Hope In Love

Posts Tagged ‘thankful

this past sunday at church we watched the Louie Giglio dvd on prayer (remix or something like that). anyway he was talking about how often when we pray it is so me (or us) focused – God bless me, God be with me, God forgive me, God keep me safe and watch over me…he used a trip to florida as an example: when we go somewhere we always pray that God will bless the trip and go with us and keep us safe and watch over us (and forgive us our many sins – maybe as a precurser to all that’s gonna happen in florida…ha ha…Louie is funny.)

anyway the dvd was about remix’ing prayer…so not praying in the same way we always do. instead of asking God for blessings, how about we bless God. “God, help me a blessing to you on this trip”…

Ephesians 1: 3 says “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” and 2 Peter 1: 3 says “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” we’ve already recieved the blessing – he gave us everything we need to live a godly life – 2000 years ago. all those promises of blessing in the old testament, they were culminated in the person of Jesus. instead of running around asking God for more blessings, maybe it’s time we said thank you for the greatest blessing he could give. maybe it’s time we use the blessing he’s given us to bless him…

Praise the Lord, oh my soul! Praise the Lord!

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this post was written for the one word at a time blog carnival. this week’s theme is “gratitude”. Click here to read other posts from some awesome bloggers.

i’m definitely not the skinny model type
i’ve got curves and i’ve got love handles
i definitely don’t have legs that go on for days
they are kinda stumpy – i’m what you call short
i don’t have long flowy hair that blows in the wind
it’s mostly just nappy – i sometimes hide it with braids
i don’t have a photoshoot smile
hence why i really hate taking pictures

but if you look more closely you’ll see:
a heart on fire for God
a heart that breaks for the broken
a heart with too much love to give
a heart with scars to forgive
a heart that seeks to reconcile
a heart that yearns for peace
a heart that beats for justice
a heart that empathises with your pain

i love my nose it fits the center of my face perfectly
i love my eyes; they’ve been called intense…i like that
i love my lips – pouty, full, but not quite angelina jolie
i love my dimples even though only one is really visible
i love my scar on my cheek it reminds me that i took the fall for my sister
i love my feet they are so small and dainty and lady-like
i love my birthmark…small and hidden, like a secret between me and God
i love my burn marks, they come with memories of home and overcoming
but mostly i love my heart – it’s where His Spirit dwells

i’m thankful to have sight
i’m thankful to hear
i’m thankful for tastebuds
i’m thankful i can smell spring
i’m thankful that my fingers hurt after hours of guitar’ing
i’m thankful that i can walk to and from work
i’m thankful that my craziness is self-inflicted
i’m thankful that i’m abled

i might not be what the world classifies as beautiful
i might not look in the mirror each morning and think that i am
i might not be most interesting and outgoing person
i might not be the one all the guys flock to
i might not be on the cover of the magazines
i might not have the most lady-like laugh
but i am a princess, a beloved, a daughter…
i am loved feircely by He whose opinion actually counts

i want to be used by God. sometimes, like most people i would think, i want to be used for big things…but i do realise that God uses us for the small things as well. and i realise that for those who recieve the “small” things, they can be quite big things indeed.

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so there’s a verse that says something along the lines of when you give don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing…keep it all hush-hush cos God knows the secret stuff…and something about you’ve already recieved your reward from men…or something…and yet i’m sharing this with the world. (i really should just look up the verse.) but anyway, the way i understand the verse is that you shouldn’t go bragging about helping others out or whatever cos then the giving becomes about you…people give you the glory and not God – that is not why i’m sharing this story. i’m sharing this with the world to show how God has blessed me, and my feeble attempts at thanking him for the blessings.

