TAKE EVERY OPPORTUNITY
Learning to influence others for Christ
PLUS THE DAY GOD CALLED ME BY NAME How a Muslim drug dealer found freedom in Christ
WHY THE CHURCH MUST BLESS ISRAEL We have to find balance in the Bible, says Mervyn Tilley Newport Elim is making the most of its location
PUT FOOD IN ITS PROPER PLACE How to help people with eating disorders
Tips to recharge your spiritual batteries
RUNNING LIFE ON EMPTY?
TH TO E B GA GA E BLO TH THE WN PA E R A CE RS ING WAY !
REACHING OUT ON A ROUNDABOUT
AUGUST 2012 Issue 131 £1.70
EDITORIAL John Glass says all creation needs a break
30 ARE YOU RUNNING ON EMPTY? Ten great ideas to recharge your batteries
CHURCH ON THE ROUNDABOUT An Elim church is impacting its community with the gospel... in a roundabout way!
32 FEELING FREE TO SPREAD GOSPEL Worship leader Ian Yates has used personal experience to help produce a new album
10 NEWS from Elim and the wider church 12 DIGGING DEEP TO HELP NEPALESE Susan Bottomley reports on the trip that changed the lives of a church’s members 14 BACK ON THE BEAT AFTER MIRACLE Policeman Tim Carson thought he’d never get onto active duty again after a back injury 16 MAKE THIS AN OASIS IN THE CITY Pastor Eric Scott reveals how polishing up an old plaque clarified his vision for Perth 18 DAY JESUS TOLD ME TO TRUST HIM When a loud voice called his name, drug dealer Mojtaba Darzi’s life changed forever 21 HOW DO WE APPROACH ISRAEL? Mervyn Tilley argues that we need balance 25 HOW GOD SEES YOUR POTENTIAL Author Anna Symonds says barrenness can be a doorway to understanding God 26 YOUTH SET TO BE BLOWN AWAY! Elim’s mega youth event is gearing up to blow away youngsters, says Mark Pugh
35 IT’S NOT WISE TO PLAY THE BIG MAN The male ego is a funny thing that we need to control, says Elim minister Carl Beech 36 RELINQUISH CONTROL TO GOD Mercy Ministries UK’s Arianna Walker talks to Mark Pugh about eating disorders 40 COPING WITH BEREAVEMENT Dr Sharon Kane offers her advice on grief 42 CALL TO JOIN PRAYER CHALLENGE Praying just ten minutes a day could change your life, says Nigel Tween 43 BOOK REVIEWS with Richard Dodge 44 EVANGELISM ISN’T JUST PREACHING REACH’s Mark Greenwood says we should take every opportunity to evangelise 45 THERE’S ONLY ONE ROUTE TO GOD Steve Harris explains why other religions are a dead end when it comes to God 49 ANSWERS with Jim Dick 50 AND FINALLY with John Lancaster
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Digging toilets in Nepal by day and teaching in churches at night was life changing for a team from Harrogate. Susan Bottomley reports
Digging deep to help people of Nepal Our eventful trip to Nepal in February was an amazing experience. The team of six people worked selflessly through all situations which led to a successful and memorable visit. Our Elim hosts made us feel very welcome as the team started a remarkable ten days out of their comfort zone in the service of Christ. Nepal is a beautiful country struggling with poverty, pollution and spiritual battles, with Hinduism and Buddhism being the dominant religions. But the Nepalese Christians who we met had a passion for Christ and a commitment to shine as lights within their communities. While ser ving in Nepal the team was involved in two projects. The first included a five to six hour journey south from Kathmandu to a town called
‘It was a great privilege to work alongside our Elim representatives in this challenging yet beautiful country’
Above Some of the team digging the foundation for a bio-gas toilet
Hetauda. This town was bustling and colourful with cultural experiences so different from our own. The team became involved in a United Vision Nepal (UVN) training programme involving students from all over the south of the country. Some were Christians new to the faith. These students were thirsty for teaching, wanting to deepen their walk with Christ. Some sessions were taken by members of the Harrogate team with the aid of an interpreter. We all enjoyed this opportunity to share with these warm and welcoming believers. The second project was in a village called Singol, three to four hours south west of Hetauda. In this very poor village we were involved in a practical project working alongside UVN members building the founda-
tions for bio-gas toilets. The fun and laughter we had as we dug, surrounded by the village children, made the task easier despite us being tired and dusty by the end of the day. The two village churches we had the privilege of visiting involved us in worship, teaching, two testimonials given by team members and time for prayer with individual members. These very simple church buildings were a joy to worship and fellowship in. On our return to Kathmandu we visited the UVN offices for a talk given by Bhab Ghale, UVN’s general secretary. The visit to Nepal was a blessing and was life changing for all members of the team. It was a great privilege to work alongside our Elim and UVN representatives in this challenging yet beautiful country.
