Wednesday, November 15, 2017


Dear believer,

Scriptures to read:
1 Corinthians 13
Jeremiah 29:11
Psalm 45

Devotional Encouragement:

Sometimes in our lives we go through stuff that is really really hard. We hit this hard rock place and we just don't seem to be able to get past it. Winter seasons can be tough, but then you get to that dry place that is worse than a winter season. Sometimes it feels like if we could just see beyond, we would be able to convince ourselves that we will make it. If you know the future and you know what lies beyond the hard place and you can see the blue sky again, a place of provision and peace and rest from the stress of life and this world, you will just barely be able to cope and keep going, right? What if there is no sign of it ending...this hard place...this dry season? We call it the 'doldrums'.

What are the doldrums?

The online dictionary says:
  1. 1.
    a state or period of stagnation or depression.

    "the mortgage market has been in the doldrums for three years"

    synonyms:depressionmelancholygloom, gloominess, glumness, downheartedness, dejectiondespondency, dispiritedness, heavy-heartedness, heartacheunhappinesssadnessmiserywoe, dismalness, despairpessimismhopelessnessMore

  2. 2.
    an equatorial region of the Atlantic Ocean with calms, sudden storms, and light unpredictable winds.

    "Hurricane Verity had been born in the doldrums"

The doldrums are what sailors have experienced for as long as they have sailed the oceans. It is that stretch of ocean that seem to never end. There is no wind to take you to land and there is no land in sight. You are stuck in the middle of nowhere with no indication when and how you will get out of it.

A while back I watched a movie about Moby Dick and some whale hunters. They got stuck in the doldrums and nearly all of them died. Most died because they gave up mentally. They were all exposed to the sun, lack of food and water and being stuck in a small space for a very long period of time. They were pushed beyond any human capacity. Those who stuck it out did so because they clung to hope that it would all come to an end and they would find land again. In the end it was about timing and there own endurance of the hard thing....waiting it out.

The doldrums they were stuck in reminded me of the seasons we go through where nothing seems to happen. You feel stuck, closed in and have no way of moving backwards or forwards at all. You remember better times, but there is no way to get back to it and you can't move forward any faster than time can. You have to work through it. You have to wait. You have to be where you are at that specific space in time. You have no control over how long you will be in that season. 

This one thing I know: the only Person that can really know why or for how long you are in the dry season, is God.

Only those who have gone through such a season, will understand what I am talking about. It is really the worst place to be stuck in. When you loose even the power to make choices or the choices that you do make, seem to take you nowhere, then you know you are in the doldrums.

If I have you feeling down and depressed, that is not the idea of this post. I have found that in a dry season God is asking for your attention more than ever. At first you will fight it. "More time in God's Word? But I am already reading my Bible and going to church and praying and doing stuff for God." Well, yes. You may be so busy with the things of God or the things you think you are doing for Him, but are you really connecting with the King?

The second reason you might be in this dry season is because He is preparing you for the next season or a promotion in His Kingdom and He cannot use you the way He wants to, if you are filled with the things of this world. He needs to show you that you can actually go without it all. He also wants to know if you had to make a choice, what would you choose? God or the comforts of your life?  It is actually not an easy choice for us humans to make. We live in a physical world surrounded by physical things and we have needs and wants that seem to never end. The only way for us to really surrender to God is to go through this "stripping of things"-period and realise what is actually important. God and not things. God and not our dreams or desires. God and not, yes not even the people we hold on to so tightly. God's will and not our own will. It is a power struggle between the two sides.

In the beginning it seems impossible. You feel like God is asking way too much of you. Then you go through a period of really rebelling and getting angry at Him for making you go through this. Isn't He suppose to bless His kids and take care of them in all things, you may ask yourself. Don't be fooled by circumstances. God is ever present. He is right there holding you up and making sure that you don't get destroyed. He will not let you fall. That is a promise from His Word and God is not a man that He should lie. He is faithful even when we are not. So you can rest easy and know that you know that He is your Hope.

The latest release from Hillsong is a song called "Seasons" and it is a perfect song for what I am trying to share with you today. Follow the link to read the lyrics and listen to this amaizing song. Click here. The song is written by Chris Davenport, Bejamin Hastings and Ben Tan. It talks about winter coming for us all and teaches us the nature of patience. So there are lessons to be learned from dry season times, from winter wastelands and from time spent in the doldrums.

