Monday, December 3, 2012

Rev. Sidney Grant

This week-end we sat under the anointed teaching of Rev. Sidney Grant, president of Hope International Missions.  He spoke for a gathering of pastors both from Lesotho and South Africa.  His ministry was deeply appreciated.  Everyone present experienced the Holy Spirit working in their hearts.
The sessions were closed with a time of united prayers!
On Monday evening all the missionaries gathered for a time of fellowship with Mr. Grant.  The children really enjoyed his iPad!
We were also honored to have Mr. Grant in our home for a meal.  When a neighbor boy asked who our visitor was one of our boys said he was a president! After asking his name the neighbor said, "Wow! I'm going to Google it!" 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sunset

We've recently moved in order to sell our things as we prepare for our departure in January.  The landscape where we now temporarily reside is absolutely the most beautiful of any place we've lived during our years of marriage.  This sunset the other evening was the "icing on the cake".

Monday, November 12, 2012

Transition


For those who do not receive our newsletter or e-mail communications this is for you!  In January we will be moving back to the US. For some time we have felt God was leading us in this direction.  We have a good working relationship with the leadership of HIM and they have been very supportive in this transition.

Though there will never be an end to work we are very happy with the progress in the churches here in South Africa.  Pray for those who remain and continue in their labor for the Lord Jesus. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

GOD THOUGHTS...

Please allow me to share some Scripture verses and song lyrics that have been on my mind this morning.  Forgive me for being a bit lengthy.

“God is the Judge: He puts down one, and exalts another.” Psalm 75:7

“He (God) changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings…” Daniel 2:21

THERE ALWAYS WILL BE GOD

They cannot shell His Temple
Nor dynamite His Throne
They cannot bomb His City
Nor rob Him of His own.

They cannot take Him captive
Nor strike Him deaf or blind
Nor starve Him to surrender
Nor make Him change His Mind

They cannot cause Him panic
Nor cut off His supplies
They cannot take His Kingdom
Nor hurt Him with their lies.

Though all the world be shattered
His Truth remains the same
His righteous Laws still potent
And Father still His Name

CHORUS
Though we face war and struggle
And feel their might rod
We know above confusion
There always will be God.

Words adapted by Ester Hobbs

 THIS LITTLE CHILD

(To save space I've only included a couple of stanzas of this song.)

Many years have come and gone
Yet this world remains the same
Empires have been built and fallen
Only time has made the change
Nation against nation brother against brother
Men so filled with hatred still killing one another

And over half the world is starving
While our banner of decency is torn
Debating over disarmament
While killing children before they’re born
And fools who march to win the right
To justify their sin
Oh every nation that has fallen
Has fallen from within

Yet in the midst of all this darkness
There is a hope a light that burns
This little child the King of kings
Someday will return

Scott W Brown   (I don’t know much about this artist but I like the words of this particular song.)

I also thought about posting the lyrics of A Mighty Fortress Is Our God but decided you could look it up and sing it yourself.  I’ll simply include the closing words of that great song by Martin Luther: “God’s truth abideth still, His kingdom is forever.”

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Hang in there...

I thought you might like to see a picture of a Southern Masked Weaver bird and it's nest that it is building just off our front porch.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Perspective


The golden beams of sunlight shone through the azure sky striking the young leaves of the oak behind our house illuminating the tender pea-green foliage.  The blossoms of a crab apple danced in the breeze above us while their pungent fragrance wafted on the wind.  The birds in their songs were heralding the arrival of spring.  As we sat there drinking in the atmosphere it almost seemed ethereal.  I suddenly realized why the world seemed so perfect.  The recent spring showers had scoured the coating of grime from all the leaves and washed the dust and smoke from the air.  Though the temperature was still a little cool the sun was warm and inviting.

Later as I meditated on the scene I was reminded that life can often be reminiscent of what is described above.  Sometimes we go through long winter-like months where the atmosphere of life is clouded with the dust and smoke of problems and the color of life fades when viewed through the challenges glaring in our face. It’s amazing how difficult decisions or conflict can cast long dark shadows over all of life.  But then how wonderful it is when the spring-like day dawns and the conflict is past; the problem solved. Life seems new; the outlook is bright!

Life is actually a matter of focus or perspective! While it is true we cannot see past the dust, smoke, and grime with our physical eyes yet with spiritual vision God has made it possible for us to look above, beyond, and behind the hazy atmosphere that engulfs us emotionally and spiritually.  Read the words of Isaiah the prophet which so adequately describe this conflict of perspective:

"Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, You people in whose heart is My law: Do not fear the reproach of men, Nor be afraid of their insults. For the moth will eat them up like a garment, and the worm will eat them like wool; but My righteousness will be forever, and My salvation from generation to generation.  I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you should be afraid of a man who will die, and of the son of a man who will be made like grass?  And you forget the LORD your Maker, Who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth…”   (Isaiah 51:7, 8, 12, 13a)

That is the right perspective! The beams of God’s light and power illumine the darkest of days!

