These past few years have been so turbulent I didn’t know which way was up. I was lonely, depressed and often suicidal thoughts came – more like – I may as well not be here and would I be missed at all? Then my mom died in Cape Town. I left the church I was attending, Covid happened, Sciatica pains bore down incessantly, telephonic assessments from doctors, anti-social behaviour from a neighbour for eighteen months, with little sleep, allowed me to move home to a lovely peaceful area, which helped me with staying in because of covid. My new flat is half the size of the old one so masses of stuff went off to charity including furniture as I had no space for it. Now I can’t find anything because it’s either stored in a storage basket or tucked away in drawers out of sight, so I can’t remember or see what’s in them. Plus, a single bed again like a child. Finding a new church is never easy. Finding a new doctor is terribly frustrating, especially over the phone. Compassion never seems to be part of the deal. One of them told me I had Osteoporosis after initially telling me there was nothing wrong with me and to keep taking the pain killers. Strong ones that played havoc with my existing digestive ailments. More X-rays and scans at the hospital during covid. I found a new doctor who said I had Osteoarthritis. After struggling to walk for nearly two years finally there was some clue where the pain was coming from. An ambulance took me to hospital early one Sunday morning with chest pains which was actually a hiatus hernia. After waiting twelve hours I got a taxi home. It’s safe to say that I had a hard time dealing with it all on my own. Yup depression came knocking too. I just recently, suffered the worst flu I’ve ever had in my life, completely flat out like a zombie I was. One quickly realises who your friends are – or not.
I so wanted to write and to blog but I just couldn’t. Things have been whirling around in my head for many years but it’s all muddled up.
My mind went back many years to a beach similar to the above gorgeous pic from PIXABY. I was on a beach in Cape Town, called Llandudno. It had huge rocks to nestle up to and sink down on a towel. At that time, it was often empty of crowds and one could soak up the sun in solitude. I love the sun and the joy of lying on a beach with only the sound of the gulls and now and again a loud crash of the waves dumping down on the sand.
Once I’d soaked up enough heat, I strolled over to the freezing Atlantic. I soon got used to the cold and thoroughly enjoyed the sea and relaxed. Then suddenly, the biggest wave I’ve ever seen loomed threateningly above and astonishingly realised at the same time, I could not swim away as I felt myself being sucked in. As this huge wave appeared I also felt the ground disappear and realised there was a ridge in the sand beneath my feet at that very moment with a sudden drop down to much deeper level; like a cliff edge. The monster wave pounded down tons of water with an almighty crash on top of me. I was deafened and swirling around in a major panic! It was noisy and fierce and rough and very, very dark and terrifying. I like swimming so was not scared of the water but this was something way off the chart! I thank God I held my breath. I allowed myself to be chucked about with the sea until I knew which way was up. I was so happy to see the light of the sun way up there somewhere, so I dragged my way up to it with every ounce of strength I had left. What absolute joy and gratitude I felt coming to the light and fresh air!
I meandered drunkenly to my towel and collapsed heavily on it and just lay there under that magnificent blue sky, hearing the sea and birds, feeling the presence of the towering Apostle mountains behind me, standing strong and silent. My body soaked up the warmth again as I thought how great it was to be alive. “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” Psalm 19: 1-2.
Thank you, Jesus, for being my Light of the world and for getting me through all this. I know you are sovereign and in control. The joy of the Lord is my strength and indeed you are. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, and I will.
It was as though my whole life of feeling abandoned, pain, abuse, struggles, trials, derision, fears, rejection, divorce and various illnesses, near death experiences and unacceptableness everywhere I went, has just been dumped down on me from a dizzy height, and sapped the life out of me.
Psalm 28:7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him and I am helped; therefore, my heart exalts, and with my song I shall thank him.
Proverbs 12:25 Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression. But a good word makes it glad.
Sadly, there was no word forthcoming, but I was aware of Satan’s isolation tricks. So, I prayed on my own and called on him daily. He kept reminding me to trust not in man, they let you down, but also pray for your enemies, so I ran to him every time. During covid of course I didn’t see my daughter and her husband but I, on the other hand have never liked speaking of my issues.
