let justice and praise become my embrace

figuring out the art of losing myself to better know Him

Monday, 29 January 07

Filed under: Uncategorized — joyunspeakable @ 5:24 am

This weekend has been amazing. Saturday morning a group of us woke up a quarter to five in the morning to climb Muizenberg Mountain to watch the sun rise. The view from the mountain was breathtaking…I took pictures but they don’t do justice to the actual beauty, so I don’t think I will post them. That day was also Taz’s birthday so we sang Happy Birthday to her when we got to the top. We got back and showered, had breakfast, then I watched Identity with some of my team members…I didn’t enjoy it…mostly because I was screaming every five seconds, and hugging my pillow tightly. But it was a fun experience.
Sunday (today) was George’s birthday, I swear we must’ve sang Happy Birthday to that boy 500 times today. I went to church at Muizenberg Community, which is a Church of England church in South Africa….it was good. But I think I like Bay Community Church the best so far. After church I picked up my laundry from the laundrette down the road (the base’s dryer is broken so Rene and I thought it’d be best to pay a little extra to have someone else dry it). Anyway, someone had broken into the laundrette the night before, thankfully they didn’t take clothes, just some money.
Every DTS person on the base has work duties every day, and sometimes on the weekend. My work duty for today was to cook dinner (for 70 people), so Greg and I did that. It was a lot of fun….I must’ve cut the skin off of 60 pieces of chicken. It was a bloody mess. But we got to listen to FreshlyGround while we cooked and that was fun. (FreshlyGround is a band that originated in South Africa, and they are very unique…if you can get your hands on their CD, you should! And listen to track 7) After dinner we had a time of Creative Worship where we got into groups and could come up with a creative way of worshipping God- dance, skit, musical, singing, art etc. Our group did the Bible in 10 minutes: from creation til the second coming of Christ. It was crazy. After that time, we threw a surprise birthday party for George, made s’mores (which reminded me of America) and threw people into the pool…me being one of them. I was fully clothed and had my jeans on too, but it was fun because then I jumped out and pulled my DTS leader in. Then we were all screaming cause it was cold, then the neighbor stuck her head over our wall and told us to be quiet because she was trying to sleep.
So we all went to bed. Except a group of us who decided to play cards and drink tea until just ten minutes ago. It’s past midnight now. Anyway, I learned how to play cribbage tonight, it’s sort of complicated, but I enjoy it.
I must go to bed now.
Ek moet bed toe gaan.
Tengo que ir a dormir.
If you could pray for me tonight, I’d appreciate it. I absolutely love it here in South Africa, and I am starting to feel as though I could live here forever…which I know is rash considering I’ve only been here a month. Anyway, I need to know what God is speaking to me to do after DTS…go back to the U.S., stay here and do a School of Biblical Studies with YWAM, or whatever. It’s hard to think clearly when I want to go back to GCC, but at the same time want to stay here! Please pray for wisdom and God’s leading in my life, especially on what I should do this coming fall. Thanks everyone!
Lekker slaap.

 

Wednesday, 24 January 07

Filed under: Uncategorized — joyunspeakable @ 11:51 pm

Today I found out where my outreach location is going to be. I am very excited because I am going to RWANDA! It’s definitely sad because our entire group is going to be splitting up for three months, but I am trying to see the purpose God has for me in this. I have a hard time saying goodbye to people, and it’s no different here. I will still be in Muizenberg, South Africa until near the end of March (I think the 24th). But then, off to Rwanda!
I do have a request for all of you that read this blog. I have a friend here named Adebayo, who is an amazing young man of God. He has trusted the Lord through the entire process of getting here to Muizenberg, buying a plane ticket and having enough money to purchase a visa. However, he still does not have enough money to pay for the first phase of the DTS, let alone the second outreach phase. He is in my group, so is scheduled to come to Rwanda with me, but he needs money. If you are able to, please pray about maybe sending a check for him here. If you just have a note of encouragement for him, feel free to send that as well. He is completely trusting God for this, and I know how you all love to give. Anyway, send it to

