Thursday, 11 December 2014

Scandalous Graceful Messiah

Scandalous Graceful Messiah

Throughout the centuries
promises were prophesied
about a Saviour, Messiah

He will redeem His people 
our sins forgiven, washed clean

A sinless perfect Saviour
we imagine his family
to be sinless and perfect too
How scandalous and shocking to find then
the social outcast, pagans, gentiles, 
tainted sinners, prostitutes and murderers. 
How did God allow these people
to be in the royal family line?

And yet these chosen sinners
did not in any way
taint the perfect sinless Saviour

It only points to more of His grace
and how now centuries later
He is still in the business of
adding to His family line
the social outcasts, pagans, gentiles,
and all kinds of tainted sinners
In His family line we are all
washed clean and pure

How scandalous, we think, 
as only perfect people go to heaven
(in our tainted mindset)
Reality being there is only ONE perfect person
and He died to cleanse us, and make us into His perfection. 

Grace



Riana Odendaal
December 2014





Our one deep desire Psalm 27:4

Psalm 27:4. One thing I have asked of the Lord, that I seek after, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in His temple. 


Questions, questions all around.
always seeking, wanting desiring
One. More. Thing.
But what is it that you
deep down
deeply, truely, really really desire?

May our deepest heart's desires be
the same as David's
One thing I asked of the Lord
that I will seek after, pursue mightily
to dwelling in His house
all the days of our lives
forever and ever
to gaze upon his infinite wondrous beauty
and to inquire in His temple -
He is the temple (Rev21:22)

are we content with Him, just Him?



Riana Odendaal
December 2014

Friday, 5 December 2014

Faith

Faith....

It's a gift of grace
and it's all you need for life

It will take you with all your sin and shame
to the Father's grace-filled throne
Faith will  give you new life, new ways, new perspective

and yet

Faith will take you
through trials and perils abound
passing through the valley of the shadow of death
Danger may abound
care and love may not be around
but by faith you will be
where God in His grace needs you to be

Carefully manicured feet
will become cracked, dry and tired
as they walk so many miles to the middle of nowhere
sunburnt you will be, as you sit in the sun
sharing your faith
and silently deep inside cry,
Cry out the Saviour
for one more soul, so lost
to understand, to receive the gift of grace
the faith, the faith that will lead them home

Faith may sound so neat and tidy
a word so meek and tame
and yet it's a wild journey
to places unknown
except to Thy Great Author of Life

Faith has brought you
out of the slimy pit of sin
to the river of grace
took you safely passed death valley
and led you to peace
It has brought you thus far
and will carry you home
the Home that is not on this earth.


Riana Odendaal - December 2014.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Our half painted pictures



A picture we paint
A thousand time over
in a million different ways
yet it's not complete

A poem we wrote
using the best words available
describing you magnificent You are
Yet it falls so tremendously short

a song we sing
the chords strung
and words sung
with all our heart
yet it comes nowhere near

All our best attempts
can never fully describe
how truely great You are

With the same hands
You flung stars into the sky
Hold our beating hearts
and held a nail to the cross for our sins
Only by You are we here
and only in You is true Hope found

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Are you just a pew-warmer or are you praying for your pastor


This is an excerpt from last week's sermon by Pastor Johann Odendaal.
For the full sermon go to:  http://www.christbaptist.co.za/sermons/body-life-prayer-involvement


The pastor's have their responsibility in preaching the word in truth. and we the church members can simply come every Sunday and warm the pews, drink tea and go home.....  Really??

We as church members are also called upon to support. Your practical involvement has the potential not only to change your life forever, but also the life of these ministries and other that will believe, and respond on God's Word. The focus of your prayers for the preaching is like that of the preacher also threefold.

A) Pray for the preparation of the sermon. 
- Pray that your pastor and his message become one. It is our duty to as members of the body of Christ to pray that our pastor preaches with integrity. God hates hypocrisy. The major component of the strength of a sermon is the integrity of its preacher(s). The old testament deals extensively with the integrity of Shepherds. Jeremiah 3:15 " And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding."  Jeremiah 32:2 "Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who care for my people: You have scattered my flock and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. Behold, I will attned to you for your evil deeds, declares the Lord."
It is our task as members of the church to ask the Holy Spirit to convict a pastor of sin regarding the practice of the truth he seeks to understand and proclaim.