Despite it all Father, you cause all things to work together for good to those who love you. I pray I am able to be a good witness for you. I’m determined now to walk away from all things past and believe in your plan for me. Yes, there have been many who’d rather I was drowned and crushed along the way but it’s you who’s in control so they have no chance. Onwards and upwards. Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war… it is indeed a war. Put your armour on and keep marching. With the cross of Jesus going on before!
Walking behind a young couple, with a little kiddie walking in the middle, when suddenly, dad dashed into a driveway, near the entrance and began uprooting a plant. I wasn’t close enough to see much – but they walked off with a small plant.
Saddened and shocked, I pondered on this seemingly insignificant incident – to them.
But that’s just it. It isn’t insignificant at all.
Mum must surely have felt embarrassed, or perhaps she was used to that sort of thing. The child – well he/she just had a lesson in how to steal. Dad – well he thinks he’s got away with it because no one saw him.
Sad state of affairs, don’t you think?
One could say they’ve never been told its wrong to take what’s not yours, and in todays world its probably true.
But once again the bible, or ‘the good book’, or the Word of God, says ‘You shall not steal’ Exodus 20:15. And not knowing isn’t an excuse, as God gave everyone a conscience to warn us of wrong doing or going against Gods word. We instinctively know. Even a child will lie and say “no it wasn’t me” when caught. Or something similar. We’ve all done it.
So if the law of the land doesn’t catch you out, reaping and sowing does still happen. Or, what goes around comes around. They’ll get their comeuppance. When we steal from others, someone will steal from us. The theft is bad seed. Only negative results will come about, and it may not be in the way of theft even. We don’t know.
God sees everything.
What you do to others will be done to you.
So somewhere down the line someone will steal from you. Maybe not a plant either, but anything belonging to you or your family even. What a risk.
Ignorance of Gods word is allowing sin to to rule all our lives.
And to think – there are even churches (?) – who won’t mention sin in case it offends someone. They are in fact preventing people from knowing the truth and how they can be freed from sin and its power and its consequences. They’re supposed to be preaching the Word of God who loves people and doesn’t want any to perish. Makes you wonder who’s their god.
The blessed Lord Jesus died to save us from it all because he loves us, even though we were sinners – born in sin – he went to the cross to save us from the power of sin over us. God knew we would sin and gave us Jesus, to save us from it. Only One who is sinless could save us.
But for centuries people reject his offer of salvation because they choose to live the way they do. Their pride won’t allow them to admit they are wrong. So they deny him. But that’s no excuse.
Sadly they will still pay for it, according to the word of God.
By the way, I’ve made dozens – no hundreds – no thousands of mistakes, so I know how it feels.
As a single parent I lied to get a job. I was broken and desperate. I just wanted a job to start again. To try and pick myself up from the derision I’d suffered. I knew I’d lied. But years later when I looked back, I thought to myself what an idiot I was to give it up. Then my conscience kicked in, wham – nothing good can happen when you break the Ten Commandments. When we lie we sin. It was only natural that the job didn’t last. You can’t build on sand.
Everything has consequences.
But God is merciful and doesn’t want anyone to perish. When we genuinely seek him and his forgiveness, he will make a way for you to come to him. Just like the thief on the cross…
Luke 23: 41-43. And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong. And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”
What a gift!
I was a squashed cabbage leaf when I came to Jesus, and he made me brand new.
Psalm 34:18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
That’s why I was saddened by what I witnessed that day with that young couple. I knew the risk. All I could do was pray for them.
Huh! Don’t be daft I hear you say. Why blame the government?
Whilst queuing in a post office one day and watching a dad at a loss with his young son, who was pulling leaflets off a stand nearby and throwing them on the floor. The child of course took no notice of being told to pick them up. This went on for some time as poor dad begged and tried to assert authority but to no avail.
I imagine dad was very aware of all eyes on him, wondering what he was going to do. And, knowing full well, that someone would most likely report him if he gave the child a smack and showed any kind of authority.
The dad continued to beg the child to pick up the leaflets with no result, then the child turned round and said no! you pick them up! And so dad did as he was told.
