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”

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”

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…”

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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).

Mission Malawi – Chapter Fourteen


‘Mission Malawi’ is a series, printed from the Journal of Brother Ray, His family and a team of missionaries. Why not start from the beginning of their journey – you will be truly inspired.

Continue reading “Mission Malawi – Chapter Fourteen”

Give Us Our Daily Faith


In my life, I try to find simple practical solutions in my walk with the Lord. When I was young in the Lord, I found myself praying, asking for things and situations to be resolved according to how I thought they should be sorted out:, as if God needed a helping hand!

When I found that my prayers were not being answered the way I would like them to be, I began to get a little disheartened and wondered why the Lord was apparently not listening to me. I did a bit of reading up on the topic and sought counsel from various quarters. The majority of the answers seemed to point to the fact that my faith wasn’t strong enough….I had to believe more….the more my faith strengthened, the more answers I would get from the Lord and the more ‘successful’ healings I would be able to perform. Somehow, this counsel didn’t sit well with me.Faith 2

As I do, I asked the Lord to please teach me and show me more about this situation. Time went by and the Lord opened my eyes to some interesting things.

First, there is a faith which we receive by hearing the Gospel. This is believing that Jesus died on the cross, where He took take away our old sinful nature and released us from our wrong doings. This is a saving Faith. When we read the scriptures  it is difficult for us to understand in our minds, that our old natures died with Jesus some 2,000 years ago! However – by believing, in our hearts, the word of God, we will accept this truth.

Second, there is a faith which comes as part of the personal gifts we receive when we have the Holy Spirit abiding in us. This is what I call a supernatural imparting of belief or trust and is experienced when the Lord wishes to exalt himself or encourage the body of Christ in a given circumstance. Peter and John’s example in Acts 3:2-13,16 is a wonderful testimony of how the Lord imparts the gift of faith for His glory. In that instant, they believed that healing would take place (imparted by the Holy Spirit). In verse 16, Peter acknowledged that it was faith in the name of Jesus that healed the man. Once again, it is for the exaltation of God or the encouragement of His body – never for our own glory!

Third, there is a faith or TRUST in the Lord, which grows in us on a daily basis. This is how we learn to trust the Lord more and more on a day to day basis. Often we will have no doubt believing that God has the power to do something (heal, bless or change a situation), but we do not trust Him to do it at that particular time for us. Faith 3The only way we can grow in this faith (trust), is to get to know God. The more we know God (not just know about Him) and the way he does things, the more we are able to trust Him. Think about your own life – the people you trust the most are the ones you are closest to, the ones you know well. The scripture is a nice illustration of a lesson in learning to trust the Lord in a given circumstance.

We should remember when praying in a given circumstance that Jesus taught us how to pray. He requested us to say “let your will be done…” If we learn to pray like this, we have no need to be discouraged if God doesn’t answer according to our desires. It is because He is answering according to HIS will. We need to believe in  Him for the outcome and our trust in Him will grow.  After all, He is not wiser in all things?  Sometimes God allows suffering so that His will can be made complete.

So…. let’s not be condemned because our ‘faith is weak’. Let’s realise that we do believe with all our heart that God can do anything He wants to do at any time He wants to, and lets allow the Lord to use our daily circumstances to build up our trust in Him. As we do this, the Lord will give us our daily faith (trust)!

From: “time with the Master…”

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 Thirteen


Zimbabwe

July 1995 – August 1995

 Kathy’s parents had asked us to please return to Zimbabwe for the birth of our 5th child. They had kindly offered to pay for all the costs and also knew of a Christian doctor who would oversee the birth. I asked Titus if he would like to accompany us because he had never been out of Malawi before. He was very excited.

19.07.95

It’s wonderful how the Lord has brought us to this lovely place at Lake Kariba, in the Northern part of Zimbabwe. The ‘Cabanas’ belong to Zimbabwe Sun and the unit we are staying in is part of Kathy’s parents time share. The contrast of life is amazing. How good the Lord is to allow us to experience different types of living. We need to learn to trust Him more and really KNOW that He will never forsake us. Kariba

 Kathy is starting to feel uncomfortable now and we expect that something should happen soon, by Gods grace. We are about 500km from the hospital that she has been booked into, but the Lord knows!!

