The Apple Tree

 

apple_trees_how_to_prune_a_tree_Rocky_Mountain_Fruit_and_Vegetable_Gardening

 

Somewhere at the back of my mind there was a quote bothering me.   So I popped into Google to find a lead or two.  I came to the realisation that our language and literature, even be it a simple quote, may well be in a state of transition.   For the most part I found quotes from Steve Jobs of Apple computer fame, and other computer geeks who have transported us into another realm of language.    Words don’t mean what they use to mean.   And stories are in danger of becoming the fake news of the day.   My, how the world has changed.   We have evolved into another era.

The closest I came to finding the right words for the quote was by Robert Schuller:

Anyone can count the seeds in an apple, but only God knows how many apples there are in a seed.

I remembered, the quote I couldn’t find, went a little further and spoke of apple trees and apple orchards.

Apple orchard

This analogy of the apple tree speaks to me of exponential potential growth, and it was something I wanted to share with my children.  Not that I have experienced it, only heard of it, but do know that generosity is a key to unlocking prosperity, and freedom from ‘the clutter of life’
Generosity as a principle of life, can unlock doors of wealth, and more so, a generous spirit.

I had recently listened to a debate on TV by a group of young Black people, who having endured the hardship of poverty, were now either educated or had well paid employment, asked the question “should they have to pay Black Tax’ – as they called it.   Black Tax is when children give back to their struggling families, help to ease the poverty and also help the remaining siblings at home.   Some were unreservedly for it, some a little reluctant, and some refused to pay back. The culture of giving creeps into the African-centric adverts on TV too, when you see a son buying his elderly Black mom a stove or a fridge.  And often you hear how the well- to-do grown up children take pride in buying a house for their family.
Of course it depends on the individual, there is no legal law that says it must happen – except the law of the heart.
And when appreciation has been nurtured, and generosity has been learnt, giving happens more easily.

I grew up in a time when saving was the smart thing to do.   There is nothing like having a little something in reserve for a rainy day.  At that time, it was just plain common sense, because eventually your money works for you – and not you for your money !!
When we went through our ‘ financial struggle years’ I resolved to start a small savings account, and made minuscule deposits.
I called it my Apple Tree account.    And for a long time it was partly dormant, and then very slowly began to grow tiny roots.   Whenever I could I would ‘water’ my Apple Tree with a small deposit.   It began to grow and now even has some apples on it – which I pick and enjoy from time to time.

My children, bless their hearts, have out of love, been watering my Apple Tree too, with generous deposits, that have caused my tree to flourish.    I am grateful for the apples that I can pick from its growth, but more, much more, I am delighted with their acts of generosity, that I know will stand them in good stead in their years to come.
May they too plant their own Apple Trees, and continue to cultivate the fruit of generosity, and see the benefits of it, for it says in Luke 36:8

Give,  and it will be given to you,
good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over
will be put into your bosom.
For with the same measure that you use,
it will be measured back to you.   

apple-tree-1

Bookends and Benefits

black-dog-bookend

It is always refreshing to read the good thoughts of other writers.
It brings another ‘voice’ , and other insights that can be pondered.

Alan’s writing sparked off in me a line of thought that is interesting.
If I were to sum up the bookends of my life it would be difficult, and I would need to ask that of others who know me, and don’t judge me to harshly.  One end could be contentment and the other, I hope, could be joy – well most days !
That is just a five-minute self-analysis, and I could be wrong – depends who you ask !
What are the bookends of your life – it’s a lovely line of thought and can be quite revealing. 

images.jpg open Bible

 But our lives are like books, and so could it be possible to sum up a book in two words ?  Its fun to try.

The writing further goes on to advocate Joy, and skilfully undergirds the benefits of being a believer and a follower of Jesus Christ.  These benefits, which are all  in Christ  are the bedrock of a beautiful book that can be invisibly read by those who would choose to ‘read’ a believers’ life.   Jesus truly makes all the difference in our lives.  By choosing Him as our God we have access to all these benefits and much, much more.

I hope that you too will be encouraged by Alan’s writing.
I have permission and am privileged to share with you the thoughts of Alan Webster’s Quiet Time 6-3-19 as he writes on :

Philippians 3:1   Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord.

