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Archive for the ‘Walking with God in 2015’ Category

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He was lead like a lamb to the slaughter and did not complain; despite His innocence He died an unspeakable death and was buried among the sinful rich.

This was done so that you and I need not die in sin.

He became our mediator and God forgave our transgressions.

Will you turn your eyes upon Him today and allow Him to lead you back to your Father in heaven? The choice is yours – salvation or judgment. What will it be?

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Recently I started reading Caroline Myss’s book ‘Invisible acts of Power’. She speaks of her childhood in a catholic home and how she and her siblings grew up with their world being occupied by these spiritual entities. To them it was unthinkable NOT to believe in the existence of these beings. She says: “Every day was a saint’s day….We regularly invoked the saints’ and angels’ strengths; st Jude gave us courage to face impossible causes; St. Anthony helped us notice and find lost objects;…We were never alone, and when we called or prayed to them, they always answered.” [Myss, 2004:1] She continues to hold that, even as children, they learned that no physical force on earth can withstand the power of heaven and that she knew that there was ‘invisible forces’ at work.

It fascinated me to finally understand that, yes, there are actually people in the world who believe in the intense and overwhelming power of the spiritworld, more to the point, the Power of God. I was not raised a catholic, despite the fact that I was actually born in a catholic hospital at a convent. I was raised in a pentecostal church, but to me the spirit was ALWAYS there. It was so real. Our doctrine believed in speaking in tongues when under the power of the Holy Spirit, we believed that some has the gift of translating these messages, some have the gift of healing, some could sing the message of the Word with powerful voices, some was blessed with the gift of teaching the Word. Like all Christian churches we believed in symbols and signs, but that we should did not worship these talismans. To us they were an outward sign of our faith; a way to show the world what we believe in. However, even as a young child, I’ve felt a kinship with something ‘else’, something that we couldn’t necessarily see with our physical eyes, but that was there nontheless. This ‘something’ wasn’t a gift like speaking in tongues, no, it was a PRESENCE. As I grew up and my interest in religion grew,  I wanted to find out exactly HOW others believed, their ideas on worship, their doctrine – did they also feel this ‘presence’? It fascinated me so, because, in my opinion, we are all praying to the same God, even if we don’t know it or understand how it works. There is, after all, just one God. I was therefore not entirely surprised to find that, yes, other belief systems also feel this same presence of something powerful, something that we cannot see or touch, but what we know to be there. Whether it is angels or saints, the Holy Spirit, it didn’t really matter to me, point was….it was REAL.

Myss’s words on how they believed in the angels and saints re-awakened my interest and, as I’ve been slightly obsessed with the subject of religion my whole life, I did what I do best…research.  I’ve always harbored deep respect for the catholic church and, a few years back during a visit in Portugal, my husband bought me an authentic rosary from Fatima as a gift. I was thrilled, as it was blessed by a priest, so I keep it close, especialy when I have to travel to dangerous areas for work. Despite my interest (or obsession, if you will) I understand very little about catholisism, so after reading Myss’s book I (of course) Googled the names of all the saints. I figured that a person in need can do with all the help he or she can get. You can click here to have a look at the list if you’re interested. I also found an Infographic on Pinterest. Have a look below.

Myss claims in her book that the prayers to her saints and angels were never left unanswered. Well, I have to say that sometimes God’s reply on our prayers can be a little obscure, hidden, like a puzzle within a puzzle. I know that people often feel that God never really answers prayers and that we are left to find solutions to our problems ourselves. I also know that many people think that God should have put a stop to all the evil in the world a long time ago, after all, He is THE Almighty. In fact, I recently watched the movie ‘Left Behind’with Nicolas Cage and this particular question is asked by one of the characters, Chloe Steele (Cassi Thompson),  right at the beginning of the movie. Why does God find it necessary to allow pain and death in the world? Why does people go around telling others that ‘God works in mysterious ways’? These are valid questions, questions that I have asked often enough myself.

Looking at my life (not a bad life at all), but still rife with problems, cares, worries and sadness, things that I’m sure many people are familiar with, one is often caught in this web of despair. It feels as if life, like a spider, spun its web of deceit and left us with endless choices that just cause us to struggle more and more, and thereby getting more and more tangled in its sticky threads. We feel caught.

Do you remember Frodo’s flight through the lair of Shelob? And how he used the light of Earendil, given to him by Galadriel to scare her off; the same light Sam uses later to keep Shelob from dragging Frodo back into the tunnel. For me, personally, my light has been the Son of God….always and like Myss’s saints and angels, He was the one that answered my prayers. Yes, even if it was answered in riddles, it was most definitely answered AND eventually revealed to me. My light chases away the ‘evil spider in life’,  my own Shelob….this is the spiritual realm in which I’ve believed my entire life. And, surprise, surprise, it is there for you too…NOW, today, if you want it.

