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?