Greetings in Jesus.
The last two months have been busy with a lot of changes and a lot of traveling. My tour of Australia and New Zealand went well with me making a lot of New contacts. I have always loved Australia but the chance to go and meet people from a new land was exciting. I caught up with the NZ administrator Nigel for the first time. We had spoken over the phone and corresponded by email many times but to meet him face to face was wonderful and to see the hard work he puts in.
Australia was a time of meetings and catching up with friends and supporters who . have faithfully given time, finances and effort to the ministry. The meetings went very well and the fellowship was sweet. I thank the Lord I was able to catch up, even for such a short time, with my friend and Aussie admin Marg Godwin. Marg has been doing a great job, selflessly and tirelessly even through ill health. What was good was to see her faithful team by her side. Marg you are a diamond!!
After the tour and a long think, I think it is needed that I cover some old ground for the sake of new friends and also clarity concerning who we are and what we do. If you have heard me speak about this before please bear with me for a short while.
Lyn and I along with our family came to South Africa March 2000. I have been involved here since 1991 where I caught the African bug and spent the next 9 years pleading with God and my wife to let us come over here.
Since 2002 we have headed Moriel Missions here and pioneered churches and set up a pastor training program. However as you will know our hearts have always been burdened by Psalm 68vs5-6 concerning the plight of Orphans who have been affected by the HIV pandemic. This led us to founding Ebyown which was to be a place of nurture, love and a home to children no one else wanted. The next sentence will be large and in bold for emphasis. WE ARE NOT AN ORPHANAGE
My children âwereâ orphans, now they have a Mum and Dad in Lyn and I, a big brother in our son Chris and they share our home receiving the care that our own children (whom all serve the Lord) have benefited from. To this day all the kids are committed to Christ and have been baptised, praise the Lord.
We home school all the children (12 at the moment) and through your help and prayer provide for their medical, spiritual and practical needs. It has been a joy to watch them grow in Christ and keep well with your help. This is because we follow Psalm 68 instruction and provide a family. However some people including Jacob who we love dearly, have it ingrained into there minds that we and Bezaleel are orphanages and all the Draconian or Dickensian images that come to mind.
We do not have little Olivers asking for more.
We do not have Triple Bunk beds with 12 to a room.
We have normal children who once were lost but now are found.
On tour its amazing how many people think we are an institution, if we were we would not be involved in this work. In an institution most people clock of at 5pm and hand over to night carers, but the work we and Bezaleel do is 24/7. We may not have hundreds of kids but nether the less the work is just as intense with the constant medical needs. Thank you for bearing with me while I clarify things for the sake of integrity.
Integrity in Mission is an issue.
Everyone of us sees wild claims of mission success in some news bulletins, however so we may weep and cry with one another its important to have this attribute of God. To help us I have some notes from a teaching I did the other week at the end of our news, I hope it challenges all of us.
This month we began an outreach into a local pediatric ward of a hospital. We have been involved with the hospital for 9 years and have fostered a few children from there such as Paulina who is now our adopted daughter. In short we have some history with the Matron and nurses there. What we aimed to do was this:
- Visit for a whole morning on a regular basis
- Take some of our older kids to play with the children
- Introduce the nurses and carers to a different perspective of relating to the kids
- Assess dietary requirement
- Give massage and physio where necessary
- Share the gospel with nurses and carers and children where possible
The first session went excellent. The first thing Lyn did was to get the nurses to sit low on the floor so that they could understand the perspective of a child. She then moved them to bed level to understand what the children saw. Many of the kids are disabled and cannot move yet the view they saw was very limited. For example pictures painted on the wall for the children benefit could not be see. All they saw of the nurses was their bellies.
Lyn then got them to sit on the floor with the children, to hold and cuddle them, to speak to them and interact and understand these kids are special with special needs and are not just patients or things to be kept clean and dry.
We hope that in the coming months we can set up a soft room for play and physio and encourage the nurses to treat these little ones as loved and special. Why is this important? Well one little one there, nearly two years and who does not move, after an hour lifted himself up on his arms for the first time.
We had a bit of concern this month regarding the children’s blood tests, Viral loads were up on some and CD4 counts took a bit of a tumble with others. DR Levin is sure this is just a glitch and we hope that next months results will go in the right direction.
Sikki who is nearly 5 has begun to take her first steps, she can (on tottering legs) now follow Prudence down the hallway, its quite funny to see.
WORLD CUP DAY!!! Ebyown and Bezaleel go together to have a celebration, eat food from all the participating countries and eat cake. They even had a soccer match (I think Ebyown got hammered)
As many of you have read through our news and have picked up on my latest tour, we are trying to relocate Ebyown and the ministry to the Western Cape. However to do this we will need to sell so we can purchase and so there is a little insecurity about how and when this will happen. However the place needed a paint and we have filled in floors and tiles three rooms and also relocated a large window for better light. The outside has been painted and we have replaced old metal doors with new wooden ones, so its been very busy as weâve prepared for sale. Please pray for us during this challenging time. I will be with the brothers in the Cape the weekend of the 24th July where I will be sharing the word and answering any questions people may have about the implications of the move. I will also hopefully be looking at a couple of prospective locations for the move.
