Posts Tagged With: faithful

A season for blooming

It is getting closer and closer to April, and this is probably my most favourite time of the year…It is the season in which tulips come into bloom and they start opening up to show their pretty and delicate colours. Such beautiful flowers that should be handled with such soft and caring touch, that seem a lot like me in that way I guess. This is the time of year that God breathes over them and lightly and gently touches them with His love, peeling them open with a gentleness only He possesses, that opens them to reveal His magnificent beauty and glory… Oh how I love this time of year and how my heart just sings as it is full of praise for Him.

Praise for Him – especially now as my dreams are also blooming into reality by the works of His hands. I have gone for my training to work in the prisons locally, in South Africa and internationally and am now a qualified counsellor and facilitator of Reformative Justice. A dream and desire put on my heart nearly 7 years ago by God, is now becoming a reality. I am now stepping in to it with fef2e7404cfc59a838abca787b26c1a4the authority of Christ. Yesterday I had my last day of training to become qualified and registered, and it felt like one of the most exciting and beautiful days of my life!!!! I am so excited and have such an amazing mentor under whom I will be working until I get transferred to Cape Town and I am truly blessed by Dad with this. The fact that her and I have clicked so well not only emotionally but also in Spirit has been such an amazing blessing, I was definitely pleasantly surprised by it and God’s faithfulness and goodness, Him being true to all He has promised.

I guess what made the day even sweeter and what makes it all sweeter, is that I am finally standing where God has promised after 7 years, of people telling me I couldn’t ever do this or would never be able to. So many critics, so many who tried to break and tear me down and the dreams and desires in my heart, so many who tried their best to discourage me, so many who tried to limit me and didn’t approve, some that still do. Other challenges also came along and it has been a long road taking many turns, as Satan has tried his best to keep me from Dad’s plans and dreams, but he has been unsuccessful and Dad and I have come out victorious. I know there are still many things and challenges that will be thrown my way, but with Dad on my side, who can really come against me?!

What has been amazing on this journey too, is to have seen how God has changed the hearts of my parents along the way as well as my aunt’s. I have always pushed the boundaries and my family’s way of thinking, challenging them and their perspectives as well as that about Jesus, just because my heart and thoughts were so different to theirs and because of the desires and dreams placed on my heart by God. From their perspectives that I couldn’t do this, that these things didn’t fit into the box or what they had hoped for me, to them coming humbly in tears and amazing appreciation, as if their Spiritual Eyes had been opened to God’s amazing plans. It has been humbling and so beautiful, a true honour. I was able to witness the same thing happen to my aunt last night, after feeling years of disapproval, she tried to support me over the years, but she always tried to push me in a different direction as kindly and softly or subtly as she could but I knew how she truly felt… and then last night, with great and honest revelation she came to me apologising as she had been to a conference and there the Spirit had changed and challenged her heart and thoughts… a mind renewed.  She felt guilty and ashamed and I tried my best to comfort her as she shouldn’t feel bad, she should just be more open to different things and different functions now….So I tried to show her as much love as I could…but it was truly a special moment I’ll never forget.

So this journey has been such a blessing and I am excited about what lies ahead…. A flower opening up, coming into bloom…this is a great season!

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Fighting for You

One of my friends is struggling a lot right now. Things seem to continue to go a little chaotic for her and she is finding it hard to hold onto God and His promises.

But today, in the midst of having finished a whole lot of work after working more than 8 hours through the night and being dead tired, I came across a promise that is made in the Bible. It is in Exodus 14v14: “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

Every day there is going to be a battle, whether we see it and are aware of it or not. It may be physically tangible or in the spiritual realms. No matter how hard life gets, we need to know and hold onto the promise that God WILL fight for us and will come through for us. I know it gets tough, and I have been there, but God is so faithful and He won’t let us down.

It is easy to hold onto God and His beautiful promises when things seem to be going okay, but push us a little too far over the line and suddenly His promises are harder to hold onto and it is easier to forget how faithful He is in fighting for us. Even if we have seen it many times, Him fighting for us and delivering us time and time again, somehow we always forget and have to be reminded. But God is always true to what He promises in His Word, so keep holding on. You can be sure that He will fight for you, no matter what. God’s love is intense and He was serious about fighting for us when He let His Son die for us, so keep holding on.

