Friday, July 30, 2010

Do you have a family Altar?

The Altar at Home: Prayers for the Family and the ClosetSometimes back a friend was sharing with me about a pastor who never had breakthrough in his family life and in the mininistry. When the pastor resorted to seeking God about it, God told him it was because he had no family altar, where they could pray, read the Word, share and woship together as a family. When the pastor did what God told him, things changed drastically for the better.

Deuteronomy 6:6-9
6. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
7. And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
8. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.
9. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
The bible is our reference book as Christians. Deuteronomy 6:6-9 teaches us how we are supposed to handle things in the home as far as things of God are concerned. Not having a family altar is making things complicated for the family and it is like sealing our own fate.
Children learn by example faster than by instructions. Praying and reading the bible daily with the children gives them a good foundation and an opportunity to understand the Word of God. The Word of God will always remain in their hearts even when they are old. If at one time they might be rebellious, the Word will always pop up in their minds and hearts as a warning – it will always linger in their lives forever. Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Praying and believing God together as a family in unity is powerful and dynamic. It generate spiritual enforcement and anointing that you can never imagine. It changes the spiritual atmosphere in the environs to the kingship of Jesus. As time passes by, even the  neighbours start responding to God’s will and lordship. Things are propelled toward glorious deliverance and power. United family time with God lifts the faith of the family members when they see God has answered a need they prayed for. This is how some big power packed churches started - just by a family altar. This is becasue charity(love) begins at home.
If your family is fragmented because of issues here and there, then family altar is the in thing, where you shall invite and allow God to take over and work out the much needed reconciliation. It is the solution for broken families, broken relationships and about to break families because once you invite the Prince of peace, He comes along with His peace. Family altar prayers can bring back home a wayward wife or husband, a lost child and many more.
There are things that God can only do at the family altar forum. One of  these things is commanding blessings. When your refer to Psalms 133. 1-3, the bible says that God will command a blessing, even life for evermore to a family that dwells together in unity - this is because unity in faith, in prayer, in worship, in word, in action and in purpose brings such an explosive anointing which runs to generations of that family. That family never again walks under dry heaven, but the dew of heaven satisfies them. If all families would heed to this call, then we would eventually have spiritually strong churches and hence a spiritually strong  nation.

  • Do you want a breakthrough in your life? Start a family altar now. It is better late than never.
  • Do you want God's presence in your home and it's neighbourhood? Do as the scriptures command, propagate the gospel from the grassroots.
  • Do you want peace within family members? Set quiet time with God. 
Ways to do a family altar
  • All family members should be taught to respect the family altar time
  • You can decide that all members will be leading  the family altar in turns. One member preaches, another one leads the worship, another one reads the Word etc. These helps each member to search the Word of God before hand if he/she will be preaching.
  • Agree on days when the family should seek God in prayer and fasting. Although this should be done discretely especially if children are involved and are not yet saved. Always encourage voluntary fasting for the children but don’t impose it on them.
  • Make it an established, set apart time with God, where everything and everyone focuses on worshipping God only the Almighty.
  • Apart from setting time for family altar, learn to talk and teach about God as you sit, as you walk, as you work, as you rise and as you lie down. Put stickers and posters with the Word of God in your house as a reminder. Unfortunately, most our time is preoccupied with television and other activities that eventually make us spiritually starved and prone to demonic attacks
  • If no one will take the initiative to start a family altar, you can start it irrespective of who you are in the family, even if you are alone in this. Once you start, the rest will follow suit.

Seventeen years ago, my baby was very sick and he was supposed to be operated on in a week's time. When we went to the house of the pastor of church we were fellowshipping concerning our predicament, they advised us that we would be taking our son to the hospital on a weekly basis clinic, claiming that their son also have the same problem and that is what they used to do.  As we went home that day, we knew our hope was in God only. 

So, that evening, me and my husband agreed, we tore off the operation appointment letter we were given by the doctor and started praying. Ignoring the crying child who was in great pain, we laboured in prayer declaring good health and burying that disease forever through the blood of Jesus. After a long prayer session, the child was a bit comfortable and so we slept. The boy got healed. He is now eighteen years old, very healthy and there are no cuts on his body because of Jesus. We never took him for those weekly clinics because we trusted God, who sends His Word and heals our diseases.Hallelujah!

I don't mean that you should not go to your pastor if need be, but you should also learn to go before God and beseech Him for your needs as a family. If we had not learnt to have family altar and how to apply the Word of God, we would have been stranded on how to handle the situation considering the advise we got from our pastor. Maybe we would have opted to go ahead with the operation. Always remember that Jesus is always there for you, focus on Him alone and not on any other. HE IS ABLE.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Thank God for the Small Things

1 Timothy 6:6-8 
6. But godliness with contentment is great gain.
7. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
8. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

If you say that you don't have anything to thank God for, I am greatly amazed! Learn to thank God for things that we consider small and usually take them for granted. In the real sense, the things that we take for granted are usually very very important. Learn to enjoy what God has already given you now, for you may never know the importance of something, until you loss it.

