Adriaan Vlok: South Africa, Please Forgive Me

Adriaan Vlok: South Africa, Please Forgive Me
ADRIAAN VLOK, PREVIOUSLY THE Apartheid Law and Order minister, met in private with Rev. Frank Chikane to offer an extraordinary gesture of reconciliation. 
He presented the minister with a Bible, where he inscribed the words, “I have sinned against the Lord, and against you.  Please forgive me.”
Mr Vlok grew up in an Afrikaner society and upheld apartheid through the National Party until 1991.  Apartheid had devastating consequences for millions of people in South Africa and Mr Vlok, now a devout Christian, felt deep remorse for his actions all those years ago.  He decided to meet Rev. Frank Chikane to wash his feet, as a symbol of repentance for the wrongs in the past.  He also proceeded to wash the feet of 10 widows and mothers of the “Mamelodi 10”, who were lured to their deaths, burned and buried by the Apartheid regime.  He had been involved with them for two years and had visited them previously to try and help them in any way that he could.  Mr Vlok says that he is eternally grateful to the widows, mothers and Frank Chikane for forgiving him.
Mr Vlok said that he had lived a life that he wasn’t proud of and that he had set a bad example.  He hoped that through the symbolic action of washing Rev. Frank Chikane’s feet that the change that had taken place in his heart would be evident.
Adriaan Vlok was born into a Christian home and attended church his whole life.  He didn’t have a relationship with the Lord, however, until his first wife died in 1994.  His heartache drew him closer to God and the Holy Spirit started working in his heart.  He started spending time with the Lord every day, reading his Bible and hearing what God had to tell him.
Over the past 12 years Adriaan has been actively dealing with the sin in his life and has repented for all the wrongs he committed in the past.  He says that he strives to make himself smaller and less significant every day, and to make Christ all the bigger and more important in his life.  He earnestly seeks the Lord’s will every day, down to the smallest detail.  His greatest heart’s desire is complete obedience to the Lord.  He acknowledges that he cannot live without God and that each day is only possible because of His grace.  He is thankful for all the Lord has done in his life and hopes that the lives of others will be blessed by his life.  This humble and obedient spirit is what drove him to wash Rev. Frank Chikane’s feet.
President Thabo Mbeki commented on the event: “I was deeply moved that an elderly Afrikaaner, with Adriaan Vlok’s history and pedigree, could speak as he did and break with his past in the manner he has.  What his words and actions said to me was that our society, which includes those who matured under circumstances very different from today’s, is gradually growing out of its traumatic past…the gesture was from a committed Christian, who said that if Jesus Christ could do it, he could also.”
Patricia de Lille said, “As the only apartheid minister who acknowledged his sins before the Truth and Reconciliation Committee, he is apparently more honest with himself than others about the immoral nature of his previous deeds.”
Adriaan Vlok ends by saying: “I’m deeply grateful that, through the grace of God, I received the opportunity to follow the example of my Saviour, Jesus Christ, to set a better example for others.  My daily life is based on this:  To abandon myself, to let go of my own sense of honour and pride above other people;  To rid myself of my own superiority, egoism and selfishness and be prepared to put myself last and not first anymore, and to get rid of hatred for my fellow human beings.

Celebrate New Year God-Style!

