Gospel Nuggets

Chris Roberts (barrister)

TAKE THE WEIGHT OFF YOUR FEET

There was an early evening party, in one of the mid west States of America, where a large family, along with some friends, came together to celebrate great aunt Betsy’s 80th birthday. As is the case, at some of these parties, the adults congregated together, as the children, and older folks gravitated towards each other. Great aunt Betsy was sat, rocking in her chair on the porch, as the sun was going down. You could hear the crickets, getting louder, as the evening unfolded. The excited children gathered around great aunt Betsy, to ask her about her recent trip to France.

TAKE THE WEIGHT OFF YOUR FEET

With heart-felt passion, great aunt Betsy began to tell of how excited she was, as her aeroplane took off from the airport. She told of how the plane shot up above the clouds, and recounted the sunset she saw over England, towards the end her flight. She spoke of how the plane began it’s descent over the English Channel, and how she landed at Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris, to begin the rest of her holiday in France.

“Did the big aeroplane flight scare you great aunt Betsy”, came the cry from one of the little boys, who was listening to her story with great intent?

“Let me tell you a secret”, recounted great aunt Betsy. “At no point in the journey did I ever put my full weight on that aeroplane seat, and I never ever took my feet from off the ground”.

Just like great aunt Betsy, you may have visited church on rare occasion’s, or you may even regularly attends a church, but you have never really put your full trust in Jesus. In Matthew 11:28 it say, “Come unto me all you that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”. Today, Jesus is asking you to take the full weight from off your feet, and lean into the loving arms of Jesus, who is able to save you. Stop trying to find your own way to God! Invite Jesus to come into your heart today, and let him change your life. All you need to do is to tell Jesus that you are sorry for all your sins, and that you are sorry that you have tried to find God your own way. Then ask God to save you, and to give you eternal life. Then, and only then will you, like great aunt Betsy, be able to lean back, and let Jesus take the weight of the burden you have carried alone for many a year. Then, and only then will you find everlasting life, in Jesus precious Name. Come to Jesus today, because he’s waiting just for you!

                              

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Message by Rick Warren

Rev. Rick Warren

YOU HAVE POWER TO SAY NO 

“So, dear brothers, you have no obligation anymore to your old sinful nature to do what it begs you to do.” Romans 8:12 (LB)

I don’t know about you, but I have to admit there were a lot of things I could not say ‘no’ to before the Holy Spirit came into my life. I wanted to say ‘no’, but I didn’t.

It really doesn’t matter what you call them, but we all have compulsions, habits, lusts, drives, desires or attractions that make us feel like we have no choice but to do them. You just can’t help yourself. You just can’t say ‘no’.

But if you’ve accepted Jesus Christ into your life, you can say ‘no’. Romans 8:9 says, “You are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are now controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ living in them does not belong to Christ” (NLT).

Now you will still have those desires. But the Holy Spirit will give you the power to say ‘no’ to them; you do not have to satisfy those desires. This is the difference the Spirit of God makes in you. This is how God sets you free from your compulsions.

The worst kind of slave is being a slave to your own natural desires. Some people say, “Well, if it’s natural, why should I limit it?” A lot of things seem natural. It’s natural to be self-centred, but acting on that desire might not be good for your kids or your spouse.

Natural doesn’t mean it’s always good. I might have a natural desire to cheat you out of all your money, but that doesn’t mean I should do it. But when I’ve accepted Christ into my life, I have the Holy Spirit to help power my decisions and say ‘no’ to the natural and ‘yes’ to the spiritually mature choice.

                             

Focus

Rev. E. Anderson

SUN AND SHIELD

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield” – Psalm 84:11

What does it mean that the Lord is our sun and shield?

The sun is the centre of our solar system. All of the planets revolve around it and derive their heat from it. For earth in particular, the sun is absolutely necessary to sustain life. It determines our seasons and climates, our days and nights and to some degree even our moods and attitudes. Throughout the ages, people have even worshiped the sun in some form or other. It is essential to life as we know it.

Is the Lord the centre of our universe? We often hear people talk about priorities. They mention that they want God to be the top priority in their lives. This is totally the wrong perspective and paradigm. He is not on the top of a list-He is at the centre of every item on the list, whether it is work, family, church, friends, hobbies, or anything else. The Lord is our sun. Without Him we would not exist. He is not a priority in life; He is life itself.

