Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Spiritual Well-Being pt 7 by Angus Buchan

The power of understanding

 When we become offended with someone we’re obviously hurt, and it’s normally people who are close to us who offend us. Those whose opinions we treasure. I’ve always said that if I had to take my shirt off you’ll see the scars between my shoulder blades. But now the only person who can stab me there is someone I trust and who is very close to me – God.

If we carry offences with us, it’s like carrying a 50kg bag of cement on our backs all day long. It doesn’t affect the person who has caused the offence. Instead it hurts us.

“Hatred stirs up quarrels, but love makes up for all offences,” says Proverbs 10:12.

The way we overcome offence is by love. We need to forgive, forget and move on.

Love covers all sin. In 1 Corinthians 13, it speaks very clearly about the power of love. The Lord says love never gives up. Love never loses faith. Love is always hopeful (gives the benefit of the doubt). Love endures through all. If you are having a problem with your spouse, with your children or with your parents, dig that hole, bury the offences and walk away. Love them unconditionally.

All around the world, so many people are stressed out. They’re experiencing the same problems………………………………………………………..And all are inevitably financial or relationship based. The best way to deal with them is to confront them. Don’t push them away. Always look at things from the other person’s point of view. In this way, you may understand why they are behaving this way.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………The way to respond is not by throwing more petrol on the fire and retaliating. It’s to be understanding and forgiving and to love that person.

That will defuse any situation and you’ll earn respect.

……Charity begins at home. We need to start by loving our own people first before we go out trying to rectify the problems in the country.

So lets start at home with our immediate family and then move on to our business and then the rest of the world.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Prayer request for the month of August

To all our family and friends

As we are fast approaching the month of August which will be our busiest month at Crossroads, we'd love it if you could pray for us.

"Prayer is as natural an expression of faith as breathing is of life." Jonathan Edwards

3rd August: Eye clinic and outreach at Mapisa
4th August: Brilliant Khoza (emerging leader) goes to pay lobola (bridal price) for Sithabiso Tshuma. Please pray for favour from God and from Sithabiso's family.
5th August: Outreach service at Hove - a community in Ward 23. Crossroads is under Ward 16.
18th August: Special lunch for those who are 40 years and above - appreciation and honour.
19th August: "Welcome and Get to know each other" lunch for the apprentices from Ebenezer who have made Crossroads their 'home'church'.
26th August: Mxwayisi Dube (emerging leader) and Nobuthle's wedding
29th August: Community Day - working on the Water Project. We hope to complete digging the trenches for Phase 1 and putting down the pipes.

We would really appreciate your prayers.

Thank you
Steve and Molly Manhanga

All Night Prayer Meeting at Crossroads

On Friday evening we had an All Night prayer meeting at Crossroads where about 130 adults and children attended. We had a good time of praise and worship and we prayed individually, in groups as well as corporately for many different situations in our community and we listened to different people share God's word.

The children did well in trying to stay awake but the cold air and tiredness at around 1:00am got the better of some of them. It was so interesting seeing everyone really come alive at about 1:30am as we moved from the Kidz Block and made a circle around a bonn fire.

It's really wonderful to pray and to get revelation from God. No one compares to Him!

"Make prayer the steering wheel of your life, not just the spare tyre." Nicky Gumbel

"Prayer changes more than things, it changes you." Joyce Meyer

By Molly Manhanga

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Movie Review: Joyful Noise

Divinity Church Choir is hoping to win the national Joyful Noise competition but tension and discord arise between the 2 leading ladies: newly appointed director VI Rose Hill played by Queen Latifha and GG Sparrow, played by Dolly Parton. It's a case of traditional v modern, old style v new style, "same old, same old" v innovative and energetic. I guess you need to keep up with the times and in order to do that, you'll need to change as VI Rose discovered and the Pastor of the church. It reminded me of "Clash of the Choirs" - a reality talent contest with Blake Shelton, Kelly Rowland, Michael Bolton, Nick Lachey and the legendary Patti LaBelle. The choirs are awesome.

The way the 2 ladies have a go at each other is .............interesting. The good thing is that it all ends well. Other themes that flow through this movie are young love, family life and togetherness.

It's quite an interesting movie.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Steve Manhanga at New Creation Church

Steve Manhanga did brilliantly on Sunday when he spoke from Romans 12:1 - 21 on "Rich and Poor?"

