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Surrendering

“We admitted that we were powerless over our problems-that our lives had become unmanageable”.

Recovering from our problems always starts by admitting defeat. When it comes to alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling, hurts, hang-ups, habits or whatever the problem may be, whether we are trying to control someone else’s bad habits or our own, healing starts when we come to terms with the absolute reality that we are powerless; powerless over people, places and things. Our problems are real and we can’t break free from it by ourselves.

We have tried to convince ourselves many times over that our willpower is strong enough only to realize that it isn’t. We have convinced ourselves that we don’t need a program, God or anyone else to help us. We have had periods of sanity, but invariably we fail and we continue down the spiral. We have blamed people, places and things for all our troubles and misfortunes crafting a perfect way to avoid the truth of our own powerlessness. If the problem was someone else fault, or something that we had no control over then he or she or it is the key to fixing our problems. We have always wanted other people and things around us to get fixed first. But by isolating ourselves and trying to control everything around us we have destroyed many or most of our precious relationships. We were filled with pride and it will destroy us.

When we accept that we are powerless, and admit that we can’t fight this war by ourselves, we will discover the glorious paradox of surrendering-putting up the white flag; handing the battle over, admitting defeat.

We must believe and have hope! Surrender makes it possible for us to feel hope. By admitting and accepting our own powerlessness, we open our minds and hearts to an entirely new idea: the possibility that something greater than ourselves is powerful enough to relieve us of our obsessions and compulsions and that gives us hope. It’s our new starting point. It is a path that holds the key to more power and direction than we have on our own. It elevates us from where we are to where we want to go. We have tried to do what is right on our own but we couldn’t. We know we can’t do this by ourselves .This doesn’t happen overnight for anyone. It is fearful and scary, and that’s normal. We wouldn’t have been human if we didn’t feel this way.

Trying to get over our habits and hang ups on our own is impossible. There are many reasons for this but one of them is that part of our current make-up causes us to deny the truth about who we are and what our situations are truly like. It causes us to stay stuck in denial and it protects us from seeing what our lives have turned out to be.

Rigorous honesty is required, we have to surrender. When we do this we unlock the door to healing. Our battle will be over but it has to come from us wholeheartedly. There is no shame in admitting our powerlessness over our problems. It’s a brave and honourable thing to do. People that live in victory know when to fight and know when to surrender. This is our time to surrender. It is a daring admission but it has to be made now. It is not easy but let me assure you it’s easier to do before it’s too late. The consequences of our actions have brought us to this place. We have a choice.

Healing will not be possible unless we admit our own powerlessness. It’s time to stop justifying our behaviour and come to terms with reality. When we have been beaten, we become willing.

 

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Encouragement

My friend we have just arrived back from the Drakensberge creating awareness for a campaign called “Keeping God in Schools”. I believe we were highly successful and I want to thank each and every person and organization that were involved and continues to support us on this on-going campaign. As you probably know we are fighting a gigantic battle in court to keep Christian practises in public schools. I did however have an enormous revelation during our travels and I would like to share it with you.

God is not like us; He doesn’t ever try to be what He is not. He doesn’t have to prove anything to anyone, that’s why He is God. His self-esteem is of such perfect nature that He travels invisibly. He is not a show off and only He has the power and authority to establish or remove Himself when or where He sees fit. God is always ok, and whatever happens, His plan is perfect. Whether the government succeeds in removing Christian practises from schools, they will never be able to remove Him.

There are so many things hidden behind our well-orchestrated masks that make people believe we are actually okay. We try and prove things to ourselves and other people to make us feel wanted and needed. We hide our anger, insecurities and our fears and we cover our motives. We don’t want other people to see them. We don’t want them to see our skeletons because we believe people will not accept us for who and what we are if we drop our masks. Who are we trying to fool? God knows who we are, and we have to allow Him to sparkle up our cupboards as to make space for Him to come live there.  When we do this, we will experience a relief and a freedom only He can provide. We will realize that the skeletons were actually harmless. We were afraid for nothing.

