Friday 27 June 2014

His Anchor Gift of Hope

I love boats, ever since I was a kid my parents owned speed boats and we would go boating and skiing on the vlei and the dam. I remember sitting snugly on my mom’s lap and hearing the motor roar, the speed pushing us forward, I would scream out joyfully and shout “Go, Go, Go!!”
My father often tried to teach me how to steer a boat and we would inevitably end up in the reeds, which is pretty dangerous when the motor propellers are sticking out. More recently though, we had a beautiful holiday house on a yacht basin and my family owned a yacht. We would go sailing on in to the enclosed marina and then out in to the ocean, where the waves would lap up the front of the boat and we would calmly enjoy the setting sun and cool drinks in our hands. We would chat and stare out at the great beyond and I would sit and wonder and feel frightened at what I could not see beyond the burning, misty horizon. Feeling so safe in the enclosed bay, I would stare at the shoreline where the tanners were enjoying the breeze and I would look over at the horizon and just wonder. They would talk about sailing to the islands and just throwing it all to the wind, a dream of many I gathered. The one thing however that always fascinated me beyond imagination since I was a child, is the anchor of a boat. We would drop anchor and sit and I would stare at the chain and wonder about it all the way down there, unseen and yet steadily holding us to the same spot. I would think about the mermaids swimming at the bottom and just deciding to unhinge that sturdy anchor and then we would go floating on the hands of the sea! How I was fascinated beyond measure by that anchor. 

We who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged.
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.
It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,
where our forerunner, Jesus,
has entered on our behalf.
Hebrews 6: 18 – 19 (NIV)

Sea Anchor, N. A sea anchor (also known as a drift anchor, drift sock, para-anchor or boat brake) is a device used to stabilize a boat in heavy weather. Rather than tethering the boat to the seabed, the sea anchor increases the drag through the water and thus acts as a brake. (Wikipedia)
Over the past 2 weeks Father has given me this scripture as a treasured possession, as though He wrote it on a piece of paper and slipped it in to my hand and whispered hold on to this my love.
I have recited and meditated and held on this scripture intently as the waters got rough and surely enough His promises are steady to hold us through the heavy weather. Hope is the anchor, that heavy object at the end of that chain which I always stared at and wondered about it. Hope in who Christ says He is, in all He is doing and about to do, Hope in the fact that though the boat may get tossed around, our hearts can be secure and firm if we hold on to the hope we have in the Rock of Ages. In this moment, this very moment Yeshua is all I need, He is my Rock and the One who has gone in to that sanctuary so that I could be drawn in to the place of intimate hope and Love. My boat may be a yacht, a speedboat or a hovercraft – whatever my boat of life is that rides on the waves – I am carrying with me that anchor of hope which He purchased for me and I will not let it go because it fascinates me still and deeper still, it holds me when the weather gets stormy.

Life is like a boat but don’t forget to take your anchor along, because as it says in Corinthians, and now these three remains, faith, hope and love..... (1 Corinthians 13:13). Shalom!

Five Minute Friday: Lost

Five Minute Friday, Bearing our hearts not our heads and just letting the words roll, here goes..

Are we lost or are we just out of our depth sometimes? Sometimes, life is just like that isnt it, like diving in to a big fish tank at the aquarium and not knowing what you suppose to do. Life is like that, yes it is. If you read my post below you will understand that my husband was violently attacked this week and you know what we kept on getting calls and messages saying "you must be so upset, so down, so wrecked!" And we were like so calm, so at peace, so one with the Spirit of our King and so safe like a bird in His Loving Wings. Yes, we cried, yes we are sad that people think they have the right to your stuff - the stuff God gave you and you worked for 3 years to be able to buy. Yes, we are angry at the crime in South Africa and the endless messages we keep getting about other cyclists being attacked. And yet here we are. This week we could have slipped in to a state of being "lost" but rather we are here and as the beautiful Hymn Amazing Grace tells us - "I once was lost but now I am found." The moment my husband phoned me from the side of the highway and told me - I have been attacked, there was one second where all dropped for me and all I could say was "what must I do, tell me!" And then I felt the Arms of Grace grab me underneath my arms and lift me up, undergirding me and underpinning me - the Amazing Hand of Grace and how I Love that Hand of Grace and everything inbetween. We are up against something that seems so confusing but we are not confused because we were once lost but now we are tremendously Found and we cant let go of the God Yahweh who found us and reached out to us in our sinners mess those years ago. I love my husband so much and I love this great God of mine - we are not superhuman beings but we are super being comforted s by the One who created it all and that is surely enough....


