Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Opposition and Praise

Three days before I leave for Kenya, I get a call from AIM (the mission organisation we are traveling with) to say that my flight to Korr had been booked for the time I was flying to Kenya, but this was the one flight that could not be changed. So I had two options:
1. I could not go
2. We could try to rebook the flights to Jo'burg and Kenya for the day before and I would have to try and get another day off work.

This meant a bunch of scrambling for Shirley, as it was her last day in Cape Town as well. She did manage to get both flights sorted, but only one was sent through to me by Monday morning. So I still had to run after the travel agent to send through the flight to Kenya.

Praises to God, Who has organised everything in His plan to work out in such an amazing way. I can truly say:

"I have tasted and seen that the Lord is good."

Now, as I leave tomorrow, I know that my path has been prepared more than I can ever know. I also know that even in the face of opposition I can truly rest on Christ and His amazing providence, His care for me and His faithfulness. It would be too easy if there wasn't opposition. What I mean is, we would not need to pray as hard as we did and as we should, if everything always went smoothly.

I thank all of those who have prayed for me and continue to pray for me while I am away. Thank you for the encouragement and the hugs you have dished out :)

By God's grace, I'll be back from Kenya on the 22nd of December, but will fly out again on the 23rd, to spend Christmas with my parents in Windhoek. I will return on the 12th of Jan and give massive report back to all who have supported me, some time in Feb (once Gigi has returned from Israel)

So, I leave you with God's Grace and Peace. May all of you have a blessed Christmas, a very enjoyable New Year, for all who have Anniversaries (Bronwyn and Jeremey, Mariza and Juan), enjoy these days and for all the upcoming Birthdays (Alexander, Bronwyn, Mariza, Tanya Grasser, etc etc) Happy Birthday and may God richly bless you in these days, as we celebrate the greatest Gift of all, the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Travel fever

I think it finally grabbed hold of me - the travel bug. After listening to a number of friends who traveled the world recently, or who moved to various parts of the globe, I also wanted to do the same. When I spoke to my mom the other day I was conveying my itinerary for Kenya and mentioned the flight from Jo'burg to Nairobi. It only then struck me that "I'm going to Nairobi!" and finally, finally I'm excited for the trip.

Thanks for all of you who contributed to the mission, much appreciated. I have managed to raise most of my support by this stage, I think today I'm still R300 short, but I'm still sewing and that should cover my part. Please do not hesitate to give more, should you have decided to give to God's work, the team could really still use a few thousand Rand. God really has blown me away with the generosity of people and in the process kept me humble.

How often do I not trust Him to provide for me, and yet in this big venture He has been more than faithful in His provision. The surprise contributions were the ones that often drove me to tears and to my knees in the process. Please join with me in thanksgiving for all that He has done for me.

This last month is filled with many organisational things - packing, sorting through clothes and other material, yellow fever shots, one last training session on Saturday, giving a short speech at the Ladies Coffee Morning at church as well as the last bit of sewing for the year. Also work does not come second - lots to do before we can close and of course the fashion show. So, all in all quite a busy month. Keep praying.


Wednesday, 10 October 2007

a foretaste....



Enjoy!



Treasures I've come across

Browsing my favourite fashion blog today, I cam across this link. It's lots of interior and industrial design as well as architecture and a bit of fashion. For the not-so-post-modern minded, maybe still worth a visit, only to admire the lampshades done by Mario Salvucci. Amazing stuff!!

Monday, 1 October 2007

The Wedding Planner

To all who supported me in planning Raoul's and Hannah's wedding a BIG thank you. I couldn't have done it without you guys.

To be honest, I brought it on myself, when I asked all of you to pitch in, but I did not anticipate all the extra sewing way back in April. Also, come to think of it, I now know where to hire table cloths for much less than the usual price, where to have flowers done (thank you Lehane and mom), what the buttonhole pins cost (to pin the flowers to lapels) and that simple is often more effective than a big hoohaa. Thanks also to all the Wartons who wave pitched in with cleaning up without asking or having to be asked. You guys are the best!

Oh, yes, the correct boning arrived two weeks after the last post, and I could use it in Hannah's dress after all.
I don't know how much she could breathe, but she survived the day and now can relax on her honeymoon - breathe in all the air she can.She looked absolutely gorgeous - thanks to Enno and her magic wand :) and Talitha and Gigi with the magic brushes.

