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Author Archives: Selvan Govender

About Selvan Govender

Hi, I'm Selvan Govender, and shepherd of The Phoenix Fellowship Church in Phoenix, South Africa. I am married to Diana and together we have four children. For more information on The Phoenix Fellowship you are most welcome to visit www.thephoenixfellowship.com

I Hate Cross Words (But I Use Them Sometimes)

One of my rituals growing up was filling in the Sunday Tribune cross-word puzzles. I love cross-words.
It gives me an opportunity to stretch my mind.

There is another kind of Cross-Word as well.
The dictionary defines the word ‘Cross’ as “angry, annoyed, irate, irritated, in a bad mood, peeved, vexed, upset, irked, piqued, out of humour, put out, displeased, galled, resentful”

We all are great at “cross-words” but not with the newspaper kind.

Proverbs 25:11 is reminder to me of how cross even my words can become at times, “A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver”

Words have a profound effect on the person they are directed to.
Through words of encouragement you can lift out a person from the deepest pit.
Yet, with words of ridicule and mockery you lock someone into a defeatist mode.

With words of hope you can release someone to realise their potential.
Yet, with words of deconstructive criticism you can de-motivate anyone.

With words of honesty and truth you could help someone see something they were blinded to.
Yet, with words of deception and lack of pluck you may send someone into a life of turmoil.

Words are the most precious commodity you trade in daily.
I must admit, I too regretfully sometimes engage in “cross-words” with people. Stephen Covey said, “Seek first to understand, then seek to be understood”

How are your words to,
Your family?
Your friends?
Your co-workers?
Your employee?
Your employer?
You get the idea, right?

Keep growing!

Shalom
Selvan Govender | Rev. Pastor
MA (in progress. Biblical Studies with a concentration in Education, Clarks Summit University – USA)
Associate Pastor – Caneside Fellowship Centre

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Posted by on September 13, 2018 in General Blog

 

Have You Felt Like Giving Up Lately?

In 2011 during our building project I experienced something familiar, yet strange on that particular day.
I experienced fear.
I was on the concrete slab, about six meters of the ground. I was eager to get to another section of the roof that was completed the prevous day and the only way to the other section was along a scaffolding plank resting both ends on concrete slabs.

I had to walk for about five meters to the other side on a plank with no support underneath.
I reached the plank.
I looked down.
I looked across.
I walked.
I retreated.
Fear gripped me!
I felt like giving up.
I felt like going back.
I don’t know why I felt so afraid.
I stood there motionless for a few moments gripped with fear.
I finally mustered the courage to walk across.
Shortly after walking across the plank I realised that fear can have a crippling and debilitating effect.

You know what you need to do but you’re afraid.
You know where you need to go but you’re afraid.
You know what you need to change but you’re afraid.
You know what you need to straighten out but you’re afraid.
You know what you need to say but you’re afraid.

Perhaps the most empowering words any human being could hear during the times of crippling fear is found in Joshua 1. In it,

Three times God said, “…Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.””

God repeated these words to Joshua three times.
Why?
God knows about the crippling affects of fear.

When Joshua heard these words he actioned himself immediately and achieved amazing results.
Even when you act with strength and courage you’ll discover that you CAN accomplish great things for God.

There are some things in your life that you are afraid to confront.
It’s eating you up.
Step out in strength and courage.
You honour God with willingness and God will honour you with his presence.

Have you felt like giving up lately?
Don’t!
Step out.
Be strong and courageous.

Shalom
Selvan Govender | Rev. Pastor
MA (in progress. Biblical Studies with a concentration in Education, Clarks Summit University – USA)
Associate Pastor – Caneside Fellowship Centre

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2018 in General Blog

 

The Power of Crisis

On Friday morning after waking up, I experienced excruciating pain on my lower back on the left side. The pain persisted.
Yesterday evening I bent down to pick up something and I could barely stand up again, let alone walk.

My son responded to my crisis with these words, “Dad, that’s what you get for not exercising.”
I smiled through the pain in agreement.

My son was right!
I have not maintained an habit of exercise like I used to or like I should be doing.

My mind went to Paul’s response to his crisis in 2 Corinthians 1:9, “Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.”

My back pain motivated me to get started on a an exercise routine immediately.

I learned that good leaders seize crisis to remake organizational habits.
More than this, Christians must seize crisis to remake spiritual habits and to refocus strenously upon God. Crisis are invaluable opportunities for positive change and recalibration in God’s direction.
Paul recognized this.

You are going through a crisis today. Perhaps it’s a crisis that came about through circumstances beyond your control. On the other hand your crisis could have have been brought about by your own sin.

No matter how the crisis came about, it is an occasion for you to trust in Christ.
It is there for you to consider changing your habits.
It is there to thrust you back to Christ.
It is there for you to learn from these experiences.
It is there to gain insight into yourself and for God to sift you.
It is there to show you your limitations and Gods unlimited power.
It is there to show you your lack resources and how you can find all you need in Christ.

There is power in crisis. Its power is to loint you back to your saviour – Jesus Christ. Turn your eyes to Jesus now, and everything you’re experiencing will grow strangely dim.

