Fiery Darts

 

I’ve been grappling with the concept of ‘fiery darts of the evil one’, and this is my conclusion:
When God says to me that He will never leave me or forsake me He means exactly that!
The word forsake means:
forsake
(fəˈseɪk)
vb (tr) , -sakes, -saking, -sook (-ˈsʊk) or -saken (-ˈseɪkən)
1. to abandon
2. to give up (something valued or enjoyed)
Hebrews 13:5 – [Let your] conversation [be] without covetousness; [and be] content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
So if I am a child of God He will never abandon me, or give me up. He won’t decide that I’m not good enough to play on His team. He won’t mock me because I don’t have ball skills or I don’t listen to the ‘right’ kind of music. It won’t matter that I can’t run as fast as all the others and He won’t tease me because I’m not good at making friends or because I like to sit and read instead of playing ball.

He isn’t going to tell me I’m on my own when I mess up. He isn’t going to turn His back on me and pretend He doesn’t know me. He doesn’t mind that I don’t do what everyone else is doing just so that I can fit in. And when I do try to fit in (which I’m not very good at) He patiently waits for me to realize that He didn’t make me to fit in. He made me to be exactly the person He wanted me to be. He made me to feel comfortable in the situations He wants me to be comfortable with and He gives me His grace to survive those I’m not comfortable with. He doesn’t require of me to pretend to be part of things which He hasn’t made me to be part of. He won’t decide that I don’t have the right skills and dismiss me. He won’t force or manipulate me to do things that I am not at ease with. He will prepare me patiently for things that He wants me to do so that when the time comes for me to do those things I am completely happy to do them.
When the evil one shoots those fiery darts at my heart He tells me that I must have my shield of faith in place to quench them. Ephesians 6:16 – ‘above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.’ Above all says to me that it is very, very important. And then, ‘with which you..’, means I will be able to quench them, not God, but me. I will be able to do it because my faith will carry me. I must have the kind of faith that when someone says something hurtful, I don’t fall apart or fight back, I just stand on my faith and know that it’s an attack from the devil. Understanding things is very important to me and when I grasped ‘fiery darts’ it was a lightbulb moment for me. It was a revelation to know that all the hurts which people have spoken (and to me it’s usually the spoken word which hurts the most) are just attacks from Satan and I don’t have to bother with them because God told me He would never leave me or forsake me. He also told me in Isaiah 51:12
“I, even I, am He who comforts you.
Who are you that you should be afraid
Of a man who will die,
And of the son of a man who will be made like grass?”
That plainly tells me that I don’t have to be worried about what people say. Even when they say hurtful things about my children, and mother’s are always way more sensitive about their children than even themselves, I can just go back to God and tell Him about it. He always listens and He will always calm my heart. Actually the very next verse in Isaiah is so profound. Isaiah 51:13
“And you forget the Lord your Maker,
who stretched out the heavens
And laid the foundations of the earth;
You have feared continually every day
Because of the fury of the oppressor,
When he has prepared to destroy.
And where is the fury of the oppressor?”
Then the Lord goes on to say how much more powerful He is than any other force. I seem to forget how powerful God really is. I can crumble into a heap of misery at the smallest insult that gets hurled my way. When stones are thrown I retreat and hide, instead of keeping my head up and facing the storm. Psalm 23 tells me that God is with me even if I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. My goodness! What a statement. I don’t know of anything that could sound worse than walking through that valley. And then He prepares a table for me in the presence of of my enemies. He adds insult to injury because the evil forces then have to realize that they cannot do anything to me as long as I am holding onto my faith in God.
Psalm 18, which is one of my favourite psalms says in verse 6:
‘In my distress I called upon the Lord,
And cried out to my God;
He heard my voice from His temple.
And my cry came before Him,
even to His ears.’
That must be one of the most comforting verses I know. If I call out to God He will hear me. He knows I’m here, He knows I exist and He cares. What more can I ask?
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I love this picture. I found it at goldenstreetanimation.com

Restore Factory Settings

Have you ever done a “factory reset” or formatted your phone so that all the information you stored on it is gone? Forever! It is such a scary process. Well, it was for me. I got a new phone and I want to sell my old one because I need the cash to buy Microsoft Office for my Notepad. I’ve been using LibreOffice and although it’s user friendly I have been having issues when I save my work and send it. If I receive documents that have been save in ‘Word’ I can open them but I can’t edit them. I end up redoing and it just wastes my time. So, I formatted my phone. A big part of my life was on that phone. I saved recipes and quotes and passwords etc. etc. Pressing the button that said ‘Are you sure?’ was quite a moment. What if I look for something and I forgot to copy it off my old phone? What if? What if? I’m just going to have to say it’s too late now. Pressing that button was like erasing a part of myself.

