Friday 28 October 2016

I'm Feasting - FMF

We travelled up country for the Feast of Tabernacles, to teach and be among people we had never met before. The geyser in our room was leaking, so was the toilet and the food was terrible, but how we feasted! Feasting on the fellowship of others, feasting licking lips deliciously with the presence of our Holy King. Feasting on the Love of the Messiah. We delighted in the aroma of His Love, and we drank deeply from His cup of deliverance and freedom. How we ate with such delight!

At the entrance of the hall where we gathered for sessions where we heard teaching and preaching, one woman set up a wedding canopy just like they would do in the Ancient biblical wedding ceremony. And on the table, was a daily feast of different fruits, nuts, and all kinds of sweet offerings. We stood beneath the wedding canopy feasting on the never ending flow of fruits that came from nowhere! I marvelled at how, daily I never saw anyone replenish the table but it was always full. I was reminded at how much Abba Father has for us, how He has laid a table before us and how He tells us that it is a table which overflows (Psalm 23). Do we expand our spiritual hunger enough to go and eat? Do we still desire the fresh Spiritual Manna He wants to give us daily (Exodus 16)? Are we hungry like the bride in Solomons Song!
I am at the table Abba, knife and fork in hand, I am hungry for You, Abba I delight to feast on Your Presence, fill me!

Stop!Five minutes of unedited writing sharing over at Kate's 
And Amanda's Books 

Thursday 27 October 2016

My Words are Reflections of Me

This morning I took a photographer with me to a human trafficking safe house I know. God laid it on my heart to do a media campaign with them for the 16 Days of activism against abuse starting on the 26th of November. When I spoke to the founder who is also a friend, she wanted to treat these women with photos of themselves as well. When we arrived at the Safe House, the girls were so excited, even the founder walked in halfway through and said she couldn't believe how different they all looked. They were giggling, posing, modelling, dressing up and being alive in the moment. I sat at the table and watched them, I was sitting holding a pen in my hand, blank paper in front of me. Before I looked again, one girl walked over to me and said, “can you write what I tell you on to the paper?” “Sure" I remarked and began writing her words. She had so much to say, we had to finally choose just one sentence. Before long another girl wrote words on paper and wanted to stand in the photos with her story. I wrote for 4 girls and writing for them somehow connected me with their stories, with their hearts. I really did not know how to tell them what I wanted to say. It’s not pity, it’s not empathy, it was love and I wanted to tell them that they are loved. Pure and simple. And that Love connected me with them. 

As I sat watching them pose with their faces covered (to protect their identity), each one of them were veiled but visible because of their words. They wanted to share their stories with the world. They wanted to speak words without sound that others could hear. As I sat there my eyes fell on their words, on their pages. White pages with black writing on, so much like their souls, innocent women, sold, beaten, broken, abused. Now having to overcome the black ink of the world on their souls. Yet they found courage to stand up, to stand tall, to overcome through their words. Words heal. Words set free. As I sat there, God showed me again about this holy calling of writing. How writing heals, it tells the stories of people who will be forgotten if we do not capture their legacies in words. Writing is one of the greatest forms of healing and we gravitate towards it when our lives have been shattered. Writing connects the fragments of our memories, it aids healing. Words, God used them powerfully, through words He formed the earth and its beauty. Through words, He birthed the lights, the trees, the animals, everything. Through words He speaks to my soul, connects me with His Love and Passion, with words He heals my own sometimes broken, weary soul. 

That picture will be framed in the locker of my mind. That picture of those four women standing against the wall, faces covered, but their stories alive because of the white pages filled with life’s confessions. Our written words are holy tools given from Heaven, they are not there for self – promotion or gratification, but our words are javelins that we launch towards the enemy’s encampment. May we be good with our words, trustworthy with our words and always ready to battle the enemy with the atom bomb called words. 

