The Grace Tango


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In the previous article I asked whether we want to remain a mad king nation.

The solution starts with all of us as individuals. When we look at each other from our own graceless protection mechanism, we look through fear, suspicion, generalisation, prejudice and doubt. From this point of view we look for the bad things in each other and expect to be decieved and hurt by other people on the one hand. On the other side we enter into a relationship or friendship with huge unspoken expectations of ourselves and the other person. These expectations are usually much higher than either of us can meet. We even place people on pedestals. When they are human, make mistakes and don’t fulfil the big unspoken dreams we have for the friendship, we more than often get offended and discard the friendship as if the other person has no value anymore.

In the Tango scene in the movie ‘The scent of a woman’  the main actor says: “The tango is not like life. No mistakes. When you get tangled up, you just tangle on.” When we can have grace with ourselves to tangle on after we made a mistake and even laugh at ourselves, because we know Who loves us and that Yeshua’s love is not based on our meeting of a list of rules and expectations, but simply on who we are in Him, we can have have grace with others. Our true eternal identity can either be a weapon for destruction or a tool for healing. When we work with truth without grace it becomes a destructive force of false expectations for ourselves and others that grows into an idol in our hearts against who no human or Yeshua can ever measure up. When we are in this place people cannot feel safe with us since they always have to perform. We cannot even feel at ease with ourselves because in our minds we constantly have to live up to the false image of the performance idol in our head.

These expectations become swords and different weapons of destruction that we use in various clever ways. We justify ourselves in many ways. Taking responsibility and letting ourselves and someone else bear the consequences for their actions becomes a weapon. Life does that all on its own. We need to learn to have grace with each other in the consequences while learning to take responsibility for our own choices. Too often we blame our actions on someone else.  No one can make us angry! If that were true we would have no authority over our own emotions and reactions. This would mean we are getting tossed around by everybody and everything around us. If we choose this we hand our eternal authority to choose how we respond to the people and circumstances around us. When we choose to respond with grace and wisdom, which is a prayer away, we start to take back our authority and use our eternal identity as a grace-tool, not as a destructive weapon.

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Let’s lay down our spears of prejudice, false expectations and fear and take up the eternal identity with which each of us had been blessed to build and love each other from a place of grace. Let’s love each other as He has loved us.

Do we want to remain a mad king nation?


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After reading a tale of three Kings I started thinking about South Africa. We have been a mad-king nation for so long that we have become excellent spear throwers as well.

Before the Dutch, French, German and English came to this beautiful country Shaka, Dingaan, Mzilikazi and others that I don’t even know about, were the best spear throwers ever. Whole clans and tribes were annihilated. Shaka even killed many of his own people on many occasions because of his ‘spear-throwing’ laws.

Then the Dutch came who fled from the English that had their own spear-throwing tactics. Blood River was won and they settled. Eventually they won the land from the English by many smoking guns and many (black, white and coulored people) being killed in concentration camps. This was the result of the English scorched earth tactic at the time.

The white Afrikaans people who’s language developed here among the colored people from Dutch, German and French soon invented their own spear-throwing tactics. They hated the English for their spear-throwing but they did the same, in a different way, to the rest of the people when they came to power.

The ANC government was next in line. Mandela tried to create a non spear-throwing reign, but started his reign with legalising abortion and started the transition with affirmative action. We have a serious skills shortage, but the policies continue to sideline white skilled people. The world is happy to export those with the nessacary qualifications. Many of those without Tertiary qualifications or sought out skills end up in ‘white squatter camps’. About 20% of white people live in these camps, because they are strangers in their own country and have less privileges than Chinese immigrants that was brought in, in their thousands. An international observer once noted: South Africa is the only country in the world where the majority is protected by policies against a minority. Affirmative action happened so fast without proper training. Many of those that took over ‘privileged’ positions did so with responsibilities they were not groomed into, thus reducing municipalities to corrupt mis-managed places. This sparked service delivery protests. Our president, who comes from a long line of expert spear throwers before him, blames apartheid and even Jan van Riebeeck. Maybe this is pay back time, but who is paying the highest price in the end? Certainly not those that have their spear throwing policy meetings in air-conditioned offices! They create the chaos while being paid for it. When things are exposed they then revert to blame shifting, racism and entitlement which plays out in vandalism, xenophobia, murder, theft and corruption which have become some of the weapons of choice. We even try to normalize and moralize it.

