Meet the Christian Ministers introduced by Rev. E. Anderson

                                  

      

Rev Les & Sharon Budhi – Edenthorpe Pentecostal Church – Doncaster

 

We have been married for 22 years and have 4 children. Laura is 20 and in her 3rd year at Lincoln University. She is actively involved in Church life at ECC Lincoln; Daniel is 19 and starts a 3 year BA course at Mattersey Hall this month; Christopher is 17 and is currently working at MacDonalds (he is saving to do an internship at Planetshakers or Hillsong, Australia in 2010) and Dominic is 13. He has just started in year 9 at Danum School in Doncaster as we have recently moved into the Town. We are immensely proud of our children who are all serving God in some capacity. Daniel & Christopher have started and co-lead Impact! a youth group for 14yrs+ this has seen growth over the last 12 months – from just the 2 of them to around 15-20 young people, some from completely ‘unchurched’ backgrounds.

 

Our journey to this point has certainly been eventful.  Let us tell you a little about us:

 

Les: I became a Christian at the age of 13. My life changed so much that my mother and her brother went to church to complain that they were brain washing me. I did get my brain washed! I married Sharon at the age of 20 whilst still completing a degree in Physics at Sheffield University. We moved to Widnes and later helped Mark and Karen Finch plant a Church in Runcorn. I served with Mark as a leader for some 12 years. During these years I worked for one of the ‘Big Four’ banks as a Senior Manager.

 

Following a period of illness, during which time I lost my Job with the bank, I felt God call me to Mattersey Hall Bible College and together with Sharon had 3 years of study at Mattersey in 2004-2007.

After my first year God clearly spoke to me about pastoring a church and I was asked to become the pastor at Edenthorpe Pentecostal Church. This was a very challenging time, but we have seen God’s grace upon us as a family and have seen many miracles over the years. The church continues to grow and we are seeing God’s blessing.  We recently moved to Doncaster (we commuted to church from Retford for 3 years) and we are seeking the Lord for the church and his will at this time as we are looking to plant a sister church in Stainforth – a very needy ex-mining Community in South Yorkshire. (The Lord has recently supplied us with equipment to start the new church, we just need a building and resources both financial and people wise). Please stand with us in prayer.   

 

Sharon: growing up in a Pastor’s home (my parents are John & Eunice Bromley) I always said that I wouldn’t marry a pastor! After leaving school, I trained as a Nursery Nurse and upon qualifying moved to Widnes to work in a Christian School. A few months later Les & I got married and we bought a house in Widnes. We stayed at the Foundry Church for a number of years, before going to New Hope in Runcorn to help Mark & Karen Finch with a Church Plant.

 

While working as a Teaching Assistant, I studied with the Open University for a BA (hons) in Humanities; my intention was to train to be a teacher. However, as I completed my final dissertation God whispered in Les’s ear to come to Mattersey. My graduation was June 2004 and we started at Mattersey that September! I think all of the OU studying was preparation for juggling so many things at once. When we came to Mattersey, I didn’t think we would be pastoring a Church at the same time as studying, but God’s ways are not ours and again I found I was juggling college with Church and family – not easy but we not only managed, but did very well, graduating in June 2007.

 

I am now half way through the MTh programme at Mattersey Hall. Having spent the last year working as an Intern at Mattersey Hall, I am looking for employment so that we can save to eventually buy our own home again – we have been renting since moving from Widnes, but that’s a whole other story!!!  Ideally, I would like to work fulltime for the Church, as project manager of a number of social action projects that we would like to get underway. Whilst looking into these things I am looking for work as a supply teacher/teaching assistant.

 

Edenthorpe Pentecostal Church: when we first came to Edenthorpe, there were approx 20 people. The Church has grown steadily over the last 3 years, and we now have approx 70 different people attending the 2 services on a Sunday and we reach over 100 children and young people through various activities that the Church runs in a number of locations, including Stainforth where the seeds of a Church plant are being sown. 

 

                                            

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Messages of the Moment received by Rev. E. Anderson

                                  

                                   Rev. E. Anderson

HELPING EACH OTHER THROUGH CHANGE
by Rick Warren

“I hope you will be patient with me ….” – 2 Corinthians 11:1a, NLT.

