Relationships : Financial Chemistry 1 (Podcast Episode 36)

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A major area that the devil uses to destroy marriages is finances. This place can create pain or pleasure in your marriage. This is a series to help establish Financial Chemistry in your marriage. May finances never be a reason to stop loving each other be blessed.

The 7 Deadly, Church-Killers

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Matthew 16:18

18  And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Starting a church puts in the frontline of the cosmic battle between the Kingdom of Light led by God and the kingdom of darkness led by satan. If satan had his way, all churches would shutdown. Here are some of the deadliest weapons he uses to kill a church. But we believe that the gates of hell shall not prevail against your church!

  1. The Critic: This is a person who expresses a pessimistic opinion of your church. They look at it from the outside and express an opinion of failure and disaster to you. The rule of thumb when it comes to church critics is, if they have not successfully built a church from scratch, their criticism is never constructive. Constructive criticism can only come from builders.
  2. The Skeptic: This is a person who is inclined to instinctively and habitually doubt your calling, question your gifts, and disagree with your sermons . They are always questioning you, second guessing you and disagreeing with you. Their agenda is making you doubt your calling. Always believe in your calling.
  3. The Intimidator: This is a person who specialises in frightening you concerning the wellbeing of your Church in order to make you  submit to their agenda. Their job is to raise the levels of fear concerning your Church by exaggerating  the dangers and risks involved in your Church…there is no Church that has no danger. Fear is a major Church killer, ignore intimidators. BellKiller-620x400
  4. The saboteur:  This is a person who deliberately works to destroy your Church from within. This is a person who will smile in your face, but work behind the scenes to make your ministry fail. Do not be gullible, be an individual who can discern character, and root out saboteurs.
  5. The fault-finder: This is a person specialises in finding faults in your Church, especially in trivial things. They are talented in spotting things of little value and blowing them out of proportion to discourage you. When you start a church its not going to be perfect,  you will have loose-ends and blind spots. A fault finder, finds these things and throws them in your face constantly, to undermine your authority.
  6. The backseat driver: This is a person who is eager to advise you on how the Church must be run without taking responsibility. They are in the backseat  of the Church, meaning they are  not contributing to the vision, in terms of time, effort of finical support but  yet seems to be very uncomfortable with your skills as the driver of the vision. Yet  they have never driven, cant drive but  want to tutor the driver how to drive while the driver is at the wheel. They are overly eager to give suggestions and criticism about the driver’s actions, and are very noisy  in the process. Their efforts are designed to distract the driver. If you don’t like my driving, you have to 2 choices, either you are going to buckle up and shut up or get out of my car.
  7. The belittler: This is a person specialises in making you feel small and insignificant in ministry. They are out to make  you depreciate the value of who you are by making you feel like nothing. You know someone is small when you spend time with them and you leave feeling small. You know someone is big when you leave their presence feeling bigger. The belittler is afraid of how big you are and wants to make you feel smaller than you really are. Ignore them and keep growing!

 

God bless you

 

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Pastor Israel

Mayweather vs. Pacquiao : How Much Is God Involved In Sports?

 

 

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Does God intervene in Sports?

The recent Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao boxing match has generated much debate in all areas of life. As a man who serves in the church sphere, I have been intrigued by the interesting narrative playing out in the Christian domain, concerning the majority of christians siding with Pacquiao based on his religious declarations. Those who sided with Mayweather seem to be  getting viewed with disdain for not supporting a fellow Christian ala Manny. Here are a few thoughts I would like to share on this debate.

  1. There is no scripture in the bible  where God intervened in the realm of sports. David vs Goliath was not a sporting event but a military fight with the destiny of the Nation of Israel at stake. The stakes in the world of sports are not of a biblical magnitude. Therefore, swiftly taper your expectations for radical divine intervention in all sporting events. It is not biblical.
  2. There is no sporting event that has the power to cancel or advance God’s plans for humanity. God’s obsession is the advancement of His Sovereign divine purposes and will. In His hierarchy of priorities, sport does not feature.
  3. God leaves sports decisions in the realm of man. One of the most powerful tools God has given man is free will. There are many decisions in the earth which God delegates to man, and man are free to make decisions that can go against His will. Even if God supported your soccer team He will not force his will on the game, the will of the players on pitch will decide who wins. In this case the iron will of Floyd prevailed against Manny.maxresdefault
  4. Both fighters claim to be christian. I know Manny is more vocal and attends a local church but Floyd claims to be a Christian too and even thanks God for his blessings and wins. So in that ring you had a publicly perfect christian vs a publicly highly flawed christian. Based on their “different levels of christianity” God should have blessed Manny with the win but at the same time, He said , He leaves the 99 to seek the 1 who is lost. So on that note God could have blessed the 1 who is lost  who is Floyd. As you can see, It is just too murky and foolhardy to drag God into the realm sport.
  5. We are not called to find spiritual significance from sports. Is the church so starved of heroes and success stories that, when anyone with a semblance of success, who claims to be  of Jesus shows up, we quickly jump on their bandwagon? Our significance is not to be drawn from man, but from Christ and Christ alone. We must refrain from spiritualising sports and drawing theological inferences from what plays out in the respective arenas.
  6. In the sporting world you are not obligated to support an individual just because he is christian. Being christian does not place an irrevocable obligation on everyone in Christendom to support you in the sporting arena. We wish you well as a fellow christian but people are free to support another player, athlete or team based on their own subjective inclinations. It is not a sin to support a muslim soccer player or dare I say Tiger Woods with his off field scandals. You support what they do on the field, the excellence they bring not their private lives and religious positions.
  7. Everyone who wears a t-shirt written Jesus is Lord doesn’t make them spiritually mature. I was disappointed with how Manny handled and is handling the post fight process. Mayweather (the sinner) straight after the fight,  thanked God, his father and Manny for the fight. On the other hand Manny responded in a very concerning  immature fashion by saying, “I thought I won, he did nothing”?? T-shirts written Jesus, don’t make you mature in Christ, its in how you respond to adversity, failure, loss and the disappointments of life. He should have  said “ I want to thank God for this fight even though I lost He is still and always the winner from age to age, I am just a man, He is God and He is the undisputed champion”. That would have struck a chord. Now couple that with his dishonesty surrounding his shoulder injury, it gets more and more murky to rope God into this particular sporting event.Manny-Pacquiao
  8. Sports are not decided by prayer they are decided by giftedness (talent), hardwork, rigorous training,  intelligence, strategy, experience and ultimately execution on the day. The past world cup  in Brazil (2014) is a sign. African teams are the most prayerful teams and some even use African juju too but fail to win. The Brazilian football team was the most prayerful yet suffered the heaviest defeat in its history to Germany. Sports are not decided by prayer.
  9. Sport is just sport. It is not real life people, do not be too emotionally invested. It is simply entertainment there is no theological or spiritual matter at stake that can reverse, the defeat satan received on the cross from Jesus Christ. There is no soccer match, cricket match, golf tournament, boxing fight that will lead to the second coming of Christ being speeded up or delayed. So keep calm, enjoy your respective sports teams and athletes and leave it there.
  10. Both men got a huge paycheque at the end of the fight. Unless you are on the payroll of Manny or Floyd or your favourite soccer team there is no sense in being an evangelist nor apologist for them. The passion of sports fans must not be translated into anger against those who do not support your team or athlete. Unless you are on the payroll keep calm. Those two men are multi millionaires, arguing for them or against them is waste of your time and theirs. Focus on you and how to take care of your family and generations after you. May God bless you with that Mayweather money one day!rrrrr

 

 

Be blessed

 

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Pastor Israel Phiri