MyDevotions.today Understanding God
His ways are not our ways
up in heaven.
Jesus told the story of the rich man and the poor beggar in Luke 16:19-31.
The man chosen by God suffered greatly while the man God rejected enjoyed wealth and riches. How greatly different is God’s perspective from ours?
“There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, the dogs came and licked his sores.” In the end, they both died and the one who suffered and was despised on earth ended up in Abraham’s bosom but the rich and seemingly blessed man on earth ended up in hell. The lesson we can take from this story is that our earthly state is not an indication of our eternal destination. To us, it is illogical to see the man ‘blessed by God’ on earth end up in hell and the man seemingly despised and ‘cursed’ on earth end
Jesus said in Luke 16:15b “What people think is important is worth nothing to God.” (ERV) Material blessings are not necessarily signs of God’s approval. God is kind and will cause the rain to fall upon the righteous as well as the unrighteous. God could bless you today but destroy you tomorrow, it is His prerogative as God. Speaking of Jesus Peter says, He was “...rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious...” (1 Peter 2:4) So the reverse of Luke 16:15b is also true i.e. what God considers precious men put no value on. Devotion For January 1, 2018 by Homer Slack
Contents EDITORIAL 4
#youthSHARE 22 Youth views on topical issues: How Social Media impacts relationship.
On The Right Side of History 6 Bible personalities had to choose which side to stand on issues. Where will we stand today?
Think Film: “The Circle” 24 Film Review of “The Circle”: The thin line between technology and privacy.
Faith or Folly? 8 Defining Truth & Lies, Reality and Fiction, Faith and Folly.
Did You Know? 26 Main factors redefining society.
Trusted Brand Is Christianity still a reliable brand?
Jargon Buster Defining specialist terms and emerging terminology.
Temple Keeping 12 Living an authentically wholesome life (Physically, spiritually and emotionally). World In View 14 Global headlines... critical issues. Focus on Africa. Intimate Convictions Report On: Conference on “anti-sodomy” laws in the Commonwealth
Blurry Bride 18 The blurred lines between the Church and the world. TESTIMONY 20
The Story Teller 28 Slain in the Spirit... is it genuine? Relationship IN Christ NOT Religion 30 Exploring authentic faith. Note To Self By Angela Slack
The Pointless Journey By Eloise Samuels
In Praise Of Hymn 34 Reviewing Great Christian Hymns: – Standing on the Promises of God
“I found out I was pregnant after a few weeks in prison.”
WORLD IN VIEW
16 18 January - March 2018
SHARE|MAGAZINE Vo l u m e 6 - I s s u e 1
Tracing The Truth
Where do we draw the line?
We are now living In a world of redefined values and attitudes that have destabilised society on foundational issues that were once based on fixed principles such as: Marriage, Gender, Sexuality and Truth. “We have sacrificed the truth and clarity on the altar of human autonomy.” What do you do when there is no standard, no rules, no absolutes, no guard rails, no barriers? What do you do when there is no formula or standard of deviation? We know truth exists but we choose to ignore it if we can’t get what we want. Everyone does what seems right in their own eyes. If all do as they see fit without due consideration of its consequences how sustainable is this?
determined by laws passed by Judicial review but without national consensus. Western culture is now one of confusion - no clear moral guidelines. Preference, choice and instant gratification is exalted over principle and truth. The fallacy of freedom Free speech doesn’t mean the right to abuse people who don’t agree with you. When did being cruel and unkind become so popular? Today, especially on social media it is increasingly acceptable. Millennial men express new found freedom showing a growing interest in cosmetic surgery. That is also closely followed by a trendy obsession with feminine clothes, high end designers are now putting men in ‘feminised’ clothes claiming to be breaking men out of a box. Male rompers, lace, see through shorts is the latest controversial trend. I ask you readers if a cow is a COW AND A BULL is a bull, where is the box as long as the cow and the bull are allowed to function as they were designed to?
The problem is when everyone who is a law unto himself clashes with each other how do we deal with the spate of aggression and violence? The ‘hero complex’ fills the vacuum in times of crisis; we look for a ‘man of steel’ and a ‘wonderwoman’ to swoop in What does Gender neutrality and save the day. Usually our politicians who mean? fail us repeatedly as they have no moral core Instead of telling the truth that men and or clear vision for tomorrow either. women are functionally different by design we try to turn men into women and vice Alternative facts? Post truth? Where objective reason and facts are replaced versa, humanity is made subjugated to a race by appeals to emotion in shaping public of neutralised beings. How are we meant to opinion this mind set elevates personal function, who is guiding us through this new preferences over public principle. The frontier? majority is intimidated into silence if they Is it just me or are we making it up as we don’t agree with the very loud powerful and go along? Man’s natural aggression is being moneyed minority and are vilified for lack of dumbed down and channelled into passive accent. You are pressured to tow the popular productivity, this male aggression when line, as per political correctness. positively channelled is a virtue that protects Personal, private choice is now also political: and preserves creation. Man is the protector sexuality, parenting, gender, faith are by design. 4
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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.
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Canada, USA and UK are among nations that have added gender identity to its human rights act, you go to jail per se, for calling a person by the wrong gender assignment. What does that even mean in practice? The public needs clarity! We need to focus on function not labels. Toilets should be labelled: Toilets and given private cubicles for all users so that this nonsense of mistaken identity stops. Protect the privacy of each user not just some.
Question: Ever since I can remember I have heard the unsaved who indicate an interest in serving God led to repeat a prayer called ‘the sinner’s prayer. Is there such a prescribed prayer in Scriptures? If so, where could I find it? Oh, one other thing. After repeating this prescribed ‘sinner’s prayer’ they tell the person they are now saved. Is that true, does repeating this prayer make a person saved? Answer: This question has two parts so before we proceed let’s define them clearly. 1. Is there a biblical template for ‘the sinner’s prayer’? 2. Is repeating ‘the sinner’s prayer’ the step into salvation?
The hidden curriculum of the politically correct The dissemination of this view on the society is rife; school is no longer a place of learning by questioning and free thinking but one of Indoctrination producing drones who all tow the line of propaganda. To disagree is to be labelled a bigot or hateful. Ideological subversion can only be rectified by faith in The Truth, cling trustingly to the
truth. That which has been tried, proven and tested over the eons of time. “In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” George Orwell Pray earnestly for God given priorities and choose today to live by Biblical values. p
Editor and Co-founder
You have questions we’ve got answers
there a biblical template Question: Is for ‘the sinner’s prayer’? evangelists can boast of their success. Some of these people are saved and will go on to manifest the signs but a great many others aren’t. The Scripture passage in Romans that is used to justify the so called ‘sinner’s prayer’ says, “...that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:9-10 From this the ‘sinner’s prayer’ was constructed. Those who indicate their interest to be saved were therefore told to repeat the following, “Lord I believe in my heart and confess with my mouth that Jesus is Lord and that God raised Him from the dead, Amen.” Or something similar.
of Christ and the power that God exercised when He raised Him from the dead. The Holy Spirit does this when the true gospel is preached. As someone who has found love cannot help but tell friends similarly someone to whom the Lordship of Christ is revealed cannot help speaking about it. Do we need to tell a drowning person what to say to raise an alarm? Similarly we do not need to tell a person who has been truly impacted by the gospel and has met Christ what they need to say. Continue reading and you will notice that the Scripture says, “...whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13 Notice God chose to use the word ‘call’. To call is to: say something in a loud voice, especially in order to attract someone’s attention. The one who is impacted by the gospel is liken to a drowning person because they have discovered that they are being pulled down to their death by their sins. As a drowning person calls for help so this sinner calls on God the only one who can save them.
