FEATURE ARTICLES Broken Peace 6
Think! 22 10 Reasons to Believe God Offers The Perfect Gift.
What really is peace is it just quietness and rest? Endowment 8 Why does Bambi loose his spots, could it be by Divine Design? Jesus, Light of the World 10 We merely exist because we have settled for less than God intended. World In View 12 “War, open or understood, must be resolved.” We need to stand up! Greed - The Thief of Glory 14 Depression is increasing because we neglect the only gift that can satisfy the soul. What Would Jesus Do? 16 STOP! Ask What would Jesus do? The Perfect Gift 18 What is more important, the gifts of the world or the gift of Jesus?
Did You Know? 24 The enemy within is greater than the one without! The Story Teller Is God dead?
Jargon Buster Understanding Religious Terminologies.
Note To Self By Angela Slack
Authentic Gift 30 People still prefer what’s genuine and despise fakes. Glory! 32 By C. Richard McCaw In Praise Of Hymn 34 Reviewing Great Christian Hymns: – Joy To The World
WORLD IN VIEW
As she walked, Diane asked God to keep her safe from harm and danger.
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SHARE|MAGAZINE Volume 4 - Issue 4
The Perfect Gift
Paradox of our Times A curious thing happened while I was preparing this issue, I looked in the Cambridge dictionary for the meaning of Christ and Trinity and there was no listing to be found there and I thought, “Typical!” The world has no real interest in the things of God. There were idiomatic references which suggested that Christ is commonly used as a mere exclamation/curse word. I cringed on the inside, having witnessed this commonplace practice myself.
Later on, I watched a Youtube video where a billboard was mounted outside a church downtown New York that read: ‘Keep the merry bin the myth’, referring to taking Christ out of Christmas. Well, I think that there is as much logic in that line of reasoning as having a birthday party and excluding the person whose birthday it is. This is the prevailing ‘knee jerk’ reaction to anything of Christ these days. People will accept the gifts of God but reject Him as the giver. Why is this so? I believe it is because acknowledging God as the giver of all creation’s bounty necessitates that mankind will have to defer to Him and become accountable to Him. This is no longer negotiable as humanism, liberalism, hedonism, atheism, and Satanism fight against Christianity for mainstream legitimacy at the expense of world peace. 4
Christians are therefore now targeted and labelled as haters. Warring over The Prince of Peace Jesus, The Prince of Peace brings peace in 3 areas. 1) He reconciles us to God so we are no more at war with Him. 2) He brings a supernatural calm so we need not be afraid or agitated in the storms of life. 3) Before Jesus came the world was divided between the children of Israel, whom God fought for, and the rest of the world (Gentiles) whom God fought against, but now all that has changed. “For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation... so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.” Ephesians 2:14-16. God, through the cross, has reconciled and made peace between Jew and Gentile because of Jesus. Division based on nationality is no more. The Prince of Peace is now the point of contention. On one side are those who are for Him and on the other those against Him. Jesus is the narrow gate and the door that stands between those on the outside and the few on the inside, those going to hell and those who will be with Him in His Kingdom. “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life” 1 John 5:12, no matter their
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SHARE MAGAZINE is a FREE Christian quarterly that deals with challenging Christian topics that have been mostly ignored or left unanswered. The magazine includes written articles, poems and thoughts etc. Read our online version at www.TheShareMagazine.com where you can discuss articles or order a printed version. If you would like to submit articles, join our writers group, or to get involved in any other way kindly email us. SHARE MAGAZINE is produced by Select Arrow, which is the publishing arm of United In Christ.
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nationality, religion, social status, gender, age or any other label. Know Jesus, Know Peace - No Jesus No Peace! Peace on Earth? I have often heard it said that when Jesus was declared the Prince of Peace by Isaiah, and again when His birth was announced by the angel with the words “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:14) this meant that Jesus brought a peace in which every individual would share. In fact I have often heard it quoted as “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill to all men!” However, this is certainly not what the Scripture said, or meant because Jesus Himself said. “Do you suppose that I
came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three. Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughterin-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law” Luke 12:51-53. A look at other translations will bring out the true meaning with a bit more clarity. “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.” (NIV) “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!” (RSV). Jesus did not come to bring peace to the
world, He came to create one corporate community from among Jew and Gentile believers and broker peace between us and God. This peace with God will remove the fear of judgement, so that we can enjoy the peace of God and His favour. Accept the sacrifice of His death and resurrection today and accept your Jew or Gentile brothers and sisters. In His name make your peace with God. This is God’s perfect Gift to you! I remain in Jesus’ Service. Love as always
Editor and Cofounder
You have questions we’ve got answers This issue’s question answered by J. Sanderson
Question: A new Christian just coming to faith has become aware that being “unequally yoked” is not good. They need to know if they should separate from their unbelieving married partner. How can I advice them based on Scriptures? The Lord loves each and every one of us and does not want to cause hurt or pain. Breaking from a relationship is bound to cause just this. However, God gives His guidance and wisdom for a very valid reason. He wants us to have life in all its fullness and He puts guidance in place to help us and prevent hurt. If a new Christian posed this question, it has to be addressed sensitively yet truthfully; making them aware of the truth of God’s word so that the individual asking the question is fully aware of the impact that may result if they follow the ways of the world, rather than follow God’s guidance. It may be that in only just coming to faith they have no knowledge of God’s perspective in relationships. To promote an awareness of this will allow them to have an informed basis on which to make decisions, based on the truth of God and not how the world views it. 2 Corinthians 6:14 tells us, “Do not be bound together (unequally yoked) with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?” The original Greek word translated “bound together” or “unequally yoked” is heterozygous. Heteros meaning “opposite” and zugos meaning “yolk.” In 2 Corinthians, the apostle Paul compares believers with unbelievers continued on page 33 October - December 2016
Peace is a word we read about especially at Christmas time, on Christmas cards. We associate a dove with peace which again is usually on greetings cards. We also hear of many stories about war and peace, including this one below which seems to be one of the most popular: Momentary Peace “The Christmas Truce of 1914 is often celebrated as a symbolic moment of peace in an otherwise devastatingly violent war. We may like to believe that for just one day, all across the front, men from both
sides emerged from the trenches and met in No Man’s Land to exchange gifts and play football. But first-hand testimonies help us get closer to what really happened. Along the Western Front, a scattered series of small-scale ceasefires did happen between some German and British forces. But this brief festive reprieve was far from a mass event. Where it didn’t occur, 25 December 1914 was a day of war like any other. Where it did, accounts suggest that men sang carols and in some cases left their trenches and met in No Man’s Land. However, the
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motivations for such events were complex – practical as much as ‘magical’ – and this wasn’t the first unofficial truce to take place. Instead, it was to be one of the last.” ...Dan Snow Broadcaster & Historian But what does peace mean as defined by the dictionary? It means - Freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquillity, calm, restfulness, law and order. When we come to the Bible and see the word peace what does it mean then? We seem to have come to accept the former without exploring the latter.
BROKEN Peace was Pablo Picasso who made the dove a modern symbol of peace when he used it on a poster for the World Peace Congress in 1949. The poster inspired a new family of varied peace doves created by artists around the world. www. peacefuljewelry.com/history.html
History of The Peace Dove The dove has been a symbol of peace and innocence for thousands of years in many different cultures. In ancient Greek mythology it was a symbol of love and the renewal of life. In ancient Japan a dove carrying a sword symbolized the end of war. In the story of Noah and the Ark, when the rains that flooded the earth stopped, Noah sent out various birds to see if they would bring back any sign of land to his boat. One dove eventually returned carrying an olive branch. There was a tradition in Europe that if a dove flew around a house where someone was dying then their soul would be at peace. And there are legends which say that the devil can turn himself into any bird except for a dove. In Christian art, the dove was used to symbolize the Holy Ghost and was often painted above Christ’s head. But it
The Priestly Blessing And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel.” Say to them: “The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.” Numbers 6: 22 - 26 Peace in Hebrew is Shalom, which means harmony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, welfare and tranquillity and can be used idiomatically to mean both hello and goodbye. It can refer to either peace between two entities (especially between man and God). In the above passage of Scripture peace means completeness wholeness. The Lord give you completeness and wholeness. You may be thinking what relevance is this in today’s society? What has this got to do with Jesus and peace at Christmas time?
a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men.’” The message of peace was coming to mankind by God Himself. Before Jesus went to Calvary He said these words: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.” Wholeness/Completeness (peace) I leave with you. We can stand complete in Him. So peace is not just having a rest or finding a place of quiet it is in Jesus and only found in Him. “These things I have spoken to you that IN ME YOU MAY HAVE PEACE”, wholeness/completeness. John 16: 33 It is one of the greatest gifts He has given us. If you are seeking peace this season, a real peace which is permanent, you will find it when you accept Jesus as your Saviour. You will no longer need a blessing from priests, as in Moses’ day, to give you peace. YOU WILL HAVE IT IN JESUS who was God made flesh amongst us. He has the authority to give it to us for God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself. 2 Corinthians 5:19. “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts you.” Isaiah 26:3. May God richly bless you this Christmas time, as you think again upon the true meaning of PEACE. p
In Luke chapter 4: 13-14 “And suddenly there was with the angel
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By Barbara Payne intercessor, worship leader, retired minister and Divorce Care counsellor
A student who witnessed the deadly shooting of two students on February 27th, 2012 at Chardon High School, Ohio, reported that the gunman was targeting students sitting at a cafeteria table. At least 100 students in the cafeteria began screaming and fled through the halls as gunfire broke out around 7:30 a.m. Some ran into a middle school while others locked themselves in the teachers’ lounge.
of their babies!”
