2023 · Priest's Perspective

From the Priest’s Perspective: (July)

Greetings in Jesus’ name,

It’s been a busy but wonderful 2 months with you all, lots of pushing and pulling, lots of

encouragement, and some good lessons learned. Two very different but exciting Parishes, twice the amount of work but also twice the amount of love and support. Thank you all…I am so grateful for you all, young and the not so old 🙂

If today I had to ask you to describe how you are or were feeling this week or in general, in 3 words, what would your response be?
My response would be Completely Overwhelmed but Grateful (4 I know)…

It’s consistently been a tough couple of months for me personally but that being said, I am also

extremely mindful of the fact that everyone, no matter who you are, or what you do, we are all taking immense strain and we are struggling, some silently and others not so silently.

We are struggling; some with illness, most people with the spiraling cost of food, petrol, the interest rate (thank God for a break at the last meeting), some with our children, some with our parents, and some with our mental health. That is the reality of life and so yes it is ok to not be ok for it is here that our Lord meets us.

As Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha (2 Kings 6:16-18). God not only saved Elisha and his servant that day; He saved the entire Aramean force too, the king of Israel, and sent them home without the loss of a single life.

We are sometimes like the servant, well that’s true for me most of the time, we don’t see the whole picture and we assume the worst. Today, I want to encourage us to pray the prayer that Elisha prayed for ourselves, just 3 words, “Open my eyes or open our eyes”, so that we to can see beyond our pain and our struggles, to see what it is that God is preparing us for. In order for us to be used by God we must first be refined, fashioned, and shaped so that when we get through them we can know with

absolute certainty that God never once left us, that He was not just carrying us through but more than likely dragging us through in His loving arms.

I pray that God will open our eyes to the truth, to the struggles that everyone faces around us, to God, for who He is to us and for us. That God will open our eyes to the corruption and power struggles not just in government but also in the church, He will open our eyes to the young people who are

struggling to cope, open our eyes to those who are being abused and have to be silent because they have nowhere to go, OPEN OUR EYES, LORD.

Open our eyes, Lord, so that we make the right decisions, for our families, our church families, and our communities. Open our eyes to move in the direction that God is calling us to and to acknowledge the paths we need to turn back from that are causing pain and suffering to us and others.

Lord, You who have set the trajectory of our lives, open our eyes so that we may allow Your plan and purpose to be fulfilled, open our eyes…Just three words, “open our eyes” If we allow God the chance, He will turn our fears into opportunities, our disappointments into blessings, our despair into hope, our defeats into victories, our sadness into joy, and our mourning into dancing.


Perhaps, as we move into August when we celebrate our Women, we could and should ask God to open our eyes to what it is He wants us to see and with His help be courageous enough to make the changes necessary.

Blessings upon blessings,
Rev Deborah

2023 · Priest's Perspective

From the Priest’s Perspective: (June)

Greetings in Jesus’ mighty name.

Hard to believe it’s been a month already and what an awesome privilege it has been to meet you all and to slowly start getting to know you all at Church of the Good Shepherd and St Mary’s.

To be absolutely honest I was, and still am a little terrified of having to lead not 1 but 2 churches,  I didn’t quite know if I wanted to run or thank Bishop Nkosinathi for the challenge, opportunity, and privilege he has given me but by God’s grace and mercy we have all survived thus far. I continue to hear the Holy Spirit saying I want you to be who I created you to be …. so with that in mind I have forged ahead…

There are some really great people who have come alongside me to help and guide me, to encourage me, and sometimes to challenge me but always God leading, guiding, and directing me. If I can continue to hold the church and my job in tandem it will be

because I have with God’s help, a great support system, and so I constantly rely on you all to work together with me to be who God has called us to be here in this part of His vineyard.

It can be tough and tiring but it is also gratifying, I am amazed at how much I had learned over the years and how it is all coming together as I lead you all … I had planned from the side for so long but now it is my turn to lead as God is directing and it is a humbling but amazing experience.