Celebrate New Year God-Style!
THIS PARTICULAR DAY IN THE CALENDAR carries so many different meanings, thoughts and emotions for all of us.  For some people it is the opportunity to reflect on what has happened so far in their lives, to make adjustments and vow to do things differently this year… our traditional New Year’s resolutions.  For others it is just another day like any other. World over it is considered an occasion for great celebration, and yet for many it is an extremely sad time, where the awareness of no family and loneliness seems to be amplified. 
When Janine and I moved to the Cape to pioneer The Bay Christian Family Church in January 1994, we had just celebrated a New Year’s Eve in Johannesburg.  Festive times are really great in our home, as we have a very large family and many friends, and Janine loves to entertain a full house. But then we had to follow our Lord’s calling.  It was very sad leaving our family behind, yet at the same time, we experienced extreme joy knowing that we were obeying our God.  The year was very exciting and we witnessed tremendous growth. 
We saw the words of Jesus in Mark 10:29-30 coming to reality:
So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the Gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time — houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands…”
Our spiritual family was growing, it was wonderful.  As 1994 drew to an end, Janine and I realised that this year we would not have the New Year’s Eve that we were used to.  Most of our flesh and blood family were still in Johannesburg. 
As I was meditating on this in my prayer times, I sensed the Lord impressing upon me that there were many others who were in a similar situation, and would be spending New Year’s Eve alone.  When I shared this with Janine, she immediately said that she would love to have a celebration with these people as our new family.
We decided to have a braai/barbeque and invited anyone who did not have any plans for New Year’s Eve to join us, thinking that it would probably be just a handful of people. We were astounded how many people showed up. It was great!
The evening went well, sharing and fellowshipping, talking and reminiscing about the great year that we had all experienced.  Then someone asked me what I believe the Lord will be doing through us in the New Year to come.
I sensed a strong anointing come on me, and found the Lord prophesying through me as to where He was leading us as a congregation, and the Body of Christ as a whole.  It was a very humbling moment.  Everyone reported afterward how powerfully they had felt the Lord’s presence. When midnight came, with the Lord’s words fresh in our hearts, we rejoiced as I had not experienced before. It was a night I will never forget.
That year we witnessed everything the Lord had said that night, coming to pass.  It reminded me of Isaiah 42:9, “Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.”
Of course, everyone who was at the celebration was telling every one else about the great evening.  By the end of the year, people were asking us if we were going to do the same again.  I realised that this was growing bigger than we had ever anticipated. We did meet, this time in our auditorium, and have every year since then.  We begin the evening around 9.30pm with families coming together to fellowship and spend time together.  Around 10pm we enjoy corporate Praise & Worship which leads into a time where I have shared the Word of God. 
At midnight, we proclaim the blessing of God over our congregation, and explode into tremendous praise and jubilation in honour of God.  We literally step over into the plan of our Lord for the New Year.
I have found that the Lord is still true to Isaiah 42:9.  This may just be another day on our calendar, but it is evident from the Word of God that the Lord works in seasons.  We have experienced that every New Year He sets a course for us as the Body of Christ.  And every year we have seen it manifest just as we received it from Him.
Year after year our New Year’s Eve celebrations have been growing.  In fact it has become our most well attended service of the year.  It really amazed me.  This was contrary to what I had thought. 
The family of God want to be together at this time, even with their flesh and blood family.  We have had some of our members bring their unsaved family to this celebration, and they have committed their lives to the Lord that night. What a way to enter into the New Year. A brand new Born-again child of God!
Unfortunately, in the world, there are some terrible things that have happened on a New Year’s Eve. Our youngsters want to have something that is fun and exciting.  Yet out there, all that has been on offer are crazy and wild parties. So many families have thanked us for giving them a safe and Holy Spirit-filled environment where they know that their children are together with the family, and the children love it too. It is an anointed and exciting time; a time of great celebration. And when midnight arrives, we as a congregation enter the New Year in the midst of manifested glory together as a family of God.
Pastor, if you have been considering something similar, my advice is, “Go for it!”  Do not be concerned as to whether there is a prophecy or not.  We know that this is the Lord’s gift that He distributes as He wills (1 Corinthians 12:11), but determine to have a great time worshipping God.  Lift Him high and make Him our first thought as we turn the corner into a new and prosperous year in His presence.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Jesus The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived

Jesus The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived
“He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman.  He grew up in another village, where He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty. Then for three years He was an itinerant preacher. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family or a home.   He didn’t go to college.  He never visited a big city. He never travelled two hundred miles from the place where He was born.  He did none of the things that usually accompany greatness.  He had no credentials but Himself.  He was only thirty-three when the tide of public opinion turned against Him. His friends ran away. One of them denied Him.  He was turned over to His enemies and went through the mockery of a trial.  He was nailed to a cross between two thieves.  While He was dying, His executioners gambled for His  garments, the only property He had on earth.  When He was dead, He was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend. Nineteen centuries have come  and gone, and today He is the central figure of the human race. All the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man on this earth as much as that one solitary life.”
THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT JESUS Christ is the greatest man who has ever lived in all of history.  He changed the world forever.  When He was born, He transformed the very way we measure time.  He turned aside the river of the ages out of its course and lifted the centuries off their hinges. His birthday, His Incarnation, touched and transformed time.  Now the whole world counts time as Before Christ (BC) and AD (Anno Domoni – in the year of our Lord).  Jesus Christ is the central figure of history.  More books have been written about Jesus Christ than any other person in history. 
The world before Christ was a world without hospitals, a world without charity, a world without respect for the sanctity of life.  Hospitals were an innovation of Christianity.  Hence the healing symbol of a cross represents hospitals. The nursing profession was founded by Christians, such as Florence Nightingale, out of devotion to Christ. One of history’s greatest humanitarian movements, the International Red Cross, was founded by Christians in response to the Scriptural injunctions to care for the sick and the suffering. Christians such as Dr. Louis Pasteur have fuelled some of the greatest practical advances in medicine.  Pasteur has probably saved more lives than any other individual in history through his inventions. The whole concept of charity was a Christian innovation. Benevolence to strangers was unknown before Christ.
The teachings and example of Jesus Christ have inspired the greatest acts of generosity, hospitality, self-sacrifice and service to the poor, sick and needy over two thousand years. 
Before the advent of Christianity cultures practised slavery and human sacrifice – even the highly esteemed Greek and Roman civilisations. Child sacrifice was common among the pagan religions.  The Aztec Empire in Mexico and Inca Empire in Peru engaged in slavery, ritual rapes and mass human sacrifice.  Suttee, the burning of widows on the funeral pyres of their husbands, was common practice in Hindu India before the missionary William Carey arrived. 
Slavery was eradicated as a result of tireless efforts of Christians such as William Wilberforce and David Livingstone.  Respect for life and liberty is a fruit of Christianity.  Those promoting abortion, euthanasia and pornography are not offering us progress, but only a return to pre-Christian paganism.
The positive impact of Jesus Christ on the world cannot be overstated. Everything from education to human rights, from public health to economic liberty – the things we cherish most and many of the blessings we take for granted – can be traced to the spiritual and the cultural revolution begun by Jesus Christ. 
The irrefutable fact is that Christianity gave birth to modern science. The scientific revolution began with the Protestant Reformation and the Bible played a vital part in the development of scientific discovery.  Every major branch of science was developed by a Bible believing Christian. The Bible essentially created science. When we get into a car, start the engine, turn on the lights, drive to a hospital, receive an anaesthetic before an operation, and have an effective operation performed in a germ-free environment, we need to remember that we owe it all to Jesus Christ. 
“Every school you see – public or private, religious or secular – is a visible reminder of the religion of Jesus Christ.  So is every college and university.” Dr. James Kennedy.
The phenomenon of education for the masses has its roots in Christianity. The pursuit of the knowledge of God in a systematic, philosophical and in-depth way gave rise to the phenomenon of universities all around the world.  It was the Christian faith that gave rise to the idea of higher learning. 
Most of the languages of the world were first set to writing by Christian missionaries. The first book in most languages of the world has been the Bible. Christianity has been the greatest force for promoting literacy worldwide throughout history. 
The Christian missionary movement in the 19th Century pioneered tens of thousands of schools throughout Africa, Asia and the Pacific Islands – providing education for countless millions, even in the remotest jungles, giving the gift of literacy to tribes which had never before had a written language. 
There is no doubt that Jesus Christ was the greatest Teacher the world has ever known. When He spoke, “They were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority…”  Mark 1:22. The life, teachings and example of Jesus Christ have profoundly influenced the whole development of education worldwide. The Great Commission of our Lord Jesus was to “make disciples of all nations…teaching them…”  Matthew 28:19-20.
