PUB RESTORED INTO A CHURCH - Salem Danville, Pretoria, South Africa

FROM PUB TO CHURCH

Salem Danville's first service was under a carport on the 1st of March 2009 with 6 people. We started because the people of Danville spoke a need of a Biblical, relevant and alive church.

In December of 2009 we took over an old pub in Danville and renovated it into our church - a miracle done by God! Today we minister to about 100 people, 30 teenagers and 60 children.
Danville is a poor area in Pretoria West, South Africa - unique in a sense that there is poor people of all cultures and races.

Our vision - to bring His Peace and restoration to the people of Danville. To show them that your circumstances do not dictate God's love for you. Jesus loves all, no matter who you are, what you've done, or how much money you have!

Share the joy of ministering to the poor with us in this blog!

Kobus & Anina Homan (Pastors Salem Danville)

(Visit http://salem-danville.blogspot.com/ for our newsletters)

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Son

Friday story time:

A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had Everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art.

When the Viet Nam conflict broke out, the son went to war. He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier. The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son.

About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door. A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands. He said, "Sir, you don't know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly. He often talked about you, and your love for art."

The young man held out his package.

"I know this isn't much. I'm not really a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this."

The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting. The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears. He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the portrait.

"Oh, no sir, I could never repay what your son did for me. It's a gift."

The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every time visitors came to his home he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected. The man died a few months later. There was to be a great auction of his paintings. Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their collection. On the platform sat the painting of the son.

The auctioneer pounded his gavel. "We will start the bidding with this portrait of the son. Who will bid for this painting?" There was silence. Then a voice in the back of the room shouted. "We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one." But the auctioneer persisted. "Will someone bid for this painting? Who will start the bidding? $100, $200?" Another voice shouted angrily. "We didn't come to see this painting. We came to see the Van Goghs, the Rembrandts. Get on with the real bids!" But still the auctioneer continued. "The son! The son! Who'll take the son?"

Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the long-time gardener of the man and his son. "I'll give $10 for the painting." Being a poor man, it was all he could afford. "We have $10, who will bid $20?" "Give it to him for $10. Let's see the masters." "$10 is the bid, won't someone bid $20?"

The crowd was becoming angry. They didn't want the painting of the son. They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections. The auctioneer pounded the gavel. "Going once, twice, SOLD for $10!" A man sitting on the second row shouted. "Now let's get on with the collection!"

The auctioneer laid down his gavel.

"I'm sorry, the auction is over. When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will. I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time. Only the painting of the son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings. The man who took the son gets everything!"

God gave his son 2,000 years ago to die on a cruel cross. Much like the auctioneer, His message today is, "The son, the son, who'll take the son?"
(Author Unknown)


Shalom!
Anina

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Protection from behind…


I love the weapons God gives us to protect ourselves.

Ephesians 6:14-17(NIV)
14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

It seems that every vulnerable part of the body is protected except for the back. To attack someone from behind can be very easy if there is no protection. So I always wondered what kind of protection God provides for our backs.

I found the answer in Isaiah 58:8(NLT)
 8 …and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind.

Isn’t it wonderful to know that the glory of the Lord protect us from behind!

There is however a pre-requisite for this glory. It is all about the kind of fasting that is acceptable for the Lord that we find in the rest of this chapter. Verse 7 says that the kind of fasting the Lord chooses is to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor with shelter. That when you see the naked, to clothe them. Then your light will break forth like the dawn and your healing will quickly appear, your righteousness will go before you and the glory of the LORD will protect you from behind!

It touches God’s heart when you look after the poor. But you can also rely on His protection, especially from behind!

Shalom!
Anina

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

God remembers!



God remembers allot of things, but there is one thing that the Bible tells us He especially remembers:

2 Corinthians 9:9(NLT)
9 As the Scriptures say,
   “They share freely and give generously to the poor.
      Their good deeds will be remembered forever.”

God remember when we are generous to the poor. Even Solomon said that he who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward him for what he has done. The Message says mercy to the needy is a loan to God, and God pays back those loans in full.

My husband and I can testify of this truth. Since God has called us to work with the poor of Danville we have been experienced His provision in a supernatural way.

Sometimes when we go through difficult times we need to take our focus off our own circumstances and reach out to people who struggle just to get some food on their table!

But it is not only supposed to be something we do to take our attention off our own difficulties. God sees it as our responsibility to look after the poor. In another verse Solomon says that if we shut our ears to the cry of the poor, we too will cry out and not be answered.

