Is Online Dating For Christians?

The Bible doesn’t tell us how to ‘date’ or ‘court,’ (words used for the process we use to get to know a potential mate). During Biblical times, neither of these existed in the same form that we see them today. Back then, families helped young women and men meet and become engaged and often chose their children’s mates for them. Today, singles independently find a spouse.
Leave it in God’s hands
We  need to remember that God is perfectly loving (Eph 3:19; 1 John 3:16-18) and perfectly sovereign over every situation, desire and need (Ps 109:21; Rom 8:38-39).
Unless we are rebelling against God, we can be sure that He is not punishing us through our singleness and that He is bringing the right man or woman our way…eventually! God uses our choices, people, and sometimes even technology, to bring our spouse.
Consider your expectations
Before a Christian single considers any of the “newer” methods of finding a spouse, it’s helpful to consider whether we may be engaging in any self-defeating behaviour.
Is it possible we are being too picky, looking for the fairy-tale prince or princess, and by doing so, limiting the possibilities of what God may know is best for us and which we have not yet considered? Are we not being picky enough, forgetting that God calls all Christians to marry only other Christians (2 Cor 6:14), or are we considering someone who is stuck in a serious, life-altering sin that could endanger the marriage?
Focus on Christ
A Christian man should take the lead in relationships, asking the woman out, calling her, and making sure their relationship glorifies Christ in all things. A Christian woman should let the man take the initiative as the leader God made him to be and resist the temptation to initiate the relationship.
And, finally, as believers, we should be able to stand on our own two feet, relying on the Lord to fulfill us rather than feeling a need to be married in order to be whole. Once we have these common struggles sorted out, we can begin to pursue a woman, or be pursued by a man, even in an online setting.
Should you choose online dating, and even meet a potential love interest, remember that you can’t stay online forever. So how does one make the jump from the virtual world to the “real world”?
1. Meet in-person as soon as you can
Meet sooner rather than later; it gives you a chance to get to know the person in the real world. It’s important to see for yourself how this person treats others, deals with everyday frustrations, etc.
2. Use common sense
Be safe. Meeting on a Christian dating site doesn’t automatically mean the person you’re communicating with is who they say they are. When you schedule that first in-person meeting, do it in a public area. Let your friends and/or family know what you’re doing.
3. Quickly bring this person into your community
Meet his friends, have him meet yours…don’t date in secret.
4. Trust God and follow His lead
Whether you meet someone online, or in a more conventional setting, remember to pray, and obey God’s leadership throughout every step of the dating and engagement journey. Stay accountable! 
By: Jackie Georgiou

God, Gangs And The Gospel Report Back

On Saturday 18th January I set off with my son, Andrew, to meet up with Evangelist Edward Ackerman, André Britz from Christ For All Nations (CfaN) and the team of soul-winners that were trained by CfaN the previous week at Reconciliation Ministries church in Steenberg.
Sharing the vision
We arrived at a big tent in Lavender Hill, which belongs to one of the churches in the area. Edward and I shared the vision with the other evangelists and we were informed of the possible dangers and reactions we could encounter.
We prayed the prayer of faith for protection as we put on the armour of God. The folks then assembled into groups of 2 or 3. Each group, about 20 in all, took ten Bibles (as we calculated that each group would visit about ten homes that afternoon) and we set off. My son and I were privileged to go with Evangelist Edward, so I knew we would experience great things!
Welcomed into homes
At the first house we met two couples and were invited in. Edward took time to share the Gospel and the benefits of making Jesus Lord and Saviour of  their lives. They all prayed the salvation prayer and two committed to attend the open-air church service in the area the following evening. We took their names and details to give to a pastor in the area.
We then moved to the next house. Outside we found a lady chopping stones, Edward greeted her respectfully and gently began to share the Good News of Jesus. She listened intently and cried and invited Jesus into her heart. We left her a Bible, took her details and moved to the next place.
Seeing lives changed
There we found a lovely family, a granny, two young daughters and two little grandchildren. We were invited in and it took some time for the granny to get up and come into the lounge. She was suffering with a hip and knee problem and couldn’t walk. She eventually shuffled in with her stick and sat down.
Edward stated our reason for being there and we both ended up laying hands on her and praying for her healing and restoration. With tears in her eyes she managed to walk across the room without her stick. Praise the Lord! Her daughter also invited Jesus into her heart and we prayed for her and the little grandchildren.
We also ministered to and prayed for the other daughter. We took their details, left Bibles and moved on thinking about how this family’s whole life could change because of what had just taken place!
The Lord brought us more people
Next we entered a home and the whole family was there, Dad, Mom, Aunty and daughters. Edward began to share the Gospel and the difference between belonging to a church and surrendering one’s life to Jesus. What followed was rather amusing, just as he finished sharing the Gospel and praying for someone, the front door would open and someone else would step inside.
This went on about three or four times. It was so funny; the Lord was just sending the people. The reaction on their faces as they walked in was unforgettable. We took all their details, handed out Bibles and moved on.
Used by God
We soon encountered a young man standing in the street watching us and who was very open to listening to what we had to say. Edward shared with him, prayed for him, took his name and gave him a Bible.
Next we reached a little road where there were many children of all ages playing cricket with a squash racquet and a tennis ball. Andrew quickly got involved and was soon bowling and catching the ball to the delight of the kids. Edward went off to chat to a young man on the corner and very soon the man was saying the salvation prayer and calling on Jesus to change his life. What a privilege!
He invited us to follow him home to meet his family. Edward and I went into the second floor flat and found his mom, sisters and extended family. The one lady just cried and said she had been waiting all day for us. (I think she heard we were in the area).
We shared the Gospel and chatted and then told them about their young son and brother who had just accepted Christ. They were all naturally thrilled. We took their details and left Bibles for them, thinking that this would be a perfect home to start a prayer group.
Just one more…
Soon we headed back to the tent.  Time had gone by so fast. We still had one Bible left and Edward said, “I need to find one man to receive this Bible”. Whala – there sitting on the steps in front of us was a young earring-clad man, playing with his little sisters.
We approached him and as soon as he heard the Gospel, he was ready to surrender his life to Jesus. We prayed a long prayer together with many blessings included.
Could this be a future leader in the community? We believe so, because when we asked the Lord for one more soul, he specifically led us to this young man.
Defeating the enemy’s plans
When we got back to the tent we listened to excited testimonies from the others. Some had encountered only Muslim families, others drug addicts, others gangsters. All had good reports and there was only one negative incident. Some young addicts had held up a pastor with the intention of robbing him, but all he had was a coke that had been given to him by a previous resident he had just shared with. This satisfied them and they went on their way. Glory to God!
We will be back!
And so we will return again and again until our task is done in Lavender Hill. Thank you to all the intercessors and prayer warriors who have emailed me to encourage and exhort us in this outreach. We have another 4 000 Bibles to distribute and will not stop until every home in Lavender Hill in the Cape Flats has one or has at least had the opportunity to receive one.
God’s Word has the power to change hearts and minds and together with Evangelist Edward Ackerman and CfaN, JOY! Magazine is committed to distribute the Word of God into all the homes. Once Lavender Hill has been reached and some sports ministries implemented and some prayer groups established, we will move to the next suburb. 
By Erin Georgiou

Lisa Bevere: Passionate, Powerful, Prayer Warrior

What if you discovered you have been entrusted with an invisible, invincible, and incorruptible weapon? Would you use it? Lisa Bevere, international speaker, best-selling author, and co-founder of Messenger International, encourages women to wield the Word of God as their greatest defence.
Empowering women
Alongside her husband, John Bevere, respected Bible teacher, this dynamic duo proclaims and teaches the Word of God with a wisdom that is inspired by Christ. In her latest book, ‘Girls With Swords’, Lisa shares God’s Word inter-woven with personal experiences to empower lives with His freedom. She explains that a spiritual enemy is seeking to disarm women on every level. It’s time women become the heroes God created them to be and stand – courageous, discerning, forgiving, and wise.
The following is an extract from this latest release:

Fighting for dreams
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the Heavenly places.” Eph 6:12
Most of us realise that we are in the midst of a spiritual war. But as we fight, we must ask: “Where is our battle, and who is our enemy?” The quick, simple answers are that our battle is fought in a realm unseen, and our enemies are not the people we know. Instead, we war agaist satan and the unseen forces of evil.
This foe, one who Scripture calls a serpent and a dragon, crouches in the shadow of nightmares as he waits to pounce on all who would dare to dream. He purposefully divides, demeans, and discourages any who would hope to rise up and move into the light by daring to dream in the dark.
Lovely one, if you dare to dream, you must be brave enough to fight!
Identify the evil one
Look over your life and bravely look beyond both the people and the pain. How many times have you seen a serpent coiled in the shadows, hidden until it was time to pounce on your hopes and dreams?
When you were a little girl, maybe the dragon spoke words of fire that turned your hopes to ashes. Maybe he twisted words until you imagined his thoughts were your own. Did someone say you were ugly, fat, skinny, flat, stupid, too smart, short, or tall?
Maybe your parents’ love turned to hate and the former shelter of your home turned into an empty shell of a house. Maybe someone rode the dragon’s wings in the night and touched you in places and ways that made you feel ashamed and dirty…
Maybe as the serpent of shame slithered away, he hissed: “You asked for this, you wanted this, you are the one who made me do this.”
Beware of the thief
Jesus came to take the blame once and for all. Blame is always a distraction from what is truly going on. Any pain caused by people is just a shadow puppet of what is behind the scenes.
The dragon in the shadows loves to warp the actions and perceptions of God’s children. He wants to steal our birthright and malign our ability to bear the Lord’s image: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy” John 10:10.
God will protect you
In contrast, Jesus positioned us to flourish as we individually and corporately recover what was lost through theft, death, and destruction.
As we become unified in purpose and flourish in our individual strengths, we could be likened once again to a glorious garden of which the Lord is the master gardener.
“At that time God will unsheathe His sword, His merciless, massive, mighty sword. He’ll punish the serpent Leviathan as it flees, the serpent Leviathan thrashing in flight. He’ll kill that old dragon that lives in the sea.
At that same time, a fine vineyard will appear. There’s something to sing about!
I, God, tend it.
I keep it well-watered.
I keep careful watch over it
so that no one can damage it.”
Isaiah 27:1–3.
Flourish in Christ
As our God Most High fights, we flourish. As we His people flourish, our God strikes a killing blow.
The battles in Heaven are seen on earth, and the battles of earth do not escape the notice of Heaven. We flourish when we are one with each other and with Heaven’s purpose.
Be fruitful and live freely
Lovely one, the most powerfully, heroic thing you can do is to be fruitful. Repeatedly throughout the Scriptures, God refers to His people as vineyards, gardens, and fields. You are likened to a garden of His planting.
Trees do not attack what is planted around them, nor do they imagine that the beauty of the flowers blooming in their shade detracts from the majesty of their strength.
So let your roots go down deep and draw your strength from the unseen, and never allow the shadow of the dragon to blight the light of your future.
A life-changing read!
This extract was adapted from ‘Girls With Swords: How to Carry Your Cross Like a Hero’. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used with permission. 

LISA BEVERE, author and co-founder of Messenger International. For more info about their ministry:

BDS Israel – Boycott Divestment Sanctions

A furore erupted in the media recently when Hollywood actress, Scarlett Johansson (who represents Israeli soda-maker SodaStream) featured in a national television advert for the company.
Suddenly, average Americans who had previously not cared for, nor been informed of, the BDS Campaign (which stands for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel) jumped into the ring for a war of words and so-called principles.
A global campaign
But the BDS movement is not just limited to America, in fact it is a global movement gaining ground and influence worldwide, in seeking to alienate and ostracise Israel and Israeli run companies/manufactured products both financially and politically.
The movement, was started several years ago by the Palestinian BDS National Committee in 2007 and their mission (according to their website: is to put pressure on Israel and [raise public opinion against the Holy Land] until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights.
A militant propaganda machine (with excellent branding and marketing capabilities), BDS is a strategy that [according to themselves] allows people of conscience to play an effective role in the Palestinian struggle.
Harmful and misguided…
So why should we care? Well, firstly, the BDS campaign has far-reaching effects, as many Israeli products are globally sold and used; a halt in their production would have serious financial implications not only for the consumer and Israel, but also for thousands of Palestinian families and workers who are employed by these companies (which the BDS propagandists fail to publicise or recognise).
Secondly, an economic crisis in Israel would lead to widespread instability in the region, which would ultimately further harm the Palestinian that BDS seeks to “protect”.
Every year thousands of students and people are brainwashed with campaigns either for or against Israel, so it is important that as Christians we have a Biblical worldview on the subject, and an informed outlook.
Why care?
For years, many Palestinians have continually asserted that they would far rather live under Israeli rule, and work for Israeli companies, than not. Yet the media ignores this fact and politicises the issue. We must be informed.
When it comes to the Middle East, thare are no “innocent” sides, however, we should have a desire in seeing Israel prosper and operate according to God’s Law.
For further reading see: 

Help For Handling Irritations

I am very irritable and highly critical of people.” This confession shows that our hectic, everyday lives, leave us with little time to stop, think, and just enjoy the moment.
This state-of-mind contributes to constant stress, and leaves us with little or no respect for other people and self. This symptomatic moving away from respect and courtesy towards self-centred anger is common in today’s society and often affects our road behaviour.
Boiling over
When we are irritated, our brain and nervous system are triggered and we experience the so-called ‘fight or flight reaction’. This is a physiological reaction and it helps when we are knowledgeable  and can identify this reaction to stress, as it influences the whole body. 
Are your goals being hindered?
Do you find that you are filled with the fruit of the Spirit, especially love, patience and self-control as described in Galatians 5:22? Or are you irritable, critical and impatient? Usually our irritations start when we perceive people or situations preventing us from reaching our goals. When you are on the road and start to feel frustrated, identify the goals that are under threat and have a contingency plan ready. For example if you goal is to get to work early, but heavy traffic is blocking it, plan a different route, or time, to leave home.
Taking care of body, soul and spirit
Physical illness and exhaustion could be another cause for irritability as it contributes to low levels of tolerance and frustration. Sufficient rest is essential for calming your physiological and psychological system and prevent unnecessary exhaustion.
You need to deal with the everyday frustrations immediately because it has the potential to ruin your life. This is often rooted in feelings of rejection, un-forgiveness, bitterness, humiliation, failure, shame, fear, etc.
We are soul, spirit and body. The soul is the mind and emotions are the will; the body is the physical, anatomical and physiological component. It is important to be aware of your physiological reaction when you become stressed, anxious and irritable.
Thankfulness to God
Make time in your day to exercise, sleep and eat nutritiously. It is important to do self-care, take a long bubble bath, go for a walk, read a magazine, or spend time in prayer. Make it a habit of identifying your negative thoughts and replace them with positive thoughts. (Phil 4:8). Start a gratitude diary to God, identifying small incidents that you are appreciative for.
Thankfulness is the first step into the presence of God. To be thankful is a command, “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.” Col 3:15.
When we approach God with thanksgiving, it results in peace –the peace of God which guards our hearts and minds (Phil 4). Make time to talk to God, read His Word, listen to His voice and refill your spirit. It is important to be proactive in self-care for the mind, the heart and the body, cherish your friends, but more importantly, listen to the Lord’s instruction to “…be still and know that I am God.” Ps 46:10.
Addressing your stress
When you prolong addressing your stress, everything is affected, as well as everybody in your immediate family, friends and work colleagues. Depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, burnout or other mental health disorders and physical illnesses like chronic fatigue syndrome, autoimmune illnesses and even allergies may be the end result.
When you realise that you are experiencing increased stress, anxiety and irritability, when you are feeling overwhelmed or no longer have enjoyment for the everyday pleasures, you might need to seek professional help.
Healthy, God-honouring habits
Consistently renew your mind (Rom 12:2). For unruly emotions; you need to trade the spirit of heaviness for a garment of praise (Isaiah 61:3). Ephesians 4:23-24 states that we need to be constantly renewed in the spirit of our mind, for “…the spirit gives life” (2 Cor. 3:6). Seek God’s help to handle irritable behaviour and frustration on all three of these levels. 
MARIANNE KRUGER  is a Psychologist and part time lecturer at the ICP.  For counselling or more info, contact: