Beauty & The Gospel MADE PERFECT THROUGH JESUS CHRIST
SERMON ON THE MOUNT
Ways the COVID-19 Pandemic Points Us to the Gospel
a blueprint for Christian lifestyle
ISSUE NO 4 VOL 3 ISSUE NO 11 VOL 2 MAY 2020 DECEMBER 2019
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT GLUTTONY ? &
IT WAS THE HAND OF GOD!
VISION ROMANS 15:20-21 20 Accordingly I set a goal to preach the gospel, not where Christ’s name was already known, so that I would not build on another man’s foundation; 21 but [instead I would act on this goal] as it is written [in Scripture], “They who had no news of Him shall see, And they who have not heard [of Him] shall understand.”
MISSION 1 CORINTHIANS 1:17 17 For Christ did not send me [as an apostle] to baptize, but [commissioned and empowered me] to preach the good news [of salvation]—not with clever and eloquent speech [as an orator], so that the cross of Christ would not be [b]made ineffective [deprived of its saving power].
MINISTER MONICA I am a Christian Influencer who encourages, motivates and equips others through the Word of God.
EV . ANGUS & JILL BUCHAN
servants of God, lover of Jesus Christ , parents , grandparents and soul harvesters.
i am an energetic free spirit that loves life. In my spare time i love to do puzzles.
MR & MRS LWAMBWA
servant of God, businessman, father and husband. I love making people laugh! and traveling.
Pastor and Deaconess with a passion for young people and bringing marriages back to the cross .
married to one wife, Tiyiselani. I enjoy cooking and learning new stuff. I'm mostly passionate about serving God
PASTOR TOMMY LILJA
Honored to serve. Ordained Minister, founder of Radiant Woman International, and Author of DISTORTED.
evangelist and pastor . With a burning passion for lost souls in abandoned places.
Family Life Enthusiast, Author and Convener of Signature family building workshops|
Beauty & The Gospel
CONTENTS Editor's Note WHAT IS YOUR CALLING IN THE FIVEFOLD MINISTRY NO FEAR focus on the promises of God A Man’s Predicament Shaving off the Misconceptions of Manhood FORGIVE ME you are not your problem! Before and After-I do How do I prepare myself for marriage Mommy's always distracted Cutting the Nerve of Complaining Nobody likes a complainer An Open Letter to Those Who Feel Unqualified to Offer Counsel CREATED FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS
EXCLUSIVE with Billboards no 1 , Kayla Waters. A pianist created for such a time as this ! Writes, composes and produces under the prophetic annointing ISSUE NO 4 VOL 3
editor's note Your majesty GOD IS TURNING IT FOR OUR GOOD Genesis 50:20 (GNT) You plotted evil against me, but God turned it into good, in order to preserve the lives of many people who are alive today because of what happened. Beloved, talk about new beginnings. We have entered a new decade not with just words but signs, wonders and most importantly, Bible prophecy is being fulfilled right in front of our eyes. Mark 13 v 8. Even though it may seem like it will never end, but Child of God, this too shall pass. Our God is seated on the throne. He alone has no end. I must say, this being my birthday month (by the grace of God) it will be spent differently. What was the norm for many of us (ME) included, going out and celebrating our birthdays in fancy ways, well not this time around. And I must say, it wasn’t easy to have to deal with that, but you know what: IT DON’T MATTER. The Holy Spirit was showing me that, well you’ve been fortunate all those years and you still are!
tsakani mhlongo editor-in-chief Photo by @mentalist_photography Styled by @vintage__vybz
Many haven’t had the privilege of celebrating their special days like we have. What is new and foreign to us, in the name of Covid-19 is the way of life for others. Some don’t even know how a birthday cake tastes nor even looks like. We shall no longer rely on the outside world to celebrate or birthdays, it starts within. So, just like Joseph told his family in Genesis 50 v 20. Yes, even in this season, what the devil had meant for harm, My Jesus shall turn it around for good! Let’s celebrate as walls are being rebuilt and the manifestation of new beginnings. By the way, my birthday is on the 9th of May. I’ll be waiting for those wishes. IT’s always and honor to work on this magazine for the Body of Christ and glory for my King. Write us your comments and thoughts to our email: email@example.com it might just be printed! If you happen to be a new reader, WELCOME ABOARD BELOVED. That’s it for now, till next time, you’re loved by Him and I.
VOL. 4 | MAY 2020
B&TG NEWS CHRISTIANS IN THE KNOW!
OVERVIEW: Eastern Africa Braces For Unprecedented Locust Plague While Resources Are Limited Source: harbingersdaily.com
Over the last several months, eastern Africa, Asia, and even Iran have been dealing with the crippling effects of an overwhelming number of locusts plaguing their respective regions. With a new wave of locusts mounting and heading for eastern Africa (which is said to be up to twenty times larger than the previous wave), there are growing concerns as to how they will combat what’s coming. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is now warning that this number could increase nearly twenty times in the coming months. Although ground and aerial control operations are in progress, widespread rains that fell in late March will allow the new swarms to mostly remain, mature and lay eggs while a few swarms could move from Kenya to Uganda, South Sudan and Ethiopia. During May, the eggs will hatch into hopper bands that will form new swarms in late June and July, which coincides with the start of the harvest.”
Giving Birth In Coma While Fighting Corona virus End times, world war predictions of rabbis Exposure China’s Disinformation on COVID-19 DISCLAIMER B&TG NEWS is a Christian news segment that shares pre-published articles by writers around the world. Each article is sourced and linked to the origin, and each article is credited with the author’s name. We do not exclusively create our own content. Any views or opinions presented on this segment are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Beauty & The Gospel.
Medical Staff Expose China’s Disinformation on COVID-19 Source: www.bitterwinter.org
On April 17, the government of Wuhan, the capital of the central province of Hubei and the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, raised Its official death toll from COVID-19 by 1,290— a 50% increase in the previously reported official figure. “To reduce the number of severe coronavirus patients, hospitals transferred them from wards for infected people to other sections, and their medical records have been altered, changing their diagnoses to severe pneumonia,” Mr. Huang continued. “This way, their cases were not added to the official coronavirus fatalities’ tally. Reducing the number of severe coronavirus patients meant reducing the number of subsequent deaths. As a result, the pressure from the central government on the leaders of hospitals and local authorities increased.
Believers Tortured to Renounce Their Faith in Xinjiang’s Camps Source: www.bitterwinter.org
Along with Muslims, members of The Church of Almighty God, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and other persecuted groups are also sent to internment camps for “transformation.” A member of The Church of Almighty God (CAG) in her sixties from Xinjiang’s Shihezi city told Bitter Winter that she was subjected to mandatory indoctrination and endured constant physical punishment while in detention.
She was forced to stay in a halfsquat position for over ten hours, sometimes late into the night, for refusing to write reports on what she learned during indoctrination classes. Unable to squat for long, she often fell down but was forced to resume the uncomfortable position again. “A guard would slap me on the face with a wet slipper,” the woman remembered. “With each slap, she asked me if I still believed in God. She wanted to press me to give up my belief.”
End times, world war predictions of rabbis line up with implementation of 'Deal of the Century' source: worthynew.com
Prophecies from rabbis about the coming of the Messiah and a third World War are coalescing with the timing of the implementation of the "Deal of the Century" peace plan this summer under a new Israeli unity government. With Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and liberal rival Benny Gantz signing an agreement on Monday to rotate as Prime Minister over the course of three years, some Christian observers have noted that the unity agreement, which allows
Israel to take back parts of Judea and Samaria and ushers in the process of creating a Palestinian state, begins July 1st--a month before a famous twentiethcentury rabbi said World War III would begin. Some Christian prophecy scholars understand from passages like Daniel 9:27 and Revelation 6:2 that a convincing messianic figure will wage a war that yields a peace deal for Israel with the surrounding nations.
Open Doors denounces discrimination against Christians due to the coronavirus Source: www.evangelicalfocus.com
Woman Credits God After Giving Birth In Coma While Fighting Corona virus: ‘I’m A Miracle Walking’ Source: www.charismanews.com
One woman from Washington state is crediting God and her faith after she gave birth in a coma while fighting an infection with the novel coronavirus.
belly was flat and the symptoms of the illness that brought her to the hospital had dissipated. Soon thereafter, she found out she had given birth while she was unconscious.
When the 27-year-old Vancouver resident awoke on April 6, her once-pregnant -
"God took me in my weakness and rebuilt me" Pastor Andrew Bruson Source: www.evangelicalfocus.com
Andrew Bruson , the US missionary held in a Turkish prison for more than two years, challenged media outlets at the recent National Religious Broadcasters for Christian Convention in Nashville (United States), to be ready to play their role in “discipling a harvest of souls in Turkey and throughout the Middle East”.
Bruson point out that “as a move of God begins, the wind of God is going to sweep through that area and many are going to turn to the Lord”. “Who’s going to follow them up, who’s going to disciple them? A lot of that is going to have to be done through media until churches can be established in those places”, he added.
In some countries, Christians are Source: www.worthynews.com accused of spreading the virus and do not receive public aid. “The epidemic could eradicate the church in Syria”, Open Doors warns. One of the main concerns for the entity is Syria, where, with a medical infrastructure consumed by war, “the epidemic could reduce the country to ashes again”. “Being one of the minorities most affected by the war, Christians are already in a difficult position. This could eradicate the entire church” According to Open Doors, in sub-Saharan African countries, such as Burkina Faso and Uganda, “Islamic extremism is spreading the rumour that Christians are the main transmitters of the virus”. “This adds more rejection towards the Christian population by the general population”, they point out.
Devotions by the anointed Dr AndrĂŠ and Jenny Roebert
Choose to Praise Message taken from Acts 16:23-25 (TPT) Acts 16:23-25 (TPT):Â "After they were severely beaten, they were thrown into prison... and had their feet bound and chained. Paul and Silas, undaunted, prayed in the middle of the night and sang songs of praise to God, while all the other prisoners listened to their worship." After preaching the Gospel with all their hearts, Paul and Silas were arrested, severely beaten and thrown into a dark and dingy prison, where they were bound and chained. All of this without any form of fair trial. They had every reason to be discouraged, outraged and even bitter at the injustice of it all. It was late, their bodies were tired and sore after their severe beating; but the Bible says close to midnight, they were singing songs of praise to God! Their praises weren't silent whimpers either, the Bible says all the other prisoners heard them singing. Little did they know the power in that heartfelt praise would move the hand of God the way it did. The earth shook and all the prison doors flew wide open! What is your response to an injustice done to you? Paul and Silas chose to praise the Lord for His faithfulness, and rejoiced in Him being eternally 'good'. Today, if you're feeling upset or disappointed, choose to focus your attention on the faithfulness of your God - knowing His intentions towards you are always good. As you begin to praise Him, those chains of defeat and despair will fall off of you - causing you to walk free in His light again!
Billboard's history first female pianist and composer to reign top of the charts at the No. 1 spot for 6 consecutive weeks. A prophetic worshiper and keeper of keys, Firm in her faith and wholly aware of her unique purpose. Kayla never loses sight of God divinely orchestrating her every move. @beautyandthegospel
Q. Who is Jesus Christ to
A. I was born into a family of
God-fearing men and women,
A. Jesus Christ is my
regularly went to church as was
everything – my peace, my
active in the Youth Ministry
comfort, my safe haven, my
growing up. I honestly felt a “nudge”
place of restoration, my Lord
but moreso now knowing that it was
and Savior, the giver of my
God speaking to me even as a child.
gifts, my provider, my
It was altar call at my church’s
protector, my shield – the
service that day, and my Pastor
name that is above all
asked if anyone wanted to give their
life to Christ, I felt the Holy Spirit move over me and asked my Mom
Q. Share with us on how and
to go up to the altar with me, I was 9
when you got Born Again?
years old – I’ll never forget that day!
Q. Things you wish you were told
infant years, I approached the piano
bands, never did I imagine I'd be a
about your walk with Jesus Christ?
as if I were composing, trying to find
"solo recording artist" – that
A. It isn’t an easy road following
my way, trying to piece together a
came by surprise!
Christ when most people choose to
song. The gift of playing piano and
go the other way, often times it is a
writing songs innately reside in me.
road less traveled and “seems”
Q. What would you tell the 16 year Kayla?
unpopular but as Hebrews 11:6 says:
Q. Why the piano?
A. It’s okay to be different, it’s okay
“He is a rewarder of those who
A. Hmmmm, good question. Well,
to “be yourself”, it’s okay to be
diligently seek Him.”
to be honest, our family’s acoustic
creative, and your steps are divinely
upright piano was always in the
orchestrated by God – 13 years later
living room and I regularly found my
at age 29, I can truly see that for
way in there playing it. I was drawn
Kayla, where do we start? You are a prophetic
to it, it’s beauty, the endless
worshiper, pianist (who
possibilities and combinations of
Q Dad, being Kim Waters, the urban
actually happens to be a
melodies, harmonies and chords that
jazz saxophonist. How has his gift
one could use to create a masterful
and knowledge impacted your
song with. I even enjoyed the “smell
of the piano” the natural elements
A. My Dad has had a TREMENDOUS
with ebony wood and ivory – it’s an
impact on my life, who I am as a
music director. Hope we
organic instrument and it's range is
human being and my poise as a
didn’t miss anything out.
truly limitless. I fall in love with it
recording artist. I closely watched
Let’s just start at the
more and more as I get older.
my Dad growing up – I observed how
female, yey), top chart recording artist, songwriter, producer and
Q. How was it growing up in a jazz household? A. Growing up in a jazz household was a wonderful experience. Listening to my Dad play the saxophone (and piano, and flute, and produce in the studio) are all memories I hold dear to my heart. Those memories were the makings of the love story I have with music. Q. At just 10 months you already were making way to the living room to play the piano. Would you say that’s where your career started? A. Absolutely! I was “curious” at a very young age, and even in my @beautyandthegospel
professional he was, how meticulous Q. When growing up, did you decide
he still is towards his craft, his
that being a pianist was for you and
charisma on and off the stage – all of
didn’t you desire any other
those traits have graciously carried
over to me and I look forward to
A. Yes, I knew at a very young age
carrying the torch even higher!
that being a musician was something
Growing up watching Dad write and
I wanted to pursue as a career. I
produce all of his material
made that decision when I was about
subconsciously sat with me and I see
15 years old. After seeing my Dad,
all of his teachings and methods
Kim Waters (international
coming out when I approach the
jazz icon) perform all over the world,
piano to write or produce a song.
getting an inside scope on how live shows are produced, going to
Q. You’ve made Billboard history by
soundchecks and rehearsals,
becoming the first female pianist and
travelling, etc, I naturally fell in love
composer to reign top of the charts
with that lifestyle and knew it was
at the No. 1 spot for 6 consecutive
for me. Oddly enough, I always knew
weeks. Take us back to that moment
what I wanted at a very young age –
and doors it opened?
and I stuck with it! Even after
A. Wow, it's hard to believe I have
graduating with a classical piano
had 3 Billboard No. 1 singles in just
degree and playing with local -
three short years.
keeper of keys
As a "breakout artist" coming out of
It’s a journey from Earth, to Pluto,
the box, that is simply unheard of.
ascending into the “apogetical” (or
Truly a God- given blessing! The
apex) realm of heaven. The album
honor of becoming the first female
was composed and produced in
pianist and composer to achieve
2016, during a period where political
such a high-merit is very humbling
imbalance was on the rise, a new
and I know it was all the works of
presidential campaign in the United
God – HE is always "number one!"
