Authentic Relationships – a mini testimony

I have experienced love and acceptance through authentic relationships.  These people speak the truth in love and yet it’s a place where I can be transparent and real which has brought such freedom to my life.  I realize I am fully loved and fully accepted by Him and through Him with those He places around me. With this value in my life I trust to bring freedom to those I influence through valuing authentic relationship. – Sune Bradfield, Jeffreys Bay, South Africa

Overcome image

Who Is an Overcomer? by Michael Warden

 “He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” —Revelation 3:21-22

The word translated as “overcome” in the passage above (and all similar passages in Revelation) is the Greek verb “nikao,” which means to conquer, to prevail, to gain the victory. 

Follow the link below to this encouraging article by Michael Warden on “Who Is an Overcomer?”

 http://www.churchleaders.com/pastors/pastor-articles/175632-michael-warden-who-is-an-overcomer.html?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=clnewsletter&utm_content=CL+Daily+20140809

edna tony marylyne

The Power of Right Alignment and Association: by Edna Els

Edna preached an encouraging word at Victory Christian Church on Sunday 27th July 2014 about the importance of right alignment and association as a believer.

Using Nehemiah and the rebuilding of the walls as the key scripture.
The audio message can be found by following THIS link (Audio for Power of Right Alignment) on the VCC website, it’s well worth a listen and immensely encouraging.

Read more

Don’t let Pride Hide Offense by John Bevere

One way the enemy keeps a person in an offended state is to keep the offense

hidden, cloaked with pride. Pride will keep you from admitting your true

condition.

Once I was severely hurt by a couple of ministers. People would say, “I can’t

believe they did this to you. Aren’t you hurt?” I would quickly respond, “No, I am

fine. I’m not hurt.” I knew it was wrong to be offended, so I denied and

repressed it. I convinced myself I was not, but in reality I was. Pride masked the

true condition of my heart.

Pride keeps you from dealing with truth. It distorts your vision. You never

change when you think everything is fine. Pride hardens your heart and dims the

eyes of your understanding. It keeps you from the change of heart – repentance

– that will set you free (See 2 Timothy 2:21-25).

Pride causes you to view yourself as a victim. Your attitude becomes, “I was

mistreated and misjudged; therefore, I am justified in my behavior.” Because you

believe you are innocent and falsely accused, you hold back forgiveness.

Though your true heart condition is hidden from you, it is not hidden from God.

Just because you were mistreated, you do not have permission to hold on to an

offense. Two wrongs do not make a right!

Read more

Header image w logo

Every Leader Needs to Take This Character Test by Carey Nieuwhof

So how are you really doing when it comes to your character development?

It can be a bit difficult to tell, can’t it?

Character, like so many things, seems hard to measure. It would be great if you could get a simple reading like you would for your cholesterol or blood pressure. Then you’d know.

Over my time in leadership, I’ve discovered a simple test that tells me more than anything where my character is.

And often, I’m not thrilled with the results.

It’s so simple you could do it in less than a minute.

Let me explain.

Read more

Adrienne

Discovering the way God speaks to Me – By Adrienne Bouwer

For a long time in my life the word spending time with God always made me feel as if I miss it.  When I listened to other people it made me think that they have these amazing times with God and that I did not really quite get there.  Being with God became a place that I had to reach, like a destination, but that I could never quite reach it.  Intimacy with God became something that I wondered what it was like for other people and if what I was doing and experiencing was okay? But I daren’t ask, cos then they will think I don’t know or whatever!!!!!! I just should not ask!!

Years ago we went on holiday with friends of ours and this couple loved taking walks on the beach.  My husband does not like doing that –  I looked at this couple and I wanted what they had and it made me very discontent about where we were and what MY husband wanted to do.  I did not see the specialness of what we had as a couple cos I so focused on that one thing I saw they had and thought that was it!!

God has used this picture in my relationship with Him.  I must not look at what I see or hear others say about their relationship with God –for sure it can inspire me, but I must never ever allow it to condemn me.  I have my own special way of relating with Him, and He with me and He knows how I am wired and that is what it is about.

Only when I got the revelation that being with God is not a destination that I have to reach, but a place where I am already at, did I experience the freedom of spending time with God.  It is a place of departure – the fact that I can draw near to Him boldly, confidently BECAUSE of what Jesus did.  Whenever I want to go in my mind to thinking ‘I must do things right – like this amount of prayer or this amount of Word or this amount of worship’ – before I am ALLOWED to draw near, I know I am walking in a place of believing a lie and going into dead religion.  The truth is Hebrews 4:16. Once I  spend time with God from a place of  already being righteous and knowing I am okay, my heart is in a place of thanksgiving and it as if I am just more expectant and open for Him.(Ps 100:4,5)

So first for me:  spending time with God is a knowing that He already is ready to spend time with me because of my righteousness in Jesus.  This truth opens my heart for receiving from Him.

