Monthly Archives: September 2013

Colbert: Fulfill the purpose God has in store for you

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Aimee Colbert

By Aimee Colbert
Special to Inside The Pew

Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from Aimee Colbert’s book, “A Sense of Destiny: From The Prison To The Palace,” which is available on Amazon.com.

Your destiny is your discovery not your decision.

We all have some idea of what we would like to do with our lives but as Christians it is not our place to decide that our opinion mattersAimee Colbert more than God’s.

Our lives are a gift and we are put here in order to give our lives as a gift back to God. So once we understand that God created us for a purpose, it’s our responsibility to fulfill whatever purpose that might be. So when you find out that you have a purpose, it’s time to stop thinking about what you would like to do with your life to make money or to fulfill your desires for accomplishment in some other way. It’s now time to learn how to pursue your real purpose.

Fortunately, our true purpose is actually something that we would already want to do. It’s something that we are already doing hidden in what we do every single day. I feel that once we decide that we want to do something opposite of what God would have us do, we are living in rebellion to God.

Not everyone knows that they have a purpose but if you know that you have a purpose and you decide that you don’t care about what that purpose is or that you’re not interested in doing what God would have you do, I feel you are living in open rebellion to the will of God. What God wants you to do should matter to you if you say that you love Him.

Evangelist and author Aimee Colbert is the author of “The Irreplaceable Woman,” “The Drama Free Life,” “Dear Carlos,” “To Be A Man of God,” “Aimee’s Advice,” I’m Just Sayin’ Vol 1&2,” “You’re Stupid & Shallow So Stay Single Ya Dummy,” “The Irreplaceable Man,” and “I Survived,” which discusses the social issues that affect us all and that bind us together. She practices as a pastoral counselor in Fort Worth. Visit www.aimeecolbert.com.

Haviland: The perception of single fatherhood

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By Matt Haviland
Special to Inside The Pew

“No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is theMattDaughterFeature heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me, says the Lord.” –Isaiah 54:17 (NKJV)

Be honest: when you hear the words “single dad,” what sort of image immediately pops into your mind? Do terms such as “deadbeat” top the list? Or, do you think of a man with solo custody of his children? Do you see them as equal to a single mom? Interesting topic, one I’m sure that many people do not think of regularly- but why not? Are there not plenty of men out there raising their sons and daughters, either by themselves or in a co-parenting situation? To help shed some light on the subject, let’s quickly cover four “point of views” that all add up to one very important question: Are we viewing single fathers the way we should be?

The World’s Point of View

Look, I am well aware of the devastating effect fatherlessness has had on this world. However, to place all single dads in the same category would be equivalent to stereotyping any racial or social class in a likewise manner. It just doesn’t work. Single parenting in any aspect is extremely difficult and those who don’t experience it think they know more than we do. Do not be deceived, however, God’s wisdom is infinitely superior (1 Cor 2:14, 3:18-19) and the Bible tells us that we really shouldn’t be shocked if others don’t care for us (John 15:18, 1 John 3:13).

Our Children’s Point of View

Any sort of single parenting arrangement must be confusing in some way to a child- because it is not God’s natural design and our  human nature knows it. Regardless of how we got here, as fathers, we are still called by God to raise our kids in Christ and to prepare them for adulthood (Psalm 145:4, Prov 20:7). Our kids need us to be there as their protectors and life leaders. A strong, authentic, and Christ-centered lifestyle will only be effective on them if we are truly walking that way and have found what it means to “be still”- even when all hell is breaking loose around us.

Our Point of View

Isn’t it amazing how quickly we can forget who we truly are sometimes? God’s Word tells us that we are hand-stitched and perfectly created for His good works (Gen 1:26, Psalm 139:13-14, Eph 2:10). News flash: God doesn’t make mistakes! When we begin to view ourselves through spiritual eyes rather than our natural, we position ourselves to get a glimpse of the only point of view that truly matters.

