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Where Freedom Dances

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God’s Thought To Me

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then and do not let yourself be burdened with a yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1, NIV).

 The Freedom of Belonging

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When I belonged to all my yesterdays, my life was clouded with impenetrable, pitch black darkness. I walked in tandem with the phantom of sorrow … hand-in-hand with the lonely pain of abuse.

Condemnation relentlessly mocked me without repose and Rejection beguiled me with venomous prattle … pretending to be my mother … my only friend.

I was clad in filthy shadows of dirt and despair while its tentacles entangled me with its terrifying colors of deceit.

Lies were the only songs my ears could hear and hatred the only eulogy my mind could comprehend.

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Slowly but with such well-trained precision, the forces of evil cunningly smothered me into a lifeless existence.

My surroundings shrieked with the wails of mocking misery… there where the gibbous moon slyly sang of destruction and terrifying bolts of lightning composed the fortissimo.

I was forced to sing the allegro of loneliness with a grimace, only to accentuate my alleged hideousness and evinced my repulsive existence.

My heart was kidnapped and my mind abducted by the cruel composer whose death rock only belched hatred and reeked of putrid decay.

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Yet, the evil conductor of the orchestra of horror forced me to endure the torture of the screeching music with a smile, pretending my delight.

The cruel lyrics of his compositions told my story … a story of being the only mistake God ever created … a faulty slip of His mind … an unwanted afterthought.

The andante was slowly killing me so softly, annihilating my last tincture of hope as the last falsetto cried and wailed with terrified loneliness.

The King of evil convinced me that the fetters of his dungeons of death were the only habitat for the likes of me … the place where religious vultures feasted on human carrion.

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Yet, the Eternal Light, the Living Word, the Way, the Truth and the Life who already overcame the evil of the one who once owned the keys of death, destroyed this chains of deceptive incongruity.

His angel choir never for a moment ceased their songs of adoration, glorifying His Majesty, joyfully inviting me to join their jubilations to the One who alone is worthy.

His overtures of passion told the story of another World, of the goodness of the One who is the great I AM with love defying the reasonings of my humanness.

He showed me another Way … another long, long road a-winding into Freedom …

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… leading me gently from the tabloids of hypocrisy … showing me the exit from the bondage where I was once to be found … bound with the evil iron cords of religion.

He rescued me from all my old remembrances that were thronging and suffocating, trying to snare me once again in the fowler’s snare.

He held my hand and walked with me through valleys where only crystal clear winds of beauty sang love songs …  there where I could fly free … rescued from the Lie I once used to be.

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He gently invited me with great tenderness to sit at His right Hand in heavenly places … He gathered me into His Loving Embrace … there where His Freedom dances … there … the only place where I belong.

Much love and sweet blessings xx

Mia

Linking-up with Lisa-Jo and the ladies at my Tea Time and Link-Up page. Today our guest is the word, BELONG.

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The Lonely Desert

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God’s Thoughts to Me

And human hands can’t serve His needs – for He has no needs. He Himself gives life and breath to everything, and He satisfies every need (Acts 17:25, NLT).

Gratefully Dying Gracefully

imageWhen thoughts are drifters on the wings of confusion, gratefulness seems like a mirage in a dry, barren desert …

… always shimmering delightfully on the horizon …

… always  inviting, yet empty, broken cisterns that can hold no water.

As I have been wandering though the swamps of illness, caught in the fowler’s snare, an evangelical humanist, desperation has nearly been the victor as ungrateful thoughts played havoc with my mind.

Silly ideas and futile thinking battled to breathe just another little breath of stale, self-pitying air, causing unending, dreadful torment.

imageGuilt and condemnation were my hated companions as I was trying to navigate my way through the dense fog hovering constantly on the surface of my muddy mind …

… there where no two thoughts walked together as friends.

I battled to hear my Lord’s loving overtures … bidding me gently to come …

… just abiding in the cool shadows of His love.

There where I could stop striving to be His co-savior, albeit a prisoner of my mind, and just rest in the coolness of His limitless affection.

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He longed to gather me with unconditional acceptance, yet I stubbornly ran to and fro …

… seeking reason and rescue for my debilitating plight …

… fearfully fighting that sweet surrender.

He once again accompanied me faithfully to the end of my reasonings and self. Again He showed me the folly of that evil lie of independence …

… the fruit of the lips of the great deceiver, the father of all lies.

The uselessness of being useful and the usefulness of being useless became vividly apparent as I was limping on my last legs.

