LOST AND FOUND

 

memory desert

Do you know how sometimes you cherish something, neatly tuck it into the folds of your memory, and then overtime it gets lost ?   Something triggers and a  gentle flutter lets you know, although vague, its still in there somewhere.
That’s what happened to me recently when someone wrote of a poem I learnt at school many years ago….something about an Arab (?) – and a tribe !!  So I went searching and found it again, that special poem I had tucked into my memory as a keepsake to cherish.
Joy !   You know the feeling you get when you find your misplaced keys, just magnify that by 10 !   It was as if someone had struck a resonant cord on a big bass guitar that vibrated through my soul, sheer delight!

The poem was written by Leigh Hunt in the 1800’s and not regarded as any great literary feat of the time yet here it is, 200 or so years later still giving insight and delight.  That surely must be a mark of the extraordinary ?

Little snippets about the poet., –  from http://www.poetryfoundation.org

   Leigh Hunt was a centre figure of the Romantic movement in England in the 19th century but he was not, as he wished to be and knew the was not, one of its great poets.
He was a master of mood and atmosphere.   Rather than having depth and passion, his poetry is imbued with the spirit of cheerfulness, which make it pleasant but not great.
He devoted his entire life to literature, writing several volumes of poetry, many essays a handful of plays and a novel, as well as making other literary contributions as a critic, editor and encourage of young writers.

Abou Ben Adhem first published in 1838 is a simple poem bearing the theme that to love man is the same as to love God.  It also includes the line used as Hunts epitaph.  “Write me as one who loves his fellow man”

 

 

Here for you to enjoy is the poem that I had lost, and now is found, and speaks so simply, yet so profoundly on the priorities of a life well lived.  Like me, I hope it will settle your soul and let you know that in spite of everything going on around us, all is well.

ABOU BEN ADHEM

Abou Ben Adem, (may his tribe increase),
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace
And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An angel writing in a book of gold :-
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the presence in the room he said,
“What writest thou?” – The vision raised its head,
And with a look made of all sweet accord,
Answered, “The names of those who love the Lord”
“And is mine one?” said Abou  “Nay, not so,”
Replied the angel.  
Abou spoke more low, 
But cheerily still, and said, “I pray thee, then, 
Write me as one that loves his fellow man”

The angel wrote, and vanished.   The next night 
It came again with a great wakening light
And showed the names whom love of God had blest,
And lo ! Ben Adhem’s name led all the rest.

 

Happy Birthday South Africa

flying SA flag

Happy Birthday South Africa !

 

Today you are 23 years old.    How you have galloped into the future, creating history at a rapid rate.

If Life is a stage let’s take a front seat together and have a look at the South African play before us.

In 1994, though through a crucible, you were born free from the oppression of your previous history.  A history that for all its intents and purposes nevertheless framed you for a better future for all.  A new day had come, a new government, with new policies waited on the horizon of the unknown.  But one thing was sure, it was a delightful day of release, an expectation for some, and a dread for others.  Different worlds had to come together, different histories had to fuse, different cultures had to find a way to live side by side.  A tall order indeed ! – an order without a script to follow.

The honourable Nelson Mandela South Africa’s first president, set the vision in place, one South Africa for all, and all for one South Africa.  The dream box was opened, and the dream floated out of injustice and into the potential of a new nation.   Honour and respect were the order of the day.  Even the World at large recognised its significance and regarded its highly prized Constitution.   All was well, and Nelson Mandela graciously stepped aside for the next president to continue the legacy, and forge the future.

The honourable Thabi Mbeki South Africa’s second president was a man of vision too. Perhaps a little short in statue, but certainly long in vision.  He saw the African Renaissance, not only a re-birth of a nation, but also of the African continent.  His vision was the faint rumble of a new African-ism emerging.  Whatever that entails and holds the future, in time, will tell.
Seemingly South Africa was just exiting racism,  was another ism coming ?   And who will be waiting in the wings of the World’s stage to influence, manipulate, access and conquer the people, and its resources,  of this new nation on the southern tip of Africa.

