Mission Malawi – Chapter Seventeen


01.11.95

Two more little groups have opened up for us to minister. Sue is now sharing with the Presbyterian Youth Group and the Lord has given Andy a home group not too far from us. It’s quite something for him to go on the bike in this heat.

Continue reading “Mission Malawi – Chapter Seventeen”

A Day in the Life of the Narrow Road


“Consider it all joy”, says James from his book in the new testament, “When you encounter various trials…”

 One wonders why somebody would make that kind of statement. James goes on….. “Knowing that the testing (trying) of your faith produces endurance”. He further goes on to say,”And let endurance have its perfect (mature) result, so that you may be perfect (mature) and complete, lacking nothing”.

Continue reading “A Day in the Life of the Narrow Road”

A Timeless Tale – Chapter Three


You can start this series from the beginning, if you would like to catch up.

Where You Fit In…..

Tell me that you are getting something out of what we have discussed so far. I’ll wager that a lot of it, you never heard before; I hope so, because, if you are like me, you love hearing about new things.

Let’s update then. You feel that there might just be the possibility that your soul and spirit may not dissipate with your body when it dies, so you feel that you would like to investigate a little further.

Maybe, you’ve been a real enthusiast and looked into a few religions that might just meet with the immigration requirements that you have – good on you and well done.

Maybe you didn’t get that far yet, but have decided to keep reading; either way – good on you!

Where you fit in to the picture now, is taking a look at what you can do about getting the immigration requirements you need from this little e-book and I really want to help you with this.

Moving along with The Tree of Life Process we will want to know how we are able to take hold of what Jesus did on the cross, in order to get us all the free benefits in this life and meet the immigration requirements in the next existence.

Before we continue, I need to tell you something. I know I quipped about the cost of joining the club earlier, but the reality is, that in the truest sense, there is no club.

There is only God and you.

What will happen however is that once you have had the meeting with God, you will attract others who, like you, have also had a meeting with God. This leads to the need to spend time with these people, because that way you enjoy being with them and you learn at the same time.

But this is the thing you MUST REMEMBER. Your meeting with God and the receiving of all the benefits from Him, IS NOT DEPENDANT on you belonging to some club or organization or being monitored and controlled by a management team.

If you are sincere in wanting to meet with God, and if you have read this far, I believe you must be, then God Himself will lead you to those who will sincerely coach you, as and when God wants you to be coached.

Having said this we can continue now with The Tree of Life Process:

The Tree of Life Process – Continued

How do I personally take hold of the benefits for my life from what Jesus did on the cross?

I know that this may sound a little strange to you, but the answer to the question is, “Not much really”!

According to what Jesus said in the Gospel books, how you will begin to take up the benefits of The Tree of Life Process is actually dependant on God alone and not you.[1]

What I mean when I say this is; God understood, before He created the heavens and the universe, that you would want to receive the benefits from His Tree of Life Process. As a result He earmarked you to have them. Let’s put it this way: It’s not a matter of God being selective as to whom He gave the benefits, it’s just that He knew who would accept and who would reject His offer. (God is omniscient – knowing all things). Being very efficient in everything that He does, He would not offer something to someone, whom He knew beforehand would reject it, so then, He does not offer it to them at all.

What I have explained above is very, very important. There are many who believe that God’s Tree of Life benefits must be widely and loudly broadcast, often using techniques to persuade others to ask God to give these to them. Because God does not need the use of human marketing methods to accomplish what He wants, such efforts are, in the deepest sense, futile. However, God is supreme and His methods are not understood fully by humanity[2], but God will, if it suits His purpose, even use the futility of human effort, to accomplish His purpose.

I say that no human can receive from another human something that is not experiential in the human that is giving. In other words, if it’s not real in my life, I can’t (effectively) transfer it to you.

Remember: There is only God and you.

To summarize: God offers, you receive –it does not work any other way. So, you ask Him (no one else) and He gives to you.

The next step is believing in what actually happened at Calvary, where Jesus was crucified on a wooden cross.

What did happen?

He was nailed through the palms of his hands and His feet to the wooden beams. The cross was raised and dropped into a support socket, so that it would remain erect.

The basis of this procedure (a Roman form of punishment) was that the victim would ultimately die a very slow and painful death by asphyxiation.

Now, much has been written over the years about the physical suffering of Jesus on that cross, but, without appearing heartless for His suffering, I must say, that the pain and suffering were not the true issue here.