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My turmoil was gently quieted by the whisper of His voice as He reminded me that He is not served by human hands.

Gratefully, as free as a bird, my heart rose with repentance to new heights of joy and freedom as He softly gathered me into His Loving Embrace and seated me in heavenly places in Him.

Sweet blessings xx

Mia

Linking with Lisa-Jo at FMF where Grateful is the guest of honor and the ladies at my Tea Time and Link-Up page.

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A Turbulent Heart

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God’s Thoughts to Me

My soul followeth hard after Thee; Thy right Hand upholdeth me (Psalm 63:8 KJV).

She has heard about Jesus, so she came up behind Him through the crowd and touched His robe (Mark 5:27, NLT).

Behind The Veil

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The late Brennan Manning said in his book, The Lion And The Lamb,” You will trust God only as much as you love Him. You will love Him not because you have studied Him. You will love Him only because you have touched Him – in response to His touch”.

Divine wisdom wrapped in Truth. Jesus warned the Pharisees that they were searching the Scriptures daily thinking that in them they had eternal Life.

But they were oblivious to the Living Word, blind to the Eternal Life standing right in front of them and they were doomed.

I recall a time in my own life when I was stumbling through a severe winter season. My physiology and psychology were naked and lost in sinister, dark, lifeless forest of religiosity.

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The giant branches of the ancient trees of traditions gnarled its fingers around my turbulent heart, trying to steal the last shreds which were panting for streams of the Living Quiet Waters of freedom.

They locked me up with the chains of religious high-sounding words in the cruel grip of laws and rules and regulations at a time when my body was immobilized by pain and exhaustion.

But like the Pharisees, my spirit was the prisoner of the lifeless idol of Bibliolatry. Silent pitiful cries and despondent tears enveloped me with an unbearable longing to touch the Robe of the Beloved.

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For many years I was an avid student of Theology and had the fundamentals of the faith at my fingertips. I could almost quote the Bible, chapter and verse.

I fell in love with the idea of God’s grace and love, but this love affair was only a figment of my imagination.

It was a poor substitute for that almost magical reality of a spirit becoming one in union with the sweet Spirit of God; that intimate closeness that seemed so utterly unobtainable.

It was not for lack of trying; just the opposite. I was the master striver, striving earnestly to build beautifully crafted altars, begging God to consume my hand crafted offers with the fire of His Love.

I was from the old school who prided themselves in their strong work ethic and was perplexed by the absence of Holy Fire.

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No … it was because of my lack of touching Him as a response to His touch. My heart was bound with the cords of doctrines and creeds. I was experiencing the death of the letter of the law.

My lips were singing Hallelujahs, but my heart was far from my first Love, yearning for that mysterious something many saints seemed to smile so secretly about all through the ages.

At the same time, I was suffocated by an unhealthy fear of God. I was terrified of that relentless monster of self-condemnation and shame.

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This master of deceit taunted me day and night with sneering, damnable lies that my hand was already spoken for by the dark, evil one.

When I stumbled upon these words of Mr Manning, a new day dawned in my inmost heart. A passionate, burning flame pierced my soul and my eyes were opened to see beyond the veil of my mind.

I was swept off my feet, overwhelmed with a love that was at the same time beautifully disturbing and devastatingly delightful. I was in awe of the prevenient grace of our King.

imageThoughts of another woman from another time; the woman with the issue of blood stirred my mind. We were both at a very lonely and needy place; both at the crossroads of our lives; bankrupt and seeking the ancient paths of eternity.

With shame I confess that I hoped that our Pappa would to transform Himself into a genie in a bottle, where my wishes were His commands.

But this Genie surely seemed as deaf as a doorknob and as blind as a bat, very unappreciative of all my clever selfish maneuvers. Yet, He patiently and gently kept on drawing me into His Loving Embrace.

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When I finally came to the end of my tether, I had no other choice but to crawl on my spiritual knees, like the woman with the issue of blood, until my heart finally touched the hem of my Beloved’s heart.

He took the tatters of my brokenness and started to heal me from the inside out. Although my illness is still very much part of my life, He has brought me to a place of sweet acceptance.

A place where I can eagerly look forward to the day when I will leave this old coat behind to be clothed in a new glorious spiritual body.

I will not dare to trivialize the suffering of a chronic illness, but I do want to dare all to follow hard after our God, assured of His right hand upholding us.

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Crawl if necessary until you are near enough to touch our Lord Jesus again and again and again … and then still again and again.

Much love and sweet blessings xx

Mia

I am linking-up with the ladies at my Tea Time and Link-Up page.