- Pray that your pastor could prepare uninterrupted. Pastors face many obstacles in the preparation of their sermons. It is a matter of Eph 6:12 "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." That becomes a reality when he sits down to prepare. The interruption of  phone calls, emails, and any others means that might try to steal time from the one thing that has the power to make our Church stand out as a church seeking to be a true model of a biblical church- the preaching of the Word.

- Pray that your pastor will receive grace and illumination by the Holy Spirit to rightly divide the Word of God. Only the Holy Spirit can bring clarity of insight from the passage he deals with. It is a matter of Psalm 119:18. (Psalm 119:18  Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.)
Pray that for the glory of God and the edification of the church he will be an embodiment of 2 Tim 2:15. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.


- Pray that the words your pastors will use in the outline of his sermon will be an effective tool for the Holy Spirit to convince and convict those who listen to the sermon. What the pastor desires for the Church is what the Psalmist said "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to the Lord."
His words must not be misleading or distracting but to bring light to the seeking soul. 

- Pray that your pastor will have insight into the difficulties and needs of the Church as he prepares his sermon. 


B- Pray for the delivery of the sermon. 

- Pray that people will show up for church. A pastor cannot preach for empty seats. We need to pray that people will be faithful in attending Sunday services. Our Church members' spiritual battles start the moment they wake up on Sunday morning. We can never take it for granted that there will be people. It is God the Holy Spirit that work in us to will according to His will. Phil 2:13 " For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure." Pray that the variety of obstacles and hindrances will be overcome so that the preaching venue(s) will be populated. Pray for yourselves that nothing will prevent you from coming.

- Pray that the people will show up with the right frame of mind. Remember that we are involved in a spiritual warfare. We can so easily be side tracked by bad relations and arguments that can even start where we park the car at the church building and then destroy our receptivity of God's word. Pray that your own heart be well prepared to receive His Word.

- Pray that God would guard us from any form of distraction during the preaching. It is so easy to be distracted by a crying baby, a cell phone ringing, a dead microphone, and many other things that might distract us. Bring this to God in prayer.

- Pray for clarity and power in the pastor's language. Power in the pulpit does not  come from a manuscript that is learned by heart. Pray that the Holy Spirit give your pastor freedom of speech and words to use as was the case with Moses in Ex 4:11-12. " Then the Lord said to him, "Who has made man's mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind. Is it not I, the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak."

- Pray that God will give understanding to those that hear God's word this week. Pray for alertness to hear God's voice and to make everyone attentive and eager to understand the preaching. Pray that God would prevent Satan to steal the Word of God as it is sown on the prepared soil of man's heart. Ask the Holy Spirit to illumine His Word and allow those present to mentally keep track with the truths that are preached.

- Ask the Lord for the most effective and fruitful sermon your pastor has ever preached. This is really a bold request but it is also reasonable. Literally pray  what Paul commanded Timothy in 1 Tim 4:15 "Practice these things, immerse yourself i them, so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.



C - Pray for the response to the preaching.
The spiritual attack on the preaching begins the moment the preacher said Amen. There are at least four specific items we can mention here in prayer.

- Pray that all of us will put the sermon into practice. The sermon does not end on Sunday. That is only the beginning. It is right here that we must ask what James 1:22 says - that all will be doers of God's Word. Ask the Lord that you will be the first to take the words of Christ seriously in Mat7:24-27. Pray specifically that everyone in the service will not walk away and be a hearer that forgets. James 1:25.

-   Pray that the sermon will not be compartmentalized. Don't just apply the sermon to one area of your spiritual life. Pray that the Lord will even challenge you to trust him in areas that might ask of you to leave your comfort zone in order to please Him.

- Pray that the application of the sermon would be contagious. Pray that the Lord will make you enthusiastic about what has been shared and that you will pass it onto others. 2 Tim 2:2 " and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also."  Pray that you will be able to rejoice with Paul as he mentioned the faith of the people in Thessalonica - 1 Thes 1:8-9 "For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere so that we need not say anything. For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God."  Pray that everyone would become an ambassador for Christ.