Won’t you open up your heart to the poor? God will remember every good deed you do and whenever you go through a difficult time and you cry out to God, He will answer you!

Shalom!
Anina

Monday, September 26, 2011

It works... every time!



The Bible says that children are a gift from God. My husband and I can testify of this. We have only one daughter, but she is most certainly the most precious gift God ever gave us!

You can just imagine what a seven year old girl, that is the only child, can get away with if she knows how to play her cards right.

Michรกn loves swimming and last week she asked her dad whether he will take her swimming. Because of a busy schedule he said he did not know if he would be able to make some time for a swimming session as well. She just stood in front of him, curled her lip and made a very cute face, and said “please!”

My husband took one look at her face and all resistance crumbled… he agreed to make some time for the swimming as well!

Triumphantly she turned away, looked at me with a straight face and said: “It works… every time!”

A cute face will unfortunately not work with God. But there is one thing that that will work with God… every time!

John 14:6(NIV) 
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

The One that will work with the Father every time is His Son!

When we enter into His presence through Jesus – it will work. When we pray through Jesus – it will work. Jesus is the way and the truth and the life!

You will be able to enter into Father’s presence through Jesus… every time!

Shalom!
Anina

Friday, September 23, 2011

Knocking with KFC

When Colonel Harland Sanders retired at the age of 65, he had little to show for himself, except an old Caddie roadster, a $105 monthly pension check, and a recipe for chicken.

Knowing he couldn't live on his pension, he took his chicken recipe in hand, got behind the wheel of his van, and set out to make his fortune. His first plan was to sell his chicken recipe to restaurant owners, who would in turn give him a residual for every piece of chicken they sold - 5 cents per chicken. The first restaurateur he called on turned him down.

So did the second.

So did the third.

In fact, the first 1008 sales calls Colonel Sanders made ended in rejection. Still, he continued to call on owners as he traveled across the USA, sleeping in his car to save money. Prospect number 1009 gave him his first "yes."

After two years of making daily sales he had signed up a total of five restaurants. Still the Colonel pressed on, knowing that he had a great chicken recipe and that someday the idea would catch on.

Of course, you know how the story ends. The idea did catch on. By 1963 the Colonel had 600 restaurants across the country selling his secret recipe of Kentucky Fried Chicken (with 11 herbs and spices).

In 1964 he was bought out by future Kentucky governor John Brown. Even though the sale made him a multi-millionaire, he continued to represent and promote KFC until his death in 1990.

Colonel Sanders' story teaches an important lesson: its never too late to decide to never give up.

Earlier in his life the Colonel was involved in other business ventures - but they weren't successful. He had a gas station in the 30's, a restaurant in the 40's, and he gave up on both of them. At the age of 65, however, Harland Sanders decided his chicken idea was the right idea, and he refused to give up, even in spite of repeated rejection.

He knew that if he kept on knocking on doors, eventually someone would say "yes."

Keep on knocking till Monday!

Shalom!
Anina

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Knock, knock, knocking on heaven’s door!


God’s desire is to live in each and every person’s heart. Yesterday we saw that God will keep on knocking on the door of a person’s heart until it stops beating.

But what happens when the knocking stops and that person did not open his heart to the Lord?

Luke 13:25(NLT)
When the master of the house has locked the door, it will be too late. You will stand outside knocking and pleading, 'Lord, open the door for us!' But He will reply, 'I don't know you or where you come from.'

The people who did not open the door of their heart to God in this lifetime, will in eternity stand outside. Ironically enough, they will now do the knocking, longing to enter into the Kingdom of heaven. But the door will be locked. God will not open the door, because He does not know that person!

The Message translates the same verse as:

Well, one day you're going to be banging on the door, wanting to get in, but you'll find the door locked and the Master saying, 'Sorry, you're not on my guest list.'

God’s guest list is the Book of Life. He knocks on your door to make sure that your name is written in the Book of Life. While He is knocking you can open the door and get your name on His guest list!

But when He stopped knocking, you can even bang on the door, the door will stay locked!

Shalom!
Anina

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Knock, knock!

 
This past two days I have been sharing with you about the witchdoctor that experienced something about the power of God, but is too afraid to accept Jesus.

God is calling his name, but the fear of this unknown God prevents him to answer the call.

I know however that my God will keep on knocking on the door of this man heart and will keep on calling his name!

