Tag Archives: abundant life

Gates and Doors

Like many people in South Africa, we have an automatic electronic gate. To open it we point our dedicated remote towards it while depressing the button. The gate opens and stays open for a pre-set time then closes again. Or we can override it and depress the button again to close it.

Last night we left to attend our Community Group and the gate opened as usual. But it didn’t close. My husband pushed the button several times and it still wouldn’t close. He got out of the car to try from a different angle. At that moment he saw a Checkers delivery scooter. It appears the driver had forgotten part of my daughter’s order and found it at the bottom of his carrier. My husband buzzed my daughter to alert her and trusted that she would close the gate after the delivery man had left. Presumably she, too, couldn’t get the gate to respond. Our son-in-law put it on manual to close it then back on automatic. The same process had to be followed when we returned.

This morning the gate was found open. You have no idea how scary that is. It means that anybody could have strolled into our property while we were asleep. Even with the gate on manual, which it is at present, anybody who cares to try to open it, could do so. I feel insecure.

I have a new appreciation for the function of gates and doors. A gate allows us to select the people we allow on our property. Crime is a big problem in South Africa and unscrupulous thieves have been known to use all sorts of ruses to gain access to properties, from pretending to be service providers, delivery vehicles, potential buyers and more. When we were invaded at our previous property, the thieves sneaked in after we opened the gate and held us up at gun point. On another occasion they hijacked us outside our gate.

Jesus said, “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:9-10 NIV)

Up ’till now, I related to the next part of Jesus’ teaching, “I am the good shepherd” but not really to the thought of Him being a gate or a door. Now I understand. The sheep will be safe with Him controlling access to them. He is our security. I have been told that the shepherd used to position himself at the door or gate of the sheep fold. I can just imagine a nervous sheep snuggling up to Him and sleeping peacefully.

My Prayer

Lord Jesus, You are my security and my protector. You know exactly what threats are out there, both in the physical and spiritual worlds. I trust myself to You. Thank You for Your promise that You came to give me life to the full. Help me to appropriate the security and abundant life You offer me. Amen.

Windy Wanderings

Yesterday we met a couple on the beach. The wife was arranging her husband and little dog on a log to take a photo. I asked her if she would like me to take a photo of both of them. Later she came over to take a photo of my husband and I.

We got chatting. They live in the area and this was only their second visit to the beach in five months. She told us about a lovely nursery within walking distance that we hadn’t known about.

Today was a windy, overcast day. Instead of going to the beach which we usually do, we decided to take a walk and look for the nursery and a little shop not far from it.

What a lovely day we had. We found the nursery.

Illovo Nursery

Besides the nursery itself, there was a restaurant, a second-hand book shop, a scratch patch, a pet shop, an art gallery and a lake with benches at strategic viewing points.

After nearly three weeks, mostly confined to the caravan park, I was sorely in need of a sit-down tea. We ordered a cappuccino each and apple crumble to share.

After tea, we wandered around. I bought a book at the book shop and a cup of shells. We drooled over huge pots and trays of flowers at very good prices compared to our usual shopping haunts. We admired the colourful plants in all their variety. One looked like it had painted finger nails and we named it the finger-nail-plant.


I felt like I had stumbled into a treasure trove. Afterwards we explored further and found the little shop then decided to see whether we could return along the beach. Armed with directions from a lady who worked at the little shop, we made our way to the Illovo station and across the railway bridge. The station itself was almost in ruins which was very sad to see.

Returning along the beach might not have been such a good idea because we had forgotten about the wind, which was much stronger on the beach than in residential area.

Nevertheless, a lovely day and a satisfying long walk.

I think this is a parable of life. We can stay in the same old routine, stuck in a rut and not even realise the wonderful sights and places that may lie around us. Sometimes we need to step out of our comfort zones (yes, it was a challenge walking into the wind with sand smashing against our legs) and explore beyond our everyday life. Who knows what treasure we might stumble upon.

Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10 NIV)

I believe that the abundant life includes being able to appreciate the wonderful nature God has created, as well as the works of man inspired by His Spirit of creativity.

My Prayer

Father, give me the courage to venture beyond the familiar and taste the abundant life You have given me. Amen.

Fun and the compost bin.

the compost bin was on the grass yesterday before it came into use today.

Some people think that Christians have no sense of humour. They imagine ladies in black mid-calf dresses with their hair in a bun and any wrinkles they might have are frown lines rather than smile lines. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I find it such fun having a relationship with Jesus. Today my schedule was running about half an hour late because I spent a lot of time discussing the garden with my daughter and the gardener. As a result, I was later at gym than usual, and as I walked into the change room, I met the cleaning lady. I remembered I had put a small Gideon testament in my handbag with her in mind and I happily gave it to her. She was delighted. She told me the little bible her son had given her was very tattered and had pages missing.

“God sent you,” she said.

“This is such fun,” I said to the Lord in my mind.

I thought back to yesterday when my grandchildren had 6-year triplets to play. My daughter had just bought a plastic compost bin with a door at the bottom to access the compost. The children were sitting on it, crawling inside and coming up with all sorts of inventive ways to play with it. They were having uninhibited fun. I think that is how God wants us to enjoy life. If we look around, we can find fun and joy in the most unlikely places.

Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it in abundance. (John 10:10)

My Prayer

Lord, may I revel in the abundant life you have promised and find fun and joy in unlikely places. Amen.

This post is part of JustJoJan