#fridayfootprints – Friday 31st July 2020

God’s creative genius gives us an insight into our own soul.

Time spent in nature is a journey where we can free our spirit to run where God wants us to run. We get a chance not just to read about His exploits, rather we can experience it first-hand.  We see the beauty and the desolation.

If we want more of God, nature is where we find it. If we want less of the world; His creation is our refuge. If we mourn, we find solace through the touch of His Sun and if we praise Him, we can raise His beautiful bounty to the Heavens. The whispers we seek in His wilderness are ever present when we allow ourselves to live in His world.

Knowing that all creation is His, is part of the journey of discovery He sends us on. It is not enough to read from all the libraries of wisdom that exist without taking a step outside. Once taken, we then allow Him to enter inside our own centre of existence. And that is where we find peace and understanding.

Look anew on His creation and marvel as we experience His miracle and what it means when we gaze upon it as He meant us to and then examine your soul in peaceful contemplation as we become bound to Him. Whisper Wilderness Whisper!

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 17th July 2020

When God looks through His window onto the waters of our baptism, He sees water where there is scarcely a ripple. He sees a mirror waiting to reflect Himself!

He has been trying to convince us of a fundamental truth – Where we see storms, He sees tranquility. Where we see discord, anger and resentment, He sees peace, love, understanding and forgiveness.

Where we see empty churches, He sees an opportunity to fill the hearts of worshipers far beyond the building’s walls. Where we see dissent, He sees followers who will follow anybody, people who are leaders that have yet to learn to lead.

The waters of our baptism that we see as a turbulent whirlpool can only be calmed when we realise that our ego is the lens that we are looking through. Seen through God’s eyes, and lived through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, and experienced through the presence of the Holy Spirit, together the Trinity give a completely different view of the waters of our baptism.

A whisper in the wilderness is too soft to disturb the surface of the water, so be prepared to be the mirror He expects us to be!

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 10th July 2020

When A Judge does not play Judge, in a court he is not a Judge in – then he is driven up the Via Dolorosa of social media to be crucified.

In my country we have a Judge, in fact a Chief Justice, the pinnacle of our legal system, who dared to bare a Christian truth. “I don’t hate anybody” – the fact that this was coupled to a statement that he loved the Jews and the Palestinians, he loved all nations and that love was part of his Christian belief, not hate.

He dared, because the ‘Son’ shines upon him.

In his own court he applies the rule of law that he is must adhere to as part of our constitution. In God’s court he is not expected to be a ‘judge’ he is required to be a Christian – because the ‘Son’ shines upon him.

Perhaps if more of us were to stand up and hold to the same principle, in that we are not required to be judges. We are not required to hold people to any standard. We are not expecting people to share our same views. But whatever standard they have, whatever views they have, we should love them. We should show them that the ‘Son’ can shine upon them. In fact, by doing so, we show that the ‘Son’ shines upon us.

This does not make us some select group of people above everybody else, but it does make us warmer than those who sit in the shade. If the ‘Son’ has shed its light on us, it should have warmed our hearts to all those who cross our paths and that warmth should be a blanket of comfort to all in need.

If the ‘Son’ shines upon us, we have no court to preside over, rather we have a far weightier task spreaders of love. We are not confined to a court, rather, we are bound to the foundation of God’s law; ‘Love your God and love your neighbour as yourself. Perhaps mankind has lost the ability to know themselves and without being able to know themselves cannot love themselves. And if they cannot love themselves, they cannot love their neighbour. What they do love is the image of what society tells them they should be. And society has become used to judging everything, to the extent that we have even started to judge ourselves.

If the ‘Son’ really shines upon us, we should welcome those key figures in society who are brave enough to stand up and we should stand by them because the ‘Son’ shines upon us and we have heard His Whispers in the Wilderness and His greatest commandments!

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 3rd July 2020

One day when the mankind takes stock of what has transpired over the last 100 or so years they will perhaps think back to the times they could have spent in quiet communion with God instead of gathering in hordes for whatever reason.

The hordes inevitably become a feeding frenzy!

