So You want to be Great.

God's hand

 

I’ve had another random encounter that has left me with a curiosity about greatness or fame or are these two things the same ?

Well, let me make a short story long !  Not to long, I’ll get to my point as quick as I can.

I love colour, textures, wools and fabrics.  Now and then I go up the hill, behind the big Mall, to  a Centre that has gated parking with a Gate-keeper who gives me a ticket to park.  I have to use the escalator to get to the lovely wool shop called Sew Time.
On one particular visit I noticed a new Gate-keeper who had a gentleness about him, and I thought at the time, perhaps a slight slowness too, so I gave him an extra warm smile and thanked him for the ticket.      Now I live in the Slow Lane and often have random encounters with special people, and if I’m smart enough will recognise them as such, and be a little kinder.    But I went on my way and gave no more thought to it.

About six or so months later I again went up the hill, behind the big Mall, passed the Centre to the big grocery store where I often do my shopping.   My son was with me and we sauntered around the store,  buying the few items needed.     When I had finished paying at the till and about to exit the store, the doorman, who checks the incoming parcels came up to me and said quite emphatically  “I know you”.   I looked at him blankly and he again said “I know you”, I know you from Show Time.”    My mind raced, no I don’t do Show Time, he has the wrong face.   I must have quite a common face, because it’s not the first or second time I have been mistaken for some one else. “Yes” he said, “Sew Time – at the Centre opposite the bank”   The penny dropped and I recognised the gentleness, and the face.   “My”, I said, “you have such a good memory, you sure do know your customers !” I fluttered my hand over my heart to show him I was happy that he recognised me.  He just gave me a big broad smile, and I went on my way.

A brief random encounter, and my heart took wings.  I turned to my son and said “Wow, wasn’t that nice – I’m famous !!”    He wasn’t impressed.
Are you famous when, people that you don’t recognise, recognise you ?  M’mmm, maybe – in a small way, I want to think so.
But that brief encounter made me feel great !

You may understand my curiosity in this, when I tell you that I have always had a secret hankering after greatness. Not so much now anymore, but I really wanted to be great -and really am not !    However this random encounter brought to mind the question of greatness.  What does it mean to be great ?  What is greatness ?  Is it wrong to want to be great ?   It is something I have always kept secret because I think of things I can’t attain, yet want to.
Perhaps there are seeds of greatness in all of us, but if these don’t sprout,  they will lie dormant, then they will die.
Perhaps to strive for greatness comes from a personal need – a cup half full.  Comparing yourself with others.  Rejection – a need to prove oneself.    Need for recognition, affirmation and appreciation ?
Now Recognition is an interesting thing  –  is that not how the whole corporate world of business moves itself forward, with recognition and reward.  Incentives that want us to do better, go further and  achieve great things ?  Ambition is not a bad thing in itself.

William Shakespeare said :  Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them.

Greatness in Biblical proportions :
Abraham obeyed his call and became great.   Moses delivered God’s people from oppression and became great.  David worshipped God while tending his sheep and became great.  Solomon built a temple for God and became great.  The Prophets, the Poets and the Psalmists all became great in expressing their words in truth.  The Disciples of Jesus became great as they followed Him.    Paul, the revelator of mysteries in Christ,  his writings and the planter of churches became great.  And those ordinary people of great faith found in Hebrews  chapter 11.   Greatness comes from great expectations, great aspirations and great accomplishments done in Faith  – especially when you are serving a great God, for in God lies all greatness.
Even the Disciples of Jesus, John and James had a hankering after greatness and asked Him if they could be seated at His right and left hand in glory. So it’s not wrong to want to be great, its  part of the human condition, right ?

In our history halls of fame and greatness there are many who can claim greatness.
To name a few :
In war –   Alexander the Great, Napoleon,
In politics – Mahatma Gandhi
In art –    Leonardo da Vinci (one of his paintings recently sold for 4 million dollars – the world has gone mad !!)
In music – Mozart, Beethoven,  –   Elvis Presley,  the Beatles !
In sport  –  Mohammad Ali,  the Springbok Rugby team – some will disagree, but I think they are great !
In science –  Albert Einstein (my favourite)
In communication – Bill Gates
And so the list can go on.  There are many great and famous people in our history books.
But how do you measure greatness ?  And is it only time that will tell who is truly great.

