Thursday, October 28, 2010

Feeling shunned among Christians?

“But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.”

~ 1 Corinthians 5:11


I read this verse while doing my Bible study the other night.  I advise reading the entire chapter to understand the context that this verse comes from, but I am not going to go into it here.


Perhaps some of you are thinking about a young unmarried couple in your church while reading this, or a man or woman who seems to like their glass of wine or beer a little too much.  You may even have a situation where there are people who won’t go to church when there is a huge sporting even being shown on TV.  I have heard of people taking little radios to weddings to keep track of the score – even the groom was in on the scam.  Can sport really be an idol? I say that it can!


Now, I want you to stop thinking about these people in your church who I mentioned above.  I want you to think as I do.  Look into yourself.  I am not talking only about right now, look back on your whole life since you became a Christian.  Have you been sexually immoral (sex before marriage included)? Have you been greedy?  Have you put something in your life in front of God (an idol)? Or perhaps spread malicious gossip? Have you had a tendency to drink a little too much at times?  Have you looked for ways to cheat somebody out of money or anything else?  I know that I have been guilty of at least 5 of the things mentioned above since I became a Christian.


How did the church treat you during those times?  Did the other Christians around you know what was going on when you got home?  For me, not everyone knew everything, but some would know about one thing, others would know something else and so on. I have discovered that even after a person makes changes to their life, reputations tend to stick around a lot longer.


Perhaps some of you reading this are going through the same thing right now.  The reputation you had before you fully embraced God is still following you to this day.  You may be feeling shunned at your church, as though nobody wants you around.  I urge you to look at your life right now and determine if you are one of those people who Paul tells the other believers not to associate with!  Have you ever been one of those people?  That will explain a lot in how other believers treat you. 


Decide to change your ways right now, at this very moment if you have not done so yet.  You are not alone in this, others are walking along the same path as you! Rely on Jesus to walk with you every step of the way and He will.  Be determined that you will not fall back into your old patterns.  Live the life Jesus wants you to live!

Monday, October 25, 2010


This is just a quick update from me on what is going on in my life right now.  Some of you may have noticed that I have not written anything for some time, so this will hopefully get you up to speed on what is happening…


On Friday, 22nd October, I handed in my final assignment for the year.  I got the marks back today – 88% for Section A and 65% for Section B.  This may not sound marvellous, but I only lost marks in the sections I decided to leave out to save myself time.  Everything that I did I got completely correct.  The final examination starts on the 14th of November.


Secondly, I have decided that next year I am going to start doing research towards my Master’s Degree in Information Technology.  It was a difficult decision to make, but I talked it over with my mother and with William.  I think that this is the best choice for me.  I also have felt God leading me towards this.


This past weekend I decided to rest without having any work hanging over my head.  I made a choice not to go online, read emails, make blog posts or anything from Friday afternoon until today (Monday 25th).  The only work I did this whole weekend was a 15 minute cleanup on Saturday morning and washing the dishes once after cooking a large meal that would last me all weekend.  I spent the whole weekend playing The Sims 3 and watching Stargate SG-1.


The decision that I made was a good one (in my opinion).  Today I was more motivated to work and “Do it now” than I have been in a long time.


There have been a lot of other interesting developments at work, but a lot of what has happened would be gossip if I were to relay it here.  All I shall say is that what has been happening could rival most of the popular TV Shows. However, nothing directly affects me, except that one of my friends may be switching jobs next year and I might be getting his office. 


Now this is all from me for the moment.  I am off read the Bible a little before bed.


May God Bless you!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Lowering/Raising the Bar

“The future of the world is in the hands of disciplined people.  The undisciplined waste their energies with themselves and their own tangles.”
~ Author Unknown

Why is it that when we run into difficulties we lower our expectations? 

I have seen countless women who dreamed of Prince Charming while they were young girls marry very different men.  Prince Charming was different for each woman, but he was their ideal. 

