Hold My Emotional Hand


We are naturally self-centred and therefore it is not easy for us to accept negative things that other people say about us. When we do not agree, the built-in instinct to defend ourselves, criticise situations and blame others, raises its head.

This is true of us in our general lifestyle – our daily work place and at home. It seems the closer to ‘home’ (family members) we are, the more sensitive and explosive our reaction can get.

Why is this happening to us?

Pride, when born out of the Adam nature, causes us to react in a negative way when we are offended. Once offended, our reaction is either anger, retaliation, withdrawal or feelings of guilt.

One of the natural characteristics that we are born with, pride, comes to us from the fallen nature of Adam. It is interesting that Adam was created in the Image and Likeness of God. This image and likeness showed the true nature of God reflecting in Adam. He could not only see God, but could fellowship directly with Him. Adam’s way of thinking was based in God’s nature.Pride

When they disobeyed God, Adam and Eve lost their Image and likeness of God. The self-centred ‘Adamic’ nature was then transferred down the line of humankind to us today. All the human cultures we know today were born out of this fallen nature, which is not restricted to certain races – ALL of humanity have received it.

That is why we tend to react in a negative way when things don’t go according to the way we want them to.

If we have people in our midst that always appear to be irritating us, we need to either continue with the relationship and endure the misery (for however long), or we need to confront the situation and ask God to help us deal with it.

Let us look at the example of a person or persons who we don’t seem to get on with. The closer that person is to our heart, the stronger the irritation to us. For those who are not close to us, we may tend just to brush them aside or at least not have contact with them for the majority of our day. Those we love are closer to us and it is not so easy to merely brush the situation ‘under the carpet’, so to speak.

Let us think about this ….
If the person who is the source of our irritation were physically ill with a terminal sickness, how would we react to them? Perhaps if they were not close to us, we may still tend to push them one side. However, if they were close family members, surely we would find ourselves caring for them. Doing whatever we can to make their lives that bit more comfortable.

Why is it then when these people, so close to us, have emotional characteristics we do not agree with, we seem to take offense? It appears the last thing we want to do is to ‘nurse’ them through the emotional illness, as we would do with a physical illness.

If we love a person, we want to see them physically healthy. Surely, it stands to reason therefore, that we would want Emotional Healthto see them emotionally healthy?

Is the prideful Adamic nature in us preventing us from nursing our loved ones’ emotional character? If this emotional imperfection were terminal in that person, would we turn our backs on them?

Let us seek the Lord and ask Him to help us begin to live out of the new (Godlike) nature within us and not the old Adam nature. As God’s nature in us grows and strengthens, we will show more Godly fruit in our lives and have more compassion in circumstances. Patience is earned, not given to us by God. He gives us grace (unmerited favour) to overcome.

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).

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 Twelve


Back again

Kathy, I and the family (increasing again by the way!!), have finally arrived back in Malawi after being away for 4 months.

We returned to find our precious brother Jacob Arthur quite tired but very, very blessed. He had been kept on his toes by the various situations which were brought about to allow him to grow in his faith! This included two robberies and other testing things.

The brother who stole the bike, radio and money from us just after we left for South Africa, was forgiven and came back to work in order to repay the money he stole. He stayed for two weeks and did exactly the same thing again. As a result our little ‘grocer’ business took a real dive. However, in the Lords time things have got back to normal and most of our regular customers are back.

Continue reading “Mission Malawi – Chapter Twelve”

Mission Malawi – Chapter Ten


Field Trip – Continued:

Tuesday, 15th November.

We were shown to continue our trip the next morning and as we were preparing to leave, one of the committee members at the church came to greet us. She made a presentation of K50.00 to us on behalf of the church. 

 Deeply touched, we gratefully received the gift. To us, the amount of money held no importance because we knew that God had a purpose for that money. What was wonderful was that the people had given freely to complete strangers and we know that God will bless them for that step of faith .

 As we began to walk out of the town we saw the house of a Pastor whom we had met the night before. We felt that he had so warmly welcomed us, that it would be very bad of us not to bid him farewell. During the course of sharing with him, he blessed us with K20.00, and on the way out his wife gave us another K5.00 to buy bananas. God is truly wonderful, and even plans our menus for us if we listen carefully!

 We received a lift to a small place called Nkhamenya, where the driver insisted we pay him K20.00. This we did and were soon picked up again by a very large transporter truck. This truck was on the way to Tanzania and the driver told us that we were very “lucky” because he never stops for people.