Without a doubt the instinct of self-preservation was much in evidence.
I used to keep white and yellow back spiders on our front porch along with dark brown may bugs in bottles half-filled with earth. I watched as spiders wove webs and found that bugs lay eggs in the dirt. After destroying one spider’s web, I soon discovered that the spider had woven another elsewhere. I became aware that everything on earth had a cause. The spider wove its web to catch its prey, and bugs laid eggs to continue the species. I surmised that an intelligent mind must have reasoned that life without the hunting instinct, or the thrill of bringing up its young would carry no excitement at all. Therefore I soon agreed with the psalmist’s conclusion, “Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty!”
If a son asked his father, who was a firm evolutionist, “Dad, what causes human beings to run away from danger?” he would answer, “Son, it’s just instinct!” But his son may continue, “But everybody has that instinct! How come?” With some irritation the father might answer, “Son, it’s just nature!” “But dad,” insists the child, “I saw it on the nature channel. Animals also have instincts! I saw a mother cat trying to rescue a kitten that had climbed too far up into a tree. It was the mother instinct, just like how moms take care
“Just nature, son!” the father would sigh, weary of all the questions. As a child, I too recognized that much of God’s creation was endowed with amazing instincts. From about the age of eight, being very close to nature, my inquiring mind was always asking very searching questions.
A Scientific Review Consider now the following scientific facts and illustrations, and come to your own conclusion, as you join me in the search for causes. Jean Henri Fabre, (1823 -1915) the father of modern entomology (i.e. the study of insects), was a popular teacher, physicist, chemist and botanist in France. His influence is felt in the later works of fellow naturalist, Charles Darwin, who called Fabre “an inimitable observer.” Fabre’s special force was exact and detailed observation, field research that always avoided premature general conclusions from his observations. From his intensive study he pointed out that insects that kill their prey by instinctive skill, understand the anatomy of that prey and of that prey alone. Those that paralyze know exactly how to paralyze certain species only. Secondly, Thomisus, the spider that cuts bees’ throats, 8
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knows how to apply the fatal blow, while the Epeira spider does not. Thirdly, Fabre also discovered the absolute symmetry of the cricket’s two wings whenever it bows: the right always lies over and plays on the left. He found that all cricket musicians were right-winged. When he raised a cricket with the left wing case artificially displaced to cover the right, the cricket tried to play in that position, failed, then corrected its wing positions to the usual position, and then played! Thus, the study of instincts has long been a puzzle for the evolutionist, forcing the obvious question: “How did certain insects come to have such instincts?” An imaginary visit to the environs of the fawn (baby deer) may help us to evaluate Darwin’s theory of evolution objectively. As we enter the forest, we are greeted by Bambi, a fawn, surrounded by his father, the Great Prince of the forest, his friends, Thumper (a pink-nosed rabbit), Flower (a skunk), and Faline, a female deer, his childhood
friend. We notice white spots on Bambi’s brown back and sides, which look like blotches of sunlight shining through bushes. When he was a little younger, he did not have the muscle strength or the longer legs that would have allowed him to escape from predators such as bears, coyotes, and bobcats. Those spots are a camouflage, much like what fighting men wear in the jungle, and together with his ability to lie still, they make him very hard to see, and helps him to escape predators. At this point, let us not rush to judgment against our friends, the evolutionists. Let us hold our human tendency to be prejudiced in check before hearing all the evidence placed on a table before us. Let us talk to Bambi’s father When we ask him about the spots on his son, he tells us the whole story. “Oh!” he says, “He won’t have those for very long. When he is about 5 months old, he will start losing his spots. He won’t need them, because by then he can run fast enough to escape most of his enemies. Funny thing is, the spots then miraculously disappear. Don’t ask me what happens to them! The Indians around here say, ‘The Great Spirit’ gave them to him to protect him when
he was young, but will take them away when he can run fast enough to protect himself. Another thing is that baby deer have no scent, so predators that may depend on their sense of smell have difficulty finding the young deer. All I know is, it’s a jolly smart arrangement, and has worked for every deer as long as I can remember! Besides, our history tells us that we’ve always been like that from all the generations past!” What do you think? The skillful arrangement of spots on Bambi, the fawn, happened to turn up just when he needed to protect himself from a predator? Was it random occurrence of chance, left to the slow process of time over millions of years, or the concern of a Wise Creator, Who not only cares when a sparrow falls to the ground injured, but designs ways in which all of His creatures may protect themselves? Perhaps, we should now ask the question, “Could evolution have provided this protection on a temporary basis? Or could the Creator have given spots to the fawn through natural law, especially for a time when By C Richard McCaw he would be vulnerable and author, music teacher would need it the most?” p and many years as a Bible teacher
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Jesus the Light of
Advent is a time of spiritual preparation in which many Christians make themselves ready for celebrating the birth of the Lord, Jesus Christ. Advent often may involve a period of prayer, fasting and repentance, followed by expectancy, hope and joy. We thank God for Christ’s first coming to Earth as a baby, also for His presence among us today through the Holy Spirit. Also, we anticipate His final coming at the end of time. Definition of Advent The word “advent” comes from the Latin “adventus” meaning “arrival” or “coming,” particularly of something having great importance. 10
What do the Advent Candles stand for? 1st
The candle of Hope
This candle is a symbol of God’s Peace
The candle of Love
The candle of Joy
The fifth candle reminds Christians of the birth of Jesus
The Jews also have a special time called Hanukkah A Hanukkah AKA (Chanukah) Menorah, candlebra is used, which is slightly different from a usual Menorah. Menorah comes from the
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root word Nur meaning flame in Hebrew or to light or illuminate in Arabic. A Hanukkah Menorah has eight candle holders and a middle one known as the Shamash, also known as the helper candle or servant candle. This is the candle that sits higher than the others, it is set apart. It is the candle that is lit first, then the other candles are lit from this one from left to right. The servant candle gives light to the others. Messianic Judaism reflects on Yeshua (Jesus), our Servant Messiah, who is high and lifted up, above all else. He came to give us light and life.
f the World on the Jews. Everything seemed hopelessly dark.
