Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Thought for the day

Having just spent 2 days with COSMOS - a team of christian doctors and nurses from Australia who were holding a medical outreach at Crossroads, and seeing the many sick people - some seriously ill, from in and around Mablauwuni community come to the outreach with the hope of getting better, receiving good news about their health, being reassured, comforted, strengthened and receive medication etc, I thought of 2 Corinthians 4:16 & 18 "Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.......while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal."
I too haven't been feeling great for the past 3 weeks or so (I caught the cold and cough thats been going around after visiting someone who was sick) and I was attended to by one of the doctors. It was easy giving my medical history because I'm generally a pretty healthy person. The doctor was able to give me the medication I needed and pray for me. I felt great being attended to by a professional, being reassured and given words of encouragement.
The prayer however, made me realise again that life and hope is found in Jesus Christ and that things which are not seen are eternal.

Psalm 103:3 It's the Lord "..........., who heals all your diseases,..."

Ecclesiates 3:1 - 2a "To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die....."

By Molly Manhanga

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Medical Outreach at Crossroads pt 2

Dr Jeremy looking rather serious!

Stephen Dewing (far left) preping the patients on how the clinic will run

Early birds! The community were seated early waiting to be seen by the doctors and nurses.

Medical Outreach at Crossroads

We've had an excellent 2 days at Crossroads with a team of christian doctors and nurses from Australia. The community medical outreach was well attended. It started at 9:00am and ended at 4:30pm. There was a steady flow of people who went to the triage table before going either to the nurses or the doctors. Dr's Jeremy and Clif were amazing in the way they handled their patients and dispensed medicines. 140 people were seen on the first day and slightly less were attended to today.

The community have been blessed by the outreach and as we continue to build relationship with the Aussie COSMOS team, we hope they will continue coming to Zimbabwe twice a year and serving at Crossroads.

I was so inspired watching the team in action and seeing how receptive people were to being prayed for. Stephen Dewing - the team leader, was brilliant as he did his "tricks" and captured peoples attention. His main aim was to share the gospel which was well received.

We look forward to the teams visit early next year.

By Molly Manhanga

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Thought for the week......

Ephesians 6:10 – 18

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints –

Friday, August 19, 2011

Thought for the day: Liberty

Hebrews 12:1 – 2 “Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.”

Have you ever seen a runner, racing to win, run carrying a backpack? No! The weight of the bag would make running efficiently and effectively difficult. When we train, we train to win. Our desire to run the best race will affect what we eat and drink and how much time we sleep and manage our time. Things that don’t enhance our technique and speed have to go. When it’s time for the race, crowds watch and teammates are there to cheer you on.

In Christ we’ve been called to run a wonderful race – a race to pursue His presence and His purposes. Sin keep us from being able to run that race the way God intended. Fear, shame, immorality, anger and jealousy weigh us down and hinder us from having all God has prepared for us. Christ, in His own hour of need, looked to the finish line of heaven with His eyes fixed on the reward of His suffering – his bride – and was able to endure and fulfil what He was sent to do. Let us follow His example and turn away from any vice which keeps us from running well. In this we shall experience true liberty! Let’s run the race with perseverance. Jesus Himself sits among the great crowd cheering for us.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Advancing God's Kingdom on earth pt 1

God is building His Kingdom in us.
Psalm107:20 “He sent out His word and healed them, snatching them from the door of death.” God will use the avenue of His word to heal us. God’s word heals us from insecurities, fears, our past experiences, broken hearted, ingratitude, insensitivity and so on. Let’s take time to celebrate God’s word and receive it with meekness.

We are kingdom agents. Matthew 6:9 - 13 – the Lords prayer – “Let your Kingdom come, let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” We are to advance God’s kingdom here on earth.
Psalm 103:19 “The Lord has made the heavens his throne; from there he rules everything.”
Psalm 110:1 – 3 “The Lord said to my Lord, Sit in the place of honour at my right hand until I humble your enemies, making them a footstool under your feet. The Lord will extend your powerful kingdom from Jerusalem, you will rule over your enemies. When you go to war, your people will serve you willingly. You are arrayed in holy garments, and your strength will be renewed each day like the morning dew.”
Heaven is the throne of God while earth is His footstool.
God uses people that avail themselves to him.

Matthew 10:12 “When you enter the home, give it your blessing.” There are some dimensions of the Kingdom that you need to press into.
Psalm 115:16 “The heavens belong to the Lord, but he has given the earth to all humanity.” Adam was given dominion – authority over the earth –to keep it, to cultivate it – but, he was disobedient. If we look at the enemy trying to tempt Jesus, we see Jesus response “It is written...” and that he will not bow down to the enemy. Let’s learn from the wisdom of Jesus. Whoever owns you owns everything you’ve got. As Christians, we need to change our mentality. We cannot serve both God and mammon. Only God’s blessing can makes one rich and adds no sorrow.

