ISSUE SIX / ME2 MAGAZINE ME2 MENTORING 1 6 Y E A R C E L E B R AT I O N EDNA ELS DEE HARRIS LIZETTE DU PIESANIE AND MORE
ISAIAH 43:6-7 (MSG)
#6 CONTENTS P O W E R N O T E F R O M E D N A
L I Z E T T E ’ S S T O R Y 7
- Lizette du Piesanie
P L A N A 1 1
- Lindsay Delmar K N O W N . L O V E D . C A L L E D
- Jenna van der Westhuizen W H E N S H E S P E A K S . . . 2 5
- Dee Harris D I S C O V E R I N G W H O I A M
- Esthea Martini C R E AT I V E C O L L E C T I V E
E M M A’ S S T O R Y 4 5
- Emma Smith G E T T I N G O U T T H E R E
- Wilma Wibbelink W E A R & E AT
M E 2 M E N T O R I N G R E S O U R C E
© This publication is produced by Victory Media for me2 M e n t o r i n g J e ff re y s B a y. A l l a rt i c l e s a re w r i tt e n b y m e m b e r s o f Victory Church unless otherwise stated. This magazine is not f o r s a l e . Fo r f u r t h e r i n f o r m a t i o n o n a n y o f t h e a r t i c l e s , d o n o t hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org Cover photography: Jana Engelbrecht w w w. m e 2 m e n t o r i n g . c o m / / w w w. v i c t o r y c h u rc h . o rg . z a
Photography: Sherah Krause
Photography: Christian Anstey
Yay for God and us!
from Fishhoek. We watched stirring video greetings from Me2 leaders all over the
We’ve just had a wonder ful time celebrating
world, and we even used live-streaming to
our 16th Me2 Mentoring bir thday!
celebrate with our global Me2 friends from other regions and nations who couldn’t be
It was a wonder ful time together! In fact,
with us in person. It was a beautiful morning
this Scripture in 1 Chronicles almost looks
of celebrating His goodness together!
like the blueprint of our program that day: The celebration continued as we revisited Thank God! Call out His Name!
the ver y beginnings of our mentoring
Tell the whole world who He is
journey, and listened to inspiring inter views
and what He’s done!
and testimonies. We laughed so much that
Sing to Him! Play songs for Him!
our tummies hur t, and we tried in vain to
Broadcast all His wonders!
inconspicuously wipe away our tears without
Revel in His holy Name,
smearing our mascara… no luck there.
God-seekers, be jubilant! Study God and His strength,
One thing I know for cer tain is that God loves
seek His presence day and night;
it when we laugh at ourselves, and He is ever
Remember all the wonders He per formed,
present through the good, the bad, and the
the miracles and judgments that
came out of His mouth. [1 Chronicles 16:8-12 The Message]
There was not a dr y eye in the house as Dee shared her testimony and stated in a
What a par ty! Our ladies from Durbanville,
whisper: “The enemy has tried to silence
Paarl, Knysna, and Somerset-East came
my voice (unsuccessfully!) through intruder
to celebrate with us, as did our precious
cancer cells!” And then she challenged us
Carol Cape from the U.S. and Dee Harris
to the core when she quietly asked,
“What has illegitimately invaded YOUR life
as a result of the GRACE of God that brings
and stolen your voice?”
us through the ordeals of life, as we lean heavily on Him and one another.
Power ful words… uttered in an atmosphere where His GLORY was so prevalent and
So, we delight in giving Him ALL GLORY
tangible that no one could leave that place
(high renown and honor for His notable
without being challenged and changed to
achievements), and we simply say THANK
look a little bit more like Him!
YOU for the great things He has done in us, through us, and also without us.
“Transformed through relationship with God and one another” has become more
“For FROM Him and THROUGH Him and TO
than just a vision statement. It’s a way of
Him are ALL things. For ALL things ORIGINATE
life that FOCUSES on the intentionality of
WITH Him and COME FROM Him; ALL things
our relationships to bring Him GLORY and
LIVE THROUGH Him, and ALL things CENTER IN
and tend to CONSUMMATE and to END IN Him. To Him be GLORY forever! Amen (so be
Af ter all, “A win is a changed life!” and
it).” Romans 11:36 AMP
change does not happen by chance while we’re casually living and happily floating along on cloud nine. No! Real change is of ten brought about by challenges, pressure, and hardship. It comes
With much love and gratitude,
M E 2 M E N T O R I N G 1 6 Y E A R C E L E B R AT I O N
LIZETTE du PIESANIE
MY STORY IS REALLY AN ODE TO GOD!
every day, and eventually, I knew I was emotionally dependent on the drug. It would give me a high,
I was born in Mariental, Namibia, to a policeman
but on the way down, I would find myself just
father and a nurse mother. We moved to South
seeking to get back to the high again. Like all
Africa when I was about four-years-old, and my
drugs, it provided an escape and created a space
father started working at a mine. As a result of
to hide from life. To say that I was trapped would
my dad working his way up in the mining industry,
be the truth, because my behaviour continued like
we relocated many times. I attended five schools
that for more than two years.
in total; for a little girl, this was devastating. Each time we moved, I would arrive at a new school
In the meantime, my parents had moved to Cape
where friendships had already been forged.
Town, and it was decided that I would follow them
Loneliness and the need to perform for others’
there after completing my studies. When the time
approval had a major impact on me. Not only
came, I relocated to Welgemoed: no job, no
was I the new girl, but I was also extremely
friends. I couldn’t find a job. The graphic design
overweight! So I was the fat, new kid on the block!
industry in Cape Town was very competitive for someone who came straight from a university in a
After I had matriculated in Potchefstroom, I
small town with insufficient practical experience.
stayed there to study graphic design. I lived there for eight years, the longest amount of time I had
After six months, my parents knew I was in a
ever lived in one place up to that point. It was a
deep, dark place, and they literally nagged me
small town, and I knew loads of people. I had an
to go to church. I was so weak and lonely that I
extensive circle of friends there.
just decided to go. It was so weird. I remember watching people during worship and realising
At this stage, I was Godless, to say the least.
that these people really meant it; it intrigued me.
I mocked people who went to church, and
What did they know that I didn’t? Who were they
thought the whole reborn-Christian-thing was
a sect whose essence was based on a myth. I once attended a charismatic church where they
After a few visits to church, Louis du Piesanie
baptised people in what looked like the biggest
invited me to the “White House”–the ‘commune’
aquarium you have ever seen. I laughed so much
he shared with the Year of Your Life students and
at these people with their white cloaks that the
certain church staff. He took us on a tour of the
other people in church thought I had been ‘slain
commune, and I remember him showing us his
in the Spirit’–which only made me laugh more.
room, saying that it would be the room he and his wife would live in one day. I recall thinking,
To take the edge off my depression, I fell into
“Who would be stupid enough to marry someone
smoking dagga. This progressed into smoking joints
without a salary, while hiding in ‘ministry,’ and staying in this room?!”
