Thursday, 27 December 2007

May I never forget…

It’s that time of year again. Time for New Year’s resolutions.
Personally, I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions. They are generally just wishes and usually come to nothing.

I’m setting goals (visions) of how I would like my life to look like in the year (and years) to come. I’ve found that to be much more motivating.

Anyway, I was thinking about what my financial dreams are. Look, we all want to never worry about money again, right? And I thought about how we seem to forget about the Lord a little when things are going well.

Let’s be honest, we certainly don’t seek Him with as much fervour as when we really, really, really need His help. And I was wondering to myself, if I became financially prosperous, would I stay grateful to God?

What I mean is, would I remember to count my blessings and really feel grateful for them? That’s food for thought! Well, for my mind anyway. ;-)

Am I really feeling gratitude and expressing it to God right now, in the circumstances I currently find myself? It’s a good place to start practising!

Let all that I am praise the Lord;
with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
Let all that I am praise the Lord;
may I never forget the good things he does for me.
Psalm 103: 1-2 -(New Living Translation)

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Would we?

Sometimes I can feel you
Sometimes I feel nothing at all
Sometimes I just plain forget about you
For a little while…
Until life starts to press & squeeze
And I seek to find some inner peace
Boy! It would be just so much easier
if we could see you!
But would we really want to?
Would we want to be confronted by
the reality of God?
Would we then choose
to be in relationship,
or not?
I wonder…
Mostly I just love

(written by: Karin)

Tuesday, 18 December 2007


Love is..
well, not perfect
Even if we act as if it should be
How about real?
Real works for me
And beautiful
in the pleasure and the pain of it all
Who wants fairy tales anyway?
Give me reality
Something you can see, taste, touch
Yeah, rather give me something that lasts!

(written by: Karin)

Monday, 17 December 2007

Christ vs Santa

Christmas has lost a little of it's sparkle for me as I've grown older.

It used to be such a sacred holiday to me...the songs about Christ, the family time. It really is about celebrating Christ's birth for me. And yes, I also grew up with Santa and no, it didn't influence my Christian beliefs.

I'm not saying Santa is the anti-Christ, but as a Christian, what the heck does a fat old man, elves and reindeer have to do with celebrating the birth of Christ?

I know it's just my growing awareness about how the world celebrates Santa more than Christ (the world does not exist of all Chistians after all, and I respect that) that has made me a little disillussioned with Christmas. I thank my parents for the way they made Christmas such a special holiday for me, and I thank God for making me realise that Christmas isn't a biblical holiday. It's a very nice idea, but not something God instituted. He is honoured more by living a life of love and service, than by divisions about what Christmas means.

Reading about how Christmas was a pagan holiday that the Catholic church gave a Christian flavour, explains why Christ and Santa just don't want to mix for me. Two totally different celebrations got melded into an uneasy partnership.

Right now I don't know how I really feel about Christmas, except that I still love the songs that honour Christ in such a joyful way, I still love the family togetherness, giving gifts and that I would love to honour Christ by the way I live.

Friday, 14 December 2007

The Rebel Jesus

I heard a Christmas song on radio this morning that was more honest than anything I've heard in a while.

God is taking me on a journey lately where He is showing me how non-Christians view us and the Christian faith. I don't know why, but I'm along for the ride.

This song seems to speak as an outsider looking in on how the Christians are not really living the Christian life of giving to the poor all year round, but only at Christmas, when the mood fits.

The Rebel Jesus as sung by Bebo Norman
(written by Jackson Browne)

All the streets are filled with laughter and light
and the music of the season
and the merchant's windows are all bright
with the faces of the children
and the families hurry into their homes
as the sky darkens and freezes
We'll be gathering around our hearths and tables
Giving thanks for God's graces
and the birth of the rebel Jesus

Well they call him by the Prince of Peace
and they call him by the Savior
and they pray to Him upon the seats
and in every bold endeavor
and they fill His chuches with their pride and gold
as their faith in Him increases
but they've turned the nature that I worship in
from a temple to a robber's den
in the words of the rebel Jesus

We guard our world with locks and guns
and we guard our fine posessions
and once a year when christmas comes
we give to our relations
and perhaps we give a little to the poor
if the generosity should seize us
but if anyone of us should interfere
in the business of why there are poor
we'll get the same as the rebel Jesus

But pardon me if I have seemed
to take the tone of judgment
for I've no wish to come between
this day and your enjoyment
in a life of hardship
and of earthly toil
there's a need for anything that frees us
So I bid you pleasure and I bid you cheer
from a heathen and a pagan
on the side of the rebel Jesus

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Only we Christians have the true religion

That's what we believe, isn't it? But boy, how that must sound to an unbeliever.

