<![CDATA[Queen in Gold - Blog]]>Wed, 27 Mar 2019 20:09:04 +0200Weebly<![CDATA[When at His feet]]>Wed, 27 Mar 2019 08:01:43 GMThttp://queeningold.co.za/blog/when-at-his-feet​“What am I about to do?” she asked herself looking down at the alabaster jar in her shaking hands. The possibility of rejection was very real. She had a reputation for being a sinner and was definitely not welcome in the house of Pharisee. 

​She took a deep breath and walked into a room full of men, carrying her most precious possession – her future, her security. Trying to ignore the cruel stares directed her way; she searched the room for Jesus. He was all she was there for. It was all because of Him. 

She couldn’t help herself; tears were already streaming down her face. This wasn’t really part of the plan; she was hoping to be a bit more composed. But standing face to face with Him somehow exposed the burden of the sin she was carrying. It’s like everything about her broke open in the same way she broke the jar of expensive perfume. She fell at His feet and in spite of her past and the harsh comments by some of the men in the room; she felt like she belonged. He wanted her there.
(See Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; Luke 7:36-50; John 12:1-8).

Something about this story always leaves me a little bit speechless. Would I have had the boldness to do what she did? Or am I merely one of the bystanders who’d consider her act of worship a waste?

What can we learn from this woman?

True worship is vulnerable

Everything about Mary’s act toward Jesus was one of vulnerability. She rudely interrupted a dinner party she hadn’t been invited to; threw expensive perfume over the guest of honor and washed His feet with her tears. She also then dried His feet with her hair. Culturally women kept their hair covered in public, because of the beauty thereof. Taking off her hair covering in a room full of men would’ve been considered a shameful act
​There was nothing about this woman hiding behind a mask of pretense. Her sins were exposed and so were all her intentions. She considered Jesus so worthy she was willing to wash the dirt off His feet; spill what was likely her most prized possession over Him and then dry His feet with her hair.
"​There was nothing about this woman hiding behind a mask of pretense."
​The disciples, on the other hand, immediately found fault in the woman’s act and tried to impress Jesus by saying the money of the perfume should’ve rather been given to the poor. Jesus isn’t that impressed with our attempts to do the right thing. He longs for pure and honest worship.
“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” – John 4:23

​​Living a life of worshiping God is going to ask you to sometimes step out in vulnerability – especially towards Him. Shame is this ugly thing that was never intended to be part of creation. Adam and Eve walked around naked and unashamed (Genesis 2:25). Then sin came and they hid themselves, trying to cover their nakedness (Genesis 3:7-10). But God asks us to open our hearts to Him and be real. He doesn’t want our attempts to impress Him. He wants us just as we are. For when we come to Him as we are, we’re giving Him the opportunity to truly heal us.
“Come now, let us settle the matter,’ says the Lord.
​‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” – Isaiah 1:18

True worship is giving everything

Apart from being completely vulnerable, the woman came to Jesus with the very best she had. The alabaster jar of perfume was worth about a year’s wages. We don’t know why the woman had this jar, but we can assume she didn’t just have a few standing around in her house. This jar was likely a financial investment or family inheritance. It was something extremely valuable. However she attained it and whatever its intended use might have been; the woman decided to pour out the entire jar over Jesus. 

​If you think about your own life; what do you consider valuable? Would you be willing to “waste” this for the purpose of honoring Jesus? From a worldly perspective, the woman’s act made no sense. According to the by standing Pharisees and disciples there was no justification for what she did. Perhaps if she sold the jar and gave the money to the poor it would make a little sense; but just pouring it out over Jesus didn’t.  
"She chose to see Jesus for who He is and chose to honor Him for that."
But in that moment the woman chose not to look at value from a worldly perspective. She chose to see Jesus for who He is and chose to honor Him for that. She chose to give her very best.

When we start looking at our lives there are often so many areas we’re willing to settle for “good enough” instead of “very best.” 

