womens’ page

WHY WE’RE GOING FOR GOLD

Margaret Peat

Looking ahead to the London Olympics, Margaret Peat finds parallels for all God’s girls in their spiritual race 

Margaret Peat remembers her school sports day and it reminds her of the race we run for God

Every year at school we had sports day. I used to look forward to this event and I couldn’t wait for the big day to come. Year in, year out, I could easily beat most of the other kids to the finishing line and would invariably arrive home with some medal.

Eventually the day came when I reached the qualification rounds for TrentValley, which was a sports meeting for the best of every school. I could hardly wait to run. That was until my first race when, instead of sailing in first or second to the finishing line, I came a dismal fifth or sixth and continued to do so for the remaining days of the event. Suddenly the standard had been raised and it wasn’t as easy to run the race. It certainly wasn’t as enjoyable, and very soon I decided there were much better things to do with my time!

As God’s girls, we are continually encouraged to be reaching higher, pushing further and setting even greater goals for running his race. If you think back to the day you came to know Jesus, then you probably think of a time when you knew the blessing of God, and his race was a continual delight to run.

But it’s God’s desire to equip us. Life would be great if we continually ran at the primary sports day, but it’s God’s plan, not only that we should go to TrentValley’ – but also that we should win it. And for that reason he assists us in go­ing from strength to strength. Here, I share three places you may find yourself in your quest to reach higher, push further and set even greater goals:

THE CLASSROOM

In addition to the daily sports practice there are things which an athlete must learn, such as goal setting, breathing tech­niques, time management and how muscles work etc. For you and I, we can find ourselves in a classroom of God’s making. There are tests on the black­board but we don’t know the answers. There are too many problems to solve and we don’t know when this day is going to end, and the teacher seems quite unreasonable! It’s good to remind ourselves at these times that God is teaching us important things.

THE DARK ROOM

Way before the competition, a successful athlete visualises her­self winning. She doesn’t know what the future holds, she may worry about the unknown or sometimes fear failure, but nevertheless, she will remem­ber past triumphs and although she cannot see the way ahead, she will walk by faith into the competition, keeping her sights on sold. and I, there are times we can’t see the way ahead, we are afraid of the unknown or we don’t know what the result will be, but it’s important then that we remember God’s faithfulness in the past and walk by faith through the dark, keeping our spiritual eyes on him.

THE CHANGING ROOM

Every sportsman and woman, if they are to achieve their very best, will need to change clothing before they go out to reach a new level. Be it swimming, athletics, boxing or gymnastics, their clothing is changed for an outfit that will enhance their performance. From time to time, God brings us into a period of change. For some, it is a planned change – a job, a house, marriage or retirement. Sometimes, it’s unplanned -bereavement, a relationship breakdown or a redundancy.

As his children, we can be sure that even though we find change stretching, uncomfort­able and sometimes simply ter­rifying, God is producing within us a state that will eventually enhance our performance in his race. Very few people enjoy being stretched, but if you’re never stretched, you’re no longer growing!

The Olympics are not far off now. When you watch them this year, and you see those athletes in changed clothes, visualising their success and utilising all they have learned, remember that God is continually equipping you to reach higher, push further and accomplish even greater things for his glory.

‘Life would be great if we continually ran at the primary sports day..’

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wisdom ways

Rev. A. Linford

FORESIGHT AND FOLLY

“The simple pass on, and are punished”Proverbs 27:12-14

It takes all sorts to make a world. Here we see a group of contrasts: the prudent and the simple, the imprudent surety and the blatant blesser. But life is full of sensible and senseless folk!

FORESIGHT AND GUMPTION.(vs 12). It is not cowardice to see dark clouds approaching and scoot for cover – it is sense. And to notice ominous signs of pending danger and hide oneself from its destructive force is a mark of a prudent man. As we look around today we detect signs of approaching doom – the world is heavy with strife, decadent with eroded standards, rotting with vile lust and callous indifference to righteousness and integrity. An end must come: it is near: “the coming of the Lord draweth nigh” (James 5:8). The wise man prepares his life that he may escape these things (Luke 21:36).

