Tag Archive | Emily Wierenga

God vs Goodies

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God’s Thoughts to Me

The Christian understands God as the unique source of all good and himself as absolutely needy in relation to Him (Karl Barth).

So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him (Luke 11:13, NLT).

“Why do you call Me good?” Jesus asked. “Only God is truly good” (Mark 10:18, NLT).

God’s Good Father Heart

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There was a time when I used to have a totally inflated opinion about anyone carrying a lofty title like pastor, bishop, reverend, priest, prophet, evangelist and so forth.

I had a unique way of acting in the presence of any “man from God”. I think when we want to be honest, most of us are quite familiar with that hushed, pious tone of voice, quoting as much Scripture as possible.

We subtly recite our latest list of “good” deeds, using only high-sounding language, lavishly laced with all the latest religious jargon.

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In other words and just plain good old English: I was a humongous hypocrite trying very hard to impress our Pappa through this person!

And mentally I was tallying everything I should rather not talk about in this holy man’s presence. Oh, why do we do this kind of nonsense? But I had an even bigger problem.

Whenever I read Jesus’ words to the religionists who had a big goody-bag to hand out nice thingies like bread instead of stones, or an egg instead of a scorpion to their children, I thought that I had found the key to unlock the storehouses of heaven.

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My religious mindset was deceived into believing that being and doing good would result in health, wealth and prosperity.

Conveniently, I didn’t see the part where Pappa offers us His Spirit as His “good things”. Until it finally dawned on me that goodness according to the world’s and religious standards differs greatly from the goodness of God.

Paul does not beat around the bush when He tells us that no good thing dwells in man and there is no one who truly does good (Romans 3:11-12).

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In the Garden of Eden Adam already thought he could decide for himself what good and evil were. I don’t think he realized that evil existed only in the absence of God, for goodness is the exclusive attribute of God.

We, as mere mortals, are incapable of exhibiting the righteous, good character of our Pappa. When we look at the Law, we see that it is an expression of His character and His alone.

We are created as derivative creatures and we derive our spirituality from one of two sources: either the evil one, or our heavenly Father! In the Garden Adam had one of two choices: believing God or lending out his ears to Satan.

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Only in the absence of God’s goodness, do we find evil … in the absence of His love, hate … in the absence of His life, death … truth, lies … light, darkness. He alone is the preserver of life, content, personal and relational!

How absurd to think that we can somehow formulate a prayer as a sort of discipline or work with which we can get our Pappa to cater to our desires through our persistent nagging.

I sometimes wonder what happened to, “Into your Hands I commit my spirit. Father, glorify your Name!”.

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When we trust a law of prayer, especially when we put our hope in a proper prayer technique or words, we are back to trusting ourselves!

Those dear ones who are illiterate or those who don’t have a Bible, cannot pray the words from the Bible back to their Pappa; a new bandwagon on the religious scene!

They do not have the “advantage” of their educated brethren of using the written words of their God as a talisman to charm their Pappa into compliance.

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I often cannot even think two straight thoughts in a row due to Fibrofog, never mind remembering the rules of prayer. At such times, I can only sigh in His Presence.

Before the Truth had set me free of this folly, my inability to pray “important” prayers, would usually send me on a major guilt trip!

Oh, what a joy when His freedom dawned on me and I realized that in order to receive the good things of God, His sweet Holy Spirit, I only had to ask!! So simple … so uncomplicated … so incredibly childlike!

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Our Pappa God is the greatest friend of mankind. He loves us with an everlasting love. He knows all our needs and mostly ignores our greeds. Even “No” is sometimes the best answer!

When we are willing to rely on Him, and on nothing or no one else, as our sole provider, we are finally able to go to Him, empty-handed and without any religious garb.

James Fowler describes it so beautifully where he says, “I cannot; only You can. I have not; only You have. I seek; only You can supply”.

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Our Pappa’s father heart rejoices whenever His children come to Him, assured of and trusting His unconditional love and shamelessly, yet desperately admit their total dependence on His goodness, His love, His grace, actually, on Him and Him alone!

Much love and sweet blessings

Mia

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Riding the Tithing Train

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!!!

