Archives

The Socialite

image

God’s Thoughts to Me

You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it (Matthew 7:13-14, NLT).

The Broad and The Narrow

image

Bright ideas and fibrofog are not bedfellows; so, down memory lane I went to find some common ground between my thoughts for today’s post and an exciting introduction.

When I asked Pappa to help me, He gently reminded me of an instance when I, as a young teenager, went on a school scouting camp. I vividly remember this one guy having everyone in stitches with the lamest of jokes.

I was merrily joining in the laughter whilst being dumbfounded that anyone could actually think such stupid jokes to be funny. And just there I found the reason for so much of humanity’s woes; our god given need to belong; to be accepted.

image

It is this sensitive need satan uses to deceive and lead so many people happily along the broad road. I am not talking about the broad road where you find the company of thieves, drunkards, murderers, addicts, prostitutes and the like.

Our Lord didn’t seem to have much trouble with these folk. In fact, He was called a drunkard and glutton Himself (Matthew 11:19) and He called Himself a jail-bird (Matthew 25:36). I am talking about the broad road called religion with its wide gate welcoming countless souls into destruction.

I once was a cheerleader along this road until our Lord kindly blessed me with a disability that robbed me of my pom-poms and all my cheerleading skills.

image

Truth be told, I was a religious socialite, always dressing myself in all the latest to-do fashion doing the religious rounds. But, no matter how much I flirted, I was always empty; devoid of life, true Life!

But where the great “I AM” is, you will never find a void, or an emptiness or need to belong that He does not fill with His wonderful love … actually with His Heavenly Wonderous Self. He dresses His bride in His white washed Robes of Righteousness.

image

He patiently started to “home school” me, teaching me at a pace that suited my fibrofog, how I totally sidestepped the wonder and truth of His Gospel.

He taught me the difference between the broad road of darkness and the narrow road bathed in the Light of Jesus … the road called Jesus … the road called Life.

He taught me the complete dichotomy between these two roads. The way of Jesus’ Kingdom is uniquely radical and singular and is not easily passable.

In fact, it is impossible without faith, true faith; the kind of faith that we can only receive as a gift from Pappa’s Hand. Only this gift enables us to walk this tippy-toe road!

image

This gift of faith makes our hearts receptive to God’s grace, moment by moment and enables us to walk the narrow road that is not popular or pleasing to the masses.

We often need to walk this road alone seeking only our Pappa’s approval. But life lived in our dearest Lord Jesus is the summation of God’s Kingdom.

Not many religious people are willing to submit themselves to God and Him ALONE in receptivity to enter through the narrow door and walk on the narrow path.

This is the life lived at the end of our tether, denying all our own efforts to be saved, allowing our Lord Jesus to live His life in and through us.

image

It is much easier to get lost in the letter of the law, a doctrine, a creed, a rule, a sacrament or whatever gives us a sense of security even though it is false. It is much easier to enter through the beautiful, broad religious gate.

It is a popular road; convenient and socially acceptable and allows a wide scope for freedom of ecumenical tolerance.

It is widened even further by the many ruts and ditches of methodology (especially the “how-to-do-this-that-and-the-other-for-God” kind) and experimentalism. The better it feels, the better it is! The more important it sounds, the more important it is!

Solomon wisely knew from experience, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death” (Proverbs 14:12). We all have to choose which road we will travel; the one leading to spiritual death or life.

image

Let us cry out to our beloved Lord with King David in Psalm 139 “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Much love and sweet blessings xx

Mia

During the week I link-up with the friendly ladies at my Tea Time and Link-Up page. Thanks for your hospitality.

The Feisty Philistines

image

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

image

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.

image

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.

image

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.

image

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.

image

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”.

image

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.

image

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.

image

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

image

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.

image

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.

image

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.

image

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.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

The Seven Dwarfs

image

God’s Thoughts to Me

But I warn you – unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 5:20, NLT).

The Seven Pharisees

image

In May 2012 the movie, Snow White and the Huntsman, was released by Universal Pictures. I totally fell in love with the uber-cute real-life little dwarfs in this new release.

