Friday, January 31, 2014

The Journey continues.

John MacArthur's teaching voice delivered on my small kitchen radio with a more than implied imperative energy, louder than was comfortable, mixed with my mornings while cajoling my little girls into their chosen dress code for pre-school, get them to eat and leave  ... so I could get ready to go to work and ... I burned the toast alotalot.

It pained me that his talks were on so early. I missed most of it even though the radio was louder than comfortable.  It irked my family, but I would not, could not turn it down. My family still remembers him.  Sadly none of us remember what he said, exactly, only that it was, for me, imperative.

If we had listened properly to John MacArthur we would not have gone where we have gone, not could we have been misled. The royal We, that is. We would not have become disenchanted with the church and left it, eventually, knowing that something was wrong, but quite vague about what.

Many of us not only left the church, but left our faith in Jesus Christ at the doors of those churches.

Many young kids I know went along to charismatic churches.  Their lives were less than ideal and they hoped to find Jesus and angels there to help them cope.  After a season with no fruits of this promise they reasoned that the Jesus stuff was a lot like Father Christmas and the Easter Bunny.  They walked away. Perhaps forever.  And it is this phenomena that John MacArthur addresses.

You can't sugar coat the word of G-d, pretend that the Word means this or that, when it clearly doesn't.  All that accomplishes is that it leaves the young and the young in Christ confused and disenchanted.  

You choose Christ, since they tell you this is the only way to be "saved" (from the fires of hell, no less) and they say that if you get baptised, wallah-bang-boom, you are in the Kingdom, sanctified, saved and delivered, and destined to be lifted up at the rapture, which everyone looks forward to.

Now, here's the thing.  I have met, personally, and know these people well, only these few would be in the running, on the short list, for rapturing, as far as I can judge.  And I am not judging.  My cake is small and one assumes that there are many more that I don't know equally in the same spiritual zone of my few friends.

A Man, back in the seventies, dying of cancer, was miraculously healed in a charismatic church. He not only accepted his healing, but his whole life changed.  He lived in the Word daily.  His family joined him in the work of a truly saved man.  God's work. He not only had no more cancer after being at death's door, but became so involved in the ministry that every time you went to his house there they all were, siting in a circle, noses in the bible.

I was an ardent atheist at the time.  It seemed bizarre to me.  There are other books! I thought.

A special young lady I have known for a few years is another.  No major miracles required. She just is completely devoted to the Word and lives by it and in it.  Her church is the centre of her existence and there isn't a day that I can say she let go of G-d's hand for a minute, troubles and all. And though one may say, as some do, that the church befuddles the mind and and and, her soul is pure and her heart so good that even the most cynical among us recognise that she is one of those precious souls that means it, lives it, and nothing is going to shake her off this path.

Another I have known most of my life, even though I haven't kept in touch over the years, is another.  Also no great visible miracles, no getting up from death beds, but certainly facing a few obstacles, as we all do, has the countenance, as do the aforementioned, that is aglow with inner peace and exudes a joy that is not of this world.  He's so real in his belief that he makes me cry regularly.

Even some serious preachers/teachers I have met have not manifested this glow.

If one's life doesn't change dramatically and one isn't glowing with peace, love and understanding, and one isn't demonstrating the joy of one's conversion, one's sanctification, and one is still doing things that do not conform to what the bible calls a new creation, then one hasn't got it.  Not to say one cannot get it, but one hasn't, yet, got it.

One may have a form of G-dliness, but that is all.  Dipping one's head into the rivers of baptism and accepting Christ as one's personal saviour, attending services and doing good stuff doesn't quite cut it; if there is no visible change, a change that is perceptible to the heathens, such as I was when I met these holy souls, then one is still a wannabe.

"Fake it till you make it," was the advice I was given when I had gone through the motions with a willing heart and all, I wasn't feeling the glow that I have witnessed in others who were, to my mind, born again.   If that is the right word.

I am still not glowing with that knowing that comes from supernatural baptism.  Faking it doesn't help me a bit.  I want it all.

The Holy Spirit is with me. Angels are with me.  But I have a very clear sense of not being rapture ready.  I fear I shall be left behind.

I shall be left behind, perhaps, not because of my sins, but because I haven't reached the point, like the first of my glowing friends, when everything I do is inspired by The Word.   The easy-peasy offer isn't doing it.  I think John MacArthur's teaching is more likely to move one into alignment.

John MacArthur doesn't apologise for the Word or sugar coat it for the not so strong, not so committed, not so willing to forsake things that are untoward in world. The word is what it is. Take it or leave.

