#fridayfootprints – Friday 18th January 2019

18jan

Gardens are designed to provide colour, texture, shade and both physical and spiritual sustenance. When we take flowers and leaves out of their natural environment and place them in a vase to be on display; we could be limiting their effect on the world. Does this apply to us as Christians? Perhaps we are so busy trying to cultivate Christians for display that we forget that a Christian that remains in the ‘garden’ is going to provide; pollen, nectar, shelter, nutrients, as well as food for the soul. Our job as God’s gardeners is more than creating show pieces for display, we need to make sure that the whole garden flourishes and impacts on all the plants, insects, animals and birds.

 

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 11 January 2019

22jan

One plant does not make a garden, one leaf does not make a compost heap, and one paver does not make a pathway through the flowerbeds. Yet, one gardener can watch as the plant turns to the sun; can listen as one leaf whispers in the wind; and one paver is a footstep closer to God. One disciple that blossoms in the light of the Lord; that listens to the whispers between the Creator and the created; that is brave enough to step out on a road unseen in a garden untended, is the gardener God wanted. Be a gardener for Him!

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 4th January 2019

be a gardener

Are you a gardener or just a flower picker? When the gardens of the world are completely overgrown, we need to come to the realization that, for the garden to bloom, they need to be tended with love and care. As ‘Christians’ we need to be gardeners and not just flower pickers. We need to get our hands dirty with the menial tasks and not just make flower arrangements from the few blossoms we manage to collect. A New Year brings us a new opportunity to put on our gardening clothes, gather the tools of our trade and tend to the garden God has given us. The benefits we reap will bring us to a closer relationship with the Master Gardener!

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Happy New Year from Wilderness Whispers.

newyear2019

As we are about to enter 2019 – the theme for 2019’s #fridayfootprints changes to ‘Gardening with God.’

By way of an introduction to the theme, we start with Genesis 1:9-13 …. vs 12 … “The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.”

                        He saw that it was good!

Yet, in order for it to stay good …. We need to move to Luke 13:8 … “Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it.”

Our work in the gardens of the world is to dung it and dig it! No garden survives as God would have it without the sweat equity that goes with it.

We will not yield the produce the Lord wants without the effort! For 2019, our gardens must go through this process. Join me as we discover the joy of creating colour in our efforts of Gardening with God. Colours that will brighten a world devoid of the splendour of God and a humanity barren of fruit. And as we garden with God let us experience the peace which comes with the beauty around us knowing that we have each had a hand in the blossoming of God’s Garden. Happy 2019!

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 28th December 2018 (This is the last walking on water for 2018 – the New Year brings a new theme for #fridayfootprints)

wildernessbeach.jpg

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 21st December 2018

nostarintheeast

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 14th November 2018

bubble bath

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 7th December 2018

peace

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 30th November 2018

hope candle

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 23rd November 2018

touched

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 16th November 2018.

forest

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 9th November 2018

heaven

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 2nd November 2018

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 26th October 2018

puddles.jpg

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 19th October 2018

wateruse

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 12th October 2018

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 5th October 2018

heroes.jpg

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#fridayfootprints – Friyday 28th September 2018

darkness

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 14th September 2018

trinity

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 7th September 2018

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Calming a restless mind.

I read a Facebook post recently on tips to calm a restless mind.

Great, I thought – except!

Except what?

Except, I have a restless mind. So restless in fact that it gets up in the middle of the night whilst I am still asleep and starts the day without me. By the time I get up, I spend at least half the day looking for it, and the other half of the day doing damage control. So much so that my restless mind and I live two separate lives.

restless brain

(photo credit- running brain: Fabio Berti)

The problem with a restless mind is catching it first before it dashes into the night on quests unknown!

Either that or you must find a way of convincing it to stay at home for the duration of the night. For restless mind owners, you know that this is not the easiest task in the world. The ‘Labours of Hercules’ pale in comparison.

So, what are the options?

You can stay awake at night and ambush your restless mind just before it jumps out. Not the best of solutions as medical research has shown that a lack of sleep can shorten your lifespan. Something, you and your mind may not be so keen on!

You can turn to the bible. Huh! This could be asking for trouble. Start reading and a text will jump out at you and before you know it, your mind has disappeared into the recesses of the reference library where you can spend hours justifying past, present and future sins. So much so that it may feel like you are dealing with a menagerie of minds filled with emotional brain cells. The time for the bible is when the restless mind has collapsed in exhaustion.

You can do crosswords or sudoku. Yeh right! The chances are you will become so engrossed that by the time you realise it, your mind has left the building and it will be too late. You may never find it again and you will then have to resign yourself to hours of ink and tippex until one day when you meet again in another realm.