Who would ever forget how valiantly Gus fought in the Dark Forest and took the arrow meant for Snow White to save her life.

I had to peck away a tear or two, for just the previous night the two of them danced so beautifully together.

image

As I was reading an article of James Fowler called Pharisaism, I met another bunch of seven “dwarfs”, if you would pardon my pun.

I had a good giggle when I read about how the Talmud described the seven types of Pharisees.

The first group they identified was the “Shoulder” Pharisee. These were the guys whose shoulders were never big or wide enough to accommodate all their good deeds, like keeping the Sabbath, feeding the hungry, etc.

image

They tithed to the last drop of wine they owned before taking even one sip and prided themselves on the fact that they were not like the scum of the earth such as the publicans and their kind.

It seems to me they were not part of the crowd when our Lord Jesus taught the people not to let their left hand know what their right hand was doing (Matthew 6:3). Nope, they loved blowing their own trumpet!

Then we meet Mr Wait-a-Little. They were the cautious ones who would weigh all their options a few times, and then wait a little more, before they would do a good deed or help someone in need.

I think we can also call them the Forever Sabbatarians; totally ignorant of Solomon’s advice, “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them!” (Proverbs 3:27).

image

And then, there is the poor Mr Bruised Holier-than-Thou. They walked around with their eyes downcast to avoid looking at women, oblivious to the lustful devils reigning in their hearts, “But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28).

Can you imagine how unclean they would have been if they accidentally, mind you, touched a menstruating woman; not to mention a despised Gentile or Samaritan! Gross!!!

image

The fourth group they identified was the Hunchbacks. They were not Quasimodo’s ancestors, but the guys who made a big show of trying to be humble.

Perhaps they were trying to win our Pappa’s favor and were well aware that, “God opposes the proud but favors the humble” (James 4:6).

What better way of showing off your humility than walking with a bent back! I am sure they had to endure excruciating back pain because of their hypocrisy.

image

Close on Mr Hunch Back’s heels follows Mr Ever-Reckoning. This poor guy was a useless mathematician and was forever tallying his good and bad deeds.

This gentleman never seemed to get the scales to balance and was therefore never certain of his standing before our Pappa. What a God-forsaken place to be!

If you search well enough, you might find Mr Scary-Pants hiding in the closet. These guys were forever trying to hide from the wrath of our Pappa for they were lending out their itching ears to the enemy who slyly told them horror stories about their heavenly Father.

image

They were convinced our Pappa was a monster looking for the slightest excuse to annihilate them. It does not seem as if these guys were familiar with the words of King David’s beautiful psalm, “But even in darkness I cannot hide from you” (Psalm 139).

Then there were also the ones who loved their Pappa and respected Him as their God. Nicodemus and Gamaliel were thought to be good examples of this group. The Kingdom of Heaven accommodates all kinds and flavors, it seems!

image

Before we shake our heads in innocence, in self-righteousness and with a know-it-all smirk, let us do some serious introspection. Let us ask ourselves how many of these evil dwarfs are hiding in the remote niches of our hearts.

When I was lost in the Kingdom of Insecurity, I used to allow my good deeds to subtly slip into my conversations in the hope of convincing my fellow churchgoers that I was a good Christian.

image

I knew my alleged enemies much better than I did my Lord Jesus. In fact, I knew them each by name: the demon called Rejection … Death … Insanity … Condemnation … Illness … Unbelief … Doubt … etc … and the worst of them all; Jezebel!

I was worse than the worst Scary-Pants and petrified of my Pappa, convinced He was a mean, exacting God expecting me to earn even His slightest smile.

I was totally deceived by the archenemy of humanity, Satan, who was conquering my mind with his greatest weapon: religion!

image

Let us bare our hearts to the Light of Heaven, allowing Him to chase away and destroy all the gremlins incubating and hatching in the humid darkness of our souls.

Oh, that He would capture and destroy all those pestering little foxes who ruin the vineyard of our Love!

Let us come to Him with the candor of a little child assured of His waiting arms longing to envelop us in His Loving Embrace.

Much love and sweet blessings.

