Reminiscing a Saint


Let me tell you of a saint I met in a township.
A good few years ago I was part of a project that went into the township of Tembisa, in the distant proximity of the international airport in Johannesburg.  I had tagged along so that I could promote my food garden project.   The meaning of the name Tembisa is promise and hope.

Tembisa shacks
We met at the Moya Catholic Church, where we prayed and planned to help the poor people of that community.  Everybody was poor and struggling to make ends meet, and Joseph Kudema was one of the volunteers, a layman of the Church, who carried the Poor on his heart.  He would meet and greet us and welcome us into the community.
We were a group of volunteers under the leadership of the Christian Welfare Council – an agency of the Dutch Reform Church in South Africa, that does marvelous work of restitution among the Poor to this very day.
At that time in our history, it was a time for reconciliation among Black and White communities, and the time had come for not only welfare, but for development too.
We met occasionally with the intention to encourage the people to help pull the wheel of ‘development’  through the poverty gorge that was huge, deep and unending.

Joseph knew poverty well.  He was wise, for he was a man of the Church, and knew the potential that Christians could bring to beat the problem – if only they were willing.
Joseph was a gentle man, a soft spoken man, and a wise man.   He treated us with love, and was more of an encouragement to us than we were to him. We were always enriched at the end of each visit.   And so, I found, it was, with the ‘poor’ Black communities – they were rich in love, and shared it generously with those who would care enough to come and visit them.    The townships were hot beds of tensions in those days, not considered a safe place for well intending Whites to meander in.

One day Joseph shared his African wisdom with me, which I have kept as a treasure.

“Real leadership is when you can get a mouse, a cat and a dog to drink from the same saucer.”    That is real reconciliation.
“When the bus begins to move, the dogs begin to bark.    When progress comes, there will always be opposition, restraint, even persecution of a kind.

Joseph was one of those people who were silently great.   He blended into the background of community, and quietly went about his daily convictions, of helping the poor in whatever way he could.    To my mind he was a saint, not of the Catholic Papal kind, but of  humankind.

He would refer us to Matthew 25, which I believe is ever relevant, and needs to be
shared in the obese and ‘gluttoness’ world of our Today.

maneating burger

Poverty, and world hunger is real.
Sometimes it is impossible to consider the poor from our cozy suburban comfort zones,  for we are indeed worlds apart, but that does not alter the fact that hunger and poverty is prevalent, and that we can all do something to alleviate it in some small way.
Let’s look around our communities and share where we can, when we can,  to make that small  difference in someone’s life.
begging cup

White Bread


In every generation it is good to revisit Matthew 25.   It brings with it the reason and importance of caring for the Poor, and urges the Church to create capacity for its voluntary members to be  ‘doing their faith’  in practical expression.   Apart from it being a little scary to me, –  as it also hinges on the Judgment day !!



As then, and now, I still believe that the wisdom in Matthew 25 could form the Biblical basis of a welfare and development model for the poverty question.  Any Church, through its members can bring a major contribution to poverty and welfare development in an holistic manner – and through today’s networking power it could be of exponential value. – if only they were willing !

Matthew 25 : 34,35,36
Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35. For I was hungry and you gave Me food;   I was thirsty and you gave Me drink;   I was a stranger and you took Me in;  36. I was naked and you clothed Me;  I was sick and you visited me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

Joseph Kudema,  would be remembered well, if we only heard his heart more astutely at that time, and earnestly followed his example of considering and helping the Poor within his reach, and thereby letting his light shine, and honouring God.

lit candle
I would like to believe that by reading this post, his light still shines on the darkness of poverty and will stir the hearts of caring people.  Rest in peace Joseph Kudema,  ‘Saint of Tembisa’ –  Saint of Promise and Hope.



Soft Things


I am one of the many recipients who receive an email from Alan Webster, who writes his thoughts in a daily output called Quiet Times.   Often there is food for thought and encouragement for those who need it.

At times I can be a  ‘word-and- phrase catcher’ and so it was with the last QT that came my way,  the phrase – ‘soft  things.’
For some reason it conjured up in me a feeling of gentleness, and I got to thinking about what the ‘soft things’ were that spoke to me personally.
But before I expand on this I want to share with you the Scripture and the particular paragraph that stood out.

The title of his writing is Spring into Life,  – with a nod to the coming season of Spring,
–  and as Hosea writes to those who have fallen away, to return to the road less travelled.

