gospel nuggets

Uganda 649

 Rev. E. Anderson


In a large City-Church it was the custom to invite their three mission churches on the first Sunday of each new year to a joint communion service. In those missions were some outstanding examples of conversion: thieves, burglars, outcasts—all knelt side by side in taking the communion. 

On one such occasion, the pastor saw a converted burglar kneel beside a judge of the Supreme Court —the very judge who had sentenced him to jail where he had served seven years.

When he was released, the burglar had an amazing testimony of conversion and became a devoted worker. Neither seemed to recognize the other even though they knelt beside each other.

After the service, the judge was walking home with the pastor. He asked him, “Did you notice who was kneeling beside me at the altar during the Lord’s Table this morning?”

“Yes, I did not know that you noticed him.”

Presently the judge exclaimed, “What a miracle of grace!”

“Yes, a marvellous miracle of grace,” replied the pastor. “But to whom do you refer?” queried the judge. “So-and-so,” said the pastor, mentioning the name of the burglar.

“I was not referring to him,” said the judge. “I was thinking of myself.” “You were thinking of yourself?” “Yes, it did not cost that burglar much to get converted when he came out of jail. He had nothing but a history of crime behind him, and when he saw Jesus as his Saviour, he knew there was salvation and hope for him.

“But look at me! I was taught from earliest infancy to live as a gentleman; that my word was to be my bond; that I was to say my prayers, go to church, take communion, and so on. I went through Oxford, took my degrees, was called to the bar, and eventually became a judge. Pastor, nothing but the grace of God could have caused me to admit that I was a sinner on a level with that burglar! Do you not agree it was much harder for me to humble myself than it was for that burglar?”

FATHER, let us never forget, that at the cross each of us is reduced to the lowest place—we become as “zeros”, whether from high or low estate. You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart; You will cause Your ear to hear.


a time to laugh

ernest kitchen

Rev. E. Anderson


At his request, each morning three-year-old Ray’s mother pinned a bath towel to the back shoulders of his size two T-shirt. Immediately in his young imaginative mind the towel became a brilliant magic blue and red cape. And he became Superman.

Outfitted each day in his “cape,” Ray’s days were packed with adventure and daring escapades. He was Superman.

This fact was clearly pointed out last fall when his mother enrolled him in kindergarten class. During the course of the interview, the teacher asked Ray his name.

“Superman,” he answered politely and without pause.

The teacher smiled, cast an appreciative glance at his mother, and asked again, “Your real name, please.”

Again, Ray answered, “Superman.”

Realizing the situation demanded more authority, or maybe to hide amusement, the teacher closed her eyes for a moment, then in a voice quite stern, said, “I will have to have your real name for the records.”

Sensing he’d have to play straight with the teacher, Ray slid his eyes around the room, hunched closer to her, and patting a corner of frayed towel at his shoulder, answered in a voice hushed with conspiracy, “Clark Kent.” 


On the first day of school, a first-grader handed his teacher a note from his mother.

The note read, “The opinions expressed by this child are not necessarily those of his parents.”


Why were the Indians here first? They had reservations.




ernest reading pose

Rev. E. Anderson


“Pride goes before destruction” -.  Proverbs 16:18

What does pride look like in your life? Wait a minute,” you might say. “I don’t have a problem with pride.”

No one’s accusing you of having a. problem—not exactly. But take a careful look in the mirror. View your words and your actions—all of them—through the eyes of your co-workers, your spouse, your children, your close friends. Now answer the question again: What does pride look like in your life?

We’re not talking about that well-deserved feeling of accomplishment that sweeps over you when you complete a big project, land an important client, or close a big sale. There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as it doesn’t lead to a big head. But what about the subtle kind of pride that sneaks up on you and makes you do and say things you didn’t even know you were doing and saying?

