Who is James Preston?

James Preston Reply 5:30 AM
Who is James Preston? That’s for you to decide for yourself. But for now, here’s some info to get your started...

James was born in Guidlford, Surrey in the United Kingdom to a Scottish-English father and a South African mother. After 6 years of a good upbringing in the English countryside, his parents decided to leave two very good jobs, escape the grey gloom of the UK and head into the midst of civil unrest in South Africa’s transformational years in 1991. They moved to South Africa’s 2nd largest city, and Africa’s largest port, Durban, where he has lived ever since. Here he met his wife Corinne and the call of Africa now pulsates through his veins. There is nowhere else quite like it.

Based on his Twitter profile, here’s some more helpful details about James. This will also give you good insight into why James tweets what he tweets...

A Pastor with a difference
James and his wife Corinne are ordained pastors at a thriving church in Durban called Highway Christian Community. He has worked as a minister there on a full-time basis since 2006, where he has had the immense privilege of leading people into their destiny as they reconnect with their Life-source, Jesus Christ. James believes Christianity is about being the person God created you to be. James was created wild and passionate. That makes him somewhat of a non-conformist pastor. A pastor with a difference as some have labeled him.

Unconditionally Loved by the Creator
After serving in his local church for years, James had an encounter with the Living God that transformed his entire life. God showed him how much he is loved. With such knowledge, James would never be the same again. He realised that living a full life (as Jesus promised) is not about trying to love God with all your strength, but about letting God love you with everything that He is (1 John 4:19). James has a passion to see people liberated from works-based righteousness and come into the same revelation he had, that of God’s unconditional Love and Grace for them.

James loves his Wife and Son
In May 2006, James married his teenage sweetheart, Corinne Rafferty (now Preston). They continue to fall crazily in love with each other and are truly best friends forever. In April 2012 they had the overwhelming blessing of welcoming their firstborn into the world; Joel, who they both adore with all that they are.

James loves Life, Africa and Sport
James is one of the most passionate people you will meet. He is opinionated (sometimes too much so) and his passion comes through often in defense of these opinions. If he enjoys something, he enjoys it passionately. Whether it is a good meal, a good movie, or good conversation topic. James was raised with a love for the environment and its wild inhabitants. This has translated into a passion for one of the world’s wildest continents, Africa and its wide open spaces and brilliant beasts. James is a sport fanatic. Having a British father means Soccer is his first love, but living in Durban for so long has made Rugby a close second. South Africans love their Cricket, so that is also high on the priority list. Golf, tennis, swimming and other such sports also interest him. You will find him tweeting about these and his beloved sports teams with consistency.

Radio Personality
James has been involved in radio since he was 12 years old when he made his first demo tape for Durban’s No.1 Radio Station. He spent 11 years at Durban’s top Christian radio station from 2001 - 2012 where he hosted the daily breakfast show, afternoon drive show, the Top 20, as well as serving as Production Manager and Creative Director. Today he continues to do freelance Voice Over work for South Africa’s top media companies, and has moved his love for radio to cyberspace where he hosts a Christian leadership podcast at www.sonicsubstance.com

Entrepreneur 
James is a visionary. He sees opportunity, and takes risks when such opportunity arises. James’ company, King’s Domain Enterprises, is in its early days but has already made its mark by starting both a publishing house and an advertising agency. The purpose of the enterprise and its subsidiaries is to enrich people’s lives, from the greatest to the humblest, by serving them with revolutionary products and services.

Worldchanger 
The Earth is fragile and in need of responsible stewardship. The effects of human greed and selfishness are taking its toll. While James much prefers to focus on the good in this world, the reality is there is much in need of fixing. James believes every human being on the planet has a responsibility to look after each other and see the injustices of this world eradicated. His aim is to train leaders across the spectrum, from the marketplace to the pulpit, to live with a genuine concern for our world, show them how they can change it, and implement structures within their spheres of influence to get started.

The Joy of CHRISTmas

James Preston 1 11:47 AM
I wrote this to my friends at Highway Christian Community, and thought I'd share it here.  It is the Truth about Christmas.  Enjoy!

One that stuns me every time.  But so simple.  Jesus, Almighty God, left the Glory of Heaven to take on the form of His rebellious creation, mankind.  Was born into the worst possible circumstances of all His creation, straw poverty; a manger in a barn.  Can you imagine Prince William leaving everything of his royalty, and moving to the slummiest of slums in India?  With nothing?  And this is nothing compared to the Glory Jesus traded for Earth.  And He did it all for you and I.  He did it to reconcile us to God.  (2 Cor. 5:19)  Now, a manger is what is used to feed animals.  Jesus was born in one.  Jesus wants you to feast on this Glorious Truth!  He traded Glory for sin, so that you can trade your sin for Glory!  This is the true heart of CHRISTmas.  What a Glorious celebration!  What Love!!  What Joy!!  This is all I need this CHRISTmas.  It warms my heart infinitely.

Have a blessed CHRISTmas.


Divinity Restrained Within A Man

James Preston 2 2:50 PM
Right, haven't blogged in way too long.  I sincerely apologise!  To you and myself!

With way too much swirling around in my mind at the moment, I have decided upon a topic that was suggested by my friend Jamie Ternent.

That's him right there.  He suggested I blog about a topic him and a friend of his use as a line to confuse people:  The divinity restrained within a man.  I thought "hey!  That's actually a really interesting topic!"

And so I shall tackle the subject with my convictions.

Firstly, let's consider the phrase:

The Divinity Restrained Within a Man.

There are two primary perspectives from which to view the phrase:

1. All men are made in the image of God and thus have a form of divinity within them waiting to be unleashed.
2. Man has fallen from their original state as being made in God's image and therefore only born-again believers have such divinity within.  And even they have that divinity restrained within their beings.

I think both have an essence of truth to them.  This is actually a very philosophical topic that could be and will be thought about and tackled for decades to come.  But let me just share my convictions.

Both perspectives compliment each other.  Indeed, we were created in the image of God.  But something significant took place when mankind ate of the Tree of Knowledge, major disruptions to our original state took place.  After all, Jesus came to redeem.  He wouldn't need to redeem something if it wasn't broken.  It was.  Jesus came, perfect divinity, born in the "likeness" of man, but not in the lineage of man.  He was conceived of a virgin and therefore bypassed any kind of sinful tendency carried in the DNA of mankind, as I believe DNA is transferred at the conception of the egg by both the sperm cell and egg cell.*  Bio lesson over.  But basic theology.

So Jesus was the perfect human being, and was then shockingly broken and brutally beaten and murdered to redeem not only mankind, but the curse the entire planet came under at "The Fall":

Colossians 1:20
"through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the Cross." 

Clearly, what Jesus did on the Cross was the legal rectification of this broken world.  Because that too is clear; this world is broken.  This viewpoint confirms another one of Paul's writings:

Romans 8:19-21
"19 The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God." 

And this passage brings to light the point of what I would like to make here in this post, and makes for the foundation of the remainder of it.

What Jesus did on the Cross was the legal act required to make right this broken world.  But that act happened 2000 years ago.  Why is the world still broken?  The common Christian's answer would be "because we are waiting for God to come back and make things right."  This is what most Christians want.  For God to come back and make things right and deal with this broken world once and for all.

But go and have a look at the response Jesus gives when His disciples asked a similar question in Acts 1:6-8.  The disciples, like most Christians today, wanted to know if now was the time for God to make everything right.  Jesus acknowledges that yes, God does seem to have a time when things are going to start happening.  But that's about it.  He then brushes it aside and instead says to His disciples that they are about to receive all the Power they need, through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, to go and change the world.

Here's my point:  In light of Romans 8, what if God is waiting for us to rise up and use the Power He has made freely available to us to start making things right here on Earth?

Think about it.  Why else would Jesus make the payment to fix a broken world, but then ascend to Heaven and leave us here on that broken world? 

What if He has commissioned us to fix the mess?

I think this is what Paul meant when he said all of creation is waiting for the sons of God to be revealed.  All of this planet is groaning, waiting to be made right, and the waiting is for us!  Creation is waiting for us, the sons of God, to rise up and take our place!

And so, back to the statement:  The divinity restrained within a man.

Here's what I believe:  Jesus made the payment for all of creation to be made new.  (Col 1:20).  But it is His joy to give us the authority and do it on His behalf, using the Power He has made available to us by His Spirit in us.

Consider Luke 10, where Jesus is filled with joy because His disciples were extending His Kingdom.  I believe it is the joy of Jesus to give us the authority and go and exercise His rule on His behalf.

So, Colossians 1:20 says the all things have been reconciled by what Jesus did on the Cross.  Including things on Heaven and things on Earth.  What about this for a theory?  When God banished Adam & Eve from the Garden of Eden, what if there suddenly became a sort of barrier between the natural and spiritual realm?  In that moment, mankind became driven by his 5 senses, no longer by his spirit.

