The Eight O’Clock
News August 2013
8 am Service, Christ Church Richmond Road Kenilworth
Close Encounters with God When Jeremy asked me to speak about close encounters with God in the context of listening to God, I was simply delighted! My real desire is to encourage people to make space to listen to God and find they can hear God speaking into their lives. I know from my own experience how deeply transformative it is to encounter God in silence and hear God speaking. Back in 1995, after 15 years of living a very busy Christian life filled with many church activities and ministry involvements, I was feeling discouraged in my faith. Much of my time was taken up with mothering a baby and a toddler and I felt guilty that I wasn’t having daily quiet times studying the Bible nor busy serving in the church. Even when I managed to find time to read my Bible or pray I had no real sense of God in it. Looking back, I realize that what I was experiencing is described by Ruth Haley Barton in her book, Invitation to silence and solitude: As evangelicals, we are a very busy, wordy and heady faith tradition. With all of our emphasis on theology and the Word of God, evangelism and service—as important as these are—we are starved for mystery, to know God as One who is totally Other and experience reverence in His presence. We are starved for intimacy, to see and feel and know God in the very cells of our being. We are starved for rest, to know God beyond what we can do for Him. We are starved for quiet, to hear the sound of sheer silence—the presence of God Himself. And, I would add, we are starved of hearing God’s gentle whisper—the still, small voice—that guides, encourages, affirms and sustains us on our journey of life. The way to encounter the God who alone can fill us is by making some time to be with God in silence. When we carve out some space for silence we become aware of the God who is always with us, even when awareness has been dulled by the noise, busyness and distractions of our lives. As we encounter God in the silence and open our lives to the working of the Holy Spirit we are continuing on the adventure of spiritual transformation in the deepest places of our being, an adventure that will result in greater freedom and authenticity and surrender to God than we have yet experienced.
Many of you know this. And yet as Christians we struggle to make time to simply be silent in God’s presence—to be with God and wait on God and listen for the still, small voice. Someone has said that one of the hardest things to do is to sit for 15 minutes in silence and not do anything! We struggle to still our restless minds, struggle not to tell God what we think He should be doing to improve our lives and those of others. Just because I am speaking about this today does not mean that I find making time for being in silence with God and listening to God easy. I don’t. I am not a natural contemplative. My friends and family would never use the words calm and serene to describe me! Neither would anyone who has watched sport with me! But I have learnt that when I make time to go to my study and close the door and spend time in solitude and silence with God (as Jesus said in Matthew 6), that God comes to me and encounters me and I encounter God. It is all about God and God’s grace, and this grace is available for all of us. A 20-minute sermon does not permit me to explain practical ways in which we can learn to be in silence with God and listen to God speaking. Pete and Gill Milligan will hopefully be running a course for the Parish that covers this later this year. This morning I simply want to look at four things that happen when we have an encounter with God in silence that emerge from the experience of Elijah in 1 Kings 19. 1) When we encounter God we gain perspective Jim Harris preached two weeks ago on Elijah having been involved in a spectacular showdown with the false prophets of Baal, which ended when God sent down fire to burn up the sacrifice to prove that the God of Israel was the true God. Soon thereafter Elijah heard that Jezebel, King Ahab’s wife and a worshipper of Baal, was threatening to take his life. Elijah was afraid and fled into the wilderness. He sat down beneath a solitary broom tree and asked God to take his life. How was it possible that this great prophet of God—who had experienced the power of God at work in spectacular ways— was so afraid and depressed that he wanted to die? In his exhaustion, Elijah had lost perspective—on his calling to be a prophet and on God. This is what exhaustion does to us—it causes us to lose perspective, and focus on all the negative things in our lives. We lose perspective about who God truly is and are unable to remember that God has a big picture view of our lives and trust that God is with us. Ruth Haley Barton refers to our lives being like jars of river water all shaken up. In order to gain perspective on our lives
