WAITING FOR MR RIGHT? The Challenge of Being Single SEX, DRUGS & REDEMPTION “I married my dealer & we became pastors” FROM TELE-SALES TO DIRECTOR One Woman’s Reliance on God for Business Success OUR GUIDE TO TOURING THE HOLY LAND
ERNIE SMITH DRAWING US CLOSER Music, ministry, miscarriage and an authentic walk with Jesus
THE CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE
LOVE THE MAGICAL MARVELS OF TRAVEL Imagine a private tour of the Vatican, followed by an exclusive dinner in the Ethnological Museum. Or exploring modern Israel with the people who know it best – the locals. Our Religious Experiences are the best way to enjoy meaningful travel and explore your faith, immersed in history. We take care of every little detail so you don’t have to worry about a thing. Simply unwind and enjoy the journey. GO GUIDED AND EXPERIENCE MORE. Find more inspiration: www.trafalgar.com #SimplyTrafalgar
Rome Explorer – 8 days – The Vatican
AUGUST – NOVEMBER 2017
ON THE COVER
COVER STORIES 14 42 38 48 28
Ernie Smith: Drawing Us Closer Waiting for Mr Right? Sex, Drugs and Redemption From Tele-Sales to Director Our Guide to Touring the Holy Land
REGULARS 3 Contributors 5 Publisher’s Note 7 Editor’s Note 8 What’s Trending 35 Worship 40 Pastoral Interview 42 Celebrating Singles 44 Marriage 52 Parenting 60 Health 62 Youth 63 Kids 64 Movies 66 Books 68 Local News 70 International News 72 The Persecuted Church
Ernie Smith is a musical force to be reckoned with. As an award-winning South African contemporary jazz icon, he continues to place Africa on the map through powerful song and an unwavering faith in Christ. Read more about how Ernie draws people closer to God on pages 14 – 17.
GROWTH 10 11 12 25 27 35 46 56
How to Lead Someone to Christ 12 Powerful Verses to Pray Over Our Children What Does It Mean to Be Christian? Leading to Succeed Money Matters A Lifestyle of Worship Godly Women Arise Your Guide to a Last Will and Testament
SPECIAL FEATURES 18 22 28 30 32 36 38 40 47 48 50 54
Why is Christian Education Important? Glorious Getaways Testing Tours to the Holy Land Walking Where Jesus Walked Lessons From the Back of a Tandem Land of Freedom Sex, Drugs and Redemption Love at the Core Overcoming Bulimia Business Success Begins With Christ Clothed In Strength Will You Open Your Home?
GIVEAWAYS 25 27
John Maxwell Book Hamper Write to Us and Win
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Meet some of our mag contributors. Like you and I, these are just ordinary Christians living extraordinary lives for Jesus. Want to write for us? Get in touch. Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will happily send you our writer’s guidelines. PUBLISHER WeServe Media (Pty) Ltd DIRECTOR AND SALES Juanita Fortuin MANAGING EDITOR Tamsyn Cornelius ADVERTISING SALES Leeroy Booysen SENIOR DESIGNER Fiona Milligan GRAPHIC DESIGNER Lu-kay Sapepa CONTACT DETAILS GENERAL: email@example.com SALES: firstname.lastname@example.org SUBSCRIBE: email@example.com TEL: 081 514 5992 WEBSITE: www.weservegroup.co.za CONTRIBUTORS John Atkinson, Leeroy Booysen, Samantha Booysen, Lindie Cook, Angus Cornelius, Tamsyn Cornelius, Jenny Cupido, Shaveh Feder, Juanita Fortuin, Rona Miller, Jenna Richards, Cindy Schroeder, Robyn Tichauer, Desray Van Rensburg. WRITE TO US The Christian Lifestyle Magazine welcomes manuscripts for articles, but only after the author has first consulted with the editor via email with a short description and article brief. We will contact you if we are interested in the article. WeServe Media retains the right to publish articles as per our selection process. Writer’s guidelines are available upon request. The views expressed in articles and letters are the responsibility of the respective authors and not necessarily the views of WeServe Media and The Christian Lifestyle.
JENNY CUPIDO, AGE 30 Born in the UK to American missionaries, Jenny grew up on the road for Jesus planting churches in both the UK and USA. Married to a South African at 19, Jenny now lives in Surrey, England with her husband and four children. “I am most passionate about encouraging people to live out their full potential in Christ. We were all created with a purpose and beautiful plan… make each day count.” Jenny loves coffee the way most people love chocolate. She’s a lipstick junkie and gets super excited about anything breakfast related. “Oh yeah, I’m THAT morning person.” LEEROY BOOYSEN, AGE 29 Leeroy is the middle child of five siblings who grew up in Bontehewel, Cape Town. In 2004, they moved to the quieter neighbourhood of Bridgetown where he currently resides. Leeroy’s pride and joy is his 2-year-old, Zinedine. “I am very passionate about football… In the past, probably too passionate to the point where it became an Idol but thank God for deliverance. I still love football but I can proudly say I’m no longer a fanatic.” Leeroy now uses his love for football to help develop the next generation and recently started to coach an under-10 football team. “It is very rewarding and I’m enjoying every moment of it.” SHAVEH FEDER, AGE 34 Born in Gweru, Zimbabwe, Shaveh gave her life to Jesus at age 6. Today she lives in Cape Town with her musical hubby, Tim Feder. Together they have served the church as leaders, pastors and lately – ministry entrepreneurs; all while raising and home educating their three children. “I love throwing my full energy into my husband and children physically, emotionally and spiritually.” Whenever you see Shaveh, she is wearing two different earrings. She also talks in her sleep when extremely tired. “Much to my light sleeping husband’s dismay!” ANGUS CORNELIUS, AGE 34 Angus is a passionate extrovert, accountant and family man living in Brackenfell. With two kids, an editor wife and a crazy Daschund named Cooper, his heart is full and his hands are always eager to tackle toddler messes and play time. “I am passionate about topics that are relevant to youth and seeing young people come into a meaningful relationship with Christ.” Angus started running in his 30’s and recently completed his first half marathon. He has now set himself a challenge to complete 1000km on the road for 2017. “If you can believe it – you can do it!” THE CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE
GOD OF THE IMPOSSIBLE In December 2014, while I worked at a media firm filled with an array of industry publications, a voice whispered from within: “One publication is missing from this pile… none of these publications glorify Me”. The voice continued: “Get ready for a new assignment – a Christian publication which you will oversee and do as I direct.” I was very excited but nervous at the same time. What do I know about publishing a magazine… I had only worked for six months in the field. I was not qualified to do this. But the Lord reminded me that He alone qualifies the called. At the end of 2014, the sweet Holy Spirit began to echo 1 Corinthians 2 verse 9 in my mind. “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived and neither has it entered into the heart of man what God has instore for me.” I immediately knew this was it! The Christian publication! Year after year I speedily equipped myself for the assignment, gaining the necessary experience and engaging with some self-education. I was on a mission and I knew without a shadow of a doubt that God wanted me to do this. I received confirmation above confirmation.
In 2016, the Lord placed the CEO of Khwezi Media along my path. Anele Kamisa had 15 years of publishing experience. I shared my story with her and she motivated me to pursue this path. Was that a co-incidence? I think not. Divine intervention! I had many questions and she graciously helped to answer each of them. WeServe Media (Pty) Ltd finally launched in January 2017. So many obstacles, challenges and opposition stared right at us. But who knows that if something is a God initiative, make no mistake the Lord will make it happen. He is the God of the impossible. At WeServe we glorify God in every possible way. We believe in the Trinity, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. We value people and we celebrate Christian excellence. Our vision is to create employment opportunities and to build each other’s dreams by offering a helping hand. We serve leaders and each day we serve by learning, and learn by serving. In our launch issue (as our Managing Editor, Tamsyn Cornelius often says) we show off ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
This is such a humbling yet powerful project that God has entrusted us to manage. Each story in this issue plays a unique role. We are grateful to every contributor and advertiser. I am grateful to God for placing an amazing team alongside me (catch them on the contributors’ page). Without the arms, legs, ears and nose, our bodies cannot quite function. Each part of the body matters. You matter. Let’s unite and boast in this Christianity we have in our Lord. Let’s stand strong as we live out the Christian lifestyle by serving others. May the Lord bless you as you engage with our launch issue of The Christian Lifestyle magazine. Founder, Juanita Fortuin
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RUN THIS RACE WITH US…
“I press on toward the goal for the
(page 38). Thinking of adopting or foster
prize of the upward call of God in Christ
care? There is such a huge need for
Jesus,” (Philippians 3;14).
Christians to open their homes (page
At the start of a race, all you can do is hope that your training and hard work pay off. You take a deep breath and then, on your marks, get set and GO! And just like that, we are off to a great start with the launch of our all new Christian Lifestyle magazine. We have been blessed out of our running shoes with all the amazing testimonies, impactful stories and teachings from believers around the world. We hope you too will feel edified and uplifted after reading this magazine and will continue to make your mark for Christ in your community. We are so excited to share with you our cover story featuring the internationally acclaimed muso, Ernie Smith, who shares a real faith for music, ministry and drawing people into a deeper relationship with God (page 14). Be encouraged by stories of true
54). And if you are a parent, read why missions actually start in your own home (page 52). This magazine is for you – whether you are a singleton trying to navigate your Christian walk (page 42); one on the verge of marriage (page 44); a multitasking woman running a household and maintaining a career (page 48); a father leading his family through faith (page 25); a student, teacher, child or foster parent… here we have something to impact you in all areas of life. Be blessed as you turn the pages and remember to write to us if you too, have a powerful testimony to share. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. As for me – I am just a vessel being used to carry a message on behalf of my Father. I am a mom of two beautiful children (Eden and Hudson); I am a wife;
determination and unwavering faith
an entrepreneur; a writer and editor;
in Christ. From a mom who overcame
and a fellow believer, trusting God for
bulimia (page 47), to a drug addict that
change in this nation.
married her dealer and now together
Tamsyn Cornelius, Managing Editor
head up a church as a pastoral couple
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Writing Editing Proofreading Customised CV Design
TAMSYN CORNELIUS 083 738 8376 | email@example.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/tceditorial THE CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE
YOUR ONE-STOP SOURCE FOR ALL THINGS CURRENTLY TRENDING ON SOCIAL MEDIA TO IMPACT YOUR DAILY WALK WITH CHRIST.
#CHRISTIANSOFINFLUENCEâ&#x20AC;Ś Can you really use your social media pages to promote the Gospel? Why not! Check out these phenomenal men and women making their mark for Christ online and through social networks and follow along to stay informed and encouraged! @Lecrae For some HipHopspiration follow the Grammy award winner Lecrae for nuggets of wisdom, inspiration, and humour. He has over 1 million Insta followers and we love his spunk and unapologetic approach to the Gospel. @angusbuchan As a Christian revival evangelist @angusbuchan and Shalom Ministries recently hosted one of the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s biggest National Day of Prayer events in Bloemfontein which drew crowds of over 1 million people who travelled from around the nation to pray and seek God. @louiegiglio We love following the personal account of @louiegiglio from Passion City Church, USA. Louie is one of those down-to-earth pastors with a mission to impact young people from across the globe with the authentic word of God. You can catch some of his free teachings and videos on his channel at www.godtube.com/louie-giglio/. @priscillashirer Priscilla Shirer is a world-renowned New York Times best-selling Christian author and motivational speaker. She is also a Bible teacher who starred in the Box Office number-one film War Room. Follow her on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.
#STAY CONNECTED… Need inspiration for daily living? Follow these social media accounts and bloggers to get your daily dose of edification, Christian news and articles for a full faith-lift.
THE NARROW GATEWAY
www.thenarrowgateway.com We love this global platform geared to trigger Christians to think, live and breathe the authentic “God-life” that is found when you enter by “the narrow way” (Matthew 7:13-14). Founded by Toyin Oladiran, a writer, mentor, life coach and counsellor, The Narrow Gateway provides creative shows and resources for Christians to enhance their intentional and passionate pursuit of the full and unadulterated truth of the Gospel.
www.christianitytoday.com Christianity Today provides thoughtful, biblical perspectives on theology, church, ministry, and culture on the official site. News is updated daily and you will find a host of articles and topics relevant to Christians around the globe.
Instagram: @proverbsdaily For a Proverb a day, follow @proverbsdaily on Instagram for creative proverbial images illustrating lasting biblical truths. Here you will find biblical inspiration with verses, quotes and anything relevant to the truth of the Word.
www.ibelieve.com The purpose of iBelieve. com is to help women wrestle with the deeper issues of how their faith relates to the world around them. With an emphasis on personal experiences, here you will find articles and info relevant to your everyday walk with Christ, from health and beauty to relationships, food and home.
These hashtags got South Africans talking over the last few months. Keep praying for the nation as we seek God’s will for our land.
Over the past few months South Africans quickly took to social media to show their disdain for the increased violence and atrocities committed against women in our country. The controversial hashtag fast took centre stage to raise awareness for the plight of women – many victimised, abused and killed, due to their gender. #menaretrash is an effort to hear the rising voices of South African women in a struggle to reclaim their rightful role as mothers, wives, sisters and powerful role models in society.
With so many political shifts and economic challenges arising in South Africa over the past few months, locals joined forces to protest and took to the streets as a united front earlier this year to stand up for the rights of the South African public. #SAUnites started to trend on social media as people reacted in a move to unite against corruption.
THE CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE
LEAD SOMEONE TO CHRIST The following script has been used the world over to assist believers in praying for, and leading others to the Cross. Here’s what you need to say: Has anyone ever told you that God loves you and that He has a wonderful plan for your life? I have a real quick, but important question to ask you. If you were to die this very second, do you know for sure, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you would go to Heaven? [If “Yes”—Great, why would you say “Yes”? (If they respond with anything but “I have Jesus in my heart” or something similar to that, proceed with script) or “No” or “I hope so” proceed with script.] Let me quickly share with you what the Holy Bible reads. It reads “for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” and “for the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”. The Bible also reads, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”. And you’re a “whosoever” right? Of course you are; all of us are. I’m going to say a quick prayer for you. Lord, bless (FILL IN NAME) and his/her family with long and healthy lives. Jesus, make Yourself real to him/her and do a quick work in his/ her heart. If (fill in name) has not received Jesus Christ as his/her Lord
and Saviour, I pray he/she will do so now. (Fill in name), if you would like to receive the gift that God has for you today, say this after me with your heart and lips out loud. Dear Lord Jesus, come into my heart. Forgive me of my sin. Wash me and cleanse me. Set me free. Jesus, thank You that You died for me. I believe that You are risen from the dead and that You’re coming back again for me. Fill me with the Holy Spirit. Give me a passion for the lost, a hunger for the things of God and a holy boldness to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. I’m saved; I’m born again, I’m forgiven and I’m on my way to Heaven because I have Jesus in my heart. As a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I tell you today that all of your sins are forgiven. Always remember to run to God and not from God because He loves you and has a great plan for your life. [Invite them to your church and get follow up info: name, address, and phone number.] This Script was produced by Revival Ministries International. See www.revival.com.
POWERFUL VERSES TO PRAY OVER OUR CHILDREN You’ll find that some of your best parenting happens when you’re humbly bent down on your knees. Thanks to the faithful moms at www.club31women.com, here are 12 prayers to help you get started. 1. STRENGTH Pray that God gives them the strength to do what they need to do each day. “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me,” (Philippians 4:13).
2. COURAGE Pray that they will be brave as they face the challenges that are before them. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9).
3. PEACE Ask that their hearts will be calm and peaceful as they go through their day and in their sleep at night. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God,” (Philippians 4:6).
4. PROVISION Ask God to provide for all that they need – for stamina, spirit, and finances – for each day. “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 4:19).
5. DIRECTION Pray that the Lord will lead them as they begin to make more and more decisions as they get older. “Trust in the Lord with all your
heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths,” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
is good and right.
