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Showing posts from January, 2012

You are... valuable

Value is now measured by two criteria, appearance and performance.     Pretty tough system, isn't it? Where does that leave the retarded? Or the ugly or uneducated? Where does that place the aged or the handicapped? What hope does that offer the unborn child? Not much. Not much at all. We become nameless numbers on mislaid lists.     Now please understand, this is man's system. It's not God's. His plan is much brighter. God, with eyes twinkling, steps up to the philosopher's blackboard, erases the never-ending, ever-repeating circle of history and replaces it with a line; a hopefilled, promising, slender line. And, looking over his shoulder to see if the class is watching, he draws an arrow at the end.     In God's book man is heading somewhere. He has an amazing destiny. We are being prepared to walk down the church aisle and become the bride of Jesus. We are going to live with him. Share the throne with him. Reign with him. We count. We are valuable. And what&

Being a Wife - Who Does Not Grow Cold

Filing for divorce under the terms of infidelity is no longer the leading reason for marital breakups in the UK, new research has found.  According to a study by accountancy firm Grant Thornton, who release an annual survey on divorce in the UK, ‘growing apart’ is now the most common reason cited for cause of divorce. The lack of emotional chemistry - or ‘falling out of love’ with their partner - has surpassed cheating as the leading cause of divorce in the country. Since the survey began in 2003, infidelity was the number one cause of divorce, with 25% of cases citing that as the main reason for splitting up. In the most recent survey, 27% of respondents said 'falling out of love' was the primary cause of marriage breakdown, according to divorce lawyers.”  This immediately got me thinking about the verse in the Bible that says that ‘because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” If we want to be a different calibre of wife, we need to understand that gr

TOCP - Do Not Grow Weary

“He made it!” That was the remark I made to Eric when I read Ewen’s very first blog post . His post was rich with love for Jesus and gratitude for what He had done in his life. My heart swelled with pride. Ewen was turning eighteen and I felt as much pride for him as I did for my own children.  I first met Ewen when he was fifteen years old in 2008. He dropped in to see what was happening at our Friday night youth group when we were meeting in the community centre. Clearly he was a trouble maker.  That night, I also noticed a display of deep cuts all over his arms.  The image is still vividly imprinted in my mind as I knew that those bleeding wounds on his arms represented the state of his heart.  Many teenagers came to us with heart wrenching stories full of hurt and confusion. The first time I met Ewen, his manner and body language made a clear statement that he was not to be messed with. His foul language and rough exterior combined with the cigarettes, drugs and alcohol d

Nature's Way - Toothpaste

Toothpaste manufacturers would like us to believe that the only proper way to care for our teeth is with expensive, highly flavoured toothpastes that come in non-biodegradable tubes. What they don’t tell you is that there are risks with using toothpaste, especially for children if they have fluoride. Fluoride is poisonous! Although it could be helpful to our teeth in low dosage, chronic exposure to fluoride in large amounts interferes with bone formation. In this way, the greatest examples of fluoride poisoning arise from fluoride-rich ground water. In advanced countries, most cases of fluoride exposure are due to the ingestion of dental fluoride products. Although exposure to these products does not often cause toxicity, in one study thirty percent of children exposed to fluoride dental products developed mild symptoms . Symptoms of fluoride poisoning can include abdominal pain, diarrhoea, hyper salivation, nausea and vomiting. Neurological symptoms include headache, muscle

Being a Wife - Who is Satisfied

Eve had it all, the looks, the security and the man! She lacked nothing at all in this world – life was truly perfect for her – literally! Yet she wasn’t satisfied. She had to have more. She needed to taste the forbidden fruit. As you know, she took that bite and left us in the state we are in today. Don’t be too harsh on Eve, we are no different, the more we have the more we want. We are never satisfied. We spend ages begging God for a husband and when we get married we spend most of the time complaining about our husband – we want more than he can give. We beg God for children but when things get tough we complain to God about the children He gave us. It’s the human condition – we are never satisfied, the more we have the more we want and it’s a never ending cycle. Philippians 4:11-13 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned

TOCP - Never Cancel

“God, we are not growing, shall we close this group down?” This was the question we were asking God in the same year that we started the Friday night youth group. Earlier that year we had started a connect group in our home on Thursday evenings. This group however was not producing the same results that the Friday night group was. Connect groups were exactly that, small groups of people from church getting together during the week to connect with each other. Bible study was not the focus on these evenings but building deep and meaningful relationships was.  We enjoyed a meal together, chatted and laughed together and then closed with a time of prayer. Our hope was that when we invited people who weren’t Christians that they would feel comfortable and have fun too.  Many times Christians try to invite people who aren’t Christians to Bible study groups, which doesn’t always work out too well.  Perhaps in the past it may have worked but in England in 2007 this was not a good stra