Then Jesus says in John 3 that for a man to even experience the Kingdom of Heaven, his spirit needs to come alive within him.  Through Jesus' complete death (spiritual death too) on the Cross, mankind has the right to complete Life, spiritual life too.

So, what if the ushering in of the Kingdom of God is an ushering in of the spiritual realm of Heaven onto this Earthly physical realm, until the two become one again?  Afterall, Revelation 11:15 says the kingdoms of this world shall become the Kingdoms of our God.  But who will start that "ushering in process" of those kingdoms turning over?  I think it's us.

So here's what I'm getting at...  This planet is still very broken.  Even our mortal bodies, born of mortal seed.  But when we put our faith in Christ, something magical happens.  Our spirits come alive within us.  (John 3:6).  But our bodies seemingly stay the same.  But then Romans 8:11 says that the Spirit within us will give life to that mortal body.  Not sometime, but now, as we live out this life.

The word salvation means to be "made whole".  When we were born-again, our spirits came alive, but our bodies are still in the process.  And so is this planet.

In light of this, we are missing the point if we thank God that we are saved, and then do our very best to avoid sin, and wait eagerly to go to Heaven and be free from sin once for all!  NO! 

We have been given everything for life and godliness NOW, and so we use the fullness of God within us to simply brush aside sin like it were some external parasite from a distant universe (for that is what it now is to us who are from another world) and we go about making things right!!  In every area of society!

Well...  after all that...  my convictions on a statement like "divinity restrained with a man"?  Simply this:  The born-again believer has been given everything they need to be like Jesus on Earth.  Its as simple as that.  Ephesians 1:3 says we have been given (past tense) every spiritual blessing.  That means when we get to Heaven, we won't get anymore.  We've already been given everything. 

The key is to access* what has already been given, and start using it to make this broken world a better place.  When we start doing that, we'll make Dad happy.  And He'll start getting up and getting ready to come and join us for a very, very big celebration.


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*Let it be said I don't think this has been scientifically proven as yet, although some Christian apologist scientists have come close.  Also, no-one besides Jesus has been born of a virgin, so it's kind of difficult to tell.

*How do we access?  I believe it is by simple child-like faith.  Believing what Jesus said.  But that's another post.

The Scandalous Offense of the Gospel

James Preston Reply 12:04 PM
In case you didn't know, the Gospel was meant to offend!

Romans 9:33
"Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense;
    and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame."


It is such ridiculously Good, intoxicatingly Happy News that, when presented in its fullness and purity, should invoke an offense that says "it is not as easy as that!  It cannot be as good and as easy as that!"

Well, it is!  The whole point of this Gospel is that Jesus accomplished everything you and I couldn't and purchased for us everything we need to bring His Kingdom of Love to this planet.  This is what Peter meant when he wrote in his 2nd letter "we have been given everything we need pertaining to life and Godliness."  He goes on to write in that same passage that Jesus gave us everything we need to partake in His Divine nature and through what Jesus did on the Cross we have already been separated from this sinful world!

You have been given everything you need!  Done!  Once and for all!  You don't need to fast, pray, read your Bible or worship more to get more!  It has already been given in its fullness!

If you fast, fast to get rid of the unbelieving religion that plagues our human, unrenewed minds!  If you pray, pray for God to reveal His Goodness and what was accomplished on the Cross, and how much you have been given!  If you read the Bible, read it to realise how Good He is and what He has given you and how much He loves you!  If you worship, worship because you have seen how Good He is and you can't hold your praise back!

It is a ludicrous scandal.  A scandal that is spreading like wildfire across this planet!

Romans 8:19
For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.

Around the world people are rising up in response to this scandalous truth!  Their spirits bearing witness to this Glorious Truth of the Gospel, and they are being set free from religion, bondage and fear and rising up to be the sons and daughters of God He already created them to be!  A people who know that God loves them passionately, and that His Love is the most powerful force in the entire Universe.  It is happening all over the world.

Religion is telling some that this Message is too good to be true.  Religion, like satan in the wilderness, is using Scripture to deceive others into believing that it cannot be this easy.  That to be a Christian one needs to please God, live a holy life, and keep a check on one's own life.  What these people who are buying into these lies don't realise is that this is the most selfish, introspective viewpoint in the world!  That lie says that it is more about what you do than what Jesus already did on the Cross, and thereby takes away the glory from God and gives it to you.

But the body of the Truth in Scripture is too heavy and too weighty to be ignored.

Jesus has set us free once and for all!  And what remains is that we enter into this marriage free from the old marriage of religion and receive His undying, unconditional Love for us!  All that remains is for us to receive His Love.

One sip of this Pure, undiluted Gospel will intoxicate you for the rest of your life.

2 Corinthians 5:14
For the love of Christ controls us...

One drink of this Pure Gospel and Paul was done for.  Transformed forever!  The Love of Christ was such a powerful force to Him that He couldn't stop.  It literally controlled every move he made, and everything He did.  If the Love of Christ isn't controlling you, then you might need another drink of the New Covenant.

In the same way alcohol controls the mind and body, the Love of Christ will control you.  You will look crazy.  You will look stupid.  You will be mocked and criticized.  But you can't help it, and you can't go back.  For like Paul, just one taste of this Pure Good News, and you cannot go back.

Stop questioning!  Stop believing the lies!  The Truth is being revealed!  The Gospel is this good!

It is nothing of what you can do.  It is everything of what Jesus has already done!  There is nothing left for Him to do!  He sat down at the right hand of the Father because His work was complete!

I raise my glass in toast and drink to that!  Thank You Jesus!

Psalm 116:13
  I'll lift high the cup of salvation—a toast to God!

Did God the Father forsake Jesus on the Cross?

James Preston 13 12:48 PM
Ok, this post is open for discussion... Your input is welcomed. Just let us avoid mud-slinging.

I've just read a blog by a young American pastor who is typically fed up with the "christianese" culture that has ravaged the church in the USA. Like most of his kind, he seems to understand that God is Good, above all. That's an important start. But like many others who are grappling with their faith, looking at it with a new perspective, I get the feeling he is leaning toward making Jesus just another Good Man. And this is the danger of taking supernatural revelation by The Spirit, and grappling with it intellectually on our level.

(I am not saying He is making this statement outright, but this argument leads down the road to such a conclusion.)

Yes, God is not out to judge or condemn you. He sent His Son, Jesus for that. But don't allow your new found freedom of God's Love and Grace ever undermine the work of Jesus on the Cross!

The article in question posed the debate "did God the Father forsake Jesus on the Cross?" I was intrigued because I just recently had a conversation with a friend regarding this very subject.

My friend's argument was the same as the blogger's: God did not forsake Jesus on the Cross, because God is too loving and would never forsake His own children. (This is essentially what they are saying.) Jesus just felt forsaken because in that moment He took on the weight of the sin of the entire world.

The blogger then continues to argue that when we sin, we just feel forsaken and condemned. But we aren't really.

I have a major problem with this argument.

This argument implies that Jesus wasn't really forsaken, He only felt as though He was. And therefore when we sin we feel the same way because we are carrying the burden of our sin.

This doesn't work for me, because this argument leads to Jesus just being another Good Man. Not The Saviour. It says that we can be just like Jesus, and live good lives, and when we sin we may feel condemned we aren't really because God loves us anyway.

For me, this waters down the Glorious Work of the Cross. I believe Jesus was forsaken by the Father on the Cross. I believe He really died and, mysteriously, for 3 days He was cut-off from the Father. He didn't go to Heaven. He was cut-off from the Father. (Hell)

And once the entire just judgment of mankind's sin had been fully paid for once and for all, the Spirit of Almighty God breathed life into His Body and He rose again and He defeated death!

He did all this so we can never ever be forsaken! EVER AGAIN! NEVER to feel condemned ever! No matter what! He died so that we may have True Life! Always! Abundantly!

It was a Divine Exchange! Not a model for us to follow! It was a real gift that Jesus came to give us, God's children. Jesus came to give us Life, and in exchange He died.

This perspective makes one realise how Glorious a Work the Cross actually is. It wasn't just an example of sacrificial love that we should aspire for, but it was THE magnificent work of Almighty God, an official act to pay for mankind's rebellion once and for all!

An official act that not only displayed how Loving He was, but officially paid a Way for us to BE Loved by Him and become His children and enter into an eternal relationship with Him!

So my friends, please, let's watch ourselves. That we do not take the mysteriously remarkable Good News of Jesus and water it down to our palatable level. What Jesus did for mankind on the Cross will never be fully understood and grasped! We will remain in awe of that Work for all eternity!

IT IS THAT BIG! IT IS THAT AWESOME!

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Again, your comments are welcomed. If you disagree, that's great. Just support your disagreement and do not do so in an unnecessarily heated manner.