Pray that they will grow in wisdom and understanding. That they’ll be more than “smart” and embrace what
Ask that God keeps them safe in this increasingly unsafe world. That He will protect them from harm and wickedness. “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust,” (Psalm 91:1-2).
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him
“May the God of hope fill you with all
Pray that God fills them with the kind of joy that can only come from Him. “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence, there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore,” (Psalm 16:11).
8. COMPASSION Pray that they will show compassion on those in need and who have less than they do. “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32).
9. JUSTICE Ask God to give them a sense of justice – to stand up for what is right and to defend the weak. “Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.” (Isaiah 1:17).
ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him,” (James 1:5).
11. HOPE Ask God to give them the hope that comes from above – the kind that far exceeds what we have in the here and now. joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope,” (Romans 15:13).
12. LOVE Pray that our children are filled with the love of God. That they will know how deeply they are loved, and that love will overflow onto others. “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends,” (2 Corinthians 13). Want to hear one more unexpected blessing of praying these things for our children? We can pray the same requests for ourselves. THE CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A CHRISTIAN? One young man’s reflections on faith, sin and salvation in Christ. By Leeroy Booysen The dictionary definition of the word ‘Christian’ is “follower or disciple of Jesus Christ.” Profoundly simple. Yet this definition raises many questions regarding who and what we profess to be as Christians. As a ‘follower’, are we not also called to obey? In Luke 6:46, Jesus Himself says, “So why do you keep calling me Lord, Lord when you do not do what I say? I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching and then follows it”. The Bible says that good works alone will not make us acceptable to God. In other words, an individual can live to a high moral standard, give money to feed the poor, attend church, and serve their neighbours, and yet not be a Christ-follower. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast,” (Ephesians 2: 8-9). And in the same way, we cannot have faith in Jesus without doing good works. “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to 12
“SALVATION IS FOUND IN JESUS CHRIST ALONE” them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also, faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead,” (James 2:14-17). In many ways, this is one of the many conundrums of the Christian faith. Despite what many believe, we are not born Christian. We become Christian when we repent (turn away from our sinful lives) and accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, entering a personal relationship with Him and believing that He has in fact paid the ultimate price for our sin on the cross. Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the Kingdom of God unless they are born again,” (John 3:3). The key here is that we need to make that mindful decision to turn away from sin. "Repent, and let every one of you be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of
the Holy Spirit," (Acts 2:38). Society has fooled many into the belief that sin is normal and acceptable. We may think that our little white lies are okay. Society may agree that lust and sex before marriage is acceptable. And yet, we may be quick to judge those we deem less worthy than ourselves – the rapists, the murderers and adulterers. Yet what makes my sin better than yours? When we encounter Christ, we are compelled to turn from our wickedness – whether our sin is that little white lie or a predetermined act of murder. For we all fall short of the glory of God and our sin is not ranked according to who is more, or less, worthy of His grace. Sadly, church will not save you. Your mother or father will not save you. Your good works will not save you. Salvation is found in Jesus Christ alone. “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men and that is Jesus Christ,” (1 Timothy 2:5). Will you be ready when Jesus returns? If you are reading this, it’s not too late for you or I. Let us turn our eyes away from the darkness and toward the light which is salvation in Jesus alone.
PHOTOGRAPHY GRAPHIC DESIGN WRITING
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Ernie Smith is a musical force to be reckoned with. As an award-winning South African contemporary jazz icon, he continues to place Africa on the map through powerful song and an unwavering faith in Christ. By Tamsyn Cornelius
We recently had the privilege of interviewing Ernie Smith who shares enthusiastically about his faith, family life and a deep desire to draw people closer to God. As a musician, Ernie continues to influence global audiences with his innovative songs and easygoing African Jazz genre. Not only is he an accomplished vocalist, but Ernie is equally comfortable behind an array of instruments, from the guitar and keyboard to the bass guitar and drums. It is this dedication to his art that has earned him an array of musical awards and international recognition.
THE EARLY YEARS Growing up in Wentworth, Durban, Ernie was the youngest of nine siblings in the Smith household. “I had an incredible childhood amidst so much love from my parents and siblings,” Ernie explains. “I am the last of nine children, so you can imagine me being spoilt and picked on at the same time!” In many ways, Ernie’s solid family life shielded him from the reality of gangsterism and drugs that had ravished many homes in their neighbourhood of Wentworth, Durban. “Wentworth, during my childhood years, was predominantly a coloured township filled with the bustling of energetic, youthful innocence and the always eluding hostility of emerging gangs from the different areas,” Ernie begins. “The air was always littered with the gas smells released from the 'all too near’ oil refinery about 200 meters from my house, and the incessant sounds of airplanes flying over our heads from Durban’s airport.” And yet, music had always been
“THE FIRST TIME I WAS EXPOSED TO LIVE MUSIC WAS IN CHURCH AND OH… SOMETHING IN ME LEAPT AND I FELT DRAWN TO IT!” a part of his life, flowing from one generation to the next. “My mother was an avid lover of all things musical and particularly loved playing music by Jim Reeves, Dolly Parton and Simon Mahlathini amongst others. She said she used to sing in her early life but never did so professionally or seriously. My sisters however did so in church, particularly my sisters Bernie, Odette and Imelda – all have since passed on,” he adds.
MEETING JESUS Church was the predominant influence that drew Ernie into a life of music. “I started playing music because I became a Christian. The first time I was exposed to live music was in Church and oh… something in me leapt and I felt drawn to it!” He speaks openly about his salvation and recalls this pinnacle time in his life with ease. “I became a born-again Christian at the age of 12 (and a half) at a 'cottage’ meeting. Won't ever forget the half!” he teases. “Today it's called a 'home cell'. I remember the night like it was yesterday. I was so touched by the Word being preached by the late Pastor Blake Crouch and committed my life to the Lord Jesus!” And it is this very calling to the things of Christ that influenced THE CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE
his musical career. “My sound is intrinsically African Jazz. I started off playing Church choruses and music from artists like Jonathan Butler, George Benson, Maskandi and Koinonia to name a few. I have always believed in consistently drawing inspiration from current young and older artists through the years. My music always talks to the issues of the human condition, both good and the challenges.”
WINNING AWARDS In 2001, Ernie released his first album, ‘Child of the Light’ which later earned him two South African Music Awards for Best Newcomer and Best Adult Contemporary. It further helped him achieve a KORA award for Most Promising Male in Africa. It was during this season that the anthem of ‘When I’m feeling kinda lonely…” was replayed on radio over and over again. The soothing sounds and simple yet powerful lyrics so easily connecting with listeners… which it continues to do today, some 16 years later. Following the success of his first album, Ernie went on to release ‘Lovely Things’, which earned him his third SAMA and a Metro award for Best Jazz Artist in 2003. This second album is said to have tapped into a younger R&B / Jazz genre which broadened Ernie’s musical reach. And sure enough, people were noticing. So much so that in 2005, Ernie began to collaborate on his third album ‘My African Heart’ with the likes of international stars such as Jonathan Butler, and featuring Grammy award winner, Kirk Whalum. “There have been many successes and highlights in my career by God's grace,” says Ernie. “Winning different awards and traveling all over the world; having number one hits; and working with artists like Bebe Winans, Jonathan Butler, Kirk Whalum and so many others. The greatest for me honestly, is seeing 16
lives being touched and young people being inspired through my music,” he adds.
THE BATTLES The journey to success has not been an easy street. “The challenge faced as a Christian artist is working in the secular environment. One of the challenges used to be Christians who believed that I should only play and sing in Church,” he admits. “I believe I am called to bring light to a darkened world. Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world. I also found that as a coloured artist, it's not as easy to get support. It's something that is changing but is still a challenge.” There have also been personal struggles along life’s journey that continue to draw Ernie closer to Christ. “My two daughters, Israela (9) and Zoe (7) came after three miscarriages and lots of tears and sadness. My wife Kissa, and the girls, have become the light of my life and my inspiration to seeing the plan of God fulfilled through me,” he explains. “My family is my first priority, after my personal relationship with God. Being a father has taught me how to put myself last and how to serve others. I have to live by faith in front of them through challenges and blessings and show them real grace through faith.”
A BALANCING ACT As a husband, father, musician and entrepreneur with his own production studio, Ernie has to do much to ensure balance in his life and he admits that he really needs to “depend on God daily” to juggle all these roles and responsibilities. “My life with God is paramount in my daily functioning and living,” he explains. So how does he maintain the balance? “I have to believe in a routine that keeps me nurturing every part of my life,” he continues.
“I have certain things that have a 'no compromise' sticker on them. I daily spend time alone with God and in His Word. I have time, especially in the mornings, when I spend time with my wife, either over breakfast or going out for lunch. I take my kids to school and pick them up after. When they are home, my wife and I help them with their homework and try to tell them a bedtime story at night. My wife gracefully gives me time during the day to spend on music, either doing studio work or practicing.” Family before ‘work’ seems to be a winning principle here.
CLOSER As a family man, Ernie knows the importance of connecting with others in real, meaningful relationships. “My latest album 'Closer' was inspired by my realization that people are so distant. Distant from their partners, kids and fellow man. People are distant from their relationships with God and His desire for us to love Him and each other. I experienced a distancing in my marriage that made both my wife and I think about being apart. I think that there is so much urgency for us to be present in our conversations and relationships with our families. We are so absent from the lives of the people that matter most to us. I also wanted to revisit the original vision God gave me for my music that I felt over the years has become a bit faint.” ‘Closer’ is testament to Ernie’s hard work and dedication to push through in the industry. But in many ways, it goes much deeper than making music that people enjoy. “I love seeing the impact of my music on people's faces and in their lives. There is nothing greater,” he adds. With a wealth of new material, Ernie’s new album ' Closer ' was released, not only to South African fans, but also to the American public through his recent US signing to SAIG Entertainment in New Orleans.
COVER STORY When asked about his most memorable live performances, Ernie says, “Malaysia because it was my first international concert, and New Orleans because they love jazz so much.”
COMING UP So, what is up next for this talented and down-to-earth muso? Ernie explains: “I am working on an EP and my Gospel project. I am also looking to sign and produce new artists.” His production studio, Child of the Light Productions, is where Ernie hones his musical passion with a fervent desire to raise up new talent. To encourage young local musicians, Ernie says: “Be yourself in your music. Talk about what matters to you in your songs. Learn everything you can about the industry… 'Google is very helpful'!” We are humbled by the sincerity and realness that is Ernie Smith. We look forward to this next season and hope to be jazzing along to many more Ernie originals in the near future.
“BEING A FATHER HAS TAUGHT ME HOW TO PUT MYSELF LAST AND HOW TO SERVE OTHERS.”
To find out more about Ernie Smith, connect with him on social media for updates of his latest projects and upcoming gigs. Instagram: @erniesmith. Twitter: @ErnieSmithzn and Facebook: Ernie Smith.
THE CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE
WHY IS CHRISTIAN EDUCATION IMPORTANT? In an age where secular ideologies run rife and our children are forced to make sense of a world filled with many hidden dangers, it is important to instil in them the knowledge of Christ from a young age. The Bible teaches, “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it,” (Proverbs 22:6). Clearly Solomon is encouraging us to build up in our children a foundation of truth, Scripture and a relationship with God, so that they may carry this with them into adulthood.
IT BEGINS AT HOME Christian education should start at home, in the confines of your family’s space where you are able to actively live out your faith in front of your children on a daily basis. Here they will learn the basics of serving Christ and will hopefully experience first-hand how to apply 18
godly principles into their everyday lives. Many questions may arise when we then choose to have our children educated outside of the home. In our contemporary times, this type of education is the most convenient and often non-negotiable as both parents may work and external schooling options may be the most logical choice for those who are unable to home school.
Let us reinforce the foundations of our faith and cement godly beliefs through solid education. By Tamsyn Cornelius
best interests at heart. Secondly, consider the types of ideologies and curriculums your child will be faced with while at school. For many believers (and nonbelievers), Christian education is a viable option as it provides a platform for good and builds a strong foundation in a world of shifting morals and values. However, there are many additional benefits that Christian education may offer you and your family.
WHAT TO CONSIDER
FRAMED BY GOD
In South Africa alone, there are over 30 000 schools, including established public and registered independent schools. So, how do we decide where to send our children? Firstly, I would encourage you to pray and ask the Lord about your schooling options. Remember, your children are His children first, and surely, He too has only their
If you are looking for an educational institution that promotes the things of God, then consider the mission and vision of the schools you consider. Will your child be allowed to honour God there? Whether they are learning to spell, play hockey, or scientifically dissecting a frog, at a Christian institution your child may be able to experience life and learning through
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EDUCATION the perspective of God’s truth. The Word of God is the framework in which all learning takes place. The mandate of many Christian schools is to put God first. Here learners are able to hear the vision of God’s kingdom and their place within it. Yes, they will learn the foundations of basic education, sports and culture, but all of this will be anchored in the knowledge of Christ.
A PARTNERSHIP If you are seeking an institution where your home beliefs and ideologies are encouraged and further established, then Christian education may be a good choice for you and your family as it works to assist parents in their God-given mandate. In the same way, however, we cannot simply expect our children to learn
the ways of Christ at school alone. This needs to be echoed in the lifestyles and choices we make as a family every day. The Bible is clear: “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates,” (Deuteronomy 6:6-9). We therefore need to establish a partnership with our child’s school, in order to further cement the godly principles we uphold in our own lives.
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Christianity is not simply a set of rules and instructions. It is a way of life; a lifestyle of honouring God and learning to trust Him. It is this nature and style of living that we hope will be echoed through Christian education. The aim is not to stifle our children with our own beliefs, but to further empower them to have the courage to explore other world views from the perspective of their own cemented beliefs and relationship with Christ.
FOR YOUR ADULT WALK As adults, we too should be actively learning and seeking out ways to train ourselves in God’s Word. The more equipped we are, the better we will be prepared to take on the world, from a God-perspective. There are a number of institutions available locally and internationally to help us achieve these educational goals. Christian colleges, institutes of further education and Bible centres offer extensive training, whether you are only looking to do a part-time Bible course, or a complete theological qualification. These training facilities are also great for young adults on the brink of self-discovery, looking to stay focussed and to equip themselves in the Truth of God’s Word. Here you can keep your faith, morals and beliefs intact while receiving a quality education that continues to reinforce godly principles.