“I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” Matthew 28:20b

Saturday, September 8, 2012

PIET SMIT

Last evening we had the privilege of going to hear Piet Smit sing and play his guitar here in Ladybrand.  What a blessed evening.  Piet Smit is one of the few artists that I know of whose demeanor is one of humility and selflessness.  There is absolutely no show! His singing is completely God-centered! Last evening through his songs and speaking we traveled with him through the Bible from Genesis to Revelations.  He began with God, creation and the fall and ended with the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ!  We felt as if we were being transported into the presence of God as he spoke and sang about Isaiah’s vision of God’s holiness! God bless Piet Smit!



Sunday, August 26, 2012

I've been doing a lot of this lately - fixing up the house Jeremy and Delani Howard are going to move into.  We're glad we can be a blessing!


Monday, August 6, 2012

Exciting!

The boys enjoyed riding horse this past week! Thank you Joreth!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Independence Day…for Bro. Denny!

Bro. Denny Kenaston fought a good fight; he finished his course; he kept the faith.  On July 4th at 2:02am he quietly traded time for eternity.  He was a true soldier of the cross, a man of God!  Though we only met a couple of times his messages and book have had a great impact on our lives!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Not Bored!

As a followup to the April 24th post...the water tower and the plumbing are finished!  That doesn't mean I'm out of work! I have a list of things that need done around the school.  Today I'm in the classroom "acting" as teacher!

One of the walls of the Manyatseng church is shifting out...bad foundation.  I need to see that it gets fixed. 

Next month we begin a new quarter in our Bible School classes.  I'm planning to teach church history.  I'm looking forward to it, but I just need to do a lot of reading and preparation as this is my first attempt at teaching this subject. 

Thankful for God's guidance in all our projects!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

True Christianity

In my recent reading of church history I’ve come across some quotes that are very applicable to today, though written more than four hundred years ago.  In his book, The Pilgrim Church E.H. Broadbent quotes Staupitz, a mentor to young Martin Luther.

“Christ help us that we may come at last to live according to the Gospel which now sounds in our ears and which many have on their lips, for I see that multitudes misuse the Gospel to give liberty to the flesh.   It is the fashion now to separate faith from evangelical life, as though it were possible to have real faith in Christ and yet remain unlike Him in life.” Johann von Staupitz
As Staupitz penned those word he must have had I John 2:6 in mind: “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.”

Luther also challenged people to pious living.
“If we look aright at what people now do who reckon themselves as Evangelical and know how to talk much about Christ, there is nothing behind it.  Most of them deceive themselves. They learn indeed to speak words, as a parrot repeats what people say, but their hearts do not experience them; they remain just as they are, they neither taste nor feel how true and faithful God is.  They boast much of the Gospel and at first seek it earnestly, yet afterwards nothing remains; for they do what they like, follow their lusts, become worse than they were before and are much more undisciplined and presumptuous… than other people….” Martin Luther

One of the verses of “God of Grace and God of Glory” written by Harry E. Fosdick speaks of the lack of holy living:
“Cure Thy children’s warring madness;
Bend our pride to Thy control;
Shame our wanton, selfish gladness,
Rich in things and poor in soul.
Grant us wisdom,
Grand us courage,
Less we miss Thy kingdom’s goal,
Less we miss Thy kingdom’s goal.”

 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”  Paul the Apostle

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Two Birthdays in a Week

Happy fourth birthday to Titus!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Two Years Old

Where has two years gone?  Happy Birthday to Shoshanah!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

FALL


Fall! It’s such an amazing time of year when earth sheds its summer garb in preparation for the coming winter.  The feelings, the sights, the sounds and the smells are all so nostalgic, conjuring up the accumulated experiences of the past.  Something about the changing seasons I like.  Is it the alternating weather patterns or the transformation in the landscape? Could it be the smell of wood smoke wafting in the crisp air or the cool clear nights?  Whatever it is it’s real and bracing!  Though the change in scenery is limited here we visually feast on the clusters of scattered poplars, the orange berries of the hawthorns dotting the countryside and the blanket of fallen leaves.  Fall! It’s the time we bid adieu to summer and anticipate the coming winter.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Water Tank

Quite often the water is off in the Ladybrand area.  Our mission school currently has 30+ students which has some unpleasant implications when there is no water!  For some time I have been working on making a back-up source of water a reality. First we had to move a small section of the fence and then weld in another piece.  After that we cemented four poles in the ground.  A friend of the school welded the platform for the tank and last week we got it all in place and "strapped" down.  We still need to brace the poles and do the plumbing. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Mother's Heart Cry

"I look and behold a terrible thing in our generation ...

