A Place to Land: A Story of Longing and Belonging

A Place to Land: A Story of Longing and Belonging

by Kate Motaung


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781627076623
Publisher: Discovery House
Publication date: 04/02/2018
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Kate Motaung has written for iBelieve, (in)Courage, Ungrind, Thriving Family, and Crosswalk. An American who spent ten years living in South Africa, she expresses the challenges and blessings that come with being emotionally tied to two continents. She blogs at katemotaung.com.

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ABBA. An Aramaic word, meaning "father," used by Jesus in His agonizing prayer in the garden of Gethsemane the night before His death (Mark 14:36).

This word shows the close relationship that Jesus enjoyed with God the Father. Most Jews of Jesus's time thought of God as a distant, unapproachable being. But to Jesus the Son, His Father was as near and dear to Him as a human father.

ABIDE IN ME. See Remain in Me.


A prediction of Jesus that referred to the destruction of Jerusalem. This prediction came true about thirty-five years after His earthly ministry, when the city was destroyed by the Roman army (Matthew 24:15).

The phrase comes from the prophet Daniel, who predicted another calamity for the Jewish people more than five centuries before Jesus's time (Daniel 12:11). Daniel's "abomination" referred to the desecration of the Jewish temple by a pagan Syrian ruler named Antiochus Epiphanes about 170 BC.

With His prediction, Jesus declared that another abominable event — just as bad as Daniel's prophecy — was imminent. It happened in AD 70 when the Roman general Titus put down a Jewish revolt and destroyed Jerusalem. Thousands of citizens either starved during the prolonged siege or were killed after the city fell. See also Olivet Discourse.

ACTS OF THE APOSTLES. A book of the New Testament that recounts how Jesus's followers carried out the Great Commission to continue His work in the world after He ascended into heaven.

Beginning at Jerusalem, where Jesus was crucified, faithful believers witnessed among the Jewish people. But by the close of Acts, both Jews and Gentiles throughout the Mediterranean world were turning to Christianity in large numbers. A church had even been established in the capital city of the Roman Empire. This far-flung outpost of the gospel represented the fulfillment of Jesus's command to early believers to carry His message "to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8).

The first chapter of Acts also contains an account of Jesus's ascension into heaven after His parting commission to the apostles (Acts 1:7–11). Chapter 2 records the coming of the Holy Spirit to early believers on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1–4).

Throughout the first twelve chapters of Acts, the apostle Peter took the lead as a bold spokesman for the gospel. Then a zealous Jew named Saul, trying to stamp out this new faith that he considered heretical, was gloriously converted to Christianity. He soon became known as Paul, the "apostle to the Gentiles," who dominates the rest of the book. See also Great Commission.

ADULTERY. Engaging in sexual acts with a person other than your spouse. This sin is prohibited by the seventh of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:14). The law of Moses specified that a person committing adultery should be stoned to death (Leviticus 20:10).

In Jesus's day, a group of Pharisees and teachers of the law once brought to Him a woman accused of adultery. They asked Jesus what He had to say about her sin, reminding Him of the Old Testament command to stone adulterers, hoping to trap

Jesus into making a statement they could use against Him. But Jesus turned the table on the woman's accusers. "Let any one of you who is without sin," He declared, "be the first to throw a stone at her" (John 8:7). Jesus was saying that judgment against sin is best left in God's hands, that only those who are free of sin can sit in judgment over the sin of others.

Every one of the woman's self-righteous critics walked away, shamed by Jesus's wisdom and grace. Then He assured the woman that He didn't condemn her, but at the same time He issued a challenge: "Go now and leave your life of sin" (v. 11). Jesus offered no easy forgiveness that demanded nothing of the woman — she had to decide between her old way of life or the way of righteousness as a follower of Jesus.

In His broader teachings on adultery, Jesus also warned against sexual lust and unbridled desire. Filling one's mind with fantasies can lead to the physical act of adultery itself, so He warned, "Anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matthew 5:28).

ADVOCATE. A title of Jesus expressing the idea that He pleads for His followers before God the Father (1 John 2:1).

All believers, though redeemed by God's grace, have moments when they fall into sin. When this happens Jesus intercedes on their behalf with God the Father. When Christians confess their sins, He restores them to a right relationship with a holy and righteous God.

Jesus has the right credentials to represent His people when they are accused of wrongdoing because of His atoning work as Savior through His death on the cross.

AENON. A place where John the Baptist continued to baptize converts after he had baptized Jesus (John 3:23). Aenon's exact location is unknown today, though it was along the upper reaches of the Jordan River. It was near Salim, another site with a location lost to history.