Have you ever jokingly put down a co-worker when he wasn’t there to defend himself? That was pride saying, “I’m better than he is.” Have you ever made sar­castic comments about a subordinate in front of her peers? That was arrogance say­ing, “She’s not worth much, is she?” Have you ever forced a colleague to drop what he was doing so that he could help you finish a project that you should have com­pleted days ago? That was conceit saying, “My needs are more important than the needs of my co-workers.” Have you ever gotten irritated when someone else received well-deserved praise? That was vanity saying, “I deserve some recognition, too.” Do you ever act as if you’re the only one in the office who knows anything or die only one who can do your job? That’s self-satisfaction saying, “I’m really something, aren’t I?”

What does pride look like in your life? Is it under control, or are you headed for destruction?


dave’s snippets






Dr. David Allen


The  oldest  French  woman, Madame  Jeanne  Calment, passed away   at the ripe old age   of one hundred  and twenty-two,  having  stopped smoking  for health-reasons  at one  hundred and eighteen! In  a short interview for L’Express  she described herself  as  “the woman   whom God   forgot.” 

Quite  recently I   attended  the funeral  of a  church member  who had just  attained  the age of  one hundred; and as I  sat there meditating  in the moving and dignified  service  I  thought back to the many funerals  I have attended  over the years. It  has been a mixed  picture. Sometimes I have left  the service  thinking  I had gone to the wrong   crematorium or chapel  as the   eulogy  or tribute bore little  resemblance   to the person I had known!

An  unforgettable   sermon painted  a wonderful  picture of heaven by   the parson. Our  recent deceased  neighbour, he  told us ,  had passed  through the pearly gates and was walking on   golden streets and looking forward  to the happy day  when all her  friends and family would   join her  in that  heavenly land. It   was a sermonic  masterpiece. However, the  homily   forgot to  remember  the   vital fact  that the  Bible  quite clearly  tells us  that  attaining  heaven  depends upon   personal  faith in Jesus Christ  and following him. To my knowledge the deceased  lady, though  a cheerful  and personable soul, had   no such  faith. The   sermon was eloquent  and  moving but  gave the  dangerous  impression  that, putting it crudely,  everyone  would eventually  arrive in heaven. That   notion  is   termed  Universalism but there is no evidence of  it  in Scripture, rather, it is conditional on personal faith.

That  funeral  I recently  attended was  quite  different: no  histrionic  pulpit artistry, but sound  teaching and above all  an  authentic and accurate personal  eulogy. The   lady, as a young woman, had  been converted  in the late  twenties in  an evangelistic  campaign in Nottingham and  for the rest of her  life  was a pillar   to her   local church  and gave  a continuous testimony to Christ.  George Fox, a leading   early Quaker whose Journal  records  many  miracles, declared  that   the best testimony  to the power of the  Gospel  was not  such miracles  but rather  a lifelong and steadfast faithfulness to Christ. Who   knows  down the years how many  lives  have been touched by  such an example  -a  long life and a good one?


a message by the late david wilkerson






Rev. David Wilkerson


When I use the word “lukewarm” to describe a person’s love for Jesus, I don’t mean he is cold toward the Lord. Rather, I mean his love is “inexpensive”—not costly. Let me give you an example: When Jesus addresses the church at Ephesus in Revelation 2, He first commends them for all they have done. He acknowledges that they have laboured hard in the faith—hating sin and compromise, refusing to accept false doctrines, never fainting or giving up when persecuted, always taking a stand for the gospel. But, Christ says, He holds one thing against them: They have forsaken their fervent, expensive love for Him! “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love” (Revelation 2:4).

Somehow amid all their good works, they left behind their loving, disciplined walk with Jesus. And now He tells them, “You have left your first love and forsaken the costly discipline of coming into My presence to commune with Me.”

Please note: Jesus is speaking here of believers who started out with a burning love for Him, not to cold, nominal Christians who never loved Him in the first place. He is saying, “It’s possible for someone who once had a heart of love for Me to let his zeal become lukewarm, seldom praying at all.”

Think about how insulting this must be to Christ, our Bridegroom. What kind of marriage can there be when a husband and wife have no private times of intimacy? And that’s just what Jesus is talking about here. He wants moments with you all to Himself!

