Just a Thought

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                                      Rev. A. Linford

WHEN HEAVEN AND EARTH AGREE

“Also they saw God and did eat and drink” – Ex 24: 11

What a privilege to join Moses in this mountain-top. banquet! God and man met in holy convocation. What can we learn from this?

Some do not see God; they only ‘eat and drink’. Their lives are wholly absorbed in secular activities. They feed the ‘flesh’ – and are satisfied.

Others see only God, and do not ‘eat and drink’. They are super – spiritual, so heavenly minded that they are of little earthly use. This ‘righteous overmuch’ coterie live an unbalanced life. They are really selfish. They forget that others need them. In their head-in-the-clouds mentality they fail their more ‘down-to-earth friends’.

A third group ‘sees God and eats and drink’. They are the well-balanced believers who enjoy mountain-top blessings and minister to those in the valley below.

lf ever you feel like Peter who wished to stay on the top of Mount of Transfiguration in permanent joy of heavenly fellowship, remember that Jesus went down from the mountain to minister blessing to sin-tormented folk. Be spiritual; but let your vision of God be matched by a vision of gracious ministry to men.

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Dave’s Snippets

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                                       Dr. David Allen

IMPERIALISTIC   MISSIONS

 Jomo Kenyatta, the founder of modern Kenya, once said: “Before the British arrived we had the land; but when they came they gave us the Bible and told us to close our eyes in prayer. When we opened our eyes, the British had the land and we had the Bible. ”I fear that is this story was repeated  all over Africa in the nineteenth century during what  it is  now called “The Scramble for Africa”. The French, the Belgians and the Germans were all involved in it.

Putting a positive slant on history, we could say that the nineteenth century was the great period of triumphant missionary activity. But Paul Johnson, taking David Livingstone as his example, believes that all too easily the missionary lost sight of his primary purpose and became the agent of the Empire, the flag and mercantile interests.

Various colonies were established and churches were built according to the denomination of the colonists’ preferences. Of the conversions recorded it is difficult to ascertain how profound they were; but surveying the condition of large numbers of African countries, at the present time, is not encouraging. Tribalism and corruption are rife. Ethnic cleansing often happens and aid finds its way into presidential palaces and not to those in most need. To be cynical, in regard to those nineteenth century missions – or some of them – all they did was to put trousers on the men and brassieres on the women! There were schools and clinics constructed but was a permanent and lasting basis of Christianity laid down by those imperialistic missionary labours?

And what seems to have happened in Africa can also happen whenever a church or denomination – and in any location – intends to found an empire rather than to build the Church . It will never make significant inroads into Satan’s  territory. So be warned!      

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Word Studies

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                                   Rev. K. W. Munday

WORD STUDIES

 

Word Studies is presented by Rev. K. W. 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. 

ELDERLY

There are a lot of them about and the over -65 group are increasing in proportion to the rest of the population. Their care too has become quite an industry and a problem.

The Jews divided old age into three categories. From 60-70 was regarded as the beginning of old age. From 70-80 was the ‘time of the grey head’, and in plus were the advanced years. We used to be called old-age pensioners but now have gained the dignity of being known as senior citizens.

The Elderly have reached a special phase in life, having experienced quite a slice of it: The beautiful and the ugly; the nice and the nasty. Youth having long since gone with all its dreams, fantasies and ambitions gives the impression of a room when the Christmas decorations have been taken down. One faces reality and the rose-coloured spectacles have been discarded and possibly replace with bifocals.

Retirement can be enjoyed, provided one’s health is fairly good – A release from the daily grind or rat race. Time to have a real holiday and visit places that were only names on the map. Sample those unread books or take up a new hobby. Did you know that Beethoven wrote a symphony when he was 57? Reagan became USA president in his 70s. Samuel Johnson was still working at 68, Tennyson learned to paint at 70, Moses got going at 80, and John Wesley was still preaching at 86!

Ill-health however can alter things, when the faculties are not so keen, mobility is restricted and care is needed. In any case, one must recognise the situation and slacken the pace as we recognise our limitations.

It rarely dawns on people that retirement is not the same for the lady of the house. There is the story of a salesman who had a line for retired people and when he kicked on one door he asked if a retired couple lived there. The lady, with a twinkle in her eye said: ‘No, a retired man does, and I’m his wife!’ So there must be some sharing at some point.

When I retired my wife suggested that I should learn to cook but l thought it might not improve domestic relations if I became a super-chef so l didn’t think l should risk it. If any of my readers think I should, please don’t write or phone!