When my husband and I got home this afternoon, we held hands and prayed for the girls at the Safe House and then my hubby prayed for me and said "Thank You Father for my wife, who helps the community, who looks for opportunity to change things and stands for justice." It made me cry, because it was the first time he prayed for that specific area. He prays usually for everything else but it was as though this community heart, this social justice heart was lifted up today. And I am also guest posting over at Mudroom today all about..... Social Justice!! This strange ache I nursed inside for years, a desire to do something more..... that's the story I shared today and isn't God's timing just amazing! Here is the link:

Friday 14 October 2016

FMF - In a simple Mail

Five Minute Friday Time, the Prompt - Mail! Go!

I moved the little carousel and paged through the different postcards of Africa. I loved them, all of them. Tourists bustled around me, pushing me literally out of the way (tourists can be rude! but I digress). And the shop workers were looking at me ready to sell me some over - priced stamps for my cards. I smiled before opening my mouth, "I'm not a tourist, I live here, I'm just looking for a postcard." I stuffed my cards in to a brown paper bag and left. Later that evening, I took them out. Each one meant something to me, I felt the message of each one and it was a spiritual message I hoped the receivers would perceive. A simple mailed postcard with an airmail stamp and yet it's ability to gift someone else and speak prophetically in to their life, it's there. In a simple postcard. 

It's why I blog too. I love connection, even when someone leaves me a comment, I'm like "why don't they leave their website address, I wanna say hi back!" It's true. And in this fast paced world of ours, many people have written all over their blogs, how they love readers to mail them but when you do you just don't get a reply. I wish they'd remove that little one liner - because if you not going to mail back you not telling the truth (but I digress again! Can you hear my frustration:)) But the bottom line is, mail - airmail or email, it can light up someone's world, change their day and show them that someone out there is not busy to overlook them, not too busy to care. And all that can be said in a simple "mail."

Sharing at Kates 

Wednesday 12 October 2016

The Freeing Miracle of Grace - Writing Elsewhere

Shalom Friends

I am so blessed to be part of Anna and Debbies 31 Days of Miracles Series, I would love for you to read my story and be encouraged! We never what God is doing sometimes, but He is always up to something Good!

I knew this man I loved had a tragic past but the stories he would tell me made no sense in my mind, he was a new man, a new creature in our Beloved Saviour. I did not see the stories as part of our lives, I did not even see them as part of Yosef’s life, I only saw God and that was all I needed to know. But in August 2008, the past caught up with us in a very big way.

We were on holiday up the coast when the phone rang. It was a call from a parole officer with a warrant for Yosef’s arrest. Years before, Yosef had been tried for a charge of house breaking and was sentenced to community service but he had run away from his community service conviction and hiked down to Cape Town. In 2004 he had stood before a magistrate and had all his outstanding charges dropped against him, but what he didn’t know was that the community service charge had not been picked up at the time. He would have to be tried again and this time the law was dead against him. He had run away and was now facing a 6-year jail sentence without the offer of parole. The officers had travelled down to Cape Town from up North and his arrest was to made immediately. Our world spun out of control. Yosef was handcuffed, put in to the back of a police van, held in various police cells while they travelled up North and all the while I stayed behind, crying and praying.....
Read the Rest of the story Over Here:

Tuesday 4 October 2016

A Stranger in Jerusalem

 My life was thrown asunder by a single declaration from my aging grandfather who decided to reveal the truth to the family, “you are all Jewish!”  The declaration broken open a yearning I had nursed since first discovering an atlas at age 8, a yearning for the Middle East. My parents decided it would be good for me to travel to Israel and nurse the ache in my soul. So I put myself through the interrogation at Johannesburg airport by the El Al staff and I landed in Tel Aviv with my small tour group 12 hours later. I brought along my best friend Colette just in case a bomb fell or I was abducted, just in case. Over the next 4 days we bussed around archaeological sites and hills but I stared out in to the hazy distance and prayed for Thursday to come, the day we would travel to Jerusalem. We arrived in Jerusalem at a youth hostel and got settled in. Colette and I looked at each other with a glimmer in our eyes, let’s haul it over to the Western Wall. We walked down the stone steps through Jaffa Gate, down the narrow passage of bustling Arab stalls and out in to the Cardo, the heart of the Jewish quarter in the Old City. I smiled at the young soldier in his olive green uniform with his big, black gun at his side, I hoped he would smile back but he didn’t. We kept on walking but my pace slowed, I was standing on old stones, stones that had rested beneath the feet of travellers for scores of years. Hebrew writing flicked across the signs, a for Sale sign hung on one of the passing flats, I made a mental note to call my father to make an offer. Men, women and children played in a large square around tables at an open air restaurant, I felt that ache again, the ache to belong. We marked the way to the Western Wall and in the distance we saw the infamous site on every postcard picture of Jerusalem, the Al – Aqsa Mosque, it’s golden dome shining in the dipping sun. A man passed by with a t – shirt on, the smiley face with its curls on his white shirt remarked “Don’t worry, be Jewish.” Was it that simple?

