minute message

Uganda 649Rev. E. Anderson

ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING

Jerry was the kind of guy you love to hate. He was always in a good mood and always had something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, “If I were any better, I would be twins!”

He was a unique manager because he had several waiters who had followed him around from restaurant to restaurant. The reason the waiters followed Jerry was because of his attitude. He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Jerry was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.

Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Jerry and asked him, “I don’t get it! You can’t be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?” Jerry replied, “Each morning I wake up and say to myself, Jerry, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood.’ I choose to be in a good mood.

Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life.”

“Yeah, right, it’s not that easy,” I protested.

“Yes it is,” Jerry said. “Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people will affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It’s your choice how you live life.” I reflected on what Jerry said. Soon thereafter, I left the restaurant industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.

Several years later, I heard that Jerry did something you are never supposed to do in a restaurant business: he left the back door open one morning and was held up at gunpoint by three armed robbers. While trying to open the safe, his hand, shaking from nervousness, slipped off the combination. The robbers panicked and shot him. Luckily, Jerry was found relatively quickly and rushed to the local trauma center.

After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Jerry was released from the hospital with fragments of the bullets still in his body. I saw Jerry about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied, “If I were any better, I’d be twins. Wanna see my scars?”

I declined to see his wounds, but did ask him what had gone through his mind as the robbery took place. “The first thing that went through my mind was that I should have locked the back door,” Jerry replied. “Then, as I lay on the floor, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live, or I could choose to die. I chose to live.

“Weren’t you scared? Did you lose consciousness?” I asked. Jerry continued, “The paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the emergency room and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read, ‘He’s a dead man.” I knew I needed to take action.”

“What did you do?” I asked.

“Well, there was a big, burly nurse shouting questions at me,” said Jerry. “She asked if I was allergic to anything. ‘Yes,’ I replied. The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, ‘Bullets!’ Over their laughter, I told them, ‘I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead.”

Jerry lived thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully. Attitude, after all, is everything.

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message by rick warren

rick warren

Rev. Rick Warren

AVOIDING THE REAVIEW MIRROR

“Put your heart right, Job. Reach out to God …. Then face the world again, firm and courageous. Then all your troubles will fade from your memory, like floods that are past and remembered no more.” (Job 11:13, 15-16 GNT)

You can learn a lot by looking at your past. You’ve heard the saying, “Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it.” That’s true — but it’s only part of the story. You can’t heal the most pervasive, costly wounds in your life by focusing only on your past. To defeat those giants, you’ll have to look ahead.

Too often we try to find healing by looking in our rearview mirrors. When we do that, we’re more likely to crash than heal.

In Job 11, God tells us clearly how to get rid of painful memories and move on with our lives. He says, “Put your heart right, Job. Reach out to God …. Then face the world again, firm and courageous. Then all your troubles will fade from your memory, like floods that are past and remembered no more” (Job 11:13, 15-16 GNT).

FIRST, PUT YOUR HEART RIGHT. You do what’s right — no matter what the other person does. It’s always right to forgive those who’ve hurt you.

SECOND, REACH OUT TO GOD. Invite Jesus into every room in the house of your heart. Often, we’ve invited him into the front room (accepted Jesus as our Savior) — but not the bedroom, kitchen, or garage.

THIRD, FACE THE WORLD AGAIN. Don’t hide in a shell or withdraw so you don’t get hurt again. Move forward. Learn to live again.

Your past is not your future. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, who you’ve done it with, or how long you’ve done it. Throughout Scripture, God forgives murderers, adulterers, and slackers, and he uses them to do his work in the world.

You, too, have a great future ahead of you. Put your heart right, reach out to God, and face the world again.

And then let God do something incredible through you.

TALK IT OVER

  • Why      is it so easy to look at our past when trying to overcome pain?
  • Who      do you need to forgive in order to “put your heart right”?
  • As      you reach out to God for healing, into what rooms do you still need to      invite Jesus?
  • In what ways do you “hide in a      shell” as you deal with hurt in your life?

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message of note

rtkendall

 

 

R.T. Kendal

OH LORD, PLEASE ALLOW ME TO FINISH WELL!

Strong faith doesn’t shield us from soul searching, writes renowned Bible teacher RT Kendall, who reveals his deepest concerns

The older I get, the faster time flies and the more I find myself crying to God: “Let me end well.” I have been stunned to discover how many esteemed leaders in Church history did not finish well. Oh Lord, let it not be so with me! Allow me to share with you some of my own greatest fears.