The fifth commandment says – Honour your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you. Exodus 20:12
“The key to societal stability is reverence and respect for parents and their authority…..” notes from my John MacArthur study bible.
So yeah I do blame governments who have put laws in place that forbid scriptural teaching in schools and penalise parents for disciplining their children.
What do adults do if they have a hysterical person losing their grip – they slap them across the face to shake them out of it. A quick smack on the bottom of a child does the same thing and lets them know that you are in charge. Doing nothing lets the devil know he can use them to do his work, because the parents are not in charge.
No one is saying beat them up or use uncontrolled vicious angry outbursts. That should never happen. But loving parents do not do that. By teaching them right from wrong is however the most loving thing you can do for them.
Its glaringly obvious that people the world over refuse point blank to do as they are told, which would never have happened if they knew that their actions have consequences.
I doubt if many in government know the bible nor understand it. But they’re quick to agree with anti-Christs in order to win votes.
Now they end up with spending millions to pick up everywhere and cleanse the sea.
Yup annoying isn’t it?
Just think what a difference it would make if personnel only made some connection with you – like
Eye contact – a smile – a greeting …dare I say…
Some acknowledgement you’re actually visible.
Imagine if a few seconds were spent saying – hi – good day – won’t be long – we’re just a bit busy – take a seat…
Drs surgeries and pharmacists and indeed all people dealing with the public, would not suffer abuse I’m sure – if they showed some compassion. That means putting oneself in another’s shoes – meaning, imagining how the customer/patient feels. Here’s the thing… if they are in a medical environment, they most likely are unwell…that’s why they are there.
If people are just plain rudely ignored, and not given an option, but to wait, let’s be honest, it is annoying! And, makes one more ill.
Golden Rule – Jesus said treat people the way you would like to be treated.
I agree staff members have certain roles and it may not be their job to attend to everyone, but hey the public don’t know that – they see you standing there and talking most likely – and NOT attending to them. Whereas you could have saved the whole situation by just saying hello – we’ll be with you shortly.
Laws don’t change people’s hearts. No matter how many signs you stick on the wall. Only Jesus can. He teaches how to love thy neighbour (golden rule). When you love others, you automatically treat them kindly.
I’ve so many thoughts pinging in my head, and making me dizzy …but where to touch down?
“There’s no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you” Maya Angelou.
Those crippling memories of my first book flop, haunt my mind relentlessly. But I mustn’t dither now, just get on with it, and start again…a small voice prompts…
It was with great difficulty that I tried to cope with my frequent illnesses, over the past few years…finally someone listened. The X-ray called for more checks; osteoarthritis in the lower back. Now that I’m able to walk again with the aid of more amazing pills, I’m going to push through my melancholic/phlegmatic nature – which so easily takes hold – and get up.
I miss my mom. Heaven awaits.
God is sovereign, keep tuning in…
Remembering times of being useful helped too. So here goes.
I’m thinking of my very first job working behind a counter. Ouch what a come down from my cosmetic buyer role in an office. Now, after my divorce, I was on full display to the public. Completely out of my comfort zone. But it was a job.
The position was in a large departmental store in Cape Town. In the quiet, men’s department. The counter was small with two people handling the whole show. The delightful young man working for a huge American corporation, which sold gorgeous men’s fragrances and treatments. The first company I think to introduce men’s facial and body creams and potions. The very same company I was a buyer for in Johannesburg, so I was familiar with the products. I think also, he was the first man to hold such a role. The other half of the counter was where I came in, selling all local and international fine fragrances for men.
We were a great team. He taught me everything and was super kind to me; treated me like a mom actually. He lovingly hovered around me when customers approached and asked for things I’d not heard of, I gratefully allowed him to discuss the product for me. He was very protective, and always stood up for me. His half of the counter was flourishing, due to his excellent sales pitch. Something I knew nothing of. This young man was talented and loved fashion, and knew what was new and hot off the press, so to speak. He was a gay fellow, who lived with his mom. She taught him to sew, which encouraged him to make his own clothes, a natural for glamour and fashion. He used to help her as a youngster, with all her sewing orders, fitting everything. He was lovely and tall and well built, with a sharp wit and a hilarious sense of humour.