Talk about arrogant!

So what's got me on this topic? A book by John Shore: I'm OK, You're not. The Message we're sending unbelievers and why we should stop.

With chapter titles like How dare they leave when we're offending them, it explains why evangelism in the modern world doesn't seem to be working really.

We're so into the Great Commission, that we've forgotten about the Great COMMANDMENT:

Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’No other commandment is greater than these.” -Mark 12:29-31

Mr Shore doesn't say evangelisation is wrong or that it never works, but that in a world that already has heard about Jesus and chosen not to serve Him, it is futile to tell them to repent. They believe just as strongly in whatever it is they've chosen to believe in, and with our attitude of "you're wrong, I'm right" we're just pushing them further away and damaging the reputation of the Christian faith.

Rather, we can be like Jesus and just love people. What about becoming friends with an unbeliever (*shock, horror, gasp*), live an example of Christ's love and then if they have questions about our faith, we can answer in love.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

So we think we are disciples?

I watched a sermon by Pastor Bert Pretorius on TBN last night and he read from Luke 14:25-35. I've read it before but it never really made an impact on me. I think most of us just gloss over it because we don't want to face the cost of being a disciple of Christ.

Jesus was becoming popular and large crowds followed Him. So He spoke to them about what it really means to be His disciple.

Verse 33 of Luke 14 says:
So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own.

Read that again.

What a powerful statement! Jesus definately did not try to win popularity contests!

Most of us know we are not ready to give up everything we own..
Aren't most of our prayers cries for help with our finances?
"Lord, help me pay the rent so I don't lose my house"
"Lord, help me pay the water & electricity bill so they don't cut us off."
"Lord, help me pay my car payment, so I don't lose my car."

But remember the other promise Jesus made:

Matthew 6:33 (New Living Translation)
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

To read about the cost of being a disciple, see the scripture quoted below:

Luke 14:25-33 (New Living Translation)
The Cost of Being a Disciple

25 A large crowd was following Jesus. He turned around and said to them, 26 “If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. 27 And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.

28 “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? 29 Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. 30 They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’

31 “Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him? 32 And if he can’t, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away. 33 So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

The silver lining

Just went through a tough time?

Well, this is the silver lining:

"Conquering any difficulty always gives one a secret joy, for it means pushing back a boundary-line and adding to one's liberty."--Henri Fraderic Amiel

Friday, 02 November 2007

"The Work"-aholic

I've been overdosing on videos of The Work Process by Byron Katie where she facilitates with the participants on all different issues.

If you want to see the process live, here's one of the video clips on You Tube:
The Work

It makes you see things from different angles which I like!

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Is that true?

I just finished reading, I need your love - is that true? by Byron Katie.

Really got me thinking, which is just what this book is all about: Questioning the thoughts that cause you pain so they can lose their grip on you.

The basic system is 4 questions and a turnaround.

1. Is it true?

2. Can you absolutely know that it's true?

3. How do you react when you think that thought?

4. Who would you be without the thought?

Then turn it around,
and don't forget to find three genuine examples of each turnaround.

If you're interested, go take a peek at

Friday, 26 October 2007

You keep on loving me

Anyone of us in any kind of relationship experience so called "little" things that hurt us, irritate us, anger us or offend us in the other person. Sometimes those little things snowball into "big" things if we never learn to let the little things slide. In other words, we must learn to forgive and let go.

If you're going to focus on the negative qualities in the other person, that is what you are going to notice more and more, I guarantee it. And soon you've made a mountain out of a molehill.

So how do we keep a loving perspective when those little annoying character traits are all too real? When Sally always bites your head off when she's having a stressful day. When Billy always makes you do the chores while he lazes in front of the tv?

An obscure little text in Philippians gave me a clue.

The trick is to focus on the good qualities, the excellent things in the other person.

Granted, it's not easy, but the promise in the bible is that if we do that, our love for the other person will increase and we will be pleasing to God.

I've given three different bible translations below of Philippians 1:9-10 because each says it a little differently, but drives home the same point:

Focus on the good stuff, the excellent qualities, of the person that you love, so that your love for that person can increase!