By way of introduction he said we needed to ask ourselves this question -
Does God want us to be rich or does He want us to be poor? Some interesting views were shared.
We live in a world where one third live on 12 rand, which is equivalent to USD1.5 per day.

Who is more Godly, rich people or poor people? These people are out there and not in the church.

There is the prosperity gospel - name it and claim it!
There is the poverty gospel - as poor as a church mouse.
So is there a middle ground, and if so, how do I find it and live in it?

Proverbs 30:8 -9 "Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, 'who is the Lord?' Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonour the name of my God."
2 Corinthians 9:10 - 11
Luke 16:11 - 12
Matthew 25:14 - 30

So what are talents?
They represent any kind of resources we are given. God gives us time, gifts and other resources according to our abilities and He expects us to invest wisely until He returns. It's not how much we have, but how well we use what we have. So lets bring it to Jesus.

2 Corinthians 8:9 Paul is writing from Macedonia and hoped the generosity of these churches would encourage the Corinthian believers.

Stephen then told a story of Elyana Singh (daughter of Artaj and Judy Singh) who is 10 years old and has learnt to sow what she has. He also shared about being faithful with little and God will add to you.

Righteous rich:
Proverbs 10:4 - Rich through hard work
Proverbs 15:6 - Rich through righteousness
Proverbs 11:24 - Rich through generosity
Proverbs 3:9 - 10 - Giving first 10%

Righteous poor:
Proverbs 15:16 Poor to avoid trouble of wealth job; poor through tragedy
Paul - Poor to facilitate something greater
Examples - Job, Ruth, Naomi, Jesus, widow who gave 2 coins, Paul and the Macedonian church

Unrighteous rich:
Proverbs 16:8 - Rich through injustice
Proverbs 11:16 - Rich through ruthlessness
Proverbs 28:22 - Rich through greed
Proverbs 23:4 - Rich at the expense of health
Examples -  Laban, Esau, Haman, the rich young ruler, Simon the sorcerer, Ananias and Sapphira

Unrighteous poor:
Proverbs 10:4 - Poor through laziness
Proverbs 28:19 - Poor through worthless pursuits
Proverbs 28:20 - Poor through 'get rich quick' schemes
Proverbs 28:22 - Poor through stinginess
Examples - The sluggard from Proverbs and Judas Iscariot

Treasure principle key #1 - God owns everything. I'm His money manager. We are the managers of the assets God has entrusted - not given to us. "Whatever good thing you do for Him, if done according to the word, is laid up for you as treasure in chests and coffers to be brought out to be rewarded before men and angels, to your eternal comfort." John Bunyan

A person is rich according to what he is, not according to what he has.
Measure wealth not by the things you have, but by the things for which you would not take money.

God expects us to give of what we have, not what we don't have.

Adapted notes.....

Friday, July 20, 2012

Thought for the day

Ever been frustrated? Ever aired out your frustration or in another sense - "off-load"? I have......... in order to make sense of things, gain perspective, make sure my heart is right, get it off my chest etc, etc. It left me on the one hand feeling relieved and yet on the other, very aware of what I had said. It made me realise how important communication is and to not make assumptions. It also made me realise again that when we communicate - whether we are frustrated, angry, happy etc our words have an impact on the people we are speaking to or about (Life or death). We leave an impression......either being constructive/building up or being destructive.

Though imperfect, may God help us to love and accept each other....being slow to speak and quick to listen.

Food for Thought
2 Timothy 1:7 "For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline."

Some versions say "Self-control" others say a sound mind.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Meet Artaj Singh

It was great meeting Artaj Singh who comes from Canada and getting to know him a bit better. He visited Ebenezer and Justin Thebe in Mablauwuni community. This is what he said:

M.M: Which part of Canada are you from?
A.S: Niagara Falls

M.M: The Niagara Falls is really beautiful! How did you meet your wife Judy?
A.S: Judy and I are now married for 29 years. We met in medical school and got engaged 3 months later. By year end we were married. We have a ten and a half year old daughter Elyana which means God has answered. The name is from Eli and Hannah. Elyana was born after 18 years of marriage.

