Category Archives: Devotional

So proud of hubby!!!

andriesbookIt is just so amazing! The dream becoming finally a printed reality, a few days before my husband’s birthday.

Lots and lots of work and more than 2 decades of full-time ministry experience in the pastoral and prophetic went into this practical handbook on how to learn to pick up the things God wants to communicate to His people. This book covers dreams, vision, angels and so much more. Just so happy it became a reality. How boring is Christianity when there is only a one-way talk happening: the church talks to God and does not know how to listen for an answer … enjoy! Available on amazon as paperback or kindle version. Yippeh!!!!

A must-have handbook on how to tune into the voice of God!

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Yippeh, we just published our first book!!!

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Click here for your paperback copy!
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Click here to get your kindle copy!

Yippeh! I am sooo happy that in between raising two young and very busy sons, pastoring a church, managing a preschool and doing various charity work, my husband and I were finally able to complete our first book together!

This book is born out of the amazing things we have experienced in our daily walk with God in a nation that has many challenges. With so much crime and no real social security, we need to hear God’s voice so much more.

God talks, wants to warn and advise and encourage you! Dreams, visions, the bible, prophetic insight popping up in your spirit when you pray, we talk about how you can fine tune into God’s voice.

This book contains more than 60 exciting stories and events in our lives where God spoke things we couldn’t possibly know through human understanding alone, and how God uses a sensitive believer to impact the lives of others. Your personal faith will be built up, we will make you rush back to your bible to see if God really does all we quote from the book of books, and you will be so motivated to listen to Him with a new expectancy of getting answers. Thanks for buying our book, you are supporting our work in Southern Africa.

You are welcome to check out www.emmanuellife.org for more information.

Since amazon has different platforms for different nations, you are welcome to browse on your respective amazon site for our names or book title and download the book onto your kindle or kindle app from there! Look for “The Powerful Impact of a Spirit Led Life”or Andries van Heerden or Christiane van Heerden.

Ipromon the meantime we have also published a compilation of prophetic words for 2015 available here https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QW3A252 check it out! Especially inspiring for South African entrepreneurs and educators.

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Andries and Christiane van Heerden are senior pastors of Emmanuel Church in Louis Trichardt, Limpopo, South Africa. Besides impacting their own community in areas of ministry, education and charity work they travel to nations around the globe to inspire believers to really listen to God’s voice for a more effective impact into their communities. They enjoy raising their two sons, Steven and Samuel. For more information on their church and ministry check http://www.emmanuellife.org/

One week closer to achieving your dream: Friday, Hooray

Yeah Friday!

One week of achieving your dreams has come to an almost end. Thanks for staying with me. Today I am sharing some pictures I took in Bavaria on an amazing stay in Fuessen and a visit to the Neuschwanstein castle. Enjoy!

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When you plan your trip right, this is the exact view you enjoy from your room! Thanks mom!
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Neuschwanstein castle from across the lake where we stayed.
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The farmer’s house where we stayed on a working dairy farm. Germany is beautiful!
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Downtown Fuessen
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Taking the cable car up the mountain is fun!
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So beautiful atop the Tegelberg!

FUSSEN (20) FUSSEN (52)   FUSSEN (180) It definitely makes a difference to write down your priorities for the week and hold yourself accountable. Consciously creating your plan how to get to the next level of ones destiny takes effort on all levels.

Physical fitness and healthy eating, a happy attitude, good social skills, an exceptional work ethic are absolutely necessary to get where you need to be in life!

Whatever is your dream, shift your thinking to do everything necessary to get there. Live your dreams by doing something about achieving them.

Chances are, 5 steps a week are more than you did until now! If you keep developing yourself, they’ll no longer be dreams, and every step you take is a step closer to your destination.

Remember to have fun with every leap, enjoy the sweat pouring off your face and enjoy waking up early. These are not punishments, but are merely the way to fulfillment. With each step comes greater courage. Success feeds success. Don’t lose sight of your dreams, your destination, but also don’t forget to live in the moment!

There is one more thing: Help other’s to achieve their dreams. This brings you so much closer to living a fulfilled life yourself. And if you are not greedy about sharing your resources and expertise, others will feel at ease sharing their tricks of the trade with you, too.