The Faceless Ones

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God’s Thought’s to Me

“For he has not ignored or belittled the suffering of the needy, he has not turned his back on them, but has listened to their cries for help.” (Ps. 22;24, NLT)

“I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.” (Mat.25:43(b), NLT)

Introduction

imageToday I am so honored to introduce my friend, Joy Lenton. She is a very special lady who suffers from ME/CFS and arthritis.

Joy is a mother and wife to her husband, Phil. She used to work as a nurse before becoming chronically ill.

Joy and her husband live in Norfolk, United Kingdom. To visit her blog, just click on her picture. Thank you, dear friend, for blessing me by being a guest at my place. Over to you.

The Girl with Light in Her Eyes

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Sadly those who are too sick to work have to contend with issues of shame. In a society where we are “framed, boxed, categorised, sifted, found wanting in society’s eyes” as I wrote about in the poem here, we experience deep frustration at being pigeon-holed and stigmatized.

It all impacts our lives adversely, affecting our relationships and connections with others.

On the rare occasions when I am alone downstairs in the house and have to answer the door during a late morning/afternoon/evening period in my night-clothes, wearing  bed-head hair, a dazed, sleepy expression and a veneer of embarrassment, …

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…I either say nothing (for such a state is normal to those who know me) or mumble something like, “Please excuse me, I’m unwell today” to those I don’t.

Then I hasten to close the door as fast as possible to avoid curious stares from neighbours or passers-by who may wonder what they are seeing.

I just want them to understand I am sick rather than lazy. Does it always take a stick or wheelchair to convince people we are ill?

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As someone who used to be thought of as attractive, took a fair amount of time and trouble over her appearance, sought out clothes to enhance and suit my figure, it is a far cry from those days to be where I am now .

I am almost permanently pyjama-clad due to the time I spend resting in bed or too exhausted to make the effort required to get up and dressed,  and I’m far too weary to let it worry me as it would have done before.

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I have a body that doesn’t walk like it should, lists and comes to a halt after a very short distance, is riddled with and swollen-jointed by arthritis, sinks wearily under M.E fatigue.

I have a face marked by the effects of over 20 years of chronic illness, exhaustion, pain, medication-taking, as well as the natural ageing process. I feel ashamed of my appearance at times. It doesn’t reflect how I feel on the inside.

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Though I’m far busier these days trying to work on the inner beauty that endures and cannot be taken away. To feel ashamed just for being ill is an additional burden we don’t need. And, yes, there are other areas of shame that have a great impact on relationships.

One of those is having experienced childhood sexual abuse. To have precious innocence taken and adult things pressed on a mind and body too young to understand them is a horrible thing indeed.

Those of us who have experienced it feel that we not only carry a huge scarlet letter ‘S’ for shame hanging around our necks, but have it imprinted on our very souls.

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Many who carry this shame stigma also carry a burden of emotional trauma, often leading to mental and physical illness, whereby the acid accumulation seems to leach into our very frame causing deep emotional/physical pain and disorder.

It can take a great deal of time, wrestling, prayer, struggle, pain, counseling, and much Holy Spirit input and help to work through the devastating legacy it leaves us with.

Full emotional healing cannot be rushed. So why share these things? Aren’t they meant to be private? Well, yes, and no.

The minutiae of how people deal with these issues is something for them to work out individually and together as a couple. But the sadness and frustration they cause is something to make known if it will help even one other person to feel less isolated and alone.

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Actually, it’s the hiding, shaming and embarrassment that keeps us from feeling understood or getting the support we need.

When your daily life experience lacks most of the defining vestiges of normality, it tends to reduce life to a drive to appear normal in the midst of personal chaos. And to a drive to see lives changed, with health and wholeness restored….one day.

In our image-obsessed society and culture, all of us who fail to manifest the perceived ‘norm’ ideal can be left feeling totally inadequate and shamed. Much depends on where we place our worth and value and where others do too.

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“We are “normal” in God’s eyes when we demonstrate endurance and long-suffering, when we keep looking to the unseen things. This is the normal Christian life” ~ Joni Eareckson Tada ‘Daily Devotionals’.

Let me reassure you, my friend, we are ‘normal’ right now, even when our lives and bodies may feel anything but, no matter how well or badly we function, no matter our level of disability. Man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart.

If, in naming and discussing these issues I can bring a greater degree of clarity, understanding, empathy or practical solution-finding to the mix then it will have been worthwhile.