M.M: What work have you been doing these last years and what do you sense God saying to you now?
A.S: I have been a Medical Doctor on and off since 1985. I was then an Investment Banker in the U.S for 4 years but I've been back in the medical field for the last 10 years. I am now sensing that the Lord is taking me through a transition into finance and missions.

M.M: Great! How best would you describe your Zim trip this time round?
A.S: I've been involved with Mozambique and Zimbabwe for the last 10 years and about a month ago I sensed that I needed to be in Zimbabwe. I called up Scott Marques and received confirmation and affirmation. I have come to build relationship as Kingdom work comes out of relationships. I'm also here about vision, impartation and clarity on my part and the larger body.

M.M: Interesting! What do you do to relax?
A.S: I'm into wood turning. I collect wood from all over the world and make bowls of all shapes and sizes. I have done 35 bowls of different wood. I'm fascinated by God's creation....the natural colours are therapeutic and phenomenal. I have a new appreciation of God's creativity.

M.M: Has God been saying anything on your "Me - Alone" times?
A.S: I think about the Kingdom and have a heart for Africa - probably be catalytic in what God is ushering in Africa. Africa is on the threshold of a new season and it will all converge. I am getting an understanding of what God is doing. When I look at Justin Thebe, I see a young african impacting a community. I see chicken coops being built around the village and tomatoes being grown in obedience to God. The most exciting 20 minutes was here in Mablauwuni village. God is at work.

M.M: Thanks so much Artaj. I hope God continues speaking to you and you get a clear sense of the direction he is leading you in. Have a great time in Harare before you head home.

By Molly Manhanga 

Spiritual Well-Being by Angus Buchan pt 6

Learning to be patient

The Bible says "you know them by their fruit." One of the most important fruits of the spirit ...........is patience. It's amazing how tribulation produces patience (Romans 5:3 - 4)

(Patience is something that needs working on, especially with impulsive people! An impulsive person doesn't always make the best choices.)

The Bible tells us that patience is a virtue. In fact, patience executed correctly will not only save us much time and energy but money as well. There's an old saying that the fruit does not fall far from the tree. In other words, children invariably grow up with the same tendencies as their parents. I choose to believe the more time we spend in the presence of God, the more we'll become like Him.


.......being patient and speaking firmly, but gently, will move mountains.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

More on Pastor Netha......

Pastor Nheta
It was interesting chatting to Pastor Netha last Saturday. Pastor Netha is the leader of New Life for All City Churches as well as being part of the Association of Evangelicals in Africa (AEA). The Association of Evangelicals has an opportunity to build dams in Matabeleland North and South. currently there are 11 dams in Matabeleland North and 13 dams in Matabeleland South. The majority have irrigation schemes. AEA in Matabeleland South spoke to the communities in Inkayi. The representatives that were at Shalom over the weekend had a desire to see what was being done at Ebenezer i.e. agriculture and poultry. There is the hope that these things can be replicated in rural areas. One strand is easy to break but 3 is not easily broken. Pastor Netha felt that there was a need to go back and be Trainer of Trainers to the old people in the communities on the usage of water, growing crops and how to maximise the land.

He has a hope that Matabeleland will be green instead of being a semi arid draught stricken area, with sandy soils. This "green" thought excites Pastor Netha.

By Molly Manhanga

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pre-engagement Course Feedback

Brilliant Khoza
It was good getting some feedback from Brilliant Khoza on the pre-engagement course that was hosted by Family Impact. Mpi and Rumbi Ndebele were part of the facilitating team. Brilliant went with his lady love - Sithabiso Tshuma.

There were 3 couples in total as others couldn't make it due to unforeseen circumstances. They spoke about the expectations of Christian marriages and those of traditional marriages. The main challenges identified for cultural marriages was lobola (bridal price), leaving and cleaving. What does culture say about lobola (dowry or bridal price)? When the bridal price is paid, the man and lady are considered to be married. The lady is told to move out of the house and go and stay with the parents of the 'husband'. Culturally, when the young unmarried couple have sex and/or if a child is born, the community view the young couple as 'adults' - as being a man and woman. They are given dignity by community leaders. The christian way is that you wait until you are married publically in the church or in court before you can live together. The two need to leave their parents and cleave to one another.

They also learnt about the importance of communication in marriage and purity. The couples then went on a one on one premarital counselling session.

