Friday, December 7, 2007

HIGHWAY MINISTRY

Highway Ministry is a ministry directed at the trucking industry. It is a non-profit organization with its mission to proclaim and establish the Word and LOVE of Jesus Christ in the hearts of all people that are directly or indirectly involved in the trucking industry. We do not propagate any controversial doctrine. The Bible verse from Luke 14:23 "And the Lord said unto the servant, “GO OUT INTO THE HIGHWAYS AND LANES AND COMPEL THEM TO COME IN, THAT MY HOUSE MAY BE FILLED" was the absolute inspiration behind the Ministry.

Finding the solutions to problems rather than preaching without offering alternatives, is the objective of Highway Ministry. Since the transport industry is plagued by various social issues, the Ministry aims at providing a complete spectrum of support services dealing with problems such as alcohol and other drug related dependencies, AIDS/HIV, marital discord, prostitution as well as focusing on general skills for a healthy and integrated lifestyle. As part of these services, Highway Ministry provides the following:

Radio ministry and CD distribution
Radio programs, in conjunction with “Radio Pulpit” and other radio stations are presented countrywide. Currently special CD’s are being compiled and recorded by Radio Pulpit for countrywide distribution to Truck, Bus and Taxi drivers. Highway Ministry and Radio Pulpit are also working on some dynamic new radio programmes for road users. CD’s for Drivers are currently available in 6 (six) languages.

Depot ministry
The depot is the point of departure as well as the ultimate destination. Highway Ministry is doing all they can to make available all the relevant services to support the workers in every possible aspect. The main purpose of the depot ministry is to reach out to workers on a personal level, bringing the Gospel to the workplace. The workers are being trained on how to practice Christianity in the workplace. This approach implies Biblical work ethics forming the foundation of productivity, honesty, reliability, etc. Highway Ministry is already active in various companies.

Truck stops
Highway Ministry’s Mobile Support Unit has successfully offered support at various Truck Stops. The services at these Mobile Support Units are of multiple character. Drivers are not only offered spiritual training and assistance, but also training on HIV/AIDS and sound recreational activities – “A home away from home”. Services are rendered in the form of Bible study sessions, the distribution of tracts, Christian literature and audiocassettes, counselling and personal prayer when required. The first able-bodied service point at a Truck Stop was opened during October 2006 in Harrismith, South Africa.

Recreation facilities
Part of Highway Ministry's vision is to provide better facilities at Truck Stops for truck drivers.

Counselling and help lines
Although not part of Highway Ministry, Telefriend help line, AIDS Life line and Radio Pulpit form an integral part of our support service. These help lines have an extensive network of telephone counsellors available to counsel the drivers, while personal counselling is available at the main centres.

Trucking against AIDS project
Highway Ministry, in conjunction with the Department of Transport and the National Bargaining Council for the Road Freight Industry, wants to make every person in the transport industry aware of their responsibility preventing the spreading of this deadly disease. A National Project was launched with 16 Clinics countrywide.

Highway prayer patrol
This prayer initiative was launched during December 2006, at the beginning of the December Holidays and has as object to stop the death on our roads through prayer. During the past 10 months approximately 24 towns were mobilized to take part (pray together). On some of these routes, no road deaths or accidents were reported.

Good news taxi ministry
The Kombi taxis account for a large number of accidents due to speed, overtaking and large volume of passengers they transport. So, this part of the Ministry is extremely vital!

Easter weekend 2007, this exciting Ministry was launched, during which time 1,150 CD’s in six languages, 800 Cassettes, 37,600 “Every Home for Christ” tracts and 112,800 information brochures about road safety and HIV/AIDS were distributed. This project’s aim is to address all the issues and needs of our Taxi drivers on an ongoing basis.

WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO BECOME INVOLVED AND TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Highway Ministry is a project that I have known about for a few years, and the testimonies coming from towns adjacent to high accident areas on our National freeways in South Africa have been, to say the least, astounding and miraculous!

The decrease in fatalities have been noticeable since members of the community set up camps where they prayed for the road users as they went past their towns.

There are various ways in which you can become involved, and you can contact Rejéan Horn at:

Highwaymin at lantic dot net

E-mail address to be written as standard e-mail address and not as printed, to avoid unnecessary spam. Replace “at” with @ and “dot” as period (.)

