sit down, [son]

One of the most central issues within the [modern] church, that seems to pop up every now and then is the question:

Should women be allowed to preach?

Essentially, this question does not relate to the official platform of ‘preacher’ as it relates to pastor or whatever official title you’d like to slap on to the formal structure of [church] ministry. Rather, the question is this — are women supposed to publicly speak out about the Gospel?

One would think that, within the modern era, this question is finite, and also redundant. Yet, it’s something that constantly pops up in church discussions, social media, and feminist campaigns. Personally, I’m not an advocate for feminism. I’m an advocate for the Gospel, and that intrinsically implies equality. Perhaps we’ll have a discussion about this another time?

Part of the recent uproar was caused by criticism toward Christian Author, Beth Moore, and others who were told to ‘go home’.

Nijay Gupta recently wrote this brilliant commentary as Paul, in an open letter to the church:

An Open Letter from the Apostle Paul to John MacArthur Regarding Beth Moore

I think it’s important, when interpreting Scripture, to consider the context in which, and for which it was written. It is impossible to fully understand Scripture, especially in the New Testament where letters were written to specific churches [new Believers that were birthed out of the Apostolic mandate that followed the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2] without also considering these words from Hebrews 4:12:

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

Hebrews 4:12, KJV:

I am, by no means, a Theologist or a Bible Guru, but from what I read, and see, and understand, the Word — all of it — is relevant and active to the here and now.

When reading Scripture that is culturally-specific, I think it’s important to consider that culture is such a diverse notion. It’s not something that is easily defined, and it’s even harder to transfer. But, when interpreting Scripture, we should be wary to not fall back under legalism. Christ said that He didn’t come to abolish the Law [the Levitical Law of Moses, as found in the Torah], but to fulfil it. Therefore, under the New Covenant, we are governed by the Spirit, and not the Law.

Does this mean that Scripture is no longer relevant? Absolutely not! It does mean, however, that we should interpret Scripture and its cultural notions through the Holy Spirit. There is an argument to be made, of course, that this is very subjective, and again — let’s be careful not to enforce the opinion of man on Scripture and call it Gospel — but, Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth, and therefore is an agent on behalf of Man to intercede before the Father, and to reveal the will of God to the hearts and minds of Man.

Feminism aside, if you look at Scripture, you’ll find that, aside from the 12 disciples, there was a crowd of people who followed Jesus as he ministered. The vast majority were women.

Should women be allowed to preach? Absolutely.

Because the Great Commission, and the whole Scripture, is for Believers.

It’s not Elitist. It’s not meant for Scholars. It’s not culture-specific or culture-exclusive. It’s not language-specific. It’s not age-specific. it’s not race-specific. It’s not gender-specific.

Are you called to preach?

If you consider yourself to be a Believer — yes.

A minister of the Gospel is not a preacher, a bishop, a pastor a prophet — titles and job descriptions that [the church] has slapped on to formal structures to try and make sense of [the church]. Being a minister of the Gospel means to be like John 3:8 says, to be led by the Spirit, to be obedient to the whole Scripture, to preach the Good News of the Gospel, to be a witness to the Nations.

And if you happen to be a woman, does this disqualify you? No. I say — rise up and preach!

AN OPEN LETTER FROM THE APOSTLE PAUL TO JOHN MACARTHUR (RE: BETH MOORE)

John, I appreciate the love you have for the Lord and the passion you have for the church. I know that you think that the world would be a better place if women did as they were told and “stayed home.” But I need to tell you that you are damaging my ministry with these notions. The great gospel mission cannot impact the world in the ways God has planned if you hold back the kingdom’s servants. “The fields are ripe and the work is great,” Jesus used to say. Women have played such a crucial role in my apostolic mission, I could not operate without their wisdom, partnership and leadership.

They can’t go home, there is simply too much at stake.

Euodia and Syntyche (Phillipians 4:2-3) can’t go home. Sometimes these women don’t get along, but they have been leaders in evangelism and outreach and have worked alongside me to fight for the faith. They have to journey beyond their doorsteps to do this work.

Junia can’t go home, John. Sorry, she is in prison (again) because of her work for the gospel out there in the world (Romans 16:7). In fact, the other apostles have some pretty amazing things to say about her ministry.

Phoebe can’t go home, John. She went to Rome—actually, I sent her there (Rom 16:1-2). I sent her with my letter to the Romans and also to provide ministry support there. 

It might provide a little comfort to you that I sent Nympha to her home in Lycus Valley (Colossians 4:15); not to do domestic duties (she has servants for that), but to be the house church leader and patroness. 

John, we must part with any sentimental or nostalgic notions of womanhood where women sweep and cook while the men do the “real work” of ministry. I wish you could meet with the women who contend alongside me as co-workers of the gospel mission: they are gifted, wise, and brave (when was the last time you were in prison?). 

John, I know you care about the gospel, and we can’t do the work with one hand tied behind our backs. The gospel of Jesus Christ is just too important. Let the Phoebes, Junias, Euodias, Syntyches, and Nymphas do their work—and you do yours too.

Grace to you, John, and let others also know you are a grace-filled believer as well (remember: grace is generosity mixed with love out of the compassion of Christ) 

Paul, slave of Jesus Christ

the tiger

the tyger || burning bright || #runwildlivefree

On 29 September, two weeks after my dad passed away, I was visiting my friend Carené — I was making my way though town, coming back from KZN where I went to see my dad’s lawyer earlier that morning.

It wasn’t an unusual day, and I wasn’t very emotional. I think, even now, I’m still numb to the reality of my dad’s physical absence. anyway, I’ll tell you about this another time.

As usual, Carené set up some series, and we got ready to art because, as she famously says, “kuns maak alles beter.”

I don’t know why, because this definitely isn’t my usual style, but I felt that I had to draw this tiger, with me curled up against it’s belly, in the middle of the jungle.

