Saturday 28 February 2015

Happy Women's Month - it's Time to Shine!

Wow! Aren't you happy to be alive! To be living for such a time as this! Yes, the days seem dark - but because of the depravity of our generation, there is a greater need and opportunity to shine Messiah's Great and overwhelming Love, not so?

The women in the photo above are some of the special women who share the moments in my own life. When I thought above this month of March and the special meaning of it, this photo came to mind and so I will be using it this month, on my posts.

This month of March is none other then Women's Month! Party, balloons, streamers, tea and chocolate! How is it Women's Month you may ask? Well, I'm about to tell you... But before I do, this month we will celebrate the launch of our heart stories. The launch of a collection of womens stories from across four continents and several countries. When God first laid this project on my heart, I asked Him - when should it be released? He showed me - March the 21st. Over the past week I have found my spirit bubbling up inside of me, just over flowing and overwhelming me with excitement for women. This month for me, means God is going to do something special on here! I just know it - boy am I excited! So here's why it's a highlighted month for women....

  • First off March is Women's History Month. The Women's History project is really amazing. Women's history month is all about highlighting how women's stories have been weaved in to the fabric of history worldwide. This year God showed me a tapestry, with threads connected together to form a beautiful finished piece of art. That's what happens when we weave our stories together and that's what we hope to achieve this month with releasing our stories for a greater audience. Each one of you are being used by God right now to write History, do you believe it? Well, it's true! And you dont need a big story, because your story is already big to God, you just need a surrendered Heart to Him. So let's celebrate our own lives today as women, because it's our month too! (For more on the women's history project click over here Weaving our Stories
  • 5 March; Second on the agenda this month is Purm! Whooppee, now I wanna scream even louder. Purim is the festival of Esther, it's the celebration of Esther's life, her dedicated obedience to God and her sacrifice to save her people. This year it is celebrated on Thursday the 5th of March, which is also a very special day for me - it is the day Yeshua first found me. The day of intimate salvation.
  • 8 March; The 8th of March marks international women's day. And the focus this year is on addressing how we can overcome inequalities and oppression. This day is about justice for women everywhere!
  • 21 March; This is the day of our Book Launch and it is Human Rights Day in South Africa. The issue of women's oppression globally is a major one - women abuse, gendercide, human trafficking, inequality, child brides, rape, lack of education for females - these are some of the issues we need to pray about. We can and also should stand in the gap, raise our voices and just be used by God to help our sisters overcome oppression and abuse. A day to raise our voices and our prayers! 
 So this month is special and I am excited. As God leads me and my heart prompts me tenderly, my posts will be focused on and for women, in one way or another (as they usually are anyway!) And I want to encourage you to celebrate your story this month, your voice, your heart and your worth to God. Throughout this month there are going to be some great features on some of the writers and artists in the Windows across Oceans E - Book Project.
This book has really become a joint project, we even have a special instrumental song entitled Healed by Idalette Muller, written specifically for this E - Book. Her song will accompany some audio stories that are going to be shared this month right here. So I want to leave you with these words that Father gave me this evening, 

Exodus 15:20 - 21
Then Miriam the prophetess, Aaron’s sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women followed her, with timbrels and dancing.
Miriam sang to them:
“Sing to the Lord,
    for he is highly exalted.
Both horse and driver
    He has hurled into the sea.”

Let's take a tambourine up in our hands and lead our sisters out into a greater freedom! From the bondages of their personal Egypt's in to the perfect Love of Christ!
May this month be a blessed month of being all you can be in your Father, who loves you as His woman today and always! Celebrate!

Friday 27 February 2015

FMF - Let's "Kuier!"

I have met so many amazing women over the past few months. Each with different lives and different stories, with different calling and different dreams. Yet, our lives have intersected for some great moments. We have met through our words, through our heart stirrings, across borders, across nations and across oceans. Eventually at some point someone will say “I wish we could have a visit and enjoy a coffee together, I would love to know so much more about your story.”

