Where should we go today?

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When you look in the mirror

You see someone small…

You see a body too short

to see out high windows

Hands not strong enough to open doors

Legs that get tired when ‘over there’ is too far from ‘over here’.

 

But when I look in the mirror,

I see you and Me.

You in Me.

Me in you.

I see We!

 

What shall we do today, little one?

 

Come sit on My shoulders, from up here you can see…

Out windows,

Over fields,

Across dim valleys to brighter places that are waiting for our feet.

We can see into Forever.

 

Those stubborn doors?

No door can resist your hand on Mine,

So pick one!

 

We will go exploring.

It’s okay if your legs get tired,

we’ll use Mine.

 

When We look into the mirror, what do We see?

 

Light-Bearers who shatter darkness

Key-Holders who rescue captives

Love-Healers who fix broken hearts and lives

 

You in Me

Me in you…

WE

 

What shall We do today?

 

Word ~ Di Wilson   |   Image ~ morgueFile

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The door has been slammed!

slam doorFor many years I would struggle to “enter in” during worship. Others seemed to “feel the presence”, but I would be feeling unworthy and thinking of all that disqualified me and trying to confess everything and trying to stop thinking about something which I shouldn’t be thinking about in church and…

I arrived a bit late for church after a rushed 45min drive to HCC and worship had begun. I looked at the words and began to sing. Some distracting thoughts came in: How I had sped, trying to make up time, other thoughts crowded for attention. But, I just found myself ‘brushing’ them aside. I am in Christ. I’m here to enjoy some corporate Worship and share the Word with fellow believers.

Then the picture…

The queue of thoughts, were cartoon characters, all rushing towards the doorway of my heart. As they got there, Jesus slammed the door in their face. Typical cartoon, they all got their faces/noses flattened as they hit the door and piled into one another.

When you are in Jesus, you are IN Him. When you are ‘attacked’, you are not out on a battle field all alone, desperately trying to remember what you were taught by the Commander and what your orders werefrom the General and “What must I do to make sure I get into base!”

When whatever comes at you, remember that Jesus is no longer outside, knocking, wanting to come in. You have allowed Him in and you are now IN Christ. Thoughts are a reality. So is temptation and condemnation. But the reality to live by is that Jesus knows all our weaknesses and troubles. He died to clear their blot even before you repented or understood His Love or The Fathers Grace, even before you promised ‘never to do that again’, for the 1000th time.

That’s releasing, freeing, liberating GOOD NEWS.

What fun to slam the door on guilt and condemnation. Even better, to know that Jesus slammed the door completely and finally at the cross.

 Words – Stan Dugmore (20 July 2014 – During Worship)

 

Cox Pottery

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It’s the uncontrolled randomness of the flame, interacting with the clay body in the atmosphere of the moment, that so attracts me. It’s something between chemistry and wizardry and back again. We can do our best to get there with a free-flowing formation of the piece, and then thoughtful attention to glazing in the same manner, but the controlled firing of the electric kiln will inevitably give us back pretty much what we put in. It somehow always tends toward contrived, scripted, rehearsed, confined; controlled is probably the word.

And life is just not like that. Nor should it be! Not family, nor education, or work, or church. The wind blows where it wills, said Jesus of the Spirit, and when we get it, the result is lives lived organic and free, fruitful and beautiful, true to themselves, enhanced by their gnarls and scars and imperfections. Have you noticed – only man-made colours ever clash; it never happens in the garden.

And that’s why I’d spend a R100k on a wood-firing kiln without thinking twice.

Words ~ Gavin Cox

Brief and Lasting, Hard and Fast

Lasting and fleeting

So much I feel the lake lap still

in crisp new Spring’s liquid sun sharp

with winter’s nip at my shameless,

unshod, bare toes where soft  spring breeze

tickles glistening water sheen.

Momentarily I shiver.

 

Sun glint on each wavelet brings clear,

real nearness to each fleeting ripple,

but at some way off in the morning haze

those solid castle walls now seem

a dreamy shadow, not quite true,

as much a ghost as spectral knights

and imagined long dead archers

beneath a roof long rotted away.

 

Every little curve of water is less

than a breath long, but whole lifetimes

watched those stone walls stand. I think

long borne,  unforgiven old hurts.

scarred memories can be like that:

firm, unyielding, but misty shapes,

stuck on landscapes of me.

But in this new son light

Under spirit wind’s soft breath they

become mere ghosts from forgotten times

while bracing eternal waters

wash me in their gracing life flow.

 

© Johan Rich November 2011

 

The Broken Bowl

Tracey Govender Bowl

Tracy Govender’s beautiful hand built stoneware fruit bowl cracked in the kiln when fired to 1200 degrees centigrade. Yet it’s exquisite beauty lies in its redemption as its cracks were repaired in gold.