The Tiger

Now, despite famously being a cat-person, I see myself more as a wolf (and it has nothing to do with weird spiritual stuff), and I’m not convinced that this is a self-portrait, but, here we are — the tyger, an ode to William Blake’s beautiful poetry, a journey of healing, and a refuge in this jungle of in-between chaos.

One day, we’ll see the Lion lying with the Lamb.

But for now, here I am, resting in the shadow of the tiger.

The Tyger

William Blake

Tyger Tyger, burning bright,

the forests of the night; 

What immortal hand or eye, 

Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies. 

Burnt the fire of thine eyes? 

On what wings dare he aspire? 

What the hand, dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art, 

Could twist the sinews of thy heart? 

And when thy heart began to beat, 

What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain, 

In what furnace was thy brain? 

What the anvil? what dread grasp, 

Dare its deadly terrors clasp!

When the stars threw down their spears 

And water’d heaven with their tears: 

Did he smile his work to see? 

Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger Tyger burning bright, 

In the forests of the night: 

What immortal hand or eye, 

Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

the valley

Twenty six days ago my father passed away.

These words still seem unreal to me, even as I write them here. In a month’s time I’ll be celebrating my first birthday without him, and that is even more unreal.

“Your word is a lamp to guide my feet, and a light for my path.”

Psalm 199:105

One of the most referenced scriptures surely has to be Psalm 23, and it’s especially quoted in times of hardship. Today I find myself asking what this Valley of the Shadow of Death is supposed to look like? I’m no theologian, but I do believe that Holy Spirit speaks to us through the Word, and breaks open the scriptures so that we might know Him. And therefore, even though I’m sure there’s so much more to Psalm 23 than what I can endeavour to break down in a single post, here are some of my thoughts on the matter:

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” —Psalm 23:4 #quotes #encouragingquotes #biblequotes #strongquotes #YourTango | Follow us: www.pinterest.com/yourtango

The Lord is my best friend and my shepherd. I always have more than enough. The Lord gives me a place to rest — I am safe in His love. The Lord makes me whole, and gives me new life. He shows me the paths of life, and leads me to walk in His ways. By walking where He guides me, I bring honour to His name.
Lord, when your path takes me through valleys of darkness, I will not let fear be my master because You take care of me. You remain close to me, and lead me all the way! In your presence, I am strong, and my heart is filled with peace. Your love comforts me, and takes away my fear. I will never be lonely because you are always near! You anoint me with your Holy Spirit, and you fill me until my heart feels like it will burst! I am not afraid of the future because Your goodness and love is always with me — all the days of my life.
And afterward, when all my days have been lived, I will enjoy your presence — forever with You!

  • God does not change.

Our circumstances might change — for better or for worse — but that does not alter who God is. His Word remains true — He cannot lie! One of the scriptures that I’ve prayed most over my life has to be Romans 12:2 — that Holy Spirit would renew my thinking to line up with the Truth of His Word. There is only one truth I care about, and that’s the Kingdom’s perspective. This does not mean that we live in denial of reality. It means we are anchored in Him, and when the storms of life tug us into deep waters, we are sustained by His presence and His word keeps us steady. He is the same — yesterday, today and forever!

  • He is faithful

Time and again I find myself flipping to Genesis 22 in my Bible to read how God called Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Isaac. It seems ridiculous that an Almighty God should go back on His promise and take back Isaac whom he had promised to Abraham as his legacy — to be the father of nations. And yet, that’s exactly what happened. This is one of the most important events in Christian history, in my opinion, because it prophesies the death of Jesus — God’s plan to reconcile Man to Himself with a worthy Sacrifice that would settle the claim of death and sin for all eternity. This is of course an important lesson in obedience as well. Faith does not require understanding. It requires obedience. If God does not change, and His word is reliable Truth, then faith requires obedience (action) as a response to this Word. The one thing that stands out to me in Abraham’s life is that obedience is always better than sacrifice because He who has promised is faithful. We so often hold on to the promises, that we loose our grasp on the Promise Maker. He is faithful to provide above and beyond anything we could hope for, pray for, or imagine. He provides the Sacrifice. The journey through impossible times, this valley, might be tough, and you might be questioning God, or your own sanity as you undertake this step of faith. John 10:10 assures that it is the enemy who is the destroyer and that God brings Life and Life in abundance — this is the assurance we have; He is faithful to restore! He is faithful!

  • perfect Love casts out fear

Psalm 23:4 notes that even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. Fear paralyses us into passivity. Faith empowers us to be obedient. One of the most transformative revelations to come into my life, was the understanding that God lives inside me — Holy Spirit empowers me to act and live outside my natural gifting and limitations, and to live according to a supernatural truth. This isn’t some pie-in-the-sky philosophy, but a DNA re-structure of our spiritual blueprint, the Divine Design which God laid down when He created man in His likeness. The God who speaks Life into existence, who is the personification of Love, lives inside us — He expels darkness, and He defeated death. So, when we find ourselves in circumstances that tell us death and destruction are upon us, we don’t have to fear or believe the lies of the enemy, because He is the hope that anchors our soul.

On 18 September, four days after my father passed on, I had the privilege of sharing this scripture as part of the message I preached at my father’s memorial service.

10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

John 10:10

Isn’t this wonderful?

No matter what we lose on this side of Eternity, it can never take away, steal, kill, destroy or diminish that which holds eternal truth in Him: life, and life in abundance.

Of course, the death of a loved one is never easy, especially not the chaos that follows the absence, but our hope is secure in Him, the author and perfecter of faith, the One who gives life, the One who restores the years the locusts stole, the One who holds the keys to the Kingdom, the One who defeated death, the One who sits on the throne, the Lamb who was worthy to be slain.

This is the fulness of the promise we have in Christ: a life of fulness, not only here and now, but forever in His presence.

HALLELUJAH!