Probably neither Aenon nor Salim was the site of Jesus's baptism. He was apparently baptized in the lower reaches of the Jordan River, in the desert area near the Dead Sea. This is the region where John was preaching when Jesus launched His public ministry (Luke 3:1–9). See also Baptism of Jesus; Bethabara.

AKELDAMA. See Field of Blood.

ALPHA AND OMEGA. A name of Jesus that emphasizes His completeness, eternity, and oneness with God the Father (Revelation 1:8). Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet, and Omega is the last. Thus, this name declares that Jesus is the beginning and the end — the first and the last — and everything in between.

He existed with God the Father as the agent of creation before time began (John 1:3). He brings meaning to His people's day-to-day existence. And He gives believers hope for the future when their earthly lives come to an end. Jesus is the eternal one in whom people can place their total trust.

ANDREW. One of the original twelve disciples, or apostles, of Jesus. According to the gospel of John, he was the first of the apostles (1:40–42). Andrew was a follower of John the Baptist before he became Jesus's disciple.

Almost every time Andrew is mentioned in the gospels, he is bringing someone to Jesus. After meeting Jesus, he found his brother Peter and introduced him to the Master (John 1:41). At the feeding of the five thousand, Andrew told Jesus about the boy whose lunch was multiplied to feed the hungry crowd (John 6:8–9). As the Lord's earthly ministry was drawing to a close, Andrew — along with Philip — told Jesus about a group of Greeks who wanted to talk with Him (John 12:20–22).

Andrew and his brother Peter were fishermen from the coastal village of Bethsaida on the Sea of Galilee (John 1:44). See also Disciples of Jesus.

ANGELS. Spiritual beings who serve as special messengers of God and as agents of His power in the world. Angels are created beings — thus not divine — but they are superior to humans in knowledge and strength.

Angels played a special role in the life and ministry of Jesus. The angel Gabriel announced to the virgin Mary that she would give birth to "the son of the Most High" (Luke 1:32). In the last book of the New Testament, Jesus confirmed that He had sent the angel who shared the visions that the apostle John recorded (Revelation 22:16).

Angels also:

• Told Zechariah that his son, John, would prepare the way for the Messiah (Luke 1:11–17);

• Announced Jesus's birth to shepherds (Luke 2:9–14);

• Warned Joseph in a dream to flee to Egypt (Matthew 2:13);

• Told Joseph when to return to his home country (Matthew 2:19–20);

• Ministered to Jesus after His temptations ended (Matthew 4:11);

• Rolled away the stone that sealed Jesus' tomb (Matthew 28:2);

• Appeared to several women at the empty tomb (Matthew 28:5) and individually to Mary Magdalene when she lingered at the tomb (John 20:11–12);

• Will accompany Jesus at His return (Matthew 16:27) and sound trumpets in the end time (Matthew 24:31).

ANNA. An elderly prophetess who recognized the infant Jesus as the Messiah when He was dedicated at the temple in Jerusalem (Luke 2:36–38).

Anna's husband had died after they had been married for only seven years, and she had been a widow for many years after that. But this tragedy didn't make her bitter or resentful — she worshiped and prayed in the temple every day. Her faithfulness was rewarded by a glimpse of the babe-in-arms who was the long-awaited Messiah.

Anna passed on this good news to many other people "who were looking forward to the redemption of Israel" (verse 38).

ANNAS. A Jewish religious official before whom Jesus appeared after His arrest (John 18:12–13). A former high priest of the Jews, Annas may have insisted that Jesus be brought to him because of a personal grudge.

Jesus had driven merchants and moneychangers out of the temple (Matthew 21:12–13). This shady business enterprise may have been operated by Annas and his family.

After questioning Jesus, Annas sent Him to the current high priest, Caiaphas, to be tried before the Jewish Sanhedrin (John 18:24). Caiaphas was Annas's son-in-law. See also Caiaphas.

ANNUNCIATION OF JESUS'S BIRTH. The formal proclamation to the virgin Mary that she would give birth to Jesus, the Messiah. This message was delivered by the angel Gabriel just a few months after he had announced the birth of John the Baptist to Zechariah and Elizabeth (Luke 1:26–38).

An annunciation of a different type was made to Joseph, the man who had promised to take Mary as his wife. When it became apparent that she was pregnant, Joseph determined to break his marriage pledge. But an angel informed him that Mary's pregnancy was supernatural and that she would give birth to the Messiah. This divine reassurance convinced Joseph to proceed with the marriage (Matthew 1:18–25). See also Mary, Mother of Jesus; Virgin Birth.

