Last Sunday the lesson I was teaching for children's church was entitled, "David - Man of Destiny." Basically the aim was to show the precious little ones that God chose David because he had a heart after God's own heart. And in preparing for the lesson and preparing my heart to teach the children, I learnt so much.
David loved God. When you read a lot of what he wrote in the Psalms, you feel his heart of love for the Lord. He had a genuine, undefiled love for the Lord which then flowed to other areas of his life. I felt a rebuke from the Lord that somewhere along the line I have lost that genuine, deep love for the Lord. It's not that I don't love the Lord, on the contrary! But there is a difference between loving the Lord and loving the Lord with all your heart, soul and strength. David said "As the deer pants for the water so my soul longs for You." That is a deep longing for the Lord which I realised I had begun to forfeit for the sake of "doing things for the Lord."
One thing I realise is that there is no substitute for loving the Lord with my all. My relationship with the Lord is the one thing that is precious to me that no one could ever take away from. It can be as deep as I desire it to be or it can be as shallow as I let it be.
Back to David, he would spend hours with the sheep in the field (that would be so awesome) and guess what he probably did all day? He played worship to the Lord on his harp, he sung to the Lord, he wrote songs to the Lord, he prayed! He spent the day communing with God and thus he was able to trust the Lord like he did. He got to know the Lord's heart through much time spent with Him.
When a bear or a lion would come after his sheep, David had no problem trusting the Lord to help him kill the bear or the lion because he had come to know how strong and how mighty his God was!
But his time as a mere shepherd boy looking after his dad's sheep prepared David to be the king of Israel. As he got to know the Lord more, he grew in wisdom and understanding so that even when he was king, he had wisdom which came straight from the Lord. He had learnt to hear the voice of the Lord and as he continued to walk with the Lord, he heard His voice more and more.
Even when he sinned and messed up (as we all do), when he saw his state, he was finished and he repented before the Lord. From his heart of repentance came the greatest Psalm of repentance, Psalm 51. His heart was soft and pliable and the Lord could speak to him easily and thus use him mightily.
All this to say, I want to a woman after God's own heart. A woman who knows the heart of God and carries it for other people. A woman who trusts the Lord for EVERYTHING and learns to depend on Him with my whole heart. A woman who's rich in the wisdom of the Lord. A woman who communes with God daily, hourly, minutely! A woman who worships from my heart of hearts. A woman whose words are seasoned with love and grace. A woman who works diligently and faithfully. A woman who gives my life over and over again. A woman who serves like Jesus served. A woman who loves the unloveable. A woman who will touch the untouchable. A woman who seeks the Lord. A woman who prays. A woman who gives generously. A woman who is willing to be spent for the purposes of God. A woman who points people to the cross. A woman who repents quickly. A woman whose heart is completely surrendered to her Master. A woman who is gracious and not full of law... the list is endless. But when I die (and even now I would like to be known this way), the one epitaph I would love to have on my grave is "Buhe, a woman after God's own heart."
But this doesn't just come from nowhere. It's a heart I must cultivate. I have to invest into my relationship with the Lord. I must dig my wells deep in the Lord. Deep, deep and deeper still. "Lord help me, I want to love you with all my heart! Where I have begun to love other things before You, help me to love you again with all of my heart, soul and strength. Help me Jesus!"
So my encouragement this morning, be a man/woman after God's own heart! Run toward Him, run to know His heart and carry it! Spend time with Him in that secret place, where it's just you and Him and He has complete access to your very heart. If you've lost your first love, like I had... run to Him again. He's waiting for you today.
In His Hands
Tuesday, 11 October 2011
The same day that the Lord saved me from the accident I found myself in hospital with one of our babies, Hannah. I know I probably shouldn’t have favourites but she definitely has stolen my heart. Hannah’s mom is a 15 year old girl who was orphaned. She got pregnant by her boyfriend who then ran away and left her alone. So we took her in while she was pregnant and supported her during her pregnancy. After she gave birth, she went back to school at Sandra Jones School and Hannah stayed with us and the other babies. Hannah’s 6 months old now and just the most precious little girl ever!
Well, that particular evening Hannah choked on her porridge and stopped breathing. I was the only one in the office (I had stayed behind for some unknown reason... but obviously the Lord knew why I stayed until 5 instead of leaving at 4) with the house mothers at the time, so I immediately jumped in the car & drove her to the Emergency Room. The mothers were hysterical and all I could do was pray in tongues the whole way to the hospital. By the time we got there everyone had calmed down but Hannah still wasn't breathing. We rushed in and handed her to the nurses on duty. They were not very hopeful when we arrived because it had probably been over 4 minutes since she’d stopped breathing.
After minutes of pacing the hospital corridor praying in the Spirit... I finally heard Hannah cry! Tears of joy came streaming down our faces and I could see the relief in the mothers' faces. They managed, miraculously, to resuscitate her and suction all the porridge out of her lungs. But because the porridge did get into her lungs, this has somewhat weakened her lungs. I spent the night in ICU with her, where she had all manner of tubes stuck to her and she was very uncomfortable. She cried all through the night and eventually fell asleep at 8am as I was leaving to go home and sleep! She’s much better now although she’s still got a wee cough.
That night as I held Hannah in my arms and tried to lull her to sleep as she cried & cried, the Lord showed me something. For little Hannah it didn’t make sense why she had to have all those tubes and injections. It was painful and uncomfortable – she just wanted it all off her. But what she didn’t realise was that it was all for her good. In the long run it would make her better. And as I held her and cradled her in my arms I saw the Lord. Sometimes we go through difficult, tough situations and it hurts and we just want it to be over. So we kick and we scream and we fight it but the Lord allows it because He knows it’s for our good. He knows the growth it will bring in us, He knows how it will cause us to depend more on Him, He knows we need it. So He takes us through the fire but the whole time He cradles us in His arms, He sings to us and He just loves on us. I was blown away by it because it brought verse that says “He will take you through the fire” alive to me. What a different perspective it brings on the tough things we go through. I’ve known and understood this in my head often but this time the Lord really brought it home for me. So I guess my encouragement is to keep the Lord’s perspective in whatever we go through and to remember that He is our loving Heavenly Father who never causes His child a needless tear.
