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OM UIT DIE DIEP GAT TE KLIM
Ons het ‘n paar jaar gelede ‘n put naby ons huis gegrawe en toe ek die middag na werk by die huis kom besluit ek om met die put af onder toe te klim om die bodem te inspekteer waar die werkers die hele dag gewerskaf het. Die gat was alreeds 12 tot 14 meter diep en die boonste derde het penne gehad wat in die kante van die skag gekap was om die klim te vergemaklik. Vir die res van die pad ondertoe was daar vastrapplekke hier en daar uit die mure gekap. Daar klim ek toe na onder. Ek was alreeds moeg ná ‘n lang dag se werk, en teen die tyd dat ek die bodem bereik het, was ek nogal uitgeput. Ek het vergeet dat ek nie meer so jonk en rats was nie, en terwyl ek daar onder in die diep, donker gat staan, het die klim boontoe skielik vreeslik gelyk. Ek was alleen – ‘n dom fout – en soos die laatmiddag vinnig besig was om te kwyn, het ek besef dat ek geen tyd gehad het om te mors nie – ek moes uitklim.
CLIMBING OUT OF A DEEP HOLE
A few years ago, we were digging a well, and I decided to climb down to inspect the bottom. It was already about 12-14 metres deep, and the top third had spikes hammered into the side of the shaft to make climbing easy. For the rest of the way, footholds had been haphazardly cut out of the side walls. So down I went. I had already been quite tired after a long day’s work, and by the time I reached the bottom I felt quite exhausted. I had forgotten that I was not as young and agile as I used to be, and as I stood in the bottom of the deep dark hole, the climb back up suddenly looked formidable. I was alone - a silly mistake - and as the late afternoon light was fading quickly, I knew I had no time to spare - I had to climb out.
BIBLE BASED BUSINESS CHAPTER 1
It would be true to say that most people would like their lives to be successful, and yet, the vast majority of people never achieve this. Dreams remain only dreams. I looked carefully and wondered. What makes the difference between success and mediocrity/failure? I have seen many learned men achieve success while others fail. The rich and noble follow the same pattern.
Then amongst the poorest and most ignorant and seemingly insignificant, I saw some who never rise out of their condition, and yet others who rise up and achieve great and mighty things. So, just as Solomon of old, I said to myself, “Success does not depend on one’s background, nationality or advantage at birth – though these can go a long way to help”. Neither does success depend on luck! So what makes for success and how can we achieve it? Why, when all men strive for it, can some hit on the secret, and others fail miserably? What is success?!
I humbly present my findings to you and sincerely pray that this book will open up some of the secrets of the Scriptures to you. If these spiritual truths should not only be revealed, but also obeyed, I know some lives will never be the same again, businesses will flourish, and whole communities will be changed and blessed.
BIBLE BASED BUSINESS CHAPTER 2
Making the right decisions every time depends on certain vital criteria which must totally become part of our lives.
Please note that having only one of these criteria is not sufficient to guarantee correctness in our decision-making. All these criteria must be exercised with good balance.
They are as follows: Personal relationship with YHWH I find that YHWH promises over and over again in His Word that He would guide us by His Holy Spirit.
Being led by the Holy Spirit is a natural ‘by product’ of a good and regular prayer life. It is not just a desperate cry for help in a difficult time. It is rather a living relationship with Him Who is all Wisdom; He Who knows the end from the beginning; and He Who wants to become personally involved in our lives.
BIBLE BASED BUSINESS 3 AND 4
Jesus makes a profound statement in the Gospel of Mark. He told a desperate father whose son was being cruelly tortured by an evil spirit, Mark 9:23 “… All things are possible to him who believes.” And then He promptly casted out the evil spirit and healed the boy.
Similar statements are often either made, or shown by example, in the Scriptures. I list here just a few.
Mat 17:20 “... If you have faith as a mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it shall move; and nothing shall be impossible to you.” Jam 5:16 “... The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”
1Jon 5:4 “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith.”
Rom 10:11 “... Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” Abraham, the father of faith, believed YHWH when the situation seemed to be impossible. He was given a son, Isaac, at the ripe old age of one hundred years and his wife, Sarah, at ninety.
The Scripture holds him up as an example of one who believed in YHWH, in a situation of physical impossibility.
BIBLE BASED BUSINESS CHAPTER 5
Jam 4:10 “Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.”
Prov 29:23 “A man’s pride will bring him low, but a humble spirit will obtain honour.”
