“The great people of the earth today are the people who pray! I do not mean those who talk about prayer; nor those who say they believe in prayer; nor those who explain prayer; but I mean those who actually take the time to pray. They have not time. It must be taken from something else. That something else is important, very important and pressing, but still, less important and pressing than prayer. There are people who put prayer first, and group the other items in life’s schedule around and after prayer. These are the people today who are doing the most for God in winning souls, in solving problems, in awakening churches, in supplying both men and money for mission posts, in keeping fresh and strong their lives far off in sacrificial service on the foreign field, where the thickest fighting is going on, and in keeping the old earth sweet a little while longer.” S.D. Gordon
I read an article entitled “unity, not conformity” and at the end was a nice story…i don’t know how true the story is, however the story just put the puzzle together for me:
“Once upon a time, the inhabitants of a small village built a tower. All the groups brought stones from their yards to build it—the town council, the potter’s guild, the teachers, the cooks, the farmers, the seamstresses, and all the others worked hard to build the tower.
But almost as soon as it was done, they started fighting among themselves.
-The town council wanted to use the tower to hold political meetings.
-The potters wanted to use it for guild meetings.
-The farmers wanted to have agricultural forums.
-Some groups wanted artistic and cultural events.
And on and on it went.
Finally, all the groups got mad, and stone by stone, they dismantled the tower. And the people took their rocks home. But one old man remained, sitting by the foundation of the decimated tower. Someone passed by and said, “Old man, take your stone and go home.” The old man replied, “From the top of that tower, I could see the ocean.”
We are not here merely to exercise our own gifts. We are here to use those gifts to worship God, to love God, and to serve each other. God called us together, with all our diversity, so that we can see beyond the horizon—so that we can get a glimpse of eternity. Brothers—sisters—let us love one another so that can happen.”
Somehow i feel that there is something unique about this year. A movie named 2012 was released last year depicting how the end of the world would be like. However this was probably because of the hype that was made around the Mayan calendar. One of the helpers at the university was born in the Guatemala and knows to some degree about the Mayan civilization. According to what he knows about the Mayans is that, 2012 marked the year(expected period) where all the gods of the universe will return to earth and not necessary the end of the Mayan calendar as is popularly believed(well that’s according to him).
According to the Chinese calendar 2012 is their water dragon year.
There is also an African Pastor T.B Joshua who is well known to be accurate in his prophecies who warned that 2012 was the year where famine could hit the world very hard. He urged governments to pull more strings towards encouraging more farming activities.
As from my side, i thank God to be alive thus far, this is the year i learned how to ski and soon would be learning skating. so far the year is still new and fresh, i shall see what the Lord will allow me to experience this year…
For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” (Rom. 1:17), Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God(Heb 12:2). Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. (Heb. 10:23).
Some Christians carry their religion on their backs. It is a packet of beliefs and practices which they must bear. At times it grows heavy and they would willingly lay it down, but that would mean a break with old traditions, so they shoulder it again. But real Christians do not carry their religion, their religion carries them. It is not weight, it is wings. It lifts them up, it sees them over hard places. It makes the universe seem friendly, life purposeful, hope real, sacrifice worthwhile. It sets them free from fear, futility, discouragement, and sin — the great enslaver of men’s souls. You can know a real Christian when you see him, by his bouyancy. –Harry Emerson Fosdick.