A NOTE FROM SIMOND PRIVATE SCHOOL Simond Private School functions and prospers in the shadow of big name schools found in and around Paarl. Ours is a continued battle for the strongholds of the minds of our community. In South Africa, there exists two streams of education. Government (also called public education) and independent or private education. These function side-by-side to such an extent that people fail to recognise the fundamental differences between these structures. All government schools, prestigious or not, are extensions of the state. They are subject to the authority of the department of basic education. The senior certificates obtained from these schools are thus issued by the department of education. Independent schools have the right to choose other exam bodies such as the IEB. These certificates are issued by the body under which the examination is written. The result is that two matriculants may present their certificates, one being government issued, and the other being independent. When democracy came to South Africa in 1994, the educational system changed from Christian National Education to Curriculum 2005 and then to Outcomes Based Education (do you remember OBE?) and then to CAPS. This meant that although the school building remained the
same, the philosophy behind teaching changed. This is where Christian Education come to the fore. Some parents are aware that their children need to be educated in an institution which echoes their world view. When there is synergy between what the child hears at home and what they are taught at school, the message is amplified. The child experiences reinforcement of the value system they have received at home. When there is dissonance between home and school, it creates confusion. WHY CHRISTIAN EDUCATION? The simple answer is that if you are Christian you should seek a school where you are equally yoked. Christian education takes many forms from missionary schools to prestigious ivy league schools. There is a Christian school matched for every Christian home. There is always the warning that we are to be good stewards of what God has entrusted to us (such as our own children). Do your homework and verify the school before you enrol. Find out if they are members of organisations such as ACSI. Your child should not have to take an academic penalty for attending a Christian school. I want to encourage all Christian parents to go out and find that school and to support Christian education. Mark Anthony de Klerk, Principal Simond Private School
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Tamsyn Cornelius looks at why we all need a breakaway to refocus and reenergise body and mind. We are already well on our way into the second half of 2017. Where has the time gone? In a blink of an eye, the clock ticks away, leaving many of us feeling overwhelmed, drained and possibly stuck in that midyear slump. If you feel caught up in the mundane routine of everyday life – perhaps battered and worn by your current occupation, ministry or family life – it may be time for a much-needed getaway or spiritual retreat to refuel you for the rest of the year. Whether alone, with friends, or with family, a retreat offers so much to revive and restore your strength. The Lord Himself rested on the seventh day of creation. In turn, we may need to follow His lead and know when the time is right for us to take a seat and enjoy a well-deserved rest.
and invest in your own wellbeing and real relationships.
yourself – and who knows, the fresh air may offer a
Technology has many amazing benefits. In an instant, we can connect with people from around the world; attend meetings without ever leaving our homes; or with a click of a button, source information about any topic under the sun. In a world of instantaneous connectivity, it is a sad reality when more people are dealing with issues of loneliness and depression in our modern age than ever before. We may have hundreds of social network contacts, but may lack genuine relationships. It is possible to feel overconnected yet not connected to anything of substance. Every now and then it is important to unplug from the world of electronics, gadgets and social media. A vacation or planned time out in nature may be the perfect solution in which to disconnect your devices
THE WONDERS OF NATURE Something amazing happens when we spend time in nature. As if containing God’s hidden mysteries, nature is a constant reminder that we are not infinite and that He is God. “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands,” (Psalm 19:1). Time spent in nature is often soul-searching; a season of refreshing and restoration. In nature, we can block out the noise of our everyday lives and enjoy the soothing calm of the Lord’s creation. In South Africa, we are spoilt for choice in terms of our beautiful natural landscapes and picturesque vistas, from amazing coastlines to breath-taking mountain tops. Get outdoors and experience it for fresh, new perspective for the year ahead.
BOND WITH YOUR LOVED ONES Re-establish your connections with your loved ones during a planned family retreat. Away from the regular routine of your life, you can find rest to unwind and enjoy the simple pleasure of being together with those most important to you. Here you can work on your relationships, listen without distractions, and create memorable moments with your loved ones. Such planned trips may be important to focus on your marriage, important friendships and the bonds you may strengthen with your spouse or children. You may feel overwhelmed by work or ministry – a time out with your family may be refreshing for the soul.
A SPIRITUAL RETREAT “He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake,” (Psalm 23:3). A breakaway creates an opportunity for a spiritual retreat in which we can work on the intimacies of our relationship with Christ. Without any distractions, you can focus on the Word of God, meditate and pray. Only in the presence of God can we find peace and restoration for the season ahead. If you have not done so already, start journaling to record your spiritual journey. This is a time of reflection, prayer and spending time with your Heavenly Father.
UNITE AS THE BODY Christian camps and group retreats are ideal opportunities to unite as fellow believers and to seek God together, in a space that is solely dedicated to the pursuing of God’s presence. Whether as a school or youth camp, or a congregational or leadership retreat, a group breakaway is a fun and interactive time to bond with others and regain spiritual focus for ourselves and our groups. HBR Quart Pg Ad FP1.pdf
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If you are in two minds about venturing out on a church camp, or whether you should send your child on a Christian youth camp, know that there are many benefits. Here you, or your child, will be exposed to others who are actively serving and seeking Christ. A typical church or youth camp programme will include a schedule where you will be encouraged to pray, read the Word of God, worship and delve into conversations with people of influence. You and your child may be
better off after a planned time-out shared with others who can encourage the growth of your spiritual walk. Is your child in need of spiritual leaders and Christian friends? Certain relationships cemented at camp may stay with them well into adulthood. Chat to your local congregation about possible retreats or youth camps, or better yet, take initiative and assist your congregation in the planning of your own group camp outdoors in nature.
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LEADING TO SUCCEED A message to the men and leaders, taken from the life of John C. Maxwell. The name John C. Maxwell resonates with people from across the world. As a recognised pastor, speaker, author and expert in the field of leadership, John C. Maxwell has written numerous bestsellers and his books have sold millions of copies worldwide. John C Maxwell speaks things as they are – based on biblical truths and a close walk with God. He is a believer in personal growth and achievement, encouraging others to take the lead in their own lives and to learn to succeed in the daily battles we all face. “Do you have an unstoppable desire to make a difference in the lives of people? Unsure of where to start?” asks John on his website. “That's a snapshot of where I was 50 years ago. My journey began as a pastor of a small church in Ohio where I learned that leadership started with developing myself and connecting with others. It wasn't an easy road and I've worn a lot of hats since those simpler days.”
WORLD CHANGERS “I've always dreamed of impacting the world and changing lives one at a time,” explains John. “I've stayed a student of personal growth and development. Why? Because I believe it has the power to change us individually, connect communities, be a catalyst to corporations, and transform countries around the world.” As men, it is never too late to stand up and take the lead – in your home, marriage, church, workplace and wherever else the Lord directs. But we all require the necessary equipping and God-given direction to take the lead, equip others and make a significant change in the world. John explains: “You see, my passion
there are no limits! John believes you are only limited by yourself and there are practical steps you can take to expand your capacity and leverage your natural strengths to do it.
in life is growing and equipping others to do remarkable things and lead significant and fulfilled lives.”
So, what is your life’s goal? Are you being held back by your own limitations and expectations? Do you want to break through and succeed in your own life? We encourage you to pray and connect with the Father about the areas that you need to be taking the lead in as a man of God.
WHAT’S YOUR MISSION? “There's no greater mission for me. There's no higher goal than to help others realize their significance and potential. That's why I've dedicated my life to what I believe I do best: teach. I've written more than 100 books that have been translated into fifty languages. I've authored several New York Times bestselling books and was named #1 leadership expert in the world by Inc. Magazine in 2014.” “I also travel around the world meeting with people of all backgrounds to help them discover significance. I’ve taught what I know to Fortune 500 company leaders, university staff and students, church members and community leaders.” The key – to surround yourself with likeminded individuals who share your vision. John explains: “But I don’t go the journey alone. In the last two decades, I've developed several organizations to carry out the teaching and wisdom I've gained in my lifetime.” John’s newest book release in 2017, entitled ‘No Limits’ teaches about the truths behind the myth of limited capacity. His mantra is that
To encourage our leaders, we want to offer you a chance to win a bundle of books by the expert on leadership, John C. Maxwell. Send us an email to email@example.com with the subject line ‘John C. Maxwell’ and tell us why you would like to master the principles of leadership in your own life. Please remember to include your name, contact number and address. You could win a bundle of three books by Struik Christian Media, including John C. Maxwell’s newest release, ‘No Limits’; ‘How Successful People Lead’; and ‘Failing Forward’.
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WHO WILL YOU SERVE? Angus Cornelius shares helpful financial advice regarding the biblical principle of tithing. We live in a society that teaches us that our personal finance is nobody’s business but our own. I have come to learn that our finances are God’s business and He wants to be a trusted financial advisor to His children. This is a topic I have discussed with the Lord on many occasions and below I have listed some practical advice which I apply in my own life.
#1: 10% OF YOUR MONEY OR 90% OF HIS MONEY? “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to Him,” (Psalm 24:1). Everything we have belongs to God. We are simply given custody over it while on earth. Once we truly understand this principle, we will see that when we tithe we are not giving God 10% of our money, but He allows us to keep 90% of His. As I experience it, tithing is the simplest way of saying thank you to the Lord for providing me with a means of 26
income and sustenance.
#2: 10% OF GROSS OR NET INCOME? “Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me! But you ask, ‘What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?’ You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me. You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!” (Malachi 3:8-10). I have worked in finance for many years. Numbers are important to me, but pleasing God is more important. In seeking His best will for my life, I one day prayed and asked God to teach me how to tithe. His direction was clear, simple and challenging. He instructed me to tithe 10% of all
my income, before any deductions. This was a challenge. It reduced my disposable income significantly. However, I learned a long time ago that when God speaks, it is best to listen, since He only has my best interests at heart.
#3: WHERE DO I TITHE? At one point in my life, I questioned whether or not I could donate my tithe to charity, ministry organisations or those in need. Again God answered me by confirming that I should pay my tithe to my local Church. It is important for us to sow at the house which feeds us. I have come to learn that human beings will place their focus in the areas where they sow their money. God knows this about us too, after all, we are created in His image. God knew that I would have a vested interest in the place where I tithed and He was right. I encourage you to not only view your tithe as a monthly “tick box” exercise, but as an investment in the Kingdom and your
local Church. Therefore, between tithes, ask God how else you can contribute to the Kingdom and the greater community served by your local congregation.
#4: PAY YOUR TITHE BEFORE OTHER EXPENSES On a practical level, I am prompted
warfare. Warfare against a spirit
“OUR FINANCES ARE GOD’S BUSINESS AND HE WANTS TO BE A TRUSTED FINANCIAL ADVISOR TO HIS CHILDREN”
Each month I receive an SMS notifying me that my salary has been deposited into my account. Once this happens, I immediately ensure that my tithe is the first amount to leave my bank balance, before anything else. This means that my very first transaction, whether a cash withdrawal or EFT, has been my
captive through the fear of not having enough and putting our trust in ourselves, or our bank balance, as opposed to our Almighty Father. Matthew 6 contains some very direct teaching on money and possessions. The verse that really
to ensure that my tithe is the first amount to leave my bank balance.
of poverty that seeks to keep us
after I paid for all my other expenses. It should be a declaration of faith that states: “I trust God to provide, even though I do not know what expense will come my way this month”; and • My tithe is God’s money, so I should not be earning interest on it and if I do, I should tithe on that interest income.
grabs my attention reads: “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money,” (Matthew 6:24). Therefore, I urge you to decide for yourself, who is your master? Angus Cornelius is a Chartered Accountant and Risk Manager who
tithe. God’s prompting for this was
#5: TITHE AS A DECLARATION
is passionate about empowering
Besides being a declaration of faith,
the church through sound financial
• My tithe should not be what is left
my tithe is also a declaration of
ASK THE EXPERTS AND WIN! Are you in need of financial guidance? Send us your questions and let one of our financial experts offer you professional advice and input. Send your queries to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ‘financial advice’. Next month you can also look forward to financial input from Donovan Adams, a Certified Financial Planner from Chartered Wealth Solutions, who will be answering all of your finance related queries. Write to us and win! One lucky reader will also receive a book hamper by internationally renowned banker and author, Ken Costa including his latest releases, “Know Your Way” and “God at Work”, with special thanks to Struik Christian Media. Send us your finance-related query and you could walk away with this book bundle to encourage you to find and fulfil your calling in life. THE CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE
John Atkinson shares vital pointers to consider before you embark on a journey to Israel. For most Christians, a trip to Israel is a once in a lifetime event. It is often a life changing experience. It changes our perspectives on well-known Bible passages and introduces us to the geographical and historical realities of the Bible. As an experience, it can be worth a thousand sermons but not all tours are the same, making the choice of a tour extremely important. There is an inevitable trade-off between time, cost, itinerary and experience, which should be taken into account when comparing tours. The length of a tour will determine its pace and itinerary. Israel can fit comfortably into the Kruger National Park and you can â&#x20AC;&#x153;do Israelâ&#x20AC;? in seven days if you are prepared to run where Jesus walked! You may see many of the major sights without any time to reflect on what you have seen and their implications for your understanding of faith. Israel is a land of contrasts with desert in the South culminating with forests in the North. The stories of the patriarchs and the exodus play out mainly in the Negev desert region. The prophets, on the other hand, are associated with the central
region while the ministry of Jesus centred around Galilee and the north. Checking a detailed itinerary against time allowances should give you a good idea of the quality of the tour.
REMEMBER, TIME IS MONEY. The cost of travel and accommodation in Israel is significantly more expensive than it is in South Africa and so every cent counts. To give you an idea of the cost, a salad and coffee at an Aroma franchise will cost you about R150. In Israel, as elsewhere, you get what you pay for. Check the location of the hotels. Touring after a disturbed night in a noisy hotel is a test of endurance and a false economy. If the hotel is not within easy reach of the sites, as is the case with most of the cheaper hotels, then evening walks at your leisure are impractical. Check the hotels mentioned in the itinerary on the internet to see for yourself.
THE TOUR LEADER The experience of a tour is dependent on a number of variables. The experience of the tour leader is the first important factor. It is
unlikely that you will know what you are missing, and so you will have to be able to trust the experience of the leader to provide the best experience possible within the time and cost limitations.
PRE-PLANNING Preparation before you leave will make the tour more meaningful. Over the years, I have found that it is essential to provide good preparation for tour groups through introductory talks and by providing opportunities for tour members to meet each other before the tour. This adds significantly to the overall experience of the tour. Meeting the tour leader and the group at the airport for the first time is not ideal.
THE MISSION Establishing the goal of the tour is essential. Is it educational, or a pilgrimage with visits to many church buildings, or just a holiday in Israel? Is it politically charged - are you going to be exposed to both sides? These are questions that a tour leader should be able to answer before you sign up for the tour.
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We chatted to Myrtle Donnell about her recent tour of the Holy Land. Here’s what she had to say. WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO GO ON A TOUR OF ISRAEL? “My husband and I had been married for 50 years in February and our sons surprised us by saying, ‘Mum and Dad, for your great accomplishment of 50 years, we are sending you on a trip to Israel’. We had always wanted to go to the Holy Land, so we were so grateful and excited.”
WHAT WERE YOUR EXPECTATIONS PRIOR TO LEAVING? “Because we have both been servants of Jesus for over 50 years, we had read a lot, both from the Bible and books, plus heard from people who had gone to Israel. We looked forward to visiting the country where the Saviour of the world was born, to see and experience for ourselves what all these places were like.”
WHAT WAS THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR TRIP AND WHY? “Many people have asked us this question, but it's difficult to give just one highlight as everywhere we went seemed to be "the highlight"... from the Judean Desert to the incredible Masada where King Herod had built his palace up the mountain; to the Dead Sea (the lowest point on earth) and the beautiful Sea of Galilee; to the Mount of Olives, Mount Zion the old city of Jerusalem and the Wailing Wall to the Megiddo; to Nazareth and Golan Heights; and I will never forget visiting Yad Vashem, a memorial for the 6 million martyrs of World War 2… these are only a ‘fraction’ of our highlights.”
DO YOU THINK IT IS BENEFICIAL FOR CHRISTIANS TO TOUR ISRAEL? “It most certainly is! Actually, for anyone interested in history, I would recommend a tour of Israel as it brings the Scriptures to life. The certified tour guide we had, Tanya 30
Kesler, was a wealth of knowledge, both from the historical and biblical points of views – she was exceptional.”
HOW DID YOU EXPERIENCE THE CULTURE THERE? “That was so interesting for us! We so appreciated the Jewish culture which was very family focused especially during Shabbat (which is their Sabbath) where families dress up in their best and go to the synagogue together, then home to prepared family meals. I was also delighted to visit the Arab and Jewish markets, especially in Jerusalem and to gauge the cultures of both. Everywhere we went, the places were so clean and well maintained and transport was very accessible; I loved the trains running through the middle of Jerusalem town.”
HOW HAS YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE BIBLE GROWN SINCE YOU HAVE BEEN ON THIS TRIP? “We have all read about places and people in both the Old and New Testaments – places where Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the Prophets, the Kings, John the Baptist and even Jesus lived. We may wonder what it was like and we create a picture in our minds, but just to go to Israel and see these places, and to be reminded of certain biblical incidents, one can't help but stand in awe of the place and to realise that you are walking where they once walked. To walk the Via Dolorosa and remember the struggles of Jesus trying to carry the cross, makes my salvation all the more real, and you know without a doubt that the Bible is not ‘just a story book’. I would like to add that the Trafalgar Tour was well organised, from the hotels to the wonderful tour guide and coach driver Shlome, who went out of their way to give us a good experience. I can with confidence recommend them.”