There are so many Scriptures which encourage a walk in humility, and conversely many warnings against pride, that this principle cannot be ignored.
Pride is a destroyer! A proud man is definitely steering towards disaster. All other principles might be heeded, and a person can be a great ‘man of faith’, but that will not help him if he is a proud man. His pride will trip him up, and all his achievements will be brought to nought.
So let us then firstly study the warnings against pride.
BIBLE BASED BUSINESS CHAPTER 6
Many people seem to think that YHWH is obliged to bless them simply because they are Christians, irrespective of how they live their Christian lives, and they can just sit back and wait for the blessings to arrive.
If this were so, then why would the Scriptures teach us to be diligent in our work?
Self-motivation I believe the following Scriptures hold great significance and cannot be ignored:
Prov 6:6 “Go to the ant, O sluggard, (now that is a good description for a lazy man!) Observe her ways and be wise, 7 “Which, having no chief, officer or ruler,
8 “Prepares her food in the summer and gathers her provision in the harvest.
9 “How long will you lie down, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep?
10 “‘A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest’–
11 “Your poverty will come in like a vagabond and your need like an armed man.”
BIBLE BASED BUSINESS CHAPTER 7
Prov 25:16 “Have you found honey?
Eat only what you need, lest you have it in excess and vomit it.” What a lovely descriptive way of gently warning us against abuse or overindulgence when good things come our way. It is amazing to find that a lack of self-control in the area of personal wants – really covetousness – can land people in deep trouble and debt. We often find that people who have become used to a certain lifestyle, and who experience a reduction in their income through inflation or whatever other reason, find it extremely difficult to eat humble pie and tighten the belt as it were.
They want to continue to enjoy the luxuries they were used to, and rather go into debt than to live with a little less. The path of life does sometimes take a dip, and it is at such a time that great care needs to be taken, lest we enter into debt through our selfish desires, and incur unnecessary expenses such as interest on overdrafts and other things – which always comes at a time when we can least afford it.
Recognise a dip when it comes, and then tighten the belt immediately, working through the dip to the other side. The Scriptures speak strongly against covetousness, and with good reason.
BIBLE BASED BUSINESS CHAPTER 8
Mat 6:19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
20 “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;
21 “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
Laying up treasures is clearly an instruction about investment, and I would like to examine from the Scriptures what principles YHWH gives us whenever we are considering an investment.
BIBLE BASED BUSINESS CHAPTER 9
Gen 8:22 “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”
This passage seems to be a simple statement of fact. It was a promise given by YHWH to Noah just after the flood had destroyed the earth. YHWH was setting in motion another universal principle. I will only allude to one part of this Scripture – the principle of seed time and harvest. Sowing and reaping.
What a man sows he will also reap – no sowing, no reaping.
BIBLE BASED BUSINESS CHAPTER 10A
It is not possible to claim success and yet have one’s home in total disarray.
The family unit is the central core of the nation, and once this essential unit within a nation is destroyed or in disorder, the whole nation suffers for it.
The same applies to business. Do not be fooled into thinking that one’s business life can be run separately from one’s home life, or that one can be successful in business while the home is in turmoil.
For a short time, such a deception might seem to work, but it is only short-lived. It is essential to have peace in the home if we are to be truly successful in business or any other area of our lives.
BIBLE BASED BUSINESS CHAPTER 10B
One of the loveliest pictures painted in the Scriptures regarding labour relations, is that of Boaz and his workers. The brief account reads as follows:
Ruth 2:4 “Now behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem and said to the reapers, ‘May the Lord be with you.’ And they said to him, ‘May the Lord be with you.’”
BIBLE BASED BUSINESS CHAPTER 10C
Apart from dealing in integrity, humility, diligence and the other principles already mentioned, I believe that there are some principles which relate specifically to those with whom we have business dealings; both in the purchasing of supplies and the selling of our products. Without other people who supply us with raw materials or who purchase from us, we would have no businesses. It is therefore important for us to realise that we need other people.
Prov 18:1 “He who separates himself seeks his own desire, he quarrels against all sound wisdom.”
