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Entering the sabbath Working from HOW TO:

DECEMBER 2011/JANUARY 2012 ISSUE 10

Resting in God

As it is in Heaven


One of the most important tools in business today is NETWORKING. If nobody knows about your business you are invisible. Join a Networking group that is serious about Business and about keeping Christ as our centre and foundation.

OUR MISSION • • • •

To grow, equip and encourage Christian business owners To extend God’s Kingdom by using our unique marketplace gifting to bring finances into our local churches To give exposure to each member’s product or service so that we can support and refer business to one another To create a culture of excellence and integrity in Business

Check out what we have been up to on our facebook page. www.facebook.com/kingdombiznetworking


CONNECT is available at the following locations: Amanzimtoti Sweetwaters Full Gospel Church Kingsway Church Durban North Living Waters Church, Empangeni Christian Family Church Hillcrest GraceHill Church Focus On The Family Bookshop Hillcrest Christ Church Kloof/Gillitts Kloof Harvest Church Sarepta Church Kloof Baptist Church St. Agnus Church Kloof Catholic Church, Kloof Methodist Morningside The Olive Tree Artisan & Well Hairdressers Lambert Baptist Church Musgrave/Glenwood Scripture Union St Olav’s Church His People Church Pinetown/Westmead Highway Christian Community Pinetown Baptist Church Doxa Deo Four Ways Spar Pietermaritzburg African Enterprises The Coffeeberry Cafe All Saints Church Umhlanga Umhlanga Harvest Westville Westville Methodist Church, Westville Baptist Church, Westville Presbyterian Church Please let us know if you wish to distribute the CONNECT magazine in your church or business.

CONTENTS VOICE OF THE PROPHET Resting in God

8

HEART OF THE PASTOR Working from Rest Entering the Sabbath Rest

12 14

HAND OF THE HARVESTER As it is in Heaven

18

IN EVERY ISSUE Where to find CONNECT Letter from the Editor The Rest is HIStory Advertising Information

3 4 26 30

is produced by: Tracey Olivier - Editor tracey@connectmagazine.co.za Belinda Peck - Admin info@connectmagazine.co.za Elaine Young - Sub-Editor elaine@copyeditpaste.co.za Sherrene Burnett - Ad Sales 082 456 0348 sales@connectmagazine.co.za Steve Joubert - Ad Design steve.joubert@gmail.com Ruth Brophy Plowman Publising consultant and is printed by: DNA Print (Pty) Ltd. nikki@jmsa.co.za


Entering the Rest T

his issue is very special as it is our 10th one! We decided to look up the significance of the number 10 have a look at page 29. Over the last few months, as I have been getting busier with work and life, God has really been speaking to me about entering His rest; and I’ve been wrestling with what this actually means and how to live it out. Does it mean we do nothing and sit around waiting for God to do everything? 2 Peter 1:3 says, “For His divine power has bestowed upon us all things that [are requisite and suited] to life and godliness, through the [full, personal] knowledge of Him Who called us by and to His own glory and excellence (virtue)” (Amplified Bible). He has already given us everything we need for the task so we don’t need to sit around waiting for God to do something for us. And when we do move, we don’t need to be in a constant frenzy trying to prove ourselves to God and man. This journey towards the place of Rest has led me to a person, the Prince of Peace Himself. I have meditated on Hebrews 4 and on Isaiah 40:31, which says, “But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired” (Amplified Bible). That wait is not a lazy laying-back-withmy-arms-crossed stance, but a leaning back on the breast of Jesus - listening and expectantly waiting for the next instruction and direction, and then soaring to do that in an attitude of rest and peace.