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from the back of a tandem Rona Miller, together with her husband John, have actively been involved in ministry over the past 30 years, pastoring and planting churches all around the world. Here she shares some valuable lessons during their latest tandem adventure abroad.
“Life is a journey to be enjoyed, not a problem to solve,” Winnie the Pooh. Almost 25 years ago on John’s 40th birthday I gave him a tandem and since then, we have cycled all sorts of exotic, and not so exotic, locations. In 2016, our biggest adventure to date was cycling North America from Vancouver, Canada to San Diego on the USA/Mexican border. FAQs in USA include – “How old are you two?” and “How much did that bike cost?” More than 3000km of breathtaking scenery and scary bridges (I was seen to jump off the back going over Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco!), but phenomenal experiences and a multitude of amazing people. There were so many lessons to be learned (e.g. never spit if you are on the front of the tandem, even if you have just swallowed a fly). There were lively conversations to be had especially in the 32
campsites, and many real challenges to be faced. It is said that life is like a toilet roll – the nearer the end you get the faster it all goes! A truth that many of our peers can attest to. We planned, we plotted and at one point I jokingly suggested to my patient and loving husband: “You don’t think we might kill each other on the way?” His response was that of the pastor that he is, “Well I won’t kill YOU!” Which says a lot for whose strength is grace and whose is law in our union. Every adventure begins with a dream; if you can imagine it, you can believe it and if you can believe it you can act on it. Over the years, we have frequently seen that our dreams have been much smaller than God’s plans. His thoughts are always greater than ours. So how does one go about making dreams reality?
3. TRUST THOSE WITH YOU ON YOUR LIFE JOURNEY I trust John to pilot and he trusts me to navigate (had it been the other way around I would have had us over the edge and he would have had us in Alaska!). We all have differing strengths; let’s work with each other’s gifts (and cover each other’s weaknesses). Incidentally one salient piece of advice from the guy on the front is: “Don’t concentrate on the potholes, rather steer to the open road”. What are you focused on right now, the problem or the onward path?
1. FIRST WRITE THE VISION AND MAKE IT PLAIN (HABAKKUK 2:2-3) What is it that you have on your heart? Perhaps to study further? Maybe a change of career direction? Or like Dr Martin Luther Jnr, do you have a dream to reform society? Pray, listen, discuss and ultimately put pen to paper to hone your own God-given vision. Then draw up an action plan with a budget and if like us, you have to “make a plan”, do that too. In our case this meant renting our home and living in a container to squirrel away needed funds. For me it also meant taking on some extra freelance work. What might it mean for you? We contacted cousins on Vancouver Island and in May 2016 the ideas became reality. From the moment the first plane took off we saw the hand of God in so many ways; provision, protection, encounters; and oh the diversity and magnificence of His creation around bend after bend. Home was our tiny tent as we cycled two countries and three American states.
4. COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE! “Tell me when you are going to stop, change lanes or set off.” There were times when John’s “I thought you were on the back” left us rolling with laughter! A great building tool of communication is laughter – laughing ‘with’ and not ‘at’. Pause and think of a time when you laughed out loud with friends or family. That merry heart is healing.
2. LIFE’S FIRST RULE MIGHT BE, ENJOY THE JOURNEY!
There will be ups and downs, heat and cold, good and not so good. Some things will delight you, some will frustrate you, and many will tire you, but never stop moving forward. Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Give us this day.” So often the beauty of today can be stolen through imagined “what ifs” of tomorrow. Let’s heed Philippians 4 and be anxious for nothing, but rather be thankful for everything – rejoice always – rejoice ALL ways. Punctures happen, chains break, there will be problems in everyone’s journey but in the midst of the mire, we can dwell on what is good and lovely and of good report. Along the Pacific Coast we experienced many God-incidences such as when we ran out of water 50km from the nearest shop and a stranger supplied five (yes five) bottles of ice cold water from their car; or when a gear cable broke and the first cyclist coming along had just the correct spare! What are you thankful for right now? Think of three things you are personally grateful for today.
Let’s face it, some of the journey will just be plain boring. In an age when “entertainment” seems to be paramount I believe that there is a place for boredom linked to gutsy perseverance. Are you a parent who feels pressurised to continually entertain your offspring? Why not allow them to be bored? They may just dig into the creative places and spaces within themselves and surprise you with their ingenuity. On our entire journey, we had no television and very little electronic media – not a bad thing at all.
THE CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE
6. YOU CAN DO MORE THAN YOU THOUGHT YOU COULD. If you are like me, you may even just find yourself enjoying the “more”. Cycling through the phenomenal Californian Redwoods, each hill was an opportunity to see what was over the next rise. A solid practical outworking of the maxim, “Your attitude will determine your altitude.” How is your attitude today? Happy heart or sad heart?”
9. THERE ARE ALWAYS NEW THINGS TO LEARN. It’s not just about the places you are experiencing or the culture you find yourself a part of, but also about those you know and love. John decided that I was solar powered, running on caffeine and in need of regular feeding. Am I teachable in this journey of life?
7. IF A DOOR IS OPEN WALK THROUGH! So many times God presented us with astonishing opportunities. One day we were pushing the bike up the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range when a 4 x 4 stopped alongside us. The driver called out, “We have been watching you two for the past couple of days, would you like a lift to the top!” Of course! John jumped into the back with our trusty tandem while I made friends with this great man and his 13-year-old son. Opportunities to help others and make new friends are constantly around us all. Who could you befriend today?
8. YOU NEED LESS THAN YOU THINK YOU DO. My husband constantly says: ‘Pilgrims travel light.” What can you and I declutter in our lives? Don’t let “baggage” (physical or emotional) weighdown your journey.
10. IT’S ABOUT MORE THAN YOU. We cycled to raise awareness of the work of Thembalitsha (www.hope. org.za) which exists to restore hope and transform the lives of vulnerable people in the Western Cape by developing them to a place of self-reliance. Thembiteddy (the mascot) was our constant companion and our shirts were emblazoned with this message. We spoke in churches, communities and to individuals enroute and many followed us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Thank you to all who support this valuable work.
SO WHAT? … AND NOW? The “so what” is that it was great training ground and taught us several things to do and several not to do! And now that John is taking retirement from organised church, we are stepping out into wide open spaces seeking the wind of His Spirit, the fellowship of our Lord and yielded to the grace of God. Follow us on our next adventure at www.themillers.bike and if you would like us to speak or share at an event please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org. I leave you with one final thought: “Life is a one-time offer, use it well”.
A LIFESTYLE OF
Shaveh Feder looks at how we can worship in our own spheres of influence and why we are called to do so.
I’m a homeschooling mom of three busy little people. I wanted to open with that because just reading it makes me ask myself – ‘how do I live a life of worship with my focus on three children that need me for so many different reasons’. In the everyday bustle of life, worship does not always happen in the typical ‘raise your hands, close your eyes and express yourself to God’ kind of way? It’s in this type of life that I’ve come to realize that worship isn’t just limited to the sanctuary and among fellow believers. Worship is an everyday walk alongside my Maker.
MEETING GOD IN YOUR ROUTINE Just like when you sing songs that give Him praise for who He is, it’s the same when you’ve just woken up, having your coffee or getting on the taxi. In these everyday moments, He is eagerly waiting to hear from you. So how will you engage God in the everyday routine? “Thanks Lord for my eyes that open and for waking up. You’re amazing!”; “God, you knew exactly what you were doing when you created coffee beans and gave someone the creativity to dry it, grind it and add water – You’re amazing!” ; “The wheel! Thank you, God, that I don’t have to walk forever to get to my destination”; and “Thank you Lord that I can actually walk”. These sound mundane and could very well be mistaken for childish observations, but it’s with that ‘childlike faith’ view on life that we leave ourselves wide open to God, turning around and saying, “Hey kid, you think
that’s awesome, wait until you see what’s in store for you today”.
MY FIRST PORT OF CALL Worship is about involving God in my everyday thoughts. When I need help accomplishing tasks with my children, my boss, my employees, my colleague or my friend – He’s the one I should go to first and breathe my thoughts out into the air. They don’t even have to be breathed out loud – as long as He’s our first point of thought, then our lives become worship and a sweet fragrance that He can look forward to, spending time with us every day, which in turn impacts others. The reason why this “everyday” walk with Him grows our lives of worship is because the more God reveals of Himself to us, the higher our level of worship becomes. Our worship can only go as far as our revelation or understanding of who God is. Coupled together with a consistent study of what’s documented in the Bible, and an everyday engagement with God – singing songs on a Sunday won’t be just music and words to an unknown energy in the sky, but rather a mindblowing explosion of spirit meeting spirit at a level the mind cannot even begin to conceive. It’s for this reason that we were created, to worship and commune with God. He wants us to include Him in our ‘child like’ observations so that He can reveal more of Himself to increase our level of understanding of true worship and in so doing impact those around us with our constant commune with the Lord.
“WORSHIP IS ABOUT INVOLVING GOD IN MY EVERYDAY THOUGHTS”
THE CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE
The Land of A journey through the heart of depression, addiction and ultimate freedom. By Lindie Cook The lonely dark places of the shadow islands. Here there are no easy solutions, no quick fixes and no instant deliverance, only a slow and steady patience that develops perseverance. It was here that I began to develop a sharp ear to hear the Father’s voice through the dense fog of desperation. My story isn’t unique. It’s going on in homes all over the world. A destructive addiction “Shanghai’s” one’s spouse and then it causes the rest of the family to follow suit to rescue the kidnapped soul. The waves of repetitive defeats shipwreck the rescuers and captors, and you land up stranded on a deserted isle, in a constant battle to free your beloved.
THE BATTLE My soul mate suffered from depression and was under the monster misconception that substance abuse would stave off the mood swings. We skirted around the beast daily, some days it was placid but other days it was all consuming. Thank God for His promises that became my hiding place, His unfailing love, the healing balm for my cuts and bruises after each day’s battles. My growing dilemma as a spirit-filled child of God during these battles was; does practicing unconditional love mean exposing yourself and your offspring over and over to the hurtful and destructive choices and consequences of the one you vowed to love? Did I not say, “For better or for worse, in sickness and health, until death us do part?” I felt compelled to hold my ground in order to fulfil my vows. Living in this daily battle zone, I was gifted with two special outfits from my Heavenly Father to wear. Firstly, a coat of creativity, filled with pockets of supplies: crafting and teaching ideas to bring my children into God’s loving embrace. Secondly, one we all have, the armour of God, some days to go on the offensive, some days for pure defence. 36
REACHING OUT Although I never truly felt victorious, brave visitors to my island would say, “You are so strong”. I didn’t feel strong. I felt held, supported, comforted and I lent courage from my siblings in Christ who had travelled to their own dark places and made a special effort to reach out to us with testimonies of God’s provision, healing and words of wisdom. Thus I came to learn that God doesn’t have limits, but in our human frailty, we do. We each have our own limit gauge which is personally calibrated. Walking in relationship with other soldiers, I came to see that my hope had been trampled on one too many times by boots of mistrust; my vows were like a comforting pillow that, in the hands of the beast, were being used to smother me. The time had arrived for me and the children to journey back to the warmer climates of balance and stability. Seeds of a new hope began taking root in me. My prayer support group witnessed my earnest cries and stood with me as I made the painful decision to leave. The green hills I remembered where we could dance and sing, were beckoning me. I had to board a vessel of courage to return to those fertile pastures. I could still love my husband but from a distance. We could be free from the cycle of his destructive choices and their striking consequences. My revelation, yes, marriage is holy, but Jesus died for each individual’s salvation. It is up to us to claim that salvation in all its glory and to know His divine timing of when to set sail to the land of freedom.
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Samantha Booysen found Jesus amid a life of drugs, prostitution and abuse. She asks, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Is there anything too hard for the Lord?â&#x20AC;&#x2122; My childhood happened on the streets of the Cape Flats in Mitchells Plain where I was the youngest of five siblings. I grew up with the wound of molestation but I refused to feel or remember. I went from being an easy child to an angry, argumentative and manipulative delinquent but I could not remember why I was feeling so angry all the time.
VIOLENCE AT HOME As a child, I was exposed to domestic violence within my home. My brother and sisters drank excessively and fought constantly. From a young age, I knew when to hide in a cupboard or under the bed because I could tell when things became violent. There was very little communication or emotion at home. We did not say good morning or good night. My dad was hardworking and my mom was a house wife, but I never saw my parents hug or exchange kisses. All I remember are the ensuing arguments. The environment was stressful to me, so much so that I spent most of my days playing outside the home.
At around the age of 12 I visited a primary school friend and her older brother coaxed me into a bedroom, locked the door and molested me. On that day, I left that house and suppressed what happened because I had no one I could tell. I did not want to tell my mom because I did not want to add to the stress at home.
WHERE WAS GOD? Every Sunday my parents and I went to church but I don’t recall hearing anything about Jesus because over the weekends I hardly slept and my mind was too preoccupied with the trauma of the fighting that pervaded my household every night. I started high school and started drinking and smoking cigarettes and dagga. I met different people at high school and started lying to sleep over at friends and to go to clubs. Here I was exposed to hard drugs and started using tik, cocaine, heroin, ketamine and even took my mother’s prescription tablets which I crushed and pulled through my nose when I did not have cash for anything else. Tik became my drug of choice and this door exposed me to the underworld of gangsterism. I moved out of my mother’s house and started moving around with different gangs and drug lords. Eventually I was like a prostitute, selling my body for the next fix at the next party. I fell pregnant from one of the drug lords but miscarried. I remember standing on the stoep of the hospital afterwards, waiting for him to fetch me, but he never came. I suppressed the memory of the baby and life became darker.
LOST AND ALONE I would walk the streets of Woodstock from one drug den to another trying to sell things for money for a fix. There were times I found myself in drug dens for days. We would hardly notice day becoming night. Some women were pregnant, some were taking a hit while they were nursing their
babies. I remember losing friends to drug-related violence and overdoses but never attended the funerals but instead kept using drugs to numb the feelings. My mom also passed away in this time of my life and I remember thinking that I had so many questions as to whether she loved me and why she did not really have a relationship with me. Many years later the Lord spoke to me and restored my memories of my late mother. This was my life for eight years – I was trapped in that dark place, even hiding drugs and guns at my house for gang members. At times I would cry out for help but no one would hear me. I started using tik for four days with no sleep or food, then I would literally fall down for a two day crash. When I did wake up I would immediately place my hand under my bed to find my tik pipe to take another hit. I could barely crawl to the bathroom to be sick and could hold no fluids or food inside my body. A doctor came to see me
“I WENT TO BED AND SUDDENLY FELT WHAT I CAN ONLY DESCRIBE AS LOVING HANDS ON MY SHOULDERS...”
and suggested that the tik had eaten away parts of my stomach. I knew that I would die if I did not get help. I called my brother, who at this time was a Reverend for quite a few years and who had tried to reach out to me on several occasions. He was away on a conference but he sent a church group to visit the house where I was living. I listened to the testimonies of people that God had restored and even healed from cancer. And when the call came to me to receive Jesus, the voices that had been in my life for so long became louder and I declined.