I was so fond of that caring young man. He showed immense maturity and compassion for my lowly situation, that of a single parent with tremendous hardships. And my being an early Christian, I was yet to learn that the trials and sufferings on our journey through life, always teach us something. And, we learn the most at those times. We are focussed yes, but also anxious to overcome it. And with Gods help we do. Provided we stay tuned in to Him who is sovereign, and has allowed the trial to happen especially to conform us to his Son Jesus Christ. My new friend with his genuine care helped build me up again, and was a blessing to me.
Just what I needed.
There were many young black men coming to the counter, who were also keen to try new things. And like me, hadn’t heard of the men’s perfume names.
I became acutely aware of their shyness and hesitation of how to go about things. New fragrances were coming out weekly and they wanted to be in the know too.
But how could they? If they didn’t even know how to ask for it. I’d notice them standing at a distance trying to read (if they could) the name – or even just to point to the bottles. My heart broke for them, knowing exactly what they were going through. Feeling embarrassed about not knowing something, and never daring to ask, to avoid being mocked or laughed at for not knowing.
I started putting a few testers on the counter, for them to come and pick up a bottle and try it out. Which was a start. Until the managers complained about leaving them out in case of theft.
Then I came up with another idea. I went out and bought a small, colourful tin tray to put on top of the counter, and displayed a few popular and new fragrance testers on it. The customers flocked around gathering information, enjoying the opportunity of trying new products. They soon learned how to pronounce them with confidence and the word spread. We were off!
My sales rocketed to the amazement of all the clients I dealt with. The big cheeses from Chanel came down from Johannesburg to see for themselves. The tiny counter that was beating sales all over the country! But the colourful tin tray simply did not do! Chanel replaced it with a lovely silver one. So ever since then tester trays became the greatest tools in the Fragrance world.
My ability to sell wasn’t the issue. It’s how you treat people that garners sales.
Jesus taught me. He turned all my pain and humiliation of my past into a many good uses. I recognized suffering in others and wanted to fix it.
Matthew 7:12. …treat people the same way you want them to treat you… I yearned for people to be patient with me as a child, and teach me things I couldn’t understand. But I learned never to ask.
The popular saying, that only clever people ask questions, never rang true with me.
Growing up in South Africa, of course there was racism. But after becoming a Christian I learned man was made in God’s image. We’re all the same, but many wrongs were committed.
I understood that my prospective customers, had walked for miles, hours even, to get to work. Out of necessity, due to the locations they were placed. Miles away from anything. Public transport was pitiful if not non-existent. Their home life was nothing like most whites. There might have been a tin bath with cold water, and then have to share with many others in the early hours of a dark morning.
After hours of walking – often running, brought on massive perspiration for which they were often mocked. Their jobs probably demanded being on their feet most of the day doing heavy work, and on an empty stomach.
I was an anxious person growing up, suffering with tension headaches and frightened of everything. I perspired terribly which was most embarrassing, with hideous dark patches under the arms on my clothes. When I started work at fifteen years of age, I soon learned about anti-perspirants and cheaper scents, in the beginning. As soon as I could afford the best quality, that became a ‘must have’. I understood.
It was only natural my customers wanted a nice fragrance or deodorant. I made sure they had plenty to choose from. They were so proud when they were able to buy something special that made them feel good.
2 Corinthians 1: 3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
Glory be to God the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
There isn’t a human experience that Jesus doesn’t know about.
Kindness is like a passport; you’re welcome anywhere.
Picture by Pixabay
like an arctic wind
disinterested eyes divide
Wasted seeds underfoot
tears wash away
down invisible walls
haughtiness crowns itself
pride can’t receive
nay, won’t receive
refuses to need
jealousy weaves; entraps
hope is forlorn
yet ever expectant
All what we see in the world today …
Hatred, rudeness, unkindness, selfishness, arrogant pride, haughtiness, discrimination against any nation = racism, disrespect for one another, dishonouring of parents and elderly, lack of obedience to parents, ingratitude to the generosity and help offered by others, and especially by those in the emergency and medical services, refusing to be told or taught by parents and teachers and all in authority, spitting, mocking, vile language, rage, killings, raping, kidnapping, intimate relations with anyone outside of biblical marriage, bullying, cruelty to all animals, abusing animals for money, taking what’s not yours, not telling the truth, destroying property or someone else’s possessions…
Is all evidence of how sinful we are born – with evil hearts – no one taught us this way, it’s the natural progression of Adams disobedience to God. (Yes, Eve sinned too, but she was lovingly put under his protection, and chose to move out of it and fell – taking all mankind with, in the Fall). But we’re not all the same in our sinfulness, but nevertheless, sinful.
