(Marianne Williamson - and quoted by Nelson Mandela 1994 at his inauguration!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Broken Down and Rebuilt Afresh

It has been a long long time since I last blogged. I even thought I forgot how to do it.
However, I realized it is not only time again but I also have something to share. I have something to share that brings all the glory to God and that is what it is all about.

For the past weeks, I have been struggling with lies about myself and my life. I won't go into detail but anyone out there who understands how destructive the lies of the enemy are will understand the depth of pain I found myself in. Of course, I did not want to face it for a while because pain is never nice to face. 2 weeks ago, I realized I needed to look at the stuff and bring it to the arms of the Father.
What I found and looked at was very hurtful.
On one of my walks I found a picture that kind of shows how I felt.
Broken Down - the bench that used to be there is broken and hardly recognizable. That is how I felt. But through the course of last week, I let Jesus in to have a look at that wound that seemed to start throbbing. It was not easy and more of a really deep valley but walking THROUGH it is worth it. Walking around it just to avoid the pain may seem easy at first glance and it may be nice BUT ONLY TEMPORAY. Walking though the valley, held and guided, makes all the difference because that is how He rebuilds and strengthens. And that is what happened last week. By the end of the week, I realized how God had strengthened me, encouraged me and burst away the lies from the enemy.

On Sunday He showed me this picture: clear and real:
The was rebuilt and was standing empowered and strong.

I know that my strength is in Jesus and Jesus alone. I understand so much more now and I can say that my faith has grown. Thank You God
Your faithful park bench Sonnenschein

Thursday, August 21, 2014

August 2014
This weekend it is East Hill Missions weekend. East Hill Church Family is my church in Oregon who sent me 7 years ago. Wow, time flies.
If you are on my blog through a Facebook link from East Hill Missions, then welcome welcome.
As you see I do have my latest newsletter on here. Nevertheless, I have not blogged in a really long time. I am a Missionary to an area in the suburbs of Cape Town/South Africa helping and supporting Pastor Xavier Adriaanse who is not only the Pastor of a local Foursquare Church here, but also the head of the Southern Region of Foursquare (Mozambique, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Malawi, Angola).
I do small group development and my heart is for healing and restoration.
Emotional, physical and spiritual healing.

Latest Newsletter from July 2014

JULY was a beautiful month here in Cape Town. Even though it was winter, it was great. We had the occasional double and triple cold front (rain coming from all sides and wind). This is what you will read about in this edition of South African news from your Long Term Missionary:
1) Life group OUTREACH
2) World Cup Champions
3) New partners in our church and Jesus talking to me about Sabbath and Rest
4) Greetings from my mom and dad

1) July has been a great month in my Life group. We went out to reach the people that stand or sleep or work on the streets with a warm meal and ponchos and a word of encouragement. For some it was the first time to do an outreach. What a blessing to see how their hearts were touched. Growth took place that day and we were able to sow God's love to people in need. We could also send out one of our own to start a Life group in one of the townships nearby. I was blessed to see how the group embraced the transition. They understand the process of multiplication. It is the start of disciples making disciples. Relationship is the key. I take time out to hang with the guys individually which has a great impact. May God do what He can do best.  

2)  And Germany is World Champion in soccer for 4 years!!! I am still so happy about this. But what tops this joy is the gratefulness for my Life group. They surprised me that Sunday for the soccer final and organized a gathering with great food to support me as the only German and to clap for my team with me. I will never forget that. Now they are all Germans now! Ole Ole Ole Ole :)

3) Every few months, we have a partnership evening for people who want to partner with us and become a  planting of the Lord at our church. This time we welcomed  9 new people into our church family by praying over them on a Sunday morning.

I make it a habit that every day that I am off I do something different or go someplace different to let my soul exhale and get out of the everyday rhythm. A couple of weeks back, I had a nudge from the Holy Spirit telling me to be intentional about my time off. It is about learning how to rest and use a Sabbath.

Mom and dad send their love. We are thinking through a possible time for them to come visit - maybe February/March. Now we start to pray into the details of my mom getting enough time off and my dad being physically fit enough to do it.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Happy and Blessed New Year 2014

With the verse for this year in Psalm 73 verse 28 I greet you all and wish you a Happy and Blessed New Year 2014.

Psalm 73:28

New King James Version (NKJV)
28 But it is good for me to draw near to God;
I have put my trust in the Lord GOD,
That I may declare all Your works.
In Germany, there is a movement that exists for a long time. There, they pray 24/7 the whole year and they pray for verses for the year, for the month and for the day.
It is good for me to draw near to God.

