Tuesday, November 24, 2020
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David Webster

The Kanye Revival

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The past few weeks in the media have been absolutely dominated by one name: Jesus. But as much as many have prayed, believed and hoped for this to be the case – hardly any would have imagined it would have happened the way it has. Even I wrote a reserved article about Kanye’s Sunday Services on this platform – pointing out that it wasn’t specifically a church. But things have developed significantly since then – most notably the album Jesus Is King dropping on the 25th of October.

While there were maybe still some reservations, a significant moment transpired recently when Joel Osteen – one of the most widely known voices of American Christianity today – had a conversation onstage with Ye at his sixteen-thousand-seater church on Sunday morning. The very fact that he was on the stage with the pastor was a massive endorsement, but what took place after that was something that is hard to ignore.

If anyone knows Kanye, they would know first that he is definitely still himself. He still mentions being the greatest artist of all time, but also his mental breakdown, his stream of consciousness and speaks about his projects.

BUT it is also very clear something has shifted in Kanye’s life. One of the first things he declares is that there is only one superstar: Jesus. Continuing to mention issues with how people categorise his music. He also declares that he’s doing everything in service to God, before speaking about how he had once been deceived by the trappings of fame and the media.

Now many would still want to question what’s really going on. It is very sad that Christians can be known for their judgement and condemnation – Kanye preempted the polarising effect his album would have in his lyric – they’ll be the first one to judge me. But in the context of what we believe as Christians, the authenticity should not be a concern. Jesus himself never demonised a person for their sin. He only confronted those who claimed to be what they were not. And if that be the case with Kanye, it is God and God alone who can judge that.

While thinking about this phenomenon – where the ‘secular’ world is literally being turned around by the declaration of Jesus – I was reminded of when Jesus says:

Everyone who acknowledges me before men, I will acknowledge before my father in heaven” Matthew 10:32

No matter what the motive, you can at least acknowledge that Kanye is acknowledging Christ as King in the very title – one that has been broadcast across Instagram, streaming platforms and Times Square to millions of people!

The Bible also has an account of Paul speaking about people who were declaring the message of Jesus – and how some were questioning the reason why they were doing so. His response was simple – and should define every Christian’s response:

“What does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whatever the motive may be, Christ is preached. And because of this, I rejoice!” Phillippians 1:18

Ultimately if Christians were going to judge, there is only one criteria by which Jesus allows anyone to judge another. And that is by their ‘fruit’ – or the visible impact of their actions. In the past Kanye’s influence has been questionable, but in recent days he has sold out arenas, publicly declaring the name of Jesus above his own and in one meeting saw over 1000 people respond to the message of Jesus’ love and sacrifice.

If you are reading this and you have been impacted by Kanye’s latest music, I want to encourage you – don’t let anyone (Christian or not) take away from the message Ye is trying to convey. Listen for yourself. Think for yourself. And maybe consider the possibility that if Kanye could truly and authentically change, maybe you could as well. But this kind of transformation is not simply some PR rebranding or ‘reinvention’ – it’s way deeper. There is actual substance to the power of Jesus Christ. If you truly honour him as the head and director of your life and accept his invitation to have a relationship with him – then everything shifts!

No man is perfect. Kanye admits himself that he is not. But that should never stop someone from receiving the love of Jesus. In fact, our brokenness is why Jesus died and rose again. So that death would not be in the way of you getting close to God.

Where is the love?

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Things are intense in this world today. From road rage, irritating moments in the shop lines, heated arguments and politics at work, uprisings and accusations at university, cuber bullying at an all-time high and anxiety weighing more than ever on our younger generations. Multiple wars are being fought, politics has become marred by ego and corruption, the rich are getting richer and more devious, cyber privacy is being breached daily – it’s become a tense mess.
But instead of addressing the causes, or even the solutions to these problems, I think we have to acknowledge the roots of these issues.

