Tag Archive: Love


…By Lee

“And we know that in all things we are more than conquerors, through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:37

Once in a while people confide in me, pouring out their hearts on their many problems, and desperately hoping for God to provide a solution. Although I encourage them to have faith and stand strong in the Lord, I know that is far from easy to take that message to heart especially during times of turmoil.

I know for a fact that problems are created in the attempt to divert our attention from accepting God’s presence in our lives. God wants our focus to always be on Him, simply because, when we lose sight of God’s perspective, we blindly tumble towards our own destruction.

God knows how the ways of this world try to lure us into turning away from Him. When problems come our way, and we focus on them, they continue dragging us further and further away, until we are fully parted from our Godly mindset. The more we separate ourselves from focusing on God, the more we forget His word and the more vulnerable we are to adopting the earthly way of thinking; where we allow problems to drown us in a pool of worries, confusion and panic.

Through the apostle Paul, God assures us that we are more than conquerors in all we do. So in times of trouble, if those words can echo in our minds, and if we choose to have firm faith in them, knowing that God has declared us more than conquerors, more than champions, then we will be transformed in how we handle challenges. It’s like going to play a football match against a mediocre team. If you are intimidated by the team, you might end up losing, but if you face the team with the confidence of a winner, then you will play like a winner and triumph like a winner. It is all in the mindset. Therefore, when challenged with difficulties, recognise that you stand in God’s word and you have already been declared the victor in all you do.

So how can one be able to adopt a Godly mind set? The only way to adopt God’s way of thinking is to get deeper into His word. Develop your relationship with Him through prayer and daily devotion. Like any relationship, the one you have with God requires time, attention and commitment. As your relationship with God grows, He will gradually reveal Himself to you. The more you know God, the more you trust in Him. As your trust in Him grows, the stronger your faith will be.

In the book of Romans chapter 12, Paul also tells us that our minds should no longer be conformed to the motifs of this world, but instead be transformed in our way of thinking. We decide what manifests in our minds. If we allow our minds to be filled with fear and worries, it will reflect in the way we live. If we allow God’s words to take root in our minds, it will manifest in our lifestyle. We will begin to reflect His nature and being. The word says God made man in His image, so there is no reason for us to think that we can never reflect His nature.

So I urge you to fasten your minds on God and take hold of His word. Do not allow thoughts of fear and discomfort to dwell in your psyche, but allow the truth of God’s word to shape your mind. We

When facing problems, you should always remember that the God who breathed life into you has made you a conqueror of anything you will ever face. God will always provide a new perspective on your situation and he will empower you with the strength you require to get through it.

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…By Mwandi

1 Samuel 1:10-13a “In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the LORD……Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard.”

Today a person I care very deeply for wrote to me and said God does answer prayers.  Only that morning had she prayed earnestly for help…not knowing how, or where or whom; only knowing and believing that God would be able to deliver her out of her strife. 

I read her email and saw her pain, her anguish and her joy at salvation.  In her email I read all the emotions I had experienced when I was in desperate need for an answered prayer.  I knew how it felt to be praying for something so earnestly and deeply it brings you to your knees; you sob endlessly being unable to form the words in your mouth but your heart screaming out to be heard.  Not knowing how long you would have to endure turmoil until you were alleviated from your situation.  

And in those prayers I always remember wishing that God would send someone…anyone to help me.  That He would release an angel who would cradle me in their arms and let me know that everything would be ok.  And not only say it, but mean it and help me.  And then I wished I could be that person who was called upon to help another.  That without my knowing God would use me to answer another’s prayer.  And I prayed for the same.  Believing that God would deliver me, I believed in turn that I should be used to help another…even if I were in pain, I should help.     

Today a person I care very deeply for wrote to me and said God does answer prayers.  And I believe her.  God answered my prayers in a way I’ve not been able to stop thanking him for His intervention.  And simultaneously used me to answer somebody else’s prayer.  He knew that on Monday morning she would be praying to Him for help…so on Saturday delivered me from my pain, and on Sunday evening he placed it in my heart to be of that help and write to her what she needed the most.    

Isaiah 65:24 “Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear”.

 

The Manual of the Warrior of Light, presents a collection of philosophical thoughts and stories that will inspire spiritual seekers everywhere…here we share some excerpts with you…

All the world’s roads lead to the heart of the warrior; he plunges unhesitatingly into the river of passions always flowing through his life.

The warrior knows that he is free to choose his desires, and he makes these
decisions with courage, detachment and – sometimes – with just a touch of
madness.