- Pray that the sermon itself will be repeatedly delivered. Pray that sermons will be studied  and that the notes being taken or the CD's and MP3's that are send out will achieve its purposes to glorify God and extend His kingdom here on earth.



Praying like this will be the catalyst to transform lives, our Church and society. Let's be such a church.


Be praying my fellow brother and sister in the Lord. Be praying.




Wednesday, 27 August 2014

The court case



The court case

There I'm standing knowing i'm guilty
the full wrath should come down on me
Every thing I ever did is haunting me

My only hope is in the judge
- yes the same judge that just said
how guilty I am before Him
you might say 
that is so crazy

Well you know, the judge
is also the one who took the wrath
that was destined for me, on Himself
He paid the sacrifice
and now I'm free
free to do His will
to share His grace and love and truth 
with the world around me

The full wrath destined for me
He took on Himself
The life I was supposed to live
He lived for me
such grace upon grace upon grace

Riana Odendaal
August 2014

Birds announcing seasons and times

Slowly the winter cold seeps away
Small blossoms bring the hope of spring
joyful birds serenade the day
the soft calls of the burchell's coucal
makes us look forward to the first rainfall

In the dark velvet nights
stars shine so bright
with the cheerful night song
harmonizing plovers and thick-knees
and far off in the distance we hear so clear
the small nightjar gracefully calling
"Good Lord, deliver us". 

Spring melt into summer
more resonantly declared
by Woodland Kingfishers with pretty turquoise flare.
The sweltering hot days cooled down 
by scarily impressive thunderstorms

The soft pastel sunrise of a new day
announced by cheerful chattering guinea fowl

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Are we there yet? - The Christian Walk



Taurus Mountains in Turkey near Lystra

We are all on a journey
like Paul from Lystra to Troas
the sun beating down hard, 
the mountain steep, the valley so deep
 and the road longer and longer
We don't know what lies ahead
we can only but on God's grace ponder.

Strong winds blow, snowstorms, 
ferocious animals and robbers abound
small rocky paths and high cliffs. 
Staying in caves, hunger and thirst, 
I hope there is a waterstream near.
Seasons change, rains pour down. 
Step by wearisome step by wearisome step
inching forward but still not sure where.

Passing by Asia and Bithinia 
So much opportunity abound
But we can't share here to these folks so dear.
Lord, But why? we seem to think
yet we know to rather go forward
than to share the message of Grace here

My child, My ways are not Your ways
and My thoughts are not Your thoughts
Trust me, I have a great plan.
Carry on, on this road I gave you for now

Step by wearisome step 
We keep going forward
The Lord knows what and where to
He directs and sustains us
He is in control of the stars 
in the black velvet skies above
Surely He can direct our lives. 

Finally a sight of Troas,
we think we have arrived. 
My child, do you see across the bay
The Macedonian pleading for help
"Come to us, we need you here"

Immediately we set sail
with a new hop in our bodies so frail
On the Shabbat we went to the river
and met some sisters by the place of prayer
The Lord touched hearts, 
and changed whole households. 

In the jail we sang songs of praise
of our Lord's great mercy and grace
the earth shook, the door opened
and yet the Lord opened the door
for us to share His salvation to the jailer
all to the praise of His glorious grace. 

Proverbs 3:5 -6  Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. 

Acts 16


Riana Odendaal
August 2014

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Help, there's Ebola on my continent and war in the middle east and .......

Help, There's Ebola on  my continent and war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, and the IS is slaughtering people in Iraq and Boko Haram is wreaking havoc in Nigeria and there's earthquakes and and and....

In Philippians 4 we read : "do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers (and sisters), whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." 

Whatever is true..... well it is true that there is an Ebola outbreak in West Africa and it seems they struggle to contain in. It is true that the IS (Islamic State) is slaughtering people, Christians, children and just about anyone whose face they don't like in Iraq, and Hamas broke the umpteenth ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza, and there are various reasons to get upset about governments, and earthquakes do happen.
But Paul, when he sat in that prison and wrote those words didn't seem to panic so much about whatever it was that happened then. He wrote to other believers to not be anxious.

