Category Archives: Evangelism

A game of pretence

I have met many Christians and non-Christians alike, who play a game of pretence with God with regards to their own behavior.

Here is why:

Allow me to bring-up a number of well known festivals in most countries:

Halloween, (Holi) Colour Festival, Christmas.

Or some other common topics that do more than just touch on this area:

Vodoo, Makumba, Yoga, Heaven and Hell, Music, God, … .

What do they all have in common? They have a history and an unavoidable truth attached to them.

This truth is foremost a Spiritual Reality, that we encounter when being exposed to or participate in these festivals, games, topics, beliefs, … . But our community and society would like us to belief otherwise.

We are told to believe, that if we do not believe in its spiritual nature or existence or truth, it will not affect us.

This is a lie.

It is like saying: “If I do not believe in love, I can never be hurt emotionally.” or “If I deny the health hazard of ONLY eating sweets and do not belief it is harmful, it will not affect me.”

We are all aware that that is nonsense. We are beings, created by God with Spirit, Soul and Body; denying the existence of one of the three parts, will ultimately lead to psychological illness and disposition.

However interestingly enough, we do not allow people to constantly punch us in the face – because it would cause hurt and damage. Our society becomes more and more aware, that verbal bullying has long lasting effects on our soul. AND most of the people worldwide, seek for a thing to worship and to connect to, spiritually (no matter where they might seek this).

If you are a Christian, you cannot shrug this off in ignorance – we cannot afford to do that!

Celebrating some of these festivals, give worship and honour and glory to other gods.

Listening to secular music, some of which is filled with sexual remarks, reference, abuse, activity; violence, greed, love for money, hatred and so much more, WILL affect your Spirit and Soul!

Watching TV, WILL affect your view on violence, sex, love, prestige, integrity, sin… !

As a Christian, our God is a jealous God! He wants to be LORD over our lives, so HE sets the standard by which we must live. No longer do I/ME/Myself reign, but He does by guiding me on paths of righteousness and I surrender completely to that path!

So let us keep that in mind, when we do listen to such music, watch TV and participate in festivals… and let us choose wisely.

If you are NOT a Christian, allow me to say this:

Not believing in hell, will not prevent you from going there, unless you have a personal relationship with Jesus.

Not believing in God will not make Him go away, or make his laws or rules to life any different.

Should you have any questions with regards to faith that are not answered b y previous posts, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I would love to facilitate your journey to discover the truth.

I understand you might have been badly hurt when these messages and sentences have been used out of context… please forgive me.

To all of us however, Christian or NON-Christian let us get educated and consciously get involved or abstain from involvement when we do.

We live in a society that turns values, morals and beliefs into a grey mixture of make-believe happiness and thoughtless blind following of what we are uncertain and unconscious of it is.

May God bless you, and may you have an encounter with Jesus, that will change your life forever!

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Why should I choose YOUR church?

I have recently encountered an atheist and was presented with a question that registered with me as I had heard it before on numerous occasions.

She asked: “Why should I choose YOUR church?”

She had been looking at different churches and faiths … she had visited our church service and had encountered and spoken to a number of our members.

What strikes me in this conversation is the fact that most of us would be inclined to fall for this question. However doing so, will not promote the Gospel.

While I love church and while I will always encourage people to come to church, the church I am part of, this was not the actual question at stake. And the reasons I would give for joining church would not have been a good answer to her question either.

Answering to this question means, we allow the unwritten implications of the statement. Here are some of the implied assumptions that possibly lead to such a question:

  • There are many different Christian churches and they compete with one another.
  • What they have to offer has to enrich my life and make it better.
  • Finding a church is like finding a fitness studio – you choose the one that best fits your desires and expectations.
  • For Christians, it’s all about church.
  • It is OUR church, not Christs.

The fact however is: IT IS NOT ABOUT FINDING A CHURCH! It is about discovering GOD.

