Sunday 30 January 2019

 

We have been talking about the Missional Church for some time and God has been challenging us as a church to become more missional in our approach to life – we have spoken about the MSM courses – Mission Shaped Ministry that runs for 24 weeks, but are happy to announce that Fresh Expressions has recently launched a new course for churches like us at Highlands to rediscover the missional purpose that God has for His church.

Rev Chris Harrison from SA will; be coming here to help us launch this new 6-week program starting at 6:30pm on Friday not 5:30pm as per the notices – we’d love as many of you as possible to join us for this free training!

A HUGE thank you from Harare Helps and Miracle Missions based here at the church they have received a staggering amount of donations and your generosity has been a huge encouragement as car loads full of food and soap and Vaseline and vegetables and sugar have arrived here every week and have been used to feed hundreds of prisoners and victims of the government’s assault on freedom carried out over the last two weeks. It is not over as you well know so please don’t stop – clothing, groceries, soap, oil – there is a full list on the facebook page and in the office for those who are able to contribute.

Exercise is my outlet. 

Sat morning swim

Gym

2 large male individuals and 1 large female individual – sweating to lose big tummys

Rude to call people fat – large individuals

“Dan-dan, those people are cake eaters” 

Multiple personalities – life coach

“all week those ppl eat cakes that someone else has baked and then they have to come here on the weekend to pay for that decision”

“there are 2 types of person in the world Dani, cake makers and cake takers – the question you have to ask yourself is which one are you?”

Its 0830 on a Saturday morning I’ve just swam almost a kilometer and run 2.5km so I’m feeling confident.

I look in the rearview she’s got this serious look on her face staring straight back at me and she says, “well, you eat cake that mom has baked all week and now you’re here on a Saturday trying to lose your big tummy so you’re a cake eater.”

Boom! Minus 50 man points!

Owned by a 6-year old on a Saturday morning!

Life is a lot like that – we’ve gotten so good at knowing what the bible says we should be doing that we just think that because we know it we are it.

But the bible is clear – 2 Chronicles 7:14 “if my people who are called by my name (Christians, Christ followers, followers of the Way, the Truth and the Life) will humble themselves and pray, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and forgive their sin and heal their land.”

It’s up to us. Are we cake makers – producers, givers of life, Christ’s ambassadors of grace and mercy?

Or cake takers – selfish, self serving, overstuffed, understimulated, Spiritually weak and diseased?

Part of our problem as the most innovative and creative citizens on the planet is that when problems arise instead of just stopping and getting on our knees for most Zimbabweans what is our response – we make a plan!

No space in the kombi – stand on the bumper and hold on, no cash or bank account – create an app so that I send money to your phone! No bread in the shops – make a plan! 

Another people group like us in history – in Isaiah 30:15 

For the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said:
“You will be delivered by returning and resting;
your strength will lie in quiet confidence.
But you are not willing.”
16 You say, “No!
We will escape on horses”—
therefore you will escape!—
and, “We will ride on fast horses”—
but those who pursue you will be faster.

We’ve spent the last 2 decades making plans to survive on our own terms but God is saying return to Me. Come to Me. You will be delivered by returning and resting in Me! 

Friends I don’t know about you but I’m tired. I’m tired of running. I’m tired of trying to make life work when those who pursue me continue to overtake me despite my best efforts. It is time to return and rest in Christ by surrendering all to him.

Last week Mark asked what we believe – do we believe that God is who He says he is?

Like many of you my response to the terror of the last few weeks has been shock and horror. I have been appalled and deeply saddened by the accounts of abuse and barbarism perpetrated by the very forces designed to serve and protect us.

Last week thousands of our countrymen screamed soundlessly and pleaded inaudibly as they were tortured in a virtual communication vacuum.

Like many of you I was appalled and reduced to tears by the horrific stories and scenes of violence and retribution carried out against innocent citizens in our nation. 

Our beloved friend Evan was denied justice again on Friday by a judge who failed to appear for his bail hearing and so he remains incarcerated at Chikurubi maximum security prison simply for encouraging impoverished citizens to mark their dissatisfaction by staying at home to pray and speak up on behalf of the oppressed.

As Zimbabweans we can no longer carry on or return to business as usual and tolerate this injustice. We can no longer make a plan to just carry on and look after ourselves when our brothers and sisters are being preyed upon by forces of evil in the form of predatory governance.

However, the government is NOT the enemy! 

Our leaders and security forces are merely pawns in the cosmic clash of good versus evil that transcends the ages and human understanding. It is a battle over the human heart – an eternal conflict filled with inextinguishable rage and hatred fuelled by fierce devotion, pride and the jealous love of a Father.  

Our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens (Ephesians 6:12).

As unthinkable as this may seem today people of God – our response must be to love the sinner even as we despise their coardly acts of deprivation and destruction. 

We cannot run, we cannot carry on, we must act. Let us share our bread with the hungry, our clothes with the naked and become a voice for the voiceless (Matthew 25:31-46). 

Let us unite and lift our voices in prayer as we declare in the heavens that Zimbabwe belongs to Jesus! 

We have a role to play in responding to the needs of our countrymen who are wrongfully imprisoned or wounded and unable to provide for their families.

 

Are you a cake maker or a cake taker?

Prayer Chain – around Harare Drive – #HararePrays

If I go to prison I want crunchies – so someone here better start baking!