Cry if need be. Men and woman that cry is a very powerful force, it shows courage and bravery. It breeds humility and connects us to one another. It makes us human. It is as natural as birth itself. The sooner we let the hurt out, the sooner we can smile again.

Though we have often failed in life, made bad decisions, and not following Gods will, we are certainly not lost. On the contrary, we are very much found. He has found us. If a shepherd loses a sheep, does he not leave the rest and go after it? Does he not rest only after he finds it? And does he not celebrate his find? We are the most important beings that He has ever created. He made us in His image. He is the Creator of heaven and earth and together we can do anything! Nothing in life is impossible, nothing! Our only limitation, within reason, lies in the development of our imaginations and our beliefs. If we can dream it and believe it, we can do it! Most assuredly God says: “If you believe in Me, the works that I do you will also do, and greater works than these you will do!”

I love the knowing that your greatest victory is yet to come! You and God are a team, never forget that! He wants to thunderbolt you on the road towards your true calling; a life of purpose, pleasure, true abundance and prosperity. It will however require devotional seeking and a fearless commitment. This is the road less travelled; the road less known to wiser men and it’s the only guaranteed path towards your eternal reward.

This might probably be the single most overwhelming and awe-inspiring divine experience you could ever wish to have. This is the boulevard en route for Christ likeness. His Son will set you free, the Truth always does. We have a great responsibility and responsibility requires action. Faith without works is dead, and there’s a lot of work to be done. But life will never give you more than what you and God together can’t handle. So be strong and of good courage! He is with you all the way. All we need to do is obey Him.

 

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WHEN A PROBLEM TURNS INTO A CALLING

 

I had my daily reading this morning and I would love to share it with you! It is from a little book called “Today God is First” written by Os Hillman.

WHEN A PROBLEM TURNS INTO A CALLING

“As for the donkeys you lost three days ago, do not worry about them; they have been found. And to whom is all the desire of Israel turned, if not to you and all your father’s family”-1 Samuel 9:20

SAUL AND HIS SERVANT were out seeking his father’s lost donkeys. This was symbolic of the waywardness of the nation of Israel. The people of Israel had just asked the prophet Samuel to have a king rule over them. This saddened God greatly, yet God granted their request.

Saul and his servant heard of a man of God named Samuel. “Perhaps this man of God can tell us where to find our donkeys,” said the servant. Isn’t that just like us? We seek God to solve the issues related to material life. Saul was about to receive the greatest opportunity of his lifetime. He was about to be crowned as King of Israel. His life would never be the same. What was he concerned about? His donkeys. We don’t have to be worried about the material things of life if we are about the things He’s called us to do.

God called Saul to be the next king in order to free the people from the Philistines. God sent a messenger, the prophet Samuel, to inform him of his new career. The messenger also had to ease his mind about the donkeys. Donkeys often represent commerce in the Bible. They were the primary means of transporting goods; therefore, in essence, what was Samuel saying to Saul? He was saying, “You don’t need to worry about your business if you respond to the call of God on your life. All the material things will take care of themselves.”

Jesus said the same thing to the disciple’s years later. “But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33)

When God calls us, it often involves making major adjustments in our lives. Saul went from one kind of business to another. He went from working for his father to being a king. What changes is God calling you to make today in order to join Him in His work.

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Getting quiet

It’s time I started being nicer to myself. The voices inside my head shouts out I am not good enough, not worthy enough and not smart enough do NOT speak the truth; they merely reflect the damaged self-esteem that results from living a life of destructive behaviour and being exposed to dysfunctional family and social systems. When I get quiet and really listen to what my Creator wants to say to me, I realize I have the power to tell these voices to be quiet. I will no longer be a slave to negative and destructive thoughts. I possess the authority through Christ my saviour to overcome anything that is not from God. We have inside of us what Jesus Christ had inside of Him. We must just believe it.

