Monthly Archives: September 2022

Living Water

For my birthday, my three children clubbed together to buy me a birdbath. t

Two concrete birds perch around the edge.

It will take a while before birds visit the bath. They are suspicious of new things suddenly appearing. So, for the moment at least, there is a generous supply of cooling water and no birds slaking their thirst or cooling their feathers.

Jesus said, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” (John 7:37-38 NIV) “By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive.” (38b)

The offer is for anyone and everyone. Just like the bird bath is for all birds. But not many will come, whether from suspicion, disbelief or pride in their own ability to cope.

I like to think of “rivers of living water” as fountains – an endless supply of water with energy and power. I picture a solar fountain spurting like a whale in the middle of my bird bath.

My Prayer

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for Your gift of the Holy Spirit. Please continue to fill me that I may be a source of refreshing and life to others. Amen.


“God always puts us around someone who is like sandpaper to smooth off our rough edges…a testing that takes place before we get promoted. If you want to lead, you must first serve in circumstances that may not be ideal and learn to behave wisely. This prepares us to be greatly used by God.” Joyce Meyer.

When I am at the beach, I enjoy collecting little pieces of driftwood, especially if they have some resemblance to an animal or a bird. This one reminded me of a crested bird.

I dried it out and used sandpaper to smooth it. That just brought out the beauty of the wood.

My Prayer

Lord God, You know exactly where my character needs work. Please help me to work with You and not against you when You use sandpaper to smooth me. Amen.

This post is part of One-Liner-Wednesday.

Birthday Wishes

Tomorrow is my 70th Birthday. My cousin gave me a lovely magnetic Birthday card.

I thought it would be fun to try to find a Bible verse for each line.

Be the best you can. Col 3:23: Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, God. (MSG)

Inspire yourself and others. Thes 5:11: Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. (NIV)

Reach for your dreams. Psalm 37:4: Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. (ESV)

Treasure your best moments. Psalm 143:4: I remember the days of old; I meditate on all you have done.(ESV)

Hold on to special friendships. Prov 18:24: Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family. (MSG)

Dare to conquer any challenge. Romans 8:37: No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (NIV)

Accept yourself as you are. Romans 12:3: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each one of you. (NIV)

You are simply the best. Psalm 139:14: I thank you, High God- you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration- What a creation! (MSG)

My Prayer

Thank You, Lord God, for my seventy years. You were involved in my life before I even knew You. I remember all You have given me, all Your blessings, great and small, and I worship You. As I go into the next chapter of my life, may I know You more clearly, love You more dearly, and follow You more nearly, day by day and year by year. Amen.

Who is This?

The disciples were in a serious storm and thought they would drown while Jesus slept. They woke Him and called for help. “And he said to them, ‘Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?’ Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled saying, ‘What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?'” (Matthew 8:26-27 ESV)

I understand the awe of the disciples. Those who read my blog will know the frustrations I’ve been having applying for visas to visit New Zealand. My son in New Zealand waited two hours to speak to the help-line and the information he got was not very helpful. I went along the rabbit warren of links and websites again and tried to make an appointment to hand in our passports. At least I found the sub-category that applied to our visas but the message was, “There are no slots available for this visa at present.” I discussed with my husband whether we should pay R1 104 to buy a walk-in appointment. We had almost decided on that but to buy the service we first had to make an appointment. So I tried again. This time there were two slots available, one on 30 September which is only a week away. We booked it, deciding not to go for the walk-in option which would show a lack of trust in the Lord.

Later, idly looking through accumulated emails, I found one from Immigration New Zealand. It said our visas had been approved and we could download our e-visas. The letter requesting us to present our passports has disappeared from my dashboard.

I was overwhelmed and filled with awe. When does an official government directive just disappear? I serve an awesome God. I have no idea what happened. The God who stilled the waves and the winds can also cause websites and technology to do what He directs. My God reigns!

Image by axonite from Pixabay

My Prayer

Lord, I am overwhelmed by Your sheer power. Thank You, thank You, thank You. I don’t understand what You did but I praise You. Amen.

The Prayer Chair

On our last day at Glenschillen in Nottingham Road, we rambled into the wooded area behind the dam. We had seen a map of the walks in the area and decided to find the “Prayer Chair.”