The Word also became different – rather than a homework chore to reach a certain mark (religious dead work), it became a thing that freed me more and more.  I am by nature an undisciplined person that does not like structure or routine, so I definitely know that I have to discipline myself to read the word.  Routine and structure were negative words to me until God revealed to me that structure is my friend.  It is like a car that is supposed to get me somewhere – without it I will still get there, but it will take me so much longer and with so much more effort.

Create a structure to be more effective, this is not religious – so I made peace with the word, but it still takes an effort to walk it out.  So the Word has amazing truths for me to discover so that I will become freer in how I think and believe – that is how I see it.  This does not mean that every time I read it, that that is what I experience!! BUT, I keep on expecting it.

God speaking to me was another thing that I discovered – people would say God said this or that with such confidence!! So, I disqualified myself, cos I definitely could not say for sure!! The way I learned to hear from God was a journey – I experienced something in my heart or I would see a picture , not at all sure if it was Him, stepped out dead scared and did it, and discovered that it was Him.  And so my journey went until after many, many times, I started to recognize the experience or ‘voice’.  And that was how I learned to hear the voice of God.  It was also a matter of opening my heart to the different languages of God – sometimes I would experience a picture, sometimes a thought within me, sometimes nature shouts a message to me, sometimes the Word gives it to me. But it was a journey of discovery and recognition. And then I could also say – I know His voice.  But it was a journey of discovery and recognition.

Journaling has helped me to keep myself focused more than anything else.  I would start to spend time with God and my mind would wander, or the phone would distract me, or my ‘to do’ list!! By writing all my thoughts and prayers down as it comes, helped for that not to happen as easily.  Then, as I write, quite often the answer would come at the same time and that would also be written down and then I have it. Again, I have to discipline myself to do it – great reward in it!!

This does not mean that every time I spend time with God is a radical life-changing time. No, sometimes there is just a peace that comes, or sometimes I know I just read His word and speak to Him a bit, hear nothing back, but that is also okay.  As long as I always know that He is there and I am in His presence – I don’t have to FEEL it!!

In corporate meetings I find it often easier to experience His presence or it happens quicker – That is the beauty of worshiping Him corporately, but it does not make my times with Him less significant.  It also does not have to be the same every time – that is putting God in a box and my mind would limit Him and I would miss Him.  Truth is that His presence is with us, whether we feel it or not.  We do not base truth on feelings, we base it on truth(Word), and because of the blood of Jesus, His presence is with us, we are righteous enough to draw near to the Father, and there is now no condemnation for those who are in Him(Rom8:1).

It is often lies in our minds that are robbing us from having times with God more than anything else.  We have all had times where it feels as if we are in a desert, where we hear NOTHING and experience nothing, and we all have been in seasons where we are given revelation upon revelation and burst with life.  It helps to honestly hear from others how it works for them- applying principles and truths, but also knowing that He relates and journeys in His special way with me, cos I am me.

Knowing Him is a journey and it is okay to ask questions, they are not stupid, because we are all learning and learning from each other.  That is how we learn from one another.  BUT, it is pretending that we have it all together, that we know it all, that isolates us and also makes others feel not good enough and as if they miss it.  There is not true transparency because we expect to be weighed and judged.

We are all on a journey of discovering and knowing God and none of us will ever know it all or arrive fully, so we can enjoy being and also enjoy learning from one another to, in the end, all move toward knowing Him better.

*if this testimony has resonated with you, leave a comment below, we would love to hear YOUR story of how God changed your life.

Beautiful Mandy

Testimony: From Mandy Watson

My name is Mandy Watson, I am 30 years old.

I am part of Victory Christian Church in Jeffrey’s Bay and I have been mentored and had the privilege of mentoring others since I was a 19yr old pip with no clue.

I am now a married mother of three small children and I thought we were done with kids, until a few months ago when we felt a desire stirring for a fourth child. God began to speak to us about being obedient in this area and as our hearts said, “yes” everything in our heads said, “no way”.

We felt God began to speak the name and destiny of a child and shortly after we made up our minds that it would cost us more if we didn’t

follow His will for our family, we conceived.

We were so excited!!!

About 2 weeks ago in May I was about 12 or 13 weeks pregnant according to the doctors, when things took a sudden turn.

As I laboured through the night hours, I wrestled and had the faith to stand on the promises I had received for my fourth child but I heard the still small voice say, “It’s okay, you can let it Go and trust me!”

With an overwhelming sense that God was right there with me, His peace and presence comforting me, I knew it was over and I could rest in knowing that His ways are higher than mine.

We had our tribal meeting 4 days later and up until then, although I still felt the peace of God, I had been in a state of shock and unable to feel my emotion.

