Powerful Quotes

                                       

                                      Rev. L. Goodwin

GOOD QUOTES

Learn from others’ mistakes rather than making them all yourself

Pick your friends but not to pieces

He who throws dirt loses ground

You don’t have to lie awake nights to succeed – just stay awake days

The first step to wisdom is silence; the second is listening

The greatest possession you have is the 24 hours directly in front of you

The most valuable gift you can give another is a good example

Don’t be afraid of pressure. Remember that pressure is what turns a lump of coal into a diamond

                               

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Christian Testimony

                               

                                      Natalie Cole

MY FATHER NAT WAS UNFORGETTABLE,

BUT NOW I HAVE A HEAVENLY FATHER’

Nat King Cole’s song ‘Unforgettable’ is one of the best known in the world, and his daughter took it to the top of the charts in a poignant duet with him. But it was recorded long after his death.

It was a tribute to her dad by a loving daughter, but there was pain behind the smiles. When the legendary crooner died of lung cancer, Natalie felt the losss more than perhaps most daughters. All her life, she never got to see enough of him because of his constant touring, and now he has gone for good.

But something positive did come from that experience. Her longing for a closer relationship to her human father took her on a spiritual journey to discover her heavely Fatjer – whose love is now healing the pain. When Nat died, the despair Natalie felt at not being there him was severe.

“The last time I saw my dad relaxed and healthy was in September 1964, when he took me to register for my freshman yer at prep school in Masachusetts . . . . My last memory when we arrived at school was him giving me a big hug and kiss and saying, ‘Bye, Sweetie. See you at Christmas.’”

Natalie was looking forward to a happy Christmas reunion, but when she returned home, she was horrified at what she saw. Her strong, smiling father was in the final stages of lung cancer, reduced to little more than bones and an endless cough.

When he died a few months later, Natalie was at boarding school. It was devastating: “What I remember most about the funeral day was my deep sadness at not having the chance to tell my daddy goodbye and how much I loved him”.

The Cole family lacked no material possessions, but it all meant nothing now. There was a hunger in Natalie’s heart for her father’s love, a hole in her soul which only another father could fill.

As the ‘60s progressed, Natalie began a downward spiral into drink and drug abuse, and meaningless relationships.

“My father’s death was a trigger . . . . I was still grieving over his absence but did not understand it yet,” she explains.

Amazingly, this was also the ime when her own singing career took off. Her first single, ‘This Will Be’, topped the charts, winning two Granny awards.

But first heroin, an then cocaine, began to ruin her life. By the 80s, Natalie was almost penniless, and she finally checked herself into a clinic. The six months she took to dry out also gave her the opportunity to talk with the Jesus she had been introduced to as a small child.

“The two major spiritual examples in my life were my husband Marvin, who became a Baptist minister, and my Aunt Evelyn, with whom I lived for a short time in my teens. She taught me how to have a living, vital relationship with God by living it out before me.

“I saw the power of God move in my aunt’s life through her answered prayers. I learned about crying to God from her”.

It has been a long road to recovery, and to develop her new faith. Natalie stresses it did not come overnight, but in measured steps. She is still making that climb on a daily basis.

“I now realise that after my father’s premature death I was looking for love and affection in all the wrong places. My advice is never stop working on your relationship with the Lord. He is the great Provider. He is waiting for us to respond to Him.

“I have come a very long way, and I’m still God’s work in progress”.

                            

 

 

Leadership Factors

                                      

                                   Rev. E. Anderson

HOW DO LEADERS CONFRONT?

Taken from John Maxwell’s Leadership Bible

One Paul had identified the sin that plagued the church, as well as what should be done about it, he encouraged the leaders to confront the erring man. Most of us avoid confrontation; only a sadistic person likes it. So, how do we confront in a healthy and effective manner? Try to follow these steps:

1/. Address the issue immediately and personally.

2/. Confront with the right spirit.

3/. Start on a positive note.

4/. Outline the problem.

5/. Encourage a response.

6/. Show that you understand the other person’s position.

7/. Explain why the action is damaging.

8/. Indicate the desired action.

9/. Reiterate the positive strengths of the person.

10/. Put the issue in the past.

                            

Just A Thought by the late Rev. A. Linford

                                       

                                        Rev. A. Linford

ENTHUSIASM

” with thy might’-  Ecclesiastes 9:10 .

