Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Encouragement for this day

When I first heard that song from Joyous Celebration 20, "Modimo wa re sheba, Modimo wa re bona",  God sees us.
For some reason such a message went deep in my heart and stayed.
I grew up in a family that pray and go to church every week. If you dare eat without praying for your food, my aunt would scold...dijo tše di tla fofa..the food would fly.
Growing up,when there was a function on Saturday in the village, attendance at church on the following Sunday was so poor. However I remember being counted among the few that went. It was almost as if there was an unwritten rule that said  thou shall not miss church.
I laughed at a girl on "Date my family" that asked a guy what he does on Sunday because he does not go to church.
She was certainly puzzled of such a life,honestly I grew up like that girl not understanding why people wont go to church on Sunday.
Although this was the case,  I often  felt God being far in the heavens and unrelatable. There was a persitent question in my heart on whether I can trust him, on whether I can ask of him anything.
Thank God,  this changed in my twenties as my relationship with God grew deeper.
I still remember a prophetic word I received in 1999 that God would reveal himself and will prove to me his faithfulness.
Since then every so often God reminds me of who he is  and that what I say matters.
I think at most times the challenges of my life always aim to make me doubt who God is to me and if I matter to me.
Over and over He reminds me of the truth.
Among the truth that I keep being reminded of is Revelation 5:8 and Psalm 56:8.
Both these verses speak the following to me:
1. I am important to God and that He never forget every prayer I have said.
2. God is such a good record keeper. Imagine, I forget my own prayers at times. Going through my old journals has proved this to be right.
3. It says to me about how he cares of what I would ask of him. For what reason would he keep every record of what I say to him? In bottles, golden bowls....just think about that for a second.

What I like about God is that he knows me so well that he does not send me to my own destruction as I request at times. Since He is good, my prayers are always answered to my own good.
His answering of my prayers is not just a YES or No. I have received corrections from him of the kind of prayers I need to be praying instead.
Thats all I wanted to say,
He is El Roi...the God who sees me. Genesis 16:13 but also he is the God who hears and answers our prayers.

Friday, 17 June 2016

What I did on 16 June 2016

 We spend about six hours in the night of June 16 towards the morning of June 17 praying and crying out to God for our land.  The people of our church (these are young people by the way, likely the same age of those that marched those 40 years ago against Afrikaans as a medium of instruction in their schools) decided that this is what they wanted to do for June 16 commemoration.  Once more my heart was stirred up as we poured out our hearts to God,especially  for our community Lufhereng.
I cringe everytime I hear we are celebrating June 16 rather than commemorating because for me thinking of the day does not stir up a celebratory mood. Anyway I shall leave that to the Language Police.
I kept thinking about all those school children. All they wanted to do was to have a peaceful march. To their families, there were just children. Hector Peterson was just 13 years old. Thats my daughter's age in the next four years. I can only imagine the pain of the loss.  The youth of Soweto 16 June 1976 found a cause worthy enough to risk their lives for. I keep imagining the courage that spurred them on. I also think they thought of the possibility of what the police could to them, or maybe the possibility that they wont make it home that day but courage won instead.
Maybe like Queen Esther who said,if I perish,I perish but I will do this or  Daniel , who said even if God doesnt show up I am prepared to stand for this. No matter what you throw at me this is a cause I am prepared to die for.
I keep thinking how many of us still have a cause we are prepared to die for.

This is why we had to cry out to God, because our young people have accepted defeat by the substance abuse. Wonga and Nyaope have taken over their lives. The freedom fought for by many with spilled blood has since become an illusion of sort. It feels to many that there were sold an impossible dream. Many have succumbed to the unimaginable  state of poverty. Some have been let to believe LoktionManagementSciences -LMMS ( what you do after passing matric, loitering in the streets) is really an option to life. Seriously it is normal for someone to respond I am  doing LMMS as if it is a tertiary institution study option.

Our hearts were poured out to the Master, enough is enough we cant just sit and watch. We have to do something so our young people stood up, some knelt with tears poured out. We prayed that God may grant our young people true freedom their hearts yearn for.
We stood in one accord and we know that this will not be a once off. We know that we need to keep standing in the gap of our  community.
It was a coincidence that where we praying was few meters away from a party. A party in the hood equals loud house music, dancing and  lot of alcohol throughout the night. That means lot of drunkenness.
Our atmosphere was so charged with and by the Spirit of God that the drunk people left their music to come join us  in prayer and worship to the King of Kings.
One particular guy arrived drunk but end up staying until we finished.
We were singing worship when he came in, demons started manifesting in him and after being prayed for and casting out demons...he was set free. He went from being drunk to being sober in a matter of minutes. It was amazing to see God knock out drunkeness out of a person.

