This is the cave of Makhetha Mantsopa. The prophetess was a renowned healer, rainmaker and diviner. She was also sister to King Moshoeshoe I – founder and first King of Lesotho. I wrote about Lesotho earlier this week. She was born around 1795, in a place called “Likotsi” or “Ramakhetheng” near present day Maseru (the capital of the Kingdom). In 1851, she predicted that the BaSotho (the people of Lesotho) would triumph over colonial troops led by Major Warden.
There are about 10-15 visitors per week to this cave – where she gave healings, performed miracles, announced prophecies and said prayers. A lot of people pray through her at this place to their ancestors and to God, much like the Virgin Mary in Christianity. The Priory of St Augustine’s is a monastery next to it, established in 1871.
There is a spring at this site, where people come to drink waters they believe are sacred and provide cleansing and good fortune. Watch the video below and read on for photos! Leave any questions you have in the comment section below! (more…)
I saw a life long dream come to pass last weekend when I watched Joel Osteen live at Lakewood Church in Houston! Sitting in the front row, it was an unforgettable experience from a pastor + author I’ve always been inspired by. Some fun facts about Joel Osteen, America’s most famous pastor:
St Henry’s Cathedral in the heart of Bayonne is 125 years old this year. I found it to be such an inspiring church. As a Christian, it’s very important for me to seek out significant churches when in a new area. Their address is 82 West 29th Street Bayonne, New Jersey. At the moment we are going through Lent. Lent is the Christian season of preparation before Easter. In Western Christianity, Ash Wednesday marks the first day of the season of Lent which begins 40 days prior to Easter (Sundays are not included in the count).The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer through prayer, penance, repentance of sins, almsgiving, atonement and self-denial. Here is an interesting article written about the pope’s suggestions on preparing for confession. The Bible does not mention the custom of Lent, however, the practice of repentance and mourning in ashes is found in 2 Samuel 13:19; Esther 4:1; Job 2:8; Daniel 9:3; and Matthew 11:21. When I was in New York I also took a visit to St Patrick’s Cathedral. Some more articles on Lent:
It’s interesting that the apostle Paul wrote that to the Christians in Rome, because there are some obvious similarities between the social climate of first-century Rome and that of much of the world of today.
Evil was rampant in Rome, and its pull was strong. The Roman Empire hadn’t become the undisputed ruler of the Western world through compassion, kindness, or humility. Wealth was in the hands of a few, and they used it to control the rest. The rich and powerful lived extravagantly while the masses struggled to survive. Perversions and debauchery were practiced by some and ignored by others.
Christianity was just one religion and Christ just one more deity. Considering the pantheon of gods that the Romans worshipped, it must have been difficult to convince anyone that Jesus was “the way, the truth, and the life.”
Starting to sound familiar?
It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the evil in the world. Every day we hear about another horrible crime being committed. Meanwhile, the popular media searches for new and more horrific ways to portray violence, perversion, and all manner of evil. Whether it’s a case of art imitating life or vice versa, life has lost its sanctity in the minds of many.
What can we do about a world so overcome with evil? This was the same dilemma that the Christians in Rome faced, and Paul’s counsel to them rings true today. “Overcome evil with good.”
If a dish is dirty, being angry about the situation does nothing to fix it. Neither does trying to ignore it. The only solution is to expose that dirty dish to the power of a little soap and water.
If a room is dark, you can curse the darkness or whine over how unpleasant it is—or you can flip the light switch or open the curtains and let some light in.
It’s the same with society’s evils. We can get discouraged, angry, or depressed—“overcome by evil”—or we can be a force for good, even if only through personal example. Not every dirty dish will be cleaned, and not every darkened heart will be enlightened, but we can each do our part day by day, person by person, decision by decision.
Romans 12:17-20 – Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it[a] to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”
Romans 12:21 ESV – Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Here is a nice devotional for today that focuses on communication. I believe good communication is so important. Here are some key basic principles to get down in your spirit that will help you be well on the way to happy, productive relationships.
Honesty. If you want to get off on the right foot with others, be honest and straightforward from the start.
Tact. It’s important to be honest, but it’s also important to be loving and considerate in your presentation, especially with people who are naturally sensitive or when the subject could be sensitive.
Wisdom. Wisdom is what helps you be tactful. You’ll find a lot of useful wisdom within the pages of the Bible, but you can also get wisdom that is tailor made for each situation by asking God for it. That is promised in the Bible, but you need to ask.
Love. You may not do or say everything right, but if others see that you are motivated by love and concern, little problems or misunderstandings are less likely to become big ones.
Prayer. Sometimes praying together about a shared situation can help things click between two people like nothing else.
Positiveness. Being upbeat usually elicits a like response.
Timing. Knowing when to say something is often as important as knowing what to say. So is knowing when not to say anything.
Approachability. Dictionary definitions of approachable include accessible; easy to meet, know, talk with, etc.; friendly. When someone knows you will take time for him or her, you’ve won a friend.
Attentiveness. Listen to what others have to say without interrupting, trying to hurry them along, or finishing their sentences for them. Nothing opens a channel for constructive dialogue better than being a good listener.
Open-mindedness. People’s opinions and the way they approach problems are as different as people themselves. Letting others express their thoughts and feelings conveys respect and fosters positive, fruitful exchanges. People will be much more at ease with you and more likely to turn to you for advice if they know you will be open to what they have to say, even if you don’t agree.
Empathy. Be sensitive to others’ likes and dislikes, needs, and moods. Put yourself in their shoes. Practice the Golden Rule.
A sense of humor. A little laughter can be just the thing to keep potentially difficult exchanges from getting too intense. Lighten up!
Clarity. There would be a lot fewer misunderstandings between people if they didn’t beat around the bush or rely so much on hints. Don’t leave others guessing; say what you mean. If you’re not sure they understand your point, ask them.
Effort. Sometimes communicating is plain hard work.
Consistency. People who communicate regularly understand each other better and are more likely to be able to work through problems when they come up.
Colossians 4:6 ESV – Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
Proverbs 15:1 ESV – A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Psalm 141:3 ESV – Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!
A few years ago I traveled from Assisi to Sorrento along the Amalfi Coast of Italy. I remember the time I spent in Assisi like it was yesterday. What a magical town! I got lost in it for hours and learnt so much about it’s fascinating past. It’s famous for the saint who was born there, Saint Francis of Assisi. He was an Italian Catholic friar and preacher.
I travelled to Rome 3 years ago and I’ve never forgotten it. From the moment I arrived, I immersed myself totally in the Italian culture (my own heritage!). The capital city of Italy is definitely all it’s cracked up to be – it’s got romance, history, delicious food and interesting people. On one of my beautiful summer days there, I took myself to the Vatican city and walked through St Peter’s Square to visit the world famous St. Peter’s Basilica. Did you know that the difference between a cathedral and a Basilica is that a Basilica has the body of the saint housed within it?