Discipline in your faith Part 6 – Possible Disciplines


In die volgende tydperk gaan ek ‘n hele klomp geestelike dissiplines, soos deur Richard Foster uiteengesit, bespreek. Voordat ek daarmee begin, het ek gewonder of jy nie dalk wil begin dink aan goed wat jy kan doen om geestelike te groei nie? Deel dit dan met ons almal.

In the following time, I am going to write about many spiritual disciplines, as set forth by Richard Foster. Before I start with it, I wondered whether you don’t want to start thinking about things that you can do to grow spiritually? Share it then with us.

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Why should we pray? Waarom behoort ons te bid?


Waarom behoort ons te bid? Why should we pray?

As ons weet wat gebed is, kan die vraag seker opkom. Kom ons kyk na ‘n paar moontlike antwoorde.

If we know what prayer is, this question can come up. Let us look at a few possible answers.

  1. Die eerste, belangrike saak om te noem is dat gebed God se idee is.

The first, important thing to mention is that it is God’s idea.

  1. God nooi ons uit om te bid.

God invites us to pray.

  1. God moedig ons aan om te bid.

God encourages us to pray.

  1. God roep ons op om te bid.

God calls us to pray.

  1. Gebed is nie net ‘n laaste uitweg waar ons in groot nood tot God uitroep as ons nie meer opsies het nie.

Prayer is not just a last resort where we are in great need, calling to God if we don’t have any options left.

  1. Deur gebed groei ons in ons verhouding met God.

Through prayer our relationship with God grows.

  1. Deur gebed verstaan ons die hart van God. God kies om mense se gebede te gebruik om verandering, genesing en redding in die wêreld te bring.

Through prayer we understand God’s heart. God choose to us the prayers of people to bring change, healing and saving into the world.

  1. Dit is in tye van gebed waar ons ons sondes bely en ons verhouding met God herstel word.

It is in times of prayer where we confess our sins and our relationship with God are repaired.

  1. Deur gebed maak die Gees vir ons duidelik watter hindernisse daar tussen God en ons is.

Through prayer the Spirit makes it clear which stumbling blocks there are between God and us.

  1. Dit is in gebed dat ons ons harte met God deel.

It is in prayer that we share our hearts with God.

  1. In tye van gebed vertel ons Hom van ons pyn, nood en bekommernis.

In times of prayer we tell Him about our pain, need and worries.

  1. God gee Sy krag en hulp in antwoord op gebed.

God gives His power and help in answer to prayer.

  1. Deur gebed word die Bose weerstaan.

Through prayer we can withstand the Evil one.

  1. Deur gebed word die Bose se mag en aanvalle verbreek.

Through prayer the Evil one’s might and attacks are broken.

  1. Die Here maak Sy wil aan ons bekend in tye van gebed.

The Lord makes His will known in times of prayer.

Kan jy dink aan nog redes dink vir waarom ons bid? Deel dit met ons.

Can you think of more reasons why we pray? Share it with us.

Watter een van die bogenoemde, of enige ander, redes vir gebed beteken die meeste vir jou? Waarom beteken dit so baie vir jou?

Which one of the above, or any other, reasons for prayer means most to you? Why does it mean so much to you?

Discipline in your faith Part 5 – The Way of Death Turning the Disciplines into Laws


Met die vorige inskrywing het ek gekyk na die term “gedissiplineerde genade”, en ook na die twee misleidende weë tot verandering en genesing: naamlik slegs menslike pogings teenoor geen menslike pogings. Maar die vraag kan ontstaan of daar enige gevare is wat saam met die dissiplines kom. In hierdie inskrywing wil ek so bietjie kyk na ʹn moontlik weg na dood: wanneer die dissiplines in wette omgesit word.

In the previous article I looked at the term “disciplines grace”, and also at two misleading ways toward inner transformation and healing: namely only human strivings versus no human strivings. The question could arise weather there are any dangers connected to the disciplines. In this article I want to look at a way of death (as Richard Foster names it): when the disciplines are turned into laws.

Ek haal steeds aan uit hoofstuk 1 [I’m still quoting from chapter 1]: The Spiritual Disciplines: Door to liberation.

Die Geestelike Dissiplines is bedoel vir ons opbou. Dis bedoel om die oorvloed van God in ons lewens in te laat kom. Dit is egter moontlik om dit in nog ‘n stel sielsmoordende wette te omskep. Wet-gesentreerde Dissiplines bring net dood.

