The Rising Sunset Chapter 3 Right With God

February 23, 2012

Some time later still in Ward 3A, Mrs. De Bruyn, another patient, asked me to pray for her as she was told she would never walk again and against all hope she believed God could use me to help her get healed.

 

“Mrs. De Bruyn before I pray for anyone I believe God would have me tell the person about a story Jesus told in the bible. Can I tell it to you?”

 

“Yes, my Dear.” Mrs. De Bruyn encouraged me to continue.

 

“There was a rich farmer who found his field producing so many crops that he decided to build bigger barns in which to store his greater wealth. He planned to eat, drink and be merry because he would have enough food to last a very long time. But God told him that he was foolish because he neglected to think about being rich towards God making sure that he would be going to heaven before worrying about earthly riches. God told him that very night he would die and not be able to enjoy his abundant provision.”[1]

 

“Mrs. De Bruyn do you know that you going to heaven when you die one day?”

 

“No, my Dear, I have never thought about that,” was Mrs. De Bruyn’s reply. “Do you know?” she asked me.

 

“Yes, I am sure that I will be going to heaven. Before I pray for your body I believe God would want me to at least tell you how I know I will be going to heaven. Would you like me to tell you my story?”

 

With a big smile, Mrs. De Bruyn nodded eagerly waiting as if to receive a gift.

 

“As a Catholic I believed being born into a Catholic home; Christened / Baptized as a baby was my ticket to Heaven which I openly agreed with when I got confirmed.  Baptism and Confirmation are sacraments that are outward signs of an inward grace. At Confirmation I learnt that I became a soldier of Christ but everything was just head knowledge. Every Mass at the same time every year we would hear the same sermon or scriptures being read from the bible and every season we would act out the passion play and Nativity Play every year. We also had Holy Communion at every mass when we remembered that Jesus died on the cross for us. There is a time in the service when we say, ‘Just say the WORD and I shall be healed,’ and then a bell is rung. Even as a Catholic, I knew all about Jesus and loved Him the best way I knew how but somehow I never experienced the Power of God in my life personally.

 

Aged 14, my Father had given me a hiding which made me bleed on the Sunday. The welfare had tried to put me into boarding school the next Wednesday but they gave my Father a warning instead. That Friday, I had planned to run away after school when the principal in assembly read an article from the morning paper which told us about a teenager who ran away from Durban and the Police found her in Cape Town and brought her back home. There went my plans, as I knew Cape Town was at the bottom of the map and I had  never traveled out of Durban by myself. The next Sunday I locked myself in our bathroom when the family went to visit relatives. I believed no body loved me and if I killed myself no body would have missed me. Then I cut my wrest. The blood squirted like a fountain. I had been to St John Ambulance in Standard 5 and knew about putting pressure on the wound which instinctively did. But I started seeing stars as I began to experience weakness coming over me. I put my head down between my legs until I felt the blood go back to my head and the fainting spell left me. I cleaned my wrest and put a plaster on the cut. I cleaned the bathroom up and no one knew any the wiser about what I had attempted.

 

The next Tuesday, 29th April 1975, at big break, I went to the SCA (Student Christian Association) meeting in the Projection Room at Durban Girls’ High School. Being a Catholic I called myself a Christian and so went to SCA but something different seemed to be happening that day. After I sat down I started to feel uneasy. Often in assembly of a 1000 girls I had a fear that the Principal would call me up and tell the whole school how bad I was. Not that I was really bad, looking back I would call myself a good sinner. There were other times when I would be walking home from school alone. I would be afraid as I sensed someone was walking behind me but when I turned to look behind me, no one was to be seen. The uneasy feeling I felt was like these two fears in one. It did not feel like SCA, I wanted to leave. I turned around to try to see who could be scaring me like that but I could not recognize who it could be. I decided to get up and leave but when I turned around just looking, I noticed even the stairway to the only door at the back was already full with girls sitting on them; the place was packed. I was too shy to say, ‘excuse me, excuse me,’ so I made a big sigh and remained sitting and faced the front waiting to see what meeting I was in.

 

While we walked in a visiting lady with long dark brown hair to her shoulders was sitting slouched over her guitar as she sang, “I love you, ye, ye ,ye,” by the Beetles. Eventually no more could fit into the room and she stopped.

 

The S.C.A. cheer lady stood up and greeted and welcomed her audience and introduced the stranger speakers as Rhona and her friend Mary who then stood up. She first asked Mary to open in prayer. Mary prayed then sat down again. I felt a little bet more comforted that I was in the correct place. After that the cheer lady told us that Rhona was going to share about how she met Jesus. Personally, I had never met any one who had ever seen Jesus. I was all ears.