I am learning this new skill and realising that it is all about TRUST. If we honestly trust God in the things that we are doing and working towards, there is no need for panic and fear. This requires constant renewing of the mind - where we consciously look at the “reality”and choose to believe what God says about it. Then we must look the giant in the eyes tell ourselves not to be afraid. I am not quite there yet, but am loving the journey and finding it absolutely fascinating. The peace that surpasses all understanding is obtainable and my goal is to live in it more and more. It’s quite addictive! When you are at peace, your thoughts are clearer and problem solving becomes easier. Because I am a very visual person, I sometimes imagine, as life throws “bullets” at me, that I am like Neo from The Matrix and am able to bend to avoid them. When you are in Rest, time seems to stand still and you are able to see the enemy’s darts from a distance. Fear makes you take rash decisions in the heat of the moment, decisions you sometimes regret for the rest of your life. In Business we need to be particularly sound-minded, so that the decisions we make impact our future for the better. I have been so encouraged as articles have come in confirming what God has being saying about His Rest. I want to encourage you all as we enter the ‘silly season’, not to be caught up in the frenzy of busyness and consumerism. Instead, quieten your hearts, lean back in to the chest of the Prince of Peace and enquire of the Lord what He wants you to do. Then go with surety and spread your wings as God takes you to new heights in 2012. Take

Rest [verb] To cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength


some time to connect with your family and find out how they are doing and what God is telling them for the new year. Link hands and hearts as you agree with God for a year of REST. Congratulations to our winners of the ‘WHERE HAS YOUR CONNECT BEEN?” competition (see page 24). On behalf of the team of CONNECT I would like to wish you all a very blessed and peaceful Christmas and a year of REST in 2012.

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ww.connectmagazine.co.za


HAND OF THE HARVESTER

RESTING IN

GOD


HAND OF THE HARVESTER

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called: LIFE! Life as HE lives it – yeah! I am he rest we read about in Hebrews 4 hidden in Christ and now we live rested, always used to fascinate me, like some together! mystical relief that awaited us – but Rest is not a lack of stress – it is the getting into it was complicated, although presence of rest amidst any no one would admit it. God amount of stress. It is life was the hide and we were the lived to the max, without seek – and when the game Rest. At last. fear. I used to envy the was over one day, there would In Christ. people I saw, whose lives be rest! Then I discovered the Not just a were impeccably organised, simplicity of Christ being the their homes uncluttered and resting place, the Sabbath, hypothetical personas pristine-calm and the 7th day, perfection rest – but MY collected. I, on the other Himself, the Second Adam, rest. I need hand, seemed to lose items the prototype of God-man, whilst running, with kids in the fulfilment of the Law, the not fight to tow, life falling into place only end of all works, all striving... survive any in the nick of time, it seemed. and I realised that access to longer! At the end of the day, body rest has already been granted aching with tiredness, I would to us. fall into bed with sheer gratitude that this Rest. At last. In Christ. Not just a King of Glory had outwitted all odds and I hypothetical rest – but MY rest. I need not could sleep easy, knowing that another day fight to survive any longer! would provide more opportunities for this Understanding that Christ IS my new rest to shine! Those same amazing people heart has changed me forever. This would often ask me how it was that I had so believing heart can therefore never much peace, with all I had going on. With be resistant to Him by nature, only by dishevelled hair, I would begin to boast ignorance. He entered, with me, into an about this Christ, my hope, my peace... my eternal rest. A lack of rest is a result of resting place. separation anxiety – the anxiety coming Wisdom has taught me from a belief system that to know my own limits, supports isolation. If I am emotionally and physically. eternally joined to rest – Rest is not a Our spirits have no limit, but Himself – then surely He is lack of stress our bodies do... unfortunately. able to keep me with Him. – it is the I have had to find creative WE ARE ONE! ways to take my mind off Rest is therefore an presence of the issues that can so easily experience of deep surrender rest amidst become my entire focus. that comes from knowing any amount of Exercising my mind AND my that a permanent place has body! Joy is also a weapon been made for me, by a stress. of mass encouragement. For permanent God who made me to laugh is gain! The best an eternal covenant with humour is in Heaven and I think too many His son, to ensure an eternal resting place www.connectmagazine.co.za | 9


HAND OF THE HARVESTER

miss out on the wonder of a God who is the best comedian and has inside knowledge of all our funny bones. Joy is a high-density

