living My Word in your world makes the difference Our world is changing Celebrate your uniqueness
Issue 2 - 2005
100 pages of inspiration, values and real life
Itâ€™s all about
A covenant is a promise. It is an agreement believed to be the basis of a relationship of commitment between God and His people.
$1 HZ&RYHQDQW God made a new covenant with us, His people. In Hebrews 8:10-12 He says: “But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their minds so they will understand them and I will write them on their hearts so they will obey them. I will be their God, and they will be my people. And they will not need to teach their neighbours, nor will they need to teach their family, saying, ‘You shall know the Lord.’ For everyone, from the least to the greatest, will already know me. And I will forgive their wrongdoings, and I will never again remember their sins.” In Hebrews 9 we read that by the power of the Eternal Spirit, Christ offered Himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins. That is why He is the one who mediates the new covenant between God and His people, so that all who are invited can receive the eternal inheritance. And because we accept Jesus as our eternal High Priest and our Saviour, we will one day see the holy New Jerusalem. There where the foundations are adorned with all kinds of precious stones. The first foundation stone was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius (carnelian), the seveth chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth and the twelth amethyst.
Upon these foundation stones MY World is built. Our second issue – our second foundation is
6DSS KLUH Issue 2 –
From the Book of Isaiah for foundation two - Sapphire:
“...I will rebuild you on a foundation of sapphires and make the walls of your houses from precious jewels.” Isaiah 54:11
May you, through reading Sapphire, find strength in the promise God made with us for eternity through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Our Scripture for Issue 2:
“But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of
Israel on that day, says the Lord:
‘I will put my laws in their minds so they will understand them, and I will write them on their hearts so they will obey them. I will be their God, and they will be my people.’ ” Hebrews 8:10ews 8:10
AN EVANGELISM TOOL THAT IS TIMELESS
“Our vision is to be a tree planted by the Living Waters of Life
and to bear fruit every month
through leaves that will bring healing.”
This simply means
OUR TEAM: Lindie Gouws
(Founder and Editor ... and still mother of MY World)
(Graphic Design ... inspired to create)
that as you page through MY World monthly, you will be inspired, you will be touched and you will be brought closer to Jesus. (This month’s cover reflects the Covenant: “For this is the covenant that I will make
Melanie Badenhorst (Graphic Design ... also inspired to create)
(Administration/Accounts ... our figures lady)
(Personal Assistant ... the voice when you phone)
(Office Assistant... who helps us carry the load)
(Office Assistant... always there to help)
with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord; I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Heb 8:10)
We would like to congratulate Sanita Botes, our previous personal assistant, on the birth of her first baby, Danika.
OU R C ON T RIBU TORS Providing motivational and inspirational products via media to the world.
Lindie Gouws (Managing Director) Futhi Masuku (Director) Johannes Gumede (Director) Gavin Watson (Director) Ishmael Mncwaba (Alternative Director) Futhi Masuku (Director) Contact Details Tel +27(11) 953-5214 Fax +27(11) 953-4281 Postal Address Private Bag 2003, Krugersdorp, 1740 Physical Address No 1 Windsor Road, Mogale City, Gauteng Betsie Stokes (Advertising) +27(11) 953-5214 Subscriptions +27(11) 953-5214 Electronic subscriptions email@example.com Printing Paarlweb Printers
Clive Emdon, Dini Esterhuizen, Retha Fick, Jeff Gaisford, Myna Gouws, Andrew Hankey, Fanie Heyns, Alan Hosking, Corrie Huyser, Ina Nortjé, Velile Phato, Edgar Ramsami, Myles Sinclair, Velile Phato, Andrea Badenhorst (photography) Irma Coetzee (photography), Helga Frank (make-up). The content of MY World remains the copyright of Phe-tiwe Media and Publications (Pty) Ltd. All graphic illustrations have been conceptualised and created by MY World and remains the copyright of Phe-tiwe. All photos (unless otherwise stated) have been commissioned by the Editor and remains the property of Phe-tiwe. Scripture references were taken from: The NIV Thematic Reference Bible: Zondervan The Holy Bible: New King James Version The Holy Bible: Old King James Version Spirit Filled Life Bible: New King James Version New Living Translation: Life Application Study Bible The Message
Thank you to Angela Rogers for sending us one of the poems she wrote: I pray that God blesses MY World and I thank you for your hard work.
Thank you LORD, you gave me life Thank you LORD, you gave it twice At first I was lost, all alone, failure all my bitter life To me as a working mom, I sometimes loose sight of had shown. The path I led had no direction, just fear, pain and ultimate destruction. Thank you, LORD, you what is important, because of the pressures in life. I rescued me, broke all bondage, set me free. Thank you, briefly read some of the articles in the magazine and it LORD, through your compassion, I am found, I have gave me hope that I am not alone and that God is with salvation. Thank you, LORD, for your great love, proven me all of the time. when you shed your blood. And even though you are God of all The Almighty, ever powerful, Mandy du Preez You take the time to know my (Edited version) heart, and bind us with love Thank you to all our readers for writing to that we shall never part. Thank MY World. We appreciate all the time and you, LORD, for all you’ve done Through your death our effort you put into contacting us. victory’s won.