My dad use to use the word doldrums way before I knew what it meant. He used it to state that he was feeling low or that some situation was causing him to feel stuck. I use to think that the word 'doldrums' just meant feeling blue or depressed, but now I see it in a very different light. I don't fear it any longer. I don't like it, don't get me wrong, but I don't fear it and I know as a child of God that there is always hope because of the greater plan God has in mind for my life and the lives of all His children. (Jeremiah 29:11)

The most amaizing part of the "Seasons"-song is the fact that in the first verse it talks about why we have to experience winter. Like seeds, we have to be buried so that we can grow. Seeds first need to die deep down in dark places and then after some time, from it bursts open new life. That is the real miracle: that from something that has died can come something beautiful. The song confirms God's promise to be loyal.  Sometimes when life hits you hard and you feel there is but a tiny little bit of you a little seed and you dare offer it in surrender to God, He takes it and makes a tree grow from that little bit you offered. 

How would you feel if I said that you can know the future, right here and now? Yes you can. If you know God and how He works in people's lives, you can know that He will do what He says. So, when you read His Word, you 'know' what the future holds for those who love Him and for those who don't.

The other issue with being in the doldrums is the issue of time spent there. How long, Lord? How long still? You go through these phases where you think you have reached your limit. You cannot wait one more hour, minute or second. You feel like you have spent the whole of you life's energy just waiting for things to happen..and they never do. The chorus of the song encourages that even if the winter is long, you can know that the harvest will be richer for it. Even when you reach the point of not being able to wait more, you can like the sailors of old, hold on to the hope that Your Promise Keeper's promise is like that little seed in the ground. Though you may not see the progress, it is growing and the season for it to burst open WILL COME.

Seasons change. They do, right. We know this from experience. Winter becomes Spring and Spring turns into Summer and then we have Autumn coming around and then winter again and so on and so on. We depend on it. God created the seasons. He knows we need it to change. BUT He controls the timer.

I really personally relate with the second verse of the song. The Lord's love is compared to the low winter sun. If you focus your attention on the Lord and the light of His love, you will be blinded by it. It is that strong! When that same light and fire hits the snow of your life in the "doldrums", it melts and you feel renewed in it's warmth. I have experienced this in my "doldrums". Each time I was ready to, or really wanted to just give up because it was just too hard to hold on anymore, God with a soft touch would quietly remind me of His love and who He thought I was. When I realised once again that I was loved and validated, it re-aligned me some how. Once I took up my position in Christ again, I would be able to give just one more step...and the next...and the next. That is how I got through each of those times. Surrendering to Him is different than just giving up. God had to tame my 'wild soul' by taking me through the hard times, guiding me all the time, reminding me He was right next to me.

You may feel totally stripped even barren. I can relate. I am turning 44 soon and I have not been able to fall pregnant in nearly 9 years. Some women reach a point where they just accept it and other morn for the rest of their lives. For me it is all about God's timing. I know one thing. If He placed it in me to be a mom, He will be faithful to bring me to it. I have been a teacher for over 20 years and have experienced motherhood in one form or another for most of that time. I have had the privilege and responsibility of holding thousands of children's hearts and minds in the palm of my hands throughout my career, but I still have the dream of my own babies some day soon. Yes, I know the reality all too well, but I know my God and nothing...nothing is impossible for Him. I choose to trust His timing.

And then the bridge of the song, hits home right in the center of my heart. A statement of FAITH:

"I can see the promise. I can see the future. You’re the God of seasons. I’m just in the winter. If all I know of harvest is that it’s worth my patience. Then if You’re not done working God, I’m not done waiting. You can see my promise even in the winter because

You’re the God of greatness...even in a manger.  For all I know of seasons is that You take Your time. You could have saved us in a second...instead You sent a child."

And that puts everything in perspective. God has a purpose...a greater purpose in mind for us all and He is very patient in seeing it come to pass. We sometimes forget this when we get so busy with our lives and our own 'stuff'. 

When we think of Jesus and his 33 years on earth, we also think of how His tree saved us all and that it started in a very humble place...a manger. Then we read the rest of the story and know that there is more to come for us all. We know that we know that where we may find ourselves now is not where we will end up. God is a God of promise. Jesus is our Hope and in Him we have the Hope of Glory. 

Someday He will come and everything will make sense to us. 

The song builds up into a crescendo and end as it should with Christ. Like a seed He was given up for us all to die, His tree on Calvary saved us all and through Him we have been made righteous...the unrighteous made righteous. Can you believe that? None of us deserves to be saved but He did it anyway and He gave it all up for us.  

So the encouragement I offer you today is that your tree, your harvest, will come. Your time in the doldrums will come to an end. The seasons of your live will keep turning. But know that there is always a season to come. Keep your eyes on God and eternity and not just on this fleshly world with all its trimmings and temptations. They are all temporary. What God offers us, is eternal and very real. Just because you are not shown the full picture, does not mean that it doesn't exist. 