FOLLY AND GRIEF (vs13). The outer garment, used as covering by day and coverlet by night, was usually taken in pledge for a debt unpaid. To make oneself a guarantor for a stranger was to endanger the loss of one’s essential attire. And to consort with “a strange woman” (euphemism for a harlot) was folly indeed.

FATUOUS GARRULITY (vs 14). Here is an ostentatious and inopportune salutation. Beware of the garrulous, loud-voiced neighbour. His gushing greetings can be as insincere as they are untimely. Loud-railing in early morning is often out of place, as it is out of order. Give me time to rub my sleepy eyes, brother, and get into gear with the new day. How execrable are such blustering blessings: we feel like returning them with a curse.

Good relationships are born out of consideration. To burst into a man’s privacy by bawling out fatuous nothings is an invasion no one welcomes. If it is kindly meant, it is mistaken; if it is maliciously meant, it is an unmitigated evil. Good neighbours do not make themselves a nuisance, they ease the contacts of life with the oil of good sense and quiet assurance.

PRAYER:

Should I approach folly, Lord, check my waywardness.

 

sermons to note

Rev. E. Anderson

KOWING/LIVING IN THE ABSOLUTES

READING     Luke 1

TEXTS          Luke 1:4; John 20:31

INTRODUCTION

DEFINITION:   The word from Collins has a number of meanings: 1. Complete, perfect.  2. Free from limitations, restrictions  or exceptions.  3. Despotic: an absolute ruler.  4. Undoubted, certain: the absolute truth. 5. Not dependent on, conditioned by, or relative to anything else, independent. 6. Pure; unmixed. All these meanings can be related to the Christian faith in every way.

KNOWLEDGE:  In considering the words of Luke and John we discover that these two men were utterly persuaded with regard to the Christian Faith and sought to impart that sure knowledge to others. They both wrote with this great assurance that what they communicated could be wholly trusted and relied upon. Luke pens the words : “That you may know the certainty of those things, wherein you have been instructed” – (Luke 1: 4), whilst John states: “But these things are written, that you might believe” (John 20: 31) and in his epistle a key word is ‘know’ and it is definite knowledge.  They have seen and heard so much that was all true and therefore could be believed and acted upon in all faith. In no way were they possessed with question and debate but thoroughly and throughly assured in mind and heart so that others could believe and live in the divine absolutes.

FAITH’S CONVICTION:  It has always been God’s purpose and intention that man should know and live in a condition of faith and absolute certainty.  He never wanted man to be in the morass and mess of mind that he finds himself in, lacking the sense of definiteness, truth and reality. The introduction of sin and evil has so perverted the understanding of man that he finds himself in a quandary on many fronts and so thinks that there are no absolutes to be known or trusted in. But once the relationship with God is restored in and through Christ, faith’s conviction arises and divine certainty begins to take over and exerts its presence and power. Things are no longer clouded but are clearly seen and are comprehensible, sensible and believable and everything becomes full of meaning and worth,

1/.  THE ABSOLUTE OF GOD’S EXISTENCE AND BEING

One of the essentials and imperatives of life is to come to know and believe in God, the One who is the Eternal Absolute. There are those who confess to be atheists and agnostics who state God does not exist and if He does exist He cannot be known. God has no meaning, message or motivation in their beings or life at all. They have no sense or faith with regard to Him and just dismiss the idea and fact from their minds and affairs. One has to say life is the poorer for it.

The Bible seeks to give above everything a clear and pure revelation of God. It starts on that very note – “In the beginning God.” – Genesis 1:1. In the book of beginnings, origins and creation it commences with God. It is an immediate disclosure without question of a God who is all wise and able and present to effect anything and everything. Throughout the testimony of Scripture there is the continual, consistent presentation of Him as the one who brought all things and beings into existent. Everything and everyone owes its existence to the One who pre-exists before all.

The first word used for ‘God’’ is the Hebrew word ‘Elohim’ which speaks of a plurality in unity. There is a unity of Persons within the Godhead consisting of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We receive from God personality, not only our life, being and body, we receive a distinct personality so that we can also come to know something about His Person and Being. We exist to be known and so does God. None of like to be ignored or badly treated.