As a "note to self", should the day come when some guy thinks I'm the ONE, I definitely will HIRE a wedding planner, or delegate to friends muhahahaha. I don't know how any of my friends whom I've seen getting married managed without one - that is all except Frank, who of course just knows how to organise things in the first place.....

The day was just right as well, with the sun shining and the wind blowing and the birds singing...

Thanks be to God for His provision as well in everything, from hairclips to food, and especially Visas. He definitely had a hand in organising. I couldn't have done any of it without His help, and I'm sure that many of you would agree.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

It's been a while

With the preparations for Kenya and all the sewing, I hardly have time to think, let alone write.

I have a few things that I still want to write about, but they need to stew a little , so watch this space...


Many of you ask how my plans for Kenya are coming on, and all I can say is: "I think fine." The team still needs to raise about R140 000 (yes, the amount of zeros are correct). All donations welcome :) I would also value your prayers, as I don't quite know what to expect. So I can't really say whether things are going well or not.

Sewing-wise: I have taken on a little more than I can comfortably handle, so will again be shining in my absence from this blog. Late nights coming up, but we have been given an extra day off on Friday, since one of the family members of the owners of the Academy is getting married. What a pleasure - not only being invited to the wedding, but having an extra day off as well.

The lessons will need to be made up, and the hours will need to be worked back in, but we are all willing to sacrifice for a late morning... - think I'm going to spend it sewing and pattern making.

With regards to Hannah's dress - for those who are interested:
The parcel, I've been waiting for for 7 weeks(!) from the USA, finally arrived on Friday. The slip told me to fetch at my local Post Office, but they did not have it! I had to drive to customs. Unfortunately I arrived there and was told that they do not work on a Saturday, but they would be there in the week from 7h30 till 4h30. So I woke up extra early on Monday, drove through morning traffic, only to be told that they will only start at 8h30.

So, in a huff I drove to work and ranted over the phone to them. I could fortunately get an hour off work in the afternoon to drive back (again) and collect the parcel.

And now comes the clincher - in the kit I had ordered, I had asked to replace two things in a wider width than the original kit, but they only replaced one of them. So I had to fight with the suppliers in the USA and they will happily send me the opposite at their expense, but it will take another 6 - 10 weeks to get here :( So, after so looking forward to being able to bone Hannah's dress properly, I now have to use the normal boning (for those of you who do not know what boning is, look below). I'm still spittingly mad (if there is such a word) and actually quite tired of fighting with people.

Boning: this is the thin pieces, like cable, that makes a corset stiff. In the Victorian era it was made from Whalebone (hence "boning"), but steel and plastic varieties are currently on the market. Its use is to give shape to the garment, as well as "nip, tuck and lift", to quote one of my Lecturers. Picture attached for all interested parties. Not that I'm going to make Hannah look like the Victorian Dame, but it would have been nice to give her some extra stability in the dress.



Until next time, over and out

Thursday, 12 July 2007

Kenya

Hi there

Sorry to have neglected all my avid readers…. The past month or so has been very busy with work, marking and sewing.

Work – yes, going very well, still enjoying dishing out work to other people.
Marking – not so much enjoyed, since I see my own shortcomings in the work.
Sewing – Hannah’s dress is taking form and we had our first fitting last week.

On top of everything, Hannah and I baked some Christmas cookies, which turned out so well, I’m going to bake a whole bunch more. Tasting will be held at my place soon…

On the church front, I have signed up for a mission trip to Kenya. This does not take away from the business in my life, in fact it adds to it. I’m getting very excited about the prospect of seeing the word in action and to experience the mission field for myself. I’ve always admired those who do this full time – day in and out, year in and out. I admire their faith and perseverance, their faith in hard times and their prayer life. Although recent developments have put quite a damper on things, since I might not be able to get time off work in December, as planned. PLEASE PRAY!!

I’ve been reminded on Sunday that I do not know the Bible as well as I should, to answer everyone. I may have come across in a debate on the various food laws, as judgmental and unloving, yet I do still stand to my point of view on this disputable matter, because I have been convinced of the freedom we have in Christ Jesus (Romans 8). So I went on a search for answers, and found quite a number of passages relating to the issue. What a deep book the Bible is!