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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

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Lady Laodicea vs Lady Ekklesia

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God’s Thoughts to Me

You say,”I am rich, I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!” And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked (Revelation 3:17,NLT).

I am very rich; I have become wealthy. With all my wealth they will not find in me any iniquity or sin (Hosea 12:8, NIV).

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven … Blessed are the meek, for they will inheit the earth (Matthew 5:3-5, NIV).

Metamorphosis

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A while ago a friend of mine, Michael Clark, watched a documentary on the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly.

The documentary featured a scientist conducting an MRI scan on a cocoon while it went through the process of metamorphosis.

During the transformation, the worm completely dissolved and nothing of the original pupa remained.

The whole chrysalis was turned into a sort of worm soup with only a few left-over cells remaining, transforming this gooey mass into a beautiful butterfly.

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During the time of John’s Revelation from our Lord Jesus, we find the Lady Laodicea, the church at Laodicea, a lady sorely in need of such a complete metamorphosis.

She lived in the city that was formerly known as Diospolis, the City of Zeus. In the third century AD the name was changed by Antiochus to Laodicea after his wife, Laodice.

At that time Laodicea was a major, important trade and banking centre of the region and the people, as a result, became quite rich (James Fowler, The Revelation Series).

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Laodicean Ruins

Religion was alive and well in the city. There was a beautiful temple of Zeus and a medical school that developed a “Phrygian powder” that was used as an eye salve.

The Lady Laodicea was self-sufficient and very proud. She boasted in her physical and material riches and claimed to be in need of nothing.

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She seemed totally unaware of our Lord’s advise,

“Don’t store up treasures here on earth where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven … Where your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be (Matthew 6:19-21)”.

She paid scant attention to the One who really was the Source of everything … the One who called her wretched, miserable, blind, poor and naked.

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She was neither hot nor cold in her love towards her heavenly Bridegroom. Yet, not chilled enough to the point of apostatizing.

This proud lady lacked spiritual dicernment, ignorant of the truth that spiritual riches, spiritual clothing, spiritual eyesight can only be found in Him who is Truth (Colossians 2:3).

Once upon a time, I related very well to this lady. I was dressed beautifully in the purple robes of religious riches.

My neck was adorned with the necklace of diamond-like “gifts of the Holy Spirit” and around my wrists, golden bracelets jingled in tongues.

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I proudly pranced like a peacock, delighting in all my wealth of spiritual snobbery, thinking myself quite advanced and favored by our Pappa, higher up the ladder into heaven than others. I was oblivious to the fact that this was the stairway to hell.

Yet, I was poor and wretched, naked to the core of my being, but I didn’t know it.

I blindly followed the world and joyfully participated in building all sorts of golden calves at the foot of Mount Sinai, instead of going up Mount Zion to meet my Lord and feast on His glory.

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Instead of being blessed, as I thought I was, a gnawing hunger in my heart told another story; one of a lady who was cursed in her self-righteousness and her pride.

My soul was tormented by an acute loneliness; yet I was in the company of many lost souls in the same predicament.

And my heart cried out to the only One who had the power and authority to seek and save the lost.

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I could faintly hear our Lord’s gentle invitation to buy gold from Him that has been purified by fire, white garments to cover my nakedness as well as ointment for my spiritual blindness (Revelation 3:18).

Our Pappa took pity on me and on the spinning-wheel of suffering, He spinned a silky cocoon of His love and clothed my nakedness.

What happened there in complete secrecy between my King and I, is so holy, that, forever, it will stay a sweet, precious secret between two hearts.

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Sufficient to say, He took all of my old self, dissolved it into worm soup, clothed me in a beautiful robe of butterfly wings and released me into the freedom of the eternal life of our Lord Jesus.

I emerged as a beautiful butterfly with wings glorious like an angel’s.

He brought me to the cleft in the rock at Mount Zion where I could stand before Him, poor in spirit, and humble in heart to receive the inheritance … to receive Him.

There, in Him, I could stand with an unveiled face, delighting myself in His glory.