The Winds of Change Are In The Air

James Preston 2 10:53 AM
So yesterday I had the privilege of preaching on that which is very close to my heart: Renewing our minds to agree more with the Truths and Promises of God. Admitted; I got a bit carried away in some areas. But hey, that's me. ;-)

The service as a whole was incredible. God was there. Like a cloud heavy to pour with rain, He was there. It was always so easy to preach in such an environment. But when I was done, and the service was over, and I was left to my own devices to ponder what was, there was a strong sense of excitement still stirring in me.

I am excited.

After chatting to a few people after the service, I agree with many of them that there is shift taking place in the spiritual atmosphere. Something is happening.

I don't know exactly what it is, but something significant is happening in these days. You can see it. You can feel it. Something is changing. God, His Nature and His Ways, has become the subject of many a debate, in liberals, conservatives, and the destitute alike. And I think He is about ready to show off.

It is against this backdrop that we are in for some serious revolution. It isn't going to be easy. But it certainly is going to be exciting. God's people are going to rise up and be known among the nations. We either embrace what He is doing in this radical move, or we will get sadly left behind in the dust of a fast-moving freight train.

The winds of change are in the air. The seasons are changing. Besides those gifted with a deeply prophetic eye, we may not know exactly what it is God is doing, but we know He is doing something. Something radical. Something GOOD. Something exciting. And I am going to do my best to embrace it and be ready.

Like a favourite old song of mine put it:

Roll with the punches or get left behind.

Moving from Denominationalism to Apostleship

James Preston 2 8:42 AM
The spirit of denominationalism has divided the church for the past 1800 years and prevents her from operating in the fullness of what she should be operating in.

To put it simply, the spirit of denominationalism is a spirit that places a belief above a relationship. Its priority is not relationship; its priority is belief, understanding, conviction, or doctrine.

I have just begun reading Kris Valloton's new book "Heavy Rain". A book where he writes his deepest convictions about the next wave God is preparing His church for to operate in her fullest measure: to bring the Kingdom of Heaven to Earth like a flood. Like heavy rain.

He opens the book with a deep conviction of how denominationalism is a destructive ideology that has and continues to rob the church of her power and Glory. I am barely halfway through the chapter and it has got me thinking in a big way.

I was sitting with a good friend not too long ago, and he said to me that he believes no man has the full body of Truth, because God has ordained things in such a way that we rely on each other in the same way a hand relies on an arm, and lungs rely on the circulation system etc. We are the Body of Christ, and we were meant to rely on each other.

That too got me thinking, because each and every Born-Again, Holy Spirit-filled believer has the very Spirit of God dwelling within them, and Jesus promised that He (Holy Spirit) would lead us into all truth. But that doesn't necessarily mean that we know all truth yet. Jesus said; "I am The Truth." And we will never fully grasp the Glory of Jesus, His Glory is eternal. So you see, it starts to make sense.

The Holy Spirit is working within us to lead us into deeper measures of the Glorious Truths of Jesus. But they are fresh and new day after day, year after year. We need to be a lot more embracing than we are critical and rejecting.

Now I get to my point.

The key is that we would put aside our intellectual minds and instead trust, like little children, in the Holy Spirit to lead us into deeper levels of HIS Glorious Truths. Our intellectual approach to the things of God is what is preventing us from entering into the fullness of what the Body of Christ should be operating in. A fullness of operation that Jesus died for! Jesus died to see His Body as the giant in the world that nations would stand in awe of!

BUT! A significant key is to let people start thinking for themselves, and to place relationships above our theological interpretations.

Our preaching and teaching should not be to convince and win-over our listeners. It should come from a place of our own deep conviction and revelation that we can't wait to share! And we just want people to live in the same liberation and power that we are experiencing!

This kind of approach to leadership will create thinkers. People who think for themselves, and if they have the Holy Spirit living inside them, He will lead them into Truth. If they disagree with us, our approach should not be to try convince them, but to love them and fight for the relationship. That love and relationship will create a platform for the Holy Spirit to teach both parties.

This is apostolic leadership. We share different views, but we don't divide over those differences. Instead, we honour the person and their gift above their perspectives and interpretations.

One of the biggest problems we face in the church today is fear. And the biggest fear? Fear of being deceived. Which makes very little sense. We are the custodians of Truth itself, and are meant to be connected to the Person of Truth Himself by a deep spiritual connection; and yet we are the ones who are afraid of being deceived.

The time has come for the Church to stop pointing fingers at each other and start getting on with the job. And the significant key in all this is LOVE. Love covers a multitude of sins. And if it covers a multitude of sins, I am pretty sure it covers a multitude of differences too. But there is very little love left in the church today. We need to open our hearts wide, stop criticizing and let the Love of God intoxicate every fiber of who we are and get on with the job. Hold hands with leaders on our left and our right who we may have very little similarities with, but see through those differences for a higher purpose: Extend the Kingdom. Because in the Kingdom people will live free, loved and at peace. That's what we all want, right? So come on.

"...for whoever is not against us is for us." Jesus - Mark 9:40

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What do you say? Is doctrine more important than relationship?

Does Rob Rufus go too far?

James Preston 14 11:55 AM
Just before this post.... I have been nominated for an SA Blog Award 2014! I would really appreciate your support, just by taking literally 90 seconds to click below and vote for me in the 2 nominated categories. Thanks so much! SA Blog Awards Badge
Now back to this Post...
Also, check out this amazing interview we did with Rob Rufus here.


Rob Rufus has been labeled, among many other "Godly" labels, a heretic and a false prophet. The more diplomatic disagreements would simply say that he goes too far. Those are the folk that will say things along these lines; "I agree we are saved by Grace. BUT..." They will then proceed to give an elaborate Scriptural explanation of why there is a limit to preaching on the Goodness of God. Because essentially, this is what they are implying. That God is only Good to a limited extent.

Even the great DR Michael Eaton, described as the greatest theologian alive in the world today, has written a few articles giving his opinion on Rob's so called "extreme" presentation of the Gospel.

Let me say, I value Michael Eaton as one of the most important influences in my life, and to the church worldwide. He truly is a gift to the Body of Christ. I personally deeply love his ministry and have been and continue to be deeply impacted by his ministry.

I have read his article responding to questions regarding Rob Rufus' views on confession of sin and repentance. And to be honest, and I herewith get into the purpose of this article, I don't even see the point.

The article was written to help concerned leaders see a specific perspective on confession and repentance. By the language and construction of the article, it seems as though it is a response in letter-form to an individual's question, and this individual in question has distributed the response at will.

At this point I will say I hear what Eaton is saying in his article, but I find arguing over the preposition of the letter pointless. From a broad perspective, I agree with the point. But am not influenced by its arguments or opinions.

The problem is this: All it is doing is giving weight to leaders and pastors in their argument that Rob Rufus IS going too far in his presentation of the Gospel. When actually, if you read the article, Michael Eaton commends Rob and even thanks him for his fearless manner in which he has declared his convictions. Not once does Eaton refer to Rob as a heretic or false prophet, or even give a warning against those aligning themselves with Rob. Which other pastors and leaders have felt it necessary to take on such a responsibility.

I find it interesting that Eaton, one of the world's greatest and respected theologians, does not give any such warning, and yet pastors and leaders overseeing churches of a few hundred feel the necessity to even go as far as preventing "their" people from listening to what Rob has to say. You see, the key is this... Eaton has nothing to lose, and therefore is not clouded by circumstance in his opinion. Other such leaders have much more to lose, such as members, tithes, and peace. Sometimes its "easier" to keep the peace and status quo than to let people actually think for themselves.

My point is this... Rob Rufus IS extreme. And rightfully so. Because the Gospel of Jesus Christ is extreme. Paul's presentation of the Gospel was extreme.

What Jesus did on the Cross, fulfilling the role of Last Adam, is the most extreme act in all of eternity! And the power of being in Last Adam (Romans 5) is the most underestimated power in the church today! And if we did not have prophets like Rob Rufus, who unashamedly declare and present this Glorious Gospel in its most extreme manner possible, with cutting edge, razor sharp precision and clarity, our eyes would remain clouded by the religious conditioning and human traditions we have so deeply ingrained within.

I am unashamed to say that it is Rob Rufus' ministry that has opened my eyes to Glory of the Gospel. Before, I thought it was just good news. Now, it is UNBELIEVABLY, RIDICULOUSLY, EMBARASSINGLY GOOD NEWS!!! And I am more radical for Jesus than I ever have been in my entire life! I have started work in the townships of South Africa because of my deep convictions of THE GOSPEL. My preaching has never been so passionate, so full of conviction, and so clear in all my life. The people I have the privilege of partnering with (or "shepherding") in my youth group have become the most passionate, deeply wise, and bold group of people I have ever led. People of character, quality, and integrity. Because of THE GOSPEL. These people have released a CD filled with anointed, gifted and talented music written by themselves because of their revelation of THE GOSPEL.

I am willing to die for this GOSPEL. Without question. Whereas before, I would have weighed up the cost, thought about it, hesitated. Now, it is not even a question in my mind. I could go on listing the testimonies and results that we have seen because of people coming into a deep revelation of THE GOSPEL. But these are enough.

