Sermon Starters

                                 

                                Rev. E. Anderson

This is a simple outline for you to think about and meditate on. The introduction, main thoughts and conclusion need further material to be added. It is an outline for you to expand, develop more fully and fill in to spiritual profit and inspiration.

STUMBLING BLOCKS

Text   Isaiah 57: 14 NKJV

To fulfil your God-given purpose in life you must confront your defects of character, see them as stumbling blocks and begin to remove them. Here are six of the most common ones.

1/. PRIDE:

Spiritual pride, social pride – God hates all forms of mpride. His Word says, “with humility regard one another as more important than yourselves” – Philippians 2: 3 NAS. Pride toppled Satan from number one position in heaven, and it will topple you if you let it.

2/. INSECURITY:

Insecure people are not willing to take risks. They complain about their lot in life, yet they are afraid to embrace change and do something about it. They prefer to remain comfortable.  What’s the solution? Stepping out in faith, being confident in God.

3/. MOODINESS:

 

Moody people are like the wind – you don’t know which way they’ll blow. You can’t depend on them. Confidence is never built on a person who  is fickle.

4/. PERFECTIONISM:

Perfectionism is the obsessive need to perform flawlessly. It stifles your creativity, and turns others off. Perfectionists cannot affirm themselves, therefore it is difficult for them to affirm anybody else.

5/. OVER-SENSITIVITY:

Over-sensitive people are always licking their wounds and looking inward; as a result, they’re unaware of the needs of others. Ironically, they never understand why they’re so lonely.

6/. NEGATIVITY:

Negative people are hard to be around. Their personality says no to life in general, and people tend to avoid them like the plague.

CONCLUSION

Do you recognize any of these stumbling blocks in your life? If so, pray, ask God for help, and start to remove them.

                              

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Focus

                                   

                               Rev. E. Anderson

THE WORKING RELATIONSHIP

“The Lord is my Shepherd”  – Psalm 23:1

Take a moment and read this verse five times, each time emphasizing a different word.

In those five words, we learn that there is one all-powerful God Who is committed to a present-tense, personal relationship with each of us in which He embraces the role of a loving, caring owner. There’s also the understanding that we, the creation of this God, willingly and gratefully fulfill an obligation to recognise Him for all that He is and all that He does for us.

All of this in five words.

This practical, working relationship between human beings and God works perfectly, doesn’t it? The psalmist goes on to show how good God, the Good Shepherd takes care of His sheep, feeding them, keeping them watered, moving them from pasture to pasture depending on the seasons, protecting them from predators and parasites and even from their own stubbornness and ignorance.

He also explains that the good sheep trusts unfailingly in his shepherd, fears no evil, and embraces the rewards of living under the assurance that “goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” – v6.

Take another moment and picture a working relationship with a bad shepherd.

He doesn’t care, so his sheep are fearful and neglected. They’re skinny, sickly, and easy targets for bugs and carnivores. They live in fear. And they have little hope in the future.

As followers of Christ, we can look across the field to the other ranch where the sheep are untended, and we can say with total gratitude, ”The Lord is my Shepherd”. What difference does that realisation make in your life today?

                                 

 

Christian Testimony

                          

ARRESTED BY GOD

Constable David Gilbey, Essex Police

Born in 1962, I was brought up on a council estate in Chelmsford, Essex. I had loving Christian parents and two younger brothers and a sister. Throughout my childhood and teenage years I attended Sunday school an later played an active part in youth activities. But despite such a wonderful grounding in the things of the Bible, by the time I was eighteen, I seriously doubted whether God existed at all.

ALCOHOL AND YOUNG LADIES!

When I left school at sixteen, I started work at a bank in London. Very quickly I was introduced to lunchtime drinking and over the next couple of years, alcohol and young ladies became my pre-occupation. There were also other issues in my life, of which I was not proud,. My interest in church waned although, as a duty, I continued to go along.

Early in 1980, our family received an invitation to hear a testimony of a miraculous healing. This man had lost every hair on his head. The doctors had told him that it would never grow back, but after much prayer by people convinced of God’s desire to heal, it had all come back. He was asking people he knew to come to the Elim Church to hear his story of what God had done. So we all went along.

