Goodnight Neyi Zimu
Today 10/12/19, it was the official renaming of the New Germiston Theatre. Executive mayor of the City of Ekurhuleni and ANC Ekurhuleni regional chairperson Mzwandile Masina and the speaker of Council Alderman Patricia Khumalo have laid wreaths at the tree of remembrance to commemorate the lives of councillors who passed away while serving the city. At the funeral of the late Dumi Masilela the Ekurhuleni Municipality had made a commitment a year and half to Name the new Germiston Theatre in honour of the late actor.
The Rhythm City Star, who was killed in August 2017,was born and raise in the East Rand Ekurhuleni.
I had an opportunity to attend this event as I was representing Pastor Thembi Hlophe and made sure I pass my message of condolences to Dumi’s mom and family.
It felt like a memorial service the mood was very sad.
I also met his fellow actors buddies an actor that many identify as Suffocate from Rhythm City also met Clement Maosa actor Zamokuhle Seakamela in the SABC1 soap opera, Skeem Saam, who was with Dumi Masilela’s mom at the time,
The popular gospel star and pastor succumbed to his illness last night on Wednesday 04 December 2019 at Busamed Modderfontein Private Hospital.
Pastor Neyi Zimu had previously undergone chemotherapy at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital to treat mycosis
Speaking to the Sowetan, his wife, Dr Nelisiwe Zimu, said the disease had progressed quickly and they had to move forward with more intense treatments.
Before he could live his dream as Gospel Super Star for 10 years, Zimu was a sound engineer at the SABC. He then left his full-time job to pursue his passion and never looked back as he became self-employed and dedicating his time to music.
As I continue to pen this tribute to the Late Prophet Neyi Zimu born as Moses Gcinumuzi. He was raised in a small farm located in Sebokeng which is in the south of Johannesburg in 1970 .
As a child, he aspired to be a lawyer and a professional football player. Nevertheless, he started singing at six years and his musical career started in high school when he was discovered by a late friend.
Sharing the word of God through singing gave him great joy. He enjoyed reading the Bible, praying, and engaging in fellowship with other gospel artists, which has inspired and guided him in his everyday life. In One of his interview with the SABC, the songwriter said as a young child he had a vision of himself performing gospel and realizing his achievements as gospel singer was truly a dream come true.
His break through into the gospel industry started with the founding of Family Factory and Joyous Celebration, two Christian acts which have been at the forefront of establishing gospel music in South Africa.
On-going solo, the father of three said Joyous Celebration and Family Factory were large ensembles which threatened to swallow what he wanted to achieve.
Alongside esteemed pastor Benjamin Dube, Zimu collaborated and released projects with Joyous Celebration over a span of 23 years. He went solo in 2007 with his first album, Ena ke Nako.
This was followed up by several bestselling albums, including I Trust in you, The Waiting are Over, Friends in Praise and more recently, Friends in Praise Volume 2 and Best of Neyi Zimu which was released in 2019 but His Career highlights should not not be limited to the above but also his recognition for performing the powerful a hit songs namely Jehova retshepile wena, lamb of God and Nathela Ft. Neyi Zimu & Omega Khunou who towards the end of the late Zimu’s life was performing all the events that he was billed to perform.
While Zimu was fighting cancer.
In total, Zimu had nine albums which also featured legendary gospel artists, such as Rebecca Malope, Wendy Mseleku, Sibongile Khumalo, Vuyo Mokoena and Sipho Ngwenya last but not least Omega Khunou.
Devout pastor at All Nations Revival Ministries
In 2006, Zimu founded All Nations Revival Ministries in Midrand. As the lead pastor, he held regular sermons and spearheaded revival church projects which included charity causes, counselling, leading the worship team and mentoring young people.
He said being a pastor gave him a sense of belonging and the ability to be level-headed as his popularity grew.