God’s master plan is to redeem man back to himself. Jesus Christ came as the way back to the father. He is The way, The Truth and The Life. Man is vital in God’s master plan.
Romans 6:14 – 17
John 8:34 & 36
When the Son sets you free, you are free indeed.

Read More....

Compiled by Molly Manhanga

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Soon and very soon by Steve Manhanga

Text: 11 Timothy 3:1 – 17
These are the last days. Paul warned Timothy that people would be lovers of money, lovers of themselves, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of god and having a form of Godliness but denying its power. He says, have nothing to do with them.
Stephen explained the meaning of each of these words.

Jannes and Jambles opposed Moses.

Paul urges Timothy to prepare for persecutions. How do we overcome and advance despite challenges?
1. Continue in what you have learnt
2. Continue in what you have become convinced of.
3. Continue to be fed and grounded in the word. Timothy had the examples of his grandmother Phoebe and his mother Lois

V16: All scripture is God breathed and is useful for
a) Teaching
b) Rebuking
c) Correcting
d) Training in righteousness

So that we may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Movie Review: The Sound of Music

I was in one of those moods recently where I wanted to watch something timeless, something that didn’t stir up raw emotion, something nice and relaxing, with a bit of humour. As I looked through our DVD collection, I “stopped” at the Sound of Music. Yes, I’ve watched it many times before and directed it as a school play. It sure is a timeless classic, nice and for the whole family.

I enjoy Maria, played by Julie Andrews. Her “free spirit” and ability to enjoy life is great. I love the open space - the hills, the von Trapp children swinging in trees and toppling over in the canoe with joy at seeing their dad – Captain von Trapp. I really like all the fun they have. I’m amazed at Captain von Trapp’s (played by Christopher Plummer) autocratic and strict style of running his household. Poor children! Lining up to the sound of a whistle! I love how everything changes when music and laughter are brought into the von Trapp home by Maria. I love the romance that develops between Maria and Captain von Trapp. I’m a sucker for that - The language of love being expressed in ways other than the obvious......

As you can see, I really enjoyed watching the movie and singing along to those timeless songs. This true-life story is wonderful. Go on – watch it and enjoy its timeless beauty.

By Molly Manhanga

For such a time as this pt 2

Recap: We examined the situation that Esther faced and examined the times. There are 2 dimensions on how to respond to the times:
1. Deepen your walk with God by checking your
A) Focus – Are you looking at Jesus? Hebrews 12
B) Motives – Is your love for God or something else?
C) Offence level – How easily offended are you?
D) Peace level – How easily disturbed are you?
E) Renew your spiritual habits
F) No one should take your power of choice from you. Choose to do what is right before God.

1 Peter 4:7 – 10 “The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”

Know who I am. I am a citizen of heaven. We can easily relate to our natural identity –touch, see feel but what about our spiritual identity which is totally different. We have an assignment on earth – Kingdom expansion. Our citizenship is in heaven.

We look at Esther and see that she had a support system. She called a group to prayer and fasting. For us, that group is the local church. The characteristics of this group were:
1. They recognised the need for God to intervene
2. They came in agreement. Whatever the leader said, they would back it. Esther gave a specific instruction – go and fast for me.
3. They poured their hearts into that effort.
4. God moved and Esther was an instrument of deliverance.

The local church isn’t prefect but there is something about corporate anointing. We are aware of our need for God and our need to come together to pray. Esther needed their support. The enemy uses all sorts and forms to disrupt the unity of the church. He wants people to be isolated. Let’s identify God’s programme for our time today – for Kingdom advance. There is blessings through commitment. Commitment breeds commitment. In your day of crisis you’ll have enough people to pray for you. Let’s be committed to God and to one another. Let’s enlarge our capacity with commitment. We cannot grow without commitment.

It’s through our imperfections that we’ll mature. The church is a battleship, not a cruise liner. It’s not a one man show but “all hands on deck”. Let’s major on serving – “The fastest way to the throne room is through the servant’s door.” Be willing to serve and you’ll discover your gift. It’s not so much the operation of the gift that attracts but the heart that attracts.
1 Corinthians 12 – Motive gifts
Romans 12 – Service gifts
Ephesians 4 – Office gifts

Being faithful is crucial. God looks at our hearts – at our faithfulness. Use your gifts and you’ll experience joy.