In order to manage change, you must remember four things –

·          Love each other

The first mistake most people make during change is to focus on what they’ve lost, instead of what has been gained – and that creates fear. The antidote to fear is love: “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear ….” – 1 John 4:18 NKJ.

It’s impossible for love and fear to exist in the same environment – If we’ll focus on loving each other, then we’ll break out of the self-centeredness that often emerges during change. The love that conquers fear involves thinking about others instead of focusing on your own needs – and the more you love, the less you fear.

·          Listen to each other

During transition, we must be “quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry ….” – James 1:19 NIV. If we get the first two right (quick listening, slow speaking), then the third (slow anger) will become automatic. It reflects the concept of “seeking to understand” before trying “to be understood.”

“Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear.” – James 1:19 MSG.

·          Level with each other

We must speak the truth in love to each other if we’re going to walk together through change. It is human nature to avoid confronting someone directly, but then we fall into problems – even gossip – by talking to other people about the person we need to confront.

We can’t get close to each other until we deal honestly with our fundamental differences. “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ” – Ephesians 4:15 NIV.

·          Liberate each other

Finally, we need to show each other grace – “cut each other some slack” – during transition. Liberating each other means letting go and treating someone else the same way Jesus treats you.

In other words, we shouldn’t lean into legalism or lording mistakes over others. People will make mistakes, and our response should be to recognize that these things will happen. The goal is not to make those who make mistakes feel bad, but rather to let them get over it and move on.

                                            

Knowing the Truth compiled by Rev. A. Hocking

                                          

                                       Rev. A. Hocking

ANXIETY

 

We are living in anxious times.  I was talking to a man just today who told me he had lost tens of thousands of pounds due to the failure of one of the banks.  Many are worried about the future.  What is going to happen? 

 

Worry and anxiety can drain us of the energy and ability that God has given us to cope with daily problems, just as a short circuit can drain a car battery and render it useless.  Worry has been described as paying interest on trouble that may never come. Someone who had lived long enough to learn a lot of truth about life once said, “I have had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened!”  Yes, we are living in worrying times, but most of the things we are worrying about will probably never happen.

 

Jesus said, “Sufficient to the day is its own evil”.  We should not spend our time in needless worrying.  Doctors tell us that such constant apprehension is physically harmful, because brooding over troubles, real or imagined can result in added problems like stomach ulcers, high blood pressure and nervous tension.

 

Examine your worries.  If there is something solid to worry about, then talk it over with someone who can help you.   If you find it is only a ‘perhaps’ worry, then get rid of it.   Substitute faith in God for fear of the future.  After all, He knows the future!

                                               

Sermon Starters provided by Rev. E. Anderson

                                       

                                     Rev. E. Anderson

A SPIRITUAL NECESSITY – A DIVINE BROKENNESS

 

 

READING    2 Peter 1

 

TEXT            Matthew 5: 3

 

INTRODUCTION

 

CONNECTION: In His teaching and instruction in relation to the Beatitudes they are simply joined one to the other. They are sweetly and soundly united and they are to be seen to relate in creating and cultivating a genuine subject of Christ’s kingdom. The one moves on easily and readily to the next and all are seen to be essential if there is to be both birth and growth in the kingdom of God. The humility evident and established will be noted in this next quality – spiritual sorrow.

 

CONTRAST: Basic English – “Happy are those who are sad.” The statement appears to be utterly contradictory because gladness and sadness do look to be opposites. How can they be united together?

 

“What a paradox: happy are the sad! Can sorrow be a blessing? No worldly teacher would talk so. Such a beatitude is not only a contradiction of terms, it is a denial of all we associate with that spirit of well being we call happiness.”                                                     Aaron Linford

 

What may be termed happiness may be far removed from such when fully examined and investigated because it has within it malignant and destructive factors. But there is a divine benediction to be found in a godly sorrow that leads on to greater things in and through God in a meaningful way and experience. It is to be seen not as a sorrow that brings about the tearing and wearing down of a person, rather the basis on which leads to salvation and the construction of a very blessed life. God is the cause and source of the mourning and therefore the sequence and ultimate consequence will be most rewarding.