Heaven forbid Christ should come and he should say to me, "I never knew you."

And, although I pray without ceasing, have seen miracles and angels, have done good works and been kind and and and, I still have to bathe in the Word and get to the moment when the Holy Spirit descends on me with a tangible fire which will change me forever.  Forever does seem to be the effect of the baptism of fire.

Reminding you all that this blog is a document of a journey to Newness.  

I have found a church that I didn't feel the urgency to run from.  John MacArthur is all over the tube if anyone is interested.

The journey continues.

Love and Blessings, My lovelies.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Walking in Job's shoes for a bit ...

"My sheep hear my voice," it is written.

I wonder what our voices sound like. 

I am venturing out to find a church again.  I ran home last time and hid my head under the pillow. (Not really!)  I think I might have been the oldest person there.  I do anonymous better than conspicuous.
I have heard about two churches.  I am terrified of both of them.  One is also, probably, a younger community, but I have seen their fruit and it looks good.  Both of them are likely to put me through the mill, grind my soul to a fine white powder and then stick me in a furnace and ... I might not make it.  I might expire.  I am not sure I want to go through this procedure, but I am called to.

I am whining and whinging privately, trying to convince myself that I can do this at home with my tube sessions and my bible and my heart and, and, and.

Rubbish that is.  I have to go and get with the program since I feel a fight coming on and need to be able for it - when it comes.

I am presently feeling like Job in Chapter 30: from 19 to 31.

"I live in terror now. ..... My heart is broken. Depression haunts my days. My weary nights are filled with pain as though something were relentlessly gnawing at my bones.  All night long I toss and turn, and my garments bind about me.  God has thrown me into the mud.  I have become as dust and ashes.... O God, .... You throw me into the whirlwind and dissolve me in the storm. .... The voice of joy and gladness has turned to mourning."

In Chapter 38 God speaks.

"Why are you using your ignorance to deny my providence? Now get ready to fight, for I am going to demand some answers from you, and you must reply." 

[I can just see Job.  "Is this a test?"]

The questions are:-

Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
Tell me, if you know so much. 
Do you know how its dimensions were determined, and who did the surveying? 
What supports its foundations, and who laid the cornerstone, as the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?
Who decreed the boundaries of the seas when they gushed from the depths?
Who clothed them with clouds and thick darkness, and barred them by limiting their storms, and said, "Thus far and no farther shall you come, and here shall your proud waves stop!"
Have you ever commanded the morning star to appear, and caused the dawn to rise in the east? 
Have you ever told the daylight to spread to the ends of the earth to end the night's wickedness?
Have you ever robed the dawn in red and disturbed haunts of wicked men and stopped the arm raised to strike?
Have you explored the springs from which the seas come, or walked in the sources of their depths?
Has the location of the gates of Death been revealed to you?
Do you realise the extent of the earth?
Where does the Light come from and how do you get there?
Or tell me about the darkness. Where does it come from?

But of course you know all this!  For you were born before it was all created, and you are so very experienced!

Have you visited the treasuries of the snow, or seen where hail is made and stoned?  For I have reserved it for the time when I will need it in war.  [Not to be taken lightly, I don't think...]

Where is the home of the East wind?
Who dug the valleys for the torrents of rain? 
Who laid the path for the lightening, causing rain to fall upon the barren deserts, so that the parched and barren ground is satisfied with water, and tender grass springs up?
Has the rain a father? 
Where does dew come from?
Who is the mother of the ice and frost?
Can you hold back the stars?
Can you restrain Orion or Pleiades?
Can you ensure the proper sequence of the season, or guide the constellations of the Bear with her satellites across the heavens?
Do you know the laws of the universe and how the heavens influence the earth?
Can you stalk a prey like a lioness, to satisfy the young lions' appetites as they lie in their dens, or lie in wait in the jungle? Who provides for the ravens when their young cry out to God as they try to struggle up from their nest in hunger?

[And my personal favourites:]

Do you know how mountain goats give birth? 

[Picture from a share on Facebook - Hello beautiful face]

Have you ever seen them giving birth to their young?
Do you know how many months of pregnancy they have before they bow themselves to give birth to their young and carry their burden no longer? 
Their young grow up in an open field, then leave their parents and return to them no more.
Who makes the wild donkeys wild?
Will the wild ox be your happy servant?
Have you given the horse strength, or clothed his neck with a quivering mane?

Chapter 40
Do you still want to argue with the Almighty? Or will you yield?  Do you - God's critic - have the answers?