Since last night my spirit just went down after i came from church. I wondered why? was it because i felt envious over others who were chosen to prepare messages for the conference? or was it because i was not seen as a leader in the ministry? I know there is a constant foolish war in my heart to be seen as great, so not being elected to resume a leadership position can result in making me feel somehow. However i will continue to struggle against this stupid feeling and this terrible sin for it makes me deny God’s wisdom who used Jesus Christ who became nothing so that a sinner like me could be saved. So in the morning i woke up with the same downcast spirit. I then doubted if i should even go for prayer. I decide to go because when i decided to do the morning prayers, i asked God to help me pray irrespective of how i felt in the morning. Whiles praying i felt that i was not fit to pray to God, that i was faithless(thinking on my sins and how unbelieving i am), however i wanted to continue praying out of prayer being a tradition that i practiced each morning, this made me doubt if God would indeed respond to such a prayer. Just before i was about to give up and stop praying, the verse came to me, by faith and not by sight. I received motivation to pray out of obedience to God’s command (Jesus urged the disciples to pray, Jesus even taught the disciples how to pray, the disciples urged us to pray without ceasing), so i got strength to continue and even my prayer had some lively spirit. I believe God carried me through that prayer. Even when i left the church carrying my bible i did not feel shy (something i still need to overcome) around people, it was as if God was carrying me as if my religion was carrying me, i felt very light(without weight). This is what i want, a life that depends, that moves, that thinks, that loves, that behaves, that serves, that prays, that breaths based completely on the promises of God, a life lived by faith and not by sight carried by the blood of the lamb. I oftentimes hear about this, but Harry Ermerson puts very nicely for me, my religion must carry me, the scriptures tells that the teachings of God through Jesus are life giving able enough to turn a sinner into a hero and God’s greatness.
I. “When the Son of Man comes, shall He find faith on the earth?
Currently there is a radio talk show called family radio under the directorship of Harold Camping. I have been following Harold Camping for around five years now. In many ways i found him to be a very good bible teacher even though i would have my own disagreements there and there. Harold Camping has been teaching that Rapture is about to occur on the 21st of May 2011, that means on Saturday, that means this is our last week according to his understanding of the bible. Harold had said the same thing would happen around 1994 however with 1994 he testified that even before 1994 came to pass he had no firm conviction that the bible was teaching that. However for the 21st of May 2011, Harold has no doubt, he is sure that is what the bible is saying. Harold Camping has written a number of books which by the way are free of charge, giving full explanation to this revelation as he believes to have received it from the bible.
I have to respect Harold for his courage and fearlessness in the convictions he has, telling the whole world with no doubt that rapture is on the 21st of May 2011. However this has left me wondering because i regard Harold Camping as one of the best biblical scholars i have encountered in my time or generation. However i am worried that if the 21st rapture day does not come to pass, what would Mr. Camping do? and the millions of people who believe what he is teaching, what will happen to them? This two questions is what motivated me to write this letter. From all these claims of knowing the day of rapture in the Christian history, I was made to realize the great importance of the question Jesus asked: “When the Son of Man comes, shall He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8). This questing is important because given this kind of history in our Christian faith many could lose hope and patience on waiting on our lord Jesus Christ. However I want to urge everyone to remain steadfast and firm in the faith of our lord Jesus Christ. Camping has written books of his teaching which indeed are convincing otherwise we would not have millions people following him. We must always understand that our faith in God did not come about because of our intelligence (then all intelligent people in the world will believe) or some human ability or some reasonable doctrine but is entirely the work of God through hearing his word. Man can only plant/preach the word and it is God who makes the plants grow. Our trust is not in man but in God. Some misleading trends are: firstly, complete trust and surety in the church traditions (this includes the doctrines of the church, the teachings of the pastor, etc) and regulations for faith in God(I.e making their church traditions as the authority and only way to God), this easily results in one to believe she/he is in the faith, simply because he/she measures their faith by the regulations and traditions of their church. I know this for sure because i myself was a victim, my church has a tradition among other practices of encouraging people to write bible testimonies (based on the Sunday message one writes what they have learnt or some deep meaning from the message that has impacted their lives which can help them have practical faith) those who normally commit to the church traditions are seen as future disciples of Jesus Christ. I believe this tradition is good and it is to encourage people to meditate on God’s word in hope that they may receive one word of God and hence live a fruitful life. However, I began to use it as a method of measuring my faith (i.e. finding myself writing these testimonies each week without made me feel a better Christian) then it becomes dangerous and a heavy burden which might result in one losing their faith. Secondly, church going out of a rule or habit or status quo and not from the love of God. Like the Galatians church which started write in the spirit but later fell into legalism (laws and rules and missed that the origin of their faith was the spirit of God). I have found that many churches today had started right in the spirit but later on fall into a form of legalism or faith in the traditions than faith in God. If the church tradition, doctrine, fellowship does not center one in God’s spirit and in Jesus Christ then that tradition or doctrine or fellowship is useless as far as the gospel of Jesus Christ is concerned [John 17:3]. We are constantly cautioned from scripture: “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test?” [2 Cor 13:5], we are to be careful and hence examine ourselves to see whether we are in the faith. And according to me the best way is through the word of God, the very same word that brought faith to us, “So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” [Rom 10:17]. Many have put their trust and hope in the teaching of Harold Camping and the only way to God. Let us examine ourselves and live a life worthy of the gospel. We must know that we are not sufficient of ourselves our sufficiency is of God” [2Cor 3:5]. Let us trust our loving God who knows all our hearts desires. Here is a question for you: when the Son of Man comes, shall He find faith on the earth?
