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NEW LIFE EASTER EDITION

APRIL 2010 Issue 194 • 40p

Special eaSter meSSage from Dr John Sentamu PAGE 9

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gospel brings comfort after our son died PAGE 3

‘Use christian values to be a better boss’ Good business leaders are those who put Christian values at the heart of their organisations, the Archbishop of Wales has said. dr Barry Morgan, below, said it was important that leaders believe in the people working under them, recognise their gifts, inspire them to achieve, and value their contribution. He said: “The world of business often uses spiritual, even religious, language. Businesses talk about the need for vision and having a mission plan. “In fact the literal meaning of the word ‘company’ is a place where people ‘share bread with each other’,” he said. “This highlights the fact that personal relationships are crucial in business. People need to feel va lued a nd ca red for as people in their own right, not as cogs in a machine,” dr Morgan told the Leading Wales Awards. He added: “When that happens they feel they matter, have a contricontri bution to make and that enhances their sense of wellbeing which in turn affects their attitude to everyevery thing and everyone else. “Th is is a rel ig ious concept, because Christians maintain that that’s the attitude of God towards his people and ought to be our atat titude towards one another.”

cop: praying has cut crime A ToP P police inspector has revealed that he believes prayer has helped cut crime. Insp Roger Bartlee, of devon evon and Cornwall Police, said that following prayer from local Christians, crime rates dropped. detection etection rates have soared, road accidents have fallen — and Mr BarBar tlett is convinced it is evidence of divine intervention. The clear-up rate for crimes in his Force area of Barnstaple used to be 26 per cent, one of the lowest in the devon and Cornwall area. ● Full story and special feature on prayer and crime... Page 5

PLUS ● Why christ’s sacrifice is the greatest swap of all time ● What’s so ‘good’ about friday? CENTRE PAGES

James Burke-Dunsmore will play Jesus in the Passion play in Trafalgar Square Picture: Graham Turner/Guardian News & Media

easter play plan for trafalgar Sq. THE HARROwINg death of Jesus Christ is to be played out this Easter in the centre of London. Trafalgar Square will be turned into a biblical

scene on Good Friday as thousands watch the reenactment of the crucifixion and resurrection. More than 20,000 are expected to spectate as actor James Burke-dunsmore is “nailed” to a cross as the story of Easter unfolds. The show’s writer and producer, Peter Hut-

ley, said the crucifixion, which involves Jesus being winched up a cross, would not “pull any punches” in its presentation. “We can adapt to any space,” he added. “We find Trafalgar Square a daunting place. Where do you ● Continued on Page 3


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• Issue 194

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Welsh Bible MISSIONARY BACK TO FULL HEALTH Braille plan A Braille version of the Bible will be created in Welsh for the first time as an appeal to fund the project has hit its target in just three months. Churches, chapels and members of the public have pledged £10,000 towards the £21,000 needed. The rest will come from donations from the Bible Society and others. Campaigners said it would allow blind Welsh speakers to read the New Testament and Psalms in their first language for the first time. The appeal’s patron, broadcaster Sulwyn Thomas, said there had been “a magnificent response” from chapels, churches and individuals from all parts of Wales. “It’s obvious that the appeal to enable blind people to read the Bible in their own language was one which fired many people’s imaginations,” he added.

my daughter left doctors stunned

Room ready for take off!

AIR passengers will be able to turn their thoughts heavenwards before their flights following the opening of a prayer room at London’s Luton Airport. The news makes Luton Airport only the second airport in the UK to provide such facilities beyond the security search area ­— although there are a number of air-side prayer rooms worldwide. Open around the clock, to staff a nd depa r t i ng passe nge rs, t he prayer room has already proved popular and is seeing extensive use. The airport chaplaincy team, led by the Rev Michael Banfield, worked with the airport company and its contractors in the design of the room.

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MIRACLE HEALING... Bex Okotel, her dad and mum, Les and Gill Sherlock, and husband Moses relax after Bex fully recovered from a brain haemorrhage

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The mum of an African missionary has told how her daughter amazed doctors after making a full recovery from a blood clot and brain haemorrhage. Gill Sherlock, 66, from Dorset received a phone call to tell her that her daughter Bex, 34, had been taken seriously ill thousands of miles away in Mbale, Uganda. But instead of feeling desperation, Gill and her husband Les, 65, turned to their faith in God. Gill said: “There was a clot in the sinus vein and a scan also showed that there had been a small bleed in the area of the clotted vein. To have both a clot and a haemorrhage simultaneously is most unusual.” Bex was evacuated to an intensive care unit in Johannesburg while Gill and Les flew out to be with their daughter. Gill said: “On the flight I

would take a nap then wake up with all these old church songs in my head so I was singing very quietly. I had an incredible peace. “The world would think it was crazy — here is a mother whose daughter is virtually at the point of death, singing and worshipping God.” The Sherlock’s arrived to find Bex lying in her hospital bed paralysed down one side and unable to speak. But rather than despair, they continued to worship God. Gill said: “Christians were singing over her as she lay in her hospital bed. It was upsetting to see my daughter lying there, but at the same time, I remembered that God had brought me through cancer so I knew he was more than capable to do the same for Bex. There were people praying for her all over the world.” And within 30 hours Bex started to recover. “She was sitting up talking

and laughing. Within four days she was on a normal ward, her speech, sight and mobility fully restored,” said Gill. “When Les asked her brain surgeon how he rated her recovery, he said, ‘Remarkable, dramatic, I don’t have words to describe it.’ “He was heard to say to a nurse, ‘I didn’t save her life — God did.’” Now, fou r yea rs on , t he Sherlock’s praise God for the miracle he performed in their daughter’s life. Les said: “This miracle was totally outside the ability of the medical profession. With the brain damage she suffered, the natural expectation would have been that she would require months of speech therapy and months of physiotherapy to learn how to walk again. Yet her recovery in both of these areas took a matter of days.” Bex, who has since married Moses Okotel, now runs a free school i n Uga nda w ith her husband.

1m targeted for day of prayer Ambitious Christian leaders hope a million Brits will get involved with the Global Day of Prayer (GDOP) to turn the nation back to God. Speaking in the run up to next month’s event, GDOP organiser Pastor Jonathan Oloyede said: “We want people to set their alarm clocks and mobile phones for GMT noon every day to pray the Lord’s Prayer.

create “We believe that’s going to help us open the heavens and create something of God’s presence breaking out on our streets in the Capital and across the whole nation.” Organisers also hope

Christians will flock to West Ham Utd’s stadium for a longer prayer meeting on May 30. Pastor Oloyede added: “Set against massive social, financial and spiritual upheaval and the barrenness and fractured nature of much of our society, we are crying out to God to heal our land. Extraordinary times demand extraordinary prayer. “We want people to pray for young people. We want to keep praying down the crime rates. “In the midst of the recession we want people to pray for families below the poverty line and for the security of the Capital. The list is endless.”


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Baldwin is all heart for Haiti event

ACTOR-turned-evangelist and Celebrity Big Brother contestant Stephen Baldwin helped pull in the crowds for a benefit concert in aid of Haiti. The Heart for Haiti concert at the Manchester Apollo was rushed together by The Message Trust leader Andy Hawthorne and local church leader Anthony Delaney after they ret u r ned f rom a hu ma n ita ria n visit to areas deva s t ate d b y t h e earthquake. The suffering t hey w it nessed on the Caribbean island, while delivering medical aid to over-stretched hospitals in the capital Port-au-Prince and nearby island La Gonave, prompted them to hold the concert in a bid to raise funds for more aid. The concert raised £60,000 with Manchester bands LZ7 and Blush, singer Hannah Atkins, a full gospel choir and local theatre company In Yer Face all taking to the stage.

