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Tribute to Madiba

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God’s Thoughts to Me

The kings of the earth prepare for battle; the rulers plot together against the Lord and against His anointed One.

“Let us break their chains,” they cry, “and free ourselves from slavery to God.”
(Psalm 2:1-3, NLT)

Two Humble Men

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My country is in mourning. Thursday evening at 21:50, Tata Madiba has gone to be with His Lord! Tata, we are going to miss you! Now you know true freedom!

I wrote this post at the time when the South African Reserve Bank introduced our new set of banknotes nearly a year ago to honor this great man of boundless integrity.

I offer this post as a tribute to Madiba who lived humility, love, forgiveness and servanthood for he was a leader who always descended to the level of the person he served. He was a leader who washed the feet of his country:

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This week our beautiful rainbow nation, South Africa, was blessed by the South African Reserve Bank with a new set of banknotes.

On the one side it bears the renowned image of President Nelson Mandela and the other side, South Africa’s famous Big Five: the lion, elephant, rhinoceros, leopard and the buffalo.

My husband had the privilege of visiting Madiba twice at his modest home in the small Transkei village, Qunu, on provincial government meetings.

Tata Madiba's Qunu Residence

Tata Madiba’s Qunu Residence

He was overwhelmed by this gentle man who was truly larger than life. Mr Mandela was a humble man who taught South Africa the blessedness of forgiveness and he lived the truth of considering others as more important than himself.

Being the chief of his Xhosa clan, the villagers visited him often to ask him to settle disputes amongst them as was their custom.

To show their gratitude and respect, these humble, poor folk would bless him with a chicken or a goat. He received their gifts with heartfelt thankfulness.

Traditional Xhosa Women Dancing

Traditional Xhosa Women Dancing

On a state visit to England, Madiba was the guest of Queen Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Philip, at Buckingham Palace where he surprised the palace household staff by making his own bed in the mornings.

When told that there was enough palace staff to do these menial tasks, he replied that it was an old Robben Island habit he had not been able to unlearn yet.

Madiba was one of only two people that did not address the Queen as “Her Majesty”, but called her by her first name and got away with it! The other one, her husband, of course!

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I was always impressed by how this famous and great statesman always preferred to write with and sign documents with the cheapest pen we have in South Africa, a Bic pen.

A Jewish boy once personally delivered an invitation to Mr Mandela at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, to attend his Bar-Mitzvah.

Although Madiba did not know this young man from a bar of soap, he graciously accepted and attended the celebrations.

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During his term as the President of our country, he once queried a higher amount of money on his pay slip.When told it was his annual salary increase, he told his staff that he did not need more money for he lacked nothing.

That increase birthed the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. I am delighted that this fund is currently building the Nelson Mandela Children’s hospital.

One of his prison wardens during his imprisonment on Robben Island once told the story of how they all went together to church on Sundays for there was only this one small chapel on the island. They kneeled together and prayed together.

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After his release, they stayed friends. Years later, when the warden passed away, Madiba personally went to Cape Town to attend the funeral and console the widow.

Men of his stature and integrity are few and far between and very hard to find amongst politicians and Heads-of-State. His love for his country and all South Africans went way beyond any racial issues.

It saddens me to see the once beautiful dream South Africans had for a new South Africa now lying scattered amongst the reality of political unrest, violent crime and strikes, vandalism, murder, rape, domestic violence and drug abuse.

Robben Island

Robben Island

I hope that the Mandela family hid this sad state of affairs from Madiba as far as possible while he was an old and frail man. Yet, his lion heart could never be contained through old age.

G.K. Chesterton, an English writer, once remarked,”Once abolish the God and the government becomes god.” Wise words, for man was never created with the ability to govern himself or function independently from our Pappa.

Man was created as a finite spiritual being who derives his spiritual nature either from our Lord Jesus or the prince of the world; that greedy power-hungry destroyer of humanity.

He is the father of all systems and structures where power is abused, whether it be political, economical, social or religious.

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He deceives the power-hungry humanity into accepting a couterfeit security, for most people do not truly know that their Pappa loves them passionately.

Yet, Madiba was a man who was locked-up in prison for nearly a third of his life on earth. He came out and showed forgiveness in stark contrast with most of the power-hungry leaders of our continent.

What saddens me even more is the hurt and sorrow humans cause their Heavenly Father by paying allegiance to the father of all lies.