Hosea 14:5-7
5.    I will be like the dew to Israel,
He shall grow like the lily,
And lengthen his roots like Lebanon,
6.   His branches shall spread,
His beauty shall be like an olive tree,
And his fragrance like Lebanon.
7.  Those that dwell under his shadow shall return;
They shall be revived like grain,
And grow like a vine
Their scent shall be like the wine of Lebanon.

“What a wonderful picture of awakening is given in these verses by Hosea
Note the gentleness of the Lord who offers  soft things like dew and shade,   


almost imperceptible touches of grace to allow room for healing and restoration.
Nothing is forced, nothing pushy, nothing fabricated.
Providing the right conditions of water, sun and shade,
the plants that have withered and perished can come back to life.
        ……….   And even while the hot dry winds of August blow, 
blossoms are appearing.
Father, I praise You for the life that comes after a dormant season.  Amen “

In essence it is to me a description of the way the Lord works.
He offers soft things like dew and shade…
Nothing is forced, nothing pushy, nothing fabricated….
…. The plants that have withered and perished can come back to life.

Such a gentle God, a characteristic we do not often ascribe to Him, yet He is gentleness itself.    Gentleness, when delivered, brings with it such grace, relief and freedom to the person to be themselves and feel acknowledged, accepted and loved.

So what soft things talk to me ?   My ‘beeg’ blue soft cushion on which I prop up when I read, or when I feel to rest my sleepy head.   The nearness of my cosy cat.

Ice cream in cone

Soft serve ice-cream !
And for soft cool breezes on a humid and hot summer day.
But most of all the soft kind words of people by, through and to people,  –  are a few that come to mind.

What are the  ‘soft things’  that imperceptibly move you ?
Give it some thought, write them down, even create a poem ? –  and perhaps discover the gentleness in you.



Sap Rising


Big tree


Here in our part of the woods, the Southern hemisphere,  Spring is coming.
The sap is rising is an often heard description of early spring.   If you cut into the stem or branch of certain trees  on a cool spring day, you may see sap dripping from the cut end.

Did you know ?

In early winter, deciduous trees enter a dormant phase.   They drop their leaves, move sugar to their roots and wait for warmer temperatures to return.   During this time, as long as the temperatures are above freezing  (water is still liquid), water will continue to flow into the roots.
Trees will absorb water until the water pressure in trees is equal to the surrounding soils.
When air temperatures rise, the tree is primed and ready to go.   It’s flush with water and starts moving sugars from its roots to the twigs, supplying the energy needed to grow new shoots and leaves.  Ref :

Isn’t Nature wonderful ?   There are so many wonderful lessons we can learn by observing nature.   The soil, the seed, the plant, and the seasons – the essences and cycles of life.    And these cycles of life have one purpose in mind – to restore, replenish, rejuvenate and  resurrect.
All done in the silence and mystery of the nature of things.
Sometimes when a tree is cut right down, and the stump gets a scent of water, it will send out shoots in anticipation of new life, of resurrection.

Job 14:7-9.  says it beautifully

8.    For there is hope for a tree,  if it is cut down, that it will sprout again,   And its tender shoots will not cease
8. Though its root may grow old in the earth, And its stump may die in the ground.
9.  Yet at the scent of water it will bud,  And bring forth branches like a plant.

Resilient humans are like that too.    When brought low, they may be dormant for a while then at a hint of hope, will rise up, like the sap in a tree at the coming of a new spring.

To continue in the metaphor of the tree, there is also a pruning season. Why a pruning season ?   Well in nature, the reasons for  pruning trees are  –  beautifies them,  helps the tree to grow, encourages fruit production, removes hazardous branches, treats diseases and improves vistas !   Most humans need pruning too, that is spiritual pruning, probably for the same reasons trees do, only we may feel the pain of it more intently.

images (3)
In trees is the breath of life.  They take in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen, a commodity we cannot live without.   They fulfill such an important part of our existence here on earth.   They provide the nutrition of good food to keep us healthy,  wood to keep us warm, and paper to write our hearts on.  On a hot summer’s day they give shade to man and beast.     And they are a beauty to behold.

jacaranda trees

I love the parallel between people and trees.
In Scripture there are many descriptions of people like trees :

Psalm 104:16   The trees of the LORD are full of sap,  The cedars of Lebanon which He planted,

Psalm 92:12  The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree.  He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.   13.  Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.   14.  They shall still bear fruit in old age,  They shall be fresh and flourishing. 

Isaiah 55:12    ….   And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. 

Job 8:16   He grows green in the sun, and his branches spread out in his garden.  

