Meeting the Christian Ministers

 

                             

                     Rev. David and Judith Smith

Pastor Dave Smith is under illusions. While about 250 people attend the multi-cultural Sutton Christian Centre which he and his wife Judith have led for more than 20 years, he realizes that more needs happen if the church is to experience further growth.

He is determined to see more people added the church in Sutton, and is as sure ever that the answer can be found in the Bible. He says, ‘If I could say there was revival in Sutton but I’d be lying. There is a key and a breakthrough and that is the challenge we have, to see something that will really touch our area. It is very do-able and we are believing God for some new things.

‘Jesus said ‘go’ not ‘come’ and we have to go and we have to get on with it. Cine of the values in my heart is people. I put a very high priority on valuing people and welcoming people. I can’t understand a church where someone walks in and walks out without anyone speaking to them. That just doesn’t seem right’.

And Dave and his committed team at Sutton seem be practicing what they are preaching, taking church to the young and old rather than hoping newcomers will attend existing meetings. Each week, the parents of children who attend the thriving kid’s clubs are paid a home visit, while pastoral care is offered at six local residential homes for the elderly.

Dave adds, ‘The kid’s club, which is for primary children, is going is great. Our team goes to the homes of the children and builds up relationships with families. This is a process and, although we haven’t seen as much success as we would have liked, we are sowing seeds.

‘One of the most effective parts of our ministry to the elderly is not getting them to church but going to the residential homes. Our aim is to offer pastoral care for these old folks in the same manner as if they came to church.

‘The challenge is to be more effective in reaching people at every level and in every way for Christ’.

                               

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Sermons to Note

                                           

                                    Rev. E. Anderson

NEVER QUIT – PERSEVERE

Reading     Luke 18

Texts    Luke 18: 1 Gal: 6: 9

Introduction

ENCOURAGEMENT: No matter what a good character one may possess, gifts and talents may be, there is always the need for an inspired word of faith, hope and strength. The ministry of encouragement, the putting of fresh heart and courage into a person will always be required.

DANGER: There is always the grave temptation of easing off , losing heart and of giving in. When difficulties and pressures are in manifestation, weariness, fatigue, tiredness and despondency can move in and so reduce an individual to the point as to whether they should go on. It is a good thing to remind oneself that in God one was born to be a winner, not a quitter.

ELEMENTS: What is required when the demands are so great is a great deal of courage, will, fortitude, resoluteness, determination, verve etc to win through. There is a phrase used in the Bible ‘do not faint’ – 2 Corinthians 4: 1; Ephesians 3: 13; Hebrews 12: 3; Galatians 6: 9.

Winston Churchill was once asked to address his old school in later life. The headmaster sought to prepare all the boys for the famous speech of the statesman – message never likely to be forgotten – thrice he repeated – ‘never give up’.

Ray Belfield – message entitled ‘The Will to Win’.

Mountaineers, pioneers do not quit!

1/.  WHEN BUILDING A MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD

An outstanding individual in the early part of human history struck up a dynamic relationship and friendship with God and he wanted it to be meaningful, lasting and profitable – Genesis 5: 21-24. He entered into a rich accord with God that lasted for some considerable time – 300 years! Life was to be lived with a fresh inspiration and government and this person was ready for it and stuck with it.

2/. WHEN GIVEN A MAJOR TASK TO PERFORM

One man was given a mammoth task to perform that was quite mind-blowing – Noah – Genesis 7: 1, 5. An assignment was given of a tremendous size and Noah did not react negatively at the demand. If it was possible for him to succeed amidst all the problems of his day and task, so can we.

Illustration: Nehemiah

3/. WHEN A PROMISE HAS BEEN GIVEN BY GOD

An assurance was given to a man at 75 that did not look likely of being fulfilled. It was in complete conflict and contrast to the natural laws of natural birth. Abraham was informed that God would give him a son in late life when it was impossible. Romans 4: 16-21 gives us Abraham reaction to this and God was pleased and honoured His pledge even though it did come to pass until 25 years later.