Policeman Tim Carson thought he’d never get back to work again after a serious back injury wrecked his career. But everything changed when he went to an Elim church for prayer
It’s a miracle that I’m back on the beat after big injury Above Tim Carson with his fiancée, Alison Main image Tim is back on the frontline after he was miraculously healed
A policeman who severely injured his back and had to take 30 tablets per day believes God miraculously healed him. Tim Carson was told his prolapsed disc would never recover. But after being prayed for at Chelmsford Elim Church a Harley Street specialist told him: “Your faith has healed you.” Tim, 42, is now back on the frontline as a normal policeman after a five-and-a-half year stint of desk duty. “I am completely pain free and have stopped all my medication,” he says. “I was told I would have to live with my injury for the foreseeable future and probably the rest of my life. “Even though I had been taking very strong painkillers for over five years, I suffered no
side-effects while withdrawing from them. I have been totally healed by the power of prayer and by laying my circumstances in the hands of God.” Tim, an officer for the British Transport Police, hurt his back at work in a minor incident in 2006. But following weeks of severe pain, he went for an ‘I am pain free and can start to plan my future. I’m looking forward to the next marathon!’ MRI scan and was told he had a prolapsed disc. The keen marathon runner was given a desk job and was told he would never be fit again for active duty. “I resigned myself to the fact that I would never return to the job or the level of fitness I had
enjoyed before the injury,” he told Direction Magazine. “I found this prospec t daunting. This followed a report in November 2011 from the force medical officer that said there was no possibility of me being fit enough to return to full police duties due to my disability. “I was taking in excess of 30 painkiller tablets a day and was signed off work for a period of 13 months. “During this time I attended a pain clinic in Chelmsford having various treatments ranging from physiotherapy and traction, several joint injections, epidurals, acupuncture as well as large amounts of painkillers, nerve inhibitors and antiinflammatory medication. “I was referred on two occasions to the National Police
Convalescent Home in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. But none of the treatments or tablets I received made any significant change to the level of pain.” Tim, a committed Christian, received prayer for healing four times at his church, Chelmsford Elim. “After the first meeting I was convinced that there was some change in the amount of pain that I was feeling. I continued to feel improvement every day which was also noticed by my fiancée who stated that I was not making the usual pain related noises she was used to hearing! “I attended the second service the following week where I was prayed for again. The pain continued to reduce and on the third Sunday I said that the pain had reduced by 90 per cent.
‘I was told I would have to live with my injury for the foreseeable future and probably the rest of my life’
That evening I again received prayer and the pain continued to decrease and I was able to move around easier with very little discomfort.” In February, Tim was given the all-clear when he saw a consultant at a Harley Street clinic in London. He says, “The consultant was amazed with the transformation although she could not understand why it had happened. “I told her everything about attending the healing services, being prayed for and supported by numerous friends within my church and that I had not experienced any pain following a strenuous walk. “She said there are forces at work in the world that she doesn’t understand. She then told me: ‘I believe that your faith
has healed you.’ We agreed a fitness regime and discussed the reduction of my medication.” A month later, Tim completed his police fitness test and resumed his role as an officer. He is now looking forward to marrying his fiancée, Alison, next year. He adds, “I am totally pain free and can now start to plan my future. My faith has increased and I’m looking forward to the next marathon! I now know that God has forgiven, healed and restored me.” Tim’s pastor, Gareth Sherwood, who prayed for the policeman to be healed, said, “Tim’s story speaks for itself. I’m delighted for him and it’s great to see him back where he wants to be, on the frontline, serving us all as a police officer. God is good!”