 

Rhona sang and told her story. You could hear a pin drop, she had all our attention. Rhone had to marry the leader of the Hell’s Angels. I did not know the facts of life and had no idea why anyone would have to marry any one. I thought we all had a free will and could choose who we would like to marry. Actually, I had no idea who the Hell’s Angels were either.

 

In due time, she met Mary who would pass her by while she stood propped up against the shop wall enjoying the sunshine. One particular day she showed Mary her flick knife which had a button on it and she pressed it so that the blade came out and she held it against Mary’s neck.   ‘Mary, I am only telling you once,’ she said to Mary, ‘you come near me with your Jesus and I will kill you.’ And she meant it.

 

Mary told her, ‘Just remember Jesus loves you and He is just a prayer away.’

 

Neither of them saw each other until after the baby was born.

 

During the birth, Rhona started thinking about how she had treated her own body during her pregnancy. She had slept around, taken drugs, smoked cigarettes and drank a lot of alcohol. She started to talk to Jesus, “Jesus if you are the God who Mary says You are and You love me like she said. If my baby comes out normal I will leave the Hell’s angel and I will look for Mary and I will live for You.”

 

Rhona had a baby girl who was 11, 3 years younger than I was, when she told us her story.

 

Rhona kept her promise and found Mary and they had been best friends every since. She then called Mary to come tell us about her experience with Jesus.

 

I could not relate to Rhona. When Rhona shared from looking like an untidy tramp she straightened up her posture and flicked her hair back out of her face and seemed transformed in front of our very eyes into a respectable lady.

 

‘I was a normal school girl.’ Mary started.

 

‘Like me,’ I thought.

 

‘I was a Methodist and thought that made me a Christian automatically.”

 

‘Just like me,’ I thought. I was just beginning to feel a little relaxed.

 

Then in the middle of what she was saying, she interrupted herself and said that Rhona wanted to say something. I did not see Rhona indicate to Mary and when Rhona got up and faced the crowd again she looked lost for words as if even she did not know what she was going to say.

 

That fear was back, so bad that my heart was pounding in my chest and neck and I just knew something was about to happen to me.

 

‘Now, don’t be scared,’ were Rhona’s first words.

 

I was petrified; I even started shaking at the knees.

 

‘There is someone sitting on my right hand side.’

 

‘Least I am on the left side of the room,’ I thought to myself, not realizing her right was my left.

 

‘You have been involved with the Welfare. You do not get on with your family especially your Father. And you have even tried to take your own life.’

 

That was when I knew only God could have told her because no one saw me. Silent tears found their way down my cheeks.

 

‘God the Father does not want you to only know all about Him, He wants a personal relationship with you. He loves you like a Father.’

 

‘If He loves me like my Father, I don’t want to know Him.’ I thought to myself.

 

‘God is a just God He cannot be near sin. That means our sin separates us from God. But He loved you so much that if you were the only one on this earth He would have still sent Jesus to die in your place to pay for your sins by going to hell in your place. He suffered and paid the price to redeem you from the devil.’

 

These words seem to echo in mind, what seemed like six times, before I started hearing her finish.

 

‘Go speak to another Christian or come to speak to us afterwards so that we can pray with you.’

 

Wow, for the first time in my life I did not know what a Christian was. I thought I was one but suddenly I realized there was more to being a Christian than I knew.  So I went up to speak to them after the meeting closed.

 

Against the crowd I walked forward.

 

At that time, I could not remember when I last hugged my Mother and the first thing Rhona did was hug me and not let me go while I cried with huge jerky sighs to interrupted my crying when I tried to take a breathe. Eventually, I stopped crying and I asked Rhona how she knew what I knew only God could know. She explained that the Holy Spirit, who lives in her, told her as she was speaking it out the first time. This she explained is called a gift of knowledge which God had given her.