The general feeling in the rural areas is that pre engagement and pre marriage courses are for urban folk. Brilliant felt that all young couples should go through these courses as marriage is ordained by God and people need to be ready.

On the 4th August 2012, Brilliant will be going to pay lobola (bridal price) to Sithabiso's family. We wish him well!

Monday, July 16, 2012

One on one with Minister Stembiso Nyoni

Honourable Minister Stembiso Nyoni

What a privilege to chat to the Honourable Minister of Small to Medium Enterprises and Inkayi Member of Parliament - Mrs Stembiso Nyoni. She seems to be very open, down to earth and has a heart to help people. This is what she said......

M.M: How long have you been working into the Inkayi area?
S.N: Since 2004

M.M: What are the main sources of income for the Inkayi people?
S.N: Livestock, mainly cattle, agriculture - maize and groundnuts and crafts.

M.M: Have you seen much change in the young people since you have been in the area?
S.N: Yes. Just take a look at these young people here.

M.M: What other projects do you do?
S.N: We do clay/pottery - making flower pots, bricks and tiles.

M.M: Nice! What has been the main challenge in Inkayi?
S.N: Water. The area is very dry and there are no dams or boreholes.

Minister Nyoni 

M.M: What region does Inkayi fall under?
S.N: Region 3

M.M: On a lighter note....where are you based?
S.N: Between Bulawayo and Inkayi

M.M: How many children do you have?
S.N: I have 4 children. 3 boys and a girl.

M.M: What do you do to stay so healthy?
S.N: I exercise - walk and swim and I eat fruit salad daily.

M.M: Do you have other hobbies that you'd like to share?
S.N: I like reading and writing.

M.M: I do too! What words of encouragement would you give to ladies?
S.N: Focus! Ladies need to know who they are. They need to get their faculties together.

M.M: Thank you so much Minister Nyoni. It has been wonderful chatting to you and getting to know you more.

By Molly Manhanga

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mbonisi Malaba at Crossroads

Praise and worship team getting the church going!!!
We had an excellent service this morning - quite international too with 5 nations being represented - Zimbabwe (People from Bulawayo city, Mablauwuni village and Inkayi), USA, U.K, Canada and Australia. The atmosphere and freedom of worship was excellent. So were the testimonies. It was just brilliant.

Mbonisi then shared the story of "The unmerciful servant" from Matthew 18:21 - 35. He started where Peter asked Jesus how many times he should forgive someone who sins against him? 7 times? Jesus replies  in v 22, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy - seven times."

Mbonisi then did so well by adapting the story to make it suitable for the folk in Mablauwuni by saying "the Kingdom of God is like a Chief who wanted to settle his things and a man owed him 5000 cattle. As he was unable to pay, the chief ordered that he, his wife, his children and all that he had be sold to repay the cattle. The man went on his knees and begged the Chief to be be patient as he will pay the debt. The Chief took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

But when that man went out and found one of his fellow villager who owed him 2 chickens, he grabbed him round the throat and began choking him saying "I want my two chickens. Pay me back what you owe." The fellow villager fell on his knees and begged him to be patient as he would pay back but this man refused. Instead, he had the villager thrown into prison.

When the other villagers saw what had happened, they were outraged and went to tell the Chief. The Chief called the man, told him he was wicked and said "I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn't you have mercy on your fellow villager just as I had on you?" In anger the Chief handed the man over to the jailers to be tortured until he pay back the 5000 cows.

v 35 "This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart."

Mbonisi Malaba sharing God's word at Crossroads

Two questions were then asked as a way of discussion
1. What do we learn about people from this story?
  • It's hard to forgive
  • People want to receive forgiveness but don't want to give forgiveness
  • People forgive great things not small things
2. What do we learn about God?
  • It doesn't matter how many times we sin, he forgives us

If someone has done something wrong to you - forgive. In life people hurt you and this can separate people. It can cause problems in a marriage and even tear it apart. It can cause problems in a Church and tear it apart. Sometimes it is hard to forgive.

