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.

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The Business of God’s Love – Part Two


In Part One, we saw that God wants us to “Love your neighbour as yourself”. It is very difficult for us to obey this command if we try to love one another with human love. Part One showed us the difference between God’s love and Human love. We continue….

To care if others come to the Kingdom of God – This should be our total motivation for serving God. This is the greatest gift we can possibly give to another. How wonderful to be the vessel God uses to channel His gift of everlasting life to others. With this goal in mind, we will then willingly serve others.

As we fellowship with other believers our goal should remain the same – to care if our brethren come to a deeper knowledge of God. Criticizing and judging others destroys people and breaks down situations, which is not how God works. “Loving our neighbour” by laying down our selfish motives in order that those around us come to the Kingdom of God, is a far more encouraging way – and is God’s way.

Apostle Paul shows us how Gods love (not human love), works.

How kind and patient are we? Do we brag? (even slightly?). God’s love does not take into account a wrong suffered and bears all things (not just those that are convenient!). Are we able to endure all things?  It would be good for us to daily meditate on this scripture during a quiet time with the Lord.

Jesus shows us another way in which we love our neighbour. Sadly, today it is easier for us to gossip behind the backs of others rather than to confront the situation in an open way. In our emotional state we are afraid to approach others for fear of rejection or offending. We find ourselves witnessing the sin and talking to others about it (as harmless as it may seem).

If we really care whether that person comes to a deeper knowledge of God (love our neighbour), we will openly reprove them (in private at first) so that they may come closer to God through that admonishing word of encouragement. Remember: We judge the sin, NOT the person!

If we witness the sin in others and do nothing about it – is that really ‘loving our neighbour’ or caring whether they come to a deeper knowledge of God?

These two kinds of love are completely different. God’s love through us is based upon a laid down life, caring if others come to the Kingdom of God (at any cost to ourselves).

Human love is based on emotion. The two cannot mix and we need to seek the Lord daily to have His love flow through us.  This can only be done as we die to the self-centered nature and live a more spirit led life.

God’s Love (1 Cor.13:4-8) Man’s Love (Gal.5:19-21)
Suffereth long and is kind Uncleanness, hatred
Envieth not, Vaunteth not Envyings, revellings
Not puffed up, seeketh not her own Disputes, dissensions, factions
Is not easily provoked, does not think evil Wroth, witchcraft, emulations (jealousy).
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, rejoiceth in the truth Impurity, evil desire, greed  (Col. 3:5)
Beareth all things, endureth all things Wroth of man worketh not the righteousness of God. (James 1:20)

From: “…time with the Master…”

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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.

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Mission Malawi – Chapter Eight


Mission Malawi – Chapter Eight

Customs in all cultures can bind people and often allow for the word of God to be compromised at one point or another. “This is a hard saying…” and can only be revealed by the Spirit of God Himself. We tend not to receive such words because of trying to hold on to our ‘old ways’. God needs to be seriously sought for confirmation of these deep sayings. On many occasions we saw the Word of God take back seat because customary ceremonies were being fulfilled. Christians were attending these ceremonies not for any other reason than fear of what others would say or do if they did not attend.
A normal Sunday service in a large denominational church was cancelled and visiting missionaries from another country were turned away because a funeral service was being held in the community that day. It is sad that the church should bow to the rules of men.
Generations of witchcraft have allowed dark spirits to invade the church. Those who say they are ‘born again’ believe they are on the way to the Kingdom of God. Jesus said unless you are born of water and of the spirit, you will not enter the Kingdom. This is more than just being born again. Those who are born again only receive ‘sight’ of the Kingdom (awareness of God, the sinful nature and the Devil), not entry to the Kingdom. What we saw was that those who were not totally born of water and of the spirit, brought traditionalism into the church.
Singing and worshipping was very much along traditional lines, only the words having been changed to make them ‘Christian’. Darkness was still present, deep in the hearts of those attending. A person can only truly worship God in the spirit, by the power of God’s Spirit.
We found very little worshipping in spirit, all was done by man’s will and power. Certain (scriptural) phrases and lines were used over and over again at nauseum, to stir the congregation into a frenzy of yodeling, screaming and chanting sheep, using the same format, week in and week out. Few had their hearts and minds on God, but were thinking of other things. Meanwhile those leading the service were enjoying the feeling of power which they held as they manipulated and ‘amused’ the congregation with their ‘antics’ while preaching.
“….One day as Titus and I labored in the garden, he began to share some interesting thoughts and observations with me. He said that he had noticed that most white people were able to look after material things better than the average Malawian. He said that generally, whites were able to manage businesses better as well as other situations and he wondered why it was like that. I marveled at this statement and knew it could only come from one who had been truly born again. It was not said with malice or mockery, neither from a racial point of view.
We began to share much about our races, European and Traditional African – the fact that we were both ‘Africans’ having been born and bred on the continent. Was it in fact possible for the two races to hurdle the culture barrier and live successfully under one roof and what was the answer to his question?

