Jesus, Family, Community & Love           

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Ken Du Pisanie

Ken Du Pisanie

Saved by grace, lives by grace. Beloved of the Lord. Husband to Tammy for 25 years. Father of three (Jonathan, Jessica-Jane & Joshua). Pastor of Philadelphia Church in Uitenhage, South Africa. Passion for preaching, passion for the unchurched and a passion for the church. Enjoys writing. Loves the wild.  Relaxes with good music and good food. Gets excited about Formula One, Rugby, Cricket. Much more could be said, but I think you get the picture…..

Tuesday, 06 February 2018 06:26

Ambassadors in our City

Dear Family,

This past Sunday evening Chris Gerber preached a message which I believe underlines the heart of God for Philadelphia Church at this time. I want to summarize the message so that we can meditate on these thoughts, and also for the benefit of those who could not be there.

2 Corinthians 17-21 (NIV) - The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

You can either hate your city, and disengage from it completely, and so not use your residential privileges or responsibilities!

·        OR, you can love and serve and engage your city as an ambassador to see the city prosper without becoming like the city!

Jeremiah 29:7 (NIV) - Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper."

Here is a critical truth: We are called to be a city in a city!We are the city of God in the city of man. Simply put; it is our role to be a people that make a Godly difference within our cities.

The fact is that you are in Uitenhage right now for a reason. You may not want to be here or like being here. But as long as you are here God has a purpose for you being here!

Here are seven questions you should ask yourself, in seeking to determine the role you are called to play in our city. Answer the questions honestly, and may the Lord guide you toward your purpose in this town.

1. What are your gifts, talents, passions that God gave you?

2. How can you connect these passions to the mission of God for the city?

3. Where are you currently positioned within daily society to be the city of God in the city of man?

4. Do you pray for your city?

5. Do you use the city for your benefit, or serve the city so that others will also be benefitted by the way you live in the city?

6. Do you live as an exile in this city, and a citizen of heaven?

7. Do you truly take up your ambassadorial task and privilege here in your city?

 

Here is the link to the sermon that Chris preached on Sunday night. I would love for every one of us to listen to this message again (or for the first time if you weren’t there).

https://soundcloud.com/philadelphiauitenhage/04022018-chris-gerber-pm-missions-weekend

 

Love, grace and peace to you,

Ken

Tuesday, 06 February 2018 06:25

Significance and Serving

Dear Friends,

I think that we all have a desire to live a life that is significant and has value and true meaning.

To experience significance in life you must serve others in ministry. "Ministry" just means doing good to others.

Significance does not come from status, or an expensive car, or a logo on a shirt. Significance does not come from a bigger salary. Significance does not come from sex.

Significance comes from serving others. Significance comes when you start thinking about others more than yourself and give your life away.

The Bible says in 1 Peter 4:10, "Each of you has received a gift to use to serve others."

The talents you were given are not for your benefit. God gave them to you for the benefit of the people around you. You have been designed for significance, and you find that significance by using your gifts and abilities and talents to serve others.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 says,"Two people are better than one, because they get more done by working together. If one falls down, the other can help him up. But it is bad for the person who is alone and falls, because no one is there to help. If two lie down together, they will be warm, but a person alone will not be warm. An enemy might defeat one person, but two people together can defend themselves; a rope that is woven of three strings is hard to break."

You were not meant to serve God by yourself. You were meant to serve God on a team. You`re meant to serve God in a family, in a small (Connect) Group, in a church. You were meant to serve God in relationship.

I want to urge you to live BEYOND YOURSELF this year! If you don`t already belong to a ministry through which you serve people, make it a priority to get involved in one as soon as possible. That is where your significance will come from.

We`re so much better together!

This Sunday I will be starting a new series called "Core Values."  In this series we will examine what we believe. What does Philadelphia stand for? What are our core values? This is SO important to your spiritual development. Whatever you do, PLEASE DO NOT miss this Sunday @ 9am.

At the same time the kids are also starting a new curriculum called "Fear Busters." Why not use this opprtunity to invite another family to church this Sunday?

Grace & peace to you,

Ken

Dear Family,

A right relationship with Jesus is the foundation to every area of your life.

By having a strong relationship with Jesus, you can grow and develop in ways that you would never be able to without one. The truth is that we can`t accomplish anything without God. "For I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:13 NLT).