ANOINTING OF JESUS. One of two lavish displays of love for Jesus which occurred at different points in His earthly ministry. Both actions were performed by women who poured expensive perfume on His feet, then wiped them with her hair.

The first anointing happened early in Jesus's ministry when a sinful woman approached Him in the home of Simon the Pharisee. Jesus contrasted the woman's act of love and devotion with the cold reception He had received from Simon. The Lord rewarded her faith by extending forgiveness for her sins (Luke 7:36–50).

The second anointing occurred just a few days before Jesus's ministry on earth came to a close. Three gospels record this event, but only John's reveals that the woman was Mary of Bethany, sister of Lazarus (John 12:3–8; see also Matthew 26:6–13; Mark 14:3–9).

Judas, the disciple who later betrayed Jesus, objected to what he considered a waste of costly perfume. But Jesus commended Mary's unselfish act, describing it as a form of preparation for His approaching death. "It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial," He declared (John 12:7). See also Mary, Sister of Lazarus; Simon the Pharisee.

ANTICHRIST. An evil being who opposes Christ (anti means "against") and His work in the world. The word does not appear in the gospels, but is prominent in the additional writings of the apostle John.

According to John, many antichrists were already at work during the latter years of the first Christian century. He identified them as false teachers, many of whom denied the divinity of Jesus (1 John 2:18–23), while others insisted that He did not exist in a human body (1 John 4:2–3). John affirmed in his gospel that Christ was both fully human and fully divine (John 1:1–14).

In John's book of Revelation, he envisioned the rise of a single evil being of great power in the end time. This antichrist, "the beast," will war against Christ and the forces of good. But he and his henchman, the false prophet, will be defeated and "thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur" (Revelation 19:20). See also Satan.

ANTIPAS. See Herod, No. 3.

APOSTLES. See Disciples of Jesus.

APPEARANCES OF JESUS AFTER HIS RESURRECTION. According to the book of Acts, the period between Jesus's resurrection and His ascension lasted for forty days (1:3).

His followers were slow to believe that Jesus had broken the bonds of death, so He spent time with them to prove that He was still alive. During these forty days, He also prepared them to continue His work on earth through the church, by relying on the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4–8).

The four gospels record several appearances of Jesus to His followers during this period. In the book of 1 Corinthians, the apostle Paul also mentioned several post-resurrection appearances of Jesus that do not appear in the gospels. According to these sources, Jesus appeared:

• to Mary Magdalene at the empty tomb (John 20:11–18);

• to another woman named Mary, along with Mary Magdalene, at the empty tomb (Matthew 28:1–10);

• to two followers on their way to Emmaus, a town not far from Jerusalem (Luke 24:13–32);

• to Peter, apparently in Jerusalem (Luke 24:33–35);

• to ten of His disciples in Jerusalem at a time when Thomas was not present (John 20:19–25);

• to the eleven disciples, including Thomas, in Jerusalem a week later (John 20:26–29);

• to His disciples at the Sea of Galilee (John 21:1–14);

• to His disciples at His ascension near Jerusalem (Luke 24:44–53);

• to more than five hundred followers (1 Corinthians 15:6);

• to James and all the apostles (1 Corinthians 15:7); and

• to the apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 15:8). Paul was probably referring to his dramatic vision of Jesus on the road to Damascus, an event that resulted in his conversion to Christianity (Acts 9:1–19).

ARCHELAUS. See Herod, No. 2.

ARIMATHEA. See Joseph of Arimathea.

ASCENDS INTO HEAVEN. After His earthly ministry came to a close, Jesus returned to God the Father. The event was witnessed by the eleven disciples who remained with Jesus after the suicide of the betrayer, Judas.

Jesus was "taken up" from the Mount of Olives (Acts 1:9), near the village of Bethany (Luke 24:50–51). After He disappeared into a cloud, two angels assured the disciples that His return was just as certain as His dramatic return to God the Father.

The supposed site of Jesus's departure is marked by two different churches — the Catholic Chapel of the Ascension and the Russian Orthodox Church of the Ascension. Both are visited by pilgrims to the Holy Land.

ASK, AND YOU WILL RECEIVE. A promise of Jesus to His disciples (John 16:24). He admitted that He would no longer be with them in the body. But they could continue to draw strength for the days ahead through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.