Before his passing, fans in the Vaal were in the process of hosting a prayer session this coming Sunday
Open-ended questions are often just the thing to get family and friends talking, and we’ve seen first-hand how great conversations lead to deeper connection. We saw during the last moments of Pastor Neyi Zimu, all the concerts he was supposed to perform there was a time set ,dedicated for Pastor Neyi Zimu’s prayers that were lead by omega Khunou who would perform all Zimu’s hit songs as he was very sick in the Hospital. I saw how even the twitter family connected in prayer praying for his speedy healing. I want to believe Zimu is resting in heaven from all the pains he was in all this time.
Allow me to open my Soweto Marathon 42 km Experience with an opening paragraph of Charles Dickinson novel tale of two cities, mind you I already shared my photos and a video above for the race: It was the best of time, It was the worst of time, it was the age of wisdom, it was age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredibility.
Within a month after I participated in the Sanlam Cape town Marathon 42 Km, time was upon me to challenge the Soweto marathon, I have never two marathons which are this close before in my entire life for obvious reasons being I take six months to prepare for a 42 km marathon now when its two consecutive months it was a bit stain for me.
I had taken a break for the whole month after the Cape Town Marathon. I even forgot about the people’s marathon as Soweto Marathon is affectionately known. Primarily because the people from Soweto and whole over the country gather on this day and line up from the start at the FNB Stadium the whole 42 km passing through the historic Vilakazi street where South Africa Struggle heroes used to sat i.e. the late Former President Nelson Mandela and Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu back to the Stadium as the finish line supporting the participants or contenders of the Race.
Only a week left I got a call from my brother Musa Sigudla who has also joined Eskom Athletics Club that in a weeks time we will be challenging Soweto Marathon,it downed to I have to start training preparing for the race however I was not fazed since I was fit after my previous marathon.
I thereby started training right away there by formulating an emergency running plan that was obviously different form my normally three days 20 km per day run to five days straight 20 km per day run. I had never done it before but my fitness level was promising and I was very convenient and especially after the whole month rest.
I went on with scheduled training untilthe big day Sunday the 3rd November 2019 time 05:30 .
As I started the marathon by seeding platform met new faces contenders of the same race that came from different provinces and different clubs of the country even elite runners from Africa and the rest of the world where available most likely at seeding A .we eventually got time extension of 15 minutes due to technical reasons. It gave us time to socialize and sharing all different aspects pertaining our origin to the training programs we follow and other wise the mood was very high as the organizers played different hit song which one of the most played was the famous Club Controller until before the race officially started the national Anthem was sung.
The start after the gun was not so much exciting as it was over crowded and I ended up waking the first kilometer however as time went by I managed to start running with my average pace 5 until 21 km and I had an injury. As I rested I realized a differently able person supporting the runners having South African Flag. There and there I stopped further two members of the Eskom Athletics club we stopped for total of 14 minutes socializing with this young man and taking pictures and finding out how is his over all state of health that he shared with us and he had the feeling of importance as we appreciated his affords and we where his guests. The pictures can explain further as his face was filled with excitement and hope as he now feels like he was belonging to the Eskom guardians Family. We even went as much as hoe the late former President Mandela made it possible to open ways for even disabled people to now get grants to make the state of living affordable.
I continued with my race after I changed my running shoes it took me another 14 minutes to change my running timing chip from the shoes I was using of the brand Nike to another shoes which are lighter and the brand was Adidas I had conquered a lot of hills with the former pair of shoes hence I got and injury and I could only run an average pace of 11 as I was nursing the injury. And the other challenge was the sun was very hot but the water spots that are set up every 5km made the heat bearable. Again at the end of Vilakazi street I had to continue running on hill tops tha made my Average pace to increase to 11 km I even met one radio station the christian radio station radio pulpit and happen to know the presenter Pastor Jack Motswetla who I stopped to greet and even afforded me time to share words of encouragement with fellow runners and the radio air ways.i continued with a much renewed spirit as I got a chance to fellowship.