FINDING NEW HOPE That night, I went to bed and suddenly felt what I can only describe as loving hands on my shoulders and I fell to my knees and started crying uncontrollably. I just kept shouting, ‘Lord Jesus save me from myself, Lord Jesus save me from myself’. And a peace came over me that I could not explain and I almost robotically got up and into my bed, and for the first time in years, I slept soundly. The next morning, I woke up and completely forgot about my tik pipe under my bed because I felt so very hungry. I went to the kitchen to eat. I then waited to get sick, but nothing happened. There was an aunty Mary who, when she saw me would always tell me that Jesus loved me and that He had a plan for my life. That morning I went to find aunty Mary and told her what had happened to me. She jumped for joy and told me that ‘Jesus saved, healed and delivered you, my child’. From that day onwards, He slowly started to heal me. It has been a long road but today, the drug lord that once supplied me with drugs, is now my husband and the Senior Pastor of House of Grace Ministries. We are a blended family with four kids and we will be married for 10 years this year. My question to you is, ‘Is anything too hard for the Lord?’ THE CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE
AT THE ABSOLUTE CORE We chat to Pastors Jacques and Camillah West from One Church Ministries about their call as a local pastoral couple and their commitment to reaching others with the love of God.
PLEASE TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR UPBRINGING. Our backgrounds had many parallels as Camillah and I were both raised in single parent homes. There were times as a kid, that perhaps we might have wished for better, but in hindsight we both agree that out upbringing gave us “grit”. We are both not easily bent out of shape when things don’t always go as planned. Admittedly our lives have taken interesting turns and knocks, but through God’s Grace, we are able to always rest in Him.
WHEN DID YOU REALISE THAT YOU WANTED TO GO INTO MINISTRY? We have both been active in youth ministry for many years and our career choice (both within the field of human resources) has always been underpinned by the passion to love and help others. Although full-time 40
ministry was not an initial desire, until God placed it there. My passion for lecturing secular academics shifted when God’s grace which kept me there, lifted and shifted. Overnight I was no longer fulfilled except when building God’s Kingdom. I went into fulltime ministry in 2006. Camillah also went into fulltime ministry for five years as a pastor, before returning to the Industry, as our sons were very young at the time and ministry kept us both very busy. We made a prayerful decision for her to return to the industry for a season in order to be home at night with the boys, as our family is our first ministry. That being said, Camillah is still very involved with ministry work and I am fully persuaded that her marketplace season is part of her ministry too. God has positioned her to be light in her workplace.
YOU SERVED AS YOUTH PASTORS FOR MANY YEARS. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS LACKING IN YOUTH MINISTRY TODAY?
Camillah – I think the notion that kids are kids and that they cannot really experience and understand the Trinity (3-in-1) like an adult. What a lie. I have come to learn that God loves that level of innocence and raw trust in who He is. He shows up and shines in a generation who hungers after Him. Jacques – There are so many important things that it’s difficult to isolate one area. However, I do feel strongly that we have a generation that’s being spoon fed a watered-down Gospel. This means that the church is ultimately raising up the next generation of Church Leaders on a spiritual diet that has no substance, lacks depth and is slowly becoming illiterate in
WE ARE OVERWHELMED AND EXTREMELY HUMBLED THAT GOD WOULD CALL US. SERIOUSLY! GOD TOLD US THAT HE WOULD BUILD HIS CHURCH. WILL WE PLANT IT?
the uncompromising Word. Entertainment has replaced the Anointing, as our youth are being ministered to their feelings, and five senses which produces no change, no character and sets them up as sitting ducks, fully exposed, in times of spiritual warfare. Our youth need to be taught how to persevere in prayer, persevere in worship, persevere in the Word, persevere in righteous living, as they have gone from being a “Microwave Generation”, wanting everything faster, to a “Steroid Generation”, who wants everything faster and bigger. Ask any bodybuilder and they will tell you that steroids make you look bigger and appear stronger over a much shorter period, but in
reality, you can’t lift the really heavy weights when it really counts.
PLANTING A NEW CHURCH – TELL US ABOUT THIS BRAVE CALL TO VENTURE OUT ON A CHURCH PLANT. Our feet remain wet, as we’re walking on water. Church planting was never our plan neither our intent. Planting One Church Ministries (OC) is a complete step of obedience unto to the call of God. We are overwhelmed and extremely humbled that God would call us. Seriously! God told us that He would build His church. Will we plant it?
WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR REACHING THE LOST IN YOUR COMMUNITY? Love at the absolute core of everything we do.
WHAT EXCITING INITIATIVES ARE YOU CURRENTLY PLANNING? We are excited about our very first “OC Family Church Camp” in spring. OC has designed various outreaches that will take place at Flamingo Heights (Informal Settlement) in Lansdowne. For more about the work and ministry of One Church Ministries visit www.onechurch.co.za. THE CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE
Robyn Tichauer shares the challenges of being single in a season of waiting for Mr Right.
In a world where much emphasis is placed on meeting the person you’ll marry, having a dream wedding and then starting a family – it’s tough being single. As a young adult, there’s pressure from family, friends, media and ourselves to be in a serious and committed relationship. Nevermind the pressure, we want the butterflies, the good times and that special someone to turn to without any hesitation and do life with. Currently, I’m in this exact situation. While being single definitely has its perks, every now and then I feel the desire and yearning for the intimacy that comes with a relationship. The temptation to fall into the arms of the first prospective that comes your way is tempting… real tempting. But as we all know, this doesn’t always end well and waiting is most certainly worth it.
THE FRUSTRATION GROWS Walking through a mall is enough to get any single person down. There are couples walking hand-in-hand everywhere. Even if you’re happy being single, it tugs on you slightly. And so, the questioning starts. Why do they have a partner but I don’t? Why hasn’t God given me a vision or word about my future spouse? Is there even someone out there, or am I doomed to be single forever? 42
It can seem extremely frustrating. As much as I enjoy my singleness, I do want it to come to an end. And I’m okay with that being in the near future. But with no prospectives in sight, it’s becoming increasingly frustrating. How long do I need to wait Lord? The hardest part about faith is trusting in what we cannot see. Surely God knows the desires of my heart? We may not be able to see God’s plans but we can trust that He knows exactly what He is doing.
DON’T DO IT Along my journey as a singleton I’ve met single males who, on the surface, are attractive and a relationship seems very promising. On closer inspection, we may seem to be on very different wavelengths. My friends often encourage me to take a risk. But some things just shouldn’t be compromised on. In a society like ours, finding a fellow lover of God to date can seem nearly impossible. However, this is very important to me – more than looks, careers or aspirations. This makes waiting even more frustrating as the search is narrowed down even further. And yet God has never disappointed me. I know that in the waiting, God is working on His best plan for my life. I believe that this
CELEBRATING SINGLES season of waiting for someone who loves God, will be well worth it.
DON’T FALL INTO SHAME
“WE MAY NOT BE ABLE TO SEE GOD’S PLANS BUT WE CAN TRUST THAT HE KNOWS EXACTLY WHAT HE IS DOING”
All too often I’ll attend a new church or meet other couples my age, and I’ll be asked about my relationship status. The questioning looks and eagerness to set me up often leave me feeling ashamed about being single. Not only does society place emphasis on finding your person – apparently, people in church do too. At times, it feels like they pity you for being single and in many ways, this makes you feel unworthy. You may begin to question your own worth and wonder what’s wrong with you. Even though people are aware of the struggles of waiting for the right person, they often forget what it’s like to be single. Especially when they’re happily in love. Don’t let self-shame happen. You were perfectly and wonderfully made. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being single and waiting for the right person. In fact, Paul actually encourages and honours singleness in 1 Corinthians 7.
EMBRACE THE MOMENT Your person is out there. Perhaps God is working on them to be the right person for you and to love you unconditionally, or perhaps He’s doing that in your heart. Either way, God’s got this. As hard as it is and as much as it can suck, you can rest in the knowledge that God has your best interests at heart. So, if you are like me and feeling somewhat stuck in this trying season of singleness, come and embrace
the moment with me. Let’s enjoy the unique freedom that comes with being single. Surround yourself with other singletons and enjoy life together. Remember: When you pursue God first and foremost, everything else will follow. Robyn Tichauer has an adventurous spirit and loves to spend time outside, absorbing the rays and basking in the glory of nature. She has a heart for helping young women and has a strong desire to be a part of a generation where women walk proudly and without shame.
LIST OF ADVERTISERS
Thank you to our faithful advertisers featured throughout this launch issue. Here they are listed below, in alphabetical order. Alexandria Christian Academy Bible Institute of South Africa B3 Concept Design & Interior, Cinnamon Sue - Baby and Toddler Boutique Cornerstone Institute Crest Trust Fudiciary Services Dekker Attorneys Fiona Milligan: Freelance Photography, Graphic Design and Writing Goedgedacht Farm (The Goedgedacht Trust) – Getaways and Conferences Harvester International Ministries HeronBridge Retreat Ink and All
Kontos and Associates KyleSmile Caterers LGM Customs Maranatha Retreat and Conference Centre Mukhanyo Theological College MyFiladelfia Biblical Institute Simond Private School Stoney Ridge Camping and Conference Centre TC Editorial Services Tours to Israel and Beyond Trafalgar Tours Tranquility Home Rehabilitation Clinic Pilgrimage Tours Platinum Consulting
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THINGS I WISH I KNEW BEFORE TYING THE KNOT Tamsyn Cornelius ponders the intricacies of marriage and pre-marital counselling. 44
MARRIAGE Planning a wedding may be an exciting time of heartfelt celebration and self-discovery. This season leads up to one of the happiest days of your life, and rightly so. However, a few years down the road you may look back, as I often do, and think about that special time a little bit differently than you did before. Biblical pre-marital preparation helped us establish a solid foundation prior to our marriage, but still, there are a few things I wish I had known before taking the plunge.
YOU ARE NO LONGER YOUR OWN By law, when a couple marry without an antenuptial agreement, they enter into a legal contract in which they are classified as ‘one’ entity. Biblically, we are said to be yoked together with our spouse and become one in the eyes of the Lord and the Church. In theory, this sounds simple enough. Prior to marriage I wish I had delved a little deeper into the real meaning of ‘being one’. The challenges often arise in the everyday decisions we make as a couple – the places we go, the friends we keep, and the time spent together or apart. Prior to marriage, my obligations, priorities and routines pretty much centred around my own needs. Once wed I quickly needed to figure out that I was now intertwined to another and would need to share the complexities of my everyday life with my husband.
FINANCES ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOU THINK Within the first month of marriage, my husband and I had our first major dispute. It centred around a bill that needed to be paid. At that moment, it felt as though we were saying goodbye to the honeymoon phase of our relationship and hello to the realities of marriage. It ended up as a huge misunderstanding between the two of us. Nonetheless, I suddenly realised the overwhelming pressure that financial strain may have on a marriage. Who will manage the finances in your home? Will you have a joint
account? Who will oversee the budget and pay the bills? These are some of the most important questions that should be discussed during your premarital prep.
YOUR SPOUSE WILL NOT MAKE YOU WHOLE Contrary to popular belief, marriage does not complete the circle of your life. It is not the pinnacle of your existence and neither will it make you whole. Only Jesus can do that. As broken individuals, we often enter a marriage with our own baggage from past sins and hurts. We need to leave this with the Father and not add to the burden of our spouses, who in turn may be dealing with their own fears and transgressions.
TRANSPARENCY IS KEY Open, honest communication is vital for the success of any relationship. In fact, many divorced couples admit that a lack of communication and transparency in their marriage was the cause for their separation. My spouse and I have very different communication styles. I need time to process information before reacting. His response is to jump right into the thick of things, often confronting me about issues that I have not yet had time to think about. It often takes time for us to figure things out and communicate in a way that is comfortable for both of us. Being transparent means being able to bear your soul to your spouse. It also requires a careful understanding of how you both communicate in order to grow a happy, thriving marriage.
YOUR FAMILY MAY NOT BE PREPARED “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh,” (Genesis 2:24). This serves as an important biblical lesson for marriage. Together a couple will cleave to one another, leaving their parents and families behind to start their own. In the early days after marriage, your parents and extended family may
not be fully prepared for the ‘leaving’ that is so clearly emphasised here in Genesis. You will need to set the tone and help them understand where your new commitments lie. You are now united to your spouse – he or she is your new responsibility and first port of call.
DIFFERENCES MAKE YOU STRONGER My husband loves savoury treats and I adore chocolates. He enjoys late nights while I am an early riser. He is loud, social and extroverted; I am timid, behind the scenes and softspoken. So many differences, yet God chose to join us together as one. In the beginning, the differences may spark an initial attraction. However, in marriage we can easily let these very differences drive a wedge in our relationship instead of allowing them to reinforce who we are as a couple. From the start, I wish I had learned to celebrate the God-given quirks and differences in us both, to strengthen our bond and marriage.
PRE-MARITAL PREPARATION IS JUST THE BEGINNING Every so often I need to check in with my husband with important questions: Are we doing okay? Are we happy? How can we strengthen our marriage? The reality is, that after the big wedding day, the challenges, demands and daily struggles will still be there. We need to remind each other about the promises we made before God and our loved ones – promises to love, cherish and honour our spouse through the good and bad times. There may be stumbling blocks along the way. Things may not always work out as planned. Yet, it important to check in with your spouse regularly and to take time out to speak about your expectations, needs and concerns. The whole idea of pre-marital counselling is not to prepare you for the wedding itself, but to create a basic foundation from which to build a thriving marriage; one that honours God first and above all else. THE CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE
GODLY WOMEN This August as we celebrate Woman’s Month, we hear from Desray Van Rensburg about the challenges, blessings and lessons learnt as a pastor’s wife and woman in ministry. “The making of any man or woman of God will usually cost you much more than you are ever willing to pay; it will take you on a journey of winding roads, mountains high and valleys low that you never ever thought were possible.” (Author unknown) When I started this journey 16 years ago, stepping out to pioneer and plant a ministry together with my husband, my heart of innocence knew nothing of the mountains and valleys that lay before us. Since then I have experienced the highs and lows, the joys and sorrows that come with the life of ministry. I realise that it was certainly not an easy road travelled but it has been worth it as there can be no greater assignment than co-labouring with Christ to accomplish His purposes on earth. The reward of seeing fruitfulness develop from your labour
responsibility and a blessing too. You
we may avoid self-evaluation. So our
come fully loaded as the best helper alongside your husband. God has equipped us for the assignment. It’s important that we find our pulpit in our ministry. As a pastor’s wife, you may struggle with identifying your strengths. In the name of humility,
As new ministers, we are eager and zealous to grow and build the people... while God is more eager to grow us as leaders. Allow God to make us and mould us into what he desires us to be.
gifts remain underdeveloped, and our
loneliness. Leadership spells
potential is unrecognised. The sooner we discover our gifts, they will make room for us.
7. LONELINESS Many women in ministry experience
The race does not go to the swift... but to those who run with patience and endurance. Ministry is a marathon not a sprint. Pace yourself and enjoy every part of the journey.
loneliness. Statistics show that
4. GUARD YOUR HEART
each other to grow, develop and
loneliness is often the greatest ache in the heart of a pastor’s wife. Ministry doesn’t have to be lonely. Don’t go into isolation. We all need enjoy fellowship.
confirm that this is a ‘Now Season’
Ministry is a healing modality if you can keep your heart guarded and in the right place at all times. Forgive quickly and let go. Many pastors may bear lifelong wounds and become discouraged and easily burnt out.
for women to arise and step into
5. FAMILY FIRST
on your life. We constantly have
and seeds sown springing up, as well as witnessing sons and daughters being raised up to further advance the kingdom are great blessings. Prophetic voices around the world
their God given destiny. We are the nurturers and preservers of the next generation and we will contend for the destiny of our seed and possess the gates of the enemy. Some lessons I've learnt on this journey:
1. BALANCE As a woman in ministry we have a 46
difficult time balancing family and ministry. It’s so easy to become over-committed and underconnected. When there is a lack of presence and priorities, relationships with God, spouses, and children suffer. This can be a very dangerous place to be.
8. UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS No matter how hard you try, you can’t meet everyone’s expectations. Just be yourself. You can only be true to the call that God has placed
Your family is your first ministry. Don’t sacrifice your children on the altar of ministry. Many pastors are married to the ministry and have an affair with their families. We cannot win the church and lose our families.
to remind ourselves to play to an
6. DISCOVER YOUR GIFTS
Desray Van Rensburg heads up the
Perhaps like me, you are a pastor’s wife. It’s a high calling, a huge
audience of One — namely God Himself. Even though people are watching, we don’t need to be controlled by what they expect of us. Together with her husband, leadership of New Hope Church
BULIMIA My journey of healing and finding Christ in the midst of an eating disorder. By Jenna Richards The world believes that one is never truly healed from an eating disorder. The world tells us that we will always live with it, we will always be fighting it, we may learn to manage it – but we will never overcome it. God is so much bigger than this. After struggling for over eight years with bulimia, I am free! I never thought I would ever be able to truthfully say those three big words: ‘I AM FREE’.
stop, but at the same time, I couldn’t
with me. She helped me find myself
imagine life without bulimia.
amongst the voices of bulimia. She
HOW IT BEGAN
fought against me with every ounce
My eating disorder started the minute I began to label my food, at the age of 16. There was good food and there was bad food. And when I ate bad food I felt bad. I felt incredibly guilty and after a long while of just feeling guilty I decided to do something about it. I began to purge. It didn’t seem like an issue at the time, I was simply doing what I had to do to be the best that I could be. People started to comment on how great I was looking and it felt good. Before long, purging only ‘the bad food’ became purging after I felt I had eaten too much and then purging after every meal. When that no longer satisfied me, I started binge eating and before I knew it, something that I was using to control a situation began to control my life. I was hurting those around me and I had no idea how to stop. I wanted to
I wondered how people could
helped me to find the voice of Jesus
possibly eat and feel good afterwards.
when bulimia’s was dominant. She
How could one ever sit down to a meal
helped me to learn how to eat again.
and actually enjoy it. Food was my best
This may sound strange but after
friend and food was my worst enemy.
years of falling into the hands of my
eating disorder, I had no idea how to
In 2006, everything came to a halt. My body was broken and could not take any more. While my body cried out for help my mind (aka bulimia) of energy it had. I was admitted to hospital where I spent 12 weeks trying to recover. Being forced to eat is not an ideal recovery method, but it gave me the strength to keep fighting. It kept me alive so that I could come out and fight some more. My time here gave me a break from the reality that I knew as life… and it was here that I met My Healer. It was here that I found Jesus and it was another two years until I was set free.
FREEDOM IN CHRIST
eat normally. I didn’t know when I was hungry or when I was full. Sitting with a stomach full of food after a meal felt idiotic. While spiritual healing had taken place, there was a practical element that had to take place too.
HEALING IN JESUS It’s been nearly eight years since I last gave in to the voices of anorexia and bulimia. Eight years of healing and growing and being so grateful that we serve a King who cares enough to pull us out completely. I have been healed and I have been blessed with a beautiful family who love Jesus and long to serve Him. I believe that we are so often willing to settle for less than what Jesus has for us. We are so often willing to just be okay, but God
One winter’s day in 2008, the chains
wants all of us and He wants us whole.
fell off. I was worshipping God in church
He will do whatever it takes to get
with everything that I had and suddenly
us there. He cares about every single
I knew that the burden was not mine to
detail, if we will just let Him.
carry anymore. Jesus had lifted it and all
Jenna Richards is a Gauteng-based
I had to do now was follow.
mom who blogs about motherhood
He led me to an amazing Godly woman who walked a precious road
through faith, hope and love at www.faithplusmom.com. THE CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE
BUSINESS SUCCESS STARTS WITH CHRIST Cindy Schroeder is an established business woman who worked her way up from the bottom to become the director and shareholder of a leading IT company in South Africa. This is her story. Raised within the small coloured community of Ocean View on the outskirts of Cape Town, life was not always easy. The influence of gangsterism, drugs and alcohol abuse ran rife, yet my siblings and I were blessed to be raised by loving parents who looked beyond the daily struggles to give us the best quality of life. We never had much growing up – only the basics and yet we were happy with this. There were no fancy clothes, parties, toys or expensive cars. In fact, I clearly remember my dad having to wrap the motor of our car every night to keep the engine warm so that it would hopefully start in the morning. If not, we’d have to push the car down the street until it eventually started. Even though we had very little material possessions, my two siblings and I had a good upbringing.
A NEW ERA BECKONS At the age of nine I committed my life to the Lord and I was on fire for God but never really understood the 48
true meaning of the decision I had made. As life in South Africa began to change, we quickly transitioned from a coloured primary school to a ‘Model C’ high school and my brother and I were privileged within our new democracy to have access to better education. At the same time, I was not prepared for the social changes that came with us attending a mixed-race school. Suddenly I was thrown into the unknown, having to find my place among what seemed like massive social circles, with no idea of what to expect. The varying social statuses of everyone around me seemed overwhelming and soon I became influenced with the reality of peer pressure and my attempts to fit in. During high school, I rebelled. My teenage years spiraled into one downhill road as I went from being a ‘straight A’ student to passing with average grades. I became disruptive and willingly went against everything my parents had imparted in me.
Thinking about it today, I was the youngest of my siblings but managed to be the most difficult child to my parents. I totally forgot who God was and I just could not find my way back in life.
FINDING PURPOSE At the age of 19 I found my gem, Charlton Schroeder, and he became my best friend. We married three years later in 2003. This was a turning point in my life as I finally found someone who managed to ground me in a positive way. As a young married couple, we both recommitted our lives to God and together we started a walk with God as our Father. My biological brother and spiritual leader, Pastor Carl Cupido, was integral during the early days and difficult times, and helped to direct me back into the realm of God. At the age of 24, my miracle child was born. Chad brought so much change and positivity to our lives and we were blessed that God had given
BUSINESS us the opportunity of becoming parents. At the time, I had started a job in internal sales support when I found out that I was expecting. I returned after maternity leave to find out that my former job had been made redundant. I was given the choice to go into sales or to seek other employment. As a young mother and wife, we could not afford for me to be unemployed, so I took the challenge and started in Telesales.
CHOOSING TO SUCCEED During the months and years that followed I was faced with many challenges and obstacles in the workplace. I was young and inexperienced. I needed to choose my path to either quit or do everything to succeed. Relying on God’s grace and guidance, and not my own ability, I made a conscious decision to succeed. Over the next few years I went from being an inexperienced sales person to achieving unbelievable favour and success. Within five years of starting I had worked my way up to becoming a sales manager,
a shareholder and also a branch manager. In 2013, I was appointed Director of Introstat Pty Ltd, alongside Wayne Behrmann. My career journey has not been the easiest road to walk but my relationship with God and the support of my loving husband and son give me the strength to persevere. There were many times that walls around me came crashing down but I would simply fall on my knees and seek answers from my Abba Father. The most powerful aspect of having a relationship with God is knowing that He is always there, no matter what.
OPEN DOORS The situations that come along our
“RELYING ON GOD’S GRACE AND GUIDANCE, AND NOT MY OWN ABILITY, I MADE A CONSCIOUS DECISION TO SUCCEED”
paths are part of God’s opportunities to mold us according to His blue print. God uses our situations to prepare us for our destinies. When we find ourselves in a place where our strength is gone, that’s when God can work on our behalf. Today I am a director and shareholder at a leading IT company in South Africa with 187 permanent staff. Coming from a small town like Ocean View where existence beyond the community seemed invisible, God has opened doors and afforded me opportunities that seemed impossible. I’m blessed beyond measure to work alongside my mentor and business partner Wayne Behrmann (MD), a man who entrusted his company to me. “Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors,” (Proverbs 8:34). I thank God daily for his grace and unmerited favour upon my life, as well as a phenomenal husband and pillar of strength, Charlton, and son Chad, who serve the Lord with me. I serve a God of the impossible.
CINDY WITH HER HUSBAND, CHARLTON SCHROEDER THE CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE
One fashion designer mogul mum is making a name for Christ in retail fashion in South Africa. By Tamsyn Cornelius
At age 38, Pranitha Sahibdew is a creative soul; a quiet-natured yet resourceful woman of influence who wears many hats as a mum of two boys, Sean-Paul and Sebastian, a business owner and fashion designer. Together with her fulltime pastor husband Nitesh, the pair are also actively involved in their local congregation at newDAY Church in Edenvale Gauteng. As a fashion designer and entrepreneur with her own clothing label, Exodus Original, Pranitha honours God through the design of beautiful clothing, from everyday contemporary attire to bespoke Haute Couture. From as early as she can remember, Pranitha has always had a calling toward fashion. She recalls a time as a young child, rushing back to her Pietermaritzburg childhood home after school to dress up in her fancy Sunday clothing. From age 13, she took matters into her own hands and decided to tailor her own clothing. “I decided to sew my own clothes to ensure that I had a new outfit every weekend. I also tailored my school uniform so that I felt dressed; I loved the feeling of being complete in an outfit,” she explains. As a teen, Pranitha also began a close personal walk with God which she carries into adulthood. After graduating, she began a career as a retail buyer but God quickly redirected her path towards her first love – fashion design. Six months into her career as a buyer, the Lord spoke through Proverbs 31 with a clear message to Pranitha about what she should be doing. “She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers, (Proverbs 31:
18-19). “She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes,” (Proverbs 31;24). These are the Scriptures that resounded in Pranitha’s heart – and ultimately changed her path forever. Pranitha therefore established her own label, Exodus Original, which launched as a fashion show at a church fundraiser. “My label has huge meaning”, she explains. “What I loved the most is how God always speaks to us through Scripture.” Scripture again spoke to Pranitha and influenced the name of her label. “Tell all the skilled workers to whom I have given wisdom in such matters that they are to make garments for Aaron, for his consecration, so he may serve me as priest,” (Exodus 28:3). God had even orchestrated the unique selection of colours for her business logo. “Have them use gold, and blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and fine linen,” (Exodus 28:5). “I felt God being very specific about the direction I would take regarding my fashion being Haute Couture. The colours stood out to me and so my logo is gold, purple, scarlet and blue. I often get asked why I would choose these colours together, or where I got the idea, and it’s great to testify that God has His hand in every single detail of our lives, our business and our career paths.” What started as a passion with the sale of tops and hand painted handbags at a flea market, has since
“GOD HAS HIS HAND IN EVERY SINGLE DETAIL OF OUR LIVES, OUR BUSINESS AND OUR CAREER PATHS” developed into a full-blown career and is testament to the goodness of God. “Today after 19 years, I now supply a very popular retail store.” As a student, Pranitha designed for Guess at the Cape Town Fashion week and she further designed a dress for the Breast Cancer Association, which was featured on Top Billing. “These are some of the highlights of my career,” she admits. Today Pranitha supplies Young Designer Emporium (YDE) owned by Truworths and she feels that her entire career and work are a ministry to women. “My prayer is that they feel confident, secure, and beautiful in my garments. Women are wired differently; if we look good, we feel good, and we are able to take on the world. In my offices, I try to create an environment that is gracious. I often pray that my clients, suppliers and staff experience Christ through Exodus Original.” “My brand is extremely clean cut; less is more is my motto. I have a very simple yet chic and posh approach,” she adds. As a local designer, Pranitha faces many challenges and pressure from international trends and brands. “One
of the struggles local designers face is the impact that imported clothes and brands have had on us. We in no way can compete with the prices of that market. I would love it if that changes. My dream for SA is that we are able to bring back our textile industry again and successfully manufacture our garments, restoring jobs for our CMTs.” Pranitha understands that keeping up with fashion trends is very important in the industry. She gives us a sneak peek into upcoming seasonal trends: “I am currently working on Spring and Summer 2017. This season is all about vibrant colours, vivid tropical patterns and print. A lot of the design and colours are nature inspired which we will call ‘organic’ colours.” This year Pranitha has been one very busy woman. She worked on a dress for Mrs Africa for the Mrs Transcontinental pageant in Altanta Georgia, and she continues to find new and innovative ways to express herself through her work and fashion line. “From the outside, it looks very glamorous but it is not an easy career,” she says. “A lot of hard work goes into it.” As encouragement for any aspiring local designers, Pranitha says: “Let your passion and love for fashion get you through.” To find out more about the work of Exodus Original, visit www. facebook.com/exodusoriginal/ THE CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE
Jennifer Cupido is a UK-based mom of four who shares the practicalities and challenges of being a missionary within your own home.
I’ll never forget one Sunday
RAISING GODLY KIDS
even the hardest of all – showing
morning when my pastor at the
Working through the mundane yet relentless efforts we have to do each day as mothers can sometimes distract us from our greatest calling of all – to be a witness to our children and show them the way to Christ. We are blessed beyond measure with the gift of our children, but we can easily lose sight of our true calling when we’re staring at a mountain of dirty laundry. Feeding our kids and making sure they wear clean underwear every day are the basic skills of motherhood. Raising them to be kind and self-controlled, and to not end up screaming on the floor every time you tell them they can’t have chocolate for breakfast, takes true determination and focus. Being Jesus to them in the everyday moments is what matters… forgiving them when they spill orange juice all over your only clean shirt; showing mercy and grace when they accidentally drop all their food on the floor just before reaching the table; loving them extravagantly no matter how many times we have to clean up after them; and
them tough love by not giving them
time, pointedly asked this question to the Church: “When was the last time you led someone to Jesus?” I remember feeling provoked and a little put off at the accusation that I was intentionally not sharing my faith. At the time, I had four children under the age of seven and lived in a small town in the English countryside as a stay at home mum, serving in my home and local Church. My world was small and my daily routine was both limiting and challenging. My response to my pastor's question (in my head of course) was this: “I share Christ with my children every day.” After all, I would consider myself the most neglectful of all mothers if I didn’t give my children the most valuable knowledge I have – the gift of salvation in Jesus Christ. My heart was burning to “…go into all the world and preach the Gospel” (Mark 16:15). But my world only really had four people in it that I could actually share Christ with – my children. 52
everything they want because we know it’s not good for them – that is our true calling.
THE GREAT COMMISSION I may not be preaching to the five thousand, seeing miraculous signs and wonders, or leading hundreds to Christ on the mission field, but I am leading my children closer and closer to Jesus day by day through every act of motherhood in my own home. I’ve now had the privilege of leading my two eldest in the Prayer of Salvation and will continue in my mission field at home so that I can help my youngest two children enter into the same relationship with my Saviour. Raising my children for Christ will always be my mission field no matter where life may take me or them. The foundations we lay in our children’s hearts last a lifetime and never underestimate the responsibility of being a witness to your children. Your children are placed in your trusted care by God to show them the way to Salvation – don’t miss it!
We are all called as parents to take hold of the great commission and carry the good news into all the world – and as parents our world starts at home. “Place these words on your hearts. Get them deep inside you. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder. Teach them to your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning until you fall into bed at night,” (Deuteronomy 11:18-20, Message Translation).
5 EASY WAYS TO SHARE JESUS WITH YOUR KIDS: 1. Memorise Scriptures together whilst in the car on the way to school. Keep the verses short and simple and stick with one until they’ve got it. Don’t know where to start? Why not start at the beginning! “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” (Genesis 1:1). 2. Blast praise and worship music as you get the kids dressed in the morning. Have a dance party and encourage them to all sing at the top of their lungs. This teaches them how to worship and starts them off welcoming God into their day each morning. 3. At the dinner table ask them about the best and toughest parts of their day and give praise to God for the good and pray out loud over the tough stuff. 4. Tell them every single day – “I love you, but Jesus loves you even more.” It may sound silly, but if you don’t tell them, who will? 5. Sing a simple Gospel song over them as they go to sleep, such as “Jesus loves me this I know” or play a kid’s worship album if you can’t bear to hear your own voice! They’ll be singing themselves to sleep before you know it, saying those words of love and redemption over themselves each night… something they’ll never forget it. THE CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE
OPEN YOUR HOME ?