Adebayo -January DTS 2007
P.O. Box 129
Muizenberg 7950
South Africa

If you cannot give, please take a moment to pray that God would send him the funds necessary. Thank you SO much!
And please, if you could pray for me too, I would appreciarte it. I am starting to feel tired and sometimes overwhelmed with the work (although it does not compare to the workload at GCC), it is very energy-draining. Please pray for renewed strength and JOY and love and open ears to hear God.
Yeah, that’s about it.
Oh, and if you are at all interested in reading about the rest of my team, click on this link:
www.muizdts.wordpress.com
May you live today with the awareness of God’s grace on you!

 

Saturday, 20 January 07

Filed under: Uncategorized — joyunspeakable @ 4:05 am


YWAM Muizenberg- this building used to be a Jewish hotel known as “Shrimptons”, but now houses YWAMers from all over the world.


Olive Station- my new favorite cafe/restaurant…it feels like you’re in Greece

Caro, Jonie, me and Georgie…trying to do some sort of kissy face…not really working.

this makes me laugh.

the beach!

 

Filed under: LOVE — joyunspeakable @ 3:29 am

God has been speaking to me about his Love. Now, I have often thought of God’s love toward me as being a love that a Father has towards his child, or the love of a good Shepherd toward a stupid sheep (ironically my name means “ewe”) or the love of a Great God toward his creation…or the love of a Friend. But I have often struggled with honestly relating with the whole God as the lover of my soul.
I would rather have a real, tangible, physical person who loves me romantically. I would rather be pursued by a person…I often seek the approval and attention of guys in my life, though not in an explicitly needy manner. I say that I believe God loves me and that he is pursuing a love relationship with me, but when it all boils down to it, I find it hard to feel loved by him.
Last night, our team had a time where we just waited on God to hear how much he loved us. We were told that we could also go to someone else and pray for them or speak God’s thoughts toward them…so I did. Near the end of our time, I went to go pray for Arun and when I was done, he looked at me and told me that Jesus loves me. I was like, “Yeah, I know that…” Then he said, “And you need to ask him to prove it to you. He wants to show you.”
Now, I have always felt like it’s incredibly cocky or demanding to ask God to prove his love to me after what he did- sending his son to die for me and all. Shouldn’t that be enough? In my life, I have often wanted to ask God to “prove it”, but have been too afraid of being like a whiny insecure female. You know, that whole “If you really love me…..fill in the blank.” But here God was with a proposition. I didn’t know what to expect, but I decided to ask God to romance me, to capture my heart…to really demonstrate to me (in a way that was special to me) his love for me.
I sat on the veranda and prayed something like this: “Okay God, I realize that you want to romance me. But here’s the deal. I don’t want a one time thing. If you prove your love for me in a personal way, then I am going to want that every day for the rest of my life. And since you are GOD, I am going to expect it to get better every day too. If you are up to doing that, if you think you can do that….impress me, woo me, whatever….then go ahead.”
Pretty cheeky, I guess, looking back. But at that very moment, I heard it begin to rain. Now, from what I hear, rain is VERY uncommon in Muizenberg. It is always sunshine here. It gets really windy sometimes, but rain…not so much.
I have a thing for rain. I love it. It moves me and excites me and makes me want to dance in it. And God knows that. So I walked out from under the roof of the veranda and stood in the rain, already feeling my heart melt. It was not just any rain. It was the perfect kind of rain…the most perfect rain I could’ve thought up. It was not too cold, it had a nice sound to it, but it was not heavy, therefore I could stand in it without getting drenched. But it wasn’t misty to the point where it wasn’t really rain, you know? It was beautiful. And in that moment I KNEW that it was all for me. No one else. For me.
It stopped almost as quickly as it had begun and then I went to my Bible and opened it. I asked God to give me something to read that would clearly show me his love for me. I flipped it open and it opened to Proverbs. Proverbs= wisdom. Wisdom doesn’t exactly make me feel loved. Mildly disappointed and thinking, “C’mon God, I want a fresh revelation of your love…” I flipped the pages again. The first verse I laid eyes on read, “How beautiful you are, my darling, oh how beautiful!” My eyes skimmed the rest of that page which was filled with crazy analogies of the woman’s neck being like a tower and teeth like sheep or something like that…not exactly what moves me…and then- “All beautiful you are, my darling, there is no flaw in you.”

