….calmness

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Habakkuk 2: 3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time;But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.Though it tarries, wait for it;Because it will surely come,It will not tarry.

Psalm 46: 10 Be still, and know that I am God;I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!

Calmness is the cradle of power….Josiah Albert Hollard

 

Hie again, today I get the opportunity to share with you guys something I learnt from a sermon given at a certain church I gatecrashed two weeks ago , he spoke about delays in life. It takes a certain kind of maturity and incredible faith in the Lord to remain defiantly calm whilst your whole life is up in flames , I mean while your dreams are stagnant and beginning to look unattainable or even crazy. Have you ever had a what was I thinking of moment , how on earth did I dare believe I would be there by 35. I am one of those guys who had his whole life plan blown away before it even took root. imagine thinking that by 25 you will be done with your first degree and by 27 you assume you are driving and 30 married only to have two years added to your degree because the examiners thought I had inadequate information to be unleashed onto the world as a finished product. So to say I am impatient by nature is an understatement, I saw friends living the life I dreamed and I feel I have to play catchup but the hours in the day are preventing that and coupled with a declining economy and bad breaks. Many a times a I feel like cursing God, why me??? gosh if only I drank and I would drown my misery . But It is at such times that you appreciate Habakkuk’s prophecy that the vision will happen at the right time it wont tarry , God is never late ..its us who are always in a hurry, to marry , to have kids , to have a job ,start a business etc. Society has placed such a burden on us and we feel we have to fulfill the world’s prophecies over our lives forgetting the expected ending God promised in Jeremiah. If ever they is a commodity laking in the lives of today’s youth its calmness, patience ..the ability to trust God no matter what. To be like Peter who could enter into  deep slumber in a prison cell such that it required an angel to slap him awake or David to be anointed King at 17 but start his reign at 30. If they is one thing I pray for from God its calmness in the midst of a storm , the ability to be still and trust in his reign over my life. How we behave during delays plays a crucial part in who and what we will become in the future , are we like Saul who thought Samuel was late and rushed to do the sacrifice and thus losing his throne or we are like David who refused to kill Saul when he found him asleep in a cave..you choose the path you want in life, to be David or Saul . Delayed gratification is the answer , i believe the God who began it in you will bring it to completion,,don’t panic be calm and remember: ships don’t sink because of the water around them , ships sink because of the water that gets in them. Dont let what is happening around you get inside of you and weigh you down..

 

be blessed

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……being saved, my struggles

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ROMAN 10:9-10 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 

ROMANS 12: 1-2 I beseech[a] you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your [b]reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

1 CORINTHIANS 15:311 I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. 

The christian community is the most judgmental and prejudiced group of individuals I have ever met..me included , which is probably what prompted Gandhi to say I like their Christ but not the Christians themselves. Islam is thus far the fastest growing religion in the world mostly because we fail to emulate the man we claim to have built our faith on. We scrutinize too much and are unwilling to let people into our close knit community, we are content with our numbers and dont what to upset the status quo , yet Jesus meant for the church to be out going. Oh my I digress,  today in line with Easter I mean to talk about being saved , which is in line with the last instruction given to us by our Lord before he departed( as you know in Africa we respect the last words of the departed). It took me long to understand why I still harbored thoughts about sex and pornography or why my appetite for alcohol persisted even after I had done the sinners prayer. Didn’t Paul say I am now new , why then do I still feel like smoking and having sex with my girlfriend. Jesus says it best , if you are not sick you have no need of a physician meaning the church is a clinic where people are being treated until they are cured. We all know that a patient doesn’t jump out of bad the first day we give him his medication nor do the doctors expect it but that the process is gradual. I was telling my friend the other day when he mentioned that they were too many people who sleep around and drink in church today and I told him it should be like that because they are being saved , we shouldn’t discriminate or judge them for Jesus doesn’t  which is why he ate at Matthew’s house a tax collector or didn’t stone the woman who was caught in the act of adultery .Dont get me wrong I am not encouraging debauchery in the house of God but understanding from the elder brothers unlike the brother in the story of the prodigal son  who did not welcome his saved sibling, allow God to work on his people.. the more we teach them the more the bad traits become fewer and fewer and as someone looking in a mirror the more they mimic Christ and become what you expect from believers. I believe on your day of repentance the spirit is saved first by believing and confession then comes the soul(mind) through renewal and study of the word of God but the flesh is saved last and it takes longer , imagine a guru in the faith like Paul still saying I die daily.. saving of the flesh is a continual ongoing process beloveds. So in conclusion I encourage those who are being saved to not feel disheartened at slipping continually they are work in progress and for believers to be more loving and accommodating  as our Savior Jesus Christ was..remember as he is so are we. Jesus loves you as you are …let no one tell you differently, with your whoring and drinking he is still crazy about you.