The last years of life should be lived out with dignity which will mean giving heed to one’s spiritual needs, and we need not fear death if we know the Lord. There will be grace to be found at such a time. There is a story of an old Scots lady who never dared to visit Edinburgh because of the railway tunnels, but there came a day when important business demanded her presence there. Reluctantly she took  the joumey and as the train neared the city she became more and more nervous and fell asleep. When she awoke, she was in Edinburgh! “Or in living or in dying all . . . . . . . must be well”.

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Wisdom’s Ways

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Rev. A. Linford, before his decease, was recognized as a good, great and interesting Bible teacher in the Assemblies of God Fellowship for many years. He was a well-loved Bible College lecturer and writer that bequeathed a tremendous amount of Biblical material in his generation. What a legacy he has left to be researched and brought forth to refresh our day! We shall be using such on this site: His writings from the book of Proverbs and also his Editorials that he wrote for the Redemption Tidings when he was its editor. I trust you will enjoy and appreciate his inspired teaching.

LOVE COVERS

”Love covered all sins” – Proverbs 10:12

Hatred and love are both violent emotions – but they drive in opposite directions. Both are capable of supreme exertions, but hatred fosters evil, while love issues in nothing but good. Both are like a flame of fire, but while hatred burns with envy, bitterness and revenge, love burns with a passion to give. to serve and to benefit.

Hatred Stirs: Its jaundiced eyes see evil intention in innocent gestures, twist words of goodwill into subtle innuendoes, makes mountains out of mole hills, Hatred picks on the smallest fault, makes no allowance for human error, and nurses slight grievances until they grow into grave affronts. We cannot go through life without rubbing someone up the wrong way. But hatred lets the friction develop destructive heat, where love pours on the oil of mediation and peace. Hatred spawns a brood of serpents’ suspicion, envy, abuse, revenge – but like the asp that poisoned Cleopatra so these venomous emotions become self-destructive. Hate results in moral suicide.

Love covers: That is, enables one to absorb insult, overlook wrongs and turn a blind eye to faults. The great Hannibal had an unseemly scar on one cheek; his artist portrayed him in profile with the good side prominent. So love marks the good qualities of others, even of one’s enemies. This text is quoted twice in the New Testament in 1 Peter 4:8, where Weymouth aptly translates: “For love throws a veil over a multitude of faults”, and in James 5:20, where the restoration of a stumbling brother means a forgetting of his painful misdeeds. Paul states one of the marvels of Christian love as, ”thinketh no evil” – 1 Cor. 13:5. The word ”thinketh” has in it a picture of keeping an account-book, as one writer puts it ”love does not keep a tally of old scores” to be paid off with interest when opportunity affords. No, love does not nurse grudges, but stifles at birth thoughts of revenge. As long as we are in the flesh weeds will infest our temperament; but love uproots them that virtues may flourish.

PRAYER:

May my love for others ever seek to veil their weaknesses, O Lord.

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Prayer Dynamics

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                                      Rev. E. Anderson

METHOD OF PRAYING

Walter Rauschenbusch

Be simple and direct in your secret prayer. The grace of simplicity is not to be despised in public prayer; but when we call on God in secret, any formality or elaborateness in our petitions is an offence.

Pray audibly. You need not lift your voice to be heard in the street, but it is vastly better to pray not merely in your thoughts but also with words. The utterance of our wants helps to define them.

Be honest in your secret prayer. Do not express any want that you do not feel. Do not confess any fault that you do not mean to forsake. Do not keep anything back. Remember that it is He that search the heart to whom you are speaking.

Pray earnestly. The words need not be loud, but the desire should be intense. “The fervent, energetic prayer of a righteous man availeth much”. “The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force”. No listless, drowsy petitioning will serve.

Do not mock God in your prayers. Do not beg Him to come to you. You know that he is never far from any soul that seeks Him. That prayer is answered before you utter it. Do not ask God to do for you that which He has expressly bidden you to do.

Pray always with special reference to the needs of the day and the hour – the warfare to be waged, the temptations to be resisted, the work to be done, the sorrow to be borne; put your life into your prayer; and let it be the most real and the most immediate business of your life.