The answer to both questions is ‘no’. Scripture does not outline a sinner’s prayer and repeating such a prescribed prayer is not the indication that someone has passed from death The man made ‘sinner’s prayer’ differs from what Scripture says in into life. that one is dictated while the other Scripture does tell us what the signs flows naturally and spontaneously of salvation are and what people from the heart. The Scripture speaks who are saved will do. Repeating a of a confession that is an overflow prescribed prayer is not one. The from a heart that is full of a new found sinner’s prayer is a human construct faith in Jesus. This faith is explosive If meeting Christ and being born designed to hustle great numbers in nature. It is powered by the Holy again of His Spirit wasn’t powerful of people into the Kingdom so Spirit‘s revelation of the Lordship enough to activate Continued on pg 32 January - March 2018
S “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness…”
In light of current affairs in politics, science and technology, society is changing its ethics, standards and morals. What side of history will you be on? God’s side I hope. Bible personalities had to choose which side to stand on and now there are present day issues that are forcing us to take a moral and righteous stand; sometimes controversial decisions, sometimes made
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quickly and sometimes after consideration. Whether it’s a popular decision or not, you are called to make that decision. There are many times in the Bible where people had to choose which path they would follow. Moses was called up the mountain to spend time with God and receive instructions as well as the Commandments/ laws of God. He was gone 40 days and 40
nights. Fast forward to chapter 32 now, can you imagine Moses’ fury when God sends him back down the mountain because the people through their impatience and corruptness had turned to other gods and built a golden calf? All they had to do was wait just a little while longer and obey the commands they had already been given: the first one was God is a jealous God, do not worship any other gods! They had no excuse, earlier they had heard God and feared Him so much they were quaking in their boots! Why did most of them decide to build a calf with Aaron? After Moses gave them a choice, “Whoever is for the Lord, come to me.” The Levites chose to go to Moses and they were blessed. Ex. 32:26 I wonder what I would have done? Would I have gone along with everybody? Would I have known that it was not the will of God, He had said do not worship other gods? I would like to think I might have been faithful enough to choose God. Let us look at a different scenario now. How about Elijah, our favourite Tishbite from Tishbe. (1 Kings 18) This brave man had to present himself to Ahab the king of Israel who, it tells us in chapter 17, was the son of Omri and “did more evil in the eyes of the Lord than any of those before him.” 1 Kings 17:30 Ahab’s evil wife Jezebel was busy killing off the Lord’s prophets. Thankfully, Obadiah, another devout believer, had hidden 100 prophets of the Lord in caves. Elijah risked his life, challenged King Ahab, to a duel on Mount Carmel (Ahab’s 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah; who ate at Jezebel’s table; versus himself.) Elijah went before the people and asked
them to choose between God or Baal. What followed next would, I believe, make a hilarious film. He asked the prophets to put a bull on an altar and have their gods burn it, they couldn’t do it but when Elijah called and his God sent fire it exceeded all expectations. He had to make the decision to trust and follow God even though it could have turned out so differently. The question I ask myself again is could I be that brave, can I follow God’s word even at risk of my life? If you are a fan of a football club, when things start going wrong you can walk away, but If you are a dedicated follower of a football club you will stick with them through thick or thin through good times or bad times. Are you a fan of Jesus or a dedicated follower of Jesus? Sometimes we must make decisions in our everyday life that may be very difficult, it could be dangerous, make us notorious in the press, harm our reputation or our business. If you absolutely know that this is the Godly decision to make, could you do it? The world is changing so dramatically these days and radical decisions are being made everywhere, Godly or not, whether it is who will govern our countries or who will make our laws that we should live by. There have been brave souls who stood up for what they believed is right and have been taken to court for things such as who stays in their Bed and Breakfast, what message was not going to be put on cakes made by their business, whether a cross could be worn at work, what can or cannot be preached from the Bible on the street or displayed on a screen in a Christian Cafe. Christians in this country are now being accused of spreading hate
speech just because they have recited the words in the Bible. There will be more challenges ahead where we will have to get on our knees and pray, use Godly wisdom individually and corporately or both. As God’s children, we have to choose which side we are on and stick by it but those decisions must be made through God’s lens of love. What does God’s word really say, bearing in mind He hates legalism and bigotry. Everyday people have to decide if they are going to do what is decent, moral and right or what is popular. If we go along with the popular demand how will history judge us? Doesn’t the Word say, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.” (Matt 16:24,25) and in Isaiah 5 the warning “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness…” The trials and tribulations as a Christian follower is, I believe, about to increase. Are we going to be found following faithfully and worshipping the true and only God or will we be found following other gods? We collectively and individually must decide. p
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By Teresa L. Randle Missionary, Preacher and Bible Teacher
“Faith is not human psychology where we practice mind over matter but is instead a divine infusion that captivates the soul.”
FAITH OR FOLLY? 8
I’ll never forget the night a group of us youngsters were by a friend’s house. He was a pastor that we respected greatly, loved dearly and visited often. It was time to go but to get home we all needed to walk quite a distance to get to the point where some could get the bus. A few others of us lived close enough to complete our journey on foot from that point. Having a vehicle would help but neither us nor our pastor friend had one. Our friend led the way out the front door and down a few steps. He was already on the paved drive up to the house and was seemingly walking around in circles by the time I got out. It wasn’t totally dark as light coming out the house windows, front door and a distant street light gave some illumination. It wasn’t very obvious what he was circling but this could have been caused by the partial darkness so I drew closer along with the others to get a closer look. “Can you see it?” he asked as he momentarily stopped and moved his hand around in small circular motions as if polishing something. “No,” we all answered in unison. “Can you not see my new car?” he asked again. A few chuckles escaped as the penny dropped and we were able to finally make sense of his miming. He
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continued by cleaning its wing mirror and opening the front driver’s door as he explained that he was believing God for a car. He was quite clear on what he wanted and proceeded in telling us what colour and make it was going to be. On reading this you may have had a chuckle yourself dismissing our friends actions as the bantering of one with an overactive imagination. He was indeed sincere and meant no harm by it, the problem however, was the source that influenced his actions. He was demonstrating a new belief system that was spreading throughout the Charismatic movement and heralded by one of its leaders. He was the godfather of what is today called the ‘faith movement’. He said that for faith to work we must have a clear picture in our minds of what we wanted. This should include details such as, for example, the colour and make of what we wanted. The more refined and precise the image in our mind’s eye the greater the chances of us receiving it when we pray. Our friend did not get the car he imagined. You see, God’s word says “...faith comes by hearing the WORD OF GOD…” Romans 10:17 not by imagining. The above example is just one of the many ways man have blurred the lines between truth and lie, enticing God’s people with heresies and shipwrecking the faith of many. They crowd out God’s truth with worldly concepts. It’s that same worldly delusion that says, ‘If you can dream it you will achieve it,’ dressed up as faith and fed to God’s people. This secular humanistic brand of faith does not work and many who practiced it in detail ended up devastated when it failed them.
True Spirituality does not deny reality I was not immune to this ‘Charismanic’ bug. I remembered the day a friend and I needed to get somewhere but had no way of getting there so I prayed sincerely and earnestly that God would translate us. When my prayers yielded no results I insisted that what we needed to do was to block the reality of our present location and begin to imagine ourselves in the new location. As we walked we would not even as much as acknowledge the greetings of friends as we went by. Suffice it to say that it did not work and we did not make it to our desired destination. I recall the story of the woman who told others that God said that she was going to marry a specific man. The problem however, was that this man was already married. It was later revealed that she had borrowed a bank loan for which she did not have the means of repayment. She said she was doing it by faith as she believed the Lord wanted her to have the money. She later got into big trouble when she couldn’t repay. Such actions are borne out of folly, not faith and the number of people with similar stories would shock you. Romans 4:19 was the Scripture used to push the idea that faith denies reality. Speaking of Abraham’s faith the King James version says, “And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead…” While The Living Bible says, “And because his faith was strong, he didn’t worry about the fact that he was too old to be a father at the age of one hundred…” (TLB) Those with diabolic intentions and great influence among God’s people twisted its meaning to
say Abraham blocked the reality of his present state. That’s not true. It’s simply a matter of Old English versus Modern English where a double negative is used in the King James for emphasis on his strong faith and the double negative is translated as a positive in Modern English into ‘strong faith’, where we rarely use double negatives in one sentence. Other modern translations bring out its meaning even more clearly, for example. Romans 4:19 “He did not weaken in faith when he considered the [utter] impotence of his own body, which was as good as dead because he was about a hundred years old, or [when he considered] the barrenness of Sarah’s [deadened] womb.” Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC) You will never find anywhere in Scriptures any of God’s healers, Jesus included, telling people to lie to themselves by convincing themselves of something that’s not true. The healings in Scriptures were clear for all to see and did not insist that people leave ‘confessing’ something that wasn’t manifestly true. Faith is not human psychology where we practice mind over matter but is instead a divine infusion that captivates the soul. It is an assurance from God Himself that something is going to happen. When we receive that spiritual deposit it goes from God’s Spirit to our spirit it; is not a matter of ‘mind over matter’ as spiritual truth is imparted and it is tangible, is evidence and produces in the physical what it has promised. p By Homer Slack author, preacher, Bible teacher, IT tutor, programmer & graphic designer
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Identifying with a Brand What is a brand? As defined by the oxford online dictionary a brand can be a noun or a verb. Old English brand means ‘burning’ of Germanic origin. From which we get the verb sense ‘mark with a hot iron, this dates from late Middle English, giving rise to the noun sense ‘a mark of ownership made by branding’. So now we speak of a brand as: a type of product manufactured by a particular company under a particular
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name. As in “a new brand of soap powder.” a particular identity or image regarded as an asset - ”you can still invent your own career, be your own brand.” a particular type or kind of thing, “...they entertained millions with their inimitable brand of comedy.” Why are brands so important? Is it really a thing? What value does a label assign to a thing? People will spend excessive amounts of money, dedicated
time and effort to be associated with or to acquire coveted brands; as the top brand makes you desirable by association. A brand develops what is called ‘good will’ over time. The larger the customer/supporter base the stronger and more legitimate the brand. Stronger brands need not spend on advertising as their solid, satisfied and confident customer base assumes ownership of the brand and make it their business to pass on the word.
and even worse, a curse word. Christianity has now been lowered to that of other brands. Today it’s nothing more than a product to be sold and a brand to push through advertising and other secular means. NO thank you, I will have none of it! Christ continues to be God incarnate, Immanuel, God in us. Jesus of Nazareth was Mary’s son, the Anointed One, God incarnate dwelling in human form, King of all kings and Lord of all lords.
Fading Loyalty People’s commitment to a brand can be mind boggling. Take for example the following that the Star Wars movies or the iPhone has, where people will camp for days in the winter outside cinemas or electronic stores to be among the first to see the movie or purchase the product. CHRIST also has a following that continues to grow over the years but is that growth slowing? The followers of Christ were first called Christians in Antioch because people observed their Christ-like behaviour. Their profession then was as legitimate and genuine as Christ was. Back then, they were authentic and could be trusted but is that still true today?
Identify with Jesus The mystery of Jesus Christ is that He was man and God completely. God did not allow His seed to be corrupted by Joseph’s, Mary conceived immaculately and bore the Deliverer, who redeemed and saved His people from Adam and Eve’s sin. In Genesis 3, in the Garden, God the Father in His divine and omniscient wisdom had a plan to beat Satan at his long game of, “I’ll destroy Humans since You so love them, I’ll get my revenge on You God through them, I’ve lost paradise but I’ll take theirs away by making them turn against You in rebellion.”