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When we accept Jesus to be our Savoir He says that He removes our sins as far as the East is from the West. (Psalm 103:12) Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:17 – ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.’ That is quite profound. It means that everything that we were before we invited Jesus Christ into our hearts has been formatted. Factory settings have been restored. We become the blank canvas or the restored cell phone and we are ready to receive a new simcard. This simcard I see as the Holy Spirit leading and teaching and guiding us. Just like the apps which are downloaded. These apps determine the way in which the phone is going to be used. Just like the Holy Spirit who will tell us which way to take. Isaiah 30:21 ‘Your ears will hear a word behind you saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” …’

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Once the format has been performed, everything that existed on the phone is gone, forever. If I tell myself I used to have Facebook or Pinterest or whatever on my phone it won’t bring them back. If somebody tells me their number was stored on my phone it will serve no purpose at all because it isn’t there anymore. Everything has effectively been removed as far as the East is from the West. Just like our sins if we give our lives to Jesus. It won’t do any good to remind yourself or even be reminded by someone that you used to do things which made you a ‘bad’ person. Those things don’t exist anymore, and they don’t exist in the mind of the One who really matters. God is not going to judge you on those things because He had formatted them on the cell phone of your life. You are a new creation and you should be living as one. Not like someone who is defeated, but like someone who has everything to live for.

The amazing colour run

We don’t have lots of events or functions in our little town. We don’t even make the news every week. But yesterday the local Christian School organized a day full of all kinds of entertainment. They kicked off with a colour run. You know, one of those fun run’s where you get doused with powdered paint at strategic points and in the end everyone looks like a rainbow.

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I was going to walk the 5km but eventually the rest of my family decided to take part and I graciously offered to look after the shop while they were running. Of course they would finish way faster than me because they actually run. (And by saying I did it graciously it sounds much less like an excuse!) Yesterday morning I was at the shop and I had dealt with all the issues that required my attention when I decided to drive up the road and photograph my family as they ran past. My intention was to take a few quick pics and go back to the shop. I ended up staying till the last participant had passed that point.

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What I saw was nothing short of amazing. There were some runners who were athletes and they competed for a place or for a personal best. Then there were children who took part just to finish. They weren’t really worried about placings. They just had fun. A group of ladies who are part of a weight-loss club took part and looked so happy. There was a father jogging with his little daughter. It was so awesome to see the support he gave her. Another mom and dad took turns carrying their toddler on their back’s or shoulders.

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There as a lady in a wheel chair that was pushed all the way. Her friends were with her all the way and they were so joyful. Nothing was going to stop them from participating. Little kids screwed up their faces when the colourful powdered paint was tossed towards them. Others tied bandanas over their faces. It was such fun.

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The thing that stuck me the most though, was that my husband who recently turned 60, came running by holding the hand of a little girl of 8. The two of them covered more than half the course hand-in-hand. He was supporting her, but she was unwittingly supporting him too. She was supporting him by giving him the chance to be an example and show people what its all about to reach out to others. The picture just made me think of how we are here on earth to help one another and to carry each other’s burdens. We aren’t supposed to be just looking after our own interests. We are supposed to esteem other’s higher than ourselves.

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Philippians 2:3-4 : Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
Do we know how to esteem others higher than ourselves? Do we know how to look out for the interests of others? Do we believe the media when they tell us to put number one first and look after ourselves? Or, do we look for someone who is struggling, take their hand and run with them?