The people are being destroyed for lack of knowledge. Where once they gave attendance to reading Scripture and “meaty” teaching, they now read romance novels, humanistic devotional books filled with fluff, and enjoy being excessively entertained by the flickering blue light of the screen of amusement."

Follow this link to read the whole article...

http://www.ephrataministries.org/remnant-2012-03-mothers-heart-cry.a5w

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Unwelcome Visitor

Last week while I was away Titus saw this not-so-little fellow in the boys bedroom. Thankfully no one was hurt.  We think it came in the house in the firewood we carried in or in a bag of kindling. We've been more careful what we bring in now!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sunbirds

The past week or two we have enjoyed different sightings of both a male and a female White Bellied Sunbird on our Salvia leucantha (Mexican Bush Sage). 


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Father-Son Time

A few days ago the boys and I took a long walk together.  It was a beautiful fall day and we enjoyed our time together.  The boys found a large rock and had fun jumping off the top while I took pictures. 


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Pure Heart

Take a few minutes to meditate on this quote!

“Now what is a pure heart?  It is, as we have said before, a heart which finds its whole and only satisfaction in God, which relishes and desires nothing but God, whose thoughts and intents are ever occupied with God, to which all that is not of God is strange and jarring, which keeps itself as far as possible apart from all unworthy images, and joys and griefs, and all outward cares and anxieties..."  Johannes Tauler (c. 1300 – 1361)

I think I'll also include a poem by Tauler.


What Thou Art To Me
As the bridegroom to his chosen,
  As the king unto his realm,
  As the keep unto the castle,
  As the pilot to the helm,
  So, Lord, art Thou to me.
 
As the fountain in the garden,
  As the candle in the dark,
  As the treasure in the coffer,
  As the manna in the ark,
  So, Lord, art Thou to me.
 
As the ruby in the setting,
  As the honey in the comb,
  As the light within the lantern,
  As the father in the home,
  So, Lord, art Thou to me.
 
As the sunshine to the heavens,
  As the image to the glass,
  As the fruit unto the fig-tree,
  As the dew unto the grass,
  So, Lord, art Thou to me.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Are you saved?

I recently read a message by Spurgeon.  I like what he had to say about the assurance of salvation.  The world is so full of "religion" and so little spiritual reality that it would do us good to examine our hearts and lives.  It is wonderful to KNOW you are born again!

“There is a great difference between presumption and full assurance.  Full assurance is reasonable: it is based on solid ground.  Presumption takes for granted, and with bold face pronounces something to be its own to which it has no right whatever.  Beware, I pray you, of presuming that you are saved.  If with your heart you do trust in Jesus, then you are saved; but if you merely say, ‘I trust in Jesus,’ it does not save you.  If your heart is renewed, if you hate the things you once loved, and love the things that you once hated; if you have really repented; if there is a thorough change of mind in you; if you are born again, then you have reason to rejoice; but if there is no vital change, no inward godliness; if there is no love to God, no prayer, no work of the Holy Spirit, then your saying, ‘I am saved,’ is your own assertion, and it may delude, but it will not deliver you. “  (emphasis added) C.H. Spurgeon

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Solar Cooking

We recently became the happy owners of two solar cookers.  I had never heard of a solar cooker before but was excited to give it a try.  I figure if we can cook even a couple of meals a week in the solar cooker it is that much more propane and electricity we have saved.

Our first attempt at using it was unsuccessful.  We put a pot of chili in to cook but before too long the sky became cloudy and we had to finish cooking supper on the stove.  Our next attempt was mostly positive.  We put a peach cake in to bake but I underestimated the time needed and it got too late before it was finished.  But it only took 10 minutes in the oven to bring it to perfection.
Our third attempt was also unsuccessful. I think part of the problem is the type of pot we are using.  We'll try to have a positive report next time! :-)
The cake we almost finished baking in the solar cooker.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Narrow Way

"Speaking out with a prophetic voice against all that comes short of God's highest purpose for His Church, may perhaps reduce our numbers, but God has always been more interested in quality than in quantity. We don't have to make the narrow way any broader than God Himself has made it." - Zac Poonen

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Oily Feet

I love the pitter-patter sound of little feet running  through the house, but sometimes those same little feet can create havoc. Take for example the scenario of bare feet dipped in freshly drained diesel oil. Thankfully we saw those little feet before they went tramping through the house!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

God's Canvas

I'm always amazed at what God "paints" in the sky!  Here in the Free State we sit on the "front row" and enjoy some of the most spectacular artistic exhibitions. One of the sunsets this week was truly breathtaking, but what was so amazing was that something was happening everywhere one looked in the sky.  Though the camera can not do justice to what we saw I'll post a couple of shots.


The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language Where their voice is not heard.  Psalm 19:1-3