Hovering Between Helping the Poor and Personal Safety

1-51pm

This morning something happened that got me thinking! I was doing my Bible reading when the doorbell rang. It was 7-17am. I was still in my pajamas (of course!). The person rang the doorbell again. My bedroom overlooks the driveway and the doorbell. There was a gap in the curtain, so I got out of bed to see if perhaps it was our workers arriving early. Nope, there was no car in the road or the driveway. As I looked through the gap in the curtain, I saw a man standing on the road and another at the doorbell. He rang it again. This was now annoying! I went to the internal phone that communicates with the front gate and said, “hello” but the person didn’t answer. While I had the phone in my hand, he rang again! That was really irritating. I opened the balcony door and the man on the street told the guy at the gate where I was. I look down and it was one of Mike’s ‘regular’ visitors who come when they need something. I told him I couldn’t help him and he buoyantly and happily walked off with his companion.

What was that all about? What should my response have been? I felt guilty for not helping someone who asks, but at the same time, wisdom is needed as to the motive of the men who approached the house at 7-17am. Was he  persistent in his ringing because he wanted to find out if anyone was home? Was one left on the street to keep an eye out for someone coming?

Unsettled, I went back to my Bible reading to have this as part of it…

Isaiah 32:7 says,

“The scoundrel’s methods are wicked, he makes up evil schemes to destroy the poor with lies, even when the plea of the needy is just.”

The devil loves to make us feel guilty. The Bible is laden with verses that promote helping the poor and needy. Yes, we must do that. But we live in a society that is, let’s just say it as it is, crime-ridden. While there is crime & mischief the world over, we in South Africa have high levels of unemployment, which drives up criminal activity. I continued with my Bible reading and read Galatians 5:1

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery.”

Good deeds are not going to get us to  heaven, but we cannot ignore the plight of the poor. We need to do what the Bible says and help the poor but we need to be wise when it comes to our personal safety. We do the best that we can at the time. I know for sure, God does not want me living in a haze of guilt over the desire I have to protect myself against danger. The devil, on the other hand, would love for me to live in a guilt-laden cage. I need to find the balance.  Galatians 5:6b

“The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” 

One way we can formally support the poor is to give to an organisation that has a ministry to the poor. Cape Town’s Living Hope is one such organisation. By financially supporting them, you are supporting a number of ministries to the less fortunate. Visit them at  www.livinghope.co.za to learn how to donate.

Living hope

That’s my formal support of the poor. Informally, we help where we can, but giving money at traffic lights and to beggars on the street is probably not the wisest way to help them. We do give food to those who come to the door. Sometimes, Mike will pay them to wash his car.  But we have to be careful. After this morning’s little episode, I was left thinking. This well-dressed youngster that Mike has helped multiple times may have been after a handout, or he may have been ‘casing the joint’ – just checking to see if anyone was home with an ulterior motive in mind. I just can’t be sure. “The poor you will have with you always.” – Words of Jesus in Matthew 26:11. This problem won’t be going away here, there or anywhere. We may as well adjust, support a ministry that helps the poor and evaluate any other need or opportunity based on the wisdom God gives you. We do the best we can at the time.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude Pic….today I will reap another strawberry ‘harvest’….last time it was two – ha! We are growing…

Strawberry harvest 2

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Freedom!

1-45pm

It’s been a process adjusting to life as a work- from- home wife and freelancer. My time is now so flexible compared to the rigidity of clock-watching required in the world of radio. Time waits for no man! In my radio life, a life that I loved so much, time ruled my world. I was always aware of the time…throughout my waking hours, I always knew where I was in the course of time. While on air, the time frame was more acute. Seconds counted…”you’ve got 10 seconds,” I would say, as the frazzled newsreader bolted into the studio. Ten seconds to compose yourself before the world hears what you have to say! That’s stress. Hindsight is 20/20 and as I peer over my shoulder at my life in those days, this is the little picture I see…