At our lower side of life, we actually realise the ever present help of God and His unfailing love. It helps us even get more closer to God and to reality than when we are fully fed.

When one is mighty and very blessed, there is always that temptation to focus on the blessings rather than the blesser and so their relationship with God is affected and continues to deteriorate.

Proverbs 30:8-9
8. Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:
9. Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.
Do you really mean you don’t have anything to thank God for?

  • What about the food you ate last night? Thought it was not your favourite or your choice, remember that some people had to go to bed on an empty stomach. Instead thank God for it and share your food with the hungry and God will bless you.
  • What about the breath of life He gave you this morning? There are some people who have been put under a respirator machine to help them breath and there also some who died today. Refer to ""we don't have a signed contract with God as to when we should die". Instead of complaining about life, thank God for the breath of life, start sharing your live with others and make a difference in people's lives.
  • Could it be you are getting peanuts in the job you have right now? Thank God for the job you already have to allow God to open another door for you because there is somebody who is jobless and in heavy debts.
  • Are you asking God for a a fashionable outfit that you like? Thought it is not bad to do that, but remember to thank God for the outfits you already have in your wardrobe, for there are those who just have one outfit, such that they have to wash it at night for it to dry. Instead, start sharing your extra outfits with the naked and God will bless you.
  • As a youth, you may be sad that you parents are unreasonable and very strict. Thank God for them and God will start changing them, for there are children out there who never saw their parents for they died. Instead start showing love to the orphans and appreciating your own parents no matter how they are.
  • If you are a parent and are stressed because of your children, don't get stressed anymore. Instead, start thanking God for them, for they are women who don't have even a single fruit of the womb and have to bear the shame of barrenness and loneliness. As you thank God for your children and also pray for those who are trusting God for children, God will work wonders in you children.
  • Stop complaining about your spouse. Think about the wonderful times you have had together before you think about the faults of your spouse. Remember that you also have your faults and flaws. More importantly, remember that love covers a multitude of sins. Change the tune, and start singing good about your spouse. As you start thanking God and seeking for unity and peace, God will command blessings in your home. Refer to Psalms 133:1-3
  • You could be unhappy with your neighbours because of one thing or another. Thank God for your neighbours for God has put them there for a purpose. As you thank God for them, He will work out things for you. One day my little son got lost, neighbours helped me look for Him in the neighbourhood without success. Later we found Him being brought home by a woman who stayed a bit far from our house, but God used her. Neighbours are very very important.
  • Do you complain about your looks? Honour God because He has given you eyes to see how you look like, there are people who are blind and they have no idea how they look like. Nevertheless, meditate on Psalms 139:14 (I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well). By the time you finish meditating on Psalms 139:14, you will realise that it was not about how you look, but it was all about your attitude and you inability to identify yourself with God to see your worth. Therefore, start praising God for who you are and for whom God has uniquely created you to be.  Isaiah 43:4 confirms that you are precious, loved and honoured.
  • One might take the simple act of going the toilet as normal and insignificant, but thank God for it for they are people who have to make many trips to the hospital for dialysis in order for waste material to be removed from their bodies
  • Thank God for the environment and take good care of it. Don’t take it for granted because you need a clean and beautiful environment to survive.

Feel free to comment through by clicking comment. May God bless you all as you learn to appreciate all things in life, including the small things and those that  are usually taken for granted. Shalom.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Winter Hideaway in Mombasa, Seeing God's Glorious Creation

Kenyan Historical Landmark, The Fort Jesus Museum
Mombasa City, Kenya (East Africa) 
Roughly the size of Texas, Kenya has dedicated 10 % of its land to wildlife conservation. The Great Rift Valley and its spectacularly dramatic scenery are beyond words in Africa.

Fort Jesus has preserved the primary formation as when it was put up 400 years ago. It has suffered a history of murder, siege, starvation and bombardment. It is a delight for holidaymakers and if you leave Mombasa without visiting this major landmark in the history of East Africa you may find it a cause for regret. Mombasa is a seaport, industrial city on the Indian Ocean

The region remains very proud of its multinational influences over a thousand years. The unmatched Swahili cuisine, a blend of co-existing Christian and Muslim religions, multiracial cultures and exquisite historical architecture give a hint of the multi-racial people that existed in the 18th and 19th century and still have an effect in the way people live here. People are very friendly and helpful. They are genuinely concerned about giving directions to visitors.

The region is at the centre of a strip of idyllic tropical beaches offering the visitor a range of excellent resorts and quiet relaxing hideaways from winter in Europe. If you enjoy sunbathing, this is your destination. It offers a wide range of accommodation – from the exclusive and luxurious resorts, to the middle-of-the-range hotels. You can get the information from a tour company.

Just next to the fort is a well-stocked stall, where you can buy assortment of Kenyan tribes’ curios and traditional clothes - ranging from Maasai, Swahili, Pokot, Kamba, Kikuyu, and Giriama among others. You can decide to indulge in a cocktail under the shade and breath the cool breeze from the nearby sea as you hear the soothing Swahili music at the background.