There is no formula for achieving rest. Rest is just moment-by-moment love and friendship with the One who said, “It is finished”. diffuser of discouragement and a mental medicine, a tonic to the soul. My body listens for the sound that is in Heaven – rejoicing – and longs for it. His pleasure in me, it IS my rest. My delight is that His love rests in me, and this can never be removed My song is my life; so worship is not something I do, as much as someone I become. Adoration is merely an extension of a jolly grateful life. Christ, my wisdom, is my best friend. His perspective on everything is so refreshing. He always defuses complicated situations by giving me fresh views on people and on my own perceptions. There is no formula for achieving rest. Rest is just moment-by-moment love and friendship with the One who said, “It is finished”. If I believe and lean back into that mattress reality, He gets to show off His capacity on my behalf. If I try and keep up, I will always come up gasping. I was not called to cope – I was called to live! For me to live is Christ-full spectrum of Godlife! Pain, pleasure, relief, disappointment, love, hard work... all of it, within the endless boundaries of His gaze upon 10 | www.connectmagazine.co.za

me. My reward is often knowing that He understands, despite any of my feelings of fear of failure. All our successes will only be measured on Heaven’s scales, so I rest in that too. His presence is like pure anaesthetic for pain and vitality for a new day, all at once! I have not known a time when He has not strengthened me again, and restored me to a higher capacity. His promise is from strength to strength and glory to glory. Beloved – our resting place forever is a Person we call Home.

Isi de Gersigny Jubilee International Church, Sydney, Australia isi@jubilee.org.au

Gideon Cordier Fathers Heart Camps gideon@jonahjourney.co.za 072 192 0768 Facebook.com/gideon.cordier www.jonahjourney.co.za


HEART OF THE PASTOR

Working from

R

Rest

days then He RESTED FROM WORK (the est is not a high-level priority in most Sabbath, our Saturday). But in the New business people’s lives. We are told Testament we start the week with REST, that good business people should Worship, Fellowship, etc. so effectively we have a work ethic... high energy... a high are “WORKING FROM REST” as opposed to pain threshold... stamina... stickability, “RESTING FROM WORK.” etc etc. In fact we revere and are in awe This should bring a total shift to our of those business folk who fly around thinking. Instead of it the world, seemingly being all about us, our effortlessly, doing one work ethic, our labours and deal after another and When we “REST plans, we start the week who can get by on four FROM WORK” we focussing on God - getting hours’ sleep per night. His perspective, reminding Yet our “Work Ethic are resting from ourselves that without Him Philosophy” can be in our labours, the we can do nothing anyway. complete opposition to God’s way of working for sweat of our brow, We prime the pump of our by bringing ourselves, our lives. our cleverness, our week our tithe, our worship, our It is interesting to quick wittedness sacrifice to God’s House and look at the transition in effect we are declaring regarding rest from the in a world of very God as our Source and our Old Testament to New clever business Provider. Testament. When we “REST FROM In Genesis we see people. WORK”, we are resting from that God WORKED six

12 | www.connectmagazine.co.za


our labours, the sweat of our brow, our cleverness and our quick wittedness in a world of very clever business people. When we “WORK FROM REST” we are acknowledging that we are called and anointed to do business... that God’s favour goes before us... that He is our provider and that if we are diligent in what God has given us, He will open doors that no man can open, and give us insight into situations that we wouldn’t otherwise have. We step into a new week refreshed and restored, with God’s word fresh in our minds... knowing we have honoured God by putting Him first, that our tithe is in the storehouse, that the windows of Heaven are open, and that God is going to rebuke the enemy for our sake and pour on us an empowerment to prosper and succeed. It will mean a new way of thinking spiritually and emotionally, but it will change our lives and lifestyles. So get out of “RESTING FROM WORK MODE” and get into “WORKING FROM REST MODE”. It will energise you, empower you, de-stress you in ways you never thought possible, and add years full of quality and quantity to your life.

Brian Agnew Senior Leader of Kingdom Life City Church, Northern Ireland brian@agnew.cc


HEART OF THE PASTOR

T

ENTERING the Sabbath Rest

he Word is saturated with the concept of the Sabbath – sabat in Hebrew, the same word used for ‘seven’ and ‘rest’.

