Love conquered… and still is the answer

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. Genesis 50:20

The verse above came to mind when I read an article about a refugee father and son who recently resettled in Spain. An accompanying photo showing a smiling son walking with his dad made me feel for a brief moment that everything was going right in the world, that we were capable of surmounting hate and violence. I hoped his success would open the door for others.

The father is Syrian refugee Osama Abdul Mohsen and his son is called Zaid. He came to public attention after he was filmed being tripped up by Petra Laszlo,  a camerawoman, as he fled police near the Hungarian border with Serbia in September 2015. He was carrying Zaid, then 7, in his arms at the time. The two fell sprawling on the ground. The incident went viral thanks to social media, resulting in Laszlo being fired and a Spanish sports academy offering Mohsen a home and help in finding a job when they heard he used to coach a first division team in Syria. One article even referred to the outcome as a fairy-tale ending. That this was a blessing certainly cannot be denied. However the story is not yet ended as Mohsen’s wife and two of his sons are still in Turkey.

See photos here.

I think Laszlo made a terrible mistake, perhaps provoked by fear, the same fear that causes people to lie, to discriminate, to reject others. Without a doubt, if the police were chasing people who were “unlawfully” in our land, the inclination of many of us would be to do something to hinder them from getting away. Just read the threads of commentary following stories on the Refugee crisis. The amount of hatred being spewed by human talking about other humans is gut-wrenching. Laszlo suffered grossly because she was caught on camera… and because she was “touchable”. But what about the many “untouchables” with influence at the level of governments and international organisations that are directly or indirectly causing pain and devastation to entire communities. Who is seeking to fire them?

Claims by the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) that Mohsen was a member of the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Nusra Front which committed crimes on civilians, seem to be dark plots which threaten to keep this family trapped in a past of bloodshed and remind us of the tragedy of mankind void of God. The scriptures shows us what is at the root. It is not politics, not religion, not oil, (though these are arguably all factors). The root is man without God, the root is sin. Without God it is impossible for us to truly love one another. And if we cannot love one another, then we must dare not say we know God. 1 John 4:7,8

Prayer: Father we pray for scattered, hurting Syrian families who are in need of the very basic things many of us take for granted. Mankind’s unwillingness to know You and to walk in love, has caused much pain. The nations may not have the answers, but You do. May Your hand of love reach these families. May they find spiritual, material and emotional refuge under Your wings.

 

 

 

 

Strange Fires on the Altar

You must not worship the Lord your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the Lord hates. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods. Deuteronomy 12:31

A few years ago when I first came across the young American Prophet Brian Carn, I thought, “Lord, keep this young man walking right before you, don’t let pride step in”.

His ministry was anointed (still is), he had a mark of humility and was not afraid to speak the testimony of Jesus Christ. I felt him to be a breath of fresh air in a time where the American Church seems more known for preaching prosperity than holiness, and where men speak more about what car they bought their wife than about what orphanage or soup kitchen they built.

This year, I watched him again after not following him for a while. I noticed something a little different. I wondered why he was now incorporating this “Sow a seed” component into his message. It saddened me a great deal because of what it represented to me.

In March he was smeared in this scandal  (see here as well) which swooped over social media and sparked awful comments primarily among leaders in the black Church and the black community. I read so much of what was said. There was hurt, so much anger, so much disappointment among people. Others like Evangelist Perry Stone provided a more balanced and sobering comment here .

Out of the experience, Carn extended an olive branch to his accusers and said that he has submitted himself to a local church. If this is truly so, may he be surrounded by his church and spiritual leaders. May he not beg to be love an accepted by a world that rejected Christ. Many want to call themselves prophets, but want to be loved and accepted by all.

That said, what I sensed strongly in my spirit as I was thinking about him and other young people like Manasseh Jordan who some would call a false prophet – is this.

