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Archive for January, 2015

@zantieswanepoel posted the phenomenal Meryl Streep’s words on her Facebook Page. I just HAD to share.

Have a look –

”I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I am arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I don not want to waste more time with what displeases or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demand of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me or love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile back…..

I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to co-exist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise. I do not adjust well to popular gossiping. I hate conflict and comparisons. I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities.

In friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal, I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement. Exaggerations bore me and on top of it all I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience” – Meryl Streep

Having read this, let me ask you….  When was the last time that you sat down and ”audited” the people in your life? Your so-called ”social network” and I’m NOT talking about Facebook, Twitter and so forth…..relationships formed on social media platforms are, in essence, very superficial…the old ”judge the book by its cover”-thing. You ask why? Well, in all social media you can post your photo-shopped piccies, you can say what you think people want to hear, you can boast about non-existent things – basically, you can build an entire false image for the world to see. Which is, incidentally, sometimes done even without the help of social media. I know a few ”real life” people that are only ”pretending”…and, boy, they definitely deserve the Oscar for best performance. Some of them are SO good that they even convince themselves their ”life movie” is real.

I’m getting side-tracked, sorry, its just that I have a thing about people pretending to be what they’re not…

Recently, my husband and I had a long talk about our ”social life”. Not so complicated….neither of us have any friends. You may laugh, but this is the God’s honest truth. In both our careers, we tend to meet MANY people and on our day to day wanderings, we meet even more. Sometimes we even get to know some of those people a little better (which mostly this turns out to be a huge mistake, big fools, us…), but mostly, we keep ”friends-to-be” at a distance. The non-family members in our social network is referred to as ”acquaintances”. These are people we do love and care for; we will always be available to help them, are always ready to grab a cup of coffee and have a chat….but they are only ”acquaintances”. So, with regards to these people, our ”audit” was over and done with within a few minutes.

Even family got under the hammer. We recently had reason to believe that certain family members are totally unnecessary in our lives. Our lack of friends did not save us from having false, untrustworthy snakes that tend to gossip their way through life, sniffing around our business. We had a family full of them…people whom we’ve known and learned to distrust over a lifetime of disappointments. Well, we decided to let them go….let them have their fun and say what they will. We are tired of the mudslinging, tired of their false smiles, their snippy comments….it is over, we’re done. As the old saying goes: ”With family like that, who needs enemies”.

You see, you don’t need such people in your life. They are vampires that drain you emotionally and spiritually. Let them be. Don’t even consider trying to change them, either….you will making a very bad mistake…accept them to be who they are, but don’t allow them to hurt you anymore. If being (sorry for the swear) assholes are their thing…well, its their problem, not yours.

You see, being false, wearing a mask, pretending to be someone your not….pretending to believe something you don’t…all that will eventually catch up with a person. Somehow, somewhere the truth will become known. Whether you lied about worldly fortune, love for others, your career…or just your weight…the truth will be known soon enough. Even if people tend to spread rumors about others….(usually done behind the back of the ”friend” in question)….they will be caught, possible they will be betrayed by their own scheming. One can only keep up appearances for SO long and the mask will slip, usually when least expected and when one is at the height of a ”career as life-actor”. You should let it be…don’t fret about it and avoid getting involved with that kind at all. A person really doesn’t need the superficial company of such ”friends”.

In my line of work, both as counselor and as charity worker, I am often confronted with people who are blatantly false. Fortunately a lifetime of experience with just that kind, taught me to be sensitive to these things. What really gets to me, is the fact that, in charity especially, many people have a hidden agenda. They do good to receive a gold star; they want people to say: ”Look, there goes such and such, she/he is SUCH a good person because they give so freely to others.” My husband reckons it doesn’t matter, because the end result is the same – the needy gets help. He is right, but it still matters to me….people should understand that there is NO glamour in charity….that it is all about the giving to those who have none. Also, it is NOT a giving and receiving business….never….you only get the satisfaction of seeing someone being grateful for a gift. That should be enough……..

Having said all these things, I want to add something very important: examine yourself carefully. You can’t say you have no time for false faces, lies, hypocrisy, etc, while you are guilty of the same sins. So, take a good look at yourself and pass harsh judgment; weigh with the same scales as you did these people you dislike and avoid in life. Are you, somehow, guilty of the same thing? Are you also pretending on some level? Remember, …….

Luke 6:41-42: ””Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.”

The point is….one should take a stand, make a choice….are you going to waste time with people who don’t care anyway, or are you going to live out your days filled with the joy of having those around you that are honest and true in their love for you. It is far better to be without friends, than to have a bunch of followers who are masters of disguise (and who, probably, hate you anyway). It is better to be part of the outsiders than being close with the ”it people”…..it makes life far less complicated, something we all need these days…..the world is complicated enough. You have to decide what is important to YOU…..what do YOU want from life and friendship. If you can live with all these so-called ”friends”….so be it, but are you prepared to sacrifice your own integrity for a bunch of ”actors”? You have one life, live it for yourself…..dance to  your own music….pretending to like the people you know is only so loving and caring because they can gain something from you is hypocritical in itself. Stop it now! Let go and live life the way God meant YOU to……

So, friends, go on…..think about it, carefully, do your ”friend-audit” and see what happens.

