MyDevotion.today The God of Heaven - is our Father
by Winston Wilson “He answered, I am a Hebrew and I worship The LORD, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land” Jonah 1:9. REFLECTION Who is this God that we worship? Well, Jonah and to do His will. Part of that will is to share the Who is this weanswer. worship? Jonah us with aofbasic answer. He is “the God supplies us God with athat basic HeWell, is “the God supplies of knowledge His salvation through Christofwith He is is the the exalted exaltedOne. One.He Heisis the of the- universe. heaven” and as such, He lostRuler humanity lost in sin.His sovereignty is not in arenaof ofthe dispute nor His or ability. He the Ruler universe. His power sovereignty is not inis the God of heaven. He lovespower sinners hates sin.and Sin angers the God The arena earth is exempt His control and rule. is but in His hands He does what the ofnot dispute norfrom His power or ability. He Political of heaven. Therefore, He has provided the means Hethe pleases in heaven. the affairs of men. He establishes rulers or removes them from office. Authority and is God of whereby sinsHis canwill. be forgiven. Furthermore, to might are in His hands and there is no power that can withstand The earth is not exempt from His control and rule. encourage us to appropriate the means, He has Despite His great might and power, He is merciful and forgiving. He keeps His promises and His Political power in has His appointed hands and Christians He does what provided His He has Holy covenants. AndisHe to be His specialthrough servants, toSon, magnify His sent namethe and He pleases in the affairs of men. He establishes Spirit to convict us and urge us unto salvation. to do His will. Part of that will is to share the knowledge of His salvation through Christ with lost rulers or -removes them from office. Authority humanity lost in sin. The God of heaven hears and answers prayer. and might are in His andSin there is nothe power He loves sinners buthands hates sin. angers God of Therefore, He has provided the Heheaven. is the God of mighty deeds and wonderful that canwhereby withstand His will. means sins can be forgiven. Furthermore, works. to encourage us to appropriate the means, HeHe When in difficulty, call upon Him and has provided through Son, He has the Holywill Spirit to convict us and urge us unto salvation. Despite His great mightHis and power, He sent is merciful provide the guidance in your crisis. It is this The God of heaven hears and answers prayer. He is the God of mighty deeds and wonderful works. and forgiving. He keeps His promises and His God who has promised to establish an eternal When in difficulty, call has uponappointed Him and He will provide the guidance in your crisis. is this God who covenants. And He Christians Kingdom of righteousness onItthis earth. has promised to establish an eternal kingdom of righteousness on this earth. to be His special servants, to magnify His name PRAYER: Lord, help me to listen to the Spirit. Amen
WISDOM: The God of Heaven is our Heavenly Father.
Think! 22 Social Media - Should we Fear it?
Return to the Garden 6 Returning to the Garden, that realm where man once lived and fellowshipped with God.
Did You Know? 24 Tyndale died so we could have the English Bible.
God’s Plan was a Spiritual People 8 Abraham had two sons and similarly, God has two peoples.
The Story Teller 26 Called to overcome challenges as champions!
Shechem A Spiritual Object Lesson 10 The crossroads where we must decide: Our way or God’s way. World In View 12 God’s concept of marriage and family is being replaced with humanist models. Spiritual Abuse 14 An issue the Christian community must acknowledge and confront. Jesus in the Tabernacle The blueprint for worship
The Family Picture 18 We are the family of heaven, His valuable workmanship. TESTIMONY
Note To Self By Angela Slack
Jargon Buster Understanding Religious Terminologies.
Prayer Corner By Barbara Payne
In Praise Of Hymn 32 Reviewing Great Christian Hymns: – Be Thou My Vision Forever Connection Poem by Jason Nicholas
WORLD IN VIEW
You can’t be shy in a West Indian Church. The Church filled in lots of gaps in my life history...
16 January - March 2017
SHARE|MAGAZINE Volume 5 - Issue 1
EDITORIAL C WELCOME HOME TO FAMILY
Church, what is it really? From my understanding the term traditionally has come to describe the members of the Christian faith universally who believed in and follow Jesus Christ. These remain faithful to His teachings both in word and deed and continue to propagate His teachings across the world. God’s idea was not to have a global organisation per se but a people that would be His very family, all born of His Spirit where the lost, weary and lonely can come home to. Home, is where the heart finds an unreserved welcome, peace, rest, acceptance, rejuvenation and belonging.
The above definition seemed to suffice for much of the 1st into the 2nd Century but then everything changed. The Romanisation of the Church that created a Supreme world power of Church and State ushered in a new era that changed the definition of Church. This was soon followed by the Reformation where valiant men paid a great price of affliction, imprisonment and death in an effort to restore Church to what it was before. The Church then tottered through the modern era where it seemed to have experienced a sort of adolescent
identity crisis and has now arrived in the postmodern era of Contemporary Christianity. That’s us now in the 21st Century but can we still be identified as God’s family? Where is this Church? The one Jesus founded, His band of brothers, His enlightened and empowered ones who bore His image? Where are they today in the midst of this publicity generated, media hyped, production company that is passing itself off as the body of Jesus Christ? Consider a seeker of truth/an unbeliever reading the Bible and having been exposed to the compassion and the egalitarian anti-establishment ideas of Jesus Christ found themselves to be impressed by His Superhuman persona; and thought, “He’s all right this man; I wonder if there is a Church nearby where I could talk to some of His disciples ‘these Christians?” If they were to successfully find one and happily joined the next convenient meeting; would they leave there having met Jesus Christ through His followers? Or would they quietly slip out the back door bitterly disappointed that there were no more true believers left? What a shame, the Bible sounded so exciting? Well, I’m not so old, but I have sat in
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SHARE MAGAZINE is a FREE Christian quarterly that deals with challenging Christian topics that have been mostly ignored or left unanswered. The magazine includes written articles, poems and thoughts etc. Read our online version at www.TheShareMagazine.com where you can go to our blog to discuss articles or order a printed version. If you would like to submit articles, join our writers group, or to get involved in any other way kindly email us. SHARE MAGAZINE is produced by Select Arrow, the publishing arm of United In Christ charity number 1140448.
Throughout this magazine the editor & contributors seek to present a balanced and accurate view of Scripture’s teaching. We are all on a journey of studying and understanding God’s Word. Because of this, all we can offer is as balanced an understanding as the Holy Spirit has offered us at this time. The views or opinions represented in this publication are personal to each of our contributors and may not fully represent those of any other contributor or editor. Scriptures quoted are from the Contemporary English Version (CEV) unless otherwise stated.