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He redeemed me from the ugliness of my proud, haughty self and replaced it with the humble, gentle beauty of our Lord Jesus.

He clothed me in the white robe of His righteousness … He transformed me into His Lady Ekklesia.

Much love xx

Mia

Michael’s blog can be found here

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Message in A Bottle

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God’s Thoughts to Me

Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced His perfect love. We love each other, because He loved us first (1 John 4:18-19, NLT ).

S … O … S

Yesterday I listened to an old song by Police, “Message in A Bottle” on the radio. For the first time I truly heard the words and could relate to the heartbreaking plea, “Sending out a S.O.S to the World”.

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It painted a vivid picture of how lost and lonely the people of this world are, with hearts craving for unconditional love, with hearts screaming a silent S.O.S. For a long, long time I was also caught in the trap where love and acceptance were weighed on the same worldly scales of profit.

My soul was like a bottle floating on the murky seas of a world, lost in the chaos and darkness … an orphaned world … a world imprisoned by the fallen prince of darkness.

My heart silently screamed, pleading to be rescued from a world where love is dispensed only to the rich, the beautiful and successful, the go-getters and performers, the healthy and the wealthy, etc.

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Like the rest of humanity who doesn’t know their Creator, I was co-dependent on this incredible sadness and frantic striving to be part of the “IN” crowd.

The Afrikaner culture which I got in with my mother’s milk, taught me from my earliest memories that children were seen and not heard.

You respect your parents, elders, grandparents, pastors, church leaders and leaders in general. Thinking for yourself and asking questions were a sure sign of rebellion.

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But the human race at large has forgotten that these positions of authority just bind us in chains of fool’s gold. We are quite a power hungry sort of species.

Any position of authority in life without our Pappa God as the source of love, strength and wisdom, usually feeds that hungry power monster in our souls which will show its ugly head at some stage.

Even loving our children can be out of a selfish motive when we want them to fill that empty space in our hearts only our Pappa can fill or to achieve the dreams we could not. I don’t think any parent is truly innocent of this crime.

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This mindset is a foolproof recipe for disaster for brewing a poisonous brew in the hearts of innocent young ones.

Psychology tells us that bottling-up our emotions of hurt, abuse, sadness, rejection and the like cause a fermentation process that, in turn, can cause a lot of disfunction later in life.

I can witness to this truth. For too long, I laboured under the lie that those in a position of authority over me, could use and abuse me to their heart’s delight. Love and acceptance were commodities to be earned.

It is a lie that has fermented into a truly deadly teaching; even in our organized churches. Oh, we know the silent laws and by-laws:

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Wives, submit to your husband even if it kills you. By all means, stay under the spiritual covering of your religious leaders. But the umbrella of their seniority is but a feeble protection against the storms of life.

Respect and obey your church leaders over and above your parents. Follow their example, whether their conduct speak of a life dependent on our Lord Jesus or not.

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A different opinion is immediately seen as back-chat and/or insubordination. Non-compliance is met with an ice cold shoulder.

Children honor your parents and grandparents at all cost. It does not matter if they abuse you or run you down.

Yet, what I found shining in its absence, was our Lord Jesus’ teaching that to be a leader in His economy, you have to kneel down in the dirt and wash the feet of those who are under your care, becoming a slave to all.

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After a steady liquid diet of this fermented concoction, a concoction that had been brewing for many years from the bitter ingredients of abuse, rejection, shame, incompetence, hurt, sexual abuse, condemnation and fault finding, brought me to the brink of my sanity.

I was never taught assertiveness and how to always speak the truth in love. I needed to just shut my trap and allow the bottle of my soul to be filled to the brim with all the dirt and rubbish of pain and abuse. Until one day, the lid burst off completely.

Once at a family gathering  a few months after my dad passed away, the bottle of my heart could not accommodate any more abuse, mistreatment or sorrow and exploded with a nasty, noisy, heart-breaking BAM.

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All the ugliness, bitterness, rejection and resentment boiled over … and over … and over, until there was nothing left.

The bottle of my heart was now empty. I was now able to dare to love myself and wrote a love letter to my Pappa God, sealing it tightly with my kisses, sending it out in another bottle, asking Him to save me from myself and the world we live in.