Lady on a hamster wheelThere I was, in a cage, on a wheel, treading, walking, pacing, moving, focused, ALL the time. My calm exterior belied internal busy-ness that was unbeknownst to me was both exhausting and stressful. Now that I’m no longer there,  I’ve regularly thought back and seen the Rise and Shine show as my massive elephant-like companion – it accompanied me everywhere I went. 24 hours a day, it was there, beside me, sometimes pushing out other thoughts, demanding ongoing attention; crying ‘feed me’ multiple times a day! It regularly squashed itself between Mike & I on the couch, in the bed, at the dinner table. Relentlessly, I carried this  giant around. Although heavy and cumbersome, I loved it. Sometimes, it was like an enthusiastic puppy, bounding ahead with me attached by a rope and hanging on for dear life…laughing as I went amazed at its energy. Other times, I dragged it, with its heels dug in , I tugged and pulled and pleaded and sweating profusely, I heaved it uphill. I loved it, but I carried a lot of the load on my own. The only way I did it was through the grace of God. I couldn’t. He did.  It was the best of times; it was the hardest of times. As I got to the end of my season, I was petrified of getting off the hamster wheel for ever. I had climbed off it for periods of time, but this would be permanently. How would I cope?

Now that 3 1/2 months have passed, I have a pretty good idea of how I coped! I jumped off that hamster wheel and hung around the cage a bit. Eventually, I edged towards the door of the cage and gingerly pushed it open. It’s in recent weeks, that I have thrown it right back, leaped joyously from the entrance and cried FREEDOM!!

On the day, I handed in my resignation, I was bewildered. I was confused and stunned at what I had done. I felt this was how God was leading me, but I didn’t know for sure. Probably, one of the phrases I used hundreds of times during this season is “it’s time.”  I just felt, it was time to lay down my headphones. In hindsight, I can clearly see that it was time. That endless clock had to stop ticking – my Rise and Shine clock stopped!

It’s been a process getting to where I am today. After 10 years of taking care of Rise and Shine, freedom was never going to happen overnight. Sometimes, you have to be very patient with yourself and let the process take its course. I’m blessed that it’s only taken 3 months.

And I’m just so grateful that I survived letting it go. It was a leap of faith to leave. Now it’s a leap of joy that I was obedient.

1048783-Royalty-Free-RF-Clip-Art-Illustration-Of-A-Cartoon-Couple-Swing-DancingI loved working at CCFm. I loved presenting Rise and Shine but there is a season for everything and, almost unexpectedly, my season ended at the end of May.

Ecclesiastes 3:

There is a time for everything,  and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

Each of us are on a journey, in a season. Whichever season you are in, know God wants you to be happy. He wants you to live in freedom. If the season seems bleak, a better one is coming.

Hang in there. Keep the smile going.

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude Pic….winter’s day in Cape Town…

View from the balcony

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Being at Peace With EVERYONE?!

3-54pm

There is a verse in the Bible that says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” It comes from Romans 12:18.

How is this possible?

There have been a few people in my life with whom peace-keeping has been difficult!  To be honest, in the end, I’d rather just let them be and not get involved in their lives.

But living at peace with everyone is not a sweet ideal – it’s a Biblical instruction. Paul lived and worked with people too. They weren’t easy. Several times in Paul’s letters, he refers to conflict and how to resolve it. No wonder he says, ‘If it is possible’; I can imagine that at times, it was not. You cannot control others. When you are at odds with someone else, you can only control yourself and your own response to them. You cannot control what they say or do. So if it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live at peace with them. That’s controlling your response to them….make it a peaceful response.

Sometimes, these things take time. If there has been a breakdown in a relationship and there is no peace between two people,  the passing of time may be required to soften the hearts of those involved, to allow acceptance, forgiveness and the fruit of peace.