The point is; had Rob Rufus watered down his message and been a tad more politically correct, and less offensive, then I doubt I (or many others) would ever have had such a deep-seated conviction about this GLORIOUS GOSPEL. Because now, to me, it truly is glorious. Before, it was just the gospel. Another word used to get people saved at outreach events. Now, it is GLORIOUS! It is everything! It IS THE WINE! And New Wine cannot be put into old wineskins! It is everything that I am. Everything that I do. Not just a message. Now, it is truly Good News that makes me weep, cry and laugh every time I hear it. And had it not been for Rob Rufus, and other such pioneers equally radical about it, I would never have been so impacted.

We must understand that what Jesus did on the Cross was the most radical thing God could ever do. Ever! It was extreme. And this Gospel IS extreme. If the Gospel that you believe is not extreme, then it has probably been watered down and diluted to become a little more "agreeable" for our religiously conditioned minds and backgrounds.

You see, it comes to the hungry. "God gives Grace to the humble, but opposes the proud." You will find that those around the world radically preaching this Message in a so-called extreme manner, and there are many, each had divine encounters with God where they were just desperate to see more of God in their lives, meetings, churches and ministry. They had reached a point where it was all or nothing. And I think God is attracted to such people. It is in this place, that God reveals to them the Message that IS all or nothing. The Message of Jesus. Who went "all or nothing"!

Jesus went the furthest He could ever go to reconcile mankind to God, their Father. So if Jesus went that far, Rob Rufus isn't going far enough. Simple.
____________________
Don't forget to check out this amazing interview we did with Rob Rufus here.


And if you enjoyed this article, I would strongly recommend you read the article "Moving From Denominationalism to Apostleship" as it grounds us in an important point we need to understand when making stands for what we believe...  and that is that relationships are more important than doctrine.  Give it a read by clicking on the pic below:
DENOMINATIONALISM TO APOSTLESHIP

Unashamed About The Gospel

James Preston Reply 6:50 PM
I am unashamed about the Gospel. That means that I will no longer be concerned with what other people will think of me. I will simply be me. Let the Glorious Gospel shine through me. The revelation that Holy Spirit has given me of this Glorious Gospel, I will not hold back. I will not let religious, legalistic, bound minds dampen the burning Fire of what I believe the Gospel to be.

If you think it is too extreme, then shame. My apologies. But I don't want this current reality. I don't want what we live in now. We live in a toilet. (clarification required, but no time now). Even the greatest of billionaires eventually get tired of what, where and how they live. No. I am sorry, I am not satisfied with what we live in now. It is not great. It is the result of a curse. A legitimate curse that Jesus put into the action of being reverted at the Cross. Legitimately God cursed the ground and the planet fell under bondage.

It is why to this day living organisms have a life span. The greatest human scientist today cannot give you a legitimate answer as to why living organisms reach a lifespan and begin to decay and die. God can. It was because of the curse.

Then Jesus came along, and put into process the liberation of that bondage. But He paid the fullest Price possible. He overpaid what was necessary. He overpaid so that His People, the fellow Sons and Daughters of God, would carry the Glory He bought for them and usher in the liberation of this creation. That they would rise up and bring liberation to this known world! Jesus paid it all! It has been done! We as Sons and Daughters of God have every right to take authority and even speak "death" over all things pertaining to the curse. Sickness, disease, ill-health, poverty, pain, sorrow, sin. It all. It was all paid for so that we can take authority of it. So that we can speak "death" over those things and True Life over things that have no life.

God is hoping we would catch this revelation and rise up. Rise and be who He has called us to be. Rise and be who He paid for us to be. All of creation is waiting for us to rise up.

And we, as the Sons and Daughters of God not satisfied with the status quo, will have to rise up above the religious persecution we will receive for believing such ludicrous ideas.

Jesus help us.

What A Month!

James Preston 6 6:44 AM
From early June up to now I could well have been the busiest I've been. I have organised my first Gospel crusade, commentated at the FIFA World Cup, and been part of recording a CD! And here I am... finally with a bit of time to journal the experiences. If I could take one thing from all the action; it would be the confirmation of Psalm 37:4:
"Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart."

I have found the more I have simply let go and delighted myself in my Father and His Love for me, the dreams within my heart are stirred. And they supernaturally seem to get realised.

The first project worth talking about would have to be the "Clermont For Jesus" crusade. Although technically it wasn't in Clermont, but neighbouring area Kwadabeka. For those that may be wondering why we kept referring to it as the "Clermont" crusade, the reason is two fold. Firstly, the original plan was to hold the crusade in Clermont, but the best venue we could find to host the event was in Kwadabeka only minutes away from Clermont. And secondly for promotional reasons many people are more familiar with Clermont and hence we just decided to keep the name as it was: Clermont for Jesus.

This truly was, and still is, a dream realised. God clearly spoke to me midway through 2009 that He wants to bring revival to the townships of South Africa. And this radical wave of God would spill over and impact the entire nation and even continent!

I have always had a passion for my black brothers and sisters! Especially the people of the Zulu Kingdom! Ironically, "Zulu" literally translated means "Heavenly people".

Toward the end of 2009 we had an old apostolic pioneering friend Keir Tayler come and share in one of our pastor's meetings, and what did he share on? Revival. My heart was burning and I shared my heart with him regarding revival in the townships, and he suggested I set something up, invite him in, and learn everything I can. The best way to learn is experience.

So I did. Not knowing what I was getting myself into. My first ever crusade of any kind, and we went big! And this where I can so testify to God's provision for the dreams of your heart. God gave me this desire deep within, and all I needed to do was act on it, and He would do the rest. We ended up getting full sponsorships for our scaffolding stage (Formscaff Pinetown), generators and lights (Need-A-Tool), ministry tent (ABC tree feeling), and portable stage and sound for street ministry! And the provision kept on coming as people offered their services wherever they could. Not to mention the donations of food parcels and blankets for the many underprivileged in the area.

God gave me the dream. I acted upon it. And it all came together.

Sure, there were many times when I thought to myself, "what on Earth have I got myself into?" But it's faith that keeps you going. Faith in the Goodness of your Father. Knowing that He has called you to this, and if He called you, He will sustain you and provide for you. And that He did!
And from 13 - 17 July 2010, we saw thousands of lives impacted by the incredible Good News of Jesus Christ. It was a combination of taking the crusade to the streets, school ministry, the main event in the evenings, that saw over 700 people commit their lives to Jesus Christ and many others receive a touch of healing and deliverance as God revealed His Love and Power.

And this is only the beginning. This is truly the first of many. We have learnt much from our first event. And these small beginnings are an incredible foundation for great things to come in our country! Hold on to your horses!

You can click all of the photos linked in this post to go to full album as posted on my Facebook profile.

Now, while preparing for my first ever crusade, I also had the immense privilege of commentating at Durban games of the FIFA World Cup 2010. Again, Almighty God, my Father, set it all up!There was an opportunity for me to get involved at Supersport (South Africa's primary sporting channel) during the World Cup. But it would most likely have meant doing work in Johannesburg during that time. As much as I would've loved to be involved in the soccer World Cup, the opportunity fell through.

But I worried not, and knew that my Father knew my heart. I loved sport, and I loved soccer. And a week later I received an email about FIFA's new project to bring the atmosphere of the FIFA World Cup to the blind. It involved commentators describing the action as it happens broadcast via FM radio to blind and visually impaired fans in the stadium. The perfect opportunity.

I went for an audition, the rest is history. Everything fell into place. I was given the job and with it the opportunity to commentate at 6 of the 7 FIFA World Cup games at the glorious Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. It was at times surreal. Rubbing shoulders with the likes of Martin Tyler, Arsene Wenger, Christiano Ronaldo and others was just a downright fun experience. One I will cherish for all my life, and thank my Father in Heaven deeply for.


And amidst all of that, the incredible group of people I have the privilege of "leading", Fuzion, were in the middle of recording their first worship CD. A project also birthed in the Throne Room of Heaven.

As a youth group we have been unashamedly going after the Presence of God. And that has many repercussions. I believe everything flows from His Presence. His Presence is concentrated perfection. So the best songs, the best ideas, the best projects, come from His Presence. And our worship band had begun to write some of the most glorious songs about Heaven, for Heaven, from Heaven.

The catalyst for actually putting these songs to CD came when we realised we needed major funding for a trip we were doing to Singapore at the end of the year. We felt inspired by God to put our songs to CD, and from the sales of the CD trust Him to provide for our trip to Singapore.

So far so good!

The project has already been featured in a local community newspaper, and the actual live recording worship night saw many people touched and transformed in the Presence of God. We even raised enough money to pay for the first batch of CDs. God started it. He sustains it.

Let me just add... the reason for the CD is not to raise funds. That was the catalyst to go ahead with the project. Had we not planned on a trip to Singapore, we would have made a CD anyway. But the timing most likely would have been different. The fact is, we had a trip to Singapore planned, and realised a great opportunity would be to record the music at this time so as to double up and raise funds for our trip.

