Illustrations that Light up Life

                                   

                               Rev. E. Anderson

TYPEWRITER

In that the World Owes to Christians, Dr Vidor Pearce, an Oxford scholar, shares the story of the typewriter. The typewriter was a forerunner to the modem word processor. But how did a Christian come to invent it? To write sermons. I’m serious! Christopher Sholes was concerned about his pastor who’d been busy all week visiting victims of an epidemic, comforting the bereaved and conducting funerals. Consequently he had no time to write his Sunday sermons.

One day Shores, discussing with a friend what could be done, said, “It seems a pity there ain’t some quick method of writing for busy works like parsons”. His friend replied, “Why not invent a machine?”

Shores responded, “I’ll try”.  That rainy afternoon was the beginning of months of hard work. Finally a group assembled one day to see him tap out on paper, in capital letters, C LATHAM SHOLES, NOV 1867. Six years later the Remingtons recognised the typewriter as something that could revolutionize business. In those days clerks were mostly men, but the Young Women’s Christian Association started offering courses in typing for women.

Initially it created a sandal, but as the first typists to be trained were women, employers rushed to hire them. Hence the typewriter and the YWCA determined that a woman’s place was not only at home, but could also be in the office. 

Is it okay for me to pray for God to bless my business? Yes! God wants to bless your business so that you can help carry out His, which is the business of reaching the world with the Gospel.

                            

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Points to Ponder

                                      

                                 Rev. E.  Anderson

A PHILOSOPHY FOR LIFE

Keep your THOUGHTS positive. . .
Because your thoughts become your WORDS.

Keep your WORDS positive. . .
Because your words become your ACTIONS.

Keep your ACTIONS positive. . .
Because your actions become your HABITS

Keep your HABITS positive. . .
Because your habits become your VALUES.

Keep your VALUES positive. . .
Because your values become your DESTINY.

                               

Messages of Note

                                         

                                    Rev. John Erswell

RENEWING LOVE OF CHRIST LATER IN LIFE

If we want to continue to be a true follower of Jesus, our love for Him needs to be examined

The older we get the more challenging those words of Jesus in Revelation 2: 4 become. The church at Ephesus had been established for approximately 50 years, and many of the first converts were now the older generation who remembered those early days when Paul had spent so much time with them.

No doubt some had been the young elders who had come to Miletus where Paul had given them warnings in his farewell address. Now they were being warned again, this time through John. No doubt it caused all in the church, but especially the aged, to examine their hearts.

We must ask again today, have we lost our first love? Of course, we must distinguish between our first love and that first excitement we felt when everything was new.

But that time in our lives can never be repeated, and sometimes we can look with envy on new converts as we see them experiencing the joys of their newfound salvation. If we are sensible, we will rejoice with them and not throw cold water over their enthusiasm.

However, if we are honest with our-selves, not only can that first excitement evaporate, but perhaps without us realising it, our love for Jesus can also lose the ardour we first had. The question is, can it be renewed even in our older years?

No doubt this challenge has exercised us in the intervening years and we might think now that it is a question that does not concern us. But if we want to continue to be true followers of Jesus, our love for him needs to be examined.

The word renew has many meanings, but the one I like and maybe is pertinent here is, ‘to restore to a new or fresh condition’. It seems to me that you couldn’t renew something you don’t have, but you can renew that which has lost its cutting edge. To stay in love with Jesus is surely our goal, and, when seen in the aged, it is a beautiful sight.

It is helpful to realise that as our expression of love in the natural changes as we grow older, so will our love for Jesus.

Our love for our wives or husbands, while seemingly not so spirited as when we were younger, hopefully now has a deeper note to it. The way we express it will be different, but no less meaningful. It’s the same in terms of our love for Jesus. When we were younger our love was expressed more in the area of activity. Anything that was going we were up for – open-air outreaches, giving out tracts, door-to- door visitation amongst others. Now that the juices are not flowing quite so freely, we probably express our love for Jesus in quieter yet just as sincere, ways.

In writing an article of this nature, the verse comes to mind, ‘Physician, heal yourself’. What am I doing about it? For me, it was a great relief when I distinguished between that first excitement and first love. Like many, I thought I had lost my love, but it was really that first thrill of sins forgiven.

As a retiree I have found that the best way to renew my love is to keep my devotional life important and fresh. Where before I might have studied the Bible and prayed because of the ministry, now it is just for the pleasure of it. If ministry comes out of it that is a bonus.

Another aid is to keep around young people. We could point out all their mistakes as they could ours, but it is like a breath of fresh air to hear young converts pray and enthuse about Jesus. It rekindles our love for him and reminds us of our early days. .

Finally, if we keep in front of us the truth that he who has been forgiven much will love much, then surely that will keep our love renewed day by day. For, like the lady at Simon’s house, we too have certainly been forgiven much.