Friday, August 12, 2011

How to maintain your joy pt 3

Recap: “If the enemy cannot steal my joy, he cannot keep my goods!” When Jesus was tempted by the enemy, he said “it is written....” lets go back to foundations – the word of God – it is real. John 15:14, 11 Corinthians 4:16 – 18. Be sure of the word of God.
1. Know I have joy
2. Need a revelation
3. Focus
4. Don’t compare yourself with others
5. Thought patterns
6. Thanksgiving and praise
7. Trust God: he will love me to the end. Psalm 47:4

8. Be hopeful: Hopeful is favourable and confident expectation. Hope describes the happy anticipation of good. Titus 1:2, Colossians 1:27, 1 Timothy 1:1. Jesus Christ is the subject on which our hope is fixed. When you have hope, you’ll have joy. Hopelessness steals your joy. May the God of hope fill me with joy. Jeremiah 29:11 – The plans God has for us are plans of good not harm, plans to give us a hope and a future. Hebrews 6:19. Hope is an anchor for my soul. It stabilises my soul – my feelings, my mind. Psalm 42:5, Psalm 119:89, Psalm 130:3 & 5, Psalm 133:3, Psalm 146:5. Hope in the mercy of God. May the God of hope fill your heart with joy.

9. Serve others: J – Jesus first, O – Others next and Y – yourself last = JOY. The key to fulfilment of my dreams is to help others fulfil their dreams. Let’s not be caught up in the “me” generation. Reach out to others.

10. Make a decision to be joyful/rejoice: Psalm 118:24 “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Make the most of what we have. Enjoy where you are on the way to where you are going. Habbakuk 3:17 – 19 “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet will I rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Saviour.”

I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. Philippians 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”.

Know that we are winners!!! Let me maintain my joy as it is my strength.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thought for the day - a gentle spirit

Philippians 4:4 – 5
“Rejoice in the Lord always.
I will say it again: Rejoice!
Let your gentleness be
Evident to all. The
Lord is near.”

If you asked people what they thought the word gentleness meant, we’d probably hear that a gentle person is docile, easily intimidated or passive. In our culture, assertiveness and forthrightness are more highly valued personality traits than gentleness.
But, the scriptures value gentleness. Here Paul explains what it means to be virtuous, especially in view of the disputes that had arisen among the Philippians. How were they to build unity? First they were to rejoice. If they concentrated on rejoicing in the risen Christ, they would focus on their common joy rather than on their differences that could divide them. Next, they were to “let (their) gentleness be evident to all.” Gentleness carries the idea of being reasonable. It does not mean that truth is compromised; rather, it means that the truth is defended with thoughtful consideration for the other’s point of view. There is a winsome quality in gentleness that diffuses anger and hostility.

In the worlds eyes, especially in the business world, gentleness is often thought of as wimpy, but God says, “The unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet of great worth in God’s sight.”

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

How to maintain your joy pt 2

Recap: Joy is important to God.

Romans 14:17 – 18 and Deuteronomy 28:47 – 48
Why would Jesus ask someone who has been bedridden for 38years “would you be made whole?” or why did He ask Blind Bartemaeus, “What would you have me do for you?” Do you want me to make you whole? Let’s give the enemy no room in our lives. Lets not hold on to pain and things. We were given the authority to get the enemy out of our lives. When we are facing challenges, let’s look at Jesus ministry: He was a sower, He was moving around preaching the word, teaching, healing people and so on. Not all the people were healed or delivered. A disciple is a follower of Jesus. They learnt from Him. They made mistakes but they got hands on experience. Let’s be with Jesus and seek Him.

Nehemiah 8:10 “..........for the joy of the Lord is our strength.” Lets not remain the same when God speaks. Jeremiah says, I have eaten your word.” The word of God needs to change us, change our countenance.

How do I maintain my joy?
1. Know that I have joy: If I am born again, I have joy in my spirit. One of the fruits of the spirit is joy. The Kingdom of God is within me and the kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Confess the word of God.
2. I need a revelation: Why am I here? When I’m in a difficult situation, it’s the revelation in my heart that will determine the outcome. David encouraged himself in the Lord. The revelation I have will see me through. Mark the man of peace. I may not know what my future holds but I know Him who holds my future in His hands. Look at Joseph – he went through terrible things but he trusted God. “God sent me here before you to preserve life.” When you know certain things, you won’t moan. It will stabilise you. It will change your unstable nature to a stable one. This revelation will change my very nature. Find out the ways and thoughts of God.
3. Focus: What am I looking at? Am I looking at myself, my problems, other people or am I focused on Jesus? We can suffer temporary setback but God hasn’t left us. The momentary light affliction is working for us. 11 Corinthians 4:16 – 18 “That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce forus a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.” Our focus – the secret of v17 is in v18 – it’s what Paul was looking at. I need to quit looking at things around me – the seen and start to look at the unseen i.e. God, His Word. I need to fix my eyes on Him. Let me please God. Proverbs 16:7 and Acts 2:47
4. Don’t compare yourself with others: I need to run the race that is set before me and look to Jesus. I can get inspired and encouraged by others but ultimately, I need to look to Jesus. Do what God has called me to do. God knows my journey. Let’s glorify God. You may be a Job, a Paul, a Joseph etc. Would you rather be applauded by man or approved by God? Luke 16:15.
5. My thoughts: My thoughts play a major role. Philippians 4:8 “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Whatever a man thinks in his heart, so He is. The word of God tells us not to worry about our lives. My thoughts can attract or repel. Thoughts are simply unspoken words but God sees and hears them. Isaiah 55:8 “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. And my ways are far beyond anything you can imagine.”
6. Thanksgiving and praise: Give thanks in all things. Ephesians 5:18 – 20 “ Acknowledge good things, Isaiah 12:3 “With joy you will drink deeply from the fountain of salvation!” Praise god and be a thankful person.
7. Trust God: Proverbs 3:5 – 6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” Trust has to do with the heart. The peace of God surpasses all understanding. God knows where I am? He knows my future. He knows what He is doing in me. Trust Him. Job 13:15. Stay hooked up to God.