So, reading and studying the Bible before I go is of the utmost importance. Gaining understanding and knowledge about out Lord is one of the things that needs to get done. Reading matter is ample and reading lists will most probably lengthen before I go. Please have patience with me, if I don’t write as often, but I will try to keep everyone posted on the progress we are making as a group.

Monday, 14 May 2007

Isaiah to Revelation

I was reading through Isaiah and compared it to Revelation and noticed the following:

There is only one thing that will quench the fire of the destruction of the Lord – the WATER of His salvation, found in the wells of His love or in the river that flows from His throne within the temple (Rev 22).

Another piece of interesting information is, that the voice of the “Son of Man” is like rushing water as well (Rev 1:15), which brought me to the following conclusions:

Firstly, if the water can quench the fire, and the water comes from the river out of the temple, flowing from God’s throne, it starts with the voice of God, who sits on the throne. His word is the water.

Secondly, He is the one who can quench the fire of His destruction, by His word.

Thirdly, flowing out of point two, the Bible is the water and bread, the food to eat and the water to drink to abate God’s wrath. The water which flows from His mouth to bring salvation, and which douses the flames of the fire of destruction.

This echo is found in Isaiah 12:1 “you turned away your anger and comforted me instead”. In other words, the fire is turned to living water, and in verse 3, the water is drawn form the well of salvation.

Just further thoughts on this: if we disregard the well and the water and the hope and salvation it offers, the only thing that will be left, is the fire of destruction.

It sometimes amazes me how all the different parts of the Bible fit together, and how it all makes sense, when seen trough a different book.

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Single and married

This I wrote a few days ago, but as an introduction I must say, that it might confuse some people on why I can say all these things. Please read to the end and I hope it will all make sense.

About a year ago I came to a crossroads in my walk with God. Feeling completely abandoned by Him, because He did not give me ALL I wanted. I was plunged into despair and wanted to renounce Christianity completely. There were things that God did give me at that time, but not the one thing I did desire at that time – a husband. Needless to say most of what I had to come to terms with, revolved around this issue, and I’m glad to say that the following will shed some light on the issue and on a revelation I had never had before.

Before I start with the explanation, let me quote Charles Spurgeon from the book “Prayer and Spiritual Warfare”: “When God reveals anything, He wants us to believe it”. So, here is the revelation and some further thinking and outworking behind it….

What has God revealed to you recently? Has He opened your eyes to some profound truth that just blew you away? With me it was a couple of things, parts of which I have told you about already, but here they are:

1. Once a Christian, there is no going back. We are all occupied / indwelled, if you will, by God’s Spirit. How do you get rid of someone who is IN you? There is just no way you can run from that.

2. God loves you, no matter how far you stray. When I was at the point of renouncing Christianity , even there I could not escape it. God, in His love called me back and showed me His promises and benefits of being His child and bride.

3. Furthermore, He satisfied the need for a husband, since the biggest revelation was about a wedding! God Himself said that Christ will hold a wedding feast at the end of time. Apart from the wedding being for the church, the picture to me was also about individuals. This needs some explaining.

According to Eph 5:22 ff, Christ loves the church and gave Himself up for her. He is the head of the body, He loves the church and cleanses her, He cares for her and feed her, and there is intimacy. All these pictures can be taken either corporately (as a church) or as promises to the individual. If we therefore understand, that Christ is our husband, then the four points from Ephesians are His promise to us:

1. He will be our head, our leader and He expects us to submit to His will. This is not only corporately, but individually as well. How this physically manifests itself in your life, I cannot say, but for me it is the acceptance that I will not have a husband on earth (at the moment that is). Of course there are other ways in which we need to submit to Him, but this is the one I want to dwell on.

2. He will love us and cleanse us and present us as holy and blameless. This means that we WILL be disciplined and cleansed from unrighteousness in the here and now, but he promise stands that one day all of our blemishes / stains / wrinkles will be removed and we will be perfected. The discipline is not always easy, and I can vouch for that, but all the promises are worth it.

