Saturday, 29 May 2010

Is it Practical?

Has anybody read the book I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris? A friend of mine recommended it to me some years back but frankly speaking the title did not make the the book very appealing to me and I was critical about it even before I read a single page. Recently I managed to get my hands on the book and I must say - why in the world did I not make an effort to read this book earlier? I was impressed by the way that Joshua Harris wrote about his decision and his views on dating. Many times I found myself laughing out aloud as I read the book. It is not an ordinary no dating book and the writer emphasizes that he is not against dating per se but against the way people perceive dating. He advocates for honoring God, the other person and oneself. As I read the book I could not help but agree with most of the things he pointed out about the cons/disadvantages of dating the ordinary way i.e that it creates an artificial environment hence the possibility of overlooking some crucial things about a person, it is mostly about feelings and what we feel and yet feelings change all the time hence the need to look at more than what we feel.
Ok I said, this is well and lovely but then how is one supposed to approach relationships and that's when he talked about principled dating or what some call courtship. This is when one enters into a relationship with commitment in mind and the aim of the relationship is to get to know each other and decide if the individuals are compatible. This process can involve taking part in activities the other person likes, meeting their friends, mentors, family  as a way of really getting to know each other. Generally, it is up to the couple to decide the kind of things they want to do during their courtship. This is just but a summary but I must say this book changed my outlook on relationships and it got me excited.

Fast forward - A couple of days ago I was discussing with some lady friends about relationship issues and I was enthusiastic to share what I had read in I Kissed Dating Good-Bye. Their response was a disappointing one for me. I mean these were all christian ladies and I thought they would appreciate the concept of honoring God even in dating and relationships. Most of them seemed to say 'All the best if you are want to do that kind of thing cause in this day and age it does not work'. One of them did not beat about the bush and asked me which man for instance would want to have a first kiss at the altar in this day and age and I shall not go into detail about other stuff.
Dear readers what are your views? I would love to hear your thoughts or even experiences. Is it practical to have principled dating in this day and age whereby individuals can  decide to wait to get physical until they are officially married? Or may be it is something which is not practical? Do you think courtship/principled dating is old fashioned?

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

The Apple of His Eye

A few weeks ago someone said some very unkind and discouraging things to me. The words of this person kept replaying in my mind and it was eating me inside. I could not understand why they would say such dispiriting things like that and in my face too. No one has ever said such things to me before - at least not in my face. In my view it had been uncalled for. When I got home I shut myself in room and wept. I was hurt. 

Days later I was chatting to my pastor and I found myself telling him about the incident and to my embarrassment I burst into tears. He took me aside, prayed with me, shared with me some scriptures and reminded me that no one can define me or what I can be but God. I felt much better afterwards but a part of me was still not at peace and could not forget those hurtful words.
The next day, I distinctively remember it was a Monday my pastor sent me a text that read in part "... Have a great day knowing that you are the apple of His eye and He will vindicate you" (Scripture reference:  Zechariah 2:8 - ...for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye ). That got my attention. Eeeeeeeeish (wow) just thinking of what that scripture meant touched me beyond measure and humbled me. I am the apple of God's eye and he/she who messes with me is accountable to God - there was a declaration right there that God is on my side and he would vindicate me. Right there and then I made a decision to let go and not take to heart what the person had said to me... I mean being the apple of God's eye and all I was important to Him even if others thought lowly of me. I am glad that my pastor sent me that message with a reference to Zechariah 2:8 - it brought me back from sorry land, bitter land or where ever I had been floating.
True to His Word God has vindicated me, the words of the person who spoke negatively about me have been proved wrong and still continue to be proved wrong. I am sure they have been surprised at the recent events in my life. That is God for you - He takes care of His own and is very protective of His children.  

Maybe recently or in the past you have had some hurtful things said or done about/to you that you can not get over. Remember that you are the apple of God's eye and those who have hurt you should beware for '..the Lord saves His anointed...with the saving might of His right hand' Psalm 20:6. He will vindicate You, you do not need to fight your own battles - let the Lord take care of you. It is not even worth being bitter or hateful towards those who have hurt you, let God be your defender.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Movie and Puddin' Night

We are having a movie and pudding night at my home group this week. I am very excited because we are going to watch one of my favorite movies  Facing the Giants. I was sharing last week with the other group members about how much this movie touches me each time I watch it and they all got excited and said they wanted to watch it too. We try to do different things together as a group, the last time we had a braai since the weather was all nice and sunny. This is my first movie and pudding night, am used to movie and popcorn nights hence I am looking forward to it. I also hope that everyone will enjoy the movie and will be encouraged and strengthened to face and defeat whatever giants are looming in their lives. One thing I know for sure is that no problem or situation is bigger than our God. For us His children the end result of anything we are going through is obvious, we are definite victors and we do not need to even doubt that because the victory has already been won for us - its sealed and stamped.

I love and enjoy my home group. Because I have been moving around a lot the last few years I have never had the opportunity to experience the joys of being part of a home group. Praying for each other, being there for one another and sharing the Word has been part of what I have been appreciating. These guys have helped me through difficult times and I just hope that they know that I will be there for any of them when they need me.

Image from Amazon
So coach Taylor, Brooke, Brock and David it will be lovely to see God revealing His Glory through you again. (I have now lost count of how many times I have watched Facing the Giants). I hope this time I won't get emotional and cry because there are some parts that always get me - yes they always get me. 
Talking about Christian movies do you know of any interesting christian movies out there. It would be great if you could share titles or even summaries - I would love that.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Seeing beyond today

I vividly remember when I was growing up, one of my uncles who when ever we met would usually take me by the hand and say out aloud "This one is very intelligent. You'll see, she is going to go far in life. You just wait and see". As a child I would just laugh and run off. I never understood what he saw in me that made him have so much faith in me - now that I am grown up if I could have the chance to see him I would ask him but the fact is he saw something in me. I was just thinking about my life the other day, where I have come from and where I am going , I realized that my uncle actually prophesied over my life. Now that I am older and spiritually mature I understand it was God right there speaking through my uncle, telling me that I am not ordinary and He had great plans for me, plans to prosper me and to make His glory revealed through what He would do in my life. 
Life is a journey and I know I still have so much to achieve but that which I have achieved so far is something I can shout about and I look forward to a bright future because I know God is in control.

Whilst it is awesome to have someone or people believing in you like my uncle did, I also realize that as an individual it is crucial to believe in yourself and declare a bright future for yourself. You do not need to wait for anyone to tell you that you have so much potential and you are capable of achieving your dreams. It is very important to be able to see beyond today and prophesy positively into your future using the Word of God irrespective of your present situation because the Word of God is powerful and " living and active, sharper than any two edged sword..." Hebrews 13:12. What the Word of God says you are, you are, what it says you can do then definitely you can do it. Believe me you will be amazed at the results, you will be wowed over and over again by the power of the Word of God - I know I have and I am still being wowed.

The more we speak the Word of God into our lives the more our lives change and begin to take shape. I have made up my mind to make it my responsibility to prophesy over my life and the lives of my loved ones - making it a priority to say what the Word of God says and not what I feel or what think or what the world thinks and says. I hope you will join me and also begin to prophesy positively over your own lives knowing that God will never fail you  and that what He says in His Word is absolute truth. You have a bright future ahead of you.  

The Good Changes

Perhaps I am a person of contradictions but here is the thing – I like doing new things but I am not a huge fan of change. I like planning ...