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ISSUE FOUR \ ME2 MAGAZINE P E O P L E W E M E E T: C A R A VA N S C H A L K W Y K POWERNOTE FROM EDNA WOMEN WHO INSPIRE MOM’S THE WORD ME2 GIRLS C R E AT I V E C O L L E CT I V E


#4 CONTENTS P O W E R N O T E F R O M E D N A

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T O T H E E N D S O F T H E E A R T H

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- Teresa Webber

W O M E N W H O I N S P I R E

- Carol Cape

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P E O P L E W E M E E T

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- Cara van Schulkwyk B U T I ’ M N O T R E A D Y. . . 2 7

- Kara nothnagel B E A U T Y F O R A S H E S 3 1

- Kim van Vuuren C R E AT I V E C O L L E C T I V E

- Mandy Watson

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E AT 4 0

- Margreet’s Dutch Apple Pie M O M ’ S T H E W O R D

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- Diana Biggs M E 2 G I R L S 4 7

-What if I fail? M E 2 M E N T O R I N G R E S O U R C E

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© This publication is produced by Victory Media for me2 M e n t o r i n g J e ff re y s B a y. A l l a rt i c l e s a re w r i tt e n b y m e m b e r s o f Victory Church unless otherwise stated. This magazine is not f o r s a l e . Fo r f u r t h e r i n f o r m a t i o n o n a n y o f t h e a r t i c l e s , d o n o t hesitate to email us at me2@victorychurch.org.za w w w. m e 2 m e n t o r i n g . c o m / / w w w. v i c t o r y c h u rc h . o rg . z a

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>>POWERNOTE<<


>>POWERNOTE<<

I’ve just had another sleepless night...

drops, blood sugar returns to normal,

As I lay staring into the darkness, I star ted

and even depression waves goodbye!

thinking of ways to redeem my lost sleep,

Most people who lose huge amounts of

and my thoughts quickly turned to my

weight literally feel like they’ve been given

POWERNOTE conversations with you! I’ve

a second chance at life!

really enjoyed our chats! In the Kingdom, we understand that A WIN You know, there are times when we are so

IS A CHAN GED LIFE! Jesus said, in order to

inspired that new ideas jump up against

enter His Kingdom, we must exchange our

us like little puppies looking for a home.

old wor thless life for His new everlasting life!

The problem is that sometimes there are so many little puppies that we quickly feel

Matthew 16:25 (Amplified) says “For whoever

over whelmed. It’s in those times that we’re

is bent on saving his [temporal] life [his

more likely to send a donation to the SPCA

comfor t and security here] shall lose it

rather than embrace the responsibility for

[eternal life]; and whoever loses his life

taking one of those puppies home and

[his comfor t and security here] for My sake

raising it.

shall find it [life everlasting].”

At this moment, at this time, let’s be brave

What a deal... you Lose it to Win it!

and take this little thought home...

WHEN IS A LOSER A WINNER?

The interesting thing about losing weight and regular exercise is that, even though we know we should be doing it, we don’t always

In our culture, weight (or rather being

follow through. Why? Independent research

over weight) is a BIG issue! When you lose it,

has concluded that the dif ference between

you win! You win, not only because you look

a person who exercises and one who doesn’t

and feel better, but because blood pressure

is (drum roll, please…….) VISION!

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If my comfor t eating and couch time is

in His House, and as an ambassador in

more fulfilling than the sweaty prospect of

His Kingdom.

exercise, the potato chips (or in my case, chocolate) and home renovation channel

When we are presented with a choice

will win ‘hands down!’

between the real deal and a wor thless imposter, it’s a no brainer! We have been

Immediate gratification has an allure all of its

extended an open invitation to exchange

own, as well as the ability to cloud our long-

our self-ef for t for His unforced rhythms!

term sight significantly! (as spoken by a pro) Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message Bible) says But my friend, don’t underestimate the

“Are you tired?✅ Worn out?✅ Burned out on

power of a transforming VISION. IF YOU CAN

religion?✅ Come to me. Get away with me

SEE IT, YOU CAN BECOME IT! Jesus invites us

and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you

into His Vision, into a life of adventure! To

how to take a real rest. WALK with me and

SEE things from His Higher Vantage Point!

WORK with me---WATCH how I do it. LEARN the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay

The goal is CHRISTLIKENESS!

anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live

A divine exchange…

freely and lightly.”

• My overdraf t for His riches. • M y legalism and rules for His grace

Let’s go for that walk, my friend!

and freedom. • My per fectionism for His excellence.

Your par tner in “Learning to Live Lightly

• My pride for His humility.

and Love Freely,”

• M  y feelings of wor thlessness in exchange for a brand new identity as a daughter

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love Eds


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TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH

Teresa Webber

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I clearly remember, at the age of 16, attending a

soccer with them. And that’s where it started…

youth camp with about a thousand other young

playing soccer with them every day, writing their

people. On one of the evenings, we were singing

names down in my little book, and trying to build

“To the Ends of the Earth” by Hillsong, and out of

relationship with them.

that came an alter call for those people who were willing to ‘go to the ends of the earth for God.’

Things evolved and grew, and I soon found myself

There were about 10 or 20 of us who stood up that

doing whatever I could to make a difference.

night, and I clearly remember the earnest and

I took them to the clinic when they were sick,

intense desire in my heart to tell people about

and then I would go to find them in the bushes to

Jesus, no matter the cost.

make sure they got their medicine every night. I started a little ‘class’ for them to focus on reading

After finishing high school, I did a Gap Year and then started working at a Missions Organization. I went on several mission trips & holidays into Africa to serve at various orphanages.

and writing, and a soup kitchen that prepared meals for them. I would go with them to court when they stole, and I would visit them in prison.

My love for missions continued to grow and grow.

During this time, I went to the different church leaders in

While visiting my parents in Jeffreys Bay for a Christmas holiday, my heart was overwhelmed for the local streetkids I encountered there. I felt God speaking to me about making a difference in their lives, so I decided to move from Cape Town to Jeffreys Bay within the month.

the town to introduce myself and shared my heart for the streetkids. This is when I met Louis & Edna. Louis offered me the opportunity to work from the Victory offices, and I soon found myself in a spiritual family where I belonged. I realized that having a desire to make a difference and doing something about it was a great calling,

Not having a clue where to start, I got a little

but that God had so much more for me, not just

notebook & a pen and off I went to the centre

through me. It changed my life to be in a safe

of town to ‘look for some streetkids.’ I went to

place and walking in a revelation of “being

introduce myself to them and ended up playing

planted” and “being known for who I am.”