Thank you also to everybody who has phoned us to inspire us to greater heights. We love your phone calls. We would like to invite all our readers to continue writing to MY World. Please e-mail your letters to firstname.lastname@example.org or post them to Private Bag 2003, Krugersdorp, 1740. Evening Lindie, and the team of “MY World”. I was wonderfully surprised with the content of the magazine. It is clear that God’s hand was working here. Be assured that I, and I’m sure many other Christians, were inspired and touched. It has only been for a short period of time that I have my new life in Jesus, and be assured that the messages that are contained in this magazine, clearly touches hundreds or maybe even thousands of Christians that are in a similar position. May God bless you with peace, love and His presence in the future. Be assured of help and assistance of fellow Christians here on the outside. Johann van Wyk (Translated from Afrikaans)
Thank you for this lovely magazine. We have learnt so many things about the Bible and faith from it. Honestly it is not easy to give a personal testimony about the things which have happened in your life. Most of us, to be honest, are scared of people. Always thinking about what people think about us. I am quite touched about the three testimonies in last month’s mag and have confidence that the Lord will see them thru their difficult times, and thru their confessions and testimonies that have already been forgiven. We should now start to think about what God will think about us and not to worry about what people think about us. Norma Sithole
62 6 D S S KL UH,VVXH
40 IT WAS GOOD
REAL LIFE Our World is Changing Our Seasons of Worship 4 worshippers tell their stories
Talk 2 Me New Covenant
Wonderfully & Fearfully Made
Dad’s Love is Different
FRUIT, FRUIT, FRUIT Fruit Stories A story of love
Reconciliation - Piet Retief
WORK & PLAY The most fundamental business principle: Seek first the Kingdom Your Budget Reality Check
Celebrate your uniqueness
They are pesky but lovely
Agapanthus The Flower of Love
SPIRIT LIFE The Gift of Faith
What is Prayer?
“A Covenant with God”
80 “There is no judgment awaiting those who trust Him. But those who do not trust Him have already been judged for not believing in the only Son of God.” JOHN 3:18
30 Y-TALK! Covenant Relationships
44 91 92
THROUGH THE EYES OF A CHILD Antique & Antoine The Breastplate of Righteousness
WHO TOUCHED ME? Voices of Hope
WORDS OF WEALTH Read the Bible in a Year Book Review Doing Reconciliation
Find the Words activity sheet
What’s in a Name?
:HOFRPHWR6DSSKLUH As I woke up Saturday morning prior to completing this issue, my first thought was to ask God for His Word for “Sapphire”. Immediately these words came to mind: “Be still and know that I am Lord.” A supernatural peace came upon me and I knew that it came from God’s heart. Back at the office the following Monday morning I shared this with my team. I told them that amidst current storms and even those to come in future, God would want us to be silent and know that He is in control. When I sat down to write “From my heart” I found the message in Psalm 46:10: “Be still and know that I am God!” I then read the entire Psalm and understood the significance thereof. I realised why God had given me the Word to be still. I believe it is a Word for every person as well as for the body of Christ. 6
It is undoubtedly so that as a child of God, when you accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour of your life, you will experience storms. Tests and trials will come your way from various sources, but God says: “Be still and know that I am God!” There are events that take place around us, in our nation and internationally and they are beyond our control, out of our human hands. When we look at Psalm 46:6, we read: “The nations are in an uproar, and kingdoms crumble! God thunders, and the earth melts!” In our current day and age, amidst all that is taking place and is to take place, God gives us a promise. In verse 7 we read: “The Lord Almighty is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress.” During these times we are called to be like Joshua, strong and very courageous. We must obey God’s Word and not turn away from it. Only then will we succeed. We must not be afraid or discouraged, for once more the promise: The Lord our God is with us wherever we go. Psalm 46:10 says: “Be still and know that I am God! I will be honoured by every nation. I will be honoured throughout the world.” There is a great comfort in that. As individuals, as a nation, we are part of the world and we will honour Him. Just be still and know that He is God!
photography irma coetzee
photography andrea badenhorst
5HDO/LIH If you can hold something in the palm of your hand, you could probably own it. Yet your own life does not fit into your hand. It is because we rest in the Palm of the Master’s Hand.
In some situations we do not understand the “how” and the “why”? Yet we know that it is controlled by God’s Hand.
It all still works together as part of an eternal plan…it is His eternal promise of real life!
HRBG@MFHMF When we view our world from a
words: dini esterhuizen research: gerrie van dyk photograph: picturenet
- 341 +#(2 23$12
global, national and local perspective we see that our world is definitely changing. We hear international Global Warming alerts, we are confronted by the effect of 10
natural disasters and we experience the change in climate.
What then is happening to our world? Media reports on the cause and effect of our changing world and this could become very confusing.
MY World took a closer look at the physical as well as the spiritual and prophetic significance.
Tsunami - The day the sea bed buckled In the aftermath of the Asian Tsunami millions of lives are still disrupted and nations are reeling with shock. Scientists provided us with detailed explanations of what occurred and graphic illustrations appeared in many publications and on TV programmes. Stories reporting loss, courage, remarkable rescues and survival were circulated for weeks. Mankind did what was humanly possible to try and restore order amidst this chaos. The largest humanitarian aid distribution programme ever was launched and Governments are budgeting and planning for the implementation of Tsunami warning systems. Yet, to get ourselves on higher ground and out of harm’s way, does not take away the fact that we are all mortal. Even a Tsunami warning is not a final solution for man’s vulnerability. We do know that what took place is much bigger than what any man could accomplish; the earthquake moved megatonnes of water. An atomic bomb can destroy a city, but not accomplish anything of this magnitude.
