Dust And Destiny

God formed the first man
From the dust,
As an earthen vessel of clay,
Then blew in his nostrils
The breath of life,
His image to set on display.

As a Master Artist
Shows his passion for life,
On canvas, gold, silver or stone,
So the Lord demonstrated
His wisdom and love,
By not leaving His vessel alone.

The Maker gazed
At earth, water and sky,
At all living things He created,
But of all the great creatures
That He had made,
In mankind was most pleased and elated.

Some say we are here
By random chance,
Without purpose or reason or rhyme,
But I know the Lord God
Fashioned my life,
Long before the beginning of time.

So you can choose
To think that life,
Is a product of happen stance,
But I will choose
To believe in the God,
Of new life and second chance.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

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What Young People Need To Know About Humility

It is a conceit of the young to believe that because something has occurred to them, it is a novel idea, one unknown to previous, plodding generations. This tendency cuts across the board and includes young Christians.

And then they read the classical philosophers… the Church Fathers… the Protestant Reformers… the Enlightenment thinkers… Alexis de Tocqueville and Edmund Burke and The Federalist Papers and Blackstone… Carl F.H. Henry and Herbert Schlossberg and Thomas Oden and Christopher Lasch and Abraham Kuyper and Os Guinness… and biblical exegeses and commentators and historians and scientists whose exacting and exhaustive study open up new vistas of knowledge… and have conversations with serious people who, having reached the age of 40, are a bit more tempered in their approach to life and learning… and real maturity begins.

These comments are more than a bit autobiographical. As a young man (an increasingly distant state of being), my intellectual self-confidence spilled joyously into intellectual pomposity. My mind was a grand world, comprehensive and integrated and satisfied, capable of taking on all comers and informing them of their rightness, wrongness, or simple stupidity.
I am no longer young. Although there are aspects of my youth I miss (supple knees, for example), one I consider with some grief and embarrassment is the intellectual pride I wore as a badge of honor. It was, in reality, a bludgeon of ignorance and injury.

It is good for young people to have strong views, to foster a muscular curiosity, to have opinions of sufficient iron as to sharpen those of their peers. And there’s nothing like the invigoration of intellectual discovery, to grasp something difficult and understand it for the first time, to internalize a great truth or work through a knotty philosophical or theological problem. These things make one feel alive and construct the very lens through which one views life itself.
Yet in our time, the advent of the internet has enabled myriad bright young people, including bright young Christians, to opine with both dogmatism and profligacy. Had the Internet been around when I was in my 20s, no doubt I would have been one of the blogosphere’s chief users – and offenders.
All Christians can rejoice in the many young believers who are writing so thoughtfully and with such art and frequency. Many young men and women I know are using the web to advance critically important arguments in fresh and clever ways.
Christian faith is blessed by young men and women like these. Older Christians should rejoice that the Lord is raising them up and be sufficiently humble to learn from them. Holding younger Christians in contempt simply because they are young is expressly forbidden by the Word of God (I Timothy 4:12). Such contempt is as much a form of pride as any other kind. Like the corpse of dead Lazarus, it stinks.
My caution is only that in an era when so much is at stake in our culture, and when so many young Christians have been cruelly wounded by the brokenness of their families and the excesses of past sin, younger believers not forget that although their voices are new, the truths they proclaim and issues with which they wrestle are not.
Humility and servanthood are terms I dislike, because I’m so bad at applying them to my own life. Yet one’s utility to the Prince of Life is only as extensive as one’s humility and servant attitude. This does not mean that we cannot be confident in proclaiming the truth; rather, it means we bear always in mind that the truth is His, not ours, and that the ministries we occupy are for Jesus’s sake, not our own.
Charles Spurgeon wrote of his own pride that “it is a miserable, wretched affair.” This echoes in the very heart of my own heart. It should for all Christ-followers. Young, middle-aged, or old, let’s remember that intellectual pride is rank in the nostrils of God, and keep remembering that until the day we see our Redeemer, One Who though existing in the very form of God humbled Himself to the point of dying on an instrument of debasement and cruelty, a wooden cross.
If we want to be worthy servants of the King, whether we are emerging or retiring, let’s begin at, and keep returning to, these eternal truths.