Needless to say our time in the garden was much longer than we had planned. We shared about the curse of Ham in the book of Genesis which spoke of Ham’s descendants being ‘servants of servants’ and the fact that this led to the African continent being born into ancestral worship. “Does this mean all traditional Africans are cursed?” he asked me. I said, “…if you think about it – we are all cursed until we turn to our Lord to be saved!”
I explained that Jesus came to the earth to restore back to us everything that was lost originally in the Garden of Eden. Therefore it doesn’t matter which culture, color, race or country we come from, we all have the same opportunity to know the Lord and be released from our past – whatever that is.
Generally speaking, this would account for the observations Titus had made – some people appeared better adapted to certain functions and other people to other functions. However, this finding in no way entitles one to be superior over the other. God intended all to be equal and He is the judge of men’s hearts, irrespective of which race they come from. The teachings of the New Testament in the Bible continually warn that there must never be discrimination.
So, as for our discussion, we talked on as the African sun got hotter and hotter. “Even your skin is better suited for indoors”, quipped Titus.
The Lord showed us that the only way for two races to live together in ‘harmony’ would be through Christ Jesus. Men have been trying for centuries to create peace and harmony with little success.
In African counties where the war for freedom has been won after many years of struggle and senseless loss of life, there is now a, “shoe is on the other foot” attitude. This type of attitude may rarely been seen in the open and even less rarely admitted, but it nevertheless is present.
It is this way because the heart of man holds onto unforgiveness and cannot be changed by systems of men. It requires deep change from the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ gave each human being a new heart, one that truly desires to do the things of God, not just talk about them.
If we, as humans can come away from our reliance on culture, we are then in a true position to ‘love our neighbor’. Not with a sloppy kind of human love, but the real love that Christ has for us. A love that cares whether or not somebody gets to the kingdom of God. For that purpose, we should be prepared to lay our lives down. Are we really in a position to do this now?
God has done much in our hearts while we have been here, in order that we live the way we do. It hasn’t been easy and there is still much to be done in all our hearts, but now we begin to see that through Jesus, it is definitely possible to live and work together in real peace….”
As human beings, we have a great need to be ‘entertained’. The world would term this ‘escapism’ – to take our mind off the things which burden us. Sadly, this has inadvertently crept into the church today as many dote on the ‘performing’ pastor. Congregations grow in the belief that the word of God is attracting many, but instead the sinister undertone of the flesh is ever increasing. People are drawn in by acting, instead of being pierced by the truth of the Word.

If we find ourselves saying, “What a wonderful personality, what a fascinating person, He has such insight!” then what opportunity has the gospel got through all that? It cannot get through because the attraction is to the messenger and not the message. If a person is attracting others through his personality, that is his appeal. If his life is totally laid down for the Lord, then the appeal becomes what Christ Jesus can do. The danger is to glory in men, but Jesus said that we should serve Him with all our heart and that He only, should be lifted up.
“….The Pastor that worked together with us for eight months, side by side, sharing good and bad times together, we later discovered had reported us for “abusing human rights”.
It turned out that he was disgruntled about not receiving, what he felt, was a fair wage out of the small food business. His true heart was revealed when his brother disappeared with one of our bicycles (in “lieu” of wages). His heart was more intent on gaining worldly things, than the things of God. We are never in a position to judge others. That is the sovereign work of God. The Lord showed us that people’s actions stem out of a trust, or lack of trust in God, something we all suffer from.
In this particular case, the ‘Pastor’ simply could not fully believe that God would supply all the needs of his family and consequently tried to do everything in his own power, becoming afraid when he could not see things ‘coming together’ as he felt they should. However, this was a man who was teaching and preaching the word of God, many times sharing things which were not testimony in his own life. The object of sharing this example is not to judge or ridicule this ‘Pastor’, but to expose the truth of the situation as it currently is…”
It is not the intention of this article to criticize precious brethren in Malawi or anywhere else in the world. God brings us to places, among people, and into certain situations to accomplish His definite purpose through the spirit in us. Our part is to use intercessory prayer in everyday circumstances and to bring people God puts around us, by His grace, before His throne.
“….After own little food business was closed, due to ‘red tape’ formalities, we became a little concerned ourselves. We prayed and God has used faithful and obedient brethren to support us. We firmly believe in working with our hands as Paul did, so that God can bless us with our needs, but now for the first time we are “solo” as it were, still working with our hands each day, but not in a ‘money earning’ job, so to speak. It is now living by trusting in the Lord, for the first time….”
On September 26th 1994, in answer to a word which was given to us while we were still in South Africa in 1993, our faithful brother Jacob Arthur came to join us. What a great blessing to have him with us, we are so grateful to the Lord for allowing him to come and help us; it’s been nearly six months without ‘likeminded’ fellowship.
The Lord has blessed us once again and we have been able to have electricity connected to our home. We realized just how much we had taken for granted the electricity in our houses back in South Africa. To be able to have electricity at the touch of a switch and running water in the house at the turn of a tap….surely a great blessing.