Shalom
Selvan Govender | Rev. Pastor
MA (in progress. Biblical Studies with a concentration in Education, Clarks Summit University – USA)
Associate Pastor – Caneside Fellowship Centre

 
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Posted by on September 8, 2018 in General Blog

 

Putting the Zing Back Into AmaZING

I have discovered that, over time, the free things in life are often abused.
Free food is often wasted.
Free water supply is often left to run.
Free clothing is used uncaringly.
Free services are abused. 
We also have free GRACE. Or, is it free? It’s free in the sense that we did nothing to earn it. But, it’s priceless in the sense that someone we LOVE dearly paid for it.
Do you really want to know how you treat God’s GRACE? 
You abuse it.
You waste it.
You really don’t care much for it.
Centuries ago the apostle Paul anticipated our attitude towards GRACE in Romans 6:1-2, ” What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? ” 
Dietrich Bonhoeffer indicted the church for its abuse of GRACE, “Cheap grace means justification of sin but not of the sinner. Because grace alone does everything, everything can stay in its old ways. “Our action is in vain.” The world remains world and we remain sinners”
Cheap grace is praying with action.
Cheap grace is asking without giving.
Cheap grace is pleading for forgiveness but not repenting.
Cheap grace is membership without commitment.
Cheap grace is attendance without community.
But the Christian doesn’t have cheap grace. So why do you live as if it’s cheap?
What will you change today that shows the value of GRACE.
Let us all work hard at putting the ZING back into this amaZING Grace.  
Shalom
Selvan Govender | Rev. Pastor
MA (in progress. Biblical Studies with a concentration in Education, Clarks Summit University – USA)  
Associate Pastor – Caneside Fellowship Centre
 
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Posted by on September 6, 2018 in General Blog

 

Wrong Information on File

Last week I ordered a service.
Seven days later, still I did not receive it.
I called the courier company.
They asked me to confirm my celluar number.
I did.
We discovered that they had a wrong number on file.
I corrected the problem.
A few minutes later I received a call from them telling me that they will deliver on Friday.
This got me thinking about our expectations of God. We have placed our order and we are waiting for God to deliver.
But he’s keeping us waiting.
…and waiting.
…still more waiting.
And we wonder why.
I think the delivery is taking long because we’ve given God the wrong information about ourselves.
Let’s take a look at what James says in James 4:2-3, “…You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” 
Our requests are made to look like it’s to God’s advantage, when in reality it’s for ours. Wrong information on file.
We lift up holy hands in church but outside of church we have a clenched fist against the face of God. Wrong information on file.
In the presence of people we have a facade of holiness, but when you’re alone you show nothing but worldliness. Wrong information on file.
You sing songs like, “I am a friend of God”, but you stab God in the back first chance you get. Friends don’t do that. Wrong information on file.
You get the picture, right?
Maybe it’s time you stop wondering why God is not making good on his promises. Just dial in and change the information on file. He is always ready to forgive you and cleanse you.
When you do that you never know, your delivery will be dispatched.
Shalom
Selvan Govender | Rev. Pastor
MA (in progress. Biblical Studies with a concentration in Education, Clarks Summit University – USA)
Associate Pastor – Caneside Fellowship Centre
 
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Posted by on September 5, 2018 in General Blog

 

Practicing the Art of Practicing

When I was going through undergraduate studies I had a fear of losing the information that I was learning . The rigor of study, family life, work life, and ministry involvement instilled that fear. I asked my Prof for some advice. I asked, “Dr. Lytle, How do I retain the information I’m learning, because so much is coming at me at once, and from so many sides?” He responded simply, “Teach it! The more you teach it, the better you become at retaining it.” A week later I was teaching exactly what I was learning.
I started learning  to practice the art of practicing.
James draws our attention to the art of practicing in James 1:22-24, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.”
Now imagine this,
What if every Christian practiced exactly what they read in the Bible?
What if every Christian obeyed every command of God to the tee?
How would your family life look?
How would this provide solutions to your prayers?
How would your country look?
How would you look to others?
The situation brings sadness when you observe the absence of practicing the art of practicing.
Perhaps what we need is not just 40 days of fasting, but 40 days of practicing.
Practice may not make you perfect, but you’ll certainly be better.
Let’s practice the art of practicing. You’ll see the change. I guarantee it!  
Shalom
Selvan Govender | Rev. Pastor
MA (in progress. Biblical Studies with a concentration in Education, Clarks Summit University – USA)
Associate Pastor – Caneside Fellowship Centre
 
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Posted by on September 4, 2018 in General Blog

 

Death

Death is at the door
Beckoning you to come
You cannot escape, you cannot hide
Right now you are his chosen one
You cannot postpone death
You can try if you can
But rest upon this promise
He will come when you least plan
We all must one day die
From the least to the greatest
There is no favour
We will all lose those that are the dearest
Death takes us across the bridge
There is there another life
And we will live forever
Some in delight and some in strife
Without Christ there is pain in death
When death comes you should fear
For if you do not have Christ here
In the after-life you won’t find God near
Right now you may say, “it’s all right, I’m safe”.
You may have done good or been the best
But without Christ
You won’t survive the test
There is no second life
No second chance
The moment is now, perhaps your last one
For you in Christ to take your stance
Please don’t wait till it’s too late
There is no day like today
Don’t push it don’t delay
Death will come and he’ll have the final say
Why Christ why Him?
In him there is no end to life
You won’t come back, you wont  be reborn
But you’ll avoid hell and all its strife
No one will escape death
But for the person who does God’s things Gods way
When the messenger of death beckons
He just smiles and welcomes that Day
Losing a loved one is so painful
How do we cope after so big a loss
It is people who take us through safely
And a lot of it has to do with the Cross
Do I fear death?
We are  promised that death has lost its sting
When it comes I welcome it
Not even fear it can bring
But this promise is only for those who are in Jesus
In him they are safely shielded from this foe
Death has no victory
Christ on the cross dealt death a fatal blow
Do you want to escape this cycle
Then it’s Christ you must seek
In him you will find hope and strength
He came for us, we who are weak
Shalom
Selvan Govender | Rev. Pastor
MA (in progress. Biblical Studies with a concentration in Education, Clarks Summit University – USA)
Associate Pastor – Caneside Fellowship Centre
 
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Posted by on September 3, 2018 in General Blog

 
 
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