FHL It’s a LOVE thing…
“And now these three remain; Faith, Hope and Love. But the greatest of these is Love” 1 Cor 13:13
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CONTENTS FHL Editorial Phone 082 497 1419 433 Godavari Street Lenasia Editor Shoana Padayachee email@example.com Editors PA Jane Doe firstname.lastname@example.org Assistant Editor Mary Joe email@example.com Promotions Josephine Moodley firstname.lastname@example.org
ENCOURAGEMENT 6 Title of first real life story 9 A Pastors Piece 12 Title of second real life story GROWING 10 Relationships Q&A 11 Christian Coach answers 22 Your walk with Christ 25 Reviews
Contributors Photography Shaun Moodley Art Director Damien Padayachee Advertising Deenash Singh Phone 011 852 1932 Deenash@gmail.com Branch Manager Shantell Singh Phone 011 852 1932 Shantell@gmail.com Sales Manager Ronell Michael Phone 082 123 4568 email@example.com
FOOD FOR THOUGHT 13 Verse of the month 18 Bible Verse pull-out Calendar 27 Inspiring Article 32 Backpage final thought KIDS IN CHRIST 15 Colour in story 16 Puzzles and more 17 Bible story and Trivia 20 Lessons for the month YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS 23 You’ve Spoken 30 What’s happening Bible Verse of the Month “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of Power and of Love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
Camileâ€™s Marathon to Christ My name is Camile and I have been a Christian since I was 12 years old. At the age of 14, my mom left to live at another parish and I was left to practically take care of myself through high school. I made a choice to remain where I was, close to family and friends who could help me, since we are from a poor family. My faith wandered because of the lack of guidance, and though I made it through high school, I got pregnant at 18. My heart was always with Christ and living in the world as a sinner was never a desire of mine, so I returned to Christ after the birth of my child. My mother returned, but I was filled with bitterness and unforgiveness which got the better of me. I kept on struggling with my Christianity, not having a true relationship with Christ and found myself back into fornication again. I remember crying and crying and asking God to show me what my purpose was and to refill me back with his Holy Spirit. I was at a state of drought and dryness in my Christian walk. Finding My Way Back to Christ Around this time, the local church which had been struggling, received a new pastor. He was planning a Christmas production and because I love drama, I asked to be a part of it. I had no idea that this would be my way back to Christ and a totally sold out life. During the production I found myself changing some old ways, breaking off relationships, praying more, and it was then that God revealed his purpose to me. I would print documents about the Christmas production, make phone calls, and ensure that all went well. In the end, the production was a success and my pastor asked me to be the church secretary and a member of the church planning committee. I know that I had been baptized for years, but never before had I felt the calling of God like this. I am totally sold out and committed. It's been almost a year and I have no taste for the sinful things of this world. My life has now been surrounded with only the decision to work for God and to build his kingdom. Christianity is a Marathon
It's amazing when you have sinned all of your life, but then one encounter with God can change your entire future. I now serve as the Youth President and County Secretary. It's not I, but Jesus Christ who lives within me. I've learned that Christianity is a marathon rather than a 100-meter race, but with the strength of Christ, I know I will make it through. To God be the glory, great things he has done!
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IT BEGINS WITH YOU Building successfully will depend whether we have made wise or foolish choices. 2 Corinthians 13:5 - Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?-unless indeed you are disqualified. Isaiah 44:3 - For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, And floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, And My blessing on your offspring. 1. Promise God wants His children to enjoy His promises. He will pour out His promises to those who are thirsty If you are thirsty for healing, he will pour out healing. If you are thirsty for provision, he will pour out provision. 2. Provision Isaiah 44:3 - For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, And floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, And My blessing on your offspring. It begins with you becoming thirsty and results in it flowing onto others. We become the source of blessings for others. We make a difference to others when we place a demand on God. We attract the water by our desire and thirst. God does not give His treasure to anyone who does not want them. When Paul met the Lord, He was filled to overflowing and it resulted in cities being turned upside down for God. 3. Protection Isaiah 44:3 - For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, And floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, And My blessing on your offspring. It begins with you and the river continues to flow over your family. We are the source of success for our children and grandchildren. 4. Power Acts 1:8 - But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. Acts 2;38-39 - Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call." It begins with you and results in power. Water represents Godâ€™s Spirit and defines His power. Power: to rule, over demonic forces, over sickness, over death, to obtain wealth, over sin, over communities, to create, to succeed, to witness to others. 5. Peace Genesis 26:18-22 - And Isaac dug again the wells of water which they had dug in the days of Abraham his father, for the Philistines had stopped them up after the death of Abraham. He called them by the names which his father had called them. Also Isaac's servants dug in the valley, and found a well of running water there. But the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac's herdsmen, saying, "The water is ours." So he called the name of the well Esek, because they quarreled with him. Then they dug another well, and they quarreled over that one also. So he called its name Sitnah. And he moved from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it. So he called its name Rehoboth, because he said, "For now the LORD has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land." God has called us to peace. Peace is a place called Rehoboth.