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too many “Churches” where my heart sank within me because I felt like I was among cold strangers, certainly not brothers. I felt rather like an alien among a strange people. How I long to find my Father’s other children, I know they are out there somewhere. So, here is the question, where can we find true Christians today? Is the real
Church gone underground as it was in Jesus’ time? I trust that the listings of articles in this issue will help re-establish our identity as God’s family and to recognise our intrinsic value to the whole. That we may recognise that we are not individual organisations or denominations but one family. May your reading of this
issue re-invigorate your desire to find your place in Jesus’ family, to identify your purpose and go on to pursue it with passion. I remain in Jesus’ Service. Love as always
Editor and Co-founder
You have questions we’ve got answers This issue’s question taken from GotQuestions.org: Accessed August 27, 2016. http://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-mythology.html
Question: How do I know the Bible is not just mythology? Answer: That the Bible originated in the mind of God makes it not only unique among all books, it is unique among all the treasures on earth. President Abraham Lincoln appropriately referred to the Bible as “the best gift God has given to man.” Indeed it is. It reveals God’s eternal plan of redeeming the fallen human race. Yet even though billions of copies of it have been distributed throughout the world, many continue to question its truth. Is the Bible a book of mythology, or is it the true, inspired Word of God? This question is of the greatest importance to every person, whether they know it or not. Many religious texts claim to convey a divine message. The Bible, however, stands alone in that God left absolutely no room for doubt as to whether or not this is His written Word. If anyone undertakes an honest effort to examine the facts, he will find the Bible most assuredly has God’s signature all through it. The very same mouth that spoke all of creation into existence also gave us the Bible. Unlike mythology, the Bible has a historical framework. Its characters are real people living in verifiable locations during historical
events. The Bible mentions Nebuchadnezzar, Sennacherib, Cyrus, Herod, Felix, Pilate, and many other historical figures. Its history coincides with that of many nations, including the Egyptian, Hittite, Persian, Babylonian and Roman empires. The events of the Bible take place in geographical areas such as Canaan, Syria, Egypt, Mesopotamia and others. All this certifiable detail refutes the idea that the Bible is mere mythology. Unlike mythology, the Bible has many confirmations in sciences such as biology, geology, astronomy,and archaeology. The field of biblical archaeology has absolutely exploded in the last century and a half, during which time hundreds of thousands of artefacts have been discovered. Just one example: at one time, skeptics used the Bible’s references to the Hittite civilization as “proof” that the Bible was a myth. There was never any such people as the “Hittites,” according to the science of the day. However, in 1876, the first of a series of discoveries was made, and now the existence of the ancient Hittite civilization is well documented. Archaeology continues to bolster the Bible’s historicity. As Dr. Henry M. Morris
has remarked, “There exists today not one unquestionable find of archaeology that proves the Bible to be in error at any point.” Unlike mythology, the Bible is written as history. Luke wrote his Gospel as “an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us . . . just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses.” Luke claims that he had “carefully investigated everything from the beginning” and so wrote “an orderly account ... so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught” (see Luke 1:1-4). Did Luke include miracles in his account? Yes, many of them. But they were miracles verified by eyewitnesses. Two thousand years later, a skeptic might call Luke’s account a “myth,” but the burden of proof rests with the skeptic. The account itself is a carefully investigated historical document. Unlike mythology, the Bible contains an astounding number of fulfilled prophecies. Myths do not bother with prophecy, but fully one third of the Bible is prophecy. The Bible contains over 1,800 predictions concerning more than continued on page 30
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Return to the
In all God calls us to, we must realize that there are practical steps that must be taken. Our main focus upon this earth is to be changed back into the image of God. It is in this place that we lose the identity which is called our ‘old life’. Jesus said, “follow Me” and leave everything behind. These are still words of truth that we should be adhering to. In other, words, the words that prepared Jesus’ disciples are also the same words that will prepare us to become like Him today. See Luke 14:25-35. Therefore, our call is as it has always been, to pursue the Lord, which in reality leads us out of man’s world and what he thinks his time is. Every breath we breathe, to every step we
take belongs to the Lord who gives us life daily. Which is why in covenant relationship we allow God to measure our steps, so we can again walk in the Kingdom with Him. Our call continues to be one of the most basic principles in any given relationship. We must truly come full circle to get back into the place Adam and Eve once knew. That place where they spent everyday walking with the Lord, which is the pathway that leads us back into our Promised Land that is also called Rest. See Hebrews 4. As we spend time relationally with God, the atmosphere of His Kingdom continually changes us, as it did when the disciples followed Jesus. In fact, they followed Jesus back into God’s presence, where they
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were prepared for His promised inheritance. Revelation 21:7 and Acts 1:4 speaks of this inheritance which is still available to those who follow the Lord. Worshiping Him, spending time in prayer or focusing our attention upon His voice and heart, will all lead us deeper into the garden, the kingdom of God. You see, when Adam and Eve fell into lucifer’s trap by eating fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they actually bit into satan’s realm called fallen time. It is the fallen realm man has continued to believe in, the great deception that causes man to think all he has is his time to make money, so that he can build and live like the rest of the world. However, we have always been
called to use our time to promote the building of the Kingdom of our Father. Ephesians 2:19-22; “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” Leaving to follow; I had no idea when the Lord told me to shut down my ministry 3 years ago, what it would take to prepare me to be sent by God. Jesus not only led me away from what I understood to be a good ministry in leading people into a deeper relationship with the Lord, but over the next several years I was also asked to sell all that I had in order to follow Him. Over the course of those three years I spent more and more time with the Lord, which continued to lead me into a much deeper relationship with Him. The progression has never stopped as the Spirit of the Lord continues to speak deeper things to me about His love toward me, about His people, about what is coming and how more things will come together and work out in the future. As the Lord does this, I continued to discover deeper places of intimacy, which caused me to want more. Looking back, I realised I was in the beginnings of discovering that Jesus was leading me back to where Adam and Eve lived and dwelled with the Lord daily, a place where the presence of God and the realms of heaven become one with us. We also walk back into realms where sickness and disease are healed
and restoration occurs everywhere we are sent. How unfortunate it is that most people have tried to put God in a box. He’s been treated like some sort of a genie as people want instant gratification from their prayers, and answers to all of their needs; I call this ‘the superficial fast food society’ that seeks selfish needs and desires. Revelation 3:1720; “Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” God is a Father who absolutely adores us, wants only the best for each of us and loves to have His children close to Him; which is the statement made clear in vs. 20, as we are invited to dine with Him. To buy gold refined in the fire means we must lay down everything at the cross. The fire from heaven is God’s love that purifies His temple to become like Him. The basic plan is in leading us back into intimacy with the Lord Jesus and each other, a place that brings us back into His Father’s presence. This too is the garden where we walk back into the heavenly realms God created us to dwell in, realms that I have been experiencing since the Lord led me back. Our primary goal is to build an Ark; which is a covenant
relationship such as Noah had. “But as in the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of man be.” Matthew 24:37. Noah heard from the Lord that there was a massive storm approaching so he prepared. We have also been warned of the coming storms called the Seven Seals, the Seven Trumpets, and the Seven Bowls of God’s judgments. (see Revelation) For years the Lord has been speaking to me through dreams and visions regarding these and recently said that they would no longer be postponed. The emphasis of the coming storm has been placed upon Revelation 6:5-6, regarding the third seal, and natural disasters. The world’s economic system is an evil force that is coming under God’s judgment and all that are involved in it will suffer to a degree. The shaking that is coming is called the great tribulation, which is also something we need not worry about if we have built our ark unto the Lord. Fear not, for Noah found safety in covenant with God and so his entire family was saved. God is our Father who loves and saves us from trouble. He does He bring judgment upon those who follow after Him but brings us into the greatest blessings found in the garden; the paradise of God where the heavenly realms bring healing, wholeness and harmony to us and our families. God is love, seek Him with all your heart with the understanding that He adores you and continually wants the best for us all, which is why He gave His One and only Son, Jesus Christ. p
Lyle McTeer, of CFC Ministries He is available upon request for teaching/conferences etc. Website: endtimesharvest1.com
January - March 2017
God's Plan was a Spiritual People Abraham had two sons and similarly, God has two peoples, one He has accepted the other He rejected
You may have heard the phrase ‘First the natural then the spiritual’ and not understand where it was from or what it was about. It is however, a very important principle in understanding the plan of God. He has been communicating this key truth to us from the very beginning of time but not many seem to be getting it. The indicators began flashing from as early as the story of Cain and Abel, two sons from among the very first children ever born of a woman. It hinted to us the conflict that would ensue between two peoples, those of the flesh or carnal vs those of the Spirit. Cain did not give sacrificially as an act of worship, so his sacrifice was rejected by God. This caused Cain to become resentful of his brother which led Cain to kill his own brother. Cain represents the unbelieving Jews whose sacrifice God rejected. God said through Amos, “I hate, I despise your feast days, And I do not savor your sacred assemblies. Though you offer Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them, Nor will
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One Man in Christ Spiritual Israel I regard your fattened peace offerings. Take away from Me the noise of your songs…” Amos 5:21-23 (NKJV) These Jews rebelled against God and made themselves His very enemies. As Cain murdered Abel so their children later murdered Jesus. “Those Jews killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and they even chased us away. God doesn’t like what they do…” 1 Thessalonians 2:15 Abel gave sacrificially as an act of worship and was accepted by God. He represents Jesus who gave himself as a sacrifice and those whom He will sanctify. This symbolism was also clearly demonstrated in the story of Isaac and Ishmael. In summary, God promised Abraham a son but his wife Sarah was barren. Sarah therefore, presented a good idea to Abraham. To help God fulfil His promise they decided that Abraham should go with the servant girl, and it did work. She became pregnant and had a son. A further problem developed however, as it became apparent that they did not get the desired result. Their plan was to get an Isaac but they ended up with an Ishmael instead. Isaac
would have brought a blessing but Ishmael came with trouble and soon there was a falling out between the servant girl and her mistress. Abraham learnt his lesson and we should too. What God promised, God is able to fulfil. Ishmael was not the son God promised. God’s promised son would come by a miracle as a demonstration of God’s power which would also be the confirmation that it is of God. Isaac came when his parents were well beyond the age of having children. God brought life from death. Abraham had two sons, the first by natural means (their idea and effort) the other by spiritual means (God’s promise and power.) Ishmael represents those born only of the flesh. The unbelievers who are unregenerate. Isaac represents Jesus and those born again of the Spirit. The Scriptures says, “He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.” These were the unbelieving Jews. It continues, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:11-13 There are other stories of brothers whose birth and life points to the difference between God’s natural people of the Old Covenant and God’s spiritual people of the New Covenant. The story of Esau and Jacob is another good example. In each of these accounts you will find that the older brother was the one God rejected while the younger brother was the one He accepted. Why? God wanted the message to be clear. The one born first (the older brother) represents the natural which is first. The younger brother (the one born later) represents the spiritual that came afterwards.