No doubt Contemporary Christianity has cheapened and compromised the power of the Christian witness. The name of Jesus is higher than any other name but our misrepresentation of it have caused it to be relegated to the place of a mere prophet, a good teacher, an enlightened philosopher,
The tool, was the tree of Knowledge of good and evil. Today this could very well be science and technology used in opposition to God. God knew what would have happened if Man became swell headed and here we are. God’s plan was to send Jesus to redeem humanity back to God and placed us back into the garden of His fellowship, peace and joy as long as
we were born into His Kingdom and wholeheartedly take on the Identity of Christ through Jesus’ blood. Knowing that we are God’s children gives the greatest assurance. Knowing we belong to Him and that nothing can separate us from Him, provides more confidence than any earthly product could. Yet there seems to be more loyalty to these brands than there is to Christ. Conclusion We have arrogantly forgotten the divine Power, the Majesty and the Supremacy of the name of Jesus. Jesus is incomparable, for no other name is given on Earth by which Mankind can be saved. So, every time you hear the name Jesus, reverence it and if you call it, make sure you recognise its power to save you if you call in sincerity! The name of Jesus can do for you what a bank’s platinum account card or store loyalty card can’t. He is able to do for us what medical science and technology have to ‘pass’ on. In His name the dead are brought back to life spiritually and physically. JESUS supersedes all brands because He is more legitimate, authentic and trustworthy. Natural brands will fail us but Jesus will never!! p
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By Angela Slack educational curriculum/ literacy specialist, technical author and worship leader
an authentically wholesome
“Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.” (1 Cor. 6:19-20 MSG) This Scripture highlights the fact that, as Christians, our bodies are sacred dwelling places for God. We are stewards of this body, we need to take the best care of it. We hear the terms “eat healthy,” “exercise,” “stress kills,” “spend time in the Word,” “find time for those who matter to you.” “You have to get your rest.” These admonishments speak to good nutrition, regular movement, controlling your thought life, daily spiritual practice and tending to your relationships. All of these are elements of a wholesome life, and should characterise the Christian’s life. We are often unintentional about these facets of our lives until something starts to go amiss.
What does eating healthy mean? It’s eating clean. Clear skin, weight loss, increased energy, stronger hair and nails, improved mental health
and better sleep are all the benefits of eating clean. It’s easy to eat your way through two or three bags of your favorite chips or cheesy snack. A plate of fruit and vegetables doesn’t seem so appealing. Eating foods that occur in nature and that do not go through a lab or manufacturing is what eating clean looks like. These are whole foods. They fill you up and fuel you. Whole foods improve your mindset. You feel like you have treated your body right when you fill up on genuine nutrients. They regulate cholesterol levels, ward off cancers, dementia and a plethora of other conditions. Plus! The high fiber content of fruits, vegetables and whole grains helps keep the digestive system in tip-top shape, which is essential to optimal health. Many of us know or have access to this information. However we still struggle to make healthy choices. We battle to give up the taste and flavours we love. Here is what I recommend, take it a little at a time Increase your water, increase your fruits and vegetables and reduce your sugar.
Keep track of sugar! Sugar is sneaky. It gets into bread, crisps, spaghetti sauce, it loads tomato ketchup, it is everywhere even places you think it’s not. So if you must eat packaged/ processed food, read your label. look at the sugar listed in the ingredients and match it with the nutritional panel. Ensure that, if you are an adult female, you only have 6 teaspoons 12
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of sugar or less, per day, and an adult male is allowed up to 9 teaspoons or less. To calculate the amount of sugar in the package, divide the amount of sugar in grams by 4 and multiply by the number servings. Is it within limit? Please note, Sugar is more addictive than cocaine and the packaged food industry knowing this, relies on sugar to keep business up.
Keep active Timothy 4:8 states, that bodily exercise profiteth us. These days, we live sedentary lives: we sit at our desk, we drive to work, to school, to the store. We use the remote to change the channel or worse our laptops, phones, or tablets sit on our laps or in our hands as we imbibe media. There is no reason to get up or to move. When we sit to eat, energy foods fill our plates. Energy foods are starchy foods which convert to sugar and when unused, convert to fat. Regular exercise is crucial to supporting a fast metabolism and burning up the calories we consume daily from this food group. It also helps you maintain your muscle mass and supports weight loss. In her article, the top 10 benefits of regular exercise, Arlene Semeco, MS, RD, defines exercise as any movement that makes your muscles work and requires your body to burn calories. These include, but are not limited to, swimming, running, jogging, walking and dancing. Being active has been shown to have many health benefits, both physically and mentally. •
It can improve your mood and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. It helps you build muscles and strong bones. It may also help prevent osteoporosis.
It can increase your energy levels. This is true even in people with persistent fatigue and those suffering from serious illnesses. Daily physical activity is essential daily to maintaining healthy weight and reducing the risk of chronic disease, like diabetes and heart disease. Moderate exercise can also provide antioxidant protection and promote blood flow, which can protect your skin and delay signs of aging. It may even help you live longer.
So get moving! Find the kind of exercise that suits you and do it daily. If you do not like to do it, chances are you may not do it.
A special note to the ladies. Ladies we are prone to overworking ourselves. We are the nurturers and our tendency is to take care of everyone but ourselves. Embrace the phrase “self-care.” Self-care is not frivolous. It is absolutely essential to living a meaningful life. When you fill your cup first, you can give to others authentically and deeply. You see, the health of everyone and everything in your life starts with your own personal health.
Designate self-care time: • Get a massage • Get your nails done • Get a facial. • Take a hot bath • Do a hot towel scrub. • Meditate on the Bible • Investigate what’s not working • See what you need more of • Get enough rest Our bodies need rest ; times of refreshing, but the ladies must be as intentional as the men and make it happen. With these times securely placed in our lives we will be better able to care for those around us. Our bodies are strong but it is complicated and delicate; and quite prone to stressful situations. During our
menstrual cycle; at least a week before our flow begins, and in the week that we are flowing, we should be especially gentle with ourselves. Even our exercise choices should be less rigorous during this time. Ladies can I give you a tip? I have noticed that when I have salty foods leading up to my menstrual flow, I have an uncomfortable time of it. I eventually realised that staying off salt 2 weeks before my ‘menses’, was much better for me. So if you find yourself craving crisps, chips, fried chicken or anything that tends to be salty, be aware your flow maybe on its way. If you must give in, drink lots of water so that you remain hydrated. Salt encourages the body to retain water, and that’s not good for menstrual periods. So if you ‘crave’ salty foods, have lots of water. I implore you however, eat the foods that nourish the female body especially during your menstrual cycle. Foods like blueberries, kale, mushrooms, garlic, coconut oil, flax seeds, quinoa, organic Greek yogurt, red wine, dark chocolate and lemons, are some of the power foods for women that make a big difference in our health and vitality. Men, I have not left you out, here are a few tips for you from menshealth.com. • Strengthen your core and save your back. • Never eat out of the original container. How many times have you dipped into a pint of ice cream only to find yourself staring at the bottom of the container 15 minutes later? • Check your prostate. • Do not rely on your cholesterol number alone to determine whether you are at risk for heart disease or determine that you need to lower your risk. Your age, your blood pressure whether you smoke or not and the taking of blood pressure medicines are also taken into account. • Do all you can to sleep on your side. Back sleepers often have blocked
airways and that can lead to a host of trouble. • Drink green tea; the antioxidant-rich drink may help prevent prostate cancer and lower your risk of heart disease. • Get rid of that belly fat. The visceral fat that settles around your abdomen, let’s toxins seep into your vital organs.
Healthy mind healthy body As well as exercise and eating well, we need also to guard our mind. Our mind consists of our thoughts, emotions, beliefs attitudes, images and memory. Our mental state can be conscious or unconscious. We can have emotional reactions to situations without being aware of why we’re reacting. Each mental state has an associated physiology, a positive or negative effect felt in the physical body. For example, an anxious mental state causes you to produce stress hormones. Could this be why the Bible tells us, “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” Philippians 4:6-7 MSG Science has finally caught up with the Bible. In verse 8 of this same passage of Scripture we are told what to think about and what to focus on. Science, agrees that if we focus on those things or bodies will produce hormones that make us feel good, that cause us to relax, put our bodies in rest, repair and digest mode; we will be at peace. Meditate on the Word of God. Mindful meditation is a way of staying present, disallowing negative thought patterns from bringing you into a downward spiral. As spiritual beings in a material world, it’s easy for us to get wrapped up in the situations and circumstances happening around us and allow Continued on pg 32
January - March 2018
Focus on Africa:
The 5 Emerging African Lions
The Battle for Moral Equity, Balance of Power and Peace in Africa
The battle for moral equity, balance of power and peace carries on and we must as watchers and intercessors keep our eyes on the world. In this issue we focus on Africa. If we pray for this continent then Africa will be better placed to come out on the right side of history in this millennium. 5 African nations are no longer emerging but have arrived in the 4th Industrial Revolution and have taken their place among the nations of the developed world. Very soon the largest cities in the world will be in the African continent. Economic projections are that cities such as Lagos, Nairobi, Accra, will be the new Shanghai in another decade. [Source - https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=NJ5j6tWPNO]
These newly emerged African Lions are the ones to watch and pray for in the continent as the fate of millions depend on the African peoples finding their manifest destiny after so many centuries of internal strife, wars, prolonged poverty and colonial domination. Influx in foreign investment notably China, economies of scale, urbanisation, provision of goods and services and a shift from reliance on natural resources, account for the success of the New “African Lions,” namely: Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia. It is also interesting to note that they are all predominantly Christian practicing countries. I submit that if God is doing something new in Africa then we must partner in prayer and practice to see it through.
The Son [of God] is shining on Africa! “Africa is much like China in having a wide cultural diversity of people living in vastly contrasting environments . The difference is China is one country with a very strong consciousness of oneness within its people. It’s the accident of history that one powerful state of Chin conquered six others uniting China and in Africa, colonialism divided the continent up as it is today. The past cannot be changed but the future can. If Africans can work on promoting the consciousness of one Africa within different ethnic groups, and nationalities, it will someday be a powerhouse of the world.” Yen Tao, youtube.com/watch?v=NJ5j6tWPNOg&lc=z135vhbrjsqost alq23xe5vr2nzuvjtl0
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Go East Young man? Yes, indeed the sun is setting on the West and rising in the East. China is undoubtedly the godfather in much of African success having invested heavily in its infrastructure, technology and signed many trade deals. We need to pray that this does not become another form of financial imperialism or economic colonialism whereby China calls the shots and derives all the long term benefits. Africa surely has had enough manipulation and exploitation by external powers who all came proclaiming peace. There’s no free lunch in the west and Africa should not drop its guard thinking that there will be any in the East either.
