You Are So Special…


 

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a Living Soul.

As usual in my walk with the Lord, I have often read scriptures and not really thought very deeply about them. It’s amazing how we can read a verse a few times and nothing ‘jumps’ out at us, and then one day we read it again and it comes to life! Such is the greatness of our heavenly Father – such is His great love for us. His hand is upon our lives day in and day out, carefully steering us on the path of life which He has planned for us.

“…let us make man in our image, after our likeness…. How wonderful that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost decided they should create a being which was different to all creation on earth up to that point. Somebody special, whom God desired to have fellowship with. Not only would God be able to see and talk with Adam but also, He would bless him with the whole earth to have as his own. And so, mankind was originally created in the image and after the likeness of God.

“…God formed man out of the dust of the ground…” As I ponder these words, I try to imagine what it might have been like at the time that Adam was ‘formed’. Was the dust that God used to form Adam the same as the dust that we know today? God had not yet cursed the ground from which Adam had been formed, so it could have been a veryAdam, dust of the Earth different substance from what we know. Adam was surely very different compared to humankind today. He not only had face-to-face fellowship with God, but God brought all the living creatures to him so that he could name them. How many animals can you and I name right now off the top of our heads?

“…and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life…” God placed His own breath into Adam – Adam became a living soul. God had breathed Adam’s spirit into life. He was no longer just ‘dust’, but now became a living soul with his own spirit and own body. There was breath in the bodies of all the animals and other creatures on earth, but God had not breathed into them. Adam was created a very special and unique being. A being God had formed for His own joy.

We know that all this changed when Adam and Eve disobeyed God. Therefore, as God promised, Adam and Eve died spiritually and were condemned to a place of solitude from Him. Spiritual death meant that humankind would no longer have communion with God. After Adam had reached 130 years old, he had children in his own image and after his own likeness  – our direct line of hereditary.

I thank the Lord that He sent His son Jesus to restore the situation back to what it was originally in the Garden of Eden. Jesus gives this opportunity to every human being, regardless of culture or nation.

He “… breathed into his nostrils the breath of life..”. As we come to know Jesus and Him crucified, we receive the breath of life from God. This is no ordinary breath. Not a breath that has been mass-produced or thoughtlessly brought into life. No, this is HIS breath – the breath of the almighty Lord of Hosts – the breath of true life, and we are heirs of this wonderful breath as we acknowledge Him.

Each one of us is a unique creation – made greater than any other being on this earth because God desires to have Uniquenessfellowship with us. God ‘formed’ each one of us – not thoughtlessly mass-produced, but individually crafted. We are HIS workmanship created for good works in Christ (Good works where? – IN CHRIST!).

Don’t let the world tell you that you are just like everyone else. You are not like anyone else! When you became reconciled with Him, you were given your own unique spirit, breathed into you by God Himself. You were uniquely ‘formed’ by the Master tradesman to be used by Him and have the fellowship He so desires to have with you.

Hold your head high and know that you are very special to the one who breathed life into you, irrespective of how many times you feel you have disappointed Him or those around you. Know HIS breath of life is in you now… and…forever more!

From: “…time with the Master…”

Published Bi-Monthly

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Mission Malawi – Chapter 23


September 1996
We now find ourselves preparing to go back to Joburg to see what the Lord will have for us. In the natural, we have nothing to go back to. No place to live, no work and once we arrive back in Johannesburg, we will have no money. Well, one thing we have learnt is that we can now trust the Lord to take care of all these concerns. Perhaps in a couple of years’ time we will be writing another diary of what happened after this!

Kathy, I and our youngsters, are very sorry to have left the little mission base, as we know a part of each of our lives is there. We witnessed the hand of God, first hand in our lives many, many times. There were plenty of days that were very difficult and a few times we wanted to run away, but now that the Lord has brought it to an end, we are very blessed and mightily encouraged. We truly saw everything that we had learned, being outworked in real life.

I asked Kathy if there was anything she would have changed were we given the time over again and she said, “No, every detail happened because God allowed it and our lives wouldn’t be the same today if He had not planned it that way”.

Titus will continue to run the mission base and the little business to support the work, so they may not be a burden to anyone. Andy and Sue will go back to England to share with others all they have learned in Africa over the past two and a half years.Young disciples at the mission

During our two years and seven months there, the gospel was preached, to many. Many heard the word. A large number committed their lives to the Lord. Others came and were taught for a short time – but only two (in the end), were willing to be discipled and lay their lives down totally for the Lord, so that they might go out and do the same thing.