The purpose of the CD in a nutshell: That people would encounter Jesus in reality through the music, and be transformed forever.

That's all we want. Lives to be transformed in the Presence of Jesus. That they would know how much He Loves them, and how much He wants to touch their lives.

So that's been my life since June. Now for the 2nd half of the year. Thankfully it was capped off with an incredible trip to the Kruger National Park for an amazing break.

Remember friends, God wants to give you the desires of your heart. Pursue Him, and watch everything simply fall into place.

For the Fame of His Name,

James

Teaching Into An Encounter by Bill Johnson

James Preston Reply 9:08 AM
This is a summary of "Teaching Into An Encounter", the 8th Chapter of Bill Johnson's remarkable book "When Heaven Invades Earth." I thought the material here may well provide you with some stirring Food for thought. Enjoy.

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Any revelation from God's Word that does not lead us to an encounter with God only serves to make us more religious. The Church cannot afford “form without power”, for it creates Christians without purpose. (Opening statement)

God's revealed Word, declared through the lips of an anointed teacher, ought to lead to demonstrations of power.

Jesus sent out His disciples saying “freely you have received, freely give. Preach the Gospel of the Kingdom.”

From John 14:10 – It is apparent that we speak the Word, and the Father does the works – miracles!

Bible teachers are to instruct in order to explain what they just did, or are about to do. When we restrict ourselves to mere words, we limit our gift, and may unintentionally lead believers to pride by increasing knowledge without an increased awareness of God's Presence and power! It's in the trenches of Christ-like ministry that we learn to become totally dependent upon God.

Personal Experience

There comes a time when simply knowing truth will no longer satisfy. There must be a “risk factor”. John Wimber calls this faith! Teaching must be followed with action that makes room for God to move.

Are we making the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, with the full manifestations of His gifts, the sole purpose of our existence?

Resisting The Influence Of Our Own Culture

Our culture values concepts and ideas above experience with results. You can go to colleges and get lectured in business by a person who has never owned a business! Such a culture has shaped most of our Bible schools.

Many present day movements have made a virtue out of staying the course without a God experience.

God cannot be known apart from experience.

Anyone who doesn't have an experience with God, doesn't know God.” He is a Person, not a philosophy or concept!

Those that have encountered God must stop watering down their story and use their testimonies to sit up a hunger for such encounters!

Kingdom Realised

God has promised to back up our message with power if our message is the Gospel of His Kingdom!

Power vs Pride

1 Corinthians 4:19b - 20

I’ll find out whether these arrogant people just give pretentious speeches or whether they really have God’s power. 20 For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power.

(For the Kingdom of God is not in word but in Power.) NKJV

The teachers mentioned here are different from the kind that Jesus intended the church to have! (Paul concedes these may be believers, but still refers to them as “puffed up” in the NKJV)

Personal charisma is often valued more by the church than either anointing or truth.

Paul chose not to wow the Corinthians with his extensive knowledge, instead he led them to an encounter with the God of all Power who would become the anchor of their faith!

The Kingdom of God is not in logos but in dunamis!

Dunamis is “the power of God displayed and imparted in a Holy Spirit outpouring.” That is the Kingdom!

In 1 Cor 2:5 Paul lays out his ministry priority as bringing people to a place of leaning on God's Power (dunamis) and not man's wisdom!

Any time the people of God become preoccupied with concepts and ideologies instead of a Christ-like expression of life and power, they are set up to fail, no matter how good those ideas are. Christianity is not a philosophy; it is a relationship. It's the God encounter that makes the concepts powerful!

We must require this of ourselves. How? We must seek until we find! (Luke 11:10)

Fathers with Power vs Teachers With Only Words (As in 1 Cor 4)

Father Teachers (not after Jesus' example)

Lifestyle – imitate fathers Lifestyle – gather around ideas (divisive)

Attitude – Humility Attitude – Pride (puffed up)

Ministry – Power Ministry – Many words

Focus – The Kingdom Focus – Teachings


God Is Bigger Than His Book

You are wrong because you know neither the Scriptures nor God's Power.” Matt 22:29 (NLT)

A rebuke aimed at the ignorance infecting every area of their lives.

They didn't allow the Scriptures to lead them to God. “KNOW” - personal experience!

They tried to learn apart from such an experience.

It is a lack of Power of encounters that lead to a misunderstanding of God and His Word. Experience is necessary in building a true knowledge of the Word.

It is illegitimate to allow fear to keep us from pursuing a deeper experience with God!

Embracing such fear causes a failure to the other extreme, which is culturally more acceptable, but significantly worse in eternity.

God is True to His Word, bet He does not avoid acting outside of our understanding of it!

God is so foreign to our natural ways of thinking that we only truly see what He shows us – and we can only understand Him through relationship!

The Bible reveals the greatness of our God, but it does not contain Him.

Don't hide your need to be in control behind a banner of “staying anchored in the Word.”

Road Map or Tour Guide

Anything I can get from the Word without God will not change my life.

The Bible is closed to ensure that I remain dependent on the Holy Spirit.

When we treat the Bible as a roadmap we live as though we can find our way though our own understanding of His book. This kind of perspective of Scriptures is similar to live under the law, and not living under Grace!

Living under law is the tendency to desire a list of preset boundaries, and not a relationship.

Under Grace we don't get a road map, we get a tour guide – the Holy Spirit!

Revelation that doesn't lead to a God encounter only serves to make me more religious.

The pride that comes from mere Bible knowledge is divisive.

The heart that fears God only – that heart is the heart where faith is born.

The mission of heaven is to infiltrate earth with its realities. All teaching is to lead us to that end, for training in the Kingdom is not without purpose.

Gospel Revolution Continues!

James Preston 3 10:05 AM
As is the case with most part-time bloggers, it's been a while since I've penned something on the digital journal. Much has transpired since my last post. Many opportunities have opened up for Corinne and myself to minister this beautiful, glorious, awe-inspiring Gospel of Jesus in many different places. And for that we count ourselves privileged. For His Fame always.

We had the privilege of ministering at Dr. Dilley Nadesan's church in Newlands East, Living Word Ministries. Now, as a white South African, I don't venture into Newlands all too often. Look, it is sad, I know, but the truth. I aim to turn that around soon. But the trip itself was worth the ministry! We took an entirely wrong offramp and drove 20km into the heart of one of South Africa's largest townships... Kwa-Mashu! It was fun! I love Africa!

After eventually arriving half an hour late for the service during their time of worship, we were still able to minister God's Word with the excitement and passion that can only come from being enamored with the Gospel! It was an amazing time! The church are such a hungry bunch of people who just want the reality of Jesus! That's my kind of church! After a fun time of ministry from Corinne and myself, we proceeded to pray over each and every one of the congregation, laying hands on the sick, declaring the promises of God over His people, and loving on people. It was a wonderful morning. One of those days you will keep with you for the rest of your life.

Special thanks to the Nadesan family for the opportunity, and for a relationship that will continue well into the future for the sake of seeing the Kingdom of Jesus manifest on this Earth!

Gee, that was only one opportunity. We've also had opportunities to minister into Thomas More School in Kloof for their Christian Arts festival, where we saw over 40 kids put their faith in the Finished of Jesus Christ! Come on! One of the girls had never been to church in her life. She then came to one of our recent youth meetings, where she received no less than 3 direct prophetic words over her life, encountered the Love of God as she lay on the floor weeping, and when she got up her hands were smeared in a thick gold dust. She was transformed! That's the business Jesus is in... transformation of lives!

Along with all this... I am currently in the process of planning a massive Gospel Crusade into another one of Durban's massive townships: Clermont. God spoke to me very clearly almost a year ago that He loves the people of Africa, and their fields are truly white unto harvest. He said to me that we are going to see millions in the townships come to Christ as revival is going to break out on a massive scale!

He then led me to invite Keir Tayler, a man who has been seeing revival in the darkest places of Africa for over 25 years, to come and do a crusade into Clermont, one of the biggest townships in Durban. That crusade would be the catalyst to a nationwide move of God that will usher in a new era of Glory for the beautiful nation of South Africa!

So I have been meeting with pastors and community leaders in Clermont ahead of the crusade to be held in July. My flesh looks at it and says, "Oh God! What have I got myself into, how is this all going to happen?" My spirit looks at it and is jumping up and down screaming for joy! I am convinced Jesus feels the same way. So this is daunting, but exciting!

We've also had great ministry opportunities at Doone Village, a retirement estate in Pinetown, where I preached the gift of no condemnation! Oh it's awesome to see people in their 70's, 80's and 90's being set free from a life time of guilt and heavy burden. Thank You Jesus.

