Christian Conversions compiled by Rev. E. Anderson

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Rev. E. Anderson

This is a testimony that has been forward by Barry Woodward an Assemblies of God evangelist who is seeing God at work in may lives and situations. He shares of a man who has been wonderfully converted to Christ. He is due to conduct a servive in one of our main prisons which is to be televised by Channel 4.

NATIONAL FRONT LEADER BECOMES CHRISTIAN

In March I held a three day mission at Bethel Evangelical Church in Preston. The nights were very well attended and there were many decisions made for Christ. On the second night a guy told his story of how he became a Christian after watching the DVD of my story. Here it is in his own words:
 
“…About 6 years ago I became involved with the National Front (The NF is a racist organization)…About the same time I was introduced to cocaine…Over the last year I became the regional organiser for the NF in the North East, which pretty much meant running the party along with the chairman…on the 10th November 2006 I’d gone to work the worst for wear…and fell out of a loft hatch tearing ligaments in my ankle and some severe bruising to my stomach… My sister rang me up on the Monday night to wish me a happy birthday and see how my ankle was…She’d left a DVD by Barry Woodward for me a couple of months earlier…The following night she persuaded me to watch the DVD…It all became apparent – the drink and drugs and the NF were all attempts to fill the gap…I ran a bath and whilst in it prayed the prayer that Barry had prayed at the end of the DVD and I thanked God for the gift of eternal life through his son Jesus. I lifted my head from the water and felt God’s Holy Spirit in me granting calmness and joy where previously there had been hatred and loathing for myself and others. Since then with God’s help I’ve almost got the drugs beaten and what I think is the most amazing thing is caused the collapse of the NF in the North East. After praying for guidance for 6 weeks I was shown how to get out of the NF by writing a letter…The chairman’s response was “no bother mate I understand”. Last Sunday he phoned me to say he has resigned and is winding up the North East branch…”
 
I remember him coming up to me before the meeting started. This big man with short hair and saying: “I’ve been dying to meet you” and then putting his arms around me. He then said “The last time I spoke was to 80 National Front members and tonight I’m going to be telling people of how God has changed my life”. WOW what a brilliant testimony! God is so good!

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Meet the Ministers introduced by Rev. E. Anderson

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REV. KEITH AND VAL TIPPLE

We have know this couple over many years and they have servedthe Lord faithfull and fruitfully. They  moved to Frankfort, Illionois, USA and we have had the privilege of seeing them in their work for the Master there over the past three years where they are doing a magnificent work for Christ.
Keith was brought to Christ in 1965 and later attended the Assemblies of God Bible college in Surrey, Engalnd from 68-70. He felt the call of god to Evangelism in 1970 and moved to Wigan to work with Pastor Ray Belfield to help prepare and assist in a Town wide Tent missions. Amazing miracles took place the crusade extended to
some 6 weeks from 3weeks. From an initial invitation to assist in the crusade I stayed on to help follow up all the recorded decisions for Christ –
(approx. 2000).The following spring and summer I conducted eight Tent missions that were all 8 days long  ( 64 days of evangelistic and healing crusade meetings).Again we saw some amazing miracles of healing and recorded another 900 responses for Christ. Over the next 6 years I conducted many evangelisitic crusades around the country whilst being on staff with the Wigan Assembly of God Church as an Evangelist.

It was during my time in Wigan that I met a beautiful young lady called Valerie Vizard who in 1972 became my wife. In 1977 we felt the challenge and call of God to pioneer a new Church in the small market Town of Ulverston Cumbria. We started with a small group of eight people and by God’s grace and help we saw the Church grow to about 100 people over the first 5 years. We moved from our little building and bought an old concert hall which was a massive step of faith for us as the building had been unused for many years and was in great need of repair. In 1987 we officially opened the new building which housed a 300 seater auditorium offices, nursery, minor hall bookshop and coffee shop/restaurant.  God blessed us with increase again and we saw  the need to plant a new Church in the nearby Town of Barrow in Furness.  We gave about 50 – 60 people to the new church plant. My associate Viv Penfold who had been saved during our time in Ulverston later became the Pastor of the pioneer Church.