In coming to know God everything about Him in Person, Nature and Attributes is worth knowing. All the qualities are complete, perfect and infinite and are intended to bless all those who become associated with Him. He is the real means of enrichment and enjoyment to every aspect of life. He is the plus to life in every dimension and avenue.

2/.  THE ABSOLUTE OF GOD’S WORD

The Holy Scriptures are to be the grounds of faith and have the power to create and cultivate a state and spirit of the absolute in those who are prepared to be conditioned and cultured by them. The reason for their being and preservation is in order to bring mankind to this great position of credence and assurance.

We are not left in doubt or guesswork as to where the Scriptures came from. The internal testimony bears witness to the fact that they came from God – 2 Timothy 3: 16; 2 Peter 1: 21. The Bible is alive with the breath and inspiration of Almighty God and He has successfully watched over His Word to preserve and communicate it through the passage of time. He brought it into being and it is His absolute Word to every generation. When it is received in this manner then God begins to make Himself known through the Book at a personal level.

The good ensues when this is proceeded with. The Bible has the generative ability to impart faith and a sense of the absolute within the mind and heart – Romans 10: 17. The more a person becomes soaked and saturated with the Word of God, the more the knowing of and living in the absolutes. Not only is the sure knowledge of God introduced and established, His ways, plans purposes become known and appreciated. Life is founded on and revolves on what God has spoken and revealed and is assured, developed and blessed in a Godward manner and measure.

Illustration:        Matthew 4: 4

3/.  THE ABSOLUTE OF CHRIST’S PERSON AND WORK

There is a tremendous need to come to a real and absolute faith in the Person of Jesus Christ and in the particular and special work that He came to accomplish on behalf of all men. This is one of the reason for the Scriptures of truth to give definite knowledge here.

The most amazing and extraordinary person that ever lived on this planet was Jesus Christ. He was and is absolutely unique. There was never anyone before or since to compare with Him. He has no equal or comparison.

Socrates and Aristotle each taught for 40 years, Plato for 50, but Jesus for only three. Yet His influence far surpasses the combined 130 years of teaching these men who are acknowledge as the greatest philosophers of all antiquity.

He painted no pictures, yet the finest paintings of Raphael, Michaelangelo, and Leonardo daVinci received their illumination from Him. He wrote no poetry, yet Dante, Milton and others of the world’s greatest poets were inspired by Him. He composed no music, yet hymns, symphonies and oratorios were composed in His honour.

Every sphere of human greatness has been enriched by the humble Carpenter of Nazareth. His unique contribution to the race of men is the salvation of the soul.

Philosophy could not accomplish that. Nor art. Nor literature. Nor music. Only HE can break the enslaving chains of sin and Satan. Only HE can heal the broken-hearted, strengthen the weak and give life to those who are spiritually dead.

  • The staggering truth is that the person and work of Christ was prophesied and predicted long before it ever occurred. The Old Testament written mainly in Hebrew affirms that a unique Messiah would be born in the Jewish nation. He would be born of Jewish descent, from the tribe of Judah, of David’s line and His birthplace is identified as Bethlehem. He would also suffer at the hands of His own people and die a criminal’s death – (Genesis 49: 10; 2 Samuel 7: 12,13,16; Psalm 132: 11; Micah 5: 2; Isaiah 9: 6,7; 53). The life story of Christ was given prophetically before it ever took place.
  • The confirmatory fact is that the person and work of Christ is revealed in the New Testament. All that had been set out in sacred prediction was wholly fulfilled with no omissions on the part of Jesus Christ. One particular Gospel writer, Matthew makes this point again and again; “That it might be fulfilled by that which the prophet had spoken.” Nothing was left to chance or coincidence. Christ made it His business to live and do what the Godhead had designed – (John 8: 29).
  • The early Christian Church was utterly assured of Christ and His accomplishment and preached with absolute conviction – Acts 2. There was no doubt as to His identity and the message that had to be preached and people were led to faith in extraordinary ways – see Ethiopean eunuch – Acts 8: 26-40). Paul used the Holy Scriptures to prove Christ and His work – (Acts 17: 1-4).

