25 January, 2015

Faith Like Potatoes - Book Review

Faith Like Potatoes is the story of Angus Buchan, a farmer in South Africa. One particularly bad year, when the land was in drought, and promised only to get worse, Angus decided to plant a crop of potatoes. His neighbours laughed, and thought he must have been out of his mind – Angus had never grown potatoes before, and this was not a good year to start. But Angus had something his neighbours didn't; faith. He had faith in a God who was bigger than any drought had ever been, and had the power to direct the weather however He chose. And those potatoes grew, and produced bountifully, in spite of the adverse conditions; it was a miracle. As Angus explained, “This is what Jesus has done. This is the way he has rewarded our faith. Our God is the God of the impossible”...

Angus' journey of faith grew from there, and before long, he was surprised to see himself, a simple unlearned farmer, traveling around the country sharing the good news of what faith can do. His farm became a home to orphans whose parents had died of AIDS, along with older widows, troubled youth, and farm workers, amongst others. God then called Angus to full-time ministry, and He used Angus' humble, willing heart to do a mighty work, both to his own neighbours, friends, family and abroad.

After reading Faith Like Potatoes, I was surprised at how much of a bestseller it is; because I wouldn't call the writing amazing or well set out. But the story itself, and the answers to prayer it chronicles, along with the descriptions of trials and heartaches we can all relate to, made this book real. And I think that's what make this book as well read as it is: it's real. God used a farmer who made mistakes, and messed up just like we do, to accomplish His purpose. And if He used Angus; he can use you and me.

As my Mum said: “It's inspiring that God can take a simple honest farmer and use him so much. Before he gave his life to the Lord, he'd made it, in terms of farming, but he didn't have peace in his heart, and he was losing his grip on life. But afterwards, he truly was a man who lived for the Lord, and took the Lord into all his experiences. It was also inspiring that when he felt called into the ministry he realized he couldn't run the farm as well, but God already had the answer. All His biddings are enablings. When God calls us, He already has the direction cleared.”

So, have you read (or seen) Faith Like Potatoes? How did it inspire you?

18 January, 2015

These Ordinary Days...

Recently I've been thinking about finding beauty in the ordinary, simple, little things of life. Often I tend to slip into a my-life-is-not-exciting attitude. It's not that I don't enjoy my life, or want it to be busier, but compared to everybody else's it seems so mundane, so ordinary. When it comes time to write about what I have been doing, in letters to pen-pals for example, I just sort of say something like "Not much. Just schoolwork mostly, and music practice, etc.” I mean, doesn't that sound uneventful to you?

But, the other morning I was reading in Deuteronomy chapter 28. At the beginning God is telling the children of Israel all the blessings he will bestow upon them if they obey him, followed by a selection of curses that will happen to them if they disobey. After reading the other books of Moses before Deuteronomy, a list of blessings versus curses, was fairly expected. They all begin with something like this one did: “If thou hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments...” followed by a list of blessings. Same, same. But then, when it got to the reason they would be cursed, it says this: “Because thou servedst not the Lord thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things;” (Deut 28:47) Wow. I hadn't read anything like that before. The Israelites would actually be cursed if they didn't serve God joyfully, and gladly. The reason they were to do that? Because God had given them an abundance of all things.
And God still gives us an abundance of all things today. All things - not just big things, but little things. ...I think God is trying to teach me to look for beauty in the tiny things that happen everyday; to enjoy every little happiness, and to actively look for the miniature blessings in life, not just the hulkingly obvious ones; to serve Him joyfully, for the abundance of good things he gives me, and you. Because, it's about enjoying every moment, and finding joy in the journey; not just the expected destination.

What has God been teaching you lately? 

You know, sometimes it's hard to be real on the internet. It's so easy to just talk about the good stuff, and forget the plain, normal, ordinary life. Without even trying, I seem to appear a little too perfect, and a little fake. I want to be honest, I want to be genuine, I want to be real, even, or especially, right here on this blog. It's my blogging new years resolution... So, I just want to say, I'm sorry if I've come across as a deeply spiritual, mostly mature, fairly perfect girl who knows everything about blogging. It's not true; I mess up every single day, I embarrass myself constantly with how immature I am, I'm still at the beginning of this road called life, learning to trust, have faith, and know God. And, I don't even know the first thing about blogging.