we need to sit still long enough so that the sediment can settle, and the water become clear. We don’t have to be completely exhausted to have swirling sediment in our lives—the sediment that swirls inside the jar of our lives can be the busyness and unprocessed thoughts and experiences of our daily life. As we sit still, in silence and solitude, the truth of Psalm 46:11 begins to percolate: Be still, and know that I am God. The Hebrew word for be still literally means let go of your grip. In silence and solitude, a time of being still before God, even just for 10 minutes, we begin to let go of our grip. We let go of telling God about all our needs and the needs of the world, of telling God what we think He ought to be doing about it! Yes, Scripture does teach us about the importance of intercessory prayer and petition, but there is also a place for simply just being with God in silence—not asking God for anything, but resting in God and acknowledging, You alone are God and I surrender to your ways. When we make the time to do this, we are allowing the sediment in our lives to settle and we gain renewed perspective in the light of God’s big picture view of our lives. 2) When we encounter God, we give God access to our lives and He reveals something of Himself to us: Ruth Hayley Barton: The point of solitude is to be with God with whatever is true about me now—whatever that is. Silence, then, allows me simply to give God access to the reality of myself. With the same trust and lack of inhibition that a child demonstrates with her mother, I can rest against God and allow God to care for my soul as only He can. Elijah did just this—in the silence and solitude of the desert he told God that he’d had enough and wanted God to take his life. Elijah didn’t try and make himself look better before God or deny the reality of what he was feeling. And God responds to Elijah’s honesty by revealing Himself as a compassionate God who understands what Elijah is feeling and knows what he needs. This compassionate God doesn’t send the angel of death that Elijah has prayed for—instead God sends the angel of life to bring bread and water to Elijah—not once, but twice. The angel helps Elijah in his exhaustion and depression to take care of his physical needs with food, water and rest. Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you. We can’t separate our spiritual needs from our physical or emotional needs—remember that God is aware of our needs as a whole person. Jesus spoke of Himself in the gospel of John as the bread of life and the water of life. Jesus comes to us to offer Himself to sustain us on our journeys when we enter into silence and commune with Him. I remember coming to God in silence on one occasion and giving God access to my feelings of being so tired of myself and my ongoing struggles. In the silence the words, I will never grow tired of you, came into my mind like a gentle, reassuring whisper. In those words God revealed Himself as a God of steadfast love and faithfulness. I have never heard an audible voice—rather it is a deep inner knowing that what I am hearing is God’s voice and not my own.
3) When we encounter God, we hear Him speak words of encouragement, guidance Having being physically restored with food and rest Elijah flees to Mount Horeb [believed to be Mount Sinai where Moses received the 10 Commandments]. On the mountain God asks Elijah the soul-searching question: What are you doing here, Elijah? Elijah’s answer reveals he hasn’t grasped the issues he needs to look at and instead tries to justify his running away to God. God simply ignores his self justification and doesn’t rebuke or correct him. Instead, God wants to reveal to Elijah the way He wants to communicate. God does this by allowing four events to occur, three of which are spectacular. But the wind, the earthquake and the fire did not announce the presence or activity of God. After the fire, Elijah heard a gentle whisper (some translations say a still, small voice, another the sound of sheer silence). And Elijah knew immediately that it was God and came out of the cave. What a lesson for Elijah! Even God does not always operate in the realm of the spectacular. In fact, the miraculous and spectacular are the exceptions, even in the Bible. As Jim Harris said, spectacular demonstrations of power do not produce lasting faith [Elijah’s experience defeating the prophets of Baal]. It is about listening to, and obeying, the voice of God. We can’t keep looking for God to work with spectacular power in our lives because what sustains us on the journey is hearing God speak to us—primarily through Scripture and supremely in the person of Jesus. God asks Elijah a second time: What are you doing here? Again Elijah answers with an attempt at self-justification. God graciously doesn’t condemn him for abandoning his prophetic office and fleeing into the wilderness but instead tells him to go back—to his prophetic calling and fulfill some specific tasks. We, too, need to be careful not to go back on a decision made, or a sense of calling that we are following, when we find ourselves in a place of discouragement. When we have a clear sense of God speaking or calling us to something, it can be very helpful to write it down so that when these times come and we lose perspective, we can remember that we did hear God speaking and we can pray for the grace to be faithful and obedient to what we believe God has said to us. We need discernment as we listen to the gentle whisper in the silence—how do we know that it is the voice of God? I have found the following three guidelines for discernment to be a helpful guide; i) Is what I am hearing in line with the teaching of Scripture? ii) Does what I sense I am hearing draw me to God and lead to an increase in faith, hope and love? iii) What would be the fruit of believing these words? Good or bad? 4) When we encounter God, we open ourselves to God’s transforming grace Transformation happens in us when we open ourselves to co-operating with grace. In his letter to the Romans (12:1, 2) Paul wrote: Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. Do not
conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will. Transformation happens when we allow God to renew our minds by His Spirit as we bring ourselves into God’s presence and open ourselves to the searchlight of God’s love. When we ask God to show us what is really going on in our hearts God shows us (Ps 139:23, 24). We can learn from Elijah’s story that when we encounter God in silence we gain perspective and give God access, He reveals something of Himself to us, we hear God speak words of encouragement and guidance and we open ourselves to God’s transforming grace. - Judy Everingham [Sermon shortened. Full text on website]
I, Spy I was schooled in England and boarded for most of the time. Like many 17year olds I had no idea what I would do when I left school. I was too young to leave after GCSEs so I stayed on to do one year of the A level syllabus. It was a wonderful opportunity to play sport (which I did with alacrity) and perfect my handwriting. My geography mistress commented on my end-of-year exam paper: 'A' level syllabus is not ‘O’ level facts with neater handwriting. Really, I asked? My parents suggested that a year of study in France would be good grounding. So, at the age of 17 I set off for Angers University in the Loire valley. I stayed with a delightful, recently widowed, English lady who had married a Scot who had inherited a chateau about five miles outside the city from his French mother. Madame Pirie and I struck up a wonderful friendship. Other than my first fortnight with her, when she would not exclude the speaking of English, we only spoke French. I threw myself into my studies and had a very happy and successful stay with her and at the university. This sojourn had opened my eyes to opportunities to use my French but it would not be enough on its own—I decided to do a secretarial course in London, together with French, shorthand and bookkeeping. An interview with a 90-year old, one of three sisters who founded The Triangle Secretarial College, was memorable. With a steady hand she introduced me to the gentle, flowing pencil strokes required to do shorthand. She was a gracious lady and I was enrolled. Towards the end of my year there, various companies and organisations visited the college on a recruitment drive. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office was one such organisation and the idea working at the British Embassy in Paris, and being able to use my French was too romantic and exciting for words. I applied, passed my interview and was scheduled to
start work at the FCO in London in September 1969. Day 1 and a group of approximately 30 young ladies were seated at desks in a large room of a large building in Waterloo on the South Bank of the Thames. None of us had any idea what was to follow. The young man who addressed us informed us up front that although we had been recruited by the Foreign Office, that would be our cover: we were actually now part of Her Majesty's Secret Intelligence Service [MI6]. There followed months of intensive training in everything from memory improving skills to how to handle and debrief an informer. We were sent away to a residential training establishment and zoomed about in Zodiacs, learned what 'counter intelligence' was all about, how to use a cypher machine and how to run a station overseas (should your boss be away) amongst many other skills. There was nothing dull about this training, nor the people involved or the prospects that lay ahead. We were then allocated to departments back at The Office to use our secretarial skills and wait for news of where we would be posted. My section dealt with Far Eastern affairs which opened my eyes to a part of the world which was all new to me and it was fascinating. I had to wait two years before I was posted as the minimum age requirement for postings abroad was 21. It was very exciting waiting to hear where one's friends were winging their way off to. I was convinced that Paris was my destination—it would be logical after all... ...Clearly not in the FCO's eyes as I was offered Bangkok—far more romantic and exotic than Paris. My posting was for 18 months, working in the magnificent, colonial built British Embassy compound. I was working in a cocooned environment where any problems were resolved by the consular department. The FCO provided an interest-free loan for the purchase of a new car. I had my own house, 10 minutes away by car from work, with a full time maid, gardener and pets I acquired on the way. I also had the excitement of a fascinating culture to absorb. I joined the Siam Society which organised trips all over the country—an excellent way to explore which, as a female, you would not do on your own. I also learned Thai and had a personal teacher, who came to my home. There is no doubt in my mind that he looked forward to a whiskey or two while lounging in my sittingroom with his feet up! Work was, for the most part, absorbing. I was in Thailand during the Vietnam war and so there were on-going reports coming out of that country to process and distribute. As well as normal secretarial duties I was asked to debrief, run errands, man the cypher machine, attend meetings—all Top Secret, so discretion was imperative. Embassy life was busy and during my stay, Queen Elizabeth made a State visit arriving on HMS Britannia. Gloves and hats were de rigeur and there was much excitement just to be in the presence of HM! Working for the FCO was a great way to travel—I had the opportunity to visit Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong. I was also asked to fill in for the head secretary in New Delhi. All wonderful experiences. I believe that I was truly blessed and privileged to have this opportunity to work abroad. - Anna Maydon [[To be continued]
Roger Thompson 26/10/46— 23/7/13
Lean Hard Chorus Child of My love, lean hard, I love you Child of My love, lean hard, I care Child of My love, lean hard, I love you I encircle you in prayer.