Maybe we got the story wrong here. Think on what is truth? or better... WHO is truth.
John 14:6. Jesus said to him, " I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

We need to think on Jesus Christ in all these situations that cause panic among us. God knows about the Ebola, and every single person that is slaughtered in Iraq, and just about anything else you want to put in here that is causing panic in your life now. God hasn't forgotten about us. He is still in control of everything. He is still the sovereign God, firmly in control of it all. He still cares about these people, and there is a reason why these things happening around the world touches our hearts. It is because it touches HIS heart. He wants us to do something about it. .... sometimes we can actually go and be like the Samaritan's Purse doctor helping out the patients with Ebola in West Africa, or speak up about the truth of what is really happening in Israel, or be a missionary to China or whatever tickles your fancy. We are all geared different. We can't all do the same thing, and we can't all go. even though it would be great. Some of us can be at home and still do something about all these things while we think on the Truth of all that is happening. PRAY.
Pray for the thing that is most on your heart, whether it be the Ebola outbreak, or any of the Muslim wars around the world, or earthquakes, or the ........... (fill in the blank)

Pray and put your hope in Christ.  Besides all the issues on this earth should cause us to look forward to heaven where "He will away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning or crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away" Rev. 21:4. This one day when we are home with our Lord in heaven. So while we pass through here and things happen that cause us angst, let us talk to our Father about it.



Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Sharing Perfume among cows, sweat and dust (Mozambique outreach July 2014)


sunrise


Psalm 113: 3: From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the Lord is to be praised. 

Sunset on our way back from Nwamavique to Panhame
This was for me a really great outreach. I am very thankful that the Lord allowed me to return to this village. (This year would be the fifth time I've been to Panhame). It was good to go back and see the people, and they were very happy to see us back there also. In the way they put it "her face is not new". It is good for them to see the old faces coming back, it means so much to them that the old faces are back there caring about them and sharing with them again about Xikwembu (God). It is a small way to build relationships with them.



Some time ago I read a blog post by John Bloom on wasting your life. The good way to waste your life. The woman who broke her bottle of expensive perfume and there were folks standing around thinking "what a waste" she could have spent that money in "better"ways. In the same way people think you are mad to go for a week to the middle of nowhere not for a holiday, and walk around and talk to people about God. What on earth would you do that for? Well, maybe because it is not for something on earth. It is for Something far greater than this earth. God pulls people together and all of a sudden we have more brothers and sisters in Christ, and we go walking around and pouring out the perfume of Grace on others.

To give you just a glimpse of those we shared the perfume of Grace with. In Panhame is a small church, pastored by Pedros. We could encourage them in their faith to stay strong and grow closer to our Lord Jesus, to stay on the narrow path. Then we also went on hut-to-hut visitations but most of the people are in the fields and at the river busy planting and washing their laundry. So we went to do visitation there.

Limpopo river

One day we met 3 young guys at the river waiting for something. We started talking with them. Only the one guy had a real interest in what we had to say. The other two cannot say that they have never heard of Jesus or that He is the Salvation. We can only pray that the Lord would work in their hearts.

Then on another day we met a lady busy planting crops in her field. She said that she knew about our ministries we had on the afternoons and the evening services but her time is limited and could not come. She is the bread-baker of the village. We then shared with her about the Bread of Life from John 6. We can only pray for her that she will eat of the Bread of Life.

The bread baker lady of Panhame
On another day I started chatting with a young girl Lindy. I shared with her the gospel, even though I do not think that she truely understood what I was talking about. I invited her to the evening services and to the woman's ministry but she never showed up. I very much wished that she would show up so that I can continue talking to her. I can now only pray that the Holy Spirit would work in her heart and that Lord willing next year I can go back and look for her again to carry on with the conversation.