True worship is bringing your heart
​Jesus valued the woman’s act – not because of what she’d done, but because of her intentions. He wants us to give our best, but more than that He wants us to want to give our best. He wants us to see Him for who He is and be willing to lay ourselves down in the same way He has. Worship is a response to our relationship with God. You can’t fake it – it has to be authentic. 
"He wants us to give our best, but more than that He wants us to want to give our best." 
​What I love about this story is that Mary didn’t only bring her best. She’s not this worldly idea of the perfect woman dressed in a beautiful gown coming to pour expensive perfume over Jesus. No, it’s a story about a sinful woman, who’s crying and appears to be a little bit of an emotional mess. She comes to bring Jesus her very best, but at the same time she also brings the very worst of herself.

Worship is not about being perfect, it’s about coming as you are.

“The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’
And let the one who hears say, ‘Come!’
Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.
​– Revelation 22:17

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<![CDATA[An open letter to the girl in a toxic relationship]]>Fri, 08 Mar 2019 11:38:56 GMThttp://queeningold.co.za/blog/an-open-letter-to-the-girl-in-a-toxic-relationship​I hope that you'll really understand my heart with what I’m about to say. This morning I was reminded that we are to walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8). I was reminded that I’m not better, smarter or holier than you. What I am about to share is simply because of grace. For some unfathomable reason God chose me to walk with Him. Today I would like to remind you that He chose you too.
You might not consider your relationship with this guy toxic. I’m going to take a wild guess and say he might even treat you better than some of the previous relationships you’ve had. In some ways you might even think this relationship is good for you. And that is exactly why I would like to remind you who you truly are; beloved of the Almighty God (Song of Songs 6:3). Compromising your purity, dignity and self-worth is not His plan for you.

He knows your inner being and deepest desires and He longs to give you the fulfillment no man can. 

​Seeking fulfillment
​A few weeks ago I wrote an article called “Being single and being content.” In it I address one of the curses Eve received after the Fall; being an illegitimate longing for her husband (Genesis 3:16). That’s where it started – this crazy idea that Adam will be able to fulfill you. Oh and how he’s failed you over and over again; one after the other. 
"​Sin causes us to turn to a sinful Adam instead of a loving God."
You see, instead of meeting your needs Adam becomes your ruler (Genesis 3:16). In his own sinfulness he’s blind to your worth and treats you accordingly. And when this man on whom you’ve placed all your longings and desires, utters your worthlessness; you believe him.

Sin causes us to turn to a sinful Adam instead of a loving God. Daughter, I wish you’d see your Father’s not calling you to burden you with religion, He’s calling to speak His truth and meet your deepest needs. 

His standard

I remember being in high school and craving acceptance from boys. Since then, God has led me to experience relationship with Jesus; setting a new standard. I’ve learnt that even though Eve was cursed with an illegitimate desire, desiring marriage is not wrong. Even before the existence of sin, God designed marriage as a metaphor for His relationship with us (Ephesians 5:31-32). Ultimately the relationship between man and woman ought to resemble Jesus’ relationship with His Bride.
​The reason I’m saying this is not to condemn your current situation, but rather to reveal the beautiful plan God has for your future marriage. God desires to be made known in and through earthly romance. That, my friend, is the standard. It’s something we cannot cease striving towards. 
"Ultimately the relationship between man and woman ought to resemble Jesus’ relationship with His Bride."

You’re not cheap

In the article “Modest or beautiful?” I spoke about how our bodies belong to Christ, because He paid for us with His own (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).  

You are not cheap - you were bought at a price.
One of the major lies girls buy into is that they need to compromise their purity in order to receive love and acceptance from a man. Ironically, God has given you the gift of purity to give your husband, because of the commitment to love and accept one another in marriage.  Marriage is the only safe space to live out your sexuality. God designed it this way because of the vulnerability thereof. A sexual relationship outside of marriage opens the door to uncertainties about whether you’ll ever be “good enough” for your boyfriend. 
"He’s actually asking you to remain pure in order to experience the brilliance of the plan He has for you." 
If you’re currently in a relationship where you’re compromising your purity in any way, I pray that God will reveal His heart about sexuality to you. He’s not asking you to remain pure to punish you. He’s actually asking you to remain pure in order to experience the brilliance of the plan He has for you. God’s idea of sex is not outdated; He actually has a much higher standard than the modern-day culture.