I have been interested in what God has done for me, when I have had awkward relationships that have not exactly been fluffy and peaceful. Tense and uncomfortable are more accurate descriptions. Yet,after a while,  at the perfect time, God has led these people to cross my path aGod brings peacegain and in doing so, I have found my heart to be softened towards them. In fact after being hurt badly by someone, when I next encountered this person, my heart was no longer a heart of stone. I dug deep to see what had happened to the resentment I once harboured  - I looked for bitterness and anger, but it was gone. I was almost shocked. God removed it. He does the work.

There will always be difficult people. God does not rush. Sometimes, these things take time, so be patient. Keep praying. God will do the work. Living at peace with everyone is possible with God.

Today has been quite busy. Leonard and Saka fought with the sliding door. There is still some work to be done, but the battle will be won. Look at the before photo ….

Door before

 

Yay! My house is on the mend! Tomorrow, they probably won’t come as rain is forecast…

Weather

…but look at that sunny weekend…which reminds me, Mike & I are joining  friends for one night away on Saturday night. :D   Where? I actually don’t know!   I’m looking forward to that.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude Pic…I am feeling so so much better….the only cold is the weather and for that reason, I’ve got butternut/sweet potato soup on the stove…

Butternut and sweet potato soup

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Best Address/Worst Address

12-55

I was always interested in the diversity of the audience who listened to me when I was the Rise and Shine presenter. I once had a very unexpected experience in this regard. I had a friend who had an acquaintance who lived in a very exclusive part of Cape Town and during conversation it was mentioned that this person listened to Rise and Shine every day. Exclusive homeI imagined the upmarket listener going about their morning routine in their  expansive home with my voice bubbling across the airwaves as their company. On the same day, I stopped at a security point at the entrance to a housing estate and the security guard came to check me in. He looked down at my CCfm sticker and asked me if I worked there. When I said ‘yes’, he asked me who I was. When I told him, he jubilantly replied that he listened to me every day. I asked him where he lived. Masiphumulele. I imagined this person going about their morning routine in their tiny shack with my voice bubbling across the airwaves as their company.

Masi on a sunny dayI was humbled by the thought. Imagine that?! That’s the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Whether you live in a palace or a prison, God’s love for you is the same.

Taking of mansions,  I saw a house the other day that was pretty much just that….a magnificent home, overlooking the ocean. I imagined living there. In my mind’s eye, I thought about standing in this home, going about my daily routine in this palatial place. I felt exclusive. I felt superior. I was a cut about the rest. Then I knew, unless there was a lot of work on my soul, I could not live there. It is very difficult for a rich man to remain humble. Wealth is relative. You can have a bankful of money and be very unhappy. You can live at an exclusive address, but there will always be someone who has more than you. My  home is a mansion to the shack dwellers nearby, but my home is a shack to those who live  at the top addresses of Cape Town. Judge neither.

Front garden

Regardless of whether we live with a lot or a little, God wants us to remain humble.  This morning, I read Isaiah 23. Verse 9

The Lord Almighty planned it, to bring low the pride of all glory and to humble all who are renowned on the earth.

Remain humble!

Leonard and Saka are hard at work. Yesterday, they finished the bay window in the kitchen and now they are working on replacing all the putty from the cottage panes in the main lounge window…

Lounge windowIt is a HUGE job. Getting all the old putty out, carefully removing the panes of glass, sanding it all down, oiling it all up and putting the glass back with fresh putty. We’ll see how they get on today. Leonard is the man I used to pick up on my way to CCFm early in the morning. I gave him a lift to the station every morning for years. He retired many months ago and now is available for skilled work.  He’s a hard worker, entirely honest and a strong Christian. A little while ago as I passed by, it was good to hear them discussing the Bible. I’m so happy to have them sorting out our woodwork! #feelingblessed!

Keep the smile going!

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude Pic…I have had the mother of all colds! Yesterday I went through 90 tissues (half a box) – that is a seriously runny nose! Today, I’m grateful to be feeling a little less snotty! Last night, Mike took care of dinner and bought me flowers!….