The key to this promise is the little word ask. Many people who need help are too proud to request assistance. Followers of Jesus admit their shortcomings and ask Him to keep them growing both in their commitment to Him and in their service as citizens of His kingdom.

ASK, SEEK, KNOCK. See Sermon on the Mount, No. 6.

ASSOCIATES WITH SINNERS. After Jesus called Matthew as His disciple, the tax collector hosted a meal to which he invited his tax collector friends to eat with the Lord. Also present were many other people who were classified as "sinners" by the scribes and Pharisees. They criticized Jesus for associating with such people (Luke 5:27–32).

To the religious establishment of Jesus's time, "tax collectors and sinners" were those who did not keep the rituals and requirements of the Jewish law. They were unclean people — the outcasts of society — who would defile anyone who associated with them.

But Jesus treated such people with respect and compassion. He showed by His acceptance that God welcomed all people who were willing to turn to Him. To the criticism of the scribes and Pharisees He responded, "I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance" (verse 32). The self-righteous fault-finders actually paid Jesus a great compliment when they accused Him of being "a friend of tax collectors and sinners" (Matthew 11:19).


Excerpted from "Our Daily Bread Jesus Source Book"
by .
Copyright © 2018 George W. Knight.
Excerpted by permission of Discovery House.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Prologue 9