Surrounded by Joy

If love is the message of the Gospel, then the bookends are joy.
Having joy is a strength that can keep someone going despite the adversity they face.
It might not exhibit as happiness, for that is a fleeting emotion, but joy undergirds a heart during the hardest trials.   Joy in the midst of suffering exhibits as quiet peacefulness, a contentment of knowing that the present is not the end of the story.   It is trusting through the suffering, hoping beyond the pain, claiming the future glory in the present darkness.

How is joy possible ?  It is as Paul calls it – it is joy in the Lord.   If our joy were in anything else, it would finally disappoint.   But we have joy in a conquering Saviour, who even though He died, vanquished every foe and confounded every attempt to annihilate goodness.    We have a caring Intercessor who constantly consoles our circumstances and prays for us.   If nobody else knows, and nobody notices what we are enduring He has intimate knowledge and we are able to pour our emotions  at His feet. It is there that He speaks to us and fills us up with hope.   It is there that we are empowered to take another step, go another season.

We have a constant Companion who never leaves us.   The Good Shepherd never abandons us even in our dreariest days.   Even when we have failed miserably and everyone else departs, He continues to be faithful.   We can lean on Him and He will hold us up.   When we can’t He will carry us.    We have a Covenant-keeping Messiah who holds Himself to the conditions of promise.   He lavishes grace on us and ensure that we will make it to the end.  He seeks out the lost sheep, rescues the wanderers and stands beside the oppressed.
We are never alone.

With all the benefits we have, even on our worst days, we are comforted.   In the Lord, we can take hold of the rich promises which are all yes and amen in Him.   He pours His life into us and swells the living water from deep within our souls.   We can taste and see that the Lord is good. 

If our walk as believers are to be marked in any way, let it be Joy. 

          Laughing Lamb  

 

 

 

A Slice of Raw Life

 

Allow me to share with you a slice of raw life, that I encounted when I attended the funeral of Danny.  A moment when the frills and thrills of life are stripped away to a moment in time when raw life is seen in the corridors of death.

Danny was merely an acquaintance.  I had met him very briefly a few years ago.  But he had shown a kindness to my son, had gone way out of his way to give him a lift back home – and for that reason I had decided to attend his funeral
Apart from being kind, Danny was also a very unlikely saint, but a saint nevertheless.
I knew very little about him, except that he had had a very hard life.
So it was with intense interest that I listened to the eulogies of some of the people who had been influenced by his life.

The Pastor spoke of how he had known Danny for a short while.  Had spent much time, in the last days of his life with him, and learned that Danny’s whole life was nothing but rejection.  He had known rejection so well.  He had grown up as a child being a beggar on the streets, and found his food in dustbins. He became a drug addict, and ended up in a Rehabilitation Centre.
When he joined “normal life’ he took Kelven under his wing, gave him a home, a safe haven, and an education.
Danny had a Prison ministry, but  when he was approached by the Correctional officer to temper the gospel message, Danny gave it up, as he was not prepared to dilute the Gospel of Jesus .

The lady from the Compassionate Hands Shelter, spoke softly but gently about Danny.   How she had been an addict and on the streets, wanted to take her own life, then met Danny – an unlikely helper, who walked the walk with her through her pregnancies.  Today she is free from drugs, is raising two children, and helping to run the Shelter – all because Danny took the time to love her unconditionally through the hard times.

Kelven, Danny’s ‘adopted son’ spoke briefly.   But those of us listening to these testimonies of his life,  were all choked up, because of the emotions that ran so deep in Kelven.   Kelven spoke of how he had been in prison, and when he came out, it was Danny who took him in, and gave him a home.   Five times he had tried to commit suicide,  but it was Danny’s strong and unconditional love that pulled him through those moments.  Danny’s strict and sometimes harsh ways never faltered at loving him.
“He never judged me, he just loved me unconditionally”  were Kelven’s final words on Danny.  I think if some of us could sob out loud we would have done so, but being polite restrained the 100 tears that wanted to flow at such a love, and to comfort Kelven.

The lady from the Bible study group said that Danny may have been a rough diamond, but that they understood that some of his crustiness was just a protection from all the pain inside him.    He was a student of God’s Word, and loved to share his knowledge with all who would listen.    And he made time to listen to those who needed to speak, he made time to be available to those who needed to talk.

