Be the best of whatever you are!

by Douglas Malloch

If you can’t be a pine on the top of the hill

Be a scrub in the valley

But be the best little scrub by the side of the rill

Be a bush if you can’t be a tree

If you can’t be a bush

Be a bit of the grass

And some highway some happier make

If you can’t be a muskie then just be a bass

But be the liveliest bass in the lake

We can’t all be captains

We’ve got to be crew

There’s something for all of us here

There’s a big work to do and there’s lesser to do

And the task we must do is the near

If you can’t be a highway

Then just be a trail

If you can’t be the sun

Be a star

It isn’t by size that you win or you fail

Be the best of whatever you are!

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Hoe lief jy jouself??

Dis Valentynsdag en dis die maand van liefde; en wanneer ons van ons kinders afgesny is, het ons al die liefde nodig wat ons kan kry!

For people who have been badly hurt, love seems a long way away.

Dis nie selfsugtig om jouself lief te hê nie. Ons weet nie altyd hoe nie, maar daar is maniere….

Kyk goed na jouself en pas jouself op

Wees medelydend en geduldig met jouself

Weet waar lê jou sterkte in tye van teenspoed

Wees teenwoordig in elke oomblik, moenie dat die lewe verby jou gaan nie

Deel elke dag ‘n bietjie geluk uit

Herinner jouself dat dit beter is om te gee as om te ontvang

En vier die liefde!

Gelukkige Valentynsdag vir almal!

Veral aan die Mammas, Pappas, Oumas en Oupas wat afgesny is van hul kinders en kleinkinders. Baie liefde vir julle xxx

Flora Campbell

“I have blotted out her name from my Bible, where her mother’s name is written and mine. She has wrought confusion, I have no daughter. But I loved her, she never knew how I loved her, for her mother would be looking at me from her eyes,” said Lachlan Campbell as he sits in silence in the shadow in church. “It is known to me that a young woman who has been a member of this church has left her home and gone into the far country. There will be no use in summoning her to appear before the session, for she will never be seen again in this parish. I move that she be cut off from the roll, and her name is—“ Lachlan’s voice broke, but in an instant, he recovered. “Her name is Flora Campbell.”

The minister took the old man’s arm, led him into the minister’s home, and set him in the big chair by the study fire. “With the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is plenteous redemption.”

Lachlan took a letter from his pocket with a trembling hand:

Dear Father,

When this reaches you I will be in London and not worthy to cross your door. Do not be always angry with me, and try to forgive me, for you will not be troubled any more by my dancing or dress. Do not think that I will be blaming you, for you have been a good father to me, and said what you would be considering right, but it is not easy for a man to understand a girl. Oh, if I had my mother, then she would have understood me and I would not have crossed you.

Forget my foolishness, but don’t forget me, and maybe you will still pray for me. Take care of the geraniums for my sake, and give milk to the lamb that you called after me. I will never see you again, in this world or the next, nor my mother….

Your unworthy daughter,

Flora Campbell

“This is a fiery trial, Lachlan, and I cannot even imagine what you are suffering,” said the minister. “But do not despair, for that is not the letter of a bad girl. Perhaps she was impatient and has been led astray. But Flora is good at heart, and you must not think she is gone forever.”

The minister walked with Lachlan to the foot of the hill on which his cottage stood. After they had shaken hands in silence, the minister watched the old man’s figure in the cold moonlight till he disappeared into the forsaken home, where the fire had gone out on the hearth, and neither love nor hope was waiting for a broken heart.

Everyone knew the tragedy of Flora Campbell and never opened their lips. They refused to pry into this secret. No one even looked as he sat alone in his pew or came down on a Saturday afternoon to the village shop for his week’s provisions. His hair has turned white in a month, and he’s away to nothing in his clothes. Anybody can see his heart is breaking. Everyone was helpless.

Mrs. Marget Howe met Lachlan in the shop and read his sorrow in a glance. She went home in great distress. “It was woesome to see the old man gathering his bit things with a shaking hand, and speaking to me about the weather, and all the time his eyes were saying, ‘Flora, Flora.’” So Mrs. Howe came round the corner of Lachlan’s cottage, and she found Flora’s plants laid out in the sun and her father watering them on his knees. One was ready to die.

“Lachlan, we both have been afflicted. I had a son, and he is gone. You had a daughter, and she is gone. I know where my son is, and am satisfied. But your sorrow is deeper than mine.”

Lachlan answered, “I will not speak of her. She isn’t anything to me this day. She has been a shame to her name.” So he opened the Bible, and there was Flora’s name scored with wavering strokes, but the ink had run as if it had been mingled with tears.