Madiba and Francois Pienaar in 1997 when South Africa won the Rugby World Cup

Madiba and Francois Pienaar in 1997 when South Africa won the Rugby World Cup

Not only do they destroy themselves, but also the beautiful creation He prepared as a gift for the crown of His creation, man! We are mostly ignorant of our folly.

Yet, He still became human just like us, He humbled Himself and paid the price for our freedom from our slavery to that cruel slave master.

In following in his Master’s footsteps, Nelson Mandela, reflected this true Picture  of humility.

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Madiba as Prisoner on Robben Island

I wish we could, like the Mandela family, hide man’s foul revolt from our Pappa to save Him all that anguish, heartache and sorrow!

Much love and sweet blessings xx

Mia

This is an edited repost.

Lady Wisdom

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God’s Thoughts to Me

Wisdom has built her house; she has carved its seven columns. She has prepared a great banquet, mixed the wines, and set the table (Proverbs 9:1-2, NLT).

Banquet of Grace

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In the year 33 AD the King of Love paid the full blood ransom for the freedom of a dying world who was held captive in the evil clutches of the prince of darkness.

This imposter was a cruel monster who held the keys of death. Bruised, broken and baptized in His own blood, the King gave His Spirit into His Father’s hand.

With His last breath, He broke the curse of sin and death and defeated the foe who held humanity enslaved in the fetters of destruction.

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His last breath exploded delightfully through the universe into grace and forgiveness, twinkling like fairy dust of love, inviting all to the marriage feast of the Lamb.

He reconciled Himself to those He loved with endless love, not counting their sins and transgressions against Him anymore, welcoming all His lost ones back into His loving Embrace.

But like a roaring lion, the dark one disguised himself as an immoral woman … a seductress … a woman called Folly.

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She was flirting with the naive who lacked common sense and wisdom, sitting in the doorway of her house of ill repute.

Her lewd voice was like a hypotonic song, seducing men into her poisonous web.

She was dressed in robes of sensuality and lured them with sly words into her house for a night of passion while leading them to their graves with her caresses.

She has spread her bed with a beautiful blanket of wealth and prosperity. She has perfumed her linen with the deadly religious perfume of myrrh, aloes and cinnamon.

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She intoxicated them with the poisonous wine she has mixed from hatred and deceit.

But the beautiful Lady Wisdom raises her voice at the crossroads of every soul, urging all with ears to hear to follow her on the Way of Grace.

She was appointed in ages past before creation to lead the childlike out of this trap of death and darkness into the Kingdom of Light and Love.

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She was the architect at the side of the Creator, His constant delight. She has forever been singing songs of joy over the those He created for His glory.

Much love and sweet blessings xx

Mia

Linking-up with the gracious Lisa-Jo and all the wonderful ladies at my Tea Time and Link-Up page.

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Courtroom Of Darkness

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God’s Thoughts to Me

Then they said, ” Come, let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world.” (Genesis 11:4, NLT).

Devilish Togetherness

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Once upon a time, when the world was lost in the evil one, the prince of darkness summoned his black knights around his throne of lies.

Their malignant wrathful presence filled the extravagant courtroom with their venomous sulphuric vapors of pride, evil grandeur, hatred and lies. They reeked of fatal destruction, decay and deceit.

Their prince informed them of his wicked plan to tickle the ears of the gullible earthlings by whispering damnable lies into the itching ears of their greedy hearts,

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“Let us once again subtly mix truth and lies and deceive these vermin again. They know they are skilled master builders.

Let us inflate their arrogant egos and tell them that they are able to build for themselves a city with a tower to reach their God! Let us imprison them together in chains of our hatred.

With persistent lying we can convince them that standing together in humanistic, devilish unity, will make them like the King of Heaven.

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Let us convince them not to use the stones that their God has created, but to build their own bricks to glorify the works of their hands.

Persuade them of the uselessness of tar and the benefits of using the mortar they have mixed with lime and cement.” The hosts of hell screeched with hateful excitement.

They bowed to their evil prince and departed for the dwelling place of man, not wasting a moment to spin their poisonous web of falsehood.

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Their lies and deceptions seemed to be a succeeding, but they failed to consider the Omniscience of the Divine One. The King of Heaven summoned His host of angels,

“My naive ones are once again lending our their ears to be tickled with lies and their hearts to be filled with pride.