In View Interestingly, as it was in 1271, when Marco Polo travelled to China he found out that the West was woefully behind the East in many respects and nothing much has changed today. I believe it is because they have not tossed away the wisdom of their ancestors to replace it with western ideology or technology in fact you will find a beautiful harmony in Eastern Societies of building solidly on the wisdom of the past and embracing the technology of the present. So this may account for western fascination with eastern philosophy, fair enough but we cannot substantiate one philosophy for another and hope for an instant fix. What we need to do is to look within, preserve with the truth of
the Gospel of Jesus Christ that we know of and hold to it. Eastern philosophies teach that nothing lasting is achievable in this life: absolution, redemption and salvation is all realised in the next life cycle or the afterlife while Christianity offers you real accessible hope and the reality of spiritual transformation from the soul to the mind in this present life. Now is the day of salvation Jesus Christ has made it clear to us in His own teachings that it is vain and futile, if you try to achieve salvation on your own merit. What the Apostle Paul calls, “the more excellent way”: A life where a transcendent God who, sacrificially, in love reaches out to humanity and offers grace to overcome
in life and power to triumph over sin, lives in the heart of man giving him a new and pure consciousness where we naturally do what is right because it is in our heart and mind to do it. That is what Jesus Christ has offered humanity where no other religion’s god has come close. We do not need eastern religion, what we need is confidence, that comes out of a personal, relationship and that grows in faith in, The One True God... Yeshua Hamashiach, Jesus Christ, The Anointed Messiah. He said, “Come unto me all who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest for your weary souls”, not a ‘to do’ list of religious deeds to complete in order to gain salvation and restitution. May Africa truly enter into God’s rest! p
Religious Beliefs in Mozambique Religious Beliefs in Kenya
Self-Identified Belief System
Share of Population
Roman Catholic Christianity
Atheist or Agnostic
Share of Population
Islam (predominantly Sunni)
Zionist Protestant Christianity
Evangelical Protestant Christianity
Anglican Protestant Christianity
Note: a large majority of Kenyans are Christian but estimates for the percentage of the population that adheres to Islam or indigenous beliefs vary widely. worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/africa/kenya/kefacts. htm#page
Religious Beliefs in Tanzania
Religious Beliefs in Uganda Rank
Share of Population
Roman Catholic Christianity
Church Of Uganda (Anglican Protestant Christianity)
Other Forms of Christianity
Shia, Ahmadiyya and Other Forms of Islam
Atheism or Agnosticism
Share of Population
Religious Beliefs in Zambia Rank
Share of Population
Muslim and Hindu
worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/africa/zambia/zmfacts. htm#page January - March 2018
Intimate Convictions Conference Report
Background We are living in undeniably interesting times and the island of Jamaica has not escaped the claws of changing ideologies. Jamaica was dubbed the most homophobic place on earth by Time Magazine in 2006 and has been notoriously known for its radicalist rejection of the homosexual lifestyle for years. There has however been a steady shift in perspective and response to homosexuality in Jamaica. Though Iâ€™m only 23, I have witnessed for myself the evolution of this stance from aggression to apathy. However, the
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Church has remained a voice standing against this lifestyle and we saw this resolve demonstrated in an International attention-grabbing rally in 2014. Over 25,000 Jamaicans opposed the repealing of the buggery act. The buggery act essentially prohibits anal sex and is therefore the only law that stands against homosexuality in Jamaica. However, there have been recent developments that have displayed the marked progression that the LGBTI community has made in this island. Jamaica saw its first gay
rights case brought against two national television stations, the annual staging of Gay Pride week since 2015 and this year’s international discussion on anti-sodomy laws in the Commonwealth: “Intimate Convictions.” These developments have literally been challenging our value systems and the cultural fiber of Jamaica. Purpose and Structure “Intimate Conviction: An international conference examining the Church and anti-sodomy laws across the Commonwealth” was a landmark event held on October 2017 at the University of the West Indies Regional Headquarters. The two-day event boasted quite a few international clergy persons and Human rights activists. Very Rev. Fr. Sean Major-Campbell, the host pastor for the event hoped that the discussion will have everyone hearing “perspectives that promote respectful dialogue on the rugged landscape of human sexuality and theology.” The conference had three keynote addresses by Most Rev. Dr. John Holder, the Anglican Archbishop of the West Indies, Justin Pettit, Commonwealth Secretariat and Lord Anthony Gifford, Q.C. The days saw six panel presentations examining topics that included: 1. “The Anglican Church and Decriminalisation (Global North and South Perspective)” 2. Other Churches and Decriminalisation (Global North and South Perspective) 3. Gender, Decriminalisation and the Church. 4. HIV, Decriminalisation and the Church 5. Building an Ecumenical Dialogue for Decriminalisation Points Raised by Keynote Addresses and Panelists In Rev. Holder’s keynote address he shared his sentiments regarding anti-sodomy laws and how from his theological studies he couldn’t find
biblical support for it. He reasoned from the basis that “Yahweh’s use of human sexuality is not bound by the laws of biology and nature,” and referred to the uncommon stories of Sarah, Jesus and Samuel as being used for God’s glory. He further went on to mention the innocuous story of Ruth and Boaz and posited that Ruth used her sexuality to secure welfare for herself and Naomi. When Ruth laid at Boaz’ feet (interpreted to mean penis) the assumption is that they had sex, while Boaz was intoxicated. He says this use of sexuality was an enactment of God’s will and has not been condemned by readers but this grace was not extended to the infamous story of Sodom and Gomorrah. Rev. Holder reduced the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah to inhospitality and not the sexual lawlessness of the city, therefore shaking the foundation of anti-sodomy laws in Commonwealth territories. He also went on to summarize the warnings against homosexuality in Leviticus 18, Romans 1, 1 Corinthians 6 and 1 Timothy 1. He concluded that the warnings were based on the survival of the Jews in Babylon (procreation purposes) and the survival of the Church in Rome and Corinth versus an actual warning against sin. In Lord Gifford’s address he argued that the law has no place in consenting adults’ private sexual activity and the buggery act is an overreaching step. Other recurring points included inequality, gender fluidity and arguing race and sexual orientation as the same thing. Matters of Concern Throughout the day I was concerned about the future state of this island and the souls of these clergy persons who were either practicing homosexuals or in full support of it. I undoubtedly believe that humans are to be respected, but with even greater resolution I believe our interaction with each other should be prescribed by Scripture. The theme of human rights policies was mentioned
so many times until it began to feel as if these policies took precedence over Scripture. Another concern I had was how Christian truth seemed relative rather than absolute. This perception revealed itself in how many times the terms “interfaith” and “ecumenicalism” were mentioned and the attitude that came along with it. It reflected this inclusive view that your truth can simultaneously be as true as my truth. Jesus says in John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth, and the life!” Jesus answered. “Without me, no one can go to the Father.” There are many variations to this trend of contemporary relativism, that I believe is very pervasive among supporters of LGBTI and gender fluidity groups, however the underlying basis is that I can’t tell you that you’re wrong because your self-expression is a reflection of your truth. I was also extremely troubled by how compartmentalized the life of these clergy persons sounded. The very nature of true Christianity is that it invades every aspect of your life, if I am a teacher, I am first a Christian then a teacher. It almost seemed as if their role as priests and pastors was only a vocation and not an extension of their Christian identity. This was seen in how they quickly spoke of the work they’ve done to help the gay community but never really delved into how they were able to reconcile homosexuality with Scripture. There was also an incomplete projection of love, where if you love me you would let me do what I want but they’ve failed to recognize that love also does not rejoice in iniquity. (1 Corinthians 13) “Intimate Convictions,” has given me more strategic points of focus in intercession. I invite everyone reading to join in prayer for the Commonwealth of Nations. p
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By Jhonelle Grant Youth Leader and Freelance Writer
The blurred lines between the Church and the world. The harlot and the Bride... how do we tell them apart? As we experience the intensity of the last days of Bible prophecy, we must come to terms with the reality of the battle we are engaged in. Our ignorance will become the tool of our defeat if we are not careful to know the word of God in this hour. In fact the child of God’s biggest concern shouldn’t be the mark of the beast, or wars, climate change or the economic situation. All are important but the number one thing Jesus instructs his disciples to be aware of in the last days is deception.“And Jesus answered and said unto them, take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name saying, I am Christ, and shall deceive many.”
Matt. 24:4-5 (KJV)
the truth does.