Abraham had two sons and similarly, God has two peoples, a natural people who came first and a spiritual people who came after. As demonstrated throughout all Scriptures God has and will reject the natural, carnal people but will accept the spiritual people who are of faith in Jesus Christ. This becomes obvious when we compare Adam and Jesus, Cain and Abel, Ishmael and Isaac, Esau and Jacob. The natural, unbelieving Israel bound by law will not share in the inheritance of spiritual Israel comprising all who are of faith in Jesus Christ both Jew and Gentile. There are many other Scriptures that support this truth. For example, take this profound statement made by Paul. “For they are not all Israel who are of Israel…” Romans 9:6 (NKJV) i.e. not all those born into natural Israel as natural descendants of Abraham will form part of the true Spiritual Israel who are Abraham’s children through faith. God always wanted a spiritual family. Are you a part of the family of God? If not, it is not too late to open your hearts and accept His Son Jesus Christ who is our high priest and mediator between
Natural Jews Modern State of Israel us and God. He paid the price for your sins against God so that if you repent of them and cry out to God you will be accepted into God’s heavenly family. “Now, therefore, you [believing Gentiles] are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God…” Ephesians 2:19 p First - Natural
Last - Spritual
Circumcision of the heart
Article continues on our blog page. thesharemagazine.wordpress.com By Homer Slack author, preacher, Bible teacher, IT tutor, programmer & graphic designer
January - March 2017
SHECHEM A Spiritual Object Lesson
In John 4, Jesus came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jesus sat by Jacob’s well there when along came a Samaritan woman to draw water. Jesus broke with cultural convention by talking to a lone “Samaritan” woman for Jews and Samaritans did not socialise but this was one of many momentous times at Shechem which is mentioned 60 times in the Old Testament. In Hebrew Shechem means, shoulder or back probably because it is situated between two mountains, Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim. Shechem saw a lot of traffic in its history and often found itself in major events in the Bible due to its central location and vital crossroads. Today, it is located near the town of Nablus in the West Bank area of Israel. Shechem is first mentioned in the Bible in Genesis 12:6-7 when Abram arrives in Canaan. If he had climbed up Mount Ebel and scanned the horizon he would have seen the land. “Abram travelled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh or Terebinth at Shechem” … “To your offspring, I will give this land,”… and Abram built an altar to the Lord. Idolatry, 10
ensues in next mention of Shechem when Jacob, Abraham’s grandson, “camped within sight of the city” Gen 33:18 During Jacob’s (renamed Israel) stay he dug a well for his many herds; this well exists today. He built an altar and named it El-elohe-Israel meaning God, the God of Israel after purchasing the land near Shechem. The same place where his son Joseph would later be buried. Joshua 24:32 During Jacob’s stay at Shechem, Dinah his daughter was raped by a man named Shechem and that resulted in the revengeful massacre of Shechem’s male population by two of Jacob’s sons. Gen 33–34 On God’s instructions the Israelites gave up all their foreign gods and purified themselves. Jacob had not destroyed his family idols as he should have but buried them under a tree near Shechem. Jacob clearly had a personal relationship with God yet he still couldn’t eliminate idol worship. A tale of deception and treachery follows: the story of Joseph Jacob’s 17-year-old son, who was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers. Gen 37 His brothers were grazing the family’s flocks near Shechem when Jacob sent Joseph to find them. After looking for them at Shechem he found them a short distance north at Dothan. There, the brothers plotted to sell Joseph
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into slavery. They then lied to explain Joseph’s disappearance to their father. God rescued the Israelites from Egyptian bondage 400 years on and led them through the desert for 40 years. Near the end of this journey, their leader Moses, said that once they entered the promised land at Shechem, (see Gen 12:7) they were to read portions of the Law, while the people were assembled before Mounts Ebal and Gerizim. Dt 11:26–30; 27:12, 13 They were to pronounce the blessings of the Mosaic covenant on the nation. With half the people in front of Mount Ebal and the other half in front of Mount Gerizim; they shouted the curses they would encounter if they disobeyed the law and blessings if they obeyed. A mixed crowd of both Israelites and native Shemites (aliens) heard the words of the law that day. The Bible implies that they co-existed peacefully together at that time. Joshua built an altar to God on Mount Ebal and on the pillar of stones he wrote a copy of the law. Joshua 8:30-35 With Mount Ebal and Gerizim overlooking the Shechem valley a natural amphitheatre, in which the reciting of the Law could have been easily heard, was formed. Despite the mountains’ heights (Ebal is 3,083
ft. [940 m] and Gerizim is 2,890 ft. [881 m]) there are many presentday accounts of people speaking from the slopes of the mountains and being heard in the valley below above the noise coming from the city of Nablus. Years later at the end of the conquest of the land for the 12 tribes of Israel, Joshua again gathered all of them together at Shechem. (see Josh 24) He reminded them of God’s promises and how He had fulfilled those promises and delivered them from all their problems. Joshua then challenged the people to say whom they would serve, they promised to serve God. Jos 24:14– 20 The renewal ceremony between the Israelites and God recognized the promises God made to Abraham Gen 12:7; 17:7- 8, Jacob, and the people at Sinai through Moses. Ex 24:8 The people chose to put away their foreign gods and serve the Lord. Joshua wrote these statutes and rules for them and they were added to the book of Deuteronomy. He took a large stone, stela or a pillar on which this covenant would be written as a witness and set it under the terebinth tree that was by the sanctuary of the Lord, as was the custom in those days.
These accounts surrounding Shechem illustrate the human condition and how incapable we are of making a lasting promise to God. Despite all their promises to Joshua, Shechem still became the centre of idolatrous worship practices, a wilful tendency to disobey God. We see the geographical, historical and spiritual significance of Shechem and how geography affects history such as when Joshua explains not only the grace of God in calling them out of a pagan land, but also the faithfulness of God in taking care of them after their deliverance. We should also remember how God, in His grace, has called us out of our pagan past and taken care of us since our deliverance from destruction into a relationship with His Son who is still caring for us today. We too must choose to surrender our will to God. We have come to those crossroads in Shechem today. Are we going to choose to go back the way we have come, back into our old life or are we choosing to go into Samaria where they so nearly got it right? As Jews they integrated with the surrounding nations and worshipped their foreign idols/gods. Are other things more important to us than God?
Jesus sat with the woman at the well in Shechem, because He was telling her that HE IS THE LIVING WATER. He gave her and her nation a choice. Did you notice the similarity when Joshua said “Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and throw away the gods which your ancestors served on the other side of the river Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose lands you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Jesus says the same thing in the same spot when he told the woman at Jacob’s well that the worshippers God seeks are those who worship Him in “Spirit and truth.” John 4:23-24 in other words, worship inwardly not just outwardly. Your relationship with Jesus is not what others see but what is going on in your heart. I wonder if Jesus was remembering the words of Joshua? Will you choose the right way on this crossroads, the road to Jerusalem (peace) the way to the promised land (rest)? Jesus died on a cross for the World. He is beckoning to us to go His way, we have a choice. CHOOSE YE, THE WAY TODAY AND GO IN IT. p
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By Teresa L. Randle Missionary, Preacher and Bible Teacher
WORLD DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILIES
The luciferian narrative is to remove Christ under the guise of improving the human condition. This is being achieved largely, through technology and science as given to the illuminati and governments who have sold their souls for future control of the planet. Supersoldiers, the herculien genes, Genetic aberrations have returned as well as transhumanism. Take a look at all the major blockbuster films and video games that have come out in the last decade or so. You will find that they are subliminally and systematically, neutralising our natural aversion to evil. They promote unnatural demonic lust while supernatural enterprises perform unthinkable experiments that tamper with the purity of the human genome. Does PC (Political correctness ) = Persecuted Church?
In a phrase, what is afoot is, an unholy mixture, a marriage of the sacred and the secular. In God’s view this is corruption and AN ABOMINATION HE WILL NOT for much LONGER TOLERATE! The human family is under a demonic attack: Christians where do we draw the battle line?
THE NANNY STATE The existence of the Nanny States is indicative that the home/family has generally become so dysfunctional that it has lost its moral authority and is failing to play the primary nurturing and instructive roles it was designed by God for. The vacuum is now being filled by the State. As Christians should we allow ourselves to be carried along by the wave of New Age humanism? What will our future be when we abandon Godly standards and models of Morality and justice in the domestic and civil spheres? Can truth really be relative and ethics be fluid? The evidence says otherwise but we have become adept at ignoring the signs and living in denial, choosing to satisfy our lust for instantaneous gratification over the need to sacrifice for the moral good of all. We have the precedent of child divorce from parents, a 12
These days: • Christian doctrine is equivalent to hate speech • Christian teaching is equivalent to indoctrination • Christian ethics is equivalent to intolerance The legal precedents being created in current law is giving the government the constitutional authority to persecute Christians and make them the source of all of society’s problems, just like Hitler did to the Jews. This same demonic spirit is at work.
