Monthly Archives: March 2020

Do you believe in the Corona Virus?

I’m serious. Do you believe in the Corona virus and, if so, why?

Have you ever seen a corona virus particle? They are so small you can’t even see them through a 1000 X magnification microscope; only an electron microscope which can magnify 500 X more than that!

Has somebody in your family or close friendship circle died as a result of Covid 19?

If you answered no to both these questions, then you are believing on faith alone. You trust scientists, our government (heaven forbid) and other fallible people. Never mind the internet!

Next question. Do you believe in God, in Jesus Christ? None of us have seen him.

Jesus said, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8 New King James Version)

We can’t see the wind but we can see its effects. We can hear it. We see leaves and dust blowing and sometimes trees bending. We can feel a gentle breeze or a Cape South Easter.

Likewise we can see the effects of God at work in our world. If we are lucky, somebody in our family or close circle of friends can testify to God’s work in their lives. People are healed, people are changed, people are set free from addictions or bad habits. History is full of accounts of miracles, of God’s provision for His people and those who cry out to Him.

We can read the accounts of first hand witnesses who saw Jesus and experienced Him in the Bible. It’s not the Internet, but it is more reliable.

Believing in Jesus is not blind faith, any more than believing in the Novel Corona Virus is.

Corona will come and pass but God is eternal. Let’s put our trust in the Maker of Heaven and Earth.

A Little Girl’s Prayer.

This is the story my best friend told me yesterday about her granddaughter.

The five-year-old had a sleep-over with Granny. She had been talking about how she wished she could see God doing something. Maybe a miracle! Before bed they prayed together and my friend asked her granddaughter what miracle she would like Jesus to do for her.

“I wish there were plants in my pot,” she said without hesitation.

Last year, the pre-primary school her two cousins attended had had a grandparents’ tea and each child made a bookmark as a gift for Granny and Grampa. The teachers had attached small packets of mixed flower seeds to each.

Like a good Granny, when my friend had all three girls together, she allowed each to plant seeds in her own special pot. Although the seeds in the cousins’ pots sprouted and bloomed, the third pot has remained barren for six months. Not the tiniest glimmer of anything green.

Until a little girl’s prayer.

My friend said, “Well, I thought to myself, I don’t want my grandchild to be disappointed so I’m going to play God and I’ve got some seeds in my room and when she’s sleeping in the dark I’m quickly going to go out and I’m going to plant those seeds and then when they come up, I’ll say, ‘Look, God has answered your prayer.'”

She sneaked out in the dark with a spade and the seeds and this is what she saw.

She was about to pull them out, thinking they were weeds, but on closer inspection in the dark they didn’t look like weeds. In the morning she thought she’d just have another look and see if they were flowers or weeds before showing them to her granddaughter but the thought came to her, How can you do this? God’s already done a miracle, how can you limit Him? For six months the pot has been absolutely barren. Now there are plants.

When the little girl ran out to look at her pot and she saw the small green leaves, her response was. “Thank you Jesus.”

I think this miracle was just as much for my friend as for her granddaughter.

Matthew 18: 2-4 tells us:

He called a little child to him and placed the child among them. And he said: Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (NIV)

The All-Knowing Cell Phone

My cell phone thinks it knows better than me. It uses its past experiences, its logic and inbuilt programming to decide what is right.

Recently I can across the story of Charles (Chuck) Templeton.

He became an evangelist in 1941. In 1945 he and Torrey Johnson of Chicago met youth leaders from around the United States. They formed a working group that would become Youth for Christ. Billy Graham was their first evangelist. Shortly thereafter, Graham and Templeton undertook an evangelistic tour of western Europe for YFC.

We all know something of Billy Graham’s subsequent ministry. Charles Templeton, however, after a long struggle with doubt, declared himself an agnostic in 1957. He wrote his book, “Farewell to God,” in 1995 where he outlined his reasons for leaving the Christian faith.

Yet, in an interview with Lee Strobel shortly before his death, Charles Templeton said of Jesus, “I miss Him.”

It’s a sad story, but in some ways it reminded me of my cell phone. Using his experiences, his logic and the programming of the world around him, he set himself up as the final authority of right and wrong, fairness and unfairness, even though God has so much more experience, knowledge and wisdom than him. Just like my cell phone that thinks it knows better than I do.

Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them. Glorious and majestic are his deeds, and his righteousness endures forever. He has caused his wonders to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and compassionate. (Psalm 111 vs 2-4)

Considering how wise, powerful and loving God is, the best we can do is to trust Him and do what He says rather than what our limited intellect and experience deems right.

Feelings and Faith

“The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety.”
― George Muller

Although I had decided to trust God with the matter of our air tickets, it didn’t stop me from being anxious about them and living with a knot in my stomach.