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Our Tears Collected

In life the going can really get tough and after the year we have had in Intentional Living, it has been extremely tough at times and still continues to be.

Last night, I went to have something to drink with a friend. Very last minute, but this friend was going through a crisis and still is. When I got to her, her eyes were red and puffy from crying…I knew deep within me what was going on before it had happened.

Anyway, after a tough year, her year got even more tough and I really felt sorry for her, because I have been there. This year has been crazy with the trials we’ve gone through. She has been crying all week, since Monday and I can totally understand. We’re just so damn tired of all this, all this stuff happening. Losing people or things, bad situations….even now, when it is something she had prayed about, something that she knows is God’s will and has gone out in faith and done what He has asked even though it is hard and difficult for her… She has been faithful..but as we know, being faithful and what we have to do for God, won’t always be easy and fun. And this time, as every trial we’ve been through this year so far, it is very far from fun.

What is really cool about God, is that He knows what we need before we ask and when you go out as a friend, just to listen and love them..somehow God is always able to use us in these kinds of situations. After our talk last night, even though I didn’t feel very helpful and I tried to give her advice from my experiences, God still used me… She let me know afterward, that she was glad I had come, because she just had to make sense of things with someone and that she has felt such peace come over her. I was pretty stoked that she had peace about what was happening. And I was just as stoked, because I hadn’t come there looking for answers for myself or anything for me, but when I left, I felt so much peace about my life and what I am doing at the moment, as well as about my relationships… It was pretty amazing. I left feeling extremely peaceful and grateful and like God really just is in control of it all, which is a pretty darn good feeling to have after this crazy hectic year and all the tears we’ve cried…

So all in all what I can say is, God is faithful. Even though this year, I’ve cried millions of tears, God really counts them all and I know He sees it and will do something about them, especially when I can’t. And after all the tears you have cried, if you keep holding onto Him, peace DOES come and when it does, it is incredible. I am so grateful for where I am now, the peace I have and I am sure it will come for my friend too.

So lastly I want to leave you with a verse a friend sent to me earlier in the year, and I was reminded of while praying for this friend this morning.

Psalm 56v8-13:

You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. On the very day I call to you for help, my enemies will retreat. This I know: God is on my side. O God, I praise your word. Yes, Lord, I praise your word. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me?  I will fulfill my vows to you, O God, and offer a sacrifice of thanks for your help. For you have rescued me from death; you have kept my feet from slipping. So now I can walk in your presence, O God, in your life-giving light.

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Angels Passing Through

Many times, we struggle with waking up early…I mean, it is all good and well when you know you’re getting up early to go down to the beach but when you’re living in the city and it’s to pray, in the early hours after a long night – suddenly it isn’t half as easy as usual.

But when you do get up, especially when you really do feel like it, somehow it always seem worth it and more memorable than other times. This morning was one of those mornings which I didn’t want to get up. I got to bed late, I just didn’t feel it.

I dragged myself out of bed after my alarm had gone off. I decided to go to the study with my Bible, laptop and diary, got myself a cup of tea and sat down. I needed to pray for a friend and then Heinrich, Aunty Valencia, Ingrid, Karen and Bernhard – as Uncle Johann passed away exactly a month ago.

It was a dark morning, looked like it was going to rain but it has turned out to be a gorgeous, hot day. But this morning, after praying, the house was still quiet. I was able to open the door of the study that opens so that wind comes in. It was just such

a peaceful morning, that really had me feeling peaceful and feeling God’s presence. It was just such a pleasure to listen to the wind blowing through the rustling leaves of the trees….the rustling of the leaves made sounds I love. It sounded like it was raining.Every time I hear that sound, I am reminded of what a friend use to tell me about that…. “Every time you hear the sound of the wind, they say, it is God’s angels passing through,” – that really brought a smile to my face. The same sound that the trees made when the wind was blowing at Uncle Johann’s grave the Friday that he was buried. But it was just amazing to me, how God made His Presence known and filled me with His Gracious Love.

So even when we do struggle, I guess God knows it and when we push through the struggling, He gives us a moment…a beautiful memorable moment with Him.

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Colours of Change

The Lord works in mysterious ways…and that is definitely an understatement. A little prayer can go a long way and it seems that every day is a new adventure with God. He seems to be able to do amazing things when our hearts are willing and desire those things just as much.