As I continued with my race I got encouragement from the crowd now shouting Eskom you can make it, you are almost there. I went back to the average pace of 9 until the end of my race.
However when I got to the last five km I met my brother who was also running at his practiced pace and joined me up to the finish line.As we entered the FNB Stadium to reach the finish line I started a video to record and capture the finishing moments as they are extremely fun as I anticipated the crowd to shout Eskom again of which they did. As I approach the finish line the crowd shouted Eskom well done and I appreciated them by shouting back thank you South Africa.as we continue to run towards the last steps into the finish line the SABC commentator also started cheering us up on the speaker and said we have backwards runners wow as we came to the cross still shouting thank you to the crowd and the feeling was exhilarating, I never had such fun as I was with my little brother who was equally excited.
To share few live tweets I participated in whist running the race,
This brings me to the end of my experience thanks for reading this my experience of the 2019 Soweto marathon 42 km.
I really enjoyed it! First the race was flat followed by a down hill then and up hill then going through the historic Vilakazi street where the struggle icon former South African President Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu resided in the township. Lots of entertainment – brass bands/samba bands/metal even the people of Soweto where out in numbers to offer support to the runners !! Such a well organized event to Enjoy!
#Sowetomarathon2019 we ready
This race It was special before the race I got a good luck from athletics executive :
Wishing all participants at the
a good race at the #PeoplesRace today
and have #FunDay as
described this iconic event on
The race started at 05:30 https://twitter.com/billysigudla/status/1190833340737294336/photo/1
As I was running my Soweto Marathon 42km, I saw a paralytic by the name Siphiwe xaba by the side of the road supporting the participants I stopped the Eskom Gijimas bus to appreciate him and we took pictures with him, he did appreciate even Eskom on twitter did appreciate our efforts see https://twitter.com/Eskom_SA/status/1190880781348089856
#sowetomarathon2019 was a wonder , look how I enjoyed running with my brother this was our first marathon together and he has officially joined
is a brand to be reckoned with. I am happy to be a guardian. https://twitter.com/billysigudla/status/1190986565926957056
I just went back and thought how challenging
so at least there are some who have installed smart metres.
I then posted the video of my finish on twitter and it is now trending it can be viewd on this link https://twitter.com/billysigudla1/status/1191191951082688512This is a finish in style,I recorded it live on twitter,what fun race we are
brand was in good hands during #SowetoMarathon
people kept on rooting for Eskom U even heard other clubs jealous,I enjoyed the people’s race
time for work
Thanks for taking time to read this post.
Siphiwe Billy Sigudla
I attended the Umusa National Tour Bloemfontein Version at the Empowerment Ministries International Auditorium, 10 Rhodes Avenue Oranjesig Bloemfontein, Free State. on Tuesday 24th of September 2019.
The anointed concert started at 15:00pm to the enjoyment of the huge audience that had been waiting for this amazing gospel music extravaganza. The Umusa National Tour concerts always offer magnificent praise and worship platform for everyone and the audience in this concert was expectant to derive such praise and or more to which this time around it included healing ministry by minister Lebo Sekgobela.
It was impressive to hear pieces composed by Lebo Sekgobela and the new gospel group worshippers unleashed which formed under her new artist search worshippers unleashed.
I cannot imagine combining something as complex as Hymns and worship same powerful hymns and current and praise songs, much less actually performing it, so this aspect of the concert was particularly awe-inspiring. The concert turned into a service as minister Lebo Sekgobelas was led by the holy spirit to deliver prophetic words to a few concert attendants which lead to a healing ministry after he requested those who were in need of prayers to come forward and she ministered to them as the holy spirit had covered the whole Empowerment Ministries International Auditorium at this point.
The main performance was by Minister Lebo Sekgobela and the worshippers unleashed which performed few songs that they are busy recording in studio for their much anticipated debut album.