II. Let us return to personal time with God and personal study of the Bible prayerfully.
There was a time in our history when only the church had the authority to teach and give the word of God. However many shared their blood so that today we might have the bible in our languages, men such as: John Wycliffe, William Tyndale, Erasmus of Rotterdam, and others. These men were under the obedience of Jesus Christ, “He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation” [Mark 16:15]. Let us not break the chain of faith but have personal time with our bibles and God through prayer. A great price was paid for us to have what we have today. As the words says “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” [2 Timothy 2:15], i believe we have all the responsibility to make use of this graceful opportunity as the holy spirit leads “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.” [1 John 2:27].
The church needs to return to the core of the Bible. What is going to happen to the millions who are following after Harold Camping’s teachings, men and woman who have put all trust in man’s teaching? only God knows…i still have hope though that God is in control….this is not the first time in Christian history that someone has claimed the end of the world. However i must confess Harold Camping grabs this claim not from some vision nor does he claim to be a prophet but claims to have directly received this as he has been studying the Bible. This is discomforting, for not only will he be nullifying himself but also the Bible if May 21st is not rapture day. However God is God, before the Bible was God was and I believe God will continue to use the Bible to spread the message of reconciliation towards himself and man, “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever” [Isaiah 40:8]. God made sure that His words were recorded for us and our future generation “And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain on tables, that he may run that reads it.” [Hab 2:2], “He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” [Rev 21:5], “But you, Daniel, close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge.” [Daniel 12:4]. “But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” [John 20:31]. Let us therefore return to the bible of which now is in almost any language, for in this way we will be able to escape many deceptions and hence safeguard our souls. Let us have a steady heart in Jesus Christ. Through Jesus resurrection we are assured that those who have died will also be resurrected, however it might not be on the 21st of May 2011 (i.e. this Saturday). We read from Timothy that, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” [2 Tim 3:16]. From the book of Timothy we learn that God knew man’s hearts and beforehand informed us that scripture can also be used for correcting, which means that God knew that man will make mistakes. I believe Harold Camping has fallen into such great mistake in his theology and doctrine and may the mercy of God be upon him. Let us not for once doubt the coming of our lord Jesus Christ, Jesus asked that question for us, to keep watch and hold on to what he taught. Let us keep the faith until the very end, believe God and prayerful follow Him as he had revealed Himself through the person of Jesus Christ. “I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ” [Rev 1:9], let us also patiently wait for our Lord Jesus Christ. I ask that we pray for Harold Camping and the many who have given all hope to his teaching, let’s pray that they may not lose their faith but that God may have mercy upon them to overcome this test.
Today at church we sang a song over a couple who had just gottern engaged. I could not resist the words of this song, they are very practical and real as far as a generation of reconciliation and peace is concerned, by Morris Chapman
Oh let us be a generation of reconciliation and peace
And let us be a holy nation
Where pride and predjudice shall cease
Let us speak the truth in love
To the lost and least of these
And let serve the Lord in unity so others will believe L let us be a generation of reconciliation and peace
Oh let us be a generation of reconciliation and peace
And let us build on one foundation
Till He comes and the wars of men shall cease
Let us share the Love of Jesus without hypocrisy
Let mercy and forgiveness begin with you and me
Let us be a generation of reconciliation and peace
Have we not one Father?