States, hence songs like “Freedom
Lots of doors continue to open,
March” and “The Dream” (based on
different "assignments" to bless
Dr. Marin Luther King’s “I Have a
other through my sound across the
Dream” speech) – I wanted to take
US and abroad internationally. God
people on a journey that spoke to
used Billboard as a launchpad for me
the present times we were living in
to fulfill my purpose in Him – to
but also prophetically propel us
spread his love and "His sound" all
forward to a place of peace
over the Earth.
– songs like “Heaven Is Here”, “Sunkissed” and “Elevation Bop”
Q. How do you stay humble with
from the album encompass that. My
writing is all conceptual and every
A. It's easy to stay humble when you
song is written with deep love and
know from whom all blessings flow.
My works are not of my own, but of the beautiful workings of God.
Q. What’s that common misconception that people have
Q. Can one learn to write, compose
and produce songs or is it a gift?
A. People often see me as one-
A. Anything is possible and it is
dimensional. Many have no
NEVER to late to acquire a skill for
clue that I not only play piano but
writing, composing and producing,
that I write my own songs, I
however, a “gift” is innate – it resides
program-produce all of my music
in you, you don’t even have to think
(drums, bass, strings, auxiliaries,
twice about it – that is how playing
percussive sounds, etc) and am
piano, composing and producing feel
pretty much a one-stop-shop when it
comes to putting out my own material.
Q. In 2017 you released an album titled, “Apogee.” How did this title
Q . Can Kayla sing?
come about and what inspired this
A. I do sing and love singing! I
enjoy singing at my church and on
A. Apogee – my debut album and
my live shows. Fun fact: I am also
will always hold a special place in my
singing background vocals on my
Q. You are a prophetic worshiper.
A. I truly believe this has a dual
eternal heaven after death – and it is
Elaborate that for us? How
meaning. “Keeper of the keys” – as
good! Whether living on earth or
important is the prophetic for you?
literal piano keys, God gives me the
after death, with our spirits residing
A. Each day I am growing as a
musical keys to his kingdom.
with our eternal Father in heaven, it
worshiper, it is a continuous learning
He also gives me the the “spiritual
is well, it is well, it is WELL!
process every single day, I am
keys” that unlock doors, portals and
strengthened and groomed in my
realms in the heavenlies. I think of
Q . You boldly proclaim your Faith in
worship! God deals with me
my gift of prophecy, my gift of
Jesus Christ. Has that been a
prophetically through music (musical
discernment, my gift of scribing, the
conscious decision from the
prophecy) – He tells me what to play
ability to hear his voice – discerning
and/or compose and HOW to do it –
“which key” to use at the right time,
A. As I have matured into a young
this is where He has me in terms of
what door to go into or what door to
woman and have become “seasoned”
writing music for any piece of music
lock shut. Such a powerful meaning
in my walk with Christ, it naturally
that I create (whether it be for
to the name “Kayla.”
gives me the boldness and
personal projects or music for other
confidence to unashamedly proclaim
clients). The prophetic is a vast
Q. How can one Glorify Jesus in
His name – whether playing at
realm in God and I am excited to
their gifts, talents and opportunities
church, on stage at a jazz festival,
delve more into that area.
while giving a prophetic word, or
A. Do everything unto the Father
talking to a stranger, God has
Q. You say that your music and
and He will make ways for you!
commanded me to stand tall like a
everything you do needs to come
Honor the Lord with your gifts
pillar for His kingdom.
from a pure and untainted vessel.
FIRST. No other idols before Him.
How do you keep yourself from
Q. If Jesus were to visit you for one
being impure and untainted?
Q . How important is it for us to
day, what would you say to Him and
A. Absolutely! The music that God
know our identity in Christ, how can
how would you spend the rest of the
gives me must be curated out of a
we know it and hold onto it in this
day with Him?
pure vessel – since the “sound” that I
A. If I could get past tears of joy and
am emitting is being sent out in
A. Your identity in Christ is what
worshiping at his feet, I’d simply say
airwaves all across the globe, I’ve got
will sustain you. If you don’t know
“THANK YOU” for dying for me, for
to be mindful that a pure vessel
who are you are in Christ, you’ll be
my family, for this world. I’d love to
produces a pure sound, an impure
tossed to and fro like the wind. I am
talk a long walk with Him, singing
vessel create an impure sound which
reminded of Psalms 1:3 – “He shall
sweet songs, watching His wonders
is not of God. The music God
be like a tree, planted by the rivers
and simply bask in His presence as I
eloquently gives me is intended to
of water, that brings forth fruit in it’s
know it would be overwhelmingly
positively impacts the hearts and
season, whose leaf also shall not
minds of man…ultimately depositing
wither; and whatever he does shall
his love through sound (ear gates). A
prosper.” We shall be rooted and
Q. There is POWER IN THE NAME
pure vessel is the vehicle for the
planted in GOD and everything else
OF JESUS CHRIST, share with
souls to be drawn to Christ through
will follow suit!
someone who doesn’t seem to grasp
that exactly? Q. What does Philippians 1: 21
A. At the name of Jesus, demons
Q. Kayla, the “keeper of keys”. Tell
mean to you?
tremble! There’s POWER in calling
us more about that?
A. Christ be with us all the days of
on His name. Just His name alone is
our lives and Christ be with us in -
invigorating – often times if I am a weighted and can’t even murmur a -
BY THE WAY..
prayer, I muster up the strength to
1. In my bag you will
say Jesus and immediately I feel
find…. lipstick, hand sanitizer, clorox
peace. Our solstice, our rock!
wipes, mirror, fragrance (love smelling good!), body lotion, and occasionally
Q. What message do you have to the Church, regarding the end times? A. The end times – or this “apocalyptic state” was prophesied in the Bible and written in gold ink
a book if I can fit it in my purse! 2. Can’t live without? GOD!!!!! (also, chocolate, dark chocolate, anything chocolate!)
many moons ago. It is slated, it is
3. When I remember what the Lord
written – it is time for the body of
has done I …..? rejoice and know if he
Christ to wake up, to stand on guard,
did it before, He WILL do it again!
be on our posts, send forth mighty prayers and ultimately draw others closer to Christ. In this season, God is “shaking the earth” – only a true a remnant of believers will remain, those that are rooted in Him.
4. Favourite TV Minster? Joyce Meyer (her words are very inspirational, encouraging and I have several of her books!). 5. Lipstick or high bun? both! I love high buns and regularly wear lipstick.
Q. When people hear the name KAYLA WATERS. What do you want them to know? A. People should know that I am a worshiper, I am a passionate creative who’s gifts of playing piano,
6. What people don’t know is that I have a strange (and humorous) gift of emulating what people look like as cartoon characters (my mind is very whimsical)
composing and producing
7. I will retire when…..? NEVER !!! I’ll
are all divinely orchestrated and
play, compose, produce and minister as
God-given, that my purpose is to
long as I can!
write music that releases God’s “perfect order” (through
8. Best advice ever received?God
soundwaves) into the Earth.
gives me so much advice that I can just pick one!
Q. How can people get in touch with you and access your work? A. Contact me directly at my website: www.iamkaylawaters.com (all social media handles are on my site!).
BY: JACK ZAVADA
WAYS THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC POINTS US TO THE GOSPEL
By: Paul David Tripp
Remember the Gospel Like most of you, I’m hunkered down here in my loft, not going outside, distancing myself from people. It’s particularly important for me because I have a compromised immune system, and I am in the high-risk category for this pandemic that has spread across the globe. Here are five ways I’ve been encouraged to reflect upon how this pandemic points us to the gospel. 1.It is good to be confronted with the delusion of human independence and selfsufficiency. It’s only taken a single virus to shut us down. I live in Center City, Philadelphia. It has become a ghost town: churches have been shut down, businesses have been shut down, restaurants are closed, families are separated from one another, friends can’t gather anymore. It’s an amazing thing, and it reminds us that we were created to be dependent— dependent on the Creator. There is no such thing as human independence or human selfsufficiency. In fact, it reminds me that the progress, the move of grace in our hearts and lives, is not from dependence to independence but from independence to greater dependence on God. The more you grow in grace, the more you understand the wisdom of the word; the more you understand your own heart; the more you understand the folly of this world; the more you run in joyful, submissive dependency on God. 2. God’s sovereign power and glory shine brighter when we are weak and life seems out of control.
Isn’t it amazing that although things, to us, seem out of control —and in many ways, humanly, are out of control—there is one who sits on the throne of the universe? He is the definition of everything that’s wise, good, true, holy, righteous, and almighty, and he is in careful control of his world. We don’t always comprehend what that means, but there is one who rules the world, who is not afraid at this moment, who is not weak, who is not confused, who has no mystery, and who never experiences surprises. We don’t always know why he does what he does, but we know who he is and we know what he has promised his children. 3. The greater global pandemic is not COVID-19. It's sin. As this pandemic has spread from country to country until the entire globe is affected and is shutting down in an attempt to squash its power and its spread, we’re reminded that there is an even greater, darker, more dangerous pandemic. It gets everyone—it gets everyone from birth. It is the deepest, darkest infection. It is the ultimate disease. It’s called sin. It’s more dangerous and more destructive than COVID-19 will ever be. But this is what’s amazing: there is a cure. God looked at his world in awesome mercy and love and decided he would not let us die from this disease. He sent his son to live as we could not live, to die an acceptable death, and to rise again—conquering sin and death so that there would be a cure for the ultimate disease. The cure is found in the person and work of the Lord Jesus, through his amazing grace. Celebrate grace.
Celebrate that something more dangerous and more deadly than this pandemic will ever be has been cured by the power of the grace of Jesus. What a good thing. There is a sure promise that there will be a day when all such things will end forever and we will be in a place where there will be no more sickness and no more suffering. 4. Though we are separated from others, nothing can separate us from the love of God. We are all practicing social distancing now and sadly, we have to be separate from one another on Sundays as well. As I sat with Luella in our little television room and watched our church services online, it was not the same—it’s not the same as meeting with brothers and sisters, hugging them warmly, shaking hands, singing together, hearing the voice of others into our ears, people singing to one another, reminding one another of the grace of the gospel. It’s not the same. And we’re all feeling the remorse of our separation. It’s wonderful to remember that no pandemic—that nothing in all of creation—is able to separate us from God and his boundless love. In fact, in these moments God doesn’t separate himself from us. He doesn’t turn his back on us, but he draws near. He draws near to the weak. He draws near to the brokenhearted. He draws near in love and grace, empowering us to face what we could not face without him.
Your greatest friend, your deepest lover, your sweetest companion has no distance between him and you. What a beautiful thing that is. 5. We are not alone. Scripture reminds us that in these moments we don’t have to shoulder these burdens alone by ourselves. When we are weary and we are distraught, we have a place to go. Jesus welcomes us when we’re weary to come to him and cast our cares on him. He will shoulder our burdens because he really does care for us. In these moments, it’s tempting to doubt God’s goodness, to doubt his wisdom, to doubt his power, to doubt his ability to control. And you see, what’s deadly about that is when you doubt God’s goodness, you quit running to him for help because you don’t tend to go for help to someone you no longer trust.
"And you see, what’s deadly about that is when you doubt God’s goodness, you quit running to Him for help" Fight the lies of the enemy that would whisper into your ear, Where is your God now? What is he doing now? Why isn’t he here? Why doesn’t he answer? The Bible says, God’s near. He cares. He hears. He answers. Do not run away from him. Run to him.
Sure, we’re going to wonder, Why? And maybe those questions won’t be fully answered here and now; but again, we know who God is, we know what he promised us, and we know that this moment points us to how much we need one who is greater than us, who has greater power than us, who has greater control than us, who directs things we can’t direct, who is never weak, who is never tired, and who is never weary. Run to him with your burdens. Gratitude Is a Defense One of the most powerful defenses against fear is gratitude. The more your heart is directed toward gratitude, the more you’re counting your blessings; the less, at those moments, your mind is running to fear and rehearsing the what-ifs. How about intentionally looking around at all the things for which, today, you can give thanks—all the evidences of God’s provision, all the evidences of his care, all the people that love you, all those things that you would take for granted—how about counting your blessings? How about letting praise overwhelm complaint and gratitude silence grumbling? The final promise of the gospel is this: that in this present world, we will face trouble—troubles of various kinds (John 16:33).
This moment is a physical trouble, a trouble that can infect, weaken, and for some of us, destroy the body.
But there is a sure promise that there will be a day when all such things will end forever and we will be in a place where there will be no more sickness and no more suffering. Hope in this promise is not some faint, dreamy wish for those who are embracing some kind of religious delusion. Hope in God’s promise is a confident expectation in a guaranteed result. It’s coming—paradise is coming—and it is yours by grace. There will be a time— it’s hard to imagine—where we will look back on this as a brief moment of trouble as we are experiencing a perfect world, perfect bodies, perfect hearts, and perfect relationship with God. Everything will be as it’s supposed to be and function as it was meant to function— in peace and righteousness forever and ever. This scary moment reminds us of the most precious truths of the gospel. Instead of focusing on the what-ifs, how about meditating on those promises of future glory? God bless you as you do that. Stay safe, hunker down, and remember Jesus and the glories of his gospel of grace. ------------------------------------Paul David Tripp (DMin, Westminster Theological Seminary) is a pastor, author, and international conference speaker. For more information and resources, visit paultrippministries.org.
ZION A R I S E Jessica Wilde shares how to overcome writer's block. Story on p. 20
@monicatheophilus founder @amomentwithmonica, minister, prayer warrior , writer and contributor at beauty&thegosoel magazine .