Thursday, 11 August 2011
This morning I found myself so late for work & I was so annoyed with everyone for taking too long in the shower! And I was so embarassed because I've never left home that late for work. But as I turned out of the gate & drove to the top of the road I realised there had just been an accident right there about 200m from my house. And it was terrible. Two cars had collided and overturned. There were bodies all over.
I cried endlessly because it became clear to me why I had been 'delayed' from leaving the house. The Lord preserved my life and I don't know why but I am so thankful. Had I left earlier who knows, I could have been in that wreckage. I cried all the way to work. Got to work and they were just finishing devotions - i.e. I was really late!
But the Lord really used it in my life to show me His grace. It is unmerited. And also I think every time I drive past that spot now, it will be a very good reminder to me of how my life must count for something everyday because I never know when my last day will be.
I cried endlessly because it became clear to me why I had been 'delayed' from leaving the house. The Lord preserved my life and I don't know why but I am so thankful. Had I left earlier who knows, I could have been in that wreckage. I cried all the way to work. Got to work and they were just finishing devotions - i.e. I was really late!
But the Lord really used it in my life to show me His grace. It is unmerited. And also I think every time I drive past that spot now, it will be a very good reminder to me of how my life must count for something everyday because I never know when my last day will be.
Friday, 15 July 2011
It’s been so long since I last wrote an entry. Life is really busy for me right now but it’s been a year now that I’ve been in Zimbabwe and I saw it fit to blog my sincere gratitude to the Lord for all He has done in and through me over the past 12 months.
When I first joined the church here my heart was somewhat hardened to my own sin. I thought I was in a great place with the Lord. I mean, He was leading me & guiding me and we were having great times together. I spent much time studying the Word daily, praying, journaling, enjoying His presence etc. All in all I thought I had a pretty good relationship with the Lord. But what I didn’t realise was that I had completely laced over all my sin and pretended it wasn’t there. I would build up attitudes towards people or I would think terrible things about other people or I would lie and I would be convicted about it being wrong but somewhere I didn’t realise that the more these things built up in my heart, the further I pushed myself away from the Lord.
I got born again AGAIN on October 22 2010. I saw the state of my heart and the sin I had so easily become entangled in and the Lord brought me to my knees in repentance. I was broken over my sin and I saw the depth of the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross for my sin. Because of what He did on the cross to take all my sin and shame, conviction came to my heart. Christ died for me! He died that I might be free from all these things. He died so that I could have victory over bad attitudes, jealousy, contention, deceit etc. Refusing to be free from these things when I am in Christ, is like spitting in His face as He hangs on the cross dying for me. And as I was on my knees in my room that night, I felt a freedom to serve the Lord that I had never felt before. I felt free to be myself because for once in my life I felt like me was free! I wept and cried out to the Lord for my life. I repented for everything He dropped into my heart. It was such a sweet time in His presence.
I praise the Lord so much for this because it’s only by His grace that I’m saved and it’s only by His grace that I continue to walk this road. When I hear of people that were serving the Lord but have fallen into sin or have turned their backs on the Lord, I get goose bumps because somewhere I know it could have been me. But by the grace of the Lord, I’m still serving the Lord. And I have a determination and purpose in my heart to continue to serve the Lord with everything that’s in me. There is no greater joy than to be in relationship with the Almighty God.
From that time up to now, it’s been a difficult journey but a beautiful one. There have been storms along the way and waves rising up against me but through it all, I had an assurance that “It is well with my soul.” I have joy and peace through it all which for me is more than enough. Along the way the Lord has turned for good many things that the enemy may have tried to destroy me with. My eyes have been opened to His wonders anew and my heart has been exposed and enlightened.
We often joke about how humiliating it would be if everyone could see into our hearts and minds. And yet when the Lord exposes our hearts to other people, a humiliation comes but then humility follows because we realise how much we need the Lord. I need the Lord; daily, hourly. When I forget my need for Him, then I become prideful, impatient with others and lacking in grace. Allowing the Lord to expose our hearts can often be painful but the freedom and growth it brings in the Spirit is amazing. There’s a line from the Casting Crowns song “Stain Glass Masquerade” that I really like: “Would it set me free, if I dared to let you see the truth behind the person that you imagine me to be?” There’s a freedom that comes when we expose our hearts for what’s really in them and allow the Lord to deal with us.
One thing that I’ve always known to be true but ignored in my walk with the Lord, is the fact that I cannot continue to serve the Lord in sincerity when I have something against a brother or sister. That is why Jesus said, “Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and then remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 5:23-24
It doesn’t get much clearer than that. But for me I know many times I would have something with a brother or sister and not sort it out but then walk into church and raise my hands high and worship the Lord. And I didn’t realise that in that time, my worship to the Lord was as filthy rags to Him because in my heart I was harbouring unforgiveness towards someone else.
We often forget that in this life, our love for the Lord can be measured by the extent to which we love and take care of others. You cannot disassociate people from the work of the gospel in our lives. Our relationships with one another are often the things that God uses to sharpen us the most.
The Lord continues to work in my heart and increase my desire to give my life more and more. The extent to which I give my life has been broadened for me over the past year. I remember not being so willing to give people lifts here and there until I saw my responsibility in the Spirit to take care of my brothers and sisters. And often taking care of people doesn’t just involve giving my time for them (because that’s easy enough). But it also involves giving my money in order to serve someone else and that’s when it gets a little deeper - especially when I know that there’s no way they could ever repay me. So that’s just one way but overall the Lord has revealed to my heart my responsibility in taking care of the house of the Lord and of my brothers and sisters. I have learnt to give with a joyful heart and not out of compulsion. I have found the joy in tithing again and giving weekly and even daily. Giving is a lifestyle not just a portion of time during the service where we empty our wallets.
And I’ve been enjoying learning to give to others with the Lord’s heart. Sometimes it’s harder than others but the Lord continues to mould my heart through it all. It truly is more blessed to give than to receive. My life is given so that they may be life in others. Christ died to give me life therefore as I strive to become more and more like Him, I die to myself so that I may bring life to others.