Offence

There’s a word I’m looking for to describe what I feel right now. Happy, glad, thankful and grateful just won’t cut it. I’ll just have to go with thankful. I am so thankful God isn’t like me. In the Bible it says we should be more like God.
Ephesians 5:1,2 – “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us …”
So we have to be imitators of God. In other words study the Bible to see what God does and do that. Easy, right?
NO! Not easy at all. All that love every day. How?
I’m just so immensely grateful that God isn’t like me. I mean, He doesn’t bear a grudge, not even for a minute or a day or a week. If someone offends me it’s so easy to wallow in self pity for a while. I can even justify it! But God doesn’t even get offended. And He has way more reason than I have to be offended. Every single minute someone, somewhere is doing something that should bring offence to God. Using His name in vain, not trusting Him or rejecting Him.
Let’s talk about Offence. That is something we all know about. We hate it passionately to be offended, don’t we? We take an offense and we analyze it and we bask in it. We turn it over and over like a steak on a grill. Maybe we just pretend to hate offence. By all the attention we give it anyone would think we love it. Instead of pushing it away we hold on to it and let it stew in the recesses of our hearts. We nurture it, we treat it like it was special, we entertain it like a long lost friend. Don’t we? Even though we know that it does us no good at all, we just keep it close and the longer we keep it the harder it is to let it go.

 

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These are roosterkoek made from bread dough on a grill. A long process.

What if God did that? What if He took every offense we flung at Him, intentionally or not, and held it against us? What if? Where would we be?
John 3:17 – “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
Isn’t that just the most awesome verse? I love every bit of it. I just see how, because I trust Jesus as my Lord and Savior, He says to me, “Its OK, I’m not offended by you. I love you and I have covered your sin with my blood.” And when I cry out to Him because life is too hard for me to do alone, He is there and He carries me through the hard parts. And during the easier parts, (there are some parts of life that are so easy and joyful and totally wonderful) He’s right there by my side. He’s on my team. He loves me and He wants me to be near Him. He says I’m beautiful when the world doesn’t think so. He says I’m good enough when even I don’t think I am. He says I can get through the hard times when everything looks impossible. And because He’s there, I can.
Knowing all this, do I have any reason to take an offence and own it?
I think not.

 

Just not you

People judge others

On what they say and do

And on the choices 

they make each day

Just let it not be you. 
People get angry at things

That seem so small

At things they should

 just let go

Just let it not be you
People steal and cheat

And lie and swear

And pretend to be 

what they aren’t

Just let it not be you
People reject God every day

They say they don’t need Him

They think they are strong

Just let it not be you
You are a special one

A chosen one

One who is destined

To be great
You were known long

Before you were born

Before you were even conceived

Before the beginning of time
You have a future

And a destiny, and there are

Plans which will not harm you

But will give you hope.
Your trust and hope in God

Will cause you to be

Like a great, green tree

Flourishing beside the water
When you call on God

He will surely hear

And deliver you because

It’s in you that He takes delight. 

Right or wrong – or is it?

Recently there was an incident at a Spur steakhouse where a white man threatened a black woman because their children had a fight in the play area. According to a large sector of the white community at large the incident wasn’t handled correctly by the management of Spur and they decided to boycott the restaurant. Instead of a matter of general decent manners it has been turned into a race issue. I have seen the slogan ‘Spur must fall’! I am not even going to try to debate who was right and who was wrong. It really doesn’t matter because if we are going to fall into the trap of judging every incident as right or wrong we are going to make ourselves very unhappy.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). It is so easy to influence and manipulate people by what you say. You justify actions, you do the guilt trip thing, you do whatever it takes to make people do what you think you are justified in doing. Before you know it you have a large following and you are acting like a politician. So what are the implications if Spur does fall? A whole lot of people lose their jobs and maybe some families don’t have any employed members anymore and maybe crime escalates. But you are justified in what you are doing so you don’t care.
What would Jesus have done if someone had taken the Spur incident and all it repercussions and put it before Him? Would he have judged right and wrong? Or would He have said what he said to the woman caught in adultery – “Go and sin no more.” He said that the one without sin should pick up the first stone. Which one of us is without sin?
When Jesus spoke to the woman at the well He knew that she was living with a man she wasn’t married to. “for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband;” Jesus never told her that she was bad and that it was wrong to live with a man if you aren’t married to him. He never condemned her actions at all.
What about Zaccheus? (Luke 10:1-10) He was the chief tax collector at Jericho and he stole money from people by demanding more taxes than were rightfully payable. He was working for the government and cheating people. Does that sound familiar? Well, Jesus didn’t sit him down and tell him how bad he was, and neither did he ignore him or make him understand that he would not associate with a criminal. Jesus had dinner at Zaccheus’ house! By loving him, Jesus caused him to realize his wicked ways. He repented and paid back everything he had stolen and more.
Then, of course there was Mary, who poured out a jar of expensive perfume over the feet of Jesus. His disciples were indignant because Mary was a woman of ill repute. (John 12:1 – 8) Jesus never condemned Mary for being a prostitute.
Looking at all these incidents which had judgement potential I am seeing a pattern. I am seeing that Jesus never condemned people. He loved them. And because He loved them they changed. Are we able to do the same? Is it really necessary to incite people over social media to join your negative protest? Jesus says in Matthew 7:1 – 2, “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgement you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.”
I would hate to be judged on the sins I commit. Can you imagine? Every thought and every word – I shudder to think. What did Jesus die on the cross for then? A few years back everyone was wearing those bands that said WWJD? Well, What Would Jesus Do? Would he condemn our actions or would He love us?