If you know you have done wrong to someone, approach them and apologise. Go and be reconciled to your brother or sister and continue worshipping. sometimes we think that Christianity is about loving God yet hating your brother. If you say you love God yet hate your brother, then you are a liar. It's important how we treat one another. Forgive one another and be reconciled. Start with God. When we sin, we sin against God alone. Start with God. Only when we are reconciled to God can we be reconciled to one another. When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden of Eden, our relationship with God was broken. Jesus Christ came to bring us back and reconcile us to the Father.

Mbonisi with Mbusiso
Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God. Who are the peacemakers in Kezi or Inkayi? It's too easy to spread disunity. It destroys relationships and our relationships are important to God. No relationship can survive without forgiveness. No strong marriage, Church or family can survive without forgiveness. We are in a nation where tribes and races need to forgive each other. As Christians, we need to be good at forgiving. When we do this all men will know that we are his disciples by our LOVE for one another.

We then held hands and prayed as a church.

May God help us to forgive........

Summarised by Molly Manhanga

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit pt 3

Phase 1: Revelation Gifts
Word of Wisdom
Word of Knowledge
Discerning of Spirits

Phase 2: Power Gifts
The gift of Faith
The gift of working Miracles
Gifts of Healing

Phase 3: Vocal Gifts
These are gifts that speak out what is on God's heart.

The gift of Tongues
This is a divinely inspired ability to speak forth in a tongue/unknown language publicly. It is always accompanied by an interpretation.

Interpretation of Tongues
This is when an inspired message in tongues is interpreted in a known language.

This is a divinely inspired utterance and it comes to reveal the heart of God. It is often the gift that is used as a vehicle for all the other gifts. It is to simply hear God and to speak out what is on His heart.

Any believer can use the gifts of the Holy Spirit BUT it will be nothing but a loud noise of clanging cymbals if it is not accompanied by love. The gifts are never ours to possess. They are the Holy Spirit's.....................................................................................................................It only becomes a gift when it is given to somebody else. The gift is never for you to hold onto, it is for you to give to someone else.

Taken from Julian C Adams book "Gaining Heaven's Perspective"

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Gifts of The Holy Spirit pt 2

Phase 1:
Revelation gifts
Word of Wisdom
Word of Knowledge
Discerning of Spirits

Phase 2:
Power gifts: These are gifts that demonstrate the power of God in operation

The gift of Faith
This is a supernatural faith to believe God for the impossible to take place in the person's life or situation.

The gift of working Miracles
This is the ability to release the supernatural in the natural. This is when God performs an act that cannot be done by man. It is power to counteract earthly and evil forces.

Gifts of Healing
This is when there is a supernatural healing without human aid (doctors etc)

From Julian C Adams book "Gaining Heaven's Perspective."

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Gifts of The Holy Spirit

These gifts from 1 Corinthians 12:1 - 10 will be looked at in 3 phases. Paul encourages us to desire these gifts, to be zealous for these gifts as they are given to us to help build up and encourage the church of Jesus Christ 1 Corinthians 14:12

Phase 1:

1. Revelation Gifts
These are gifts that reveal something concerning a person or a situation.

Word of Wisdom
This is a supernatural ability to know God's heart concerning a situation in the future and how to deal with it. It gives divine means as to how to accomplish God's will in a situation.

Word of Knowledge
This is the ability to know something about a person or situation that has been revealed supernaturally by God.

Discerning of Spirits
This is the ability to discern what spiritual beings (angels or demons) are in operation in a person or situation.

Taken from Julian C Adams book "Gaining Heaven's Perspective"

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Thought for the day

@ Nicky Gumbel

"Don't take yourself too seriously.
Laugh at yourself.
Laughter is like an
internal workout. It exercises
the soul and keeps it healthy."

Laughter is definitely medicine for the soul........

Psalm 68:3 "But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; and may they be happy and joyful."

Proverbs 15:13 "A happy heart makes the face cheerful....."

Ecclesiastes 3:12 "I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live."

James 5:13b "Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise."

It is so good to be able to laugh and to be happy.........