We find the Sabbath mentioned for the first time in Genesis. He rested on the seventh day not because He was tired, but because He made the seventh day holy – the perfect resting place for the Bride of Christ, mankind, to dwell. Adam and Eve were born into the blessing of God – they walked around tending the garden whose very soil was blessed. They didn’t toil, they simply co-laboured with God in fellowship with Him. After Adam and Eve sinned, they 14 | www.connectmagazine.co.za

were kicked out of the easy state of Sabbath rest. The ground became cursed and they had to work hard to grow food. Cain toiled to produce the vegetables he offered to God, but God wasn’t pleased. He doesn’t like man’s sweat! Instead He favoured the sacrifice of Abel – a spotless lamb offered without toil. All living creatures were blessed with fruitfulness and dominion – they are not the fruit of the cursed earth. From a New Testament context, God has called us to walk in fruitfulness and dominion effortlessly. We are called to this by resting in the finished work of the Cross – not by the sweat of our brow.


HEART OF THE PASTOR

NOAH’S SABBATH

Covenant, part of our blessing is to be able to sit back and enjoy our freedom in Christ. It took Noah a hundred years to build the Exodus 31 tells us that the Sabbath was a ark. People thought he was crazy until it sign that God had made His people holy – a started raining, and God’s judgement fell sign of God’s sanctifying work in Israel. On on the earth. It was the first day of Noah’s the Sabbath they got to celebrate God’s 700th year (his ‘sabat’ 100 years) when the redemptive acts and the fact that they were water receded and God told Noah to come made holy by Him! out of the ark. Then Noah built an altar Under the law of Moses, not only was to God, offering a Sabbath pair of clean every seventh day a Sabbath day, but animals to Him. God smelled the pleasing every seventh month, every aroma – the “odour of rest” seventh year and every or “odorum quietus” – and Jubilee year (seven sevens). promised never again to All living That meant that you worked curse the ground because of creatures were for six days/months/years man’s sin. and God provided food and From then on, every time blessed with protection for the seventh people brought the sacrifice fruitfulness one. The Sabbath rest is a of an innocent animal, it and dominion call not to trust in the work was the “odour of rest” to God. Jesus paid for our sins – they are not of your own hands but in His hands. It’s not an excuse for so we can be at peace with the fruit of the laziness – BUT there is a place God... so that we can walk cursed earth. where God calls us to put our free from condemnation in faith in His work, not ours. the “odorum quietus” He From a New provides for us. In the New Testament Covenant there remains a JOSHUA’S SABBATH context, God place for the people of God God cut a binding covenant where we lift the odour of with Abraham, swearing has called rest to Him, without sweat. to him that He would bless us to walk in him and his descendents. fruitfulness God swore the same oath to MOSES’ SABBATH Before the Law was given, and dominion Isaac and Jacob. Eventually, 400 years later, the Hebrew God provided manna for effortlessly. people were released from His people to eat – and He Egypt and all God’s promises provided a double portion on were about to be fulfilled. God was on the the sixth day so that they had enough for verge of bringing them into the Promised the Sabbath. This Sabbath rest is a type and Land, but they keep interfering with His shadow of God’s commanded blessing for plan. Seeing their unbelief, God swore an his people – whatever the covenant. Under oath in anger: ‘You’ll never enter my rest, the Mosaic Law, the people are instructed never enter the Sabbath. You say I’m a to keep the Sabbath to remember and murderer, so you’ll die here in the desert.’ celebrate their freedom from slavery in After that God said He would bring His Egypt (Deuteronomy 5:12). In the New www.connectmagazine.co.za | 15


HEART OF THE PASTOR

people into every single promise He had made, and that would be their rest. Then God set aside another day, calling it “today”, where we can enter God’s rest (Hebrews 3:7-9). He changed it from every seven days to a day called “today”. We don’t have to wait a week, seven months, seven years or 49 years – you can enter Jubilee today! But not for those who refuse to accept Him! Since the promise of entering His rest still stands, let us be careful that none of us fall short of it. If we do, we’ll be stuck on cursed ground, harvesting by the sweat of our brow – not reaping the abundant life God offers us who believe. We enter that rest through belief, which is faith – not by obedience, which so easily becomes the works of the flesh.