New American Standard Bible (NASB)
And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ;
New Living Translation (NLT)
I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return.
New International Version (NIV)
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ,

Finally I'd like to end with Philippians 4:8 (New Living Translation:
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

Monday, 22 October 2007

All the colours of the rainbow

The pages in my latest bible are starting to look like a neon rainbow again as I read through the new testament with highligthers in hand! It's great for finding that important or interesting verse!

Some people would say that the Bible is a sacred book and they would never dream of using highlighters or pens in their Bible. While I agree that the Bible is a sacred book, I believe the content is more important than the paper it's written on!

The She Loves God Conference this year had Joshua 1:8 as its theme:
Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.

Highlighters are my helpers with studying and meditating on God's Word. What's yours?

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Trust God?

It's crunch time and you don't know where your help is going to come from.

In those panicky moments, do you trust God?

Oh, I know we all say we do, but if you're like me, you wonder exactly WHEN God is going to jump into the situation and straighten it out.

But I love these verses that encourage trust in God...

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13 (NLT)

Jesus: “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in Me."
John 14:1

Be still in the presence of the Lord,
and wait patiently for him to act.
Don’t worry about evil people who prosper
or fret about their wicked schemes.
Psalm 37:7

Let's read these verses carefully, and savour what they say. It builds trust in God!

The law of the garbage truck

One of my pet peeves is rudeness - it offends me. Here are three takes on the subject.

* * * * * * * * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Treat everyone politely,
Even those who are rude to you,
Not because they are not nice,
But because YOU are nice...

* * * * * * * * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
If you are quick to take offence, then you'll be under the control of those who you find offensive.
If you are easily angered, then your actions will be dictated by those who anger you.
If you are obsessed by what other people think, then you will be imprisoned by their thoughts .
If you yearn for easy answers and quick solutions, you'll fall prey to people who offer you nothing but promises .
If you find the truth too difficult to bear, you'll be enslaved to those who tell you what you want to hear .
When you have the courage to think for yourself, the strength to accept what is,
The commitment and discipline to make a difference, then you are free.
You are truly free to live with purpose, joy and fulfilment.
Let your life be defined, not by reactions to what others do, say, or think but rather your own unique vision.
Raise your eyes above the pettiness and follow the path of the greatness that is within you.

* * * * * * * * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
"The Law of the Garbage Truck"
David J. Pollay
Updated: 4/14/2007

How often do you let other people's nonsense change your mood? Do you let a bad driver, rude waiter, curt boss, or an insensitive employee ruin your day? Unless you're the Terminator, for an instant you're probably set back on your heels. However, the mark of a successful person is how quickly she can get back her focus on what's important.

Sixteen years ago I learned this lesson. I learned it in the back of a New York City taxi cab. Here's what happened. I hopped in a taxi, and we took off for Grand Central Station. We were driving in the right lane when all of a sudden a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his breaks, skidded, and missed the other car's back end by just inches!

Here's what happened next. The driver of the other car, the guy who almost caused a big accident, whipped his head around and he started yelling bad words at us. How do I know? Ask any New Yorker, some words in New York come with a special face.

Now, here's what blew me away. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was friendly. So, I said, "Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!" And this is when my taxi driver told me what I now call, "The Law of the Garbage Truck."

Many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it. And if you let them, they'll dump it on you.

When someone wants to dump on you, don't take it personally. You just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. You'll be happy you did. I guarantee it.

So this was it: The "Law of the Garbage Truck." I started thinking, how often do I let Garbage Trucks run right over me? And how often do I take their garbage and spread it to other people: at work, at home, on the streets? It was that day I said, "I'm not going to do it anymore."

I began to see garbage trucks. Like in the movie "The Sixth Sense," the little boy said, "I see Dead People." Well now "I see Garbage Trucks." I see the load they're carrying. I see them coming to drop it off. And like my Taxi Driver, I don't make it a personal thing; I just smile, wave, wish them well, and I move on.

One of my favorite Football players of all time, Walter Payton, did this every day on the football field. He would jump up as quickly as he hit the ground after being tackled. He never dwelled on a hit. Payton was ready to make the next play his best. Good leaders know they have to be ready for their next meeting. Good parents know that they have to welcome their children home from school with hugs and kisses. Leaders and parents know that they have to be fully present, and at their best for the people they care about.

The bottom line is that successful people do not let Garbage Trucks take over their day. What about you? What would happen in your life, starting today, if you let more garbage trucks pass you by?