By the way, for the people that work with or for you, you might be the possible source only encouraging word they receive all day. Don’t forget to be generous with your praise, even if it is for a small things. If you honestly praise those around you, they will be so much more motivated helping you completing your tasks, even go the extra mile for you. Easy truth, I know, but very powerful still.

Do not underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit to guide you. Keep tuning in to that still small voice. Hearing the Holy Spirit’s voice is part of a bigger relationship. It takes time to listen, and it takes time to build the patterns of walking with Him.

“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh”.—Galatians 5:16

The other day my husband stood in a well known pizza place in town, waiting for his order of 7 or8 pizzas for the youth of the church. He was in a hurry, hungry teens needed to be fed! But over the years he learned to never tune out the voice of the spirit, even when busy with mundane tasks. And he clearly felt that he should give the man waiting in front of the queue a word of encouragement. He felt a deep grief surrounding the guy. In a story it sounds logical: Go and talk to the man, of course. In a pizza queue it might not feel that natural to do so! You might look like a religious looney, right? But my husband experiences the nudging of the spirit every day and learned to be obedient. As he started talking to the guy about God’s care for him, the man broke down crying right there. He had experienced a huge family tragedy and was on his way to the funeral of his own wife. He was quickly buying pizza for his children who where waiting in the car. He had felt God had left him and saw no more hope. He needed to hear that God sees him, cares about him and is grieving with him. And that there will be people helping him on the difficult road ahead. Do not stay silent when you sense somebodys despair. You might save a life.

Last thoughts on one week of achieving your dreams:

Do not get discouraged, and do not be afraid to grasp unexpected opportunities.

One thing is for sure: we plan, and life happens differently. That does not mean that we will fail on our journey.

And as always – at least in my little life – whenever I decide on driving this or that and follow up some good resolutions, a lot of unexpected things go wrong.

FUSSEN (91)This week monday I have received 3! detrimental news that have the potential to knock me into perpetual depression. If you think I am trying to talk a fluffy little one week devotional for spoilt upper class western moms, you are mistaken. I live in Africa, work for an NGO (so definitely no upper class) and I am dealing with more daily trauma than most of my comfortable friends back in Europe. Add to this the daily potential for rejection as “stranger”, the high expectations we face as pastors, the daily violence in Africa and the ever-increasing gap with my overseas friends and family who do hardly understand the daily challenges of life in Africa, and you end up with a cocktail of emotions!

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Life is like a ship, setting sail, using a compass to reach new horizons. We sail with the wind. When adverse winds come, what do we do? We criss cross the sea, going a path that is left and right from where we actually need o go, but in the overall perspective, still gets us forward. And when there is no wind – we use oars.

Do not give up!

One week closer to achieving your dream – Thursday: A ride on a steam train

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Steven at two.

Hello again to One Week closer to Achieving your Dreams! Today I want to think about how to keep our lives beautiful.

My little boy Steven was 2 years old when somebody gave him a kiddies plate. Now my son is growing up in a loving home and has a big, loving, sensitive heart. We hadn’t exposed him to any violent entertainment yet as we do not deem it age appropriate.

After receiving this plate he got very sad, and then asked me: Mom, why would they give me a plate with a devil on it? Don’t then know that I do not like the devil? …

The plate he got was a Ben 10 plate like they are common in all stores, that little boy with all the dragons and monsters. Well my baby boy did not enjoy it and he simply did not want to use that plate. If you think about it – why would anybody make anything violent for a child? A small child’s soul is pure and lovely, may we not soil it with evil things and even pay money for it.

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Taking Steven on a steam train ride on one of the oldest steam trains in the world – the Harzquerbahn in Germany.

Little children have such a good understanding of what is right and wrong, and they want nothing more than to be loved and protected, and love you back. Can we try to keep that child-like innocence?

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The train goes up the Harz mountains to the highest peak north before the North Pole, the Brocken…
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Every little boy should be shown how a steam engine works … well I enjoyed the explanations myself as a little child. My dad was a great technology enthusiast who had a knack for making facts come to life!
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On top of the Brocken
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Click on this picture to find cool info about the Brocken, it’s history during the cold war and its heavy role in German literature…
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Exhausted on the way back…
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Back home …

Harzbahn (50) Harzbahn (91) Somebody once said it is never too late to have a happy childhood.

