By the time this podcast episode is published I would be in Jozini, a place located north East of KwaZulu Natal Province in South Africa. I will be attending the Regional Church Conference for our Denomination. By the time the podcast is released I would have traveled 462 km, nearly a six hour drive. I would probably be sleeping on the very uncomfortable bed or on the floor, praying hard that Saturday comes so that I can get out of the miserable position, and head home where I shall sleep on my own comfortable bed again.
The theme for the conference is taken from James 1:22 which reads, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” The conference was officially opened last night, Wednesday the 3rd July 2019 and will end on Saturday the 6th. The great part about the conference is that we get to see people we’ve last seen the year before and also we get to meet a lot of people for the first time. Apart from social gathering, we get to hear the preaching of the word. Well sometimes, some preachers will disappoint by not doing a thorough study of the word and so they present incoherent bunch of words that carry no value whatsoever. Some would preach to impress us with their incredible amount of knowledge and I find such a practice to be repulsive and useless. Some would preach out of the fear of God, with one purpose in mind and that is to have the church of God edified.
Now let’s get to the business of today. A few weeks ago, I promised that I would deliver an episode that is entitled, “As high as the heaven is above the earth” but then it occurred to me that in South Africa, July is supposedly a month for men. In that case I just wish to address men. So, today I will speak briefly man to men.
The question I am answering is, How to be a real man?
You have to be a human being
The word man is limited only to human beings. A dog has no chance to become a man. As much as it is believed by atheist and evolutionists that human beings evolved from apes, it remains the fact that no animal is capable of becoming a human being. Let alone becoming a man. Now that we have established that to become a real man you need to be human, let us move on to next step.
You have to be a male
Like many creatures, human beings are divided into male and female. Not every human being is capable of being a man. You may be a human being but that does not mean you are a man. To be a man you must be a male human being. Let me rephrase, you must be a human being who was born a male.
You have to love and obey God
A real man is the male human being who believes in the existence of God and lives his life to love and to obey the word of God. You are not a real man if you do not believe that a man is created in the image of God. I am persuaded that a human being who denies the existence of God and refuses to submit to His will, has demoted himself into a class lower than that of animals. Animals know who their owners and masters are but a man who does not know God nor obey Him is worse than an angry bear. The Bible says, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God” (Psalm 14:1; 53:1) and this is what it says concerning a fool, “Let a bear robbed of her whelps meet a man, rather than a fool in his folly.” (Proverbs 17:12) Let me clarify: The bible says an atheist at heart is a fool and then it says a fool is far more dangerous that an angry bear whose cubs have been stolen
Take care of your family
A real man looks after his family. He will go high and low to provide for His own. There are lot of male individuals who are not paying child support and yet expect to be considered as man. A real man takes responsibility towards the wellbeing of his own children. He teaches is own children and provide for them.
Check yourself then, these are just basic steps for you to take towards being a real man.
In the past few weeks we dealt with the lessons I learned from politicians, from running and from the Bible. This week we look at the lessons I learned from nature. There are many lessons I have personally learned from nature first hand and through the convenience of a nature television show.
Today I will only give you three examples. I will
discuss the lessons I have learned from the sun, from wild animals
and from trees
There are certain qualities of the sun that have served as a learning aid for me in order to understand and to explain in anthropomorphic terms the intricacies of God’s TRIUNE nature. I admit that even the sun falls short in displaying in full the nature of the Trinity but it works far better than the three phases of water (Ice, water and water vapor) allegory.
I do not think to reduce the GODHEAD into a mere creation but I wish to use creation to further help us understand the invisible qualities of its Creator. After all the scriptures, which are the revelation of God and of Christ, do tell us that, “Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:” (Romans 1:19-20) Herein it is affirmed that nature teaches us concerning things that can be known about God including His eternal power and Godhead.
Inasmuch as we profess that there is one God Being, we
also believe for good reasons that in that Being of God there are three
distinct persons, The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit. These divine persons
are eternally co-existing and co-equal. One is not without the other. One
cannot be seen without the other. We come to know of God through His Son, His
Son is proclaimed to us by the Holy Spirit, The Holy Spirit is given to us by
the Father in the name of the Son. The scripture teaches that the Son of God is
the brightness of God’s glory and the express
image of His person (Hebrews 1:3,). It also teaches us that “He is the image of the invisible God”
(Colossians 1:15). The sun illustrates this relationship of the Father, the Son
and the Holy Spirit.