It just depends what the people have gathered for as to what the feeding entails. Sometimes, it can be relatively innocent; a music festival, sport and dare I say it, church. The feeding is on excitement – the need to be entertained at all costs. Then again at the other end of the scale, the frenzy is about ‘protest’, social or moral indignation and even war and then the feeding is on the souls of man. In between lie a myriad of different forms of the need to satisfy the gnawing emptiness in the pit of our stomachs.

It has taken a ‘lockdown’ to show some of mankind that the real value in life is being in direct contact with someone, one-on-one. Sometimes this is with our Lord, but mostly it is with those near and dear. It is only in these instances of fellowship that we can built a deeper understanding of ourselves and those around us. It is only in contemplative connection with God and man that we build a better person and so doing a better society.

So yes, the frenzied feeding continues around the world, but deep in our hearts I’m sure much of what we see spread across the media is a result of a population who have not learnt how to make meaningful contact with God and caring contact with mankind. If we were to do this, not only would we be fulfilled and fully at peace with the world, the world, and God would be fully at peace with us!

“The peace of God which passes all understanding, …” is not in the gathered crowd. It lies waiting in a stranger, a loved one, the tired, the sick and the lonely. It resides in conversations of words spoken through a touch or a whisper in the wilderness.

“Go in Peace and serve the Lord.”

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 26th June 2020

Our new normal is a place totally unfamiliar to most us.

Like ballet dancers, or musicians, or performers of any ilk, the final product of what we produce on stage, is only a fraction of the time, effort and dedication that has gone into honing the art of what we do. And for most performers it is the ambiance of the stage and the audience that gives validity to their craft.

Take away this final step, and the performer is left negotiating a lonely existence that echoes in the halls of their consciousness.

Life under lockdown is like that for millions of people around the world. Our life’s work, ambition, drive, and formative thought have been conditioned to respond to an audience in our daily appearances on the stages that litter our reasons for being. Take this away and we are left floundering like fish out of water.

So great is the need for human interaction and affirmation, that we completely miss the chance to spend this ‘gifted’ alone time with the Trinity. We are so conditioned to human contact that we have sometimes lost the art of making contact with God. We are so busy shouting out our indignation to the world that we miss the chance to speak of the Holy Spirit to the crowd that has gathered.

We build our false indignation to the extent that it rages inside us threatening to destroy society as we know it. And we do this in the knowledge that it has been done before, to Christ, as we prepare to sacrifice Him again!

When the sound of a silent orchestra is so loud it drowns out the crashing, thundershower drumming of teardrops falling from Heaven as they see what we become when we crave a platform, any soapbox, that we will call our stage.

And when the wilderness whispers in an empty auditorium, who will hear Him? Who will care, that when we craved an audience – any audience will do! Whilst the audience that matters, that special moment just between God and man, will be left to gather up the feathers of the Holy Dove that lie plucked and scattered in the numbered seats.

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 19th June 2020

As the night deepens and sleep continues to evade me, I try to take my focus away from the sound of the frogs nightly chorus and then the sudden pauses of silence that I know are due to a stray predator stalking the garden paths.

As the frogs resume their ‘Opera of the Night’ my thoughts dwell on the pages of my existence in the world as it is and as it was. There are a few things that I have done right and there are many that are still left to be accomplished. I also have thoughts of family, both here and departed, and thoughts of friends; some dear, some estranged and some forgotten.

The common factor in this nightly dance of the sleepless, is love. A love for life and all that it has given, but above all, a love for a Father who has lightened my burden over all the years. I also cast my thoughts to my own father and know how much he must be enjoying time spent with his Saviour. I mourn him still, as I do others who have gone before, yet, there is joy in the knowledge that he has gone ‘Home’ to his love.

Love is a ‘Fellowship of Life’ that we celebrate throughout the spectrum of our emotions. Love is the Grace that we have been given and that we pass on to those we encounter along the way.

Love is a way of taking the leaves from His Book and throwing then to the wind. That they may be carried to the far corners of the earth and into the hearts of those we meet along the way.

I have two fathers, one biological and one spiritual and both are in Heaven. The one thing that binds them together and that binds me to my faith, is love.