Flowers

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The Power of a Cappuccino on a Dull Monday Morning!

11-59pm

Maybe my motive wasn’t entirely pure, but I have to say it was partially good. Today, Leonard and his handlanger arrived at my house to sort out the woodwork of the front windows. I promise you, just the fact that this long standing job is finally getting done makes me feel excited!  If I was still formally working, it would be tricky to co-ordinate, which is the reason it was neglected for so long. At 8am, they arrived and got stuck in. They have to take out the old putty, then the glass panes, sandpaper down the wood, put on the oil and put the panes back with fresh putty. Understandably,there would be a couple of broken panes of glass. Leonard bought a few sheets of old glass from his house and I took them down to Fish Hoek (Glass place on 1st  Ave – behind PnP) to have them cut up. One of my biggest weakness is that I’m not assertive enough. The man behind the counter Cappuccinotook the glass and my order and instead of me pre-empting it by saying, ‘can I wait for it to be done?’  I stupidly asked ‘when will it be ready?’  To which he replied, ‘later this afternoon!’ Oh boy! I was hoping to wait, but I said nothing.  I went a did some shopping (with my nose streaming – I have a terrible cold right now!). I picked up tissues and milk and then stopped at the coffee shop on the way out and bought a nice cappuccino. As I left the mall, I thought I should really go back to the glass shop and give the guy behind the counter my cappuccino. I didn’t want to. I started walking to my car. But again, I was prompted. “Go give the cappuccino to the Glassman.”  So I did. He laughed and accepted it and that was that.

It was an interesting social exercise. Let me see if he phones me later this afternoon to pick up the glass or if my cappuccino gift would prompt him to get it done a little earlier.

I got home and was just settling into bed when my cell phone rang (just after 10am!). Yip! It was the Glassman. Glass was ready! So I got up, put my shoes on and beetled back to the shop. And that was when I got my surprise: he did it for free!

The power of a cappuccino on a dull Monday morning!

We are all the same. We all want appreciation and affirmation. It’s also one of the ‘standards’ of the Bible. Galatians 2:6,

“As for those who seemed to be important – whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not judge by external appearances.” 

Great wealth does not impress God. Bling doesn’t do it for Him. Being of great importance to the world does not mean you are extra important to God. I believe God is looking at your attitude to what you have. Live life with palms wide open.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude Pic… the men at work on our wood!

Windows being done

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Elsie’s Peak Hike

2-54pm

Yesterday afternoon we walked up Elsie’s Peak. The last time I did it was a year ago. We parked a little below the start of the path and Riana came with Julian and I. They set off up the stairs, setting a determined pace…

Julian and RianaIt was warm – we took our time and stopped from time to time to enjoy the amazing view… this is Fish Hoek Beach side…we were about a third of the way up….

Fish Hoek from half way up Elsies Peak

All sorts of interesting creatures…I was feeling ‘sluggish’…

Slug on the way…but we soon got to the  mast…

Mast at the top of Elsies PeakIt was then just a short scramble up the rocks to the top…what a fabulous view…

Top of Elsies PeakThere was only one thing to do after that. Go out for tea and cake!  We ended up at Ellie’s Deli where they have Banting Chocolate Cake…

Banting Chocolate cake at Ellies Deli

It was ridiculously rich and filling. I would never have said it didn’t contain sugar or wheat. Served with fresh cream, I couldn’t quite finish mine. This was the picturesque view from our table…

Ellies DeliA lovely place to recover from a warm mountain walk!

Beautiful spring weather we’re having. This morning, after church, I made lunch and David and Julian have just left for the airport…Julian’s quick visit over already!

This morning, I started reading Galatians. Paul writes (Galatians 1:11)

“I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something  that man made up.”

The Gospel is what it is. It is God’s story. Matthew Henry says “Paul would not attempt to alter the doctrine of Christ, either to gain their favour, or to avoid their fury. In so important a matter we must not fear the frowns of men, nor seek their favour….”

