SA primed for great breakthrough, says Bill Johnson

“I feel like South Africa is so primed for one of the greatest breakthroughs the world has ever seen,” a visibly-moved Bill Johnson told a hushed gathering at the opening session of the Kingdom Come SA conference at Family Church International, Johannesburg last night.

“I burn with that conviction — I am not just saying it,” the Bethel Church leader said in a live telecast from his home in Redding, California.

It would be just like God to make South Africa, which is far away from the major developed nations of the world, central to a move that He was doing all across the earth, said Johnson, who was not able to join his son, Eric, pastor of Bethel Church, and Banning Liebscher, founder and leader of Jesus Culture, on a visit to SA for the conference, after his wife Benni had to undergo surgery last week.

Johnson appeared to be deeply emotional at times during his message which focused on lessons from the life of a great biblical revivalist and reformer, King Hezekiah, who ended badly after he lost his passion for God and his concern for the next generations (I Kings18- 21),

After the session, conference co-host John Crumpton, leader of Breakthru Life Church, said that Johnson, who was able to see his SA audience in the packed auditorium during the live telecast, had explained that while he had been speaking to the SA gathering, the presence of God that he experienced in Redding had been so powerful that he had felt overwhelmed.

At the start of his message he said he was touched by the hunger and humility that he sensed in the audience of believers from all over the country.

Johnson’s teaching included the amazing achievements of King Hezekiah over most of his kingsship — including restoring Israel to a place of worship not seen since the reign of King David — and his final mistakes which had a disastrous impact on succeeding generations.

Drawing on the biblical lessons and his conviction that God was about to move mightily in SA, he urged — and prayed for — South African believers to maintain an authentic hunger for God and tender hearts before Him that did not turn into entitlement as they experienced increased favour.

He called on South African Christians to model to the world hearts that continually burned for God and burned for leaving a legacy for their children and grandchildren.




ACDP wants women to have ultrascans before aborting

Ultrasound picture of baby. (PHOTO: istock via Times LIVE)

Originally published in Times LIVE

The African Christian Democratic Party is proposing a bill to amend the Termination of Pregnancy Act to ensure women receiving an abortion after 12 weeks must first receive an ultra-sound and counselling.

The ACDP’s Cheryllyn Dudley said a mandatory ultrasound would show the women visuals of their foetus to help ensure they know what they are doing.

“It is a huge decision and a decision about life and death. They need information.”

She also wants women considering abortion after 12 weeks to have counselling.

“We want to ensure that women who feel they don’t have any alternative can hear what options are available.

“The bill is to protect women at a very difficult time.

“We need to be society that provides a safety net to these women.”

She also said they needed to be told about adoption as an option.

“No child should ever ever be a child that deserves to die simply because its parents feel they can’t afford a child.”

The bill is open for public comment until August 11. It will then be presented to a parliamentary private bill committee and likely opened for public hearings.

Asked if the failing health system was able to offer every woman wanting to terminate pregnancy an ultrasound‚ Dudley said: “South Africa needs to get with 21st century. It is a simple technology.”




The fight back — Sophie’s story (Chapter 1)

Sophie is a South African working mom who recently became a Christian. But her abusive, gangster ex-boyfriend continues to disrupt and endanger her life. She says her faith is helping her to fight back. But it is hard. This is her story. It’s a reality too many South African women face every day. Because Sophie shares her story at length, we are publishing it in three chapters. Names and places are changed for safety reasons.
It’s Friday the 13th…
While the world may be engulfed in superstition of what this day may bring, I was enjoying a nice, normal day.

Morning rituals done, productive day at work, en-route home…

My phone goes haywire in my handbag and when I saw his name full on my screen, I just got this weird feeling in my stomach. My ex is calling.

Usually I would not answer his calls – especially while travelling public transport – but seeing that our daughter is turning three one of these days, we are quite civil in the arrangements for her birthday party.

“Hi?” I hold my breath for a short while.

“Where are you now?”

“On my way home. Why?”

“I will get you halfway. Will pick you up, so I can give you the rest of the money.” Referring to the rest of the amount he promised for the party.

“Okay.” Deep down I knew it couldn’t be a good idea, but this time it is different. It’s just for my daughter. The first party she will ever have.

On the way to his house, we have a light conversation.

His brother and girlfriend are home and they greet and talk as if no time has passed between us all.

While in conversation, he asks for my phone. I unlock and give it to him, no questions asked.
A few moments later he starts to question me on photos I took not too long ago. Photos with my family members, I might add.

Seeing it as frivolous and trivial, I explain each setting as he goes through each one. One catches his eye and he hovers over it, then asks me in a louder voice this time: “And where is this?!”

I look at this picture we took at the beach. Me with a few girlfriends, posing in our bathing costumes underneath a cover-up dress. Still not understanding the frustration he so desperately tries to hide, I tell him who’s who and where we were.

Maybe it is because I don’t comprehend the gravity of his distress, or I’m too naïve to remember what this man is capable of… I do not know. But the next few moments change my view of him forever.

He starts shouting at me for exposing my body in such a manner and smacks me, right in front of the audience. I get upset, because what is he on about? And to top it all, it is to no concern to him as we are no longer together!

Yet, I keep my tone low to cool him down. “I was with my family, you saw them in the other pics? And I am wearing this thing over it. It covers my whole body…”

Yet, no words can quench the fire in his eyes…

He starts shoving me around and hits me over the head with my phone. The other two slowly and silently move out of the room and leave me alone with him. He goes outside and speedily returns with something in his hand. He lifts it high and bashes me with it. An iron bar.

I start to cover my face. The agony of each blow on my arms, shoots through my whole body. He strikes again, every time aiming for my head. I cannot shield myself with my arms any longer and he hits me over the head again. A stream of blood fountains to the floor.

“Stop!”

He does not listen…

“Please stop!”

It’s like no words hit his ears, as he continues to hit hard, blow after blow…

Suddenly silence… It’s dark all around me.

“Call out to The Lord” — a loud voice resounds in my ear. I pray in silence to God, to help me.

As if curtains opened, light break through and this man is hovering over me, with eyes wide in shock. That’s when I know I must have been unconscious. I do not know when or how I landed flat on my back, on the floor.

He stretches out his arm to help me get up. Blood still streaming all over my face and on my clothes, he realises what he has done. “Go upstairs and clean yourself up.”

He shoves me upstairs into the bathroom and he brings me a clean cloth and towel.

I clean myself up and in my mind I am getting ready to go home. My family did not even know where I went after work. It was just supposed to be a short visit.

He leads my out of the bathroom and shoves me into his room. He locks the door from the outside.
This time I knew, it may be over with me…

Before he used to get mad and hit me, but not as badly as today. He really was furious, slightly more than the other times…

With no phone close by, I just have to sit and wait to see what he decides my fate to be.

In his room there are screens linked to the cameras that are set up all around the house. The whole time I watch his every move. He fidgets in the garage, then he moves to the front of the house. Up and down, up and down. Then he disappears.

In the early morning hours I hear him coming up the stairs. I pretend that I am asleep. He swings open the door and I pray to God that he is calmed down now and will take me home.

