Friday, September 24, 2021
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Nick Parker

The Real Cost Of Relationships.

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A loving relationship is something we all long for. Our desire is to have someone in our lives that sees us for who we really are and loves us unconditionally. In our society the term being ‘single’ implies that you are ‘in-between’ relationships and currently looking for a new one. Because, let’s be honest, no one really wants to be single and alone.

This is the exact reason why we are so consumed by the thought of finding “The One” and will often go to great lengths to achieve that ‘perfect’ relationship status. What really happens though when we finally meet that person? Is it all sunshine and roses for the rest of our lives? What happens if something changes?

Here’s a situation that may sound familiar; you meet someone, fall in love and tell all of your friends that this person is “The One”. They tick all the right boxes! You can’t imagine being with anyone else. Then suddenly, one day something changes. They change. They aren’t the same person you fell in love with anymore. Now what? You have just given up everything for this relationship and now it’s just over?

You lose all hope and confidence. You start seeing yourself as worthless. If that person no longer loves you then who will? You end up spiralling out of control and look for things to fill this new void in your life.

And, the question you find yourself left asking yourself; “Will I ever be loved again? Will I ever be happy?”

Well, if that’s your question, then I’m here to tell you that yes, there is hope and you will find love and happiness. In fact, it’s just around the corner.

How do I know? Well, I have seen it happen.

Here is Shannon’s story of how she found love and hope after heartbreak.

Shannon’s story may or may not be the same as yours, but there is one thing that we all have in common regardless of our individual stories. That being, Jesus is alive and He loves you.

He is the one who will restore you and no matter who you are or what you have done, He is always there. Unlike that partner who left you heartbroken, He will always be there with loving arms.

He is everything you could ever want and all you have to do to access this love is to have a relationship with Him.

If you have any questions about God or relationships, we would love to hear from you.

How HIV Saved Her Life

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Imagine finding out that your husband had cheated on you.  Then, you discover that not only was he unfaithful, but in the process he contracted HIV. Understandably you would be devastated with just knowing he’d been unfaithful, but to be issued a death sentence on top of that?  A consequence you suffer because of his betrayal.

This is Edengwa’s story.  She not only lost her husband to infidelity, but was given HIV in the process.

Now, what makes her story so powerful is that getting HIV ended up being one of the best things to ever have happen to her. It’s not often that you come across someone who celebrates being diagnosed with a life threatening disease, for obvious reasons. In fact, our response is often quite the opposite. We immediately think, “why me? What have I done to deserve this?”. Joy is the furthest thing from our minds, even more so in a scenario like this, where you received the illness through no fault of you own!

So what is it that made Edengwa so thankful for HIV?

Here’s her story

What makes Edengwa’s story so powerful isn’t that she is living with HIV, but rather that she has used her condition to help others. HIV has given her opportunities that she previously wouldn’t have had. She has taken a negative situation and turned it into something positive. She has found  purpose and joy in the most unlikely of places.

It is easy to be thankful when everything is going your way, but to still be thankful in the darkest of times is something very unique. How is it possible to have joy, even in hard times?

The secret is in knowing that even in those hard times, you are not alone and that there is still a plan for your life.

God is always with us, no matter where we go, no matter what situation we may find ourselves in. He loves us unconditionally and craves to have a relationship with us. That’s why we can be so thankful, because no matter what happens, we know he is by our side.

If you would like to find out more about God, or would just like to chat, please send us a message.

Is Changing The World Possible?

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In a world where the daily headlines read something like “10 die in terrorist attack” it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the feeling of helplessness. I mean, realistically, what can we do?

Well the truth is there probably isn’t much we can do to end world terrorism or the famine in Africa. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t do something. I think the problem we all have is that so often we want to change the world before we change our own community. We are so focused on the larger issues that we forget about the people in our lives. And because it is impossible to “change the world” we eventually lose hope and give up.

Not only does this have a negative impact on the world around us, but it also has a negative impact on ourselves, because we have lost the passion and desire to do something. I know this has happened to me before, where situations didn’t go as planned, and I ended up giving up on a project, instead of seeing it through.

The problem isn’t that we want to change the world, but rather the way in which we go about doing it. What we need to realize is that changing the world comes through helping our communities, one person at a time.

Here is an example of someone who identified a need and did everything is his power to help cater for it.

Just like the man in the video identified a need in his community, we too can identify needs in our community. What I love the most about this story is that even though the need seemed too great, he never lost hope because he knew he wasn’t doing it alone. Jesus has given us all gifts and talents that we can use to help those in and around our lives. You may not be able to open an orphanage, but you can still buy the homeless man around the corner supper. You see changing the world comes when we actually stand up and do something, no matter how big or small.