There is one sun in the sky as far as the earth is concerned. There are three things we know about the sun and we recognize these things each time it makes its way across the sky from our perspective.
It is a disc
It is bright
It is hot
Here are the facts:
The sun disc
No one has seen the disc of the sun with a naked eye.
Our eyes are unable to penetrate the brightness that cloaks the actual disc of
the sun. We only come to know the disc of the sun through its brightness.
brightness of the sun
The brightness of the sun proceeds from the disc. It is a perfect imprint or image of the disc. We know that the sun has risen when we behold the brilliance of its glory. The darkness flees at the appearance of the brightness that proceeds from and always exist in the disc that cannot be seen with a naked eye. All the instruments of illumination that were employed in the course of the night become invisible in the effulgent appearance of the disc of the sun.
The heat of
The sun is hot. We cannot approach it and live. Its
heat will burn to ashes anything that comes to it without a proper covering.
Even our earth had to be shielded with an atmosphere and a very strong
electro-magnetic field which is emitted from its poles and is generated by the
rotating molten iron core. Through the brightness that proceed from the disc we
get to know the presence of the sun disc, but through the heat that comes from
the disc, we get to personally feel the presence of the disc.
The Disc of the sun illustrates the invisibility and the inaccessibility of God the Father. We cannot approach God, nor gain access to Him. The Brightness of the sun illustrates the way we can know God and learn of his character and such a way comes from Him alone. That way is His Son, Jesus Christ who proceeded and is forever in the Father. The Heat of the sun illustrates for us the means by which we relate to God after gaining access to Him by His Son. It is the Holy Spirit who help us to relate to God as our Father and He teaches us how to live and how to please Him.
I will now show you the valuable lessons I have learned from observing wild animals. These lessons are critical for survival and general success in the work place, family and in live generally.
Together we can do more
This lesson I have learned from the pride of lions, a group of hyenas, the pack of wolves and a pack of wild dogs.
It is true that a single lion can hunt, kill and eat. There are many
chances for that lion not get food as opposed to the event where it works in a
team environment. Once a lion blows its cover when it stocks the prey, chances
are it won’t succeed. But when cover is blown when working with a team all is
not completely lost because the hidden team mates can still take prey by
surprise while it is distracted but the lion whose cover is blown.
The advantage of teamwork is that a single lion cannot kill a buffalo
and with the strength of more than five lions, a buffalo can be brought down
and they would still be enough for everyone to eat and be filled and leave the
leftovers to the scavengers.
Some situations in life requires one to employ the services of a team in order to save energy, money and time. There are things one should not do alone under any circumstances.
Hyena are like lawyers. They are opportunistic in nature. These
disgusting creatures will laugh their way into a stolen meal. They would steal
from lions or eat the leftovers from the lion’s feast. Sometimes they would
kidnap lost baby bucks or neglected chicks. They would do crazy things to get a
meal. Hyenas have no principles.
One daring hyena can be killed by an angry lion for trying to still the
lion’s hard kill. Two hyenas can frustrate one lion but not a pride of lions
while enjoying a meal. In order for hyenas to have a piece of the lions’ hard
earned meal, they would join forces with any hyena they meet. This is of course
a miscalculation. In great numbers they would bully the lions away from their
meal and the downside of that is, due to their large number everyone must get a
piece of meat and therefore all the effort to get food would be worthless if
one wanted to his or her family.
With hyena there is strength in number but the results are not really worth it. Since hyenas have no principles they would settle for less even if it was just a drop of blood. They remind me of thugs. Thugs where I live, do not care about how much they work for, as long as they get paid and be able to get a drug fix.
Pack of wolves
The pack of wolves taught me about teamwork. Since wolves are quite small animals compared to some of the animals listed on their menu, it is always critical for the Alpha wolf, whether male or female, it doesn’t matter, to train the pack in the arts of hunting. If not, the pack will starve and their authority would be questioned. Therefore they must learn to hunt as a team.
A lone wolf is in grave danger. The same can die of starvation unless he or she surrenders to a nearest pack. Wolves have the tendency of receiving strangers into the pack if they prove to be submissive. It is understood that there is strength in numbers. If wolves hunt in numbers they have a chance of catching a large prey that could feed the whole pack.
Pack of wild dogs
Just like the other animals, the wild dogs displayed great coordination and team work. While they are chasing an animal, they would not sprint. They would do a marathon run. They would run in ranks. They do not bank on their speed but on they the fact that the prey will eventually get tired from running. So literally they chase their pray to exhaustion. While they do this the dogs in the back will be deployed to cover the right and left flacks up ahead so to steer their prey and guide it to where they want it to go. At the end, the prey gets tired and they tear it apart. They finally get their rewards for their long run.