It was in 1990 that we felt the call of God to move to Chesterfield a town known as the ‘Centre of Industrial England’. In the midst of seeking
the Lord to know His will I received a prophetic word from a minister in South Africa via a phone call one day, who knew nothing about our invitation
to move to Chesterfield. His words were ‘ The Lord says you should move to
the centre of England’. For the next twelve years we pastored Zion Assembly of God Church in Chesterfield. During this time our two boys Mark and Paul both at different times went to the USA on ‘Ace Teams’ a years training in ‘Youth Evangelism’ etc. They both eventually met young ladies whom they married and are now living in the USA. After pastoring the Church in Chesterfield for 12 years we received an invitation to move across the Atlantic to Pastor International Community Church in Frankfort Illinois USA. My eldest son Mark is Youth Pastor at the Church, my other son Paul lives just one hour away in Ottawa Illinois. In 2003 we made the biggest move of our lives selling our property and many of our goods and moving some 4000 miles away. We are now involved in seeking to build up the Church, and to bring the Kingdom of God into our nearby communities. I am very involved with the business community through the Chamber of Commerce and we are just launching ‘Angel Food Ministries’ as well as shortly working with another similar organization called ‘Children’s Hunger Fund’, which provides food parcels for the poor. Although Frankfort is in the South Suburbs of Chicago and is middle to upper class there are great needs. We are looking to the Lord again for a spiritual breakthrough, and our desire and vision is to see a Churches planted in the growing communities all around us. Your prayers for us are much appreciated. Our website is icchurch.us.

Blessings
Keith and Val

In Hindsight by David Hind

Rev. David Hind is a minister in the Christian Centre at Nottingham shortly to move to Leicester to take over a church there. He is the author of the book In Hindsight and the following is an extract from it. 

The more thing

The evening arrived; the boys took their places. The master, in his cook’s uniform, stationed himself at the copper, his pauper assistants ranged themselves behind him; the gruel was served out; and a long grace was said over the short commons. The gruel disappeared; the boys whispered at each other, and winked at Oliver; while his next neighbours nudged him. Child as he was, he was desperate with hunger, and reckless with misery. He rose from the table and advancing to the master, basin and spoon in hand, said, somewhat alarmed at his own temerity, ‘Please, sir, I want some more.’

The master was a fat, healthy man, but he turned very pale. He gazed in stupefied astonishment on the small rebel for some seconds, and then clung for support to the copper. The assistants were paralysed with wonder; the boys with fear.

‘What!’ said the master at length, in a faint voice.
‘Please, sir,’ replied Oliver, ‘I want some more.’

I became a Christian in November 1985 whilst visiting a friend at university. The next day I attended a church service and was overwhelmed in the presence of God. I have found that nothing in life compares to the presence of God.

Recently a plumber visited my house and during a conversation he asked about my employment. Following an attempt to make him guess (no one guesses, is this good?) he began to tell me of a visit to a Christian Union when he was fourteen. He explained, as though it had been the day before, of sensing a presence and being overwhelmed by the power of an invisible force. Twenty-eight yeares later, and not yet a Christian, he was recounting a moment with God that still lived with him. I told him what I now tell you – ‘There is more’ – more of His presence, more of His love, more of His power.

I love Psalm 63 because it captures David’s longing for God:

‘O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land where there is no water.’    (Psalm 63:1

I long for Him and these words help me find Him. I have included a number of quotes from the biography of Duncan Campbell, a revivalist who experienced encounters with God in the Hebrides.

O God….

A statement by the writer, not a debate.

….the Christians longed to see a renewed manifestation of God’s power…gradually in many hearts, concern deepened into a conviction that God’s time to favour them had come.  They began to pray and faith and experience grew…..2

You are my God….

A decision and confidence that the God of all is our God.

….Campbell’s first contact with the men convinced him that he was in the company of those living on a high spiritual plane. As he walked down the road the next day his spirit discerned that God was at work; he realised that revival had already come; it would be his privilege to share in it.

Earnestly I seek you ….

A priority expressing that above all things, nearness to God is the greatest goal.

A solemn hush came over the church that night and a young deacon whispered, ‘Mr. Campbell, God is hovering over. He is going to break through. I can hear the rumblings of heaven’s chariot wheels.’ …the whole congregation lingered outside, reluctant to disperse; others had joined them, drawn from their homes by an irresistible power they had not experienced before.

My soul thirsts for you ….

A cry that confesses a desperate need for Him.

One evening as they were preparing to leave the church, an old man took his hat off, pointing excitedly in the direction of the congregation which had just left the service: ‘Mr. Campbell, see what’s happening! He has come! He has come!’ The Spirit of God had fallen upon the people as they moved down towards the main road and in a few minutes they were so gripped with the subduing presence of God that no one could move any further.

My body longs for you ….

A declaration that captures a physical longing for His presence.

What the world needs to see is the wonder and beauty of God-possessed personalities. Women and men with the life of God pulsating within, who practice the presence of God and consequently make it easy for others to believe in God.

One day we will see Him, and He will be more wonderful than we ever imagined. Everything will have been worth it.

* Let’s live for things beyond this life
* Let’s invest in things that will outlast us
* Let’s long for more of Him

There is more!

Quotes from Charles Dickens – Oliver Twist and Andrew A. Woolsey – Channel of Revival.
 

then God Stepped In by Rev. E. Anderson

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Rev. E. Anderson

Last Sunday, June 24th I sat listening in The Harvest Church at Brandon, Norfolk to to an inspired, up-to-date testimony to Christ’s healing power in the life of Tanya Bell. The amazing deliverance of this woman is presented to you to encourage your faith if you need to receive healing at the hands of Christ.