The United Nations reported the tragedy as “truly overwhelming”. In the days and weeks that followed the Tsunami, there was a haunting question: “Where is God in this catastrophe?” The Christian believer’s perspective is that God, the Creator of the universe, is omnipresent and involved in the processes of His creation. According to the Bible, nature is part of the revelation of the character, omnipotence and omniscience of God. Acknowledging God’s presence, the believer’s question would probably be: ‘What is the spiritual significance?’ We might not arrive at quick answers or the full understanding. Believers and
the earth on Boxing Day: “See, the Lord is going to lay waste the earth and devastate it; He will ruin its face and scatter its inhabitants.” Isaiah 24:1 For ‘ruin its face’ we can read ‘distort its surface’ or we can read the Jerusalem Bible’s vivid term ‘buckle’. Few words describe better than the word ‘buckle’ that which occurred during the Asian Earthquake that caused the Tsunami:
unbelievers alike reached for Biblical terms to describe what happened: The BBC called it “a tragedy of Biblical proportions” and the word “apocalyptic” featured in many newscasts. rch
We can safely search Scripture to find some meaning. Isaiah 24 speaks about God’s coming devastation of the earth.
This passage does not refer to the Tsunami and we know from God’s covenant that the earth will never be destroyed by water again. There is, however, an interesting description that, uncanny as it might seem, resembles what happened to the face of
A section of the earth’s crust below the Indian Ocean, the Indian Plate, drove under another section, the Burma Plate, off Sumatra. A 1 200km of ocean floor ruptured, displacing millions of tons of water. The shoreline of the areas worst hit by the Tsunami even changed. And the North Pole moved 2,5 cm further east, thereby moving the earth on its axis, according to Nasa. What happened here reminds us of the words in this prophesy: “The earth staggers like a drunkard. It trembles like a tent in a storm.” Isaiah 24:20 Although what occurred now is small in comparison to what lies ahead in the apocalyptic destruction of the earth, this Biblical phrase sounds remarkably like a description of what we saw at the time of the Tsunami. Having witnessed destruction of this magnitude, Biblical prophecies appear less abstract and far fetched. Such huge occurrences are no longer impossible to imagine. A question arises: “What is in store for this
world?” This is the question the Bible says we should be asking. These are times when we should take to heart the light the Bible sheds on the subject. In the Book of 2 Peter, we see that there are many who are in denial and don’t ask that vital question and that is dangerous. Peter raises this issue and says that it will be ignored by false teachers in the end times. Peter warns that the growing apostasy and scepticism will attack God’s prophetic picture of the future of this world. Sceptics perceive the earth and the universe as no more than a natural phenomenon. We hear many remarks: “It has always been like this, there have always been earthquakes, nothing new…” Unwittingly this echoes a verse from 2 Peter 3:4 “Why, as far back as anyone can remember, everything has remained exactly the same since the world was first created.” These same scoffers will also deny the return of Christ: “First, I want to remind you that in the last days there will be scoffers who will laugh at the truth and do every evil thing they desire. This will be their argument: ‘Jesus promised to come back, did He? Then where is He? Why, as far back as anyone can remember, everything has remained exactly the same since the world was first created. They deliberately forget that God made the heavens by the Word of His command, and He brought the earth up from the water and surrounded it with water. Then He used the water to destroy the world with a mighty flood. 2 Peter 3: 3-6
The Flood of Genesis is proof of God’s real involvement in the universe, for the flood came by ‘the Word of His command’. From the viewpoint of scoffers and skeptics, however, everything that happens to this planet is seen as the result of continuing natural processes. It is evident that the growing apostasy and skepticism will attack God’s prophetic picture of the origins and future of this world.
FAILURE TO RECOGNIZE GOD’S INVOLVEMENT IN CREATION OR IN NATURAL PHENOMENA WILL CAUSE FAILURE TO SEE HIS INVOLVEMENT IN THE END OF THIS WORLD.
We do not see the Tsunami as judgment from God. However, it is clear from many reactions that we live in a society where the expectation and preparation for the coming of Jesus is replaced by naturalistic and evolutionary concepts. The theory of evolution is one such worldview that totally denies God as Creator. Rick Joyner writes: “One of the most powerful strongholds exalting itself against the knowledge of God today is the theory of evolution. We are to confront speculations like this because they are usually the root power behind the great deceptions that keep people in bondage to the powers of darkness.” (A Prophetic Vision for the 21st Century, p118). Peter warns that people will deliberately ignore the continuous presence and intervention of God in His unfolding of His sovereign plan. This leads to a world view that forgets that the Flood of Genesis
occurred as an act of divine judgment. Peter also says that those who deny God’s act of divine judgment, in the case of the Flood, will also ignore the fact that the Day of Judgment comes when this world will be destroyed by fire: “And God has also commanded that the heavens and the earth will be consumed by fire on the day of judgment, when ungodly people will perish.” 2 Peter 3:7
DENIAL, APATHY OR IGNORANCE WILL RESULT IN PEOPLE BEING DENIED OPPORTUNITY FOR REPENTANCE. The Tsunami was only a “mini flood” compared to the Flood of Genesis and we know from God’s covenant that the earth will not be destroyed by water again, but by fire. In what way can this water deluge serve as a warning or a reminder of things to come? The scale of event transcends human ability and reminds of someone greater than man. A former agnostic said after the Tsunami, pointing upwards: ‘He is just reminding us that He is still there.’ He at least acknowledged God. In a world where God is increasingly being ignored, this event can be viewed as a warning of God or a reminder that He is still there to be reckoned with. A timely warning by God of impending judgment, with the option of repentance, forgiveness and redemption, is not judgment. Such a reminder or warning can be perceived as compassion. We see this mercy and compassion of God, not wanting anyone to perish, expressed in this passage from 2 Peter. Even God’s delay of
end times shows compassion - our human sense of timing such as “soon” does not apply when understanding God’s timing. We must see what we interpret as delay as God’s compassion and patience to see that all have an opportunity to repent. And is a timely wake up call before judgment - while there is opportunity to repent - not compassion? Sin and Judgment is no longer mankind’s final problem if mercy, grace and forgiveness are on offer. “But you must not forget, dear friends, that a day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about His promise to return, as some people think. No, He is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish, so He is giving more time for everyone to repent.” 2 Peter 3:8 If man is oblivious to or ignores impending judgment, mercy and grace are of no value to him. “But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and everything in them will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be exposed to judgment.” 2 Peter 3:10 Comments by people on the unexpectedness of the moment of destruction of the Tsunami echoed verses in Scripture describing end time events. Even persons with only a scant knowledge of Scripture remarked that the words “like a thief in the night…”, referring to the return of Jesus, suddenly made more sense.
