Monday 21 March 2016

International Poetry Day, what it means to us.

Shalom and happy international Poetry Day!
These days, it seems there is quite literally a day for everything and there really is. On our wedding anniversay last year, we also found out it was the international day to celebrate cats - boy is my furry baby happy that his day is now included in our wedding day. 

But since I am a poet, and I love poetry I enjoy celebrating these kind of days. I guess people are always looking for something to celebrate and why not. Poetry is very special to me. I started writing poetry from a young age and have enjoyed growing in what I truly believe, is a calling. I believe God - commissioned poets are born, much like God - commissioned musicians, painters, business people, it's a calling. Over the years I don't know how it happened but I nervously (and very quickly) read poetry at different events. Usually shaking and scared. But that changed as I grew in the words God gave me, and as I grew in understanding that poetry is not just a random thing, it's a Yahweh thing. It changed when I realised that, my words made a difference and my heart was transparent. It changed when people went silent and the words fell over them as the Holy Spirit moved. It changed when I saw women break open after years of abuse, by proclaiming a powerful poem over them. It changed when I realised poetry is not something I do, it's part of who Yeshua created me to be. Today, I have poems I have written hanging up in my home, these poems have been part of art exhibitions, birthday celebrations and more. I stand in awe of what God has done but I look also to the future with what more He has in store. 

Last weekend I took part in a very fun poets response poetry challenge, to write a poem about something that was in the news this previous week. Over 100 poems participated, very cool! So in honour of poetry day, I want to share mine below. It was a response to the conviction of South Africa by the International crime court, about the failure of this government to arrest Al - Bashir, the Sudanese dictator. He has killed millions of people in his country, many are children and many continue to die in this genocide. It has been a chocking portrayal of the coldness of society. Here it is, copyrighted (as all my poems are) may it touch you and feel free to share your poems too!

The Red Soil of Sudan, stained by South African Dust

My Darfuri brothers and sisters, we hear your cries and the loss of your thousands.
We smell the Sudanese soil sweating with blood, we feel the chill of the hopeless, displaced masses left behind. The swollen faces of the lifeless lie beneath the shadow of the sun. Somewhere a greedy president laughs as he discards the tickle of the blood of the slain.

Why me? She questions, while surrounded by the bodies of her bloodied family, "why I am alive just to die another day?" My brothers and sisters your lives are not far from our hearts, our emotions ripped open and apart, we cry for you, we weep for you, my brothers and sisters we hear you. 

My cello heart strikes at the strings of mourning, my beloved family, South Africa has failed you, but we on the streets, it is us who have not forgotten you.  The leaders that once swore to protect a nation are filled with violence and corruption but us, the men and women called South Africans, our hearts are bitter over this evil corruption, this evil disgrace. Our government has failed to do all that is right, your president flew out of here in broad daylight. They let him go, a man whose hands are filled with half a million lives, a man whose conscience never picks at his chest, never convicts him, his evil mind is always at rest. I howl at the reality you now face, sending back this man of violence only to instil more hate.

We weep for the lives of our Darfuri family whose voices went unheard and whose cries for salvation and redemption went unheeded. We swore as human beings after Hitler’s dream for the Nazi’s, that we would never allow hatred to teem or genocide to be enacted by another regime. But my words fall silent, at the failure of thousands, when will it end, our God only knows when. All I can ask in this dark night, is the forgiveness for this failure to do what is right. Collect your tears as memoirs so that we may know your stories, I send you love across the sea and hope will all my heart that soon life will come to my precious family locked in a paradise called Sudan, locked in a world enclosed in hatred and sin. Shallow graves may be your lot, but hold on please because I promise that not one of your tears will be forgot, this I promise you precious Darfuri, the treasured, forgotten Sudanese. 

Bless you family and may poetry continue to inspire you!

Friday 18 March 2016

The Greatest Art Piece

Last weeekend, my husband and I watched a very thrilling yet moving film called The Monuments Men. The film is based on true life events of a handful of men who were alive during world war 2. These men bravely went to Nazi - controlled Europe to rescue works of art that Hitler had ordered his troops to sieze. The warfare was intense, death was all around and these men - who were not even soldiers, went in to this war zone to save what we now experience as the most moving art pieces of all time. When I was 14 years old I travelled to France with my brother and my mother, there we visited the Lourve and I stared at the Mona Lisa and her smile. While watching this movie last weekend I realised that, I would never have had that experience if those men had not laid down their lives to protect something as special as art and some of these men died trying to protect what we see today.

