Discipline in your faith Part 11 – Misconceptions about Meditation Part 4


Die eerste Innerlike Dissipline wat Richard Foster (in sy boek “Celebration of Discipline“) noem, is meditasie. (Alle aanhalings is uit sy boek.) In die vorige inskrywing het ons gekyk na hoe baie mense glo dat meditasie lei daartoe dat mense kontak meditasie nie gesien mag word as iets klein en onbenullig nie. Ons het ook gesien dat, hoe meer ons geoefen raak daarin, hoe meer raak ons daarmee vertroud, en hoe “makliker“ raak dit. Vandag bespreek ons die misverstand van mense wat glo dat meditasie (oordenking) onprakties en verouderd is.

The first of the Inward Disciplines, that Richard Foster (in his book “Celebration of Discipline”) mentions, is meditation.(All quotes are taken from his book.) In the previous blog we saw that meditation may not and cannot be seen as something small and insignificant. We also saw that, the more we practice it, the “better” we get at it and the “easier” it gets. Today we look at the misconception that people have that meditation (contemplation) is impractical and outdated.

 

“Many people believe that at its very best meditation leads to an unhealthy otherworldliness that keeps us immune to the suffering of humanity.”

Baie mense dink dat meditasie, op sy beste, lei tot ‘n ongesonde ander-wêreldse orientasie, wat hulle imuun maak teen die leiding van die mensdom.

This is actually a rather baseless thought. Meditation could be the one thing that can redirect our lives so that we can effectively deal with human life successfully.

Hierdie is egter ‘n redelike ongegronde gedagte. Meditasie kan die een ding wee swat ons lewens beïnvloed, sodat ons die menslike lewe meer effektief kan hanteer.

Thomas Merton writes that meditation has no point and no reality unless it is firmly rooted in life.

Thomas Merton skryf dat meditasie geen punt het en geen realiteit het as dit nie stewig in die lewe gewortel is nie.

In history, the Quakers have stresses the need to enter into the listening silences perhaps the most. The result has been a vital social impact far in excess of their numbers. William Penn wrote that true godliness does not turn men out of the world, but enables them to live better in the world and helps them to mend the world.

In die geskiedenis het die “Quakers” die nodigheid van die luisterende stiltes waarskynlik die meeste beklemtoon. Die resultaat was ‘n groot sosiale impak, wat hulle getalle by verre oortref. William Penn het geskryf dat ware goddelikheid mens nie weg draai uit die wêreld uit nie, maar hulle juis bemagtig om beter te lewe in die wêreld en hulle help om die wêreld te verbeter.

Meditation will often yield insights that are deeply practical. It is most common that meditation gives guidance in dealing with ordinary human problems. Meditation sends us into our ordinary worlds with greater perspective and balance.

Meditasie sal baiekeer insigte gee in praktiese dele van ons lewens. Dit is mees algemeen dat dit leiding gee in hoe om die “gewone” menslike probleme te hanteer. Meditasie stuur ons in ons wêrelde in met groter perspektief en balans.

In the next blog, we will look at the most common misconception regarding meditation.

In die volgende inskrywing sal ons kyk na die mees algemene misverstand aangaande meditasie.

Discipline in your faith Part 10 – Misconceptions about Meditation Part 3


Die eerste Innerlike Dissipline wat Richard Foster (in sy boek “Celebration of Discipline“) noem, is meditasie. (Alle aanhalings is uit sy boek.) In die vorige inskrywing het ek gekyk na enkele verskille tussen Oosterse en Christelike meditasie. Vandag gaan ons kyk na ‘n verdere rede waarom mense bang is vir meditasie: vrees dat dit te moeilik is.

The first of the Inward Disciplines, that Richard Foster (in his book “Celebration of Discipline”) mentions, is meditation.(All quotes are taken from his book.) In the previous blog I gave a few differences between Eastern and Christian meditation. Today we will look at another reason why people fear meditation: they fear that it is to difficult.

 

“Some shy away from meditation out of fear that it is too difficult, to complicated. Perhaps it is best left to the professional who has more time to explore the inner regions.”