Well, as it turns out, I was that girl.
make matters worse, an influential member of the Bible School wrote a letter to the senior pastor
After some weeks, Louis and Mary* led me to the
stating that I would destroy Louis’ ministry. The
Lord and I was radically transformed! Mary* gave
senior pastor told us that he would only believe
me ‘Jesus lessons’ every Thursday evening. She
our relationship was ‘from God’ if we survived ten
would visit me at work and became a lifeline for
years of marriage. I was devastated.
me. Louis just so happened to go on outreaches with his students for the next six weeks, and the
I had made myself vulnerable by serving Jesus. My
commune was empty and quiet; so, I spent more
defenses were down, and I was getting one blow
time visiting there than usual.
after the other. I held onto those hurts for years. I could remember that letter, word for word. When
I fell hard for God, and I loved Him so much! I got
I first met Louis and Edna Els, I struggled to open
baptized (which is a funny story for another day).
my heart to them, fearing that they would only
I was Spirit-filled and happy for the first time in
see what the others saw. I feared that they would
years, maybe even ever.
confirm that I was, indeed, a threat to Louis’ ministry.
When Louis came back from outreach, we
But the relationship I shared with Louis and Edna
became friends. He even took me on a date with
actually unlocked the process of me being SET
another girl. Afterward, I told him we needed to
FREE. By consistently loving me and teaching
talk. I took out a cigarette and asked him, “So,
me how relationships work, they opened my
who is the date, and who is the chaperone?” He
eyes–not only toward restoring my relationships
said neither and that he just wanted friends.
with people, but to helping me understand God’s unconditional love for me. They helped me
So, we became really good friends. I even went
understand that it’s fine to be ME!
on holiday with him and his family. In fact, we became such good friends that Louis counseled
This is one of my biggest reasons for doing Me2
me out of a relationship with another guy, and
Mentoring: to help create an environment, fuelled
then asked me to marry him the very next day.
by relationships, for people to shine and move
I remember that when he asked me, I truly saw
closer to God and who He made them to be!
myself in his eyes. I realised that all along, through every humiliating
Unfortunately, Mary* turned her back on me at
and hurtful moment, GOD SAW THE REAL ME and
this stage as she was offended by my relationship
was patiently waiting for me to start asking the
with Louis. It was my first knock in the Kingdom. I
right questions. I honour Him, my husband, and all
felt confused and hurt. I remember telling God,
the people who helped me to journey towards my
“Lord this feels a lot like my life before Jesus.” To
through every humiliating and hurtful moment, God saw the real me
*Name has been changed.
PLAN A lindsay delmar
I AM HUMBLED AND HONORED
TO SHARE MY STORY OF GOD’S
GOODNESS AND GRACE IN MY LIFE.
harder than I had ever trained, was away from home for long periods of time, and turned down large recruitment scholarships to swim for wellknown colleges in the United States.
My name is Lindsay Delmar and I am 23 years old and live in Calgary, Canada. I was born in
It was during this time that I started encountering
South Africa and moved to Canada with my
God in very tangible ways as my faith and hope
family when I was 4 years old. My mom put me in
grew in Him. I remember seeing prophetic pictures
swimming lessons when I was young, and I loved
of my life in the middle of training sessions and
it so much that I joined a competitive swim club
feeling my faith grow in proportion to what
at age 9. As the years progressed, I became more
the Lord was saying to me. One of the more
and more immersed in the sport and even started
significant words I received was from my pastor,
representing Canada on the Junior Tour team
Peter Webber. He said that “There is no Plan B in
when I was 14.
God – He only has Plan A” for my life. I held onto these words tightly as I entrusted my goals and
For many athletes, the pinnacle of success is
dreams to the Lord.
competing at the Olympic Games. I was among the young swimmers who set my sights on
At the Olympic Trials, it all came down to one final
qualifying for the Canadian Olympic Team
opportunity, but it was an opportunity I missed by
one second. One second. The weight and depth of that disappointment are difficult to adequately
By 2012, I was ranked in the top 5 women in
describe. My immediate response was to quit
Canada leading up to the Canadian Olympic
swimming after that race. I was confused by
Trials. My goal of qualifying for the Olympics was
what had happened because I truly thought that
within reach, and I invested all of my energy
God would get me onto the team so I could swim
and focus on this dream. For a full year, I trained
at the Olympic Games in London.
However, instead of quitting at that time, I
academics so that I could pursue a career path
chose to rather lean into my Father and sensed
after university. I clung to the hope that “He has
that He was doing a deep work in my identity
Plan A for my life;” and if part of Plan A meant
and character. By His grace, I faced my
retiring from swimming ‘early,’ then so be it!
disappointment and dealt with the failure. It took
Flash forward 2 years… By His immense favor
considerable reflection and time with the Lord
and goodness, I have been accepted into
to realize that the sum total of my swim career
the University of Alberta, Faculty of Medicine
was not about outward recognition and external
program! I’m going to be a Medical Doctor. Over
success. More importantly, I was learning that I am
2,000 people compete each year for only 150
not defined by what I DO or what I SUCCEED at,
places in the class, and I got in. I believe that
but rather WHO I AM in Christ.
the faith He planted in me when I was training to make the Olympic team in 2012 really blossomed
I went on to swim for another 2 years. Then, in
into a living experience of His remarkable
2013, I felt God speaking to me about retiring
goodness in 2016.
from the sport of swimming. The next Olympic Games were still scheduled for 2016 and a big
I am totally convinced that He makes ALL things
part of me wanted to try again to achieve the
work together for the good of those who love
goal that I had missed in 2012. It took humble
the Lord! I also know that His plans and Kingdom
obedience (mixed with a lot of faith) to walk
purposes are to bless and prosper me, but they
away from the sport that had literally consumed
are also so much bigger than what I can possibly
my life for 12 years.
fathom! He wants to use me in the medical field and give me a platform to stand on to advocate
I understood that my swim career was finite and
for the sick, the broken, and the dying in this
that I needed to start committing myself to my
world. Plan A is so wonderful!
HOWEVER, INSTEAD OF QUITTING AT THAT TIME, I CHOSE TO RATHER LEAN INTO MY FATHER AND SENSED THAT HE WAS DOING A DEEP WORK IN MY IDENTIT Y AND CHARACTER.
