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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Undignified

This week I was confronted with a situation that brought home to me how totally undignified poverty really is yet millions of people the world over are stuck in its grip while politicians are corrupt, governments wage war and the greedy steal because simply because they can.

Why is it that the moment we start to earn more money the first thing we do is find more creative ways to spend it, all the while justifying them as needs? It has been said that if the worlds wealth was evenly spread there would be no poverty yet the rich grow richer and the poor struggle to break the stranglehold that poverty has on them.

That does make me wonder if the socialist agenda doesn't hold some merit but in honesty I think the problem is that we throw out the baby with the bath water all too quickly. As Christians, what is God's desire for us when it comes to finances? He blesses to be a blessing. What is the true definition of prosperity? To be able to meet any given need at any given time!

God wants us to be financially strong so that we can meet our own needs and feel fulfilled with our lives but then to help others do the same by sharing not only our money but our knowledge and wisdom.

Ask God today to show you where the balances need to be found in your financial life and then honour Him by obeying His direction.


Monday, August 25, 2014

Fish and chips

The one thing you just don't get if you are living inland is the freshest, yummiest fish and chips. I have very fond memories of great fish and chips from two amazing places; Hout Bay and Margate. You just can't beat the fresh taste and it is finger licking good. Meals like that smack of family, friendship and light hearted fun!

I bet that is what Jesus was thinking about when He met His disciples at the beach after He had risen from the dead [John 21]. He knew the events that had unfolded had wrecked them to a point of hopelessness and He wanted to restore to them the joy of life. Once they had eaten Jesus took that restoration one step further and restored His relationship with Peter by asking him to confess his love three times, breaking Peter's denial of Christ and setting Him free to fulfill his calling and ministry.

Are you perhaps hurting from a broken relationship with Christ? Have you forgotten what it is like to walk with Jesus everyday in friendship? If so, take heart from this story. Jesus is calling you to return to your friendship and love for Him. It is time for you to pick up your basket of fish and join Jesus on the beach once more.

Time to enjoy some good fish and chips!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Bed wars

Sleeping on the sleeper couch has been a bit of a challenge. With not having enough floor space to put the cat baskets down I decided to convert the couch to a kitty sleeper. Despite all my efforts to keep the little guys on their couch they occasionally climb onto my bed and refuse to move and fight for space ensues.

Last night it dawned on my though that what Honey wants is something woolly to kneed before he nods off. After much frustration, giving him what he wanted solved the problem and he was back to his kitty couch without further argument.

As comfort is to cats, The Holy Spirit comes to us to comfort us when we need His warmth and presence. At times of distress we can come to Him and ask Him to wrap His arms around us with His love and peace and He truly does.

If you are needing comfort and peace at this time, call on the Holy Spirit and ask Him to make Himself manifest to you. I am sure that you will be surprised at His response.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Fix one thing, break another

Well it was back to work for me and getting going again can be a bit slow. One thing that has been dominating my thoughts over the last few days has been around some of the challenges I've been facing with the renovations.

On the night the accident happened, I was so exhausted that in my haste to make up the sleeper couch I damaged something else. As the backrest fell down it hit the wall mounted battery for my alarm system. Luckily the battery itself is okay but the wall mounting fell apart breaking off small chunks of concrete. Frustration, frustration!

I had become angry with myself about it but the truth is it was as much an accident as the geyser valve blowing so although I caused the problem it was really just par for the course, one of those things that happen. That has been very hard for me to accept but I suppose God is working on an issue of my character that is rather thorny and that is that I have unrealistic expectations of perfection and life just isn't that neat and tidy.

God desires that we have a balanced view of life and that we not only forgive ourselves when things go wrong unintentionally but that we also show ourselves grace. If we are unable to show grace to ourselves we will not be able to give it to another person and this causes our demeanor to appear harsh and abrasive.

Join me in learning about God's grace, kindness and forgiveness and in so doing, showing it to others.


Monday, August 18, 2014

First in 20 years

This has been the first time in 20 years that I have actually spent a whole holiday at home and what a wonderful time! After the stress of the ceiling work my goal was to do as little as possible! I can proudly say that I got that right! :-) It has been a wonderful time of rest, reading and just minor pottering around in the garden. I have truly loved every minute of it!

As the holiday winds down and I wind up to going back to work I have to try and reset my body clock which has gone completely out of whack with all the late mornings....but I won't complain. I have been so grateful for the time to just take it slow. Thank God for His goodness that He allows us time to just recharge the batteries and refresh our soul.

God desires that in our spiritual walk that we can experience the joy of being restored. Psalm 1 tells us that when we delight in the law of God that we will be like a tree planted by rivers of water.

Psa 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
Psa 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
Psa 1:3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Thank God for His good counsel and refreshing waters!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Bobble off



For years I’ve had woolen items that have just gone shabby because of those little bobbles of wool that form on the garment/object.  I’ve tried the fluff removing gloves and the sticky tape but they just did not render the desired result.  After much irritation I decided to try one of those little bobble off machines.  

The results were amazing!  With all those little tufts gone the items look brand new!  I’ve been so impressed with this little gadget that I’ve even been using it on my socks…..Lol! I know I know, overkill!  But you really should see this little thing go.  It does require the odd break to empty the holder or to remove a piece of wool that might have gotten stuck in a blade but once that’s gone its back to work.  The big secret is not too apply too much pressure but to let it glide gently across the garment. 

The Holy Spirit is our bobble off!  He gently cuts away those little aspects of our lives that become ugly and worn to reveal a precious and loved character.  When we open our hearts to Him and allow Him to work within us, He will truly transform us and then we can declare:

Behold old things have passed away and have become new!
I’m a new creation; I’m a brand new man!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Home Reno phase 1

Home renovation phase 1 got under way and was successfully completed on Monday. The ceilings are in and appear to be sorted. I won't lie, I did find it stressful. There was definitely a language barrier but their supervisor who appeared to be an old hand at the game managed to calm me down and deliver the necessary instructions with accuracy.

With all the banging and noise I retreated to a corner in the garden and tucked into a book. I must say in retrospect they were actually very respectful of my space. They closed the door behind them and just got stuck into the job and when they were done they moved out to the car park without bothering me, enough so to say that I will probably feel comfortable with them continuing the project at a later date.

It was all tiring though and I slept in this morning. Sadly upon getting going today I heard the news that Robin Williams had passed away from what appears to be a suicide. That really saddened me and I wondered how someone with so much success in their past could end up another celebrity suicide statistic? It is particularly sad because with so much wealth obtaining professional help would not have been a problem.

That being said though it doesn't take money to get the kind of support we need in life. We are fortunate that as Christians there are many wonderful Christian counsellors who are there to help us in times of need. They may be your pastor, a counsellor, or even a trusted friend. Most of all we have the Holy Spirit who is our ever present counsellor and help in times of need. So if you are struggling through life’s difficult times, turn to God and turn to the people out there who are able to help you through, you are definitely not alone.