Monday, July 9, 2012

Facing your Giants (pt 2) by Molly Manhanga

1. The odds are against you
2. Do you see God?

3. The battle is the Lord's: As David rushes toward Goliath, Goliath throws back his head in laughter, just enough to shift his helmet and expose a square inch of forehead. David sees that and swirls his sling shot. The stone hits right into Goliaths forehead. Infact, 1 Samuel 17:48 says "The stone sunk into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground." David runs over and yanks Goliath's sword from its sheath, and cuts off his head. When last did you rush your Goliath, kill it and cut off it's head? Our tendency is to retreat or duck behind a desk. Try a different tactic. Rush your giant with a "God-saturated soul". Amplify God and minimise Goliath. How long since you loaded your sling and took a swing at your Goliath? Lesson: There needs to come a time when you say enough is enough! No more! Trust God and let Him do the fighting for you. Just as God caused a miracle to take place through David, He can do the same for you. 
We are not perfect but God looks at our heartsActs 13:22 reminds us that God said that "David was a man after God's own heart."  When David was good, he was very good but when he was bad - no one could be worse!
Lets focus on God. The times David did, the giants fell. The days he didn't, David fell.

4. Focus on God, Not the Giants: David made 2 observations about Goliath: one was a statement to Saul about Goliath and one was to Goliath's face - "Who is this uncircumsized Philistine that he should challenge the armies of the living God." and "You come to me with a sword, with a spear and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel." David came full of faith and God caused a miracle to take place through him. You see David didn't ask about Goliaths skill, his IQ, social standing, age etc. He had 'God-thoughts' Lesson: Come as you are and God will meet with you, causing miracles to take place. Speak truths from the word of God into your life and don't let anyone tell you differently.

What do we learn from this?
1. God uses the foolish things of this world to confound the wise. Never think of yourself as inadequate, inferior, insignificant and don't allow anyone to tell you that either.
2. There will be people who will try to pull you down, try to squash you, try to "put you in your place" so to speak, but LOOK UP and LET GOD........let Him cause a miracle through you. Through David, God showed how mighty He is and He can do the same for you and me!

Nothing, absolutely nothing, is impossible with God.

Notes adapted from Max Lucado's book "Facing your Giants"

Facing your Giants By Molly Manhanga

Title: Facing Your Giants
Text: 1 Samuel 17:40 - 51

Theme: There are many giants that we face today - fear, sexual abuse, domestic violence, HIV/AIDS, jealousy, alcoholism, pornography etc. God has all the answers for our giants. We need to FACE them and not hide, cower or run away.

Biblical starting point: Story of a boy and his battle with a giant.

1. The odds are against you: 1 Samuel 17:42 says David is little more than a boy, slender, glowing in health and handsome. He searches for smooth stones that fit neatly into a shepherds pouch. When you look at David, you wouldn't think much of him but his faith was a force to be reckoned with. When visiting his 3 brothers on the battle field, he got chatting to some other soldiers and learnt that the Israelites were afraid of Goliath. Davids faith in God stirs up anger in his brother Eliab. The Bible says Eliab burnt with anger and called David conceited and wicked in heart. Davids reaction was to walk away. David then spoke to Saul who told him that he was not to go up against the Philistine because he was young. This negativity did not distract David even though odds looked like they were against him. Lesson: There will be people who don't think much of you, will attempt to create a reality for you, will think that nothing can come from you, will belittle your achievements in God, will accuse you as Eliab did to his own brother David, speak negatively about you etc and the best thing to do sometimes is to simply walk away. Goliath on the other hand was 3 meters tall and wore 58kg of armour, his sword and shield and javelin weighed about 6.9kg etc. When he saw David, the Bible tells us that he "despised" David. Despised means to look down upon and to think someone is inferior. Goliath was huge and seemed to have it all. No wonder he said in 1 Samuel 17:10 "This day I defy the armies of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight!" Lesson: There will be people who think they are by far greater & better than you and will despise you. They will think you are truly insignificant. Your Goliath may not come with a sword and shield but he is there in the form of low self-esteem, abuse etc. He may not walk on the hills of Elah but he comes into your bedroom, your office, your classroom presenting you with bills you cannot pay, alcohol you can't resist, pornography you can't refuse, people you cannot please etc. How long has your giant stalked you? When Saul and his men heard the Philistines' challenge, they were dismayed and terrified. (1 Samuel 17:11)
With all the giants we must face, where is our focus?