In the museum gift shop, you can buy selected publications (cards, books, etc) and souvenirs (African crafts). The cafeteria offers a complete variety of delicious Swahili cuisines and soft drinks. The mouth-watering spiced rice, locally called pilau – its sweet smell is mouth whetting.
Other Places To Visit In Kenya

Haller Park/Nature Trail is a recreational quarry at the warmer coast, which is good destination for families. Expect sightings of giraffes, onyxes, monkeys, porcupines, giant tortoises, hippopotamus, snakes etc. Activities involve leisure walks, jogging, cycling etc. Butterfly bleeding session is available for those who enjoy nature. Don’t forget to buy striking clamshells to crown the occasion (after excavation, fossils were and are still found)

Enjoy a tour to the sea (Indian Ocean) in tamarind dhow. Music played and succulent dinner makes it good site for a romantic couple.

At Nakuru, the trademark feature of Lake Nakuru inhabits beautiful pink flamingos in large numbers.

It is amazing to see the wildebeest migration, in Kenya’s Maasai Mara Game Reserve Visit the Mara and Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park for the wonderful experience.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

We don't have a signed contract with God as to When we should die

Psalms 90:12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

What would you do if God would come and tell you the day of your death is tomorrow?
* May be you would get saved and start living right
* May be you would go to those you have hurt and ask for forgiveness
* May be you would start spending more time with your family and friends
* May be you would start praying to God to reconsider his decision like Hezekiah of old did
* May be you would spend abundance time with God in prayer and fasting
* May be you would start being loving and considerate to others
* May be you would as it were put you house in order by writing a will

You see, since we do not know the day of our death, we are to live our lives as if we will be dying tomorrow, knowing that the day and the hour is in the hands of the Almighty, the giver of life.

May God help us to live one day at time. Calculating our salvation with fear and trembling for the calling that we have received from God is worthy.

We have not signed a contract with God as to when we will die and so we should ask God to teach us to number our days so that we may live in wisdom. God gave Solomon a wise and an understand heart because Solomon neither asked him for long life, nor for riches, nor for the lives of his enemies. Wisdom comes along with what it entails and in Solomon's case it came along with riches and other blessings.

In Psalms 91:14-16, God has promised us long life, if we set our love upon him and acknowledge His name.
In Proverbs 4:1-2, God continues to promise us long life filled with peace, if we forget not His law and keep in our hearts His commandments.

The conclusion of the matter is;

1 Corinthians 15:55-57

55. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
56. The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
57. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

We who are in the Lord Jesus will not fear death, for there is life after the grave, where we shall live forever with our Lord and King Jesus beholding His glory and worshipping Him. We should be steadfast, unmoveable, and do the work of the Lord for our labour in the Lord in not in vain for we have victory over death through Jesus Christ.

* You only fear death if your sins are not forgiven and if you have not made peace with your maker. God is gracious and loving, always waiting with open hands to save.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Godly principles about Giving

Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Deuteronomy 28:12 The Lord shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.

2 Corinthians 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

God is a giver by nature and since He is our father, we should be givers, like the saying goes - like Father like son. Giving is godliness. If you are a giver, do you measure up to the life you are living. Giving should be a lifestyle. Check our your giving and see where you are lacking. A real giver does not have to wait to be told to give, he/she gives spontaneously. May God help us take the nature of our Father, and so be like Him by being givers.

Sometimes when I read Deuteronomy 28:12, I ask myself, do I really deserve that God should bless me? Am I doing as it is required. Am I following the principles that God has set? For God to really bless the works of our hands, we should show God the works that He should bless.

Who is a real giver?
  • One who understand that we first have to give ourselves first to God
  • One that prepares before going to church what to give because he treats giving as worship to God
  • One who does not give out of being compelled or persuaded to give, but gives out of a willing and cheerful heart. (I am of the opinion that Christians should not be compelled, persuaded, pushed to give. Instead, they should be taught the plain Word of God about giving, because when one gives out of compulsion, then no blessing should be expected)
  • One who understands that giving is a privilege to enable us partake of the blessings of God
  • One who understands that giving is one way of showing our gratitudes to God, showing our love to God, to show our commitment to spreading the good news of Jesus Christ, and to share the love of Jesus Christ with others
  • One who understands that God is not lacking in anything. He is a rich God and we can never outsmart Him in anyway. It is only that He has given us a privilege to give so as to be partakers in His blessings. Remembering that the resources we have, He is the one who has graciously given to us
  • One who understands that we cannot bribe God in order for Him to bless us. Some preachers tell people to give a certain amount of money and they will in return receive it back multiplied. Of course when we give to God, He multiplies our blessings but when giving our attitudes and hearts have to be right with God because God can never be bribed in exchange of promotion, healing, anointing etc

Refer to Acts 8:18-21

18. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,

19. Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.

20. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.

21. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.


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