Just last night I had the privilege of ministering to the youth-orientated Kloof Methodist evening service. They were doing a relationships course and asked me to share on the importance of emotional connections etc. Hey, any opportunity to minister from the perspective of God's Love, Grace and Mercy and reveal His plan for relationships in all that is a winner! So that was great. They have a wonderful evening service, and I am excited to see what God is going to do at Kloof Methodist in the future. I have no doubt that we are on the verge of a worldwide revival that is going to see millions of people flock to the churches of the nations hungry for the Source of True Life! Jesus!! The Longing of the Nations!

On top of all that, Corinne and I have had the immense privilege of continuing to lead our amazing youth team, FuZion. Not only do we have the most amazing group of young people desperate for the reality of Jesus. But we have a leadership team who I am convinced have the ability to truly change the face of this Earth as we know it. To say I am privileged to lead such a team is an understatement. Just yesterday we were praying together at my father's beautiful home in Camperdown enjoying God's Goodness and declaring His promises for our city and nation! The Presence of God was so thick in that place that we actually didn't know what to do with ourselves. It was incredible. We actually had a visit from one of the neighbours asking what was going on, he was ok when I explained. Haha!

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So there you go... I didn't have anything specific to Blog, so I figured I'd simply testify of God's Goodness and what He is doing in our lives. He is positioning His people for something great, friends. Be sure not to miss out. We truly are on the verge of something massive, and God is looking for those who would simply trust Him with a child-like faith. Not ask any questions, not try and figure everything out intellectually and theologically, but simply trust in His Goodness and watch the harvest come in!!

After all, JESUS is PERFECT theology! When He comes, that's all you need!

For the Fame of His Name always.

James

Who is James Preston?

James Preston Reply 6:00 PM
James Preston is a 27 year old "Pastor With a Difference".

The Kingdom of Heaven

James Preston 2 9:48 AM
We know that the Kingdom of Heaven is a kind of “now and not yet”. We live in a reality where the Kingdom of our God has not entirely invaded the kingdom of this world. It is His intention, and He wants it to happen, but it has not fully happened, yet...

This means that there could well be times in our lives when we suffer unexpected and seemingly unnecessary loss. But we do not live with such an expectation. We live with the reality, but not the expectation. By living with such an expectation we are blocking the channels through which God's Kingdom can invade.

This means that when I lay hands on the sick, each and every one, every dead person I lay my hands on, I must expect the fullness of the Kingdom of Heaven to invade Earth at that given moment for that given situation. Just because I may be living in a seemingly alternative reality to what I may have seen before does not change the fact that the Kingdom of Heaven wants to and can fully invade that circumstance.

If I have any doubt just because of what I have or haven't seen before means that I do not entirely believe the promises Jesus made. My circumstances do not determine the Truth of what Jesus bought for me, and what He promised me. How can they? Those past circumstances are merely reminders that this kingdom of Earth needs the Kingdom of Heaven to invade it more than ever before!

What we must learn is that this Earth has been under immense bondage and slavery since the “fall”, and it does not quite know how to handle the invasion of the Kingdom of Heaven. The Kingdom of Heaven is a completely different reality to what is known here on Earth.

This Earth is in a great darkness. People say God is omnipresent. He is everywhere. And while that is theoretically true, I have difficulty believing He is in the cells of cancer that are ravaging a beautiful young lady of only 25 years old giving her only weeks to live and leaving her family shattered. Or that He would be in the cells of an HIV virus weakening a young boy to the slivers of his skin and bone, leaving him but months away from his deathbed. Is God in that? Tell me!!! Is God in that? HOW CAN HE BE????

NO!!!! I am sorry, but God is NOT in that!! He is not in that cell and He is not in that virus!!!

He walked with Adam and Eve in reality. Not theoretically. When He moved them out of that garden, He placed them in a world where He was not. It was a world He had indeed created. But legally according to what they had done, He justly cursed the land and from that moment that land has been crying out and groaning ever since.

My friend, the time has come for us to stop dancing around pathetic theological ideas that pander to our Earthly circumstances and that we rise up and see that there is an alternative reality waiting to BURST into this reality. It is the Kingdom. The Kingdom of Heaven. The Kingdom that was before. The Kingdom of our God. My friend, the kingdoms of this world SHALL BECOME the Kingdoms of our Most High God. Through us. Because of what Jesus the Christ has done for us. Paid for us. Bought for us.

His Price was far too high to expect anything less. I for one will not allow circumstances to alter what I see promised to me by my Father in His Holy-Spirit inspired Word. For His Glory always. That the world may know.

Fresh Grace

James Preston Reply 6:54 AM
Grace is fresh. Every day. Not just any grace, like the grace you may receive from a friend when you've wronged them. Or the grace from the tax man. Those too are great. But the Grace of God revealed in the Person and subsequent death of Christ Jesus is fresh every single day. Every minute of every hour. And I want to live there forever!

I don't know if I am different, and if I'm a little strange, but I can't get enough of understanding the deep truths and realities of God's unbelievable Grace for mankind!

This morning I was paging through some books and just "refuelling", and was reminded and reawakened to the beauties of this Glorious Gospel. Enjoy...

"For most people, it takes more unlearning than learning to understand the fullness of God's Grace and the Glories of the New Covenant!"
DR Andrew Farley

"When one misreads Scripture, it is as dangerous as the captain of a ship misreading a tide chart in shallow waters."
DR Andrew Farley

"You can listen to a whole bunch of Gospel-centred, Grace preaching. But such is the nature of the flesh that all it takes is one works-based sermon to abandon the Glorious Gospel and slip back into a faith based on works."
Joseph Prince

"Many Christians still walk in Old Covenant bondage. Regarding the law as a Divine ordinance for our direction, they consider themselves prepared and fitted by conversion to take up the fulfillment of the law as a natural duty."
Andrew Murray

"There is this kind of dangerous element about the true presentation of the doctrine of salvation."
DR Martin Lloyd-Jones

And I would like to emphatically share with you that I AM ABSOLUTELY, ENTIRELY, COMPLETELY UNASHAMED ABOUT THE TRUE GOSPEL OF CHRIST JESUS! FOR IN THIS GOSPEL, THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD (NOT MAN) IS REVEALED!!!!

I will never settle for anything less! I will never shrink back! This Glorious Gospel is too awesome!

God Has Something BIG For South Africa!

James Preston 1 9:17 AM
Ok, so I am meant to be doing some serious work today... but I just got myself so excited I HAD to get this posted on the Blog!

Firstly, in case you didn't know... i LOVE South Africa! I was born in England but moved out to Durban (SA's 2nd largest city) when I was 6. I've been here ever since. In my 19 years of living here I have grown more and more in love with this beautiful nation. I love it.

And I mean love it to the point that I would die to see it enter into the fullness of what God has for it. Seriously.

It has a lot to do with the fact that I see this nation to potentially be one of the world's most powerful nations. And I don't say that lightly either. I really do mean it. Of course we have MASSIVE challenges, but NOTHING is impossible with God!

Here's why I had to write this post...

I was doing a bit of Bibly study and just found out that the first mention of currency in the Bible is GOLD in Genesis, and the last mention of currency is GOLD in Revelation. Gold is a very Biblical currency. Only in the last few hundred years have we substituted Gold and Silver for notes and artifical coins. Truth is, if you print more money than you have currency, you're in big debt. Your currency has to come from reserves that you actually own. Otherwise you're literally printing debt.

Here's where it gets exciting... So Biblically Gold is an important commodity, especially from a Biblical perspective.

I just remembered which country has the most gold reserves by a LONG way!!

Yep, you guessed it... SOUTH AFRICA. Tell me that's not exciting!!? Sure, we sell (and barely own) most of our Gold. But if we can get ourselves into a position of owning our own mines and managing our resources wisely, South Africa could well become one of the richest nations on the planet. With our gold reserves, that is easy. From a bit of research I believe we have 40,000 tonnes of gold remaining in the known reserves. We've already mined 41,000 tonnes in the last 100 years. That's another double awaiting to be mined, from our known reserves!

Come on now!

And that's only Gold we're talking! What about our other numerous reserves of Coal, Titanium, Aluminium, Copper? What about our remarkable tourism opportunities? What about our massive labour force of willing workers!? (God is making a way to such beautiful people).

What about the hosting of the FIFA World Cup this year? How about that for a springboard to greatness!?

If us South Africans would rise up, and see the MASSIVE potential in this incredible country, and Godly men and women would rise up in love, forgiveness and Truth! Man, this country is going to be a significant Light to the nations!

Our Condensed UK & USA Travel Journal

James Preston Reply 10:41 AM
In the first edition, I indulged you in the process of how the journey all came into being. In this edition, I seek to try and summarize the entire journey, rather than create different posts for different legs of the trip, as I envision that to be somewhat boring for you, tiresome for me, and a little unnecessary considering I have so much else to write about as well!

So let's do this! I will list each destination visited, and a few of the highlights of each. Grab yourself a cup of coffee because this is an in-depth read! The visits to the various churches will be covered in later Blog posts...