 

Time travel….

mandy

Friend, teacher, mother and a pillar to cmfz

Ecclesiastes 12: 1Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth,Before the [a]difficult days come,And the years draw near when you say,“I have no pleasure in them”:

Ecclesiastes 12: 8 “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher,“All is vanity.”

Ecclesiastes 9: 7 Go, eat your bread with joy,And drink your wine with a merry heart;
For God has already accepted your works.

Psalm 90: 12 So teach us to number our days,That we may gain a heart of wisdom.

SO MUCH TO DO YET SO LITTLE TIME .. Cecil John Rhodes

 

I have found that loss of a loved one makes philosophers of us all and hence rightfully I find my self dwelling on the writings of Solomon in the book of Ecclesiastes as he tries to explain the reason of our existence on this earth. Procrastination is the reason we wallow in regrets and what could have been on our death beds, absence of fond memories to fall back on is what drive most into depression and being suicidal. The capitalist society has made us become so engrossed in making as much money as possible at the expense of human friendships and interactions but if you find yourself in a position  like the rich fool and the angel of death comes for you just after you have amassed all your wealth without yet having enjoyed a single dime you will be filled with regret and mimic the preachers word when he says all is vanity. Four years ago a friend invited me for dinner at her home because her husband & herself found my company amusing she said  but for some reason I took a rain-check and life happened such that I was always occupied in the rat race until the owner of time took that friend away…in hindsight I realize I gained nothing in assuming they was plenty of time still to engage in dinners and parties. I now appreciate that time is a finite resource which we do not even have the privilege to know how much of it we have left , if only God could teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Jim Carrey once starred in a movie called the yes man and I pray that becomes our attitude from hence forth , the will to say yes to everything and make memories with loved ones. To paraphrase our main scripture , If they is anything you want to do..anything at all on your bucket list do it now for regret is a painful emotion. So brothers and sisters if they is someone you love tell them now …send a text , if you feel compelled to do sky diving or what have you,  start making plans today and do it, for  we are pilgrims and living on borrowed time. God bless you all.

…it will be well again with you

Psalms 90:15 Make us glad according to the days in which You have afflicted us,
The years in which we have seen evil.

Deuteronomy 33: 25 Your sandals shall be iron and bronze;
As your days, so shall your strength be.

Jeremiah 32:15 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Houses and fields and vineyards shall be possessed again in this land.” ’

1Samuel 30:6  Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was [a]grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.

 

Over the years I have realized that being born again does not protect you from the troubles of this world nor does being prayerful act as an insulator to the storms that inevitably arise the longer you live on this earth. If you are given an opportunity to talk to David this day , the man who was after God’s own heart he would tell you that  had it not being of the Lord he would have perished in his distress at Ziglag . Men wanted to stone and kill him for the loss of their wives and property and a lesser man would have given up and died but not David, the Bible says he strengthened himself in the one person who had never let him down, the Lord.Brothers and sisters may it be a lesson to us as believers in this century in which we are plagued by unemployment as youths, corrupt leaders in office, rising costs of living , incurable diseases , demonstrations and all sorts of natural disasters to not be overwhelmed and give up but to stand and find strength in the Lord as the patriarch David did , it will be well with us. Paul says these things where written to us for our learning and as thus I urge you brothers  to take heed. I know this message is not palatable especially if you are in strife, 2019 has not been a good year for me too but a friend once said look not at what you see but at what you know from scripture. The Bible says his strength is made perfect in our weakness and that his grace is sufficient for our needs…believe that with me beloveds. Today’s article is more of an exhortation than a teaching really and I had to borrow from the verses I keep for tough times, like when the Israelite were in captivity in Babylon and the man of God had the guts to tell people that houses and vineyards will be bought again , even in a land without its own currency and a soaring inflation it will be well. The same God who said through Moses in his final benediction that as thy days are so will be thy strength will give you strength to weather any storm in your life,  you are equipped for this don’t stress. In conclusion I pray that my father in heaven may make you glad according to the days you suffered affliction like he did for Job and for David ..amen !!