4/.  THE ABSOLUTE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AND HIS MINISTRY

Jesus Christ taught concerning the person and ministry of the third member of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit, revealing that He is a divine Person with quite a role to fulfil. The Holy Spirit is a present active agent of the Godhead and He s well able to fulfil His task no matter how detailed and demanding.

  • He is the Spirit of Truth as Christ taught and revealed and His purpose is to communicate, teach and mentor people in truth and reality – John 16: 13. He births people into the family and kingdom of God and assures them of their new status and standing with God and gives a new nature that is able to express itself in a new and blessed lifestyle – Romans 8: 16. Further, He guarantees them of a tremendous lifestyle of blessing and fulfilment through His presence and power, making known what is to come – 2 Corinthians 1: 22; Ephesians 1: 13.
  • It is the prerogative and right of the Holy Spirit to know for certain what is taking place in the Godhead and to be able to pass on to God’s children all the needed instruction and information that they ought to possess – 1 Corinthians 2: 9-16. He has the gift and ability at any time to communicate all the essential knowledge and understanding that true believers in Christ ought to known.  He has His own way of saying and doing things as God’s Word reveals.

5/.  THE ABSOLUTE OF GOD’S FATHERHOOD

  • One of the major things, if not the major truth to be known and experienced, is that of the Fatherhood of God and for God’s sons to live in that assurance and blessing. Both the work of Christ and the Holy Spirit is to bring about this immediate and ultimate realisation to those who respond to the Christian Gospel. Christ came not only to reveal the Father (John 14: 7-9). He made clear after His resurrection where He was going – John 20: 17). It was important and imperative that this concept and conviction begin to possess and rule thinking, believing and living. The Christian simply does not just believe that God is but that this God is Father and this makes a difference to everything.
  • The absolute that comes through is that from now on the Christian believer has access to God as His Father – Ephesians 2: 18-22. Instead of living in despair and by chance there is the certainty of divine providence shaping the future and ministering into every situation of life. There is no need to worry about provision on any front because He is present overseeing and acting in a personal and positive way.

6/.  THE ABSOLUTE OF HEAVEN AND ETERNITY

                        People need absolute assurance with regard to death and what is beyond it. So many live with little or no knowledge concerning what happens at death and beyond. There are those who live in fear and dread of it because they lack insight and revelation and others consider this life to be the only one. Thankfully the Scriptures have something to say and make known on the issue. Christ has significant revelation to communicate.

  • He stated things clearly in His confrontation with the Pharisees and Sadducees, two groups of people with varying views – Mark 12: 18-26. He was able to answer the latter quite categorically revealing that the patriarchs were still existent. Man was made to be immortal and death does not negate or cancel out immortality.
  • The purpose of His sufferings and death was in order to save man from his sins and the judgement to come – Hebrews 9: 27. His death was a meaningless exercise and experience unless there was something of major note to accomplish. It was to procure forgiveness and pardon for sinners and to rescue from eternal damnation. Through His positive work on the Cross Christ has provided an absolute salvation.
  • His own personal resurrection makes the point that death has been triumphed over and this but a forerunner of what is to on a greater scale – John 14:19. 1 Corinthians 15 gives great teaching on the matter of the resurrection and this is all planned for by God and nothing and no one can prevent it.
  • Christ made known one of the special reasons He was going to heaven – John 14: 1-3. Heaven is a prepared home for a prepared divine family. It is to be the dwelling place of all those who have Christ living and reigning in their hearts and the absolute conviction is presented by Christ. There is no doubt that Christ wanted them to know this and get the message.
  • The glorious truth is that heaven is no temporary factor, but is eternal and will be the scene where the Father will demonstrate His eternal love and favour to His own – Ephesians 2:7. Already in measure He is manifesting His exceeding kindness but then it will be in an overwhelming manner. His family is to live, exist and know absolutely that such will never be terminated. It is both comforting and encouraging to know that there will be no end to heaven or to the great display of the generosity and kindness of God the Father through His Son.

