Changed heart

Obedience to God enables heavens blessing, hold onto his promise and yield to his word. God wants to bless us, if only we would let him. Following the truth through the word that we’ve heard.

God can change hearts and plough the hard ground, for hearts can be hardened if it holds on to sin. God gives new starts and prevents us falling down, for hearts can be changed when we choose to follow him.

Dmz


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Unrelenting grace, I’m running to Jesus.

Gods Redemption And Caring Embrace, this is the meaning of grace.

God you are so patient, so king and merciful, so loving and faithful. I didn’t deserve to wake up this morning, my heart was still beating while I was sleeping because you were watching over me. You filled this heart with love that was once so hateful, how could an omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent God be so graceful? What boxes did I tick for you to choose me and use me? I hid away from you sometimes but you still didn’t refuse me! You say to me, I love you. Yet how could you? I hurt you and no its not a valid excuse that it’s because I was hurt too. You cut the strings of my past, those strings are no longer attached. The victory of the cross is a fact, anything that counteracts your love is an attack, I’ve lived a life without you but now I’m done with that!

In running to you Jesus, I coming to you from the valley. I’m shouting out your praise in this alley, Im finding shelter under your wings and my heart is filled with new hyms. You shine brighter than the sun yet this is just a shadow compared to whats still to come! You give life to these dying vessels and enable me to stand victoriois, forever glorious may all the world bless you the God notorious. What other God has done this? Has buddah, allah or those greek Gods interacted with the human race? Did they sacrifice there life to take our place? They haven’t done it because only the living God can, Im running to you Jesus Im sticking with your plan! Forgiveness through grace, the reward? To see your face. The cost? Just to believe and keep fighting the good fight and running the race. Every moment of struggle will be worth it, every part of you God is perfect, every good and perfect gift comes down from Heaven, so take all the glory because I don’t desrve it! Yet you crown me with glory and honor anyway, you wash my sins away and give me an eternal home to stay.

Your grace is unrelenting so I run to you Jesus, I will will live my life representing now I’m a believer. So come take up residence in this heart of mine, fill it up with love divine, you are my saviour one of a kind, I love you Lord with all my soul, strength and mind.

Cover picture: 25+ best ideas about Grace christian on Pinterest | Jesus … (google images)
Dmz

Immerse yourself – the Heavenly principles 

Reading the bible without putting it into practice is like going into a gym without lifting the weights. You go in, see whats there, but leave unchanged. You become a spectator of the word of God rather than a participator. Spiritual fitness can never improve by spectating. It improves when the word is not only head knowledge but becomes heart knowledge. When what we know lies within our hearts instead of our heads it becomes a part of who we are. Once something becomes a part of who we are our character begins to transform. God is in the buisness of transformation, he is the master at shaping character and he can use whatever is necessary to do it.

Immerse: involve oneself deeply in a particular activity. Dictionary definition

What do you enjoy most in life? Anyone who enjoys something or someone will spend as much time with that person or doing that thing as they possibly can. Almost every person on the planet has a passion for something, whether for good or for bad, it then becomes a matter of how much we immerse in that passion.

The word immerse does not occur much in the bible, however the meaning of the word is throught all of it. In the old testament the Israelites were called to immerse themself in the commandments of God. Jesus was 100 percent immersed in the will of the father. Baptism means to be fully immersed in water, this identifying with the death of Jesus and the ressurrection when we come up out of it. These are just a few examples from scripture. What if the church was as immersed in God and his will as Jesus was? The church would be passionate to get out of bed and go to church. We would find it hard to go a day without telling someone about the hope in jesus. We as a church are not at this point yet. The ironic thing about the church of Christ is that it grows in the places where the gospel is most difficult to preach, it grows in the places where evil appears to reign. The reason? When we are faced with evil there is no longer a middle ground, you either immerse in the evil around you or you immerse in Christ. The western church can still stand on middle ground right now, but if one day we have to make the choice, I pray all of us would immerse in Christ.

How did Jesus do it? When Jesus came to earth he gave up all his divine privelages to identify with the human race. One thing he did not give up was his heavenly principles. He never lost sight of the eternal perspective, even when faced with the cross. Remember it was the joy beyond the cross that helped him endure and go through it Hebrews 12:2. It was his immersion with the father and heaven that gave him his daily strength. We have the same father, the same principles and we too trough Christ are going to Heaven. The difference is how much we allow these truths to guide our lives.

How much do we think of Heaven? CS Lewis said, ‘if we aim at Heaven we get earth thrown in, if we aim at earth we get neither’. Where are we aiming? When we begin to take on the principles of heaven, you know, love the Lord our God and our neighbour as ourself Matthew 22:27, 28, and do unto others what you would have them do to you Luke 6:31, things begin to change. This is not changes in a small way, these are huge changes that show the world who we belong to and where we are going to. It is atttractive to the un-churched world when they see christians take on these principles. This is what draws people to Christ, by the love that we have for each other John 13:35

So, what, or who are you immersing in today? Is it going to help change you and the world around you for better?

