In Hindsight by Rev. David Hind

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Rev. David Hind                  

THE REST THING

By Rev. D. Hind 

I am writing this on a day when I am tired. This week I have been over busy and this has meant less sleep than normal. Added to this, on Sunday night, our burglar alarm went off at midnight and I rushed downstairs shouting, ‘Hello’ to anyone who may be helping themselves to my possessions. I was comforted by the thought that my lads would be down in a flash if a fight ensued.

With the alarm eventually turned off, the house checked and silence restored, all I could hear was the sound of my boys, soundly sleeping, not having been stirred. When the same thing happened again the next night, I decided to ‘poke around’ with one of the screwdrivers in one of the sensors. He whole alarm fused (costing me £170) and the alarm bell rang out for longer than I am emotionally able to face telling you.

When the emergency call-out man arrived at 1-30 a.m. he reversed at high speed into a lamp post outside our house. When he eventually prised open the boot of his car, his car alarm sounded and he loudly greeted my already suffering neighbours with language I haven’t heard in too many Christian choruses! 

Life is lot easier to face after a good night’ sleep. 

I recently went to see Thomas while he was working in our computer room. He was communicating with around eight people on MSN Messenger, listening to music, had the television on, and at the same time he was trying to text someone on his mobile phone, peel an orange and do his homework! I jest not! Call minding, conference calls, email, mobile phones, coffee in a travel cup, multi-tasking.

Is there no end to the things that seek to rob us of a little rest? Now I believe in hard work and that every adult is called to be a ‘working’ person. For some this may mean working in the home, for others it is working outside the home, but we are all called to work hard. I also believe that every Christian is called to serve their local church.

Churches suffer from too many self-seeking Christians who can worship with passion, but then not serve, pick up litter, or make time to help others. So when you consider all this, how does the rest thing work?

 * Rest was built into the natural rhythm of life by God. He rested on the seventh day after creating the world and mankind.* Rest draws boundaries around work and gives us chance to celebrate what we have achieved.* Rest brings refreshment and re-orientates our values.* Rest sets a pattern for life. Jesus said, ‘Come with Me yourself to a quiet place and get some rest’ – Matthew 11: 28.* Rest is the promise of God. 

Learn the secret of contentment

 In his fantastic book, Ordering Your Private World, Gordon MacDonald talks about driven people: 1. A driven person is most often gratified only by accomplishment and its symbols.2. A driven person is usually caught up in the uncontrolled pursuit of expansion.3. Driven people tend to have a limited regard for integrity and are easily angered.4. Driven people are abnormally busy and highly competitive. I love to achieve, push things forward and dream of growth, but I don’t want to be a driven man and the balance is not always easy to find. Content is a key to rest and Paul writes, ‘I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or I want’ – Philippians 4: 12. Have you learned the secret? Watch how you live? You are precious and you need to look after yourself. A healthy diet, drinking lots of water, observing wise bedtimes, getting regular exercise, having structured time when you are quiet, and plenty of laughter are all important. 

Maintain healthy relationships

 Honouring marriage and friendship is healthy. If you say sorry, forgive regularly and practise loyalty you will find it easier to rest. 

Like yourself

 If you live with skeletons in the cupboard of your life, then rest is hard to find. Have a ‘clear out’, live in the light and realise you are amazing. 

Be secure and trust Him for everything

 Lean on God, hold on to Him, rely on Him and walk with Him. Everything is alright. 

Live Close to Jesus

 If you walk close to Jesus you will be a more restful person. Jesus said, ‘Come unto Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest’ – Matthew 11: 28   

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Great Stories collated by Rev. E. Anderson

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Rev. E. Anderson

THE FENCE

The sky was gloomy that morning as we waited anxiously. All the men, women and children of Piotrkow’s Jewish ghetto had been herded into a square.
Word had gotten around that we were being moved. My father had only
recently died from typhus, which had run rampant through the crowded
ghetto. My greatest fear was that our family would be separated.
“Whatever you do,” Isidore, my eldest brother, whispered to me, “don’t tell
them your age. Say you’re sixteen”.
I was tall for a boy of 11, so I could pull it off.   That way I
might be deemed valuable as a worker. An SS man approached me, boots
clicking against the cobblestones. He looked me up and down, then asked my
age.
“Sixteen,” I said. He directed me to the left, where my three brothers and
other healthy young men already stood.
My mother was motioned to the right with the other women, children, sick and
elderly people. I whispered to Isidore, “Why?” He didn’t answer. I ran to
Mama’s side and said I wanted to stay with her.