Mia

Linking-up with

image

image

image

image

image

image

Sly Deceptions

image

God’s Thoughts to Me

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world (1 John 4:1, NIV).

Test everything. Hold on to the good (1 Thessalonians 5:21, NIV).

The Noble Bereans

I used to be good friends with a lady who was a member of the Seventh-Day-Adventist Church. She had a very difficult childhood and subsequently grew up into a very insecure, vulnerable young woman.

The White Family

The White Family

When she desperately needed love, she met a few Seventh-Day-Adventists and they welcomed her with open arms. As she didn’t grow up in a church and didn’t know our Lord, she accepted their teachings and married their young pastor.

The founders of the Seventh-Day-Adventist Church were Ellen G White, her husband, James White and Joseph Bates. The Adventists consider the teachings of Mrs White, which are based on visions she apparently received from God, to be just, if not more, reliable and true as the Bible.

image

These precious people are heavily bogged down under the yoke of legalism. Yet, they consider themselves to be the remnant spoken of in Revelation 12:17.

This belief can easily scare the living daylights out of a naive, gullible person, like my friend, and make them a life-long member of this church.

Their teachings are very dangerous and the fact that they celebrate their Sabbath on a Saturday, is only a small fish in the ocean of deception.

image

My friend tried her utmost to convert me to Seventh-Day-Adventism, but when she realized she was wasting her time, she sadly ended our friendship. I did a thorough study of their teachings and our Pappa protected me from believing lies.

I am amazed how educated, intelligent people use a single Scripture verse as the basis for a whole new doctrine and subsequently a new church!

Just to give you an idea how easily a Scripture verse can be taken out of context and manipulated to create a whole new doctrine, I want to mention their teaching about dietary laws.

According to them it is sinful to eat pork, but conveniently ignore Paul’s warning, “So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink… (Colossians 2:16)”.

image

When Peter received the vision from heaven of the sheet containing all the “unclean” animals, according to the Old Testament laws, our Pappa told Peter to eat these unclean food. We know our Lord wanted to show Peter that, contrary to their belief, He didn’t consider the Gentiles to be unclean.

The Seventh-Day-Adventist believe He was referring only to people and not animals! Pigs are still happy and safe in Jerusalem and amongst these folks! The dietary laws of the Old Testament are still operative to them today.

Their teachings made me realize how easily one can base many false, deceptive doctrines on a few Scripture verses taken out of context and by implication deceive millions of people. The fear factor and the false security it offers keep many earnest seekers of God chained to these false doctrines.

image

The greatest danger lies in the fact that nearly every lie can be defended from Scripture and the adherents usually valiantly claim to be just as noble as the Bereans who eagerly listened to Paul and Silas and searched the Scriptures daily to if what they preached was in fact the truth.

When I came to realize that countless, terrible lies were being nobly taught straight from the Bible, I seriously looked at what the Bereans were really doing. I found the secret lying not in what they were doing, but in what Paul was preaching.

Paul and Silas were in Thessalonica before they came to Berea. There was a Jewish synagogue and for three Sabbaths in a row, Paul reasoned with these Jews.

He used the Torah to explain the prophecies about the Messiah who had to suffer and rise from the dead. He informed them that Jesus was this promised Messiah.

Jewish Children Learning The Torah

Jewish Children Learning The Torah

The Bereans were more open-minded than the Thessalonians and eagerly listened to what Paul was preaching. Yet, they didn’t just gobble-up everything Paul said, but searched their copy of the Torah daily to make sure of the truth of their words. Paul commended them for this (Act 17:11).

Paul warned the Thessalonians to test everything and only hold on to what is good and true. In the same manner we find John warning the believers not to believe every spirit, but to test the spirits to see whether they were from God. Even then many false prophets were claiming to preach the truth of Christ.

image

Today were are in the midst of a great apostasy and we have greatly stifled the Holy Spirit’s gift of discernment. We believe left, right and centre everything that is taught in the name of our Lord Jesus without testing anything.