I’ve also learnt to take children’s church more seriously. It’s a huge responsibility to be the channel that God uses to reach and teach His precious children. I cannot take bringing a lesson to them lightly. Before each of my lessons, the Lord has to break me. I have to deal with any attitudes in my heart that are not pleasing to Him. I have to make sure I’m coming before the children with a pure heart before God and before those I’m working with. It’s tough and sometimes it really breaks me but when I’m at my weakest I know that’s when God can use me for His glory.
It’s good to be prepared and have all my ducks in a row but I’ve realised that my most important preparation is prayer - Praying alone as well as with the rest of the team. I want to be a vessel that God can use and I become that by seeking His heart. My desire is to bring the heart of Jesus to the children and I pray He continues to mould me into a vessel of honour for His glory.
There’s so much more to say but for now I’ll leave it there... more to come SOON!
Sunday, 5 December 2010
Last night I got a flat tyre on a dark, deserted road. I was giving a young girl a lift home after youth group and she lived really far out. I had taken a guy with me just in case and just as well because I have no idea what I would have done without him! So after we'd dropped her off on the way back onto the main road, we got a puncture! It was dark all around and there was not a soul in sight! After about 2 hours of trial and error, we finally got it sorted! It was an experience that the Lord used to show me that I do indeed need other people. “No man is an island.” I don’t like having to “need” other people but it’s humbling to be in a position of need.
God, I feel so disappointed and You know why. You warned me and I listened for a while but then I let my guard down again. This is what I needed though but God I need You and You alone right now. Please strengthen my weary heart.
Why do I have this sudden desire to go to Mauritius this December? God if it’s Your will, please provide.
Pastor Richard came to our home cell group this evening and he shared some of evolution, no compromise and values. Living in a culture and society that is losing/has lost values, he feels passionately about instilling values in people. He’s so conservative and I love it. I feel safe knowing that the Shepherd of the sheep is not compromising. There’s so much humanism and liberalism in the church today and we have moved away from the model of the church that was given to us.
Today we officially took Lisa in. My heart for her is growing and the Lord is teaching me so much through her. I went to pick her up again today but this time it was different. I wanted to pick her up. I wanted to bring her “home” and learn to love on her. She’s the first child that I’ve had trouble loving and because of that I know God is teaching me something. God I want Your heartbeat for this child.
“...now you will see what I will do...” Exodus 6:1
Sunday School today went well. I was a little nervous about it but Holy Spirit came through and touched the children’s lives. I love those children so much. I love how they look up to me but I also realise what a great responsibility that carries too. May my life be a living epistle to them of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.
The memory verse for today was Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The lesson was inspired by what Jesus did in my own heart on Friday night. I love how God takes me through something during the week so I have something fresh and real to bring to the children on Sunday morning.
I met with a young lady for lunch. I say young but she’s actually older than me! Ha. We went to the Boma at Hillside Dams and it was delightful. She’s a very liberal Christian – i.e. I do what I do and church and God fulfils my religious need and helps me not to feel guilty. She’s very driven, she has a very good job and she’s travelled a lot and accomplished much. Our conversations were very interesting because I’m quite conservative while she’s quite liberal. It was a reminder that we’re all at different places in our walks with the Lord and it’s important to discern where people are at.
The ladies fellowship was so good. We have it out in the beautiful garden of one of the ladies in the church. We had a sister from Mauritius sharing with us on pure and undefiled religion. It was good. We also got the first rain of the season during the altar call which was the icing on the cake.
I spoke to Nompu about being my mentor and she was delighted. I’m excited to learn from her and be accountable to someone. There seem to be many Timothy’s in my life but now the Lord has given me a Paul. Thank You Jesus.
This evening, I got born again AGAIN. [If that’s even possible]. Pastor Richard encouraged us to cry out to the Lord for our lives. He encouraged us to repent of our sins like never before. I realised that even though I had been walking with the Lord for a number of years, there were some times when I was compromising and living in sin and when I recommitted my life to the Lord, I didn’t really repent of all that I’d done. So I recounted and repented of all that I could remember that I had done against God. And I felt such a freedom and release. So, even though I was born again when I was 9 and committed my life to the Lord several times throughout my teenage years, tonight I was broken over my sin and I truly repented. Abba, may this brokenness never leave my heart. Tonight You have changed my life for eternity. Thank You God for Your grace in my life.
Today was a day and a half! Ever have those days where so much happens, it’s like your heart has taken a journey across the world? Here’s a run down of my day:
In staff devotions we’re going through a Jabez Journal devotional and today we shared about a time we’d felt like a nobody. Obviously that had just happened to me a few days back but I chose not to share that instance but rather one where I was talking to an old friend from school and she had done so much and studied so much since leaving school that I felt like I’d done next to nothing. As I recounted this, I began to cry. And I continued to cry throughout the rest of devotions that morning.
Later that day, I was asked to go and pick up a child (Lisa) who was suffering from TB and bring her to the office. My first reaction was to say no. Then one of my colleagues said to me, “Buhe, what would Jesus do?” And as much as I still didn’t want to do it, I went to pick her up. The whole drive to pick her up and bring her back, all I could think about was, “What would Jesus do?” She coughed and spluttered the whole way. She had started TB treatment so she wasn’t contagious anymore but I still winced every time she coughed. When we got back to the office, Debbie said to me, “Did you just cry when you saw her and how sick she is?” No. I didn’t cry for her.
I cried in the morning when I remembered a time that my heart broke because I felt like a nobody. But here was a little girl who had no parents, was suffering from TB, Kwashiorkor and HIV and a lung condition and I couldn’t even be broken over her condition. Instead I was so concerned about my own safety around her. Instead of giving her a cuddle, I restrained. She was unclean, untouchable and unlovable in the natural but yet with the eyes of Jesus, she was so precious. I asked Jesus to help me to love the unlovable and touch the untouchable. Jesus was not afraid around lepers, He touched them, He ate with them and He healed them. In my heart I am so far from where I want to be. So far. But by God’s grace I know He will work in my heart to grow in this area.