                             

Meet the Christian Ministers

                                

                          Rev. John and Pam Hibbert

I was born in 1946, son of a coal miner and brought up on a counsel estate.  We were quite poor, resorting to coats to supplement blankets in the winter months.  I often helped scrape the ice of the INSIDE of the windows. 

My parents were Christians and took me to church, which became my favourite place in the entire world.  Even as a little boy I loved the presence of God and I yearned to know Him.  When I was eleven I was baptised in the Holy Spirit and have never been the same since. 

Although after leaving school I became a draughtsman in light engineering, I knew that my calling was to preach the Gospel.  Through a miraculous arrangement by God, when I was 21yrs old, I became assistant pastor to David Powell at Rotherham, where I remained for five years. 

In 1968 I was married to my wife Pam and in 1972, again by an overwhelming answer to prayer I moved to Mansfield Woodhouse, where I have remained to the present. 

My passion is to know God more and serve Him by winning the lost.  The evangelistic wing of our church is called International Outreach (see www.internationaloutreach.org.uk) and we have been active in Honduras, Hong Kong, U.S.A, Colombia, Turkey, France and other parts of the world. 

In 1980 we held a campaign in the Las Arenas Bull Ring in Barcelona.  At that time the Lord told us that one day we would return and gave us a promise of thousands of souls.  We have prayed for Barcelona for 30yrs until God indicated to us in September 2009 that it was time to return.  We are planning six nights in the Palau Sant Jordi stadium in June 2012 (capacity 18,000).  We need God’s people to pray and give, so that multitudes might come to Christ (see www.barcelona2012.co.uk). 

I have four children and six grandchildren and am so thankful that they are all in His Kingdom. 

                               

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.

THE GREAT MOTIVE AND MOTIVATION OF LIFE

Reading    Philippians 1

Text          1: 21

Introduction

PAULINE EXPRESSION: in one simple phrase the apostle Paul makes it known what is the great inward motive and motivation of his inward being. He states very clearly what his aim and ambition is above all else – “for to me, to live, is Christ’ – Philippians 1: 21. He could not place the issue more succinctly. Later in chapter 3 he opens up further on this matter by affirming his mind and heart – “that I may know Him” – v10. No one is to be left in any doubt as to where His commitment was. He was addicted to and absorbed with Jesus Christ and he desired that everyone else should know it. He is not ashamed of Christ but is desirous by life and labour Christ will be known.

A DIVINE STANDARD AND RULE: In stating his personal dedication to such a loft aspiration, he at the same time underlines what should be the inspired motive and motivation of ever divinely called Christian. This is not only for himself, all Christians should be found embracing this and to see it manifest in a great degree within their lives and lifestyle. He purposely affirms this so that it will be readily appreciated and accepted by all who have come to know Christ and have placed their faith in Him. It is to become patently obvious in all who have decided to become both a believer and follower of Christ. It is to be the great motive and motivating factor and feature in the whole of Christendom. One word and name should sum up the aspiration and action of the whole body of Christians – it is Christ. Not money, fame or any other thing should be in the contest.

VARIETY OF WAYS AND SEASONS: Through the whole of his Christian life and service it is possible to trace the fact that Paul lived up to this expression. Having met the Christ in an extraordinary way he was immediately impacted and won over to Christ for Him to bring this about. It was a radical encounter that dynamically changed his life and focus and set him on course for the realisation of this motive and motivation. It is possible to review his Christian experience and come to the conclusion of a person utterly sold out to Christ At every phase and stage he is manifesting his unity with this expression. He magnified and glorified Christ in numerous ways:

1/.  IN HIS PERSONAL WITNESSING FOR AND TO CHRIST

No sooner is he converted to Christ he seeks to make Christ known to others, sharing his testimony. No sooner is he divinely transformed he is about the business of making Christ known – “And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God” Acts 9: 20. This appears to be the constant feature of his life henceforth. He cannot be restrained from sharing his life transforming experience with others, to all classes of people. Before Agrippa he can say: “I continue to this day, witnessing both small and great…” – Acts 26: 22. In the ultimate moment of his life he is ready to witness to Caesar – 2 Timothy 4: 16, 17. All could see and hear that he was living for Christ.

2/.  IN HIS MINISTRY WITHIN THE LOCAL CHURCHES

Throughout his Christian life and service he counted it a privilege and joy to serve the local churches and his devotion to Christ is in evidence. Paul spent some time in the church at Antioch with his co-worker, Barnabas. It is apparent from the context that he ministered Christ to that fellowship. He was divinely motivated to impact these first Christians with a greater knowledge of Christ and the faith and in consequence these people became overwhelmed and blessed with Christ. It was Antioch they were first call ‘Christians’ – Acts 11: 26. He gave great Christian teaching that led the believers into a fuller and deeper devotion to Christ. 