KNOWN. LOVED. CALLED.
Jenna van der Westhuizen EVERYONE’S STORY HAS A BEGINNING.
By God’s grace, I don’t have any real memories
Mine was a bit of a shaky one. I was somewhat of
of my father. I never knew him as ‘normal’ like my
an ‘accident,’ or more like a ‘surprise’ actually.
sister and others did. When I was about 3 years
(Yes, of course, I am no ‘accident.’ God knew me,
old, he was suffering from depression along with
formed me, purposed and planned me – and He
alcoholism and attempted suicide by overdosing
certainly wasn’t ‘surprised.’)
on his Diabetes insulin. He didn’t die, but he was comatose for a few weeks. When he finally
You see, from the beginning, I was meant to
awoke, he had suffered brain damage resulting
be. I had a twin, but my mother miscarried. Not
in short-term memory loss. He spent the rest of his
knowing that she was, in fact, pregnant with twins,
life in a nursing home until passing away in 2009.
she just got on with life, casually brushing off the
(Incidentally, that was the year I came to South
doctor’s recommendation for a proper sweep
Africa to attend the Victory Gap Year.)
out (if I can say that). Well, my lucky Mummy (or Mommy for those who haven’t had the privilege
So, I basically grew up with a biological father
of growing up in Australia) only found out she was
who didn’t really know who I was, and in my eyes,
still pregnant when she was 6 months along with
was a ‘dad’ who would rather be dead than be
around to see me grow up. Thankfully, my Mum later met an amazing man (Bob!) who has always
I wasn’t really expected or anticipated by my
fathered me like I am his own. Nevertheless, I grew
father, and in my first few months of life (for
up thinking there must be something wrong with
whatever reasons or issues he had), he didn’t
me if my own father would rather be dead than
even hold me once. Now, being a Mummy of
be my dad. So, I compensated by striving to be
two gorgeous little girls, with a husband who is a
smarter, or sportier, or the best at whatever I did.
phenomenal loving, kind, and affectionate Pappa – I just can’t fathom how a parent would choose
We never went to church, but based on our
not to embrace and snuggle and cuddle and kiss
Catholic background, I had an awareness
their own little human. But he obviously had his
that there was a God out there somewhere. I
issues, which inevitably led to me having ‘daddy
perceived God and all things in life through my
issues’ and, inherently, issues with Father God.
lens of brokenness and rejection – believing that I would never be good enough, worthy or wanted
by God or by people. Since I placed no value on myself, and from my perceptions, no one else did either, I had no issues trying different drugs in my search to find satisfaction or meaning somewhere
I freaked out totally. I escaped upstairs to my bedroom and I cried. And cried.
else or in something else. I knelt down by my bed and I prayed. I prayed As a teenager, I became part of the pill-popping,
to ‘God’ that if He existed, if He really existed,
fluro-wearing, rave/all-night dance party
He had to save me! If He was real, just like those
community. Week after week, travelling around
faithful, churchy, Jesus-loving friends at school
the city to different venues for the big name and
would tell me, then He needed to prove Himself,
underground raves, getting off my face on happy
to help me and to save me. Now. I told Him that
happy drugs, and chasing the bigger and better
I didn’t want this life anymore. I didn’t want to
high. The problem with drugs is that the higher you
be an idiot. I wanted to be someone, become
go the lower and faster you crash.
something. I wanted to be proud of myself and to make my Mum proud too.
A few years later, I found myself a month or so before my final Grade 12 exams and my life was a
I bargained with God that if He would save me,
mess. I couldn’t think straight. I was always feeling
like really save me, that I would live my whole life
down and out, not good enough, and that I just
for Him. But He had to completely save me. No
wasn’t going to make it.
more drugs, I didn’t want to be friends with these people anymore, and I wanted to go to University.
At my lowest point, I found myself sitting in the
Then, after He does all this for me, I will promise to
kitchen with my Mum and wanting a glass of
live my life for Him, and I will even go and give a
water. I called out to her from across the bench
year of my life to Him (oh, how generous of me)…
and asked her to ‘pass me the cup’… except
but after I finish university, of course.
what came out was finger pointing along with grunts and murmurs because my mouth couldn’t
Well, well, well.
even articulate what I wanted to say. You can’t really bargain with the Creator of It dawned on me for the very first time that I had
the Universe now, can you? He sort of knows
truly become an idiot. The drugs had won and
everything and controls everything anyway.
I was dumb. Just like my career counsellor had said at school a few weeks earlier, “You’re not going anywhere in life, Jenna, especially not to University. Be realistic.”
So He set me up.
You canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really bargain with the Creator of the Universe now, can you? He sort of knows everything and controls everything anyway.
I thought I was going to save Africa, but Africa actually saved me. God always wins, doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t He?
ALL ALONG, HE HAS KNOWN ME AND LOVED ME AND CALLED ME BY NAME.
One after another, He answered every one of
I spent my first year out of university working to
those prayers and did everything for me. Literally,
save money because I was going to “give a
on the following weekend, I went to catch up with
year of my life” to Him by coming to VGY in little
friends, but when I saw them I was instantly not
Jeffreys Bay, South Africa.
interested. I can’t explain it. These were people whom I had pretty much grown up with, but I
I thought I was going to save Africa, but Africa
looked at them and felt nothing in common with
actually saved me. God always wins, doesn’t
them. I didn’t want to be there. I didn’t want to do
He? I gave a year of my life to God, and He
what they were doing. I just stopped. I didn’t take
gave back to me LIFE and life in its fullest. I
more drugs. I think I even flushed my stash of pills,
experienced incredible HEALING from brokenness,
but I can’t really remember. We’ll just say that I
ACCEPTANCE in place of my rejection, and VALUE
in place of my feelings of unworthiness.
I phoned some friends; you know, those faithful
Eight years later, and now I’ve got 2 amazing
friends who, despite all my nonsense, would
children with an even more amazing husband.
constantly invite me to church, or youth, or some
Not just a house, but a home. A family, a church.
camp or event. I phoned and told them that I
Meaning, purpose and destiny. Value, worth and
wanted to come to church. I joined a Connect
Group that week (met my bestie, Anne Huang!), and somewhere in the mix, I gave my whole heart
He has settled in my heart once and for all that…
to Jesus. I was catapulted into this life of learning
“Before I was born the Lord called me; from
who God is and who I am in Him.
my birth he has made mention of my name. He made my mouth like a sharpened sword, in
God got me into University, an absolute miracle on
the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me
its own. He helped me memorise entire syllabuses
into a polished arrow and concealed me in His
in the weeks leading up to my exams which
quiver. He said to me, ‘You are my servant Jenna,
gained me exceptional marks. I was accepted
in whom I will display my splendour.’“
into a University to study a BCom degree. Three
(Isaiah 49:1-3 NIV)
years later, I graduate with a Bachelor of Business, majoring in Hospitality Management! How
All along, He has known me and loved me and
called me by name. Jenna = little bird = nurtured by God.