The real issue was that this event was the most significant and at the same time, the most powerful in the history of humanity and here’s why:

In agreement with God, Jesus offered to give up His Life as compensation for the blood sacrifice that God had always required over the millennia when His people had been disobedient. But this time it was different, Jesus would die and his bleeding body, in death, would be the very last sacrifice for humanity’s disobedience. God would require no more sacrifices from humanity after this event.

The crucifixion of Jesus was the reason for His birth and life on this earth. Without Him, there was no hope for humanity and the perfect completion of God’s original and ONLY plan.

How do you go about BELIEVING in what happened at Calvary and how does this believing bring you to the place of receiving the fruit (benefits) from The Tree of Life process, here on this earth and then immigration acceptance in the next existence?

Another way of saying, “believing in” is to have faith in. If I came up to you as a perfect stranger and said, “You are headed for a wonderful experience in this coming week”. I suppose your first reaction would be, “How do you know”? And I might say, “Someone told me and it’s not important that you know who, just now”. With this I walk away.

You say to yourself, “That man is a complete stranger, who doesn’t know me, but he must know something about me from some unearthly source”.

Now, you want a wonderful experience this week – right? So, you do not reject what I say, but rather, you accept it because that’s what you would like to happen for you.

You might say, “How stupid is that guy, what does he know about me?” You go on your way and soon forget what I said.

Which side of you is, “believing in” what I said?

OK, no prizes for the correct answer, but you get the idea.

Let’s do a little visualization here….You have time travelled to zero AD. Jesus is hanging on the cross and is in the stage of His last breath. You happen to be standing with the little group of women, including his mother, Mary.

He looks down at you….yes, you. At first you turn your head, because you can’t honestly look into his eyes, there is something about yourself that makes you feel that you not good enough to take in his gaze. Then you turn and look at Him. He starts to speak, you strain to hear. You cannot believe what He is telling you. “Come up here and die with me”. “What?” you say to yourself, “What are you asking?” As if he can read your thoughts, He continues. “If you are willing to die to your disobedient life, I will give you a new life here on this earth and a paradise for your soul and spirit when your body dies”.

You pause and try to reason, and then you say to yourself, “This man is a complete stranger, who doesn’t know me, but he must know something about me from some unearthly source”.

What seems like an hour, but in fact is only a few seconds you make your decision and hesitatingly say, “Take me, I want to go with you.”

Jesus turns his head towards the little group of women and it’s not long after, lifting His head upwards, he cries out a sentence in a language you do not understand and his head sinks in submission to death.

Suddenly, to a woman, the little group begin to wail.

It is a strange thing, that in this horror scene, you are feeling elated, you cannot understand why…but later you will come to know.

The reason for you feeling the way you do, is that something spiritual has taken place between you and God via what Jesus has just accomplished on the cross.

What did He do? He became the final sacrifice for your sins (and all other humans). When I say sins, I mean your past sins, your present sins and finally your future sins. For your part you obeyed the request from the lips of Jesus to, “Come up here and die with me”. Spiritually speaking, you joined Him on that cross and died with Him.

It did not stop there, because He was buried that day and likewise, you were buried with Him.

Finally, after three days, He rose from the dead and was lifted up into heaven, to be seated at the right hand (place of authority) of God and you went with Him, to be seated with God.[3]

Now looking at yourself, you will notice that you are still very much here on earth!

But in the spiritual sense your soul and spirit are with God, as they are the eternal parts of you and not limited by time or space. Your body, however, remains earthbound.

Seated with Jesus, next to God, the mindset that you had (which used to disobey the will of God) before you agreed to join Jesus on the cross, is no longer in you. It was buried at Calvary, never to be resurrected again.

So now you are a new person, seated with Jesus, next to God and you have a new mindset that is passionate to obey God in all respects.

You have just undergone a ‘rebirth’ process[4] and the benefits of this process are:

  • You begin to see God in a new light. You understand something about his character and the Kingdom that He established here on this earth.
  • You begin to actually live; the way God wants you to live on this earth, adopting his Kingdom Principles[5].
  • You make immigration approval to a new and better existence.

In the next chapter I would like to talk a little more on the subject of our position with God and Jesus in eternity (which for you and I will be the new and better existence for which we have now qualified).

A Timeless Tale is a series that is published bi-monthly.