It does not matter how loudly you praise the Lord in church, how much you say you love Him, how many tears you shed. You can give generously, love others, hate sin, rebuke wrongdoers, but if your heart is not being continually drawn to Christ’s presence, you have lost your love for Him.

All our works are in vain unless we return to our bright, burning love for Jesus. We have to realize, “Loving Jesus isn’t just about doing things. It involves the daily discipline of maintaining a relationship, and that will cost me something.”

lake 6


christian testimony






David Suchet is renowned for his uncanny ability to lose himself in the roles he plays.

If you didn’t know better, you might believe that he’s French, what with his accent in Poirot and his continental surname – but you’d be wrong! He’s not even Belgian, as he so often insists when playing Poirot, but a thoroughly English gentleman who’s not only a fine actor but also a devout believer.

“Once you have stood up publicly and said, ‘I turn to Christ’, by the very utter­ance of those words you are confessing your faith – and that is quite something,” he says. “I had been through 21 years of real struggle to come to this place, and now I have a faith that is the most important thing in my life. It governs how I behave, how I think, and makes me who I am.

“I’m a Christian by faith. I like to think it sees me through a great deal of my life. I very much believe in the principles of Christianity, that one has to abandon one­self to a higher good. I think to accept the now and to live in the present is the most important thing for all of us to learn to do, to be able to live in the present and not let the quality of the present be coloured by the fear or anxiety of the future or the pain of the past.”

While faith can be a pretty private thing, it’s refreshing to see someone so firmly in the public eye standing up for his beliefs. When you ask David Suchet about his faith, he’s unequivocal and unashamed, which makes him the perfect figure to speak up about the increasingly perilous state of the Church in Britain. “I do feel that Christianity is being marginalised by other religions in Britain,” he explains.

“I won’t tell you the name of it, but a charity I work for got turned down for government funding recently because it was a Christian charity, even though it had been funded by the government for several years.

“Don’t misunderstand me. We should embrace all religions and marginalise none. But we seem more concerned with marginalising Christianity, and not offend­ing other faiths. We are in danger of losing the importance of the Christian faith in our own country.”

The importance of faith is not something David, 66, himself looks set to lose any time soon though. In fact, it’s something he’s helped promote by taking part in The Monastery – a TV series in which celebrities spent time in a monastery and recorded their responses to the silence and solitude.

For David, it was no surprise that the idea proved popular. “There’s a huge hun­ger for spiritual peace. I think there are times when all of us need to have silence and solitude. It’s good to find one’s own space for a little while.

“I have always believed that we go to the gym to exercise our bodies, we read and do crosswords to exercise our minds, but we do very little in this cynical, secular age to exercise our souls. On retreat, I was able to be alone to reflect and pray. Not to have to talk and feel on show was very important to me.”

For someone whose faith obviously forms such a key part of their life, it’s inter­esting to hear how it all started. “Having been through a conversion experience at the age of 40, my only experience of any form of faith prior to that was at school, and I always considered that religion was for examination!

“I was lying in a bath in my hotel, thinking about my grandfather. And I remember thinking, ‘Isn’t it interesting that I feel my grandfather is with me and yet I don’t believe in an after-life?’

“So I went straight out and bought a Bible and read St Paul’s letter to the Romans. The Bible, I’ve always said, sadly, is the biggest selling yet most under-appreciated – and possibly one of the least read books cover to cover. St Paul describes how to be a Christian, and it slotted right into what I had been searching for: something beyond, something quite mystical, but also a way of being that I could relate to.

“By the end of that letter, I had seen and read about a way of life to which I wanted to aspire. I thought, This is what I have been looking for all my life’. But I then had to study Christianity because I couldn’t just accept it on face value. I have never had blind faith in anything.

“The journey of faith is not an easy one, and my wife and I did go through difficult times because of it. But as long as you are not fanatical about it, and if your faith can make you loving and kind, then it’s a bonus to a marriage and family life.”