This is just a glimpse of a few people that we shared with.

ladies ministry
The ladies ministry is where my heart is.
Deuteronomy 32: 2-3. May my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distill as the dew, like gentle rain upon the tender grass and like showers upon the herb. For I will proclaim the name of the Lord; ascribe greatness to our God. 
I very much enjoy teaching these women and belief that is where God wants me to be - for now. Deut 32:2-3 is my prayer that my teaching them the word of God would fall upon them like the rain. May they with me stand and ascribe greatness to our God. Early on in the week I was chatting with my dear auntie Marj and said I wondered if we did not do any craft with them, or did not give them any gift at all, if they would still come. I had to wait 'till the friday afternoon before getting my answer on that one. After the ministry time was finished, the craft was finished all was done, we all just sat there. The ladies did not want to go home and we did not want to go home either. We all just sat there and looked at each other, then slowly we started chatting with each other, and shared bits of our lives with each other. Then auntie Marj asked them if there is maybe a craft that they would want us to come teach them next year or something that they would prefer us to with them (like do they prefer to do knitting and sewing or painting etc). Their answer..................  They enjoy any kind of craft that we do, but what they want is the teachings we bring them. I was overjoyed with the answer. and Lord willing next year I want to go back to these ladies and carry on teaching them the word of God, about our great God.

Psalm 34: 3: Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together. 


One song that I learned there is one about our Lord Jesus who will one day come back, and then we will dance and sing with Him. Si ku ri wanza Hosi Yesu u ta vuya. (one day Lord Jesus will come back). 
It is such a true song and now it is my favourite one too. Because one day when Hosi Yesu (Lord Jesus) comes back we will be with Him from all tongues, tribes, peoples, nations and everywhere and singing and dancing with Him. 

Revelation 5:9. And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe, and language and people and nation." 

I know that not all of those who came to our ministries are truely saved, but I do know that there are some who are truely children of God, and in that day when Jesus will come back we will all be together singing praises to our God of salvation.

As the David Crowder band sings: " Turn you ear to heaven, and hear the noise inside. The sound of angels awe, and all this for a King. We could join and sing. All this for a King.  Turn your gaze to heaven and raise a joyous noise, the Sound of Salvation come, the sound of rescued ones... and all this for a King. This great love that has redeemed, as one we sing.... Alleluia.  (no I did not write out the whole song here.. )

Riana Odendaal   July 2014



Monday, 14 July 2014

Tree firmly planted with its feet in the Living water


As we sow the seeds of the gospel
Fully knowing that some may fall
on rocky ground, others strangled by weeds
and birds picking on others.
Yet I pray that among this
some may fall onto fertile soil
and grow up to be
a beautiful Psalm 1:3 Nyala tree
with its feet firmly planted
in the streams of Living water


Riana Odendaal
July 2014 - Mozambique


Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Ponderings on the persecuted church

For the last I don't know how long I've been following the case of our sister from Sudan, Meriam Ibrahim. Then she is on death row, then there is possibility she will be free, the day after you hear the government never issued that freedom to her, or they changed their mind or who knows, then she is free and then not and so it goes on...... and yesterday everyone who followed her rejoiced in that she was free!!! Just to be disappointed again today to hear that she and her family was arrested at the airport as they were about the leave the country. How disappointing and discouraging. I feel her pain.

Some days I wonder what I should pray for the brothers and sisters that are being persecuted for their, or rather our faith in our Lord Jesus. He said after all numerous times in the Bible that we will be persecuted, and we should not be surprised if they hate us and persecute us for His name's sake. So then what on earth do we pray for them if it will be quite normal that they will be persecuted.
So this is somewhat the conclusion I've drawn from my pondering on it.
Yes we will be persecuted. In some places it is worse than in other places. here in the west we might be looked upon funny for praying in a public place, or your friends or rather acquaintances would think you are a weirdo for going to church every Sunday and going on a mission trip or whatever. You might hear things like, "don't push that Christianity thing down my throat".  That is nothing compared to other countries where they will torture you, provoke you, kick you out on the streets with no one to care for you, imprison you, or just plain kill you. and their other trick of discouraging you by like they did to our sister Meriam to tell a different story every couple of days.
Another person was a pastor from Iran who was rather ill, and in prison. If you are in an Iranian prison for being a Christian, they won't really bother to treat your illness no matter how serious it is. His family also had no one to care for them as he was the one earning money for the family. Then the prison one day just announced they don't know where he is. I don't know if they think we are stupid or what, of course they know exactly where he is. Organisations following the persecuted church said that the possibility that he was executed was high and the prison just don't want to admit that. His family have no clue what happened to him and now they need to survive as well.

