Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Movie Review: The Second Chance

Same Faith

Same City

Different Worlds

"Whether you're a believer or not, you can't help but be moved by this film and it's earnest message."

It's interesting seeing how a surburban pastor has to confront his own prejudices in The Second Chance. At his wealthy church The Rock, Ethan Jenkins (Michael W. Smith) brings the congregation to their feet with his amazing music. He certainly is unorthodox and unconventional and this upsets the church elders. They give Ethan a new "assignment": to work for The Rock's sister church in the city's poorest neighbourhood. It's interesting to watch how he relates and joins forces with the brash, street-smart minister (Jeff Obafemi Carr) who knows the folk in the "hood" really well. Gangsters, pregnancy, dealing drugs seems to be the order of the day and young children are driven to that lifestyle in order to survive. It just seems to be the norm. The street-smart minister tries to help the people and speak into their lives although I have to admit that some of his methods are quite abrasive. Ethan's faith is stretched and his loyalty is put to the test to overcome and restore hope in an area desperate for change.

I really like it when he plays the piano in the sister church and livens up the choir, how he realises that the "frills and ornaments" in his home are not as valuable as reaching a young child or those in need, how he makes a stand with his father and his co-pastor to save the sister church from being demolished. All in all, it's an interesting movie and makes me realise yet again that people are important and it's about winning them to Christ.

By Molly Manhanga

Monday, May 30, 2011

God has a purpose for our lives

Stephen Manhanga

Acts 13:36
“For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation fell asleep and was laid with his fathers .......”
1. God had a purpose for David’s life
2. The purpose was for his generation
3. David fulfilled His purpose before he died

God has a purpose for each one of us. Let us fulfil the purpose God has for us. Be obedient to God. Do you know your purpose? You were born for a reason. You are not a mistake or you are not an “accident”. You have a purpose for this generation.
Philippians 3:12 - 14 “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.............But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Has God taken a hold of you? What or who is holding you? Paul says “I am running to take hold of that which God has for me.” People serve many things but few serve the purpose for which God has called them to. Let’s look at Mother Teresa – she went to Calcutta and worked amongst the poor. She knew what her purpose was and she fulfilled that purpose before she died. 92 year old Nelson Mandela has left a legacy of bringing the people of South Africa together. He has fulfilled his purpose. Are you and I fulfilling our purpose?

Characteristics required:
1. We need to be a man or woman of ONE thing. David said in Psalm 27:4 “One thing I have asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.” Paul said in Philippians 3:13 “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead....” Jesus said in Luke 10:41 – 42 “But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”’ Be a man and woman of ONE thing. What are you known for – gossiping, stealing, womanising, praying, caring & visiting the sick, loving children?
2. We need to be a man or woman with zeal – with desire. “One thing I desire of the Lord, that will I seek after....” What do we desire? Are we chasing fantasies? Proverbs 28:19 “Whoever works the land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty.” Proverbs 21:25 “The desire of the sluggard kills him, for his hands refuse to labour.” Even a lazy man has desires.
3. Have an unwavering focus. A focus that doesn’t move – that is stable. It doesn’t matter what comes our way – stand firm. Acts 20:24 “But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”

The purpose of God calls for a sacrifice. Our rewards are in heaven. God is able. Genuinely put Him first. He has a purpose for your life.

By Molly Manhanga

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Africa Day Celebrations and Rest....

Africa day is an annual commemoration of the 1963 founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), presently recognised as the Africa Union (AU). Africans in Africa and all over the world celebrate this day. By all standards, Africa is beautiful, bountiful and full of potential.

May 25th is Africa Day – a public holiday. People celebrate this day in all kinds of ways. Stephen and I got together with Graham and Sarah Giles and headed off to the Hillside Dams in Bulawayo for “brunch”. The scenery was lovely and we sat on a picnic bench overlooking the dam. Many people came to relax at Hillside Dam and quite a few brought their dogs along to take them for a walk.

The scenery and company was excellent and the time we spent there was very restful. It was good particularly for Stephen as he has a 3 day training in Kezi starting tomorrow.

by Molly Manhanga

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Beautiful by Phil Wickham

When Stephen came home last week, he said he had a song to sing for me. I sat in anticipation as he took his guitar and started singing "Beautiful".........It is a Beautiful song. The words are as follows

I see your face in every sunrise
The colours of the morning are inside your eyes
The world awakens in the light of the day
I look up to see the sky and say........
You're beautiful

I see your power in the moonlite night
where planets are in motion and galaxies are bright
We are amazed at the light of the stars
It's all proclaiming who you are..........
You're beautiful

I see you hanging there on a tree
You bled and then you died and then you rose
again for me
Now you are sitting on your heavenly throne
Soon you will be coming home.........
You're beautiful

When we arrive at eternity's shore
where death is just a memory and
tears are no more
We'll enter in as the wedding bells ring
Your bride will come together and we'll sing.........
You're beautiful.........
You're beautiful.........

You're beautiful!

He sang it to the church on Sunday and one can't help but meditate on the beauty of Christ.

Molly Manhanga

Monday, May 23, 2011

"The one God chooses" by Stephen Manhanga

Stephen Manhanga

Stephen shared an excellent message at Crossroads yesterday entitled “The one who God chooses”. The scripture he read was 1 Samuel 16:1 – 13. This is the time when Samuel anoints David. The Lord sees not as man sees. Man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart.