‘Love Thy God’ – could it be simpler. Be love: That all may know that the leaves taken from His Book, filled with the inscriptions of His Word, have a place in a union that binds us completely to the source of all light!

Happy Father’s Day to both of you.

Scattered leaves are Whispers in the Wilderness blown through our lives by the Holy Spirit as a physical expression of his presence.

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 12th June 2020

People around the world are grappling with the concept of a new normal whilst at the same time yearning for many of the aspects of the old tried and tested recipes of their pre Covid-19 social existence.

Yet the new normal is not as new as we might think. The newness is the fact that it was forced upon us so abruptly. For many, a life that revolves around social media has for years slowly been ingrained into society.

After nearly three months of ‘lockdown’; the craving for closer contact with those near and dear.  The need for family, friends, intellectual sound boards and naturally, our Christian fellowship ring exceeds any other craving real or imagined.

This social network of real-life contacts has been torn apart. Conventional pathways to reach each other have been cut off and the tools to build new routes to reach the core of our relationships are unfamiliar and at times threatening to us.

Where does this leave us in our connection with the world and more importantly in our spiritual connection with the Trinity?

The silk thread that binds us together, the thread that weaves closed the holes created by humanity is exuded through His word. It is through our daily communion with Him that we can set about re-socialising our web of influence that we want in our lives.

Certainly, some things will be strange and new, but isn’t that what we have been promised, (2 Corinthians 5:17). Whilst His Word is spinning the silk needed, the work needs to be done by us. New work, new tasks, a new way of doing things, a new way of reaching across the voids of culture and understanding. All we need to know is that we can trust His promise and know with unfailing certainty that He can use any situation towards an end where He is the sculptor in a wilderness of whispers!

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 17th April 2020

There are place in my head that are scary places to visit when my imagination goes into overdrive.

Our imagination is also what feeds all the fake news we find on every platform. Fake news relies on the plausible, plays on the emotions, disguises reality and reason, balancing fact with fiction to make a believable story.

Something we want to believe in, even when the rest of our logic is screaming: “Watch out!”

I remember a time when a Sunday School teacher was one of my best customers for the ‘Fairy Stories’ I wrote. The reasoning being; if we can get children to believe in a ‘unseen’ fairy – we can get them to believe in an unseen God. This at a time when children readily believed in anything from the tooth mouse to Father Christmas and the Easter Bunny.

For the disciples, a Living Christ was just as far from the truth as the bunny, the mouse or a sleigh full of gifts until, suddenly, He was there in their midst. And even then, believing did not come instantly.

Pity the poor journalist who had to write that story without it being branded as fake news! A Risen Christ indeed?

Fear and uncertainty are the breeding grounds of fiction laced with fact. An environment where the rumourmongers flourish. I’m sure that stories of the resurrection were changed to suit every political, cultural and social agenda that the respective leaders in society wanted.

Covid 19 is testimony to that.

Take this corona virus plant as an example: 

It grows in the deep shade of the undergrowth. Cultivated by fairies and gnomes of lesser stature, it lies in wait. The bright red tips prove that it has recently fed. But it hungers for more.

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 10th April 2020

A glance at the world today shows that many lives are literally ‘hanging on a thread.’

Not just their lives, but also their Faith!

Faith in humanity, faith in political leadership, faith in technology and faith in God. In the absence of faith, fear begins to tighten its hold, squeezing any remaining life out of the globe.

Strange, when today we look at the crucifixion of Christ. His life was also hanging on a thread. That gossamer silk thread for Him would break. Yet, it was a death with a purpose.

For all of us who face death, it will never be ‘death with a purpose’ if we did not have life with a purpose. For Christ it was ordained. It was necessary for us, for our sins and for our salvation.

Without His death we could not have ‘life with a purpose.’ Without His death there was no reason for us to live. To exist, yes, but not to live!

Not only did He have to die, but the inhumanity of the events of the day leading up to His death, should have died with Him.