This made me think of somebody in the Bible who also heard God calling but did not yet know Him personally:

1 Samuel 3:7(MSG)
 6-7 God called again, "Samuel, Samuel!"
    Samuel got up and went to Eli, "I heard you call. Here I am."
    Again Eli said, "Son, I didn't call you. Go back to bed." (This all happened before Samuel knew God for himself. It was before the revelation of God had been given to him personally.)

God kept on calling until Samuel realized that it was God. From the time that Samuel answered that call, he got to know God personally.

God is constantly calling all the people who do not know Him yet. It is like someone constantly knocking at a door, even though no one opens the door. God will keep on knocking until you open the door of your heart to Him.

One time I asked God if He ever stops knocking at someone’s door if they keep on ignoring Him. His answer was yes…

His knocking is every heartbeat of a person’s heart. The day that heart stops beating, the knocking will stop!

Have you opened your hearts door to God’s knocking? He longs to reveal Himself personally to you!

Shalom!
Anina

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I want to believe…!


Yesterday I told you about the witchdoctor that visited our church and became aware of a power stronger that he is used to.

One of our leaders visited him to minister the love of God to him. He started speaking to him and he listened intently. After receiving so much truth and even experiencing the power of God, his reaction was strange but understandable!

He said that he actually believes all that he heard, but he is not willing to leave his believes…

Our leader asked him why he was not willing to accept Jesus into his life. His response: “I want to believe… but I am afraid!”

You see, this man knows and understand the dark side of the spiritual realm. He knows that it is evil and dangerous and he is afraid that if he leaves this darkness for Jesus they might hurt him or even kill him!

Fortunately this man doesn’t know our God yet – the Light side of the spiritual realm. That He is full of truth and goodness, a refuge and safe place from any form of evil!

2 Tim. 4:18(NLT)
Yes, and the Lord will deliver me from every evil attack and will bring me safely into His heavenly Kingdom. All glory to God forever and ever! Amen.

God has the ability to deliver this man and his family from all evilness and lead them safely into His Kingdom. He however needs some truth about the ability of God to protect him and keep him safe.

The way to bring this truth into his heart is through prayer:

“Lord, I now bring this man and his whole family before You. I want to ask that you will forgive them for each and every sin they have ever committed. That You will forgive this man for following evil ways and practices. I want to ask that you will release him from this stronghold of fear and bring the truth of your love and grace into his life, but mostly that He will see that Your greatness and power can’t even be compared to all the evilness in this world! Save this man Lord! In the name of Jesus! Amen!”

We trust God for this man’s soul!

Shalom!
Anina

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Curse

Our church is in a very notorious building in the Danville area of Pretoria West. This building has rooms where families stay together in small rooms with a communal bathroom.

In the same building there also lives a witchdoctor. These people are very much in opposition to anything that has to do with Christ. We as Christians operate in the light, but these people operate in the spiritual realm of darkness.

Without us knowing it, this witchdoctor visited us one Sunday morning during our service. Later that week, one of our leaders that also stay in the building talked to this man. He complained that he and his whole family became sick after he visited our church.

Many times the strategy of these people is to visit churches and curse the church. But the Bible is very clear about these kinds of practices:

Proverbs 26:2(NLT)
 2 Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow,
      an undeserved curse will not land on its intended victim.

This man most probably uttered a few curses, but if you are under God’s protection that curse will bounce back to its sender.

This witchdoctor actually told our leader that he wants to know more about our religion, because it is obviously stronger than what he is used to.

We are praying for this man – that his eyes will open and that he will see the true light of Jesus Christ, that his whole family would accept Jesus as their Saviour!

The amazing thing is that God can use anything to make people aware of His saving grace, even a curse!

Shalom!
Anina

Friday, September 16, 2011

Where is God?

A humorous story to start your weekend:

A couple had two little boys, ages 8 and 10, who were excessively mischievous. The two were always getting into trouble and their parents could be assured that if any mischief occurred in their town their two young sons were in some way involved.

The parents were at their wits end as to what to do about their sons' behavior. The mother had heard that a clergyman in town had been successful in disciplining children in the past, so she asked her husband if he thought they should send the boys to speak with the clergyman.
The husband said, 'We might as well. We need to do something before I really lose my temper!'
 
The clergyman agreed to speak with the boys, but asked to see them individually. The 8 year old went to meet with him first. The clergyman sat the boy down and asked him sternly,'Where is God?' The boy made no response, so the clergyman repeated the question in an even sterner tone, 'Where is God?' Again the boy made no attempt to answer. So the clergyman raised his voice even more and shook his finger in the boy's face, 'WHERE IS GOD?'
 