To my mind real greatness must lie in the character of man or woman.  And may well be viewed very differently by God than what we perceive to be greatness.
Jesus taught His disciples that it is in serving others for the glory of God that greatness lies – in essence Humility.

It is in humility that greatness is seen.  Humility is all around us, if we would but see it, we would see greatness more often.

So, do you want to be great?  –  I have to ask myself again !

 

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. 
Deuteronomy 31 : 3,4

 

three butterflies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Art of Art

 

“What is Art ?  –  or what, would you say, is the definition of Art,” I asked my daughter who has her own little Art school for pre-schoolers.   It is quite a question and I suspect that there is no correct answer, as Art plays such a part in the human condition.   It did however put me on a track of thought that wanted to explore the subject of Art, just a little.

These are some of the colourful artworks of  the pupils at the Sticky Fingers Art School .

You can see more Kids Art and happy faces at the Sticky-Fingers Art School at
Facebook : Sticky-Fingers.

Kids Art is important.  I learnt that the practise of Art can be fundamental to a child’s development, and exposing them to Art can help them in various ways.  But apart from that it will undeniably bring  smiles to their faces, as you can see from these photos.

The Writer on this Blog :  proverbs31woman.org/2016/09/06/watercolor-painting–toddler/#more-2524
says :
Afterall, Art is simply the meeting of all our senses at that point when it was being done”

She goes on and gives insight to the benefits of teaching kids in watercolours :
“Introduce them to the world of colour;  gives more concrete ideas about blending (primary) colours in order to produce a new (secondary) colour.  Can teach a toddler about emotions and the colour associated with them.   We can better understand the toddler’s feelings just by looking at their artwork.  Enhances parts of their brains that handle creativity;  may also enhance their problem solving skills;  and Art can build a child’s confidence.”

So Kids Art is important – and it makes them happy !

I have been surfing the blogosphere at WordPress, dropping in on Art blogs, and been amazed at some of the Art out there.  I found the Brandon Knoll  blog with his interesting creative work, linked with modern technology.    You may want to visit his blog and see his work on   https://chaoticshapes.com/portfolio-2/     Just imagine the diligence and patience he must exercise to do his kind of artwork.  And he takes his blog audience with him in the colouring-in process, as he encourages his followers to use their imagination and guess what’s coming out of his drawings.

Leopard
Leopard

 

Macaw
Macaw

Of course we get to the fine arts students who, to my mind do the “real” art stuff.  Those finely trained professionals who make a living out of their creativity.   This may well be the heart of Art.   Yet some of the master artists of their times, who painted with their very souls, seemingly only received recognition many years after they had gone.  Some even died paupers, and yet now their art works fetch astronomical prices.

Taking a glimpse over the history of Art, it reveals that Artists influence the times that they live in, their history-spaces so to speak, which may lead one to think that they are the subliminal influencers of their times, expressed through their artwork.

The Renaissance Period with  Leonardo da Vinci and others;  setting the way of Western art.

Mona Lisa
Leonardo da Vinci’s   Mona Lisa

 

Last Supper

Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper

The Impressionists with Claude Monet, Vincent Van Gogh and others;   painting their perceptions before nature.

Claude Monet
Claude Monet’s  Sunrise

 

Van Gogh's Tulip fields
Van Gogh’s  Bulb Fields

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Realism with Millet and others, celebrating the  working-class and peasants.

Millet Painting the Gleaners
Millet’s  The Gleaners

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

picasso.jpg

Surrealism :  Pablo Picasso – ridiculous art, painting dreams and exploring the unconscious mind.

And so on.

Apart from its expression and beauty Art can also be functional.
Art and Science :
 In an article on Longreads Sept 2016   on Space Art….      … “Bill Hartman, a senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute in  Tucson,… sees his artistic role as that of a synthesizer, blending a  mass of disparate and highly specialised astronomical data into a more complete whole.     This is often necessary in a field that wallows in minutiae at the expense of the big picture.

Art has long been used to clarify science, and vice versa

He says, ” Leonardo da Vinci sketched waves to learn about wave motion, but dissected bodies so he could paint better portraits.
Space Art, for all the ostensible benefits of art and science working together, artists have found themselves being squeezed out of the field of astronomy, just as they had out of the life sciences in the 19th century. “

Indeed, a picture paints a thousand words !