From the very beginning Christians were establishing schools.  Amongst the many innovations in Christian Education was that these Christian schools taught everybody, including girls and women.  Formally educating both sexes was a Christian innovation. The Greeks and Romans before the birth of Christ did not formally educate girls. Only boys from the privileged classes obtained an education. Christianity revolutionised education by making it available to all classes and both genders. 
Saint Augustine observed that Christian women were better educated than the pagan male philosophers. 
Every branch and level of education was pioneered by Bible-believing Christians.  The concept of graded levels of education was first introduced by a German Lutheran, Johan Sturm, in the 16th Century. Another Lutheran, Frederick Froebel, introduced kindergartens. 
Education for the deaf was also pioneered by Christians. 
Before Jesus Christ, human life in the Greek and Roman world was extremely cheap.  Infants born with physical defects such as blindness, were commonly abandoned to die in the wilderness.  In Greece, blind babies were cast into the sea.  Those who survived their blind infancy, or became blind later in childhood, usually became galley slaves, and blind girls were commonly assigned to a life of prostitution.
However, Jesus Christ showed particular compassion for the blind, healing many blind individuals during His ministry on earth.  When the Roman persecution of the Church ended, in the 4th Century, Christians established asylums for the blind.  In the 19th Century, Louis Braille, a dedicated Christian who lost his eyesight at age three, developed the world’s first alphabet that enabled blind people to read with their fingers. 
Sunday schools were begun by Robert Raikes in 1780 to provide boys and girls from the poorest homes with the gift of literacy and the riches of the Scriptures. The first universities grew out of the monastic missionary centres, which had discipled Europe. The first university lecturers were the missionary monks who had collected books, accumulated libraries, copied manuscripts and were uniquely equipped for advanced academic study. Most universities began as Christian schools, including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Oxford, Cambridge, Heidelberg and Basel. 
The greatest invention in the field of learning, the printing press, by Johannes Gutenberg, was also a fruit of the Christian faith.  The first book to be printed was the Bible. 
The very name “university” testifies to its Christian origins.  University means “One Truth”.  Isn’t it time that teachers, lecturers and professors took an in-depth look at the greatest Teacher the world has ever known, the greatest Book ever produced and the Faith which inspired and pioneered every major branch of education and science?.
Just consider some of the everyday things which have been inspired by the Bible.  The word “breakfast” comes from the concept of breaking the fast. 
The word “restaurant” comes from Jesus’ promise in Matthew 11:28 “Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”  The first restaurant founded in Paris in 1766 placed that verse from Matthew 11:28 in bold letters outside this first public establishment dedicated to providing meals in a pleasant atmosphere. 
The fact that our week consists of seven days is a testimony to the fact of God creating the world in six days, resting on the seventh. The practice of Sunday being a day of rest dates back to the Christian tradition of honouring the first day of the week as the Lord’s Day, a testimony to the fact that Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the first day of the week. 
Every time a newspaper publishes the date, it is a testimony to the centrality of Christ.  When we call this the year 2006, we are acknowledging that Jesus Christ is the central focus of history.  This is the year 2006 AD, ‘in the year of our Lord’.
The very word “goodbye” comes from a parting prayer: God be with ye. The word “holiday” comes from holy day.
The Bible, particularly the Ten Commandments, laid the framework and legal foundations of Western civilisation.  The very first statute, the first written restriction on the powers of government was the Magna Carta of 1215.  It was written by a pastor and thoroughly saturated with Scriptural principles. 
The Bible has inspired the greatest literature, the greatest art, the greatest examples of architecture, the age of exploration, world missions, the rule of law, the separation of powers, checks and balances, representative government, the sanctity of life, and so much more that we take for granted. 
Christianity introduced a respect for life and liberty that was completely unknown before the coming of Jesus Christ. 
In the ancient world, the teachings of Jesus Christ halted infanticide, liberated women, abolished slavery, inspired the first charities and religious organisations, created hospitals, established orphanages and founded schools. 
In the medieval times, Christianity built libraries, invented colleges and universities, dignified labour and converted the barbarians. 
In the modern era, Christian teaching has advanced science, inspired political, social and economic freedom, promoted justice and provided the greatest inspiration for the most magnificent achievements in art, architecture, music and literature. Christianity has been the most powerful agent in transforming society for the better across 2000 years. 
No other religion, philosophy, teaching, nation or movement has changed the world for the better as Christianity has done.  Jesus Christ is the greatest Man who has ever lived, and the Bible is the greatest Book ever written. 
The Bible is the number one best selling book in all of history.  It is estimated that well over 30 million Bibles and 100 million New Testaments are printed every year. The Bible has also been translated into more languages than any other book in history.

