He is a Father…

time

The biggest buzz at this moment in the South African Christian world is that the very controversial pastor from America, Steven Anderson, was banned from coming to South Africa.I followed the story, but quickly got bored with all bickering and went on with my day.

Today marked the day that my boy started to walk confidently. I posted about this event just two weeks ago, but a week after David took his first steps, he just stopped. I could not fathom why and google was at a loss with all my endless questions as to why he stopped walking. Finally, I just gave up and let him be, and what do you know, he starts walking confidently all by himself.

While I was outside with my boy walking away, I suddenly felt the presence of God. Peace came around me and mister waddle in front of me. Through all the giggles of my little who is discovering the world at an alarmingly fast pace, I was vaguely aware of His Presence. It was as if God was walking with me and both Him and I were astonished at the beauty of this boy and his innocence.

I took note of this and went of with my day.

I hurt my Achilles tendon through who knows what and was on my way to the physiotherapist this afternoon when I sensed God again. This time, just riding with me in my car, soaking up the glorious sunshine. My upcoming trip to Israel is two weeks away and the timing of this injury is just not ideal. I chatted to Him about it, but just received a calm reassurance that all will be ok.

As I pulled up at the practice, I heard Him say: “You are a beautiful woman.”  As He said it, I was right at the door of the practice that had a mirror in . I looked at my reflection and saw the bandage around my ankle and my very sweaty face, but I felt His adoration and lifted my head in confidence.

This evening we went to the beach and once again God came with. My dogs actually behaved themselves and allowed a little boy to pat them without jumping up against him. My husband was processing his day with me and again, I heard God’s voice: ” He is My beloved son.”

Only now, it dawned on me, I think Mr Steven Anderson has not tasted the love of this Father yet. He knows God but missed the heart of the Father. Only orphan thinking would wish doom on a country when he has been banned from it. Only orphans will point fingers filled with wrath at how lost our nation is .  A true son will take responsibility and step up to the plate. Like the One true Son did so many years ago. The One that was without sin, became sin for us to walk free. My prayer now for this man is that he will receive such a revelation of God’s Father heart.

He is a Father in our everyday lives and He is absolutely besotted with us. He is not ashamed to be seen with us. His Love is proud to be seen with me. He does not give His heart in pieces, He gave it wholly. His Love is a fire burning bright for me. His love is not passive and it is never disengaged. His love hangs on every word He says.

 

love

 

Selah.

 

Living a life without regret

This past week, I was on this mission to find a nice pair of jeans. Poor David has to tag along as I power walk from one shop to the next. In Woolworths, I was just on my way out of the changing rooms, disappointed that I yet have to find the right fit, when I past a elderly gentleman. He stopped me with his crooked finger and pointed at my boy:

“May I look at him?” He asked.

Any mom with such a handsome baby will never pass the opportunity to receive praise with regards to her boy. “Sure!” I said , paused and waited for the praise songs to begin. {Have you seen him lately? Stunner!}

“I wish I was that young again.” He said and looked at me with a sparkle in his eye and off he went with his walking stick and left me puzzled.

That was a first. Normally, the elderly folk oooh and aah around my boy and his hair. I started walking again and thought about the old man’s comment.

That comment was loaded and could mean one of two things. Either he had a very bad life and was full of regret and wanted a second chance to this game of life, or he had a fantastic one and wanted it all over again.

My guess was number two. Just the sparkle in his eyes and his smile made me realise that this Oupa lived.

This made me ponder my own life. Am I ready to say I will do it all over again? No regrets?

How do we live a life without regret? Do we go after every adventure to make sure we never miss a thing? Travel the world, start countless businesses, become famous? How do we determine when we made a mistake and can put it in the bucket of regret?

My life danced before my eyes, and I tried to find regret in it. Yes, here and there is something that I wish didn’t happen. Like me being unkind to a friend or being so self absorbed that I missed my husband’s tired eyes. But even with those events, I take it as a learning curve  rather than a regretful event.

But I remember a young Linda, maybe 21, I remember how full of regret I was. At  a very young age, I made a lot mistakes that really made me wish I never made them. The pain that came with it was not worth it.

Today, I struggle to find mistakes and put them in the regret bin. I do make mistakes, yes, but I come to learn that it is more opportunities to grow.

This change of mind came when I really got to know Jesus. Not only believe in Him as my Saviour, but got to know Him as my friend.

Through His eyes, I started to see myself and my life. Even when I go through a difficult patch, I am reminded of his goodness.

The other day, Stoffel and I chatted about where we are at. We are so incredibly blessed. We have seen and experienced stuff that we would have never experienced if it wasn’t for Jesus and His guidance.

I come alive just by thinking of Him. He is the biggest adventure that I ever embarked on. Him, His heart for the nations and His Kingdom.

I am so thankful for His love that set my heart free to live as one that is unconditionally loved.

And to me that is living a life without regret: To know that you are loved and free.

 

Enjoy your day!