Teaching Material From Aussie
I have brought back some teaching material from Australia featuring Jacob and others. If you want to order then contact Chris email@example.com or phone him on 0823739297
Give us today our daily bread
The childrens upcoming blood results
Ebyown and ministry relocation
The upcoming Video on Demand platform for the internet
Upcoming visit to UK
Continued strength for Lyn, Chris and I
The outreach to Tini Vorster Hospital
PO Box 10807
Gauteng, South Africa
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 0823739297
South Africa, David Royle email@example.com
UK Joanne Drinkwater firstname.lastname@example.org
USA David Lister email@example.com
Australia, Marg Godwin firstname.lastname@example.org
New Zealand, Nigel Nicholsen email@example.com
The Integrity of God
My friend Peter Afrika said many years ago that some people lack so much integrity that if they said it was raining outside you would have to walk out and check. They just couldnât be trusted.
A persons Integrity is important in fact it is such an important issue that the way the world functions depends on integrity. The word has several uses and I have found several meanings.
This article is about integrity as a theoretical and ethical concept. For other uses, seeÂ Integrity (disambiguation).
IntegrityÂ is a concept ofÂ consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations and outcomes. In western ethics, integrity is regarded as theÂ quality of having anÂ intuitive sense of honesty andÂ truthfulness in regard to the motivations for one’s actions.Â Integrity can be regarded as the opposite ofÂ hypocrisy, in that it regards internal consistency as a virtue, and suggests that parties holding apparently conflicting values should account for the discrepancy or alter their beliefs.
The word “integrity” stems from the Latin adjectiveÂ integerÂ (whole, complete). In this context, integrity is the inner sense of “wholeness” deriving from qualities such asÂ honesty and consistency of character. As such, one may judge that others “have integrity” to the extent that one judges whether they behave according to the values, beliefs and principles they claim to hold.
AÂ value system‘sÂ abstraction depth and range of applicable interaction may also function as significant factors in identifying integrity due to their congruence or lack of congruence withÂ empirical observation.[clarification needed]Â Such a value system may evolve over time while retaining integrity if those who espouse the values account for and resolve inconsistencies. Ayn Rand considered that integrity “does not consist of loyalty to one’s subjective whims, but of loyalty to rational principles”.
Integrity is word also used in Engineering and Science. For example the Hull of a ship if it remains whole and doesnât leak is said to show structural integrity.
Scientific method for bringing accurate data must show Integrity.
Then we have Christian Integrity â WikapediaÂ says this about it
One view of integrity in a Christian context states: “The Christian vision of integrity suggests that personal authenticity entails living in accordance with personal convictions that are based on an understanding of God’s purposes for creation, humankind and the person as a disciple of Jesus.”
So as we can see Integrity is something that for society and for our faith in general has to flow within and without, YET how often in the faith do we find proffesing Christians who carry little integrity.
So what does the Bible say about Integrity? The NASB has 46 occurances of the word. In fact there are 5 Hebrew words.
×ªÖ¼Ö»×Ö¼Ö¸× tummah (1070d); from 8552; integrity:â integrity(5).
8537.Â Â Â Â Â ×ªÖ¼Ö¹× tom (1070d); from 8552; completeness, integrity, also part of the high priestâs breastplate:â blameless(1), full(1), full measure(1), innocently(1), integrity(16), random(2), upright(1).
8535.Â Â Â Â Â ×ªÖ¼Ö¸× tam (1070d); from 8552; complete:â blameless(5), blameless man(1), complete(2), guiltless(3), integrity(1), peaceful(1), perfect one(2).
3476.Â Â Â Â Â ××©×Ö¶×¨ yosher (449c); from 3474; straightness, uprightness:â correctly(1), honest(1), integrity(1), justly due(1), right(1), upright(1), uprightness(8), what is justly due(1).
8549.Â Â Â Â Â ×ªÖ¼Ö¸×Ö´×× tamim (1071a); from 8552; complete, sound:â blameless(22), blamelessly(1), complete(1), entire(1), full(1), intact(1), integrity(4), perfect(5), sincerity(1), unblemished(2), uprightly(1), who is perfect(1), whole(2), without blemish(12), without defect(36).
So we can see that Integrity is speaking about a person who is whole or complete and has the values, ethics and character shown through these 5 Hebrew words.
Certain men in Scripture valued integrity and tried to walk in it.
Such a man was Job read Job 27vs 1-6. Look at what it says about the things Job valued and did not want to lose.
King David although weak like us tried to walk and valued integrity. Psalm 26vs 1-7
Integrity also brings benefits to those who walk in it:
Prov 20vs7 Even the sons of the man who walks in integrity are blessed
Prov 28vs6 its even better to be poor but have Integrity
Prov 11vs3 Integrity will guide you, think about it if you thing whole, honest righteous and true, it will guide you in all things.