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Tammy's Rock Bottom Matthew 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (NIV) As I openly share my testimony, I pray those who are struggling in their daily lives will find peace and comfort. I also hope my testimony will bring inspiration and hope to anyone who has slipped away from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Growing Up in a Christian Home I want to express my appreciation to my parents and grandparents for taking me to church when I was a child. I grew up in a Christian home, both parents and grandparents are saved by God's wonderful grace (my grandfather was a Baptist preacher). I was saved and baptized when I was 10 years old at Calvary Baptist Church in Center Point, Alabama. My parents provided me with the utmost Christian atmosphere at home and also allowed me to attend a Christian school. They have always been a wonderful influence in my life. When I was 15, I attended a revival with Brother Tim Riley, also at Calvary. Brother Riley preached a "Hell-Fire and Brimstone" message. That night, I gave my heart to Jesus once again, to clear all doubts. I wanted to make sure I had a clear understanding of what it truly meant to be saved. I was also re-baptized. Slipping Away In my early 20s, I had begun slipping away from my heavenly Father. My grandmother had fallen and broken her hip and was placed in a rehabilitation clinic. She passed away and was never brought home. I could not understand why the Lord had taken her from me. She was my inspiration and we were very close. I realized later that she was afraid to be put in a nursing home and preferred to go home to be with the Lord. I was told as she was going to sleep she looked up and smiled as if she were seeing Jesus, and then died peacefully in her sleep. Throughout my 20s and 30s, I fell deep in sin, blaming God for taking my Grandma, and for all the curve balls thrown my way. My God never turned his back on me and I knew he was watching over me. I felt his presence especially when I would go to church (although, I only went for my parents' sake). God was tapping on my shoulder during every service, making it very hard for me to sit through the invitations, for I knew I had betrayed him. I could hear my Grandma singing next to me, "I Surrender All," and "Come Home, Come Home." Eventually I stopped going to church other than on Christmas, Easter, Mother's Day, and Father's Day so I would not feel so pressured and emotional. I still was not able to accept why the Lord had taken my Grandma. Times of Turmoil When I turned 30, I married a man who loved to party and have a good time. However, God was not the center of his world or mine at the time. The marriage was good in the beginning, but turned to complete turmoil. We thought about having children, we tried to conceive, but it never happened. We tried and tried to have children until it became more of a chore than an intimate experience. Then we went through the silent "blame," wondering who was at fault ... is it him, is it me? Why won't God let us have a child? After all, so many people in the world have unwanted babies. Teenagers have babies and give them up for adoption ... I would ask, "Why, Lord, Why? This cannot be happening. I am an only child and I owe my parents the privilege of being grandparents." My husband and I grew more and more distant until he sought love elsewhere. Shortly thereafter, our marriage ended in divorce.
Hitting Rock Bottom I was filled with dismay. I was ashamed, embarrassed, and felt as though my world had collapsed. I thought I was a complete failure. Sadly, I blamed my heavenly Father. I began drinking more and more to fill the void. The hardest thing I have ever had to do was to call my grandfather and tell him my marriage had ended. My grandfather gave me comfort by quoting Scripture and telling me everything would be all right and that he loved me so much. For several years, I became totally rotten and hurt my parents. I continued drinking and hanging out in bars and clubs. My parents and grandfather continued to pray for me through all my struggles. I finally realized when I hit rock bottom that God had not turned his back on me; it was I that had walked away from him. God was there all the time, patiently waiting on my return. One Day at a Time By this point in my life, I was done with dating, and just lived one day at a time hanging out with friends. One day, an old friend called me out of the blue and said she had tickets to a Kenny Chesney concert. She asked if I would like to join her. I had a great evening of fun with her and her boyfriend in Birmingham, Alabama at the concert. Little to my knowledge, her boyfriend had asked a co-worker to come over to their house after the concert to meet me. Guess what? God works in mysterious ways. That co-worker is now my husband. In 2010, my husband and I joined Maple Hill Baptist Church in Ardmore, Alabama, and have committed our marriage and ourselves to the Lord. I realized that I had "head knowledge," meaning I could quote Scripture, but I didn't have "heart knowledge," which would allow me to believe and apply the Scriptures to my life. Seeking God First Praise the Lord for allowing me to go through all the rough times in order to finally have peace and understanding. God has never left me or forsaken me. Rather, he has a plan for me. He always has. By seeking God first, and putting him first, he has truly blessed my marriage and filled my void with unconditional love. I realize now it was not God's plan for me to have children in my first marriage, but I don't know why I was not allowed to have children at all. That will be a question (along with many others) to ask him when I get to heaven. However, the Lord has blessed me with two beautiful step-children and a grand baby on the way. God's love and grace is truly amazing. Remember, God has a special purpose for everything that happens in our lives. I believe if we knew the answers beforehand, we would not be able to handle it. God has a plan for each of us. No matter what you have done, where you have been, what you are going through, Jesus cares. He loves, forgives, and most importantly, he saves.