If we are to live with a purpose, we must know that the same gossamer thread of silk that we hold onto so dearly, must be that His death was not in vain. That the purpose we have, is; to love as He loved, to care as He cared, to teach as He taught, to share as He shared and to forgive as He forgave.

Our purpose is to be what He wanted us to be – otherwise everything He went through on that fateful Friday was in vain.

We all cry at the foot of His cross. We shout praises for His empty grave. But in between; are we living with a purpose? His shout at the 12th hour, is now but a murmur – a whisper in the wilderness that can only be heard because the world has been forced into quieter times and the noises of the hustle and bustle are stilled.

Listen, He calls you to a life with a purpose!

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 3rd April 2020

“Lonely looking sky, lonely sky, lonely looking sky. And being lonely makes you wonder why.” (Words from the lyrics of a Neil Diamond song of the same name.)

But what of the bench?

A lonely bench placed to watch a lonely sky! But is the bench lonely?

Perhaps the bench has a chance, in this time of crisis, to process all the thoughts and prayers that have been placed on ‘it’ over the years.

But is the bench empty?

The image that forms in my head is of a bench with three figures sitting and enjoying the peacefulness of creation for the first time in years. Diminished pollution and clearer skies and less noise.

And their conversation …? In this time of crisis, what would the Trinity be saying to each other?

Is the Holy Spirit (on the left) talking about the necessity for another breath of wind, or perhaps a flame or two, this time directed where it would do the most good.

Perhaps Jesus (on the right) is concerned about that ‘Heaven is at hand’ bit, and how to get people to understand the real meaning our ‘death to self’.

The central figure is one of calmness and patience. One of absorbing all of life and all the living in absolute and unhurried authority.

‘Gentlemen let us take a walk on the “Wild” side. Let us see how long it takes to get there and back. Let us eat the flesh of the world’s disillusionment, and drink in the blood of compassion. And when we have walked awhile with them, they will have heard that the Wilderness Whispers. They will realise that it is the breath of God that comes, not from a lonely sky, but from a bench with three figures sitting on it waiting for their call to arms.’

Glory looking day
Glory day, glory looking day
And all it’s glory
Told a simple way
Behold it if you may
Glory looking day
Glory looking day

(Neil Diamond – Lonely looking sky)

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 20th March 2020

Social Distancing!

A concept forced upon us by the COVID19 pandemic but something that Christians should be doing every Lent. That 40 day journey into the wilderness that makes up our spiritual core.

Social distancing is a chance to get away from the distractions that the world offers. Social distancing is alone time. Social distancing is heading out for the ‘Son’. A chance to feel His warmth on your skin. An opportunity to smell the ozone in the air. The rise and fall of the swell beneath you like the steady pulse of God, breathing in as the swell forms beneath us and breathing out as it passes.

In ‘social distancing’ there is a difference between loneliness and alone. Alone is when we are with God in thought, word and deed, bound up in His boundless Grace and Love. Loneliness …. When we have nothing.

That is also the difference between heaven on earth and hell. One we can survive in, flourish actually! The other …. Let us rather not go there!

The pandemic that we face in every continent, country and culture is an opportunity to spend some alone time with God. A chance to do some real ‘Soul’ searching. There are so many positives to be found. Let us dig them out and present them to the world.

Stay safe! Stay alone and head out for the ‘Son’.

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 6th March 2020

Sunrise and sunset.

Two of the most beautiful scenes enjoyed by mankind all over the world.

Yet at the same time, both scenes show the sky in colour and the world in silhouette form. The detail is lost against a God inspired backdrop.

For us to see all the nuances and shapes around us we must wait for the sun be a little higher than just behind the horizon.

Lent is like that!

We cannot just view our faith against the glorious backdrop delivered daily on our doorsteps, because then we see only the darkened version of the reality that faith is supposed to be. Even though the background is really impressive!

When we allow the “Son” to rise a little higher on our horizons, we discover the full beauty of what He has to offer us. Suddenly the backdrop comes into perspective and takes on depth and meaning. What was hidden in the silhouette becomes valley behind valleys and hills behind hills, generating an excitement of discovery.