I am always by the level of planning and coordination wild animals display. You could swear they can talk. You would be convinced that prior they hunting activity, they sit down and discuss their strategy and everyone agrees on it and then they execute.
It takes village to raise a child
When it comes to wild life, I find elephants to be the most intriguing creatures. They have strong family and community values. When one has a child they support her during child birth. They all participate in raising and protecting the child. When lions attempt to steal the child all the elephants become body shield for it and they fight off the vicious beasts. While elephants would die saving their children, human being are hell-bent to kill theirs from the womb.
It is not a shame to help a stranger when you can
One day I watched a video on YouTube. A leopard had caught a gazelle and was ready to have it killed and enjoy the dinner. Out of the blue a baboon came and chased off the leopard thus saving the life of the gazelle. That was the most awkward thing I had ever seen.
On another video, a wildebeest was caught on the foot by a crocodile. The struggle ensued as the crocodile tried to pull the poor creature into the deep waters. The wildebeest also fought hard to get out of the eminent grave. After sometime two hippopotamus came and drove the crocodile away and saved the life of the poor beast. I was be wilded. Animals can save other animals though they are not related. This is so much more than can be said about most human beings.
I hadn’t paid much attention to the trees until I had a very interesting discussion with TChristian, a very talented young man. Trees are very interesting. He pointed out that the trees grow upwards with the roots going down. They don’t discriminate one against the other. They all exist in one forest, servicing the needs of the forest residents. They all share the benefits provided by the sunlight. No matter what sort of tree they are and where they are located they all look at the sun for survival. The sun remains the same no matter what the trees think about it.
Human beings are born the same way but they are constantly fighting and destroying each other. They fashion their own version of God, yet God does not change who He is, no matter what the humans think of Him.
From as long as I can remember, the Bible has always been in my family. When I learned how to read in my first and second grade, my personal reading exercises were done on the Bible. I was encouraged by my aunt at home to read out loud to her from the Bible . I thought she was interested on what it had to say but now as a grown man, I realize that as a teacher, my aunt was training me to read, not only that but also she was training me to hear the bible speaking to me. And it did.
The two books I read regularly in the Bible were the early chapters of the book of Exodus and the final chapters of the book Revelation. I was terrified and at the same time amazed by the power of God even though I never knew how to get into a personal relationship with God. I used to read from the gospel as well, because most of the Sunday school reading exercises were based on the gospels. My view of Jesus was that he was a very good boy far better than I was. I would feel very sorry that they killed him and then be excited to learn that He rose from the dead. That excitement was suddenly cloaked by His ascension. I was also not so crazy about his second coming because it terrified me.
What terrified me the most about the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ is the fact that I knew deep down in my heart, at that tender age of seven that I was a wicked and unworthy boy. It was at the age of 14 when my fears were lifted. It was 1998 November 18, when the light of the gospel came into my life.
I will now share with you the four lessons I have learned from the Bible.
Life is meaningless
Life can only make sense when on lives it in the light and view of God. Without God life is meaningless and has no purpose. The human rights to which many people hold, are totally irrelevant without the existence and presence of God in our lives.
It is meaningless to wake up in the morning and go to work , get paid, spend the money, then die. It is absolute vanity to live on earth without God being the central and the only key element of our lives.
Work is ordained by God for mankind
In the book of Genesis it appears that God gave mankind a responsibility to maintain the Garden of Eden, until they day they sinned and were expelled from the Garden. Work was no longer a luxury of being part of God’s work but it became a necessity for survival. It was through sin that we got to toil. At first we were not meant to toil when we work. We were meant to enjoy work and glorify in the process.
God takes Sin very seriously
Judging by the fact that out first parents, were expelled from the Garden of Eden, shows that God seriously hates sin.
Countless people both in the New and the Old Testament died, just to remind us how serious God is about sin.
Ultimately God struck His own Son on the cross of Calvary in order to save us. The fact that he struck His own Son for us, shows how serious God is about sin. He hates Sin!!!
Love and Faith have one thing in common
I have learned that faith without works is dead. One will always show his faith through his works.
Equally love is not proven by words, by action. One will be best believed that they have love when they stop talking their feelings for some body and to sacrificially act for the benefit of those they claim to love.
So both faith and love have one thing in common. Proof for their existence is through work and in most cases that work comes with a huge price tag.
