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Hold Onto Your Heart as Your Triumph Unfolds  E-mail
Amanda Alexander | 18 December 2017
Unbelievably, we have reached the end of another year in our community.  As I ponder this, I realise that for many, this has not been the easiest of years.  Yet as I prayed about what Papa wanted me to write, He gave me what seemed like a bird’s eye view of what the year has looked like, from a completely different perspective.  I saw the many different paths each of us has taken in our day to day lives, as millions of colourful roads, crossing the canvas of our community;  but as I watched, I was captivated by one beautiful and unexpected element…what seemed like golden glitter was being sprinkled across the canvas,  following each of our paths as they unfolded.  I asked Papa about this, and I became aware that the glitter that was criss-crossing the canvas was Papa’s beautiful Presence over each of us, and over every twist and turn in our paths throughout 2017.  I became beautifully aware, Beloveds, that He’s been there…He’s been there…He’s been there!  Papa has been there through it all, faithful and true, and He has not let us go, even for a second.  He has faithfully seen us through, taking us by the hand and leading, or nudging us from behind, or walking by our side, and sometimes picking us up and carrying us, when our strength has failed…He has always been there, giving us all we need, because that’s who he is…our faithful Father!

The Lord laid so clearly on my heart, the words of the Bethel song: “Hold on to your heart as your triumph unfolds…He’s in the waiting…”  I believe we are on the brink, in our church and in our country, of powerful shifts, but that Papa is calling us to hold on to our hearts.  God is shifting, changing, preparing, positioning.  There is a sense of  expectancy and anticipation, but I feel the Father tugging at my heart, sitting me down and telling me that He has much for us in the secret place with Him…so sit down…quiet your heart…breathe…He has deep, deep wells of refreshing,  healing, feeding,  preparing and equipping for us…We hold onto our hearts by drinking deeply from His wells until we swell with all He has imparted to us and burst, allowing His goodness to pour onto the community around us.  The waiting and the drinking from His wells are central to everything, for us and our journeys-that our lives might be wells of refreshing, encouragement and comfort to those around us.

As I write this, your faces and your stories float through my mind, and I am inspired to drink deeply, so that I might burst with God’s goodness onto you.  Join with me in the drinking, that we might enjoy the abundance He has for us along the way, and overflow onto each other.  This is the beautiful journey the Father has for us- it’s rich, it’s good, it’s enough…and it will place each of us exactly where we need to be, now and for the year ahead.




So much love for you all,

Enjoy the journey and drink deeply.
 
A shout out to Central Parks Worship Ministry, Sound and Overheads  E-mail
Nicolene Coertse | 18 December 2017
This morning (24 September) when I got out of my car at church, I saw some of my prophetic art materials in the boot and thought of taking some along to sit and dawdle with whilst busy on overheads. I rejected the thought, but was mindful of a conversation I had had with Gill Persson in terms of the mornings I am on overheads duty. She told me that that is my worship on those days…

I decided to pay attention to the task at hand. The overheads duty can be consuming, there are a number of things to keep in mind and manage while on task, such as changing the slides for the words to the songs in time, checking the sound recording, and keeping a tab on whether the PC is charging or not. 

Afterwards, June Schwikkard and a friend of hers came to me and told me how meaningful the particular songs of this morning were to them and asked me about where they could possibly find the lyrics to the songs. 

What a powerful worship session it was! Jonathan Wordon was leading worship, with Anabella Sowter adding her amazing voice and Sarah Allen on the keyboard and vocals. Hans Roosenboom and Lorens Persson were manning the sound desk. These men’s ears are so attuned to sound and to feedback from the microphones and speakers that they take action before anyone else even notices anything amiss.  

Behind the scenes, Benji Pienaar organises a team of us on overheads duty; there is quite a bit of coordinating involved and he is an excellent steward of this task. 

Lorens and Gill Persson head up our worship ministry with incredible teams under them. Worship, sound and overheads! You are a great team to be part of and guys, you are all awesome.
 
The Living Temple  E-mail
Joy Dickie | 18 December 2017
Jesus has made a way
So in God's presence we can stay.
His death on the cross
Is a victory not a loss.

His broken body is the foundation
Of the Church and its salvation.
His blood washes away our sin and grime
Leaving us redeemed for all time.

Jesus is the mirror that reflects the Father's glory,
His love interwoven in everyone's story.
As we look upon His wondrous face
He points to the Father full of mercy and grace.

God's presence is not found within a box
It cannot be contained by chains or locks.
He is not found in a building or a steeple
But rather He lives within the hearts of His people.

The Holy Spirit is like a beautiful skylight in the ceiling
Drawing our gaze to the Father's throne room that is so appealing.
Gently He leads us in the Father's way
Helping and guiding us in all we do and say.

We are His body, His temple, one and all
We fit together like bricks in a wall.
The cement that holds us all in place
Is the love of Jesus found in each other's embrace.

Our strength is not found in standing alone
But connecting with others with hearts of love not stone.
As we reach into each other's lives with openness
We allow God's healing to remove our brokenness.

This living temple is vibrant, colourful and alive
Through God's power within us we are learning to thrive,
In a world that is hurting and lonely and blue
A world that is waiting for a loving touch from you.
 
A million miles away? God is In You  E-mail
Ailie Baumann | 18 December 2017
God, where are you? This question has often rung through my mind as loud as the gong of a steeple bell. Loneliness and abandonment threaten to close in on me and the lie that God is distant becomes a lot more real than it should. 

That’s the thing about faith. It requires you to believe with every fibre of your being in someone you can’t see with your physical eyes yet this very person is closer than any other living thing. But our flesh and our mind cry out for reason and logic. After all, that’s how society today works. Logic and reason are prized over imagination and abstract or even emotional language. Faith is not logical.