There is something deeper than the evident sigh of longing that comes with this short wish. Something called connection and friendship. For me, I have loved hearing these women’s words via emails, via WhatsApp, on voice notes or on blogs. We don’t always have the liberty to enjoy a “kuier” (a good old Afrikaans word unique to South Africa that means a cosy visit with friends where you usually enjoy tea and some cake!) but hey we rejoice in what we have, connection across borders. So to all the women who are making their worlds special by being themselves, I want to thank you for being a part of my journey, gosh you are all so special, thank you for all the “visits!” and the blessing that each one of you are!

Linking up with #FMF Kate M this week!

By the way, speaking about our stories - please check out our up coming Windows across Oceans E - Book, it's an exclusive collection of Women's Stories to be released this month. Through our heart stirrings and God moments, we are encouraging one another to know, that each has the power to ignite a light, a candle burning bright. A light of encouragement, a light of hope - every story is neither big or small, but special. Through this E - Book we will be able to raise funds for our sisters in China and India who need a Love Touch from God. 
Click the Link - Windows across Oceans

Exclusive Interview with Rena Pederson

Shalom all you beautiful Peeps!

I hope you have had a week of Love and Grace. A few weeks ago God crossed my path with a wonderful sister of faith, Rena Pederson. She is an award - winning journalist and author, but most of all she is a fellow believer and I just enjoy her. I did an exclusive interview with her for Arise this week about women in the media and how to use that position to fight for women and biblical equality. We also spoke about Rena's new book The Burma Spring.

The topic of this book is one that is close to my heart, it's about the struggling nation of Burma and its "first lady" Suu Kyi. I will be doing a review of this book in the weeks to follow, but for now - check out the interview and be encouraged, your voice matters and you can use it to fight for injustice and for women everywhere!

Thursday 26 February 2015

Taking the Longer View

Tonight when the house grew quiet and the lights were all but off, I felt that beautiful smile from God wash across my heart. It's that kind of smile that says "come, let's talk." So I made my cup of green tea as I usually do and find that space, usually where the cool breeze can blow and I can be alone. Alone with my God. Alone in His tenderness and Love, alone in my vulnerability and need to talk. 

Here is what I want to share tonight, what God shared with me, and I know it relates so deeply to my own life but also to many of your lives. The world is in such a chaotic state. Daily our hearts are saddened by the news of more of our Christian brothers and sisters been killed for their faith. Polititians are growing more corrupt, systems are failing, food prices are increasing, money is getting less (a whole days wage for a loaf of bread anyone!) and well - it is safe to say darkness is covering the earth rapidly.

With this kind of content sweeping the corners of the earth, it is easy to be sucked in. To feel dizzy and sad, it is easy to let the darkness out there and even in our own personal hard times in our own lives, overcome us. But God is saying - take a longer view on this, take the bigger view. Dream deep, live fully, choose to have faith, to believe in every moment, to create, to keep on loving, to keep on giving and to keep on hoping. 

Last year Yahweh spoke deeply to my husband and I about the thick darkness that would soon cover in the earth but He gave us Isaiah 60 as a sure and steady promise for the days ahead.

Arise, shine, for your light has come,
    and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth
    and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the Lord rises upon you
    and his glory appears over you.
Nations will come to your light,

    and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

It is time to refocus, to regroup and to regather what seems to have been lost. Yahweh wants us to take the longer view on life. Which means do not get caught up in this trying moment, do not get caught out in this trying time, there is always a sunrise after a night of darkness. I forsee the Glory He has in store for us. I forsee the dreams He still wants to fulfill in my life and in yours! Father, help us take the longer view! This week I sat in our local tax office for 5 and a half gruelling hours. To say it was gruelling is a gross understatement, it was horrid. You get a small piece of paper with a number on and then you join hundreds of other people on a bench and wait. My husband and I were ill prepared, just like the people around us. We had no food, no water and nothing to do. We waited and waited and every time the next number rang out there is a tense sensation that fills your entire being! Is it mine? Is it my turn? Can I go home now? But for 5 and a half hours, it was not my turn. Sadly enough I was the last person on my bench and the fifth last person in the building. It was absurd, I even cried from the tension and the frustration. The environment was also unsafe, my husband would not even leave my side to go to the bathroom.