At first we took a wrong path and came to a log cabin that looked newly constructed. There was no path after that.

We retraced our steps and found a lower path. At one stage the path was blocked by a branch. We managed to carefully step over it. At a fork in the path there was a printed sign and an arrow showing the right path. We came to a pine glade where the pine needles were so thick on the ground that they covered a knee-high log that we thought might be the prayer chair but then we found it, not five metres away!

The Prayer Chair

We sat down and prayed because that is what it was there for. There was a beautiful view over the dam and the deck although they seemed so far away.

Life is a lot like a journey. The scenery keeps changing. Sometimes the ground is treacherous underfoot, like pine needles obscuring hazards. Sometimes we take a wrong path, but even that can bring new discoveries. God knows how to use a wrong path for our good. Sometimes obstacles block our way and we have to make our way over them with care. We need to look out for signs and directions, even if we think we know the map. If we look around and are alert, we might find a prayer chair, a place to be still for a while and survey where we used to be.

The best thing to have on a hike is a guide, somebody who has followed the trail before. Psalm 23 tells us that the Lord will lead us in the paths of righteousness.

The Bible says, “The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.
{Psalms 37:24 – 25 NIV}

My Prayer

Thank You Lord that You lead me in this journey of life. Please open my eyes to the Prayer Chairs You have scattered along the way where I can rest and regain my perspective. Amen.

More Original Ways God Answers Prayers

We have tickets to go to New Zealand on 25 November. As soon as visa applications opened, on 31 July, we started the process of applying online. We had already started our 6-week holiday. It took about a week to get the application completed and posted, taking into account limited internet options at the caravan park. Two days later, I got a message saying we had to present our passports to a visa application centre. The only one in South Africa is in Pretoria. No chance of getting there until we get back home.

I began to worry about if it was God’s will that we go as planned. If so, I could trust Him to organise the visas to come through on time. If not, we could change the booking but that would incur more cost to our son. I asked for a sign.

On Saturday we journeyed towards Harrismith on our way home. Our little underpowered motorhome did manage to overtake a number of long transport trucks up Van Reenen’s Pass. But one overtook us. This is what I saw on the side of the cab as it rumbled past.

This photo is actually from the other side of the truck. I didn’t have my phone ready when it passed us.

My husband knew the reference of Jeremiah 29:11, “‘For I know the plans I have for you. ‘ declares the Lord, Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you hope and a future. ‘”

I take this as a sign. We plan to go to Pretoria tomorrow to hand in our passports and then we must trust the Lord with the timing and the process.

My Prayer

Lord, I praise You for Your ingenuity and originality. Thank You for hearing my prayer. Amen.

Quiet and Peace

We are now in Nottingham Rd in a caravan park called Glenschillen. It is an oasis of tranquility. We have a site overlooking the dam.

   The Bible says, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.“‘ (Isaiah 31:15 NIV)

On Wednesday, soon after we arrived, we wandered down to the common area, where there are tables and chairs, a pool table and various other amenities for general use. We came across three elderly gentlemen who were having their weekly Bible study and discussion. My husband mentioned that we are members of the Gideons.

Yesterday the oldest of the three, David, who happens to be a co-owner of this place, sought us out. We had a long chat with him. He told us of some miracles in his life and how God has always been faithful, even though he’s had many struggles in his life, including the death of his first wife after three months of marriage.

David is ninety-five and he ended our chat with these words, “The waters are calm, my compass is true. I trust my Captain and I know where my ship is heading.”

I believe the Lord arranged this meeting to bless us and as an illustration a life based on quietness and trust.

My Prayer

Thank You, Lord for this place of quiet and rest. Being here is almost like a retreat. Thank you for enabling us to meet Your servant, David. Please continue to bless him and his family.

Empty Boxes

We are leaving Scottburgh tomorrow and heading for a caravan park in the Midlands of KZN. In preparation today we disconnected our electricity and gas and took our motorhome to the nearby mall to get groceries for our last five days and to get our monthly tablets from Clicks.

Included in my prescription are two supplements:- Caltrate Plus for my osteoporosis and Piascledene for my osteoarthritis. We usually collect those from the shelves before going to the pharmacy section.