As we grow older and we experience relationships ending in misery and hurt, we begin to lower the bar for our prince charming.  For example, we may say “I’ll never marry a man who smokes”, then we find the “perfect” man, but he is a smoker, so we lower our standard just a little to accommodate him.  It is as if we don’t believe that our ideal man is out there somewhere for us, or rather that we don’t believe that God will lead us to that man.

The fact that the man smokes should be an indication from God that he isn’t the one for us, rather than an indication that our standards are too high.

I hear about countless women, world-wide, becoming disgusted at the behaviour of modern men.  Just the other day I had an experience where a young man I know told me in detail about a horrific video he saw on the internet.  I was shocked that he would think I would find it entertaining, and I wondered how his girlfriend could put up with it.

I begin to wonder, if all the women in the world decided not to accept anything less than their ideal, would the world-wide situation improve?  Wouldn’t it force men, world-wide, to live up to a higher standard?

The same is true in the way we teach our children, and the way we live our life.  Set high standards for yourself.  Expect 100%, then be proud of yourself for getting 90% because you know that if you had aimed for 50% you would never have got 90%.  A person can do this in all aspects of their life, from school marks, Christian duty, work, housework, relationships and so on.

"I had rather attempt something great and fail, than attempt nothing and succeed”
~ Robert Schuller

Sunday, October 17, 2010

School-girl Love

He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbour as yourself.'”
~ Luke 10:27
Over the past few days I have woken up feeling like a school-girl in love.  Any woman can tell you what that feels like, and if you don’t know just watch Disney’s animated movie “The Little Mermaid”, Ariel is the perfect example of a school-girl in love.

The difference between myself and Ariel is that my love is not felt toward an earthly man, it is felt towards my Lord and saviour Jesus Christ / God.

How did this love happen?  Well, like any good relationship, it comes over time spent together.  Talking, praying and even just sitting quietly with Jesus / God builds up the relationship.  Focusing on other aspects of life break it down, just like any other relationship.

When you first meet a real man (as a teenager, older women are wiser in this matter) that you have a romantic interest in, you go out of your way to dress in ways he’ll find attractive, to “accidentally” bump into him at a certain place, to write love letters in your diary, and to talk about him with your friends until they no longer want to be around you because he is all you talk about.  Your entire existence revolves around him.  Why should our love for Jesus Christ / God be any different from this?

We can dress in ways Jesus / God will find attractive (modestly).  We can see him at church every Sunday.  We can write letters in our diary to him, and we even have the privilege to talk to him at any moment of the day (unlike a School-girl crush).  We can talk to our friends about him.  We can base our entire existence around Him!  In fact this is what we should do!  Jesus said himself “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind”

I am sure that there are some people reading this who have never experienced that sort of love for Jesus / God.  I hadn’t experienced it either until a few weeks ago, and I have only been experiencing it fully over the past few days.  It takes constant prayer, and a dedication to focus on Jesus / God every minute of every day.  It is something that rarely just happens. It takes work and many hours in prayer, but the rewards are phenomenal!

Deeper understanding, deeper trust, deeper faith, joyful heart, and a shining glow of love.  It is a marvellous feeling and well worth the effort.  Do yourself a favour and pray with a sincere heart every morning “Jesus, please help me to centre my life around you today.  Allow your love to shine through me, and allow my love for you to grow today.” Then spend the rest of your day remembering that prayer and doing what you can to make it a reality in your life.  As my fiancĂ© always says “God helps those who help themselves”, meaning that if you try God will help you to succeed.

May God bless each and every one of you today and always.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Bathroom Bliss

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

~ Matthew 6:19-21


“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.”

~ 1 Timothy 6:10


I have been spending some time focusing on my surroundings and trying to accomplish a minimalist look.  I am trying to remove clutter from my life since I believe that less stuff will allow me to focus more on Jesus in the long run.  Lately I have been getting the distinct feeling that possessions come between me and my Lord.  Nobody ever seems to be content with what they have got, everybody seems to want more.  So it is time for me to want less.


