Saturday 26 July 2014

Five Minute Friday - It is Finished

That time again to link up where we write for five minutes from our hearts! This weeks prompt is Finish, I am excited to link up from the field of Ghana!
I love what God does, the wonders of His ways. Taking me to Ghana to woe me more, to love me more, to teach me more, to change me once irrevocably. To do more and say more heart to heart that mere words cannot express.

There is a wonderful burning bush, beautiful burst of fresh flowers of a beginning which my husband and I have been given on this trip. A new leg of the journey, a new time and space to fulfill our Beloveds call. While the door of beginning opens, somewhere the door is closing, the hard chapter we were in before has finished. But God is so filled with passionate love and commitment that He took us to a precipice, showed us the beauty of the unadulterated sky and said this is what I have for you. Thank you Father that when you say that time is finished - it truly is, thank you for taking us across the earth and sky to show us more of our call and who we are. I am abandoned to Your call of finishes and beginnings!

Wednesday 16 July 2014

Crashed Out

I believe that today's Tour de France stage winner will be something of a ghost story, in light of the story of Andrew Talansky today. Andrew Talansky was one of the top favourites for this years race and much like a lot of the other favourites, he has suffered crash after crash in the opening stages. The consequences of his crashes saw him falling behind the top riders in terms of time but today was the cherry on the cake for the young man. On today's stage he had a puncture and had to stop, after being 1 minute behind, he slowly started to drift to 6 minutes, then 8 minutes and then suddenly he stopped. Climbed off his bicycle and sat on the side of the road in tears. Can you relate? I know I certainly could. I had been there too, sometimes in life when it's just too much and when it's become too hard. The road bended and caught you off guard, it's hard and it hurts and it's okay to feel that pain. As Andy sat on the side of the road his team manager jumped out the car, pushed everyone back and started talking to him. It was minutes. Minutes on the side of the road and minutes against the clock that kept on rolling on. But then Andy climbed back on his bike and started peddling up the road, all on his own and while he was peddling, time confirmed that he was 20 minutes down on the main bunch and he needed to make it in 31 - 34 minutes to still be in the race.

As we watched the screen, tears streamed down Andy's face, it seemed as though the entire raced paused as we watched him out on the road alone, pushing on, riding hard amidst the tears, heart break and pain.
I heard commentator Greg Le Mond comment that people love this sort of thing, its the suffering and humanness that people like to see. I kind of feel that that is not what it is all about and not what people want to see. It was real and it was hard and all of us no matter where or who we are, we know pain in our lives, how deeply can we relate to this.
But unlike Andy, we pain where no one can see, we aren't on international television and making news headlines. We aren't live and on screen but often when we pain we are like Hagar, alone on the roadside with no one and we are paining in our tears. 

Perhaps you are there now, perhaps you have just crawled out of that place and you are feeling stronger - I know I have and I have learned that there is a Team Manager on our side with endless encouragement. He is the same person Sarah's servant Hagar met on the road side when her tears were her food and her sorrow was the bitter water she had to drink.

Genesis 16: 7 - 10, 13
The angel of YHWH found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. And he said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?”
I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered. Then the angel of YHWH told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.”
 She gave this name to YHWH who spoke to her: “You are El-Roi (the God who sees me),” for she said,
“I have now seen the One who sees me!"
While Hagar was alone and crashed out in the midst of pain and despair, the angel of God who was none other then Yeshua (Jesus) Himself met with her. Knelt down towards her and saw in to her. He did not just see what she communicated, but He saw deep in to the places of her dreams. The place of sorrow and neglect, the hopelessness she held within because her life had not quite gone the way she had imagined. He acknowledged what no one had and that was her right to pain and the weight of her sorrow. He felt it I believe and He knelt down like the greatest Sport Manager ever and told her "I see you dear child, I know your tears (PSalm 56:8) I know and I am here telling you to go on, go on, get back up and keep going. Walk even while shedding those tears, you may feel like the clock is against you, like sorrow has stolen the years but you still can make - you just need to keep going. Today is hard, but tomorrow you will look back and be thankful that you finished the race, I am here and I am never going to leave you, keep going with your pain and in time, it's going to heal because I will heal it and carry it and bear it with you."
The final pictures of Andrew Talansky flashed before our eyes - 32 minutes 15 seconds. He made it by just over 1 minute. He is still in the race with no hope of winning the overall tour but with the knowing that he did not give up. People have learned something through his suffering and have taken something with them.
For you and me - we have the hope that we are never alone, never, not even now - not even with suffering or despair. Tears run down our faces and we can feel hopeless or in despair, but take courage dear child, you are never alone. God is on your side - just keep on going, even when you cannot believe or you cannot see, today will end, the finish line will come and tomorrow's life will be made whole in the light of yesterdays struggles. I pray that Father will spread His arms around you and give you strength for today struggles in the name of our Messiah and King Yeshua.