Members of worshippers unleashed are Norma Ntatiso, Neo Tshabalala, Nompumelelo Mtsweni and Nonhlanhla Matlenga.
Minister Lebo Sekgobela opened the concert at 3:00 PM and gave the stage to worshippers unleashed who worshipped to later give way to Minister Lebo to continue to worshipping her combination of various songs from her current Album Hymns sand Worship and also from her previous albums and the hit song Lion Of Juda took centre stage as it is an anointed number until 10:00 PM. Minister Lebo performed songs from all of her records randomly.
Allow me to share a few posts from social media:
This was another of many tours dubbed Umusa National Tour since the project inception in 2016 which I managed to follow it closely documenting it’s progress in a form of reviews as part of the last show recently being: Umusa National Tour, was held on Friday, the 5th July 2019, in Secunda at Graceland Secunda. I am waiting in great anticipation for Minister Lebo Sekgobela to announced the date of the concert. I know few dates of the shows that Minister Lebo will be part of the lineup that is a total different set up altogether as Umusa National Tour project it is all her event more like one womanshow. I remember last year 2018 one session of her ministry tours In Witbank dubbed Emalahleni Total praise Minister Lebo Sekgobela had included other artists which it was fine but that meant I did not get to receive all the time focusing on her anointed ministry as the time tends to be too short to focus to other artists.
I normally summarize the experience of every race I attend from arriving at the location to pulling out of the lot. I have a good report regarding this particular race since I was running Under Eskom Athletics Club better known to fans as Eskom Gijimas,
I so wish this IAAF accredited Gold Marathon can achieve the Platinum status.
I was over whelmed by how highly the fans praised Eskom as I was wearing an Eskom Athletics club running kit. I am an employee of Eskom under National Operation Section and National Control Department which fall under System Operator business unit under Transmission division
The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon 42.2 km Race was held at Cape Town Start: Beach Road, corner of Granger Bay and Beach Road, Green Point, Cape Town
Finish: Vlei Road, Cape Town Stadium precinct, Green Point
Cut off time – Duration is 6 hours 30 minutes
On date: Sunday, 15th Sep 2019
Qualifying race for 2020 Old Mutual Two Oceans, Comrades Ultra-Marathons and several IAAF accredited marathons around the world
It was a good race I am glad I attended the race. I received a good feedback regarding Eskom as a brand as they kept on saying many good things about it from both fellow competitors and spectators who kept on shouting Eskom keep on moving especially after my 25 km run,I even forgot about the time ,reduced my pace & relaxed and greeted with a Sanlam hand shaker that I received from one elderly woman the well wishers. It gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling.
I feel good to be an Eskomite ,I will include my race time then share all important or more exclusive tweets rather that shares the overall experience of the event
The marathon was well organised and I find it easy to fit in even the organizers are friendly let me share few of the social media presentation from the event:
In conclusion let me share this :
Lebo_sekgobela@SekgobelaLeboMahikeng. Taba keo. I can’t wait to see you.
The Gospel Show that I attended last night on Friday 05 July 2019,The Umusa National Tour and Hymns and Worship Tour Secunda version performance pieces by Lebo Sekgobela and the discovered group Worshipers unleashed which was discovered by Minister Lebo Sekgobela which performed the songs of the debut Album they are recording the songs are composed by the group members themselves. The performance was held in Graceland Casino Arena. Worshipers unleashed got officially Launched in this event . Worshipers unleashed performance via Lebo”s Instagram :Worshipers unleashed performance
The was activities at Secunda and Mbalenhle local kasi/location prior to the show Concert flyers were distributed for Minister Lebo Sekgobela’s fans to get further information and also interact with their star, also for the audience to pick up as they entered. The Graceland Arena, and all the lights except the stage lights were dimmed. One performer talked briefly to the audience before a piece, but it was only to give background information for that piece. Aside from this, the lights got placed on towards the end of the show.