Sommige dink dat meditasie te moeilik is. Hulle glo dan dat dit eerder net gedoen moet word deur die sogenaamde professionele mense wat meer tyd het om die innerlike ruimtes te ontdek.

The so called “acknowledged experts“ in the area of meditation says that it is not just for a select few, or the spiritual giants. They feel that they are doing a normal part of human activity. They feel that it is natural and as important as breathing. We do not need any special gifts or psychic powers. We just need to discipline and train latent faculties within us. Anyone who have imagination, can meditate.

Die sogenaamde “erkende kundiges” in die area van meditasie sê dat dit nie net vir ‘n paar uitgekose mense of geestelike reuse is nie. Hulle voel dat dit ‘n normale deel van ons menslike bestaan is. Hulle voel dat dit natuurlik is – so natuurlik soos om asem te haa.. Ons het nie spesiale gawes of een of ander bo-natuurlike krag nodig nie. Ons het net nodig om seker onderliggende moontlikhede te dissiplineer en te onderrig. Almal wat verbeelding het, kan mediteer.

We should beware, though, that meditation is not some “small thing“ we do. It is serious business. We should put in our best thought and energies. No one should undertake meditation just for diversion or because others are doing it. Those who meditate half-heartedly, will certainly fail. For meditation to succeed, the one that meditate should be convinced of its importance.

Ons moet waak teen die gedagte dat meditasie een of ander “klein ding” is wat ons doen.Dit is ernstige besigheid. Ons moet ons beste gedagtes en kragte daarin sit. Niemand moet meditasie onderneem as een of ander afleiding of omdat ander dit doen nie. Diegene wat half-hartig mediteer, sal beslis nie slaag nie. Vir meditasie of suksesvol te wees, moet die een wat mediteer oortuig wees van die belangrikheid daarvan.

We should also realize that when we get skilled in meditation, it will become part of our ingrained habitual patterns. When we start with practicing meditation, we will not get it right from the start. But if we keep on practicing it, it becomes natural to us.

Ons moet ook besef dat, soos wat ons geoefen raak in meditasie, sal dit deel word van ons lewenspatroon. As ons begin om meditasie te beoefen, gaan ons dit nie van die begin af regkry nie. Maar as ons aanhou om dit te beoefen, sal dit natuurlik raak vir ons.

Do you think meditation is important in your journey to become more intimate with God? Are you willing to start testing it out?

Dink jy meditasie is belangrik in ons reis om meer intiem met God te word? Is jy bereid om dit te begin uittoets?

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?

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


I’ll be writing in English and in Afrikaans… Please understand this, because I have Afrikaans friends who are not very good at English, and English friends who don’t understand Afrikaans…

Ek het vanoggend begin met Richard Foster se boek Celebration of Discipline. David Watson skryf die voorwoord, en sommer van die begin af lyk die boek na iets wat ek graag sal wil goed deur lees. Ek gaan so deur die volgende 3 of 4 weke deur die boek “werk”. Waarom kom jy nie saam met my op ‘n toer deur die boek nie? Lees wat ek skryf, en deel dan met my (hopelik ons) wat jy leer of wil byvoeg.

I started this morning to read Richard Foster’s book Celebration of Discipline. David Watson writes the forward, and from the start it seems like a book that I would like to read well and thoughtful. I will read the book in throughout the next 3 or 4 weeks, “working” through it. Why don’t you come on a tour through the book with me? Read what I write, and share it with me (and hopefully us) wat you learn or would like to add.

In die voorwoord skryf David Watson die volgende [In the foreword, David Watson writes the following words]: “One of the clearest symptoms of this [Westerse Christenskap wat verswak het / Western Christianity became to weak to “compete” with Islam, Marxism and Third World Christianity] is the sad decline in true spirituality among the majority of Western Christians. We have neglected our prayer life; we have stopped listening to God; we have been caught by the covetous spirit of our affluent society, and worshipped the false god of materialism. We have exchanged our knowledge of Theos (God) for heady disputes about theological words, or for religious or social activism. We have forgotten how to be still before God, how to meditate, trapped as we are in the vortex of modern life. We have lost our sense of direction; and, confused and bewildered, we know little of the exuberant joy of celebration enjoyed by God’s people down the centuries, even in tough and depressing situations. There is little to attract the unbeliever in the traditional, organized Church.”