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by Rhonda Clark A crumpled, dirty tissue was pressed to Marisol's lips. Her head was swimming and her stomach churning as the jeep she was riding in navigated the pothole and dip ridden dirt trail the locals referred to as a road. She thought the contents of her insides would be released any minute as the jeep hit another rut and almost tossed her out. Tears filled her eyes as the taste of bile burned her throat. Why, oh, why had her daughter moved here? Once steady, she gripped the roll bar and pulled herself forward, "Is it much further?" she yelled over the droning engine. The robust driver forced the stick shift into second, and called over his shoulder, "A couple of more miles." Marisol's eyes rolled in rhythm with her stomach; she wasn't sure how much more she could take. She had only been in this vehicle for a couple of hours, but she had been traveling through equatorial South America for almost a day. Her skin was sticky with sweat which facilitated the Columbian dust, dirt and grime in clinging to her body and matting her hair to her head. As she wiped a fat drop of sweat from her eyebrow she wondered why Sarah and John had picked this isolated part of the world to minister. Her mind recalled the last face to face conversation she'd had with Sarah. ***** "But, mama, these are the people who need us the most," a bright-eyed Sarah explained with a broad smile. "Don't you want to see others come to know Jesus?" Pulling baby Annabeth closer to her chest, Marisol replied with a scowl, "I don't see why you can't do that missionary thing closer to home. Why can't John just go be pastor of a church?" Sarah let out a loud breath, "He will be. He'll be starting a church for this people group in Columbia." "People group, humph," Marisol huffed, "There are plenty of people groups here in the states that need to be reached, but you have to go to a God forsaken place where I need a passport and vaccinations to get in." Gritting her teeth Sarah replied, "We're going because that's where God has called us to go." The ladies fell silent for a moment. They both stared at little Annabeth as Marisol clutched her to her bosom. After several minutes, Sarah broke the silence. She caressed the tuft of down on her baby's head. In a hushed tone she said, "I know you're going to miss the baby, but you can come and visit anytime. There's also internet in the neighboring village. We can e-mail each other, and I'll send you pictures as often as I can." Tears filled Marisol's eyes. With her bottom lip quivering, she answered, "Annabeth isn't my only baby I'll miss." ***** The jeep came to a screeching halt. Marisol looked around, but no village could be seen. They were in a small clearing surrounded by trees; a Spanish hymn could be heard wafting on the breeze. "Where are we?" she asked. "Sarah told me to bring you here. Their church is having a special service at the lake."
Still feeling a bit inconvenienced, but grateful to be out of the rocking jeep, Marisol followed the driver down a well worn foot path through the trees in the direction of the singing. She ducked under a tree branch and stepped into a breath taking view. A still lake that seemed to be covered in glass cast a perfect reflection of the trees encircling the small body of water. She looked down the hill and past the crowd. Not far off shore, John was standing with two dozen dark skinned, smiling people. Sarah spotted her mother. She grabbed up Annabeth and made her way through the throng of people. "Mama, you made it," she cried, embracing her mother. Tears filled Marisol's eyes as she took a jabbering Annabeth from Sarah's arms. Looking around, she asked, "What's all this?" Full of excitement, Sarah, answered, "This is our baptism service. Look at all the new believers." Casting her gaze back to the lake Marisol understood Sarah and John's calling.
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FINAL THOUGHTS BACKPAGE A story is told about a soldier who was finally coming home after having fought in Vietnam. He called his parents from San Francisco. “Mom and Dad, I’m coming home, but I’ve got a favor to ask. I have a friend I’d like to bring with me.” “Sure,” they replied, “we’d love to meet him.” “There’s something you should know the son continued, “he was hurt pretty badly in the fighting. He stepped on a land mined and lost an arm and a leg. He has nowhere else to go, and I want him to come live with us.” “I’m sorry to hear that, son. Maybe we can help him find somewhere to live.” “No, Mom and Dad, I want him to live with us.” “Son,” said the father, “you don’t know what you’re asking. Someone with such a handicap would be a terrible burden on us. We have our own lives to live, and we can’t let something like this interfere with our lives. I think you should just come home and forget about this guy. He’ll find a way to live on his own.” At that point, the son hung up the phone. The parents heard nothing more from him. A few days later, however, they received a call from the San Francisco police. Their son had died after falling from a building, they were told. The police believed it was suicide. The grief-stricken parents flew to San Francisco and were taken to the city morgue to identify the body of their son. They recognized him, but to their horror they also discovered something they didn’t know, their son had only one arm and one leg. The parents in this story are like many of us. We find it easy to love those who are good-looking or fun to have around, but we don’t like people who inconvenience us or make us feel uncomfortable. We would rather stay away from people who aren’t as healthy, beautiful, or smart as we are. Thankfully, there’s someone who won’t treat us that way. Someone who loves us with an unconditional love that welcomes us into the forever family, regardless of how messed up we are. Tonight, before you tuck yourself in for the night, say a little prayer that God will give you the strength you need to accept people as they are, and to help us all be more understanding of those who are different from us!!! There’s a miracle called -Friendship- that dwells in the heart. You don’t know how it happens or when it gets started. But you know the special lift It always brings and you realize that Friendship Is God’s most precious gift! Friends are a very rare jewel, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share a word of praise, and they always want to open their hearts to us.