As my husband and I drove home, we grabbed a cup of coffee and some take away and I wondered about this whole episode. All I can say is - I have to choose to take the longer view. I had to sit in that office to achieve something better in my future ( true story!), and I hope one day soon I will forget about this gruelling experience and move on. Even in that tax office, the spiritual darkness was oppressive, you could feel it all around you as people spoke and swore and jested and grew angry. 

However, tonight God has told me that He has a lot in store for me, I cannot forget the word He gave me at the beginning of the year - my child have a Spirit - Birthed Expectancy! 

So tonight, God's Light is greater then the darkness. In fact we choose to overcome the darkness because the Light of God shines so bright within us! We choose to pursue our dreams with all of our might, to raise our kids to be God - fearers and history makers. We choose to stand up and pray mighty prayers of revival because I do believe that as the darkness gets thicker - the revival in the hearts of true believers is going to get greater. There are many shakers that are going to shake this earth up like Elijah did, before the coming return of our King! HalleluYah! I wanna pray fire with other fiery believers, I am expectant to see the dead raised to life, the blind healed and the sick rejoice again! Our God has not changed, He is the same - and He did it so richly in the past we cannot limit Him today.

So friend - let's take the longer view, for I am convinced that However, as it is written: "What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived" -- the things God has prepared for those who love him (1 Corinthians 2:9) 
And lastly Yeshua gave me a scripture for all of this, it is found in Romans 12...

We overcome because we have faith in the One and Only Saviour - who overcame and is reigning in Victory! So too because He overcame, He can overcome all evil with the Goodness of our God! Let's be part of the revival! HalleluYah! 

Saturday 21 February 2015

FMF - Staying Open in the Pain

Staying open, it's something people struggle with. We have so much life to give from within us, but staying open amongst the pain, it's so hard to do. 

In the beginning when I first used to attend church meetings and youth groups with my husband, he would often pray for others. He would ask people to be open in their hearts to God's Love and word. It's amazing how you can feel when people around you are closed off. I remember praying for a young girl who needed prayer once and it was so hard to pray for her, the heart was closed.

I see these wounds within us (and we have all walked through this) as being a flower. God has shown it to me, like the flower on that Epic movie. Some flowers are just so open, while others are still closed buds. In the movie Queen Tara moves the flowers back so that the little bud could get the sunlight. In the darkness it could not bloom. That's what Messiah Yeshua, our King wants to do with us, expel the darkness that has ravaged our hearts so that He can shine the Light of His Glory in to our spirit. 

There is life within you precious one so much life - you just have to let the King of Glory come in and Shine His Love in to your heart. I know He wants to and I know He can because He loves each one of His beautiful flowers and all His buds still to bloom. May you be open, to the King of Peace who wants to come inside! The wounds on His Hands are big enough, to hold a hundred sorrows therein, His Owunds are big enough for you to sit in and big enough to Heal, Let Him in! 

Linking with Five Minute Friday

A Hand on my Shoulder

I was awake at 5:30am yesterday (Friday) morning, with so much on my mind and so much on my heart. My cat woke me up and then I just could not push back against all the feelings I had been carrying around, so I pulled the door closed and left hubby to sleep. I sat down on the couch with fluffy cat and started to have a much needed conversation with God. I just did not understand so many things that were taking place in my life. I could not understand how a project I had being working on for 2 years finally saw the light, and then was pushed back to next year. I could not push back the salt in my wounds or the pain in my heart.

I sat in that lounge and poured out my heart to God. Pouring out our hearts before the King, is in itself, deeply refreshing and I allowed the tears to fall freely. The sun started to come up and the landscape changed colour from black to blue. Kitty slept comfortably next to me and although I heard no scripture, or no loud booming voice, I felt a Hand on my shoulder. A Hand of comfort, Someone saying to me with tears in their eyes, "I understand." Unbeknown to me, it was what I needed. Quietly the bedroom door opened and my hubby appeared around the corner, it was 8am. 