Testimony 0f Tanya bell – healed of multiple sclerosis              

 1996                   At the age of 24 years old, I was a lifeguard attendant at a   swimming pool. One day I suddenly went blind in one eye and I was taken by ambulance to hospital. Optical Neuritis was diagnosed. It gradually went away over several months.
  1997             The same thing happened to my other eye. I then began suffering from memory loss. I couldn’t even cook meals because I didn’t remember what to do. The symptoms were similar to Alzeheimer’s disease. I needed rehabilitation courses to teach me how to do things necessary to look after myself. The doctors diagnosed me with Cognitive Dysfunction. My condition worsened so that I couldn’t see properly and I was unable to drive safely. I had to be taught how to catheter because of bladder control.
    

   2004                  Two doctors in Iceland diagnosed me with Multiple sclerosis and during this time I was constant tired and I had no strength. I always wanted to sleep and I had difficulty looking after my children properly.
   2005            I decided to go along to the Healing Rooms as I wanted God to heal me. At the first session the power of God was so strong that I felt it     push me to the floor, and then I felt His power working all over my body. I felt so well and healthy! I opened my eyes and looked up tat the ceiling and I could now see all the little marks on it. I could see clearly! I cam along for several other visits to the Healing Rooms and now I lead a normal life, cooking, driving and even wearing high-healed shoes!

   I went back to my doctor to get checked out. He was amazed at my obvious good health. I hand an MRI which showed only minute traces of lesions on my brain, but ALL lesions on my spine that were previously there – had disappeared. I believe that all traces are now gone from my body. The doctors do not want to see me anymore, and I now exercise regularly at the gym.

    

Sermon Starters presented by Rev. E. Anderson

         

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Rev. Anderson

THE FAVOURING LORD :  1 SAMUEL 1

DISCOVERY: Hannah was to find out in her life and experience what it was to be highly favoured of the Lord in her day and generation. She was to taste in a remarkable and outstanding manner the blessing of God’s goodness in a specific manner.  Here testimony is made known in Holy Writ revealing what a character she was and how she obtained in a marked degree the manifestation of the grace and ability of the Lord amidst her need. Her experience only serves to encourage others to know in similar fashion the kindness of God. COMPLEXITY: At the commencement of the account we see her in great dilemma and difficulty. There is a real complexity existent in her situation and home affairs. She finds herself in a barren condition and her opposite number, Penninah, has no problem in producing children. It is certainly a matter of spiritual conflict, controversy and untold concern. The thing is further complicated with the statement that the “Lord had shut up her womb” – v6. Of the two, one would have thought she ought to have been the bearer of children! PEPRPESCUITY: In spite of the serious situation and the developments it would appear that she does know, in some measure, what to do. At least she is found in the divine Tabernacle turning her eyes and heart heavenward for a solution. Deep within her being she senses that Elkanah cannot solve the issue or others, help must come from a higher and greater quarter. She does possess some spiritual insight in the great conflict she finds herself in.

 (1) SHE APPLIED TO THE ONE WHO COULD ANSWER HER – v10

At the end of the day she came to this conclusion, loving and good as her husband was, he could not change the condition of her barrenness. It was obvious the problem was not him because fruit was to be seen coming from Peninnah. If there was to be any dynamic and dramatic alteration then it required the God of Israel to step in and work a miracle. In going to the place of worship she was expressing her faith and hope in  Him. She would come to the LORD = Jehovah, the God of the NOW. 

(2) SHE RECOGNIZED HIS SOVEREIGN ABILITY – v11

She addressed Him as “Lord of hosts” = “O Lord Almighty.” There is a consciousness in her being that He is well able to turn this captivity with regard to her womb.  She does not doubt His existence or His omnipotence but quietly believes that He has the power to make her fruitful. 

(3) SHE BECAME VERY DESPERATE AND WOULD NOT QUIT – vv7, 10

Although she is driven to the point of desperation she does not have mind or heart to give in. She is now brought to extremity over the matter but does not yield to the negative or to any depressed feelings although she felt sad over her circumstances. What was the worst thing Hannah had to cope with?  * her barrenness  * an irritating rival  * depression  * an unsympathetic priest. Her grief was definitely compounded at this yearly do : * festive occasions highlighted her inward despair  * focusing on God made her question His goodness  * seeing all the children tore her up  * Elkanah’s favouring her at the feast made Peninnah rub it in. But her faith and courage outshone the conditions! 

(4) SHE WAS NOT PUT OFF BY A MISUNDERSTANDING LEADER – vv12-14

Eli did not prove helpful at the first. He lacked spiritual perception as he beheld her situation and shows that ‘he is out of touch.’  His words at the start could have worsened and hardened her but she is not deterred but genuinely explains her lot. 