Issue 194 • NEW LIFE 3 NEW LIFE

BOY LIVED TWO YEARS LONGER THAN DOCS EXPECTED

STRONG FAITH... Pauline and Steve Redman. Inset, their son Rocky awaiting a stem cell transplant in May 1999

We lost our son but we find real comfort in Easter story I’ll continue CrIsIs

The funds raised will go to the relief work in Haiti run by the charity Compassion UK. More than 70 people signed up to sponsor children in Haiti during the concert. “I was thrilled to be a part of it,” said Baldwin, above. “We all need to respond to this crisis. Even though the pictures are starting to fade from our TV screens, we need to keep the people of Haiti in our minds and hearts.”

to study the Bible – Reid

CELEBRITY Big Brother winner Alex Reid says he has a secret weapon to make sure his marriage to Jordan works — God. Millions of fans watched as bornagain Christian Stephen Baldwin, 43, helped the cross-dressing cagefighter “fi nd God” duri ng thei r stay locked inside the Celebrity Big Brother house. And Alex, 34, says he will keep up his religious studies — no matter what people think of him. Speaking to the Daily Star, Alex, left, said: “Stephen w a s n ot b r a i n washing me. He is a Bible-basher and he certainly lives what he talks. But I didn’t feel any pressure, I am extremely interested in it though” “I kind of pray now anyway, we all wish for things. That’s the difference, you either call it praying or wishing. People find it scary to talk about such subjects but it’s not really a big deal.” “I’m not here to get heavy but I don’t understand why people shun it or think it’s weird. “It was the perfect opportunity to talk about Jesus in the house because we had so much time on our hands.” “This is a guy who has shaped the world in so many areas, it’s important to know about. One hundred per cent I will keep it up. I am fascinated about it.”

by Becky Barlow

A COUPLE who lost their son to cancer say their faith gave them hope as they watched their little boy’s battle. Steve Redman, 50, and his wife, Pau l i ne, we re ove rjoyed whe n Rocky was born in 1994. A brother to their three girls, the family was complete. But when Rocky was diagnosed with cancer at the age of four, the family were devastated. Rocky was transferred to St James’s Hospital in Leeds. Steve and Pauline were then given more bad news, when they were told that Rocky had a stage four neuroblastoma, a cancer of specialised nerve cells that are involved in the development of the nervous system and other tissues.

surgery It was early in December 1998, and the couple were told to take their son home to celebrate Christmas early because he wasn’t expected to live until Christmas Day. Steve said: “We celebrated Christmas on 6 December 1998. We had a fabulous day together and went back into hospital the next day.” Rocky went back to hospital for

Rocky with sisters Libby, Melody and Arielle on 6 December 1998. They celebrated Christmas early as doctors said Rocky wouldn’t survive surgery and the Redmans were hopeful when his tumour was removed. Rocky defied doctors and spent the next nine months undergoing chemotherapy in hospital. Steve said: “For a lot of that time, we never knew if he would survive the day. The only support I believe you can depend on at a time like this is Jesus. I believe that God is a God who heals. “They’d given him three weeks to live and months were going past

● Continued from Page 1 do it? Which part? Underneath Nelson’s Column? What we had in mind was Jesus bursting out from between the lions. Fabulous music. Big thunder, big crashes. “We are evangelising as hard as we can. We are trying to give the story to people who have not had the opportunity to hear it. It is not taught any longer, it is not considered as essential knowledge.” The play, directed by Ashley Herman, involves

and he was still alive. Despite all of our difficulties, God was answering our prayers.” When Rocky was five-and-a-half, doctors told the Redmans that they were confident that the cancer had gone and Rocky was allowed home. By 2000, the Redmans were able to enjoy a family holiday together. But in January 2001, Rocky took a turn for the worse and doctors gave the Redmans the news they’d been dreading. The cancer was back

and they couldn’t give Rocky any more treatment. “Doctors gave him three weeks and he lived another five months,” said Steve. “On the morning he died Pauline got up with me. He sat on her knee and I held his hand and he passed away. “I cried out to God, ‘God, My son! My only son!’ I heard a voice in the room say to me, ‘It’s alright son, I know what that feels like.’ And I took that as all the confirmation I needed that everything was going to be alright. “Four hundred and fifty people came to his funeral. We clapped him down the aisle because he deserved a hero’s welcome.” A nd at E aste r t i me Steve is comforted by the cross. He said: “There are two inevitabilities in life — death and taxes. Everyone at some point in their life is inevitably touched by death but there is one death that has gone further than breaking hearts — it split time. “And our calendar is split around Jesus of Nazareth, whose death we remember at Easter — God lost his son too. “I know that Rocky loved Jesus. God is a loving wonderful Father and the way to him is through Jesus and faith in his name.” ● Steve Redman’s story is out in paperback this Easter, published by New Wine and entitled At Least it’s Not Raining.

Trafalgar Square to host special play 150 actors, donkeys and an artificial tomb. The Archbishop of Westminster, the Most Rev Vincent Nichols, supports the play. He said one of the great themes for debate was religion in the public square and that there was no square as public as Trafalgar. Mr Hutley said: “Such a story lies at the heart of the culture of this country. To be ignorant of

it is to be unable to make sense of the fabric of the society in which we live.” The play was an “invitation” to know about Jesus, he added. ● It’s not the first time such a play has been shown in Trafalgar Square. On Good Friday 1965, the religious broadcaster John Farrell produced a Passion play, which was broadcast by the BBC.


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Aid agency reaches people in Chile disaster A CHRISTIAN aid agency has rallied to help survivors of the massive earthquake that hit Chile. World Vision quickly responded to the plight of those affected by the 8.8 mag n it ude qua ke despite being already inundated with requests to help provide aid for the Haiti survivors. However, Steve Matthews, of World Vision’s global rapid response team, was quick to allay fears that Chile would turn out to be another Haiti, where a massive earthquake on January 12 killed more than 200,000 people.

aid “This quake will not be like the one in Haiti,” he said. “Haiti was concentrated, and that led to the challenge of tons of aid and hundreds of aid workers being sent into a small zone.” He added, however, that it would be extremely difficult to assess the number of deaths and

extent of the damage caused by the Chilean quake because of the difficulty of reaching remote areas. Mr Matthews is co-ordinating the response from Haiti, where World Vision and other aid agencies have focused resources and people to help reconstruct the country. World Vision said it would continue to respond to Haiti’s needs alongside the Chile quake. Mariela Chavarriga, emergency adviser with World Vision in Chile, described the moment the quake struck. “It happened in the middle of the night. Everyone was sleeping, and there was no time to escape,” she said. Many houses are destroyed, even large buildings have collapsed. Main roads have been destroyed, and communication is very difficult. “We were trying to connect with our regional offices, but all WRECKAGE... a building is left snapped in half after the earthquake in Chile the phone lines were down.”

CHARITY SINGLE TO HELP HAITI SURVIVORS

Artists on song to raise quake cash Some of the artists who took part in the charity single

WORLD NEWS ROUND-UP

Graduation for ex-cons USA — Former inmates are celebrating after “graduating” from a programme in Texas that is designed to keep them out of jail. A total of 150 one-time prisoners completed Texas Offenders Reentry Initiative (TORI) at The Potters House Church in Dallas. The programme focuses on exoffenders who may be experiencing hopelessness, lack of support, unemployment, psychological, mental, medical or substance abuse issues. La k itha Da rd i n, 31, who was in prison for almost four years, said: “I feel like I’m accomplishing something when everyone told me I wouldn’t have anything.” Thousands turned out to see the graduation ceremony at the church, which draws 30,000 weekly worshippers. It’s pastor, Bishop TD Jakes, said: “The church can play a role uniquely apart from the social services that are done in the secular system. It’s very important that we put faith into this process because faith becomes the fuel that makes people have the power to change their lives.”

