zondag 27 februari 2011

Which voice to listen to...

These two pictures have helped me to learn to distinguish God's voice from other voices.

The first voice is a voice that draws us away from God. It is an angry voice that accuses us. It shouts in our ears and it makes us feel worthless and hopeless. It keeps reminding us of our weaknesses and it keeps pointing out our sins. It tells us that our sins are like stains, that we have to try to wash away, but we never can, no matter how hard we try. It is a voice that covers us with shame and makes us shrink back to a cold and dark place.

The second voice is drawing us towards God. It is loving and strong. It is a voice of hope. It uncovers our weaknesses, but does so in a gentle way, bringing us to our knees. It helps us to look at ourselves in full light, through the lens of grace. It is a calm but passionate voice. It helps us to see that we are of value and that we are missed. It grows in us a desire to change and to show God our love for him. It makes us long for holiness. It is a voice that wants to free us, cleanse us, heal us, restore us and give us purpose.

The more we understand God’s love for us, the more we can understand how we hurt him by turning away from him and the more we are able to believe that He will recieve us with joy when we come back.

So, which voice do we trust?
And which voice will we be to others?
Link to video East to West

Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. The LORD said to Satan, “The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?” Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. 4 The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.” Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you.” Zechariah 3:1-3

For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony Revelation 12:10,11a

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:14-16

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

More about forgiveness: When you feel you really messed up

woensdag 23 februari 2011

zondag 20 februari 2011


When man proceeds to the accomplishment of some mighty enterprise, he puts forth prodigious efforts, as if by the sound of his axes and hammers he would proclaim his own fancied might, and bear down opposing obstacles. He cannot work without sweat and dust, and noise. When God would do a marvellous work, such as may amaze all heaven and earth, he commands silence all around, sends forth the still small voice, and then sets some feeble instrument to work, and straightway it is done! Man toils and pants, and after all effects but little: the Creator, in the silent majesty of power, noiseless yet resistless, achieves by a word the infinite wonders of omnipotence! In order to loose the bands of winter, and bring in the verdure of the pleasant spring, he does not send forth his angels to hew in pieces the thickened ice, or to strip off from the mountain’s side the gathered snows, or to plant anew over the face of the bleak earth, flowers fresh from his creating hand. No. He breathes from his lips a mild warmth into the frozen air; and forthwith, in stillness, but in irresistible power, the work proceeds; the ice is shivered, the snows dissolve, the rivers resume their flow, the earth awakes as out of sleep, the hills and the valleys put on their freshening verdure, the fragrance of earth takes wing and fills the air, till a new world of beauty rises in silence amid the dissolution of the old! Such is God’s method of working, both in the natural and the spiritual world - silent, simple, majestic, and resistless!
- John Gilles, Historical collections of accounts of revival, 1845-

He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills.
He sends his command to the earth; his word runs swiftly. He spreads the snow like wool and scatters the frost like ashes. He hurls down his hail like pebbles. Who can withstand his icy blast? He sends his word and melts them; he stirs up his breezes, and the waters flow.
Praise the LORD from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths, lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding, you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds, kings of the earth and all nations, you princes and all rulers on earth, young men and women, old men and children.

Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens.

Psalm 147: 8;15-18
Psalm 148: 7-13

woensdag 16 februari 2011

"Do you love me?"

Peter asked, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” John 13:37 
Peter was very enthusiastic about wanting to follow Jesus everywhere, but when the time was there and he got the opportunity to show Jesus that He was really sincere, that He loved him and that he would stand by him in every situation, no matter how difficult, he backed out… It’s interesting to see the comparison with this story and the story of Peter walking on water. 

…Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: “‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”

Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”

“Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”

But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.”
Matthew 26:31-35


Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance. And when some there had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them. A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, “This man was with him.”

But he denied it. “Woman, I don’t know him,” he said.

A little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.”

Man, I am not!” Peter replied.

About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.”

Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!

Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.
Luke 22: 54-61

I wonder how it must have felt for Peter to look into Jesus eyes after having denied him three times, knowing the promises he had made to Jesus in the past. No wonder that he went outside and wept bitterly.

I wonder what he saw in Jesus eyes. I don’t think it was judgement, because Jesus already knew this would happen and he hadn’t judged him before. Jesus already knew the weakness in Peter’s heart long before Peter was aware of it.

Could it be sadness and maybe the question Jesus would ask Peter later: “Do you love me?” Maybe it was not a coincidence that Jesus asks Peter three times: “Do you love me?”

When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?

“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?

He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
John 21:15-17

I think this is also a question we can ask ourselves. Do I love Jesus? Do I love him enough to not deny him? What would I do when I was in Peter’s situation? What am I doing now in my everyday life and in my conversations with others?

Faith maybe is not so much about a set of statements we can agree or disagree on but more about loving Jesus.

Why then are we ashamed to talk about him and the sacrifice He made for us. Why hurt him by denying him, pretending that He is not that important and that the sacrifice He gave his life for doesn’t really matter? Do we care? Do we love him?

Can we say with honesty like Peter: “You know all things, you know I love you”?

Luckily Jesus knows our heart, and when we sink He will reach out his hand to us and by his grace He will pull us up again.

The following classic song from Don Fransisco tells the story after Jesus died from Peter’s viewpoint...
Link: Song "He's alive"

maandag 14 februari 2011

Disturbing noices

When I wake up in the middle of the night because I hear footsteps going up and down my ceiling and other disturbing noices, then I will just think of this picture and hopefully I will feel a little better.

woensdag 9 februari 2011


When I was a teenager I read a book that made a great impact on me and that I read many times after. The title is “Ik zal nooit meer huilen” (English version: Run baby run by Nicky Cruz). It is about a guy who as a child decides he will never cry again. He joins a streetgang and his heart becomes very hardened but when God reveals his love to him his life is changed forever.

Something in this story got a hold on me. I think it was the idea that no matter how far away somebody can be from God, no matter how hardened somebody’s heart has become and how hopeless the situation, God can reach anybody. His love is always bigger.

This book and many other things have grown in me a longing to be involved with streetchildren. My dream would be being part of setting up something to help these children/teenagers. I wouldn’t know how, where, when and with whom, and I don’t know if I would be at all suitable to do something like that, but I can’t let go of the thought.

Sometimes I think this is just a crazy idealistic idea, but I want to be open for God to guide me if this is his will for me. To explore this further I want to go to Bolivia in January next year for at least 4 months to work with a project for streetchildren from YWAM. I wrote about the project in my post on José, who is one of the streetchildren.

A friend of mine lives in Bolivia right now and is involved with the with the work they are doing. In the video from “Nederland Helpt” you can see more about the project and the work she’s doing:

Link to: video streetchildren Bolivia

Get Microsoft Silverlight Of bekijk de flash versie.

I hope that doing this project will help me see how my ideals will hold in the harsh reality of working with streetchildren. I am a bit nervous about it, because I’m not really such an adventerous person. I like comfort and safety…so we will see how this adventure will affect me….

To be continued…

zaterdag 5 februari 2011

Flower quickly fading

Wednedsday I posted a post about flowers (see Wednesday post). Later that day I opened my by Bible to read a Psalm and my eyes fell on the folowing verses:

As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. Psalm 103:15-16

After reading this I wanted to use a little piece of paper that I found in my Bible as a bookmarker. When I looked at the piece of paper I saw the following sentence on the paper “I am a flower quickly fading” which I wrote a few months ago as a reminder of the lyrics of a song from Casting crowns. So here it comes:

Link to song "Who am I"

woensdag 2 februari 2011

Don't worry

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith.
Matthew 6:28-30