Live in the moment

Yesterday I had a lot of different things that I had to get done and it involved a lot of different people with different needs. I suddenly doubted whether I was able to do everything efficiently as some people were getting impatient while others were being deliberately slow. That was my view, but I suppose from a different point of view there can be a very different interpretation. That’s not the point though. As I was about to get into a flat spin and start panicking, the words, “live in the moment” came to me very clearly. I have obviously heard this phrase before but it took on a whole new personal meaning to me.

The definition I found of “Living in the moment” is very apt:

To live in the moment, or now, means being conscious, aware and in the present with all of your senses. It means not dwelling on the past, nor being anxious or worrying about the future. When we concentrate our attention on the present we focus on the task at hand

I had to remember to focus only on the thing I was doing at that moment. I couldn’t think about the next customer or dwell on a remark made by the previous customer. I had to be aware of things that I still had to do, but they couldn’t influence my behaviour while I was doing the thing I had to do at that moment.

John 14:1-4, ” Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”

This verse says we mustn’t let our hearts be troubled. I don’t think that even one person can boast about never having had a troubled heart. I remember my heart feeling like it was physically sore from being troubled. Trouble can constitute worry, stress, grief and pain of any kind. Those are all the things that Jesus took on Himself when he was crucified.

I have been thinking about what people say about Christians just being sojourners here on earth. A sojourner is someone who stays temporarily in a place. We should see our life on earth as temporary, but not as that of a visitor with a better place to go to. We have to make the most of our lives here and work on our character and our attitude, without becoming one with the world. Without assimilating the habits and characteristics of those who are not children of God.

1 John 3:10, In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.

This is plain, if you don’t have love you are not of God. And it is not selective love. God loves everyone irrespective of what they do and of how they live, but this doesn’t mean that everyone is going to be saved. Only those who accept Jesus as their saviour will be saved. Even if you are on your way to hell God will still love you. He doesn’t make a distinction when it comes to loving people. We are also called to loved people but we cannot approve of the evil things they do and one of the reasons we cannot approve is that they are hurting themselves.

We need to use every hour to its full potential. Whether we are working, worshiping, playing or resting. Every part of our existence should be purposeful. The Bible warns against idleness.

Hebrews 6:11-12, And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Even though I think I get a lot done in a normal day, I have realised that it isn’t about how much I do, but it is the purposefulness and the attitude with which I do things that really matters. Let us start living in the moment and make every moment count.

No Fear

There was a robbery on a farm in our area today. The news report said that farmer was tied up and he was robbed of weapons and a vehicle. I also heard on the news that two elderly residents of a retirement home were murdered. Then there is going to be a memorial service at a school for a 17 year old girl and a teenage boy. The girl was attacked and killed in a street at night and the boy was stabbed and killed on the school grounds by other students.  In South Africa there is so much of this kind of thing happening daily. It is shocking to say the least. I am refusing to live in fear because I cannot allow the enemy to steal from me in that way. To give up the peace in my heart will mean to give up my salvation. I am serious. Jesus came to give us life.

John 10:10, The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

You might ask if we can take this verse literally, and I really think we should. If we want to have life we cannot be living in fear. What kind of a life is that? Living in fear is the plan of the devil. He wants to make us believe that we have no alternative, or that the alternative is to hop on a plan and find a better life elsewhere. Unfortunately it isn’t that simple. If God tells you to emigrate or go and live in another country for a while that’s great and He will provide and there will be a purpose. He told Joseph to take Mary and the baby Jesus to Egypt for about two years while Herod wanted Jesus dead. We cannot judge people who choose to move to other places because we aren’t in their shoes and we do not know what their convictions are.

I do think however, that if people move away out of fear it might not be the best thing that they can do for themselves and their own well-being. The thing about fear is that it stalks you. Fear is a spirit and it isn’t going to go away because you move. It is going to stick to you like glue and as soon as a situation arises where you are threatened it is going to resurface and start to torment you again.

2 Timothy 1:7, For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Isaiah 41:10, So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Philippians 4:6-7, Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Joshua 1:9, Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

Psalm 118:6-7, The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.  What can man do to me?  The Lord is with me; he is my helper.

There are, in fact, 365 verses in the bible which instruct and encourage us not to fear or be anxious. If you are living with fear, you are going to have to seek God’s face and go for counselling if necessary because it is not just going to go away by itself. I’m reminded of a story I heard about a travelling preacher in the times where it was illegal to sell alcohol in the USA. When he preached he named people who were selling alcohol. Some of these people ambushed him and were going to hang him. All he said to them was, “Do you think you can scare me with heaven.?”

We are going to have to become Kingdom minded if we want to survive in these times. We are also going to have to be so sure that we are going to heaven that the thought of death won’t be able to scare us.


Woman’s Day

Today, August 9, is Woman’s Day in South Africa. Here’s something for all the women out there.

As women we are know by many different names. Ma, Mom, Mommy, Ouma, Granny, Sussie, Stay-at-home-mom, Career Woman, Spinster, Widow, Somebody’s wife, Somebody’s mother or Somebody’s daughter. There’s names aren’t always positive or upbuilding and we so easily allow these labels to stick. In the Bible there was a woman who was caught in the act of adultery. Her accusers were holding stones ready to stone her to death when Jesus came to her rescue. Even though she was set free she is only remembered as the woman caught in adultery. Her label stuck for more than 2000 years.


How often we allow something we did to label us for the rest of our lives. Something we’re ashamed of can hold us back from reaching our potential. Why? Because we believe the lie that it defines and limits us and we allow it to. Have you ever done something your’e not proud of? Have I? Of course the answer is yes! We have all done the wrong thing and not only once either. We have also allowed that single act to give us a label. Some labels are private and some are displayed for all to see. Sometimes we are the ones who label ourselves and them we allow that label to determine the outcome of every choice we make. Other times people label us as accept that label and start living by it.

Labels like, “you had an abortion; you’ll never amount to anything; you’re stupid; you’re just like your mother; you’re too fat; you’re ugly; stop dreaming, get a job and settle down.” Then there’s the label that most of us have worn at one or other stage, “you’re not good enough.”

Why do we accept these labels? Because we believe the lies of the devil. 1 Peter 5:8 – “Be alert and of a sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” The enemy comes to attack your mind. And your mind is what is holing you back from reaching your potential. It’s not people and its not your circumstances. It’s your mind and what you allow into it that is holding you in the position you are now.

What is the solution: Very simply

  1. Don’t entertain any negative thoughts. Be aware of and analyze every thought. Do no invite negative thoughts in for coffee and biscuits and for goodness sake don’t let them stay overnight.
  2. Find positive things to think about. Find things that make you happy and think about those things. Make it a habit.
  3. Find your purpose and set goals. Your purpose might change as you go through different stages of your life but make sure that you have goals even if they start short term. Make a list which is easily attainable.

I have decided that I will not be labeled and I will not allow my circumstances to define me. The only label I will accept is that I have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ and only God will define me. Then I can face all the challenges that come my way and I know that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me

Kim Walker Smith – You Define Me

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?


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.


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.


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.