Monday, 29 October 2012


Isn't stress an amazing thing?
Ok, maybe amazing isn't the correct word to use. Let's rather say troublesome...

We it is a word that is commonly used nowadays. A word that we refer to when we speak about the future, not really the past. When things are uncertain. The effects of it might be quite severe, especially health problems...
  • Pain of any kind
  • Heart disease
  • Digestive problems
  • Sleep problems
  • Depression
  • Obesity
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Skin conditions, such as eczema

  • Even the strongest amongst us experience it. So, how do we stop this?

     - Proverbs 16:3 - Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.
     - Mark 4:18-19 - Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.
     - 1 Peter 5:6-7 - Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
     - 1 John 4:17 - And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgement, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.
    Thus, ultimately, I do not have all the answers...

    But what I do know is that we serve a mighty God who loves us and who cares for us. He makes everything work out. For the better. Every time. Always.

    We just need to believe that...

    Sunday, 28 October 2012

    Walking around

    Romans 12:1 So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.

    Lets focus on the last part of this verse. The writer instructs us to also offer our walking around life to God. I wondered what he was thinking as we have dealt with sleeping, eating and going to work. All of those are rather important aspects of our life, why would walking around be singled out?

    Thinking about my own life, where do I walk around? Here are some insights:
     - Church
     - Small group
     - Exercise
     - Watching TV
     - Going to sport events (and watching sport)
     - Visiting friends and family
     - Going on trips (travelling)
     - Having a braai
     - Shopping (not that keen, though)
     - Spending time in the traffic

    So, apart from sleeping, eating and working, we have a bit of time left to do the above and a lot more. Let's not wait on God to show us what we have to do, but in the things that we already do, glorify Him!

    Also, if you read verse 2: Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him, you will find that these areas are in our control and that we give it back to God.


    Tuesday, 23 October 2012


    Romans 12:1 in the Message again: So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.

    Yesterday we dealt with sleeping, so lets look at eating. I absolutely love good food. During my days at school my brothers and I used to eat 2 loafs of bread for lunch. As time went on I discovered that more is not always better, so I changed to quality. Now I enjoy food, and boy, its great!

    Why would the writer of this scripture mention that we should also offer our eating life to God? How is it relevant? I think that it is a few things. The fact that it is a necessity to eat. We have to! Also, it requires quite some time to prepare food. Time that sometimes could be spent with Him.

    But, most of all, I think, it is not just meant literally. It refers to the fact that our bodies are a temple of God. By eating healthy, exercising and not poisoning your body. We have to start changing  our lifestyles. At our work all employees (and bosses) either started exercising or lost weight.

    Eating is important, and a treat, share a meal with someone today. Remember that God is always there...

    Monday, 22 October 2012


    Romans 12:1 in the Message again: So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.

    The first thing the writer describes in our everyday, ordinary life, that we should place before God as an offering is sleeping. This makes me quite curious, as I do not know how exactly sleeping can honour God...

    While thinking about it I could come up with a few ideas, but whether I am right or wrong cannot be confirmed. Whether it matters if I am right or wrong (to me, at least) does not matter. I say it doesn't, as they are all good habits.

    1 - Have consistent sleeping hours as this gets your body into a routine that gives it maximum energy. More energy ensures that, with whatever you do, your focus is better and thus you can praise God through that.
    2 - Wake up (and go to bed) before and after you spent time with the Lord. He carried you through the day and is also the One that goes before you into the next. Allow Him to do that.
    3 - Sleep enough. You know your body best. No-one likes working (or living) with a grumpy person... Don't be that tired person that bites off everyone's head!

    Remember when Jesus was called to raise Lazarus from the dead? He mentioned that Lazarus was not dead, but was only sleeping... Jesus said called on Him to wake up. Oh how I would like to know what happened there... I could never sleep for 3 days on end. I think he spent time with the Lord. Possibly physically dead, but not spiritually.

    May we all have that time where our rest is only in Him!

    Sunday, 21 October 2012

    Being me

    I am sure most of you have read Romans 12:1 that says: Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. This is in the NIV of 1984.

    Have you also read it in The Message? Romans 12:1 - So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life - and place it before God as an offering. 

    I know a few people that believe The Message is not a Bible per se, but even so, verify it against the actual Bible you use.

    What it tells us is actually is quite easy to interpret, isn't it? We have to give our lives to God. How do we do this? We submit our normal lives to Him. Those parts of our lives that we cannot be without, that makes us live. We have to eat. We have to sleep. We have to work, both to earn and to stimulate our minds. Also, our walking around life, thus after hours.