Lent is a chance to see the Trinity on full display – from the time the “Son” rises in the east, we await a deeper understanding as He rises overhead and allows the Holy Spirit to blow His illuminating wind through the valleys of our sorrows and over the peaks of our happiness, giving the reality of our belief a complete landscape to be filled with all His glory.

A walk in the wilderness is to discover ALL there is about Him, not just a silhouette on a painted sky. Faith, like nature, needs to be seen from all the angles and under different light to be experienced as it is supposed to be. It is then that we get to praise Him for more than ‘just’ the sunrises and sunsets in our lives.

May the “Son” rise before you this Lent as you discover parts of Him you never knew existed

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 28th February 2020

Living on borrowed time!

Time that has been “lent” to us.

Time that has been given, along with all the gifts at God’s disposal. Gifts that are there for us to use – to His Glory!

Perhaps this is now the time during Lent to do a bit of soul searching – a Spiritual Audit. An assessment of where we stand on the paths that lead through the Wilderness. A time for circumspection on what our faith means to us and to what impact this same faith is having on us as well as those around us.

A journey through Lent can be an enriching process as we come to realise anew, not what we should be giving up, but rather what have we given up over the years that we should be doing. What are we leaving out that we have never done, that should form part of our commitment to the Trinity?

Journeys through and in our individual wildernesses bring us back to the very core of our being. A return to the dust out of which we were born and one day where our ashes will remain. The legacy that we are so intent on building, matters not to those left behind. For in generations to come the graves will lie untended and forgotten.

Yet time spent with the Lord is not borrowed time if we come out richer on the other side. This period in our spiritual calendar has been ‘lent’ to us for just such a purpose. An ear ‘lent’ to the whispers of the wilderness will hear His voice and feel His presence and know His Grace.

Discover Him, all of Him and all His gifts and promises. And serve Him!

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 21st February 2020

The forest is a ‘state of mind’ ….. and spirit!

I have entered the forest alone when the sun stands high above the hills, yet there is a shadow that permeates the forest. A sense of darkness that causes the hairs on the back of my neck to stand to attention. It is a black hole that the music that plays in my sub-conscious is fitting of a horror movie score. Eerie sounds and shapes and shadows that scare my soul.

I have also entered the forest in the late afternoon dusk, where the sounds of birds singing their ‘goodnight’ lullaby’s play harmony to the leopard’s ‘wood saw’ rasp that echoes as he inspects his territory.  All these sounds combine to form a silence under a leafy comfort-blanket, where my soul can find solace and my mind can empty itself in preparation of a renewed sense of being.

Yet it is the same forest!

The only difference is my perception. And my perception is guided by my spiritual well-being.

If my spirit is positive, so is the forest. When my spirit is depressed and apprehensive, so is the forest just as scary.

If I am at peace with the Lord, then I am at peace with the forest, because the forest is a state of mind …. and my spiritual connection with the Trinity. A connection that is rooted in the nature and existence of the forest and how I experience it and react to the world around me.

And when the spirit is right, that is when the wilderness whispers, like a ‘fairy’ bath ready for a baptism for those that that can see beyond the reality of their fears and preconceptions!

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 14th February 2020

Happy Valentine’s Day!

As the world gets ready to celebrate ‘undying’ love. As a society of lovers profess untold devotion on bended knees and floral bouquets, do we realise it has all been done before?

So, Lord will you hear me on bended knee?

In a whispered silence: Yes Lord, it’s me.

I’ve come to say, You know it well.

A story that I long to tell.

Of a love so deep and true and sure.

A love that death defined as pure.

In blood that dripped and trickled down,

I know you suffered without a frown.

But Lord, I know what you long to hear,

that my love for you is just as dear.

That I’d bear the pain that you took for me:

In silence for the world to see.

I bring my bunch of bright red blooms

and lay them at the empty tomb.

I kneel in prayer and stand in praise

that your love for me will one day raise.

And every minute of every day,

I’ll love you Lord, come what may.

 

I will hold you as my Valentine,

‘cause I am yours and you are mine!

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 7th February 2020

“Spread your wings,” I said! The body language says it all!