 Part of what moved me in the film was how Hitler wanted to destroy everything the world assigns value to. He also wanted to destroy the great achievements of the Jews, wiping out their history, their culture and their achievements. As someone who is a Jewish believer in Messiah, I had never thought of this before. I had never thought of how our achievements as a scattered nation was something that threatened Hitler. I had never taken in to account that he wanted to destroy everything we brought to the world and it was intense to take to heart this reality but it also got me thinking about what we are called to do as believers.

Yeshua Messiah - Jesus Christ laid down His life to save what He calls, His greatest work of art. Ephesians 2:10 says "For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." However if you look at the original it says we are God's poeima, which literally means we are God's poetry, His masterpiece, His work of art. So in Messiah we become this redeemed art piece, this priceless valuable work of art that He reached for, snatching us from the fire of the enemy and saving our lives through laying down His own. We have also been entrusted with this amazing piece of art that the world needs to see - this work of art called the gospel. The message of redemption, holiness and salvation - it's the best art piece, the best sculpture we will ever see and experience and it's been entrusted to us. We are the monuments men and many have gone before us, laying down their lives for their faith. That's why we give up our lives to serve in other countries, it is why we willingly serve our God with our whole hearts because we have been called for more, to witness and to protect this beautiful truth. It's something that inspires me and fills me with awe. I pray to be empowered with what I need to protect this art and to fulfil my position in this army of believers! I hope you will join me!

*On a side note, for the first time I am taking part in an art market this weekend, where some of my art works will be on sale. It's pretty exciting and I am praying at least 1 piece will get sold! Excited*

Surpised with New - FMF

Five Minute Friday - the theme this week is Surprise! Here Goes!

Surprised by grief, taken unaware, time to stop I knew it was clear. Broken down, head in hands, knees feeble weak, I stopped and I released. It was perfect, all I needed to do, I gave it up, gave it all to You. I knew I was tired, knew what I was fighting and knew I was bone - weary of carrying so many burdens. I saw them all, but could never understand their composition or position of weight on my heart. 

I love how You stand in the doorway, my ever present Lover. Ready to surprise me with new. New understanding, new somethings, new wisdom to capture Heavens Light. New spaces to sharing what I feel isn't right, new life to live in the light around me. It's just You and Me in this wonderful tumbling hill, valley, mountain journey and it's just great. In a world where words fall silent, there does not need to be much, but here You hear it all, enough said, be silent girl. No need to fill the air with lots of more, it's just perfect in this space. Thank You for surprising me with giving up and giving me more, it's perfect, in all of it's composition. 

STOP! Sharing at Kate's!

Tuesday 8 March 2016

Happy International Women's Day!

I watch the little Google video and I cry, all these dreams. These dreams we hold inside of us as women. All this dreaming and here we are, women. 

Why does this reality impact me so, why am I led to tears for other women. I have no idea.

I am not a secular feminist, for sure I believe in equality and freedom for all but I believe that God wants us to create a new "new" a new reality, where we believe in the power of the Cross and it's ability to restore every part of us. I believe that we have and continue to be, ushered in to a new place, a new space on earth where the true sons and daughters of God will arise, with power and might. Their position is a soldier but their identity is a child, men and women who will do God's work, God's way. 

I have this place inside of me that beats wildly, to share forgotten stories, to feature women's faces, touch old wrinkled tanned hands and say "sister, mama, daughter, beloved, your story will not be forgotten, because we will not forget it." 
I have this God - space inside of me that cannot be named. A desire to shout the cry against my oppressed sisters pains, and I have the burden of the Cross propelling me to tell them what once was lost can be found in Messiah, in the power and the Love of His eyes. I have this desire to see the world healed, to see it submitted to God's perfect Law and Holy Truth. 

I have this burning yearning to see women rise up, in battle gear just their own, with faces of flint and shields of faith well oiled and ready. I have this crazy desire to see people truly living for Yeshua, ridding themselves of the shackles of the flesh and living a Spirit - Led life that will result in salvation from eternal death.

And I have this Love inside me, Heaven birthed and bought - to tell my precious friends that they are loved. Not only by me but by some One that knows everything about them and just wants to Love crazy on them. 