1. Knowledge is not always power but is definitely always powerful

Without a doubt, we are living in the most ‘all-knowing’ time on earth. And it’s not just that knowledge is available, but it’s the SPEED at which knowledge can be made available. For example – in the last 20 minutes while I’ve been writing this piece I have been Whatsapp’d fifteen times, emailed three times, had two spam calls and one genuine one. I checked Instagram once and had two appointment notifications. Just writing it down makes me feel overwhelmed. But our phones have lulled us into a false sense of normality, where we think we are able to emotionally process this diverse, erratic and demanding kind of activity. We can’t! We need boundaries. Otherwise, it will result in anxiety, random outbursts, sleepless nights and moody interactions. 


Beyond that, I also would ask the question: is knowing everything helpful?  Do I need to know what’s going on in the traumatic lives of a Kardashian? Do I need to know how many seals were killed last year? Do I need to know what my friend ate for breakfast? Do I need to know where that acquaintance from six years ago went on holiday? 
Awareness is awesome. If you actually have action to apply to it. In Christianity, we believe that faith without works is dead. In the same way, I believe that knowledge without action is actually destructive to ourselves. 


What is the balance ratio between what you know and what you act upon? I believe that the scales are too weighty on the knowledge side and have caused many implosive moments in my own life when I haven’t held that in check. 

2. Self-awareness is at an all-time high

I believe self-awareness is a good thing. In this new diverse global existence, we have become more aware of our differences than ever before, which has forced us to analyze our own lives with a critical eye (some deny this, but will be confronted with many problems in the future). But self-awareness can go too far – and become self-interest. Allow self-interest to fester and it will become selfishness. Add something traumatic to that mix and you have full-blown victimhood. 


Now – I am not denying that there is horrific injustice in this world. But as someone who has lived in shacks with no running water for two weeks – I have found the people living in those circumstances way more joyful and grounded than those living in the suburbs with wifi and health insurance. It’s a perspective that has been hard to reconcile, but I have realized that you can go through hell and not be a victim. And you can also read about someone else going through hell and become a victim. How? Based on how much self-interest you have. 


I would encourage you with this – if you’re affected emotionally by something, then you need to decide to physically do something about it. Not an Insta post, not a conversation with a friend. Get involved with the solution of an issue. Once again – awareness is only important if true action can be tied to it. Take personal responsibility for change. Don’t wait for someone else to do what you want. Many want to take down systems but cannot bother to influence the people they’re living with in that regard. Start at home and work your way outward.

3. Entitlement is a serious problem 

For some reason, we believe that we deserve better. Unlike the generations that lived through WW1 and 2, or through famines or civil wars or evil regimes. Yes – the demographics of race and gender have had unfair standards of privilege, but don’t forget that living in this time itself is a privilege as well – and one that we should not take for granted. We are the most informed generation ever. The most connected generation ever. We have the greatest chance at justice than ever. We have a louder voice than ever before. But those are responsibilities, not ‘rights’.

I believe it is very good to know how things ‘should be’. It is very good to know what you want out of life. It is very important to believe that anything is possible. BUT you also need to realise as much as we have been gifted things from the past generations, we need to earn our seat at the table of history. I have found many times that anger and indignation have come not from the injustices we have had to face, but from the mere fact that they exist. Unless we make peace with the fact that the world is broken, we won’t get over the anger of the mess and have the energy to fix anything.

There is much required of this coming generation – especially in Africa. We did not only inherit the good based on the sacrifices of those who went before. We also have to face the brokenness inherited from the evils of those who went before as well. Is it fair to pick up someone else’s mess? No. Is it necessary in order for us to move forward? Definitely!

As a young African with a unique and specific past, I have hope for our continent. I believe there is courage in this generation to look beyond the surface-level anger and tensions; and make decisions that history will thank us for. But it starts with us dealing with the uncomfortable things within us. Once we have confronted ourselves, we can take hold of our destiny. The key way I believe you can begin to walk in victory is by inviting Jesus into your life – a relationship with God is one of the most empowering things you could ever do for yourself. It enables you not only to heal from your past but become free enough in your inner life to tackle the problems of the world around. I pray you find that kind of freedom within!

Christianity and mental health

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I have to admit that this is not an easy article to write. Broaching the subject of mental health is not very comfortable – but like most important things in life, it just has to be spoken about. In the public forum, there are many opinions, views and stories. I hope I can give some context that could help ground your thoughts as you read this.