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What about love and peace instead of judgement?

 

Build that wall

The wind was blowing yesterday. Hard and cold. We live in a temperate climate therefore it was very hard and very cold by our standards. I woke up during the night and heard something that sounded like the wind. When I looked out of the window everything was quiet. Obviously I don’t sleep with my hearing aids in and sounds tend to become a little distorted so it could have been trucks driving through town or even the compressors of refrigeration trucks that were parked overnight. Whatever the noise was though, it was not what I thought it was.

Life is a lot like that. Things are very often not what they seem to be. Especially in the political situation we find ourselves in. Yesterday I read that more than 60 railway coaches have been burned out in Cape Town since the beginning of this year. The reasons are as varied but most of them have nothing to do with Spoornet (the railway company). The people who have the contract to supply railway vehicles benefit from it so who knows? The Bloemfontein City Hall was set on fire 2 days ago because the municipal workers apparently didn’t receive the wage increase that they were demanding. The cost of restoring that building will be a drain on city funds making wage increases even more difficult. When people don’t get what politicians promised them they burn tyres, block the main roads and loot shops. The motorists who use those roads mostly have no influence at all with the government department who promised the housing. The owner of the shop which gets emptied is not even affiliated to a political party and is just trying to raise a family by being an entrepreneur. Things don’t make sense and I have realized that, just like the wind which wasn’t the wind, things are very often not what they seem.
In Isaiah 11:3 the Bible says:
“and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears;”
When Nehemiah was rebuilding Jerusalem there were enemies plotting against him to try to stop him. They kept sending him messages in an attempt to intimidate him. He realized what their plan was and refused to meet with them. This is what he replied to them, “Nothing like what you are saying is happening; You are just making it up in your head.” Nehemiah realized that they were just trying to cause them to revert into a state of fear and not be able to do any work.
When Nehemiah went to see his friend Shemaiah, this friend tried to trick him into hiding in the temple to avoid being attacked and killed at night. Before he went to Shemaiah he prayed to God saying, “Now strengthen my hands.” Nehemiah realized that Shemaiah was trying to cause him harm.
Nehemiah 6:12 – 13 “I realized that God had not sent him, but that he had prophesied against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. He had been hired to intimidate me so that I would commit a sin be doing this, and then they would give me a bad name to discredit me.”
Nehemiah was using discernment. He prayed and asked God to strengthen his hands, but more than just his hands were strengthened. He had the gift of discernment. James chapter 1 verse 5: “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”
When all these political crimes happen, when farmers get killed on their farms without apparent reason, when little girls and babies are raped and killed, when property is destroyed, it is easy to fall into fear. It is so easy to let fear take you hostage and to become a prisoner in your own house. We aren’t only scared by political problems and crime. Every day things happen that can cause us to become fearful. Our children can become sick or street dangerously off course. Death, divorce, unfaithfulness, retrenchment, the list is endless.
John 1:12, “Yet to all who received him (Jesus), to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God-” If you were the natural child of a king you would not be expected to live in fear. You would have rights and privileges that others normal citizens would not have. You would have free access to the king and be able to ask his advice at any time. Just like that, if you have accepted Jesus Christ as your saviour, you have access to God (The King and Creator of the Universe) at all times. You can ask Him whatever you want and He will answer you. In His Word it says “do not fear” 365 times. Once for every day of the year.
We have to learn to live as overcomers, as victors, as fearless royalty. We have to ask for wisdom and apply it, we have to discern when things aren’t as they seem to be. We have to be the light in the world and not hide in fear. Are we going to allow fear to paralyse us or are we going to do what Nehemiah did and fearlessly complete the task that he knew was his to do? Let us live lives that reflect the glory of God and let us enjoy every bit of it.