Women are hidden in spaces around the world, hiding from themselves, torn apart by abuse, pain and unspeakable torture of oppression and depression. I pray today that the Holy Spirit of God will reach in to those unreachable places and whisper His words of Love and Healing in to their broken souls and tell them just how much they mean, not only to Him but to us all. I pray today that the Life of Yeshua, will flood their tired, dry bones and minister His undying Love into that fragmented soul. I pray today for the women of this world, to the feminine face of God that the devil so hates, that you previous beloved soul will rise and rise again, until your light shines forth in to the world and all we see is a recreated soul - shining with the Beauty that Heaven purchased for you, with the price of a Hero's Blood, Yeshua. You are so loved precious one.

I am a contributer over at a wonderful women's Mag in South Africa where I live and this year for Women's Day, I did a cool interview with different women to find out how they defined womanhood for themselves, check it out! 

Thursday 3 March 2016

February Highlights and Lessons

February was a great month, not without trial or challenge but through these challenges we grow, we stretch and we become even purer and more durable for the Kingdom! Amen! So February Highlights and Lessons, here it comes!

There are ducks who Work!
That’s right, working ducks. Since becoming a contributor for a local magazine I have really enjoyed writing and visiting some amazing places. This month we visited a wine estate and we were treated so well. On the farm, they have 800 Indian runner ducks who work in the vineyards. There is a duck parade everyday where they head off to work and then come home every afternoon. They are amazing, that is why the Bible forbids eating ducks, because they are bottom feeders, they clean, that’s their God ordained role and to see them living it out and thriving was amazing.
Self-Care is important.
Father God has been leading me to take time out and spend some time before bed just writing down some things, more specifically I have been working through 52 Lists. It’s amazing how God is using this to speak to me, show me things about myself that I never knew. We talk and in the process I am learning more about myself, both wounded areas and areas where I am free. It is amazing, and I am only in the beginning. I have also been inspired to create my own lists, not just limiting myself to 52 Lists. If you have not yet checked it out, check it out!
Script – Writing is it for me?
The jury is still out on this one. What I have learned is that through the process of writing this film script for a movie to be filmed this year, I have had to confront something I never wanted to confront before. The film is a true life story about a wonderful woman, who God healed from cancer 16 years ago. What has touched me is that I am writing a living persons story and that has deepened the journey. My book out this year and the one I just finished for next year, God – willing, are both true life stories but based on deceased women. So no trouble with their opinions but now writing on someone who is alive, is really different, its deeper in a way. I have also had to confront the fact that I fear cancer. It feels somewhat liberating and frightening just saying that, because I have never said it before. My aunt died of cancer last year and it was pretty tough for the family, but I want to be healed of this fear and I know God is busy within me. Will I do another film script, who knows, maybe!
I love writing! New opportunities!
Yeah, Yeshua is renewing me. Last year was pretty tough being a new novelist and working with a very difficult editor. This year I have been given some new opportunities that I am loving. I have also been blessed to become a reviewer for an amazing brand I love and whose products I love but cannot afford. Now I get sent products I love for free and I get to write about them, God is so good!

It's about the Mind.
What we feed our minds with is a big deal and I am learning how important it is to keep a clear mind, to choose vehemently what comes in to my mind and to fill my mind with what is good, pure, holy and noble.

I loving being part of a Sister Circle.
I don’t like clich├ęs so I won’t use them. This month for International Women’s day, I interviewed some amazing women I know about what it means to be a women and their answers were all so different. What was true though was how much stronger the sense of womanhood was in women who know Messiah and who live by His Spirit. Women I interviewed who did not know God, seemed more negative and downcast about who they were. This has truly blessed me in a way because I have been a gender equality writer and advocate for so long, especially in ministry and as an ordained minister and writer, this encourages me again to know how much God wants to heal and restore our womanhood. He wants us to be lions who roar, woman who shine like the stars and an army of foot soldiers ready to march with truth, wow I am excited about it!
My artwork has Changed.
So I celebrated 2 years of painting this month and this year has seen a marked change in my art. Last year I was ready to give up because I was somewhat lost. However, as my husband and I have rounded a new corner with new revelation and prophetic message that God is giving us piece by piece, this message is forming on canvas. My art is changing and it’s deep, really cool for me to share my heart on canvas, a tiny touch of heaven. 

Scripture I am loving this month -  2 Timothy 4:5 “But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Do not be afraid of suffering for Yeshua, work at telling others the Good News and fully carry out the ministry God has given you.”

Sharing over at Emily's Place