So for one, we can pray that their faith be strengthened and that God will encourage them in some way to carry on. Pray for their health, as most probably if they get sick they might not get the correct treatment, especially when in prison. Pray for their families' faith to be encouraged and strengthened, for provision for their daily needs such as food etc. Pray for their safety. There are probably a million other things to pray for, for the persecuted brothers and sisters, but the point is - do to others what you want to be done for you. If you found yourself in a position of being severely persecuted would you want someone to pray for you, and what specifics would you want them to pray for you, and then pray that for them. and well anything else you can think of to pray for them. They need encouragement and prayers a lot more than what we do, not that we do not need it.



Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Broken Potsherds

I'm a broken potsherd

Broken I go through this world
Always so aware of my inabilities
my failures, shortcomings and cracks
What on earth am I useful for?
Lord, Your word tells me to be kind,
to be gentle and friendly
yet so often i find myself
cuttings others with my sharp broken potsherds

If I'm not bruising or cutting someone
the stuff i'm supposed to hold in
just falls out at all the leaks and cracks in me
and i wonder if I'm of any use at all

I look to You, the One who created it all
You hold everything and us all in Your hands

Carefully and purposefully you let the salt leak out
at just the right spots where flavour is needed
where persons need to start thirsting for You
The water leaks out just enough 
to water the seeds that fell out another broken pot
We all look back and realize that in the mess
You had purpose, You had beauty in mind
and You had it all under control 



Riana Odendaal
June 2014

Monday, 9 June 2014

Mozambique is on my mind


I wrote this poem about missions in Mozambique way back in 2009.

     Ministry

     Our God is an awesome God

     Zeal and Zest

     Adventure ( Advent- The coming of Christ; Adventure= what we do in the mean time to tell people that HE IS COMING BACK)

     Many serving opportunities under magnificent trees that fell out of heaven.

     Blessings, going to be a blessing but being blessed in return.

 faIth-building

    Quest on teaching & preaching the truth

YesU Waku Rhandza ( Jesus loves you in Shangaan)


     Eternal Impact. 



This baobab is next to camp in Panhame - after the floods I hope it is still there - and this picture reminds me so often of the country, and the people that we minister to there. 

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Psalm 37- Trust and delight in the Lord

This is some notes and musings from a sermon I heard a while back by Pastor Carl Harlgrove that meant a tremendous lot to me.

Psa 37:1   Of David. Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers!
Psa 37:2  For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb.
Psa 37:3  Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Psa 37:4  Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psa 37:5  Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.
Psa 37:6  He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.
Psa 37:7  Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!
Psa 37:8  Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
Psa 37:9  For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the LORD shall inherit the land.
Psa 37:10  In just a little while, the wicked will be no more; though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there.
Psa 37:11  But the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace.
Psa 37:12  The wicked plots against the righteous and gnashes his teeth at him,
Psa 37:13  but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he sees that his day is coming.


The people of God should not fret over the wicked. All around us we see wicked people prospering and think that they get away with what they are doing while we try to walk the straight and narrow way. God tells here through David that there is way we should look at the world, and things we should do. 

How should we look at the world? God will judge the whole earth one day. Those who are in Christ are without condemnation - Rom 8:1. The rest will be judged for eternity. 

What we we to do? Here are 5 commands to the people of God from Psalm 37. 

- Do not fret. The wicked will be judged. Do not get worked up, do not be afraid. 

- Don't be envious of evildoers. Their time is only temporary. Why would we want to envy them? We should live in the fear of the Lord always. What would it benefit you if you gain the whole world and lose your soul?

- Trust in the Lord. 
The wicked trusts in themselves. We should trust in the Lord. Your life should stand in contrast with the world. Trust in God is to belief in Him, to rely on Him. 

- Cultivate faithfulness
Some translations read "befriend faithfulness". Cultivate is the opposite of fading away. The wicked will fade away. Cultivate is preparing for a crop. We will reap what we sow. If we are faithful to God - you will reap the benefits of it. The wicked are not faithful. 
Make a friend of faithfulness. We must feed on HIS faithfulness. It nourishes you and gives you perspective on life. If we want a life of substance we need to feed on His faithfulness. We need to feed our souls with His Word. 
The world has no capacity to be faithful. 