That first moment when the wind of the Spirit catches your wing for take-off and you panic. Legs flailing, arms spread out, heart pumping and all the head says is: “Why are we doing this?”

For so many people, walking around with your paragliding gear – a pack with harness (God) and a wing (Jesus) is all they are prepared to risk. Let alone taking it all out of the pack. They are content to trudge around with all the equipment yet too afraid to try it out.

Once we start to unpack it all, we realise that there could be something missing. An even greater risk is putting it on. Spreading out the wing, laying out the lines, stepping into the harness and tightening it up, and then, facing into the wind. Once we do that, we are getting too close to allowing the Holy Spirit to lift us airborne.

That feeling in the pit of the stomach. The tenseness in every fibre of our being. The moment when every brain cell we have is screaming noooooo!

And then ….! Ever so gently we are airborne. And whilst our instinct tells us to panic, suddenly we feel the updraft gently balancing us and holding us aloft with so little effort from ourselves.

The breath of the Spirit is a whisper in the wilderness. A voice that says: “Open your eyes, I am here and will hold you safe. Enjoy your ride with Me for the moment.” The Trinity in its complete form, Harness, Wing and Wind.

Then, when we start to look around and appreciate what is happening and we get this glimpse from above, then the exhilaration of flight is nothing compared to lift off in the Spirit.

Unpack your harness, spread your wings and let the Holy Spirit do the rest.

Enjoy the flight!

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 31st January 2020

Ahhhh! Sweetness never tasted so good. And so convenient! Twice a day I receive my daily dose in a fresh bottle, nicely chilled and strategically located.

Forgotten are the delicate blossoms so specifically formed by the creator. Nature’s pantry seems to be a distant memory and the ‘fynbos’ on the fringes of the forests wait in vain for the visitors that do not come around anymore.

Our search for the Trinity cannot be found in the sweetened water, bottled and served at a place of our choosing. The Trinity needs to be experienced, to be touched. It comes with tears and heartache and it comes with unimaginable joy and exhilaration. And we need to go out and find it.

It is in the world out there, amongst the ugliness and the violence and brutality. It is also in the sunsets and sunrises, the softest whisper or the caressing touch of a hand. It is in the tear of happiness and the wail of anguish – but, it is not in a bottle.

The bottle for the sunbirds; is there for my enjoyment as much as it is for theirs as a supplement to their daily requirements. Just like the church is sometimes a place where God can see us when we come to feed in Word and praise and prayer.

But it is not Jesus or the Holy Spirit. The full essence of the Trinity is as broad and as powerful and as overwhelming as creation itself. And when we find it, no bottled faith will come close in comparison. No sugar water can taste as sweet as the taste of the Trinity when we realise its full potential to take charge of our lives.

Spread your wings and find it!

 

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 24th January 2020

Wandering in the wilderness, lost in the mists that shroud the forest.

The sounds of the forest are dampened into an eerie silence that descends into the uncertainty that lies in the soul of man. Through the wafts of whiteness our vision is hampered until we focus on our immediate surrounds.

Through the mists there are gossamer threads sprinkled with drops of condensation that reflect the barest glimmer of light, revealing all there is around us. Tiny little mirrors that magnify the very essence of God through His creation. Everywhere we look and touch a new reality is illuminated.

And each droplet shows the Holy Spirit at work; teacher, guide, advocate, comforter, revealer of truth. Each drop that gathers on our skin, washes over us in minute explosions of joy, prickling sensations over every exposed pore.

All for the purpose of bringing us to a deeper understanding of God and a more meaningful relationship with the Living Christ as revealed through the presence of the Holy Spirit.

And so, in the mists that gently caress the mountain slopes, I wander through the forest of my faith, and I listen when the wilderness whispers.

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 17th January 2020

The doctrine of the Trinity is part of the roots of our faith.

Like the roots of the trees in the forest, so this ‘belief’ holds up the mighty trees that constitute Christianity.

And like the roots of the trees in the forest, sometimes the buttresses formed by the roots give rise to the creation of hollow and caverns. Places where we can hide ‘inside’ our faith.

The Trinity is not there for this.