The words of Matthew 24 and Luke 17 describe a scene where we see that people will be caught unawares and unprepared by the return of Christ, exactly as in the case of the Genesis Flood and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. All of a sudden this picture from the Bible looks like a clip from the daily news. It was interesting that one of the most vivid recordings of the Tsunami was made by a person who had his camera ready to record a wedding.
Ironically the scientific world was expecting a tsunami in the Atlantic ocean. A British scientist, Prof. Bill McGuire, (of the Benfield Grieg Disaster Research Centre at the University College of London) predicted that a rock the size of an Island will dislodge at one of the Canary islands, wreaking havoc on the surrounding continents. The rock is at the point of breaking loose from the volcanic island La Palma. When this rock breaks off, it will cause waves that will move at an estimated speed of 901 km per hour. Computer models predict that a mega tsunami of 100 m will hit the Canary Islands. Within a few hours, it is predicted, this tsunami will hit the West Coast of Africa. Between 9 and 10 hours after the rock has broken loose, the tsunami of between 20 and 50 m will reach the East coast of Canada and the USA. Southern England will also be hit by a 10 m tsunami according to this prediction that was made before the Asian Tsunami (The Guardian).
6$ 3'$1, -( &+.! +6 1,(-& -# "' -&(-&6$ 3'$1 / 33$1-2 The Tsunami had nothing to do with changing weather patterns and global warming, but extreme weather conditions experienced worldwide have people asking the same question as after the Tsunami: “What is happening to our planet?” Global warming and the changing weather patterns potentially pose some of the greatest threats to our planet. This fact is widely accepted by scientists and politicians worldwide. News services and newspapers report on incidents of extreme weather virtually every day. With the Tsunami we have seen in graphic detail what it means when the sea levels rise. Predictions by meteorologists that were previously not taken seriously, now have our attention. President Bush ordered research in order to determine what the greatest cause of war would be in the future. The Pentagon found that the conditions resulting from major changes in the weather patterns would be the primary cause for wars. Global warming has a potentially great effect on crops and weather conditions around the world. This may reduce agricultural productivity. Countries unable to feed their people from land that yielded sufficiently in the past, could offer a threat to others that can produce. Predictions are also made that wars could be fought to secure water sources.
Until recently, findings from the Pentagon (2001) were not published, possibly to prevent panic. The information found its way to the press, however, and is no longer a secret, but a topic openly debated by governments. The Chief Scientific Advisor to the British Government, David A. King, warned at an international science meeting in February 2004: “In my view, climate change is the most severe problem that we are facing today – more serious even than the threat of terrorism.” Global warming increased with 3% in the last thirty years, said the UN‘s meteorological organization. They are warning that the tempo of global warming will increase, sea levels will rise, and more devastating hurricanes will occur. Most scientists agree that earth’s temperature has risen 0,5 degrees Celsius since 1900, and will continue to increase at an increasing rate. Heat waves such as in Southern Europe and Japan will be more common and last for longer.
2.1 DOES GLOBAL WARMING REALLY MATTER? Throughout history we were faced with floods, storms and droughts, but records clearly show an escalation: Natural disasters cost insurance companies more on claims than ever before. Europe, for example, experienced record high temperatures with 35 000 people dying as a result. All the severe floods on the continent of Europe were seen as consistent with global warming predictions. The years 1998, 2001 and 2002 were three of the hottest ever recorded worldwide.
Last year worldwide was also called “The year of the rainy planet”. Thousands died as a result of catastrophic rain falls, while others suffered severe droughts.
fuels: oil, coal and gas. The increased industrial expansion and automobile would mainly account for this consumption of fossil fuels.
Meteorological models predict natural catastrophes, wars, coups and terrorism as a result of extreme weather conditions. Diseases, plagues, such as locust swarms, toxic waste and famine will also increase, according to many scientific projections. This will cause world trade to suffer, and markets could crash.
In the very hot worldwide debate, like the recent one held in Buenos Aires, scientists, environmentalists and politicians argue very contradicting points: Most countries say technology and prosperity are killing us.