LONDON:
Destination number 1. Off we went to the baggage claim where all our bags were in order, including a boxed wooden carving of a Giraffe. A gift for a family friend. Lugging the 1.5m makeshift box around was no problem, up until we had to catch the Underground to our apartment! With 3 piece of luggage packed to last us a month; plus this boxed giraffe, lining up on the platform of the Underground so as to board timeously was an adventure in itself! And the London Underground waits for no-one!

After carefully planning our swift boarding procedure, we embarked easily. Well, as easily as you can with 3 pieces of box-sized luggage and a giraffe! And Corinne was officially on her first London Underground Train!

Have a look at all this luggage!

If getting on was fun, getting off was Mission: Impossible! But like Tom Cruise, Mission: Impossible NOTHING! We did it without too much hassle. Next step... carry over 50kgs of bags up 3 flights of stairs at one of the busiest stations in London... Tower Hill!

We were incredibly blessed in that we were given a 2 bedroom flat in prime London location! And I mean GIVEN! That family friend I spoke of? Yep, him! So carting the Giraffe around was well worth the sacrifice... just!

After finally settling in at our beautiful flat in London's Tower Hill area, we had a great lunch at Tower Bridge's docks. And from there it was back home for some much needed rest, we had a busy week ahead of us!

Our first "official" day in London, the hub of the world, was Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Street shopping. That night we had a great dinner with Sheldon Bayley and his lovely lady Heather at their newly-purchased home in Feltham, South of central London. Great to see old friends when abroad.

The following day we attempted Madame Tussauds. Ha! 4 hrs estimated waiting time in the queue! NO THANKS! Seriously, the queue was lined up two blocks down the street. We quickly moved on and ended up going to Harrods. The largest department store in the world. A place where they pride themselves in that they sell everything! Even pets! Fifty odd years ago they even had a Lion for sale! Seriously! Go Google "Christian the Lion", amazing story.

The next 2 days were spent with my family on the South Coast of England, in Chichester and Bognor Regis. My cousin Nick picked us up from Chichester station after a fantastic train ride seeing the beautiful countryside of England. We then spent the evening with his brother Martin and his lady Nicky and a few of their mates. That night (New Year's Eve) we went bowling with Nick and watched a DVD. Very chilled, I know. But hey, we aren't really the party type!

The following day we were with my gran and my aunt at a pub on the beach in Bognor Regis. Again, so good to see family after so many years! And who knows, could be the last time I saw my gran. Quite a thought. Hence, so valuable.

That evening it was on the train back to London to be ready for our final day in the UK.

What a day it was! Earlier in the week we discussed the possibility of riding "The London Eye", the famous ferris wheel giving you 360 degree views of London and her countless famous sights. It was dark, and we seriously considered going anyway, knowing full well that we may not have time to do the must-do ride on Saturday (our final full day). But we decided against it that night and decided we would cut things fine on Saturday morning. What a choice!

Saturday morning was the most beautiful day of our week in England! Bright blue skies clear for miles! Perfect for the famous ride! How good is our Father in Heaven?

It really was great and gave breathtaking views of the city.

It was then a bit of touring Westminster and then off to Fulham Football Club where we had prime seats to the FA Cup match between the Preston's beloved Fulham FC and Swindon Town where we met up with "that" family friend and his daughter, Libby. You know, "Giraffe" family friend? Bernie's his name. What a fantastic guy.

We won 1-0 AND missed a penalty! Should've been better, but a win is a win and Fulham are now through to the next round of the FA Cup. Could this finally be a trophy year?

That night it was a final dinner in London with Bernie and Libby. We said our goodbyes, packed up, and the following morning caught a taxi to Paddington Station (remember the bear?) where we caught the Heathrow Express train to Heathrow Airport to catch our flight to JFK, New York.

NEW YORK
My first trip to the USA! (I had caught a connecting flight in the USA coming from Canada before, but that was it) Being born in the UK I had seen London many a time, so while it was fun, the USA was bound to be a great experience as Corinne and I could experience the exhilaration of all the sights for the first time together!

What a city! WOW! You cannot imagine the size of this place. Although not the biggest in terms of population density, what makes New York City, and Manhattan in particular, so spectacular is the incredible amount of massive skyscrapers! Most cities (including San Francisco, Seattle and LA) have just as impressive skyscrapers but in far less concentration. In Manhattan, the entire island is a mass of gigantic architectural wonders everywhere you look! They don't call it the "concrete jungle" for nothing!

My first experience of Manhattan was quite amusing... Corinne was dog tired after traveling all day (taxi, train, plane, taxi) and so I thought I would go and buy our subway tickets for the week at the nearest subway station. While there, being the adventurous type, I thought why not "try out" the subway system of New York? So I did. I hopped on the next train, and saw a few stops down was "Grand Central Station". Off I got, walked through a couple of corridors into the famous auditorium of Grand Central Station. Clock and all! It was breathtaking!

I then thought I'd quickly pop out onto the street. I open the door of my chosen exit, and the building directly across the street was none other than the Chrysler Building! One of the icons of New York's incredible skyline! I felt like I was in a dream!

Corinne on the other hand was back home feeling like she was in a nightmare!

I got back to the hotel room was Corinne was frantic after my little gallavant. Needless to say she wasn't happy. My excuse being that I was like a kid in candy store! Which I was! Knowing me all too well, she understood.

With only 3 days in New York, we had a lot to do! It started that night with a tour of Times Square. OH MY WORD! You have never seen anything quite like it in all your life! Not even the bigness of the movies can prepare you for the real thing. You cannot quite believe that advertisers would put so much money into doing anything they can to get their message across in a place where advertisements just make up another part of the mosaic of colour. But they do.

It doesn't feel real.

The next day we headed to the Empire State Building, which also is quite incomprehensible. The sheer size of the building takes your breath away! From the base, across the street, you cannot see the summit of the monster. It is unbelievable! Not quite as beautiful as the Chrysler Building, but just as majestic thanks to its imposing size. And the view from the top is like nothing you've ever seen! A sea of concrete displaying man's engineering ability.

You are at the highest point of the city with the highest skyscrapers in the world. It is so high that looking down you don't quite feel the same fear as though you would off a cliff, because the distance is just too far for your brain to comprehend.

The following day was the Statue of Liberty. And let me tell you, New York was the coldest of all the places we visited (including ski-ing in the mountains)! So waiting in the hour long queue for the ferry was fun. We eventually boarded and began our journey to Liberty Island, about a mile out from the mainland.

As you get closer you get an idea of what the millions of Italian, Spanish, German and other immigrants must've felt when they entered New York's harbour for the first time, with Lady Liberty welcoming them to the "Land of the Free", back in the early 1900's.

The statue really is beautiful, and a masterpiece of creativity and engineering, especially considering she was built close on 100 years ago. The island gives incredible views of Manhattan and her imposing skyline. The only site missing of course was the Twin Towers. Liberty Island was one of the best places to capture the World Trade Centre's unbelievable size. Hopefully her replacement will be just as remarkable. We'll have to plan another trip once it's completed! :-)

We then moved on to Central Park, which too is far bigger than you can imagine. Built in proportion to the size of Manhattan, I guess. It really is beautiful. The pioneering work of Landscape Art, it really is a haven of peace and quiet in the city that never sleeps. But too cold in Winter if you are from South Africa!

The next day it was off to Seattle...

We spent 2 days with my cousin, her husband and their 3 beautiful children in a suburb called Snohomish just outside of Seattle before going ski-ing for a week at Crystal Mountain 2 hours outside of Seattle. So I will get into what the ski-ing was like and come back to being with the amazing family in Seattle.

SKI-ING IN WASHINGTON (State, not DC)
As mentioned in the previous blog post, this was one of the reasons for the trip. I wanted to give Corinne a taste of ski-ing and snow-covered mountains!

After the 2 hour drive up in rain, we eventually reached the resort where the snow covered the entire area of the Mountain. It was so picturesque!

We had a beautiful room with a view of the mountain, and the restaurant where we were to have breakfast and dinner was just as cozy with equally beautiful views of the beautiful mountain landscape (if not better)!

We didn't ski on our arrival day, but rather settled in. That night we went for dinner at the lodge just at the base of the ski slopes where we met the most friendly lady! Sandy Hill, a former military soldier who was now a ski instructor in her "retirement" was like an angel! We met her as we were admiring the snow falling (because Corinne had NEVER seen snow) and the friendship was a blessing beyond description! Another one of the God-moments!

The next day, we headed to the slopes where we booked Corinne in for a lesson that afternoon. Sandy gave me some tips on giving Corinne the basics, and so we spent the morning going through them with Corinne. We started with 1 ski so Corinne could get the feel of the ski on her foot. She got it! I was so impressed to see how quickly she adapted!

That afternoon Corinne had a lesson, while Sandy showed me some of the big slopes and reminded me of some of the skiing techniques. When we got down the mountain an hour later I saw Corinne going down the slope and I honestly couldn't believe how well she was doing! She well and truly GOT IT! I was so impressed! Not to mention thankful. A week of ski-ing when you can't ski would be absolutely disastrous. Thankfully this wasn't the case and Corinne was well on her way to creating memories to last her a lifetime!