Overcoming The Power Of Depression

In recent times, suicidal deaths have been a source of concern to Nigerians and the human race at large. According to the World Health Organization, 350 million people around the world suffer from depression. NGO’s, care groups and even the government have created laws and means to curb this menace yet the answer looks far from our reach. Our Christianity is beyond emotions. It is our commitment to live with God through life and whatever it throws at you.

But how do people overcome it?

The story of Charles is a wonderful testimony on how he overcame depression.

He was 21 when everything went south. He was dumped, he lost his car and he found himself unemployed all at once. Things began to spiral out of control from there. Depression settled in and Charles turned to the bottle as a source of escape.

Things took a dark turn for Charles. But with the help of his roommate, and religion, he overcome his struggle with depression.

He was invited to an event hosted by a preacher, and it was there that he rediscovered his faith in God and religion. It has helped him grow his faith as an evangelist.

He’s looking to spread that message now across the world.

Overcoming depression requires the renewing of our minds through the word of God. When you trust in yourself and things don’t go as expected, it can result in depression. It is important that you always encourage yourself in the lord. Take the focus off you and focus on God. Understand that there are somethings that are beyond your control and learn to pray about that problem. Confess the word of God daily over your life. Ever heard the popular saying “why worry when you can pray”? I am sure the writer understood by experience that prayer is the only way out in times of distress.

Secondly, unrealistic comparisons with other people implies you are telling God that He has failed you. We are all on individual journeys in life and so face different challenges, hence stop comparing your life with others. Stay on your lane, pray and watch the miracle worker do wonders all around you.

Finally, the journey of depression ends in hopelessness so instead of feeling like you are a burden to others, speak up. A problem shared is half solved.

Internal Re-branding

Today, a lot of Christians who are spiritually fit but morally unhealthy. it beaks my heart when i hear people say things like “I did business with a christian and she duped me” or “He is a christian yet he lies a lot”. What these so-called Christians do not understand is that: a morally disabled person cannot be used by God in anyway. So, the big question is- who are you on the inside?
We have mistaken being prosperous to what we see (money and material things) but what unsuccessful people fail to understand is that you attract what you are on the inside. God wants us to be rich in all things- moral wealth, spiritual wealth and it’s likes. People don’t buy into just your great business plans anymore. They buy into you (the person).Macrokiosk | Kuala Lumpur Offices | The Space is built upon the five elements that governs the business model of Macrokiosk – functional, engaging, collaborative, creative and innovative – where the essence of powering connectivity is interwoven into its design approach. Spearheaded by Macrokiosk’s internal workspace design team in collaboration with a local interior design and built company, The Space is a continuity of a branding exercise to streamline the workspace design concept.
The problem is not lack of money but lack of character. Are you dependable? There is money everywhere but if you lack integrity and trust, you won’t attract it. You are a good product created by God but do you act like one?
Reading books, studying extensively about your field of work, putting your mind to work and taking the right actions to attain your desired success level are all part of the process to good success but most importantly the daily renewal of your inner man. Take the time to build your internal capacity and it will show on the outside in due season.

Lesson
Internal cleanliness is necessary for external prosperity.

 

 

True Story: A Devoted Muslim Convert to Christianity

This is not the first time have heard or experienced this, but this testimony is unique I have to share the story.

Khalid Mansoor Soomro is from the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. He was an ardent follower of Mohammed until he decided to put a challenge to some Christian students at his school. This dramatic testimony tells how a Muslim convert came to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Khalid’s Challenge

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15, NKJV )
I belong to a Muslim family. When I was 14 years old, I was studying in a convent school in Pakistan. My parents had forced me to learn the Qur’an by heart when I was seven, and so I did. I had a lot of Christian fellows (or acquaintances) at school, and was surprised to see them studying because I had always found Christians to be of low profile in the society.