Nothing great was ever accomplished without enthusiasm. .The very word itself means. ”God in you” and describes ‘ that burning passion that drives us on to attempt great things for God. We are not to be like barges that are to be dragged into service, or like yachts that only move when the wind blows, but like a steam-ship that carries ”fire in its a belly’ – driving it on.

What an example of enthusiasm David was. Visiting his soldier-brothers, he ”shouted for the battle” Too young to join the forces, he cheered on those who stood in the ranks. And when he faced Goliath ”David hasted and ran ….. to meet the Philistines. A skilful harpist, he attacked the strings with fury. ‘ He even invented an ”instrument of ten strings” so that all his digits might be employed in holy music-making. The Psalms he wrote are alive with God- given inspiration. When the Ark was brought to Jerusalem  he danced with all his might as he led the procession up Mount Zion. Even in his defection he slumped hard, but in repentance he was deeply sorry. He was not allowed to build the Temple, but he deposited his vast wealth in a fund to make its erection possible. What a man! May I be as wholehearted as he was!

                            

 

 

Prayer Dynamics

                                     

                                        Rev. E. Anderson

DILIGENT SEEKERS

Reading    Hebrews 11

Text          v6

Introduction

AN ASSURED WORD: The writer to the Hebrews speaks very plainly and assuredly that “God is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him” – Hebrews 11: 6. One can confidently expect to discover and know God and His blessing if there is genuine spiritual quest. One must make sure of this factor first of all. If this is in place then the outcome is certain.

A VITAL PURSUIT: There can be no greater or better quest than going after the Lord and for His great purposes and power to be fulfilled in one’s life. There should be passionate chase or mission than going after the One who is above all and can do all. David said: “As the deer pants for the water brooks, pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God” – Psalm 42: 1, 2.

A GREAT REWARD: The end product of rightly pursuing means the whole enrichment and blessedness of life from God. It is worth all the engagement.

1/. ABRAHAM DILIGENTLY SOUGHT AND RESCUED HIS NEPHEW OUT OF IMMINENT DANGER – Genesis 18: 22-33.

 The patriarch was presented with the opportunity of pleading the cause of the righteous in Sodom. He knew his nephew was there and in grave danger and Abraham with persistency pleaded diligently and was rewarded with amazing deliverance of Lot and his household.

2/. HANNAH DILIGENTLY SOUGHT AND WAS COMPENSATEWD WITH A GLORIOUS GIFT – 1 Samuel 1

She set a fine example of diligence refusing to be negated by anyone or anything. The quest took up a number of years but she was determined to look to the Lord until she got the answer she required. And what a child God gave her!

3/. DAVID DILIGENTLY SOUGHT AND EXPERIENCED A GREAT GOD AT WORK THROUGHOUT HIS LIFE – 1 Samuel 16

Even as a youngster his soul was switched on to the Lord and he was in quest of from earliest of days. He had the whole bent of his being towards God and was ready for the call and anointing to kingship – 1 Samuel 16

4/. ELIJAH DILIGENTLY SOUGHT AND EXPERIENCED SUPERNATURAL WORKINGS AND MANIFESTATIONS – 1 Kings 17

At a time when the northern kingdom of Israel was godless, he was in quest for the Lord and so became sanctified to be the prophet and messenger of the Lord. He could call a nation back to God because he knew God and God knew him.

5/. HABAKKUK DILIGENTLY SOUGHT AND RECEIVED AN ANSWER TO HIS PERSONAL DILEMMA

When he was called to fulfil a major role of prophet he was somewhat disturb with what God had to reveal to him. When he asked as to what He was going to do about the sinful state of his people, he was somewhat shocked and disturbed by what was about to do in judging his people through the Babylonians.  He contends with God and says he will wait and see what the Lord’s reply would be – Habakkuk 2:1, 2. Because he was diligent, the Lord gave him a reply of note.

6/. DANIEL DILIGENTLY SOUGHT AND WA USED TO SUPPLY TREMENDOUS REVELATION

He was quite an outstanding figure who truly and fully characterised this matter of diligently seeking. It spanned his whole, long career and was tremendously compensated.

7/. PAUL DILIGENTLY SOUGHT AND WAS LIFTED INTO A STRONGER POSITION AND MINISTRY

This great apostle of NT times certainly demonstrated the matter of diligently seeking, not only for himself but for other people and churches. He was amply remunerated by all that the Lord wrought through him.

