Red Hot Poker

Acts 2:28 (GNB) You have shown me the paths that lead to life, and your presence will fill me with joy.

Driving through the Eastern Cape, I noticed deep, tangled bush growing on either side of the road. Leaves and shrubs in every conceivable shade of green intermingled with stark thorn trees and dry brown grass. Overhead the sky was grey. In front of me unfolded a strip of pot-holed tarmac badly in need of repair. Yet every now and then a solitary shrub of scarlet Red-hot Pokers, stood erect, bringing cheer to its boring surroundings.

 

PRAYER: Lord, help me to be like that Redhot Poker and bring cheer into people’s lives.

Gravel Ahead!

II Samuel 22:37 (CEV) You clear the way for me, and now I won’t stumble.

As I drove around a steep bend my heart lurched in alarm as the car wheels hit a patch of loose gravel. I removed my foot from the accelerator, tightened my grip on the steering wheel and prayed as the car spun out of control and flew over an embankment. As the vehicle ricocheted down the steep slope, peace swept over me. I was going to die—but God was waiting for me. read more

Time to Rest

Hebrews 4:11 (GNB) Let us, then, do our best to receive that rest, so that no one of us will fail . . .

On any long journey in Africa, whether—by car or walking, there comes a point when we need a break. Perhaps only a short break to stretch, have a drink, and move on. Or maybe it’s time for a night’s sleep. After the break, we face the trip again with renewed energy. Life is like that too. God wants us to take regular breaks. During those times He is ready to meet with us, to refresh us, and encourage us to carry on.

PRAYER: Lord, sometimes I get so tired. Help me to rest in you.

Master Craftsmen


Exodus 35:31 (GNB) God has filled him with his power and given him skill, ability, and understanding for every kind of artistic work,

I stood at one of the stalls at a craft market next to the national road. All over the ground lay arrangements of intricate wooden carvings of animals ranging from ten centimetre chameleons to two metre giraffes. Each pile had been created by a skilled craftsman. God is our master craftsman who created every species of animals including the human race. How wonderful to know that we have been especially and uniquely created by The Master Craftsman, who doesn’t ever make mistakes.

 

PRAYER: Thank you Lord for making me just the way I am.

Change of Heart

Matthew 23:25-26 (CEV) You Pharisees and teachers are show-offs, and you’re in for trouble! You wash the outside of your cups and dishes, while inside there is nothing but greed and selfishness. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of a cup, and then the outside will also be clean.

Poverty in Africa, as in every other country of the world, is a huge problem. Years ago, the Barbers’ Union of Chicago picked out a filthy hobo and gave him a complete makeover. They cleaned him, dressed him in new clothes, and called him a “new man”. A short time later a journalist following up the story found the man. He had reverted to his old self. It wasn’t enough to clean him on the outside. He had to want to be different. We need to motivate people to change from the inside.

 

PRAYER: Lord, show me habits I need to alter. Help me change from the inside.

Rainbow People

 

Gen 9:14 –16 (GNB) Whenever I cover the sky with clouds and the rainbow appears, I will remember my promise to you and to all the animals that a flood will never again destroy all living beings. When the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between me and all living beings on earth.

I turned up my collar as I pushed into the wind. The rain drummed on my head and trickled down my neck. Ahead a magnificent rainbow arched across the sky.

I remembered how Bishop Desmond Tutu nicknamed the “New South Africa”, The Rainbow Nation, referring to all the different colours, cultures and creeds that make up our one nation. The Christian Church could be called “The Rainbow People”. We are all different, we react differently to life’s situations, yet we need each other.

PRAYER: Lord, thank you that it takes more than one colour to make a rainbow.

Coloured Vision

John 8:12 (CEV) Once again Jesus spoke to the people. This time he said, “I am the light for the world! Follow me, and you won’t be walking in the dark. You will have the light that gives life.”

Look through a piece of coloured glass and everything appears tinted. Seen through red glass, people with red faces wear red-coloured clothes. Green glass causes people to look like aliens. Yellow makes some things look alive, but people appear jaundiced and ill. To see people as they really are, we need to lower the coloured glass. Thanks to our African heritage, sometimes our view of people is wrongly coloured. We need to ask the Lord to remove bad memories, then we will see our fellow Africans as God created them.

PRAYER: Lord, help me to see through your eyes today. Amen.

Father Heart

Luke 15:17, 18a (GNB) At last he came to his senses and said, “All my father’s hired workers have more than they can eat, and here I am about to starve! I will get up and go to my father . . .”

 

The younger brother had wasted his life. He had the lowliest job imaginable—feeding the pigs. He was so broke he had to share their food. One day he realised he was being stupid; his father would be willing to help him. Sometimes an earthly father can fail to be there for us, but our Heavenly Father is always there when we return to him, no matter how low we have fallen.

 

PRAYER: Thank you my Father that you always love me and forgive me no matter how far I’ve wandered from your plan for my life.

Hidden Danger

1 Peter 5:8 (GNB) Be alert, be on watch! Your enemy, the Devil, roams around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.

The muddy green waters of the mighty Zambezi moves sluggishly. By the bank, a cluster of reeds surround a long, rough log. Suddenly the peace is disturbed as the log springs to life, snapping at its unsuspecting prey. The great crocodile slides backward into its hiding place as its victim disappears down the reptile’s vast throat. Satan is like that croc. He hides in the clutter of our lives, waiting for a chance to pounce and destroy. The Bible tell us to beware of his wily schemes.

 

PRAYER: Help me, Lord, to remain on guard against my spiritual enemy. Amen.

Home Improvements

1 Corinthians 12:14 (MSG) I want you to think about how all this makes you more significant, not less.

Alongside the road, miles from any town, we often pass housing estates for people who live below the poverty level. The tiny oblong houses resemble rows of shoe boxes, all the same shape and size. Yet many stand out in their uniqueness, gaily decorated by their owners. God has created us all from the same mould—in His image—yet we have the opportunity to develop ourselves into unique creatures standing out from the crowd.

 

PRAYER: Lord, the abilities I was born with are your gifts to me. What I make of them is my gift to you.