The story we looked at is really interesting and it leads onto how David killed Goliath. God chooses somebody whom he can use whether you’re a man or a woman. Some examples are:
1. Abraham – at 100 years of age, he has a son.
2. Gideon – had 300 soldiers yet they overcame the enemy who had numerous soldiers – too many to count.
3. Ruth – God used her mightily.
4. Esther – God used Esther to save the Nation of Israel.
5. Samson – the strongest man to walk this earth – caught 300 foxes, tied their tails and lit them. Killed 1000 men with the jawbone of a donkey.
6. Moses – a stutterer yet God used him to save his people from Egypt.
7. Rahab- the prostitute: God used her when others thought she wasn’t good for much.

We focused on the 17 year old David and how God chose him to do his work.

Some background: Saul was King at the time and he stood head and shoulders above everyone else. He was handsome. God had chosen Saul to be King but he didn’t follow God with all his heart. He started off well and ended off badly. He went astray because of disobedience. When Samuel went to the house of Jesse, 7 brothers were presented before him although Jesse had 8 sons. God chose David – the youngest to be the next King. David looked rather effeminate but God looks at the heart while man looks at the outward appearance. Although Saul kept his title or position as King, God wasn’t with him.

Stephen leading the church in a song

David was anointed King. He was the one whom God chose. We also notice that David wasn’t lazy. Proverbs 6:6 – 10.
Stephen encouraged the church, especially the young people not to be lazy. David was working until the time he was called before Samuel. Goliath challenged the people of Israel for 40 days. When young David went to see his brothers who were in Saul’s army, he was full of the Spirit. David took on Goliath and killed him. Goliath can be seen to represent the challenges we are facing. God wants us to be hot or cold for him but not lukewarm.

Stephen encouraged the church to raise the bar in terms of how we live. Let us live in a way that glorifies God. David was a man after God’s own heart. Let our hearts be after God.

Budding praise and worship leader, 10 year old Smellinkosi Tshabangu,
Leading the church in a song

By Molly Manhanga

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Update on the Tuckshop

The men have been working real hard last week. They have managed to plaster inside and outside the tuckshop and have cast the floor. They have also put the roofing on.

This week they'll be painting the tuckshop and Mxwayisi Dube and Mbekezele Moyo will be preparing their goods to sell. All looks to be on track for us to open our doors in a weeks time!

By Molly Manhanga

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Witness Of the Fire pt 2

Fervent prayer always precedes the Holy Spirit FIRE.
The disciples of Jesus NEEDED the FIRE of the Holy Spirit in order to carry out The Great Commission.

Shortly after the birth of the Church, men would replace the power of Pentecost with religious rules and traditions of men. It’s tragic to observe the metamorphosis that the Church of 2000 years ago went through. The Apostle Paul said in Galatians 3:1 – 5 “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you: did you receive the spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? Have you suffered so many things in vain – if indeed it was vain? Therefore he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does he do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? –

You can instantly see when someone is full of the Holy Spirit Fire or just going through the motions. This is not some fabricated game but a battle for lost souls that we are involved in. Every soul saved, advances the kingdom of God and is another step forward for the great Commission.

Timidity needs to be replaced with boldness – unashamed fearless and frank confidence. To receive boldness, we need to earnestly pray and press in to save this troubled generation we are living in – like never before. Boldness is that quality of a Christ like person who gets up from his knees and unashamedly confronts anyone with the testimony of Christ.

There are many ways and means to win souls for Jesus. However, prayer must always precede our witness.

The Witness Of the Fire pt 1

In the Old Testament we see the following expression in several places
1. Deuteronomy 4:12 “And the Lord spoke to you out of the midst of the fire. You heard the voice of the words, but saw no form; there was only a voice.”
2. Deuteronomy 4:36 “Out of heaven He let you hear His voice, that He might instruct you; on earth He showed you His great fire, and you heard His words out of the midst of the fire.
3. Deuteronomy 5:24 – 26 “They said, ‘Look, the Lord our God has shown us his glory and greatness, and we have heard his voice from the heart of the fire. Today we have seen that God can speak to us humans, and yet we live! But now, why should we risk death again? If the Lord our God speaks to us again, we will certainly die and be consumed by this awesome fire. Can any living thing hear the voice of the living God from the heart of the fire as we did and yet survive?”

This statement appears specifically in the Book of Deuteronomy, the Book that our Lord Jesus often quoted from during His earthly walk. The fact that the Word of the Lord is associated with FIRE is particularly striking.
That fire is Holy fire and is directly linked to the spirit of God expressing Himself through His word. He confirms his word with fire.

John 1:14 "And the word became flesh and dwelt amonst us, and we beheld His Glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."

Words come short when trying to express the following statement, but God is an all consuming Fire (Hebrews 12:29) When we speak His word it’s like a river of Fire.

We know from the Bible that there is always purpose or intention when it comes to God doing something, for God never does anything without purpose.

In prophetic interpretation, fire can be symbolic of many things. In the context of Pentecost a few weeks from now, we can instantly see the impact and effect that the Fire had on the disciples of Jesus Christ.

Fervent prayer always precedes the Holy Spirit FIRE.

The disciples of Jesus NEEDED the FIRE of the Holy Spirit in order to carry out The Great Commission.

Thought for the day

Ephesians 4:1 - 6

"I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord,

urge you to walk in a manner worthy of

the calling to which you have been called, with

all humility and gentleness with patience

bearing with one another in love, eager

to maintain the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.

There is one body and one spirit - just as you were

called to the one hope that belongs to your call - one Lord,

one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all."

