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The Greatest Stepfather

This painting had me at first glance. I could not stop looking at it and have tried to find the artist who painted it, but with no success. It just captured my heart!!

It felt like a hundred short stories told in one picture. I looked at the little boy with his curly hair, playing innocently at his fathers feet. If you are a parent, you will know this scene all too well. Yet, as I looked at this little boy, and realized that he would carry the weight of the world on his shoulders, I just cried…. Yes, I am that sensitive!!! 🙂 He had to learn carpentry, and it was on the same ‘material’ that he worked with as a young boy and man, that He gave His life for us.

Then my focus turned to Joseph, the father. I know, there are many sermons on Joseph, though we cannot find when and how Joseph died. But I realized, (and please don’t shoot me for this term?) that Joseph was a modern day stepfather. Now, we all know that you get really good and really bad stepfathers. But I was thinking, what a special man, this Joseph must have been for God to entrust His Son with him. Would you give your child just to anyone? No, certainly not!! I believe that God created Joseph especially for such a task as this. Joseph was a kind and loving man, even before he became a father. God knew that bringing up a child is such a great responsibility, and even more so His only begotten Son. Can you imagine being the one, along with Mary, to see Jesus take His first steps, say His first words…..

I think I would have loved to meet and get to know this man, Joseph. Handpicked by God Himself to raise Jesus. Wow, what a big assignment. One person describes him as follows:

“Joseph stands as a testimony to the value of integrity, obedience, faithfulness, and especially to honoring the entrusted role of ‘fatherhood’.” 

In this day and age, I do believe that some men could have learned a lot from Joseph. Some men don’t really know how to bring up a child of his own, nonetheless a child who is not of his own blood. Joseph knew his calling on earth and took it very seriously. If only we could realize our own calling in life and take it that serious. I do believe that there is much to learn from this Joseph. As a father, a parent, a human being, and a child of God.

Matthew 1:16 – And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ.

 

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Calming My Storm

CALMING THE STORM
I am holding on to what feels like the last little end of my rope… No, I am clinging on to what feels like the beginning of the last chapter. There is nothing under my feet to balance on, just a vast depth of despair. That is how we feel when we find ourselves in a storm that came out of nowhere. And then it seems like the storm would just not pass.
You have prayed, rebuked, pleaded, prayed again, begged, taken it into your own hands and then given it back to God again in prayer. It starts to feel like a neverending story. No storm is suppose to last this long? Escpecially if you prayed about it, right??
So Jesus takes me to when He calmed the storm. No surpise there.. I say; “Lord I have read this passage so many times. I know what You did, I know the story.” Nevertheless I read Mark 4:35 -41 where we read this short but incredible thing Jesus did. Then I notice something, I never did before…. There were other boats aswell. The Message translation says it best. “Other boats came along”
It wasn’t just the boat, where Jesus was on that was in the storm that night. OTHER BOATS CAME ALONG. Just like what we experience in our storms of life. It is rarely just the boat you are in, that is in the storm. There are other boats involved in this storm aswell. It could be your child, your husband, family members, friends, your pastor, your business…. An illness can turn into a financial problem, then that turns into a marriage problem and the boats multiply as the storm proceed. It has a ripple effect on your whole circumstances, until it consumes your whole life.
Then Jesus speaks to me and says; “I am still the same Jesus that was in the boat that night. I never got out and said you must see if you can handle the next storm on your own. This story is not fiction, it really happened. I am with you in this storm.”
A sudden calmness about this realization set in my spirit.
Mark 4:39 – He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

When Jesus calmed the storm, not only did the storm end for one boat, but for all the boats that came along…..

And even though I feel like I am being tossed from left to right and back again, I know that the same Jesus that calmed the storm that night, will also calm my storm. He is in this boat with me and He knows about the storm and all the other boats around me being affected. He will calm the storm, just like He did that night.
Deuteronomy 31:8 – “The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
Hebrews 13:5 – “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

ChristianLife, In Christ Alone, Living By Faith, Uncategorized

All the Little Miracles!

I was pondering on all the recent events and things happening all around the globe these last few years and months, and I realized something. Do you remember about 40 years ago, when someone would die, or be in an accident, or murdered, or diagnosed with a serious illness? The whole community would be in shock. Not just for a day, but for weeks, even months. Terrorist attacks were fewer and had the whole worlds attention. Did we get so use to all these terrible things in life, that we barely notice these news clips anymore. Do not get me wrong. I know we live in a fast pace world and you got to keep up, cause no one is gonna wait for you. But lately it feels like we hear these things on the news or read it somewhere, and we are like; “Oh, that is just terrible!”. Or shed a tear or two for these terrible video clips being spread where old people and children are beaten to death. Then…. we move on to the next page, or video clip, or news broadcast.