phenomenon that necessitated itself because of poor parenting and failure to protect the interest and well being of the child (* see case of Russ) 20 years on this child has survived because he was rescued by a loving family that lived according to Godly standards and maintained their role as nurturers. Adopting Russ while raising their own children wasn’t the easy option but it was a commitment that they did not abandon due to hardships. Further indications that we have thrown in the towel are: • High Divorce Rates • The Age Of Consent Lowered • Permissive Sex Education Curriculum Changes • High Teenage Pregnancy Rates • High Rates Of Abortions • Child Abuse And Paedophilia • Increasing Rates of Homeless Teenagers/Runaways/Missing children • Child sex slaves/Child pornography • X/R- rated content in prime time TV shows and in advertisements. Where are the parents and what is
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happening in families to cause all this? By blaming the government we are extricating ourselves from any blame. Traditionally we believed that it took a community to raise a child yet we have fallen inline behind the humanistic ideas of individualism so we cannot speak into anyone’s lives, everyone is left alone to do what they please and thus selfishness is destroying us. If you think that I am naysaying or exaggerating try giving a young mother a helpful tip about her child or suggest to a youth that what they are doing is wrong. If you challenge any type of misconduct the state tells us we are being hateful and seeking to indoctrinate. Parents are proudly giving little children, yet undeveloped, the adult responsibility of making adult choices. Have we gone mad? If we do not choose to pass on morality to our children then what will they have as a moral pool to make choices from when they are fully mature?
h tt p : / / w w w. d a i l y m a i l . c o. u k / n e w s / a rt i c l e - 2 2 4 7 6 9 6 / S h a w n - Ru s s - B o y divorced-parents-12-speaks-out.html
HOMELESS TEENS - THE STARTLING STATS According to HUD’s 2014 Point-in-Time Report, 34% of the total homeless population is under 24. Over 50% of young people in shelters and on the streets report that their parents told them to leave or knew they were leaving and didn’t care. 1. According to estimates by the Urban Institute, nearly 1 in 5 youths under the age of 18 will run away at least once. 2. A 2002 report on sexual abuse among adolescent runaways, prepared for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, found that 21-40% of homeless youth had been sexually abused compared to 1-3% of the general youth population. 3. Of youth who run away, 41% have been abandoned by their parents for at least 24 hours and 43% have been beaten by a caretaker.
Is Homeschooling a viable Option? With a wide range of curriculum available on the Internet, home schooling has become a more viable option for some families. The schoolhouse offers more than just academic resources. It also offers a social environment where friendships are established and where students learn to work together in teams. Learning resources on the Internet offer high levels of content and highly qualified teachers. Such programs, especially if approved by the state, are viable opportunities for learners of all ages. Consequently, some two million students (Dan Lips and Evan Feinberg, “Homeschooling: A Growing Option in American
Education,” Heritage Foundation, 3 April 2008) in the USA are now engaged in homeschooling. To partially make up for the social interactions of the regular public school, some areas have an extensive set of options for families with home scholars. These include field trips, debating contests, orchestras, community sports teams and even drama theaters.
The Debate to have The Age Of Consent Lowered
Andrew Mcavoy, in his book: International Perspectives on Home Education: Do We Still Need Schools? Discusses in Chapter five, findings from research on how technology is impacting homeschooling and was found to be making it accessible and leading to increased numbers of home schooled children in the UK. Read more: https://etcjournal. com/2008/10/01/frank-b-withrow/ accessed 16/12/126 International Perspectives on Home Education: Do We Still Need Schools? by P. Rothermel
Former British P.M. David Cameron flatly said, no to Professor Ashton’s proposal. Expressing his view that the issue cannot be solved by lowering the age of consent, His then Deputy PM Nick Clegg agreed adding that children are being too early sexualised in the UK. What concerns me is the attitude that says everyone’s doing it so lets just join in. This a dangerous cop out. Surely we can find the backbone to tackle the issue rather than giving in. Children can be taught to manage their sexuality in a healthy way, sexual promiscuity cannot be the way forward for a self professed sophisticated world. Read more: www.huffingtonpost. co.uk/2013/11/17/age-of-consentshould-be-15_n_4290592.html
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I recently became alarmed at the frequency at which I run into people experiencing a frustration with Church in some cases resulting in a withdrawal from communal worship. We all know that there is no such thing as the perfect Church because it is made up of imperfect people, but what I am about to discuss is a genuine phenomena called, Spiritual Abuse. The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse, by David Johnson and Jeff VanVonderen: provides many case studies. The data has been methodically collated over twenty years of research by these two respected and established Christian psychologists. Resultantly, many people have borrowed the definition of the term Spiritual Abuse. Having read this book, I did wider reading only to realise that the problem is deepening and widening. Subsequently, there are now help groups that specialise in restoring and healing people who have exited Church due to Spiritual Abuse.
define, Spiritual Abuse.
Definitions for Spiritual Abuse According to ‘The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse’, by David Johnson and Jeff VanVonderen:
“Spiritual abuse is the mistreatment of a person who is in need of help, support or greater spiritual empowerment, with the result of weakening, undermining or decreasing that person’s spiritual empowerment.” These two authors go on to refine this definition: “Spiritual abuse can occur when a leader uses his or her spiritual position to control or dominate another person. It often involves overriding the feelings and opinions of another, without regard to what will result in the other person’s state of living, emotions or well-being. In this application, power is used to bolster the position or
The Research is showing that this phenomena called Spiritual Abuse, is leaving many Christians with emotional scars and some with mental breakdown. Their documented mental agony are a testament against this false regime called the contemporary Church of Jesus Christ, that is not built on the Biblical model laid down by the Lord Jesus Christ and the apostles. With a view to understanding this problem firstly, let’s look at how some authors
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needs of a leader over and above one who comes to them in need.”
Examples of Spiritual Abuse Ronald Enroth defines spiritual and pastoral abuse this way: “Spiritual abuse takes place when leaders to whom people look for guidance and spiritual nurture use their positions of authority to manipulate, control, and dominate.” In the book ‘Healing Spiritual Abuse’, Ken Blue compares other types of abuse with spiritual abuse: “Abuse of any type occurs when someone has power over another and uses that power to hurt. Physical abuse means that someone exercise physical power over another, causing physical wounds. Sexual abuse means that someone exercises sexual power over another, resulting in sexual wounds. And spiritual abuse happens when a leader with spiritual authority uses that authority to coerce, control or exploit
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a follower, thus causing spiritual wounds.” Spiritual abuse can also occur when spirituality is used to compel others to live up to a “spiritual standard.” This promotes external “spiritual performance,” also without regard to an individual’s actual well-being, or is used as a means of proving a person’s spirituality. “Spiritual abuse is always a power issue. In order for abuse to happen, by definition, it has to come from a place of higher power to a place of lesser power. People in low-power positions can’t abuse people in highpower.” How to Assess the Signs of an Abusive Church It is imperative to understand what spiritual abuse is in order to make an appropriate assessment. Ronald Enroth does not want people to make a mistake in judgment, but to be aware that: “Whatever label we apply, spiritual abuse is an issue the Christian community must acknowledge and confront. It is far more prevalent and much closer to the evangelical mainstream than many are willing to admit.” In his book ‘Churches that Abuse’, evangelical sociologist Ronald M. Enroth points out Five Warning Signs: 1. Abusive Churches... are first and foremost characterized by strong, control- oriented leadership. 2. These leaders use guilt, fear, and intimidation to manipulate members and keep them in line. 3. Followers are led to think that there is no other Church quite like theirs and that God has singled them out for special purposes. Other more traditional evangelical Churches are put down. 4. Subjective experience is emphasized and dissent is discouraged. Many areas of members’ lives are subject to
scrutiny. 5. Rules and legalism abound. For those who leave, the road back to normalcy is difficult. Enroth also writes, “All that is needed for abuse is a pastor accountable to no one and therefore beyond confrontation.” The problem with most cases of spiritual abuse in Christian Churches is that so many abusive Christians have wrapped themselves in a robe of holiness and a cloak of righteousness. Therefore, they believe themselves to be beyond confrontation. What they think, God thinks. To disagree with them is to disagree with God. All they are doing, after all, is living by God’s Holy Word, but are they? Enroth says,” The pursuit of righteousness ennobles a person; the belief that one is righteous depraves him.” Thus, how do we protect the people of God from the tyranny of the righteous and the despotism of the saints? How do we protect people in the Church from the toxic influences of those who are intoxicated with righteousness? Abusive Church leaders in abusive Churches are into power and control. Enroth writes, “The spiritual autocrat, the religious dictator, attempts to compel subordination; the true Christian leader can legitimately only elicit followership.” Within a Church context a legitimate leader promotes cooperation among Church members, not dominate-submissive relationships. Legitimate Church leaders have leadership rooted in trust. Enroth points out that legitimate Christian leaders lead with an entrusted authority. Conclusion John Wesley spoke of sin in terms of overreach. We sin when we overreach. The sin is not in wanting to live a holy life. The sin is putting down other people in the pursuit of one’s personal holiness. The sin is not in wanting to win the lost for Jesus. The sin is sacrificing any consideration of respect, limits, boundaries, and
propriety in winning the lost for Jesus. The aims of those who abuse others in the name of Jesus may in fact be good aims. However, in striving to fulfil those aims, abusive Christians overreach and disregard other important and significant matters pertaining to the gospel. In one sense, it needs to be recognized that there are many in Christian Churches and ministries who may in fact be subjectively sincere, even while they are objectively abusive. Most of the time abusive people will change when lovingly confronted with the effects of their abuse. Here, of course, lies the responsibility of the Christian community. We need to lovingly confront those who may in fact be sincere in their Christian faith, and yet who are, nonetheless, abusive. We must not confuse Christian love with what is really in essence abuse. At times, intending to do good, Christians end up doing great harm. Christians need to recognize the harm we often inflict upon others, even when we are seeking to do the greatest good of all, proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. The great challenge for Christians is to observe that ancient dictum: “In doing good, do no harm.” (Major Scott Nicloy) If these definitions describe the situation in your Church and among your Church leadership, and you can be sure that this accurately describes your experience then seek help. See further reading for support groups online. p Further Reading: www.Churchexiters.com/spiritual-abuse/ www.micsem.org/pubs/counselor/frames/ spiritabuse.htm www.Churchleaders.com/pastors/pastorarticles/155481-10-ways-to-spot-spiritualabuse.html/2 www.spiritualabuse.com - For Spiritual Abuse Recovery Resources
By Angela Slack educational curriculum/ literacy specialist, technical author and worship leader
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The word ‘worshiper’ does not mean a singer. It means: reverence, respect, to kiss, to move towards and Temple Keeper . . 16
Over 40 chapters in the Bible refers to the Tabernacle of Moses. Thus underscoring its relevance in our worship and Christian walk today. The Tabernacle was located in the centre, of the 603,550 people who left Egypt. The 12 tribes of Israel surrounded it, three tribes on each side. The formation was in the shape of a cross. The common people of Israel were not allowed to enter the Tabernacle as this was reserved for the Priests. The Tabernacle was divided into three separate courts, an Outer Court, an Inner Court and the Holy of Holiest Court. Not all the Priesthood were allowed in every court.