The Church of America stands to be judged for prostituting its young, (spiritually) gifted men and women. Like those who earned a lot of money from their servant girl who had a spirit of divination, too many church leaders are looking for the next bright spark to parade on their TV shows and conference platforms. Sometimes they fail to even correct works of the flesh, turning a blind eye when money is coming in on account of these young ministers. If Carn was “caught”, what about the many others whose ministries are accountable to no one? What about the “untouchables”?

Please understand that when I speak of Brian Carn and Manasseh Jordan, I speak of all younger ministers. I am not calling them false, neither am I justifying all of their actions. The Commercialized Church of America will be judged, not for pastoring but  for “pimping” out its young. Like entertainers, many of these young men and women who are “covered” by many but submitted to no local church are depressed, into sexual perversion, are suicidal and jacked up because they crave the “love” we give them when they “entertain” us.

Prayer Heavenly Father, our attention is drawn to the gifted young men and women within our own churches. You have created them and have enabled them with what they need to fulfill  their earthy assignments. May we be able to say to them as Paul did, “follow me, as I follow the example of Christ”. May we teach them the value of service and submission to God and to those God has placed in authority over them. We repent for getting caught up in theatrics instead of preaching the free gospel of Jesus Christ. We repent for the times we have peddled the Word of God for profit. Teach us to honor you in all we do and say  both privately and publicly. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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Has the Gospel Become Weak?

For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes–the Jew first and also the Gentile. Romans 1:16

Last weekend Come Up Higher International held its end-of-year conference under the theme “2016… As Enoch Walked“.

It was well attended by repeat visitors as wells as those who would have been new comers to a CUH event. The empowerment sessions were facilitated by Evangelist Patricia Eversley and Reverend Antonio Corbin. Remarks were given by the organisation’s Chairman Dr. Cathy Rochester-Norville and awesome Worship conducted by Mary, Deborah, Margaret, Alison and yours truly, RuthMoisa.

And all of the above names and facts fade into obscurity when we consider the chief objective… to make the Good News of Jesus Christ known through various forms of communication, to uplift persons and encourage them the lead productive lives in the coming season.

I’d like to know that even if no one remembers my name or what song I sang, that something they heard that evening struck a cord, made them stop and think, allowed persons to get a breakthrough in an emotionally turbulent situation in their lives. I’d like to know that they left knowing that God – not man- made it happen.

The Gospel alone is enough to impact lives forcefully. The Gospel is the power of God at work.

Sadly, we are in an age where the blessings of technology, faster transportation, more material possessions and so on, can equally become hindrances to us presenting this Good News of Christ. We seem not to get excited anymore to hear a stirring message. We are even less thrilled to invite others to church so their faith can increase.

I was reminded of this recently after inviting a few persons to Christian events. It was hard for me to swallow the responses of some Christians (not atheists, not agnostics, not persons of other religious persuasions). One person in particular asked me for a professional biography of one of the preachers as she had never heard of him before. Another person asked me what the objectives and expected outcome of the event were.

I was puzzled at first but then grateful for the chance to examine my own motives for doing anything church-related.

Paul was pretty clear on the expected outcome of the Gospel, and so was every other New Testament writer. What do you expect when you attend Church? To be entertained? To walk away with a seven point plan to become a millionaire? To network? To avoid people asking questions about your absence? Or to see God’s power at work, saving, delivering, healing and restoring all who choose to believe the message of Christ.

Simple.

No Gimmicks, no frills.

And even with all the best planning, an outcome determined by God and God alone.

Feel free to share your thoughts below…

Weigh it before you claim it (Part 2)

Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people. – Proverbs 14:34

Part 1 of this devotion addressed me breaking down certain preconceived notions I had about Haiti in order to pray in accordance with what the Holy Spirit laid on my heart during my first journey there. Was I to ignore the facts, concerns or experiences of others shared with me? No! But I needed to find out first what was God’s will for me to pray… after all, He was the One who opened a door of opportunity to travel there.

I recall living in France, a nation which prides itself in being “secular”. That brand has earned it the frowns and wagging fingers of many Christians who believe the country to be going to “hell in a hand basket”. I even met believers who wanted to “flee” Continue reading