I think God likens people to trees.  I like to think that in His fields of Faith, throughout the ages and generations He has planted many seeds.  Some seeds (souls) lie dormant for a long time, some come to fruition in their time.
In the fullness of time, the seeds begin to grow, and if watered and nurtured by His Word, they fulfill their destiny and His purposes.
Of course there are dangers around every turn to prevent the souls from coming into their full potential.   Danger lurks everywhere once the stem pushes through the soil.
But once the seed becomes a fully grown tree it provides beauty, shelter, shade and food for others to enjoy.    In its season, the sap will rise, to bear more leaves and branches, to give more fruit and more shade.
A season for pruning may come, to cut away distorted growth, diseases and the necessary surge for new growth to take place.  All to the advantage of the beautiful tree.

God watches over His fields of Faith, the planting of the Lord.   He knows and sees the trees of the field, and knows their needs, their desires and their seasons.  He lovingly waters them and nourishes them with His care and by His Word.

So in this new Spring season I tell myself,  ‘don’t be a dying stump, reach for the promises of God, allow the sap to rise, and grow new praise branches.’



Life Happens


Life happens !
We are all different and respond or react differently in different situations.
Living life gives us the opportunity to experience different situations,  some that we would never choose for ourselves.   And through these life situations we get to know ourselves a little better – and perhaps that is the crux of the matter of life, to get to know ourselves a little better, through the hard times and the good times.

Sprouting a little wisdom here then ?

Well, taking a small overview of the past twelve months, and in particular the last five months, has given me a glimpse into the way I respond to life situations, and so getting to know myself a little better.
Having been diagnosed with breast cancer and walking on the stepping stones of a new pathway I am a little surprised how the walk through the valley of the shadow of death has brought a subtle change in me.
A cancer diagnosis becomes a death sentence, well in my mind it was so.
First the symptom then the mammogram, then the visit to the surgeon, then the results of his biopsy, then its over.  Well so I thought, but discovered that it was not over, and that I did not die, but lived !

My demise was a mental address, real and sad to me that there was nothing beyond the final visit to the surgeon.   I was in a dead-end street.
I tried to tidy up my cupboards, throw out any excess so the family didn’t have much bother when I was gone.  Get my accounts in order.  Just generally tidying up my life, with no loose ends to tie up.   I made no commitments  so that I would have no obligations.  I had no desire to be creative or work on any project.   I only did what I had to do.   I kind of gave up on my life, after all there was no future.

I put on a strong face for the family, and was very positive in the beginning. I wanted them to ease into the reality of the death sentence, as I knew it is a personal blow to come to terms with losing a loved one.   They were all so very supportive, each in their own way, and the love they carried in their hearts were revealed to me in each one’s unique response to the situation.  They each grew in stature and grace at Life’s happenings.

The hormone therapy that the oncologist had put me on was easy, apart from the tiredness that went along with it.   The tumour had regressed and I was on my way to healing.   I became optimistic that things were working out  after all.   Somewhere along the way I lost the death sentence as I began to realise that there was much wisdom in ‘taking one day at a time’ and ‘to keep hope alive.’

Then the tumour started to grow again.   The oncologist suggested radiation therapy, and I was in a dilemma – to do, or not to do, was the decision I struggled with, until I finally made an appointment with the unknown – radiation treatment !

Radiation sign

The treatment itself was not to daunting.   “Its like having a chest ex-ray,” my oncologist said.   It is however the after effects that had to be walked through, with plenty of rest, as the treatment left me drained, physically emotionally and spiritually.  And rest I did, for the best part of six weeks.   My poor immune system had been rocked by radiation to destroy the enemy within, it deserved to rest and to be nurtured, –  so to my soul.

It was during this time that I realised I had to keep my mind busy.   I was not to let this situation, this ‘ life’s happenings’,  this malady with its tiredness dominate my thinking.  I had to bring in other thoughts, and good thoughts.  I had to focus my mind on something better, a bigger story than my own.
So I took to the Scriptures, and focused particularly on a project-read, and then bring it to a conclusion by writing a summary of it on my blog.    I chose to look at the great men in the Bible.   I wrote Minding Moses and Dancing with David, and am currently working on other Faith heroes.

The  radiation treatment is still doing its work, and the tumour is regressing.  Hallelujah ! And my oncologist is delighted with my physical progress.

crossing the bridge
Having said all that I must add, that emotionally it is quite a ride too, a lonely ride.  I regard myself as a fairly stable person, and was outwardly, and for the most part inwardly, calm through each step of the way.  Although open,  I’m a private person and like to handle my own “emotional stuff” my own way.  There were days when I felt very alone and very sad for myself.   And indeed I was alone, except when I drew my strength from the Scriptures.

