How rich are you? >>
Humbling & putting things into a very personal perspective…
How rich are you? >>
Humbling & putting things into a very personal perspective…
In the tradition of the past months/year, once again a season of solitude in the holy dwelling of the Lord. It’s the season of Lent, a season of fasting, praying, sacrificial giving & preparing for all that is yet to come. 40 days, a period God has often used in biblical times to transform individuals & communities. Examples? Noah’s 40 days on the Arc, Moses’ 40 days on Mt Sinai, Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness.
There are a million & one interpretations & traditions surrounding Lent, most of them way too religious/ritualistic for my spirit. But I think this post captures quite well the essence of Lent from my point of view:
So here we are, looking at Lent, wondering what it means and what we should be doing. There are many answers to this question. Good answers, answers steeped in tradition. But if we look at Lent in terms of the 40 day sojourns of Noah, Moses, Elijah, and Jesus, we can find a new meaning to Lent and in it a new purpose, and a new discipline.
First, repent, turn away from your sins. Leave them behind. Don’t dwell on them; don’t wallow in them, just walk away from them.
Second, hear the voice of God saying to you, “You are my beloved child; in you I am well pleased.” Know in your heart that God has claimed you; that God loves you; that God accepts you. Know that for the truth and that truth will set you free.
Use these 40 days of Lent to examine and to ask yourself who you are, and what does God intend for you. Are you here for your own self interest? To meet your own needs, seek your own power, raise yourself up? Or are you here to meet God’s needs? To meet the needs of others, to bring power to others, to raise others up?
Renew yourself in covenant with God. Rededicate yourself to God.
If you do this, if you use Lent in this way, you will be ready to go out and tell the Gospel, to work miracles in the lives of those around you, to bring peace and healing to a world in so much need of peace and healing.
You will be ready to face the pain and the passion of Good Friday.
You will experience the wonder of Easter in a new way.
You will be lifted up.
I did not plan to do any proper Lenten fast until God reminded me of the word He had given me months ago, a word that I was reluctant to follow ever since. I cannot resist this word any longer as I had to realise that I will get nowhere on the long run if I don’t make it through this experience He is offering me.
I know, it’s all very cryptic right now but it is a very personal & spiritual issue between God & me alone. I will share steps of the way when the time is right.
I will post whenever I can during the next weeks leading up to Easter but I can’t promise anything. Will share some great music & recipes & other microblogging things though. Ok? Ok.
Something random to end on:
I am sitting here drinking the worst juice I’ve probably ever made. Red grapefruits & cabbage. No kidding! It was late when I had my juicing high & juiced like four different juices at once. Don’t try this at home, kids. & don’t be fooled by its beautiful pink colour, this juice is out to get you!
You cannot believe how excited I am about this news!
Mos Def will open the 10th Cape Town International Jazz Fest that takes place on the 3rd & 4th of April. Can you believe this?
I so have to make it to CT for that weekend cos besides Mr Black Jack Johnson there’ll also be Zap Mama, Hugh Masekela, Maceo Parker, Jonathan Butler & 340ml – plus 30odd more folks. I will so live on music for that one weekend!
Googling for more info on the gig, I came across this site where you can legally download Mos Def’s “Life in Marvelous Times” from his upcoming album “The Ecstatic”. It won’t be on there forever & it’s really, really legal, folks!
Btw: Am I the only one who thinks that “The New Danger” & “True Magic” were real hiphop jewels?
As mentioned in the comments, Mos Def will perform in Joburg on Thursday 9 April at Carfax Loaded. A lot of hiphop heads seemed very disappointed by his show in CT cos he def went the rocky way instead of the good ole hiphop classics. So, don’t come with wrong expectations…
Oh, btw: damage is R250 at Computicket & R300 at the door…
Posted in Music, Once every blue moon: Events, Sounds & Syllables | Tagged 340ml, cape town, cape town international jazz fest, events, festival, hugh masekela, jazz, jonathan butler, maceo parker, mos def, music, music download, south africa, zap mama | 4 Comments »
I know, I promised to share my foodlog for these past days but it has to wait another couple of days, just too much to do.
So let me just share a quick random note with you guys:
I am having a horrible, horrible chick flick time. It is very hard for me to admit that but I have to come to terms with it myself. Am trying to live up to the intellectual standards that I set for myself & stick to Juno as well as Lars & The Real Girl (btw: one of the few films ever that made me laugh & cry at the same time).
… that just doesn’t do it for me anymore. I need romance, I need tears & screams & “I can’t live without you”-moments. I need the whole package. I am so falling for Hugh Grant movies at the moment. Please, please, PLEASE don’t tell anyone. Ever. From Four Weddings & a Funeral to About a Boy, Notting Hill and Bridget Jones. I think it’s the British thingy but don’t nail me on it – and don’t overanalyse it.
Anyway, the latest Grantbuster I watched is Music & Lyrics with Drew Barrymore. Nice chick flick, exactly what I needed right now. Not too testing, not too unsettling, just… nice.
Had to share this one line with you cos it surprised me with its subtle humour. Context so doesn’t matter in this case. So, here it goes:
Come, I wanna show you the roof. It’s upstairs.
[Post # 50 – of course it had to be “deep”, i.e. deeply personal. But, hey, I know that only those who truly care will read through all of this!)
The first time I set foot on South African soil was exactly two yrs ago at the beginning of February 2007. I had chosen Johannesburg for a semester abroad as the initial plan had been to visit boyfriend X’s family over here with him. Well, boyfriend X & I broke up before I even embarked on my journey. Still, in retrospective I can see that God just had to get me to this place, no matter how. So even boyfriend X played an important role in God’s plane for me & at the end I am grateful for his infidelity.
Shortly thereafter I started to read the Scriptures. Initially because I got into a discussion with a close believer friend of mine & I wanted to find evidence of the racist & sexist nature of the bible, a belief I upheld without ever reading more than two verses in a row.
What I found was truth. What I found was peace. What I found was identity.
It took me awhile to get ready for being born again. In the six months leading up to it, I studied the Word, I prayed, I had fellowship at His People on campus. I grew in Christ. But I wasn’t ready yet to give up smoking weed (which had become a more regular habit in SA), drinking in company, cursing, fornicating. God was patient with me (He still is).
I got born again in August 2007, it changed my life. Indeed I died & Christ became alive within me. The world around me thought I’ve lost my mind & myself but it was actually the first time I experienced true freedom. I will be ever grateful to God for calling me, waiting on me & welcoming me in His kingdom with open arms. The love He is constantly pouring out over me has become the essence of my being. There are no words to describe the joy I feel for this.
I went back to Germany for three months as the new self in October 07. It was an experience of loneliness, I felt isolated but at the same time I had such a blissful time with Christ, spending hours praying & meditating, having visions, interceding, inhaling the word. I had a new reality & that reality was so much more fulfilling than anything the world could over me.
Now, I am back in South Africa, back in Joburg for the third time. The last months weren’t easy & I’ve felt something limiting my spirit for quite a while now. Deep within I knew what it was, deep within I knew for months what I had to do. But being here all by myself, I held on to relationships & communities out of the fear to be totally alone so far away from what has been called my “home” for so long. I suffocated my spirit, I limited God in my life. I wasn’t true to myself.
Why do I share all this?
Last week has been a week of fully finding back to myself, fully putting God within me at the centre of my being – again. Last week I cut ties. Strong ties. I chose to be by myself again rather than being surrounded by others and losing myself in the masses.
I had to realise that despite of what I know to be true & relevant to my strength, passion, purpose & determination, somewhere along the way I had stopped loving myself before all else. And when I say “myself”, it always implies God too as I am nothing but His vessel & a reflection of His glory.
