Monthly Archives: July 2012

Negative news = negative thoughts


It was interesting to listen to the conversation on Jacaranda FM this morning.  They were debating whether watching violent movies could move you to violent behaviour.  I have my opinion and I am sure many will have a different opinion.  But it made me think of something I experienced the last week.

For years I have listened to the news on the radio on the way to work or on the way home.  I like to know what is happening in my world.  But a couple of months ago, I began to read the news on my iPad.  And I started to read more and more news daily.  News24.  Beeld.  Mail and Guardian.  And in between all of that the tweets of people who made it their job to watch what is happening in South Africa.

The more I read about farm murders, the more fearful I became.  The more tweets I read of about the genocide of whites in South Africa, the more paranoid I became.  Every time there is news about Mandela’s health, I hold my breath, fearful of Uhuru.

Finally last week I realised that the news was stealing my joy.  I was no longer happy to be alive, I was afraid of being murdered.  The negative stuff I was reading, was making me negative.  I decided to quit reading the news.  I am back to just the bare basics on radio.  Those that tweet negatively, I have unfollowed.  I am no longer interested in their paranoia.

Suddenly I understood the scripture in Philippians 4:4-9

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything,  but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice.   And the God of peace will be with you.

I don’t have to be anxious.  I must just rejoice in Jesus.  His peace is far better than the depressing news.  Instead of reading news, I now rather spend more time in the Word, filling myself with the promises of God.

Philippians 1:21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain!


Trash to Masterpiece


I found her on a pile of rubbish, soon to be dumped.  She was an ugly shade of green.  Her owner couldn’t believe her ears when I asked if I could have her.  Her previous owner thought she was useless, ugly and worthless.  I saw something she didn’t see.  Potential.So I took her from the rubbish and kept her in the storeroom for a while.  Every now and then I would look at her, wondering what she will become.  And then one day, I knew.  The project started.

I sprayed her matt black.  My husband cut a board just the right size.  The board got painted white.  For a few days I was walking the isles in the shops, looking for just the right serviette or rice paper.  It had to be special.  Finally I found it.  Pictures of women’s faces with different hats on.  Perfect.  The cutting took a long time.  Each face had to be cut out separately and delicately – the paper was so fragile.  One by one I decoupaged the faces onto the board.  Finally a few layers of podge to seal them all and a layer of varnish for protection.

My husband took over again.  He fitted the board and gave it a border.  He got hooks and screwed them in between the faces.  Finally the moment arrived and he hung her on the wall.


What was once a piece of trash because the most beautiful jewellery frame.

I looked at her again yesterday and I heard the whisper of God’s voice.  There are many people on the rubbish pile of life.  Maybe you feel worthless.  Maybe other people think you are worthless.  Maybe you have failed in something and you just don’t have the strength to try again.  Maybe you let somebody down and you feel so bad.  Maybe somebody let you down and you feel neglected.

God can change all of that.  He is known to create a masterpiece out of trash.  Moses wasn’t worth much.  He stuttered and he murdered a man.  Yet God created a masterpiece of faith strong enough to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.    David was an adulterer and yet he turned out so well – God referred to him as ‘a man of my heart’.  Mary was an ordinary girl.  There is nothing in the Bible suggesting that she was anything special, yet God chose her to carry His Son.

God can change your circumstances.  God can change you.  If you seek His face, He will create a masterpiece on which He can hang His jewellery of grace and salvation!

from trash to masterpiece

A jewellery frame to keep the valuables sorted

Unseen treasures




A man was exploring caves by the seashore. In one of the caves he found a canvas bag with a bunch of hardened clay balls. It was like someone had rolled clay balls and left them out in the sun to bake.

They didn’t look like much, but they intrigued the man, so he took the bag out of the cave with him. As he strolled along the beach, he would throw the clay balls one at a time out into the ocean as far as he could.

He thought little about it, until he dropped one of the clay balls and it cracked open on a rock. Inside was a beautiful, precious stone!

Excited, the man started breaking open the remaining clay balls. Each contained a similar treasure. He found thousands of dollars worth of jewels in the 20 or so clay balls he had left. Then it struck him.

He had been on the beach a long time. He had thrown maybe 50 or 60 of the clay balls with their hidden treasure into the ocean waves. Instead of thousands of dollars in treasure, he could have taken home tens of thousands, but he had just thrown it away!

It’s like that with people. We look at someone, maybe even ourselves, and we see the external clay vessel. It doesn’t look like much from the outside. It isn’t always beautiful or sparkling, so we discount it. We see that person as less important than someone more beautiful or stylish or well known or wealthy. But we have not taken the time to find the treasure hidden inside that person.

There is a treasure in each and every one of us. If we take the time to get to know that person, and if we ask God to show us that person the way He sees them, then the clay begins to peel away and the brilliant gem begins to shine forth.

May we not come to the end of our lives and find out that we have thrown away a fortune in friendships because the gems were hidden in bits of clay. May we see the people in our world as God sees them