Monthly Archives: May 2020

Who are We?

What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? (Psalm 8:4 NIV)

We have made amazing advances in technology, communication, medicine, astronomy and other fields of science. We have carried out successful organ transplants, put men on the moon, and have made information available to the man in the street with a click of a button.

Yet, at this time in history, our civil society and economic empires are crumbling because of a virus 125 billionths of a metre in diameter. One thing it has shown us, is that man is not invincible as he tends to think. We act as if we are God. We make the rules and mores. We decide what is fair and what is unfair. As history unfolds, morals and customs change according to the outward circumstances and who’s in power.

The nature of man has not changed, has not improved. Excellent systems are put in place. They all fail because of human nature. Give food parcels to the poor! We have seen how human nature has corroded that noble endeavour! We all think human nature is something other people have. Yet we are quick to confess, “I am only human. This is how I am. This is how my father was, I got it from him.” In this dysfunctional world, we tend to excuse bad behaviour by early experiences of brokenness.

We can do nothing to fix ourselves. All our technical advances can’t save us from ourselves.

However, amazingly, God has set His love upon us and for love of us Christ died to rescue us from sin.

I love the end of Psalm 91.

The Lord says,
“If you love me
    and truly know who I am,
    I will rescue you
    and keep you safe.
15 When you are in trouble,
    call out to me.
I will answer and be there
    to protect and honor you.
16     You will live a long life
    and see my saving power.”
(CEV)

Meditations on Sunshine.

Sitting in the sunshine this cool autumn morning, I enjoyed the touch of warmth on my skin. I thought of it as an embrace of love from God. I meditated on sunshine and love.

Sure, the sunshine was warm and comfortable like warm fuzzies. However, sunshine also has power. We all know the danger of sunburn. I have a solar cooker. I have potatoes cooking in it at the moment for lunch later. The sun has sufficient power to cook food. It can heat water for bathing. My daughter and son-in-law have a solar geyser. Sometimes it gets so hot steam comes out of the escape pipe. We haven’t got to the stage of electricity from the sun yet, but many households have. The sun is powerful.

Likewise, love is powerful. It is not only warm comfort. Sometimes it can hurt. Love kept Christ on the cross. Love for us. For me. A line from a hymn came to me, “strong as death.” I battled a while to find it on the internet because I incorrectly remembered the three words that came before the phrase. Finally I got it and I thought it was worthwhile posting it here. It was written by William Cowper in 1768 so it’s not surprising that some of the words are a bit archaic.

 Hark, my soul, it is the Lord;
’tis thy Saviour, hear his word;
Jesus speaks, and speaks to thee,
‘Say, poor sinner, lov’st thou me?

2 ‘I delivered thee when bound,
and, when wounded, healed thy wound;
sought thee wandering, set thee right,
turned thy darkness into light.

3 ‘Can a woman’s tender care
cease towards the child she bare?
Yes, she may forgetful be,
yet will I remember thee.

4 ‘Mine is an unchanging love,
higher than the heights above,
deeper than the depths beneath,
free and faithful, strong as death.

5 ‘Thou shalt see my glory soon,
when the work of grace is done;
partner of my throne shalt be:
say, poor sinner, lov’st thou me?’

6 Lord, it is my chief complaint
that my love is weak and faint;
yet I love thee, and adore;
O for grace to love thee more!

Lockdown Easing

From today South Africa moves from level five to level four lockdown. Pictures flood the news about people out exercising at Emmerentia Dam, Zoo lake, the Promenades in Cape Town and Durban and elsewhere.

I set out to journal the lockdown by posting every day but now I am going to ease off to two or three times a week.

Today’s Lockdownlookup was based on Ephesians 6:18. “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” At other times Paul admonishes us to “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thes 5:16)

This sounds impossible but Pastor Richard shared an insight he got from another pastor. Praying at all times in the Spirit is merely inviting the Holy Spirit into the conversations in our minds. We can do that.

Let’s face it, we are all facing a loss of some kind. Loss of control, loss of security, loss of income, loss of loved ones, loss of freedom, loss of our life as it used to be. According to Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, the five emotional stages of loss are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. I think we are all at different stages and we need to invite the Holy Spirit into all our internal conversations at whatever stage we are in.

At some stage we need to move on to acceptance. I’m not there yet. I’m still hovering around denial, hoping life will go back to what it used to be.

A very wise quote was sent to me by WhatsApp this morning. I don’t know who originally said it.