Monday, 30 July 2012

Paint

This weekend I painted our house’s outside wall. I had it restored before the operation since the paint lifted because of rain. It was left grey (cement coloured) and not touched for two months. I wanted to paint it while I was at home but wasn’t able to since I got drunk as soon as I started. As a result I coould only manage to paint the top of the wall with waterproof paint during a six week period. I now had to paint the first coating in white, then the fist coating of the eventual colour and lastly the final coat. Also, the wall has two different shades, thus the corners has to be painted carefully.

I enjoyed the painting. It’s not something that I have done a lot of before, but I have done it. By doing it on your own you also have a lot of time to think. And here it comes…

The day you give your heart to the Lord you are like a new wall. Freshly painted, bright and “perfect”! We sometimes go astray and then cracks start opening up. Or the paint lifts. We are still Christians (walls) but we don’t live like we ought to (cement coloured). In some cases it only requires a coat of paint to “fix” us, but in others the cement has to be plastered. Cracks have to be filled.

If you have cracks or need a paint-job, consult with someone who can help you. It’s very difficult to stay standing on your own. Tell someone who’s been there, work through your problems.

After all, sharing is caring…

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Paintings


On Saturday I started out making some portrait frames for my younger brother. He requested them a while ago, but I only had time to go and buy the wood now.


The first of the 4 frames I made this weekend


While I was busy with this I realised that the extend of my product is the frame that I am making. Although I am proud of the work I am doing a frame on its own is almost worthless. I started pondering what he wants to put in the frame. Maybe a nice photo that he took since he is a photographer. Maybe some of his graphical designs. Maybe a photo of himself, who knows.

You see, many times in life we think that we can live on our own. We are the creation, not the Creator. God created us so that we can worship him. We are the frame. While we are beautiful to Him we are only complete if we have a picture or a drawing inside the frame. We spend a lifetime drawing this picture via the life we live and the relationship with others and our Creator.

Be closer to Him than ever, start living your goal, His dream for you.


Paint your picture...

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Asset verification

Myself and some of my colleagues have performed a few asset verifications in our time together. These have placed us in some peculiar places, around the country, in rural areas, in space antennas, etc. It also kept us up late at night, sometimes almost through the night.

The interesting part of this is that it was never our own, or our companies assets. Always doing work that others were not willing or able to do. What gave us great satisfaction was the fact that we either made a difference to the people or the entity involved. It is, after all, important to be proud of your work.

Our work, however, is not just to earn money or make a living. We also have to work in the kingdom of God. We have to be fishers of men as in Matthew 4:19. At the time being a fisherman was a major profession... 

Take pride in your work. Take pride in working for the Lord, but don't boast in that.

Do it as part of your love for Him.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Biltong

A proudly South African delicacy, that is biltong. Its meat, raw meat, salted and spiced to perfection, then hanged out to dry. Some people love it when its still pink on the inside, while others prefer it dry throughout, and hard. I like the in between variation.

Today I had a healthy helping of biltong compliments of the guys at the office. Such a treat, it actually becomes a bit of an addiction until the portion is finished. I just could not help but indulge!

As I drove home I realised that I have an incredible thirst. Because of all the salt I took in my mouth was dry and I was somewhat dehydrated. Funny thing is that, while I ate the biltong, I was fine. At home I drank about 1.5 litres of water tonight and I'm still thirsty! 

Real life works the same. As you commit sin it rarely feels wrong. Most of the time you only realise afterwards what you have done. That's when the guilt sets in...

The only way to combat this is through good habits. We have to 'train' to live without sin. Its a constant battle, but has to be done. Sin won't result in you not going to heaven, that's the result of giving your life to Him. By eliminating sins we change our lives for His glory, to honour Him.

Just do it!

Monday, 23 July 2012

Standards

Standards are one of those things that only goes up. Compare cars from 1970 to cars of today. The same make of car looks vastly different. Back in the day cars were square, these days they become more and more round.

Who decides on these changes? Its quite obvious, we as humans do. See what 2 Corinthians 10:12 says: we do not dare to classify or compare ourselves to someone who commended themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. 

We set the standards. Then WE measure ourselves to these standards. Then: We mostly fail these standards...  these standards suffocate us.

It is important that we set targets for ourselves in life, but they should be motivational, not a discouragement. We should become better and better people, but in Jesus we are not required to do good deeds for eternal life, we have it. 