In this day and age, we do not have much experience with shields. But in Old Testament times, if you were a soldier or warrior, you knew what a shield was and you knew how to use one. If you didn’t, you were as good as dead in battle. A shield was a miniature wall of armor behind which you hid to protect yourself from the arrows and swords of your enemy. Arrows could be launched from quite a distance, so keeping your shield up and protecting yourself was important. When you became engaged in hand-to-hand combat, a shield could help protect you from direct attacks with a sword or club. It was an essential defense weapon.

Is the Lord our protector and defence? We should look to Him when the attack is at hand or when it is launched from afar. He is our Protector. Nothing can take us from His hand of protection. We are safe within His care. This does not mean that we will not face hardship, but through it all we are under His watchful eye. He desires our maturity in Him, not our independence from Him. At all times and in all ways, He will be there to protect, defend, and shield us from the enemy of our souls.

                               

Christian Testimony

Phil Starbuck

DAUGHTER’SS CHRISTENING CHANGED LIFE

STARBUCK: I COULD PHIL THE POWER  . . .

FormerNottinghamForest ace, Phil Starbuck spent the 80s scoring goals for manager Brian Clough – but now he works for Jesus.

Phil quickly made his name at Forest, scoring in his home debut againstLiverpoolat the age of 18. It was every schoolboy’s dream.

He said; “It was unbelievable. I can’t describe the feeling when the goal went in.

“After the game, you’re having interviews and you’re on the radio and TV, and people are asking for your autographs.”

On a high, Phil went home, intending to paint the town red, but having everything he’d ever dreamed of didn’t feel like he’d imagined.

He explained: ”When I got home, I’d been on this massive high and I started to come down and just hit a low, I started thinking, ‘What’s life about? I’ve just fulfilled this fantastic dream and I’m only 18! What’s next?’”

And when his grandfather died a couple pf years later, Phil really began to question what life was all about.

He said; “That was the first time I’d experienced death. I just had this overwhelming feeling of despair and remember thinking, ‘Where has he gone?’ All these thoughts were going through my mind – ‘Is there a God, is there a heaven and why are we here?

”The debuts, the goals, the fun, the adoration and everything that came with it, that in the world’s eyes seems fantastic, that I’d dreamed of a a boy, just paled into insignificance and meant nothing”.

And when his daughter was christened, Phil had his first experience of church.

But when the local vicar dropped off a booklet entitled ‘Journey into Life, Phil didn’t know that his life was about to change forever. The former utility player, who now spends time sharing his faith as a speaker at church events, said: “It was all about Jesus, why he came and what He did on the cross.

“It all fell into place. At the back was a prayer, I thought, ‘I’ve tried everything else so I’m going to give Jesus a go’.

“I got on my knees and asked Jesus into my life, to come and live with me and be my Saviour.

“The Lord came to me there and then. His presence was unbelievable. I couldn’t move off my knees.

“It was like He enveloped me in His arms. It was such a feeling of joy and peace and calm and wellbeing. I thought, ‘ I want some more of this’, so I prayed again.

Phil phoned the vicar who told him he’d been born again. But despite such powerful experience, Phil struggled with the task of telling his team mates.

He said: It took me six months, and I felt almost embarrassed. Ina top professional club, you don’t have people talking about Jesus – it just doesn’t happen”.

But when his manager Stuart ‘Psycho’ Pearce found out, Phil was faced with the confrontation he’d dreaded and he had to make a choice – to deny or stand up for his Saviour.

He remembered: “I was sat in the changing room atForestwhen Stuart Pearce burst in. Fixing his gaze on me he said, “Hey, Starbs, what’s this about you becoming g a Christian?”

“You could have heard a pin drop. I knew it was now or never so I said, ‘Yes, I’ve become a Christian’”.

Ever since, Phil – whose last job in the game was a manager ofGranthamTown– has never missed an opportunity to tell people about His Saviour.