We need to speak out. To air our concerns. To make invisible illness visible. To open up a forum for discussion so that others who suffer like-wise (and those who may follow after) will be assisted to live as fully and freely as God intended.

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For God the Father is not ashamed to call us His children who are restored, whole, beloved, precious and beautiful in His sight as He looks at us through the lens of Christ our Lord and Saviour.

Much love and sweet blessings xx

Mia

Courtroom of Heaven

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God’ Thoughts to Me

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of The Lord forever (Psalm 23:6, KJV).

Shirley, Mercy and Grace

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Heaven’s Courtroom was abuzz with breathless expectation! The three angels, Shirley, Mercy and Grace, were summoned by His Majesty, King Jesus.

According to the heralding angel who trumpeted the summons through the universe, King Jesus countenance was enveloped by the most beautiful rainbow of love and compassion.

Tripling with excitement the Triplet bowed down to their Heavenly Host in reverence, filled with brilliant delight to be in His Presence. The King was beaming with a glint in His eye when He informed them of His wishes.

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“I have chosen you to be My servants to a little baby girl who will be born nine months from today. She will be My gift of joy to her mother for I have heard the cry of her heart!

She will be called Mia for she will forever be Mine and I am lending her to her mother for only three years. Then her mother will return home to us.

Even amidst the darkest nights of her little soul, she will trust in Me. Gather as much star dust as necessary to baptize her as Mine the moment she is born.

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Shirley, wherever her little feet will tread during her sojourn on earth, your duty will be to make sure that she stays forever in the Shelter of My Wings.

You know from dear experience that these precious ones of Mine can be very stubborn, seeking their own way while listening to the deceiver’s lies!

Mercy, you need to make sure that My little darling will know that My mercy, love and goodness towards her are from everlasting to everlasting.

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But, I tell you in advance that she will suffer much and you need to be patiently persistent for at the right time, I will enable her to hear My voice.

Grace, you need to assist Me in cultivating a garden in her heart. You daily need to plant seeds of grace and enlighten the narrow path of Grace for her to find her way out of the dark, lost world.

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Some of these seeds will grow into mighty cedars of Lebanon. But some will grow by My design into a luscious orchard where she and I will feast together on the fruit of her love for Me.”

Much love and sweet blessings XX

Mia

Linking-up with Lisa-Jo and all the friendly hostesses at my Tea Time and Link-Up page.

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The Bang-Bang Club

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God’s Thoughts to Me

What sorrow awaits those who look to Egypt for help,trusting their horses, chariots, charioteers and depending on the strength of human armies, instead of looking to the Lord, the Holy One of Israel. In His wisdom, the Lord will send great disaster; He will not change his mind (Isaiah 31:1-2, NLT).

Hungry Hearts

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In 2010 the movie, The Bang-Bang Club was premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.

It portrays the lives of four photo journalists active within the townships of South Africa; Ken Oosterbroek, Kevin Carter, Jaoa Silva and Greg Marinovich.

They captured the low intensity war within the South African townships during the time of apartheid, especially during the period from 1990 to 1994.

The movie was the result of the political intolerance between the ANC supporters and the supporters of the Inkhata Freedom Party.

Greg Marinovich's Pulitzer Prize winning Photograph

Greg Marinovich’s Pulitzer Prize winning Photograph

In 1991 Greg won the Pulitzer Price for his photo of the murder of Lindsaye Tshabalala and Kevin was the photographer of that tragic picture of the little girl dying of hunger in Sudan while a vulture was stalking her in the background.

In 1994 Kevin also received the Pulitzer Prize for this heart wrenching photo. He was a man with a gentle, soft heart and in the same year he committed suicide.

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Ken Oosterbroek was caught in friendly fire from the UN Peace Corps in Soweto in 1994 and died in hospital. Greg was also wounded but survived.

in 2010 Joao accompanied US soldiers on a patrol in Kandahar where he stepped on a land mine and both his legs had to amputated below the knee.

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Being a South African, I was deeply touched by this movie. I want to honor these four valiant men for recording this specific period in the history of our country. I dedicate this poem to them.