Then God set aside another day, calling it “today”, where we can enter God’s rest (Hebrews 3:7-9). He changed it from every seven days to a day called “today”. We don’t have to wait a week, seven months, seven years or 49 years – you can enter Jubilee today! JESUS ON THE SABBATH Jesus started his ministry by declaring Jubilee (Luke 4:14-21). When Jesus was criticised for healing and harvesting on the Sabbath, He replied in John 5:16-19, 16 | www.connectmagazine.co.za

“My father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.... Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” He’s operating from a position of permanent rest – as are we if we believe Him. In Mark 2:27 Jesus points out that the Sabbath is made for man, not the other way around. God created the Sabbath, blessed it, and designed it for effortless fruit and dominion. He made an oath with Noah, promising no more judgement, and removed the curse from the ground. He called us to sacrifice the odour of rest. Hebrews 13:15 says, “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.” The fragrance of rest should be coming off our lives as we constantly proclaim the beauty of what God has done for us. That’s the Sabbath rest we’re called to. And it starts today.

Greg Haswell Pastor of Northlands Church, Atlanta This article has been taken from a message that Greg preached in Pinetown in September 2011.


HAND OF THE HARVESTER

Photo by OeildeNuit

As it is in

Heaven

C

1

rossover Transformation Group The man-made religious systems that officially started on the 31st August have been instituted in the Church that 2011 after God took the founders are hindering it (as the true Body of Christ) (husband and wife Patrick and Maude from performing its role as a ‘saint/believerKuwana) on the most amazing equipping equipping and releasing factory’ (Ephesians journey. Their journey 4:11-12). started in December 2010 Babylon’ – the world and resulted in over five trips economic system which is Crossover (miraculously all provided driven by mammon (greed, for) being made to the USA is the result selfishness, pride, etc.) Jesus and Europe meeting various made it very clear that we of a strong Christian and business leaders cannot worship both God and attending conferences. call to help and mammon (Matthew 6:24) That’s where the vision of and yet this continues to be people ‘cross ‘Transforming the heart of of the biggest challenges over’ from the one Africa one person, one family, that the Church and every one school, one business, one individual believer face. bondage of government, one community, Revelations 18 gives a clear man-made one city, one country at a picture of the pending fate time’ was birthed. religion into of Babylon; and we believe

2

Patrick explains...

“In a nutshell the message that God gave us during our journey is that His people are being held captive in two areas – 18 | www.connectmagazine.co.za

the realm of freedom in the Kingdom.

God’s voice is crying out right now: ‘Come out of her my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive her plagues’ (Revelations 18:4). “These two areas of


HAND OF THE HARVESTER

“Part of the strategy is overt but a big captivity have resulted in an identity crisis portion will be covert – an under-the-radar/ in the Church. The enemy is focusing on stealth bomber approach to building the deceiving God’s people in these areas so Kingdom into the business/government that they continue to live below their level world through consulting engagements and of authority and calling. This prevents working with the believers (the Josephs, them from moving into the path of their Daniels, Esthers, etc.) that God has already divine purpose (Ephesians 2:10) so that the placed in strategic positions in business and purposes of the Kingdom can be furthered. government. The aim is to bring cultural “The birthing of Crossover Transformation transformation, enhance Group is the result of a strong operational efficiencies and call we received from God drive bottom-line profitability to help people ‘cross over’ The solutions by the simple application of from the bondage of manbiblical principles so that the made religion into the realm rest with ‘world’ can start to see the of freedom in the Kingdom those who glory of God in business. – and also from the slavery “Crossover’s strong belief brought about by a mammonhave the is that the global economic founded mindset, into a fully mind of Christ meltdown and increasing God-dependent life”. and apply social problems we are seeing will never be permanently “The focus the truth of solved by the greatest human for Crossover God’s Word minds. The solutions rest with Transformation those who have the mind of Group is: combined Christ and apply the truth of Working with churches with Holy God’s Word combined with so that they can better Holy Spirit-led revelation – equip God’s people and Spirit-led ‘because the foolish plan of release them as Christ’s revelation. God is wiser than the wisest transformational agents of human plans, and God’s into the main cultural weakness is stronger than the greatest of ‘mountains’ (mind moulders) of the human strength’ (1 Corinthians 1:25). world, namely family, education, religion, “The Bible is very clear that everything business, government, media, arts and that is not built upon the foundation of God entertainment. will collapse (Hebrews 12:27). Therefore, Working with believers in the part of the mandate that Crossover carries marketplace (business and government) is to help people, families, businesses, so that they can understand that they are governments, cities and countries rebuild transformational ‘disciplers’ who have been on the unshakeable foundation of God’s placed in the marketplace to bring God’s Word.” truth and hence transform it from within so