 

 

 

….its a virtue

patience

PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE NOT A VICE 

Joshua 14:10 10 And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years, ever since the Lord spoke this word to Moses while Israel [b]wandered in the wilderness; and now, here I am this day, eighty-five years old.

2 Samuel 5:4  David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years.

Isaiah 55:8“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.

Patience is a desirable trait that is elusive even to the best of us. Premature gratification is the order of the day, what with instant coffees, instant noodles etc..our generation wants stuff immediately. Better man than me failed because they lacked this quality, talk about the first King of Israel Saul who could not wait for Samuel to arrive and offer the sacrifice, need I mention Hananiah who disagreed with Jeremiah’s prophecy of 70yrs in slavery in Babylon. This morning I placed myself in Abraham’s shoes soon after receiving word from God that I will be the father of many nations and deciding to share my good tidings with my nephew Lot. Imagine the ridicule and jokes that would have been made at my expense as years , became decades with no child in sight  even one out of wedlock. I believe being Abraham I would begin to question whether I had heard from God truly or I was a schizophrenic, I would become disillusioned and bitter. Patience and faith are conjoint twins, you cannot have one without the other and its particularly important to us brethren considering to our maker a day is like a 1000yrs and vice versa ,you will abandon the faith without it. The reason most of us are rush and lack the ability to wait on God is because we think God behaves like us , forgetting that he sees things differently , he has a clearer view of our lives than we do . In fact we might have a brain herniation if we tried to fit God’s thoughts into our cortices , we cant fathom or comprehend how he plans  or works but thankfully Jeremiah preempted our worries and told us that what ever God plans its for our good. Caleb was quite young when God gave him a word but it took 45yrs for the word to bear fruit..imagine how it might have felt all those years barren but having already received a word. Being shown a vision does not translate to gratification, it might take time…even David had to wait, anointed king at 17 but 10yrs later he was living in the wilderness not in the palace. Dont let you current position make you doubt the word God spoke over your life just remember the patriarchs who preceded you who were patient and reaped a thousandfold. Stay blessed and listen to Bill

 

patience 2

…yes its possible

sucess

Joshua 7: 3-4   And they returned to Joshua and said to him, “Do not let all the people go up, but let about two or three thousand men go up and attack Ai. Do not weary all the people there, for the people of Ai are few.” So about three thousand men went up there from the people, but they fled before the men of Ai. 

 

1 Samuel 4: 3 & 10-11  So the Philistines fought, and Israel was [d]defeated, and every man fled to his tent. There was a very great slaughter, and there fell of Israel thirty thousand foot soldiers. 11 Also the ark of God was captured; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, died.

2 Corinthians 12: 7-10 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to [b]buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

TO LOSE OR TO FAIL DESPITE BEING BORN AGAIN AND SPIRIT FILLED.

The above is a continuation of my title , yes its possible and before you get all worked up and start shouting heresy give me time to plead my case. Today I am going against the tide and have to warn you that today’s message is not meant to make you feel good its not a motivational talk but a sober one I think. I believe its possible for a born again’s business to go bankrupt and also that believers get sick  sometimes or that their plans dont always come through. I believe today’s ministers are packaging the gospel wrongly to the populous , no wonder we have so many bitter and disgruntled Christians in our midst ,  because they were  promised a rosy journey by those who ministered to them first instead of a rosy ending, an expected ending as God tells Jeremiah. As much as you can do all things through Christ remember also that we prepare for the battle but the final outcome belongs to God. At some point the children of Israel were losing in battle and they thought bringing the ark into the battlefield will tilt the tide to their side but the Bible tells us they lost and even worse the ark was captured. The ark represented the dwelling place of God, or the essence of God so imagine losing whilst he is among-st them. Lest I be accused of basing my argument on one scripture, allow me to bring your focus on Joshua for a minute. The man whom God told no man will stand before him and he ended up getting a hiding from the people of Ai. Of course many factors were involved but it doesn’t take away the point that Israel lost, the chosen ones of God. The Apostle Paul is responsible for two thirds of the new testament but even him got an ailment that he asked God to heal three times and got nothing. They are many instances in scripture which supports my hypothesis but the loss or failure should not make one doubt God’s abilities…but rather someone should believe in the expected ending and that all things including those we recognize as failures will work together for our good. His thoughts and his ways are higher and different form ours, he sees things differently but its always for your good.  Stay blessed.

