Monday, December 27, 2010

Forgiveness is a "doing" word

Do you remember learning grammar at school? A verb is a doing or action word. Well forgiveness is the same.

Forgiveness doesn't come easily to us. That is just human nature. When we have been hurt or offended, its hard to forgive, especially when we are in the "right".
Lately, I have been struggling with an issue. I know that if a relationship is to continue then I have to lay down the path of forgiveness. The struggle is to continue to walk in this path. Often thoughts would come into my mind, and the bitterness would instantly return. The force of the bitterness still amazes me, as I thought I had dealt with this issue. After all, as my pastor says, "issues are negotiable, relationships are NOT!". And so, I have to "do" forgiveness.

People often think that to forgive means to forget. This is not true.Often a valuable lesson needs to be learnt, and if we forget, then we open a door to allow history to be able to repeat itself. We are meant to grow, in strength and in love.
I hope that  soon, I will be able to look back at this issue that caused such offense, and the hurt and bitterness will not rise like bile in my mouth. Then I truly will know that I have been able to forgive.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween- Harmless fun or Sinister Symbolisim?

I live in a Christian Valley ( Fish Hoek) that is filled with many churches. So Halloween is very controversial here. When I grew up, halloween was not widely celebrated but its becoming very popular now, and I am not sure exactly what my view is of Halloween. Is it a harmless evening of dress up in spooky costumes allowing the kids to go trick or treating or is it something spiritually sinister?

From what I have read,the countries do celebrate it their  traditions and importance of the celebration vary significantly.

 The ancient Celts believed that the border between this world and the Otherworld became thin  allowing spirits (both harmless and harmful) to pass through. The family's ancestors were honoured and invited home while harmful spirits were warded off. It is believed that the need to ward off harmful spirits led to the wearing of costumes and masks. Their purpose was to disguise oneself as a harmful spirit and thus avoid harm. In Scotland the spirits were impersonated by young men dressed in white with masked, veiled or blackened faces.[4][5]

The practice of dressing up in costumes and begging door to door for treats on holidays dates back to the Middle Ages and includes Christmas wassailing. Trick-or-treating resembles the late medieval practice of souling, when poor folk would go door to door on Hallowmas (November 1), receiving food in return for prayers for the dead on All Souls Day (November 2). It originated in Ireland and Britain,[19] although similar practices for the souls of the dead were found as far south as Italy.

Christian attitudes towards Halloween are quite diverse. Many Christians ascribe no negative significance to Halloween, treating it as a purely secular holiday devoted to celebrating "imaginary spooks" and handing out candy. To these Christians, Halloween holds no threat to the spiritual lives of children:

Other Christians feel concerned about Halloween, and reject the holiday because they feel it  celebrates - paganism, the occult, or other practices and cultural phenomena deemed incompatible with their beliefs.[55] Some consider Halloween to be completely incompatible with the Christian faith because of its origin as a pagan "Festival of the Dead", and most of our Churches here in the Fish Hoek Valley( perhaps all?) feel this way.

The King of Kings Baptist Church is holding a fun evening tonight 4-8pm, as an alternative way for the kids to have some fun, and I think this is a great idea. If you are against Halloween and have kids, I feel it will cause the kids to have a lot of resentment towards their parents when they have to gumly sit indoors listening to the door bell ring and all the kids having fun outside.

So, seeing I still sit on the fence on this topic, and my kids want to have fun, I am going to take them down to the Baptist Church to exactly that as I am not comfortable with my kids dressing up as the devil or a witch. My husband doesnt give a fig and as long as they are having a good time.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Going through the cleansing fire.

At the beginning of the year something major happened to me spiritually. I liken it to being a balloon, but instead of being full of air, I was full of pride and lets add ice water. When this bubble burst, I found myself sitting in a puddle of ice water and being very broken in deed. I know its a terrible metaphor but its the best I can do this early in the morning. Another way of looking at it is to say that once again, I have been through a phase of pruning.
I also completed the Ancient Paths course, and this was profound, and as deep roots of "stuff", were exposed, they too were removed. Its very painful to experience.

My thought for the day is to try put Christ first today. Not easy as my head is full of the demands of business and school term ending today. I hope to put one foot in front of me and follow the cross.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Julius Malema and my fears

So much has been going through my mind lately. One of the issues that keep surfacing is my increasing unease about Julius Malema. Todays paper wrote about his overseas trip to Venezuela.  One little line mentioned the reason-to learn more about Venezuela's nationalisation policies with President Hugo Chavez.

Upon reading that the hairs on the back of my head stood up. This man is serious about nationalisation. Its more than just rhetoric that he feeds to the mass of uneducated ( and some very educated) folk with peasant mindset who gobble up all he has to say.

The fact that we have such a huge peasant mindset in this country is a major advantage to Malema.  Nationalisation sound very good to those who believe they too will finally "  share the spoils of what the rich have".

I am very very concerned about this Man. He is a wolf in sheeps clothing.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Time to take charge of my health

I so wanted to sit and finish my pruning blogs but I need lots of time and contemplation, and as a working mum, that doesnt happen often.

I was thinking the other day about " how much do i blog for myself vs how much do I blog for others". And I think the latter is higher. I want to change that. I want to put my thoughts down for me. If someone reads it then that is cool. Its a tricky thing to do.

Here goes......
I get sick alot due to a low immune system, but Lord, I notice that I remind myself a lot that I catch every bug that passes me and I remind myself that I have a low immune system.
I want to change this. Lord, you nailed death to the cross, and yet I live as a defeatest in the area of my health.