05.08.95

Praise the Lord! After two weeks overdue date, Kathy and I are blessed with another little boy. We have decided to call him Daniel Stephen. The birth was another wonderful testimony to the Lord. Although Daniel was the heaviest of all the children, his birth has been the easiest. The doctor, a precious brother in the Lord, said Kathy would be his ‘tithe’ patient and so we did not have to pay for his services. We were blessed by Kathy’s parents who kindly met the hospital bill for us. We are truly so grateful for all these faithful people who are so willing to open their hearts to us in obedience to the Lord.

 10.08.95

We have been blessed with more gifts of money to be able to buy some groceries to take back to Malawi with us. There is also enough to have a new tent made for the little caravan/trailer that the Lord blessed us with in South Africa.

 One day while I was standing in the queue at the Mozambique embassy, a man came up to me and began to ask me some questions about Malawi. A Zimbabwean, he owned an art museum in America and was trying to find certain types of wood carvings to take back to America with him. After chatting for some ten minutes, he disappeared to the front of the line where he collected his passport from a man who had been in the line on his behalf.

 About 15 minutes later he came back as though he was looking for someone in particular. As our eyes met, he said, “Ah, I’ve been looking for you”. A bit taken a back, I wondered why he was looking for me. He then asked me what line of business I was in. The Lord opened a door for me to share briefly with him. Right there, in the queue, he took out his wallet and blessed me with two hundred Zimbabwe dollars. It was the exact amount we needed to finish the last of our shopping. The man in front of me couldn’t believe his eyes. He said to me afterwards, “But that guy didn’t even know you!!”

 How great is the Lord. If I had complained and had not stood in that line for as long as I did, I would have certainly missed the blessing the Lord had planned for us….”

With our new addition safely in the arms of Mom and Kathy’s family, we planned our return trip to ‘Area 49’ in Lilongwe.

Area 49
Area 49 Lilongwe Malawi

Kathy and the children would stay with her parents until strong enough to come back to Malawi. Her parents had once again kindly offered to pay for them to fly back when she was ready.

17. 08.95

After much planning, praying and packing, Titus and I are ready to leave for Malawi. We plan to leave at 4:00am. All being well, we can expect to get to Lilongwe at about 4:00pm. A long 12 hour journey. This journey is difficult for me as there are always ‘niggly’ challenges at the border posts. I believe from time gone by, in the days of white supremacy in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi, there has been left a certain amount of unforgiveness and anger towards white people by some of the custom and immigration officials of these countries.

 Whilst I can appreciate the very difficult job these people have, their attitudes always appear to show their desire to have their authority respected. I am blessed that the Lord uses them to humble me.

 Arriving back in Lilongwe, the Lord has really granted us favour with men, apart from the Malawi customs gentleman who was very angry at Titus because he spoke in English! We have found Arthur Jacob, Patrick and Joseph all well and mightily blessed.

 The Lord has had His hand on the little businesses and they have all grown. Thank you Lord.

 18. 08. 95

After going to bed filled with the joys of returning to faithful brethren, we are awakened with a terrible shock. The Combi is up on pieces of log and stone – all four tyres and rims stolen!

I can’t find words to describe our disappointment. Somebody in our locality knew that we had arrived and had informed the thieves. All four new tyres given to us in South Africa a few months before, especially for Malawian conditions, had been stolen!Stolen Tyres

My first thought is: “Why Lord?”. As I ponder deeper on those words, the Lord shows me that actually, I have no right to even ask such a question. What right does a selfish sinner have to question the Almighty and powerful, everlasting God who knows all things?

 God, in His infinite wisdom had allowed this thing to happen and all I desired to find out was what lesson was in it for me. At this time the anger within me is too great to see very much.

Mission Malawi is published by “…time with the Master…” on a bi-monthly basis.

“…time with the Master…” is an on-going series of teachings, about lifestyle in the Church and is also 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 One


During our walk with the Lord, it is often good to read something that causes us to stop and think about our current situation and our standing with God. Sometimes we all need a little ‘jolt’ just to put us back on a serious footing with the Lord. ‘The Divine Romance’ is such an article.

Over the years, many interpretations of the word of God have been availed to us, sometimes leading people to form groups or organisations around those particular doctrines. We need to remember that it is very possible, that we may not personally experience the end of the world as some people have believed and described. The Lord may take us home before those things manifest on the earth. Our focus should always be on God Himself, our personal relationship with Him, so that whatever unfolds, we will have first-hand information from Him….

Continue reading “The Divine Romance – Part One”

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”