Well 2011 was a very difficult year for me, I wanted it to end, that clock could not have struck 12 any sooner than what it had, everyone was counting down for the new year to begin I was counting down for the old one to end, or so I thought.
Then I sat and thought about everything that has happened and thought that maybe JUST maybe 2011 was the best year yet.
I met some amazing people, had some good laughs, memories that I will cherish forever. I had to face a lot of hard truths about me and the path I was on. I lost a family member someone who I loved dearly; family secrets were revealed that shook me to the core. I had been through a rejection by someone I cared for dearly, but yet through all that today our relationship is stronger than ever and we have remained friends through it, in fact I am a stronger woman today because of him.
I suffered from severe depression, I didn’t want to live or SO I THOUGHT, but looking back at the past couple of months it was never a depression it was an emptiness something was missing in my life something that was meant to be there but just was not. Somewhere along my life Journey I lost Jesus, but 2011 was the year that I found him, the emptiness is Gone AND THAT WAS THE BEST PART OF 2011, what was missing in my life is now present, not only did I find Jesus I also found myself, the person that was buried under all the pain and heartache, the person that was consumed by her struggle.
I have made some amazing friends, some whom I have grown to depend on some who have been an inspiration. So I would like to mention some friends and family here, just to say thank you for making my 2011 great.
Firstly to Gigi (you know who you are), the friend that convinced me to write about my feelings, the whole reason I started this blog, you have been a pillar of strength to me in so many ways even though you are so far away, the times we shared when we lived together and worked together I will cherish forever, the jokes we made the laughs we had are a part of y memory and can never be erased. I LOVE YOU FRIEND, DEARLY. I can’t wait for the day when I will get so see you again, I can like to think I will pee in my JEAN PANT hahahahah ok so friend I can’t get the accent through to you on this blog but I am sure you can picture me saying it and I bet you right now you are REALLY just about to pee in your jean pant with laughter.
Then I want to thank my mother for Just being there, and doing the best she could with what she had, I Love YOU.
To my brother for being my support system month after month even though you too are struggling.
To my sister for believing in me when others sometimes didn’t.
Ok so for the sake of anonymity once again thank you to Frikkie hee hee… I complain a lot I know, and you have been the one at work that has just sat there listening to me all day long, goodness knows how annoying I must be sometimes, thank you for being someone I could talk to about work, issues, and about God, thank you for being a key player in me finding the thing that was missing in my life. Thank you to Lourens, too for putting up with my constant BBM messages asking about things that I do not understand regarding Christianity or things that I just need clarity on, thank you both for being so transparent in your love for Jesus, it was that transparency that made me want more in my life. You both are such an inspiration to me Thank you.
Thank you to Michele, even though we have never met, in the past 2 months we have become close via this blog and been an inspiration to each other, I feel a real connection to you and that connection is Jesus, I see you as a sister in Christ. Who knows maybe one day I will get to meet my new friend.
To John, also one of my new blogging friends, both you and your blog have been an inspiration, for me and I look forward to reading your blog every time I see a new post, your testimony is one that can greatly help others that are now where you have already been in your life, it was through your blog that God gave me the confirmation that I needed to do what needs to be done.
When I started this blog I never thought for one moment that I would get to interact with so many people and it is amazing, this blog has been a huge healing process for me and I never thought I would ever say this but I have discovered a new passion, and that is this blog, writing these posts have been an unbelievable healing process for me.
So to all of you who have influenced my life THANK you I pray that 2012 will be an amazing year for all of you.
ABOVE ALL, thank you Lord for filling this gap in my life, and making me the strong Woman I am today, and it just keeps getting better.
Isaiah 43:18-19 – “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
So in answering my posts title/question 2011 was by far the best year yet, bring on 2012 it can only get better.
The last thing I want is for my Blog to become one of doom and gloom, especially at this time of year, however ever since reading the article on Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani and the fact that he has not only been imprisioned but ALSO sentenced to death as a result of his faith, has made me was to SCREAM, when will all this voilence end, the attacks on innocent people, people who have done nothing wrong, other than believe in God WHICH IS NOT WRONG.
You know what I find quite strange is that you don’t find many stories on the news much like this one where the tables are turned, where the Christians did the killing of the Muslims and whatever other religion or belief that think it is OK to kill people because their beliefs are different to those of yours. WHY is that?? Because the Bible tells us “Thou Shall NOT KILL” Exodus 20:13.
Should we not ALL as HUMAN BEINGS, strive towards peace, and getting along with one another regardless of our belief system. If you are reading this and you are one of those people that believe you need to kill those that do not CONFORM to your belief system, WHAT JUSTIFIES THAT, WHAT JUSTFIES THE KILLING OF INNOCENT PEOPLE. Because they do not believe what you believe.