#untilthewholeworldhears
#everytribeandtongue
#runwildlivefree

So today, as I look back on September, and the many ways in which every September from here on after will be different, I know that the valley isn’t the final destination. There is more to come! He is faithful! Death is not the end — in Him we have fulness in the here and now, but also forever in His presence!

Even in the valley You are faithful!

until the pavement turns into untouched places

on écrit sur les murs pour la monde || run until the pavement turns into untouched places

Today’s Parkrun was more of a park-stroll than a run, but it was done in the exhilarating company of laughing kids in prams, dogses with waggy tails, my best friend’s sister and her husband, and lovely mild Spring weather.

Last night for the first time in a while, I decided to listen to French news radio.
Obviously my ear is out of practice and I struggle to keep up with the Québécoises, but if Justin Tudeau wants to pour honey down my ears — in French no less — it’s a price I’ll pay.

The thing is — sometime we get caught up in life, running from end to end to get stuff done. And we tend to miss out on the simple pleasures — like children laughing and wet dog noses; taking a stroll in stead of a sprint.

I’ve been putting in some effort to reclaim me-things.

And no, it’s not out of selfishness.
We need to do me-things to recharge, to have an introspection pit stop, to breathe.

And yes — for me, that means listening to French radio, and reading a book in stead of a zillion academic articles, and having a nap in stead of doing the dishes.

And, when you take time to slow down, it might mean writing on the walls to leave a legacy for those yet to come.

come alive

A year ago, I climbed Masada, walked through Jericho, and ate icecream in the blistering humidity that Israel calls autumn.

More than anything else, I became vividly aware that Scripture is alive — in and around me, as it is reflected off this harsh landscapes with its hidden treasures of milk and honey.

God’s Word is alive and working and is sharper than a double-edged sword. It cuts all the way into us, where the soul and the spirit are joined, to the center of our joints and bones. And it judges the thoughts and feelings in our hearts.

Hebrews 4:12
Qumran, Dead Sea

I’m growing increasingly appreciative of the Jewish people, their stubbornness, their devotion, and the richness of their journey as a people and a nation.

When Saul persecuted David, he and his mighty men sought refuge at the desert oasis of Ein Gedi.

everywhere I go, I’m wrapped in Scripture, and more than ever, I am convinced that the Word is God, that the Word is living and active, that the Word is made manifest in us and through us, and that it is impossible to live life without Him.

to me, it’s not so much about following in Jesus’s footprints, as it is the realisation that Holy Spirit inside us is the Hope of Glory.

Jericho, Palestine
Jericho, Palestine

So faith comes by hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the preaching [of the message that came from the lips] of Christ (the Messiah Himself).

Romans 10:17
Masada, Israel

#runwildlivefree

Masada is a fortress in the middle of the Judean desert.
if you’re anything like me, you don’t put “refuge” and “desert” in the same sentence.
there are obvious strategic and tactical benefits to hiding out in a place of isolation, but if the aim is survival, odds are, if your enemy won’t survive, neither will you.
at least, this was my train of thought as the desert sun beat down relentlessly, sealing in the heat reflecting off of the Dead Sea.
Masada is from the Hebrew, מצדה‬ metsada, which means “fortress”.
among the ruins are remnants of Herod’s palace, and the place is famously known for it’s ability to provide strategic defence.
the cliffs to the East are 400m high, and toward the West, 90m.
if you’re the adventurous kind, you can climb the zig-zagging snake path leading to the top.
or, take the cable car, and escape the heat (sort of). the top of Masada is a mesa-like plateau which provided ample space for the building of palaces, storage rooms, barracks, and most importantly — cisterns to catch up and contain flash floods.
aside from all the drama between the Romans and the Jews, Masada is also known as the last stand where Sicari rebels committed suicide (which is forbidden in Judaism), rather than facing captivity and slavery.
the desolation of this desert fortress, and the determination of the people who found refuge in it, opened up a new understanding of the Israeli people and the harsh spiritual and physical climate in which they need to survive.

Lucien

This morning Facebook reminded me of this seemingly simple event that took place two years ago — my conversation with Lucien.

As a teenager and student, I faithfully kept journals, but nowadays (especially trying to minimize weight while travelling often), I keep my thoughts and memoirs digitally. So, when I read over this ‘inscription’, I could not help but be amazed at the way God strategically line things up to work together for good.

Two years ago I was having a conversation on mangled French in a parking lot, and now I’m preparing to move to the Democratic Republic of Congo, and make it my home. Set your mind on the things of the Kingdom, look for Him, and all these things will be added — He is not slow in remembering His promises.

“So above all, constantly chase after the realm of God’s kingdom and the righteousness that proceeds from him. Then all these less important things will be given to you abundantly. Refuse to worry about tomorrow, but deal with each challenge that comes your way, one day at a time. Tomorrow will take care of itself.”
Matthew 6:33‭-‬34 TPT

I quickly popped into Checkers because I needed milk, cat litter, and strawberries (I blame my friend Sanet for the craving). Most of the car guards at Checkers are Congolese and though I often greet them, it’s usually no more than a polite hi and bye.

Today however, I spoke to Lucien.
We had a quick chat about the heat, where he grew up near Kinshasa, how long he has been in South Africa for, and he complimented me on my native-sounding French accent.

I laugh at this now, because I realise that — without speaking it aloud — God has heard my prayer. I’ve been looking for ways to practice speaking French on a regular basis, and in one morning I hung out with Mariëtte and Arno (see previous post) who are emigrating to Canada soon, and Lucien — with plenty French-speaking opportunity.

While I was drinking my Crazy Chai Latté I noticed the inscription on Esthé’s glasses: LOOK FOR HIM.

Seek and you shall find. God is not far away, apathetic or angry. He is near us — in our hearts and minds, through the Holy Spirit, and He knows exactly what we need. Our simplest prayers are pleasing to Him.

Recherchez d’abord le royaume et la justice de Dieu, et tout cela vous sera donné en plus.