Faith might have required research for the meticulous actor, but research is something he’s well accustomed to! “I think my worst quality is perfectionism. I’m not satisfied with anything less, which means I’m never satisfied,” he says. “It makes me difficult to live with. I’ve never, ever suffered fools gladly. I can be very, very tough professionally as well. If people are being sloppy, I’m not very nice to be around. I will demand that standards are kept, and I am a bit of a taskmaster.

“I think some people would find me very difficult to work with, but I’m only ever like that if I feel that people are not prepared, or not ready to work in the right way. Before I accept a role, I always meet the director and want to  know who the others in the cast are. It’s important.”                                   

This penchant for perfection has taken its toll on David in the past as he’s delved deep into the characters he’s played – so deep that he forgot himself. “You do very much open the doors to the dark side of your life, and I was aware of my fault in letting characters overtake me and not quite knowing how to deal with it,” he remembers.

“My friend came backstage and said, ‘You really, really can’t do this and survive’.

I told him I didn’t know what he was talking about. So he said, Tell me your address, your telephone number, your children’s ages and where they go to school’. I couldn’t. He told me how to de-programme my mind and remind myself who I was before I left the theatre. I still follow that technique, and it has transformed me.”

But it’s not just acting that gets David’s full attention. His marriage to Sheila a shining example of enduring commitment – is another area of his life marked by great effort. “I love being married and I think marriage is a wonderful institution. I have always said, ‘Happy wife, happy life’. And although we have had long periods apart because of my work, I have tried to make Sheila happy by cherishing her and laughing with her.

“But marriage won’t work by itself. You have to work at it. It’s not about candlelit dinners every week, but about having struggles, coming through them the other side and believing in what you first believed in when you met.”



pastor’s weekly thought






Rev. Ian Williams


The church described in the book of Acts is a portrait of how the Church of today can be and should be. It is not idealism or the figment of someone’s imagination but the description and prescription of what the church should be like within the community.
For so many the idea of Church is boring, monotonous, predictable, stale and not relevant. The church described in Acts contradicts all of the aforementioned and defies the stereotypical perspective many may have!
Church should not be pathetic or lifeless. It should be life-giving, life-changing, energetic and a place where we can encounter God. We must remind ourselves that God is building a House, not a Hotel where we take advantage of the facilities and come and go as we please, but a Home for us to commit too, grow up in, and be loved and cared for;

  • A Home where everyone feels loved appreciated and wanted.
  • A Home with moral and biblical values that are lived out.
  • A Home that cultivates open and honest communication.
  • A Home that cultivates a spiritual hunger and thirst after righteousness.
  • A Home that develops a positive and faith filled atmosphere.
  • A Home where everyone takes responsibility and ownership.
  • A Home where every individual shows and gives respect to one another.
  • A Home filled with praise and worship.
  • A Home that seeks and pursues Godly wisdom.
  • A Home of opportunity.
  • A Home that is committed to the extension of God’s Kingdom and is willing to pay the price!


The challenge we face here at Riviera Life church is not just to read about the church of Acts but to become like the Church described in the Book of Acts.
Be determined to make the difference.
flowers 1


a beginner’s course






Rev. John Willoughby



I Cor 2:9-10. Paul wrote in the same letter, “Now we see things imperfectly as in a poor mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me now ” (13:12). Heaven is a place far beyond anything we can possibly conceive. Though the Bible doesn’t describe all of the details of what it is like, it does give us some clues as to its nature. It is

a) A place of God’s glory. Dan 7:9-10. We can see from this Scripture, firstly that it is the dwelling place of God. Moses wrote, “Look down from Your holy dwelling place in heaven and bless Your people …. ” (Dt 26:15). Secondly that it is where God’s throne room is located. We read in Ps 103:19, “The Lord has made the heavens His throne; from there He rules over everything”.

b) A place untainted by evil – Rev 21:27. The nature of heaven is a product of the very nature of God. The Book of Revelation describes the New Jerusalem, coming out of heaven, as a place without:- night (22:5), curse (22:3), pain, crying, sorrow and death (21:4).