November 12, 2015Linda Fourie Photography

Voices that count

A couple of months ago, I started to get irritated with Facebook. {I blame the preggie hormones} About a week ago,I decided to leave Facebook for awhile, just until I am more my usual self. My life is about to change forever and I wanted to spend the last month before David arrives,with Stoffel. I love this man more than life itself. I have to say I am so thankful I did it, we are spending more time together and we talk about all that is on our mind. We also don’t have DSTV, so it is just the two of us in the evenings and our two furry kids. Obviously I am wise and did not close my business pages, so this might be where you found this link. Looking back now, I realised that my irritation with Facebook, might have been a God thing, because since I silenced this online voice, His voice became VERY clear.

Let me explain, and please don’t see this as an anti Facebook post. I still believe that it is a great SOCIAL tool, but for where I am at, I needed a break. I am always honest in my blogposts, people know so much about my life by reading about it. I do not mind, I chose to share. Since I can remember, people prophesied over my life that I will be a voice to the nations. This specific word gets me so excited, because I love words and love nations. I have seen how God has used me in nations already. I have seen how my presence was used by Him to change lives. It blesses my heart and I am standing in awe of Him.Then I got TB and my blog became my voice. I honestly shared my real experiences with you, the reader.

Recently I watched a video clip of Trevor Noah and Jerry Seinfeld. Two comedians having coffee. They made an interesting comment about how you can live your life in only your underwear. Everything is online now. Community, church and even buying food are online. Then Trevor Noah said something that stuck with me. He said that you can even protest online while being in your underwear, which sort of became a contradiction to what protesting is about. To protest, you need to stand actively against something and make your voice known. Today we protest by Facebook statuses or Twitter updates.

When I was just diagnosed with TB, I had to go to a TB hospital {which is a public hospital in South Africa. Medical aid does not cover TB treatment as it is to expensive.} TB is also a epidemic in our country and as a TB patient you are required by Law to register your disease. You then get a number and they track you. If you do not check in at your registered clinic for treatment EVERY week, they have people that will come and look for you. Very serious business as you can see.

Anyway, I was in this hospital to get registered, weighed and get my first week of treatment. As I was sitting in line waiting for my appointment, I sat next to a young mom and her 4 year old. You see, TB has a stigma and there are only a few certain people who further their studies in it. Unfortunately it is not always the people who speak the same language than their patients. In this case the nurse was Afrikaans and the patient’s mother was Xhosa. I then witnessed a very traumatic experience. Due to the language barrier another patient was asked to translate the afrikaans to xhosa.

This is how it works, you get three types of TB. DR which stands for Drug Resistant TB. You get treatment for it and survival rate is high. Then you get MDR TB that stands for Multiple drug resistant TB, treatment is available for it, but it is a minimum of 2 years of treatment that costs about R650 a day and it is excruciating. Survival rate is very low even after treatment.Then there is XDMR TB that stands for extreme drug resistant TB. They are in the process of discovering a treatment for it and survival rate is less than 2%. How it works is if you do not follow your treatment correctly for DR-TB the disease develops a resistance against treatment and becomes either MDR or XDMR. But both MDR and XDMR TB have now become diseases on its own. In other words, you can walk past someone that has MDR TB and you can then become affected by it, if they cough on you. You will then not start at the beginning with DR TB but will have MDR TB. It is a deadly disease that is airborne.

As the nurse was talking to the translator, my heart sank. The mother of the young patient cannot read and due to her not being able to read and understand how treatment works, her daughter’s treatment was at fault which caused MDR TB to become active. I basically watched how a young mother received a death sentence for her daughter.

Today I was reminded of this experience. Over the weekend someone mentioned how we live in a bubble. The truth is, we might think we make a difference by protesting on Facebook, and in a certain cases you do, but the real situations that need a voice of truth to bring a change, is not on Facebook. Again this weekend I watched a documentary about two teenagers who wanted to fight for freedom of speech in a closed of nation. They started a Facebook page to protest against it and soon there were a lot of followers. They mistakenly took this sudden fame as support for their cause and without thinking went to that country to make a difference, not prepared and not at all in the right light. Needless to say they soon got into a lot of trouble.

What is true in your environment, is not necessarily true in other areas. I hear people speak out against Doctors and it breaks my heart. In reality we as South Africans have the best medical trained people in the world. Just because we read a blog that is based on America’s reality does not mean it is the same in South Africa. People complain about the medical aid being to expensive. I have seen with my own eyes how desperate people are, who sit in those long lines at the public hospitals. They will give anything to have the same access to treatment than we do, yet we are not satisfied.The truth is we have become so bold on Facebook with our opinions and soon we have created a world that actually is in minority but we think our reality is the norm.

Back to me, I am called to be a voice to the nations. I do not know what it will look like and in the process I do not want to dish your walk. About 8 months ago I went on a different photography assignment. I went back to a TB centre and photographed their truth. My heart with this post is to encourage you. Yes, share it to bring awareness, but of you have a need to bring a voice to something like illiteracy, poor management of public funds,taking care of the poor or whatever stirs your heart, then I want to encourage you to get dressed and do something about it. Let us be the change that we have been called to be. R&L Troue LFP-2-2 tb1LFP_0020

Let’s take a step back

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” Matt. 5:3

I am writing this with the hugest smile on my face. I am trying my best to be all serious face, but the smile can’t keep away!