Cancer has an ugly face, its not a nice companion, and I did not embrace it for one minute, but I had to surrender to God’s sovereignty in the situation.  Once I did that I was at peace with Him and with myself.

I am not only on hormone therapy, but on faith therapy too.     Its a therapy that has no bad side effects, and will in time manifest only the goodness of God.   Faith is spiritual, a heavenly thing,  and is another ball game, which I am slowly learning by His grace, and with expectation.

I am still on my pathway to healing, and calling on God to show me the way.
Perhaps there is new ground to break, I hope so.   I hope to see Him working in new ways in my life – help me to attain higher ground in faith and healing, and His way of doing things.

I keep in mind, that His grace is sufficient for a new day, for there is always faith, hope and love in, Life’s happenings !

The sun comes up

One Moment Please


bright sunrise

‘Renewed moments’ –  is a phrase I picked up on when I read a post of a faithful contributor in my blogosphere space.

It stuck a little, and as I thought about it I wondered if it is an accurate phrase, can a moment be renewed ?
A moment is a moment, it comes and it goes.   And if you want it to linger you sit very still or else, like holding water in your hand it just flows on, away and the moment passes.
It is a time when you are very present ‘in the moment’, and become aware of more than just yourself and where you are at in that particular moment in time.
Moments can become eternal.

Moments can become milestones.   It is a time when you acknowledge that from that moment something changed.   Change-moments can be both terrifying and sublime.

images (6)
Recognition frame moments, and can happen in an instant.   The moment you become aware you hit new ground.

Moments can be refreshing, bring relief and laughter –  that change perspectives.

Moments can be enriching, if you recognise them when they happen.    Are they little signs along the way of life ?   Signs we often miss for all the hurry-scurry in life and its demands.

But can moments be renewed ?  I think yes, for where else do we keep our moments but in our memory.   So they can be recalled, and relived and re evaluated in an instant.

Aren’t moments wonderful. ?  They come they go, and they live on.   It is up to us to recognise and capture them so that we can put value on them.

And when all our moments are gathered together, they make up the patchwork beauty of our lives.

Savour your moments, polish them, strip them of their uglinesses, frame them, and appreciate them, they are little gifts from God.

So take one moment please, be still, and cherish the moment.

three butterflies

Place of Intensities


Living in South Africa will provide the extremes of intense behaviours and passions.
And though most things run smoothly for most of the time, there are moments when we get an extra dollop of intensity into our same old everyday.   It is a place of intensities.

Cape Town flag

I have had a lovely week of intensities.
Firstly there is the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture – the scenario on State corruption.  The Commission, under the Chairperson of Deputy Chief Judge Raymond Zondo, has been going on for some months, and reached another highlight this past week –  when   Former President Jacob Zuma was called to give his account, response or version to some allegations implicating him on this matter.

This had many South Africans, including me,  glued to their television sets to hear what he had to say.   We have come to know that Zuma is a whiz kid at camouflage and delay tactics when trying to avoid the truth.
We are also beginning to understand the excellence and efficiency of Judge Raymond Zondo, with his very laborious way of weighing up the finest of details and facts in every witness’s statements.
This past week I was reminded of a saying I had heard a long time ago that says ‘ the mills of God grind exceedingly slow, but they grind exceedingly small.’ 
Truth will prevail, justice will be served, its only a matter of time.   

scale with 3d man

What really impressed me was the attitude and manner of Commissioner Zondo.
He, with full insight at what was unfolding, dealt with the cat and mouse game at play resulting in an impasse reached by the two legal teams – Zuma’s lawyers and the Commission’s  legal team.
Not only did he intervene, with velvet gloves, in absolute fairness, to both parties, but he commandeered the situation to an agreeable consensus to continue at a later stage.    So Zuma,  pleading the victim, was shown grace,  and the latitude he never knew he needed, to save his face, and afford him an equitable chance to state his side of the matter.
What, I saw unfolding before me, and that I took much strength from,  was what James
2:13 speaks of –   “Mercy triumphs over judgment.”
So very well done Commissioner Raymond Zondo, South Africa shows mercy to its scoundrels.   We are proud of you.

Then changing pace, but with passion, was the play off of the South African Netball team against our constant sports rivals Australia, at the  2019 Netball World Championships in Liverpool.
Netball, an almost orphan sport in SA, has now been thrust into the world arena.   And the South African team was right up there in the semi finals to bring us some glory.    Our national Soccer boys don’t make it (ever), our receding financial deficits seem to squeeze the life out of us, and politically and globally we look clumsy incapable and incompetent.     How we need  to have a few victories under our belt to help us feel a whole lot better about ourselves.