We have made it through a month, I have felt loved, welcomed, and appreciated and I am grateful to God that He led me to be placed here … I am grateful for the respect

afforded me, I stand in awe of how great God is but what amazes me even more is that He continues to use a sinner like me to be your SERVANT LEADER …

There will be some changes coming:

  • 1. The first and third Sunday of the month Rev Peta will start the services at St Mary’s, giving me an opportunity to spend some precious time with the people of Good Shepherd
  • 2. The last Sunday of the month at St Mary’s will be a child-centered service
  • 3. A “Breath a Prayer” WhatsApp group will be started soon and you will be invited to join, this will be explained further soon.

Watch this space for more Godly-inspired additions to our services and community. I look forward to hearing your ideas and comments as together we build on the platform that has already been created by God and the past Rectors.

Blessings upon blessings,

Rev Deborah

Daily Reflections · Priest's Perspective

Season of Creation 1 Sept 2022

The heavens are telling the glory of God, and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. (Ps 19:1)

Welcome to this series of reflections on the Season of Creation. As we meet with God each day may the Spirit of God strengthen you for the life that He created you for.

We read from Exodus 3: 1-6

Meanwhile, Moses was shepherding the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.  There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from within a bush. Moses saw the bush ablaze with fire, but it was not consumed.  So Moses thought, “I must go over and see this marvellous sight. Why is the bush not burning up?”

When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called out to him from within the bush, “Moses, Moses!”

“Here I am,” he answered.

 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. ”Then He said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”

In the story of the burning bush, we find Moses out in the wilderness at the furthest point from home, in other words where he was most vulnerable and insecure, faced with the scariest thing that a shepherd could face, fire. Wildfires are a terrifying thing and sheep can easily be overcome by the raging flames. Moses’ first thought must have been panic.

We are faced with this same feeling every time we read of the calamities of the world, it feels like the planet is burning. Global warming is now a household expression, and we all know about the rising temperatures and heat waves, melting ice caps and extraordinary weather incidents. Still, there are those who would want to downplay the significance and create an alternative narrative, so that their own lives would not be disturbed.

The key to Moses’s story is that he looked intently at the “Bush.” He didn’t run away, he didn’t turn his eyes and say – ‘it’s ok it’s only one bush, it doesn’t matter, he didn’t say – fires are natural events just ignore it.’

No, he investigated.

And that is what we are going to do in this Season of Creation Series. We are going to take off our shoes. Now let me just draw your attention to that simple request from God.  We read it as if it is nothing. Moses is already feeling vulnerable he is faced with a fire that could spread and burn up everything around him. With his shoes off, he can’t even run away! With his shoes off, he is making a commitment to trust God.

So, take your shoes off, put all thoughts of running away from what God is doing in your life, and listen to the voice of God. God is speaking through what you fear, speaking through what you don’t understand, speaking through what you can only hear because you stopped to listen. You are on holy Ground. Your life is sacred, and you are walking in the presence of the living God.

 This Season of Creation we are going to pray for God to open our eyes to things that are all around us and calling out to us. They are calling us to care, to rethink our actions. They are calling us to change our way of living and interacting with the world. They are calling us to be transformed by the renewal of our minds.

So, join me each day as we seek the Lord with all our heart soul and mind and listen for His voice that speaks – from the burning Bush.

Let us pray.

In this Season of Creation, we pray that you would call to us, as from the burning bush, with the sustaining fire of your Spirit. Breathe upon us. Open our ears and move our hearts. Turn us from our inward gaze. Teach us to contemplate your creation, and listen for the voice of each creature declaring your glory. For “faith comes from hearing.” Give us hearts to listen for the good news of your promise to renew the face of the Earth. Enlighten us with the grace to follow the Way of Christ as we learn to walk lightly upon this holy ground. Fill us with the hope to quench the fires of injustice with the light of your healing love that sustains our common home. In the name of the One who came to proclaim good news to all creation, Jesus Christ.  Amen. (Season of Creation Celebration Guide 2022)

Priest's Perspective

I am sending you – Mark 6:7-13

Mark 6:7-13

7Then Jesus called the Twelve to Him and began to send them out two by two, giving them authority over unclean spirits. 8He instructed them to take nothing but a staff for the journey—no bread, no bag, no money in their belts— 9and to wear sandals, but not a second tunic.