In another passage God days: When you draw near to me, I will draw near to you (look at James 4:8).
The whole 4th chapter of the book of James is amazing and one verse builds on the next.
Now, I go back to Psalm 73 which as not written by David but by a man called Asaph.
Asaph , looking at the people who don't honour nor know God is pretty upset and asks God why those people seem to have better lives. I love the way he puts it in verses 3-4:
For I envied the arrogant, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. They have no struggles, their bodies are healthy and strong. They are free from common human burdens, they are not plagued by human ills.
He then goes on in that mood for a bit but then turns around in verse 25: Whom have I in heaven but you?
It is a brilliant Psalm and the last verse is the verse for this year. It is Asaph's conclusion after he had a tantrum:  But as for me, I say it is good to draw near to God! Wow
With this verse I wish us all a Blessed New Year 2014!!!!
Read the Psalm as a whole. It is brilliant and so honest and real!
God bless you
p.s.: 1. picture : this is the small groups I help lead: precious women, 2. picture: my friend Erica

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Focus on what is right / Growing in Godliness

I love to go to the old age home in the area and I love to minister there. It is always such a humbling experience. Here are people who are so much more experienced than I am, people so much older than I am and yet they listen to what God has put on my heart for that particular morning. This last Monday I was there again.
My topic of the sermon was:  Focus on what is right / Growing in Godliness
Introduction: I went back to last time I was there. I had spoken on dismantling the lie that we don't suffer on our Christian walk.
I said: Our confidence in God only comes from 2 things: 1)when we know who God is and 2) when we know who we are THROUGH Him
If we have a skew picture of God we get into trouble in our Christian walk
Today, let me take you to the end of Paul's letter to the Philippians....let me take you to his final words.
- final words are important/ they emphasize  the main points.

Philippians 4:8-9

New King James Version (NKJV)
.Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

Character and conduct begin in the mind. Our actions are affected by the things we dwell on in our minds/thoughts. Paul cautions the Philippians (and us) to concentrate on things that will result in the right living and in God's peace
---- look at Romans 12: 1-2
Paul urges the Romans here not only to give their body as a living sacrifice but also not having their minds to be conformed to this world but rather be transformed and renewed by the word and truth of God. The battle is in the mind and what is the mind is in the heart. It is important to have our minds renewed and transformed. All this makes it paramount what we focus our mind on. Paul indicates our belief system and way of thinking need to be shaped by the following things:

1) the TRUE  (genuine, real, manifest, unconcealed, true as opposed to false- truth versus lies)
   -be true to your promises, to your engagements, statements
   -be true in your friendship
   -maintain the truth about God and His character
   -maintain the truth about eternity and judgement
   - In Ephesians 4: 25 Paul urges the believers to speak truth to each other

2) the NOBLE ( honest, honourable, reverent, dignified, worthy of reputation and honour, showing respect)
3) the JUST ( the things that are right, incorrupt)
4) the PURE (clean, modest, undefiled, morally faultless, holy)
5) the LOVELY (that what is pleasing, agreeable to others)
   - 1 Corinthians 13:4-7  
6) of GOOD REPORT (e.g. speech that is gracious, fair sounding, kind, virtuous, respectful, pure)
7) the VIRTUE

In all Christ should be the pattern

Last bit in verse 8:  Think about these things/ Meditate on these things
There are two reason why we should meditate on these things:
   1) to win the battle in our minds , to focus on Christ inside of us
    2) to be an example and set a standard to shine
Cultivate this - think about the words, but also think about the influence which that would have on the world around you
----practical application: Vue Du Cap living arrangements - the influence on people around them is big - focus on what's right

verse 9: Paul  is the example here but we know that Jesus is the example for Paul
  - look how he did things. That brings the 8 different things to focus on into the Christian environment
Final positive result from focusing on the right things is God's peace - the peace that is beyond our understanding ( see verse 7)
Ministering time:
-----This is a great guideline to focus our thoughts back to the good
------When the world talks about positive thinking we know it is actually about Jesus transforming our minds
-------Think about the impact it makes in us and in the people around us
Lies and negative/depressed thoughts have the power to keep us in darkness but God's truth and HIS thoughts of the true, the noble, the pure, the just, the lovely can lift us out of that into HIS light.

"my Jesus, I want to be in the light and not in the darkness! please help me today to dwell on the good things, on the pure things, on the true things, on the noble things, on the lovely things, on the praiseworthy things - Lord I want to shine for you!!!!" 

Friday, July 19, 2013

LIES EXPOSED - to have the right image of God

This Monday, I was blessed to speak and minister again at the Old Age Home in our area. God put a special topic on my heart. He wanted me to speak about what image we have of HIM.

