woensdag 29 september 2010

cookies fight

We had a cookies fight in our community meeting yesterday. There were 7 people, but only 6 cookies. One of the members of our community took 4 of the 6 cookies (for privacy reasons I won’t mention her name, but she knows who she is…). Two of the guys used physical force to try to prevent her from eating the cookies, but then she put 3 cookies in her mouth all at the same time! When the cookies were still in her mouth she began to feel guilty and she took the cookies out again. She then washed them with tap water and offered them to us. Then of course it was already too late because washing half eaten cookies with water doesn’t make them more appealing.
This cookie fight isn’t a great testimony for our community since the central theme of our community is social justice, which is all about dividing resources equally and sharing with each other…

zaterdag 25 september 2010

When storms come

What to hold on to and what to let go of...

Sometimes it feels as if a storm comes raging through my life, trying to mess up those things that I’m holding on to. It is then that my faith is tested…what do I really believe and can it survive the storm? Why do I follow God? Do I expect him to keep me safe from hurt? Will I still love and follow him when trouble comes and nothing makes sense?

I notice this tendency in myself to try to hold on to things that give me a sense of safety and security, things that give me the feeling that I’m in control. At the same time I notice that God lets things come into my life that start to shake everything I rely on. This becomes my battle with God, because I want him to stop doing that. I try to get his attention and tell him to make it stop, but it doesn’t stop… It is in those times that I start doubting his love and care for me.

It is in the storm that the dreams I have, start to fall apart. They are like broken glass on the floor. I kneel down and try to gather all the broken pieces and put them together again, as if I can fix it, but I can’t. They are broken and I can not mend them. How could God let this happen, isn’t He supposed to be a father who loves me, why doesn’t He help me?

Then I hear his voice: “Do you trust me?”

Do I trust him? Do I trust in his love for me? Do I trust that He is God, that He holds everything in his hands and that He knows what He’s doing? Do I trust that He can use everything in my life to bring out good… that He can weave together the broken pieces of my life and make something beautiful out of it? Do I trust that He cares? When evil is raging violently, when the ground is shaking and when all seems dark… will I trust him?

Do I want to hold on to dreams that will eventually crumble and die in my hands or do I dare to give them to God?

Then, when I finally let go, I can feel this deadly power that was trying to get a grip on me loose it’s strength. I can breathe again and God’s peace fills my heart.

"God, I will trust you."

“It is in His loving kindness that gradually shakes everything we’ve depended on for love, acceptance and security in this life, so that He alone remains our Anchor. That the things that cannot be shaken remain.” Author unknown

Song: "Surrender"

donderdag 16 september 2010

A love strong enough to hold me without cracking

I see the image of an angry child punching his/her father into the stomach with small fists. The father is standing still and he looks down at the child with compassion, while the child keeps punching him. When the child stops the father takes the child in his arms and holds him/her.

I wish there was such a person in my life. Someone whose love I knew I would not have to earn by always trying to behave the best way I can. Someone who would stay even when I would become angry and push him or her away. Someone who is reliable and trustworthy, someone to whom I can cry out all frustration, pain, discouragement and disappointment, without him or her becoming shocked and turning away. Someone whom I could scream at without this person screaming back. I wish I would know someone who would have such a strong love, a love which is strong enough to hold me without cracking. Someone who would be able to see through all of the anger and see the pain which is behind it, someone who would care. Someone who can help me believe that real love does exist and that it is not an empty balloon which will pop.

Something tells me that God loves in this way, but why is it so difficult to believe this. I want to cry out to God because I don’t understand why the evil in the world seems to be stronger then the goodness; why people who once wanted to follow God fall away; why it seems that no matter how much energy and prayer you put into something it can still come to nothing; why God sometimes leads through endless desserts; why following him can sometimes seem like a strive against all these forces which constantly try to pull you in the opposite direction; why it seems that after holding on for such a long time, letting go for just a little while can bring you back all the way to where you started, like the current pulling you back when you take time to breath; why we as humans are so stubborn and why it is so difficult for us to change; why do lies sometimes seem so real, while the truth stays hidden even after searching for it for a long time; why does following God sometimes feel like being lost in a labyrinth never knowing which turn to take, or what lies behind the next corner; why can God sometimes feel so close and then all of a sudden so far away; why, why, why….