Thoughts turn into beliefs and beliefs turn into convictions. It took me years to wake up to the fact that most of my beliefs about myself were built upon lies. What I thought and felt about myself was what I chose to believe. Those choices almost killed me.

Today I choose to believe what God says about me. My recovery from drugs and alcohol and my relationship with our Father has given me a gentler and loving idea of myself. God is the only one who has the authority to say what I am and what I am not. He is after all my Creator. Only the Creator knows who and what I am and why I am here. He has brought me to a place of being. I feel so relieved knowing that God has the final say, not people.

I have learned to love myself in small ways. I have learned to set proper boundaries, especially with family and I have learned to say no. I can treat myself to small things and give myself the gift of living life one day at a time. I don’t need to take on the world’s problems anymore. God wants us to be human “beings”, not human “doings”. Good ideas are not always God ideas and I have found that sometimes God wants us to do nothing. He wants us to rest and trust in Him to take over. I am not saying we must lie around and do nothing, but if I think about it, I am mostly powerless over 90% of the things I worry about. We don’t need to fear anymore. We have the right to love ourselves selflessly. The best way to help other people is often to help ourselves first. A dead leader running has no use to anyone.

When I get quiet and I open my mind to the stillness of His whisper, I can begin to hear and see all the other wonderful sounds and colours that so lovingly prod at the door of my soul. It’s time to open the door and welcome love.

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To Like or not to Like

To Like or not to Like

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I apologize profusely for not sending you some inspiration on Thursday. I was at the Kyknet Silwerskerm Festival in Cape Town and things were just a bit crazy. I was blessed enough to be part of two Film productions that did very well. “Dis ek, Anna” won numerous awards and “Verskietende Ster” walked away with “Audience Favourite.” “Dis ek, Anna” will premier in October on the big screen and Verskietende Ster April next year. It was really awesome seeing friends, acquaintances and work colleagues from the industry. Some of them I haven’t seen for years and it was really great catching up.

I like people. I am a people’s person. I enjoy chatting and networking with as many people as possible. There was a time in my life I wanted everyone to be my friend. With the best of intentions, I tried to encourage friendships with certain individuals, although my attempts were repeatedly, discreetly rejected. I wanted everyone to like me and couldn’t understand when some people didn’t like me. I couldn’t handle the fact that certain people didn’t like me for no reason at all. It used to freak me out. I would become a people pleaser and lose my own voice.

It took years for me to understand that we were not born to like everyone. Even my parents at some point disliked me so badly that they couldn’t tolerate me for a second. That didn’t mean they didn’t love me. I have learned that while I can’t have everyone’s friendship, I can offer and receive respect, support and understanding. I have worked with many actors that I respect tremendously and they respect me, but somehow we have never solidified a friendship. We were not created to relate to everyone. I have accepted the fact that we all have our own journey. When people don’t like me for any reason, I have realised that it has nothing to with me and everything to do with them. What others think of me is none of my business anyway. What I think of me and what God thinks of me, that is my business.

I can’t change other people; I can only change my own attitudes. I can let go of my rules about how others should feel about me. When I am disappointed in another’s response, I can make an extra effort to be kind, warm, and loving to myself. I am ok just the way I am.

“To love oneself selflessly is the beginning of a lifelong romance”-Oscar Wilde

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“Just for today I will have a quiet half hour all by myself and relax.”

How simple it sounded until I tried to do it. Switching off and becoming still is probably one of my greatest challenges. I try and wake up every morning a half hour earlier to spend time with God but I often fail miserably-thirty quiet minutes out of my day were sometimes not doable. I used to feel like a failure and was left with feelings of guilt and self-loathing when I couldn’t honour my own commitment, but today things are different. I believe God wants us to come to Him because we want to, not because we feel we have to. Five minutes of quality time with God is a lot more conducive than thirty minutes of forced dialogue when everything around me seems chaotic.