Since when does being poor gives one the right to kill, steal and destroy? These weapons are rapidly reducing this beautiful rainbow nation to a place that the world would rather avoid.

How long will we let this cycle continue? When will we put our spears down for the sake of our children and start making pruning hooks, spades and shovels so we can start to build again?

Do we have the courage to choose life? Are we willing to look deeper and beyond skin color, generalisations and our own preconceived ideas? If not, our grand children will have to rebuild this country from rubble again if we keep following the examples of our ‘mad king’ spear weilding leaders as we have for the past 400 years.

Liggaam lesse van ñ gebreekte toon


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Eergister het ek my ‘groot’ klein toontjie (hy is my derde grootse toon op my voet daarom haak hy gereeld) gebreek. Hy het aan ñ wasgoedmandjie gehaak wat op die verkeerde plek gestaan het terwyl ek met spoed vorentoe gegaan het.

Wat leer ek. Moenie wasgoed mandjies in nou gangetjies neersit nie....

Wanneer die liggaam met spoed vorentoe gaan en een deel haak vas, breek daai deel dan lei die hele liggaam. Veral dan nou as dit die ‘veronderstel kleinste anderster’ toon aan die linker voet is wat eintlik my dominante been ook is.  Nou kom ek agter hoeveel treë ek eerste met my linker been gee sonder dat ek dit eers oplet aangesien ek nie op hom kon trap en nogsteeds sukkel.

Werk dit so in die liggaam van Christus ook? Beweeg ons partykeer te haastig vorentoe terwyl die ‘anderster dele’ vashaak en seerkry? Voel ons dit wanneer dit gebeur of gaan ons maar net aan asof niks gebeur het nie? Versorg ons die lid wat seergekry het of hoop ons hy kom maar op sy eie reg terwyl ons gevoelloos aan beweeg? Die antwoorde van die vrae bepaal of die liggaam gesond is of melaatsheid het?

Melaatsheid is ñ siekte wat die senuwee punte laat doodgaan. Dis hoekom hulle ledemate in die ou dae afgevrot het, want hulle het nie gevoel as hulle ñ toon stamp of ñ vinger sny nie. Dit is dan nie dadelik skoongemaak en versorg nie en dan het infeksie ñ bose kringloop begin. In Dr Paul Brand en Phillip Yancey se boek ‘The gift of pain’ maak hulle pragtige vergelykings met die liggaam van Christus gebaseer op navorsing wat Dr Brand onder die melaatse gemeenskappe in Indië gedoen het.

Voel ons die pyn van die anderster dele wat sukkel om so vinnig te beweeg? Luister ons na die senuwees van die liggaam (die herders) wat sien wanneer lede swaarkry of laat ons hulle ook doodgaan met die hoop dat die anderster dele sommer sal afval?

Mag ons met genade, liefde en waarheid aandag gee aan die pyne in die liggaam en dit sien as waarskuwings om stadiger en met meer wysheid te beweeg.

Life puzzles and mosaic


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In the past few weeks I have sorted out at least 30 puzzles and many more games that were scattered after an occupational therapist moved from one place to another.

Some puzzles were found, others were half and for others there were only a few random pieces left that did not fit anywhere. Everytime I found another piece of a puzzle and eventually finished some, I experienced joy.

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Slowly I realized that our lives are a lot like that. At about 40 life has thrown a few curveballs that scattered the neatly sorted puzzles of ideals and dreams into a state of confusion. Life is not as neat as puzzles though. Sometimes we have to build a new puzzle with the pieces that is left because some of the pieces got lost forever. It’s almost like building a beautiful mosaic from the broken pieces of a beloved piece of porcelain. The end result looks totally different from the original one in our heads. That does not make it less beautiful, just different from our initial expectation.

When we have the courage to embark on the rebuilding process in our own lives, the Father sends people across our paths that need our help to start rebuilding the scattered puzzles in their own lives. The joy and peace, when the picture eventually starts to make sense again, is indescribable.