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

Monday 14 July 2014

Walk the Plank!

Last night as we gathered to read about today's stage (stage 10) of the Tour De France, I could not help but pause at the information I was reading concerning the end spot of the stage. It was a long name and the history of the spot struck me. Here is what I read....

Stage 10 La Planche des Belles Filles
 The name La Planche des Belle Filles comes from an episode in the 30 years war in 1635 when according to legend, the young girls of a neighbouring village hid themselves up this mountain to escape the cruel Swedish mercenaries who were nearby. To escape rape they commited suicide by jumping from a plank into the black waters of a lake on the plateau.
Legend has is that one of the soldiers thought of one of the girls who jumped was very beautiful
and tried to prevent her from dying.
However she jumped and afterwards he went down to find her and
carried her lifeless body back up the hill and buried her in a grave with a plank as a tombstone.

I sat with this information but it disturbed me, the fact that rape has become such a natural thing. It disturbed me that there was such an amazing opportunity to speak out about the rape and violation of women on something as international as the Tour and yet I knew nothing would be said about it. "Women as old as grandmothers and as young as toddlers have routinely suffered violent sexual abuse at the hands of military
and rebel forces. Rape has long been used as a tactic of war, with violence against women during or after armed conflicts reported in every international or non-international war-zone." (UN End Violence Against Women)
But as I continued on - Father God spoke powerfully to me about the violation of women and how the world will overlook the injustices that they have become accustomed with but how we as believers should not. 
We are reminded to frequently speak up against the violation of women, even our biblical texts serve as reminders of the wickedness of Rape.

Dinah the daughter of Jacob and Leah was raped (Genesis 34), Tamar the beautiful daughter of David was violated by her own half-brother (2 Samuel 13). Judges 19 retells the story of the Levite and his concubine who was assaulted to death, there are many more narratives which make us fearful just by their retelling. But the Bible is no mere fairytale, rather it tells the stories of the fallen nature of man and God's amazing redeeming Love. I believe these stories are suppose to shake us awake and cause us to arise against wickedness. Rape is a violation, it is not a purely physical thing but it is a soul thing, a spirit thing and it is not okay. For generations women have been violated and this week I have heard Father tell me that it is time for us to raise one voice and declare from our places on this planet against the violation and oppression of women. While researching rape statistics in the world, I discovered that muslim countries have the highest levels of rape, while Sweden and India top the list, with South Africa being in the top five.
Family, tomorrow a friend of mine who is visiting Israel, will visit the Chuldah steps in Jerusalem. Yeshua has laid this particular place on my heart as it is the place where the prophetess Chuldah would speak out from. She was a prophetess in her day and she spoke the words of God boldly out in to a generation of decay. Her voice is echoing to us today, her voice is calling to us as women and telling us to arise, to speak against injustice, to speak up for the righteousness of our King and to declare His message aloud. While this friend of mine will stand on the Chuldah steps tomorrow, I will be standing here in my home and together we will proclaim in to the spirit realm the message of freedom and hope to the daughters of the King. We will speak it by the Holy Spirit because God has told me "now is the time!" Family, I truly pray that you will join with us this week, to stand in the gap for the violation of women in this world. God has shown me that although we feel powerless to stop this pervasive evil that seems rampant, there is nothing too hard for our God! Are we willing to abandon all and trust Him, are we willing to stand and declare for our sisters? I want to invite you through the Holy Spirit, to intercede on behalf of the survivors of rape and to declare and proclaim from Gods word - judgment and intervention against the violation of women worldwide. Join me this week and together let's petition the throne of God!