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The Outer Court The Outer Court is where our sins are dealt with, where we receive salvation and are washed, cleansed and sanctified. The sin offering would be placed upon the Brazen Altar near the entrance. This was the place of stench, blood, dirt and heat. There would be a continual black smoke (this represents the purging of Israel’s sins) arising which could be seen for miles around. Scripture states that without the shedding of blood there is no remission for sin. It was here in the Outer Court that animals were killed as sacrifices for sin by the High Priest. The animal had to be without blemish. Jesus represents both the High Priest
and the slaughtered animal.
are to shine brightly for God.
Jesus is Our High Priest Today After the priest had slain the animal he had to wash in the Brazen Laver. The laver, was a large bowl filled with water standing halfway between the Brazen Altar and the Holy Place. It was made entirely of bronze and had mirrors on the inside and filled with water for washing. The priests had to wash their hands and feet in it before entering the Holy Place. If they were unclean when they entered the Holy place they would die.
Table of Shewbread The Table of Shewbread is as its name suggest, a table with Shewbread on it (Lev 24:5-9). This was not a table for the priests to sit and have a meal as priests always stood while carrying out their duties. The Inner Court is a place of continual service 24/7. Read Hebrews 10:11-14. Again this bread represents Jesus. Jesus said; “I am the bread of life...” You may be discovering by now that Jesus is represented all through the Tabernacle.
The Outer Court application for believers today is that we are forgiven through Christ’s shed blood on the cross and washed through His Word. See Ephesians 5:25-26 and John 17:17
The Golden Altar of Incense In Exodus 30:34 – 38 God instructed Moses on how to make the incense to be placed before the Testimony in the Tabernacle of meeting where God would meet with him. A place of prayer. This incense was partly made up of frankincense and was not to be reproduced for use other than in the Tabernacle. Isn’t it amazing that when Jesus was born He too was brought Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. In the Inner Court there was the Golden Menorah, Frankincense mixed in to form the incense and Myrrh that was mixed in with other spices to form the anointing oil that was used to anoint the Tabernacle and the priests (see Exodus 30:22-30).
Moving on from the Outer Court If we stay at the Brazen Altar or at the Cross we will fail to maintain a worship that is in Spirit and in truth. The word ‘worshiper’ does not mean a singer. It means: reverence, respect, to kiss, to move towards and Temple Keeper. (various Young’s Analytical Concordance) Having been, ‘Born again’ of His Spirit and washed and sanctified by His word, we must then go on to enter His Service, in the Inner Court. John 4 speaks of true worship. For our worship to deepen we must progress further into the Tabernacle. The Inner Court There are three pieces of furniture in the Inner Court and all of them are built with acacia wood and overlaid with gold except for the Menorah. The Menorah (or candlestick) was pure gold hammered into shape. It was always full of oil and was the source of light for the Holy Place. The oil in the Menorah represents the Holy Spirit and the light represents Jesus. Jesus said He was the light of the world and the light of life. John 8:12 It also reminds us that we need the anointing oil of the Holy Spirit if we
Going Beyond the Veil Into the Holy of Holies “And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom…” Matthew 27:50–51 There was a very large veil that separated the Inner Court from the Holy of Holies where the Ark of the Covenant was. Next was the Atonement cover, (AT/ONE/MENT - God at one with men) or Mercy Seat where God met with the High Priest. Only the High Priest would enter through the veil into the Holy of Holies with the sacrificial blood of animals, once a year on the Day of Atonement. No one else could be in the tent of meeting whilst the
High Priest was making atonement for sins. He would sprinkle the blood on the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant while repeating the words, ‘Have mercy on us’. This was only for the people of Israel not the rest of the world. Jesus however, when He died alone on the cross did shed His blood for the sins of the whole world. The Ark represented God’s presence amongst His people. He has always desired to dwell amongst us. Moses had said to the Lord, “if your presence does not go with us do not send us up from here.” God did not abandon them but went with them in the form of a cloud by day and fire by night.
Present Day Application Just before He died Jesus said, ‘ it is finished.’ Now we can enter the very presence of God because of Him. He went into the Heavenly Tabernacle and presented His blood to the Father for the whole world, Jew and Gentile, once and for all (Hebrews 9:11-14). We must be careful however, to draw close to God in reverent fear of His Holiness even today. (see Nadab and Abihu) The Tabernacle was a physical construction, but today it is our bodies. Do you not know that your bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit? A true worshiper is a temple keeper and knows how to keep his temple holy (see 1 Corinthians 6:19). Revelation 1:6 says that we are a kingdom of Priests unto God so let us keep our temples (bodies) undefiled so we can worship in spirit and in truth. No longer is there limited access to our Father. Jesus is your sin offering so receive His Salvation and continually sanctify yourself through the word of God for Jesus has opened up a way for us to go in to Him. p
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By Barbara Payne intercessor, worship leader, retired minister and Divorce Care counsellor
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth In Genesis 1:1 God created all things and everything was made in a speciďŹ c design, for every
purpose. He is the Master Artist who made the universe. Now if you can sit back and close your eyes and imagine you are in a place before time began, nothing as we know it
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had been created but guess what? We were already being created. Where? In our Father Godâ€™s heart and mind. There we were being formed, shaped, and designed by
our heavenly Father. Then when all was created, imagine now a beautiful vastness of billions upon billions of stars, galaxies, nebulae, suns and planets all stretching in an array of colours through an inﬁnite, immeasurable universe. And there in all of that is us, in our Father’s mind waiting to be born - incredible and beyond what our minds can grasp. God is our Creator, He is our Father, we belong to Him. Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness,” Genesis 1:26 “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvellous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillﬁlly wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they were all written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none for me.” Psalm 139: 13-16 We are the family of heaven We are His valuable workmanship every day, hour, moment and second was already designed in us and planned long before we were born. This is so profound we just can’t grasp it yet we believe it because it is the truth. Let us say thank-you Father. Amen. “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;” 1Peter 2:9 God always wanted a family a relationship with us and the genetic code inside of us God designed it, He made us in His image. To be a family, He loves us more than we
could ever know let us fellowship with Him, to honour, please and glorify Him. Our identity is in God’s family. He is the One who nurtures and watches over us. Our earthly parents had us and their parents had them and back and back in time we go until we get back to Adam and Eve and then us already in God’s heart and mind before creation. We are not like the rest of the world just treading along we have a divine calling, a divine purpose, we are royalty because we are joint heirs with King Jesus. He promised us that when He returns we will rule and reign with Him. Ephesians 2:19; tells us we are now citizens of the Kingdom of God and members of God’s own household. We are being made part of His Holy temple a dwelling place for God. God is in us and we are in Him as we were right before the beginning of time. God created marriage, unity, relationships and all what a family is and should be. We should be so willing in our hearts to have that relationship with Him. “For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.” Ephesians 3: 14-15 Have we bowed the knee in our hearts to the Father and to Jesus our Saviour? He created our destiny so even through trial and tribulation or even if things are going well He is always there with us. Leading and guiding us by His Holy Spirit. We must stay close to Him, read the Bible, study His word, listening to His divine message to us and seek Him for who He is. He is our heavenly Father.