“No,” she said sternly. “Get away. Don’t be a nuisance. Go with your
brothers.” She had never spoken so harshly before. But I understood:
 She was protecting me. She loved me so much that, just this once, she
pretended not to. It was the last I ever saw of her.

My brothers and I were transported in a cattle car to Germany. We arrived
at the Buchenwald concentration camp one night weeks later and were led
into a crowded barrack. The next day, we were issued uniforms and
identification numbers.   “Don’t call me Herman anymore.” I said to my
brothers. “Call me 94983.”  I was put to work in the camp’s crematorium,
loading the dead into a hand-cranked elevator. I, too, felt dead. Hardened,
I had become a number.

 Soon, my brothers and I were sent to Schlieben, one of Buchenwald’s
sub-camps near Berlin. One morning I thought I heard my mother’s voice Son,
she said softly but clearly, I am sending you an angel. Then I woke up.
Just a dream.  A beautiful dream. But in this place there could be no
angels. There was only work. And hunger. And fear.

A couple of days later, I was walking around the camp, around the barracks,
near the barbed-wire fence where the guards could not easily see. I was
alone. On the other side of the fence, I spotted someone: a young girl with
light, almost luminous curls. She was half-hidden behind a birch tree. I
glanced around to make sure no one saw me.  I called to her softly in
German.

 “Do you have something eat?” She didn’t understand. I inched closer to the
fence and repeated my question in Polish.  She stepped forward. I was thin
and gaunt, with rags wrapped around my feet, but the girl looked unafraid.
In her eyes, I saw life. She pulled an apple from her woolen jacket and
threw it over the fence. I grabbed the fruit and, as I started to run away,
I heard her say faintly, “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

I returned to the same spot by the fence at the same time every day.
She was always there with something for me to eat – a hunk of bread or, better yet,
an apple. We didn’t dare speak or linger. To be caught would mean death for
us both. I didn’t know any-thing about her except that she understood
Polish and seemed to me to be just a kind farm girl. What was her name?
Why was she risking her life for me? Hope was in such short supply, and
this girl on the other side of the fence gave me some, as nourishing in its
way as the bread and apples.

Nearly seven months later, my brothers and I were crammed into a coal car
and shipped to Theresienstadt camp in Czechoslovakia.  “Don’t return,” I
told the girl that day. “We’re leaving.”

I turned toward the barracks and didn’t look back, didn’t even say good-bye
to the girl whose name I’d never learned, the girl with the apples.

We were in Theresienstadt for three months. The war was winding down and
Allied forces were closing in, yet my fate seemed sealed. On May 10, 1945,
I  was scheduled to die in the gas chamber at 10:00 AM.

In the quiet of dawn, I tried to prepare myself.  So many times death seemed
ready to claim me, but somehow I’d survived. Now, it was over. I thought of
my parents. At least, I thought, we will be reunited.

 At 8 A.M. there was a commotion. I heard shouts, and saw people running
every which way through camp. I caught up with my brothers.
Russian troops had liberated the camp! The gates swung open. Everyone was
running, so I did too.

Amazingly, all of my brothers had survived; I’m not sure how. But I knew
that the girl with the apples had been the key to my survival. In a place
where evil seemed triumphant, one person’s goodness had saved my life, had
given me hope in a place where there was none. My mother had promised to
send me an angel, and the angel had come.

Eventually I made my way to England
where I was sponsored by a Jewish charity, put up in a hostel with other
boys who had survived the Holocaust and trained in electronics. Then I came
to America, where my brother Sam had already moved.