Though our world has been shaken by the pandemic of Covid-19 ( Coronavirus disease) “ A virus with key symptoms such as dry, persistent coughs, fever and sometimes a shortness of breath ” ( Catriona Harvey-Jenner, “This what Covid-19 actually stands for”). God is still raising us up as the light of the world, end time remnants, royal priesthoods and prayer warriors. In fact, the calling to go deeper in God to reach the lost is more evident than before as we read about numerous lives being lost and many laid in the hospital sick and hopeless. We are required to lift up our cries and voices on the behalf of our world letting them know there is a savior and His name is Jesus. For many years some of us have been bound to the government, to our jobs, and our education as well as many other deadly strongholds we have idolized instead of shifting our focus to God and spending time in His presence, but now since many businesses have closed down, in the stillness God is calling our once decomposed hearts back to Him for a revival. “ My heart has heard you say, “ come and talk with me.” “ And my heart responds, “ Lord, I am coming.” Psalms 27:8 (NLT).
It was difficult to hear the voice of God with the constant chatter of our busyness surrounding us from day to day or even avail ourselves to be used by God for His kingdom, yet now we can’t muster up an excuse. We have to awake our souls from deep slumber and adhere to His calling in this season of our lives. It was in utter darkness and chaos that God was calling His people of Zion back unto Him. The people had been forsaken, forgotten, broken, tried and hated from their oppressors, still God told them to arise ( Isaiah 60:15). God even mentions He struck them in anger for their disobedience nonetheless His unfailing love would redeem them once more (Isaiah 60:10). It is the exact word God is speaking to us so that we change our malicious ways from following the patterns of this world because He sees us for who we are, and we are His children. The pandemic has caused fear to manipulate some of us to purchase large stocks of supplies when really, we need to store up the word of God in our hearts and His presence.
Fear, worry and doubt is a distraction to stop us pressing forward in believing God is still in control, but if -we seek our Father in heaven first God says,” “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn” Isaiah 60:1-3 ( NIV). We must be transformed during this pandemic from merely hearers, to hearers and doers of the word of God walking out the revelation He gives us and not just receiving it and only then will we arise as His children and inherit the kingdom of heaven.
Be Encouraged, Love Monica.
HEAVEN OR HELL?
YOUR CHOICE!! WRITTEN BY: M.K
Heaven or Hell? Your choice!!! As long as you born, you will surely leave this world through death. The Word of GOD in Hebrew 9v27 says: “it is appointed for men to die once, thereafter it is judgement”. This is the only way for every human being to go and spend the rest of their life (eternity) somewhere. Rapture is a topic for another day. right now let’s focus on death. We are all in this world for a moment and are passing though. We are all destined to go and stand before the judgement seat of the Lord Jesus and account. He is going to judge each and every one of us. What is interesting is that death does not discriminate. You can never survive it, you will never push it away, you don’t have a say or any choice to experience it or not, you can never bribe your way out of it, you will never refuse or go on strike so you can negotiate to your favour, you will never run away from it, you will never buy -
time or pay so as to avoid it, you are never poor or rich for death. It doesn’t matter what your status is, achievements, title, race, stature, abilities, intelligence, wisdom, fame, power; it is the only gateway for ALL of us to go to either heaven or hell. Hell is very real. Heaven is very real. These two destinations exist forever irrespective of our belief. These are the only two places where we will spend our afterlife when we pass on from this land of the living. There is no third option. As we still alive, our duty is to choose either of two. At the end of it all, our soul and spirit will go to face our creator and account. The accounting will be accompanied by the rewards we deserve. The way we life will determine where we will spend our eternity. Everyone always has a choice. Surprisingly, everybody wants to go heaven when they die but they don’t want to make provision for it. In this land of the living , people make provision for education, holidays, sickness, cover for homes and cars, retirement and burial, but they don’t want to make provision for heaven. Everything has a price.
TO ACCEPT JESUS CHRIST AS YOUR LORD AND SAVIOUR SAY THIS FOLLOWING PRAYER
The Lord Jesus paid the price. We should also pay the price to go to heaven. Our price is nothing compared to what He did for us. He only asks for our hearts which is a very small price to pay. The Word of GOD in John 14v6, Jesus says: I am THE way, THE truth and THE life. NOBODY goes to the father except through ME. In this land of the living it is abomination to mention the name of Jesus in public but any other name is welcomed. Why is that? It’s because there is Power in this name. The name of Jesus is the most hated name in the world today. People are persecuted and some get killed just for mentioning it. This is very sad indeed. A person can mention any other name and there is no problem. The minute one mentions the name of Jesus, all hell breaks loose and people think they will enter heaven without Jesus? It is your ticket bro! Everyone belies that hell exists but refuse to believe that it is inhabited by people. Hell is full of people who reject Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Surprisingly when people are angry at someone they tell them to go to hell. Why, because we know deep down that there are people who God has rejected because they rejected Him too. People have this belief that God is love therefore He cannot send anyone to hell. This so true. People in hell chose to go there as they had a choice of accepting a ticket to heaven which is Jesus. If you cannot ride a plane without a ticket here on earth what makes you think you will go to heaven without permission? Nobody can send anyone to hell, but yourself. Therefore, make the right choice while you still can. Hell will never run out of business as long as people don’t want Jesus in their life.people think salvation is a joke and only for peole who have nothing better to do with their time here on earth.as long as you still think Jesus is a joke, you are on your way to hell by choice. Know this, in hell there is no mercy, no rest, no change of mind, no exit, no love, no light, no forgiveness, no turning back and no repentance. You hear someone saying: ‘oh, I don’t believe that hell exists’.
Unfortunately it doesn’t matter whether you believe or not. No one is asking for your opinion. It exists and you are still going there to spend your eternity as long as you don’t want to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. Jesus is God whether you believe it or not. If you know what’s good for you, you better believe that He died for your sins and confess that He rose and is alive forever more. He is who He is and that will never change. Jesus will be seating on the judgement seat to judge each and every one of us, 2 Cor 5:10. If someone told you that you will go to heaven if you attend church regularly, read the bible, listen to gospel music believe in God without Jesus, read books written by Christians, they lied to you. Jesus is the ONLY one who will take you to heaven. So, heaven or hell, what’s your choice. 2Cor 6v2: behold, now is the accepted time, today is the day of salvation.
written by: Mike Burnard, extracted from: incontextinternational.org
Humanity is currently under siege by mass protests, acts of terror, a deep-seated discontent and a generation with an ‘inherited’ anger. A common denominator in the current uprisings is that most protesters are disillusioned young people seeking an uncorrupted future, who are willing to go to any length to secure it. The ‘ARAB SPRING’, which was limited to a region, a culture and a faith, has now turned into an ‘AGE OF GLOBAL DISCONTENT’. The voices of young “rebels” are shaping nations like -
never before in history and the newfound global culture of protest – magnified by social media and manipulated by local media – might result in a new season of political disillusionment. Regardless of the reason or the outcomes, every incident of unrest provides an opportunity and the Church cannot afford to be found wanting. HOW DO WE RESPOND? As Christians we either give life or we drain life, there is no neutral exchange.
Through our posts on social media and our informal communication with friends we become messengers of hope or messengers of fear. What lives in our hearts ultimately contributes to the upliftment of our communities or, alternatively, the destruction of society.
"there is no greater guideline than the SERMON ON THE MOUNT, a blueprint for Christian lifestyle ''
FROM THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT LESSONS
“Jesus taught an alternative wisdom—the Reign of God— which overturns the conventional and common trust in power, possessions, and personal prestige. The Gospel of Matthew sets the stage for the Sermon on the Mount: Jesus sees the crowds following him and heads to ‘the mountain’ (symbolic for the new Moses giving a new ‘law’) with his disciples. This is his opening line, which necessarily must be central to his entire message; it is a key to everything else: BLESSED ARE THE POOR IN SPIRIT “How blessed (or ‘happy’) are the poor in spirit; the kingdom of Heaven is theirs.” — Matthew 5:3 “Poor in spirit” means an inner emptiness and humility, a beginner’s mind, and to live without a need for personal righteousness or reputation. The higher up and more visible you are in any system, the more trapped you are inside it.
The freest position is the one I call “on the edge of the inside”—neither a ‘company man’ nor a ‘rebel’ or ‘iconoclast’. The price of both holding power and speaking truth to power can be very great. You ricochet between being offensive and being defensive, neither of which is a contemplative or solid position. Further, you are forced to either defend and maintain the status quo to protect yourself and the group or to waste time reacting against it. The “poor in spirit” don’t have to play any competitive games; they are not preoccupied with winning, which is the primary philosophy in the West today. Jesus is recommending a social reordering, quite different from common practice. You are only free when you have nothing to protect and nothing you need to prove or defend. Trapped people have to do what they want to do. Free people want to do what they know they have to do. Admittedly, it takes a while to get there. BLESSED ARE THE GENTLE “Blessed are the gentle [or the meek, humble, non-violent, unassuming]: they shall have the earth as inheritance.” — Matthew 5:5 This is the unique power of the powerless, which people who have always had power never understand.
There is, of course, an irony here. If there was one hated group in Palestine of Jesus’ day, it was landlords, those who possess the land. Nobody possessed land except by violence, by oppression, by holding onto it and making all the peasants pay a portion of their harvest. Jesus is turning that around and saying no, it’s you little ones who are finally going to possess the land. I can hear implicit critique in his voice, but also hope. Jesus is undoubtedly redefining the meaning of land, building on what every Jew would have known. Hebrew Scripture teaches that only God possesses the land (see Psalm 24:1; Leviticus 25:23). Private property forces us behind artificial fences, boundaries, and walls. People close to the earth know that only God “owns” the earth, and that we’re all stewards, pilgrims, and strangers with a duty and privilege of caring for it. Who will “own” our plot of land fifty years from now? Ownership is clearly not an objective or divine right, but only a legal one. BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO MOURN “Blessed are those who mourn: they shall be comforted.” — Matthew 5:4
To understand the warning, “be careful how you live” (add, be careful what you post, be careful what you forward, be careful what you say…), there is no greater guideline than the SERMON ON THE MOUNT, a blueprint for Christian lifestyle, and seen by most scholars as the best summary of Jesus’ teachings.
The Syrian Fathers Ephrem and Simeon weren’t as familiar in Western Christianity as the Greek and Latin Fathers after the early centuries of the Church. The Greek and Latin Fathers tended to filter the Gospel through the head; the Syrian Fathers’ theology was much more localised in the body. They actually proposed that tears be a sacrament in the Church. Saint Ephrem went so far as to say until you have cried you don’t know God. Most of us think we know God—and ourselves— through ideas. Yet corporeal, embodied theology acknowledges that perhaps weeping will allow us to know God much better than ideas. In this Beatitude, Jesus praises those who can enter into solidarity with the pain of the world and not try to remove or isolate themselves from its suffering. This is why Jesus says the rich person often can’t see the Kingdom, because they spend too much time trying to make tears unnecessary and even impossible.
Jesus describes those who grieve as feeling the pain of the world. Weeping over our sin and the sin of the world is an entirely different response than self-hatred or hatred of others. Grief allows one to carry the dark side, to bear the pain of the world without looking for perpetrators or victims, but instead recognising the tragic reality that both sides are caught up in. Tears from God are always for everyone, for our universal exile from home. BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO HUNGER FOR JUSTICE “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice: they shall have their fill.” —Matthew 5:6 This Beatitude is surely both spiritual and social. Most Bibles to this day soften this Beatitude: “hunger and thirst for what is right” or “for righteousness” are the more common faulty translations. But the word in Greek clearly means “justice.” Notice that the concept of justice is used halfway through the Beatitudes and again at the very end. The couplet emphasizes an important point: to live a just life in this world is to identify with the longings and hungers of the poor, the meek, and those who weep. This identification and solidarity is in itself a profound form of social justice.
Righteousness is not just the private practice of doing good; it sums up the global responsibility of the human community to make sure every human being has what they need, that everyone pursues a fair sense of justice for every other human being, and that everyone lives in right relationship with one another, creation, and God. . . Jesus instructs us to be passionate for social, economic, and racial justice. That’s the real meaning of the Hebrew word for justice and the Jewish insistence on it. Resist systemic, structured, institutionalised injustice with every bone in your body, with all your might, with your very soul, he teaches. Seek justice as if it were your food and drink, your bread and water, as if it were a matter of life and death, which it is. . . . Within our relationship to the God of justice and peace, those who give their lives to that struggle, Jesus promises, will be satisfied. . . . How do we hunger and thirst for justice? By making global justice a priority in our lives. This Beatitude requires us to join a grassroots movement that fights one or two issues of injustice and to get deeply involved in the struggle. TO BE CONTINUED IN THE NEXT ISSUE.......
Tears are therapeutic and healing, both emotionally and physically. Crying helps the body shed stress hormones and stimulates endorphins. Weeping is a natural and essential part of being human.
@MARLYN ROJAS Ordained Minister, founder of Radiant Woman International, cofounder of Sisters International, CEO of Inner Radiance Designs and Author of DISTORTED.
SPIRITUAL COVERING THE IMPORTANCE OF A SPIRITUAL COVERING Me? A COVERING? Oh NO, “I’m Good!” That’s exactly what I would say, about 7 years ago, if you ever told me I need a Spiritual Covering, nevertheless submitting to it. So what many of us continue to hear is “SUBMIT TO A PERSON.” Not the significance of a Spiritual Covering. First question is have you let God become the Lord of your life? If yes, this will make more sense. If not yet, then keep reading anyway, because this might help you understand. What did that even mean? You see? I’ll try explaining it to you in the simplest way a Spiritual Covering is a mentor, guidance, an advisor, a role model that should be leading you in your Spiritual walk.
Are you always in agreement? No. Are you following whatever they said to do without ever questioning anything? No. But do you trust that they are being led by God to lead you and your path? Yes. The latter one is the key. You have to come to understand that a Spiritual Covering is the Leader that God has placed before you in this current season. The one that God allowed to lead you in a specific goal tied to the Kingdom of God. That they are the “Moses” established by God. If we begin to understand that, then we stand firm believing and trusting the LORD and His will it’s being done.