“We have to go somewhere.” He mentions the place and I know it is close by, so maybe if he does what he has to there, he will take me home afterwards. I can only hope.

He idles the bakkie outside and comes back to fetch me.

All this time, his brother and girlfriend are nowhere to be seen.

He drags me into the vehicle by my hair, while cussing and clearly still mad.

We pass the place he said he had to be. Further and further away…

When we take the N7 turn-off, I know this could be the last time I ever see my hometown. He will kill me and dispose of my body.

I do not want to aggravate him by asking any questions, so I just internally pray as as we move along. I close my eyes a few times, so he may think I am sleeping, but I am actually praying in my mind and planning my escape.

But I do not know any place nearby. Will I get to someone who can help me in time? If I can get away from him and hide anywhere, how will I get home? I could jump out while he is driving, but what if I hurt myself and upset him even more? I have to fight my tears, silence and compliance are the only option.

Later, I gather all the courage I have left and ask him where we are going.

“I have to take care of something. I could not send you home, looking like this.”

He is referring to my swollen face. I look in the mirror in front of me and almost my whole left eye is swollen shut. It is as warm as coals when I touch it. On my forehead, the scar from which the blood streamed, is closed. And tiny. I could actually not believe so much blood came from such a small snit. My head is pounding.

Hours pass and all the way I think of my small children. They will be motherless. I greeted my family in the morning thinking we would see each other again, but it may never happen…

We stop at a garage and I consider running up to one of the employees and asking him to phone the police. Fear grips me when I remember how he used to hurt other people in front of me. That skinny guy at the till is no match for him. He could have a heavy weapon on him in any case, so he could hurt even more people than just me. I have to stay put.

I engage in normal conversation with him. To remind him of who I am. He used to love me, I was his girlfriend before. If he can only remember, he will not do anything to hurt me.

His temper has subsided by the time we reach our destination.

It is a room he booked at a hotel. He checks in while I stand in the background as ordered, to hide my face from anybody we may encounter. Once settled in, he leaves me again. “I have to be somewhere.”

I have this whole place to myself and I could run out any time, but fear keeps me locked up in the room. I do not know if he is just around the corner, or when he’ll be back. I have to play it safe, just for the slightest chance of survival.

I use the ice in the bucket in the room and roll it in a cloth to get the swelling down. It is so painful, but I force myself to keep it on my face. I take a R20 of his money lying around and hide it in my shoe. Just in case I will need it later.

Later I  become so tired from the whole ordeal, that somewhere during these early morning hours, I fall asleep…

He comes back after settling his business and I ask him to take me to hospital. By this time I can’t move my head. Every movement sends a sharp shot of pain through my spine. Amazingly he agrees and goes in with me to see a doctor.

I am sent for x-rays. By this time my stomach is also growling, so I reluctantly, yet courageously ask for something to eat. He probably feels the same, as he immediately agrees to go. I ordered all my favourites as I know this will take a while to gather and he knows in his heart he owes me at least that. He now leaves my phone with me. “Phone me when you are done.” I nod.

When he disappears around the corner, I immediately phone my sister. The worry in her voice overpowers her ability to clearly grasp what is really going on. “No you can’t phone the police! Just now they go to his house and his family lets him know they were there!”

She wants to come fetch me right there and then, but I know a few hours’ travel lies between us and by that time he would have the phone back. Where would they find me? “Just please, wait until I get home. I just wanted to let you know where I am.”

We say goodbye and I put the phone down, just in case he comes back. We continue chatting via WhatsApp and I explain every detail. As we chat, I delete our conversations.

He returns when the x-rays are done and I go to the doctor again with the results. As I enter his room I whisper to him: “He did this to me.” He nods in understanding.

The images show I had a concussion.

My ex comes to sit next to me and the words of this wise man in his profession just blow me away: “Why would you hit this girl?”

I experience that moment where your whole body just goes numb. I do not know how to salvage this situation. ”Doctor, I have to go back with this man!” I wanted to scream. My ex just looks at me as if to see if it was me who said anything and I just shrug my shoulders. I do not know where this doctor would get such an idea. Maybe the doc saw the tension between us, that he left the whole story? Only he would know.

The doctor makes more scribbles on his document and he writes out a prescription for me.

We go back to the hotel and I eat my meal in silence. What is this man’s plan?

“When you are done, we will leave.”

I can’t hide my smile and want to shout in joy. I am going home!!!

I send my sister a short message to let her know we are coming. I know she will not reply, but I still keep the phone on silent, just in case.

We get back in the vehicle; this time I get in willingly. On the way we talk about anything and everything. Me, not mentioning once what has happened. He gives lifts to those along the road with a few bucks in their hands. Back in town, he does not, however, take the turnoff to my house. We drive back to his…

Just a few hours left before another day will break. All this time I am wondering what my kids are thinking, why Mommy didn’t come home. But I wait it out. He knows I will have to go back to work the next day, so he will take me home soon.

I can’t sleep a wink. The brother and his girlfriend are still there, but they keep their distance.
They know not to intrude.

The next morning we are downstairs and he goes out for a smoke on the porch, in front of the house.
“Your mom’s here,” he whispers.

I can’t believe my ears! “Seriously?” Thank God, I am rescued!

“Yes.”

I want to step outside, but when I hear my mom and sister’s voices. I instinctively halt.

They ask about me, where I am. My daughter was apparently crying non-stop for me. I get up and walk closer to the front door. They act as if they never heard from me.

“She is not here. We argued and she left yesterday already.”

“Did she tell you where she was going?”, my sister asks.

“No. I don’t know where she is. I just got here myself.”

My mom this time: “So she is not here?”

“No. You can go in and have a look for yourself.”

I know what he is up to. If they don’t believe him and come into this house, they will face the same fate I am facing. I come forward, just enough for my sister to see me. She looks up at me and I can see the relief on her expression. I signal that she should keep quiet and rather go. I would rather face this nightmare alone, than drag the two of them into it.

She looks back at him and pretends she never saw me. “Maybe we should go look at Cousin’s place,” I hear her say. “Maybe she went there.”

My mom, still wanting to interrogate, stops mid-sentence.

“Come Mom.” She pulls her away. “If you talk to her before we do, please tell her we are looking for her.”
He agrees and they get in the car and leave.

I feel better for just seeing them at least.
I run back to my seat and await his verdict.

He finishes his smoke and joins me in the living room. He asks for my phone again. I unlock and give it back to him. He already went through all my pics; all my chats and call logs were deleted, so there is nothing incriminating left. Nothing to worry about.

But I have forgotten about Facebook.

He goes on my profile and scrolls down through all my updates. The most innocent photo catches his attention, because as fate so has it, a guy that I probably saw about 10 years ago, commented on it and that is the comment that still lingers underneath the photo. “You are still as beautiful as when I last saw you.”

“Who is this man?!”

“A friend from school. I don’t know when last I saw him.” Here we go again…

His fury flares up again and this time I know there is no calming him down. I have to escape!

I run to the kitchen and I grab a thick cast iron pan still on the stove – with sausage from the residents’ previous night’s meal still in it – and I take a swing at him.

“If you come any closer, I will HIT you with it!” Now I am the one that is angry. I have been obedient in this traumatic affair for long enough!

