Monday, March 11, 2013

One God Many Paths, Part 1 of 3

Friend, this is littered with humour but it carries a very real question that many generations have posed: "Do all paths lead to God?"
Here is part one of the series.
One God Many Paths, Part 1 of 3

For the rest of the series and more apologetics go to:

Sunday, February 3, 2013



"From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do." ~ (Isaiah 46:11)

Disappointment with God is not necessarily wrong or sinful; rather, it is a part of the human condition. The word "disappointment" means "a feeling of dissatisfaction when one's hopes, desires, and expectations fail to come to pass." When God somehow fails to satisfy our hopes or doesn't live up to our expectations, disappointment inevitably follows. If God doesn't perform in the manner we think He should, we are disillusioned with Him and dissatisfied with His performance. This can lead to wavering faith in God, especially in His sovereignty and His goodness.

When God doesn't act when we think He should act, it isn't because He is unable to do so. Rather, He simply chooses not to. While this might seem an arbitrary or capricious act on His part, the exact opposite is true. God chooses to act or not to act according to His perfect and holy will in order to bring about His righteous purposes. Nothing happens that is out of God's plan. He has control of every molecule that floats around in the universe, and God's will encompasses every act and decision made by every person throughout the world at all times.

He tells us in Isaiah 46:11, "From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do." Even the birds are somehow part of His foreordained plan. Furthermore, there are times when He chooses to let us know His plans (Isaiah 46:10) and times when He does not. Sometimes we understand what He is doing; sometimes we do not (Isaiah 55:9). One thing we do know for sure: if we belong to Him, whatever He does will be to our benefit, whether we understand it or not (Romans 8:28).

The key to avoiding disappointment with God is to align our wills with His and to submit to His will in all things. Doing so will not only keep us from being disappointed with God, but it will also preclude grumbling and complaining about the events that occur in our lives. The Israelites in the desert griped and questioned God on several occasions, despite having seen miraculous displays of His power in the parting of the Red Sea, the provision of manna and quail in the wilderness, and the glory of the Lord that followed them in the form of a pillar of fire (Exodus 15–16; Numbers 14:2-37). Despite God's continual faithfulness to His people, they grumbled and were disappointed with God because He did not act as they thought He should. Rather than submitting to His will and trusting Him, they were in a constant state of turmoil and confusion.

When we align our wills with God's will and when we can say, with Jesus, "Not my will but Yours be done" (Luke 22:42), then we find the contentment Paul spoke of in 1 Timothy 6:6-10 and Philippians 4:11-12. Paul had learned to be content with whatever God sent his way. He trusted God and submitted to His will, knowing that a holy, righteous, perfect, loving, and merciful God would work all things together for his good because that is what He promised. When we see God in that light, we can't possibly be disappointed with Him. Rather, we submit willingly to our heavenly Father, knowing that His will is perfect and that everything He brings to pass in our lives will be for our good and for His glory.

© Philip Yancey
Excerpted from " Disappointment with God " by Philip Yancey.

Medical aids

Having worked in a medical practice for a year now, as part of the administration staff, I've learned a few things. There is a lot of stuff that the "lay person" does not know about medical aids. If you live in South Africa, you may want to read this.

Choosing your medical aid: Don't just go for price. 
Make sure that the broker selling you your medical scheme doesn't lead you in a certain direction. The choice they make may not be the best option for you. You medical aid needs to suit your needs. 

We have enough medical schemes in South Africa to choose from. Try "Googling" 'medical schemes in South Africa' and see what turns up.

If you had to ask me which medical aids I would recommend, they would be Discovery Health, Fedhealth, Bonitas, Liberty Medical Scheme, and Bankmed which is for employees of banks and their beneficiaries only.  The reason I suggest these is because most of them pay for in-hospital treatment without too much hassle on either the patient or the healthcare provider's part.

The two largest medical schemes (In my personal opinion) are Discovery Health and Medscheme. 

Discovery has an 80% coverage of medical professionals and hospitals that they are linked to. In other words, most doctors are contracted into Discovery. If you are somewhat fussy about your doctor and/or hospital, this is a good scheme to have to ensure you can get the one you want. Discovery also manages a number of medical aids with large client databases. Discovery however can be a bit tiresome if you are a Prescibed Minimum Benefits (PMB) case as they frequently require forms to be completed by both the patient and healthcare provider. The healthcare provider is allowed to bill you for completing the forms but it may come out of your day-to-day savings.

Don't know what PMB's (Prescribed Minimum Benefits) are? Click here to go to the SpesNet page where you can learn more.

Medscheme, though not a medical aid themselves, do manage numerous other medical schemes such as Nedgroup (For Nedbank employees), Sasolmed, Bonitas, Fedhealth; all of which are large within themselves.

Even though they like their patients, and really don't want to, medical practitioners have to debt collect and yes, they do hand people over to debt-collectors from time to time. So if you get a medical bill, rather pay for it and get a refund later when your medical aid pays out.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

I will help you!!