Sleeping Pills! These do not affect a restless mind. They do impact on a restless body. The result of this, is, that when you must get up to go after your restless mind, your body takes even longer to break out of its lethargic state, giving the mind a substantial head start.

So, what is the solution?

Quite simple really!

A restless mind seeks stimulation: Give it all you can – for as long as you can during the day. Mental gymnastics on steroids. Then in the early evening when your restless mind collapses in an exhausted heap, not only will you have created a daily legacy of inspired thought, you will also have the distinct pleasure of time to spend with the Lord, without any danger of a mind trip foreign to the concept of contemplation and contentment in the spirit.

The ‘kill switch’ for a restless mind is a mind worked to full capacity during its waking hours and a body that revels in the presence of the Holy Spirit when the mind is stilled.

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 31st August 2018

calm

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#fridayfootprints – Friday24th August 2018

escape

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 17th August 2018

reeds

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 10th August 2018

walking with christ

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Saving Mr Red.

Going out into the garden one morning, I discovered that one of the dreaded beasts of the wild(erness) had attempted to rescue our one remaining Goldfish from his water lily laden home. Attempted, I say, because the goldfish had not made it further than the surrounding paving where he was lying on his side, gasping desperately, with dry scales, damaged and hurt.

I was tempted to make his last few minutes bearable with a quick and painless end but instead decided to return him to his watery environment.

After gently trying to get the oxygen over his gills I released him, and he lay there, floating on his side, with the odd resigned wave of his tail. I tried again, gently holding him and swirling the water through his gills, which I continued to do at various intervals during the morning. Mr Red continued to float on his side – breathing but lethargic.

A day later, He was less lethargic and upright. Two days later, a little more like his old self. Three days later, he appeared ready to take on all-comers that may wish to do him harm.

A resurrected Mr Red! A happy ending; possibly! Yet all this had taught me a(nother) valuable lesson.

How many times do we as Christian evangelists attempt to remove someone from their existing environment without any thought as to how they may survive the journey? And, like Mr Red, they lie there gasping for air, unable to adapt until someone realises that, without the necessary preparation, the saved soul may be actually better off in the place that they came from.

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The process of evangelism is not JUST about taking some unwitting soul and placing them in a new home, (which may bear some real resemblance to the cold paving that Mr Red found himself on). But rather, the process needs as much physical and social integration as it does spiritual.

 

 

Evangelism is about putting the newly caught into a form of Christian ‘intensive care’ until they can swim on their own in their new pond.

Christianity is about belonging: Belonging to Christ and belonging to a Christian family in a warm and inviting home. Before we go out and catch our fish we must make sure that our church intensive care facility is all it is supposed to be. If and when it is, we cannot just wait for the patient to arrive… we have to go out and find them in their own ponds (where most of them are quite happy to be) and take them on a journey in the knowledge that their Christian care facility is ready and waiting.

If it isn’t, then the risk of them being left on the cold paving, gasping for breath; is likely to have an unenviable end.

So many times, churches are geared to care for the ‘saviours’ rather than the ‘un and just saved’. Mostly because many of us grew up as Christians and the process of integration was painless. For most non-Christians – the very thought of another home is mind-blowing let alone another belief system. For us, as Christians, we change our church family as and when the necessity of new jobs, relocation and travel requires. But for people who have yet to find and experience the church as a family and not just as a place of preaching, weddings and funerals, the idea of church as envisaged in the new testament is a foreign concept.

If we, as churches in general, were to examine our preparedness to cater and care for those that require saving rather than those who are saved we may be in for a rude awakening! And perhaps, reason enough to examine our role as Christians. After all, the whole purpose of having a church family is to have a system in place, an intensive care of specialists, doctors, nurses and orderlies. People! People who provide the level of care and attention required by our newly admitted patients. People who are there to serve and not to serve their own egos.

Too often we concentrate our efforts on the carers instead of the patients. Yet the churches that show growth, do so more from caring for the sick than the churches who focus only on the cured.

Christian Outreach is not an outreach to other Christians, but an opportunity to provide an ambulance service direct to intensive care for all the sick and injured in our communities.

As churches around the world complain of falling attendance due to any number of reasons from apathy, ego, digital competition, leisure competition in a competitive world, then perhaps one of the main reasons for falling attendance is that the church never really provides training and an opportunity for the saved to become part of an ambulance, intensive care unit, and after-care system.

So, when they find a Mr Red they take him out the pond and then realise that they have bitten off more than they can chew and the Mr Red’s land on the pavement and more often than not, on the compost heap, or worse still, they return him to where he came from because it is easier in their ill-equipped world.