He ducks and I race backwards.

The usual clients and friends are quite settled in the garage. I pass them and they know not to comment or ask a thing.

“Where would you run? Put down the thing,”  he tries to calm me down. I know I cannot give in. I have to run like my life depends on it. That is the only way.

I still have the pan in my hand. He now gets irritated as I am embarrassing him in front of people that have to look up to him. Respect him. I d0 not care. They also know who he is and what he is capable of…

I get through the first iron gate that leads to the front of the house. I pull it closed. If he wants to come through it, he has to run into the house first, to get the key to unlock it. This may buy me some time.

Still gathering my thoughts on the way out, he makes a request again. “Come back inside.”

I know that pretentious composure. It cannot be trusted.

I step back through the second gate. “Where are you going with the pan?!” I look at it and throw it back at him, through the gate’s railings.

I turn and literally run for my life.

I hear him shout at his guys: “Catch her and kill her!”

I run down the long street and I turn to see if they are on their way yet. A few of his guys are standing on the corner, probably watching which turn I am about to take. I had to make a split-second decision: I could run to my cousins who stay only a few streets away, but those repercussions I would not be able to take on myself. He would kill them too.

I rather decide to take the road which leads to his mom’s new home. Maybe they will think I am running to her house. But I’m not.

I run relentlessly and reach the river and I pray to God to help me, to give me strength to continue. My lungs painful, as I deeply gasp for air. My body still sore, my legs could not carry me.

I stop. Maybe I should just give up. Surrender and let him kill me.

…But my kids! I never said goodbye to them. I pray again: “God, please give me strength!”

I start running again, and I see a taxi standing at the pavement, busy loading people. I run towards it and jump in. In my jacket’s pocket I still have R6 change. I hand it over and burst into silent tears. I know there are eyes fixed on me, but I don’t care what people think of me at that moment. They probably made their own assumptions when they saw the state I was in. I look through the windows to see if the guys are coming.

We leave and they are nowhere in sight yet. I remember the R20 in my shoe and turn to the driver. “Do you have a phone I may use please?” I give him the R20, but he shakes his head. He knows what is going on and he won’t take a cent for helping me.

I phone my sister. “I’m in a taxi. Get me at the corner by the school!” I know she will react immediately. We have watched many programs with ordeals like this before. We know what to do in situations like these.

Suddenly his car passes the taxi. At high speed. The car is loaded with guys, he is driving. I know they will wait for me where I am supposed to get off. I phone my sister again. Drive past! Get me on this corner! I am getting out now!”

I am hesitant to get out. What if the taxi drives on and they come back, catching me right here, exposed?
But then I see my Mom’s car and I shout out loud in pure delight! “Stop! Here!” They drive like animals and almost have an accident themselves. I run and get in the car.

I duck down on the backseat and my cry is spontaneous. “I can’t take it anymore!”

My sister shouts at my mom to take a different route. She turns towards me. “This time, we are taking you to the police station,” she says sternly. This time I do not argue.

We cannot go to the police station in our area, as we know the guys are roaming the streets at the moment, so we go to another one, they will never guess.

I open a case against this man that I earnestly loved for almost five years of my life. One that fathered my youngest child. All this time I couldn’t get myself to do it, because I was scared he would get out one day and kill me. But now I know he will kill me regardless…

Something had to be done!

The case and the interdict against him sound like the end to all this misery, but it was just an ignition of the terror that was to follow…

It was only the beginning of my fight… back.




A legacy of love that inspires us — Neziswa Kanju

lifeinfullbloom

A fortnightly column on marriage, family and relationships.

gogo2

Gateway News columnist Neziswa Kanju, right, enjoying special moments with her Gogo Malaza.

A beaming smile always greeted me every time we went to visit her. Sawubona makwaJedy (Hello Jedy’s mother. Jedy is my firstborn)

Gogo (grandmother) Malaza, a beautiful soul I was blessed with calling my grandmother. I met her when I married her grandson but I could not have loved her more if she was my very own biological grandmamma.

The feeling was mutual. In the last 15 years we spent most Christmases with gogo. In the beginning we would go to fetch her from Mpumalanga to come to our home in Pretoria but in the previous years we went to Mpumalanga because her health deteriorated, making it inadvisable to travel long distances.

For the past few years she had battled ill health — a fight she lost on the 26th of February this year.

She was blessed
This past Sunday this matriarch of our family was laid to rest and at 84 years old she was blessed to have seen her great great grandchildren. She gave birth to eight children and has 30 grandchildren, 38 great grandchildren and six great great grandchildren.

gogo 1

Gogo Malaza — a legacy of love.

With her sight lost in her eighties she still knew all of us by name and greeted us with a beaming smile and a hug.

You can’t miss love when you see it and gogo certainly radiated constant love. There has never been a time when I interacted with gogo Malaza that I felt that I was wasting her time or that she preferred to be doing something else.

With the news of her passing came years and years of memories to my mind of my time with this beloved lady.

While listening to speaker after speaker at her funeral it was clear to me that the treatment that she had towards me is the way that she was with everybody. Her own children sang her praises. There was not a dry eye in that place as speaker after speaker relived their time with her.

Her legacy of love is something that we have committed ourselves as a family to continue to live out in the world. Her life spoke volumes about love for people and was a testament to what love can do if properly lived.

She was not without daily visitors. Her children, grand children and great grand children all wanted to spend time with her because they knew that they were loved.

Funerals have a way of bringing one to reality. You are faced with the reality that life is not standing still and that you will leave this earth one day and account to your Maker one day.

At funerals it is not about all the material things you had but each speaker at your funeral will speak about how you lived your life. They will give glimpses about how they lived with you. Funerals ultimately are about relationships.

How do you relate with loved ones, with your neighbours, with church members and your colleagues? How do you want to be remembered? What would be your legacy? I was not a speaker at my gogo’s funeral but these are the things that I remember about her and these are lessons that we can all learn from…

Life lessons

1. Always greet your children with a smile when you see them. Psychologists and parenting experts advise parents to not be critical of their children when they see them but to always radiate and communicate “I am soo happy to see you. I have missed you.”

2. Always touch your loved ones. Gogo Malaza, once you extended your hand to say hello, she would take your hand in hers and kiss it. I don’t know how many kisses from gogo’s lips have been planted on my hand through the years. She had an ability of making everyone of her children know that they were loved.

3. It is possible to have a relationship with all members of your family. All her grandbabies and her great great babies knew her and were known by her. That is a legacy of love. She left us and the world a great gift, for is it not what our Master said that we must do — to love God with all our hearts mind and soul and to love our neighbour as we love ourselves.

4. She was a hard worker. Gogo lost her husband when she was very young. She married quite young and by the time her husband passed on she had eight young mouths to feed. Times were not easy back then. Poverty was constantly knocking at the door but just like the virtuous woman she woke up while it was dark and made sure that her family was taken care off.

5. She was visible in her children’s lives. Gogo never missed any of the important events in our lives. Our colleagues, churches and neighbours knew her constant presence at family events because she was there for her children.