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Sermon Starters

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                                   Rev. E. Anderson

THE GLOW OF GOD

READING      2 CORINTHIANS 3

TEXT              v18 

INTRODUCTION

TRANSFORMATION:  The great end purpose of the Gospel of Christ in its outworking and effect is to produce radical transformation in and through the experience of man. Through sin and transgression he forfeited the right and blessing of being in the likeness of the image of God. He was originally made in God’s image – Genesis 1: 26, 27 but because of his wicked act lost this choice state. No man apart from Jesus Christ has reflected God’s nature and likeness. The apostle makes it perfectly clear that “all have sinned and come short of God’s glory” – that is ideal manhood – Romans 3: 23,  Thankfully Christ came to rectify this whole sad situation. By reason of His birth, life, death, resurrection, ascension and exaltation He makes it possible for all to be renewed by God and to have this divine image restored – 2Corinthians 5: 17. He comes to deal with sin and to bring the divine glory and glow back into mankind.

PROCEDURE:  From the text is possible to see that there is both a process and progressiveness to be known about this transformation. Whilst there is the dynamic initial experience to fully known, this has to be followed up by a continual tasting of renewal and change. It speaks of “are changed into the same image from glory to glory” – v18. This certainly means there is no deterioration or lessening of what has been but an onward, growing development of transformation which becomes more manifest. It is imperative to see things from God’s perspective and realize that this becomes a possibility and reality. It becomes so by at least three major factors:

1/. By the Spirit of the Lord

 

The third member of the Godhead has been given through Christ to bring about this continual work. Before He left for heaven Christ gave inspired teaching on the Person and Work of the Holy Spirit – John 14-16. He has many roles to fulfill and each one must known and experienced and leads on to this greater divine change.

2/. By the Word of the Lord

We are taught about the giving of the Law and the effect upon Moses –vv7-16. We have no veil at all in Christ. We can understand what the Old and New is all about. Through the Scriptures we are enlightened re-God, his ways etc. Through the Bible, the Glorious Book, we are led to experience and enjoy the glory of God.

3/. By the Presence of the Lord

 

It is essential to spend time with the Lord reflecting on Him, the consequence, – ‘change.’ As there is the knowing of the Spirit and the Word it should be easy to meditate on Him and as a blessed result become like the Lord. The divine glory and glow will be there.

CONCLUSION

Moses knew in a personal and marked manner and fashion the expression of God’s glory on him. It was very visible and tangle to those around. No less is to known by those who live in dynamic accord with the Lord. His glory within, by His Spirit, Word and Presence should manifest a great difference.

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Meet the Christian Ministers

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             Rev. Cliff and Olwyn Henderson

Cliff and Olwyn married in Bishop Auckland in 1973, In 1975 they both felt the call of God to full time ministry and after spending 1 year in 1978 doing full time evangelistic work at Bishop Auckland, they felt the call of God to take over the pastorate at the AOG church in Billingham Teesside in May 1979.

They have 3 daughters Rachel, Rebecca, and Deborah, Rachel until recently was the children’s pastor at King’s Church in Bedworth she is married to Craig and have one child Ruby who was born Dec 2008  in August 2009 they relocate to Enfield to take over the Senior leadership at the Oasis Academy part of the Oasis Trust group headed up by Steve Chalke.

Rebecca is currently living in Australia and doing very well for herself and loving the lifestyle, Deborah is shortly to join her in Australia in July 2009.

12 people attended the Billingham church in 1979.  30 years later we are grateful to God for what he has accomplished here at New Life; our present congregation is around the 150 mark. In 2006 and 2007 we were invited  to taken over the leadership of 2 small churches to help strengthen  and cause them to grow, one of the churches was an AOG, the other an independent Evangelical church. (Both churches are now doing well.)

We have a leadership team of eight, amongst them we have two fully accredited ministers with AOG and one who is currently going through his probationary status. Two extensions were added to the current church building in 1983 and 1993.

In 2005 we began to pioneer and plant a church in Middlesbrough, River City church is now 70+ strong and is doing well under the leadership of Nathan and Lindsay Bruce, who came to Teesside to take over the work in June 2006.

In November 1979 we acquired a former school building directly opposite our current Church building, this building facilitates the Community arm of the church, we currently employ 20 staff at our Family Centre, and 3 at the Church.

Sure Start partner with us and in 2008 the centre had a ¾ million new build and refurbishment to the premises.

Cliff is currently the Regional Superintendant of The Northumbria Region of AOG.

Church website http://www.nlc-billingham.com

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Message of the Moment

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                                   Rev. E. Anderson

HOW TO DEAL WITH YOUR ANGER
by Rick Warren

“If you become angry, do not let your anger lead you into sin, and do not stay angry all day. Don’t give the Devil a chance” – Ephesians 4:26-27 (GNT)

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Conflict happens. There’s no avoiding it, and so there’s no avoiding anger in your life.