cross was God’s rescue plan for us and so let’s accept Him as our Lord and Saviour knowing that we couldn’t do it for ourselves. To know that we are His family, that eventually we will go to our true home in heaven to be with our heavenly Father and Jesus is our assurance. The loving community of a family is in the heart of God. “God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.” Ephesians 68:6 Here we see that God’s plan is a healthy balanced and happy life in the context of family. Those who rebel against God’s perfect plan bear the consequences of brokenness, abuse, neglect, loneliness, etc... Since the book of Genesis God’s plan for us has not changed and never will. Let us stay so close in this wonderful family of God knowing that whatever happens we are so blessed because God is sovereign and is able to work all things together for our good and He will never abandon us. Let us seek Him and praise and worship Him from the depths of our heart and soul because He so deserves it. Prayer: Heavenly Father how can I ever thank you. I was so wonderfully made before time began and so blessed with Your love. Help me to stay so close to You that I seek Your will in all things and love You with all my being because of who You are. Knowing You Father, Jesus my Lord and Saviour and Holy Spirit dwell in me and one day I will come home and be with You forever. Thank you. Bless Your Holy name. Amen p
We have confidence that even though Adam and Eve disobeyed God He had a master plan of redemption through His beloved Son Jesus. Always in the heart of God was a plan to rescue us. Remember what Jesus did on the January - March 2017
by Lynda K Smith writer, proof reader, poet and Evangelist
Church Means Family
We were going to Church In 1983 My Dad decided to go back to Church I was 7 years old and it seemed like a normal Sunday morning. My father is West Indian and a creature of habit and unlike most West Indians I know, he hates being late. My brother Clive and I were dressed in our best clothes, me in my little handmade dress with sewn in bib, he in a blazer and tie. You see my Dad was a backslidden Christian. Today we say out of fellowship. The trigger to Dad returning to Church was a dream. Dad hates snakes, it’s a deep rooted cultural thing, Africans and West Indians don’t do snakes! Dad dreamed that a big snake was attacking him, ready to devour him and he awoke screaming, “in the name of Jesus” and kicked my mother right out of bed. You can interpret this anyway you like. Stoke Road Pentecostal, Mount Zionwe arrived in a Black Pentecostal Church; tambourines, tongues, Hammond organ and guitar. My life had changed forever. I’m 7, I don’t ask questions, I avoid eye contact and physical contact. In fact I quite like to think I’m invisible because I’m painfully shy. I’m the child that hides behind the sofa when visitors come and then have to sit there for hours because I’m too shy to come out and too daft to work out that saying hello in the first place would have been a lot less painful! I soon recovered from the culture shock, in fact you can’t be shy in a West Indian Church. The Church filled in lots of gaps in my life history and as I grew older I understood that my Dad went way back in the Church. I was raised in Porthill, my Dad was one of the few black people in the village and until now the only black people I had met were my Godmother, my Grandad once, and when Dad went to get his haircut he only went to the black barbers and popped in to the American to hang out with some really
old black guys who called him C! His name is Leroy! I had up until now, a relatively English upbringing. I went to a primary school which was predominantly white although the headmistress encouraged all the ‘different’ children to play together until my Mum went in to reeducate her! I was raised in a strict home. My Mum had a tough life from a working class background and was mega strict. My Dad arrived at the age of 17 in a strange country with promise of work and was greeted with signs like no Blacks, no Polish and no Irish - that’s the polite version! Life was tough but I was 7 so what did I know? All I knew was that everyone else’s parents let their kids have bikes, let them play on the streets, sleep over at their friends houses and eat sweets and chocolate every day. My Dad was a Miner and we had strict routines. If we were naughty we were belted, simple - obey or feel pain. I quickly learned the rules. My older brother kicked against them; he got belted more, duh! My new found identity brought along with it a new sense of pride. Sometimes I got picked on because of my colour, other times I was verbally bullied but I was better than them so I thought because I was a Christian! Pastor Henry faithfully preached the gospel and began to home in on the group of young people quickly growing up in his Church with Church Kid Syndrome and boy I had got it bad. I had developed a superiority complex which meant I had become a bit like marmite; you either loved me or hated me! The Pastor loved me I was one of his favourites so it came as a shock when he began preaching hellfire and damnation at me. What had I done wrong? At about the age of 12 God began to really move in our Church. I remember the Sunday morning that I came to
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Continued on page 34
ESTIMONY by Amanda Leach
I was raised in a strict home my Mum was from a working class background and my Dad was a West Indian immigrant.
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It is no secret that as the years go on, we are delving deeper and deeper into a world consumed and run by technology and social media. What used to be a an odd visit to a bebo account led to after school conversations on MSN. We now rely on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to peer into someone’s life and our perspective of somebody can be based largely on what is shown on their social media profiles. We are able to feel as though we know someone inside out without even meeting them face to face. Technology is developing at an alarming rate, we can now play games and actually feel as though we are there, immersive gaming is on the rise and maybe Christians should question whether this is what God wanted for us? We are not made to be distracted from reality, we are created to embrace, lead and love people. How is this possible when we are now able to hide miles away from reality and immerse ourselves in a man made facade? Should we as a generation be fearing for our future? Is it time for us to take off the masks we have painted and face true reality? We seem to be living in an anxious society yearning
media and give us.
As a 21 year old digital journalist student and amateur photographer I am consistently surrounded by social media and the digital world. However, I have been blessed with a curious mind which wants to constantly question our path as a generation. I am someone who loves to share my life on instagram, I love to laugh at the random videos I scroll across on my facebook feed, also with friends across the planet. Social media gives me an easy access tool into their lives. I am very aware of the positives of social media and technology; social media could be seen as a tool to enhance the kingdom of God. If the world shifted their perspective to a place of encouragement everything could change. In some ways it already has which is so great to see. I love seeing pastors encourage each other on
S a i d e M l Socia
for affirmation from one another, embellishing our lives with likes, views and followers. We are growing into a generation which creates a product out of ourselves, we rely on being fed by affirmation from a lost shallow generation. It may be time to slow down on the social media ladder and actually breathe and know that we are seen, we are noticed, we are loved. We are children of a God who sees our needs and desires. A God who will give us above and beyond what social 22
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instagram, I love to see accounts created to share the gospel and speak truths over darkness. My fear is the fakeness. We post to show what we want people to see, we show the glamour, the parties, the friendships. We never seem to let people into the cracks or crevasses of our lives. This creates a pressure to have an ‘insta worthy’ life.
Recently, the new popular series ‘Black Mirror’ was released. This series is set on the harrowing future of social media and technology. It gives a terrifying insight
of what may be if we keep moving into the obsession. The first episode is called ‘nosedive’ and explores a world controlled by social popularity. Watching it seemed frighteningly familiar. The main character ended up losing her sanity because she was unable to keep up her social rating. It was set in a world where you couldn’t live in certain areas if your ratings were under a number. The second episode looks into immersive gaming; the main character volunteers for a trial of a game in which he is able to find out his deepest fears and then it forces him to confront them in a gaming environment. The episode was simply terrifying. It literally exposed what could happen if we continue to dig deeper into fake realities. Black Mirror is a great series which forces its viewer to face what could be our future if change doesn’t happen. It leaves no
led me to a place of revelation. We as a generation have a choice, whilst we must stay aware of the implications of social media. We can choose to be carried by but move with the trend and use it to enhance the Kingdom of God. It can be a tool to encourage, to be real and shed light on darkness. We could use it to reach a lost generation. We are children of a King and He will use us to shine whatever the circumstance if it’s through the screen of a phone or a laptop His light still shines. That Bible verse you post Continued from page 15 struggling could encourage a person with loneliness. That testimony of God’s glory on your facebook page could be the momentum that moves someone to try out Church this Sunday. Let’s not get lost in social media but use it to meet the lost where they are at. Jesus will always meet us where we are and it’s the same thing. We cannot
? t i r a e F e w Should place to hide it does not glamorise but confronts, it’s a fresh and intelligent perspective on the world we live in. I took to the streets and asked some young people their opinions on social media and technology and the response was so insightful. It is obvious that we are living in a world which is consumed by social media and the development of technology is driving fear into many. However, the journey of research and praying into the situation
ignore but must embrace reality and it is part of an ongoing battle field. The good news is the victory is already there the battle is already won. The enemy cannot hold our generation. The answer is we should not fear for there is no fear in love (1 John 4:18) ‘the one who fears is not made perfect in love’ we must not fear for the future but shape the future of a generation with love and grace. p By Abbie Young Leeds Beckett Digital Journalism student, photographer
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e l a d e n w e y T so av d h h e s i i d l l d u e g l n b o i c E B e th .R
You are a newspaper reporter. It is Friday, October 6, 1536. William Tyndale sits in the cold dungeon of the castle of Vilverde in England. You are there to interview him before his execution. YOU: And why are you here, Mr. Tyndale? TYNDALE: Because I believe in the Bible. YOU: What do you believe about this book that caused the Church to have you thrown into prison?
c dM r a ich
TYNDALE: Sir. I am challenged by its very history. YOU: What about its history challenged you? TYNDALE: No other book took so long to be written! YOU: How long did it take? TYNDALE: Over sixteen hundred years! YOU: Sixteen hundred years! That’s a very long time, Mr. Tyndale! Hmmm…It must have been written by several men. I’ve never really examined it. TYNDALE: Over forty authors, sir. Kings, peasants, philosophers, poets, a doctor… some were scholars and statesmen and believe it or not, some were just humble fishermen. YOU: Did they all come from the same town or country?