4/. WHEN CALLED TO MAKE GREAT SACRIFICE

When God called Abraham He knew his man. He was sure that whatever challenge he would place before him He knew he was big enough to rise to it. He put this patriarch on the line and tested him as to whether he was up to making an incredible sacrifice

“If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then there is no sacrifice e too great for me to make for Him” – Count Zinzendorf

5/. WHEN SUBJECTED TO FALSE ACCUSATION AND IMPRISONMENT

It was a challenging moment for Joseph when he had scaled to the heights of prominence through righteousness and grace only to be falsely accused of immorality etc. It could have been a moment when quitting was a possibility – Genesis 39. Was it worth living and leading a life beyond reproach and be subjected to such an ordeal!

6/. WHEN APPOINTED TO DIVINE LEADERSHIP AND HAVING TO GIVE TREMENDOUS LEADS

 

Moses serves as an enduring and inspiring example of a man born to win even as a leader amidst an amazing period shepherding over 3 million people. He could have easily run when the pressure built up, when gigantic need and challenge presented itself and the people were not in the best of moods – see book of Exodus and Numbers. Made it until he was 120! See David at Ziklag – 1 Samuel 29 & 30.

7/. WHEN SEEKING AN ANSWER TO PRAYER

Jesus taught that there had to be dogged persistence and perseverance when it came to the all important issue of prayer.  She had every reason to quit as she considered the judge and his attitude towards her and her request. But she wasn’t to beaten and was ready to give the judge an hard time of – Luke 18: 1-9. Our father is not reluctant to respond to the requests of His people – see John 11:  41, 42.

8/. WHEN REACHING OUT FOR A MORE DYNAMIC LIFE AND MINISTRY

A great illustration and example of not quitting is seen in the young prophet Elisha – 2 Kings 2. Hew saw big possibilities and felt an opportunity would be his of adding something significant in his day and take th cause of God on. He would be his own man and blaze a trail for others to be inspired with and emulate.

9/. WHEN REQUIRING PHYSICAL HEALING AND DELIVERANCE

When sickness and pain attack and it is of a prolonged order it is easy to sit back given in and reckon this is to be a chronic state. The more-long standing the affliction, the more likelihood of a defeated attitude prevalent. But God does meet those who seemed to be so place –

Illustration: woman with the issue of blood – Matthew 9:20; Man with infirmity 38 years – John 5

CONCLUSION

In every area the Christian is called to be a winner and a loser. 

There is no will to quit not matter what appears to stand in the way to frustrate.

                                 

Healing Testimonies

                         

                       Claire Burto and Angel

MY MIRACLE – ANGEL GREW NEW KIDNEYS

A MUM has revealed how doctors were amazed when her daughter grew new kidneys after receiving prayer for healing .

Angel Burton now eight, was born with bilateral reflux, a condition which left her kidneys scarred.

Her mother Claire, 32 explained: “The valves going into the bladder wasn’t working properly, ) and urine was getting into the kidneys, so she kept getting urinary tract infections. Doctors told us her kidneys were permanently damaged”.

 And as Angel’s condition worsened, Claire turned back to God for help.

Claire, pictured below with Angel said: “For the first time in years, I said ‘God I need you’”.

The mum of-three started to think about her Christian upbringing.

She went to a Christian conference with her parents, and heard a preacher talk about healing.

“I took Angel to the front and told him what was wrong with her,” said Claire. He just looked at her and said, ‘New kidneys in the name of Jesus’. And that was it. She was about nine years old”.

When Angel was one-and-a-half, Claire was told if her little girl had another urinary tract infection (UTI) doctors would have to operate.

Everyone at church was praying and something seemed to shift,” said Claire. “She stopped getting the infections and there was no real explanation for it”.

Angel never had another (UTI) and at the age of three, she was given the all clear. Claire explains, “Once a year they would screen her kidneys with dye. We went back for there-year check and they told us there was no scarring at all of the kidneys. We couldn’t understand it”.

But Claire’s faith was put to the test when the next year, the scan revealed that the scarring was present again.

Doctors decided to operate on Angel in October 2007. After just over an hour the surgeon came to speak to Claire.

Claire said: “He said, ‘We’ve found something very, very strange considering the amount of scan’s Angel’s had since her birth’.

“He went on to explain they’d repaired the two valves but then found two more openings. These openings led up to two more perfectly healthy kidneys , jut sitting on top of the other ones.