It was a simple, but beautiful service.   Full of respect and dignity for one of their own, who knew the hard life of the streets, at rehab and shelter centres – the places where life in the raw occurs.
There were many people at the funeral, for one who was so humble and almost ‘insignificant’, but so great in the work of the kingdom of God.  God’s ways are not our ways, that’s for sure.
There were people from different walks of life, but particularly from the many broken lives, who knew and loved Danny.
Jesus was one of the esteemed dignitaries present at that funeral.  This was so evident when hands were raised in praise, as we sang and cried through that beautiful song – Great is thy Faithfulness, – words that broken lives attest to so well.

It was a humbling experience, tasting life in the raw.  Being in the company of those who had to face God through their own personal hell.  Being in the invisible presence of God, where everyone and everything is diminished to its own insignificant smallness.  Where love permeates the room.

It made me think how easily we tend to overlook those who are destitute and battling life at the raw edge.
We are so consumed with materialism, pumped up with pictures of the ‘good life’ wanting the niceties from life,  that we become oblivious of any other kind of life, little realising that  ‘there by the grace of God go I’

A timely reminder from a life lived strong with unconditional love, a life lived through God’s love.   May his tribe increase.
Rest in peace Danny.

Red rose

A Beautiful Centrepiece

 

 

It Is Christmas Time.

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No matter your culture or creed, or what name you may want to give it,  it is that time of the year when the wheels of the world come briefly to a halt and allow us to be recreational, recuperative and even merry.

At its centre is family and festivities, a time to share and a time to remember, a time to love and to be loved, and a time to remember those who aren’t loved and those who are lonely.

It is a special time of the year, and a good time to reflect on the grand story of God and His love for mankind, through His Son Jesus, who was born in a humble stable.
Old, but ever-fresh Christmas carols, impart to us the grand story in simple song.  One of my favourites is O Little Town of Bethlehem.

Phillips Brookes, an Episcopal priest wrote the original poem.  Lewis Redner, his organist wrote it into music for the children of their Church to sing on Christmas day in 1868.
ref:Wikipedia.

I have extracted a few lines from this carol to create a centrepiece for my reflection this Christmas season. 

Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting Light 
The hope and fears of all the years, 
Are met in thee tonight.

These few lines place the everlasting Light, which is Jesus Christ, as a beautiful centrepiece  between Hope and Fear.   If you think about it these are pivotal points in  the human condition – a make or break in life.  If you don’t have hope you are in despair, if you have fear you are depressed, even oppressed.
Jesus raises hope and He erases fear.
This Jesus, the everlasting Light,  is the centre of God’s grand story.  In the beginning there was Light, in the end we will live in His light, and in the middle is the beautiful centrepiece of His life, death and resurrection.

The hope and fears of all the years, right down the many generations, are met in Jesus .    He is the centre between the old and the new, in between our yesterdays and our tomorrows.  More pertinently today,  He is the beautiful centrepiece in the personal hopes and fears of the ordinary Believer.

Let this old-fashion carol unveil the grand story for you far better than I can.
Take a few minutes to listen,  it may ring some distant bells for you.    For an extra jolt of joy, sing along with the words on the screen.  The tune is simple and repetitive but the words are truly profound.  Make it a Christmas centrepiece moment.

I hope this will leave you with a warm glow of the true meaning of Christmas, and the sureness of knowing, that in spite of it all, you are loved by God – for you are the beautiful centrepiece of His affection.

WISHING  JOY  TO  YOU  AND  YOUR LOVED ONES,  THIS  CHRISTMAS  TIME.

Christmas-Bells

Phenomena – The winds of change

 

Coconut palm trees blowing in a breeze against a blue sky

 

Often, as the year comes to an end, we are presented with reviews of the current events of the past year.   I suspect that this year it will be no different.    We have experienced some strange phenomena going on in our world at large.