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If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

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[1] John 6:44,65

Romans 8:29-30; 9:12-21

Ephesians 1:4-5

Titus 3:5-7

 

[2] I Corinthians 2:16

[3] Ephesians: 1:20; 2:6

[4] John 3:3-5

[5] Chapters, 5,6,7 of Matthew’s Gospel

Mission Malawi – Chapter Sixteen


Why don’t you start the series from the beginning – click here.

15.10.95
All has been quiet on the ‘wakhuba’ front. We are very tired but still blessed by our hourly watch and praying at night.

Continue reading “Mission Malawi – Chapter Sixteen”

A Timeless Tale – Chapter two


Why not start at the beginning of the series?

In the times of the first five books of Moses, at the beginning of the Old Testament, God made an arrangement with His people.

Instead of the severity of the punishment, suffered by Adam and Eve, for their disobedience, God arranged for people to come to His temple in Jerusalem, once a year, bringing along with them a pair of spotless (free of any blemishes) lambs, or if they could not afford these, then two pigeons would be in order. [1]

Continue reading “A Timeless Tale – Chapter two”

Being a container for the Lord….


I’ve heard the expression “desperate times call for desperate measures…” and can’t help but think sometimes my prayer life is something like that. We live in desperate times. Our country’s economy is currently very difficult and as a nation, we struggle with divisions along racial lines, not to mention our ownindividual situations of debt, personal relationships and work challenges.

Desperation - Homeless
Desperation – Homeless

Prayer, which is our communication with the Lord, is obviously influenced by these factors in our lives. One might argue that if we had no challenges in our lives, we probably wouldn’t communicate with God!

Recently, I had a conversation with someone at a fellowship gathering which went something like this:
I asked him how he was. He replied the he was very well.
I enquired after his wife and he told me she too, was very well.
An enquiry about their young son brought a similar answer.
I then asked him how Jesus was…..
There was a short silence and I could see he was a bit lost for an answer.

The thought then occurred to me, that if we are in constant communication with people, we generally know how they are and what they are currently feeling. Shouldn’t it be the same with the Lord? Shouldn’t we know what He is feeling at present ?

How are we currently communicating (praying) with the Lord? Are our prayers only born out of a place of desperation? – In other words, as our personal situations become more grave, our prayers become more intense. I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with these types of prayers, but there are additional ways of communicating with our Father.

Pray - Lord Teach Us
Pray – Lord Teach Us

“Oh Lord, teach us how to pray?”

Most of us are familiar with the scripture in
in Matthew. Jesus uses this example to teach us how to pray.
It is interesting to note the following:
Firstly…
“Our Father who art in Heaven….” – Exalting HIM
“Hallowed be thy name….” – Worshipping HIM
“Thy Kingdom come….” – Desiring HIS Will
Then….
“Give us this day OUR daily bread….”

It seems our needs (if translated as ‘daily bread’) are further down the list than the position of exalting, worshipping and desiring HIS Will. A point to ponder: When we measure this against how we pray – what do we find?

The King James Version of the Bible says “Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.” This portrays a picture of someone who is at total peace with the Lord. Not concerned about his needs or fretting in a given situation, but just resting his head on his Father’s heart – listening….

If we go to the Lord throughout the day and place our head upon His heart, we will find the same peace and joy as we listen out for what His heart is saying to us. Not always ‘bombarding’ Him with desperate requests, but listening for His will.

John on the breast of Jesus
John on the breast of Jesus

“Give us this day OUR daily bread”. If we ask the Lord, He will not only supply our daily need, but will give us ‘bread’ for those that we come into contact with on a daily basis. It may be a physical need, a prayer and words of encouragement or perhaps just being there for them.

Let’s desire to be a container for the Lord today. Let Him use us as a vessel to bless those around us. Before we leave home today, let’s ask Him for our daily bread – that which we can deliver to others on our Father’s behalf. What a privilege to be used by Him!

From: “time with the Master…”

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities
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button).

Something to Celebrate? – Part Two


Last SupperIn part one we saw how wonderful it is for us to celebrate things in our lives. Our spiritual lives should be the same. We started to explore two incredible truths that are really worth celebrating. We looked at the first truth of Jesus giving up His life so that our sins may be forgotten and how to celebrate this fact. Now we will move on to the other truth and see how to celebrate real life!…..