So make that choice today to spend more time with God when your life makes less sense. Spend more time talking to Him, when all seems lost. Spend more time choosing to trust Him and wait on His timing, than doubting or giving up on Him. Choose to wait on Him for however long He asks of you...even when it seems like nothing is happening or ever going to happen. Choose to BELIEVE. Choose HOPE. In the end, the only thing that you can really truly depend on in this world is Gods unending, everlasting, all encompassing LOVE for you. And we all know what 1 Corinthians 13 says: Faith. Hope and Love. But the greatest of these is....? LOVE. Love is all you need. 

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank you for planting the seed of Your love in us. Help us to live for you. Wait on You. Trust You. Thank you that You are with us in all seasons and that Your Word promises us that You will never leave us. You are with us in our troubles, dry seasons and dark places. Please shine Your light in those places all the time so we know the way HOME. 


Sunday, August 27, 2017

Is faith enough?

Dear friend,

This is a very old song I share with you today. A song by "4 Him", one of my favourite Christian bands. It comes from a time I was still young in my walk with God, but the words ring true still today. 

Scripture Power verse:

Habakkuk 3:17-18New International Version (NIV)

17 Though the fig tree does not bud
    and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
    and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
    and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
    I will be joyful in God my Savior.

What is it to have faith and what do you have faith in? 

Do you believe in yourself and your own abilities? 

A young preacher in America today had a message and as part of it he told how a big famous theologian in America was asked about him on a YouTube video interview the young preacher was watching and the learned man paused for a moment and said: Not qualified! He didn't regard this young preacher to be worthy to preach the Gospel of Christ. Imagine watching a video where people talk about you and what they are saying is not very flattering. The young preacher surprised by not taking offence and said: Sure, I am absolutely not qualified. He was agreeing with the theologian.  BUT who makes us able and qualified to still, despite our shortcomings, live a faith based life, a life preaching about God, sharing His Word and Truth as He reveals it to us, with this may also be a life of persecution and judgement by this world? Is it even worth it would you say? Would you like to live such a life?

I am so glad to bring you the Good News today that no person on earth is actually qualified to represent the most High King. The Bible says: none is found to be worthy or good...not one. So, if we all fall short of it, then none of us is worthy.

But God. Because He sent His only Son and paid the ultimate price through His blood for each and every human on earth, He is the only One that can make us able, willing and worthy.

I struggle a lot with this life and all it holds for a believer, just like any other person, but my heart is willing and God looks inward to the inner man where no one else can really truly judge. We can judge each others fruits, but we can never truly judge each others hearts. He is the only One that knows each of us as we truly are. 

Do you fake it till you make it or do you trust in Christ with humility, not regarding yourself more than anyone else? If so, and if you are offering yourself and your life up for Him to be used, do not be surprised if you go through fire to be purified and tested. He makes us worthy through hardship and testing and trials if we desire to stand up and be counted for His Kingdom. This has been my experience over and over again throughout my Christian life since the age of 15 and it has never not been like this. You may even find yourself cut off from others for a season, so He can do His good work in you. It is a hard thing to say you want to live for Him. There is a certain price to be paid...a cross to carry and bare. It is not easy. It is the narrow hard uphill type of road. So, if everything is smooth sailing for you, you are probably not on that road. He wants to know if we will choose Him or choose this world and the fame and fortune it offers and to do that He asks us to go through seasons of winter and drought and dry land. He cares for us in these seasons. He doesn't abandon us in these times, but be assured, it is a lonely season. Friends and family and all your connections may just abandon you when they see you being tested this harshly. They will even judge you and your life like Job's friends. Be encouraged though, it is just a season and will pass. God knows just how much you can take. The closer you walk with this world, the blinder spiritually you will be. The closer you walk with God and the more you desire to grow in your faith, the more He will open your spiritual eyes. You will start to see things as they are and not as what the enemy wants you to see and believe. Things that were so important to you in the past, will become less so. You will start to have an eternity mindset, knowing that this world will not last forever and that puts it kind of in its place. 

What do you choose today? I choose Christ. I will always choose Christ. Even if I fail miserably at this life, I will choose Christ. Even if no one wants to know me, even if everyone rejects me over and over and over again because of His Name, I will always choose Christ. I will never choose fame or fortune over Him. I will never be bought or sell my soul for money or worldly success. Does that make me a failure? Not in His eyes. I will not even choose friends or family over Him. I will not choose my own way over Him. Even if none of my dreams come true, I will choose Him. If the fig tree does not bare fruit and the harvest doesn't come. When my vineyards are empty and dry and all I have is Jesus, I will be content. (Habakuk 3)

I believe like this song, in faithfulness. I believe in giving of myself for someone else. Yes, I believe in peace and love even if I never find it in this life. I believe in honesty and trust but I know like this song says it is not enough. For all that I believe may never change the way it is in this world, or in my life or even me, but unless I believe Jesus lives and I'm willing to let Him shine His true light through every part of me, every aspect of my life and being...even the dark places, then I am just an empty hollow shell that makes noise.

Today I offer you this advice: care more about who Jesus says you are than what you care the world, others even friends and family, say you are. Care more about God's will for you, than to please this world. Care more about doing life with Christ than impressing this world with what you do and say. Care first about time with Him than time with others. In the end, you have to spend eternity somewhere. Will what this world offer you really take you there? So, today spend a little time with Jesus. Even just a couple of minutes with the King is worth more than anything else you do.

May you be blessed enough today to realize that it doesn't matter what anyone thinks of you or says to you or even spreads about you behind your back...even if they do it over and over again. It is better to please God, than people. So you have to kind of make peace with the fact that if you truly please God, you will be in "trouble" with people. Can you live with that? If you can't truly say yes to this question, maybe you need to take another hard look at what really matters to you.

Here is the lyrics to the song. I hope you listen to it today and that it inspires you to walk closer to Him. Your beliefs won't change anything...only Jesus has the power to change hearts and minds and lives. Let Him change you today.  

4him – Where There Is Faith Lyrics 

I believe in faithfulness
I believe in giving of myself for someone else
I believe in peace and love
I believe in honesty and trust but it's not enough
For all that I believe may never change the way it is
Unless I believe Jesus lives
Where there is faith
There is a voice calling, keep walking
You're not alone in this world
Where there is faith
There is a peace like a child sleeping
Hope everlasting in He who is able to
Bear every burden, to heal every hurt in my heart
It is a wonderful, powerful place
Where there is faith
There's a man across the sea
Never heard the sound of freedom ring
Only in his dreams
There's a lady dressed in black
In a motorcade of cadillacs
Daddy's not coming back
Our hearts begin to fall
And our stability grows weak
But Jesus meets our needs if only we believe
Where there is faith
There is a voice calling, keep walking
You're not alone in this world
Where there is faith
There is a peace like a child sleeping
Hope everlasting in He who is able to
Bear every burden, to heal every hurt in my heart
It is a wonderful, powerful place
Where there is faith 

Lord, thank you that you know my name and that because You love me, I can know that what Jesus did for us, also was for me. Thank you that all I am is secure in Christ and that I am covered by the Blood of the Lamb. Lord, thank you that I can believe in You and that You have given me the Holy Spirit to be my Teacher and Comforter in this life and thank you that You make me qualified to witness and shine Your light despite my human nature and shortcomings. Thank you so much that Your light shining through me is not dependent on my ability to DO anything or BE anything more than your child, forgiven and made new by what YOU do. 

Lord, help me to believe what You want me to believe about me, my life, my purpose, my position, my work, my relationships, others and your will in all of that. Teach me, guide me and be gracious to me. 

Help me Lord, when I fall short, to also have mercy and grace for the world around me. Help me to live your love harder than ever before. Forgive me if I stray from living your purposes for my life. 

Protect me against those who want to take, steal and destroy what You have given and blessed me with. Protect me against the real enemy and his plans of destruction and give me the discernment to know when he is using people to discourage me and get me off track. Help me to forgive others like you forgive me. 

Help me always to return to You and your path for my life. Help me stay on it and help me to stay focused. In Jesus Name I pray. Amen. 

May this prayer help you stay strong in your faith in Christ. Do not give up and do not loose hope. God is not finished with you yet.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Is God's Grace enough to change us?

Dear friend,

This was written by another writer on her blog about 3 years ago and as it is a topic I feel passionate about, I wrote quite a long comment today on it that I would like to share with you here. I will post my comment after her post. For privacy reasons, I will not disclose her identity.

"this hit home today..............  i mean i know this.  once you accept Jesus Christ as your Saviour, you love Him so much, you want to Glorify His name through your life. but then "life" gets in the way, and before you know it, you look just like the world again...........
 if you cannot see the Grace in someone's life, then they probably have not yet asked for it or accepted it when it was Offered.  we all fall into sin sometimes (and if you are like me - a lot of times!!)  when we have received Grace, however, we can recognize it and not be enslaved by it - or literally be held captive by it.  we will ask the Lord to free us from it and to transform us into what He desires us to be..........this is not an overnight process and it normally hurts something awful............ but what if Blessings come like rain and through tears?  i see people whose hearts are so hard and who are so unforgiving and mean - it makes me so sad.  it makes me want to hug them and tell them that Jesus died for them too - yes, in our current, sinful state, He died for us.  you cannot be happy when you are always looking for ways to hurt others or do mean and spiteful and ugly things.......  it shows on your face, your life and in your ways...........
let Him change you - He is Grace.  let Him touch your heart.
and remember - a message to those of us who claim to be changed and saved by Grace - we need to be accountable to each other and tell each other when we see one another falling into sin............ i know that i appreciate it every time someone corrects me in Love............only through that kind of love can one grow into who He wants us to be.  day by day, step by step..............
all only for His Glory!!
Charles Spurgeon said it well: "The grace that does not change my life will not save my soul.""