Also read the article “The truth about SEX (Every unmarried Christian should know).”

Only God can heal

Whether you’ve been hurt in a toxic relationship or you feel unclean because of past sin – Jesus already dealt with that on the cross (John 19:28-30). And if you can think all the way back to lies the enemy told when you were only a little girl – Jesus dealt with that too.

If you haven’t heard it before; this is His invite for you to accept His forgiveness, grace and Divine healing.

Allow Him to speak His truth, His Word, over you. Allow Him to show you who Love is and what it’s supposed to look like.

Open your heart to more. There’s always-always-always more of Him.

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<![CDATA[Why I ran a half marathon and how it impacted my life]]>Fri, 01 Mar 2019 05:02:07 GMThttp://queeningold.co.za/blog/why-i-ran-a-half-marathon-and-how-it-impacted-my-lifeThis is one of the few articles where I simply want to share a story from my life. I hope that it will inspire you as it has inspired me.
Sunday, 24th of February 2019 I ran my very first half marathon. This, my friends, is a testimony of God’s goodness. It’s not your typical running testimony where I miraculously got healed from some or other injury. It is about how faithful God is to manifest Himself in different seasons of our lives.
I’ve always been the arty girl who doesn’t do sports. I never thought God would teach me a lesson through RUNNING– but He did.

Where it all started

I first “started” running in 2014 during my year in England. As you might remember, I previously wrote about how I spent a year in England doing a course that challenged me in absolutely every way (Bravery vs. Womanhood). 
In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle and (for me especially) learn dependence on God – the year also included running. We actually had a goal to run a half marathon by the end of the year, but somehow we never actually got around to train enough for it. Honestly, I was extremely thankful. I really didn’t like running. 
"Although I didn’t like running, it taught me that I am able to face challenges, because of the strength God gives." 

What He taught me

But in spite of not enjoying running during that year – God used it to teach me a few lessons.

One of the prominent Scriptures I held onto was Isaiah 40:31
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

​God used running as a metaphor for all the difficult things I was going through. Even though it felt like I couldn’t go any further; somehow I did, because He was carrying me. Although I didn’t like running, it taught me that I am able to face challenges, because of the strength God gives. 

It wasn’t over yet

Excluding a few odd 2 kilometer jogs I took a break from running until somewhere in 2017. I cannot pinpoint the exact reason for starting again, but unexpectedly I started to enjoy it.  So I ran more and further and I started pushing myself. 
​Then one morning in June 2018, I came across a woman right after she had been stabbed. You can read all about that in the article “On her way to heaven.” I believe God used running to bring me to that woman. I realized His protection over my life, but at the same time became aware of the dangers of running on my own. This was a challenge on its own, but only one month after the incident I was back running again.

“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” – 2 Timothy 1:7

Back to Isaiah 40:31

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” 

​​What really led to running the half marathon, though, was a season of trusting God. After expectantly inquiring to Him about the season I was in; He gave me Isaiah 40:31 one Sunday at a church gathering. Some of you might have been delighted in receiving a word like that from God, but being the thematic verse for a very challenging season of my life, I was not. I didn’t want to go through another season like that. I was resistant.
Then one of my friends gave me a mug for my birthday with the words “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength” written on it. 

Then someone prayed that I will be able to soar like an eagle.

Then another person prayed the exact same thing.

I can’t even remember all the instances, but the verse just kept popping up everywhere I went. So I chose to embrace it – not realizing how this running metaphor will once again become a physical thing.