Mrs. Howe’s heart burned within her at the sight. “This is what you have done. You are an old man, and in sore travail, but you, Lachlan, have the greater shame. Just twenty years of age this spring, and her mother dead. No woman to watch over her, and she wandered from the fold, and all you can do is to take her out of your Bible. Woe is me if our Father had blotted out our names from the Book of Life when we left His house. But He sent His Son to seek us, and a weary road He came. I tell you, a man would not leave a sheep to perish as you have cast off your own child. You’re worse than Simon the Pharisee! Poor Flora, to have such a father!”

Lachlan sunk into a chair and cried. “God will have smitten the pride of my heart, for I was hard on my child, and I was hard on the minister, and there was none like me. The Lord has laid my name in the dust, and I will be angry with her. But she is the scapegoat for my sins and has gone into the desert. God be merciful to me, a sinner!”

So Mrs. Howe knew there and then it would be well with Lachlan again, and she wrote Flora a letter, beckoning her home to her father. Meanwhile, Lachlan cleaned and trimmed a lamp that was kept for show and had never been used; and set it in the window. And every night its light shone down the steep path ascending to Flora’s home.

Flora got the letter. Flora set her journey back home. A turn of the path brought her within sight of the cottage, and she saw the kitchen window was ablaze with light. She understood; and in the greatness of her joy, she ran the rest of the way. The dogs, who never forget nor cast off, were bidding her welcome with short, joyous yelps of delight. Her father, who had never even kissed her all the days of her youth, clasped her in his arms and sobbed out blessings over her head. Lachlan was carried with joy but was sadly dashed when he saw the signs of sore sickness on Flora’s face.

Later that night he went to his place of prayer and lay on the ground and cried, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, and spare her for Thy Servant’s sake. Take her not till she has seen that I love her. Give me time to do her kindness for the past wherein I oppressed her. Turn away Thy judgment on my harness, and let not the child suffer for her father’s sins.”

On her sickbed, Flora told Mrs. Howe the history of her letter. “It is weary to be in London and no one to speak a kind word to you, and I will be looking at the crowd that is always passing, and I will not see one kind face, and when I looked in at the lighted windows, the people were all sitting around the table, but there was no place for me. I was like a wounded deer and tried to hide, and I crept into the shadow of a church and wept. There was a service in the church, and this was the hymn: There is a fountain filled with blood. So I went in and sat down at the door. The sermon was on the prodigal son, but there is only one word I remember: ‘You are not forgotten or cast off,’ the preacher said. ‘You are missed.’ Then he said, ‘If you had a plant, and you had taken great care of it, and it was stolen, would you not miss it? Or if a shepherd was counting his sheep, and there was one short, does he not go out to the hill and seek for it? Or if a father had a child, and she left her home and lost herself in the wicked city, she will still be remembered in the old house, and her chair will be there.’ This word was ever in my ear, ‘missed,’ and I was wondering if God was thinking of me. Perhaps there may be a sign, and I went back to my room and saw the letter there. It was not long before I was on the train.”

Lachlan brought over the family Bible and opened it to the family register where his daughter’s name had been marked out. Then he laid it down before Flora and bowed his head on the bed. “Will you ever be able to forgive your father?”

“Give me the pen,” Flora said, and wrote the following:

FLORA CAMPBELL

Missed April 1873

Found September 1873

*********************

Ons het ‘n Goeie Herder aan ons kant.

Psalm 139:7-12 is my gunsteling psalm wat ek graag bid wanneer ek my dogters aan die Here opdra.

Waarnatoe kan hulle gaan waar U nie is nie?

Waarnatoe kan hulle wegvlug van U?

As hulle opklim na die hemel, dan sal U daar wees.

As hulle in die doderyk hul slaapmat oopgooi en gaan lê, dan sal U daar ook wees.

As hulle ver na die ooste vlieg of as hulle ver in die weste gaan woon, dan sal U ook daar vir hulle lei en hulle vashou.

As hulle sê die donker moet hulle toemaak, die lig rondom hulle moet donker word, dan is dit nie donker vir U nie. Vir U is die nag so lig soos die dag en donker is vir U soos lig.

‘n Onsterflike versiering

Vrou-wees is nie ‘n grap nie. Ouer word ook nie. Dit kom met soveel uitdagings en veranderinge, die hemel weet, om by te bly vandag is ‘n enorme taak! Dis ‘n crispy-besigheid dié want alles wat kan kraak, kraak; en alles wat kan plooi, die plooi.