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when the earthquake in haiti struck, i was moved to give something to help with whatever was being done over there. so i did. but then a thought struck me: does it have to take an earthquake to move me to help…and also it’s all very good and well to give to some project but you don’t really know what your money is being used for…all it does really is clear your conscience. i mean i chose an organisation that i knew had a good reputation, one that works with the poor a lot, but i didn’t get involved. i just sent money.

also, it’s all good and well to send money to haiti, but what about the people here in my own backyard that need help.

i then proceeded to check out sites from around here that work with the poor in order to donate to them and try to be a catalyst in people’s lives here at home. enter world vision south africa…i signed up to sponsor a child…it doesn’t cost much really – i mean i spend more in one week on food than i send to sponsor the child a month. but anyway, today i got my package with the info of the little girl i’m sponsoring – she has a name, an age, a face, she’s not some stranger in some far away country – she’s real. and suddenly the little thing becomes a big thing. it’s not much, but it means food for her and her unemployed mom. it means not going to school/bed hungry. it means she knows that someone out there cares…not for anything she has done, but just because.

i get to be used by God. i get to share His love with this beautiful little girl. i get to see His plan played out for her life. i get to be a part of the plan. i get to be a catalyst.

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thank you Daddy! i know you don’t need to use me…that most of the time i really just get in the way of what you are doing…but you continue to use me anyway. and thank you for giving me another avenue to be a good steward of what you’ve blessed me with. thank you!

if i had a dime for every apology i’d be a billionaire
if every “i’m sorry” had monetary value Richard Branson would be my employee
if they could be used to used as food poverty would end
if we could drink them, the spread of malaria might cease

yet sorry doesn’t feed the poor
it doen’t change the situation
it does not delete the deed
nor the pain and destruction it caused

sorry is a word, repentance happens in the heart
that is why i’m thankful that you see my heart
that is why i’m thankful that you know my thoughts before i speak them

i’m thankful for your mercy
i’m thankful for your grace
i’m thankful for your forgiveness
i’m thankful that you are love

So I was trying to remember 2009 so that my last post of the year chould be a review of sorts…but I really couldn’t remember anything.

So then I went through my facebook photo albums and the ones that stand out the most are (in no particular order):

1. day in the park/beach – in Jan, Brett decided that for his birthday celebrations he was going to help out with a take-the-kids-from-an-orphanage-out-for-the-day-to-the-beach-and-love-them-day thing…and he invited people to go and help out, and i went, and it was awesomtastic. then in april and again in november some people from our church organised a take-the-kids-from-an-orphanage-out-for-the-day-to-the-park-and-love-them-day thing and once again i decided to join in. and again it was awesomtastic. i’m not the most kid-friendly person in the world…like, i would suck at being a kindergarten teacher, but i really do enjoy spending time with kids and just loving on them and making them feel wanted and loved and adored and listened to and whatever, even if it was for one day atleast they got to feel special.

2. vision k/youth/scripture union camp – as i said, i would suck at being a kindergarten teacher. and i would probably suck at being a middle/high school teacher as well, but if i had to choose, i would go for the middle/high school age group. so i’ve talked a bit about my exploits with vision k this year, and i may have mentioned the scripture union leadership camp as well – can’t remember, but yea, both of those and the youth group at my church have been highlights in my life this year. i truly do enjoy hanging out with youth and finding out where they are and if possible helping in their journey towards adulthood. i’ve been through the teenage years myself, and sometimes i still act like i’m going through them, and i remember how hard it was for me, so any help i can give someone else…

3. turning 25 – i liked turning 25. scary, yet…super cool. like i felt like i was finally an adult in a lot of ways. turning 26 is not scary, but it feels kinda sucky, don’t know if i’m going to enjoy it much.

4. namrock/baptism – so wrote a lot on namrock, and wrote about getting baptised. and definite highlights they were.

5. worship team – lots of memories. lots of laughs. lots of growing. thankfulness.

6. http://tsholo.wordpress.com/2009/10/02/worship-setlist-september-27-2009/ – i’ve been to PE quite a few times, and i always…well, i guess hate is a strong word but…well, it’s the right word. i always hated it. i was ok with like 2 days, but after that i was ready to leave. this year my dad moved to PE, then my sister also moved there. at the end of the year my lil bro is also moving there. so it will just be me and my mom in the western cape (sadness). but yea, the visit in september was so awesomtastic, i didn’t want to leave. and i’m looking forward to visiting again first week of next year…and throughout 2010. PE Love!

