Friday 30 June 2017

I will Double It - FMF

Five Minute Friday Writing, on the prompt "bless," Go!

I had this memory pop up today while I was brushing my teeth, while pondering on the very real questions and fears about some new nudges I feel towards the unknown things. I remembered how when I still lived at home, I travelled a lot. And as I saved towards my trips, my father would say to me, "child whatever you save up as spending money towards your trip, I will double it." And he kept his promise everytime. I knew it wasn't about the money, but it was about working hard at something, he wanted to teach me what it felt like to give of myself towards something. My father could have given me the money I needed, but he didn't. Instead we worked together towards a common goal, in this we had a sense of oneness and co - working, unity and a goal in sight. I would work hard to save every penny and when I would bring my savings to him just before a trip, he would smile, pleased. And then he'd give me not double, butwhatever I needed in total for the trip. I never took this for granted, because he could have changed his mind, but he didn't. In some invisible way, we were working together. And my dad is no saint, in fact we had a lot of hard times, and we did not get along that well, but he still gave me many good things, blessings. I guess I am reminded of that scripture which says; "So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him" (Matthew 7:11). With all the uncertainty within me towards the new unknown, perhaps this was not a random memory but a reminder. A promise, a nudge.....

LInking with Kate 

Tuesday 27 June 2017

Maternal Comes Straight From The Greatest Depths Of The Heart

I have learned that God’s heart may be fatherly, but it is also a heart of nurture, passion and compassion. He birthed the world from His mouth and we became His redeemed seed at our birth on the cross. He carries us on His chest and makes us to drink of His life. He always is and always will be hiding us in the shadow of His wings, just like mother birds do. He speaks to us about this brooding that He does, over our lives and He sacrificed so much so that we could be born from His blood.

Though I may not bear a birth of blood and see a new born life emerge, I have come to face the image in the mirror of myself, the one that is maternal. To be restored to Christ, means that I have had a heart transplant, resulting in the desire to nurture and nourish those I am called to serve. I am called to spiritually mother and when I first heard that call, it was unexpected. Yet, as spiritual mothers, we dry the tears of the very men and women looking to us to help them face a fatherless home or absent mom. We help those yearning to overcome abandonment and neglect, drug addiction, abuse and just plain weariness or the pain of a purposeless life. My spiritual mom, for example, was a woman who was penniless, but she shared her home with me when I was coming out of an abusive relationship and she helped me believe in God’s love again. She gave the speech at my wedding and she only added to my life in ways I am eternally grateful for, even though I still have my earthly parents...

This week I am blessed to be sharing my story about being a spiritual mom, over at Imperishable Beauty. I wrote this story 6 months ago, but perhaps someone out there needs to hear it today.... Come and Join me!

Monday 26 June 2017

Returning to what was Left Behind

I held the gold key with its thick maroon tassel between my hands. It was my twenty-first birthday and the key was a gift my parents purchased in Spain. A memento from the old city of Grenada, once home to hundreds of Jews until an edict was signed into law by the Catholic kings. The edict demanded that all practicing Jews leave the Spanish territories within four months. Along with the key was a tiny piece of paper retelling the history of a fateful night, March 31, 1492. Mourning Jews left Spain with the keys from their homes in Grenada in their pockets and passed them down from generation to generation in hopes their descendants would one day return to what had been left behind.

The key I held in my hand was a replica, but it was a thoughtful gift. As a child, I longed to visit the Middle East. I had an atlas I read over and over again. It was just a collection of maps, but it represented passage to a land I knew nothing about, a Jewish land of silent deserts and walls that saw generations come and ago. My parents knew this and my pull toward everything Jewish, including the Jewish rabbi named Jesus, whom I already followed like a disciple and had since the age of seventeen. That was how I understood him, as a Jewish rabbi with copper skin, dark hair, a thick beard, and dark eyes.

My heritage was not an interest of mine until I held that key in my hands. A week after my twenty-first birthday, I questioned my paternal grandfather on our heritage. White South Africans typically carry the ancestral blood of Germans, Dutch, French, Portuguese, Italians, and British people, to name but a few. Because our lineages are intricate and hard to trace, I assumed my grandparents did not know our family lineage. But my grandfather emerged with a Hebrew book and a secret his family had kept hidden not only from his grandchildren but also from his children. “We are Jewish..........

I'm sharing my Story over at Off the Page, Join me!

Friday 16 June 2017

FMF - You're an Investment

Five Minute Friday, writing on "Worth," GO!