Massacred

Am I poetically correct
Clinging to tatters of sanity
Deliberately distancing myself
From a Tokoza, Soweto, Boipatong
A genocidal, massacred Marikeng
From frivolous political commentary

From rotten broken bodies
Offering up their life blood
Gushing a solitary sticky river
Feeding the greedy god of death
Some already grinning eerily
The cruel, crying rigor mortis smile

From the heat and smoke of battle
From a thick, impenetrable wall
Of naked hatred, of tangible fear
An unlawfully occupied dust road
Built with granite rocks of terror
And tarred with human excrement

From assegais and machetes
Broken humanity, black and white
From fields being prepared
To serve as a dance floor
For rubber tyre necklaced dancers
Dancing the fire waltz of death

From puppets manipulated by Evil
Who clutches the strings of power
From the spiflicated mother hearts
Emaciated, drained of comfort tears
Mesmerized children dodging bullets
Flickering like swarms of fireflies

Will I be socially correct
When I hear the gentle voice of the wind
Sighing softly through pine needles
Singing subtly of my Beloved
Calling as I seek and I seek
And I’m found

Much love and sweet blessings

Mia

Please visit my Tea Time and Link-Ups page and meet all the friendly ladies I link with during the week!

Unlocking Mysteries

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God’s Thoughts to Me

And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 16:19, NLT).

It is time we find the Resurrection Stone, and discover the “key” to these religious mysteries, to interpret the gospel as it was intended (Resurrection:  The key to understanding the gospel – James Fowler).

Priestly Prattle

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The word “hieroglyphics” is a Greek word that means “sacred” or “priestly carving”. For more than a millennium, from the year 500 BC to 1822 Egyptian hieroglyphics were considered to be a secret code of priests and the key to unlock these mysterious writings was feared to be forever lost.

Until 1799 when some of Napoleon’s soldiers found the Rosetta Stone near the mouth of the River Nile. The same inscription appeared on this stone in three different languages: Egyptian hieroglyphics, Egyptian demotic and Greek.

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The Rosetta Stone

But it took the Frenchman, Francois Champollion, 23 years to discover the key to unlock these mysterious writings. In 1822 he translated the symbols and the mystery of hieroglyphics was something of the past.

From as early as I can remember, I was a member of some or other Christian Church, but I was still lost in darkness and didn’t really understand what the gospel was truly about. I was well into my thirties when I first heard about our need to be born again through the sweet Holy Spirit.

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Not unlike most of my contemporaries, I knew an awful lot about the gospel. I paid lip service, celebrated and paid homage to the gospel instead of the God of the gospel without ever really knowing or understanding what it was all about.

To say that the Scriptures were a lot like prophetic-apostolic hieroglyphics to me, is nailing the truth right on the head. I used to read everything I could lay my hands on, trying to find the key to unlock the sweet mystery of the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

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I was as blind as a bat and lent out my itching ears to a lot of priestly prattling of quite a few deceived teachers and blind guides.

But my ignorance proved to be no problem to our Pappa and in His usual gentle, patient way, He had to use nearly a full bucket of mud to open my spiritual eyes to the simple truth of Jesus. The simple truth we have made a monstrous complexity of!

Suffice to say that for a long time I was happily falling time and time again over the stumbling block, our dearest Lord Jesus, the Cornerstone of our salvation.

I valiantly got up again after every fall, nursing my wounded ego for a while, dusting off my behind and then tried again from scratch.

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Until the Rock of All Ages reminded me. “Anyone who stumbles over that stone will be broken to pieces, and it will crush anyone it falls on (Matthew 21:44)”.

When enough was enough, this Stone kindly fell on me, broke me into many pieces and took my legs from right under me through my illness. Gone were the days of my “self” being able to get up again and again.

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This became extremely difficult and I had to hoist the white flag in surrender. I knew I needed to start building cautiously on the only Cornerstone through all the ages.

The Master Builder gathered all my broken pieces and glued them all together with His tender love and gentle discipline until I was just a fragile jar of clay with many cracks to allow His Light to shine through.

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When one is blessed with a disabling disease, your time of dancing when the religious folk played wedding songs and crying when they played funeral songs, has passed.

I realized that I was not able to carry this burden of Fm/CFS on my own and I was soon knocking earnestly on Heaven’s Door.

True to His wonderful promise, He soon opened the Door to His Kingdom and gave me a wonderful key. This key unlocks the secret of our Resurrected Lord living His Resurrection Life in and through us.

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Once we truly realize our need to decrease like John did and we fill up and straighten the roads of our hearts for our King of Glory to enter, we come to know the joy of denying ourselves daily to experience the life in our Pappa.

Through the above-mentioned article of James Fowler, I discovered the Resurrection key; the key to unlock the glorious gospel of Jesus.

Scales fell from my eyes and my heart soared like an eagle that has been released from years of captivity in the prison of religious jargon.

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Many Bible verses that used to scare the living daylights out of me, became beautiful flowers in the garden of my heart. The Gardener, none other than the Holy Spirit cultivating flowers with the sweetest nectar to feed my thirsty heart.