A bi-monthly series brought to you by:

…time with the Master

Next article will appear two weeks from now – watch out for it.

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.
If you are spiritually inclined see my other site; http://www.adcrucemchristi.com
Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’

Is there space for God in my life?


Imagine an Elephant and a Rhino living in a small room. It would be very difficult for the either to move around. In order to ease the situation, it would be good if the Elephant lost weight and ‘shrunk’ – as it were. As the Elephant loses weight and becomes smaller, it is easier for the Rhino to move around.

Continue reading “Is there space for God in my life?”

Building Bridges – Part Two


In part one of this series, we saw that we are all involved in community somewhere in our lives. There can be great benefit in community situations as we discover the wealth of sharing our lives with fellow members. The flow of wealth in these groups greatly depends on the bridges of relationship……

Continue reading “Building Bridges – Part Two”

Mission Malawi – Chapter Three


24.02.94

We are trying to make the best of what we have. Very difficult. There are many flies and cockroaches. The ablution facilities are not good. There is a small outside building, one half a toilet (long drop), and the other a wash room. To go to the toilet we must squat over the hole in the floor. The smell is terrible and there are many large flies buzzing around.  Large cockroaches crawl on our legs at the same time. The extreme heat does not help the situation.

Continue reading “Mission Malawi – Chapter Three”

A Timeless tale – Chapter Twenty Five


Living a Life in the Kingdom of God – Continued

How often have you heard people say, or have read, that all you and I have is now, this moment in which we breathe and live; laugh and cry, sing and shout? Yesterday exists in our memory, tomorrow in our dreams; it is only today that we hold in our control. Where we make choices based on love or fear, faith, doubt….

Continue reading “A Timeless tale – Chapter Twenty Five”

Getting To Know Him


In the world today communication is very important. In worldly terms – success is borne out of effective communication.

We learn communication from teaching institutions but primarily from our upbringing. This would not only be the spoken word but body language as well. We sometimes take these skills for granted – spare a thought for the visually and hearing impaired – how would our lives change if suddenly we could no longer see or hear?

Whenever there is success in a sports team, a business or a marriage, we will find effective communication.

Ray Prayer 7If we communicate better, this results in improved relationships and improved relationships mean unity. Where there is unity there is strength.
Stop to look at ourselves for a moment – how are we communicating in our present circumstances? (In our work and personal relationships). RememberRay Prayer 3 communication is not only the spoken word but body language as well!
We use communication for many different purposes. One such use is to find out information. In other words when we meet people for the first time we try to find out more about them – we ask questions. To those we already know, we ask deeper questions to find out more about them and we will also share some of our opinions with them – this, so they will know more about us and we them. Rayer Prayer 5In this way we form meaningful relationships. Lastly, where we have emotional feelings for someone we tell them as much (“I love you”) and we get to know them more intimately as we learn to trust them with our emotions.

Looking at the spiritual world, God wants us to work in a similar manner. (Psa 105:4; Pro 8:17; Psa 46:10 and Jer 24:7). He gives us the tool of prayer to effectively communicate with Him. This truly is a gift from Him. Just as salvation is a gift from Him (we did nothing to earn it!) so prayer is also a gift from him.
Prayer is really nothing more than speaking to God. It is a tool which we can use to strengthen our relationship with Him.
We need to spend time with God in order to know Him better. This means reading His word and also fellowshipping with other believers. In our private times with the Lord, and during our day-to-day living , we must feel free to ask God questions in order to find out more about Him. We should also tell God how we feel about things – intimately. Jesus said, “All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore, I said that He (the Holy Spirit) will take of mine and will announce it to you.
Some would say…. “Why would such an almighty God want to hear these things from me? He has many more important things to work on…..” Also the scripture says that God knows all our needs before we even pray them, so why ask Him? The answer is simple…. God loves to hear from us and loves to communicate with us. His love for us is so great that He wants to be in constant communion with us. We know from our own experience, when you love someone you want to be with them – all the time!
Find time to commune with God and ask Him about the things that perplex you. Tell Him how you feel about some of the current situations in your life and tell Him about the things in the deepest part of your heart. It’s good to tell Him you love Him.

Ray Prayer 6

All these things will draw us into a deeper place with God and help us to better communicate with Him. Be like the Psalmist David, when he said, “O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”
Better communication with God means we come to know Him better and therefore we are able to hear His Spirit within us. The more effectively we hear His Spirit, the more useful we can be in His service.
From: “time with the Master…”

A Timeless Tale – Chapter Twenty One


 

Living a Life in the Kingdom of God – Continued

In the previous chapter we discussed the three part make up of humanity, body, soul and spirit. (http://biblehub.com/1_thessalonians/5-23.htm} We discussed the first part – the body, now we will look at the next part – the soul.

Continue reading “A Timeless Tale – Chapter Twenty One”