ʺThe Spiritual Disciplines are intended for out good. They are meant to bring the abundance of God into our lives. It is possible, however, to turn them into another set of soul-killing laws. Law-bound Disciplines breathe death.”

Jesus het geleer dat ons verder moet gaan as die (self-)regverdiging van die Fariseërs en Skrifgeleerdes. Kyk wat sê Hy in Matteus 5:20: “Ek sê vir julle: As julle getrouheid aan die wet nie meer inhou as dié van die skrifgeleerdes en die Fariseërs nie. Sal julle nooit in die koninkryk van die hemel ingaan nie.“(1983-Vertaling) Let op dat hulle geregtigheid nie iets kleins was nie. Hulle was meer getrou in hulle navolging van God as weet die meeste van ons is. Maar hulle geregtigheid was gesetel in die beheer van eksterne faktore, en meestal die manipulasie van ander. Die manier hoe ons wys dat ons getrouheid meer inhou as dié van die Fariseërs en skrifgeleerdes, word gesien in die vlak waarin die innerlike werke van God in ons harte gedemonstreer word. Die werk is innerlik, maar die resultate is uiterlik.

Jesus taught us that we should go further than the (self)righteousness of the Pharisees and the scribes. Look what He says in Matthew 5:20: “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (NIV) Take note that their righteousness was nothing small. They were more committed to following God than many of us. But their righteousness were found in external factors, mostly in the manipulation of others. They way in which we show that our righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and teachers of the law, are seen in the level in which the inner workings of God are demonstrated in out hearts. The works are inward, but the results are outward (external).

Sodra die Dissiplines omskep word in wette, word dit gebruik om mense te manipuleer en te beheer. Ons vat uitdruklike bevele en gebruik dit om ander in “trokke“ op te sluit. Die gevolg hiervan is trots en vrees. Trots neem oor, omdat ons begin glo dat ons die regte soort mense is. Vrees neem oor, omdat die krag om ander te beheer gaan gepaard met die angstigheid om beheer te verloor, asook die angstigheid om deur ander beheer te word.

As soon as the Disciplines degenerate into laws, it are used to manipulate and control people. We take explicit commands and use them to lock others into “prisons”. The result of this is pride and fear. Pride takes over, because we start to think that we are the right kind of people. Fear takes over, because the power to control others goes together with anxiety to lose control, as well as the anxiety to be controlled by others.

Indien ons wil voortgaan (en groei) in die geestelike roete, sodat die Dissiplines ‘n seën kan wees en nie ‘n straf nie, moet ons kom op ‘n plek waar ons nie gedurig ander wil beheer nie. Hierdie behoefte alleen is waarskynlik die grootste ding om die Dissiplines te omskep in wette. Sodra ons ‘n wet het, het ons ‘n uiterlike maatstaf om ander te oordeel. Sonder wette bly die Dissiplines ‘n interne werk en is dit onmoontlik om ander te beheer. Sodra ons waarlik glo dat die innerlike verandering God se werk is en nie ons werk is nie, kan ons ophou om ander te wil regstel.

If we want to continue (and grow) in the spiritual walk, so that the Disciplines can be a blessing and not a curse, we have to get to a point where we don’t want to control others all the time. This need alone are perhaps the biggest thing to turn the Disciplines into laws. As soon as we have a law, we have an external measuringstick to judge others. Without laws,Disciplines stays an internal work and it is impossible to control others. As soon as we truly believe that the inward change is God’s work and not ours, we can stop trying to straighten others out.

Hoe het jy al in die verlede dinge gebruik wat veronderstel is om geestelik te groei, as wette waarmee jy ander veroordeel het?

How have you used things that are supposed for your spiritual growth, as laws with which to judge others?

Wat is gebed? / What are prayer?


Wat is gebed? What are prayer?

Gebed kan op baie maniere beskryf word.

Prayer van be described in many ways.

  1. Gebed is meer as woord.

Prayer is more than words.

  1. Gebed is ‘n persoonlike verhouding met God.

Prayer is a personal relationship with God.

  1. Gebed is om in God se teenwoordigheid te staan.

Prayer is to stand in the presence of God.

  1. Gebed is ‘n gesprek met God. En dis ‘n tweegesprek!

Prayer is a conversation with God. And it is a two-way conversation!

  1. Gebed is waar my hart met God se hart kontak maak.

Prayer is where my heart makes contact with God’s heart.

  1. Gebed bring ons uit by diep intimiteit met God.

Prayer brings us into a deep intimacy with God.

