Wednesday 28 December 2011

Return to love by M. W.

Our Deepest Fear
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it is in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others."

Monday 12 December 2011

One acquainted with the Night by Robert Frost


Acquainted with the Night

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rainand back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height,
One luminary clock against the sky

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right
I have been one acquainted with the night.

Oh, the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss

It is like Dr Seuss is speaking to me!!!

Wednesday 23 November 2011

How long must we wait for liberty?

The death of freedom of speech is coming to South Africa and very soon. Yesterday has been called "Black Tuesday" with the parliamentarians getting together to sign for a unanimous secrecy bill to be passed, I wonder now if people will wake up and realize that democracy is no longer an option. I dont believe democracy is ever an option, no matter where you live. Once the media is imprisoned to report only what "THEY" say is reportable - corruption, crime and iniquity can rise and rise again until another flood overtakes the earth. Hopefully there's an ark nearby!

On a similar but somewhat different note, my thoughts drift over to the death of Inez Milholland. She is considered a martyr of the suffragette movement, Inez worked hard with Alice Paul and campaigned across the states for liberty for women. It is said that her final words before she died were "Mister President, how long must women wait for liberty?" I am asking the same question. We have 16 days to march and scream about abuse but someone said to me - why dont we march and scream against abuse EVERYDAY? Well, why dont we?

South Africa has been voted the Number 1 most violent country in the world, 4 women are killed daily in South Africa by an intimate partner, 1 in 3 people in this country are infected with HIV and every half a second a women is raped. Every 3 minutes someone is hijacked and still when we report about crime, we cannot even find domestic violent reports or reliable statistics. And now we care preparing for the "THEY" to control what information we see and hear. Pulling the wool over sheep's eyes do not make them blind, it only makes them angry. I am asking the question that was posed almost 100 years ago to a different president in a different country about a difference yet similar topic - "Mister President, how long must women wait for liberty?" From abuse? Will someone be answerable?????

Ribbons and Stars

Friday will mark the beginning of the international campaign known as the "16 days of activism against women abuse" While I have been meditating upon what this means and how can we change things around us, I have been therapeutically cutting, pinning and creating white ribbons for our women abuse campaign kicking off next week. Yeshua laid it upon my heart some weeks ago to "take it to the streets" - to go out into the public and do something about what is happening in terms of abuse. 

The mandate of this campaign is to inform - handing out flyers, helping others through free counseling and offering numbers of places that can help. Along with this however, is the very important task of showing people the need to wear the white ribbon. The white ribbon is a sign of support and the sign of someone saying "I am SAYING NO! to women abuse!" I am saying NO! 

People often tell us that we cannot change things - I don't believe it - we can, small steps turn into big steps, which turn into a slow jog, which emulates into a run, which eventually becomes a sprint and then cross country! Until when you look again, you have covered the entire world and you started off with a small step.

I have been pinning ribbons for a few days now each ribbon that I look at, I see a life. I see someone, a life to be touched, a life still to be lived. Abuse victims do not live, they survive; each moment of their lives are scanned sensing for danger or safety and then the interpretation - how to act. The white ribbon represents the colour of purity, of newness of rebirth - the life yet to be lived, still to be had. Each ribbon represents the hope, the hope that a victim can be made free. Each ribbon is a life, each life is a gift.

Along with the lives that I see, I also see stars. Alice Paul and Lucy Burns sewed stars onto the suffragette flag each time a new state agreed to allow women to vote. A star for a state, a star representing liberation and equality, a star for freedom. Each ribbon I see, I see the same stars. Alice Paul envisioned not only a country but a world where equality for all sexes would be an inalienable right and I hope for the same.
May these 16 days of activism not pass us by...rather allow yourself to reach out, embrace it; take it by the hand and find help for yourself or for another - we can, God can - we just need to reach out!

Friday 21 October 2011

Walking Away by C. Day Lewis

This is one of my favourite poems of all time, written by a father for his son. 