Aka Kusheka: The Laughing One They are not dead who live In hearts which they have blessed. They shall live life again, And shall live through the years, Eternal life… [Extract from Knights Templar]
And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.’ Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold I make all things new.’ And He said to me, Write, for these words are true and faithful.’ And He said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. [Revelation 21:3-6]
Put your head upon My breast, Let Me hold you tight. When Satan and his men wage fierce O let Me for you fight. There is no battle small or great That you can ever win, But see that I have conquered Over every weakness, sin. Just look away to Calvary For I have paid for all. Don’t struggle, strive, but let Me fight And you shall never fall. O how I love you, child of Mine Let Me your burdens bear. So rest in Me, enjoy My love, And tell Me all in prayer. - Judy Jenkins
But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’ But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, Yes, the deep things of God. [1 Corinthians 2:9-10]
Listening is Praying... Mother Theresa was once asked about her prayer life. The interviewer asked, ‘When you pray, what do you say to God?’ Mother Theresa replied, ‘I don’t talk, I simply listen.’ Believing he understood what she had just said, the interviewer next asked, ‘Ah, then what is it that God says to you when you pray?’ Mother Theresa replied, ‘He also doesn’t talk. He also simply listens.’ There was a long silence, with the interviewer seeming a bit confused and not knowing what to ask next. Finally Mother Teresa broke the silence by saying, ‘If you can’t understand the meaning of what I’ve just said, I’m sorry but there’s no way I can explain it any better.’ - Sent in by Jeremy Clampett
The Handover Once upon a time, many years ago in 1954 in Salisbury, Rhodesia, a 15-year old girl at school at GHS (Girls’ High School) was making her mark as a skilled hockey player. Her parents were moderately supportive in this venture, helped by the realisation that their younger daughter had no other obvious skill or talent. There was great excitement in her young life when she was chosen to play for a combined Rhodesian Schoolgirl hockey team on a tour of the Cape Peninsula Schools. The girls were chosen from Salisbury, Umtali, Gwelo and Bulawayo schools and to mark the occasion the girls were presented with a plain black blazer with Rhodesia Junior Hockey proudly splashed on the breast pocket. Not only did they win all their matches but the following year the girl was again chosen for the team but this time as captain (Sadly due to restrictions of her future nursing training and career she never played hockey again). However, the time arrived when she, now 16 going on 17, left school and prepared to move to Cape Town. She and her mother packed their belongings using a large blue trunk for most of them. Among these items was the precious black hockey blazer carefully folded and laid gently and reverently at the bottom of the trunk. The girl’s life in Cape Town unfolded along conventional lines: nurse training, an overseas stay for 18 months with her nursing friends, return to Groote Schuur Hospital, engagement and marriage, followed by the birth of three children. As all these events occurred the trunk, placed in the garage, received many mementos marking particular events. However, over time the trunk was gradually forgotten. It was eventually upended to better fit into reducing storage space in the garage. The years rolled by and the time came for the girl (now in her seventies) and her husband to move to a retirement village. The dreaded time arrived when all the junk had to be confronted. The big blue trunk in the garage eventually presented itself to the now 74-year old woman and with hugely mixed emotions she hesitantly opened the heavy lid.
