Category Archives: Wives

Candy

My granddaughter had a lovely, fluffy jersey, knitted by her other granny some years ago. She loved the hood, the beautiful colours and the soft feel of it. However, she outgrew it long ago and even her younger sister couldn’t fit into it.

However, she wanted to keep it and maybe turn it into something else. I helped her turn it into a teddy bear. We went together to choose eyes from a special teddy bear shop. She sewed the hood over the front neck to make a head. We stuffed it, added the eyes and she sewed some ears. Then we shortened the arms and cut off the excess to make legs. More stuffing, more sewing, some shaping and she has a bear. Maybe it’s a slightly wonky bear but it’s huggable. She called it Candy because the colours and fluff remind her of candy-floss.

Sometimes God does a similar thing with us – He repurposes us. His calling was not a mistake. It’s just that we have outgrown that particular purpose. Now the Lord wants us to undertake a new mission. He might have to shape us somewhat, cut back areas of our lives that were underutilised and fill us with substance to suit His purpose.

An example of this is the story of Ruth, a Moabite woman. God’s plan was for her to become a wife, to care for her husband and later her widowed mother-in-law, Naomi, when her husband and both sons died.

God had another purpose for Ruth. She accompanied Naomi to Israel and married Boaz, her kinsman redeemer. Again her purpose was domestic, to be a wife and mother to Obed who became the father of Jesse who became the father of David.

If God calls us out of some area of ministry, we should never feel that we have failed but rather that Our Father has decided to repurpose us according to our different circumstances and stage of life.

My Prayer

Father God, in this stage of retirement, may I be willing to allow You to shape me according to any new purpose You have for my life. Amen.

This post is the last one in the JusJoJan series.

Blending

Adult colouring books are not really my thing. I thought I’d give it a try (since everybody else was so enthusiastic about it) and bought myself a book. Well, I have half coloured one page. I saw a journal in a Christian book shop with bible verses and small pictures to colour on every alternate page and plenty of space to write so I considered I might manage that.

My daughter is an artist and taught me to blend with Aquelle crayons. “Use different colours,” she said, “and blend them together with your wet paintbrush”. It worked quite well for a non-artist.

dav

It occurs to me  that is what God does in a marriage or in a family. He uses different colours (people), puts them together artistically, and blends them making a more vibrant and dynamic picture.  My husband and I are very different but God has managed to blend us together so the “Us” contains elements of each of us but also of a combination of both of us, making the whole more than the sum of the parts. In the hands of the Master, each marriage and family is an unrepeatable masterpiece.

Shoes

I am packing to go to Cape Town for my step-mother-in-law’s memorial service. It is an un-budgeted trip and our budget tickets only include 7kg hand luggage. We are going for five days and I’m debating which shoes to take. Something smart for the funeral, something comfortable for site seeing, something warm because Cape Town is cooler than Johannesburg at present, something to slip off on the beach……  The Roman soldier had no such dilemma.

Ephesians 6:11 tells us about the armor of God. We must have our “feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of Christ.” (vs 15)

Roman legionaries footwear was not designed so much for protection as for surefooted-ness on varying terrain, for speed and for comfort.

Romans 10 vs 15 says “How can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’

The readiness in Ephesians is to be sent. Imagine a soldier, kitted out in full battle gear, running against the enemy on his own. Without the instruction of his commanding officer, he is doomed to failure and probable death.

We need to be prepared every day to be sent, to share the good news. However it’s not something we do in our own strength. All we are called to do is to be ready. Let’s pack our shoes!

Christian Servanthood

During December and early January my husband and I were in New Zealand to visit our son and his family and to explore.

While exploring, we visited church’s where we were at. As Christmas drew near, I was struck by Mary’s response to the Angel Gabriel.

“I am the Lord’s servant,” she said.

While I was still mulling over this, we attended the Hamilton Central Baptist Church where a missionary working in Papua New Guinea, Grant Dixon, told us what it meant to be a servant.

I was so struck by what he said that it has become the foundation of the start to my New Year. The following is a summary.

  1. As a servant, I am not the master. Jesus is.
  2. Serving is what servants do.
  3. Servants are under authority and cannot abuse the trust of the master.
  4. As I serve God, I serve others and as I serve others, I serve God.
  5. Servants don’t choose what they do. they can only choose the attitude in which they do it.
  6. Serving and giving don’t come naturally. We have to choose to do it.
  7. Serving often entails hard work, long term application, even suffering.

As part of the message Grant read the covenant prayer by John Wesley.

servant

I was particularly struck by point number five. Servants don’t choose what they do.

My husband has been a Gideon for over thirty-five years but I have always regarded it as his passion and calling, not mine. Although I totally believe in the handing out of bibles leading to the salvation of many, there are things about he organisation that I don’t like. A woman can not join the Gideons. If her husband is a Gideon, she may join the Auxiliary which is composed of wives of Gideons. She may not speak in church or to a Gideon meeting, but only to Auxiliary gatherings. As a qualified local preacher of the Methodist Church, a silver level Toastmaster and a woman of the twenty-first century, I found this very old-fashioned. Moreover, in South Africa, the Gideons are strongly dominated by Afrikaans Christians. Trainings and zone meetings are conducted in Afrikaans and although I understand the language, I don’t feel comfortable in those situations.

Last year the president of our Auxiliary begged me to come onto the Cabinet as vice president and, perhaps foolishly, I said I would pray about it. Some three days later in my quiet time the following verse jumped out of the page in my face, “I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness.” (Col 1:25) Just to make sure, three days later, I read the following in my quiet time, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…” (2 Tim 3:16). I think I’d have to be very obtuse not to get the message. so I became vice president more from obedience than any passion.

Now I have been reminded that a servant does not choose what she does, just the attitude in which she does it. Moreover the covenant prayer says, “Rank me with whom you will.” That includes Afrikaans people belonging to an old fashioned organisation.

So 2019 will be the year of learning to be a servant. It won’t come easy as it goes against all my inclinations but I know that Christ will strengthen me even in my attitude. May my attitude be gratitude.