2023 Netball Champs

So it was with great fervour that we were all rooting for our Protea girls has they did battle against the Diamond girls from Oz.     An absolute gallant effort, a wonderful game of Netball, but sadly we were narrowly beaten by two points by the eleven-times world netball contenders.   We look forward to the next Netball World Championships in 2023.   So well done our Netball Proteas.  You give us hope, and we are proud of you.



Then finally, at last we got to taste a little victory, when The Rugby Championships kicked off, and South Africa beat Australia, by a large margin.   We saw new up and coming talent in our side that will bring fresh winds of energy to the old game.
Most South Africans are besotted with rugby.  It is an ingrained lived out passion in our culture of many diversities.   And it brings with it a pride and purpose of a nation in the making.   It is a wonderful nation builder, and puts us on a global sports platform so that we can showcase our young talent.    Sport is such a passionate vehicle for social development, nationally and internationally.   And to win makes it that much sweeter.

Its been a good week.  Its always good when intensity and passion beats down the humdrum, and you just know there’s living to be done.
We all need to have expectations and gratifications along life’s way …. so as to put a little  bloom on the ordinary.
And for a few hours I did bloom in intense expectations  –  even if it was only from my favourite and comfy TV chair.

pink protea




Dancing with David

Brass harp

I had time on my side, so decided to do a bit of drawing.   Only this time I didn’t use my pencils, I drew from the Scriptures and did a character sketch of David.
I wanted to know more of the constructs of the character of the man of whom it was said   ‘he was a man after God’s own heart.’

Perhaps there are some who don’t know David.     In short his life is a lovely story, so worth reading,  of a shepherd boy who became a king.   Set deep in the trenches of the history of Israel.   David seemed to be a well rounded human being.
He was king of Israel, a man among men, yet with a tender heart,  a victorious warring warrior, a psalmist, faithful, just and a worshipper of God.

As someone in the courts of king Saul described him
“…. a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite,  who is skilful in playing, a mighty man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a handsome person, and the LORD is with him”

David was at first a shepherd boy, and tendered his father’s sheep in the outback.  He must have been a boy of obedience and of courage, for in the wilderness, where lions and bears roamed he took care of the family’s flocks.   A boy of contentment, for in the places of solitude he spent his time playing his instruments of praise, and in his loneliness, he worshipped the God of Israel.
He was far removed from the political clamour of the day, and the threat of war with the Philistines.

Then on a day Samuel, the prophet, came looking for a son of Jesse.     Of all he found none were suitable, for  ‘the Lord does not see as a man sees: for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” – 1 Samuel 16:7
Then David was recalled from the sheepfold, and anointed as the new coming king of Israel.
David was drawn into the politics of the day.   He, against all odds, killed Goliath the Philistine giant, with the help of God, and five smooth pebbles and his slingshot.

david and Goliath


David respected the people, and their appointed leaders.    He served king Saul well, but the relationship turned at the jealousy of Saul.    David was hunted and persecuted by Saul, and ran for the caves of Adullam for safety.    Around him, gathered a mottled lot of distressed, indebted and discontented men.  So he became the captain over these 400 men – who would in time  become the mighty army of God.
David fought for Judah and won, and so his renown began.    And he was anointed by his elders, at Hebron, as king of Judah.

David was a brave-heart.  David’s conquests were many.  He was a victorious warrior.   Do not diminish the wars against his enemies.     These were not mere skirmishes in small numbers.   ‘David made a name for himself when he returned from killing 18,000 Syrians in the Valley of Salt.’  – 2 Samuel 8:13
Great battles, fought,  more often won, made David great and renowned in the region.   The enemies of his people were the peoples of Philistine, Moab and Syria.

David had a passionate heart, especially so for Jerusalem.   In history he took the stronghold of Mount Zion from the Jebusites.  It became known as the City of David,  – Jerusalem that has an integral part in the history and culture of God’s people to this very day.      And all this may well reflect on the New Jerusalem, the heavenly City to come.

David was explosively expressive, and jubilant when the Ark of the Covenant was brought back to Jerusalem, –  and David danced before the Lord.

David dancing

David, was tender-hearted, and loyal, and a mourner.   He mourned the death of Saul his king and  Jonathan his best friend, when they were killed.    At the time David too mourned Abner, the commander of Saul’s army when he was killed by Joab.