At that the boy bolted from the room and ran directly home, slamming himself in the closet. His older brother followed him into the closet and asked what had happened. The younger brother replied, 'We are in BIG trouble this time. God is missing and they think we did it.'

Shalom!
Anina

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Terms and Conditions



Whenever you buy something, especially on credit, there is always certain terms and conditions. With a covenant there is also term and conditions. Both parties commit to follow the terms of the covenant. If you don’t follow the term and conditions of the covenant, the penalty is death!

The covenant God made with Abraham was seen as the old covenant. It was a lasting covenant from generation to generation. The problem was that Israel could not keep their part of the covenant. Because of God’s mercy He brought in the sacrifice of animals – this took away the death-penalty for not honoring the covenant, but did not completely rid them of their sins.

Something new and better was needed because although they did not receive the penalty, their sin separated them from God’s presence.

Jer. 31:31-34(NLT)
 31 “The day is coming,” says the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah. 32 This covenant will not be like the one I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant, though I loved them as a husband loves his wife,” says the Lord.

God’s desire is for each one of His children to dwell in His presence, having an intimate relationship with Him. The new covenant would make this possible!

Heb.12:24(NLT)
You have come to Jesus, the One who mediates the new covenant between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks of forgiveness…

The sacrificed animal could not mediate between God and man. But glory to God – Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God was slayed. He was blameless and without fault. He did not only take away the death penalty that we deserved, He mediated a new covenant that took away our sin.

Now we are blameless and can enter into the presence of our Father. We can have intimate relationship with our heavenly Father!

What an amazing privilege!

Shalom!
Anina

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

How can I know?

In our congregation we are currently busy with a series on God’s covenant. As a child of God it is important to understand what it means to stand in covenant with God.

God made allot of covenants with different people, but the one that stands out in the Old Testament is definitely the one He made with Abraham!

It all started when God made a few promises to Abraham. God promised that He will be Abraham’s shield and reward, that He would give him a child and some land. Abraham however needed some reinsurance.

Genesis 15:8(NIV)
8 But Abram said, “Sovereign LORD, how can I know that I will gain possession of it?”

Have you ever asked this question? Maybe you have asked God: “How can I know I will go to heaven?” Maybe: “How can I know you will provide for me?” You might have asked yourself: “How can I know God is real?”

God was not angry at Abraham when he asked this question. In the same way God is not angry if we sometimes ask the same question.

The interesting part comes in the way God chose to answer Abraham. He asked him to get some animals for a sacrifice, cut them in half and then God moved between these offerings. These are some of the steps of cutting a covenant. Abraham’s name even changed and from that day God was known as the God of Abraham!

If you ask God: “How can I know?” God’s answer is that He is in a covenant with you.

Ultimately a covenant means God’s identity becomes your identity; God’s strength becomes your strength; God’s weapons become your weapons and your enemies would become God’s enemies!

There is however some terms and conditions to any covenant. Tomorrow more about this!

Shalom!
Anina

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Ah man!

If you are a committed to prayer as a Christian, there is one word you would most definitely use at least once a day. The word amen!

This weekend one of our precious friends told us how he gave the senior pastor of his church a lift after the service. His youngest son of six is very outspoken and he always speaks his mind. He asked the pastor: “Why are you driving with us?” The pastor explained that his wife already went home with their car and that they were so kind to give him a lift. His son just fell back into his seat and said: “Ah man!” My friend said he wish he could just sink into his chair and hoped that his pastor did not hear the comment. To his surprise, the pastor exclaimed: “But you have such lovely children… to say amen, because I am driving with you” Our friend just smiled and said: “O yes, I have lovely children!”

Amen is a powerful word; unfortunately most Christians are not so sure about the meaning.

Tony Warren writes that amen is one of the few words of scripture which is written in its original Hebrew form. In fact, it is practically a universal word, having been adopted directly from the Hebrew into Greek, Latin, English, Spanish, and many other languages.

This Hebrew amen is derived from the root “aman”, which means to be firm or solid in the sense of permanency or faithfulness. Thus by implication, it means to be sure or true.

So whenever we see this word amen used in Scripture, it is affirming what is truth, or illustrating something said that is of absolute certainty.

So make sure that “amen” is for what is true and sure, and “ah man” for all other inconvenient situations…!
Shalom!
Anina

Monday, September 12, 2011

If we sing, they will hear!

Psalm 89:1(NLT)
 1 I will sing of the Lord’s unfailing love forever!
      Young and old will hear of your faithfulness.