The truth of the Bible provides a foundation that is rock solid in providing security for everyday life. When things are at their worst, I live in the knowledge that it’s not all about here and now. This life, with its trials and torments will pass. One day we will step over the great divide between our time-bound mortal life and the eternal one to come. I’m enjoying my life here on earth, but the life ahead is going to be a gazillion times better!

Keep the smile going.

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude Pic… another view of the fairest Cape in all the world…Glencairn Beach in the foreground…Simonstown in the distance.

Magnificent view

 

 

 

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Saturday Morning Cleanup

11-27am

The cottage is going to be occupied by a more permanent tenant in 2 weeks time. It has become a high priority to clean up a disastrous area of rubbish that had accumulated next to the cottage….it was just a convenient place to dump stuff. Check it out…

Before from the topThe peeps that cleared the back garden a month ago were supposed to take all this junk away, but they didn’t. So it was left up to us. Mike bought a massive piece of black plastic, put the seats down at the back of his car, got our gardener to come in this morning and we got stuck in….well they got stuck in! All I did was pull out all the overgrown grass that you can see in this picture and sweep the place out when the first load was being taken. The result was dramatic…

What a difference

It only took a couple of hours. As I was doing my bit, I said to Mike, ‘let us never let it get into this state again.’ It comes back down to it not being a priority in our lives. Our focus was on other more important things. Now, the house has our attention! :-) It feels great! It makes me feel we are taking control. In years gone by, we enjoyed looking at houses for sale and were always a little more interested in the houses that ‘needed a little work’ or were described as ‘fixer uppers.’ Well guess what? We are living in our own ‘fixer upper’ & I’m happy  to say our progress is going along in leaps and bounds. On Monday, Leonard arrives and he will get stuck into the cottage pane windows that need all the putty taken out of them, the panes put back in and then they need varnishing. Mike was trying to wait for retirement, but you know what? When he retires, there will be other maintenance to do. Maintenance never goes away!

Meantime, inside the cottage it is almost ready for new tenant Dustin…

New cottage cushions

It’s a beautiful overcast day here in Cape Town. Julian arrived last night from Jo’burg. He is doing some work this morning and then this afternoon we plan on walking up Elsies Peak. Good to get out and enjoy the mountain on a glorious spring day….

Elsies Peak signLooking forward to that.

I found this fabulous quote from Amy Carmichael…

 “A day or two ago I was thinking rather sadly of the past—so many sins and failures and lapses of every kind. I was reading Isaiah 43, and in verse 24 I saw myself: ‘You have wearied me with your iniquities.’ And then for the first time I noticed that there is no space between verse 24 and verse 25:

‘I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins.’”

God blots out our transgressions for our own sake!  I’ve never noticed that before!

Keep the smile going.

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :)

Gratitude Pic….ahhhhh, I love after pics…

Next to the cottage after now that we have cleaned it

 

 

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More van Niekerk Dirt…

1-42pm

Looking back, it seems a decade on air resulted in a decade of house neglect! In hindsight, I seemed to be on a hamster wheel, like a machine, just going and going and going and certainly not stopping to notice the house falling into a state of disrepair. We have our ‘fixer upper!’ With the vine sprouting all over the place, I think I will be making the Septembers to come my balcony balustrade maintenance month. I’ve finished the varnishing (although I see I missed a beam which I’ll have to get to). Not long after I finished up at CCFm, Mike asked me to see if the dirt would just come off the painted beams of the balcony roof. I never did it. Yesterday afternoon, I decided to have a nap and as I lay down on my bed, with a novel in my hand, the dirty beams caught my eye. “Now is as good a time as ever,” I thought, followed by, “If it is to be, it is up to me!” And so I hopped off my bed, filled a bucket with all manner of cleaning liquid and got to it. It was hugely satisfying. The dirt came away easily and I managed one entire side of the balcony. I’ll do the other side maybe today, maybe next week! 

Before….

Before

After……(that black blotch I couldn’t get cleaner!)