It is eighteen years ago, almost to the day –
A sunny day with leaves just turning,
The touch-lines new-ruled – since I watched you play
Your first game of football, then, like a satellite
Wrenched from its orbit, go drifting away

Behind a scatter of boys. I can see
You walking away from me towards the school
With the pathos of a half-fledged thing set free
Into a wilderness, the gait of one
Who finds no path where the path should be.

That hesitant figure, ebbing away
Like a winged seed loosened from its parent stem,
Has something I never quite grasp to convey
About nature’s give-and-take – the small, the scorching
Ordeals which fire one’s irresolute clay.

I have had worse partings, but none that so
Gnaws at my mind still.  Perhaps it is roughly
Saying what God alone could perfectly show –
How selfhood begins with a walking away,
And love is proved in the letting go.

Wednesday 19 October 2011

Guess I............

Guess I’d fallen in love already

The ground lay clothed in linen, silver grey
Then I saw you standing there beneath the bare, willow tree guess I’d fallen in love with You already.
Silver linings of snow hung from Your chin as though You had just eaten a ripe fruit.
Smatterings of glitter add surreal beauty to this already beautiful landscape.
All that I have known of love is as cold as winter yet now it is as beautiful as this winter wonderland.
Your eyes as clear as gold, refined, your hair silver as the clouds during a festival of rain, YOU
Guess I’d fallen in love with You already.
The bare, willow trees arms are outstretched in might and the snow carpets a frozen floor.
You stand staring into the distance and I stand staring at Your divinity, clothed in white, decadent in frosting;
Guess I’d fallen in love with You already all that was left was for You to take my hand and so You did.

Tuesday 11 October 2011

A touching picture behind the story

Last night I read the story again of the woman who washed Yeshua's feet with her hair and tears and then took costly perfume and anointed His feet.

I often think of Yehezkel (Ezekiel's) proclamation of "woe is me! woe is me!" upon seeing the Son of Man in a vision. Truly when we see our uncleanness and our own sinfulness against the Holiness and Beauty of the One who created us, we cannot help but loath ourselves and be ashamed. Even our good deeds are as filthy rags.
I love You Yeshua so much, You have given me everything that I have and I fail so often , in this too I know how much You love me. Truly the anointing sinner knew the Love that only You could ever have in Your heart for the heart of a repentant sinner. I really love You my Saviour, My King, I really love You. Please lets sit together while, me the sinner, You the Holy King and just be together; me anointing You with my tears; You changing me with Your love. You are so awesome Father, You are so amazing, I give my heart to You, to You alone forever, Abba thank You I am so grateful for eveything I have and everything that You are! I love You.

Tuesday 4 October 2011

Domestic Violence in South Africa

The Institute of Security Studies (South Africa) did a research project in 1999. They found that:
  • 90% of the women interviewed had experienced emotional abuse: being humiliated in front of others was most commonly reported.
  • 90% had also experienced physical abuse: being pushed or shoved and being slapped or hit were highlighted.
  • 71% had experienced sexual abuse: attempts to kiss or touch followed by forced sexual intercourse occurred most often.
  • 58% experienced economic abuse: money taken without consent was most common.
  • 42.5% of women had experienced all forms of abuse.
  • 60% of all cases of abuse were committed by partners, lovers or spouses.
  • -Emotional abuse-either as a category on its own or in combination with other types of abuse was referred to by 63% of women as being the most serious.
-According to a Medical Research Council study, young women are more subjected to assault (ranging from slapping to beating with objects and stabbing) and sexual coercion by partners and others.

Monday 3 October 2011

Eternal Shabbat

It is only Monday (a blue one at that!) and already my mind and heart are telling me "It's Shabbat!"
The pressures of life and the stress of this world indeed wear one down so that eventually you are left a "stump"

My heart cries out to be with my King in the day which will always be "Shabbat" and I cannot wait for it!
I have a good life, no complaints but our lives are conditioned by worry, fear and anxiety (and just yesterday someone reminded me that worry is a sin, mmmmm). But how do we flee worry when the things we hope for are never realized or things we have to do, are the very things we have the inability to do? Such as paying bills.