Let's pray against this and stand as children of the King in the gap - let's join hands because where we agree on something in this earth, I believe it will be done! Blessings in Yeshua!

Friday 11 July 2014

Five Minute Friday: Belong

Five minute Friday Again! Where we write for five minutes and see what comes out. This week I really prayed and asked Father for a message. The message He gave me was about shame, the burden of shame individuals carry from the Garden of Eden. I started writing and it just happened!
Move out from those shadows, from behind that tree, move out from the darkness - the place you've chosen to hide from me.
Come on out - I know where you are, don't hide from me, I see everything you are.
That's it, come on out, I ain't gonna hurt you, I am hear to see you. Now let me take a good look at you.
Well child you look broken and bruised, and what's this you got tied round you Looks like fig leaves with some loose ends unsewn..
Now how's that gonna cover you? How's that gonna keep you? How's that gonna sustain you when I am all that you need.
Now come on over, a little closer. That's it step up closer, a little nearer. Why you got your end tilted to the ground - when I made you your head was high enough in faith to hold a crown.
Now what's gone on, what's got you so bad - is that shame you are hiding, the burden of sin that you trying to hide?
Why didn't you come to me, come running to me, I wanted you to even though you had fallen so bad. That apple left a bitter taste on your tongue didn't it - well it's gonna leave more then that. Aint no body can help you now girl child. But hey - don't look down, look up because man cant help you but me, well I am God - only God can keep you now.
Now come over here with those fig leaves, I don't like them one bit - here take these skins, an offering and clothe yourself for the long haul. Put on new garments child, I have saved you but been saved is a whole lot different from being fully redeemed. I dont want your head low - I just want you up close, near to me, next to me and loving me. Be near child, shame does not have a place - come over child because I love you...


Wednesday 9 July 2014

Cobblestones of Hope

Today’s stage on the Tour De France is by far the most brutal and the most odd. It’s raining and the roads are wet, the riders are nervous and there are cobble stone sections which is a hazard of note. Already the crashes have begun! My husband and I sit praying for the riders as the road gets tough and the tour gets hard. I smiled with delight to realise our faces are skewed up as we watch and we are praying for people we don’t know to overcome terrain they have voluntarily put themselves in, all to win a cycling race. Guess that’s the compassion of our heart and the sheer desire not to see anyone break bones and waste their life away.

As I was watching the stage (I took a break from it to share this post) I suddenly clicked – that’s right Father, that’s exactly how it is in life! Our walk of faith resembles a road, a bike race if you will. We are not up against anyone else but ourselves, hence the reason why Paul said “I die daily.” We wage the spiritual warfare not only with the dark forces out there but also with what is left of our fleshly natures and while we are cycling merrily along, the scenery and the road surfaces change. One day we are like a happy camper on our bicycle resembling a tourist in the middle of Amsterdam and then sometimes we may find ourselves on a very slippery road of cobblestones with the rain falling in our faces and the spray of the passing traffic fogging up our eyesight. This is life but the hard roads and the unkept surfaces don’t need to take us off our bikes and leave us with broken collarbones. The hard surfaces can strengthen us in the three areas Paul calls the most important, the areas of faith, hope and love.

I don’t write this to you without having travailed through the cobblestones just the past 2 weeks, but I have realised the blessing of “singing in the rain.” God can carry us through, if we only surrender to Him in trust and we carry the flame of hope within our hearts, a flame small at first but large enough to start a fire. I know that we each one have a different walk to walk and road to take and that’s the exciting part of life – that our roads are all so different. However, there will be times of sadness, sorrow, heartache, suffering or pain... here’s what God promises us though..