What I took out was the words of John the beloved in 1John 2: 14c.I write to you, young men because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you and you have overcome the evil one.

God reminded me He is still God, He is still in the business of changing lives and communities. I will continually pray for our young people to rise up to the challenges we now face. With God on our side, we are assured victory against the many giants we face. Even though the spies said the people were stronger, the land does possess honey and milk and the fruit is large. We shall be like Caleb that as certainly as there are giants in the land, we are certain they can be taken down and the land possessed, I'm convinced we can rebuild our country.

There are many things we can all do, and it does not have to be what I did. Something though, we must do. Each of us can do something and when its all together...the impact is major.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

My good grief work


So when I lost my sister on my wedding annivesary last year, I had no idea of the journey ahead. I had no idea of how life would turn out to be. Although I am a slow reactor emotionally I considered myself to be able to handle these things. I didnot know that grief could be felt so deep in your gut...so deep I was so scared. Scared because I didnot know I was ever going to come out of it. Being such a composed person did not help either,because this grief was way above my level. Emotions so strong hit me so hard like rushing wind and many times without warning and would hurt inside. I felt the pain in the deep of my throat, I even
 felt it as chest pain, I felt it way deep inside me, words fail my expression.
My usual response is that I am able to pen down a tribute, my feelings,my goodbye or anything that come to mind,its my easiest way of processing or rather my comfortable way.
The week of the funeral came and gone and everytime I tried to pen even how I felt, I just couldnt do it. It was just an impossible task.
I started thinking maybe I need help, I have never been overcome with grief like that. A Psychologist friend of mine assured me it is all part of the process, it is a process I was to embrace and allow it to take its course. She assured me eventually I will get better and will be able to move on.
The strange thing to me was that I was not denial,I had accepted my sister is gone and that it hurts not to have her.
Eventually I attended a "sort of group therapy on grief" called "The bereavement journey"in our church.
It has been a very helpful tool for me to be able to deal with grief.
Eventually as I was told before it does get better, as Jane the lady teaching the program says " You have to do the good grief work."
Yes, it did get better because I started doing the good grief work. My biggest challenge was that I never even knew that One is capable of feeling the way I did and that the pain of loss and grief can struck even your physical body. There was so much I never knew can happen because of grief.
Needless to say, its now about 8 months since her passing, I am confident to say I will be alright and God is doing a great work of  healing, much progress. The moments between the tears have become longer and I have started to remember her more with a smile than tears. Believe you me, as I write this, it still hurt deep inside.
As part of my good grief work I had to answer some questions,
"What roles have I lost about her,what makes this loss significant.
These were some of my answers;
-I have lost a sister,my mother's daughter, I was the girl born after her, well with my brother born before me though. But still..that is very significant to me
-I was hoping I still had more time to catch up. When we were younger, we were very different and not close even though we had a five year age difference, but as we grew, became wives and mothers, our relationship grew. Since she was wise, I enjoyed gleaning all the wisdom I could get from her. She was always calm, nothing fazed her and I loved watching that.
-She also had a great memory, always remembering all the silly stuff from growing up and laughing them all away. There was this giggle about those stuff. So that is gone, never to be heard at family gatherings again.
-I have lost a role model,as a wife to a minister of God I had my sister to look up to. She took this role with so much grace and ease, while I find that I have to carry this with courage. So with her gone, I dont have that displayed right in my face anymore.
-Oh the Worship, My sister was a worshipper. Oh the music. There are certain songs that I would forever remember her when we worship.
-She was very financially wise and disciplined. Something I learned slower, it does not come very naturally to me. She also lived a debt free life, something I admire and working towards.
-She was great with family (hers and her inlaws)
She loved her husband's family like her own and had great relationships with them. Something that can be challenging. She served them so well.
There are many other great things I have lost about my sister that will always remain cherished forever in my heart.

Precious in the sight of the Lord  is the death of his faithful servants. Psalm 116: 15  reads as a beautiful inscription on the headstone where she was laid to rest.

As I continue my good grief work I remember the words of Shakespeare  I heard during "The bereavement journey";

 Give sorrow words. The grief that does not speak whispers the o'erfraught heart and bids it break.