- Delight in God
We have a command to delight in the Lord. We benefit from the decision to delight. Our decisions in life will have an affect on our lifes. We should take pleasure in God. We have pleasure when we are with friends and family, then so much more can we have pleasure when we are spending time with the living God. It is an enjoyable, beautiful and a good thing. 

It contrasts envy. If you can delight in God why would you want to envy the wicked. If you are full of God there would be no space for the world. 



JC Ryle put it so well. " Look to the cross, think of the cross, meditate on the cross,  and then go set your affections on the world if you can. " Well of course if you are full of God there would be no space for the world. 




Prunings

Prunings

We don't always understand why
we go through a difficult circumstance
and wonder why
what's the reason, the purpose

We loose friends once held dear
and others painfully point out "small" sins
looking back over our lives
we see that through it all
You, our Abba Father were near
Fruit came forth ever since
Lord, we don't always know why
or understand Your ways
But You held in Your hand all our days
And every tear we cry
will water the vine to bear more fruit

Show us how we can abide in You
For we can do nothing without You
You are the faithful One
sustaining us through it all

(John 15)


Riana Odendaal
June 2014






Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Others May, You Cannot - GD Watson

Others May, You Cannot 
By G.D. Watson

If God has called you to be really like Jesus He will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility. God’s call will put such demands of obedience on you that you will not be able to follow other people, or measure yourself by other Christians. At times, He will let other people do things which He will not let you do.

Other Christians who seem very religious will push themselves, pull wires, and work schemes to carry out their plans. You cannot, and if you attempt it, you will meet with failure and rebuke from the Lord.

Others may boast of themselves, of their work, of their successes, but the Holy Spirit will not allow you to do any such thing, and if you begin it, He will lead you to despise yourself and all your good works.

Others may be allowed to succeed in making money, or may have a legacy left to them, but it is likely God will keep you poor. God wants you to have something far better than gold, namely, a helpless dependence upon Him, that He may demonstrate His faithful love for you in supplying your needs day by day.

God may let others be honored and put forward, and keep you hidden in obscurity in order to produce some fragrant fruit for His coming glory which can only be produced in the shade. He may let others be great, but keep you small. He may let others do a work for Him and get the credit for it now. The reward for your work is held in the hands of Jesus and you will not see it until He comes.

The Holy Spirit will put a strict watch over you with a jealous love. He will rebuke you for the little words and feelings or for wasting your time. So make up your mind that God is an infinite Sovereign, and has a right to do as He pleases with His own. He does not owe you an explanation of these mysteries. But if you give yourself to be His child, He will wrap you up in a jealous love, and give you the precious blessings for those who belong, heart and soul, to Him.

Settle it forever, then, that you are to deal directly with the Holy Spirit. It is His option to tie your tongue, or chain your hand, or close your eyes in ways that He does not seem to use with others. And when you are so possessed by the living God that your heart delights over this peculiar, personal, private, jealous guardianship and management of the Holy Spirit over your life, you will have found the vestibule of Heaven.

This essay was originally written as a tract by G.D. Watson (lived 1845-1924).

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Prayer points for outreach

 

Love Africa and the People of Africa

So it is outreach time again. I made this list of prayer points which covers quite a number of areas, both the folk of Mozambique being evangelized and the team on outreach and Samaria Mission. Surely this is not an exhaustive list and that's why I put the point on - anything else that God tells you also to pray for.

I have asked some friends and family, or is it friends who are family and family who are friends too.... to pray for me and with me for the outreach and other outreaches also taking place during June and July. Some have asked me for prayer points, I have answered some folks and others not yet.

For more information on Samaria Mission, see their website (http://samariamission.co.za)  and their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SamariaMission



So here goes:

Prayer points: 

- For safe travels, and the vehicles which always seem to give some sort of trouble. That vehicle trouble can be sorted out ahead of time and that the Lord would provide for any repairs that would need to take place. Please also pray for the Lord to provide for the vehicle replacement fund of Samaria Mission. 

-That we would not have hassles at the border. 