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I met Peter at Victory and, after a period of time

months pregnant with our first baby, the journey

where we both served on staff, we soon got

ahead seemed very exciting and overwhelming

married. It wasn’t long after getting married

at the same time. As the airplane came in for a

that Father started stirring our hearts for the

landing in Calgary, I heard the Spirit of God say

nation of Canada. It was not an easy process

to me loud and clear, “Welcome home.” In that

to even consider changing locations and

moment, those words from Father settled my heart

nations, because we loved being part of Victory

in more ways than mere words can express.

Church. Over an extended period of praying and working it through in accountability, and a 3

Isn’t it amazing how God prepares the path He

week scouting trip to Canada, Father confirmed it

lays out ahead of us?! Before we had even left

multiple times over (and in the most unexpected

South Africa, we had received a call from a

ways) that He was indeed calling us to plant a

couple in Hawaii who had somehow gotten hold

church in Calgary, Canada. Yes, Calgary really

of some Church Planting resources that we had

did seem like the ends of the earth from Jeffreys

developed in Victory Church in 2005. They told

Bay! I had no clue what it would all mean.

us that they were moving from Hawaii to Calgary and were looking for a church in Calgary that

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Departing South Africa with expectant and

would be like Victory Church in Jeffreys Bay. We

somewhat heavy hearts, 4 suitcases and 2

told them about the church plant we were just


about to start, and then discovered that that we

When I took my hands off the whole situation, God

would actually be arriving in Calgary only 3 days

miraculously gave us favour when Peter phoned

after them. God was definitely preparing hearts in

to inquire about a rental property he found. While

some pretty amazing ways!

looking at the property and meeting the landlord, we knew we had found our ‘man of peace’ and a

Graydon Bishop’s parents were the only two

beautiful friendship started. We moved in with our

people we knew in Calgary, and they kindly

4 suitcases and bought a table, a couch, a desk,

opened their home to us. We gratefully stayed

and a mattress that would serve as our bed. This

with them for the first month while trying to find

would be the first of many rental properties over

a car and a place to stay. The rental market at

the next 7 years.

the time had a 0.5% occupancy rate. I got ‘a bit’ anxious and stressed about not finding a place to

We had so much to trust for as we ‘started from

stay and found myself consumed with looking for

scratch’ and settle in, and yet we were so blessed

a place. One day Peter told me to “Stop looking

by the love and financial support of Victory.

for rental properties every single minute and trust

Not once, did we feel deserted or alone on the

God to provide for us,” and then leave it to him

journey and through the challenges.

to find us a place. This was a hard one because I really wanted to ‘help him’ sort it out.

We originally started by having picnics in 8


parks and meeting people through different

the ups and downs, through the times of putting

relationships. It was exciting to see how we met

my walls up to ‘protect’ and hide my hurting

different people. After a few months, we had the

heart, Father remained so faithful and kind. His

official launch of the church and started with

goodness kept drawing me back, even when I felt

Sunday celebrations in our lounge (living room).

like running a thousand miles the other way.

As the group grew and quickly became too big to meet in our house, we found a Community Centre

As I continue to journey further into an

to meet on Sundays. Since that time, we’ve

overcoming life, the Word of God remains so

moved to an even bigger Community Centre.

true and powerful to break open every area of stubborn resistance to God’s truth in my heart

Of course, we had times of intense longing for

and mind.

family and friends, especially when Christmas came. It was only Father’s words that could

Jeremiah 23:29 (Amplified) says “Is not My

anchor my soul and pull me through.

word like fire [that consumes all that cannot endure the test]? says the Lord, and like a

I remember standing in my room one day, being

hammer that breaks in pieces the rock [of

close to my due date and looking at my belly. I

most stubborn resistance]?”

asked Father “How I will take care of this little one without having some of the basics needed for

Over the past 9 years, we have seen God

this little baby?” Father reminded me of David

establish an Apostolic and Kingdom family church

when he said, “I was young and now I am old, yet

in a city where we didn’t know anyone. It has

I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their

been a journey marked with His faithfulness,

children begging bread.” Psalm 37:25. All I could

provision and life through every season! His ever-

do was trust Him, even when I couldn’t see how

increasing Kingdom is undeniable, especially

and when His provision would come. Of course,

when I look at the testimony of my life and in the

God again supplied and surprised me with more

lives of so many around me!

than what I even thought I needed! Today, my heart is so full when I look at our 5 After Ariel our first was born, living so far away

beautiful children and our precious life together!

from family took on a new reality. It was very

What was once a foreign land, we now love to

difficult, and yet we knew we were exactly where

call Home. ♥

God wanted us. Over the next few years, we had 4 more children and 3 miscarriages. Through

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Photography: Sherah Krause

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Photography: Jana Engelbrecht


WOMEN WHO INSPIRE

IT’S A MATTER OF TRUST.

CAROL CAPE

“But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord, I say,

which had eventually been diagnosed. God

‘You are my God.’” - Psalm 31:14

began to show me how to draw deeply from ‘the well’ which He was placing within me. He

I stood with the tiny child lying limp in my

was teaching me to learn to lean on His loving

arms. This can’t be happening to me, I

arms, a lesson in trusting him that I would visit

thought. Nothing could have prepared me

many times in the years that lay head.

for this moment. Now, changing the scene and moving several I stood helplessly and watched, deep into

years ahead…

the night and then into the early hours, as the

It was a weekend retreat for ‘New Creation,’ the

two pediatricians struggled and wrestled to

little New Testament Church of which we were

determine what was causing the child to drift

part of the pioneering team. The words hit me

in and out of consciousness, over and over

like a barrage of gunfire… “You’ll come and

again. Until finally, the tiny child surrendered to

you’ll go, you’ll come and you’ll go, you’ll come

the coma which would be his state for almost a

and you will go.” The words rained down over

month to follow… My mother’s heart broke.

and over again. They were being uttered by

The child was my 18 month old son, Ronald.

a prophetic couple who prophesied in unison, cementing their flow and authenticity. They

Little did I realize at the time that God was

had strong credibility in the body of Christ.

preparing me to cope with the seasons of life,

My husband David and I were puzzled by the

and the ebb and flow of the unexpected, which

words. After all, neither of us had travelled

would become a regular occurrence in my life,

much, particularly me, having grown up in a

in the call and path which God would lay before

loving, conservative homegrown family which

me and my family. Each season, or tide in life,

never ventured out much, apart from our annual

is a stepping stone for that which the Lord is

holiday to the coast.

preparing us for. Little did I know at that moment, on that tiny During the following month, Ronald lay in a coma

little African farm, those prophetic words would

and fought for his life, enduring the meningitis

change my life forever. It was during the

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WOMEN WHO INSPIRE

following year that we received our assignment

Our girls were trying to serve a destitute old lady

and call to begin to show the servant love of

who, unbeknownst to us, only had three days to

Jesus to people throughout the world on the

live. We were amongst the shanties of Trench

highways and byways of more than 30 countries.

