Waves Fear and Fun

This Holiday July 2015 was the first time I remember Stephen my 3rd son going into the big waves with me.

We always put our feet in on the shore and sang ‘we not afraid, we not afraid you just a big wave and we not afraid’ easy to say when you feet are anchored on the shore.

But this time , he grabbed my hand and said dad take me in. In we walked hand in hand to shore breaks breaking over his head and depths where his feet could not touch the sand below.

The first time he was nervous, but realized it was fun. “Can you take me again dad” . We ran this time into the waves. “Jump!” I shouted and lifted him over the top of the crashing shore break. On the other side he asked “Dad how do I dive under?”. “Just like you dive in a pool!” I said.  And so he tried and oh what fun!

In an instant he had moved from Fear to Fun. His only security was holding his dads hand.

I Thought to myself. What a lesson!

Life in this world is not for sissies. You will have troubles of many kinds. But we have an ever present Father there to hold our hands and wade out into the depths with us. He will carry us over the waves, teach us to dive into our fears and find freedom and fun in the very world that scares us.

And just when you think you let go of His hand, you find he’ll never let go of you. He may even carry you in His arms of Love or on His Shoulders.

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A Song came to mind:

Oh what I would do to have
The kind of faith it takes to climb out of this boat I’m in
Onto the crashing waves

To step out of my comfort zone
To the realm of the unknown where Jesus is
And He’s holding out his hand

But the waves are calling out my name and they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times I’ve tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me
Time and time again, “Boy, you’ll never win!”
“You’ll never win”

But the voice of truth tells me a different story
And the voice of truth says, “Do not be afraid!”
And the voice of truth says, “This is for My glory”
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth

– Casting Crowns Voice of truth

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Christmas Connection

christmas 93Perhaps its all the weddings around me but I really feel the message God has has for us this Christmas is re connect.

His name will be Emanuel! God with us !

God sent Jesus to connect with us. To identify with us, so that we could never say God you don’t understand what its like for us who live here on earth. He knows He always knew but he wanted us to know he wants us to connect with Him.

May God’s Love be poured out on you so lavishly this Christmas that it spills generously over all those who are around you. As you intentionally expect Gods blessing take time to share your child’s favorite pastime, engage in your wife’s favorite hobby, meet with your friend for a beverage, bless someone with more than a gift that is wrapped. You are God’s Gift to those around you  when you live a life expectant of Gods guidance he will lead you to people who need to experience the expression He is in you. Express however he leads Sing,Dance, create, love, touch, hold, help, listen, teach.

And if this Christmas finds you feeling Exhausted, drained blah out of energy. Choose to rest, resist religious activity and traditions, be brave and reach out to a trusted friend and ask for help, for it may be His chance to be the expression of Christmas to you, and He’d be all the poorer for you not having asked.

If Christmas has survived this many years I can only assume God intended it. And from what I know of God He would love that you enjoyed the Fullness of life He intended it to be.

So Go out there and be the cheer, Be the love and be All God made you to be His Great gift to this world

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Prayer Letter

Followers of Christ, we in for the long run. Love the Lord!
It’s about how good God is! Its not about how good the Church is!
We are family .Whether Guilty or not of whatever transgression, I love you, pray for you, sing for you, Wage war in the heavenly realms for you. Trusting that in all things, God will work all things together for the good of those called according to His purpose.

We have a wonderful councilor a prince of peace at our side. Use HIS 24 hour support. Download his Grace install it in your inner most being. Let it go viral transforming your entire being! From time to time scan all your memory the only way to security is every thought in captivity.

Network,benchmark, share strengths and weaknesses. Bring Hope to one another, Share testimonies of Gods goodness, Love one another. Let the children follow you as You follow God and turn their eyes towards Jesus so even if you loose your way they know who to follow.
Tire not of repentance God’s discipline is so close to His love sometimes I can’t tell them apart.

Fall into His everlasting arms and let Him wrap you up in True Love Healing and Pick you up and teach you what the Good Life is all about.

You may loose sight of the Main frame and get lost in hand held devices and their distractions and many apps. Stop! Take time to let business be your servant rather than your master. Then take time to be a servant to the least to get the slightest understanding of what Christ has done us.

Pray! never stop! keep your eyes open! God is busy. Be busy there with Him doing only what he says you must do. Don’t be a servant of what you think you should do. Do the word obey the Spirit Incline your heart in whatever you do to pleasing God.

Then even when we do it wrong an miss the Joy God planned for us. God will choose to ignore the wrong we did and attribute the attitude of our Heart as worship in Spirit and Truth. And the fruit will be there in and out of season because the Root is deep the connection is guaranteed nothing can SEPARATE US FROM HIS LOVE

SIGNED

your novice servant
Neil

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Every Little Thing to The Glory of the One who made me

I will start with a Steven Curtis Chapman quote & End with one:

” I want to Love you with my Life”

This song I have sung many times & always has memories of the Central Baptist Singing group we had when I was in High school.

I have been on a journey discovering what this means ever since I first sung it from my Heart.

At times it seemed easier to do in a “Church” environment and at one stage in Matric I was convinced God would deliver me from the Secular world to serve Him “Full Time”

Instead I found he lead me to:

Sing  and Play music in Bars & Clubs.

Be a Husband & Father of 4 Boys

Pursue a Career as a CA(SA) in a  Family Audit Firm

Be a Financial Manager in the Food Wholesale environment

And now for the New Chapter at Bidvest Steiner.

But it was not what I did that mattered.

On many occasions I wondered why am I doing this or that? 

Till instead I started asking Lord can you show me how I can do whatever task at hand in a way as to bring You Glory!

I found this very meaningful and it turned the normally mundane tasks into something beautiful.