 

CONTEXT: In what context is the word mourning and sadness to be understood? In the world of sin and evil in which we live, and as a consequence of sin working within us, the result is the production of hardened and insensitive state. The broken condition over such is what is required but because of the hardness without it is not an easy spirit to produce. It takes a work of God by His love and grace.

 

“To retain a sensitive spirit is a boon. So much of this world tends to dull our sympathies and harden our tender feelings.  The virulent pressures of circumstances can make us callous. Hopeful youth gives way to cynical middle-life; the optimism of early days descends into pessimism of later years. Idealism is displaced by realism-and all to the detriment of our dreams and the deadening of our finer selves. In a cold unfeeling world it is indeed a blessing to retain a tender care that feels for all.”       Aaron Linford

 

Once this Beatitude is understood and is in evidence the end result will be truly profitable. The spiritual mourning which is indicates a dark and sad day will issue in a spiritual morning (minus the u) which will issue into a glorious new day of light and joy.

 

The verse divides into two: the Sadness and Gladness of the Mourner.

 

1/.  THE SADNESS OF THE MOURNER

 

The mourning is inspired and influenced by God and so has within it the basic ingredient of bliss because of its origin. Blessed by the knowledge as to who is actually behind the brokenness that has come to the spirit and sensitive to what it is all about. Unless this is grasped and understood then the mourning will not make sense or reason and produce nothing of worth. It is more than turning on a weeping session.  Behind and beneath it all God is at work seeking to incite the sorrow that will generate better things.

 

Illustration:  Play actors have the power to turn on the water-works

 

Understand the real reason for it. The mourning in not due to personal bereavement over the loss of some one or thing grievous as such is. Much more is meant than natural and material loss. Even that can be of a painful and distressing order – e.g. Jacob – Genesis 42: 38. It is mourning that relates to the spiritual condition, of a person’s real state and standing before God. When a person allows his/herself to come under the close scrutiny of God, in His presence they perceive His nature and holiness and their nature and sinfulness. It is more than a surface encounter – Isaiah 6: 1-5; Luke 18: 13.  God’s loveliness shows up an individual’s ugliness created by sin and there is holy mourning of lost likeness to God. It is a heart-broken experience, sensing He has all that is beautiful etc., and we have and nothing.

 

Take note of the full range of it – what it actually covers.  Whilst profoundly moved over the lost likeness to God because of sin, the grief goes even further and touches other aspects of a sad and serious nature. Barclay – “O the bliss of the man whose heart is broken for the world’s suffering and for his own sin.” The revelation of the situation around in society deeply affects a true subject of Christ’s kingdom as he beholds its corruption and degeneration. Having been brought into Christ’s pure and true kingdom he knows the difference and is broken and burdened over those who are under the heel of Satan and sin. The bondage and misery of those outside Christ’s kingdom profoundly disturbs and causes a sorrowful spirit and concern.

 

Discern the true reality of the grief expressed. The word for mourn is the strongest used in the Greek language. It is the passionate word employed for the mourning of the dead, the passionate lament for one who was loved. The word in the Greek Septuagint – Genesis 37: 34. It is not a professional mourning but that which is heartfelt and free from hypocrisy – John 11: 35.

 

Illustration: It is told that once Elgar, the great musician was listening to a young girl singing. She had a beautiful voice and a well-nigh faultless technique, but she just missed greatness. “She will be great” said Elgar, “when something happens to break her heart.”

 

2/.  THE GLADNESS OF THE MOURNER

 

This emphasizes the truth and fact that the mourning is worthwhile and profitable. The word – parakalein is the rarest of meanings. Comfort is part of it but more is implied and embodied.  The idea is that it is a ministry that affords every divine encouragement and such inspires and instils with strength and enabling of a vital quality.

 

It a comfort that affords true and full forgiveness.  There is known and sensed a deeper and greater work of grace in terms and tokens of forgiveness which is reflected in transformed state in a person’s spirit and attitude. It is more than a surface washing. It is like a spiritual sauna that opens up all the pores for spiritual cleansing which is intended to lead on to a greater kingdom life and living.