Linking up with Lisa Jo

Thursday 26 June 2014

Bravery and Tears

I love you....
All of you...
My husband was out on his bicycle today, doing what he enjoys, just cycling. When without warning three men attacked him and brutally hit him and ran off with his bicycle. Thankfully there were people around and they were able to help him and call an ambulance within minutes. My husband is, praise God, okay but he has stitches in his face and a very sore body, this will take time to heal. Tonight we sat down to pray like we do every day and God gave us amazing promises and visions. In these moments I realised just how much strength God has given us and just how much knowing Him has helped us walk through this traumatic event. In South Africa human life is regarded has meaningless, the enemy has infiltrated the lives, hearts and homes of so many that South Africa has become overcome with evil. Just last year Father shared with us that His judgment is about to fall on this land and daily we see, know and understand why.
Bravery, just this week before this happened Father has been telling me “nothing can happen to you without my permission, the enemy has no power over you, no hold over you and no claim or right to you, Nothing can happen without my permission” (Job chapter 1). Today we are standing in all of God promises, today I am standing in Fathers justice and today I am trusting in all He has already accomplished and still will in the future. While the events of today were both horrible and traumatic I realised this evening, just how peaceful we have been in the midst of this. In the midst of the emergency room, the stitches, the xrays, the pain both in body, soul and spirit. In the midst of the confusion, the despair, the detectives at our house, the thoughts that came screaming in. In the midst of the negative words spoken by others when you just need a hug, in the midst of the why’s and the losses and in the midst of the enemy’s attack today. We cannot take glory, because just as the word says we are dust and clay but in this we love our King and I believe that what the enemy has intended for bad will turn around for good. In the midst of all these things, our King carries us through we not super human and we not just like sunny flowers, we really real and we really pain too. Tonight as I gave my hubby a hug I am so thankful that he is still here and still with me, I am thankful for this person I get to spend my life with everyday. Every day we know is a gift from God and today we were again aware of this reality. Our daily hugs and love is something God-given and God breathed. I pray and know tonight that many prayers are surrounding us and I know that we are  not the only ones going through something like this but others out there are walking through their own hardships too somehow that comforts me.
Father, again tonight You are a Gracious God, One of Love and kindness, of peace and of justice. Life is never always peaceful or breezy, its just really real and really messy sometimes. But Father You come and you clear the mess away and You restore it all. I love You tonight and pray for comfort, peace and strength to anyone out there who needs a touch of Your Hand tonight. We are overcomers, sojourners and just worshippers. Thank You for rest and peace in the name of our King Yeshua. 

(I’m having Coffee For Your Heart with my friend Holley Gerth)

Monday 23 June 2014

A Biblical Heroine: Sheerah

Once upon a time in a land far far away, there lived a strong daughter of Israel whose family and kin were oppressed by hard taskmasters, in a land that resembled a fiery furnace. Ruled by proud pharaoh’s whose arrogance and sun – worshipping debaucheries defiled the land and made its people appear all the more evil, this strong, beautiful warrior of Israel saddled up her congregation of camels and men and headed into Canaanite country. Believing by faith that this country would be given to her fathers, as it was promised to Abraham by the mouth of Elohim; she forced back the inhabitants of the land and began to boldly establish a city of Israelite warriors. She looked upon its walls and pastures and called it Beth – Horon. The people who left with her settled and established their village as a safe haven, while she built her own homestead, Uzzen Sheerah amongst her kin. Sheerah and her tribesmen settled, built and established a village which grew into an infamous town, whose heritage was founded and belong to a strong, Israelite woman who dared to go where others feared to tread, in a time where her countrymen lived in fear, bondage and death. Her legacy is often ignored – however it is time that we resurrect her legacy, because it can give us hope.

1 Chronicles 7:20 - 29

The descendants of Ephraim:

Shuthelah, Bered his son,

Tahath his son, Eleadah his son,

Tahath his son,  Zabad his son

and Shuthelah his son.

Ezer and Elead were killed by the native-born men of Gath, when they went down to seize their livestock. Their father Ephraim mourned for them many days, and his relatives came to comfort him.

Then he made love to his wife again, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. He named him Beriah, because there had been misfortune in his family. His daughter was Sheerah, who built Lower and Upper Beth Horon as well as Uzzen Sheerah.

 Rephah was his son, Resheph his son,

Telah his son, Tahan his son,

 Ladan his son, Ammihud his son,

Elishama his son, Nun his son

and Joshua his son. (NIV)

1 Chronicles, from verse 20 outlines the descendants of Josephs son Ephraim,
within the list of Ephraim’s descendants, is a daughter named Sheerah.

“His daughter was Sheerah, who built Lower and Upper Beth Horon, as well as Uzzen Sheerah.”

The Hebrew word for “build” in this verse, is “banah” [1] it literally means to build, to make or to set up.
Until now, Sheerah’s story has mostly gone untold but it should not be difficult for scholars of the word to accept that a strong, godly, Israelite woman built a city in perilous times. Not only did she build a city, but it is probable that building a city in the midst of bloodthirsty and godless people like the Hittites and Canaanites could definitely not have been an easy feat indeed!

Tracing the time frame of Sheerah’s life on earth is an equally hard task, as so little is known about her. However, what scholars can gather from her genealogy is that she lived before the exodus and most probably during the time of the Israelite enslavement in Egypt. This is remarkable, as the cities of Lower and Upper Beth Horon were located in the land of Canaan. Sheerah would have had to journey from the land of Egypt where her was father was born and presumably where she was born and journey into Canaan, taking and occupying the territories which would become the famous villages of Lower and upper Beth Horon and Uzzen – Sheerah.

Sheerah was a conqueror and biblical architect who was incredibly courageous, wise and strong, her situation as grand designer and establisher implies that her position was one of leadership and strength, noble characteristics.

Sheerah, whose name means “kinswoman” is a remarkable woman of encouragement to us, we can draw strength in the fact that Sheerah settled, conquered and built villages that became central  places of holiness, as Levitical towns; as well as places of epic battles – where the Israelites won every time.  She is a matriarch, a heroine of the battle and a kinswoman for all of us, who are grafted in to the faith; as daughters of the Most High. When we are faced with the challenge to reach our calling and fulfill seemingly impossible tasks that we feel called to do, the courage and bold strength of our matriarch Sheerah can help remind us that to follow purpose is not easy but when Yahweh our God is in it, it is always possible!

[1] Strong’s # 1129