If we allow people to believe they do this god-thing for their own benefit and what they can get from it, we allow a needs-based gospel. The problem with that is this: People come to Christ because of need; and when the needs are met, they have no need for Him any longer.

That makes finding a church quite a different thing from finding a fitness studio! You find God and then you follow His lead!

The sad truth in the implications however is: churches are in a ‘beauty’ contest. We have reduced church to being in competition with what the world offers and with what other churches offer.

That was never what church was meant to be.

The word ‘ecclesia’ translates to our current word ‘church’ in modern language. However a literal translation would much rather be ‘called out ones’. Church thus is a gathering of those who have heard the call of God and responded to if with a ‘yes’.

That makes church a living organism. Because we have different views and ways of worshiping God, of formatting a service etc, we have different denominations. However all people who are disciples of Jesus, who follow His lead (no matter in which church they find themselves) form part of the worldwide church of Christ, called the bride of Christ.

Instead of competing with one another (competitiveness is an unbiblical concept) they should exhort and encourage one another.

That would make the search for a church the following:

  1. A listening to Gods’ voice – where does He want you.
  2. A fellowship of believers where you find spiritual nourishment.
  3. A fellowship you become part of and where you find leadership you submit to.

So in essence “church is a community engaged in disciplines that make following the master/teacher possible and sustainable.”

So the next time you are asked the question at hand, let us preach the Gospel.

May you have a blessed week!

Another way of using Facebook

I have spent plenty hours in my life on Facebook, and I presume, so have you. At the same time, I am a professing Christian and I desire to share the Gospel of Christ.

In the midst of all the turmoil our world finds itself in, I find it shocking how most facebook posts merely satisfy a sickening hunger for sensationalism. Whether it be posts depicting mutilated animals, videos of atrocities of war, posts with photos of parties gone out of hand with people being hectically drunk and obscene… the list continues and I am sure you have your own few you could add.

The questions I need to ask myself and suggest you ask yourself are:

what feelings get promoted by such sensationalism? Is it a hunger to share the Gospel, to pray, to love, … or is it mostly shock, disgust, anger, frustration, fear, hatred, judgmental opinion and a sense of being better than ‘they’ are, …

what do I want others to witness when they think of me (even on FB)? Is it such sensationalism, judgmental opinion, anger and bitterness towards others that act and think otehrwise… or it is a desire for them to seek a loving God, who forgives, reconciles and calls us to love and pray and be the change this world desires.

what can I do about all this? Is it the right choice to just “fast” FB for a while… or should I rather learn to use it effectively for the building of His kingdom on earth? Or do I decide that God has no say in my usage of facebook?

I decided I need to do something about my usage of facebook so it honours God. I do share truth (but never without the necessary love for all parties involved.), I however also decided I would use facebook to witness. So I came up with an idea that I will share with you today, hoping some of my readers here might catch onto it and will follow in a similar attempt.

I decided to post a testimony a day. (Brutally honest and vulnerable at times.)

Yes, I literally have a post on my wall saying “Testomony Day …” and then I testify in short of one thing that God has done for me today.

Some days it is challenging to find a testimony I deem worthwhile, but there always is one. Why? Because I serve a living God with whom I have relationship… and with that there is always something happening.

Why do I prefer to share a testimony a day than other things that cause sensationalism?

I find sensationalism counterproductive. Let us be honest… seeing enough mutilated animals does not promote our love for animals… it merely promotes our hate for people who act like that.

I decided that sharing a testimony a day, is a way of flooding the facebook with testimonies of people like myself, who are fallible, who are imperfect, who have fault; but who none the less can testify of Gods love and patience, grace and forgiveness and how His provision comes through daily.

My prayer is that at least one of these testimonies will make the one of other facebook friend think about whether they can have a relationship with God too, whether there might be a God after all, and perhaps even admit that Jesus might be exactly what they need in their lives. 

For those that are Christians already I pray the posts are encouraging and exhorting to their lives.

