Wednesday 25 September 2013

I am from.....

I am from the dusty sands of the Kalahari, where the wild horses run wild and free.
Where the sands hit their hooves and their manes glisten with the sun, they run together – wild and free.

I am from the African plain of lakes and valleys unfound, unnamed and untamed.

I am from the place where the vastly different oceans meet, where the under currents are fearful at the place where their hands meet.
I am from the place where the animals run wild, while somewhere on the horizon lies a sleepy sun.

I am from the place where strength meets fragility, where people’s faces, both young and old tell of broken, fragmented stories of hatred and brutality.

I sojourn here on African soil; I am an offshoot of the olive tree whose roots run deep, the branches stained red with the blood of Messiah.

I hear a sound growing louder, I hear the sound of footsteps, I hear singing – I hear them, I see them, I feel them.
I am from this tribe, my skin is muddied red with the soil of Africa, with the blood – bought, blood redeemed soil of the land.

I am from the tribe of African women who are arising, I seem them, I feel them, I know them. They walk across the burned lands of devastation where evil once plundered, they walk claiming victory. Walking unafraid, unashamed – they carry on their shoulders, on their backs and in their hands the sons and daughters of tomorrow. They wipe away every tear, the tears of yesterday’s years of fear.

I was birthed beneath the African sun and here I run, wild and free, untamed and unashamed. I am from this tribe of African women who are sensing destiny in the calling, who sense love in the face of brutality. This is where I am from; I am an olive branch sojourning beneath the African sun.

Friday 20 September 2013

Chag Sameach Sukkot!

Happy Happy Sukkot! This time of year is one of my favourites. I just love Sukkot - it speaks to me so deeply about the Marriage supper of the Lamb!
May you be blessed and may your name be written in the Lambs book of life! Chag Sameach!
(Our Table for our Feast - a small tingling of our eternal hope that we will purify ourselves so as to rejoice one day with our Bridegroom and our King!)

Thursday 19 September 2013

My SheLoves Contribution

My SheLoves magazine contribution this month!

Click the Link!

Caleb and Achsah

Caleb peered down at his arms, his battle scarred muscles remained strong although he had grown tired. He had remained faithful to God and to the cause and now it was time to enjoy his inheritance. To bask in the sunlight and enjoy the cool breeze that rustled the leaves of the Palm trees that lined the city of Hebron. And yet he felt as though he could still put an army to flight, he could still run with the young men and warriors he had trained. But the still small voice came to him again, “Caleb it is time to enter in to my rest and enjoy my finished work.” It was time to rest. Caleb glanced over at the young warriors who stood before, each one had gathered eager to hear their leaders announcement, what war still awaited them? What battle orders would be theirs? Which nation was due to be excommunicated! What was next? Before his final announcement could be made, Caleb breathed in deeply and gazed over at his family, his wives and children. His breath caught in his throat – there she was, his first born, his beloved daughter Achsah. Who would care for her in his absence? Who would provide for her? He knew her heart and her love for the God of Israel, who was worthy enough to stand beside her and temper the flames of zealousness? Caleb felt an odd sense of fire burning within his stomach, his arms started shaking and before he could gain control of his feelings, his final announcement came swiftly and without thought... “I will give my daughter Achsah in marriage to the man who attacks and captures Debir!”

Excitement and restlessness filled the air as men began scrambling for their horses, each one fighting a personal battle, each one desiring to be the husband of Achsah and the son of Caleb.
Achsah’s eyes were fixed upon her father, he glanced over at her calmly, the appearance of his face whispered to her – “Trust me; I know what I am doing.”

Othniel rode on to Hebron triumphant, he had undone the Royal, Canaanite city and had secured the hand of his cousin, Achsah. He had known Achsah his whole life and had enjoyed her company and presence. Dismounting before his uncle he bowed low and presented his blood – stained sword before the family. “Uncle, the Canaanite city is undone; I have obeyed YHWH’s commands and have destroyed whatever was found in the city. I present my sword to you and appeal to the witnesses of my men and personal friends, they will attest to my conquest of Debir.” Caleb held back a smile, he knew Othniel, he was a scholar and warrior, fierce and calm all at once. He knew that he could not part with his daughter to someone less worthy, Caleb thanked the God of his fathers who had heard his prayers, his daughter would be safe in the arms of his nephew. Achsah’s strong eyes fell upon the face of her cousin, she moved to meet him as he took her hand.