Deciding to run a half marathon
A friend of mine suggested I should think of doing a race. After looking up different dates for races one particular one caught my eye. This one – on this specific weekend – which held so much significance to the journey I’m on. And right then I decided to run the 21 kilometer race.  
"...it was symbolic for trusting Him with every other area of my life." 
​I realized that this was something God called me to do, especially because it was symbolic for trusting Him with every other area of my life. 

A display of His goodness

After the incident in June I tried to run at times when the streets were at their busiest – simply for safety purposes. To train for the race, however, I was going to have to run more and further than usual – I realized I was going to have to trust God to protect me.
​Oh and how faithful He’s been.
​He even sent a dear friend to do long runs with me on Saturday mornings. And get this – He took me out of my neighborhood to do long runs on a beautiful farm. During my year in England we ran through a beautiful park. It was like God was taking me back to finish something He started in 2014!
"Right there, when it’s really hard, is when we truly encounter who He is."
It’s easy to miss God’s blessing in difficult times; but I believe God uses challenging times as an opportunity to bestow His goodness on us. Right there, when it’s really hard, is when we truly encounter who He is.

Running that race

The night before the race I read a post by another blogger about running after God and chasing His purpose for your life.

So I kept thinking of running towards God. I cried about twice during the race and again in the car on the way home; not because of pain or tiredness; but because of being completely aware and overwhelmed by His presence.
​It’s not just a physical thing, you see, running is still this weird metaphor for my current reality. I’m running towards God in everything I do. I’m trusting Him. 

“Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” – Psalm 23:6

​I hope that you will choose to be inspired by my story – whether you are facing a season of challenges or not. I hope that you will choose to seek Him in your day to day life, because He is there; working all things for the good (Romans 8:28).

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<![CDATA[Dare to love]]>Fri, 22 Feb 2019 08:18:40 GMThttp://queeningold.co.za/blog/dare-to-loveThis article was written by a good friend of mine. She shares her unique, teenage perspective on what it means to love both yourself and others. Her story reminds us that we are loved and because of that we can love others. 

​​Last week I (guest blogger) realized that the way I see myself deeply affects the way I love. True and Godly love starts within yourself (Mark 12:31) – seeing yourself as God sees you. The point of love is not being easy and comfortable. Love is not about you – but that is where it starts!

The girl who needed love
At a party, there was this girl who played on my sports team for few years. Despite this fact, she never really socialised with me or the rest of the team.  Whenever I’ve tried to include her, it seemed like she didn’t want to participate in the conversation. I realised that not including yourself in the group is sometimes a way of avoiding rejection. She was in need of love.

The difficult choice
This left me with a choice: either I could leave her to find her own way, or I had to sacrifice my own comfortable place among my friends and join her to make her feel noticed. Although it was easy to identify the “right thing” to do, the choice was still a struggle.

I found myself asking in frustration, “Why can’t she just be like the rest of us?”
"Although it was easy to identify the 'right thing' to do, the choice was still a struggle."
​Those words stopped me in my tracks. I had to consider the attitude of my heart. I knew I was supposed to be seeking the good of others, but my heart was filled with pride. I was part of the group; and she wasn’t. I had made the effort to be part of the group; she hadn’t. I have built relationships over the last few years; she didn’t. I felt like I belonged; and she didn’t. 
"This was an opportunity for Him to use me, but I was blinded by pride."
​She needed love. Not a love that I could give, but a true love only Christ could give through me. This was an opportunity for Him to use me, but I was blinded by pride. I was scared of losing my place or missing out; believing that very same lie of insignificance encrypted into her mind.  

Our longing to be loved

Victor Hugo said: 
“The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.” 
​This is what we all long for. We long to be deeply known; completely understood and secure in love. The only place where such a love can be found is with Christ. He will never tell us:  “Oh, you didn’t pitch, so I replaced you,” or “You changed, so I’m opening your position for others who could be interested.” 