6. She did not take herself too seriously.

7. She loved to laugh. When you went to visit gogo you were guaranteed two things — food and plenty of laughter. Who would not want to visit such a warm place?

8. She raised her children in the ways of the Lord. Her eldest child, my mother in law, is a pastor and has raised her own children in the faith because of gogo Malaza. She gave her family a heritage of faith. Her house was known as a house of prayer.

9. She was a mother to all — not just her biological children. This last Christmas we spent at her home in Badplaas. About 35 of us were there for her last Christmas. Towards the end of the afternoon of December 25 we sat in her sitting room to hear the matriarch talk to us. She kept on repeating it over and over and over again. She said “Bambananai”; “Bambanani” ; “Bambananai which means support one another, be united. There was an urgency in her voice as she kept on repeating, ”Bambanani.” This is a message that as families,  as married couples we can all implement in our lives sibambisane, to be united.

10. She believed in her children and was very proud of them. You would not finish a visit with her without hearing about her children’s great doings. To the listener what gogo was sharing might not be much but you could just see how very proud she was of her children.

She was many things to many people but one thing that we all knew about her was that we all loved her. I came away from Badplaas with one question ringing in my mind…”How am I living my life?” What seeds and actions should I start planting today to show more love to those around me? What do I want my life and legacy to be about? What would my children and those that I interact with say about me? What will they say about you?

Funerals have a tendency of also making people say such beautiful things about the deceased as we are advised not to speak ill of the dead.

What would your loved ones mean about you without sugar coating the truth? Gogo never had much in terms of material possessions but she had a gift that is not afforded to many and that many do not have …she was truly loved and she loved so beautifully.

Are we not called to the same assignment to love others as we love ourselves, to be there for our flesh and blood, to be of service to others?

When all is said and done what will be your legacy? We were certainly blessed and honoured to have had gogo Malaza in our family. She was a woman of great honour. What will my husband and children say about me…about you?

Are you a person of honour? Do your loved ones feel honoured to call you dad, mom; son or daughter? How are you living your life? These are questions that we should all ourselves.

Shalom!!!!




Pressing the right button of your life

lifeinfullbloom

A fortnightly column on marriage, family and relationships.

“The problem with you is that you keep on rewinding and rewinding the movie. You do not let it play till the end.”

These were the words from my daughter to her younger brother in the car on our way home the other day.

My younger son had asked if when he got home he can watch TV on the new explorer. They have been having a bit of competition between the two of them because viewing the explorer means that you can go to different channels and record your favourite channels to watch them at your convenience.

rewindAs they continued to have their little debate on who should watch TV when we got home my mind was meditating on what my 10 year little girl said, “but the problem with you is that you keep on playing the same scenes over and over again without letting the movie play to the end.”

I thought of the many different ways that people press the “rewind button” in their lives.

Isn’t that what we do in life whether it is in our own relationships with ourselves or relationships with other people?

We think about the past over and over again to the point where it hinders us. We go back and relive the past. Reliving the past and going through a certain particular scene in our life we find that for many years that one thing holds us in bondage.

Maybe it was something traumatic that hinders you from moving forward in life. You are not letting the rest of the movie of your life play because you keep on reliving the traumatic moment.

Maybe you experienced betrayal, hurt, loss — whatever it maybe it has had the power over your life for many years and you cannot seem to shake it off.

It is affecting not only progress in your life, but it is affecting how you relate to others.

It might have been something that has happened in your marriage — in your family — that has made it impossible to trust again, to believe people in your life again.

Maybe members of your family betrayed you. In one particular scene maybe somebody walked out. You expected support from certain individuals and that support did not come. You felt let down. You felt rejection….

If you do not let go, if you do not truly forgive and let God carry the burden, you will not get to finish the full movie of your life — the glorious destination that God has for you.

The Bible says in Jeremiah 29:11 – for I have good plans for you, plans to give you hope and a future. You will never experience those glorious plans and really allow the Holy Spirit the opportunity to lead you and to guide you into many beautiful experiences, if you keep on rewinding to traumatic, haunting memories from your past.

He has people in your life. He has other characters in this movie of your life that He wants to introduce, but if you go back to what has happened in your past you will not finish the rest of the movie.

You will not get to the climax of the movie because you are stuck on repeat.

Many people lead lives of constant routine. Let the movie of your life play. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you. He loves you so. No eye has seen. No ear has heard what God has prepared for those who love Him.

No eye has seen what God has prepared for you. You have not seen it yet. Allow God to introduce you to the rest of your life. It is always said the rest of your life will be the best of your life.

How can you even enjoy and experience the rest of your life when you keep on going back?

It might have been something good you keep returning to. You know sometimes we get stuck on past achievements that we thought were fantastic and we do not want to let go.

God can never really work in your life until you let go, until you trust Him with your all. He can never really work in your life until you release everything to Him.

Let go and let God transform you into the person — into the glorious leading lady that you can be, into the glorious leading man that He has destined you to be.  And when you do that you will find yourself having the movie that is not necessarily a fairy tale but  a movie of your life that will be an inspiration to others.

If you have to look at your past, be like David. When he was faced with a giant he remembered that God had delivered him from a lion and a bear and if God was faithful then then surely God was going to deliver him from Goliath.

When you look back, do so to gain strength from the lessons learnt…the lesson in the story of David was that God can be trusted and God was with him and will continue to be with him. .

Whether you remember your past with fondness or regret, learn the lesson to equip you for your tomorrow. Do not give the devil any authority over your life by listening to his tempting voice constantly making you relive your past.

He is the one who likes to focus on the past. He is the accuser of the brethren always reminding saints of their sins and weaknesses. God wants us to focus on our future.

Leave the remote control of your life to God. He knows which movie must be played for the story of your life. The Master knows the twists and turns of your story and will bring you to the end.

fast forwardI pray for better. I pray for growth. I pray for the fast forward buttons of your life as we enter into 2017.

May you enter with a fresh boldness of saying “I am here Abba. I cannot wait to see what you have planned for me this year. I will not go back to how it was. Forgetting what is behind. I press on towards the goal of the high calling of Jesus Christ.”

Press the onward button….

SHALOM!!!!




Inspirational marriage lessons from late gospel icon Sifiso and his wife Ayanda

lifeinfullbloom

A fortnightly column on marriage, family and relationships.

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Sifiso and Ayanda Ncwane.

On Monday morning while the nation was celebrating the life and commemorating the passing of our former statesman the late President Nelson Mandela we were shocked to hear that Sifiso Ncwane had died.

The Kulungile Baba hitmaker died on Monday in Fourways Life hospital after a short illness. The illness started on Sunday night at his Johannesburg home. He was then taken to hospital, where he was admitted and diagnosed with kidney failure and was later moved to the intensive care unit.

“He unfortunately took his last breath at 9.30am Monday morning the 05th of December 2016 in the presence and arms of his loving wife Ayanda Ncwane,” said the family in a statement.

Ncwane has been a force in the gospel industry for more than a decade. His hit single Kulungile Baba has been used on many occasions to comfort the grieving. This song was an anthem the year it won best song of the year at the South African Music Awards (SAMA).