Curious to me, is the phenomenon of the Global Migration taking place.
Africa seems to be migrating to Europe.
Central Americans are walking, to America in what they call a caravan of people.
The devastating Syrian war that have caused huge Refugee camps to become new neighbourhoods for the victims of war

Why,  I wonder ?
I heard it said, that it is because  the poorest of the poor cannot tolerate their poverty one minute more, and are willing to risk life and limb to make a change for themselves and their families for the better.   Crime and oppression have just become to unbearable in their own countries.  Power and greed stifles, maims and kills !  And who could, or should live in those conditions ?

Migration poses enormous problems as it becomes a huge challenge, – but so to a change in the cultural exchange of the receiving countries.
It is unchartered waters where the solutions and outcomes are not known, and long-term effect will bring about irretrievable results.
What will a melting pot of languages and cultures mean in the course of time ?  Will there be conflict, for sure, will there be confusion, for sure, but no one knows, as yet the reasons or the results for this phenomena called Migration.  Will it mean a new global village ?  A loss of nationalism, and thus identity ?  No one knows the future.

The world, in its oh so developed state, have forgotten the poor.  The mass of the people of our  global world are poor and been ignored, and purposely, and conveniently forgotten.
We think we are so smart, with our smart phones and devices of mind-boggling technological  proportions, that in essence leave the people of our world in a poorer place.  Poorer in unemployment, poorer in equality, poorer in integrity !
I am not against progress and development, but that surge should be for all people, not just the rich, the famous and the powerful.

Muslims are being detained in China, and are undergoing a de-doctrination, in large “schools” being built to accommodate this plan.
Jews despicably murdered in their own synagogues, recently in Pittsburgh.
American politics have turned a corner in contemporary party politics, with targeted pipe bomb scares.  Maybe harmless, maybe not, but it is incomprehensible political warfare of a new kind.

Nationalism is another surprising and interesting phenomenon standing its ground.
Trump’s America and Britain’s Brexit strongly reflect this phenomenon.    Just when the globalisation of the whole world seemed unstoppable, with its fast trade, tsunami-like  waves for financial gain, that blows consumerism into a frenzy of more and more and more !   Is a resistance being raised to being dominated and manipulated by the money god of world economics?

Cyber information is perhaps the most alarming phenomena of our time – all about the subtle influencing of gullible consumers, advertising, branding and marketing, not to mention sinister manipulation, politicking and power – and eroding the facts and the truth about almost any given matter.    Fake news seems to be an acceptable thing ! And  at times the gossip on the social media is a ‘source’ for the news scoop of the day !

Morality has been turned upside down, reflecting the good as bad and the bad as good – what is trending is right !  The moral compass is out of sight, even some would say lost.
And to my mind, that is the saddest of the modern phenomena of the times we live in today.

The Crime and Corruption phenomena, although global, is very evident here in South Africa.   To watch the local news is a depressing experience.  News moves at lightning speed through our politics, which changes every day.  Our gruesome community stories, mostly about poverty, crime and community protests and unrest –  reveals the mountain of corruption we are enduring at present.
In fact, South Africa, seemingly innocently unaware, has been looted under a cloud of skilful strategic corruption of magnum proportions, –  for almost a decade now !
Now that the threads of corruption and crime are being unravelled, by an astute new leadership, we are left gobsmacked at the enormity of this wasteful expenditure – and the depravity of the sons of shame in our nation – as the poor are even poorer than before.
Yet there is hope with moments of the comical, the kindest of humanities and of course our invigorating and beloved Sport, that brings us a light refreshing.
Our news, most times depressing, but perhaps  ‘all sides of  diverse and vibrant’, would be a better catch phrase to describe the South African news.

But, not to be to much of a pessimist I need to mention another strange phenomenon that
has taken place in our country this past year.   Huge people-gathering events have taken place when thousands answered the call for prayer,  seeking mercy and sustenance for our leaders, our people and our country.
At the last gathering in October, prayers were said for a spirit of forgiveness for the peoples of South Africa  –  to give forgiveness, and to receive forgiveness from each other.    For racism, murder and evil to be nullified, and for a new day of progress and development for all South Africans.

To my mind, the best kind of phenomenon is Prayer, that ushers in the winds of change !

2 Chronicles 7:14
If My people who are called by my name,
will humble themselves and pray,
and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways,
then I will hear from heaven,
and heal their land.