Help! I suffer from road rage

WHILE TRAVELLING ON THE ROAD, these are often our thoughts or expressions when others in their vehicles do something we consider unacceptable and irritating. We experience an outburst of anger which we cannot control. When really aggravated it becomes what is commonly called ‘road rage’.
How often we justify ourselves at such an event by calling it anger, not sin. After all isn’t that what Scripture implies by, “Do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.” Ephesians 4:26. Did you know that the Bible is full of instances of anger?
Cain murdered his brother Abel because he was angry. Esau was angry with his brother, Jacob, who stole his birthright. Joseph’s brothers were angry with him when he shared his dreams with them. Potiphar was angry with Joseph when his wife accused Joseph falsely.
I have only referred here to some instances of anger in the book of Genesis, but the rest of the Bible is full of examples of temper gone out of control!
More specifi cally, what about road rage? It happens when the driver of the other car does something which irritates you to the point of anger where you open the door to the possibility of explosive rage which can even get you into trouble. How do you counter that?
When it happens remember that in all likelihood you yourself might have been guilty of doing something similar on the road. Is there a driver in the world who has never made a faux pas? Surely this is the principle taught by the Lord Jesus when He said, “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” Matthew 7:3. How often did we hope for the patient endurance of other drivers when we made errors in judgement and drove in such a way that we inconvenienced others?
Understand that all sinful anger is the result of your not getting what you want or what you consider your right. This is the truth taught in James 4:1-3. These verses can be summed up exactly like that: not getting what you want! On the road, it means you want a hassle-free trip, but someone spoils it for you and you are angry that you have been inconvenienced. Is this not tantamount to selfish pride?
Pray for grace. In the passage in James chapter 4:6 we are taught that God gives more grace, that He opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Grace is God’s undeserved favour given to us in every situation. When we are enabled to practise the fruit of the spirit which is self-control, it is because of the grace of God. We need that for every kilometre we spend on the road. If you pray for it God will grant it, for He promised to do so in this very verse.
You must “Submit yourself to God and resist the devil, then he will fl ee from you.” Th at is the teaching of James 4:7. Th e devil wants to give you a short fuse and so spoil your Christian testimony.
Be humble enough to admit your need of God’s help and turn your back on the devil and be what God wants you to be. If and when you become guilty of sinful frustration and anger on the road, confess the sin to God and ask Him to help you and enable you to handle your time on the road better than you have in the past.
Th is is the teaching of James 4:8-10 “Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you who are double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.”
Isn’t it encouraging to note that this quotation ends on a great promise that if you humble yourself before the Lord He will exalt you! Th at alone makes it worthwhile being calm, cool and collected in the power of the Holy Spirit on each journey you undertake. Before we attempt to justify our fury on the road where other people’s driving habits anger us, let us remember that God wants us to practise that fruit of the Spirit which is self-control.
Also, take note that the Lord Jesus Christ only expressed His righteous anger, which was always without sin, on a few occasions. His anger focused on God and His kingdom, His rights and His concerns more than on His own. It arose not because people had sinned against Him but
because they had sinned against His Father and against other people. He did not throw fi ts or withdraw. What about sinful off ences aimed at Him personally? How did Jesus respond? Amazingly not with anger! What about His reaction to severe abuse? Look at 1 Peter 2:21-23. He never
took revenge or sinned with His tongue. He prayed for forgiveness for His enemies. He laid aside His personal rights, Philippians 2:5-11, and He served His enemies without anger. What a model to follow!

REV. MARTIN HOLDT is the Pastor of Constantia Park Baptist Church.