1 Timothy 4:15 practice these things, immerse yourslef in them, so that all may see your progress.

DMZ

The real me…the real you

Is my pain so blind to see, suffering deep down so silently.
I still smile in this blue marble of an earth,
but sometimes the smile only masks the wounds that hurt.
I take a picture on a sunny day
So that when the suns not shining I remind myslef it will be okay.

I wish that person would understand what I am feeling,
but the one in the mirrior is not so revealing.
‘You cant keep locking up your pain’, I would say to myself.
A mask is not a permanent fix, neither is pretending to be someone else.
Sooner or later you have to face your own fears,
then in that moment you will be left with a choice.
You can choose to move forward and keep changing gears,
or you can let fear damn your life and block out your voice.
So what will it be future me? Yes every me is a future me because time does not wait.
Every second that moves forward is a chance to re-make.
So I will look in the mirror and tell me what I need to hear,
and say “you know what, lets be real in this life”
“No more masks and no more lies”
Theres only one version of me on the planet
God made me unique so I know I can manage
Its more tiring trying to be something Im not
So today I choose to be me, because in this world, there can only be one version of each person, because in this life, you are the best you that you can be.

Feature picture: Young Man Taking Off Mask Stock Photo 99779171 – Google images 


Dmz

Who am I? Christdentity


Its hard to keep going with this tank running on empty, ‘give up, turn back’ the Devils tryin to tempt me. I feel like an emotional wreckage at times, ‘dont give up, keep doing good’, ‘I know friend Im trying. Alone in the mid-night our crying, ‘God are you there? I feel like Im dying’. ‘Why is life such a struggle? Lord I have done the best I can but still get in trouble. It’s not trouble from the law of the land, it’s with the law thats in Heaven where no one can stand. Who am I? one day I’m happy, the next I am sad. Some times I feel like a warrier, others I feel life’s a drag. I sometimes get stuck in an identity crisis, listening to those wrong voices trying to determine who I am. The bible tells me what my identity in christ is, the devil loves to remind me of my sins and tries to disrupt your plan. So I sit before you in the darkness, sometimes kneel down on this carpet, and I ask you God to show me who I am, show me what your heart is. Then maybe I will rest well and gain strength to face tomorrow, then my face will shine with your glory instead of bowing low in sorrow.

‘My son, let me tell you something. Remember in the beginning I made the world out of nothing? The devil tells you that your nothing, but thats a lie from hell! You know who you are in Christ, so listen to me now’. ‘You are a new creation, in your new birth I seperated, now go forth and tell the good news to the nations. You are forgiven, I give you life to the full so start living, you have a heart of flesh, life after death, a hope and a future because now you are blessed. Listen to me son, I am a good father and you belong to me, Satan will only keep you in bondage but it’s me who sets you free. Trust in my goodness, trust in my son Jesus, trust in the cross and never stop believing. This life may seem hidden like the inside of a cocoon, but take heart my child, Heaven will be upon earth soon. Hades may break out for a time, all may seem to be lost, but nothing is ever lost for ever because of the victory of the cross! Remember I love you, what you face can never change this, your identity is found in my love not in the approval of strangers.’

Cover image: soul searching – identity in Christ (google images)

DMZ

The right key

Keys are essential in life. It’s how we get into our cars, homes, work places and any other important places. Keys were created to undo locks, locks were created to keep things safe. Each key designed for a certain lock, you try the wrong key and it will be difficult to get in without breaking an entry. We all know this though right? It’s pretty obvious when we try the wrong key, and yes its frustrating too because no matter how much we try it just doesn’t fit properly. It’s even worse when it fits but doesn’t turn, so close but still no good.

So we all have some kind of logic of what key fits where and how to use keys. Yet lets metaphorically flip this lesson about keys on its head. What if we call the lock our life and the key whatever we believe fits well. Lets say that satisfaction is what we have locked up, this is what we are aiming to unlock. We use many keys to do this, lets break it down to 3 keys:

1) The key of success: This is a big lock with a big key. Many search for success as a fulfllment of hapiness. It’s good when we study to achieve, when we graduate and when we are promoted, these things do bring a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment. There’s an old expression that says, all work and no play takes the joy of life away. What do we gain by spending all our time working and have no time to enjoy our earnings? Its easy to be swallowed up by the commitment to our work or studies and miss out on valuable time with friends and family. We can focus so much on our future that we miss out on the present, the present is a gift, enjoy it.