a

b

that a biblical worldview is established as the standard and norm.

c

Bringing the glory of God into the world by showing tangible results (personal, family, business, government, community healing and restoration) through Christ-led transformational engagements.

Maude adds...

“We are praying that we will see more doors opening so that we can start to engage with the different service delivery agencies at government, city council and municipality level with ‘under the radar’ transformational discussions. These discussions will www.connectmagazine.co.za | 19


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We believe that God is calling every believer to stand up and take up their divine assignment so that we can start to see God’s will being done in our families, schools, businesses, governments, communities, cities, countries and continent as it in in Heaven. You and I are equally called to bring the heavenly invasion upon the earth so that the Kingdom of God will be established. bring in biblical models/solutions to the challenges that our cities are facing. We will also use the same approach in the business/corporate world (for example doing company turnarounds using biblical principles). Through this we will see the earth being filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord (Habakkuk 2:14). The foundation of what we do is based on Romans 12:2 – helping people through the transformation journey to become non-conformists in this world by the renewing of their minds. “Part of the focus of mobilising believers into transformational activity in our cities is the www. transformourcity.co.za initiative which Crossover started as a platform to call the body of Christ into action. “Crossover Transformation Group believes that God is calling every believer to stand up and take up 20 | www.connectmagazine.co.za

their divine assignment so that we can start to see God’s will being done in our families, schools, businesses, governments, communities, cities, countries and continent as it is in Heaven (Matthew 6:10). You and I are equally called to bring the heavenly invasion upon the earth so that the Kingdom of God will be established.” Listen – can you hear God calling your name right now? You could very well be the next Gideon, or Joseph, or Esther, or Daniel....

Patrick Kuwana Transformational Entrepreneur patrick@crossovertransformation. co.za


Get real! AUTHENTICITY is crucial in long-term personal and business relationships. We often wear masks because we think we know what people want us to say, do and be – but people actually want someone who is authentic! Authenticity refers to two main things as I see it: 1) being who you really are and 2) being good at what you do (not a fraud). Achieving this all starts by being honest with yourself. In order to be ‘real’, you first need to know yourself and be comfortable with who you are as an individual. Then, in order to be truly good at what you do – professionally or personally – you need to be honest with yourself about your abilities. If you are not the best at what you do, do a course that will empower you with the skills you lack. Constant self-inspection and self-improvement allow us to stay at the top of our game. Authenticity is the starting block to a fulfilling life that allows us to be absolutely great in our ‘realness’ and ‘real’ in our greatness.


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have a vivid recollection of sitting in the leather lounge chair with my feet up on the footrest, just staring out of the window, watching the royal palm fronds swaying in the gentle breeze, cars whooshing down the dip in Abrey Road, and then up again, people walking along the pavement yacking and laughing, a weed eater droning in the background… all so surreal… and me not moving at all, just staring at the same spot out of the same window for hours on end. My daughter Gabrielle has just arrived home from school. “Dad, you’re still in exactly the same chair, looking out at exactly the same spot as you were when I left for school this morning. What’s wrong Pa? You’re definitely not alright, this just isn’t like you at all!” Just then my wife Joleen walks into the lounge and Gabi immediately seizes the moment. “Maaa, I’m so glad you’re here, have you noticed that Dad just sits in one place for hours on end and just stares out the window at one spot? It’s freaky, what’s wrong with him?” Jo retorts, “Have you only noticed this now Gabi? This has been going on for months on end. I think that all the Business problems are overwhelming Dad right now and he just can’t cope with it all… it’s causing him to become depressed and frustrated.” Tears begin to well up in Gabi’s eyes. “Pappa I just can’t handle seeing you like