Ek en Riaan volg elke week die mooimaak program, Glam Guru – “Mooimaak in ‘n botteltjie of buisie”, soos Hannon sal sê. Ek hou van sy programme, hy gee lekker mooimaak wenke wat prakties is vir elke dag se gebruik. Daar is deesdae ‘n hele paar sulke mooimaak programme wat meer goed behels soos suurstof inspuitings en chemiese afskilfering en laserbehandeling…. Dis nie vir my nie, maar ek haal my hoed af vir vroue wat kans sien daarvoor.

Maar as ‘n mens mooi dink daaroor en jy jouself die vraag afvra: Waarop maak jy staat om jouself mooi te laat lyk? Dan kom gedagtes na vore soos mooi klere, grimering, juwele, ‘n moderne haarstyl, akriel of gel naels met naelkuns op, getattoeërde wenkbroue, ens. Party van ons probeer ‘n gesonde leefstyl handhaaf, ander spandeer geld op skoonheidsprodukte en behandelings. Elke vrou het maar haar goedjies en grilletjies wat sy vir haarself doen om mooi te lyk.

Mooi was nog nooit lelik nie, maar maak dit regtig saak as ons uiterlike voorkoms dag na dag stadig besig is om te vergaan?

Ek glo dis die punt wat Petrus by die vroue in sy tyd probeer tuisbring het in 1 Petrus 3:4-5. Hulle het in die era van die Romeinse ryk geleef en in daardie tyd was vroue blykbaar baie behep met hulle hare. Glo dit of nie, maar hulle het toe ook al hare gekleur en hulle was lief daarvoor om pruike te dra, veral blonde pruike.

Nie dat daar enigsins iets verkeerd daarmee was nie. Petrus het nie gesê hulle mag nie so lyk nie. Hy het nie uiterlike versierings verbied, of gesê vroue mag nie hul hare mooi maak of juwele dra of mooi klere aantrek nie. Nee. Wat hy wel in sy brief aan medegelowiges probeer oordra het, is dat Christen-vroue se uiterlike versierings in matigheid behoort te wees. ‘n Christen-vrou se fokus en prioriteit behoort altyd op die versiering van die innerlike te wees, en nie die uiterlike nie. Vir Petrus was dít wat mense van buite af kon raaksien, nie ware skoonheid nie. Hy het ware skoonheid geag as dít wat van binne af uit kom: wie jy is, nie wat jy in ‘n spieël kan raaksien en optof nie.

In vandag se terme sou Petrus ook nie uiterlike versierings verbied het nie, maar hy sou wel by sy standpunt gebly en dit beklemtoon het dat ‘n vrou se mooiste eienskappe nie uiterlik van aard is. Haar innerlike versiering moet die bron van haar ware skoonheid wees:

Die onverganklike versiering van ‘n sagmoedige en stille gees….

Innerlike skoonheid is blywend. Niemand kan dit van jou af wegvat nie. Dit verouder nie. Dit kan nie vergaan of uitsterf nie. Inteendeel, onverganklike skoonheid raak net beter hoe ouer jy word. Soos goeie wyn; en goeie wyn het nie ‘n krans nodig nie, sê die spreekwoord. Innerlike skoonheid is baie meer waardevol as die dinge wat uiterlike skoonheid bevorder; en iets wat goed is hoef nie geprys te word nie.

Petrus beskryf die karakter van ware skoonheid as “‘n sagmoedige en stille gees”. Dit beteken om sag en vriendelik te wees. Beskeie. Om ‘n kalm en rustige gemoed te handhaaf. To be calm and self-controlled; not overanxious; but serene and spiritually mature (Amplified).

Dis ironies dat hierdie karaktertrekke nêrens vandag in ons kultuur aangemoedig of bevorder word nie…. En tog is dit baie kosbaar vir God.

Petrus se brief aan vroue duisende jare gelede, is vandag nog net so relevant. Ongeag die verskil in eras eeue uitmekaar, die beginsel staan vas soos God se Woord altyd vas bly staan: Mense oordeel volgens uiterlike voorkoms, maar die Here kyk na die binnekant.

Nie wat die mens sien, sien God nie, want die mens sien aan wat voor oë is, maar die Here sien die hart aan (1 Sam 16:7).