As such it provides a perfect metaphor for our salvation. Just as Jesus is beautified by His scars, so are we who are in Him. Our sinfulness and frailty have been more than compensated for by the gift of His righteousness given us in Christ. The glorious gold of God beautifies from guttermost to uttermost; from sinner to saint.

How glorious is God’s workmanship in Christ! How perfect He the potter, for we the clay!

Pottery – Tracey Govender | Words – Gavin Cox

Flash Fiction Photo Challenge

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This is a first for HCC Living Letters – a photo inspired flash fiction challenge. It came out of one of our small groups – Write and Be Read, and was intended as a mere exercise for writers to flex their story-telling muscles. The challenge was simple – using the above image as a launch point, write a piece no more than 200 words. The two pieces that came in this evening are completely different, each stunning in their own right. I love that they are written by husband and wife. I’ll stop gassing on. Enjoy!


Story 1 by Andrea Rautenbach

I sat in the silence at the crossroad.  What was I going to do?  The blow had come like a sudden hard rain. The anger was simmering below the surface but the fear was winning as it rippled across my mind. Run, RUN, RUN!

We had met two months before at a friend’s house. He was classic tall, dark and handsome and seemed to be perfect.  Tonight perfect seems overrated.

The dinners were evenings spent enjoying stories of misspent youth and previous dates gone wrong.  Afternoons were spent learning to appreciate the outdoors and how much he loved riding his bike.

Tonight was a celebration of sorts, two months of fun, learning and sharing.  Maybe tonight we would become serious.  But not now!  Now I sat wondering how I had missed this, how had I not seen?  What was I going to do?

I had to move had to keep going but where?  Looking in the rear view mirror I noticed the blood trailing down my chin; saw for the first time the damage done.  It was over.  What had started as a dream was done.  Never would he touch me again, never would he see me again.

 

Life 2 by James Rautenbach

O dear, what is that coming from the rear?

There is light, there is shadow, there is bone, there is marrow!  How can I go far when I spend nights looking at the retreating mists of my life while strapped into my safe haven of a car?

O delight, I can see a light – what have I missed, deep in the night.  “It’s all over” they say, “the chance is gone, you are done”.  The light I see broadcasts mockingly at me, or does it?

What if it’s all true; hope can renew me and you?

What if all my regrets, guilt and shame, what if those blotches held against my name, what if whispers, fears and pains, what if anger, darkness and the perceived hatred and negative thoughts words and actions of others, which cover me like a stifling bank of dirt, trying to squeeze my life to despair and helplessness – what if all of this CAN BE SWEPT AWAY IN AN OVERWHELMING, ALL-ENCOMPASSING, EVERLIVING, EVERGIVING, EVERFILLING, EFFERVESCENT, PULSATING, NEVER-ENDING, ALWAYS-HOPING, ALWAYS-LOVING, SAVIOUR-SATURATED, HOPE-RESTORING, PEACE-RETURING inundation of LIFE.

So I unharness, open the door and slowly step into the fresh air of a new-life, everlasting and full of glory…

You’re Glorified

10.3.2013  During worship on Sunday I wrote the basic words. Johan went to the mic and spoke of how the Lord is Glorified in all things. Gavin then explained that the Lord is even Glorified in our failings. I knew I needed to put the finishing touches to what the Lord had given me.

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Dolphin leap, the Eagles soars to Your Glory.

Spiders spin, proud Peacocks, Your Glorified.

A gurgle of a stream, of a baby happy,

All murmur:

Lord of all creation, be Glorified.

Flash…CRASH…Raging Waters to Your Glory!

Lions roar, Parrots Screech, Your Glorified.

The scream of the tickled one,

All SHOUT:

Lord Almighty, be Glorified.

Fallen, sin, condemnation. To Your Glory?

Guilt, failed, No Hope. You Glorified?

Where to turn for freedom?

All PAID:

In full, Jesus, be Glorified

 words – Stan Dugmore March 2013     |     image – Di Wilson

 

Thwarted Thoughts

Abstract red, green and blue background

You start with a blank page. Slowly, slowly, you put your finger to the keyboard, and whoosh! You’re away. The thoughts come thick and fast, not really stopping to say hi, just skipping right through the gateway of your brain, down to your heart, and then out through your fingers. You never really knew that you had it in you, did you? You never knew that you thought so much, so vibrantly, in a swirl of living colours that are constantly changing shape and yet always look vaguely familiar. Like the mirror.
You look in the mirror one day, and you will be surprised at what you see. Really look into your own eyes, the windows of your soul, and tell me if what you see is who you are.
I sometimes sit and stare at myself in that piece of silver truth. Not because I’m vain, but because I’m curious as to how this pale white girl’s face can really be mine. I’m pretty sure I don’t look like that inside me. I’m pretty sure my soul has no race, no excess flesh, no pierced ears. I think my soul is a lot more interesting to look at than this carefully fenced perimeter that is my body. Is that face really the mask in front of all my dreams, all my ideas? Is that face really hiding my thoughts?