My response to this was:

I don't know how I got to this post, but here I am. I love this post and absolutely agree with it. The meaning of my name is "Grace". I am all for it and passionately desire to show grace to others. I believe the names that God gives us, is also a prophetic blessing of who we are suppose to be an what we are suppose to accomplish for Him in this world. 

In the same spirit of this day where all South Africans across cultural divide came together to stand for what is right and good and honorable, despite their differences, I am reaching out to a fellow sister in Christ once again. 

When God calls us to be His light in a dark world, He also wants us to be unified as one Body in Christ. That means we need to have grace also for our fellow believers. We absolutely passionately have to on purpose love each other. 

My question to you, is should one sister in Christ not also have grace for another sister in Christ?

 Is it even possible that two strangers can find common ground and isn't that common ground suppose to be the Lord they both profess to love so passionately? Isn't it enough to spark a friendship? Are we not suppose to give each other the benefit of the doubt even if we misunderstood some things or didn't have all the facts or see the full picture that is a life given by God with all its ups and downs and lessons and change and challenges and pain and growth? Does the things of this world, money, business, work, interests, hobbies, stuff, have that much power over us that we cannot see past it, to see someone's heart...too see someone reaching out? Why do we then sometimes feel we need to shut a door, walk away, not give grace? I tell you is because we are all..even when we are in Him and He is in us and with us...still a little bit broken. And then I hear Him say: give me your heart of stone and I will give you a new one...a heart of flesh that feels again. Christ will never unfriend us, or exclude us or dismiss us or misunderstand us. He died for us...paid the ultimate price for us. He is GRACE. He is what we need all the time to give others grace. 

I have a big big big issue with Christians not being able to find this common ground. I seem to have a "thing" about it...blessed with a burden for it...and just maybe because it bothers me so much, God wants me to speak out about it...remind others in love to think again...sit up and take note of it...this "thing" between believers not being able to show grace for each other. We seem to be able to preach it. To give that grace to the broken world but not the broken pieces in our fellow believers. 

We are all cracked pots of clay and the only difference between us and the world, is that we stand under forgiveness and we have accepted it. I accept I will not be included by this world. I however have still a little bit of a struggle with not receiving grace or kindness from fellow believers. I'm getting there however...accepting it, I mean. Call me old fashioned or weird, but I thought if I was part of God's family that made His family also my family and that is also where grace and love should start...and then overflow to the world. 

On the 25th of November 2016 I wrote a letter to a fellow sister in Christ and I opened my heart to her and with honesty and care I took the time to be open and gave her an opportunity to get to know more about me and she shut me down. Her response was harsh and had no grace in it. I felt a dagger go through my already bruised heart because she dismissed my efforts, but I realized that she must have had something keeping her from giving that grace when she needed to. I responded very passionately reminding her about the reality facing Christians around the globe..that the Name she professed meant something and couldn't be kept aside and only brought out when it suited her. That day I was profoundly touched and affected by the news of Syrian Christians being beheaded and the plight of Christians over the world, was weighing heavily on my heart, and I know God wanted me to feel it so I could pray. She on the other hand, didn't want me to include Christ in my conversation to put Him in the middle between invite Him to the table. To her He was to holy for that and strangely enough all I was doing was witnessing about His role in my life. My heart sank as I read her response, because to me, Christ is in and part of EVERYTHING. I cannot and will not ever exclude Him. As a Holy God, who was the beginning of everything, He came to earth to become a lowly man...why?...So He could give His life to save us all and make us part of Him. He became my friend the day I accepted him at 15 and I cannot ever imagine excluding Him from anything ever and even if I was to be so foolish as to think I could, He is an ever-present God. He is everywhere and sees all we do and say. He is my ever present guide and His spirit is my Teacher and Comforter.  

So, as a "Peter" of old I pulled out my sword. "I will fight for You, Lord...I will make her see"...but then halfway through I realized I cannot make anyone see anything. I can only witness, like I am doing here..that Christ is Lord and every knee will bow before Him in the end. And all I could do is to pray for her and release her in His Name and hope that He walks with her and talks with her like He does with me in all my broken ways...and somewhere my heart was also still hoping that He would whisper my name in her heart like he is whispering her name in mine and that His grace for us both and for every other fellow sister in Him, would flow like the rain that fell in my fair city yesterday.  