In light of the recently publicised suicides of people in ministry, I first want to say that it is in no way God’s will that we struggle with mental illness. There are countless scriptures that address our state of mind and the power of the Holy Spirit to transform us. But the Bible also acknowledges strong, overwhelming emotions: from the darkness of many of David’s Psalms to the despair in Lamentations and the hollowness of Ecclesiastes. Not only that, Jesus had emotions too – many incredibly visceral. So as a Christian, I definitely do not condemn those battling with their mental health. But I also believe that God can empower us to health in this area – miraculous and resilient health.

So how do we make sense of this complex emotional world we are now facing? There are many studies and I could spend the next 600 words laying them out, but I have found in my faith that understanding does not result in transformation. It’s what you decide to do that is important. Here are three things I would encourage us all to do:

1. Seek help

As someone in ministry, I would first want to tell everyone that it is not shameful to seek help if you are struggling with mental issues. I have found many are too ashamed to go to a psychologist or even a counsellor, saying that they just need to have more faith. I would agree that faith is important, but so is action – and going to seek help from someone is not bad, it’s biblical. I would also encourage you to not give up. Many have tried once and have been disappointed or felt too condemned to try again. This is your very existence you’re dealing with – if the first port of call doesn’t work, seek out someone else. Whether it’s through a church (which has the benefits of community as well), through support groups, through a psychologist in the area or non-profit organisations, where there is a will, there is a way. But you need to decide to seek help.

Now I would also encourage you to be careful who you go to – if you’re a Christian, I would definitely want to make sure I share my faith with the person I am talking to – which I have. Yes – as someone in ministry, I see a professional psychologist twice a month. Why? Because I need to take responsibility for my own mental health and wellbeing, before looking after others. I don’t go when I need it. I go regardless. Because life is not easy and there are so many unknown factors when it comes to technology, how the intercultural galvanisation of the ‘global village’ and how the world, in general, is working.

2. Be kind to yourself

Grace is probably the most outrageous and incredible truths found in a relationship with Jesus Christ. I would encourage you to read up on it. Understanding grace is really amazing. Living differently because of it is even better. Christians believe that Jesus Christ came to take the eternal consequence of our sin away – inflicting it instead upon himself. So, in choosing to believe that the God of the universe has himself chosen to forgive you, there is no foundation for you to not forgive yourself. You have no leg to stand on.

I definitely believe we should own up to our own wrongdoing and ask forgiveness, but then we also need to live like we are forgiven. We need to choose to believe that things can truly be written off, let go of and you can move on. I know it’s easier said than done, but if you can forgive yourself, then the power of those dark thoughts starts to slip. Don’t condemn yourself for what you’re thinking. Speak about it, process it and you will be able to move a little forward.

I find myself experiencing what I call ‘residual trauma’ often. After dealing with abuse, insecurity, loneliness and degrees of anxiety, I still encounter situations that affect me. I definitely know that I have been able to find victory in my thinking, but my soul and emotions are not always so quick to catch up. And it is in moments like this that I need to be emotionally aware – to understand that even though I have dealt with those uncomfortable thoughts, it doesn’t mean that I am completely unaffected by the world around me. It’s not a sin to be sad. It depends what you do with that sadness.

3. Do something for someone else

My biggest battle as a pastor is that I now am expected to be selfless, where before it was something I got to decide. I have seen many in ministry throughout my life that begin trying to ‘reclaim’ that autonomy and do things ‘for themselves’. Please understand I’m not saying that people shouldn’t rest and enjoy life. But if you become a victim to your circumstance – no matter what that circumstance is – it will end up doing more damage to you than anyone else.

It may seem daunting, but I have found that being intentionally selfless is like a fresh splash of water on your soul. In fact, it may even become something you cannot wait for. I believe that is why the Bible says so much about generosity – there are incredible emotions attached to blessing and caring for others.

While your own life may be hard to navigate, one of the greatest things you can do to contextualise your emotions is to look at them from someone else’s viewpoint.