In our meeting where I felt safe and supported, God ministered to the deepest parts of my heart through the ladies who walk out life with me and during the worship I was able to feel the pain and start the necessary process of healing.

We are not always able to work these things out in our minds, God’s peace will not take away the pain but it will enable us to go through the valley because it is the peace that surpasses all understanding and we are prisoners of Hope.

Choosing to Worship Him despite the circumstance will also not take away the pain, but it will help us to keep our focus in the right place for He is our Hope, our strong tower, our deliverer and restorer and Redeemer!

He makes all things beautiful in His time!

I have heard of women who have been through such things as abortion and miscarriages etc and they have suppressed these things by keeping it to themselves for years and years and God’s heart is for us to walk free from these burdens which are not ours to carry!

I know I am still on my road to recovery, but I have found that freedom and healing comes through my God and being able to trust the family and friends that He has surrounded me with.

I value the vital relationships I have built through me2.

I am surrounded by women of faith who have intentionally given their lives to challenge me and others to the next level through the way that they live their lives!

Over the years I have learned Kingdom Principles and values through me2 that have set me up for life, and the most exciting part is that it’s not only for me it’s also for my children, their children and their children’s children and of course for you and yours too!

Beauty for Asher

Testimony: Beauty for Asher

 

The word says that God will provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. Isaiah 61:3

This is what I am at present.

I am in the middle of that scripture, dwelling under the shadow of God’s protection, under his wing, hidden from the world.

There in that place where sorrow and joy melt together like coloured wax, creating a beautiful blend from the contradicting sides of mourning and grief, the joy and worship of being within the confines of the saviour’s hand, safe in His care.

My handsome and I lost our little Asher Makaio.  He was 9 days old.

Walking through the pain, the sorrow, the grief and the change is real.

It’s life changing.

It’s a winding journey.

There are ups, on the hills where you have great perspective and the view of what’s to come is beautiful and stretches on for miles.

There are down’s, in the valleys where you cannot see over the hill in front of you, where the shadows fall and the chill sets in.

But through it all, there is a warm presence, a safety that surrounds our hearts.  The wonderful presence of God that hovers over us, shadowing us, keeping us, securing us and ensconces our hearts.

We are sheltered under the wings of the most high.

Within that shelter is the love, care and support of the people that God has placed around us. Pillars to lean on, to cry with and to rejoice with.

When it all seems overwhelming, they are there to help us see over the next rise.

When we reach a hilltop, they are there to celebrate with us, to praise with us and to rejoice in the goodness and faithfulness of our Father.

As we walk this journey of life, with challenges and triumphs, we are surrounded by phenomenal people who walk with us, who pray with us, weep with us, encourage us and live life with us!

What a privilege to be part of kingdom family, to feel the Father through people.

– Kim & Morné

Love in Action

My name is Anne and i’m a mentoring leader at Victory Christian Church, Jeffreys Bay.

I was approached by Lorinda, one of the mentoring ladies who owns the beauty salon Aqua Spa, as her and her ladies wanted to give back to the community and use their skills to bless some less fortunate girls with pedicures. I had the perfect group of young ladies that I knew would be so thrilled by this pampering experience.
The girls, ranging from 14-18, are a group of teenagers from the township/location who volunteer their time at an afterschool program at Victory4All (www.victory4all.com). On a Monday afternoon these girls are mentored and on a Thursday they give back.

They are stunning youth leaders who give of their time and heart to serve God and the next generation.

Despite some harsh realities of their lives, their circumstances may be very different to Western teenage girls, these young ladies are strong and full of determination to change their world around them.

So on a sunny Monday afternoon, 5 ladies from Aqua Spa, including Lorinda herself, came to the Victory4All worship centre with footbaths, massage oils and everything you could need for the ultimate pedicure.

It is truly amazing to see the joy on the young girls’ faces as they feel valued and loved through this simple but generous gesture of these professional ladies.

Blessed by the Journey

My name is Jenna from Jeffreys Bay, South Africa.

It’s such a privilege to co-lead a mentoring group with Anne and Amber. Not because “we get to lead” but because we get to play a part in seeing the transformation in young girls’ lives.  We have got the most amazing and beautiful young girls who have given us permission to speak life, love, acceptance and truth into their lives – and what an honour and a pivilege!
I’ve been so bless by the mentoring process, and it has had such a great impact in my life having an older woman love me, encourage me, believe in me and pray for me through the good and bad, and now I get to be that older woman!
 
I’m so excited to see where Father takes us as a group, as our friendships grow, as our lives change and as we trust in Him for one another and ourselves.  I know that God’s ways work and that mentoring works, so bring on 2012 – it’s going to be a year to remember as our lives (and especially my life!!), is transformed through relationships.