Tag Archives: Word of God

I am an Arms Dealer

Image by Alexander Lesnitsky from Pixabay

My husband and I belong to the Gideons.

The Gideons International is an Association of Christian business and professional men and their wives dedicated to telling people about Jesus through associating together for service, sharing personal testimony, and by providing Bibles and New Testaments.

While we are often recognized for our work with hotels, we also place and distribute Scriptures in strategic locations so they are available to those who want them, as well as to those who may not know they need them.

The first school term is the time to distribute testaments to the Grade 8’s at all the schools in our area. Because of the Covid restrictions, instead of visiting schools, addressing the learners and handing out testaments individually to those who are willing to accept them, my husband has to drop boxes of testaments at the schools for them to distribute.

In the same way, the ladies used to visit clinics and doctors’ rooms and hand out testaments to the medical staff. We can’t do that anymore. Recently I left a box of testaments at the security station of the Windsor clinic.

Paul refers to the Word of God as The Sword of the Spirit. (Ephesians 6:17)

The Bible says “…the Word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow, it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12 NIV)

It occurred to me that we are arms dealers. We put swords in the hands of teenagers, we arm nurses, doctors, policemen, even prisoners. How outrageous! How daring! How dangerous! If opposition comes, it is not that surprising. However, in South Africa, most people we come across are happy to receive their weapon. They value the Word of God and treasure it.

On Sunday we joined Dare to Love at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital in Johannesburg. It is the largest hospital in South Africa. We distributed over a thousand gift packs containing a Gideon’s testament, a pen, biscuits, chocolates and other goodies. When those ran out, we distributed packs containing the goodies and a Gospel of John booklet. This was meant as a gesture of appreciation to the heroes who serve on the front line.

It was an exciting morning. We are honoured to be allowed to do this work.

My Prayer

Father, thank you for the Bible, the Sword of the Spirit. Teach me to handle it aright. You know that many of the Gideon members are getting old and even dying. Please send new, younger members to help us with this work of distributing Your Word. Amen.

Image by azboomer from Pixabay

Mosquito bites and lightning strikes.

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The gazebo in our garden is a lovely, cool place to have a quiet time in the mornings. The only problem is the mosquitoes. I spray myself when I remember and light a citronella candle, but very often I become aware of two or three itchy bites at breakfast time. They are very, very annoying and I know the more I scratch them, the itchier they become, but I can’t help it.

With my mind and experience I know that by the next day the itch will be gone and even the red bump will have faded. However, that doesn’t help the present discomfort.

Paul says, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” (Rom 8:18 NIV)

I would like to rephrase it. Our present problems are like mosquito bites compared to the wonderful things God has in store for us.

Problems come every day. No sooner do we overcome one problem than another is ready to take its place. Most of these are not of our doing but are very stressful all the same.

I live in an area of South Africa where lightning storms are frequent and violent. A friend’s house was struck by lightning last week. It frizzled her gate motor, security cameras, all her UPS backups and all the light bulbs. Even after the electrician had called and replaced all the lights, the power seemed to weaken and strengthen in unpredictable waves. She was stressed and distracted and, even though she knew with her mind that things would eventually be back to normal, she felt downhearted and overwhelmed.

Image by FelixMittermeier from Pixabay

Some problems don’t seem to have an end in sight. However, we are promised that “…in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Rom 8:28 NIV)

We might not see the promised good this side of the grave but we trust that God’s Word is true and reliable. There will come a time when we will look back and regard our troubles as no more than annoying mosquito bites, forgotten in the Glory of God.

C’m On, Grow Up!

This week I have been reading in Ephesians. What struck me in Ephesians 4:12 was that God wanted me to attain to mature womanhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that I may no longer be a child, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, I am to grow up in every way…..

What does that mean? What am I to do? I can’t do vague. So I decided to make a comparison like we were taught to do at school.

  • Child:   Spends all her pocket money on sweets and toys on the first day.
  • Adult:   Budgets money to pay for commitments and makes sure there is enough to last the month.
  • Child:   Gets distracted from tasks easily .
  • Adult:   Finishes tasks
  • Child:   Gets upset easily about small hurts and disappointments. Throws a tantrum if she doesn’t get her way.
  • Adult:  Moves beyond temporary feelings and impulses.
  • Child:   Assumes adults know everything and believes what she is told.
  • Adult:   Makes own decisions based on reason and research rather that the popular opinion of others.
  • Child:   Govered by the feeling of the moment.
  • Adult:   governed by values and understanding of the right thing to do.

I could probably add a lot to this list but just these five points make me realize yes, I haven’t grown up properly. I still do what I feel like and regard my hard earned money as mine to spend as I wish.   I tried to remember how I justified my purchase of a tablet just because everybody else had one. Now its main purpose is as an alarm to wake me in the mornings.

So, I have a long way to go. Only with God’s help can I outgrow my childish tendencies and grow into the maturity he desires.

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Plant your dreams

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These words come from a Girl Guide/Girl Scout campfire song and is included in many campfire songs collections. I love the imagery of it. Of course, to have dreams bloom, they first need to be planted. It is three weeks to Spring here in South Africa and my first sweet-pea flower is about to bloom. However, If I hadn’t planted seeds three or four months ago, I would have no flowers for Spring.

I believe God gives us dreams, just like he made our unique personality and set our borders. However, just having a dream is not enough. although God does the growing, we have to do the planting. Dreams no more materialize overnight than flowers appear the day after we plant the seed. It takes time.

I would like to suggest the following as an aid to identifying your dreams and keeping them in God’s hands. Out of a piece of colored card or paper cut three seed shapes. On each write a dream that you secretly harbor. You don’t need to tell anybody about it except the Lord who knows anyway. Keep them in a safe place for at least a year. You could put them in your bible or in an envelope in a drawer. After a year check whether it is still your dream and whether anything has happened.

Of course it is possible to plant dream seeds that are not of God.  In Ezekiel 14 certain elders of Israel came to consult the prophet but God revealed to him that “these men have taken idols into their hearts” and that he would answer them according to the multitude of their idols. Some dreams are not of God. After a year you might know yourself which dreams are not of God if you have been keeping close to Him. If not, a simple test is “Will it glorify God or glorify me?”

Planting seeds is not the end of the gardening. It is true that only God can cause the growth and the flowering, but there are things we have to do. We need to water the seeds or plant them in a place where they will be watered naturally. We can do this by immersing ourselves in the Word of God, noting His promises and trusting Him.  Seeds also need sunshine and we can ensure this by walking in the light that God has revealed to us and making sure that our lives reflect His glory and are not riddled with sin. If we are led by the Spirit we will be in the light.

After a year, how about writing a comment about what has happened or writing your own post?

May all of your dreams bloom like Daisies in the sun!