Follow @sekgobelalebo on her twitteraccount as all major performances are available
See you on next tour
Billy Sigudla Site editor
Family. I can’t wait to see you on Friday. Are you ready? I hope you have your tickets ready.
24 DAYS and counting. Secunda, are you ready? #UmusaNationalTour
Official countdown. We kick off the Umusa National Tour at Grace land Casino @GracelandCasino in Secunda. Durban and Cape Town, I haven’t forgotten about you. Ngiyeza.
I am feeling fulfilled after preparing for four months and completed the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon “Africa’s biggest running event & the world’s most beautiful marathon”
For the OMTOM 2019 PROVISIONAL RESULTS, go here: https://bit.ly/2GUFvSh
Ps Billy Sigudla
Ever since the days of camp meetings, Christians have thrived on intense periods of Bible teaching, worship, and prayer.Conferences aren’t just for pastors or church leaders, either. There are Christian conferences for moms, dads, women, men, Sunday School teachers, families, new Christians, old Christians, and medium Christians. Basically, there’s a Christian conference for anyone who is interested in deepening their relationship with Christ.
The Rhema Men’s Conference 2019
Nothing can separate us from Crazy Love of God
Look at the line up of the dynamic team that spoke at
The Rhema Mens Camp 2019 Pastor Lyndon Petersen
Pastor Molefe Tlhone
Pastor Gift Mululasi
Pastor Neville Van Wyk
Pastor Benjamin Peter
Our Host – Wayne Duval
The Rhema Men’s Camp 2019 Highlights :
Extract from one of our speakers @lynpetersen , #crazyloveofGod
The War Cry men having fun #crazyloveofGod
Men’s lives being touched by God #crazyloveofGod
Many first-time Bible readers are surprised to learn that the New Testament begins with a genealogy (Matthew 1:1-16), Jesus’ family tree. Those same readers are even more surprised when Rahab shows up on the list.
Most of us know about her. She is almost always mentioned by in the Bible as “Rahab the harlot.” But that’s not all. Rahab was also a Canaanite-who were the hated enemies of Israel. Her most exemplary deed was telling a lie. Think about that. A Harlot, a Canaanite and a liar. You wouldn’t think she would have much chance of making the list, but there she is.
You can read about Rahab in Joshua 2 and Joshua 6….
It’s a great story with many lessons, but we mustn’t miss the point that Rahab was a harlot. That was her “trade.” The men hid there because people would be accustomed to seeing strangers come and go at all hours of the night. We also can’t deny the fact that Rahab told a bald-faced lie. Is there anything good we can say about her? Yes! She was a woman of faith. You don’t have to take my word for it. Hebrews 11:31 says, “By faith Rahab …” She was a believer!
Many people are intimidated by Jesus Christ. They hook him up with a lot of religious paraphernalia-big sanctuaries, stained glass, beautiful choir, pipe organs, formal prayers, and all the rest. When they look at the trappings, it’s all very intimidating to them. To many in the world today, Jesus seems too good to be true.
This genealogy is in the Bible to let us know that he had a background a lot like yours and mine. He called himself “the friend of sinners,” and he said he didn’t come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. He said, “The Son of man has come to seek and to save that which is lost.” (Luke 19:10)
The same grace that Rahab experienced is now available to you. I invite you in Jesus’ name to come and be forgiven. He’s already made the first move. The next step is up to you.
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.
When the angel announced that Christ had been born, this was the message he delivered: “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! (Luke 2:10–11 NLT).
The Christian faith is a happy faith and a hopeful faith. We have hope in this life and in our relationship with the Lord, and we have hope for the afterlife. But this doesn’t mean that Christians are happy all the time or that we should walk around wearing fake smiles.
After all, Christians have moments of sadness, too. Christians even grapple with depression and other difficulties that everyone else deals with. We have hard times and setbacks, even if we are God’s children.