Sunday evening, almost in the middle of the praise and worship, a lady and her son peeked into our church and moved into one of the back rows.

She started to cry during the sermon. She was obviously going through a very tough time! We allocated some prayer time for people that needed a miracle in their lives. Almost everyone came out for prayer, including this precious lady.

I prayed for her, but she cried so much that we had to go into a prayer room where she shared her story with me. A story of pain and hurt, but also a choice to come back to the Lord a few months ago. This specific Sunday she was however despondent and without hope and she decided to search for some alcohol just to numb the pain.

She and her eleven year old son walked past the church just as we were worshipping. Her son was the one who encouraged her to walk into the church.

She told me that she believed God let her hear the singing and because of that she turned to Him again for hope and healing!

Sometimes when you sing of God’s love and His faithfulness, you are not even aware of the fact that people might be listening to you! Even more miraculous, that maybe a person`s life can be changed.

There are many broken people in this world. Some of them just need to hear that God is still a loving and faithful God. Although God can send a legion of angels to praise His name, He chooses to use our voices!

Will you sing of His unfailing love? Young and old will hear, and some of them will turn back to Him!

Shalom!
Anina

Friday, September 9, 2011

On a lighter fig note...


I thought it would be good to end off this week of fig leaves with something that would bring a smile to the face!

Fig Leaves
Bobby, nine, opened the big and old family Bible with fascination, and looked at the old pages as he turned them. Suddenly, something fell out of the Bible, and he picked it up and looked at it closely. It was an old leaf from a tree that had been pressed in between the pages.
'Hey, Mum, look what I've found!' Bobby called out.' What have you got there, dear?' his mother asked. Astonishment written all over his face, he answered: 'I think it's Adam's suit!'

The fig leave
A priest walked into a bar and found a raucous scene. Everyone was dancing, drinking and yelling, and the music was blaring. Suddenly, they noticed his entrance and the entire patronage became quiet.
He approached the bar and asked to use the restroom. The barkeep leaned over and whispered, “I don’t think that’s a very good idea, Father.” The barkeep obviously wanted the priest to leave, lest business slow down.
“Please, sir.” begged the priest. “I won’t be long.”
“You see, Father, it’s like this,” the bartender explained. “There’s a beautiful statue of a naked woman in the restroom and she’s covered with only a fig leaf. We just don’t want you to be offended.”
“Ah, my good man, not to worry,” assured the priest. “If that’s the only thing that’s bothering you, you have no problem. I shall take no notice of the statue.”
With that, the bartender told the priest where to go and off the cleric went. When he returned, the action in the bar was in full swing again.
He questioned the bartender. “A few moments ago everything was quiet and calm. Now — pandemonium! What happened?”
“Well,” said the bartender with a grin, “you’re one of us now.”
“I don’t understand,” answered the priest.
“You see, Father, the lights in the bar go off whenever the fig leaf is lifted.”

Shalom till Monday!
Anina

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Don’t wear fig leaves


It is almost impossible to ponder about figs and not think about the first time we read about fig leaves! It was when Adam and Eve used the leaves to cover up their nakedness after they have sinned!

Genesis 3:7(NLT)
7 At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.

Many a times, just like Adam and Eve we try a lot of “fig leaves” to cover up our shame and guilty conscience.

Wil Pounds says man has never been able to make a “fig leaf” that will cover his sin. We try “fig leaves” of good works, church membership and religious works – all those activities that makes us look good (like we saw yesterday – figs symbolizes natural good).

There is nothing wrong with good works, but it will never be able to take away our guilt. There is only one remedy for sin.

Genesis 3:21(NLT)
21 And the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.

Can you imagine the shock in the mind and heart of Adam and Eve when they saw two dead animals, probably lambs, lying dead before their eyes? God killed the animals and made from their skins garments and clothed Adam and Eve.

The wages of sin is death, but the immediate death that occurred was not their death, though they were guilty and deserved the death penalty; it was the death of two innocent animals. In His mercy God killed those animals for Adam and Eve.

This off course pointed to another Substitute who in time would give Himself as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”. The only death that can possibly deal with sin is His death.

All outward acts of religion without the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ for our sins are withered “fig leaves.” Take off your fig leaves and clothe yourself with Christ – this will put you in perfect righteousness with the Father!

Shalom!
Anina

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sprouting fig tree

Monday we mentioned a verse in Habakkuk about fig trees that had no blossoms. When your fig tree has no blossoms, you are actually in the middle of a spiritual winter!