“Behold, the sower went out to sow and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. And others fell upon the rocky places, where they did not have much soil and immediately, they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. But when the sun had risen, they were scorched and because they had no root, they withered away. And others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. And others fell on the good soil, and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty and some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.”

Jesus was right when He said, “For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Establishing that mission base, called “Church at Lilongwe”, has taken so many wonderful people and Kathy and I don’t know how to thank you all. For those who have prayed for us and the work, your faithfulness has been Building on the mission base in Area 49, Lilongwerewarded, as we conclude our purpose for being there. For those who have written, your contributions have helped to encourage us through the not so good times. For those who contributed materially so that our physical needs were met, the Lord will bless you, ten-fold as that work now multiplies.

On the fourth of January 1994, the Lord said to Hein and me ….
“…And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. Suffer hardship with Me as a good soldier of Christ Jesus…”

By His grace and power alone, we can say this command has been fulfilled for now, and we look forward to that which He has planned for us in the future.

We thank the Lord for keeping us safe during this time and for the many lovely people we have met from all over the world, not to mention the great amount He has taught us. We thought we were going to Malawi to teach others, which we did, but we were the ones that were really being taught, and for that, we will be eternally grateful.

Thank you, FatherSharing the Gospel with young men

Epilogue
It is really our hearts desire that something in these chapters has somehow brought you closer to God. We thank God each and every day for the few experiences He has allowed us to go through so far in our walk – only the tip of the iceberg has been scratched. God is real and He really does provide. The question is: Are we able to allow Him to provide for us?

Paul says that we should work out our salvation in fear and trembling.

Each day we draw a little closer to God if we listen to that which He is teaching us, if we are not too busy with ‘things’ which block out our Holy Spirit ‘frequency’. If we follow the path of seeking and speaking to Him daily, we will come to trust Him more and more. As we show faith in the small things, so He will grant us favor in the larger things, not only in this world, but in the Kingdom to come.

Bless You All.

Characters

Raymond and Kathy – Children: Theresa-Anne, Wayne, Simon, Bethany and Daniel
Worked in Johannesburg, South Africa and decided to sell all and live a season of time being led by the Lord. Their last son, Daniel was born during the time of this journey.

Today they are living in Vereeniging in South Africa where they now have three lovely grandchildren. They own their own business, which is used to generate funds for the furthering of the Gospel. They share the Gospel and disciple others in small home groups.

Hein and Erica – Children: Joshua
Worked in Cape Town, South Africa and decided to forsake their jobs as medical Nurses and live a season of time being led by the Lord.

Today they live in Alberton, South Africa and have three children. Hein works in a company where he is able to share the Lord and disciple others. Erica is teaching at a Christian School.

David and Zelifa
Lived in Malawi and were the hosts for the beginning of this work. They had five children.
They remained in Malawi where sadly David passed away and there is no updated news of Zelifa.

Frank
A Pastor with a Charismatic Church in Malawi. He was married with five children.
They remained in Malawi but there is no updated news of them.

Timothy and Joseph
Malawian brothers who had gone to South Africa to find employment and a better future. They were based at the Mission in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa. There is no updated news of either of them.

Chris and Sally – Children: Heath, Matthew and Leigh-Megan
Worked in Durban, South Africa for a large corporate food company and decided to sell all and live a season of time being led by the Lord.

Today they live in the Nottingham/Derby area in England. Chris is self-employed and shares Jesus wherever his work takes him. Sally is teaching at a Christian School. They have two lovely grandchildren.

Arthur
Worked in Johannesburg, South Africa for a large corporate company in the field of Electrical Engineering. He decided to sell all and live a season of time being led by the Lord.

Today he is married with 3 children and one fostered child. They live in Thohoyandou, South Africa where they are actively involved on an outreach Mission base serving the community.

Titus
Was found at the African Market in Area 49, Lilongwe, Malawi where his small business had come to an end. Wayne brought him home to meet us and his discipling season began.

Today he is married with 5 children and works at the headquarters of an international aid organization. He continues to share the Gospel in Malawi wherever he goes.

This is the last in the series of Mission Malawi, if you have not participated in the richness of the story of young missionaries in the warm heart of Africa – Malawi go to the beginning and read about an amazing experience.

“…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.

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

Mission Malawi

Our daily Garden


As we travel along our daily road of life, we can find ourselves, broadly speaking, in one of two states of mind – filled with fear and anxiety or abiding in the peace of the Lord.