When our hearts line up with what He wants to do in our lives and with what He intends for us to be and we desire that…it is such an incredibly beautiful moment. When we give all the pieces of our heart to Him, not just after it has been broken but at any point and you give Him the chance to fix it and do what He needs with it, amazing things tend to happen. When we let Him do His Will in our lives and praise Him no matter the outcome and carry on serving patiently and faithfully while we wait, He really does come through for us and things we could never have imagined start happening.

I’ve seen this in my own life, but also in the lives of others. When we go to God, seeking change – firstly in ourselves and then others..giving our hearts and lives fully over into His hands.. Change comes and it seems to make a greater impact on ourselves and to those around us. When we take the time to really dwell in His Presence each day, being refreshed by Him and being faithful in prayer because we really want and desire change with all that we are – He is faithful in rewarding and bringing change. Sometimes, it isn’t seen by others, but sometimes the changes are so drastic that others cannot help but notice and delight in God’s love shining through.

It is like the ocean…those beautiful pools that come in the most indescribable blues, that can be seen from afar but are nothing compared to what they are when you see them up close.. I can remember my first experience like that. I had always seen the water from afar, and even swimming and surfing…you still are too close to shore to see the deep dark blue water that lurks beyond shark nets and the bays… I got on a boat and was taken out to sea… I couldn’t believe the change in the colours of the blue…how beautiful and mysterious. I remember having to touch the water, running my fingers through it as I leaned over the boat while it was still moving, just to see if it was real. I couldn’t believe such a drastic change could be possible and I guess that was the day I decided as a kid, anything is possible. But I can say, I loved it… it was amazing seeing something so drastic up close. That what I had known, could be changed from something beautiful to something magical and magnificent. It was still the same ocean, just a whole different colour which took my breath away.

After praying over the phone with someone, Sunday night, someone who willingly wanted to pray and really see change in his life – and wanted to see the change in himself first, before pointing his finger at others and telling them to change… These past two days, I have been able to hear and witness the changes…just in his attitude, messages and so forth. This guy, just being focused on God no matter what, focusing on being more positive and grateful – and I have had the honour of witnessing that. A guy willing to change himself first and giving that over to God, giving each aspect of his life over to God, repenting for wrongs, waking up earlier each day to seek God in prayer and each day after the praying over the phone he seems like a changed person – so drastic that it is hard not to notice.

When you come to God in truth, being honest and truly wanting change, starting with yourself, before trying to change others, God will take your hand and be close to you. He will bring change as long as you are willing and desire it with all you have. 

You’re like the ocean…

Pretty enough on the surface, 

but dive down into your depths

And you’ll find beauty most people never see.

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Amazed

It amazes me how God works and how He knows each and every single person’s heart. Today was just a hot summer day but also an important one. Wihann was to go in for his first radiation treatment, Ben was to go for his tests & hear whether or not he is clean of cancer. Yesterday Riamien went in for her tests to hear if she is cancer free and earlier this week, Bernhard’s dad was critically in ICU with his cancer. Now the weather has turned to rain and I know God is here as I reflect on His amazing work. I can literally feel Him, His Presence and His Power.

Each time I have prayed & written to God in my journal, it has astounded me how every time I have, the verse at the bottom of the page has been one that correlates to whatever I was praying about.

As I prayed for Bernhard’s dad & that his condtion will improve the following verse was on the page – John 14v27: Peace I leave with you, My peace I give you.  I was so at peace after that and the next day I got news from Bernhard, that God had worked and his father was no longer critical and his condition seemed to be improving.

I was praying about finances not working out & that I was worried & I don’t know how I would do a trip God had put on my heart because of money being so tight. The verse on that page was – Psalm 31v15: My times are in Your Hands, Lord. Again, I was reminded to trust God. Later that day though, a lady sent me a verse that put me at peace and reminded me that God will take care of it all and that I shouldn’t worry as He has freed me from any bondage or anything weighing me down. It was – Leviticus 26v13: I am the Lord, your God. I bought you out of Egypt so that you are no longer slaves. I have broken their power over you and made you live as free people.

Riamien also asked that we pray for her as she goes for her scans & tests. I was praying for her & Emma – who had an exam the same day, the verse was – Philippians 4v13: I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.  They both did very well. Emma’s exam went well & we are still waiting to hear what the results were for Riamien.