He embraces his passions and enjoys them intensely. He knows that there
is no need to renounce the pleasures of conquest; they are part of life and bring joy to all those who participate in them.

But he never loses sight of those things that last or of the strong bonds that
are forged over time.

A warrior can distinguish between the transient and the enduring.

…By Mandii

God is love. There is a God-shaped hole in every heart. When we do not fill this hole with God, we seek other ways to seal the vacuum. We seek out the ‘love’ of others. There is a huge problem with this as until we know God’s love, we shall be unable to truly love ourselves, and  truly love others.

When one seeks out the love of another without first establishing a relationship with God- many a time, an addict is born. The relationship addict feels (sometimes on a subconscious level) a sense of incompleteness, emptiness, despair, and sadness that he or she seeks to remedy by connecting with another. The relationship is viewed as a means of meeting one’s needs for love, attention, and security rather than as a shared experience.

The addictive relationship becomes an arena for trying to resolve unfinished business with one’s soul, to fill the void that remains without God. Addictive relationships are characterized by a simultaneous excess and lack of love; an over abundance of love to obsessive attention is bestowed upon someone else while an inadequate amount is given to self.

Here, I give you seven signs of an addictive relationship:

1) Dishonesty: Neither John nor Mary talks about who they are or what’s really bothering them. They lie about what they want; they use manipulation and half truths to elicit emotional responses in the other. This kind of communication fuels an addictive relationship.  

Hebrews 6:18 – “So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie.” (NLT)

Psalm 119:160 – “The very essence of your words is truth; all your just regulations will stand forever.” (NLT)

2) Unrealistic expectations: Both John and Mary think the other will solve their self-esteem, body image, family, and existential problems. They believe the “right relationship” will make everything better. Yet, they’re in a disastrous addictive relationship.

But He said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” (Luke 18:27)

(Psalms 147:3 NKJV) “He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.”

 Ephesians 3:20 “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.”

3) Instant gratification: Mary expects John to be there for her whenever she needs him; she needs him to make her happy immediately. She is using him to make her feel good, and isn’t relating to him as a partner or even a human being. He is like  a drug. An addictive relationship drug.

2 Timothy 3:2 “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy.”

4) Compulsive control. Mary has to change or act a certain way, or John will threaten to leave her and/or vice versa. This establishes a strict conditional love policy within the relationship, lacking any kind of compromise, tolerance or acceptance.  Both feel pressure to stay in this addictive relationship; neither feel like they’re together voluntarily, but instead are limited in exercising their free will.

Malachi 3:6 “For I am the Lord, I do not change …”

 Psalm 80:13 “So I [God] let them go according to the desires of their heart: they shall walk in their own inventions.

5) Lack of trust. Neither partner trusts the other to be there when the chips are down. They don’t believe the other really loves them, and they don’t believe genuine caring or liking exists. At some level they know they’re not in a healthy but rather in an addictive relationship.

Luke 16:10 – “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” (NIV)

6) Social isolation. Nobody else is invited into their relationship – not friends, family, or work acquaintances. People in addictive relationships want to be left alone. They do not want to hear the advice of those who care for them, as the truth of the unhealthy nature of their relationship is something they would rather not  hear.

Ecclesiastes 4:13 “Better is a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish king who no longer knows how to receive counsel (friendly reproof and warning)” (AMP)

Proverbs 19:20 “Hear counsel, receive instruction, and accept correction, that you may be wise in the time to come.” (AMP)

1 Corinthians 4:14I do not write this to shame you, but to warn and counsel you as my beloved children.” (AMP)

7) Cycle of pain. John and Mary are trapped in a cycle of pleasure, pain, disillusionment, blaming, and reconnection. The cycle repeats itself until one partner breaks free of the addictive relationship.

Psalm 34:19 “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He guards all his bones; not one of them is broken.”

Jeremiah 30:17 “For I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds,” says the Lord.

John (or Mary) can get out of this unhealthy, addictive relationship…but how does he overcome this self sabotage nightmare?

John must let go of the fear of being alone.

Tim 1:7 (AMP) “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.”

John must have an awakening, emotionally, cognitively and spiritually. The first step to recovery is acknowledgment of a problem and the will to change. Thus once John realises that things aren’t quite what they seem; what he thought or how he wishes they would be,  his initial awakening shall continue as he recovers.