GOD IS REAL

Although nothing particularly touched me that Sunday, God himself began to speak to me about himself. During a morning service in April that year, following an invitation by the pastor, I slipped my hand up as an indication that I believed that God was real and that l had accepted His Son Jesus as my personal Lord and Saviour. I had been arrested by the love of God!

Following my ‘new birth’ as a real Christian I had a real enthusiasm for God. During this time I felt l should leave the bank and in 1 981 became a police officer with Essex Police. However, l told no one in the Force of my faith in Jesus. Over the next 18 months I found myself slipping into a double life where I would seem to be a ‘good Christian’ at church but at work I was just one of the lads. I wasn’t really paying attention to my work either. As a trainee constable, unbeknown to me, my sergeant was having doubts as to whether my probation should be confirmed.

BAPTISED WITH THE SPIRIT

Being a member of a Pentecostal church, we believed in the experience as described in the Bible in the Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 2, of being Baptised or Filled with the Spirit. Deep down I was aware something was still missing in my life and was actively seeking this experience.At the same time I was reading a book on the subject which clearly set out how to receive.

At work things came to a sudden head. I was called in to see my inspector who bluntly told me that unless l showed a marked improvement, I would be out! Head whirling, I returned to my lodgings. That evening I prayed earnestly for the Holy Spirit. A peace descended and then I found myself speaking in a language I did not understand, just like in the Bible! I had received the Baptism with the Spirit and the gift of tongues or language of the spirit.

THE POWER OF GOD SUSTAINED ME

After that things turned around. I had a new inner strength and a few weeks later, the sergeant who had expressed his doubts put in a lengthy report saying how well I was doing and that he had made a mistake. My life took a new and exciting turn. Although not every problem was instantly solved, I now had the power of God to sustain me.

Around this time, I was going out with one of the attractive girls from our church. In 1987 we married and now have three wonderful children all of whom love Jesus. God has a sense of humour too because the man who gave the testimony of his hair returning is none other than my father-in-law.

BROKEN TOES HEALED BEGAN

Over the years that followed, I began to take an interest in the teaching on healing. Since the beginning of 2008, I have started to pray for people to be healed with real faith. As a result, by the power of Jesus, I have started to see genuine miracles happen in front of my eyes. A girl at church had two broken toes but after prayer she was literally jumping up and down, her toes completely mended. There was the man who could not lift his arm, but after prayer immediately thrust it above his head and whirled it around like a windmill. A man with chronic degenerative back pain and walking with a stick, left pain free, carrying his stick. He was wondering what he was going to do with his recently acquired disabled parking badge!

So I praise God for what he has done and is continuing to do in my life. As the time of Jesus’ return gets closer, I have determined that l will continue to press on with all my heart. The Bible says in 1 Peter 2 viii. ”Christ himself carried our sins in his body to the Cross, so that we might die to sin and live for righteousness. It is by his stripes you have been healed.” It’s a done deal. Two thousand years ago Jesus died and rose again to set you free from sin, from death and to heal your body so you can live a fully victorious life for Him.

All you have to do is to surrender your life to Him. Don’t delay, He is waiting for you to slip your hand up and ask Him to come into your life. If you are sick come to Him in faith. He is the healer, the same yesterday, day and for ever.

                         

Leadership Factors

                                  

                                   Rev. E. Anderson

LOVE: THE FOUNDATION FOR EVERY ACT OF A LEADER

Have you ever pondered why Paul took an entire chapter of the Blble to discuss the supremacy of  love?

In the early church, leaders modeled love to their churches. In turn, the churches modeled it to the rest of the world. They lived by the watchwords in 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7. Love was the foundation and motive for the leaders’ actions. They were first love-slaves and served the people. While leaders indeed possessed great gifts, their gifts took second place to serving others out of love. Consider how the early leaders lived out this passage:

1/. Timothy and Erastus served the church and Paul – Acts 19:22.

2,/. Phoebe served the church in Cenchrea – Rom. 16:1.

3/. Aquila and Priscilla risked death to serve Paul and the Gentiles Romans 16: 3, 4

4/. Stephanas’s family devoted themselves to serving the saints – 1 Corinthians 16:15.

5/. The apostles served the Corinthian church – 2 Corinthians 3:5.

6/. Titus served the church in Corinth – 2 Corinthians 8: 16, 17.

