The Prophetic Opposite 1 (Podcast Ep 1)

Prophetic Opposite.001

 

Isaiah 54:1

1  Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the Lord.

 

How does God expect the baren to sing? Seems unreasonable. Listen and be blessed.

10 Questions To Answer To Succeed in 2015

 

10 qs

1.Who am I? This is the most important question you have to Ask God and get the answer. Everything in your life, family, ministry or business rests on the quality of the answer to this question. Identity is the master-key to all success in life. Those who know who they are and believe in who they are, change what they are to become who they are.

2. Why am I here? This is the question of purpose. We are not here for no reason, but we are here for the divine purposes and will of God. The best plan in the world today, is the gospel, how God came in human flesh, and died to redeem mankind. The best plan you can come up with is to figure out your part in God’s big plan for the world. You have a part to play, you are a significant piece of the puzzle. When you get the answer to this question, happiness ensues.

3.Where am I? Many Christians have a very unhealthy relationship with reality. This is because many of us exist in negative realities and faith is tailor made to challenge the negatives in our realities. The challenge comes when we start to develop an ostrich head buried in the sand mindset, where we totally ignore our reality. To change your reality you have to face it. “Where am I ?”, means you have to face your reality in the face and deal with it. The first step to breaking a negative reality is accurately defining it.

4.What do I have? This question relates to assessing your gifts, strengths and resources. No matter what desert you find yourself in, God always places something within you or within your reach that has the power to elevate your life. There is something in you or near you, that if you discover and invest your time and effort in, it will elevate you. In 2015 find what you have, and work it with all your might.

5.Who is with me? The kingdom of God is built on gifts and established by relationships. Success is a system of relationships that exchange value. To succeed you have to value relationships and be an individual who adds value to relationships. There are only two types of relationships, those that add value and those which subtract value. Adders always succeed, subtractors always fail. Make sure that those that are with you are adders not subtractors. Success is a system of relationships that EXCHANGE value, taking without adding value is not exchanging. May God bless you with adders and remove all subtractors, and please be an adder not a subtractor.

6. Where am I going? It is Benjamin Franklin who said “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”. I will modify it to say, failure to plan a destination, is a plan where the destination is failure. You have to define where you are going in 2015. Have clear goals which can be achieved this year. This month must not end without you having clearly written goals with specific deadlines for 2015. Where are you going this year, University, a new job, the gym, authoring a book, recording a musical album, producing a movie. Set your destination and go for it!

7.How will I get there? This is one area Christians struggle with, developing and taking practical steps to achieve a goal. Many of us leave this part to chance and “waiting on the Lord”. This is the point where most dreams and goals die. For every goal you set, you need to place beneath that goal, small tasks you must do in order to achieve the goal. Goals don’t just happen by themselves, we make them happen by our decisions and actions. May God give you wisdom this year, to set goals PLUS tasks to achieve the goals you set.

8. How much will it cost to get there? Every vision must be financed, every goal must be financed, every plan must be financed. How much will each goal you set cost you in terms of money and time. Every goal you set has a price in terms of money or time. Define how much it will cost you and budget your time and money to fulfil these goals.

9.Who should come with me? Not everyone with you today is going to be with you tomorrow. God has a powerful way of removing false relationships from your life, and this by placing you in a valley season. When you experience lows in life, always watch for those who are with you in the lows and not those who leave you. The people you must elevate when you rise are always those who were with you in the valley. Never make the mistake of elevating relationships which like in the good but disappear in the bad.

10. Who should stay behind? There are some relationships which must not cross over with you into 2015. There are some people from 2014 who must remain in 2014. Having them in your 2015 will make 2015 a repeat of 2014. Strictly surround yourself with people who are focused on going higher in life. This year Raise The Standard in all areas of life, and relationships can lift you or pull you down. Rame The Standard of your relationships in 2015.