Perhaps you will join me with a similar endeavor of using your facebook to witness. If so, let me know about it… share it in the comment section… .

Let’s BE the change, by being a living testimony even in the virtual world.

God bless you!

Feedback from yet another mission trip

I have been part of a mission trip to Switzerland and Germany. The following is a summary and intends to encourage you to go on missions and outreaches more.

We departed from Cape Town International Airport and met for the first time as a whole team right there at the airport. Our desire was that God would knit together our hearts so that His love and unity would become evident to all though our lives and as a team. Well God has been faithful to the full extend!

We flew with Emirates Airline via Dubai to Zurich, then took a rental car and continued to Kerns, the area where we were supposed to hold the Europe Shofar Conference. (Shofar is the short form for Shofar Christian Church, which I am a member of.) God moved mightily and we all arrived in a sort of youth hostel in the midst of the European Alps. Surrounded by lush green, huge trees, mountains, meadows, rivers with icy water and cows that carry big bells around their necks.

P1150711

There we met up with Pastor Jaco from Shofar London and his team as well as the people from Switzerland. We were a very multicultural and international group and it was a miracle how God immediately knit our hearts together. I think one could rightfully claim that we instantly loved one another.

P1150697

We spent the whole weekend together, fellowshipped, did some children ministry for their accompanying children and had numerous sessions with the adults where we gave testimony of Gods goodness and the pastors shared messages with all. It was a time of exhortation and encouragement. We also went on a hike along one of those icy rivers:

P1150764 The good news: those rivers are icy cold, BUT there are no snakes, scorpions, huge spiders or thorns.

After a wonderful weekend together, we drove to Stuttgart by bus and then continued by rental car again to Gaildorf, a smallish town in the middle of fields of southern Germany.

When we crossed the border, I felt a supernatural excitement rising inside of me! I was literally running around in the bus from one team member to the next telling them the obvious – that we are in Germany now.

I have known hospitality in Germany for years… but what we encountered there was SO much more than I ever knew existed. We were welcomed with absolutely wonderful foods!

That same evening we met with the leaders for dinner and then for a praise and worship evening. It left us absolutely in awe and filled us with joy to discover how at ease we all worshipped in Spirit and in Truth. There was instant unity through the Holy Spirit and it was a wonderful night of worshiping our Lord and Saviour.

Tuesday we as a team went to a hill that looks upon the town. The initial plan was to pray for Gaildorf. We did – later – but what preceded it was even more special than any one of us had imagined. We as a team, alone, worshipped in an open field; then God would reveal to somebody some area He wanted to bring healing or deliverance to; next whoever felt that was for them lifted their hand and two others would come alongside that person and pray for him/her. It was a morning of many tears… tears that brought healing to us. The prayer for Gaildorf that followed was absolutely amazing and prophetic! How interesting, that God would take us more than 9200km and would allow us to pay so much money in South African Rand to find deliverance and healing for ourselves there on that hill.

That evening we had a repeat of what we had experienced on the hill for the congregation. We worshipped and just like on the hill, God would reveal what He desired to heal, deliver from or bring to fruitition. Many had an encounter with our loving and almighty God.

Wednesday morning half of our team travelled on to the Netherlands, while 6 of us remained with Jan as our leader to continue ministry.

Wednesday we went out with a number of congregants in smaller groups to do street evangelism. The group I was with consisted of two men, a teenage boy and myself. We went to a hostel for asylum seekers and experienced how we were invited into the home of a Muslim to pray for his sick wife and were able to establish relationships.

Wednesday night we again had a service. I was the translator of our team since we had gotten to Germany as almost no one spoke German in the team. That night my speech-centre froze to the laughter of a whole congregation as I started translating from German to German. i.e. I had translated from English or Afrikaans to German and back all the time. Now I was hearing German, in my mind the words got translated to English and when I opened my mouth out came only German. The harder I tried to get it right, the worse it got. So I took a short break after which all was fine again.