This bottle was floating on the seas of my prayers and was found almost as soon as I had sent it off. It was found by none other than our Lord Jesus Himself!

My Pappa read this message of His girl wanting to come home with tears of joy running down His face and was constantly looking down the road to see if He could see His daughter approaching.

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While I was still far off, He recognized His child. He hitched up His robes and ran down the road to receive me home.

His love is so complete and unconditional and the two of us had to work hard to annihilate the ingrained dirt roads of lies that were imbedded in my mind. We still do.

He washed me as white as snow with the blood of the Lamb and dressed me in the royal purple robe of Jesus’ righteousness. He slaughtered the fattened calf to celebrate my homecoming.

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There is no other place on this earth that I would now rather be than in my Pappa’s house where He tucks me in when I go to sleep at night … where His generous smile is my delight … where I can safely rest in His Loving Embrace.

Much love xx

Mia

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Heaven’s Launderer

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God’s Thoughts to Me

Jeshua’s clothing was filthy as he stood there before the angel. So the angel said to the others standing there,”Take off his filthy clothes”. And turning to Jeshua he said,”See, I have taken away your sins, and now I am giving you these fine new clothes.” (Zecharaiah 3:3-4, NLT).

For He has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels (Isaiah 61:10, NIV).

A Royal Wedding Dress

I am the mother of two robust young men who have both spread their wings and flown off into the wild, wide world. Both are students at the Nelson Mandela Metropolotian University in Port Elizabeth.

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My first-born, Simon, is doing his Masters Degree in Architecture, and my baby, Andreas, has just started mechanical engineering. They are their mother’s pride and joy.

Bringing them up, taught me the fine art of laundering and removing those strubborn stains that were part of just being normal mudplaying young boys.

If any stain survived my vigourous war against them, they were meant to be there, sort of adding an extra bit of chatacter and flavor.

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I am a master of the bleach method, the blue laundry soap method, the liquid hairspray method, the insect repellent spray method, the elbow-grease method and so the list of my expertise goes on.

If clothes could talk, I am sure I would have received a lot of moaning, protest and back-chat from all the laundry that went through my holy laundry sanctification process.

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We are so blessed to have a Pappa God who is the Master Launderer from eternity to eternity. His laundry detergent consists of nothing less than the blood of His Son, our beloved Lord Jesus.

We have an enemy who delights in pointing out all the stains and grime marring Pappa’s children, but our Heavenly King has no time for gossip and detests the slandering of His precious children.

Whenever Satan accuses us before our Pappa’s throne of grace, we have a High Priest in whom we stand who was accused as a criminal on our behalf.

Willingly, He has paid the price for our freedom and washes everyone who comes to Him from the guilt and condemnation of their sin and makes us part of His Royal Priesthood.

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He takes away our filthy rags of sin, self-effort and independence and clothes us with His beautiful robe of forgiveness and mercy.

When we come to Him, exhausted of all our own useless spiritual laundry efforts, He clothes us with the squeaky clean garment of His salvation and dresses us in the most beautiful robe of His righteousness.

He prepares a royal wedding dress for the Bride of the Lamb, and clothes the Lady Ekklesia so tenderly with this breathtaking garment of love as He prepares her for the wedding feast of the Lamb.

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He adorns us with the precious, costly jewels of our Lord Jesus; the pearl necklace of His suffering and the ruby ring of His spilled blood.

After He has adpoted us as children into His Kingdom of Light and Love, like any good parent, He starts cleaning our inmost hearts of all the ingrained filth, the stubborn spots and meticiously mends our broken hearts that have been ripped and torn apart through suffering, rejection and abuse, using a needle of tender love and the finest silk as cotton.

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The world has left some stubborn stains on the garments of life. There are stains of shame, condemnation, guilt, all-over corruption, self-effort, religion, etc, etc, etc! But it poses no laundry blues to our Pappa! He is an expert in stain removal.

He uses trials, suffering and tribulations as He washes us clean from all the dirt and grime we have aquired from playing in the mud of the world.