The Trinity is the foundation that points us skywards. Up towards the canopy and beyond. Into the light, that we may soar with the eagles.

To seek solace in the root caves does our faith an injustice and will keep us entrapped, going from one dark hole to the next in search of comfort.

Reach out and upwards in the knowledge that the roots are strong enough to hold the tree, and the tree points the direction for you to follow.

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 10th January 2020

Besides still waters …! Peaceful rest, solitude, reflection, introspection; all of these may be found besides still waters.

But if we are looking for the Trinity?

In our urban jungles and man-made distractions, finding the Trinity is a huge ask! Finding just one element can sometimes be elusive.

Whilst the natural environment has always been my ‘go to’ place to connect with God, I sometimes need to go deeper.

Have you listened to a stream burbling along?

Have you listened to a dry river?

Have you heard the dust flowing between the rocks and boulders?

Go beneath the river’s dry bed. Let your ears hear the sounds beneath its surface. The water is there., flowing in its hidden underground canal. Go deeper. The river bedrock, beneath which nothing can penetrate. Yet! Yet there is something there still deeper. Find it. Listen to it speak. It speaks from the pregnant belly of creation – the Word. Absorb the word! Bring them slowly to the surface. As you come back through the bedrock, the words you found become real. And through the word, spring tears that fall on the ravaged earth. The tears explode in the dust, listen to them fall. Listen to them cry out to mankind! Tears become trickles and suddenly the stream is flowing. Rushing around the rocks, smoothing them. Sometimes the stream is just a bubbling brook and then sometimes it is a river in flood, roaring in power.

By listening to the dry river, we sink down to the depths to find God, we bring Him up to find Christ and then suddenly the Holy Spirit is bubbling and rushing over us.

Find your dry river and listen deeper than the dust that lies there. Listen deep into the bowels of creation for the Word and then bring it back with you ‘till it bursts over you as a river in full flood cleansed by the tears.

Sometimes the flood will abate, but the stream will still flow on, gurgling along with the words brought up from the depths of that dry river.

Peace is beside still waters – The Trinity is deeper than that – When the wilderness whispers!

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 3rd January 2020

“In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit”: Powerful words in a life changing phrase.

Through the waters of our baptism we are introduced to the Trinity and yet for many, that is only the beginning of a difficult understanding of a Triunal diety. The concept stays on the horizon, and only sometimes being reflected in the waters of our Faith.

To understand and believe in ‘One’ is difficult enough, but to accept that there are three that interact with every aspect of our lives, sometimes defies the realms of reason.

What does it come down to?

To see the Trinity in every facet of our daily existence!

The three palm trees. Their reflection. Everywhere there are reminders.

It is easy to see God (the Father) in the Old Testament, and sometimes even easier to see Christ in the New Testament and then, on the odd occasion, to feel the workings of the Holy Spirit in a real-life situation. But all three at the same time?

Searching for the Trinity in everything we see and do comes with a deeper connection born in allowing our spiritual self the freedom to explore the silence of our souls.

2020 is a journey along that path that I wish to take.

Walk with me!

Let’s listen ….. when the Wilderness Whispers.

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#fridayfootprints – goodbye 2019, hello 2020

 

As the last few days and hours of 2019 are eaten away, #fridayfootprints bids farewell to Gardening with God, (the theme for 2019) and moves on to a new theme. The garden is being expanded and sees a return to the roots of Wilderness Whispers – the natural environment.

The Master Gardener stays with us in 2020 as #fridayfootprints in the theme #whenthewildernesswhispers goes in search for a deeper experience of the Trinity as nature communicates with us.

Living in Wilderness, with its forests, lakes, rivers and beaches, its wetlands and drylands, its farms and gardens, its sand dunes and mountain range, means that we are surrounded by nature every time we step outside.

And then, when the Wilderness Whispers, the Holy Spirit speaks to us in silence, yet we feel the vibration of His words in the deepest core of our being.

Wilderness is in a district of South Africa named Eden, and for tourists is on the “Garden Route’ – God’s Garden.