CONCLUSION

Knowing and living in the absolutes means :

  • That we should be the envy of those who exist in negativity, fear and doubt. The world without should be able to note the authoritative faith and lifestyle of the Christian believer and desire it.
  • That we should be more convinced than ever the more we know God and His plans and interests in our affairs. Christian conviction should grow more and more because of the vibrant relationship experienced with God through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.
  • That we should sense above all the sovereignty of God in everything and this will become very apparent at the conclusion of all things.  All will affirm that He has been and is in charge and control – He is LORD!

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.

PLAN FOR LIFE

Taken from Word for Today

GOD had a plan for your life before you were born. Indeed, it’s why He brought you into the world. Simply keeping you ‘busy” was not His goal. He wants to see you doing the work He ‘prepared in advance for you to do.’ Joining a worthy cause and working hard is commendable, but you can end up as a square peg in a round hole, expending time and energy without achieving the you-shaped purpose God had in mind. He wants you to be purpose-driven, not work-driven! So:

1/. ASK HIM TO REVEAL HIS WILL TO YOU. ‘It is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose’ (Philippians 2:13 NIV). God will actually create desires within you that guide you toward accomplishing His purpose. Ifs not serendipity or super-spirituality, but God at the helm, steering your ship.

2) EXPECT TO DO MORE THAN YOU ARE CAPABLE OF. Self-directed activity is self-limited activity. God-directed activity is unlimited activity. God never calls us to do what we can; He calls us to do what He can! ‘[He] is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us’ (Ephesians 3:20 NIV). Listen, act on His promptings, and all things become possible to you.

3) WHEN THE WORK IS DEMANDING, DRAW ON HIS INDWELLING POWER. Paul says, ‘I labour, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.’ How much divine energy is needed for your assignment? ‘All His energy.’ Awesome! And it is available to you today.

powerful quotes

Rev. Leigh Goodwin

POWERFUL QUOTES

LYING

“Get hold of these 2 principles & you won’t go far wrong: God cannot lie; He will not delegate to you the privilege of lying for Him” Dr Speer – Christian Ethics teacher 

“Nothing destroys the truth faster than stretching it.” 

“If you tell white lies be careful that you do not become colour blind.” 

“The best way to avoid lying is to do nothing that needs to be concealed.” 

A minister was disturbed one day to see a group of boys surrounding a stray dog. He went up to them & asked them what they were doing. They said that they were holding a competition. The boy who told the worst lie would be able to keep the dog. The minister was horrified by this & told them that when he was their age he would never have dreamed of doing such a thing. One of the boys sadly stated “Well that’s it boys, it looks like he wins the dog!” 

“The ability to lie is a liability.” 

MAJORITY

Never confuse the will of the majority with the will of God” – Charles Colson

“Consensus means that lots of people say collectively what nobody believes individually” – Abba Eban

prayer dynamics

Rev. E. Anderson

WHY SHOULD WE PRAY – TO WHOM DO WE PRAY?

All About Prayer

Before we can answer, “why should we pray,” we must know to whom we pray. There is only one supreme Creator and sovereign God. There is only one way to Him and that is through His only- Son, Jesus Christ. God, our Heavenly Father, is the only one we can be assured of who hears and answers our prayers. He is the God of amazing love, mercy, and forgiveness.

  • By Him, all things are possible. Jesus says in Mark 10:27, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.”
  • Daniel 9:18 tells us: “We do not ask because we deserve help, but because you are so merciful.” (Mercy means showing favor, compassion, and kindness.)
  • God’s ultimate demonstration of love is forgiveness of the sins each of us have committed. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it” (John 3:16-17).

He is the only God who has done this, and is the only God able to do so. But His enemy, Satan, has sent many false gods to deceive mankind. Do not be deceived nor allow anything or anyone to take priority over the only true and living God.

WHY SHOULD WE PRAY – FOR WHAT DO WE PRAY?

Prayer is the key to the heart of God. Prayer is the only way to a real and personal relationship with God.