Here's my bet. You'll be happier. I guarantee it.

Friday, 17 August 2007

You gotta love one another

It's one of the commandments in the Bible: love one another.

Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.
1 John 4:11

...And everyone who loves the Father loves his children, too.
1 John 5:1b

We need God's help to love each other as He expects of us, but it helps to remember that God loves ALL of us and thought we were worth dying for.

Don't think God care for us all? Then see what the Bible says...
Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?
Romans 2:4

The Lord is good to everyone.
He showers compassion on all his creation.
Psalm 145:9

...For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much.
Matthew 5:45-46

I'd like to to put a twist to Matthew 5:46 (listed above): If God loved only those who loved Him, what kind of a God would He have been?

I think we owe it to Him to try and love each other. EVERY each other, not just the ones we like.

Saturday, 11 August 2007

He bends down to listen

Because He bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!
Psalm 116:2 *New Living Translation

Kind of seems like a rash promise doesn't it...I will pray as long as I have breath? I mean, the Psalmist sounds so excited about praying, and many times we are not too excited about praying or too regular about it either. Many times it also doesn't even feel like God is listening.

That's where the lyrics to the song, Never Alone, by Barlow Girl seems to reflect our feelings:

I waited for you today
But you didn't show
No no no
I needed You today
So where did You go?
You told me to call
Said You'd be there
And though I haven't seen You
Are You still there?

I cried out with no reply
And I can't feel You by my side
So I'll hold tight to what I know
You're here and I"m never alone

And though I cannot see You
And I can't explain why
Such a deep, deep reassurance
You've placed in my life

We cannot separate
'Cause You're part of me
And though You're invisible
I'll trust the unseen


We cannot separate
You're part of me
And though You're invisible
I'll trust the unseen

Seems to me God could ask any one of us "Where were you when I needed you" but when life gets tough, the first thing we seem to do is blame God.

What a reassurance then, that no matter what we feel, we're never alone.

And He's bending down to listen.

Thursday, 26 July 2007

May I take your order?

JESUS will serve ME as I eat? Ha! Where in the Bible did you find THAT, Karin?
The servants who are ready and waiting for his return will be rewarded. I tell you the truth, He himself will seat them, put on an apron, and serve them as they sit and eat! He may come in the middle of the night or just before dawn.But whenever he comes, he will reward the servants who are ready.
Luke 12:37-38 (NLT)

Or for you purists,the King James version states it like this:
Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.

Can you imagine the wedding feast of the Lamb when we, His bride, sit down at the table with Him? What a day!! ...but there is a condition. Be Ready! Be prepared!

Don't forget about the Lord or that He could be coming back for us at any time.

Friday, 20 July 2007

Not Good enough for God?

We're human. We sin, we hurt each other, we disappoint ourselves. And we end up feeling not "good enough" for God.

But since when has that ever mattered to God?

Don't get me wrong. God hates sin and God is holy, but He never expects us to be "good enough" in order for Him to love us or accept us.

Jesus didn't expect us to first clean up our act before He would die for us.
"Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners."
Romans 5:7-8

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him."
John 3:16-17

The only thing we need to do to be accepted by God is to BELIEVE in Him through Jesus Christ. To make Him our Lord and serve Him only.
“There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son".
John 3:18

No, we're not good enough. That's why Jesus died for that it wouldn't matter.

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Money money money

Money, money, money.

We all have a love/hate relationship with it. We need it, but we feel we don't have enough of it. We want it, but we feel being rich is wrong or that rich people are snobs or that we don't deserve to be rich.

Money is money. Neither good nor bad. But the love of money... now that leads to all kinds of sin.

For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.
1 Timothy 6:10

No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
Matthew 6:24

Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness!
Ecclesiastes 5:10

This morning, I was praising God for all the needs I have for this month and asking Him to provide, but I was not bargaining my praise for His provision.

Great was my surprise when I got to work and received some back pay today that I was only expecting to receive at the end of the month. It's not a huge amount, but it sure helps!!

Praising God for bad situations doesn't work? I say it does. What about you?

What happens when life squeezes?

When humans are squeezed, what comes out of them is what they harbour inside of themselves.

The above is an interesting quote I came across a while back, but also one that makes me go "ouch!".

I have always admired people who stay cool, calm and graceful under pressure. And yes, when I'm around other people I can many times keep my cool when something irritating or painful or stressful happens. For example, when I stub my toe, or I have to answer the 5th call in a row at work. But what happens when no-one else is around? We then tend to think it's safe to let off a little steam. Who's gonna see/hear/notice?

