Connect with us
Advertisement

Maintain Your Solid Front

Pastor Joseph Nkwatle
CHRISTIAN VIEW

“…Never for a moment quail from your antagonists. Your fearlessness will be to them a sure token of impending destruction, but to you it will be a sure token of salvation – a token coming from God.” Philippians 1:27-28 (Weymouth)


Many will agree with me that this time of the year churches are filled to almost capacity with people. Men and Women of God are on their toes to maximize the moment, and rightly so! It appears everyone is in a mood to influence God’s due season in their lives – to start the year with a blessing from God! In the last installment of this column I hinted a few things about priority, and many of us get it right when the year starts; somewhere along the way we lose focus because of this or that. Some are genuinely converted but with mountain pressure are utterly defeated – life is a battle!


In the above quote, the Philippians had had a hard battle. The church was located in the prison keeper’s home. It had come into being when Paul and Silas were imprisoned and God had set them free in a miraculous way that the keeper had turned to God and a church had been formed in his own home.

They had to put up a solid front or the enemy of mankind Satan would have absolutely overwhelmed them. The same is true today; Satan attacks everyone, good and the bad alike. He imprisons people and put chains of alcoholism, temptation, promiscuity, lying, deception, sickness, etc around them and he would not let them go.


A good number of these people who throng the churches during the opening month of the year, I believe they are genuine. They truly desire change and so respond positively to the message they receive from the pulpit, but like in any other endeavor one needs to put up a fight to maintain what they have received.

I desire that if and when you make a decision to follow Jesus the Christ be aware that, that decision is going to be challenged right, left, and center – maintain your solid front! The main perpetrator of these attacks and challenges is Satan disguising as friends, thoughts, and even family. Satan is not a gentleman, so there is no way to engage any form of softness for victory! It is apparent that life has been arranged in such a way that whatever you do not resist has a right to stay and James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” What you cannot confront you will not conquer!


WRONG THOUGHTS WILL COME TO YOUR MIND
Thoughts are so very powerful, the Bible in Proverbs say, as a man thinks so is he! Satan use thoughts to sponsor temptations into our lives. Temptations result in a decision being made and executed. Take note, having made a decision to be a disciple of Jesus the Christ does not exempt us from being tempted, but we must not yield to the temptation.

In 1Corinthians 10:13, the apostle Paul lets us know that, anytime when we are tempted, God always provides or opens a way of escape. The moment you make Jesus your Lord and savior, heaven declares that you are a new creation. This is fundamental to dealing with wrong thoughts when they come. Temptation thoughts undermine good decisions all the time.


Wrong thoughts come to us from outside as a force, one which the devil uses! As a matter of fact as one who has decided to follow Christ always remember that you are a new creation and the Bible says you have the mind of Christ (1Corinthians 2:16). This essentially mean by implication that as a disciple of Christ you do not manufacture these wrong thoughts.

Someone said, “You can’t stop birds from flying over your head, but you sure can stop them from building a nest there.” And they are right! We may not be able to stop these thoughts from coming to us because they are an outside force, but we can stop them from finding a foothold. Wrong thoughts should never gain mastery over us, Philippians 4:8 is a sure way to stop these thoughts from gaining dominion over us.


Thoughts of discouragement, hopelessness, fear, doubt, despair, jealousy, hate, gossip, malice, and lack of forgiveness should never take root our lives this year. Disassociate yourself from anyone who possess or harbor negativity, they will choke out your good intentions for this year. Keep a company of those who believes in your destiny. As you have begun this year by going to church, maintain that no matter the turbulences of this life – maintain your solid front!
Shalom!

Continue Reading

Columns

The Daring Dozen at Bari

8th December 2020
JEFF---Batswana-smoke-unit

Seventy-seven years ago, on the evening of December 2, 1943, the Germans launched a surprise air raid on allied shipping in the Italian port of Bari, which was then the key supply centre for the British 8th army’s advance in Italy.