Firstly, that God would take his hand off me and leave me alone, Billy Graham expressed that this has been his greatest fear. It is what actually happened to King Saul – a man who was chosen of God, who had a brilliant beginning, who lost his anointing, yet whose prophetic gift flourished on his way to kill his enemy, young David,

When I ponder the thought that if the Holy Spirit were completely withdrawn from the Church today 90 per cent of the work we do would go on as if nothing happen that the same could happen to you or me. It is so easy to let either a natural or spiritual gift camouflage our true, secret relationship with God.

Secondly, that I would teach what is not exactly true. I cannot bear the thought that I would pass on any measure of theological error. Some people do not worry too much about sound theology. But I do. I want to get it right in rny thinking be­fore I stand in a pulpit or write anything down. I will have to give an account of every word I have uttered, including every careless one.

What is my assurance that I will not accept or teach heresy? One thing- but not my training, reading or level of intelligence, It is unconditional obedience to the Holy Spirit,

I put all my eggs in this basket, Jesus’ words: “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself” (John 7:17). I conclude from this that if my relationship with God is right, I will be kept from any serious error.

Thirdly, that I could be out of the will of God and not know it. If this could happen to Joseph and Mary, it could happen to you or me. They went an entire day without Jesus but assumed the whole time ‘he was in their company’ (Luke 2:44).

I am sobered to recall that God is no respecter of persons, that he will not bend the rules for any of us. If we proceed without him, we too are on our own. The only prevention that I know of is to develop such an intimate knowledge of the ways of the Holy Spirit that I instantly sense his absence when I move ahead without him.

To be fair, I don’t think anyone can get seriously out of God’s will for very long whose heart yearns for his presence. But I do not want to go a day, not even an hour, knowingly, without his conscious presence.

Fourthly, that I might dis­cover that I could have had much more of God and been used in a greater manner but for my stubbornness to recognise his warnings,

I have made so many mistakes and would give anything to have a second chance in certain areas (especially with my family). However, I know I am a forgiven man. I have forgiven myself – totally.

Furthermore, I hang on to Romans 8:28, that all things work together for good to them who love God and are the called according to his purpose. I believe this promise with all my heart, But at the same time I cannot help but wonder how much better it might have been had I listened to clear cautions from the Lord over the years. This is why I am so keen not to brush aside any loving word from a friend or stranger – lest I miss all that God would do with me, The older you get, the more you want to avoid repeat­ing any past mistakes,

Fifthly, I fear that I might not hear God say to me: “Well done.” You may say that all Christians get that very same commendation when they get to heaven. I don’t agree,

A ‘rich welcome’ is promised on certain conditions. I hold that not all who go to heaven also get a reward at the judgment seat of Christ, Some will be saved by fire – their works burned. They will lose their reward.

I have heard people say: “I don’t care about a reward, I just want to make it to heaven.” I reply: “You won’t feel that way then!” You should know that a reward (also called crown, prize or inheritance) was very important to the Apostle Paul.

Martin Luther once said that when he gets to heaven he expects three surprises – I) there will be people there he did not expect to see; 2) there will be people missing he expected would be there; 3) that he is there himself!

If I could paraphrase that, I expect three surprises – I) there will be those who receive a reward at the judgment I did not think deserved it; 2) there will be those saved by fire who I thought would receive a reward; 3) that I get to hear from the lips of Jesus himself: “Well done RT.”

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meet the christian ministers

mark and sarah wheatley

 

Rev. Mark and Sarah Wheatley

 

Mark has been the senior minister of the Christian Family Centre since April 1995. He is married to Sarah and they have two sons.

Sarah helps Mark behind the scenes with many of the aspects of CFC life.

Mark and Sarah enjoy family life (most of the time) and they also have a great heart of love for the local church family!

 

We would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to our church web site – http://www.christian-family-centre.org

We believe our church:

  • is a      great place to attend.
  • has relevance      and answers to      the questions of life.
         We believe our church is a place where:
  • dreams can      become reality.
  • love and acceptance are found (in God and people).
  • people who don’t know Jesus can meet him.
  • children are welcome to take part.
  • everyone is important and has a part to play.
  • we try      to live out a Godly life.
  • if we make mistakes we are still loved.

If this is your first time with us on our website, or if you are new to our church, or have only recently visited this site, we want you to feel very welcome and at home.

We would love you to come and pay us a visit us here at CFC some time.

Please feel free to contact us or email us for a chat, (there is no pressure), someone is usually available on most mornings in the week (and in our church the kettle is usually on!)

We are a lively and informal church who believes that God is more relevant in today’s world than ever and that Jesus Christ can change your life!

We are a group of people from different nations who worship together in great friendship and love.