1 Peter 5:7 (AMP) “Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.”

John must glimpse his (addictive) relationship as it exists in reality. John’s spirituality and subsequent relationship with God can provide the essential coping skills and personal courage required to do this. John’s emerging awareness leads him to seek out and find appropriate help. Awakening awareness begins to help him to see and understand his self sabotage of chances for genuine intimacy. John shall learn about learn about identifying poor boundaries between adults; addiction and problems of intimacy; unhealthy attachment, ending relationships and self sabotage.

 God can slowly heal John’s issues with control, being over-responsible, neglecting his own needs, and his fear of abandonment. When he begins to allow God’s love in, he will understand that during his relationship he put up with abuse and ill treatment, which should have been unacceptable.

John learns to let go and let God. Most importantly, he learns what REAL love, what God’s love is.

Psalm 46:1-3,7 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold. “

…By Neemo

I once told a saved friend of mine that Professor Gale would go to heaven before she did. She thought not.

 Now, Professor Gale was our political science lecturer and a self confessed atheist. He thought we were all deluded to believe in God and we once had a one-hour argument about it in class. But Dr. Gale is the most selfless person I have ever met. If anyone lives by Christ’s example it is he. He cares nothing for himself (you should see the way he dresses) and everything for others. Especially disadvantaged women and children. He even once tried to get our University to donate some land towards building a shelter for abused women. He cares nothing for material possessions. The guy lives at YMCA and used to lecture at University only to get enough money to live by. He teaches for free in the slums and in fact he encouraged use to spare the time to do so. (Though he told us one day that one of his former students waved to him from a prison van so I don’t know how much success he is having with that!)

 My question is. Why do we get stuck over membership and not the membership values we should espouse? Gale is not a Christian. Neither is he a Muslim or a Hindu or any other religion. He is like Mahatma Gandhi. He espouses the values of all these religions. Which is what we should all try to do.

…By Mandii

When they walk into the room your knees turn to jelly, your brain scrambles and your heart sprints faster than Usain Bolt….

Many of us have experienced this feeling of intense attraction and perceiving amazing qualities in another person. Society has continually reinforced the message that until we meet the ‘love of our life’, then we are ‘incomplete’, ‘unfulfilled’ and ‘undesirable.’ Couples ‘fall in love’ blissfully and fall out of it with such agonizing heartache. Countless others remain in relationships that are not necessarily healthy, purely for the sake of not being alone.

I believe that many of these short lived romantic relationships are based on nothing but physical attraction and butterflies in the tummy...

Indeed, God created man and woman to be together, to complement each other. It is natural to desire to meet someone with whom you can share your life with. However, despite the cliché yarns of being swept of your feet into a whirlwind romance that would rival any Spanish tele-novella, the long lasting romantic relationships are those based on more than passionate infatuation. I believe many of these short lived romantic relationships are based on nothing but physical attraction and butterflies in the tummy, but those based on friendship have a deep understanding of who the other person really is and what they need.

Proverbs sheds some light on several characteristics of friends and friendships. Prov.17: 17 says, “A friend loves at all times.” Prov.18: 24 says, “There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.” Prov.27: 6 says, “When a friend rebukes you, that rebuke can be trusted.” Prov.27: 9 says, “The pleasantness of having a friend springs from his earnest counsel.” Prov.27: 10 says, “Do not forsake your friend.” These verses bring out the fact that God blesses friendship and encourages us to develop them. Friendship involves three essential elements, commitment to fulfil the responsibility of a friend, care and concern for the welfare of your friend, and affection. A romantic relationship rooted in this kind of friendship is much more likely to withstand the tough times.

When romantic relationships develop, the couple involved may feel the need to express intimacy through physical means. In an unhealthy situation, from my own observations I feel sex has come to be used as some kind of a drug. Even within the context of a ‘relationship’, sex is used in order to escape reality, to forget about problems, to relax, for instant physical gratification…and like all drugs, this is a harmful and destructive practice.

The purpose of romantic intimacy and romantic expression is for marriage and that is where it is to come into full bloom...

The Scriptures discuss the context in which the ultimate physical intimacy (sex) can be shared within a romantic relationship. Firstly, the purpose of romantic intimacy and romantic expression is for marriage and that is where it is to come into full bloom. It is like a flower bud that exists before marriage and is only opened up in a full way when it is time for it to bloom (in marriage). This is simply because romantic intimacy involves the most fragile part of our being – our hearts. Once our feelings are expressed and shared, the deepest part of us becomes vulnerable to another.