“He said, ‘They are totally independent. We are just stunned that these have never been picked up on a scan. It looks like the healthy one have taken over’.

“This explained why one of the scans had come back showing perfectly healthy kidneys and one showing scarred kidneys,” said Claire.

“It was just amazing and the result of prayer. I didn’t expect to give my life to God and for everything to go perfectly. I’m just blessed that He chose to heal her”.

                               

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.

DISCIPLINE

“An ordered way of life”,” and the word is also used to describe a field of study or branch of-learning A form of teaching and training.

Discipline also implies conformity to the rules and beliefs of an organization, such as in politics or the church. That’s where we get the name disciples which was used of those who followed Christ.

The key to successful living however lies in self-discipline. One’s orderly private life makes it easier to fit in with the corporate discipline of society, and it involves many things, some of which we list below:

It must begin with motivation. As the bible says, “Gird up the loins of your mind”. Think things through and seek to carry them through. It is said of the poet Coleridge that he might have been as great as Shakespeare but he left lots of paper behind with unfinished scraps of poetry. He didn’t have the discipline to finish his work.

Careful reading is essential. Make sure when reading letters or other literature that you really grasp what it  says, otherwise you can get the wrong end of the stick which can prove embarrassing. There is such an art known as speed reading, but even eat should not cause one to miss the meaning.

Punctuality also needs discipline. This is a common failing. Have you ever attended a committee meeting or any meeting for that matter where everyone was there on time? Late-comers for no good reason are discourteous and time-wasters. For   instance if a committee of ten actually wait for the tenth to come and he is fifteen minutes late, he has not wasted 15 minutes but 135 minutes!   Unfortunately for some, lateness is a persistent habit, yet somehow they always manage to get to the airport in good time for their flight.

Keeping a diary is helpful. I am surprisedat so many (including professional people) who do not have one. The best memories sometimes fail so it’s best to make a note of it. Matter of fact it’s good to have a second diary so if one is misplaced or lost you have a duplicate schedule.The first can note forward engagements and the second, a little larger, can be a kind of journal to record your activities.

The best way to discipline one’s life is to have a time-table, not to rigidly plan every hour of the day but at least to make a note of ‘things to be done’ on a particular day and at a particular time. Much more can be accomplished by methodical planning than by just taking things as they come.

Letters should be answered, bills paid and borrowed articles returned.

Keep presentable in your appearance and tidy in your habits. A tidy desk too is the sign of a tidy mind! This also includes one’s car. Keep it clean outside and inside.

Self-discipline in the ultimate is necessary to a well-ordered life. Making sure that activities are efficiently carried out. This will include the responsibility of one’s family. The provision of necessary insurance, and above all, the serious consideration of a relationship with God. There is no room for any loose thinking here, but the need of an honest and sincere seeking heart. ”They that seek shall find” (Jesus).

                                

Points to Ponder

                                            

                                       Rev. E. Anderson

TRUTH OF GOD’S WORD

Dr. LOUS EVANS pastor of Hollywood Presbyterian Church, had a keen relationship with his college group. I had oversight of that group and used to take the group to talk with Dr. Evans because he had both the O1d and New Testaments memorized. He would challenge them to memorize verses. They would discuss many of these verses. He would teach them how to study the Bible and how to teach and preach the Bible.

On one occasion he challenged them to ‘memorize the entire chapter of 1 Corinthians 15, and then the following Sunday, when he preached for his son, Dr. Louis Evans Jr., he started off by quoting the entire 58 verses. Then he preached on the subject.

Later, on another occasion, when he was preaching on the virgin births he decided that after preaching so long on the virgin birth if you weren’t going to accept the Bible as the Word of God, then you should just go ahead and tear these sections right out of the bible’s he stood there in the pulpits,  he said, “So if you don’t believe in the virgin birth, tear it out”. With that statement he literally tore out the pages of his Bible and threw the pages over the pulpit. “If you don’t believe He raised Lazarus from the dead then tear that out”. So he literally tore it out and threw it over the pulpit. “If you don’t believe in the resurrection, tear it out”. And he literally tore the pages right out and crumpled them and threw them over the pulpit. With those tattering pages floating down from the pulpit, he said, “What do you have left? All you have left is the Sermon on the Mount, and it’s not worth anything unless a divine Christ preached it”. And with that he said, “Let’s bow for the benediction”.