Amazingly, quiet time with God restores me to sanity. It is through these times with myself, much of which is spent in prayer and listening to Gods voice, that I find peace and power within me. As a result I have learned over the years to tolerate and even enjoy my own company. I am at a point in my life where I am completely at peace with being alone and spending time with myself. I even talk to myself and laugh at all the ridiculous things going on in my head. I know that I am never alone, Christ is always with me.

Now, no matter what is going on in my life, I make time every day to get a better perspective on my life, and who better to do it with than Jesus. Even if I can stop the wheels from turning for even a few moments, God can take charge and steer me in the right direction. By sitting quietly in the midst of the storm, I find that I am never alone. With patience and a little perseverance, God always sends what we need.

“Take rest; a field that has rested gives a beautiful crop”-Ovid.

Thank you for allowing me to sow into your life. If you haven’t been to our website in a while please do so www.hopeinaction.co.za and tell as many of your friends and family about us. God is moving and changing this country for the better. In the next four months Hope In ACTion will be running a campaign with Afriforum to assist them with the necessary awareness concerning “Keeping God in Schools.” As you probably know Afriforum has been fighting a massive court case against a secular organization called “O God” who’s only mission is to remove Christian practices from our public schools. The court case is costing millions and your support will be greatly appreciated

If you feel like supporting this cause please Sms “BERG” and your NAME to 38313 and donate R10.00

I hope you have a lovely week. Always remember to seek wholeheartedly, serve fervently and love unconditionally! I send you happy thoughts and joyous smiles!

 

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Recognition

 

 

How often I look outside of myself for approval:

My speaking gigs are often not as exciting when no one compliments the speaker. The meal I fix at home for my lovely wife Melissa is not as tasty when no one compliments the cook and of course the part I played in my next Oscar winning performance wasn’t recognised with a standing ovation.

I often resent the things I do for others when they neglect to thank me or praise me. I have found that one of the hardest things in life is to do our part and not get found out. Think about it for a second; we love positive affirmation but we feel wrecked and apart from without it.

We all need the occasional pat on the back. It feels good when people praise our work and our abilities. There is nothing wrong with that, but when the applause of others becomes the reason for my behaviour and necessary for me to feel satisfied, then I have given them power over me. It’s exactly at that point when we start doing things with dishonest motives and we lose sight of our obedience towards God. We become self-centred and life becomes all about us.

People may forget to notice the terrific things that we have done or may not be comfortable praising us. We don’t have to take it personally. Self-pity and resentment are not our only options. If we can learn to evaluate our own actions and behaviours and to value our own judgement, then the approval of others will be enjoyable, but no longer essential to our serenity. Today when someone praises me for a great performance or a wonderful sermon, I ask them; “What part of the message did you like the most?” If they can’t answer me, I know that their lip service was only part of their flattery for favour. Who cares what others think, it’s none of our business anyway. If we act in obedience, some might never like what we have to say or do, but as Carl Jung said: “Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart”

My challenge to you is do something extraordinary nice to the person that likes you the least, and NEVER get found out, EVER! See how difficult that is. Christianity 303!

Thank you for allowing me to sow into your life. If you haven’t been to our website in a while please do so www.hopeinaction.co.za and tell as many of your friends and family about us. God is moving and changing this country for the better. In the next four months Hope In ACTion will be running a campaign with Afriforum to assist them with the necessary awareness concerning “Keeping God in Schools.” As you probably know Afriforum has been fighting a massive court case against a secular organization called “O God” who’s only mission is to remove Christian practices from our public schools. The court case is costing millions and your support will be greatly appreciated

If you feel like supporting this cause please Sms “BERG” and your NAME to 38313 and donate R10.00

I hope you have a lovely week. Always remember to seek wholeheartedly, serve fervently and love unconditionally! I send you happy thoughts and joyous smiles!

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