2) The key of admiration: Deep down ingrained in every one of us is the desire to be admired. Admiration is the natural longing of the human heart, the difference lies within how we fulfill this longing. Some look to fame and focus on things such as; appearence, talent, money, posessions and popularity. They base admiration upon the fortune cookies of success and wear it like a medal round the neck. Others look to be admired for the good that they do. A sense of significance is found as they attribute to society and make a difference. Now its good to commit to a cause, help the poor and make a good difference in the lives of others, but what’s the motive? Do we do it so we look good in the eyes of others? Or do we do it out of a love for others and to make a difference for their benefit? We want to be admired as a good worker, a good partner, a good father and mother, a good son and daughter and on the list of admiration continues. Some want to be admired as the toughest kid, the hottest girl, the meanest gangster or the biggest guy in the gym. So some admirations are plausible and others not so. Admiration is good when we the motivation is right.

3) The key of love: Yes, the big L word, of course there are other big L words but this one has the key to our hearts. Love is searched for in many ways. Loves main pursuit is always through relationships. Our family relationships being the foundation, out of this comes friendships and of course our partners to start our own families. On and on the circle of love continues. However, when the circle of love is broken love is searched for in different ways and begins to take on different names. Love can become confused with lust. This is what has caused so many ‘crimes of passion’ as they are called, when an x partner takes revenge because ‘love’ has come to an end. If love can turn to hate and create such horrific outcomes then the question is whether is was really love in the first place? Anyway thats another message all together for another time. Right now is about the right key. When the offer of love is rejected it creates a desperation in the human heart. We were created for love and all long for it, sadly love has carried wounds ever since mankind turned from its creator. Wounds that can only be healed through the creator himself.

Being in love is great, love from our family is necessary, strong friendships of love and devotion are timeless. Yet when we choose to offer our hearts to the locksmith himself it holds a power like no other. A power that can unlock all the love that we need because he who holds the key is love. The right key is the key of our maker. We can try everything under the sun to find satisfaction, and yes we will be satisfied at times, but if we want a true, everlasting satisfaction, then we need to allow our maker to unlock our hearts and guide is into his satisfaction. No longer will the lyrics ‘I cant get no satisfaction’ resignate with you, you will be satisfied.

DMZ

The danger of comprimise 

Faith, belief, purpose

We have all had times where we have an important decision to make. Its when we are asked to go to a night club or volunteer at the local youth service. Its when we have a choice to go to church or stay in bed, when we are asked to indulge in sin or go to a prayer meeting. We all face times where we can comprise our faith. We choose comprimise when we put other priorities above God himself, when we choose to put God on a shelf asif he is an idol from the old testament. We choose this when we are busy pleasing people instead of God, we dont want to ‘let them down so to speak’ so we carry on and do what we know is wrong. Sometimes we do this and dont realize each time we do this we are putting our faith on the line. Think about it, why go out clubbing and get drunk when you could go to a prayer meeting and pray for them. Maybe next time God will call you to go there to minister to people.
We live in a generation of comprimising. We comprimise our friendships when we show off to others or choose to lie to our friends. We comprimise trust when we allow temptation to lead us in the wrong direction. “Lets let our hair down, its just the one time”. Then that one time turns to the next and so on. Years ago when I started drugs I thought the same way, its just the one time. Then in time the drugs got more heavy and expensive and my life began to slip away from me. That one time could have cost my life, but thankfully God has a rememdy for our one time mistakes, the cross and a new life in Christ. Jesus took the cross, just one time, this was enough for the exchange of our wrongs for his perfection. If Jesus had comprised his purpose and allowed temptation or that one time to take him, then we would have no cross and no hope. So Jesus took my one time mistake and cleansed me through grace. Thankfully, grace is there to rescue us from our mistakes and addictions and makes us new.

Comprimise is dangerous because a time may come when we will not have a chance to reach out to grace because its too late. I have questioned things that could have comprimised faith, but thankfully God sent his people to help me see the dangers and correct me, even rebuke the evil spirit behind it that tried to drag me away. When it comes to faith, whenever comprimise is involved there will always be a wrong spirit at work. Pray for wisdom in how to deal with it. Sometimes our decision to follow Christ may cost friendships or even family members, but God is good. Pray for those you may loose, pray for salvation if they are lost and that God will work good through it, then in Gods timing watch the miracles happen.

Your faith is more valuable than comprimise, and God will always honor a decision to follow him. When you choose him, you are showing your love for him! This is our faith, it is precious so look after it like a precious jewell.

