welcome – an encouraging word

Rev. E. Anderson
WELCOME TO THIS CHRISTIAN WEBSITE

Welcome, if it is your first visit to the site. I trust that you will enjoy reading and noting the contents and benefit enormously from the material presented. If you visit often, thank you very much. It gives me some pleasure to know that what is presented is being of service to you to bless others.

If you will look at the left hand side of the page you will see and note, select category. Place your cursor there and it will give you a list of many categories on this site. Click on any subject and it will provide much material relating to the subject. It is a library of contents that has been placed on the site for over three years. There is much material for you to see, note and use as desired.

I have been a Christian minister for over fifty years and now in my retirement am engaged in encouraging all who are in the later stage of life still to be active for the Lord in releasing the spiritual potential still waiting to be released with much blessing. God’s will for us is that we shall be possessed by divine zeal and usefulness. May we who lead others have such a passion and commitment.

30/03/15 – Monday

SOMETHING TO MAKE YOU THINK

A GREAT WORK

Exodus 14: 11-31

The Lord knows how to deal with the most difficult conditions for His chosen people. It does not matter how exposed the situation may be, full of foreboding and threat, He can more than match anything and anyone as revealed in this account. It is always within His power to make a way where there appears to be no way. Here for His Elect Family He makes a unique and fantastic highway through waters of the Red Sea and required no assistance from anyone. Not only did Israel make it safe to the other side, the Egyptians perished in the midst of the same waters. They made the mistake of thinking the road was to their advantage! It may well be you are confronted with a really blocked up passage, no road, sideward, forwards or backwards. There is no natural way out of the predicament. By allowing the Lord to be Lord, He possesses the know-how and ability to work something unique and extraordinary. Let your eyes look upward to Him in faith and He will disclose the way out that will have His hand stamped on it alone. He is not to leave you exposed to the negative and destructive but will this day and time step in and manifest His love and wonders. You have got to believe it! He is about to do a great work for YOU!

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powerful quotes

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Rev. Leigh Goodwin
POWERFUL QUOTES

“Don’t be conceited. Just because you’re sitting in the front seat doesn’t mean you’re driving the car”.

“When a person’s first love is himself, he never finds a successor”.

“Some people spend more time looking into the mirror than into the heart”.

“Don’t tell your friends anything you want your enemies to know”.

“The simplest things are often the hardest things to grasp”.

“The excuses we think up for ourselves never seem so good when someone else uses them”.

“There is a difference in between being out of breath and being out of wind”.

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prayer dynamics

ernest reading pose

Rev. E. Anderson
WHEN PRAYER IS HARD WORK
Taken from Word for Today

WE ALL want what successful people have; we’re just not willing to pay the price they paid to get it When you see someone with sculpted abs and a well-toned body, they probably spend time sweating in a gym. There’s a reason Paul talks about ‘labouring…in prayers’ (Colossians 4:12 NKJV).

When you pray, you must be passionate, persistent and positive, expecting good things from God. You’ve got to put your heart into it and believe God will do what He promised. It’s not easy to fight off distractions and focus on Him. Don’t expect your fleshly nature to co-operate; it comes to the place of prayer kicking and screaming. And don’t expect your intellect to cheer you on; your self-sufficient nature will always choose prayer as a last resort But God will urge you, and draw you into His presence. ‘lf you draw near to Me, l will draw near to you.’

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points to ponder

ernest - computor

Rev. E. Anderson
THOUGH I DRIVE THROUGH THE VALLEY

I was 1972 and we had a Plymouth station wagon and a Chevrolet Malibu Whenever I would ask my parents to help me drive, they each had a reply. he would say, “Go ask your mother,” and Mother would say, “Let’s go.”

For months she would sit beside me as I practiced on the back roads of South Jersey. Sometimes she would drive and tell me what she was doing, at other times she would talk me through a particular operation of the car. I remember the first time I drove at night. We were returning from visiting my mom’s brother and had to get on the Walt Whitman Bridge from an access ramp. It was nine o’clock at night, pitch dark, pouring rain. As I sat waiting to enter the six-lane highway, with all the headlights, taillights, rain, and noise, I was thoroughly confused. All my training, but mostly youthful pride kept me from asking my mother to take the wheel.

I can remember pressing the accelerator, hearing the motor respond, hearing someone yell, “YEEEEHAHHHH,” and suddenly finding ourselves following along in traffic with everyone else over the bridge.