The Image of God
It is important to have the right image of God in our hearts. We actually behave according to our beliefs. So why not check in and see if our beliefs about God are correct. What is correct? - With correct I mean biblical.
The text I used is found in Matthew  16: 13-20. It is the account where Jesus asks his disciples who they think He is.
13 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”
14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed[a] in heaven.”
20 Then He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ.

Here we see 4 misconceptions, for views of who Jesus could be: John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, one of the prophets. The people could not really say who Jesus was. Then Jesus asks his disciples and Simon Peter stands up and proclaims: You are the Christ (Messiah), the Son of the living God!
What a proclamation and Peter hit the nail on the head. His image of God changed in this account and this would carry him through the trials and tribulations of the next season of his life.
Jesus asks his disciples and he ask us today right now: Who do YOU say I am?
This strikes at the very heart of our relationship with God. If He asked me that right now, I would say: "Jesus, you are the lifter of my head, you are my shield and my strong tower, you are my man and husband and my Lord!!!"  What would YOU say? Think about it for a moment. It is an important question.
Who is God for you? Have you proclaimed and confessed who God is for you in this season of your life?
God's nature must shape who we are. Therefore, we need to have the right picture, the right idea of HIM who sits on the Throne...who is the Everlasting One.

Our confidence in God only comes when we understand two things: 1) we need to understand who God is and 2) we need to understand who we are through Him.

For this to work, I would like to expose a very permanent lie, a very big misconception about God. May I ask you, is there a walk with God  without trials and tribulations?   NO!
It is easy to answer it this way. However it is a big misconception that exists not only among non-Christians but also a lot among us believers.
What does God's Word say about this belief?
John 16:33 says: 33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will[a] have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
The word tribulation comes from the Greek word thipsis and it is used to describe the crushing of olives and grapes in a press. What an amazing picture. We can be crushed and squeezed and really in a tight and hard spot in life. Yet Jesus has overcome all that and yet He gives us a secret to conquer: invite HIS peace into our hearts in the midst of the storm!!
Can you see that it is clear from this Scripture that there will me many hard times even walking with Jesus but then Jesus tells us that He has overcome it all and if we stick with Him we also overcome!
1 Peter 1: 6-7 says: In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honour, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.    Peter explains here that in light of the joy of seeing Jesus, the trials on earth are only a little while. This makes me think of childbirth. Although I personally have not yet been in that situation, I have seen it a lot: it can be excruciatingly painful in the times of the birth pains. When I speak to the proud mom when she hold the new born...all the pain is out of mind in view of the child. I think this is what Peter meant in his letter.
Philippians 1:29: 29 For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake. Paul even puts it as a privilege to suffer for Jesus. Here is a very weird and new way of looking at things: why not using our suffering to build our character instead of resenting it.
1 Peter 2:21 : 21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us,[a] leaving us[b] an example, that you should follow His steps.   There are more verses to expose the lie and misconception but I will leave us with those four. We can see that suffering is part of the Christian walk and life.
I am not here to talk doom and gloom. So I want to bring some balance to all this "suffering".
In Romans chapter 8 Paul tells us that we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us (Romans 8:37). He also tells us that everything, all this, God works for the good for those who love HIM and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). Peter tells us in his second letter that in HIM we have all that pertains to life and godliness
(2 Peter 1: 3-4).

So If I have the misconception that there is no suffering or hard situation when I am walking with Jesus, then I will have a problem how to deal with hard situations in my life: a death of a loved one, a suicide of a friend, a loss of a relationship, a divorce, a health problem and even my prayers don't seem to help. In such a time it is easy then to blame God and to get bitter. The consequence is that I cannot trust God anymore.
Can you see how this misconception can cripple us in our walk with Jesus??

I want to leave you with a list of things that I know about God that are biblical. This is what I base my faith and trust on:

God is a faithful God
God is merciful
God is consistent and kind
God is patient
God is holy
God is a God of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th...chance
God is a God of Restoration and of Redemption
God is a God of consequences
God is a God of peace
God is humble
God is love
God is trustworthy
God never keeps a record of our sins and failings
God is a forgiving God

Friday, April 26, 2013

לשמוע בקול-- Obeying God --υπακούω

This morning I am thinking about obedience. Obedience is key and so important in our relationship with our God.
In the Old Testament we find the word SHAMA
as listen, obey and hear. That reminds me of the Shama or Shema Israel, the post important prayer for the Jews. It is found in Deuteronomy 6:4 "Hear, O Israel: the LORD is our God, the LORD is one," I love Hebrew and how it encompasses more than just the meaning of the word - there is an action  involved. To obey is to hear, listen and act upon it.