I have no reason why, I don’t have big news or had great weekend, in fact I was Mommy-vegetable the whole weekend. But the smile is there and I am happy.

Yesterday, while reading a book, with my feet on hubby’s lap as he was studying, I took a moment to get more comfortable , when this thought flashed through my head: ” You are loved.”

I looked at my pups, at my hubby and at my growing belly. These are all for me, from Him and I am grateful beyond words.

I listened to a Papa Bill sermon and one stage he said that it saddens him if someone has gone through a difficult time and not go deeper with their relationship with God. My hubby gets nervous excited when trails enter our world.

Please understand that not one of us want to experience difficult time. I remember how I wished every day past as I went through my treatment with TB. But my relationship with God went to a new level.

Did I grow in more wisdom or better understanding of this world? Did I get the answers of life? Nope, in fact, I was even more humbled by sickness, coming to a full conclusion that I actually do not have this thing called life under control. The old me would have hated to be “humbled”. We think it is a harsh thing to be humbled, but I found the opposite to be true.

During my absolute brokeness I discovered a depth of His Love that set me free. That is what being humbled means to me, freedom from your own efforts and into the Grace of His glory.

I learned to trust in Him and in the process discovered a Papa handing out comfort hugs and kisses.

The beauty of all of this, after the trail {which He did not send} these new revelations of Him are now part of my life.

I trust Him and I have come to realise not many know how. I can try and teach it, but that is the thing of moving in a relationship, it can not always be taught.

I once had a conversation with a fellow Bethel Student from England. She told me what it felt like to go home after being at a place in full revival. Everyone asked her to share what she learned. ” And you know what, Linda? They were all very disappointed with my answer. I told them that I learned that I am loved. ” I looked at her, knowing the depth of those words.

Being loved is amazing, knowing you are loved is powerful.

Let’s take a step back from this world and how it operates and lift our eyes to Him. Let us allow to be seen like He sees us and to see the world as He sees it.  Let us allow ourselves to be loved.

Have a lovely week!

Marriage and the Inner me

This Morning I woke up with a thousand thoughts running through my mind. They were all about marriage. Bill Johnson once said that God wants us to worship Him. He loves our hearts turned to Him. God is not a egocentric God that needs all worship to be about Him, but He knows that we as humans become what we Worship. And since He already made us One with Him, what greater gift can there be than to become like Him. This happens through worship. I love to worship.. I used to not like it, but I have tasted this good God and now I can’t get enough of Him. 🙂

Worship and marriage thoughts.. How do the link?

Stoffel and I once did a pre-marital counseling with a young couple who was about to get married. The young man came to us in the second session and told us that he finally knows how to have a happy marriage. He said that he watched this dvd about being selfless in the marriage. Once you become selfless and put your partner first, you will have a happy marriage. Very true I had to agree, just one thing. If you are trying to be selfless and put your partner first,in the process of trying to be selfless aren’t you putting yourself first? You see I tried that and soon I started to compare myself to Stoffel and got very frustrated. Giving with an ulterior motive never works.

In any battle we have, being inner focus is never the solution. Trust me, I am the self made inner focus queen! You have a problem, whether it is sin or whatever, and you so become consumed with this thing and trying to conquer it out of your own strength that you can’t seem to enjoy your life. You do pray, because we have been taught to pray about it, but still no relief. Does it mean God did not hear our prayers? Nope, He is a good Daddy, He hears our prayers. It just means that your problem has become bigger than your God. And because you so focus on the BIG problem you don’t get to see the little victories and celebrate them so according to you, your problem stays big and the evil cycle starts again.

It is way more fun to celebrate than to fight. That is what is worship is all about to me, to celebrate this big God. To celebrate someone brings tears to my eyes. I love it when someone close to me has a birthday, because then I can celebrate them!

This young man was maybe right. Not focusing on self is maybe the solution.. But trying not to focus on one self can be the problem. Flip the coin and start to celebrate. Worship helps you to celebrate other people, because as I said in the beginning, you start to think like Jesus if you start to worship Him.. because what your worship is what you become. Jesus loves to celebrate and value people!!

How does this all fit into marriage? I once stood in my kitchen very frustrated with my man. I was in the middle of this selfless route. I prayed to God and asked Him to please help me because I seem not to be able to cope. I then heard God say to me : ” You enjoy Stoffel and I will focus on this marriage.” I started to do that. I started to celebrate and enjoy my man and soon our marriage was smooth sailing!

We have a marriage course coming up in April and this is what we do at our marriage course. The course is set up for you and your spouse to come back into connection or go even deeper into a connection on all levels of your marriage.

What about us who have kids? Will we be able to learn from you since you don’t have kids? Yes, because the course is set up to focus on the connection that you have with your spouse. It is designed to lift your eyes from your busy schedules and see each other again, to celebrate each other again.

I can answer all the questions I receive regarding this, but at the end, the best is for you to decide if you want to come. All I can say is that I am very happily married! 🙂

For more info on our course please go to http://www.calibretraining.wordpress.com