Before the uncertain future cleared there was an interruption, and a new president pushed and jumped onto the stage for a part in the Play, and for a big slice of the wealth cake !

Mr Jacob Zuma the third president of South Africa, was by all accounts not a man of vision.  Although jovial and charming, was for a time  just the face for the ruling party.   Leaders, good or bad, are important.  Ordinary citizens like to look up at their leaders and feel secure, some even idolizing them,  especially so in Africa.  Mr Zuma swayed many with his charm, and then exhibited extreme cunning at staying in the power seat. He may well  have just succumbed, to the irresistible call for greed, always knocking at the door of power.
I suspect, however, that being exposed to the global stage, and the greater forces in the power-play arena Mr Zuma was influenced by the dark agendas and concealed plans and visions of the greedy power mongers in a world of economics, politics and power.

Not only had the dream box released the potential of a new nation, but along with it came out the vile of politics, power-play and corruption.   And although severely distasteful,  I dare say necessary, for we all at some stage, have to have the courage to take a good long look at ourselves – face to face, to see the good and the bad that lingers in all of us, whether on a personal  – or national  level !

I don’t doubt that time will tell Mr Zuma’s story in more detail.   Perhaps his best contribution to the South African story is that, by default, he exposed the resilience of the South Africa society, and its fervent need for true justice, and its ongoing striving for honour and integrity in its leaders, and in its people.
The South African Constitution Court bears clear evidence of this, and has proved to be a strong foundation-stone of this new democracy.

South Africa you have thrived on exciting and exhilarating politics these past 23 years, as the ghosts of the past have come out of your closet., and as new and entertaining players have taken to the stage with their own particular agendas, brands and personalities.

And then there is the unseen , unheralded band of caring prayer warriors who have kept the nation close to the heart of God, and under His wings South Africa has stood the test of fiery trials of corruption… and of state capture!   Keeping vicious wolves at bay !!
So a caring, colourful and vibrant nation indeed you are South Africa.

Cape Town flag

But I would go as far as to say that South Africans have,  these past eight years been over politicised, and have overdosed on politics !   Is it because there has been a leadership vacuum ?  And of late just crisis management badly managed, halting economic development and resulting in the prospect of more poverty for the poorest in the nation.
Because of this you certainly have been stunted in your nation building, and the actual release of that people potential waiting to capture a future of progress and prosperity, for all.

For now, you are a nation on hold so to speak !  But time moves on, and the tide of politics will change, then a new day will break.   When you revert to the original plan of one South Africa for all, and all for one South Africa,  then that indeed will be a time to celebrate a true freedom –  and a good future together as one.

IMG-20170427-WA0001

Happy Birthday.  May God continue to bless you as a light to the nations, and in this present world of political, economic and social turmoil.

Happy Freedom Day !

Butterfly SA


Let there be light

bright sunrise

“Darkness  comes before light”  intriguing words  spoken by Teddy an African photographer, taking amazing photos of the wildlife in Botswana”…. said the insert on the TV  programme I had watched.   Intriguing indeed for me, as I have recently been investigating the subject of light.

What is light ?   There are many interesting levels to the concept of  light;  my play on opposite words searches hard to find an understanding  e.g.  light or darkness,   day or night, morning or evening.   And of course on another level the opposites of   truth or lies, right or wrong,  good or evil, knowledge or ignorance put another spin on Light, -which also needs to be explored one day.
One thing is for sure, there is a clear distinction between Light  and Dark, yet these two opposite dimensions can run parallel to each other.

So what actually is light ?           images (4)
Wikipedia says :


“Light is electromagnetic radiation within a certain portion of the electromagnetic spectrum.  The word usually refers to visible light.

The electromagnetic spectrum :  infrared rays,   ultraviolet rays,  micro waves, radio waves and gamma rays.
Like all types of light, visible light is emitted and absorbed in tiny “packets” called photons and exhibit properties of both waves and particles.