I discussed and argued a lot with them about the accuracy of the Qur’an and rejection of the Bible by Allah in the Holy Qur’an. I wanted to force them to accept Islam . Often my Christian teacher told me not to do so. He said, “God may choose you as he chose the Apostle Paulus.” I asked him to explain who Paulus was because I knew Muhammad only.

A Challenge

One day I challenged the Christians, suggesting that we each burn the other’s Holy book. They should burn the Qur’an, and I should do the same with the Bible. We agreed: “The book which would burn, would be false.

The book which would not burn would have the truth. God himself would save his Word.”

The Christians were frightened by the challenge. Living in an Islamic country and doing such a thing could lead them to face the law and meet its consequences. I told them I would do it by myself.

With them watching, first, I set the Qur’an on fire, and it burned before our eyes.
Then I attempted to do the same with the Bible. As soon as I tried, the Bible struck my chest, and I fell to the ground. Smoke surrounded my body. I was burning, not physically, but from a spiritual fire. Then suddenly I saw a man with golden hair at my side. He was wrapped in light. He placed his hand on my head and said, “You are my son and from now on you will preach the gospel in your nation. Go! Your Lord is with you.”

Then the vision continued, and I saw a gravestone, which had been removed from the tomb. Mary Magdalene spoke to the gardener who had taken the body of the Lord. The gardener was Jesus himself. He kissed the hand of Mary, and I woke up. I felt very strong as if someone could strike me, but I would not be hurt.

A Rejection

I went home and I told my parents what had happened, but they did not believe me. They thought the Christians had me under some magic, but I told them that everything had happened before my very own eyes and that many people were watching. They still did not believe me and kicked me out of my home, refusing to accept me as their family member.

I went to a church close to home; I told the priest all about what had happened. I asked him to show me the Bible.

He gave me the Scriptures, and I read about the event I had seen in the vision with Mary Magdalene . That day, February 17, 1985, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior.

A Calling

My family rejected me. I went to various churches and learned about the Word of God. I also followed many Bible courses and eventually went into Christian ministry. Now, after 21 years, I have had the joy of seeing many people come to the Lord and accept Jesus Christ as Savior.

Thanks to the Lord, I am now married and have a Christian family. My wife Khalida and I are involved in the work of the Lord and have been able to share the miracles God has done in our lives.

Even though it is not easy and we face many hardships, we feel like Paul who went through hardships and suffering for the glory of his Savior, Jesus, who himself suffered during his walk on earth and his time on the cross.

Report: Christian Persecution Is Worse Today Than Ever Before?

This is not a debate but so far we believe in our faith and religion. The early church suffered a lot more because they were all over spreading the Gospel manually, compared to our digital world and age. If not for their bold and courageous movement, we won’t be here.

The early Christian persecution started with Those who have believed in the one God of heaven and earth have continually been persecuted by rulers and kings since time began. However, when we speak of early Christian persecution, we are referring to the time following Jesus Christ’s suffering and persecution for His Church – His death on the cross. He paid the price for all of our sins, He was spat upon, beaten beyond recognition, humiliated, and finally nailed to a cross like a hardened criminal until He died. After three days, He rose again and even now, He lives and is the right hand of God the Father where He rules and reigns with Him.

How was it that the church underwent such sacrifices? The Roman religion was not intolerant; Rome had accepted into its pantheon deities from the Italian tribes and from Asia Minor. In the provinces, the great territorial gods—such as Saturn in North Africa and Jehovah among the Jews—were accepted as “legal religion” on the grounds that their rites, even if barbarous, were sanctified by ancient tradition.

Countless local gods and goddesses, worshiped by the ordinary inhabitants of the Greco-Roman world, were often provided with a classical equivalent name and worshiped as “Roman” deities.

