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Jesus’ sayings – what these sayings meant

© October 16, 2018 | Schulter Etyang

I think the founders of every major religion in the world, roll in their graves when they hear how their words are misconstrued by religious leaders. Every major religion in the world has had some form of their religion misinterpreted with brutal consequences. Within these religions are theologians, teachers, custodians of the traditions, etc. who have to constantly grapple with the threat posed by heretical interpretations and teachings of their faiths. 

At one stage in history, the Christian faith had to grapple with the Crusades. The Muslim faith is presently dealing with their own version of “the Crusades” namely ISIL/S. ISIL/S is the “Crusades” of the Muslim faith. Here’s the point – the Crusades and ISIL/S were formed out of misconstruing the words of the founders of their faiths, which led or has led to untold suffering to millions, even billions around the world.

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From death to life – the incredulity of grace

© October 12, 2018 | Schulter Etyang

Jesus, in the book of John, introduced us to this symbiotic relationship that he had with his Father. (John 5:17-47 NKJV) The Greek word pater, is the equivalent to the Hebrew word Abba, for father. Jesus was, of course, speaking in Aramaic, and he would have used Abba in reference to his Father. The Jews heard this phrase and instinctively knew he was making himself equal with God and that made them mad. Mad is an understatement. They made plans to kill him. 

Jesus, then, described this symbiotic relationship he had with his father. And in his long discourse, he made this shocking and improbable claim.

John 5:25 (NKJV)

Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live.

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Ideas, principles, keys, steps, how to’s, and grace

© October 5, 2018 | Schulter Etyang 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. 

John 1:1-2 (NKJV)

The Greek word that John used for the Word is logos. When John wrote these words, the Greeks believed in the logos. The Greeks defined logos as the divine reason implicit in the cosmos, ordering it and giving it form and meaning

I will not go into detail in trying to explain how the logos evolved within Greek and Jewish philosophical thought. Needless to say, the simplest definition of logos is this – logos means reasoning or logic gathered together in the mind, and expressed in words, that gives our lives meaning. In our times, the Greek logos is ideas, principles, keys, steps, and how to’s.

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The Haman in all of us and how Jesus​ frees us from him

© September 27, 2018 | Schulter Etyang 

In all of us is a Haman. Haman? Who is Haman?

Haman in Jewish folklore is the man who plotted against the Jews, to destroy them. He hated the Jewish people and conjured a plan to have all of them destroyed. His real irk, however, was against Mordecai. Haman had been promoted by the king and had a seat above all princes. Whenever the king’s servant saw him they would bow down before him to show respect. But Mordecai refused to bow down or show him respect. When Haman saw that Mordecai would not bow down or show him respect, he became mad. And it’s at this point when he came up with a plan to destroy the Jews – a  plan that was later sanctioned by the king.

This same scene plays itself out later. Haman was invited to the palace to a banquet. He was the main guest. As he left the party, he saw Mordecai sitting at the palace gate, not standing up or trembling nervously before him, Haman became furious. He went to his house and, called for his friends and his wife Zeresh. He started speaking about all his great wealth, family and accomplishments and then made this astonishing statement, then he added, “But this is all worth nothing as long as I see Mordecai the Jew just sitting there at the palace gate.” (Esther 5:13 NLT)

Haman, C’mon. Are you kidding me? Seriously?

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How Jesus humbles, affirms and authenticates our heritage

© September 24, 2018 | Schulter Etyang 

In South Africa, September 24th is Heritage Day – also known as Shaka’s Day or National Braai day. It’s a public holiday. On Heritage Day, we acknowledge and celebrate the ethnic, racial and cultural heritage of the diverse populace of our nation. 

The day has a feel-good factor about it. We don our different cultural attires, speak our languages, and many celebrate the day with a traditional meal. The different shades of South Africa come alive on this day.

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Prisoners of hope in a bad news world

© September 20, 2018 | Schulter Etyang

Recently, I had the not so enviable and challenging task of trying to convince a Christian about God’s goodness. I tell you, this person was negative, cynical and bitter. Their words were incendiary and their emotions all over the place. Their kids are acting up and they are blaming everyone for their misery. Me trying to convince them that God is good and that God is fighting their corner didn’t end well. The accusation was thrown at me that I had not experienced what they are going through.

The reason why I indicate this person is a Christian is the irony they embodied – they are of the faith that professes good news in a cynical world, and yet, they are as cynical as the world they live in. And as Jenny would tell you, I don’t back down from such fights. I take them on, sometimes, to the detriment of the situation or even relationship. I cannot stand Christians who are negative and cynical. Why? They confuse the world. They discredit the gospel message to the world.

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God’s I WILL in the law and God’s I WILL in the gospel and why it matters

© September 14, 2018 | Schulter Etyang

Whether you are a Christian or a non-Christian, in order for you to know and understand the Christian faith, you need to get somebody who is able to rightly divide the Bible and its contents for you. I cannot emphasize this point enough. It is crucial, even lifesaving, that you understand the Bible, to then properly apply its teachings.

If the Bible is misunderstood, it can lead to untold suffering. Yes, it can. The Bible in the hands of a novice will become an Uzi submachine gun – a novice with trigger happy fingers, ready to shoot and kill at will. The Bible, on the other hand, in the hands of a gospel centered expert, will become a well spring of joy. When the Bible is properly understood, it can lead to unspeakable joy and delight.

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You are beautiful

© September 12, 2018| Schulter Etyang

On the day of our wedding, Jenny and her bridesmaids, booked a chalet. The chalet was next to the chapel where our wedding ceremony took place. Jenny booked the chalet so that it could be easier for her to get ready and walk a short distance to the chapel.

The next time I saw Jenny was when Robert, her eldest brother, walked her down the aisle. When I saw her, I was stunned. She was a different person. Who is this person, I asked? She had on an all white wedding gown. Her hair had been done well. She was adorned with costly jewelry. Her skin was radiant. The perfume she had on smelled like heaven. She was the most beautiful lady I had ever seen in my entire life. Not even the babes in Playboy magazine or FHM could match her beauty. She was exquisite. She was beautiful. Read More

How to leverage grace for the good of others

© September 3, 2018 | Schulter Etyang

The king had a bad dream. He was so troubled he couldn’t sleep. He then ordered all his wise men, magicians, astrologers, sorcerers and soothsayers to tell him about the dream. The only catch was this – he refused to tell them the details of the dream. That was bad. Even worse, if they couldn’t tell the dream and its interpretation, he threatened to destroy them and their families, however, he would reward them with gifts, rewards and great honour, if they got it right. These guys then tried to negotiate with the king about the impossibility of such a task, and ended up infuriating him further such that he ordered that they are destroyed.

So the command went out and some were killed. Daniel and his friends were also to be killed.

But Daniel was shrewd. He spoke to Arioch, the king’s captain, and Arioch told him why the king’s command was urgent. Daniel then went to the king, and asked for more time, to be able to interpret the dream

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7th wedding anniversary – 8 lessons learnt

© September 2, 2018 | Schulter Etyang 

Here we are 8 years later. Jenny and I are celebrating 8 years of marriage.

Here are 8 lessons learnt from 8 years of marriage.

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