I served in the U. S. Army during the Korean War, and returned to New York
  City after two years. By August 1957 I’d opened my own electronics repair
shop. I was starting to settle in.

One day, my friend Sid who I knew from England called me. “I’ve got a date.
She’s got a Polish friend. Let’s double date.”  A blind date? Nah, that
wasn’t for me. But Sid kept pestering me, and a few days later we headed up
to the Bronx to pick up his date and her friend, Roma. I had to admit, for
a blind date this wasn’t so bad. Roma was a nurse at a Bronx hospital. She
was kind and smart. Beautiful, too, with swirling brown curls and green,
almond-shaped eyes that sparkled with life.

 The four of us drove out to Coney Island. Roma was easy to talk to, easy
to be with. Turned out she was wary of blind dates too! We were both just
doing our friends a favor. We took a stroll on the boardwalk, enjoying the
salty Atlantic breeze, and then had dinner by the shore. I couldn’t
remember having a better time.

We piled back into Sid’s car, Roma and I sharing the backseat. As European
Jews who had survived the war, we were aware that much had been left unsaid
between us. She broached the subject, “Where were you, during the war?” she
asked softly.  The camps,” I said, the terrible memories still vivid, the
irreparable loss. I had tried to forget.  But you can never forget.

She nodded. “My family was hiding on a farm in Germany, not far from
Berlin,” she told me. “My father knew a priest, and he got us Aryan papers.”
I imagined how she must have suffered too, fear, a constant companion.
And yet
here we were, both survivors, in a new world.

“There was a camp next to the farm.” Roma continued. “I saw a boy there and
I would throw him apples every day.”What an amazing coincidence that she had helped some other boy. “What did he look like? I asked.

He was tall. Skinny. Hungry. I must have seen him every day for six months.”
My heart was racing. I couldn’t believe it.  This couldn’t be.

“Did he tell you one day not to come back because he was leaving Schlieben?”

Roma looked at me in amazement.

“Yes.”

“That was me!”

I was ready to burst with joy and awe, flooded with emotions. I couldn’t
believe it. My angel.

“I’m not letting you go,” I said to Roma. And in the back of the car on
that blind date, I proposed to her. I didn’t want to wait.

“You’re crazy!” she said. But she invited me to meet her parents for
Shabbat dinner the following week. There was so much I looked forward to
learning about Roma, but the most important things I always knew:  her
steadfastness, her goodness. For many months, in the worst of
circumstances, she had come to the fence and given me hope. Now that I’d
found her again, I could never let her go. That day, she said yes.

And I kept my word.  After nearly 50 years of marriage, two children and
three grandchildren, I have never let her go.

Herman Rosenblat Miami Beach, Florida.

This is a true story and you can find out more by googling Herman Rosenblat

as he was bar mitzvahed at age 75. This story is being made into a movie

called ? “The Fence”

Meet the Ministers introduced by Rev. E. Anderson

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Rev. PHILIP AND JEAN WOOFFINDIN 

Philip and Jean live in Cleethorpes, North East Lincolnshire, and have been married for 51 years. They have two children – Andrew and Mark, and four grandchildren – Nathan, Byron, Matthew and Emma. Both are second generation Pentecostals who were brought up in Christian homes and committed their lives to Jesus Christ as children.

Philip’s route was via the Apostolic Church, as a child, on through Independent Pentecostal church, and then into Assemblies of God. Jean was brought up in Elim, then into Bible Pattern, and, on her marriage, joining her husband in Assemblies of God. 

Philip spent many years in secular employment, whilst assisting in pastoring a local church – eventually becoming senior pastor of the Cleethorpes Assembly – and becoming Finance Director of a subsidiary of a major UK food producer. 

Jean has been a tremendous support to him, carrying much of the pastoral duties, hospitality, etc. and also anointed music ministry. 

Philip has held many roles within Assemblies of God including Finance Director, Member of the Management Board [Executive Council], and Governor of Mattersey Bible College, He currently serves on the Prime Timers team. At local level he is one of an eldership of three who lead Louth Christian Fellowship. 

