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The Significance of Names

On the fourteenth of October Twenty-nineteen, Bophelo (pronounced Bop-helo) was born. She is the gift of life presented to Arthur, Carly, and Lola Fans, who are members of our church.
Bophelo (Bop-helo) means LIFE.
It’s ironic that Bophelo was given such a name. She was born at 1.6kg’s and as I write this devotion, she is in the hospital for nine days now.
This little baby is really taking her circumstances by the horns and she is living up to her name.
She’s growing well!

Let’s change scenes.
Let’s go back a few thousand years to the book of Ruth.
The book opens in dramatic fashion. It’s like an action movie that sends your heart pulsating right from the beginning.
It opens with these simple, yet profoundly important words, “In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the Land.”
Oops!
Famine?
Why do I need to pay attention to this “small” fact?
This “small” fact is the promise of God’s judgement on the nation (Deuteronomy 28-29).
The writer is simply telling us that the nation is under the judgment of God.
Powerful right?
Absolutely!

Now catch this!
The writer introduces us to a family. They are Elimelech (Elly-mel-ek), Naomi (husband and wife), Mahlon and Killion (their two sons).
The instinctive response of this family when the famine strikes, is to leave Bethlehem.
Guess what?
Do you know what “Elimelech” means?
Elimelech’s name means “My God is King,”
Don’t you think this is ironic?
Here’s the irony.
Elimelech (my God is King) chose to turn his back on God by leaving the community of Bethlehem. If you were part of God’s people, the nation of Israel, you didn’t leave the community, because God had established a covenant with you. You were tied into that land, and God was going to bless you there when you obeyed. When God’s people disobeyed him, he would often get their attention by allowing them to go through some tough times, and that’s what happens in this story.

Who are you?
You are Christian.
What does that mean?
Christ-follower, a disciple of Jesus Christ, you are the child of the God of the Bible.
Let me ask.
When the chips are down, do you behave like Elimelech?
Do you live down your name like Elimelech did, or,
Do you live up to your name?
Do you leave God or do you hold on more firmly to God?
You are Christian.
Let’s live up to it!

 

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2019 in Biblical Names, General Blog

 

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World Suicide Prevention Day | Despairing Even of Life

2019_wspd_banner_english

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD).
Did you know that in South Africa there’s at least one suicide every hour?
When you read the literature on suicide, you will discover that suicide is the cause of 800 000 deaths worldwide. That’s alarming! That equates to 1 suicide every 40 seconds.

There is a multiplicity of circumstances relating to the cause of suicide. We cannot narrow it down to one single cause. However, in a desperate attempt to escape their circumstances, approximately 800 000 people internationally choose to take their own lives. By the time you complete reading this blog, a few people will have committed suicide.

Let me leave you with these principles that I hope will give you encouragement, motivation, hope, and an increase in faith. They are found in the Bible,

We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. 9 Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11 as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.” – 2 Corinthians 1:8-11 (NIV, 1984)

  1. Adversity is COMMON to Everyone
    The Apostle Paul, a man chosen by Christ himself was not exempt from adversity. Adversity is common to everyone. You must know that you are not suffering in isolation while the rest of the world’s population is living care-free. We go through adversarial situations. Your hope must flow from the fact that you are not a target for adversity.
  2. Adversity Threatens to CRUSH the Human Spirit
    Sometimes the weight on your shoulders will seem so heavy that your spirit is crushed. It may even seem like you’ve reached the end of the road. This is only how it seems but the truth is, you have not reached the end of the road. See how Paul describes the strength of adversity. He says, “We despaired even of life…we felt the sentence of death” Adversity can be the thief of hope.
  3. Adversity is Leading You to CONSIDER Your Best Resource
    When you are financially bankrupt, where do you turn to for help? Perhaps you turn to a bank or a friend who is financially wealthy. But you will never turn to yourself because you cannot lend yourself anything. Paul knows that if he is to overcome this adversarial phase in his life, he must turn to someone who can bail him out. He turns to God. Notice what he says, “But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.” In whatever circumstance you are right now, you probably need someone more reliable than yourself to bail you out. You must allow the intervention of the supernatural. You need God. He will deliver you!
  4. Adversity is Weakened through COMMUNITY
    The problem with so many people is that they choose to suffer in silence. After they die, people usually say, “He didn’t say anything, we didn’t know he was struggling with…” Community is essential and it is necessary for you to overcome any adversarial situation. Paul says this, “…as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.” Shout out! Tell someone about your struggles. Allow someone to walk your journey with you. When you face your struggles within the context of community, you will find hope, courage, faith, answers, and life.

My hope is that you will find the strength to hold on courageously to life. You don’t have to capitulate to death. I look forward to hearing from you should you want to shout out.

Selvan Govender

 

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2019 in General Blog, Social Justice, Suicide

 

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Newsletter | August 2019 | Volume 2

Please download our latest newsletter. Through it, you will have a great idea of what God is doing and how you can be a part of this exciting journey toward him.

Selvan Govender | Rev., Pastor, Hons(Theol(., M.Ed (in progress)
The Safest Place on Earth | a Baptist Church
Mountview Secondary School
5 Russon Street, Brindhaven, Verulam
Durban, South Africa

August 2019 Volume 2

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2019 in Newsletter

 

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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
ddgovender@gmail.com

 

 

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From Vision to Fruition

Walt Disney, famed for Disney World, died before Disney World in Florida in the United States was completed. On opening day in 1971, almost five years after Disney’s death, someone commented to Mike Vance, creative director of Walt Disney Studios, “isn’t it too bad Walt Disney didn’t live to see this?” “He did see it,” Vance replied simply. “That’s why it’s here.”