MXit – All You Need To Know

MXit – All You Need To Know
What is it?
MXit is an instant messaging service provider where users can send and receive messages at only 2c a message.
When did it start and why don’t I know about it?
It was founded less than a year ago and most people don’t know about it simply out of ignorance.  Children are much more aware of the latest technological  developments than most adults.
Where do my children get it?
The software is downloaded onto a cellphone from the internet.  Any cell phone that is GPRS/3G enabled can download the software.
Why the big fuss?
MXit has attracted more than 1.8 million users between the ages of 12 and 25.  Subscribers log in more than 5 million times a day to send more than 140 million messages.  It easily becomes an addiction for teenagers and paedophiles alike.
How does it work?
Once the software is downloaded, the user can log in to MXit, join a chat room and send and receive messages.
MXit is raising concerns over the safety of our children, many fearing that it is a product that could lead children right into the hands of paedophiles. 
A sexual predator recently lured a 16-year old schoolgirl using MXit and then abducted her for 5 days. In an ironic twist, the police used the same service to catch the perpetrator.
The approximately 3 million parents of teenagers who use MXit are justifiably seeking the facts.  What is MXit and is it the real problem?  It is important to steer clear of the sensationalism and seek understanding of the situation in order to find the truth.
MXit is a service provider which enables one to send text messages to and from cell phones and computers.  It is inexpensive – only 2c a message – which makes it nearly 50 times more affordable than sending a regular SMS.  Children are becoming addicted to ‘SMSing’; whereas previously they could get 35 SMSs on a R30 recharge voucher, they can now get 1500. On the one hand, it is innovative, empowering and a success story, but on the other hand it is dangerous, addictive and problematic.
MXit provides cover for paedophiles because users use pseudonyms and can therefore profess to be someone else. But SMSs, telephone conversations, e-mails and internet chat rooms are also anonymous and can therefore also be abused by criminals to establish contact with young people.  MXit itself is not the problem here.  The problem is that children (and usually their parents) are naive and uninformed and need to be educated about the dangers of chatting via SMSs or online.
MXit does not know the content of each of the 140 million daily text messages.  The only way to keep potentially harmful messages from reaching your child is to be conscientious in teaching your children about the dangers and to
be alert to any warning signs that they are, in fact, communicating with a possible dangerous person.  Hosea 4:6 says, “My people perish for lack of knowledge.” Let’s equip ourselves with as much knowledge as possible so that we can protect our children. Let’s look at some solutions to the problem:

Only give your cell phone number to  people you already know and trust. 
Only SMS people who are already in your address book and have been approved by your parents.
Respect your friends’ privacy and don’t give out their cell phone numbers to anybody.
Never reply to text messages from people you don’t know.
Don’t post your profile online.
Never give out your address, phone number, or photo in a chat room.


Learn to recognise the warning signs that your child is involved with a stranger – constant SMSing, receiving or making calls to numbers you don’t know, secretiveness.
Find out as much information as you can.  See ‘Useful Websites’ Guide.


There are 5 levels of communication:
1.  Cliché conversation
This is the lowest level of self-communication.  You reveal nothing about yourself and often don’t even mean what you say.
How often do we greet people in passing with: “Hi, how are you? It is so nice to see you, we must get together.” To which the reply is normally, “Yes, we should get together.”
Both parties walk away without meaning anything they said.

2.  Reporting facts about others
Much of the conversation is basically gossip. Who, what, who said what, what happened to who, etc.
When a couple communicates mainly at this level, they may have a great deal to talk about, and yet never expose their inner beings.  It is usually a safe way to avoid communication on a deeper level.

3.  Expressing ideas and judgments
When we express our opinions and views, we reveal what we think about a variety of subjects.  We express values and judgments on what is happening around us.  For instance, when a couple declares their wishes about handling a conflict situation, they are communicating at this particular level.  Some people, particularly extroverts, are always very quick to express their views and opinions, even when these views are not asked for, while others express their opinions far more cautiously.
Some people express their judgments in very general terms, so that if they are met with any disagreement they can withdraw quite easily without losing face.  At this level the individual begins to reveal something of him. Acceptance by others therefore, begins to play an important role.

4.  Sharing emotions
In each one of us there is a “real person” – the unique individual we do not often reveal to others.
You can only reveal yourself, when you share your deepest emotions and convictions.  This is the gut-level communication: sharing my hopes, my dreams, my fears, my frustrations, my ambitions – then I am revealing the things that make me tick.
“I cannot know who I am until I can tell you who I am” – Quote unknown

5.  Peak Communication
This can best be described as intimate communication, which makes two people truly one.  At such time words might be superfluous, for there is an exhilarating unity of mind, soul and spirit – where I sense that my partner thinks what I think, and feels what I feel, experiences what I experienced.
Such communion can rarely be sustained permanently; it comes periodically and can never be planned for. 
However, the more we communicate at level four, that is, the more we share our innermost feelings, the more we communicate our emotions, the more we reveal our unique selves, the more frequently we will experience these moments of intimate oneness. 

There will always be a natural decline in the level of communication, unless a couple takes active steps to maintain their communication at a high level.
If this kind of communication is so meaningful, so uplifting, so stimulating, why is there the eventual decline?

Familiarity – you assume you know your partner
The thieves of time – work, children, TV, busy lives
Conflict – the way it is handled
Self-Centeredness – focusing almost exclusively on our own interests and needs

I hope this is not going to come as a shock: Men think differently to women!
Women can do many things at once and really enjoy doing them.  They can put on makeup, talk on the phone, scold the children and listen to the radio while driving down the highway…
Men on the other hand, like to watch rugby, read the paper, and surf the internet, or talk on the phone, or talk to you – ONE THING AT A TIME! 
Ladies, in conversation with your husband, don’t bounce from one subject to the next.  Your husband tries to focus on one aspect of your conversation and bring that one to a close before moving on to another. 
Meanwhile, you are all over the place and getting frustrated when you see that glazed look in his eyes, which tells you that he is tuning you out. 
Bill and Pam Farrell wrote a book titled “Men are like waffles, and women are like spaghetti.”(Used with permission)

“We do not mean that men ‘waffle’ on all decisions and are generally unstable. What we mean is that men process life in boxes.  If you look down on a waffle you see a collection of boxes separated by walls. 
The boxes are all separate from each other and make convenient holding places.  That is typically how a man processes life.”
man’s thinking is divided up into boxes that have room for one issue and one issue only.

They continue:
Men organize every category of their life in separate boxes
Men like to spend time in the boxes they can succeed in, eg. work
Men have boxes where there are nice thoughts and memories
Men have other boxes that are blank that have no thoughts or words – thus their ability to tune out at times.

“In contrast women process life like a plate of pasta.  If you look at a plate of spaghetti, you notice that there are lots of individual noodles that will touch one another.  If you attempted to follow one noodle around the plate, you would intersect a lot of other noodles, and you might even switch to another noodle seamlessly.” 

This is how women face life:
Every thought and issue is connected to every other thought and issue in some way.
Life is much more of a process for women than for men.

“Men generally hear about your problems and instinctively want to hunt it down for a non emotional solution.”
Men just shoot the idea out of their way and then check it off the list. Done. This is so frustrating for the ladies!
Men want to solve the problem. Women only want men to listen to their problems, not solve them! Women talk about their problems and issues; they talk and talk and eventually solve their own problem – so men, let them talk.
Men get lost while women are speaking. Women are sharers. When they talk, it is just for the sake of talking, going from A to G, back to C, then to F and so on.  Men generally get lost after A, as they are trying to find a solid answer or solution, while she just wants to enjoy strolling through her thoughts.

How many times have you heard your wife say she’s told you something and for the life of you, you can’t recall ever hearing her say that? How many times did your wife get upset over something but you have no clue why? When you ask her about it she says, “oh never mind” as she stomps off!

“Women have a language of their own. It is called hinting!”
Women enjoy speaking in hints and feel frustrated when their husbands don’t understand the meaning behind what they said.
A hint is a way for a woman to tell men something without coming out and saying it.  Why should she want to do that? Because if she comes right out and says it, it ruins the outcome she desires. 
Women use hints because they want it to be your idea.  She is clueing you in on something that you could do that would mean a lot to her.
Hints might seem silly and confusing, but persistence is the secret to a fulfilling marriage.

Press on and persevere like the great knights so long ago who were determined to rescue their damsels in distress.

DR ANTHONY VAN TONDER, Specialist Marriage Counselor. Founder and CEO of Family LifeChange Centre SA. Co-Author of the ‘Step–Parenting’ and ‘How to Family and Marriage’ DVD series, with his wife Michelle. Author of the book ‘How to get your Dad Degree’, which sold more than 7000 copies. Contact: (012) 345 3245 or


Some time ago, my wife and I went to a restaurant with some friends of ours to enjoy an evening out.  We noticed a woman at the adjacent table who was drinking glass after glass of wine, and as the evening wore on she became increasingly more vocal about all the problems in her life.  Many people in the restaurant looked on in embarrassment as she got louder and more upset.  It was obvious to me that this woman was in a lot of emotional turmoil, and that she had suffered a lot of hurt in her life.  Seeing her in this state, one of our friends whispered loudly, “See what alcohol does do you!”
To which I replied, “It is not the alcohol that causes her pain, it is the alcohol that is letting it out.”
Alcohol will allow your pain to be seen, but will never heal you.
Alcohol will allow your lust to be seen, but will never love you.
Alcohol will allow the real you to be seen, but can never change you for the better.
The Holy Spirit lets the pain out and heals within.
Alcohol does not make you do things, but it lowers you inhibitions and allows the real you out, it unmasks what hides behind your mask.
The Bible itself, is clear on some points, and not so clear on others.  What we do know for sure is that drinking in itself has not been absolutely outlawed by the Bible.  In 1 Timothy 3:8, Paul tells Timothy that there are certain things deacons should not be, these include not being “given to” much wine, not being greedy for money and not being double-tongued.  He gives the same instruction in Titus 1:7. 
Let us not demonise alcohol as worse than any of those other things mentioned, but let us realize that as children of God we are not to be “given to” anything other than God Himself.  In the original Greek language, the word “given” also means, “to be enslaved by” and “to hold the mind”.  We are not to let anything enslave us or hold our minds other than God Himself.  He is the one who should hold our minds, because in Him we are free.  Nothing should be in control of us.  Ask yourself, “What am I given to?  What ensnares me?”  If you are more given to something than you are to your fellowship and relationship with Jesus Christ, things are out of order in your life.  If there is anything in your life that you could not let go of right now, if God wanted you to, then you are probably “given to” that thing.
Ephesians 5:18 gives us the clue about what we should be doing.  “And do not get drunk, for that is debauchery; but ever be filled and stimulated with the Holy Spirit.” AMP.
God wants us to be filled and stimulated by His Spirit.  His greater desire for your life is that you be filled with His Spirit, experiencing a life of joy in Him.  Only when you are filled with His Spirit will you find peace and joy like you have never known in your life before.  These are things no addiction can buy.  The Holy Spirit living in you, will not only heal you from your pain, and rescue you from your pain, but He will heal the wounds permanently and without scars.
Many people see alcohol and drugs as the major addiction problems in society today, and while this is true, there are many other things that are just as addictive (when they are out of balance), that may seem perfectly innocent and acceptable in Christian society. 
Anything you use to feel better about your life or yourself, anything you use to block the pain out of your life is your personal addiction or enslavement.
Some people are enslaved by work, they work until they are so tired they cannot work anymore, thereby successfully locking out any time for God or dealing with their pain.  Their families suffer, their health suffers, their fellowship with God suffers.
Others are enslaved by the TV, they cannot go home without switching it on, it runs all day until nightfall, successfully blocking out any form of communication and killing time for self-reflection.
People suffering from severe depression are many times known to have become addicted to excessive sleep, what better way to block life out completely than to shut down altogether?
Hypochondriacs are enslaved by their need for the attention they receive every time they go to the doctor with a new ailment, in their search for love.
Some people are enslaved by their craving for the company of other people, and can never be alone.  They crave the company of other people so badly that they begin to make bad choices in friends and sink into deep bouts of depression when they are alone.
People who are enslaved with addictive behaviours find that while they can temporarily shut out their pain, and avoid it, they never deal with life or take responsibility for themselves.  They always feel unfulfilled, and are continuously looking for a better way to fix their problems, which is why so often, one addiction leads to another.
All enslavements, no matter what name they carry, come from the same place and have the same ultimate goal.  A spirit of addiction will keep you from having fulfilling fellowship with your living, loving Father, it will prevent you from finding that place in God where you know you have complete acceptance and pure unconditional love.  It will cause you to go through life spiritually crippled and unable to accomplish anything of any eternal value.  It will tell you to wait one more day before you change, it will tell you tomorrow is a better day to start again.
Each person has there own personal thing that they can become enslaved by.  It is not the same for everyone, and only you know what your personal weaknesses are.  However, there is a common root with all who suffer addiction:  the need for love.  This is why there is only one Person who can bring relief to the search.  He is Jesus Christ.
Those who are enslaved, need to turn away from all those things that distract from Christ and put Him first, let Him take the pain you have, and heal it.  Allow Him into the deepest part of your heart to fix those things that have hurt you so much and kept you in bondage for so long. 
Only then can you truly live a free life and experience the relationship with God that you were created to have. 
No substance or activity can fill the chasm in the spirit of man, that was meant for God to fill.  No human can fill your need for love as completely and fully as the One who made you and knows you better than you know yourself.
There is no better day than today, there is no better time than right now, to make the change in your life.  When you cannot, He can.  Where you are not able, He is more than able.  Where you may be weak, He is always strong.  When you live your life through Jesus and not on your own, you have all His strength available to you. 
When you give all you are to Him, you are a new creature in Him, and you can do all things through Him.

—by Ps. Llewellyn Roberts