Because you see, when we presume we have arrived at any given time, we can know, we still will always fall short of perfection, because none of us will ever reach it in this life. We are MADE knew daily by Grace and His is a lifelong process.  The Word says all men are equal in the eyes of the Lord and we all have sinned...there is not one good among us. We must accept we are all still in process of becoming all that Christ has for each of us and that we each have our part to play. 

Today we prayed for change in our country. We prayed for corruption to leave it...for evil to flee, but in my heart I also pray for the family of Christ to truly become one. Only when we shine His love like diamonds in the sky, will the world around us start to change. As long as we don't show this grace my fellow sister in Christ was talking about here, to one another, we cannot expect true change. 

On the 25th of November last year I let that fellow believer go with a heavy heart, but I am writing this in the hope that she would somewhere sometime someday go back and read my letter and see my heart...and maybe just maybe God will change her heart and mind and she would see what she is missing out on. And only He could tell her what that is. 

"Grace that does not change us...cannot save us" 

If we really believe that Grace, His grace is the answer, then why can't we give it abundantly? My heart is still filled with questions over the interactions between believers, but my Hope is always and will always be in Him. His Word is also clear that He will be the Stumbling Stone that divide men and I have to accept if I keep clutching to His cloak and keep on standing under His Grace, that I will be included in His Kingdom and His heart but most likely be excluded from things  or situations in this world. 

Finally, I pray that the grace we talk about here, is the same grace that you receive from Him daily and that you are able to truly give it in spades. May my story inspire you even though both these pieces wasn't even written in the same time, I believe the written word can reach hearts over a virtual space where physical connections are not always possible. God bless.

What does the Word say about Grace:

Colossians 4:6 ESV / 27 
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

Ephesians 4:29 ESV / 24 
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

James 2:13 ESV / 18 
For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

1 Peter 4:10 ESV / 17 
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace..

Colossians 3:12 ESV / 16 
Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience..

2 Timothy 2:1 ESV / 8
You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus..

Romans 12:18 ESV / 6
If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

For more form His Word on Grace, click here.

And for a great article on how to show more grace to others, click here for some helpful tips.  

A prayer for believers:
Lord, help us to include you in every aspect of our lives. Give us the grace and understanding to know how to treat our fellow believers even in times of conflict or disagreement. Help us to resolve issues and not just give up and run away. Help us to live in peace with our family in Christ and Lord, bind us together, Lord, bind us together ...with cords that cannot be broken.  

In the lovely Name of Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Never Un-Friended

Dear Friends,

I hope you read this. I hope you visit here. I hope this means something to you.

Sometimes we find ourselves in dry seasons. No rain. No blessing. No friends. Old friends whom we leave by the wayside. New friends who do not linger. Some friends who just un-friend us.

With Social Media taking over our lives and re-directing our time, it brings with it some kind of fake reality of what friendship should be. In my experience the number of people reflected on your Facebook profile does not reflect the actual people involved in your life. It does show who you have connected with in your life, but it does not reflect the depth of that connection or the length either. It may not even be a real connection but just a virtual one. It is so easy just to "follow" what others are doing by viewing their profiles. That doesn't mean you know them or know what goes on in their lives or that you even truly care.

What benefits Social Media has afforded me personally on the other hand, is to follow the teaching of some really remarkable Christian women. From Ann Voskamp, Lisa Tekeurst to Lisa Bevere and many more. These are ladies that I would have liked as friends. Strong, faith-filled believers with a purpose and a heart. Honest women not afraid to share their painful truths so as to encourage other women not to give up but to live their potential in Christ.

I have however had the privilege to know a handful of women in my life I could look up to, but I have also been hurt by just as many who call themselves Christian.  For a long time I didn't understand why Christians hurt Christians until I listened to a podcast by Joyce Meyer. She said her biggest hurt came from fellow Christians and that we should remember that people are just people. My mistake over the years was to let my guard down when I dealt with fellow believers. I reasoned that we were the "same".  I could relax my borders of protection as it would not be "needed". I am not saying we should put up barriers between us and other believers or the world. What I am saying is that we need to protect our hearts for the Word says it is the wellspring of Life. It doesn't say protect your heart against believers or unbelievers. It says protect it. Guard it. My biggest lesson in life is this: I have to protect my heart against people in general. We shouldn't therefore distinguish between people. They are all just pots of clay...some more broken than others. Some are just forgiven, may be born again, but still on a journey to be made new. Aren't we all? There you are. The reason why we should be careful with our hearts.