We believe that church should be challenging, exciting, FUN and full of kids of all ages, (110 years old and younger!)

We are trying to build a place where God’s local family can come together in a secure and “non judgmental” environment, where there are no racial or background differences and where we can come together as a group of people who feel that we are accepted as a wanted part of this church family, though none of us are perfect!

Please pay us a visit soon you’ll be glad you did!

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living devotions

ernest - computor

 

Rev. E. Anderson

CHRISTLIKENESS

Taken from Senior Living Ministries

Christian author Carole Mayhall tells of a woman who went to a diet center to lose weight. The director took her to a full-length mirror. On it he outlined a figure and told her, “This is what I want you to be like at the end of the program.” So she committed that day to lose the weight necessary to fit into the figure on the mirror.

Days of intense dieting and exercise followed, and every week the woman would check in with the director of the centre. She would stand in front of the mirror, and week after week she saw her body conform more and more to the outline. She kept at it, and finally one day she fit within the image.

Much like the woman in the story, we as believers should long to conform to the image of Christ that we see in the Bible. This means that in everything we do, we should follow the commandment found in today’s passage to love God and love others. And while we may come up short at times, we keep striving for that image.

Pursue holiness by pursuing Christ-likeness. Pray how Jesus prayed. Have the hope Jesus hoped. And love how Jesus loved.

PRAYER CHALLENGE

Pray that God would continually mould you into the likeness of Christ.

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leadership factors

jmaxwell

 

 

DEBORAH AND THE

LAW OF RESPECT

Taken from the John Maxwell leadership Bible

People Naturally Follow Leaders Stronger Than Themselves

Judges 4:1-16

People follow those whose leadership they respect. The less skilled follow the more skilled. In general, followers seek those who better leaders than themselves.

The more leadership ability a person has, the more quickly he recognizes leadership—or its lack—in others. When groups of people get together for the first time, take a look at what pens. Leaders in the group immediately take charge. They think about the direction they  desire to go and whom they want to take with them. At first, individuals may make tentative moves in several directions, but after they get I know one another, it doesn’t take long for the and to follow them.

Deborah’s leadership gifts commanded the respect of both men and women, even though few women in her day rose to leadership positions. Even Barak, the military commander of the northern tribes of Israel, sought her help. Take a look at the process any leader (including Deborah) must go through, a process summarized by the word R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

RESPECT YOURSELF AND THOSE WITH WHOM YOU WORK.

Gaining the respect of others always begins with respecting yourself and your associates. Deborah did this, and people from all over Israel came to her to settle their disputes. If you desire to win the respect of others, first demonstrate a healthy respect

yourself and for your associates.

EXCEED THE EXPECTATIONS OF OTHERS.

Few observers might have expected Deborah to change the way the Israelites lived. Yet she raised the standard of living for the common person and returned the nation to peace.

Leaders who earn the respect of others go the extra mile, fight to achieve victory and take others with them.

STAND FIRM ON YOUR CONVICTIONS.

It must have taken strong convictions for Deborah to summon Barak and command him to fight. Even when Barak doubted the campaign, she did not waver, and prove her convictions by agreeing to accompany Barak to the battle. Followers respect a leader with conviction and a willingness to join the journey.

POSSESS UNCOMMON SECURITY AND MATURITY.

Deborah never tried to take credit for Israel’s victory, but recognized those who helped the nation win. Respected leaders don’t grab all the credit for themselves. They give as much as they can to others.

EXPERIENCE PERSONAL SUCCESS.

Leaders cannot help others enjoy success unless they have succeeded themselves, Deborah already had succeeded as a prophetess and a judge before she asked the people to fight.

CONTRIBUTE TO THE SUCCESS OF OTHERS.

Deborah did everything right in calling the people to battle. She gave them a commander and the resources they needed. She also gave them the word of the Lord that they would win. Under her guidance, “the children of Israel grew stronger and stronger against Jabin king of Canaan, until they destroyed [him]” (Judg. 4:24).

THINK AHEAD OF OTHERS.

Deborah didn’t simply tell Barak to fight; she furnished a plan for his attack. Then she accompanied Barak to the battle. The result: overwhelming victory. How could the people not respect a leader of such strategy and vision?

In general, leaders exercise their authority on one of five levels:

1/. POSITION

Titles or job descriptions provide the lowest level of leadership. People follow these leaders only because they have to. That’s where Deborah began—as a prophetess. But leadership that stays on this level becomes weaker, not stronger. Leaders who want others to follow simply because they are “the boss” soon lose respect.