So, I am going to write a sticky note on the inside of my bathroom cabinet.  Every day I will look at this and remind myself at least 25 times that "My immune system is getting stronger and stronger and stronger" I will also remind myself that I can do all things through Christ who strenghtens me.
I believe in the power of positive thinking, but I dont put it into practise. I once read a book on the power of positive thinking, so perhaps I need to dig it out and remind myself that I dont need to live as a woe me..poor sick Karen......

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The 5 fruit and veg

Just thinking about the 5 fruit and veg I am supposed to be eating daily.

Its actually really had to eat so much in this day and age. How ever did I do it before?

Monday, April 12, 2010

John 15, and the great garden shears............

John 15 sums up what I have been going through.......while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.
I thought I understood what John 15 meant,but to experience it was a whole different matter.

It was not like walking through fire, nor going through a desert place, or being stripped of self and flesh,it was a very painful pruning.

I live by works. I work hard, am a good girl, do what is right ( or at least try to) and I always have. I have always strived, pushed myself and am very hard on myself if I fail. There is no doubt in my mind that when it comes to my faith, this applies as well. Often we get told that works= just doing things to please man or God. In my mind this may be to some people but not me. To me, I do what I do because I love God.

Lets give you an example: Arent we told that we need to read the bible daily. So that is what I would do. No matter if I felt like it or not. The same goes for praying. Some days I just dont feel like going through my prayer list. Pray for hubby, pray for kids, bless and praise the Lord, prayer for me etc etc.

Here is what I think happened. Because I do what is right, dont you think that makes me a good Christian? After all, I love God wholeheartedly and try to follow his ways. Can you see what began to creep into my life. Yep, its PRIDE.
What was so hard for me to see is that BECAUSE I love the Lord, I could not see the pride. After all, God was talking to me so loudly, in songs, in the word, through my heart, and I could see how far along the good path I was travelling that I had just become spiritually full of myself.

In December God started to take things away. I will continue my tale in the next blog post.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Severe Pruning

Its been a very long time since I blogged regularly. I have been through a very intense pruning phase that has lasted more than 4 months. 

I have been very sensitive and had retreated into a very quiet space. It was so tough that I barely went to church and could not face anything to do with mentoring ( our small ladies group) or blogging.Until now,  I  could not share what I was going through.

Oh dear, the kids want a bath. Guess I will have to continue with this when I get a gap.

Friday, February 5, 2010

My beach work out

I managed to get to gym this morning at 6am. As you know for the last month I have been really battling again with the fatigue, but thankfully I have been very kind to myself. If I have had a hard day I just say, tomorrow is another day! This is very refreshing change for me.

It was such a stunning morning, with no wind that after 20 min on the bike I decided to take my workout to fish hoek beach. It was a spring tide and the water was very high and I kept having to jump and dash up what little beach was left so I didn't get my takkies wet. Walking on the cat walk was also great. Everyone I met was so friendly, eyeing me and saying Good morning, Good morning. In this day and age it was great to be acknowleged.

The verse I had on my lips was "this is the day that the Lord had made". Thanks Holy Spirit for revealing the Fathers heart to me, as I did rejoice and was glad!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The chalk board

 I wrote yesterdays bible verse on my chalk board. I have a big chalk board painted  on my kitchen wall as I had become very forgetful since having kids. It looks very trendy and the kids love doodling on it. I am going to look at the verse all the time ( i have been doing so already), and this is my mediation verse for as long as it is necessary.

I phoned the Dr, and we are going to have a chat on Monday. I think that perhaps my bipolar med need to be adjusted for this period.

On Sunday I planned this weeks menu. I have never done that before. One of my new years resolutions was to stop going to the shops all the time. I tried to match meals where I could use the veg from the one day to the next. ie spare carrots into the pie etc. Another resoultion was to introduce more veg into our meals, and pre planning seemed the best way to do it.
Last night I made a chicken and veg pie. It was awful. I was more than disappointed as it took a great deal of effort to do. The chicken stock was so overpowering that it spoilt everything and so the dogs got the supper and we got to eat the rice. I then had to make everyone scrambled eggs!

Rob cooked spaghetti Bolognase. Cant go wrong with that, except Jordan knocked hers all over the floor. Happy dogs again tonight!

Well, guess what! its 8pm, and my show starts in 30 min. I am going to read the bible now. The best part is that I want to.

Praise be to God!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Are the rainy days set to stay?

Are the rainy days set to stay?

Woke up. The rain cloud was still there, lurking ominously over my head.

I went for a walk this morning to try lift my spirit. Hoping that the little cloud would part a bit and allow some sunshine in for the day.
I had a song in my head. " in your presence that's where I belong', so I began using it as a mantra, talking to my self, reminding myself who I was and where I belonged.
The walk was good. I could feel the blood circulating my system as I briskly walked the neighbourhood.

Got home and immediately had to deal with some problems with the bank, and the darkness came crashing in as I became angry with my situation.

We worship a God who doesn't shout out the answers, but who is gentle and kind. I don't believe in co-incidence when it comes to Him. Everything God does is for a reason.
I sat down at my computer and checked my emails. My daily verse had come in: It was from Psalm 16:
It read: Lord you teach me the way of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy.

Now if that isn't confirmation of what he is whispering to me then what is?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Has the olive tree died?

I think I may be suffering from depression again. I am not to sure when it started as it has crept up slowly upon me.
At first I thought it was a spiritual dry patch I am going through. I havent wanted to pray, nor talk to God nor even read my bible daily.
For those who know me, this is very unlike me. Then I noticed my moods shifting. I have become increasingly sensitive and jumpy, and many of the things my husband has said has been wrong or offensive to me. The strange thing about that is perhaps that is true, but before hand I wouldn't notice or it wouldn't bother me so.
I don't even wish to talk to God about this! Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear!

I will write a bit more tomorrow, as this started before my mom died two weeks ago, but was that the straw that broke the camels back?