The washboard He uses for His laundering at first seems to be very relentless, but we soon begin to realise how merciful He is by making sure that not a spot remains to mar the beauty of His Son’s bride.

We often wonder why He uses such a rough corrugated surface, instead of something more smooth and suitable to our delicate, feeble hearts!

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Our moaning, groaning and protesting leave no doubt to our unwillingness to suffer the cleaning process and He seems so hard of hearing when it comes to paying attention to our feeble, cowardly cries.

We squirm and squeal, and like any normal child, try everything to get our Pappa to stop washing behind the ears and between the toes. But we soon find out that He loves us too much to leave us the way He has found us.

Mercifully, we aquire wisdom along the way that makes us realize that surrendering to our Launderer from Heaven, is the best way we can show love and respect towards ourselves.

The honesty and courage to dare to be seen in my brokenness and need, brings tremendous freedom to allow Pappa to paint a masterful piece of artwork on the dirty canvass of my heart.

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Where the heavenly Photographer captures and reveals the hidden beauty only His master eyes can see, to create a picture of His mercy and grace, framed in the golden frame of His love.

When He is satisfied, He hangs us on a laundry line to dry in the sunshine of His smile which adds a delicious, sweet-smelling fragrance to the ordeal.

As we bask and soak up all the warmth and love of His Son, we realize why we had to be laundered so vigorously and why we need to be cleaned-up again and again.

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In the cool of the evening after laundry day, we can go to our Pappa, spick-and-span, all dressed up in clean garments and crawl onto His lap, assured of His love, resting in His Loving Embrace.

Much love xx

Mia

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The Afikomen

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God’s Thoughts to Me

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drinks my blood, you have no life in you (John 6:51-53, NIV).

The Feast, The Food, The Flesh and The Fruit

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I have often wondered why so many of our Lord’s followers turned away from following Him after these difficult sayings they were not able to understand. To be honest, neither did I for a long time.

Looking at the ancient Greeks of Jesus’ time on earth, gave me a much clearer understanding of how they might have interpreted His words.

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I am convinced they thought it was business as usual when they heard these gory words of blood, guts and flesh.

They were well aware of the Communion Ritual to honor the Greek god, Dionysus. He was the god of wine, one of the main deities and his birthday was celebrated on the 25th of December.

During this ritual his followers would crush the grapes, drink the scarlet life “blood” of Dionysus and get extremely drunk.

Just as well, for they also dismembered an animal, usually a bull, by tearing it apart with their hands and teeth (Luana Fabri/Messianic Fellowship).

They called this the “Omhagia” and were convinced that eating the flesh of the bull and drinking its blood, caused the life and power of their god to be absorbed into their bodies.

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In the Jewish culture, sharing a meal is very important. With every meal bread and wine are served. The head of the family breaks a piece of bread before and after every meal, blessing the food and thanking God for His provision.

But then there was the Passover, another breaking of bread, where our Heavenly Father broke His Afikomen to feed His children with the sinless, unleavened Bread of Life.

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At the early stages of Passover Seder they set aside a piece of the “matzo”, the unleavened bread, to be eaten after the last meal. This piece is called the “Afikomen”, and it means “that which come after”, or “dessert”.

Some families hide the Afikomen for the children to find and reward them with candy or money when they find it. This is their way of keeping Passover interesting for the children.

Now, I would much rather take part in the Jewish way of celebrating Passover than be part of Dionysus’ team celebrating their Communion Ritual.

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And I can well imagine how these poor folk must have thought that Jesus was introducing another kind of bloody ritual similar to the one of Dionysus.

At least these guys used an animal, but this Man wanted them to use His body and blood as the sacrifice. Gross!!! This was lunacy!!

Yet, they were totally ignorant of the fact that they were on the brink of doing just that. His body was broken and His blood was spilled, slaughtered like an animal, when they nailed Him to the cross.

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In the Upper Room it was the Afikomen our Lord Jesus took, broke and offered to His diciples.

After all our striving and coniving, our huffing and puffing to earn our Pappa’s love, approval and acceptance, He offers us His Afikomen, the last, hidden piece of the unleavened bread … the sweetest dessert … our Lord Jesus.