Over the past few years my own life has been caught on and off in this metaphorical web and I’ve had doubts and rages against God; I’ve cried enough tears to fill twenty oceans, I think, and the only one who ever knew was God. For me all the problems I’ve endured was a private issue between me and Him. Some of it I’ve shared with others, but most of it was kept well hidden in my soul. One only knows how desperate you really are if taking your own life seems like the only option….I’m almost ashamed to admit that, yes, I’ve been there…..many times. My life-path has taken me through valleys and deserts, up rocky slopes and down steep inclines. I’ve fallen down more than I can remember, yet, somehow, every single time I got up, but not before I lingered on my knees for a bit. The light that lead Moses and the Israelites out of Egypt was alive and well and always with me, leading me on, pushing me and sometimes, in really low moments, I’d reach up to touch it, and the light that drove away the darkness around me, filled my being. So, yes, God still answers prayers.

As I said, times have been tough lately, but my heart feels lighter than it had in many years. Faith and hope can do that to you, you know. God has brought me this far and He will take me further still until I’ve completed whatever task He had in mind for me since birth. Caroline Myss believes in her saints and as I read through the list of patron saints I can feel the power in their names as well. I think it is a lovely thought that each one is assigned to fulfil a certain task in certain circumstances and sometimes life can be so hard that a person definitely need some extra protection and help.  Myss continues to dwell on this spiritual power and admits that, as she grew older, she realised that there is something bigger than ‘just the saints’. She says: “…I also have faith in a greater power: the energy or grace, that animates our seemingly impersonal but intimately connected universe…Grace holds together the whole of our life…” [Myss, 2004:2] This ‘grace’is God, because it is through His grace, His power that we can move forward in a chaotic world. It is through His Word, His loving kindness that we are given the power to persevere.

God speaks to me through His Word, as I’m sure He does to many believers. In these times, when I look at the face of my husband, seeing how he often struggle not to despair, I’ve turned once again to my Father in heaven and He replied:

Isaiah 51:5, 7 & 12:[5]My righteousness is near, My salvation has gone forth, and My arms will judge the peoples…[7]Do not fear the reproach of men, nor be afraid of their insults….[12]I am He who comforts you, who are you that you should be afraid.” [Bible, 2001]

Let this then be your hope and comfort too, as it is mine, because God does hear our prayers, He listens closely to what we ask and His answers may sometimes be vague, but it is swift and available to those who listen and watch out for it. This morning my daily scripture landed in my inbox again, and guess what it was:

Hagai 2:19: “From this day on I will bless you.” [Roebert, 2015]

May you all stay blessed too, friends, and be reminded to reach for His light in your moments of darkness.

SOURCES:

  1. BIBLE.  2001.  Good News Bible: Today’s English Version.  Cape Town: The Bible Society of South Afica.
  2. MYSS, Caroline.  2004.  Invisible Acts of Power.  London, UK: Simon & Schuster.  269 p.
  3. ROEBERT, Andrew.  2015. Alive To God: Thought for 1 October 2015.  [Web:] AliveToGod  [Date of Access:]  1 October 2015.

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String of Pearls

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In his book “Steering through Chaos”, Os Guinness compares mercy, or if you prefer, ‘forgiveness’, directly to avarice or greed. He says that it is the complete opposite and encourages us to  do as Jesus does. He says: “Mercy, as Jesus describes it, is no respecter of persons; rather, it reaches its highest form when offered to those who least deserve it – our enemies and those who persecute us unjustly…” [2000: 205]

I need you to answer a question: God, Maker of heaven and earth, allows the sun to rise every day. Does it only rise for the just among us? Or, does it rise over both good and evil? Who are we then, claiming that we belong to God, that the Holy Spirit lives in us, to NOT forgive even those who hurt us most?

As Christians we need to live by example to BE…

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String of Pearls

Over the past week, I’ve shared many scriptures confirming that we should always have hope, hope that our trials and tribulations will end, hope that our day-to-day problems will be solved, hope that God will reach down from heaven and save us.

The thing is, we cannot hope, we cannot expect anything from God, unless we continue, even during struggles, to do His will. Being a child of God is NOT easy….we live in an evil world, and Satan is alive and well, still whispering sweet nothings in our ears, despite us being saved. He will ALWAYS try to tempt us into committing sin. Our daily lives are battles, not physical, but spiritual. We are at war, each and every day of our lives.

1 Peter 5:8: “Be of sober spirit, be on alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”[BibleHub

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String of Pearls

1 Corinthians 10:13: “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” [NJKV]

  • God is faithful and keeps His promises to us
  • Whenever you feel your burdens are overwhelming, remember that God knows us better than we know ourselves. He created us, remember….and He knows our abilities well.
  • Temptation and troubles are there for us to recognize that we are mere humans, fallible, but that God, in all His grace will always be there to help us whenever we need Him.
  • God will open a window when all doors are closed…a true saying….when you trust God, no problem is without a solution.

May God bless you on this lovely Thursday and…

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