 

“When a man goes to God with  the godly sorrow of repentance he is not only comforted with the joy of past sins forgiven and forgotten; his heart is filled with courage; his mind is stimulated to new thoughts and new understandings and new adventure; the flickering flame of his life is fanned to a flame. His whole life is caught up into the strength and beauty of God.”                                W. Barclay

 

It is a comfort that offers the knowledge that there is a perfect and absolute standing in God’s favour, grace, power and fullness.  Grace not only forgives, it admits into a favoured position with God – Romans 5: 2. From a bereaved to a blessed state that holds so much. It is into a unique relationship with himself so that He can confer much more upon than ever before.

 

Parakalein – used to summon to one’s side as an ally, a helper, a counsellor, a witness. Used  to invite to a banquet. In this experience the Lord invites the mourner as an honoured guest and not as a criminal. He is there to gladden and not sadden etc.”

 

It is a comfort that reveals the final goal that is to be achieved. The old self image is removed and a divine image comes to the fore of a God-like nature – Psalm 17: 5. The brokenness will accomplish the blessedness of being and becoming like God. This is the ultimate that Christ has in mind – Romans 8: 29. There can be no better or greater thing for every subject to become like God through Christ and it commences when a person becomes mouldable and manageable in an through a genuine spirit of brokenness.

 

This has to become manifest both in sinner and saint and leads on to real growth!

 

                                             

 

Points to Ponder arranged by Rev. E. Anderson

                                   

                        

                        Rev. E. Anderson

 KINDNESS    SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT – AND PRACTICE

SOMETIME WE REAP KINDNESS because we sowed a little of it. I like the way one poet put it.

 

I have wept in the night

For the shortness of sight,

That to somebody’s need made me blind:

But I never have yet

Felt a twinge of regret,

For being a little too kind.

 

Anonymous, quoted in John Lawrence, Down to Earth

 

 

I LIKE MY SISTER’S simple, yet practical interpretation of kindness: Be nice to one another, just be nice. Say nice things to one another.

Charles Swindoll

 

DR. HARRY EVANS of Trinity College, Deerfield, Illinois, has a sign in his office that reads, “Kindness Spoken Here.”

 

AS GANDHI STEPPED ABOARD A TRAIN one day, one of his shoes slipped off and landed on the track. He was unable to retrieve it as the train was moving. To the amazement of his companions, Gandhi calmly took off his other shoe and threw it back along the track to land close to the first. Asked by a fellow passenger why he did so, Gandhi smiled. “The poor man who finds the shoe lying on the track,” he replied, “will now have a pair he can use.”

 

Kindness has converted more sinners than zeal, eloquence or learning.

Faber

 

Kindness is the golden chain by which society is bound together. Goethe

 

Wise sayings often fall on barren ground; but a kind word is never thrown away.

 

 

                                           

A Time for a Laugh served by Rev. E. Anderson

                                         

                                      Rev. E. Anderson

ONLY ONE WAY

A man dies and goes to Heaven. Of course, St. Peter meets him at the Pearly Gates.St. Peter says, “Here’s how it works. You need 100 points to make it into heaven. You tell me all the good things you’ve done, and I give you a certain number of points for each item, depending on how good it was. When you reach 100 points, you get in.”

“Okay,” the man says, “I was married to the same woman for 50 years and never cheated on her, even in my heart.”
“That’s wonderful,” says St. Peter, “that’s worth three points!”

“Three points?” he says, slightly concerned. “Well, I attended church all my life and supported its ministry with my tithe and service.”

“Terrific!” says St. Peter. “That’s certainly worth a point.”

“One point!?!” he moans, now really getting worried. “Well, I started a soup kitchen in my city and worked in a shelter for homeless veterans.”

“Fantastic, that’s good for two more points,” he says.

“Two points!” the man cries. “At this rate the only way I get into Heaven is by the grace of God!”

St. Peter nods and says, “Bingo! 100 points! Come on in my son!”