Matthieu 6:33 S21

healing for the nations

tree of life || Jordan || run wild live free

Jordan is home to some of the most beautiful hand-cut limestone mosaic.
the intricate details of each artwork (whether decorative or functional) reflects the heart of the people and their beautiful land.

I’ve had many conversations with many different people about which Scripture version/translation is most accurate, and therefore most reliable, and preferable.

I’m not a theologian, but I am a language practitioner, and therefore I tend to view Scripture translations as exactly that — the recording of words and phrases for a specific culture or people group.
any translator will tell you that there are things that are un-translatable.
therefore, the aim in translation is to transfer meaning and content, and not just “say in one language what has already been said in another language.” (different argument in its own right, but I won’t saddle that horse now.) again, as a language practitioner I read many translations, both for the pleasure of language, but also for a wider understanding of the text and it’s context.

I’ve been reading the Messianic Tree of Life version for some time now, and I keep discovering new beauty in it.

I find that Scripture translations are often like beautiful mosaics — carefully put together in order to convey it’s truest message.

I say, read the translation/version that speaks to you (language wise, and revelation wise) with the enlightenment of Holy Spirit, and allow Him to reveal the depths of it’s truths to you.

On either side of the river was a tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in the city, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. Night shall be no more, and people will have no need for lamplight or sunlight—for Adonai Elohim will shine on them. And they shall reign forever and ever!

Revelation 232:1‭-‬5

#runwildlivefree

behold

mount nebo || jordan || run wild live free

this, friends, is what Moses saw when God showed him the Promised Land.

Mount Nebo, Jordan

extremely hazy, I know, but to the left you’ll notice the Dead Sea, toward the middle lies the Jordan, and directly opposite, the land overflowing with milk and honey.

my first impression was probably the same as yours — how is this paradise?
however, I discovered that there are many treasures to be found in the Promised Land.

if crossing the wilderness has taught me anything, it is to be uncompromisingly obedient to God, and to fully trust in, and rely on Him to show you the path to take.

Abraham, Moses, Joshua — they’re some of my favourites from the Old Testament.

how often does it happen that we hold on to the promises, and not the Promise Keeper?
whatever wilderness you’re in, and whatever challenges lie ahead, I hope you have the courage to step out in obedience to whatever He calls you to.
may you see beyond the haze and the desolation of the wilderness, and may you see the promise hidden in the unknown.

just keep your eyes open, my love.

AND MOSES went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, that is opposite Jericho. And the Lord showed him all the land–from Gilead to Dan, And all Naphtali, and the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah to the western [Mediterranean] sea, And the South (the Negeb) and the plain, that is, the Valley of Jericho, the City of Palm Trees, as far as Zoar. And the Lord said to him, This is the land which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, I will give it to your descendants. I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not go over there.

Deuteronomy 34:1‭-‬4

N

#runwildlivefree

the crossing

I make it a firm policy not to live in the past.

However, I love looking back because over and over and over again, I see GOD IS FAITHFUL written in giant capitals all over this journey.

This past year has been squished in and running over with adventure– it has been a year of Unknowns, of growth, of pruning, of sowing, of reaping, of joy, of loss.

But, above all, it had been a year of expansion.

In more ways than I can explain, this has been a year of Revelation, in that things that I have been praying for and prophecied into for many years, are being made manifest around me.

My heart bursts with thankfulness that I get to do this — to run to the Nations with this Good News.

There is nothing that I will ever have to lay down, that’ll be worth more than this — because He is worthy.

He never slumbers.
He never sleeps.
He never misses an appointment.
He is always on time.
He watches over you.
He knows your heart, your desires, your needs.
He loves you without prejudice, without clauses or small print.
He loves you regardless and in spite of.
His love covers everything.
He knows when you’re standing up or laying down.
All your days were known to Him before the foundation of the earth was laid.
He loves you.
Endlessly.
You are worth it.
That’s grace.
Jesus

Fourteen days ago, my dad passed away unexpectedly, and while I’m still dealing with the reality of his absence, I’m overjoyed to know that death is not the end for those who believe in Him.

One of the young guys I was discipling a while back once remarked that John 10:10 was one of the Scriptures that I refer to most, and I had to laugh, saying, “Yes! That’s what the Gospel is about!”

Heaven is not about escaping Hell and damnation.
Eternal Life is about Man’s original design — to live in fellowship with God. To enjoy His presence forever.
And that starts here — on earth, in fellowship with Holy Spirit.

A year ago, I was standing in the Israeli desert, inside a replica of the tabernacle, facing the ark of the covenant which was a place the High Priest could only enter once a year on behalf of the people.

As a 16 year old, one of the promises God had given me came from Joshua 1:3-7. In this moment, as I was standing in the representation of the Holy of Holies, I was over ome by truth that we don’t need a house to worship Him in, because we are the temple of the Holy Spirit– the DNA and Breath of God (Ruach) lives inside of us when we are born again into Eternal Life!

Isn’t it amazing that we have a better deal? The claim of death in which sin separated God and Man has been dealt with, the debt has been settled in full, the veil was torn! This is the Gospel: we have free access to the throne of Grace through Christ Jesus, who intercedes as High Priest on our behalf.

You see, when God first told me, “You have to cross the wilderness in order to get to the Promised Land,” I never expected this Word to be so layered. I knew this would be the ignition point, but more than anything I’ve come to realise that it has been a deeply personal journey. We’re not meant to camp out in the wilderness, but to take hold of the fullness of all that God has promised. But, even more than that, we’re meant to hold on to the Promise Maker.

We’re not meant to camp out in the wilderness, but to take hold of the fullness of all that God has promised. But, even more than that, we’re meant to hold on to the Promise Maker.

I have no doubt that this journey, this adventure, this calling, this YES to a life of obedience, will have many more obstacles and opportunities for growth. And while it may take a while for me to settle into the rhythm of things, I know for a fact that He is faithful. And that He is not slow in remembering His promises.