 

Pastor Israel

10 Great New Year’s Resolution Ideas

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On 01:01:15 at 00:01 Pastor Israel and I talked over our goals and resolutions for the New Year.  This year I kept mine to only two.  I can only share one with you at moment, that is to loose 25kgs this year.  For this body is a temple of God and needs to be taken care of. 1Cor6:19  The other one, i will share with you once it happens 🙂  Something to look forward to I guess.

One question I keep asking myself each year is whats wrong with new years resolutions?  Why are they getting outdated with our generation? I guess people are simply tired of setting new years resolutions that by March are abandoned and forgotten.  Much like what i did last year, Pastor Israel said have 3 goals for the year, i thought really?  I have more, loads more.  So I pencilled in close to 6 goals (swallowing my other 3 🙂 ).  And as it turns out about 3-4 of my goals were abandoned – easily so as they were not key goals – nice to have.

This year I have decided to stick to just a few, 2.  And everything I do this year has to be aligned to achieving these two goals.  So its on.  In fact I reckon that when God said “Write the vision and make it plan on tablets” Hab2:2 He probably included keeping this short and sweet.  “The vision.”

Anyway the purpose of this blog, is to share with you some great resolutions or goals would be and to encourage you to choose one or two and run with them.  Some may be relevant to you and others to your friend or sister/brother, so feel to share:

Here it goes.  Here are some great new years resolutions (relevant to Africans) to adopt:

  1. Live within your means.  Live within your budget or salary.  Don’t spend what you don’t have by taking on credit. The main reason why people overexert themselves financially is because they want to show or impress other people.  If I buy that fancy car, it means I am rich.  Be less focussed on consumption but focus on delayed gratification.
  2. For the single ladies or gents, stop worrying about being single.  We often see many people posting on social media about how single they are etc.  Totally nothing wrong with being single.  In fact, enjoy this season to do the things you love and discover new things.  Meet people, travel places, buy assets, find new hobbies, serve in your local church, tutor children etc.  Theres plenty of things to do with friends and family.  Don’t rob yourself of good time by seeing every single guy or girl as your husband or wife.  One last thing: quit posting single-like statuses on social media sends that type of message you don’t want to send. Have fun!
  3. Quit the short term credit / unsecured credit whether its credit cards or clothing accounts.  This reminds me of when I was at varsity, a few people I know who rushed into getting clothing on credit and managed to mess up their credit name.  This ties in with my earlier point on living within your means.  If you cant afford to get it with your cash – don’t take it on credit.  Buy day to day on cash. Rather use credit to get assets such as a reliable car and/or house.
  4. If currently unemployed, make this year a year of change.  Prepare your CV, get someone you trust and is also competent to review it.  It must be short and to the point.  Be careful to make sure that it does not have typos or spelling mistakes.  Then hit every company you want to work for hard, go and ask to see the manager or hr person in charge of recruiting and speak to them about working for their company.  Do this every day from Monday to Friday, until something comes up.  Let everyone know in your circle that you are looking for a job and that they should keep you in mind when they hear of something.
  5. Save some money.  Set aside a certain amount of money for saving.  Even if its R100 or so, just start with something. Further to this make sure the basics are covered: medical aid or hospital cover (which ever you opt for) and car/home insurance is covered even if its just for third party cover and not comprehensive.  Protect yourself from avoidable (but unforeseen) accident claims.  For entrepreneurs, make sure you have a retirement annuity or retirement plan.  Chat to a financial advisor about saving for your retirement.  There is a powerful principle called compounding that will ensure that even if you become Patrice Motsepe (billionaire) you will still benefit from saving for your retirement. 🙂
  6. Leave that abusive relationship.  Start over. Rebuild and restore your self esteem by focussing on yourself.  Know your worth.
  7. Find a local church that preaches the un-compromised word of God and remain planted.  There are so many benefits of belonging to a good church.  You can get your pastor to walk some tough and also joyous journeys with you.  You are mind body and spirit.  Often we neglect the spirit, without which we are not whole.  Theres also just something about the word of God, its the truth that will set you free to achieve what God wants you to achieve.  Be fruitful multiply, have dominion and subdue the earth.
  8. Go back to school and get a degree.  I set down the other day and tried to thing of all my friends with degrees – in business or working a job and i struggled to find one struggling to meet his or her day to day needs.  I found strong correlation between a degree and financial stability.  It dawned on me, the easiest way to financial stability is sitting down and studying. So if you need to complete matric or redo it – Do IT.  If you need to start a degree or finish a few courses to get that qualification – Do IT.  If you are in business, i would still advise you to enrol part time towards a degree.  Invest in yourself through education.
  9. Stop “vatnset” / cohabiting, it only leads to deep heartbreak.  There are many excuses we use for cohabiting with the most popular one being its economical.  Unfortunately, cohabiting to our race Black people doesn’t mean preparation for marriage.  It often means convenience until something better and more exciting comes up. It results in babies, abuse and prolonged waste of each others time.  If you are in a co-habiting relationship, start correcting. Start by moving out to stay with a same sex friend and ask your partner to do the same.  In that way the economical excuse disappears very quickly.
  10. Marry that girl.  You know the Bible doesn’t lie.  “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favour from the Lord.”- Prov18:22 (Check it out for yourself if you don’t believe me :))  Marriage is the highest form of covenant between a man and woman.  Its a beautiful thing.  The perfect order of God for a man and woman.  Ladies – if he is deliberating about getting married and you should be smart to leave.  If he isn’t sure about you, he will not commit.  If he is sure about you, he will commit.  Real men marry, boys play games that only lead to heartbreak hotel.

