knows you might even shake my hand
Or better still
Just give me a hug
Lord knows I really need a touch of His love
I don’t want to die here in your country
I’m so far away from my beloved homeland
So lost and so afraid
Especially when I look into your eyes



I wrote this poem as a reaction to the horrific xenophobic attacks in South Africa in May and June this year.

I dedicate it to Ernesto Alfabeto Nhamuave (35) who was burnt alive in a terrible act of mob violence. Referred to as the "burning man" in the media.I refuse to post a picture of his death but rather post a picture of him and then a picture of when he was finally laid to rest at Vuca village in Homoine, Mozambique. He leaves behind a wife and three children aged 12,7 and 4.

Here is a link to the article http://www.thetimes.co.za/SpecialReports/Xenophobia/Article.aspx?id=780770


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Aronne Adam Bell (fearfully and wonderfully made)

Our grandson Aronne was born on the 1 May 2008 at 5.26am. He weighed 3.365kg and was 50cm long(tall?). Yip those are the stone cold facts. But they really say so little about all that has been before and all that is to come. The creation and formation of a new life is just staggering to think about. This was a hugely anticipated event not only by all of us and of course especially mommy and daddy but also anticipated by God. He creates life, He ordains and controls everything but He wants us to work in partnership with Him. So it is when He gives us the incredible gift of a new born baby that we have this amazing opportunity to shape and mold a life. And now Lisa and Donovan have entered into this new partnership with Him for and on behalf of Aronne.

Do you know when something so incredible happens that you don’t really know how to react just in case you look like a fool. Kinda like walking around with your jaw on the floor in amazement and going around saying something intelligent like, “Huh, duh…” The psalmist says it so beautifully when he uses the phrase, “you knit me together in my mothers womb”. The whole incredible way, two cells join and form one new cell, the messages carried in the DNA coding, the formation and joining of a million nerves from the brain with a million optic nerves from the eye and man you could just go on and on. Just blows your mind. And then of course this tiny being has a soul. He has thoughts, feelings and emotions…..phew. And most amazing of all Aronne is totally unique. There has never been anyone like him, there is no one like him in existence now and there will never be anyone like him in the future (oh yes this applies to every human ever born, including YOU!) Truly, going back to David the writer of that Psalm, Aronne (and YOU!) is wonderfully and fearfully made.

When God wants to do something really big on this planet for His glory He often starts with something really small, like the creation of a baby from two tiny cells. Just like He did when Jesus was born to save all those who would accept His FREE GIFT of Salvation.

So where was I when Aronne was born. Sound asleep (typical male huh) until my cell phone went off and Allie told me of the momentous arrival. However I had been blessed by being with friends who understood exactly what was happening. We had been covering Lisa and Aronne in prayer from the moment we arrived at our camp and first thing that Thursday morning we had an intimately awesome time of prayer thanking and praising God for His wonderful gift, given with his grace, mercy and love.


For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
(Psalm 139:13-16 by David)



LoCTY!!!!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Father and Son

Hi Everyone,

So about a week and a half ago Matthew and I went on a Father and Son camp which was organized by Grant Hopkins from the Durbanville Methodist church.

The only reason we got to go is because God really wanted us to. We went with three very good friends of mine, Peter, Clint and Grant W and their sons. If it wasn’t for God’s love working in my friends hearts we would never have been able to get there.

You see one of my friends told us about the camp, another paid for us and then another one drove us there. So all I had to do was get my pride sorted out to accept God’s blessings that He was holding out to me, waiting for me to accept His love. Of course I have this pride thing so wrapped and sorted by now that it really ain’t any problem I’m so goooooood at dying to self I just do it and feel no pain what so ever. Yeah right, who am I trying to convince here, me or you! Of course you know the first person we deceive is always ourselves. So I wrestled and grappled with my pride even after I’d said yes to all the graceful and loving offers of my friends and finally came to a place of peace and acceptance as Jesus and the Holy Spirit just prepared my heart and spirit to enjoy this day and a half camp.