WANNEER ALLES WEGGENEEM WORD, HET ONS NOG GELOOF
Ek en my gesin het Hwange Nasionale Park vir ‘n paar dae besoek. Wat ‘n lieflike, ontspanne atmosfeer – byna asof ‘n mens in ‘n hele ander wêreld weg van die probleme was. Soms het mens net ‘n breuk nodig om jou fokus weer reg te kry. Afgesien van die tyd saam met die gesin, om wild te kyk en voëlbespieding te doen (ek het 93 voëlspesies opgeskryf, insluitend twee nuwes wat ek nog nie voorheen gesien het nie), het ek die tyd benut om Skrif te lees en te oordink. Ek het ‘n outobiografie van Gypsy Smith gelees, ‘n groot evangelis wat gedurende sy lang leeftyd nie net in Engeland nie, maar ook in die VSA, Frankryk, Australië en selfs Suid-Afrika in 1904 bedien het. Dit was werklik inspirerend om te sien wat ‘n eenvoudige man met eenvoudige geloof in God in sy leeftyd kon vermag.
WHEN ALL IS TAKEN, WE STILL HAVE FAITH
My family and I went to Hwange National game park for a few days break. What a lovely, relaxed atmosphere - almost as if one is in a totally different world away from the problems. We need to take a break sometimes just so we can get focus again. Apart from spending time with the family, game and bird walks, (I clocked up 93 bird species including two new ones I had never seen before) I used the time to read and meditate. I read through an autobiography of Gypsy Smith, a great evangelist who in his long lifetime ministered not only in England but also many trips to the USA, France, Australia and even South Africa in 1904. It was inspiring to see what a simple man with simple faith in God could accomplish in his life’s work.
DIE MERKWAARDIGE SKAKEL TUSSEN GELOOF EN SWAKHEID
Die oorspronklike artikel is geskryf een maand ná die verpligte besetting van ons plaas deur die Zimbabwiese regering. Ons is drie maande gegee om van die plaas af te wees; hierdie was dus ‘n maand in daardie tyd in geskryf. Ek het hierdie geskryf om mense te help verstaan watter diep geestelike stryd ‘n mens tydens so ‘n traumatiese tyd deurgaan. Ek vertrou dat hierdie ‘n bemoediging vir jou sal wees, waar jy ookal in jou persoonlike stryd mag wees.
THE REMARKABLE LINK BETWEEN FAITH AND WEAKNESS
The original article was written one month after the compulsory acquisition of our farm by the Zimbabwean government. We were given three months to move off the farm, so this was written one month into that time. I wrote this to help people understand the deep spiritual battle that one goes through at such a traumatic time. I trust that it will be an encouragement to you, whatever your personal battle might be.
DIS ALLES IN DIE Oë
In 2002 as ‘n bemoediging aan boere gedurende die Zimbabwiese plaasbesettings geskryf
Mat 6:22 “Die lamp van die liggaam is die oog. As jou oog dan reg (enkelgesind) is, sal jou hele liggaam verlig wees. 6:23 “Maar as jou oog verkeerd is, sal jou hele liggaam donker wees. As dan die lig in jou donkerheid is, hoe groot is die donkerheid nie!
IT IS ALL IN THE EYES
Mat 6:22 “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. 6:23 “If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness.”
WEDYWER MET PERDE
Hierdie artikel is uit die oorspronklike artikel wat ek op 11 Januarie 2004 geskryf het, aangepas.
Dit was die begin van die finansiële ineenstorting van die Zimbabwiese dollar wat op die onregverdige plaas besettings gevolg het.
Die Reserwe Bank se beleidsverklaring op 12 Desember 2003 het die rentekoerse op oortrokke rekeninge oornag van 45% na ŉ astronomiese 600% per jaar laat styg. Talle maatskappye het oornag bankrot gespeel en my maatskappy en boerdery het ook amper deurgeloop. Dit was net deur die genade en bonatuurlike ingryping van die Here deur ‘n woord van wysheid wat die Heilige Gees my in daardie tyd gegee het dat ons bankrotskap vrygespring het.
COMPETING WITH HORSES
This article was adapted from the original article which I wrote on 11 January 2004.
It was at the beginning of the financial collapse of the Zimbabwean dollar, which followed the iniquitous farm invasions.
The Reserve Banks’ policy statement on 12 December 2003 had caused interest rates of overdrafts to rise overnight to an astronomical figure of 600%. Many companies went bankrupt overnight, and my company and farm also faced imminent bankruptcy. It was only by the grace of God that we were saved from bankruptcy through a supernatural intervention by God and wisdom which He gave me.
GEDIGTE VOLG BINNEKORT
More poems to follow.
Watch this space.
NUWE ARTIKEL VOLG BINNEKORT
More Articles to follow.
Watch this space.