26 | www.connectmagazine.co.za

this. There must be something we can do to help you Pappa?” I reply in a monotone, “I really don’t know, I feel totally trapped in this situation and have no idea what to do. The best thing is just to pray for me Angel. Pray that God will show me the way to come through this mess ’cause I don’t have a clue!” Does this sound all too familiar to you? Eight months earlier, around midSeptember 2008, I had watched the news speechlessly as the entire western world’s capitalist system took the biggest knock ever. Banks and other huge institutions came tumbling down, bringing with them a worldwide recession in the residential property market. Why this was so hugely significant to me was because residential property development was my mainstay business at the time and we had poured everything into it. Hitherto it had always performed so well! Well, that was all about to change, wasn’t it? At the time that the market crashed, we had just completed twelve large upmarket homes which we put on the market in the first week of September 2008 (brilliant timing!). Besides this we had numerous vacant undeveloped stands as well. Needless to say, we marketed extensively yet only managed to sell a few houses – mainly due to the banks’ reluctance to grant bonds to many credible prospective


buyers. Early in 2008 we had taken out a development bond with one of the banks to construct the twelve spec units and now found ourselves in default of the loan repayment terms and also unable to meet the monthly interest on the outstanding loan. To make matters worse, the bank, rather than assisting us and making suggestions as to how we could best come out of this situation together, began to hound us relentlessly – believing falsely that if they rattled and shook the cage hard enough, some golden nuggets would fall out. All that this served to do was put further pressure on me and consign me to protracted periods sitting in my leather chair, staring out of the window at nothing in particular for hours and months on end. My family’s prayers and concern for me, and the debilitating experience of sitting in that chair day after day, ultimately brought me to the end of myself and to the point of crying and shouting out to God, “Lord help me, for goodness sake. Absolutely nothing is happening in my life. I’m not going anywhere, not even in circles. What’s happening God? Please, please answer me, help me!” I immediately felt God saying, “You’re not going anywhere because you haven’t purposed to go anywhere, because you’re wallowing in self-pity. I gave you vision but you’re not using it at all right now. No vision – no victory. Now this will take lots of courage but I want you to begin to Dream Big Dreams again and start writing them

down, because when you dream, it pulls life back to the surface and brings hope into a seemingly hopeless situation”. “But Father,” I protested, “how can I even begin to dream new and exciting dreams and have fresh vision for things that I really desire for the future when I feel so trapped with this present, crushing situation? I feel like I’ve failed and can only move on once this mess is sorted out and cleaned up. I hate not being able to meet all my debts and obligations and feel utterly disqualified from dreaming big, new dreams in the midst of this chaos.” “I am God and I’m your loving Dad. I GIVE YOU PERMISSION TO DREAM AGAIN, my Son, because it’s your dreams that will aim you through all the chaos and confusion and begin to reshape and enlarge the life you live. I don’t want you to be controlled by hopelessness or despair, I want you to take control of your own life. Have a good look at yourself – you are my biggest dream ever, wrapped up in a body. You wouldn’t even be here if I never dreamed big! “So, I want you to go and grab a pen and begin to write down the biggest, most exciting, seemingly impossible dreams and commit them to me. Hold them up to me and trust me for I will empower your dreams with Grace and partner with you to see the most impossible dream become a reality. I love you so much and I want your life to be relevant, exciting and fulfilled.” Wow! So I went and grabbed a pen and began thinking and writing… and these are but a few of the many dreams I penned down:

I want you to begin to Dream Big Dreams again and start writing them down, because when you dream, it pulls life back to the surface and brings hope into a seemingly hopeless situation.

www.connectmagazine.co.za | 27


Some big dreams

I want to preach the Gospel with such power and anointing that over 1,000 people get saved at once. • I want to stand on the highest peak in the world and shout “Jesus is Lord of all”. • I want my businesses to be so successful that I have a team of 50 people just administering the outflow of resources where God wants them to go.

