Saturday, November 19, 2016

Power Over The Enemy by John Osteen

I am reading this book on 'breaking free from spiritual strongholds', and here is a small brief:
"If you will trust in God, He'll fight your battles for you. It doesn't matter what you are going through, or how big your opponents are. Keep an attitude of faith. Stay calm. Stay at peace. Stay in a positive frame of mind. And don't try to do it all your own way. Let God do it His way. If you will simply obey His commands, He will change things in your favor."

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Must I really move

Moving is terrifying; especially if you have questions like 'where am I going, why am I going, why now, what will I do, will I not miss home and family?'
That is my spot right now!
Yet God is always faithful. He always finishes what He starts. And along the way He gives us His Word.
Like this word from an article by Pastor Emmanuel Makandiwa in today's newspaper:
"When God is inviting you to new levels and experiences, there is need for you to prepare yourself for the better life that God is inviting you to. If the presence of God has shifted to another place you have to pursue it. In the Bible Israel would move as the presence of God moves.
There was a cloud that when it moved they also had to move, their pace was dictated from above.

When the cloud moves, you move! Wherever you are, keep on checking if you still have the cloud of the presence of God upon your life, upon your career and upon your relationships. If it is no longer there, find out where it is and follow it!"

Thursday, November 10, 2016

FORGIVEN

I was riding on my bicycle going towards my friend's village in Jericho when I was accosted by robbers. I had left the Jerusalem gathering just before sunset and my fellow travelers were long gone. After five kilometers’ riding the deserted road had gone dark. In my heart I had already sensed the trouble ahead of me even before the shadowy figures encroached on my dark road.

The road was dark, but so was my heart. I felt guilty. A couple of weeks earlier, I had travelled another road to Jerusalem. I was in a group of ten men. We all had that obnoxious disease, called leprosy. I was a leper, and so were my nine buddies. But we had heard of a Man who could cure us.

Just as we approached Jerusalem from Samaria, the Man himself came to us. Word had already gone ahead of us, for people to avoid the road we were traveling on. So while everyone else hid from our presence, the Man himself came out to meet us. We didn't want to face the reproach of the elders, so while the Man was still some distance away, we cried out to him to heal us. He lifted his hand toward us and with an authoritative voice instructed us to go and present ourselves to the priests. We took this to mean that this Man was upset by our coming to seek him. But in obedience we turned around to go and face our penalty from the priests.

Suddenly we were healed, all ten of us! In a split second the leprosy was gone. Where once our skin had turned a sickly grayish-white, suddenly it was a healthy browny-black. We were healed!

We were so filled with joy, to the extent of even forgetting the instruction to go the priests. But one of us did, the ever so faithful and boring Stephen. He went and presented himself to the priests, and later on went back to look for the Man who had healed us. We later grouped back with Stephen, who told us of how disappointed the healer was of us, for not appreciating the grace extended to us.

Now as I traveled the dark Jericho road, I kept reprimanding myself on why I had not sought out the healer to show my appreciation. I had rationalized that after all I wasn't the only one who was guilty of an ungrateful heart. I was actually very grateful; I just didn’t have the time to look for priests and healers anymore. That had been my preoccupation ever since I had contracted that horrible disease a couple of years ago. But now I wasn’t a leper anymore and it was already planting season; and I needed to buy seed and hurry back home to prepare the land.

But now here I was all alone on that dark lonely road, with those stealthily evil figures looming right in front of me. In a flash I felt the clubbing, the booting, and the knifing and within a few minutes it was all over. They left me in a pile of dirt, sweat and blood. I could not move, could barely breathe and the pain so excruciating it was as if two hammers were knocking down my head. I lay there in my filth, vomit, urine and blood. I was dying and I knew it. Saved from leprosy to end up dying like this! Would it have made a difference if I had just spared an hour and gone back to thank the Man? Regrets were all I had, and it was now too late to do anything about them. I was dying.

How I made it through the night with all those howling scavengers, I will never know. As the morning broke up I could hear the voices of travelers passing down the road. I had heard that when one was approaching death, everything becomes numb except for the hearing which stays as clear as ever. So I could hear the travellers' voices, some whispering in astonishment of my misfortune. But none came near enough to help me. They whispered their own fears of getting involved, while promising to notify some authorities.

I was left for dead! I thought of that Man who had healed us. If only he could come. He would show compassion. He could at least pray for me so I could die in peace. I could also have the chance to ask for his forgiveness. My thoughts became so overwhelmed about meeting this Man again. Weakly, like old Jonah who had cried out from inside the belly of a fish, I cried for a chance to have that Man come by and speak words of comfort to my dying soul.