God’s Point of View

If we truly believe that Jesus is with us always and we can do all things through Him- then our victory has already been secured. Others may choose to put labels on us or be quick to judge without all of the facts, but as one single dad so perfectly put it, “Just because she left me doesn’t mean He will too.” Brokenness may hurt when it’s fresh, but it is only when a wound is left unattended that it can become infected. God does not see us as the world sees us; He doesn’t even see us as we see ourselves sometimes. Hold fast to His Word tonight, knowing that in Him, all of those promises are “Yes” and “Amen.”

So, going back to my original question: Are we viewing single fathers the way we should be?

Matt Haviland is the founder of “A Father’s Walk” single dad ministry and the author of the book, “A Father’s Walk: A Christian-Based Resources for Single Fathers.” He currently lives in his hometown of Grand Rapids, Mich., is the co-founder of the Grand Rapids Single Parenting Expo, and is a single dad to a beautiful little girl himself.  For more information on the ministry and how to form a single dad small group in your own church, please visit www.afatherswalk.org.

*Editor’s note: This article was originally posted on Crosswalk.com on Aug. 22, 2013. Republished with permission.

 

Acid attack on Catholic priest part of ‘a series of assaults on churches and church leaders’ in Zanzibar

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Father Anselm Mwang'amba displays his terrible injuries.

By Jeremy Reynalds
Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service

SURREY, ENGLAND (ANS) – A Christian human rights organization is deeply troubled by an acid attack on an elderly CatholicFather Anselm Mwang'amba displays his terrible injuries. priest in Zanzibar on Sept. 13.

Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania, in East Africa.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) said in a news release that the incident, the latest in a series of assaults on churches and church leaders in the semi-autonomous archipelago, highlights a worrying deterioration in freedom of religion or belief in Tanzania.

Father Anselm Mwang’amba was attacked as he left an Internet cafe in the historic Stone Town area of the Zanzibar capital, and is currently hospitalized with severe burns to the face, neck and hands.

CSW said according to a local report, while inside the cafe Father Mwang’amba received a call from an unknown number and was doused with acid as he exited to answer his telephone.

The assault on Father Mwang’amba is the fourth major attack on a Christian leader in Zanzibar since December 2012, when a Catholic priest was wounded by unknown gunmen.

Local Christians report receiving threats via text message or in leaflets naming church leaders who have been targeted for assassination, and in some instances referring to a prospective date.

In February, the murder of a Protestant pastor was followed a week later by the killing of a Catholic priest.

In addition, CSW reported, at least 20 churches have been looted and either burnt or demolished, allegedly by supporters of the separatist religious movement Uamsho (Awakening). Perpetrators of religious violence are never brought to trial even when identified or caught in the act, and police investigations are generally extended indefinitely.

In a comment to CSW on the attack on Father Mwang’amba a local Christian speaking on condition of anonymity said, “We are asking the international community to intervene in this issue. Christians do not have any protection. In this environment we live in so much fear of what will happen to whom tomorrow.”

CSW has also received reports of increasing discrimination on the Tanzanian mainland and an inadequate official response to religion-related violence.

The family of a Pentecostal pastor beheaded in March in violence that erupted in Geita after the Muslim community objected to the opening of a Christian-owned butchery are still awaiting justice.

Christians complain of the inequitable application of public order regulations designed to maintain religious harmony, including discrimination in the granting of permits for open-air meetings and new media outlets.

In May, people died and more than 60 were injured when the inauguration service for a new Catholic Cathedral in Arusha was bombed in what the Tanzanian president described as a “terrorist attack.”

Daniel Sinclair, Communications Director at CSW said in the news release, “Our thoughts and prayers are with Father Mwang’amba, who we wish a speedy recovery. These threats and attacks targeting church leaders and church buildings are in violation of the Tanzanian constitution, which provides for freedom of religion or belief. If left unchecked, religious violence will ultimately undermine national cohesion. CSW calls upon the Tanzanian authorities to take decisive action to tackle rising extremism and prevent impunity from taking hold in any part of the country.”

He added, “It is vital that the Government of Zanzibar effectively addresses attacks on the local Christian community, offers protection to all who are under threat, adequately compensates churches that have been looted or demolished, and ensures that inciters and perpetrators of religion-related violence are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Christian Solidarity Worldwide works for religious freedom through advocacy and human rights, in the pursuit of justice.

For further information, visit www.csw.org.uk.