DMZ

#foodforthought.4 

Happiness

“A clear horizon – nothing to worry about on your plate, only things that are creative and not destructive…I can’t bear quarrelling, I can’t bear feelings between people – I think hatred is wasted energy, and it’s all none productive. I’m very sensitive – a sharp word, said by a person, say, who has a temper, if they’re close to me, hurts for days. I know we’re only human, we do go in for these various emotions, call them negative emotions,  but when all these are removed and you can look forward and the road is clear ahead, and now you’re going to create something – I think that’s as happy as I ever want to be”. Alfred Hitchcock (August 13, 1899 -April 29, 1980)

This was, according to Alfred Hitchcock, the ‘secret of hapiness’. To be positive, creative and to do the best you can to live in harmony. For me, the secret of hapiness is learning to make the most of every opportunity and to spend time getting to know my maker. We are not always promised tomorrow so we should make the most out of today. What’s your secret for hapiness? 
DMZ

Root season

Have you ever been in a sitiation where it seems you are literally hanging on to life by nothing but a thread? You think that this is it, how will I possibly make it through this? It is those times when your made redundant, when you can no longer pay the bills. It is those times when the world around you seems to cave in, when you loose a loved one or when you realize your friends were never really friends. The hard times came and they left you, true friends stand by you.

These are what can be called a ‘root seasons’. It is a season when you have the opportunity to dig deeper into the riches of God. These are the times when our roots can grow deeper into his love and grace. If you have deep roots you wont be shaken by the storms of life. Think about it, after a hurricane the only trees left standing are the ones with deep roots. Embrace this root season. Read the bible, pray and worship, thank God that he is working in the waiting, thank God that ultimately he will bring good out of your circumstances. Root seasons are times for our faith to develop and our character to be strengthened. We dont have to be shaped by our circumstances if we allow ourself to be shaped by God instead. What happens then is that God will use our circumstances to develop our faith and character. If you can’t run from something then embrace it, you can’t beat God so join him. It may mean carrying your cross, but what happens after the cross? Its the ressurrection! New life precedes our hardship and pain. Did Jesus have to die again on the cross? No, he was raised eternally in glory. The same awaits all who willingly follow Christ. Yes its tough, but glory awaits us so don’t give up! Let this season make your roots grow deep, then you will stand strong when life shakes you!

DMZ

City Life.1 #Lisbon – Portugal (Part 1 of 3)

Welcome to the historic beautiful European city of Portugal. Flying in from the Atlantic and gazing upon the deep blue next to the smorgasbord of colours coming from the city its self can make anyone feel like this is a place of belonging. As someone who has lived in this city, I can say first hand that even as a resident it does not dissapoint. 

Star points: Next to the city lies the magnificent river tejo, a deep blue that stretches across to Barreiro and other towns and cities. A 20 minute boat journey for the cost of no more than 4 euros for a visitor is all it takes. Tourist boats cover the waters, all shapes and sizes as they are captivated by the view of Lisbon as the stunning overview of the city stands proud, welcoming the boats to the docks. Or why not enjoy a ride accross one of the 2 of Lisbons servant bridges. The first being ‘ponte 25 de Abril’. This bridge was constructed in 1966 and a train was added in 1999. The bridge is named after the carnation revolution on the 25th april 1974. (More information on wikepedia) picture below.

Beautiful views
Looks like Golden gate bridge in San Francisco

Or how about the 2nd bridge ‘Ponte vasco de Gama’. The length of this one is mind blowing, it stretches a whopping 7.1 miles making it the largest bridge in Europe. (More information on wikepedia) So if you want to ride accross 25 april, which without traffic will take about 5 mins, or take the other bridge which is a longer drive but gives more time to enjoy the views. Picture below.

The longest bridge in Europe

Travelling in Lisbon: Lisbon is full of the old and the new in the form of travelling and sites to visit. Of course we love the good old trams for the experience and it’s rugged look. You can take the old yellow trams or the bigger modern ones. Prices are the same but the experience is different. Enjoy the views of the river and the city as the trams pass through the key places of Lisbon. Terreiro do paço, Baixa-chiado, Balém and more. See pictures below:

Or, if you prefer fast travel without traffic then the metro is recommended. This underground system covers all of Lisbon through 4 lines. Red, blue, yellow and green. For those who arrive at the airport, you will need to catch the red line into the city. Avoid early hours  (07-10) and late afternoon (16-19) these hours are city rush hour and metros are packed with people. There’s not much to see under the ground though so I wouldn’t reccomend this journey every day of your visit.

Last but not least in the form of travel are the tourist experiences. You can catch the Lisbon tour bus with its on board tour guide, this will lead you round key areas of the city as the speaker informs you of its history. For a more intimate journey with your partner or family then catch the tuk tuk. This will take you to whatever spot you want. Want to go on land and sea? Then take the hippo tour trip. This vehicle will ride around Lisbon and upon the river! There’s also segways and other fun travel experiences. You will not get bored so get on board! Pictures below:

The tuk tuk
Segways
The tour bus
Last but not least the hippo bus!

So here is the first part of discovering Lisbon. Part 2 coming soon… sites to see!
DMZ