Red rose

 

Pause to Ponder

 

Cross

Easter.    It’s that time of year again when the world slows down just a little, and there is time to pause and ponder on the things of God.   He has been around forever, and will be with us even when we are unaware of His presence.  He just is, and yet we miss Him, if we do not look for Him, or take a little time to listen for Him.

There is more to life than just living, and not everything is as it seems.  There is a mystery at play, a mystery in full view, if we were to pause, to ponder and to perceive.
Easter time is a good time to ponder on The Great Story of God, the story of righteousness, redemption and restoration, and all things good.  And for that we need to look at the cross, and the finished work of Jesus Christ.

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The cross is a place of brutal suffering – where Jesus was lashed with a whip of seven tails, that tore and ripped the skin off his body; where a crown of thorns mockingly pierced the flesh of his skull.   And so when we are in pain and suffering – God knows.
He was nailed to a wooden cross and crucified by a people that was called to be His own.
And so when we are betrayed – God knows.
The cross is a place of sacrifice – where God deemed it fit for His Son to die for the sake of mankind,  – that is you and me.  And so when we sacrifice for the sake of others – God knows.
The cross is a place of rejection.  He was rejected by man, and abandoned by God.
And so when we are rejected, abandoned and all alone – God knows.

Rejected rose

As the song goes   “Like a rose trampled on the ground, He took the fall and thought of me above all”

The cross where the significance of self and its sin, melts into the sacrificed life of Christ Jesus, that makes us acceptable, and worthy, and beautiful before a Holy God.

The cross, is a place of salvation – where forgiveness is given, but so often not received, because we do not ask for forgiveness from God, from others, even from ourselves and are hard-pressed to give forgiveness to those who have done us wrong.

So often are we pre-occupied with only ourselves, and don’t listen or  ask after the promises, and the ways of God.

The cross, is pivotal to the story of God, and to history itself.
The cross is a place of death, and death has to be breached, so that new life can begin.  The cross is a place of life – the place where heaven opens and righteousness and restoration happens.   The veil is lifted between earth and heaven –  and so He opens the way, for those who choose to believe in God and in His story.

holycross
Jesus died,  and rose again.  The miracle of all the ages.   He is the resurrection to the new life, the new creation, through a new covenant – a covenant of the heart !
And the new creation is what it is all about !  He is the beginning of our story, and He is the end of our story.   But it is not the final end, for if we receive His invitation to heaven, and ask Him to come and live in our hearts today, we join Him, and reign with Him in His resurrected life, and continue into the new creation that is coming.  A new beginning – a new story !!

So take time to ponder the old old story of Jesus and His cross, and accept His invitation today to real life, life bought by His sacrifice and His blood, and by His love,  for mankind, that is you and me, to shine before God.

John 14:6    Jesus said to him  ” I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

This Easter, pause to ponder,  and to pray … Lord Jesus Christ, forgive me for going my own way, and not following You.   Thank you for dying in my place.  Please come into my heart, and live Your life through me.  Thank You for the precious and miraculous gift of salvation.  Amen.

Red rose    Easter blessings to all.

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.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Secret

Easter Jesus

This is such a sweet picture with such a profound statement.

This time of the year when I go into the shops and am bombarded, and hugely tempted, with chocolate chocolate everywhere I get a sense that Jesus is being neglected and left out of the reason for Easter.   Then when I read in Romans 11:36  For  of  Him and  through  Him and  to  Him are  all things ……  –   how can this be, that we dislocate Him from Easter, and for that matter from our lives ?   He is the pinnacle of God’s story for humanity.
Yes I am beginning to see a story – God’s story – unfolding from the pages of the Scriptures.   God is the author of His story, into which is woven the story of our very own lives –  we all have roles to play and destinies to fill in this  wonderful story – that is if we want to be part of the mystery.  The story, as with any good story, has a beginning a middle and an end – an everlasting end !   In between it is filled with intrigue and mystery, and as we live  we unfold our story into His story – and make up history as it were.

We think that life is just about living, about making ends meet, getting education and showing off how clever we are, or making enough money to be as comfortable as we can.  This life is so much more.  It is a story that will be told and re-told one day.   And to find out about the true meaning of life we have to delve into the Word of God, and there we will discover the secrets and the meaning of this thing we call Life.