I heard one person describe biblical humility as: “Thinking about others more than you think about yourself.” You probably misread that sentence. I’ll rephrase to make sure it hits home. If you timed the moments you thought about yourself and wrote that number down, and then timed the moments you thought (without anger and frustration) about others and wrote that down – which number would be larger? If you can up your consideration of others, I believe you’ll find yourself more able to deal with your own issues as well. It has definitely helped me.

I pray these words have encouraged you with some action points to help you navigate the swarms of information and emotion that you are facing in your life. I also pray that as you have read, you have seen the relevance of the Bible on this topic; not as quippy one-line scriptures that are band-aids, but deep, tried and tested truths. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit that only comes through having a relationship with God, I believe we can live free in our minds. But it requires action to be taken when in the areas of vulnerability, community, directed desperation, grace, kindness, generosity, humility and self-control.

Sounds like a lot? It is. But in a relationship with God, you can grow in all of these areas at the same time. If you would like to know the very author of your life – click on the link below to find out more.

Why do they shoot people?

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Violence. Nothing jars the senses, affects development or instills fear quite like it. It is a visceral shock to the system that can shake us to the very core of reality. But its root is way deeper than the physical. When looking at the chaos of the world, my desire is to diagnose its issue and treat the pain – we all want to fix things. On a very basic level, we all agree violence is not beneficial. But we also have a threshold – a limit that when breached will spill over into physical destruction.

As an imperfect human being, I need to consider my own vulnerability to being violent. It is not the denial of your capacity to do harm, but in your awareness of it that you can truly be responsible. Think of it: those who have been deadened to the effect of violence are the most dangerous. It’s only in ones’ self-consciousness – your understanding of your power – that you truly can confidently stand for peace in this world.

From horrific acts of terror to the senseless mass shootings, the world is more and more aware that something is wrong. Some blame gun regulations (I’m amazed this is still an unresolved issue), some blame neglect, some blame bullying, some blame violent video games, some blame mental illness. I believe these are all factors of a bigger picture. All of these elements play into each other. It’s the amalgamation of the failings of our cultures as a whole and the specific results of very personal situations.

The rise in violence in video games and films has in many instances been blamed as a ‘gateway’ into real violence (I remember when the same was said about crime when Grand Theft Auto came out as well). I have heard some respond to this view with a different opinion: If someone was prone to violence already, would a virtual world that permits such action not placate rather than aggravate the player? But I would argue that instead of being the cause of violence or the ‘pacifier’ of violent intent, vicious entertainment is merely a symptom of a way deeper issue: the desire for power.

We are all made with desires in our lives that are meant to be met – first by God and then by our communities. According to the author Mike Bickle, these desires are pure, they are in no way wrong or to be ashamed of:

  1. Intimacy without shame (knowing and being known)
  2. Greatness (power)
  3. Legacy (lasting impact)
  4. Joy (fun)
  5. Fascination (the wow factor)
  6. Beauty (adoration)
  7. Wholeheartedness (fully alive)

The problem, however, comes when these foundational desires are not met in our situations. If we do not turn to God and allow Him to meet those needs and find them within the culture or community that we are in, then the desires are twisted and corrupted in many different ways.

I believe violence is a deformation of that very desire for greatness. It is an internal malfunctioning of the desire to be recognised as powerful and important. As a result I am in no way surprised that young men are more prone to being violent. The world has become more and more female-centric – especially in popular culture. This is partly because of the lack of fathers in the family unit (just under two-thirds of young people in South Africa don’t know their fathers). But modern movements such as #menaretrash and extreme-left feminism have also not helped the notion either. In the dis-empowerment of men in culture, the over-babying of boys with dominant mothers and a lack of affirmation for young men outside of the sports arena – there is an angst that could give rise to violence (as well as many other disorders such as pornography, dangerous levels of depression and loneliness).

If you could humour the analogy of a dog. If a dog is not ‘socialised’ it is violent towards others. The isolation results in a fear of connection that immediately results in aggression. Now young men are way more than dogs, but they have the same problem. In a world lacking in authentic relational connections, the likelihood of young people ‘acting out’ wildly is understandable.