I know that if people are like me, we often cry this great battle cry of  “Sola Scriptura”. Yet, we are clueless about the battle we are so valiantly fighting for! No wonder the Roman Catholic papacy, at the time of Martin Luther, used to say that the Protestants only exchanged their idol of the Pope for another, the Scriptures!

image

I invite you to accompany me as I investigate, like the Bereans, for another few posts and test a few of the subtle false spirits doing the rounds today and which are difficult to discern as falsehood.

I want to delve deep into the Gospel Paul was preaching and hold onto our Lord Jesus who is the only Way … the only Truth … and the only Life.

Blessings and love.

Mia

Linking-up with

image

image

image

image

image

image

The Sacrament of Living

image

God’s Thoughts to Me

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward (Colossians 3:23-24, NIV).

Let a man sanctify the Lord God in his heart and he can thereafter do no common act … For such a man, living itself will be sacramental. As he performs his never so simple task, he will hear the voice of the seraphim saying, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of Hosts. The whole world is full of His glory.” (A.W.Tozer – The Pursuit of God).

The Housewife Syndrome

image

The yardstick of this world is a mighty weapon leaving many, many casualties in its wake. A major disease that is a result of this monster, is the housewife syndrome.

This disease is as old as time and no cure has ever been found. No amount of psychology or common sense is totally able to heal this illness. It has ingrained its lies deep in the hearts of its victims.

image

Most of us become skilled in the game of comparing very early in life and we soon measure our worth on the scales of performance. And this, at least, is one thing I used to be able to perform with excellence!

Ever since my boys were small, I used to be just a housewife, a wife and a mother. I considered myself to be quite low on the scale of importance and were plagued by feelings of guilt for burying my talents in the ground.

image

Who will ever consider doing laundry, scrubbing floors, cooking meals, ironing, making beds, etc, etc, etc, to be a noble vocation! Definitely not me for I was quite snobbish.

Helping my husband to keep the pot boiling, I designed children’s clothing. I was an excellent seamstress and worked into the early morning hours sewing the most beautiful clothes. Yet, in my eyes this was still a common profession.

image

Another cohort contributing mightily to this whole shebang is the world of religion. The religious elite is not innocent in this folly and most have their own set of performance rules and regulations to keep the wheels of the cart rolling!

I recall the time when the medical profession was unable to provide an explanation for my Fm/CFS. Well, my husband did not understand it either. In the beginning he was not supportive, believing this illness to be just a figment of my imagination.

This was a hard time for both of us for I was unable to fulfill my duties and he worked very hard. One day he even dragged me to the stove telling me to stop being such a hypochondriac and look after my family. I could only scream in pain and crawled back to bed.

image

I needed help and support desperately and went to see my pastor and his wife. In a previous post I wrote about the catastrophic outcome of this meeting for their diagnosis was that my sorry state was actually the result of not serving the saints.

One day I realized that all my striving and comparing were just  as useless as chasing the wind and I heard a voice!! Softly and tenderly it wooed me like a fresh breeze of love to come to Him.

His cure for this foolishness was actually so incredibly simple, “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31, NLT). When our Pappa God wrote this cure on the tablets of my heart, I was overjoyed.

image

My eyes were opened and I could suddenly see why Brother Lawrence considered washing the dishes at the monastry, a holy experience (The Practice Of The Presence Of God).

I realized that if humble duties like eating or drinking, things we share with our lowly animal friends, could be done to honor and glorify our Lord, there is nothing, except sin, that is not important to our Pappa.

Like all the blessings our Pappa bestows on us, the secret for this cure is hidden and available only in Him. As we learn to set our eyes on heaven and to store our treasures there where moths and rust cannot destroy, we soon find our hearts desiring nothing else, but the will of our Pappa.

image

I often wondered why Pappa hasn’t healed my Fm/CFS until He told me that it is for my own good. This is just a thorn in my flesh to prevent me from surrendering again to this cursed life of earning approval through performance.

Much love XX

Mia

I would like to hear if I was the only sufferer of this performance disease. Please, let me know!