How many children have now become orphans because of some sensless killing. How many people who could have become soething more than just their circumstance have now been killed.
Now I assume that I will take some heat for this blog post, to be very honest I DO NOT CARE, I am proud to say I am a Christian, I am proud to say I love Jesus. WHY?? Because even though we too do not believe what you believe we do not go around Killing people because of it. We live our lives according to God’s word.
Now I am not saying that ALL religions or people that are of a certain religion, I am merely stating the fact there are those people out there that are infact part of certain religions that believe in killing people because they believe in something other than your beliefs.
Ask yourself this, if the tables were turned and it was the Christians going around Bombing your place of worship because they do not like the fact that you believe not what they believe, how would you react? How would you react of your son/daughter/mother/father/brother/sister were one of those people who had died in the bombing? How would you react?
So as much as I cannot physically do anything about the Bombing I pray that I can be a voice for those people who have lost their lives for Jesus, and I am doing it through this Blog.
While many of you are still celebrating christmas with your families christmas for me is pretty much over, so I am home now and thought I would share this cute story with you.
I was with the family for christmas today and we were telling stories of our childhood and the silly things we did or said, so my sister decided to share what my niece had done.
Last night she asked my sister if she could put out some cookies and milk for Santa, which she did and then went to bed. while my niece was asleep my sister had eaten the cookies and drank the milk but was sure to leave proof that santa was there, she left some cookie crumbs as evidence…
At 1 am in the morning my niece woke up, which might I add is very rare for her to wake up in the middle of the night it must have been the pure excitement of Santa’s visit, anyway back to the point at 1 am she woke up and went to my sisters room woke my sister and her fiance up and told them she cannot sleep and can they please get up and go with her to see if Santa is there.
She saw that there were only crumbs left on the plate and the glass of milk was empty, she was SO excited that Santa had come and there were more present under the tree, she was not even the least bit phased that she had missed santa.
Then she went to inspect the new additions to the gifts under the tree and looked a little confused, turned to my sister and said “Mommy Santa has the same wrapping paper as us.” Not once did she question the autenticity of “Santa” just made an observation that he used the same wrapping paper. I could not contain myself with laughter. She is the most adorable little girl ever, the things that come out of childrens mouths can only make you smile, if you ever feeling a little down just take a listen to the children around you and maybe just maybe one of them will say something to make you laugh.
A couple of weeks we all went away for a weekend, we were in my sisters car and the adults were discussing something, obviously somethings kids don’t understand, because the next minute my niece said that she wishes her brain will wake up so that she can join in the conversation.
God Bless All, hopefully my niece has help put a smile on your face as she has mine. Lets not forget what today is really about JESUS.
While any people say that today is not the exact day of the birth of Christ, the whole world celebrates today as the birth of Christ, well those that havent forgotten the reason for today that is. So today I would like to take the time to thank God for giving us the best christmas present ever his son Jesus Christ, Happy birthday Jesus, thank you for your gift to us… YOUR LIFE.
Merry Christmas to everyone, may you all have a blessed day with your loved ones
Matthew 1:18-25 (The Message) – 18-19: The birth of Jesus took place like this, his mother Mary was engaged to be married to Joseph. Before they came to the marriage bed Joseph discovered she was pregnant. (It was by the Holy Spirit but he did not know that). Joseph chagrined but noble, determined to take care of things quietly so that Mary would not be disgraced.
20-23: While he was trying to figure a way out he had a dream. God’s Angel spoke in the dream: “Joseph son of David, don’t hesitate to get married. Mary’s pregnancy is spirit-conceived. God’s Holy Spirit has made her pregnant. She will Bring a son to birth, and when she does you Joseph, will name him Jesus – ‘God Saves’ – because he will save his people from their sins.” This would bring the embryonic sermon to full term.
Watch for this a virgin will get pregnant and bear a son:
They will call him Immanuel (Hebrew for “God is with us”)
24-25 Then Joseph woke up, he did exactly what God’s angel commanded in the dream, he married Mary, but he did not consummate the marriage until she had the baby. He named the baby Jesus.
The birth of this baby was not just any ordinary birth. It was the birth of Jesus, our saviour. Many people have forgotten him in this timeless tradition, lately it seems to be more about family gatherings, astonishing amounts of food, presents and the like. And YES I do this every year; I get excited like a child at Christmas time because it is such a wonderful day of the year.
This year is different for me though, while I am still excited and have been to do all my Christmas shopping and can’t wait to see the faces of my nieces and nephews when they open their presents that we got them.