Kulungile Baba became the first gospel song to win at the SAMAs. The words of the song proved prophetic with Ncwane, as some of the words talk about health and accepting the will of God for one’s life if health fails you.

Sifiso penned many songs through the years that were a source of comfort and inspiration to many. As good an artist as he was, what made Ncwane stand out from other artists was the relationship he had with his wife Ayanda Ncwane.

A visible and united team
The two were a visible team in many gospel award ceremonies. They have been a united team in the pursuit and the advancement of Sifiso Ncwane’s career in the gospel industry. Ayanda was his manager.

This young couple served as an inspiration to many not only in the gospel industry but also in the arts and entertainment industry as a whole, where marriages do not last because of pressures of the industry, including pressure on artists to work away from home on tours for extended periods of time.

The public knew that Sifiso was married but more than that they knew that he loved his wife. He publicly displayed his affection for his wife. He was vocal in his declaration of love for his beloved Ayanda. He praised and complimented her publicly.

Sifiso and Ayanda Ncwane worked together going from place to place ministering. In an industry where male artists (and many preachers) are hesitant to introduce and reveal their spouses to the public Ncwane proudly worked with his wife and thanked her for his successes.

It is because of this close relationship between the two that many took to social media expressing concern for Ayanda during this time. They shared their own denial and emotional pain at the death of the gospel icon saying if they felt such pain what Ayanda must be going through must be so much worse.

Advocates for happy marriages
There are many lessons we can learn from this couple but below I have listed a few lessons that they have continually displayed. They were advocates for happy marriages and happy homes. Ayanda Ncwane the night before her husband’s death wrote this on her Facebook account.

“Your adversary, the devil, walks around like a roaring lion, seeking for whom he may devour” 1 Peter 5:8…. How I wish couple could spend enough time praying and covering their marriages & families with blood of Jesus, clothing their marriages with the full amour of God. Be careful young couples, the number one mission in the kingdom of darkness in destroying marriages & happy homes. Rebuke the slightest thought of lust, RUN away as far as possible from tempting situations. No amount of money, power, education, beauty can save you. YOU NEED THE BLOOD OF CHRIST. When your partner is spiritually weak, stand in the gab and fight for your families zithandwa (beloveds). The calls I’m getting lately about broken marriages breaks my heart and annoys me. That is why I’m sharing this. Taking pictures together and acting happy is not enough. WOMEN!!! Take authority and power given to you to fight in prayer, fast, rebuke the spirits, stop sleeping, and allow the devil to enter into your territories (marriages)

Earlier she had shared: Ayandancwane: What is a wife? A wife is a spinal chord, a walking stick, a canopy, a puppet, a microscope and a cheerleader. Every man (head of a family) who is super excelling in what they do, they have a wife with such characteristics. Dear wives… If you want your man to excel and be the greatest in what they do, dwell in your position, NEVER compete with him or take his position to be the head. Even if you are financially above him. It’s a God strategic plan this thing! May God help us to get it right #LessDivorces #LessSeparations #MoreLoveAndRespectInMarriages

“For better or worse” is the promise we make when we chose our forever partners. One day you may feel loved up with stars in your eyes, and the next day you may want to strangle your partner. It’s all normal.

Ayanda made headlines when she shared in a Drum article how she dances for her husband during her intimate moments. She has always been very vocal about keeping the marriage bed exciting.

Power of a praying couple
They obviously both felt strongly about the call to minister and speak life to married couples because Sifiso Ncwane’s last message to the public was: sfisoncwane A POWER couple is a PRAYING couple. Marriage is about complimenting each other and not competing.

In this day and age where young people are fed messages of “hustling”, having money and pursuing fame, Ncwane’s message on prayer is refreshing. To read such words from a man who God had blessed with fame and wealth talking about his dependence on God shows what kind of man he was. Many who knew him spoke at length of his humility.

There is nothing that beats prayer. The fact that his last message was about prayer and about marriage gives a glimpse into the world of Sifiso Ncwane, a world where family, his wife and children were his priority.

South Africa had indeed lost a vital member of the entertainment industry this week but we are comforted in that he left us a body of work where we can always hear his ministry.

Myles Munroe once said that a person must “die empty”. We are indeed blessed that Sifiso Ncwane shared his gifts and talents with us. He lived his purpose.

Final album
How blessed that Sifiso discovered his passion and purpose early in life and lived his life ministering to others. How blessed still that he got to work with his dear wife Ayanda in reaching the multitudes for Christ. Even in July this year he released his final album titled Wethembekile Baba (You are to be trusted Lord). Sifiso Ncwane lived his life in FULL bloom…

Funeral arrangements
The Ncwane family confirmed that the funeral of the late gospel sensation Sifiso Ncwane will be in Durban on December 10. The service will be at Moses Mabhida Stadium from 9am. Ncwane will be laid to rest at Heroes Acre in Chesterville Durban. The family would like to thank the nation and the international community for their support and prayers at this time of bereavement.

Gateway News extends condolences to the family and friends of the late Sifiso Ncwane and pray for God’s healing hand to heal their hurting hearts.

SHALOM!!!!




Beautiful Series: reclaiming our beauty, power, purpose

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Hannah Viviers host of The Beautiful Series.

On a very clear sunny Saturday morning October 1, about 70 of us made our way to the Beautiful Series event in Sandton where our host Hannah Viviers had thoughtfully organised a line-up of speakers to minister to our souls, remind us of our destinies and how much the Father loves each one of His children.

The organised guest speakers spoke on the different aspects of being beautiful. The theme of the event was, Reclaiming our Beauty; Power and Purpose. As we listened to speaker after speaker we were made aware of the fact that there are many things that happen in one’s life’s journey that peel away the layers of self-belief. Things that put a cover on that little girl’s sparkling eyes when she says and truly believes that she could be anything that she dreams of…”I want to be a doctor when I grow up.” “I am going to be scientist.” “I want to be a nurse.” “I WANT TO BE A STAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” “I HAVE BIG DREAMS!!!!!!!!”

This thing called life has a way of peeling away that beautiful layer in your heart that believes that “I CAN”. It has a way of taking you to such low levels where you NEVER thought you would ever go — to levels of shame that if your younger self could see into your future she would say, “What is the point of going there because it is very dark”.

It was clear skies that Saturday morning but some of the things that the speakers had gone through were anything but clear. They were dark, sordid pasts that none of us listeners would have wanted to go through and yet if we were to go through that room I am sure we would have found similar stories of pasts that were best forgotten.

A polygamous family
The first speaker was the CEO of the SABC Foundation, Iris Cupido who told us about her past where she was raised in a polygamous family:

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Iris Cupido, CEO of the SABC Foundation.

“She didn’t marry my father thinking that he would have five other wives. She married him thinking that she was marrying for love. She lived with that shame until she could not take it anymore and in the middle of the night she piled us in. She worked at an old age home and she worked as a domestic for a white lady and her son.”

At age 13 Iris was raped when criminals broke into her home. She said that experience “created a huge shift”… a dark past, one that she would rather forget.

Emotional and physical abuse
We heard of a story from, Ashika Ramparsad whose first husband made her feel as if she was less than — not good enough.