(5) SHE ACCEPTED THE WORD SPOKEN AND BECAME PREGNANT WITH ITvv17,18

When he is properly attuned with the true circumstances he speaks a word of comfort and assurance and she is quick to grasp and believe what is said. It was like a double-barreled affirmation: “Shalom!” – real prosperity in this matter and a definite spiritual desire – “may the God of Israel grant what  . . .” 

(6) SHE WAS PREPARED TO CARRY THROUGH HER VOW AFTER BEING FAVOURED – vv19-28

Because she had been favoured she would favour the Lord by consecrating her son to the Lord for His service and kingdom. There would be no holding back because the Lord had not been restrained in giving to her the longing of her being. At least she had been blessed and was not barren! 

(7) SHE IS FAVOURED MORE BECAUSE SHE HONOURED THE LORD – 1 SAMUEL 2:20,21

She fulfils a motherly duty as best she can – v19 and then receives an added divine benediction. She not only saw her son blessed to become a major prophet of the Lord, she was to be granted a further 3 sons and two daughters. Family life came to her in a rich and an abundant manner and was so because of the favour of the Lord. The Lord was to compensate her richly because of her commitment to Him and load her with untold benefits.

Christian Prime Timers presented by Rev. E. Anderson

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Rev. E. Anderson

A PARTING MESSAGE FROM A NOTABLE PRIME TIMER 

Joshua 24

Joshua was one of the outstanding leaders in Israel’s history. He proved to be a worthy successor of Moses and was used greatly in taking Israel into the Promised Land of Canaan. He certainly saw the fulfillment of God’s promises made his forefathers come to pass under his leadership. He must have been quite thrilled and satisfied to have served in such a distinguishing manner.

However, before his decease he felt he had a spiritual and moral responsibility to confront the up and coming generation as to its future commitment and devotion to God. His final act was to summon all the people and deliver an unforgettable speech that should shape the faith, loyalty and the destiny for generations to come. It came on the back that he and those with him had served up a worthy example for all to emulate –  v31 ‘Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua…’In the substance of his message he highlights and underscores some very vital truths that must ever be remembered and serve them in their relationship with God.

     1/.  THAT THEY MUST REMEMBER THEIR BEGINNING – vv2-4

Looking at their history it is recognized that they would have had no beginning, existence of history apart from the Lord. He had played the initial and continual role in their affairs, summoning the patriarch, Abraham, and giving promise what He was to achieve through His posterity. Their identity, history and destiny was altogether planned by Him and He would play the primary factor in the future.

     2/.  THAT THEY WERE MIRACULOUSLY DELIVERED AND MADE INTO THE LORD’S PEOPLE – VV 5-7

In a unique, sovereign and redemptive manner He had expressed His pleasure and power in adopting this people to Himself. He ransomed them out of obscurity and oppression in a significant, never-to-be forgotten fashion which they were never to forget. In the annual calendar there were constant reminders of the occasion when the Lord had stepped in to make them His special and peculiar people.

     3/.  THAT THEY HAD BEEN BROUGHT SAFELY THROUGH A TREMENDOUS JOURNEY THROUGH THE WILDERNESS – V5

Part of the proves had to preserve them for over 40 years through a howling and waste desert where He had demonstrated His caring and miraculous power. Only the Lord could have brought this journey to a secure and satisfactory conclusion – and He did!

     4/.  THAT THEY HAD BEEN ABLE TO DISPOSSESS THE PEOPLE OF THE LAND AND TAKE POSSESSION – VV6-13 

The thing that they had doubted He brought about. They should never have been of a questioning mind in the first place because as they moved into the Promised Land they were able to take possession through His assistance. What had been viewed as a major problem and difficulty was not to be because He quietly and powerfully showed up with His ability to lead them to take ownership of the Land.

     5/.  THAT THEY MUST NOW AND EVER SHOW UTMOST REVERENCE FOR THE LORD -V14

The opportunity was now being presented to them to show their gratitude to Him in the light of all His goodness. Of all people, they needed to express their appreciation in a solid manner by rejoicing in His goodness. Once they were slaves with no country, dignity, possessions or future but all had been uniquely changed, so the cause for an abounding thanksgiving.

     6/.  THAT THEY MUST MAKE UP THEIR MINDS PERMANENTLY AS TO THEIR FAITH AND LOYALTY – VV15-21

The moment was now before them, an historic one, when they should be challenged as to their future love, faith and loyalty. Joshua was not going to let the opportunity slide by without facing them up with he required responsibility. He personally expressed where His commitment lie – v15.

     7/.  THAT THEY MUST MAKE A COVENANT ON THE ISSUE AND AVOW THEIR COMMITMENT – VV22-28

It was now time to commit themselves in faith and loyalty to Him. He who had abounded in faithfulness to them and kept His covenanted word must now see in them in a similar commitment and devotion. Thankfully they were able to say and state: ‘The Lord our God will we serve, and His voice will we obey’ – 24.

