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

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.

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.


*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.

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