Speaking to my son helped. He is very adventurous and recently did his first sky dive. I asked him if he had butterflies in his stomach before jumping, even though he totally trusted his parachute, the laws of physics that enable sky diving, and his instructor. He admitted that he had. So even though I thought I trusted God implicitly, it was understandable that I felt anxiety.

Recently I’ve heard a number of things that have tried my faith.

A couple had been praying for fifteen years for a baby. Finally there was a pregnancy, and amid much rejoicing, a baby was born two weeks ago. A couple of days ago, the baby was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. I feel so sad and disappointed for those parents. My boss had a Down Syndrome baby and I know how much of a life change is involved. Questions arise. Why didn’t God answer sooner? Surely He gives good gifts to His children?

A friend’s daughter-in-law died of colon cancer. The funeral was yesterday. She leaves behind young children.

My best friend’s son is a pilot for an airline which is in serious financial difficulties and they don’t know from month to month whether they will be paid. We’ve been praying for months for another job for him. He applied for a position in England and had an interview scheduled for later this month. He borrowed money to fly to England to attend the interview. Yesterday he received a letter saying that owing to the Corona virus outbreak, the airline had decided not to hire any more pilots as all airlines were facing a drop in custom.

I know, and I am absolutely convinced that …all things work together for good for those that love the Lord… (Rom 8:28,) that even these negative things can be worked out for good. However, that doesn’t stop me from feeling sad or even depressed and confused by these events.

When I discussed this with my prayer partner, she raised the question, “Why did Jesus weep when confronted with Mary’s and Martha’s sorrow following the death of Lazarus? (John 11:35)” Surely He had perfect faith in the Father. He knew what God was going to do in response to His prayer. Why then did He feel and express these human emotions?

I think it’s because Jesus understands. He knows our feelings and identifies with them in the same way as the little girl who said to her father, “I’m going to my friend’s house because the dog got her best doll …

Image by Frank Becker from Pixabay

and I’m going to cry with her.”

Image by Mariangela Castro (Mary) from Pixabay

I am far from being a Christian like George Muller who trusted God so implicitly that he had no anxiety. My Lord knows that. He knows I am weak and He understands. He will cry with me.

Things are not always what they seem.

From the treadmill at the gym, this is the view out the top windows.

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My husband jokingly asked one of the cleaners if they could remove the dead mouse stuck on the window.

Actually, it is nothing but a splash of grey paint!

We can’t always judge by appearances.

For the Lord does not see as man sees.; for man looks at the outside appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. (1 Sam 16:7b NKJV)

My husband and I were invited to speak at a Valentine’s Love Gala at High Praise Centre in Cosmo City recently. They asked us to speak on Staying the CourseLongevity in Marriage from our own experience of 41 years of happy marriage.

At the first sight of the church, my heart dropped. I wondered what I had gotten myself into.

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However, inside they had pulled out all the stops.

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We met wonderful people who had a heart for the Lord, who were saddened by the high rate of divorce in our country, who wanted to make a difference. The ladies had been cooking all afternoon and volunteers decorated the tables and the venue. We were treated like special guests. There were two other speakers, one a bishop and one was the founder of a dynamic institute and engineering consulting company.

Although the outside appearance wasn’t what we are accustomed to and the programme ran on African time, we enjoyed ourselves and were blessed. The Lord is leading us into new adventures with Him. We need to learn to look at people with His eyes and not those of our upbringing and cultural bias.

Heart and Will

Those of you who follow my blog will know that I made a decision to trust in the Lord and not lean on my own understanding with regards to booking plane tickets to New Zealand at the best price.

That was a decision of my will. Sometimes it’s harder to do nothing than to do something. I’d like to report that I trusted the Lord with my whole heart, but if that was the case, why was there this constant knot in my gut. I was vigilant. First thing in the morning I would check my emails, concentrating on the promotions. I checked again at lunch time and again before I went to bed.

Once Australia Day had passed with no special, I thought Valentine’s Day would be a good option. When that passed, I held out for Leap Day on 29th Feb.

On Friday I told the Lord I didn’t know how much longer I could keep this up and confessed my lack of wholehearted trust. My Psalm for the day was Psalm 102 and I felt inspired to substitute Zion for my name. So it read:- “But you, Lord, sit enthroned forever; your renown endures through all generations. You will arise and have compassion on Jenny, for it is time to show favor to her; The appointed time has come.” (vs 12-13) and “Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the Lord.” (vs 18. both from NIV)

On Sunday (yesterday) I had a Whats App message from my son waiting for me when I woke up. He had sent a link to a special as part of the Travel Expo, and suggested we pull the trigger and book. The price was less than the special in January by about R4 000. This answer to prayer did not come from the airline I was expecting it to. Isn’t that often the way. I think the Lord delights in surprising us with the unexpected.

So now we have our tickets and are really going. I am so excited! The Lord has blessed me, not because of anything I have done (even my trust was wonky,) but because of His Grace. Thank You Lord.

My husband and I went out for lunch to celebrate.

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