For advice how this project can be implemented in your own areas, the contact address can also be used.

We are nearing the busiest periods on a lot of our roads worldwide. Let us join together in prayer for the safety of all the road users!!

Monday, December 3, 2007

FRIENDS

A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.

Walter Winchell

It would seem to me that the term friend has become diluted over the years, in meaning, like a lot of other things I suppose. The last couple of weeks I have been wrestling with the values of friendship. When I was growing up there was a time of my my life that I was placed under my Grandmothers care for a few years. One time in relating something that had happened, I had mentioned someone was my friend. My Grandmother started asking me questions, none of which I could really answer, she then informed me that friends knew friends very well, people who knew each other in passing were acquaintances. Friend was a term reserved for one who stood by you through thick and thin, who was prepared to tell you the truth, and who cared about you regardless of that truth, and if you were a real friend you applied the same principles in return.

A couple of weeks ago I heard that an old friend of mine had died, he wasn't old in age, he was old in the sense we had been friends for more than twenty years. Drifted out of contact five years ago. As a journalist first he often covered stories from hot spots, conflict areas he was more in hostile situations than out of it. He later went into conflict resolution, as a negotiator it wasn't unusual for him to be in a dangerous position, however when I had heard that he had died as a result of not having insulin with him as he was diabetic, I still don't know what shocked me more the news of his death, which was three years ago, or the fact that he was diabetic. The shock of his passing was overwhelming in that for several years I had been meaning to contact him. In thinking about him, I started thinking about other friends I have had over the years; my friends from schooldays, all of whom were killed in war situations, the guilt of why I was spared. I try to remember exactly what I knew about them, what was it that made us friends? Was that friendship ever put to the test.?

How often haven't I sung that hymn "What a friend we have in Jesus", sing the first three or four words, and it is enough to activate the memory of the words to the rest of the hymn, without thinking about it or even listening to myself. If I had to apply my Grandmothers litmus test for friendship I would fail it on all accounts. How well do I know Christ? Do I know Him well enough to call Him my friend? Often a good indication of how strong a friendship is; is how comfortable the silences are between friends. Can I really be comfortable in those periods, when I just want to sit quietly in His presence, and soak up His love? As the hymn says take it to the Lord in prayer. Everyday there are people all the world who are in danger of being killed or being condemned to death for following Christ; sitting comfortably in a country that allows me the freedom to follow religion of my choice, it is easy to be Christian; Christ died for me, would I be prepared to die for him, I can only pray that should that question ever need to be answered, I will not be found wanting, finding strength in Hebrews 13:5
"I will never leave you nor forsake you."

Friday, November 16, 2007

GRATITUDE

"At times our own light goes out, and is rekindled from a spark by another person.
Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame with in us."
Albert Schweitzer 1875-1965.

It is that time of the year again when there is a heap of articles and newsletters on Thanksgiving. I personally have never celebrated a thanksgiving day as such, not being an American, that is not unusual. However I can relate to the underlying theme of the articles and newsletters. I can relate to being grateful.
One time I was in dire straits, I had invested everything I had into making a large number of units, of a certain product confident I would secure a large order from a wholesaler. Needles to say the deal never got off the ground. The same day after returning from the meeting with the wholesaler, I sat and watched t.v. in a daze, I must admit I had offered a half hearted prayer for help after the meeting. There was a writer discussing writing and he spoke about setting up stall every day; he said that if he set up his stall every day, God would provide and at the end of the day x number of thousand words would be written.
The next morning I took some of my stock and went to the side of a busy road and set up stall. After the second sale I went to a nearby filling station with a convenience store, bought a half loaf of bread, tin of sardines, and a coke, returning to my stall I started to break the bread, not having any utensils with me. As I broke the bread I remembered verses from the Bible, namely from 1 Corinthians chapter 11 where Paul is teaching on the last supper.
1 Corinthians 11:24 And when He had given thanks, He brake it and said take eat this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
After the same manner also he took the cup, when He had supped, saying, this cup is the New Testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lords death till he come.
K.J.V
I realise this particular scripture refers to communion, is that reason why it should not be used to build me up personally. In breaking that bread and repeating these words with a depth of gratitude that left me humbled, and in wonder for Gods love. It brought home the purpose of saying Grace, and the importance of really meaning it, and not mumbling it as something to get out of the way as quickly as possible.
Majority of self improvement manuals and goal setting plans, talk about gratitude and the transformations that come from it. It has to be a sincere gratitude that comes from deep inside, that way every day is Thanksgiving Day.