It is in this context we have found ourselves as the Church. Our overemphasis on other things rather than having a deep relationship with Christ has dulled our spiritual senses. Now we are unable to discern between the sheep and the goats, righteous vs. unrighteous, world and the true Church, Jesus’s bride vs. the harlot. The line between the false and the true is now so blurred we cannot tell the difference between a saint and a sinner. However, the word of God does make a clear demarcation. To effectively combat the lies of the world, the devil and the flesh we must be more full of the truth. Not just knowing the Truth, but having an intimate love for Him that is truth, Jesus Christ. Knowing the truth doesn’t guarantee change, loving
Current Realities The world is currently in the hellish grip of radical revisionism, where history and all that is ancient is being rewritten, deleted from memory and in some cases, everything Christian is being replaced with another type of religion. These new thoughts appeal to the current millennial generation who have a very high view of themselves. The religious dogma that man is his own god is taking on fresh roots in the world. The fallout seen is the steady decline in the Church, the rise of radical religion, man taking his life into his own hands and the spread of apathy and disillusionment toward the Gospel and the one true Christ, is setting the stage for the rise of the image called the harlot as referred to in Revelation 17:1-6, as well as the
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persecution of the Bride of Jesus Christ. Many are being led to ask the question, how do I know the true Bride of Christ? Will the true Church please stand up? As a Banker, I was taught that to rightly identify a forgery I must first study the genuine note well so that the false would be easily seen. I find that this principle is also true in looking at things in the spirit. If we know the truth, inside out, when the false turns up its easily detected. Identifying The Bride Firstly, she is Jesus’s bride; “I will show thee the Bride, the Lamb’s wife.” (Rev. 21:96) Jesus further teaches in Matt. 16:18 “And upon this rock I will build my Church..” It is His Church, not an institution, system of rules or organization. It is a body, born to be Jesus’s Bride, His wife. The Church’s chief function is to love Jesus. We are Jesus’s people. Jesus didn’t give birth to another religious system He had that in Judaism. Christianity is fellowshipping with Christ our beloved and Him with us until the marriage feast. The Bride is in waiting and whilst she waits she is ministered to by the Holy Spirit, matured and made ready to be equally yoked to her lover - Jesus. Eph. 4:10-11 Her role is to occupy till He returns; she only has eyes for Him, she rules over His business, she walks in His delegated authority, she models and represents Him not herself. She is a virgin, she keeps herself pure for Him and worships Him alone. Her lamp is trimmed and full of oil as she purposefully waits on her Groom. This Church is powerful and will be persecuted. She is Christ centered, radically faithful, she rejects the institutions of men and their religious systems designed to block the free flowing Spirit of God to her.
We have relegated the Bride to a Church service, a day of worship, this is not the true Bride. She is the visible representation of Christ in the earth as Jesus was the visible image (representation) of the Father in the Earth so are we for Christ. The best and finest example I can use to represent the Church of Jesus is the story of Mary who anointed His feet, St. John 12:3-8. Her actions reveal the heart of the true Bride. She lavished all that she had on Jesus, her ointment of spikenard and when she was done she used her glory (her hair) to wipe His feet. Her posture drew criticism and indignation. She was called wasteful and history has not been kind to her. However, Jesus came to her defense, “Let her alone…” John 12:7. Her actions changed the atmosphere. In a room full of people she was the closest to Him, ministering to Him, that was her purpose, that’s what gave her fulfilment. She is a picture of the true Bride. The Harlot Revelations 17:3-18, Reveals the counterfeit bride. She is described as a harlot. Verse 3 “And I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy...” John called her a woman, however in the middle Eastern context, she is understood to be a divorcee, or one who broke a covenant. She seems to have all the outer covering of the true Bride. (Rev. 21:9-13) the similarities are stark (Rev. 17:4) “And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour decked with gold and precious stones and pearls...” I don’t only believe she is a false Church/Bride, I believe she was once a follower or seeker of the truth, one who was joined to Him; and just like Gomer, Hosea’s wife, she joined herself to others and despised her husband for other lovers. She looks like the real bride because she too
has been around Jesus. However, instead of desiring intimacy with God, she craves her own worship. So instead of intimacy she forms an institution ‘called the Church.’ Her tool for worship is religion. Religion is defined as man’s attempt to know God. She mimics the true Church, by her worship, her colours, her structure, her love affairs but unlike the true Bride’s love for Jesus she prostitutes herself to power, she fornicates with kings, as stated in Revelations 9-14. These kings have one purpose, to make war with the Lamb. She is against the true Bride, in fact she is the instigator of the Bride’s persecution. The Harlot is a people who have Church programmes without Jesus’s Spirit. A love for the things of God without a passion for holiness. She will take a stand on natural issues but compromise on the truth of Jesus’ revelation. The Harlot is seen as a horror in the realm of the spirit but is a wonder in the eyes of men. The beauty of Babylon and it’s hanging gardens is one of the seven wonders of the world. John said in Rev. 17:6b “..and when I saw her I wondered with great admiration.” That Angel had to ask John why did he marvel? We must not be deceived by her beauty or goodness in the natural because she will become drunken with the blood of the saints. Her attraction is the same as it was for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Remember, in the book of Daniel, the sons of God were taught the ways of the Babylonians, their kingdom philosophy is to capture and cause the captives to be assimilated and become like them. We must resist the counterfeit Church and her agenda. We must call her what she is - a whore and abomination of the earth.
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Continued on pg 32 SHARE|MAGAZINE
I found out I was pregnant after a few weeks in prison
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Prison Break You’re under arrest
“Get out, get out, get out of the car, put your hands up in the air, you’re under arrest!” It happened all so quickly, from being pulled out from the car, handcuffed the miranda rights read to me, in the prison van and off to jail. I can still remember that day as if it happened yesterday. I had lost my way in life and now this was the end of the road for me. I was still coming down on a cocaine high but understood what was happening to me. I was filled with fear of prison and the unknown. Alongside those fears came the worry and anxiety of my children and their welfare. It all came crashing down around me. I can’t tell you how completely hopeless and helpless I felt. How empty, broken, tired and so overwhelmed. I just broke down and cried uncontrollably. There was no escaping this, no one was coming to rescue me!
How did I get here?
said something that changed my life forever. The time in my life when I first believed God existed. At the age of 6 I knew I was here for a special reason and a purpose but didn’t have a clue what that was. I remembered how I wanted to be a nun around 8 years old but was never taken seriously, (thank God for that) I was raised in a Catholic home but I didn’t know anything about being ‘born again’ or having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
This lovely woman and I became good friends whilst in prison and she organised one of her friends to come and visit me. This lady was a ‘born again’ Christian and I thank God for sending her to me. I experienced such love and acceptance from her. She never looked down on me but treated me with gifts and my first Bible! She was a very special lady indeed who kept her commitment to me with weekly visits which I so looked forward to and also because she was one of the few visitors who did come to visit me. I saw the love of Jesus through this lovely lady and I knew it was the time for me to respond to God’s gift of salvation through His Son Jesus Christ. To know that, “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
I asked myself that question many times. Like a playlist in my mind I would go through all the pain and heartache I had experienced throughout my life. The abuse, violence, beatings, betrayals, drugs, suicide, rejection, bad relationships like tracks on my playlist I played them regularly. Blaming myself, believing I was a failure, telling myself I was useless Just think for a moment! If you were and I didn’t deserve anything better, the only person on earth, Jesus would was my pattern of thinking. have gone to the cross and paid the price for your Salvation. Amazing! Within a few weeks in jail I settled down somewhat and as I was walking Despite who you are and where around a fellow inmate caught my you are now, God loves you and the attention. I could see she was very demonstration of His wonderful love upset and crying. I walked up to her was that He died for you right now, and was given the cue to sit down on right where you are. I wanted Jesus her bed. Through tears and much pain in my life permanently and to have a she shared the ordeal she had gone personal relationship with Him now through. She was so upset relating and for all eternity, I wanted to be her story to me and I could see and free to do that. “If you confess with hear how broken she was and I had your mouth that Jesus is Lord and much compassion for her. She then believe in your heart that God raised
Him from the dead you will be saved.” Romans 10:9. I was ready and that’s what I did in the least likely place WOW! After my prayer I sensed everything had changed. I was about to see many miracles. I found out I was pregnant after a few weeks in prison and a miracle happened there with the outcome. I was facing 30 years in prison but there were miracles behind the scenes to release me from not only 1 prison but 3 prisons over time. Yes miracle after miracle.
So what happened ?
After I was released from jail. When I prayed that prayer in prison I remembered what Jesus said, He said He would never leave me or abandon me, that He would be with me always and committed to me even when I would still make bad choices and resort to old ways. I still encounter many heartaches and life can get tough with hardships and pain but God is my anchor. I am nothing like the Angie that went to prison many years ago for God is my healer and He is healing the brokenness within me and renewing me in every way. God is a good Father and everything that happens is for my good. He just says, “Trust me” For He knows the plans He has for me, plans for good and not for evil, to give me hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11. Being confident of this that He who had begun a good work in me and is faithful to complete it. Philippians 1:6. I pray that you will be blessed reading this and that you would respond to Jesus’ love today. This is the day of your Salvation. Time is short and the world is getting darker. I may be the last person God will use to speak to you to come and be forgiven and believe in His Son JESUS and be saved. This is the most important decision you will ever have to make which will have eternal consequences. p
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SHARE youth # Has Social Networking Replaced Friendships?
“These days, I’m just not winning at friendship. I have no idea how to be a friend, keep a friend or find a friend—a true friend, that is—in a world overloaded with tweets, texts and selfies.” (RelevantMagazineArticle) relevantmagazine.com/culture/tech/6-ways-
Our survey sample of 57 youth Across Jamaica (63.2%), UK (14%), USA (15.8%), Canada (5.3%) and Angola (1.8%) revealed that outside of enjoying gadgets and media driven interaction youth still value actual social interaction with family and friends. It would be interesting to know the values of other youths in other parts of the world. Results from Q.1 showed that 50% interact with some form of social 22
media upon waking, 26% prioritise prayer and reflection with God while 22.8% go straight to getting ready for the day. So, for 50% the first interaction of the day is via a gadget; hopefully there would be an online devotional or Bible app hidden among these figures, so the real cause of alarm is the 28% who have no time with God at all and wake and go. A fundamental building block is
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missing the value and practice of acknowledging God and having an actual conversation with Him building a life long relationship with Him and the trust that comes from that relationship is missing. This is reflected in latent insecurity in social settings. Q. 2 During a family meal 42.% will respond to incoming communication, 36.8% will initiate contact using a mobile from time to time while
on their smartphone and post to social media. 5.3% avoid talking to strangers, 10.5% leave early having struggled to socialise, 56.1% do other things. I’m curious as to what that constitutes but suffice it to say the main point of the party is lost as the level of social interaction and enjoyment is appalling. Who Q. 3 45.6% Value lunch break as the bridges the gap and creates group main time for peer interaction,17.5% interaction? Have our youth lost the eat alone to avoid conversations. This skill to make friends? is a growing trend globally as food manufacturers and restaurateurs, Q. 5 Intimate life changing moments are designing individual portion are still reserved for family disclosure food packages and individual dining by 56.1% while 21% will call close spaces. This was hitherto unheard of; friends,10.5% will share on Facebook dining was predominantly a social and 12.3% chose other. This is dubious event in most cultures. Millennials as it could suggest a preference for are trending single dining. This is privacy or an indifference in regard to because the remaining 14% are on sharing intimate matters. the phone, 7% are on social media Q. 6 The most encouraging result was and 15.8% are off doing other things. that 78% would try to break up a fight Q. 4 At a party 28.1 % take pictures among their peers and the remaining 8.8 % mostly will and 12.3% will desist. Family mealtime is another pivotal window of opportunity being lost whereby social etiquette, the art of conversation, self esteem, social interaction and bonding can be modelled, demonstrated and developed.