Now, what? I had made a deal with God, and so far, He had come through on EVERYTHING.
And that is my story.
DEE HARRIS When she speaks, they hear a revolution
AS I HAVE REFLECTED UPON THE PAST
Upon leaving the Doctor’s rooms that evening,
SIX MONTHS, I have found myself totally
Mark needed some time alone to talk to our
overwhelmed at God’s amazing goodness,
Father. He is the only One who could bring
kindness, love, and grace. It has been the most
a sense of order to the tsunami that had just
awe-inspiring time in the midst of deep pain
rocked our world. Mark found himself at the
and mourning. Though I now have no vocal
Twelve Apostles Hotel in the corner of a lounge.
cords or voice box, I still have a voice. I can no
He cried out to the Lord, speaking to Him of all
longer laugh out loud, but am still laughing. I
his fears and pain. He shared with me that night
cannot sing, but my heart continues to sing. I
how the Lord had asked him “Are you going to
don’t taste, but I can eat. I can no longer smell,
allow bitterness and anger to fill your soul? Will
but I can see and hear. I can’t sniff, but I don’t
you blame Me, or will you trust Me regardless?”
like sniffing anyway! I can no longer breathe
Mark said that, as he told the Lord that he would
through my nose or mouth, and I am now a neck
choose to love and serve Him no matter what
breather. I’m so grateful for this stoma (hole
happened to me, peace and love like he had
in my neck) as it allows me to live. I told my
never experienced flooded his soul.
husband, Mark, I am no longer a pain in the neck – I just have a hole in my neck!
From that day until now, the support, prayer and love of our family, church family, Church of the
In 2015, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer
Nations (COTN) friends, and people we don’t
and soon afterwards, on the morning of 10th
even know has been humbling. So many precious
December, I had my thyroid, trachea and
friends have visited us, encouraged us, and
larynx removed. Upon first hearing the news, I
taken care of us, their sole purpose to be
can honestly say that my heart was saturated
His heart toward us and help us find strength
with a blanket of His peace and grace. Even
in our God.
though I didn’t comprehend the enormity of the operation nor its consequences, I knew I was in
I had dreamed of having all of our children and
His hands. Psalm 139 flooded my mind. His hand
grandchildren together for Christmas for years,
of blessing was upon me, and I knew that He
and now my dream was being fulfilled!
had every one of my days recorded before I
• O n the day of my operation, our daughter,
had even lived one. He would flood even my
Rebecca, and her three children left their
darkest hours with His light.
home in the USA to come and be with Mark and me. Her husband, Waron, released her to
My darling husband, Mark, and my older sister,
come and serve us for three months!
Mary-Ann, were with me when I received the news.
“Greater love has no man than he lay down
Mark’s experience was totally different to mine. He understood the severity of the consequences of the operation. When the specialist told us I would lose my larynx, Mark immediately said “No! My Dee can’t lose her voice – I love that voice. Please Professor, not her voice!”
his life for his mother-in-law!” • O n the day I came home from the hospital, my son, Paul, and his darling wife, Marilet, and their two children arrived from Pretoria. • M y younger daughter, Sarah, had also
Mark needed some time alone to talk to our Father. He is the only One who could bring a sense of order to the tsunami that had just rocked our world.
I went to sleep knowing that my Father was directing each of them, and watching over me.
recently returned home after living abroad
My precious sister, Mary-Ann, was looking on
for five years.
with delight, and Mark was not sure if we had all ‘lost the plot!’ It worked. Once in theatre, I had
We were also blessed to have my sister and
the privilege of praying for my thyroid specialist,
brother-in-law, Val and Rod, along with their
my E.N.T specialist, as well as the anaesthetist
daughter, Natalie, arrive from Florida. Their
and theatre staff. I went to sleep knowing that
purpose in coming, apart from being a support
my Father was directing each of them, and
to Mark and me, was to serve our Church family.
watching over me.
To release Mark to be with me until we found our ‘new normal.’ They served the church and
The journey post-op has been much like a roller
coaster ride, full of ups and downs, highs and lows.
Our church family and community were also
I hadn’t spoken a word from the time of my
amazing. They fed us for two months – right
operation until I saw the speech therapist a
through Christmas and into the New Year. Even
week later. I had no idea that a prosthesis had
a spiritual daughter living in Dubai arranged
been inserted into the top of my stoma during
to have a meal delivered to us! We have had
surgery. I had to learn to speak by pushing air
people we know, and people we don’t know,
up from my gut through my oesophagus into the
praying for us.
small prosthesis. I put my finger over the stoma to block any air from escaping, which then causes
I have tears streaming down my face even as I
sound. Now, if that isn’t hard enough, I am also
type this. Truly, this is “love so amazing, so divine;
spatially challenged. My neck and chin were still
it demands my love, my life, my all.” I am a
numb, and I had no idea where my stoma was.
blessed woman indeed. Oh, the magnitude of
My speech therapist looked on in amazement
strength and blessing of belonging to the local
as I tried to find my stoma. I had warned her I
church and COTN! I’m praying that any who
was unlike any patient she had ever had. She
read this story, especially those who may not
eventually felt so sorry for me that she organised
know or understand the power and blessing of
a mirror just so that I could see! We all laughed
belonging to a local church, will receive such
so hard, but it wasn’t long before I was crying just
revelation and fall in love with His church. May
you be planted and belong. I hadn’t anticipated the difficulty of speaking In the ward, awaiting surgery, His peace flooded
or what I would sound like. It was a shock and
my heart, but my body had gone into shock.
too much for me to bear. I left in tears and so
My hands and legs were shaking like leaves.
discouraged. The next two days were very dark.
What to do about that? Aerobics - according
I was beginning to lose hope that I would ever
to my youngest daughter, Sarah! With music
communicate with words again. Not being able
blaring from her cell phone and me dressed in
to speak to our grandchildren was the most
my hospital gown, Sarah and I were aerobicizing.
painful for me.
TO BE ABLE TO VERBALISE OUR LOVE AND USE OUR VOICES TO ENCOURAGE, EQUIP, AND EMPOWER PEOPLE IS AN AMAZING GIFT!