  1. Gebed is waar ek God van aangesig tot aangesig ontmoet.

Prayer is where I meet God face tot face.

  1. Gebed is ‘n honger na God.

Prayer is a hunger for God.

  1. Gebed is ‘n uitroep van my gees om gemeenskap te hê met God.

Prayer is a calling of my spirit to have an intimacy with God.

  1. Gebed is waar ons met God praat oor dit wat beide van ons raak.

Prayer is where we speak to God about that which touches both of us.

  1. Gebed is om saam met God te werk vir die redding en herstel van die wêreld.

Prayer is to work with God for the saving and repairing of the world.

  1. Gebed is God se uitnodiging aan ons om met Hom te praat.

Prayer is God’s invitation towards us to talk with Him.

  1. Gebed is vra en ontvang.

Prayer is ask and receive.

  1. Gebed is vra, soek en klop (Matteus 7:7-8).

Prayer is asking, seek and knock (Matthew 7:7-8)

  1. In gebed vra ons God om in die lewens van mense en omstandighede in te gryp en vrede en genesing te bring.

In prayer we ask God to come into the lives of people and situations and to bring peace and healing.

  1. Gebed beweeg die hand van die Een wat die wêreld beweeg.

Prayer moves the hand of the One who moves the world.

  1. Gebed bring die almag van God in beweging – omdat God gekies het om ons gebede te beantwoord.

Prayer brings the almightiness of God to move – because God chose to answer our prayers.

  1. Gebed is om voor God te staan met die nood van mense en ons op God se beloftes vir daardie nood te beroep.

Prayer is to stand before God with the needs of people and to call upon God’s promises for that need.

  1. Gebed is om as priester voor God te staan:

Prayer is to stand before God as priest, to:

  1. Hom te aanbid

To worship Him.

  1. Te bid dat mense met Hom versoen sal word

To pray that people will get reconciled with Him.

  1. Om te bid dat Hy die nasies sal genees en seën

To pray that He will heal and bless the nasions.

  1. Gebed is God se manier om genesing, herstel, redding en bevryding en seen vir mense te bewerk.

Prayer is God’s way to work healing, repair, saving, freedom and blessing for people.

  1. Gebed is nie net ‘n voorreg nie, maar ook ‘n verantwoordelikheid.

Prayer is not just a right, but also a responsibility.

  1. Om nood te sien, is ‘n oproep tot gebed.

To see need, is a calling to prayer.

  1. Gebed is om met groot vrymoedigheid voor die genadetroon van God te staan en te vra dat Hy ons sal help.

Prayer is to stand with great boldness before God’s throne of grace and to ask that He will help us.

  1. Gebed begin by ‘n ervaring van uiterste hulpeloosheid en is die uitroep van hulpeloses.

Prayer begins with feeling of utter helplessness and is the calling of hopeless people.

  1. Gebed is ‘n desperate, maar gelowige uitroep tot God dat Hy sal ingryp.

Prayer is a desperate, but believing call to God that He will help.

  1. Gebed is wanneer ek vir God sê ek kan nie sonder Hom nie; die taak en die uitdaging is te groot.

Prayer is when I say to God that I can’t  do it without Him; the task is to big.

  1. Wanneer ek dus bid, beroep ek my op die Een wat die menslik onmoontlike kan doen.

When I pray, I call on the One who can do the humanly impossible.

  1. Gebed is waar die mens in sy of haar totale onmag die hand vat van die Een aan wie al die mag behoort.

Prayer is where a person, in his or her total inability, takes the hand of the One to whom all power belongs.

  1. Gebed is om my op die beloftes en woorde van God te beroep wanneer ek met Hom praat.

Prayer is to call on the promises and words of God when I talk to Him.

  1. Gebed is geloof wat met God praat.

Prayer is faith that talks to God.

  1. Gebed is om my op die karakter van God te beroep.

Prayer is me calling on the character of God.

  1. Gebed is om God te vra om Sy wil op die aarde te laat geskied; nie om God te vra om my wil te doen nie!

Prayer is to ask God to do His will on earth; not to ask God to do my will!

  1. Gebed is nie om God se wil te verander nie, maar dit te vind!

Prayer is not to change God’s will, but to find it!

  1. Deur gebed vind ons juis God se wil, en maak dan Sy wil ons versoek.

Through prayer we discover God’s will, and then we make His will our request.

  1. Gebed is nie om God se onwilligheid om ons te help, te oorkom nie, maar om te reageer op Sy gewilligheid om ons te help.
  2. Prayer is not to overcome God’s unwillingness to help us, but to react to His willingness to help us.