China sees Bible surge CHINA — The Bible Society has reported a growing demand for copies of the Bible in China where an estimated 500,000 people converted to Christianity in 2009 alone. Although some four million Bibles were printed and distributed across China last year, the rapid growth of the church year on year means that demand for Bibles is now outstripping supply, according to the Bible Society. The official number of Christians in China stands at 28.6 million, but it is believed the true figure could be as high as 90 million if the estimated number of worshippers at unofficial house churches is included.

Picture: Hazel Thompson/True Image

Prayers for poverty bid

MORE than 250 UK Christian music artists and church leaders have recorded a charity song to raise funds for Haiti earthquake survivors. The charity single was recorded at the world famous Abbey Road studios last month and included Christian singer songwriters and groups, such as former Delirious? frontman Martin Smith. They recorded the song Somebody Please, w ritten by Israel

Houghton and Noel Robinson, which will be available to buy this month. Lawrence Johnson, who organised the effort with Les Moir of Kingsway Music, said: “We decided to record Somebody Please because we felt the lyrics were very appropriate for the people we hope to raise funds for. It tells the story of a child crying out for help and justice. “We’re very excited about this project. “The response from Christian artists has been overwhelming.

The support we have got from the church has been amazing too. “This event is bringing people together, and I believe is a reflection of the growing unity that exists within our churches.”

support All the proceeds from the sale of the single will be donated to Compassion, a Christian charity that partners with churches throughout the world to support children. Ian Hamilton, Head of Compassion UK said about the project,

“We’re just thrilled to hear how the Christian and gospel music community want to act so decisively to help our stricken brothers and sisters in Haiti. “The devastation we have seen is unimaginable. This morning I met a six-year-old girl in an orphanage who had been pulled from the rubble after three days. Her mother, father and five siblings all died. “There are thousands of such ch ildren. The funds that th is project will raise will help rebuild shattered lives.”

WORLD — Thousands of people across the world took part in a prayer campaign last month. One Voice urged churches and Christians to pray for and reflect on poverty and justice. The organisers —which included Tearfund, 24-7 Prayer and CompassionArt — put together the campaign because they believe prayer can change the world. Commenting on the response to the Haiti crisis, Tearfund chief executive Matthew Frost said: “It has reminded me of the privilege it is to be part of the global church at a time like this – we’re able to reach out to our brothers and sisters and lift them up in prayer.”

Big meeting JAPAN — Christian leaders from around the world are due to hold a four-day global mission consultation in Tokyo next month. “This is a preparation for a great revival,” said the Rev Minoru Okuyama, a Japanese mission expert.


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Issue 194 •

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When Inspector Roger Bartlee revealed that prayer support had helped cut crime in Devon and Cornwall, many questioned his claims. In a New Life special news feature, Matthew Murray investigates the link between fighting crime and getting on our knees

Chief tells of drop in crime rate A ChristiAn Police group believes prayer can help when it comes to catching crooks and reducing crime.

Bosses at the Christian Police Association (CPA) say God can help Police officers solve crimes, reduce anti-social behaviour and protect officers from injury. CPA Executive Director Don Axcell, a retired sergeant from London’s Metropolitan Police, said: “One officer was investigating an incident but had not been able to apprehend a suspect. “He encouraged a church to pray for him and, within days, a suspect had been arrested and charged. Another officer encouraged churches to pray about domestic burglary and it came down 30 per cent.” Speaking to New Life Newspaper, Axcell said he is convinced prayer can help prevent crime: “We keep getting instances of where churches are praying and the crime rate goes down. Prayer can and does make a difference to a community in a number of ways. “When churches start praying and asking how they can reduce crime in the area, there are a lot of things that the Lord will give them — practical projects like cleaning up a neighbourhood or helping the elderly CRIME with their shopping.” FIGHT... Meanwhile, the Don CPA has recently been Axcell awarded a £10,000 grant from the Home Office to help its newly launched CoAct project. The project, designed to improve relations between the Christian community and the Police, encourages members of the public to pray for and work alongside law enforcers. Matt Baggott, Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland and President of CPA, said the CoAct project can make a big difference. He said: “The past few years have witnessed a genuine return to a way of policing based upon good relationships, personal concern and guardianship. Neighbourhood policing is now making a big difference but it needs to grow further. CoAct is a great way of helping this change continue by giving Police officers the support, care and encouragement that they need and value.” Stephen Kershaw, Director of Police Reform and Resources at the Home Office said: “I was pleased to hear about the work the Christian Police Association is doing with local communities across the country to improve community safety, tackle anti-social behaviour and reduce violence. These initiatives provide useful support for the Police service’s objective of raising public confidence.”

Most famous prayer of all In Matthew’s Gospel chapter six, Jesus taught his followers to pray:

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

A POLICE inspector has said that Christians who prayed for him have helped reduce crime rates in his community. Three years ago, Inspector Roger Bartlee encouraged Christians from local churches to pray that God would help him and his colleagues in the Devon and Cornwall area. And now, the results have been breathtaking. Detection rates have soared, road accidents have fallen — and Mr Bartlett is convinced it is evidence of divine intervention. The clear-up rate for crimes in his Force’s area of Barnstaple was 26 per cent, one of the lowest in the Devon and Cornwall area. But since he asked for the prayer things have changed. Every quarter, the number of crimes solved has risen, so that at its current figure – more than 40 per cent – it is one of the highest in the country. Mr Bartlett, 49, who is part of the leadership of the Christian Policing Team in his area, also asked worshippers to pray for a reduction in the number of serious or fatal road accidents — and they fell from 97 in 2007/8 to just 32 in 2008/9. Mr Bartlett, right, said he was convinced that faith and prayer has had a positive impact on policing in Barnstaple. He said he has seen his prayers answered “on a number of occasions”. There was the “unprecedented” Halloween night when police did not have to attend a single incident of disorder. Then there was the “prolific burglar” who was apprehended within three days of the group praying that he would be caught, he said. Mr Bartlett said “the most significant answer to prayer” he had experienced relates to a fall in the number of serious road accidents in North Devon. He added: “Not only was there a 67 per cent reduction on the previous year, and a far greater fall than any other area of the Force, it was also more than 50 per cent lower than the next lowest annual figure locally.’ Assistant Chief Constable Paul Netherton of Devon and Cornwall Police said: “Whether you believe in the power of prayer or not, the fundamental issue is that there are people out there caring about society.”

Organisation has helped officers for 125 years History repeating? THE Christian Police Association (CPA) has been helping Christians in the Police for more than 125 years. Founded in 1883 by Catherine Gurney OBE, the CPA now has branches in the majority of regions in the UK as well as maintaining links with similar groups overseas. Matt Baggott, President of the CPA, is the newly-appointed Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland. He said: “My faith has always been much more than simply a comforting feeling or a set of helpful principles. I believe in a God who cares deeply for communities, people

and Police officers and whose love is shown through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. “I have found God to be both personal and practical, helping me through the good and the difficult times. “The CPA brings together colleagues believing in an active and personal God, and also seeks tangible ways of showing the care and compassion of Jesus. “It is a privilege to be CPA President at a time when the truth and practicalities of the gospel have never been more relevant to our profession.”