TOCP - In the Beginning

It was the early spring of 2006. Lorah-Kelly, my eldest daughter, was fourteen years old. She had just started attending a new secondary school and her life was very unsettled.  Driving Lorah-Kelly and Jordan, my eleven-year-old daughter, to school each day, was really special as the Cotswolds were in full bloom and so very beautiful this time of year. Cheltenham, by comparison to London, from where we had moved, was breathtaking.  We were enjoying our new home and our new life out in the country.  Eric and I, along with our two daughters, had moved to Cheltenham to build a new life for ourselves.  Although everything seemed to be going according to plan, we did have a slight issue in that the Cheltenham schools were oversubscribed and the nearest school with a vacancy was in the next city, Gloucester.  Lorah-Kelly had no option but to go to a Gloucester school, which didn’t seem too bad at first and it wasn’t very far to travel at all, especially after the lengthily travel ti

Something New and Something Old

Amy in her 2011 Christmas Gift from her big sister Lorah Eric and I at the 2011 Christmas Splendour at D7 Church Daniel, Jordan, Lorah, Eric, myself and Amy at the Christmas Splendour Lorah, myself and Jordan in London, 2002 Lorah and I in Gloucester Park, 2010 Daniel feeding the ducks, Bourton-on-the-Water, 2009

TOCP - Introduction

My name is Angela De Souza, I am the mother of four gorgeous children, Lorah-Kelly, Jordan, Daniel and Amy. My husband and I are the senior pastors of D7 Church and at the time of this writing I served in the capacity of Executive Pastor too.  I can honestly say that no recipe or formula for church building exists - God does not work in this way! D7 Church is living proof of this. Not because we didn’t try, we did try, we tried just about everything.  Oswald Chambers writes, “Never make a principle out of your experience, let God be as original with other people as He is with you.” In the same way I would say, don’t try and copy our journey or make principles out of our experiences, let God be as original with your church as He was with ours. We did not fit into a mould or a recipe, even though at first we tried to. Our bookshelf is lined with books that tell you what works and what doesn’t work. Our computer is filled with files of blog posts from mega-church pastors and docu

Being a Wife - Who Does Not Complain

It hit me like a ton of bricks! He was right after all, I did complain a lot. My heart was sore because this was the exact opposite of the kind of wife that I wanted to be. How did I get there, when did it start, why did I let my guard down and allow it to start in the first place. Well I had no idea where it had begun but I knew that it had to stop! There was no way I was going to tolerate me being a complaining wife and I most definitely was not going to be a nagging wife. So I took firm and decisive action. Strangely enough, I had read a verse about that precise thing just that morning, perhaps God tried to tell me but I couldn’t hear Him and so He had to speak through Eric, which was much more painful to hear. Philippians 2:14 Do all things without complaining and disputing, This is the verse I had read in the morning and then Eric said that I complained too much in the afternoon, after a full day of me complaining. Needless to say I was ashamed of the wife I had become.

He Restores My Soul

Pressing Pause When Life Is Stuck In Fast Forward Do you ever feel like you are stuck on a treadmill that is set too fast and you cannot find the stop button? Modern living can often feel just like that at times. Stress, heart attacks, family breakdown and so much more is the result of the way we live our life these days. God never intended it to be this way, His plan was so much better. ' He Restores My Soul ' is a look at God's way to live our life, which is after all so much higher than our ways. Press the pause button, take a deep breath, and uncover a much better way to live your life.  Live more freely, feel more alive and enjoy all that God has given us. Available on: | | Fishpond | Kindle Contents: Overworking Selah Stillness Fasting Feasting Planning Seasons Creation Sleep Give Thanks Perseverance My Rest

King's Daughters Conference 2011 & 2012

Why does nine months seem like forever?  It's nine months until our next King's Daughters Conference and I am already so excited which makes nine months look like such a long wait! To keep us going, I thought I would reflect on last years conference, as we had such a great time together.  Here are the two messages I preached and I will make the other messages available soon. Have a listen to Secure on the Rock and Beauty with a Purpose . In the meantime why not book your ticket and get connected in our new King's Daughters Network with others who will also be attending this years awesome King's Daughters Conference.


This past Sunday at D7 Church I had the privilege of preaching the first message of the year in our brand new venue .  Of course being in a new venue presented all sorts of challenges and distractions and we had time pressure to get out of the venue early as the staff were hung over from their New Year's celebrations!  I hope that even though I had to skip through the message quite quickly and even though the message was quite informal with lots of chit chat in between, that they most important bits came through - the fast that fasting is an essential part of the Christian life and without it we lose out on so much that God has planned for us.  Read more about fasting here or listen to the message .

Being a Woman - Who is Not Deceived

Whether we like it or not, women are vulnerable to deception. The Devil knew this and counted on it since the beginning of time. God made us vulnerable and He made us the weaker vessel, this was intended as a good thing. God gave us the blessing of being a weaker vessel so that we didn’t have to carry the heavy load that men were designed to carry. The Devil did what he always does, and took the good that God intended and used it for his evil purposes.  Women, if we can uncover this plan of the enemy, we can beat him at his own game. It’s time to take some of the ground that was lost in Eden. It’s time to be women who remain the weaker vessel but are not deceived.  Genesis 3:13 And the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” 1 Timothy 2:14-15 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. Nevertheless, she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and