An increased risk of intensity of hurricanes by over 50 percent can also be expected. Over 700 tornados hit the USA in May 1999, 70 in Oklahoma and California (CNN). What is behind the change in weather patterns? 14
2.2 THE ‘GREENHOUSE EFFECT’ The greenhouse effect is a necessary phenomenon that keeps all the heat of the earth from escaping to the atmosphere. Without the natural greenhouse effect temperatures on earth would drop with an estimated 33 degrees Celcius from its average of 15 – 18. Carbon dioxide and water are the most important gases in creating the insulating effect of the atmosphere. Too many gases in the earth’s atmosphere could increase the greenhouse effect. This could result in an increase in global temperatures. Carbon dioxide gas generated by man’s burning of fossil fuels and the forests is responsible for about half the greenhouse gas warming. Approximately 80% of CO2 increases are due to man’s use of fossil
The natural mechanism for absorbing C02 from the atmosphere is inadequate for the large quantities emitted. Scientists believe that almost 50% of the C02 remains in the atmosphere, while the rest is being absorbed by trees and oceans. As a result there is a continuous build-up of gases that will lead to global warming. Even with the level of greenhouse gases present today, the earth will warm enough in the next fifty years to completely melt the sea ice located on the poles, according to certain models. The increase was considerably higher in the North Pole area. Due to several factors that worsened the influence of carbon dioxide on global warming, the increase was up to 4 – 7 degrees over the last 50 years (UN report). The first concern of global warming is the possible rise of sea levels. Rising sea levels In the Antarctic scientists are doing low flying excursions, measuring the thickness of ice using a laser device. What happens on this remote continent matters everywhere and affects us all. They have found evidence of dramatic change. Glaciers are expanding. If the ice shell cracks, glaciers
will be spilling in the sea 8 times faster than before. This is very significant because if sea levels rise as a result, it would be impossible to reverse the effect. There are two major causes of rising sea levels. Extra water is produced when ice melts. Secondly the sea water expands naturally as it becomes warmer. Currently the range of sea ice around both poles is shrinking as it melts. It is predicted that sea levels can rise with one metre during this century. Inhabitants of low lying areas and islands will literary see their land vanishing. A large number of the world’s prominent cities are in coastal areas and this is a significant problem. This can potentially produce over 250 million climate refugees. Some researchers believe that global warming is a foreshadowing of a coming ice age. (The last ice age, called the “Little Ice Age” occured from 1450 – 1850). It is also possible that the ice on Greenland could break away from the land mass, and topple into the warm Gulf Stream, causing an ice age. The Gulf Stream carries warm water that prevents the countries surrounding the Atlantic from freezing. The Northern Hemisphere will be more severely affected. The greater landmasses of the Northern Hemisphere will cause them to be more severely affected than the Southern Hemisphere surrounded by oceans, land being less absorbent than water.
2.3 THE EFFECTS OF GLOBAL WARMING ON DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE WORLD
in danger of land slides and in the valleys there is the danger of floods.
England is planning its greatest engineering project in history by building a protective wall of 16 km over the Thames to protect the city of London from floods. The estimated cost is four billion pounds. This disclosure came recently when storms wreaked havoc in the North West of England, Wales and Scotland. Roads and bridges were closed and winds reached up to 160 km/h.
Turkey experienced 50 cm of snow in Istanbul which is highly unusual.
Experts warn that should climate change continue at the current rate, great parts of London would be submerged by water. The existing dyke system of the Thames was built in the seventies and would not be strong enough since sea levels are raising worldwide. A hurricane left 92 dead in France in 1992 and again on December 17, 2004. An unexpected hurricane in the North of France left six persons dead and most people reeling from shock. Italy: In the Dolomite Mountains in Northern Italy a slow motion landslide of 7 million cubic meters of clay is moving at between 30 and 40 metres per day. The layer of mud lost its grip on the rock below. This slippery mud and tens of millions of tons of material can move downwards with the velocity of a volcano. This material can reduce a town, like La Mosano that has been there for hundreds of years, to rubble in seconds. Although they already have to rebuild their roads yearly as a result of minor earthquakes, these people do not want to leave. On the mountains they are
Saudi Arabia experienced its first snow on record. The Island of Minorca, south of Spain experienced snow in January 2005. Peru and New Zealand suffered severe floods. There were monsoons across China and Japan and the Philippines accompanied by floods and land slides. Typhoons forming over the Pacific wreaked havoc. Japan is used to storms, but the recent Ma On storm broke all the records. More than 70 people were killed in the last season and 200 000 houses were left without power. Six hurricanes and three tropical storms hit the USA last year. The last time that the USA had such an eventful year was in 1886 when Texas was hit by four huge storms in one season. The fourteen hurricanes that formed last year was not a record, but the four major ones that made landfall had catastrophic implications. There were more tornados or twisters in the USA last year than ever before. More than twelve occurred on a single Saturday night. At speeds of up to 528 km/h they tore a path of destruction, and reduced homes, cars and yachts to rubble. South Africa: Two scenarios predicted by climate models literally came true in South Africa during the last two years.
Three years ago professor Mike Meadows of the University of Cape Town predicted the following at a conference: In the Western Cape the rain season would start increasingly later every year. There would also be less rain during this later season than on average in the past. This would be accompanied by higher temperatures. All three of these predicted phenomena were experienced in the summer of 2004. This impacted especially the apple and pear farmerâ€™s production, which would have its economical effect of loss of production and loss of employment. The second prediction made from the models of Professor Meadows was that the Northern parts of the country would not have the usual September rain fall. This came to pass during 2003 and 2004. There was also less rain in October and November. The first good rains came in December. In the Northern parts of South Africa there always used to be a drought over Christmas time that ended during the end of January. Good rains would then fall during February, which is critical for the maize production, because this is the time when the cobs start to swell. Professor Tertius Harmse of the University of Johannesburg, well known TV and radio personality, measured the maximum and minimum temperatures for the last twenty-one years. He did this at his home in Florida, Gauteng, using the same kind of thermometer as used by the South African Weather Bureau. â€œNever before have I measured a temperature above 32 degrees Celsius here (in Florida, Gauteng). In January and early February 2004 I measured 34 degrees for the first time.