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This is something I definitely needed today. As you may remember, oh loyal followers, we’ve been having a lot of problems with my son. He just never adapted well to mainstream education. Well, today he started afresh…he will, in future, be going to an independent school much closer to home. There he will receive the one-to-one attention he needs to reach his true potential as student. I am so very proud of him for coping through the years, despite the troubles.

As a Mother, of course, I still worry….”Is this really the right thing for him?”…I ask. I’ve been praying, crying, tearing my hair out by the roots, screaming in fury at God for allowing an innocent child to suffer so, for the past 15 years. Finally, with the reassurance of the teachers at this school, I’ve found some kind of peace. But you know how it is….ever the worrier, I started wondering.

Tristan’s acceptance into the school was the first GOOD thing to happen in a very long time and it left me and my husband stunned….we didn’t expect it at all. So, over the weekend I thought….what if this is too good to be true? What if its a trick?

Well, needless to say, enter Andrew Roebert and his daily inspiration in my inbox. Today’s scripture is the one above….I read it and knew. And…isn’t it just AMAZING…it answers exactly the questions and worries I’ve been battling with.

Perhaps, finally I’ve now found peace for my child; peace and piece…a piece of the life he is SUPPOSE to have. The reassurance flooded in…  In my search for an image to go with the verse, I found the rest of Isaiah 44….as if it was written for me, for today….because God understood that I will need this NOW, this moment.

He tells me that I need not worry……….

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…and this goes for my son too. He is such an innocent, such a good person with a wonderful heart filled with compassion and kindness……..he deserves a chance. I will not fear for him anymore, because he too, has a purpose and, in my opinion, this door was opened, just as the other one slammed on us….with good reason. All will be well and, despite the fact that I often lost my temper and threw terrible tantrums about God abandoning my kid….screaming at the top of my voice: ”Let the little children come onto me…! Yeah, right!” I also know that I’ve been forgiven. God has always known and understood me better than anyone, He MADE me what I am, warts and all. He knew why I was so angry and I know (again from Isaiah 44) that He doesn’t hold it against me. He is a Father too….He knows….

I just pray and hope that the people of the world will see that there is hope; sometimes, in the darkest night, a light will shine. This was my light, this was my shining star. I think sometimes people get lost in their sins, their evil work or just worldly work, things get so rushed and they ”forget” about religion, about belief, about God. They think, perhaps that God will not care anyway, He will shun them, because of their sins. They forget that the reason Jesus died on the cross for exactly that reason…..through Him all will be forgiven and, unlike a human person, God’s forgiveness is also forgetting all the wrongdoings. He wipes the slate clean, gives us a fresh start….over and over again. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful, blessed occasion if all the souls in the world today would come to this realization…..forgiveness is free and for all who ask, forgiveness also SETS you free and fills your heart with hope, faith and a love so deep that the wish to continue doing evil deeds will disappear forever. ”Reach out, and touch the Lord, as He passes by….” as that old hymn says….He is NOT too busy, He will listen, He will forgive……….take a chance people, you have nothing to lose and a life to gain.

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Mal 3 10

I’ve been subscribed to Alive to God, receiving daily scripture in my inbox, for a very long time. It has always amazed me how God speaks to me through these daily emails. It often seems as if the messages are directed at me personally. Reading Malachi 3:10 today, I was reminded of the inspiration yesterday, Isaiah 9:2, and I realized that, yes, God was watching all the time, God knows and He is speaking to me yet again.

Is He speaking to you too?

Want to receive your own daily inspiration? Click here to visit Alive to God and subscribe today.

 

 

 

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Via #YouVersion https://www.youversion.com/bible/416/php.1.html

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I don’t think God’s work with us is ever done. Life is tough….we are constantly bombarded with temptation, with problems….with that ever-present enemy of modern civilization – TIME.

Our destined paths cross and re-cross different roads and boundaries and in the process every obstacle becomes a learning curve…a means to nudge us gently back onto the straight and narrow.

We rush from one thing to the next, thinking that we’ve lost God along the way. Not true! He is the one constant in each of our lives, whether we want to know it or not. He began working with us at birth (even before that, says the Word). He has only good things in mind for us and He is NOT done until, well until He returns.

This is interesting….until He returns NOT until WE die.That, if we listen to His commands and do the good work He calls us to, our influence will be so great that we will leave a remarkable legacy behind. Something to inspire others while they survive the horrible world.

To me this implies that nothing we do, every kindness, every act of compassion and caring means something. And that, after we’re gone, people will remember that, they will, by our example, see God’s light through us, even after we are gone.

Our lives will have had meaning, purpose and this all for the glory of God, who started the work in us, never gave up even when we got distracted by life and fulfilled His purpose through us.

Do you still want to know the secret to an ‘authentic’ life? Well, in my opinion, I just gave you a very important hint.

Authentic life =living with the knowledge that you are a work in progress…a work by a Master craftsman, who see your value even beyond the grave.