When we engage in any of those sinful behaviours, things inevitably go wrong.
Jesus came down into the world to teach us the correct way, the righteous way, but people still wanted their way to be right, they chose darkness.
But God – Jesus – loved the world so much, he took all the world’s sins in his own body, and died on the cross to save us, from eternal depravity, darkness and suffering in hell, so that believing in Him we can become brand new, born again, free from the power of sin.
Nations that have denied parents and schools, teaching about Jesus and disciplining their children to live godly clean lives, to bring honour to them and worship God, have rejected Gods love and protection and grace, and bring on themselves worldly disasters without his help.
Guess what? They blame God! It’s what they choose.
People who love God, love Jesus, love the bible – the Word of God, love their neighbour, and want to help others and be kind and loving. Its natural. It shows we belong to a higher realm, because we honour God who made us and we desire to obey.
Yes, we Christians, still make mistakes in our sinful earthly flesh, daily sometimes even, but we have a Father in heaven who loves us and by His grace he protects us and brings us back to him for repentance, so we can live in rest and peace now, even when things go wrong and we get sick, and even after we die here on earth. We’ll always be in rest and peace with Him for all eternity.
Rejoice in the birth of Christ! There’s no greater Gift!
Ps…for the first time in 7 decades, I have felt free to speak…
Never forget! Bullying and derision is a sin.
I’ve always been fascinated by the physical strength of men. They’re just so strong… I mean very simply they can pick up heavy things without the slightest sign of a struggle.
I love to see their natural instincts – irrespective of their age – to rush and help where they see a need. When I’ve taken a taxi – in the good old days – they’d hop out and rush to lift your heavy suitcase into the cab, as if it was filled with tissue paper. Meanwhile, I needed two hands to drag it to that point with great struggle and pain. They like to be helpful, because they can, without effort. There’s been many a time, when my heavy suitcase was lifted to the top or bottom of a bridge on train stations in my travels.
And then you get stupid women saying ‘I don’t need a man to help me’… one old lady told me she hit a taxi drivers’ hand when he opened the door… cussing rudely – “I don’t need your help”!
Getting them to stop doing that is like trying to get a cat to bark. It’s in their blood.
I’ve often stopped at building sites to gaze in wonder at men carrying out really heavy work. They actually enjoy it! It’s like a major work out. I’m not keen on Mr Universe though.
Then there’s the male ballet and ballroom dancers; no matter how slightly built they are, lifting the ladies up over their heads as if they’re dolls! Absolutely incredible.
Men are strong. They are made that way. Their bones are longer, bigger; their skin is thicker too, and hairier. All to equip them for their heavy work, and life. They don’t feel the bumps and scratches like women do.
Watch them skate on their knees on the sports fields after scoring a point. My stomach flips just watching.
Even their bladder and stomachs are larger.
Men are strong.
God made them that way.
But – their one weakness is their eyes.
How do you know? I hear you say…
- Have you ever seen a guy walk into a lamp post while his head is turned towards a pretty girl walking past?
- Driving in a car and the driver can’t bring his eyes back onto the road – same reason?
- Girls in the office who don’t dress appropriately are always noticed, particularly by the men.
- Many a wife have caught their men with their mouths open as they say – with their eyes glued, seemingly, to an attractive female passing by.
- Coming home on the tube one day – a very young girl standing with her older sister – I assumed – in the section between two carriages – she was wearing dark tights with quite tight, very short, shorts over them, and a pretty top…she was a young teenager. I surreptitiously glanced up and down the carriage, which was one of those new tubes where the seats were opposite each other, so I could see quite clearly that every male person for as far as I could see, had their eyes on this young girl, and not on her face either.