DC Tony Ga le, of the Leicestersh i re Constabulary, is the chairman of National Council for the CPA. He said: “The message and hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ remains constant and true, and has been and remains the sure foundation for our work. “We are a diverse group of people, united by our faith and occupation, who are seeking to improve the quality of life in both the Police service and in the community in which we serve.” For more information on the CPA, visit their website, www.cpauk.net

PRAyER was said to have prevented crime more than 100 years ago during an event known as the Welsh Revival. History books reveal crime levels dropped “drastically” in the 1904 phenomenon, where it is claimed more than 150,000 people converted to Christianity within six months. During the revival, it is said magistrates went to court to find no cases presented. The website www.welshrevival.com, reports: “People were changed in so many ways. The crime rate dropped, drunkards were reformed, pubs reported losses in trade.”

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NEW LIFE • Issue 194 NEW LIFE

Issue 194 •

NEW LIFE NEW LIFE

MAN REVEALS HOW GOD HAS HEALED HIM AFTER MORE THANEASTER A DECADE OF HELL AS GOOD FRIDAY APPROACHES NEW LIFE LOOKS AT WHY MATTERS NEW LIFE www.newlife.co.uk

WORKING TOGeTheR TO BRING you The GOOd NeWS

tune in In 2009, New Life will be working with Christian

media organisation United Christian Broadcasters (UCB) to spread the Word. UCB broadcast to virtually all major UK cities on dAB digital radio and you can also listen via digital satellite and online. UCB radio is perfect for anyone who has an interest in news, features, music and interviews from a faith perspective.

explore ChristiAnity We’re also working with Alpha, the course that allows people to explore the Christian faith in a relaxed setting over ten thoughtprovoking weekly sessions. The courses are free and are usually run in the evening, and include a meal or refreshments. To find a course near you, see www.alpha.org

Find A ChurCh We’re also working with Find a Church, who run a brilliant website listing the details of more than 42,000 UK Christian churches. Simply tap in your postcode for help to find a great church in your area.

the BiBle MAtters The Gideons are well known for their work distributing Bibles to schools, hospitals, hotels etc. If you want Jesus to make himself real in your life, and don’t have a Bible, The Gideons will be happy to provide you with a Testament completely free of charge.

The ABC of how you can become a Christian...

A that Jesus died so that you can B Believe be forgiven, and ask God to forgive you Admit that you have done wrong

The Bible says, ‘All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’ (Romans 3:23).

‘God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life’ (John 3:16); ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us’ (1 John 1:9).

C Commit yourself to living God’s way

Jesus said, ‘Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life’ (John 8:12). Log on to www.lookingforgod.com for more help.

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FOR EVERY READER DAILY INSPIRATIONAL BOOK call 0845 6040401 or log on to www.ucb.co.uk

This sacrifice is better than a fair swap for us WhAt the BiBle sAys

WhEn I think about Easter, I can’t help thinking about what a great swap it is!

Swapping has come back into fashion with a bang recently and there are loads of websites jumping on the bandwagon. Everything can be swapped. Did you hear about the guy who started with a paperclip swapping on eBay? It’s the stuff of urban legend how people have used this to swap for items of increasing value and end up managing to get hold of a Ferrari or the like. We’re always trying to swap something that we don’t want for something that we do. It even happens with presents! How often do you keep receipts so that the intended recipient isn’t stuck with the lovingly selected, expensive gift if it doesn’t take their fancy? For those of us of a certain age, however, swapping will forever be associated with a Saturday morning television programme, Swap Shop. Who remembers that? It was on every week and part of the show was The Swaparama with Keith Chegwin. Every week I’d sit watching the screen and as host Noel Edmonds shouted, “Where are you Keith,” I’d hope he’d be near me. One week, my brother and I carried on as normal, watching Swap Shop but when Keith said he was in Edinburgh, there was a flurry of excitement! They’d come to Scotland! It was our chance to go and swap. I remember waking my dad up and convincing him to take my brother and me to swap. In all the commotion as we hurried to get ready, I nearly forgot that I needed something to swap, so I started looking around for something to take. I was racing around looking for something that I didn’t really want, but might get a good swap for. And that’s when I saw it: our old Kerplunk set. Kerplunk is not the most exciting game at the best of times. The essential ingredients are a plastic tube with holes for knitting needle-like sticks to create a sort of bird’s nest effect, on top of which marbles are placed. The sticks are then removed one by one with marbles falling through and the winner is the one who collects the least marbles. It’s easy to see why anyone would pick this to swap, but what made it worse was that there was only one stick in my set! That’s a pretty shoddy game to swap! When we got to the event, there were kids everywhere swapping all sorts of things, and I immediately clocked the one that I wanted. There was a kid playing with a remote control motorcycle and it looked amazing! I sidled over with my battered Kerplunk

‘We see it depicted everywhere, yet how often do we stop to think about what that means?’

Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is Jesus, the KinG oF the JeWs. two robbers were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left... And when Jesus had cried out in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. the earth shook and the rocks split. the tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. they came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people. When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “surely he was the son of God!” (Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 27)

Comedian and evangelist Mark Ritchie explains how the death of Jesus gives us the chance to swap our old life for a new one set and started negotiating a swap. A few minutes later, I ran up to my dad with a remote control motorcycle yelling, “We’ve got to go!” I’d achieved my swap and now wanted to leave before the gullible former owner of the bike had a chance to discover the lack of sticks in my Kerplunk set. I had swapped my beat up, rubbish game for a great, new remote control motorbike. This is what Easter is all about. Forget, for a minute, the toys and silly hairdos of that time, and let’s talk about Easter. Easter is all about Jesus dying on the cross. We see it depicted everywhere, yet how often do we stop to think about what that means? The cross is where we turn up with our flawed life and swap it for the perfect life Jesus won for us. Sometimes this is hard to hear, because we’re so convinced of our own goodness.

“I get bits right,” we say indignantly. But every one of us has bits in our life that we haven’t got right and that we can’t even pretend we’re happy about. We’re tired, jaded people. We turn up to the cross with all of our baggage and we meet Jesus there. He says to us, “I’ll offer you life, hope, destiny, security, freedom and everything that you need, for your tired, bruised life. Come to me.” One of the best illustrations I’ve ever seen of this was actually hearing about a ship that came over to the UK from China. It was a huge ship, packed with 20-foot containers rammed full of Christmas goodies for all the girls and boys that were waiting for Santa that year. The ship had everything you’d need to have a great Christmas – and loads more besides. There were drum kits, games consoles, TVs… you name it. It came over

from China and docked in the UK. Within 24 hours, all those containers had been removed from the ship and it had been reloaded with the same number of containers full of the UK’s garbage to take away from our shores. I’m not making any political points here but that hardly seems fair does it? And yet, that’s what the cross means for us. It means that we no longer have to hide our failures and little secrets from the world, hoping that people will think we’re OK. We can bring them to him and he’ll take them from us, and give us a new life instead. I remember when I made th is decision. I can remember well the freedom that came with it. It’s an amazing thought, that someone loved me enough to die for me. There’s not many people you can say that about, but that’s the message of Easter.