The Secret

 

I’ve seen people who are always nice. I even know people who are always nice. I look at them and think “seriously?” But that’s just who they are. They love life and they love people. Even irritating people! And they aren’t just nice to the people and then turn around and gossip about them. I’ve been thinking about this and I realized that they have discovered a secret. The secret is that what goes around comes around. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

 

I’m sure they weren’t born that way. I don’t think babies are born good. They are born brats who cry and scream and demand and only show their dimples and smiles when their grandmothers are around. You don’t believe me? Do yourself a favour and see whether mother’s or grandmother’s post more photos of babies of Facebook. Grandmothers are forever posting photos of cute, smiling, angelic kids. All you see of mothers are a few exhausted looking selfies! Just joking, but sometimes it seems that way.

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Galatians 6:7 – ‘Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.’

 

Proverbs 22:8 – ‘He who sows iniquity will reap sorrow, And the rod of his anger will fail.’

 

Matthew 7:16 – 20 ‘You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every food tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, not can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear food fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.’

 

These nice people have discovered that what you give is what you get. If you want to have a difficult and troubled life then keep on dishing out insults and revenge. We feel so offended when people don’t treat us the way we expect to be treated. We feel so offended that we start offending others with out attitude. I am convinced that most people do not purposely give offence. Sometimes they are hurting and say things out of that place of hurt. Other times we just misinterpret what we hear. Whichever way it is, taking offence makes us into bad people. Nobody wants to be around me when I have been offended. I blow off steam and I try to justify my actions. I walk around with a pained expression and everyone around me is supposed to pick up on the fact that I have been wronged. Of course I believe that I am right and that the other party is wrong. In the process I am:

 

Making myself unpleasant to be around.

 

Alienating people who would normally enjoy my company.

 

Thinking negative thoughts.

 

Making myself physically sick because of all the negativity going on in my head.

 

Not getting on with my life because I’m dragging all this baggage around with me.

 

So, how do I remedy the situation? The first step is to get over myself and my insecurities. The second is to open up my minds and allow people to be. To be who they are and not to judge them. Let them be them and let me be the best me I can be. There are so many positive things I can concentrate on and think about and meditate on. My aim is to apply the secrets that so many others have learned and also become nice. The good thing about being nice is you do it for yourself, not for others. You reap so many benefits from it that it really isn’t worth walking around sulking about all the bad things life is throwing at you.

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This is a painting I did of how we are sheltered under God’s wings. H

 

 

Out of the box

Have you ever tried to get out of the box? Have you even just tried to look outside of the box? Just a peek? And what happened? You started seeing the possibilities and the freedom and then you worked up the courage to tell someone about it. You shared your vision. Down came the hammer. BAM! Someone crushed those dreams. Sometimes dreams can be destroyed without even using words. A look or an attitude can be enough to leave the floor full of shards. Most people don’t want others to rise up above their circumstances or to go beyond what is considered safe.

How many of us have advised out children to pursue a career that is stable and offers a pension plan and medical benefits? Why do we do it? To prevent them from following their dreams? Not at all. We mainly want to protect them against financial hardship. Nobody wants to see his child struggle. But isn’t it the struggles and the battles that make us tough and grow character? Isn’t it true that if we haven’t been through troubles and faced our giants that we aren’t really going to have much of a backbone?