Monday, November 12, 2007

ABOUT Q.T.

I received an e mail the other day; I actually received close on to a hundred and fifty, a few weeks ago I commented about how blessed I was that I didnt get that much spam; I think I must have unleashed a commentators mocker on myself, since then I have been deluged with spam. I know I can put a filter on to block it, but then the filter blocks out a lot of what I need to read as well, so I just delete as I go along without reading the obvious spam, sometimes they come disguised like that reads beautifull day and when it is opened with the attachment, a virus not only crashes but downloads e mails and passwords. I was sent a warning on it, I treat all warnings and chain emails with a certain amount skeptisim, unless I know the person who sent me the warning and wrote it themselves. I have digressed, ( As Forest Gump would say "Again"). As I was saying I received an email, which unfortunately I have deleted, however the gist of the message had to do with routines and writing routines in particular, the writer mentioned starting the day off with a three quater hour quiet time, Bible reading worship and prayer blotting everything else out. The same day I read a post on Smell the flowers, about letting go and let God.
I am a fast learner so it only took one and a half days to put the dots together why these two items kept coming into my thoughts coupled together. I found in my next quiet time still pondering and thinking about my problems even after praying about them, which meant I was praying the problem not the solution, more importantly I was placing the focus on me and not on God, which is after all the reason for the quiet time, why I get up at three-thirty in the morning, so that I can focus on that which is the most important part of my life. I dont like it when I am talking to someone and after a while I realise they not even listening to me, they are only there in body nothing else their mind is somewhere else. So why do I do it ?
Deut: 10:12 And now Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you; but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul.
Now that to me is an unequivicol ask of a hundred percent and nothing less, I have to ask myself what percentage am I giving ?

Check out the post on letting go,
http://www.gosmelltheflowers.com/blog/archives/1297

Friday, November 9, 2007

GOING FORWARD STANDING STILL

"They that wait upon the Lord, shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary and they shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31

I am always in a hurry, impatient to get things done, to get going; a lot of the sooner I get going the sooner I can get finished attitude. So the last couple of weeks have been hard for me, with electrical thunder storms, landline struck by lightning giving me haphazard intermittent online access a couple minutes here and there anything long getting wiped out and lost. Sometimes wishing that there are things in my past I have said and done could go the same way. I am digressing again. It was'nt only the storms and the landline, it was also my direct line in my quiet time where there was no clear reception. I kept on getting led to Isaiah 40:31 and Psalm 32:8

To wait, to me, is shorthand for procrastinate and to be banished and usual I questioned this waiting, hanging around....Time waits for no man.....Harvest is plenty workers are few... For urgency I can find dozens of reasons with scripture to back me up ; However waiting!!

The second scripture I was meditating on Psalm 32:8 "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. I will counsel you with my eye upon you."
I am often at fault of reading only the part I want to hear or read, like in this verse I skipped over the first part and zoomed in on the second part, "I will counsel you with my eye upon you." That is warm and comforting, gentle; counsel, advice when asking somone for advice I can use it or lose as I wish or see fit, unless it comes from a lawyer where that advice is being paid for, then it is used.
"I will instruct you.." Instruction can also be orders, I dont like anybody telling me what to do, I have a thing about authority, you do your thing and I do mine is all fine, but if my thing is'nt what God wants me to do, then He will teach me what He wants me to do. Which brings me to "They that wait upon the Lord, shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles."
Smaller birds spend more energy flapping than in flying, and in winter 80% of their energy goes into looking for food, now that is a lot of flapping for little reward.
An eagle on the other hand gives a few flaps in take off the rest of the time the eagle is only a passenger gliding on the currents, till it spots it's prey, even in diving it is graceful. The eagle didnt just hatch one day and fly the next, when it was old enough, or when the mother decided it was time she kicked it out the nest ,by taking it and dropping it from a height, catching it on her wing till it learnt to fly. That little eaglet doesent want to be there doing that but the mother knows and is instructing and teaching. I know I am going to be in situations I dont want to be in, then I also know I have His promise " I will counsel you with my eye upon you."