But I don't want to just be calm and graceful on the outside. I want to be that on the inside too!

This new teaching I'm going on and on about, the one about praising God for EVERYTHING, helps. I don't always remember to do it and it's not always my first instinct, but I am becoming more aware of how woefully short I fall of the standard I want to achieve and I'm trusting God to help me change.

And it's amazing how quickly I can snap myself out of an irritated mood by focusing on praising God for the cause of the irritated mood and for the mood itself. It's not long after starting to praise that I realise I can ask forgiveness, and just let it go. Or otherwise get to the real reason for why I'm upset and then deal with that.

Praise God for stubbing my toe? I have to, so that God can add some sugar to the bitter juice and make some lemonade when life starts squeezing me.

Thursday, 05 July 2007

Serving with joy!

A while back I posted on serving and how riled up I get when someone sits there and expects me to do everything.

Excerpt from my post in June:
But don't tell me it's easy to serve when you feel like you are doing everything while your spouse, kids or co-workers don't lend a helping hand. When it feels like you are running around 24/7 while they sit around and wait for you to do everything for them.

Me? Well, I rebel in a situation like the above. If you can do it yourself, and you are just too lazy to do it, don't expect ME to do it. Okay?!

I wanted to know what God expected of me in a situation like that and while reading about praising God for everything, I got my answer!

You see, I have an issue with "fairness". If I have to do all the household chores, that doesn't seem "fair" to me.

But the new perspective I have on praising God for everything, from reading Praise books by Merlin Carothers, has helped me with this issue.

He writes
If life is a series of ups and downs for you, you cannot say to others "Christ gives me the complete victory He promised." ... People do not listen very much to what any of us say ... They will want to observe His being the answer to all of your problems ... When people see your victory, they will want Jesus."

Victory here means being joyful in all circumstances while people without Jesus feel happy when things are going their way, but as soon as they don't, they feel angry or sad.

So how do we live a life of victory (joy) and set the example? By praising God even when we have to go wash the dishes, or pick up the towels. Really praising Him in ALL circumstances.

You may not right away feel very joyful or victorious when you start praising God for the things you dislike, but it will happen if you stick with it.

I am learning patience, joy, and to serve without grumbling about it. And I believe it will make a difference in my relationships. In fact, I feel it already has.

Tuesday, 03 July 2007

Merlin Carothers

I've been rereading some books I have by Merlin Carothers (Praise Works, Power in Praise, From Prison to Praise)and the lesson I'm learning from these books have been reinforced in the most marvelous way.

Basically, Merlin Carothers teaches us to praise God in every circumstance (as commanded in 1 Thes 5:16-18, Eph 5:20, etc). To even praise God FOR the tragedies, the bad, the negative things in our lives.

Most of us balk at that idea. We know God is love, and God is good. So why praise God for the bad stuff. It seems...wrong.

And yet the Bible says, Be thankful always, in ALL circumstances.

Merlin says that we can only praise God for the bad things too if we believe in an omnipotent, loving Father who is working out our situation for our good (Romans 8:28)

We accept the things God is permitting to happen in our lives as part of God's plan to reveal His perfect love to us.

Maybe He is going to do an astounding miracle that you can't see yet. Maybe He is letting you see where your faith is weak, or where you still need some growth. Maybe He is showing you where you are not depending on Him. Remember, Job couldn't see how his situation was ever going to get any better, but in the end God blessed Him twice as much as before tragedy struck.

The point is, we don't know WHY God permits certain things to happen but He DOES permit it. So He has to have a good reason.

Many many people have written to Merlin Carothers to attest to the power of praising God in bad situations. Either they changed on the inside and had some peace and joy, or the situation changed on the outside.

It's a hard thing to do - always praising God no matter what. It doesn't mean we don't share our honest feelings about the situation with Him, but we express our pain and our praise.

So now I'm reading about all of this and feeling there's some big truth being revealed when I suddenly receive an email that informs me about a prayer request sent to our church and how the situation drastically improved when the person stopped grumbling and complaining and just praised God every day. I mean, I looked up from my book and there was the email. Coincidence? I think not!

Seems like confirmation to me that this is the way to pray in power - the prayer of praise!

Friday, 29 June 2007

The question IS the answer

Most of us have heard about affirmations. You say something positive that you would like to be true over and over to train your mind to accept the new belief.