The Holy Spirit reminded me of something when He said; ” Never get so use to miracles, that you don’t notice them anymore.” Immediately I knew what He meant. There are miracles all around us, everyday. But, we move with such focus on getting the work done, that we forget to notice them. Did you know that a smile from a stranger, has stopped someone from committing suicide? True story!! How about that delayed flight that you were furious about…? The lady in the grocery store that you really did not want to have to chat to today. Well, she could turn out to be the best thing that happened today.  A friend who connects you with a friend of another friend, and before you know it, you got the job you have been praying for. I am not saying that all delayed flights and traffic jams are miracles. Please, understand me when I say, I know some days you really wish you just stayed in bed.

Miracles comes in all shapes and forms. Don’t let anyone tell you, you did not receive a miracle, when you know in your heart that you did. Miracles are not just a sick person getting out of bed, or anything else that you might consider as BIG. A miracle is still a miracle, no matter if someone calls it big or little. What might be a miracle for you, might not be considered one for your neighbor, and that is okay. You just remember to pay attention to everything around you. Realize that you could be the stranger in the coffee shops miracle, with just a kind word. Take note of your miracle, and be thankful.

It is still called a MIRACLE!!!

John 10:32 – “I have shown you many great miracles from the Father.”

Hebrews 2:4 – God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

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IT’S TIME FOR AFRICA – MY GLORY IN REMOTE PLACES

IT’S TIME FOR AFRICA – MY GLORY IN REMOTE PLACES

18 April 2017

As I was laying in bed and just speaking to God in my heart, I started to pray for countries all over the world. I prayed for leaders and people in high positions everywhere, that God would protect them and give them wisdom in this critical time that we are all facing at the moment.

There are people all over this earth, searching for a deeper spiritual meaning, which can only be found through Jesus Christ. So I just asked Him to send His angels to whomever is calling out for Him. I then had a vision of earth, as if I were in space, looking down on earth. Whilst praying to God for these angel encounters, I asked Him to show me where they would move and just infultrate earth. While waiting and really expecting a vision from God, the Holy Spirit lead me to pray for countries where Christianity are not allowed. Countries where people are not allowed to say the name of Jesus out loud. I was filled with such deep compassion for these countries and people, being controlled by the enemy. Praying that the Holy Spirit would move into and through these countries and touch hearts like only He can. Especially the leaders!! Some specific countries came to me, like the DRC, Sudan, Iraq, Iran, Palestine, China, Russia….

God then said to me; “People will quote scripture without laying hands on a Bible, or even knowing what the Bible is.” He showed me remote villages in the the deepest parts of Africa, where people live in the jungle. I saw parts in the East where small groups of people live in caves. Small tribes living in desert areas… Again He spoke and said; “I will send my angels to walk and live among these people. Places where no missionaries have been able to get to. My Holy Spirit wil consume them and My Glory will be on them (Zech. 2:5 – I myself will be a wall of fire around it; declares the Lord; and I will be its GLORY within). These people wil experience Me in a mighty way. When My Glory comes to these remote places, evil spirits and witchcraft will flee and literally run from them into the wilderness. My people will then be healed and their bodies made new. The little children will worship Me, pray in tongues and prophesy. They will live and not die.”

As I was asking God, how this is even possible, clearly knowing that with Him all things are possible, I was lead to Zechariah 4:6 – Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord.

This whole vision played out like a movie trailor. He showed me what it looked like when these evil spirits flee. When they were gone, the most beautiful scene unfolded when these little children started to worship Jesus.

 Jeremiah 31:33 – 34 – “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 34. No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, “Know the Lord”, because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

 

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Grateful!!

I have not posted for a while now, but today on Easter Sunday, I just HAVE to say something. The last 4 weeks has been difficult. About this I will not lie. Heathwise, I have been battling and it felt as if old issues  were showing up. My husband and I just cannot seem to get the financial breakthrough that we have been praying for, for many years.

BUT….. I believe in God. I believe He is a God of miracles and I KNOW He hears me. I also know that during many years of struggling, I have grown closer to God than ever before. So today, I am sitting here and as we are reminded of His death and His ressurection, my heart fills with joy. Unexplainable joy!!! He will give us health and the breakthrough we need, cause His Word says so. I was worth dying for!! Who can tell me that that is not something to be so grateful for?! He calls me His ‘friend’ (John 15:13-15).

So today I am GRATEFUL!!! I am GRATEFUL for a wonderful and loving husband. A beautiful, healthy and creative teenage daughter. God knows my heart, so I will trust and be thankful. He is a GOOD GOD, and He LOVES me and you.