In November 2004 I measured 35,5 degrees three times. Personally I believe the global warming effects are with us.” “This planet is unique,” says Professor Harmse. “I can speak on so many ways in which this blue planet given to us is unique. But mankind misunderstood the concept to reign by dominating in a harmful way. Just look at the polluted air, water and soil.
“It is time that we acknowledge that global warming is with us,” said Mr. Francois Engelbrecht, lecturer in the Department of Geography, GeoInformatica and Meteorology at the University of Pretoria. He said that the greenhouse effect on South Africa will be devastating. He said that research should immediately be started on crops more suitable to changed weather conditions.
#N"GQHRSH@MRG@UD@M HMENQLDCNOHMHNM@MC SGDVHKKSNUNHBDSGHR NOHMHNMNMSGDRTAIDBS NQCNVDKD@UDSGDRD RDQHNTRL@SSDQRSN VNQKCKD@CDQRVGHKDVD QDUDQSSNRNBH@KRL@KK S@KJ@ANTSSGDVD@SGDQ The Original Mandate to reign The Bible commission to reign teaches us to take care of this planet. God gives His cultural mandate to man to maintain His order in this world. This mandate is found in the 1st and 9th chapters of Genesis:
“God blessed them and told them, ‘Multiply and fill the earth and subdue it. Be masters over the fish and birds and all the animals.’ And God said, ‘Look, I have given you the seed-bearing plants throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food. And I have given all the grasses and other green plants to the animals and birds for their food.’ And so it was.” Genesis 1: 28-30 So man has the mandate of God to uphold and conserve creation. This mandate to govern was given to man before the fall and then again to the saved remnant represented by Noah: To Adam God said: “Because you listened to your wife and ate the fruit I told you not to eat, I have placed a curse on the ground. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it. It will grow thorns and thistles for you, though you will eat of its grains.” Genesis 3: 17-18 From this Scripture we conclude that the earth is no longer in the state that God desired it to be. After the Flood of Genesis, God started anew by giving the remnant of mankind His blessing mandate to exercise stewardship on the earth: “God blessed Noah and his sons and told them, ‘Multiply and fill the earth. All the wild animals, large and small, and all the birds and fish will be afraid of you. I have placed them in your power…” Now you must have many children and repopulate the earth!’” Genesis 9:1-7
The disobedience regarding the instructions of the Noahic Mandate had a two-fold influence: A curse on the earth and its people: Damage as a result of mismanagement, neglect and unsatisfactory stewardship that resulted in sin’s regressive order: When man sinned, the curse in nature followed. “The earth suffers for the sins of its people, for they have twisted the instructions of God, violated his laws, and broken his everlasting covenant*. Therefore, a curse consumes the earth and its people. They are left desolate, destroyed by fire. Few will be left alive.” Isaiah 24:5,6 *It is believed that the “everlasting covenant” is the divine promise to all living things after the Flood. This passage from Isaiah confirms the great purposes of God for the future. A time will come when God will judge and devastate the earth. Yet, despite the punishments, in the end the Lord will reign, and Jerusalem will be glorious. Isaiah 60:16-19 WHERE IS GOD IN THIS SUFFERING CREATION? In a sermon preached by Dr. Koos van der Merwe of Mosaïek Church in Roodepoort, he gave the perspective of the reality of the place where we live; ours, that of the people in Asia and all of mankind. “I live in a place, and I have to realize that it is affected by a fallen heavenly being (Lucifer/Satan).
“I live on a planet that is also distorted as a result of the wrong choices of mankind and cursed by God. I live among people who are sinful and even till today make sinful choices that can influence me directly. “The Bible says that Creation is an act of love – not merely a deed of wisdom or an experiment. This is a God who is also completely unselfish. Out of love this God wishes for other beings also the highest form of happiness possible. And the highest possible joy and fulfillment is to have an existence that is as close to the existence of God’s as possible. If we would reason that the ultimate form of existence is God, then if God wishes that for someone, it means that He would have to create someone that would be able to have a state of being as close as his. “The implication of God wanting to give someone what He has, is that such a person must have a free will since God has a free will. The next implication is the possibility of a wrong choice. This God, if He is a loving God, would say: ‘If there is a way in which I (God) can help people who will be affected by the possibility of this wrongful choice, I am prepared to do what is necessary, even if it would cost that I (God) should suffer! The first implication of God creating a free man is that He can suffer as a result of it. What would God have to decide: If I wish for a being, man or angels, to be like me, there is of necessity the possibility of suffering. “‘I (God) am prepared to choose the road of suffering because I know what the final end result (outcome) will be for Me as well as what My initial intention/motive was. I
wish for someone to have what I have and to be what I am. Because I know what the final outcome is, I am prepared to suffer, and for those who choose to associate with Me, there will be a glorious future.’” Even creation longs for and will experience a great purification and restoration in the full liberation when Jesus returns. (Romans 8: 18–25) In the meantime we have the assurance that the Spirit will help us in our weakness. In our time, the dispensation of the church on earth, God once again entrusts delegated power and stewardship to mankind as He gives the keys of the kingdom of heaven to the church: “And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you lock on earth will be locked in heaven, and whatever you open on earth will be opened in heaven.” Matthew 16:19 Through the preaching of the Gospel, the Great Commission, they would open the kingdom of heaven to all believers and it will be shut for all unbelievers. (This does not mean that Peter or any redeemed follower of Jesus has the right to determine the eternal destiny of any person.) Peter refers to the born-again believer here as part of a priesthood. God will use redeemed man to influence culture to operate under God’s order to fulfill His eternal plan. God uses man to influence every area of life on His planet, recognizing Him as Lord over all. In our prayers, as taught in the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6, submitting to God’s will now as our guide to life on earth, we are called to transform
the world and not be conformed to the world in its broken state. We have the responsibility and privilege of stewardship. Romans 12:2 Christ offers us a framework for a constructive yet critical engagement with the world, allowing us to live in hope, looking forward to finally being with Christ forever.
