Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Walking with God in 2016’ Category

How very strange that I found this in my inbox on this, the last day of, what many would agree, has been a terrible year. 

This has been a tumultous year for me personally and I do hope and pray that 2017 will be a gentler year. It seems as if I’ve been running around like a wound-up toy, trying to make sense of life and not getting anywhere. 

One thing this verse tells me, though, is that I must battle forth, hold on to hope and onto God and all will be well.

That is also my prayer for all of you. I do hope that 2017 will see me keeping more up to date with posts so that we can visit often and share our thoughts.

Have a blessed new year’s eve, friends and followers. Stay safe, keep the faith and be filled with excitement at the dawn of a brand new year, always remembering that, if you believe, you will be carried through every storm, guided through every darkness and handed the gift of everlasting light in the end.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

plansjeremiah2911-1

Being desperate about life is something most of us have experienced at some point. While some of us may be lucky enough to perceive it as ‘just a bad day’, others may be living their lives in complete shadow. It is widely known that depression is one of the worst diseases of our time. A silent killer, sometimes referred to as ‘suicide’ or ‘heart attack’, but I’m not going to talk about depression from a counsellor’s point of view today. I’m just mentioning it so that you can understand the depth of despair some people face every day of their lives. I’m also mentioning it because I understand it, know it, yes, it is an old enemy. One I’ve been living with for 31 years. But that is ALSO not what I want to talk about, not really. Listen up, hear it comes….

The past few years have been particularly challenging. In 2009 I went off my meds and haven’t been using since. Needless to say, it’s been hard and I’ve had my ‘moments’ of deep, dark thoughts. Despite these ‘moments’, however, I’ve somehow managed to find the light every time. My secret? I’ve realized that, corny as it may sound, everything, even the bad in life, is part of a divine plan to build an authentic human being.

Let me tell you a story: in 2014 something really bad happened, something that someone did (or actually several people did several different things) to totally disrupt the peace and happiness in my life. I was angry, sad, confused and very depressed about what happened. I felt betrayed and couldn’t understand why such things can happen to someone who devoted a life to serve others. Why are people so mean? Why do bad things happen to good people? I’m sure you’ve asked that question yourself many times.

Despair

For a while I remained gloomy, filling my mind with thoughts of things that I don’t wish to repeat here and then, one evening, I read a piece in the Bible. It was from the book of Job 27:5-6: ‘Till I die I will not put away my integrity from me. To my righteousness I hold fast…’ I gave this some thought and realized that if Job could say something like that after all he’s been through, who am I to think differently? You see, things that happen to us and what others say about us, has a way of changing us, and usually not in a good way.

Let me explain it this way; I’ve always seen depression and depressive thoughts as a deep, dark well, a place in which other people, with their snide and hurtful remarks or events that bring sorrow and pain, can pull us. I say ‘pull’, because those people and events are already down there in the dark. We allow them, in our desperation, to keep us down there and to brainwash us in a way, making us like them. Filling our minds with dark thoughts and, when we try to get out of this well, they set traps like crumbling rocks or slippery walls, so that we keep on falling back down. They LOVE it when we’re down and when our thoughts are corrupted. We let it go, because we are just too glad to be accepted again, even if it is by the ‘bad’.  We lose our integrity, we betray ourselves and that is the mistake we make. We start believing that the ‘bad’ is right, that there really is no light and that we were wrong to think good things happen and that we can be who we are, trying to make the world a better place. We forget God’s promise in Matthew 28:20.

kagesa_matthew28-20

After I read the piece in Job, I sat myself down. It was time for a me to myself peptalk. I looked at my life, who I am, what I am and suddenly it was clear….the important thing was not what others have to say about me or what happened to me, the important thing was that I’ve survived and learned something from every single experience I’ve ever had. This depression, this darkness was changing me into something I did not want to be; I was becoming like the darkness itself! I was losing my integrity, betraying myself and the purpose of my life. In Jeremiah God says that He has a plan for each one of us, and it is not a plan that involves all this evil, this ‘bad’.  (Remember the image at the beginning of this post?) We forget, also that we do not have to fight alone.