Conclusion: Make up my mind to be happy. The land God has given me is a pleasant place. Greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world. God has given to me a revelation. Start appreciating what He has given to me. God has a purpose for me. He has inscribed me on the palm of His hand.

Friday, August 5, 2011

"A Good Soldier for Jesus Christ" by Steve Manhanga

2 Timothy 2:2 – 7 “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others. Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No-one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs – he wants to please his commanding officer. Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victors crown unless he competes according to the rules. The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.”
As Christians we are engaged in a war. We can get injured or even die. We are on a battlefield and not the playground. When in a battle, we need to keep our guard up, our eyes and ears open.

From Timothy, we see that Paul speaks of 3 types of people: soldiers, athletes and farmers

1. Soldiers: need to be ready for war. They need to give up worldly comforts and endure discipline. They need to face the enemy.
2. Athletes: have to train hard. They need to discipline the body and follow rules. Paul says we are athletes.
3. Farmers: We need to work hard. Be patient. Plant now and harvest 6 months later. Continue going when things are tough. Have a vision of being a winner and a hope of harvesting.

11 Timothy 2:15 “Study to show yourself approved of God, a workman who need not be ashamed.....” Lets study the word of God. Paul said to Timothy – don’t be ashamed, know the word, study the word.

11 Timothy 2:16 Paul warn against 2 men who are preaching a false doctrine. If we don’t know the word of God, we’ll be easily swayed. We see church discipline here.

What kind of vessel am I? Am I made of gold, silver, wood or clay? The type of vessel I am will determine how I am used. Verse 22 – 23James said “draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” Steve encouraged the young people to keep themselves and to run when faced with temptation – like Joseph. He encouraged everyone to live pure, holy and righteous lives.

Next week we look at 11 Timothy 3:1 – 17 and we see how Paul gives a charge to Timothy.

Summarised by Molly Manhanga

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Update on Crossroads

God at work at Crossroads!

While Stephen and I were away in July, things have continued at Crossroads:
1. All Night Prayer: About 200 people turned up for an all night prayer meeting held at Crossroads. The churches in the community were invited like New Life for All, Presbyterian, Zion, United Pentecostal Church and the apprentices from Ebenezer Training Centre. The prayer meeting was from 9:00pm – 6:00am and it went really well. At 3:00am, folk went to sit around a bonn fire and share testimonies. There were some that were filled with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. Some experienced healings particularly with back pain. Praise God!
2. Hospital Visitation: 6 people from Crossroads went on a Hospital Visitation to Maphisa hospital and prayed for the patients. The ladies prayed for the ladies and the men prayed in the male ward. The patients enjoyed being prayed over and the doctors and nurses were very receptive and supportive of the team from Crossroads. They encouraged the team to come on a regular basis. What a privilege to pray for those who are not well. Our hope is that the patients and their families will feel loved and have hope, receive physical healing but more importantly have an encounter with Christ and live for Him.
3. Tuckshop: Mbekezele Moyo and Mxwayisi Dube have learnt the hard way in letting people take goods on credit and they don’t pay up. Their “soft spot” for the elderly has seen their micro business take a bit of a nose dive but they are in the process of rectifying things.
4. Grinding Mill: Business has picked up and has been better than the previous months.
5. Back on the ground: It was great being back with the folk of Crossroads and a highlight for me was watching the children sing a song in front of the church and answer some questions on what they had learnt over the previous weeks. Of note and totally impressive was a five year old boy recite Ephesians 6:1. This got a rounding applause from the church. Needless to say, it brought a smile to my face. God is at work, even amongst the children.

By Molly Manhanga