Town, Jamaica… one of the most notorious ghettos in the world. It was ruled by the Dons,

Trust became the hallmark of what God would

and police would barricade themselves into their

begin to do in my life from that very moment.

constabulary at night. An unlikely scenario for

We began to trust Him for our keep, safety,

me to have ever imagined I’d find myself in.

friendships, spiritual sustenance and at times, our very survival.

It was compassion for the poor and a heart for the lost, and once again trust in an unfailing

God began to teach me to “not hold onto things,

God of love, which had landed me there.

but to learn to release”… even precious things like my home and family, releasing a lifestyle

Very often in life, we find ourselves in a place of

that was familiar and comfortable. Releasing

feeling as if our carpet has been ripped out from

my husband onto the streets of burning, angry

under us. It’s as if our norms and boundaries

townships and into wars which were hostile

and frame of reference have been removed.

towards Christians. Sometimes, He would lead

This leaves us in a place where as it were, our

us to places with only enough funding to cover

GPS for life has gone out. In moments like these,

half the journey, where all I could do was trust. It

when we pray for greater TRUST, God is going to

would mean Trusting Him again with my precious

give us divinely-appointed and properly-timed

children Carynne and Ronald, to a Father that

circumstances to step out in Faith. It is the only

loves them much more than I could ever. They

way we will grow in Trust.

have released David and me to do what the Lord had destined us to ‘walk’ in, even though at

Patrick Overton says this perfectly;

times, it’s been very costly to them.

“When you walk to the edge of all the light you have, and take that first step into the darkness of

Then, there were situations like this… The air was

the unknown, you must believe that one of two

so thick, it felt as if you could touch it. There was

things will happen: There will be something solid

a palpable silence. You could feel the uneasy

for you to stand upon, or you will be taught how

tension after the gunshots had just rang out, and

to fly.”

someone had been shot… only a few feet away.

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Footwasher Ministries has been in existence for more than two decades. It arose out of the exploits of David and Carol Cape as they have visited more than 28 nations with their cross and bowl, treading the highways and byways of most of them, demonstrating the Servant love of Jesus. They have literally seen thousands come to salvation in Jesus and amongst others have ministered to Heads of state, Hollywood and Sports stars, prostitutes and lepers.

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F E AT U R E

PEOPLE WE MEET T H I S I S C A R A VA N S C H A L K W Y K L I K E S : T R AV E L I N G , KO R E A N F O O D A N D C AT S DISLIKES: MOSQUITOS, CELERY AND PEOPLE WHO GOSSIP

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F E AT U R E

My name is Cara van Schalkwyk. A born and

it was okay. Lending my ears out and being part

bred, JBay local. I grew up in Jeffreys Bay, went

of conversations which weren’t uplifting or God-

to Nico Malan High School, and studied BEd

honouring. Before I knew it, I had become what

Psych (Educational Psychology) at Stellenbosch

my dad likes to call a “submarine Christian.” I

University. After working and traveling abroad

surfaced when it was expected of me, especially

for two years, I came back to Jeffreys Bay

when it reflected well on me and how I wanted

for a quick “stop-over” before going on my

others to perceive me... the good girl. And then

next venture. Three years later, I’m still here,

in other situations, I gladly lived a lifestyle which

sometimes frustrated, but mostly loving my life.

was contradictory to someone who confesses to

Here’s my story...

be filled with the Spirit of God. I was someone ruled by the “fear of man” and “what others

I grew up in a loving, Christian home. I always

might think.” And this pattern continued for

had friends and did well in school and sport. I

many years.

was an achiever in many ways and I thrived on doing – and being - the best I could be. (I

As an educator who works with kids on a daily

guess, as in the case of many ‘Christian families,’

basis, I realise that there are certain phases we

I considered myself to be a Christian before I

just go through in life. There is an Afrikaans

actually even gave my life to God. The good,

saying that says “Beproef alles en behou die

Christian ways appealed to me, with the “good”

goeie,” which in English means to “Test all things

life I was living, and the type of person I would

and keep the good.” Now, some people might

like others to perceive me as.)

say “That’s just normal,” but I really have a problem with it. It’s scary that children can grow

As a child growing up, I went to youth group and

up “being filled with the Spirit” and knowing

read my daily devotions. In High School, I was

Jesus, but then also choosing to live a lifestyle

part of the Christian Union and enjoyed going to

contradictory to what they are professing…

church with my family. There was a big part of

AND think that it’s okay.

me that really wanted to live “all out” for Jesus, and I did in many ways, but many of the things

I WAS A CHILD GROWING UP IN RELIGION, NOT

I did were just part of my Christian Afrikaans

IN RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS. IF I HAD BEEN IN

culture.

A REAL RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS, MY LIFESTYLE CHOICES WOULD HAVE LOOKED A LOT DIFFERENT.

Sadly, there were some other things that were

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other parts of my culture that also became part

This all changed for me when I eventually

of my life. Casual dating, for the sake of nothing!

went to University and met a group of radical

Drinking under age, not wanting to miss out on

Christians who were super excited and “on fire”

any of the “fun” things my peers did, and thinking

for Christ. They would excitedly ask me “How


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and when did you get saved?” or “When did

My pastor once said: “Just because you sleep

you get baptized?” I was really confronted with

in a garage, doesn’t make you a car!” In other

these type of questions and it bothered me to a

words, just because I grew up in a Christian home

certain extent, because I could tick all of them

and went to church, didn’t make me a Christian!

in my life:

Ouch!

• I gave my heart to Jesus sometime in Primary School... more than once... and many times

RELIGION WAS DEFINITELY PART OF MY

after that too.

UPBRINGING AND HAS ALWAYS BEEN PART OF

• I got baptized in grade 9.