Despite this toleration, by the early second century the Roman governor of Bithynia (on the Black Sea) had no hesitation in sending to immediate execution those who had been denounced as being Christians. The name alone was a sufficient death warrant.

Reasons for the persecution emerge from the record of Christianity’s first three centuries.

So back to the topic of the day according to Christian Headlines, When you think of the worst time in history for Christian persecution, perhaps you think of the Roman Coliseum or the Middle Ages and Reformation when Christians were burned at the stake for translating the Bible into the common language.

There are countless time periods in history when Christians have faced persecution for their faith. Jesus warned that persecution would come (John 15:20). We know this as Christians.

What may surprise you, however, (especially if you are a Christian living in the West), is that a new report has shown that Christian persecution is actually worse today than ever before in history.
According to Relevant Magazine, this report comes from Aid to the Church in Need, a Catholic persecution charity that “provides pastoral and humanitarian assistance to the persecuted Church around the world.”

This increase in Christian persecution is in large part due to terrorist groups like ISIS in the Middle East and Boko Haram in Nigeria. These groups particularly target Christians.

Of the 13 countries where Christian persecution has been most severe, none of them have shown improvement in the past year except Saudi Arabia, where, the report says, “the situation was already so bad, it could scarcely get worse.”

Persecuted Christians from Iran to Indonesia to North Korea often feel forgotten by those in the West, especially because Western governments are not doing enough to provide them with aid.

David Curry, the CEO of Open Doors, another Christian persecution charity that releases an annual World Watch List of countries where Christian persecution is most severe, offered some hope in this situation: “One of the reasons we call ourselves Open Doors is we fundamentally think there are no doors closed to Jesus, and we know that the Church is everywhere. The body of Christ is everywhere. So we’re going to tackle them. There are no off-limits places to us.”

Photo credit: Google

What Does The Bible Say About Abortion 

Abortion has become a polarizing political issue where we’ve bought into the myth that we must decide between respecting women or respecting life. It’s a fallacious argument. As a pastor, I’ve seen that abortion has a devastating impact on all those involved. The politicians and abortion providers don’t tell you about the long-lasting emotional scars, and the guttural feelings of regret and loss. Here’s the truth (Statistically and Biblically). 

 According to the current statistical research, approximately 25% of all women in the United States have had or will have an abortion. Approximately 25% of men have conceived a child who was aborted. That’s nearly 40 million women, 40 million men and 40 million unborn children…and counting! 

It’s hard to wrap my mind around those numbers. An entire generation wiped out. It gets even more painful to think about the pregnant mothers and unborn children most at risk. According to stats, abortion is perhaps the most racist force on the planet. Planned Parenthood was started by Margaret Sanger and genocide was part of the plan. She wants to eliminate the African American race (do your own research on this and look up her quotes online). Tragically, her evil vision of “ethnic cleansing” seems to be working. Nearly 1000 African American babies are aborted every day. In New York City last year, there were more African American babies aborted than there were live births. Tragic.

 I’m not going to waste your time by preaching at you with my opinions on this issue. I’m not even going to share the countless beautiful stories of life-changing adoptions I’ve seen first hand where a mother decided not to abort and gave a couple the opportunity to be parents and gave her baby the opportunity to have a full life. What a gift.

I’m not going to give you a political lecture on this issue. These issue is far too important to be defined by the talking heads on TV news stations or by the politicians lobbying for power. I humbly suggest that we return to the timeless truths of Scripture. Regardless of your faith (or lack of faith), I hope these principles will shape your own thinking on these important issues of life and death. If you’ve never before read what the Bible actually says about abortion, these facts might surprise you…

1. God’s plan for each human life starts BEFORE birth.

 The Bible paints a beautiful picture of God’s delicate handiwork in the womb. We are loved by Him and He has a plan for each of us even before birth. One of the many beautiful pictures of this in the Bible is when John the Baptist “leaped inside his mother’s womb” when the news of Jesus was announced. The Bible gives countless examples of God’s unique calling on a person’s life from before their birth.