I am healthy

But all of us know that there's that other little voice inside our heads that says "that's not true, I still have the flu" every time we say the affirmation. Mixing a positive thought with a negative one pretty much cancels the postive thought.

But what if you said:

Why am I so healthy? What do I do to be so healthy?

Well, first of all, your mind assumes you are healthy. Secondly, it starts looking for the answer to your question. And you start finding solutions.

Next time, instead of beating yourself up because of negative things you believe about yourself like Why am I so disorganised ... why not ask yourself Why am I so organised? And see if your mind doesn't start coming up with ways for you to be organised!

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Forgive Yourself!

God commands and expects us to forgive (see Matthew 18 amongst many other scriptures).

While most of us struggle to forgive someone at some stage in our lives, we struggle to forgive ourselves even more!

Love should not just be reserved for God and our fellow man. We should love ourselves too..

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.
A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’*
Matthew 22:37-39

I think we struggle with forgiving ourselves because it feels like we take ourselves off the hook and we're scared that we will allow ourselves to "get away" with what we did. Or, it is easier to blame ourselves than the other person because of self-image issues.

Well, I have a tendency to beat myself up if I had a difference of opinion with someone or if someone criticises me.

Recently I had a disagreement with my girlfriend. We didn't have much time together and then she had to go to a business meeting and I wanted to honour our commitment to visit my folks. So we went our separate ways for the morning which was not what we had planned to do. I decided to ask God forgiveness and then just forgive myself, forgive her and express what I really wanted. I was then able to say how I value her and that I don't like having to spend most of the day apart either, but that I would like her to join me at church that evening so we could at least spend that time together. And boy did I feel good!! Free! And my girlfriend got over our disagreement much quicker than usual and was able to be loving towards me again. And she joined me at church in a good mood and not the surliness that usually followed one of our disagreements.

So give it a try. And feel the joyous freedom that follows.

Friday, 01 June 2007


Serving. It's hard. It's uncomfortable. It's not natural.

Okay, so maybe as women we are more natural at serving in our roles of wife or mother. But don't tell me it's easy to serve when you feel like you are doing everything while your spouse, kids or co-workers don't lend a helping hand. When it feels like you are running around 24/7 while they sit around and wait for you to do everything for them.

Me? Well, I rebel in a situation like the above. If you can do it yourself, and you are just too lazy to do it, don't expect ME to do it. Okay?!

But is that what Jesus would expect of me?

Here are a few passages that talk about serving, working.

John 13:13-17
You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.

Colossians 3:23-24
Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.

Colossians 3:17
And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.

Yes, God expects us to humble ourselves and serve others. To help others in need. I'm just not sure that includes waiting on someone like a slave.

I'm making this an issue of prayer. If you have any opinions, why not leave a comment or email me at

One thing I have realised by doing just a teensy bit of research, is that Jesus took on the role of a slave when he washed his disciples' feet. That was something the slave of the household usually did. Food for thought!

*Scripture references from the New Living Translation

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

A poem I wrote: Your Song

God, Let me love You

Love You while I’m here on earth

And Love You with the second birth

Lord, Let me gaze

Gaze upon Your face

Would You lead me

Lead me to Your secret place

There to lay me down

Lay me down on meadows green

And would You sing

Yes, would you sing

Your love songs, lullabies

Sing them just for me.

Thursday, 08 March 2007

God's plan vs our own plans


I read about the life of Samson a while ago and something stood out for me for the first time. I remember hearing/reading children’s bible stories about Samson as a child. We all know how strong Samson was and how Delilah tricked him so that he lost his strength, etc. But somehow I never noticed that Samson was born to “begin to rescue Israel from the Philistines”. God had a purpose for this life of Samson. He planned his birth and He had a plan with his life.

Judges 13:5
You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and his hair must never be cut. For he will be educated to God as a Nazirite from birth. He will begin to rescue Israel from the Philistines.”

Reading more about his life, what struck me about Samson’s character is how selfish he was! He did what he wanted when he wanted and that was that!

Example: Samson wanted to marry a Philistine (his first wife, before Delilah) even though he was an Israelite. This didn’t seem like God’s will, but it was! Through this marriage going sour, Samson did a lot of damage to the Philistines.