“Slowly and very subtly he changed who and what I was. When he met me I was this vibrant, energetic and happy woman — always positive, always loving. But slowly he changed me into his perception of what a perfect woman should be like and that is one who does not have a voice, no opinion, soft spoken, totally covered up. He told me on a constant basis that I am stupid. Things that I had to say at that time nobody wanted to hear so I should just keep quiet. When somebody tells you constantly that you are stupid, that what you just said didn’t make any sense you believe him especially coming from a man who is supposed to love you.”

He betrayed her in the most hurtful way when he cheated on her with one of her friends. On finding this out she stayed with him wanting to work things out in her marriage and to give it another chance but it was soon obvious that there was no future for the two of them as her husband was unrepentant. They had a divorce. Ashika soon fell for a sweet talker who charmed his way into her heart but as time went on also revealed his true colours. He abused her in the most horrific way:

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Ashika Ramparsad

“We were together for 14 months. I do not understand how I did not see a monster under all that charm. He left his work and he came over. That night I prayed to die. He beat me. The first slap I got I landed on that bed. He tore off every bit of clothing I had so he could beat me on my body but his beating was so controlled. He didn’t hit me on my face. There was no fisting. It was just open slaps. I remember falling on the bed one time and he picks up a mirror that is taller that I am and throwing it at me. I CAN SEE THIS MIRROR COMING AT ME. All I remember was curling up hiding my face and the mirror hitting the back of my head. At that time I didn’t even know that my head was cut open and I was bleeding. I was numb from the pain and the shock. It’s not over — he still grabs me and he takes me to the gas stove and all the while he is doing what he is doing he is shouting the most violent disgusting things at me. He put the stove on and smelling the gas. I am begging him to please stop and not to do this. I see the purple light of the gas and I feel my face getting closer and closer to the flame and I thought to myself okay “he is going to burn me right now. He is telling me that he will burn me and scar me so that nobody will ever want me. I will always belong to him. Now I don’t know what went through his mind. He switched that off takes the bottle of brown sherry that was lying on the side and he takes it by the neck of the bottle. I say ok he is going to break this over my head. Either way I am going to die and to this day I will never know what went through his mind He poured that brown sherry all over me. According to my doctor that was the best thing he could have done because it sealed the wound on my head which I didn’t even know I had. I hit the wall so many times in that room I lost count. He calmly walks away as if he had just paid me a social visit and goes to work and before he goes he says, “You know I beat you because I love you?” How can somebody love you and they beat you half to death?”

Ashika experienced a dark past with no clear sunny skies where at times (many times) she wished to die. She wished that her abuser would just kill her because her pain was unbearable.

Effects of labelling people
Tertia Butler, one of the speakers, told of her poor upbringing and how she was crippled by people’s labels of her.
“I remember looking around for loose change so we could buy bread to make sandwiches for lunch. I remember many times we would have supper and my mom would not be eating. I remember many times asking her why was she not eating and she would say I have eaten I am not hungry or I am full. She tried to hide it but we knew.

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Tertia Butler

“I was the monkey who followed her all the way home and my sister was a bookworm who followed her from the library. My sister did better academically than I did. I was labelled a slow learner, dumb, dyslexic. My mom was also labelled a dyslexic so she would often say ‘You are dumb like me, so its ok its fine’. I WAS BULLIED a lot at school and I didn’t really have friends.

“I still have a lot to learn. Something doesn’t work out so I find something else to do. I just get up, dust myself off and try again. It is a learning curve. You are destined to be better. Yes you can be the person you wish you could be why not stop believing the labels that people have placed on your life. Stop saying I am dumb, dyslexic, I can’t do it. I can do it. I am beautiful. Even if you don’t mean it, say it. You need to change the conversation in your head. Your mind is the most powerful weapon you have and it is time you started using it to your advantage. Don’t give residence to your own doubts and negative thoughts. It is time to take back your life. No one else can do it for you, only you.”

God’s heart for us
We all have those parts in our lives that when we go back to them we feel anything but beautiful. It is those parts in our lives, in our past where seeds are planted where we don’t have the confidence to reach for the destiny that God has for us — seeds of self-doubt, seeds of SELF-HATE. We constantly listen to the enemy who tells us that we are not good enough and God does not love us because if He did how can He allow such horrible things to happen to us. God has such an amazing life planned for us. Duduzile Ndlovu penned it so beautifully in her poem when she shared the Father’s heart to us:

“Lift up your eyes; Lift up the eyes in your heart; Tell me what you see; Do you see the beauty that I see; The treasure I hid inside of you; Do you see the passion ; I planted for seasons to come; Seasons such as today.”

What the Beautiful Series event did for us was to shine a spotlight on those areas where we believed lies. Hannah’s husband closed the event by enlightening us about deep held beliefs in our hearts: The lies that you repeat to yourself time and time again. What are those seeds that are so rooted in your heart that they have made you into the woman that you are today?

Open the door to that room that you are too scared to enter because you would rather leave the past in the past; because it is too painful to talk about; because you feel shame. Open that room and let THE LIGHT come in. Let the SON come in. Your day can be clear again. Your day can be sunny again. ABBA wants to shine His light into your life; into your heart and make you joyful again and make you to DREAM AGAIN. It is possible to come alive again … to RECLAIM YOUR BEAUTY, POWER AND PURPOSE!!!!

Hannah’s vision for the Beautiful Series is that women will share Tertia’s sentiments:
“I see the world in a different world than I have seen it before. No longer do I live in fear. Fear of what people may think of me finally, like a butterfly spreading its wings for the first time, with each flap of the wings I am finally at peace. Here I am proving that peace and the chains can be broken.”




Making the most of the motherhood journey

lifeinfullbloom

A fortnightly column on marriage, family and relationships.

On the 7th of October my first born turned 13. He is a mature young man for his age and for the longest time he has wanted to reach this milestone age.

We are of course thankful to the Father for keeping him and protecting him all these years. Many thoughts came through my mind as I remembered some of the precious memories of life with our son. He is entering a new phase in his life as he is now a teenager.

We as parents have entered a new phase as well. As I marvel at his physical changes and witness the way he is growing up to be a young man I cannot help but look at my motherhood journey with all my children. It is true what they say that “Each child is different”. My children have both strengths and weaknesses.

Each child is gifted differently and it has been a joy and a challenge discovering what they are gifted in so I can best guide them in their purpose. Whenever any one of my kids is going to celebrate a birthday I am always that more thankful for their lives as I remember circumstances surrounding their births. God has blessed us with three children and all of them were born through a caesarean section following a complication during labour.

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I am called many names by many people depending on the type of relationship I have with them. In all of the names that I am called however, I must admit that I cherish hearing that precious word “Mama.” Like many women I have had my own unique motherhood experience.

I say unique because it is assumed that all women will be mothers and that all women should want to have children. In reality it is not so, however, as each woman has her own unique experience approaching this lifechanging role. In the olden days it was expected for young women to be married and to have children.

You were asked many questions if you were not pregnant in the first year of marriage…”What are you waiting for? When are you going to have kids? You are not getting any younger. You must give that man babies.”