Messages for the Moment by Rev. E. Anderson

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Rev. E. Anderson

Jesus Answers Your Fears

By Jon Walker

Be friendly with everyone. Don’t be proud and feel that you are smarter than others. Make friends with ordinary people.” (Romans 12:16 CEV)
When we’re in Christian community, we do a lot of things right, but we still have a lot to learn about being “friendly with everyone.” (Romans 12:16) Many of us, particularly the guys, are not very good at developing deep, deep friendships.
But that shouldn’t discourage us – because we “can do all things through Christ.” As believers, we can be eternal optimists, and our relationship with Christ provides us with tremendous potential for developing authentic, transparent friendships.

The fear in all this is that, in order to truly know other people, I must be willing to be known, allowing others to get close enough to see the real me. And that sounds a little scary, doesn’t it? What if there are parts of me that I’m not proud of or need a lot of work?
These fears are common to anyone, but Jesus is the answer to your fears. Did you hear that? Jesus doesn’t just provide the answers for your fears – Jesus is the answer to your fears.
Whether these deeper relationships are with other believers who strengthen us in our faith, or with unchurched people God wants to love through you, keep two things in mind:

First, Jesus invites you to know him intimately. Jesus isn’t afraid of deep relationships. In fact, he went to the cross to ensure you could be “accepted in the Beloved” (Eph. 1:6), no matter what you’ve done or no matter how far you need to come.
Second, your intimate friendship with Jesus will help others see that it’s not so scary to know and be known. A godly community emerges when we observe, practice, and model transparent, authentic, no-strings-attached relationships.

So what?
· You have to take a risk – “Being known” by others means risk. Every time you reach out to another person in friendship, you risk being rejected or misunderstood. The risk may be even higher with non-believers because of the difference in worldviews and values.
· You can’t do it alone – Your friendship with Jesus gives you the strength you need to risk building friendships with others. For that matter, your friends need Jesus’ strength to develop a deep relationship with you!
· You need to start now – If we wait until our lives are cleaned up before we develop deep Christian friendships, then it will never happen. Growing up in Christ, and maturing as a believer, are lifelong pursuits and require a deeply loving, committed community.
· Think about it – Are there barriers that keep you from building deeper friendships? Who are the people God wants you to reach out to in friendship?

 “Be friendly with everyone. Don’t be proud and feel that you are smarter than others. Make friends with ordinary people.” (Romans 12:16 CEV)
When we’re in Christian community, we do a lot of things right, but we still have a lot to learn about being “friendly with everyone.” (Romans 12:16) Many of us, particularly the guys, are not very good at developing deep, deep friendships.
But that shouldn’t discourage us – because we “can do all things through Christ.” As believers, we can be eternal optimists, and our relationship with Christ provides us with tremendous potential for developing authentic, transparent friendships.
The fear in all this is that, in order to truly know other people, I must be willing to be known, allowing others to get close enough to see the real me. And that sounds a little scary, doesn’t it? What if there are parts of me that I’m not proud of or need a lot of work?
These fears are common to anyone, but Jesus is the answer to your fears. Did you hear that? Jesus doesn’t just provide the answers for your fears – Jesus is the answer to your fears.

Whether these deeper relationships are with other believers who strengthen us in our faith, or with unchurched people God wants to love through you, keep two things in mind:
First, Jesus invites you to know him intimately. Jesus isn’t afraid of deep relationships. In fact, he went to the cross to ensure you could be “accepted in the Beloved” (Eph. 1:6), no matter what you’ve done or no matter how far you need to come.
Second, your intimate friendship with Jesus will help others see that it’s not so scary to know and be known. A godly community emerges when we observe, practice, and model transparent, authentic, no-strings-attached relationships.
So what?
· You have to take a risk – “Being known” by others means risk. Every time you reach out to another person in friendship, you risk being rejected or misunderstood. The risk may be even higher with non-believers because of the difference in worldviews and values.
· You can’t do it alone – Your friendship with Jesus gives you the strength you need to risk building friendships with others. For that matter, your friends need Jesus’ strength to develop a deep relationship with you!
· You need to start now – If we wait until our lives are cleaned up before we develop deep Christian friendships, then it will never happen. Growing up in Christ, and maturing as a believer, are lifelong pursuits and require a deeply loving, committed community.

· Think about it – Are there barriers that keep you from building deeper friendships? Who are the people God wants you to reach out to in friendship?

Meditations for the Week by Rev. E. Anderson June 26th – July 2nd 2007

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Rev. E. Anderson

June 26th      ON THE RIGHT TRACK – Proverbs 4: 10-18; Psalm 1.