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Death was not able to hold Him in its grip and when we listen carefully, we can hear His voice, gentle, still and small, inviting us to come to Him … to feast on His Afikomen … the delicious fruit of the Spirit of love … to live in His Loving Embrace.

Hugs and blessings xx

Mia

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The Joy of The Lord

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God’s Thoughts to Me

This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength! (Nehemia 8:10, NLT).

The Kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:21, NIV)

The Kingdom Within

We were all created with the longing to be loved … accepted, faults, failures, boots and all! It is quite the opposite of what the world teaches.

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From childhood we are bombarded with the lie that we need to be independent! Stand on your own two feet. At best, keep your feelings at bay!

Work hard and climb the ladder to success, only to find that there is no end to this striving, no end to this crazy scurrying to nowhere!

And this longing to be loved goes unfulfilled. And we starve!

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Another lie that is soon added to the world’s diet, is that worldy pleasures supposedly would still the hunger in our hearts for fulfillment.

We soon learn that playing just as hard as we work, is another prerequisite for happiness.

At some stage we begin to realize that there must be much more than this rat race that ends up only in the cat’s stomach and we feel the first stirrings of the sweet Holy Spirit drawing us to the heart of our magnificent Creator.

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Some people try to quiet this stiil, sweet voice through drugs or sex or alcohol, only to spiral down into the destruction of their ability to be human.

Others sell their souls to a career only to find that ladder resting against a shaky wall, built on an even shakier foundation.

Others seek filfillment in sports and different societies, but I have found that my nemesis was religion!

My heart was like a sunflower turning its head towards organized religion hoping to find the warmth of the Son.

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I was experiencing all these stages of life while I was a member of a church, a Sunday School teacher and part of a Bible study group and I was at my wits end.

For even there I couldn’t experience that deep inner joy and love my whole being craved for.

I cannot even begin to describe the intensity of that longing and how it robbed me of my ability to eat or to sleep.

I started on a journey, an inner journey, through the streets of the heavenly Jerusalem … a journey to find the priceless, costly pearl … that pearl of incalculable value.

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Like the Shulamite, I said to myself, “I will get up and roam the city, searching in all its streets and squares. I will search for the one I love. So I searched everywhere but did not find Him (Song of Songs 3:2, NLT).”

Yes, I tried everything religion had to offer in the name of my beloved Lord Jesus. Yet, all to no avail.

I soon realized I was in an adulterous affair with the letter of the word and it was killing me slowly but surely (2 Corinthians 3:6), while my heart was longing, no craving, for the love of the Living Word!

Yet, it is so human to prefer the familiar, known streets of captivity, than escaping to the glorious freedom of the unknown.

I had to ask for grace to leave it all behind and to start my journey to Mount Zion … grace to be bigger and wiser than my fears!

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When I read verses like Nehemia 8:10 , I became so frustrated, for the much coveted joy seemed to mock me in its absence.

Until one day when I realized that I was not searching for my Beloved with my whole heart like our Pappa advises us to do,”If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me (Jeremiah 29:13, NLT).

Just then and there I decided to take the first step … that leap into the unknown and my whole heart rose up to seek and find the one I love. I cried out … deep cried out onto deep … longing, craving, starving for my Beloved.

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Then, one day in the early morning hours after another sleepless night, I was sitting on the floor, totally lost in my longing to be found by Him, when a shining white figure of a man appeared next to me. He held out His hand, inviting me softly, kindly and gently to come.

Just that one word,”COME”.

At first I was frightened, for after all, I didn’t believe in ghosts. But He kept inviting me with so much love and kindness that I couldn’t resist Him any longer. I took His hand and collapsed into His being.

I was lost in love and peace and surprised by JOY unspeakable.

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I was lost in His Loving Embrace.

Much love xx

Mia

Linking-up with

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The Sheep and The Goats

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God’s Thoughts to Me

For I was hungry, and you fed me, I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink, I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick and you cared for me. I was in prison and you visited me … Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? … I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me! (Matthew 25:35-40, NLT).

But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father who sees everything, will reward you (Matthew 6:3-4, NLT).

