Tag Archives: church

The Collective

15 Oct

32 Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. (Acts 4:32)

What selflessness to willingly sell all you have for the sake of others! Walking away from wealth and material things just to assist the poor is admirable. But there’s an adverb in this paragraph that should be emphasized: willingly.

Let me get to the point. If a community is forced to give up their possessions, operations will not run smoothly. Force or coercion will never produce the love that is needed for harmony. All involved must have one mind and one purpose in order for this system to succeed.

There must also be a need. In the above verse, there was widespread persecution which prompted them to unite in prayer. They were filled with the Holy Spirit. Therefore God was the tie that bound them together.

When individuals are forced against their will to participate in a system, it is a sure sign that this system is godless. The true God does not operate by force, rather, reasoning and choice are employed. Neither will the true God force you to follow him or ask you to threaten others to do so. For God wants everyone to willingly choose repentance and live.

Clueless of the Times

5 Oct

35 “Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. 36 If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. 37 What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’” (Mark 23:35-47)

If Jesus said, “…you don’t know when…”, do we really think that we will know when to wake up? Are we expecting certain events to be in place before we do? And like the 5 foolish virgins, will it be too late when we finally open our eyes? Jesus said to watch and pray.

I’ve heard many say they’re not into politics and give little thought to what’s happening around the world. They are very busy meeting the demands of life and there’s little time to pay attention.

In the parable of the great banquet, Jesus said the people who were invited were also busy and began to make excuses. He gave three examples: one had just bought land, another had just bought animals for work, and the last had just gotten married.

Again, those that were called were too caught up in the affairs of this temporary world. They were not mindful of the times in which they lived. For them it was business as usual. These were “church members”, not “worldly folk”.

To prepare, we need to pray and ask for guidance. God will inspire his people to move according to his will. Just being mindful of the times we’re living in can help raise our awareness and prepare us to listen to our Creator.

There is something happening right now and many are continuing to live their lives as if the world is set to continue forever. They seem to not be too excited about the appearing of Jesus, rather, their blinders are on to what’s happening around them.

When Jesus came the first time many people were oppressed and harassed. Their land was occupied by rulers who controlled them and they had little freedom of expression.

Could it be that He will come during similar circumstances? Remember, although many were oppressed, still, there were those who conformed. This latter will continue to live comfortable lives and so the rules of the world will not pose a threat to them. But when they finally wake up, it will be too late.

Preparation is key whether it’s for an exam or a marathon; how much more important for the coming of our Saviour? When he comes will we be waiting expectantly, or surprised and disappointed? As a friend of mine always used to say: “We should always be in a state of readiness”. I pray that we all will be.

A Time to Feast and a Time to Fast

29 Sep

I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled. Daniel 10:3

Daniel made the decision to fast because he had a vision about “a Great War”. This wasn’t an ordinary battle, it was spiritual warfare.

When trouble arises, the believer does not fight in the ordinary way. Yes, we get upset, we may even begin to worry, but we don’t lose control. We remember who is in control: God the Creator of Heaven and earth. (Genesis 1)

Many prefer to focus on diet when studying Chapter 1 of Daniel, however, the entire context should be examined because each time he fasted, there was trouble.

In addition to our opening scripture, Daniel had also fasted the first time he arrived in Babylon. He and many others were just captured and brought into a foreign country whose inhabitants did not fear God.

When told that he had to eat from the king’s table, (see Daniel 1:5), Daniel refused. One can only imagine the thoughts that crossed his mind: “Was the food on that table sacrificed to other gods?” Or, “I was just captured and taken from my homeland, how could I sit and feast?”

There is a time to eat and be merry and a time to pray and fast, and we are living in such a time. Jeremiah 29:13 says “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

How are we spending our time today? Are we seeking God? Do we have a deep sadness over what is happening in our world? (See Ezekiel 9:4)

We are living in a period where evil is called good and good is called evil, (see Isaiah 5:20). Children are continuing to be abused; people are hurting each other; Christians are persecuted and the list can continue. When we hurt people, we are really hurting Jesus. (See Acts 9:4)

So let’s examine ourselves and be mindful of the times in which we are living. Let’s not be caught by surprise because end-time events may not unfold in the way we anticipated. Fast and pray.

