In December 2022, we marked our five-year anniversary – and 20th issue – at Authentic. So, we asked each Authentic staff member to reflect on a particular aspect of our journey to that point which has impacted – or encouraged – them. Here are their responses…
Jeremy Smith, Editor
As straightforward as it sounds, since I joined the Authentic team in August 2020, one reminder has been key as we compile each issue. The Lord has proven time and time again that He is in control. Issue 20 is the 10th edition I’ve been part of and, as we’ve always said, this magazine is not ours, but Christ’s.
Therefore, ultimately, as we’ve prayerfully committed each step to Him, I simply reflect on each issue with gratefulness. God has consistently been faithful in opening doors and providing opportunities which we – try as we might – could never have facilitated in our own strength. And, all in His perfect timing, not ours! It’s a reminder too that each issue looks the way, and contains the content, He would have it contain.
I’m reminded of Isaiah 55:8, “..My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.” (NIV). In putting one foot in front of the other where He’s called me to be, He constantly proves Himself faithful as I trust Him and allow His life, and strength, to be at work in and through me.
Tania Samuel, Designer
Before designing my section of the magazine, I do like to read the articles. I think that’s a great ‘work perk’!
There are many which have challenged me to think, and which often stick in my mind. I love the features because it’s so interesting to hear – and be encouraged by – other’s faith journeys. They’re often so practical.
A very recent read – a feature in this edition in fact – is our chat with Logan Mills, the national director of Christian Surfers New Zealand. I felt it highlighted some really good advice which was actually a great reminder in my own walk.
“Take some time to consider what He’s equipped you with in order to be that authentic representation of God to those around you in your community,” he said.
“Use what you love – the passions God has given you – for Him.”
In our last issue – issue 19 – there was a thought-provoking statement from Bob McCoskrie which also hit home.
“At the end of the day, it’s the truth which sets us free, isn’t it? Even if you feel like the truth is becoming unpopular, if you’ve got good news, shouldn’t you share it?”
Casting your mind all the way back to issue one, you may remember our catch up with footballer Tyler Boyd. I re-read it recently and hearing from this young man – who I thought was really insightful – was refreshing.
On our individual faith journeys – as we walk with Christ – God’s Word is always relevant, no matter our age.
As you read the feature, Tyler’s absolute resolution – and determination – to give God all he has, while also purposing to practically apply and live out God’s Word, is clearly evident.
“I want to give 100 percent,” he told us. “I know it says in Colossians 3:17 that “…whatever you do you should work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord.
“…if you’re doing something for God, you wouldn’t give 80 percent. So, no matter what I’m doing, I want to be giving 100 percent, because I should be working for Him. You should always give Him your best, every time.”
Lee Hanson, Manager
My journey with Authentic started at the beginning, as God turned the idea of a professional, Christian men’s magazine into a reality. The magazine has come a long way since the first issue, put together by Dave and I in the early hours of the morning at the kitchen table. I haven’t been involved in all the issues though – a change of direction, and some time spent serving overseas, meant there were a few issues I missed out on being part of. When I was catching up on some of these, I thoroughly enjoyed Charles Price’s article “When All You Can Do Is Push”.
The example he gave is impactful. His wife was trying to mow the lawn with a heavy lawnmower, pushing it with all her strength. However, she couldn’t keep it up, and was exhausted after only a few rows.
She then realised the lawnmower was self-powered – meaning it had the ability to cut the lawns for her. All that was required of her was to follow along behind it. Charles likened this to the way we sometimes walk as Christians. Often trying to do it all ourselves, in our own strength, instead of letting the One with all the power do the work ahead of us. I’m guilty of this, and have to remind myself constantly to let Him do the work while I just hold on.
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to Him.” – Psalm 28:7 (ESV).
Sharon-Louise Good, Administrator
How awesome it is that Authentic has featured so many different people, from all different walks of life, yet all sharing the same gospel message of Jesus Christ.
There are articles written over 100 years ago, right through to articles written for this most recent issue. All of them containing amazing testimonies of Jesus at work in people’s lives.
Andrew Murray (1828-1917), one of our classics writers, wrote over 100 years ago – in a piece called God Blesses When You Surrender which featured in Issue 12 – of “…the sad state of the whole Church… of hundreds and thousands of honest, earnest Christians who are not living a life in the power of God, or to His glory.
“…with so little perception of the truth that a Christian is a man utterly surrendered to God’s will.”
Yet still, in present day 2022 over 100 years later, we might not have to look far to see something similar to that which Andrew Murray noted.
Wouldn’t you have thought we’d have learnt by now?
Yet, what he also wrote over a century ago in that same article seems to still apply even as you read this. “Come and cast this self-life and flesh-life at the feet of Jesus. Then trust Him. Do not worry yourselves with trying to understand all about it, but come in the living faith that Christ will come into you with the power of His death and the power of His life; and then the Holy Spirit will bring the whole Christ – Christ crucified and risen and living in glory – into your heart.”
Praise God for His unchanging nature – as noted in both Malachi 3:6 and Hebrews 13:8 – and for the fact He continues to lift up people to share His life, His abundant life. As we read in Jesus’ own words found in John 10:10 “…I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (NKJV).
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In this piece, the Authentic team reflects on our five-year journey – a milestone we marked in December 2022.
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