 

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 3rd August 2018

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 27th July 2018

humanity.jpg

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 20th July

mandeladay.jpg

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 13th July 2018

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 6th July 2018

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 29th June 2018

We have reached the halfway point of 2018. This is the 26 Friday and there are 26 more to come!

3D

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 22nd June 2018

christreflection

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 15th June 2018

lighthousefootprints.jpg

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 8th June 2018

fear.jpg

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 1st June 2018

mist

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 25th May 2018

skeleton

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 18th May

stream

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 11th May 2018

holyspirit

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 4th May 2018

cruise liner

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 27th April 2018

mud

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 20th April 2018

Photo – National Geographic

search for it

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 13th April

imagine

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Disciples Symbols

All of the 12 disciples are recognised today in symbolic forms.

Fishers of Men – ‘King’ Fishers could this be your sign?

New Movie (14).Movie_Snapshot

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Let us become Teachers of love!

I have learnt that words are easy to write and to speak: and I do that as often as I can.

I have learnt that words can be used to incite, Ask Julius Malema or Eugene Terblanche.

I have seen words used to make promises and to tell lies: Ask any politician.

I have seen words performed on stages around the world in the dramatic expression of many social and moral ills: Ask any Shakespeare, Kani, Opperman, Hanekom or Kente.

I have read words that express dreams born out of a passion for life and justice that bring goosebumps and a heart-wrenching ache: Ask Martin Luther King.

I have heard words spoken from pulpits, expounding the greatness of Grace of God: Ask Desmond Tutu.

I have learnt that words, no matter who speaks them, writes them or acts them or dreams them – mean nothing.

I have learnt that words can only imply love – words cannot demonstrate love.

It is the actions of man that tell us who and what we are. Actions are the reflection of our inner being. We can disguise our words. We can couch them with every nuance known to the language we use, but it is far more difficult to disguise our actions. That is why we have the saying; ‘actions speak louder than words!’

Yet, I do not write to discuss the words of others.

I write to say, we will not be judged by our words (true and deep and profound as they may be). We will be judged by our actions, our deeds. Whilst many people may not see us performing each action, they will see the results. They will see the results no matter who performs the action or for whatever reason, good or bad and each action, performed one at a time will slowly transform society (for the good or for the bad).

I have also learnt that the lack of actions carried out in love, allows the words of lesser men to become greater than they really are until they dominate the horizons of our very future.

Nelson Mandela is quoted as saying: “No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

So if people can be taught to love – where are the teachers?

We need teachers of love: Not just in our schools, but in every facet of our existence here on earth. We need moral mentors! We need people huggers not just tree huggers! We need an ethic society not just an ethics committee in parliament. We need to act in conserving society as much as we need to act in conserving our natural heritage. The two are indivisible. We cannot care more for the baby elephant than we do for the baby child. We cannot prosecute people for poaching rhino but allow the people who poach our national financial, social and moral resources to roam free. We cannot allow the words of an embittered society to govern how we take the next steps towards freedom.

We need to live (and fight)for love!

We need actions from those who care and love one another. Acts of human kindness!

We speak of Ubuntu (ism) – a concept that is founded in love. We speak of Christianity – founded on the principle of the greatest love possible; that of self-sacrifice for the salvation of humankind. Where then is the love in our actions?

Through your actions and mine we can demonstrate a love for our country and its inhabitants, our neighbours and fellow man that will pull us inch by inch back from the precipice of hate and destruction and moral bankruptcy.

We need to be ‘Don Quixote’s’, tilting at the windmills of society in search of the ‘Golden Age.’ To believe in the Impossible Dream and to dream it and to enunciate it and to act it out in love and compassion.

(lyrics taken from the Don Quixote musical’s theme song)

To dream … the impossible dream …
To fight … the unbeatable foe …
To bear … with unbearable sorrow …
To run … where the brave dare not go …
To right … the unrightable wrong …
To love … pure and chaste from afar …
To try … when your arms are too weary …
To reach … the unreachable star …

This is my quest, to follow that star …
No matter how hopeless, no matter how far …
To fight for the right, without question or pause …
To be willing to march into Hell, for a Heavenly cause …

And I know if I’ll only be true, to this glorious quest,
That my heart will lie will lie peaceful and calm,
when I’m laid to my rest …
And the world will be better for this:
That one man, scorned and covered with scars,
Still strove, with his last ounce of courage,
To reach … the unreachable star …

Let us strive to be Don Quixote’s, fighting for a heavenly cause, that of “Love” and bring love, God’s Love, into the very being of the human spirit of others. Let us become teachers of love through our actions and not just through our words and or our intentions.

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Give a Story

words speak

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