To really appreciate the loss we’ve experienced,
Once again, my soul found itself wrapped in His
you need to know that I was a real chatterbox
love and peace. The Word that had been sown
before. You would hear me before you could
into my spirit was speaking to me in the darkest
see me! I loved talking. Although my voice
time of my soul. I can’t tell you how grateful I am
didn’t define who I was, it was a huge part of my
for His Word. These are not idle words; they are
life. My passion is making His goodness and love
known by talking to people and preaching and teaching His powerful Word. Overnight, I could
We decided that, because it was only a few
do none of that – at least, not the way I had
days before Christmas, I wouldn’t return to the
before. A dark cloud had settled upon my soul,
speech therapist or practise speaking until the
and I shed enough tears with force, together
New Year. I would continue to communicate by
with my Mark, to supply the whole of South
writing. Mark hadn’t been with me during my first
Africa with electricity!
speech therapy appointment, so he hadn’t yet heard my attempts to speak. On the second visit,
It was OK for us to mourn the loss. In fact, it
in the New Year, he came along with my sisters.
was important. But His word is alive, living
As he heard my new voice for the first time, he
and powerful! In the midst of my tears and
wept with delight. I was speaking with difficulty,
hopelessness, our good, good Father reminded
but speaking for the first time in nearly a month.
me of Judges 5:7 which says “Village life in Israel
In his arms, and with tears streaming down our
ceased, ceased until I Deborah arose, arose a
faces, I once again used my words to tell him
mother in Israel.”
that I LOVED HIM!
Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, “Dee, my
I learned a powerful truth at that moment: to be
calling, purpose, and dreams for you have not
able to verbalise our love and use our voices to
changed. If you stop being who I have created
encourage, equip, and empower people is an
you to be, certain things will cease. Now arise,
amazing gift! I want to value this gift and use it
a mother in Israel [in this world], and walk with
wisely every day of my life.
Me. My grace will empower you every step of the way. I have put leadership in you. Now choose
I have since learned to speak, continue to
to lead with joy and don’t let hardship stop you.
practice speaking, and am daily learning how to
I will cause joy in the midst of trial and hardship,
live a full life. I learnt to embrace the process.
and My name will be honoured through that
On Mother’s Day, I had the awesome privilege of
which the enemy meant to destroy. I will cause
preaching for the first time since the operation.
you to see things you have never seen before, to
My oncologist and speech therapist were both
have a greater sensitivity to Me and My people.
there, along with a few others that I have met
Through your words, attitudes, and behaviour,
throughout this journey. I am overwhelmed at
you have the privilege to reflect Me in the midst
the goodness of my God. I know I keep saying it,
of pain that will cause people (who previously
but I really am.
wouldn’t have heard your voice) to listen to you. Arise my daughter, arise.”
From that day until now, the support, prayer and love of our family, church family, Church of the Nations, friends, and people we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even know has been humbling.
No one can walk my journey for me.
Photography: Chantelle Visser
Another truth imprinted upon my heart is that
I have had a dream that I would minister His
“No one can walk my journey for me.” Only I
Word with my children and grandchildren. On
can live my life with Him and for Him. He and He
the 16th December, I was scheduled to do a
alone will never leave me nor forsake me. When
wedding for some friends of my daughter, Sarah.
we look to others to give us what we can only
They had booked the date with me a year in
get from God, we end up in disappointment and
advance, but ten days before the wedding, I
discouragement. Resentment builds and can
realised I would be unable to do it. In an instant,
lead to bitterness. We are looking to others to
I felt the Lord say to write out what I would do
do for us what only God can do in and through
and say, word for word, and ask the bride and
us. I have been acutely aware of this during my
groom if Sarah could do it in my absence. Sarah
recovery process. So often, we can look to our
would speak for me, and Mark would do the
spouse, family, friends, pastors, and leaders to
vows and legal side. Everyone agreed. Sarah
make a way for us that only God can. Mark and
had done some public speaking before but
I have never been so aware of our need for Him,
never a wedding! The anointing and ability of our
and never been so grateful for the privilege of
Jesus were so strong on Sarah that there wasn’t
knowing Him. When we understand this truth, it is
a person there who wasn’t touched by His love.
liberating and liberates the people in our world.
Our God is incredible. My dream came true, and
They won’t feel the pressure to be ‘God’ in our
His purposes in Sarah’s life were released.
lives. People would call Mark and ask what they could do for us, and he would answer them
Recently, as I was in our church, I heard the
honestly, “There is nothing you can do that you
Lord speak so clearly to me, saying “Cancer is a
aren’t already doing. Prayer is the greatest gift
rogue cell, Dee. It was sent by the enemy to steal
you can give us.”
your voice and keep you quiet. You will not be silenced, my daughter. Arise and speak. Ask the
So much good has come out of what appears
people what rogue thing is keeping them silent.”
to be a loss. One thing is that I don’t talk so
I’m asking you the same question now – is there
much! And I listen more! Overnight, our elders
anything illegal that is keeping you silent?
and leadership team picked up the weight of our amazing Church family. They are flying and have
As you can see, my dear friends, this friend
gone to another level. Within a month, new
of yours is alive and more than well. God did
ministries were born, and people are standing
not do this to me, but He sure will take what
shoulder to shoulder in rank, marching forward
the enemy meant to destroy to become an
and taking ground. New people and families
anointing to destroy the works of the enemy in
have been added. There is a buzz in the air and
others’ lives. Thank you for praying for us. We
a passion for Jesus that is contagious! What a
are eternally grateful. I love you to bits. Be
joy for us to see sons and daughters raised and
determined to use your voice to love our God,
released. Our ceiling has become their platform.
tell of His Goodness, and build people because they are precious!
discovering who I am
For as long as I can remember, I have compared
feeling lost, unworthy, and not good enough to
myself with EVERYBODY else around me. I was
be called His child, let alone even dare to think
never happy to simply be ME.
that I could be used by Him.
You guessed it, I was someone who always
Me2 has played a significant role in me finding
looked ‘okay’ on the outside, but inside I was
out WHO I AM and WHOSE I AM. No, it wasn’t
a very insecure person. I felt lost and alone,
a quick fix or a one-time event. Rather, this has
and my biggest enemy was actually me. It was
been a journey of discovery, having people in my
like being a ‘hamster on a wheel’ and getting
life who are willing to
nowhere fast… exhausting.