[Poor old Job yields.  As do I.]

"I am nothing ... I lay my hand upon my mouth in silence. I have said too much already."

"Stand up like a man and brace yourself for battle."

It is time. 
I'm going to this church now.  
Standing up and bracing for battle.

Love and Light my Lovelies.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Ornamental Trees

You know you are in a bad place when the clever show up and your soul responds: "Hey? Really?  Did you just say that?"

The unbelievers mock believers because believers live on ether-ideas.  They are, after all, all faith and offer nothing to hang your hat on.  No, not even a  rusty nail.  But, then... you don't even have a hat.

As it happens I got pretty excited about a bunch of clever people recently. Made my way to a dinner to see, with mine own eyes, the faces, the eyes, read the body language, gauge the sound of their voices, test their resolve, and solidify my faith in this bunch. 

I tried to watch a tube conference they held, but I died of boredom. I heard my mouth say, "Asseblief!"  or "Pa'leeze!"

South Africans do speak fast, in general, but the cleverer we think we are, the slower we speak.  Weighing words, one by one, might prevent us from saying the wrong thing and help the not so clever keep up.  I have, however, only come across one man who could do that perfectly.   An engineer.  I can't remember his name. And, of course, one lady on the radio. 

And, and, and -  if slow is not boring enough, our accent has no romance to keep you.  We appear dull.  Perhaps we speak fast to counteract that side of our wonderful selves.

I had the Facebook moment last night.  And there was the exclamation mark.  One of these clever people asked how to stop unwanted comments on their Facebook page. 

I know. It's so annoying.  See it on most pages that are trying to do some good. These clever ones are, also, trying to do good, I concede, but this is the same lot that say it's all good to say what you want, to and about whomsoever you please, in whatever fashion you like, hate speech even, unpleasant as it might be, in the name of freedom of speech. 

But, if you please, not on their page. 

If these are the saviours, may the Lord Almighty preserve us and save us.  But then we don't have to panic. They do not intend to be popular and they also want to "not hurt people too much".   They hang quotes on their page like stars on the Christmas tree, tie a few natty ribbons about and every now and then they put on the lights.  I do that! But then I am a mommy and a friend.

To save myself I have un-liked the page; and if any more of this bunch shows up on my "Home" I shall hide it. I can't take it anymore.  I can't. I am old and I have lived too long.

Individuals do good stuff and individuals may be part of this little club.  So, it is, all good.  But, do remember to check everything everyone says.  How?  The old book tells you.

Matthew 7:16  "Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns or figs of thistles?"

I shall be delighted to see some fruit.  But, it won't be falling off the Facebook tree.  I'm just saying...

Blessings and Light, my lovelies.  

The Road is Long.

On my long drives over the last couple of years I've noticed how much kinder drivers have become.

On these journeys I listen to the radio a little sometimes. 

South Africans rush sentences.  I can't usually stand a talk show, but I did like the hostess on the one I heard today. 

She didn't rush her words.  I imagined her in velvet, but it's too hot for that. I imagined her in red and burnt sienna, but she probably wore black, the city dress code, but at least, high heels, expressive hands, large eyes, a generous mouth; slow to smile, but when she does, its a good one. 

If she's a South African, she grew up somewhere else.  

Her lovely unhurried words rolled out like the carpet of green hills that adorn this long, lonely road. 

The Afrikaans station is always a cuddly alternative. When she stopped speaking I went there.  The afternoon host gets us to talk about odd things. Today his topic was how we respond to the loss of our pets.  There was this fellow, not a young man, who spoke about his loss, of the funeral and the Bible and the prayers.

Is this a South African thing?  Our gardens are littered with graves of birds, mice, cats, dogs and remember-when's of funerals mit prayers and mourning.

It's really hotter than I remember. The air conditioner wasn't enough.  Less hitch hikers hung on the curbs. No meandering either.  Even the mysterious lady who hikes from this one small place to almost another, no matter what, sat under the thatched picnic spot shelter lifting her hand as she does. 

It doesn't matter if I am coming or going, she's on the road. 

She wears clothes that remind me of the sixties. Her hair is tied up with a long, glossy fringe just above large dark glasses.

Some stories are best untold.

I heard them tell of traffic snags in the city I used to live in.  Were they were listening to the same radio stations?  What did the lamp post headlines say today?  I do miss those. 

The radio's news is mostly worrying, but then some sane voice comes to comfort. Hope springs eternal and I dream that this too shall pass.  Everything will be just fine, in a while... We'll get it before it gets us. All will be well. 