When I picked up a box of Caltrate Plus, it seemed very light and it didn’t rattle. I checked the box to make sure it was a thirty tablet packaging and it was. I tried another box. Same thing. Suspiciously light and no rattle.

Finally my husband opened a box. It was empty. There was an assistant nearby and we asked him what was going on. He told us all the boxes were empty because people steal the supplements. He took a Piascledene box and a Caltrate Plus box to the back and brought them to the pharmacy counter with their proper contents.

I was reminded of the story of the prophet, Samuel. God told him to anoint one of Jesse’s sons as king. Samuel took one look at the oldest, Eliab, and thought that the future king stood before him.

“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’ ” (1 Samuel 16:7 NIV)

Jesus expressed the same sentiment when he called the Pharisees “whitewashed tombs.”

If we have the mind of Christ, we will not judge people by the packaging, the outward appearance but rather try to get to know their heart.

My Prayer

Lord Jesus, please give me eyes to see people as You see them and not as the world sees them. I know my heart is open to Your gaze. Please fill it with Your love. Amen.

Telling Others

One of the things I enjoy doing on holiday is hanging up my portable bird feeder and watching birds come to it. It usually takes about a week for the birds to find it. We were at Drakensville for seven days and, in that time, the birds found the new source of food. They would fight each other to perch on the rim and eat seeds. In Karridene it took the birds a little longer to get comfortable with the feeder but, before we left there were communities of sparrows gathering under it. We had to keep guard for monkeys, however. I was looking forward to the birds in Scottburgh. Last year, in Scottburgh, we had hung our feeder right outside our motorhome back window which faced the sea. I could wake up and, without getting out of bed, watch the sun rise and the birds twittering around.

This year, although we are only two sites from where we were last year, hardly any birds visit my feeder. I’ve seen a single sparrow perch on the rim and once, a weaver. I don’t know what’s different. Normally once one bird finds the source of food, it doesn’t take long for all their friends and neighbours to arrive too. Not this time. It almost seems like this year, the birds didn’t tell others. They didn’t witness. Yes, there is at least one sparrow eating from the feeder and about four or five who visit to eat any dropped seeds on the ground, as well as a pair of rock pigeons, but I am going home with half a packet of wild bird seed.

Telling others, or “witnessing,” has been a sensitive topic for me ever since I became a Christian. In fact, the time I did pull out and decide Christianity was not for me, it was because I felt pressured to witness. I know as well as any other Christian about the Great Commission. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20 NIV)

Witnessing has been described as one beggar telling another where to find bread. That’s what the sparrows didn’t do.

Two things have helped me. When I was much younger, I taught Sunday school. It’s much less threatening to tell children about Jesus than adults. Now that I belong to The Gideons International in South Africa, I have access to little pocket-sized Testaments and we are encouraged to hand out at least four a month. I don’t find that difficult. I tell people I have a gift for them and then explain a little about where to find help using the front section and the summary of the gospel at the back. I can’t make disciples – nobody can. Only the Holy Spirit can draw people to Christ. However, the little Testaments are a user-friendly tool I can use to carry out Jesus’ instruction in my small corner of the world.

My Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, You made me and You designed my personality. I want to follow Your commandments. Please help me to rely on You in all things and not to try to do things in my own strength. Thank You for the Bible, Your Word. May those I have gifted with the little testaments find You in their pages. Amen.

Flat batteries, robberies and denuded trees.

I thought I’d share this old post again. So many negative things are happening to people I care for. It’s hard to see how God can work all things together for good…

Coffee in the Rain

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, to those who have been called according to his purposes. (Rom 8:28 NIV)

A couple of weeks ago I talked about how the shade had been removed from the courtyard where I write. Now I can’t drink my coffee in the courtyard because of the hot African sun.

However, God is very inventive and He is using even denuded trees for my good. I don’t like drinking coffee at my computer – a break is meant to be a break! I’ve had to get creative. In the corner, a new pharmacy has opened up and they have a little coffee nook tucked away in the back. Last week I decided to explore while drinking my coffee and walking. I noticed they sold healthy-looking rusks in packs of four so I bought a pack…

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