The basic standard is to grow in Him by talking to Him, reading His word and passing it on. Set your own standards, but in Him.

Read verse 13 as well...

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Two-way glass

Our churches mothersroom has this two-way glass so that mothers with babies sitting inside the room can see into the church, but members of the church can't see into the mothersroom. This makes sense as the mothers inside needs privacy.

In life we might be on the outside of the mothersroom. God invites us in, but we keep trying to look through the dark side of the glass. We can see part of Him. We obviously believe in Him and might have given our lives to Him, but we are still on the outside.

What keeps us on the outside? For starters, it is not God... He wants us inside. He wants us close. We are the only ones responsible for being on the outside. Either by fear, indecisiveness, or by being non-committal. He allows us close, but we decide not to be close. But we aren't...

Although I am His child, I can be as close or as far from Him as I decide. I have to choose to get closer and closer, to not just see through the glass, but to get inside the room.

Choose life

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Enough said...

When the voice of reason becomes an act of treason
Against who you are and what your world demands
When my mouth is quiet in the face of public riot
Against what your voice so lovingly demands

Forgive me for my weakness
I'd like to call it meekness
But I shudder at the anger of the crowd
My quiet lips are pouting
I know I should be shouting
Rome is burning, I should say it loud
Please forgive me - nothing''s coming out

When my eyes are blinded by culture and the diet
Of whatever junk the world would feed my mind
When my heart is neutered my spirit is polluted
With noble things that I won't leave behind
Forgive me for my weakness
I'd like to call it meekness
But I shudder at the anger of the crowd
My quiet lips are pouting
I know I should be shouting
Rome is burning, I should say it loud
Please forgive me - nothings coming out

I hear your voice, I close my eyes

I give myself to easy lies
I tell myself that silence isn't cruel
There was a time when I would hear
You had my heart, you had my ear
Your word was once so very dear
So how did I become this silent fool?

-
Nothing's Coming Out, Louis Brittz

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Cricket

Its time for the greatest sport on earth to commence again: Test Cricket. There are only a few things that I like more than an action packed day of cricket, especially test cricket. All the stats, all the mini-battles and the drama. Every stare, every bouncer and the celebration of a fifty or a hundred. Its pure magic.

I am sure the England versus South Africa series will provide all of the above, as well as hopefully enough memories to talk about for many years. I am looking forward!

Now I know a lot of you are not huge cricket fans and might not understand my fascination with the game, or half of the lingo I am using, and I am sorry for  that. The fact is that things you really like are the things you spend time on, be it cricket, sport, family, work, nature, religion, etc.

As stated in Matthew 12:34 - for out of the overflow of the hart the mouth speaks. You will find time for the things you love.

Find time for the Lord...

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Back to school

I still remember my first day of school like it was yesterday. I am sure its a day my mom would rather want to forget! My older brother was already in grade 4 when I started, so he had no worries, he knew the ropes by then. I, on the other hand, had to be begged to wake up, begged to put on my school clothes and forced to stand still for a 'before' photo. Until today I cannot look at that photo. Eyes full of tears for whatever reason...

Tomorrow I am back at 'school' again for the first time since 21 May 2012, the day I lost part of my ability to speak. I have to go back to work. Its a good thing, as I am not able to do nothing anymore. I need the challenge and I need the environment. Its also good since it means that I have healed sufficiently in order to be able to work.

In all, everything that happened was a big miracle. I can speak again (to much for some peoples liking!), I don't get a lot of headaches like before and I am not that dizzy anymore. All praise to a faithful God.

Its not by chance the He says in Hebrews 13:5 “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
He wants the best for us, more than we could ever imagine, more than we dream of. He loves us, abundantly so. Every hair on your head is numbered - Luke 12:7.

I will face every day since I know that He is with me.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Zebra heaven

I took this photo while visiting Etosha in Namibia, July 2012


People who know me well would know that I have a special bond with zebra's. They kind of appeal to me. I don't know why, or how it started, but I do know that when I see one of them something within me is enlightened. It makes me happy.

This fascination is a bit of an addiction really. I have now started to buy zebra figures at every place that we travel to as memorabilia. At the moment I own 9... I also have a zebra blanket to protect me from the cold this winter. I resent people who own zebra skin, who displays it in their houses, as it means that they had to kill one of them in order to own it: not cool!