21.1% chose other suggesting that none saw social media as a means of promoting violence. Other, could involve getting the authorities or help or leaving the scene. Q. 7 A Saturday ‘night in’ socializing with family over food and fun is still valued by 59.6%,12.3% will still be on social media, 10.9% will rather be gaming, and 14 % will choose other things possibly clubbing, sleeping or reading? There seems to be a growing need to pass on social skills to this sample of youth. It may be the lack of these skills that is making social media become, the ‘go to’ choice for social expression. It is not so much the technology that is driving them but the need for connection. Our youth need to be taught how to connect with people. p By Petra Imani Nicholas Creative Writer, Poet and Blogger on SHARE XTRA
1. When you wake in the morning what is the first thing you usually do? • Interact with an electronic media i.e. mobile/cell phone, computer etc. • Have devotions i.e. Kneel and pray/read a scripture passage etc. • Go straight to getting ready for work/school etc.
2. When eating meals with the family do you usually interact with your phone... • Most of the time • From time to time • Only if I get a text, a call or a notification • Never 3. In the lunchroom at school or work I tend to... • Socialize with classmates or coworkers • Eat by myself to avoid awkward conversations • Spend my break on my phone • Talk to friends about apps, memes & what’s on social media • None of the above 4. When at a party do you • Spend all night texting your friends who couldn’t make it? • Take pictures and post them to social media?
• • •
Avoid talking to anyone you don’t already know? Leave early because you find it difficult to socialise? Other
5. Let’s say you just got engaged. What would you do first? • Share it with my Facebook friends • Personally call and tell my close group of friends • Personally call and tell my family • None of the above 6. A friend of yours is in a fight so you... • Take a photo and post it to WorldStarHipHop or Facebook etc. • Join in the fight with hopes that someone else will post it so you gain mire likes and follows • Try to break up the fight • Other 7. What would you prefer doing on a Saturday night? • Join your family for a family night playing board games or watching movies and eating snacks • Go out and party and take pics for your followers • Stay home and interact with social media • Stay home and play electronic games on my phone/PC/X-Box/ PlayStation etc. • None of the above
January - March 2018
The Circle Review
Warning! There will be a few spoilers in this review. The Circle was a movie that was average at best. Not anything I would advise anyone to spend their money on at the cinema, but I recommend you watch the DVD for the following reasons. It does address a very poignant and relevant subject matter...Technology and Privacy; and raises questions that we really need to have a ready answer for.
The story begins with Mae (Emma Watson) contacting her old friend Mercer (Ellar Coltrane) for assistance since her car broke down on her way from work. After the car was fixed she soon gets home to her mother Bonnie (Glenne Headly) and father Vinnie (Bill Paxton) who has multiple sclerosis who both seem to like Mercer. Knowing that she needs the money Mae’s friend Annie Allerton (Karen Gillan) calls her from work telling her that she got Mae an interview at this famous company she 24
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works at called The Circle, which gives her a job in customer experience.
Annie and is wowed by the level of technology produced by The Circle. At a meeting that day Eamon Bailey (Tom Hanks) introduces a new product called SeeChange which provides real time video by placing small cameras anywhere. That night at a company party, Mae meets a man who seems to be less than excited about the organisation called The Circle. At another Circle event she meets this man again and he takes her to an unfamiliar of The Circle, revealing himself to be Ty Lafitte (John Boyega), founder of TrueYou a popular Circle product. This was the database where the information on every worker, called Circler, is kept. He also reveals an area underground which shows miles of space that The Circle would use for further storage of information. There, Ty reveals who he is to Mae and tells her that TrueYou has become something he never intended. After being sworn to secrecy Mae and Ty leave the tunnel. Some time later Mae receives a photograph of a chandelier in the form of antlers that her friend Mercer had made which she shares in on her
Circle Profile (a form of social media). This, however, attracts a large amount of negative attention for Mercer as people think he is killing real animals. Mercer visits Mae and the two argue in the lobby. Distraught, Mae decides to go kayaking that night and steals the equipment to do so (of course with the intention of putting it back.) She ends up almost drowning, but is saved by the Coast Guard who knew where she was because of footage caught on a SeeChange camera near the kayaking shop. That event leads Mae to become the first Circler going “fully transparent” which involves her wearing a body camera and “vlogging” her entire day. This was announced at a Circle meeting by Eamon. However, this damages her relationship with her family and old friends. She accidentally sees her parents having sex and the whole world sees in turn. Still, she continues to climb the corporate ladder and we see her in a Circle board meeting. At this meeting, Eamon announces support from all states in the USA, for voting through Circle Accounts. Mae suggests requiring every individual to have a Circle Account. Eamon and Tom
was used to save Mae’s life (the SeeChange camera) was the same that embarrassed her parents and caused a temporary rift in their relationship. It is worth mentioning that though many people may not go as fully transparent as Mae 24/7, vlogging has The Circle is worth a watch as it explores become quite popular in the last few years whether the advancement of technology and technology facilitates it quite well. will eventually lead to the disappearance The modern smartphone does everything of privacy. This topic is currently trending that a laptop, CD player, microphone and in books, papers and discussion boards camera would do little over a decade ago. on the internet. The question isn’t without This truly can leave people feeling unable its basis; a quite accurate premise in my to be truly themselves because they fear opinion and The Circle does a good job that it will hit the internet in a matter of of showcasing the good and bad sides of seconds. technology. I have this fear around certain people and Mae, experienced the benefits on the know what it feels to have something I grounds of health, emotional support considered private posted on the internet and even on the grounds of justice. Quite for all to see. Snapchat itself recently early in Mae’s time working with the added a feature that allows you to know Circle she visited the company’s doctor the exact location of a person and track and was given a device that monitored them. This is potentially dangerous as the all areas of her health, down to her very film dramatised. heart rate at any given second. It was in the form of a bracelet that never needed Technology’s impact in my opinion is to come off. That same technology and just like a coin; it has two faces. The same presumably others went towards her technology that makes the video camera father helping him to live with multiple which discourages thefts and brings sclerosis in a much more comfortable way. criminals to justice is the same technology The SeeChange cameras had the ability which enables sexual deviants to violate to detect changes in weather and even people’s privacy and dignity. had facial recognition software. Not to The technology that enables us to easily do mention the superb quality of the videos monetary transactions online also gives captured. hackers the ability to have all our account Let’s look at life outside of the silver information and the money behind it. screen for a bit. We can plainly see I truly believe that the technology seen that technology has improved health in The Circle is not very far fetched; it and increased life expectancy. Security simply combines existing technology and systems give a sense of peace to many makes them easily accessible. The film households and businesses all around the begs the question, will our privacy be world. Satellites ushers us into comfort totally erased or can we find a way to live with cable television and the internet with technology and keep our privacy? facilitates services such as Hulu, Netflix, Give The Circle a watch and put on your YouTube, etc. Social media is also one thinking caps. If by chance you’ve never of the easiest ways to keep in contact thought about it before... well, THINK! with friends and loved ones that you just Blessings until our next film p cannot see on a regular basis. Companies even use social media as a way to select By Josiah Rainford potential employees. youth leader, teacher, Mae reiterates her point of transparency being good, with the support of the audience. Mae goes kayaking again, untroubled by the drones that surround her.
approve, but the suggestion upsets Annie. At the next Circle meeting, Mae says that The Circle believes it can find anyone on the planet in under 20 minutes. She identifies an escaped prisoner and within 10 minutes, Circlers around the world find the prisoner through social media and SeeChange cameras. Mae suggests transparency can be a force for good. Someone suggests that Mae finds Mercer and Tom convinces her to do so asking if they can break their record of 10 minutes and Mercer is located in a cabin. Disturbed, and wanting privacy, he drives off trying to escape those tracking via drones, but under stress, he drives off a bridge to his death. Horrified, Mae moves back in with her parents, disconnecting herself from The Circle. Still, Mae finds that connection with others helps her cope with Mercer’s death and returns to The Circle, despite her parents’ pleas.
Mae calls Ty to ask for a favor and Ty tells her something that he has discovered. At the next Circle meeting, Mae says how connection has helped her recover. She invites Tom on stage to join her and Eamon who is already there and charges them both to go fully transparent. She explains how Ty has found all their private accounts and exposes them as no one should be exempt. Eamon and Tom, clearly upset, try to save face before Tom As I said though, there is another side to this scenario. The same technology that leaves the stage.
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musician and film enthusiast
The Destabilization of Society Did you Know? Society is being destabilized right before you and by remaining uninformed or indifferent to poignant issues you’re allowing it to happen? Are you prepared for the consequences? We’ve picked: Gender, Sexuality, Human Identity and the Truth. These issues spurred critical headlines in the news this quarter. They all ask hard questions that demand an answer. Are you prepared to give your children an honest answer based on the truth?
Classifications of Gender
Did You Know? That there are over 30 legally recognised classifications of Gender? How will you navigate government paperwork, a census per se or application forms at work? See Jargon Buster on next page, for the list.  p
Did You Know? Science and Tech are dehumanising us?
Did You Know? A Broad Coalition of Evangelicals Released The ‘Nashville Statement’ on Human Sexuality & Identity? Where do you stand on this issue?