Chanukah is a festival of rededication, also known as the festival of light or the feast of dedication. Jesus would have known about it as it was mentioned in John 10:22, it was not divinely appointed, although Jesus took the occasion to teach the people that came together, there is no proof that He observed it. Chanukah was originally celebrated by Judas Maccabaeus in B.C. 165, to celebrate the cleansing of the temple after it had been defiled by the Syrian king Antiochus Epiphanes. It is celebrated over 8 days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev. It is not recorded in the Old Testament as with the other feasts, it was to remind the Jewish nation of a miracle that occurred during the turbulent intertestamental times after Alexander the Great died. He allowed religious tolerance so that the Jews may celebrate their religion as they wanted to but after he died, it became increasingly impossible for them to worship God due to oppression. The Syrian-Greeks overran the temple and defiled it by slaughtering a pig on the alter. They were trying to force Hellenization
Some of the Jews were heavily influenced by the Syrian-Greeks but a small band of courageous Jews rose up and fought to reclaim the Temple in Jerusalem. They needed to purify and rededicate the Temple, part of this process was to light the Menorah but when they tried to look for some olive oil that hadn’t been contaminated by the Greeks, they only found enough for 1 day. It would take too long to press some more olives to make oil, 8 days in fact. This is the miracle that happened at that time, that oil that should last one day actually lasted 8 days - until new pure oil was ready to be used. The Jews and Messianic Jews of today remember that it is about light overcoming darkness. Both Advent and Hanukkah are about hope and light. Sometimes we might feel that darkness is everywhere and that we cannot overcome it. We may feel that we are walking in darkness it could be something like fear, loneliness, oppression, depression, poverty, violence and the news that we hear about the things going on in the world. God saw through the Jews darkness and become light for them and He can become light for you. Isaiah 9:2, perhaps you too can experience where it says that the people walking in darkness have seen
a great light. Although there is bad news everywhere, we are people of the GOOD NEWS. We do not need to be disheartened because we have Jesus, the light of the World. His assurance is that as we follow Him, we “will never walk in darkness, but have the light of life” John 8:12. That is an incredible promise. As we approach the New Year, we need to personally aim for something. Doesn’t it say in Proverbs 29:18, where there is no vision people will perish? Dissatisfaction doesn’t come from the absence of things, but the absence of direction. Too many of us merely exist because we have settled for less than God intended. How about prayerfully, making, a list of the areas where you would like to grow this year? Ask the Lord to shine His light on what you need to work on. Ask God for His plan. Don’t get discouraged if you find it hard going, just like Paul said of his faith, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward calling of God in Christ Jesus. Phil 3:14. Keep soldiering on; It’s our time to shine! p
By Teresa L. Randle Missionary, Preacher and Bible Teacher
October October - December - December 2016 2016 SHARE SHARE MAGAZINE MAGAZINE 1111
“...WAR, OPEN OR UNDERSTOOD, must be resolved.” In John Milton’s epic work, Paradise Lost, Satan’s speech challenges the prevailing idea among his fellow rebels, that all will be well between the host of fallen spirits and the remaining angels of God. Even though he has lost the war in heaven he has no intention of losing the battle for earth, because he means to destroy the apple of God’s eye... mankind. He says, “But these thoughts full counsel must mature: peace is despaired; For who can think submission? War then, war, open or understood, must be resolved.” - (John Milton, Paradise Lost) Christians globally need to awaken to the clarion call to “spiritual warfare”, yes there has long been a cold war raging and it is now intensifying as prophetic expediency demands it. Previously held moral restraints have been removed and those “people whose consciences are seared as with a hot iron”, cauterised into numbness must be challenged. If we fail to stand up and be counted we will fall along with the great numbers who have already succumbed to the enemy’s schemes. The real enemy is, The Liar, who peddles fear, deception, prejudice, hatred, and revenge in order to lure many to his side. Truth, we are being told is relative. When since? God has apparently changed His mind about some sections of Biblical teaching and if that won’t do, then throw out the Bible and anything associated with God and call it myth. In society, it is now dangerous to believe in Christian morality, charity, chastity and purity these ideas are postulated as bigotry and against civil rights. So, for those Christians still in denial, take a look at what is coming to your front door. 12
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Pakistani CHRISTIAN BOY SET ON FIRE for His Faith in Jesus
Fifteen-year-old Pakistani boy dies from severe burns. He forgave his attackers before he died and asks that they do not harm others in similar vein. Pakistani government
Norway family ACCUSED OF CHRISTIAN INDOCTRINATION loses children The Christian parents of five children, who were seized by Norwegian child services seven months ago to “prevent” them from being “indoctrinated” with Christianity, will soon be reunited as the authorities have agreed to return the custody of the remaining four children to the family. The five children were seized by the Norwegian Child Protective Services on Nov. 16 and 17 last year based on a teacher’s concerns about how they were being raised by “radical” Christians who were “indoctrinating” their children. In early April, only the youngest of the five children were returned to the parents. When the other children will be returned is not known.
There has been international outcry from religious, NGOs and civil organisations mainly in a petition to the Norwegian government: “We find the facts of this international incident unacceptable not only on legal grounds but also on humanitarian and moral grounds. We view these transgressions as grievous breaches of domestic and international law… Therefore, it is important that Norway immediately release the children back to their biological parents…” Taken from The Christian Post. Article by Anugrah Kumar.
pressured to bring them to justice. By Jessica Jones For CMC News.
Read more at: http://www.christianpost.tv/ christian-boy-set-on-fire-forhis-faith-in-jesus-succumbs-
Liar, Liar, LOCHTE’S PANTS ON FIRE!!! Olympic swimming Athlete, Ryan Lochte (Team USA) lied to His mom and consequently to the world thus turning a simple act of indiscretion over the inappropriate use of a gas station’s, toilet facility in a drunken state, into an international, olympic, conundrum. In trying to cover up his indiscretion he lied that he was the victim of an armed robbery at the gas station, where in fact he and friends had urinated outside the premises and tore off a sign. When security officers asked him to pay for the damage at gunpoint he was unhappy to say the least. That little memory gem taught by our mothers comes back to mind. “Speak the truth and speak it ever, Cost it what it will, He who hides the wrong he did, Does the wrong thing still.” Read more:
PUTIN PUTS Political PRESSURE ON PREACHERS Putin has rolled back the iron curtain, reminiscent of the old communist days in regard to censoring the activity of religious groups in Russia. The new law prohibits the sharing of faith in any place that is not a government-sanctioned house of worship. “This new situation resembles the Soviet Union in 1929. At that time confession of faith was permitted only in church,” Hannu Haukka, president of Great Commission Media Ministries, said in July. “Practically speaking, we are back in the same situation. These anti-terrorist laws are some of the most restrictive laws in postSoviet history.” As the law also bans foreign missionaries from speaking at churches without permission from Russian authorities, international organizations such as the Slavic Centre for Law and Justice, said, “a new manner of carrying out missionary work in Russia will need to be established”. In
banned outside of government sanctioned places of worship; “Individuals fined from $75 $765; Organizations $15,265.” Foreign speakers need gov’t approval to speak, if found in violation deported. The new law claims to be an anti-terrorist measure. Where is the evidence that Christians are terrorists? The growing trend is to lump Christians in with all and sundry is this justice? The statistics pile high with proof of where the real terrorists predominantly hail from. We need to pray for the Church in Russia. Meanwhile, The Slavic Centre For Law and Justice is actively working to protect the rights of Christians. [1-3] Taken From The Christian Post. Article by Stoyan Zaimov.
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Greed - The Thief of Glory
“Men who trap animals in Africa for zoos in America say that one of the hardest animals to catch is the ring tailed monkey. For the Zulus of that continent, however, it’s simple. They’ve been catching this agile little animal with ease for years. The method the Zulus use is based on knowledge of the animal. Their trap is nothing more than a melon growing on a vine. The seeds of this melon are a favorite of the monkey. Knowing this, the Zulus simply cut a hole in the melon, just large enough for the monkey to insert his hand to reach the seeds inside. The monkey will stick his hand in, grab as many seeds as he can, then start to withdraw it. This he cannot do. His fist is now larger than the hole. The monkey will pull and tug, screech and fight the melon for hours. But he can’t get free of the trap unless he gives up the seeds, which he refuses to do. Meanwhile, the Zulus sneak up and nab him.”
The gifts exchanged at Christmas should be in memory of the greatest gift ever i.e. Jesus, God’s gift of salvation to all humanity. Sinful man however, saw this exchanging of gifts as an opportunity to feed our greed and so the focus was totally removed from Jesus to materialism. Christmas is the most profitable time of the year for businesses because people do more shopping during this period than at any other time of the year. Year after year we continue to indulge ourselves with more food, wine, decorations, gadgets and a mountain of other things while with every advancing year Jesus is met with more rejection than the year before. In many towns and cities the name of Jesus must not even be mentioned or nativity scenes depicting His birth be mounted publicly. Our greed has ousted God and we are beginning to see the devastating effects of it in our drug, crime, depression and suicide rates.