A colleague and I went to a school today to ask them to fundraise for our “One in a Million” project. The headmaster of the school completely ignored me the whole meeting and chose to direct all questions and answers to my colleague, who happened to be of the same race as the headmaster. Can anyone make you feel like a nobody? Or is it my choice to feel that way? It is my choice but other people can significantly contribute to making me feel that way. I had to take comfort in remembering that I am not a nobody to Jesus. He knows my name and He’s interested in me.
I went for home visits yesterday evening and I didn’t actually visit anyone! All 3 that my partner and I had were either not home or the address didn’t exist! But we had a good time of fellowship and all the other home visits went well, praise God!
There’s a deep place in my heart; the cushion of the sea of my heart where God’s peace dwells. That’s the place where no matter what else is going on around me, when I’m in His presence, His peace reigns.
I had some horribly vivid dreams last night. It reminded of a line in one of my favourite songs, “Thou art my best thought by day or by night.” I read the next chapter in Exodus before I went to sleep last night but still had the craziest dreams. God, the more I fill my mind with thoughts of You, the more my dreams will be in line with You. God please erase the memory of those dreams because they were just nasty. And I won’t recount them in my journal because I don’t want to remember them. [Praise God, as I type this I have absolutely no memory of them].
Thank You for Your Word this morning. The same way the Ark of the Covenant went before them in Numbers, Your Hand clears the way before me. “Wherever God’s finger points, His hand will clear the way.”
Abraham’s promise of a son was delayed; his promise was delayed not deleted. God still fulfilled it but He tested Abraham’s heart with the delay. What delays are You testing my heart with today Lord? “Delayed doesn’t mean deleted.”
“Wait on the LORD, be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the LORD!” Psalm 27:14
“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.” John 12:24. God You’re teaching me to die to my ambitions, my hopes and my dreams.
And I heard this quote today from William Burton. He wrote this on his death bed. “No reserve, no retreat, no regrets.” I want to be able to say that at the end of my life but first I must die, die, die.
I met for coffee with a young girl this morning. I love being able to pour into young girls’ lives. I have such a heart for young girls. I know I keep saying that but the more I say it, the more my passion increases. Holy Spirit helped me to speak into this girl’s life and encourage her in the Lord. I felt so in my niche sharing my heart with heart. God please continue to nurture this passion and desire and build it up in You. Equip me Holy Spirit.
“But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Galatians 6:14
Lunch with Iliya today was wonderful. I love sharing Jesus over a meal! It’s like my two favourite things – Jesus and food!
At youth group today we had group discussions on “compromise.” I realised how many young girls are compromising their purity. I have such a passion for young girls to maintain their purity and not be ashamed to pursue righteousness in an age where society says “rubbish” to righteousness. I spoke to 2 young girls in particular and they are so lost in compromise. They’ve drawn the line at pre-marital sex but will do anything as close to line as possible. Having been there and done that during my last year in high school I don’t want other girls to waste their lives in that way. And I’m almost through reading “Lady in Waiting” and it’s all tied in so perfectly. Everything in the book is what I want to communicate to young girls. Maybe I should start a young girls Bible study? God if that’s Your will please make it happen. I commit it You. And help me to be an example to the young girls of “a Lady of purity, a lady of boundaries, a lady of diligence, a lady of reckless abandonment, a lady of faith, a lady of security, a lady of contentment, a lady of integrity, a lady of patience, a lady of conviction, a lady of virtue, a lady of devotion.”
I got my hands on a wonderful book, “Lady in Waiting.” And this morning I gave more time than usual to listen and hear what God was saying to me. “Buhe, be careful not to idolise ministry, work or missions. You’re doing a lot of good things but don’t idolise them for I am a jealous God.” And then he also spoke clearly to my heart about a young man I was settling for in my heart, “Buhe __ is not the man I have for you. So please don’t set your sights on him. Take captive of your thoughts. I have someone so wonderful for you. Just wait... patiently.”
I love it when I take the time to hear what God is saying to me and He speaks so clearly. Both were becoming idols in my life and today I take down those idols in my heart. I’m tearing them down and burning them. God I give you the throne of my heart again. Please take Your place in my heart.
God, I love it when You answer my prayers even before I’ve had a chance to verbalise it to You! I was feeling overwhelmed with trying to fill 2 different roles at work. I’m sorry I didn’t tell You sooner. Thank You for once again undertaking for me! I look forward to being Debbie’s PA too. Please help me to be the best PA she’s ever had. And I know that’ll take sacrifice, dying to myself and patience but I’m willing to learn. Holy Spirit, please thoroughly equip me with everything I need to fulfil these two roles.
I interceded for my sister. I love you so much Liso, and I am storming the gates of heaven for you.
Lord thank you for making hearts receptive to what You were saying. It wasn’t easy to write especially because I know I’m not the best example but thank You for what You did. You undertook for me and You prepared the heart of each who read it.
I watched “Alive” by Louis Giglio. If you have not seen this DVD I strongly encourage you to see it. I was blown away by the “Indescribable” Series but this one blew my mind all over again. I am fearfully and wonderfully made by a Wonderful Creator.
I also got to video chat with a wonderful lady who is very close to my heart indeed. I’m so privileged to have Betty as a friend and sister. The way God knits and has knitted our hearts together is just amazing. She edifies me, encourages me in the Word, rebukes me, comforts me, makes me laugh, gives me godly wisdom and counsel, challenges me, spurs me on to love and good works and is such an example to me of what it means to follow Jesus daily. I have learnt so much from you dear friend and I look forward to learning so much more. I love you!
I had a skype date with one of my roommates from Bible College. It was so good to see hear face and hear her voice but above all it was so good to still see and hear Jesus in her. The percentages of Bible College students who fall away after Bible College are shocking to say the least. So I’m always really happy when I see that a sister or a brother is still on the path of grace. God, thank You for your grace in keeping us both close to You.
I spent the afternoon writing out what the Lord put on my heart for our organisation while I was on the mountain top. Writing it out also made it so much clearer in my own heart. So I encourage you, that if the Lord has put something on your heart or given you a vision, write it out because it will help solidify it and clarify it in your own heart.