And one other thing,  now I know for sure, I am not losing my head, I am gonna be just fine. This has not destroyed me and will not be able to. God always come for me, he show up in splendour and change the whole room.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Lingering moments in His presence

Strength once more, for the weary heart. Our hearts; a place for Wisdom to dwell. He has promised before; Emmanuel - God with us, Christ in us, our hope of glory. Never late, never wrong, always good is our God, El-Shaddai Adonai. He calls us to join Him to a place. A place of his love, warmth, care, victory, forgiveness, his empowering grace. To his embrace, there is so much more to receive. To be touched never to be the same again. As we wait, we worship Him, As we watch in hope, we linger here in His embrace. Right here, right now and every day. Faith stretched, to be bold once more, Declaring His praises everywhere. The best is for us right now and in the future. He tells us over and over. We are not afraid. He reaches out His hand from the mighty waters and calls us to join Him, To a place of withholding nothing, giving him our all, fully letting go and Letting Him be. The victory is in His presence, the victory is in Him. The victory is found in who He is. I linger here just a little longer and more. And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise. Romans 5:2 MSG #InHispresence #AsIreflect #inawe

Dont...Gods choices are easy

God helps me with my choices. He doesnt leave me to my inadequacies. He keeps bringing me to Himself. These are special moments for a gal with her daddy. His love for me echoes and reaches me in my most unloveable moments(at least thats what I think). His pursuit for me keeps blowing my mind. He lets me watch as  He prepares a table for me...I soak in His presence as he annoint my head..my cup overflows.....in view of His mercy...I  offer myself, all of me. I know my humanness doesnt intimidate  Him not like how situations intimidate my humaness. Hence I boldly come and let Him be with me in all of my life's moments. In this moment of my life,I am ruined with love,His love. Just like Jacob, my limp is obvious but what is more obvious is that I prevailed and will always be victorious. I will hold on for dear life not just for His blessings. Just like Moses I wont go anywhere without Him....
All of life will be no life without him. In this moment, He is my king yet my friend and my father...words fail me to explain all of this. All I know is that I want this moment to be a lifetime for me...I want this view of life from this place to be my forever view of life in this land of the living. His view of life is life for me in this moment and I pray oh God,it wont end in this moment.
First written 21/10/2014

Monday, 23 November 2015

My journey with grief

Today I laugh...many times this year, lot of tears were shed from this face. I have had  emotional experiences I never imagined possible,not fully over but laughter in between those moments is growing. I believe in time I will heal and would remember only with smiles but for now I take the rollercoaster as it comes. At times the pain of grief catches me offguard, how I wish Im always in control...so I could stop it and cry in the privacy of my own space but I have embraced it as part of life, as part of the process of healing.  As God continue to minister to my heart, life become bearable, the comfort truly comforts and I know for sure in time I will heal. I will speak only of memories, 2015 the year I lost SesMahlodi and Sophia 2 months apart and I prevailed,with the year almost over, I have prevailed, God has brought me through victoriously indeed.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Words that go to the heart and stay….

I have experienced the power of words, in my life and others around me. Words I received as they were spoken over my life and words I have spoken over people. Gordon MacDonald speaks of words that convert. Words that go to the heart and thrive there. He says to thrive meant that the words lingered and were not forgotten. It meant that they lodged in the heart and compelled attention and action. To thrive meant that the words became part of the things he wanted to communicate to people in his world. I have seen the effect of negative words spoken over me and others. Negative words also go to the heart and thrive. These are words that go to our hearts and make us scared and doubt the truth we know. Some of us can testify on dealing with words that affected what we believe or didn’t believe about ourselves. The reason being someone we trusted told us we didn’t matter, that we were dumb and stupid. Someone who told us we could not amount to anything. Their power is as strong as positive words over someone’s life. I know people who are still dealing with the effect of such words in their lives. At times we start telling ourselves the same words that have condemned us. We start believing them and living by them. I am forever challenged to listen more than I speak in that way; words I say are really helpful. By swallowing evil words unsaid, no one has ever harmed his stomach. Winston Churchill However I love the positive power of words, the words that go to one’s heart and built, create, rejuvenate and encourage. Recently my daughter said to me, she is sorry for shouting at me. The words went to my heart and thrived there. I was touched mostly because I didn’t remember her shouting at me (my measurement for shouting and hers are totally different). I was touched because my daughter has learned the power of asking for forgiveness, the humility to come back when you realise you are wrong. Her sorry went to my heart and stayed. I remember my aunt saying about me; “Gape Maina ke kgoshi”- loosely translated that I am a king, I am royalty. I was young but those words went to my heart and stayed. She spoke to a moment when I thought I was being ridiculed and teased for being called royal. They have helped build my identity, that I am royal, I am a princess. They still speak to me today. Today I remind myself to choose my words carefully. The scriptures remind me that death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). Paul reminds me not to let unwholesome talk come out of my mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen (Ephesians 4:29). I ask you today; to pause for a while and think of the words you have said today, what action do they compel in the hearts of those that receive them. What conversion do they help create? #notetoself #wordsthatgototheheartandstay #speakingwithwisdom