The will of our God is one example of the secrets He revealed to my stubborn heart. I used to go on many a wild goose chase trying to determine the specific will of our Pappa for everything pertaining to my life; totally ignoring the sacred gift of common sense that doesn’t seem to be common anymore!

This glorious key unlocked many mysteries of our Pappa’s Kingdom and opened the doors of many prison cells where I was a captive for many, many years; a prisoner of the cruel jailer called Fear!

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In my next post, I would love to invite you along a few of the roads to freedom our Pappa has led me and few mysteries He lovingly revealed to me.

Much love and sweet blessings.

Mia

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The Feisty Philistines

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God’s Thoughts to Me

He did this to teach warfare to the generations of Israelites who had no experience in battle. These are the nations: the Philistines (those living under the five Philistine rulers)… (Judges 3:3a, NLT).

All in all you’re just another brick in the wall
Just another blunder
Just another lousy call (Pink Floyd, The Wall)

A Brick in The Wall

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In 1979 the rock band, Pink Floyd, released a rock opera, The Wall. It was a huge success and made the top of the charts worldwide.

The opera was written by the group’s bassist, Roger Waters, and was a protest against rigid schooling in general and the boarding school system in the United Kingdom in particular.

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The Apartheid Regime in South Africa banned the whole album in 1980 and no radio station was allowed to play the song, Another Brick In The Wall. Supporters of a nationwide school boycott adopted this song in their protest against racial inequalities in education.

But this didn’t stop us young, teenage South Africans from the late seventies to listen to this album and to come to our own conclusions about the message of the song and the inequality in the education system.

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The problems this album was addressing were actually much wider and much more serious than we would like to admit, for the whole world is lost in darkness and chaos and is under the control of the evil one (1 John 5:19).

I have often been overwhelmed by my finite smallness in comparison with a big, wide world. The only solution Satan offers for lost humanity, is to deceive us into thinking we can decide for ourselves what good and evil are.

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As a result, we came up with “human rights” which have been a total failure world-wide, for man is totally addicted to power.

Too often the rights of a single individual is denied for the greater good of a group. No wonder the “unimportant, forgotten ones” feel like nothing more than bricks in the wall the rich and powerful are building on a very shaky foundation of human rights.

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We have fallen prey to an enemy we do not even recognize, but who nevertheless has been with humanity since the beginning of time and with the Israelites in particular after they entered the Promised Land … the Philistines.

But man has not been created to have rights; we have been created with the need to be loved by our Creator, to love Him in return and also love one another.

Any right we think we have apart from the love of our Pappa will only result in another form of power struggle and puts the emphasis on the idol called “self”.

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The name, Philistine, means, “wallowing in self” and according to Wordweb, “wallow” means, “to indulge in to an immoderate degree or to give oneself over to”.

The Philistines were an aggresive tribal group living in the south-east of Canaan and were Israel’s most formidable, feisty enemy and they battled against them even in the time of King David.

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We all know the story of Samson and Delilah and how he eventually, after being their prisoner for a long time, killed many of them at a feast in their temple. Who can ever forget how valiantly David as a shepherd boy killed their giant, Goliath.

Please allow me to suggest that the five lords that were ruling these formidable enemies, represent five aspects of the self-life!

We get General Self-Pity with a whole bunch of troops below him like Privates Self-Loathing, Shame, Rejection, Despair, etc., etc.

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Another high official in the Philistine army, is Colonel Self-Depreciation with his own bunch of underlings called Captain Self-Condemnation and Corporal Worthlessness.

Not to mention Major Self-Importance with his subordinates, Sergeants Boastful, Braggart and Windbag. Last, but not the least, we get Sergeant Major Self-Indulgence and the millitary attaché, Captain Self-Pleasure

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We all have our own bunch of stinking Philistines in our hearts in all their different, delicious forms and flavors. They were not only a great formidable foe in the time of the Israelites in Canaan, but are still today.

It has never been easy to defeat them and they have the nasty habit to pop up again and again. I know I have to be on the look-out for especially those nasty critters, Rejection, Shame, Self-pity and their whole enchilada.

Someone else  may not have a problem with my enemies, but may have another bunch of Philistines to battle e.g.  that sly fox called Arrogance and his sister, Pride.

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Only last week I was in a fierce battle against the Philistine army of Discouragement, Hopelessness and Self-pity when my illness almost overwhelmed me and I felt locked up  in the dark dungeon of despair.