Friendship and relationships has played a very big role in my life and I think the main reason is not what I thought it was. The main reason is that God wants me to know that He regards relationship to be the the biggest most important thing of all. That was His reason for sending Jesus to us. So if I fail at friendships, or they fail me, what should I know? What should I remember? What should I take note of in my life?

1. Always value true signs of honest caring friendship.
2. Forgive those who are incapable of living love, caring for you and making you feel that you matter.
3. Let them go.
4. Keep moving forward with an expectant heart.
5. Don't give up on it.
6. Trust God for it always.
7. Wait for the real thing and cherish it while He gives it to you.

Every-time I think that God has finally stripped me of friendships in general, He comes and reminds me with gentle taps on my shoulder that He is still at work in my life and He is the One who fulfills my friendship needs:

1. He Himself is my Best and most Loyal Friend.
2. My husband is His representative on earth when I need protection, provision and hugs exc.
3. My sister was given to me as a life-long soulmate and companion. She knows and understands me through and through.
4. My mom is a friend to me. An older, wiser guide to help me stay the course. She is the voice in my head and always will be.
5. My dad is my spiritual guide and the foundation he paved in my life will always help me to serve God in all circumstances. A better friend you cannot ask for.
6. God called a colleague from a job I left nearly a decade ago to periodically reach out to me still, without prompting from me. A true sign that God calls people to love you. She always makes me feel I have something special to give the world. She lets me know that she can see me.
7. God sends an older women who loved me through a difficult time when I was a young teacher at a special school many years ago, to comfort and pray for me now on a daily basis by sending me texts on Whatsapp. She has six kids and a bunch of grand-kids and she still finds time to text me diligently in a time I truly need it. I find it marvelous that God can bring significant people back into your life at the right time.
8. When I gave up on making new friends that I can trust to speak FAITH into my life and reach out to me when I can't give anything back, God sends a women across my path who basically has the same name as me (similar core name meaning: "Grace"). She speaks prophetically into my life at times that she doesn't know is actually God's perfect timing. I know that He is using her to speak to my heart. She doesn't know me from a bar of soap and only met me once in person by "accident". She keeps in contact via Whatsapp. What a blessing.

Other friends have moved on and probably don't know that they still live in my heart. But as I grow older, I have learned to let go and trust God's timing more and more. Some of these friendships will always just pick up where they left off once we re-connect because the bond is Christ.

Newer connections still need to show their worth and so the judgement is still not out on those. Also OK. I have learned that true connection needs time and patience.

As a highly sensitive person, we need intimate and close friendships with people we can trust with our hearts. This makes life very difficult for us as we are not really capable of shallow connections. God made us this way for a reason. I have stopped to explain it away or try to apologize for it. I am content that those who cannot deal with it, should not be in my life. There are so many positive things highly sensitive people bring to any friendship and it is sad that some cannot see it, but I know that God will lead me to the right people at the right time and in the meantime, He is enough and I am enough and what He gives me now is ENOUGH.

The Incourage website always inspires me and the women that write or create on this website is to be noted. Please go to the website by following the link in the caption.

Check out this blog post by Jennifer Studio JRU on the Incourage website:

Is. 49:15-16 says that God will never forget us. He has engraved us in the palm of His hands. We are so part of Him that He never forgets. He knows our intimate parts and therefore He also knows what we yearn for in our hearts.

Your deepest need for friendship will always be met by Him.

Lord, thank you that you love us so much that you will always give us what we need at the very moment we need it and not necessarily when we ask You for it. Thank you that Your timing is perfect and that you will always provide the companionship we need...even if you have to use people. Help us remember that You will never un-friend us or leave us behind. Thank you for Your Word that says you have engraved us in the palms of your hands. You have our walls always before You. We love you, Lord and we life Your Name. You are God above all else.

In Jesus Name

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Want to control it? Rather surrender it!

Dear friends,

This week God is dealing with me on the issue of control once again. As sensitive types go, we tend to feel save when we can control our environment, our process and what we are exposed to or not.  Being a steward of what God has given us, is important and having good boundaries in place keeps us save, healthy and balanced.

When stuff go wrong in the life of a sensitive person, and this can be anything from abuse of any kind, high stress levels for prolonged periods of time to unhealthy and unbalanced or even toxic relationships, it may have an adverse effect on the life and health of a highly sensitive person.

Most Christians are thought to believe that we have to do everything expected of us and we have to do it with a good attitude and we don't have a choice. I for one can witness that this is not healthy for the highly sensitive Christian. In my own life and in the life of my husband too, I've seen the negative impact it can have when we just please everyone around us all the time and never say no to anything. Over time you end up feeling out of control. Without the proper boundaries in place, you also teach the people around you that you are a sucker for punishment and it becomes harder and harder to put down that boundary. In the end it is easier to just do what everyone expects because the emotional pain they put you through with guilt trips and emotional bullying is just not worth it.  You give up.