News and Views presented by Rev. A. Hocking

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Rev. A. Hocking

ARCHBISHOP’S COUNSEL

 The Archbishop of CANTERBURY, Dr. Rowan Williams said that US President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister might have come to a different conclusion on whether to invade Iraq if they had taken the time to pray together. 

In an interview with BBC’s Newsnight, Dr Williams was questioned on whether Blair had been right in not praying with Bush in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. He answered, ‘I am sure he should have prayed and I think perhaps he should have prayed with George Bush. Dr Williams added that had the leaders prayed together they might not necessarily have received the answer they wanted. 

Praying doesn’t mean you get the answer you want. It doesn’t mean you get the other person wants either.  

INFLUENCE 

Blair is an Anglican who often attends Mass with his Catholic wife Cherie Blair.  Bush is a born again Christian who credits his return to Christ to the influence of renowned US evangelist Billy Graham. 

Taken from the New Life Paper Issue 161

Christian Prime Timers produced by Rev. E. Anderson

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Rev. E. Anderson

A PRIME TIMER 0F WORTH  

David is revealed as one of the most outstanding characters of Old Testament times. He was a remarkable person who performed a tremendous role for God and His leadership certainly is one to be recalled and remembered. Even in his late years he was determined in heart to give a vita lead to the up and coming generation. It is well to think of some of the things that made him the person and commander that he was.  

       1/. HE DEVELOPED A GREAT ACCORD WITH GOD FROM EARLIEST OF DAYS 

As a young lad, as a shepherd boy, he appears to have an encounter with God and from it a very beautiful relationship commenced and was to influence his life for good – see Psalm 23 etc.

        2/. HE KNEW HOW TO BELIEVE AND ACT AGAINST FORMIDABLE ENEMIES 

He is called to contend with some very difficult people and situations but finds god’s grace and gift sufficient. There was a lion and a bear, a monstrous giant, a jealous king, a Philistine nation, a rebellious son and yet he managed to effectively deal with them with the enabling of God

        3/. HE WAS ABLE TO WELD A COMPANY OF AWKWARD MEN INTO A FANTASTIC TEAM 

It was a unique thing that so many people became allied to him in his time of distress and difficulty who were in similar circumstances and he was able to give positive inspiration, direction and example to them all and what a transformed community they became!  

       4/. HE WAS PREPARED TO BE GUIDED AND COUNSELLED BY OTHERS WHEN NECESSARY 

He was not independent but was always ready to take good advice. He took on Abiathar who served in a good role as mediator-priest and was at hand to give revelation – 1 Samuel 30: 7,8.  And then there was Abigail – 1 Samuel 25. Also Ahithophel – 2 Samuel 15: 12. Nobody knows it all and there is often the need for gracious instruction and direction.  

       5/. HE ENDEAVOURED TO SET A NOBLE STANDARD FOR THE NATION 

He knew as the monarch of God’s people, privileged to be a seat of power and renown, how vital it was that he set the standard for all in belief and behaviour so that this people would truly be the Lord’s elect household, reflecting His nature and character. How sorry he was over his moral failure and made it clear he was truly sorry and repentant – Psalm 32 & 51. Afterwards the record has it that a number of kings emulated David and this was taken to be an honourable consideration. 

       6/. HE SOUGHT TO BE UTTERLY CONVERSANT WITH THE PRECEPTS AND COMMANDMENTS OF THE LORD 

David set great store in the commandments and precepts of the Lord, desiring and setting great store on them – Psalm 19. It was essential that he be utterly aware of the righteous decrees of the Lord and that he should fall in line with them. There must have been the constant reminder that the reason why his predecessor had failed was due to the lack of respect that he had for God’s directives – 1 Samuel 15: 22-23.  

       7/. HE KNEW HOW TO WORSHIP THE LORD AND GIVE HIM FIRST PLACE AND ALL THE HONOUR DUE HIM 

Not only was he a believer in Jehovah, he knew how to truly praise and worship the Lord. Besides being a skilled musician he was able to compose songs and psalms of worship that sprang forth from his personal relationship with God. If there was one thing that he loved to and was good at, it was in honouring the Lord and he gave the people a lead in this – see Psalm 103.