)DRTRR@HC #NMNSO@MHB When Jesus warns of wars, famines and earthquakes in Matthew 24:6, He says “…don’t panic.” “ …Yes, these things must follow, but the end won’t follow immediately.” “Jesus told them, ‘Don’t let anyone mislead you. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will lead many astray. And wars will break out near and far, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must come, but the end won’t follow immediately. The nations and the kingdoms will proclaim war against each other, and there will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this will be only the beginning of the horrors to come…” Matthew 24: 4-8 The grounds for warning and the concern we should have are not the wars, famines and earthquakes, but the danger of being lead astray, and that our love for Jesus will grow cold. For those who cling to Jesus and remain faithful, the future is triumphant:
“But those who endure to the end will be saved. And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then, finally, the end will come.” Matthew 24: 13-14 All evidence, scientific and Biblical, warn that we are in for a very rough ride, facing increasingly more natural disasters, wars as well as persecution. But our instructions from Jesus, who warned about all these things, are not to panic but to remain faithful, to endure and to obey the Great Commission: To preach the Good News about the Kingdom throughout the whole world.
Redeemed believers are mentioned again as priesthood in Revelation 1:6 where He says that this priesthood shall reign with Him a thousand years. The only real and lasting peace will come when the Prince of Peace returns to bring about this millennial kingdom. “But you aren’t in the dark about these things, dear brothers and sisters, and you won’t be surprised when the day of the Lord comes like a thief. For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night. So be on your guard, not asleep like others. Stay alert and be sober. Night is the time for sleep and the time when people get drunk. But let us who live in the light think clearly, protected by the body armour of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation. For God decided to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out His anger on us. He died for us so that we can live with Him forever whether we are dead or alive at the time of His return. So encourage each other and build each other up just as you are already doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:4-11
REFERENCE RECOGNITION • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Newsweek Time Die Beeld National Center for Atmospheric Research – Kevin E. Trenberth Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory www.geocities.com www.infoplease.com www.pewclimate.org www.keyway.ca www.solcomhouse.com www.worldviewofglobalwarming.org BBC CNN
The following is a commentary published in the Touch Point Bible, New Living Translation, Tyndale.
FEAR Psalm 46:1 – 3 The abundance of natural disasters in recent years reminds us of the possibilities of even greater disasters, such as the whole world being blown up by nuclear war. We all fear the disasters that cripple nations and societies, and leave people wounded and destitute. The fear of atomic disaster is on the minds of many people today. What if…? Consider the worst disaster that could happen. Then ask yourself, “Is God with me – or not?” Have you asked him to be your refuge and strength? The Christian has God’s assurance that, regardless of the worst, we are His forever. If the world blows apart, we will be taken immediately to be with God. For the person who remains alienated from God, such a disaster means the end of his or her chances to be reconciled and live forever with God. This is the clear teaching of the Bible.
Within the range, “Jewellery It is worn on the little finger.
with a Message”, this
ring is called the “Covenant”.
“I designed it as a token of God’s promise with me. Trusting Him for my partner in life. It resembles the promise of the union between a man and a woman. The six blue stones (sapphires) resemble the man. The six red stones (rubies) resemble the woman. And in the seventh stone (diamond) they meet one another in God.” - Lindie This design creates the infinity sign.
Contact Lindie at : Tel +27(11) 953 5214,Fax +27(11) 953-4281 e-mail email@example.com
L i e z e l J u d i t h L i o n
• bread • wi n e
• cr u s h e d wh e at • g r a pe s
• s h e a f o f wh e at • g r a pe v i n e
• k e r n e l s o f wh e at • a v i n e cu t t i n g
photography: irma coetzee words: marié pieterse lindie gouws
e l M e r v i s
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,… Eccl 3:1-2 The seasons in our lives and the seasons in our Christian walk may not correspond with one another. We could experience spring in our winter, or autumn in our summer. We are all aware of ‘a time to…’ on our path to perfection. It might seem slow, but when we look back at life, time just flies. So the key is to enjoy the season where you are at and to dedicate your life as an act of worship unto God. MY World spoke to four South African worshippers - Liezel Vermeulen, a beautiful young single woman currently experiencing spring, Judith Sephume, more mature and a mother, basking in summer, Lionel Petersen, a seasoned worshipper experiencing autumn, Mervis van der Merwe, who, although young, has entered his winter season. We spoke to them about singing unto the Lord in all their seasons.
Taking communion is probably one of the most sacred, intimate moments any Christian could have with Jesus. The elements of communion went through a process to become the bread and the wine. It started by being kernels of wheat and a vine cutting. It grew into sheafs of wheat and the grapevine. Crushed wheat and grapes soon became the bread and the wine. So, too, are the spiritual seasons of our lives. Our age does not define our spiritual seasons. Our spiritual spring and summer are seasons of new life. But so too are autumn and winter. Allow your season to become part of God’s process of taking you into communion with Jesus!
You end up getting comfort because you realise it is the Father you need. When your heart feels empty He fills you up with whatever you need.” Judith was a regular churchgoer but it did nothing for her. One day she walked to church, the His People Church in Cape Town and opened up her heart.