Our whole universe is covered in darkness, yet were it not for the light we would never know it !  Light makes all the difference.   Without light our material world would not exist.  Therefore light is imperative to our existence.

Quantum Physics’ String Theory says  “every form of Matter or Energy is the result of the Strings vibration”   Ref : http://www.louis-delmonte.com
I’ve also read somewhere that “all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration.”

As far back as 2008, I became inquisitive about the universe and quantum physics – this just through an email I received from a friend, on the subject titled : Keys to your Quantum Leap.   It was an article written by David van Koevering.  Here are some snippets from the email.

“Years ago, as a young scientist and inventor, I worked with Dr. Bob Moog and together we gave the music world the first performance keyboards called Moog synthesizers.  I learned to work with electrons and photons – tiny elements that are so small they can’t be seen !  Yet these invisible elements cause all electronic devices to work.  This project caused me to ask the question, ‘Is there more to our universe than what I can perceive through my senses?’ ”

He  continues ….  “1 Corinthians 1:28 says, “… God (has) chosen…things which are not (the invisible) to bring to nought things which are (the visible)”     This Scripture makes sense only when you understand it at the atomic and subatomic level.   Everything is made up of atoms, which are frequencies of energy.   These frequencies of energy are the voice of Jesus causing all things to be !   Atoms are made up of subatomic particles, and subatomic particles are made up of superstings (which are toroidal vortices of energy).
Superstrings are tiny donut shaped packets of energy that spin at a frequency – or sing as in a pitch.” 

This rang true for me and lined up with one of my very special Scriptures.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.   For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers.
All things were created through Him and for Him.   And He is before all things and in Him all things consist.      
Colossians 1: 15-17
Could this be a place where Quantum Physics lines up with Theology ?

the-more-i-study-science-the-more-i-believe-in-god-albert-einstein-religion-quote.jpg
I have been thinking hard and long on the subjects of Light and Darkness.   Now darkness is even more intriguing than light because seemingly even the brilliant minds of quantum physicists do not yet know the whys whats and wherefores of darkness.
You will find a little more on my inquiry into darkness – if you click on God Calling in this Blog’s menu bar.

I think the words of Teddy, the African photographer are more accurate than he realises “darkness comes before light”  Perhaps Teddy also reads the Bible for it opens with these verses :   In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep……

The electromagnetic fields of atoms photons electrons, waves, vibrations, frequencies, pitch, and all the brilliant quantum physics stuff,  to me,  all point to sound (light) – which is energy.
The genius and enquiring  Einstein puts a whole lot of ‘light on the matter of our universe’  (chuckle !)   –  with his famous formula
E = MC 2   Energy  is equal to Mass multiplied by the Speed of Light squared.

But how did light come to be ?  Where did it originate ?    According to the Bible light was created through spoken words, – (sounds vibrations pitches) by the Creator of all Matter.

Then God  said,    “Let there by light”  and there was light.
And God saw the light, that it was good, and God divided the light from the darkness…… ”    Genesis 1:3

The Big Bang occurred  and the platform for our physical material world was set up for the history, not only of the cosmos, but for our planet Earth, and for our world down through a l l the ages.  All put in place for a special reason and an intended purpose.   The scene  Space-Time – our Universe – was set in motion; and it began with sound vibrations – creating light, creating matter, creating life.

So God used quantum science to create our universe ?  I think yes, for how else would we mere mortals be able to come to know Him or understand His unfathomable wisdom?

Essential for understanding, a part from knowledge – which is a form of light,  is revelation – a deeper form of light.
Revelation means   “… the making known of something that was previously secret or unknown”   Ref http://www.en.oxforddictionaries.com

By putting a spotlight on the first verses of John 1:5  more revelation is given

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.   He was in the beginning with God.   All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.   In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.   And the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not comprehend it.

