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

The Musing of a Car-Guard | Looking Inside

Welcome to The Musings of a Car-Guard! I am reminded of a Bible verse that tells us that “The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out.” Proverbs 20:5.
The ‘desert’ (look at the introductory post) has provided me with the time and occasion for self-reflection and introspection.
I am grateful for that! I have learned some good lessons in the ‘desert’. One of them was taught to me by a taxi driver.
Yes, you heard me, a taxi driver.

My opinion of taxi drivers whom I don’t know personally is that they are arrogant, insensitive, prone to violence, often limited in education, and rude. I am sure you will come up with more adjectives to describe taxi drivers.
The taxi driver, a black man, pulls into the desert parking lot. Parks his taxi and goes on his errand.
After a little while, he arrives. He pulls out of his parking spot.
As he approaches me he does the most unexpected thing.
Yep, you guessed it. With respect, and by extension of his arm, he gives me some money.
Here I’m thinking to myself (lighting quick), “This taxi driver is actually giving me money.”
Honestly, my jaw dropped.
I said to him, “I didn’t expect this. I’m surprised.”
“I didn’t know taxi drivers gave car-guards money.”, I continued.
His lips parted revealing a smile and as he did so he said, “Not all of us are the same.”
That was the most humbling moment for me.
His word pierced my heart like a hot knife through butter.
I was ashamed of judging him.

I repeat that story over and over again because I am prone to judging people before they have given me cause to.
Ever since that day, I have struck a friendship with many taxi drivers with who I share that story on a regular basis.

The purposes of our heart are deep waters. That day in the desert I was sensitized to cancer in my heart. That cancer is what often leads me to keep certain types of people at a distance from me.
Let’s be honest here.
Most of us have a caste system in our hearts.
I know I did, until someone said, “Not all of us are the same.”

Selvan Govender (Hons.Theol., M.Ed)
Pastor of The Safest Place on Earth
Mountview Secondary School, Room 27
Verulam, Durban, South Africa
Sundays at 9am

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Posted by on August 18, 2019 in Social Justice


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The Musings of a Car-Guard – Introduction

Even before I begin this new series entitled The Musings of a Car-Guard, please allow me to introduce this series. Through a strange twist of events, I found myself “guarding” cars in a parking lot. The parking lot where I work is literally a desert place. On occasion when there is a strong gust of wind, one may even experience the rushing sand as they take flight, offering a sand-bath to everything in its path. Whether the clouds cry or the sun beats down against this desert place there is no hiding place. This is just to give you an idea that it’s not a mall parking lot. There is no luxury here. I call this the desert.
Let’s get on with the story.
For many months, beginning in mid-2018 I was preoccupied with thoughts on social justice. Being on course to complete my Master of Education degree, my preoccupation focused on social justice in the area of education. Fast forward to mid-2019 and I am in the desert-place. Here, in this desert-place, I am being confronted by thoughts of social justice on a daily basis.

The Musings of a Car-Guard was conceived in this desert-place. Here I have experienced social-injustice at an alarming level. I must confess, that even though I am in full-time pastoral ministry for almost twenty years, I have insulated myself against the presence of social injustice at the atomistic level in our communities.

That is, until now.

I have made a few discoveries in the desert that I hope to reveal to you in the coming days. I am hoping that the revelation of these discoveries will help us to tweak our attitudes toward social injustice and move us onto a trajectory toward social justice. My perspective might differ from yours, and I hope that this difference will lead us into dialogue so that we reach a consensus that will be for the benefit of other human beings.
The posts may vary in length and they will certainly vary in subject matter, but the goal in every musing will be to sensitize us to the value of human beings around us.
Perhaps for far too long, we have had blinders on that have prevented us from seeing those beside us and my hope is that through The Musings of a Car-Guard you might regain your peripheral vision.

Selvan Govender (Hons.Theol., M.Ed)
Pastor of The Safest Place on Earth
Mountview Secondary School, Room 60
Sundays at 9am



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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!

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.
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?
Step out.
Be strong and courageous.

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.

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.  
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.
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

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