Do Not Sell Your Birthright-Part 3

13 Sep

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,” Luke 4:18

Esau willingly sold his birthright for a bowl of stew. He said, “Look, I am a about to die”… “What good is the birthright to me?” Genesis 25:32

Let’s look again at the significance of a birthright.

It is a responsibility. Once the father passes, the first born son assumes responsibility for the entire household. Not only is he expected to take care of his widowed mother, but he is to care for the women until they are married. Running a household takes sacrifice and selflessness. There is the financial obligation: Bills, food and other necessities.

It is interesting that Jacob, on the other hand, desired such a responsibility. I often wondered what was so special about this deceiver, but now I understand. Jacob went after the birthright on his own. There was no deceit here. He simply made his desire known, and his Brother Esau could have said, “No way!”.

Jacob’s request reveals that he wanted to take care of his vulnerable family. He was a man of integrity. He wasn’t only thinking of himself.

However, when he deceived his father Isaac, he was compelled by his mother. Back then, obeying one’s parents was paramount. Also, let’s remember that when she felt the unborn babies struggling in her womb, God told Rebecca,

The LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.” Genesis 25:23

Isaac was about to die, so Rebecca thought she needed to act fast. Some might say she decided to help God, others, on the other hand, could argue that she simply had faith to carry out such a plan.

Now let us try to apply the above to what is happening right now.

First of all, a recent exchange with a very close friend inspired me to write a part three to “Don’t sell your birthright” immediately. This morning she woke up and heard the phrase , “Jesus is very angry with the Church of Laodicea…”, repeatedly. My friend had never heard of Laodicea. She asked her husband who told her it was a church mentioned in Revelation.

4 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:

These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. Revelation 3:14-16

The church of Laodicea is a lazy church. It may be busy, but not doing what is required. It blends in with its surroundings when it should stand up and stand out. It also follows the wrong leader.

As soon as my friend shared the above experience with me, I remembered my desperate prayers for those people who are suffering all around the world because of various distressing circumstances.

These people are being ignored because they are expected to go against their liberty of conscience. Others have lost loved ones, are in poverty, or are suffering because of physical ailments that are being ignored or downplayed.

Where are the pastors? Where are the evangelists? What is God’s Church doing to help this group? Who is willing to take up responsibility for this household, for this birthright? Perhaps we, the common people must help them and follow the example of Jesus:

35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Matthew 9:35-38

We have a vulnerable group of people who are being harassed. Many of them do not know Jesus, but they need help and hope. Yet, we are busy living our lives because we aren’t affected.

This has been on my heart! The harvest is plentiful. If we are too afraid to stand up for the cause of the needy and vulnerable, let us, at least, pray for workers to help them.

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:8,9

“Blessed are those who have regard for the weak; the LORD delivers them in times of trouble.” Psalm 41:1

Let us seek God for His will. May we pray for courage to do it when we find out what it is. And finally, I want to remind us that those who are deceived, do not know that they are. The bible says that if it were possible, even the very elect would be deceived. (Matthew 24:24)

“I will follow Thee, my Savior,
Wheresoe’er my lot may be;
Where Thou goest I will follow,
Yes, my Lord, I’ll follow Thee.” (1st verse from hymn by Steve Darmody)

God’s way is never the popular way.

Standing Alone Before God

4 Sep

8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 1 Peter 5:8,9

One of the many confusing elements about Christianity is how divided we seem to be. Within our religion we have many denominations and even within them there are further divisions. This has puzzled unbelievers preventing many to take us seriously.

Yet Jesus prayed specifically for unity among believers so that the ‘world’ would believe:

20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. John 17 20,21

This does not mean that everyone who calls themselves Christian will be united in Christ, only that remnant of believers who stand for the principles of their Creator. See Matthew 7:21

It is easy to stand strong with a large group, but how hard it is to stand alone! In these last days, the believer will feel like Elijah:

He replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” 1 Kings 19:2

But God reminded Elijah that he wasn’t the only one. During these times many are feeling like they are alone but many share their sentiments.