It’s never too late to clean up our ambitions and lives for a lighter, clearer way of doing things!

It is time to say to Satan: don’t cramp my style. Go to hell. –

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This train I took many times as a child, either to go visit my grandmother or to go skiing in the mountains…

Today is a good opportunity to allow God to show you which nasty things you are unnecessarily toting around on the journey of your life. Achieving our dreams is possible if we travel light.

Joh 10:11  I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.

Never forget, that Jesus is the one who loved you so much that He would trade His royal rights for your shame, so that you can walk upright again.

There is no plan B with God, no matter what happened in your life, His plan A is still valid and there for you to go for.

Sometimes we are so shrouded in shame and guilt, and negativity, that we give up on our passions.

Maybe you know somebody who has no food tonight, but rejection has damaged you so much that you don’t dare cooking for the poor person. You are afraid they might not like your food! Well, give that rejection to God, and go buy some buns and butter … do not ever let the past steal the joy of the future.

Stop eating from satans plate of shame, rejection, hate and bitterness – refuse them like my child did. Give this day to Jesus, He loves you so very much!

I included pictures of a day trip to the Brocken mountain with my dad. I hope you enjoy the journey. I have always loved train rides.

 

 

 

 

Create in me a heart so

full of love that it reaches

each person I meet and

brings out their goodness

Create in me a heart full of joy

so I can lift up those who feel

they have no hope

Create in me a heart full of forgiveness

so I can be free to give peace and understanding

Create in me a heart that grows

in love for you each day

Most of all Jesus

Create in me a heart

which desires only you

and to do your will

 

by Cindy Tuttle

One week closer to achieving your dreams – Wednesday Night

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One week closer to achieving our dreams … wouldn’t mind a bathroom like this … for now saving to have one like this for a short vacation seems hard enough, haha … but dreams are there to be dreamed right!

Wow, this daily devotional blogging is really help me to stay positive of where I need to keep my focus.

My son Steven, 4, really cracked me up yesterday. I was commenting on how long our dog, a Weimeraner-Dachshund cross, is proportionally to his short legs. Steven is wondering for amoment. Then, totally serious and amazed, he asks: “But mommy, how does he manage to reach the ground with those short legs?”…

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Steven was a serious thinker from day one! He traveled more in his first 4 years than many adults I know have.

Blonde moment … haha.

Wednesday Night:

Hi, how far have you come for achieving your dreams for this week?

Remember, dreams are the beginning. If we do not dream up where we would want to be in a years time, we will not make rational plans on how to get there. Without plans, actions can not follow. In the end, we might have wasted another great year that God gave us here on this earth.

God Has a Plan.

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Elephant Safari. To learn more about my traveling life, check http://christianevheerden.wordpress.com/ if you like!

The universe is not a car without a driver, nor a driver without a map. The Bible often speaks of this great plan of God. It is the “purpose” of that famous and favorite Bible verse, Rom. 8:28. Rom 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. God has planned out this purpose in advance. He thought it out, planned it in every detail, and carries it out “on purpose”.

His purpose for you is this: Joh 10:10  The thief does not come except to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

For us to experience this purpose, we need to be in sync with God’s heart beat. God created the world lovely and beautiful. Men came and through disobedience brought death and destruction.

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With my in-laws in the African Bush …

Now it takes us hard work and effort to cultivate the earth to make it the beautiful paradise it was meant to be. But God is very pleased if we do give it our best to make things beautiful, to be creative and be a blessing. So did you stay true to your 5 points your wrote down on Monday? Each time you discipline yourself to do what is right, and to walk an extra mile, to learn a skill instead of watching TV, to help a friend instead of being selfish, you help adding love to the planet. Mostly, on Wednesday nights we have run out of steam. That’s why churches have cell groups on Wednesdays, to help you recharge and fuel your resolve.

Can we pray today that Jesus will fill your tank, take away hurt and disappointment and help you reach your dream?

One week closer to your dreams – Wednesday

Hi everybody, how was your night?