An inspiring message for the day:

Charles Spurgeon's Morning and Evening
"I will help thee, saith the Lord." / Isaiah 41:14
This morning let us hear the Lord Jesus speak to each one of us: "I will help
thee." "It is but a small thing for me, thy God, to help thee. Consider what I
have done already. What! not help thee? Why, I bought thee with my blood.
What! not help thee? I have died for thee; and if I have done the greater,
will I not do the less? Help thee! It is the least thing I will ever do for
thee; I have done more, and will do more. Before the world began I chose thee.
I made the covenant for thee. I laid aside my glory and became a man for thee;
I gave up my life for thee; and if I did all this, I will surely help thee
now. In helping thee, I am giving thee what I have bought for thee already. If
thou hadst need of a thousand times as much help, I would give it thee; thou
requirest little compared with what I am ready to give. 'Tis much for thee to
need, but it is nothing for me to bestow. Help thee?' Fear not! If there were
an ant at the door of thy granary asking for help, it would not ruin thee to
give him a handful of thy wheat; and thou art nothing but a tiny insect at the
door of my all-sufficiency. I will help thee.'"
O my soul, is not this enough? Dost thou need more strength than the
omnipotence of the United Trinity? Dost thou want more wisdom than exists in
the Father, more love than displays itself in the Son, or more power than is
manifest in the influences of the Spirit? Bring hither thine empty pitcher!
Surely this well will fill it. Haste, gather up thy wants, and bring them
here--thine emptiness, thy woes, thy needs. Behold, this river of God is full
for thy supply; what canst thou desire beside? Go forth, my soul, in this thy
might. The Eternal God is thine helper!
"Fear not, I am with thee, oh, be not dismay'd!
I, I am thy God, and will still give thee aid."

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The "Insert" key on a keyboard. For it or against it?

If there is one key on my keyboard that bugs me more than others it would be the "insert" key. I'm a receptionist and do a lot of typing and never use this key. The only time I ever hit it is by accident and then it undoes something I had just typed. Not impressed.

What would be a reason to like the "insert" key? Any suggestions will be appreciated. Post your comments below. Thanks. :)

Getting my geek on

Can you say "Neglect"? What a sad state of affairs that my blog has been so neglected for so long. So today I'm "getting my geek on" and updating this baby.

I can't even say how much has happened since my last post. Crazy hey? It has definitely been over a year since I was in Switzerland.

What has happened in short:

After Switzerland I moved to Port Elizabeth, South Africa for four months. I left behind all my friends to go live by my mom and sister. While it was a memorable experience it is not one I would like to have again. It never stopped raining! Mostly because it was winter but seriously, how do people live there? I am a Vaalie (Gauteng province used to be called Transvaal so named for the Vaal [Meaning "drab" or "dull" in Afrikaans] River).

In Port Elizabeth, we lived literally on the bread line as I was still suffering severely from depression and took a while to find a job. My mom and sister weren't doing much better. My brother, Sheldon's, death had hit me hard but them infinitely more so as they were the ones who took care of him before his death. I am now the age that he was when he died, it feels like I've been battling daily to make it through my 25th year of life. God is faithful though and through all that has happened He carried me through it.

Mom visiting Sheldon in hospital.
Okay back to my story: So I got a job at a petrol station as a cashier. My boss when interviewing me said I was over qualified for the job. My first day there I had a R70 deficit from my cash register. Scary stuff. I don't steal so somewhere I messed up, big time. Over-qualified huh? I am smiling as I type this. Life always has a learning curve. I'm thankful for that job, all three weeks of it: I was forced out of my depression, had to just get on with life;  had to go to work in rainy conditions (which are not my favourite); and learned to appreciate the view from work, there is beauty all around us if we will only take the time to look, and I learned about the Eastern Cape locals.
My sister and her doggie Jade at our home in P.E.
Not an average sister, not an average dog.

Stuff I did in P.E.:
  • Took long drives along the coast.
  • Walked along the beach. Did not swim in the ocean as I was there in winter.
  • Went sight seeing in the mountains.
  • Went to the botanical gardens. Oh so stunning. All that rain really paid off!

My longing for sunshine and good weather, and having a smouldering log of a romance (which didn't end up happening in case you're wondering) "back home", had me aching to get back to Gauteng.

My cousin, Andrew, made me an offer to live by him and once I was on my feet I could start paying rent. He took me in and made me feel at home here in the city of Johannesburg. It is a small city by first world standards but (flip) this place is huge, and like all cities has a mother-load of traffic.
Since moving to Johannesburg (a.k.a. Joburg, Jhb, and Jozi) life has not stopped. There is always something to do, somewhere to be.

My first week here I found a job at a company that imports shoes. It was an interesting job but as life goes things didn't work out and I got retrenched (Last in, first out).
I left that job to work at my aunt's physiotherapy practice as receptionist, and have been there since.

Me at work with Fred (The skeleton)

Things I've done in Johannesburg:
  • Run/walk a few 5 km and 10 km races. Joined Wanderers Running Club, such a wonderful group of people.
  • Joined Virgin Active Health Club. I had a hot bod for quite some time.
  • Joined Maranatha Community Church (My favourite place to be in Jozi).
  • Was part of a Flash Mob at the East Rand Mall. I had always wanted to be part of one. You can check it out here.
  • Went on a hike.
  • Went mountain biking.
  • Visited both the Walter Sisulu and Pretoria National -Botanical Gardens.
  • Been on community outreaches.
  • Hosted two birthday parties at home: Mine and my new Canadian friend Hannah.
  • Been to dinner parties. Such are surprisingly uncommon in South Gauteng where I grew up.
  • Went on a church camp for us Twenty-Someone's.
  • And a whole lot of chilling: At home, at friend's houses, at church, at shopping malls, etc.
To quote McDonald's: "I'm lovin' it".

I praise God for all that He has done for me over the last year and a bit. He has proven Himself faithful to the end. It has not been an easy year in the least but He truly is a Friend who sticks closer than a brother.

My friend, if you don't know Jesus as your personal savior, I implore you, take that crazy step and ask Him to reveal Himself to you: Seek Him and He will be found by you. Really, it is so worth it, I can't express this enough. If you have been badly hurt by a Christian in the past, I ask sincerely on their behalf that you would forgive them. We have all sinned and fall so desperately short of God's glory. We're all human, all sinners, all saved by GRACE.

There you have it, the tip of the iceberg of what has been going on in my life this past year and a half.

God bless.