ME... BUT GETTING TO KNOW JESUS, LIVING OUT

• I grew up in a church where it wasn’t weird to

RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM, AND ALLOWING HIM TO

clap or lift our hands in worship, or even jump

CHANGE MY WAYS, ONLY BECAME PART OF MY

occasionally.

LIFE WHEN I CHOSE TO MAKE HIM PART OF MY LIFE.

I was conditioned and enjoyed doing all of these things, and I did them well, but for me, they

Hear me right… I’m super blessed to have

were just part of the motions of growing up in

grown up in a loving, Christian home where I

my culture. These new friends made it sound like

definitely knew Jesus from a young age. But I

these events should be LIFE CHANGING.

was also very much influenced by the things of this world. Fear of people and wanting to fit in

It was then that I realise that I had “being-saved-

were some of the things that have played a big

envy.” I looked at people and listened to their

role in my life. And the choices I made to fit in,

stories of how God had saved them and how

many times, took me further away from God,

they really LOVED JESUS. And when I told them

rather than taking me closer to Him and into the

that all the things that they were experiencing

plans He had for my life. I was the ‘good girl’

I’ve been exposed to since a young age,

in certain contexts, but then also compromised

they would be so excited and assume that I

who I was and what I stood for in other contexts.

knew exactly what they were talking about

I was juggling a double lifestyle. I was caught in

and experiencing. But I was actually envious

RELIGION.

because their outer excitement was something that I had never experienced. And I was like

During my 3rd year at University, I attended a

“Jesus, my story is boring. Is my story even real?!

Woman’s Conference at Victory Church and a

Am I really saved?”

lady from England gave me a ‘hard’ word which I will never forget. She said that she could see

Being exposed to these types of REAL Christians

that I’m a good girl, but that it is time to become

caused me to really assess my life and lifestyle,

a God girl. Ouch.

and I started realising that I might be missing something.

During that time, God also gave me Scripture out of Matthew 7:21 which says “Not everyone

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“ RELIGION, AND

BEING A GOOD GIRL, MADE ME THINK I AM OKAY.

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F E AT U R E

who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom

to challenge me in the ways I think and talk –

of heaven, but only those who do the will of my

and it was SO freeing! No longer living a life

Father.”

of pretence and trying to please others. • Focusing on pleasing God, not people.

I remember when I read it, a holy fear came over me! Almost the feeling of “You can continue fooling those around you, living the way you want to, but you can’t fool Me.” It was as if, for

• K nowing what God says about me, and not worrying about the opinions of people. • Letting go of certain things and people, and allowing God to take me to a place where

the first time in my life, my eyes were opened

I’m free from past hurts, disappointments

and I was confronted with the demon of religion

and frustrations.

and how I had been deceived for so many years.

• Finding my peace in what God wants for

Religion, and being a good girl, made me think

my life and not in what other people think

that I was okay, because with my lips I confessed

or expect.

“Lord, Lord” many times, but with my actions I

• C hoosing to not compare my life to others

decided when and in which contexts I wanted to

around me. Comparison will kill you and it is so

really follow Jesus or not. I think the real danger

important to filter your thoughts and focus on

of religion is that we become comfortable. We not only decide what parts of the Bible we want

all the blessings. • And finally, letting go of my own ideas of the

to read and which parts not, we also decide

future and how things should be, and allowing

whether or not we will apply those Scriptures to

God to shape and challenge and grow me in

our lives or just ignore them.

the season that I’m in.

And that was my life.

I never thought or imagined that I would live in Jeffreys Bay, but God has higher ways and better

I had to do a deep assessment of who I was and

ideas. I fell in love and got married in JBay. I

‘Whose’ I really was. I know “With God all things

found family in Victory Church and, through

are possible,” but I actually think it is sometimes

living life with real people, I still have victory over

easier for someone who is caught in addictions

those things that have held me down for so many

to get saved than people who are blinded and

years. Just like people who are set free from

caught in religion!

addictions have to be careful to not hang out in places where they can get tempted, I believe

So, what was the process of getting out of the

that we as saved Christians should be careful

trap of religion and into real relationships with

and war against religion that wants to get us

God and others?

trapped in ‘being busy with good things’ and not

• C hanging my ways and allowing God to

the God of those good things.

change my thoughts. • S urrounding myself with people who are willing

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MY CONTINUOUS CHALLENGE IS TO SHAKE RELIGION AND SEEK GOD, TO GROW WHERE I’M CURRENTLY PLANTED, AND TO NOT ALLOW COMPARISON STEAL MY JOY.

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Photography: unsplash.com

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“ B U T I ’ M N O T R E A DY. . . ” By Kara Nothnagel

How many times have you found yourself saying

When the time comes for this flight, it is the father

that before?

birds who encourage their young to take the first leap. All the chick has to do is say “yes” and

The Bible says that we should be ready both “in

leap and then their father takes the flight with

and out of season” and “run the race set before

them. The chicks have tiny, stiff wings and they

us with endurance.” I don’t know about you, but

can do little more than glide at first. So, the

I have to admit that all too often I can feel unfit,

fathers continually nudge them in order to keep

unprepared or simply unqualified and like I’m just

them on a good flight path.

not ready. Now, I am not usually one for nature Recently, I was watching a nature programme

programmes, but as I watched these funny little

with my son called “The Hunt,” and this specific

birds attempting to fly, I could imagine them

episode was called ‘In the Grip of Seasons.’

gliding and falling along cheeping loudy “Dad,

When I saw the title, something in my spirit rose

I’m not ready!” And in that moment, I could

with curiosity. In this episode, summer is ending

hear myself (and how often I have done this) say

and these little Guillemont Chicks are in the

the same thing to God. Suddenly, something

final stages of preparation for what the narrator

dropped into my spirit and settled there - the

calls “The biggest day of their lives…” He was

truth is that our feeling ‘out of season’ and our

referring to the day in which they will leave their

actually being ‘out of season’ are two very

nests, jump off of a cliff, try out their wings for the

different things.

very first time, and then fly out to sea. All this took me back to something I read a Once the chicks have landed in the water, there

while ago by Christine Caine in her book

is little time to rest because they then undertake

“Unstoppable.” She points out how the Word

a 100 mile swim before the ocean turns to ice for

of God is laden with account upon account of

the winter.

people who didn’t feel ready when God called 28


“A N D T H E N B E H U M B L E E N O U G H T O S AY Y E S . I H AV E S E E N T H A T T H E R E I S S O M U C H VA L U E I N T H E S I M P L E O B E D I E N T A C T O F S AY I N G “ Y E S ” TO O U R FAT H E R .”

them, but God decided that they were ready

too! His Word says that He understands the frailty

and sent them. And in these stories, we see a

of our human condition and yet He still calls us,

confident God - confident that He had prepared

purposes us and sets out a flight for us to make.

them, equipped them, and also that He would

In our journey, He is not distant… in fact, He

provide them with whatever they needed to make

nudges us along in order to keep us on a good

it. He gave them a gentle nudge, if you will.

flight path. Father doesn’t leave us to fumble through.