 

Then she said, “There was a man who was a Pharisees named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jewish Ruling Council High Court – the Sanhedrin. He went to Jesus at night (in the darkness of the unknown spiritually and in his sin – also to avoid being seeing by other Jews.) He said, ‘Rabbi (Teacher), I know You are a man of God because I can see it by the miracles and signs and wonders that You do.’ Jesus (knowing that Nicodemus was actually asking how he can get to heaven) declared, ‘I tell you the truth, except a man be born again, he cannot see (first understand) the Kingdom of God. ‘Surely, I cannot enter my Mother’s womb a second time?’ Jesus replied, ‘except a man be born of water (first birth) and of the spirit (second birth), he cannot enter the Kingdom of God (experience here on earth or in the here after). (The first birth is physical and as we are made mostly of water and the second birth is when you accept Jesus and what He has done on your behalf BY FAITH and then God’s Spirit joins with your spirit and your spiritual eyes or the eyes of your heart of understanding are opened to the things of the Spirit. Before you are spiritually dead in your ignorance and sins and then you are made alive to God spiritually.) Flesh gives birth to flesh and (God’s) Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at My saying “You must be born again.” Just like the wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot see where the wind comes from or where it is going except through the leaves on the tree or feeling it against your flesh; in the same manner the Spirit of God moves (where He wills in and through the body of Christ – those who have been born again).’ [2]

 

“Sorry, Rhona I am not sure that I understand what you mean about being born again. Please explain it more?” I asked because I was still a little confused.

 

‘Let’s compare natural birth to spiritual so that you can understand better:

 

FLESH / FIRST BIRTH  compared to OUR 2ND/SPIRITUAL BIRTH
Sperm is planted in the womb  by the Father FAITH comes from hearing GOD’S WORD and believing  [3] and this seed of God’s Word is planted in our minds [4]
Sperm meets with the Egg Then the seed of faith joins our spirits
They become ONE – life began FAITH is CONCEIVED
The baby develops inside the womb In the unknown, darkness of your mind and soul
The baby takes in nourishment Through arguing, thinking, speaking, listening faith grows
The baby begins to feel discomfort. CONFLICT begins within your soul
Labour pains comes and goes A spiritual & emotional tug-of-war occurs
Discomfort gets worse until it’s unbearable JESUS calls you until you cannot resist Him. [5] JESUS is standing at the door of your heart WANTING TO COME INTO YOUR LIFE to be ONE with you and for you to be ONE with Him. He wants a personal relationship with you. He wants to be your very best friend. Jesus loves YOU! [6]
(Something has to change) (you don’t have peace and you sense there is more)
Baby feels pushed or compelled You start to see the light
ACTUAL BIRTH you push the baby out SPIRIT BECOMES ALIVE TO GOD when you have purified yourselves by OBEYING the truth
Baby pops out DIRTY: bloody You recognize and admit: YOU ARE A SINNER
First need for baby is to BREATH  that is communicate with EARTH To communicate with GOD you need to PRAY and ask JESUS to come into your heart as Lord & Savior
Second need is for the baby to be cut free from it’s past in the womb You realize you need to stop willingly sinning that is you need to cut away from your old way of living
Umbilical cord has to be cut: sometimes it is hard and takes longer to cut through; other times it is not tough and easy and takes less time to cut. To become an over comer [7] you need to REPENT which means to turn your back on sinning. To become a Christian you repent; to grow you repent.
Third need is for the baby to be WASHED CLEAN from bloody mess it is born in You need to ASK GOD to FORGIVE YOU for being a SINNER & receive His Forgiveness
Forth need is for the baby to be dressed in WHITE CLOTHES making a fresh start in the world Blood of Jesus washes your robes as white as snow: NEW CHAPTER  [8] you put on the robes of righteousness [9]
Fifth need for the baby is to drink milk otherwise he/she will starve to death You become your own spiritual parent and have to feed yourself god’s Word daily otherwise you will not grow spiritually.
Sixth need is for the baby to be given a NAME given an identity is given By your fruit of repentance and love for others, others will call you a CHRISTIAN. [10]
Seventh need of the baby is for him/her to go home with loving parents who will love, discipline and train him/her up in the way to go In the same you will need to find a spiritual home where the Holy Spirit is free to move as God’s Word is preached.
Baby needs exercise to grow You need to go to Home Cell / Bible Study and Pray Meetings where you will exercise your faith and grow spiritually
Baby needs to express itself freely Spiritually you need to be a witness for Jesus
The devil believes but has no actions of repentance.  The devil and God are calling you to make a decision YOU have a free will ONLY YOU can make the choice for your life.  [11]

 

‘Do you understand better now what it means to be born again?’

 

‘Yes, thank you.’ I replied.

 

‘Would you like me to pray with you so that you can accept Jesus as your own personal Lord and Savior right now?’ Rhona asked me.

 

‘Yes please,’ I smiled with tears in my eyes still.

 

‘I will pray each phrase and you can pray it after me. If you mean it Jesus will come in and you will never be the same again. Okay?’

 

I nodded as we both closed our eyes with our head bowed forward.

