For Such A Time As This

“Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14

I doubt that Queen Esther, as a young orphan girl, had any idea that she would eventually become the wife of a king and that God would use her to save an entire nation. She probably never dreamed she would one day be considered one of the strongest women in biblical history. What was the source of Esther’s strength? Her faith in God.

When an evil man threatened to annihilate the Jewish people, Esther intervened, asking her husband, the king, to spare them. Approaching the king without an invitation was very brave of Esther, and it went against the custom of her day. Her risk came with a great reward, as the king received her warmly and granted her request.

We see from today’s scripture that Esther understood that saving her people was part of the reason she had become the king’s wife. When you find yourself in an unlikely or challenging situation, remember Esther and realise that being there may be part of God’s plan for your life. The source of your strength, like Esther’s, is in your faith in God. – Joyce Meyer

Prayer Starter: Father, I am available to You, and I want to serve You with all my heart. Use me today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Wisdom and Hurry

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” – Proverbs 3:5-6

“Do not be wise in your own opinion.” – Romans 12:16

I looked in the Oxford Dictionary to get the exact meaning of the word, wise. It means: having or showing experience, knowledge and good judgement – We need to be wise these days. And it is not a case of the old song, “I did it my way”… That didn’t help ‘Blue Eyes’ too much – We have got to do it God’s way, right? We have got to make quality decisions. We have got to do it the way the Lord would have us do it, we must not be impulsive. We must not be quick to act or in a hurry. We have got to take our time.

Remember when the Pharisees brought the woman who was caught in adultery to Jesus? He didn’t give a decision straight away, did He? No, He bent down and He started writing in the sand with His finger. Now a lot of theologians have got a lot of theories about why He did that but I believe He was waiting for instructions from His Heavenly Father. Then He stood up… Now you see, according to the instructions of Moses and the Ten Commandments, that woman found in somebody else’s bed should have been stoned to death. The Lord stood up and said, “He who is without sin cast the first stone.” And what did they do? They put their stones down and they walked away and He said, “Woman, where are your accusers?” She said, “They have left.” And He said, “Go and sin no more. Your sins are forgiven.”  

That young girl that’s being pressurised by her boyfriend to make a decision to marry him, I want to say to you, young lady, do not be in a rush. “Yes, but he said if I don’t make a decision, he is moving on!” Well, let him move on – He is not the right man for you. And that young man that’s been given an opportunity to go into business, and they want you to sign that form today, and they said, “You have to do it today”, and you are not too sure about the decision – don’t do it. God has got a better decision for you!

We must not rush. You know when you see an old person walking down the road and you think they are walking slowly and they are not making rash decisions… It is because they are getting old and feeble, that is not the case at all. They have been to the school of life, the school of hard knocks and they realise that they have to make quality decisions.

Remember, anything done in haste is not from God and we really need to remember what the Lord says – He shall direct our paths. So today, have a wonderful Saturday and remember Jesus will direct you.

God bless you. 

– Angus Buchan 

Love and Gratitude

It is good to have love for God in your heart, but even better to express it with the words of your mouth. 

Tell God several times each day that you love Him; say with the psalmist David: “I love You fervently and devotedly, O Lord my Strength” (Ps. 18:1). It isn’t good enough to merely think, “God knows how I feel.” Are you blessed when people tell you they love and appreciate you? Of course you are, and it blesses God when we verbalise our love and praise for Him. Verbal expression of love and gratitude improves all our relationships, including our relationship with God.

Don’t offer your petitions to God without telling Him how grateful you are for what He has already done for you. As parents we are more likely to answer the request of a thankful child than we are a grouchy and ungrateful one. As an employer I want to do even more for employees who are appreciative. Offering our continual gratitude to God for His goodness and mercy in our lives moves Him to want to do even more for us. Our gratitude shows God that we are mature enough to handle even more blessing and responsibility.

Women often say, “I know my husband loves me, but I wish he would tell me more often.” Let’s try to be more diligent in telling God and the people in our lives that we love and appreciate them and what they mean to us.

Regarding gratitude, q thankful person is a happy person! If we want to increase our joy, all we really need to do is think more about what we have to be grateful for. Sadly, it is easy to fall into the habit of thinking about what we want, what we don’t have, or what other people have that we wish we had. But that doesn’t please God, and it steals our joy.

God’s Word teaches that we should be anxious for nothing, and to pray about everything, with thanksgiving (see Philippians 4:6). I doubt that God has any interest in giving us more if we are already complaining about what we have or don’t have. It seems to me that the more thankful and appreciative we are for what God has already done for us, the more He would be inclined to do. 