All we need to do is take that step of faith and just do it, I promise it will be worth it. God has equipped us, and he won’t let us fail. If we trust him and stand together we can make a difference in this broken world.

So make a choice to consciously make a difference in your world whether it be big or small.

If you would like to chat about how you can make a difference, or perhaps have some questions about God and faith, we would love to hear from you.

Are You A Slave Or Are You Free?

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Living in Africa, freedom is a word you often hear being thrown around. It seems as if everyone is either celebrating their own form of freedom, or protesting their lack of it. Come to think of it, Africa isn’t the only place where freedom is a hot topic, all you have to do is look north into France to see that freedom is something that we all seem to have a different opinion on.

With so many different levels or interpretations of freedom, what does it really mean to be free? And more importantly is true freedom even possible?

I honestly believe that you can only experience true freedom once you have first been a slave. The term “slave” doesn’t just refer to someone being kept against their will, it also refers to individuals who have something in their lives that control them. You could be a slave to social media, or perhaps a slave to fashion. Slavery isn’t as black and white as we seem to make it out to be, the only thing we do know, is that we are all slaves to something.

So if we are all slaves to something, then how would/could we ever experience true freedom?

If like me, this is a question you struggle with, this video may help you out.

The only way to ever experience freedom is to know the one who holds freedom in his hands. Jesus came and died so that we wouldn’t just have life, but a life of freedom. True freedom, that doesn’t come with any requirements other than that you love God with all your heart. So why live a life as a slave, when this gift of freedom and joy is available to us!

Make a choice to no longer live as a slave, but to rather walk in the freedom and grace that has freely been given to us, by a God who loves us so much that he sent his only son, Jesus, to die for us.

If you have any questions regarding this video, or would just like to chat, please send us a message on the link below. We would love to chat to you!

Was I Born Just To Die?

Everything in our lives that has a beginning, has an end.  It doesn’t matter what it is, whether it be the milk in your fridge, or the car you drive, everything at one point in time will cease to exist, including you and I. As scary as that may be though, from the day we were born, we were destined to die one day.

The scariest part of it all is that we don’t have any control over when our life starts and when it ends. By nature, as humans, that is hard to comprehend because being in control is something we long for. So if we don’t control our beginning or the end, what do we control?

Quite simply, we control what happens in between. We have the choice to live out this life in whichever way we see fit. What we do with our lives rest entirely with us. Now, I know some people might say that isn’t true because we are limited by the circumstances we are born into, but quite honestly I don’t believe that.  I believe that no matter who we are or where we were born, we have the potential to achieve anything.

There is a famous quote that says “with great power comes great responsibility”, but just because we have the choice to live our lives any way we want doesn’t mean we should. Our lives have been given to us, they are our responsibility and we need to make sure that we honor that responsibility by making the most of the time we have.

So, how do we know if what we are doing is fulfilling our purpose for living? This video might give you a clue.

The secret to living a life of purpose is to first know the person who gave us purpose. Jesus is the reason we live. He is the author of life. He knew us before we were even born.  Before we could even walk He knew the plans he had for our lives. The secret is to choose Him and His plan, even when the going gets tough and the world is calling us to live differently. There will always be forces pulling us in different directions, but the only way to truly guarantee that we make the most of this life is to live it for the one who gave us life.

The beauty in this is that when this life does come to the end,  we can rest in knowing that we lived a full and prosperous life.  That even though our bodies may be in the ground, we will be in eternity with a Father who loves us.

The choice is yours.  Don’t look back at your life with regret because it is never too late. Remember, it doesn’t matter how you started, but rather how you finish.

 If you would like to know more about Jesus, or would just like to chat, we would love to hear from you.

Will I ever be loved again?

Whenever we have been through a traumatic experience, whether it be the loss of a loved one or some form of physical abuse, we always end up asking ourselves the same question: will things ever be the same? All we long for is a sense of normality, for the situation to just disappear, and allow us to continue living our lives the way we did before.

I think often in the case of woman abuse, women inevitably end up asking themselves the question; will I ever be loved again?

But what seems like a silly question to someone who has never experienced some form of abuse is actually a question that cuts right to the core of someone who has.

As humans, all we fundamentally want is love. It is the core of our existence, it is what we live for, it is the very thing that gives us purpose and makes us pursue goals we never thought possible. So to be faced with the prospect of potentially never experiencing that again, must be immensely frightening.

But why would they feel this way, surely they must know that there are friends and family who love them unconditionally? Well when you have been forced into a traumatic experience, it changes your viewpoint on life. You start to see yourself and those around you differently, your head becomes filled with thoughts of “who would want me now that I am broken?” or perhaps “maybe I deserved it”. You may also start to believe that love itself is flawed and that there is no such thing as perfect love, because the love you have experienced comes with a price tag.