“You” she smiled.

“Me” he replied.

“Do you love me?” She asked him innocently. “Has a bride price of blood such as this ever been paid before?” He replied hoping to convince her of his affection. “I guess not” Achsah mused.

“I do love you Achsah, I have for some time, I thought only of you when I rode out to defeat the Canaanites. Warriors stronger then I could have taken the city, but they were not fuelled by something greater then conquest.”

Caleb moved to meet them and then declared in a loud voice, “Come let us dance and celebrate the wedding of my daughter and her groom, Othniel. Let us rejoice and feast!
And then loudly and boldly Caleb joyfully announced, “Achsah my daughter, you are  a true daughter of Israel as a gift I present to you all the land South of Hebron, the land in the Negev I present it to you as an eternal inheritance. Dwell in it and feed off it, let your children – my grandchildren be the ones who will enjoy it and who will establish it.”
The crowd gasped in disbelief, a young woman inheriting such vast land was not unheard of in Israel but neither was it a regular occurrence. Achsah bowed in acceptance before her father, Caleb embraced his daughter and whispered “make your own decisions my child and know that your father has been pleased to provide for you so that whatever happens you will always have an inheritance in Israel and no one will ever be at liberty to take that away from you.”
Achsah smiled as she rested her head on her father’s chest, overwhelmed by her father’s love. “Thank you Abba, thank you.”
It had been months since she had last seen her father and her family, working the land had been fulfilling and yet at times she missed her family. Appealing to her husband to request springs of water from her father had not turned out the way she had hoped and so she had to take matters in to her own hands. As she turned the familiar corner on the road to Hebron she neared the low, wall beside her family home.

Her father sat beneath a palm tree on the hill closest to the road, it had been his favourite place ever since his conquest of the city. Caleb glanced out at the road and noticed a donkey coming up the street, puzzled he watched as the animal drew nearer. Achsah! It was his daughter Achsah. Something must be wrong he thought, for he had not seen her in some months. Caleb jumped to his feet and ran the length of the field to the gate where Achsah was waiting. She ran to embrace him, “Abba!” she smiled and ran into his arms. Sensing the expectation within her he asked “what is it that you want my child?”

“Father the land you gave me is a blessing to me and I am grateful. But Abba the land is dry and arid and nothing grows there. I ask of you for springs of water, the ones adjoining our land, so that the crops may grow and that the cattle may be refreshed.”
Caleb’s heart was settled before his daughter had ceased speaking. “My daughter anything you ask me is yours, I will give you the upper and the lower springs in the Negev. The water runs freely between the springs and it will be enough to water your crops and flocks for many years. Take these with my blessing.”

“Thank you abba!” Achsah declared jubilantly.

“My child, why did you not come to me sooner? You know I would never deny you anything.”

“I know abba, I was hoping Othniel would come and ask but he thought it was best that I should come and see you.”

“Well, he was right and I am glad you did. Come let us go inside and you must stay a few days, your mother will be pleased to see you.” Caleb held his daughter and together they walked towards the house, content and refreshed to be together once again.

© Please note that the following story is written by the author and is copyright.

Sharing this week at Playdates

[1] Joshua 15: 17. The city known as Debir was formerly called Kiriath Sepher and is called such in some translations of the Bible.
[2] Joshua 15: 18 – 19 (Amplified)

Fly with me...

Nadine's Advice

I read the following snippet from Nadine Gordimer. Let me be frank and tell you that I have NEVER read Nadine's books. Largely because I don't read much fiction and largely because university smothered the love of anything South African - out of me. Sad but true.
On a lighter note however, I read this and thought I would share it. I agree with it wholeheartedly. No one can teach you how to write, no one can teach you how to feel - it's just natural. Writing for writers is as natural and as easy as breathing, there's nothing learnt in it; it's second nature.... and it's a continual experiment and dont let anyone else tell you otherwise! Flow with the pen and be free!

Read and write. Don’t go to creative writing class. You can’t be taught to write. You can be taught to be a good journalist, but you cannot be taught to be a poet or a novelist. You read, read, read so that you become aware of the power and the range of the word — and then you want to do your own little experiment.”