Although I do like zebras, I do not have any relation with them. They only make me happy. God, on the other hand, is related to us and LOVES us. He loves us so much that He gave His only Son to die in our place - John 3:16

He looks at us and is happy. His heart skips the proverbial beat when He thinks of us. I am sure that when we talk to Him His whole 'world' stands still so that He can listen to what his child says. After all, He is our Dad. He wants the best for us. He wants us, He does not need us. He longs after our affection.

Spend time with Him today, you need it more than He does...

Sunday, 15 July 2012

The bearded one

Those of you who saw me during the past few weeks, or saw photos of me, would have noticed it I am sporting a bit of a beard. Its something I always wanted to try out, but never had the guts for, as it would irritate me after a while, or it would look to unprofessional for work. On my fathers side of the family almost all of my uncles have beards. I could almost say its in my blood... I will, however, shave it off before returning to work.

Another person who had a beard (or is it just long hair?) was Samson. He had great physical power through the fact that his hair was never cut as in Judges 16:17. He must have looked like the Flintstones as his hair would have been all over.

The question is whether the hair on is head actually gave him physical power. The answer must be NO as, if it was like that, all men would have had long hair and beards. I know I would have... If that is the case, why did Samson have this immense power?

This is very simple. He had great power because he was obedient to the Lords word. God told his parents that he is not allowed to shave, for if he did he would lose his strength. By being obedient he could destroy thousands single-handedly.

What does this mean to me? The principle remains the same: If I do what He says, and only that, He will give me the strength I need to persist. 

Follow Him, and only Him.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Heritage

This week I have experienced how important a persons heritage is. Your heritage is defined as something that is passed down from preceding generations. Where you come from, which traits you inherited from your parents and their parents, your past, that is your heritage.

During our trip to Namibia I met a lot of strangers. People who didn't mean anything to me in the past, people I didn't care about, but love now. My wife and I went with her parents and grandfather as they grew up there. They showed us the schools they went to, the farm they owned, towns they stayed in and introduced us to the friends they still have strong bonds with. People they love, part of their heritage.

As I listened to all the stories the elders told and experienced a piece of what their lives were like back then I realised that they knew exactly where they stand with each of these people and that they know where their roots are. With God we should also know where we stand. We should know where we come from and where we are going as a result of that:

1 - Matthew 5: We are sons (and daughters) of God
2 - Luke 10:19: We have power over evil
3 - 1 John 5:4: We are victorious in the Lord

Know who you are in the Lord! 

You animal you!

Here in Namibia there is an ant that I have only come across in the north. I don't know its name, but it is very interesting.

It builds a huge nest of clay in the shape of an ice-cream cone turned upside down. It does, however, lean to the north and the side facing north is flat. This is done so that the "rooms" where they grow the mushrooms they live from receives enough heat. They then harvest this for food.
H
There are a few things to take from this:
1 - The ant knows it has to work hard to survive. To have food it has to build a nest, plant mushrooms and harvest, as well as a few other things. They are true too Provterbs 6:6

2 - The ant knows that, to stay alive, it has to face north. Facing north is like knowing God, the One who gives them life. We should do that to.

3 - The ant knows when to harvest the mushrooms. They have their daily bread, physically. We should do it spiritually.

God designed the ant, as well as the human. We should honour Him with our lives. The ant does...

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Are you hungry?

My Dad tells the story about him and his uncle growing up. They shot a few doves on the farm and decided to have a braai and wanted to have some pap with it. They had to make this themselves and asked for help. His mom gave them maze meel and told them to take the pot and some salt in the barn.

When they got there they filled the pot half full with water and thought about how much salt to add... Both of them filled their pockets and both hands with salt and made their food. Needless to say not the dog or even their pet baboon wanted to eat the pap!

New friends of ours displayed the principle of Matthew 5:13 perfectly to me recently. Without saying much, doing much or trying to impress, they were the salt of the earth. True humble christianity. They don't brag with what they do,they don't over elaborate, but they achieve a lot by being who God wants them to be.

I strive to be like that one day
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Sunday, 8 July 2012

Relevance

Sometimes we as christians walk with our noses in the air. From past experience I have learned that there are two types of christians. The first type is born as christians. They grow up in christian houses and know everything about God and religion. They are fine just the way they are and live life as they learned from their parents.

The second type are reborn christians. They are people who were never in touch with God,but came to know Him and decided to follow Him by willingly giving their lives to Him. An active decision was taken.