Being a Christian doesn’t mean that we’ll be exempt from facing a tragedy or a hardship. But what it does mean is that in the midst of our difficulties, we can experience happiness. It comes down to something the apostle Paul frequently referred to when he was writing to the believers in Philippi.
There are 16 references to the mind in Philippians, which tells us that the secret of Christian happiness is found in the way that we think, not in the way that we feel. So if we want to be happy, then we need to think properly.
Paul filled his heart and his mind with Jesus Christ. And why is that important? Because the way we think will affect how we live. For instance, we will walk in the direction that we’re looking. That’s why it’s hard to look over your shoulder and keep walking forward.
In the same way, when we’re looking to the Lord, we will walk in His direction. Every action starts with a thought. And what we think is what we’ll do
Now when the Phariss who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what kind of woman this is who is touching him – that she is a sinner. – Luke 7:39
Jesus had been invited to dinner at Simon’s, a Pharisee. A woman who had committed many sins serves and surrenders to Jesus by washing His feet. Jesus tells a parable about 2 people who have debts, one significantly larger than the other. We find out that the person with the larger forgiven debt will be more grateful. We see Simon and the woman mirrored in this parable. Because the woman’s faith is strong, she is forgiven and understands the magnitude of that forgiveness. Simon, however, does not understand. Just because someone is ‘good’ doesn’t mean that they understand the power and love of Jesus’s forgiveness. It’s not about living right or doing good, it’s about surrendering one’s self to Jesus, completely. Jesus recognizes devotion and love to Him, not good deeds. The law makes us conscious of our sin, it’s not a list of things we make sure we never do
We may not like having fleshly traits, but without the presence of sin, we wouldn’t experience God’s grace and goodness.
Have you ever wondered why God allowed Adam and Eve to sin? Since He’s all-powerful and all-knowing, He certainly was not surprised by their rebellion and could have stopped them from dragging the entire human race into sin and suffering. So why didn’t He?
Although we can’t fathom the inscrutable mind of God, Romans 5:20 of today’s passage gives us some insight: Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more. The presence of sin in the world is an opportunity for God to display who He really is—a being of endless and unconditional grace. In other words, sin and rebellion allow us to experience His graciousness towards us.
Angels stand in awe of the gospel—that’s because, as beings who never fail to do God’s bidding, they haven’t experienced His forgiveness or the undeserved favor we often take for granted (1 Pet. 1:12). Everything the Creator has done in His universe has been for the purpose of revealing His incomparable glory, majesty, and grace. And the crowning display is seen in His extension of love to sinful people like us. Of all His creatures, only fallen human beings can experience His amazing grace and the gift of salvation
Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.
From unfinished buildings to unfinished songs to unfinished books, a lot of us have started things that we haven’t finished. Yet God always finishes what He begins.
The Bible tells us that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6) and that Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2 NKJV). So if God starts something, He finishes it. Isn’t that great to know?
But also notice that verse 6 of Philippians 1 says that it’s He—not you—who has begun a good work. Sometimes we’ll tell ourselves things like, I want to be a good Christian. I’ll just read my Bible more and pray and try to be more kind. . . .
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to do those things. But we need to realize that it is God who is doing the work. It is God who will change us. So we need to ask for His help in our lives.
And God does, in fact, want to do a good work in our lives. Remember what Jeremiah 29:11 says: For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope(NKJV).
God has a great plan for your life, and it’s better than the plan that you have for your own life. So never be reluctant to commit an unknown future to a known God—and I might add, a loving God who has a good plan for your life.
Maybe you’ve tried to change your life on your own. You can’t do that any more than someone who’s drowning can save themselves. You need to call out to God for help. He will help you, and He will change you
Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad.
Experts say that worry and anxiety actually can cause deep depression. The Bible told us this long ago. Proverbs 12:25 says, Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad(verse 25 NKJV).