 We explained to the Tanzanian driver in our best Swahili (which is nonexistent, but sign language for ‘God’ is universal!), that it was the Lord who had touched his heart to stop for us. We shared in this manner for a while and after giving us a ‘coke’ to drink they stopped the truck on top of the Vipya Plateau to share their lunch with us.  Lunch was prepared and served underneath the large trailer of the truck as we sat on the tarmac. Looking out over the baking African valley below, God’s awesome power was very evident.  As mere humans, we are absolutely nothing compared to His great and mighty power, yet His love for us is so great. How were we to know that we would be having lunch under such circumstances.

 The driver dropped us off in Mzuzu without charging us any money. This is a miracle, because in Malawi many white tourists hitchhike throughout the country and because the country is poor, drivers of vehicles, private or company owned, are looking for an extra means of income. Especially where a white person is concerned because they are perceived as being “rich”.

 Consequently, those who saw us together presumed that I was a wealthy tourist with my personal guide! Nevertheless, God knew the truth and watched lovingly over us day and night. That night we were welcomed at the house of another Reverend. His family cared for us, fulfilling our needs so that we were able to continue our trip refreshed early the next day.

Wednesday, 16th November.

Our first stop the next morning was the post office. It was my son’s birthday in four days’ time and I was sad at the thought of not being with him. Titus and I had prayed the day we started the journey that God might give us funds to buy an envelope and stamp so that we could send my son a note of encouragement. God understands our family relationships. He saw my love for my son, and being a Father Himself, had blessed us with the money the day before so that I could send a little letter to him. After posting the letter we waited for the next part of our journey.

 A hardware company truck gave us a lift to Rhumpie, a small town under the Nyika Plateau. As we descended the weather became very hot. We had no shade in the back of the truck. The truck stopped in the middle of the dusty little town, and we duly paid another K20.00 for transport. It was midday.

 On our way in we noticed a small church and decided to see if we could find anyone home. The Pastors wife greeted us and sent for her husband. After drinking many glasses of water and explaining ourselves, the Pastor literally ran out to go and call the members of the community together. He insisted that I rest on a canvas deck chair in the shade of the church building. He said, “I know mzungus (white people) like to rest after lunch”. I did not have much trouble obeying him, after all, he was an elder of the local church and I as a visitor, must fall under his authority!

 Most of the rural Malawians are a bit apprehensive about hosting white people because of language and cultural problems. God had taught me through Titus and other precious Malawian brothers and sisters, how to adapt to many of the customs and foods. As I conformed, the people were made to feel more at ease with me and again there was testimony in our words by God’s grace alone.

 I really began to understand that the “authority” which has been given to us through Christ Jesus is not some ‘mystical’ power, but is in fact, the lifestyle we lead. It was said of Jesus, “…He was teaching them as one having authority…”. Demons were afraid of Jesus because they knew He was ‘dead’ to the things of the ‘flesh’ and He would not give in to their temptations.  We too, as we begin to live a laid down life, (dying to the things of a ‘selfish life’), will show the authority of Christ through us. That is why it was important that God’s son was in every way a man, so that we might have an example to follow.

 A group of ladies gathered and we were able to share some precious things concerning their marriages and their roles as wives. All were extremely blessed and stayed for over two hours in the heat. As we started to finish, the men began arriving after work, so the ministry continued until evening. They were all amazed to see that I would actually bath in their traditional way and enjoy the food. The heat remained until about 9:30pm when we finally finished ministering, exhausted, but mightily blessed.

This is a series from the journal of young missionaries and written by ‘…time with the Master…’ A portion of the journal is published bi- monthly. Why not take up the journey from Chapter One.

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 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”

Mission Malawi – Chapter Six


Publisher’s Note:
I was unable to download original pictures from the Malawi collection, for technical reasons and hope to have this sorted by the next issue. Thank you for bearing with us in this challenge.

The instances of ministry are too numerous to mention during this time of the restaurant. I was able to minister daily to the people who were working in the business as well as the customers. Many refugees from Somalia, Mozambique and Rwanda came to eat and received spiritual food as well. Some were healed of sicknesses as we prayed for them during our time of work.

Continue reading “Mission Malawi – Chapter Six”

Mission Malawi – Chapter Five


Publisher’s Note:

I was unable to download original pictures from the Malawi collection, for technical reasons and hope to have this sorted by the next issue. Thank you for bearing with us in this challenge.

Continue reading “Mission Malawi – Chapter Five”