Standing alone is not easy, yet, this is going to be our experience in the last days. We will have to choose God in difficult circumstances and let our conscience be our guide. Jesus Said:

Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn “‘a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-la)36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household. Matthew 10:34-36

Isn’t this happening now? Yes. I just read an article about a mother and father who went to court over inoculating their child in Quebec. This is not an isolated incident. The entire world seems to be polarized.

As our opening verse suggests, this is the time to be sober minded and alert. This is the time to resist the enemy and stand firm in our faith. We can no longer stand firm in a group. It’s time to think, reason and follow our own conscience before God.

It does not matter what our church think the seal of God is, if we don’t have the faith to stand alone in whatever we believe, we will be in trouble.

These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they remained virgins. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among mankind and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. Revelation 14:4

Therefore, let us follow Jesus wherever he leads us. Let us be like brave Peter who obeyed and went to Cornelius despite the teachings of his church. (See Acts 10) Stand firm and follow The Lamb.

A Lament to God’s Leaders

31 Aug

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12

It has been made clear to me that this present time is indeed a rehearsal for the time of trouble spoken of in Daniel 12:1. I hope the reader will understand this by the end of this blog.

This pandemic shares many characteristics with the time of trouble

Our global leaders employed bribery, manipulation, coercion, and some, even force, to get their populations to conform. Many willingly complied, some gave in, however, a remnant refused.

This remnant has been blamed for unsuccessful outcomes. Many have been forced to quit their jobs because they preferred to follow their conscience and reasoning instead of giving into social pressure.

If one loses his/her job, how would they be able to buy or sell? If documentation or proof is required to prove their compliance, how would they be able to function as a free moral agent?

Shame. Shame on all the spiritual leaders who did not pick up the cause of this remnant! Who with blinded eyes only saw what they wanted to see! But God is merciful. He has allowed His people to have a glimpse into what will soon come upon the earth.

This blog is not faulting leaders for receiving what they believe to be protection, rather, it is bringing to light the neglect of a remnant who refused to ignore their conscience.

For once again there will be a time of trouble, but this time, it will be far severe. There will be a great testing of our faith where again, a small remnant will stand no matter the consequences. They will have to stand on their conscience alone, fully persuaded in their hearts.

My prayer is that this period be a lesson to us all and that we do not make the same mistake twice.

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! (Isaiah 30:18

Unity – No matter what

29 Aug

One man esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. Romans 14:5

Our conscience is particular to us. It marks a boundary that we own. It delineates us from others. We risk standing alone, unpopular and ostracized.

Therefore, who can go against their conscience without a struggle? It is not an easy feat.

Here we have two groups in the world today. One that go willingly and the other very hesitant. Who is wrong? Who is right?

At present, I say neither is wrong or right. These are two groups who have sincerely made a choice. But there is a big concern.

The willing believe they are right because they are saving themselves and others, which by default insinuate that the other group is not as caring.

The unwilling need more time to weigh the risks and benefits which by default suggest that they believe the other to have been too hasty in their decision. For them, it’s a matter of conscience.

But how should the Church respond?

We should be compassionate towards each other. The willing should understand the circumstances of the hesitant. This latter do not have the faith to go forward and anything done without faith is sin.


And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not from faith; for whatsoever is not from faith is sin. Romans 14:23

This makes it a moral issue for the hesitant and our willing brothers and sisters should be understanding and loving towards them.

In the same way, the hesitant should respect the decision of the willing and not make them feel like they made the worst decision of their lives. They had enough faith to take it. Many did it because they wanted to continue to help others.

Peter was bitten by a poisonous snake and just shook it off, (See Acts 28:3), and we also have this encouraging verse:

8They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. Mark 16:18

Both groups need faith, and this faith must be locked in by love.

Everyone must be fully persuaded in their own minds. I am beginning to believe that the present ordeal is a practice for what is to come. Will we allow hate to consume us, or will we continue in love?