Whats in a brand..?

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Ephesians 4: 1 I, therefore, the prisoner [a]of the Lord, [b]beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,

Acts 11: 26  And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.

 

No one understands branding more than a kid born in Zimbabwe , for we grew up under the impression that toothpaste was Colgate and geisha was the only bathing soap. No one bats an eyelid when someone sends them to buy them mazowe and you bring them Quench because to us mazowe is a drink we dilute . The above statements illustrate the power and effects of brands but what differentiates one product from the other, why does one thing sell and the other doesn’t..whats the pull. On Saturday as I was driving to work I had an epiphany  and understood branding, I passed a certain service station which was selling fuel and they was no queue only to find 10 cars in a queue at a  total garage 100 meters away and was amazed. I searched around for a good definition of  a brand and below is the one I liked, a brand is a unique design, sign ,symbol, words or a combination of these employed in creating an image that identifies a product and differentiates it from the rest. Christianity is a brand which has been franchised to us to use as we traverse the earth but unfortunately for some of us the privileges will be revoked soon. A few years ago Rainbow towers was known as Sheraton hotel but due to depreciating  standards the Sheraton brand could no longer associate with the hotel. They are certain expectations and standards that are pegged to any brand, no wonder Paul tells the people in Ephesus to be wary of the brand of Christ they carry and walk worthy of it lest they bring it to disrepute. I would like to believe the people of Antioch saw the mannerisms of the disciples there to be similar to a brand they knew before ..Christ.. and decided to associate this new breed with it and called them Christians. I beseech you brothers and sisters to be circumspect in our walk with Christ and always be conscious of the fact that we franchised a unique and effective brand and try to abide by the standards that were set by the founder of the brand  when he walked the earth…. the world is comparing brands beloveds , make them choose ours.

 

A logo doesn’t sell directly , it identifies . -Paul Rand

…after God’s own heart part 1

 

 

 

worship

ACTS 13:22 And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’

2KINGS 3:15 But now bring me a musician.”Then it happened, when the musician played, that the hand of the Lord came upon him.

Last month I had the privilege to listen to various preachers and teachers of the law rightfully dividing and dissecting the above scripture to try and make it easier for us to understand what it means to pursue the heart of God and why David is the poster child of someone who sought and found the heart of God. But If they was one man who would have been grieved if he had heard God telling Samuel that he had found David the son of Jesse to be a man after his own heart it would have been Saul and I would have probably taken his side too considering the alternative is to side with a murderer and adulterer. What is it then that distinguished David from his predecessor , since we have already proven that he too wasn’t a righteous man. David beloveds was a man of worship, scripture tells us that he was so talented with harp such that demons fled  when he played not these singers who now play to get applause from people, true worship changes the heart and mindset of those listening. If we worshiped right altar calls would become obsolete because people will be delivered during praise and worship as David used to do for Saul. You need to raise your voice with such dedication and completeness until your worship is one with angels in heaven. Not only was David a great player but an inspired composer too ,  the book of psalms is a living testament to his prowess and dedication to writing songs that gave praise to the father. I believe worshipers are closer to God than any other group of ministry in the body of Christ, because worship  brings down the heaviness of God , case in point is the above scripture whereby Elisha says bring me a musician before he got a word of knowledge from God meaning singing provokes God if done right. They is something about a man who worships God earnestly  that elevates him above his peers , scripture tells us that King Hezekiah extended his life by telling God the grave can not praise you ie how much God loves worship. So brothers and sisters one thing we get and learn from the life of David is that we should be worshipers if indeed we also want to be men after God’s heart…everywhere we are at any time of the day we should be people of praise and only thus can we get the heart / mind of God

Stay blessed

 

….. ..pluck out my eye

1John 2: 16 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.