God, will you still love me when I’m angry and don’t understand? Will your love stay with me even when I walk away? And when I’m tired of being angry and am letting go, will your arms be there to catch me or will you let me fall?

zaterdag 11 september 2010

Quiet voice

Lord, teach me to listen. The times are
noisy and my ears are weary with the
thousand raucous sounds which
continuously assault them.

Give me the spirit of the boy Samuel
when he said to Thee, "Speak,
for Thy servant heareth." Let me hear Thee
speaking in my heart. Let me get used to the
sound of Thy voice, that its tones may be
familiar when the sounds of earth die away
and the only sound will be the music of Thy
speaking. Amen.

- A. W. Tozer

woensdag 8 september 2010


While studying the Bible I've been noticing more and more how many times Jesus is being rejected. In the beginning there were lots of people following Jesus because of his miracles and because they thought he would free them from the Romans, but the more they got to know him and the more they learned of his message the more people got disappointed. It seemed that towards the end of his life there were only a few people following him and most of them deserted him and fled when he was facing his darkest hour.

The more you love the deeper it hurts when you are rejected and the purer your intentions are the more challenging it is when you are wrongly accused. Keeping this in mind while reading through the verses below, makes it heartbreaking for me to see what Jesus went through when He offered up everything to come to the earth and give his life for us to be free.


"For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. (John 5: 18,19)

For even his own brothers did not believe in him. (John 7:5)

Others replied, "No, he deceives the people." (John 7:12)

The Jews answered him, "Aren't we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?" (John 8:48)

At this, they picked up stones to stone him (John 8:59a)

"We know this man is a sinner." (John 9:24b)

Many of them said, "He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?" (John 10:19)

So from that day on they plotted to take his life. (John 11:53)

Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. (John 12:37)

Then all the disciples deserted him and fled. (Matthew 26:56b)

When Jesus said this, one of the officials nearby struck him in the face. (John 18:22)

"If he were not a criminal," they replied, "we would not have handed him over to you." (John 18: 30)

Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, "We have found this man subverting our nation. (Luke 23:1,2)

But it is your custom for me to release to you one prisoner at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to release 'the king of the Jews'?" They shouted back, "No, not him! Give us Barabbas!" (John 18: 38-40)

Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe and went up to him again and again, saying, "Hail, king of the Jews!" And they struck him in the face. (John 19:1-3)

As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, "Crucify! Crucify!" (John 19:6)

But they shouted, "Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!" (John 19:14)

I have come in my Father's name, and you do not accept me… John 5:43

From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. "You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve. John 6: 66-67

Why are you trying to kill me? (John 7:19b)

why are you angry with me for healing the whole man on the Sabbath? (John 7:23b)

As it is, you are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. (John 8:40)

If I am telling the truth, why don't you believe me? (John 8:46b)

"I am not possessed by a demon," said Jesus (John 8:49)

"I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?" (John 10: 32)

After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, "I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray me." (John 13:21)

…they have hated both me and my Father. But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: 'They hated me without reason.' (John 15:24b,25)

Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me." Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will." Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?" he asked Peter…. (Matthew 26:38-40a,42a,43a)

…but Jesus asked him, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?" (Luke 22:48)

"If I said something wrong," Jesus replied, "testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?" (John 18:23)

Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." (Luke 23:34a)


He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. (Isaiah 53: 3)

All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads. (Psalm 22:7)

He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. (John 1: 10,11)

vrijdag 3 september 2010

When you feel you really messed up...


Song: "Forgive me"

I love this song. It is simple but beautiful.
(ps: some of the lyrics in this video are not correct, so I put the right lyrics on the bottom of this post)

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. (Psalm 51:1,2)

The sacrifices of God are [c] a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. (Psalm 51:17)

… the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. (Isaiah 30:18)

"I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. (Isaiah 43:25)

"Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. (Isaiah 1:18)

I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you." (Isaiah 44:22)

Songlyrics "Forgive me"

For all the times I’ve failed You, Lord
Forgive me
For all the ways I’ve fallen short
Lord, forgive me now
God, I’m so in need of grace
I fall upon my face
Forgive me
You see the tears fall down my face
Forgive me
Take my fear, Lord, take my shame
Lord, forgive me now
Purify me, make me new
Like only You can do
Forgive me now
Lord, we come to honor You
We are forgiven
We bring our love and thanks to You
We are forgiven now
God we praise You for Your grace
Before You we are raised
God we praise You for Your grace
Before You we are raised