Friday, May 20, 2011

Movie Review: Fireproof


Fireproof is an excellent movie about the power of forgiveness. Caleb (Kirk Cameron)a firman, and his doctor wife Catherine's (Erin Bethea) marriage is in trouble to the point of them wanting a divorce. Caleb wants the repect of his wife while she wants to be listened to and helped with household chores. Although Caleb rescues many people from burning buildings, he is having difficulty rescuing his own marriage until God intervenes.

Caleb's father sends him a tool - the "Love Dare" which is supposed to last for 40 days, with the hope that Caleb and Catherine will be able to save their marriage. It's hard at first but when Caleb has an encounter with God and puts his heart into the "love dare", we see a transformed man. From simply going through the motions, Caleb learns what genuine love is. His attitude and outlook on marriage change. He learns to really love his wife again and she learns to trust him and desires to have what he has i.e. Jesus Christ. It's really inspirational.

This movie just re-inforced for me again that

1. Nothing is impossible with God.

2. The day to day things we do matter.

3. Don't take your spouse for granted.

4. Having prayer support is crucial.

5. Having trusted and genuine friends is important but also having them see things as they really are and speak into one's life for the improvement of the marriage is important.

6. Forgiveness is important.

I like the saying: "A woman is like a rose. If you treat her right, she'll bloom. If you don't, she'll wilt."

Fireproof is a great movie and paves the way for discussion.

by molly manhanga

Thursday, May 19, 2011

God Imitators pt 2

Characteristics of Christlikeness
Paul lists inner attitudes, which are to be manifested outwardly.

1. Compassion – this refers to the inward part of the body, such as the heart, lungs and liver are considered to be the seat of emotions. God was moved with compassion for the lost and dying world. Jesus was moved too with compassion for a dying world that drove him to the cross. If he was so moved with compassion, we too should be moved compassion for the deadness around us. (imitators of Jesus)
2. Compassion is necessity. Matthew 9:36 – 38 “But when he saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary, and scattered like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest truly is plentiful, but the labourers are few.’ Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into His harvest.”

Mark 1:40 – 44
Why was he so moved?
Jesus was moved by the spiritual suffering of the people due to their sin. Romans 5:12. Their sin had caused a separation from God, and spiritual death. He saw them as sheep having no shepherd” Matthew 9:36. There were ravaging wolves all AROUND. Along with spiritual death came physical death and many serious diseases.

Jesus felt compassion for those with physical afflictions. So from the very beginning of his ministry He combined both preaching and healing Matthew 4:23 – 25; 9:35, providing an example for us to follow.

It is not enough to be able to preach and witness; if we re to be like Christ, we need to have our inner being moved with compassion.
Christ continues to serve as our sympathetic high priest Hebrews 4:15 (Our advocate) helping us face death or any sickness or trial leading to it, or sin that ensnares us. We will ultimately receive a new, resurrected body and at last be freed from the wages of sin.
V36 says, weary, scattered, harassed and helpless “because they fainted.” The Greek literally means to skin, beat or slash, tear, cut; it occurs in this form only here.
Jesus came however, as the true Saviour and good shepherd. John 10:11

Mercy is to accompany compassion
Mercy is not giving you what you actually deserve (death)
Grace is giving you what you don’t deserve (Life)
Mercy is the outward manifestation of the inner feeling of compassion.
• Kindness – Paul instructs us to adopt kindness and this word may also be translated as goodness or gentleness.
• Humility – It means to consider ourselves as being lowly.
• Meekness – This can also mean gentleness.
• Long-suffering – We must never give up on anybody because if God had given up on us, where would we be?
• Bearing with one another – In the Greek it literally says, “up” – “to uphold”
• One another – This means even our enemies. Matthew 5:43 – 45
• Forgive each other “even as Christ forgave you”

Walk in love, light and wisdom. John 8:32
Goal: that the work of the devil might be destroyed. I John 3:8 – 9 “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.”

Matthew 5:48
“Be perfect, therefore as your heavenly father is perfect.”
Psalm 138:8 “The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; your mercy, O Lord, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of your hands.”
Philippians 1:6 – 7 “....Being confident of this very thing, that He who begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
1 John 2:5 – 6 “But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in him. He who says he abides in him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.”

We have a goal........
Being Christlike to others

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

God Imitators

“The church today is raising a whole generation of mules. They know how to sweat and to work hard but they don’t know how to reproduce themselves.”

Our real job is to go into the world and “reproduce ourselves” by making disciples of others. Matthew 28:18 – 20. Our message must come from our actions. Affect others with your life or rather the life of Jesus in you.

Is our Christianity contagious?
The only way we know how to do this is to be imitators of God. Ephesians 5:1 – 2 “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children and walk in love, as Christ also loved us and given himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.”
Live a life filled with love
Live a life of love
Live in love, as Christ also loved us.

1 John 4:16 “And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and god in him.”
• Jesus is the express image of the Father. Colossians 1:15
• Servanthood Jesus says we should do as He did.
1 John 4:16 “If I then, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one anothers feet. For I have given you an example that you should do as I have done to you.”
• Paul says that we should imitate him 1 Corinthians 11:1, 1 Corinthians 4:16
• We need to be able to say the same and make disciples of Christlikeness

Characteristics of Christlikeness
Colossians 3:12 – 17
“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
• Recognise who you ARE in CHRIST.
• Paul states that, “as the elect of God,” we are both “holy and beloved.”
• We are beloved of God and, therefore, should continue to reflect His love.
• We should always make every effort to act as a chosen one. Paul tells us to clothe ourselves with (put on) these qualities in order to glorify God. The verb “clothe”, indicates that it is a decisive act that we must engage in after we are saved.