0061

We lose ourselves trying to figure out ways of surviving life, we conform to the masses and to the demands of those who, in fact, hate us. Instead we should remember that everything really happens for a reason. Maybe not the reason we thought, but a reason nonetheless and that we were made in a certain way, with a certain purpose and our personality, our souls and our hearts tell us exactly what we should be. My heart has always been telling me to be compassionate, to look out for those who cannot stand up for themselves, to not hold a grudge, to hold on to my faith. How can I then allow depression, caused by events out of my control, to change the fundamental ‘me’? Yesterday my husband sent me the meme below and it really made me think about all these things again, because I am going through another dark battle now.

l-362350

We cannot allow evil to change us into something that goes against everything we stand for. Over the past few weeks I’ve been reading a lot about prophecies and the end of days and it concerns me that we’ve done so much to ‘belong’ in the dark world, yet we’ve done nothing to return to the light in which we were born. Do we not realize that the time is near for Jesus to return? Do we not understand that it can happen at any moment? Staying true to the person that God wants you to be, the person He created, must be the most important thing in our lives. All the other stuff, the hurtful words, the catastrophic events, the sorrow and pain mean NOTHING when we remain on the path planned for us. Staying true to the righteous me would mean that, come the rapture, I will be taken and not left behind. I will be ready.

Friends, don’t be fooled by those against you or the events that seem to hijack you at every turn. Remain loyal to yourself, to the creature that God made.  Allow yourself to have moments of depression if you have to, but never lose sight of the light. Don’t let the darkness change you. Listen to your inner voice, believe in yourself and in your purpose and KNOW, always know, that God is by your side wherever you go, in whatever you do, until the end of time.

IMAGE SOURCES:

Exodus 14:14 –  Timewarp Wife. 2013. [Date of Access:] 5 April 2016

Jeremiah 29:11Joe Quatrone jr.  2012.  [Date of Access:] 5 April 2016

Matthew 28:20Kagesa Files.  2012.   [Date of Access:] 5 April 2016.

Woman in DespairMy Carpal Tunnel.  2012.  [Date of Access:] 5 April 2016

Border

Read Full Post »

While we are munching away on our chocolate-marshmallow eggs and drooling over the Lindt chocolate bunnies in the supermarket, let us take a quiet moment and reflect on the true message of easter.

Remind yourself that someone once cared enough to give his life for total strangers; people that despised him, people that didn’t care enough about him to listen to his words and take it to heart. Because of that one death, we are able to receive forgiveness for our many sins.

Can you imagine life without the possibility of forgiveness? Without forgiveness there would be no hope for a future; our lives will be lived without prospects of something better, someday. We will lose our motivation to better ourselves, to forgive and love others….our lives will truly be useless and death will be the end, full-stop, with no promise of a happy hereafter.

Think about this, friends, when you enjoy your lovely long weekend and try to forgive as you are forgiven.

Source: AZquotes.com

Read Full Post »

l-73562

Tony ‏yahwehisjesus

Interestingly enough, soon after I’ve received the above image via Twitter (@yahwehisjesus), someone asked me why I keep writing these ‘messages’ on my blog (meaning:  String Of Pearls, one of my other WordPress blogs). I was a bit taken aback, as I thought this person should understand my reasons….I write it, not because I want something to keep me occupied, I write it because I’m compelled to. This person insisted that I’m wasting my time and added that it would be time better spent if I’d rather watch a television programme. I was astonished! And hurt. Why do people always question it when you are trying to do something good? Is it perhaps Satan, working through them, to try and keep you from doing what you are supposed to do? A definite YES, I think, is the answer.

Just yesterday I saw someone reaching out to people on Facebook to help a family in a drought stricken town somewhere in South Africa.  The family had absolutely NOTHING; no food for their babies, no diapers, no milk, no proper home or furniture, no source of income. You wouldn’t believe the comments I read. Can’t people just keep quiet if they have nothing good to add? Why do they have to embarrass themselves like that; pointing fingers, judging the people that are just trying to help? What happened to Christian charity? What happened to the fruits of the Spirit? It reminded me of what someone once asked me when I told them I support charity organizations and projects across South Africa. This person asked: ‘Yes, but are the donations going to the RIGHT people?’ Can someone please define ‘right people’? Poverty doesn’t discriminate, so why should we? (I nearly kicked myself, because I only thought of the proper reply after the fact: I should have asked him: So, what do YOU plan to do about the ‘right people’?) I was just so astonished that, despite our claim to Christian living, we still find it hard to accept that we are all one in the Spirit, one Body.

This brings me back to my complainant, thoughtlessly sharing his opinion and by that accusing me of wasting time by posting religious messages on my blog, and to try and do it on a daily basis. I’m not trying to defend myself here, please understand. I’m sure there are many more important (to the world anyway) things that I can be doing instead. Strange then that I saw this ‘prophecy’ on Twitter: “I want healing in My Body, and I want My Body to prosper again….you are just beginning to receive”.