Love is found in Him

 “...the life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” – Galatians 2:2
​Jesus picked you. Jesus loved you. Jesus gave Himself - His comfort - for you.
He wants you and not what you can offer Him. He died so you never ever have to be rejected again. You are precious in His eyes.
“He will take great delight in you; in His love He will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”
​- Zephaniah 3:17
“Since you are precious and honored in My sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life.” - Isaiah 43:4

And so you can love
If we live in the freedom that God’s love brings, we can overcome the pride of our social status. We can see and respond to the needs of others. We don’t need validation from others. We can respond to the command to “Love as I have loved you” (John 13:34), because we truly understand the unconditional love that this offers. We understand, because we have received that authentic, perfect love. We won’t love from our own resources, but from the empowerment that Christ’s love brings.
​I remember times when I was the outsider. How I would have wished for someone to notice me and be my friend.
"We won’t love from our own resources, but from the empowerment that Christ’s love brings."
​In Christ’s security, we can all be that friend. Not the one who says: “I love you, because you are just like me,” but “I love you, because Jesus first loved me.”
“Love is not an affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person’s ultimate good as far as it can be obtained.”
​- C.S. Lewis

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<![CDATA[Being single and being content]]>Thu, 14 Feb 2019 09:11:09 GMThttp://queeningold.co.za/blog/being-single-and-being-content​Most of you probably know at least one person who met their spouse at about the same time they stopped looking for someone and started enjoying their singleness. If you are single you’ll usually get reminded of these love stories right after expressing your frustration with still being on your own. 

​​As true as their stories might be, it simply doesn’t work like that for all of us. Learning to be content is usually one of God’s purposes for singleness, but being content is not a box you can tick in order to get married. Marriage is not a prize you get for being “content enough” on your own.

Learning to be content is an important part of life and not just singleness. We learn to find contentment in Christ throughout our lives and for many of us; this journey starts with being single.

What does "content" mean anyway?

One of the many definitions in the Cambridge Dictionary defines “content” as “accepting something as satisfactory, although it could be better.” From a Christian perspective contentment is not merely “accepting” your situation, but finding satisfaction in Christ, in spite of your situation.

This seems to align with the Biblical use of the word:
“For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 1 Corinthians 12:1
 “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation...”
​– Philippians 4:11-12
“For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” – 1 Timothy 6:7-8

The longing
​Being content in your singleness does not mean denying your desire to get married. I happen to believe that on the journey toward contentment it is necessary to admit your desires to God (Philippians 4:6).
"But more than that – He created them for a relationship with Himself."
We are created with a desire for intimacy. We are created to love and to be loved in return. God Himself said it is not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18). He created Adam and Eve for a relationship with one another. But more than that – He created them for a relationship with Himself.

This is usually where many of us seem to miss the point...

Your (future) husband will never be enough

As Godly and wonderful as your future husband might be – there will always be a gap in your heart only God can fill.

After the Fall, Eve was cursed with an illegitimate desire for her husband (Genesis 3:16). This desire goes beyond God’s intention for husband and wife. It causes Eve to look to Adam to meet her need for intimacy – a need placed in her heart by and for God.

Being content is not having all your longings met

​​In her book, Lies Women Believe, Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth goes as far as to say we will always have unfulfilled longings on this side of heaven. Our longings ought to be directed to God and fuel our desire for more of Him. We find contentment in hope and not always in the realization of our desires (Romans 8:18-24). 
"As Godly and wonderful as your future husband might be – there will always be a gap in your heart only God can fill."

So what does it have to do with being single?

​Singleness is an opportunity to start growing in contentment. You are in the privileged position to learn to direct your desires towards God and not illegitimately bestow them upon a man. 
"It simply means desiring God more than marriage."
This doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to desire marriage or make that desires known to God. It simply means desiring God more than marriage. 

It means spending time with Him instead of day dreaming about who your husband might be. It’s seeking His will for this season instead of comparing it with what you see on social media. It’s not lowering your standards because you’re desperate for a relationship. It’s choosing to believe He’s in control and that His timing is perfect (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

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