Think of five things today you have to be thankful for and voice your gratitude to God! – Joyce Meyer

5 Ways To Help Teens Develop A Strong Work Ethic

When you think of the most successful person that you know, one of the first things that usually comes to mind is their strong work ethic. Unfortunately, when it comes to today’s teens, that is one of the last things that usually comes to mind. “Teens are lazy.” “Teens are entitled.” “Teens don’t know how to work for things anymore.” Sound familiar? But as parents, we don’t want these stereotypes to be true of our teens.

So, what do we do? We must  give our children the tools they need to become successful individuals, but it can be a challenging. Trying to help teens develop a strong work ethic isn’t an easy thing to teach. Here are a few ways that you can help encourage a strong work ethic in your teens, and set them up for a bright future.

Model a Strong Work Ethic

Leading by example may sound a little simplistic, but it truly is one of the best ways to encourage a strong work ethic in teens. Make sure that they understand that everything you have and everything that you provide for them is a product of the work that you do.

Show them how you set goals and the steps needed to achieve them. Explain your process of prioritising work and fun. As they see your hard work and dedication, they’ll be more likely to emulate those traits.

Make Personal Responsibility a Priority

Teenagers often struggle with taking initiative. Keeping them motivated to take personal responsibility for their chores, school work, and activities can be a struggle. Lay down the ground rules that these things are their own to manage and you will not make it your business to ensure these things are done.

Allow them to experience the consequences of missed homework, being sidelined for forgetting sports equipment, or not receiving their allowance for not completing chores. As their sense of personal responsibility to take care of things that matter to them grows, so will their work ethic.

Teach Them How to Balance Commitments

Many teens balk at the idea of dedicating themselves to a task for fear it will prevent them from having fun in their life. Help them to coordinate their schedules and teach them how to prioritise so that there is room for the things they must accomplish along with things that they enjoy.

Giving them a healthy understanding of work-life balance will help them grasp the important concept that they need to take care of their personal needs in order to maintain a strong work ethic.

Give Them Space to Fail

As parents, our initial instinct is to protect our children from failure and disappointment. By allowing them to experience failure, they will learn valuable lessons about picking themselves up and handling their mistakes while will contribute to their overall work ethic.

After all, if someone else will just fix your problems for you, why put in the effort in the first place?

Allow Them to Experience the Results of Hard Work

Be generous with praise and acknowledge effort in everything your teen does, whether it is in school, at a job, or in an extracurricular activity. When appropriate, offer rewards for a job well done or bonuses when they go above and beyond.

Help them to recognise the feelings of achievement that go along with completing a tough project or reaching a goal that they have set for themselves. Though hard work isn’t always acknowledged in the “real world”, learning to appreciate the internal results of their accomplishments will go a long way.

Becoming Adults

A strong work ethic is something that takes time to develop and the right guidance to encourage. By helping your teen to focus on the long term benefits of working hard and the rewards of putting forth their best effort, you’ll give them the tools they need to thrive as adults.

Not only will you be proud of them, they’ll be proud of themselves. by PARENTINGTEENSANDTWEENS

Value God’s Opinion Most

After God revealed His plan for Mary to be the virgin mother of Jesus, she responded with an incredible song of praise. She glorified God for His willingness to use someone humble to carry out His great purpose, and she praised Him for His mercy, faithfulness, and power in fulfilling His promise of a Saviour.

One of the most powerful things Mary declared in this song is, “From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me.” This was a strong statement of trust in God, because the task assigned to her would likely bring judgment and shame from almost everyone she knew. Who was going to believe Mary was a virgin? Her own fiancé needed the reassurance of an angel to believe her story. Two thousand years later, many still question her claim of virginity.

Knowing this would be the case, Mary focused on the blessing of being chosen by God for such an important purpose. She knew that those who would believe in her Son would honour her and trust God’s Word about her integrity. She didn’t dwell on the difficulties she might face in society or within her family. She didn’t need to defend herself. Mary chose to trust God rather than resist her calling, even if it meant a lifetime of being misunderstood. Whatever God has asked you to do, don’t let any potential persecution or judgment of others keep you from obedience. We aren’t called to be comfortable, accepted, or understood. We’re called to make a difference!

Prayer: Father, thank You for choosing someone as humble as me to be used for Your glory. I commit today to do whatever You want me to do, even if it’s difficult. Even if the people around me don’t understand. What You think is most important to me. I know Your plans are worth any resistance I might face in this world.

