A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones ~ Prov 17:22
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A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones ~ Prov 17:22
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” -James 1:2-4 NIV
I have been going through an odd patch in my life. Facing hard trials, losing a family member and dealing with rumors and people wanting to hurt my family. I had weird dreams and nightmares that kept me up at night. I felt so attacked. So vulnerable. Yet, I knew, our fight is not against flesh and blood.
My faith was tested and I had to stay strong. I had to be the better person, had to forgive and speak life, rather than darkness over those who hurt me. Even though it felt like I could have exploded with every single piece of me flying to every single direction. That’s the best way I can explain it. What’s really incredible, is that God helped me see light in every situation, in every little thing. It took me a while, though, to be honest. He provided a message in every thing I dealt with. His presence calmed me and I felt peace. I chose to place my life before God, knowing He will prepare and strengthen me in whatever trial may come my way. And He did.
So, what is it to have faith? To stand fast and know that God is who He says He is and will do what He has said He will do. Believe that He will guide and strengthen you, even though it feels as if life’s giving up on you. And I know it’s really hard sometimes, but He can turn death into life, and darkness into light. He can renew your mind with extraordinary wisdom on how to deal with challenges the world throws at you. Even the the little things.
There is good in everything and there is always better to come. This is where I smile and say thank You.
But it comes down to the fact that we have to choose where our focus will be. Do we focus on what we see around us or on the One inside us? (Greater is He that is in us, than He that is in the world.)
In this world there are so many things to see. From the moment we open our eyes in the morning, till we close them at night, we are bombarded with advertising, busyness, computer screens, bad news, and so many other things; good and bad. When we look at our circumstances many times, we see disorder, pain, unanswered prayers and many other things that could so easily discourage us. But here is where we can make the choice: Do we allow something that enters our eyes to dictate our thoughts and emotions, or do we deliberately turn our focus to God who is right there willing to give us the grace, peace, joy and strength that we need. This is our choice every day, and this becomes a lifestyle of living by Faith and not by sight.
Where is your focus right now? Do you live in Faith (and consequently peace, joy, strength and victory)? Or do you allow your senses and the world around you to dictate what you think and what you feel. Ultimately the choice is yours. Choose wisely.
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” -Colossians 3:4 NIV
We are glad to introduce some brand new designs for the whole family. Our desire is that quality Christian Clothing will serve as a tool for the Body of Christ to plant seeds of the gospel in the world we live in. And that those seeds will be watered by the testimony of every believer who wears it.
Walk by Faith – “For we live by faith, not by sight.” -2 Corinthians 5:7
*Available from XS-4XL
Under His Wings – “…He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart..” -Psalm 91
*Available from XS-XL; Sizes from 2XL and up are looser fits
Praise The Lord With Dancing – “…Let them praise His name with dancing and make music to Him…” -Psalm 149
*Only available from 2-12 years
Angus Buchan made a special announcement on his Facebook page, calling all people from all over the country from Tzaneen to Cape Town, from Upington to Durban, to come together, to call upon The Lord to bring justice, peace and hope to our beloved South Africa. A National Day of Prayer will be held and will happen on the 22nd of April in Bloemfontein. Angus says the inspiration came during a jog one morning when he received two words from God saying: It’s Time. Time to get together. He said he is calling on all South Africans of all races.
Angus will soon be able to confirm the exact location in Bloemfontein, but until further notice, remember the following:
What is it? National Day of Prayer.
Where is it? Bloemfontein.
When is it? On the 22nd of April, at 2PM.
We strongly encourage every single person to come together to participate in this day of Prayer, and not only on that day, but every day. Jesus says:
“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” -Matthew 18:20
Pray for our country, our leaders, our authority. Bless them and speak life over them, so that they may make the right choices for us and our country.
We all have our own ideas on what love is. It’s based on how we have experienced it, how we live it, what our parents taught us or what we learned in school. How do we know for sure what it is?
For me, I remember at night, when I was little, my mom would tuck me in and lay down beside me and sing Kumbaya until I fell asleep. That is love. It’s when your dad wholeheartedly wants to do whatever you’d like to do. When your little brother constantly asks your mom where you are when you’re out, for no specific reason other than wanting you home again, to know you’re near. It’s when your older brother makes fun of all your boyfriends, to get to you, because he’s your older brother and he gets the last say. You hate it, but love it. When your grandpa calls almost every day just to ask how you’re doing. This is love for me. And most of my life it’s because this love was derived from God. I have the privilege to say that my family honours God above all else.
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” -1 John 3:16
Without this kind of love, I wouldn’t be able to call myself Emma today.