Let us imagine walking into a neatly laid out vegetable garden. The rows of plants are straight, and access between them and down the rows, is very easy. As we walk between the beds, we see lovely tomato bushes on either side of our path. Looking further ahead, we notice that all the vegetable gardens contain the same vegetables on the left and on the right – all perfect and looking delicious.

Temptation is too great and eventually we decide to pick a lovely bright red tomato from the bed to the left of us. Imagining the taste, we are about to experience, we take a large bite and begin to swallow. Our system is suddenly shocked!! The taste is anything but what we imagined! A bitterness like we have never experienced before. Trying to spit the contents out of our mouths does not really help as the bitter acid settles down into our stomachs – wow! The taste lingers and in fact, everything we think of at that point is affected by the sourness of the flavour in our mouths and stomachs.Vegetable Garden 2.png

A short time passes, and we recover. Looking at the tomato plants in the opposite bed, we are tempted to try again, because they look so beautiful. From the opposite bed, we gently break off another tomato. Cautiously, we venture another taster. What an amazing difference! So juicy and pleasant. We hurry for the next few bites until the tomato is finished! It settles in our stomachs beautifully… and so satisfying!

Why are the two plants so different? Surely it must be to do with the type of food the roots are drawing from the soil.

Our path in life is very similar. Either we will feed from fearful situations or we will feed from peaceful situations. The ‘veggie garden’ of life, from which we will select, has been planted either by God or by the Evil One. The Vegetable Garden 3.pngsituations of life that the evil one would distract us with, are sown in fear (the sour tomato). He offers opportunities based in fear (like the acid soil), which, on the outside appear normal, but finding ourselves in those given situations, we start to feel fear of failure, fear of non-conformance and fear of physical things (phobias). It is whilst we are in fear that we are weak and vulnerable.

Weakness brought on by fear is not a sin but could certainly lead us into sin if not dealt with in the early stages. Anger is a fruit of fear. We become angry as a reaction to something which brings fear to us. Then we may well act differently to our norm, as a result of that fear.

Situations that God would bless us with are grounded in grace and peace. Jesus came to this earth to restore the things that were lost to mankind in the garden of Eden. Our old sinful nature was one of those things. He not only came to take our sins away, but to give us a new heart with rightful desires.

The old sinful nature is a magnet for the evil one’s distractions. He simply sows a fearful thought into our minds and as we accept it, the sourness invades our inner man and then everything we see, every action we perform, becomes tainted with bitterness. Fear requires more fear to feed itself, otherwise it will fade.

As our lifestyle transforms to be more like Jesus, we live more ‘in Christ’. The more we live ‘in Christ’, the more we will eat from the ‘veggies’ of Grace and Peace.

We need to make a conscious decision to daily walk out of our new nature – the ‘Christ’ nature. Why should we remain in our old nature, which is so attracted to fear, when we can daily walk in HIS grace, forgiveness and peace?

Remember, the veggies all look the same. If we choose from the wrong bed, we will very quickly know. Instantly spit out the sourness and replace it with a vegetable of grace and peace. Feed off HIS vegetables and we will experience peace and forgiveness.

From: “…time with the Master…”

“…time with the 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.

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

Mission Malawi – Chapter Twenty


26.02.96

The days are flying by and as usual in our walk there are ‘ups and downs’. I know that although it’s like that, I shouldn’t be ‘feeling’ as if I’m on an emotional roller coaster. If I was truly ‘in Christ’, my emotions about the ‘self’ would have died and I would be consistent in my ‘feelings’, not ‘up’ one day and ‘down’ the next. Much has happened this month.

 Chris and Sally have left for S.A. to prepare for their trip to England. It was a miracle to witness their trip coming together, here in Malawi. They were granted a four year visa for England which included a work permit. One week before all this occurred, it seemed as though they would not get into England. Amazing how the Lord had to send them to this British Consulate (Lilongwe) for their papers. We are praying for them as this will be a very difficult journey for them. We have a contact phone number for them and pray that we will hear from them soon.

 Arthur has phoned from S.A. to say that he won’t be returning. I have to admit and confess my sadness over the situation. We pray always for the Lords will to be done in our lives and then when things happen not according to our will, we get upset – Oh Lord, will I ever change? 