Have we not one faith?
Have we not one calling to become one Holy race??
Let us be a generation of reconciliation and peace
And let us pray for restoration
And seek the Lord together on our knees
Let us keep our hearts from evil
And cling to that is good
Let us honor one another and love the brotherhood
Let us be a generation of reconciliation and peace
Firstly, things here in Canada are different, people of a lighter skin are cleaning the streets, the subway, etc. I felt a bit wierd because i am so used to seing people of a darker skin do such work. Anyways, this is not Africa…the majority are not Africans. Secondly, i met this chinese guy who crosses almost all the boundaries, talk about being out of the box. This guy made his own fuel cell at home, he can fix almost anything, if it was not for so many regulatory laws in Canada, this guy would have his car running on water or used oil. He has a master’s degree in Civil engineering and refuses to work for anyone. Right now, he works for a church and for some school to fix and install stuff. He sees no reason to have gone to a formal school, for he believes everything can be learnt through the internet/youtube. He feels that if he was in South Africa, he would do a lot, for there are few regulatory laws most especial for renewable energy technologies. This guy redifines things acording to his understanding, he does not go along with the current accepted definitions of the society and so called professionals.
This made me question then, who really makes the rules of how we should live. Clearly here in Canada if people such as this friend of mine had their way, i bet, lots of business will loose out. So to prevet such freedom, regulations are made. So at the end of the day, regulations might not necessarily mean to make people’s lives better, but so that bussiness may make more profits. If this guy was in South Africa, he would literaly not pay electrity and petrol. Now apart from one wanting to save lots of money due to better energy technologies, i think life could be better and highly simple. We have lots of rural places in South Africa, they could have access to information about their country through radio, the education system could be improved massively through electrification of many rural places. We are told that many of the renewable energy technologies such as solar pannels, geothermal, etc, are expensive, but when i told this guy such news his face shrunk, he could not believe me, it was as if i was saying a joke. He told me of his civil engineering friend who just build a geothermal energy system and its been shared by ten people. These people are not rich but are able to afford the system. In Africa we have lots of land, great climate for renewable energy technologies, still having rural places without electricity and people spending lots of money on energy is just a joke to this friend of mine. So Africa what are we waiting for?
I arrived in Canada Montreal on Friday, 31st December 2010. I left South Africa on Thursday 30th December 2010. My flight went through Germany at which point the time had already shifted backwards by one hour. I was now one hour younger. I arrived in Montreal and around 17:20, South Africa was busy celebrating their new year, 2011, however, i was still enjoying 2010. The striking fact is that, i became younger. This means that i will be celebrating my birthday approximatly seven hours late, sorry mother for this undeniable fact. Anyways it is pretty cold here, however i think i came prepared. But i am told that the temperatures are still not as bad, its warm according to the Canadians.
This is an e-mail i got:
Kindly assist in identifying matriculants who are interested in Engineering. Eskom will provide them with scholarships. Kindly forward this message to as many people as you can. I have attached the application form for those without email facilities. The requirement is usually C symbols in Math, Science and English.
Your assistance will make a great difference for the country.
When you have filled the form, Please fax or email to :
Eskom HR Shared Services
Fax:011 800 3272
Download application form here: Bursary application
Make me a channel of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me bring your love. Where there is injury, your pardon, Lord. And where there’s doubt, true faith in you. Make me a channel of your peace. Where there’s despair in life, let me bring hope. Where there is darkness, only light. And where there’s sadness, ever joy. Oh, Master grant that I may never seek so much to be consoled as to console. To be understood as to understand. To be loved as to love with all my soul. Make me a channel of your peace. It is in pardoning that we are pardoned. In giving to all men that we receive. And in dying that we’re born to eternal life. Amen. [St. Francis]