And I end with the second SCC quote:

“As you do everything you do to the glory of the One who made you,
Cause he made you,
To do
Every little thing that you do
To bring a smile to His face
Tell the story of grace
With every move that you make
And every little thing you do

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Pressing on towards the prize

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Empty Cup

 

The reason to rise early

The cause to decipline

The object of desire

That presses them to win

The hope before the vision

The glory of the day

 Raise it up

Shiny empty cup

 

Chorus

Is it enough

Shiny empty cup

A great story

Oh the Glory

Was our work in vain

What will remain of glory & fame

Who can fill it up

Empty cup empty cup

 

Verse 2

Those endless wasted weekends

Those celebrations missed

Can you even comprehend?

The cost of the silverware you kissed

Your focus was enough

Your vision it was clear

It’s just the emptiness of loneliness

That’s ringing in your ear

Bridge

In the end these things remain

Faith Hope and Love

Yes this is enough

To fill an empty cup

To make it overflow

To make a different story

For a greater glory

Yes I know

His overflow

 

Final chorus

Yes there’s enough

To fill a Shiny empty cup

The overflow is His story

Oh the Glory

No our work is not in vain

It’s in His name

Lord won’t you fill it up

This Empty cup, this empty cup

Make it more than enough

A vessel of your LOVE

 

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Depression Lesson

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FAITH HOPE & LOVE

 

I have always felt that Hope was the message God had given me to share. I wrote my Hope Poem in 1994 shortly after leaving school when I surrendered to Gods leading me to Study accounting even though I told Him I’d be a great Youth leader.

Some 20 years later I read the same poem & ponder at the path I have walked since.

Surely my boundaries have fallen in pleasant places. But I often ponder those few years. Honours was the worst 3years of my life. Failure, tiredness and depression were emotions I expressed to extremes.

What was it about? Have I learn’t my Lesson? What were they?

I still haven’t a clue but after loosing my Job, hurting my wife, having to return with her to living a  dependent on my Mom & Dad & still not achieving my CA(SA). All I have to offer is the resounding words of those who loved me:

My Grandmother:

One thing I do know, God never changes, He does exist and He does care

My Father:

Sink into your deepest fears and know even when you in your deepest despair underneath you are God’s everlasting Arms

My Wife

I don’t care what I have to do I just want you well again

My Mom:

This I know nothing no nothing can separate you from the Love of God

God:

Neil you are no one’s Big disappointment. You are my project and I never Fail  

When His Love breaks through you know the past is the past the present is in His presence perfect No matter what you put your hands to. The future is full of Hope & Love will see you through whatever curve ball’s this world can throw at you.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

 

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OCFD (Obsessive Compulsive Fishing Disorder)

Of Fishing and its benefits

 

The tackle tied the bait prepared; I go to sleep anticipating an early start with fisherman Tai.

What is fishing all about?

We Invest in Bait, tackle & then our time for what? The hope of an edible fish? I don’t even particularly enjoy eating fish though Fresh Shad, Perch or Salmon cooked in batter on the skottle the day it’s taken out the water is something I have learnt to enjoy .

I had never been a real keen fisherman till Keith Langton & Alan Mitchell had shown us how. They have the gift. In one weekend at St Lucia under Alan’s guidance, and careful selection of fishing spots I caught 24 fish my personal record (If 5 were edible it was a lot)It included 2 grunter just under pan size of 400mm. In an Oribi holiday I took younger cuzzies fishing & was proud to see Nathan Langton catch his first fish. And will never forget hooking a 3 pound Bass even while Matt Langton was splashing in the water at Syd’s windmill dam. The next day Keith Langton showed up and showed us how to do it properly! 24 bass were transferred from Syd’s to Geoff’s dam that day in just a few hours of fishing.

 

Before Tai’s birth I had not fished for 7 years only broken by a 1hour session off the rocks at Leisure bay where Shad literally hooked themselves & after catching 2 in 4 casts I decided I’d caught more than I could eat. Tai is a born fisherman thanks to Keith teaching him at 3 to catch his first fish, a record bettered by Stephen who hooked his first at 2.

At First fishing for me was about :

1)      Quality time with my boys

Snaggles & Tackle lost on rocks never seems to bring despair. No there is always hope. No matter how much we stink when we return there is always Love when we return. Joy at the showing of the tiny catch caught. And patience for the story telling of well the one that got away. And oh what stories they are! I wish people would still teach the skill of telling stories well the Colin Langton way

2)      A most relaxing sport

As I watch the tide come in and out and the sun slowly rise in the distance, I am in awe of the Creator and the beauty of His creation. I start singing and well could’t really care if the fish bite or not.

3)      A most awesome way of meeting people

I have met people I never would have crossed paths with were it not for fishing. Mike Bruno & Kevin helped me catch my biggest fish, a Salmon off the rocks in front of the South coast casino. Ryan Richmond shared his love of Fishing & next thing we were sharing a weekend in Salt rock with his lovely family. The Big one got away so alas he did not win the competition, but I got to share the love of fishing using his left over bonito Tuna as bait with every kid who cared to enquire. Tiny hooks and tiny fish, but oh the Joy and excitement and what a fun Fathers day Sunday.

Well it would seem sometimes the side effects justify the investment.

Stories, Memories, Beauty are some of these. And if in the end we, like Peter, catch nothing for all our trying. There is always the HOPE!

 

That Jesus will show up and teach us something new, we would never have thought of trying: Like casting nets on the other side. Then what abundance and what grace we’ll experience. Topped off only by abandoning our boat full of fish (that which we thought we desired) to sit and share a simple meal with Jesus (God’s ultimate plan relationship restored)

 

And as we sit and talk and listen & eat. Who know maybe we’ll catch just a glimpse of the plan He has for us & the love He has for simple fishermen & all mankind

 

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