 I am really sad that he won’t be returning to us. It’s as if one of the arrows has been removed from my quiver.  The walk that we have been called to is not an easy one. Arthur, my brother – the blessing – the support. We have shared many things – deep things, that we had a special liberty to do when sharing together. Thank you for this season of time Lord, I have learnt much through this special brother that called us “his precious family in Malawi”. May you be with him always, at every turn.

 Wherever Arthur goes, God will use him in the most amazing way. This is God’s Kingdom branching out – many will come to a deep knowledge of Christ through our precious brother.

 My heart is sore but as usual, our Lord has words for me. Oswald Chambers wrote, “It is easier to serve or work for God without a vision and without a call because then you are not bothered by what HE requires”. What wonderful, deep wisdom found in these words. No expectation – no disappointmentPerseverance

 Our relationship with God is a fruit of perseverance. The more we persevere in our physical situations, the deeper God will take us ‘in Him’.  That’s because the more difficult a situation becomes, the more we see of our true hearts – our true nature. It’s in that time that we need to seek the Lord for strength to continue and for Him to change our ways to become more like Him. Yes, this road is very narrow and indeed FEW will find it…. because FEW will be able to persevere.

 8.03.96

All the papers for the trailers and Combi have been sent and approved from S.A. It was miraculous how this has come about.

 I did not feel comfortable with asking brethren in S.A. to help us in this issue, as word has filtered back to us that we are viewed as somewhat of a burden in some quarters. I know where this comes from and realize it is a deliberate attempt by the Devil to cause division. However it is a difficult one to not think about.

 The papers were kindly processed by an old school friend. We really bless this precious friend for the trouble he went to and pray that the Lord will richly bless him for his efforts. Without his willingness, it would have meant a trip back to S.A. The vehicles may now be imported.

 The rent agreement for the house that Chris and Sally were in, comes to an end on the 31st March. We are praying for a place for Andrew and Sue. We believe with all our hearts that the Lord will do something – here we go again (thank you Lord)!!

 Kathy and I have planned a trip to Zimbabwe at the end of this month to see her brother who is leaving for Australia. The Combi temperature warning light is on again and we pray that the Lord will help us solve this problem before we go. The finance for the trip has come and papers are all in order.

 EvangelismWe have been led to arrange an ‘outreach’ meeting at the local market place. This has come about because a young man followed me around for two days and when he wasn’t able to speak to me personally, left a message to say, “The Lord says you must hold an outreach meeting here in Gulliver (the area we live in). Do not attend any other meetings until you have begun planning for this meeting. When you have preached here, God will show you where to go next”.

 Having a great respect for what God does to those who disobey, I decided to put some serious prayer into the situation. It’s not 

really in line with what the Lord showed us to do when we first came here. I must confess to not being exactly keen about the idea of ‘preaching’ in a Malawian market place, but if that’s what the Lord wants, then ….thank you Lord.

 We have a very comprehensive little team of ‘disciples’ who are able to do all the follow up work of teaching and praying in the houses of the new ‘converts’, so that none will be left to perish after hearing the word.

 We will also be able to have the assistance of a ministry, who show The Jesus Film in Chichewa, using a generator.

 The local bible college have freely given advice on outdoor evangelism and altogether it has so far been a wonderful exercise of how the body of Christ can work together.

 Malawians are great evangelists. They love to get up in front of an audience and share the word of God (jackets flapping madly!!). Our young guys, although really excited about this outreach, are aware of the seriousness of the follow up teaching and praying ‘operations’. It’s also good that the whole exercise is local, especially for the people of this area.

 We have contacted all local authorities and churches. I invited the local churches to send teams of mature believers for the purpose of assisting with prayers and counseling. No replies yet. We have stressed that this is an outreach to the lost on behalf of JESUS CHRIST, not a particular denomination. How encouraging it is to sit here writing, hearing the young men practicing their preaching of the gospel, for which the Lord used our team as vessels, to bring to them – thank you Lord. We have begun fasting for this outreach (3 x single day – no food at all, only water – full 24hrs.).

“…time withe Master…” is an on-going series of teachings, about lifestyle in the Church and ‘Mission Malawi’ 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.

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

 

 

Factory Business – The Kingdom of God


Many people believe that the first time they will enter the Kingdom of Heaven will be when they pass from this earth. Do you know that the Lord gives us an opportunity of entering His Kingdom here and now? Not only does He bless us with sight to see His Kingdom, but He also gives us the power to enter while we are still alive!