Certain things remain a mystery, like how we got onto the lane as confused as I was, and which of us screamed, but certain things are not a mystery, like reassuring it is to have your teacher go through things with you. Our temptation and our trials are not foreign to Jesus, nor are they ours alone to The Teacher is with us.   Fred Gr0sse

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pastor’s weekly thought

ianwilliams

Rev. Ian Williams
LIVE FOR GOD OR LIVE WITH GOD?
Robin Hart

Are you focussed on what you are doing for God or are you content just being with Jesus?

As Christians we often think that what we do for Jesus is most important and there is a danger we can latch onto this and make this our purpose and identity in life. The question is, is what you are doing for Jesus distracting you from being with Jesus?

How easily are we distracted in what we do for Jesus? Or what we think we need to do for Jesus? What we ‘do’ can become the be-all in our lives, the reason for our existence, our Christian walk can become all about what we can do, all about the task. Then the task becomes all about us, what other people think, living for other peoples’ approval.

But when you think about it, living a Christian life is not about what we can do but what we can’t do! Because we can’t live without the grace of a forgiving God. Because we continually fail in our own strength. Because we have a human nature. Because we are only made righteous in the likeness of Jesus Christ.

There is always a need for workers in the kingdom. But we must constantly be aware that there is nothing that we do that justifies us in God’s sight, only by recognising that He is our saviour and by sitting at His feet.

In Luke 10:38-42 and John 12:1-3 Martha got caught up in the task of looking after Jesus and doing things for Him. When her sister Mary just wanted to sit at Jesus’ feet or wanted to wash His feet in expensive perfume she got upset.

Mary wanted to sit at Jesus’ feet because she recognised that she needed to remain close to Jesus. She recognised that service did not mean a higher seat at the righteousness table. Only now do we understand that actually there was no service really good enough for Martha to undertake for a God who was prepared to sacrifice His only son for her. But somehow Mary did. In the legalism of the society in which she lived Mary was castigated for wanting just to sit at Jesus’ feet. But she recognised that His words brought life, liberty, freedom and hope. She didn’t want to get distracted, she just wanted to hear Jesus. She wasn’t interested in other peoples’ praise.

Don’t let your passion become a duty. Duty can lead to pride and the burden of fulfilling other peoples’ expectations of you. Instead keep your passion aflame by daily drinking living waters from the source of life itself. Let Jesus’ words bring life to you and don’t let your works for Him distract you from Him.

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past illustrious men and ministries

RICHARD BAXTER
Richard Baxter
1615 – 1691

RICHARD BAXTER One of The best known of the Puritan authors . He has been called “the most successful preacher, winner of souls, and nurturer of souls that England has ever had.” Edmund Calamy called him “The most voluminous theological writer in the English language.” Baxter wrote 160 books. George Whitefield, John Wesley, C. H. Spurgeon and Martyn Lloyd-Jones regarded him highly.

Born in Shropshire into a somewhat poor family, he never attended a university and was always physically weak. Yet he was self-taught, acquiring great learning on his own. He became the pastor in Kidderminster, a town near Birmingham, in 1647. The people there were very wicked. The pastor he replaced was a drunkard who preached only once every three months! Hardly any of the church members were converted when he became the pastor. During his years at Kidderminster he visited all of the 800 families in his church every year, teaching each person individually. He put forth his method of ministry in his well-known book, The Reformed Pastor, the greatest book on pastoring that has ever been written.

The outstanding feature of Baxter’s preaching was his earnest zeal. In his writing and preaching he shows his belief that pastors need “the skill necessary to make plain the truth, to convince the hearers, to let in the irresistible light into their consciences, and to keep it there, and drive all home; to screw truth into their minds and work Christ into their affections.”
He had “no Calvinistic axe to grind,” and sought to mediate between Arminianism and Calvinism. He attempted to soften some points of Calvinism by advocating “free will.” Baxter’s method was a middle way, which he called “mere Christianity” (C. S. Lewis used this phrase from Baxter as the title of his famous book).

His great strength lay in his pastoral ability and in his evangelistic preaching. The main purpose of his sermons was to see the lost converted. His book, A Call to the Unconverted, is a hard-hitting plea for the lost to come to Christ.
Although he preached before the King, in Parliament, and in Westminster Abbey, his favourite pulpit was in his own church, speaking to the poor people of Kidderminster.

After the Act of Uniformity, he was put in prison in the Tower of London for eighteen months because he was unwilling to stay in the Church of England. While in prison, he was often visited by the great commentator Matthew Henry.