Jeremiah 31: 16 – 17

Thus says YHWH: “Keep your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears, for there is a reward for your work..
And there is HOPE for your future..

Matthew 28:20

Behold, I am with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age. Amen!

What the world has taught us about hope stands in contrast to the biblical definition and understanding of hope. Hope in the Bible is all about trusting God despite what your eyes can see. Hope is all about knowing, not just intellectually but in your heart as well, that no matter what there is going to be a glorious end in sight despite the current circumstances. Hope is the belief in something that is unseen; it is the anchor that holds the soul tight even when the rain is falling. Hope is the belief that there is a light switch in the room and it will be turned on, even when you are shrouded in darkness and unsure of where to find it. Hope is not pressed upon us; it is given to us as a gift, it is endowed upon the tables of our hearts by Gods precious Hand. 

Hope brings joy; it replaces tears and feeds the spirit with Love. In whatever season you may find yourself friend, I pray that hope will be a part of your journey because inevitably while we watch the crashing riders slip in the rain, it will end because there is a finish line for today. In your circumstances the pain and sorrow will likewise end because at some point there is a finish line and the promise that while you traverse life’s realities – Yeshua our Messiah has already promised that He is riding it with you always even until the end of this current age, that is a promise without a time frame or expiration date. I can almost see the angels gathered around the throne watching some of Gods children riding a very slippery road in adversity. God can tell what they are thinking – they are nervous, is this child going to make it? God smiles “don’t worry – she is going to make it, I am with her, today’s adversity she has to get through because tomorrow it will be her victory!”
May hope in God and His Love be the wind that causes your legs to keep on going, keep on going, keep on going....

 I’m having Coffee For Your Heart with my friend Holley Gerth
Having Coffee with Winter

Sunday 6 July 2014

The Penultimate Climb

I love this word that cycling commentators always use, penultimate. I think sometimes they say it just to sound really smart. Whatever the case, penultimate is the word that caught my attention right at the beginning of watching racing. 

Penultimate. Adjective. Meaning – occurring immediately before the last thing, year, time frame, mountain. It is something immediately before the last one.

The races on the cycling tours like the Tour De France are brutal. Men are bashing it out over kilometres every day; they are fighting between what their muscles are screaming and what their hearts are saying. They are going against the harsh criticism of others and the intense pressures that others put on them. When they finally hear their managers scream in their ears “hey guys you are at the penultimate mountain now keep going there is one left ahead of you and then you are at the finish line!” I wondered today, how similar our walks of faith are to the cycling races on the TV. Sometimes it is really hard, we have to battle and crucify our fleshly natures until we bring ourselves under the submission of God’s Holy Spirit. We often have to endure the highs and lows of the walk, sometimes we find ourselves surrounded by a wonderful team of believers who are there to help us over the peaks, while other times we find ourselves alone. 

But I want to tell you friends that despite your theology or your beliefs, we are standing, running and sliding on the penultimate mountain peak of history, right now. We are on the peak just before the final one. We are on the peak that will curve downwards and finally out until we see the Glorious Face of our Beloved Messiah coming swiftly on the clouds. His return is Soon! And when we finally get over this hill and out close to the finish line we can sit up in our saddle, lift up our heads and rejoice because our redemption is drawing near! As the world plummets further and further in to its place of darkness and decay, a marvellous light will shine in this dark night – because the saints of God are destined to bring His Light to the earth in great waves before His soon coming return. 
Isaiah 60: 1 -2
“Arise, shine, for your light has come,
    and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth
    and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you
    and his glory appears over you.