-ÕiÀ Judith Sephume “Being a Christian is beautiful!” After meeting the Lord, Judith Sephume says she always had a desire to sing in church hoping that it would make a difference to someone’s life. She sings gospel songs, songs about one’s relationship with God and the way that God can change a person’s life.
She is a singer, “but with no labels please!” She is an award winning, professional singer who studied music at the University of Cape Town and has sung internationally. “I know there is no way that I can say that I sound like anyone else because God has made me the unique person that I am.” She also likes to sing inspiring songs to those who do not know God, to invite them to come to Him and to experience what she feels. “It is a beautiful feeling to know that you are loved by God and most of all that you love God and you can just look around and just experience Him. “I believe God created me for a purpose. Maybe it is to reach out with my voice to somebody and to heal that person with my voice. I don’t know, but God knows it and I am on my way there. “I sing whatever style is presented to me. I am neither a jazz singer nor a gospel singer,” says Judith. She attends Rhema Bible Church in Randburg where her talent is welcomed. Born in Polokwane, Judith says she has always sung songs as an ordinary part of life. “All of us have been given a beautiful gift by God, no matter how differently we may sound.” Judith met the Lord in Cape Town. “I went through a process in my life becoming a believer. One realises that one needs help. You can’t turn to your mother or sister and then only to God.
She says that on that day her life was changed. She suddenly appreciated the things around her. All of a sudden she was able to tell people that she loved them. This was not possible before. “I wanted to tell everybody whom I was upset with, that I was sorry. They thought I had totally lost it. I did not know what was happening to me because I started crying a lot. I was even able to raise my hands in church! On that day there was something in my heart, something here in my chest that had to come out. I knew I was very thirsty for something and I knew my thirst was quenched by Someone.” Judith spent the day in tears and attended all three church services. When she moved to Johannesburg she was introduced to Rhema and right away she just felt she belonged. Here she met brother Lionel Petersen who has helped her through times “when God seemed far away”. She has one CD on the shelves and another in the pipeline. Judith admits it is a challenge being a single mom with such a busy life. She has three children aged 3, 12 and 13. She encourages single mothers to love their children even more, because it is difficult with such a busy life. “I always tell my kids to say thank you for the food they eat and to say thank you for their lives. To say thank you for a day without any pain and to thank the Lord that they know Him.” Her message to young singers is to follow their dreams and if they have not met Christ, she urges them to take the trouble to meet Him. “Being a Christian is beautiful.”
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has always has been his great love. “In those days the guys never really focussed on fellowship or on the Word to grow.” While on many tours, the young singer’s transport manager passed his own Bible School material on to Lionel, who read every book that came his way. One that grabbed his attention by the late Kenneth Hagan titled “The Authority of the Believer” convinced him to go to church.
"VUVNO Lionel Petersen “I believe the gift I was given is not a temporal gift, but an eternal one.”
Lionel is expecting a wine press and threshing floor experience in his life.
“I received a prophetic word to this extent. I was very careful about receiving prophetic words in my life, but I fasted and prayed with a friend and when this friend, who could not sing a straight note, sang this prophesy beautifully, I recognised it as a real and honest prophesy from God”. The prophecy said the following: ‘God says you are like a vase that is all cracked. But God says He is not going to cover the cracks, He is going to break the vase and when it is broken, He is going to start again from scratch.’ At this stage he is neither wine nor bread. He feels more like a grape being carted to the wine press and about to be pressed, so that the juice of God’s glory can come out. “My whole destiny is still lying ahead of me as to what God wants to do in my life. I believe that is how God works. I am on the way, but I think the fruit is still a little green.” Talking with such conviction is singer Lionel Petersen, Worship Leader of Rhema Bible Church in Randburg. Lionel and his wife Val have been together 33 years and they have two sons. He is a qualified glass blower who specialised in laboratory and scientific equipment.
As a young singer with a signature Afro, who wooed audiences with his great voice and his charming good looks, he sang everything from soul to rock. He sold thousands of records, was the centre of attraction, a star. Lionel says he was born again at the age of 16, and after that, music
One Sunday evening he visited Rhema. “I walked into the service and I thought that these people were all nuts. The music was extremely loud. Everyone was singing or talking in a different language. I thought man, I’ve got to get out of here. This is not a church!” As he was about to get up and walk out pastor Ray McCauley said: “You’re 35 years old, you’re in this place, you want to give your heart to the Lord, wait, we’re not at that place yet.” “I believe that all through the ‘show business’ period of my life and the whole fame thing, God’s hand was upon me.” Lionel has been in full-time ministry for the past 12 years. “My time at Rhema has been a time of training, a place where I have come to maturity. I will understand the reason for being crushed as a grape. If you know that God is doing it, then you know that it is acceptable, because God never does anything without a reason or a purpose. “In the old system he did not like the idea of being ‘coloured’. But God told him he was going to use him as a ladder between the colours of white and black. To Lionel being a bridge has become a place of privilege where he is able to bring both black and white to Christ. He believes God taught him a principle on how to make a difference. “Believe it or not, what you do has an effect. The person that you communicate with may just become the president of this country one day or a person of influence!” He would like to complete his destiny before he dies. He says God’s vision for his life frightens him. He can only complete it a day at a time. At night he goes to bed thanking God for a good rest and beautiful day. “Thank you for tomorrow in which I can magnify You and give You honour.” He says: “Singing is such a passion that I even find it difficult to do a straightforward 45-minute teaching without singing. It just drives me. This may just be the only means of expressing how I really feel. In my music I tend to focus on eternal things. Lionel used his breath for glass blowing but now breathes to worship!
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