Friday, November 30, 2012

November 10th Journal ~ Its a deep one!

November 10th ~ Ingwe Safari ~ 9.50 am

Just got back from a morning safari.  We left at 5 am and it was so beautiful.  Got to see lots of animals.  the sun was warm but lots of wind to cool us down.  We actually got to get out of the land rovers and walk up to a couple of rhinos.  We got about 70 meters away before we had to stop because they were getting ready to run.  When we got back, Michael had our breakfast ready for us.  scrambled eggs, bacon, toast and a wonderful salsa.  I asked Michael how he made it and he said he puts tomatoes in a pot with olive oil. When those get mushy, take them out and do the same thing with onions.  When those are done, add the tomatoes back in with a half a cup of sweet chili sauce and a half a couple of sugar.  It was so delish!

After breakfast we left the safari.  After about an hour driving, we arrived at the Shangana cultural village.  We learned a bit about the culture.  It seemed quite fake though.  After a quick lunch we left for a mall where we had a half hour to browse.  After that we set off for Johannesburg.

That was a four hour drive but amazing.  Darlene and I were sitting right behind Michael and Lynn (our drivers) and we had the most amazing conversation with Michael.  First off he explained to us that when someone asks "How are you?"  we should always respond with "Excellent" .   The reason behind that is because "ex" means "from" and "el" is a name of God.  Lent means cleansed so when we are born again, we are excellent because we are cleansed from God.

He also talked of the word repent.  He talked of a penthouse and how repent is not something you do, it is a position.  We as children of God are meant to be in the penthouse or the highest position.  We talked about the churches purpose.  There are 5 positions in the church: pastor, teacher, evangelist, prophet and preacher.  All are important but sometimes today's churches put pastor at the top of the list.  

He asked us when was the last time we rose someone from the dead.  He quoted Matthew 10:7-8, "As you go, preach this message: The kingdom of heaven is near.  Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons.  Freely you have received  freely give."  He told us to look in the mirror.  We are made in God's image.  That means we can think like God.  Why do we have eyes?  To see the needy.  Why do we have ears? To hear the cry of the broken. Why do we have hands? To raise people from the dead.  Why do we have feet? To go our and preach the good news.  

We were made in God's image and his likeness.  His likeness is love.  The greatest commandment is written in Matthew 22:37-39.  "Jesus replied, 'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  A second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself.    What is most important in my life?  First is God.  Myself should be second and neighbor should be third.  If I can't love myself as God loves me, how can I have any hope of loving my neighbor.  And because everyone is made in the image of God, when I look down on someone or judge someone, I am doing that to God's image.

Michael urged us to read the word and immerse ourselves in it.  He talked of John 3:16 and gave us a little illustration.  Say there were 12 people in a group and another one comes along and is a heart surgeon. He wants to join their group.  They welcome him with open arms saying how nice to have a heart surgeon in the group.  They all get along fine.  Suddenly one in the group has a heart attack.  Everyone panics, calling 911 and yelling for an ambulance.  The heart surgeon says "Hey, I'm a heart surgeon.  Put him up on the coffee table and I'll get him fixed up."  The rest cry "No, No you don't have the proper operating table, you can't do that here." They believed him that he was a heart surgeon but when it came down to it, they didn't believe IN him.  John 3;16 "Whoever believes IN him, shall not perish but have everlasting life"

I realized that I trust God but when it comes down to it, when it really matters, I have a hard time trusting IN him.

Our words vibrate through the air long after we no longer hear them.  God's word stays the same today as when it was written.  Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord.  They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."

Michael showed us a neat card trick.  He said when we look at everyone we see different people. Then he flipped through the deck and all the cards were different.  When God looks at us, he sees the same, His image. Then he flipped through the deck again and it was all the jack of diamonds.  

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