Art and Psychology :
This quoted from a blog called Everyone Means  Something
https://phulme.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/genius-22-as-inspiration

“Surrealism…challenged fundamental premise about Art and creativity, shifting the focus from the conscious to unconscious processes introducing the role of chance in the role of the creative process, and treating that process as not merely aesthetic but political social and metaphysical”

Surrealism is crazy art, but is not our world a little crazy ?   And for those artists who have become a little ‘unhinged and unhooked’, may well be the ones who have something to show those who live in the normal world.

Starry Night

And as October is Mental Health Month, let us take a moment and salute Vincent van Gogh, who painted his famous Starry Night from an asylum room.

Well, Art, in one way or another, must have an important part to play in the forming of our personalities.  Therapists often use art to understand what is going on in the minds of their patients – perhaps because art is an expression of what we feel deep on the inside,  – even reflects what is going on outside of us, –  and often in our natural environment.            Perhaps Art is the view from the room on the inside of us.

God's hand

Art and God:
I quote from Alan Webster’s QT 24.11.16

“When we tap into God’s creative power, like in an artesian well, there is then a rush of creativity that we can draw from to express our own creativity.”

 

20171012_155129

This is my Art, now keep the words of  Leonardo da Vinci  in mind, when he said :  “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” !!  It’s the closest I can get to painting a straight line, (chuckle !) …. and its called “Distance”

Classifying Art is of course the right way to go to get the most from Art and for that we do need to appreciate the history of art.  And there is that, but, what about the little Kids Art, what about the new tech artist, and the daring dabblers with paints and brushes who do art for the fun of Art ?

For what is Art ?
Is it merely a fun exploration of our creativity, or the technique we apply, or does it become good art when emotion is expressed through colours, shapes and forms, creating a thing of beauty for others to see and appreciate.  I’d say all of these.
For the narcissist Art may merely be an expression of oneself, an extension of oneself, a recognition of oneself, a determination even a demand to be oneself.
But at heart Art is a soul thing – an artistic enquiring soul reaching deep into the creative processes to express some kind of truth or beauty, and done in the right spirit will want to share that beauty for others to see and appreciate too.

To my mind the art of Art is Art when it becomes an expression that releases the emotions, to both the artist  and  to the viewer.  To express and reflect the perceptions the intuitions and the imagination into an explosion of visual creativity.

Art is Art when it gives and takes to become a thing of beauty,  –  and,   “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” 

Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God will shine forth.
Psalm 50:2

three butterflies

 

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

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

Care Africa

Green Africa map

Life is made up of small things.
Everything you do matters.

Africa is a big continent.  It is a block of land that captures you.  Whether you are in the north or in the south of it it will lay claim to a corner of your heart.   I have heard of South Africans who leave Africa for more appealing shores, but often, very often have the yearning to come home again.   Its challenges, its diversities and its humanities, is like a magnet that draws all kinds of human emotions from the heart that has at its roots the most scary and at the same time the most amazing appeal.   Or perhaps, for me, its just home.
Famous words of Thabo Mbeki, former president of South Africa : “I am an African”
brings with it many connotations, because Africa has many connotations – anybody can be anybody in Africa.  Its diversity creates space for this, yet it also creates fragmentation, for diversity does not necessarily mean unity.   The trick is to bring diversity into a patchwork for unity.   I am not an African.  But I am a South African.  A white South African, does that make me an African ?

Nevertheless, Africa is a place for expression.  Africa will find you out !  There is room for everyone, for every kind under the sun in Africa – the good, the very good, the bad and the very bad, the place where humanity is at war with itself, and mirrors that for the world to see and to watch.

Love it or hate it Africa is the place that calls for attention.  And at the same time offers opportunity to express that humanity one way or another.

Many years ago now, I came across MAF and signed up for their newsletter.  What is MAF ?
An extract from their 2015 Annual  Report sums it up consicely .
Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) is an international Christian organisation bringing help and hope to some of the poorest and most remote communities in the world….
We work with hundred of missions, churches, local groups, relief & development organisations and national government agencies.   Together we deliver practical medical and spiritual care in places with the deepest human needs ” – Prof. Polla Roux.