- For our health. It is a malaria area, and even though it's winter and the mozzies aren't as active as they are during summer, they can still be around. We also seem to have lots of sinus issues (from the dust) and even colds and flu. Tummy trouble is also a thing which shows its ugly face from time to time, and the heat can be exhausting. The temperature changes from cold at night and in the early mornings to hot during the day, I think, also play a role in getting sick and or exhausted. 


- There are plenty of people there who have heard of Jesus, and possibly even through Samaria Mission's trips there and the believers there. But they want to add Jesus to their ancestor worship and whatever else they believe in. From 1 Tim 2:5-6 and John 14:6 (and many other verses) we know this will not work ever. Pray that they would understand it's Jesus only and will follow Him only. Pray that God would work in their hearts to follow Him and Him alone.  

- Pray for the believers there, that they would be strengthened and encouraged in their faith, that they will stand firm to the end and hold fast to the Truth of God's word. That they would be examples to those around them and share God's word with them. That they would grow in a deeper relationship with God and be rooted and grounded in His love for them. (Eph 3:16-21). 

- Pray for those we would meet, and share the Good News with, that God would prepare their hearts to receive His word, that they would receive it and their life's transformed. 

- For unity among us, as a team, and for all the teams that would come out on outreaches. 

- Pray for us to follow God's nudgings and directions to where we should go and what we should share. For divine appointments. 

- For our preparations, for the trip in all ways: For the finances to go, from spiritual preparedness, preparing bible studies and for the preachers that would be preaching at the evening services, and going on hut-to hut and sharing testimonies and God's message with them. and physically and mentally too. For creative and true ways to use teaching aids (pictures etc) to make the message clearer. That we would spend quality and quantity time in our personal devotion time.

- Pray for those who want to go on outreach but don't have the finances, that the Lord would provide for them to go. A great saying I heard recently was: if it's God's will it's God's bill. If He put in your heart to go He will provide the means for you to go. Phil 4:19. 

- Pray for the translators that they would not grow weary in their job of assisting us that don't know the language and that the rest of us would learn more and more of the language. That the message would be shared clearly through them. 

- Continue to pray for Samaria Mission's ongoing work in Mozambique. That the Lord would provide for their financial needs for the running costs of the mission, finances to replace their vehicles that need replacing, and the work they are doing with the ongoing Leadership training for these churches' pastors. It is once a month for about a week. You can "like" their facebook page for more updates of what is happening in the mission, as well as prayer requests.  https://www.facebook.com/SamariaMission

- This point I want to elaborate on a bit. I feel a lot safer in the bushes of Mozambique than most places in South Africa. That does not mean it will always be that way. Fairly recently it was still a war zone and there are still sporadic times of unrest between Frelimo and Renamo. Just because we have not had any problems with safety in the few years we have gone, does not mean it will always be that way. Hence my request to pray for our safety, as well as that of the other teams. These unrests can spring up sporadically anywhere anyplace anytime. But we serve an Almighty Sovereign God who can protect us anywhere anyplace anytime. Amen.


- and Pray for whatever the Holy Spirit lays on your heart to pray for. 


Ndza Nkhenza (Thank you in Tsonga) 



Friday, 28 February 2014

My Africa

My Africa is a continent with possibility
Yet so struck with fear and traditions
It has so much diversity in culture and nature
So much to offer
If only you care to look and see
There are the bustling concrete jungles
But I prefer the one with fresh air
Sky high trees, vast open spaces
The lion’s roar at night at the hyaenas laughter
Birdsong for your morning alarm call
The smell of dust and the fresh petrichor
when the clouds above are thundering
and after the storm is the beautiful rainbow
The antelope runs around so gracefully, yet knowing 
the silent predator may hide in the marula tree

the little kids play around with cars made of twigs and mud
and are too happy to take your picture with a camera of stone
Their smile so shiny white and bright and face full of dust
Once they have grown they realize life is hard
and our lives are but a vapour. 
It is not an easy walk on this beautiful continent
but it is still a good life, a good moment. 
What is to come, we often think of
Do they even wonder of the afterlife?
If there is such a thing as the afterlife?
How to get there? 
Where is their hope? 
Do they have dreams?
Do they trust our message that we bring them
of our Lord Jesus - who created all this beauty-  and them?
or is it just the mulungo's Jesus?
Do they even realize He came and died for them too?