Back to work today. I was so tired but so excited to share all that God did at the conference! I got my car back from my friend (I’d left it with her while I was in Cape Town) and they had to break the driver’s door handle in order to get into the car after she locked all the doors. So now the only door that locks, opens and has a functioning handle is the front passenger door! Lol. Key services said they’d need to take it in for a whole weekend to fix it – ummm let’s see... I don’t have a free weekend until December!!!! Aargh. Lord You know, and You are in perfect control. I rest in your unfailing love and your ability and willingness to undertake for me.
I travelled for 14 hours from Johannesburg to Bulawayo. I threw my integrity away, in a way I never thought I would have, at a moment’s notice. God please forgive me. I had such a resolve in my heart not to comprise my integrity in anyway. Why didn’t I trust you to undertake for me? Why did I take matters into my own hands? Aargh. I want to trust You more Lord.
I was hoping to go to Calvary Chapel Johannesburg today but it didn’t work out. I spent the early morning shopping and then Michelle and I spontaneously went paintballing with a group of about 25 other people. We had great time and got a few bruises as souvenirs! The place we went to also prepared a spit braai (barbeque) for us and it was so tasty!
After 25 hours on the road, we finally arrived in Johannesburg. The immature lady drove me crazy the whole way. I told her off a couple of times but completely in the flesh. I allowed her to get under my skin. What a waste of my emotions and energy and time. I probably would have had a much better 25 hours if I hadn’t been so irate. I’m so weak when it comes to being critical of other people. God please help me.
Michelle and I had a lovely home cooked meal and enjoyed some very sweet fellowship!
We spent most of today travelling back to Johannesburg from Cape Town. What an awesome time it’s been with fellow Christian workers in this beautiful location. God has deposited so much in my heart and I pray that I wouldn’t lose the fire that He has ignited in my heart.
How does one deal with immaturity in an older Christian woman? I’ve never had to deal with anything quite like it but seeing a 40 year old woman act like a 4 year old is not pretty. It reminds me of something that the Lord clearly spoke to my heart during my last semester in York. He put this verse so heavy on my heart, “I put away childish things...” That’s speaking of maturity. But interestingly Paul doesn’t say, “Childish things just disappeared as I grew older.” He had to “put” them away. And at that time I realised so many neglected pockets of immaturity in my life. And sometimes we think that just because we are growing in the Lord we will naturally mature too But it’s not just going to happen that way. There are things each of us needs to put away so we can mature in the Spirit and in the natural. And I’m not saying I’m there at all but this is something that God has revealed to me.
30 September 2010
After some awesome teachings on leadership, character development and culture I felt very equipped last night. One thing that stuck out in the leadership training: “The greatest leadership challenge is leading myself.” I had never thought of that but it’s so true. It’s much easier to lead other people than it is to lead yourself. Leadership involves self-discipline in every area of my life. I need to discipline myself in my walk with the Lord, my eating habits, exercise, finances, relationships, work, school, my thoughts etc etc.
I’ve had some good chats with people from different YfCs and it’s been great to hear what they do and how they do things etc. It was challenging and inspiring.
I also took a lovely walk to the beach with Regina (she’s German but volunteering in Johannesburg).
29 September 2010
I climbed up a small mountain this morning to seek the Lord. I’m always reminded of how Jesus often retreated to a mountain to pray. There’s so much soul treasure at the top of a mountain.
God really challenged my heart about prayer. Someone once said, “Fall to your knees and grow there.”
He also reminded me of the necessity of time spent alone with Him. “It is a fundamental principle of faith that no tremendous growth in holiness has ever been achieved by anyone who has not taken time frequently and for long periods to be alone with God.”
And God really placed a burden on my heart to share something with the other staff at YfC Zimbabwe. But I’m really nervous to share it. “When God places a burden upon you, He places His arms underneath you.”
I love mountain top experiences!
28 September 2010
The theme of the conference was “Hand Me Another Brick” based on Nehemiah. We had a visiting speaker called Dennis from England doing the morning devotions. One thing that stuck out to me – Nehemiah saw further than other saw, he saw before others saw and he saw more than other saw because he prayed. Nehemiah was a leader who spent much time on his knees. May I be that kind of leader.
I spent a lovely afternoon canoeing with some of the other girls. It was so much fun!
27 September 2010
After spending 24 hours on the road we finally got to Cape Town. Our conference was a beautiful site called Wortelgaat. It was pretty much amazing. There’s so many people from so many different YfCs – I love it!
26 September 2010
I had a safe trip into Jo’burg. Praise the Lord. It’s been so great to be reunited with Michelle, a dear friend from High School. And it’s been even better because she’s still walking with You. Not many of my friends from High School are still walking with You but it’s good to know that the ones I was closest to are. Thank You for Your grace which has kept us on this narrow road.
Michelle and I went out for lunch at Rose Bank, this really posh mall. It was such a sweet time. We went to an Israeli restaurant (can you tell I miss Israel?) and had Shwarmas – they were so good!
24 September 2010
1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
Temptation is common to all men but God always offers our flesh and spirit a way out.
I leave for Johannesburg tomorrow afternoon and then Cape Town the following afternoon. I am so excited YfC staff conference!
23 September 2010
Pastor Stan from Australia has been sharing with us in morning devotions. Him and his wife Wendy are here for a month to help with remedial for the girls at SJCV. It’s been such a breath of fresh air having them here. Anyway the other day he shared on Isaiah 42:1-2
1. God’s servant is chosen and hand picked. (42:1a)
2. God delights in His servants (42:1b)
3. God empowers His servants with His Spirit (42:1c)
4. God’s servant does not advertise himself (42:2)
Pastor Stan has such insight into the Word of God and he really encouraged to keep searching the Scriptures and picking them apart. I love God’s Word!
22 September 2010
I went to bed fuming and I woke up fuming. God that’s why Your Word says, “Do not let the sun go down on your anger.” I can’t believe I’m still foolishly fuming over yesterday’s events yet Your mercies are new every morning. Ugh. Lord please keep this critical & judgemental spirit from coming back. I repented of it and it no longer has any place in my heart. Purify my heart please Jesus. And this morning I’m choosing to walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh because the flesh profits nothing.