 

 

SAINTLY SON

Two mothers were talking about their sons. The first said, “My son is such a saint. He works hard, doesn’t smoke, and he hasn’t so much as looked at a woman in over two years.”   The other woman said, “Well, my son is a saint himself.  Not only hasn’t he not looked at a woman in over three years, but he hasn’t touched a drop of liquor in all that time.”   “My word,” the first mother said.  “You must be so proud.”   “I am,” the second mother replied.  “And when he’s paroled next month, I’m going to throw him a big party.”

                                     

 

 

 

 

Knowing God prepared by Rev. E. Anderson

                                              

                                          Rev. E. Anderson

KNOWING GOD FOR A SPECIFIC MINISTRY

 

Reading    1 Samuel 1

 

Text          1 Samuel 3: 7

 

Introduction

 

A Difference: Israel was in need of someone who could give real leadership and God answered it by the birth of a baby who was to have a very specific ministry to His people. Samuel’s arrival on the scene was most timely. His mother, Hannah, had to wait for some time for the arrival of a baby boy into her family unit, enduring a great period of testing, but when he did arrive and matured, he was to make a profound difference in his day and generation. She must have sensed that he arrived in the providence of God with an important destiny to accomplish.

 

Beginning of the Prophets: He was to introduce the ministry of the prophets that would have immense impact upon the future of his people. Abraham and Moses were previous prophets but Samuel was to the one used by God to initiate a continual flow and line of ministry in this connection. Following the period of the Judges it was good that the Lord launched this dynamic ministry. Because he knew God he was able to serve God in this particular role.

 

It is helpful to trace the fact in his life and work.

 

   1/.   HE KNEW GOD IN A MEASURE THROUGH MATERNAL INPUT

 

         One cannot help salute the role that his mother Hannah played in the formative period of his life. She displays a very godly jealousy and desire even in the fact of the gift of this lad into her life and home. How she longed for a baby and how she resorted to spiritual measures in order to have one! – 1 Samuel 1. The Lord admired her tenacity of faith and drive and gave her a heart’s wish. When he arrived she honoured the Lord and was ready to make great sacrifice as to his future – vv24-28. One of the things she would do was to acquaint the child with the Lord’s part in his birth and gave added tuition concerning the Lord and His purpose for him. So he was cradled in essential truth and grew up in the right atmosphere.

 

   2/.  HE KNEW GOD TO A DEGREE THROUGH SPIRITUAL INVOLVEMENT

 

         He was called upon, though young, to serve in the Temple of the Lord and though he did not know the Lord in a meaningful way, gradually through his work and service to Eli he would be enlightened further. It was not by chance or coincidence that he was placed in such an honoured and unique position of service. The Scripture has it: “And the child ministered unto the Lord before Eli” – 1 Samuel 3: 1, thus indicating in some small way that he had some inkling with regard to the Lord. He was not where he was and doing what he did by accident. He evidently had loving respect for Eli and in his humble service must have felt he was somewhat of spiritual apprentice. He was getting familiar with the things he needed to know and that would be of use in his life and work for the Lord ahead.

 

   3/.  HE KNEW GOD THROUGH A DIVINE ENCOUNTER

 

The vital moment arrived when he needed to be upgraded in his knowledge. It was essential that he came to know the Lord in a significant way so that he could understand matters more clearly and so serve Him in a greater manner. He evidently was prepared by the Lord and ready for this encounter and so in a nightly visitation the Lord revealed himself and his purposes to him – 1 Samuel 3: 4-18. He discovered that the Lord knew his name and that he was called to fulfill a powerful ministry for Him within the nation. Now he began to feel the reason for his past training. Life and work would never be the same. He would be different and make the essential difference.

 

   4/.  HE KNEW GOD THROUGH GREATER DISCLOSURES AND REVELATIONS

 

What the Lord made known at the start was quite a disclosure and Eli knew that the message was a true one – 1 Samuel 3: 18. He was to be a powerful spiritual influence and the people obviously knew that he was the man who was in touch with God, receiving messages and direction of major importance that would enable the nation to come into its divinely appointed place and role. Eventually kingship is created and established in the nation and David is to be ordained king and through him the kingdom comes into its own – see 1 Samuel 1: 17 – 30. The prophet plays a major role in this.