A lot of people seem to have forgotten that Christmas is a celebration, of the birth of Jesus Christ, the best Christmas present ever given to us by God.
John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that he GAVE his only son that whosoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life.
THIS is what Christmas is all about, Jesus, and the fact that he was born so that one day he would be put to death in return for our sins, so that we may have that everlasting life.
So while we all get caught up in the festivities let’s not forget the Guest of Honour Jesus Christ. Make sure he is a part of your Christmas this year, for those of you with Children, lets tell them about the real reason for Christmas so that they can remember and one day in turn tell their children.
My mother always used to tell me “You bend a tree when its young” meaning if you want your child to grow up in a certain way, having manners, obedience, generosity etc. You need to teach them these values from a young age that seed needs to be planted into their lives at an early age. So if you want your children to know the real meaning and value of Christmas, teach them now while they are still young.
So let’s celebrate the gift we received. But don’t just leave the celebrations for Christmas day Jesus should be celebrated on a DAILY basis.
God Bless all and Lets remember History (HIStory) – Jesus’ story.
I read an article a few minutes ago, about an Iranian Pastor who has been in prison for standing his ground in what he believes, this post has rattled me like you cannot believe, I sit here and it feels like my heart has been ripped out as if it were someone in my family that this has happened to. I tried to reblog the post but for some reason it did not work, in this post was a link I went to read the story of this Pastor, and have just copied and pasted it as it was stated there. I will also provide you with a few more links of other sites regarding to this Pastor.
He has been sentenced to death and yet he still stands strong for Jesus, how many of us have been put in such a situation where you either renounce your faith and belief in the Almighty God or you die, not many I am sure, it ust be very hard for him, but I admire his commitment. I pray that God make a way for him and that he be released and to continue spreading the word of God.
Full Story of Youcef Nadarkhani
We first reported the arrest of pastor Youcef in the fall of 2009. If you’d like to assist us in our work for the persecuted church you can do so here.
Here is a brief history of Youcef Nadarkhani, leading up to his current situation.
**UPDATE** – Youcef is still under the death sentence for apostasy. In June the Supreme Court upheld the death sentence as it is based upon fatwas of the Supreme Leader. On September 25-28 hearings were held by the Gilan provincial court to determine if he was a Muslim. On the 26th they determined that Youcef was a Muslim because his parents were when he was born. All witnesses stated that he did not practice Islam, yet the court inexplicably determined he was a national apostate. At each hearing he was commanded to recant and each time he refused. Two hearings were held after the verbal determination was made by the judges. There is a serious concern that he could be executed at any time because according to Sharia Law you are to be given three days to recant if you are an apostate. He was commanded to recant three straight days after the judges made their determination. The attorney’s for pastor Youcef are stating that, by law, the written verdict must be delivered within seven days. To this date the written verdict for Pastor Youcef has not been delivered. The court has promised another delay for the express purpose to give him more time to recant and return to Islam.
Youcef is 34 years old and is from Rasht, in the Gilan province of Iran. For the past ten years he has been a pastor in a network of house churches. He was previously imprisoned in December of 2006, the charges being apostasy (leaving Islam for Christianity) and evangelism (spreading the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ), but was released two weeks later.
He is married and has two sons, Daniel age 9 and Yoel age 7. They were attending a local school when the government decided that all children should be taught about Islam, including those from Christian families. Youcef went to the school and protested this based on the Iranian constitution, which allows for freedom to practice religion. As a result, the secret police called him before the political tribunal in Rasht, Iran on October 12, 2009. At that time he was arrested, charged for protesting, and has been in prison in Lakan (which is seven miles south of Rasht) ever since. Later the charges changed to apostasy and evangelism to Muslims.
Youcef is imprisoned in the Lakan prison, a city close to Rasht. Over the time of his incarceration he has mostly has had access to an attorney, and has been allowed visits from his wife, children, and friends. However, for the first month in prison and for several months around the time of his trial he was in solitary confinement. They have used various methods to try to convert him back to Islam, including giving him pills, apparently in an attempt to claim that he was insane.
Because Youcef’s faith remained strong, they decided to arrest his wife in order to place more pressure on him. On June 18th, 2010 Fatemah Pasindedih was arrested, charged with apostasy and placed in prison in Lakan. During this time their boys went to live with a relative. Both Youcef and his wife Fatemah were threatened by authorities that their children would be taken away and given to a Muslim family. Youcef was not swayed to turn back to Islam, so his wife was put on trial without an attorney, and sentenced to life in prison. An attorney was later hired and the sentence appealed. The sentence and conviction were overturned and she was released.