Truth Two (of many):
Paul the Apostle in the book of Romans, explains to us that not only were our sins forgiven (by the shedding of the blood), but that our sinful NATURE was buried with Jesus, NEVER to return. This in order that we may no longer be a slave to our sinful nature. Reason to celebrate? – most definitely.Resurection Jesus

How do we celebrate this wonderful gift?

Jesus on the night He was betrayed broke bread and said, “This is My Body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” As we break the bread and proclaim His death, let us remember this powerful work that was done for us – our sinful NATURE was removed. We can now walk in the newness of life knowing that we do not HAVE TO sin anymore!

Surely, in two amazing acts that Jesus performed, we have reason to celebrate. Next time we sit with friends around a table and have communion, let us focus and be truly grateful for the freedom we have received – our sin has been forgotten, and our sinful nature removed – forever!

Yet another celebration…
What an exciting revelation – Jesus took our sinful nature into the grave with Him and when He was raised from the dead, we too, were raised together with Him, into the newness of life…” and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” Notice here that the scripture speaks in the past tense! Heavenly Places

Such a great sacrifice and work that it is, the Lord did not intend for us to focus so much on the death of Jesus as much as on His resurrection. For it is in the resurrection of life that our ability to overcome sin is found. Seriously – if we could truly appreciate that our sinful nature has been taken away – that engine that drives us towards sin – how different our lives would be. No more being a slave to do the things I do not want to do. Reason to celebrate? – Absolutely!

Once again, what better way to celebrate this truth than to demonstrate an outward sign of what we have understood inwardly – going into a pool of water, being submerged and rising up in ‘the newness of life’ for all to see. This simple act tells the world that we understand and believe that our sin nature was removed by Jesus at His death on the cross. Of course, there is little point in celebrating something unless we understand and believe it.

Yes friends, we have many reasons to celebrate in our worldly lives, but how much more do we have reason to celebrate our spiritual lives which will last forever!

Jesus intended us to live a burden free life. Forget the things of the past – as He has – and walk in a new understanding that our natures have been renewed. Reason to celebrate – most assuredly!

From: “…time with the Master…”

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’
button).

 

A Timeless Tale – Chapter two


Important Notice:

Please note that Chapter two of A Timeless tale will now only be posted next week and every alternate week thereafter.

This is to allow for series articles, running presently, alternating every second week as well.

That is to say, that Mission Malawi will continue to run every second week and A Timeless Tale, the week in between.

Apologies for a little disorganization on my part.

Mission Malawi – Chapter Fifteen


October 3 1995

Another visit from the thieves. This time we foiled them at the chicken cage but they still managed to get away with one of the chickens. It seems to be a syndicate operating in the area. One group patrolling in a vehicle, picking up the ‘booty’ while others are working. As we chased them into the darkness everything was still.

 After 15mins we heard the alarm,”wakhuba!!” a few houses away. Great scurrying around the houses but nothing. 1:45 Am. We went back to bed. At about 4:30am, we were awaken by a great commotion a few houses away.

 The one thief had been caught by a watchman after falling in to a septic drain trying to escape. His partner got away but not unscathed. He was wounded by an arrow shot from a bow. The crude arrow heads are beaten out of red hot metal and are extremely sharp. Anyone pierced by one would surely be infected by blood poisoning. Bow and Arrow

 The ‘law’ enforcing crowd marched on pulling the thief. The jeering and cheering got louder and louder as they came past our house. We tried to explain to the angry mob that we could take him to the police. They just laughed at us saying, “White man…. these are the ones that stole your tires and you want to help them?”

 The thief was burned around his groin and feet after first being beaten senseless. The mob took him to one of the local chiefs for judgment. He was handed over to the mob to do as they pleased. They took him to the church yard to be burned, but by the Lords grace nobody had the courage to light the dried branches and leaves thrown on top of him. He nevertheless died two hours later of his wounds.

 A savage killing to satisfy the hearts of a people who say they know God. Without the power of God touching their hearts, we have no chance of teaching them the Gospel.

October 9 1995

This wicked action has not deterred the thieves and last night they came again. This time Stephen (another precious soul the Lord sent to us), woke us up. As we watched the thieves, hearts pounding, they investigated the Combi and realizing the alarm was on, moved off. A few minutes later we heard the scream, “wakhuba!!”

 As we ran out into the road, there were people running in what appeared to be all directions. The thieves had stolen tires from two cars and were on their way out of the area (each carrying two wheels!), when they were disturbed. They dropped the tires and car jack in front of our house and got away.