How can one ignore this? I contemplated the entire message carefully, not wanting to read into it something that I should rather not. You see, I know I’ve been called to bring forth the message and have, in fact, resisted it for the longest time. Why did I resist you may ask.  Well, the story of my life is that I’ve always felt unworthy. So how on earth could God appoint ME, as one of His messengers? It was simply unbelievable. I’m perhaps the biggest sinner of all (okay, I don’t kill people or hurt small animals, but still – I’m far from the perfect example of what a Christian should be).  I’m nothing, a nobody, until I realized it is not about me or what I’ve achieved in life. The point is to get the Word out, NOT to tell the world about my little ol’ life! It’s NOT about the messenger, it is about the MESSAGE!

This realization forced me to sit down and take stock of my life (a giggle, given the fact that I’m nearly half a century old!  Memory’s not all that good anymore!). Ever since I can remember I thought nothing of myself. I’ve never been important or particularly special…I’ve been just a regular Joe (or Joey). People never looked twice at me; I lived a non-descript life, in a non-descript house, with a non-descript family. In school, when asked who was the most likely to succeed, I didn’t even get a mention….no-one knew who the hell I was! Although I have many interests, I’m not really good at anything. I’m one of those dream big, achieve little, people. Please, I’m not trying to get any sympathy and I’m NOT feeling sorry for myself. Despite being a nothing, THINGS DID HAPPEN to me along the way. Bad things, mostly, but some good things too…the bad things got REALLY bad at times and I often screamed and shouted in anger at God for allowing such a thing to happen. What have I ever done to You, God? I’d stomp away from the face of God, angry and confused. Sometimes I stayed away from Him for months, but I always returned; sneaking back, shamefaced and totally embarrassed when I saw that even that bad thing had purpose. This is the lesson I learned; the road we travel in life is never perfect; it goes up steep cliffs, where we often slip back a few paces, sometimes we travel onward, calm and sure, until the road drops away into a sinkhole right in front of us; sometimes the road takes us into dark forests filled with strange and dangerous animals, we get lost in the dark. Life is NEVER perfect (not even for the pretty, rich, famous, successful kids that went to school with me), life is our lesson and it is rarely the things that happen to us that determine our path, it is the way we deal with it. Would you try to climb back up the cliff after you’ve slipped down a bit, or would you let go and just drop to the bottom?

its-who-you-become-that-matters-e1382408672112

It was a strange experience….looking back over a life lived and SEEING it clearly for the first time. Would I change any of it? Would I still be the same person I am today without any of those experiences? I don’t think so….God has brought me to this point in my life and He prepared me for something remarkable. I am to tell the world about His love. I should NOT forget the lessons I learnt, no, but I must use it as testimony of His kindness and share it to glorify His Name. However, my story is of less importance….I was NEVER important, because I am NOT SUPPOSED TO BE important. God and HIS MESSAGE ARE IMPORTANT. Nothing else matters.

all-about-jesus

I read about Jeremiah who was so unhappy that God ‘forgot’ to help him. He asked  God why and God didn’t even answer the question….God just said: return to me. Jeremiah 15: 18-19: “Why do I keep on suffering? Why are my wounds incurable? Why won’t they heal? Do you intend to disappoint me like a stream that goes dry in the summer?’ To this the LORD replied, ‘If you return, I will take you back, and you will be my servant again. If instead of talking nonsense you proclaim a worthwhile message, you will be my prophet again. The people will come back to you, and you will not need to go to them.”[1]

So, I know many people will think I’m all set for the men in the white coats, ready to be committed, but here is the truth: whether you lived a wonderfully blessed life, whether you became wealthy beyond your own expectations, whether you are the most beautiful and successful person on earth or whether you are a lonely soul, never acknowledged, recognized or given an opportunity to shine…IT DOESN’T MATTER. God has PURPOSE for you! And all these things YOU have or have not achieved simply don’t count. It’s nothing….all that matter is the Good News, the Word of God and the Christian’s obligation to see that it is told to everyone.

25fb4b21cb97893f86a556a5af2d0154

1 Corinthians 9:16-17: “I have no right to boast just because I preach the gospel. After all, I am under orders to do so. And how terrible it would be for me if I did not preach the gospel! If I did my work as a matter of free choice, then I could expect to be paid; but I do it as a matter of duty, because God has entrusted me with this task.” [1]

2 Corinthians 4:1-5: “God in his mercy has given us this work to do, and so we are not discouraged. We put aside all secret and shameful deeds; we do not act with deceit, nor do we falsify the word of God. In the full light of truth we live in God’s sight and try to commend ourselves to everyone’s good conscience. For if the gospel we preach is hidden, it is hidden only from those who are being lost. They do not believe, because their minds have been kept in the dark by the evil god of this world. He keeps them from seeing the light shining on them, the light that comes for the Good News about th glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God. For it is not ourselves that we preach; we preach Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake, “[1]

If anyone doubts that this purpose is worthy, he/she is still thinking with the selfish mind of the world and need to turn their faces to the heavens, so that the light of God Himself can bring wisdom of all ages.