Written in 1657, Baxter’s Treatise on Conversion is a great book. But it is too lengthy, and the wording is too difficult, for most people today. I have condensed it and rearranged it, and have changed difficult words to simpler ones, to reach the less literate mind of modern man. I hope these sermons from Baxter are a blessing to you. They indeed correct the shallow “decisionism” of our day – which is damning millions to eternal torment.

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minute message

ernest reading pose

Rev. E. Anderson
RECOGNISING AND WALKING IN GOD’S WILL
Taken from the Word for Today

“This is God’s will for you . . .1 Thessalonians 5:18

PRAY that you may know God’s will. Strive to live in an attitude of prayer. ‘Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will…’ ( vv16-18 NIV). Rejoicing, praying continually, and giving thanks puts you in the active hub of God’s will.

If you only pray when you’re desperate for answers, your receptors will be rusty and your impressions nebulous at best. Regular communication with God sharpens your senses and fine-tunes your ability to distinguish His voice from all the rest. ‘Teach me to do Your will…my God; may Your good Spirit lead me on level ground’ (Psalms 143:10 NIV).

Seek God, and He will smooth the path for you. Receive the counsel of others for confirmation, not necessarily direction. Paul said, ‘When God…called me…l did not consult any man’ (Galatians 1:15-16 NIV). Only embrace other people’s advice when it agrees with God’s Word and the Spirit’s promptings. Friends can be a source of confirmation, but not necessarily revelation.

Even your own experiences and impressions aren’t enough to discern God’s will unless they line up with His Word. Peter did this on Christ’s transfiguration. ‘We were there on the holy mountain with Him…We couldn’t be more sure of what we saw and heard…The prophetic Word was confirmed to us. You’ll do well to keep focusing on it. It’s the one light you have in a dark time…’ (2 Peter 1:18-19 TM). Paul’s converts at Berea received his teachings enthusiastically, but they also checked them against the written Word of God (Acts 17:11). That’s always a good policy.

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message by rev rick warren

rick warren

Rev. Rick Warren
READY, SET – WAIT

“The Lord is good to everyone who trusts in him, so it is best for us to wait in patience — to wait for him to save us” – Lamentations 3:25-26.

When life seems to be falling apart, your most “spiritual” decision may be a surprise: Get alone with God, and wait.

The Bible tells us this in Lamentations 3:28, “When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions: Wait for hope to appear. Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face. The ‘worst’ is never the worst” (Lamentations 3:28 MSG).

Most of us don’t know how to “enter the silence.” We’re always anxious. We don’t like to wait on God because it stresses us out. We like to be in control.
What does it mean to wait on God? You sit down, close your mouth, and just listen to God. You may read your Bible. You may pray. But most all, you’re quiet in front of God.

Anxiety comes when we’re not “waiting for hope to appear,” as Jeremiah tells us. God wants to talk to us. He wants to give us the hope we crave. But we’re way too busy. All of our circuits are busy! When he calls, we’re on a different line.

If we want to listen to God and experience the hope he has for us, we have to get alone with him. We must “enter the silence” and be ready to hear him.
Jesus also said this in Matthew 6:6: “Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace” (MSG).

Get honest with God, and your focus will shift from just seeing your problems — no matter how overwhelming they seem — to the grace of God. Lamentations 3:25-26 says, “The Lord is good to everyone who trusts in him, so it is best for us to wait in patience — to wait for him to save us” (GNT).

Before you go out and try to solve your problem on your own, let God save you. It’s like in those war movies when the enemy is marching toward the hero’s army — which is usually an inferior, ragtag group. The hero tells his men to wait until he gives the order to shoot. Then, at the last possible moment, he yells, “Shoot!” Firing at the right moment means success.

The same is true for us. No matter what obstacle you’re facing, you’ve got to wait for God’s timing. He’ll time your next move perfectly.
So wait and listen.

TALK IT OVER

Can you think of a time in your life when acting too quickly led to a disastrous outcome?

Why is it difficult to wait for God when you’re struggling through difficult times?

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messages of note

karlbeech

Karl Beech
MAN’S WORLD
WHO ARE YOU WHEN YOU ARE ALONE?

Because a fair amount of the time I’m speaking at different events, people only see me at a distance or I might only have a brief moment to chat with them. This leads to a phenomenon called ‘stereotyping’.
Let me explain… I speak with a Rom- ford/East End London accent. You know the score. Refined, well pronounced words etc. The more excited I get, the more Essex I become.

Further to this I have a physical build that resembles an Electrolux Fridge. In other words, I’m shaped like a rectangular box. Additionally, I have a naturally grumpy face. I’m filled with inner joy but outwardly I look like someone who is about to commit either a random act of unnecessary aggression or is just totally and utterly fed up with life, the universe and everything.