7/. Paul ministered to the needs of the saints at Jerusalem – 2 Corinthians 8: 18, 19.

8/. Epaphroditus served Paul in prison – Philippians 2: 25-3o.

9/. Epaphras served the Colossian church – Colossians 1: 7.

10. Onesiphorus served Paul in Ephesus – 2 Timothy 1: 16-18.

                           

A Time to Laugh

                                  

                            Rev. E. Anderson

A ROPE FUNNY

There were 11 people hanging on to a rope that came down from a helicopter. Ten were men and one woman.

They all decided that one person should get off because if they didn’t, the rope would break and everyone would die. No one could decide who should go. Finally the woman gave a really touching speech on how she would give up her life to save the others, because women were used to giving up things for their husbands and children and giving in to men.

All of the men started clapping…

AIRLINE FUNNY

With airlines adding fees to fees, we thought we’d warn you of the next surcharges they’ll levy for something previously free:

1. In the unlikely event of loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will drop down. To start the flow of oxygen, simply insert your credit card.

2. $100 On-Time Departure Fee; $25 Delay Complaint Fee.

3. View seating (formerly window seats), $10; Access seating (formerly aisle seats), $10 $20 to use roll-away stairs to enter or exit the aircraft in lieu of no-charge rope-ladder alternative.

4. $9 fee for bumping your head on the overhead bin as you take your seat; $3 additional penalty for looking up at the bin after you bump into it.

ANOTHER LOVE

A Young Pastor with a small flock had been at his church only a few moths.

One week he was preparing a message on the love of family members, but he couldn’t find the introduction he wanted. He had read in the local newspaper that a well known, experienced minister would be preaching in a nearby town that week. So on Thursday he decided to slip in the back of the church and listen to that pulpiteer. He thought for sure he might find inspiration for the introduction he needed.

Amazingly when the minister came to the pulpit he said he wanted to speak on love. “As a matter of fact,” he said, “the sweetest, most wonderful, loving woman I ever held in my arms was another man’s wife. And she was my mother”.

Oh, he heard very little else. He thought, “What a great introduction for yy talk. I’ll use that one”.  And, of course, he was a little troubled, because it was risky to use an introduction like that, especially since he had been at his church only a few months.

Well, even though he was nervous, he stood up to preach I’d his opening line was, “The sweetest, most wonderful, loving woman I ever held in my arms was another man’s wife”.  And the shock that came over the congregation caused him to have a mental block. And he added, “For the life of me I can’t remember who she was”.

today’sTHOUGHT

Nothing is worse than that moment during an argument when you realize you’re wrong

                                 

Powerful Quotes

                                                        

                                 Rev. L. Goodwin                      

FAMOUS QUOTES

“There are powers inside of you which, if you could discover and use, would make of you everything you ever dreamed or imagined you could become” – Orison Swett Marden

“The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world” – Marianne Williamson

“Everyone who has ever taken a shower has had an idea. It’s the person who gets out of the shower, dries off, and does something about it that makes a difference” – Nolan Bushnell

“Be curious always! For knowledge will not acquire you: you must acquire it” Sudie Back

“The only time you ever have in which to learn anything or see anything or feel anything, or express any feeling or emotion, or respond to an event, or grow, or heal, is this moment, because this is the only moment any of us ever gets. You’re only here now; you’re only alive in this moment” – Marianne Williamson

“Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success” Napoleon Hill

                          

Meet the Christian Ministers

                                          

                          Rev. Alan and Lydia Field

Aveley Christian Centre is pastored by Alan and Lydia Field, who are actively involved in the community. Alan is the Chair of the Aveley Village Forum and Lydia, as co-pastor, oversees the Children’s and Youth development. Please feel free to contact them for more information about any of our meetings.

Do you know why 08-08-08 is significant? Well, there are two main reasons and a whole raft of secondary ones! Firstly, the main reason is that it’s the date, in numerical terms, for the start of this year’s Olympic Games (which is the 8th of August 2008 – in case you didn’t know)! The Games are being held in Beijing. Beijing is the modern way of spelling Peking, the capital of China. In fact this word is very old and the original Chinese word for Peking.