 The Lord has sovereignly sorted out the deep freeze and washing machine import duty. After sharing the challenge with a brother in the Lord who works for Customs and Excise, he immediately got in his car and kindly went to sort it out for us. It was miraculous for Arthur Jacob and me to witness the Lord using this brother to help us. Within a few days we were able to switch on the deep freeze and washing machine. What a great blessing! Now we could order meat and other luxuries for the first time in many months. Thank you Lord.

 Our little ‘mission base’ is about to be increased in size. Andrew and Sue will arrive any day from the Mission Base at Nottingham Rd, South Africa.

My brother Christopher and his family will also be arriving shortly. They are on their way to England for a season of mission work there.

It will be necessary for us to find additional accommodation for them all.

October 10 1995

In the business of all the thief actions, our precious brother and sister, Andrew and Sue have arrived from South Africa. Originally from England, they have just completed nine months at the mission in Nottingham Rd.

 They left the mission with little or no money as their funds were all tied up with the South African Immigration authorities. At the station in Johannesburg, a friend met them briefly and blessed them with some money which would be enough to last them the trip.

 After a nightmare train trip through Zimbabwe and Zambia, they had a 28 hour ‘African’ bus trip from Lusaka to Lilongwe. They arrived somewhat shaken, but truly blessed having witnessed the Lords hand. It took them 6 days. Normally the trip would be done in about 2African Bus days!

 October 13 1995

Getting meat for us to cook is not very easy. Most of the cuts available in the city centre butcheries are too expensive for us to buy – apart from the cheaper cuts such as ‘shin’.

 However we’ve discovered the village butcher is much better suited for us. At certain designated places in the rural areas, cattle and sheep are slaughtered and then hung up by the back legs in a tree. This allows the blood to be drained. After the blood has been drained the animal is skinned and cut up as customers require.

A great discovery today was that most Malawians don’t like the fillet meat of the cow as it is too soft for their liking. We have been able to buy fillet meat at a very cheap price!!

“…time withe Master…” is an on-going series of teachings, about lifestyle in the Church and is published bi-monthly.
If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

 

 

Something to Celebrate? – Part One


We received an invite to our Granddaughter’s 7th birthday party. What an exciting event! I began to ponder that seven short years ago she was about to be born. At that time our lives still had an empty space that she was about to fill – what a joy! Reason to celebrate? – most certainly!

Recently our youngest daughter got married. Who would have thought 26 years ago that she would make such a beautiful bride and indeed, wife. Reason to celebrate? – most definitely.Marriage Celebration

Over the last two years, our youngest son had been having a great challenge finding a job after we had spent a good sum of money putting him through his training. Two months ago, he received a job offer in the industry he loves and is now employed. Reason to celebrate? – absolutely!Quatar Cabin crew

All of us have reason to celebrate something in our lives at one time or another, however big or small. Generally speaking, we put a lot of effort into the celebrations because we want to show those concerned how much we love and appreciate them.

Our spiritual relationship with the Lord should not really be any different.

Among the many reasons that we have to be filled with joy at what the Lord has done for us, are two incredible truths. These two acts are worth us celebrating – wholeheartedly.

Truth One (of many):
Jesus died for our sins. Our debt has been forgiven . Why do we still go through our journey of life bearing the weight of our mistakes?

Provided we accept Jesus as our saviour, and are truly sorry for things we haven’t got right in our lives, then our Lord has paid the ultimate price so that we can be free of the guilt of all our wrongdoings. “…and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more”, says the book of Hebrews.

Friends, from this moment onwards, let us walk in the newness of life, unburdened, as we realise we no longer have to account for our wrongdoings. Jesus gave us this free gift, all we need do is accept it. Reason to celebrate? – most certainly!

How do we celebrate this wonderful gift?

In 1 Corinthians we see that we should “..celebrate the feast…in sincerity and truth…”.

As we gather around the table to celebrate, we have something in common. Communion – from the word ‘common’. Jesus shed His blood for our sins. ALL sin for ALL who will accept the gift. ALL sin for ALL cultures. ALL sin for ALL nations. Jesus gave His life that the whole world could have something to celebrate – in common. A universal ticket out of spiritual death.

As we take the drink (which maybe any suitable liquid), we remember the words of Jesus when He said, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me”.

To Be Continued……

Something to Celebrate? is a two part series, join us next week for part two.

From: “…time with the Master…”

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’
button).