Humanly speaking is it easy? To many it’s not, but it’s as I said before, it’s about perspective. We are lacking the understanding of the word SUBMISSION, therefore we see both words weak and wrong in many ways, when in REALITY there is POWER in both! And understanding ONE, leads to the other. God has established the design of both men and women separately and with an intended purpose and calling for each, that it’s non-negotiable and unchangeable. When we claim He is Lord of our lives, we begin to yield to (submit) to His rules, His will, and His designed functions for men and women. After we are able to comprehend the above, then we can ask for help when needed, guidance when we are lost, -
"When we claim He is Lord of our lives, we begin to yield to (submit) to His rules, His will, and His designed functions for men and women." respond appropriate to good suggestions or "not so good" -in our own opinions- respect the differences, and moreover serve others according to their design established by God and not our own desires. In addition, let’s look at the literal meaning of the word covering: According to the dictionary; is a thing used to cover something else, typically in order to protect or conceal it. It’s the action carried out to protect an exposed person from an enemy. And now the literal meaning of the word Submission: The action or fact of accepting or yielding to a superior force or to the will or authority of another person. So let me remind you and conclude with this: I can only embrace and accept having a Spiritual Covering - someone established, by my LORD, to cover me and protect me, especially from an enemy, or weapons formed against me- when I finally learn to yield to someone in leadership, that God himself has chosen to be my authority, representative , and or guidance (for His own reasoning, that He, the Lord doesn’t have to explain to little me) and I learn how to respect their design no matter how my emotions may feel and as long as it's according to the Word.
In doing this, I know I have pleased the Lord and that is ALL that matters as a matter of fact. He honors and rewards those who honor His people, and everyone in authority was set by Him, so in having a Spiritual Covering, you are honoring GOD as your covering, not man. And personally, is the greatest revelation I have ever lived by! You should try it!
WITH LOVE HONORED TO SERVE, MARLYN ROJAS, BY GRACE ORDAINED MINISTER AT THESSALONICA CHURCH, UNDER THE SPIRITUAL COVERING, OF REV. DAVID SERRANO.
CUTTING THE NERVE OF COMPLAINING BY: STEPHEN ALTROGGE
Nobody likes a complainer. And yet most of us find ourselves complaining on a fairly regular basis. My stint in the Midwest elicited daily shrieks of complaint at the frigid January wind. "Who on earth decided to establish a major city in this wretched climate," I would rant to the nearest cringing ear. The fact is, most of our complaining stems from a faulty sense of entitlement. We all have long lists of things we think we deserve. When everything that we "deserve" doesn't fall in our laps, we complain. We view ourselves as the injured party who has every right to grumble. Work is stressful, we don't feel like we deserve that. We have relational problems, we don't feel like we deserve that either. And apparently I felt like I deserved sunny skies and 70 degrees in the middle of a Chicago winter. The gospel makes it clear that all we deserve is hell. God created us. Therefore he owns us, and we owe him our complete allegiance and gratitude. But we rebelled. We wave him off as unimportant even as we revel in his blessings every day, living in warm houses, eating delicious food, and enjoying the company of loved ones. The beauty of the gospel is getting what weÂ don'tÂ deserve. We have mercy instead of justice, salvation instead of damnation. Even on our worst days we are doing infinitely better than we deserve. When we complain, we are telling God that this incredible grace isn't enough. In order to cut complaining out of our lives, we should actively savor and apply the gospel. We must adopt an attitude of deep thankfulness. Let's remember the incredible grace and blessing we have received in light of our utter depravity. We really could not ask for more.
ANGUS & JILL BUCHAN Jill and I found Jesus as our personal Lord and Saviour on the 18th of February 1979, just two years after settling in Greytown, Kwa-Zulu Natal Midlands, South Africa. Originally from Zambia, we bought a piece of land on which we planned to farm crops and livestock. We had very little to start with but even as brand new Christians, we were content with our farm, which we later called SHALOM. “FAITH THE SIZE OF A MUSTARD SEED WILL MOVE The Word of God states so clearly that He has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). As I write this letter, there is a very dear man and his wife who are asking for a miracle from God this morning. He has come from very far - he has cancer and wants prayer for healing. The first thing we shall pray against is the spirit of fear. Fear comes straight from the pit of hell! It immobilizes us so that we cannot even think straight. Just like the snake with its prey, the little mouse, who could quite easily just run away from the predator. But the mouse becomes paralysed with fear and is at the mercy of the snake. We shall pray for the completely opposite attitude and stand against the spirit of fear. We pray that Father God will give the sick man a spirit of faith! In Luke 17:5 the Apostles said to the Lord:
A HUGE MOUNTAIN.” — MATTHEW 17:20 Now what about you today, and your take on the Coronavirus? We must conform to whatever the authorities have stipulated. But our ultimate trust as believers is firmly cemented in God’s Holy Word! (Psalm 20:7) some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the Lord our God. Jesus is still the Healer - that fact has never changed! That is where our hope lies, so today we shall anoint with oil, and pray the prayer of faith over this dear man who has cancer, and we believe that Jesus Christ will heal him completely (Mark 11:24). Focus on the Miracle Worker today, and not on Coronavirus.
“Increase our faith!”. We shall join our faith with his faith and believe for total healing in his body today.
God bless Angus & Jill Buchan
Devotions by the anointed Dr André and Jenny Roebert
God Pleaser Message taken from Acts 5:29 (TPT) Acts 5:29 (TPT): "Peter and the apostles replied, 'We must listen to and obey God more than pleasing religious leaders.'" Have you ever realised how easy it is to be swayed by popular opinion? In the world we live in, standing for what is right and true from a Biblical standpoint is becoming more and more unpopular. We are told scripture has become outdated and irrelevant. But God's Word was birthed from and inspired by His Holy Spirit - it's as powerful and alive today as it was when it was first written. It can never become out-dated because it's eternal! It has and will always be relevant and true. When we stand for the truth of God's Word, we are proclaiming the conviction that we have been transformed by. It's not just a guide book for life - it is timeless wisdom that changes and moulds who we are into the image and likeness of our Creator. The One in Whom we live, and move, and have our being! Don't be surprised when you're challenged about what you believe. Stick to your conviction. Stand strong in the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit. Be a God pleaser who demonstrates Christ's love and power, drawing people to know Him!
“MOMMY GIVES ME COLD WATER TO DRINK INSTEAD OF WARM WATER BECAUSE SHE IS ALWAYS DISTRACTED WITH HER PHONE.” my 6 year old son MOMMY'S ALWAYS DISTRACTED WITH HER PHONE “Mommy gives me cold water to drink instead of warm water because she is always distracted with her phone.” These were the words of my 6year-old son at the time. I was so shocked and almost threw the throw pillow at my giggling husband. This child of mine was nodding his head emphatically to re-inforce his statement and apt observation of his mother. (Who happens to be me). It was a school holiday evening and I was ‘quickly’ catching up on my emails, Facebook and WhatsApp messages. Did I say: “quickly”? Yes. This was my intention but had it become my incessant habit? My son was definite in his remarks and clear about his feelings. As a working mom, I thought it was enough to sit in the family lounge and be subjected to the cartoons my children enjoy watching. (I am not a TV lover; I am bookworm. I enjoy reading mostly). I felt justified! In retrospect, I realised my error; I was being an ‘absent-present mom”.
BOLANLE ENANG | FamilyLife Enthusiast| Author| Convener of Signature family building workshops -The Table & Parent Talks| Accredited Facilitator: Evergreen Parenting| Family Wellness Consultant
I was there but not with them. I knew something had to give. Immediately, I deleted some of the social media platforms on my phone.
I refuse to teach or mirror to him any further that my phone, work, gadgets and the rest of the world are more important than our family.
Social media is great but if we working parents are busy bringing work home and connecting with the world while ignoring our children/family’s world right before us; then what are we really doing? I found to my amusement “No one died because I didn’t see their notifications and messages nor reply them within a split second.
Values are caught a lot of times and not always taught.
Fast forward to 2028 in 8 years’ time, I don’t want my 16-year-old teenage son ignoring me or bringing me cold water when I ask for hot tea because he saw me do it!
Drop the phone and connect with your family now. Today is the gift we have that’s why it’s called The Present. (I once saw that in a video). Remember our families are to be enjoyed and not endured.
YOUR SISTER IN CHRIST,
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT GLUTTONY?
gluttony is the habitual giving in to a greedy appetite by overindulging in eating and drinking
BY: MARY FAIRCHILD Gluttony is the sin of overindulgence and excessive greed for food, money, clothes and possessions. In the Bible, gluttony is closely linked with the sins of drunkenness, idolatry, lavishness, rebellion, disobedience, laziness, and wastefulness (Deuteronomy 21:20). The Bible condemns gluttony as a sin and places it squarely in “the lust of the flesh” camp (1 John 2:15–17). Key Bible Verse "Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies." (1 Corinthians 6:19– 20, NIV) Biblical Definition of Gluttony A biblical definition of gluttony is the habitual giving in to a greedy appetite by overindulging in eating and drinking. Gluttony includes an excessive desire for the pleasure that food and drink give to a person. God has given us food, drink, and other pleasurable things to enjoy (Genesis 1:29; Ecclesiastes 9:7; 1 Timothy 4:4-5), but the Bible calls for moderation in everything. Unrestrained self-indulgence in any area will lead to deeper entanglement in sin because it represents a rejection of godly self-control and disobedience to the will of God. Proverbs 25:28 says, “A person without selfcontrol is like a city with broken-down walls.” (NLT).
This passage implies that a person who puts no restraint on his or her passions and desires ends up with no defense when temptations come. Having lost self-control, he or she is in danger of being carried away into further sin and destruction. Gluttony in the Bible is a form of idolatry. When the desire for food and drink becomes too important to us, it’s a sign that it has become an idol in our lives. Any form of idolatry is a serious offense to God. You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. (Ephesians 5:5, NLT). According to Roman Catholic theology, gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins, meaning a sin that leads to damnation. But this belief is based on Church tradition dating back to medieval times and is not backed by Scripture. Nevertheless, the Bible speaks of many destructive consequences of gluttony (Proverbs 23:20-21; 28:7). Perhaps the most damaging aspect of overindulgence in food is how it harms our health. The Bible calls us to take care of our bodies and honor God with them (1 Corinthians 6:19–20). Jesus’ critics—the spiritually blind, hypocritical Pharisees—falsely accused him of gluttony because he associated with sinners: “The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’
Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.” (Matthew 11:19, ESV). Jesus lived like the average person in his day. He ate and drank normally and was not an ascetic like John the Baptist. For this reason, he was accused of eating and drinking in excess. But anyone who honestly observed the Lord’s behavior would see his righteousness. The Bible is exceedingly positive about food. In the Old Testament, several feasts are instituted by God. The Lord likens the conclusion of history to a great feast—the marriage supper of the Lamb. Food is not the problem when it comes to gluttony. Rather, when we allow the craving for food to become our master, then we have become slaves to sin. Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace. (Romans 6:12–14, NLT). The Bible teaches that believers are to have only one master, the Lord Jesus Christ, and worship him alone. A wise Christian will carefully examine his or her own heart and behaviors to determine whether he or she has an unhealthy desire for food. At the same time, a believer ought not to judge others regarding their attitude toward food (Romans 14). A person’s weight or physical appearance may have nothing to do with the sin of gluttony. Not all fat people are gluttons, and not all gluttons are fat. Our responsibility as believers is to scrutinize our own lives and do our best to honor and serve God faithfully with our bodies. Bible Verses About Gluttony Deuteronomy 21:20 (NIV) They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.” Job 15:27 (NLT) “These wicked people are heavy and prosperous; their waists bulge with fat.” Proverbs 23:20–21 (ESV) Be not among drunkards or among,
gluttonous. eaters of meat, for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will clothe them with rags. Proverbs 25:16 (NLT) Do you like honey? Don’t eat too much, or it will make you sick!
"PERFECT FOR PARTIES AND Proverbs 28:7 (NIV) A discerning son heeds instruction, but a CELEBRATIONS" companion of gluttons disgraces his father. Proverbs 23:1–2 (NIV) When you sit to dine with a ruler, note well what is before you, and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony. Ecclesiastes 6:7 (ESV) All the toil of man is for his mouth, yet his appetite is not satisfied.
Ezekiel 16:49 (NIV) “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.” Zechariah 7:4–6 (NLT) The LORD of Heaven’s Armies sent me this message in reply: “Say to all your people and your priests, ‘During these seventy years of exile, when you fasted and mourned in the summer and in early autumn, was it really for me that you were fasting? And even now in your holy festivals, aren’t you eating and drinking just to please yourselves?’ Mark 7:21–23 (CSB) For from within, out of people’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immoralities, thefts, murders, adulteries, greed, evil actions, deceit, self-indulgence, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a person.” Romans 13:14 (NIV) Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh. Philippians 3:18–19 (NLT) For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth.
CREATED FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS
by: Pastor Tee
Taken from Esther 4:14: “……..Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for such a time as this?” These are powerful words that Esther’s Uncle Mordecai replied to Esther through Hathach who was appointed as her attendant. Surely we see throughout the book that indeed Esther was made queen for such a time as this.
Esther 4:14: “……..Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for such a time as this?”
This very truth is for you and I . Maybe not queen or king physically but defiantly are the light of this world. Each and everyone one of us is created for a purpose by the God of purpose. That’s why our gifts, birth dates and finger prints are not the same. I’m personally inspired and touched by this story of Esther because it shows that everyone born is created with purpose. Meaning, we are placed at places and face situations and have encounters for a reason. Whether good or bad, you are created for such a time as this. Remember, what you go through child of God, is your ministry.
V p H M t a
F w r l
God will never send you to feed the hungry when you yourself have never experienced hunger. He will not send you to clothe the naked, when you have never lacked in clothing. That very thing is created for such a time as this! It’s essential before you can operate / manifest what you’ve been created for, to know who you are and who’s you are. Today soo many of us are: -misplaced -confused -passive -competitive -jealous -envious Because we don’t know what we’ve been created for. As my spiritual father, Prophet G says: “No one wakes up in the morning planning to fail”. As we are in 2020, it’s important to know that you have been created for, in such a time of this. A time for God to manifest His power, love and glory through you. As Almighty God has promised to pour out His Spirit unto all flesh (Joel 2:2829). We tend to consult man to tell us what we carry. Most of the people we consult like; friends, colleagues, family and neighbours are the very ones oppressing us. Operating under the spirit of Hamman. Hamman in the book of Esther is a man who was a descendant of King Agag, who was supposed to be killed by King Saul. We see that sometimes the curse that was supposed to be done away long ago has been left so you who has been created for such a times as this, breaks it. In your family people are not : -not getting married ( you are created for such a time as this to break that curse) -not employed( you are created for such a time as this to break that curse and open a business and be an employer) -not living long, are dying at a certain age( you are created for such a times as this to break that curse and live long) -not buying their own houses, or not moving out from home ( you are created for such a time as this to break that curse and purchase houses)
-are dying and not receiving Jesus Christ (you are created for such a times as this to receive Him, live Him and preach Him. -not breaking out of poverty and are a laughing stalk ( child of God you are created to break that poverty and silence the voice of the enemy) We must know that purpose/success is linked with opposition. That opposition is in the form of Hamman. Hamman is not a man but a spirit. Let’s look deeper as to what’s this spirit of Hamman and the characteristics: -Love power, money & fame ( love to be seen) -Insecure -Boastful -Filled with pride and arrogance -Murders ( physical and spiritual) -Think are a god -Hateful -Have anger - Jealous & envious -Competitive -Evil -Wicked -Sew division This is a spirit that will do anything to destroy you because of the anointing you carry. To reach your destiny, which is rather known as the palace (just like Esther) you must be bold, courageous, know who you are and who’s you are. There are times where we forget who God really is and get distracted by life and what it throws at us but it’s essential we get back and have intimacy with the Living Go. These following men prospered and fulfilled their purpose because of intimacy and dependence on the Almighty God: -David, Moses, Paul, Mordecai, Job, Isaiah, Nehemiah, Elijah, Elisha etc…..