Secondly, there are many Chinese people who are superstitious and believe in luck, astrology and the “Ying and Yang” balance of life. One part of the “good luck” that many Chinese believe in is that the number 8 carries good fortune to those who own, display, wear or have control over events linked to the number 8 (although I’m pleased to say that far from all Chinese people believe in this).

When you are aware of these facts it becomes a bit more apparent as to why the Chinese chose this date for the start of something very important to their nation and to the whole world. By making it 08-08-08, they believe it is not only adding to the expected effectiveness of multiple 8s but that this particular date is a form of number known as a palindrome. (You’ve probably heard this term applied to words rather than numbers).

Any Christian should know that it’s against God’s laws to call on luck or chance to try and influence anything. We should rely on the truth of the Bible, on Christ’s reaching about “where we put our faith” and in who we call on in times of difficulty, despair or disappointment.

I’m glad that I have a 100% certainty of where I’m going when I die and perhaps as importantly (certainly where we live), WHO is with me during my life on Earth.

It’s not something we should ever leave to chance and I urge each and every one of us to ensure we have the certainty in our heart, soul and mind that Jesus is our “guarantor” and not leave it to “luck”! Don’t let the “Credit Crunch” rob you of a future! If we rely on Jesus to guide us, protect us and provide for us, we will be trusting in someone who promised he would “never leave you or forsake you” and who kept his word by sending the Holy Spirit to be with us until the end of our life or until Jesus Christ himself returns!

Life should not be a lottery and it’s foolish, perhaps even reckless, to put our “faith” in the toss of a coin or the turn of a card. It’s crazy to gamble our eternal future on “chance” or “luck”.

The Americans have a saying – “In God we trust”. It’s on their dollar bills. There’s a real home truth there. In fact a lot of folk DO put their trust in God. Over a sixth of the world’s population (that is in excess of 1,000,000,000 – one thousand million or 1 BILLION PEOPLE trust in God and love the Lord with all their heart, soul and mind.

What do YOU trust in?

Olympic athletes train for years and put what seems like super-human efforts into becoming the best at their particular sport. They want to win and they want to win “GOLD”. They don’t leave it to “chance” or “luck” if they really want to finish the race, game or event in first place!

So why would anyone “trust” their time on this planet to the “whims” of lady luck or in the vain hope that God will forgive everyone anyway?

One thing is certain, if God exists (and I believe the evidence is “beyond reasonable doubt”, to use the words of our legal justice system) and his word is true, he can’t go against his own laws.

Therefore, as God and sin cannot exist in the same place, we, as “sinners”, cannot end up in heaven. Oh dear! That’s a bit of a problem if you don’t fancy eternity in hell. The good news is – THERE’S A WAY OUT FOR ALL OF US, (Phew! We could do with a bit of good news at the moment), and it’s not down to “luck” or “chance”.

It’s like that old saying, “it’s not WHAT you know, but WHO you know”. If you know Jesus as your Saviour, you are “guaranteed” a place in heaven when you die (and death comes to us all) because he has paid the price for our sin and God sees us as totally clean.

We WIN the race to gain the GOLD award, not due to our efforts, but because Jesus loves us so mch that he “went through the pain barrier” on the Cross to ensure we are worthy winners of life’s race.

Our part is to train for works of service to God by reading his word (The Bible), by trying our best to be good citizens and by telling others of the love of Christ.

In a world keen for fame, a quick fix or instant answers, it isn’t 118118 or even 08-08-08 that will help you win – only JESUS.

Don’t leave it to “luck”. Choose a “certainty” and ask Christ to be your champion TODAY.

                                 

Messages of the Note

                             

                               Dr. John Andrews

LOOKING UP IN

TIMES OF PAIN

In the first of two parts, John Andrews explores Jesus’ words on the cross in this extract from his new book, The Real F Word

WHILE JESUS WAS HANGING ON the cross giving his life for the sin of the world, he uttered seven statements during those six gruelling hours of torture. Dr Luke records three out of the seven statements in his gospel, the first of which also happens to be the first of the seven: ‘Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing’ (Luke 23:34).