2. Where is your focus? Do you see God? You know your Goliath but is that all you see and hear? David saw and heard more. His discussion was on God. 1 Samuel 17:26 "Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should challenge the armies of the living God?"  David arrives on the scene and speaks about God while the soldiers and his brothers mention nothing of him. He does the same with King Saul - he makes a God-birthed announcement in 1 Samuel 17:37 "The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of the Philistine."  No one else discusses God. David discusses no one else but God. Everyones eyes, except David's, major in on the giant while David's eyes major in on God. David's battle cry 1 Samuel 17:45 "You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel." David sees Goliath, but he sees God more. When David sees the armies of God, he hurries and runs toward the army to meet the Philistine. Lesson: Know who you are in God. Have a God-focus when giants come your way in whatever shape and size.
Who has got your focus - the giant or God?

Continue reading Facing Your Giants pt 2

Notes adapted from Max Lucado's book "Facing your Giants"

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Water Project pt 4

Maleme river this morning!
Maleme river now

Maleme river now

Maleme river before
The water level in the Maleme River which feeds the Ebenezer Dam, has dropped. This is the lowest it's been in 5 years. We are going to need an excellent rainy season for the water table to rise.

By Molly Manhanga

Friday, July 6, 2012

Pointers from "Let It Go!"

I really enjoy reading different books, magazines, blogs, articles etc as they present different styles of writing, topics of interest, humour now and again etc. This morning I read an excerpt from a book called "Let It Go" and it spoke about forgiveness and unforgiveness. The idea of forgiveness being a "big idea" caught my attention as well as the vocabulary and style of writing. It also made me self-evaluate which is always a good thing.....
Here are some pointers and see what you think.......

  1. It takes a person who thinks big ideas rather than comparatively small thoughts to introduce and practice forgiveness effectively.
  2. Unforgiveness denies the 'person' the possibility of parole and leaves them stuck in the prison of what was......
  3. People who don't forgive neutralize their own growth potential.
  4. Metaphorically speaking - unforgiveness unchecked becomes like a cancer in our soul
  1. is essential if we are to grow into the fullness of who God created us to be.
  2. requires daily practice rather than the pressure of crisis management.
  3. Think on an altitude beyond attitudes.
  4. In order to forgive others, we must be willing to look at our own ability to hurt, offend and injure those around us, often people we love the most.
  5. Matthew 6:11 - 12 "Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us."
  6. isn't about weakening you but strengthening you to live again and love again, performing at your highest capacity, uncumbered by yesterday's maladies.

Compiled by Molly Manhanga

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Keep your heart fixed

Christianity is all about a relationship with the Living God. We can talk to God and the spirit gives life. We have a relationship with God and He is our father and we are co-labourers with Him. God takes pleasure in us and delights over us and blesses us in ways that blow our minds.
However, when God is blessing someone, it seems like envy and jealousy creep into the heart. We need to learn to celebrate what God is doing in someone elses life. We need to watch over the state of our hearts more than we watch what is happening around us. Make sure that jealousy, envy, bitterness etc don't creep in. When God is blessing people, its easy to draw back in criticism and backbiting but we become targets for the enemy. We need to be able to handle someone elses blessing, someone else being honoured, affirmed and shown respect. Look at Judas heart attitude when Jesus was being honoured by the lady with the alabaster jar. He said the perfume could have been sold etc, etc. He certainly wasn't a happy man and his heart wasn't in the right place!

How do we get our hearts fixed?

Proverbs 4:20 - 25  "My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one's whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free from perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you."

Keep your heart with all diligence, with all care. It takes alot of effort to keep our hearts. What we hear from people and what we look at, affects our hearts. Avoid positioning yourself to hear garbage. You will not be keeping your heart. Out of the heart spring the issues of life. Healing comes from the heart. Jesus said he has come to give us life and life more abundantly. The state of my heart will determine how much life flows into my soul, my body. What determines the flow of life is in the heart. Keep it from intrusion. Protect your heart as the enemy is trying to get to it.

When people speak negatively about someone else - it is YOU that they are wanting to destroy as well as the person they are speaking about. The enemy is aiming at your heart for out of it flow the issues of life. Guard your heart from pain, hurt, offences, the thorns and the thistles. Lets not be complacent. The soil is the heart of man. It is the heart that will determine what grows in your life.