Let this year be about the better you. Raise the standard. 2015

Love always,

Nana Phiri

MOVIE REVIEW : Exodus Gods and Kings

 

Exodus

 

Whenever Hollywood attempt to adapt a biblical story for the big screen, the church is very apprehensive. Whenever the church attempts to review a hollywood movie hollywood is apprehensive. What we have then today is the confluence of two opposing worlds, a hollywood production of a biblical text being reviewed by a Pastor who happens to be a movie geek too. Yes, this movie reviewer is not your average christian Tyler Perry movie watcher, I am a movie geek. I not only watch a lot of movies, but follow a lot of blogs (Latino Review*), news sites (Screen Rant*), studio execs (Kevin Tsujiara and Kevin Fiege *) , movie directors (Zack Snyder*), directors of photography (Larry Fong*), movie score composers (Hans Zimmer*), podcasts (Schmoes Know*) youtube channels (AMC Movie Talk*) etc. I have my finger on the pulse of Hollywood, and know what is current and what is coming. This review is not from an archaic preacher with antiquated views that are steeped in religion, and sees the illuminati in everything.I am a genuine movie enthusiast who loves movies in general and will give my take on this movie.

I will preface my review by stating, all movies are subjective, what I hate someone else may like, and what I like someone else may hate.

The Good.

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1. Epic Visuals. Visually this movie was stunning. Ridley Scott  who of late has been a hit or miss director ,has made many classics (Alien, Blade Runner, Thelma and Louise and Gladiator) and this was him going back to his Gladiator roots. He showed us Egypt on a level that we have not seen before. The visual experience was breathtaking, from the battles, to the 10 plagues to the Cities of Memphis and Pithom they were simply epic. In this department this movie cannot be faulted at all.