There is the emphasis in this section on the need to be on the right track, taking the path and route that in the end turns outs to be most profitable. It is evident that real progress is made in life in every way and this comes about when there is a knowing and adherence to the best course and road. Wisdom really helps by putting up the correct signposts, giving the clearest and soundest directions as to the way to be taken, and if taken note of, in faith and obedience, will cause the journey of life to be successful. The Living Bible affirms: “I would have you learn this great fact: that a life of doing right is the wisest life there is. If you live that kind of life, you’ll not limp or stumble as you run” – vv 11, 12.

David said on one occasion: “I will run in the way of your commandments.” The fact that he was eager to pursue all that the Lord decreed as expressed in the word ‘run’ denotes His love of the Lord and His word and ways. The assurance is given in v18 that this track is filled with God’s light. When you commence on it, it is like the crack of dawn, the breaking forth of a new divine day that only increases with light, understanding, reality and destiny.

Make sure you know the way of the Lord at all times because it is always the right track. That is the best course of action to adopt and the safest and surest path to be always taken as Psalm 1 points out and underlines. Wisdom seeks to reveal the way ahead and will keep you going forward into that which is worthwhile. Have a good journey today in company with divine wisdom and you will make it!

June 27th     A DILIGENT OCCUPATION – Proverbs 4: 19– 23

Unquestionably, one of the main organs of the physical body is that of the heart, that is why a great deal of notice has to be paid to it. When a person presents him or herself to the doctor for examination, he usually tests the heart condition to see if it is functioning perfectly. One of the main causes of natural death is due to the unhealthy state and working of the heart. There is, however, a counterpart in the spiritual state. The heart is a focus in this realm too. The wise proverb has it: “Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” – v23.

Two quotes help us here: “The heart is the central organ which conditions all man’s activities, and on whose correct functioning depend the character of his living.” Dr. Cohen “The heart is the hub of life, physical, psychological and moral” – A. Linford The Living Bible puts it: “Above all else, guard your affections for they influence everything else in life.” This central and critical spiritual organ affects thought, desire and action, therefore the clear directive is to watch over it in a scrupulous way. 

The best procedure in attending to it is to make sure that it is kept clean and purified by the sanctifying agencies of the Word and Spirit of God and the blood of Christ. Make certain that your mind learns to desire and concentrate on truth and that you act in accord with sound beliefs. Ever love God enthusiastically and so your spiritual heart condition will ensure your life and success. As your heart keeps ticking over in cleanliness through God’s Spirit and Word you will maintain a good bill of health spiritually. Strength and faith will inspire both life and work.

June 28th     THE FORWARD LOOK – Proverbs 4: 24-27; Hebrews 12: 1-4

It is always imperative to have a clear vision and know where you are actually going in life.  The counsel and advice here is – “Let your eyes look right on, and let your eyelids look straight before you” – v25. This indicates and implies we should always have our spiritual eyes open and be utterly sensitive and aware of the definite direction being taken. It is not being tempted by what is around and being taken off the right and best course but being sure of what you are aiming at and going for. More than anything, it means seeing and noting what God in His wisdom has set before in forward vision and enterprise that takes a person ahead into worthwhile living.

The need after beholding the right route is to be determined to keep the mind, heart and will determinedly fixed in pursuit and procedure. It says of Christ in Luke 9: 61 that “He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem” – Luke 9: 51 thus giving a demonstration of the forward look, step and movement to achieve the greatest purpose and goal for His life and the world. Wisdom led Him to sacrifice Himself in the interest and good of others.

The end result is expressed: “let all your ways be established” – v25. Not only will your ways be firm and abiding, you will be established and be able to set a noble and worthy route for others to follow. In looking to Christ you will have a forward look and not allow your life to be side-tracked and suffer grievous loss. Because the foundation has been truly put in a structure of lasting worth can be erected on it. At the conclusion, there will be great testimony to a life well lived to the maximum.

June 29th     BECOMING DISCREET – Proverbs 5: 1-2; James 3: 13-18

It is a positive situation worth gaining, to be in the place where one keeps a firm and wise rein on the lips so that only that which is good and wholesome proceeds from them. This means possessing a discreet mind and mouth so that one knows when and what to say at all times. This will help the avoidance of all kinds of problems and difficulties. The mouth lands people into many awkward and embarrassing situations because it is not controlled by wisdom and much damage is the result. The lips are to be used to inspire, encourage, enlighten and bless people with choice words. This consecrated instrument can do so much good as it is properly engaged by God.

The loving father does not want to see his son in this sort of situation and so seeks to instruct him wisely in essential knowledge. This will aid in keeping a hold upon his tongue so that all that is uttered is sound speech that communicates sense and answers always. This will preserve him from being accused.  It will mark him out as a wise and disciplined individual. He will not become guilty of mindless and senseless talk.