We had a cup of tea, some breakfast and then I felt my eyes grew heavy. Hubby tucked me in, handed me "the comforter" aka Baloo the Bear and within seconds I was asleep. I actually feel asleep with a smile on my dial and I woke up undisturbed, three hours later. I have not had such a good sleep like that in a very long time. Throughout the day, God did speak to me, allowing me to see greater things about myself then I had seen before. He showed me signs and pictures, and just allowed me to be comforted by sitting in His Heart of Love for me. Today, I am beginning to know how perfect His time is. We always say it like a mantra, but it's actually real for me. In part I am grateful for the season I find myself in, it has been hard and yeah I am real, praise God for that! We dont always have to spiritualise everything, God just wants us to say when it's hard and it's been hard! And it's deeply personal, because every season is, it's not always something we can share because our paths are so unique but God understands and I am grateful for His Hand upon my Shoulder.

Sharing with Velvet Ashes this week! 

Monday 16 February 2015

Excited Wonder

I sat on the bed this afternoon and poured over my Bible. Loving the deep intensities and mysterious discoveries that lie embedded in the pages. I held the pages against my palm and wondered about the world of the first believers and how our lives complement theirs (Hebrews 12). As the wind blew gently through the silk curtain I felt the Love of God enfold me. 

Again, I was reminded how much I love the stories of the men and women in the Bible. Father takes me on a treasure hunt of Love and intrigue as I stare down at their names and marvel at who they were. This week I am engaged in a study of the word that was unexpected and it has been food for my soul. Meditating on scriptures that I love and on the lives of the amazing men and women of faith, so as to teach these beautiful truths to others. 

Locked up in the life of Paul, I wondered about the harsh realities he faced. I read about his imprisonment, along with Andronicus and Junia. In a prison that resembled hell, with only a small hole in the ceiling where food would be passed down through. Even the visitors to that prison left chronicling the horrors of its existence and here some of our spiritual family spent their days, just for loving Messiah. This week, I am amazed at what God is teaching me. Awakening in me that child - like love of discovery that I first encountered as a child. I would spend hours reading encyclopedia's and playing with my shape ball - the one where you had to fit the shapes together. I am like a David Livingstone of Biblical truth! Or Henry Stanley! I hold my flag in one hand and walk out to unchartered places and pitch the flag saying "here is a beautiful truth! It is worth a visit.

It's enjoyable to have these precious moments, the Bible not only feeds us, it revives us and teaches us, deeper truths then we could ever hope for. 
What is God saying to you through the Word this week?
Is He awakening some deeper self - insight through His word or prayer?

Friday 13 February 2015

FMF - When I

When I feel like there is so much inside of me but I cant find the words...
When I feel as though my head is spinning, I cant even remember what day it is
When I feel as though there is no peace to be found here, no space to spin out of control
When I feel overwhelmed at the hard times that no one can understand
When I feel as though there may not be enough answers, or enough arrows to point the way

It's then when I remember Your Name, and I hear You call to me through the rain. It's then when I remember how you know each strand of hair and how You know my name. It's then when I cling to Your Word, drown inside of its truth and feel myself refreshed by every fibre of immortal truth. It's then when I sping and collapse in to You. You are always waiting, always hoping for me just to find a way to You. Thank You Yeshua for You are all my "whens...." 

Linking up with Kate Motaung

Learning the Language of Home

I remember stepping in to Hebrew class for the very first time. "Hebrew?!!" the teacher bellowed out at me, "why ever would you want to learn such a difficult language?!!" I'm sure this is a great way of marketing your own language class. But I wide - eyed in terror at the very unorthodox teacher in front of me who was loud and all over the show, just sat down and opened my blank book. My journey to Hebrew had began a few months before and you can read all about it here I'm Going to Show You who You are