Nobody stops to think of the possibility that the woman might want kids but is struggling to fall pregnant. Nobody takes the time to really try to understand a couple’s reality of not having kids. She might have fallen pregnant and lost the baby/babies through a miscarriage/s. The constant questioning about pregnancy opens her up to that door in her heart that she prefers to close because opening it is “just too painful”.

Recently I read an article where the writer outlines the different types of women and how much society judges each. She lists the types of women and their motherhood journey and their decision to be or not to be a mother.

How many times have you been with family and you were asked a question about becoming a mother that you wish you were not asked.  The question is always directed at a woman who is of childbearing age but who does not have a child. What we fail to realise is that by asking that question we might be touching a very sore point in that woman.

There is still another couple who might not want kids because they are concentrating on building their relationship. There are many challenges that a couple are faced with in the first year of marriage and many adjustments that they have to make as they merge their lives together.

There are a growing number of couples who choose not to have children. That decision is made after they look at the state of the world and ask: “Why would we want to bring a child when there is so much evil in the world. The world is already struggling to maintain and feed the billions of people on planet Earth. Why would we want to add to that number?”

The Bible tells us that children are blessings from the Lord and indeed they are. It does not say that they are perfect however, as we quickly learn and they also do not have perfect parents. We can feel guilty as parents especially as mothers of not being there for our children. We wonder “What kind of person will Susan be?”, “I am messing up this child. I am such a bad mom. I am failing in this parenting thing.” If you have ever felt like that you are not alone.

In my 13-year journey with motherhood I have learnt some valuable lessons which continue to help me to make better choices in my mothering. Here is a list of my dos and don’ts of mothering:

  1. Every child is different. They understand love differently and they respond to discipline differently. Learn about your child so you can best communicate love and administer discipline. 
  1. Do tell your child that you love her. Every child deserves to hear that they are loved and to know that they are loved. You can provide finances and provide a comfortable life for your children but if you are constantly absent from their life, especially during moments that are important to them, that child will feel rejection and read your lack of involvement as you not loving or caring for them. 
  1. There are times when they will need your undivided attention — give it. Our children are given to us for a little while and they go off to build their own lives. The time that they get to spend with us is truly a gift. Let us make the moments that they spend with us special and not make them feel that they are a burden. 
  1. Be careful what you say to your children as they believe everything that their father or mother says about them. If you constantly call them stupid,  slowly they will believe it and not rise above that self- defeating belief. Shower your children with words of praise and affirmation.

I recently listened to a story about a woman who was dyslexic and thought that she was not bright. When growing up her mother told her many times that she takes after her as she was also dyslexic and slow. Fortunately she married a man who replaced those labels and called her smart, able, and worthy of being heard.

More and more as she listened to her husband praising her, she came out of her shell and started to try new things.

When her husband said she could start a business and run it successfully she doubted but decided to try anyway. Today she has a successful business.

Words that we repeatedly say to our kids have a potential to leave a lasting mark. This woman was fortunate that God blessed her with such an encouraging husband.

Listen to the words you say to your children. What are they? What if they became exactly what you call them? The Bible says in Proverbs: “Listen to the teachings of your mother”. What are you teaching them?

Lessons are both caught and taught. Our children catch many lessons that we continue to teach them through our nonverbal actions. They are like sponges soaking up everything we are saying and doing.

At their formative years they want to be just like their parents. They see dad as their hero. A little girl looks up to her mother and wants to try on her clothes and put on her make-up. A mother is very important to a child’s life.

When watching most interviews you will often hear the interviewee say “I want to make my mother proud of me”; “I behaved well and didn’t do what others were doing because I did not want to let my mother down. She believed in me”

Do your children know that you believe in them? Have you ever said those life giving words? “I believe in you. You are a smart child. You can do it”.

No matter what your motherhood journey and the experiences that you have had to this point, know that you can be better. You and I are literally on a lifetime journey with our children and this journey will take us to many destinations.

There will be times when we feel completely lost and will not know which direction to take. In all that will happen, let us remember to lean on the One who knows the way, who is continually guiding us in a still small voice, saying: “Do this, go this way.”

He is the One who is an AWESOME Father who loves us and who believes in us. We are His beloved children and we know that we are loved by Him…may our children know that about us (without any doubts).

Shalom!!!!




Love lessons from God

lifeinfullbloom

A fortnightly column on marriage, family and relationships.

 his-great-loveA new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.  By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another — John 13:34-35 

Have you ever noticed that when you are not feeling all that well and you are having one of those days when everything seems to be going wrong and you feel that nobody cares or even understands –that something unusual happens?

You get a phone call from a loved one that you have not spoken to in a while,  or you get a random email that you might have ignored on any other day but on this day you just decide to read it — only to find out that it is exactly what you needed.

Or you get a whatsapp message that just speaks to you. I do not take any of these happenings lightly — especially when I feel particularly sad and it seems all that can go wrong is going wrong!!!!

Recently I was having one of those days and out of the blue a sister I had not spoken to in weeks, called me and we ended up chatting and laughing. That phone call left my spirit lighter and happier. I knew that God just loved me through her.

Do not dismiss it when you have a passing thought to call or to go visit somebody — especially if you have not been in contact with them in a while. It is God’s way of ministering to them and showing them love. God does not hug us physically but does use our arms to give somebody a hug.

He can use your smile to brighten somebody’s day. A lot of the time ministry is not opening a verse but practically loving people at their point of need. This practical gesture opens a door for someone to be more receptive to hear about the gospel later on.

In John 13 verse 34- 35 The Lord commands us to love one another. He said they will know that we are His disciples by our love for each other. A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so also you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.   Love never fails. He says as I have loved so also you must love one another. I meditated on that As I have loved you.

That is a deep statement because we see the Love of the Father all through His love letter to us, the Bible. God’s love amazes me!!! To think that THE CREATOR  of the universe is concerned about my wellbeing. He is interested to know how I am. He wants to be involved in every aspect of my being.

I was having a conversation with a sister who put it right when she said God is a best friend forever — what today’s youth call a BFF!! As we discussed the love of God for us and tried to understand it,  we began to think of all the amazing things that He is in our lives and all that He does for us.

The fact that He is everywhere with us and will never leave us nor forsake us — the fact that He loves us unconditionally. Can we ponder on that for just a minute, that there is nothing that you will ever do or say or think that will ever make God hate you. I am amazed by the limitless depth of His love.

He was willing to put His life on the line for me. He died a horrific death to save me. What manner of love is this? He does not ask you to pay for what He did because He paid it all. All He asks is that you believe in Him. In this “there is nothing for free” world that we live in, are you not glad that we do not have to pay for salvation?

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. He was willing to die so that I will not perish…such love — John 3:16

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord — Romans 8:37-39.