I am incredibly honoured that I get to run to the Nations carrying this message.

And I pray that you may have the courage to face the giants, to take hold of the fortressed cities, to cross the Jordan, so that you might fulfil the calling on your life, so that you might possess the land, so that you might see His promises fulfilled, and so that you might live in eternal fellowship with Him.

Dare to #runwildlivefree so that #everytribeandtongue may hear this message be preached, run #untilthewholeworldhears

Every place upon which the sole of your foot shall tread, that have I given to you, as I promised Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon to the great river Euphrates–all the land of the Hittites [Canaan]–and to the Great [Mediterranean] Sea on the west shall be your territory. No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. Be strong (confident) and of good courage, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only you be strong and very courageous, that you may do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you. Turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.
Joshua 1:3‭-‬7

Christina

Today I bought a pair of pants and a jumper from a beautiful woman manning (yes man-nig) her stall at Aardklop.
her name is Christina.

I suppose, like many others, she depends on the sales of her wares for a living, and festivals and markets like these provide a platform for her to do so.

Our conversation was casual.

“Sjo, it’s cold today!”
“Yes! But yesterday was colder! See? I even brought my blanket!”
“Yes. It is much colder here than in Zambia,”
“Ah! You’re from Zambia?”
“Yes. I work there.”
“I’m from Zimbabwe.”
“I don’t know many Zimbabweans. Are you Shona?”
“Yes, I am.”
“I’m trying to learn Tonga, and I think I only know one Shona word, because I get them mixed up.”

And then, we really got into it.

This beautiful woman told me that she did not mourn Mugabe, because he ruined her country.

“I’m here, trying to make a living, so I can send money to my family, but I should be there — in my home country– making a difference.”

My heart breaks for her.
My heart breaks for my beautiful country, and so many other African nations, that are torn apart by xenophobia, war, racism — a list a mile long!

My heart breaks for the nations, because despite the many challenges we might face there is only one Answer, and His Name is the Name above every other name.

His Kingdom is not one that brings division or the sword or famine.
His Kingdom is not just an ideal or an idea — there’s no political agenda.
There’s no pretence to this King who became a Man, a carpenter who bore a cross, so that His people might be reconciled to Him.

This is the Good News!

This is the Good News for Christina — the Good News for all men from every tribe, from every nation, for all tongues and for all time!

This is the Kingdom that will not pass away!

Nations of Africa — I cry out for you! This is the inheritance I contend for! You will not be lost without hearing this News! You are not forgotten!

#runwildlivefree
#everytribeandtongue
#untilthewholeworldhears

Violence shall no more be heard in your land, nor devastation or destruction within your borders, but you shall call your walls Salvation and your gates Praise. The sun shall no more be your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you, but the Lord shall be to you an everlasting light, and your God your glory and your beauty. [Jer. 9:23, 24; Rev. 21:23.] Your sun shall no more go down, nor shall your moon withdraw itself, for the Lord shall be your everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be ended. Your people also shall all be [uncompromisingly and consistently] righteous; they shall possess the land forever, the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, that I may be glorified. The least one shall become a thousand [a clan], and the small one a strong nation. I, the Lord, will hasten it in its [appointed] time.
Isaiah 60:18‭-‬22 AMPC

rejoice in the wilderness

rejoice || wilderness

a well in the wasteland.

There are times in life where we’re “stuck” in the in-between.

One of the toughest lessons I’ve had to learn, is to actively wait while I’m in the in-between.

As Westerners, we’re conditioned to be time-conscious — not to waste time, but to save it and steward it.

What I’ve learnt is that ACTIVE waiting is very different from PASSIVE waiting.
The in-between is a time for growth.
A time for stewardship, for cultivating, for digging deeper wells.

In the desert, there is no commodity more valuable than water.

When you don’t know what’s next, or even if you know, and you’re waiting for the release, don’t pop up an umbrella and camp out under the palm trees of the oasis.

Now is the time to break through the hard ground, to dig deep, to be filled with Living Water that flows out of your belly.

His promise is that this will bring healing to the Nations.

#runwildlivefree

The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.

Zephaniah 3:17 NIVUK

step by step

I can hardly believe this was a year ago! This popped up on Facebook memories, and when I look at it now, I’m amazed at how things have fallen into place.

Before leaving for AMT in May 2019, I told one of my close friends how I felt that I was living in the prophetic – – things that I had been praying for for more than ten years was literally becoming manifest around me!

If only I could count the amount of times I experienced déjà vu, only to recognise it as something from a dream or a vison I had years before!

It’s not just about living the dream, about adventure or travel or new people groups – – it’s about sharing the Good News of the Gospel with all men from all tribes and all tongues; a Message for all men, for all time!

Philip Smethurst, founder and CEO of Overland Missions once told me, “Run towards people, and you’ll never grow tired!”

So, here I am – – about to start Chapter 4 of this amazing adventure that kicked off a year ago!

run wild || live free || for King and country

in 34 days, I’ll be kicking off one of life’s greatest adventures yet.

I’m filled with excitement and the anticipation of everything God has in store, but I’m also soberly considering the challenges of change that lie ahead.

I’ve moved 8 times in 3 years, and I bet there’s more of that to come.
It’s sad to leave family and friends behind (even if it’s not forever).

the wilderness x the promised land.

And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace. [Isa. 52:7.]

Ephesians 6:15 AMPC

wherever it is, and whatever lies before me, it’s for the King, and his country.

thank you for keeping my arms up!

With only four more days to go (the countdown is set to midnight!) before I leave for Zambia, I am INCREDIBLY excited for all that lies ahead!

You may not know me long enough to know the journey that God put me on to get me here: to this day, in this place, but it’s been a journey of more than 10 years!

This morning I was reading through Philippians, and it struck me anew how Paul interceded for the new Believers, how he eagerly hoped to be able to join them in person.