Thursday was our day off as a team. We visited Rothenburg ob der Tauber for a touristy day off. That evening we were invited to the German equivalent of a braai/barbeque.

P1150803 P1150808 P1150811  Pictures taken during our trip to Rothenburg ob der Tauber.

I must admit… we all probably gained weight. The food was absolutely stunningly over the top amazingly “lekker”! Our hosts were the most loving and precious people and such a blessing to us!

Friday we had our last day in Gaildorf. We started by anointing the farm and the hosts where I had stayed with the other single ladies of our team! It was such a precious moment of consecration and mutual trust. God really touched their lives as a family!!!

Friday night we started the service at 19h30. At 23h30 the whole congregation was still present, and no one was prepared to leave … the Holy Spirit was ministering to us all. I have seldom experienced his presence as powerfully!

We left Saturday morning for Frankfurt, where I was privileged to meet my brother Ruben for a cup of coffee (he’s a soldier in the German army and I hadn’t seen him in more than a year!)

Our flight back was pleasant though long and our goodbyes to one another sincere.

What I take home is the sense of deep gratitude to have been privileged to be part of this mission trip, to serve, to laugh, to cry and to minister among brethren in a foreign country that is at the same time the country of my birth.

I can only encourage you to go, the next time an opportunity like this one comes around.

Please feel free to visit youtube and view our two short videos of all our action. Type in “Shofar Missions Outreach Switzerland June 2014” and “Shofar Missions Outreach Germany June 2014” .

I trust you will enjoy the videos.

Abundant blessings!

Looking back at 2012

Many often ask who I am and what I am doing. So here a recap of 2012 and what I spent my time on doing:

I am 31 years of age, teacher at a local private school and dedicated member and servant in Shofar Christian Church Swakopmund.

At the school I have a grade 5 as register teacher and teach Natural Science as main subject in it. Other than that I teach Physical Education in grades 3-7 and Religion and Moral education in grades 5-7.

Other than that, I lead a small group with teenage girls who I disciple and have the privilege of leading and accompanying into a vivid relationship with Jesus Christ. Also I am part of the intercessory group in my church and lead the Outreach and Missions Ministry.

Here a summary of what went on throughout this year in the outreach and missions ministry.

I pray you enjoy it and am looking forward to another year of serving our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!

Outreach and Missions presentation for blog

Abundant blessings!

Jessica

How to give – Christmas

Perhaps the previous posts were not quite yours… or perhaps you enjoy giving and would love some more ideas? Well here is a marvelous idea:

Buy a big plastic bucket, then fill it with day to day goodies and staple foods:

Flour, sugar, milk, eggs, vegetables, fruit, cereals, … whatever comes to mind. Make sure not to buy the cheapest goods, but things you would have enjoyed receiving yourself!

food buckets

Then pray to God to reveal a person who would need such a gift for Christmas. Probably it will be someone you are barely acquainted with… the single mom next doors, an old lady you meet when taking a walk in the neighborhood, … .

Go there and deliver it with a card reading Christmas blessings you feel applicable.

Believe me when I say… the recipient of such a gift (when being shown by God to you) will be the happiest person you will meet in a looong time!

Blessings!

Christmas season – outreach idea

Here we go… I hope you enjoyed my last two posts on this topic. Here is a second idea on how to reach people with God’s love this Christmas season.

Go to: http://www.fathersloveletter.com/ and copy the text in the most common languages of the area you live in.

Print it on beautiful paper, roll the message up and bind a lovely ribbon around it. (You do want to take at least 20 of them… they will be gone quicker than you know.)

rolled up letter

(Sometimes attaching a sweet helps when distributing them.)

Then go out into the streetssmile!… and hand them out as season greetings to people you pass by. And experience the blessing of receiving a smile and knowing you just handed them the key that might lead to life!

Blessings!

A Christmas idea – how to give

Perhaps after reading my previous blog, you were wondering how you could reach out to others?