Thunder. A breeze has risen.  I am far from slumber. My book went walk about so I am at a loss.  I can't sit here all night, as I fear I might, if I do not leave now. 

May tomorrow find us mellow with voices that comfort. And, may the dawn bring a loveliness to lift us to new highs.  May we find our goodness within and awake kindness. The road is long.

Think happy thoughts, my lovelies.

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Mirror in the Sea

Only one author has made me feel sorry for his heart.

He lamented the rate Earth loses ground, trees, species and seems to be especially sad about sea snails disappearing. Then, I read, somewhere, a few new species were discovered, snails and ...  The author must be cheered, I thought. Snails are re-inventing themselves.

In case anyone reads this wrong, I am not belittling that author.  I did not agree with his solution and could not answer the call, "Will you join me..." but I did appreciate the work. I felt his heart beating with heaviness.

I have just read elsewhere that many green sea turtles, rare in most parts, are "crowding  into a marine reserve" around an Indonesian island.  The writer might again be cheered.

Not so much. It's not all good news.

These turtles are behaving like humans.  Destroying their habitat.  Not too cheery.

Many of the turtles do not live in that bit of water, the ones that know say. They come from around about and eat, much like cows eat grass, they say, but end up pulling out the sea grass by the roots - according to a journal by Proceedings of the Royal Society B.  Hmm... no idea what or who that is, but said journal came out "last week" - so, um, recently.

"Protecting the species is not enough,"  Windia Adnyana, a turtle expert is quoted as having said.  Peter Mumby, they say, said they are eating themselves out of house and home.

So, there is talk of perhaps relocating the turtles. Are these turtles like human refugees, collecting in one spot for safety? What did they swim from?

And, of course, there is talk about the state of sea grass in general not being all that anymore, because of the Because, as we say in our family.

So, where to put them?  Can one move a sea turtle without its permission? Won't it just swim back?  They may graze like cows, but the sea is not a land we can easily fence.  Is it?

We are much like the gentle, heart-shaped, green sea turtles.  Bless us and forgive us.  We know not what we do.  

I cannot help but remember the scriptures.  They keep coming back to me.  "If you seek to save your life, you will lose it."  In Luke Chapter 9. 

Somewhere else in The Word we are asked what we consider to be our life.  Is it not just air? A breathe? Spirit?

And, somewhere else it is written that we do not fight flesh and blood, but principalities.

And, a teacher I respect said, if it is written that this or that will happen, then it is useless to pray that it won't. It will happen.

A people will say all religions are the same, and some will say religion is a waste of time, and some will doubt the existence of G-d, and some will not even doubt, just plainly not believe that there is more to this whole existence than birth, the middle bit and "gardening, gardening, death."

Some will suggest that our G-d is an alien from another planet and we have invented a supernatural being for the safety of our minds, but they usually say, "for a crutch."

I have been in that place of non-belief, believed that there is nought but me to depend on.  But, I came to G-d by way of angels, demanding, as I did, proof, with expletives, mind you, and I felt the presence, a hand on my head, and since then I have not been able to deny the existence of the supernatural.  Too many miracles for me to ignore.  And if there are angels and if there are miracles then ... everything else must be accepted as well.

I have explored everything I can, things that came to me, but I keep coming back to the scriptures that I learned in those early days of "after the angels".  At the time I marvelled at those who could rattle off scriptures to suit the situation, proclaim the Word of G-d in an instant.  I thought I would never remember it all.  But here I am, old, forgetful, with bad eye sight, a sense of hearing that is not all that anymore, in pain most of the time and weary. And, yet, the scriptures come back.

The trouble we have with The Bible is that we want to be selective, ignore the stuff we don't like, can't do, and take the good stuff, on a good day.  The Bible is a pretty fierce book, but it stands in the face of all adversity and that adversity grows.

I, myself, have wished and said that if G-d wanted us to keep the commandments just like so, and if He wanted us to know what to do, how to recognise the signs and all, then why couldn't He just tell us in plain language? Why does Revelation have to be so complicated?  Why does it have to be interpreted so many different ways, leave us open to error, misinterpretation and have preachers and teachers lead us astray because of their bending of The Word?

The scribes over estimated us perhaps.  We are not bright.  We are emotional, revengeful, demanding, scurrying creatures that want quick fixes, and as time rushes by so fast these days, the quicker the better.  Perhaps understanding scripture needs to be demanding, it needs our good works, which are not charity and and and, but time spent with The Word, as we have been taught over and over.