From as far as I can remember, I have not been able run fast. My brother was faster than me and my friends were also faster than me. When I thought of hanging up my running shoes during my high school days: this random teacher, appoints me as a school representative in the 200 meter race at running competition. I really don’t have a clue what this teacher saw in me. Whatever he thought he saw in me disappeared the minute I entered the race track. When the race was started, I raced with all my might and led the pack of runners for a good 7 seconds (give or take) and after that I got tired and they began to pass me one by one until I was last. From that moment I was totally convinced that running is not my thing. The only thing I was good at is singing and debating (I am still active there). If you have a guy you need to debate away, call me.
As I grew up, I gave up all sporting activity and found a job at McDonald’s, the worst place I have worked (I still get nightmares). Working at McDonald’s forced me to live in the suburb that had people who were runners and cyclist. I challenged myself one afternoon to go running and I gave in to my own challenge. I put on my shots and running shoes and sped out the gate onto the road. I ran for about two minutes and I began to run out air. I mean I barely completed 250 meters and I was about to die. I went back home defeated.
Next day, I
decided I was going to run again. I tried to run but my body was aching
everywhere. It was as this moment where I concluded that I will never run
again, except in the events where my life was at stake. The urge to exercise
and to appear like a responsible man in the curious eyes of my neighbors led me
to a bicycle shop. I bought my self a 26 inch Raleigh Mountain bicycle. We had
a great relationship with my bicycle, until the day it was stolen from me.
To cut the long story short, I got fat and I bought a Silver Strider Mountain Bike. That bicycle was very fast but I broke it and so I decided to sell it. This how ever did not solve my weigh gaining problem. This led me to the greatest idea ever. I needed to learn to run. I tried to run again, 10 years after I had concluded that I will never run again except in the event where my life was at stake. The weight gain meant that my life was at stake. Learning from my past experience with running, I decided to get a running app that will tell me how fast and how far am I going. My runs began with a slow jog which eventually evolved into a faster pace.
Today I am in the marathon training plan with Nike Running Club App and I am running over thirty kilometers per week. I am getting faster and stronger in the business of running.
So, what have I learned from running?
You never know you can run unless you try.
I spent many years thinking that I will never be able to run because I wasn’t fast enough and due to that it was painful to my chest. I learned that trying and failing and then try again will help you to get your body and your mind to get used to the idea of running and thus grow in speed and in strength.
up is never an option.
When I started running I had one rule
for myself: Never stop running until I reach the target distance. The lesson I
got there is that I am able to endure hardship. You will have to agree with me,
running is never a walk in the park. It is very hard. The people who run mega
and Ultra-marathons have a great deal of tenacity. This is very applicable also
in life. In whatever we do we should
never give up if it is for the good cause. The book of Hebrews in encouraging
believers who were under extreme persecution, says, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of
witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily
beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking
unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set
before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right
hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of
sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” (Heb 12:1-3)
relate better with people of the same walk.
When I am running on the road, I
don’t greet everyone I meet, however, I would always greet runners who are
running at that very moment I am running. The reason for that is that I
understand their hardship and they understand mine. We may not have the same
objectives or running at the same direction but we are connected by action, and
that is running.
You stick to your run.
One of the greatest disciplines I have learned in running is that I should never compete with anyone. When I am running I only have myself to beat. I don’t compete with a random strangers. If he is faster than me, well, let him go, I don’t where they are going and where they come from. Why should I stress myself? I am only running my course. This is great lesson. In life my life is mine. Just because my friends have gotten rich does not necessary mean I should rich. Just because they are married and I am not does not me that I should now pursue a marriage partner. I am not in a competition. I stick to my lane.
Today we look at the lessons we can learn from politicians. While there are scores of politicians waiting in line to be talked about, we selected only three. These three lucky politicians are Donald J Trump (USA President), Cyril M Ramaphosa (South African President) and Theresa May (Former UK Prime Minister)
We kick off with Donald Trump, then come to Ramaphosa and somehow while discussing Ramaphosa, we are hijacked by Jacob G Zuma (former President of South Africa) and finally we close off with Theresa May. While talking behind May’s back, were disturbed by Donald Trump and his look alike UK politician, Boris Johnson whom Trump referred to as his good friend.
On this episode my friends, we are spending time with Samkeliso Zondi who at the moment of the conversation was in China for work purposes. He went to China in the mid months of 2017 to teach English to the Chinese children.
We shall get an insight of how life is like in the foreign world and how he survives as a Christian in the land where Christianity in mostly not tolerated.