Email of the Year? After being interviewed by the school administration, the prospective teacher said: 'Let me see if I've got this right. 'You want me to go into that room with all those kids, correct their disruptive behavior, observe them for signs of abuse, monitor their dress habits, censor their T-shirt messages, and instill in them a love for learning. 'You want me to check their backpacks for weapons, wage war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, and raise their sense of self esteem and personal pride. 'You want me to teach them patriotism and good citizenship, sportsmanship and fair play, and how
Surprisingly, she noted that no damp or dust had penetrated the faithful lid and lock. She started to roll back in reverse order all the memories of her life—even down to items given by a previous boyfriend! At the bottom of the trunk together with her school blazer was the black hockey blazer. It was in perfect condition and the woman realised that once the badge was removed it would make a useful school blazer for someone. She found however, that the lettering was woven into the fabric so the whole pocket had to be unstitched. Task completed, the blazer, now a jacket, was laid to one side only to be immediately picked up by the woman’s 16 going on 17 year old granddaughter, who was visiting from East London. Kate slipped her 16 going on 17 year old arms into the nearly 60 year old sleeves and hung the blazer on her young shoulders and exclaimed: Granny She-she, this is a wonderful jacket and so fashionable—may I take it home please? [Kate with ancient jacket in photograph above.] I marvel that a teenager had packed her blazer into a trunk where it had stayed undisturbed for nearly 60 years, biding its time over the generations, only to be swept up and embraced by another teenager, exactly the same age—what a memorable and wonderful handover! The passage of time is a funny old thing isn’t it? - Sheila Kaschula
to register to vote, balance a cheque book, and apply for a job. 'You want me to check their heads for lice, recognize signs of antisocial behaviour, and make sure that they all pass the final exams. 'You also want me to provide them with an equal education regardless of their handicaps, and communicate regularly with their parents in English or in any of 10 other official languages, by letter, telephone, newsletter, and report card. 'You want me to do all this with a piece of chalk, a blackboard, a bulletin board, a few books, a big smile, and a starting salary that qualifies me for food stamps. 'You want me to do all this, and then you tell me—I CAN'T PRAY?' - Source unknown, sent in by Barbara Duncan
Geka Flegg’s Granddaughter A teenager who suffered crippling injuries after falling 24 feet from a rope swing has spoken of how he has learnt to walk again. Ben Sumpter feared he might never recover the use of his leg after the horror fall in West Cornwall. But after operations and therapy, the 15-year-old Mullion School pupil has been back on his feet, completing a charity walk on crutches to the site of his accident. He said: The first three months after the accident were very hard. I was in a wheelchair and not able to walk or go to school and see my friends. Last November, Ben had been walking home to Monument Road, Helston, from Porthleven with a friend when he decided to try the swing. It was a wet day and he slipped from the rope at its highest point, falling down a steep ravine and hitting a tree stump. Paralysed and unable to move, he managed to call his parents on his mobile phone. Mrs Sumpter said: When we arrived, Ben was just about talking but his condition went downhill quickly. Due to his injuries and position, it was 90 minutes before he could be airlifted to hospital. He suffered nerve damage and
his shattered thigh bone had to be reinforced with a titanium rod. After months of treatment, Ben said help from Penryn physiotherapist Kyla Flegg (photograph, middle left ) made all the difference: My life and mobility really turned a corner when I started working with Kyla. I now feel there is a real chance I will make a full recovery and be able to do the things I love again.
A Man and his Dog A man went to a cinema and sat behind another man who had his dog on the seat next to him. Every time there was a sensitive part in the film, the dog made small, whimpering noises. When there was a happy spot in the film, the dog made soft barking noises. When there was a downright nasty bit in the film, the dog covered his eyes with his paw. The man sitting behind was amazed at the sensitivity of the dog and when the film was over, he said to the owner of the dog, I am flabbergasted at the response of your dog to the film—it is as if he knew what was happening? The owner said, Yes, he is very sensitive to events but I am very surprised at his response to this film— he hated the book! - Source unknown, sent in by Beth Mackrill
Sailing in Turkey
I was very blessed to find myself once again in Turkey sailing for eight days in a Gullet on the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. We were a family group of eight—five Wilds and three Prendergasts. Sara was able to join us from Australia (thanks to her father's generosity). [John and Sara in photograph above right..] Three nights were spent in Istanbul and it was a delight to see my family's reaction as they experienced the beautiful historic sights and soaked up the Eastern atmosphere—and the food of course! As far as I'm concerned, exploring the coastline, and swimming in that delicious sea is the best way to experience this lovely country. Hope it's not my last visit... Still so much to see! - Janice Prendergast
Holiday Down Under In March this year we were privileged to be able to visit our three children in Australia. They had all been in Melbourne, but are now scattered. Andrew, our son, is in Mildura. He is unmarried and is working as an ecologist with the Murray River catchment management authority. Jennifer (Scott) is a neonatal clinical nurse practioner in Townsville. She has three children: Mark (6) and the twins, Julian and Sarah (5) [photograph far right]. Janice (Deetlefs) is still in Melbourne and has two boys Matthew (15) and Timothy (13) (with Granny and Grandpa, right). She is a paediatric intensive care nurse. Our plan was to go for three months and make Melbourne our base. We would then fly to the other destinations from there. Each experience was different but all very special to us, like three different holidays. Andrew worked during the week so we had time to relax, go for leisurely walks along the Murray River and explore the town. Over the weekends he took us to National Parks, Heritage Parks, and to see sites he was working on, to improve the water flow into the old wetlands which have suffered as the result of so much water being used for agriculture. It even included spending a night in a tent! Janice’s boys are passionate about soccer, so we spent a lot of week evenings at practices and then of course, had to
support their teams at the matches at the weekends. Janice only works two days a week so we had time to explore while the boys were at school. Jennifer works full time and her husband Piet is doing a
degree full time at the Thomas Cook University—so life is quite hectic. Granny got stuck in, assisting with the little ones and helping with the household chores, including making curtains. We did get around to seeing the touristy sights when Jennifer was off duty. The children were in school until 3 pm, so that gave us plenty of time to have fun ourselves The little ones are very affectionate children so we got lots of hugs and kisses, and they discovered that Grandpa had lots of time to play games and read to them so they took advantage of the treat. We miss them a lot, but do speak to them on the telephone and Piet is very faithful about sending us pictures by e-mail. We don’t know when we will get there again, but we do thank God that we had the opportunity this time and for His wonderful gift of grandchildren to enjoy. - Dawn and David Greenfield
Recently returned from Botswana, spot Willie Hare (1), Margie Hare (2), Peter Tomalin (3), Lindly Tomalin (4), Belinda Henwood who sent in the photographs (5) and Dennis Henwood (6). Photograph top right—5 Little Bee-Eaters sitting in a row warming themselves in the early morning sun. Bottom right: An Elephant and her baby who had just swum about 200 metres from one island to another in the Chobe River. As they swam across the baby was totally submerged except for the very tip of its trunk!
The Maker of all human beings (GOD) is recalling all units
manufactured, regardless of make or year, due to a serious defect in the primary and central component of the heart. This is due to a malfunction in the original prototype units code-named Adam and Eve, resulting in the reproduction of the same defect in all subsequent units. This defect has been identified as Subsequential Internal Non-morality, more commonly known as SIN, as it is primarily expressed. Symptoms include: loss of direction, amnesia of origin, lack of peace and joy, rebellion, idolatry, fearfulness, selfish or violent behaviour, sexual immorality. The Manufacturer, who is neither liable nor at fault for this defect, is providing factory-authorized repair and service free of charge to correct this defect. The Repair Technician, JESUS, has most generously offered to bear the entire burden of the staggering cost of these repairs. There is no additional fee required. The number to call for repair in all areas is P-R-A-Y-E-R. Once connected, please upload your burden of SIN through the REPENTANCE procedure. Next, download ATONEMENT from the Repair Technician, Jesus, into the heart component. No matter how big or small the SIN defect is, Jesus will replace it with Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self control. Please see the operating manual, the BIBLE (Best Instructions Before Leaving Earth) for further details. WARNING: Continuing to operate the human being unit without correction voids any manufacturer warranties, exposing the unit to dangers and problems too numerous to list and will result in the human unit being permanently impounded. For free emergency service, call on Jesus. DANGER: The human being units not responding to this recall action will have to be scrapped in the furnace. The SIN defect will not be permitted to enter Heaven so as to prevent contamination of that facility. Thank you for your attention. - GOD PS Pease assist where possible by notifying others of this important recall notice—and you may contact the Father any time by Kneemail. PPS Working for God on earth doesn’t pay much—but His retirement plan is out of this world! - Source unknown, sent in by John & Jan D’Arcy Evans
Sparks fly, ignite and die. But oh! The charm of that flare It casts away all care Leaving glancing joy dancing there. A touch of the divine Magically sublime Beautiful in time. It is a spark That lightens the dark, An unexpected treat That sets you on your feet With a heart that’s lighter And in sunshine brighter It leads you on To an unknown place Of spaciousness and grace. - Mary Ussher, 2004
Points to Ponder *‘It is something of a concern to me that we often speak of worship leaders when we really mean those who lead the music, as if music is somehow more a form of worship than the rest of the service.’ (Mary Evans) *‘True worship is much deeper than communal praise, for worship involves realising the awesomeness of God and experiencing the fear of the Lord and a deeper love for Him. Too often Christian praise is nothing but religious entertainment and it never moves into spiritual enrichment in the presence of the Lord. Our singing must give way to silence as we bow before the Lord.’ (Warren Wiesbe) - Extracts from Chris Molyneux’s Musical Musings
For the Road… The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9, TNIV
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