Although you may not currently know it, I am here to tell you that you are loved no matter who you are or what has happened to you. And I’m not referring to a love that comes with conditions, but rather a love that always sees the best in you. A love that looks past your downfalls and imperfections, and accepts you as you are. A love that sees you as the most beautifully, wonderfully created woman this world has ever seen.

You may not have heard of, or experienced this love before, but I promise you it’s out there. And how do I know its perfect? Because it comes directly from the source of love itself, God.

Jesus loves you no matter what has happened to you, no matter what has been spoken over you. He loves you the way you are, and He alone will be able to restore you. I know it might be hard to believe, but this love is real! It may be hard to see it right now, or to even fathom it, but just know that it is there and that you never have to be alone again.

His love will make you whole again and will exceed any form of restoration you may need. Just know that you are loved! And once you have a revelation of that love, you will never be the same again, no matter what happens.

If you are struggling with the concept of love, or have been affected by some form of abuse, we would love to chat to you and answer any questions you may have. Please send us a message on the link below, or follow the pop up window.

 

The Best Christmas Gift, And It’s Free!

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I can speak from experience when I say that whenever Christmas comes along, I never know what I am going to give to my family. The only thing that is guaranteed is that I am going to be spending money.  Spending money during Christmas is a given, no matter who you are, you are going to be spending money in the hope of buying that ‘perfect’ present. The sad thing is that we often end up spending money that we don’t even have.

A few years ago whilst working at a book store, this problem became quite apparent to me. On a daily basis people would come in and purchase books, as Christmas presents, but insisted on using their credit card and putting the amount on over a budget period. Now for those of you who may not know, the budget period refers to the ability to pay the outstanding amount off over a period of months, instead of having to pay it all up front.

But why? Why spend money you don’t have on a gift that will one day get old and eventually have no use?

I think that realistically there are two reasons for this, the first being the pressure that is put on us by the media and shops to buy the biggest and best gifts, but most importantly I think that it comes from a place of wanting to be valued, and in turn, loved.

For some strange reason we have this mindset that the more expensive the gift, the more the person receiving the gift will love us. Now I’m not saying that they don’t already love you, but rather, that we see our gift as a visual representation of our love. In some crazy way, we would rather be in debt and have the bank chasing us, than give what we may see as an insignificant or inexpensive gift.

But what if the greatest gift we could ever give didn’t have to cost us anything, what if we already had access to it?

This Christmas let’s not get it wrong, let’s not lose focus on what is important. It doesn’t matter what gift you give, or how much you spend. What really matters is that we love, not because of what we can get, but rather because we know what we have already been given.  We have been given an opportunity to love and be loved unconditionally by a God who made us and whose only desire is to have a relationship with us.

Love is the greatest gift anyone could ever receive, and it’s free! So this Christmas let’s embrace love, and more importantly, let’s embrace the one who first loved us, Jesus.

If you would like to know more about this love we are talking about, send us a message, or follow the pop up link below.

A Little Less Excess This Xmas

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Growing up there wasn’t much about the suburb I lived in that many people would shout about.  In fact, most of the time, when people asked where I stayed, the answer I gave was often met with a response not dissimilar to; “I’ve never heard of that place!”.  I didn’t take it personally because I knew that as far as suburbs go, we weren’t that special. Yet, at one point in the year, all that seemed to change. Every Christmas, without fail, people would flock from all around the city to come to my suburb!! But, why?

Well, it was only as I grew older that I discovered that there was a street in my neighbourhood where every single household put lights up on their home during the Christmas season.  This meant that the whole street would be closed at night to allow people to park their cars and walk from house to house to admire the display. People of all different age groups and walks of life would come for the experience. It was almost like a scene from a Hollywood movie!  Children running around, parents laughing, dogs barking etc.

Unfortunately though, just as with most good things, this neighbourhood tradition didn’t seem to last, where what started off as something that was created for the community, later became about the individual. Let me explain. The residents of the street got to a point where each year they wanted to ‘out do’ their fellow neighbour.  They would go out and spend a ton of money, buying the latest and brightest lights. Eventually it got to the point where it was just too expensive to maintain and before we knew it, houses on this street stopped participating. The very thing that used to bring families together during Christmas had now become the very thing that had torn them apart.

I kept wondering how it was possible that the residents had let it get to this point and then I realised that it was because they had lost their way.  They had forgotten why they had started doing it in the first place.

Here is a video that reminded me why Christmas is so special.