• walk with me, • build authentic relationships with me,
Perhaps a better picture to describe my struggle
• believe in me,
is that of a girl with many different outfits on, all
• speak the truth in love to me because they
at the same time. I would try to be someone else (put on another outfit), but each time I did so, I
truly care about me, and • love me on my good and my bad days.
would lose a small piece of the true me. I am so grateful for people who pray for me and Eventually, I ended up with so many ‘pieces
point me back to God; people who remind me
of clothing’ on that I found myself feeling very
REPEATEDLY who God is and who I am.
confused. I had no clue who I truly was under all of the outfits, and an urgency began to develop
God used Me2 in my life to firmly establish my
within me. I had to find out who I really was!
identity in Him. It has been a safe place where I
People have often told me that I’m special,
have had the freedom to be vulnerable, and my
unique, and loved, but I really struggled to
relationship with God has grown tremendously
believe those words. I eventually discovered that
over the years.
my biggest battlefield was in my mind! I would read what God says about me, believe it, but
My breakthrough over insecurity came when I
a few days later find myself again at a place of
that I would phone Pastor Edna and she would
Through Me2, my desire to encounter God for
pray for me, encourage me, and remind me
myself grew stronger. As a result, I searched
what God says in His Word about me… OVER and
for Him (not for the people in my church, but
OVER again... until it eventually settled as truth in
for myself) and I encountered Him! Something
my mind and heart.
shifted inside of me, and a deep truth settled in my spirit. I knew that I belonged to God, and to
I started to declare those truths to myself and
eventually believed them! That’s how God renews our minds. I sometimes wonder where I
INTENTIONALLY WALK IN ACCOUNTABILITY
would be today had I not opened up my life to
God does not want us to journey life alone. He
God and to people.
places us in a church family, but we can choose whether we want to ‘live life’ with those people
Galatians 5:25-26 in The Message Bible says,
or not, whether we want to allow people to
“Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the
speak into our lives or not, and whether we want
life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not
to be vulnerable and transparent or not.
just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in
I know, I know… it’s so easy to speak about these
every detail of our lives. That means we will not
things, but to live them out and apply them to
compare ourselves with each other as if one of
our lives is a very different ball game.
us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each
My breakthrough came when I chose to pursue
of us is an original.”
God and when I intentionally decided to walk in
accountability. This meant choosing to ‘put my
I am ONE OF A KIND… You are ONE OF A KIND...
pride in my pocket’ and risk being vulnerable.
We are all ORIGINALS!
Of course, there were bad days when I would
Let’s embrace who we are in Christ, enjoy each
forget where I came from and the old insecurities
other’s differences, and be who God has called
would wash over me again. It was on those days
us to be!
THIS MEANT CHOOSING TO ‘PUT MY PRIDE IN MY POCKET’ AND RISK BEING VULNERABLE.
Someone once asked me if I find it easier to be
problems, whatever they may be). What I didn’t
creative in a group or by myself. I didn’t even
realize is that we can also be accountable with
have to think about it. “By myself, of course!”
I said. I recently collaborated with someone in writing It was at that moment that I realized that
my first song. Haha! Yes, it’s true! It was a truly
creatives like me often like to isolate ourselves
life-changing experience, and it brought out
and our art to the confined space of our
so much creativity in both of us. In the process
bedrooms where no one can see the raw
of writing this song, I definitely had moments of
emotion that goes into our work. I suppose this is
fear and vulnerability. I could’ve easily swept
because of that deep-rooted fear that someone
my ideas under the rug and no one would have
might not like or understand our work.
ever known that I’d tried to write a song for the first time. But because I was collaborating with
Some might not understand this tendency, but
a friend, we were accountable to each other in
for an artist, our work is often the most accurate
writing, finishing, and performing this song that
interpretation of who we are, how we feel, what
we’d been working on.
we’ve been through, and how we view the world. So, of course, being creative alone is so
And so, having survived my first experience with
much easier. That way, if it doesn’t work out, no
collaboration, I can honestly say that I believe
one will ever need to see or hear it.
that it is the place where the magic happens… where beautiful minds come together to create
So, this is where collaboration is most valuable.
a colorful explosion of artistic greatness!
When we collaborate, we are forced to bring our work out of our bedrooms and into the hands of
“Collaboration” is a beautiful thing; it’s when
someone else. It’s scary, but that’s when the real
two different artists with two different talents
creative juices begin to pour out.
and ideas come together for one common goal. Where I fall short, someone else excels.
I’ve also realized that along with collaboration
And together, we create a product that can only
comes accountability. I used to think that one
point people to our King.
could only be accountable with “heart issues” (like, for instance, bad habits or behaviour
Don’t be afraid! Go out there and create beauty through collaboration! By Ruth Pasques
Photography: Melissa Meyer
EMMA SMITH “ the surfer ” My name is Emma Smith, or as I am commonly
I was recently in Australia competing in the World
known, “Emma Smith, the surfer.”
Qualifying Series. God used that trip to humbly remind me that He was still solidifying my identity.
As a competitive athlete, it’s easy to allow your
Going into the competition, I felt fairly confident
sport alone to become your identity. I used to
in who I was as a person and as a surfer. I had
allow my title to define me, and I would strive
all the support I needed from my sponsors, and
to maintain the performance aspect of this. I
there was a big expectation to perform. And
often felt that there was nothing more to me
yet, I experienced a string of heart-wrenching
than just being a surfer, and before I knew it, that
insecurity had leaked into all areas of my life. At the time, my failure was painful, confusing, If anything other than God is your identity, it will
and disappointing. It took a couple of months
always lead to disappointment. As the victories
to process that disappointment, but I can
I constantly strived for faded, I found myself in
now truly say that “I am so thankful that God
a vicious cycle of trying to perform for success
has a purpose in every season.” I may have
that could NEVER satisfy. This world often leaves
felt stripped of ‘who I am,’ but I came out
one feeling as though they will never meet the
proclaiming that GOD ALONE IS MY SOURCE.
He alone defines me and not my performance.
Over the past few years, I have experienced
I am learning to praise God in the wins and the
a certain level of breakthrough finding my
hard losses, and to say confidently that HE IS
identity in God alone. I have learned to lean
GOOD, both when circumstances around me are
on His picture of me and not on my surfing
good and when they’re not.
W H E N I F E E L L I K E I C A N N OT FA C E A N OT H E R LO S S, I WILL KEEP ON RUNNING IN HIS PEACE AND AUTHORITY The world defines us by our performance and
When I feel like I cannot face another loss, I
what we can show on paper, so it’s easy to look
will keep on running in His peace and authority,
for security and affirmation in our career. But
knowing that when my obedience meets
when God challenges us to get to a place where
resistance, my faith must remain persistent.
our identity is in Him alone, we are faced with
Persistence overcomes resistance.
two choices: Fear or Faith. I serve a Father who will do anything it takes to I’ve had to ask myself constantly after every
become my identity alone.
loss, and there were a lot of them, “Do I exhibit an everlasting hope, peace, and relationship in
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things
Christ, no matter the circumstances? Do I sit in
God works for the good of those who love Him,
my defeat, or do I continue to get up and run
who have been called according to His purpose.