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What Gehazi Wanted Elijah before he was taken up into heaven wanted to know what he could do for his servant Elisha. “Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?’ Elisha said, ‘Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.’” 2 Kings 2:9 Elijah was a powerful man of God through whom God raised the dead, multiplied food and brought rain after years of drought so there were a great number of things Elisha could have requested. Elisha however, asked for a double portion of Elijah’s anointing as proof that his heart was set on heavenly things, now he could be even more effective for God. Elisha did get the double portion he desired, and as expected, he became a great man of God through whom God did even mightier things. In time Elisha also had a servant whose name was Gehazi. As it was
common knowledge, Gehazi would have known that Elisha received a double portion of his master’s anointing. How powerfully God would be able to use Gehazi if he was to get a double portion of Elisha’s anointing. Would the power of God continue to double from servant to servant? No it wouldn’t, because Gehazi’s desire was not for spiritual things. After Elisha healed Naaman of leprosy Naaman offered to give him gifts of gold, silver and clothing but Elisha refused them. No doubt Elisha did this because he knew it wouldn’t please God to accept gifts in payment for healing; but Gehazi was not pleased. After Naaman left Gehazi went after him and falsely collected gifts in the name of Elisha. For his greed Gehazi and all his descendants received the curse of leprosy. Elisha was a great man of God and one would have thought that Gehazi would begin to value spiritual things a lot more, especially after witnessing such wonderful, mighty miracles. Greed is a crippling disease that numbs the heart and distorts our thinking so not even the truth of Jesus who was God in flesh could get through. What Judas Wanted Elisha received what he desired, asked for and was assured he would get if he saw his master taken up to heaven, and in a similar way our master’s promise assures us that we will do greater works than He did if a single condition is met. “Most
assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.” John 14:12 This will happen for those who believe after He is physically taken and ascended up to His Father. Accounts in the Acts of the Apostles are proof that it happened just as He promised. We see God working greater miracles through the apostles than anything Jesus did. In Acts 5:12-15 it seems that the apostles miracles included people being healed and delivered by the very shadow of Peter. In Acts 19:12 people were delivered and healed when handkerchiefs or aprons that Paul touched was taken to them. Wow, how greatly blessed Jesus’ apostles must have been? Well, except for Judas; the promise of greater works, though also given to Judas, could not be realised because he had other things in his heart and on his mind. He loved this world’s goods and coveted the purchasing power of money. Judas betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver but soon after hung himself. It seems his partially decomposed body later fell from where it hung and burst open. There are many more promises for those who love and believe God, none of which will be realised by the greedy. Oh, what a glorious future we abort when we cannot be content with what we have. When our hearts are filled with the things of this cursed and condemned world instead of the heavenly things promised to us through Christ. Depression and suicide are increasing at an alarming rate all because we continue to neglect the only gift that can satisfy the soul. p
Further Reading Quoted from clinical-depression.co.uk
Major depression is the No.1 psychological disorder in the western world. It is growing in all age groups, in virtually every community, and the growth is seen most in the young, especially teens. At the rate of increase, it will be the 2nd most disabling condition in the world by 2020, behind heart disease. Facts on major depression First and foremost, clinical or major depression is growing at an incredible rate. •
People of all ages, backgrounds, lifestyles, and nationalities suffer from major depression, with a few exceptions. Up to 20% of people experience symptoms of depression. 10 times more people suffer from major depression now than in 1945  The average age of first onset of major depression is 25-29
It is a fact that we all have basic emotional needs that must be met for us to thrive and enjoy life. After the primary human needs for food, water and shelter come commonly shared emotional and physical needs. Without exception we find depressed people are not getting these needs met. Traditional communities naturally meet many ‘basic needs’ for emotional support. In the traditional Amish society in the US major depression is almost unknown, as it is in the equally traditional Kaluli tribe of New Guinea. In these societies individual concerns are group concerns and vise-versa. You know that if you have a problem other people will help you and you are expected to help out when others need support. We know we are meant to do these things but it’s not a ‘built in feature’ of modern society in the same way. w w w. c l i n i c a l - d e p r e s s i o n . c o . u k / d l p / depression-information/major-depressionfacts/
By Homer Slack author, preacher, Bible teacher, IT tutor, programmer & graphic designer
 Bibliographic Reference is Uncertain: Charles Swindoll, Living Above the Level of Mediocrity, p.150ff.  Seligman, M. E. P. (1990) Learned Optimism. Seligman, M. E. P. In J. Buie (1988) ‘Me’ decades generate depression: individualism erodes commitment to others. APA Monitor, 19, 18. “People born after 1945 were ten times more likely to suffer from depression than people born 50 years earlier.”
October - December 2016
1. Ask WWJD
3. Go Safely
You have probably seen those elastic wrist bands that have the initials WWJD on them. This is designed to remind us that whatever situation we find ourselves in we can say; “What would Jesus do?” (WWJD) They really do make you stop and think and keep you on the narrow road if you ask the question and of course take the answer on board. Its as easy as that... isn’t it? Let’s look at just a couple of instances that Jesus did differently to probably what we would do. In John chapter 8 there was a woman caught in adultery. The law of Moses demanded that she should be stoned to death. Wow! The law demanded that this should happen as she was caught in the very act. It was not gossip. The crowd seemed to enjoy the fact that she would get what she deserved and just like in the French Revolution I bet some took their knitting. Jesus came among the angry crowd, that wanted justice and of course they felt more superior to her (since their sins were not on show). He just stooped there, writing in the dust while they raged, zealous to fulfill the LAW. Jesus then just spoke, one sentence that changed the whole course of events; “Let him without sin cast the first stone”. One by one they dropped their stones that they were going to throw at her as their own sin came to mind. Due to the conviction of their own sin they could not throw any stones, they calmed down, dispersed and she was free to go and sin no more. Who do you know has been or is in this situation and behind closed doors you are ‘throwing stones’ at them instead of throwing them a
October - December 2016
What Would Jesus Do? lifeline. Think on Jesus’ life changing question, that could change the course of events. Just say to yourself, What would Jesus Do? Just like His mother Mary said, “Whatever He tells you to do… do it;” but most of all remember, we are all sinners saved by grace. This woman may never have known or heard of Jesus until that day. She knew Him after that. (I would love to know what Jesus was writing in the dust wouldn’t you?)
There are many places that we know that Jesus would certainly not want us to go or things that He would not want us to do. He would say He only does what His Father tells Him or shows Him. This is wonderful because as Christians we should be just the same. How many times have you been nudged by the Holy Spirit not to go somewhere or not to behave in a certain way? If unsure when in these situations. STOP and ask What would Jesus do? If He says NO then walk away, if you are still unsure then try to remember what the Bible says. After all the Bible is the Word of God and Jesus is, The Living Word! My testimony, over the past 40 years, contains accounts of unforgiveness, yours may not yet. I believe forgiving others is one of the hardest things that Jesus did and asks us to do. He says in Matthew 5, “You have heard that it was
said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you” WHY? That is a real tall order. I have heard many people say those immortal words. ‘I will never forgive them for what they did to me’ or ‘ How can I ever forgive that?’ Unforgiveness leads to bitterness and the root of bitterness in a person’s life can lead to all sorts of emotional and physical problems. God made us and knows what keeps us healthy and well.
Whoever it is on your list of people you have not forgiven, ask yourself What would Jesus do? Plus, if we do not forgive, our Heavenly Father will not forgive us. It also hinders our prayers from going to God. Forgiveness is a choice, it does not happen overnight. It starts with a choice. We must ask Jesus to help us to forgive.’ The result may take weeks, months or in some cases even years, it depends how long the root of bitterness, which is extremely painful, has been there. Once the process starts just watch the pain disappear and whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive them, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. Mark 11:2 Jesus hung on a cruel cross, impaled with nails, bleeding and dying a slow death and yet from that situation He
said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” Luke 23:24. Of course we don’t understand it all but by faith, next time you are feeling like you have been ‘crucified’ remember Jesus… What did He do? Just say those words; “Father [ I ] forgive them for they know not what they do.” You may have to say it many times, I have, but believe me there is nothing more liberating than, FORGIVENESS. The reason for the cross was so you and I could be free from sin, forgiven and heaven bound for eternal life. Asking yourself daily, ‘What would Jesus do?’, will keep you on the narrow road, which by the way is only one man wide. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the Kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” Matthew 7:21 I believe that if we can follow the simple rule WHAT WOULD JESUS DO? Then and only then, will our lights shine. Matthew 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” p By Barbara Payne intercessor, worship leader, retired minister and Divorce Care counsellor
October - December 2016
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call Him Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated, “God is with us.”Matthew 1:23 Mary, a virgin did indeed give birth to Jesus thus she fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14. Though this is not believed by many we know as Christians this is the truth. God worked a miracle the same as He did when He raised Jesus from the dead. Jesus, the perfect gift to mankind came as Lord and Saviour. He came for sinners, to show the way to God in Heaven through Him and Him alone. Jesus, is The King of kings, He gave up all He had in heaven and came in a humble birth, He was born in a manger in a stable. Try to picture the scene. It was night time. Stars twinkle in the sky above, shepherds watching over their sheep. In the stable amongst the cows and sheep, quite smelly, probably mice scurrying through the hay, there is Mary more than likely worn out from travelling ready to give birth to the only One who saves. Imagine Joseph by her side doing what he can as there were no modern day maternity ward or midwife. No hot water or fresh towels, nurses or doctors and no painkillers. Just the hand of the almighty God through it all! Angels watching over the manger ﬁlled with hay and a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths. A miracle of life the dear beloved Son of God was born a gift to mankind so perfect and precious. As Christmas approaches we will be out buying presents for folks. Hopefully putting serious thought into what gifts will be suitable to the person. How many gifts will be discarded, sent back to the shop 18
The Perf or even saved to give to someone else? Nothing is really wrong with this but it does help if we can think of what that person would really need. God certainly knew what the world would need and that was Jesus the Saviour. John 4:42 “Then they said to the woman, ‘Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we have heard Him and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.’” 1 John 4:14 “And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Saviour of the world.”