2/.  PERMISSION

As followers grow to like and trust a leader, they begin to follow because they want to. People came to Deborah, seeking out her influence. But not even positive relationships, by themselves, can create lasting leadership.

3/. PRODUCTION

At this level, influence grows and respect increases because of what the leader and the people accomplish together. People begin to follow because of what the leader has done for the team or organization. Deborah’s success as a judge benefited all the peo­ple. If you reach this level, you and your team can achieve many of your goals. But to experience life-changing impact and lasting success, you must make the leap to the next level.

4/. PEOPLE DEVELOPMENT

The highest calling of any leader is to help other leaders reach their potential. Deborah helped Barak achieve his God-given purpose. Leaders who move to this level change their focus from inspiring and leading followers to developing and leading other leaders.

5/. PERSONHOOD

Leaders who spend their lives developing individuals and organizations make such an incredible impact for so long that people follow because of who the leader is. Deborah’s description as a “mother of Israel” seems to indicate she achieved the personhood level of leadership. Leaders cannot scheme to reach level 5; they arrive at this plateau only through time and God’s grace.

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just a thought

aaronlinford

 

 

Rev. Aaron Linford

THE GOD OF THE BIBLE

Gen 1:1

The Bible introduces God without argument or question. But what a God He is! Before all things, beyond all things, behind all things, He is the CAUSE, He decides the COURSE, He determines the CONSEQUENCES of life.

He is a living God, the Great I AM, underived, self-existent, eternal, immutable – the God who imparts life in creation and new life in conversion, “the Saviour of all men, specially of them that believe” (1 Tim 4:10). He is a lasting God, “the Ancient of Days” (Dan 7:9), “the King eternal” (1 Tim 1:17). He is a luminous God, His glory is “above the brightness of the sun” (Acts 26:13) – brighter than bright. Clouds of unknowing veil His Presence, but He is eternal light. He is a loving God, for love is His very essence (1 John 4:8,10). His bountiful munificence preserves us in life; His saving grace redeems us from death. He is a liberating God. He sets us free from the bondage of sin, granting us deliverance from evil, distress and fear. He is a loyal God, faithful to Himself, retaining His own integrity in that He cannot deny Himself, break a promise or deny a penitent sinner the salvation for which Christ died. He is a listening God, He hears and answers prayer. Sometimes we may feel like crying out, “Is there anybody there?” But though He may sometimes put a screen up, He is always behind it.

And this God calls us to worship Him, for our greatest duty and privilege is to honour Him that made us. “He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (Heb 11:6). Try it – and see!

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illustrations that light up life

ernest reading pose

 

Rev. E. Anderson

CLOSE SCRUTINY

A prosperous young Wall Street broker met and fell in love with a rising young actress of gentility and dignity. He frequently escorted her about town and wanted to marry her. But being a cautious man, he decided that before proposing marriage he should have a private investigating agency check her background and present activities. After all, he reminded himself, I have both a growing fortune and my reputation to protect against a marital misadventure.

The young man requested that the agency was not to reveal his identity to the investigator making the report on the actress. In due time the investigator’s report came back. It said the actress had an unblemished past, a spotless reputation, and her friends and associates were of the best repute. The report concluded, “The only shadow is that she is often seen around town in the company of a young broker of dubious business practices and principles.”

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healing testimonies

ernest reading pose

 

Rev. E. Anderson

CHAIN OF LOVE

Taken from Chicken Soup of the Soul

“Show me your ways, 0 Lord, teach me your paths” -Psalm 25:3

I have always believed in God and prayer and when people said God talked to them, 1 never doubted them, but I wondered what .it was like. What type of voice is heard? Why didn’t God talk to ‘ Maybe some people were more blessed than others.

Then something happened to me a few years ago as I was praying for my granddaughter. At first, I thought I was losing my mind.

My son Leo and daughter-in-law Celeste had a beautiful child named Felicia. After a few years, they divorced and my son received custody of his daughter, but Celeste stayed close to her too.

When Felicia was nine years old, her mom went to South to visit friends. Celeste called Felicia to say she would be : in a few days and that she was mailing Felicia a key chain with her name on it. But Celeste didn’t come home.

Celeste’s mother had been receiving calls from Celeste every day, but the calls stopped. Her mom became very concerned and called state police stations, but no one had any information. A couple of days later, a state trooper from North Carolina called, asking if she had any identifying marks on her body. Her mom described flower tattoo on Celeste’s wrist and a butterfly on her ankle. The trooper delivered the heartbreaking news. Celeste’s body had been found in a field on the side of the highway. She’d been murdered and left there for three days.