Sometimes we need to make some serious changes in our loves, but it`s impossible to try and do it in our own strength and wisdom. But God`s strength, that comes through our faith, will turn the impossible into the possible. That is why it takes faith to do what God wants you to do. You`ll never be able to do it on your own. You were never meant to. Anything you can do in your own strength does not require faith. God wants us to live by faith - dependent on Him and His power.

In Matthew 13 we read that Jesus paid a visit to his hometown Nazareth. The Bible says he couldn`t do many miracles there, because of the people`s lack of faith. God blesses people who are not afraid to trust Him completely.

Without God`s power you are running your life on your own strength. That`s like running a laptop without it bing plugged in. It will work for a while, but soon the battery will die and and all the power will be gone. Why would you want to live like that?

Think of your life like this: You have a small battery in you. You can run through life on your own strength, but you will be tired and frustrated all the time.

Or you can have access to all God`s power. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is available to you, if you will just admit that you need God`s help.

I urge you to trust God with every area of your life - your faith, emotions, marriage, family, finances, career, business and health. His power is available to you. Please don`t miss out on it.

This Sunday I will explain how God`s power is available to help us in our daily lives, to help us fulfil our God`given destiny. This is a life-changing truth. Don`t miss out on that. Invite a few friends to join you.

Much love and peace to you,

Ken

Tuesday, 06 February 2018 06:25

Priorities Bring Blessings

Dearest Family

In Amos 5:4 (Amp) we read “For thus says the Lord to the house of Israel: Seek Me [inquire for and of Me and require Me as you require food] and you shall live!”

When I read these words, I was instantly reminded of Matthew 6:33, where Jesus declared, “But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.”

We are currently busy with a series at the Sunday morning services, called “Small Things, Big Difference.” Most of us want certain things to change in our lives this year, or we are hoping for certain things to happen in our lives during 2018. For you, it may be

  • To do better financially
  • To have a stronger and healthier marriage
  • To spend more time with your kids
  • To find a better and happier job
  • To live healthier, or perhaps to find healing from a sickness
  • To worry and stress less and to have more peace of mind

What are you hoping for this year? We often make the mistake of thinking that we need to change BIG things, before these things will happen for us. So we buy into diets, programmes or depend on people to help us. 

It’s actually very simple: Put God first in every area of your life, and EVERYTHING else will fall into its proper place!!! Amos says that we should seek after God and the things close to His heart (His will) in the same way we chase after food. Then we will discover life. It will be abundant life – life to the full that even overflows. Because the life that God gives through Jesus Christ is always good life. It may not look the way you expected it to look, but because it comes from God, it will ALWAYS be good and abundant.

I urge you to put God first in EVERY area of your life in 2018. Make time for Him before you make time for ANYTHING else.

  • Spend at least a few minutes in His Word and in prayer every morning BEFORE you start your day.
  • Ask Him for guidance before you make any big decisions in your life. (Depend on the leading of His Word and the Holy Spirit).
  • Make worship and the gathering of the believers a weekly priority.
  • Honour Him with the firstfruits of your income.

These my friends, are the simple, small keys to everything big that you desire on your life.

Much love and many blessings to you and your loved ones.

Ken

Tuesday, 06 February 2018 06:24

Small Things, Big Things

Good Morning Family.

We are just a few days away from the start of another New Year – 2018.

Major resolutions and huge goals for 2018. We want BIG change and we want it NOW. But maybe life is taking a new direction in 2018, and has a lot more to do with the little things. Perhaps we have started at the wrong place. I have a feeling that we need to rather reconsider the importance of the small things in our lives, which will inevitably lead to big things.

Jesus gave an example of this when he said;

“The mustard seed is one of the smallest seeds on earth. However, when planted, it comes up and becomes taller than all the garden plants. It grows such large branches that birds can nest in its shade." - Mark 4:31 (GWT)

I want to invite you to join me thisSunday (New Year’s Eve) at 9am, when we will take a closer look at this important principle: “Small Things, Big Things.”

I want to ask you to invite as many friends and of your family as possible to join you. We are going to turn the service into a bit of a celebration/party!!! (Complete with the streamers & balloons!!!) We will celebrate God’s goodness in the year past, and we will celebrate the hope we have for our future. It is critical that we invite our family & friends to become part of this hope we have!

