Thursday 26 March 2015

The Fire within our Stories - Arise Journal

Shalom Friends

This week, our E - Book Windows across Oceans has been featured in the wonderful Arise Journal. When I sat down to write the piece which appears in Arise this week, I was (and still am) deeply aware of somewhere new God wants to lead me to. In prayer I kept on seeing burnt ground and my hands open with seeds floating out of it. The fires that devastated Cape Town this month impacted me deeply and spiritually. In truth, my husband I have and continue, to face burnt ground in our own lives, yet God promises deeply and intensely, the reality of new life. Green shoots and turning soil. 

 As I wrote this article, based on so much that was turning over in my own heart I came to see how God wants me to be a link in a chain of seeds. Windows across Oceans was the beginning point, now I am living with hands open to the seeds God is giving me on burnt ground. Right here is where these seeds are destined to flow from, a place where each heart and each story is a seed for something greater. I am standing in faith, knowing that a "Burnt Ground" section of this blog is starting up and as the Holy Spirit gives me seeds, they are not for myself, they are for a deeper cause. They are for you and for Yeshua. Love touches, tender moments and spiritual realities. These seeds may come in the form of songs, poems, stories or heart truths that God prompts me to share from others. I have no idea where all this is going but it has no beginning and no end. In truth it's already going because the stories that have been shared over this past month on the blog and in Windows across Oceans, they are seeds and thank you for being part of it. I really want to ask you to read the article over at Arise this week, it shares my heart behind this amazing book. I was also so encouraged this afternoon when this article in Arise went live, because so many spiritual sisters came over from Arise and made purchases of our book. Praise God! May you be blessed and let's do our part together for His Kingdom and for the lives around us! 

 As I sat down to write my first blog post for Women's History Month, I heard the devastating news that a wild, uncontainable fire was ripping through our beloved city of Cape Town. From the veranda of our house, we could see the flames burning like molten lava some seventy kilometers away. My heart just broke. For five consecutive days, evacuations took place, animals were hurt, and people lost their lives and homes. All the while, firefighters, men and women, never gave up. They worked shifts that stretched over thirty hours. They refused to go home; they refused to give up even while five thousand hectares (12,355 acres) of land lay burning. They saved lives and homes, rescued animals, and gave the people of Cape Town hope...... To read the rest of this article click the following link
The Fire within our Stories

The Beauty we Left Behind

I read something in a local newspaper this week that spoke to me. The writer was reflecting on a moment spent with his son lying on the grass, and the joy of being a child. We spend so much of our childhood years yearning to be adults, yearning to be 18 when we can drive or vote. Yet the minute we step over that threshold in to adulthood, we realise the beauty of what we have left behind, or should I say as we get older we realise that beauty was what we left behind.

Over the past few months God has been leading me to discover pieces of that child within me. Pieces of the beauty, growing up led me to forget. It’s been a good journey, one of contentment and of great discovery. Over time I have discovered parts of myself that are important for my future journey. Pieces of beauty that have deepened my relationship with Messiah.

As children we have this innate ability to discern beauty. We can laugh care – free, lie on the grass and dream, we can shout and play and not think about – are the neighbours going to hear, are we going to be able to pay the bills this month. Am I gonna die of a sickness, or rare disease (heaven forbid!) But as children we just are and we just can! 

My mom visited this weekend and while she was here I asked her, “What was I like when I was younger?” Her answer was peculiar, I don’t think she really remembers and I don’t blame her, I don’t either. I could also see how who I am today, has shaped her idea of who I was twenty years ago. Only God can truly restore the jewels inside of us, restore us back to the pieces of ourselves that were beautiful, that got left behind. 

I also thought of all my friends who are currently bringing up their own kids and I realised how much pressure children are under today. And I want to tell all my believed friends not to rush their children. Not to force them to be adults before their time, give them the set of values they will need to get through the years ahead but let them lie under the tree and dream. I told my husband the other day that I remember the very moment when I forced to slowly let my childhood innocence and play, die. I loved to play as a child, right up in to my teenage years. Until one day a very mean school friend told me that mature girls don’t play games, they wear make up to school and act mature (whatever that means!). I remember the grief I felt at her statement. I remember staring over at myself in the mirror and making the decision to change. It was a heart breaking moment, a defining moment and it was wrong. Wrong for others to force me to give up what was God’s gift of innocence to me. 