Hemelse Vader, ons kom voor U – nie net as vroue nie, maar ook as U dogters; en ons bring ook ons dogters en hulle dogters voor U. Gee dat ons nie spandabelrig sal wees en ons tyd en geld uitbundig sal spandeer op nuttelose en waardelose dinge nie; maar dat ons onsself sal beklee met die onverganklike wat die hart versier en ons sal mooi maak van binne af. Help ons om ons harte en ons denke in orde te kry en in lyn met U woord; sodat wanneer die versoekings ons wil oorval met gedagtes en begeertes na die maatstawwe van die wêreld daarbuite, dat ons die regte keuses sal maak. Amen

Versoekings lyk altyd aantreklik en mooi toegedraai in kortstondige beloftes van self-tevredenheid; self-liefde; self-voldaanheid; self-verheffing; self-bewondering…. Maar ons het nie hierdie dinge nodig om ons te klassifiseer nie. Die Here gee vir ons iets wat baie meer waardevol is; wat tydloos en onsterflik is: die onverganklike versiering vann sagmoedige en stille gees; en in Sy oë is dit die kosbaarste juwele wat ‘n vrou kan dra.

xxx

Amen & Koebaai

Ek kry vanoggend die stukkie op whatsapp en dit is so besonders. Mag dit vir iemand anders ook iets beteken xxx

Amen en koebaai…

Ek weet nie van jou nie, maar ek het twee soorte bid in my lewe: die een is sommer die gewone praat met God, geliefdes voor Sy voete lê, Hom aanbid vir Sy liefde en sorg, en dan opstaan en die dag voluit aanpak… En dan is daar die amen en koebaai bid. Daardie oggende wat jou bid nie woorde wil kry nie, en sommer net rou emosie is: verlang wat te veel word, vrees vir dinge wat wag, hartseer oor dinge wat gebeur het. En as mens so voor die Here ‘voel’, wil mens nie amen sê nie. Want amen voel partydae soos koebaai, so al asof jy en God julle eie koers gaan inslaan, tot die volgende gebed natuurlik. Op sulke dae klou jy wanhopig aan die Here vas, weet jy met kinderlike geloof dat die Here jou nie mag los nie. Nie op daardie oomblik nie. Nooit nie.

Iemand het eendag gesê dat mens soms moet bid, en ander kere net moet toelaat dat die Here jou liefhê… Op amen en koebaai dae, mag jy maar net stil by Hom sit en Hom vra om vir jou lief te wees. Op amen en koebaai dae, mag jy jou oë toemaak en in jou gedagtes voel hoe die Here jou styf vashou. Op amen en koebaai dae mag jy maar jou kop teen Sy bors laat sak, en jou huile huil. Op amen en koebaai dae maak dit nie saak of jy amen sê nie, want die Een wat jou naam in Sy handpalm geskryf het, het gesê: “Moenie bang wees nie (nie vir die hartseer van verlang na n geliefde nie, nie vir die spoke van die verlede of die uitdagings wat voorlê nie), want Ek is by jou. Altyd.”

Amen & Koebaai

Ek kry vanoggend die stukkie op whatsapp en dit is so besonders. Mag dit vir iemand anders ook iets beteken xxx

Amen en koebaai…

Ek weet nie van jou nie, maar ek het twee soorte bid in my lewe: die een is sommer die gewone praat met God, geliefdes voor Sy voete lê, Hom aanbid vir Sy liefde en sorg, en dan opstaan en die dag voluit aanpak… En dan is daar die amen en koebaai bid. Daardie oggende wat jou bid nie woorde wil kry nie, en sommer net rou emosie is: verlang wat te veel word, vrees vir dinge wat wag, hartseer oor dinge wat gebeur het. En as mens so voor die Here ‘voel’, wil mens nie amen sê nie. Want amen voel partydae soos koebaai, so al asof jy en God julle eie koers gaan inslaan, tot die volgende gebed natuurlik. Op sulke dae klou jy wanhopig aan die Here vas, weet jy met kinderlike geloof dat die Here jou nie mag los nie. Nie op daardie oomblik nie. Nooit nie.

Iemand het eendag gesê dat mens soms moet bid, en ander kere net moet toelaat dat die Here jou liefhê… Op amen en koebaai dae, mag jy maar net stil by Hom sit en Hom vra om vir jou lief te wees. Op amen en koebaai dae, mag jy jou oë toemaak en in jou gedagtes voel hoe die Here jou styf vashou. Op amen en koebaai dae mag jy maar jou kop teen Sy bors laat sak, en jou huile huil. Op amen en koebaai dae maak dit nie saak of jy amen sê nie, want die Een wat jou naam in Sy handpalm geskryf het, het gesê: “Moenie bang wees nie (nie vir die hartseer van verlang na n geliefde nie, nie vir die spoke van die verlede of die uitdagings wat voorlê nie), want Ek is by jou. Altyd.”