Linking-up with
image
image
image
image
image

Mirror, Mirror on The Wall

image

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?

image

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.

image

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.

image

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.

image

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.

image

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.

image

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?

image

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.

image

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

Linking-up with

image

image

image

image

image

image

 

Freedom in Captivity

image

God’s Thoughts to Me

For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2 Corinthians 3:17, NLT).

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

My Freedom Manifest

During World War II, Corrie Ten Boom and her family helped many Jews to escape the Nazi Holocaust.

The Ten Boom Family

The Ten Boom Family

They were arrested in 1944 due to an informant. Corrie, her father and her sister, Betsie, were imprisoned in Ravensbruck, a Nazi concentration camp.

Only Tante Corrie survived and in 1953 her book, A Prisoner and Yet, was released where she shared their suffering and torture.

Despite everything she went through, she was released with her soul free and her mind intact. She found the secret of living free in our Lord Jesus whilst being a prisoner in the worst of prisons.

Corrie Ten Boom

Corrie Ten Boom

I have to confess that I am an experienced jailbird. For a long time, I have been a prisoner, imprisoned in the narrow confines of my mind. Lies were the jailers, torturing me relentlessly.

Unlike Tante Corrie, I was free in the eyes of the world! Yet, my heart was captured in many dark prisons of self.

Self-contempt and his brother-in-arms, self-condemnation, were trampling and destroying the last tatters of self-respect I was clinging onto for dear life.

image

I was well versed in the language of abuse, but instead of unmasking this monster as the fiend he really was, I internalized all his lies.

I labelled myself as the perpetrator and considered these cruel, murderous words, my own fault and my just reward for being such a detestable person. Yet, I could never pinpoint my behavior that caused this treatment.

I did my utmost to placate the violent temper of the one who was slowly killing me with verbal bullets instead of loving me more than life. I soon learned that for survival, silence was the name of this game.

image

When I was at the bottom of the pit of self-contempt, I turned to alcohol in an attempt to lessen the pain of rejection.

It is one thing to be the innocent recipient of such abuse, but quite another to believe the lies that you deserve nothing less.

I knew I was walking a very dangerous road of self-destruction, but truth be told; it seemed preferable to being jailed in the prison of my life. But my love for my children compelled me to look for a better way.

So I turned to God. Or rather; I became very active in organized religion. I tried to find answers in a myriad of religious do’s and don’ts. It was no surprise that the biggest don’t was , ” Thou shalt not DRINK!”!

image

My mind was completely veiled by a burqa weaved of the finest silk of deception and religious lies. No wonder I was totally powerless to overcome anything destructive in my life.

I was trusting my non-existent abilities to keep laws and another set of laws and then another set of by-laws!! I was doing hard labor in this prison of religion and before long I was chucked away into the worst of worst kind of imprisonment: solitary confinement.

If ever there was a brutal crowd of cruel jailmasters, it was the Scribes and Pharisees throwing stones of condemnation and shame.

image

I hoped to find help and support amongst these people, but experienced the worst kind of abuse one can think of: spiritual abuse.

I call it by another name, the rape of the heart. The rapist, to my mind, was none other than our dear Lord Jesus!

But a still, small voice kept beckoning me on another journey; a journey to freedom … a journey to truth … a journey to life.

Our Lord Jesus started clearing my mind of all the inroads of lies and redeemded me from its destestable father.

image

This is the first time I am able to lift the veil of shame and offer a peek into this sector of my life where I was a prisoner of alcohol. Nothing I tried could enable me to stop this terrible addiction!

When I came to the end of all I could call “me”, I fell to my knees, telling our  Pappa that if He didn’t heal me, I was going to be a drunkard for the rest of my life. I got up and never drank again. I didn’t even experience any withdrawal symptoms.

Sharing this is still awkward and it still hurts at times. But I have received grace upon grace to not only forgive myself and the perpetrators of the abuse against me, but our relationships have been beautifully restored to wholeness in Him.

image

With a grateful heart, I want to bring glory to our Pappa for the freedom that can only be found there where His Spirit reigns … the freedom Tante Corrie experienced when she was a prisoner and yet.

