Sacred Spaces 525 – … For this day…

I noted this morning in church when a member was asked to pray for the offering… the gentleman started the prayer with “thank You Lord for this day.”

Now there is nothing wrong with that at all. But in my years in ministry (in the church or out) I’ve noted that people (myself included) when asked to pray out loud: in a service, at a meeting, on a camp or elsewhere…

We pray out that almost automated start: “thank you for this day”

(Am i the only one who has noted that?)

Now there is nothing wrong with it. In fact, i thought past the ‘automation’ of it…

And realised… what a great way. To always start a prayer. To start our every day…

Because each day is a gift. How we take that for granted so often…

This day.
This day that finds you reading this post (perhaps) is a gift.  Are you thankful for it? The very breath we breathe is a gift. All of what we experience daily is a gift. The people in our lives, our work, our victories and challenges, our meals. All of it.

Maybe we need to pause. And say thank You again.

Start off. Carry on in. End off with gratitude.

Thank you dear God for this day. Amen!

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Sacred Spaces 515 – Twenty Sixteen

Hi all, this is my last Sacred Space post for 2016.  (And from this side of South Africa too)

If I had to choose my favourite song of 2016; it would have to be The Window by THRICE

“All that I’ve known’s within the walls of this room where there’s a window
Roughly boarded up
It’s true the gaps are patched but even through the tiny cracks, I feel a wind blow
I see a light of strangest hue

And there’s nothing I can say
There’s no way I can prove
That there’s a place
Beyond this room
But still, there’s something in the way
The light comes shining through
And in the way
The curtains move”

the-window

(Click on the image it will take you to the song too)

I preached on this scripture on the weekend:

The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.  The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God.  Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution
he will come to save you.” Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped.  Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy.  Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert.  The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs. (Isaiah 35)

(It’s teeming with descriptive words that invite you in)  May the encouragement and motivation you need for your relationship with God be found in these verses.

Your story is not done!  Keep keeping on! 🙂

I’ve enjoying capturing life via Instagram.  380 posts ago was my first picture of 2016:

first-insta-2016

(I think the traveling theme of the photo is fitting for our move down to the Cape.)

A new (ish) band for you to check out is The Vocal Few – I think this beautiful song for “those who don’t like Christmas music” is brilliant.  Check it out.  it will move you:

Lastly, I want to give a shout out to The Sanctuary Centre .  This is their slogan:

“join us on the journey to where world and worship meet”

They’re doing great things in their corner of the world. (And beyond) I love what they wrote about Christmas this year:

It’s been a good innings in Secunda but I am very excited for the new job at Pneumatix in Somerset West. The job is going to be great. It’s going to challenge me. Yet I have a very good feeling we will thrive down there. A new era is dawning…

But, if I had to state the most exciting thing for me, about next year; is to be able to go to church with my wife, not as a “staff member” – but to just be. To sit in the background. Unknown, unnoticed. Sounds like bliss! For the first time in 16 years, I won’t be working for the year. The new season sounds so exciting!

Have a blessed and thoughtful Christmas!

See you in the new year!

Please vote for Sacred Spaces

I have entered my Sacred Spaces into the SA Blog Awards in the  ‘Best Religious or Spirituality Blog’ category.

(Voting Period is:  28th November 2016 until 31st December 2016)

I would love you to vote for me.  How to do so:

  1. Click on the “VOTE” image when you visit my site:  https://sacredspaces2004.wordpress.com/
  2. Or click on this image below:

2016votebadge

WHY HAVE I ENTERED:

1) I always pray and hope God could use my words to inspire and encourage another on this God following journey of ours. I believe the exposure will bring more people to my blog and who knows… be encouraged by one of the SS posts…

2) I love writing. I believe I have a gift with it… And I believe God has a future for me in that. So again the exposure will be helpful in opening doors for me…

Thanks again for your support!