CONCLUSION

It is important that each one not only possesses aspirations for God and all that He desires to make known and bring to pass, but to be in hot and fervent pursuit of Him.

                               

Illustrious Men and Ministries

                                      

                           Rev. Charles H. Spurgeon

Christ can set you free from sin, for good as renowned preacher Charles Spurgeon reveals: 

C. H. SPURGEON – 1834 – 1892

l WOULD SAY A PLAIN WORD OR two to those who understand the method of justification by faith which is in Christ Jesus, but whose trouble is that they can- not cease from sin.

We can never be happy, restful, or spiritually healthy until we become holy. We must be rid of sin; but how is the riddance to be wrought? This is the life-or-death question of many.

The old nature is very strong, and they have tried to curb and tame it; but it will not be subdued, and they find themselves, though anxious to be better, if anything growing worse than before. The heart is so hard, the will is so obstinate, the passions are so furious, the thoughts are so volatile, the imagination is so ungovernable, the desires are so wild, that the man feels that he has a den of wild beasts within him, which will eat him up sooner than be ruled by him.

Our Lord Jesus came to destroy in us the works of the devil. That which was said at our Lord’s birth was also declared in his death; for when the soldier pierced his side blood and water flowed out from it together, to set forth the double cure by which we are delivered from the guilt and the defilement of sin. If, however, you are troubled about the power of sin, and about the tendencies of your nature, as you well may be, here is a promise for you. Have faith in it, for it stands in that covenant of grace which is ordered in all things and sure.

God, who cannot lie, has said in Ezekiel 36:26, ‘A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and l will take away the stony heart out your flesh, and l will give you an heart of flesh’. 

You see, it is all ‘I will’ and ‘I will’. ‘I will give,’ and i will take Away .This is the royal style of the King of Kings, who is able to accomplish all his will. No word of His shall ever fall to the ground.

The Lord knows right well that you cannot change your own heart, and cannot cleanse your own nature; but he also knows that he can do both. He can cause the Ethiopian to change his skin, and the leopard his spots. Hear this, and be astonished: he can create you a second time; he can cause you to be born again. This is a miracle of grace, but the Holy Spirit will perform it.

It would be a very wonderful thing if one could stand at the foot of the Niagara Falls, and could speak a word which would make the river Niagara begin to run up stream, and leap up that great precipice over which it now rolls in stupendous force.

Nothing but the power of God could achieve that marvel; but that would be more than a fit parallel to what would take place if the course of your nature were altogether reversed. All things are possible with God.

Oh that you would believe it! Oh that you would do the gracious Lord the justice to believe that He can and will do this for you, great miracle though it will be! Oh that you would believe that God cannot lie! Oh that you would trust him for a new heart, and a right spirit, for He can give them to you! May the Lord give you faith in His promise, faith in his Son, faith in the Holy Spirit, and faith in Him. To Him shall be praise and honour and glory for ever and ever! Amen.

                                

 

Word Studies

                                           

                                       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.

POETRY

My dictionary simply describes poetry as doesn’t say much about the subject.

Most people think of poetry as possibly four lines, two of which rhyme, but some poems are written in what is known as blank verse, which means there is no rhyme, and the narrative continues like a story would.

John Milton wrote much in blank verse, and he took a poor view of poets that rhymed; and for good literal reasons. He described it as ‘to all judicious ears, trivial and of no true musical delight consisting only in apt numbers, fit quantity of syllables’ etc. Of course much of his criticism is warranted; for example if a poet must get the lines to rhyme, then he only has a limited number of words to work with, and that could affect the significance of the subject. They must also fit the metrical value, whereas in prose and blank verse the author has all the words he needs at his command.

All this of course should not cause us to despise traditional poetry, because the metre and the rhyme under certain circumstances can have a very powerful effect whether describing tragedy or triumph, and at the same time can more easily be remembered.

My personal definition of all kinds of poetry would be that it is ‘prose in flight’. It enables one to be able to stand back and look at life philosophically, morally and spiritually, so lifting the human spirit. How delightfully Wordsworth describes his happiness in seeing the daffodils, The language is superb. He wrote

‘And of when on my couch I lie in vacant or in pensive mood They flash upon the inward eye Which is the bliss of solitude’

Despite all the merits of poetry, it does not come at the top of the list of interests in the United Kingdom, as it does say in Russia. Poets there are almost icons and as popular as our footballers. There is of course a regular radio programme on the BBC which seeks to promote poetry so all interest is not lost. A cynic once commented, ‘everybody writes poets but nobody reads it!’ That is an exaggeration, but it has a point. The question we might ask ourselves, ‘is our poetry worth reading?’ Should we not look to the experts for some guidance, because we can easily become guilty of turning out doggerel which is trivial and of poor quality?