As soon as he bowed his head, in that sedate, vast congregation, a man stood up and said, “No! No! We want more! More!” Then another fellow said, “Yeah, we want more!” So Evans picked up his Bible and preached for another fifty minutes. And then gave the benediction.

Henrietta Mears – The Christian Circle

                              

Just a Thought

                                     

                                   Rev. A. Linford

                        THE FINAL ANALYSIS

“I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth” –

Job 19:25

The discussion was well underway. Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar had all stated their case, some more than once. Job had tried no fewer than four times to get them to see things his way, to no avail.

It was in the middle of one of these pleas that Job utters one of the most wonderful statements of faith in all of Scripture-a statement that, perhaps more than anything else he said, revealed the depth of his faith and trust in Almighty God. His suffering had not let up; in fact, the misguided advice of his friends had probably made it worse. But he refused to budge from his core beliefs; ”Oh that my words were recorded, that they were written on a scroll, that they were inscribed with an iron tool on lead, or engraved in rock forever! I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth? – Job 19:23-25, emphasis added.

Job wanted to go on the record. He didn’t want anyone to miss his meaning. Despite all the suffering he was going through, despite all the losses he had experienced, despite the fact that nobody understood him, Job’s faith in God remained unshaken. His words were emphatic: “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth” (emphasis added). No uncertainty, no doubt, no wavering, no hesitation. “I know that my Redeemer lives!”.

It’s a statement that should boost our confidence and strengthen our faith when life throws us a curve, when the road gets rocky, and when the bottom falls out of our world. lf Job could say it and mean it in the midst of all his suffering, surely we can say it when we experience financial hardship, when we come down with a terminal illness, when a friend or coworker betrays us, when a spouse leaves, when we get laid off or when we can’t figure out what’: going on. ”I know that my Redeemer lives!”

                                                   

News and Views

                          

DEAR PARTNERS OF OM SHIPS 

Doulos will come to an end on 31st December 2009.

This is a great loss to our ministry. In spite of the continual maintenance that has taken place, surveys in November confirmed that the amount of steel replacement and other repair work needed for her to continue sailing is overwhelming.

The shipyard, where Doulos went through her  annual dry dock, indicated that the work would cost over 10 million and take five months to complete. The OM Ships executive leadership team and board believes that is not appropriate to invest resources of this scale into the ship, since Doulos would havea limited ministry future.

The outcome of this that Doulos will not be able to continue in ministry. This is not what any of us wanted, and has serious consequences for everyone on board, those who were about to join and for ports planned to visit. We are committed to creating safe ships.  We have been praying that God would use this ‘special survey’ to give us a clear picture of the way forward for Doulos and that He has done.

Throughout this process, the well-being of the 300+ crew and staff onboard is of paramount importance. Each person has been receiving the guidance and support they need to decide what their next steps should be.

Keeping the world’s oldest operating passenger ship compliant with the highest marine standards has been a significant challenge over the years. It is a remarkable testimony to the professionalism and dedication of our technical personnel that the vessel has continued to meet marine requirements until now.

We recognise God’s faithfulness through these 32 years of wonderful service of the ‘servant’ – Doulos – as an outstanding OM ministry, through more than 600 port visits in over 100 countries. Many lives have been transformed, both visitors and those who have served on board.

We are deeply grateful to you, our partners who have supported the ship ministry through the years. Please continue to pray with us as we work on present challenges and seek the Lord for the future. We are investigating possible options to charter a ship in the interim and have already begun working on the Doulos replacement project. If you would like to help, gifts can be given trough your local OM offices and designated ‘Doulos project’. Thank you for your partnership.

                                    

Messages by Rick Warren

                           

BE A PEOPLE-BUILDER

by Rick Warren

In our Devotionals series, Pastor Rick Warren discusses the Bible passages that inspire him the most. Today’s Devotional is based on this passage:

“In response to all he has done for us, let us out do each other in being helpful and kind to each other and in doing good” – Hebrews 10:24 TLB.

There’s a price tag for being a people-builder: It requires unselfishness. Why should we do it then? Because the Bible tells us to “Outdo each other in being helpful and kind to each other and in doing good” – Hebrews 10:24 TLB.