Is this were the tear in the nation began, for though they were divided they were of one people.
And it was when Abner made Ishboshebeth Saul’s son king of Israel, that the tear became a schism, and the civil war between the house of David and the house of Saul grew wider.
Eventually David became king over Judah and Israel.
David reigned over all Israel and administered judgement and justice to all his people. – 1 Chronicles 18-14

David knew of the treachery of men’s hearts.  At the death of Abner by Joab, his own army commander.    The treasonous behaviour of his own son Absalom, who rebelled against his father.   And even the treachery of his own heart when he conspired to have Uriah killed in battle, so that he could justify his adulterous affair with Bathsheba.
The son born to David and Bathsheba died, and David mourned.
But in comforting Bathsheba, Solomon was born.   He was the one who would build David’s heart’s desire, a temple for God.

David was kind-hearted, and sought out Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s crippled son, and provided a place at his table for him.

David readily shared and was generous.
When the ark of the Lord was set in its place in the tabernacle,  David ……  blessed the people in the name of the LORD of hosts.
Then he distributed among all the people, among the whole multitude of Israel, both women and men, to everyone a loaf of bread, a piece of meat, and a cake of raisins.  So all the people departed, everyone to his house. 
 –  2 Samuel 6: 19.
David shared the spoils of war.   1 Samuel 30:26
Now when David came to Ziklag, he sent some of the spoil to the elders of Judah, to his friends saying, “Here is a present for you from the spoil of the enemies of the LORD” ‘
And thirteen other regions …….  ‘and to all the places where David himself and his men were accustomed to rove.”  – 1 Sam 30:31

David was a man after God’s own heart.
God does not look at the outer but the inward heart of man.
God’s favour was with David, and he was victorious in many battles against his enemies.   God made a covenant with David – 2 Samuel 7:12
… I will set up your seed after you,  who will come from your body and I will establish his kingdom.    He shall build a house for My name and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.  I will be his Father, and he shall be My son.
16.  And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you.   Your

throne shall be established forever”

This amazing covenant may well be the hint of another coming kingdom, and Jesus the Son of God,  who would establish the kingdom of God, beginning its fulfilment in the New Testament.
Even here God was preparing His people among the nations for a future time to come.

David had a heart filled with thanksgiving,  and the writing of the Psalms reveals such a heart.   The Psalms are given for the  understanding of the emotional condition of the heart of man –  for all seasons, and in all generations.   Those who read the Psalms would have understanding and become wise.  David knew God intimately and wrote the psalms from his heart, and from his life experiences.

The LORD is my shepherd
I shall not want
He makes me to lie down in green pastures
He leads me beside still waters
He restores my soul :
He leads me in the path of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the
valley of the shadow of death;
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies
You anoint my head with oil,
My cup runs over,
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me.
All the days of my life;
And I shall dwell in the house of the LORD

It was through David that Israel knew their golden years, when they were victorious in war, wealthy through the tributes brought to them, esteemed by the nations around them, were just and generous to their own people, and when their collective wisdom was captured in literature and songs and worship,  a great nation at its pinnacle,  was being forged through history, for a future story to yet unfold.

If you love stories, you will find many other stories intertwined in the life of David.  Stories that reveal people’s hearts and motives, the goodness of God and miracles.  His story is a rich tapestry of the human condition, and not much has changed since David’s time, except that everything is now perhaps a little more accelerated.

If I sit back and take a gentle look at David’s life I get the impression that there are far reaching effects of a simple life that worships God, a life that dances before God, can have such an influence on future times to come.

Never underestimate yourself, and the work that God does in your life, woven in  for His purposes and His ultimate story, even if it does not make sense at the time.

Like David, let our lives dance before the Lord, and know that He sees the end from the beginning, and that there is more goodness and glory yet to come.


Minding Moses


Words have the power to create pictures in the imagination.  Let me show you what I mean.

As an eagle stirs up its nest
Hovers over its young
Spreading out its wings, taking them up
Carrying them on its wings 
Deuteronomy 32:11


Eagle nest


My favourite preacher once linked this Scripture with Genesis 1:2

The earth was without form and void, and darkness was on the face of the deep
And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.


Eagle 2

Again, a picture, implying a sense of a brooding or hovering Presence over a situation, like an eagle with its huge wings over and above and on high, waiting and keeping watch.
It is a comfort to know that God hovers over us, He is ever-near, and especially so in times of need and disturbance.

My imagination got a hold of this picture, and it got me thinking about the concept of brooding and hovering, and then the writing, and the mind, and abilities of the person who wrote these words – Moses.

So, ignited by the words of my favourite preacher who had painted a picture of an eagle brooding over a nest of her chicks, who were about to be disturbed from their comfort, and taught how to fly,  led me to read the whole Song of Moses  from the book of Deuteronomy 32  – and that is when I became more mindful of Moses.