Furthermore to this is a very brief snippet of its history, supplied by the MAF office in South Africa:
In 1945 Murray Kendon, a New Zealander flying with the RAF Coastal Command during World War 2, wondered if the power and versatility of aircraft would only be used for conflict and carnage.   After realizing this dream was indeed God-given, he accepted the challenge and Mission Aviation Fellowship was born.
In 1970 David and Beryl Luke developed the MAF SA programme in the Transkei and it then moved to Johannesburg in the late ’70s.   In 2011 MAF saw the need to develop a programme in South Africa and the Flying for Life project was developed.
We currently work in the Vhembe District in Limpopo, taking in missionaries, churches, medical professionals and other organisations to help sustainably uplift the community.
Looking ahead, we are wanting to expand our eye doctor clinic to an additional hospital,
and extend into other provinces in South Africa. “

 

Care Africa Purple Bags
The Care Africa project is a small random project that encourages people to “grow a garden in your yard,  grow a garden in your heart”,  and encourages growing vegetables for food, and reading the Bible for growing the soul.   Both very necessary for human growth and sustainability – social development in an wholistic sense.
Recently I met up with Maxine Holman from MAFSA, and could give her two care bags to grow the concept of Care Africa.
Big or little deeds of kindness, whether a Flying Mission or a packet of spinach seeds, can make a difference in Africa.

I reckon poverty’s first priority is to combat hunger, and the growing of vegetables whether in a car tyre, an individual yard, or a community garden, will go a long way to addressing hunger, so prevalent in Africa today.  

In today’s shaky economic climate it makes sense to save cents by growing your own vegetable garden  – and together with reading the Word of God everyday you will begin to create a healthy, survival, sustainable and a good life.

Life is made up of small things.   What you do matters.

15112013222

Grow a garden in your yard,  Grow a garden in your heart,  and so join the Care Africa project.
 Start today, and let CareSA know how your gardens grow.   Grow well, eat well, share well
Happy gardening !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bronze Serpent and the Cosmic Cross

The Bronze Serpent and the Cosmic Cross.

We do ourselves a great disservice if we think that the Easter season is only about time off, chocolate bunnies and Easter eggs.   There is a far deeper meaning to this season of the year.  It signifies the cataclysmic cosmic event that evil has been conquered by good.

The Bible, is a wonderful book of stories. How else can we learn if we do not have story telling time ? These stories will only be grasped if faith is applied – the willingness to believe – this is the key to understanding the mysteries of God.
The Bronze Serpent,  is a story within a story of God’s people and is found in Numbers 21.  In short, the story goes that the Israelites who were coming out of bondage to the Egyptians and were about to enter the land of Edom. They were wary of soul, very discouraged, murmuring and complaining and spoke against God and against Moses.
So the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people and they bit the people and many of the people of Israel died.  Sorrowfully they came to Moses to ask for prayer.  So Moses prayed for the people.  Then the Lord said to Moses “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole, and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.” 

Alan Webster in his QT 27-3-15 writings highlights the story and brings it a little closer to home:  ‘ God had told Moses to fashion a snake out of bronze to raise up on a pole.  How long did that take?  Imagine the cries of the suffering, the anguish of the families as they tried to avoid the poisonous serpents and dealt with family members as they helplessly watched them die.   But why had this plague of snakes come into the camp?  It is into a camp of complaint where poisonous accusations against God are created, that poisonous snakes come.  If we expect God to rejoice with singing over us, our faith-filled hearts should overflow with praise.  But even in their distress, when they finally turn to God, He shows mercy and grace to the undeserving.   The snake pole brings healing for those who are willing to believe.  There were many who when bitten, didn’t look, but died in their unbelief.’

The serpent is entangled in the story found in Genesis 3…Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast in the field which the Lord God had made.… the beginning of mankind’s problems – evil let loose, sin embedded and the curse applied.  When you stop and take a look at humanity today how devastating the curse shows up in strife, power struggles, in wars, the killings, beheadings, human trafficking, child soldiers, abandoned babies, diseases, rampant viruses, huge deceptions, illusions, lies, and corruption rife in every day and in every nation, the evidence is at hand – evil rules … for now !

cosmic cross                                                        Freedom

But there is hope … And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. So the cross of Jesus Christ has a parallel to the bronze serpent that Moses lifted up in the wilderness.  It is the antidote for the serpent’s bite.

When we consider the Cosmic Cross it points us to the depth of God’s love for us, and the length He will go to win back that which is lost.  It is a story to be both in awe of, and to weep over.  It is about the Son of God – Jesus Christ, who hung on the cross for us.  And who is this Jesus ?  There will be many different answers to this question. One of the most compelling revelations of Jesus Christ is found in
Colossians 1:15-17
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.