We might think that worry is somehow a virtue, but worry actually can be a sin because it’s a failure to trust God. Nothing touches the Christian that has not first passed through the loving hands of God.
Think of the prophet Daniel, a man of God. He faithfully delivered the word of God to kings, and no one intimidated him. But some who knew Daniel, other officials in the kingdom, were very jealous of him.
Because Daniel was such a man of integrity, they couldn’t find anything in his life to trip him up. So they decided the only way they could bring something against Daniel was to find something concerning him and his God.
They knew that Daniel had the habit of praying every day. So they convinced King Darius to sign a decree that no one could pray to anyone except the king for the next 30 days. And if someone disobeyed the decree, he would have them thrown into a den of lions.
Daniel, however, prayed as he always prayed, and immediately the authorities arrested him and threw them into a den of lions to be fed to them alive. King Darius, who liked Daniel, spent the entire night worrying. Meanwhile, Daniel slept like a baby in the lions’ den. And the next morning, the king gave the order to bring out Daniel, who was very much alive.
Psalm 127:2 says, God gives rest to his loved ones (NLT).
We can rest in the Lord, knowing that He is in control and at work in our lives
T⁶hen Peter called to him, ‘Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.’ ‘Yes, come,’ Jesus said. Matt14:28-29
Let’s give credit where credit is due. No one else volunteered to walk on water—not James, not John, and not any of the other disciples. But Peter did. So Jesus told him, Yes, come (Matthew 14:29 NLT).
What happened next? Matthew tells us that Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. Save me, Lord!’ he shouted (verses 29–30 NLT).
Peter sank because he was afraid and because he took his eyes off Jesus. When fear reigns, faith is driven away. Fear and faith don’t hang out together. Either faith will be there, or fear will be there. But when one walks in, the other walks out.
Sometimes we’re doing well, and then we look at the wind and waves in our lives, and we begin to sink. We check our email or social media, or we turn on the news, and it causes our hearts to panic.
Peter began to sink because he took his eyes off Jesus. And when take our eyes off Jesus, we’re going to sink as well. When we forget God’s promises to us, we’ll start to sink.
But then Peter called out to Jesus, and He immediately reached out and grabbed [Peter]. ‘You have so little faith,’ Jesus said. Why did you doubt me? (verse 31 NLT).
In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, I heard a doctor on the news say something that I’d never heard before: Courage uses the same pathways as fear.
When you’re facing the storms of life, you have a choice: either you can be afraid, which is easy, or you can be courageous while you keep your eyes on Jesus.
Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the Lord your God, who teaches you for your own good, who leads you in the way you should go. – Isaiah 48:17
Learning is an important part of life. I like learning new things but also learning from my mistakes or from the experience of others. I even see conflicts as a chance to learn new ways of solving problems and maturing in my relationships. However, many times I grumble and hold a grudge against God’s lessons, and that is because I do not always recognize them as such. God’s lessons are so important. God is our best, most dedicated, and loving teacher. He is always teaching us the most valuable lessons. First of all, how to be loving human beings in the way we are supposed to be. Then He teaches us how to love others with God’s love because ultimately it is love that will bring us to His Heavenly Kingdom. God’s lessons are precious, although sometimes difficult to understand at times. We need to remember that everything that is given unto us is for our own good and we shall benefit from it
The original thanksgiving celebration was held by the Pilgrim settlers in Massachusetts during their second winter in America in December, 1621. The first winter had killed 44 of the original 102 colonists. At one point their daily food ration was down to five kernels of corn apiece, but then an unexpected trading vessel arrived, swapping them beaver pelts for grain, providing for their severe need. The next summer’s crop brought hope, and Governor William Bradford decreed that December 13, 1621, be set aside as a day of feasting and prayer to show the gratitude of the colonists that they were still alive.