Gen 3: 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.

Matt 5:29 2If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.

A lot has been written about the eyes being the windows of the soul but today I will go against the tide, Instead of categorizing eyes as revealers of what is in our souls I will categorize them as gateways to the soul of a person with the responsibility to make one pure or evil. What we see is kept in our subconscious mind more often than not and with repeated exposure may become part of our being and character , infarct most sins can be traced back to eyesight. Remember the woman in the garden saw that the fruit was good and desired it and similarly in today’s world all the stealing , rape , jealousy and strife is because of what the eye sees and evokes desire in the mind. Better the world would have been if only men  were blind, talk about small houses , incest and any of the seven deadly sins and you will find out that their root cause was eyesight. That is how sin got into the world in the beginning and that is still how the devil traps us in this day and age. Remember how Jesus was taken to the top of the mountain and shown the world if only he could bow down to the devil. The devil understood what emotions can be evoked just by looking, no wonder they is an influx of porn sites on the internet so as to stimulate young minds at a tender age to indulge. Why else do you think kids are indulging at a younger age if not due to repeated exposure to porn. Even designers of clothes are aware of this fact that is why clothes are becoming tighter and shorter and you question why Paul spake of modest apparel for christian women , he knew that what the eye repeatedly saw it will want eventually.  Lest some of you be confused by the last verse I quoted , I am not looking for zealots to pluck of their eyes so as to remain sin free but I’m simply looking for smart Christians who mind what they see lest what they see leads them to temptation .. so be on guard beloveds such a small organ as the eye may be your undoing..*stay blessed*

….the pride of life

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1John 2: 16  For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.

Gen 3: 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.

Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.

“When you are as great as I am it is very difficult to be humble..” The preceding statement is attributed to Mohamed Ali , one of the greatest boxers to have ever lived and it perfectly illustrates each and everyone’s attitude when success catches up with them. Rather as Christians we should aspire to be more humble the higher we are elevated , why don’t we emulate the forms of address for the clergy in the catholic sect. It seems the higher you are up the order the more reverend you are assumed to be of God not the more you get adulation from peers and followers. At the bottom is the reverend who is in charge a parish , then comes the venerable vicar-general, then the very reverend dean , the right reverend bishop and lastly the most reverend archbishop. As it is in that order so should it be in our lives , success and riches should make us more reverent of the Almighty . But I have to admit that at times it’s not our fault but that of the people around us who continuously find a need to praise and uplift us …remember John refusing to baptize Jesus that day or Peter trying to deny Jesus the opportunity to wash his feet. It is for this reason that the tree with the forbidden fruits was placed in the midst of the garden so that as Adam ruled and subdued other creatures he will always be reminded they is one who is above him. So anytime you start thinking more highly of yourself than you ought to remember the tree. The Bible says when Eve saw that the tree could make them as wise as God she desired it and to be fair to her though who wouldn’t , after all she is not  the first Lucifer tried it before hand , but that is one habit we should learn to cub from our lives… the need to be seen , it’s no wonder many volunteer to preach or to sing but no one shows up for cleaning..we all crave attention instead of being beacons which point to the one who deserves the attention. Before your children went to varsity you brought them for prayers to the priest but now that he has graduated no prayer @ his party you are busy showing people his accolades only. How different are you from Hezekiah who after being healed by God did not show those who came to visit him the clock which God had pushed back nor his body which was nor disease free but rather showed them weapons and stuff as if those where the ones which fought of his illness. Brothers and sisters  in whatever field you are in allow me to remind you of that guy who used to get better grades than you in school but is not a doctor or that pretty girl who is still single and not married or those families breaking apart because of barrenness … all you have is because of  God give him his due , pride cometh before a fall. LUKE 4:25-27  But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land; 26 but to none of them was Elijah sent except to Zarephath,[m] in the region of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.”