CONCLUSION  

Other factors could be considered in the way he sought to be a good leader and give positive leadership over a very important people. It is well to look in depth and detail with regard to such and allow them to create and cultivate the same in us. The Bibli

Contemporary Considerations presented by Rev. E. Anderson

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Rev. E. Anderson

Radiant Certainty
by Jan Walker

“I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.” (John 16:20-22 NIV)

There are some days when, frankly, I don’t feel much like worshiping God. There are probably more days like that than I’d care to admit. But usually those are days are when I’m staring at my circumstances and making faithless judgments about what I see around me. And I struggle with the God-truth that he is in the circumstances that surround my life – all the circumstances.

Have you ever considered that heartbreak is part of God’s plans for you, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”? (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV) We put so much energy into avoiding the hurt when God would have us embrace it. He wants us to know that he can heal our hurts, even use our hurts for his benefit, and for us to faithfully believe that sometimes the circumstances we think are harming us are actually positive situations God is engineering. God, who is omnipotent, sees the breadth and depth of our circumstances, and he knows his plans for our lives.

Thinking, then, like Christ, we can slowly, ever so slowly, begin to understand that avoiding the pain in our lives is actually an act of faithlessness. God calls us to faith in him during difficult circumstances; we’d rather place our faith in avoiding the circumstances. As always, Jesus shows us the way – because he is the Way. Jesus embraced the pain of God’s plan for his life, and he did it with full faith that God was still working the plan to bring a “hope and a future” to your life and mine.

Christ was so sure that his grief would turn to joy that he showed a radiant certainty in God’s faithfulness (“Radiant certainty” is a phrase William Barclay uses to describe the attitude of Jesus at the Last Supper).Our Brother Jesus, who is also our King, was heading into a crisis that would cost him his life, yet he was so certain – radiantly certain – of God’s faithfulness that not one of his disciples even discerned the gravity of the crisis! Jesus was so certain of God’s faithfulness that it radiates throughout his whole being.And we, too, can have this radiant certainty about God’s hand in our lives.

We can say, when it comes to God’s faithfulness, “I know because I know that I know.” That’s radiant certainty! The cross was Christ’s glory, not his penalty – and the same is true of difficult circumstances in our lives.So what does this mean to me?· God’s faithful character – You will develop this radiant certainty in God when you learn to trust in his faithful character. Your daily worship of God is irrevocably tied to your faith in God.· Praise God anyhow – You must choose to praise and worship God every day, no matter what the circumstances of your life.

Developing a radiant certainty in God begins with simple steps of faith and obedience.

· Respond to God, not your circumstances – When faced with a painful or difficult circumstance, ask God, “How do you want me to respond to this?” Keep your eyes wise for the “Why me?” traps that lay about your circumstances.

· You can be radiantly certain of this: Difficult circumstances are opportunities for you to intentionally focus your faith in God and to see what he will do to give you hope and healing.

Contemporary Considerations compiled by Rev. E. Anderson

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Rev. E. Anderson

Abraham – Example of Faith

There were many well-known Jews in the Bible who went to live in Egypt – Mary & Joseph, Jesus, Abraham & Sarah, Isaac & Rebekah, Jacob & his sons, Joseph & his sons. Abraham, is the one that the Bible records, was the first to go there. Abraham is spoken to us in many Bible references as also a pioneer in the quality of faith. Abraham didn’t start out life as living in Israel. He started out life in Ur of the Chaldees. Abraham’s starting culture would be totally alien to the quality of faith he had relationally with the one true God. It shows to us today that we can grow in relational faith even against the backdrop of our culture that pulls so strongly against a life of faith. Abraham didn’t just have a faith; he lived by faith. This morning I want to demonstrate from the example of Abraham’s faith how we can grow in the reality of living each day by faith.  

Reading: Hebrews 11: 8-17. 

 1/.  Faith is Going without Knowing – vv8 -10

“It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going. And even when he reached the land promised him, he lived there by faith – for he was like a foreigner, living in a tent. Abraham did this because he was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God.”  