Sacred Spaces 499 – A Quiet Life

There is something so appealing about this verse from 1 Thessalonians 4: 11

“…and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you”

There are too many people,  too many Christians who are in other people’s business.  We’re too nosy.  Too annoying.  Too loud.

Perhaps God is calling you to a simple quiet life.  How does that sound?

1thessalonians4_11-12

I was sent this little piece this morning.  I like it:

“A farmer discovered that he had lost his watch in the barn. It was no ordinary watch because it had sentimental value for him. After searching high and low among the hay for a long while, he gave up and enlisted the help of a group of children playing outside the barn. He promised them that the person who found it would be rewarded. Hearing this, the children hurried inside the barn, went through and around the entire stack of hay but still could not find the watch. Just when the farmer was about to give up looking for his watch, a little boy went up to him and asked to be given another chance. The farmer looked at him and thought, “Why not? After all, this kid looks sincere enough.” So the farmer sent the little boy back in the barn. After a while the little boy came out with the watch in his hand! The farmer was both happy and surprised and so he asked the boy how he succeeded where the rest had failed. The boy replied, “I did nothing but sat on the ground and listened. In the silence, I heard the ticking of the watch and just looked for it in that direction.”

Have a quiet and observant week!  Why not sit for awhile and just listen…

Sacred Spaces 481– The Wonderlands (Darkness)

19 October 2015

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The IDEA BEHIND THESE NEXT FEW POSTS is; that I wanted to sit with the song titles of each EP and just write what comes to mind.  What content I would use with the given song names.  Then I would end each post with segments of the ACTUAL lyrics from the songs that Jon Foreman penned.  Perhaps you will get some sort of encouragement from these posts:

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Come Home
When I see this title I hear the invitation.  Perhaps you’ve been wandering for too long.  Maybe you need to come home.  Maybe you’ve been scared to come back.  Scared that you won’t be welcomed.  Come home, dear friend.  There are loving arms waiting to embrace you…

Beautiful. Part II
This title… was on the first EP.  The fact that the message of “beauty” needs to be addressed again; speaks of its pertinence.  The selfish lustful world has stolen and damaged true beauty.  A lot of people carry a low self-image… because of that abuse the world has given.  I hope you find your redemption to how beautiful you are…

You alone
I battle with God at times.
Well, maybe I actually battle with his church.  Her actions or demands sometimes seem so primitive…
I battle with Christians.  They say and do some dumb and hurtful things…
But I won’t let go God.
There is just something about Jesus…

She said
What did she say to hurt you?
Oh how we fling out words like weapons.
Hurting and breaking down others…
Will you be aware of the word you use?
Paul spoke of using our words to bring grace to others.

Larger than life
This verse comes to mind:

“Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.” Psalm 63: 3

June & Johnny
I immediately think of Johnny Cash and June Carter.
Their story.  Their love is a great example for many.
Their love overcome all obstacles.
If you have not watched: Walk the Line (a modern portrayal of Johnny Cash’ life)
Do it!  The film will inspire you…

Inner Peace
I believe we all need some inner peace.
The world can be noisy.
The world can disrupt our centre.
We panic.
We’re at a loss for words.
But there is peace, unexplainable but so real.
Thing is, we need to simply accept it:
There is peace found in Jesus…

MI0003863092

The song titles and title of this EP do seem rather dark.  But the words carry such light and hope:

BELOW are some (actual) LYRICS from the songs themselves!

Come Home

Won’t you come home
Back to where your heart is
This is the meaning of life
You were born for the dance not the fight

Beautiful, Pt. II

You’re so beautiful
You’re just used to being used
You’re stuck in a crucible
Of consume and consume
You’re so beautiful

You Alone

I’m giving up the ghost
I surrender any illusion of any semblance of control
You alone
Can heal my soul

She Said

I’ll be waiting for the new eyes to arrive
One breath at a time

Larger Than Life

You’re larger than life, my friend.
You’re bigger than what you’ve been
Are you running away again?