Some slightly tamer dreams

• I want to go hot air ballooning over the Drakensburg with my wife Jo. • I want to see my Mom (98 years old) live to at least 100 and to hold my first grandchild in her arms. • I want to begin trading in consumer commodities again and start an exciting new Importing and Distribution company that will grow exponentially. From the time that I began to write my dreams down and hold them up to the Lord, a fresh passion and excitement began to rise up in me – a renewed zest and zeal for life, new beginnings and new ventures. You won’t find me lolling around in the leather chair anymore. And as for the difficulties that we are facing in the residential property business, not only have they faded into the background but we’ve also seen some major recent breakthroughs in the sale of a number of our houses. God is bringing us through! So, have you got your pen and paper ready? You have PERMISSION TO DREAM! I want to challenge you to begin to write your dreams down, meditate over them, hold them up to the Lord… and watch your life begin to change. Here are some things that encouraged me: Hope deferred makes the heart sick but when dreams come true it is a tree of life. – Proverbs 13:12 28 | www.connectmagazine.co.za

When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed, Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them. – Psalms 126:1-2 The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but rather in rising every time we fall. - Nelson Mandela Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact, it’s an opinion, Impossible is not a declaration, it’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing! – Adidas. Recommended books: The Dream Manager – Matthew Kelly Dream Culture – Andy and Janine Mason

Terry Akal terry@akal.co.za Terry has been married to Joleen for 33 years, and they have four children.


The Biblical Meaning of the Number Ten

10

is one of the perfect numbers, and signifies the perfection of Divine order, commencing an altogether new series of numbers. The first decade is the representative of the whole numeral system, and originates the system of calculation called “decimals,” because the whole system of numeration consists of so many tens, of which the first is a type of the whole. Completeness of order, marking the entire round of anything, is, therefore, the ever-present signification of the number ten. It implies that nothing is wanting; that the number and order are perfect; that the whole cycle is complete. The number 10 is used 242 times in scripture and “10th” is used 79 times. A historically significant number, 10 signifies testimony, law and responsibility. Ten is also viewed as a complete number, as is 3, 7 and 12. Ten is made up of 4, the number of the physical creation, and 6, the number of man. In Genesis 1 we find “God said” 10 times — the testimony of God concerning His creative power. God gave the 10 Commandments to man. Ten is the number for law and man’s responsibility to keep the commandments of God. A tithe is a 10th of our earnings and is a testimony of our faith in the Lord.

What were the 10 times the people shouted for JOY? 1. Leviticus 9:24, when the fire from heaven consumed the first sacrifices. 2. Joshua 6:20, at the taking of Jericho. 3. 1 Samuel 4:5, when the Ark was brought into the camp. 4. 1 Samuel 10:24, when Saul was chosen king. 5. 1 Samuel 17:20, when Israel went to fight the Philistines. 6. 1 Samuel 17:52, when pursuing them. 7. 2 Samuel 6:15 (1 Chronicles 15:28), when the Ark was brought back from the house of Obed-edom. 8. 2 Chronicles 13:15, when God smote Jeroboam before Abijah. 9. 2 Chronicles 15:14, when Asa and the people heard Oded’s prophecy. 10. Ezra 3:11, when the foundation of the second Temple was laid.

What are the 10 ‘I AM’s’ of Jesus found in the book of John? ‘I am the Bread of Life’ (6:35) ‘I am the Bread of Life which came down from heaven’ (6:41) ‘I am the Living Bread’ (6:51) ‘I am the Light of the world’ (8:12) ‘I am One that bears witness of Myself’ (8:18) ‘I am the Door of the sheep’ (10:7,9) ‘I am the Good Shepherd’ (10:14) ‘I am the Resurrection and the Life’ (14:6) ‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life’ (14:6) ‘I am the True Vine’ (15:1,5)

Source: http://www.biblestudy.org/bibleref/meaning-of-numbers-in-bible/10.html www.connectmagazine.co.za | 29


DO MISSDON TH O ’T IS UT NO : W!

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Issue 10 Entering the Rest  

Issue 10. Living in the Sabbath

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