At some point, the Romans confuse the word cristos with the word crestos. Cristos means Christ; Crestos, in Latin, means kindness. In a roundabout way, that confusion can teach us something: Christians should be the kindest of all people.

I want to give you an objective: to be a people-builder for the rest of your life. Begin by writing down the name of one person you want to help build up, then stop and pray.

Ask God to show you that person’s strengths. We always build on our strengths, not on our weaknesses. Write down whatever strengths you’ve seen in him or her in the past.

Then tell him or her, “I’ve been thinking about you because I really care about you. I wanted to share with you—from my viewpoint—the strengths I see in your life, because those strengths determine what God wants us to do in our lives.”

Imagine the impact you could have if you would commit yourself to being a people-builder, if you determined to bring out the best in everyone within your congregation. That’s one of the purposes of the church: to help people to grow and to become what God made them to be.

                               

Just a Thought

                                      

                                     Rev. E. Anderson

SLEEP TIGHT

“I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me” Psalm3:5

There are several reasons that a person might not be able to sleep. Some people have trouble breathing, so their bodies instinctively wake up throughout the night. Or perhaps the muscles in their legs twitch or another physical problem interrupts their sleep. In any event, such sleep disorders keep many people from experiencing genuine rest even though they most likely never recall waking up during the night.

Before sending a patient to a sleep disorder centre for tests, however, most doctors first explore another possible cause of the problem of stress. How are things at work? How are things at home? Very often, we have so much going on in our lives  that our minds can’t totally turn everything off at night. Or maybe we are regularly indulging in sin, and the guilt tugs the sheets rightnoff our backs, leaving us cold and awake.

 In Samuel 15-18, we find Absalom, the son of David, conspiring to take charge of the kingdom. He plots and schemes for four years, deceiving the people to win their trust so he can overthrow his father. Finally, David has to flee his palace, fearing his life.

Imagine the stress David was experiencing. His own son, whom he loved, hd turn ed against him and wanted to kill him. David’s power base had evaporated. And yet he said, “I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side” – Psalm 3: 6.

How could David say that? Because he was in a no-lose situation. He trusted Him so much that he slept through the night.

Can you turn off the world around you- or more accurately can you turn the world around you over to God? Can you trust in Him so completely that even when the world seems to be crashing down around you, you can sleep peacefully through the night, wrapped tightly in the Comforter Who sustains you?

                              

A Time to Laugh

                                       

                                  Rev. E. Anderson

 A DOGGIE STORY

A man driving around the backwoods of Montana sees a sign in front of a broken down house: ‘Talking Dog For Sale.’ He rings the bell, and the owner appears and tells him that the dog is in the backyard. 
 
The guy goes into the backyard and sees a nice looking Labrador retriever sitting there. 
 
‘You talk?’ he asks. 
 
‘Yep,’ the Lab replies. 
 
After the guy recovers from the shock of hearing a dog talk, he asks ‘So, what’s your story?’ 
 
The Lab looks up and says, ‘Well, I discovered that I could talk when I was pretty young. I wanted to help my country, so I contacted the CIA. In no time at all, they had me jetting from country to country, sitting in rooms with spies and world leaders, because no one figured a dog would be eavesdropping.’ 
 
‘I was one of their most valuable spies for eight years running. But the jetting around really tired me out, and I knew I wasn’t getting any younger. So I decided to settle down. I signed up for a job at the airport to do some undercover security, wandering near suspicious characters and listening in. I uncovered some incredible drug deals and was awarded a batch of
medals.’ 

WHAT A NOISE!

An 11-year-old boy was doing his violin practice at home and the torturous noise was making the dog howl. 

Upstairs the boy’s father was trying to work on the computer. After putting up with the combined racket of the violin and the dog’s wailing for 20 minutes, the father eventually called out, “Jason, can’t you play something the dog doesn’t know?”
 
‘I got married, had a mess of puppies, and now I’m just retired.’ 
 
The guy is amazed. He goes back in and asks the owner how much he wants for the dog.. 
 
‘Ten dollars,’ the guy says. 
 
‘Ten dollars? This dog is amazing! Why on earth are you selling him so cheap?’ 
‘Because he’s a liar. He never did any of that stuff’ 

                              

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