This is taking time since every item I have needed to carefully consider whether I am going to keep it, give it away or throw it away.  You’ll be happy to know that I am finished with the bathroom surfaces (inside the cupboard and cabinet is another story).


I picked the bathroom as the first room to clear of clutter because it is the easiest room to start with.  Here are the pictures:




The bathroom sink.  All that I have is a glass with my toothbrush and toothpaste, a scrub brush for nails, a bar of soap, a hand towel and toilet paper.  There is no need for more stuff than that.



The toilet, I had magazines, candles and the rubber duck on the toilet and I was going to clear it all off, but to my eyes it looked strange.  I decided to keep the rubber duck because I find it relaxing to see it bobbing in the bathtub.  Pity that my current home does not have a bathtub.  There is also a dustbin, a toilet brush and a small bathroom mat.  The Rubber duck is the only object without a purpose other than decoration.




The hamper, shower towel, scale and door of the shower.  Each item is used daily.


I couldn’t get a decent photograph of the shower, but just know that it only contains my net sponge, soap, shampoo, face wash, face cloth, and razor. I threw out a lot of old bottles and some sponges I hadn’t been using.


My bathroom has now become a relaxing place for my soul.  Last night I even considered moving my quiet time into my bathroom!  I am looking forward for the rest of my home to be as free from clutter as the bathroom is.


I have two major conflicts going on in my mind.  I want to go out and buy matching towels for the bathroom in neutral tones, however I have to keep telling myself that I do not need matching towels.  I have enough towels in my home.  I have the ones you see in the photographs, I have 3 other Bath Towels (2x black, 1x Navy) and 1 other Hand Towel (black).  I also have a few towels in a chest at my mothers home so I truly do not need any more.


The other conflict is that rubber duck is still bothering me, if anybody has a suggestion for something to replace it (that won’t cost money) please leave a comment below.


The next task is inside the cupboard under the bathroom sink and in the cabinet above the bathroom sink.

Living Sacrifice

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.”

~ Romans 12:1 (NIV)


As of the 30th of November my current job is coming to an end.  I have been offered a renewal of the contract from the 1st of February 2011, but for December and January I will have no income and no work.


Over the past few weeks I have been praying for God’s guidance on the direction he wants my life to take.  I have been praying that God will accept my life as a living sacrifice to Him and that He will show me the path that will best fill His goal for my life.  So far I have had a few feelings about God’s path for me.


I distinctly feel as though my time working under my current boss has come to an end.  I have no doubt in my mind regarding that.  I also feel that it is not time for me to become a full-time homemaker.  So that means I do need to begin looking for other work. 


I received an email a few days ago about a certain company in this city that is looking for new employees.  I fill all the requirements, therefore I am sending in my CV first thing on Monday morning.  I firmly believe that God will allow me to get that job if it is where he wants me to be.  I also firmly believe that God will prevent me from getting that job if I am not meant to get it.  So now the only thing to do is pray that God’s will shall be done.


I urge everyone reading this to give up your life to God’s will (if you haven’t yet) and allow him to lead you.  Offer your body as a living sacrifice.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Recipe: Cheese Puffs

"She gets up while it is still dark; 
she provides food for her family 
and portions for her servant girls."
~ Proverbs 31:15

In context, this verse describes a "wife of noble character" (Proverbs 31:10).  From time to time, I am going to post recipe's that I use regularly, or that I specifically like.  So here is one of my favourites, and a favourite of all the people who have tasted it.

Cheese Puffs:

Makes About 9

  • 250ml (1 cup) flour
  • 10ml (2 teaspoons) baking powder
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of onion salt (or regular salt)
  • 250ml (1 cup) cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 egg - fill up to 250ml (1 cup) with milk

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C (390°F) & grease patty pan.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, cayenne and onion salt
  3. Add grated cheese
  4. Mix in egg and milk mixture and whisk.  Pour equal amounts into the patty pans.
  5. Bake for 10-15 minutes, till golden brown and set.
  6. Serve hot with margarine/butter

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Making the day’s count

“My intercessor is my friend
as my eyes pour out tears to God;
on behalf of a man he pleads with God
as a man pleads for his friend.”
~ Job 16:20-21

This morning while reading my Bible (Job 15 to 16), these verses and another stood out for me.  Keeping it simple, the intercessor mentioned reminded me of Jesus Christ.  As our tears pour out to God, Jesus pleads with God on our behalf, just as a man would plead for a friend.