When your mother told you not to give your heart away too freely, she was right. She knew that sex is an extremely powerful force, and that when you bear yourself to someone else it is so much more than just a physical act. When we’re in bed with someone, we’re giving permission to that person not only to commune with our body, but with our whole being; we cannot hide who we are. Song of Songs 4:9 describes the vulnerability of expressing romantic desire to another when it says “You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes...” When romantic desire and attraction are expressed and reciprocated it “steals the heart” and makes it vulnerable. Without the commitment and resultant security of marriage, our hearts can easily be crushed.

The bride of Solomon in the Song of Songs celebrates the unity of romantic and physical intimacy as she proclaims in 1:2 “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth – for your love is more delightful than wine.” The Hebrew word translated “love” in that verse is literally “lovemaking,” showing love sexually.

In God's beautiful plan for man and woman, romantic intimacy and physical intimacy come to full expression together only within the protective bond of marriage.

In God’s beautiful plan for man and woman, romantic intimacy and physical intimacy come to full expression together only within the protective bond of marriage. Based on the Scriptures we have seen thus far, we can draw some important conclusions that can give us guidance when it comes to establishing romantic relationships. The first is that God desires for us to experience friendships with others before marriage. And it is a friendship-type relationship (with romantic desire, but not sexual intimacy) with a spiritual seeker of the opposite sex that moves directly into engagement (preparation for marriage). Second, in the Scriptures, no relationships are moved to the engagement/marriage stage unless the person is mature enough to be married. In Gen.28: 1-3 Isaac calls for his son Jacob when he is mature enough to fulfill his responsibilities as a husband and commands him to seek a wife. Third, romantic intimacy should not be experienced without the commitment of marriage to go with it. Romantic and physical intimacy is to be expressed only in marriage between a husband and wife. The Song of Songs shows us that romantic intimacy and physical intimacy are expressed together in marriage.

I leave you with some reflective words on marriage:

In a time when nothing is more certain than change, the commitment of two people to one another has become difficult and rare.  Yet, by its scarcity, the beauty and value of this exchange have only been enhanced.  ~Robert Sexton

Marriage is not a ritual or an end. It is a long, intricate, intimate dance together and nothing matters more than your own sense of balance and your choice of partner. ~Amy Bloom

Love is a flower which turns into fruit at marriage.  ~Finnish Proverb

Don’t marry the person you think you can live with; marry only the individual you think you can’t live without.  ~James C. Dobson

We have the greatest pre-nuptial agreement in the world.  It’s called love.  ~Gene Perret

A happy marriage is a long conversation which always seems too short.  ~Andre Maurois

The Manual of the Warrior of Light, presents a collection of philosophical thoughts and stories that will inspire spiritual seekers everywhere…here we share some excerpts with you…

Every Warrior of the Light has felt afraid of going into battle.

Every Warrior of the Light has, at some time in the past, lied or betrayed someone.

Every Warrior of the Light has trodden a path that was not his.

Every Warrior of the Light has suffered for the most trivial of reasons. Every Warrior of the Light has, at least once, believed he was not a Warrior of the Light.

Every Warrior of the Light has failed in his spiritual duties.

Every Warrior of the Light has said ‘yes’ when he wanted to say ‘no.’

Every Warrior of the Light has hurt someone he loved.

That is why he is a Warrior of the Light, because he has been through all this and yet has never lost hope of being better than he is.

…By Lee

I thought I would share a story about an amazing experience I had with God.

About 11 years ago, on a regular Sunday morning, my family and I attended a church service in The Hague (Netherlands). Keeping up with the normal routine, we rushed into the church hall a few minutes early, so as to reserve our usual seats.  At the time it seemed that the seating policy was not too close to the front and not too far behind.

After seating ourselves, half way through the praise and worship, I saw a woman stumbling into the church hall trying to avoid attracting any attention while seeking an empty seat. She was somehow able to navigate through the packed church hall and over peoples’ feet to a seat behind me. She sat down and immediately kept her face down, fixedly staring at the floor.

It was clear she did not want to be noticed. It took me a few moments to realize that it was her first time in that church. She seemed lost, confused, and unable to keep up with the worship songs. Her hands could not cease fiddling with the church flyer. Out of my willingness to help, I turned in my seat to face her, kindly greeted her and guided her to the lyrics of hymns we were singing. She took a short pensive glance at me and without sharing a smile, she whispered “thank you”.

Out of the blue, tears filled her eyes...