The rest of the week was spent discovering all the wonderful landscape of the snow-covered mountains! While the final 2 days saw 10 inches of snow give us the best skiing experience you could ever ask for! Absolutely incredible! A week we will never forget! I would suggest everyone go skiing at least once in their lifetime!

The week was over all too quickly. Fortunately, we had another week in Seattle with family to look forward to, so it was too difficult saying goodbye to the slopes. Sandy incredibly offered us a lift into Seattle after our shuttle didn't arrive to pick us up! More of God's favour and provision! And after blessing us so much already she didn't even accept petrol money! Amazing. Sandy, if you read this, we cannot explain how thankful we are.

SEATTLE
It was then Seattle for a week with one of the most amazing families you will ever meet. The Thomas family. My cousin Carryn, married to Ian Thomas, and their 3 beautiful, amazing children Luke, Micayla and Bayley. What a week! A week that was far too short.

We did the DUCK ride with them. A remarkable informative tour of the city in a World War II amphibious vehicle, where we saw among other things the house that Tom Hanks lived in in the film "Sleepless in Seattle". That night Ian, Luke and I went to watch an Ice Hockey game (what an experience!) while the girls watched that same movie so as to see all the sights they had just experienced. We got home from the hockey game and we all watched the movie again!

The remainder of the week was spent visiting famous shopping spots like TJ Max, Costco, and others! Eating great burgers from the great Dick's Burgers. Playing street hockey, baseball, basketball and football with Luke and his friends. Walking Sam the dog in the beautiful suburbs. Adventure walks in the forest with Carryn and Corinne! Teaching the kids how to play rugby in the lounge. And long conversations about politics with the incredibly knowledgeable and insightful Ian. Not to mention visiting 2 incredibly influential churches in The City pastored by Judah Smith and Mars Hill pastored by Mark Driscoll whom I had the privilege of spending time with earlier in the week, but more about our church visits in a future blog post.

It was a week we will never ever forget. Spending time with family is just so special. We had so much fun with them, and we created such deep bonds, that leaving was always going to be painful. And it was!

We bitterly said goodbye to Carryn, the kids, and Ian after he dropped us off at the airport, and were on our own again off to San Francisco where we were to spend a day before heading off to Redding.

SAN FRANCISCO
A beautiful city. One of the most loved cities in America, and you can see why. The city really does have such character and a unique personality to it. After quickly dropping off our luggage (which had grown by a suitcase!) we caught the BART (SF's subway system) to downtown San Fran and caught a tram to Fisherman's Wharf, where did some shopping, sight seeing and had dinner at a classic Art Deco 1960's style restaurant.

The following saw us carting all our luggage (now 5 pieces) along the BART, then catching a yellow cab to the Greyhound station where we to catch a bus to Redding. We locked our luggage up in storage, and embarked on a whirlwind tour of San Fran to get to the Golden Gate bridge. It meant a 45 minute bud ride to spend 10 minutes at the famous landmark in the driving rain and howling wind to catch the bus back so as to not miss our Greyhound Bus that afternoon! IT WAS CRAZY! But we made it!

The Greyhound bus terminal and proceeding journey was an experience in itself. Being $330 cheaper than a flight to Redding, it was the logical option. But you quickly realise why it is so cheap. The people that travel Greyhound in the USA are those synonymous with wife beating, incest and trailer parks. So no more. I wrote a story describing our trip whilst on the bus which I may post in the future.

BETHEL CHURCH, REDDING
Our final weekend of the incredible journey was in Redding, a small city in California where some of the greatest testimonies of God's Love and Power come. The reason for the trip to Redding was to visit Bethel Church pastored by Bill Johnson and his incredible team.

We hired a car to get around the city, as the public transport isn't the greatest. It worked out perfectly, besides constantly reminding myself to stay on the right side of the road!

We attended a Friday night service, the Saturday morning "Healing Rooms" and all 3 services on Sunday. Along with having the privilege of an hour with Bill Johnson.

I will publish a far more detailed post of this remarkable weekend in the not too distant future along with interview with Bill Johnson on my website soon!

It was then off to LA from the tiny municipal airport to experience Disneyland for our final stop before heading home!

DISNEYLAND
What an experience! While we only had 7 hours or so to experience the magic of Walt Disney's incredible theme park, it will go down as one of the most memorable 7 hours of our lives!

We arrived at the hotel at 12pm after the fun flight in a twin propellor light aircraft, it was then straight off to Disneyland, described as "the happiest place on Earth"!

A fitting slogan for such an amazing place! It truly was unforgettable. We arrived through the gates where we were greeted by Tigger from Winnie the Pooh and Captain Hook from Peter Pan. It was fantastical! The sun was shining after a week of rain, is God good or what!?

The streets were designed straight out of the movies lined with 1970's classic boutique shops, while the horse-drawn trams and vintage cars carted people from the entrance to the centre of the Park. We were happy to walk though, soaking up the experience.

We started by admiring the statue of Walt Disney holding hands with his creation Mickey Mouse showing him the beautiful land he had engineered. What a great idea.

The statue stood at the base of the magical Fantasy Castle. The beautiful setting couldn't be more fitting for Walt and his most popular creation.

After getting some great photos we headed off to do some rides. It was just incredible. After a few simple story-telling rides, we headed off to "Toontown". One of the most creatively engineered areas of the park. The buildings were built straight out of the cartoons. And I'm talking Roger Rabbit style cartoons! Yep! The houses were all well out of proportion, completed against conventional engineering logic. You felt like you were in the cartoons. It was incredible.

This was the site of our first rollercoaster! A 30 second ride that took our breath away! A ride for the kids! But neither of us had ever been on a rollercoaster before so the experience was unforgettable! We were laughing and shouting the entire way. It was awesome! But that was just the start of it all...

We then went on to do far more exhilarating rides like Matterhorn Bobsleds, Big Thunder Mountain Railroads, and my personal favourite Splash Mountain! Splash Mountain is very similar to the world famous ride at DisneyWorld (different to DisneyLand) where you ride a log boat on a river system and drop down a steep drop several storeys high landing in water below creating a mighty big splash! I'm sure you've seen it? The one where everyone has their hands raised and people are at the bottom getting wet? If you don't, leave a comment and I'll get you a Google Image...

But Splash Mountain was my favourite ride of the day! So much so I immediately did it again! Needless to say, Corinne stayed behind and watched after the first round. What makes this ride so memorable is the final steep drop. You get pulled up pulley a good 20 metres high for the final drop, and once at the top... they let go! The incline is insane and the drop lasts for about 4 seconds or so! The speed you pick up in those 4 seconds is incredible!

They have an automated camera that takes a photo of the log as you drop, and it was my favourite picture of the day! It gave such a good indication of both our characters. I had my hands lifted high as I looked straight screaming with joy! While Corinne's expression resembled a person about to die! Eyes shut tight, mouth gaping wide open in fear! It was hilarious!

On top of those rides we did the Jungle Boat Ride, Pirates of the Caribbean, Winnie the Pooh, Indiana Jones (one of the most popular rides at the park) and others. Finding Nemo was also incredible as it took you on a submarine tour underwater while holograms of Nemo and the other characters from the Disney film swam alongside you as they chatted to each other. Incredible technology.

Tomorrowland was also a favourite where ASIMO was exhibited, the most advanced humanoid robot ever, and the only one in the world in public exhibition. Google him if you're interested. I stood there with my mouth gaping. While Corinne slept. :-)

Just before we headed out for our last few rides we by chance stumbled onto the evening parade where every Disney character imaginable was doing their thing. To say it was magical would be an understatement. The show truly did leave you breathless and absolutely blown away.

8pm (closing time) came all too fast. Our last ride on Peter Pan was a memorable one, but sad. The day was so exciting and fun-filled you just didn't want it to end. We were both fairly disappointed and somewhat sad to say goodbye to one of the most incredible experiences of our lives. We walked the Disney streets one last time, passed the Fantasy Castle with Walt and his "son" Mickey, and made our way back to the hotel after another 2 hours of shopping in the DisneyLand tourist shop. It was time to come home.

A special thanks to my sister Louise for making that day at DisneyLand possible. We were scheduled to leave LA anyway, and hadn't even planned DisneyLand, until she suggested it and even paid for our 2 tickets. Without you Lou, following the prompting of the Lord, it wouldn't have been possible. Thank you.

The following day began the great 40 hour trek back home. We had an adventure we would never ever forget. What a privilege. What a blessing.

The flights were great. God again showed off by giving exit seats on both our flights! Those seats are the prime seats of Economy Class, so we knew God was just favouring His kids! Thank You Dad!

And it was back in South Africa! Ah, but it was good to be home. South Africa truly is such a majestic country. And we were thankful we could come back to the most beautiful countries on Earth!

If you read this far, thank you. I would love to hear your comments, so if you stopped by, let us know your thoughts.

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