With the first flight of the chick, the father decided when it was time for the chick to jump,

So, if you find yourself being thrust into something

regardless of feelings.

new, or something that you feel under-qualified for, take heart and remember that many of

How often do we find ourselves entering into

the heroes of our faith didn’t feel ready either,

seasons that we don’t feel ready for, but yet…

but the Father knew that they were ready, and

God says the time is now? I know I have felt

through their simple obedience, lives and history

that way, especially during what has been one

were changed.

of the most unexpected years of my life. I have been learning that when God calls us, we have

As you find yourself in the grip of the seasons of

to be humble enough to accept that we are

your life, remember that the seasons of your life

ready, whether we feel like it or not. And then

are in the grip of His hand and He takes the flight

be humble enough to say yes. I have seen that

with you! He has purposed and equipped you.

there is so much value in the simple obedient act

And He looks at you and says you are ready.

of saying “yes” to our Father. And although our wings may feel young and stiff, God knows that 29

All He needs is your “yes.”


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31


BEAUTY FOR ASHES

Asher’s Story -Part One - Kim van Vuuren 32


â&#x20AC;&#x153;What happened with our first son three years ago has changed me forever.â&#x20AC;? 33


When I was contacted about telling Asher’s story

pregnancy had its normal challenges… heart

in the 31: magazine, I was at an interesting place

burn, sore joints, restless legs, lack of sleep, etc

in my journey. My son, Cal, had an ear infection

etc, but everything was going well. Our doctor

and I was in the middle of asking God to help me

was happy that the pregnancy was progressing so

deal with an overwhelming fear in my life towards

well, and that Asher (as we had already named

the health and safety of my son.

him) was growing into a big, strong baby. We hit a bit of a nervous moment when, around

The fear had been overwhelming me for about a

the 7 month mark, the doctor discovered

week, and I just couldn’t seem to shake it. Then

“shadows” on Asher’s kidneys. So we headed

I got the call to write about Asher. Ironic that it

to the specialist in PE for a detailed scan.

would all come up at the same time, as the only

Unfortunately, the doctor couldn’t see what

reason this fear keeps rearing its ugly head in my

was blocking the tubes from the kidneys. We

life is because of Asher’s story. What happened

were advised that Asher would need to see a

with our first son three years ago has changed me

neurologist immediately after birth and possibly

forever. Not necessarily good or bad change, just

need surgery. Naturally, we were concerned and

change, permanent change. The kind of change

it weighed heavy on our minds right up until he

you can’t wish for.

was born.

I had been married before... for seven years, to

I remember being very nervous, and absolutely

a man with whom I wasn’t able to have children.

terrified of the birth that was coming. I didn’t

It was devastating at times. And then at other

want to give birth, but I was also terrified of

times, through the patient love of God, it was

surgery. I wasn’t going to win this one, was I? This

bearable. That marriage ended quite suddenly

baby had to come out, one way or the other!

and traumatically, and led me on a 7 year journey with God that has forever changed me, moulded

Asher’s due date passed and he still hadn’t shown

me, ‘grafted me into the vine’ and removed some

any signs of coming, so we went to St Georges

pretty heart-breaking stuff from my life.

Hospital in PE for an induction on Monday, 1st April, 2013. After 24 hours of labour and only

Then I met Morne. The love of my heart! And on

dilating 1cm, it was decided that a C-section was

2nd June, 2012, we were married. Not knowing

the best option. I was exhausted and didn’t want

if we would be able to have children, and with

to go through another 24 hours of labour. But I

me being on the shadow side of 35, we decided

was also terrified. I hate needles, and doctors,

to get the ball rolling. It was only 6 short weeks

and being cut open in general.

after our wedding that we found out we were pregnant!

For those who have never been in a hospital theatre before, it’s a crowded place. There’s your

What a moment! We were ‘over the moon!’ The

doctor, his assistant, the anaesthetist, the midwife, 34


the paediatrician, and about three or four other

I was instantly aware that things weren’t going as

nurses and orderlies (you know, the ones who

planned, and I started to panic. “Where’s Asher?

carry you from your gurney to the surgery table

Is he ok?” Morne had been to see him during

and back again). It’s a crowded place. There’s

the night, but I wouldn’t be able to get there until

lots of movement and hushed talking. They

that evening as I had just had major surgery and

administered the spinal (very nicely, I must add,

the doctors were insisting that I spend 24 hours

because it was virtually painless), and we got

lying down.

straight into the C-section. Morne was sitting at my side, holding my hand and together we

The midwife brought me a card with his little

waited, and we waited, and we waited…

footprints on them. I almost cried, but I was still very confused, medicated, unsure and terrified

They finally pulled Asher out my belly and lifted

of what to feel and what to think.

him up so I could catch a glimpse of him as he was handed to the midwife and paediatrician

I got to see my son for the first time that

for his inspection… then nothing. No crying, no

afternoon, having been wheeled over to NICU

talking, no sound whatsoever. Nothing.

in a wheelchair. I peeped over the edge of his

My son didn’t make a peep.

crash cart and just cried my eyes out. The relief of ACTUALLY seeing him alive was overwhelming.

Suddenly, the theatre burst into action as

Apparently, he’d improved so much over the

everyone began moving and talking at once!

past few hours that he was even able to breathe

And then, just as suddenly, they had wheeled

on his own, and all he had was a feeding tube in

Asher out the room on a NICU crash cart with the

his mouth. He looked so serene laying there

paediatrician breathing for him, and there was

sleeping quietly.

only silence that followed. It was very quiet. I just lay there. What else was I going to do? I was

Over the next couple of days, I went through the

cut open and the doctors were still busy with my

routine of pumping milk in the NICU every three

operation. Morne squeezed my hand. I’m not

hours (including throughout the night), and trying

too sure what happened after that; the meds

not to fall apart emotionally in between. My faith

started kicking in and the morphine was intense.

wasn’t strong at all. I hardly prayed. In fact, I

All I remember was waking up the next morning

think the only thing I said to God in that whole

in the maternity ward, still recovering from the

time (9 days) was “Please get us through this.