Hierdie beskrywings is maar net 35 beskrywings oor gebed wat ek al gehoor het oor die jare.

These descriptions are only 35 descriptions about prayer that I have heard through the years.

Kan jy dink aan nog beskrywings van gebed? Deel dit met ons.

Can you think of more descriptions of prayer? Share it with us.

Watter een van die bogenoemde, of enige ander, beskrywings beteken die meeste vir jou? Waarom beteken dit so baie vir jou?

Which one of the above, or any other, descriptions means the most to you? Why does it mean so much to you?

Discipline in your Faith – Part 4: The Way of Disciplined Grace


Die vorige keer het ek so bietjie gekyk na die Geestelike Dissiplines as dinge wat God gee sodat ons op ‘n plek kan kom waar God iets in ons lewens kan doen. Kom ons vat dit nou verder en praat so bietjie oor “die weg van gedissiplineerde genade”.

Previously I looked at the Spiritual Disciples as those things that God gives so that we can get to a place where God can start to do things in our lives. Let’s take it futher, and talk about “the way of disciplined grace”.

Ek haal steeds aan uit hoofstuk 1 [I’m still quoting from chapter 1]: The Spiritual Disciplines: Door to liberation.

It is called “grace”, because it is free. It is “disciplined” because there is something for us to do. Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes in his book, The Cost of Discipleship, that grace is free, but that it is not cheap. We must understand that God’s grace is unearned and unearnable. If we expect to grow, we must take up a consciously chosen course of action involving both individual and group life. And that is the purpose of the Spiritual Disciplines.

Dit word “genade” genoem, omdat dit gratis is. Dit is “gedissiplineerd”, omdat daar iets is wat ons moet doen. Dietrich Bonhoeffer skryf in sy boek, The Cost of Discipleship, dat genade gratis is, maar dat dit nie goedkoop is nie. Ons moet verstaan dat God se genade onverdiend en onverdienbaar is. Indien ons verwag om te groei, moet ons ʹn keuse maak om aksie te neem in beide individuele- en groepslewe. En dit is die doel van die Geestelike Dissiplines.

The Disciplines of the spiritual life leads to the inner transformation and healing for which we seek. There are one of two possible misleading ways towards that transformation and healing (both of which doesn’t really work):

  • Heresy of moralism – The way of moral bankruptcy through human strivings for righteousness.
  • Heresy of antinomianism – The way of moral bankruptcy through the absence of human strivings.

Remember: The Disciplines does not produce the change. It only puts us in the place where the change can occur.

Die Dissiplines van die geestelike lewe lei tot die innerlike verandering en genesing waarna ons soek. Daar is een van twee moontlike misleidende weë tot daardie verandering en genesing (wat albei eintlik glad nie werk nie):

  • Die weg tot morele bankrotskap deur menslike pogings vir geregtigheid.
  • Die weg tot morele bankrotskap deur die afwesigheid van menslike pogings.

Onthou: Die Dissiplines bring nie die verandering nie. Dit plaas ons net in ‘n plek waar die verandering kan plaasvind.

In the next part, I will look at the danger of turning the disciplines into laws, which are a way of death.

In die volgende deel sal ek kyk na die gevaar om die dissiplines te verander in wette, wat net ‘n weg tot die dood is.

In the meantime, why don’t you look at that paragraph talking about “disciplined grace”? If you could, how would you explain the concept of “disciplined grace”? Do you think that there are an unhealthy leaning towards either “human strivings toward righteousness” or “the absence of human striving toward righteousness?”. Explain why you think that way, and also how it can be corrected – not only in the church*, but also in your own life.

In die tussen-tyd, waarom kyk jy nie wees na die paragraaf wat praat oor “gedissiplineerde genade” nie? As jy kon, hoe sou jy die gedagte van “gedissiplineerde genade” verduidelik? Dink jy dat daar ‘n ongesonde oorleuen is na “menslike pogings vir geregtigheid” of “die afwesigheid van menslike pogings vir geregtigheid”? Verduidelik waarom jy so dink en ook hoe dit reggemaak kan word – nie net in die kerk* nie, maar ook in jou eie lewe.

*I’m writing church here with a lower case letter, because I want your thoughts about your specific congregation, not the Body of Christ, in which case I’d write it with a capital letter (i.e. “Church”)

*Ek skryf die word kerk hier met ‘n kleinletter, omdat ek jou gedagtes oor jou eie gemeente vra, en nie van die Liggaam van Christus nie. Indien ek dit met ‘n hoofletter sou spel (dus “Kerk”), sou ek na die Liggaam van Christus, oftewel die Kerk in die algemeen, verwys het.

