It’s a place of abundance.

More abundance than any human being living in this world can fathom.

Since Eden was closed to us no human being has ever been able to even begin to comprehend what Eden was like.

A place of constant bliss and joy. A place of complete and utter health. A place dripping with splendour and wealth. A place where thoughts of depression and anxiety never ever occurred. A place of peace. A place of far more than enough. Fear never ever occurred in Eden. A place of constant encouragement- where thoughts of despair, loss and discouragement never ever occurred.

Eden. A place that’s impossible to describe because even our greatest and wildest  imaginations cannot even begin  to grasp the abundance, fullness and absolute perfection that was Eden.

Eden was a place where it was impossible to need  anything because everything one needed was there. And yet in this place where humans needed absolutely nothing- not one thing- ever- somehow, in ways one could never comprehend, Eve was deceived into believing there was more- that something  was lacking.

And in this place more magical and more sublime than we could ever imagine- our ancestors fell. It is in this place where they once had all that they lost everything- because they believed that what they had was not enough.

I once heard someone say that if that could happen to our ancestors in a place where, really  they needed nothing– you could darn well believe it could much easier happen to us in a world that was so broken and we did  have real needs.

Having said that I’d like to share this piece from my dear friend Mercy Dembetembe who has taught me to guard my Eden. To watch out for the Liar who will ask seemingly innocent questions and cause me to lose my splendour by asking that very dangerous question: “Is God Holding out on me?”



By Mercy Dembetembe

God prepared a wonderful Garden of Eden for Adam and Eve because He loved them so.

Then the Liar came and wrapped himself around a tree. Just one tree.

He whispered a lie: “There’s more…”

And by deceiving Eve he sealed their fate. She and the man she loved were cast out of this wonderful, glorious, place.

God does the same with our lives and our thoughts.

He gives us beauty. And He blesses us- abundantly. And in this garden of splendour the Liar, who knows precisely which  tree to wrap himself around in our mind conjures up a tiny, negative thought.

The question always starts with doubt- such as: “Did God really say?”

That seemingly “small” negative thought questions what God has given us.

And as the conversation with this serpent continues, thought by thought, we begin to believe his lies.

And then we begin to question: “Could there really be more? Is God holding out on me? What if…”

If we don’t stop the conversation and if we don’t stop the destructive thinking we act on our unbelief.

This is why without faith it’s impossible to please God.

We fail to stay in what God has given us because we forget what He promised.

This happens so easily because “surely” the thoughts we’re having make sense? Surely there must  be more…

Before we know it we’ve traded this wonderful Eden we had for a lie.

And we find ourselves in a barren place where we have to labour, toil and give our very lives to attain even a fraction of what we’d initially been given by God, in abundance, for free!

We find that by believing the lie we’ve thrown ourselves out of the wonderful place that had been meticulously  made for us by a loving God.

I figure God walks through our minds, hearts and lives illuminating them so that we see good in others, the good in the things people do for us and the blessings given to us daily.

His illumination allows us to see clearly through His eyes and from His heart. Through those we are able to see the value in the things around us- in essence we see that He really does love us. And we delight in living in the goodness He wants us to dwell in. With that we can easily stay away from sin- which always starts out as temptation to doubt: “Did God…?”

Often the problem is the Liar uses things that seem real.

And we find ourselves saying things like: “Well this is how I feel.” Or “I’m just being honest.” Or “I need to be realistic.”

While we may believe our statements to be true, what’s really happening is that we’re in actual fact being drawn into negative thought patterns which draw us away from God and into things that are completely contrary to His best for us.

It all starts out with a single thought. Doubt disguised in a simple question.

The truth is God is not  holding out on you.

Protect your Eden. By staying in faith. By being diligent about what thoughts you allow.

Believe what God said to you. Believe what He promised. It might not make sense. Believing the lie may be easier and oftentimes simpler. But God has way more for you. Choose rather to believe Him.


A shout out to all my girls…

Who’s Guiding You?

I visited a friend for tea this week. As I was leaving she said, “You know Hannah it is such a blessing to have friends who are believers. Friends who can build you up and encourage you in the things of God rather than just bring you the latest gossip.”

As I look back on my week I can see that what she said was the theme of my week: being around people and environments that bless me and build me up.

We women have the amazing opportunity to build each other up- sadly sometimes- oftentimes perhaps- we allow wrong input to be our guide in the journey of our lives.

I’m at an interesting place in my journey.

It’s exciting. As I uncover God’s love for me, who He is and who He has made me in Him I can tell you that I’m coming under tremendous strife in the battle for my mind.

Sometimes I swing from one extreme to the next- other times I don’t know what’s from God, what’s me and what’s enemy fire… In such cases, oftentimes, it’s been hearing teaching from the Scriptures, the guidance of my husband, a Godly friend or someone in my fellowship that have helped me discern what is wise and God’s best for me.

I’m not saying we should depend solely on what people say about our lives- but I’ve come to realise that God has given us community for a reason. It’s so important who  we allow our community to be.

One of the things I’ve learned that has helped me so much is to be so vigilant about input into my ears. Because what I hear goes into my mind and inevitably translates into my life.

We women love to talk. We are amazing at receiving and sharing information. It’s an amazing strength we have- but we don’t always use it to build.

There came a time when I had to slap myself over the head because I was ripping my home apart with my very own hands!