 

   5/.  HE KNEW GOD BY GREAT EXPERIENCES

 

Samuel knew what it was to experience some choice events in his career, especially the triumph of Israel over the Philistines – 1 Samuel 7. Israel had been reduced to utter impotence and despair and they turned to him for help and direction. They were ready to repent and turn to God.  At rock-bottom the Lord gave an amazing victory and they were able to record the words: “Hitherto has the Lord helped us” – v12. The appearance and quality of David must have impressed and blessed him and he knew God was with this king to take the people forward not only naturally but spiritually. He was used in his memorable appointment and anointing – 1 Samuel 16: 3-13.

 

CONCLUSION

 

Not only was he able to possess a very important specific ministry, he was able to open out, through the direction and knowledge given by the Lord, such to others. David benefited greatly by reason of Samuel’s presence and input.

 

We are not only to have prophetic input into our own lives that gives definite purpose and fulfillment but to be able to impart to others so they receive true guidance and affirmation from the Lord.

 

                                          

Word Studies presented by Rev. K.Munday

                                         

                                      Rev. K. Munday

WORD STUDIES

 

Word Studies is presented by Rev. K. Munday, retired minister and former General Secretary of Assemblies of God for many years. He has served the body of Christ with grace and distinction, is an excellent, quality preacher and speaker, broadcaster, writer of books and still active in Christian service. His contributions here on Word Studies should prove a great means of blessing, inspiration and instruction.

 

SERMON

 

This word has a religious connotation as it describes the message a minister gives in a Church.

 

The word is not found in the Bible, but a dictionary gives the following definition:-

 

A SERMON IS AN EXPLANATION OF A VERSE OR PASSAGE OF SCRIPTURE.

 

This makes Christian preaching a unique experience because the Bible is a unique book. It contains facts that no other book carries and it is accepted by Christians as the Word (or message) of God.

 

It is the only document that gives an authentic account of the creation of the universe. (See Genesis chapter 1). It also interprets and forecasts the movements of history, and most importantly it reveals the true condition of human nature with all its foibles, weaknesses and sin. It then adds the good news that Jesus Christ died for sinners and our true destiny can be realised in Him.

 

For various reasons the sermon is traditionally regarded as boring and dull, trailing well behind TV programmes in the ratings scale. This is a matter which all Church communicators should address and remedy.

 

A SERMON IS ALSO A MORAL REFLECTION

 

So adds the dictionary. This should appeal to all decent people of goodwill and be welcomed, particularly in view of some of the nonsense and sometimes evil stuff churned out by the media. In a morally polluted environment, a whiff of spiritual oxygen is urgently needed. Surely an exercise that lifts minds and hearts to nobler things must be good!

 

But when all is said about a sermon’s dullness or irrelevance there may well be a deeper reason for its unpopularity. When a preacher keeps true to his text-book and he tells it like it is, there will be times when the sermon packs a punch and challenges the listener and things get uncomfortable, and human nature doesn’t like confrontations!

4

 

It would seem that there were those in the early years of the Church who avoided them and the Apostle Paul warned them! 1Thessalonians_5:20) not to despise prophesyings, or as J .B. Phillips paraphrases it, “Don’t neglect the sermon!”

 

                                                                        

Great Stories assembled by Rev. E. Anderson

                                      

                                       Rev. E. Anderson

THE GOLDEN BUDDHA

 

And now here is my secret, a very simple  secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

 

 

In the fall of 1988 my wife Georgia and I were invited to give a presentation on self-esteem and peak performance at a conference in Hong Kong. Since we had never been to the Far East before, we decided to extend our trip and visit Thailand.

 

When we arrived in Bangkok, we decided to take a tour of the city’s most famous Buddhist temples. Along with our interpreter and driver, Georgia and I visited numer­ous Buddhist temples that day, but after a while they all began to blur in our memories.