But just because something is understandable, does not mean it’s excusable. My hope in writing this perspective is for people to understand that violence is never just reserved for those who should be labelled ‘evil’ and forgotten about in dark cells. They are human beings with broken worldviews – catered to by many factors. And as a whole, these factors have in some ways validated violence in society (video games, sports), and then turns on those who take it too far. These double standards create confusion that results in shame and self-degradation and once again, the corruption of pure desires occurs all over again to compensate.

So in conclusion, I would encourage you as a reader to first identify your own faults – look at your desires and how they have been tainted into broken tendencies. And in so doing, seek to understand and redeem the purity of those desires – fulfilled in a wholesome, constructive way. God is the ultimate answer to every desire of your heart – and He promises to meet them in this life, and the life to come. To find out more about how you relate with him, click on the link below.

What does Kanye actually do on a Sunday?

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In the last year, Kanye West has taken the pop culture world by storm. Launching in the clear-skied countryside of Coachella on Easter Sunday, he has established what is simply known as ‘Sunday Service’. It is a weekly gathering of select individuals, with incredibly brilliant music, distinct styling, preaching and a sense of secretism that has raised many questions as to what the gathering truly is.

Culturally, Kanye has drawn from religion throughout his career. But this is a new level of ‘interesting’ for the artist – mainly because the gatherings are not made public. Every member has to sign a non-disclosure agreement to not speak to the press. Cell-phone videos are the only medium in which the spectacle is broadcast to the world. And elements such as the ‘uniforms’ worn by the congregants and the elitism somewhat fostered by the celebrities who are invited seem to hint towards some hybrid version of a cult.

There are many things that could be said about these gatherings, but I thought I’d post some personal observations that I believe worth considering:

  1. A standard for spiritual community is being modelled on a massive scale

As a pastor myself, I do find this is positive in the simplest of ways. Many who have never considered church or religiosity are seeing their cultural ‘idols’ gather and sing hymns. And incredible, beautiful versions of them at that. Sia’s adaptation of ‘Elastic Heart’ in one of the services online is incredibly striking. If anything, planting the question, “Why do they meet?” opens up avenues to explain and support the idea of church in community.

2. Whether genuine or not, the influence of the Gospel music style has had a distinct impact on pop culture

Kanye is an artist in the truest sense of the word – he sees everything as an avenue to express. Church is no exception – whether out of genuine faith or cultural reference. Kanye grew up in church and he has expressed a desire to go ‘back to his roots’ on multiple occasions. I know that he has also attended many popular pentecostal churches such as Rich Wilkerson Jr’s Vous Church in Miami, as well as Zoe church and Hillsong Church in LA. Whether he has conceptually borrowed from these modern church expressions or genuinely begun his own church is not clear, but that simply begs the question, “what difference does it make?” If you truly question how it changes anyones’ perspective on faith, I see many Christians condemning something that in no way threatens their own personal relationship with God. If anything, Kanye is validating the notion of gathering together to sing and worship – with ‘healing effect’ as he has expressed.

3. There are some differences between church and what Kanye is doing – it is important to recognise

Firstly, the church of Jesus Christ is not and should never be exclusive, elitist or secretive. This is where Kanye’s Sunday Service veers off – as it is not a community that is local. The message of the Church is centrally based on Jesus Christ, whereas Kanye’s services are more broad with vaguer references to spirituality. His wife, Kim Kardashian West, has emphasised that there is no direct preaching – just music – which is both a relief and a concern. It is first a relief because it clarifies that there is no attempt to manipulate through agenda’s directly. However, the concern is that this format of ‘service’ would replace the intended idea of church – where people not only sing together, but are taught the word of God, admonished, held accountable, challenged, healed and empowered in their personal relationships with God.

In saying these things I hope that I can broaden your opinions on what Kanye is doing. There are both pro’s and cons that could weigh on peoples’ thoughts. Jesus taught us to pray for God’s Kingdom to come ‘on earth, as it is in heaven’ and a very practical way that this is shown in modern times is the singing multitudes in heaven. I cannot deny that there is a rousing beauty to West’s Sunday Service music. But I believe there is a bigger picture – a true community where people can find healing, hope, belonging and purpose. And that is not on a ranch in Calabasas, but rather a few streets away at your local church. If you want to know more about Jesus Christ and how he can change your life through intimate relationship, click on the link below.