The Bad

  1. The Casting Controversy. While this movie was in principal photography, chatter began about the “whitewashing” of the casting choices. A fierce racial debate began, concerning why in this day and age, a movie based on Arabs and Africans would feature an all white ensemble cast.  My take on this is, though I was disappointed in the bulk of their casting choices I was still willing to give the movie a chance and hope that the final product would justify the decisions. Which in my view didn’t. The casting of John Turturo as a Pharaoh (Ramesis father) was a bad fit and Sigourney Weaver was no different from the statues being constructed by the Israelite Slaves.exodus-gods-and-kings-set-visit-10-things-we-learned-167929-a-1410882914-470-75
  2. Deviating from the source Material. This is where the church gets upset with Hollywood. There are certain elements of the biblical text which are open to poetic licence. Even when preaching a sermon based on biblical narratives, a preacher can exercise certain levels of poetic licence to give us their take on the story. But  there are certain elements you can not drift too far away from without ultimately looking goofy. This movie drifted and drowned.
  3. Burning Bush. This movie started well but all the trouble began at the burning bush. The mud slide is a metaphor of this movie, it went down hill from that point. SPOILERS COMING. The burning bush which is an iconic moment in the movie, the equivalent of Krypton exploding while Kal el flies to earth or Luke Skywalker being told by Darth Vader “ I am your father”. This is a major pillar in the story, if you mess with it, the entire movie falls apart. Instead of talking to God in the burning bush, we are introduced to God depicted as a little boy with a bad attitude. I agree with  Christopher Orr of the Atlantic who said “This is the first portrayal of God I’ve ever encountered who looked like he could use a good spanking.” If you are going to venture to depict God as a a small boy (which was an epic fail moment) at least give him the right attitude, make him mature, kind, regal even. But no he must be this little brat. Ridley Scott messed up here.exodus-empire-mosesjoshua
  4. Sword for a rod. Moses wielding a sword and not the rod was a major blunder. The idea of him raising and training guerrilla soldiers, though I didn’t like, artistically you can get away with it. But it robbed us of the back and forth exchanges between Moses and Ramesis between the plagues. This would have been excellent in terms of the tension between two brothers falling out. Two other things I didn’t like about Teenage Mutant Ninja swords wielding Moses was that scene where he held a sword to the throat of pharaoh. That was reaching and totally out of synch with the character, that action alone makes sense to this comment Christian Bale (Moses) said about Moses “I think the man was likely schizophrenic and was one of the most barbaric individuals that I ever read about in my life,”. With comments like that, the portrayal of a  sword wielding Moses makes sense. Secondly the Egyptian sword which was flung in the red sea was responsible for making them cross the red sea, really?? To me was another major mistake with the red sea scene (which we shall deal with later.)
  5. The scientific plagues. Biblically the Exodus has God’s most epic miracles. This element of the story has God as the superhero doing amazing things through Moses. They really messed up here with brat boy god and Moses  communicating badly, with Moses not knowing before hand what is coming, and Moses not telling pharaoh in advance but being a victim of the plagues like everyone else. This was just a waste of beautiful visuals with no substance to back them up. The plan here was to minimise the God element and scientifically explain the plagues with exposition. This was a major mister in the movie. The crocodiles looked epic but were not canon.
  6. Red sea anticlimax. You can mess up many things in this story and we can forgive you while we wait for the red sea to SPLIT… But no, let’s not SPLIT it let us recede it instead and make it come back as a Tsunami. You had one Job Ridley, to Split the Red Sea in two but no, let us recede it instead. This was the final nail in the coffin. They failed to deliver the final knock out punch and instead decided to confuse us with an almost battle in a red sea tsunami which Moses gets caught in but survives. Terrible ending. With the all the advancements we have made with CGI and 3D and IMAX this is a missed opportunity.exodus-gods-kings-red-sea
  7. Numbers Don’t Lie. In conclusion the best example for a movie based on a biblical narrative is the passion of the Christ by Mel Gibson. The director’s obsession was accuracy in relationship to the source material, That’s why it Grossed 600 million from a 30 million budget. Exodus God’s and kings is currently a box office disaster. It cost 140 million (5 times more than the Passion) and made 24 million in it’s opening and is now sitting on 113 million.  it has a 29% score on Rottentomatoes.com out of 153 certified movie critics, 109 say it stinks. Numbers don’t lie, if critics and viewing audience are not resonating with it, it’s a fail on all fronts. I went to watch the 10 plagues…But this movie is turned out to be an 11th plague unleashed to hapless movie fans.

Final Rating 2/5

  • The sites and people mentioned are current favourites.