                            

 

Leadership Factors

Rev. Graham Murray

A-Z OF LEADERSHIP

Christian leaders must be mature, noble and obedient, says Elim minister Graham Murray

PRESENT YOUR HEARTS FOR EXAMINATION

MATURE

In so many things we never grow up and find ourselves stunted or impaired, When in a leadership position, it is so important to check ourselves regularly, and present our hearts to God for critical examination.

In all our ways we should acknowledge him, and if we are to lead others we have to work on our own development. It is all too easy to think that we are developed enough, yet development is surely a lifelong matter, Therefore we keep a close watch on any ‘beam’ (Matthew 7: 3 that may indeed be in our own eye!

Mature leaders understand that another’s development may not be as straightforward as might be expected – hidden issues often emerge and time is needed in nurturing and understanding.

We cannot and dare not impose our ideologies on another person, The way we have travelled is unique and therefore so is theirs, but we are all called to find the narrow way – the way that leads to life. A true and competent leader will have this always in mind – that maturing is personal, and to encourage it in others means understanding the time scales.

The maturing leader, like a good cheese, has so much more flavour, Please don’t take offence that I just likened you to cheese – the best cheese takes time, love and care, and when ready it is quality stuff!

NOBLE

If you were to impart a final encouragement or instruction, I’m sure you would make it the most important list of things you could think of, Leaders cannot afford to lower the standards in any of life’s attributes, but this one is high on the Iist of priorities into act and to be noble. We are, of course, talking about a dignity that portrays the uprightness of Christ – the quality of richness of character and reliability.

It is said that a man is as good as his word – and in a world of broken contacts and half baked promises, a noble leader must at all times say what he means and mean what he says, No one can successfully lead another if there is a shred of doubt that the leader is fickle or given to violent changes of intent, To lead is an honour and a privilege beyond our finest qualifications to do so.

Therefore we owe it to God and to those who are under our leadership to live and breathe nobility of character.

Being noble does not mean to think more highly of ourselves than we should, but to set a standard that reflects more of Christ and less of ourselves wherever possible.

Your nobility is a spiritual at-tribute that dignifies your call to lead. Never devalue it with baser attitudes and actions.

OBEDIENT

With Christ as our prime example, we see the one who showed us the true meaning of obedience – the willingness through the deepest devotion to excel in to surrendered living.

Any leader who wants to follow Christ must take up his to cross and follow him, Obedience is better than sacrifice, and when one is obedient at a heart level then nothing surrendered seems to be too much to give.

We have treasure in earthen vessels and we are called to service – no one is greater than his master, and we are bondservants to Christ. Paul the Apostle  demonstrated great leadership in his willingness to take a surrendered role, even while taking the lead in defining the doctrine e of the early Church.

An obedient heart is always a surrendered one, In Romans, a Paul addresses the humbling nature of leadership – in his case the office of Apostle – when he speaks of his obedience to the faith.

If we want to see true development in those we lead, whether one on one or in large congregations, we must surrender to God’s will in the obedient nature of Christ Jesus. If we understand that Jesus submitted to the Father’s will and that no servant is greater than his master, then with Christ as our master we cannot do less than surrender ourselves to the will of God.

                                 

Time for a Laugh

Rev. E. Anderson

A FEW GOOD SENIOR MOMENTS AND MORE

An elderly gentleman had serious hearing problems for a number of years. He went to the doctor and the doctor was able to have him fitted for a set of hearing aids that allowed the gentleman to hear 100%

The elderly gentleman went back in a month to the doctor and the doctor said, ‘Your hearing is perfect. Your family must be really pleased that you can hear again.’

The gentleman replied, ‘Oh, I haven’t told my family yet.

I just sit around and listen to the conversations. I’ve changed my will three times!’
Two elderly gentlemen from a retirement centre were sitting on a bench under a tree when one turns to the other and says: ‘Slim, I’m 83 years old now and I’m just full of aches and pains. I know you’re about my age. How do you feel?’

Slim says, ‘I feel just like a newborn baby..’

Really!? Like a newborn baby?’

‘Yep. No hair, no teeth, and I think I just wet my pants.’

 
An elderly couple had dinner at another couple’s house, and after eating, the wives left the table and went into the kitchen.

The two gentlemen were talking, and one said, ‘Last night we went out to a new restaurant and it was really great. I would recommend it very highly.’

The other man said, ‘What is the name of the restaurant?’

The first man thought and thought and finally said, ‘What is the name of that flower you give to someone you love? You know, the one that’s red and has thorns.’

‘Do you mean a rose?’

‘Yes, that’s the one,’ replied the man. He then turned towards the kitchen and yelled, ‘Rose, what’s the name of that restaurant we went to last night?’

Hospital regulations require a wheel chair for patients being discharged. However, while working as a student nurse, I found one elderly gentleman already dressed and sitting on the bed with a suitcase at his feet, who insisted he didn’t need my help to leave the hospital.

After a chat about rules being rules, he reluctantly let me wheel him to the elevator.

On the way down I asked him if his wife was meeting him. ‘I don’t know,’ he said. ‘She’s still upstairs in the bathroom changing out of her hospital gown.’ 

Couple in their nineties are both having problems remembering things. During a checkup, the doctor tells them that they’re physically okay, but they might want to start writing things down to help them remember.

Later that night, while watching TV, the old man gets up from his chair. ‘Want anything while I’m in the kitchen?’ he asks.

‘Will you get me a bowl of ice cream?’

‘Sure..’

‘Don’t you think you should write it down so you can remember it?’ she asks.

‘No, I can remember it.’

‘Well, I’d like some strawberries on top, too. Maybe you should write it down, so as not to forget it?’

He says, ‘I can remember that. You want a bowl of ice cream with strawberries.

”I’d also like whipped cream. I’m certain you’ll forget that, write it down?’ she asks.

Irritated, he says, ‘I don’t need to write it down, I can remember it! Ice cream with strawberries and whipped cream – I got it, for goodness sake!’

Then he toddles into the kitchen. After about 20 minutes, the old man returns from the kitchen and hands his wife a plate of bacon and eggs. She stares at the plate for a moment.

‘Where’s my toast?’ 

A senior citizen said to his eighty-year old buddy:

‘So I hear you’re getting married?’

‘Yep!’

‘Do I know her?’

‘Nope!’

‘This woman, is she good looking?’

‘Not really.’

‘Is she a good cook?’

‘Naw, she can’t cook too well.’

‘Does she have lots of money?’

‘Nope! Poor as a church mouse.’

‘Well, then, is she good in bed?’

‘I don’t know.’

‘Why in the world do you want to marry her then?’

‘Because she can still drive!’

Three old guys are out walking.

First one says, ‘Windy, isn’t it?’

Second one says, ‘No, it’s Thursday!’

Third one says, ‘So am I. Let’s go get a beer.’

A man was telling his neighbour, ‘I just bought a new hearing aid. It cost me four thousand dollars, but it’s state of the art. It’s perfect.’

‘Really,’ answered the neighbour. ‘What kind is it?’

‘Twelve thirty..’ 

Morris, an 82 year-old man, went to the doctor to get a physical.

A few days later, the doctor saw Morris walking down the street with a gorgeous young woman on his arm.

A couple of days later, the doctor spoke to Morris and said, ‘You’re really doing great, aren’t you?’

Morris replied, ‘Just doing what you said, Doc: ‘Get a hot mamma and be cheerful.”

The doctor said, ‘I didn’t say that.. I said, ‘You’ve got a heart murmur; be careful.’

                                 

Powerful Quotes

Rev. L. Goodwin 

THEOLOGY & DOCTRINE QUOTES

“The devil is most devilish when respectable” – Elizabeth Barrett Browning

“The devil did grin, for his darling sin is pride that apes humility” – Samuel Taylor Coleridge

“The devil is shamming dead but he is never busier than now”  – Charles Kingsley 

“One of the devil’s most successful wiles is `Wait just a little while’.” Anon 

“You cannot walk with God and run with the devil”Anon

“It is said that when the flag signals first went out reporting the result of the battle of Waterloo, the message began “Wellington defeated….” then mist swirled round obscuring the message. As the mist cleared the whole message was discernible “Wellington defeated Napoleon.”  So at Easter it must have seemed to many that the message was “Jesus Christ defeated….” Only on resurrection morning did the whole message become clear “Jesus Christ defeated sin & death”. The Cross was Satan’s Waterloo not Jesus”.