c) A place where the righteous dwell Mt 13:43. Jesus said,“I assure you. unless you are born again, you can never see the Kingdom of God’ and ”the truth is. no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit ‘ (Jn 3:3. 5). We see here a clear qualification for all those who will live there. Paul encouraged us with these words.    When we die and leave these bodies – we will have a home in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God Himself     ‘ (2 Cor 5:1).

d) A place of continual worship. Rev 19:1-6. John wrote,   Then 1 looked again and 1 heard the singing of thousands and millions of angels around the throne …. And they sang in a mighty chorus, ‘The Lamb is worthy — the Lamb who was killed. He is w orthv to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and blessing'” (Rev 511-12)

e) A place that will never end – I Pet 13-4 Peter wrote of the “called and chosen ” in II Pet 1:10-11, “Godwill open wide the gates of heaven for you to enter into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ”.


As believers, we live our lives in a special relationship with heaven because: –

* We have been sent by the One who lives there Jn 17:16. 18. Paul wrote, “We are Christ’s ambassadors ” ( 2 Cor 5:20).

* We belong there. Heb 12:22-23 Paul also wrote, “We are citizens of heaven where our Lord Jesus Christ lives” (Phil 3:20).

* We have our source of life there Col 3:1-4. In Eph 1:3 we read, “How we praise God …. Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms, because we belong to Christ”.

* We have our names recorded there. Phil 4:3. Jesus said, “rejoice because your names are written in heaven ” (Lk 10:20. NKJ).

* We have our eyes fixed there, n Cor 4:17-18. Abraham, “was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God ” (Heb 11:10).

* We have our treasure there. Mt 6:19-21. Jesus said to the rich young ruler, “If you want to be perfect go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven” (Mt 19:21).

* We are being called there. Jn 14:1-3. Paul wrote, “I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God through Christ Jesus is calling us up to heaven ” (Phil 3:14).


I realize my life here on earth is only temporary and I decide today to set my affections on things in heaven, not on the things of earth. I will share with others the good news about this wonderful eternal home Jesus offers to all who believe on Him.

 flowers 3


womens’ page








Pam Rhodes


Fronting Songs Of Praise has been a compelling and powerful experience, says presenter

She may have interviewed some of the world’s biggest names but it is the ‘ordinary’ folk who Pam Rhodes really enjoys meeting as part of her role in Britain’s longest running religious series, Songs Of Praise. Pam, who has been presenting the much-loved Sunday afternoon treat for 25 years, says that working on the show has been a great pleasure and has enriched her life in more ways than she could ever have imagined. “I’ve absolutely loved working on Songs Of Praise,” she smiles. “It’s a lovely show and has really en­hanced my life and faith. I’ve interviewed all kinds of famous people which has been wonderful but it’s the ‘people next door’ that I’ve really loved meeting.

“Every ‘ordinary’ person is extraordinary and as an interviewer, it’s been such a great pleasure. The privilege of my posi­tion means that I’m able to ask people the questions that most people would never normally ask and get right to the nub of the matter.

“The fact that people are so generous and trusting about what has happened to them in their lives is incredibly humbling and a great intimacy is usually created with them as a result of my interview.”

The TV presenter says that the show has only helped to strengthen her faith. Being constantly exposed to the power of faith and prayer has meant Pam has witnessed more than most in her working life.

She says: “The Songs Of Praise experi­ence means that I’ve had the opportunity of speaking to hundreds of people about their faith and so I’ve heard many, real examples of the power of prayer. I think when you hear that it’s not just you who believes, it becomes incredibly compelling and powerful.”

Pam’s journey towards a deep-rooted belief began at school. As a member of a proud navy family, she was introduced to a strong Christian ethos at a young age and has continued throughout her life to remain devoted.

“My journey really began in the most traditional way. The hymn ‘Eternal Father, Strong To Save’ was very important to families like mine as many of the fathers were away working at sea for up to three months at a time.

“My schooling had the greatest influence on my faith, but it wasn’t until I came to London when I was working behind the scenes in television that I got involved with community projects and began to merge my faith with a sense of respon­sibility. I used to teach dancing in youth clubs across London and that’s when my role as a Christian really became clear.”