I have grieved that moment and I have released it, been healed from it and now I can play again. Different games. Meaningful ones, like writing, painting, baking, laughing, lying on the veranda and staring up at the stars. Whatever catches my fancy because inevitably I am God’s child, still the little girl in God’s Garden. For me that’s the beauty of Eve, she was a little girl in the Garden of Eden. She was innocent, naked and unashamed, able to run with the birds, talk to the animals and play. She was a child, where nothing separated her from the Presence of God. No worries to declutter before she started praying, no voices to tell her to put a shirt on and grow up. Nope, just little Eve alone in a big garden, with a little boy and God. How blissful, how sweet and how incredibly free!

What were you like when you were a child? What did you enjoy doing and how is God awakening this child - like beauty in your life today? 

Friday 20 March 2015

Book Launch - Windows across Oceans Official Launch!

 It's Finally Here!
Yip! We letting the balloons off and allowing the confetti dust to settle. A project that begun in the heart of Yeshua and birthed in my heart 4 months ago, it's finally here. I am so honoured to join with some amazing sisters around the globe to share our stories in an amazing E - Book. If you have not yet checked out the vision behind the project you can click on the following Link: 

This is truly a very special day and thank you all for being part of it. This book will change you! And God has a big plan for this book and the seeds that are flying off the parent stem (watch this space). Here are some of our reviews to whet your appetite. 

Beautiful, touching stories woven together with the essence of the heart of womanhood amidst pain, triumphantly being found by Love and destiny. I found myself moving between crying and smiling with joy. I am celebrating the journey with my sisters, the journey to unveiling beauty and life, amidst the challenges of a harsh and broken world. I am inspired by the courage in each story and of inner strength wrought together with a tenderness of heart. Hope hope hope!   
Lauretta Smith, Love and Friendship Ministry South Africa

In Windows across Oceans, real woman share real life stories about real the power and redemption of a loving Heavenly Father. Each woman recounts the Father's love and redemption and how He touches her heart and life. As you read these autobiographical accounts, may you be blessed with hope for you and for other women you know. The same Father that brought healing and restoration to these women is the same God that has healing and hope for all women. There is nothing that you have done, nor has there been anything done to you, to keep you from the Father's love and redemption in your life. You, as a woman, are highly valued and treasured in the heart of the Father. There is nothing left undone in order for the Father to bring you into the fullness of your destiny in Him.
          Rivkah Isaacs (Formerly Heather Ferguson) Treasures of Glory Ministries

This amazing compilation of stories from the hearts of women across the world leaves one stunned, yet immersed in the all-encompassing love of Messiah Yeshua (Jesus Christ).  For most of us, these women's stories are incomprehensible.  We want to turn away from accounts of such suffering and abuse, and pretend we don't know about it.  Yet, to turn away would be to blot out the miracles of God's Love, reaching into the four corners of the earth, bringing healing and restoration to women who, in this book, refer to themselves as "hopeless, helpless and homeless; two empty hands and a weary soul, a worthless coin tossed to the ground." Through slavery, sexual abuse, rejection and forced abortions, these women from around the world share stories of redeemed lives, touched by the Living God.  One writes, "I believe Christ gave His life for sinners.  That's all I need to know." Another proclaims, "Christ is not a religion, but a new heart given by God at the cross of Calvary."  Isn't it time that we - even we who live blessed and comfortable lives - come back to these simple, but transforming statements of faith?  Perhaps as you read these stories of the love and redemption of Yeshua (Jesus), you too will fall on your face in thanksgiving, and come back to the kind of pure, passionate gratitude that graces the lives of these formerly lost and broken women.  As one of them gently says, "My story is a simple story...but it matters!" Indeed it does! Each and every story of Christ's redeeming love matters, and can change this broken world.
              Kelly Ferrari Mills, Singer and Minister Doorkeeper Ministries

 Windows across Oceans is being made available for $5 a copy.
All the proceeds from this book will be donated towards All Girls Allowed and Open Doors, to support our global sisters who desperately need a Love touch from Messiah. Be a part of this story, and grab a copy. Thank you so much for your Purchase!

*Last year when I prayed about the release date for this project Yahweh clearly showed me March 21. Remarkably this weekend is the start of the Biblical New Year. This is a really special time on God's time calendar. I truly believe God is a very detailed and orderly God, who makes things happen in specific times and season. This book is part of His New Year Time Clock. May His Name be glorified! 