Read more on God Imitators....

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

COSMOS at Crossroads

A team of 6 doctors and nurses from Australia, came to serve the Mablauwuni Community on May 2nd. They arrived at Crossroads at 7:00am to set up and started seeing patients at 9:00am. They had devotions first before attending to the patients. The team comprised of 2 men and 4 ladies.

60 people were seated and waiting to be seen but as the day progressed, more and more people from the community arrived. In total, the doctors and nurses saw about 200 patients.

The triage table was set up to determine the ailment of the patient and whether they should see the doctor or be attended to by a nurse. The majority of patients were women and the least were children. The most common ailments were chest & back pain while the children suffered from scabies.

Although the medical outreach finished at 6:00pm, not all the patients were seen. They needed to head to Ebenezer the next day where the doctors would spend time with the apprentices. All in all, it was an excellent outreach.

By Molly Manhanga

Graham Giles at Crossroads pt 2

Graham Giles

We have no idea of the impact we have on others when we are obedient to Jesus. When God calls us to do something we need to respond in faith and do it. God will use it to bless others. God is doing a work amongst us.
Jesus told Judas Iscariot to ‘leave Mary alone.’ He defends us when we respond to him. Step out in faith and believe God.

The Chief Priests in the meantime made plans to kill Lazarus and Jesus. Jesus comes into town, does something amazing and the leaders of the day want to kill him. It’s our sinful nature.
When Jesus was crucified on the cross, he became our Passover. God allowed Jesus to go through all that. He allowed the circumstances to happen. God loves us so much that he gave Jesus for you and me. Jesus washes us in his blood – which removes sin and stain – and we become His child.

Graham waiting for Mxwayisi to finish translating

No matter what circumstance we find ourselves in, Jesus will see us through. He is the author and finisher of our faith. What do we believe? Do we believe Jesus or our ancestors?
What kind of person or character are you?
Martha – busy serving?
Judas Iscariot – ulterior motives
Mary – loved Jesus and was devoted to him. Love and devotion is amazing!

Jesus is asking today that we give our lives to him.

All good from Graham!

by Molly Manhanga

Graham Giles at Crossroads

Graham Giles

It was wonderful having Graham and his lovely wife Sarah at Crossroads this Sunday. They attend New Creation Church in Bulawayo led by Mbonisi and Tashinga Malaba. We also had Mpi and Rumbi Ndebele who fellowship at New Creation Church. Graham shared a story from the Bible:

John 12:1 – 11.

Every story has characters. Every story we share has other people involved. The characters in this story are Jesus, Lazarus, Martha, Mary, Judas Iscariot and the Chief Priests. What was going on?

It was 6 days before the Passover. Exodus 12:1 – 14 and the Lord was speaking to Moses and Aaron...... v 13 ....”When I see the blood, I will pass over you....” God wanted to save the people of Israel and wanted to bring judgement on Egypt.
John 1 – John is with the disciples and he looks out and sees Jesus coming. He says “Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”

Graham and his lovely wife Sarah

Jesus arrives in Bethany at the house where Lazarus lives. Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead and this is an amazing miracle. Jesus himself was crucified, died and was buried. But, on the third day he rose again and is very much alive. If Jesus isn’t alive today, we are wasting our time.

Martha was very busy serving.......

Mary opened the expensive bottle of perfume and poured it on Jesus feet. She wasn’t counting the cost but was responding to what she needed to do. She didn’t realise the full implication. Judas Iscariot’s response was very negative. Jesus speaks up and defends Mary. He knew he was going to die on the cross and Mary was doing what she felt she needed to do. We have no idea of the impact we have on others when we are obedient to Jesus. When God calls us to do something we need to respond in faith and do it. God will use it to bless others. God is doing a work amongst us.

Read more on what Graham Giles shared at Crossroads.......

Compiled by Molly Manhanga

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mighty Men's Conference pt 3

Theme: Being Transformed by His love

Recovering the weapons of our warfare

Take your sword with you.
Romans 8:11 “And if the spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his spirit, who lives in you.”
We need the Holy Spirit

We are so busy. We need the peace and quiet. Jesus went up the mountain. You need to spend time with God. John Wesley on time: Be passionate about your time. Take your sword and memorize it. He stood on time before the Queen “Thank you your majesty. I have to go and meet my King.” He spent a minimum of 5 hours in prayer. Change your trade. Give the holy spirit full permission

Isaiah 26:19 “But your dead will live; their bodies will rise.You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy. Your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to the dead.”
Do not offend the Holy Spirit. We need to pray before we go.
Matthew 12:30 “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.”
He has not given to us a spirit of fear, but of love, power and of a sound mind.
1 Corinthians 6:14 “By his power, God raised Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also.”
Jesus said “Peace, be still.” Do not abuse the Holy Spirit.
After the Holy Spirit came upon Peter, he witnessed and 3000 got saved. They will see it in your eyes.

2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.”
Job – as farmer, trusted God
Job 13:15 “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face.”
Lived 140 years

What does He want from us?
1. He wants faith: believe He is alive. The nation can be changed around.
2. People don’t need to like you but they must respect you.
3. Allow the Holy Spirit to shape you. Have the power of the Holy Spirit. On Mt Carmel, 350 prophets of satan were killed.