    Every part of our lives belongs to Him, otherwise nothing does. Not just now and then, but everyday. Always. That's difficult, but if we are committed, He helps, He leads.

    Thursday, 18 October 2012


    I have never been a big believer of categorising people into boxes. No one likes being labelled. Even though it happens ever so often, we are all guilty of it. He is like that, she does this, they behave like this, that or the other.

    The bigger problem starts when we start to place ourselves into these boxes. By saying that I can't do something, by even thinking that certain things are not meant for me, I am placing myself in a box.

    What effect does this have on you and I? Not much, I am sure... To me, personally, it only changes a mindset. How you think about yourself is how you live, how you react and how you dream. If you always think you are a worm, in time, you will start acting like a worm. And I am sure you ain't no worm!

    Also, it will improve how you think about others. Eventually how you treat other people better. Sounds like happy-go-lucky living. Certainly not! Know who you are in the Lord and you there is no reason you have to be boxed in.

    So, how easy is this? 

    Very! Get closer to Jesus and He will assist you. Then, nothing is impossible!

    Tuesday, 16 October 2012


    On my bucket list I had a goal to run at least 6 half-marathons in my life. Why I made it 6 I could never recall. Quite a random number on hindsight... I was never a great jogger, actually not at all. I used to tease my wife at school by using the popular verse in Proverbs that says only a fool runs if he is not chased. Not quite what it is intended for, but funny at the time.

    Since the operation I decided with my friend in Cape Town that we would do my first one  together at the Table Mountain National Reserve. I've been there twice, both times with him. It's one of the most amazing places in the country, and I've seen quite a bit of the RSA. We call it "The Point". 

    So, the last few months my wife and I made a commitment as well some lifestyle changes. Very refreshing! But why am I telling you this? Quite simple: To change one's lifestyle is actually very simple. The lack of interest I showed before in running versus my current apatite for it indicates that.

    Three different people can read this story:
    1 - Those who already believe and actively live for God
    2 - Those who never believed or actually committed their lives to Him
    3 - Those who at some stage committed their lives but slid back is now not as committed as before.

    If you can categorise yourself in one of these, actions should apply to you:
    1 - Keep on giving your all. Ensure that every day you exercise the basics of being a follower. Stay committed. Be the best example you can to others as well. Take others with you.
    2 - Make your first commitment ever. Find someone to stay accountable to. Make the decision to change your lifestyle
    3 - Recommit to Him. Ask the Lord to forgive you for dwelling off. Make a plan to not make the same mistakes as before.

    Then, when we are all on the same page, let us RUN together!

    Sunday, 14 October 2012


    There is only 24 hours in a day. We all have the same amount of time to use as we please.

    We had an advertisement on the radio a while ago that stuck in my subconscious. They mentioned that everything we own cost us time. Although we paid in money for it, we spend time earning the money we use for the purchase. It makes sense in a way, as we have to be at work, or be self-employed, to earn.

    We cannot take for granted that we have to work. It is also in the Bible. We have to choose how we spend the rest of our time then. This weekend I spend time with my family at a wedding. We picked up the stings and shared some new stories. 

    I have also seen people during the past week who procrastinate at almost everything. No drive, no purpose at what they do. I then naturally wonder what kind of relationship they have with their Maker... 

    There are a few things we have to think about here:
    1 - To have a relationship of any kind, communication is key
    2 - In order for the relationship to grow, time is required. Not just time, but quality time.
    3 - A part of communication is listening. Its not a one-way thing.

    Lets challenge ourselves this week...

    Thursday, 11 October 2012

    One step at a time

    Someone sent me this recently. It was interesting, but also inspirational


    When Minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new session of the Kansas Senate, everyone was expecting the usual generalities, but this is what they heard:

    "Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. 

    We know Your Word says, "Woe to those who call evil good", but that is exactly what we have done.  We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values.

    v  We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.

    v  We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.

    v  We have killed our unborn and called it choice.

    v  We have shot anti-abortionists and called it justifiable.

    v  We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self esteem.

    v  We have abused power and called it politics.

    v  We have coveted our neighbour's possessions and called it ambition.

    v  We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.

    v  We have ridiculed the time-honoured values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.

    ΓΌ  Search us, Oh, God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free. 

    You see, the world can be changed, one step at a time. Joe Wright was in a high position, but wherever we are, what ever we are busy with, we should also change the world. One step, one prayer, one example at a time...

    Monday, 8 October 2012


    Visiting Vic Falls recently opened my eyes to a deep spiritual truth. Looking back at the pictures, this specific rainbow caught my eye.