AfterI had to empty the dirty water out a few times and replace it with clean. While I was up there scrubbing away (with gloves on), as I looked at the filthy rag, I wondered if that term is in the Bible. I found it in Isaiah 64:6

We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind.

Pretty grim picture. That’s why we can’t ‘work’ our way to heaven. We can’t be so perfect to meet God’s standard of holiness.

Jesus came to sort out our sin. John 3:16

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

I love the simplicity of the Gospel.

So the balcony is slowly being sorted and the vine will be able to grow as much as it wants. On the 8th September, I took a photo of this bud….

Bud on 8th September

Here it is 48 hours later…

48 hours laterWe certainly have shoots coming out all over the place…this is the first one I started taking photos of…

More buds

From very small beginnings, come a mass of leaves and grapes.

Back on the health front, I picked up an interesting tweet from Sally Ann Creed…

Statins comment

Something for you to investigate!

My brother comes for the weekend and I have a couple of things planned! Yay!

Keep the smile going.

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude Pic….while perched up on a stool and one leg on the balcony balustrade, I looked out at the view and admired it. As I did so, I recalled a prayer that Mike and I had prayed more than 25 years ago. We didn’t want much, but we would like a pink and green bathroom and a view of the mountains. I was in awe of God’s faithfulness….

View from the balcony on a stoolAs for the bathroom,…well not very pink, but this is shell pinkish….I love my bathroom…

Bathroom

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3 Minute Banting Chocolate Cake in a Mug

1-14pm

At the ladies retreat I went to this last weekend, in our gift pack was a little recipe called Sweet Love. …

RecipeSo what I did was go and buy  Banting substitutes which are almond flour and sugar substitute Xylitol…

Banting flour and sugarThese are not cheap, but since we use so little them, we should get a lot of cakes out of these two packets. The recipe called for 4 tablespoons of flour and 4 tablespoons of sugar. I put in 4 tablespoons of almond flour, but 4 tablespoons of sugar seemed too much, so I halved it and only put in 2 tablespoons of xylitol. I also went easy on the cocoa, reducing it to 2 flat tablespoons….I used a large mug…

Dry ingredients in the cup

 

After that it was time for the wet ingredients….

Wet ingredientsI broke an egg into the mug and mixed away…

Mix in the egg

Then it was time for oil and milk. I accidentally put in more milk than I should have, so reduced the oil to 2 tablespoons. But it turned out a bit dry so next time, I’ll make sure it gets all the oil… after all that’s in, it’s quite wet…

With milk and oilOnce it was well mixed, into the microwave it went for 3 minutes. It rose to about half way up the big mug, so it’s perfectly do-able in a smaller mug…it won’t overflow…and magically, it came out looking like this…

3 minutes later

I slipped a knife around it and emptied it into a bowl, zooted it up with a strawberry and some cream and had it for lunch!

3 minute Banting chocolate cake in a mug

For the future: it is VERY filling and quite rich. You can easily split it in half and make one between two. It was incredibly easy and worth having the expensive ingredients around to make it. Be on the lookout for less expensive almond flour. The shop I bought at was the closest and very ‘dear’!

I enjoyed it with coffee (in the same mug the cake had come out of…why wash up 2?!)

So today is 11th September 2014. Thirteen years have passed since I sat and stared in shock as the world news showed the World Trade Centres collapsing before my eyes. Like something out of a horror movie, I tried to get my head around the reality taking place on the other side of the world. Those were people…jumping out of the building….did they know what they were doing? How shocking it was. We will never forget.

There are many fears in life, but only one to heed. The threat of terrorism around the world remains one of the biggest fears of most Western societies. With organisations such as Isis coming to the fore, the violence and brutality we see flashing across our TV screens can be overwhelming.

Today I read Isaiah 8 vss 13 & 14a

“The Lord Almighty is the One you are to regard as holy, He is the One you are to fear, He is the One you are to dread, and He will be a Sanctuary.”