Advent – The Journey of Christmas – A Church of the Highlands Devotional

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifCWN5pJGIE

Christmas – The Divine Initiative

If God had not taken the initiative to redeem fallen humanity by sending His Son into the world, there would have been no incarnation, no Christ, no Gospel, no reconciliation with Him. If God had not acted, there would be no resurrection, no working of the Holy Spirit in our lives, and no revelation of God instructing us how to love. I’m so grateful that God took the initiative.

As Isaiah’s well-loved prophecy describes:

The people who walked in darkness
Have seen a great light;
Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
Upon them a light has shined….
For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
(Isaiah 9:2,6-7 NKJV)

By saying, “The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this,” God is essentially saying, “I am the God of unshakable plans. I will accomplish everything I intend to accomplish, and nobody—nobody—will frustrate my plans.”

The title Lord of hosts means, “I am Commander in Chief of heaven’s innumerable angels and unbelievable resources.” The Lord of hosts stands, not only as a God of unshakable plans, but of unlimited resources as well. And when He speaks, He speaks with ultimate authority. This was the initiative behind Christmas. Christ came into the world with all the resources of heaven behind Him. All the forces of heaven stood on tiptoe, weapons in hand, anxiously awaiting His slightest command. 

We need to remind ourselves that Christmas comes from divine initiative, the unshakable plans of a loving God with unlimited resources and unbounded enthusiasm. 

Do you find yourself caught up in His enthusiasm? Excited by His unshakable plans? Swept along by the mind-boggling concept of unlimited resources being released into your world? “The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” We can confidently write this next to every one of the promises of God.

– Telling The Truth – Experiencing Life

Being Thankful In ‘All’ Things

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18

I must be honest, sometimes it’s the “all” in that verse that gets me. Most of us can be thankful, for lots of things, at lots of times, but in “all” circumstances? That can be tough.

What about when you find yourself suffering illness, or defeat, or you’re walking through huge loss…what about when a loved one leaves this world too soon and you still can’t see past your tears…or when you’ve been praying for your prodigal loved one to come home and it seems like the prayers are unanswered…what about when you’re discouraged, disillusioned, and struggling with disbelief…or when you’re overwhelmed, overextended, and just fighting being over-stressed…what about when the needs mount high and the way doesn’t look clear…or when people are cruel, life seems unfair, and the enemy’s breathing down your back…what about when the storms come, and the car breaks down, or the air conditioner stops working on a holiday weekend (true story)…

Yes, these are the “all” things that can be hard to find gratitude in, whether it’s huge losses or just life irritations. But God’s word never changes to fit our circumstances. His Truth rises above our circumstance, so that we can too. He doesn’t say give thanks “for it”, but “in it all,” for He knows He’s building more deeply into our lives and character than He could ever build without the hard times. We’re gaining strength. We’re gaining perseverance. We’re being reminded that true joy is never based on how we feel or our outside situations. We’re understanding that God’s ways are bigger, His thoughts are higher, and we can be assured that He holds us in His hands.

And He is with us.

Always.

No matter what you might be facing, the good news is this, you woke up. He’s given us today. And if we’re still here, living and breathing, may our every breath bring honour to Him.

Be assured my friend, you never fight the battles alone. Stay strong. Choose joy. Choose to be grateful in it “all.” For He is building greatness. He’s working things out for good. He hears our prayers, He sees all, and knows all. He has purpose for our pain, and brings hope for our tomorrows… Grace to you this day.

Intersecting Faith & Life: Recognise today, that the most difficult challenge you’re facing right now, may actually be a greater blessing, as God is working in and through your life in powerful ways. No matter how hard, choose to give Him thanks, in “all” things.

Further Reading: Psalm 118:24, Ephesians 5:20, Psalm 100:1-5

Debbie McDaniel

Fixed on Jesus

“…but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.”

Daniel 11:32

We have got to get into that quiet place away from the distraction of this troubled world. As things become more hectic, we need to draw closer to the only One, in this entire universe, who can truly save us and draw us apart. We have to keep in touch with God.

You know, in the Garden of Gethsemane, on the night that the Lord Jesus was betrayed, all of His disciples ran away… from the only person who could help them and protect them. You will find that in Matthew 26:56:

“Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled.”

We have to remain focused on God because it is Him and Him alone who will keep us in peace. John 16:33, Jesus says:

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Let’s take our eyes off the things of this world and look to the Prince of Peace Himself, our Lord Jesus Christ. He will ultimately overcome all of our difficulties in this stormy sea that we are travelling at the moment.