Much love and sweet blessings

Mia xx

image

image image image image image

Jack and Jill

image

God’s Thoughts to Me

You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men” (Matthew 15:8-9, NIV).

But the time is coming – indeed it’s here right now- when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth (John 4:23, NLT).

Jack and Jill went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water
Jack fell down and broke his crown
And Jill came tumbling after

So Far Away from Me

image

In 1985 Dire Straights released their album, Brothers in Arms, with the hit song, So Far Away. Poetry through music, according to me!!!

Whenever their lead singer, Mark Knopfler, laments his loneliness, shivers of delight run up and down my spine! “I’m tired of being in love and being so alone when you’re so far away from me”.

These words from the song capture the heart of our Pappa when Isaiah brought His message to the Israelites about His distaste for the farce of their religious show and pretense.

image

He informed them through Amos that He was tired of their religious festivals and solemn assemblies.

He refused to accept any of their offerings and sacrifices or to listen to their noisy hymns of praise (Amos 5:22-23). Our Pappa turned a deaf ear to their prayers for their hearts were so far away from Him.

Another peculiar thing has surfaced amongst the churches nowadays: Praise and Worship teams to lead the congregation into the presence of our God!

In many instances, these bands have become the main feature or attraction to lure people into joining the congregation.

But we read in Hebrews and 1 Timothy that there is only one mediator between man and his God, and it is definitely not Peter, Paul, Mary, the Pope or the pastor.

image

Our Lord Jesus has not abdicated His position to anyone or anything. He is the Narrow Gate, the Way and the Truth, the only One who can usher us into the presence of our Pappa.

I recall the words of a youth pastor friend of mine on how the worship leaders know which set of notes to play just before the altar call.

Apparently this specific octave has the ability and great potential to manipulate the minds of the congregants and stir up their emotions.

As I was pondering the act of worship, I was heartbroken to see how so many have cheapened this holy act of love.

image

I  knew I had to find the true meaning of Jesus’ words to the Samaritan woman at the well about the kind of worship that would bring joy to our Pappa’s heart.

Worship and praise have become like Jack and Jill, hoping to draw living water from the Fountain of Life by going up the hill of the modern interpretation of praise and worship. We all know that they, together with their empty bucket, tumbled down this hill.

Religious worship is totally self-centered and focuses on the worshiper’s actions and experiences.

It is bound by time, place and all the different procedures involved. This kind of worship is defined by what we do and plays along in the game of humanism.

image

We gather together in the parameters of a program, a place and time … we sing … we pray … we listen … we give … we serve.

We do and do and do and do some more. This is truly a do-it-yourself kind of worship experience!

When we look at true Christian worship, we find it totally the opposite of what we have become accustomed to.

Worship in spirit and in truth is a daily lifestyle where we always express the “worth-ship” of our Pappa’s character through an intimate bond of love between two kindred spirits.

As we allow our Lord Jesus to worship our Pappa by His Spirit of Truth by living His life in and through us, He enables us to love our Pappa with total abandon, unashamed, unbound and totally free.

This is the mystery Paul spoke about to the Colossians; God’s mysterious plan which is Christ Himself (Colossians 2:2).

image

Religious worship has taken the “in spirit and in truth” part and replaced it with things like emotion and mind … enthusiasm and orthodoxy.

Of this kind of worship A.W. Tozer wrote in the 19th century, “We have lost our spirit of worship and our ability to withdraw inward to meet God in adoring silence … I wonder if spiritual worship was ever at a lower ebb.”

I know I am taking the risk of being misunderstood and want to clarify my argument. I am not against beautiful gospel music; in fact, I love it.

I am not against a band playing when saints assemble together in the unity of the Spirit … there where everyone is captured by the beauty and love of our God … there where every heart is closely knitted to our Lord Jesus.

image

Dear Ones, let each one examine her own heart and cease from man-centered religious worship.

Let us learn from a dear old saint, Brother Lawrence, who explained this mystery of worship of our everyday life, as the moment-by-moment privilege of practising His presence.

Much love and sweet blessings xx

Mia

Linking-up with

image

image

image

image

image

 

Knocking on Heaven’s Door

image

God’s Thoughts to Me

The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me (Galatians 2:20, NIV).