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TYNDALE: No! They never met or consulted with each other. They were separated by time and place. YOU: One hardly meets someone willing to be imprisoned for what he believes! What did they write that has so profoundly influenced you? TYNDALE: A variety of literature, really... history, religious and lyric poetry. I love history and poetry. YOU: You’re a very intellectual man, Mr. Tyndale. TYNDALE: People say that. YOU: Did they write anything else. TYNDALE: Oh, yes! They wrote parable and allegory. They wrote all kinds of law: civil, original, ethical, ritual and sanitary laws. Then there are the didactic treatises, biographic, personal correspondences, personal memoirs and diaries, not to mention the prophetic and apocalyptic literature. YOU: With so many different authors and conflicting points of view, Mr. Tyndale, surely there is tremendous confusion and contradiction in the Bible. TYNDALE: On the contrary, right throughout the entire book I’ve found tremendous unity. YOU: And what do you think causes that? TYNDALE: You see, all the authors follow one central theme. YOU: What’s that? TYNDALE: The book begins with man’s basic problem of SIN. Then it traces the decline of the human race as it continued to go astray. But God is compassionate and promised a Deliverer. It recounts God’s plan to bring the race back to Himself through one man, Jesus Christ.
YOU: You’re saying that those men wrote about this?
PRIEST: (makes the sign of the cross) St. Joseph pray for us!
TYNDALE: Yes! Every single one of them!
William Tyndale is at perfect peace as he is taken to his martyrdom in the town square. You observe the quiet look of peace upon his face. He has hidden the Word of God in his heart. His mind is fixed on Christ!
YOU: You think they were inspired? TYNDALE: It is an impossible human feat to accomplish such unity in diversity. YOU: Mr. Tyndale, philosophers have said that if a man cannot die for what he says he believes, then he really does not believe. Would you die for this? TYNDALE: (he smiles) If I would die for it? Just then, the guard to his cell turns the key in the lock of the door. A black robed priest of the Church enters with a black book in his hand and behind him two armored soldiers. PRIEST: Tyndale, you still have a chance. You may recant all that you believe. Renounce all your writings and go free this very moment. TYNDALE: If I reject the Bible, I would be in bondage. PRIEST: You are a very stubborn, insubordinate man, Tyndale. It is so easy to submit to the Church! TYNDALE: The Bible is the very Word of God, priest! And Jesus Christ said, “Thy Word is truth, and ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” How then could I be free if I denied the truth? PRIEST: You still hold to your heretical beliefs? TYNDALE: I believe that the Bible is the Word of God! PRIEST: Then, you’ll die for it.
William Tyndale (c. 1494— 1536) was an English Reformer best known today for his English translation of the Bible. Tyndale was convinced that the way to God was through His Word. The established Church taught that they alone were the conservators and interpreters of God’s Word and that the laity had no business reading it for themselves. So,the Bible was available only in Latin, a language most people could not read. Tyndale believed that Scripture should be available to everyone and worked tirelessly to make the Bible accessible to all, in English; even if the Church opposed him. For this he drew the ire of the Anglican Church, the Roman Catholic Church, and other powerful entities. He famously said, “I defy the Pope and all his laws. If God spare my life ere many years, I will cause the boy that drives the plow to know more of the Scriptures than you!” Taken from: https://gotquestions. org/William-Tyndale.html Question: “Who was William Tyndale?” Accessed 29/11/16
TYNDALE: God is my judge! I am willing, like Paul, not only to be bound, but also to die for the truth! January - March 2017
The views in this article may or may not be shared by the individuals in this photo
I can assure you that one nights training will not make a champion... 26
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I was about 15 years of age and a student of the school that possibly produced most of the top athletes of my country. This was proven year after year at our annual national athletics championships where we shared domination with one other
school that would occasionally take the top spot from us. At school I had athletic champions all around me and was daily faced with the wonder and glory of great talent and achievements. In fact, I always thought that my own physical
build showed signs that I too was destined for athletic domination and glory. I did well at the sports activities I participated in for recreation. They included swimming, table tennis and darts but these did not command much fame and glory like football and track and field events like the 100 metre sprint. The limelight looked great and I wanted to have some of it. I reasoned that football wasn’t the sport I should try as it would take too much time to learn the skills and rules of the game but the 100 metre sprint was pretty straight forward. All that is required for the 100 metre sprint is that you get out of your blocks and run hard. Not complicated is it? All this thought process was taking place amidst the buzz of the summer trials where students competed to make it into the final team that would be trained and equipped for the championships. It was now just a day away from the 100 metre trials and I just knew I was an ideal candidate for this event as I had the height, strength and health for it. Furthermore, I did not grow up in the city where kids were confined to the four walls of their houses for extended periods. I came from the rural parts of the country where we had open fields to roam and explore all day long everyday. The kind of activities that bred health and fitness into youngsters. I was beginning to smell glory. I would normally walk the approximately half mile home from where I got off the bus but considering that the following day was the trials I decided to run all the way. To add to my preparations when I got home I did some jogging on the spot and a few press ups. An evening’s run from the bus stop, I thought, would not hurt but might just add that little edge to my raw talent.
I will never forget the smell of that dirt track and the heat of that glaring sun as I knelt to begin the race on the day of the trials. I could hardly contain myself as the starter shouted “On your marks, get set, go!” All eight of us scampered towards the finishing line like bulls on steroids. Within seconds it was all over and I finished a distant last. I was gutted by the experience and struggled to come to grips with the results. How could someone as confident as I was fail so terribly? The problem was that I greatly underestimated the pain and process involved in making a champion. The youthful naivety seen in the above story can be compared with the naivety of a great many Christians hoping for revival in our respective lands. Let me assure you, that a revival will not break out because of a single night’s prayer meeting, unless of course, that prayer meeting was the culmination of many years of prayer that went before. Jesus explained that we must count the cost before becoming His disciples as the cost is greater than is required to become a champion athlete. I too would like to endorse the fact that if we would like to see the glory of the Lord we must be prepared to go the distance with prayer and fasting, spending time with God and joyfully enduring the painful process of growing up in Him. The glory of God is not a flash in the pan fix for bored, lazy Christians. The writer of Hebrews agrees, “We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.” Hebrews 6:12 NIV Some processes are slow but very rewarding. This world may be a very messed up place where good is called evil and evil good but truth will
never change. One such truth is that good quality will always fetch a high price. The glory of God is not for the frivolous, impatient Christian. Hannah was a widow of eighty four years who wanted to see the glory of Israel and she did. Scripture records that she, “... did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.” Luke 2:37-38 How soaked are you in the Son of God’s presence? “One swallow does not make a spring nor one hot day a summer; nor will a few minutes of frantic praying before service bring out the tender buds or make the flowers to appear on the earth. The field must be soaked in sunshine over a long period before it will give forth its treasures. The Christian’s heart must be soaked in prayer before the true spiritual fruits begin to grow. As the field has learned to live intimately and sympathetically with the rain and the sunshine so must the Christian learn to live with God. We cannot in a brief time make up for the long neglect of God and things spiritual.” The Root of the Righteous – A. W. Tozer, pg 106 As I was surrounded by champions at my school so too in God’s family we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses who will testify to the fact that it takes great faith and endurance to achieve great spiritual heights and experience the glories of God. They did it and we can too. p The
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January - March 2017
Note To Self... I am never alone... Iâ€™ve got family. God loves me because I am His family. Love is family, Family is what love is. Family is where 2 become 1, you plus me become we. Man and wife = family, Jesus and Bride = Family of God. The 2 now 1, no longer living for their individual survival, both live for the benefit of each other, together they are better and stronger. They form a collective centre called 1 in God a family.
Family is: the heart of God expressed in human terms
Family is: a haven away from bother, it is the warm welcome coming in from the cold 28
Family is: community where we are nurtured, challenged and inspired to grow into our best selves
Family is: purpose, self perpetuating protogyny, passing on a legacy
Family is: heritage - who we are because of whose we are
Family is: Godâ€™s idea, plan and intent for humanity
Family is: a standard to stand behind and a moral code to follow
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He places the lonely and the desolate in family. Anywhere in the world you find yourself, you have family Welcome today to Godâ€™s BIG happy, family.