For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son. And
Living for God is such a journey; one I will forever
those He predestined, He also called; those He
be on. The beauty of overcoming struggles with
called, He also justified; those He justified, He
God, no matter how many times they keep
coming up, is that He gives us the authority to overcome them again and again. It’s like
In a world that daily tries to define me according
Lisa Bevere says, “The enemy doesn’t attack
to what I do and what ‘I am,’ He has given me
you according to your history, he attacks you
authority to overcome!
according to your destiny.” God has spoken His destiny over all of us.
I S E R V E A FAT H E R W H O W I L L D O A N Y T H I N G I T TA K E S TO B E C O M E M Y I D E N T I T Y A LO N E .
P h o t o g ra p h y : Kat h e r i n e Fu s s e l l Marishka Diebold & mxmsurfphoto
EVERY JOURNEY BEGINS WITH A FIRST STEP.
So, I began to dream of opening a place where people can TASTE, SEE, and EXPERIENCE what
Mine began way back in 2003 when I worked in
healthy food actually is. A place where they
a coffee corner after high school. I only worked
can be educated in HOW to take care of their
there for about a year, but since that time, I find
bodies. I believe it is God’s desire for us that we
myself always looking for a nice place to drink
are healthy in all areas of our lives. I also believe
coffee. It’s become a passion of mine.
that He will show us how to do that and how to live in His kingdom.
In 2008, I graduated with a degree in Sports Psychology and worked in the industry for about
In 2014, I was looking for a new job but felt that
four years. As a sports psychologist, I loved to
it was time to start my own business. I didn’t
help people with mental or psychical [relating
have a big bank account; on the contrary,
to the human soul or mind] problems. I believe
mine was completely empty. I couldn’t rely on
that we are created with a spirit, soul, and body.
my strength or abilities because I was about
All three are connected to each other and
to start a business without any experience of
need each other to work perfectly. When one
part is not working well, the other two won’t be working well either.
So many times, I wanted to quit because I just couldn’t see success happening for me. I felt so
In my profession, nutrition is something that
little. But God told me every time “Just take the
doesn’t get a lot of attention, but I believe that
next step.” So, that’s what I did.
a healthy lifestyle, including proper food, is essential for our well-being.
To make a long story short, I got everything I needed to start. There were friends, family, and
people from my church who helped me out so
informational workshops, but other times, I
I wouldn’t need to go into debt. God faithfully
combine the workshop with an opportunity to
supplied furniture, finances, and help!
eat a meal together. It’s about learning to live a healthy lifestyle - spirit, soul & body.
In July 2015, I was delighted to open the doors finally to a coffee corner called “The
As I look back, I’m so thankful to God for this
Ambassador Coffee & Lifestyle.” It’s amazing
incredible journey. It was a hugely humbling
and wonderful to see dreams and visions
process, giving up all of my human securities
and letting go of my pride. I am so grateful that, from the very first moment until today, there has
But it’s more than just a coffee corner. It’s a
never been one day where I have been in debt.
place where I can represent His Kingdom and
teach people how they can live and celebrate
It has taken me more than ten years to get
life, and how they can take responsibility for
to this place. Ten years of collecting dreams,
their lives and bodies. I’m able to use my
visions, prophetic words, and photos of my
influence there to be a voice in my community
favourite coffee spots, without even realising
on healthy food, exercise, relaxation, and being
that I was, in fact, collecting something that
connected to our Creator, who loves to see
God was already birthing inside of me.
us healthy in a world where there are so many
Yes, it is a journey… but it’s still simply about
taking a risk and taking the next step.
I offer individual coaching programs to help
Like and follow:
people to make little steps toward a healthy
lifestyle, and with that, I also give workshops
in The Ambassador. Sometimes, they are just
BUT IT’S MORE THAN JUST A COFFEE CORNER. IT’S A PLACE WHERE I CAN REPRESENT HIS KINGDOM AND TEACH PEOPLE HOW THEY CAN LIVE AND CELEBRATE LIFE,
WEAR BY R U T H PA S Q U E S
S N E A K Y AT TA C K This 90s fashion trend has taken the world by storm again and has probably become one of the most popular items on any girls Pinterest board. Sneakers, they’re back! Sneakers have kind of become one of the coolest shoes in fashion and we’re loving it! It’s something that looks good on anyone regardless of age, shape or form, perfect for all four season and it’s something that can we worn with anything, jip anything, even a skirt ladies. It basically like walking on air. This is one trend that we hope will stick around for a while because we are sick of uncomfortable shoes! Photography: Pinterest
R OA S T C H I C K E N IN WHITE WINE, H E R B S & GA R L I C
BY ANNE HUANG
Recipe from www.drizzleanddip.com. It’s one of the first receipes i ever tried from pinterest and it worked! I’ve adapted it a little to my preferences, I’ve made it numerous times for dinner parties and everyone loves it! It’s super delicious combined with a fresh salad and cous cous. INGREDIENTS: •
½ cup finely chopped herbs
1 large chicken cut into 8 pieces
700g new potatoes, cleaned
3/4 cup dry white wine
3T olive oil
½ cup chicken stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1Tbsp Dijon mustard
sliced lemon (optional)
4 cloves garlic, crushed
a couple of nobs of butter
(rosemary, thyme and sage)
Preheat the oven to 200°C and place the chicken pieces and potatoes (and lemons if you are using) in a large deep sided roasting pan. Mix the wine or verjuice, stock, mustard, butter, garlic and herbs and pour over the chicken. Drizzle over the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast uncovered for an hour, or until cooked through. 55
Then he told the people to sit down on the grass. Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he gave the bread to the disciples, who distributed it to the people. They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers. About 5,000 men were fed that day, in addition to all the women and children! - Matthew 14:19
DEAR FRIEND, This month, we will be focusing on the topic of The Glory of God. What IS the Glory of God, and how do we allow it to change our lives? The unifying and central themes of the Bible are the Glory of God, and the Kingdom of God which is forever advancing through His sons and daughters. Psalm 103:19 NKJV says, “The LORD has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all.” Louis Giglio (public speaker, author, and pastor) defined the word “Glory” as: ‘The sum total of God’s magnificent attributes, and the eternal fame of His mysterious works.’ Glory can also be defined as Splendor, Majesty, Weight, Significance, Honour, Abundance, Riches, Dignity, Reputation, and Reverence. Romans 11:36 (Amplified) says, “For FROM Him and THROUGH Him and TO Him are all things. For ALL things originate WITH Him and come FROM Him; all things live THROUGH Him, and all things CENTER IN and tend to consummate and to END IN Him. To Him be GLORY forever! Amen (so be it).” If all things originate with Him, are from Him, center in Him and end in Him, and there is only ONE who will receive the glory (God), then surely we want to live our lives in such a way that our lives reflect back to Him and not to ourselves! 1. ALL THINGS WERE CREATED FOR HIS GLORY You and I were created by God… • to magnify His glory, • to display His glory, and • to make His glory look greater! God didn’t create us to increase His glory through us; He wanted to DISPLAY His glory through us!