Much love & many blessings to you,

Ken

Tuesday, 06 February 2018 06:24

This Prayer is for You

Good Morning Family,

This morning in my time alone with the Lord I read Psalm 20. It's a Psalm of David but it could easily be the prayer of any pastor for the people God has entrusted to him. So this morning I am making this my prayer for you and your loved ones today:

In times of trouble, may the Lord respond to your cry. May the God of Israel keep you safe from all harm. May he send you help from his sanctuary and strengthen you from Jerusalem. (vs. 1-2) May he grant your heart's desire and fulfil all your plans. May we shout for joy when we hear of your victory, flying banners to honour our God. May the Lord answer all your prayers.(vs 4-5) Some nations boast of their armies and weapons, but we boast in the Lord our God. (vs. 7)

I pray that every one of these words will become your experience and reality.

I trust that you will have a wonderful long weekend. If you are going away, stay safe on the roads and enjoy your family and friends. May the weekend be a time of physical, emotional and spiritual refreshing. As we celebrate Freedom Day on our country, we also celebrate our freedom in Christ Jesus.

Shalom to you,

Ken du Pisanie

Tuesday, 06 February 2018 06:23

The God of Mercy

Greetings Saints,

God's number one characteristic in the Bible isn't his sovereignty, omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, anger, or justice.

It's His mercy!

The world wants us to portray God as someone who is completely focused upon judgment. But God describes himself first and foremost as a God of mercy.

When God revealed his glory to Moses, he said, "The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth" (Exodus 34:6b NKJV).

Mercy is the first characteristic God uses to define himself in the Bible. I therefore think it must be the most important.

Quite simply, mercy is love in action. It has two distinct parts. Webster's Dictionary defines mercy two ways, as "refraining from harm or punishment" and as "unexpected kindness." God wants us to do both. The forgiving side is refraining from punishment. And the compassionate side is going the extra mile to help somebody with unexpected kindness.

We can experience both (forgiveness and compassion) in our relationship with God.

And it is essential that we demonstrate both (forgiveness and compassion) in our relationships with one another.

It's more than just an attitude. It's a lifestyle.

This coming Sunday at 9am we are starting an exciting new curriculum at our Children's Church. It's called "Heroes & Villains." We want all our kids to dress as Superheroes this Sunday. It's exciting, relevant and will grow our kids in their understanding of God. I also want to encourage you to use this opportunity to invite families you may know that don't go to church, to join you this week. They will be so glad you invited them!

I am excited about what God is doing in and through our church right now. These are exciting days, and I look forward to what He has in store for us this coming Sunday. See you there!

Love and peace to you and your loved ones,

Ken du Pisanie

Tuesday, 06 February 2018 06:23

Faith in a Strong & Good God

Dear Family,

This week I want to remind you that God is a strong, competent Father. He can handle any problem you give him. Nothing is beyond his ability or his resources. No request is too big or too small.

A woman once asked me, "Is it really okay for me to talk to God about the small things in my life? Shouldn't I just talk to him about the big problems that I have?" I looked at her and said, "Can you imagine any problem that you would have that God would consider big? It's all small. There is nothing too big for God. It's all small stuff."

Nothing is beyond his ability. He is a strong, competent Father.

That is so important, because today we have an epidemic of weak, incompetent fathers. I don't know if you've noticed that all the dads on TV are wimps. There are no strong, competent dads on TV anymore. Instead, we have "Married with Children" and Homer Simpson. Today's dad is the butt of the joke, and everybody else is in on the joke except dad. That's the kind of father that society is promoting today.

It's like the kid who was bragging to another little kid, "My dad could beat up your dad!" The other kid said, "Big deal! So can my mom!"

But nobody can beat up your heavenly Father. "Nothing is impossible with God." I cut the word "impossible" out of my dictionary because it's not in God's vocabulary. Nothing is impossible with God.

It's amazing to me when my kids were little what they expected me to fix. My kids expected me to know all, to fix anything, and to afford everything. As they grew up, they learned that their father had limited knowledge, limited energy, limited resources, limited skills - limited everything.

But your heavenly Father really can do anything. Ephesians 3:20 says, "Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think" (NLT).

I'm a big dreamer. I've got a lot of big dreams for my life. I've seen God fulfil a lot of big dreams in my life. God says, "I don't care how much you dream, Ken; I can still top it. I'm bigger. I can dream bigger than you can dream."

Yesterday's impossibilities are today's miracles. God specializes in the impossible! He is a strong, competent Father.

This is good news for us living in South Africa at this time. It's good news for those struggling with financial issues, health issues, relationship issues or emotional challenges.