Three weeks ago a candidate who was forced to learn English in my class, begun to make my life unbearable so as to be excused from my class. He is a young, Indian guy from India and has been here 3 months. He battles incessantly to speak English properly and although I am trying to coach him in English, he is uninterested because within his own mind he has all the answers already before the questions are even answered. Unfortunately this individual has succeeded in lying and making false accusations about the class - all of which have been proved to my supervisors as false.

However this individual has singlehandedly forced me off course. Yesterday we were doing a Yom Teruah study on the 31 sins people commit, one of those sins is bringing false accusations against people and lying. I realized that I was the recipient of someone else's sin, no wonder the weight is too heavy to bear.
I am now struggling to bring order to a new course, which I am suppose to start this week simply because of one individual. I just realise how our own selfishness, guilt and conniving bring other people's lives under threat and how sinful this is! I look up to my King and ask Him for help, I have no strength He has it all I really need your help Abba!

Ah and so my heart still longs for the day of Shabbat - the day of eternal Shabbat, where there will be no more fear, worry or pain, no more sorrow, strife or tears and where I will be at liberty to sit at the feet of my King without saying a thing - I simply cannot wait!

Friday 30 September 2011

Today as I was browsing through the Hubble gallery - as I love to do - I was really taken in with a specific nebula picture. The nebula is the Eagle nebula and this picture I am going to share was released in 2005. This particular spire in the nebula appears like a winged creature in particular a fairy (well for me anyway!) and is incredibly beautiful, wow it just  takes my breath away. I cannot believe how amazing Gods' creation is.
Psalm 148 says "praise Him sun and moon and ALL the shining stars!" Could you imagine their voices all singing together to the One true God in praise, wow I can only imagine. This picture has really blessed me and is so inspiring!

Monday 19 September 2011

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

Pictures of Mutuality.

The timeless love story of Queen Victoria and her Albert is widely known and celebrated as one of inspiration and also criticism. However one point of interest which is of beauty and regard to me is their mutuality.
The British Queen Victoria was independent and strong-willed and doubted her own acceptance of marriage upon her succession to the throne. However at the age of 20, Victoria married her cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Prince Albert was disliked by the people in lieu of their own anti-German feelings. The people of England viewed the prince as a poor, undistinguished patron of a wealthy wife; unfortunately it took years before his contributions to the nation were ever recognized.

 During the first two years of their married life, Albert was not present in any of the queen’s meetings with councilors, ministers or statesmen however after the course of two years Albert begun to be present at every meeting. Much criticism has been issued on this point however Prince Albert knew the queens heart intimately. Victoria, though strong-willed and driven feared that she was inexperienced and she appreciated the presence and advice of her husband and prince. It was at the invitation of the queen that Albert was present at the meetings and almost without question she acted according to his advice given her on those occasions. The Prince himself, in a letter to the Duke of Wellington, stated that his principle of action was "to sink his own individual existence in that of his wife, to aim at no power by himself or for himself, to shun all ostentation and to assume no separate responsibility before the public. He desired to make his position a part of the queen's, he likewise considered it his duty " continually and anxiously to watch every part of the public business, in order to be able to advise and assist her at any moment in any of the multifarious and difficult questions brought before her, (sometimes political, or social, or personal) as the natural head of her family, superintendent of her household, manager of her private affairs; her sole confidential adviser in politics, and only assistant in her communications with the officers of the government."

In full agreement with his heartfelt statement that he desired no power for himself or before the public, upon his deathbed he strongly requested from his wife and children that no memorials, monuments, epitaphs or statues be erected about him or for him.
In the year following his decline to join the army to be of assistance and aid to his wife, he again wrote to his father the following “"I study the politics of the day with great industry, and resolutely hold myself aloof from all parties. I take active interest in all national institutions and associations. I speak quite openly with the ministers on all subjects, so as to obtain information, and meet on all sides with much kindness.... I endeavour quietly to be of as much use to Victoria in her position as I can." Prince Albert has been described as a scholar, brilliant statesman, businessman and philanthropist. 