How should we approach Israel? If we are to understand the Bible aright the Church needs to bless Israel – but we also need to be balanced, argues Mervyn Tilley
Above Mervyn Tilley
The rise of anti-Semitism is both alarming and dramatic across the world, with the Republic of Ireland currently leading the way, apart, of course, from the many Islamic nations. However, the supreme tragedy is that so many churches are caught up in this phenomenon, including many evangelical and Pentecostal churches. What chance do we have of making the Jews jealous according to Romans 11 with attitudes like that? A recent re-reading of Romans 9-11 made me ask the question: how on earth has replacement theology become such a popular viewpoint? Replacement theology is a teaching that promotes the idea that God has finished with Jeru-
salem and that the Church has taken Israel’s place. Part of this argument is based on the Jews rejecting Jesus as their Messiah and thus forfeiting the right to remain as God’s people. In fact, it was the Roman Church that saw itself as replacing the Jews to such an extent that they adopted the Old Testament trappings of Israel, including the priesthood, vestments, altars and incense – things which God never intended to be carried over into the new covenant because they were made obsolete by the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. People who take this view forget that there are always two parties in a covenant, and whereas one party may break their part of the deal, the other
party, being God, cannot and will not break his part of the covenant! I remember a well known charismatic speaker talking for an hour about how God had finished with Israel. He described Israel as mere scaffolding to be removed as soon as the building was complete. But then he concluded his talk with a reference to Acts 1:6-7 which talks about Jesus restoring the kingdom to Israel, and suggested on the basis of this Scripture there might just be a future for the people of God. Good foundation To describe Israel as mere scaffolding is an insult to the God who chose them in the first place. A far better word to use
D I RE C T I O N
A n s w e r s ELIM E X PERTS K EEP YOU POS TED
You frame the questions for Elim experts to answer. This month: long-serving pastor, Jim Dick
How do I deal with young daughter’s anger? My nine-year-old daughter is very rebellious and seems to have some serious anger issues. I am finding it hard to maintain a godly attitude when it comes to discipline. Are there any pointers you can help me with? Without knowing all the facts it is difficult to give a detailed answer, but there are some basic principles that can be offered. I hope you have the benefit of praying and supportive church leaders and friends who will be practical as well as spiritual. It could be helpful if the child was seen by a professional to investigate all possibilities. For example, why is she so angry and rebellious? Has anyone really tried to listen to what she has to say? A trained professional might be able to discover an underlying cause that could be addressed. You might be emotionally and physically drained by this kind of care so it is important that you watch your own health and lifestyle and endeavour to have as little as possible of other responsibilities that could drain your limited energy. One last thought – there are no perfect parents. Every mother and father is learning on the job and sometimes reactions or responses are not always as they should be. I lead a church and have to oversee our worship band. There is always in-fighting and arguments. What do I do? This church has a serious problem. The band is supposed to lead the congregation
in worship but it doesn’t sound as though there is much worship in the band. Because of the normal pressures of life, the group will only have a limited time together but it seems to me that they need to stop practicing their music for a while and start getting to know and appreciate each other – with some time spent in fellowship, maybe with some food and the opportunity to discover what the grace of God has done in each member. It could also be a time to learn the basic principle of ‘thinking of others more highly than yourself’, and these activities might begin to change the tense climate to a more spiritual one. Some teaching would not go amiss on the nature of worship and the importance of group unity to provide a platform for God to be able to ‘command the blessing’. However, if all of this fails to break the animosity then a Sunday service led by someone with a guitar or even worship CDs would be preferable to the current situation. My family is involved in freemasonry and I have heard that I need to ‘break’ any hold it may have on my life. Can you please explain what this means and how I go about it? The power of Christ’s work on the cross is more than enough to break every previous tie in a person’s life. You need to concentrate your attention on the mighty power of the Lord that has dealt with every negative or bad thing in your past. When a person is ‘in
Christ’ they are a new creation! The old has gone and the new has come. By the new birth they are part of a new family with a whole new DNA that is able to cancel out the negative influence of freemasonry or any other previous association. My counsel is to read, study and focus on the totally sufficient work of Christ done on the cross. The first century Christians were converted out of very immoral and pagan backgrounds – their previous lives had been immersed in all kinds of pagan practices and customs. But when they came to know Christ they found security and confidence in knowing that their past had been completely dealt with! I’m 14 and while I love being at church I have no one there my age and there are no Christians at my school. I literally have nobody to encourage me and I feel I live one way in the week and another on Sunday morning. What can I do? I am delighted to hear that you love being in church on a Sunday, but I’m sad to hear you live differently through the week. It is tough feeling isolated from your peer group, but in the absence of young people in the church I am sure there will be older people who could provide encouragement and they could join in prayer for you to find a good Christian friend. This challenge also provides you with a great opportunity to start changing the situation by witnessing to your friends at school and inviting them to church.