C-section, and Morne asleep on the bed next

Save my son. Help us!”

to me. Please join us in the next issue of 31: for the rest of Beauty for Ashes – Part 2.

35


I was instantly aware that things weren’t going as planned, and I started to panic. “Where’s Asher? Is he ok?”

36


37


MANDY WATSON This year has been so good, and the word that Edna shared about the “Issues of the Heart” was so timely. Through that set of resources, God spoke to me about living in ‘the tension between arrogance and false humility!’ He showed me that my heart is like a guitar, and it needs to be tuned daily in order to give off a beautiful sound. Sometimes, guitar strings go out of tune due to different things like temperature, being played too hard, not being played at all, being bumped around, etc. If just one string goes out slightly, the guitar will give off a distasteful sound! God showed me that… when a string is too sharp, it is likened to the sound of arrogance and if a string is too flat, then it sounds like false humility. He showed me how I have lived timidly, in false humility, because I was afraid that I would sound arrogant, not realizing that timidity gives off the same sound as arrogance!!!!! Woah! True boldness is humility! It’s the tension that lies between the sharp and the flat note. It gives off a beautiful sound! Tuning is required daily for this sound to come forth! He showed me that boldness is not arrogance. He showed me that boldness is simply agreeing with who He says I am, and being obedient! No need to compare myself with anyone else, because that would be an insult to the One who made me! I have chosen to allow Him to ‘tune me daily’ so that my life and my song will give off a sound that is beautiful to Him! To be bold and obedient and agree with who He says I AM!

38


39


EAT

MARGREET’S D U TC H APPLE PIE

BY MARGREET WIBBELINK

This is the easiest apple crumble recipe you can get and fool proof. Every Christmas that I spend in Jeffreys Bay I make it for Christmas lunch at Edna’s place. It’s so fun to share something from my family here in South Africa. FOR THE CRUMBLE:

THE FILLING:

400 gr self raising flour

5-6 big green apples chopped

200 gr butter

1 cup raisins

200 gr brown sugar

Cinnamon Optional: add some chopped nuts to the apples.

Kneed the ingredients together till you have nice crumbs, leave in the fridge.

Toss it alltogether and place it in an oven dish.

Replace with gluten free flour if you need

Put the crumble on top and bake in the oven

gluten free option.

180 degrees and bake for 45-60 min.

40


{ mom’s the word} TIPS AND THOUGHTS ON MOTHERHOOD

Photography: Impact Photography and Design

41


THE ART OF RAISING 4 BOYS DIANA BIGGS

42


It was no surprise that Bonnen and I were blessed

Although our sons have different personalities,

to have four sons to raise, because we both

there are common rules and disciplines they

come from “male dominant” families. I was

are expected to adhere to (i.e. greeting people

raised in Cape Town, and Bonnen is from a large,

politely, respecting woman and adults, kindness,

East Cape farming family - with lots of uncles and

and first time obedience).

male cousins! EMOTIONS Early on in our marriage, we asked God to show

Here, I quickly learnt that to raise boys, I cannot

us His ways for raising a Godly family, but I also

be emotional or talk too much, or analyse

asked God how I was going to manage these

everything. They are quick to challenge, but

five men in my life – in a Godly way! I needed

just as quick to move on and from an issue.

wisdom. We are dairy farmers, so most days it’s

Boys look for clear cuts lines of discipline and

just me and the 5 men in my life, alone on the

talk… they forgive quickly, hear quickly, and do

farm!

not want to discuss issues at length. What they say is what it is! Nothing hidden, nothing else

Here are a few nuggets that I’ve discovered over

meant than what they say. We, as women, can

the years while raising my sons:

make issues complicated if we do not take them

• T he end goal in raising a son is always to

at face value.

remember that we are raising husbands and fathers-to-be one day.

TALKING

• They need to be Godly men.

Some of my sons have only a few words available

• T hey need to be a blessing to their wives and

for the month, and when those words are used

children! I am strict on how my sons speak to

up, they are finished speaking until next month.

me, the language they use, and the way they

I have learnt that when men are together, they

respect me as a woman. At these times, I also

don’t necessarily bond by talking. Boys form

know that I represent all women in the way that

friendships by just ‘being’ or ‘playing’ together.

I need to behave and talk.

They don’t need deep emotional discussions to feel satisfied. But I always have to wait for a

43

Every son of ours is very different, so Bonnen and

“window of opportunity” to get to a deep level

I did the “Growing Kids God’s Way” parenting

of discussion with them. I get them to discuss the

course. This helped us establish common goals,

issue and, at the same time, I am training them

consistency and unity in our parenting styles.

to talk about emotions and how they feel.


A LT HOUG H OUR S ONS HAVE DI F F E R E NT PE RS ONALITIE S , T H E RE A RE COMMON RULE S A ND DI S C I PLINE S THE Y ARE E X P E C T E D TO ADHE RE TO...

44


DON ’T S IT ON T H E S I DE LI NE A ND WATCH THE M D O LIF E. T HEY LOVE I T W H E N YOU D O LIF E W ITH THE M!

45


At these times, it’s important to remember to

had to go to school hostels. On holidays and

work gently and listen a lot.

weekends, a very important part of our family life is to sit and have meals around a table

It helped me when I learnt that my sons and

together. Here, plans for the week are discussed,

husband have a “nothing box.” There are simply

holidays are planned, opinions are debated, and

times when they can just sit and think of nothing,

disagreements are sorted out.

do nothing, and want to say nothing! Amazing! Before, I assumed that they were thinking

My sons are all active sportsmen and, thus, we

something and just choosing not to share it with

spend Saturdays supporting them. By following

me as we sat or drove together. It would really

their sport, we have had extra time together with

upset me when they wouldn’t talk to me, until

them as they tour.

I realised they are simply in their “nothing box” and there is really nothing they want to say or

Early in family life, we also established the routine

think! So, this is now also OK!

of going to church. For us, this is a 120km round trip, but it has become a routine and a priority.

FUN Another nugget is to remember is that boys want

GIRL TIME

to have fun. It is more important to have fun with

A lifeline for me, after a weekend or holiday

them than to stand on the sidelines watching

with my husband and sons, is to have a coffee

them. They like it when we take part in life with

date with my lady friends! It is during these times

them. We girls often worry about ‘what we look

that I re-establish in my mind and spirit that I am

like’ or ‘how we’re dressed,’ and then we lose out

a normal lady! I can be emotional, and think,

on having fun with the boys! They want you as a

and laugh at different kinds of humour – female

companion/friend to join in with them and enjoy

humor!

life. Those other details they don’t see. Don’t sit on the sideline and watch them do life. They

SUCCESS

love it when you do life with them!