The attack was spearheaded by 105 Junkers JU88 bombers under the overall command of the infamous Air Marshal Wolfram von Richthofen (who had initially achieved international notoriety during the Spanish Civil War for his aerial bombardment of Guernica). In a little over an hour the German aircraft succeeded in sinking 28 transport and cargo ships, while further inflicting massive damage to the harbour’s facilities, resulting in the port being effectively put out of action for two months.

Over two thousand ground personnel were killed during the raid, with the release of a secret supply of mustard gas aboard one of the destroyed ships contributing to the death toll, as well as subsequent military and civilian casualties. The extent of the later is a controversy due to the fact that the American and British governments subsequently covered up the presence of the gas for decades.

At least five Batswana were killed and seven critically wounded during the raid, with one of the wounded being miraculously rescued floating unconscious out to sea with a head wound. He had been given up for dead when he returned to his unit fourteen days later. The fatalities and casualties all occurred when the enemy hit an ammunition ship adjacent to where 24 Batswana members of the African Pioneer Corps (APC) 1979 Smoke Company where posted.

Thereafter, the dozen surviving members of the unit distinguished themselves for their efficiency in putting up and maintaining smokescreens in their sector, which was credited with saving additional shipping. For his personal heroism in rallying his men following the initial explosions Company Corporal Chitu Bakombi was awarded the British Empire Medal, while his superior officer, Lieutenant N.F. Moor was later given an M.B.E.

Continue Reading

Columns

A Strong Marriage Bond Needs Two

8th December 2020

Remember: bricks and cement are used to build a house, but mutual love, respect and companionship are used to build a HOME. And amongst His signs is this: He creates for you mates out of your own kind, so that you may find contentment (Sukoon) with them, and He engenders love and tenderness between you; in this behold, there are signs (messages) indeed for people who reflect and think (Quran 30:21).

This verse talks about contentment; this implies companionship, of their being together, sharing together, supporting one another and creating a home of peace. This verse also talks about love between them; this love is both physical and emotional. For love to exist it must be built on the foundation of a mutually supportive relationship guided by respect and tenderness. As the Quran says; ‘they are like garments for you, and you are garments for them (Quran 2:187)’. That means spouses should provide each other with comfort, intimacy and protection just as clothing protects, warms and dignifies the body.

In Islam marriage is considered an ‘ibaadah’, (an act of pleasing Allah) because it is about a commitment made to each other, that is built on mutual love, interdependence, integrity, trust, respect, companionship and harmony towards each other. It is about building of a home on an Islamic foundation in which peace and tranquillity reigns wherein your offspring are raised in an atmosphere conducive to a moral and upright upbringing so that when we all stand before Him (Allah) on that Promised Day, He will be pleased with them all.

Most marriages start out with great hopes and rosy dreams; spouses are truly committed to making their marriages work. However, as the pressures of life mount, many marriages change over time and it is quite common for some of them to run into problems and start to flounder as the reality of living with a spouse that does not meet with one’s pre-conceived ‘expectations’. However, with hard work and dedication, couples can keep their marriages strong and enjoyable. How is it done? What does it take to create a long-lasting, satisfying marriage?

Below are some of the points that have been taken from a marriage guidance article I read recently and adapted for this purposes.

POSITIVITY
Spouses should have far more positive than negative interactions. If there is too much negativity — criticizing, demanding, name-calling, holding grudges, etc. — the relationship will suffer. However, if there is never any negativity, it probably means that frustrations and grievances are not getting ‘air time’ and unresolved tension is accumulating inside one or both partners waiting to ‘explode’ one day.

“Let not some men among you laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor let some women laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames.” (49:11)

We all have our individual faults though we may not see them nor want to admit to them but we will easily identify them in others. The key is balance between the two extremes and being supportive of one another. To foster positivity in a marriage that help make them stable and happy, being affectionate, truly listening to each other, taking joy in each other’s achievements and being playful are just a few examples of positive interactions.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “The believers who show the most perfect faith are those who have the best character and the best of you are those who are best to their wives”

UNDERSTANDING

Another characteristic of happy marriages is empathy; understanding your spouses’ perspective by putting oneself in his or her shoes. By showing that understanding and identifying with your spouse is important for relationship satisfaction. Spouses are more likely to feel good about their marriage and if their partner expresses empathy towards them. Husbands and wives are more content in their relationships when they feel that their partners understand their thoughts and feelings.