Poor Felicia went through all the emotions no child should have to endure. I visited in her bedroom where she was sitting quietly on the floor. I sat down on the floor too and we began to talk. Felicia mentioned that the last time she had talked to her mom on the phone, she sounded happy that she was on her way home and would see her in a few days. Through tears Felicia recalled her mom telling her that she was mailing a key chain with her name on it. But Felicia never received it.

A few days later I left work to visit Leo and Felicia again. I drove, continuously praying for Celeste’s family, but mostly for my granddaughter. As I got off the exit to my son’s house, I heard a voice… not of human nature, neither male nor female… telling me, “Get a key chain for Felicia.”

“What?”

“Get a key chain for Felicia.”

I was so confused. Where would I even begin to look?

Again, “Get a key chain for Felicia.”

By this time I started to cry out loud, “Where God, where?”

I was close to my son’s driveway when I heard the voice say, “Follow and you will see.”

I was told to get on the turnpike, and through my tears, I obeyed. I was told which exit to get off and I did. 1 was told to turn into the mall, where to park and where to walk. As I passed several stores, I was told to turn left and to enter the next store. The next store, I realized, sold costume jewelry for young girls. I walked in, looked around and did not see anything like a key chain.

I looked at the cashier. “You don’t have any key chains in here, do you?”

She said, “Yes, right there,” and pointed to an entire round rack of key chains of all types, shapes and colours. Now I was really confused. Which one should I pick? I was told, “Get the blue one that has the word ANGEL on it.”

I questioned, “Why this one? Why one that says ANGEL?” Obediently, I took it to the cashier and was surprised that it only cost a couple of dollars.

With the key chain in hand, I got into my car and headed back to my son’s. I parked in his driveway and I heard the words, “Write on the back of the key chain.”

“With what?” I wondered. I started looking in my glove box for a permanent marker. But, I heard “Use a pen.”

I grabbed a pen from my purse and was told to write on the back and what to write.

The metal was soft enough to engrave. I was shocked when I found myself writing, “To Felicia. Be Good. Mom.”

Then I went into the house.

 My son was in the living room. I asked, “Where’s Felicia?”

My heart was pounding with excitement as I held the key chain behind my back. Leo wanted to know what was going on. I told him I needed to see Felicia and I winked. He called for my granddaughter and she rushed out yelling “Grandma!” and hugged me.

I told her, “I have something for you that is very important.”

She just stared at me with no expression and asked, “What?”

I reminded her about her last conversation with her mom and about the key chain. I said,

“I think I found it.”

“Where?” she asked, clearly confused.

“It doesn’t matter where, I was just told to get it.”

I handed her the key chain and she started to cry. She showed it to her dad.

I said, “I don’t know why it says ANGEL on it. Didn’t your mom say it had your name on it?”

Leo said, “Oh dear God, Mom. When Felicia was born, Celeste wanted to name her Angel, but I talked her out of it.”

That’s when I started to cry. I knew the Holy Spirit spoke to me to deliver Felicia’s key chain from her mom.

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great stories

ernest kitchen

 

 

Rev. E. Anderson

A STREAM IN THE DESERT

by Betsy Youn

A heavenly moment of heavenly tranquillity points to the future.

My husband was gravely ill. In desperation his doctors prescribed bypass heart surgery; a new and untested procedure at the time. Bob and I were both frightened and needed a reprieve.

A week before surgery we packed a picnic and, on a glorious California day, drove out to the Mojave Desert.

Bob loved the desert air; it was so dry and easy to breathe. We travelled aimlessly on back roads lined with desert flowers, yucca and the lovely paloverde tree. And then, on an off-road track, we chanced upon a path.

We left the car, and the path led us to a gentle stream of water. Such streams aren’t unheard of in the Mojave in June, but they are very rare.

We sat beside the shaded pool. During the next few hours, picnicking, sunning, we were as happy as we’d ever been during our twenty-five years of marriage. The water, so unexpected, so soothing, soaked our hot feet, and especially pleased Bob. It reminded him of Psalm 23. ‘He leads me to quiet pools of fresh water,’ he quoted from memory.

And indeed, as we talked, the waters seemed to wash away our fears. Our souls were restored.

Reluctantly we left. But back at the car Bob realized he’d left his knife on a poolside stone and I walked back to retrieve it. There was the knife, glinting in the sun. But the brook, the pool … they were gone. Where there had been water minutes earlier, there were now only stones and sand.

The following week Bob died on the operating table, his heart condition even worse than the doctors had suspected. I’m sure; though, that he died in peace, assured by our stream that he would dwell in the house of the Lord forever.RIVER

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