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In Conclusion 2020, God is doing a new thing and rebuilding broken walls. The year of double portion and the manifestation of His Glory. All these promises concern you. You are created for such a time as this. Let no one tell you otherwise.
your sister in Christ,
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we are not ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST!
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BY; KENDRA DUBLIN
You are not your problem! For some reason we like to attach the things we do and don’t do to the full make up of who we are. If you got good grades in school, you’re smart. If you made Cs and Ds, you’re stupid. If you have sex with multiple guys, you’re a hoe. If you abstain from sex, you’re a saint. Detaching ourselves from our behaviors will help us shed some light on how we view ourselves. Let’s start where I was about six years ago. Alcoholic. Sexually immoral. Drunk driver. Reckless behavior. Elevated aggression. Liar. I feel like I could go on with everything that was wrong with me, but who has the time? I certainly don’t! Ironically, I found myself at church most Sundays because I needed relief from my own thoughts. Do you need relief from your own understanding? A lack of self-worth correlates with self-esteem. If what you think about yourself is negative how can you gain self-worth?
Healing from the Kendra I once knew was a hard
I learned so much along the way that seemed to
process but quicker than I thought. I had to free
correlate with patience as well. As the Holy Spirit
myself from guilt and shame, but ultimately, I was
was working in me, I found myself looking to God
running away from God. I’d be running a marathon
for answers and not myself.
one month, sprinting the following, crawling the next, and come Sunday, walking towards God and
Once I was able to forgive myself, control my
the original me.
anger and have better insight on my actions, I had
to accept my past. I had to find peace in what I I was so conflicted. How did I get here? Who was I
couldn’t take back. I had to thank God that I was
before my thoughts led me to the consequences I
still alive. I had to realize it couldn’t interfere with
now reside in? And why have I stayed so long? I
my future, but only enhanced it. And soon I
concluded that I had to forgive myself to move
organically found myself working in my ministry.
from my past.
With accepting myself it allowed me to talk about
I started going to God in prayer. I had to start
my struggles and not deny them. I didn’t need to
separating my actions from who I was. Although
forget it, I needed to live from it! I’ve found that
our actions come from our thoughts, I had to
avoiding and denying certain parts of our lives only
recognize I wasn’t my thoughts. And since so many
helps us to go right back into it. A lot of things I
thoughts ran through my mind, I had to let them
learned about myself and God, came through my
all pass…at least the ones that weren’t from God. I
trials. If I erase my issues, I erase my understanding,
had to realize the battle between Ken Ken (my nick
wisdom and knowledge as well. When you can
name) and Kendra wasn’t against me, but of the
mature from your pain you can conquer the next
spiritual world. I just needed to call upon God
struggle. The devil only whispers old tricks, so don’t
versus siding with Satan. I needed to let the Holy
get thrown off by his inability to forgive himself.
Spirit that resided in me and lives in the spiritual realms to lead the battle. I had to let go and let God.
Writing books, speaking and coaching were a part of the next phase of my life. I didn’t imagine the life
Consequently, I had to let the anger in me be
I’m living today based off publishing my first book,
extracted. I was hostile towards myself which led
but as I continued to live in God, He kept giving me
me to be hostile towards others. I hated the way I
visions beyond the present. I could see myself years
was acting and struggled to find peace. To find
down the line and could act towards my ministry
hope. To find the light at the end, so my real self
could begin. As I reflected more on God and studied His Words, I found myself happier. As God
If I had not accepted my failures, I wouldn’t have
elevated me unto Him, I slept better at night and I
known what victory looked like. I was finally able to
didn’t lash out at people the same way I had done
focus on the mission because my mind was free in
every way. God accepted me when He birthed me, so I had to be joyous in who He created. Have you
The next step in my evolution backwards and
forgiven yourself? Have you reduced your anger
forwards, was stopping and understanding why
towards yourself? Have you gained better insights
my life had spiraled down all those years. In the
on your struggles? Have you accepted your past?
latest book I co-wrote with 12 other women called,
Are you living in God’s promise through your
“The Resistance” we discussed three major things
testimony? If you haven’t started the journey yet,
that held us back. I concluded that pride and
start today because TOMORROW IS TOO LATE TO
procrastination on top of addiction, is what took
me down a dark path. But once God started to show me those resistances, I could work on them. I studied Jesus! The ultimate example of humility and action.
IT WAS THE HAND
OF GOD Can I Testify? On the 31/01/2020 I got home from work at 18h30 and I must add I was tired. So, I decided to take a nap and the plan was to wake up at 20h00 because I had to go to church for a night service. Whilst sleeping my body kept telling me I’m tired and mustn’t go to church whilst the spirit was telling me I must go to church. I woke up at 20h15 and freshened up. I then decided to take off the T-shirt I was wearing and for some reason I wore a T-shirt I had worn the previous day which had the words : “There is power in the name of Jesus “ printed on it. I then embarked on my journey alone and drove to Church.
WRITTEN BY: NYIKO MHLONGO
Everything was fine, until I got to an intersection and I drove on and realized it was dark. There were no cars in-front of me nor even behind me there were no cars following mind you this was a main road and it was a Friday night, month end and so it was kinder strange but however I carried on. Ahead of me I saw a car trying to make a U-turn and it was surrounded by people however I still carried on. I suddenly heard a shattering sound and I suddenly realized that I had driven right into the middle of a protest (Riot). My car was thrown with stones and bricks. Whilst I was inside driving, I got so scared because I was also in a place, I wasn’t familiar with and you could see that these people mean business. TO BE CONTINUED................
BEFORE & AFTER I DO Written By: Pastor Pascal & Annah Lwambwa
Pascal & Annah- Our love story began 15 years ago, on campus at the University of Johannesburg where we were both studying. It wasn’t long after we became friends that we decided to take our friendship to the next level. Five years later we got married and we have been happily married for 10 years now. We have been blessed with two beautiful children and we are forever grateful to God for entrusting us with such beautiful gifts. We are both leaders in our church called Faith & Victory SA. We serve as Pastor and Deaconess with a passion for young people, turning boys into responsible men and grooming young ladies into powerful women of influence.
We also run a youth marketing and activation's company called Royalty Management and Communications where we have created a platform for different brands to penetrate the youth market. Our passion for young people and marriages gave birth to “Before and After-I do”. This is an organisation aimed at preparing young people for marriage as well as building marriages that last forever by bringing marriages back to the cross and demonstrating Christ like love in marriages. One of the questions we get asked the most is “How do I prepare myself for marriage?”
Before going on a quest to finding the right person, make sure that you are the right person and that requires preparation.The word Preparation is key! When you want to have a good meal, you need to prepare the right ingredients that will give the meal that you desire to have. It works the same with marriage, you have to be prepared. Spiritually: The components or ingredients of spiritual preparation are prayer and fasting. Marriage is an institution created by God and because He created it,He knows more about it than we do. This is why it is important to seek direction from Him first, through prayer and fasting, before getting into marriage. Prayer and Fasting brings us closer to God. It is through prayer that God can bring you to a better understanding of what marriage is. It is through prayer that God can reveal certain things about yourself,that you need to work before engaging into marriage.
Many people have saved themselves from entering into marriage with the wrong people because of what God revealed to them about that person during the spiritual preparation. We cannot stress enough about the importance of praying and fasting before popping the question or saying “I do!” We find a good model in the bible which is Esther, before she appeared before the king, she prepared herself spiritually by fasting for 3 days because she knew that she needed the favour of God in order to succeed. It was after the fasting and praying that she was chosen by the King and became Queen Esther.
Mentally: Marriage comes with a lot of changes and adjustments, one of them being your mind-set. You need to be prepared to change your mind-set from “I” to “we”. Ephesians 5:31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and the two will become one flesh”. You need to be prepared to make decisions that will benefit both you and your partner and not what will work for one person.There is no place for selfishness in marriage. This does not however mean that you need to lose your identity, it simply means that you need to consider your partner in everything you do. One of the ways to prepare mentally is to find a model married couple that you can go to for advise, and can hold you accountable. Attending pre-marital classes will always have a positive aspect to your perception of marriage, never think you know it all. In our 15 years of romance we have never stopped attending marriage seminars and workshops because these are always priceless investments. Are you ready to allow someone else to meddle into your finances? Well if you want to have a successful marriage you cannot hide finances from each other, begin to prepare your mind for this. If your credit record is poor, you might want to work on that before you get married as this will affect you and your spouse when you want to buy a property or asset. Talk about having children, when to have them, how many do you want? All this is part of mental preparation. There’s so much more we could add, but we will end with forgiveness. Lack of forgiveness in marriage will lead you to disaster, so you better start practicing forgiveness before getting married. Holding a grudge against your spouse will poison your relationship and will end up killing it. These are the few tips we wanted to share today catch us on the next issue of the magazine for more tips.
It is through prayer that God can reveal certain things about yourself,that you need to work before engaging into marriage.
A MAN’S PREDICAMENT Sibusiso Theledi, born in White River Mpumalanga, is an Author, Human Development Consultant, NLP Coach Practitioner, Personal Finance Coach, Success Strategist and an Inspirational Speaker of note, with a passion for people. Author of Crossroads - The Power of Choice and the recently published, A Man’s Predicament – Shaving Off The Misconceptions of Manhood. When asked who is the Messiah to him , he answers: "Jesus Christ, the Messiah, is the reason I have the privilege and the gift of life, the ability to experience all that God has created. He is the friend that sticks closer than a brother. "
Share with us on how, when you got Born Again? Back in 2011 I broke up with the mother of my 2 kids, horribly, lost pretty much everything including myself during that process. I hit the bottle, sought solace in the comfort of wrong women and nothing got better. Until 2014, at a friend’s memorial service, as the minister preached, it seemed like everyone disappeared and it was just me and him as the word of God pierced through my heart like a sword. All the walls around me collapsed, I said yes to Jesus, and I never looked back. It was indeed the greatest decision I’ve ever made in my life to date.
Things you wish you were told about your walk with Jesus Christ? I think at the crux of it would be about my 1 8responsibility. The focus has always been on what God can do for me and not what I can do in partnership with God. Also, walking with Christ didn't mean I would be immune to problems and challenges of life. Growing up, did you always know that you will achieve all you have achieved, especially being an Author? I grew up in a hopeless place in White River, Mpumalanga, where there wasn't much exposure to even ignite dreams. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine even a quarter of what I’ve managed to achieve and still aspire for. I knew I wanted to help people, but definitely not an Author or the ways and platforms I’ve been privileged with. What are the Highs and Lows of writing and publishing, and can one learn to write or it’s a gift? My experience has been about finding a good, authentic publisher who is able to help you produce a perfect of a product as you can imagine and assist in distribution through proper channels that allow the target market to actually get their hands on the resource. There are many people who talk the talk but won’t walk the walk, too many false promises. A caution would be for authors to be patient, to allow enough time for the process. Rushing can also be costly. If done right this is one of the best ways to impart and speak into people's lives and situations and it's very rewarding. It can absolutely be learned, it's like telling a story. Your first book “Crossroads - The Power of Choice” focuses on the power we, as individuals possess to dictate ………… How important is this and how can one start? Our power lies in the choices and decisions we make on a daily basis. We can only influence outcomes at the time of choosing, not harvest time. It's important because that's how we dictate how our lives turn out, through the choices we make and that puts us in control, not fate. This is equally applicable to our finances, relationships, personal development as it is to our health and spirituality. You can start now, by just being conscious of your choices no matter how small they are. This is done taking into account that our variables and circumstances are not the same, as such the “one size fits all” approach doesn’t really work. You chose the life you want, God has granted us the privilege of “free will”, but didn’t remove that of consequence. You are in charge of your life and your space. Lead it well. What is your hope that one receives from reading and engaging with what you have imparted? Above all, is being able, to be honest with yourself enough to accept what's your responsibility in life and what isn't.
To find oneself and accept life for what it is and not what we think it should be, not in the sense of mediocrity, but that of God’s will and fate. As Christians, how important is it for us to know our Identity in King Jesus and not conform to this world? The philosophy of Christianity involves being citizens of God’s Kingdom, one cannot function effectively without understanding who he is and what His kingdom stands for, as an ambassador. You cannot effectively influence and environment that defines you. Seeing ourselves as God sees us ("Light", "Salt", "Friends of God" etc) it's very critical to understands as it informs how we behave and conduct ourselves in the world. That way we don't have to line ourselves up with worldly standards but those from heaven through the word. Knowing your Identity gives you authenticity you need to live a life of purpose. You recently published your second book “A Man’s Predicament – Shaving off the Misconceptions of Manhood". Please define what manhood is? There’s no universal definition for manhood, I see it as authentic masculinity. It is the software (man) that dictates how the hardware (male) operates, like how a laptop would. It’s not a stage but a state. It is what separates the boy from the man. It is reflected by how a man fulfills his purpose, his character, levels of maturity and decision making driven by LOVE and not selfishness. What inspired this book and reception it received? Back in 2016, I was interviewed at Kaya FM about “The Pregnant Man", basically talking about the fears, confusion, and insecurities men face when their women are pregnant, often without the adequate point of reference for men. The response was so overwhelming, both men and women requested that I write a full, indepth book on the subject as it was quite an eye-opener.
"Our focus should be to vigilantly remain in Christ and understand that the mandate has always been about discipling all people and turn them to God. For no one knows the hour He would come, but all should aspire to hear Christ say, "well done, good and faithful servants".