Words are for communicating.   A communication system was put in place.  How else will we clearly communicate with each other.  Words are essential for any form of faith, development or advancement;  and especially so too,  communication with the Creator of the universe.  He is not so distant, and has a desire to communicate with His creation.  He has a desire to tell us His story of restoration.

The Light and the Word are found in the person of Jesus Christ,  all wrapped up in one mystery, a hidden secret in full view for those who want to see, want to hear, and want to believe the Word of God,  –  the story of our universe on display through the brilliant mind of God.   Oh wow,  how amazing is that ?

Yet, there is still so much we don’t know.    So much the quantum physicists could fill in for us as they come into new light of scientific knowledge.   Until then, it is Faith that will carry us on to the time of revelation ….  and resurrection.

 

cosmic cross

Resurrection ?   A new start, a restoration.   The cross of Christ is another beginning of another sequence in the here and the now and the hereafter, of the unfolding story of God.  A story He has written with tiny you and tiny me in mind.  A story He started when He spoke our universe into existence with these words
                                                              ” Let there be Light “ 

lit candle

 

Speak the Word, and light a candle in the dark.

Wishing all a reflective Easter season as we look to the Cross of Jesus Christ, the Light of the world,  Who died for us that we might be a light in the darkness.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER

range if diamonds

The song says, diamonds are forever.   So is eternity.  And like diamonds much polishing makes, of an ordinary rough stone, a brilliant gem, a thing of awesome beauty for all the world to see and admire.
God has put beauty in our hearts, and when we truly see the beauty before us it takes our breath away.

I remember visiting the Tower of London where the British crown jewels are on show for all the world to appreciate.    I was enraptured by the beauty of the Culllinan diamonds (found in South Africa in 1906)  embedded in the Queen’s crown and sceptre.

crown diamonds.jpg

I remember my heart taking wings and soaring at the beauty.   It is a special memory and the giddy  feeling of awe I felt I will cherish for ever.

Botswana is a land of harsh contrasts.  It is a dry and dusty land, where mined diamonds are a source of the country’s main revenue.  I did a little research on Botswana and discovered its interesting history, and a little about the Bushman who live there.

“Botswana achieved independence from Britain on September 30th 1966.   In the 50 years since, it has become one of Africa’s success stories, though success has also involved a half a century of contradictions and difficulties.
“Diamonds were discovered in 1967, which allowed Botswana to achieve the fastest rate of economic growth in the world between 1966 and 1980.”
“Botswana has the second highest per capita income in Africa at $17,595, eclipsing South Africa’s $11,750.  Despite unequal distribution of such wealth and despite the likelihood of problems to come, it is at least a legacy to bequeath to the second 50 years.”
Despite apparent democracy, liberal ‘freedoms’ are not always protected : the attempted removal of Bushmen from the Kalahari occurred in President Mogae’s time as did the beginning of the effort to remove the San people from the west.”
Ref :  www.historytoday.com/stephen-chen/50-years-botswana

Digging a little deeper I came across the following on the Bushman of Botswana :
“Tourism is Botswana’s most important market, after diamonds.  Tourists are openly encouraged to enjoy a “Bushman experience”,  taking trips with Bushmen to learn about their hunting and gathering survival techniques and watch them perform ‘trance-dances’   At the same time, the Bushmen are prevented from hunting and the majority  are forced  to live outside their ancestral land”
Ref :  www.survivalinternational.org/tribes/bushmen

So despite its potential wealth for some, the poorest of the poor scratch out a meagre life in its thorn tree geography, where, with God’s help, only the strong, the faithful and the resilient can possibly survive.

coloured diamondslittle diamonds.jpg

 

Often the emails from Gawie are cryptic, and I have had to re-read them to really get an understanding of what he is trying to convey.
Gawie and Dina Joubert have been serving God, and the Bushmen of Botswana for over 25 years now.  It is through his emails that I have come to hear of the Bushmen people of Xanagas.

Gawie of Botswana  Diamond

Gawie, truly a diamond in the making, is a missionary to the Bushman people in Botswana.