I knew I was totally helpless, but for a day of two, I still valiantly tried to overcome the enemy with what I thought the grace of my Pappa. But without any success. My enemy was ready for serious combat and I was so weak.

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I battled until I remembered that I was trusting my own skill, albeit empowered by grace. Only as I felt the hyena sinking his mighty teeth into my flesh, did I remember to turn around and run to our Lord Jesus.

When we have to battle this enemy in our hearts, let us not be foolish and think that we can defeat them on our own, for we simply cannot.

Let us submit to our Commander-in-Chief and resist this mangy pack of hyenas. These spiritual enemies can only be defeated by the sweet Holy Spirit.

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Let us remember His words, “Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s” (2 Chronicles 20:15). Let us run to Jesus and Him alone, for He is our Conqueror.

Much love and sweet blessings.

Mia.

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The Shepherd from Heaven

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God’s Thoughts to Me

He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry His lambs in His arms, holding them close to His heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young (Isaiah 40:11, NLT).

He Feeds Us

Today is the beginning of the International Fibromyalgia/ME Awareness Week. Although research is only in its infancy, we look forward to progress and perhaps a breakthrough in the near future.

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Due to unbelief, many if not most sufferers, received very bad and hostile treatment from the medical profession.

But at least we are finally beginning to be acknowledged as human beings with a real and quite disabling disease.

Isaiah 40:11 reminds us so wonderfully of how well the good Shepherd from heaven takes care of mothers and their children.

He cares for the broken ones, the weak, the sick, the unimportant, the unwanted and the rejected of this world. They only need to come to Him.

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When my son, Simon, was in Grade 11, we had to buy text books for Grade 12 when the Grade 12 pupils were selling their old books second-hand at a much lower price than new books.

I recall the week when we had to pay about R600 (around $67) for two text books as well as payment for the initiation camp for the following year’s Grade 12 learners.

It was in the middle of the month and we were stone, cold broke with only a few pennies we had to rub together in any case. Yet, I knew I had a Pappa who promised to take care of all our needs.

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The morning the payment was due, we still had not received our Lord’s provision, but I assured my children that the money would be paid before the end of the day.

When they left for school, I had a serious talk with my God, reminding Him that today is D-day and we still were empty-handed (or rather empty pocketed).

He told me to go to the ATM, and of course I stubbornly had to argue a bit, for the previous day when I checked, I was taunted by a big, round zero. Oh, those trust issues!!!!

At the word of our Lord, in the famous Peter style with the fishing nets, reluctantly, off to the ATM I went.

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I found that double the amount we needed was paid back to us from the Receiver of Revenue. We were overjoyed and my children’s faith grew with leaps and bounds.

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One would think that I was now cured of my stubbornness. Oh no, not this one. As a Fm/CFS sufferer, I had my fair share of unbelief, rejection and neglect from doctors, church people and also family and friends.

To such an extent that I landed up in the proverbial pig pen; not because of my foolishness, but because I had no one to care for me when I couldn’t take care of myself. Nobody believed that I was really ill.

But I was never alone. I could hear my Pappa screaming in my pain and suffering. Faithfully He was working in His normal mysterious ways to perform His wonders in my life.

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The shepherds of ancient times would break the legs of the lambs that constantly wandered away.

Then he would set the leg and carry the lamb on his shoulder until the leg was healed. After that the lamb would remain by the shepherd’s side for the rest of its life.

Pappa knew of my stubborn propensities to be a master performer to earn everyone’s love and approval.

With my religious mindset, I just could not believe that I already was loved and accepted by our God.

Because of His amazing love, He did what the shepherds did with their stubborn, wandering lambs. Allowing Fm/ME in my life, He “broke” my legs.

With such tender care and love, He gently set it as well and carried me around His neck until I was healed of my stubbornness and insecurities.

I have learned how good it is when my Beloved Shepherd Himself feeds me with the milk of His love… His grace … His life and compassion.

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Fm/CFS has taught me how to always walk with our Lord and never ever to leave His side again.

Even though we suffer greatly at times, I am so grateful for the wonder and joy of walking daily with our God … for the privilege of living in His Loving Embrace.

Love and sweet blessings

Mia

We all have experienced how our Lord has provided in miraculous ways. Please, share His goodness with us!
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Mirror, Mirror on The Wall

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God’s Thoughts to Me

In his proud exclusivism he condescended to receive Jesus into his home, probably to engage in some ad hoc detective work to personally interrogate Him and pin Him down on His ideas and prophetic credentials (A Commentary on The Four Gospels, James Fowler).