12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. Matthew 24:12,13

Careful! We must not make enemies out of this, because God has called us to love everyone. Jesus loved us even while we were against him. (See Romans 5:8)

Never in our earth’s history has the global population been so polarized. Families and friends are divided. People are in danger of losing their jobs because they will not go against their conscience. We need to show compassion to everyone and focus on sharing Jesus with the world.

On a personal note, this experience has strengthened me. I have never had to stand up for what I believed in such tense circumstances. Standing our ground, no matter the consequences, will build character and prepare us for the real test. Who knows? Maybe this is God’s way of training us for what’s up ahead.

The Call

9 Jan

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. John 6:44

The Creator deals with us as individuals. It’s the most amazing feeling in the world; a tailor-made relationship that makes one know they’re special.

When I chose to follow the teachings of Jesus, it wasn’t because the teachings of a physical church convinced me. Rather, it came in the form of a dream, and it was a warning.

I had just returned to my country after spending some time in the USA. My intentions were not to stay, I had only returned to obtain a student visa to attend a college that accepted me. But when I was refused the visa, I went into a deep depression.

My dad, who was a member of the SDA church, saw my sadness and decided to give me some space. Without him “interfering”, I felt free. I accepted my dilemma and started a plan B.

I decided to become a professional singer, so I found a manager. Then I got a job as a freelance journalist at a newspaper company. With this came the opportunity to be an interviewer on a popular local TV show geared towards the youth. I had a very cool boyfriend, and our favourite pastime was playing pool at a bar with my brother and his friends. I was very carefree and would come home after 3am every morning. But one of those mornings, my dad left a letter on my bed. In it, he questioned my behaviour and asked if I was still living a pure life. This troubled me, because I knew in my heart that I was going in the wrong direction. Then I fell asleep and dreamt.

In the dream, I watched myself in two visions. In the first, I was at a wedding reception standing near a buffet table. I proceeded to dig my whole hand into a beef lasagna and ate. When I saw myself do that, I quickly shouted “I don’t eat beef!” As soon as I said that, the scene rotated to another, and in it, I was dressed as a bride. A man also dressed in white with golden hair came to stand beside me. I understood that we were about to get married. As I watched myself, I blurted out, “I’m not marrying this man, I don’t know him!” As soon as I said that, the man disappeared and I was left alone. Then, instead of being a watcher, I was now in the dream, and frantically cried out, “Come back! Come back! I’ll marry you!” Then I woke up.

Amazingly, I woke up knowing what the dream meant. It wasn’t about diet, or getting married to a random guy. This was the interpretation that was embedded into my mind:

YOU ARE DOING THINGS THAT YOU KNOW ARE WRONG. I AM CALLING YOU. IF YOU DON’T COME, YOU WILL NOT FIND ME.

After that experience, I made a 180 degree turn. I dumped my boyfriend then I gave up my job. Why? Because all of a sudden I couldn’t walk to it! It was the strangest thing. I had to take a bus then walk a kilometre to work. I’d take two steps and couldn’t move. It was as if my brain stopped coordinating with my legs. I finally gave up and miraculously found another job much closer to my home. It was through this job, that God set my future in motion.

I became an avid reader of the Bible. I wasn’t actively attending a church, just spending time with God. I had many beautiful experiences with the Holy Spirit. Then finally, I chose to be re-Baptized and join a church.

What I want to underline, is that my relationship with God wasn’t based on the church I joined, it was based on a call to follow Christ. I see the physical church as a means to Christ, not the end. Unfortunately, after some time I became distracted. I began trying to win people to my church instead of winning them to Christ. This is something many of us are guilty of.

In Christianity, we have a dilemma when it comes to denominations. Are we called to Christ or a church? Outsiders question our faith because we appear to be very divided. Jesus prayed for unity, for by it, He said, the world will know that the Father sent Him.

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. John 17:20,21

I believe that this topic of unity is very important. I think I’ll write about it in more detail in my next blog. See you then!