Romans 10:17 “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”

You need to know who you are in the Lord.
This is our time. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Abraham was known as a friend of God. Not because he was a good man, but because he had faith.
James 2:23 “And the scripture was fulfilled that says, ’Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,’ and he was called God’s friend.”
Romans 4:20 “Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God.”
Mt Moriah – he had faith. God can even raise him from the ashes.
Genesis 18:14 “Is there anything too hard for God.”

Summarised by Molly Manhanga

The Van Der Westhuizen's at Crossroads pt 4

5 reasons why it is important to read the Bible....
1. SOAP – Soap cleans us. When the Bible comes into my heart it changes the way I think. It cleans me from wrong attitudes, thoughts and lifestyle.
2. FOOD – Jeremiah said he eats the word. You can’t eat the Bible literally but the contents are food. Eat the contents of the word.
3. LIGHT – The word is like a lamp unto my feet. It’s a constant light that shows us the way so I can see and understand.
4. MANUAL – The Bible is a manual for life. If we don’t know how to live or what to do, go back to the Bible – the manual.
5. LETTER – The Bible is God’s letter to us. We read his thoughts in this letter. Sit and read God’s word.

We have the most important book in the world. Let’s make it important in our lives. Let’s enjoy Jesus in our lives and through the word. We’ll never be the same if we read the Bible. When we are confused, tired, weary, read and eat the food of the word.

Summarized by Molly Manhanga

Gardening Delights

Garden in my back yard

Since January this year, I’ve taken up gardening as a new hobby. It is really relaxing and I can attempt to get creative in my garden. I simply love planting flowers from seed or bulb stage and watching them grow. I’ve actually gone a little gardening crazy!

So far, I’ve planted Gladioli mixed, African Daisy mixed colours, Calendula, Sweet Pea, Anemone De Caen, Crocosmia Emily McKenzie, Crocosmia Masonorum, Gladiolus Callianthus and gladioli dwarf mixed – amongst others. They are doing pretty well considering that we are in our winter season here in Zimbabwe. I’ll be transplanting some seedlings in the next week or so.

I’m hoping for a bright, colourful garden in the summer. I still have quite a way to go as my garden is quite large. I’ve been told that I’ll make “mistakes” with plant varieties but that’s fine – I’ll learn as I go along and I’ll ask those who know better. Flowers, here I come....

Let’s see what happens in the next 3 months.......

By Molly Manhanga

Crossroads Tuckshop

There is much excitement at the moment about the Crossroads Tuckshop which will serve the Mablauwuni community. Many people are thinking of the much shorter distance they'd have to walk to buy basic commodities. Some of the basics in demand are cooking oil, salt, sugar, candles, sweets, stationary, excercise books, matches and so on.

The Tuckshop is now at roof level and if all goes well, we hope to open doors in two weeks time.

Pretty exciting!

By Molly Manhanga

Shattering your strongholds pt 3

We have learnt binding to TRUTH and now Loosing from Strongholds.
1. Memories that are painful Satan brings them often
2 CORINTHIANS 10:3-5 "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ."
2. Surrendering old natures. Need the HOLY SPIRIT to crucify the flesh. E.g. giving up smoking and failing=temporary. If you use the keys of the kingdom = permanent
Old attitudes ( mental reaction), we need Galatians 5: the fruit of the spirit: Galations 5v22: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
3. Wrong pattern of thinking: a mould whether you put Jelly, metal or plastic the cast is the same
4. Wrong mind sets: - nearly everything said is a put down
5. Dog bites
6. Self hatred, mutilation, destruction, deception, bulimia
Layering following trauma
7. Unmet needs escalate into forceful, destructive drives that aggressively demand fulfilment
8. Wrong beliefs
9. Wrong habits, behaviours
10. Unforgiveness
11. Anger
12. Pride, lies, murder
13. Revenge
14. Hatred

Philippians 2v5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus
• Release misconceptions
• Make room for differences
• Loose wrong attitudes, word curses
• Generational bondage

JUDE 22-23
: Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.
Be merciful to those who doubt; =EASY
2nd part difficult. We need to snatch our brothers from the fire of Satan because they are not willing. Why not? They do not know any better. They would if they knew they are in shark infested waters.
John 3v16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
BIND whoever’s will to the will of Christ. Picture the baby again kicking and fussing on mum’s back.
Therefore get on your knees and CHANGE LIVES

You have the keys to:
1. Reverse parental curses
2. Pray behind their backs
3. Authority to pray for Governments
4. Bind all to the will of Christ

Shattering your strongholds pt 2

Matthew 16V19
I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be[d] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[e] loosed in heaven.”

Matthew 18V18
“Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."

The keys: Permission, Authority, Ability to enter and transact
bind: in bonds, knit, fasten, tie and wind
whatever: Big word

BINDING: 2 kinds:
1. Imprisons and chains
2. Holds and heals – Proverbs 3v3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
Isaiah 61v1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners..."

Bind your will thoughts etc to the will of God. “Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” i.e. to TRUTH

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Shattering your strongholds pt 1

• All believers have equal opportunities to receive whatever the bible promises.
• The difference is how much capacity/room do we have to receive?
2 Corinthians 10:3-5"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ."

Everyone has Strongholds(From material by Bruce Wilkinson)

Characteristics of Strongholds:
1. The stronghold exists in the person's MIND (the stronghold is a lie)
2. The stronghold is deceitfully hidden from the person's awareness.
3. The stronghold has existed for considerable time.
4. The stronghold has tempted the person to sin repeatedly.
5. The stronghold repeatedly overpowers the person, creating hopelessness.
6. The stronghold has many intellectual and emotional defenses.
7. The stronghold is actively and aggressively opposed to God and His truth.
Romans 6:16 "Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey."