The background of this massive step of faith by Abraham is found in Genesis 11 and 12. Abraham’s father Terah had already left Ur of the Chaldees & took Abraham with him. Abraham was already a married man but he was still under the influence of his father’s dictates. Terah should have been the one who went & settled in the land of Canaan. On the journey Terah stayed at a village named after his other deceased son, Haran, the father of Lot. The problem was that Terah didn’t just make this a temporary stopover, the Bible narrative makes it clear that Haran became an `instead of’. Terah got stuck in a place where nostalgia, disappointment, grief, the past all focussed on the loss of his son hijacked his purpose. Terah died there in Haran with his `instead of’ lifestyle & with it died his life’s purpose.  The influence of family is major & it can be an inspirer to faith but it can also be a massive detractor to faith.

The problem for Abraham was that he was in danger of becoming caught up in the same `instead of’ lifestyle trap. It is in this context at Haran, not Ur, that God spoke to Abraham to leave everything behind in terms of his cultural roots & his family ties. Abraham had to forsake everything that was known and familiar. He was to relocate to Canaan, a land that God would show to him. It was a huge leap into the unknown. He had to go before he had knowledge. Many of us get caught up in an `instead of’ lifestyle either like Terah because we allow life events to pressurise us into abandoning our purpose. Some of us get stuck by proxy.

We allow the influence of others close to us to forfeit where we really should be going. Some of us want to know before we will go. It is interesting that even when Abraham arrived in Canaan he lived there by faith. Some of you historically have pressed through & taken those steps of faith, but are you still living by faith today? Faith is not an event it is a continuum. 

 2/.  Faith is Inheriting before Having 

If you are going to inherit something, often you are notified about it before you ever receive it. In many cases of inheritance there may be as much as 40 or 50 years break between the point of being aware of an inheritance & actually receiving it. We read in verses 11 & 12 that Abraham and Sarah were promised that from them there would come nations, yet they were barren in their old age. They lived for many years with an ever-diminishing likelihood of having what had been promised. Faith believes that we are inheritors before we ever have the tangible expression & outworking of that promise.  It is rare that someone becomes an inheritor & possessor simultaneously.

We have to be prepared to have the promise of an inheritance before we get the possession of an inheritance. Could you imagine a situation where a person brought you the good news that you were to be included in the inheritance of an estate but you turned round & said `no thank you I am not prepared to wait, if I can’t have it now forget it!’ It would seem totally unreasonable for someone to take that stance. Yet that is what we often do with God. He has called us to be inheritors but we want it all now. If some of you are living in that phase where the point of when you became aware of God’s promise seems a long time ago don’t doubt the reality of your inheritance, just believe that the inheritance is getting even bigger. For Abraham & Sarah it only took one child for the promise of nation building to be fulfilled. It only takes one intervention of God to transform frustration into fulfilment & promise into reality. 

 3/.  Faith is Giving with Nothing Held Back

Read vv17-19. I sense that the Christian Church has lot something of its dynamic & resourcefulness because we give what we can afford & what we can manage. We need the ingredient of faith to come into what we offer & sow. We read these amazing words that Abraham was ready to sacrifice his only son Isaac. We need to remember just how long Abraham had waited before this boy came along. Just think how extra special this boy was to Abraham! Yet Abraham had the faith to give & hold nothing back.

Giving never has a faith component built into it unless we have relinquished something & it has cost us. We can live in the ordinariness of living according to our natural means or we can move into the supernatural of living according to Gods means by giving away in faith our resources. I suspect that the majority of Christians in the West do not understand experientially the power of this principle. Abraham speaks to us again to rediscover faith that lets go, that releases, that holds nothing back.  

Conclusion

 Don’t just have a faith, live it out. Make a decision to be prepared to go into the unknown. Be patient while you are still this side of unfulfilled promise & inheritance. Allow God’s Spirit into your life to liberate your personality, disposition & orientation to become someone that actively seeks opportunity to give something away in faith. Abraham did have his moments when his humanity obscured his faith, but the overall impact of his life was crucially one that expressed faith in His God. This morning let us take time out to reaffirm our faith lifestyle before God.