3/.  IN HIS MISSION IN FOUNDING CHURCHES

The call of God came to him along with Barnabas to be the first missionaries of the Christian Church. This was a special assignment that was communicated to the whilst in the church at Antioch and they arose to fulfil the challenge the known world with Gospel of Christ. Most of the late chapters unveil him hard at his calling in the proclaiming the Gospel and of planting churches wherever he went. When he went into the cities, towns and villages of various nations he was motivated with this motive, to see such moved by the message of Christ. He wanted to see communities switched on to Christ and to form a congregation of Christian believers. Wherever he went and whoever he met, were candidates for Christ’s kingdom and to be involved with Christ at the local level. See what happened when he was shipwrecked and landed on Malta’s shores – Acts 28: 1-10 and what occurred when he landed in Rome – vv16-31.

4/.  IN HIS ENCOURAGING OF OTHERS IN COMMITMENT TO CHRIST

In the course of his Christian career and ministry he was able to impact other people who became Christian and true followers of Christ and who were called to serve Christ in a leadership role. Living for Christ meant majoring in training and using others along side of himself to serve Christ in a great manner. He had a great band of workers that were influenced by Christ and served in a choice way. One can list Timothy, Titus, Apollos, Pricilla and Aquila etc. who were grateful for his example and lead. He demonstrated apostolic authority in their connection and they were will to learn from him because they knew he was Christ focused and driven.

5/. IN HIS COMPOSITION OF LETTERS TO CHURCHES

Many are aware of the fact of the valuable time spent in writing letters to various churches seeking to be an encouragement and to give counsel and guidance concerning their belief and behaviour. He wanted his compositions to be of such a character and quality that the people would be more Christ orientated and committed. In his writings he is moved and motivated to place Christ very much before each church and that each would show deference to Him above all. His letters to the Philippians and Colosse for instance really highlight Christ in a special manner, making clear all the Church must know and be submissive to Him. Although he couldn’t be with them, he would use the opportunity to write and afford the counsel that was much needed.

6/.  IN HIS FINAL ACT OF SURRENDER AND SACRIFICE OF LIFE

He did express in Philippians his attitude towards death. It presented no problem to him and spoke of it in a positive way. He could say: “For to me live is Christ, and to die is gain. Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death” – 1: 20, 21. The opportunity at death would give him the privilege and delight to express his commitment to Christ. When it was due, it did not find him unprepared – 2 Timothy 4: 6—8. His ultimate act would be to witness to all, his generation and those to come where his love and loyalty lie. His final moments would declare very clearly that he was sold out to Christ 

CONCLUSION

This motive must be birthed with every Christian and fully developed so that the whole motivation of life is consumed with complete surrender to Christ. The point must be reached where we Christ has everything and that there is the readiness to give everything to Him, nothing withheld.

It is Christ who is present and seeks to inspire and enable so that all are sold out to Him in every way. He looks on and sees what kind of motive is our possession and He, above

                            

Wisdom’s Ways

                               

                            Rev. A. Linford

WHAT PRICE GLORY?

 

”The glory of young men is their strength” – Proverbs 20:29 

Glory is the highest expression of any substance, structure or sensible being. The glory of the sun is its shining – 1 Corinthians15:41; the glory of grass is its flowering – 1 Peter 1:24; the glory of man is woman – 1 Corinthians 1 1:7; the glory of man is the image of God, the glory of fathers are their children – Proverbs 17:6 and here the glory of young men is strength and old men grey hair.

YOUNG MEN ARE STRONG. So also said John in his first epistle – 2:13,14. But strength is not an end in itself; it is a facility, a means of service. First, it speaks of robust health, a gift Of God. Secondly, it declares potential. “To overcome the wicked one”, says John, with the implication that youth and purity of life can become synonymous terms. Thirdly, it posits responsibility, ”we that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak” – Romans 15:1. No gift of God is given for self-indulgence. The strength of youth was never intended to be wholly absorbed in sport, recreation or adventure, but in “going about doing good”.

OLD MEN ARE WISE, at least such is the indication of grey hair. ”A hoary head” speaks of long life, a special token of divine blessing in the Old Testament – cf Ephesians 6:1-3. It certainly relates to experience. But to have grey hair itself is not an achievement, it is but a natural process. Nevertheless, it implies the ability to give advice. An old man has seen many things, and usually learned a lot from the passing years. His knowledge of life can help guide the young man who is just venturing on life. An old man looks backward, and judges things in the light of experience. There are laws of life that can best be understood and applied by a complete and composite survey. The young man looks forward, he anticipates things to come. He forms a vision of what can be, and presses on towards it.

But when the vision of young men or the dreams of old, when either or both are inspired by the Spirit of God, they border on reality. Thus the generation-gap is bridged by divine inspiration.

PRAYER

My times are in Thy hand, O Lord! What do years matter?