June & Johnny

And I’ll hold you all my life
Like a memory at the back of my mind

Inner Peace

How can we be ourselves
If we don’t know who we are
I’m looking for the one that made me

Quoted:

“I’m looking for the one that made me” Jon Foreman

Sacred Spaces 479– The Wonderlands (Sunlight)

5 October 2015

On Wednesday I took the 2 hour trip to Pretoria for the evening.  What I loved about the trip was the scenery.  But even more so… the soundtrack.  I was listening to Jon Foreman’s 4 EP project called: The Wonderlands

So very good!  The music.  The lyrics.  They crept into my being.  They reminded me of some things.  They convicted me of other things.  They came alive in my soul.

Really, we should actually have more church music like that.  I’d connect with God in a far better way with good songs by artists such as Jon Foreman.  I really can’t sing ‘over and over” a similar type themed song where the rhyming is so darn cheesy!  “I see Your face, it reminds me of Your grace.” Puke!

Yes, there are still dumb songs like that!  Dare I say it may even make God cringe? Haha!
Anyway, that’s not the focus of this post.

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Rather the IDEA BEHIND THESE NEXT FEW POSTS is; that I wanted to sit with the song titles of each EP and just write what comes to mind.  What content I would use with the given song names.  Then I would end each post with segments of the ACTUAL lyrics from the songs that Jon Foreman penned.  Perhaps you will get some sort of encouragement from these posts:

====================================

Terminal
It’s been awhile since I have been in an airport. I miss it. I like “people watching”
Wondering where they are going or if they have returned. A terminal is a place filled with many emotions. Some are sad to say goodbye. Others are so excited to leave. Adventure awaits. The child who has been travelling for years; returns. So much goes on in the Terminal.

The Mountain
I like height. But more than that; I like the views from those high places. From sitting in a ski lift in the French Alps, looking over the snow-capped mountains for miles and miles; to standing on the Amphitheatre of the Drakensburg. We do indeed live in an incredible world. When last have you experienced something breath-taking?

You don’t know how beautiful you are
Sadly, beauty, has been robbed.
People carry such low self-esteem and worth. That’s part of my struggle too.
People have “abused” others.
When I see this title; I think. If only people really knew how beautiful they are… oh how they would live so differently.
With a sense of joy and freedom.

Caroline
What is your name? What are you called?
The remarkable thing about the gospel (good news) is the idea that God knows each one of us.
Perhaps, you need to hear God calling your name…

Patron Saint of Rock and Roll
I discovered the idea of “patron saint” from one of Anberlin’s songs that mention “I am the patron saint of lost causes.”
Music still moves me.
I love honest to God and life lyrics.
Don’t give me shallow! I need depth!

All of God’s children
There is a great lyrics by Blindside that states “we all know that You are there”
We hide behind science, knowledge, new age. We rebel. We fight.
We don’t want to give in. But darn it! God you are there!
I believe EVERYONE in the world BELONGS to God.
Just some have not realised it yet.
In realising, a whole new way of life is discovered.

jon-foreman

BELOW are some LYRICS from the songs themselves!

Terminal
Some folks die in offices one day at a time
They could live a hundred years
But their soul’s already dead

The Mountain
Mostly, I feel like I’m lost at sea
I believe, Lord help my unbelief

You Don’t Know How Beautiful You Are
Love surrender! (Let your walls come down)
Future gardens from all this rain
Future flowers from present pain
We’re bound together and our lives are bound to change
You don’t know how beautiful you are

Caroline
I wonder if you’ll ever make it home again
Back to the childhood innocence
Of the girl on her old playground

Patron Saint Of Rock And Roll
Sometimes I feel lonely, devilish and old
As if my congregation were the bitter cold
And my hymnal feels like it’s got holes
Christ alone could save my soul

All Of God’s Children
I believe in a world that’s made clean

Quoted:
I believe in a world that’s made cleanJon Foreman