But what is being ignored in our secular society is the tremendous fund of poets in our Christian hymnbooks, and although some more modern songs have replaced them, they still hold good for the value of their poetry and truth. And even if our Churches no longer sing them, they should still be liberally quoted from the pulpit!

One of the greatest verses in all hymnology is in one of Charles Wesley’s hymns entitled ‘And can it be’. It is of eternal importance because it describes the experience that Jesus spoke of that we all need to enter heaven:-

“Long my imprisoned spirit lay

Fast bound by sin and nature’s night

Thine eye diffused a quickening ray

I woke, the dungeon named with light

My chains fell of my heart was free

I rose, went forth and followed Thee.

That’s what I call ‘taking flight’, It takes one’s Spirit with it too!

                               

Dave’s Snippets

                                     

                                       Dr. David Allen

THE SLAVE AND   THE EMPEROR

Present-day Haiti was once the French colony of Saint Dominque. However, in the early nineteenth century an  African slave,  usually  known as  Toussaint   L’Ouverture, inspired and led a revolt  against  French rule.  Although he had supported the French Revolution  he  believed  that  its ideas of equality, brotherhood and freedom had not extended  to the island  and to its large population of black and mulatto slaves. His army took on the French garrison, defeated them in a guerrilla campaign, and then dismissed the Governor forthwith. All slaves were duly set free.

 Toussaint set up his own government and began to try to develop the economy of the island.  At the beginning of the century Napoleon began to enhance  his own position and  eventually  became Emperor  and set about  enlarging  France’s possessions and  going to war with a number of European  powers. Napoleon initially, though occupied with these other matters, seemed quite content with the situation in Haiti. But, the Bible warns, “Do not trust princes”, and when the former slave was arrested by a French expedition he was then transported and put in gaol in solitary confinement in eastern France.  Sadly, in April 1803, he succumbed to pneumonia.  A monument to him now has an honoured place in the Pantheon in Paris; and poet William Wordsworth dedicated a beautiful sonnet to him.  Napoleon, however, when he heard of Toussaint’s tragic end, said, “What  does  a former slave  matter to me?”

Though not  too well known in England,  the name of Toussaint  L’Ouverture  surely  ranks along  with  Dr Martin Luther King ,Archbishop Tutu and Nelson Mandel as great liberators.  Napoleon’s name has the distinction ( if that is the appropriate word) of heading  the long list  of modern despots such as  Adolf Hitler, Stalin,  “Chairman”Mao,  Franco and  Mussolini. History, sooner or later, always eventually discovers and  reveals who are the  true  heroes  and  who are the villains!

                             

 

Wisdom’s Ways

                                                    

                                        Rev. A. Linford 

PRIDE LEADS TO SHAME

”When pride cometh, then cometh shame” – Proverbs 11:2

Pride is inordinate self-esteem. There is a legitimate self-love, as the Law intimates in its dictum. ”Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself ‘ – Leviticus 19: 18. One should take pride in one’s appearance, in one’s work, in one’s attainments. But pride goes beyond this in its haughty disregard of others, its arrogant boastfulness and its supercilious disdain of less- gifted or less-favoured people.

Murky Pride: Pride is folly in that it fails to understand its own frailty; pride is blindness in that it cannot see its own faults, and so removes its capacity for improvement; pride is arrogance in that it inflates its own ego, distorts its own judgment and fails of objective perception. A proud man is too big for his boots, too fine for his place, too sure for his safety. He is like the arid peaks of some lofty range – too frosty for comfort, too lacking in soil for vegetation, too inaccessible for company. Nobody loves a proud person. He is too wrapped up in himself – a pitifully small parcel; he is too boastful of his own achievements – often more imaginative than real’, he is too contemptuous of others – very often better men than he. He pulls others down to appear bigger, he spoils reputations to appear cleaner; he puffs up his own ego like the fabled frog, and only succeeds in reducing himself to lower- case pronouns. He is unteachable, unreachable, incorrigible.