But Does God Have Integrity
Yes he does according to Romans 3vs7 in the amplified Bible
7 ï»¿But [you say] if through my falsehood Godâs integrity is magnified and advertised and abounds to His glory, why am I still being judged as a sinner?ï»¿
You see to get a handle of Gods Integrity we must look at the characteristics the word implies and how they relate to the Father. For example:
God is truth, in fact the NASB rendering of integrity is Truth
But if through my lie ï»¿aï»¿the truth of God abounded to His glory, ï»¿bï»¿why am I also still being judged as a sinner?
So what other words describe Gods Integrity? Well weve read them:
Blameless â rendered Perfect, Psalm 19vs7
Peaceful â Isaiah 9vs6, Ephesians 2vs14-18
Rightous â Psalm 48vs10, Romans 10vs3-4
Then finally we have the fact that God is Just. One scholar puts it this was
Justice of God â that perfection of his nature whereby he is infinitely righteous in himself and in all he does, the righteousness of the divine nature exercised in his moral government. At first God imposes righteous laws on his creatures and executes them righteously. Justice is not an optional product of his will, but an unchangeable principle of his very nature. His legislative justice is his requiring of his rational creatures conformity in all respects to the moral law. His rectoral or distributive justice is his dealing with his accountable creatures according to the requirements of the law in rewarding or punishing them (Ps. 89:14). In remunerative justice he distributes rewards (James 1:12; 2 Tim. 4:8); in vindictive or punitive justice he inflicts punishment on account of transgression (2 Thess. 1:6). He cannot, as being infinitely righteous, do otherwise than regard and hate sin as intrinsically hateful and deserving of punishment. âHe cannot deny himselfâ (2 Tim. 2:13). His essential and eternal righteousness immutably determines him to visit every sin as such with merited punishment.
All these things are part of Gods attributes as a Holy God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the triune Gods reflects all these things in His pristine nature âfor He is a God of INTEGRITY.
In the beginning of this message I pointed out that Integrity is something that holds things together. With Integrity we relate to one another much more easily as we can see by the words that communicate the opposite of Integrity such as Hyprocricy, lies, injustice, unwholesome, dishonesty unfaithfulness. When we are demonstrating these things everything in society breaks down and how can we claim to have a relationship with Christ when there is no fruit of repentance that should demonstrate the heart of God.
However there are what some might say OBSTACLES TO INTEGRITY.
Poverty â even the most willing person may act dishonestly if they or/and their family are immersed in poverty without food or shelter or any of the foundational needs in life.
Self interest â acting without integrity in business often stems from this issue and the issue of personal cost having more value than the person or promise made.
Unbelief â if God promises in His word blessings for walking in Integrity, the tension between the here and now and the delivery point of blessing can be too much for some. After all acting in integrity may be something that bears fruit in eternity rather than the here and now.
No foundational Judeo Christian value system in a post modern world â The word of God provided strong values, an ethical system that is unsurpassed, however in todayâs society everything is relative. What an issue means for you will mean something different to someone of a different value system.
Over promising â There is a very cruel saying âif you want anything doing as a busy manâ the fact is some people cannot say know and end up either drained or breaking promises and so looking as though they lack integrity.
So then how should we apply these things?
First of all the foundation of every society is a godly family. Marriages can only function if there is transparency, honesty and faithfulness, in other words Integrity between husband and wife is basic for a successful union between man and woman.
Secondly families usually produce children. The way that children inter-relate with parents and each other must be on the basis of Integrity. To be in a position when a parent no longer trusts a child and a child no longer trusts a parent through lack of truth, honesty or even worse is tragic, Integrity is the key and an understanding that Gods promise in the Decalogue still stands today if one honors or has integrity in the way children relate to parents.
Thirdly we have The Church, our extended faith family. Today we see such a lack of integrity in the Body of Christ because they do not see it as extended family and the fruit is that people often donât pull their weight, donât disciple, join the local church merry-go-round with no commitment, tell lies and play politics and live a life that does not glorify Christ yet they profess His name showing Hypocrisy and worse.
Fourthly in society in general â Business dealings especially, I have become very suspicious of people who claim to be in Christ and a brother or sister in the Lord and yet their dealings with each other and the world are scandalous. Christian Integrity were your yeah is Yeah and your nay is Nay is very much needed.
Finally and most importantly, what about the God of Integrity we serve, how is your relationship with Him? Do we keep our promises as He keeps His? Do we steal from the money bag so to speak? Are we 100% for Christ or is He a name we forget when its convenient?
Our God is a God of Integrity
King David a man of Integrity
Job under affliction kept his integrity
Integrity brings abundant blessing.
The question is will we now begin to walk in it with our family? With our church? With our community? With our business dealings? Because if we cannot get these things right, how can we have integrity with the God of Integrity?