“Only a few years will pass
before I go on the journey of no return.”
~ Job 16:22

That was the second verse that stood out for me.  We do not have much time in this life.  That is evident by all the deaths this past year.  My father died of cancer on June 30th.  I have heard of many other people passing away this year.  My aunt and grandmother have been at their worst this year than any other time in my life.  So death is something I am familiar with.  I know that my days are numbered, my life is in God’s hands, I may die on the way to work today, or on my 100th birthday (just under 75 years from now).  I don’t know.  Either way, my days are numbered.  This verse allowed me to think of how short our time on earth is.  I do not know how long I have left, but I do need to make every day count and I would like them to count for God’s glory.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Preparation for a new beginning

Better to sit all night than go to bed with a dragon


Each time we wake up God gives us a unique gift.  A completely new day ahead and complete freedom to choose how to spend that day, but sometimes we get caught up in life before our day even begins.


Some people like to start their new day focused on God, but so often things happen in our life to prevent us from starting our day focused on God.  I know that it happens to me regularly, or at least it used to.  I have discovered something that helps me start the day the right way.  My discovery is to end the day the right way first.


At night, before I go to bed, I sit in my quiet spot.  At the moment, my “quiet spot” is a cushion on the floor of my bedroom with candles and an incense burner.  I just sit on the cushion in my quiet spot for a few minutes before praying. 


I do this to calm my mind after the day.  So often my mind is racing in the evenings.  Thoughts pop in and I shove them out.  All these thoughts prevent me from falling asleep, but they also prevent me from focusing on my Lord while I pray in the evenings.  I am sure that many people who read this know what I am talking about.


My solution: I sit quietly, I listen to my thoughts, I acknowledge each thought, I write a note if I feel it is necessary, everything that comes into my mind I listen to.  When my mind is quiet (it usually takes 5 minutes), I begin spending time with my Lord.  Because my mind is now quiet, I can listen for His voice and guidance without interruption. 


Results: I fall asleep more easily.  My time with my Lord is more intense.  When I wake up in the morning, I wake up calm and focused on the new day ahead, prepared to do my Lord’s will.


Better to sit all night than go to bed with a dragon

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Where I'm coming from

Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. ~ Matthew 22:37-38 (NIV)

Jesus wants so much more for us than leading the typical Christian life.  He wants to be our complete focus.  We may be stumbling along in the dark, but it is better to have Jesus leading us around obstacles than tripping over them all by ourselves.


There is a burning desire in my heart to centre my life around Jesus Christ.  I don't know where I am going, that is up to him, I only know where I am coming from.


I have been living a lukewarm Christian life.  Perhaps warmer than some, but not boiling with passion.  I accepted Jesus as my saviour when I was in my teens.  I was baptised in my early twenties.  However I have never lived a life filled by Jesus Christ.  I lived a life just like every other lukewarm Christian I know.


I’m filled with dirt.  I am sure that those who know me the best could write a novel on all my dirt.  Now I am seeing what I am through different eyes.  I am seeing it through the eyes of somebody who is further along her spiritual walk.  Some things God has been convicting me on, other things I ask you to please be patient with, I’m a work in progress.


This past weekend, on October 3rd, I decided that I am tired of being a lukewarm Christian.  I began to earnestly pray for Jesus to become the centre of my life.  This blog started off about me, but it is going to continue about Him.


Jesus wants so much more for us than leading the typical Christian life.  He wants to be our complete focus.  We may be stumbling along in the dark, but it is better to have Jesus leading us around obstacles than tripping over them all by ourselves.