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Thomas A Buys

IT Guy | Music/Movie/Book Junkie | Freelance Photographer | Fitness freak | Wannabee traveler
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Prayer of an Anonymous Abbess

“Lord, thou knowest better than myself that I am growing older and will soon be old. Keep me from becoming too talkative, and especially from the unfortunate habit of thinking that I must say something on every subject and at every opportunity.

Release me from the idea that I must straighten out other people’s affairs. With my immense treasure of experience and wisdom, it seems a pity not to let everybody partake of it. But thou knowest, Lord, that in the end I will need a few friends.

Keep me from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point.

Grant me the patience to listen to the complaints of others; help me to endure them with charity. But seal my lips on my own aches and pains — they increase with the increasing years and my inclination to recount them is also increasing.

I will not ask thee for improved memory, only for a little more humility and less self-assurance when my own memory doesn’t agree with that of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be wrong.

Keep me reasonably gentle. I do not have the ambition to become a saint — it is so hard to live with some of them — but a harsh old person is one of the devil’s masterpieces.

Make me sympathetic without being sentimental, helpful but not bossy. Let me discover merits where I had not expected them, and talents in people whom I had not thought to possess any. And, Lord, give me the grace to tell them so.

Amen.”

Christianity is definitely not for sissies.

Christianity is definitely not for sissies.  It is so much easier just to run with the crowd.  I remember Gypsy Smith said; “It takes a live fish to swim against the current, it takes a dead one to flow with it.” I want to leave you with this thought:  “in order for evil to abound, all that good people have to do is nothing”. It’s better that we never knew the truth, than to know and to not speak up.  The sixteenth president of the United States of America, who was murdered for his stand on the abolishing of the slave trade,  Abraham Lincoln, , wrote a letter to his son’s school teacher when his son went to school for the first time:

He will have to learn, I know, that all men are not just, all men are not true, but teach him, however, that for every scoundrel there is a hero; that for every selfish politician, there is a dedicated leader.  Teach him for every enemy, there is a friend.  Steer him away from envy.  If you can, teach him the secret of quiet laughter.  Let him learn early that the bullies are the easiest to lick (beat).  Teach him if you can the wonder of books, but also give him quiet time to ponder the eternal, the mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun, and the flowers on a green hillside. 

 

In the school, teach him it is far more honourable to fail than to cheat.  Teach him to have faith in his own ideas, even if everyone tells him they are wrong.  Teach him to be gentle with gentle people and to be tough with the tough.  Try to give my son the strength not to follow the crowd when everyone is getting on the band wagon.  Teach him to listen to all men, but teach him also to filter all he hears on a screen of truth, and take only the good that comes through.

 

Teach him if you can how to laugh when he is sad.  Teach him there is no shame in tears; teach him to scoff at synics and to beware of too much sweetness.  Teach him to sell his brawn and brain to the highest bidders, but never to put a price tag on his heart and soul.  Teach him to close his ears to a howling mob and to stand and fight if he thinks he is right.  Treat him gently, but do not cuddle him, because only the test of fire makes fine steel.

 

Let him have the courage to be impatient.  Let him have the patience to be brave.  Teach him always to have sublime faith in himself because then he will have sublime faith in mankind.  This is a big order, but see what you can do…

He is such a fine fellow, my son!”

My dear friends we need to be courageous, we need to stand up and be counted, we need to get back to basics, we need to protect our family and by so doing protect our nation.

Yours in Christ

Angus & Jill Buchan & the Shalom team

‘n Aantal ongewone seënbedes

Geseënd is die wat weet hoe afhanklik hulle van God is, 

want aan hulle behoort die koninkryk van die hemel (Matteus 5:3).

Die week loop ek ‘n aantal mooi seënbedes raak. Dit kom uit ‘n gebedeboek wat gereeld in ‘n bekende gemeente van Kaapstad gebruik word.