True Generous Love

When my earthly Pappa passed away 8 years ago, he left me a legacy I would never exchange for all the riches of the world.

He had a humble burial, the way he preferred, actually insisted on. His grave is adorned only with an uncut rock from my brother’s farm and a few succulents.

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On the rock is a small copper plate engraved with his name, date of birth and death, and the words,”And the greatest of these is love”.

My father was a humble man who taught me much about my heavenly Pappa.

He had the means to be quite rich, but he wasn’t! He didn’t preach with words, neither with visible deeds of charity.

Actually, I don’t think he knew what he was doing anyway. He and my late mother had generous hearts for the naked, the poor, the hungry and the sick.

Prisoners in Zimbabwe

Prisoners in Zimbabwe

But I could see a regular pattern emerging from his life like a sweet fragrance.

Many people whose lives were quite broken, not only physically, emotionally, financially, but also in many other small ways, were quite transformed and much better off once their paths have crossed his.

They had sort of more direction and purpose in life and usually they started to know our heavenly Pappa in a new way once they allowed Him to touch them through my father’s life.

He showed me what true love really is without saying a single word!

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He definitely had no repetoire of “good” religious deeds that he will one day be able to present to his heavenly Pappa like many would as our Lord told us,”On judgement day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name'(Matthew 7:22)”.

I have the suspicion that, according to the world’s standards, he was not even a very good steward of his money.

But then, his left hand had not the slightest clue what his right hand was doing.

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Oh, and he had such a wonderful sense of humor! He could tease us endlessly, yet, with so much love and compassion that it was like a fresh, peculiar breeze in a world fiiled with greed and seriousness!

He was a highly intelligent and educated man, but to him, it was of no importance. And he knew suffering and sorrow, for he lost his wife when he had us three naughty, impossible kids of respectively nine, six and three years old.

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I know that when one day the great Shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, my father will be so surprised to be amongst the front sheep for he wouldn’t have the slightest idea why he is so blessed. (Matthew 25:32-33).

He will be so surprised to be granted a place at his Pappa’s right hand … that special place of honor for he will NOT KNOW what he has done to receive such love!

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Dear Ones, this is the legacy my father left me … the legacy and footprints I would love to walk in.

Much love xx

Mia

I am linking-up with
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A God Who Flies

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God ‘s Thoughts to Me

Like an eagle rouses her chicks and hovers over her young, so He spread His wings to take them up and carry them safely on His pinions. The Lord alone will guide them; they followed no other gods (Deuteronomy 32:11-12).

Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings (Psalm 17:8, NIV).

An Empty Nest

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The year of 2013 is leading me into a whole new era of my life. Both my sons have spread their wings and are flying away into the big wide world, finding their own place and purpose in life and in the heart of their Pappa God. But this world is big, and cruel and dangerous!

It is not easy … actually, it is downright horrible for a mom who’s heart is not and will never be ready to have an empty nest … a mother who wants to pick them up and carry them constantly on the wings of her love … a mother who has to carry them now even more on the wings of her prayers to the Throne of Grace.

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They have always lived so close to me that they were like sweet summer apples of my eye. When I looked at them, they could see their reflection shining with love and affection on the smooth rounding of my eye.

Just like I am the apple of my Pappa’s eye as I live and love and have my being in Him … nestled in the shadow of the wings of His love (Acts 17:28).

This made me realize that my love for them is only a faint reflection … a glimmer … a morsel … a beautiful fraction of the love our Heavenly Pappa cherishes in His heart for each and everyone of His children.

A.W. Tozer wrote of our Pappa,”An infinite God can give all of Himself to each of His children. He does not distribute Himself that each may have a part, but to each one He gives all of Himself AS IF THERE WERE NO OTHERS,”.

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This brings joy to my heart, for I know that my Pappa cherishes them even more than I do. Moses told the Israelites in Deuteronomy of their Heavenly Father’s extraordinary care while He led them out of the Egypt of their captivity.

He uses the metaphor of the eagle, who of all the bird species, lavishes extraordinary care and attachment on her eaglets … who cherishes her young more than most of our other feathery friends.