Understanding Strongholds
May have developed to enable one to survive a difficult situation.
They also provide access to the enemy’s assaults
Protect: bad attitude, habits, wrong beliefs, behaviours, wrong patterns of thinking.
We become so reliant on these as opposed to the WORD.

• Deceived by people we trust
• Rejection i.e. wounded souls: become self sufficient, needing no one
• A lot of unmet needs: keep fragility at bay, including God. Am not weak or do not need religion as a crutch.
• Hurt: God does not expect me to forgive because its unjust
• Betrayal: no one should get close, not even God’s perfect love
• Chaotic childhood: build boundaries around yourself
• Deprived/ unappreciated: gives me the right to indulge now in anything to chemically alter my brain. e.g Drugs, sex alcohol etc
• Fear, anxiety

All the above result in DENIAL which is a survival tactic.
Becomes an area for demonic harassment. Rather close that door as opposed to deliverance. Ask for discernment to know the difference.

John 10:10-11”The thief (Satan) comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (Abundant Life). I am the good shepherd ..."

Friday, May 13, 2011

Clothes distribution at Crossroads

It's awsome being able to bless the church and the community with "new" clothes. They are so appreciative of whatever they receive. Thank you to everyone who has donated clothes to Crossroads.

By Molly Manhanga

Movie Review: Come What May

When does life really begin? Come What May is a movie about doing the right thing – a court case type movie. “People believe what they choose to. You need to believe the truth. What you believe determines what you do.” Do the right thing come what may. We need to stand up for what we believe. If college student Caleb Hogan argues what he truly believes, he may lose the support of his mother and if he doesn’t, he may lose the support of a young lady who has won his heart. Caleb’s mother prepares for a high profile abortion case while Caleb is pro-life. Choosing what is right is never easy.

Psalm 139:13 “For you created my inmost being: you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”

The movie portrays some excellent values
1. Does work come before family life or date nights? Is it worth it? We need to know the difference between what is urgent and what is critical.
2. There are high standards in the relationship between Caleb and Rachael. It’s a relationship with boundaries.
3. The words don’t compromise, stand firm and do what is right ring true. I asked myself if I would be able to stand firm or stand alone and do what is right even if it’s against all odds and my answer is YES, I would. Some things that look right may not necessarily be right. Living in God’s righteousness needs to guide our whole life.

Although Caleb lost his argument, he did the right thing. It’s always worth doing the right thing even if you lose.
“If you don’t believe your wife is precious,
you won’t cherish her.
If you don’t believe that love is best when it’s pure and new,
You won’t wait patiently for it.
If you don’t believe the baby in the womb is the handiwork of God,
You’ll do nothing to protect it.
What do you believe?”

It’s a thought provoking, interesting movie. I really like the values and standards that are set AND, the whole family can watch it.

By Molly Manhanga

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Van Der Westhuizen's at Crossroads pt 3

Wessie and Brilliant

The Importance of reading The Bible

It’s important for us to read the Bible. We learn about God and see how He works. The Bible is full of men who tell their thoughts on the Bible.

Joshua 23:1 – 6
Follow the Law of Moses (the Pentateuch) which is the first 5 books of the Bible. These books are Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. They had 5 books to read and we have 66 books to read and learn from.

Nehemiah 8:1 – 3 “...all the men assembled as one man in the square before the Water Gate. They told Ezra the scribe to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded for Israel. So on the first day of the seventh month Ezra the Priest brought the Law before the assembly, which was made up of men and women and all who were able to understand. He read it aloud from daybreak till noon as he faced the square before the Water gate in the presence of the men, women and others who could understand. And all the people listened attentively.”
Wessie encouraged the church to get together and read the word.

Psalm 119:18 “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.”

Jeremiah 15:16 “When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my hearts delight, for I bear your name, O Lord God Almighty.” Jeremiah said the word brings joy to his heart. He understands the value of the word.

1 Thessalonians 2:13 “And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.” Paul is writing to the believers in Thessalonica saying that he is so happy that they received the word of god. God has preserved the word for you and me – to study and know him. It is a precious book.

Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” The word of God is powerful. It brings light to the soul. If this is what the Bible says about the Bible, then how important it should be for you and me.

How desperate am I for God? How much attention am I giving to the word?

Read more on 5 reasons why the Bible is important to us.

Summarised by Molly Manhanga

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Book Review: Approval Addiction by Joyce Meyer

My close friend Carol Taylor lent me 12 books with the words “This should keep you going for a while.” They definitely will keep me going as I have 2 on the go already.

I enjoy Joyce Meyer’s books so when I saw “Approval Addiction” in the pile, I just had to read it first. It’s really good and deals with real, practical heart issues. The book is reader friendly – an easy read.

Joyce Meyer expounds on what an “approval addict” is and gives insight on how to be released from these character traits. God gives all the affirmation anyone needs and through Him, we can attain freedom.

Some quotable quotes from the book:
1. Knowing who we are in Christ sets us free from the need to impress others.
2. Look to God for what you need, not to people.
3. Prayer releases power into our lives.
4. The ability to forgive requires an attitude of humility.
5. We need each other.
6. Jesus desires that you feel whole, complete and satisfied

Compiled by Molly Manhanga

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Van Der Westhuizen's at Crossroads pt 2

Wessie and Brilliant

Wessie spoke about the importance of the Bible and started by giving some facts... He then went on to share some stories from the Bible or should I say strange stories and encouraged the Church to read their Bibles.