Die seënbedes kom uit die Franciskaanse tradisie. Dit is daardie versameling van gebede, geskrifte en seënbedes wat deur die bekende geestelike, Franciskus van Assissi, geskep is en deur sy volgelinge uitgebrei en gebruik is.

Spesifiek die seënbedes is anders as waaraan ons gewoond is. Heel toepaslik dra hulle dan ook die naam “ongewone”, “onverwagse” seënbedes.

En ongewoon is hulle inderdaad – luister net:

Mag God jou seën met ongemak oor maklike antwoorde,
halwe waarhede en kunsmatige verhoudings,
sodat jy diep in jou hart meer eerlik en vry sal leef.

Mag God jou seën met kwaadheid oor onreg, onderdrukking
en die uitbuiting van mense,
sodat jy sal begin werk vir geregtigheid, vryheid en vrede.

Mag God jou seën met trane
vir hulle wat ly as gevolg van pyn, verwerping, hongersnood en oorlog,
sodat jy hou hand sal uitsteek om hulle te troos
en hulle pyn om te sit in vreugde.

Mag God jou seën met genoeg dwaasheid
om te glo dat jy ‘n verskil aan die wêreld kan maak,
sodat jy kan doen wat ander dink totaal onmoontlik is.

Wie lank genoeg na hierdie sogenaamde “ongewone” seënbedes luister, hoor daarin die droom van ‘n God wat die heelmaking van ons wêreld op sy hart dra.

En wat jou vandag daarvoor wil gebruik …

Sodat jy daarin ook sy ongewonde seën deelagtig kan word.

Here, gee my vandag die moed om u droom te volg, en so u seën deelagtig te word. Amen

Carel Anthonissen
Sentrum vir Christelike Spiritualiteit: www.christianspirit.co.za of info@christianspirit.co.za

Só praat God ook met ons

Só praat God ook met ons

Kyk na die kraaie: hulle saai nie en oes nie; hulle het geen spens of skuur nie,
maar God sorg vir hulle… Kyk hoe groei die lelies: hulle swoeg nie en
hulle maak nie klere nie, maar ek sê vir julle:
Selfs Salomo in al sy prag was nie geklee soos een van hulle nie (Lukas 12:24-27).

Jesus het dikwels voorbeelde uit die natuur en die diereryk gebruik om aan te dui hoe ‘n lewe onder sy sorg lyk. Lees maar net Lukas 12:22-34.

Dié week ontvang ek ‘n e-pos van ‘n vriend met ‘n skyfievertoning aangeheg wat hierdie gedagte nog verder neem. Die skyfiereeks begin met die woorde: “Eendag het ek God om instruksies gevra oor hoe ek op aarde behoort te leef. Hierop het God sy stem naby aan my oor gebring en gefluister.”

En dan, terwyl bypassende foto’s van diere en elemente uit die natuur volg, hoor ons:

“Wees soos die son, kom vroeg op en moenie laat gaan slaap nie. Wees soos die maan, skyn in die donkerte, maar onderwerp jou aan die groter lig. Wees soos die voëls – eet, sing, drink en vlieg. Wees soos die blomme – lief vir die son, maar trou aan jou wortels.”

“Wees soos die vrugte, mooi en sprankelend aan die buitekant, maar gesond aan die binnekant. Wees soos die dag wat aanbreek en vertrek, sonder om af te wys of te spog. Wees soos die oase – voorsien water aan hulle wat dors het. Wees soos die vuurvliegie wat, alhoewel klein, haar lig vooruit werp. Wees soos die water, goed en deursigtig. Wees soos die rivier wat altyd vorentoe beweeg.”

“En bo alles, wees soos die hemele: ‘n woonplek vir God!”

Gewoonlik irriteer baie van hierdie beeldmateriaal met vroom, goedkoop en moralistiese lesse my. Maar dié een het my geraak en verder laat dink.

Want God spreek inderdaad deur ons omgewing met ons.

Here, dankie vir soveel voorbeelde van u goedheid en sorg rondom ons. Hou ons oë vandag daarvoor oop. Amen