Aren’t we all so like that. God is constantly holding out His hand through the death of His son, Jesus Christ offering us untold blessings, salvation, adoption, fellowship, glorification, never to cry again, to live in heaven in perfection without sin for eternity, peace, mercy, hope, love, grace……..I could go on but I hope you get the picture. And then what gets in the way, yup you guessed it our pride. I mean we can sort out our own lives and we know exactly what is going on and we have everything planned and every contingency covered. We know exactly what is going to happen during the course of any day, we know what is going to happen to us in the future……..yeah right…. how foolish we are.

So Clint came to pick us up with his boys Luke and Cane on Wednesday at about 3.30pm and we headed off to Rocklands just outside of Simonstown. For an action packed time of fellowship and for us dads to enjoy our sons and for our sons to enjoy their fathers. It was such a blessed time. We played indoor soccer (till 10pm at night, until the dads legs almost dropped off), indoor cricket, swimming (brrrrrrr!!), climbed on the climbing wall, went for a hike, a treasure hunt, saw penguins and baboons, worshipped, braaied, super tubed, visited the Navy Museum.

The most amazing thing was just the time we spent with each other. Matthew only really asked me one thing, to play indoor soccer with him. As tired and aching as my body was I always tried my best to say yes. Although sometimes I initially said no, then there were always a few ‘good’ friends around to convince me to play.

The other awesome thing is that while we were on the camp my step-daughter gave birth to her son Aronne Adam Bell. So I got a call just after 6am from Allie on Thursday morning telling me that I’m a grandpa. Needless to say the guys really pulled my (sore) leg on that fact. Didn’t get me out of playing any indoor soccer though.

I realized God so much wants to just spend time with us. If we accept Christ as our saviour we are adopted as sons and daughters and God is our Father. Right now God just wants to spend time with you. We most of the time don’t really see all the opportunities He gives us.

If you want a quick look into God the Father’s heart go read Luke chapter 14 verses 11 to 31, where Jesus tells the parable of the prodigal son. Charles Dickens refers to it as the greatest short story ever told.

Here is a version of that story done in song by John Waller.

Still Calls Me Son

I drug his name through godless places
And I've known shame that no child of his should know
I've seen pain on broken faces
Beyond all thought of hope
I was just too far from home
Still I always wondered when I closed my eyes


After all I've done
Could he run to me?
Would he kiss my face?
Could he even look at me?
After where I've been should he take me back?
I would understand I've disgraced him
But it would be amazing
If he still calls me son


With nothing left for me to bring him
I left my pride and turned my heart toward home
I saw my home on the horizon
And from a distance I saw my Father
Watching for his own with forgiving eyes


After all I'd done
He just ran to me
Then he kissed my face
He would not let go of me
After where I'd been
He just welcomed me
I didn't understand
But he put his robe on me
It was so amazing
That he still called me son


One day as I breathe my last
And I know my days on earth have ended
When every hour is spent
I will close my eyes in amazement
And I'll hear angels
They'll be singing Amazing Grace

Cause he will run to me
And he will kiss my face
He will not let go of me
After where I've been
He will welcome me
I won't understand
How he'll put his robe on me
It will be amazing
That he'll still call me son
Amazing grace how sweet the sound
When he calls me son
I once was lost but now I'm found
Cause he calls me Son

Go listen to the song at www.myspace.com/johnwaller

Trying music video of a song for the first time.Probably work a lot better for users with really faster/broader connections. Might not work too well for South African users. Also might link to other so called related videos which might not be so good. Checked this once or twice but don't know to tweak the html code 100% yet. Just don't play the other "related" videos if they come up. Just please give me feedback.

Still calls me Son - John Waller

LoCTY!!!

PS. A huge thank you to Grant H for organizing this camp and for the fellowship of all the other dads and their sons.



 

blogger templates | Make Money Online