MyDevotions.today God’s Nature Is Love
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Why would God send His Son to die for someone? It is not a human kind of love it is an agape love and is for the highest good of someone. It is a wonderful spiritual love that can only come from the heart of God — not man. So God sent His only Son Jesus to come and die for us because we were so fallen due to Adam and Eve’s original sin (Genesis 3) that God’s heart could not see us die in such an utter state. God, right from the start, had a plan and it was a mighty Saviour in Jesus Christ. He gave up all to become man and in absolute surrender of such deep compassionate love. He took all our ﬁfilthy sins upon on Himself to the cross and with outstretched arms displayed how much He loved us. John 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
God’s nature is love, so divine and incorruptible that He can only but love. Jesus did not come to condemn folks but through God with open arms said salvation was theirs through Him. Now not everyone will accept this invitation but it is God’s desire that none such perish. John 3:15 “that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” Prayer: Father those now who are reading this article that do not yet know You, I pray Your Holy Spirit touches their hearts right now with Your unconditional Love. No matter how unworthy they may feel, bless them with Your love. Fold Your outstretched arms around them whisper gently into the heart saying “I died for you, come to Me for I love you so much.” I pray for their salvation that they ask Jesus to come into their heart and believe Him as their Savior and for life eternally in Your Kingdom. Amen. Devotion For October 1, 2018 By Lynda K Smith
inside EDITORIAL 4
After the Hurt and Pain The unconditional love.
Tardy to the Party Late bridesmaids were not admitted to the wedding.
Getting Ecclesia Ready 8 Getting Ecclesia Ready a global imperative. Mercy Triumphs Over Judgment 10 Except for grace we would be disqualified. Tough Love 12 Discipline has become a bad word. Being firm but fair is God’s way. Give Me a Heart Like Yours 14 Transformation, a product of submission. Parenting is... 16 The greatest gift we can give our children... is a model of living connected to God. I Love You Really I Do 18 Tolerance vs Acceptance. Getting past personal prejudice.
Calling all Marys 24 The women who loved Jesus best. The Story Teller The blessings of obedience.
Think Film: Hacksaw Ridge 28 A Christian pacifist war hero is mind boggling but true. #youthSHARE 29 Tattoos and God Sacred Sisterhood 30 Women mentoring women is a must.
In Praise Of Hymn 32 Reviewing Great Christian Hymns: – I Cannot Tell Why He, Whom Angels Worship. Poem: Love Covers By Angela Slack
Note to Self By Angela Slack
TESTIMONY 20 Confessions of a Catholic, Alcoholic.
16 18 October - December 2018
SHARE|MAGAZINE Volume 6 - Issue 4
Open House & Open Hearts This Holiday
H o l i d a y blessings to you all, may the wisdom and peace of Christ be with you and remain with you into 2019. On behalf of the SHARE Magazine team, thank you for a wonderful year. It has been a privilege to serve you. Holidays mean, open house, family everywhere, probably some of us will be new parents or grandparents. Phew! I’m exhausted just thinking about it. If you are new parents/grandparents, congratulations! It’s such a joy to welcome a new child into the world, it’s second to nothing, enjoy those early feelings and let’s talk again, in 20 years if you have survived your children and they you. I really mean no harm, I’m just being realistic; those helpless babes grow up, they gain independence and begin thinking for themselves and they do have their own destiny in life and here’s the really hard part, they owe you nothing. You know that you did your job well, if they leave home and can look after themselves and are not a nuisance to everyone else. Parenting is a giving and nurturing vocation, a calling and full time occupation. No you don’t get paid, not literally. That would be a really high paying job... oh but wait you are always at it, you can never quit and even if you think you can resign, it’s useless, the children will find 4
you and they will still need you even into their forties and fifties. Where are you supposed to have this endless supply of stuff ? You give and keep giving, where does this endless reservoir of love and concern come from? Well it comes from your DNA, from your parents and their parents and theirs and… actually it came from God, the original parent of us all, who first loved us and whose love is unconditional and never fails. Every successful idea I have ever had as a parent came from what I knew of God, how He treated me or how He spoke to me. I’ve learned from Him, albeit very late in some instances but I soon caught on and realised He’s the BIG daddy and pretty much knows what He’s doing. I decided to dedicate this issue to looking at, the heart of GOD the Father because I still am in awe at the kind of love that would make a Father sacrifice a willing Son to save His other siblings. There must be something inexplicably special in the relationship between Father and Son that would make the Son willing to die so that His estranged siblings could experience the Father’s love in His place. Wow! It’s beyond human understanding. The level of trust in the Father’s promise, to resurrect Him. The filial joy of seeing His family restored because of His sacrifice, is incomprehensible. Yet for this love, I am
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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 go to our blog to 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, the publishing arm of United In Christ charity number 1140448.
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so very grateful. This is the Nativity Story, that of Jesus coming into the world to save us from the wrath of God, due to the sin of Adam and Eve who had fallen out of grace and thereby cursed us all by way of their disobedience and connivance with the devil. It is timeless and relevant. We can never stop being grateful for it. Everytime we breathe the free air we should give thanks, not just for good harvests and material things at Christmas
but for the life of freedom in CHRIST. Freedom from sin and its degenerate power, the freedom to choose a more abundant life and to step into eternity here and now as Christ lives in us. Wheather we sing out ‘Ye olde Carols’, ‘deck the halls’, eat ‘figgy pudding’, stuff a turkey, or roast a ham, is not what matters. It is that we celebrate the gift of family, primarily being a part of God’s family, being God’s children, the privilege of having Him in our lives. That is the TRUE meaning of this season.
If you do not know Him as your heavenly Father there is no better time than the present, to call out to Him and ask Him to reveal Himself to you. Please accept His love for you today. I pray that you may experience the love of the heavenly Father through Jesus Christ. He has given you an open invitation, RSVP today. p
Editor and Co-founder
You have questions we’ve got answers
Is God against me ? Why do I seem to be getting nowhere?
Cast aside your limitations, God is not limiting you.
doesn’t necessarily tell you the Even if there seems to be no way, God is all-powerful and all-mighty process to realise that dream. nothing is too difficult for Him to do What doesn’t seem to help is there – HE WILL MAKE A WAY WHERE are constantly things that seem to THERE SEEMS TO BE NO WAY. work in opposition to the very thing Simply put, He will give you creative that God spoke. solutions in some very difficult situations. He will release miracles Some of us may already be aware of These things seem like limitations: for you, that is creative solutions that special assignment or purpose 1. Resources may be few. that defy all natural law. that God gave us on this earth while 2. Disabilities whether physical, emotional or mental. Unlearn limitations. some may need to stay in God’s 3. People close to you betray you. Here are examples of ordinary men presence until He reveals to you what that may be. God’s word will not return to and women who because of their extraordinary faith in God did and The Process of Getting Into Him void I don’t know of any individual who continue to do extraordinary things Purpose and Promise. The way that God chooses to reveal God spoke to about a particular Nick Vujicic – The name of his His glory is never an easy process. vision that was untested or who ministry is Life Without Limits. Be encouraged if you may be had it all together and easily Being born without hands and legs, facing hardship, trials, tribulations stepped into what God said. On has not limited him; he swims, plays and challenges. You are in good the contrary, when God speaks basketball and many more sports. company and after all “process” something concerning us the road He is married to a beautiful wife in God’s Kingdom works for our is quite difficult and challenging and and the father of three children. He good and His glory. The process the Bigger the Vision, the greater ministers worldwide. Here are a few of his quotes: is preparing us, strengthening our the challenges to that vision. weak areas, shaping our character, In the place of feeling limited we breaking our own wilfulness, truly learn to rely on and trust God. “The challenges in our lives are SELFishness, teaching us humility, We prove God and when He brings there to strengthen our convictions. They are not there to run us over.” wisdom and so much more. us through to the other side, it is Make Your Mark for God. God made you for a special purpose – He gave you your own unique tongue and finger print because the things we touch and speak to,can make a difference. In Christ we can bring dead things to life.