Observing the lives of the people who have walked and talked with God, and although it is their experience, it does open up little windows into knowing more of God, other than our own experiences.

If you carefully consider him you will find his story is an epic story of enormous proportion.    What caught my attention was that Moses had written the first five books of the Bible.     Genesis, which begins with the creation story, is amazing, so amazing !    How did Moses know all this, how could he write all this down.   What knowledge and insight he must have had at that time.

In case you don’t know, or do and only need to be reminded, Moses was a Hebrew baby, born at a time when all male babies were to be killed and thrown into a crocodile infested river.   Be he was rescued by an Egyptian princess, and raised in the palace of  a Pharaoh.    Egypt was rich powerful and the centre of  skill and knowledge.  Moses, growing up in the palace, had access to all this, and was held in a position of high esteem.
The Hebrew people were brought to submission and fell under great oppression by the Egyptians.   Moses, a man of justice and integrity despised oppression came to the rescue of a beaten Hebrew slave-man, and killed the harsh slave-driver, but had to flee to the back end of the desert to survive.

There he spent forty years in the wilderness to get the self poured out of him.   He had, after all been a man of great, knowledge, power and wealth, having the best of the best at his finger tips.
Solitary and isolation will do the trick of diminishing the self.
Then a burning bush caught his attention, and being attentive to the voice of God, it sent him back to Egypt on a mission to deliver the Hebrew people of God from their enslaved bondage of oppression.

It was from Egypt that the great Exodus proceeded to bring the people of God from being prisoners to freedom,  from slavery to the promised land, a land flowing with milk and honey.

Is there a hint of another spiritual story of deliverance here, was this not too the mission of Jesus ?   A shadow parallel story of deliverance ?
If viewed as a literary work the Bible story is outstanding at linking themes and events in a prophetic way, to bring the whole narrative of God’s story in one woven way to an eventual conclusion, in other words there is a beginning and an end, and many many stories in between.   Even, I suspect the story of me and of you woven into the grand tapestry of His artistry.
But I will leave that thought for now.

However back to the man Moses.
Moses knew God, for how else could he have accomplished the huge task of leading and organising thousands of men, women and children, and their livestock out in the desert.   He set up a tabernacle, with tents, utensils, patterns and designs and all the details of what is required to create a place of worship.
Perhaps the tabernacle and the foundations of the temple of God in heaven, as a replica on earth ?  Just another thought !

He gave us the Ten Commandments – and the  laws to live a practical and meaningful life.    He wrote down moral, legal and social laws to live by.   He wrote down the history of the journey they had undertaken.
It stands today for us as a micro chip of what our own spiritual journeys may entail.     So much we can learn from minding Moses.

He wrote the book of Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.   He was a great scholar and a great writer imparting the wisdom of God to the people of God.   Setting the very bases of the Jewish faith, a people of faith in God, the first foundation layer of the Christian faith.

The Song of Moses gives glimpses of the reverence Moses had for God, for he knew Him for so long, and so well, and had accomplished what God had called him to do.
Moses was such a man of faith !
He performed powerful miracles in the courts of Pharaoh, and the land of Egypt, to persuade a stubborn ruler to let the people of God go.  The plagues of Egypt that have a reflection in the book of Revelation.
He knew God at the parting of the Red Sea.  Now just think of that for a moment, stretching out his rod over the waters, and they part so that dry land is found for the multitude to cross over.  I know we know the story, but do we stop long enough to think on these miracles ?
When the complaining people longed for the delicacies of Egypt, Moses prayed and God provided manna, and quails from the sky, to still the cravings of old appetites.
When they came to a place of thirst, Moses struck a rock and water gushed out, so the people and their livestock could drink and be refreshed.
Moses knew God as “I AM WHO  I AM”  –  whatever you need Me to be, I AM.

In the closing verses of Deuteronomy 34 Moses is acknowledged thus :
10.  But since then there has not arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face
11.  in all the signs and wonders which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, before Pharaoh, before all his servants, and in all his land,
12.   and by all that mighty power and all the great terror which Moses performed in the sight of all Israel.

Of all the great men this world has even known, I think, Moses must surely be one of the greatest, and we would do well to be mindful of Moses, his story, his words, and his walk with El Shaddai, the Almighty God.

The  Song of Moses

Ascribe greatness to our God
He is the Rock.  His work is perfect,
For all His ways are justice
A God of truth and without injustice;
Righteous and upright is He.