In fact, ignoring or denying your anger will simply make things worse. When conflict comes up, deal with it head on and quickly. Don’t let it fester. It’s a big mistake to think, “Let’s ignore it and hope it will go away.”

The Bible teaches, in Ephesians 4:26-27 (GNT), “If you become angry, do not let your anger lead you into sin, and do not stay angry all day. Don’t give the Devil a chance.”

Some people are surprised by this verse; they ask, “Is it ever right for a Christian to get angry?” Yes.

How do I know it’s all right for a Christian to get angry? Well, let me ask you this: Did Jesus ever get angry? Yes!

Did Jesus ever sin? No. Evidently there are times when anger is appropriate.

In Ephesians, we’re told, “If you become angry, do not let your anger lead you into sin.” This implies there is an anger that leads you into sin, but there’s also an anger that doesn’t lead you into sin. There’s a right way to get angry and there’s a wrong way to get angry.

How do you know the difference?

The wrong kind of anger is anger that is not resolved quickly. It’s becoming angry and then just staying angry all day and then the next day and the next. The Phillips translation of this Ephesians verse says, “Never go to bed angry.”

That will keep a few of us up sometimes! If you said, “In our marriage, we’ll never go to bed angry,” you might resolve problems a little more quickly.

Anger that is not dealt with turns into resentment; then into bitterness. Bitterness is always sin. Resentment is always sin. Those emotions are always wrong.

The Bible says to deal with anger quickly. Don’t let it hang on. Resolve conflict as quickly as possible.

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Healing Testimonies

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                                       Primus Linvoy

GOOD RECOVERY for Primus Linvoy – Portsmouth FC

It was never going to be the easiest season at Fratton Park. But despite Harry Redknapp leaving and uncertainty surrounding the club we remain a Premiership outfit.

And no praise is high enough for manager Paul Hart and the players who pulled things round at a very difficult time following Tony Adam’s departure.

For me it was a big season and after a big injury it was fantastic to be back into action. I’m grateful to the surgeon who sorted out my knee problem and to Charlton Athletic who gave me the chance to recover my fitness. But centrally, I AM THANKFUL TO GOD.

I never doubted i would play again after that complicated surgery because I saw God perform a miracle on my leg shortly before I gave my life to Him.

One of my legs was shorter than the other but as it was prayed over the leg extended to the same length as the other!

It received a lot of publicity at the time but what wasn’t reported was that that I became a Christian as a result. Ho could you not?

Since then I have seen many miraculous healings – one in a curry house where myself and Darren Moore prayed over a lad who had broken his elbow.

He had a plaster cast on from wrist to shoulder but a week later, when going back for a check-up, he was told that the arm was totally healed. They couldn’t even find where the break had been.

They tried to find all sorts of explanations, even suggesting the x-ray machine had gone wonky, but the fact is God healed him.

God works in every area of our lives. I, and most Christians, hear from Him as we draw near in prayer and I remember Him telling me several years ago I would end my career at this club.

At the time it seemed I was on my way out as the then French boss didn’t like me and the big rumour was Neil Warnock was on his way in.

I’d heard stories on the grapevine that I would probably be allowed to leave if that was the case, but in the end Harry arrived and despite injury, I managed to squeeze in the necessary number of games to qualify for a new contract.

All these years on – and against all odds – I’m still here and I know that’s because God planned it that way. End of!

To those who don’t know God these things may feel like coincidences, but there can only be so many of those before you start to realise there’s a power at work.

It’s the power of God, and it’s available to you today – right now – as you hand your life over to Him.

So don’t consult the stars every day in the papers to see what the future holds for you, consult the one who made them. . . . God Almighty.

He has a great plan for your life – find out what it is. Become a Christian today.

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Messages of Note

                                       Rev. David Shearman

                                Rev. David Shearman

TWELVE PRINCIPLES FROM A WELL SPENT YOUTH

Points from Joseph’s life – Genesis 37- 45

1. Realise your blessings – 37:3-4

2. Be obedient – 37:13-14

3. Have a dream – 37:5

4. Overcome adversity – 37:24, 39:20

5. Stay calm in a crisis – 39:1-2

6. Resist temptation – 39:6-12

7. Keep the presence of God – 39:2 & 21

8. Live in ‘Favour’ – 39:21

9. Become on the inside what your dream demands – 41:14

10. Be ‘confident’ about spiritual things – 41:16

11. Always serve others well – 39:2-6

12. Be humble when your dreams come true – 45:4-5

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