The Kingdom of God (His government) is a separate system under which God does that which pleases Him.  God himself will not reverse His own Government , reason being that if He contradicts  His principles then the Evil One would have reason to question how and why He blesses people.  We need to pray for revelation of this fact to gain meaningful change in our lives.God's Franchise

What are some of these principles that make up the Kingdom of God? Jesus shares in Matthew some examples of the characteristics of those who abide in the Kingdom. Jesus says this: “We know that …… is sin but I tell you that if you even think of these things you have committed the sin in your heart”. There are many of these principles spoken of in the bible and we need to ask God to reveal them to us in order that we can start to practice them in our lives.

The result of practicing Godly principles in our lives is blessing from God (here and now). There will be rewards in the Kingdom of Heaven (after we leave this earth).

The Kingdom of God is here and now and among us. The Kingdom of Heaven is where we are ‘In Christ’ and this will be our eternal resting place after we leave the earth.

Here and now as we are convicted of our wrongful ways, we call out to the Lord for help. As we do this from a genuine heart, God grants Salvation to us.

The first part (1) of our Salvation – Justification – has been completed – Jesus forgiving our sins and taking our sinful nature away.

The third part (3) of our salvation – Glorification – has been completed – our Glorified body is seated (past tense) ‘in Christ’ at the right hand of the Father in Heavenly places.

The second part (2) of our salvation – Sanctification – is ongoing (although has been completed in Gods eyes). Day in and day out as we live our lives learning to practice Godly principles, we become more like the character God wants us to be.

As we daily become more like the character Gods wants of us,  there will be reward for us in the Kingdom of Heaven. This reward will grow brighter and brighter as we move closer to God on our daily walk here, resulting in Our Glorified bodies growing brighter and brighter in the Kingdom of Heaven!

The practical outworking of this can be likened to a factory that purifies Gold. In section one of the factory, the Gold ore enters and Goldbegins its journey of purification. In the next and final section of the factory is a huge display cabinet where the purified Gold is on display in magnificent glory. The Gold ore experiences extreme temperatures before it can be made so pure.

Our lives are exactly the same. We see the Kingdom of God now – when we become born again and we enter the Kingdom now – when we become born of water and of the spirit . We are now in section one of the factory. Our daily struggles as we learn to practice Kingdom principles, is the refining process.tells us and all these situations are working for our good.

As we daily move through section one of the factory, we are able to see the purified gold in the cabinet in section two. The gold in the cabinet is shining bright – therefore by faith, as we do God’s principles, we can believe our Glorified bodies are going from brightness to brightness!  What a glorious encouragement!

Pray for revelation of this process so that our lives on this earth will be more purposeful and driven to seek God.

From: “time with the Master…”

“…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.

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

The Divine Romance – Part Three


In Part One and Two we saw that according to Jewish custom in the time of Jesus, a Father had chosen a bride for his son. The parents had agreed a contract, and the son had to build their wedding chamber at his father’s house. The Bride was not aware when her Bridegroom would return for her. While waiting for her Bridegroom, the bride would ready herself in anticipation of his arrival. She would burn a lamp in case he came at night. Eventually, without warning he would arrive and take her away to the marriage chamber. We saw that those who are born of water and born of the spirit are the Bride of Christ and need to ready themselves for His coming to collect them. In the parable of the 10 virgins, we saw that the virgins represented the Church. Five of them ran out of oil and were not ready when Jesus came to collect them….

Continue reading “The Divine Romance – Part Three”

Nursing Emotional Weaknesses


We are naturally self-centred and therefore it’s not easy for us to accept what other people say about us. We have a built in instinct to defend ourselves and criticise situations or others, if we do not approve.

Continue reading “Nursing Emotional Weaknesses”

God’s Line of Authority


But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

Continue reading “God’s Line of Authority”

The Business of God’s Love – Part One


In line with the desire to make our walk with the Lord more practical, let’s look at the second most important commandment…..Love your neighbour as yourself. Most of us have heard these words many times, but have we really understood what Jesus meant? In order to appreciate His command, we need to see how it is that God intended us to love others.

Continue reading “The Business of God’s Love – Part One”

Building Bridges – Part Three


In the previous parts of this series we saw that it is of prime importance for us, as believers, to make sure that the word of God can freely pass between us and all whom we have relationships with. This at any time – in season and out of season. Nothing can be of more importance than to make sure the bridges of relationship grow and are kept clear – whichever community situation we find ourselves in.

Continue reading “Building Bridges – Part Three”