These sentiments are found throughout all of his letters. He takes special care to mention those who labour with him – Timothy, Aquila, Priscilla, and many others – honouring them for the work they do in the Kingdom. And he always points the church to Christ.

What a legacy!

One of the children’s stories that I finished up yesterday was about the Damascus road encounter (Acts 9).

I am constantly amazed that God specifically chose Saul to work among the gentiles, because his reputation was so well-known, and that made his testimony all the more believable.

In the end, God doesn’t care how amazing we think we are, or how skilled or able. He is simply looking for someone who is willing to take up his cross, to lay down his life — simply so that others might receive Life.

Like a drink offering, being poured out on the altar, nothing is worth more than honouring Him.

The first words God spoke after he called Paul was, “I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” (Acts 9:15-16)

This morning, as I’m quite literally closing the books, I’d like to thank the hundreds of people who have journeyed with me over the years, sowing into the Kingdom, speaking God into my life, partnering in prayer, giving financially, interceding, weeding, watering, and harvesting.

I am incredibly honoured by each of you!

I cannot begin to call you all by name, but know that, I am deeply humbled by each of you keeping my arms up!

May you receive the crown of honour for your faithful work!

#runwildlivefree

#everytribeandtongue

#untilthewholeworldhears

kenneth

I promise — I do more than run around and take unstable videos of things.

This is a summary of yesterday’s jaunt.
The mud was kindly supplied by hurricane Kenneth.

For the past few days, we’ve had the loveliest showers and I’m so excited to see rivers and dams filling up.

South Africa has been suffering under extended drought for the past 4 years, and as a water scarce country surface water is not nearly enough to maintain the continually increasing demand for water for humans, animals and crops.

Large parts of Kwa-Zulu Natal have been flooded, and even now Hurricane Kenneth is ripping through northern Mozambique and the lower end of Tanzania.

Infrastructure is completely destroyed, taking with it the meager crops that was left over after hurricane Idai ripped through the country, less than a month ago.

So many precious people lost their lives, many lost loved ones, and many still lost their homes and livelihood.

I remain confident that, even in the destruction, there will be testimony of God’s faithfulness and His abundance.

My friends, these are the signs of the times!
The harvest is ready, but the labourers are few!

Therefore, pray to the Lord of the Harvest to send out more labourers into the fields!

Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age. Amen (so let it be).

Matthew 28:19‭-‬20

#runwildlivefree
#everytribeandtongue
#untilthewholeworldhears

by their fruit

summer || pantone

By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

Matthew 7:16‭-‬20 NIV

the Lord has heard

A year ago, I took this picture after a much needed rainstorm had passed. I walked through the garden, praying.

At the time, I had just resigned from my fulltime job, I had packed up my house and put everything in storage, and I was living in a friend’s guest room — waiting to hear from God about the next step I should take.

But surely God has heard. He has listened to my voice in prayer. Psalms 66:19

At the time, I had been walking around with a sense of dissatisfaction. Not because I was unhappy, per sé, but because there was an element of unfulfillment that had managed to weave itself into different areas of my life.

For many years, I had been praying, trusting, holding on to His promises, and even reminding Him about the pages and pages filled with prophetic words that I had written down through the years. From where I stood, I had done everything I could to be faithful, to be obedient, to fight the good fight, to run the race with endurance.

I was unsatisfied in my relationship with Him, feeling that church and worship had reached a plateau; that I wasn’t being released into the things I felt called to do. I was unsatisfied because, to a large extent, my friends and spiritual family did not understand why I was frustrated with the lack of momentum.

I felt like a racehorse, chewing at the bit as it was reigned in to keep the vegetable cart it was pulling from bucking and falling over. Why was I stuck in this in-between?

In January of 2018, God told me to enlarge my tents, and as I felt the buildup of this increase take place, my frustration with the external lack of growth increased.

I had a choice to make: do my own thing because I was convinced this is what I felt God had said, or honour my leaders in obedience, submitting to the authority which God had appointed.

In February of 2018, God told me to throw the net out to the other side, and within 24h I had resigned, gave notice for the apartment I was renting, and stepped into the Mission I had been praying about for more than 10 years.

I was, and still am, determined to be uncompromisingly obedient, to trust Him with every step, knowing that He is the hope that anchors my soul.

In this in-between season, I had been praying about a bunch of things, asking Him to give me a clear answer about What Comes Next, now that I had taken the plunge into the Great Unknown.

Isn’t it true that we sometimes go through seasons where things seem to be dreary and stale, where nothing seems to move forward and where breakthrough seems like a desert mirage? Distant and unattainable.

There are some specific things that I’ve been praying about for some time, and the Lord’s response is simply this: SHAMMAH. THE LORD IS HERE. HE HEARS.

A good friend recently shared this nugget of wisdom with me:“If Sarah had a son at 30, it would’ve been normal. If she had a son at 50, people would’ve thought it’s great and look how well she takes care of herself! But she had a son at 99, and the only One to receive glory from that is God.”

There are SO MANY examples from Scripture where people sought the Lord, crying out to Him.

There are AS MANY examples from Scripture where God answers prayer.

He knows our every thought, our every desire, our every prayer — even those we don’t know ourselves, or those we dare not whisper aloud.

He knows the depths of Man’s heart. He loves us all the same. And He is GOOD.

He is FAITHFUL.

He is not slow in remembering His PROMISES.

When the time is right, He will make it happen.

A year ago, I was chomping at the bit. But now that I look back I’m astounded by His faithfulness! Every day I get to live my dream: to run wild, live free; to share the Good News of the Gospel with men from every tribe and tongue. Indeed, my tents have been enlarged!

You see, whatever we’re praying for, even things that we’ve placed on the back burner because they seem to go unnoticed before God, ALL OF THAT is working for His glory!

If it were possible out of Man’s effort, Man would receive the glory and recognition. But, those things that are impossible for Man, are possible for God!

Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes you.
Ephesians 3:20

Whatever breakthrough you’re trusting Him for, know this — THE LORD HEARS.

Hold on to the Promise Keeper and not simply the promises.

He is faithful.

It’s for His glory.

He hears.

#scenesfrommylife
#evenifyoudont
#thisislove
#shammah

it is finished

Seven months ago, I took this picture in Nazareth. “Nothing good comes from Nazareth,” the words rang through my head, as I considered the notion of Good Friday.

As an oldest child, I’ve often considered the significance of Passover — not because I fear death, but because I realize how desperately I fall short in my own efforts.

Jesus, the perfect sacrifice, the Passover Lamb was beaten for our transgressions, He brought healing by His stripes, and He settled the debt of our sins by His death.

He died so that we could live. In Him there is Life, and Life in abundance!

He not only died, He rose again: defeating Death and the enemy’s claim to this kingdom He restored Identity and Authority, and He rules with the Father — glorified.

Sin came into the world in the garden of Eden, when Adam failed to see that he was already like God, created in His image.

The price for Salvation was claimed in the garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus willingly offered himself as Sacrifice in our stead so that Identity could be restored, reconciling us as Sons to the Father.

Today, we can live in that freedom, when we believe in our hearts, and confess with our mouths, that Jesus is Lord — the Son of God — and we shall inherit the Kingdom of Heaven, as co-heirs with Christ.

tetelestai: the debt has been paid in full; it is finished

#itisfinished
#runwildlivefree
#everytribeandtongue
#untilthewholeworldhears

for all men

I refuse to be ashamed of sharing the wonderful message of God’s liberating power unleashed in us through Christ! For I am thrilled to preach that everyone who believes is saved—the Jew first, and then people everywhere!

Romans 1:16

The Gospel is the Good News of Salvation for all men of all tribes and all Nations for all times.

I took this picture on April 4th 2018 in Mpatamatu, central Zambia. We were on our way back to town after ministering in the villages.

We were looking for a bucket to carry water in, when we came across a small settlement between some mango trees. It was the chief’s house.

Though none of us spoke any Bemba, and they spoke little English, we prayed for the chief who had backache, and his son, whom we suspected had Malaria.

When we went back the next day, the boy, who was unable to lift up his head the day before, came running down the road to meet us, excitedly telling us that his father’s back was healed.

He is the God of supernatural. When we trust Him, and obey Him to go where He sends us, lives are changed and hearts are restored.

#runwildlivefree

#everytribeandtongue

go fish

A year ago today, I packed my household contents on a friend’s truck and a trailer, and moved for the 6th (what would later be the 8th) time in 3 years, leaving behind my desk job and a life of predictability and security, to set off on the greatest adventure yet!

I remember being completely fascinated by the pictures from my Children’s Bible when my mum used to read to me as a kid.

Jesus multiplying fish and bread.
Jesus healing the sick.
Jesus teaching His disciples.

I’m reminded of the time the disciples were fishing all night, without catching a single thing. Jesus tells them to throw the net out to the other side of the boat. They’re like, “Whaaaaat? We just spent the entire night doing just that!” But, when they act in obedience, they haul in the motherload.

I think one of he biggest lessons of Life with Jesus is to be obedient. David also said (more than once!), OBEDIENCE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN SACRIFICE.

This time last year was probably one of the most uncertain times I’ve ever gone through — I had no plan, and no backup-plan, but I was determined to walk in obedience.

Those last few weeks contained sooooo many challenges, and I felt a bit like those disciples who are tired and worn out after a night at sea.

In obedience, I threw the net out to the other side even if it didn’t make any sense in the here and now.

My friend Hugo reminded me, “if you walk in obedience miracles will follow.”

Tonight I’m looking back at this sunset drive-by shot from a year ago, and I’m thankful for friends who go the (extra) distance. For parents and a sibling who support me. For far-away friends that uplift and affirm, and point towards the Truth. And above all, looking to Jesus — to keep from sinking.

A year later, I not only get to do my Dream Job while working in the Kingdom as a fisher of men, I’ve travelled all over, met wonderful people. made meaningful connections, and delved deeper into my relationship with God.

I recently spoke to my friend David about ministry, and especially Healing, and I’ve become increasingly aware that your revelation and your ministry has to come from a place of intimacy with God.

Isn’t it wonderful that He keeps drawing us closer, inviting us to live face-to-face with Him, to breathe His life through the Spirit and to share in worship through fellowship?

Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].

Hebrews 4:16

When we have nothing else to fall back on, except God, it often forces us to dig deeper into Him; to hold on to the Promise Maker, and not only His promises.

Even now, I’m standing in front of challenges, but I am confident in His faithful love that upholds and sustains me, even when the waves crash over this little boat.

I pray you’ll be brave enough to step out onto the waves — keep your eyes on Him!

When you step out in faith, and walk in obedience, God provides — He is faithful!

#runwildlivefree

loadshedding

In South Africa, there exists a strange phenomenon called “loadshedding“. What it means means is that the power (electricity) is cut for a few hours (sometimes for an undermined length of time) in order to “save” electricity.
I find the reasoning behind this absurd, but that’s a story for another day.

This morning as we experienced Stage 4 loadshedding, it rendered it impossible for me to continue working (since my computer does not run on rainbows and good thoughts), I decided to go for a run in the veld.

The song“run wild” by For King And Country has been my anthem for a long time, as I’m sure you’re aware, and this morning as I was running through thigh high grass, dodging thorn bushes and cow dung, I thought about the notion of loadshedding and self-care.

We often promote self-care as a me-time ritual– taking a long bath, reading a book, getting enough sleep, going for a haircut (and those things are good and right) but the most important part of self-care is to run to Jesus, and to lay your burdens down before Him.