Colossians 1:15-17 NKJV says, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him, all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” In Isaiah 43:6-7 (Amplified), God said this: “Bring My sons from afar and My daughters from the ends of the earth, even everyone who is called by My name, whom I have created for My glory, whom I have formed, whom I have made.” He has created us to carry His glory… His splendor, majesty, significance, presence, and reputation. 2. THE PROBLEM: SEEKING OUR OWN GLORY At this point, it’s crucial that we be on our guard against any forms of distortion, whether big or small. Instead of us carrying God’s glory, there is the danger of starting to seek our own glory. Deception doesn’t mean that you are evil or wicked, but simply that you have believed the lie to be the truth. When our identities are not securely and firmly rooted in Christ, and our focus isn’t completely on bringing Him glory, it’s easy to become deceived! In our search for feeling significant, we try through our own efforts to gain dignity and honor. 3. THE DISTORTION • We start looking at our own gifts and beauty. • We start to believe our own ‘publicity’ and end up seeking our own glory. • We get so impressed with ourselves that we forget that it’s all about HIM. • We easily exchange the Glory of God for our own images. • W hat we see in people’s eyes when they look at us becomes more important to us than giving God the glory. • We begin to devalue other people in order to feel better about ourselves. • We are unable to bring Him glory because of the fear of what people may think of us. • We are more worried about stepping out and failing than loving and obeying the One who deserves all glory. • We wait for an ‘increase’ of more glory to be visible in our lives, so we can be more gloriously
‘perfect,’ and yet God wants to display Himself in and through us, despite our imperfections and weaknesses. ‘Look in the mirror’ time Which of these distortions can you identify with? _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ Where have you believed a lie to be the truth when it comes to seeking God’s glory instead of your own? _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ Dear friends, let us remember to never take for ourselves that which belongs to God! It’s not about us… It’s all about Him. Jesus died on the cross and paid the full price for our sins, sicknesses, and diseases. He has poured out His love, grace, and anointing on us. He is the one who has gifted us and created us to bring HIM fame! Take some time and reflect on who God is and what He has done for you. _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ It’s about HIS glory and HIS fame. Remember to always reflect His glory back to Him! “And one cried to another and said, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!” Isaiah 6:3 (Amplified) Much love from,
Edna and the Team
DEAR FRIEND! This month we will be focusing on Growing in Maturity from Glory to Glory! For many of us, one of the first phrases we learned when we became a Christian was “going from glory to glory” or “from strength to strength.” It’s something Christians often say when encouraging each other, but what does it really mean? 1. TRANSFORMED BY HIS GLORY Part of God’s strategy for us is: • TO BEHOLD HIM, • TO BE TRANSFORMED by the Spirit of God (not through self-effort or self-improvement), • TO EXPERIENCE HIS GLORY, and • TO GO FROM GLORY TO GLORY! HOW CAN WE TRANSFORM AND CHANGE? Change comes by beholding HIM, not by doing. It is a result of intimacy with God. “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” II Corinthians 3:18 NKJV This Scripture mentions, “beholding as in a mirror.” The verb translated “beholding” can also be translated “reflecting.” The passive and middle forms of the verb literally mean “to be mirrored.” So… 1. We behold the glory of the Lord as if we are looking in a mirror. 2. We look closely, examining carefully the glory we see. 3. B y doing so, we see God’s glory and, subsequently, reflect that glory as a mirror of God’s image. 4. When we see Jesus for who He is, we become Christ-centered in everything we do. 5. Change comes through the Spirit of God, not through self-effort.
The word “transformed” indicates the continual nature of our transformation, and the passive tense reveals that someone is doing the transforming for us. This means that transformation is a process! 2. TRANSFORMATION IS A PROCESS! Do you remember that phrase we mentioned earlier… going from Glory to Glory? It kind of sounds like we supernaturally jump from one awesome experience to the next awesome experience, doesn’t it? Who wouldn’t want that? Unfortunately, between those two places of GLORY, there is a place where there is NO GLORY - a spiritual ‘Ground Zero.’ It’s a dangerous place where we actually risk moving from a place of ‘Glory to GORY’ (from strength to weakness). Here’s what happens… A. Declare Declaring means ‘to make known, to formally state your intentions, or to clarify.’ We receive a prophetic word about our lives, whether from another person or in the quietness of our own hearts. God loves to speak to His children and make known His intentions and plans for them. He declares, makes known, and clarifies His plans for our lives. B. Disaster Then, after the prophetic word has been declared to you, in the hearing of your family, your friends, your world, and even the enemy, what often happens? It’s as if the wheels fall off and everything that was going well is now a disaster. Distress. Disappointment. The prefix ‘dis’ means to go in the opposite direction. Where there was unity, there is now dis-unity. Where there was like, there is now dis-like. Where there was comfort, there is now dis-comfort. C. Development This is part of the process of forming a man and a woman who can be entrusted with Godly things, but we look at ourselves and feel that we have failed. There is no glory… it’s just GORY. It’s in this very place of distress and discomfort that God starts to develop those parts of our character that do not glorify Him. He identifies those parts of us that are looking for the approval,
praise, and accolades of men. He gives us the opportunity to look into the mirror of His Word and find ourselves lacking. James 1:2-4 NKJV says, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” God says, “You are in the process of development in order that I may bring you into the fullness of the destiny that I‘ve got for you.” D. Destiny The Latin word ‘destinare’ means to ‘make firm, establish.’ Therefore, destination means ‘the action of intending someone or something for a particular purpose.’ We grow in maturity and change when we are desperate, experiencing hardship, and have come to the end of ourselves. Very little true change happens casually. ‘Look in the mirror’ time We are all in the process of transformation! Can you identify where you are in the process? Why did you think so? • Declare
_________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ Let’s pray and ask God for a fresh desire in our hearts to BEHOLD HIM (to focus on Jesus), so that we can reflect His glory in everything that we do. GOD IS MOST GLORIFIED WHEN YOU ARE MOST SATISFIED IN HIM! Much love from,
Edna and the Team