From one mother to another

 

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Recently being a mum to our first child I began to appreciate the value of my own mother and that of the mother of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

And she (Mary) will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭1‬:‭21‬ NKJV)

In thinking of the mother of Jesus Mary I learn a few things about parenting:

1. As a parent you ought to be able to hear the voice of God for yourself about your child. What plans does God have for your child?

2. Believe in what God has told you about your child.  If God says you are raising a genius who will find a cure for the greatest epidemic we ve seen, believe it, nurture it and affirm it. Even if the world doubts you, hold on to what God has said to you because if God said it-that settles it.

3. Know that there will always be opposition. There’ll be many people who will want to impose their will on your child. In the age we live in there’s strong pulling forces (Herods) who want to kill your child’s destiny before it is fulfilled. Flee, pray, protect and be deliberate in hiding your child from these pulling forces.

 

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4. Expose your child to all things Godly and things that will prepare them for their destiny. It is important to know that every perfect gift comes from our God. So church and the word of God are critical to your child’s journey even if their destiny is in the market place and not in the church. A good Church will lay a solid foundation complimentary to your efforts.

5. Be there, even when your child might face the toughest time in their lives, just be there. Walk the journey with them as their number one supporter and believer. With you by their side, they will gain strength to go on and to be what God called the to be.

8. Be deliberate in preparing your child for their destiny. Research, educate yourself and invest in your child’s destiny. If your child is called to be a  the best tennis player the world has ever seen, start training him/her at a young age.

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7. Be a good custodian and role model. This is just so critical. For your child to be what God has called them, you need to be faithful. Faithful to the word, your role and in your own walk to your own destiny.

8.  Lastly, trust God to reveal the journey /path of childs destiny up to fulfillment. Trust God to keep him or her covered in the shadow of His wings.

Mary, thank you for remaining faithful to your journey as a mother to the Savior of the World, Jesus Christ.

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭1‬:‭23‬ NKJV)

May you and your family enjoy this day as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Merry Christmas with love,
Bokangs Mummy 😉

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Is Christmas Demonic?

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One of the major challenges we have as the Church in 2014, is we are living in the hyper information age. In that this generation through being connected to the internet and social media is relentlessly bombarded with vast amounts of information on a daily basis. The biggest challenge with that is two things 1) Not all the information that we are bombard with on the internet is accurate, in fact a large amount of it is false. 2) People believe anything that is written and published on the internet. The scripture 1 John 4:1 does not only apply to false teachers only, but to any source of information: “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

As Christians we need to become more analytical and less superstitious. In that now more than ever with information flying past our eyes 24/7 we have to be able to analyse just how accurate it is before we believe it . Befefore we rush to post it on our social media and get others to believe in an inaccurate position, we must test the accuracy of what is being presented.

Todays’ post is concerning Christmas, and I was inspired to write after seeing a small group of friends on my Facebook timeline posting arguments to the effect that Christmas is demonic. Around this time of the year, there are some hardline Christians who take the position that Christmas is demonic and shouldn’t be observed. Here are just a few points on Christmas I would like to share with you.

 