21 September 2010
I spent a very long day at Mpilo Hospital with the babies from SJCV yesterday. Even though it was tiring, thank You for binding my heart to the hearts of those babies. I began to feel very close to them after having spent so long with them. God please love them through me. I know some of them are undesirable, unlovable and untouchable but these are the ones You’ve called me to love and I pray that You would help me to look past myself and love on them.
20 September 2010
The abscess popped! Praise the Lord. It was causing my quite a bit of discomfort I must say.
“Did I not say to you that if you believed, you would see the glory of the Lord?” John 11:40
Faith brings a revelation of the glory of God. Lord please help me to exhibit unwavering faith in You from the depths of my heart.
“Faith in a prayer-hearing God will make a prayer-loving man.” Andrew Murray
19 September 2010
Today at church we learnt about letting God deal with the state of our hearts. The Lord told Joshua to prepare the people to cross over the Jordan river – “Sanctify yourselves.” God had to deal with the state of their hearts before they could cross over. And God has to deal with our hearts before we can cross over anything. The cross over only happens once He has dealt with the state of our hearts.
There is one thing that the Lord will never despise and that is a broken spirit and a contrite heart.
“The strength of my ministry should be in the humble & broken state of my heart.”
18 September 2010
Miki shared on faith this evening and it was good. “Faith is the trigger for everything else in my walk with the Lord.” Because “Without faith it impossible to please God.”
Faith will see me through to the end of the race. Because faith come by hearing, when I stop hearing my faith ceases and I stop growing and when I stop growing, I stop running.
Lord, increase my faith! Increase it so I continue to run this race with endurance looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.
I went to the doctor about a lump on my lower abdomen and she said it was just an abscess and it would pop in a couple of days. She gave me some antibiotics all the same. I was pretty relieved that it was just an abscess!
17 September 2010
Thank You for the letters I got from my dear friends Betty & Hannah. These girls blessed my socks off. Hannah gave me this verse too which was so timely,
“Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” Psalm 126:5-6
Thank You for such godly friends. And thank you for letters! I lovelovelove handwritten letters.
16 September 2010
“God’s servants must be taught the value of the hidden side of life.”
Like you led Elijah to the Brook Cherith for some time away with You, I pray You would lead me away by still waters to hear clearly from You more and more each day.
15 September 2010
Today I was serving again with lady that taught at my old primary school. She was strict and everyone was always so scared of her. But today she said how blessed she was by my heart to serve wherever I saw a need. I hope I’m not losing any crowns in Heaven by saying all this but it really blessed me to hear that. We all cry out to the Lord for servant’s hearts and Lord knows I have time and time again. So it blessed me to know that someone sees and appreciates the work the Lord is doing in me. Because it is only by Him and through Him that I can even serve.
14 September 2010
I enjoyed serving at the CTMI Pastors & Leaders Conference today. We had to prepare 500 plates of finger food and cling wrap each plate. We got a chain going it worked quite effectively. So we served all 500 guests tea, coffee, juice and food. All the servers were dressed in black and white so we all looked uniform. After serving them we washed up and tidied up and set things up for the next day...
“Blessed to be a blessing.”
God, thank You for the dawn of a new day. I love how each new day presents new joys, new highs, new challenges, new revelations, and new relationships. Yet at the same time it also presents new lows, new disappointments, new hurts etc. But above all these things each day presents NEW MERCIES from You and that’s the best bit! Thank You that Your mercies are new every morning. You have new mercies for new challenges, You have new mercy for my new joys, you have new mercy for my new disappointment. Great is thy faithfulness, O God!
12 September 2010
Today we spent the whole day cleaning the Polytechnic hall and preparing for the CTMI Pastors and Leaders Conference. Miki & his wife are coming from the church in Mauritius to minister on the message of the Gospel.
I didn’t get to serve at the Calvary Chapel Pastors conference this June and I really missed it! It was one of my favourite times of the year and it was always such a joy to serve the pastors and their families. So it’s such a blessing to serve at the CTMI Pastors and Leaders Conference!
We spent most of the morning cleaning and polishing the floors. Then we set up the stage and the back drop. We put the carpet on the stage then we put a frill round the edge of the stage. I had so much fun with the staple gun! We cleaned chairs, we set the chairs up and we straightened the chairs. It was a lot of hard work but it was so much fun. I also got to know more people in the church and established some friendships. Like I always say, “The best way to get to know someone is to serve with them.”
The conference starts on Tuesday and I’ll be serving in the mornings then going back to work in the afternoons. I’m praying that the message of the Gospel would touch each pastor and leader in a fresh way and that revival would begin in this land. I pray for hearts that are open and receptive.
“Ministry means that God uses us to create a spiritual atmosphere that encourages others to grow and become fruitful in the Lord.” - Wiersbe
11 September 2010
In one part of the world today is a sad day as many remember the tragedy that took place 9 years ago. God for those hearts that are still grieving, I pray You’d bring comfort and peace and heal their broken hearts.
We had a kids’ church fellowship meeting. It was a lovely day of teaching, fellowship, great food and encouraging each other in what the Lord has called us to. We watched a Video cassette (yes, you can still get those) called “The 7 Laws of Teaching” and it was so good. A couple of things that stuck out to me:
1. A teacher teaches from the abundance and overflow of their own life. Are kids in my class drinking from a flowing river or do I sometimes bring them to a stagnant pool. It challenged me to keep growing with the children. “The teacher is primarily a learner. If the teacher stops learning today, he/she stops teaching tomorrow.”
2. [Children’s ministry] “It’s not a ministry of mediocrity but of multiplication.” The task is to teach the children so they can teach others. I was challenged to encourage my class to teach others what they learn in Sunday School.
9 September 2010
It’s my daddy’s birthday today! HAPPY BIRTHDAY DADDY! Lord, thank You so much for my earthly father. When I look back over the years, the journey that God has brought us through is amazing. From as early as I can remember, I was always a “daddy’s girl.” Anywhere daddy went, I went. Anything daddy did, I wanted to do. Anything daddy ate (no matter how disgusting it looked or smelled), I ate. Anything daddy said, I said. In my little eyes my dad was the most amazing man ever. He provided for me, he spent quality time with me, he had fun with me, he encouraged me in everything I did, he disciplined me, he led me spiritually, he loved me and he loved the Lord.