It does not get higher than that, except to say that He is God incarnate in this world we call earth, which forms part of the cosmos – that is the visible and invisible, thrones, dominions, principalities and powers, not only in our time, but down the corridors of every generation – quite a spectrum of power!
Further more, He came to conquer the serpent, sin, the curse applied to all humanity  –
For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:8.  He came to make atonement for mankind, for those who will receive Him as their Saviour and their God, not only today but down the labyrinth of every generation too – quite a spectrum of mercy !
The crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the Cosmic Cross, is the cosmic event that changed the course of humanity, and its effects are still very relevant in our today world.  It changes our destinies and ushers us into the New Creation… and herein lies another story! Have a close look at the inserted picture (with acknowledgement to the late Annie Vallotton, the Illustrator of the Good News Bible.)

Easter time is not about chocolate bunnies and Easter eggs, and is not to be taken lightly.  It is a time of death and resurrection, the centre piece of “His Story” in His Book, that includes the story of  my life … and your life too, if you were to invite Him into your heart this Easter season.

Introduction to CareSA

The CareSA Foundation

CareSA has grown from the concept Care South Africa : The Christian Resource Centre for Poverty Alleviation in 2001 to the CareSA Foundation in the coming 2015. The original vision was to encourage Christians to participate in community service through initiated campaigns, – and to seek out a national Christian strategy for poverty alleviation. This vision was housed and honed from CareSA Books, a Christian bookshop on the East Rand in Gauteng in South Africa.

Annual winter campaigns were initiated to appeal to the wider community for blankets and food for the poor, and to create an awareness of poverty in communities.

The Care Bag – a food parcel with vegetable seeds to plant food gardens, to encourage self-help projects.

In 2004 CareSA Foods saw the light of day with a focus on health, and creating income, that complimented the mindset to reach for wholeness in body soul and spirit, fuelled by a CareSA Newsletter to grow a network for health and wealth, as a means to combat poverty. Unfortunately it did not reach its potential., but the concept of a newsletter remained, probably the inception of this blog.

CareSA’s Let’s Talk was a community meeting, to discuss related social and emotional issues in the search for emotional healing, human development and wholeness.

CareSA Craft Project – generated micro incomes from the painting on shopping bags, developed into a sustainable sales project for more than two years.

New concepts began to form. And a CareSA fund for community service was initiated in 2006.

The need to network and find a wider reach saw a name change to CareSA Community Network, with a presence on the Internet., and with a newsletter called CareSA Chronicles to connect with community co-hearts.

1,000 Little Deeds of Kindness – a knitting project, with the knitting of squares to be sewn into blankets and distributed to the vulnerable and the frail in community, was a project that had a ripple effect in community, and endured far beyond expectation.

This campaign was a forerunner for
The Red Beanie Kindness Brigade – that focused on knitting beanies for children in needy areas, usually knitted by the Elderly folk in community.

This project spilled over into Care Lesotho and Care Botswana. Knitted beanies sent, with seeds for vegetable gardens, to contact caring persons in these two countries. So the seeds of a new vision were sown – Care Africa.

As hunger is the pivotal place for poverty alleviation it is necessary to encourage those in need to sustain themselves by planting their own food, and to begin to change the mindset from poverty to progress.

And so the seeds of the new vision began to grow : the Care Africa Movement project through Care Gardens, with the slogan : Plant a care garden in your yard, Plant a care garden in your heart.

CareSA Designs is a personal project, born out of the new trend in poverty alleviation and a developing new South Africa e.g. Entrepreneurship, creating a micro enterprise into a small business, using what is at hand, and what God-given talents are available.

As the new South Africa developed, and a sense of futility began to set in, new concepts with new writings began to form e.g. NEWSAS – the New South African Society, and SOCX, a vision for Social Caring, that are still incubating. blogging may bring constructive comment, and with faith hope and love these visions will grow and become a reality in South Africa, and indeed the African continent.

In 2011 CareSA relocated to Umhlanga in Kwa Zulu Natal, and the time had come to revamp the website, and a name change to that of the CareSA Foundation that incorporates past history and new concepts for a wider field of influence and exposure on the Internet – with a blog.

The website is being revamped, and may contain vision and other concept documents on social and human development in South Africa, when it is ready early in 2015.

The CareSA Foundation remains true to the original vision of community caring, and stands as a witness to the faithfulness of God that initiated this faith adventure from Ephesians 3:20,21   Now unto Him who is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

CareSA
28 December 2014