If you have a question, email it to: email@example.com Keep your questions coming so that thousands can benefit from the answers! Opinions expressed are those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the Elim Pentecostal Church
DI R E C T I O N
A n d f i n a L Ly . . . by John Lancaster
The Church needs to add some Punch! Mr Punch lay on his back, arms spread-eagled, his monstrous nose pointing upwards and the usual ridiculous grin on his face. Beside him, masked and grim, lay the executioner. Not far away in a crumpled heap – Judy. Little did they or the rest of the ‘cast’ know that this was their final performance. But then, neither did Toby the dog, quietly trotting across the sands behind his master – nor, for that matter, did the Punch and Judy man himself. How was anyone to know that an incoming spiritual tide would carry him forever from his little striped box. I caught an intriguing glimpse of him in a report of a prayer meeting held in the great revival of 1859. Written by a converted engine driver, it told of the beggars, rag and bone collectors, harlots and ballad singers gathered together: “After the preaching we had a prayer meeting. The first to pray was a blind beggar; next, a man who used to travel with the show; next, his son, formerly a Punch and Judy man; then, a sweep; then, a hawker of writing paper.” They sounded like David’s companions in the Cave of Adullam! But it was the Punch and Judy man who caught my imagination. Who was he? What was he like? This man who spent
‘The voice which had screeched out Punch’s raucous trivialities now rose in prayer to the throne of God’
most of his life crouched in a box talking in a squeaky voice. Maybe he lived his life against a backdrop of grease paint and cheap gin, bawdy songs and dingy lodgings, moving slowly in the dark currents of human life that ran like a polluted river through the back streets of Victorian England. Did the story of Mr Punch reflect the realities of his own troubled life? Could it be that, behind all the squawking bravado there was a conscience stricken with a sense of sin? Perhaps there was more truth than he cared to admit in Mr Punch’s oft-repeated catch-phrase, ‘What a pity!’ How he was converted we don’t know. All we know is that he was ‘a former Punch and Judy man’ – that the voice which had screeched out Punch’s raucous trivialities now rose in prayer to the throne of God, because the Christ who came to Matthew’s customs post came also to the Punch and Judy show, and the man behind the puppets heard his call and stepped out of his box into the sunlight of a new dimension of life and love. We have only a glimpse of him, but it is enough to remind us of the grace of God which reaches down into the murky backwaters of life to lift and cleanse fallen,
and often forgotten, men and women. As Jesus said, “The Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost.” The sight of the Punch and Judy man at prayer with his friends is strangely moving. So recently converted, they were desperately concerned about others. Their zeal rebukes our half-heartedness. They stand before us as trophies of grace – lovely examples of what God was doing on the grand scale in those days of revival. Their presence in the prayer meeting was an expression of the mood of the Church in a time when God’s Spirit was moving in great power. The patterns of social life may have changed dramatically, but our need for a fresh visitation of God in national revival is the same. We need to seek the face of God in urgent prayer. We need to respond to all that ‘the Spirit is saying to the churches’ in our day. Otherwise, some descendant of the Punch and Judy man will take a yearning look at us and go away muttering… ‘What a pity!’ • John Lancaster’s latest book Reflections is based on many of his articles in Direction. It contains short, thought-provoking chapters on a wide range of themes. Priced at £7.99 + £1 p&p, copies are available from the author at 75 Penny Lane Way, Leeds, LS10 1EA. Or telephone 0113 271 3846.
The male ego is a funny old thing, reckons Elim minister Carl Beech
Don’t be the ‘big man’ – be your own man! I hadn’t played golf for about seven years when I was asked by the golf pro at the Royal Jersey Golf Club if I fancied a round. Hmm, how do you respond to this? Being a bloke I couldn’t wimp out, could I? I buried the thought that I would have a scratch golfer and a pro watching me tee off, along with other regulars. I buried the certainty that I would be slicing, hacking and ‘topping’ the ball for all to see in front of people who are members of a club with a 20-plus-year waiting list. The fateful day came – and it was everything I expected. I did manage to keep the ball on the fairway, but for the most part it was on a fairway of a hole that I wasn’t playing! I managed to lose about 20 million balls as well, and also discovered that although I had the loan of a set of clubs that cost more than a private jet, it made no difference to my game. It had the potential to be, how shall I put it, ever so slightly emasculating. I had the same experience when I went to the gym with another mate. I’ve been pumping iron sporadically for years. Deano, however, has been a gym regular and a protein supplement-taker since he was in the womb! Again, it had all the potential to be emasculating. Another time, I was cycling up a mountain in the Alps when I noticed, about two kilometres behind me, another cyclist. I was still going up the hairpins an hour
later when he came past me. You can imagine my horror when the bloke cycled past me and grunted a ‘bonjour’ with a slight look of disdain on his face. There was me, 38 at the time, and this guy was about 70! He looked like a grizzled, gnarled exforeign legionnaire. Definitely emasculating! I co u l d g o o n… There’s a bloke I know who picked up a Rubik’s cube I was struggling with and solved it in two minutes. Or the time I was with a friend in France, who suddenly took over ordering for me in a restaurant, because it turned out he was fluent in French and I was ordering intestines when I really wanted a standard sausage! All of these times – and I have no doubt there will be more – could be horrendous if you are concerned about being the big man and the biggest gorilla in the room. You’ve got to be content to be your own man in this life and comfortable in your own skin. Faith helps to a great extent in that ongoing battle. It keeps your life in perspective. So, next time you are in a bar and all the boys are ordering beer and you want a ginger beer – go for it. Be your own man and don’t worry about the watching masses. You’ll be a lot more peaceful that way.
You don’t have to be the big man, says Carl Beech. Instead be comfortable in your own skin