Click the Link to make a Secure Purchase Via PayHip (Paypal or Credit Card)

*And because this Book and this project is all about Messiah's Redeeming Love, we want to bless one amazing woman and that one amazing woman could be you! One of our featured artists Ilse Kleyn has shared some of her amazing artworks in Windows across Oceans. Ilse and I met at a God ordained moment, where our lives intercepted by God's Divine Plan. A poem that had come to me from the Holy Spirit, entitled I am Woman started "travelling." I am Woman was featured in poetry anthologies, magazines and at conferences. It was used by Alison Botha and eventually it was destined to form part of Ilse Kleyn's Warrior Bride series of artworks. Ilse's artwork I am Woman is featured in this book and we have a beautiful A5 cardboard canvas of the picture, that we want to give away (prize pictured below)!All you have to do is make a purchase and your name will automatically be entered in to a draw at the end of April, to win this amazing prize. We are all part of God's unique tapestry, so let's be a thread united together in God's Eternal Plan of making a difference on this earth!


#Real is Raw - Five Minute Friday

Aint nothing better than being real! Kate's prompt this five minute friday got me thinking about a conversation my husband and I had recently. I am a pretty passionate person. Some people say its the Spanish heritage and well I got a Norwegian grandpa, that could be making up for the other part of me - that jumps up and down and talks really loudly and just wants to take off. Haha. It's funny I think we just are who we are. When I was studying my Masters class for Psychology we had to do marriage therapy classes, for those who wanted to specialise in marriage therapy. I wasnt one of them but loved the marriage classes. We learned that generally in marriages and relationships one person is a monkey (outgoing) and the other partner is a tortoise (more introverted). It makes sense, you have to have balance. But being real is all about being yourself and finding who you really are and living it. The best advice my mom ever gave me was "if you meet someone and fall in love, he must love you as you are and not try and change you."
It's true! Marriage changes us too - iron should sharpen iron, but it should change us for the best not for the worst. So from my side, I know I can be myself around my hubs and sometimes real is raw and it's okay. So let's get real!!
Question this week: How do you think your heritage has shaped who you are?

Linking up with Kate M

Monday 16 March 2015

Every blade of Grass has an angel..

Every blade of grass has an angel that bends over it and whispers
"grow, grow, grow!"
- The Talmud 

I am that blade of grass, reaching for the tiny droplets of water that roll across the rocks. Reaching, stretching, praying with my hands together, for a drop of water. A single blade on burnt ground, feeling the seering heat of the burning sun.

I wonder, I drop my head, head bowed and then suddenly a droplet crashes over me and I smile. I can live again, for another day. Tomorrow I will reach again and pray that water will find me and it will all be okay. As the dark of night settles, I drop my head to sleep and feel the pain in my neck and in my weak knees and weary feet. I whisper softly in to the air, "God please keep me safe, send your angels to care for me, lifting me up in the strong clasp of their hands." I am assured that He hears me, my Abba Loving Father is never far from me. I lift my head up for a single glance over the ocean in the distance, over the beautiful horizon that's dusted by the sun and I hear the tiny whisper "grow, grow, grow, rise up and live." I know it is for me, I know that God has never left me, providing the daily morning dew and droplets of water from the fountains above. I stretch out my arms and hands and feel warmth run through my tiny body. I am a blade of grass in the morning sun, waiting, hoping and praying. The valley around me is desolate, the ground burnt up, yet I survived and I am still here, sprouting in the desolation. New life will come, somehow I know it will come. For today, I hear the whispers of Love and Encouragement, my God says "I am here, grow, grow, grow."

Encouraged by Isaiah 35, Matthew 6 and Psalm 91

Saturday 14 March 2015

Lines from our Hearts, Extracts from our Stories, Windows across Oceans

Again, we witness the lines of our stories and wonder how we got here. We see the lines of Life that stretched across our hearts and know that as some point, at every point there was turning point. A moment where God came in, where Messiah full of Love and Grace, opened the door and showed us the way. He said "Get up and Live!" And we were made alive again! These are some of the lines from our stories, from our E - Book coming out on the 21 March this year. Here are some of the lines of our hearts..... (some of the writing came out really small, if you cant make out the words, you can just click on the picture!)

Jodee's Story, The Giver

Angelisa's Story, Her story

Safie's Story, Child Brides

Aliyah's Story, Teacher of Righteousness