You could easily therefore assume, after just a fleeting glimpse in my direction, that I’ve stepped straight off the set of a Guy Ritchie gangster flick. However, that would be a mistake. While I do enjoy many typically masculine pursuits (I like weightlifting, motorbikes and bonfires amongst other things) I also enjoy things like history books, art, playing the piano, chess and vegetarian food.

I was pondering all this while fishing for tench on a hidden pond/lake near where I live. Situated in between a bunch of factories, you would never guess that it’s there. The first time I visited, I was astonished. You literally turn off the road, walk down a little path and there it is — a hidden beauty spot in the middle of a heavily industrial area. Surrounded by trees, it’s a beautiful 3.5 acre lake complete with swans and stuff (stuff being a technical term for a multitude of wildlife).

In many ways, the secret lake is a bit like me and so many of us blokes — hidden away from people who casually walk past us. l think this can lead to a lot of angst.

So this poses some questions: who are you really? Who are you when nobody is looking? Who are you when you’re alone with your thoughts? ls the real you the bloke people see when you’re down the pub or hanging out in the gym? And then, of course, there’s an even deeper question. Are you really — deep down — the man you know you ought to be? Only you know the answer to these questions, but let me tell you something I do know. If you don’t ask them you are in danger of either having a catastrophic crash or going through life disappointed. I’m happy for you to know the complexity in my life because I don’t feel a need to fulfil a stereotype. These days I’m mostly a man at peace.

The one thing that helped me to start to become the man I know I ought to be
and helped me to be almost consistently the same bloke when people see me or when people aren’t looking is my faith in Jesus Christ.

I’m not alone. I was talking recently to a former world champion power lifter. At one time he was a full-on steroid user. He took them in the belief that he needed to be a certain type of bloke and that with- out them he would be less strong and maybe even less of a man. They nearly cost him everything.

After meeting Jesus Christ he ditched the drugs and competed clean. Guess what? He still became a world champion, drug free, conscience clean and at peace with himself and his family (after nearly ending up divorced and bankrupt). Jesus made him a real man.

Have you got the guts to look in a mirror and ask the tough questions, or will
you stay hidden away? Take some time out and ask the questions… if anything it’s a good excuse to go fishing.

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meet the christian ministers

VivJean penfold

Rev. Viv. and Jean Penfold

Viv & Jean Penfold are based in Stockport, Cheshire in the UK. They have three daughters and four grandchildren. Both Viv & Jean come from a background in education but have been in full time Christian ministry for over 25 years. They are part of the leadership team of Missionary Ventures Great Britain and Europe and of 360 Life Church, Stockport.

Jean was the pioneer manager of the Stockport debt counselling centre run in conjunction with UK charity Christians Against Poverty (CAP), and Viv’s ministry has mostly been in missions, evangelism, church planting and leadership development. (The first church plant was in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria where they pastored together for almost 10 years. During this time churches were planted out from there in Millom and Lancaster). Viv also served as the Director of Church Planting for Assemblies of God (AOG) North West Region for 10 years and later as the Regional Superintendent. Throughout the whole of this time Viv & Jean were heavily involved in overseas missions, especially in India, Africa, Europe and North & Central America under their ministry banner ‘No Limits’.

Viv & Jean have been associated with Missionary Ventures for over 15 years and during that time the major thrust of the work has been concentrated in India, mostly in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Viv worked with D.B. Abraham for almost 20 years and in that time they saw over 700 churches planted.

 

Together with Missionary Ventures the New Life Bible College was established in Hyderabad and over 100 pastors and church planters were trained. Two Ministry Training Centres (Visakhapatnam and Tirupathi) have prepared young people for church planting and evangelism — especially amongst unreached tribal groups such as the Konda Dora and Yanadi. Eighty five churches have been planted by graduates of these Ministry Training Centres.
Viv & Jean now serve Missionary Ventures with responsibility for Ministry and Field Development. Recently the Lord has burdened them with the desperate spiritual needs of Europe, and together with Luther & Sandy Meier and Rob & Erika Carter a team has been launched with a vision for multiplying disciples and planting churches there – “Mission Europe.”

OUR VISON

The purpose of 360Life Church is to give every man, woman and child in Stockport and beyond the repeated opportunity to understand and respond to the Gospel and to be a church where people can grow as disciples and in ministry.

Our circle of accountability is the Stockport area, with a particular focus on the town of Stockport proper.

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