He said it so simply that I almost thought it was just my own thoughts. But no, I know that it was God. At that, I realized that yes, God wants to court my heart. He wants to win me over. He wants to impress me with ridiculous things like rain and poetry…he wants to reveal beauty to me. He wants me to understand that He is pursuing my heart.
So, that is something I have been learning. And the cool thing is that God wants to romance YOU. He knows each of our hearts and what things make us tick…because he created us with those longings- those longings that can only be met through HIM.

And he is glorified in our receiving his love. So…my challenge to you is this. Ask him to show you how he loves you. Ask God to show you what He says about you. Who he says you are. Because He is longing to prove to you that He is pleased with you, that you have what it takes. Reject the stupid lies that the enemy has fed you all these years. And then replace them with what God says about you. Because what God says is TRUTH. May He romance your hearts, ladies. May he strengthen your soul and build you up, men. May nothing hinder you from receiving His love.
He loves you so much.

 

Thursday, 18 January 07

Filed under: Uncategorized — joyunspeakable @ 1:04 pm

Just a fun post this morning. I am going to teach you how South Africans speak. Here are a couple of random colloquialisms I have picked up these past two weeks: (I will include an example for each)

1. “Shame” or “Oh shame!” – spoken to convey sympathy or mild disinterest, depending on tone.
Ex. A-“My mom just called. Apparently my dog got hit by a car yesterday.”
       B- “Shame.”

2. “Sha” (pronounced almost like saying that word “sure” in a british accent, “sho”.)- used as an exclamation like “wow” or “no way”.
Ex. A- “I found one hundred Rand on the sidewalk yesterday on the way to the market.”
       B- “Sha!”

3. “Is it?” – used in response to almost anything, similar in meaning as “really?”. Spoken slightly higher than normal.
Ex. A- “I haven’t eaten since yesterday at supper.”
       B- “Oh, is it?”

4. “Lekker.” – (pronounced “laka” only with a slight spanish-sounding “r” sound at the end) an Afrikaans word which means “Nice”, but can be used in the same context as “Cool”; used by Afrikaans and English speakers alike.
Ex. 1 A- “Look at that sunset!”
          B- “That’s so lekker!”

Ex. 2 A- “I am going to bed now.”
          B- “Lekker slaap.” (goodnight)

Ex. 3 A- “Hey I was born on this day 19 years ago.”
          B- “Lekker verjaar.” (Happy birthday!)

5. “hey”- tacked on to the end of virtually any question, used to confirm that the listener is really listening.
Ex. “That’s the man we passed on the street yesterday, hey?”

6. “Eish” (pronounced “ish”) – used as a mark of frustration or emotion in response to extreme or unfavorable circumstances.
Ex. A- “Eish, it’s cold out here.”

7. “Ja” (pronounced “yah” or “yaw”)- means “yes” in Afrikaans, yet a lot of English speakers will say this instead of “yes”.
Ex. A- “Are you going to finish that rusk?”
       B- “Ja.”

Okay, that’s all I can think of for now. I will add more as I think of it. Did you know that in the Northern Hemisphere, toilets flush counter-clockwise, but here in the Southern Hemisphere, they flush clockwise? It’s true….I checked before I left. : )
I put some photos up on facebook, because it’s too difficult to get them up on this site.