God needed his people to listen closely to His commands. For the human being, obedience is a difficult concept to grasp. It is easy to listen but then not so easy to act upon. We can see that throughout history. I can see that with everyone of God's people including me. Oh yes.
My heart is set on obeying God because I know He knows me best and He has the best for me. Yet, I find myself doubting or not acting upon it because of fear.
In the New Testament we find the word HUPAKOUO  and PEITHO for the verb to obey. I love to look at the root of words and to look at the Greek and Hebrew so as not to miss out on the full meaning. In the Greek there is the connotation of being convinced of what to do when I hear and take heed. God tells us to obey so often...and with our obedience He fulfils His part of the covenant He has with us. With our obedience, there is always His promise attached.
There was a season when I felt God led me to take dance lessons, remember? I did not only do it because it sounded nice. God was teaching me something through it and He encouraged me to do it. I obeyed and enjoyed it so much. But I also learned a lot from the heart of the Father: the way how to dance with HIM and how to dance as man and woman in the right way. This season is over. I felt I needed to stop going to dancing and doing dance lessons. I still love dancing though and I take and cherish those lessons.
This season is a new one. God started to encourage me to go and learn how to play the guitar. I was ok with that but still hesitant. I don't read music and that would be hard to learn. But God's tuck on my heart would not stop. I found a music school a few weeks ago and now I just needed a guitar. God said: Well, you have not even asked me for one and prayed for me. LOL. That was funny. SO I did. Two nights ago one of my dear friends here said she would give me her guitar for as long as I need it. WOOOOOOOW. So this is how I am obeying God right now. I know He has some interesting lessons waiting for me. I am in awe and cannot wait!
I obey and my heart is to obey God, not men.

Thursday, March 07, 2013


I really like coffee. Well, I am a German and we Germans love a good cup of coffee. Two years ago when my Pastor from Oregon Jason Albelo came to visit he gave me a present and that was a great coffee maker mashine. I was now able to make Lattes and espressos. And from then on I was very keen on having fresh grounded coffee in the house (Starbucks/ Seattle's Best etc).
Then my colon played up and I had to reduce my coffee intake. Reading these last lines, it sounds as if I was drinking lots of coffee. In fact I was not. However, the acidy character of it had affected me.
Then I went on my trip to Germany and Oregon/US these last months and it was hard not to drink good coffee. When I came to Oregon, it was even harder. The Pacific Northwest is amazing for its coffee.
this was my point of contact with precious people every weekend
I blogged on my time doing Brain State a few weeks ago. For Brain State I also needed to withdraw from coffee or any coffeine drink. Boy, that was hard but thank God for great decaf coffee.

All this introduction to come to a very special blessing that I had every Sunday morning in Gresham/Oregon. I was given a table where could present photos and the details of my ministry for the people before and after our services.
We have a great coffee shop there run by certain members of the church East Hill Church Family. My friend Dawn-Marie who runs the coffee shop made sure that I had a free coffee drink every Sunday morning. She would make me a VENTI cup
(a biig one) and I could choose what I want.
This is Dawn-Marie :)

My choice of the time was: Decaf Hazelnut Latte :)

Thank you Dawn, you are a trooper!!!!

a THANK YOU to Travis

I write this to thank my friends Alexis and Travis Mielonen. During my stay in Oregon, Travis helped me to become better in the appearances of my Newsletters. I am really grateful that he helped me and things seem much easier for me now. I also like the new look of things.
Thank you Travis for being available for me in this. I am not really that inclined!
Travis and Alexis and their two girls are preparing to go on the Mission Field themselves in the very near future. My prayers go with you guys. Poland will be blessed to have you there!
To check out their wonderful journey with Jesus and the vision God has given them for Poland click here

Back in school ?

Oh and I recall another really great time during my trip. I was in Germany at that time.
I figured it would be a good thing to get some copies of my graduation diploma from 1997 whilst in town. So I went to my old High school (Friedrich-Ebert Gymnasium in Muehlheim) and was happy to meet some familiar faces. I 've always loved chatting to my teachers. I ran into my French teacher who accompanied and supported me throughout my garduation since French was one of my majors. We started chatting and soon she invited me to come and share a bit on South Africa and my work here with one of her graduation classes during an upcoming project day. It fitted in and so I went.
What a joy to be with my teacher in the classroom and speak French :)
I thank Elisabeth Varennes for a great morning - may her class do well and succeed in their graduation!

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