Why are millennials leaving the church?

Throughout history, the church has taken many forms. Recent studies have shown that the millennials have been leaving the church in a broad spectrum for the past decade at least. I believe this ‘mass exodus’ has a lot more to do with the format of the church than the faith of the individuals themselves.

Figuring out your identity

In growing up, millennials have discovered that their upbringing is not the only perspective the world has. The level of awareness in our generations is at an all-time high. This can result in a loss of trust in the context in which a millennial has been raised. So, in an effort to formulate their own opinions, adopt their own worldview and make sure that the reason for going to church is authentic, someone may end up leaving the local church they have been a part of for a while. To those who are considering this, I would encourage you to not throw out the baby with the bath water. Any ministry worth it’s weight should be open to questions – and in processing your beliefs and struggles with local leaders in your church I believe you’ll be in a better position to confidently assess the situation.

Leadership Issues

There are two sides to this one. Firstly – millennials are not the most submissive, honoring bunch of people. In a post-truth society and in one of the most un-fathered times, I have found that young people struggle more than ever to truly understand authority. Submitting under authority is a lost art, the lack of which can develop into a crippling sense of entitlement. Secondly, leadership in church is crucial. Granted, there are sometimes valid reasons why one would leave because of a leader’s conduct or doctrine. As a church leader myself; I would, however, beg everyone to take the time to address any issue like this up-front in an honoring and honest way. I recently had a young member come to me with an issue regarding our stance on grace. His assumptions were very wrong and I was able to show him that we were addressing certain things privately and that we would not announce a “blanket-statement” of judgement over people we don’t know. Just because you don’t see something happening publicly doesn’t mean that the full five fold ministry is not at work in your church. I would advise you to take the time to compose yourself; give your leaders the benefit of the doubt and always ask with the intent to understand, not criticize.

Authentic Personal Faith

Sitting in McDonald’s doesn’t make you a hamburger. In the same way, going to church does not make you a true follower of Christ. If you don’t have a personal, authentic and communal relationship with the Holy Spirit, then everything the church does will be empty, religious ritual. You can grow up attending church every Sunday but have no true revelation of the power of worship, prayer, communion or connecting midweek. Growing up there was a stage where I despised my parents’ commitment to the church. It was only when I had a personal, life-shifting encounter with Jesus that the church began to make sense to me. And when it makes sense – MAN! – it’s the most relevant place for your soul and for your world. Jesus himself said that he will build his church. He was not speaking of a physical building – he was speaking about people gathering. His desire is that he can build you up too. He wants to give you faith and hope for your own life, for you to find purpose in the atmosphere of a church where there are people that love you and love God as well. The church is only as relevant as the individuals are. The church needs you. I pray you find the power of local community. If you have read this and have a desire to discuss this further or perhaps want to be connected to a community of believers like those I have described, connect with us by clicking the button below.

The pitch-fork and flames: Is it real?

One of the most common fears people have is death. For me it was a subject I steered clear of for a very long time. In many ways, our generation has taken on the motto ‘You Only Live Once’ and as much as I agree with valuing life, once you encounter the death of a loved one you will inevitably be faced with the question: what happens after death?

The first thing to be clear on is that none of us can definitively know what will happen. There have been some powerful back-to-life stories that I believe are legitimate, but even those are not conclusive.

The Bible has some really interesting things to say about it. Many have expounded on the idea of heaven and hell – and some of it is adopted from other beliefs. For example, Greek mythology introduced Elysium and Hades as concepts that even Jesus refers to. But the pitch-fork and flames are not necessarily scriptural. Nevertheless, here are some fundamentals to get you thinking (If you want to read up on it, I am drawing from Paul’s letter to Corinth – 1 Corinthians 15 – and what Jesus said in Matthew 24:31-41):

1. Death is inevitable but not final

Jesus will come back. And when he does everyone who died will be raised. Some worry about being cremated as a result, but I believe God is powerful enough to reassemble all the particles of one’s being. And if someone did die in a fire, he would never naturally condemn their soul to hell as a result.