 

“Heavenly Father, I admit that I AM A SINNER; I believe I need a Savoir to help me. JESUS, please come into my life to be my own Personal Lord and Savoir. Thank You for coming in. LORD, please forgive me for my sins? Thank You, for dying in my place so that I do not have to go to hell to pay for my sin. I receive Your forgiveness. HOLY SPIRIT, please fill me in those areas where I am weak so that I will have the ability to say NO to sin IN JESUS NAME. Please help me grow as a Christian so that others will know that I am Your Child. Remind me to read Your Word every day. Give me a hunger and thirst for You so that I will want to have fellowship with other Christians at church so that God the Father will be Glorified in my life every day. In Jesus Name I Pray. Amen.”

 

I cried silent tears of joy as I prayed and I could not stop myself even in the lesson that followed break. While we prayed I felt a physical sensation like I received a warm emotional shower of peace and joy wash over me from my head to my toes.  I knew without a doubt that Jesus came in and I truly would never be the same again. In class the other learners we asking me how come I was crying and laughing at the same time. The teacher told me that I had to stand up on the table and tell the class what had just happened. From being a shy introverted little girl I became a confident Christian who has not stopped telling others about Jesus.

 

My Mother told me that I was going through a phase but I knew what I had experienced and it was real I had been born into eternity. Heaven had begun in my heart that day. I started reading my Bible every day because I longed to hear what God had to tell me for my day. Life was exciting and I knew God had a plan for my life to give me a hope and future that was not meant to harm me.

 

“Mrs. De Bruyn, would like to ask Jesus into your heart to be your own personal Lord and Savior so that you can be sure that you will be going to heaven too?” I asked her.

 

“Yes, my Dear, I would like that very much.” Mrs. De Bruyn smiled and nodded.

 

“Can I pray that same prayer with you and you can repeat each phrase after me and if you mean it Jesus will become just as real to you as he is to me?”

“Okay,” she said and I offered her my hands and as she held mine we bowed in prayer.

 

After praying, I explained a little about how I was going to pray for her healing: “Now that I know that we will meet again in heaven I feel excited about praying for your healing because I know your faith will be strong to receive your healing from the Lord. Do you believe that Jesus wants to heal you? And do you know many times Jesus told people that it was their faith that made them whole? Do you believe Jesus can heal you?” She nodded.

 

“I am going to lay my hands on your legs. Then I am going to submit myself to God and I am going to bind the spirit that caused them to be the way they are and I will command it to leave you in Jesus name. Then I will ask the Holy Spirit to fill every area where you were not well and we will give God all the thanks and glory in expectation for your healing. Then I will help you sit up and I will help you literally step out in faith and receive what we believed God would have done by then. Okay?” Again Mrs. De Bruyn nodded.

 

After praying, I helped Mrs. De Bruyn sit up in her bed. Then I treated her like I would have treated any person who had not used their legs for ages due to operation or illness. I got her to hang her legs off the bed and swing them side to side for a while until she felt the blood go down to her toes. Then slowly I helped her to slide off the side of the bed leaning onto me to stand next to her bed for a while. Then I told her I would walk each step with her around her bed as all this was happening behind the curtain that I originally had drawn around her bed. Just like I had guided her she walked around her bed. She was told that she would never walk again. I could see that she was excited but exhausted so I helped her back to bed. The next day with the curtains open I helped her to walk to a chair where she sat for the morning and walked back to bed. Within a week she was walking to the toilet by herself and eventually she walked out the hospital long before I was discharged.

 


[1]  Luke 12:13-21

[2]  Revelations 3:22

[3]  Romans 10:17

[4]  Matthew 13:3

[5]  Revelations 3:15-22

[6]  John 3:16

[7]  John 3:1-8

[8]  Revelations 7:14

[9]  Matthew 7:16&20/Luke6: 43-45

[10] I Peter 1:22&23

[11] James 2:17-19

 


20 Accepting Discipline

September 15, 2011

God’s Kingdom begins where there is absolute obedience to God – no voicing of opinion, no presenting, no reasoning’s, no murmuring, no reviling.

“Pull down your thoughts / imaginations and make them obedient with God’s Word.” II Corinthians 10:5

I have only started to understand more clearly how to accept discipline because I have been finding it difficult to understand and accept my son, 17, who does not want to be disciplined by me any more. I have taught him “RESPECT is LISTENING/ obey without a say.”

When Jesus did His first miracle, His Mother Mary told the disciples, “Whatever Jesus says, JUST DO IT.”

We must all learn to accept discipline that our mouths may be so instructed as not to speak loosely, our minds not to argue, and our hearts not to offer council.