3. He feeds and cares for us. As hard as it may seem sometimes, God does provide. To some He gives more, to some less, but He does provide. For me it is often difficult so see what my friends can afford and I envy them. I look at my resources and think: “If only…” Yet, I have not had too little to survive, God has always provided abundantly, in miraculous ways sometimes. As a husband, that is His job, and I need to know and accept that. Yes, there are times when the provision isn’t according to what I WANT, but He’s never been wrong to give me what I NEED.

4. Physical intimacy. As a church we are intimate with Christ in the way that we seek for His closeness and teaching. As individuals there is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, you can’t get more intimate than that. I do understand that I hear a big BUT in my ear when I say this, because often I feel I cannot go on without that human intimacy. I need flesh and blood to talk to, to touch. Yes, and I suppose I do also want to experience the intimacy between husband and wife. Yet, I have always found trustworthy people to share with, to talk to, who gave godly advice and sometimes just hugged. Those moments are special to me and I will not forget those people.
On the other hand, I know that we are sexual beings and often we crave that intimacy more than anything else, but if I’m single, is it right to crave for that? Isn’t my relationship with God more important than a physical desire? Isn’t Christ so much more than a human being?

It is difficult to explain as a single person, but what am I really looking for? How do I know what God’s will really is in terms of marriage for my life?

It might sound contradictory to what I said in my introduction, but from an early age I said that I did not want to get married, and there has never been a strong desire to get married. This desire, to be married comes and goes, but until God shows me otherwise, I’m to remain single. For those of you who now go: “ag shame”, please do not pity me, or try to convince me otherwise. Do not presume to know the will of God for my life by saying: “it’ll come”! I have a deeper relationship with God as a result, whom else can I rely on?

Yes, sexually I do have needs, don’t get me wrong, but the desire to look for a fulfillment of those needs are taken away. I do not know how God does it, but He does and I’m glad that He does. (Otherwise I would run after every single guy who comes my way.)

So, as a single lady, in a society that tells you, you are only half a person if you’re not sexually active, or do not have a husband / boyfriend, I have found a relationship that is far more rewarding than any other I have ever had. Over and above that is the knowledge that I am already married. How cool is that?

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

More on Isaiah

This is a piece I wrote in April as part of my devotion.

Taken from Isaiah 14, the following stood out for me:

All who say: “I will make myself like the Most High” will find the throne occupied and the mountain taken. They will be toppled from the height and unseated from the throne.

If you fall into the hands of the Most High, woe to you! There will be no pit deep enough for your humility, “But you are cast out of the tomb like a rejected branch” – even in death you will be humiliated and shamed. The warning goes out to ALL nations – is His hand stretched out against us? Isaiah 14:26-27

There is also a promise: if Zion is established and we are her people, we will find refuge within her because God is within her.

Isaiah 16:5 God will establish a throne – IN LOVE – a faithful man from David’s house will sit on it (the throne is occupied).

What a promise do we have! We do not have to fear kings in this world, who may try to destroy us, because our King is eternal and will never seek our destruction, if we belong to Him and serve Him in faith.

Friday, 4 May 2007

the foggy night

hahaha yesterday I was looking for pictures of street lights in the fog, but I noticed that the cameras do not really do it any justice. I also was thinking that I need to invest in a good digital camera and that just take a bit of money, unfortunately.

All coming though, all coming though

Thursday, 3 May 2007

In the mist

The other night I was driving through a bit of mist on my way home and it reminded me of my time in Swakopmund, where that happened quite often.

I like driving and walking in the mist. Everything is fuzzy and you can concentrate on your thoughts much better. Sounds are muffled and there is nothing quite like a street lamp's reflections through the fog. Trees look more imposing and the grass greener.

Yes, a little nostalgia helps as well. I did get quite sentimental about my teaching days in Swakop. There were numerous times I walked to and from the school in the mist. Although walking in the mist at night is not recommended, it does give new perspective on life and thoughts, and is much better than during the day.

New perspective in the way that thoughts become clearer, but also the past can be analysed much better. Nostalgia always needs to be brought into perspective with the present and with the future, otherwise, what is the point in looking back? Yes, the days were good, but they also had their problems and challenges.

Nostalgia always helps me to remember my favourite verses from Philippians 3:13 + 14 (taken here from the NKJ)
Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Monday, 23 April 2007

and now for part two....