I think that maybe if my face looked like my thoughts it would look very different. My thoughts don’t come attached to dark brown eyes and even darker hair. They don’t have freckles and the odd occasional left over teenage acne. They don’t need their eyebrows plucked and they don’t enjoy wearing make up. And they certainly don’t arrive with a stud in their nose.

My thoughts would appear like liquid silver rainbow, flowing and winding around each other. You wouldn’t be able to kiss them, because they’d be either very hot or so cold your lips would stick to them. Every now then you’d see a flash of blue as inspiration came sliding up from everywhere, slowly caressing or hitting with a sledgehammer.

There would be a thought made up of pink cloud, winding it’s way along the garden path, dancing and being blown in the breeze. Fragile as smoke, strong as my will. It would be called “love”, and it would be everywhere.
Then there is “freedom”, which wraps itself around everything at once. Where it is restricted, it creeps through the keyhole and under the door. It is green, and feels like candy floss and mozzarella cheese. But not together. Apart.
“Joy” is a tricky one to describe. It starts from my toes, you see, and it bubbles it’s way up my legs, into my stomach, through my heart and then comes out in a fountain of yellow sunflowers and little white daisies. It’s soft and warm, and it’s not blown away like “happiness” is. It’s sturdier. Like bubbles made of steel.
A swish of black, a sprinkling of gold, a spiral of purple and red and yellow and orange, and lilac and puce, and mauve and apple green and…is “creativity”. It never stops moving. It’s always there, sometimes tossing and turning restlessly in sleep, but mostly waltzing it’s way around like it owns the place.
Sometimes there is “anger”. When he comes out to play, in his thunderous black cloud, all the other thoughts go running, cowering under each other in an attempt to get away from the destruction. Anger leaves behind a sooty black trail, as though a chimney sweep has been making his way through my heart. Only one wonder thought can get rid of the greasy marks. “Repentance” grabs a hold of the wafting “love’, and pours it out on the stains, then pulls up it’s sleeves, gets down on it’s hands and knees and scrubs till it’s knuckles are raw with “forgiveness”. A tricky job repentance has.

There are many more thoughts that inhabit this swirling mass of silver cloud. A few are dark and torturous, but they are kept on a leash, with a muzzle to soften their snarls. They are often not fed, and then they slowly disappear and die, with only a slight burn mark to commemorate their brief non-existent existence.
Sometimes I put them in a cage, these dark ones. I tell myself it’s for my own benefit, when in actual fact it’s so that my King can’t get to them.

You see, all these thoughts are held in the hand that created me. He does not control them, but they are jealously guarded and cared for. He waters and develops the beautiful ones, and will often give me a gift of some more.
The dark ones He roots out. Burns. Destroys. If I let him.
He cultivates a beautiful thing, behind this mask-face. If I let Him. And I want to let Him. I figure His thoughts are a whole lot more, a whole lot bigger, a whole lot brighter, than any of mine could ever be.

So God, do as You will.

Words ~ Abi Ackhurst | Image ~ Corel

Peace, Be Still

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The noise does not start when the taxi driver hoots

while passing by your house in the morning

The noise or should I say chaos or movement is in the

muscle, energy, mind, heart, soul and spirit realm.

The internal noise can be bigger than the external.

The Word says “Be still and know that I am God.”

Shhh… be still!

~

Learning to be still is something I have had to teach myself and still am.

In the past people were being taught how to be busy but now

The world’s people are having challenge of hearing the voice of God.

Shhh… be still.

~

Hear me right,

It’s not because God is not talking to us

It is not because the Holy Spirit in you is not willing to dine but you are not at the table

You are busy working after work, watching movies, partying and already engaged

Excuse yourself from activities and dine

Shhh… Be still.

“Peace I give to you,” says Jesus

Why have we then not walked in it in our lives?

Why when we’ve been given peace, have we not received yet?

Are we too busy, too far removed to stay connected to the source

So that we remain in peace

Shhh… Be Still

~

So today I rested, I rested my schedule, my heart, my mind

And my spirit & soul were still

In the stillness the Holy Spirit is audible.

I reconnect and in peace, joy and love I remain

Shhh… be still and know that I am the Vine and branch can bear no fruit without Me

I am in the Vine and like Moses I can do nothing without Him

Shhh… Be Still

~

Words ~ Siphokazi Simandla | Image ~ Corel

10/12/2011

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The Nod

The Nod