For me, the ultimate success of parenting sons is seen on the day when they find and experience

FAMILY

Jesus for themselves! This is such a reward and

Family life is part of what my sons understand.

blessing!

Because we are farmers, my sons have often

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47


HOW TO BE BRAVE Have you noticed that the issue of “being brave” or “having courage” is coming up alot lately? I have. In fact, I recently finished an interview for one of our regular writers, Kara Nothnagel, on just that topic. And since that interview, I’ve noticed BRAVERY coming up time and time again, especially in the stories of this issue of THIRTY ONE: I mentioned in my interview that the bravest thing I’ve ever done was to follow God’s voice and be obedient to His calling, and I’m still convinced by that. But I’ve also realised that I didn’t have that same conviction when I was finishing high school. So it got me thinking… “Is bravery something you have to learn, like a 5-step plan, or is it a character trait that is in all of us just waiting to explode?” I’m beginning to realise that bravery is something that we ALL have, and we are born with it. Jesus was brave when facing the multitudes of haters and the Pharisees. He was brave in facing the cross. And we are made in His image and likeness, which means that bravery is ingrained in our DNA (whether or not we choose to use it is another story). For me, being brave as I was finishing high school meant • going to Art School without knowing a single person, • leaving behind the comforts of friendships that have seen me through my awkward stages, and • finally taking a chance at what I thought my calling could be. So, the next time you aren’t feeling particularly brave, when you fear failing that exam, when that boy doesn’t like you as much as you wanted him to, or when you just miss the comforts of your family and old friends, remember this: Being brave is not about the absence of fear. It’s about facing those fears head-on. It’s about going through change with nothing but the process as your reward. “The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army!” Habakkuk 3:19 (Amplified) By Anne Huang

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49

Photography: Impact Photography and Design

>>MENTORING RESOURCE


RESOURCE

DEAR FRIEND, Here we are at our last Me2 Mentoring meeting for the year! Can you believe it? Over the course of this year, we have examined our hearts and have uncovered its enemies. We have also learnt what it means to guard our spirits. It is clear that we cannot obtain any growth or holiness through our own efforts. It is simply God’s goodness that leads us to repentance, not His judgement or anger. Romans 2:4 says “Are you [actually] unaware or ignorant [of the fact] that God’s kindness leads you to repentance?” As we enter the last few months of the year, we now need to examine the extravagance of our Father’s love to us as demonstrated through the sacrifice of His only Son, Jesus Christ. This is what we refer to as GOD’S GRACE! However, these truths are far too rich and weighty to fully understand in one lifetime, let alone a few moments in group discussion. Therefore, we encourage you to just focus on Parts 1 and 2 of this resource during your group meeting, and then take time during the following months to read and meditate on the complete resource (Parts 3 and 4 have been included). During your worship time (15 minutes) Before examining the following truths more closely, meditate on these verses: 2 Corinthians 5:21 says “For our sake, He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” Colossians 1:27-29 (Message) says “The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you, so therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory. It’s that simple.” Dwell on the following statements as you prepare your hearts for the Holy Spirit to reveal truth to you: * Grace is free * Grace: Christ in me * If I could earn my own righteousness, Christ died for nothing * Grace enables me


RESOURCE

1. WHAT’S SO AMAZING ABOUT GRACE? This is the joy of my salvation! I have received something immeasurably valuable for FREE! It is so difficult to accept this gift, and I involuntarily live with an uneasy sense of guilt and shame because I know the truth about ME! I am not always pretty… in fact, I am sometimes downright ugly. I have accepted this gift of total forgiveness and the invitation to know God, but I fear that I can lose it or that it can be taken away. I keep trying to earn it (even though I know I can’t). I keep trying to obtain something I already have! I am reaching for something that I am actually standing on! I was given a position from where I may know God, talk to Him, hear His voice and have access to EVERYTHING that Jesus has access to! I have it, it’s mine. And yet, still, I feel like a fake, a second hand citizen in this Kingdom… an orphan! But, what I feel is NOT THE TRUTH! THE TRUTH Romans 3:24 says “… the favour God did on Calvary was for those (us) who hated Him. It was a favour done out of the spontaneous generosity of God’s heart of love with no expectation of return. There are no strings attached to grace.” (Kenneth Wuest Commentary – Expanded Translation of the New Testament) NB: Read Romans chapters 3-5, and 7 chapter 8. Here are a few extracts from these chapters. Romans 3:22-25 (Amplified) says “This righteousness of God comes through faith in Jesus Christ for all those [Jew or Gentile] who believe… There is no distinction, since all have sinned and continually fall short of the glory of God, and are being justified [declared free of the guilt of sin, made acceptable to God, and granted eternal life] as a gift by His [precious, undeserved] grace, through the redemption [the payment for our sin] which is [provided] in Christ Jesus, whom God displayed publicly [before the eyes of the world] as a [life-giving] sacrifice of atonement and reconciliation (propitiation) by His blood [to be received] through faith.” Romans 5:6-8 (Amplified) says “While we were still helpless [powerless to provide for our salvation], at the right time Christ died [as a substitute] for the ungodly. Now it is an extraordinary thing for one to willingly give his life even for an upright man, though perhaps for a good man [one who is noble and selfless and worthy] someone might even dare to die. But God clearly shows and proves His own love for us, by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”


RESOURCE

Discuss the following statements in the light of the above Scriptures: •

Free, not cheap

No strings attached

Too good to be true!

