Author Archives: Fuzzy Panda Barista

About Fuzzy Panda Barista

I am a wife, a mother, a Grandmother, a Christian and a writer. My mission is to achieve my full potential and to enable others to achieve theirs. I am interested in Girl Guides, the environment, parenting, inspiration and books. I believe that God has a plan for my life.

Panic Button

Last night my mother fell again. She is 87 and is unable to get back into bed from the floor. She lives in a cottage on the same property as my brother, sister-in-law and nephew.

In February, after the third fall, my brother started investigating a panic button device that my Mom could wear around her neck if anything happens to her and the family is not around. It is monitored by a security company and they will contact a member of the family if it’s a simple matter or send an ambulance if it is more serious. Last time my brother didn’t hear the phone call and they sent an ambulance.

I got the call at 1.30am. They had tried to phone my brother and got no reply. I explained I am in Randburg and my mother is in Gqeberha but I would try to contact my nephew which I did and Mom was soon back in bed.

Yesterday my husband read a section in his devotional guide of how God sometimes impresses on people to pray for somebody. There were accounts of how Christians had felt an urge to pray for somebody specific and how they had later found out what danger or trouble that person had been in. Sometimes we will be woken in the middle of the night with a burden to pray.

It is something like my mother’s panic button. Our Father has a whole network of people on whom He can call to pray when there is a need. We should take these promptings seriously and act immediately. We might never know the cause, or the result, but God’s panic button will bring help.

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that should always pray and not give up. (Luke 18:1 NIV)

My Prayer

Lord, I have committed my life to You. That includes my time. When You call on me, may I not be spiritually asleep or too distracted with my own life to heed your call. Please make me sensitive to Your whispers. Amen.

Sunshine

We moved into our cottage almost ten years ago. We added on some rooms and enlarged some. The renovations were planned by an architect. Although we have a large French window and a smaller window facing north, our lounge always seemed dark. We have a magnificent paperbark tree outside which gives beautiful shade in summer and we always thought that was the reason our house seemed dark. We had two sky lights put in and that helped a bit. However the lounge light stayed on during the day while I was home.

The house next door had five tall conifers growing against our north boundary wall. When the house was sold, I made a point of informing our new neighbours that I would love the trees cut down and we would pay half. Well, they had other things to attend to and repair and I didn’t want to nag them but I talked to the Lord about them. I even talked to the trees! (I remembered what Jesus had said about mountains throwing themselves into the sea.)

While we were away last week, the trees got taken out. The neighbours are doing some renovations and building on to make room for their parents to stay with them.

The difference is amazing. Sun streams into the lounge almost all day. We no longer need the light on in the daytime. I am just wallowing in the sunshine.

John said about Jesus, “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:4-5NIV)

Sometimes we miss out on the light of God in our lives through circumstances that are beyond our control. They are the things that cast shadows on the abundant life that Christ promised. They are like those five trees, seemingly invincible. They could be an early family tragedy, an unhappy childhood, a disability we were born with, or even poverty. We are totally powerless to remove them. They are not in our garden.

God is not powerless. We can do what we can to improve the light in our lives but then we need to call on Him to take away the trees. It won’t be easy and it won’t be immediate. But our God is faithful.

Jesus promised, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” May we not become so used to living in the shadow that we miss out on the Light of Life.

My Prayer

Lord, please open my eyes to the things with which I have been living, that are casting shadows over my life. May they be rooted up and cast aside. May the Light of Your Life and Your Love bathe me every day. Amen.

The Rock

…lead me to the rock that is higher than I. (Psalm 61:2b)

I’m feeling generally down today. My bridge came loose approximately three weeks after the dentist last secured it in my mouth. The other side also seems to have a problem and stabs of pain beset me every now and then when I get a seed or something stuck in my bottom tooth or when I don’t bit down in the right place.

Yesterday we got back from a lovely five days out in the bushveld, away from the stresses of every-day-life. That might contribute to my down feeling and maybe the fact that I wasn’t placed in the top 25 of a writing competition I entered adds too – but I think the tooth thing is the main contributor.

My faith wobbles like a jelly on a motorbike swinging from highs to lows depending on immediate circumstances and even the amount of sleep I had the night before. That is why I need to run to the Rock that is higher than I. I know that I can do nothing without Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. I just have to rest in the assurance that God loves me as I am with my weaknesses and failures and He will provide all I need for life and godliness.

This post is part of Streams of Consciousness Saturday.

The Work of God

Jesus replied, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” (John 6:29 NIV)

I guess this is why Christians are called Believers not Achievers.

I never thought of it like that

This post is part of One-Liner-Wednesday.

Beach Memories 2

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10 NIV)

Once my six-year-old granddaughter had had enough jumping in the waves, she decided to try her hand at digging a swimming pool. After a while, her father came to join her but left her to lead the project.

When God created us in His image, one of the attributes He implanted in us was creativity. We all have some of the creativity of our Maker whether we like to design engines, do woodwork, create a garden, paint a picture, write a book or…(fill in the blank.) It is our Father’s gift.

He would love to be with us in our creativity and He can inspire us with ideas, but He leaves us to manage the project and He takes as much pleasure in the finished work as we do – even is it’s only a sand castle.

My Prayer

Father, thank You for the gift of creativity. May I seek to glorify You in everything I do so I can bring everything I make to You like a preschooler bringing home his artwork and say, “Look Daddy, I made this for You.” Amen.

Beach Memories 1

Just before Easter we went to Port Elizabeth, mostly to visit family but also to enjoy being at the seaside. We overlapped with the younger family for three days and made a plan to go spend a sunny morning at the beach.

I love watching my grandchildren enjoy themselves.

Watching them relate to their father spoke to me about our relationship with God. The six-year-old didn’t venture into the waves on her own, but only when holding her father’s hand tightly. It must have been scary for her. Her Dad told her when to jump and helped her bounce over the big waves.

I picture myself as a little girl going into scary waves of life. My Father holds me tight. I must listen to His voice and obey promptly. Sure, He could calm the waves and make them flat but mostly, He doesn’t. He could also keep me out of the sea altogether but then I wouldn’t grow, or learn or have the adventure of the seaside!

This is illustrated in Matthew 14:22 and Mark 6:45

Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of Him to the other side, while He dismissed the crowd. (NIV)

Jesus knew a storm was going to blow up later that evening and the disciples were going to struggle to get to shore. He could have prevented it. If He had, we would not have the account of Jesus walking on water and Peter would never have learned that to take his eyes off Jesus is to sink. Jesus was glorified and the disciples faith grew.

My Prayer

Father, when I am afraid of what lies ahead of me, please hold me tight and tell me when to jump and when to hold my breath. Amen.