Many individuals and organizations have a vision but they don’t have the fruit. Reminds me of the short sitcom tune, Love and Marriage, it goes something like this, “Love and marriage, love and marriage. Go together like a horse and carriage, horse and carriage. You can’t have one…without the other!”

Vision and fruition is exactly like that. They go together!A vision of a good marriage will show the fruit of it. A vision for business success will show the fruit of that. A vision for God will show the fruit of that. A vision for your organization will show the fruit of that. A vision gives you and your organization a clear understanding of where you are heading and on the way you can eat the fruit of the journey. Nehemiah 2 gives us some principles for moving from vision to fruition.

A vision of a good marriage will show the fruit of it. A vision for business success will show the fruit of that. A vision for God will show the fruit of that. A vision for your organization will show the fruit of that. A vision gives you and your organization a clear understanding of where you are heading and on the way you can eat the fruit of the journey. Nehemiah 2 gives us some principles for moving from vision to fruition.

1. You must ASSESS how things are (Nehemiah 2:11-16)

The text tells us that Nehemiah made a thorough assessment of the condition of Jerusalem. He did not assume nor did he presume. Nehemiah did a complete post-mortem. When last did you do a complete assessment of your life? When last did you do a thorough post-mortem of your organization? Nehemiah needed to know how bad the situation was and what is required for the rebuilding process.

2. You must ACKNOWLEDGE your situation (Nehemiah 2:17)

Nehemiah did not hide the dirt under the rug. After assessing the situation he reported back that the situation was deplorable. He acknowledged that the situation brought disgrace to God. Reminds me of Isaiah in Isaiah 6, when he was confronted with God’s holiness he said, “Woe is me. I am a man of unclean lips and I come from a people of unclean lips…” Are you sweeping personal misdemeanors under the rug and bring disgrace to Christ? Is your church or organization sweeping misdemeanors under the rug and not acknowledging that there is something wrong? Fruit will only start growing when you start admitting something is wrongAre you sweeping personal misdemeanors under the rug and bring disgrace to Christ? Is your church or organization sweeping misdemeanors under the rug and not acknowledging that there is something wrong? Fruit will only start growing when you start admitting something is wrong

Director of Shepherds Heart SA

http://www.shepherdsheart.co.za

 

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Moving Your Organization or Yourself Forward

I remember when I was growing up I tried riding a bicycle. I was bad at riding bikes. I would almost always fall the moment I got on. I was told that in order to keep myself from falling I must have momentum. Movement prevents falling.

This is also a great organization and personal principle too.

If organizations lack momentum, two things will happen. First they will plateau (stagnate) and second they may fall (become obsolete). This fate also applies to the personal lives of every individual as well.

When we read through the opening chapters of Nehemiah we will notice some antidotes to organizational death and the corollary is that we will experience forward movement in our organizations and in our personal lives. Here’s how Nehemiah teaches us to overcome organizational and personal death.

1. If you want to move forward we must cry over how things are (Neh.1:4; 2:1-4)

Nehemiah was sad over the current situation of Jerusalem. He was sad that Jerusalem became a laughing stock. He was sad that God’s glory was being defamed. When you look around you and when you look in your own personal life, what is there that’s defaming God’s glory or being made a mockery of? You should be crying over it. It must sadden you. It should cause you grief.

2. If you want to move forward we must confess why things are the way they are (Neh.1:5-10)

Nehemiah took responsibility for Jerusalem’s current circumstances. He did not criticize. He did not ridicule. He did not shift blame. He did not point fingers. He confessed that it was his sin also that has contributed to the downgrading of Jerusalem. What role are you playing in the damage to your family’s life? What role are you playing in the damage t your organization’s health? Maybe you too should own-up to the things you are not doing that is bringing organizational and personal death.

3. If you want to move forward we must consent to getting things to the way they should be (Neh.1:11-2:6)

Nehemiah didn’t just cry over things and make a confession that he was a culprit in causing damage, he also consented to making things right again. When the King asked him what’s wrong, Nehemiah explained and asked permission to go and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Your organization’s walls may be broken. Your personal walls may be broken. But, things will never get rebuilt if you do not consent to getting them to the way they should be. Please consider today how you can participate in the rebuilding process so that you don’t experience plateaus or death.

Shalom
Selvan Govender
http://www.selvangovender.com
Director of Shepherds Heart SA
http://www.shepherdsheart.co.za
Principal of Bethany Mission School

 

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Leadership Seminar – “Relationships”

Leadership Seminar – “Relationships”

“Children don’t know what causes their misery. In fact, children don’t realize their dysfunctional home is abnormal. Even physically abused kids don’t realize, while young, that nofrmal parents don’t beat their kids; they think that there is no other way to live.” —Nancy Curtis, Beyond Survival, (Lake Mary, FL: Strang Communications, 1990) pp. 27- 28.

The Coming Week
We are conducting a Seminar to undergraduate students on the important subject of “Relationships”. In it we will explore some essential ingredients for fruitful relationships. We will also be talking about the impact that conditioning from other relationships has on us and others and how it impacts everything you do. We all know that everything we do is built on the platform of relationship

Your functionality as a person is directly proportionate to the health of your relationships

Book a Seminar With Us
You may call us to address your school population, youth groups, employee groups, etc.

Our Details
If you are interested in more information please call

Selvan Govender |Director |063 309 5622 you may also visit us at http://www.shepherdsheart.co.za

 

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