No to long ago, an appeal went out to sink a borehole in Xanagas, with a plan to get  animal stock, and grow some vegetables, (yay !) so that the Bushmen could sustain themselves.  When water flowed from the borehole, they named it Blessing.   Water is a blessing, especially in a dry and thirsty land.

Often Church-outreaches from South Africa visit Gawie at Xanagas and bring necessary goods for the Bushmen.   One such item was the donkey-car,   also named Blessings !

 

Blessings Botswana.jpg
Such extremes – from crown jewels to donkey-cars.
Has our sophisticated world forgotten the needs of the poor and the needy ?  Is wealth and riches all this world is about, driven by insatiable greed.   Where has honour gone, where does contentment find itself these days ?   Can’t we share a little ?  Between the have-nots, the haves, and the have-yachts, surely there must be a bridge we can find ourselves on to equalise our different worlds –  just a little?

If you have some time on hand, visit Gawie on his blog, and be amazed at what God’s grace and love can do., and view some real endearing photos of the people of Xanagas.

http://xanagasbotswana.blogspot.co.za/p/new-xanagas.html

Or drop Gawie an email  of encouragement on :   xanagas@gmail.com

Isaiah 62:3  You shall also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord.  And a royal diadem in the hand of your God.

Eternity is forever.

blue diamond

Tackling food security with urban agriculture

The Plantwise Blog

urban ag
The world population is projected to increase by an additional one billion people by 2030 with Africa and Asia accounting for the greater share of this population growth. According to UN reports, more than half of the world’s population currently live in urban areas. By 2030, it is expected that more than 70 percent of the world population will live in urban areas, especially in developing countries. The steady influx of people to urban areas has significantly increased the demand for food, water and shelter in cities and those who cannot afford these basic amenities are referred to as ’urban poor’.

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The Garden of your Heart

One of the endeavours of CareSA is the Care Africa project, which includes the concept of Care Gardens, with the catch phrase “Plant a garden in your yard, Plant a garden in your heart.”

Today I thought to recapture the vision but with an emphasis on the garden of Your Heart.

Just to encourage you to tend to your garden with these few simple, yet profound truths on how to grow the splendour of your soul.  The clever play on words are not all my own, I found them lying anonymously in my box of collectables begging to be shared for a chuckle or two.

fruitbsk0011 (3)

Cultivate the Fruit of the Spirit:

Love, Joy, Peace,
Faithfulness, Goodness, Kindness,
Gentleness, Longsuffering and Self Control.
Share generously with all you meet this year.

Plant a good few rows of Peas:

green-peas

Ppatience, Ppoliteness, Ppreparedness, Ppromptness,  Ppersistence, Ppunctuality, and Peperseverance.

Plant four rows of Squash:

gem-squash

Squash gossip
Squash grumbling
Squash indifference
Squash selfishness

Plant four rows of Lettuce:

lettuce

Let us be faithful,
Let us be kind,
Let us be obedient
Let us really love one another

No garden  without Turnips:

* Turn up for meetings
* Turn up for service
* Turn up to help one another.

turnips

We must have Thyme in our gardens:

thyme
Time for Work
Time for Play
Time for Laughter
Time for God
Time to Pray.

Weed out all toxic thoughts immediately !
Regularly sprinkle on the Fertilizer of Forgiveness.
Water well, and often, with the Word of God.
Do these simple soul deeds, and watch  the Garden of Your Heart  grow !!

With a little Faith Hope and Love, you can
 Pick the fruit of your labour.
fruitWant to join the Care Africa project ?… then

Plant a Garden in your Yard.  Plant a Garden in your Heart.

And send me a photo of the Garden in your yard…. for my upcoming Care Gallery.

Some Ideas for the Gardens of your Yard.

Wishing  you all a bouquet of fresh vegetables in 2017

vegetables-colorful

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good,  Blessed is the man who trusts in Him.   Psalm 34:8

 HAPPY GARDENING     cherries