October - December 2016
The world is on the brink of destruction. We do not need more technology or advice on how to make us look and act perfect or how to improve our lifestyles to live the desired perfect life. Such dreams most likely will never happen because they are unattainable or simply not in the realm of reality! Vein dreams, worldly fantasies, carnal lusts for self gratification and a yearning for inner peace and happiness. There is only one Way, His name
These may sound like harsh words, but they are the plain truth. The weeks up to Christmas will come with all the temptations of vanity. Each year folks get more and more in debt. Nothing is wrong with buying gifts, but we have lost perspective. Our motive for celebrated Christmas is wrong. It’s not about self-centred celebration. Yes, it is a good time of the year to get together with families and friends to have meals and open gifts and hopefully be of good cheer but remember the many poor folks around the world or the elderly on their own or the lonely people who never get gifts. We should not be looking to how many gifts we can stuff into the sack but how much oil we have in our lamps (how much of Jesus we have in our souls).
fect Gift is Jesus. He is the only peace, contentment and joy we could ever have. He came to do the will of the Father and He achieved it on the cross, fulﬁlled it all for us so that one day we will be with Him in glory. “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” John 5:24 It was a gift, we didn’t have to do anything. Now, who on earth can refuse a gift like that - millions do and millions
will! This wonderful gift of salvation through Jesus Christ was rejected in the past, is presently and will be in the future. But praise God, many will hear the truth and accept it. We as born again, Holy Spirit Christians, must seek the Father in earnest and ask daily for a fresh inﬁlling of the Holy Spirit to tell people of the gift of Jesus. That He is their only hope. No matter how many presents they get at Christmas it will not save them from the eventual destruction to come.
Let us ask ourselves, what is more important, the gifts of the world or the gift of Jesus from a heavenly loving Father? Do we invite Jesus in, after all, it is His birthday we are celebrating? Do we throw Him a surprise party every year or send Him an invitation? Does He seriously need it? No He does not! He is inviting people to Him. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”Revelation 3:20 He is the gift to be with us until the end of the age and throughout eternity. He is a gift that cannot be bought at any price. It cannot be stressed enough — He is the priceless, perfect gift of salvation. As each Christmas comes and goes it is getting a STEP EVER SO CLOSER TO JESUS’ COMING BACK! Are we ready? p Further reading: www.jesus-is-savior.com/Basics/gift.htm
October - December 2016
By Lynda K Smith writer, proof reader, poet and Evangelist
...she wasn’t alone. She had two tall men walking on both sides of her.
October - December 2016
Angels in the Alley
Diane, a young Christian university student, was home for the summer. She had gone to visit some friends one evening and the time passed quickly as each shared their various experiences of the past year. She ended up staying longer than she had planned and had to walk home alone. But she wasn’t afraid because it was a small town and she lived only a few blocks away. As she walked along under the tall elm trees, Diane asked God to keep her safe from harm and danger. When she reached the alley, which was a short cut to her house, she decided to take it. However, halfway down the alley she noticed a man standing at the end as though he were waiting for her. She became uneasy and began to pray, asking for “God’s” protection. Instantly, a comforting feeling of quietness and security wrapped around her, she felt as though someone was walking with her. When she reached the end of the alley, she walked right past the man and arrived home safely. The following day, she read in the paper that a young girl had been raped in the same alley, just twenty minutes
after she had been there. Feeling overwhelmed by this tragedy and the fact that it could have been her, she began to weep. Thanking the Lord for her safety and to help this young woman, she decided to go to the police station. She felt she could recognize the man, so she told them her story. The police asked her if she would be willing to look at a lineup to see if she could identify him. She agreed and immediately pointed out the man she had seen in the alley the night before. When the man was told he had been identified, he immediately broke down and confessed. The officer thanked Diane for her bravery and asked if there was anything they could do for her, she asked if they would ask the man one question. Diane was curious as to why he had not attacked her. When the policeman asked him, he answered, “Because she wasn’t alone. She had two tall men walking on both sides of her.” Moral of the story? Don’t underestimate the power of Prayer. p BY Sheila Lockhart http://www.faithwriters. com/article-details.php?id=21497
October - December 2016
God Offers Th
GOD LOVES TO GIVE GIFTS Long before we took our a great giver of ever first breath, our Crea ything a man or wo tor showed Himself m an could ask for. To heart (Psalm 37:4). to be day, He still wants to As the Father of he give us the desires av en 1:17). When we say , He is behind “eve of our that “the best thing ry good gift and ev ery perfect gift” (Ja s in life are free,” it’s and friendship, and m a way of acknowled es laughter, He is show ging that when Go ing that no one can priceless and so pe d gives life, give a better gift th rfectly suited to ou an He can. Yet His r needs and happine best offer is so ss, many think it’s to o good to be true. IT’S DESCRIBED IN THE BIBLE Th e most quoted of all mysterious gift that books describes a goes far beyond an wonderfully ything we have ever peace of mind, acce re ce ived. When unwrap ptance, forgiveness ped, it includes , adoption into the does God offer to family of heaven, an give us the desires d of ev ou er lasting life. But r he ar t as a reward for go It refers to this spirit od living? Not acco ual package as salva rding to the Bible. tion and calls it “the gift of God” (Roman s 6:23; Ephesians 2:8 -9). IT CANNOT BE EARNED In most areas of life we work to be trusted and pr hard to earn respec omoted. But God’s t and the right perfect gift of salva merit but by mercy tion is different. It co , not by trying but by mes not by trusting, and not by words of the apostle working but by resti Paul, “By grace you ng. In the have been saved th it is the gift of God, rough faith, and th not of works lest an at no t of yourselves; yone should boast” Testament letters, Pa (Ephesians 2:8-9). In ul added, “Not by an ot her of his New wo rks of to His mercy He sa righteousness which ved us” (Titus 3:5). we have done, but according
GOD PAID FOR IT HIMSELF Long before wise men br our Creator gave us ought gifts to a Be the gift of choice. Kn thlehem manger, owing that love mus He gave us the freed t be voluntary to be om to accept or re meaningful, ject Him. From the parents chose to wa beginning, howeve lk away from Him. Ins r, ou te r first ad of rescue whereby an leaving them in their innocent victim wo rebellion, He reveale uld di d a plan of e on behalf of the gu Temple ritual anticip ilty. An elaborate sy ated what God Him ste m se lf would do for us on of symbolic the time of God’s ow the center page of n choosing and in a human history. At moment of infinite only be explained by and eternal significa love—He sacrificed nce, He did what ca His Son to pay for ou n r sin (John 1:29; He brews 10:5-10). IT COMES WITH A PROOF OF PU RCHASE The rece history. Jewish prop ipt we hold for His hets predicted a M payment is the reco es siah who would de 9:26). When He arriv rd of liv er His people from ed, the Gospel write their sin (Isaiah 53; rs tell us that He he to the oppressed. Th Daniel aled the sick, raised en He did what no the dead, and gave one expected Him adoring crowds, He hope to do. Instead of riding silently bore the sla to power on the sh nder of critics, and Three days later, He ou lders of voluntarily died at th walked out of a gu e hands of Roman arded tomb (Luke 24 the hands of enem executioners. :1-7). Eyewitnesses ies rather than deny of the resurrected Ch that they had seen rist died at Him alive.
