women’s page

Margaret Dunne – Romanian believers

WOMAN QUIT TOP JOB FOR

MISSIONARY WORK

 

HIGH FLIER NOW HELPS CHILDREN IN ROMANIA 

WOMAN gave up her high-flying job to become missionary inRomania. Margaret Dunne, 55, handed in her notice at a leading publishing firm and now teaches English to children in thevillageofSardualongside British missionaries Bob and Edith McDonald.

Margaret, fromThornton, nearBradford, said: “I am not an English teacher but I believed that God would make me capable so I told Him I would try my best.

“So here I am teaching 46 village children and I never stop praising Jesus for them. They are learning well and their school reports show that their English results are gaining momentum too.”

The mother-of-two was raised in a Christian family but didn’t have a strong personal faith until four years ago when she visited church after she had stopped attending for years.

“I sobbed through the whole service,” she said. “I knew for sure that this was where I needed to be. I realised that there was a void in my life. All those years I’d been looking for that undying love and that special person – someone that I could really rely on. I realised that it was Jesus.”

In 2010, Margaret went on a week-long mission trip toRomaniawith a Christian choir. Little did she know that less than a year later, she would be living there.

“It became increasingly apparent that the Lord wanted me to go back, although I went through a period of denial, telling him that I couldn’t give up a well paid and secure job,” she added.

But in July 2011 she packed her bags and is enjoying her new life in Romania.

She said: “In Sardu some parents do not have a great deal of time for their children as they work the land all day. The children almost demand love from you and you cannot deny them when they crowd you and hug you.”

  

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wisdom’s ways

Rev. A. Linford

TOMORROW IS TOMORROW 

“Boast not thyself of tomorrow”Proverbs 27:1,2

Self-praise is no recommendation whether it be of preconceived plans or post-extolled performance. In fact, the boastful person is always wrong on three counts. First, he usually exaggerates what he has done, and not what he left undone. Secondly, he preens himself on what he is, and not on what he could have been. It is said that the self-made man often worships his maker – himself. Thirdly, he talks of what he hopes to be as if he is responsible for the future: like a cockerel who thinks his crowing makes the sun rise. A boaster is a parcel of conceit addressed to himself.

Tomorrow is today’s expectation (vs 1). It is foolish to claim tomorrow. It is in the hands of God, we cannot snatch it from His grasp. Humbly hope for it – yes: patiently prepare for it – yes: but demand it – no. It is stupid to brag about things each moment meaningful. If he plans for future days – as sensibly he will – he does so in humility, in dependence on a providence that moves in sovereign grace. Time is a gift of God: we may beg it, but we cannot buy it; we may covet it, but we cannot claim it; we may spend it, but we cannot store it. To anticipate the future can be a form of arrogance; our times are in the hand of God.

Today is yesterday’s anticipation (vs 2). Yesterday is past. We have done something. What we hoped for has come to pass. We are proud of our achievement; today declares it. There is legitimate complacency in a job well done, but a wise man restrains his words, finding it far better to let another praise him. The objective commendation of a friend or stranger is of far greater worth than a self-gratified statement. It is so easy to exaggerate our own achievements, to forget the help that others gave to produce such satisfactory results, and to fail to acknowledge that basically, all success is of God, who provides the basic materials, grants the will to achieve, and gives the innate skills to produce effective results.

PRAYER:

Help me neither to boast of future nor present success, but only in Thee!

 

sermons of note

Rev. E. Anderson

STAYING POWER OR THE

ABILITY TO ENDURE

Reading      Hebrews 12

Texts            12:2; 11:27

Introduction

The biography of a person can often be summed up in the briefest and choicest of words.  It does necessarily require a long chapter or lengthy speech to define and declare a person’s character, life and work. The writer to the Hebrews summarizes Moses life and work in two words: “he endured.” This is what made the man and his ministry and caused him to achieve in his day and generation. A few translation aid here:

Liv. Bible says, ‘he kept right on going.’

NIV ‘he persevered.’

New Eng.Bible ‘he was resolute.’

Amp. ‘he held staunchly to his purpose.’

Moffat quaint rend. ‘he never flinched.’

Some choice insights into the quality nature and strength of one of God’s choice saints and leaders.

ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENT:  None would argue in relation to this that endurance is one of if not the supreme virtue that is required if there is to be any real success in Christian life and work. Without this, the mafter of achievement will not be realized. If things are to be brought to any great conclusion and fulfilment, then this must be in evidence.

VITAL INGREDIENTS: Like a quality cake,: endurance or staying power has certain ingredients. Endurance is made up of other factors, namely, patience, love, faith, courage, consistency, will, determination.  It is composed of a number of excellent virtues that blended together produce under the right conditions (fire and heat), a most wonderful person with a most effectual ministry and work.

PROTRACTED PERIOD: By the very nature of the word, it is not something that is produced overnight.  It does not suddenly mushroom forth.  It is birthed and produced over a great passage of time and comes through facing the most difficult of situations and circumstances.

Illustration: It is like running a race. It is not the short distance of a sprint but a long marathon with many obstacles.

The Scriptures provide us with many examples of people who could also be in the list of those who persevered and won through. Moses – 1he endured’. They could be announced as ‘the endurers,’ those who never quit in spite of the pressure to do so.

 Illustration: Winston Churchill – ‘Never Give In.’

We are to be encouraged by those who never surrendered to their circumstances or feelings but won through many varied factors and so achieved important stations before God and men. They serve to inspire to exploits, endeavour and enterprise in and with God.

1/. AS A PARTNER WITH GOD ENOCH NEEDED TO STAY WITH IT – Genesis 5:21 -24

God sought to create and cultivate a real and lasting relationship with Enoch following the birth of Methusaleh. He found this man ready and prepared to have and hold a true union with Himself in spite of household commitments and busy life v22. God having broken through in his 65th year effected a partnership that was to be very meaningful and fruitful.

Would it last? Had it got the quality of consistency and durability, marked with a delightful freshness? It became a protracted friendship over a period of 300 years and consummated in a unique exit out of this world – Heb. 11: 5.

God is looking for a friendship that has stickability and becomes stronger and sweeter through the procedure of time and multiple trials.

2/. AS A WORKER WITH GOD NOAH NEEDED TO STAY WITH IT Genesis 6 & 7

Noah was given a very difficult assignment in the building of the ark.  God must have known his man thoroughly to place in his hands the enormous task of building such a large boat. The workload entrusted to him was incredible. Noah was going to be extremely busy for God over next possible 100 years in constructing the ark cp. Gen. 5:32; 7:11. There were literally months and years of hard sweat and toil to be put into this major exercise. The temptation was there always to quit.

Beside this was the scorn and abuse from the onlookers and spectators. He had to endure the verbal abuse of his day and generation and keep at his task. But because he was faithful he received from God the support and strength demanded. He would not fail God – Gen.6: 22. His endurance paid off with success in building and salvation.

3/. AS A PIONEER WITH GOD ABRAHAM NEEDED TO STAY WITH IT Genesis 11-25

What a story of pioneering is revealed in this man who became the founding- father of a unique and special people. He is revealed as a person who was prepared to stick with God and His purposes in order that greater things would flow to the whole world.

He was ready to leave and branch out with God at the age of  75– Gen.11. God having revealed Himself to him and calling him out into a life of faith and adventure was immediate in his response.  He was not going to hang back when God was summoning him forth into something new and different. He was going to make a full commitment that would not be called back or into question – Heb. 11: 8. There was to be no permanent dwelling or residence, just a will to move with God and claim the right to the land God had promised and that would later become his offspring.

God honoured this man’s endurance by giving him incredible promises and He purposed to keep them. He would stand out as a pioneer for all time for others to follow. He was the first Pilgrim Father.

4/. AS A LEADER WITH GOD MOSES NEEDED TO STAY WITH IT – Exodus 2 – to Numbers

Moses was really one of those men that ultimately endured.  He may have taken flight for 40 years but God was making and shaping him to become an individual of sterling worth and ability so that he could face anyone and anything and not run or quit. It is good to note the things that he did endure.

“He endured, despite the contempt of Pharaoh, the mightiest monarch of that era. No amount of resistance from Egypt’s throne dimmed his determination. He endured, despite the stubbornness of the Hebrews who grumbled, blamed, complained, and rebelled. Nothing they said or did make Moses retreat. He endured1 despite the criticism of Miriam and Aaron, his own sister and brother. Their words cut deeply, but he refused to back off. Misunderstood, maligned, murmured against, and misrepresented, Moses ‘never flinched’. He endured despite the disappointments he encountered. When ten out of twelve spies came back with nay-sayings, Moses stood fast When Korah and Dathan and Abiram led a cold, cunning conspiracy against him, Moses remained ‘resolute’”.    C. Swindoll

Moses became all backbone and remained steadfast to God and his calling in leading the people.  He would see His servant-hood through with and for God whatever the cost.  The consequence of sticking with God and His people finds him in the Promised Land with Christ – Matthew 17.

5/. AS A POSSESSOR WITH GOD JOSHUA NEEDED TO STAY WITH IT – Joshua 1-24        

He never thought, as a young man, when first called by God, that he would assume leadership over God’s People and Nation. It must have been the furthest thought from his mind.  He may have just been delighted that he belonged to such a privileged People that was full of prospect.

There came the challenge in his life when the demand came to stay with it. Chosen to be among the twelve to spy out the Promised Land, he could have been overwhelmed with doubt and fear of the negative ten. But he chose to stay with God and His will – Numbers 13:6-10.

But then the more onerous responsibility fell upon his shoulders, when he was called to be the successor and leader – Josh. 1. It was now his turn to take over and lead the people into the land. God’s advice right at the outset was to stick with it and His Word.  The final scenario is one of him challenging the nation to having staying power and endurance – Josh.24 :15.

6/. AS A MINISTER WITH GOD JEREMIAH NEEDED TO STAY WITH IT Jeremiah 12: 5

One of the most difficult ministries ever apportioned to a man was given to Jeremiah. He was called at a calamitous time to speak into the degenerate state of the nation. In the minds and hearts of the people there was great indifference towards God and His Word. He had to be the prophetic voice and light amidst the intense darkness.

He had to have a very encouraging word at the outset so that he would be able to stay with the ministry – 1:17-19. He was made aware of the fact that he would not have an easy time of it.  There would times of great discouragement and despair when no one would seem to take any notice of him or his words. He would labour without any response from his hearers. His lips would be filled with apparent doom and gloom and he would break his heart over this and the ultimate desolation of the people -see the book of Lamentations.

There comes a dark patch and moment in his ministry when there looks to be a bit of weakness and God has to challenge and strengthen him. He faces him up with a powerful question: “If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, then how can you contend with horses?” Things are rough and tough and can get more demanding before there is a breakthrough. The need is to brace oneself.

7/. AS A MISSIONER WITH GOD PAUL NEEDED TO STAY WITH IT – 2 Corinthians 11

Paul is usually credited with being the greatest missionary of all time. Incipient on his conversion he makes the question, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do ?” – Acts 9:6. The Lord had already intimated to Ananias that he was going to show to this man what he was going to have to face and endure – vv15,16 It was one thing to bear testimony for Him before the Gentiles, kings and Israel, but at what cost?

The missionary trail would have to be blazed but at a price – see Acts 13 onwards. There would be all kinds of people and situations to be confronted in the preaching of the Gospel, bearing witness for Christ, planting churches, caring for the converts and leaders. People and problems were his lot and he needed a lot of spiritual grit and determination.

He showed it. There was no way that he was going to back off, down and out. He would manifest a loyalty and fidelity amidst it all. He goes on record with a masterly announcement in Acts 20:22-24. Nothing would make him flinch, budge or make him veer off course.

Illustration:     Margaret Thatcher: The Iron Lady ‘I am not for turning.’

He could say at the end of the day when the time had come for his home-call –2 Tim.4: 6-8. He stuck with it and became a witness of his missionary call and service. He serves as an example on how to persevere and succeed through steadfast ness.

CONCLUSION

Of course, the prime inspiration of all with regard to the ability to endure is Jesus Christ – Hebrews 12: 2. The writer to the Hebrews concludes his list of great people who have evidenced  this quality with the One above all others.         

The supreme endurance test for any person was the cross with all of its pain and conflict. He was invited to give up the idea and the experience of the cross.

Christ was not in a frame and mood to surrender. He had staying power and through it won the greatest battle of all time and won the blessings for all men.