Discipline in your Faith – Part 3: Sowing seeds


Na die vorige inskrywing het ek myself voorgeneem om nie weer so lang stuk te tik nie. Van nou af gaan ek probeer om dit inskrywings oor die boek wat ek lees (Celebration of Discipline) so kort as moontlik te hou. Ek hoop dit werk vir julle so goed soos vir my! (Wel, ek sal eers kyk of dit regtig beter werk vir my.)

After the previous note, I took a vow to myself not to write a piece that are to big. From now on, I will try to keep the pieces that I write about the book I’m reading (Celebration of Discipline) as short as possible. I hope it works for you as well as it works for me! (Well, I’ll first see if it actually does work better for me.)

Ek haal steeds aan uit hoofstuk 1 [I’m still quoting from chapter 1]: The Spiritual Disciplines: Door to liberation.

We are so accustomed to think that sin are individual acts of disobedience against God. But the Bible teaches us that it is so much more. Paul writes about it, and especially in Romans. He describes it as a condition that plagues the whole human race. (Rom 3:9-18) “Sin as a condition works its way out through the “bodily members”, which is through the ingrained habits of the body (see Rom 7:5 and other places).

Ons is so gewoond om te dink dat sonde individuele handelinge van ongehoorsaamheid is aan God. Maar die Bybel leer ons dat dit veel meer is. Paulus skryf veral daaroor in Romeine. Hy beskryf sonde as toestand wat die mensdom beïnvloed. (Rom 3:9-18) Sonde as ‘n toestand werk deur die liggaamsdele, wat die ingebedde gewoontes is van die liggaam (Rom 7:5, en ander plekke).

“Human striving [towards salvation] is insufficient and righteousness is a gift from God.” That doesn’t mean that we should get caught in the dilemma of either human works or idleness. “God has given us the Disciplines of the spiritual life as a means of receiving His grace. The Disciplines allow us to place ourselves before God so that He can transform us.”

Menslike werkinge om redding te verkry is onvoldoende, en die geregtigheid is ook ‘n geskenk van God. Dit beteken egter nie dat ons vasgevang hoef te word in die probleme van menslike werkinge aan die een kant teenoor “niks doen” aan die ander kant nie. God het die Dissiplines van die geestelike lewe gegee as ‘n manier om Sy genade te ontvang. Die Dissiplines maak dit moontlik vir ons om onsself voor God te plaas sodat Hy ons kan verander.

In Galatians 6:8 Paul writes the following: “The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” A good – even not that good – farmer knows that he can not make the seed which he has sown to grow. He puts the seed is the ground, and then he lets nature take over so that the seed can grow. He knows that he is helpless to make the seed to grow.

In Galasiërs 6:8 skryf Paulus die volgende woorde: “Wie op die akker van sy sondige natuur saai, sal van sy sondige natuur dood en verderf oes. Maar wie op die akker van die Gees saai, sal van die Gees die ewige lewe oes.” ‘n Goeie – en selfs ‘n minder goeie – boer weet dat hy nie die saad wat hy saai kan laat groei nie. Hy sit die saad in die grond, en laat die natuur sy gang gaan sodat die saad kan groei. Hy weet hy is hulpeloos om die graan te laat groei.

The Spiritual Disciplines “are a way of sowing to the Spirit. The Disciplines are God’s way of getting us into the ground; they put us where something can be done. By themselves the Spiritual Disciples can do nothing; they can only get us to the place where something can be done. They are God’s means of grace. The inner righteousness we seek is not something that is poured on our heads. God has ordained the Disciplines of the spiritual life as the means by which we are placed where He can bless us.”

Die Geestelike Dissiplines is ‘n manier van “saai tot die Gees”. Die Dissiplines is God se manier om ons in die grond in te kry – dit plaas ons daar waar iets gedoen kan word. In hulleself kan die Geestelike Dissiplines niks doen nie – hulle kan ons net kry op ‘n plek waar iets gedoen kan word. Hulle is God se manier van genade. Die innerlike geregtigheid waarna ons soek word nie op ons koppe uitgegooi nie. God het die Dissiplines van die geestelike lewe ingestel as ‘n manier waarop ons geplaas word op n plek waar Hy ons kan seën.

Next time we will look at the term discipled grace”.

Volgende keer sal ons bietjie kyk na die term “gedissiplineerde genade”.