There is an African expression loosely translated means "Going forward standing still." Toi Toi is dance done by strikers, going forward standing still.
I can only go forward by standing still, by waiting upon the Lord.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

OF SEEDS AND TREES

Ever find yourself drifting along mentally when doing a menial task you dont enjoy doing? A task that needs to be done, which dosent require thinking just doing. That happens to me when I have to work in the garden.
We are into summer here, and with it the start of the rainy season, the electrical thunder storms, strong winds and of course the profusion of plant life. From the winds aftermath the clearing of the debri, broken branches twigs and leaves. Rain dosent make only the garden grow, but weeds and syringa berries too. I'm often amused at the irony of planting trees, digging the hole, preparing the soil, the compost, manure; planting and care just to get it to grow where I really want it to grow. The syringa berry will grow where it falls with thousands of others to keep it company all where I dont want them.
It was in uprooting what seemed a thousand of them, though probably only fifty odd, I thought of trees and seeds. In Matthew :13, we find the parable of the sower, we also find later on the story of the mustard seed, the smallest of all seeds grows into the biggest tree in the garden.
Verses 31,32. In uprooting the seedlings they are soft delicate it is almost unbelievable that they have immense power. I attended a boarding school in a rural area of Zimbabwe, close to the school was a kopjie called "bushmans kopjie" It was actually just a lot of huge boulders, with some bushmans paintings. There was boulder a little bigger than a pickup truck, that had a paperbark tree, which had found a crack grew up splitting the granite boulder with its growing. There is a tree in California where a car can drive through, in Limpopo Province a boabab tree with a pub in it, in Derby Australia a boaba called the prison tree because it once was.
They all started out as seeds, in many cases not fertile areas or ground which we would consider ideal for growing anything let alone a tree.
Have you ever had an idea for something, which you were excited about, and when talking about it to friends and family, they shot it down so quickly, you didnt bother picking it up and pursuing it? Some time later, months or years somone else comes up with the idea, and makes a success of it reaping the rewards that comes with following through with it.
I believe God gives us these" seeds" in answer to our prayers, how many of these seeds have I let fall on stony ground, or on the wayside to get trodden on, instead of believing that He has promised "ask and it shall be given unto you". I need to recognise and believe in the seeds He has given me.
Matthew 13:1-9
Mark 4:2-20
Luke 8:4-18

Monday, October 15, 2007

I HAD A DREAM

I had a dream last night. I dreamt that everything I cherish was stripped away from me, almost like Job, in the old testament. In the midst of this despair and confusion a man stood before me, bare footed long hair and a long beard, clothed in tattered rags. His eyes were piercing looking straight into me as he said " I want you to come with me. I want you to meet God."
I was scared yet I followed him. Why was I scared? I believe God to be kind, loving merciful and compassionate. Not harsh judgemental or unforgiving. So why was I scared? Was I scared because I was guilty? How often has guilt stood in my way of wanting to meet with God? As the Psalmist wrote, "you know my every thought." God has promised if I confess he will forgive, maybe I need to forgive myself.
The beggar took me inside me, to look at myself as I really am; not giving God the glory and credit for all the things that go well in my life; the sometimes seeming unsurmountable obstacles that I overcome then I sit back and think just how good I am, forgetting that when I was faced with them, I asked "Father help me." He helps me. So why dont I acknowledge it and give thanks? Am I taking God for granted? How often do I do this in my daily life with people,not giving credit for the good things they do, noticing only what is wrong?
It occurred to me I am not trusting Him in the smaller problems in honesty and humility, yet fall and beg for His intervention when faced with major problems. More in desperation, than in faith; more with a sense of entitlement than by grace. A last resort, even then busy with a backup plan. If I had gone to God first for guidance and waited on Him I wouldnt have gotten into the mess in the first place. What stops me from going to God first? Is it the macho in me, I can handle it no sweat attitude? I hate asking for help; I hate accepting help.
I looked around for my guide, he was gone, I was alone with myself and before I could go anywhere or do anything I would need to go to God.