Successful married couples grow with each other; it simply isn’t wise to put any person in charge of your happiness. You must be happy with yourself before anyone else can be.  You are responsible for your actions, your attitudes and your happiness. Your spouse just enhances those things in your life. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers.”

COMMITMENT

Successful marriages involve both spouses’ commitment to the relationship. The married couple should learn the art of compromise and this usually takes years. The largest parts of compromise are openness to the other’s point of view and good communication when differences arise.

When two people are truly dedicated to making their marriage work, despite the unavoidable challenges and obstacles that come, they are much more likely to have a relationship that lasts. Husbands and wives who only focus on themselves and their own desires are not as likely to find joy and satisfaction in their relationships.

ACCEPTANCE

Another basic need in a relationship is each partner wants to feel valued and respected. When people feel that their spouses truly accept them for who they are, they are usually more secure and confident in their relationships. Often, there is conflict in marriage because partners cannot accept the individual preferences of their spouses and try to demand change from one another. When one person tries to force change from another, he or she is usually met with resistance.

However, change is much more likely to occur when spouses respect differences and accept each other unconditionally. Basic acceptance is vital to a happy marriage. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “It is the generous (in character) who is good to women, and it is the wicked who insults them.”
“Overlook (any human faults) with gracious forgiveness.” (Quran 15:85)

COMPASSION, MUTUAL LOVE AND RESPECT

Other important components of successful marriages are love, compassion and respect for each other. The fact is, as time passes and life becomes increasingly complicated, the marriage is often stressed and suffers as a result. A happy and successful marriage is based on equality. When one or the other dominates strongly, intimacy is replaced by fear of displeasing.

It is all too easy for spouses to lose touch with each other and neglect the love and romance that once came so easily. It is vital that husbands and wives continue to cultivate love and respect for each other throughout their lives. If they do, it is highly likely that their relationships will remain happy and satisfying. Move beyond the fantasy and unrealistic expectations and realize that marriage is about making a conscious choice to love and care for your spouse-even when you do not feel like it.

Seldom can one love someone for whom we have no respect. This also means that we have to learn to overlook and forgive the mistakes of one’s partner. In other words write the good about your partner in stone and the bad in dust, so that when the wind comes it blows away the bad and only the good remains.

Paramount of all, marriage must be based on the teachings of the Noble Qur’an and the teachings and guidance of our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). To grow spiritually in your marriage requires that you learn to be less selfish and more loving, even during times of conflict. A marriage needs love, support, tolerance, honesty, respect, humility, realistic expectations and a sense of humour to be successful.

Continue Reading

Columns

Chronic Joblessness: How to Help Curtail it

30th November 2020
Motswana woman

The past week or two has been a mixed grill of briefs in so far as the national employment picture is concerned. BDC just injected a further P64 million in Kromberg & Schubert, the automotive cable manufacturer and exporter, to help keep it afloat in the face of the COVID-19-engendered global economic apocalypse. The financial lifeline, which follows an earlier P36 million way back in 2017, hopefully guarantees the jobs of 2500, maybe for another year or two.

It was also reported that a bulb manufacturing company, which is two years old and is youth-led, is making waves in Selibe Phikwe. Called Bulb Word, it is the only bulb manufacturing operation in Botswana and employs 60 people. The figure is not insignificant in a town that had 5000 jobs offloaded in one fell swoop when BCL closed shop in 2016 under seemingly contrived circumstances, so that as I write, two or three buyers have submitted bids to acquire and exhume it from its stage-managed grave.

This content is locked

Login To Unlock The Content!

Continue Reading
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!