FUNNY GUY, SERIOUS MESSAGE. Mark Ritchie has released a new DVD, available from www.73rdtrust.com

it was tough to watch her suffer “My nine-year-old daughter Jennifer was looking forward to our family holiday,” writes Tim Miller. “But she became ill, and a long anticipated day at Sea World was replaced by an all-night series of CT scans, X-rays and blood tests at the hospital. “As morning approached the doctor told my exhausted little girl that she would need to have one more test, a lumbar puncture. The procedure would be painful, they said. The doctor then asked me if I planned to stay in the room. I nodded, knowing I couldn’t leave Jennifer alone during the ordeal. “The doctor gently asked Jennifer to remove all her clothing. She looked at me with child-like modesty as if to ask if that were all right. They had her curl up into a tiny ball. I buried my face in hers and hugged her. “When the needle went in, Jennifer cried. As the searing pain increased, she sobbed repeatedly, ‘Daddy. Daddy. Daddy,’ her voice becoming more earnest with each word. “It was as if she were saying: ‘Oh Daddy, please, can’t you do something?’ My tears mingled with hers. My heart was broken, I felt nauseated. Because I loved her, I was allowing her to go through the most agonising experience of her life. In the middle of that lumbar puncture my thoughts went to the cross. “What unspeakable pain both the Son and the Father went through – for our sake.” But because of the cross of Christ we have: a) reconciliation, “God... reconciled us to himself” b) regeneration, “Having been born again” (1 Peter 1:23) c) resurrection, “Everyone who... believes... I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:40 NKJV). Thank God for the Cross! ● This article is taken from The Word for Today, a devotional which provides something to think about each day to encourage your faith. The Word for Today is published by UCB (United Christian Broadcasters) and you can ask for a free copy to be sent to you every quarter. For more details, all 0845 6040401 or log on to www.ucb.co.uk

Why do we add ‘good’ to Friday? THER E is a certa i n amount of uncertainty surrounding why Good Friday is so called. But it appe a r s t h at it i s unique to the English language. In Germany, for example, the day is known as Mourning Friday – which is what the disciples who followed Jesus did. They were in mourning because they thought all was lost and that the ma n who they dea rly loved had died, never to return. They hadn’t understood what Jesus said when he promised he would rise again three days later. So how can “mourni n g ” be “good”. We l l there is an arg ument that says the word ‘good’ in old English could mea n ca r i ng, a nd that God was showi ng he ca red by send i ng h is son Jesus to die as a sacrifice for sins. However, there is no fi r m ev idence for

this. Many people believe that it was called God Friday and that over time it changed because Christians understand that the death of Jesus allows us all to live our lives free from guilt if we repent of our sins and accept God’s love; hence it’s good. No matter what the reason for giving the prefix ‘good’ to the Friday before Easter, one thing is certain – that a man named Jesus died because the religious people of his time believed he w a s bl a sphe m i n g when he called himself the Son of God.

AGONISING He suffered terribly. It’s hard to imagine, but in recent times, Mel Gibson’s movie The Passion of the Christ brutally re-enacted the event in a way that left no doubt – the death of Jesus was a painful one, and he died a slow, agonising death – just for you.

7


6

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NEW LIFE • Issue 194 NEW LIFE

Issue 194 •

NEW LIFE NEW LIFE

MAN REVEALS HOW GOD HAS HEALED HIM AFTER MORE THANEASTER A DECADE OF HELL AS GOOD FRIDAY APPROACHES NEW LIFE LOOKS AT WHY MATTERS NEW LIFE www.newlife.co.uk

WORKING TOGeTheR TO BRING you The GOOd NeWS

tune in In 2009, New Life will be working with Christian

media organisation United Christian Broadcasters (UCB) to spread the Word. UCB broadcast to virtually all major UK cities on dAB digital radio and you can also listen via digital satellite and online. UCB radio is perfect for anyone who has an interest in news, features, music and interviews from a faith perspective.

explore ChristiAnity We’re also working with Alpha, the course that allows people to explore the Christian faith in a relaxed setting over ten thoughtprovoking weekly sessions. The courses are free and are usually run in the evening, and include a meal or refreshments. To find a course near you, see www.alpha.org

Find A ChurCh We’re also working with Find a Church, who run a brilliant website listing the details of more than 42,000 UK Christian churches. Simply tap in your postcode for help to find a great church in your area.

the BiBle MAtters The Gideons are well known for their work distributing Bibles to schools, hospitals, hotels etc. If you want Jesus to make himself real in your life, and don’t have a Bible, The Gideons will be happy to provide you with a Testament completely free of charge.

The ABC of how you can become a Christian...

A that Jesus died so that you can B Believe be forgiven, and ask God to forgive you Admit that you have done wrong

The Bible says, ‘All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’ (Romans 3:23).

‘God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life’ (John 3:16); ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us’ (1 John 1:9).

C Commit yourself to living God’s way

Jesus said, ‘Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life’ (John 8:12). Log on to www.lookingforgod.com for more help.

FREE

FOR EVERY READER DAILY INSPIRATIONAL BOOK call 0845 6040401 or log on to www.ucb.co.uk

This sacrifice is better than a fair swap for us WhAt the BiBle sAys

WhEn I think about Easter, I can’t help thinking about what a great swap it is!

Swapping has come back into fashion with a bang recently and there are loads of websites jumping on the bandwagon. Everything can be swapped. Did you hear about the guy who started with a paperclip swapping on eBay? It’s the stuff of urban legend how people have used this to swap for items of increasing value and end up managing to get hold of a Ferrari or the like. We’re always trying to swap something that we don’t want for something that we do. It even happens with presents! How often do you keep receipts so that the intended recipient isn’t stuck with the lovingly selected, expensive gift if it doesn’t take their fancy? For those of us of a certain age, however, swapping will forever be associated with a Saturday morning television programme, Swap Shop. Who remembers that? It was on every week and part of the show was The Swaparama with Keith Chegwin. Every week I’d sit watching the screen and as host Noel Edmonds shouted, “Where are you Keith,” I’d hope he’d be near me. One week, my brother and I carried on as normal, watching Swap Shop but when Keith said he was in Edinburgh, there was a flurry of excitement! They’d come to Scotland! It was our chance to go and swap. I remember waking my dad up and convincing him to take my brother and me to swap. In all the commotion as we hurried to get ready, I nearly forgot that I needed something to swap, so I started looking around for something to take. I was racing around looking for something that I didn’t really want, but might get a good swap for. And that’s when I saw it: our old Kerplunk set. Kerplunk is not the most exciting game at the best of times. The essential ingredients are a plastic tube with holes for knitting needle-like sticks to create a sort of bird’s nest effect, on top of which marbles are placed. The sticks are then removed one by one with marbles falling through and the winner is the one who collects the least marbles. It’s easy to see why anyone would pick this to swap, but what made it worse was that there was only one stick in my set! That’s a pretty shoddy game to swap! When we got to the event, there were kids everywhere swapping all sorts of things, and I immediately clocked the one that I wanted. There was a kid playing with a remote control motorcycle and it looked amazing! I sidled over with my battered Kerplunk

‘We see it depicted everywhere, yet how often do we stop to think about what that means?’

Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is Jesus, the KinG oF the JeWs. two robbers were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left... And when Jesus had cried out in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. the earth shook and the rocks split. the tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. they came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people. When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “surely he was the son of God!” (Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 27)

Comedian and evangelist Mark Ritchie explains how the death of Jesus gives us the chance to swap our old life for a new one set and started negotiating a swap. A few minutes later, I ran up to my dad with a remote control motorcycle yelling, “We’ve got to go!” I’d achieved my swap and now wanted to leave before the gullible former owner of the bike had a chance to discover the lack of sticks in my Kerplunk set. I had swapped my beat up, rubbish game for a great, new remote control motorbike. This is what Easter is all about. Forget, for a minute, the toys and silly hairdos of that time, and let’s talk about Easter. Easter is all about Jesus dying on the cross. We see it depicted everywhere, yet how often do we stop to think about what that means? The cross is where we turn up with our flawed life and swap it for the perfect life Jesus won for us. Sometimes this is hard to hear, because we’re so convinced of our own goodness.