 This parable of the Master, this giving master, this loving master. Giving talents to his workers, freely and without them even asking. To one is given 5 because it was so decided, but to another 2 and yet another, 1. Talents not meaning our gifts are skills, is money, a lot of money. A measurement of currency that equals 10 000 times a simple denarii. So if my daily wage of what I earn today is a simple $100 a day, times that by my lifes work of 30 years, this would mean God has invested in to my life, a muilt million dollar investment. Superabundance, grace upon grace, blessing upon blessing, He has invested in me. This investment is not a simple money treasure, but lately it means I am seeing the work of my hands for the Kingdom, in a different way. I am an investment, my Father has spent exclusive time on my design, each skill, each gift, each personality quirk, love and like, passion and joy is the unique expression of His deep love and investment. I'm not just given gifts, I am invested in and that's because Abba finds us worth it. I once read an interview with Donald Trump, where he said his father didn't give him a big start up, his dad only gave him $1 000 000 to begin a business. I rolled my eyes, a million bucks sure whose dad can afford to give them that! And yet, our lives as humans created by a Loving Master, means freely He has given, freely He has blessed and freely we have received because He thought we were worth it. Shame on us for burying it in the ground or thinking we don't have worth, His investment alone tells us we have worth. And perhaps we should go all Donald Trump like with our investment, and produce a billion fold exclusively for God's Kingdom! 

Stop! Linking with Kate M 

Saturday 3 June 2017

The Door of Return - Writing Elsewhere

The humid air licked at my fringe as I waited beneath the bell tower on the grass of a wine farm in Cape Town, my beloved home town. The air played with the rope that hung from the brass bell and as I looked up, I noticed a plaque to the left of where I stood. It was just a normal day out for me, acting like a tourist in my own city. Yet this bell unnerved me, as I stood waiting for my husband on the lawn. Curiosity gripped me and I walked over to the plaque. It held the words slavery on it and bled with the slave stories of the Cape. Small drawings were etched in to the brass depicting what life had been like for the slaves who lived on this farm. 

 That night I prayed in tears for the broken lives left behind in slavery and for those that still live as modern day slaves through human trafficking and abuse. I heard His words fill the air, I am the Door, I am the Return. These words were truth and though they referred to the beauty of Grace’s redemption I knew they meant something more. A week later someone we knew via social media, invited my husband and I to preach the word of God with her on a mission trip to Ghana.......

The rest of my story evokes deep emotion in me, come and join me over at the 

Friday 2 June 2017

One I can't see - FMF

Joining my crew at the new FMF crib and Kate hit the nail this week on the word "future," for me this is a hot topic right now.... No editing, unplanned writing here goes.... 5 minutes!

I've struggled to find my feet since we came back from our U.S.A. trip. We've done ministry trips before and sometimes re-entry is a challenge, but this time it was different. Something shifted within us and within God's plan for us. I recognise though that we could have that shift and receive an unknown new, because both my husband and I, have grown so much spiritually over the past year or so. Our spirits were bigger and more able to carry a greater load then before. That was something I did not recognise after we arrived home. During this time of struggling to find our hope and place, I have come to learn and see a lot. Yahweh doesn't show it to me all at once, but little by little He is pulling the curtain back on the things that have happened. On the things He has done, like this truth about our growth and maturing. Little by little I can see clearer, truths about myself and how He has prepared me for different things, along with these truths, He is calming my heart with the gentle comfort that the future looks good. Don't settle, He keeps on telling me, don't settle for lesser dreams or goals. Even when I slowly slip in to doubt about a life that does not quite make sense most days, He just keeps reminding me of His constant nearness and big plan. One I can't see just yet....

Linking with Five Minute Friday 

Thursday 1 June 2017

My Classics!

 I'm not sure how many people read Classic books these days, but when I started university back in 2004, it was thing! I'm a classic lover and my small collection of classics exploded as an undergrad English literature student. We were handed a folio paper with 20 books on, every year. I remember spending holidays reading, weekends away with friends reading, braaing (that's cooking meat on on an open fire) and reading. It was a bizarre world that somehow left me changed. Those days and hours of reading became formational, I learnt a language of poetry that stirred my passion to find my own truths. Those stories of hope and hopelessless, of love and second chances, of death and life, pain, sorrow and characters resembling people I knew, well they all mattered. I remember the first time I met Mr Darcy, the first time Anne Elliott started blooming again, the dislike of Causabon and the haunting image of Dover Beach, (a place I've actually visited in real life!). Well, this week I am taking part in the love of classic fiction and going against the grain of modern reading and diving in to the classics, as part of the #ReadUpStream challenge. Here's my five favourite classic memories:

1 - Edith Wharton's Age of Innocence. Depicting the inner conflict of the Old pre - war New York society versus upper class New York after the war. 
2 - My favourite Persuasion by Jane Austen. Everything about Persuasion moved me, my mom and I took a trip to Bath where we visited all the Jane Austen sites and places that featured in her books. It made the story come alive, I've actually just written an article on this, watch out for it soon!
3 - Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold. This image of a man desiring change from oppression and staring across the channel from Dover over to France where the French Revolution has already begun. Poetry is so much a part of the social issues of our day, poets are the teachers through whose eyes we see societies feelings. This poem stayed with me.
4 - Gerard Manley Hopkins, a poet my high school teacher made us read. True he was always melancholy and questioning, but quite interesting.
5 - Wole Soyinka, Ake the years of Childhood. Every year in university we were handed a list of African writers we had to read, a lot of them wrote some seriously shocking things I did not read. But Wole Soyinka was a whole different story, Ake is a biography with a compelling narrative written n 1981. 

So this is my off the beaten track list of classics, what's on your list!