As my thoughts kept wondering, I must have slipped into a coma. For when I woke up, I was in a small local hospital bed. The nursing staff told me that I had been brought in two days ago. I had lost all my personal belongings to the robbers, but the Man who brought me in, knew me by my name, Samuel. He told them that He had earlier in the month healed me of leprosy. But on that day, He had heard me cry out for His help as He rose early for His morning prayers. He had walked most of the morning to find where my whisper was coming.

On the small table by my bedside was a small bible He had left for me. I reached out to feel its touch and inside was a small note. It read: "You are forgiven. I paid for your sins through my blood which was shed for you at Calvary".


Stories are based on Luke 10:25-37 & 17:12-19

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

God of Wonder I love You


Last week I got an invitation to attend another Investment forum to be held in Cape Town, South Africa. It was from the same hosts in New York, but this time they were offering me a free registration ticket for the two day event, worth US$750!

I was so excited about the opportunity to see Cape Town. I have been to Johannesburg and Durban, but not to the Cape as yet. So I quickly responded and accepted the offer. 

That was when it hit me! I am going to exit the Fund at the end of the year, after sixteen years of service. The Fund would not be able to meet my airfare and hotel costs. Felt like almost there but not able to make it. So I shelved the idea. And besides, when I decided to exit, it was because I was tired of working in an economic environment that was just as good (bad) as dead. It wasn't fun anymore and the investment choices and returns were so boringly predictable.

So I had decided to quit and start a new career in something totally different. I happen to be one of those people who can whip up a different resume, depending on the what needs to be done, especially if you give me a computer and some quiet space!

Anyway, I threw the idea of going to Cape Town out of the window and moved on. However, God speaks ever so quietly most times. He reminded of what He had said to me a couple of days earlier..."you have been faithful with little". That scripture is from Matthew 25:14-29. I knew what the Lord was saying to me. My Fund was not one of the biggest in the economy, but in the sixteen years I have worked it, it has grown significantly.


So here I am standing in line for more miracles to happen. Just now I got an email from South African Airlines informing me that I have some miles due to me from my earlier flight with them to Washington D.C. and back. What a God we serve! I can see myself by the waterfront again. And if God is going to open another Fund for me to manage, who am I to say no!


My email address is: agiema@gmail.com
I work as an Investment Officer and serve God through Counseling.

Agatha Mangwende






Wednesday, October 12, 2016

God of Power God of Wonder I adore You

I love the God who dried up the great sea, so that the children of Israel could cross over it as if it were dry land. I love the Lord who reached out with His holy hand and opened the eyes of the man who had been blind since birth! I love the God who blinded the eyes of the concentration camp guards so that they could not see the bible that prisoner Corrie Ten Boom carried with her everyday. Like Martha Munizzi, I will sing 'I worship You because of who You are'. You are the old-fashioned God, who is yet still the same yesterday, today and forever!

Lord, You saw me as I began my long journey across the seas. I was not afraid because I knew whom I believed and was convinced that He was able to keep that which I had committed to Him against that day – 2 Timothy 1:12. I learned to trust Your inner voice inside me quietly telling me that You were with me, You would never leave me nor forsake me. Where I needed to audibly hear a friendly voice, You would bring someone in my path who would acknowledge that I wasn't just a vapor passing through, but a child of God spreading the fragrance of Christ wherever I went.

Because of who You are, I lift up my voice in worship and say Jehovah You are my Guide always. You are my Provider, You are my Prince of peace. Even when I boarded my first flight in Harare, I was weighed down with anxiety, stress and fatigue, but even as I took my seat, You had already already started ministering to my broken spirit.

You took me across the world, so You could show me Your awesomeness! So many times we are reminded of the God of old, who related to His people in a very real way. Yet how often we fail to make the connection of Your nearness to us today. You are my King, Lord and like the Prophet Isaiah I saw Your glory!

You showed me the great cities of this present world. Someday I will see the greatest city of all, the city where You dwell, where You reign in Your glory – Revelation 21. I remember after I had passed through Washington D.C, Tampa, New York and was on my way to Oklahoma, silently praying in my heart saying 'Lord, I have seen all that my naked eye could feast on, but now as I go to the mountain top women's conference, let me now begin to see with my heart and my spirit.

In New York the Lord had given me the rare opportunity to sit amongst the top investors of the USA. I felt like little Gideon amongst these giants! But once I realized that God had placed me in their midst, I listened, interacted and took notes for my employer.

I am reminded of one sister's testimony that she shared at a women's gathering. She was at that time one of our government ministers. She spoke of how she felt God's honor upon her as she sat in a business forum in Italy among the world's top leaders. She reminisced on her upbringing as a poor village child who went to school bare-footed. And yet, here she was, seated all dressed up, in the midst of the most influential leaders of the world! It was awesome for her that day. It was awesome for me too on my day at the Investors' forum in New York.