No wonder he could pen the words of the song, in Deuteronomy 32 – ascribing greatness to God, for he knew God in His wrath,  and knew God in His mercy.


angel feather

Pearls of Wisdom

Pearls of wisdom

I have a pink polka dot covered book that I have titled ‘My Collection of Pearls of Wisdom’ in which I have written down the clever things other people say or their knowledge and insights.  Other people’s treasures are at times to valuable to just discard, and thus my collection – but then I am a word-hoarder at heart.

I rediscovered the following, written in 2016 by Julie Wick, who is a Los Angeles based reporter and editor , and thought to share it with you.
I believe that we here at WordPress all have one thing in common, we want, and do, write.   And this post is on writing and telling stories.   I hope it will spur you on in your writing, to further explore your soul, and the talent at the end of your very own finger tips  !

“Stories are our prayers.   Write and edit them with due reverence, even when the stories themselves are irrelevant.

Stories are parables.  Write and edit and tell yours with meaning, so each tale stands in for a larger message, each story a guidepost on our collective journey.

Stories are history.   Write and edit and tell yours with accuracy and understanding and context and with unwavering devotion to the truth.

Stories are music.   Write and edit and tell yours with pace and rhythm and flow.
Throw in the dips and twirls that make them exciting, but stay true to the core beat.

Readers hear stories with their inner ear.

Stories are our soul.   Write and edit and tell yours with your whole selves.
Tell them as if they are all that matters.
It matters that you do it as if that’s all there is.”

Now go write something.   String your words of wisdom together, like a pearl necklace for the world to wear !

Pearl necklace


Waiting Rooms


I had to get up earlier than usual so that I could travel the distance and arrive early for my appointment at the oncologist’s waiting rooms.
The invader had returned.  And so I had to go through the process of assessment, markings, being escorted to the other building where registration,  x-rays and scans were done for more markings and measurements.    All done professionally and regimentally with precision and courtesy.  There were other patients waiting their turn, and so I had to wait my turn too.   But the waiting for me was not an inconvenience.   I love to sit and observe the passing parade, whether it be in traffic, or in the waiting rooms of life.

I  remember being in this place before, when I had to come in for the original scanning process at the beginning of my cancer challenge.   Strangely the whole building, the registration, the waiting-foyer all seemed much smaller than I remembered.

That very long corridor which I sat in waiting for the radiographer to call my name, was not so long now.
Long corridor

It still had the beautiful seascape paintings on the wall, but somehow it was not so daunting.    I wondered why.
Is it that memory shrinks the environment.  Or is it that when one is fearful of the unknown that everything seems bigger and a little overwhelming?
It is like when you return to your childhood home, or school, that everything now seems much smaller.   An interesting phenomena.

There were three others waiting for their treatment, and so I had a chunk of time to pass.
I read a magazine. And then scrutinised the paintings, thinking how I could perhaps re create them when I started my drawing again.    And then I thought to use the time to write.  I had brought my notebook with me.    All I saw was the blank wall, literally and figuratively, nothing creative would come to mind.

Gloom CloudBut what I did see was the cloud of doom hovering over the other patients’ heads.   There was a sense of gloom, and a sense of duty in the corridor as the clinic sisters hurried along with their work.   But even they seemed to have the gloom cloud over them.

Eventually all the necessary scanning preparation work was done, and I had to return to the oncologist’s rooms again.
Now more waiting.   But here was a large TV screen, and South Africa was playing India in the Cricket World Cup.   I watched for a while, but lost interest, so decided to inconspicuously observe  the other cancer patients instead.   And though the waiting room was light and colourful with flowers in vases and the TV screen there was an air of travail in the room too.   It was as if the people’s problems were very present in the room with them.  There was a certain amount of gloom in the room.     And understandably so, cancer is a serious problem, an  almost insurmountable problem, with its own sense of burden and invisible gloom. In some there was a resignation to the suffering of the disease.   In others there seem to be a bearable tolerance of the inevitable.   We were all wrestling in our own way with the fate that had befallen us.
There was a certain gloom, but there was hope too.  Treatment of whatever kind meant there was help, and the people in the medical and healing professions, who have great expertise, also  have important caring attitudes that carry the cancer patients through in times of illness and desperation.  Kindness is a good companion in the healing process.

I came away with further appointments in hand, for ongoing treatment.   But somewhere  in the waiting rooms, I had resolved not to pick up on the gloom, but to rather look on the soaring side of hope,  and choose joy when gloom wants to press in to order the mood of the moment.

soaring eagle

But those who wait on the Lord,
Shall renew their strength,
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 42:31