Who’s The Greatest Debtor of Them All?

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A while ago, my husband and I watched the movie, The Huntsman; a brilliant new version of Snow White. Now, being an incurable romantic, I like my fairy tales to end with a happily-ever-after.

In this movie, Snow White was crowned as queen without a knight by her side. But, at her coronation feast, she lavished the handsome huntsman with a promising, coquettish smile. Soooooo romantic!!!

As I was pondering the parable of the two debtors, my heart was filled with gratitude towards Jesus’ love and compassion towards all the undesirables of the world.

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Jesus told the Scribes and Pharisees that prostitutes, especially those with broken jars of nard, tax collectors, murderers, etc. etc etc. and drunkards (mind you) will enter the gates of heaven long before they do. (Matthew 21:31).

Heaven is a place for the unwanted, the poor, the lame, the lepers, the harlots, the tax-collectors, the humble, the peacemakers, the sorrowful, the Samaritans and, worst of all, the despised gentiles as well!

Not a place for the self-righteous who prance around like peacocks admiring themselves in an evil magic religious mirror, looking down at the drab grey sparrows.

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When Simon, the Pharisee, invited Jesus to a meal at his house, his dislike and disdain of our dear Lord was open for all to see. He withheld even the common courtesy of washing His feet!

When the party was well under way, one of those undesirables, an uninvited immoral woman, violated their customs by gate crashing the party. She was a prostitute whose reputation for harlotry was well-known; a fact accentuated by her loose, flowing hair.

We all know of her sweet smelling offering when she washed His feet with her tears, dried it with her hair and annointed Him afterwards with her expensive nard oil.

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And Simon was horrified that someone claiming to be a prophet could allow himself to be touched and soiled by such scum of the earth. And it hurts … it hurts very much! I know that so well.

He is an excellent example of how repulsed loveless, merciless religion is towards notorious sinners like this woman.

Then, and how I love this part, Jesus told Simon the story of the two debtors. He knew Simon’s heart and wanted to know who would love the lender the most after their debt was forgiven because none could pay back the money they owed.

Was it the one owing 50 denari or the one owing 500? Simon’s greedy, materialistic mindset of course, presumed that it would definitely be the one who owed the lender the most.

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I can almost hear our Lord Jesus asking Simon,”Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the greatest debtor of them all?”. I think Simon needed a few mirrors to accommodate all his self-righteousness.

Was it the white washed tombs of religious hearts who meassured a person’s worth by a bunch of external religious rules, but were blind to their own subtler sins of pride and hypocrisy? Keep in mind that our Lord called them the children of their father, the devil.

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Was it the one who looked down his nose at our Lord Jesus and treated Him with contempt, or was it the sorrow-filled sinner who humbly, with a repentant heart knew how much she needed this Divine Forgiver?

Was it the one who was appalled at Jesus’ audacity to think He could forgive sins, but failed to appreciate his own need of a Savior?

Or was it the despised one who was heartbroken about her sinfulness that she didn’t dare even taking a peak into the murky soiled mirror of her heart?

Did her gratefulness to the sinless One enable her to humbly accept the redemption and forgiveness our Lord offered her as a free gift of grace?

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I always considered the woman to be the one forgiven the most, but that was at the time while I was still thinking with a religious mindset and from a human point of view.

After all, sexual sins were nearly at the top of my sins-to-avoid-at-all-cost list. I used to have a very long unwritten one. But not any more!!

I remember the time when my family and I were in a similar position as this woman and were treated with the same contempt by some modern day Pharisees.

My oldest son and a pastors’s daughter fell in love. It was at the time when the congregation was doing the Ancient Paths course.

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At that stage I was very, very ill and under the impression that it was caused by demons. After my doctor’s diagnosis of that between-the-ears disease, I believed them. And so did my husband.

I went for deliverance after deliverance, made a spectacle of myself in the process and eventually started drinking to ease the physical, emotional and spiritual pain.

Ancient Paths teaches that the sins-of-the-fathers thing never misses a generation! Suffice to say, my son was considered to be the next heir to that painful between-the-ears illness, as well as a drunkard in the making.

He was considered not good enough for that sweet girl and both their hearts were broken as a result.

I just pray that Pappa will do a mighty work of healing in both their hearts and enable them to forgive completely.

My Son, Simon

My Son, Simon

Today I have the joy of knowing that my child loves His Pappa with a fierce love, way above most other young men of his age.

I have the blessed assurance that my sweetheart is living daily in his Pappa’s Loving Embrace!

Much love xx

Mia

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