I was part of the first type, but became part of the second type in 1996.

I still make decisions every day. Some of them good,others less so. Even though I have to pray and connect with God daily, constantly, I never have to make the decision to give my heart to Him again.

BUT: If get lukewarm in my relationship with Him, I must re-commit to follow Him. It is my believe that I am still saved even though I neglected the relationship.

My relationship must be relevant and change peoples lives. Yours as well. Re-commit to Him. Or, if you haven't done it yet, commit for the first time. Don't postpone...
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Thursday, 5 July 2012

Times of nostalgia

Remember that feeling before you go on a holiday? That expectation that something exciting is going to happen? That you can't wait to go to bed so that tomorrow can come?

Do you also have times when you think about the past and wish those times would return? Those times in your life, possibly as a child that you want to relive, those special times. I have these often.

I made a conscious decision to make new memories daily. My favourite verse as a child was Galations 2:20 -  I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Live everyday as if it is your last, live it for Christ.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Windowshopping

The Parlotones sings a song that I used to be very fond of. My wife didn't like it, but I could listen to it over and over, loudly so. I did it again today...

The song is about us standing on the outside and not jumping in and living our lives. We do windowshopping by not engaging in our lives. Not making the most of every situation, not committing. Its almost like procrastination. 

God is the centre of my life, but sometimes I act like a windowshopper. I stand there and dream, not taking Him up on His promises. Its important that we believe in every word that He spoke through His word, the Bible. When I put my trust in Him, it draws me closer to Him.

I trust Him for some BIG things, things that only He could manage. I'm sure you do to? Stay committed and close to Him, He will stay true to His Word.

I am NO windowshopper, sorry Parlotones...

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Yo-yo

Remember when we were little we used to play yo-yo? Walk-the-dog and the swing were common tricks. We challenged each other to see who could perfect it and even placed bets on it.

The best thing about a yo-yo is that it always returns to you, a bit like a boomerang. You let it go, but as soon as you realise that its going to run out of steam you pull it back. You are in total control...

In my relationship with God He is the yo-yo, I am me and the string is the relationship. I am in control. I can decide to be close, or to be far from Him. He is always there. I can play games with Him, or work on having a committed relationship. Its my decision...

Keep on going with the effort you already put in. It might not always seem to be worth it, but a breakthrough is near! If your string is long, pull it back and make a new commitment, its worth it!

Live a little

Monday, 2 July 2012

Don't let it fail

Most of us do have cars. Most of us also service our cars regularly (or let it be serviced...). When my car goes in for a service I always ask them to verify that the brakes are still in a working condition and that it would last until the next service. I do this to ensure that I would be safe for the next 15000km, as well as to ensure that I dont have to take the car in inbetween regular services.

You see, if your brakes fail chances are that it could be catastrophic. It would probably happen when you least expect it, that is, when you can afford it the least, in an emergency...

The same goes for our spiritual lives. In order for us to function efficiently we have to be serviced regularly (read: daily). We cannot take chances and risk everything until an emergency is upon us. We have to invest in our relationship with God. The same example can be used for eating. We have to eat daily in order to have the energy to function optimally. 

A cars brakes are a safety feature that cannot be ignored. In our relationship with God we also need these safety features, I call them checks and balances:
1 - Wake up every day to devote yourself to Him by reading from the Bible and praying
2 - Have an accountable friend with who you can share difficulties and problem areas in your life (sin)
3 - Connect with fellow believers by going to church and cell-groups
4 - Pray throughout the day, silently, like talking within a real relationship

Check your brakes...

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Stargazing

Since I could not go out for quite a while (the last 5 weeks!) I decided to try out a new hobby.

While still in hospital I downloaded an app for my tablet: Google SkyMap. With this app you are able to point the device anywhere and it would tell you which star or planet its pointing at. Even though I was indoors for a good while and at times didn't realise that its daytime, it showed the names of the planets etc.

A while after I got home I got hold of a second hand telescope that is strong enough to enable viewing the rings around Saturn. The first time I saw this I was very impressed. I realised that I am just this small being compared to the entire creation. Also, during the launch of the "In Verwondering" CD the awe continued.

Why am I here?
How do I fit into this amazing universe?
Is where I am where I have to be?

I believe I have a purpose. I believe I was created for God's perfect plan, to serve Him. Every hair on my head is counted Luke 12:7

Think about your purpose on earth today...