Extracts from Life edited by Rev. E. Anderson

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Rev.  & Mrs. E. Anderson

VISION FOR THE FUTURE 

It was in the 1980’s that my wife was sat in the Communion Service one Sunday morning in the church at Chesterfield that something unusual occurred that became an unforgettable experience.  She had been saying to the Lord in her own heart and mind that she needed to see and hear from Him with regard to her life at this point in time. 

At that period people were stating that had been receiving pictures from the Lord on many things and that these carried a message of some significance. In listening to these people and their revelations she had not been too impressed, in fact she had become rather sceptical and questioning as to their validity and worth. Were they of a genuine nature and could they be really believed in? 

Imagine her surprise when it happened to her! When it took place she was quite overwhelmed. The Lord gave her a series of three pictures that was to have relevance and a bearing upon her future. In the first scene she visualised a man walking down the street with a small wooden box and inside was located a pigeon. This seemed rather strange and she took herself to task, reproving her own heart that she ought to be meditating on the Lord’s table. The Lord quickly admonished her by saying, ‘when are you really going to let Me get through to you.’ The scene changed and she witnessed the same man release the pigeon into what is known as a pigeon coote. This is a place where many pigeons exist flying around with more freedom and having the company of other birds. At least it was deliverance from the cooked up state in the box! Somehow the bird felt better because there was opportunity to use its wings. But then the third revelation was of the man returning and coming to the door of the coote he flung it open. All the birds, and especially this one, felt there was a great opportunity of moving out into a bigger realm and to enjoy freedom of a greater kind. They left that caged-up situation to spread their wings and soar into the heavens and be delighted with a new environment. They could not stay cooped up the coote when there was something bigger offered. 

As she pondered on the three-fold revelation, the Lord interpreted the meaning of the disclosure. He made clear to her that it was a picture of her condition. At the moment she was like the pigeon in the box but through His grace and workings He would eventually bring about a complete emancipation of her spirit and life. When He had completed affairs she would begin to soar with Him in the heavenlies and find life more fulfilling and exciting. When this would occur was not made known.

It would not happen overnight but at the right time in His providence things would be triggered off that would change the whole course of her life. Little did she know that it would take a few years before the prophecy would be brought to pass.

Powerful Quotes to Note presented by Rev. L. Goodwin

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Rev. L. Goodwin

QUOTES TO NOTE

leadership

 “A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.”
Rosalynn Carter 

“There comes a moment when you have to stop revving up the car and shove it into gear.”
David Mahoney 

“I would rather regret the things I have done than the things I have not.”
Lucille Ball 

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”
John F. Kennedy 

“Big thinking precedes great achievement”
Wilfred Peterson 

“Never try to teach a pig to sing: it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.”
Paul Dickson
 

“Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don’t interfere as long as the policy you’ve decided upon is being carried out.”
Ronald Reagan
  

Messages for the Moment compiled by Rev. E. Anderson

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Rev. E. Anderson

Faith for the Future

Isaac was a man who had been nurtured in a climate of faith. His Father Abraham was a great man of faith. Isaac was a product of faith. He had been a willing participant in one of the greatest acts of obedient sacrificial faith. Isaac’s DNA was that of faith. We need to ensure that the next generation inherit a legacy of powerful faith.

I want the next generation of Christians to have passed on to them the fruit and authenticity of dynamic & passionate faith. Of all the 4 patriarchs in Genesis, much less is known of Isaac than Abraham, Jacob & Joseph. Yet he played a pivotal role in passing on the lifestyle & inheritance of faith to the future generations. We are going to examine how Isaac did that this morning so that we are motivated & enabled to do the same in our Church.

The future for the Church overall in the UK is not a great one. The downward spiralling moral problems & the pressures that will bring to the Church are not going to go away in the future. Some Christians are incredibly negative about the future at a personal level & at a societal level. It is important that right through the generations of our church culture we develop a faith perspective for the future. Particularly I want to challenge the generations of people who are aged 40 & upwards not to develop a negative mindset about the future because things aren’t the same as they used to be & younger people’s values seem so different to our own.