I prayed for every boy and man who couldn’t take their eyes off that girl that day. For almighty God to intercede in their thoughts and cut them off from it and forget about it.
The devil roams around like a roaring lion to see whom he can devour. 1 Peter 5:7
The trouble is, when the scenery changes, those thoughts of what they saw, stay in their minds, if they dwell on it, it can arouse further feelings, ending up in lust. (Strong sexual desire – even uncontrolled).
Now the best example of all is King David of the bible. He looked down over his balcony one night, and saw Bathsheba bathing. He had to have her, and he did, and the rest is history.
For those of you who don’t know the history. King David naturally had many guards and soldiers surrounding him, willing to do whatever he asked. He arranged for her to be brought to his quarters and ended up having sex with her. When she later told him she was pregnant he arranged for her husband to be killed in battle so he could take her as his wife. A baby boy was born but later died.
She was sexually assaulted, had to mourn the death of her husband whom she loved, then loses her baby.
The wages of sin is death. Romans 6:23
Read the story – 2 Samuel 11:2 – 12:23
He wrote Psalm 51 after that.
God is merciful and sovereign.
What of the desires of men, as they go about their daily living? If they don’t know the bible, they won’t have heard of praying for help, or even knowing of self-control. They may continue with those thoughts and turn to the internet, where they can look at anything in secret to fulfil their lust. They may go to the pub and try having a drink to forget it. They will never discuss it, (men are strong – and that is a sign of weakness – in their eyes), so they believe that they are on their own, and also, that they are the only one to go through those feelings. It’s not unknown that they may even know the bible, but they feel ashamed and won’t tell.
If you’re a Christian, please pray for all men and boys.
To be continued…
After the crushing effects of divorce, all the wheels fell off. I moved around in a blurry atmosphere most of the time. I couldn’t go for an interview without having a panic attack. I took on various temping jobs, eventually I found myself working behind cosmetic counters. Anyway, here I was in a beautiful department store in Cape Town, working behind an equally beautiful counter, watching a shopper browsing languidly through many items of clothes hanging on the walls, whilst baby in the pram was crying non stop.
It tore my heart up till I couldn’t stand it anymore. The store was dead quiet being early morning still. I left my equally quiet counter and walked up to the pram, asking mum if I could hold the baby. “Oh yes she said – its been fed so its not hungry”. I picked up the tiny bundle and placed her comfortably on my chest / shoulder area and held her tight, rubbing her back as I rocked her. Pretty soon out popped a huge burp. Mom turned around and sheepishly came toward us and apologised.
Oh, don’t worry I said, I know exactly how you feel. No one to help you, you’re at the end of your rope and feel like a floor rag, no doubt you’ve been up half the night, right? She nodded tearfully. No wonder you want a nice dress to perk you up. Lack of sleep makes the best of us ratty and impatient. Our nerves don’t connect and the whole body is out of whack.
Try find someone to help you sometimes I suggested, you need some – me time – to recharge the battery. Don’t be afraid to ask, sometimes people think you’ve got it all under control, and don’t like to ‘interfere’. Forget pride, baby’s life is at stake. You are all she knows and wants, she can’t talk, so how else is she going to let you know she’s in pain, they don’t usually cry for nothing.
I know it’s hard losing your independence, but having babies is when we come second – to everything. Our needs don’t count anymore, especially if you’re on your own. And, the shock horror truth of it all, is, that, that’s the deal for the next 18 years at least. It’s important to just love her and keep the lines open between you, that way she’ll know you’ll always be there for her. She was most grateful and hugged her baby tight.
When you come to faith in Jesus, acknowledge and repent of your sins, know he died for you and rose again, he lives in you, you become a new person. You’re born of his Spirit who leads you to help others, wherever you are. No matter the situation, you’ll just have wisdom and strength to be there. Bearing fruit for Jesus glorifies God.
I used to think I had to know how to speak to people about the bible, I knew I couldn’t be like pastors who know what to say. And especially with fears of being stupid always plaguing my mind, but compassion always won. So I just did what came naturally.