As I was busy with research, I discovered so much more of the issues men felt needed attention. They felt most societal expectations we unattainable and unmerited, moreover, society was constantly contradicting itself such that most men never really knew what was required of them, if anything, most men were broken and hurt to a point where they couldn’t be “men” anymore, with no outlets to help them face their dilemmas. As such “A Man’s Predicament” was birth. The reception thus far has exceeded all manner of expectations, especially from women as it invites one to a conversation and reflection and not necessarily a prescriptive resource. Is it only for men? Absolutely not, if anything more for women than it is for men. In this book, I invite both sexes to take a probing look at the issues of manhood objectively, not driven by emotions or expectations and experiences. To see the impact of our wrong teachings, belief systems and socialization and probe who the enemy is in our lives. What would be the top five misconceptions of manhood? >Manhood is superior to womanhood. The fallacy of “the real man” narrative. >Men are the perpetrators and never victims of violence, (including financial and emotional) >Men don’t talk. >Men showing emotions is unmanly, a sign of weakness. > Men “know it all”, the perpetuation of the superman syndrome. What role does the church play in building or tearing down manhood?
My opinion is that most doctrines around issues of manhood are misinterpreted. If the church fails to help, empower and build men up to a point of wholeness. Then it’s definitely tearing manhood down which ultimately breeds dysfunction in society. Of course, this factors the reality that some people, no matter how relevant the church can teach, some just won’t take the teaching and implement in their lives. But in building men correctly, they are empowered to take their rightful positions, protect their families as stewards, by teaching and living Godly lives both in private and in public, driven by LOVE. Does it bother you that the church doesn’t address manhood and how it affects the younger generation? My experience has been that the church perhaps over spiritualizes issues and doesn't meet the men at their level to guide them practically on the issues they face or hold their hands when needed, the risk being to deem the church irrelevant to men. If men can’t find themselves and deal with whatever it is life throws at them, they have no time nor desire to mentor and influence the younger generation correctly and in time. Can the blind lead the blind? (Luke 6:39). We see globally that the participation or presence of fathers is lacking. What then would you advise those affected by this to react? For fathers who are able to access the kids and play their role, I suggest they do whatever they can to for their kids' sake. Of course, this will require that the mothers not be stumbling blocks, this requires love and sensitivity, given there are reasons for separation. For those who desperately yearn for their father's touch. I truly believe that God, being our father can really feel that space.
Allow Him to guide, mentor and fellowship with you. At times God uses our struggles, our needs/thorns for us to be the 1st to do certain things, create paths and show others the way that we were not taught. But as a society, we need to play an active role in teaching each other LOVE and RESPONSIBILITY. We need to also understand that many people feel they are asked to give that which they, themselves don’t have and our circumstances are different. But we should never lose hope. You mentor men, which is something very rare. How did this come about and the impact you see it manifesting in the men who are a part of this mentorship? In simple terms, after going through my own struggles and having no one around me to reach out to for help. I just wanted to be the brother I never had when I needed him the most. That's how the conscious journey of coaching and mentoring began, but it's something I always did casually over the years. The impact is amazing, to see people change, see life from different perspectives, decide to face their demons head-on, is just something I can’t put in words. I get to learn so much myself by being exposed to other people’s realities and ways of doing things. What does it take to be a mentor? Will to share your life with others, availability, patience and listening skills. The ability to take in what's happening, asses the path the mentee is on and guide them on the right track. You also have a forum to back this up “We-Men forum”. Tell us more about it and is there a criterion needed to join? We-Men is a men’s forum launched in March 2018 just to create an informal, safe and nonjudgemental space for men to engage and help one another on whatever personal issues and challenges we face. For life cannot be lived in isolation, this platform allows the fellowship and privilege of brotherhood. We do so over different activities like braais, hiking, camping or just sit-ins. The criteria, well you just have to be a man, get in touch with myself and we’ll take it from there. You currently are the head of your Church’s men’s ministry. What does it mean to you and what occurs in men’s ministry? My heart always bleeds for the men in the church who feels out of place, who need someone to engage them at their level without over spiritualizing things and just being told to pray, even for things that need practical guidance. For example, people struggling with abuse, or say sexual/libido issues who perhaps need medical intervention. Not that prayer doesn't help, but to have a man to go to who can understand their realities for what it is.
To me, it means I'm in a position to play that role of holding my brother's hands when they need it the most. Stand with them in prayer but also give practical advice when possible, even if it’s just an opportunity for someone to open their chest, whilst also learning from them. And God does the rest. Most women are found in churches than men. What would you say is the reason? There’s the invalidated narrative that women are more emotional, whilst men are logical. The 1st thing about faith is that it defies logic. But I want to believe that church, being a place of worship becomes unpleasant for most men because it requires everyone to admit that they need God, that they need help, that they are not superheroes. I think to some degree that's the biggest hindrance because at the core is vulnerability, which is a taboo to most men. Why is there a shortage of males mentoring boys? The reality is that you can’t pour from an empty cup. Most men are still licking their wounds, wrestling with their feelings of inadequacies and as such deem themselves unworthy of imparting unto and guiding others. Because they themselves are still trying to maneuver through life, they are reluctant to avail themselves as mentors. But we need to change those beliefs as you don't need to be perfect to be a mentor. How important is it for Christians to have Spiritual Fathers? This one is a bit of a thorny issue because, if done in the flesh, it can be one of the most damaging doctrines taught in the church. It’s very important because he gets to pour out knowledge, wisdom & understanding with practicality and relevance to your specific life and circumstances. Helps the believer to grow in the knowledge of God and fulfill his calling. We have seen it work through the likes of Elijah & Elisha, Eli & Samuel, Paul & Timothy etc. Even though, it should never substitute your personal relationship with God. How is your relationship with King Jesus? Difficult to measure, but I strive to keep the connection healthy and intact as He is my source of life, energy, and direction, though I remain an imperfect human being, it’s a journey. If Jesus were to visit you for one day, what would you say to Him and how would you spend the rest of the day with Him? I would wish for Him to make me understand how to build the friendship relationship that the likes of Moses, Abraham, David, etc had with God. I would spend the day reclining at his feet, drawing as much wisdom and revelation as I possibly can. For him to expand my comprehension and understanding of how life really works.
What message do you have to the Church, regarding the end times and especially THE IMMINENT RETURN OF KING JESUS? My understanding of the “end times” for me is that of it not being a period, but a person, that of Jesus Christ. Revelations 1:8 declares “I Am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the END," says the Lord, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty" (NKJV). Our focus should be to vigilantly remain in Christ and understand that the mandate has always been about discipling all people and turn them to God. The Church, therefore, needs to be constantly mindful of its position, mandate, and impact in the world. For no one knows the hour he would come, but all should aspire to hear Christ say, "well done, good and faithful servants". The Church needs to fix its eyes on Jesus and let Him complete that which He began, before creation. To not be caught out of place distracted by fleshly and worldly things but always be mindful of our heavenly mandate on earth. When people hear the name Sibusiso Theledi . What do you want them to know? Wow, I have never consciously thought about this one. “Authenticity” is the word that comes to mind after “servant”. One who authentically serves humanity in whatever space, no matter how small. I strive to be a true blessing to most people who cross paths with me. Nothing qualifies me to do what I do, my life can be messy, full of setbacks, yet every day I chose to fight, to persevere and that’s what I wish for everyone at the very least. How can people get in touch with you, access your work and schedule? Sibusiso Theledi on all Social Media platforms and my website is www.sibusisotheledi.co.za. Otherwise, firstname.lastname@example.org / +27822123673 Last words and plans for 2020? Looking forward to a completely different world post COVID 19 pandemic. I believe we are yet to face the real challenges brought by this pandemic. Yet, there are more opportunities to experience a new life, to do things differently, to place our priorities correctly. 2020 I plan to run #TheBridge Workshops, where both men and women would meet to engage about their realities objectively, with the aim of devising practical resolutions instead of just pointing fingers.
facts about meeeee.... On the weekend you will find me…. Either speaking, Emceeing, running a workshop /event, ministering or just spending time with family. Legacy is ….That which will outlive you, whether good or bad! Can’t live without My laptop. I dream of a world where men and women can see each other as equals,though with different roles and responsibilities. 2020 is….showing me flames right now, but looking forward to the plenty to come! Daily mantra "Consistency and progress are more important than perfection." Best advice ever received My mentor, Mr. OP Dibakwane once said “If you don’t learn by instruction, you will learn by experience, your choice”
Groaning in Tents I am not a camper. The few times that I’ve attempted to rough it and sleep outside, about ten o’clock, I start asking myself, “Now, why am I doing this?” I hate the thought that my perfectly comfortable
Betsy Childs Howard (MA, Beeson Divinity School) is an editor for the Gospel
bed at home lies empty while
Coalition. She is the
I’m in a sleeping bag on the
author of Seasons
ground. For me, a tent is not an
of Waiting and
acceptable substitute for home.
served as an editor
In 2 Corinthians 5:1–3, Paul describes our bodies as earthly tents, a place to reside only until we receive everlasting bodies in our heavenly home:
for The New City Catechism. Betsy lives with her husband, Bernard, in Manhattan, where
For we know that if the tent that
they planted Good
is our earthly home is destroyed,
we have a building from God, a
Church in 2017.
house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to -
WAITING FOR HEALING by: Betsy Childs Howard
put on our heavenly dwelling, if
Most of all, we wait on healing,
This is the kind of healing our
indeed by putting it on we may
and often we don’t know
bodies and souls long for, the
not be found naked.
whether that healing will come
touch of our Savior that instantly
in this life or the next.
restores. That kind of healing
The world stops feeling like a
brings glory to God because it
comfortable place when our
God does not always respond to
shows his miraculous power. But
bodies attack themselves. Even
prayers for healing in the same
God is also glorified when we
a minor sickness can remind us
way. Sometimes he heals
continue to walk in faith though
that our bodies are not
quickly, either through
we have not been healed.
permanent homes. When
medicine or through miracles
Anyone would praise God for
sickness enters our lives, we
with no scientific explanation.
instantaneous healing; there’s
become keenly aware that our
Sometimes he heals after many
nothing supernatural about
world is fallen. Our bodies are a
months or years. Other times,
being glad for good health. But
gift from God, but as they age
God withholds healing. I have
those who praise God in the
and get sick, they cause a lot of
seen each of these responses to
midst of their suffering, even
my own prayers for the healing
though he has not removed that
of others. And in Scripture, we
suffering, show a kind of
While sickness, like death, is a
see clear examples of God
faith that can only be attributed
product of the fall and therefore
acting in these different ways in
to the Holy Spirit within them. It
not a good thing in itself, it has
response to sickness.
is not natural to give thanks and
the good by-product of helping
rejoice while being imprisoned in
us to feel less at home in the
Luke 4 contains the kind of
a groaning, aching body.
world. When we aren’t at home
healing that we would all
in our bodies, it reminds us that
choose for ourselves and those
Waiting Well While Waiting for
“our citizenship is in heaven, and
we love. Simon Peter’s mother-
Healing What does it mean to
from it we await a Savior, the
in-law has been stricken with a
wait well when you long to be
Lord Jesus Christ, who will
high fever. Those in the house
healed? Waiting well involves
transform our lowly body to be
“[appeal] to Jesus on her
praying for healing and seeking a
like his glorious body, by the
behalf,” which basically means
cure through medical means. It
power that enables him even to
they offered an in-person prayer
also means recognizing that God
subject all things to himself”
for healing. Luke tells us that
may have purposes for delaying
(Phil. 3:20–21). Illness is not
Jesus “stood over her and
that healing. One purpose may
something that we should
rebuked the fever, and it left
be to remind the healthy people
embrace for its own sake, but
her, and immediately she rose
around you that our bodies don’t
we can celebrate the fact that it
and began to serve them” (Luke
last forever. Tents are not meant
makes us long for our heavenly
4:39). The healing was
to be permanent.
home and resurrected bodies, in
miraculous and instantaneous.
the same way that sleeping on
That same night, Jesus laid
We all long for the restoration
the cold hard ground made
hands on many others and
that will come when God gives
me long for my bed at home.
us new, resurrected bodies. We don’t have those bodies yet. Until
The Hope of Healing
Illness is not something that we
we do, we are “those who have
When sickness is serious, it is
should embrace for its own
not seen, and yet have believed”
rarely over quickly. Thus, waiting
sake, but we can celebrate the
(John 20:29). Just as the woman
is integral to the experience of
fact that it makes us long for
with the hemorrhage of blood
illness. We wait on test results.
our heavenly home and
was a living parable of Israel’s
We wait on remission. We wait
need for cleansing, so those who
on relief from side effects.
suffer in the body serve as a parable of our need for resurrection.
How might this happen? If you suffer from a terminal illness, your life is living evidence of Psalm 103:15–17: As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him. Only God’s Love Endures Those who see you will be reminded that we are not promised long lives. Neither our health nor our continued existence on earth is guaranteed; only God’s love for those who fear him endures eternally. Ultimately, we all have a terminal diagnosis and must repent before it is too late. As you wait for healing, realizing that it may not come this side of Jordan, you can help people see their urgent need to repent and believe before their time runs out. Perhaps your illness is not terminal, but you live with chronic pain. You live with a daily, throbbing reminder that all is not as it should be. This is a message that our control-happy, fix it culture desperately needs to hear. There are some problems that can’t be solved by joining a gym or making more money or finding people who understand you. Our world is broken, and all the brainpower or buying power that exists cannot mend it.
If your pain increases your longing for heaven, and you speak up about that hope, you will be a powerful sign pointing to the restoration that will come when Christ returns. There are many other categories of illness, and the purpose or the parable of your illness may not be immediately obvious to you. Your illness may be messy. It may be someone else’s fault. It may be hard to untangle from your own sinful, addictive behaviors. But I assure you that it is not beyond God’s power to tell his story through you. It is only by digging deeply into God’s story that we can hope to understand our own. As you wait, keep praying for healing, but pray also for God’s strength to be perfected in your weakness as long as he withholds health. There is no body so broken that it cannot be offered to God as a living sacrifice, and there is no arm too feeble to wield the sword of the Spirit.
A Righteous Man by : Mary Fairchild
The Bible Presents Noah as Blameless Among the People of His Time.
Noah is one of the most important people in the Bible. In a world taken over by evil, violence, and corruption, the Bible reveals him to be a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time. Not only that, but he was also the only follower of God left on Earth. It is difficult to imagine such unwavering faithfulness in the midst of total godlessness, but that is the lesson that Noah's story teaches believers. Over and over again, the Bible states: "Noah did everything just as God commanded." His life of 950 years exemplified obedience. Noah and the Flood During Noah's time, the wickedness of man had covered the earth like a flood. As a result, God commanded a flood of his own, a literal one, in which all the people on Earth would perish. Only Noah and his family would be spared, for it was God's intention for them to restart humanity.