Mense is honger en dors vir God of vir een of ander vorm van geestelikheid, maar die kerk as institusie kan die nie meer bied nie. Daarom draai meer mense na kultusse, oostelike mistiek of okkultiese praktyke in ‘n soeke na basiese geestelikheid, wat nie meer in die westerse Kerk gevind word nie. Nogtans is die ware lig van Christus nog nooit uitgedoof nie.

People have a hunger and a thirst for God or one or another form of spirituality, but the church as institution can’t provide it anymore. Thus people turn to cults, eastern mistism or occult practices, seeking spirituality, which can’t be found in the western church. Still, the true light of Christ will never be darkened.

Watson skryf ook hierdie merkwaardige en waar woorde [Watson also writes this remarkable and true words]: “If we noisy, busy and talkative Christians…” (is ons nie nogal besige Christene nie!?) “…could take some of the disciplines of this book seriously we could undoubtedly become much more effective disciples of Christ.”

As jy “dissipline” lees, wat is jou heel eerste gedagtes?

If you read the word “discipline” what are your first thoughts?

Dink jy dat ons as Christene goed moet doen om nader aan God te kom?

Do you think that we as Christians have to do things to get closer to God?

Dink jy daar is ‘n verskil tussen “goed doen om nader te kom aan God” en “goed doen as werke, sodat jy by God kan uitkom”? Wat is die verskil, volgens jou?

Do you think that there is a difference between “doing things to get closer to God” and “doing things as works, to get to God”? According to you, what are the difference?

In ons gejaagde lewens, dink jy daar is plek vir sekere dissiplines om ons rustig te maak sodat ons kan fokus om God te hoor kommunikeer met ons?

In our hectic and busy lives, do you think there are a place for certain disciplines to make calm us down, so that we can focus on God, to hear Him communicate with us?

Pray for people around you… Ask for prayer-help


Op facebook behoort ek aan ‘n groep Crusaders for Christ. Die stigter van die groep is Ruan Swart, ‘n matrikulant van HS Rustenburg. Hy is awesome, en baie lief vir die Here. Hy het gister (31 Oktober) die volgende boodskap gestuur na sy groep se lede. Lees hierdeur, en deel sommer wat jy dink daarvan. As jy belan stel om die groep te besoek, of vir hom iets te stuur, hier is die links… Sy groep: http://www.facebook.com/inbox/?ref=mb#/group.php?gid=42858509280 . Die link na sy profile: http://www.facebook.com/inbox/?ref=mb#/profile.php?id=1123247215 .

On facebook, I belong to a group called Crusaders for Christ. The founder of the group is Ruan Swart,a matric pupil from HS Rustenburg (Rustenburg High). He is an awesomeguy, and love the Lord a lot. Yesterday (31 October) he sent the following message to the members of his group. Read through it, and share your thoughts about it, if you want to. If you want to contact him, for any reason, here is the links… His group: http://www.facebook.com/inbox/?ref=mb#/group.php?gid=42858509280 . The link to his profile: http://www.facebook.com/inbox/?ref=mb#/profile.php?id=1123247215

.

“I humbly reach out to you all to please take this upcoming week and pray for South Africa. You wouldn’t believe the things happening to the people.

I’m sure that even the least of us know someone close that have been murdered or sexually abused or raped, or self has been sexually abused or raped.

As individuals, there is not much that we can do. That’s why I ask that you take five minutes today to quickly pray for this country.

There is power in prayer, and God will change this country for the better.

I don’t ask much of you.

For those who want to, you can post stories on the wall of the group on what God has done for you and also if you have a prayer request that you want us to pray for.

If you dont want to post it on the wall, send me an inbox message and I will pray for you.

To the people writing exams:

Jeremiah 29:11
“For I know the thoughts and plans I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans of welfare and peace and not of evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.”

What ever the problem or trial, whether it is in a relationship or school, financial, anything… God can help you. Cry out to Him.

Remember, if there is anything that I can pray for, just send me and inbox message and also remember, just five minutes of prayer can make a difference.

God bless you all!

Ruan Swart”