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Wednesday, 4 December 2013

'Home' is such a relative term



I found myself today calling Muizenberg (South Africa) home while I was home in Swaziland chatting with my mom. I’ve lived in South Africa for 4 years and when I leave I consider it to be home but now that I’m here in Swaziland with my family, I consider this place to be home as well. Now when people hear me speak and I clearly have an American accent, they get very confused when I say I’m from Swaziland. They always think America is my home, it must be because I sound American!

So, for me, trying to figure out where home is, is like trying to take people thru the journey of my life in 5 seconds… which is nearly impossible! Although Swaziland is considered home, it is home because my family lives here. Although South Africa is considered home, it is home because my spiritual family lives there. Although America is considered home, it is home because I was raised there.

I’ve heard sayings such as, ‘Home is where your heart is’ and other cheesy sayings you read in Hallmark cards. To a degree its true, and on the other hand it is also where you settle and have relationship and live life with Jesus and those around you! Home is where I laugh with ‘family’ and do ministry and watch people grow and experience crazy stuff with the Lord. Home will always be Swaziland and South Africa and America and where ever the Lord continues to take me.


For now, home is an in between state. I’m visiting my family in Swaziland for the holidays and then I’m off to England for at least 6 months for the School of Reconciliation and Justice with YWAM. No matter how much I consider these other countries to be home, I am even now, considering England to be home.

It’s strange what the Lord does with us. He tells us to leave our families and go to crazy parts of the world for the sake of the gospel and in that process brings us spiritual family and relationships so strong that we could face anything with them! I guess to me that is home, having those around me that I would consider to be family. So in that sense, no matter where I go, it will always be home because ‘family’ is always created around me… people that I love and trust and can confide in!

I’ve come to the conclusion that ‘home’ is both here and there, and where ever there is ‘family’.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

The Many & The Few

There are many and there are few.

There are many that have passed through my life. Many that I have loved and mentored and many that have influenced my life for a season. It has been a privilege to impact these lives that the Lord has brought across my path. Many have gone in and out of my life and although that takes a toll on my heart, it is a joy that is inexpressible! The joy of seeing lives transformed and people radically changed from the love of Christ!

There are also the few who stay in my life. The few who are consistent and dedicated to the process of understanding this friendship that the Lord has put us in no matter where we end up. These are the ones who are known by me and know who I am and I am grateful for these deep friendships that I've been blessed with! Although these few may not always be in my current surroundings, they will always be in my heart and that's when you know that you've made a friend for life.

With the many, you always say goodbye and hope to stay in touch BUT with the few, you can say goodbye knowing that the friendship will carry on no matter what.


Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Perspective

Its so easy to get caught up in the mundane --- in the responsibilities and obligations we have on a day to day basis. Its all too simple to plan for the day, the week, and the month. There are always those things you have to remember and accomplish before you run out of time or hit a deadline!

As I was laying in my bed, I was contemplating all the things I could do tomorrow and all the things that I really should do tomorrow. My thoughts were interrupted with this question, 'Are those things really that important?' In my head I thought, 'Well, obviously they are or else I wouldn't be thinking about how I'm going to get them all done in one day!'. ---'Are these things more important then me? Are they more valuable then spending time in my Word and being in relationship with me?'--- Now to those questions I needed to pause before I answered. I wasn't just answering the little voice in my head, I was having a conversation with the God of the Universe.

As we continued to chat, the stress of planning and achieving kinda dwindled away and it's in place was put a sense of peace and purpose. Through it all, the Lord was trying to redirect my focus. He was giving me new eyes to see beyond today to eternity. He was saying to me,'There's so much more to look forward to!' As easy as it is to get lost in everything happening in our world today, we need to remember that this time is just a moment in eternity--- and eternity is what we are living for!

'No matter what you accomplish tomorrow, I will still love you the same'
'No matter what disagreement you have, I will still love you the same'
'Even if you don't spend time with me, I will still love you the same'
'Even if you don't take this conversation to heart, I will still love you the same'
'Even if you lose perspective on eternity, I will still love you the same'


"So if you're serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don't shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ - that's where the action is. See things from his perspective. Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life - even though invisible to spectators - is with Christ in God. He is your life." Colossians 3:1-3

Thursday, 13 June 2013

For the Sake of the Kingdom




For the sake of the kingdom, I will leave my dad.

For the sake of the kingdom, I will leave my mom.

For the sake of the kingdom, I will leave my sister and best friend.

For the sake of the kingdom, I will leave my brother-in-law.