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If you had the misfortune of reading my posts over the past month or so, you will know that it has been a particularly gloomy time for me. Things just kept on going wrong. So much so that I started thinking God is punishing me for having the audacity to survive the cancer-death He planned for me. Yes, it’s been REALLY THAT bad.

In an earlier post I mentioned my sudden change of heart. When I decided that, despite feeling abandoned, lonely and left in a life where the devil can have his fun with me….I will not fear and I will not stop fighting to do my work. It was the ultimate letting go; I’ve always had the view that it is NEVER about me, but about those I can help. Suffering and worrying and fussing about struggles and challenges was all about ME, and that is NOT how it is supposed to be. I needed to understand that by accepting the challenge, fighting the battle, I, as a person, became less and the purpose or destiny of my life, to serve or others, became more…..it worked like a charm.

It didn’t keep me safe from bad things, but now I know that I have the strength to fight my way back to the road I am supposed to travel. It was ”open season” for the devil and he was and will always try his best to place obstacles in the way of God’s people. It is, after all, HIS PURPOSE….to be sneaky and evil.

We need to stop despairing so much (I know it is not easy)…we need to see the problems in life for what it really is. The devil’s work. We have a choice – we can go to battle or we can let him have his way with us.

Remember…evil also has a plan with your life. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that God is the only one with a plan…..free will, remember….the choice is ours. The difference is that the one will lead to eternal damnation and the other one to eternal life. The sooner you make that choice, the better….I know it worked for me. When I accepted the challenge and the devil saw he was getting no where, he stood slightly aside and let some good light in. I had the most brilliant news on Friday about my son. I will not go into details, suffice to say…..it was a miracle, something so unexpectedly wonderful that it left me and my husband speechless. It was, without a doubt, the Hand of God, reaching out and re-adjusting the messy pieces of our lives; those pieces that the devil has played catch with over the past few months (and years).

Another strange thing that became clear to me as I was wandering in the darkness, it was almost like a revelation; I was living inside a troubled life, only blackness around me and I could see NO light. I realized how many wanderers there were on the dark road….it seemed as if the whole world was there. Have a look here in reality. One can see the darkness seeping through every life, every day. Have you seen it? When was the last time you watched the news? Or read it online? Have you seen the dead bodies of the children, the innocent people killed in attacks, the war, the famine, the natural disasters, the diseases? Have you?

The whole world is already falling apart around us and this brings me to a subject that has been on my mind lately. Friends, I feel as if people have been telling me about the end of days my whole life. I’ve been fascinated by these theories and ideas since forever. As a child I had many dreams about the end and it frightened me. Today, I am not so much afraid for myself as I am for the world in general; especially after seeing this ”darkness” in the world. Yes, we’ve been promised the second coming and the rapture and all that for centuries and it still hasn’t happened. We have NO proof that this is not a scam by the church to keep the pews filled with scared parishioners, we have NO physical proof even that heaven and hell is real or that God exists OR the devil for that matter. As a Christian I don’t really understand the non-believers, but I guess they need the proof that believers can’t supply…thing is, I wish they will change their minds! Look, I am NOT a prophet or a medium or (haha) a witch, but I’m going to let you in on a little secret – the end of days have never been so close as it is now (I can almost hear you say: ‘You idiot, of course its closer, the end of THIS year is also closer….11 days to be exact.’) Well, your right….but…think about what I’m trying to say!

I’m not going into a discussion about the signs of the times; I am definitely NOT an expert, although I find eschatology very interesting. I am saying this on the strength of a ”gut feeling” and me, well, I’ve always trusted my instinct.

With this in mind (I’ve been thinking about the subject for a long time) I need to tell you about something someone said to me just this morning. I’ve known Annah for a while now. Her orphanage is one of the 21 facilities I support through my NPO. I’ve received some donations over the festive season and wanted to share some of those gifts with her and the children in her care. Annah and her husband picked up those items this morning. Just before they drove off, she pulled me to one side and, out of the blue, she says: ”You know, Sharon, Jesus is returning soon. There will be masses of people standing before Him, but He will know your name. We will go to live in heaven and you and I will be together.” It felt like someone threw ice-water in my face. Here I am, thinking about how bad things are in the world and how it cannot continue like this and that the end must be near, etc, etc….and here comes Annah with THIS message. I realized that, whatever was true in the past, the warnings about the end of the world, the preachers shouting ”rapture coming” and ”repent” (or, as one Afrikaner put it, ”turn or burn”), it is even MORE relevant NOW. The end REALLY is at hand and whatever the means….asteroid, world war, solar flare, global warming…it will come sooner rather than later. In the meantime the battle is on……

My question then to you, my friend…..are you choosing to fight the darkness and find the light or are you willing to wander in the darkness, always lost?

 

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Give to others, and God will give to you. Indeed, you will receive a full measure, a generous helping, poured into your hands — all that you can hold. The measure you use for others is the one that God will use for you.” http://bible.us/luk6.38.gnbdc

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Via Celtic Thunder ‘Amazing Grace’ – FaithTap on @YouTube

 

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