We have been away this weekend and this view and my reading on Friday combined to bring a sense of peace. How was your weekend?
Today is Heritage Day in South Africa. It is a day in which we celebrate our diversity. We have eleven official languages and each one comes from a different culture. On Heritage day we pay tribute to our different cultures and remember our heritage.
As it happens, we are away from home at the moment. today being a public holiday and tomorrow a school holiday, we decided to have a long weekend away to celebrate my birthday on Sunday and Brian’s three days later. Quite co-incidentally we are staying at a place overlooking Heritage Lake.
It was such fun going out for breakfast this morning. A lot of eating places, including Wimpy and Spur, encouraged their staff to dress up in their traditional dress.
All of this got me thinking. What exactly is our heritage. The following are some definitions I found:
property that is or may be inherited , an inheritance ,
something that comes or belongs to one by reason of birth (Dictionary.com)
something that is passed down from preceding generations, a tradition or the status acquired by a person through birth; a birthright (the freedictionary.com)
As a wider meaning, I suppose our beautiful country could be considered as our heritage, including all the animals in it. Sitting on a deck overlooking the lake we have seen, so far, five zebra and some buck. We are assured that there are also giraffes, monkeys and other smaller wild animals. All of these are part of our heritage, as well as the mountains, trees, flowers and birds. It was God’s instruction to the first humans to look after this beautiful earth He gave us.
How sad that, as a species, we have tended to put getting rich off our heritage above protecting it and growing it for our descendants. We only have to think about air pollution, rhino poaching, mining and oil exploration to see how this has gotten out of control.
However, as Christians, we also have a heritage and it is our inheritance. Romans 8:16-17 tells us: the spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs- heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
What is our heritage? We inherit, through Jesus, the Kingdom of God, justification, sanctification and everything that Jesus won for us on the cross.
This Heritage day, let us not take for granted what has been passed down to us from our forefathers, what we have been born into and what has been won for us through great price by the Son of God Himself on the cross. Happy Heritage day.
In response to Friday Fictioneers I submit the following:
Photo prompt from The Reclining Gentleman
I don’t know where I am going but I am leaving. For good. I am leaving behind an abusive relationship, lies, violence and distrust. I open the window and the rushing air blows away the guilt and shame that clings to me like a spider’s web.
I haven’t lost any of the love I once had. I just can’t deal with this Jekyll and Hyde Monster that has come between us. Not anymore. They say our past shapes us and causes us to choose partners like our parents. My Mom was abused. I never thought I would become an abuser. (100 words)
Today I heard something that makes me proud . South African Rugby supporters who attended our first match in the Rugby World Cup against Japan, fully expecting their team to win overwhelmingly, behave in a most sportsman like way when their team lost. They congratulated Japanese fans on their win. This makes me more proud to be South African than if our team had won as was generally predicted.
Photo from thesouthafrican
To put it into perspective, you must know that South Africans are crazy about Rugby. Rugby talk will occupy a lot of the male conversation (and some of the ladies chatter too) – especially around a braai. If our team loses, most red-blooded men go into a temporary depression. These fans were hurting. Yet they had enough character to behave in a sportsman-like manner.
It makes me realise that the role of the everyday man in the street is just as important in shaping perceptions as that of important people who are always in the limelight.
If a mother visits a school with the view to enroll her son next year and one or two of the current students greet her politely, she gets the impression that this is a good school. If she walks passed a group of students who are so caught up in their own conversation that they don’t even notice her, the impression will be totally opposite. This despite the protestations of the principal or the programmes offered.
If a visitor comes to your church, they may be impressed by the preaching, they may love the worship but if nobody greets them they will perceive the church as unfriendly. However, even if the worship team consists of one guitarist and a local preacher is taking that service that day, if they are made to feel welcome by one or two people, they will see the church as friendly.
This leaves us with a great responsibility as Christians, as employees, as citizens and in every area of service where we seek to make the world a better place. There is always somebody watching. Our actions, however small can make a difference. We have a poster up at school that reads “Integrity is how you behave when nobody is watching.” I would like to suggest that our Heavenly Father is always watching. If we live knowing that, and live to please him, we will have integrity and we will bring glory to His name.
You know how sometimes a particular verse keeps popping up and grabbing your attention? John 15 seems to have been my focus for the weekend. First it was a passage for meditation on Friday at a training I was attending and then today in my quiet time it was the set passage for today. This is the verse that seemed most significant. I hope it blesses you.
This is part of the one-liner-Wednesday event
I am taking part in this week’s challenge for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Write a story in between 100 and 150 words according to the following photo prompt
This week’s photo prompt is provided by Scott, author of the blog, Scott’s Place.
They came to earth in disguise. Hazok decided that horses would serve their purposes best. By night they took over the bodies of two horses. To her dismay Hamleu realised that she had miscalculated and although she was surrounded by other horses, none of them was Hazok. She carefully activated her antennae to try to contact her husband.
“Hazok, where are you?” She tossed her head from side to side, listening. Her hooves tapped a staccato rhythm as she waited. Then she got the signal. He was only five furlongs away. She galloped towards him, jumping fences that obstructed her. Finally she saw him among a large group of earthling horses.
“I am so glad I found you.” She nuzzled him with relief. “Nobody will notice us here amid this large crowd.”
“Hey Curley,” called Jake. “Since when do we have a white horse?”
In response to this week’s challenge to write a story of 100 words or less. The photo prompt is by David Stewart.
I look in the cracked mirror. Hollow expressionless eyes look back at me. As I pass my emaciated hand through my unkempt hair, I notice all the needle pricks. From 13 I was violated. Repeatedly. I have never recovered.
My father died yesterday. Last night I dreamed I went back to the house again. After 20 years the windows were empty and unfeeling. The garden was overgrown with weeds and unkempt. There was nobody to love it, to care for it. The fence was violated.
He can’t hurt me anymore. I will go back. I will weed and plant flowers.
Today I am feeling down and a bit under the weather so my verse for the week is more for me than for anybody else, however if you also have the Monday Blues, it’s something to think about.
Romans 8:38-39 (ESV)
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
In response to this week’s challenge to write a flash fiction story in 26 words including beard and canvas, I submit the following.
Original painting by Trisha Lamoreaux
Looking at the impasto canvas art, the key to the missing Bluebeard Diamonds, I touch the rocks standing out against the fractured water. My finger bleeds.