I look at my plans my goals short term long term, ever heard the expression? "so much for plan A" Well I have long time passed plan Z. The reason why they are not working is I cant see God in any of them, I can see plenty of me and what I want and nothing of what God wants. Having trashed the plans and goals and waiting on God not out of desperation but in line with Matthew chapter six, not only does Jesus teach us to pray but He also gives us the key for christianity to be a lifestyle in verses 33 and 34.
N.S.V. "But see first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow for tomorrow willbe anxious for it self sufficient for the day its own trouble."

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

I SAT AND CRIED

If somebody had to ask you a few months or a year from now, "What did you do whilst innocent, unarmed people were murdered in Burma?", what would you say you did?
I would have to say: "I just sat and cried."
If they had to ask you, "What could you have done?", what would you say?
I'm just an ordinary guy trying to be a humble scribe, I don't have any friends or even aquaintances in high places with pull, or an inside track to media, or the right ears. I'm not rich or famous, I don't even know anyone who is.
Watching the scenes on TV of the events in Burma, I was left stunned, shocked into silence; I just sat and cried.
I went into the Net. Again, I just sat and cried when I visited Blogging for Burma. I felt even more helpless, I wanted to say something, do something. Lack of skill with words leaves me robbed of having anything to say. If I could climb through this screen right now, I would take your hand on the mouse and go into Blogging for Burma for you - I can't even do that. You have to want to do it for yourself, and find some way in there to do something.
http://bloggingforburma.blogspot.com/
If the Burmese authorities have such contempt and disregard for their own priests' and citizen's life, where will it stop?
In Ezekiel 22:30, God speaks of finding one man in the gap, and He will save the nation.
I know missionaries in different parts of the world, I don't know anyone in Burma. I will stand in the gap and pray for them.
Do YOU know anyone who is in Burma?
Volunteer workers, missionaries, anyone from your neighbourhood, someone from your town, let us join together now and let us stand together in that gap, interceding for them and Burma.
Please let me know, so that we can pray together. So that we together, can do something - and must do something - because all the tears in the world won't wash away the blood that stained the fabric of our society.
What are you going to do, or tell me what you are doing?!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

EXCESS BAGGAGE

Some time ago, a few years ago actually, a friend and I went to a beautifull part of South Africa; the Golden Gate area, part of the Drackensberg mountain range. My friend a short cropped I.T yuppie in his early twenties, me an aging hippy, long hair and beard lacking only the peace medalion.
We went for the week between Christmas and new year, to plan for the upcoming year the marketing of products that we had decided to pool together for weekend trading. The caravan park and camping site where we chose to stay had horse and hiking trails, in the surrounding sandstone mountain areas; the hiking trails included fossilised sites as well as alcoves with San rock art, George was also scared of horses so we took the hiking trails.
The first morning before we set off I noticed he was filling bottles of water from a tap and putting them into a shoulder bag, he saw me watching him,he asked me where was my water, I pointed to the mountains. George made it clear if I wasnt going to take water I would just have to suffer the consequence of my actions.
We set off in the direction of the trail markers and followed them across a river; I pointed out the the pump station by the river and the pipe leading up to the camping site. We carried on with the trail, which meandered across small streams and next several pools of water, which was being filtered through the sand stone rocks, we stopped at one them which was shaded by trees, I bent over drinking from cupped hands, though mid summer, the water was refreshingly ice cold; George tasted it, promptly emptied his bottles of tepid water, complaining about his excess baggage, when he could get direct from the source.
The last couple of days phoning around the country,tracking down people that I needed to seek forgiveness from, I thought about George and the water, and how I weigh myself down with excess baggage in my quiet time and prayer, seeking that forgiveness and getting it from some, others a continuance of their bitterness, and how the world did them in. The ones who forgave are leading prosperous and blessed full lives, the ones who are bitter, exactly where they were 15/20 years ago; the ones who forgave felt they didnt have to forgive me for anything, but forgave and were happy to hear from me. The bitter ones a sense of entitlement and that I owed them big time.
Mat:16:19 (N.E.V)
I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven,whatever you bind on earth,shall be bound in heaven,whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
From a practical stand point is bitterness worth it?