These Pilgrims, seeking religious freedom and opportunity in America, gave thanks to God for His provision for them in helping them find 20 acres of cleared land, for the fact that there were no hostile Native Americans in that area, for their newfound religious freedom, and for God’s provision of an interpreter to the Native Americans in Squanto. Along with the feasting and games involving the colonists and more than 80 Native Americans (who added to the feast by bringing wild turkeys and venison), prayers, sermons, and songs of praise were important in the celebration. Three days were spent in feasting and prayer.
From that time forward, Thanksgiving has been celebrated as a day to give thanks to God for His gracious and sufficient provision. President Abraham Lincoln officially set aside the last Thursday of November, in 1863, “as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father.” In 1941, Congress ruled that after 1941, the fourth Thursday of November be observed as Thanksgiving Day and be a legal holiday.
Scripturally, we find things related to the issue of thanksgiving nearly from cover to cover. Individuals offered up sacrifices out of gratitude in the book of Genesis. The Israelites sang a song of thanksgiving as they were delivered from Pharaoh’s army after the crossing of the Red Sea (Exodus 15). Later, the Mosaic Law set aside three times each year when the Israelites were to gather together. All three of these times [Unleavened Bread (also called the Feast of the Passover) (Exodus 12:15-20), Harvest or Pentecost (Leviticus 23:15-21), and the Feast of Ingathering or Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:33-36)] involved remembering God’s provision and grace. Harvest and Tabernacles took place specifically in relation to God’s provision in the harvest of various fruit trees and crops. The book of Psalms is packed full of songs of thanksgiving, both for God’s grace to the Israelite people as a whole through His mighty deeds, as well as for His individual graces to each of us.
In the New Testament, there are repeated admonitions to give thanks to God. Thanksgiving is to always be a part of our prayers. Some of the most remembered passages on the giving of thanks are the following:
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6).
“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men” (1 Timothy 2:1).
Of all of God’s gifts, the greatest one He has given is the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ. On the cross of Calvary, Jesus paid our sin debt, so a holy and just Judge could forgive us our sins and give us eternal life as a free gift. This gift is available to those who will call on Christ to save them from their sin in simple but sincere faith (John 3:16; Romans 3:19-26; Romans 6:23; Romans 10:13; Ephesians 2:8-10). For this gift of His Son, the gift which meets our greatest need, the Apostle Paul says, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15).
We, like the Pilgrims, have a choice. In life there will always be those things that we can complain about (the Pilgrims had lost many loved ones), but there will also be much to be thankful for. As our society becomes increasingly secular, the actual “giving of thanks to God” during our annual Thanksgiving holiday is being overlooked, leaving only the feasting. May God grant that He may find us grateful every day for all of His gifts, spiritual and material. God is good, and every good gift comes from Him (James 1:17). For those who know Christ, God also works everything together for good, even events we would not necessarily consider good (Romans 8:28-30). May He find us to be His grateful children.
The Effects of Unforgiveness
For the sake of others and ourselves, God wants us to forgive as we’ve been forgiven.
Resentment has far-reaching and often unexpected consequences. Although bitterness takes root in the mind, it can spread into other aspects of a person’s life. For example, the hostility a man feels toward his father can color his relationship with his wife, his performance at work, or his involvement in church.
Most of us realize resentment impacts the mind, but have you noticed the physical toll it can take on us as well? An attitude of bitterness triggers tension and anxiety, which can affect everything from muscles to chemical balance in the brain. Over time, that kind of stress weakens the body.
Unforgiveness also causes spiritual turmoil that hinders a believer’s growth. It can stifle prayer and turn worship dry and hypocritical. That’s because it’s difficult to effectively honor the Lord while trying to justify or hide a wrong attitude. What’s more, resentment dampens a person’s witness.
Forgiving someone means giving up bitterness and the “right” to get even with him or her, even though you were wronged. And God insists on forgiveness not just for others’ benefit but for ours as well. He knows the damage that hostility and vengeance can cause in our life and wants to protect us from it