Cast your burden on the Lord [releasing the weight of it] and He will sustain you; He will never allow the [consistently] righteous to be moved (made to slip, fall, or fail). [I Pet. 5:7.] Psalm 55:22

So, this is what loadshedding is really about — to do the things we’re made to do, to run the race with determination, to live free from the burden of sin, to step out in faith, to take on the Great Unknown.

#runwildlivefree
#everytribeandtongue
#runforyourlives
#platteland
#freestate
#mountains

https://bible.com/bible/8/psa.55.22.AMPC

be still my soul

This morning, Facebook Memories reminded me of a post I shared in 2015:

it’s always easiest to step out of the boat and walk on water when the sea is calm.

it’s the high seas that call out your faith.

be still, and know: I AM GOD.

His love never fails.

One part buying a boat, nine parts navigating the high seas.

A year ago, I was heading to Zambia for the first time.

I quit my fulltime job in February last year, when God told me to throw the net out to the other side.

At the time, I had no idea what that meant, or what would happen next, but I was determined to walk in radical obedience.

Stepping out in faith is never without challenges, but it is ALWAYS rewarding in ways I cannot describe in words.

One of the toughest challenges to date, is explaining to other Believers why the call to Missions is the MOST IMPORTANT call you’ll ever respond to.

Being a missionary does not mean you have to leave your vocation, but it does require selfless love, sacrifice, and obedience.

In 49 days, I’ll be back in Zambia for the 3rd time — this time to do AMT with Overland Missions — and I am extremely excited to see how promises and scriptures and prophetic words of more than 10 years come into fruition.

I am already amazed at the great transformation I can see in my life since crossing through the wilderness. Beyond this lies more wilderness, but it contains the Harvest of the Promised Land.

Even when the seas are rough, and when times are uncertain, hold on to the steadfast hope you have in Jesus — He is the anchor for your soul.

In all things, may you have the courage to #runwildlivefree

[Now] we have this [hope] as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot break down under whoever steps out upon it–a hope] that reaches farther and enters into [the very certainty of the Presence] within the veil, [Lev. 16:2.] ~ Hebrews 6:19

https://bible.com/bible/8/heb.6.19.AMPC

Lord of the Dance

On 11 February 2018, I spoke to God about my life and job, and the fact that I was stressed and deeply unhappy. I felt that I wasn’t living up to my calling.

The Word He gave me is from John 21:4-7, in which Jesus told the disciples to cast the net out towards the other side of the boat.

I had no idea what this Word meant, but I felt peace to give 24h notice, and resign. I had no plan beyond this.

The next couple of months were a bit in-between, but it lead up to packing up my house and my bags in June (also in obedience) and setting off on the Wilderness x Promised Land Adventure, not yet knowing that I would travel to 6 different countries in 4 months, without a solid income, without a plan or even a backup-plan. I had nothing to go on but a Word from God.

On October 1st, I had a dream in which I was dancing. There was no music, but I danced the message of the Gospel. I had no idea that people were gathering, watching. I simply danced because I had to.

Later that day, we took a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. I started weeping the minute we cast off. To the left lay Capernaum, and Gaza lay before us. I was thinking how Jesus calmed the sea with a single word, and Holy Spirit reminded me of the Word He gave me in February that year. I was SO overwhelmed by His faithfulness!

OBEDIENCE IS BETTER THAN SACRIFICE.
1 Samuel 15:22

At some point, music started playing. I got up in the front of the boat and started dancing. It was not about performance, but about obedience.

Obedience enables us to #runwildlivefree

It so often happens that we’re held back by the known, and the visible, and even our comfort zone. But, when we trust Him for the harvest, beautiful things happen, and it sets our Spirit free.

May you have courage to step out, and to step in rhythm with the Lord of the Dance!

The Star Breather 

He is faithful to complete the good work He started with in us!
#runwildlivefree

firechronicles

In 2010 I had a dream in which I was standing on a balcony, and I was browsing through the stars in much the same way that you would browse through Google Sky Maps.

I remember that the galaxies I saw before me seemed thick and soupy and I couldn’t resist the urge to dive in. So, I jumped over the balcony rail and I started swimming through the stars.

As I swam, I came to a white house with Grecian pillars framing the front door. I wanted to knock, but before my knuckles could reach the door, a woman with long dark hair opened the door, and she spoke to me in Hebrew, saying “I know why you are here. You have come to find the one they call Yeshua.” And then she invited me inside. Up until this day I have no idea how I was able…

View original post 374 more words

run boy, run

You know that scene in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty where he skateboards down a winding road into the heart of a soon-to-be volcano struck town? Yeah, that’s what my life has been like for the past month or so.

We are often so focused on all the might-haves or the could-haves, that we forget about the many haves and dids!

2018 has been riddled with challenges — especially family wise, but now, looking back at it, I realize that all through the crappy parts, God was faithful, and I was surrounded by family and loved ones that kept my arms up while I had to fight.

So often when we encounter difficulties it’s easiest to admit defeat and run away. Well, that’s the thought process I go through, anyway.

There’s only one problem though: I am not afraid, and I do not run. Scared? Yes. But afraid? No.

You see, there’s a difference. Fear paralyzes you, keeps you from thinking clearly, from reacting rationally. It intimidates you into believing that you are incapable, not strong enough, worthless, and entirely without hope.

Scripture tells us in 1 John 4:18 that “perfect love casts out fear”, and this of course refers to God’s love — the only perfect love in existence.

So, looking back on the past year, I know that I’ve had to deal with many losses, and had to make a lot of hard, potentially life-altering, decisions. So yes, things have changed and I’m moving on, not because I’m afraid to face the challenges, but because I’m intentionally moving toward the hopes and dreams in my future.

And, yes — maybe that means skateboarding down a long winding road into the heart of the volcano, but if that’s where my destiny’s at — that’s where I’ll be headed.

May 2019 be the year in which you stop running FROM things, and start running TOWARD things.

Blessings and love to you and yours!

run boy, run!