Thank you Jesus!!! ❤

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The Hair Styling Sessions

If there is one thing I honestly dislike, it is styling my hair. Or blow drying like we call it here. Especially when you have like a bit of a curl in it, and now that the grey’s are coming, even more…. One thing about these grey hair, is that there always seem to be new hair growing. So at least I am not going bold, like poor hubby next to me. 

You see, I always feel that most things in life has 3 parts. The beginning (or the start), then halfway (or the middle) and then the finish (or the end).I have to blow dry my hair in 3 layers. So I take most of it up in a pin and start with the bottom layer. Which is still okay (in a small way). By the time I get to the middle, I always seem to tell myself that I am going to call my hairdresser for an appointment and just cut everything off. I want to brush my hair with a washcloth!!! That is what ‘the middle’ feels like. It feels like giving up. It feels like this is taking too much of my time. It feels like, I need a short-cut. To smooth out all this hair takes effort…. Then comes the last bit. Every hair starts to fall into place. The picture in the mirror starts to seem more presentable and I might just feel good about myself, I think. And before I know it, I have moved on to make-up etc…. Then out the door to do what needs to be done for the day. I even feel good about myself, cause the hair came out just fine and what seemed like it would take forever, has actually not taken up too much of my time and all the effort has been forgotten, till the next session.

But this made me think about life. We have this dream and we are excited because we can already see the end result. Everyone of us has a dream. But for any dream to become reality, something needs to be done. Some action needs to take place. The beginning might not seem that bad or difficult. You can even envision the end result as you work hard to make this dream a reality. Low and behold, then comes the ‘middle’ or ‘halfway’ part. You get tired and all you can see is maybe this one obstacle that would not move quick enough. So we have to stay at the same place a bit longer than planned. We might have to do the same thing over and over, until we get it right. It is here that many believers give up on their dreams, or start to look for that ‘short-cut’. I love what James says in James 1:4 – Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. This is much easier said than done, as most of us will agree. It is hard to keep bumping into the same obstacle, or keep getting NO for an answer, when you are so convinced that this is God’s dream for you. But then he says in verse 12; “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” NIV 

When we see and experience the end result of what He has for us, it is all worth it. We never forget the ‘middle’ part, because that is the most important part. The part where God teaches us and strenghtens us and we experience His power and love and mercies, like never before. We learn and grow in our walk with Christ most, in the ‘middle’ part. So when you start working on your next dream, you will have more faith, more patience and you will walk in the knowing that God is still in control. Nothing is impossible with God. There will be a finish line for this task too, and IT WILL BE SWEET AND BLESSED!!

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He Adores You!!

I have wonderful neighbors!! Just get along so well and became friends from the get go..

Isn’t it just such a blessing to get along with your neighbors? I was visiting with my neighbor-friend, the other day, while her grandchildren were visiting for a few days. They are still quite small. About the ages of 11, 8 and 6. Little busy bodies, as children at that age are, and just wanted their grandma’s attention every 5 minutes. While we were in conversation they would keep interrupting us for some small ‘need’, which they seem to see as urgent. I kind of got annoyed at some point for the constant interruptions, but she would just give them their second or two and let them ask away…. You know we were brought up that you do NOT interrupt the grown ups!!!

Something struck me at some stage in this whole incident. She had such a look of love and admiration every time she looked at one of them. She basically had a look of adoration on her face all the time. She never got annoyed with them, or felt like she had to take them out of the room. She just LOVED them!

I walked away from that visit and asked the Lord; ‘Do you look at me like that?’. It may sound silly to you, but you know what… Deep in my heart I realized I would just love it if I knew that He looked at me with that much love and adoration. My answer that I got was short and very SWEET. ‘YES, BECAUSE YOU ARE MINE’. My smile did reach my ears, yes!! I just love to know that each day and even on my ‘not such a good day’, He looks at me with love. He knows my every thought and most importantly, He knows my hearts. But I am His, and no matter how I may falter, He will look at me with that much love in His eyes and heart. For me, that is more than enough to get me through my day….

So take it from me, you are looked upon with much LOVE.

Have an awesome day!!

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Difficult*****

Oh my word, I struggle to set up this page. Eventually I will get it right, right? At some point my story will get words and I will feel so much better getting my words out of my system. Isn’t that what we all would like to do. Finding a place where we can just write everything down. If it makes sense or not…. I like books!! So I suppose that is what I will be writing about most. My husband and I, with our daughter, lives in a town in which I never wanted to settle in. My hometown, town where I was born. Too much hurt here. Too much familiar faces and the hurt and gossip following me. Most of the time I feel like I am suffocating in this place. That would explain the love of books. Something I can just hide in and put myself in a lonely corner, while exploring the world through the pages of other’s lives. How many of you are out there, feeling like me???