On a more personal level, do you have more to do or more to give, a longer road still to travel and a greater way to still go? Are you living on purpose or are you living out of purpose? Are you surviving or are you living on purpose and in passion? Are you excited for the road and the great tour ahead or does the thought of it make you scared? I have a great sense that Father is smiling at us and saying “I know the safest way down the mountain road; I know the best way to navigate the peaks and the best way to descend. I am here to help you when you need that water bottle or when you are scared because the road is slippery and wet, I know the bends and the curves of the tarmac, I know how to steer you all the way, you just have to stay in my slipstream, stay on my wheel, don’t look to someone else, don’t look around you. You may be shaky or nervous but I know the best way down and the best way around and I have never letting go of you. I am Your Team Leader, your partner and the Winner overall, stay with me and I will lead you to victory so that when you reach the final peak, you will be ready not regretting but ready and in faith steady. Stay in my slipstream because you are safe there, follow me!”

Pick up your cross and follow me!
(Matthew 16:24)

Sharing with Dance with Jesus

Friday 4 July 2014

Five Minute Friday: Exhale

Your five Minutes Starts now!
Exhale, is it over? The storms continue to rage, its windy, weather starts to turn and its stormy out there and inside but in here, in me, its okay, time to exhale. God keeps telling me “You are mine, I have called you by name, when you go through the waters you will not drown and the fire? Dont worry about that one, its not gonna burn you, no not even close, not even the flame will be able to kindle on you. Your garments wont smell and your hair wont be stinky, you going to come out of this alright, in fact better then alright – you going to come out of this fantastic. How? Well, you can’t see it now, but wait till its yours and you are holding it in your hands and then you gonna see it and you gonna be super alright child, you will see! Breathe in and breathe out, exhale, open your hands, palms up, eyes open, heart restful, bring yourself to me and let it be – exhale, not in your breathe but in your heart, in your head, in your mind, exhale – let yourself be. Exhale, it’s been heavy, too heavy, its been crossing the red sea and the Jordan Valley, it’s been a personal journey they don’t see, it’s not theirs, it’s ours – I am here, never left you, never gonna fail you beautiful one, exhale, open up those hands, let it all go like leaves blowing from a tree branch, gone with the wind, free. You are free, don’t let that wind come and whisper to you little lies like foxes, you are free and i am here right beside you, never let you go, never gonna let you go, exhale, let me catch it, your breathe, your need, you -  never gonna let you go, look up and see in it all, I am with you holding your hand, crossing that sea, parting those waves, drying up the Jordan River, it’s Me! I am never going to let you go! I <3 you!

God really ministered personally to me as I started to write, He knew and this message was so for me personally, but you can hear from Him too! I am feeling super blessed! 
Linking up with Lisa JO 

Thursday 3 July 2014

Why you need to know about Gendercide

I have for some time desired to share the following post with you all. I believe that to stand up against injustice is one of our main priorities as believers in Messiah and for too long believers worldwide have not researched or exposed themselves to the injustices happening in other countries. Sometimes, these injustices are in fact happening within our own countries and societies. We need to stand up, help victims through our prayers and our combined efforts and we are to speak up against realities that are against the word of our King.
Listen to me, my people; hear me, my nation: Instruction will go out from me;
    my justice will become a light to the nations. My righteousness draws near speedily,
    my salvation is on the way, and my arm will bring justice to the nations.
The islands will look to me and wait in hope for my arm.
(Isaiah 51: 4-5)

Gendercide, the unspoken word

I want to share with you about a deadly reality that has claimed the lives of over 100 million baby girls over the past few years, it’s called gendercide. Gendercide is the intentional killing of infants through abortion or infanticide (the killing of babies below 12 months of age) simply because the babies are girls. This injustice happens particularly in India and in China. China instituted a one child policy to curb the large family structures that once existed, however the policy was “suppose” to be followed for a short period of time, but the present government has not revoked the policy and does not seem intent on doing so. In India and in China, sexism and gender prejudice against women has contributed to an oppressive society which favours men above women. Baby boys are considered more “valuable” then baby girls and so baby girls are murdered.  In India nearly 50,000 female foetuses are aborted every month and untold numbers of baby girls are abandoned or murdered. Girls are a financial burden to their parents, who must pay expensive dowries to marry them off.  The dowry is the single biggest reason Indians prefer boys.[1] The Chinese culture like the Indian culture is predisposed to preferring sons over daughters; this has resulted in the extermination of 1.1 million baby girls being aborted every year in China.[2]