7. flatmating – had a super awesomtastic flatmate this year. i learned a lot from her and i totally appretiate the flatmate she was and all the talks and all the laughs and discovering “The OC” together and our late night dvd’ing and sms’ing each other from the other side of the wall and the sharing and all of it, it’s been great Lindz, will miss sharing a flat with you.

8. music and friends – the south african music scene is wow! and it’s even better when it’s live, and it’s shared with friends. new altum, flat stanley, just jinjer, aking, gravity wins again, straatligkinders, irvine, lua union, the lottery tickets, heldervue, black markets riots, 3rd world spectator, saint fearless, the rescue, tree63, the arrows, bed on bricks – just off the top of my head. memorable moments also include: being kidnapped and forced to go to the beach at 2 am when i was working the next morning, sneaking into the botanical gardens after it was closed and having a photo shoot after making a 20 minute video of us talking nonsense, TEAM AWESOMTASTIC, awesomtastic enGAGE dinners at Ginos and awesomtastic cricket watching at Ginos, SUPER inappropriate conversations and the birth of SOKs…and so much more…I really thank God for friends!

and then two more not in the photo albums, just to round it off

9. blogging – nablopomo(?) was really good for my blogging…blogging everyday for a month is not easy, totally respect those who do it year round. good and challenging. blogging has been so good for me though. it’s been a place for me to just spill what’s in my head onto something else and just get it out of my system so that it doesn’t take over. so thank you for reading.

10. God – lots of up and downs, lots of screaming and shouting, lots of late night pop-corn and cookies and ice-cream (He loves those), lots of laughing, lots of reminders, lots of fulfilled promises, lots of pouring on of LOVE, lots of us time, too much ingnoring from my side, lots of forgiveness, lots of convictions, lots of happiness and joy, more love and more reminders, lots of blessings, lots of breathe, lots of guidance, lots of mercy and grace, more love, lots of comforting, lots of more reminders for/to hope, lots of everything. Everything and LOVE!

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and one more that had nothing to do with me but stands out this year was the wedding of the fish and TBV…read about it here.

humor is cool cos it’s pretty much different for different people…different people find different things funny. i think the trick to that though is being able to read your audience. knowing the people you are trying to make laugh goes a long way in actually making them laugh.

i have super funny friends. well, *i* think they are funny…not everyone would agree. i once brought a work friend with me to a gathering with my church friends and we laughed and laughed and laughed as we usually did…then at some point i realised that my work friend was not laughing. when i asked her later she said that she didn’t find anything we were laughing at funny…”you guys just kept laughing, but no one was saying anything funny…but it’s good cos you all got what was supposed to be funny.” the same friend joined me at another gathering after a few months of hanging out with me, and suddenly she was laughing along with the rest of us…i wonder what changed? anyway, i say all to this to point out that some people…maybe most…would not find my friends to be as funny as i do, but i think they are hilarious.

this sunday i was supposed to co-lead a song during worship with another friend and as soon as the first chord of the song was played we both looked at each other realising that neither one of us knew the words nor the melody of the song…we waited for the song to come up on the projector behind us but there was a technical difficulties so there were no words for us…we just froze there…and looked at each other.

eventually another guy on the team (Stephen) helped us out by starting the song…and as soon as he did that our brains opened up and we remembered the song…it was hilarious…and i truly think God laughed along with us on that one. our hearts were all about praising him…our minds just took a little longer to get onboard.

but that was hilarious…the laughs that came out of that one were almost as much as the laughs we have during worship practice. i’ve never been part of a more “fun” or “funnier” worship team. don’t get me wrong, we do practice and we worship sincerely…but we have so much fun doing it…and i honestly believe that God would approve. our relationship with him, our walk, our daily worship through our lives is supposed to be enjoyable. i mean, i know it’s not all sunshine and roses, but he’s there…so we are supposed to be enjoying it. and we do.

and i’m so thankful for them…i’m thankful for the encouragement, the prayers, the help, the teaching and the sharing…and i’m thankful for the laughs.


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