1. Genesis 5 speaks about a man who grew very old. Infact, he was the oldest man in the Bible. His name was Methuselah and he lived to be 969 years.
2. In Exodus 17, there was a battle and the only way to overcome the enemy was for a man to keep his hands raised. This man was Moses and God told him to keephis hands raised.
3. Numbers 22 we find a man speaking and then a donkey speaking back to him.
4. In Deuteronomy 3:11 we read about a giant whose bed was 4m long and 2m wide.
5. Joshua 10:13 speaks about the sun and the moon standing still the whole day.
6. Judges 7:5 tells us that when the men went to drink water, they lapped it up. (The way animals do)
7. In Judges 20 we read about an army of 700 people who were all left-handed. It’s unusual!
8. There is another story about a man who cut his hair once a year and the weight of his hair was 2.5kg.
9. There was a dying man who prayed and God gave him 15 more years.
10. In Isaiah 38 we read about the sun going backwards. (In Zimbabwe, the sun rises in the East and sets in the West. Imagine it going backwards!)

Summarised by Molly Manhanga

The Van Der Westhuizen's at Crossroads pt 1

Wessie Van Der Westhuizen (Right) & Brilliant Khoza (Left)

It was just excellent having Jacobus, better known as Wessie and his lovely wife Somien, come and share God’s word at Crossroads. Wessie and his family moved to Zimbabwe from South Africa in January 2010 and have settled really well in Bulawayo. Wessie heads up Operation Trumpet Call. He works with churches and farmers across Zimbabwe. He attends The Rock Church with his family. He is fun to be around and has a wonderful way with people. Wessie spoke about the importance of the Bible:

Some facts about and from the Bible
1. The Bible is the number one book in the world – it’s the most read book and most owned book.
2. The bible has been divided into two books – the New and Old Testaments. The Old Testament is incomplete without the New Testament and the New Testament cannot be understood without the Old Testament.
18: Mahershalalhashbaz – it’s the longest word in the Bible.
27. There are 27 books in the New Testament.
39. There are 39 books in the Old Testament.
40. 40 people wrote the Bible over a period of 1,600years (39 were Jews and 1 was a Gentile: Luke.)
70. If you read from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22 without stopping, it will take 70 hours.
1,200. The total number of languages the Bible has been translated into.
1,260. There are 1,260 promises in the Bible from God to you and me.
1228. The year 1228 was the first time the Bible was divided into chapters.
1551. This was the year the Bible was prepared in chapters and verses.
150,000,000. Every year 150 million Bibles are sold.

Wessie and Somien

People are interested in the Bible. There are over 4 billion Bibles in the world and this speaks of one thing – the Bible is an important book. People want to know more about God, His thoughts & His plans towards us. It’s important to love the word.

Summarised by Molly Manhanga

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mighty Men's Conference pt 2

Theme: Being transformed by His love

Psalm 23
Are you going to do it on your own or God’s way?

Transformed. What does it mean? It’s a marked change in form or appearance.
You cannot serve two masters.

Revelation 3:16
You are either ice cold or red hot but not luke warm.

Be a man of vision. The devil is a liar. Jesus declared “it is finished.” Don’t lose your self confidence. God doesn’t make junk. You are made in the image of God.

Men are coming from different parts of the world to meet God. In Paarl the temperature was 47 degrees while in the Karoo it was -3 degrees. God wants to change you. Even in the cold, God is doing something.

Acts 9:1 – 22
We make it hard for people to come to God. At times we tend to be religious and have a set of rules.
” Love the Lord God with all your heart and live as you please.” If you love God with all your heart, you’ll want to please Him. It’s the Holy Spirit that convicts. Good works don’t save us.

“Believers go to heaven, not good men.”

Why are you doing this? Why are you at the Mighty Men’s Conference? Why do you do what you do? In 2003, God spoke to Angus and said that he loved the work more than he loved God. God said that Angus had lost his first love and told him to cancel all his programmes. It was during this time that God said that Angus should mentor men and that’s how the Mighty men’s Conferences was born. It’s transforming.

How big is God? He is as big as you allow him to be.
V10: God is choosing vessels of him today. Be transformed. The story was then told of Lucky Mzimande which can be likened to Saul’s experience on the Damascus Road. Lucky wasn’t on the road to Damascus but on his way to meet Jesus. This is a divine appointment and starts with you in your own home, family etc.
John Wesley was based at City Church London and he travelled 225,000 miles on horse preaching the word. He went to preach to the Red Indians in America and no one got saved. He moved back to England and God got a hold of him. We need direction and vision.

Angus is 63 turning 64 years this year and he is busier than ever before. Angus was born again on 18th February 1974.

2 Chronicles 16:8

Put the past behind us. You never win in the first half but in the second half i.e. It’s not how you start but how you finish. It’s about a relationship – the power of a personal testimony. When Jesus was being crucified, Simon Peter was the first to run. We need to be transformed and get back in the race; get back in the saddle; learn to forgive.
Galatians 2:20

We were crucified with Christ. Don’t worry or care what people think about you. God hasn’t changed the game plan. He wants you to be a great husband, father, leader etc.

You cannot go home the same way you came.
Romans 10:9

Summarised by Molly Manhanga

Friday, May 6, 2011

Thought for the day

"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith"

Hebrews 12:2

"A broken focus means broken strength.

Whatever you focus on will influence the direction

your life will go. Focus on Christ and eternal realities

and you will have the strength to endure."