My children have once again rebelled and succumbed to the monstrous lie of spiritual independence.

They are standing together in devilish unity and trying to reach my Kingdom with a wicked man-made tower.

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They are ignorant of the fact that this stairway to heaven will actually lead them away from Me and is nothing more that a cursed monument to glorify themselves!

Let us destroy this evil unity that makes them believe they are like gods by creating a Babylonian confusion.

I will confuse their speech and scatter them across the whole world. Only when they once again see their fragility, they will realize that they are but dust.

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Then I will reach out to them with my endless mercy and draw them with the overtures of my love. I will woo them and cherish them in the cradle of my heart.”

Much love and sweet blessings xx

Mia

Linking-up with Lisa-Jo and the ladies at my link-up page

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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

Writing Stories

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God’s Thoughts to Me

See, I have written your name on the palms of my Hands (Isaiah 49:16, NLT).

He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love He will calm your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs (Zephaniah 3:17b, NLT).

Love Letters In Sandy Soil

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Long, long ago, before the birth of time, You were the Author of Creation when the intensity of Your Love exploded into the story of man.

Breathless with desire, you created a crown for your glory … the ones to enjoy your love forever … the ones who refused the fruit of your Passion.

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Yet, still, you write love stories at the break of each day with the rays of sunlight to woo your lost ones home. You splash your words with the colorful mercies in the promises of rainbows.

You caress us with beautiful birdsong and the fragrance of your compassion is captured in the petals of delicate flowers.

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You heal the bended reeds with the fresh early morning dew drops of your grace.

Every faintly flickering firefly shines brightly with new life and the glory of your gladness after you have touched them with the brilliance of your smile.

You are the Author of a the love letter once written in the quicksand of the world when I was naked and soiled in the eyes of the monster called Self-Righteousness.

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You bent down to where I was lying in the dirty soil of despair, petrified and shivering with fear as rocks and stones of cruel words were killing me slowly.

Your gentle heart touched my fragility and filth and transformed my sin soiled rags into the beautiful gown of Your Righteousness. You crowned me with the crown of your glory.

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You gathered me into your Embrace and wrote a new song in the dusty soil of my brokenness … a special song where I am yours … the most beautiful of all … a song where you are my Beloved.

Much love and sweet blessings xx

Mia

Linking -up with Lisa-Jo and the ladies at my Tea Time and Link-Up page

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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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Broken Brides

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God’s Thoughts to Me

Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man he felt compassion for him (Luke 10:33, NLT).

The Rag Doll Queen

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On a lonely trash heap in a damaged, orphaned world, the remnants of a little woman-girl were carelessly scattered around like the broken limbs of an unwanted, discarded rag doll.

With a diseased body wracked with pain, this fragile ethereal dolly queen softly whimpered like a trampled rose. Silent tears were creating muddy trails down her sunken cheeks.

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An important looking gentleman dressed in his black Sunday-best coattails and top hat passed the woman and heard her pitiful cries for help. She hopefully cried out for mercy, love and compassion from this man of God.

With disgust he saved her a small little peek down his sensitive nose and his eyes were filled with repulsion. His body shuddered with contempt.

The stench of her brokenness overwhelmed this lord’s delicate system and he fluttered a snow white handkerchief from his breast pocket.

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He hurriedly fled in disgust … on his way to a prayer meeting at a church across the road to intercede for the lost and broken of this world. He had to hurry for he was already a tad late.

On his heels followed his congregants singing songs of worship and praise to their God whom they claimed, was Love. Amongst them were a pastor or two, a reverend, a bishop and a priest.

Their joyful singing drowned the pitiful mewl emanating from the rubbish heap until only a broken whimpering remained.

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They were making a joyful noise unto their Lord, but quickly averted their eyes from such filth in dire need when they passed this foul-smelling broken scrap of a rag doll queen. They frivolously left many hallelujahs in their wake.

The King of Heaven looked down on His creation. His eye caught  this beautiful trampled rose and He winced in unspeakable agony and torment.

The delicious delicate odor of her love for Him, anointed Him with great joy, but also sorrow. A lonely tear of love escaped His heart as He scooped Her into His Loving Embrace.

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His tears of anguish soothed the broken petals of the rag doll’s heart like a fragrant ointment while the angels rejoiced in wonder as their King kissed his beloved with His kisses of delight.