Gender-neutral parenting “Gender-neutral parenting is about breaking away from the gender binary and exposing children to a variety of gender types and allowing them to explore. There are different levels of gender-neutral parenting. Some parents take the extreme approach by raising their child “genderless”. Last year, a Swedish couple made headlines after announcing that they had decided to keep the gender of their young child, Pop, a secret from all but their closest family members.” “There was a similar 2011 case in Canada with a baby called Storm. Parents who practice a relaxed form of gender-neutral parenting encourage their children to play with both “boy” and “girl” toys, keep clothing and room colour neutral or allowing children to pick their own clothes - even if that means their son goes to school dressed in pink.”  p 26
Is it ethical to mix the human genome with animals/machines at all cost? Humans being transplanted with pig’s organs per se. The first head to host body transplant will take place this year? Breakthrough in DNA key will allow human tissue to be copied and designer babies be made to order. Also 3d printing of human tissue will allow printing of organs for donation. Gene editing crispr technology, makes the term ‘playing [God] with your food’ have new meaning. The European union member states are in a conundrum as to what is safe for the public. Meanwhile, The Americas are rethinking their legislation on gene editing and Genetically modified food. Who will take the lead on this issue? At least the Germans are opening it up to public debate. We need to get involved as we need to know what we are eating, how it is made and what implication that has for our health and wellbeing. The Chinese have already begun altering human embryos. Read book - A Crack in Creation” - gene editing and the unthinkable power to control human evolution… Dr Doudna. Where do we draw the line? What do we teach our children? p
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The ‘Nashville Statement’ was sponsored by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. The document contains a preamble and 14 articles responding to the current realities about sexuality, particularly homosexuality and transgenderism, which have come to the fore in both politics and church life in recent years. Richard Land told The Christian Post: “This statement is an attempt to equip the Church to address this issue from a biblical, Christian perspective, to provide a catechism for churches, for Bible study groups, for Sunday schools, families, college students, to equip themselves to understand what the Bible says about these issues and to do so in a positive way.”  p
 telegraph.co.uk/men/the-filter/a-nearlycomplete-glossary-of-gender-identities-foryour-next-ce/  thesun.co.uk/fabulous/4248040/genderneutral-free-parenting-teaching/  By Brandon Showalter , CP Reporter, Aug 30, 2017 8:10 AM http://www.christianpost. com/news/broad-coalition-of-evangelicalsreleases-nashville-statement-on-humansexuality-identity-197214/
The organic blending of human and animal tissue/DNA.
An identifying mark burned on livestock or (especially in former times) criminals or slaves with a branding iron - “the brand on a sheep identifies it as mine” synonyms: make, line, label, marque;
Somebody who either feels they have no gender identity, or who identify not as male or female but ‘neutral.’
Used as both a noun and an adjective, this refers to a person who identifies as masculine (either physically, mentally or emotionally). The term is occasionally used as a lesbian slur, but has been reclaimed by some gay women and turned into a affirmative label.
Pronounced “siss-gender”, this refers to anybody who identifies with the same biological gender they were born with. Tentatively, then, it could be seen as the opposite of transgender.
somebody who identifies with no gender.
An umbrella term covering any feelings about gender alternative to society’s traditional expectations.
One of the oldest (and thus often deemed outdated) terms, this is used by anybody whose gender identity is between male and female. Some believe intergender should only refer to those born with different genitals to the norm, though this is more commonly known as ‘intersex’.
A fairly new word stemming from the Greek ‘apor’, meaning ‘separate’. Aporagender is an umbrella term meaning “a gender separate from male, female and anything in between while still having a very strong and specific gendered feeling.” That latter part is key, then, distinguishing it from Agender.
A catchall term for all identities that only have a partial connection to a certain gender. Demiboy and demigirl are also frequently used.
Identifying with several different genders either at the same time or different times. Normally the term is given to those with four or more.
Relatively straightforward: a bigender person sees themselves as having two gender identities. The separate genders could both be male, or female, mixed or other – and may be felt at the same time or entirely distinctly.
Used by and for anybody who identifies as feminine, but more commonly associated with feminine-identifying gay women.
A term describing individuals for whom gender is unfixed: they fluctuate between different identities aside from their biological assignment.
Fairly simply, anybody who doesn’t identify as simply female or male.
An umbrella term for any individual whose gender identity is different from what is typically associated with their assigned biological sex at birth. It should be noted that transgenderism is a gender identity and not a sexual orientation, therefore no assumptions should be made as a result. p
January - March 2018
N I A L S p S e
h t n
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A group of us teenagers from the youth group where I gave my life to Jesus, had a prayer meeting one night. We often met to pray apart from our usual Friday night youth meetings and this time it was by one of the older members house. She wasn’t a teenager anymore but remained a part of the youth group, as did others, to help give guidance and leadership to us younger and newer members. She was like a ‘Spiritual’ mother.
Story Teller To book the story teller email: email@example.com 28
The present batch of youngsters, had some of the most amazing and memorable times in the presence and glory of God. This impromptu prayer meeting was no different. The presence of God was there filling our souls with the sweetness of God. We prayed, sang and related the things God was impressing on our souls as the meeting continued. The meeting was wonderful but it had to come to an end for us to head to our January - March 2018
respective homes. Others were getting out of their seats and gathered their belongings, so I attempted to do the same. To my surprise I could not stand but slid off the chair onto the floor with a flop. By this time I was in a panic along with everyone else in the room. There I was in a lifeless heap wondering what was wrong with me, why was it I had no strength? Was I ill? The older lady whose house we were was not in the room at the time so someone rushed to get her telling her something must have gone wrong with me. As she came in they explained to her that I had no strength and could not lift myself up. At this point we expected her to panic as we were but instead she quite calmly reassured us and told us that I would be fine as I was only ‘slain in the Spirit’. None of us knew what that was so she continued to explain. She said we
may sometimes lose our strength and fall to the ground, if standing in the presence of God. She pointed out that there were a few occasions where this happened in Scriptures. She told me not to fight it but to just rest in the presence of God and soon I would regain my strength. I had to lay there for about 10 minutes before I began to regain my strength. I was quite a young believer when this happened so for years that followed I had no concern when others would fall to the ground in like manner. No less than ten years after this happened I had changed Church to become part of a charismatic fellowship where spiritual worship and activities (like prophecy in tongues with interpretation etc.) were much more commonplace and accepted. As time went on however, some of these ‘spiritual’ activities became questionable. Something wasn’t right. How people were being ‘slain in the Spirit’ seemed a bit different from my experience. I noted that people were falling after someone, the preacher maybe, had placed their hand on their forehead. This didn’t happen in an isolated case but was in fact quite fashionable. Everyone was doing it. What I was seeing did not fit my experience or any of the Biblical accounts. To make things worse, the few times I went forward to be prayed for ended up with the minister placing their hand on my forehead and gently pressing my head backwards as if to put me off balance and cause me to
fall backwards. Another few years would eventually pass with me struggling to come to grips with what I was seeing and experiencing. Was there need for concern or was I being a bit too sensitive? I was frightened of losing touch with reality as I saw happening with others around me, I therefore decided that I had to differentiate between that which was real versus that which was contrived and performed. Was it the presence and power of God that was causing these people to fall over or was it psychology (people knew they were expected to fall) with the help of a gentle push? The distinction between real and false was becoming very blurry and for the sake of my soul and others, I had to regain clarity. As I became a minister myself and began to have more insight into what was happening I realised that what used to be the move of the Holy Spirit was now replaced with a show, a performance. In an effort to prove their power and spirituality insincere men were putting on a performance to make it look as if they were moving in the power of God. Their Churches and Ministries would expand rapidly as unsuspecting glory seekers would flock to them convinced that the power of God was with them. By this time I had had enough of this lie. I experienced being pushed and saw others who were being pushed. If one refused to fall over they would be pushed to the point of having to take steps back to remain upright. Church had become a mockery, a man powered theatre where being slain in the Spirit along with other Spiritual experiences were faked to give a false impression that God was at work. I have experienced the genuine.
Over time however, I have seen the work of the Spirit subtly overshadowed and blurred by the works of men. Before anyone could realise it, the truth was turned into a lie and was fully accepted. I understand now how the man of perdition could infiltrate God’s people and, without anyone noticing, fully replace the true Christ. The Lie, fully accepted and receiving worship in place of The Truth. Give diligence to sharpening your perception of what is truth as against what is not. Beware of blurred lines, be sure that everything you believe and practice is clearly and manifestly endorsed by Scriptures! These are the days of deception therefore, today, more than any other time in history, we must always be ready to boldly insist that doctrines and acts done in the name of God be proven from Scripture before accepting them. p Further Reading These are the biblical accounts of people involuntarily falling as they encountered heavenly presence. You will notice that there was no human contact in any of these accounts. Daniel 8:17-18 & 10:8-9, John 18:6, Revelation 1:17 & 1 Kings 8:11 (Though the 1 Kings passage did not actually mention the priests involuntarily falling to the ground most translation says they ‘could not stand to minister’. It could mean that the glory of the Lord took their strength away making them unable to stand upright. There was no facility in the tabernacle for priests to sit and no doubt Solomon’s temple was similar. With this in mind I could imagine the priests without strength and prostrate before God as His glory filled the house.)
January - March 2018
Relationship IN Christ NOT Religion!