“I get bits right,” we say indignantly. But every one of us has bits in our life that we haven’t got right and that we can’t even pretend we’re happy about. We’re tired, jaded people. We turn up to the cross with all of our baggage and we meet Jesus there. He says to us, “I’ll offer you life, hope, destiny, security, freedom and everything that you need, for your tired, bruised life. Come to me.” One of the best illustrations I’ve ever seen of this was actually hearing about a ship that came over to the UK from China. It was a huge ship, packed with 20-foot containers rammed full of Christmas goodies for all the girls and boys that were waiting for Santa that year. The ship had everything you’d need to have a great Christmas – and loads more besides. There were drum kits, games consoles, TVs… you name it. It came over

from China and docked in the UK. Within 24 hours, all those containers had been removed from the ship and it had been reloaded with the same number of concon tainers full of the UK’s garbage to take away from our shores. I’m not making any political points here but that hardly seems fair does it? And yet, that’s what the cross means for us. It means that we no longer have to hide our failures and little secrets from the world, hoping that people will think we’re OK. We can bring them to him and he’ll take them from us, and give us a new life instead. I remember when I made th is decision. I can remember well the freedom that came with it. It’s an amazing thought, that someone loved me enough to die for me. There’s not many people you can say that about, but that’s the message of Easter.

FUNNY GUY, SERIOUS MESSAGE. Mark Ritchie has released a new DVD, available from www.73rdtrust.com

it was tough to watch her suffer “My nine-year-old daughter Jennifer was looking forward to our family holiday,” writes Tim Miller. “But she became ill, and a long anticipated day at Sea World was replaced by an all-night series of CT scans, X-rays and blood tests at the hospital. “As morning approached the doctor told my exhausted little girl that she would need to have one more test, a lumbar puncture. The procedure would be painful, they said. The doctor then asked me if I planned to stay in the room. I nodded, knowing I couldn’t leave Jennifer alone during the ordeal. “The doctor gently asked Jennifer to remove all her clothing. She looked at me with child-like modesty as if to ask if that were all right. They had her curl up into a tiny ball. I buried my face in hers and hugged her. “When the needle went in, Jennifer cried. As the searing pain increased, she sobbed repeatedly, ‘Daddy. Daddy. Daddy,’ her voice becoming more earnest with each word. “It was as if she were saying: ‘Oh Daddy, please, can’t you do something?’ My tears mingled with hers. My heart was broken, I felt nauseated. Because I loved her, I was allowing her to go through the most agonising experience of her life. In the middle of that lumbar puncture my thoughts went to the cross. “What unspeakable pain both the Son and the Father went through – for our sake.” But because of the cross of Christ we have: a) reconciliation, “God... reconciled us to himself” b) regeneration, “Having been born again” (1 Peter 1:23) c) resurrection, “Everyone who... believes... I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:40 NKJV). Thank God for the Cross! ● This article is taken from The Word for Today, a devotional which provides something to think about each day to encourage your faith. The Word for Today is published by UCB (United Christian Broadcasters) and you can ask for a free copy to be sent to you every quarter. For more details, all 0845 6040401 or log on to www.ucb.co.uk

Why do we add ‘good’ to Friday? THER E is a certa i n amount of uncertainty surrounding why Good Friday is so called. But it appe a r s t h at it i s unique to the English language. In Germany, for exam example, the day is known as Mourning Friday – which is what the disciples who followed Jesus did. They were in mourn mourning because they thought all was lost and that the ma n who they dea rly loved had died, never to return. They hadn’t un understood what Jesus said when he promised he would rise again three days later. So how can “mourn “mourni n g ” be “good”. We l l there is an arg ument that says the word ‘good’ in old English could mea n ca r i ng, a nd that God was show showi ng he ca red by send i ng h is son Jesus to die as a sacrifice for sins. However, there is no fi r m ev idence for

this. Many people believe that it was called God Friday and that over time it changed because Christians understand that the death of Jesus allows us all to live our lives free from guilt if we repent of our sins and accept God’s love; hence it’s good. No matter what the reason for giving the prefix ‘good’ to the Friday before Easter, one thing is certain – that a man named Jesus died because the religious people of his time believed he w a s bl a sphe m i n g when he called himself the Son of God.

AGONISING He suffered terribly. It’s hard to imagine, but in recent times, Mel Gibson’s movie The Passion of the Christ brutally re-enacted the event in a way that left no doubt – the death of Jesus was a painful one, and he died a slow, agonising death – just for you.

7


Issue 194

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NEW LIFE

Issue 194 • NEW LIFE 9

£500k plan to entertain youngsters A BORN-again Christian group has announced plans to build a £500,000 two-storey church and youth centre complex. Leaders at Goldings Church, Loughton, Essex, want to construct the proposed centre to provide a place for young people to socialise and gain Christian support and help. Pastor Jeremy Sandy, who is spearheading the scheme, said Goldings Church had more than doubled its congregation in the last two years. he said: “There’s lots of reasons behind what we’re doing, but what we really want is to create a place for the whole community to appreciate. “It’s going to be somewhere where young people can come in after school or college. “We’re going to have things like a gym, an internet café, a milkshake bar and rooms for after school clubs. What’s driven me to do this is a love for Christ and a love for people. This is a chance for us to give our young people a way of understanding that a better life without violence and crime is possible.”

Debt centre opens due to recession A ChARITY that helps people who are struggling with debt and poverty is re-opening in Salisbury in the wake of the recession. Christians Against Poverty helped people in the city from 2004–2008 but shut down two years ago. It is now about to re-open its doors to anyone experiencing financial difficulties from its new base at the Elim Christian Centre. “We aim to bring hope and a free, practical solution to the problem of debt, while helping individuals through the often traumatic consequences, which can include divorce, going hungry and even attempted suicide,” said chief executive of the charity Matt Barlow. The charity helps people to ma nage t hei r fi na nces while offering free, specialist advice.

Special message from Archbishop of York

Easter’s a time of celebration by Dr John Sentamu LAst Easter I stood waist deep in an open-air pool in the middle of York, where I baptised those who newly confessed that Jesus is the Lord of their lives.

Such celebrations are in sharp contrast to the daily news of redundancies, home repossessions, debt and a deep global recession which has created an uncertain present and future climate. We are told it will get deeper — that things must get worse before they get better. For every job lost, there is a story of individual hardship and of families in desperate need. Their struggle must be ours. Now is the time for active solidarity. At times such as these it does not do to welcome hardship as a necessary corrective to excess. The words of politicians from the past who suggested that “if it isn’t hurting, it isn’t working” could only have been spoken by someone who was not hurting. After all, the person wearing the shoes knows where the shoe is pinching! This is also not just about econom ics. We need a deeper vision. A political vision alone won’t do it. It is not about what governments can do for us but what we can all do. This vision depends on our commitment to an inclusive and generous friendship, where each person is affirmed as of infinite worth, dignity and influence. Such appeals to the common good are not exclusively a call to Christians. Rather they urge us all to reflect on the broad questions concerning the kind of society we want to be, and how we are to achieve that. They challenge us to view ourselves as members of the same commu-

Dr John Sentamu, inset, during the public baptisms in York nity while respecting and valuing the freedom of individuals to pursue their own goals, and to further the true values which we share. The message of Easter is that there is always hope. Supported in prayer and practical wisdom, communities can make a real difference in providing hope for a better future for those who seek relief from what can be an overwhelming sense of loss through grief, redundancy, fear and anxiety. The reality of the resurrection is not just a personal encounter — it’s also an opportunity for us to share in each others’ burdens.