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  1. What is the literal Meaning of Christmas? The Merriam – Webster  Dictionary defines Christmas as :  a Christian feast on December 25 or among some Eastern Orthodox Christians on January 7 that commemorates the birth of Christ and is usually observed as a legal holiday. Just based on this definition you can see that there are actually two Christmas days, depending on which side of the orthodox calendar you are. The word  Christmas is a compound word which means Christ’s Mass. In the name we can find the source and foundation of this season.
  2. What is the original source and reason for Christmas? For modern day Christians without any exposure to Christian orthodoxy, the term Mass in Christ’s Mass will not resonate. The Catholic Church and other orthodox churches every year function  under a structure called the Liturgical Cycle or Liturgical Year. In simple terms, public worship, is scripted to fit a fixed calendar throughout the year. To further simplify it Christmas is a designated Church service on an Othordox church calendar. The ultimate lowest denominator for Christmas is it’s a church service where the focus of worship is going to centre around the scriptures concerning the birth of our Lord. Liturgical Cycle Churches do not preach from random scriptures, they use a Lectionary, which has specific scriptures all churches must preach from throughout the year. So when Christmas comes, the lectionary has set scriptures to preach from concerning the birth of Jesus. So in it’s literal smallest denominator Christmas is a church service that has now been turned into a legal holiday.
  3. When did Christmas start? Christmas was placed on the Liturgical calendar as early as the 4th Century, December 25 in Rome. The key thing to know here is that the date is not attempt to prove  Jesus’ birthday, but view it as an entry in a church calendar, with other worship events observed too. The reason why a liturgical calendar is employed is The liturgical calendar provides a structure for the Church’s collective memory, a way of consecrating human experience of time in the celebration of God’s work – in Christ.
  4. Is Christmas Jesus’ Birthday? The exact year, month or date of the birth of Jesus is not known. Christmas is not an attempt to define the date that Jesus was born, but a day in a church calendar to remember and celebrate  his birth. It is estimated that Jesus was born between 7 and 4 BC, apart from that, there is no clear date. NativityScene
  5. Does Xmas cancel CHRIST from Christmas? This one is a major can of worms. There is a common belief that when you write Xmass you are removing Christ from Christmas. This position is in accurate. Writing Xmas does not remove Christ from Christmas simply because  The “X” is actually indicating the Greek letter “Chi”, which is short for the Greek meaning “Christ”. The difference between “Xmas” and “Christmas” is their lettering. The use of Xmas dates as far back as the 16th century. It is not part of a modern day conspiracy to remove Christ from Christmas.
  6. Is Christmas a biblical command? The first thing I have to deal with here, is that Christmas is not a day designated by God for man to celebrate the birth of his son. There is no scripture in the bible which commands us to celebrate the birthday of Jesus. It is a man made event, I will go further to suggest that whether you celebrate it or not you are not sin. Our job is to believe in the deity of Jesus that God came from heaven to earth, manifested in the flesh, died on the cross for our sins and rose again. Celebrating Christmas doesn’t get you saved indeed and in fact, everyday we must celebrate that he was born, he lived, he died and rose again. There is no scripture which says thou shalt celebrate Christmas.      Santa-Claus-01
  7. What about  Santa Claus?  Concerning Santa, I have some serious concerns. The origin of the concept is derived from the life of a 4th century Greek Bishop by the name of Saint Nicholas of Myra. He was famous for his generosity in particular his giving of gifts to the poor. If the current incarnation of Santa Clause was only based on St Nicholas I would have no problem with him. But the stumbling block comes with how the current version was formed. The current version is a mix of St Nicholas and a pagan god called Odin (this name will resonate with those who are fans of the movie THOR, odin is his father). During the Christianization of Germanic Europe, major elements o were mixed with St Nicholas in particular his current looks. In time with the commercialisation and secularisation of the day, Santa has become the face of Christmas as opposed to Jesus. But be that as it may, Santa Claus is just a concept not a demon, which personally I will not promote in my home. From day one we are not doing Santa, we are buying and exchanging gifts as a family and thanking God for Him blessing us with the provision.
  8. Is Jesus being pushed out of Christmas? Through the commercialisation of Christmas, we can indeed argue that Jesus is being sidelined by corporations and governments, which push concepts like “Happy Holidays as opposed to Merry Christmas” or you will see more pictures of Santa than of Jesus in a manger. Like we stated earlier, Christmas is a church service, so the purpose of the holiday is for people to got to church and hear about how God manifested in the flesh. Be that as it may, secular corporations and governments are free to do that, in no way does Jesus lose sleep over that neither should we. Anything that is done to secularise Christmas  cannot change the fact that Jesus came, manifested in human flesh. Waste no energy engaging in battles for Christmas, celebrate with your family and love your God.

In conclusion, Christmas is not demonic and as Christians we are free to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Have a blessed holiday.

Pastor Israel Phiri