These words are even more remarkable when we consider that the man speaking them has been harassed almost continuously by well-intentioned, but misguided, religious zealots for the last three years of his life. He’s been brutally interrogated and tortured for the best part of 24 hours, and now he hangs shamefully on a cross, naked, exposed and almost entirely abandoned. These words, the first spoken by Jesus from the cross, are enchanting and terrifying, life-giving and damning, transcendent and eminently inspiring and intimidating. These words defy the brutal vengeance of that moment and bring dignity to the most despicable of proceedings.

In the midst of political agenda, religious manipulation and unrestrained blood lust, these simple words allow heaven to kiss the earth and provide for all who have the courage to listen an opportunity to live a life of spiritual authenticity, moral courage and social excellence.

Usually when someone has hurt me, my natural reaction is to allow my focus to be drawn in two directions. I find myself looking outward at the perpetrator of my pain; my focus goes to them and what they have done. In such moments their words, actions and personality fill the screen of my mind and dominate my focus. But I’ve found also that in such moments my attention is also drawn inward, to the personal pain I’m experiencing because of what they have done. I look at the bruises they’ve caused and the disappointment now resident in my heart. Naturally, and almost selflessly, my focus jumps from the outward to the inward and back again, creating a perpetual cycle of pain and discouragement. However, I have rarely found that in such moments of hurt that it is my natural reaction to look upward. Truly, I’ve had to learn to do that and I’ve found it is not an easy thing to do.

Yet, surrounded by misery, hate and suffering, Jesus looked up and the first word out of his mouth on the cross was ‘Father!’ This not only says something about Jesus and his relationship with the Father, but I am certain it also teaches us something about the real F word and how it can indeed work in and through our lives, even in the most difficult of circumstances. On the basis of their phraseology, some have ‘dismissed’ the dynamic nature of these words as having no relevance to us. God in flesh on the cross utters words that no man or woman could possibly be expected to repeat. The suffering of Jesus was different from us, he was different and therefore his reactions and responses were different and not applicable to ordinary people like us. The mystery of the incarnation is great indeed and is beyond anything that our minds can comprehend but, as the creed declares, I believe that Jesus was ‘very God of very God and very man of very man’, and that somehow he entered into every aspect of human experience, feeling it, being challenged by it and ultimately conquering. it. As the writer to the Hebrews gloriously declares, ‘For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin’ – Hebrews 4:15.

                              

Points to Ponder

                                   

                               Rev. E. Anderson

MATURITY

UNDER ROMAN LAW there was a time for the coming of age of a son. But the age when this took place was not fixed as one might assume. Rather, the father had the discretion in setting the time of his son’s maturity. A Roman child became an adult at the sacred family festival known as the Liberalia held annually on the seventeenth of March. At this timed the child was formally acknowledged as the son and heir by his father, and he received the plain toga adults wore in place of the toga with a narrow purple band at the foot of it which children wore. He was then conducted by his friends and relations down to the forum and formally introduced to public life. Lloyd Douglas gave us a glimpse of the moving nature of this moment as he described the coming of age of Marcellus in the opening pages of his book The Robe.

How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young,p atient with the old, sympathetic with the striving, tolerant with the weak and the strong, because someday in life you will have been all of these.

George Washington Carver

                           

Illustrations that Light up Life

                                          

                                       Rev. E. Anderson

PRAYER

In 1965 experts predicted that in twenty years we’d all be working a twenty two-hour week and retire by age forty because computers would do most of the work. So what did the experts overlook? Appetites! The more we have the more we want. In this vicious cycle, the first casualty is runtime with God! So, hoes your prayer life?

Before you answer, read these words from some great servants of God:

DL Moody: “If you have so much business to attend to that you have no time to pray, depend upon it you have more business on hand than God intended you should have”. Jill Briscoe: The management of self; therefore, if you manage time with God, He will begin to manage you”. HelmutThielicke: “The Word of God is demanding. It demands a stretch of time in our day; even though it be a very modest one; in which He is our only companion . . . .  God will not put up with being fobbed off with prayers in telegram style and cut short like a troublesome visitor for whom we open the door just a crack to get rid of him as quickly as possible”. AWTozer: “Now, as always, God discloses Himself to babes and hides himself in thick darkness from the wise and the prudent. We must simplify our approach to Him. We must strip down to essentials (and they will be found to be blessedly few). We must put away all effort to impress, and come with the guileless candour of childhood. If we do this, without a doubt God will quickly respond”.

                                  

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