2. There are two kinds of death

There is a physical “death” which Jesus and Paul refer to as “sleeping”. It’s basically an extended time where your physical body is at an end but your soul is still sleeping. That’s why Jesus did not worry about the daughter of the synagogue leader and said, “she is only sleeping”. The second death is more serious. This is spiritual death, which is born from the rejection of God – and would be tied to hell. It is clear that everyone’s spirit will continue to live after physical death. But we will either exist with God, or in the absence of Him. And if God is the nature of love and everything good, then those outside of His presence will experience the opposite: pain, anguish, regret and loneliness.

3. There will be a day of judgement

Now I believe many preachers have exploited or overemphasized this to manipulate people. But we cannot shy away from the fact that when Jesus does come to earth again and we are raised back to life – he will judge ALL people. And those who He knows He will welcome into His Kingdom. Those He does not know, He will send away from His Kingdom.

But before you get caught up in fear or start trying to figure out who will go where…. before you start thinking about whether this is a fair sentence, whether those who died before Jesus have a chance or if those who didn’t accept Jesus ‘deserve’ a second chance – you need to remember one thing: ONLY Jesus is the judge. And the only thing you can do is make sure of is that YOU are in right relationship with Him.

So in conclusion, I would encourage you to consider your own life. Do you have an authentic, vibrant relationship with the person Jesus? God is not some force in the sky; He has a character, thoughts and emotions – and He is deeply invested and interested in you specifically. Just being in church doesn’t give you this kind of intimacy. You need to surrender your life to Jesus – who rose from the dead before all of us and is alive and at work today. If you would like to meet him, click the link below to find out more.

Death is not the end

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Death is not a word we like to associate ourselves with. Many of us have been touched by it directly or indirectly. No matter how much dying is part of living, it never feels right. It always affects us. And the question that must be asked is, “why?”

I believe the reason is that we were never made to experience death. In the Bible we believe that God created us without death in mind – that man (and woman) could do life with him forever. But when we stepped away from Him, we in essence cut off our sustainable life-source, and death entered reality.

That is why we are always surprised at the emotions we face when death touches our lives. Eternity was placed within our hearts, but we have to navigate this world having lost the presence of those we love, need or even hated.

But death is not the end. It is only the end of a chapter in an endless masterpiece that’s unfolding.

Does that mean we don’t have to worry? On the contrary – what you do now while you live is even more important! It is in the short window of time that you have been given the gift of choice and the gift of influence.

What legacy will you leave when you graduate beyond time? How will people remember you? How will the world be better?

What you decide now will have eternal consequences – for you, for those you love and beyond. Your legacy is connected both to how you live and the inevitable fact that you will die. But death is by no means the end – the Bible tells us that beyond time there is an eternity that awaits every soul. It is just up to us whether we will spend that eternity with God in heaven, or without him in a place of great suffering.

God wants us to spend forever with Him, and so he sent his only son – Jesus to die on the cross and take the consequence of sin upon himself. But Jesus not only died in our place, He rose from that death so that he could reconcile us with God for eternity. God gave up everything for you to know Him – all you need to do is receive what He has done for you. If you would like to find out how you can receive this eternal gift – click on the link below.

Middle of the Night

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Are you currently struggling to fall asleep?

In the middle of the night you can find yourself restless. Whether you’re wrestling with indecision, unable to reconcile the realities you’re facing or finding it difficult to switch off from events that you’ve had to endure; I first want to let you know that you are not alone.

Many of us find ourselves isolated in our own thoughts and stuck in real-time darkness as we wait for rest to somehow arrive.

Whether it has been because I drank too much coffee, or been through a traumatic breakup – the reasons don’t matter – I’ve had to endure confronting one of the scariest and most crucial people I’ve ever had to deal with: myself.

Right now – as your searching online for some sort of release, I want to encourage you that you are seen, known and loved in this very moment. Whatever is going on, don’t believe the lie that you’re isolated or forgotten.