On the other side of things, it can also get you to a point where you start to feel that if you don't have control over saying no, you have to try to control the things you can and you end up overcompensating for the lack of control in one area and substitute it for the control you can have on other areas. Anything out of balance is not good.

My lessons in life has included me to usually be to quick to say yes to stuff because I either want to do it or feel like the relationship is to fragile to handle a "no" from me.  I end up overextending myself. The moment that you cannot count all the balls you are suppose to have in the air at one specific time, you're in trouble.

A couple of things happened in the last year again that made me see how important it is for me to understand the following:
1. Always check with God first before moving ahead on anything even if it seems a good thing or a thing you really want to do or have or be involved in. It might not be God's will for you or even the right time for it. Father knows best. I still struggle with this all the time and have to be reminded of it often. The repercussions if you don't ask His will first can be and has always been for me, very painful.
2. Rest is a very important thing and burn-out happens quickly if you over extend yourself.
3. The moment you realize you are trying to control stuff in your own strength, STOP, give it to God and take a step back. We are not meant to control this life. Just be good stewards of it.

So, asking God first puts us in the right relationship for Him to bless us because we are putting His will above our own. Resting enough means we don't think we are Holy Ghost Junior, traking to take on the world and that we know we need God. We we rest, He can work.

Finally, God is and should be in control. We don't have to be. We don't have to know every little detail of His plan for us in advance to know that He has a wonderful hope and future for us and we are safe in His hands. We just need to surrender and trust that He does. A controlling spirit is a controlling spirit and something we can ask God to free us from.

There is peace, abundance of peace in the knowledge that we are safe and secure in God. That He has our backs and that He will work everything out for our good and benefit...even the worst of things. Even the things we are most afraid of and the things that cause us the most pain. Failure is like death to a highly sensitive person. Really, it's that bad. We dread it. Because we dread it so much, we tend to be overly careful in life with everything. We plan and think and wait before we move ahead on anything risky.  We are also over-achievers and we believe excellence is a requirement for success in anything. We always do our best. Because of our natural tendencies and characteristics, we can easily fall out of balance.

Being sensitive is not an excuse to have a chaotic existence. We need order and we need to be able to say no to ourselves and others so we can stay in balance. I still struggle with the "no" because it feels so good to help others. For many years I tried carrying the burdens of others and because I misunderstood my sensitivity and didn't realize God's purpose in it, I mismanaged it and overloaded my body, mind and spirit with the burdens of others and even the emotions of others, causing myself to carry more than God intended for me.

Learning about my temperament has afforded me the skills to be able to say no, to be able to decide what load God wants me to carry and which situations or emotions of others I could avoid because it was just not His will for me to be responsible for it. This is something we can all pray for: a spirit of discernment. It helps us know what God wants for us.

Last year I learned big lessons about moving forward in things and relationships that wasn't for me and I decided to focus on trying not to continue on the same road this year. Once again I found that I was being tested on the same things again this year. Saying no is still the challenge it has always been and I just realized that it will never stop. We will always be confronted with situations and people that try to overstep the boundaries we have in place. Knowing is one thing and doing is another and so we need to enforce the things we know to be true with creating habits out of it.

One thing for sure is that I have realized that trying to control stuff that I was not meant to control or that will only cause me burn-out or harm, is a lesson that I have finally learned. The moment I realize that I am asked to control something to steer or force it to go the way either I want it to go or others want me to go, I stop and surrender it to God and move away. I don't want to control anything. I do however have leadership skills and after reading the following post about "Control" by Teresea Shields Parker it just hit home again. God will lead you when He wants you to use your gifting and for the rest of it, He will hide that gifting safely in you. When He unleashes it, it will be for His glory and your benefit and the uplifting of others. If it's not, then stay clear or you or even others could just get hurt.

So today, lets focus on surrendering again what we think is right for our lives, to God and let Him guide us with His Spirit to what is BEST for us. Trust Him. He can be trusted. He runs the universe you know. ;)

Lord, thank you that you have a hope and future for us that surpasses all our understanding. Thank you that we can surrender our will, our emotions, those of the people around us and the burdens of this world to you, because you are able to carry it. Thank you that our strength is found in You and that it brings us joy. Help us, Lord to guard our heart and give us discernment to know what to say yes to and what to say no to. Thank you for making us sensitive and help us to use our gifts when you give us the green light. Help us to manage our emotions better so that we stay in balance and in the center of Your will for us. Thank you for Jesus Christ and His sacrifice so that we can live a free life and live it abundantly. Help us to never forget that we are bought with a price and should live our lives to honor You. In Jesus' Name we pray.