Thoughts on Isaiah 4

Starting off with “In that day” and how the filth of the land is shown, how the nation is in disgrace and continues in their sin – how women debase themselves to “take away [their] disgrace”. Isn’t it true how we often prostitute ourselves to things, because we want them to take away our iniquity. Instead there is only one answer….

Found just in the next verse – “in that day” gives a complete different picture of the beauty of the Lord’s chosen one. The one question that arises is, whether it’s the same day, the same time, or a contrast to the previous time? The contrast certainly is there, since “the Lord will wash away the filth of the women of Zion” and will restore her by judgment, and cleanse her by fire. Whether it’s the same day, I cannot make out.

There is a “contradiction” for you: cleansing by fire and water at the same time – a washing and a judgment. Even in revelation, the final judgment will be by fire. How and what that fire is, I don’t know, yet it echoes the pouring out of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament. It also echoes the pillar of fire in the desert.

In verse 5 this is depicted by the people and mount Zion being covered by a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night. The presence of the Lord surely is with His people and they will find shelter, shade, refuge and a hiding place.

“You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance” Ps 32:7

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” Ps 91:1

All of Ps 84 echoes the above – How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty!

"Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked" (vs10)

“I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed” Ps 57:1b

Thoughts from Isaiah

Thoughts on Isaiah 61: 4-11

Compare the passage to Isaiah 1:7+8, 28-31

I have come across the following opposites:

Isaiah 1:7 states that at the moment of writing, the country is desolate and that the cities are burning. The fields are stripped by foreigners and laid waste. Yet the promise come to Isaiah that good new is at hand that the mourning will be comforted and everything restores to its previous glory. These mourners will rebuild the ruins and restore the devastated places. The vineyards and flocks will be tended and shepherded by foreigners.

It is amazing how the destructive force of the foreign people will be turned into a servant of Israel. Instead of breaking down, they will have to help rebuild and restore.

Isaiah 1: 29 Israel is reprimanded for the “sacred oaks” which have become idols and therefore the curse was that they themselves would be a thirsting oak “with fading leaves, like a garden without water”. In Isaiah 61:3b, the people will be “called oaks of righteousness”.

Again, what an amazing restoration! That which was idolised will become nothing and the people will be righteous and flourish like an oak (a healthy one), since the Lord did the planting to display His splendour.

These two comparisons demonstrate how God uses that which was destroyed to His good purposes and restores everything to its former glory – no even more glorious, because now He will be in charge of that which He has changed.

“For as the soil makes the young plant come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations” Isaiah61:11.

Let us praise Him for ever and ever. Amen

“But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever. I will praise you for ever for what you have done; in your name I will hope, for your name is good. I will praise you in the presence of your saints.” Ps 52:8+9

Thursday, 8 March 2007

The new laptop

No, not new technologically, but about 13 years old, yet so technologically advanced that it hasn't been copied; real intelligence and agility, able to jump in and out of windows without crashing, able to feel at home in different environments.....

I'm talking about our cat Josie, who climbed into Inger's laptop bag the other night and wouldn't get out (cause it was nice and fluffy...)


Friday, 2 March 2007

Morning madness

Yesterday it was the traffic and a power cut that a whole day to fix - someone dug up a power cable and the Office block managers promised one hour, then made it 2:30 and by 3:30 nothing had happened. Even before the traffic and all the rest of it, our cat Josie was in a fight with another cat and all the fluff covered the lounge carpet.

This morning I was woken by 4 very friendly mosquito's and I think in the process of me jumping on my bed trying to kill them, I woke up my house mate, Inger. So, since "mozzie glue" does not do the trick in keeping them away from me, more drastic actions are needed. I even have a bite on my lip!

BUT through all these mad things, I'm reminded that I'm not in control of my life and that The One who is, will keep me from worse things. Jesus IS my husband first and foremost and that is the important thing.

Wednesday, 28 February 2007

The Idiot end-user

Yes, yes, the "idiot end-user" has joined the ranks of bloggers. Partly because I'm bored at work -oooh maybe I shouldn't say that too loud, and partly because I need to get some ideas written down so that I can work out things for myself, which is always a good idea.

So, in order to figure things out and where I'm headed in the next few years, I'm starting to write.