In the documentary entitled “It’s a Girl” the viewer is told that sex selection methods are used to predetermine the sex of a baby inside its mother’s womb. While it is illegal to insist on an abortion just because the infant is a girl, doctors routinely ask the parents if they want to abort the girl. The sad thing is that women are so oppressed in places like India, that they are forced against their will to undergo these tests and to abort their babies. On the flip side of the coin the same movie features a story of one mom who smothered 8 of her own infant girls to death. Sadly this is the case among oppressive societies where the devil is running free! In China, baby girls are aborted because of their “less valuable” price tag placed on their lives. Due to the gendercide atrocity, human trafficking, prostitution, child brides and dowry killings have become prevalent. 

Do you know that “More girls are killed in this routine ‘gendercide’ in any one decade than people were slaughtered in all the genocides of the twentieth century!” (William Petrocelli)
We have a veterans day, a memorial day, we have memorials and stones fashioned with the words, to the lost soldiers in the war, but we don’t have stones erected for the 100 million little girls whose voices were never heard on the earth. One night while Father was speaking to me about His broken heart for the little girls who have been lost in this horrific crime, He asked me “how many Esther’s, how many Deborah’s, how many have been lost! How many women, how many cycles of deliverance, how many leaders, judges, and redeemers have been lost?” The numbers differ according to the statistics but I have read that somewhere between 100 million to 200 million little girls have been lost and so I answered “Father, 200 million....” And then the hot tears of Yeshua’s pain, sorrow and anger fell from my face, “200 million too many and what are we doing about it?”

God Himself is the Maker of all life, the Creator of all – He intricately knits together those little girls inside of their mother’s womb, and how His heart is mourning that mankind can be led away by such wickedness that life is not considered precious anymore. I want to encourage each one of you to bring up the reality of gendercide in your women’s groups, in your Bible study groups, church groups or cell groups. Bring it up and pray about it. 

·         Pray for the oppression of women in these countries to cease.
·         Pray for the believers in these oppressed countries to be strengthened and to live with values that honour human life.
·         Pray for the law enforcement, for laws to be revoked and new laws that honour human dignity and life will be put in place.
·         Pray for those who are fighting this injustice to be strengthened.
·         Pray for the moms who decide to keep their babies, to be strengthened by God and to be able to feed and take care of their children.

Pray as you are led to pray but don’t stop speaking out against injustice!

Gendercide is mentioned in two specific places in the Bible, in these cases two evil kings rose up and tried to annihilate the baby boys, (Exodus 1 and Matthew 2). These kings were used by the devil to try and stop the Messiah from being born, however Yahweh is always in control of all things! Even now the enemy is trying to destroy the lives of women worldwide through oppression, trafficking, honour killings and even gendercide. He is aware of something that many have yet to learn – that women are key players in spreading the gospel of Messiah Yeshua (Jesus Christ) before His soon second coming (Psalm 68:11). Women have an important role to play and they are boldly part of Gods army and Gods bride. By destroying the heart and face of women, the enemy hopes to destroy the face of the bride, as she is reflected as a beautiful, pure, spotless woman ready to take her place at the Groom’s side. May we lift up our voices and do more with what we got and even as we speak up for the young girls being routinely murdered in these countries, let us honour them by honouring one another! Honour the woman next to you because she is so special! When I drive passed cars and see a family with 2 children and the youngest is a girl, I think imagine if they were living in China or India, that beautiful little girl sitting over there would be dead. That’s the reality and that’s what we are praying against. 

Psalm 139: 13 - 18
For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you.

A very good site to learn more about gendercide is over at All Girls Allowed