Chapter 1 Enough 11

Chapter 2 Hospice 21

Chapter 3 Divorce 37

Chapter 4 Stuck 49

Chapter 5 Growth 61

Chapter 6 Forgiven 75

Chapter 7 India 87

Chapter 8 Direction 95

Chapter 9 Cape Town 105

Chapter 10 Kagiso 121

Chapter 11 Cancer 131

Chapter 12 Married 143

Chapter 13 Change 155

Chapter 14 Birth 161

Chapter 15 Motherhood 175

Chapter 16 Comeback 181

Chapter 17 Adopted 195

Chapter 18 Visit 201

Chapter 19 Identity 211

Chapter 20 Grace 219

Chapter 21 Grief 227

Chapter 22 Gone 233

Chapter 23 Good-Bye 239

Chapter 24 Home 255

Notes 268

Acknowledgments 269

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A Place to Land: A Story of Longing and Belonging 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Jocelyn_Green More than 1 year ago
Honest, vulnerable, and triumphant. I really loved this book! As Kate Motaung explores what "home" means for her, spanning her parents' divorce, ten years in South Africa, her mother's cancer, and more, there is truth here for all of us. Kate's story of longing for a place to land would resonate with anyone, especially military wives and others who know exactly what it is to be uprooted.
lelesurfer More than 1 year ago
We are not home yet Kate Motaung, author, online host, and blogger introduces her book "A Place to Land: A Story of Longing and Belonging" with a question that comes up on her flight from South Africa to the US to attend her mother's funeral: "Was I leaving home or going home? Even after nine years in South Africa, I wasn't sure?". It is a very honest bock with statements such as "I had nothing left to give, and couldn't handle playing the mom role when all I wanted to see my own mom live." Motaung's challenges were especially great since her parents divorced when she was in second grade and, as a result and later in South Africa, had lived in various homes. As a child she saw how God provided for her mother after the divorce and she saw her mother's faithfulness in attending church with Kate and her sister Sarah. The people in church became Kate's family, but even in high school she ping-ponged between identities, living a double life-style, and searched a place to land. A mission trip to Toronto opens her eyes to the fact that she is not the only one from a broken background and starts to lead her toward mission work in Africa. In South Africa she experiences the wounds and challenges of this young nation in 2002. Cape Town did not replace home in her heart but filled her enough to distract her from the holes. Then she feels home slip through her fingers when her relationship with Kagiso, her future husband, deepens. She is open about the hurt over overseas cross-cultural living that she experiences at her daughters first birthday and has to deal with the fact that she was an ocean away when her mother's cancer came back, unable to help, but thankful that she could fly back to the US a few times to visit her sick mother. The death of her mother raises the question again: "Where is home?" She has to adjust to the "new normal." Kate realizes as Christians we are living in the "in between" - here on earth we are not home yet. I appreciate the fact that Motaung opens every chapter with a quote or Bible verse that corresponds to the contents of this particular chapter. Her memoir of her first thirty years of life can best be understood by others (cross-cultural workers, Third-Culture-Kids, ...) who are aware of the fact that there is "home" in ones "passport country" and there is "home" in the country or countries where one has live (I am speaking of experience, having lived in an African country for 27+ years and also having arrived "too late" back "home" when my mother was dying). I highly recommend Motaung's book to readers who are trying to understand people with such a background and I recommend it to cross-cultural workers to see that they are not alone in their struggle with the longing and belonging, with the struggle to define what or where "home" is. The complimentary copy of this book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley free of charge. I was under no obligation to offer a positive review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. #APlaceToLand #NetGalley
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This moving memoir is a story of faith, grief, home, and the sustaining love of God. Kate Motaung writes of her upbringing as a child of divorce in Michigan, her decision to do mission work in South Africa as a young woman, her marriage to a South African man, and her mother's devastating cancer diagnosis. Throughout the book, change and challenge constantly stretch Motaung's sense of "home"; it is heartrending to read of how torn she is as she tries to support her mother from a distance while raising a family and trying to obey God's calling on her life. But as she brings her questions and doubts to God, she is constantly reminded of God's faithfulness despite upheaval and loss, and that her (and our) true home is in God's presence. This is a fairly straightforward, mostly chronological memoir, competently written.
PhDMama More than 1 year ago
Few books have challenged me the way A Place to Land has. I have laughed, cried, and worshipped while reading her story, and I closed the book (reluctantly, might I add) with a solid sense of satisfaction. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has struggled at any point to define home - whether it be physical, emotional, spiritual, or relational. The themes Kate explores are universal, crossing racial and geographic lines as well as navigating cultural and age gaps. She takes care to show honor and illuminate beauty on every stop of her journey, and I felt like a first-class passenger on each leg of the flight. This memoir has changed me and affected me deeply - not only because I could relate to much of it personally, but also because I could feel myself yearning for the healing that comes with belonging. It isn't found in one place, but in one Person, and by the end of the book I realized the redemption I had desperately sought for years was always there. I just needed to let go and accept it. I hope it will do the same for you. I received a complimentary copy of this book and was under no obligation to provide a review.
CharaD More than 1 year ago
Kate tells her story in an inviting way that not only lets readers connect with her, but also shows them truths about their own lives. She walks readers through the gut-wrenching process of losing her mother and the life-long quest of finding a feeling of home. Also included: a good love story, cultural commentary, motherhood moments, and sisterhood bonds. She brings glory to Jesus and his constant presence in our emotional ups and downs.
j_sparrow More than 1 year ago
As soon as I saw Kate’s book, I knew I wanted to read it. Not just because the cover makes me remember the first time I went to visit a friend in Texas. Or that I’m captivated by how the sun looks, It was title and the blurb of how she struggled with her parents divorce and the longing for home. I felt interested that maybe someone could put to words what has been hard for me. She did. Kate Motaung’s memoir, A Place to Land tells her story of her struggle growing up torn. From her parents divorce when she was young and all that went along with that. Two separate houses. Holidays. Friends that had married parents. To moving to Cape Town, South Africa where she met her husband and the longing for there and home in America. Kate also tells of her mom’s battle with cancer. I had a really hard time reading parts where she longed to be with her mom, but couldn’t be because she was on the other side of the world. Her bond with her sister, Sarah during this time was fascinating to me. Through all of the stress and just complete overwhelm during that time and even after, the bond between them only strengthened. Through all these changes, Kate’s faith remained steadfast. The way she cried out to God with each new change gave me hope. Her story gave me hope that God does hear us when we call to Him. He comforts us when things are hard and loss is heavy. God remains faithful through all things. I learned a lot about South Africa culture while reading this book. Table Mountain sounds really cool to look at in person. Wine Gums are not anything to do with wine, but are fruit flavored gummies that taste really good. I even asked two friends about them who live in Cape Town about them and took the plunge to buy them. Also, Sweppes isn’t ginger ale like it is in the U.S, but seems like it would be good to try. I also learned Rand is African money, tripe is the second stomach of a cow (yes, I know a really random fact, but I never knew.) and vulvuzelas are plastic horns. I loved Kate’s writing throughout the book. It felt like I was sitting down with a friend, listening to her tell me her story while being reminded of God’s faithfulness again. That He is the giver of all things and where we find true belonging.
Ruth Verkaik More than 1 year ago
This book is not for the faint of heart. Kate grabs your emotions and holds them captive as she boldly and honestly tells her story. If you’re human and you’ve lived in this world long enough to feel pain and loss, then you need to hear the hope in the grief. This book is for you.
Ruth Verkaik More than 1 year ago
This book is not for the faint of heart. Kate grabs your emotions and holds them captive as she boldly and honestly tells her story. If you’re human and you’ve lived in this world long enough to feel pain and loss, then you need to hear the hope in the grief. This book is for you.