I pulled the collar on my leather jacket up, to frame my freezing face. As we passed through the security booth I realised how inappropriately I was dressed in my tight jeans and biker jacket, but I was there to bring my heart not my clothes so I pressed on. The stones wore deep wrinkles in its skin, and I marvelled at how clean everything was. I breathed in deeply, passed some beggars at the gates leading to where others were praying, they looked as though they were going to swear at me for ignoring them. One of them leaned up against a sign that read “no beggars allowed at the Wall.” The sun had collapsed in to the horizon and the lights flickered on around us, I had made it and thankfully few women filled the women’s section for prayer. The ancient limestone wall I had only seen in books finally stood in front of me, the last memory of the temple that once graced the holy city. I pressed my hands on to the cool stone, a small tuft of grass tickled my palm. I closed my eyes and heard sobs somewhere in the distance, women’s voices mourned somewhere. I struggled to find the words until in desperation I pressed my head against the stones and felt as though I was pressed in to the tunic of God. My heart broke, every question I had carried with me came loose. I could no longer carry my own weight, I collapsed in to the smooth gutter that held the wall, still pressed up against the stones. Hours passed but it felt like minutes, I did not want to leave, Colette wrapped her arm around my shoulders and together we wept in prayer. I stood to my feet, touched the wall as if touching the cheek of a lover I was leaving, and as I turned around a woman dressed in white, with yellow blonde hair, threw her arms around me. I allowed myself to be gathered up in to the arms of a stranger, “may God answer all your prayers,” she whispered in to my ear.  I did not want her to let go.

As we passed back through the gates I would not turn around, for fear that it was all a dream and that the woman in white was an angel in disguise, now disappeared and back in heaven. An Orthodox man dressed in black approached us, “shalom do you have a place to go for Shabbat dinner tomorrow evening?” 

“Yes thank you,” I replied and he was off. The rest of the evening unfolded in a blur, I did not taste our evening meal, I did not hear the conversation at the table, I can’t remember if I slept that night or not. The friendliness, the love, the warms arms, the children playing in the streets, everything, it asked more questions of me. The following evening Shabbat arrived like a daughter whose family were longing for her return. My rabbi back home in South Africa arranged for Colette and I to spend the Sabbath meal with his brother in Jerusalem. We arrived at his home and were astonished to find an old building that appeared rather creepy on the outside but as we entered the door of his house, the modern, spacious open plan apartment was breath – taking. His wife barely spoke, I thought she didn’t like us at first but I came to learn a few hours later that, she did not speak a word of English. Rabbi Mendy was incredibly kind, leading me through the ritual of washing my hands before the meal, helping me with the blessings, the bread and the wine. He kindly asked about my life, my family and my dreams. “You come to yeshiva next year.”

“Yes, we are starting up our first girls only yeshiva this year, I will arrange it, you come.”
“But rabbi,” I protested, “I have no idea how to do all this, I’m still learning so much, will they even accept me?
“I will get you in, don’t worry.”

Our conversation ended, my mind swirled, I could change the way I dressed, get deeper in to my Hebrew studies and convince my parents to agree. He pulled out a book of Sabbath songs, his soft voice filled the air with a tale, a song about a lost pilgrim trying to find his way home. The pilgrim with a bag of worries on his back found his way to the Western Wall, lowered his bag and found home in the arms of the stones. I tried to hold back my tears but my heart would have none of it, I let them go. I suddenly felt whole in a land of strangers, I finally found what I had searched for in that atlas, home.