Judges 14:3-4
…But Samson told his father, “Get her for me! She looks good to me.” His father and mother didn’t realize the LORD was at work in this, creating an opportunity to work against the Philistines, who ruled over Israel at that time

Judges 15:1-5
Later on, during the wheat harvest, Samson took a young goat as a present to his wife. He said, “I’m going into my wife’s room to sleep with her,” but her father wouldn’t let him in.
“I truly thought you must hate her,” her father explained, “so I gave her in marriage to your best man. But look, her younger sister is even more beautiful than she is. Marry her instead.”
Samson said, “This time I cannot be blamed for everything I am going to do to you Philistines.” Then he went out and caught 300 foxes. He tied their tails together in pairs, and he fastened a torch to each pair of tails. Then he lit the torches and let the foxes run through the grain fields of the Philistines. He burned all their grain to the ground, including the sheaves and the uncut grain. He also destroyed their vineyards and olive groves.

In the end, the death of Samson fulfilled his life purpose. And even then he destroyed the pagan Philistine temple because of his own selfish purposes. He wanted to get back at the Philistines for taking out his eyes!

Judges 16:28-30
Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, remember me again. O God, please strengthen me just one more time. With one blow let me pay back the Philistines for the loss of my two eyes.” Then Samson put his hands on the two center pillars that held up the temple. Pushing against them with both hands, he prayed, “Let me die with the Philistines.” And the temple crashed down on the Philistine rulers and all the people. So he killed more people when he died than he had during his entire lifetime.

Isn’t it amazing how God can use even our own selfish wills to accomplish His will?

Thursday, 15 February 2007

Great Gratitude Ideas

"Gratitude is a lens for uncovering beauty"

"Practice gratitude where you least expect it to work"

(Both quotations by Steve Pavlina)

Friday, 09 February 2007

Kinder than necessary

I received this thought provoking quote from a friend recently:

"Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle".

Wednesday, 07 February 2007

Worry and Money

I started a chapter-a-day bible study method last year on the book of Matthew and never got further than Matthew 5.

This January I finally did my study on chapter 6. Once again I was surprised at how an organised study method brought new revelation of scripture.

All of us know the Bible passages that say:
1) You cannot serve both God and money
2) Seek first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you

(Both these passages come from Matthew 6.)

Well, after reading through chapter 6 and especially after having read the part about not being able to serve both God and money I had a few questions…

Like: How do we NOT serve money when we need so much of it just to survive every day?

It was only after having read through about 4-5 different translations that I was able to “make the connection”.

Money is also translated Mammon – an idol for money. So, when you “serve Money” you are serving the Idol, Mammon. But I made an interesting discovery in HOW we serve money….You see, we do it by WORRYING about money. Because if you worry about something, guess where your focus is?

So how did I make the connection between serving money and worrying? Right after we are told to choose to serve either God or money, the bible continues with verse 25: For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on.

So last night this became my prayer:

Dear God,

You have said in Your Word to not serve Mammon by worrying about the things that we need. You have told us to put Your kingdom first and live right before You. And then You will give us ALL these things that we need (and worry about), because You know that we need them.

Father, help us to trust you and to put Your kingdom first.

In Jesus’ Name,

Just Float

When drowning, it is recommended that we stop struggling to stay afloat and just, well, float… Does it work that way with faith?I am praying for something that I desperately need and can’t do by myself. And we all know what happens when we pray for something we have no control over: we plead, we try to build our faith, we fast, we quote scripture…but mostly, we plead! I’d say it’s like being thrown in the deep end of the ocean of life - we feel like we have to struggle to keep from drowning, when really, we know the only way to stay above water is just to float.

Luke 17:33 says “If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it.”

I am a position where only God can make the difference in a specific situation. It is exactly because I am “cornered” that I am finally grasping a lot more about faith than I ever did before. Head knowledge is all good and well, but when it’s crunch time, we need to know how to apply that knowledge. And only in applying it does it become “real”.While I’m praying and learning about faith for my situation, a few people have shared their testimonies on how God supplied the miracles they needed once they let go of the situation and handed it to God. They certainly didn’t know I needed to hear what they had to share!

In most cases, this “handing things over to God” wasn’t an automatic response for them either. They also went through the struggle and the pleading and only then did they surrender the situation to God. From that moment on it was His problem to sort out, not theirs. They did the best they could and left the rest for God. And then miracles happened.

Jesus said: “Humanly speaking, it (your situation) is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.”(Mark 10:27)

Can we trust Him when He says that?

For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding

(2 Corinthians 1:20)

* All Scripture references taken from The New Living Translation