  • Pray acknowledging He is God, and that you accept His gracious gift, Jesus Christ, as your Lord and Savior (Genesis 17:1, Romans 6:16-18).
  • Pray confessing our sins and accepting His forgiveness (Romans 3:23-26).
  • Pray that His will be done in our lives, that His Holy Spirit guide us, and that we be filled with the fullness of all God has for us.
  • Pray for (spiritual) understanding and wisdom (Proverbs 2:6-8, 3:5).
  • Pray with thanksgiving for all the ways He blesses us (Philippians 4:6). Pray when we are ill, lonely, going through trials or interceding for others (James 5:14-16, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
  • Pray to worship Him (Psalm 95:6-7).

There is nothing we can’t pray about. There are abundant references to prayer in the Bible. The Bible tells us to “pray without ceasing” and “in everything give thanks to the Lord.” When we choose to have a positive attitude, we realize we have received many blessings for which to give God praise.

We find intimacy with God through communicating with Him in prayer. We go to Him in faith, knowing that He hears and answers all our prayers (1 John 5:14). Be confident that God knows and wants what is best for us; so ask that His will be done in all we seek from Him. Then, thank Him for it, even though it hasn’t happened yet.

WHY SHOULD WE PRAY – HOW DO WE PRAY?

Jesus gave his disciples, what we call, “The Lord’s Prayer” (Matthew 6) as a model.

In addition, Hebrews 4:14-16 tells us we can pray boldly — “That is why we have a great High Priest who has gone to heaven, Jesus the Son of God. Let us cling to him and never stop trusting him. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same temptations we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it.”

Above all, pray with sincerity, honour, and humbleness before the Almighty God. “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results” (James 5:16).

 

points to ponder

Rev. E. Anderson

JUST ME

I could have been a pilot but I didn’t want to fly,

Or even a parachutist but I didn’t want to die

I might have been a surgeon but I didnt have the guts,

A very famous golfer but I didn’t have the puts.

And then again a dentist but I didn’t know the drill,

Or maybe a lawyer but I didn’t have the will.

I could have been a lover but I didn’t have the heart,

A Shakespearean actor but I didn’t get the parts.

I fancied speedway riding but I hadn’t got a bike

And when I thought about it I thought I’d rather hike

THEN

Architecture took my fancy but I found I couldn’t draw,

So I thought I’d be a soldier but I couldn’t go to war.

I might have been a boxer but I hadn’t got the clout-

And anyway I wasn’t made for folks to knock about

And then I hit upon a plan -to university to go

And when I’d taken my degree then surely I would know

And clearly see what I should be/    

THEN

A young girl took me by the hand, at the altar we agreed,

And I found out what I’d been missing- I discovered a new creed.

Instead of all this wishing what did I become/ A husband and a lover, a gardener, a chauffeur.

a teacher, part-time preacher, a handyman And best of all you see/ I became – Just me.

pastor’s weekly thought

Rev Ian Williams

WE’RE READY! ARE YOU?

This was the challenging headline that came to me this week via email to me from the London Olympic Committee. My response: No!! Really? Already? The Olympic Games actually starting today!

How did that happen? All the weeks, months and years of planning & preparation & publicity and still it crept up on me without me having done all that I had wanted to do. I was gonna:

· Purchase tickets & be at The Games
· Organise a local event in celebration of the Games
· Book time off work to watch the Games at home
· Make an Olympic outfit for myself
· Decorate the house in patriotic style

…and so the list goes on! Bottom line however: No – I’m not ready!!!!

I was reminded of the story Jesus told of the 10 bridesmaids – 5 of them ready and prepared for the bridegroom & 5 not (Matthew 25). I can see how easy it is to be lulled into a false sense of security with the thought that what we’re working towards is a long way off and we’ve got plenty of time – “all the time in the world” as the saying goes. And so we put off both “working out our salvation” and concerning ourselves with the salvation of others.

The Olympic committee call has jolted me out of my procrastination and lethargy as I realise that today is the day:

· To take action so that I don’t miss out on my Time and Purpose
· To be awake and alert to the “Ones” in my world who need me to give what I have as Peter and John did (Acts 3)
· To be ready for whatever is required of me from my Master and Father

“We’re ready! Are You?!?

 

news and views

Peter Maiden – George Verver

HELP TO 

POWER UP LOGOS HOPE!