10And He told them, “When you enter a house, stay there until you leave that area. 11If anyone will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that place, as a testimony against them.”

12So they set out and preached that the people should repent. 13They also drove out many demons and healed many of the sick, anointing them with oil.

In this wonderful piece of scripture, we have the Disciples being sent to do the work that Christ had come to do. There are some interesting principles in what Jesus commands them to do. One, they are to go two by two.  God created us to work in a community, there is no one-man show in God’s kingdom. The challenge I have for you today is who is your number two, who are you number two to? In life, we have these partnerships as a blessing from God. Spouse, business partner, colleague, friend, these are all significant Disciples that you are sent with. Always submit yourself to someone to be discipled and always be willing to disciple someone else. Who are you sharing your life with, your spiritual journey with? Jesus does not send us out alone but in two’s

Secondly, Jesus says – go out in faith, but also go vulnerable. Witness is not done from a position of self-sufficiency. You don’t go as one who has it all and has no need of your fellow man. We cannot witness from a position of superiority. Jesus sends his disciples as guests to the world, as ones who need to interact and share with others not only for the “others” well being but also for theirs. A Disciple goes in humility, recognising their need and dependency on those to whom they witness to.

Thirdly, They are to be guests in the homes of those that they minister to, accepting their hospitality and remaining committed to them. Lastly, Jesus warns them that not everyone will accept their message and that like Ezekiel they are to preach and leave the results to God. If they are rejected then they are to leave, reminding the people that if they fail to hear the truth and respond it is their responsibility. That’s a tough one, but Jesus’ point is, just because you are speaking Good News – doesn’t mean that everyone is going to want to hear it. In Jesus’s own ministry many rejected him and the same would happen to the disciples and to us.

Lastly, the Disciples preached repentance and it brought healing. God’s word will not return void to him and as long as we are disciplined and devoted to doing what we are sent to do, God will use our efforts for His glory and the salvation of the world.

Pray for the one that you are number two to! Pray for the one that you are seeking to take with you on your journey in Christ, preaching the Good News of the Kingdom of God. Amen.

Priest's Perspective

Feast of the Confession of St Peter 18 January 2022

Grace and peace to you today, from God our Father and His Son Jesus Christ.

Today as we celebrate the Confession of St Peter, it is the big question that we all have to answer for ourselves, that comes to mind.  ” who do you say that I am?”

We are surrounded by people and organizations that influence how you answer that question. The major influences in the modern world are individualism and consumerism, the religion of our time.

Christianity is a personal but not an individualistic way of being. Following Christ means accepting that you are part of the body of Christ and He is the head.  This teaching of St Paul is critical to our theology.

Today you are encouraged to think about your answer to your saviour, “who do you say He is” and what does that mean for your life. I’d encourage you to write a list in which you describe who Jesus is to you and then add what action you take or what effect that belief in Him has in your life. So for example:

Jesus is my King – I serve Him.

Jesus is my friend – I spend time with him, I share my life with him.

Jesus is my saviour – I repent and accept the Forgiveness that he offers. (etc).

Compare for yourself the answers that you believe other people have. Jesus asked – ” who do people say that I am.”  You need to know how your Church, how the Anglican Communion, how your Priest, your parents, your leaders, answer that question, so that you can grow in your own understanding.

St Peter came to his conclusion through participating in the “life of Christ,” through attending Temple and worshiping God,   through serving Jesus in daily life, through experiencing Jesus in the world.

You are offered the same opportunity to get to know Jesus, in worship, through His word and through participation in the community of God. The Parish is where you serve and grow in corporate faith, as the body of Christ. “We who are many are one body for all partake of the one bread.” Your discipleship is not just to build your own faith, your own life, your own salvation! Your discipleship is meant to build the body of Christ, the Church. May God draw you into a deeper understanding of Himself and of your life in Him, and may you be blessed as you seek the Lord with all your heart soul and mind today and as you answer your saviour’ s question: ” who do you say that I am?”

Choose life! Choose Faith! Choose to serve Christ.

Be assured of My prayers.