Received, not achieved

2. CHRIST IN ME Colossians 1:27-29 (Message) says “The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you, so therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory. It’s that simple.” Galatians 2:20 (NLT) says “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Christ in me? In me who sometimes loses my temper? In me who struggles to love my cranky neighbour? In me who hides my addiction? YES… ME! That is the mystery and extravagance of God’s love for me. He chose me and, through His blood, washed me clean and made me an acceptable place for Him to stay… forever. When I come into God’s presence, ALL OF ME is invited, especially those ‘shadow-selves’ I wish to leave at the door. God embraces the good, the bad and the ugly, for I am allowed, through Christ, to enter in. Past, present and future sins are forgiven. I cannot be forgiven ‘more or less’… I am forgiven completely. So I may boldly confess this: “I am the righteousness of God IN CHRIST, for Jesus lives in me.” His power in me changes me as I surrender everything to Him, both the worst of me and the “best” that will still never come close to being good enough.   I am not: • an addict • a self-centred, loveless person • insecure and self-conscious • divorced and alone • ugly and unlovable


RESOURCE

Fill in the issues / ’labels’ that sometimes define you and prevent you from taking in your position of right standing with God. Then, draw a line through all of it and confess the truth about who you are! • -------------------------------------------• -------------------------------------------• -------------------------------------------• -------------------------------------------I AM THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD, FOR JESUS LIVES IN ME! God extended this extravagant gift of grace to us with one desire and hope burning in His heart that we would love Him back. May we discover the joy and freedom which is born from grace and received in abundance. May we respond with a deep gratitude and love towards our Father. Well ladies, this brings us to the end of our 2015 Me2 Mentoring year! Thank you so much for joining us on this journey of discovering our “Higher Vantage Point” in God! We trust that you have enjoyed your times together, and have felt yourself inspired, challenged, encouraged, motivated and loved! Below, we have included Parts 3 and 4 of this final resource on God’s Grace! We encourage you to read and meditate on these things over the holiday months and let them encourage and strengthen you until we come together again in 2016! Much love!

Edna and the team


RESOURCE

HI LADIES! Here are Parts 3 and 4 of our final resource on God’s Grace! We encourage you to read and meditate on this material over the holiday months and let it encourage and strengthen you until we come together again in 2016! Love you so much! 3. RIGHTEOUSNESS If I am “the righteousness of God” because Jesus lives in me, through no effort of my own, what does the Word say about all my working and striving and trying to earn my righteousness? Romans 10:3 (Amplified) says “For not knowing about God’s righteousness [which is based on faith], and seeking to establish their own [righteousness based on works], they did not submit to God’s righteousness.” Galatians 3:1–3 says “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” Galatians 2:21 says “I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.” Ephesians 2:8–9 says “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Isaiah 64:6 says “We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.” Working to deserve or add to my salvation is self-righteousness; a righteousness that originates from, and whose source is, ‘self.’ It is a righteousness that is self-centred. When I start doing things to earn God’s love or approval, I regard His grace as cheap and insufficient. Feeling unworthy of love, forgiveness or attention, as well as only feeling worthy because of my faithfulness or performance, are actually two sides of the same coin – self-righteousness.


RESOURCE

True righteousness is God-centred. God does not respond to what we do; we respond to what God does What effect does self-righteousness have on your relationship with: • God • Others How does being righteous in Christ change your relationship with: • God • Others 4. GRACE: God’s enabling power at work in me Romans 3:24 says “…grace includes not only the bestowal of a righteousness, but the inward transformation consisting of the power of indwelling sin broken and the divine nature implanted, which liberates the believer from the compelling power of sin and makes him hate sin, love holiness, and give him the power to obey the Word of God.” (KENNETH WUEST Commentary – Expanded Translation of the New Testament)   WHAT ARE THE RESULTS OF JUSTIFICATION? Romans 5:2 says “Through Him we also have access by faith into this [remarkable state of] grace in which we [firmly and safely and securely] stand. Let us rejoice in our hope and the confident assurance of [experiencing and enjoying] the glory of [our great] God [the manifestation of His excellence and power]. This is the position from where I will overcome all of my giants. I may experience “the manifestation of His excellence and power.” Through Christ, everything that is His is mine! This gives me the advantage over all my enemies. It gives me a strategic vantage point… God’s vantage point. My struggle with sin and flesh does not change my position of right standing with God. I can boldly step into a relationship with God because of what JESUS earned for me on the cross, not because of my perfect life. It is from this POSITION that I face all of my struggles. I rejoice in my weakness for I know that, when I am weak, He is strong in me. My sanctification (becoming more like Jesus) is a result of my justification and not a prerequisite (voorwaarde). Because my trust is in what Jesus did for me on the cross and not my own efforts, I can experience God’s enabling grace at work in my life. I am a work in progress until the day I die… forever adopted and welcomed into my Father’s house.


RESOURCE

Romans 8:31-35, 37-39 (NIV) says “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 2 Corinthians 4:7 says “But we have this precious treasure [the good news about salvation] in [unworthy] earthen vessels [of human frailty], so that the grandeur and surpassing greatness of the power will be [shown to be] from God [His sufficiency] and not from ourselves.” •

Grace: God’s enabling power at work in you. What does this mean?

Grace: An unfair advantage. Why?

Grace: all that you will ever need. Really?

2 Corinthians 12:9 says “But He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you [My loving kindness and My mercy are more than enough—always available—regardless of the situation]; for [My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness.’ Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ [may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me.” Philippians 1:6 says “I am convinced and confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will [continue to] perfect and complete it until the day of Christ Jesus [the time of His return].” Jude 24-25 (Amplified) says “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling or falling into sin, and to present you unblemished [blameless and faultless] in the presence of His glory with triumphant joy and unspeakable delight, to the only God our Saviour, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and power, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”


RESOURCE

Paul, the apostle of God, had the same struggle with his flesh, yet it never affected his identity! With boldness, he declared the Gospel and discipled the early church. Romans 7:15-25 (Amplified) says “For I do not understand my own actions [I am baffled and bewildered by them]. I do not practice what I want to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate [and yielding to my human nature, my worldliness—my sinful capacity]. Now if I habitually do what I do not want to do, [that means] I agree with the Law, confessing that it is good (morally excellent). So now [if that is the case, then] it is no longer I who do it [the disobedient thing which I despise], but the sin [nature] which lives in me. For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh [my human nature, my worldliness—my sinful capacity]. For the willingness [to do good] is present in me, but the doing of good is not. For the good that I want to do, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want to do, I am no longer the one doing it [that is, it is not me that acts], but the sin [nature] which lives in me. “So I find it to be the law [of my inner self], that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully delight in the law of God in my inner self [with my new nature], but I see a different law and rule of action in the members of my body [in its appetites and desires], waging war against the law of my mind and subduing me and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is within my members. Wretched and miserable man that I am! Who will [rescue me and] set me free from this body of death [this corrupt, mortal existence]? Thanks be to God [for my deliverance] through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind serve the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh [my human nature, my worldliness, my sinful capacity—I serve] the law of sin.” Much love,

Edna and the team


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THIRTY ONE: Issue 4  
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