“If a man can control his tongue, he is mature.” James 3

Heavenly Father, please put a guard over my mouth so that I will master THINKING before I react or respond when I am being disciplined. I ask this in Jesus name so that I can bring glory to your name and be a true example to others as a Christian and believer in Your Word. Thank You Lord. Amen.


19 Change to His Glory

July 13, 2011

Change always consists of difficult transition phase before we reap the benefit. It is good to expect the worst because it prepares us for disappointment or feeling let down but at the same time be positive and hope for the best so that you will be grateful that all works out in the end.

A surfer does not hold up his surfboard to try stopping the wave. Instead, before the wave reaches him, he starts paddling in the same direction the wave is moving. When the wave does reach him, he is swept along by it. He trusts the wave to lift and carry him, and that trust transforms the experience into an exhilarating one.

During the time of change or adaptation to the change or adjustment to cope it is vital to hold on to God’s unfailing all knowing love and kindness for you. Remind yourself that he is in control and that He has your best interest at heart.

No matter what happens in the past or may happen in the future, GOD is your stable unchanging constant secure surfboard on the wave of change, trust Him.

How can you turn your potential negative into a positive one? That is what expectant faith is. This comes from spending quality unrushed time hearing from God, when you pray and read His Word, so that you can make and work His plan for your situation.

He will give you the idea but you will need to take the wave of opportunity and make that change work for you. In your quiet time with God He will strengthen you with his ability and Glory, trust Him.


17 to those in authority & their subordinates

July 2, 2011

STERN DISCIPLINE & KIND APPRECIATION – Romans 10

God disciplines those He loves rebuking them sternly encouraging them in love and patience.

WHEN IN AUTHORITY:

There is a time for discipline but the manner needs to be in love, patience and respect.

AS A SUBORDINATE:

Accept discipline as the Lord says hardship and suffering are there to build our characters.


16 to those in authority & their subordinates

July 2, 2011

BE SATISFIED / CONTENTProverbs 15:16 & 17

Better a little with the fear / respect for the Lord than great wealth with turmoil.

WHEN IN AUTHORITY:

When you feel like you are not earning what you worth or being appreciated for what you do, remember promotion comes from God and if you can be trusted with little He will cause you to be trusted with much. Rule with justice and kindness and God will help your subordinates to work to your satisfaction but until them be satisfied and content for your position. Do not give up encouraging and even sending your subordinates on courses to qualify them to do what you expect them to produce. You too will reap more money when you plant more time, effort and energy into training those who work for you.

AS A SUBORDINATE:

Promotion comes from God who is watching to see if you can be trusted with little as in time He will enable you to be trusted with much. Until then, work whole heartedly as unto the Lord even though your boss is the one who pays your salary because God will make a way for you to earn more than enough and He will give you the desires of your heart as you work to please God by submitting to the authority over you.


15 to those in authority & their subordinates

July 2, 2011

CONTROL YOUR EMOTIONSProverbs 15:18 & 21

A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel. Do not lack judgment, understand and keep to a straight course (keep purpose of work in mind).

WHEN IN AUTHORITY:

IF you are angry, those under your authority will rebel and disrespect you. If you show patience and understanding, your subordinates will respect you and will willingly want to please you.

AS A SUBORDINATE:

If you are angry and show no respect for authority, they will become angry with you and you would be making life difficult for yourself at work. Rather, be patient with your authority as they explain what they want from you and keep asking until you do understand and can produce the respect and work that is expected from you.


14 to those in authority & their subordinates

July 2, 2011

CHOOSE TO BE HAPPYProverbs 15:13, 15 & 30

A happy atmosphere creates joy and satisfaction in the work place where work will be done well whereas disappointment, disrespect, dishonor and anger that is heartache crushes your spirit causing resentment and animosity in the office. Cheerfulness brings health to every ones bodies and to the actual work done.

WHEN IN AUTHORITY:

Relax, create a continual feast of joy and kindness by choosing to be happy even if there is pressure in the amount of work, you will feel less stressed compared to being angry, disappointed and screaming to voice your disrespected authority. Even if they are too slow or not performing as you would, appreciate your workers as they are saving you doing all the work yourself which you have not got the time to do.

AS A SUBORDINATE:

Do not add to the negative vibration in the office, rather be happy and enjoy the fact that you have a job and you are gaining experience, satisfaction in producing work and money even if it is never enough for what you need. Remember your supervisor may earn more than you do but they have greater responsibility. Do not think they only get all the glory for your hard work because they also receive more flack for the shortcomings that you have when they do not meet the deadlines expected by their team.