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As we rebuild and organize the mosaic of our lives, it is helpful to take note of some signposts of how we had found hope in chaos. As the Father sends people across our paths that are in their own process of healing and sorting out, we find the signposts to be principles that can be used differently in each situation.

May we find the courage to build the mosaic of our lives into a picture that will pleasantly surprise us in the end.

Photo credits: Dinti de Beer

The crucial necessity of a slow-strike or time-out


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This past week I started to work 4 mornings per week. The two little ones I am working with have a few issues that need daily therapy. One is 4 with low muscle tone, weak balance and weak eye sight. He is a professional  ‘why-er’. For nearly every instruction I give him or thing that I do he will ask why. He is also very strong willed, which means that he is challenging me on almost all requests and instructions I give him. When I stick to my boundaries then he starts throwing a tantrum. The consequences follow every time and he is accepting my boundaries better every day. The other little one is 7 and battles with low muscle tone, balance and her milestones is about three years behind. She also challenges my boundaries at times, and wants to be with me even in her break times. For both of them it is a challenge to focus on their work independently for more than two minutes.

By the fourth afternoon when I got home I realized, my space if favor and grace is not there anymore. Neither for myself or for my family. It had been replaced with irritation, frustration and impatience. For me that is sure signs that I need some time-out.

Yesterday morning when my husband and children left for school I spent the 2 hours on my guitar and keyboard and sitting infront of the fire place. The Father restored to me my space of grace again.

A moms time-out, a slow strike or whatever you may call it, is as important as breathing. We need to make time to breath among all the demands of being a wife and mother and whatever other roles we fulfill, without feeling guilty about it. If we choose not to take time-out for our heart building things, our home becomes a place of frustration and irritation that no one wants to be.

May we all find the courage to take that time to be restored to rest and favour in our own hearts in the midst of the demands we face.

Harp’s clean teeth


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Last week

we went to the oral and dental hospital for Harp’s oral hygiene appointment. As we came in we met a lady whose son turned nearly blind about a year ago. As we exchanged numbers we could encourage each other.

At his appointment the ladies were very understanding and gentle with him. I discovered that if I hold his jaw gently with one hand and massage him on one side it is easier for him to keep his mouth open. The one lady even helped with the assesment regarding his wisdom teeth at a total different department.

We thank you for your kindness, grace and patience with Harp as he comes in for every appointment. You are doing great work.

Moving from the valley of tears to ‘Brother’-stream


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This rainbow greeted us as we left to sleep in our new house for the first time.

For three and a half years we learned to sing when breathing seemed too much. We learned to trust El Shadai is there through the thick, smothering darkness that tried to banish all faith and hope. At times it seemed that it has been accomplishing its purpose. At times I lost my hope and faith and wanted to curl up and die, because continuing to live in a state of lost and broken dreams seemed too much. Many days I thought my Creator Father could not worry about the details of my life and if He did it did not matter to Him.

When we ministered and prayed for others He answered with breakthrough. People started trusting us with their inward struggles and heart battles quicker than ever. He answered prayer regarding ministry but regarding our personal lives I experienced silence. I chose to sing and encourage others on my darkest days. He used that to teach me that the only way to bring hope back in the midst of the darkness is to encourage others with the essence of His character and dreams for Africa.

A week ago we moved to this place after looking for a house. When we came to look at this place I was excited immediately. When my husband and I stood in the kitchen last week to negotiate with the landlord, the kids quietly jumped up and down behind him with their thumbs up. When we asked about a school and he said that it is walking distance the deal was done for me.

From the kitchen to lots of other small details, our Father provided for us. When I walked back to school the other day I could breathe easily. The atmosphere was light and after our deposit was also sorted out I knew that we needed to be in this area for a while. For the first time in years I felt welcome in my own home.

I believe the Father brought us here to be instrumental to bring forth a prototype of root-reconciliation. Our first visitors was a family to whom we were reconciled just last weekend.

Here in this gateway between Gauteng and North West I believe we are going to be built up again in every aspect so we can continue to spread the message of hope and root-reconciliation.