 

However, there was one temple that left an indelible impression in our hearts and minds. It is called the Temple of the Golden Buddha. The temple itself is very small, probably no larger than thirty feet by thirty feet. But as we entered, we were stunned by the presence of a ten and-a-half-foot. tall, solid-gold Buddha. It weighs over two-and-a-half tons and is valued at approximately one hundred and ninety-six million dollars! It was quite an awesome sight-the kindly gentle, yet imposing solid-gold Buddha smiling down at us.

 

As we immersed ourselves in the normal sightseeing tasks (taking pictures while oohing and ahhing over the statue), I walked over to a glass case that contained a large piece of clay about eight inches thick and twelve inches wide. Next to the glass case was a typewritten page describing the history of this magnificent piece of art.

 

Back in 1957 a group of monks from a monastery had to relocate a clay Buddha from their temple to a new loca­tion. The monastery was to be relocated to make room for the development of a highway through Bangkok When the crane began to lift the giant idol; the weight of it was so tremendous that it began to crack. What’s more, rain began to fall The head monk, who was concerned about damage to the sacred Buddha, decided to lower the statue back to the ground and cover it with a large canvas tarp to protect it from the rain.

 

Later that evening the head monk went to check on the Buddha. He shined his flashlight under the tarp to see if the Buddha was staying dry. As the light reached the crack, he noticed a little gleam shining back and thought it strange. As he took a closer look at this gleam of light, he wondered if there might be something under­neath the clay. He went to fetch a chisel and hammer from the monastery and began to chip away at the clay. As he knocked off shards of clay, the little gleam grew brighter and bigger. Many hours of labor went by before the monk stood face to face with the extraordinary solid ­gold Buddha.

 

Historians believe that several hundred years before the head monk’s discovery, the Burmese army was about to invade Thailand (then called Siam). The Siamese monks realising that their country would soon be attacked, covered their precious golden Buddha with an outer covering of clay in order to keep their treasure from being looted by the Burmese. Unfortunately1 it appears that the Burmese slaughtered all the Siamese monks, and the well-kept secret of the golden Buddha remained intact until that fateful day in 1957

 

As we flew home on Cathay Pacific Airlines I began to think to myself, “We are all like the clay Buddha covered with a shell of hardness created out of fear, and yet under­neath of us is a ‘golden Buddha,’ a ‘golden Christ’ or a ‘golden essence,’ which is our real self. Somewhere along the way, between the ages of two and nine, we begin to cover up cur ‘golden essence,’ our natural self. Much like the monk with the hammer and the chisel’ Our task now is to discover our true essence once again.”

Jack Canfield

 

 

                                      

God’s Thoughts and Ways provided by Rev. E. Anderson

                                        

                                    Rev. E. Anderson

GOD’S THOUGHTS AND WAYS

 

I shall be presenting a fresh series on God’s Thoughts and Ways, looking at God’s motivation and ministration and to see such reproduced in those who profess a divine relationship with Him. Seeing that we are His chosen offspring, the qualities that are revealed in our Father are also to be demonstrated in His children. We get our life, knowledge and inspiration from Him in order to be like Him and so give a convincing witness to all, in our families, the Christian community and the world at large of our likeness to the Father. May you be helped, blessed and inspired by what you read and such be further meditated on and developed.

 

THE FAITHFULNESS OF THE LORD

 

Reading      Joshua 23

 

Text           v14

 

Introduction

OUTSTANDING QUALITY: It is Jeremiah who exclaims with no uncertainty and with profound conviction his testimony of the Lord in relation to this truth and fact. He states: “great is your faithfulness” – Lamentations 3: 23. Even though he had to go through extreme, bitter trials, he had come to this conclusion that what stood out was the faithfulness of the Lord. It was not up for question, debate or discussion because it was an obvious revelation in his own life and beyond on a wider front.

 

This is a truth that God wanted His ancient people to know, accept and fully appreciate in a positive fashion – “Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations” – Deuteronomy 7: 9. It is apparent that He desires that they should have this aspect of His nature under constant contemplation and consideration because it would be valuable to them in their lives and mainly in their relationship with Him.