Immediately the father of the child cried out and said,”I believe; help my unbelief (Mark 9:24, ESV)”.

Enoch’s Secret

image

There was a nagging thought that had the habit of pestering me every Sunday after church, “What makes you any different from all the people who walk the aisles of the grocery store when the first thing you do after church is walking with them along the same aisles in the same store?”

My heart was compelled by a persistent still small voice urging me to find the reason for this thief stealing my pseudo peace.

I had no idea that it was our Pappa convicting me through the avenues of my conscience about my hypocrisy.

This peace had the abilty to make me feel smugly superior to these poor lost souls. I know now that it was only a fabrication of the latest great gospel songs we sang at church. Music does have the ability to lull the soul. And today’s gospel music has a great beat and melody.

image

I envied Enoch who knew the secret of just walking with God and I did the only thing I knew how to do well. I went knocking on heaven’s door, imploring Pappa to teach me Enoch’s secret.

And my Pappa answered!! I admitted to Him and Him alone, alongside many voices through the ages, that I had no idea what true faith really was!

I lamented alongside Mike Yaconelli, “I had totally misunderstood the Christian faith. I came to see that it was in my brokeness, in my powerlessness, in my weakness that Jesus was made strong. It was in my acceptance of my lack of faith that God could give me faith (Abba’s Child)”.

image

Together with the father of the boy with the evil spirit, I cried out to our heavenly Father,”I believe; help my unbelief (Mark 9:24)”.

Our Pappa tenderly showed me how I desperately tried to manufacture faith through striving very hard, on my own, in the flesh. What a futile endeavor!

He knew of my fear of being included in the crowd who were chided by Jesus, “You faithless people! How long must I be with you?” (Mark 9:19).

He knew of my uncertainties and insecurities that made me believe our Lord was speaking to me in particular. He was well aware that in my vocabulary and my mind, “faithless” meant, “unlovable, useless, nuisance, shameful” and so forth!

When I came to that place where I had to admit defeat, our Pappa showed me the beauty of relationship. He didn’t give me faith as an entity per se; He gave me Himself.

The deep longing to desire Him and love Him, and then to love Him and desire Him even more, was the answer to my persistent prayers of years ago! Truth be told, I didn’t think I was worthy or important enough for Him to listen to my prayers, let alone, respond to my requests.

image

First, He patiently had to remove the veil of law still covering my mind. The glorious truth and understanding of grace were veiled in my heart.

Like a bridegroom removes his bride’s veil, He removed the veil that prevented my heart from KNOWING His love … His grace … His mercy and compassion.

He gave me the wedding gift of receptiveness to receive Him into my longing heart and taught me the secrets of any relationship of love.

He convinced me that to get to know one another, I had to share with Him not only my life, but also my heart with all its secrets and my depreciating thoughts of myself.

image

I willingly had to open the door of my heart to the room where a little girl was still hiding in fear, rejection and pain. I had to allow Him to gather her in His arms and heal her with His Kisses of Delight.

I had to dare to believe that He truly loved me unconditionally before I was able to show Him my spiritual nakedness and allow Him to clothe me with His righteous robe of His blood and redemption.

He whisked me off my feet to our private garden where He showed me the beauty of true love … where He overwhelmed me with His grace and forgiveness.

image

He taught me Enoch’s secret of how to walk with Him, living in His Loving Embrace.

Much love and sweet blessings XX

Mia

Linking-up with

image

image

image

image

image

Riding the Tithing Train

image

God’s Thoughts to Me

The early church had no tithing system … But as the Church expanded and its material needs grew more numerous and complex, it became necessary to adopt a definite rule to which people could be held either by moral obligation or by precept of positive law.

The tithing of the old law provided an obvious model, and it began to be taught… The Council of Macon in 585 ordered payment of tithes and threatened excommunication to those who refused to pay (The New Catholic Encyclopedia, vol.XIV, pp. 174-175).

Blessings for Sale

image

As a child, I often had the privilege of riding on a steam train. How I enjoyed the sound of the locomotive picking up speed.