Kay and Holger Lorentz followed the call of God to care for the needy in their community. By Tamsyn Cornelius
“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world,” James 1:27. Orphan care had always been a part of the ministry of Kay and Holger Lorentz from the time that the two were wed over 22 years ago. After 14 years with YWAM and ministering in different parts of the world, they started their own NGO in South Africa and began to immerse themselves in the ministry of children at risk. Together they were actively raising their own three children and by 2014, the pair were running two NGOs focused on children at risk. Their work ranged from direct involvement with children on camps and holidays clubs, to raising national awareness, and funding for the plight of orphans. “In June 2014, my life was about to change forever but I had no real idea 54
yet,” explains Kay. With a wealth of knowledge, Kay and Holger were eagerly sowing back into the local community and raising up leaders through specialised training programmes for those who worked with children at risk. “I was in Pretoria at an orphan summit where adults from all over Africa were speaking about the orphan crisis in the world, but specifically focused on Africa. We were known for our activity and I was attending the summit because we had some resources and experience to share,” she explains. At this point in the summit God clearly spoke into Kay’s heart and challenged her with the question, ‘When are you going to open your home?’ “Open my home! My heart yelled back!” As the guest speaker continued to speak about the magnitude of orphaned children, Kay went on to
remind God about her involvement in that very type of work. “I listed my involvement, as if He didn’t already know. (Arrogant much!)”, she laughs. “I continued to ponder, journal and read about this need for homes. I knew that institutional care was not the ideal and that these had long waiting lists. I knew facts but wasn’t aware of the extent of the crisis for children needing a home… a safe home… with a family!” Thus began a season filled with many questions and real fears about why the Lorentz family had not opened their own home. “If I was going to do this then God would have to show me that my whole family was open and ready. I kept this conversation between God and myself. I knew with Holger’s heart for children in crisis that he would jump at the idea. He had told me before we married that he wanted 16 kids and they were not all going to be our own
biological children!” After a year of pondering, reading, praying and even bargaining, the silence was broken when their firstborn one day asked them why they had never adopted. “Answering her led to a conversation with Holger and our children at the dinner table that night. What shocked me most was how ready they all were to take on the challenge. We decided together to commit the process to God and let Him guide us. We were in no position to take children into our home without a few miracles. At that point, it looked impossible.” The family of five regularly began to speak about the idea of adoption as they waited and trusted. In May 2016, Kay was challenged on an Ultimate Camp Africa expedition where many of the children were in foster care. “I experienced firsthand children walking with trauma wounds from being unwanted and born into homes where they were not safe. In our work, we had witnessed many children who, without the loving intervention of a caring family, seemed predisposed to a life of crime. The burdened system and lack of resources further screamed in my face. Someone needed to do something.” After camp, Kay offloaded her experience with Holger and together they knew that it was time. As if by God’s own intervention, Kay met with a social worker who introduced her to the work of Kin Culture, a ministry who were seeking families, like theirs, to journey through foster care or adoption. In her heart, Kay knew that God’s timing was now and so began the process of foster care and moving to a more suitable home, through the assistance of Kin Culture, to take on more children in need. “Our first step was to get police clearance. We then met our first foster child and registered as safety care parents. Things moved very
quickly after this, a lot faster than originally anticipated,” she explains. Within a matter of months, the Lorentz family had vacated their former family home and moved to a farm with space for up to four more children. Their firstborn had just moved abroad for further education after school, and with the other two at high school, the couple could take on a whole new adventure in parenting. Their first foster child was a toddler and soon enough, three more little girls were added to the Lorentz home, completing their new family of nine. “This season has been an
GOD CLEARLY SPOKE INTO KAY’S HEART AND CHALLENGED HER... ‘WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO OPEN YOUR HOME?’
began to settle into a new normal and now we all sleep better,” she laughs. There are aspects of the foster care system, and bringing traumatised children into your family, that require external support. For the Lorentz family, they are ever grateful for the support of Kin Culture and their church during this season. There are amazing online resources available to help guide the family and the church community, after all it does take a village to raise a child. There is enormous need in South Africa for Christians to open their homes. “Not every family can become a safety family, but it is my conviction that every Christian has a role to play. If you cannot adopt, then foster or become a place of safety. If you cannot foster or do safety care, then support families who do. If you cannot support, make sure you are praying,” Kay concludes. For more information on the work of Kin Culture visit www.kinculture.org.
interesting adventure. We knew it would be hard; we knew we would experience a new kind of brokenness as a family, but we were still not fully prepared for how. We experienced a real ‘hypervigilance’ that breaks sleep continuously in the early days… we heard every sound. The challenge of bonding with children who fear adults; the nappies and health challenges we were not informed about at first… all became very real. After about two months, things THE CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE
YOUR GUIDE TO A LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT Here the professionals from Kontos & Associates Attorneys answer some frequently asked questions when it comes to understanding a final will and testament.
WHAT IS A LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT? A last will or testament is a legal document that sets forth your wishes upon death, regarding the distribution of your property and the care of any minor children.
WHAT IT IS NOT… A last will and testament should not be a document wherein the deceased tries to govern and dictate from the grave, rather it should be the last act of love and kindness shown to loved ones by the deceased. This document should not be treated lightly. It should be a document which has been given proper thought and should be drawn up by an experienced professional.
HOW IS A LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT DRAWN UP? A last will and testament must be drafted and executed in accordance with the strict requirements set out in the Wills Act. If the document falls short of the legal requirements it may be rejected in whole or in part by the Master of the High Court. In this event the deceased estate will be dealt with, 56
in accordance with the provisions of the Intestates Succession Act. This Act will then dictate the terms of who inherits what.
WHAT ABOUT ESTATES WITHOUT WILLS? There are a number of complications that may arise when you do not have a will. A few rulings may be applied. This is known as an ‘Intestate Succession’ and applies to any estate without a will: 1. The Intestate Succession Act may create financial and emotional burdens to a beneficiary. This may be contrary to the intention of the deceased. 2. Moneys due to minor beneficiaries will be deposited into the Guardians Fund and withdrawing funds is an administrative nightmare. 3. Immovable property may be transferred to minor beneficiaries who are not at an age to make sound decisions. 4. Parents are unable to appoint guardians. 5. A beneficiary appointed in terms of the Intestate Succession Act; may
be a person whom the deceased may not have considered as a beneficiary.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF HAVING A LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT? 1. Loved ones are taken care of in your absence. 2. A clear and correctly drawn will ensures that your wishes are followed; it will also give you peace of mind that your affairs are in order. 3. The liquidation of your estate runs smoothly and is dealt with by the Executor as appointed by you, in your will. 4. Your children are maintained and a guardian is appointed. 5. A will can save your loved ones from financial and legal burdens. 6. It minimizes estate duty where appropriate and if possible. Do you need a professional to help you draw up a final will or testament? Kontos & Associates Attorneys offers a wealth of experience and would be happy to offer assistance. Contact them today for expert advice.
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With over 15 years of experience Kontos & Associates Attorneys offers a wealth of knowledge within our field of expertise.
WE CAN HELP YOU WITH: DRAFTING AND EXECUTION OF LAST WILLS AND TESTAMENTS CONVEYANCING
SELLING AND LEASING OF PROPERTY
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THE MOST IMPORTANT DOCUMENT YOU WILL EVER SIGN Having a valid will ensures that you determine how your assets will be managed and distributed after death. In the event that you die without a valid will, your assets will be divided between family members according to strict laws irrespective of your wishes. It is therefore of the utmost importance that you not only ensure that you have a valid will (adhering to strict formalities required) but that your will is drafted by a professional to ensure that all wishes may be given effect to. Incorrect use of language may render a clause pro non scripto which is effectively removed and ignored as if not contained in the will. Our law also prohibits the inclusion of certain clauses in a will, for example a clause that prevents or impedes the sanctity of marriage by allowing an individual to only inherit if they do not marry a certain individual or at all. During consultation with a professional, many incorrect beliefs may also be disposed of, for example the common misconception that common law marriage applies in South Africa. An invalid will is effectively the same as dying without having signed a will at all. What are some implications of dying without a valid will? • The individuals that you want to inherit may not inherit at all. • A child’s inheritance must in terms of law be paid in to the Guardian’s fund. The child may then only claim their inheritance from the Guardian’s fund at 18, which is seldom without difficulty. • Both immovable and movable property inherited by a child shall be required to be sold and reduced to cash entrusted to the Guardian’s fund. This results in the loss of sentimental property which can almost never be retrieved. • Without a clause as to who shall have care for a child, a child’s future is left uncertain. • Without the election of an Executor/Executrix in a valid will, the deceased’s assets may be dealt with and distributed by a complete stranger after death. Let Platinum Consulting guide you through the process and prepare your last wishes accurately and professionally with a holistic view of your estate in mind. 58
5 TIPS TO PREPARING YOUR WILL Take action and be prepared as you plan your will. Contact a professional to help you along the process. Here are a few pointers and important things to consider during your preparation. 1. LIST YOUR ASSETS AND DECIDE WHO WILL INHERIT YOUR PROPERTY. Start by determining which properties you plan to include in your will and decide who will inherit these properties. Remember to select alternative beneficiaries as well, in case your first choices do not survive you.
“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” Warren Buffet We offer specialised tax advice on estate duty, VAT, CGT, transfer duty & related taxes as a supporting service to our core business of fiduciary services, such as • drafting of wills; • administration of deceased estates; • setting up, legal audit & management of trusts; • comprehensive estate planning & structuring; & • the drafting of fiduciary-related contracts & agreements.
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2. CHOOSE AN EXECUTOR TO HANDLE YOUR ESTATE. You can appoint an executor as the person who will help to carry out the terms of your will after your death.
3. CHOOSE A GUARDIAN FOR YOUR CHILDREN. Do you have minors? If your children are under the age of 18, they will require guardianship (trusted individuals who will help to raise your kids) in the event that you, and the other parent, are deceased.
4. CHOOSE SOMEONE TO MANAGE CHILDREN'S PROPERTY. If you are planning to leave property to your children or young adults, you should choose an adult to manage whatever they inherit.
5. SIGN YOUR WILL IN FRONT OF WITNESSES. In order for your document to be legally acceptable, you will need witnesses present at the signing of your will.
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By Jennifer Cupido, health enthusiast and skincare entrepreneur. We all know and love the sweet taste of honey, but that’s just the beginning to this simple yet complex whole food. Did you know that it’s mentioned over 60 times in the Bible and was associated with health and wealth? There are records of honey being used in the Bible and all throughout history for its remarkable antibacterial and antifungal benefits. The wise King Solomon said: “Eat honey, my son, for it is good,” (Proverbs 24:13). Back in the time of Solomon that may have been words of divine wisdom, but now we have lots of research to show us why honey is so beneficial. This single whole food contains a variety of phytochemicals along with organic acids, vitamins and enzymes and according to Peter Molan, director of the Honey Research Unit at the University of Waikato in New Zealand: “All honey is antibacterial, because the bees add an enzyme that makes hydrogen peroxide.” It also includes amino acids, and minerals like calcium, iron, sodium chlorine, magnesium, phosphate, and potassium. Including it in your daily diet will add nutrition and improve your health. One tablespoon of honey contains around 64 calories and has no fat or cholesterol. A small amount can add huge benefits to your health
and is an excellent alternative to the processed white sugar that’s prevalent in our everyday foods. There are over 20,000 species of bees but only 7 of these species can make honey. It was said of John the Baptist that whilst he lived in the desert that “his food was locusts and wild honey” (Matthew 3:4), and it was also used repeatedly in the Bible as a symbol of blessing and prosperity as shown most memorably in Exodus to the Israelites entering into the promised land being given “...a land flowing with milk and honey” (Exodus 3:8). There are practically endless varieties of honey as they get their unique colour and flavour depending on the source of the pollen. Generally, the darker the honey the less sugar and more beneficial properties it contains. It can help to alleviate the symptoms of allergies as it contains traces of pollen and helps build up your immunity as well as relieve inflamed sinuses with its anti-inflammatory properties. One of the greatest benefits of honey is how many different uses there are for it. It’s not just a food, but a medicine and a beautifying skin care ingredient too!
HERE ARE SOME OF MY FAVOURITE WAYS TO USE HONEY:
APPLY IMMEDIATELY TO BURNS Honey has natural antiinflammatory properties and special enzymes that produce hydrogen peroxide that will prevent blistering and aid in healing the skin.
USE AS FACE MASK Take 1/2 tablespoon of honey and mix with a squeeze of lemon juice and apply to clean skin all over your face and neck. Leave on for up to 30 minutes and then rinse off with warm water. The honey will leave your skin soft, smooth and glowing.
USE TO MOISTURISE Honey is a natural humectant, meaning it attracts water to itself giving your skin an extra dose of moisture.
RELIEVE A COLD Mix 1 tablespoon of honey with 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and add boiled water for a natural cold remedy. IMPROVE BLEMISHES Apply directly to a blemish and leave on overnight. Let its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties get to work, naturally.
A TONIC Take 1 tablespoon of honey and a squeeze of lemon and add boiled water. This aids digestion, balances blood sugar and boosts immunity with its exact combination of fructose and glucose and naturally high antioxidants.
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DEBUNKING THE WE BELIEVE As young people in an ever-changing world, what do we know for certain about what we believe? With so many ideologies and whack job theories out there, it is important to remain grounded in the Word of God. HERE ARE FIVE LIES DEBUNKED BY BIBLICAL TRUTHS. Lie #1: There is no truth. A common lie we hear in the streets, among our peers and even professors. What does the Bible say about truth? Truth: Jesus could not have negated this lie any better than he did. “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” (John 14:6). The ultimate truth lies in and through Jesus Christ.
Lie #2: If I am good enough I will get to heaven. Truth: Good works and even our best efforts alone will get us nowhere. The Message (MSG) Version of the Bible sums it up beautifully. “We’ve sinned and kept at it so long! Is there any hope for us? Can we be saved? We’re all sin-infected, sincontaminated. Our best efforts are grease-stained rags,” (Isaiah 64: 6).
Lie #5 Premarital sex has no effect on me. Truth: The Bible speaks clearly about the relationship between a man and wife; and goes to great depth about the importance of keeping your body holy. “You know that your bodies are parts of the body of Christ. Shall I take a part of Christ’s body and make it part of the body of a prostitute? Impossible! Or perhaps you don’t know
Lie #3: When I am on my own, I can do what I want. Truth: We all have to answer to someone for how we choose to live our lives. Think carefully about your actions as there will be repercussions for our choices. “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God,” (Romans 13:1).
Lie #4: Serving God is boring. Truth: On the contrary, a life of serving God is filled with adventure, faith and new challenges every day. “The backslider gets bored with himself; the godly man’s life is exciting,” (Proverbs 14:14).
that the man who joins his body to a prostitute becomes physically one with her? The scripture says quite plainly, ‘The two will become one body.’ But he who joins himself to the Lord becomes spiritually one with him. Avoid immorality. Any other sin a man commits does not affect his body; but the man who is guilty of sexual immorality sins against his own body,” (1 Corinthians 6: 15-18).
Have your own questions about truth, faith and your daily walk with Christ? We challenge you to read the Word of God and find out the answers for yourself! 62
Out of the MOUTHS OF BABES
While walking along the pavement in front of his church, our minister heard the intoning of a prayer that nearly made his collar wilt. Apparently, his five-year-old son and his playmates had found a dead robin. Feeling that proper burial should be performed, they had secured a small box and cotton batting, then dug a hole and made ready for the disposal of the deceased. The minister’s son was chosen to say the appropriate prayers and with sonorous dignity intoned his version of what he thought his father always said: “Glory be unto the Faaaather… and unto the Sonnnn… and into the hole he gooooes.”
A little girl became restless as the preacher’s sermon dragged on and on. Finally, she leaned over to her mother and whispered, “Mommy, if we give him A little boy opened the the money now, big family Bible. He was will he let us fascinated as he fingered through go?” the old pages. Suddenly, something fell out of the Bible. He picked up the object and looked at it. What he saw was an old leaf that had been pressed in between the pages. “Mama, look what I found”, the boy called out. “What have you got there, dear?” his mom responded. With astonishment in the young boy’s voice, he answered, “I think it’s Adam’s underwear!”