IT WAS WRAPP ED WITH CARE God packaged His predictions, widely perfect gift in thou observed miracles, sands of years of fu and breathtaking re lfilled Lord of heaven visite scues. Then after ce d a young Jewish wo nturies of anticipat Himself in her wom man named Mary an ion, the b. In the years that d, in the greatest of followed, He surroun all miracles, wrappe of unlikely followers, de d d the gift in the iro the envy of religious ny of obscurity, the leaders, and the cru lost, God wrapped affection shing disappointm His gift in the excit ent of death. When ed reports of witnes the dead. For a final all seemed ses who announced touch, the Creator an unexpected resurre gave His gift of salva nation on earth wh ction from tion a colorful bow ose hearts and lives of diversity—people have been changed from every by His love (Revela tion 5:9).
October - December 2016
s to Believe
he Perfect Gift
tle God’s mercy, the apos accepted the offer of d ha o d, wh e Go os of th t to gif e BY GRACE Writing t of yourselves; it is th GOD OFFERS IT ugh faith, and that no ro th d n way into ve sa ow en his be rn ve ea e you ha once tried to d ha ul Pa . -9) Paul wrote, “By grac 2:8 ns hesia that it is ne should boast” (Ep self had discovered— him he at wh ow kn to not of works lest anyo ily and readers els into the eternal fam . Now he wanted his reb -9) en 3:3 ok ns br pia d an ilip (Ph len fal God’s favor of heaven welcome read sin and death to God that the angels tween Adam, who sp be ce en fer dif e only by the grace of th ut the free gift scribed Him. So he wrote, “B st another letter, Paul de In tru o d. wh Go all of to ce en life es pr e of God and grace and much more the grac Christ, who brought d, d die an s, ny nt ma da ] en sin s sc m’ de all his n’s offense [Ada . For if by the one ma ” (Romans 5:15). is not like the offense t, abounded to many ris Ch s su Je , an M e of the on the gift by the grace s to the Ephesians carefully chosen word s ul’ Pa H IT FA H UG s us that God IVED ONLY THRO ng phrase, he remind fyi ali qu is th In IT CAN BE RECE .” th ily knocks ugh fai iness of His eternal fam have been saved thro pp ha e th are sh to us were, “By grace you o wants So the gospel says, is invited. The One wh o our lives (John 1:12). int m Hi comes only where He me lco we to r us Him should not our hearts, waiting fo whoever believes in at th n, So n tte go gently at the door of be His only e world that He gave “For God so loved th 6). 3:1 lasting life” (John perish but have ever
best friends were E IT Most of Jesus’ IV CE RE TO NG LI ns. One sold her TO ANYONE WIL possessed by demo en be d ha IT’S AVAILABLE me So r. cto Together they s. One was a tax colle cept the gift of God. ac to s es gn llin wi fishermen, not scholar eir on was th hour, while hanging t they had in common ther. Even in His dying Fa s body for a living. Wha Hi “If to g, ing yin br sa to m, Hi ed cked and women Jesus lov life. One of the two mo l na er et of r t fea gif were the kind of men e en th ev s gave you not dying criminals, Jesu e first and said, “Do th ed uk reb l na mi of a cross between two cri e reward our e other Yourself and us.” Th for we receive the du , ve tly sa jus t, d ris ee Ch e ind th we d are You come into tion? An ember me when You r the same condemna rem de d, un or “L are s, u su yo Je g to ein God, se ong.” Then he said you will be with Me in has done nothing wr s say to him, “Today su Je uld co e ac deeds; but this Man gr of a gift because salvation is Your kingdom.” Only -43). d Paradise” (Luke 23:39 pride in being obligate g for help often take kin as oid av o wh re e mo ITUDE Thos ed discover something IT INSPIRES GRAT mit their spiritual ne ad to eir lives g th llin e wi ow are ey o th wh who know le op pe ful to no one. But those ate gr e os th or sufficiency. They join urageous firefighter meaningful than self r or building by a co ca ing rn those bu y, a m wa r fro ila d save . In a sim ose who have been ep sense of gratitude de a th wi their es liv of t to someone else. Th eir res th t of e the ent have reason to liv it means to live the res gm jud of s fire e in th e m lov bystander know what face or grace fro en rescued by God’s ing puts a smile on a th be No ve ha 0). ey 2:1 th ns ow sia kn t he who rfect gif of God (Ep given to us in the pe their gratefulness to en of be w s flo ha er r ov fo e k th as of er t lives ou at all we could ev elming awareness th a heart like the overwh Rapids, MI. Used by God. ad Ministries, Grand
ns to Believe God Taken from Ten Reaso reserved. permission. All rights
t, Offers The Perfect Gif
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Copyright 2004 by Ou
October - December 2016
The enem greater tha with Suicide is the silent killer claiming lives of soldiers... Both in active duty and retired: Here are the alarming facts: The Most common causes are: Poor mental health screening and treatment, PTSD, Social stigma of mental health conditions, lack of health insurance, questionable drug therapy and an absence of counselling therapy. More soldiers from the UK and USA commit suicide than those who die in battle; the highest suicide rate is among those who served in Afghanistan. Here is the scary thing, most of these soldiers did not see combat. By Harley Dixon, The Telegraph, 14 Jul 2013. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/ defence/10178403/More-British-soldierscommit-suicide-than-die-in-battle-figuressuggest.html
There is A hidden enemy in the Psychiatric prescriptions given to soldiers... According to the new documentary The Hidden Enemy: Inside Psychiatry’s Covert Agenda, all evidence points in one direction: the soaring rates of psychiatric drugs prescribed since 2003. Known medication side effects of these drugs such as increased aggression and suicidal thinking are reflected in similar uptrends in the rates of military domestic violence, child abuse and sex crimes, as well as self-harm. ...diagnoses of psychological disorders such as PTSD, personality disorder and social anxiety disorder are almost inevitably followed by the prescription of at least one
October - December 2016
psychiatric drug. Psychiatrists know that their drugs do not actually cure anything, but merely mask symptoms. They are well aware of their many dangerous side effects, including possible addiction. However, they claim that the risks of the medication side effects are exceeded by their benefits. And while the soldier’s real problem goes unaddressed, his health deteriorates. Accessed from: The Citizen’s Commission of Human Rights website on 27.09/16, http:// www.cchr.org/documentaries/the-hiddenenemy.html
What is it that is making Japanese society so fatalistic? Japan’s overall suicide rate is roughly 60 percent higher than the global average, a 2014 World Health Organization report noted. In 2014 alone, 25,000 Japanese people took their own lives — roughly 70 suicides every day. The vast majority were men. Similarly, suicide was the leading cause of death for Japanese children between the ages of 10 and 19. Among teens and young adults ages 10–24, there are roughly 4,600 suicide deaths in each year, and another 157,000 instances of hospitalization for self-inflicted injuries.
The mystery behind Japan’s high suicide rates among kids … Japanese children experience a mysterious back to school terror. A recent study published by Japan’s Cabinet Office examined the country’s more than 18,000 child suicides from 1972–2013 and found that 131 of those suicides occurred on September 1 — 32 more suicides than the next mostfrequent date of death. Mapping for frequency, the study found distinctly larger numbers of suicides at the end of August and beginning of September, as well as during the middle of April. The former coincides with schools reopening after summer vacation; the latter, as schools reopen after spring break. http://www.wilsonquarterly.com/stories/themystery-behind-japans-high-suicide-ratesamong-kids/
Suicide rates per country (per 100,000) Country
Republic 28.9 of Korea
Czech 12.5 Republic
For example: In 2014, 12.1 US citizens out of every 100,000 committed suicide. Therefore, based on their population: 324,118,787 / 100,000 = 3241 x 12.1 = 39,218 commit suicide.
October - December 2016
By Rupert Wingfield-Hayes BBC News, Tokyo, 3 July 2015. bbc.co.uk/news/world-33362387
my within is an the one hout!
IS GOD DEAD?