At some point in my early career days, the Lord put it in my heart to read the financial papers. I started off barely understanding what I was reading but as I prayed, I would understand a bit more each time I concentrated on the paper. Later on, I took some studies in Investments and Banking, and today by the grace of God, I can figure out the business market intricacies that some of my more learned colleagues struggle with.

The Lord heard my prayer as I left New York. I went to Oklahoma with a different spirit. I was eager to hear from God as I worshipped with the other women at the Kindle The Flame conference, which was the primary reason why I had traveled to the US. To say that I was more than filled is an understatement! Biblical truths that I had heard so many times were revealed to my spirit in a new and dynamic way. And the worship, oh the worship was out of this world! Indeed God saw my weariness as I left Zimbabwe and answered every one of my prayers in ways I could never have imagined.

Lord, I am still to understand fully what You have written on the palm of Your hand about what You have purposed for my life and future! I bow down before You Lord, for I know that I have found favor in Your eyes. You will take me places and I will never be alone. Your Presence will always be with me Lord; The God of power, authority and divine intervention!

Link to: Because of Who You Are by Martha Munizzi

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1pzH9N9S84

My email address is: agiema@gmail.com
I work as an Investment Officer and serve God through Counseling.
Agatha Mangwende

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

When Women Meet In Fellowship The Glory of God Descends

We met at the airport and I could not contain my joy in being part of the group of women traveling to Lilongwe, Malawi for the conference of The Baptist Women's Union of Southern Africa.

Our flight was for 1pm on the 7th of August, to arrive in Lilongwe at 6pm. From Lilongwe we took a hired bus to Kamuzu Academy, situated in an area called Kasungu. Kasungu is two hours drive from Lilongwe airport. We arrived at Kamuzu Academy around 9pm, just as the opening session was about half way. Even in the night we could tell that we had indeed come to a beautiful place!

The theme for the conference, 'Arise Shine', was taken from Isaiah 60:1, 'Arise, shine, for the glory of the Lord has risen upon you'.

Our President, Mrs. Joina Dhlula, opened the Word for us by sharing from Ecclesiastes 11:1-2. She encouraged us to work hard; not just in our homes, or in our professional lives, but more so in the business of the Lord. We are to 'cast our bread across the waters (cast our lives, trades) beyond', and watch how the Lord will transform not just us, but also the lives of those we minister God's word to. When our lives are transformed, the lives of those around us can also be transformed.

We also heard of powerful testimonies to the glory of God. One was from a woman active in ministry in a remote village. She spoke of how when traveling in those hazardous roads, was miraculously delivered from two near- fatal accidents which all accrued within a couple of hours.

The other testimony was given by a woman whose first two babies died at nine months, after developing an incurable tummy swelling problem. She had to stop breastfeeding the children that came later, so they could live.

Counseling sessions also happened concurrently after the Word had been preached and taught through topics such as 'Coping with grief', and 'Dealing with matters of heart by tackling unforgiveness'.

Women were also empowered through a workshop, teaching how to use their hands and creativity to 'eradicate extreme poverty and hunger' within their communities.

To break the strain of listening to sermons and teachings, women would break out in song and dance. To say that the African woman can dance, is a statement that denies justice to what we witnessed and took part in. We danced the Malawian style, the Zambian twist, the Zimbabwean jive, the Botswana shake and the South African jiggle!


All in all, we had an all-rounded, short two day, conference that left us fully satisfied and equipped to go back to our communities and continue doing business and ministry to the glory of God! 

Friday, July 29, 2016

Are You Prayed Up

Are you prayed up for that important task before you? It could be a job interview you are to attend; it could be travel to a distant land; or it could be planning for a much anticipated for wedding? Have you spend enough time in prayer about the task ahead of you?

Why pray? Will it change anything about the task? Nothing will most likely change! But what will be affected by your prayer will be the quality of the outcome of the task before you.
You may have your job interview and succeed in getting the job but ending up wishing you never got it in the first place. Staying power, satisfaction can only be achieved through prayer!

There are unseen events that can suddenly happen across your path as you travel, or as you start enjoying your marriage. Prepare for such, by praying before the event. And stay prayed up, to encounter the unforeseen with God’s strength and wisdom.

When the Lord Jesus started on His mission here on earth, He chose for Himself twelve disciples. They were all different in nature, background and professions. Each one of them was to play a special role in the Master’s ministry here on earth. That also included Judas Iscariot who was to later betray the Him. But all this had been prayed for, the night before choosing these disciples. And in the course of His interaction with the disciples and the people who needed ministering to, Jesus continued to withdraw to solitary places to seek His Father’s strength and wisdom. He stayed ‘prayed up’.

So dear friend, whatever it is you are planning for today, tomorrow or for the future, stay prayed up! God will guide you as you interact with Him in prayer. God bless you.


The Twelve Apostles – Luke 6

12 One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. 13 When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: 14 Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, 15 Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, 16 Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.