To prepare for the upcoming apocalypse, the Lord instructed Noah to build an ark in which he, his family, and two of each animal on earth would be sheltered during the storm. Noah diligently accepted God's call, and never wavered from it. Appropriately mentioned in the "Hall of Faith" in the Book of Hebrews, Noah is considered an exemplar of the Christian faith. Accomplishments When we meet Noah in the Bible, we learn that he is the only follower of God remaining in his generation. After the flood, he becomes the second father of the human race. As an engineer, architect, and shipbuilder, he put together an amazing structure, the likes of which had never before been built.
With the length of the project spanning 120 years, building the ark was quite a notable achievement. Noah's greatest accomplishment, however, was his faithful commitment to obeying and walking with God all the days of his life. Strengths and Weaknesses Although Noah loved God with-
his whole heart and was fully committed to obeying his every command, this does not mean he was perfect or sinless. In fact, he had a weakness for wine, apparently his only recorded sin. In Genesis, chapter 9, the Bible tells how Noah became drunk and passed out in his tent, making himself an embarrassment to his sons.
Biblical References The passages of Scripture cover the life and times of Noah: Genesis 5–10; 1 Chronicles 1:3–4; Isaiah 54:9; Ezekiel 14:14; Matthew 24:37– 38; Luke 3:36 and 17:26; Hebrews 11:7; 1 Peter 3:20; 2 Peter 2:5.
Life Lessons Noah's life can be seen as a model of patience, persistence, and unwavering faithfulness to God in the face of a faithless society. Surely it wasn't easy for Noah, but he found favor in God's eyes because of his remarkable obedience.
Family Life The Bible tells us that Noah is the son of Lamech and that one of his grandfathers was Methuselah. When he was 500 years old, Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and it is those sons, along with their wives and Noah's wife, Naamah, who survived the flood and repopulated the Earth.
Just as God blessed and saved Noah, he will faithfully bless and protect those who follow and obey him today. The call to obedience is not a shortterm, one-time call. Like Noah, obedience must be lived out over a lifetime of faithful commitment. Those who persevere will finish the race. The story of Noah's drunken transgression is a reminder that even the godliest people have weaknesses and can fall prey to temptation and sin. Sin not only affects the individual in negative ways, but also those with whom people come into contact— friends, family, and other loved ones.
Occupation Shipbuilder, farmer, and preacher.
Although the Bible says that after the flood the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat, located in modern-day Turkey, it does not tell us where Noah and his family settled. Key Bible Verses "This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God." (Genesis 6:9, NIV)
"Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: "I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you...Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth...I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth...Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." (Genesis 9:8-16, NIV) "By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith." (Hebrews 11:7, NIV)
"Noah did everything just as God commanded him." (Genesis 6:22, NIV)
Article: Edward T. Welch
to those who feel Unqualified to Offer Counsel
Dear believer, The body of Christ needs you. It needs your words and deeds. That is simply part of the deal when you follow Jesus. The apostle Paul wrote, “encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
You are already speaking encouraging words and building people up. Now keep doing it, more intentionally, more skillfully, more prayerfully —when a child scuffs her knee, when a friend is separated from a spouse, when depression strikes a person you know, or when someone has been -
diagnosed with cancer. The Lord specializes in using people who feel weak in themselves. If you feel inadequate to help others in need, especially those with more complicated problems, that is a perfect qualification.
The Lord specializes in using people who feel weak in themselves, and your sense of inadequacy will probably protect you from saying something unhelpful. We are usually unhelpful when we are confident that we know what another person needs to hear. You already know the basics of help and encouragement. First, you have to move toward the other person, which is sometimes the hardest thing to do. You have to talk together and hear what is important to the person. Next, let the person know that you have them on your heart— you are with them and are moved by what they are going through. That might be enough for one day. You have built up the body of Christ.
If there are awkward silences or if you are inclined to go further, you can ask, “Could you suggest ways that I could pray for you?” If you are concerned that such a question could sound like a spiritual platitude, remember that it is only trite if you are not really interested or are not actually going to pray. If the person is on your heart and you are praying for them, you have given them a great gift.
Of course, there is more you can do. Ask your pastor about good books on suffering, and ask others what is most helpful to them when the problems of the day seem overwhelming. You can always grow in your love and words. Expertise is not what makes you an adequate helper; faith, love, and your desire to grow are sufficient.
Maybe the person will respond by talking more about his or her life. If so, listen, be affected by what the person has to say, and thank the person for being willing to talk. Then take what the person said and try to find some ways to pray. If you want to be bold and loving, pray then and there. Later, you will want to follow up.
---------------------------------Edward T. Welch (PhD, University of Utah) is a counselor and faculty member at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation. He has been counseling for more than 35 years. He blogs regularly at CCEF.org.
WHAT IS YOUR CALLING IN THE FIVEFOLD MINISTRY “Instead the question is: Which one of these areas is God calling me to serve in? ”
We are going to talk about the fivefold ministry. In the letter to the Ephesians the apostle Paul describes the kind of leaders God has provided for His church for it to attain maturity and Christ-likeness. READ Ephesians 4: 7-13 In this passage Paul lists five offices that are referred to as the five-fold ministry: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers
I believe that it is very important to have a biblical understanding of the five-fold ministry, so that our churches will be healthy and functioning according to the will and plan of God. So let me say a couple of things about what this passage tells us and then we will begin to look more in depth at each of these five ministries. Firstly, notice that in vs. 7, Paul says that to "each one" grace has been given. Is Paul talking about a select few people who are called? NO! Each one means each one. So every one of us has a personal calling in these areas. And so the question isn't "Is God calling me to serve Him in the church in one of these areas?" Instead the question is "Which one of these areas is God calling me to serve in?" The second important thing to understand here is that Paul isn't talking about spiritual gifts here. When we make a decision to give ourselves to Jesus and to follow Him, each one of us are given at least one spiritual gift. We can read about those gifts in the Bible in various places and they include gifts like mercy, service, tongues, administration, distinguishing between spirits, prophecy, giving, exhortation, teaching and miracles.
PROPHET GEZANI Overseer @ Ebenezer Fellowship Center, Soweto , South Africa and entrepreneur.
Those are just a few. Those gifts and all the others are tools that God provides for us so that we can fulfill our calling into the five-fold ministries. Now you may have noticed that prophecy and teaching are in that list of gifts. But they are not the same. Obviously you need to have the gift of teaching if God is calling you to fulfill the call to be a teacher in the church. @beautyandthegospel
In the same way, one who is called to fulfill the call of a prophet in the church, needs to have the gift of prophecy. But let's not confuse our personal calling with the spiritual gifts that God gives us to fulfill that calling. And the last thing I will say before we look deeper at these callings is that while each one of us has a primary call into one of these ministries, we often function in the other areas. This is a bit of a visual that helps me to understand this better. The big circle is your primary calling. Some call this your base calling. But the way that God has created us, we usually have the ability to function in some of the other areas. So even though your primary calling might be as a teacher, you might sometimes be functioning in the area of a pastor or an evangelist. Now it might not be that natural and you might not be as strong at it as someone with the primary calling of a pastor or evangelist, but that's ok. So with that said, I want to give a really brief summary of each of these areas of calling and then go deeper into one of them.
●1. Apostles Govern
The word apostle in the greek literally means "sent out one". So an apostle can be defined as "one called and sent by God to have the spiritual authority to oversee the local church and extend the Kingdom of God. An apostle has "a burden to build something that didn't exist before" They lay the foundation of new local churches and see to it that they come into full maturity. An apostle is visionary and is usually thinking about the future of the church.
●2. Prophets Guide
Prophets reveal God's heart to His people, giving guidance to individuals and the body, giving revelation. The prophet foretells and tells forth the revelation that God has for His people and His church.
●3. Evangelists Gather
An evangelist literally means "good news carrier". They carry a great burden for those who are not a part of the kingdom of God yet. They are great communicators. They know God's Word and have the ability to relate it to those who haven't accepted Jesus yet in a way that is easily understandable and acceptable.
●4. Teachers Ground
The teacher is one who holds forth the truth and is excited by it. The teacher looks for ways to enlighten, explain and apply God's truth. While prophets reveal the heart of God, teachers reveal His mind. Prophets and teachers balance each other in the church.
●5. Pastors Guard
The office of the pastor is the one most recognized today of all five but I think that it is still misunderstood. Because what Paul and others were talking about when they refer to a pastor/shepherd is different than what we often mean when we say pastor. When we say the word pastor, however, we usually think of it differently. The pastor of a church is the person who is the preacher, the provider of vision and leadership for the church, the teacher, the visitor and caregiver for the church, and often the one who is expected to be active in the community bringing truth to people and inviting them to fellowship. So really, when we think of a pastor, we often have in mind that they need to be Apostle, Prophet, Pastor, Teacher, and Evangelist all in one. YESHUA was able to do that perfectly but I sure can't and I don't know any other men or women in pastoral ministry who can. So aren't you glad that "each one" has been given grace in these areas of ministry? We need each other! Often, they are paid to do this sometimes full time sometimes part time. This is a relatively new thing for some churches that has come about in the last 50 years or so. It used to be for many churches from a Mennonite Anabaptist background that the local church had a number of lay pastors. Rather than one pastor who was paid, they would have 4 or 5 or 6 unpaid lay pastors who were called to the position. The reality that many pastors are paid, just by itself, presents some differences from what Paul is talking about when he refers to pastors.
“ So aren't you glad that each one has been given grace in these areas of ministry? We need each other!” Firstly the pastor is often viewed as an employee of the church Which we are from a business standpoint. But the church isn't a business strictly speaking. So when Paul talks about the calling of a pastor, he isn't talking about what we think of.
The greek word pastor comes out of the imagery of keeping sheep. It can be interchanged with the word Shepherd.. They are shepherds who deeply care for the flock. They are ready to lie down everything for them. Someone with a pastoral calling is deeply concerned about relationship – people's relationship with God and with each other. They often spend so much time caring for people through difficult times, that they carry that burden themselves and have trouble putting it down.
WHAT CAUSES ANTI-SEMITISM by: www.gotquestions.org
Question: "What is the cause of all the anti-Semitism in the world?" Answer: Why does the world hate the Jews? Why is anti-Semitism so rampant in so many different nations? What is so bad about the Jews? History has shown that at various times over the last 1,700 years the Jews have been expelled from over 80 different countries.
Historians and experts have concluded there are at least six possible reasons: • Racial Theory – the Jews are hated because they are an inferior race. • Economic Theory – the Jews are hated because they possess too much wealth and power.
the truth is that the Jews are not a race. Anyone in the world of any color, creed, or race can become a Jew.
• Outsiders Theory – the Jews are hated because they are different from everyone else. • Scapegoat Theory – the Jews are hated because they are the cause for all the world’s problems. • Decide Theory – the Jews are hated because they killed Jesus Christ.
• Chosen People Theory – the Jews are hated because they arrogantly declare they are the “chosen ones of God.” Is there any substance to these theories? •With respect to the racial theory, the truth is that the Jews are not a race. Anyone in the world of any color, creed, or race can become a Jew. • The economic theory citing that the Jews are wealthy doesn’t hold much weight. History has shown that during the 17th through the 20th centuries, especially in Poland and Russia, the Jews were desperately poor and had very little, if any, influence in business or political systems. • As for the outsiders’ theory, during the 18th century, the Jews desperately tried to assimilate with the rest of Europe. They had hoped that assimilation would cause antiSemitism to disappear. However, they were hated even more by those who claimed the Jews would infect their race with inferior genes. This was especially true in Germany prior to World War II. •As for the scapegoat theory, the fact is that the Jews have always been hated, which makes them a very convenient target. • As for the idea of deicide, the Bible makes it clear that the Romans were the ones who actually killed Jesus, though the Jews acted as accomplices. It wasn’t until a few hundred years later that the Jews were cited as the murderers of Jesus.
One wonders why the Romans are not the ones hated. Jesus Himself forgave the Jews (Luke 23:34). Even the Vatican absolved the Jews of Jesus’ death in 1963. Nevertheless, neither statement has diminished anti-Semitism.
He sent forth His son, Jesus the Christ, in a Jewish body to redeem the world of sin. Satan, the prince of the earth (John 14:30; Ephesians 2:2), has poisoned the minds of men with his hatred of the Jews.
• As for their claim to being the “chosen people of God,” the Jews in Germany rejected their “chosenness” status during the later part of the 19th century to better assimilate into German culture. Nevertheless, they suffered the Holocaust. Today, some Christians and Muslims claim to be the “chosen people” of God, yet for the most part, the world tolerates them and still hates the Jews.
See Revelation 12 for an allegorical depiction of Satan’s (the dragon’s) hatred of the Jewish nation (the woman).
This brings us to the real reason why the world hates the Jews. The apostle Paul tells us, “For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised!” (Romans 9:3-5). The truth is that the world hates the Jews because the world hates God. The Jews were God’s firstborn, His chosen people (Deuteronomy 14:2). Through the Jewish patriarchs, the prophets, and the temple, God used the Jews to bring forth His Word, the Law, and morality to a world of sin.
Satan has tried to wipe out the Jews through the Babylonians, the Persians, the Assyrians, the Egyptians, the Hittites, and the Nazis. But he’s failed every time. God is not finished with Israel. Romans 11:26 tells us that some day all Israel will be saved, and this cannot come to pass if Israel no longer exists. Therefore, God will preserve the Jews for the future, just as He has preserved their remnant throughout history, until His final plan comes to pass. Nothing can thwart God’s plan for Israel and the Jewish people.
Fear Not Things can happen that might make you fear (Valley of death) but remember that He will always be with you. You have the spirit of sonship in you, the spirit that brings victory...! You are the son of God, you have the spirit of God in you, you shall overcome, you are covered by the Blood of Jesus that will never lose its power. Remember this: "Thousands may fall by your side, but it will never come near you".
PASTOR NTSAKO BALOYI
a servant of God, husband to Tiyiselani Baloyi and home made chef
Scriptures reading: Job 3:25 "For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, And what I dreaded has happened to me." Romans 8:15 "For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." Fear is one of the most powerful weapons that the enemy uses against us, the devil brings fear and we start to meditate on what we fear. When you meditate on fear, you forsake the finished work of Calvary.
Fear opposes faith, when you have faith there's no room for fear. Fear can be as a result of what you hear or see, but thank God we don't move by sight but by faith. Our faith is the one we serve, He is mighty and great in battle. Resist fear today and lift your eyes to Christ. David in Psalm 23:4 says even if I walk through the valley of death, I FEAR NO EVIL.