So, I’ll find myself in some place or other desperately trying to look all prim and proper when on the inside I’m crying out for God to be more than abstract. I want Him to be tangible and real. What I really want is for Him to fill that void in my heart so I can escape the pain that comes with my circumstances and dashed ideals.

Maybe that’s what causes you and me to feel God is a million miles away. He didn’t show up the way we expected nor did He do what we hoped He would do. We find ourselves facing something we didn’t see coming and instead of landing with our bums in the butter we feel given the raw end of the stick.

In frustration, we cry “God where are you? Do you even care? Do you notice me?” Oh, how patient is God with us! With the warmth that comes from His presence and the gentle kiss of love while His breath of life teases the tendrils of your heart, He says gently:

“My darling, my beautiful one. I have never left you. I cannot leave you. My breath is the breath of life filling your lungs. My blood courses through your veins and I’ve programmed your DNA to match mine. Oh my darling, I am not far. I have never been nor will I ever be.

You are in me and I am in you. In those moments of despair and heartache, I take you deeper into my heart where you are engulfed with my love. I pour my presence over you so you let off a sweet fragrance into the spiritual realm marking you as mine. I’ve sealed you as my own. I’ve grafted you into me so that I can be the source of your substance and every need.

This is the moment when the lie that God is far or an abandoning father disintegrates into a puff of smoke. He is the perfect father, husband, friend, brother. So, with a heart opening wider still, He comes in with a deeper presence into this frightening place of loneliness. He lifts the veil that has fallen over our eyes and suddenly we see…Him. 

We think God runs away from our hardships. Quite the opposite. We run from our hardships. The pain and disappointment are often overwhelming and our natural tendency is to withdraw. But, God. I love those words. Oh, how our Papa God uses every situation and opportunity in life to draw us much closer. He uses these moments to reveal more of His love to you and me, more of His heart, and more of His abounding grace. 

His presence is always accessible. All we need do is choose to enter in. Bring your stuff to him. Bring it all and watch Him take it and transform it into something beautiful and redeemed. He is the one who helps you move on and on from glory to glory. 

In that moment of feeling “God, you are a million miles away”, God is saying to you and to me “Come away with me my love...I have a glorious and wonderful plan for you.”
 
Don't be perfect, be redeemed  E-mail
Ailie Baumann | 18 December 2017
Don't be perfect, be redeemed? This has been a word that Jesus has been gently massaging into my spirit. It's a pulling out of misconceptions and false views of myself and others. It requires that I let go of ideals and take a deeper look at what "perfect" really means.

Perfect. A state of being that is completely unattainable, yet one that I seem bent on reaching. The perfect mother, wife, friend, daughter. The slightest mess or mistake devastates me because it threatens my goal of perfection.

What I am really doing is hiding the fact that I am afraid of rejection. If I really let you see me, will you reject me? I want you to love me. So, I hide. I hide my mess, my weaknesses, my mistakes, and more because I am afraid you won't love me. You see imperfect, messy me is just that...messy.

In my times of mess, I am often breaking into a million pieces.

I remember when I first heard Lisa's teaching on "Brokenness and Communion", Papa showed me that I was hiding under a table covered by a tablecloth. I was being the Shulamite woman hiding away with my shame and fear of rejection. I was frustrated that I wasn't...Perfect.

Jesus joined me under my table. He looked at me lovingly, yet squarely in the eyes and said:

"I don't expect you to be perfect, because I am not perfect according to your measure of perfect. Look at My body. It too is scarred worse than yours. I don't want your perfect. I want you. That is where you become mature with Me. I know you are human and I embrace that, because I love to redeem. Don't be perfect, be redeemed.".

The more I sit with Jesus in this revelation, the more I realise that life is a journey of experiences both positive and negative. Experiences mean that we are living. "Mess" and "broken" means we are living and experiencing. We are trying and taking risks. I believe God honours that and smiles when we close our eyes to take in that deep breath of courage before leaping into the unknown.

In it all, He asks that we continue to remain vulnerable and open to Him. Jesus is the safest person we can trust. So, we risk. We open the door to those "no entry" places of our hearts a little wider for a little longer. The light of His Presence pours in a bit more. In this moment, love casts out all fear. It's ok to be broken, messy, and human. We are loved and accepted and cherished by God. He redeems and redefines us instead of our shortcomings and circumstances.

But then, I wonder about my ideals and my desire for life to go perfectly according to plan. Life tends to plough on almost mercilessly throwing me into situations I am unprepared for and didn't expect. What do I do with this? I know I'm going to make a mess or fumble around barely treading water.

These are the moments of letting go. Letting go of my ideals and standard of perfection to embrace with both hands the fullness of love. You see love is not afraid of mess or getting its hands dirty. No. Love is patient and kind and not self-seeking (1 Corinthians 13). It extends grace and mercy, laced with compassion and understanding. Love doesn't demand perfection. It seeks openness and vulnerability.

So, I find myself asking Jesus to do this one thing, "Come into my spaces." - those messy broken spaces that only He can define and redeem. He takes the lead and we follow. All Papa asks of any of us is that we love fully. Love Him and each other. We love Him first because He is our excellent role model of love. From there, we love each other fully and deeply. We bravely allow our hearts to intertwine with each other because we need each other. This is when we become a cord of three strands not easily broken.

With love and grace, we courageously lower our walls and our masquerade masks. We look at each other in the eyes, albeit awkwardly and shyly. What do you see? I see you looking at me with love and acceptance.

Dearest, your mess does not define you. God does. You are seen and valued for who you are right now in your mess and brokenness. You are a broken offering that releases sweet smelling fragrance heavenward. You are alive, breathing the life of God. You are deeply loved.
 
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