This Christmas let’s not get caught up in the hype of spending, but rather in the love of Jesus. Let’s focus more on knowing the true spirit of Christmas!

Let us not give out of excess, but rather out of what we already have.  Time, energy, love and compassion.

Christmas is a time to be with family and friends.  It’s a time to not only celebrate, but also to reflect on who Jesus is and what He has done for us. And, no matter what has happened this year, you are not alone. God is with you, and He is for you.

So, don’t be like those neighbours and loose sight of the true meaning of Christmas.  Make a choice to celebrate the birth of a Savior who loved you so much that He died for you.

If you can relate to the message of this blog and would like to know more, then scroll down and follow the pop up link.

Witchcraft, Jesus and Hip Hop

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It’s not often that you come across a video that really impacts you.  A video that seems to be so raw and heartfelt that it resonates right down to your core.  This is one of those videos.  I considered trying to explain the video in greater detail, but I honestly think that it would be better to let the video speak for itself.

I’ve been trying to wrap my head around what makes this video so powerful, but I keep coming back to the same conclusion. The video is REAL!  Now, I know you are thinking “DUH, obviously the video is real”, but what I mean is that this is a story about something that really happened to Anami.  It isn’t merely made up for our entertainment purposes, its actual events.

That’s what makes this video so powerful and yet at the same time so relevant as we can all relate to something that is real. We are constantly bombarded with that which is fake whether it be fake hair, fake eyebrows, fake body parts etc. So much so in fact, that when something real comes along, we grab onto it.

This video also reminds me that Jesus is real; He isn’t a fictional character that parents use to try and instil morals into their children.  He is a REAL man.  A man who came to earth and died so that we could have a relationship with God the Father. The proof of His reality is in Anami’s story.  Jesus literally rescued him, a man who, as he mentions in the video, didn’t even believe in God.

So why would Jesus save someone who didn’t even acknowledge his existence? The answer is quite simple.  He loves him.  Not for what he has done or achieved, but rather for who he is. All Jesus wants to do is have a relationship with us and there is nothing in this world that can change that.

Maybe you can relate to Anami’s story or perhaps you’re just sick of all that is fake in this world and are in search of something real. I can honestly say, search no more, because Jesus is as real as you can get.

All you need to do to have a relationship with Him is ask. If you don’t believe me, why not try this Jesus out for yourself? I promise you won’t be disappointed.

We Are All Addicted To Something

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Addiction, what’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word addiction? I bet it’s of someone who uses drugs, or perhaps someone who can’t live without alcohol. Well you wouldn’t be wrong in your assumption, yet these aren’t the only substances that people get addicted to. The truth is, we are all addicted to something.

Addiction doesn’t just affect those who are weak and vulnerable, it affects us all. Whether you are homeless, or a successful businessman, you are susceptible to addiction. Addiction takes many shapes and forms, the obvious substances we know of are drugs and alcohol, as I have already mentioned, but what about your cellphone, TV, or even the Internet? Is it possible to get addicted to those to?

Yes!

In fact it’s quite easy! How often do you go out for a meal and look around and see everyone sitting on their phones. It doesn’t matter who they are, or who they are with, their phone is the centre of attention. Maybe it’s not technology, maybe it’s sport? I know a few people who would rather miss the birth of their child than miss their favourite soccer teams game, I know that may sound extreme, but it’s the truth. We are all addicted to something; an addict is an addict no matter the substance.

But is that it, are we doomed to be addicts our whole lives? And what’s wrong with being an addict if it doesn’t hurt anyone?

The problem is that addiction IS hurting someone… YOU!

We become addicted to substances because there is a lack in our lives, we use these substances to fill the void. They become our crutch and eventually we can’t live without them. But the problem is that no matter how much we take, that substance will never be able to fill the gaping hole that we have. Just like a square won’t fit into a circle, these substances can’t fill that gap. In fact the more we use, the bigger that hole gets and the more in need we become.

But just like any hole, there is always something that can be used to close it up. And in the case of us as humans, we were all made with this same shaped hole. It’s a hole that can only be filled by the love of God.

We can try our whole lives to fill it with “things” but we will only ever find true satisfaction when we fill it with what it was designed for. Instead of giving life, addiction robs us of it, that’s why we need God, because HE gives us life!

So choose to search after him, become addicted to finding out his heart and plan for your life. Jesus doesn’t see you as an addict, but rather as a Son and Daughter, whom he loves and wants to have a relationship with. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, and I know it’s a journey, but you don’t have to walk it alone. Know that there is hope and freedom, and that it’s fully available to you, in Jesus.

If you are struggling with any form of addiction and would like someone to chat to, we would love to hear from you.

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