His eternal love transformed her brokenness into His glory … into a woman of valor  … into His spotless, beautiful, radiant bride.

Much love and sweet blessings.

Mia

Linking-up with

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The Shulamite and the Foxes

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God’s Thoughts to me

Catch all the foxes, those little foxes, before they ruin the vineyard of love, for the grapevines are blossoming! (Song of Songs 2:15, NLT).

Fox Hunting

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Through the years I have been walking with God, I have often been harassed by the little foxes from the Song of Songs. They have been so persistent with their gnawing and pestering of my thoughts.

I realised the time was ripe for me to chase and catch these little rascals. Little did I realise how cunning these creatures could be! I started to plan my battle strategies on how to fight and conquer these hard-to-destroy-grapevine-loving cute little pests by doing some research.

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My expert advisors, the Bible scholars, seemed to agree on one thing, at least. These, not so little foxes, represent all the false preachers, prophets and teachers of a different gospel.

Our Lord Jesus warned us, ” On judgement day many will say to me,’ Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply,’I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.” (Matthew 7:22-23, NLT).

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My advisors nearly convinced me through the letter Paul wrote to Timothy, ” Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons. These people are hypocrites and liars, and their consciences are dead.” (1 Timothy 4:1-2, NLT).

But I knew, although these gentlemen were spot-on with their analysis, this battle, for me, had to be fought on a much deeper level; on the only battleground my enemies were able to destroy; my heart and soul.

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So, I fired my clever, highly esteemed advisors and asked our Lord Jesus to be the Commander-in-Chief of my whole life; a position He gladly wanted to fill since forever, and to show me the best plan of action against these potential soul destroyers.

At the time King Solomon wrote this beautiful song, vineyards had protective walls built around them against all the unwelcome visitors. The foxes would dig holes in the vineyard, spoiling the roots of the vines, gnawing and breaking the tender, little branches and leaves.

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These gluttonous, little creatures were not interested in the flowers, they wanted the juicy grapes, especially when they were young and tender. Then my ever-so-romantic mind’s eye caught sight of the Shulamite and her King! To be specific, the love relationship between the two.

It is a relationship of love; not a doctrine, teaching, a charismatic speaker nor all the things we associate with the modus operandi of the modern church scene. The foxes are those great and little enemies and adverse circumstances that threaten to gnaw and destroy their blooming, tender love!

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I knew it was time for me to take stock to discover how many of these little foxes I allowed to freely roam and destroy the vineyard of my heart. I knew I had no means to fight against these formidable foes.

But I remembered that only our Pappa God is mighty to save, I recalled His words, “Listen all you people … ‘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, NLT).

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My heart jumped with joy when I realised our Lord Jesus was my Knight in shining armour and together we made a mean team, just like Lancelot and Lady Guinevere. He was more than able and prepared to destroy this foe that was preventing my heart from producing the delicious fruit of love and trust, He so greatly desired.

Together we first had to identify and destroy this big army of little foxes’ commander-in-chief, Brigadier-General Work-To-Earn-God’s-Love. What a despicable liar this one was! We overcame this fellow easily, once I allowed our Lord Jesus to counteract his lies with truth.

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Once he was slain, his whole army of well-trained soldiers started to crumble. Lieutenant Good Works and Sergeant Shame put up a good fight, but quickly raised the white flag when they saw my Commander-in-Chief! Their whole platoon of privates soon followed suit; private Guilt, private Condemnation, private Rejection, Anger, etc., etc.

Of their once mighty army, only a few mercenaries remained, but I knew that as long as I didn’t willingly hire their services, they would leave me well alone. They know the battle belongs to the Lord and that makes them tremble with fear.

Our King of kings destroyed all their shelters of wood, hay and stubble. Now, if I just spy one of them on the horizon, I run to my Strong Tower and Place of Refuge, into our Lord’s loving embrace.

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We daily encounter many of these nasty little foxes and foes who want to lock us in shackles of despair. We have to fight many battles and it can be downright horrible, but as we allow the sweet Holy Spirit to teach us how to abide in our Lord Jesus, we only need to submit to our Pappa and resist the evil ones!

As we live in His Love, moment-by-moment, we can confidently say with Paul, “Neither death nor life, neither angels or demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow-not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.” (Romans 8:35).