I also know that there will be a stage in my life that I’m going to be with someone, get married and be a family, the way my family has been to me. And this is exciting and inspiring and so thrilling at the same time, because I know God knows what He has planned for me and my trust is totally in Him.
Yet, in our generation the definition of love is getting so blurred and murky. We are exposed to the internet, social media and TV from a young age and nothing really stops us from soaking it all up and getting lost in the flood of ideas, opinions and propaganda, basically. There are so many lies out there and from what I have seen, I want to protect other young people from getting lost in this darkness.
That brings me to the movie, 50 Shades of Grey (and the current movie 50 Shades Darker) . I remember a year or two back, as a group of friends, we were asked what our favorite movies and books were. And most girls, shockingly, said their favorite book was 50 Shades of Grey. This was before it came out in cinemas, but they couldn’t wait for it to. They depicted the book as ‘the best love story ever’.
Is it? The screenshots, music and dialogue does a pretty convincing job, but what role does love play in this story? The movie is about a very rich and experienced business man that uses his power to seduce and manipulate a young, innocent girl into doing things she feels really uncomfortable doing, for his own gratification and pleasure.
Can this really be a picture of love?
Love originated with God. It was His idea. In fact the Bible says God is love. So His definition of love is what we need to look at:
Love is patient – Love will never force you into anything, love will wait for you.
Love is kind – Love is not violent or hurtful or punishing. Erotic violence and abuse does not lead to love but to emotional bondage and suffering. Real women are suffering domestic and sexual abuse daily and suffering physically and emotionally. This is not the love that God intends for us.
Love does not envy – Love never wants, demands or takes what it can not have. Angry and violent jealousy is not passion nor love, it is abuse and control.
Love does not dishonour others – Love will honour you when you say no. When someone disregards your ‘no’ and in turn forces you into violent sex, with violent threats; this is not passion. It is rape.
Love is not self-seeking – Love will not use you to gratify its own selfish (and twisted) desires or lusts.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth – Love does not “delight” in rape, abuse, violence, assault, pornography or sexual immorality.
Love always protects – Love does not lead you into sin, evil, hurt or abuse.
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for one another – Love will take the lashes for us. Before He was crucified (a gruesome and cruel death) He was lashed 39 times (40 could kill someone) He suffered and died FOR US, laying down His life in love. Love will not beat or punish you. Jesus (Love personified) already took the punishment upon Himself.
If you look through a Biblical lens, you will see 50 Shades of Grey / 50 Shades Darker for what it really is; a story about abuse, dressed up and disguised as romance. Sugar coated poison, designed to pull you into a world of lust, sexual immorality, bondage and pornography. Love has got nothing to do with it.
My prayer is that your eyes will be opened to the truth. If you have seen the movie, may you now see its darkness and perversion for what it is. If you haven’t, that you will make the choice not to expose yourself to that twisted mindset.
My prayer is that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Eph 3:17-19)
Christmas is around the corner and what better way to start the season off with some early Christmas shopping.
We have products for every member of the family and we have rounded up our most popular designs of the year.
“I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” -Matthew 17:20
(Available in black, indigo melange and charcoal melange)
“Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.” -Psalm 96:1-3
“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” -Ephesians 6:14-17
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” -Psalm 139:14
(Available in blue and pink)
But that’s not all folks 😉 If these did not strike your fancy, there are so much more to choose from. Just click below to browse our other great products:
Stand a chance to win a T-shirt of your choice with our October Giveaway! Comment below or on our facebook page to enter.
This is the week of celebration of women.
We celebrate hope. Hope is to have faith in what is yet to come. “Hope never disappoints us, because God’s love has been abundantly poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” -Romans 5:5
We celebrate strength. “After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace
[who imparts His blessing and favor], who called you to His own eternal glory in Christ, will Himself complete, confirm, strengthen, and establish you [making you what you ought to be]
.” -1 Peter 5:10
We celebrate love. “Beyond all these things put on and wrap yourselves in [unselfish] love, which is the perfect bond of unity [for everything is bound together in agreement when each one seeks the best for others].” -Colossians 3:14
We celebrate beauty. “Your adornment must not be merely external—with interweaving an elaborate knotting of the hair, and wearing gold
jewelry, or [being superficially preoccupied with] dressing in expensive clothes; but let it be [the inner beauty of] the hidden person of the heart, with the
imperishable quality and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, [one that is calm and self-controlled, not overanxious, but serene and spiritually mature] which is very precious in the sight of God.” -1 Peter 3:3-4
We celebrate wisdom. “For wisdom’s profit is better than the profit of silver, and her gain is better than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies; and nothing you can wish for compares with her [in value].” -Proverbs 3:14-15
We celebrate truth. “I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.” -Philippians 3:12-14
~ By Emma Elstadt
“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life” – Prov 4:23 (NLT)
What is it really to guard your heart? What does it mean to guard your heart as a young person nowadays?