God is faithful and good no matter how small your beginnings are. Its at the inception of anything that the enemy has destructive plans. Ever notice how people get spoken about you when they leave a place? Be careful of all the negativity. What is their motive? STOP listening to that as the enemy wants to get to you.
Bless those who persecute you, curse you and despitefully use you. You are doing it to protect your heart. Avoid speaking evil of anyone. Speak of their highest good even if you look 'silly'. The natural thing is to want to get even, to speak evil, but you know what......Nobody can stop what God has ordained for you. Some people feel popular, superior, or even listened to when speaking negatively about others but it's not a mark of their spirituality or maturity. Its been said that people are like 'psychologists' (oops)  - they tell you what you want to hear. Your thoughts are your spiritual antenna. You are either part of the solution or part of the problem.

Forgive when you've been hurt. Don't be afraid. It's interesting that when you are going through a difficult patch, everybody has got something to say. But, God brings someone into your life and in order to make meaningful progress, you lean on their anointing for a while, to break that yoke and get your heart fixed. We need to be rooted and grounded in the word.

We need to bear fruit - be fresh and flourishing.We will flourish when our hearts are fixed and we are focused. We flourish despite our faults and imperfections. Trust in the Lord. Throw yourself into God. Do things as unto the Lord. We will have no fears about the future. When people malign us and cause strife - God sees it all. Like Joseph, what his brothers meant for evil, God turned it around for good. When God heals you, you become stronger.

Speak Gods word into your life. Fruitfulness is not a function of what is outside you but of what is inside of you.
You shall not die. You shall live. He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. You shall be planted and rooted by streams of living water. Fix your meditations on the word of God. Keep your eyes focused on Him . get rid of the offences, jealousy and envy etc, especially when God is blessing someone else. God does want to bless us and give to us - good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over......

When God brings people into our lives, lets receive this blessing.........

Food for thought:
Be smart enough to know that people who keep speaking negatively about others are not actually helping you but revealing the state of their own heart.

Compiled By Molly Manhanga

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Gardening Delights pt 2

It's been interesting trying to keep plants 'alive' during winter. The extreme temperatures don't do them any good. Growth seems to slow down. The lawn gets affected too and I guess top soil does help - I think. So much trial and error on my part but that's okay. It keeps my interest going and when things come right, it's great. I guess I'll start planting again at the end of this month.

I've now taken to watching a Gardening programme on tele every Thursday morning for an hour. The 'before' and 'after' gardens are so remarkable - a "WoW" factor! If plants could stay like that all year round, it would be a dream. I really like the creativity some folk have or the team effort as folk go from garden to garden. Last Thursday they showed hanging baskets. They were amazing!

I'm hoping by year end for a 'changed' garden......

By Molly Manhanga

Monday, July 2, 2012

Going back to basics

Stephen Manhanga
Stephen did well by going back to basics.........

We had an interesting discussion last Sunday about what it means to be born again? It was great because we realised that some folk didn't know and had quite a few questions........I guess like Nicodemus

John 3:1 - 18 "Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him. Jesus replied, 'Verily truly I tell you,no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.'  "How can someone be born again when they are old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother's womb to be born!" Jesus answered, Verily truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to the spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." "How can this be?" Nicodemus asked. You are Israel's teacher, said Jesus, and do not understand these things? Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven - the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him. 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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."

The discussion brought clarity for some while others compared it to the knowledge they received while they were growing up.

We thank God for the work He is doing in people's hearts and lives and pray that many will come to know Him and have a personal relationship with Him.

Compiled by Molly Manhanga

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Thought for the day

My soul magnifies the Lord.......

Deuteronomy 6:5 "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength."

Psalm 23:2b - 3a "......he leads me besides quiet waters, he refreshes my soul......"

Psalm 42: 1 - 2a "As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God......"

Psalm 103:1 - 2 "Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits - ......."

For HE is worthy to be praised........

The Community Newspaper pt 2

The Community Newspaper continues to be a "hit" in Matopo District. The name has changed from Natisa News to iZindaba zeMatopo which means 'News of Matopo' - i.e. it just covers a wider area - more communities. People seem to enjoy reading about themselves, their friends or people that they know, the development happening in the communities, whats happening at the schools, churches, chicken businesses etc. I recently missed out on a community meeting in Silozwe called "Cultural Day" however, I'm hoping to get some feedback from committee members who organised the event. This should be pretty good reading for other communities........ 

By Molly Manhanga