I watched a Christian movie, recently released, entitled ‘God’s not Dead’. It was a great effort and had some good actors and actresses as part of it’s cast but in my view they didn’t achieve their goal of proving that God’s not dead. In fact, this movie may turn out to be the very hammer that sunk another nail in God’s coffin. This notion that we can prove the existence of God purely from arguments, is a false one. All religions have very good arguments. T. L. Osborne told the story of when he and his wife spent years in India zealously trying to convert Hindus to Christianity. When they asked him why they should believe his God is the true God he would say, ‘See it is written here in the Bible that our God is the true God!’ but they would reply in similar fashion and say ‘But it says here in our Vedas and the Upanishads (Hindu religious texts) that our god is the true god’. He had no success in converting such religious groups until he was able to demonstrate in real ways that his God was the living God. When God started to touch their lives in tangible ways through miracles, signs and wonders, things their god or doctors could not do, then they believed that his God was 26
indeed the true and living God. I had the shock of my life when, in Britain, a woman who was a close relative of a friend of ours, refused prayers. She had spent weeks in hospital and was still undergoing tests in an effort to diagnose what was exactly wrong with her. This came as a shock to me because in the country of my birth even the most notorious criminal would not refuse prayer. Even though they had not made a commitment to the Christian’s God, they respected Him and was reverent enough to accept prayers in His name because there was an active witness of the power of God in that society. I therefore, cannot fault this woman because in the main, the God of the typical Christian in developed countries is dead. Why should she frustrate herself with the false hope of a dead religion? This woman could have more hope of salvation than many who are in church today, because at least she can tell that which is real from that which is not. I would not be surprised if like many of us she too witnessed unending falsehood and hypocrisy as she grew up in a ‘Christian country’ surrounded by ‘Christian’ fanatics. Who wouldn’t
October - December 2016
be totally turned off after a lifetime of seeing people who professed one thing while practicing another and praying to a God that never answers? The ‘death’ of the Christian God is becoming more obvious. Today, when you attend mainstream Charismatic type churches you will quite likely find a euphoric atmosphere created by loud music and singers performing gospel songs but no real demonstrated power or presence of the true and living God. You may even find other performances like people being pushed backwards to the ground (slain in the Spirit) or hear strange unintelligible mutterings (speaking in tongues) or ‘testimonies’ from people who were allegedly healed of headaches, backaches or some other unseen, unverifiable ailment. The ‘Christian’s’ God is manifestly becoming an imaginary God that is no more than the figment of their imagination. A common thing you will hear among these ‘Christians’ today is them ‘confessing their healing’, a concept you will find nowhere in Scriptures. This is nothing more than mind manipulation where the person attempts to alter
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reality with positive thoughts. This cultic practice is now widespread and also applied to provisions, where the individual tries to attract finances and material things to himself through positive thought supported by positive words (positive confession). A plethora of activities accompany such doctrines none of which produces life or can be proven to be authentic. ‘Christians’ are turning to clever arguments, mind manipulation and other devilish methods because they are finding that the God of the Bible is unresponsive (Just as king Saul did, read 1 Samuel 28:6-7). He however, is not unresponsive because He is dead but because of the state of our hearts. The God of the Bible is very alive, powerful and mighty to save as He has demonstrated for generations. King Nebuchadnezzar was forced to admit it at least twice: “Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face, prostrate before Daniel... and said, ‘Truly your God is the God of gods, the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets...’” Daniel 2:4647 (NKJV) “Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying,
‘Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him... there is no other God who can deliver like this.’” Daniel 3:28-29 (NKJV) King Darius was also convinced and wrote: “I make a decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel. For He is the living God… He delivers and rescues, and He works signs and wonders In heaven and on earth, who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.” Daniel 6:26-27 (NKJV)
They need a God who can back up claims of His existence and dominance with real life, authentic demonstrations. Paul the apostle knew that believers needed to announce Christ to this godless world with more than mere words and said, “God’s kingdom isn’t just a lot of words. It is power.” 1 Corinthians 4:20
God didn’t only prove Himself in the Old Testament but continued through Jesus Christ and into the New Testament through the apostles. Nicodemus recognised and admitted it when he said to Jesus, “Sir, we know that God has sent you to teach us. You could not work these miracles, unless God were with you.” John 3:2
He again confirmed this when he said, “...my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:4-5 (NKJV) The demonstration of God’s power through Paul’s preaching is unquestionable. “Indeed, I will tell how Christ worked miracles and wonders by the power of the Holy Spirit. I have preached the good news about him all the way from Jerusalem to Illyricum.” Romans 15:19
Real people with real problems need a real God. They do not need clever arguments or mental deceptions of grandeur, they could go to drugs to get such experiences.
God’s not dead but has withdrawn His presence from an unbelieving, defiled and rebellious people. We must repent and return to Him so He may return to us. p
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JARGON BUSTER A general rule that states what always happens when the same conditions exist, as found in nature and not involving anything made or done by people. http://dictionary.cambridge.org/ dictionary/english/law
Biblically speaking it is the expectation of Jesus’ second coming to the earth, traditionally celebrated at Christmas time when His first coming is traditionally believed to have occurred.
The belief that the world was made by God exactly as described in the Bible with everything having a divine design and purpose rather than being random and purposeless.
Something that you have from birth, often a quality: Genetic traits. http://dictionary.cambridge. org/dictionary/english/ endowment?q=Endowments
A scientific theory that proposes that living things changed and developed over millions of years through natural selection which is a force that directs the course of
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A leader who is believed to have the power to solve the world’s problems.
According to the bible, the promised and true Messiah is Jesus Christ, the Son of God incarnate whose imminent return to earth from heaven is anticipated with great expectancy as He will bring peace, justice and the government of God to the earth after punishing His enemies.
Christ God incarnate, anointed one
http://dictionary.cambridge. org/dictionary/english/ advent?q=Advent
http://dictionary.cambridge. org/dictionary/english/ messiah?q=Messiah
future life by preserving those traits best adapted to survive and destroying the weaker
The Christian belief that Jesus Christ, was born free from sin that is (offence against Biblical law). Moreover, God the Father placed Jesus by His Holy Spirit into Mary’s womb and therefore did not have Joseph His step father’s seed/DNA). Therefore, Mary remained a virgin. p
NOTE TO SELF...
GIVEWITHNO Strings At
The holidays are upon me there is Thanksgiving, Guy Fawkes Night, Hanukkah, numerous birthdays and anniversaries in between and then the grand finale` is Christmas. What do all these things have in common? Giving gifts! For the BELIEVER IN JESUS Christ, giving is not a chore it is truly a JOY, (putting Jesus first, yourself last and others in between) that means in practical terms that we do not give because we expect something back, others are not made to feel beholden to us, we do not give, even to get God to bless us in return. There are simply no strings attached!
Here is a quick test to Godly giving to make sure we have not forgotten the reason for giving. • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
DO I look out for those in need? DO I really care about the person I am giving to? DO I use my gifts to manipulate people? DO I use my gifts to feel better about myself? DO I always give of my best regardless? AM I trying to impress others with my wealth? AM I seeking favour with persons of influence with my gifts? AM I intending to get in right standing with God by giving? AM I truly not offended if I don’t get something back? AM I simply discarding what I do not want? How did I go about delivering my gift (discretely/publicly)? How do I define giving, in monetary/material terms only? How thoughtful, considerate, practical, useful, needed is my gift? Is my presence a greater gift than a present?
Let’s not wait until the holidays or special occasions to give because in God’s economy none should ever go without as everything living is giving and we are blessed to be a blessing.
? October - December 2016
AUTHENTIC G T “...people still have a measure of that God given desire to see justice done.” 30
The small island of Jamaica with no more than about three million people is well known around the world. I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that the Jamaican reggae artist Bob Marley, in his time, was known in every nation of the world. The three time Olympic champion in both the 100m and 200m sprint, Usain Bolt, has now taken over where Bob Marley left off. As we speak, he is one of the most well known and admired athletes in the whole world.
October - December 2016
For the last few years, up to the 2016 Rio Olympics, Usain Bolt’s main rival in both the 100m and 200m sprint has been the American athlete Justin Gatlin. The problem with Gatlin however, is that he returned to major world track and field events after twice serving drug bans. This did not go down well with the 100m and 200m fans. In 2015, Justin Gatlin was having his best year and was recording the fastest times while hardly anything was heard or seen of Bolt who had to stay away to recover from multiple injuries. The showdown came when they both
what is genuine but despise the fake. When Usain Bolt marginally won the race to retain his title as the 100m world champion people and presenters alike jumped, clapped, danced and rejoiced in all manner of ways. It was like the whole world breathed a sigh of relief as hope returned to many who knew full well that we presently live in a world where the bad more often, triumphs over the good.
GIFT qualified for the WC 100m finals held in Beijing in 2015. As people waited with bated breath it became clear that the overwhelming majority wanted the ‘good, clean’ Usain Bolt to win over the ‘bad, dishonest, twice convicted drug taker’ Justin Gatlin. These aren’t my words. They are the words used by people during the WC games. The Gatlin, Bolt clash revealed how much people still have a measure of that God given desire to see justice done. Deep within, many still love to see good triumph over evil. They want
It is for this very reason, that a majority of people will have nothing to do with ‘church’. Many Churches worldwide have proven over and over again, at every level, that they are fake. It may be true that the greater part of those who come in His name ‘Christians’ are fakes but that does not make Jesus a fake. Jesus is the real genuine, authentic Christ and Saviour of the world. Jesus appeals to us, “If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.” John 10:37-39 If we do not believe what Jesus said, how could we not, at least, be taken back by the things He does? How could any ordinary man work such amazing miracles? “There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, ‘Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.’” Nicodemus thought it through and came to the correct conclusion i.e. the God of heaven was indeed with Jesus.
t h r o u g h miracles as well as audible confirmations spoken directly from heaven. Providing the authenticity of something or someone will take time and many tests. Jesus has passed all the tests needed to prove that He is the Messiah, the hope of Israel and Saviour of all peoples. One key test is the test of prophecy. “The Old Testament Messianic prophecies were found to be uniquely fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ. There are hundreds of these prophecies, so that the possibility of their accidental convergence on any ordinary man is completely ruled out by the laws of probability.” http://christiananswers. net/q-eden/edn-r004.html
Conclusion The world would again be put on edge in 2016 at a repeat Gatlin, Bolt 100m showdown at the Rio Olympics. As Usain Bolt emerged from the tunnel to take his place in the starting blocks on track the stadium cheered but as Justin Gatlin emerged they booed. This was the first time I could remember ever hearing an athlete booed as they came out to do an event. The devil has used many false ‘Christians’ and false prophets to try and mar the spotless track record of Jesus but be assured of this, Jesus is the authentic Messiah. Check out His miracles, the times God spoke of Him from heaven and the many prophecies this one man fulfilled and you may find yourself cheering for Jesus and booing all those who try to upstage Him. p
God demonstrated His approval of Jesus in many ways including October - December 2016
By Homer Slack author, preacher, Bible teacher, IT tutor, programmer & graphic designer
I went into The jaws of Death You were there! The breath of Your Spirit Encircled me With your right hand My soul and my flesh On the edge of Perishing You, my Deliverer Reached out And plucked me Like a burnt branch From the fire Of destruction You brought me out To a bright place
You blew Upon my battered Broken self You brushed me off And molded me Into a masterpiece A miracle of Your making And now I rest in the lap Of Your love Your beauty blessing me Your smile Shining on each moment Of my days My heart breaks forth With the glory Of Your praise! Â© C. Richard McCaw
October - December 2016
continued from page 5
in terms of light and darkness (verse 14) Christ with Belial (a reference to Satan (verse 15), a believer with an unbeliever (verse 15) and a temple of God with a temple of idols (verse 16). Paul goes on to say that, “the believer is the temple of the living God”. Verse 16 also makes reference to the Old Testament prophecies that God will put His laws into the hearts of believers, “and I will be their God, and they will be My people.” Paul’s quotes from the Old Testament Scriptures tell God’s people to be separated from the other peoples in order to remain pure. The concept of being separated from unbelievers originally comes from the Old Testament. The reason given for the separation was so that God’s people would not be ensnared with the impurity of the surrounding peoples. The concept of separation is continued in the New Testament, which tells us that friendship with the world make us an enemy of God. Instead we are “not to be conformed to the world but be transformed by the renewal of our minds through the power of God.” (Romans 12:2) What then is wrong with being bound to an unbeliever? Even though you may think you have a lot in common. The most significant thing that you do not have in common is the Bible truth. Especially the New Testament which warns Christians to avoid idolatry. (1 Corinthians 10: 14 and 31). An idol is something that is held in higher esteem than God and since an unbeliever may not believe in God, to him everything can be an idol including the relationship with their partner. Included in the list of idols are sexual immorality, lustful
passion, evil desires, and greed. (Colossians 3:5) One of the problems in the marriage of a Christian to a nonChristian is the sexual relationship. The Bible describes the union as ”the two will become one flesh.” (Mark 10:8) 1 Corinthians 6 gives the example of a believer having sexual relations with a prostitute. The resulting union joins Christ to a prostitute. Likewise the joining of a Christian and a non-Christian joins Christ to an unbeliever. The New Testament goes as far as to warn us not to even eat with idolaters. (1 Corinthians 5:11) Paul tells us bad company corrupts good morals. (1 Corinthians 15:33) The Old Testament specifically forbids God’s people from marrying “foreign wives.” In Ezra (10:11) it informs us, “Now therefore make confession to the lord God of your fathers and do his will and separate yourselves from the peoples of the land and from the foreign wives.” Other verses prohibit marrying unbelievers including examples of Solomon in his later years. (1 Kings: 11) Although dating of Christians and non-Christians is not specifically outlined in the Bible it seems clear that such a relationship lays a path to troubles. It could be said that an unbeliever is going to be attracted to a Christian because of good morals and seeing the fruits of the Spirit within them (though the nonbeliever would not know these are from God but the Lord’s light draws people). The chances of that person having been attracted to a Christian, becoming a Christian may be remote, yet possible but not guaranteed, and as such they would not be equally yoked. However, in a case where the unbelieving spouse is not against the faith of
their spouse and is willing to live peacefully with them, the Scriptures in 1 Corinthians 71:7 encourages the believer to place priority on living in peace and fulfilling their marriage vows, through exemplary living that may lead to the salvation of their unbelieving partner and will sanctify the children of the union. If a new believer is married to their unbelieving partner and their partner does not wish to become a Christian, scriptures highlight that the unbeliever is under no obligation to remain in the union and must be allowed a (1 Corinthians 7:15) divorce if they insist on getting one. The Bible is clear that a Christian is never to marry a non-Christian, in the hope that the nonbeliever will become a Christian after the wedding. It is unrealistic and may well lead to years of frustration and conflict. Dating a non-Christian would also be problematic, for similar reasons. The important thing is to take time to listen to and chat with the individual who has posed the question that is being answered here and to ensure they have the awareness of God’s word and to give the partner who is the nonbeliever a chance to ask questions, to make their thoughts known. They may wish to know the Lord and of course to pray and ask the Lord for His help and wisdom. From my own personal experience of being in an unequally yoked relationship with a Christian I did not see what he saw and there was much conflict in our relationship including worship of other idols and eventually when I did become a Christian I was able to reflect and see the purpose of God’s guidance in this area and agree that being equally yoked is fundamental in a partnership. p
October - December 2016
Joy To The World
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Joy to the world! The Lord is come; Let earth receive her king; Let every heart prepare him room, And heaven and nature sing, And heaven and nature sing, And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.
In Praise of Hymn
Joy to the earth! the saviour reigns; Let men their songs employ; While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains Repeat the sounding joy, Repeat the sounding joy, Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.
No more let sins and sorrows grow, Nor thorns infest the ground; He comes to make his blessings flow Far as the curse is found, Far as the curse is found, Far as, far as, the curse is found.
He rules the world with truth and grace, And makes the nations prove The glories of his righteousness, And wonders of his love, And wonders of his love, And wonders, wonders, of his love.
Reviewing Great Christian Hymns
“Joy to the World” is a popular Christmas carol.1 The words are by English hymn writer Isaac Watts, based on the second half of Psalm 98 in the Bible. The song was first published in 1719 in Watts’ collection; The Psalms of David: Imitated in the language of the New Testament, and applied to the Christian state and worship. Watts wrote the words of “Joy to the World” as a hymn glorifying Christ’s triumphant return at the end of the age, rather than a song celebrating his first coming.2 The nations are called to celebrate because God’s faithfulness to the house of Israel has brought salvation to the world.3 1-3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joy_to_the_World
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First runner up in ‘THE SENSATIONNEL’ BLACK BEAUTY HAIR AWARDS 2013
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This Autumn, we have looked at the theme, The Perfect Gift. An examination of the meaning of the gift of Jesus, as The Prince of Peace to th...
Published on Oct 1, 2016
This Autumn, we have looked at the theme, The Perfect Gift. An examination of the meaning of the gift of Jesus, as The Prince of Peace to th...