My little one is teething and apparently needs a mommy hug every 30 min at nights …

My old friend was sure happy over the meal last night. You don’t realize how much it means to a lonely person to feel somebody thought about you. I should make it a habit.

I hope you all used your time well.

Remember the verse from Proverbs I was sharing this yesterday?

Pro 2:10  Wisdom will control your mind, and you will be pleased with knowledge.

Pro 2:11  Sound judgment and good sense will watch over you.

Pro 2:12  Wisdom will protect you from evil schemes and from those liars

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One thing I absolutely MISS big time living in South Africa is a stroll through a pedestrian zone. I lived and worked in Stuttgart before, and it’s parks and Kings street (Koenigsstrasse) always provided for inspiration. I would love walking for hours, watching people, writing down thoughts … in South Africa there is nothing like that.
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Beach on a rooftop in downtown Stuttgart.
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Stuttgart has over 8 km of parks inside the city! Central Park NY go home!

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God really is honoured when his children are smart. There are enough evil schemes out there to get us. Have wisdom and you will be protected. If we do not lock our doors at night and we get robbed, can we blame God the next morning? No, it was our own foolishness and some other person’s evildoing, that teamed up in harming us.

Let me put it this way: there is no club of good people out there. If you receive a phone call informing you that you’ve won the British National Lottery, you put down that phone. I’ve got news for you, you most certainly did not even know of that lottery before, you never bought a ticket, and you did not win. And you do not give out your ID number nor bank account details to anybody, also not on email. That is wisdom, and that is protecting you, according to God’s precious word, from evil schemes and liars.

God is pleased when we make a wise plan, check it with God’s word, and see it through. God is not pleased with people who constantly start something and always lack the drive to see it through to completion. That is why I hope that this week you make a decision to make planning a habit and to stick to the plans you are making.

 

I have been in South Africa for almost 8 years now. Children that I saw after their birth in hospital are going to school now, kids I taught at church are finished with High School!

I realize what an unkind privilege youth is. To believe you have all the time in the world ahead of you, that resources are endless and life is good… only to realize a decade later that time is running out, mercilessly, that resources are hard to come by and life simply is not fair.

My life in Africa has added to this stark realization of the insignificance of a human life. Recently a friend died after a minor medical procedure that went slightly wrong, and the doctors just didn’t care. He died on the way home from hospital. A short life – over before it amounted to anything that would even just justify an article in the daily paper.

How do we slow down this life? How can we leave footprints that last? Is there something you can create, and leave behind, that will be a positive reminder of you?

Without God, it is impossible to make sense of being a timeless being in a time constricted universe.

The hope of a life that lasts an eternity helps to act unselfish here and now.

I could never understand how someone could deal with weapons, making a fortune of the cruel death of others, and then go home and swim in the pools with their children?

Only when you take God out of the equation can you be that selfish, consumed by the here and now, not touched by the consequences of your own actions.

But how then can you parent to leave a legacy if consequences are removed?

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After sharing in a church in Germany I am presented with some handmade puppets for my work with children in South Africa

This tiny spec of life that I have must be used for something positive. A decade has passed too quickly. Believing that God sees and appreciates the effort is a comfort.

Ask Jesus to help you, today, with His spirit, to make right decisions, to build your house properly, and to leave a blessing behind wherever you go.

Thank you for your time,

Christiane

One week closer to achieving you dreams: Tuesday Night

Hi, how was your day?

I am talking to you this week about understanding our purpose in life and reaching our goals.

Have you made your list of five things you need to do this week yet?

Remember, to be successful in God’s eyes, we need to walk the righteous path and be a blessing to the land we are in.

And as always – at least in my little life – whenever I decide on driving this or that and follow up some good resolutions, a lot of unexpected things go wrong. Today I have received 3! detrimental news that have the potential to knock me into perpetual depression. If you think I am trying to write a fluffy little one week devotional for spoilt upper class western moms, you are mistaken. I live in Africa, work for an NGO (so definitely no upper class) and I am dealing with more daily trauma than most of my comfortable friends back in Europe. Add to this the daily potential for rejection as “stranger”, the high expectations we face as pastors, the daily violence in Africa and the ever-increasing gap with my overseas friends and family who do hardly understand the daily challenges of life in Africa, and you end up with a cocktail of emotions! Today I was asked by our worship leader at church to play some violin for a DVD recording in May. Geez, I basically haven’t practiced since the children came along as it takes much concentration and small children want to touch everything all the time! When Steven was small I still used to give some lessons, but by now totally gave up for lack of time and babysitter!