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 KJV This Scripture describes the Reality of our relationship in Christ, God sending His only Son to die for us was not only just for our sins to be forgiven but to have a relationship with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit which Jesus purchased on the Cross. It is an unconditional love that speaks of such love in a truly devotional desired relationship between the Holy Trinity and mankind. lt is not a cult or an organization. It is a family in which we are saved and made whole with what Christ did for us. That we walk, live, talk and breath in the new relationship we have in Christ and Christ in us. We are in the family of God. A heavenly Father who so loves us He sent His Son to die for us; a love so strong that He wanted to unite us back to Him through His beloved Son. This is so deep; Jesus was willing to go to the cross in our place. Hebrews 12:2 “He went with the joy set before Him.” So far into the future He could see His bride you and me bowing the knee to Him and asking Him to be our Lord and Saviour and that was predestined with the free gift of faith before time even began. Even now He sits at the right hand of the Father interceding
for us. What a Saviour! What love and devotion! So we as Holy Spirit born again Christians belonging in a heavenly family should be living in this transformation. We should be shining as a light so bright that people don’t see us they see the light of Jesus. Our way of life should be a behaviour that shows to the world living in darkness that there is a living God, a Saviour and a Holy Spirit. Not that we belong to some religious cult, strict ruled denomination of good works or organization that preaches or teaches anything other than CHRIST CRUCIFIED! “I have been cruciﬁed with Christ; it is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 Jesus should be gloriﬁed in all that is done in our lives. The world has its many ways of drawing folks to what is not of God but our lives should draw them to God. That there should be no mystical or magical, ‘airy fairy,’ ‘head in the clouds,’ ‘wonderful me’ Gospel. The Gospel is not to be peddled as a business or a get rich, quick shopping list. “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable
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and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2 It is a relationship that is bonded in love and willingness to obey the Father and Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit. To be so in our hearts drawing us ever closer to His bosom of love. He nourishes us, watches over us, never taking His eyes off us. Family is at the heart of God, we should be living the reality of this divine way of family life; learning through the word of God, being lead by the teaching of the Holy Spirit. God wants us to have wholesome relationships with our husbands, wives, children, friends, other believers and whoever else we meet. However, it has to come from within, from the love He has planted in our hearts to love Him so we can love others. We must love Him ﬁrst though above all else. “We love Him because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19 Prayer. Heavenly Father we thank You that You so love us that You sent Your Son to die for us. So that the relationship Your heart so desired for us could be restored to us. Help us everyday to go deeper and deeper into this wonderful, family relationship with You. Thank You that You live in us and are closer to us than we are to ourselves. Amen. p By Lynda K Smith writer, proof reader, poet and Evangelist
Note To Self...
When It’s Time To Draw The Line I choose... • • • • • •
Morality over immorality Relationship over religion What is right not what is easy What is proper not popular Principle not personality Character over charisma
• • • • • •
Reality over philosophy What’s priceless over what’s pricey Devotion over promotion Humility over vanity Family over fame Influence over affluence
As a believer I must be very CLEAR ABOUT MY CONVICTIONS of TRUTH (What is it I will die for and why?) rather than believing in a lie.
“For God is not the author of confusion...” 1 Corinthians 14:33
January - March 2018
You have questions we’ve got answers
Continued from pg 5 the springs under your tongue, guess what? You weren’t saved. Salvation starts by the word of God impacting the very core of us, our hearts. “if you... believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead…” This is brought out in the Acts 2 account when God moved in power and after Peter stood up and preached Jesus. It says, “Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?’” The cutting of their hearts initiated a spontaneous response, they began to ask questions. Something must happen
Continued from pg 19 Finally, she is of the earth, not of the Spirit. 1 Cor.15:45-47. “ The first man is of the earth, but the second man is the lord from heaven.” Vs 47 The true Bride is yoked to heaven, the spiritual realm. Her position is being currently seated in heavenly places not trying to allure earthly men and systems to herself. She is not trying to
Continued from pg 13 our minds to focus on the circumstances in a way that causes a stress response in our physical body. Practicing mindful meditation and gratitude for the positive in our lives brings us back to our true, spiritual selves and into a state of calm and peace. We have the ability to choose gratitude and therefore calm, in any moment. Whenever we feel stressed or nervous or overwhelmed by anything, we can decide to practice thankfulness and release our fears. 32
to the mouth that is connected to an overflowing heart. What comes out the mouth may be different for different people. Some may start to ask questions, others may begin to pray to a God who they now believe can hear and answer them while again others may go tell their friends of their newly found faith etc. A genuine, organic and spontaneous process has been replaced by a pre fabricated and false tool that was engineered for the mass production of ‘Christians’, In the book of Acts Scripture says God was adding daily to the Church (Acts 2:47), today we see man doing the adding through cleverly conceived methods like ‘the sinners prayer’. Even worse, they
enrich herself because she is Christ’s, she is not her own. She waits on Him and serves Christ in her season of preparation. The enemy has come to deceive the world. He has blurred the lines between truth and counterfeit but if we trust our lives to Christ, fully, we will not be deceived. The true Church is not popular but she is visible. I pray that our eyes will be opened to her
Nurturing relationships This can be a source of comfort. As a matter of fact, the state of your relationships can positively or negatively affect your choice of food. Toxic relationships will bring toxic thoughts and the toxic thoughts will cause the body to emit stress hormones that desire sugar and fat for temporary appeasement. Taking time to creatively nurture our relationships, tending to them as we do a garden, removing the weeds, planting new flowers will cause our relationships to flourish and be a source of strength comfort and
January - March 2018
give people false hope by telling them they are saved because they repeated those words. They offer a salvation that has been reduced to the likes of joining the boys scout. Put your hand up, repeat the creed and you are in. Disclaimer Kindly note that I am not saying that all those who have said ‘the sinner’s prayer’ are not saved. Some who have said this prayer are saved but not because they said the prayer. A great many others have said this prayer and are not saved. May God help them because it is much harder for a person who believes they are already saved to receive the salvation message. p
reality and truth will fill our hearts. When truth fills our hearts then Jesus is indeed centre of our desire. The lines are now clear. We can stand in victory in this season, as the Bride in the name of Jesus. p
By Dino Nicholas A Maranatha Ministries International Pastor, Author, Leadership Counsellor and Church planter
peace. Practicing active listening and recognizing that we are individuals and are fallible, should encourage forgiveness and tolerance. Loving others as we are encouraged to in 1st Corinthians 13 will put us in good stead in our relationships.
By Lorraine Rainford: Women’s Pastor and Integrative Nutrition Health and Lifestyle Coach.
The journey has taken us far or perhaps near It was super cool to say “please and thank you” Now replaced with a look or emoticon, ‘What’s that?’ Goodbyes and hellos were of necessity. This is now deemed as non-productivity. Quit the pleasantries and get to meat of the matter! Time is money, I can’t afford to lose a dollar. Opening doors for our elders was so natural. Modern ethics teach, this is superficial. Whoever gets there first carry out the ritual. A fine spanking you would receive if you were not on time. You could do worse to be caught not paying attention, Your reward would be worse than detention.
It was always sin to feed a lazy man, From babe to adult, the home had a work master plan. Cleanliness was next to Godliness, every item must be checked line up as adult came to check to find if in any area you lacked. Your clothes weren’t really yours, with needy others you’d share. This deep expression of love showed others you cared. A community raised a child, on respect, trust and accountability. But ‘I man look for I self ’ is the modern philosophy. An erosion has taken place in modern day communication. Family meals were together and much was said, as we moved ahead. Before marriage, sex had to wait, now it’s done by the second date. Many get discouraged and just quickly move ahead. Modern day lifestyles have given us a whole lot of courage. 911 the first digits we learn in case of emergency, Shiny rectangular box has made mom and dad’s life easier, With the click of a button, our brain can become a disaster. No need to stop and think or work the cells, Labor-saving devices have been doing our jobs well. Our minds no longer memorize, think or understand To default to an app or gadget is our working plan. Eyes are closed, muscles relax and consciousness suspended, Unsure of what ten hours of sleep is like, we’re awake before it ended. On Social Media, #team-no-sleep’ is trending. Why do it today when you can do it tomorrow? When tomorrow becomes today, today will become tomorrow, yesterday though will never return which is very strange, You will have grown so much, you will have changed. © Eloise Samuels
January - March 2018
Standing on the Promises of God
In Praise of Hymn Reviewing Great Christian Hymns
This hymn reflects R. Kelso Carter’s personal experience as a petitioner before the throne of God. His history, both personal and theological, passed through some deep and disturbing waters as he searched for balance in his belief. Diagnosed with a critical heart condition by age 30, Carter was facing imminent death. Connie Ruth Christiansen writes: “He knelt and made a promise that healing or no, his life was finally and forever, consecrated to the service of the Lord.” Christiansen goes on to say that from that moment on the Scripture took on new life for Carter and he began to lean on the promises that he found in the Bible. He committed himself to believe, whether or not God granted him healing. God chose to heal him and Carter lived, with a healthy heart, for another 49 years, though he would later suffer many other health issues from which God did not choose to heal him. In the end, Carter came to the conclusion that healing was God’s choice to make and that God also chose the instruments through which that healing, if granted, would come. His hymn was a personal testimony to his faith. 34
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2 3 4 5
Standing on the promises of Christ my King, Through eternal ages let His praises ring, Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing, Standing on the promises of God.
Standing, standing, Standing on the promises of God my Savior; Standing, standing, I’m standing on the promises of God.
Standing on the promises that cannot fail, When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail, By the living Word of God I shall prevail, Standing on the promises of God.
Standing on the promises I now can see Perfect, present cleansing in the blood for me; Standing in the liberty where Christ makes free, Standing on the promises of God. Standing on the promises of Christ the Lord, Bound to Him eternally by love’s strong cord, Overcoming daily with the Spirit’s sword, Standing on the promises of God.
Standing on the promises I cannot fall, Listening every moment to the Spirit’s call Resting in my Saviour as my all in all, Standing on the promises of God.
austinbhebe.wordpress.com/2015/05/23/standing-on-the-promises-of-god/ Words & Music: R. Kelso Carter, in Songs of Perfect Love, by John Sweney & Kelso Carter (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: John J. Hood, 1886)
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Where do we draw the line? We are now living In a world of redefined values and attitudes that have have destabilised society on foundationa...
Published on Dec 15, 2017
Where do we draw the line? We are now living In a world of redefined values and attitudes that have have destabilised society on foundationa...