Then this morning, I lifted up Wihann & Ben in prayer. The verses that were on the pages this time were – Jude 2: Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance & Psalm 46v10: Be still, and know that I am God. This afternoon I heard from Tanja (Ben’s girlfriend) that the test results came back & Ben is clean & cancer free 🙂 I think I nearly cried when I heard the good news..I probably did. I prayed and thanked God for what He had done & for being with Ben & Wihann today and the verse was: James 1v17 – Every good and perfect gift is from above (God). Again I was just amazed by Him.

Not only when I lifted up these people, but also as I prayed about this trip that God has put on my heart, another verse came up and that was: Matthew 6v21 – Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Such a beautiful verse. It amazes me how God works & how much of His love I get to experience for each person as I pray for them. He loves us all so much, too much to describe or even realize. But the bit that I do realize, just leaves me AMAZED.

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All I Desire…

About a month ago I went to Jo’burg in hopes of having coffee with a few new friends who play for the Lions. That Tuesday we had experienced snow all over the country & then that Wednesday I was back in Jo’burg to see Liz, have coffee & also go watch a movie with a friend.

Although I had an awesome day I had an even more humbling experience with Liz that night as she shared her heart with me. But as we spoke she shared a question with me that God had given her which really seemed to challenge her & as soon as she had shared it, I found it was something that had come up in my journey of late with God too & it challenged me greatly as I didn’t know how to answer that. The question was: “I can be all you need, but am I really all you want?” Liz & I both struggled to answer and felt guilty because of it. We had both experienced heart ache in relationships that were broken with guys, hers only a few months ago and mine nearly a year ago. Although we didn’t mind being single, we both really wanted someone to love & someone to share with one day. We both want to have a husband one day or a family but suddenly we were feeling guilty for wanting that. We both considered the fact that God says, ‘seek Him first and all shall be added unto you,’  but that means desire Him first and He will add all the desires unto you later (according to His Will obviously). But with the question He had both challenged us with, made it seem that He wants us all to Himself – so are we really to desire other things as well?

In a prayer of mine a few weeks ago, after that challenging question, I was up to being honest with myself: God could be all I needed, but He wasn’t all I wanted. I wished He was, but at that point He really wasn’t. My focus at that time had been guys, especially with this year of being single nearly being up.

Now, after all these weeks, and especially after Saturday night (my parents and friends attended my 21st party), I can honestly say God took me on a journey and I have gotten to a place where I honestly ONLY WANT HIM. My whole being desires Him. But it doesn’t just happen; the four week journey really was a hectic one. It had many up’s and down’s. I’ve seen how with some guys I’ve focused on friendship like for example some of the rugby guys. I’ve just tried to be a friend, getting to know them and constantly praying for them, whether or not they knew it, I have been on my knees daily in prayer for them. Then, there has been another person, with whom I haven’t done that. This person had been flirting with me and I really thought he was a genuine nice guy, it did look like we were going somewhere but at the same time, he didn’t seem like he would ever ask me out, and some of the things he had asked me to do, I’d said no to and just really bothered me. It’s weird to see how faithful God is in this. I always try hoping and seeing the best in others no matter the circumstance, but every time I did this, there was still this weary feeling inside me about this guy & that something just didn’t add up. In prayer, I took this to the Lord and that things were bothering me about him but I still wasn’t sure, maybe I’m being weary for nothing – I mean, he did say sorry a few times for things. But after the weekend I had had, God has just been so faithful. This weekend I was left extremely disappointed by this person’s actions and character traits and I was extremely irritated and sad. Many of the guys living with me came to my rescue trying to cheer me up, but I think it was just because this person seemed great one on one but in a group he wasn’t at all who I had thought him to be.

Chris, my friend and the new youth pastor at the church had prayed and said such beautiful things at my birthday, but most of all, I told him about my disappointment and also told him that I had learnt ANYONE could disappoint me but so far God hasn’t and that I have come to a place where I am so grateful of what God has done and showed me and that He really does know best. Chris then also added something his mom always said, “We have feet made of clay.” He then explained, that as much as this person has disappointed me, anyone even the best people we know will disappoint us. Not only that, but I’m sure I have disappointed many people and I truly am sorry, be it when I’ve known or not, it has never been my intentions.