Albert was concerned for the people and helped Victoria in her reforms to help the people of England. In addition to this Prince Albert vehemently opposed  and worked for the abolition in slavery still taking place in parts of Europe, he also lead reforms in education (he was elected Chancellor of the University of Cambridge), he lead reforms in welfare, the art and industry and the royal finances.
On a personal level Victoria was besotted with her prince and the day after their wedding she wrote in her journal “I NEVER, NEVER spent such an evening!! MY DEAREST DEAREST DEAR Albert ... his excessive love & affection gave me feelings of heavenly love & happiness I never could have hoped to have felt before! He clasped me in his arms, & we kissed each other again & again! His beauty, his sweetness & gentleness – really how can I ever be thankful enough to have such a Husband! ... to be called by names of tenderness, I have never yet heard used to me before – was bliss beyond belief! Oh! This was the happiest day of my life!”

After the death of Victoria’s mother, she fell into a deep and intense grief, Prince Albert hoped to release her from duties that wearied her further and he personally took over her duties, while being chronically ill. This was the nature of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s relationship, each aiding the other. Upon the birth of their first born just some months after their marriage, the queen wrote in her journal that her husband’s care and devotion were beyond any and all expression! No one but himself ever lifted her from her bed to her sofa, and he always helped to wheel her on her bed or sofa into the next room. For this purpose he would come instantly when sent for from any part of the house. As years went on, and he became overwhelmed with work (for his attentions were the same in all the queen's subsequent confinements), this was often done at much inconvenience to himself; but he ever came without a sweet smile on his face. 

Albert later purchased Osborne House on the Isle of Wight as a quiet, family home where they could enjoy some privacy and family life. Victoria noted that “the solid pleasures of a peaceful, quiet, yet merry life in the country, with my inestimable husband and friend, my all in all, are far more durable than the amusements of London, though we don't despise or dislike these sometimes." 

The untimely death of Prince Albert at the age of 42 (it was said that he died of typhoid fever, however historians believe that due to his chronic illness two years prior to his passing suggest that perhaps he died of cancer) plunged Queen Victoria into a state of seclusion and mourning. She lived another 39 years longer than Albert, making her the longest ruling monarch of Britain, however she wore only black as a sign of her mourning and laid his clothes out for him every day until her death at the age of 81. She avoided public appearances altogether and continued to have the linen and towels changed in his bedchamber daily, along with hot water being brought up to his dressing room. Together Victoria and her Albert brought reforms to art, industry, welfare and countless other projects, the Victorian Era – as it later became known – is described as the period where Great Britain entered the height of its power, growing into a colonial empire and enjoying tremendous, industrial expansion. Together the King and Queen, husband and wife oversaw the development of a worldwide, colonial empire which was the richest of its time during the Victorian Age, Britain also begun to be called the “workshop of the world!”  

What inspires me on a deeply, personal level is the profound love and equality in all areas of their lives, this couple displayed. Their love and marriage has been described as one of work, they often fought and made-up, disagreed and agreed to disagree – such is the reality of marriage! Their lives were not idyllic, nor are they as people idolized but they set such a magnificent example of what mutual affection, mutual submission, equality, respect and trust can achieve within marriage. It is such a pity for me that many British people still hold the Prince in disdain, as anti-German feelings persist. One of Prince Albert’s biographers made the interesting conclusion, with which I would like to end “Prince Albert's contributions to the nation went unrecognized for 17 years, and finally it was only in 1857 that the nation finally recognized his contributions and awarded him the title of Prince Consort, just four years before he died. The 42 years of his life was a life that was well spent in the service of his adopted country. His service to his nation was selfless, and not with the intent of gaining any recognition or peerage that was wrongfully denied to him by parliament. Prince Albert indeed was a great statesman, and all services he rendered during a short life span of 42 years was just a practical expression of his beliefs, which was clearly espoused in one of his celebrated speeches: "Wealth is an accident of society, and those that enjoyed its benefits had a duty to those who were, through accident, deprived of it." His abilities as a great statesman were brought to the forefront in 1861, when he intervened in a diplomatic row between Britain and the United States that helped to avert war between the two countries, this he helped achieve a few short weeks before his death.” Many historians have conjectured about how different things could have been, if Albert had not died so soon, we can only imagine that along with more wonderment and reformation - the love of this Queen and Prince would have grew and deepened and we would have more to stand in awe of today.............