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Living life is a fine balancing act in a world lost in chaos and darkness, filled with many foxy foes. Let us therefore fix our eyes on our only Commander-in-Chief, our dearest Lord Jesus.

Hugs and sweet blessings

Mia

Linking-up with

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Please check my Tea Time and Link-Ups page for the blogs where I link during the week.
This is an edited repost from the archives.

The Sinai Encounter

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God’s Thoughts to Me

Either you will find yourself opening up more and more to the Lord – and you will know it – or else you will find yourself constricting and tightening, in which case the atmosphere will become intolerable (Terry Fullam, Miracle in Darien).

Parable of A Father’s Love

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In 1979 Terry Fullam, an Episcopalian priest, was trekking in the footsteps of the Israelites during their exodus from Egypt.

At Mount Sinai he had an encounter with God and was directed to the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Darien, Connecticut. They needed a minister and had called Mr Fullam a few weeks prior to the Sinai encounter.

The day he preached his debut sermon, the congregants were looking at him with great expectancy when he delivered  the words above.

Yet, they were stunned into silence when he remarked that some of them might even find it necessary to leave the congregation.

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For three successive Sundays he preached about nothing else but the great, scandalous love of our Pappa for each one of His children individually.

When the elders tentatively enquired when he was going to start preaching about something else, he replied that only when all of them really and truly believed this vital truth.

I had the honor of reading the book, The Miracle in Darien, a few years ago and was impressed by how our Pappa whispered His life into the heart of a congregation that was not much more than a heap of dead, dry bones.

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I  was also deeply convicted of my unbelief and knew that I did not really have the saving kind of faith … the kind that knew my Pappa’s love … the twinkle-in-the-eye-song-in-the-heart kind of childlike faith.

Valiantly and with an unhealthy dose of fear and trembling, I tried my utmost to get my head faith to somehow find the road less traveled to my heart for I had often heard sermons on our need to do this!. Oh, I failed miserably and completely!

Eventually I realized that only as I admit my total lack of not only not understanding faith and grace, but also my inability to supernaturally conjure up some magical fairy faith, could Pappa bless me with abundant faith and mercy!

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Unbeknownst to me, I was actually at a very good place for I had to admit my failure to my Pappa. I told Him that if He doesn’t give me faith as a free gift of His grace, I will forever be a heathen.

I reminded Him that even Jesus told us that with us nothing is possible, even the simple act of believing. This He did with gladness.

The angels were rejoicing in heaven over this stubborn child who at least had the common sense to go home when she was at her wit’s end. He led me to another little book, He Loves Me, by Wayne Jacobsen.

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Through this book, our Pappa opened my eyes to another central focus of the parable of the Prodigal Son: the love of the Father.

This Father acted shockingly when His good-for-nothing son claimed his inheritance while his Father was still alive; He gave it to him. Have you ever heard of such audacity!

To add injury to insult the son squandered all his riches on wine, women and song while his Pappa was waiting with longing on the farm.

When he ended up destitute, his Pappa didn’t rush to rescue His child, neither did He nag or prodded his son to get his life in order.

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No, He allowed him to hit rock bottom, hoping that he would remember his Pappa’s unconditional love and come home willingly. When he was still a far way off, His Father, who was waiting with longing since the day he had left, saw him.

He hiked up His robes and ran down the road to meet His wayward son whose famished stomach made him prepare a good repentance speech.

The Father didn’t hear a word of His child’s apology, but smothered him with hugs and kisses of delight. There was not even a hint of anger or retribution.

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No, instead of receiving punishment, this child received a feast fit for a prince to celebrate his homecoming. He told His servants to dress His child in royal robes and to put His signet ring on his finger.

Our Pappa showed me how He is totally the opposite of an earthly parent. Here on earth we make such a big issue of obedience and respect.

But this is not what my Pappa wanted. He desires nothing else but my whole heart, my love and my life from the moment He formed me in the seclusion of my mother’s womb.

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He is not interested in our sacrifice and service to Him and reminds us that He is not served with human hands (Acts 17:25). No, not at all!

He wants each and every one of us to truly know how much He loves us. He desires an intimate relationship with all His children, as if that one was His one and only, hoping that we would willingly love Him in return.

Oh, what joy when the Heavenly Light of Love flooded my heart with the sunshine of understanding.

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He took my hand and invited me to stand on His big Father feet while He taught me how to dance to the rhythm of the heartbeat of His love.

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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