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Anyway, to come back to the box, I do think that a lot of the time the ones who upset our apple carts only want to help us. Sometimes however there are those who are jealous and just like to rain on your parade. It really doesn’t matter what the motives of the thundercloud is, we have to decide in our own minds what we really want. We can’t allow people to decide for us what it is we need. If I am really passionate about something then I must go after that thing with my whole heart. I must be willing, no eager, to practice it every day. I remember reading a little joke where the teacher told the class that if you want to cultivate a new habit you had to repeat it 30 times to make it yours. A girl at the back of the class obviously only half-heard. She started repeating over and over: Michael, Michael, Michael …

What is a box, or rather, what is your box? I see anything that keeps you from reaching your potential as a box. How did you get into that box? Were you born in it? No! Little children have imagination and they believe they can do anything. Somewhere along the way you believed something that stopped you from reaching your potential and fulfilling your destiny. Family, friends, culture, religion or the media could have influenced you. Did they put you in the box? No, you did. You put yourself into that box by believing certain things about yourself. Those things don’t even have to be true, you just have to believe them.

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How do you know if what you think you want to do really is what you should be doing? If you really want to do something then go after it. If you wake up in the morning thinking about it and go to sleep at night planning what you are going to accomplish the next day it’s very good sign. I listened to a very good talk about following your dreams. If you are really passionate about something that passion will reflect in the way you do it and then there will be a gap in the market for what you do. Even a cheese sandwich made with passion is a cut above the rest. I love art and I love writing. I love a lot of other things too like gardening and sewing but art and writing are at the top of my list. When I paint (create something artistic) or write I feel alive. I feels like something inside of me has been ignited. It feels like this is what I have been created for. I completed quite a few canvasses this year so far, they are mixed media so I feel I shouldn’t say I ‘painted’ because painting was only a part of what I did. I also enrolled in a creative writing course at the beginning of December and I’ve just completed my fifth assignment. I told my husband that I am not going to wait until I retire so that I can do what I’m passionate about. I’m going to start practising so that when I get to retirement I’ll be used to it. So every day I do something creative. I have also hung my art in our shop and put prices on it. That is huge for me because it feels like I am exposing my soul and becoming vulnerable. I am opening myself up for criticism. I don’t know if anyone will buy anything but I feel like I can call myself an artist. Even if people just look at the work and feel the emotion I will be happy.

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Go after your passion. Don’t hide your light under a bushel or a bucket or what you believe about your abilities. You were created for a purpose and if you don’t get out of the box you are never going to see it happen.

Zuma must go – or must he?

“Zuma must go! Zuma must fall!”

That’s what we’ve been hearing for the last month or so. There have been marches, peaceful protests, petitions on social media and old ladies with petitions in supermarkets. It has been the topic of discussion at every opportunity. It has even surpassed the weather in farming communities. Of course no-one is giving a working alternative. Who will be the successor? Will the person who follows be better? … or not? I saw a Facebook post this morning that mentioned a possible successor to our president and my blood froze. Seriously? Maybe we should just be happy with the devil we know.

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There are prayer meetings being arranged to pray for peace in the country. Excellent! Praying has never been bad. But what are the motives? I’ve heard people say (or ask) that God will (or please should) change things because we have suffered enough. Really? There are farm murders and there is crime and violence. It isn’t safe to walk alone in certain places. There are parts of cities where you surely will get mugged or robbed.

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We can go to church without being persecuted. We can speak our minds without being thrown into prison. We aren’t being persecuted like people in some countries who are not allowed to say a word which is contrary to the beliefs of the state. There are many places we can enjoy which are very safe. We have a free market system. Yes, there are fears, and I believe most of them are very real fears that the situation could become worse.

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I’m just wondering if people are (going to be) praying because they are afraid of being out of their comfort zones or if the prayer is going to be about really seeking God’s face and His will for our country? I remember the little verse about the teabag that only produces a beverage when it is soaked in hot  water. What if we can’t grow spiritually without a bit of suffering? What if we need to be pushed a bit to discover some hidden talents and some compassion and mercy? Maybe, just maybe, we have to get outside of our comfort zones so that we can reach our full potential. So that we can become what we were meant to be. So that the tea bags of our souls can do what they were made to do.

 

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Photos courtesy of TS Photography