“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.” Jeremiah 1:5


2. Life begins at conception.

The Bible alludes to this in many way. One verse (below) refers to the Father (not the Mother) being the one who “gave life,” which is a direct reference to the moment of conception being the start of life as opposed to the moment of birth.

“Listen to your father, who gave you life, and don’t despise your mother when she is old.” Proverbs 23:22

 3. Abortion is murder*.

Abortion causes physical pain the unborn child and it literally stops a beating heart. If the end of a heartbeat marks a death, then why don’t we measure the start of a life by the beginning of a heartbeat? Even in the Bible, the intentional or unintentional killing of a “fetus” was a criminal offense. In the Old Testament, causing the death or serious injury of a pregnant mother OR an unborn child was punishable by death.

“If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life” Exodus 21:22-23

If YOU have had an abortion, please know that God loves you, He is for you and He desires to bring healing and hope to replace your pain. His grace is bigger than our biggest sins.

 4. EVERY life is precious to God.

In some instances, abortion has become a way of selective breeding. We terminate lives who don’t fit with our cultural preferences. For instance, children with Downs Syndrome are aborted at an alarming rate. The Bible teaches us that God values the sanctity and beauty of every human life, and we should do the same.

“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Your works are wonderful; I know that well.” Psalm 139:13

5. It’s our responsibility to speak up for the unborn.

I rarely write about anything political, because I believe the family (not the government) is the foundation for society. This is not just a political issue, but a moral outrage and we should all take action to defend the cause of the unborn. I believe we will each be held accountable by God for what we did (or didn’t do) when it came to defending the rights of the unborn. When we value the lives of the unborn, we value humanity itself. When we remain silent, we give away a part of our own humanity in the process.

 “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.” Proverbs 31:8

Please share this post using the links below, so we can continue to celebrate the value of life and defend the rights of the unborn.


Source: Dave Willis

Around The World Today: Israeli Archaeologists Discover Ancient Artifact That Supports Biblical Record

​Archaeologists in Israel have discovered a 2,700-year-old seal that supports the Bible’s record of a governor ruling over the city of Jerusalem.

According to TheBlaze.com, the seal is comprised of a stamped piece of clay and dates back to the period of the first Jewish temple. The coin-sized seal bears an inscription which reads “belonging to the governor of the city.” Archaeologists were able to date it to the period of the first Jewish temple because it was uncovered in soil from the first temple period.

This is consistent with the biblical record which makes note of a governor ruling over Jerusalem during the first temple period.

According to one of the archaeologists, Dr. Shlomit Weksler-Bdolah, the seal “supports the Biblical rendering of the existence of a governor of the city in Jerusalem 2,700 years ago.”

The seal was likely attached to a shipment or sent as a souvenir. It was discovered near the plaza of the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem.

“It is likely that one of the buildings in our excavation was the destination of this transport, sent by the city governor,” said Dr. Weksler-Bdolah.

Culled: Christian Headlines 

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Many Parts, But One Body

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Uncle Paul reminds us that God assigns our roles in the body of Christ. Several principles interact with God’s choice. 

  • Be faithful in what God has given you to do- until we are faithful with the little things, He will not entrust us with big ones (Luke 16:10-13).
  • If we don’t use what He has given us, it will be taken away (Mathew 25:14-30).
  • We reap what we sow- sinful or irresponsible behaviour can create consequences that limit the effectiveness of our service (Galatians 6:7-8).
  • Let’s be faithful with what God has given us, let’s serve Him when given new opportunities, and let’s honour Him with our choices so that Satan cannot use our failure to interfere with our service. 

My Lord, please help me see my opportunities to serve in your kingdom. Please grow my effectiveness in your service so that I can bring you glory and be a blessing to the Body of Christ. Amen!!!