Join me in on the 3rd January for the 1st Friday of 2020 and another year of #fridayfootprints. We will walk God’s garden ’route ‘ to listen and feel His voice #whenthewildernesswhispers.

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 27th December 2019

Gardening is about having faith and being secure in the knowledge that if you do it long enough, and if you plant enough; then through God’s design a miracle happens. After years of fruitless and sterile cones, one of the cycads suddenly produced fertile seed.

With the smallest bit of effort – the simple pressing of the seed into the ground will result in baby plants popping up.

The plants were always beautiful and appreciated, lending a structural element to the garden. But that was not their ultimate purpose. They were there to produce viable seed. To reproduce! To spread! To multiply.

Our relationship with the Master Gardener follows a similar route. For some the journey from seedling to ‘seeder’ is a walk in the park. For others it is a lonely journey fraught with danger and frustration. People looking in at the garden, may appreciate the beauty, yet may still fail to see its significance.

Gardening with God is not just about building a deeper relationship with God and it is more than an internal examination of Faith. It is a process of development until we produce fertile seeds and spread them before the Holy Spirit to be blown where they will find fertile soil. The seeds of salvation – Christ has come to save us – He is born, and through His Grace we may have life everlasting and His eternal love.

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 20th Desember 2019

As family and friends begin their annual preparations to join together in the celebration of Christmas, so we become aware that the reason for the journey they will all take is to be together. To celebrate a unity of purpose through the joyful knowledge of what Christmas means to family.

The love that is gathered as the lilies of the fields. Little pieces of love that we harvest and combine. Each has its own form of love. Its own character or personality of love. But, gathered together to celebrate Christmas brings a new dimension.

The lilies in the vase bring the produce of the Master Gardener from the garden to inside the house so He becomes part of the celebration feast. Here, we all are exposed to the evidence of His abundant Love. Each stem is baptised in the same water and even though the flowers face in different directions they share a common base and a unified purpose.

The sounds of laughter fill the house and echo the joy brought by the flowers.

As we have Gardened with God, all year, His bounty is now visible, to be shared with all present and to be witness to our prayers for those unable to be here.

May you all have a Blessed Christmas.

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 16th August 2019

Everything has its time.

Life has its seasons; Faith has its promise.

If we can accept the one, then surely, we should accept the other. If, through our salvation, we will end in Heaven it does not matter through which season this comes. Whether it be through our normal lifespan, or through the return of The Christ. The result is the same.

Preparing for it, no matter when it comes is one thing: Living for it, something else.

Living in faith and in the knowledge of the promise means we should be ready to flower, knowing the season is at hand. That Heaven is within our grasp!

Being ready to blossom is what we were born for.

So then, flower, ‘cause even the flowers have faith that the spring will come.

Hark He comes!

Hebrews 10:36,37

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 9th August 2019

Gardeners with God do not know when the Master Gardener is coming.

Tending to the garden and all the tasks associated with this is not a luxury of our ‘Faith’, rather a necessity. If we have faith then we have wisdom and it is the wisdom portion of our faith which means that we keep on gardening, no matter what!

It is the wisdom part of faith that tells us we cannot leave the garden to tend for itself and then when the ‘unexpected hour’ arrives, we start looking for excuses as to why the gardening tasks have been neglected, the garden is overgrown, the fruit is rotten, the blossoms spent and the weeds have taken over.

Gardeners with God know through faith that we will be found in the garden, ready with the tools of our trade, when the hour arrives.

(Luke 12:40)

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#fridayfootprints – Friday 2nd August 2019

Our mouths are open, what are the words? Are there words or are we just sticking our tongues at the world or God?

Where is the wisdom in what we say?

Whilst the, ‘meditation of my heart shall be understanding’, exists; the road from understanding to speaking wisely is littered with roadblocks and detours.

The fact that we have opened our mouths is no guarantee that the words that will come out or that they will be wise. And even the wisest words are sometimes just not fully understood!

The world is filled with open-mouthed babble which overshadows the whispers of wisdom. Here in the garden, in God’s presence, meditation brings its own understanding of wisdom. Being able to speak it is another matter entirely!

(Psalm 49:3)

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