When I hit the dreaded teenage years, I began to chat back more and I began to resent his rules, discipline and spiritual leadership. The more I disobeyed him, the more it frustrated him. I would argue with him constantly. I thought I knew better than him. And when the economic situation in Zimbabwe became tough, I blamed him for all our financial struggles. I blamed him for my lack of material things and ultimately for our move to England. I blamed him for not being able to go to the university I wanted to go to and do the course I wanted to do. I blamed him for everything I could think of.
What I didn’t realise at the time was that my Heavenly Father was weaving something so beautiful. He was teaching me that I cannot place my hope fully on my daddy. Yes there were things he could & should do as my father but my hope of everything in life was not to be solely on what he could provide for me. He’s not perfect (none of us are) but I had lived most of my life believing he was and I had expected him to be. And I guess it took me having to go through all that I went through to realise that what I was looking for I could only find in my Heavenly Father. It was a long journey but while I was in Bible College I repented and reconciled with him. And the Lord has wonderfully restored our relationship! We’re best buddies again and I love and respect him with all my heart!
Thanks for putting up with me daddy! I LOVE YOU! Happy Birthday!
8 September 2010
Some support came through! Lord thank You for each one who’s chosen to support me in this work. God I pray that You would multiply back to them blessing upon blessing. I pray for each family that You would provide for ALL their needs. I’m blown away and just so grateful for everything each one has and is doing to support me. You know how in my pride I couldn’t ask people to financially support me but God You’ve humbled me. Thank You and I pray with all my heart that You would keep me a faithful steward of all that You have entrusted to me.
“Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?” Luke 16:11
6 September 2010
It’s Mom and Dad’s 30th Wedding Anniversary today! Gosh, I miss those two love birds. God thank You so much for my parents. Thank You for love that You’ve given them these 30 years. Thank You for keeping them together. And not only together but together in You. I ask that You would give them many more years together and that they would continue to serve You with all their hearts, soul and strength. They have been an example and inspiration to me of what a God centred marriage is like. Through the good times and the bad times and the really bad times they have clung to You and that in itself has strengthened my faith.
I love you Mom and Dad!
4 September 2010
Praise the Lord for healing me! I’m feeling all better today.
I’m so glad God gave me the strength to go for the last day of the training! I pushed hard and managed to finish all the PACES and I still had time to sleep! I would have been so bummed if I hadn’t finished the course. A bunch of us got sick which was sad but at least we all managed to complete the course – against all odds! What an amazing course! I haven’t thoroughly enjoyed a training course as much as I did this one.
It was so great to meet so many other people who are so passionate about ACE. And I pray for each of us who are looking at starting an ACE school in some shape or form that God You would materialise the visions; bring them to fruition and may we be able to see a generation in Zimbabwe that is growing up with knowledge of You and Your Word. Oh how my heart longs to see more and more ACE schools established. God please continue to keep this fire burning in my heart. May the passion You’ve imparted to me about ACE not die away. God, be glorified!
3 September 2010
I got a love gift of a $100. Praise the Lord! Isn’t it amazing how the Lord always provides at just the right time. I was down to my last few dollars and bam! He provided! Increase my faith Lord Jesus not just for you to provide financially but also to see you work more in my life and in the lives of those I’m trusting You for.
I’m praying and trusting the Lord for complete healing after I spent most of last night throwing up. Food poisoning me thinks. I’ve still got to go to the last day of ACE training today... I’ve just got to.
2 September 2010
Dresden China has to be fired 3 times in order for the gold, crimson and other colours to come forth and become permanently attached. This beauty can only come by fire – 3 times. Only that intense heat will bring about the beauty on the china. And it’s the same with us. Trials produce an indescribable, inexplicable beauty of character in us. I personally have witnessed the Lord building my character more and more through my trials. Each trial is like a moment in the furnace but it produces a lifetime of beauty.
“For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him but also to suffer for His sake.” Philippians 1:29
Monday, 1 November 2010
Started ACE (Accelerated Christian Education) training today! And I am LOVING it! More about it at the end of the week because I have a lot of homework and books to read! Praise the Lord so much for this opportunity21 August
Today was my khulu and gogo’s memorial service. Hearing stories from other people about their lives and how they impacted other people melted my heart. My grandparents gave their lives for Jesus and the ministry. They weren’t afraid to lose their lives in the world and because of that they have such a great testimony and legacy to leave behind. I was proud to stand there as their granddaughter. It got me thinking about what kind of legacy I would leave behind. Many people said the same things about my grandparents: they were spiritual mentors to many because they loved Jesus, people never left their home without a prayer & vegetables (they had a large vegetable garden), they gave of themselves tirelessly for the needs of others, they had a good marriage and they raised their children well. And I thought what will people say about me, when I’m gone?
I love Nichole Nordeman’s song “legacy.” If you’ve never heard it, I strongly urge you to listen to it. It’s good! In fact here’s a link for it! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pA5-wMCR3aQ&feature=related
A little 7 year old (we think) girl we got two weeks ago, has been bleeding since she came. Today I took her to a sexual abuse expert doctor. She had previously denied any abuse but when it was just me and her, I asked her again and she confessed that a man had abused her. The doctor however, after examining her, was convinced that there had been no abuse. We’re still unsure of what actually happened. But my heart broke for this little girl because she was in so much pain. How dare anyone do anything to such an innocent little girl! It makes me so mad!!! When will people learn that sexual abuse is not okay???
God, sometimes it’s easy for me to keep running in my own strength but I always get over tired and worn out. And this week I’ve been worn out. I haven’t been coming for my daily drink of eternal strength, or rather I have been coming but only walking away with a teaspoon-full instead of a bucket-full.
Today I renew my commitment to my mornings with You. My time with You is the most important part of my day and I don’t want to ever miss it. I want to continue to rise early to seek Your face but to do it with ALL my heart. I cannot do it in my own strength and I ask that You would strengthen me to not be monotonous in my quiet times but to allow You to rock my boat.