But from this whole story and journey, I am beyond excitement! I really cannot wait to see what lies ahead. I have made such good friends and met such stand up guys that play rugby and although they seem to doubt in themselves, through being on my knees and praying for them, God has shown me who they truly are and how He loves them even though some of them haven’t spoken to me half as much as others. I am at a place where all I want IS God and I truly desire Him and make a daily choice to follow Him. God is so faithful, and He knows our worries and things that bother us, and when we share those thoughts with Him – He comes through for us and protects us. When we are unsure, He shows us taking away any doubt in our minds. He is faithful; we just need to trust that.

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Adventuring in the World

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It has been a crazy month since I last posted. A lot has happened. Studies are going – quite busy and intense. But life is constantly rolling on.

In the past 3 or so weeks we have experienced snow for the first time in all 9 provinces in our country. It was a super cool day as EJ picked us up in the Leach-mobile and we drove through to East Gate Mall and played in the snow. My first time ever seeing snow and it was incredible! Afterwards we enjoyed a good cup of coffee before coming home.

In this time I also got to go watch the latest Batman movie with Chris and spent a night over at Liz’ place watching Olympics and just having deep conversations. Again, I must say, she has such a beautiful heart! Then I gave her paint, cloth and she could write her story with it. I’ve also had the opportunity of having breakfast with Mari since she’s been back and we also went shopping and had the car washed. I have had time to get involved at Doornkloof’s church with Chris and Mona and we now have a cell group called CRAVE.

I’ve spent time with some of my rugby mates and it has been awesome to just catch up over coffee, go support their games while others of them have really opened up their hearts to me and have also been such amazing spiritual warriors who themselves have picked me up and encouraged me through great conversations. They really have made an impact in the short time I’ve gotten to know them in my life without even knowing it. To those guys – Craig, Courtnall, Christopher & Jaco – thanks guys!

I’ve met amazing people through ECHO like Calvyn, Wacko, Karoo, Jaco & Marine. Soon I will be involved with Let’s Go Jozi. I have also spent some time with Christo & Daniel lately, they are from the other Intentional Living house and I have found such a deep respect for these two guys. They are just always willing to help and take on a new task with such great attitudes. They have now been facing a rough time and I owe them way more than I could ever thank them for. Christo as well, although only 20, he has a wisdom and love for God way beyond his years! The few moments over the 2 days that I got to spend with him, I really was humbled by his heart for God and love for people. Not only that, I learnt what it means to love unconditionally through a guy named Walter. I met him through Daniel and Christo, a guy about as old as my dad with such a great love for God and wanting to help people. He seems to see the good no matter how small in people and to focus on that, watering it with so much love that it can’t help but grow and be all that you see in that person! He really showers you with love…. I also had lunch with my aunt and sister and had time to spend a weekend with my other aunt, uncle and cousin which was lovely.

In the past week though, I have also witnessed a few other things. Wihann, Ani’s boyfriend and our good friend – was diagnosed with Cancer on Wednesday. He had his operation on Friday and it seems he doesn’t need Chemo which is great news. Ani was on her way back from WitRivier on Friday to see Wihann before his op and ended up in a car accident on the N4. Her car was written off but luckily she was okay with only a few cuts and bruises. There were numerous amounts of burglaries in areas that I visited as well as people who tried to break in to our house over the weekend. Talita, our housemate also showed us some footage and spoke to us about Human Trafficking. It really opened up our eyes to what really is going on in the world but also in our own country, police force and government. I really have a heart for helping the women and children who get trapped inside human trafficking, so this really has been on my mind a lot.

So although I have had a great time, a blessed time, there have also been really sad, tough and terrible times. But I want to encourage all of you to remain positive and keep praying. God is faithful and I have seen His hand in all the things I have experienced this last month. I have seen Him in people’s lives even though they might not be able to. He has the bigger picture and He is faithful. In these hard times, when we get stretched – we grow most. We are given the opportunity to grow, we just have to choose to take it. Our hard times can also be used to relate to others in similar situations or to help those who are going through what we have. Use those experiences to shed some light on the situations of others, use it to love people more. You’ll be surprised at the reactions you get. In the times that have been hard, I’ve learnt to surrender and God has come through each time, being so faithful.

Joshua 23v14: “Now I am about to go the way of all the earth. You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the LORD your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed.”

Categories: Pursuing Faith, Pursuing Health, Pursuing Hope, Pursuing Life, Pursuing Love | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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