Below I list 7 ways to love others as God loves:

  1. Ephesians 2:4-5 – But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved ….Be rich in mercy. During the course of your life, you will be wronged by many –sometimes in one day. Be rich in mercy, knowing that you also sin by what you say, do or think. When you have done wrong in the eyes of the Father, surely you would want Him to extend His hand of mercy.
  1. Luke 12:7 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Love gives attention. God knows even the number of hairs on our heads. Such detail. Who knows you to that extent? Although as a spouse you will never know your beloved to that level, do take time to learn about her or him. This is your precious gift from the Father. Study your spouse so you know him. It is when you know him that you can begin to know what makes him laugh — what makes him cry — what moves his heart. Love pays and gives attention.
  1. Proverbs 8:17 I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me. We are all called to love one another but there are those special people in all our lives — your friends and family. Do not take them for granted. They are there for you through thick and thin. Some of them know you more than you know yourself. They know your weaknesses and have seen you at your worst but still love you. They have cheered you on when you did not believe in yourself enough to achieve your dreams. Love those who love you.
  1. Romans 5:8 — but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Should people clean themselves up first to earn your love? Must they dust themselves off and polish themselves clean to be accepted by you? Our loved ones will not always do things that way we like, do the things that we like, or pursue the life that we want for them. They might turn out opposite to what we envisioned for them and might choose the life of sin. They might make decisions that go against the very fabric of what we hold dear. Would you still show love? We are called to love others the way God loves us even in our sin…
  1. Zephaniah 3:17 — The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing. Rejoice over people. I read somewhere that how you greet your children speaks volumes about how much you love them and it contributes to the way they see themselves. The writer advises smiling at your children when you see them walk through the door. Let them know that you are happy to see them. This is also true of adults. Nobody wants to be greeted by an angry face and voice when they get home. Rejoice over your loved ones.
  1. Psalm 86:15 – But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. Be slow to anger. This is a challenge for most of us. In a world that operates in anger it is difficult to live a life that moves the opposite way. When the driver at the highway yells at you,  when you do not get the service that you deserve at the till,  when you are unfairly treated because of the colour of your skin or your gender or your religious affiliation — there are many things that can cause us to be justifiably angry, but our Father expects us to be like Him — be slow to anger.
  1. Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love Him and keep His commandments, to a thousand generations. Be a person that your loved ones can depend on. They should always know that you will always love them no matter how much they mess up. There will be times when your spouse or child will feel that the whole world has turned their back on them. Even when the world turns their back they must have a parent whose steadfast love is always there for them to welcome them back home.

You and I know that no matter what God loves us. We can depend on His love in good and bad days. God is very intentional in the way He loves us and He loves us dearly. May that be known of us!

Love is intentional in its giving.

Shalom!!!!




Witbank launch of new Christian women’s magazine — Lady Rose

linda-chuter

Linda Chuter, editor-in-chief of Lady Rose magazine.

Patsy Fulton reports on the recent Witbank launch of Lady Rose magazine.

Lady Rose, a new, glossy, Christian women’s magazine, will be launched in different cities around the country through until December.

Speaking at the magazine’s recent Witbank launch event, editor-in-chief Linda Chuter said the decision to start the magazine followed a seven year journey to find out what she needed to be doing with her life. Within four months of clarifying her quest, the first issue of Lady Rose is not only in print — it is big, new and national!

Chuter, dynamic and in love with Jesus, says she has turned nothing into something to glorify Him. Her God-ordained quest is to encourage women to find their identity. “God chose me to do something no one else can do,” she said, “and that means finding my full potential.”

She cited changes in women she has known all her life, as proof of how finding your true identity really works. Her sister Lynette Mabbett, for example, makes prophetic cakes.

Chuter said: “Be who you are – without the stuff or even without your network of friends, because no person can help you when persecution comes – but God can!

“So go to God not to a friend for help. Friends’ prayers will hold you up, as God lays it on their hearts. But it is God and not your friends who can overcome Satan.

“God looks beyond the best makeup and shoes, to the heart — that is what counts to Him. So delight yourself in God and then follow the desires of your heart. He knows when He is number one in your life.

“God heals the broken hearted, He gives them dreams and visions,” Linda said.

The publication of  Lady Rose magazine is but one sign of God’s promise fulfilled in Linda’s life. Her ministry was birthed from her interpretation of a prophetic dream involving herself on a stage and a woman in a wheelchair. She was on the stage holding a microphone.

The wheelchair, in the dream, represented the world and its crippling hold over women. The woman is Leah from the Bible who had weak and dark eyes — she was the wife of Jacob, and the older sister of Rachel. She represents you and me – women who are often weary, worn-out, fatigued or trapped in our worldly wheelchairs, crushed under media-generated complexes and hang-ups.

“If you are the woman in the wheelchair, then it is time you love yourself for who you are, and that will be how you find the self which Christ inhabits,” said Linda, “and that is who Satan sees when looking at you.”

Linda encouraged: “Respectfully fear His presence and allow Him in. The signs will follow Him.

“Now is the time to put down that stuff and talk about God.” Linda said to the audience of over one hundred women.

“Now is the time to let go of the wheelchair – put down what doesn’t matter. The best part, Linda emphasized, was that intimacy with Christ will more than fill that gap.

Linda’s desire is to bring together something for women that is not being done already in the media — her passion is to stir up identity, and fulfil the prophetic word that she would influence media for Him.

“Pray for us,” she asked humbly in her role as editor-in-chief “that only Holy Spirit-led articles will be written and that behind the scene people are carefully chosen.

anja-fourie

Anja Fourie.

The Lady Rose launch in Witbank opened with worship led by Anja Fourie, locally acclaimed vocalist and worship Leader, who together with her husband, Henrico, has three new music cds on the market. Anja writes for Lady Rose.

Bianca Gericke, another member of the Lady Rose team is the “dynamic doer” with a vivacious heart. She runs a business with her husband and home schools her three children. She introduced the Lady Rose perfume range.

bianca-gericke

Bianca Gericke.

Commenting on 2 Corinthians 2:15 she said the verse asks the questions “What is my fragrance for God? ‘What do people see of Christ in me?’”

She introduced Pure and Destiny, two new perfumes which she said were composed of essential oils and fragrances designed specifically with their name qualities in mind.

monique-exley

Monique Exley.

Another team member is Monique Exley who loves to write and has a heart for children, whom she longs to teach about Father God. She creates the children’s section of the magazine. Her work is aimed at showing children that Jesus loves them.

Lady Rose Issue 1 introduces children to the armour of God, without which we are susceptible to the wiles of the enemy.

Several testimonies were shared about what the magazine meant to people. For instance, Ilsa shared how she took a few copies of the first issue to a ladies’ retreat. She planned to use one as a gift for her secret prayer partner, for whom she would pray that weekend. The first time she saw her, her prayer partner was wearing a dress made of material covered with pink roses. Delightedly, Ilsa shared with her new friend, a verse which God placed on her heart about Queen Esther. During the course of the retreat the women were crowned. It thrilled Ilsa, when she read the magazine that both Queen Esther and crowns featured in the magazine. It was a deeply meaningful experience for her.

A light lunch of quiche and Greek salad was enjoyed by women, grouped at 10 different tables at the Witbank launch. Each table had a specially designed cake from Lynette Mabbett Prophetic Cake Ministry.

rose-cakeAt the end of the event, women were challenged to chat about the design of the cake on their table and what it could represent, and many spiritual insights were forthcoming. It was fun to encourage people to see more than just a cake. Tastefully packaged Lady Rose’gifts were given for each lady to enjoy at home — and providing gentle reminders of a woman’s worth before God.