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Across 1. Perspicacious (9) 6. Egg-shaped object (5) 7. Vacuous (5) 9. The night before (3) 10. Display of bad temper (7) 11. Get (7) 14. Large antelope (3) 16. Musical drama (5) 17. Melodies (5) 18. Rife (9)

Down 1. Range (5) 2. Monstrous (9) 3. Trainee (5) 4. Vegetable (5) 5. Cherished desire (5) 8. Hubris (9) 11. Fragrance (5) 12. Picture (5) 13. Minor actor in a crowd scene (5) 15. Distressed (5)

The open-air baptisms were a public sign of commitment to a new way of life. It’s a brave step to take, especially outdoors in a Yorkshire spring! God is at work in our nation today quite beyond the limits of our budgets, structures and expectation. The Good News of God’s love affair with humanity has the power to transform our individual and collective lives, our families, our communities and our nation. I hope that you find Easter to be a celebration of life. After all, it is God’s invitation for us to choose an exciting new life that risks and that gives.

COMMENT Out of the dark EASTER. It’s a time to enjoy the first public holiday of the year, and for some people it signals the end of the winter weather (we really need to see the back of it this year) and the start of spring. The fact that summer is around the corner and the days are getting longer and brighter brings joy to the heart. But nothing brings joy to the heart as much as knowing you never have to put up with living without hope. How do you do that? It is a good question. At this moment in time you may be going through some of the darkest days of your life and are desperate to see light at the end of the tunnel. The death of a loved one, a change in your life that has broken your heart or the feeling of being alone are just some of the events that can leave you feeling you have no hope. But it doesn’t have to be the case, because your life CAN change if you turn to Jesus and accept his love for you. If you are going through turmoil, that statement might seem far-fetched, but millions of people have accepted his love and experience the hope you crave for. Some may have been through similar circumstances as you are experiencing. When you become a Christian, Easter isn’t just a public holiday, though that is welcome. Easter is the reminder that Jesus loved us so much he accepted God’s decision and was put to death as a sacrifice for everyone’s sins of yesterday, today and tomorrow. And he rose again to show even the darkest days can be defeated if we follow him. If you are in a dark place, Jesus will take you from that winter and into spring. Turn to Page 6 and find out more about an Alpha Course. It’s the perfect starting point.

BIBLE QUOTE OF THE MONTH “The Lord heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3 Editor: Peter Wreford Advertising: Barry Wilson

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Issue 194

NEW LIFE CLASSIFIEDS WANT TO EXPLORE CHRISTIANITY, BUT DON’T KNOW WHERE TO TURN?

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KEEP THIS PAGE TO HELP YOU FIND A NEW DIRECTION IN LIFE... ALTRINCHAM The Upper Room Christian Fellowship, The Downs. Sunday services 10.45am and 6.30pm. Enquiries: 0161 282 6676. (CA09)

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LEICESTER Narborough Road Christian Fellowship. Meet at Manor House, Neighbourhood Centre, Haddenham Road. Services: Sunday 10.30am. Tel: 0116 2891 395 or 0116 2897 804. All welcome. (AB25) LEICESTER Apostolic Church New Life Centre, Sanvey Lane, Aylestone, Leicester LE2 8NF. Main services: Sunday 10.30am worship, Bible ministry and Communion. Wednesday 8pm Bible study and prayer. Pastor Richard Forman telephone 0116 275 2582 everyone welcome. (CW05)

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READING Assemblies of God Christian Centre (Mount Zion). Sundays 11am and 6.30pm. Tuesdays and Thursdays 7.30pm. Enquiries Tel: 01252 872 754.

LONG EATON Oasis Christian Centre, Derby Road. 10am & 6pm. Come and enjoy the dynamic worship and a warm welcome. God centred, Purpose driven, People empowering. Enquiries: Church Office 0115 9460463

RETFORD Retford New Life Church Centre, 26-32 Bridgegate, Retford, Notts. Morning Meetings 9.30am & 11.30am. Children’s Church 9.30am & 11.30am. Sunday Evenings 6.30pm. Everyone welcome. Contact 01777 711377. (CA36) RUSHDEN Full Gospel Church. High Street South, Rushden. A family Church that loves God, each other and those in the community. Sundays 10.45am & 6pm. Enquiries telephone: 01933 418 002. (DC19) SAFFRON WALDEN, New Life Church. Shire Hill. Sundays 10.30am & 6.30pm. For details call Pastor R Ellalasingham on 01799 506045 email: mail@nlpc.co.uk (FR19) SHANKLIN Isle of Wight, Living Waters Fellowship, 29, Victoria Avenue. Sundays 2.30pm (Service). Wednesday Home Group 10.30am (Bible Study). Thursdays 10.30am (Prayer) 7.30pm Monthly also Saturdays 7.30pm Monthly (Intercessory Praise & Worship). Enquiries & Newsletter (01983) 863683, livingwaters.iw@btinternet.com or livingwaters.iw@gmail.com. (CA52)

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Issue 194 •

I’ve made right decision Lampard: God helps me SCOTLAND rugby ace Euan Murray has responded to criticism after he decided to miss matches on Sundays because of his Christian beliefs. The Northampton Saints and Scotland tighthead prop, right, sa id: “I bel ieve that biblically I’ve made the right decision. Well, when you really become a Christian, life’s a battle. You’re going against the tide. The crowd are going one way and you’re going another. It’s always going to

be a battle to be different. The easy thing is to go along with the crowd, everybody’s doing it. Try going the opposite direction to a crowd. It’s hard. I just wish that games of rugby weren’t played on Sundays. Christ doesn’t want them to be played on Sundays.” Mu r ray w a s ra i sed a s a Christian, his mother taking the family to church in Glasgow. But he only turned to Christ in earnest after he was knocked unconscious during a game in September 2005.

ENGLAND midfielder Frank Lampard has revealed how he turned to God following the shock death of his mum. The Chelsea star, right, would v isit church and pray after his mum Pat died of pneumon ia two years ago. He still points to the sky when he scores for the Blues. He sa id: “Eve r y day [I

would go to church], basically. That was hoping for a m i racle. I just went to spend time in there. Sit there for half an hour. I know it sounds stupid, but I don’t even really know how to pray. I still go fairly regularly. I certainly believe i n G o d . I don’t th i n k I wou ld be able to handle it anywhere near as easily if I didn’t.’

I pray for safety as I approach 85mph! ...but I will not ask for medals BoB skeleton racer Adam Pengilly would never be so crass as to pray to God for a medal.

Instead, the Olympic star and devout Christian would rather ask God for safety when launching himself down an ice road which could see him hit 90mph while riding what appears to be a widescreen TV on rails. Pe ng i l ly was h a mpe red w it h problems du r i ng t he Vancouver Winter Olypmics earlier this year. He was disappointed because he went into the games with a medal-winning performance just months