This story begins and ends with Jesus.   He is the meaning and the secret to life.   If we miss Him, we just have an existence.  So how can we ignore Him ?   He is part of the mystery of this life.   Its as if there is an invisible parallel life running along side this life, but it is kept hidden, kept a mystery, kept a secret.   And if we want to know more, we have to go and search it out.   God’s story is precious. He is not going to reveal it all at once to all who just pass by.   Much wisdom and power and strength required the making of this Life, it is precious, and it is kept a secret for those who will go and look for it, – and what’s more, it is freely available to all who ask for it !

What is the secret.  Let Colossians 1:15  explain it far better than I can.
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.

Jesus Christ is the secret.   Give Him your heart, your story, He gave you His Life.
And that is what Easter is all about – you and God’s love for you – and me !

Enjoy this Easter, enjoy the chocolates and the holidays, but savour the Saviour and taste and see that God is good, so good !

 

The Garden of my Heart

The Garden of my Heart As one of my projects in the CareSA Foundation is the Care Africa Movement, – which includes Care Gardens, with the catch phrase ”Plant a garden in your yard, Plant a garden in your heart” – I thought I’d tell you of the garden in my own heart. Planting a garden in your yard or on a window-sill or in an old car tyre is the easiest of the two gardens required to take the Care Africa movement forward. It is easy when the Will is motivated to do this. Take good seeds plant them in good soil, water, nourish well and weed occasionally. Then harvest the fruit of your labors with fresh food from your garden for your table. All good, all physical. But on the spiritual side – for that is where the “heart” is – planting a garden in your heart may not be so easy to do. First of all, you will need a good gardener. I am in a season in life where it’s hard for me to do things for myself. So I need help. But I have a good gardener that helps me on a regular basis. He knows everything there is to know, and I mean everything, about nature, the environment, and the garden – from what is in the soil to the sky, weather patterns and pathogens. It is strange how the memory works in the garden of one’s heart. When I was a little girl I remember looking up into a black velvet sky and seeing the stars suspended like tiny diamonds in an African sky. The overwhelming feeling of awe. It was so very very beautiful. Still is ! I remember, as a young women travelling on a tourist boat in an Aegean sea, feeling the wind on my face, and an aloneness not felt before, but also the flood of a thankfulness of just being there, and “seeing” the sea the colour of dark blue ink, with the ripple of splashy white waves, lapping at the boat. Divine moments of being able to ”see” and appreciate the world around me. When you begin to “see” the world, and its created beauty around you, something comes alive in your heart. Look around you, what do You “see” ? I had a brief encounter with my gardener when I was young. I thought he looked very serious, even a little stern. But I had heard that he was an intently caring person, which made me feel comfortable. It was only much later in my life when he invited me to “come to the garden” that I got to know him a little better. In fact it was in those years that I had to tend, what I now call, the garden of my tears. It was a hard time then. But I believe the tears helped to soften the hard ground intended for the planting of some good seed. He did a splendid job, and I had to work with him alot to root out strong weeds and undesirables that were growing unchecked. It did not happen all at once, and took a long time to get the basic foundation of my garden laid. In fact there is always on-going maintenance, and a clearing away for new expansion. My gardener loves new ground and new growth. He has been my live-in gardener ever since, and I would not trade him for any other. I highly recommend you to make him the gardener of your heart too. He’s name is Jesus Christ. Only you can appoint Him as the Gardener of your heart. It will not take a letter of appointment, only a prayer of faith to invite Him into your heart. He will root out all your weeds, plant beautiful seeds of destiny and purpose, and can grow you from a sapling tree to a forest. He not only is your Gardener, but that of many. He is the Divine Intelligence of creation that has created everything, I mean everything, from cosmic dust to the minerals of the earth, from microbes of fungi, virus and bacteria to soil, seed, rain and stars. He knows about things, big and small. And He knows about me, and He knows about you, and cares for the whole earth and the whole human race ! Most beautifully, He is known as the Redeemer of the human soul – and therein lies the more story to tell – but for another time. When I look into the garden of my heart, I can only say this : “He makes everything beautiful in His time.” What does the garden of your heart look like ? Ready for some gardening ? Ready for some transformation ? – then join the Care Africa movement, and plant your Care Gardens “ in your yard and in your heart.”