This Sunday at 9am we will continue the series, "How to stay calm & productive under pressure." This is a subject that is relevant and critical to all of us. So it is a great opportunity for you to invite friends to join you at church. We will be looking at our identity in Christ Jesus. When we know who we are we will experience less stress in our lives, because we won't allow others to impose their agendas on our lives.

I pray you have a wonderful, blessed and peaceful week.

Ken du Pisanie

Tuesday, 06 February 2018 06:23

Give up control to have peace

Greetings family,

If you are feeling overloaded, it is because you are trying to control too much. You think it all depends on you. "If it's to be, it's up to me. I've got to hold it all together. I've got to make it all work."

Friend, you are not the general manager of the universe! The greater your need to control, the more stressed you're going to be in life.

Jesus has a different plan for you: "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:29-30 NIV).

You say, "Wait a minute. Take something else on? That sounds like a burden. I don't need to take any more on. I'm already carrying way too much!"

Some of you may have seen a real yoke on a farm or at a museum (no, not an egg yoke!). A yoke is a single piece of wood that brings two farm animals together, so the load is shared. A yoke is not a harness. You put a harness on one cow or one horse, and it has to pull the whole load. With a yoke, you team up two or more animals so the load is halved. It is lightened. The purpose is to make it easier on the animal, not harder.

When Jesus says to take his yoke upon you, he's saying, "I never meant for you to carry all your problems by yourself. Let me help you! Team up with me, partner with me, and I will help you carry the load."

If you feel stressed right now, it means you are not yoked to Jesus Christ. Stress is a warning that tells you you're trying to control things and carry too much on your own.

You may be a follower of Jesus Christ, but if you're overloaded at this moment, you are not connected to Christ. You are not yoked up to him.

Every time you get disconnected from Jesus, the stress is going to go up in your life. But every time you get reattached and yoked up and he's helping you pull the load, the stress goes down.

We think that the antidote to stress is escape. The problem is that you take your stress with you because it's in your mind. You can be just as stressed lying on a white sandy beach as you are right in the middle of your problems at home.

God says the answer is to give up control. Every time you give up control, God gives you peace.

This Sunday, at 9am, I will be starting a new series that deals with the stress we experience in life. The title will be: "How to be calm & productive under pressure." This is a subject that affects every one of us, and all our friends and neighbours. So please plan to be there, and make an effort to ask someone to join you. They will be blessed.

Blessings to you,

Ken du Pisanie

Tuesday, 06 February 2018 06:22

Why you can trust God with your deepest issues

Dear Family,

When youve got something that is very precious to you, whether its rare, expensive, or an heirloom, and you dont want it to be stolen, broken, or burned up, you take it to the bank and entrust it to the protection of a safety deposit box.

Even more than a locked box in your bank, whatever you entrust to God, hes going to take care of. You can count on it. He has a track record. Other people may not have a consistent track record of taking care of things for you. But whatever you entrust to God, he will take care of.

So, what do you need to entrust to God today? Ill tell you what it is: Its whatever youre worrying about. Whatever youre worrying about, you need to entrust it to the safety deposit box of Gods love.

Worry is acting like an aetheist, because its acting like you dont have a Father in Heaven who loves you and who can be trusted, like youre a spiritual orphan. Worry is unbelief; its saying you dont believe the 6,000 promises God made in the Bible.

The most difficult time for you to put stuff in Gods safety deposit box is when youre in pain. When you are suffering, you dont want to trust even God. You want to pull it back and hold it to yourself.

Paul knew this, but he also knew that when youre in pain, thats when you need to trust God the most. He said, "I am suffering here in prison. But I am not ashamed of it, for I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return." (2 Timothy 1:12 NLT).

I talk to people sometimes who say, "Im afraid to give my life to Jesus Christ because Im afraid I wont be able to keep the commitment."

Let me just be honest with you: You cant keep your commitment. You will mess up! Fortunately your salvation isnt based on your keeping the commitment. Its based on Christ keeping his promise and taking care of what youve committed to him.

I trust you are having a great week so far. And if you aren't, please be assured that I pray for you regularly, even if I may not know know what your struggles are.

This coming Sunday I will be completing the series, "Address the Mess." I certainly hope you can be there. It has meant to so much to me, and I believe it has to you as well.

Welcome to those who are new to our church family and our emailing list. We are honoured and privileged to have met you.

In closing let me just say how much I appreciate every one of you. I am so honoured to serve alongside YOU in this wonderful spiritual family. Thank you for being a vital part of our family.

Tammy and I love you very much.

Blessings,

Ken du Pisanie

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