Saturday, September 29, 2007

PLAYING GAMES

Unless you are really serious about being serious, you are only playing games... This thought came to me in reading 2 Corinthians 5:11-19. It talks about being new creatures in Christ, forgetting what has happened in the past. I can't forget the past - it is past experiences that influences my decisions, knowing what works and doesn't. At the same time I cannot live in it to the extent that it stops me from moving forward.
Before I can move forward, I have to seek forgiveness, as well as forgive those that I have wronged or felt they have wronged me. It is easier to forgive than to ask forgiveness. To ask for forgiveness and to be sincere about it, I have to admit I was wrong. Not only to admit that I was wrong, yet to admit it without self-justifying tags attached to it.
Efesians 4:31-32, Mark 11:25-26
It would be easier to walk away from the forgiveness issue. As long as I postpone it or ignore it, I will not be able to enter that area where I am relying on His strength to grow. If I want to go that road of doing only what I want to do and not what God wants me to do, then I am playing at being a Christian, playing the Christian game. Until I start applying the teachings, Christianity will only be a theory.
Anything less than practical application is only playing games, nothing less. The time is long past to stop playing games and start being serious about being serious.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

THE UNKINDEST CUT

"This was the unkindest cut." Julius Ceaser act 3. Mark Anthony says these words, he is speaking of Cassius stabbing Julius Ceaser. It was the unkindest cut because of Julius love and trust for Cassius.
Child abuse is the unkindest cut of all, because of the love and trust children place in us adults, a love they give freely, and when abused, if they survive their future ruined because of that abuse.
Recent cases comes to mind, yesterday 26th Sep: a date has been set for the trial of a man who allegedly raped and murdered 11 yr old Annastacia Wiese, he is also charged of raping a three year old girl. Last month in the first week, a man was sentenced in the Cape high court, for sodomising and murdering six year old Steven Siebert.
Other recent cases for this year :
7 yr old Sheldean Human, Pretoria, raped and murdered. February.
11yr old Annastacia Wiese, Cape Town raped and Murdered March.
8 yr old Refiane Ringane Limpopo Province murdered June.
2 yr old Sonja Brown western Cape July.
These come to mind because they had extensive media coverage. What about the ones that dont get the coverage. Those cuts are just as deep, will the wounds from these cuts ever heal in the families and loved ones.
If there is anything positive to come out of all this, it is the rallying of support for the families from the communties, from strangers regardless of race or creed, BUT WHAT A PRICE TO PAY.
Let us remember them always not just today, let us pray in sincerity not only for the victims and families but also for the solution.

Monday, September 24, 2007

PRODIGAL

I have never looked up the word "Prodigal" in the dictionary until today, I didn't have to - I knew what it meant. Everybody knows what it means, everybody who has read or heard the story of the prodigal son, knows what it means. What does it mean to you? To me it always meant simply the one who went away and came back, or went astray ... along these lines.
That was the impression that I got the first time that I heard the story, and it never changed, till today. Which means for 50 odd years I have had the wrong impression on something. In itself not important, it is after all only a word. Yet how often don't I make a snap judgement on something, only to find out later how wrong I was, and then go and eat humble pie a la mode.
There have been times when I didn't need to eat the pie, as my impressions have been private and personal. However, the revelation of the impression no less humbling personally.
Jay was a quiet unassuming guy - didn't say much, probably because of his pronounced stuttering. I met him in a church I was attending during my wonderlust years. They had a very early weekly prayer meeting I supported, a low key sedate in gradual progression from sleep into our routines.
One week, as we were winding down, almost everybody had prayed, I felt someone coming to stand next to me, my eyes were closed. As soon as the person who was praying at that time finished, a strong baritone voice next to me started singing songs of praise, then into worship, before praying with passion in full flood, carrying the whole room with him, ending the meeting with everybody fully charged.
Now, many years later, reflecting how far I have drifted, I'm still blessed in remembering Jay's real side.
Psalm 95:2: "Let us come into His presence with thanksgiving; Let us make a joyful noise to Him with songs of praise."


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

IN AN INSTANT

We live in an instant world, to the point where a click on a mouse can direct us in milliseconds to millions of choices. Old favorites will appear on our screens in an instant. Is this instannt gratification carried over into our every day and spiritual lives? Has God become a favorite that we havent used for a long time? When needed he must perform instantly, in the perception that we want a God who is all-knowing and all-powerful to Whom nothing is impossible, yet still control Him, we want to tell Him what to do, when where and how and above all it must be in an instant. There are even secret formulae and mantras, pray like this, chant it like that x times and it will happen in an instant.
A close relationship isnt built up in an instant. If you have been hurt in the past by someone, it takes time for that hurt to heal, it takes time to learn to trust again, you spend time together, doing things together because that is what it takes to build friendship and trust. Maybe you have been hurt by someone in the church, disillusioned; stopped attending, in the process stopped spending time with God, there was no longer that special time.
Getting back into a close and personal relationship with God is hampered by guilt and self condemnation, I have thrown away the formulae and mantras because I dont know what to say; I have taken the honest approach, because He already knows my innermost thoughts! I told Him I dont know what to say and waited in silence. A stillness and peace came and with the joy of the promise found in Isaiah 42 "A bruised reed He will not break, a faintly burning wick He will not quench. "

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Responsibility

I have read many times, if you save a life you are responsibile for it. What happens when my life is saved? Do I owe a responsibility to that which saved my life? After all said and done, I would not have the same life without the intervention.
Some time ago, whilst driving in the Limpopo Province returning from a private game reserve, my better half and I were discussing the changes and development in the province. The promoting of game farms, holiday resorts all highlighting the province's natrual beauty and attrations. In my normal manner I digressed from development to talk about birds. In particular the fascinating habits of weavers. More than 150 different species, three quarters of them prevalent in Africa. Needless to say my discourse was not given scientifically or in textbook style. At the end of my impromptu lesson my better-half told me I really had a gift. I assumed she meant the gift of the gab.
Several years ago, I was hitch hiking to Cape Town from Johannesburg. I was given a lift to almost halfway, in the Free State quite close to Colesburg in the Northen Cape. Sitting on my suitcase alongside the road, with cars few and far between I was reading my Bible. Though past mid-day - it was also mid-winter - the wind was chilling so I wore a polar fleece hooded top. After about forty minutes, a car stopped some way ahead and started reversing. To save time I tucked the Bible halfway into my jeans, covered by the top.
In the early hours of the morning near Cape Town the driver dropped me off where he was turning off close to the Cape Flats informal settlement. The night was freezing, I took my jacket out of my case to put it on. Within a matter of minutes three men appeared from seemingly no-where. One from behind took my jacket off me, the second one from the side took my suitcase and ran, the third was trying to rip my watch from my wrist, at the same time stabbing me in the stomach, looking directly onto the words printed on my hooded top: "Youth for Christ ".
I smiled and spoke in a voice I did'nt recognise as my own, calm and gentle: "Jesus asked me to tell you he loves you."
I could actually see the fear in his face; he turned and ran with total disregard for his safety, just missing an oncoming car.
The jacket and Bible had been gifts from a friend, the "Youth for Christ" top another gift from another friend; which brings me to responsibility. We are blessed with gifts to share. I have been blessed with the gift of life. If I did'nt have the Bible tucked in my jeans at my waist I wouldn't be alive. It has taken some time for me to accept that responsibility, and to allow my gifts to be used.
Guidance comes from Ephesians 4:22,23. "To put off your old self which belongs to your former manner of life, and is corrupt through deceitful desires and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds."
This is the journal of renewal of the spirit in my mind. It promises to be an exciting journey.
Stan

Monday, September 3, 2007

A SILENCE

A silence
like a lost soul
trapped to ideals and dreams
in search of it's whole;
with parts lost in life streams,
others shackled by chains.

Bits strewn in spindrifts
and drowned in rains
while waiting for the freeing lifts.
A silence
like a man and wife
sitting at breakfast
welded together in life,
held in a clenched fist
what they had to say,
they had said too soon.
now the empty hours lay
tightly closed in a cocoon
A silence
like a dream stillborn
a truth unspoken;
emotions fully worn
memories the only token
of times swept and spent
in the wake of yesterdays broom;
of hours that had been illspent
lay buried in a tomb.
Stan