After learning about my Jewish heritage, I felt a deep God - desire to learn Modern Hebrew. My heart yearned for the land of Israel and for my own people. I initially wanted to learn the language so that one day when I visited Israel, I could show the people that I had made an effort to learn their language. So my journey begun and once a week I attended the most exciting and exhilirating Hebrew class ever! A few months in to the class, there were so many students that we were finally put in to separate rooms, when I walked out of my class I bumped in to a familiar face. A mom of one of the girls I had gone to school with. I recognised her beaming face, I had been at her home 4 years earlier when her husband passed away suddenly. I had seen her at a Passover celebration and a few of the Bible study meetings I had been to. We tarried outside of class and chatted and then we saw each other again the following week and the next and the next and the next. All the while as the weeks progressed and the work got harder, more and more students fell away until there were only a handful of us left. I could see the wind was knocked out of the sails of the teacher but he kept on going and kept on giving. And each week this lady and I would go out for coffee after class and we became really close, as in super good friends, Hebrew and the love of Israel connected us, deeply. 

Two years later, I stumbled on a leaflet advertising Biblical Hebrew. I had learned to read Biblical Hebrew in the synagogue I visited frequently, to learn more about having a Jewish heritage. But I still felt that God was leading me to this course. So my friend and I travelled 2 hours every Saturday to join a class for Biblical Hebrew. The class was packed and we had fun, the teacher was a professor - type who was a bit strange but one afternoon as I sat in the back of the class, I realised how far God had brought me. How far He had taken me from being a believer who loved Israel, to being a believer who was actually Jewish and was beginning to know and understand Hebrew and the rich hertiage her family had left behind. It was a very intense moment for me. God is full of surprises though because as the Biblical Hebrew course drew to an end, the teachers wife passed away after a long battle with cancer and he decided to take a trip to Israel. I stared wide - eyed again, at the leaflet and my heart yearned, it pulled to visit the land my family had inherited. That was 2006 and one of the hardest years of my life, my parents having seen the emotional weariness all over me, decided that it was time for me to visit Israel. As a surprise they hooked up with my teacher and booked 2 round trips to Israel - one for me and one for my friend. She was speechless, as her husband had left her without any money and debt that was consuming her. Her heart yearned for the land and she felt that she would never be given the opportunity to visit it. Our trip to Israel was amazing and when we got there, we felt shy to speak the language we had invested so much time and effort in to. It's daunting at first but eventually we got used to it and could help ourselves and others. When we got back from the land, we carried on studying Modern Hebrew for 5 years.

It's a part of me now, and every so often I get asked to teach it, an opportunity I never take! But who knows! Hebrew is a beautiful language, it's like music to my ears. It sounds romantic, sounds fierce and is altogether exotic. It's the language of the land of Israel and of the Bible. And it's amazing!I even plucked up the courage to take a Hebrew University course and wrote an exam on what I had learned. But no exam, no teacher and no seminar could have given me what I received through learning a language. It's not just about the language, its about what a language connects to and to how much a language has been through to come to us today. I am an English teacher and won many awards for languages in both primary and high school. Language to me, is beautiful. It connects, it inspires. Language called the world in to being (Genesis 1) and it still continues to hold the world up (Jeremiah 1:12). Let's embrace it and allow it to teach us all it has to say... (Sharing over at Velvet Ashes this week!)

Thursday 12 February 2015

BoyCott the Violence

Everyone! I urge you, as in I really urge you - to boycott this evil "Shades" movie (I wont even mention its name on my blog) that is due to be released this weekend.

This movie is totally evil and perverse, it also promotes domestic violence, rape and hurting women. I have no doubt that many people will be influenced by the evil in this movie and it will be used by the enemy to hurt many. 

Here is a great article about this movie, A Trilogy of Deceit 

And to sign a petition against this movie and to learn what you can do to help abused women and to inform others about this evil please visit this site! End Sexual Exploitation 

There is so much evil going on right now and so much pain and suffering in this world, we know that it is going to get worse in these final days but let's not lose hope that Messiah Yeshua is always in control. Our job is to shine our light, speak out against evil and do what we can while the light still shines! In these days we are called to be disciples, so let's follow in the footsteps of our Rabbi and speak our against injustice! Let's join our voices together and keep praying and acting!