THE CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE
FAITH-BASED FILMS TO INSPIRE Martin Scorsese tells the story of two Christian missionaries (Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) who face the ultimate test of faith when they travel to Japan in search of their missing mentor (Liam Neeson), at a time when Christianity was outlawed and their presence forbidden. The celebrated director’s 28-year journey to bring Shusaku Endo’s 1966 acclaimed novel to life will be in theatres this December.
Released at cinemas nationwide earlier this year, look for this one on DVD. Based on the New York Times best-selling novel, The Shack takes us on a father’s journey through a family tragedy. Mack Phillips (Sam Worthington) spirals into a deep depression causing him to question his innermost beliefs. He receives a mysterious letter urging him to an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Despite his doubts, Mack journeys to the shack and encounters an enigmatic trio of strangers led by a woman named Papa (Octavia Spencer). Through this meeting, Mack finds important truths that will transform his life. 64
This locally produced film by Frans Cronje centres around the life of Louise, an exceptional singer and actress. She is on a journey to discover her God-given purpose and wants to move to Broadway, but her father, a South African game ranger who is stuck in the past, wants her to settle in the African bushveld, marry his right-hand-man André and live nearby. Tension quickly builds between father and daughter. To make matters worse, a life-and-death situation arises when Louise, André and her father encounter a lethal band of game poachers, in the same area where dangerous lions roam. Now, Louise has to choose in which jungle she belongs, is it Manhattan or the bushveld?
Here are a few top Christian movies making their debut at cinemas or on DVD during the remainder of 2017. Don’t miss out on these challenging tales to encourage your faith.
SAME KIND OF DIFFERENT AS ME
In 1980, Lee Strobel’s (Mike Vogel) award-winning, investigative reporting earns him a promotion to legal editor at the Chicago Tribune. Things at home aren’t going nearly as well. His wife Leslie’s (Erika Christensen) newfound faith in Christ compels Lee to utilize his journalistic and legal training to try and disprove the claims of Christianity, pitting his resolute atheism against her growing faith. This American Christian drama film is directed by Jon Gunn and written by Brian Bird, based on a true story that inspired the 1998 book.
THE CASE FOR CHRIST
BEYOND THE RIVER
A locally produced, proudly South African movie about two men from vastly different walks of life who are brought together by their determination to win gold in one of the toughest river races in the world, the Dusi Canoe Marathon. Inspired by the true story of Siseko Ntondini and Piers Cruickshanks, who together won gold in the 2014 Dusi, Beyond the River delivers a nail-biting adventure story about the triumph of the human spirit.
Based on a NYT best-selling true story, this film follows the lives of Debbie (Renée Zellweger) and her husband Ron (Greg Kinnear) who recommit to their marriage in the most unlikely of places – a homeless shelter where they are challenged to take a stand and to change their future together. But it’s really meeting the homeless man Denver (Djimon Hounsou) which changes all three of their lives forever. THE CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE
BOOK REVIEWS THROUGH THE EYES OF HOPE By Lacey Buchanan, Charisma House This is the personal story of a newly-wed Tennessee native, Lacey Buchanan, who having found out that her first child would be born with a very rare condition, trusted God above all else. Through tragedy she shares the power of hope and finding beauty amid the confusion. Lacey’s firstborn son, Christian was born with a medical condition so unique that there are only fifty recorded cases in the world. Despite the negative circumstance, she shares her family’s experience of holding onto God’s promises despite overwhelming adversity – for trusting God to turn their darkness into light. This honest recollection will have you shedding a tear and praising God, along with Lacey, for his ever-present faithfulness through the trials of life.
10 ULTIMATE TRUTHS GIRLS SHOULD KNOW By Kari Kampakis, Thomas Nelson The journey of a teenage girl is not always easy. There are many challenges on life’s road including issues of popularity, bullying and boys. Kari Kampakis speaks directly to the hearts of young women and shares biblical truths to empower you on the road to becoming a godly woman – one with integrity, faith and selfconfidence in who you are. She shares 10 powerful truths to help you on the path towards womanhood with the aim for you to unravel God’s purpose for your own life. In this easy to read book, you will find practical tips, discussion questions, biblical insight, and space to journal your thoughts. It is the perfect read for any young girl on the cusp of adulthood.
A 21-DAY PRAYER JOURNEY By Itumeleng Matlaila, Struik Christian Media After embarking on her own prayer journey with friends, local businesswoman and academic, Itumeleng Matlaila from Sandton, wrote this heartfelt guide to encourage 21 days of focused prayer and fasting for breakthrough. With a practical guide to fasting and a prayer schedule for every day, the book is hands-on and offers space to journal your own thoughts and engage with the Word of God on relevant topics to appeal to modern South Africans. Prayer topics include our country, the African continent, our children and many more. Prayer is seen as a very powerful weapon. The aim is to deepen your spiritual walk with the Father and to experience the power of prayer in your own life.
GOD IS GOOD By Bill Johnson, Destiny Image We all know that God is good, but delving deeper into this biblical truth, bestselling author, Bill Johnson, encourages us to change our perception of God and the way we think about Him – that He is in fact, better than we think. God’s goodness determines how we respond to everyday trials and tribulations. Bill Johnson helps us build on the foundation of God’s unshakeable goodness and how our view of God defines everything in our lives. He looks at the unchanging character of God; the goodness of God in both the Old and New Testaments, and Jesus as the perfect theology. The book aims to unleash new realms of supernatural thinking to change the atmosphere of your life.
THE CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE
MIXED REPONSES AS A NEW NAME IS SUGGESTED FOR SOUTH AFRICA
FEWER BABIES BORN WITH HIV IN RSA Fewer than two babies out of every 100 born to HIV-positive mothers in South Africa are infected with HIV at birth. These low rates point to the success of the prevention of motherto- child transmission (PMTCT) programme in South Africa that has resulted in a decrease of the transmission rate from about 30% at six weeks in the early 2000s, to the 2015/2016 rate of 1.5%.
SOUTH AFRICANS ENCOURAGED TO HOLD FAST TO HOPE FOR A BETTER ECONOMIC FUTURE Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba says that, despite three ratings downgrades and an official move into recession, South African citizens, businesses and stakeholders should think positively, and make way for economic transformation. At a media briefing, the Finance Minister said that government was fully aware of the economic trials in South Africa, but was adamant that its interventions would show positive results in time. “Successful government interventions include having moved from electricity shortage to surplus, and launching Invest SA, making it easy to open a business and invest in South Africa,” Gigaba said. Continue to pray for our nation and for those in power. 68
In June, it was suggested by the Minister of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, that South Africa change its name. The suggested new name was Azania. He explained that the current name ‘South Africa’ is merely a geographical reference and should be changed just as other apartheid and colonial era names were changed. He was supported by African People’s Convention’s president, Themba Godi, who said South Africa should have followed the model of Namibia and Zimbabwe, which after gaining liberation changed from colonial names South West Africa and Rhodesia respectively. The public quickly took to Twitter with mixed reactions to the suggested name change. Many were against the idea while some welcomed it as a ‘spiritual rebirth’ of sorts.
RSA NEEDS TO BOOST MATHS AND SCIENCE South Africa’s poor ranking of 47th out of 63 countries in the latest IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking is a direct result of an ineffective education system that has neglected maths and science. Pierre le Roux, CEO of Moyo Business Advisory (MBA), said little or no effort was being made to engender a love of maths and science to enable learners to do the so-called difficult subjects like information technology at university. “The rankings clearly show that we are falling further and further behind in how competitive we are in this most vital field in which we absolutely need to excel if we want to build our economy and create jobs for the millions of unemployed South Africans.” The survey released by the Swiss-based business school measures the business competitiveness of countries across 260 indicators using data with partner institutions within countries. South Africa ranked even lower in terms of knowledge (49). The country’s knowledge measure is based on the extent to which talent is attracted, education and training and scientific contributions in the digital space.
By TravelingOtter - Flickr: Harbour - Knysna, South Africa, CC BY 2.0, https://commons. wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=32909773
REBUILDING KNYSNA 7 June 2017 has been etched in South African history, as the seaside towns of Knysna, Sedgefield and Plettenberg Bay were completely ravished by runaway fires that displaced thousands and killed around 7 civilians and even a firefighter. Propelled by strong winds and a dry landscape, the fires ran rampant for almost a week before finally being contained. The South African National Defence Force was deployed, while firefighters and aid workers were flown in from across the country to assist the locals and help extinguish the blaze that left the entire region in disarray. The Knysna fire claimed many homes, but not hope.
The country came together with big corporations such as Pick n Pay, DHL, Makro and many others joining forces to offer aid, food and temporary shelter to those affected. The plan is to rebuild this tourist hub and to restore the town to its former glory. Further south, during the same week, The City of Cape Town Metro Municipality reported that almost 827 Informal settlement structures were damaged due to flooding and roofs blown off in a freak storm that hit the Mother City. Humanitarian relief was also offered to 2 502 people across the metro.
THE CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE
PRAY FOR DONALD TRUMP Of all the startling political events of 2016, one that baffled an awful lot of people was the exceptional support Donald Trump received from conservative Christians, and especially evangelical voters that he won by an unprecedented 80-to-16 margin. According to New York Mag, despite his lack of legislative accomplishments, Trump has
By Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons. wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47943348
pleased Christian right leaders and the rank and file in many subtle and not-so-subtle ways: his gestures of unilateral support for Israel, his appointment of a secretary of Education widely viewed as a religiously motivated warrior for diverting public education funds to private — including religious —schools and home-schooling parents, his hostility to the “pagan”
DEAF POPULATION IN NEED OF CHRIST
When you think of people unreached with the Gospel, you might imagine a tribal community in a third-world country removed from modern civilization. But surprisingly, one of the largest unreached people groups may exist in your own backyard. Out of the 70 million Deaf people worldwide, less than an estimated two percent of them have been reached with the Gospel. Deaf Bible Society has a variety of resources, including a smartphone app with portions of Scripture translated into 20-plus sign languages. The goal is to make sure no Deaf person lacks the opportunity to experience God’s Word. 70
cause of climate change activism, and his lusty participation in very old conservative wars on Planned Parenthood and Obamacare. Whatever his motivations and shortcomings, he continues to be one of the most powerful men in the world. Let us continue to pray for Donald Trump and the decisions he makes that will continue to have international impact.
CHINA: 100 000 BELIEVERS ADDED TO THE CHURCH YEARLY Despite increased persecution in China, a pastor who trains Chinese Christian leaders says the Church in China is growing and as many as 100,000 new believers are coming to Christ every year. Rev. Erik Burklin works with China Partner, training Chinese Christian leaders. He is encouraged to see how God is working to build the Church in China, despite the government’s crackdown on Christianity. Burklin also shared how the leaders were optimistic: “We asked the pastors there, ‘How many baptisms did you have last year? How many new converts did you have in your city?’ He then gave us an overview of what God is doing in their whole province. He was proceeding to explain to us that they have up to 100,000 new believers on the average every year. ... That’s unheard of.” Continue to pray for the nation of China and the population coming to Christ.
NEW BIBLE TRANSLATION IS MADE AVAILABLE The Christian Standard Bible (CSB), a revision of the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) launched worldwide earlier this year. The CSB includes updated translation and word choices in order to optimize both fidelity to the original languages and clarity for a modern audience. The CSB is as literal a translation of the ancient source texts as possible, but, in the many places throughout Scripture where a word-for-word rendering might obscure the meaning for a modern audience, it uses a more dynamic translation. In all cases, the intent is to convey the original meaning of God’s Word as faithfully and as clearly as possible. The goal for the CSB is to be trustworthy – faithful to the original text and meaning – yet easy to read and understand. They hope the readability will encourage readers to spend more time in God’s Word and will enable them to apply it to their lives. Purchase the CSB locally through Struik Christian Media and CUM books.
SELENA GOMEZ OPENS UP ABOUT HER FAITH Pop star Selena Gomez is not afraid to share her Christian faith. Recently, she did a radio interview in which she discussed her attendance at Hillsong Church and her relationship with Pastor Carl Lentz. With “Elvis Duran and the Morning Show” Selena said: "I haven't really been all over the place lately and that's kind of intentional. I think it's important to balance out where I am, and I've been doing this for a really long time, and my sanity has meant everything to me, and a lot of that is my faith. I took 90 days off, I went away, I was very vocal about it because to me, where I get my confidence is my vulnerability. I can't sit there and pretend that everything is good because I've done that for years, and it doesn't really work for me." Gomez is not only a regular attender at Hillsong, she has also led worship at the megachurch. On her recent album, she even wrote a worship song called “Nobody” which she performed at a Los Angeles concert, along with Hillsong Young & Free.
MILLIONS FACE STARVATION IN FAMINE-HIT NATIONS Aid groups and government officials in famine-hit parts of Africa and the Middle East are calling for more global attention to a crisis that has left more than 20 million people at risk of starvation. The United Nations says the world is facing its worst humanitarian crisis since the end of World War II. The rising global needs and worsening conditions in regions such as South
Sudan, north-eastern Nigeria and Somalia have left several aid groups and government officials scrambling for resources. Gerald Anderson, associate vice president with Save the Children, said the non-profit’s employees in the Puntland region of Somalia have seen a significant increase in severe malnutrition cases among children. The agency received reports of
children and families going days without food and some people feeding their livestock with cardboard just to keep them alive. “There is a closing window of opportunity to avert full-blown catastrophe and raise the money needed to save millions of lives,” said Anderson. “With no action, people may run out of food as early as next month and the crisis will escalate relentlessly.” THE CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE
Open Doors makes a difference in the lives of countless persecuted Christians around the world. The persecution of Christians is not a new thing. It has been recorded since Biblical times and today there are still a number of nations from around the globe where Christians are openly persecuted for serving Christ. Open Doors is an organisation that helps to serve the persecuted Church globally, currently operating in over 45 of the most restrictive countries in the world. Amongst other things Open Doors provide Bibles and literature, ministry training, literacy courses, practical aid, presence and encouragement to many believers facing trying situations the world over.
BROTHER ANDREW It all started with Andrew van der Bijl, a young Dutch missionary who was invited to attend a communist youth festival in 1955 in Poland. In his suitcase, he had a couple of Bibles meant for believers in Warsaw. What he found behind the Iron Curtain was a Church in desperate need of encouragement and Bibles. This is when God called Brother Andrew, as he is now simply known, through the words of Revelation 3:2, “…be watchful and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die.” Brother Andrew's one-man operation quickly grew into a worldwide ministry. The work of Open Doors broadened to taking Bibles into China, Vietnam and later Africa and the Muslim World, and organising training seminars and practical aid for suffering Christians. Under Brother Andrew's leadership Open Doors has gone where most western Christians dare not go. 72
His underground network of indigenous Christians has aided in the secret distribution of millions of Bibles each year, worldwide.
EQUIPPING THE SAINTS Open Doors has trained thousands of pastors and church leaders and provided spiritual and legal support for Christian prisoners. They have also provided economic relief for their families and the families of martyrs. Open Doors has served persecuted believers for over 57 years, which makes it one of the oldest on-going ministries to persecuted Christians. Okay, so you've heard of the reality of persecution against Christians. Your heart has been touched by their testimonies. But, what now? What can you do to support them? Here are some ways you can help: • Pray for persecuted Christians from around the world. • Invite a speaker from Open Doors to come and share about persecuted Christians. • Write a letter or make a card to encourage a persecuted Christian. • Travel with Open Doors to a closed country and meet persecuted Christians. • Sign up for their newsletter and learn more about those whose faith are tested daily. For more info visit www.opendoors.org.za.
we do e n o t rners study At Co eological ic ee th adem c a not s n ply a itted as sim e are com it. W udy pursu ological st ader to the ps the bro ld equi e wor h h c t i h e v w to ser here. h c r u ch ry sp in eve
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