    We needed to approach the fall at exactly the correct angle to be able to see this picture. To me, the rainbow represented God's grace and promises in our lives. The rainbow was there the whole time, but I only saw it when we came really close. Life entangles us and keeps us so busy that we rarely get a chance to revisit spoken promises over our lives. It may even seem dark while focusing on our minute problems.

    I stood still at the lookout point with this rainbow, realising that if I look down on all my shortcomings, I miss out on God's grace majestically rising over my life. I need to see things the way God sees it. The light from the sun had to break at the correct angle through just enough mist to display his favor in our lives.

    Mark 4:18-19 The seed that fell among the thorns represents others who hear God's word, but the worries of life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come and choke the word, making it unfruitful.

    I pray that God would open my eyes and ears to His promises and to see His grace in my life. I never want to live an unfruitful life if what He planned for me is good. (Jer. 29:11)

    Sunday, 7 October 2012


    As we travelled north from Pretoria on Friday to the Victoria falls, we had quite a rush. Although we had to find a lot of places and get in and out of buses, border posts etc, we also had a lot of fun. In all, since we left our house at 06:15, until now 20:15, no break was taken. Still, though, we were so relaxed and could just take everything in. More of that later...

    As we walked back from the falls to the lodge tonight we met the lady on this photo:

    If you look carefully you can see all her luggage. Her handbag, the other bag and the massive folded 'bag' on her head. This is quite common in Africa, even in the RSA. Before we left we also packed our luggage: clothes, toiletries, all our gadgets, required documents, this, that and the other. A whole host of things.

    In our lives there is a difference between luggage, as described, and baggage. Baggage is more of a "slang" word for emotional scars from the past that you carry with you. Things that happened to you, made you change your ways, but actually reminds you more of the pain you suffered than improving your life. 

    By doing this you carry a weight with you that is much more that what the lady in the photo carries. She can put it down, but you will have it every moment of the day. Sometimes we do not even realise how much weight we carry with us, we just adjust and continue. It becomes our normal...

    It does not have to be this way. Jesus said in Matthew 11:30 for my yoke is easy and my burden is light. I believe Him. So should you. Leave your worries with Him...

    Wednesday, 3 October 2012

    All work and no play

    I thank the Lord a lot for the career I am in, as well as the life that I am able to lead. I am also grateful for my workplace. Please remember that there should always be a balance to everything...

    "American Dream"

    All work no play may have made Jack a dull boy
    But all work no God has left Jack with a lost soul
    But he's moving on full steam
    He's chasing the American dream
    And he's gonna give his family the finer things

    Not this time son I've no time to waste
    Maybe tomorrow we'll have time to play
    And then he slips into his new BMW
    And drives farther and farther and farther away

    So He works all day and tries to sleep at night
    He says things will get better;
    Better in time

    And he works and he builds with his own two hands
    And he pours all he has in a castle made with sand
    But the wind and the rain are comin' crashing in
    Time will tell just how long his kingdom stands
    His kingdom stands

    His American Dream is beginning to seem
    More and more like a nightmare
    With every passing day
    "Daddy, can you come to my game?"
    "Oh Baby, please don't work late."
    Another wasted weekend
    And they are slipping away

    'Cause he works all day and lies awake at night
    He tells them things will get better
    It'll just take a little more time

    He used to say, "Whoever dies with the most toys wins"
    But if he loses his soul, what has he gained in the end
    I'll take a shack on the rock
    Over a castle in the sand
    Now he works all day and cries alone at night
    It's not getting any better
    Looks like he's running out of time
    'Cause he worked and he built with his own two hands
    And he poured all he had in a castle made with sand
    But the wind and the rain are coming crashing in
    Time will tell just how long his kingdom stands
    His kingdom stands

    All they really wanted was You
    All they really wanted was You
    All they really wanted was You

    Casting Crowns

    Monday, 1 October 2012


    These days we face a lot of extremism. People who go to extremes in order to defend what they believe in, either their religion, their country, their family, whatever it may be. Normally they can justify it via a video as revenge for one or the insult or an offending act.

    It really does not matter to me at all. I will not insult or discriminate against others based on their race, religion or other preference. Rather, we as christians should start praying for (or against) this. Not by cursing or hitting out, but in love. We have to love our enemies. We do not have to fear anything. To live is temporary, to die a blessing.

    Matt 7:7
    Ask, and it will be given to you seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

    Matt 21:22
    And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”Mark 9:29
    And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”Mark 11:24
    Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
    Psalm 107:28-30
    Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired havenJohn 14:13-14
    Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do itActs 9:40
    But Peter put them all outside, and knelt down and prayed; and turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up.James 5:14-16
    Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another,that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

    Eph 6:18
    praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,

    You do not have to be extreme, just pray!