Anyone can end your earthly life, but no one, apart from God can touch your soul. The Amplified Version says, “Regard God as your only hope of safety. And He shall be a sanctuary – a sacred & indestructible asylum to those who reverently fear and trust in Him.” That’s what I want. I want – a sanctuary and a sacred and indestructible asylum. I will reverently fear and trust in God. He is my only Saviour. In Him, I am safe.

Keep the smile going.

 

God bless you!

IN HIS GRIP! 

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude Pic…I drove up Wynberg Hill yesterday and while stopped at traffic lights, noticed this church…I took a photo of it and felt like a tourist in my own city…love the unexpected treasures of Cape Town…

Church in Wynberg

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This Good News Story Gave Me Goosebumps…

2pm.

Sometimes, it’s really easy to post a blog. Other days, it takes hours and I sit with my fingers hovering over the keyboard waiting to figure out what I’m going to say! Today, I’m pleased to say, is the former! Jen shared a FB page from A Mighty Girl. So let me put this out there right away, that what follows is from www.amightygirl.com. They describe themselves as the world’s largest collection of books, toys and movies for parents, teachers and others dedicated to raising smart, confident and courageous girls. The story they highlighted this week is that of Ruby Bridges. She turned 60. If you’ve never heard of her, neither had I.

Ruby Bridges

A Mighty Girl writes: ” As a six-year-old, Ruby Bridges famously became the first African American child to desegregate an all-white elementary school in the south of America. When the 1st grader walked to William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans on November 14, 1960 surrounded by a team of U.S. Marshals, she was met by a vicious mob shouting and throwing objects at her. 

One of the federal marshals, Charles Burks, who served on her escort team, recalls Bridges’ courage in the face of such hatred: “For a little girl six years old going into a strange school with four strange deputy marshals, a place she had never been before, she showed a lot of courage. She never cried. She didn’t whimper. She just marched along like a little soldier. We were all very proud of her.” This poignant picture captured my attention…

Ruby Bridges at 6years oldOnce Ruby entered the school, she discovered that it was devoid of children because they had all been removed by their parents due to her presence. The only teacher willing to have Ruby as a student was Barbara Henry, who had recently moved from Boston. Ruby was taught by herself for her first year at the school due to the white parents’ refusal to have their children share a classroom with a black child.

Despite daily harassment, which required the federal marshals to continue escorting her to school for months; threats towards her family; and her father’s job loss due to his family’s role in school integration, Ruby persisted in attending school. The following year, when she returned for second grade, the mobs were gone and more African American students joined her at the school. The pioneering school integration effort was a success due to Ruby Bridges’ inspiring courage, perseverance, and resilience.” ENDS.

If you have access to You Tube, there is a 90 minute movie made about Ruby Bridges.

The Ruby Bridges Story on You Tube

Last year, the 53rd anniversary of the first day at school, was celebrated with this banner.

2013 anniversary“Integration is a mortal sin.” Huh? Where in the Bible did they find that?! The USA may not have called it Apartheid, but they absolutely practised it.  This photo is from Wikipaedia – it is dated 1939 and was in Oklahoma City. The man is drinking from the Coloured only water container. …

-Colored-_drinking_fountain_from_mid-20th_century_with_african-american_drinkingAs I read through the Wikipaedia article on segregation in the USA, I discovered that you can’t say it’s gone. Less, yes, but not eradicated altogether.

Jesus displayed only love, compassion and acceptance to those who were most discriminated against. I think of Him with the Samaritan woman. Jews did not associate with Samaritans. Not only does Jesus strike up a conversation with a Samaritan, He did so with a Samaritan WOMAN! So politically incorrect. Jesus came to break those barriers.

Romans 2:11

 God shows no partiality.

And neither should we.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude Pic…I spent several minutes staring at our lavender bushes, trying to spot chameleons. I counted about 6. Here’s one of the better pics…’meleon on the move…

Chameleon

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