Do you remember that story of that huge battleship, the HMS Hercules, which was doing manoeuvres in the southern part of the Atlantic Ocean?  A turbulent storm got up in the middle of the night. They called for the Admiral to come up to the bridge and take control of this huge battleship. He was standing on the bridge with high-powered binoculars, trying to see where they were going and in the distance, he saw a faint light and he said to the man in charge: “Send a message and tell that ship to move over, we are coming through”. They sent a message.

A message came straight back. “Unfortunately, we cannot move our course. We are on a fixed course.” The admiral was furious! He sent a message and said, “Tell him to move otherwise we will ram them.” The message came back again, a small little message, “I am sorry. We cannot change our course.” Then the captain, infuriated, said: “Who are you and what is your destination?” A faint voice came back, and said, “We are the lighthouse on the jagged rocks of the Cape of Good Hope.” Immediately, that admiral changed course.

I want to say to you today, keep your eyes on Jesus. He will never move. There is no virus, there is no anything that will move Him because He is your protector and He is your Saviour.

Angus Buchan

Newsflash 14/10/21

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Parenting Input –

Parent and PAC member, Mr Mashava, will be ‘on the airwaves this evening’. Tune in for what is sure to be a good session. 

Congratulations – 

To the following pupils who have been selected into the Gweru Junior Council for 2021 – 2022:

  • Jessica Manhambo – Ward 3
  • Nadine Mutangara – Ward 5
  • Tadiwanashe Manyakaidze – Ward 6

Library Book Donations – 

A reminder that all pupils were asked to donate at least two books towards our school library. Thank you to those who have already submitted their contributions. For those still needing to, a reminder of the guidelines:

  • These may be new or second hand books and 2 is only a minimum number so students can donate more.  
  • Books should not be at odds with our Christian beliefs although they do not have to be religious Christian books.  Examples of books that would not be welcome are books on other religions, horoscopes, excessive violence or material inappropriate for teenage readers. 
  • For those who are struggling to source books, USD30 or the equivalent may be paid to the cashier’s office in order for our Librarian to facilitate procurement on your child’s behalf. 

Farewell – 

We bid farewell to Miss Penduka as she moves town to be closer to family. We will indeed miss her but we thank her for her immense contribution to MCC and wish her all the very best!

Give Some Encouragement – 

In this hot and busy season, we challenge you to be more conscious of connecting with your children, and in giving them encouragement. All Form 4s, Lower 6s and Upper 6s are busy with external examinations. Form 2s finish their Checkpoint Examinations this afternoon, and Form 3s are involved in their final preparations for the Mathematics examinations which they write next week. It is indeed a high pressure time with extra care and attention needed for your children. 

Choose The Right Keys

With a new season making an appearance, I wanted to take inventory of lawn chairs and garden supplies. I fumbled with the lock on my shed, using a key I thought would work. Not so. I tried a second key. The lock didn’t open. I walked back to the house to look. Ten minutes later, I found a key on a ring marked “shed”. 

Using the wrong key to unlock the shed provided more than frustration, wasted time, and exercise walking back to the house. It reminded me of the times I used wrong keys in life experiences.

In decision making, we often choose knowledge instead of the key of wisdom. We think we have all the facts—and we might–but reason and facts may not lead us to a wise decision. Wisdom asks, “How does that knowledge apply to me and what God wants me to do? James 1:5 (NLT) extends an invitation,

“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.”

Sometimes we choose the keys of anxiety and impatience. We may work with a difficult person, wonder how to pay an unusual medical bill, or get held up in heavy traffic. The apostle Paul cautions us,

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV).

The key of prayer leads to unlocking peace.

Or perhaps our vision for a project, a job, or a relationship didn’t turn out as we expected. We clutch the key of disappointment in our hand, even though it won’t change the situation. It’s time to walk back to the house and look for the key of contentment. Scripture points out the apostle Paul’s resolution in struggles,

“… for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. (Philippians 4:11 NIV)

Think about the keys you’ve tried to use, only to be met with a lock that won’t budge. There’s more waiting for us when we choose the right keys. Isaiah said knowing the fear of the Lord is the key that leads to a sure foundation, and the apostle Paul adds another outcome,

“a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.” (1 Timothy 6:19 NLT)

Stable foundation, security, peace, true life. Let’s find and use the right keys.

– Marilyn Nutter