Jesus says in Matthew 10:38-39 “If you don’t go all the way with me, through thick and thin, you don’t deserve Me. If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to Me, you’ll find both yourself and Me.”
If you don’t have a relationship with God, how will you be able to operate in a relationship with someone else? You need to first accept yourself as a significant human being, sculptured by the image of God. Don’t get thrown off course. This will lead you into temptation and land you in all kinds of trouble and emptiness. There is nothing untruthful in God, nothing deceitful and nothing fickle. He brought us to life and only He can make us feel alive. Trust in Him and pray so that He can provide you with wisdom.
1. God first. I don’t think any relationship will be able to function properly if it isn’t based upon Godly principles, together with the fruits of the Spirit. In every situation, every hardship, this will be the base of it all. The most important one of these, love. Love relentlessly and love beautifully. Love God and love yourself from the very core. With love, you can avoid evil and not become weary.
2. What is love? In my own experience, I have learned what it is to love and what it is to be loved. It’s something special, not to be misused. Toxic friendships can be the cause of you not being able to love the way you should. It leads to discussing the flaws of others, temptation, doubting yourself and allowing yourself to be misused by the ‘love’ people think they have for you, when in reality, it’s only an idea, not the real deal. To get rid of these friendships in your life, is both the hardest, and the most rewarding thing you can do for yourself.
“Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, doesn’t have a swelled head, doesn’t force itself on others and isn’t always “me first”. It doesn’t fly off the handle, doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, doesn’t revel when others grovel, and takes pleasure in the flowering of truth. It puts up with anything, trusts God always, always looks for the best, and never looks back. But keeps going to the end.” -1 Corinthians 13:4-7 MSG
3. Godly choices. I have always wanted to get married at a young age, but as a 19-year-old, I get told a lot that I’m so young and to commit to someone right now would keep me bound and that I wouldn’t be able to experience certain things the way I would have if I was on my own and that I’m too young to make a serious decision like that. But, the hardcore reality is; a relationship isn’t a restriction, it’s a release, a blessing. I believe that if you know, and God showed you, that the person you love, is the person you want to spend your life with, you should not be held back. Why waste your time with relationships with people you know you don’t see your future with. My heart is set on what it wants. I think I’d rather wait for the right person to come my way than to hurt others feelings with untruthful emotions.
Sometimes, especially in making a decision like I did, you go against a stream. You make decisions that can ultimately cause unpopularity. Stand firm in your identity, don’t change just because the world doesn’t like what it sees, change because it makes you a better person and leads you to a better future.
4. When considering a relationship, what’s important? Look for someone with a God-fearing mind and character. Make this priority. Don’t think you can change a person and their beliefs. Just like you and me, people are set on their decisions. You can try, but if you know their heart is set on worldly ways, rather step away and trust and pray that God will help open their eyes and show them the right way.
For me, it’s been a challenge. Not wanting to hurt people’s feelings, as well as my own. It can be tough at times and you will face some bumps in your journey, but God gave us the mission to live out the life Jesus lived here on earth. With Godly character like that, you cannot go wrong. He will always guard your heart. He will always comfort you with robust love, strength and hope and a peaceful heart when He knows you’ll need it most.
“Jesus answered, ‘You don’t understand now what I’m doing, but it will be clear enough to you later.'”
John 13:7 MSG
These words from the song Lifesong (by Casting Crowns) puts it really well:
“Empty hands held high
Such small sacrifice
If not joined with my life
I sing in vain tonight
May the words I say
And the things I do
Make my lifesong sing
Bring a smile to You
Let my lifesong sing to You”
Worship is not only song and dance, but every word you say and every thing you do as you do it with a heart to honour and glorify Jesus. (Col 3:23)
In that way I want to challenge you today; are you singing a new song to the Lord? Does the life you live, your words, your thoughts and your actions glorify Jesus and put a smile on His face? And is your song new and fresh with a beautiful heart attitude and new fervour, passion and excitement? God is worthy of your absolute best. Think about it. Bring your life and all you are as a beautiful song to Him today.
O Sing to the Lord a new song; Sing to the Lord, all the earth! -Ps 96:1
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering – Rom 12:1 (MSG)
Click here to read How Dinosaurs fit in with the Bible?