 

Wednesday, 17 January 07

Filed under: Uncategorized — joyunspeakable @ 8:35 pm

Today I heard God speak to me. Not in an audible voice, mind you, but he spoke all the same. We have a speaker from Durban named Marguerite Swart. During the lecture today, God began to breathe new life into places of me that had died or begun to die.
I had been feeling like my relationship with God had been dry lately, and I didn’t understand why. I realized today that I had been restricting myself and my relationship with God to what i thought was expected by others. I had begun to look at other Christians and compare my walk with theirs. I had built up preconceived ideas of what my time with God each morning ought to look like. God spoke to me today and said basically that he just wanted me to be honest and real with him. It was okay to ask questions. It was okay to have doubts and frustrations. It was okay to be me. After all, in this relationship, God was being God, so why couldn’t I be me?
This revelation brought me such joy and hope and a freshness I had not felt in my spirit for quite some time.
The point is that we are knowing God more. There are no rules to achieving this goal. One only needs to be honest with God and with themself. How refreshing is that? God can handle my randomness, my fears, my hesitation and my honest questions.
I want to look at the world around me and see Jesus everywhere. I challenge you today to do the same. Yeah, so I might have it a bit easier living in a beautiful place like Muizenberg, but still…if God is the Creator of all things, then his fingerprints should be found on everything. no? Let’s ask God to open our eyes, unplug our ears and un-desensitize us to his presence.
Marguerite used this example…when you are in love with someone, you only have eyes for them. In the same way, I want to love Jesus to the point of seeing his face everywhere I go.

 

Monday, 15 January 07

Filed under: Uncategorized — joyunspeakable @ 10:45 pm

I am sitting in the computer room right now. There is a window in front of me which overlooks Alexander St. The houses on this street in a way resemble Italian or Mediterranean houses…of course, I’ve never been there, so I am probably not the best judge. Someone is playing the piano in the room behind me, and it sounds beautiful. I have just been offered a bag of Lay’s potato chips by my friend, Ben. He is from Nigeria. And the chips are “Oven Roasted Chicken and Thyme” flavor. I think it’s a South African thing, because I have never seen this flavor in the US.

Let me tell you about my amazing birthday. Saturday morning, I got up and took a shower. As I was leaving the bathroom in my towel, our dorm room door opens and I hear loud singing. GUYS singing. I quickly ran back and hid behind a corner, telling my roommates to not let them in. They were laughing so hard at the scenario that they couldn’t talk. Wonderful. Finally, one of them got everyone to stop singing so that I could change. Apparently they thought I’d still be in bed, so I jumped back into bed to play along. And in walks my DTS team, even Greg (who never wakes up early) singing Happy Birthday (four versions of it) and holding a tray. They made me a beautiful breakfast in bed! Muesli, yoghurt, peach slices, rooibos tea, and chocolate. They certainly know the way to my heart. : ) It was a wonderful beginning to an even more wonderful day. After breakfast,  most everyone on our DTS team took the train from Valsbaai (False Bay) to Kaapstad (Cape Town). There, we got to see Table Mountain and the Waterfront. It was gorgeous. I also am a nice shade of brown thanks to the wonderful African sun. (Which is crazy because I literally reapplied sunscreen 5 times, to the point of being ridiculous.) Anyway, it was odd because I have never experienced a January 13 in my entire life where I had 80 degree weather…ever! Saturday was a day of firsts. My first train ride in South Africa, my first CD purchase in South Africa, my first picture with Nelson Mandela…ok so it was a statue of him, not the actual real person, but still it was pretty neat. : )

And that night, we all rented the Village. Embarrassingly, I was the only one who screamed during the movie. I was also one of the two that had already seen the film. I can’t help it, I scream when I’m scared.

Last night (Sunday), we had a worship service. For the first time in my life, I ffelt free to worship any way I chose. I was jumping up and down and spinning and dancing for my Daddy. And I felt his pleasure. : )

Okay, supper (everyone calls it supper here, instead of dinner) is in 20 minutes. So I will leave you with that.

Afrikaans word of the day: blommetjie, means “flower”.
pronounced: “blomekky” (accent on first syllable, without rounding the “o” too much)