Well here is idea number one: if you can, bake some Christmas cookies, decorate them beautifully and put a few of them in small little cellophane bags with a beautiful ribbon.

wrapped cookies1

Then go to Luke 2:1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed,who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”3

Copy this text (handwritten if you can) or a part of it. If you feel like doing something special copy it on a piece of paper you later can fold into a star, otherwise just roll it. Attach a beautiful ribbon and bind it to the cookies.

Then go into town… choose people, smile and wish them a blessed Christmas, whilst giving them a small Christmas gift. And allow God to surprise you.

Blessings!

Halloween

Halloween is a much known festival in most of the world today. But where did it originally come from?

On the night of October 31st, people dress up as ghosts, mummies, witches or demons.

This tradition comes from an ancient Celtic pagan’s festival known as Samhein. People thought that the ghosts of the dead come back to visit the living and haunt them on this day. They believed the ghosts could kill them, make them sick or bring bad fortune to their families. To calm Samhein, the god of death, witches and fortune-tellers went from house to house and demanded an offering, sometimes even a human sacrifice for Samhein.

They carried animal masks and lanterns with candles made from the human fat of prior sacrifices. The beet represented the ghosts that cursed the living. If people didn’t give a sacrifice, they cursed the house and marked it with the blood of an animal.

From this belief originated the slogan `trick or treat´. This means, that either you give something to please the person, or they play a trick on you.

When this tradition came to America the beet was replaced by the pumpkin.

October 31st also is the New Years Day of the witch calendar and one of the most important witch Sabbaths. During this night, still today, human sacrifices are made in the US and Australia.

Halloween is more than a spooky fun festival. It is still today a demonic ritual.

As Christians we are challenged to BE the change… this October I challenge you…to at least inform 10 people about the truth of Halloween and to NOT celebrate this demonic ritual!

May God bless you abundantly!

5 Steps to knowing God personally (leading a conversation during evangelism)

The following can be used as a guideline in evangelism… it can also serve to give a quick overview on the matter as such. However it is not a recipe or an absolute. Not every person is the same… not every person gets saved the same way…or acknowledges God in the same fashion.

Even so, I decided to post this as many do not seem to know and ask about how to get it down to a simple guideline. So like it if you do… discard it if you don’t. The more you learn about people, the easier and more comfortable you will feel around them. The more you know and learn about God, the more comfortable you are around Him and the more authentic you are in sharing about Him.

So here it comes, this is how a conversation guideline could look like (please remember that the below points are just your central theme points… it is NOT your complete or actual conversation!):

1. Gods plan for everyone

Did you know that God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life?

2. The crucial question

If you would die, this very moment. Are you sure that you would spend eternity WITH God?

–          Yes. That’s great, so what gives you this assurance?

–          No. Then continue with 3.

If their answer is still another…continue as if they answered “no”

3. The problem

The Bible shows us that God is perfect and holy. We are separated from Him by our sin and iniquities.

Romans 3:10+23 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

4. Gods love

God loves you unconditionally. That is why He has gives his most precious for you: His son Jesus Christ, that has paid for all your sin.

John 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

5. The most important decision

You can get to know God personally. Discover His plan for your life and have assurance of eternal life.

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

Now invite the person you spoke with to receive Jesus Christ through a short prayer. There is no fixed form for this prayer. They can pray it on their own… you can lead them in prayer…either form works fine.

As from my side I would like to ask you to:

–          PLEASE do not pressure them into it! It is the Holy Spirit that needs to do the convincing – not you! Even so DO ask them and offer to!

–          PLEASE do not sell them short of the whole truth! Life will NOT be without any struggles just because they become Christian!

–          PLEASE invite them or offer further contact to other Christians… a church (and it does not have to be your church – it can be any good bible believing church)… teach them how to read the Bible and how to pray… and most of all:

–          PLEASE remember… if you get the chance… the journey only starts at this point. The bible asks us to make DISCIPLES, not converts!

May God bless you!