It was a hard hard realisation because I’d believed I was doing it all right and it was “the other” person’s fault…

I had to learn to be careful about hi-fiving other women over rubbish that was essentially breaking my home and wasn’t God’s best for me.

There were other areas in my life where I came to realise that the reasons I was failing included my own wrong thinking which had been brought about by detrimental input I’d allowed.

Often we blame others, our past, our own weaknesses or shortcomings for our failures. But I believe that the first thing we always, always need to check is our thinking: What is it about our thinking that contributed to where we are? Granted there are things that happen that are completely beyond our control- But the bulk of what we have or don’t have is a direct result of our actions which all started out as thoughts. Those thoughts came from some input we received.

I don’t have it all figured out. But at least I’ve started.

I’m a tough cookie but I’m learning that the best chocolate chip cookie I can be is a pliable one… Mhm… Think gooey, yummy, brownie…

The more I learn about God’s best for me the more I realise some of my wrong thinking. And it all began with negative input I allowed.

The right input is a tremendous guide if we allow it to be.

Who we absorb and learn from impacts our decisions and ultimately our actions.

I’m coming to learn that when I find myself in a place that appears to be contrary to God’s best for me- I have to check my input. I ask myself: What led me to this place? And what will lead me out?

Who I allow to guide me has become such an important barometer for this amazing journey I’m on.

Who’s guiding You?

Perfect Love

God loves you.

That is what you have to know first and foremost.

For most of my life I was terribly concerned with what God wanted me to do with my life.

At times I’d be excited. Other times I was terrified because what if God asked me to go live in a mud hut in some remote area in Timbuktu! With no running water or electricity! I mean what would I do then! Not going would mean I was being disobedient. Going meant aaargh!  A life without running water or electricity – in a mud hut!

What a regrettable picture of who God is!

So recently I went down the same road: Examining everything I had going on and searching for God’s will- I was surprised to find out how terrified I was- again!

And as I began to study The Scriptures and soak myself in God this nagging feeling wouldn’t leave me. What if God asked me to leave everything I was doing and set me on another path? What really was His Will for my life? Was I following it?

Smack bang in the middle of my searching I stopped myself. Or it could’ve been God stopping me from the tizz I was getting myself into because I don’t have the restraint in me to not go crazy with such reflections. Anyway what I felt impressed upon my heart was that the fear I was feeling stemmed from me not believing how much God loved me.

So I stopped all my searching and self-reflection etc and decided to spend time instead finding out how much God loved me.

Note: This takes a while. Pretty much all your life if you ask me.

But I knew that I had to start somewhere.

The Scriptures say perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). For a long time I’d believed that once I had perfect love that would drive out my fear. I recently listened to a teaching though that taught me that this is not talking about our love as humans- because as humans it’s impossible for us to have perfect love. But God has perfect love toward us. Perfect unconditional love. And when we realise this the realisation casts out whatever fear we may have.

This love (God’s love) is ever present. Our part is to realise it, believe it and dwell in it.

As I find out how much God loves me everything else seems so insignificant. I trust that His desires become my desires and following His will becomes easy and joyful.

God will never ask you to do something you hate. You will have an ardent desire for it- you will be eager and excited and you will be joyful doing it. That is the goodness of God.

If He sends you to live in a mud hut in Timbuktu, you’ll be the kind of person who loves loves loves  such settings. You will love your mud hut- and you will find this kind of lifestyle exhilarating. I’ll be sitting in Jo’burg wondering how you could live like that and you will say: “Oh Hannah it’s just so wonderful. God is blessing me in ways I never ever imagined!” And you will have joy.

God is not a nasty, ruthless, proud, heartless, slave driver as I believed for so much of my life. He is compassionate and humble. He is loving and so kind. And even now after all He’s done for us He continues to work alongside us as a humble servant- and He is a King- The  King of glory!

Don’t be afraid of what His will for your life is. It is wonderful and you will enjoy it more than anything you’ve ever done. And once you’re in it you will wonder how come you were so afraid when this was what was waiting for you all along!

It could be that you’re doing exactly what God wants you to do but you may be doing it in a way that doesn’t have Him at the centre of your operations. You can always turn things around in Him. He may lead you down different avenues of the same field- the key is to be open to His guiding. He knows all things. And He provides fully for all His missions.

As little kids we were taught the parable about the foolish man who built his house on the sand and the wise man who built his house on the rock. My husband once told me that he believed that the rock was God’s love for him. I’ve come to believe this.

When we build on the absolute conviction that God loves us whatever we build will stand.

I grew up around teachings that were all about what I should do for God. That’s the wrongest place to start. We should start rather with what God has done for us in and through Jesus?

The most futile quest is to try and love God with all we have. In ourselves it can’t be done. But when you embark on the fruitful quest of finding out how much God loves you reciprocating that love becomes easy.

Before you ask God what He wants you to do realise how much He loves you. It is my experience that the more you focus on how much He loves you the more you get wonderful urges and desires- you may think they are your ideas but that’s you tapping into the mind of Christ which you have.

It all begins with absorbing this truth that God loves you, utterly and absolutely. His desire is for you to have joy.

You are not His slave but a fellow labourer with Him. More than anything He wants for you to have joy.

Remember always the reason He gave for coming to this earth: He came that you may have an abundant life.