WHEN A CHRISTIAN COUPLE SINS SEXUALLY (PART 2) BY:MARSHALL SEGAL
Prayerfully weigh what kind of break you might need, and then ask a few Christ-loving people who know you well to speak into the timing. Good friends and counselors will know where you are uniquely weak or tempted, often more than you do, and will be able to help you discern what patient, sacrificial, unselfish love might look like in your situation. What About 1 Corinthians 7? My counsel is that Christian couples take a real break if they fall into sexual sin. But doesn’t the apostle Paul essentially say the opposite? To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single, as I am. But if they cannot exercise selfcontrol, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion. (1 Corinthians 7:8– 9). That is wise, divinely inspired counsel. Christians who burn with passion — who deeply and persistently long to enjoy -
"SEX BEFORE MARRIAGE NUMBS US TO TEMPTATION, HARDENS US AGAINST REPENTANCE, AND PLUNDERS TRUST IN THE RELATIONSHIP.” sexual intimacy with a spouse — should marry, and not remain single. God has wired sexual longings into most of us to lead us toward the pursuit of marriage. Our question here, however, is whether dating couples who have just committed sexual sin should consider taking a break (and not move more aggressively toward marriage). I do think sexual sin (and temptation to sexual sin) should lead us, through repentance, to pursue marriage (1 Corinthians 7:8–9).
I do not think committing sexual sin with someone means we should necessarily marry that particular person (and certainly not quickly or rashly). Sexual sin isn’t God’s sudden confirmation that this is the one. In fact, I think sexual sin should significantly slow or even halt many relationships. While temptation to sexual sin resisted and rejected by faith should accelerate our momentum to marry a particular man or woman, sexual sin should decelerate the relationship, giving us an opportunity to see more clearly what went wrong and what God really wants for and from us in our pursuit of marriage. The Wisdom of Fasting from Dating Before you dismiss the idea of fasting from each other too quickly, consider some of the serious potential benefits of practicing this kind of patience and self-control.
1. Weigh the Seriousness of Sin A real break will give both of you time and space to weigh-
the seriousness of sin and its consequences. Newfound love can cloud the eyes of our hearts, making it more difficult to truly discern reality. The infatuation we often feel in dating can blind us to ourselves and to problems in the relationship. Some intentional distance may blow away the fog long enough to see how sexual sin despises God, cheapens grace, and harms everyone involved. 2. Truly and Deeply Repent A real break allows both of you to truly and more deeply repent. Paul wrote to a group of sinners, some of them sexual sinners (1 Corinthians 6:18), “I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief” (2 Corinthians 7:9). Intimacy in dating inevitably muddles repentance, preventing us from feeling the grief we ought to feel before God and each other. And without godly grief, we cannot truly repent. Repentance is more than saying, “Sorry.” It’s first a change of mind and heart, and then a Spirit-filled commitment to turn away from sin, and to keep turning away from sin (Acts 26:20). Taking a break from dating may allow you to feel godly grief over your sin more deeply and to strengthen new and durable habits of repentance and purity. When you start to date each other again (if you do), you want to have severed the roots and patterns that led to sin. 3. Discern the Potential of the Relationship Getting some space will help you discern if this is a relationship to pursue. Is God calling me to covenant exclusively for a lifetime with this person? As I -
"NO MATTER HOW FAR YOU’VE GONE, GOD WILL NOT REFUSE TO HAVE YOU, IF YOU’RE WILLING TO TURN FROM YOUR SIN FOR HIM.” have said before, the great prize in marriage is Christ-centered intimacy; the great prize in dating is Christ-centered clarity. Intimacy is designed for marriage, and marriage is wisest with clarity. The purpose of our dating is determining, as best we can, whether God is calling the two of us to get married — and sexual sin, especially repeated sexual sin, may throw serious doubt on that question. Before God, and surrounded by Christian friends and counselors, we need to ask ourselves hard questions about our relationship, and a break will give us the space we need to ask and answer well. A Word for Christian Women I could say many things to women who have committed sexual sin with their boyfriends, and much of what I’ve said above applies just as much to you, but I wanted to say at least one thing directly to you: How your boyfriend responds to sexual sin in your relationship reveals what kind of husband he will be. If you get married, you will face new temptations, frustrations,-
and difficult decisions almost every day. Dating is an opportunity to test what kind of man your boyfriend will be when life gets hard in marriage, to test whether he will keep his promises when he’s your man. Will he cave to temptation to satisfy his selfish cravings? Will he stand by you when it would be easier to run away? Will he run with you to Jesus for forgiveness, and plead with him for grace and strength to reject sin and fight for holiness? How he responds is always revealing. God makes every spiritually mature man out of a previously immature one, so be appropriately gracious and patient. But not every selfish, immature man grows up. Don’t expect perfection, but don’t entrust your heart and soul to a fool. The patience and self-control required for a man to initiate an intentional, loving break from a relationship teaches the opposite of sexual sin. It says, “You can expect me to go to whatever lengths necessary to honor Christ, and you, in marriage.” If you do end up marrying this man, a real break now could build trust that will last for a lifetime on the other side of the altar. No Sin Need Disqualify You Any pleasure in sexual sin comes with the far greater heartaches of resilient shame and broken trust. But God. Even if your failure means the end of a relationship you love, it does not have to mean the end of your hope. Too many rush back into sin after sin, refusing the far greater gift of deeper repentance and joy — the godly grief that “produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret.”
monthly devotions Karabo Lekwape, is theÂ daughter of the Most High. Who believes that without God you are nothing. She completed her Degree in BCom Accounting and is currently studying Post Grad in Financial Accounting. Throughout her journey of life, she saw Gods amazing works and would advise that people ensure that they are running their race with God.. Pure Grace..
Introducing to you, monthly devotions by : KARABO karabo.lekwape
UNITY IN CHRIST Two are better than one because they
By doing so, we are uplifting others. Motivating and
have a good return for their labor: If either
letting them know they not alone in whatever they
of them falls, one can help the other up.
are going through. In the accounting language. we
But pity anyone who falls and has no one
say: "let us become assets and not liabilities so that
to help them up. Also, if two lie down
our equity can also increase in His Kingdom".Â There
together, they will keep warm. But how can
are times where there will be ups and downs in life
one keep warm alone? Though one may be
but that doesn't mean giving up, it means enduring
over-powered, two can defend
and keeping on. There will be rewards in that.
themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." -Ecclesiastes 4:9-12.
Partner up in prayer. As we embark on this journey of life, I continually pray that we stand rigid and strong in Faith and in Prayer as God completes the equation. The race we are running is definitely Grace. The love we have and the seed we are carrying. Let it not end up between us only but let us plant it in other people's lives becoming blessings unto other fellow brethren.
Remember Teamwork makes the Dream work!
HOLINESS MY HERITAGE passionate about holiness & intentional about pursuing it !
FOUNDED BY: TSHEPANG & KATLEGO
We at Beauty & The Gospel got the chance to interview South Africa's holiness Ambassadors . Tshepang - A child of God and worshiper. Born in Voslorus and now I live in Brakpan, South Africa. Katlego - A child of God, an Accounting student. Born and bred in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Who is the Messiah to you? The Messiah to us both is the Son of God, our Saviour. Giver of life, the source of our strength. He is our Peace, hope, and friend in times of need. Share with us on how and when you got Born Again? Tshepang: I was born into a Christian family and at the age of 6, I made the decision, unconsciously, to give my life to Christ.
At the age of 8, I was listening to Cece Winans and the Holy Spirit came upon me and I started speaking in tongues. And at the age of 8, I consciously accepted Jesus as the Lord of my life. Katlego: I was 16 years old and in a dark place, just going through the most. I didn't know what else to do, or who to turn to, and May 17, 2015, I decided to give my life to God, in my room and my life changed forever. You are young ladies that have made a covenant with God to live and teach Holiness, hence your Instagram page “HOLINESS IS MY HERITAGE”. Share with us how that came about? Tshepang: I have always been passionate about holiness, I’ve always -
wanted to teach it and share my passion with others. When Kat and I met, in 2018 we discovered that we shared the same passion and that we both wanted to teach others about holiness and Christ. Meeting someone like that in varsity was really cool and after some time, we worked on sharing our love for Christ with others.
Define Holiness? Holiness is to be set apart and to be special. It’s about allowing the boundaries in the Word of God to accelerate you and make you function the way you are supposed to. We are all just living, but when you are holy, you are actually functioning. We are living in the last days, where we see that even in the Body of Christ things that are held sacred are no longer held with reverence. How do you then want to change all that even if it means one soul will repent? Tshepang: By living our lives first so we can be examples through the way we live. Through this initiative as well, because we are being the change that we want to see in this compromised world. Katlego: Reflecting the Word and light of God and not trying to project our interpretations and our opinions on others. It might take longer because of how unattractive it maybe but being true to the Word and Will of God, change that one person. Your take on Christian women not dressing modestly inside and out? Modesty has to do with who you are because who are inside will reflect on the outside.
How you want to be seen will determine what you'll put out there. Having a relationship with God will help you make that transition for yourself. What’s your biggest concern when it comes to the Body of Christ? Katlego: That we have become a people who just receive without giving. We’ve become so focused on receiving that we don’t use our gifts, talents or blessings to bless others. Tshepang: we claim to know who we are but in reality we don’t, we don’t have an identity. People know the truth but don’t follow the truth, we have become manipulators of God and we tend to use Him. That is not growth.
Backlash you’ve received for your decision to live for Jesus Christ? A lot of people feel like by living this life, we have robbed ourselves of the real and true experience of life. So I think we speak for all young believers when we say we’ve received comments that just show how ignorant people can be. You are best friends, more like sisters in the Lord. How did you meet and what has kept your friendship alive? Katlego: We met in 2018, at school (UJ). Months after that, I DM’d her about purpose and yeah.
After DMing back forth, and seeing each other randomly at school, we exchanged numbers and built a friendship. Tshepang: What kept this friendship alive is our passion for God and other things that we have in common. We have a lot of similarities and I make Kat laugh. We see worldwide that the youth has been heavily targeted by the enemy. What do you pray that your lives and gifts impart to the youth? We want people to know God. Growing up, we’ve been taught to believe that when we see God, we’ll go blind, and so many people believe that God wants to punish them or something like that, but that’s not true. In the Bible, we read about Jesus and the Samaritan woman. She saw Jesus, they had a conversation and it ended with her victorious. God sees us, He loves us and He wants us to see Him. He cares about us so much, and He only wants to empower us. The enemy is still going to attack us, persecutions are for everyone. But knowing God and having a relationship with Him puts you in a position of great power and strength, and you are able to fight Him and be victorious. Not many young people are so boldly vocal about their relationship with King Jesus, what has made you ladies to be loud and bold about your faith?
Katlego: Yes! We sat on the idea for a while but God pushed us to do it. December 2019, we met up and got the ball rolling.
What do you think is the biggest thing the youth is desperately in need of? The Youth needs Jesus in His fullness and people who will support and comfort them. So, Jesus and people. Any plans of doing youth talks, podcasts and conferences? Yes! We are working towards a YouTube channel, and our big goal is to have our conference. Legacy you wish to leave for the youth? We just want people to know that living for God is so cool. We want young people to live out loud for God, and be a true showcase of what holiness is. We want people to understand that life is for living, not advertising. We don’t have to prove ourselves to people, we don’t have to show people that we are truly happy, we just need to live our lives. Our joy, health and wealth will be our rewards for choosing to live our lives this way.
Advice for that young person that wants to live a life of Holiness and also to the one that’s backslidden? Advice to people who want to be holy: Learn about what it is. Get into a relationship with God and with people who are intentional about holiness. Holiness is about separating yourself from the world and fully connecting to God and all that He is, so knowing that and having people who will help and cheer you on is all you need. For those who have backslidden: Come back home. The Bible talks about the parable of the lost son, and we see in that story how happy the father was when his son returned home… that’s how it is with God as well, literally come back home and continue with your walk with God. God loves you on your way to backsliding, so He will love you back. What does your daily devotion look like? Katlego: usually wake up, say a Thank You prayer to God. Tidy my space up then I do my daily devotion plus worship. Some days it’s 10 minutes, other days it’s longer. Tshepang: wake up and pray. Read Psalms and get up. Get ready while listening to worship. Challenges you’ve faced and still are as young, born again ladies? Katlego: Comparison with other people. I always have to remind myself that this is my journey and that this is-
where God wants me to be for the way He wants to use me. Another thing I struggle with is the idea of Perfection. I am not perfect and that is something I have to constantly keep reminding myself of; the goal is progression, not perfection. Tshepang: I also struggle with comparison. Sometimes we misinterpret the greatness that God has put in us for the greatness He has put in others, but it's realizing that what God gave us is enough. I also struggle with friendships – I usually love spending time with myself but last year it hit me that I don't have friends. It's just accepting that this is the life I chose to live, and people my age won't always gravitate towards me. Advice to the youth of the world? Tshepang: Advice to the youth of the world: seek God. This life is not yours, it’s a gift so live it in the way that the Giver of the gift will be pleased. How can people get in touch with you and your ministry? @holiness_myheritage Last words and plans for 2020? Plans: living out loud for God, and living lives that are a huge beam for the world. Talks with young people, promoting holiness and creating a space where we can all grow together.
Tshepang: Being saved is the coolest thing. The Bible tells us that we are the light of the world and the salt of the earth, and I want to bring my flavor into the world. We are called to become Jesus on earth and that's what I want to do, to be Jesus on earth and live out the life I was called to live. Katlego: Just to add to that, there is so much light in the church, and it is our duty to go out there and shine our light in the dark world.
WE ARE ALL JUST LIVING, BUT WHEN YOU ARE HOLY, YOU ARE ACTUALLY FUNCTIONING. katlego and tshepang ''The end times are real and they are happening. If you have ever needed to open yourself to God, it’s now! We don’t know when God is coming, and while we wait, we need all that He is and all that He gives to be able to live in the present age.'
f o e s r ve ! h t n o m the ISAIAH 24:14-16 (NLT)
14 BUT ALL WHO ARE LEFT SHOUT AND SING FOR JOY. THOSE IN THE WEST PRAISE THE LORD’S MAJESTY. 15 IN EASTERN LANDS, GIVE GLORY TO THE LORD. IN THE LANDS BEYOND THE SEA, PRAISE THE NAME OF THE LORD, THE GOD OF ISRAEL. 16 WE HEAR SONGS OF PRAISE FROM THE ENDS OF THE EARTH, SONGS THAT GIVE GLORY TO THE RIGHTEOUS ONE!
WE ARE THE REMNANT
ANNOUNCEMENT s s e pr e m u s E s e i s m i s h . t t i e r e , o e p r o m e h th le .I nd c y a n i i e t d r H e ga a d a s e is a y e e a n s k n t i u e n z o i e a y T . g l sa l e a l l a l m a s ab e l n i h o wa a T g v . n a s i l s r l i to y Ca r u b a i l tr sa n o o n c o s free
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