Majestic Lowliness: The lowly man is wise in that he admits his own imperfections at the same time as he seeks to remove them; he admires the good qualities of others at the same time as he seeks to imitate them; and he appreciates the fellowship of compatible acquaintances at the same time as he himself seeks good companionship. Like a valley rich in productive soil that receives the flowing streams from the adjacent hills, so he flourishes from the goodwill of his fellowmen and the goodness of God who ”giveth grace to the humble” – 1 Peter 5:5. He merits the praise of wise men in contrast to the contempt that the proud deserves, and is like Him who said, ”1 nm meek and lowly in heart” – Matthew 11:29.

PRAYER :

Help me always ”to walk humbly with your God”.

                                 

Great Stories

                                          

                                    Rev. E. Anderson

THE CHANGEABLE CROCODILE

I was astounded; for once in my life I had little to say. A very black African boy had brought his primitive carvings to the little town of Livingstone, at the bottom tip of Northern Rhodesia and having spread these in the sunshine, was sitting cross-legged awaiting the trade which all tourists brought. My wife and I had been to see the magnificent splendour of the Victoria Falls, and had returned to our hotel in Livingstone. We parked our car and walked along the street where we found the curio-seller. He had, spread out before him small wooden hippopotami, beautifully carved antelopes, small ivory knives and forks, and many intricately woven baskets.

They were all most attractive, but one item was outstanding. I saw the wooden crocodile m the boy’s hands and immediately I wanted it: It had been made from a piece of wood about eighteen inches long, and was most lifelike. It was grotesque, and yet its design was perfect. As I watched, the boy rubbed a cloth on the top of an open tin of boot polish, and slowly proceeded to blacken the brown wood. Half the crocodile was jet black-with boot polish; the other half was auburn, the natural colour of the wood; 1 wanted to purchase the crocodile, although I didn’t like the polish !

“Boy, how much do you want for the crocodile?” Expectantly he looks into my face, and stated his price. His answer staggered me, and I immediately told him he was overcharging. He grinned, and shrugging his shoulders replied, “ Ah. Baas, it is work that much. It’s half ebony!” His finger indicated the part which had just been blackened by boot polish. I am unable to say whether he had ever seen real ebony. Possibly he had heard that there was a valuable wood of that name, and this was his citation of the real thing. He was an expert salesman. He could blend woods of varying types! I could have the head or the tall, or the stomach of the crocodile made of ebony; but if the master were too fussy. I could return in five minutes ands all the ebony would be gone!

Alas, I have known people to be equally as changeable. They are half-saint and half-sinner, but at short notice they can be one or the other. If the need arises, they can add a little more veneer of blackness and become a most popular man in the midst of a crowd of sinners. If the occasion demands, the polish can be removed, and he appears to be the most sanctified citizen in the community.  Such people remind me of John Bunyan’s Mr. Talkative – the fellow who could be all things to all men. To some degree they also remind me of the message sent to the church of the Laodecians: “I know your works, that you are neither cold or hot: I would that you were cold ot hot. So then because you are lukewarm – neither one thing or the other – I will spue you out of my mouth” – Revelation 3: 15, 16.

The half-ebony crocodile reminds me of the only occasion when I saw an Indian trader deliberately betray his brethren. More often than not they are a brotherhood preserving their secrets, but once in the Indian market in Durban, I saw the Indian house divided against itself. The dark-skinned traders were selling ebony elephants – “Master, carved out of one piece of ebony, and specially imported. Take it and handle it, Master, and it’s very cheap; yes, very cheap – only seven pounds fifteen shillings. Well, for you, Master, seven pounds ten shillings”. When I held the ornate carving, he seemed sure I would buy it; but when I handed it back the price immediately fell. Finally he offered to sell the invaluable article for five pounds and fifteen shillings. And from that figure he refused to move. I could take it or leave it. It was his final offer. I left it.

Another Indian smiled at the frantic efforts of his fellow countryman and seemed delighted when I walked away. He came to me and whispered, “Master, come with me and I will show you his one-piece carving. I used to sell them, but I found out they were frauds”. He produced a similar elephant without the veneer, and I was astonished to see a dozen or more pieces of ebony cleverly joined together. He laughed and added, “Master, you can trust me. I’m now selling something else, and I offer the best value in the market”. Immediately he offered a different type of swindle!

Veneers are always deceptive, and that is why God always look to the heart.

                                 

 

 

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