Seeds of Hope in a Storm

Our world has been plagued by the Covid-19 virus for 5 months, and my country South Africa has been in lockdown for 2 of those. It’s a time where we’ve all come to realise the power of words. We’re bombarded with news and interviews, opinions and statements from world leaders. Our phones ping with messages that warn or threaten or seek to inform us. We’re constantly trying to discern words that are real from those that are fake.

And, although I’ve always known it, it’s never struck me more that the words we speak or write have power. Power of life or power of death. No wonder the writer of Proverbs said:

“The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.” (Prov. 15:4)

Continue reading

My lockdown reading list, and the epiphany that led to it

What can be better than a good book when one is stuck at home, right? Wrong – it seems it’s not quite that simple. In our last book club Zoom meeting, many of my friends confessed that they’re struggling to read during lockdown, and I can tell you that’s coming from some pretty hard-core readers!

I had the same sense of lethargy and frustration early in lockdown. With my thoughts constantly circling around to the pressing issues of our day, I couldn’t concentrate on the words on a page. Nothing ‘grabbed’ me. I’d start a few pages of one book and then put it down to try another…and another, not able to figure out what I was in the mood to read.

Then I had an epiphany. Continue reading

The Lockdown Mother’s Day Tribute

Her children arise and call her blessed. (Proverbs 31:28)

I had all but forgotten that Sunday is Mother’s Day. Lockdown restriction, news of the pandemic, worries about the economy… these were the thoughts consuming my mind. I’m grateful to the person who reminded me however, because it’s given me time to pause and think about God’s beautiful gift of mothers. Continue reading

Lock-Ups-and-Downs

How are you really feeling in your lockdown life?

In the three weeks since lockdown started, we’ve all done our best to ‘look on the bright side’, ‘keep our chin up’ and ‘stay positive’. I wrote a rousing blog called My Seven Choices going into Lockdown and another one called How to Stay Joyful During Lockdown. All excellent advice—I meant every word. Continue reading

How to Stay Joyful During Lockdown

(Article written for Scripture Union,  April 2020)

How do we stay joyful during lockdown? Is it even right to feel joy when the Corona virus has brought such devastation, hardship and grief to so many people? These are the questions I’ve been asking myself ever since my daughter pointed out that the coming period is going to test our joy. I’ve turned to the Bible for answers, trying to uncover why it is important to maintain our joy in these uncertain times, and just how we can do it.

Read Full Scripture Union Article

 

(For more on the theme of JOY watch today’s RUC Lockdown Lookup Devotional)

 

My Seven Choices Going into Lockdown

At midnight my country goes into lockdown. As many other nations have done, South Africa has imposed this radical course of action to minimise the impact of the Covid-19 virus. The Corona virus is almost all we think and talk about. I’ve stocked up on toilet paper and pasta and even some things I don’t normally buy just because they were still available on the nearly empty shelves (does anyone have a good recipe for borlotti beans in brine?)

Everyone I speak to—from a safe distance of course—is on edge.

A scene from Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring comes to mind: Continue reading