This week, I said “no” for the very first time to the one I deeply love. It was such a painful moment but at the same time it was such a freeing experience. Somewhere along the way I had started to put loving him before loving myself.
This week, I had to leave the spiritual family I have been a part of ever since I’ve been reborn. It was such a dragging process to make an active decision against being part of this church but at the same time it was nothing but a sprint towards my Father. Somewhere along the way I had started to put my longing for belonging before my love for myself.
These two cuts had been necessary for quite some time. I couldn’t stand my sight for months now. I couldn’t stand how I needed so much time praying for myself – time that could have been used to pray for others – & then still being mute to the answers God gave me. I couldn’t stand how I put the words others spoke over my life before the words God spoke over my life, a life that belongs to Him alone. I had to come home to my Daddy & to myself.
You know these moments where you cannot look at yourself in the mirror for you know that you are so far away from where you are supposed to be, you have become so estranged from yourself?
My mirror is too big to be covered, believe me, I tried it. Literally.
At the end, we have no other option than being true to our spirits. No matter what we have to give up in order to pursue it, there is no greater pain than being apart from yourself. & there is no greater joy than discovering bits & pieces of light in yourself & recognising God in all the different shades of it. Life is a kaleidoscope we only have to view from the right angle.
I am glad to be reunited with myself again. I am so glad! It will take a couple of days or weeks to fully get acquainted to me again but I can transform this into a beautiful time: A first date, flowers; a picnic, poems; a deep look into a mirror, a smile, a kiss on the forehead, an embrace and a long walk along the river of living waters.
I’ve never fallen out of love with myself. But it feels so good to express this love once again.
[Why this video? It is very random & abt a year old. For me, it is just a reminder of the way God sees me, of the way He wants me to shine & glow & be truly myself.]
Posted in From the Inside Out: Spirit & Self, Time to Bloom: Fleur's everyday good | Tagged born again, chantal-fleur sandjon, christianity, cinn sandjon, my life, scripture, spiritual growth, spiritual healing | Leave a Comment »
This is totally, totally random but…
… I’ve got a cricket in my living room downstairs!
I identified the position of said cricket as underneath the TV table. I fled upstairs to google crickets (the same way I fled upstairs last week after encounter with small scorpion in front of my door – google told me then that one actually does not die from most scorpion stings, the pain could be treated with morphine. Uhm, yay.).
This is what I found out:
The left forewing of the male has a thick rib (a modified vein) which bears 50 to 300 ridges. The chirp (which only male crickets can do) is generated by raising their left forewing to a 45 degree angle and rubbing it against the upper hind edge of the right forewing, which has a thick scraper. This sound producing action is called stridulation and the song is species-specific.
There are four types of cricket song: The calling song attracts females and repels other males, and is fairly loud. The courting song is used when a female cricket is near, and is a very quiet song. An aggressive song is triggered by chemoreceptors on the antennae that detect the near presence of another male cricket and a copulatory song is produced for a brief period after successful deposition of sperm on the female’s eggs.
(…) Crickets have relatively powerful jaws, and have been known to bite humans, mostly without breaking the skin. The bite can, however, be painful when inflicted on sensitive skin such as the webbing between fingers.
So, ya, I tried to identify the chirping. It is fairly loud, at least to my ear. I would not categorise it as “aggressive” per se. & I am really, really glad that, due to it’s duration, it cannot be a copulatory song!
However, my amateur cricket song identification leaves me with a calling song. Kinda scary, isn’t it? I mean, what if there are a dozen lady crickets out there that don’t just wanna answer to the song but come by for a chat or even more. Will my living room soon be the location of a massive cricket orgy? & if so, will they have the munchies afterwards and jump up the stairs to come & have a bite – of me? Will Amore, the rottweiler, who I had to leave behind sleeping downstairs, fully unaware of the immediate danger she is in right now, will she make it through the night or will I wake up, walk down the stairs & nothing but a bunch of bones will be left of her? Is this the end of my African Dream?