How important it is, as James points out, that our mouths and tongues become a well spring of life.  God desires that our lips be always used in blessing so that what flows forth from them is to the good of all. They are to be filled with divine messages and answers that will benefit those who are within our hearing. Let our prayer be to our Heavenly father: “Take my lips and let them be – Filled with messages from Thee.”

June 30th    AVOIDING IMMORALITY – Proverbs 5: 3-14

In an age when immorality is very much in practise and view, it is necessary to ponder the message expressed in the book of Proverbs. At a time when fornication, adultery, promiscuous living and pornography are accepted as the norm in the outside world it essential to be aware of what the words of wisdom say on the matter. How easy it is to fall in line with the modern trend regarding sexual matters and to forsake those standards and principles that are revealed in God’s Word that are given in order to safeguard our beings and bodies!

We are told and taught in this section not to be enticed and enamoured by those who would make their seductive approach in order to rob of one’s purity and virginity. A flattering and attractive approach of someone from the opposite sex can arouse the sexual senses in a way that then leads to the committing of lustful deeds contrary to the well being of life. There comes a divine judgement on this life and life style as evidenced by Aids and other dreadful sexual transmitted diseases. How important it is to be kept pure and free from these factors!
 
Paul delivered some sound advice to his son in the faith. He said: “Keep yourself pure” and “Flee also youthful lusts” – 2 Timothy 2; 22. You have to learn to keep your mind, heart and body clean and sanctified from all evil associations and acts. The great battleground of the soul is the mind and it is imperative that it is properly fed with truth at all times and with those things that safeguard from all evil thinking. Maintain a watch upon the sanctification on every front and you will find to your pleasure the untold reward of this diligence.

We shall be reviewing the book of Judges over the next weeks and will note it was a difficult period in Israel’s history. After the decease of Joshua and the spiritual eldership, the nation appears to have lost its way and the general rule of life was –“everyman did that which was right in his own eyes.” This was not a good formula for real success and is something to be guarded against in our own lives.

July 1st     A UNITED OPERATION – Judges 1: 1-20

There is this encouraging factor revealed in the opening chapter where two tribes decide to unite together in order to enter into conflict against their enemies in order to master them. There is the will on the part of Judah not to sit back but to get on with the job of defeating their foes and of taking possession of the territory. They could not wistfully hope that somehow the opposition would suddenly disintegrate and disappear. They had to rouse themselves and show some faith and courage and be conquerors. It was not a time for ease but battle.

The tribe of Judah invites Simeon to join forces so that together they would become more formidable and invincible – v3 “Come up with me into my lot that we might fight against the Canaanites; and I likewise will go with you in your lot.” There was immediate agreement and action and success. Unity spelt strength and subsequent victory. The call for co-operation was quickly responded to an paved the way to success.

It is vital to see the importance of interdependence in the Church of Christ. If we are to really obtain victory over the forces of evil and drive them out of our fellowships and communities, we must become united in spirit and operation. No wonder Christ prayed for the unity of His Church! As it is ONE it becomes invincible! Let us personally seek and maintain unity in vision and action.

July 2nd     AN OBVIOUS FAILURE – Judges 1: 21-26

It seems to be that there was an obvious failure with regard to a number of the tribes in the conquest. Repeatedly it is stated that they “did not drive their enemies out” but allowed them to dwell alongside them and some became tributaries – vv21, 27, 25, 26, 33. They fell short in their faith, determination and endeavour in expelling their foes. The vision that ought to have prevailed was of going on until they had achieved the intention of God in complete mastery. The inheritance was theirs for the taking as they maintained their accord with the Lord.

The consequence of this led to their enemies becoming thorns in their side and they were always a constant menace. Because they tolerated this position at the outset there was an awful price to be paid. Israel fell foul of their idolatrous practises and adopted their manner of conduct that was displeasing to the Lord. They missed out on the greater blessing of God which would have been theirs. The story of the spiritual declension and retribution would never have been their lot if only they had driven the godless from amongst them and their ways.

Having been brought into God’s Promised Land of blessing, let there be an all-out effort to dispose of and dispel everything that is an impediment to your spiritual character, rule and conquest. Do not stop short of being a total and absolute conqueror. This was the purpose for which you were born and brought into Christ’s kingdom: to win at all times no matter what the demand.

Leadership Factors presented by Rev. E. Anderson

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Rev. E. Anderson

PICTURE OF A FAITHFUL LEADER By John Maxwell 

taken from the john maxwell bible

Joshua provides a superb example of a leader whose faithfulness prompted God to raise him up. Over the three divisions of life (40 years in Egypt; 40 years in the wilderness; and 30 years in Canaan), God gradually moved this trustworthy man into leadership.