Choose to be a person who is a catalyst for change & that positively believes that future generations are going to encounter amazing blessing from God.  My text is again found in that powerful chapter of faith in Hebrews 11. V20 states “By faith Isaac blessed Jacob & Esau in regard to their future.” (ISV) “By an act of faith, Isaac reached into the future as he blessed Jacob and Esau.” (Message)“It was by faith that Isaac blessed his 2 sons, Jacob & Esau. He had confidence in what God was going to do in the future.” (NLT) The story of how Isaac blessed his sons is found in Genesis 27.

It is not a very inspiring story. It is a story of intrigue, disappointment, conspiracy, favouritism, deceit & hatred. Even after the blessings have been imparted by Isaac upon his sons in the short-term things became very bad. The outcome of Jacob’s deceit in hijacking the firstborn’s blessing, coupled with his manipulation in obtaining Esau’s birthright was that Esau wanted to murder his brother. The immediate fall out of the blessing was that Jacob had to flee from home & would never see his father again for many years. We don’t know from the Biblical record that Jacob ever saw his mother again. Jacob was sent off out of harms way to his uncle Laban. The phrase `out of the frying pan & into the fire’ springs to mind because Laban was as slippery & manipulative as they come. This seemed far from being a fulfilment of Isaac’s blessing upon his sons’ future.    

The person giving out the blessing was Isaac. At this time he was old & frail. He comes over as weak, vulnerable, frail & gullible. He has a sentimental & naïve outlook towards his sons. The vehicle or instrument that God used to speak the blessing of faith out over the future generations seems to be a flawed one, but that did not weaken or nullify the expectation of blessing. God cannot but step in & respond to faith, wherever & in whoever it is sourced. The fulfilment of future blessing was not determined by Isaac’s characteristics but by God’s attributes.  

The characters who were being blessed, Jacob and Esau, were far from being exemplary men of integrity deserving of God’s blessing. Jacob was a man who had just schemed his own twin brother out of the primary blessing from Isaac. Jacob was known for getting a result whatever the means & cost. Jacob was someone who obtained things by carnally grasping. At this time he was not a refined man of faith. He was a devious manipulator who no-one should trust.

Esau was very different from Jacob but he had his own major problems. We shouldn’t feel too sorry for him as a victim of Jacob’s deceit because he was not conducting himself very well either.  Esau allowed the gratification of his appetites to govern his life. His inability to control his hunger & his sexual drive got him into trouble where he lost out on his potential. Esau upset his parents because he chased after Canaanite women. Esau for all his outward masculinity was an insecure guy, looking for approval still from his father. He even married Ishmael’s daughter to try & get back into his father’s favour.  

In spite of all these issues Isaac reached into the future & initiated something that would bring blessing upon his sons. Jacob did go away but he became very prosperous. Jacob married Laban’s daughters & had many sons. Jacob encountered God & became a prince with God. He had his name changed to Israel & his offspring gave rise to the names of the tribes of Israel. Jacob discovered Bethel as the house of God & a gateway into heaven.

Jacob’s future was blessed & even his personality traits were worked on by God.  Esau did come to an end of his strife with his brother. He let go of his anger & bitterness. The anger that fuelled an intention to murder subsided. Esau was able to meet his brother again without bloodshed and angry violence. In fact it is a scene of immense restoration, friendliness and generosity. The descendants of Esau became a people group in their own right known as the Edomites. A whole chapter in Genesis (Ch.36) is dedicated to giving the descendants of Esau. This is a record of Esau’s future posterity. Jacob got the primary blessing but even a secondary blessing on our lives is that of abundance. 

 Some of you this morning have got caught up in thinking that you don’t deserve a great future because you are not good enough. Others of you have lost your confidence to look forwards optimistically because you look backwards with regret and pain. It is time to say if Isaac could speak faith over his 2 sons lives that they could have a blessed future, then we can speak into our future with renewed confidence.

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