When it was well on its way, the whistle would tell the whole world of its pride and glory.

I remember how we and all our luggage used to be covered with a thin layer of soot. It even found a place to hide behind your ears or between your teeth and toes! Today, the steam train is just a fond memory.

image

Nowadays, there is another train; the one driving on the railroad tracks of the monstrous, cruel religious teaching of tithing.

This train is driving through a thick, dark and scary forest of deceit, straight to the Kingdom of darkness.

This train’s thick layers of soot has crippled many of our Pappa’s children; not just financially, but also spiritually and emotionally.

image

When the Catholic Church started this teaching in the year 585 AD, they, at least, refrained from violating the famous verse on tithing in Malachi 3:8.

Their trump card, which was already an abomination in itself, was excommunication.

Looking at the origins of tithing in the Old Testament, we find Israel being under a Theocracy. Their president or prime minister was none other than our Heavenly Father Himself.

image

He instituted the tithing as His income tax system for the upkeep of the nation. The people had to “pay” three tithes.

The first tithe was brought to the Levites in the seventh month of the year. The Levites and the priests were the cabinet responsible for the upkeep of the nation.

The Levites had to give a tenth of this tithe to the priests who attended the altar (Numbers 18:25-32).

image

The second tithe was brought to the temple for the feast that took place in the seventh month.

Sort of their public holiday to honor their monarch where they all feasted and had a good time together.

The third tithe was only paid every three years and this one was given to the strangers, the widows and the orphans.

All in all it amounted up to 27,9% of their income, spread over a period of three years. This is as far as my mathematical abilities go!

image

Today another trump card is being played by the drivers of the tithing train. They play on the insecurities and greed of the human race and promise wealth and prosperity to those who fill their coffers with their hard-earned money.

I wonder if they are the descendants of the Judaizers pestering the first Galatian believers and the priests at the time of Malachi?

Actually, our Pappa was chiding the Levites and the priests who cheated on their income tax and even the widows and orphans of their daily bread. They were also an adulterous bunch, divorcing their wives left, right and centre.

I will never forget how an old black gentleman told me once the reason why he COULD NOT go to church: a lack of money.

After giving a tithe to their church he didn’t have much left for even just a decent meal. We all know what our Lord Jesus did to those who turned His Pappa’s House into a den of thieves.

image

Another wagon that has been hitched onto the tithing train, comes from the Beatitudes, “Give and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom (Luke 6:38,NKJV)”.

Could it perhaps be that our Lord Jesus was speaking of forgiveness like He did in verse 37?

This wagon also sport the Seed-Faith compartment.

image

I remember the time when I met my own set of “Judaizers”, telling me that I can line my own pockets through giving as much as possible, waiting for my sevenfold return.

I recall an incident when I was given a choice of receiving a nett or gross return on my salary, all depending whether I tithed on my gross or nett income!

They reckon the more you give, and that to them of course, the bigger your return will be!

image

This deceptive teaching is based on Galatians 6:7 where Paul chided the Galatians for lending out their ears to the Judaizers who added onto the simple Gospel of Jesus, which was no Gospel at all!

I am so grateful for Pappa’s protection against this tithing madness that has been the spiritual ruin of many.

Whenever I needed discernment on this matter, He abundantly supplied all the wisdom I needed.

In my own life I have found that as I allowed our Lord Jesus to become my life,  I started to give more and more and more!!! Giving and sharing just seem so natural. It gives me so much joy for our Pappa has written the law of love on the tablets of my heart!

I cannot do otherwise and truly understand now why the first Christians were commended by all because of their love for one another.

It does not really matter what percentage I give, whether it is 10% or the widow’s mite. The truth is that one actually wants to give way above one’s means for the sole reason of love!!!

image

Dear Ones, let us listen and heed our Lord’s advice and not allow our left hand to know what our right hand is doing and be surprised one day when we are invited into the eternal Kingdom for clothing, feeding and visiting with our Lord Jesus.

Much love XX

Mia

Linking-up with

image

image

image

image

image