Pam’s sense of God’s calling is something which she has now come to accept as part of her life as a devoted believer.

She says: “There are often occasions when I’m talking and I think of the hymn ‘God Be In My Head’. When I’m doing public speaking or interviewing someone, sometimes I’m afraid I won’t know what to say, but yet somehow the right words do come out!

“When this happens, it makes me realise that I’m just a channel, that I’m part of a greater plan to do God’s work, which is very comforting. I’m sure many people feel the same way.”

After working on Songs Of Praise for so many years, it’s perhaps no surprise that Pam is a huge fan of Christian hymns. In­deed, she describes them as ‘little prayers in our pockets’.

“Hymns are often rather overlooked in regards to their value and importance to us as Christians. The writers put the words so beautifully together, so that when they are paired with the perfect accompany­ing music, they become indelible in our minds.

“Hymns come back to you easily be­cause of the music, which means they’re always right there in our heads for us to access when we need them.”

While Pam acknowledges that Christianity is changing and modernising, she says that hymns need to be appreciated and held dear by all believers.

“I think we need to be very careful that, as we inevitably move on with the times, we don’t lose our heritage and the wonderful value that hymns can bring into our lives. Otherwise we really will be missing out on such a huge and wonder­ful resource.

“The poetry of hymns and their words say so much and I really do think that hymn singing is a resource that can bring incredible joy and comfort to us as Christians.”

Pam, a mother to two children and stepmother to six, is now also a grandmother. Thinking back on her time as a presenter for Songs Of Praise, she says it’s incredible how the journey of her life has echoed that of her as a presenter on the show.

“One of the next shows I’m working on with Songs Of Praise is one tied in with the celebration of grandparents, because of National Grandparents Day in America this September.

“I’ve really grown up with the show and I do think that my age and experience echoes the profiles of our viewers.

“It’s quite funny to think that when I started the show 25 years ago, I was a young thing and now 25 years later, I’m working on a show about grandparents, when I’m a grandparent myself! It really has been a truly wonderful experience.

                                                                                                                  flowers 5

wisdom’s ways


Rev. Aaron Linford


“The ravens of the valley shall pick it out”Proverbs 30:17

The honouring of parents is a prime concern of God’s word. Why? First of all, the family unit is the foundation of society. A stable home leads to a stable nation. Secondly, home is the nest where children are nurtured; and it needs both father and mother to do this. The strength of a man and the tenderness of a woman are both needed to ensure that their offspring shall grow up with the needed instruction and restraint, the affection and rebuke that make for mature and balanced adulthood. Thirdly, parents can reproduce themselves in their children (Gen 5:3). Happy are they whose father and mother impress gracious and sensible qualities on their lives. Good parents prepare their children to face life, arming them with noble principles, sustaining them with constant prayers, and showing them examples of what right living can mean.


DON’T MOCK YOUR FATHER. The younger generation often feel that they are restricted. They strain at the leash of parental control, they contrive ways of dodging the parental eye, they often seek to evade the obligations of sonship. A father’s choice may seem out-dated (“Dad is not with it”), his ways may appear archaic, not suited to the in-generation – but it is unwise and unkind to mock his efforts to guide and help. The Prodigal Son thought he was on a good thing when he received his legacy and stretched his newly-fledged wings into freedom. But how glad he was to return home: and how gracious was his father to receive him back!

DON’T DESPISE YOUR MOTHER. She may seem a sentimental old fuss-pot, but it is out of love and concern that she gives her advice and lays down her laws. “The eye that mocks” indicates the sullen looks, the subtle glower that reveals the unspoken resentment. Your mother wants what is best for you; she bore you, she reared you; you are part of her. Her hopes and wishes are centred on you: don’t disappoint her.

To despise mother or father is to despise the God who said they should be honoured (Ex 20:12). The despising “eye” will be plucked out by the ravens of holy justice. No one who despises, denies or deserts his parents shall truly prosper.

PRAYER: In honouring my parents I honour Thee, O Lord!



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