Tuesday 10 February 2015

Windows across Oceans, Theresa's Story

When I received Theresa's story, immediately I sat with the words that she shared on the page. Not just words but a lifetime of memories, or moments and of redemption. I have been blessed to know Theresa personally over the years and I honour her for who she is in Christ and for her bravery in sharing her story. Here is a tidbit from her story.... Her story also connected with an artwork I had seen by a fellow artist Leigh - Ann Pringle, called The Hope Series. Her picture (as seen below) will accompany Theresa's story in Windows across Oceans, to be released on 21st March 2015. 


Monday 9 February 2015

Windows across Oceans, Tidbits from our Journey

The author's words are powerful. They echo in to the darkness and shine light within our own space. As our hearts begin to radiate the light within, the darkness has no choice but to bow its head and flee. We radiate with the light of our Messiah, our words and stories are the threads in His tapestry, we are all part of His symphony, in a song and in a sound that will never end.....

Some of the author's words from the Book, Windows across Oceans, to be released 21 March 2015. More tidbits to follow in the weeks ahead...

Abigail's Story, Gendercide 

 Chris' Story, Hope

Jeri's Story, Discovering Self 

Miryam's Story 

 Bianca's Story, Overcoming

Brinda's Story, The Call

(Thank you to Studio Chayel for the use of her Beautiful Pictures, for this project!)

Windows across Oceans - Our Book!

For those of you who have been following this journey or are a part of this journey, I am so excited to put up the first official post (and page) for the Windows across Oceans E - Book. 

I have shared about the vision and the project and over the next few weeks I will be sharing more!

For now, visit the page and keep coming back for more!

Windows across Oceans 

Friday 6 February 2015

You are worth so Much More!

I love the little corner I inhabit in art class. I zone out most of the time, this week was great, most people were zoned out, deep in concentration. The silence was indeed golden and I love the sound of silence. When class ended the chatter begun and while I was more taken in by the fact that I had managed to dirty almost every brush in my collection, I heard bits of the other ladies conversations. Their conversations were sad to say the least, filled with self criticism, comparison and morbid - ness (if that is a word). It seemed as though all of them agreed with the enemy of lies, about their very self - worth. One woman in particular always breaks herself down, she sticks to small canvases and similar pictures of fruit because as she intones, she is just not good at all. But her pictures are striking and as long as she keeps comparing herself to people who have painted for 8 years while she has been in class for 8 months, she will never do anything more. When we agree with the enemy about who we are, we agree with a loads of lies and when we compare ourselves to others, we fall in to the pitfall the enemy has neatly covered over just so we will fall in to it.

You have to start believing in who you are and in how God sees you. I'm walking over to you right now, shaking you wildly by the shoulders and saying "you gotta believe it - you just got to!" For a good example of this, check out this guy.....

Judges 6: 11 - 18
The angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”
“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”
The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”
“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”
The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.”
Gideon replied, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, give me a sign that it is really you talking to me. Please do not go away until I come back and bring my offering and set it before you.”
And the Lord said, “I will wait until you return.”

Gideon is outside going about his daily chores when suddenly the angel of God appears to him and calls him a mighty warrior. Gideon was like "excuse me? (looks around for someone else standing near by) and then turns back around and lists a whole bunch of reasons why the angel must be wrong and how he must have appeared to the wrong guy.

Sad to say but this is how so many believers are - they wont dare to believe in who God sees them as, instead they live a life of defeat, coupled with a defeated mindset. Truth is that the angel identified Gideon as the mighty warrior God still saw he would grow up in to. He did not identify Gideon as the small, weak man from the smallest clan! That's because God is not going to identify with the enemy of lies, He is after all the God of Truth and the truth is that you are everything He says you are and everything you are still to become! 

Oh beloved if only you could see yourself through God's eyes - you would never doubt His magnificent Love for you. Today, come in to agreement with who God sees you to be, and nothing else. Ask God to show you how He feels about you and then believe it! If you are used to criticisng yourself, try this week to focus on the good things about yourself and stop the negative talk! Have an awesome weekend!