JARGON BUSTER The Nanny State Nanny state is a term of British origin that conveys a view that a government or its policies are overprotective or interfering unduly with personal choice. The term “nanny state” likens government to the role that a nanny has in child rearing. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanny_state - accessed 16/12/16
Type/Shadow/ foreshadow Liberalism is respecting and allowing many different types of beliefs or behaviour.
Moral law The laws given by God to govern morality i.e. how we treat each other. Morality means: “Principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behaviour.” (Oxford Dictionary) The Ten Commandments written by God’s own hand contains the moral laws such as ‘you should not murder or steal’ etc.
Ceremonial law Ceremonial laws, as the name suggests, are laws given to Moses by God that outlines how religious ceremonies must be conducted. These ceremonies were carried out as an act of worship and God’s requirements for worship are very precise. For example, the incense used in the Tabernacle was to be made in a specific way (see article ‘Jesus in
the Tabernacle of Moses’). Disobeying such instructions could be fatal.
Civic law Civic laws governed the running of civic society. Civic means: “Relating to a city or town, especially its administration; municipal.” (Oxford Dictionary) These laws were given to Moses by God to avoid disputes and ensure the smooth running and governance of Israel for example how they should go about getting a divorce.
The Tabernacle According to the Hebrew Bible, was the portable earthly meeting place of God with the children of Israel from the time of the Exodus from Egypt through the conquering of the land of Canaan. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tabernacle - accessed 27/12/16
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700 separate subjects found in over 8,300 verses. The Old Testament contains more than 300 prophecies concerning Jesus Christ alone, many with amazing specificity. Numerous prophecies have already been fulfilled, and they have come to pass precisely as foretold. The mathematical odds of someone making this number of predictions and having every one of them come to pass are light-years beyond the realm of human possibility. These miraculous prophecies could only be accomplished with the supernatural guidance of Him who sees the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:9-10).
of lives. Yet many people allow the views of others—who have never seriously studied the Bible—to shape their own opinions. Each of us needs study it for ourselves. Put it to the test. Live by the Bible’s precepts and experience for yourself the dynamic and transforming power of this amazing Book. Apply its teachings on forgiveness and see how it can mend a broken relationship. Apply its principles of stewardship and watch your financial situation improve. Apply its teaching on faith and feel a calming presence in your heart even as you navigate through a difficult trial in your life. The Bible works. There is a reason Christians in various countries around the world risk their lives daily to expose others to the life-giving truth of this remarkable Book.
Unlike mythology, the Bible has transformed a countless number
Ultimately, many who reject God and His revealed Word do so because of
Continued from page 5
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pride. They are so invested in their personal beliefs that they refuse to honestly weigh the evidence. To accept the Bible as true would require them to think seriously about God and their responsibility to Him. To accept the Bible as true might require a change of lifestyle. As Erwin Lutzer stated, “The truth is, few people have an open mind, especially about matters of religion. . . . Thus, perverted doctrines and prejudices are easily perpetuated from one generation to another.” Millions die every year having bet their eternal souls that the Bible is not true, hoping against hope that it is nothing but a book of mythology, and that God does not exist. It is a risky gamble, and the stakes are very high. We urge everyone to read the Bible with an open mind; let it speak for itself, and may you find that God’s Word is truth (John 17:17). p
PRAYER CORNER PRAYER THEME: A loving Father who always listens Read Genesis Chapters 12:10 to the end, and 13:1–4 Abram took his wife, family and flocks
to Egypt because of the famine that was in the land. Through fear of being killed Abram not only lied but told his wife to lie as well in order to deceive Pharaoh. Fortunately for Abram, God spoke and troubled Pharaoh not to take his wife and he was able to peacefully leave Egypt.
Where did Abram Go?
Abram went back to where he first built an altar to God. Back to where he had been at the beginning between Bethel and Ai. It was there he called on the name of the Lord. I am sure this is where he would have repented for his lack of trust in God. He had to go back to go forward quite a few times as you read on, but he always went back to God to the altar. How many times in our lives do we need to do that? We may have returned several times to where we first built an altar to God and ask Him to forgive our mistrust our lack of obedience so that we can move on.
“Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my meditation. Give heed to the voice of my cry, my King and my God, for to You I will pray. My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; In the morning I will direct it to You, And I will look up. For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness, nor shall evil dwell with You. The boastful shall not stand in Your sight; You hate all workers of iniquity. You shall destroy those who speak falsehood; The Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man. But as for me, I will come into Your
house in the multitude of Your mercy; In fear of You I will worship toward Your holy temple. Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness because of my enemies; Make Your way straight before my face. For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; Their inward part is destruction; Their throat is an open tomb; They flatter with their tongue. Pronounce them guilty, O God! Let them fall by their own counsels; Cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions, for they have rebelled against You. But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; Let those also who love Your name Be joyful in You. For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as with a shield.” Amen (NKJV)
Let us Pray
Heavenly Father I come to You today to ask You to forgive my lack of trust in You. You have been and still is so faithful to me and yet I seem to be fearful of obeying Your word as it is so against the ‘world’s way of doing things’. Please forgive me, as I lay my shattered dreams and fears at Your feet and ask You to lift me up so I can move on with You. p
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1 2 3 4 5
Be Thou My Vision
In Praise of Hymn
Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart; Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art Thou my best Thought, by day or by night, Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light. Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word; I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord; Thou my great Father, I Thy true son; Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.
Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight; Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight; Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower: Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power. Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise, Thou mine Inheritance, now and always: Thou and Thou only, first in my heart, High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art. High King of Heaven, my victory won, May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun! Heart of my own heart, whatever befall, Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.
Reviewing Great Christian Hymns
Be Thou My Vision, is a traditional Irish hymn. The words of which are often attributed to Dallán Forgaill the sixth century Irish poet, the music was added by the Welsh composer David Evans in the 1927 and is based on the music of the Irish folk song ‘Slane’ which is believed to possibly date back as far as the fifth century and is about St. Patrick defying the pagan King Lóegaire of Tara by lighting candles on Easter Eve. https://www.songandpraise.org/be-thou-my-vision-favorite-hymn.htm January - March 2017 SHARE |MAGAZINE January 3232| |SHARE - March 2017 |MAGAZINE
Forever together before foundations of earth, Then readied for world and pain filled birth, Crying out emerging from warm wombs, Stepping from divine into life that looms. He reached between eternity and time, Beyond physical into spiritual sublime, Where we connect again on this plane, A mingling of spirits become the same. Spoken words exquisite eloquent inside, Beholden and sacred where we reside; Our loving connection transcending life, Released into worldly strife. Together forever before beginning ascends, We will be forever together after lifeâ€™s end, When my soul and yours all life transcends Beyond the beginning and beyond the end. ÂŠ By Jason Nicholas - www.facebook.com/jasonsmithfisher January - March 2017
Testimony - Continued from page 20 the Lord. Pastor preached on the love of Christ at the cross and I had a real conviction of my sinful state and by then I knew I had offended a Holy God. I had by then messed with the occult and gotten involved with spiritual stuff that I knew through my conscience I shouldn’t have gone near but I wanted answers about my parent’s past and I was too scared to ask them.
Prophecy, Pattern Prophecy, The bloodline of Christ. I would spend hours studying with my Dad, Matthew Henry’s Biblical commentary was my best friend.
and you will go to Africa but first you will go to Norway! The man you will marry is not from your Church but he is a man of prayer and honoured of God.”
God really moved in a powerful way at Stoke Road, we were so desperate for the infilling of the Spirit! I wanted to
I’m 16 by now and nearly ready to go to college. The Lord’s words kept me focused and away from danger. I kept these things in my heart and me and my Dad went on a new mission to a white catholic prayer group. Our mission was to save the Catholics and bring the Word of God to them. Little would I know that this is where I would meet my future husband.
Note to parents - If at all possible be open and honest with your children about who you are and what your history is.
Note to parents If at all possible be open and honest with your children about who you are and what your history is. I went looking for answers in very dark places and developed a fascination with the occult and people told me stuff about my parents and family that really should have come from my parents alone! I got born again. I cried a lot - people were shocked, “What has she got to cry about she’s only 12?” I was baptised and then it happened. I developed a hunger for the Word like I have never known. Instead of a fascination with the occult I developed a fascination with the Word of God. Typology,
die if I wasn’t filled. I told Him one afternoon in my bedroom that I wasn’t getting married, I would become a teacher so I could tent make and be a missionary. I carried on telling the Lord that I’m going to Africa and basically tell Him how my whole life is going to map out. After that God spoke to me. Imagine my surprise when I get to Church and someone says, “you have been asking the Lord a lot of questions today. He says you will get married, you will have children, you will become a teacher, you will preach my Word to many people,
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The first time I met Tim I felt a witness in my spirit. You can imagine my reaction when we were introduced and I realised his name was Tim. It meant - honoured of God! The rest is history as they say. Trust in the Lord with all your heart lean not on your own understanding in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path. My exciting journey with God had just begun! p
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January - March 2017
First runner up in ‘THE SENSATIONNEL’ BLACK BEAUTY HAIR AWARDS 2013
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