Any other time I would have said, sorry bro, but I can’t see how I am gonna do this. But this is challenge yourself-week, so whoppa, I am trying … gonna try … still trying to catch my breath from the horrible event this afternoon which for privacy sake I wont be able to discuss.

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Steven dancing away at a live concert at the sea promenade in Binz.

And a journey of a thousand miles begins with one single step – and it takes about 3000 little steps to walk 1 kilometer! The little steps we are taking this week serve us to come closer to where we want to be in the end.

Psa 37:5  Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

Psa 37:6  And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.

Psa 37:7  Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

Have you seen people prosper because they use evil ways to get where they want to be? God encourages you not to loose hope although it might seem you

Psa 37:8  Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.

Psa 37:9  For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.

We believe that God knows where you come from and how you got here. We should not think that because the wicket thrive for a day, (some decades, more realistically) it will be good with them forever, or that because the righteous seem to suffer more, their end wont be better.

Go your way steady and upright and you will arrive at a wonderful place.

Was it tough getting that first thing done today? For me, staying away from sugar is big. Sugar makes me big, right? So for a happier self one needs to cut out stuff that makes happy? Seems tough enough. So I decided not to go to Woolies because they have that delicious chocolate mousse which I love so much. Guess what, now Pick n pay has it too. So how do you avoid temptation. Buy a banana instead. Something has top click in place in our minds to create those enzymes that give us so much drive that we do not need civilized drugs such as sugar and chocolate. I am not against them – but healthy eating is a big stepping stone towards success.

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At the Stortebeker festival, a huge open air musical on the island of Rugen.
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My son will never forget the live show of the life of Klaus Stortebeker, a righteous sea adventurer who revenged the poor and oppressed.
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To offer such experiences to our kids, it takes a lot of planing!

Stortebecker (35) Stortebecker (125)Today was all about planning. We have to plan our lives or time will just happen to us and we will be surprised by how fast all of this is over.

Earlier this year we celebrated my son’s birthday. We have had 364 days since his last one to prepare for today. Let’s just say things are not as easy as they should be. As parents we want to do what is best for our child. We want them to grow up happy and be confident, productive members of society.

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First Birthday Party’s Choo Choo cake

I can say confidently that it is easier said than done. If it takes this much work just to get a birthday party right, I can’t imagine how I am going to help him succeed at school and find the job of his dreams?

Even for a 4 year old, a birthday party needs to be perfect. The weather must be right; food must be prepared at perfect specifications – Steven knew that he wanted a cake in the shape of acastle, so mama searched on the internet how to best get that right.

You even have to make sure you have gifts and activities for the people who will be attending. Who knew? I always assumed the only person getting gifts was the birthday person. But all the friends at school gate cake and favour packs and the kids visiting us at home as well. Plus Steven wanted a piñata, you know those things that you hit and then sweets come out.

Even a cheap birthday party is expensive. This year we couldn’t afford to invite all church families like we did before. What I am trying to say is, it is really important to discuss your kid’s birthday parties when you are doing your financial planning.

My husband and I have done everything we can to try to make my son’s birthday party one he will never forget. We made all the arrangements, set appointments, made invitations, and bought gifts. A lot of  energy for a few hours out of one day. There is urgency, excitement, and nervousness all happening within me at the same time.

Planning:

If we can do this for our kids, why cant we do this for other areas of our own life as well? I can personally attest that I didn’t have a problem investing in my son’s dream. I have tried to make the planets align and let me tell you that is not easy. But when am I going to start investing in my dreams, my future?

Am I making the right arrangements to reach the heights and the depths I want to go? Am I setting the right appointments with people who will help me grow? Am I inviting the right people into my life?

No, I am not? So, it is time I started to plan my own party of success.

How about you?

Have a blessed night, Christiane

Good night song