Footprints In The Sand

Recently I took a walk on Ponte Vedra beach, traveling at a brisk pace. A jogger breezed by me, saying a friendly “hello." Behind me were two elderly folks, ambling along.

The footprints in the sand captured my attention, and I noticed a visible difference in the three sets. The jogger’s feet hit the sand the hardest, leaving the deepest imprints. My footprints made a shallow impression, and the strolling couple- almost no marks at all.

The depth of the print did not matter, for when the waves washed over it and the sand was once more exposed, all the marks were washed away. When we take our walk on the beach of life our pace is immaterial. We may travel fast, slow or in between; but the most important fact is the direction we are headed. Is the path we are on taking us on a life long journey that Jesus would have us travel? Is our goal set on Heavenly matters?

I believe each Christian has spurts of spiritual energy, times to pace ourselves, and times of almost inactivity- a time of spiritual replenishing and refilling. In the same manner as the waves washed away the footprints, so the shed blood of Jesus washed over each believer to erase the sin print in our life. God has given us this wonderful promise in His written Word: "But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin." (1 John 1:7 NKJV)

Thank you, Lord that you love us unconditionally. We may be moving in the fast track, at a snail’s pace or somewhere inbetween in our service to You. We know your hands of love and compassion enfold us no matter my speed. Thank you for allowing Jesus to shed His precious blood so our sins would be washed away.

Mighty Men's Conference pt 1

Theme: Being Transformed by His love

“How Great is our God?
Sing with me how Great is our God
And all will see How Great, how Great
Is our God.”

They showed a video of people overcoming fear and Stephen felt that at Crossroads, we’ll probably have a drum and burn all charms etc and free people from fear. We need to put our trust in Jesus. Look to the cross. Walk by faith, not by sight.

“Jesus, name above all names
Beautiful Saviour, glorious Lord.
Emmanuel, God is with us......”

Moses was called by God into the desert – into the wilderness to meet with God, to see Him, to listen to Him, to learn from Him and to experience Him. In the barrenness, quietness, draw from Him, wait on Him, seek His face and seek Him with all your heart. Trust in Him; rely on Him to provide all your needs and your hearts desire.

The love of God restores – John the Baptist (The Lamb of God who has come to restore the world.)

summarised by Molly Manhanga

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Submit to one another

Man is meant to be in submission to Christ as well as love his wife and the woman is supposed to be in submission to Christ as she submits to her husband who carries a delegated authority for the sake of God's will in the home.

Where God's spirit has a free reign, they will both be in submission to one another in the fear of the Lord (Ephesians 5:21). Philippians 2:6 - 8 also shows Jesus in submission to the Father. This picture shows the redemptive process going on within marriage. When the husband and wife come into alignment with Christ's love andsacrifice, the dominion mandate will be fully restored. The woman's influence will bring alot of good to the man's life and the love of the man will minister security to the woman to enhance her and help her to be all God wants her to be.

"Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband." Ephesians 5:33

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Seeing things as they are

Toilets at Crossroads

With the Kidz Block now complete, we are working on building a small tuck shop at Crossroads which would serve the community with basic toiletries and food items. It will also be an outlet for Ebenezer Agricultural Training Centre to sell their excess produce. At the moment, people need to walk about 10km to the nearest shop. We are hoping Mbekezele Moyo and Mxwayisi Dube will do an outstanding job of serving the community through the Crossrods Tuck Shop.

The small outside kitchen which was one of the first buildings to go up in 2009, is needing some renovations. Seems like too much thatching grass was put on the roof and the building wasn't done as well as we thought, resulting in cracks in the pillars. It's still a learning curve for us.

Tuckshop going up

The toilets were painted recently thanks to Mark and Lesley Absolom and Gateway Church Poole. They looking posh in our community.

There is still much to be done but we thank God continuously for His grace, provision and love towards us.

By Molly Manhanga

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

On A High

Both Stephen and I had an excellent few days in South Africa. Stephen went to the Mighty Men's Conference in Middleburg, Karoo and has come back pumped and full of life - with much to share while I had a wonderful "girls" time with my friend Carol Taylor in Boskruin, Joburg.

Stephen was so blessed by being together with about 12,000 other men and listening to Angus Buchan preach. Stay tuned as I'll jot a few notes on what was said....... Amongst all this spiritual high, I understand that the Karoo was COLD and Stephen really doesn't like the cold. I guess this was a challenge for him. Both Steve and John Guy Taylor went to the nearest town about 30km from their camping venue, to buy gloves and beanies. They came back to tell us "girls" of how wonderful their camping "rig" was and how they had so many admirers. Seems like some of the men carried small T.V's to watch the Royal Wedding and a rugby match between The Stormers and The Sharks. I just love seeing Steve so fired up for God and I so enjoyed listening to all the stories of what God is doing in people's lives.

Apart from watching the Royal Wedding with a group of wonderful ladies, we went out to watch a movie called "From Prada to Nada" i.e. from riches to rags. It was interesting being in a movie theatre, eating popcorn and drinking a slush puppy....after such a long time. Walking though Clear Water Mall, window shopping was good. I really like that mall. Sunday was just superb. I attended 2 services - both totally different - one on Pornography - the scourge in the church today (I had no idea it was so huge. I feel as though we are so sheltered in Kezi but then again, we have our own struggles to contend with) and the other was a spirit-filled service - worshipping God, miracles being done, healings, deliverance's, demon manifestations and so on. I was blown away - totally in awe of God. He is so good.

Back home now, Stephen and I are still both on a high and it is wonderful......

By Molly Manhanga