As the sermon progressed, I kept on looking back and inquiring if she needed any assistance. After a while I noticed her cracking a smile at me, so naturally, I smiled back. Then, out of the blue, tears filled her eyes. She quickly stood up and rushed out the church hall, leaving all her belongings behind. I was 12 at the time and all seemed nothing short of strange to my young mind. I was not able to pin point what her problem was. So I faced forward and I continued to listen to the sermon.

At the end of the church service, the same woman came urgently looking for my mum. From a distance, I observed them talking, the woman was still in tears and my mum was doing her best to console her whilst listening to all she had to say. Upon noticing me, my mum called me over and as I hesitantly approached them, the woman started repeatedly thanking me. I was at a loss for words, I could not fathom what I had done, or rather what she thought I had done. However, curiosity compelled me to ask why she chose to express her heartfelt gratitude towards me. She immediately narrated her story leaving me, a 12 year old, shocked to depths of my heart.

She painfully narrated that for the past couple of years she has been trampled on by her husband and kids. They had launched insults at her on a daily basis, she felt unappreciated, no one had shown her any compassion in a long time and no one cared about her. She had been left isolated, enduring unbearable pain. She knew only one way out of it all.

So on that day she came to church to ask for forgiveness for what she was about to do. She had pondered on that thought for a while and had made her final decision. This haunted woman was entirely convinced she had to commit suicide. But God had something to say to her on that day. What she experienced in the church touched her so deep, that she couldn’t stop the floods of tears rolling down her cheeks.

She could not recall the last time someone displayed concern for her, yet a young child, took time to check if she was doing fine.

She stood there saying that she could not recall the last time someone displayed concern for her, yet a young child, took time to check if she was doing fine. The seemingly  little concern I showed meant so much to her, she could not help but cry. She felt so relieved and for the first time in a long time, she felt love. She then knew that that her life was worth something and she was glad that God chose a 12 year old to express how important her life was to Him. The now renewed woman felt the need to take her life no longer, and made the decision to let her family know the truth about what they have been doing to her all along.

I was particularly proud when I grasped that God had used me to speak to that woman. It made me feel so special, realising that God knows me personally. It was amazing to me that in a congregation of 300 people, God singled me out and passed on his message to that woman through… me!!!Me!!! Wow!!

We serve an amazing God. At times one would think that God only uses pastors and the holiest of people to do his work, but the beauty of God is that he can use any seemingly ordinary person to do great works. Think about it, the disciples were merely fishermen and they were responsible for spreading the gospel to many countries. I also learned that, anytime and anywhere, God can use you to reach out to someone without you even noticing it. We should also keep in mind that the little things we do can go a long way in helping others.

The bible tells us to treat others as we would want to be treated; take time to help those in need. We should always remember that wherever we are we might be the only connection the people around us have to the healing power of Jesus. Be aware that where you are right now… you may be the only Jesus people around you see…

…By Neemo

Someone once said to me; we should be meeting up in church. So I responded, I don’t really go to church. And you should have seen the look of horror that crossed their face. So they ask me why? And I respond I am not a Christian. And at that they almost collapse. Coz they know I am not a Muslim (apparently the lack of a Hijab or an Arabic sounding name disqualifies you from that). They immediately assumed I am an atheist and don’t believe in God. In fact, that’s exactly what they said with a sneer, “So you are an atheist!” (And what’s wrong with being an atheist? I will discuss that in a later post)

 It was not the shock that disturbed me. It was the look I was given. The look said I was of a lesser value. Less of a person. Less moral because I do not go to Church. My integrity was called into question. I know that there is a relationship between morality and religion. But as we have seen from the thinking of terrorists, morals can be twisted in the name of religion.  From that conversation I understood why atheists in the UK have felt a need to form an association(s). I guess they felt they needed support. I found it particularly funny when they responded to some Christian posters/adverts that were appearing on buses. The Christian posters went something like “God is coming soon so now is your chance.” And the atheists countered, “There is no God so stop worrying about it.” Atheists founding an organization with people that adhere to a particular belief. Hmmm.  Kinda sounds ironic don’t it? But now I see their point. Given it is Europe that is a lot less religious than anywhere in the world, I think they felt that they needed some support system or structure. To meet with like-minded people. Because if they were getting the same response I was getting (and I am not even an atheist) then I don’t blame them.

I have never felt anything other than appreciated, loved and supported by all of you. Whatever my beliefs.

Then I thought what a joy it is to have the friends that I do. We appreciate each other’s beliefs and encourage learning and interaction without belittling anyone. I have never felt anything other than appreciated, loved and supported by all of you. Whatever my beliefs. Why can’t the world be more like us?