Oh and shhhh... but I might be able to do the ACE (Accelerated Christian Education) course!
Interceded for kids church and my sister and I continue trusting the Lord for wisdom & provision for monthly support.
God thank You for the day I had out at SJCV with Ashley (the Californian girl). She seemed to connect with the kids and they enjoyed her presence. Kids can sense a real person and when they start jumping on top of you when they’ve only known you for an hour, it’s because they feel comfortable and safe around you. They definitely felt that way around Ashley. It was beautiful to behold.
I’ve never thought of myself as musically gifted, but I taught the girls’ choir a song today and they loved and were singing it for the rest of the day! That blessed my soul!
“Waiting on God brings us to the end of our journey much faster than our feet.” Wait on the Lord Buhe and be of good courage. Sometimes we can wait on the Lord but we fail to be of good courage while we’re waiting. Wait on the Lord AND be of good courage.
“If you strive to gain, you’ll have to strive to maintain.” God I want You to maintain my lot. Thank You for giving the position You wanted me to have. I didn’t have to strive for it or even ask for it but You gave it to me and therefore I know You will maintain me in it.
Laziness is my pet peeve and there is so much laziness around me. Lord I want to able to motivate and empower people not to be lazy but to rise to their full potential. “Because of laziness the building decays and through idleness of hands the house leaks.” Ecc 10:18
I met a girl from California at youth today. It reminded me of my dear friends in California. I miss them. I thank the Lord so much for the solid, godly friends He’s placed in my life. And I lovelovelove that they’re from all over the world! I miss having my friends around me. But this is a season of loneliness and I’m glad for it because I can see what it’s working in me.
Today as I teach the O Level girls, may my love and care for them be the driving force. If they see that I care, they will care and do well.
Our first kid’s ministry meeting was today. God we need Your grace. Only by Your strength and by Your Spirit can we accomplish anything. Please give us vision, passion, compassion, excitement, diligence and excellence.
I invited a group of girls from SPCC youth group to come out to SJCV. It was a wonderful time even though the girls hadn’t prepared anything, God still worked despite their lack of planning. Their hearts were so open, willing, loving and compassionate towards the girls and I think that was more important than any teaching, drama or song they could have prepared.
“People don’t care what you have to say until they see that you care.”
Oh and by the way... I’m down to my last $50. I need a miracle!
I finally got a back light for my car! Praise the Lord! I never thought I’d get it and the most unlikely person sourced one for me!
“It’s okay to need other people’s help.”
I forgot how much I loved Science! I’ve been teaching the O Level girls Science to get them ready for their November exams. I love getting people to understand concepts and being a channel for someone to gain some knowledge. I guess I love teaching but it’s a great responsibility. Carrying, in your teaching and with your life, the ability to shape a child’s view of something/someone, is a responsibility of indescribable magnitude. God please equip me with everything I need to communicate concepts clearly and lovingly.
“Buhe, stop calculating.” – the Lord. I just want it all to make sense and fit perfectly together but Lord I know it can’t happen my way. You’re in control – supreme control and I surrender to Your control today. I’m done calculating and trying to figure stuff out for myself. I’m done calculating to see how much it will cost me to follow You. I’m done calculating how much it has already cost me to follow. GOD TODAY, I STOP CALCULATING.
During my time with the Lord, I felt Him saying this to me:
“Buhe, I love you. Enjoy my love. Rest in my love for you. You can never fully enjoy or experience My love until you accept it. I have a wonderful plan for your life and you just have to hold fast to me during this season. I know it’s hard and it’s going to get harder. But I love the sweetness this is bringing to our relationship. You’re learning to get out of the boat and walk on the water. Walk on the water.”15 August
I’ve been reading “Be Determined” by Wiersbe. It’s a commentary on the book of Nehemiah. It was interesting to read today how the enemy will use fear, discouragement and ridicule to keep me from doing what God has called me to do. There are many fears, discouragements and disappointments in my heart but Lord with that same heart I ask that You would help me not to give up but keep pressing toward the goal! I know the enemy is probably trying to discourage me from committing to YFC but I know that You’ve confirmed to me that this is Your will for me now and I will back down until You say so.
Lord please help me to be a blessing around the office. Strengthen me to encourage, exhort, enrich and motivate others.
A team came today from Australia to do some music with the girls at SJCV. It was wonderful seeing the girls in their element singing away and enjoying it! We all have different gifts and when we’re exercising the gift the Lord has given us; it will bring nothing but joy to us and to those around us. The team was blessed, the girls were blessed and I was blessed.
I spent sometime interceding for my country, my people and my friends and family all over the world. Oh the beauty and joy of being intercessors!
I had a dream last night that I was getting married. I was walking down the aisle and as I got to the altar, the person standing there was Jesus. It was one of those dreams that felt so real.
As much as I will often deny it or suppress it, I do have a desire to be married... some day. But I know the timing is not right yet. In fact I cannot even say for a fact that I will ever be married. Jesus might come back or I may die before that or it may not be God’s plan for me. And the challenge that came to my heart was, “Buhe, if you never married, would you still be completely satisfied in Me? Would you be satisfied to marry Me?” And I have to say with all my heart... I would be satisfied in Jesus. It would be hard - very hard to accept but if that was God’s will for me, then He obviously knows that that’s the best thing for me. The little girl fairy tales are quickly losing their steam and reality is setting in. But it’s not necessarily suppressing my desire but more like leaving it at the altar and waiting to pick up when God says so.
God confirmed in my heart to stay and join YFC. I’m excited about it all but I also realise that difficult days lie ahead. God I ask you to continue to build me into a woman of grace & integrity. May I always open my mouth with wisdom and may my primary goal always be to glorify You!
I went to Shalom for the annual youth camp and took some of the older girls from SJCV. It was such a blessed time in worship and in the Word. “Don’t be condemned by your weaknesses instead know your weaknesses but focus on developing your strengths.” If I don’t know or recognise my weaknesses I’m bound to fail.
Some of the girls from SJCV went up to be baptised in the Holy Spirit. What a precious, precious time it was.