When her newly fledged progeny has grown and developed enough to soar on their own into the big wide sky of the big wide world, she helps and supports them on the tips of her wings in their first feeble attempts at flying. She directs them and encourages them with her heart soaring all over the world wherever they go!! That’s me!

Frederick Buechner said in his work, Telling the Truth, “You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world, but a world lives in you.”

It gives me the assurance that although my fledglings are soaring far, high and wide into the Egypt of this world, their omnipresent Pappa goes before them.

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He gives all of Himself to each of my two treasures, carrying them … leading them through all the horrors of the wilderness of life lying ahead … guiding them safely into their eternal inheritance of His Kingdom of Life. For they are the apples of not only my, but also of their Heavenly Father’s Eye.

Much love xx

Mia

Linking-up with Charlotte.

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Linking with Emily at Imperfect Prose.
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Ek Theos

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Gods Thought’s to Me

Create in me a pure heart, o God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me (Psalm 51:10, NIV).

A Man after God’s own Heart

Psalm 51 is a beautiful prayer of a man who loved his Heavenly Father passionately. Even though King David was overwhelmed by his own sin, he never ran away from his Pappa. He knew the only thing he could do was to return with a broken, contrite spirit . He was convinced that he would not be despised by his Pappa. ET 1 He was far from perfect and he knew it. And God knew too! Yet, He was called a man after God’s own Heart! He even had the honor of having his name recorded in the “Hall of Faith” (Hebrews 11).

A while ago I read of this “hall” being called,”The Hall of Rogues”. Quite descriptive! Part of the reason, I believe, for this honor of being called a man after God’s own heart, was his genuine, passionate love for his Pappa.

After he was confronted by Nathan for his adultery with Bathsheba and consequent murder of Uriah, David was in a bad place … a haunted, dark, forsaken place … a place where no human has been designed and created to live. ET 2 We were created first and foremost to love and enjoy our Creator. Yet, amidst all his sin and even spiritual adultery, King David never for a moment doubted God’s love for him. He didn’t just believe mentally … he knew, literally KNEW, that he was loved unconditionally.

His sin could never cause Pappa to stop loving him, for God is love and He never changes. He loves us, Ek Theos, out of Himself … out of His character of love!

ET 3 For a long time I used to read the MRST, Mia’s Religious Striving Translation. According to this translation, Psalm 51:10 read something along these lines,”Lord, since you have forgiven my sins, please supply ME with unlimited supplies of Your power to create in me a clean heart. Please, make it sort of a double portion of power, for I also need to strive endlessly to achieve a steadfast, quiet spirit”. What a delicious recipe for a disastrous, spiritual catastrophe. ET 4 Unlike King David, I was unable to believe that my Pappa loved me unconditionally even though I tried my utmost. And I told Him so! He had to take control of that “believing” side of my life too and create in me a clean heart infused with faith upon faith upon faith as a free gift.

No amount of trying on my part could produce even an ounce of faith. One thing that I had the common sense to do though, was to be honest with my Pappa and today I realized that honesty was the first few kernels of mustard seed faith.

I cried out to Him, humbly beseeching Him to help my unbelief, for I truly believed. It sounds like a contradiction of terms and in many ways it is. But in Pappa’s economy this is the kind of faith that earns you place in the Hall of Faithless Rogues, the Hebrews’ “Hall of Faith”. ET 6 Yes, His economy is truly different than the world’s and on His stock exchange we can only trade with our brokenness, sin, unbelief and all the rags of our efforts. This is truly a sign of blessedness! Much love xx Mia

Today I have the honor of linking-up with the ladies at Emily Wierenga’s Imperfect Prose. You can join us at http://www.emilywierenga.com/ image

I am joyfully linking-up with Laura and the Ladies at  Faith Filled Friday. Come for a visit at http://www.missionalwomen.com/faith-filled-fridays.html.
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Linking-up with Charlotte and the girls at Spiritual Sundays at http://bloggerspirit.blogspot.com/.
Also with dear Barbie and the Weekend Brew at http://myfreshlybrewedlife.com/ .
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And Rich Faith Rising
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