For the sake of the kingdom, I will leave my nephew.

For the sake of the kingdom, I will choose to make this sacrifice.


“One day when large groups of people were walking along with him, Jesus turned and told them, ‘Anyone who comes to me but refuses to let go of father, mother, spouse, children, brothers, sisters – yes, even one’s own self! – can’t be my disciple. Anyone who won’t shoulder his own cross and follow behind me can’t be my disciple.”

“Simply put, if you’re not willing to take what is dearest to you, whether plans or people, and kiss it goodbye, you can’t be my disciple.”

Luke 14v25-27 & v33



Even after 4 years of not living in the same country as my family and saying goodbye dozens of times… it hasn’t gotten any easier to say goodbye. The last 2 months with them has made me appreciate and love them even more, which has made it even more difficult to say goodbye again! But for now, I’m covered by God’s grace knowing that I am where I am supposed to be.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Restoration


"The Lord always desires that we be restored to Him."




Restoration: Renewal; revival; re-establishment; as the restoration of friendship between enemies; the restoration of peace after war. (Webster’s 1828 Dictionary)

Restore: To renew or re-establish after interruption; as, peace is restored. Friendship between the parties is restored. (Webster’s 1828 Dictionary)


 
I was sitting on our porch this morning, reading the Bible to my dad as he worked out on the treadmill thing and we started chatting about dreams we’ve had recently.  As we shared the two dreams we had the night before, we ask each other and the Lord what it is we should learn from them. The two things that were highlighted in the dream I had was (1) Personal Revival begins with Repentance and (2) The Lord always desires for us to choose to be restored to him and to others. From my perspective, these two things happen around the same time. As we allow Holy Spirit to work in our lives and point out areas that need to be dealt with, then we are able to repent of them and thus be restored to or be in ‘right standing’ with God.

The process of repentance is quite simple:
Repent from your actions/beliefs that are contrary to God’s Word.
Receive His forgiveness
Rebuke the lies/untrue beliefs you were living out of
Replace those lies with the truth of God’s word and of who you are in Christ.

You don’t have to make it super systematic… I’m pretty sure Jesus just wants to hear that you’re sorry for not believing the Truth of what He says and He wants to give you real freedom in your life!

I understand that sometimes it seems easier to just believe the lies, like ‘you’re not good enough’, ‘you’re not worth loving’, and ‘I’m not sure what I should do with my life’. But honestly, these are simple lies that we as humans are living out of because we still need our minds to be renewed and have HS reveal to us where we aren’t believing God’s Truth of who we are… that we are ‘accepted as his dearly beloved children’, ‘we are created in his imagine’ and our worth is in the fact that He intentionally created us with purpose!

Through believing and living out these truths, we walk in freedom and in a kingdom lifestyle. There is a greater understanding of who you are as an individual and an even greater understanding of WHO GOD IS!

I believe that repentance is a continual act. Something we are never finished doing because there are always ways that we can become more like Jesus in our actions and beliefs. But ‘What God’s Grace Leads Us To, His Grace Will Lead Us Through’. It’s not an easy task to have your thinking/belief system radically changed but we’re not called, as believers, to live easy lifestyles. We are called to be the world changers and how can we change the world if we don’t even know God’s original intentions for it! I believe that God’s desire is to have the entire world be restored to him… and I think that starts with the individual… who has a personal repentance experience with God. Once you have that repentance and restoration experience, you can’t just keep it to yourself! It needs to be shared with someone so they can see that  truth and freedom is possible!



Rev 12:10 “And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.”
 
Rev 12:11 “And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.”

Rev 12:12 “Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!"

 Some Truths to Ponder:
Rom 15:7 “Accept one another, then, for the glory of God, as Christ has accepted you.”

Eph 3:12 “In union with Christ and through our faith in him we have the boldness to go into God's presence with all confidence.”
Eph 6:10-13 “Finally, build up your strength in union with the Lord and by means of his mighty power. Put on all the armor that God gives you, so that you will be able to stand up against the Devil's evil tricks. For we are not fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers of this dark age. So put on God's armor now! Then when the evil day comes, you will be able to resist the enemy's attacks; and after fighting to the end, you will still hold your ground.”

Jer 29:11-13 “I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for. Then you will call to me. You will come and pray to me, and I will answer you. You will seek me, and you will find me because you will seek me with all your heart.”

Isa 11:2-3 “And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. And his delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear.”

Pretty much all of Ephesians Chapter 1!!!!
Eph 1:3- 14 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

V 17-21that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.”