NEW LIFE NEW LIFE

11

LINVOY PRIMUS

The inside track on faith in football

Why I have nothing to worry about PORTSMOUTH Football Club is officially in the hands of the administrators but I have not a single worry in my mind about the future. As Christians we are often forced to do what should come totally naturally – trust God and let him work out everything according to his plan. I had been promised a job as the club’s ambassador, promoting Pompey throughout the community and acting as a focal point for anyone in the club who has troubles and needed a chat. Now, however, we are in a situation which nobody could have imagined a year or 18 months ago. It’s at times like these that I am so glad I am a child of King Jesus because even when I’m not sure what is going on, he is. And that brings certainty and assurance – a total peace that all will be well and that he will never leave me or forsake me. The Bible says it! I believe it. He hasn’t let me down yet and I don’t believe he’s about to start, because he’s simply not in that business. I look around me at the club sometimes and I see some very worried faces and that’s perfectly understandable. But without being smug I am so glad I belong to Jesus. It’s at times like these that I know even deeper in my spirit that he is looking after me and caring for me and that all will be well. Purely at a football level I have to say that I really hope t h at w h at ’s h a p pe ned at Pompey acts as a wake up call to the rest of the Premiership. Many, many clubs have been living far beyond their means for too, long buying in foreign players on astronomical wages. It can’t go on because instead of the money circulating around the game it simply disappears into offshore bank accounts. My boyhood club West Ham are trying to get to grips with their £100m-plus debt problem and Manchester United’s is reported to be six times that. It’s total madness... and in some cases the TV money the clubs get is being spent months before it arrives. Football has to get a grip on itself and, like any other business, operate within its means. If Portsmouth’s horrible position helps that to happen then at least some good will have come out of the situation. As a Ch ristian I can’t worry about things. If it becomes necessary to downsize on our house and cut back we’ll do it. God is the one in control and the one on whom we throw our burdens. We are commanded not to worry, and I most certainly don’t intend to start doing so because in the Bible we’re told that it will achieve absolutely nothing!

❛ I have to say

earlier. He won a silver medal in a men’s skeleton event at the FIBT World Cha mpionships 2009 in Lake Placid, after finishing eighth in the men’s skeleton event at the 2006 Winter Olympics. But despite his success in athletics, sport isn’t the most important thing in his life. Such is t he st reng t h of Pengilly’s faith in God that he w ill avoid train ing and racing on a Sunday whenever possible. “I want to honour God. I spend ti me w ith h im each day and when I pray, I pray for safety for myself and others. But I pray to perform well, not to win. My faith is the most

essential thing in my life,” says Pengilly, one of the few athletes who has appeared on BBC Songs of Praise. And Pengilly puts his trust in God when participating in the dangerous sport. He has crashed in the past as a bobsleigher, and also on his own on the skeleton. His worst accident as a solo slider saw him hitting the roof of a run that wrecked parts of his body, leaving him unable to walk for a few weeks, with a hole in his back and a new thorax. “No one has officially gone at 90 mph – 85mph i s t he regular speed. My personal best is 86.5mph but I really

Browne’s source of strength ● Continued from Back Page gifted with size and speed and I hope I’ve got the aptitude to apply myself. So I see that as a gift, and there is the whole dirty side of rugby. While I play hard, I try to play fair.” Browne is a committed member of the group of Falcons players led by club chaplain Matthew Knox in a weekly prayer meeting. Along with Filipo Levi and Josh Afu, the quartet review their week on all levels, meet socially and take lessons from the Bible. There is an open invitation to the whole

squad, but for now Browne said the general interest remains tentative. It’s a real encouragement to have some guys here whose reasons for playing are similar,” he said. “Our motivations are similar, but also being able to pray with the guys is really great. There’s Filipo, myself, Josh and the Reverend of course, and it’s open to the other guys too, but none of them have taken it up yet. “There are more questions than banter. There is a bit of banter of course, but it’s all good fun and you wouldn’t expect anything less.”

hope that I can clock 90. That would be something and I will probably need to if I am to get a medal. “You go into this not thinking of fear. You are totally engrossed. You need to be as you go head-first down the run with your chin a couple of inches above the ice. The concentration is about the right line through the corner, not about crashing. “But you practise mentally as well as physically. If you are on the wrong line it would be easy to panic as you try to regain control. You might think, ‘This will hurt’, but primarily you are looking to get down as fast as possible.”

NEW LIFE Troubled Portsmouth is in administration and will need all the help they can get if they are to miraculously survive their financial crisis. The debt-ridden club’s star striker Quincy owusu-Abeyie, revealed the words “God is Great” on a T-shirt underneath his Pompey shirt when scoring against local rivals Southampton recently.

SPORTSFLASH

that I really hope that what’s happened at Pompey acts as a wake up call to the rest of the Premiership ❜

Linvoy, who is ambassador at Portsmouth FC, was talking to Hugh Southon


Issue 194 • NEW LIFE 12

NEW LIFE

SPORT

BOB SKELETON STAR PRAYS AT

85MPH... PAGE 11

Browne’s source of strength is faith...

NEW LIFE

ExcLuSivE: POMPEY FAvOuRiTE SAYS HE’S NOT WORRiED READ LINVOY PRIMUS IN HIS OWN WORDS... PAGE 11

FAIR PLAY... Pete Browne

ASTON VILLA star Moustapha Salifou has spoken of the moment he feared he was going to die when gunmen opened fire on the Togo team bus in Africa. Machine gun-wielding rebels ambushed the coach as it carried the squad to the Africa Cup of Nations in Angola in January. The 26-year-old midfielder revealed he suffered from sleepless nights in the aftermath of the attack, which killed three people and injured seven. A Christian, Moustapha, pictured below, said: “To be honest, I thought that everybody was going to die on the coach, but I can say that God saved us and we had some security guys who tried to shoot back and protect us. “At first, we were crying and then one of the security guys on the coach said we were not allowed to scream, because if we screamed then they would know that we were still alive. He told us to be quiet and at that time everybody started to pray.” Moustapha was forced to crawl out of the bus when the gunfire subsided. He said: “When I was crawling I could see the blood on the floor of the coach. “When we got to the hospital I saw our goalkeeper who called me and said ‘Moustapha, we are here for the football, but look what has happened to me now. I have two kids, if I die now what is going to happen to them, who is going to look after my kids?’” Moustapha also thanked his teammates and fans for their support. He said: “Before I came back I was told about the minute’s silence at Villa Park and I appreciated that. This is a good feeling for me and all I can say is thank you to the fans.”

Rising star says his beliefs mean he’ll never play dirty He’s competitive, he gets stuck in and he’s not afraid to stand his ground. But Newcastle Falcons’ Pete Browne could never be a dirty player. The Rugby Union Premiership team’s No8 says his faith could never allow him to intentionally hurt an opponent. The athletic back row has made real strides in his rugby this season after completing his Durham University theology degree this summer. And while on the face of it many Christians might not sit so easily with some of the harsher aspects of a game like rugby, vicar’s son Browne says the whole balance is only what you make of it. “The great Samoan coach and All Blacks international Michael Jones once said ‘It’s better to

by Matthew Murray give than to take’,” he explained, admitting he constantly works on improving his physical impact. “And he was talking about tackling and the whole Samoan culture of absolutely smashing people. “But they do it legitimately, most of the time. So it is better to give than take, and in many ways I’m not a naturally angry person, and the whole physicality thing is something my size aids, but it’s something I really have to keep working on, and I think I’m getting much better at it. I’m still living with students, which is enjoyable, but I graduated in the summer and that’s been good for my rugby. “People obviously think the theology degree is linked to the church, and my dad is a Reverend, but in lots of ways I haven’t really thought beyond the next couple of

years. The way I see it, it is what God wants me to do, and I’ve got to be open and willing to hear from him, and I’m an open book as it were. “It’s exciting to have that qualification. I don’t know how I’m going to use it, but we’ll see what happens. “My dissertation was all about an organisation called Christians In Sport, mainly critiquing the organisation from a mission perspective and what its aims were. “I don’t think they’re used to getting theology students writing dissertations on sport, but it’s not that unusual an occurrence to combine the two in life. “My dad played rugby too, so the way I was always brought up to see it was that my sport is a gift from God, and lots of guys see that. “For some reason, I have been l Continued on Page 11

God saved us during gun attack

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New Life Apr 10 issue 194  

Stories of faith and inspiration to bring you hope

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