But today I read the most amazing Scripture in Song of Solomon 2:11-13(NLT)

 11 Look, the winter is past,
      and the rains are over and gone.
 12 The flowers are springing up,
      the season of singing birds has come,
      and the cooing of turtledoves fills the air.
 13 The fig trees are forming young fruit,
      and the fragrant grapevines are blossoming.
   Rise up, my darling!
      Come away with me, my fair one!”

The winter will always past, and after every winter there is a summer. Fig trees begin to sprout when the summer is near.

 Matthew 24:32(NLT)
 32 “Now learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branches bud and its leaves begin to sprout, you know that summer is near.

Is your fig tree beginning to sprout?

The spiritual significance of the grapes on the vine that are blossoming, denote spiritual good and the figs on the fig-tree, denote natural good!

Maybe you are struggling spiritually, having difficulty to read Bible and pray. This will always have an effect on your outside world. You will struggle to bear fruit – you will lack natural good!

But take heart, God says your grapes are blossoming and your fig trees are forming young fruit! Spiritual and natural good is on their way in your life!

Shalom!
Anina

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Is God dead?


There was a widow that lived in a small village. She was poor but lived a Godly life. Despite difficult circumstances she always stayed positive and focused on God. She always encouraged her children: “Don’t be afraid, God is alive, He will look after us!” In this truth they lived happily and contently. Knowing that they can trust the God that is alive!

But one day everything became too much for her. Desperately she sat in her house and started to cry, not knowing what to do. She did however not realize that her youngest son was still at home. When he saw her, he walked to her, placed his little arms around her neck and asked: “Mother, is God dead?”

It was as if this question shook her out of her desperation into faith. She wiped away her tears, stood up and said: “No my son, God is still alive! He lives forever and He is faithful!”

At one stage or another all of us go through trouble or difficult times in our lives. Psalm 34:19(NLT) says:

 19 The righteous person faces many troubles,
      but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.

Righteous people are those who are in a right relationship with God. People that know He is alive and well. Unfortunately righteous people are not immune against trouble. The Bible states that the righteous person will face many troubles.

The challenge is to keep holding onto God and His promise during these difficult times. That He will rescue you every time!

How do you react when you go through difficult times? Do you keep on confessing that He is alive and well and He will rescue you, or do you react as if He is dead?

Shalom!
Anina

Monday, September 5, 2011

Yet, I will rejoice!

Time and time again I am amazed by the people of our church.

Sunday we sang an Afrikaans song that comes out of Habakkuk 3. Every time we sing this song, I get an overwhelming feeling of God’s presence. I know it is because His children are singing words they are presently experiencing.

Habakkuk 3:17-18(NLT) says:
 17 Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
      and there are no grapes on the vines;
   even though the olive crop fails,
      and the fields lie empty and barren;
   even though the flocks die in the fields,
      and the cattle barns are empty,
 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord!
      I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!


Many of our precious people are currently experiencing no blossoms, no grapes on their vines and failed crops. Circumstances forced them to live a life of survival! Some are in these circumstances because of wrong choices, other’s because of the lack of opportunity and other’s just because the circle of poverty was never broken in their lives.

When we however get to the part where we sing “…yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!” They sing these words with conviction, people with so little, rejoice in the Lord and they are joyful in the God of their Salvation!

This generates a spirit of hope! That no matter where I am or what I have! I still have my Lord, the God of my salvation!

Can you say: “Yet…!” Even if there is no money in the bank! Yet, I will rejoice. I’ve lost my job! Yet, I will rejoice!

Even if all looks dark and difficult, we can rejoice in the Lord – He is our hope and our salvation. He is the One who will be with us, now and forever!

Shalom!
Anina

Friday, September 2, 2011

Jars of Clay

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master's house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his master's house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you." "Why?" asked the bearer. "What are you ashamed of?" "I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master's house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don't get full value from your efforts," the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, "As we return to the master's house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path."

Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you've watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master's table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house."

Each of us has our own unique flaws. We are all cracked pots. But if we will allow it, the Lord will use our flaws to grace His Father's table. In God's great economy, nothing goes to waste.
So as we seek ways to minister together, and as God calls you to the tasks He has appointed for you, don't be afraid of your flaws. Acknowledge them, and allow Him to take advantage of them, and you, too, can be the cause of beauty in His pathway.

Go out boldly, knowing that in our weakness we find His strength, and that "In Him every one of God's promises is a Yes".

Shalom till Monday!
Anina