Though all things may not be clear to us upon reading The Word, some things are.  We are commanded to love one another, to support and nurture one another.  We are asked to feed to the hungry and clothe the poor, give harbour to the homeless, to entertain strangers, to realise that we are connected to each other, one to another.   We cannot even do that, let alone keep holy the Sabbath, be faithful to those we have wedded, turn the other cheek and take the stick out of our own eyes. All of this is in plain clear language. We can take it literally.

Much like the author of that book, I wake up and go to sleep with a great sadness.  I seldom weep these days, but if I could, I would, weep.  We have become complacent, we have huge issues with one another.

We can sleep when others have no pillow, and eat when others have nothing to nourish themselves with, and some, a lack of water.  Children are vulnerable.  Women and men, yes, men too, are vulnerable.  So vulnerable are the animals, the snails in the sea, turtles even, confused or perhaps revealing to us the nature of our being.  They are, perhaps, the mirror in the sea.  Let us see.

And yet, I have no solutions. I don't know which party should lead the country. I know only that the Bible says that G-d appoints kings.  G-d removes kings.  And, it is as G-d wills it.  And, therefore, we are instructed: Fear the Lord.  Another teacher, I think it was Derek Prince who said, fear even The Word, for it is written in John1:1  "In the beginning .... and the Word was G-d."

I am grateful that I believe in G-d. It is a gift, I think.  If I did not believe, I would not only weep, but go mad.

It is my prayer that you are divinely loved, always, and forever.

Light and Love, my lovelies.  Light and Love.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

"There is nothing new under the sun."

I haven't written for a while. Gobsmacked by 2013 being the biggest reason, and speechless because ...

Apart from Vampires (of some sort : ?), The Secret Seven (I kid you not) and AdSense-watch (?) I didn't think anyone was missing my four cents worth of comment on the world and ...  

However, a few sweet souls are asking for my blogs.  Bless your hearts.

I am imminently free again to sit here and think of things to blab on about. Being as I am no authority, a verifiable citizen in the land of fairies, off the wall and illogical, I did question my egotistical silliness.  I am way too old to think that I can change the world.

So, I will continue, for the few sweet souls.  About what, I don't know.  I have given up the illustrious thought that there are leaders in the world that can save us from the chaos we find ourselves in.  "My faith is in You, Lord."

Everything up to now has been a theory. We have had enough time to test these.  We are lucky if things are moving along with manageable chaos.  For this we are thankful.

I was reminded yesterday that every age has had its moment where society decided that things could certainly not become worse than they were then, and yet, illustrious Man has found ways to increase chaos, seemingly for no good reason.  

Ecclesiastes Chapter One. There is nothing new under the sun, it is written and further, with much wisdom comes sorrow and with more knowledge, grief.  On the surface that looks like ... However, the more clever I get, the more grief I find I experience.  So, I for one am not knocking it.

I also stopped writing because, after all, we have told every story there is.  The Bible tells us everything, anyway.  What is the purpose of sprouting out more words unless one can uplift and inspire.  To inspire one needs to be inspired.   In 2013 I found inspiration hard to come by.  It was a bristle filled year.

Even the publishers of stories agree, I am presuming.  They are no longer all that interested in our stories (fiction) anymore and have it is suggested (on some page on the Internet) that self-help books by super experts will have a platform in the coming days.  I'm not one of those.  An expert.  A self-helper, yes, but not an expert.

My plans for the future include reading, as always, drawing pictures and gardening, gardening, gardening.   One can expect to read about my advances and failures in these areas.  So don't get your hopes up. 

I write because I have time, not because I think I know anything.  I am not alone in this.  I might only be alone in saying that all this is just my thought for the day.  Tomorrow I might think something entirely different.  As long as this is still legal and doesn't threaten those who watch us, even for our metaphors, (and they certainly do) I will no doubt continue. 

However, don't dismiss too easily that which I share with you.  Think on it.  Treat thoughts like I treat seeds I buy.  Bear in mind that I bought what I thought was cabbages (I'm sure the packet said it was cabbages) but what grew were leaves of cauliflower plants and cauliflowers did not emerge.  We fed the snails, which is a good thing, I would say, if nothing else.  Green is good in the garden. 

One thing intended might lead to another thing entirely.

I have come to believe that all I have the power to do is to take care of my own soul and on the path suggest you do the same.  How, and if, you think it is worth the time and trouble is up to you.

Light and Love my lovelies.