SOURCES:

  1. 2001. Good News Bible: Today’s English Version.  Cape Town: Bible Society of South Africa.

IMAGE SOURCES:

  1. BRADLEY D. FOSTER QUOTE. Via
  2. GOING FORWARD REJOICING. Via Blogspot.
  3. IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU JESUS QUOTE. Via Flywheel.
  4. PETE WILSON QUOTE. Via HopeForTheWearyMom.
  5. PROPHETIC WORD. Via Tony @yahwehisjesus
  6. TERESA S. TAYLOR QUOTE. Via Pixteller.

newhead

Read Full Post »

image

http://bible.com/303/rom.8.35.CEVDCUS06

Read Full Post »

mark-16-15

Ever thought YOU are not suitable to be a witness for God? Newsflash, friend, YOU have been given the responsibility to bear witness the moment you accepted Christ as your Saviour; being a devoted child of God COMPELS you to witness; no question about it. It is your duty and your calling to make sure that God’s Word travels to the ends of the earth so that no soul is left without knowledge of the Good News. The choice of their being saved is up to those who hear…just make sure YOU do what you’re supposed to; tell the world, support them if they decide to follow and encourage them to go forth and continue the work.

  • Jesus gave the ‘Great Commission’ to all His disciples. [3:72] He told them to go forth and see that every person hears about His work. When you follow Jesus, accept Him as your Lord and Saviour, YOU become a disciple, a follower, of His teachings.

Matthew 4:19: “Come with me, and I will teach you to catch people.” [1]

Matthew 28:19: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,..” [4]

Mark 13:10: “But before the end comes, the gospel must be preached to all peoples.” [1]

Acts 1:8: “But when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will be filled with power, and you will be witnesses for in Jerusalem, in all Judaea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” [1]

  •  Jesus sends YOU as His labourer and witness. [3:72] Jesus asks the question in Isaiah 6:8: “Whom shall I send?…” [3:72] Are you willing to do what is needed? In the introduction I said that it is our responsibility as Christians, but Jesus, in His infinite kindness and generosity, still means to give us a choice…will you go? Or, will you stay? Are you going to keep the precious message of salvation to yourself? Or, are you going to make sure that every single person on earth (or at least every single person around you) hears it and can have an opportunity to respond to His voice?

Matthew 9:37-38: “So he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is large, but there are few workers to gather it in.  Pray to the owner of the harvest that he will send out workers to gather in his harvest.” [1]

John 20:21:“Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so I send you” [1]

2 Timothy 4:2: “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.” [4]

  • We are, as Christians, God’s representatives on earth. Jesus is not with us anymore and neither are the disciples; however, someone has to stand up for God and Christianity in this world today. Who better then, than those who’ve decided to accept Jesus into their lives? We know about Him, we study His Word; it is only fair that we share this wonderful news with everyone. There are many ministers preaching the gospel in church, but, as the world population increases (to over 7 billion) and with the problems we have these days, discourage and discontent also increase, they can simply not reach out to every single person anymore. More and more the responsibility to spread the gospel is falling to the ‘congregation’ or the ‘Christian in the street’.  Again the question arises: will you do the job? Jesus asked: ‘Whom can I send?’ Can He send you? Remember, we have a fight on our hands and the warriors are few…scripture warns about the coming of our adversary, the antichrist. We owe it to the people of the world to inform, warn, support and bring the solution in Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:20: “Here we are, then, speaking for Christ, as though God himself were making his appeal through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf: let God change you from enemies into his friends!” [1]

1 John 4:1-3: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.” [5]

PRAYER:

Lord, I’m begging You today to give us the strength and the wisdom to share Your message of hope with all on earth. Make us fearless in the face of your enemies and make us stand firm, despite being persecuted by those who declare their devotion to other gods. Your time is upon us, Lord, let our lamps be filled and let us share the oil, so that more can join in that final song of praise. Amen.

SOURCES:

  1. BIBLE.  2001. Good News Bible: Today’s English Version.  Cape Town: Bible Society of South Africa.
  2. IMAGE SOURCE. Happy Monday by Van Til. [Web:] The Masters Table.  [Date of Access:] 1 March 2016.
  3. LEE, John.   The Ultimate Topical Bible Guide: Bible Basics.  Switzerland: Aurora Production.  330p.
  4. OPEN BIBLE. d.  Topical Bible.  [Web:] Preach.  [Date of Access:] 1 March 2016.
  5. OPEN BIBLE. d.  Topical Bible.  [Web:] Representative.  [Date of Access:] 1 March 2016.

isaiah-ichtus1

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: