This is a big week in the history of our country. Thousands of people from all over South Africa will converge on a farm just outside Bloemfontein to pray for our country. Some think that the prayer time in Bloemfontein is just about getting rid of a few politicians but it is actually much bigger than that. At our prayer meeting last night one lady prayed the words of this prayer from the bible:
Isaiah 64:1 Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains would tremble before you! As when fire sets twigs ablaze and causes water to boil, come down to make your name known to your enemies and cause the nations to quake before you! For when you did awesome things that we did not expect, you came down, and the mountains trembled before you. Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived,no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him. You come to the help of those who gladly do right, who remember your ways. But when we continued to sin against them, you were angry. How then can we be saved? All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. No one calls on your name or strives to lay hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us and have given us over to our sins. Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. Do not be angry beyond measure, Lord; do not remember our sins forever. Oh, look on us, we pray, for we are all your people. Your sacred cities have become a wasteland; even Zion is a wasteland, Jerusalem a desolation. Our holy and glorious temple, where our ancestors praised you, has been burned with fire, and all that we treasured lies in ruins. After all this, Lord, will you hold yourself back? Will you keep silent and punish us beyond measure?
The prayer time in Bloemfontein is about us humbling ourselves before God acknowledging our own sinfulness and dependance upon His grace to take us into the future that He has for us as a nation. It is also about us submitting to His plan for us, our families, our city and our nation.
There is quite a large going from Eastside. There is still time to join us by joining the whatsapp group. (Click the link below). if you cannot go why not make some time on Saturday and pray with us anyway? Ask God to rent heaven and come down to us in a way that will heal our nation and our broken lives.
WHAT'S HAPPENING IN TEEN CHURCH?
Social Media is awesome. It’s brought us some of the best inventions in modern times. Like the selfie, or even better, the selfie stick. Maybe you’re a fan of the hashtag or the GIF or weekly holidays like Throwback Thursday. All of those were all made popular by one social network or another. And, maybe one of the best things these apps have given us is the filter. Filters are amazing. They basically change the way you see something in a picture. A quick swipe and you can instantly make your photo look brighter, dimmer, older, newer, you can change the shape of your eyes, change the color of your hair, or even swap faces with another human being! You know what we called that in the old days? Magic.
Now, it’s just normal. You take a pic and you automatically start swipingto the left or the right to find filters that will make the scene better or funnier or more interesting.
But in the process of posting our lives online, other things can get filtered too, maybe even things that shouldn’t—like how we see ourselves, our words, and even other people. When we can’t see a situation clearly, it’s easy to forget how powerful our posts and pics really are. Even though the Bible doesn’t say much about which Instagram filter to use or whether screenshotting Snapchat is actually a sin, it does offer a lot of advice that’s really helpful as we navigate our social lives online. As we explore what an ancient book can teach us about modern social life, we may just find God’s plan for us isn’t to use social media LESS, but instead enjoy it MORE as we learn which things are better with NO FILTER.