In the heart of the ship, generators supply electricity for the air conditioning, lighting and just about everything else needed for life and ministry on board. The Power Up Logos Hope project involves the replacement of two generators and the main switchboard as well as the installation of a new heat recovery system. What difference will that make?

  • Replacement – Generators 2 and 3 are old and becoming unreliable. Presently, both of these generators are needed to power all of the ship’s systems if Generator 1 is being serviced or repaired.
  • Sustainability-The new generators will require less maintenance and repair, and also be more economical to run, resulting in significant savings on fuel usage and costs.
  • Efficiency-The heat recovery system will enable us to recycle currently wasted heat to pre-heat fuel and provide hot water, reducing fuel consumption even further.

With the project due to be completed during 2013, a great deal of planning and preparation work has already taken place. While the vessel has been in dry dock in Subic Bay, many systems in the engine room have been modified and upgraded for the new machinery.

Most significantly, due to the one-year lead time required for production, the order for the generator sets has already been placed with the manufacturer.

Without all the funds in hand at the time (even to cover all the dry dock costs), this decision was a significant step of faith. It was also one that the leadership team and the board of OM Ships didn’t take lightly.

Soon after the decision to go ahead was made and just before placing the order for the generator sets and switchboard, one friend of the Ship Ministry set aside $3 million for a 2 for 1 matching fund. This means that for every £2 given towards the project, a further £1 will be added, up to the end of 2012. The fund also applies to general gifts for the Ship Ministry.

In the following weeks, a charitable trust in the USA committed $500,000 to the project, and           then long-term partners promised a further $1.5 million to help cover the dry dock expenses.

We praise God for His faithfulness and the generosity of these different individuals which brings new momentum to raising the funds needed to cover the costs of this vital project.

illustrious past ministries

Harold Horton (1881-1969).

Harold Horton was born in Wrexham, North Wales to parents who were godly Methodists. At the age of 20 Harold surrendered his life and future to Christ. It was not very long before he felt a call to be involved in the ministry. He passed the denominational exams aged 21 and became a local preacher with the WesleyanMethodistChurch. This meant he travelled the local circuit of churches in North Wales preaching and ministering. He ministered for 20 years with the Methodists. In later years he worked in John Duxbury’s School of Elocution in West London. Among those to whom he gave elocution lessons, were Members of Parliament, actors and Ministers.

Many of Horton’s fellow minister’s were being deeply affected by Modernism and Horton did not escape the influence from these new movements in Methodism. Many of his contemporaries were setting their sails and allowing these new winds of doctrine to carry them unto rocks of heresy. There were those in this movement who felt they had come of age, grown up and moved on from old fashioned and traditional Methodist beliefs. Everything was being challenged and cast aside. The doctrine of man’s absolute depravity; the absolute authority of God’s written Word; the absolute necessity for a sinner to be washed in the Blood; an eternal place of suffering for Christ rejecters; were all being cunningly undermined. New intelligent, articulate and elegant leaders rose up. Higher criticism and modernism denied the supernatural and intellect explained everything away.

Although Horton was gifted, educated and eloquent, yet he was far from God. He had been suffering from a double rupture for about two years which caused great suffering in his body. This opened him up to the teachings of Christian Science which was the brain child of Mary Baker Eddy. When one of his pupils invited him to hear a Preacher called Smith Wigglesworth he willingly went. The supernatural gifts were in operation and the gathered host of nearly 2,000 people listened to the preacher in an ordered earnest manner. It was the plumber from Bradford. No education and no natural eloquence, but what he did have was the Word of God in his mouth and an enduement of power from on high. He preached simply, clearly and powerfully. That night Horton turned his heart again to Christ and believed the simple words of the Gospel. Also he was instantly healed in his body and filled with the Holy Spirit speaking in a new tongue as the Spirit gave him utterance.

As he began a fresh in Christ he preached the gospel in pure simpliocity and power seeing individuals saved and healed. Through the meetings in Sion College Howard Carter got to know Harold and so invited him to be a tutor at the HampsteadBibleSchool lecturing in French, English and various Bible studies. In March 1927 his first message was published in Redemption Tidings from the book of Jude called ‘Stand Fast’ – a warning to stand fast amidst apostasy and coming false teachers. From then on there was an increasing stream of articles printed in Redemption Tidings.

Then in June 1927, Stephen Jeffreys conducted a great campaign in Louth where many sinners wept their way to Calvary and out of which a church was birthed. Furthermore, Howard Carter organised a four month BibleSchool which led to the founding of the women’s BibleCollege in Louth. The following year, Harold went to Pastor the Louth church in conjunction with the Bible School Evangelistic Society and assisted John Carter at the women’s BibleSchool. John Carter was often on the move so the daily running of the School was left in Harold’s hands. His ministry became known further afield leading to many open doors. In late 1928 The Louth Bible School moved to new premises in Scarborough and Harold went as Principal and also to Pastor the local church there. He spread his wings and began to visit other churches to hold campaigns with other speakers like Howard Carter, C.L. Parker and Donald Gee.

Early in 1932 they moved to Bristol where they carried forward the work with great joy. Then in Nov 1933 the call to Luton came. The church was almost about to close the door due to liabilities. Within two weeks of Harold in the pulpit, large offerings were taken to cover bills and the Word was ministered with real anointing. He led his church forward in a real Pentecost. As he entered 1934 things were stirring. There were monthly meetings of the London District Presbytery of AoG to which he added his own note of scriptural clarity. For a few years he served on the Executive Presbytery of AoG.

At the end of 1934 he published his classic ‘The Gifts of the Spirit.’ The first time he was challenged concerning this scriptural doctrine was by Howard Carter. Howard would walk and talk with him in earlier years learning all he could. He borrowed Howard Carter’s teaching notes and built this book out of them. He had ‘hammered’ these messages out in study and experience over several years at the Woman’s BibleSchool in Louth as well as in Pastoral ministry in churches. But not only in teaching but also in practical experience he had seen them manifest. The book was soon used in Pentecostal Bible schools in America, Canada and the British Isles as a text book. It is still a classic and is still read widely.

Harold loved to talk about being 100% Pentecostal. He was uncompromising on truths like the New birth, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit as separate from regeneration, healing in the atonement and tongues as the initial evidence of the baptism. In his writings he gave a clarion call for a forward movement in AoG and not a looking back to the ‘good old days.’ There were now about 300 AoG churches in the land. He defended the teaching of the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the operation of tongues thoroughly. (His booklet ‘What is the good of speaking in tongues’ was another classic.) He believed the Pentecostal’s strongest argument for such was scripture. He never argued from experience or cut people off who disagreed or had doubts, he always dealt with them graciously and patiently. He invited honest enquiry, but always brought the enquirer to the written scripture. Because of his stance many came against him strongly but in spite of what must been hurtful, he never changed, never got angry and never grew bitter. When he ministered at conventions faith came into people’s hearts and they received the baptism and healing.

He wrote clearly and Biblically on issues such as preachers not having unscriptural titles like ‘Reverend’ – a title reserved for Christ alone. He warned against the wearing of special ministerial garb. He called women to dress modestly. He warned strongest of all about worldly methods of entertainment coming into the church. He had no time for worldly entertainment being brought into the church in order to draw in the unsaved. One of his clearest and most prophetic messages was ‘The Naked Splendour of the Cross’ which he preached at the annual AoG convention, it sent a shock wave across the movement and is still remembered today.

In September 1938 he resigned from the Luton church, moved to Hampstead and lived on the same road as the BibleSchool, from where he operated an itinerant ministry and a writing ministry, as well as helping at the School. After the war he departed to the United States where he remained for about five years to minister. During that time his book ‘Gifts of the Spirit’ was republished twice (1949 and 1953). At this time America was experiencing an outpouring of the Holy Spirit and new healing Evangelists were being raised up anointed of the Holy Spirit and thrust forth touching the masses. Harold sat in a number of these meetings and heard these various men. Harold fully acknowledged that this revival was a true Book of Acts Revival just like the one in which he had been transformed. “Bible days are here again.” When Harold returned to Britain in his 60’s he spoke as powerfully and clearly as ever.

After 44 years of walking with Christ in true Pentecost, Harold Horton passed away in 1969, and went to meet his King. 

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