Jesus went through sleepless anguish himself – as his closest friends ignorantly fell asleep, he dealt with the anguish and pain of all of humanity. To the point of tears and sweating blood, he endured the hardest and darkest of all nights. The God of all of Heaven and Earth stared all your restlessness, your fears and the consequences of sin in the face – and in a sleepless night he chose to take all of that from you and me, being arrested and beaten before finally dying the death we all fear – so that we can have freedom.

I will forever be grateful for what Jesus did – because in the sleepless, restless moments I can remember the freedom He died for. Jesus promised this freedom when he said, “all you who are tired, come to me and I will give you rest.”

The good news is that He wants to do the same for you. Jesus died to give all who believe in Him freedom. Let Him show you that freedom today by choosing Him. Please contact us for any prayer requests or if you just need someone to talk to.

Cross Equals Love

Thesedays the cross is one of the most recognized pieces of iconography in the world. From church steeples to rappers’ chests – the cross is an everyday occurrence that many see as archaic or irrelevant. It may be a simple perpendicular crossing of two lines, but it means way more than many other complicated things.

To some it speaks of the Illuminati, to some it means tradition and religion; to some it means the oppression of their people, and to others it means safety and nostalgia. Some will declare it’s their protection, while others will find it a silly ornament that represents an archaic belief system.

And to be honest – all of those people have lost the true power of what the cross is.

The cross is not an ornament. It is by no means in itself a saving power. It is not a great fashion choice, or a demarcation of a certain religion either. The cross was simply this: a torture rack for the worst criminals in the Roman Empire. It was two crude pieces of jagged scrap wood joined together and erected on the highway entrances of cities. Thieves, murderers and anarchists would be tied on these racks as examples – warnings of what would happen to you if you disobeyed Roman law and subjected to a very slow, painful and public death.

As their limbs slowly stretched out of their sockets, their bodies stripped naked, while wild animals would come and tear at their flesh. Crows would peck at their eyes. They would not be able to defend their nakedness. It would be brutal and a horrible sight to witness – as they would fight for hours to lift their splinter-ridden bodies to inhale one more breath. Eventually they would die of suffocation and be buried in dishonor.

When Jesus was crucified (it is documented in Roman records), the Jewish people were familiar with crucifixions. And the cross was a sign of the terrible oppression of their nation. It was a horrible reality of the cruelty of Caesar and their inferiority and inability to be free. It offended their laws and their senses. No one would want their child to see that horror.

And then Jesus – a man that the Roman governor could find no fault in – was subjected to this kind of death. But it was worse. Jesus was beaten with sticks, whipped with a whip that had shards of animal bone in that literally tore flesh from him. Fistfuls of his beard was ripped out. People spat at him. Then, bleeding profusely, he was made to carry a NEW cross through the city and up onto a hill – on the side of a highway – to be made a public spectacle of.

He was meant to be a declaration of absolute shame – a billboard for disobedience. But they had no idea that they were publicly declaring a very different message to the whole of mankind. Yes – the cross was a public declaration of the ultimate shame. Instead of simply tying him onto the cross, they nailed his hands and feet – making it near impossible for him to push himself up to take a breath. And ultimately – after three hours of driving his body-weight into the nail that bored through his feet – his heart burst and he died. But it was the declaration of all declarations because that was the last time shame could freely have its way on a person. Jesus was deemed innocent, but died on what would be considered the worst form of capital punishment at the time. It was the ‘electric chair’ of the age – a harrowing, way more explicit way to die.

And yet that horrible, dirty, oppressive sign of malicious control and oppression became the ultimate expression of love.

Jesus knew what he was walking into. He would have passed the cross on his way into Jerusalem a few days before. But he chose all the pain, the beating, the shame and the brokenness; in fact, he chose more – all oppression and depression, anxiety and bitterness and every form of sin – laid upon him. He, the innocent, took all of that on himself so that we could find freedom by simply choosing to believe that He did it for us.

For YOU.

The greatest torture became the greatest love. The deepest shame became our greatest joy. The death of Jesus is an eternal symbol – a public declaration – that God gave all of himself so that we could know him personally and be free to live in the full power of His declaration. Click on the link below to find out more

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