On September 21 and 22, 2010, Youcef was put on trial, and verbally given the sentence of death. A written verdict was delayed and then delivered, on November 13, 2010, by the 1st Court of the Revolutionary Tribunal. He is to be executed by hanging for the crime of apostasy. Twenty days are allowed to appeal the sentence with the Supreme Court of Iran.
On December 5, 2010 the verdict was appealed to the Supreme Court, but on June 28, 2011 we learned that the Supreme Court reached a decision. The third chamber of the Supreme Court in Qom upheld his conviction for apostasy and the death sentence. They have commanded the local court to re-examine whether or not he was a practicing Muslim from ages 15 to 19. If it is determined he was a practicing Muslim he will be given another chance to recant and then he will be executed.
The re-examination of his case was held September 25th through 28th. From the very beginning it was demanded he recant. Even before the case was heard or the trial completed. During one hearing he was told to recant and he responded, “You ask me to recant. Recant means to return. What do you wish me to return to? The blasphemy that I was in before Christ?” The judges responded, “To the religion of your ancestors, Islam.” Youcef replied, “I cannot.” The Muslim attorney that is working to help him had this to say about his client, ”Physically he looks weak but emotionally his belief in Christ is keeping his spirits high.”
Based upon Islamic Sharia Law an apostate is to be given three days to recant. There is a very real concern that he could be executed at any time. The attorney’s suggest that first a written verdict will be delivered, by law within a week, and secondly they will have the opportunity to appeal the verdict.
Nonetheless, there are no assurances that he will not be executed. It could happen at any time. This is the way that the Iranian government operates with executions. They do not give advance notice and it is done in secret.
We cannot wait another moment, we have to contact our elected officials. We need to fast and pray for his deliverance. Contact the international news media, international human rights organizations and the government. Go to http://presenttruthmn.com/persecuted-christians/ to get more details on how to contact someone.
My heart goes out to this man, if I could get on a plane right now and help him I would but I cannot, there is nothing in this world that is more powerful than PRAYER, Please friends lets all pray for this man.
This time of year is supposed to be a happy time, and for many of us it is, BUT for many of us it is not. Today I am going to tell you a bit about one of our local radio stations, at this time of the year they have the Christmas Wish, basically what this is, is people will send in wishes for someone they think needs a little or a lot of help, the radio station then gets companies involved to sponsor what the people need. It’s been on since Monday, today’s one however touched me more than the others. It was about a lady by the name of Susan, who struggles to make ends meet, she and her husband sleep on the floor and her 2 children do not have their own beds.
The wish that her friend sent through was that her friends 2 children could each have their own single bed. Well they got that, each child got a bed of their own but Susan and her husband also got a bed, as well as a R10 000 pick n pay voucher for Groceries.
Well to most this might be a small request, but if you think of it, this is a very big one. I whine and moan about my situation, and how bad things are for me, how it’s always a struggle from pay day to pay day, and I am sure there are lots of people out there that are like me but then you hear other peoples stories like this one, they don’t have beds to sleep on, I have a bed to sleep on. I take that for granted, how many of you can say that you do not take that for granted, how many of you can say that you do not have a bed to sleep on? Something that seems so small and unimportant to us seems to be big and important to other people.
So this got me thinking, and I hope it gets you thinking too. Be grateful for what you have, yes we might not earn as much money as the person that sits next to you in your office, or the director of the company, yes you might struggle to make ends meet, you might not be able to spoil yourself every now and then. You feel like it’s a constant battle just to survive, I know sometimes (many times) that is how I have felt, but I am RICH, you are RICH, WE ARE RICH, think about it if you have a bed to sleep on, a roof over your head, food on your table at night …. YOU ARE RICH, there are so many other people out there that have so little, they don’t have things that we have and that we take for granted.
I cried this morning when I heard their story, to think I have something they don’t and I think I have the right to complain. So the next time I start to complain, I hope and pray that I am reminded that I have so much more than many others, and need to be grateful for what I do have. BECAUSE I AM RICH.
So this festive season I am going to try and find someone who is less fortunate than me and I am going to do something (don’t know what) but something to make their lives a little more pleasant this Christmas, maybe it will make me feel better about my situation to put a smile on someone else’s face, and ease the pressure for someone else.
What are you going to do? Come on I challenge you go out and find someone less fortunate than yourself and try to make their lives a little easier. I can guarantee you it will make you feel better about yourself.
And if you give yourself to the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then your light will rise in darkness and your gloom will become like midday. Isaiah 58:10
Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into the house; when you see the naked, to cover him; and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? Isaiah 58:7