Note the signs of faithfulness: Obedience (Exodus 17: 8-16; Servanthood (Exodus 24: 13; Joshua 11: 15); Loyalty ( Exodus 33: 11; Numbers 11: 24-30); Courage (Numbers 13: 8, 16, 25-30; 14: 5-10); Promotion ( Numbers 27: 15-23); Responsibility Deuteronomy 34:9); Power ( Deuteronomy 34: 9); Credibility (Deuteronomy 34: 9). Joshua’s faithfulness challenges us even today to lead as he did:

1/.  LIVE AHEAD OF YOUR CONTEMPORARIES

Joshua spied out the same land at he same time as the other ten spies, but he and Caleb returned with a different report. He lived ahead of his time.

2/.  LIVE ABOVE YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES

Joshua faced several challenges: He followed Moses; he had to conquer mighty Jericho; he had to cross Jordan with more than one million people. But he did it.

3/.  DEEPER THAN YOUR CALAMITIES

When Israel began to make progress in taking the Promised Land, some disobeyed God and so brought defeat on the nation. Joshua overcame all.

 4/.  LIVE BEYOND YOUR CAPABILITIES

Joshua’s dream, his determination, and his ability to develop his leadership skills enable him to soar beyond his personal gifts.

In Hindsight by David Hind

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Rev. David Hind is a minister in the Christian Centre at Nottingham shortly to move to Leicester to take over a church there. He is the author of the book In Hindsight and the following is an extract from it. 

The more thing

The evening arrived; the boys took their places. The master, in his cook’s uniform, stationed himself at the copper, his pauper assistants ranged themselves behind him; the gruel was served out; and a long grace was said over the short commons. The gruel disappeared; the boys whispered at each other, and winked at Oliver; while his next neighbours nudged him. Child as he was, he was desperate with hunger, and reckless with misery. He rose from the table and advancing to the master, basin and spoon in hand, said, somewhat alarmed at his own temerity, ‘Please, sir, I want some more.’

The master was a fat, healthy man, but he turned very pale. He gazed in stupefied astonishment on the small rebel for some seconds, and then clung for support to the copper. The assistants were paralysed with wonder; the boys with fear.

‘What!’ said the master at length, in a faint voice.
‘Please, sir,’ replied Oliver, ‘I want some more.’

I became a Christian in November 1985 whilst visiting a friend at university. The next day I attended a church service and was overwhelmed in the presence of God. I have found that nothing in life compares to the presence of God.

Recently a plumber visited my house and during a conversation he asked about my employment. Following an attempt to make him guess (no one guesses, is this good?) he began to tell me of a visit to a Christian Union when he was fourteen. He explained, as though it had been the day before, of sensing a presence and being overwhelmed by the power of an invisible force. Twenty-eight yeares later, and not yet a Christian, he was recounting a moment with God that still lived with him. I told him what I now tell you – ‘There is more’ – more of His presence, more of His love, more of His power.

I love Psalm 63 because it captures David’s longing for God:

‘O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land where there is no water.’    (Psalm 63:1

I long for Him and these words help me find Him. I have included a number of quotes from the biography of Duncan Campbell, a revivalist who experienced encounters with God in the Hebrides.

O God….

A statement by the writer, not a debate.

….the Christians longed to see a renewed manifestation of God’s power…gradually in many hearts, concern deepened into a conviction that God’s time to favour them had come.  They began to pray and faith and experience grew…..2

You are my God….

A decision and confidence that the God of all is our God.

….Campbell’s first contact with the men convinced him that he was in the company of those living on a high spiritual plane. As he walked down the road the next day his spirit discerned that God was at work; he realised that revival had already come; it would be his privilege to share in it.

Earnestly I seek you ….

A priority expressing that above all things, nearness to God is the greatest goal.

A solemn hush came over the church that night and a young deacon whispered, ‘Mr. Campbell, God is hovering over. He is going to break through. I can hear the rumblings of heaven’s chariot wheels.’ …the whole congregation lingered outside, reluctant to disperse; others had joined them, drawn from their homes by an irresistible power they had not experienced before.

My soul thirsts for you ….

A cry that confesses a desperate need for Him.

One evening as they were preparing to leave the church, an old man took his hat off, pointing excitedly in the direction of the congregation which had just left the service: ‘Mr. Campbell, see what’s happening! He has come! He has come!’ The Spirit of God had fallen upon the people as they moved down towards the main road and in a few minutes they were so gripped with the subduing presence of God that no one could move any further.

My body longs for you ….

A declaration that captures a physical longing for His presence.

What the world needs to see is the wonder and beauty of God-possessed personalities. Women and men with the life of God pulsating within, who practice the presence of God and consequently make it easy for others to believe in God.

One day we will see Him, and He will be more wonderful than we ever imagined. Everything will have been worth it.

* Let’s live for things beyond this life
* Let’s invest in things that will outlast us
* Let’s long for more of Him

There is more!

Quotes from Charles Dickens – Oliver Twist and Andrew A. Woolsey – Channel of Revival.

; it would be his privilege to share in it.

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