 

“Faithfulness is one of the characteristics of God’s ethical nature. It denotes the firmness or constancy of God in His relations with men, especially with His people. It is, accordingly, one aspect of God’s truth and of His unchangeableness. God is true not only because He is really God in contrast to all that is not God, and because He realizes the idea of Godhead, but also because He is constant or faithful in keeping His promises, and therefore is worthy of trust” – International  Standard Bible Bible Enclclopedia

 

AN ASSURED FACTOR: This knowledge is to act as a persuasive and encouraging feature in the lives of those who have close association and dealings with the Lord. All the patriarchs and believers in the Lord, as a consequence of coming to experience an accord with the Lord, have come to this blessed state of mind and being, whatever else: ‘the Lord is faithful and can be wholly trusted and relied upon.’ In the essence of His being and the outworking of His purposes at all times is His faithfulness. Because He is such, all who have association with Him can expect this characteristic to be evidenced. God’s thoughts and ways are those of faithfulness.

 

Faithfulness is the choice characteristic that is patently obvious in a number of notable considerations.

 

1/.  REVEALED IN THE GODHEAD

 

       Each member of the Godhead, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, are possessed, imbued and motivated by this quality in an infinite degree. In their own identity within the Deity, they own and display this supreme characteristic. They can all be equally trusted and depended upon in all they are and do.

 

      The Godhead is secure within itself because they are eternally and completely committed to each other. There is never any likelihood of breakdown within their relationship because they relate to one another in absolute trustworthiness. The Father knows the faithfulness of the Son and vice versa. The Son relies on the consistency of the Holy Spirit and so on. This has ever been so and will be so. They are one and eternally remain as one in their commitment in their relationship.  All that stems from the Godhead is also stamped with this unique and beautiful excellence.

 

Illustration: The Father could wholly trust the Son to be the Saviour of the world

 

2/.  EVIDENCED IN HIS WORD

 

       The Scriptures give a definite unfolding of His faithfulness with regard to what He speaks and says. He is jealous over what He utters that there will be no breaking of any promise that He makes that passes His lips. So much of God’s Word focuses attention on His many sacred promises that He purposes to fulfil in the experience of those that know a blessed union and communion with Him. Paul makes the point in 2 Corinthians 1: 20 that His assurances are ‘Yes and Amen’ and in bringing every promise to fruition all will witness His faithfulness. This is what Joshua affirmed: “not one thing has failed of all the good things which the Lord God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed you” 23: 14 see also Isaiah 55: 10, 11.

 

3/.  MANIFESTED IN HIS WORKS

 

      In the works of creation this feature can be powerfully discerned in the realm of nature. The consistency of the four seasons, the provision of sun and rain for growth, night and day, the rolling in and out of the tides reveal that His faithfulness is observable in these many factors – see Psalm 104: 5-32 “the earth is full of your riches” – 24; also Job 38.

 

4/.  DEMONSTRATED TO MANKIND

 

       Mankind, above all, has known the rich and abundant manifestation of the faithfulness of God. It stands in vivid contrast with man’s unfaithfulness. Humanity has acted appallingly with God throughout his existence, commencing with Adam and then through His posterity. Although God has been consistently kind and good to all men yet man’s reaction has been one of wickedness and waywardness. The Bible highlights how God has treated man and how man has treated God. God could have wiped man off the planet but He remains faithful to His creatures and in grace provided a way by which all men can be regenerated and renewed in Jesus Christ. His love has been demonstrated in the gift of eternal life – “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten So, that whosoever believeth in Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life” – John 3: 16.

 

5/.  ASSURED FOR ETERNITY

 

      Another factor in this connection that is most comforting: there will never be any change in this quality characteristic of God. For those who make Him their hope and grounds of confidence now in this life will discover in the eternal world the incessant unveiling of this remarkable attribute. Knowing there is no likelihood that God will fail to love, provide, direct, enhance, etc., etc., there will be a resting and a rejoicing in Him and this aspect of His being.

 

CONCLUSION

 

All who know and taste of His faithfulness must not be slow to acknowledge and acclaim it and be grateful.

 

In living under this glorious characteristic of God, all fear and doubt is removed and there is resting in Him to fulfil all He has revealed.

                                    

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