God will give you a dream but He usually more than we could ask or “Fear is the biggest disability of all and will even imagine. Continued on pg 34 October - December 2018
Tardy To The Party
Jesus told several parables about His church, all asking - will you be ready when I come back for my bride? In Matthew 25:1-13 one of these parables was of the foolish virgins, they let their oil run out but some came prepared with spare oil. They had to wait longer than they thought for the groom to arrive, the wise virgins were ready and prepared with extra oil and were admitted to the wedding banquet but those 5 who forgot their oil were shut out. Their oil didn’t run out, they never bought any! Did you notice that before? It never occurred to me, they didn’t just run out, they had no oil. There must have presumably
been some oil on their wicks as it says their lamps went out. They asked the other girls to give them theirs but they couldn’t and wouldn’t, they needed it for themselves. This is a serious warning to all Churches today, tomorrow and until Jesus comes back for us. Will our oil run out, or have we got plenty to spare? How many people have run out of petrol whilst driving, things that could happen are flat tyres, dead batteries, and misplaced keys, but running out of petrol ranks right up there
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in the reasons why people call for the breakdown services. You can understand if this happened a generation ago, petrol gauges were not very reliable and warning lights in that day were nonexistent. However, now we have warning messages that our fuel is running low (giving us perhaps an hour more of driving) and then additional progressively flashing warnings indicating just how many estimated miles of driving we have left. One must say that most people who run out of fuel are “without excuse.” Why, then, do we do it? We apparently are as bad as people were years ago, who did not have the advantages of technology.
I believe that the five foolish virgins had no oil for the very same reasons people continue to run out of petrol today, even when the flashing message on their instrument panel tells them they are running low. We don’t believe the warning signs, we don’t think things are as bad as they really are reported to be. “I must have more petrol than that!” Or, “I’ve gotten this same message before, it will be ok, I’ve always been able to get to the petrol station before running out.” The Bible says that we are all sinners, under divine condemnation, condemned to hell: Those who run out of petrol (or refuse to buy oil) are the people who refuse to heed the warnings of God’s Word and the invitation of salvation through faith in Jesus. Those who don’t purchase fuel are those who don’t think they need it, at least at the moment. Those who run out of petrol are lulled into a false confidence by the fact that everything appears to be fine at the moment. The engine is running smoothly; there are no preliminary chugs or sputtering of the engine. We feel confident in our choice not to purchase fuel. Jesus told us that He would come at a time when we did not expect Him. (Matthew 24:44) Apparently, our Lord’s coming will be at a rather peaceful time, when there are no indications of trouble ahead. This is the way it was in the days of Noah. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security. He will come at a time when it seems we are doing great and life is good. Oil in the Bible often represents the Holy Spirit, the same oil that the foolish virgins had not got, the oil of their salvation! And by the time they got it, it was too late, the Bride groom had already fetched and left with the Bride and the wedding banquet has already begun and that is why the Lord turned them away and said that He didn’t know them.
There is something else that we need to consider, Judas would have heard all of these parables, he was not a true believer. He looked the part, just as the lamp would have looked useful but there was nothing in side, no oil. No-one suspected that he was fake. He could never have shone God’s true light. How many people are enjoying the Church service, fellowship or the worship but have not truly accepted Christ into their Church, let alone personally into their lives. God gave His son so that we might have eternal life, for you and me, bearing that in mind we all need to ask ourselves, do we believe that, are we sold out for Christ, are we 100% dedicated to Him? Do we trust Him to deliver on His promises or are we like those empty lamps? Will we be wearing the right clothes, the bridal robes, when we enter the wedding feast? There are many references to clothing, one is in... Rev 19:7-9 Let us rejoice, be glad, and give him glory, because the marriage of the lamb has come and his bride has made herself ready. She has been given the privilege of wearing fine linen, dazzling and pure.” (The fine linen represents the righteous deeds of the saints.) Then the angel told me, “Write this: “How blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the lamb!’” He also told me, “These are the true words of God.” Is your oil running low, do you need a fresh touch from God, are the trials and tribulations of your life diverting you away from Jesus? Come right now, ask, repent and receive a fresh touch from the Lord, cry out right now and He will give you oil. You never know how short the time that is left. Don’t be a foolish virgin! Don’t be tardy for the Party in Heaven! p
October - December 2018
By Teresa L. Randle Missionary, Preacher and Bible Teacher
Getting Ecclesia Ready She Isn’t Unclean, Unfaithful or Unprepared! Why a Bride and Groom? The covenant of marriage between bride and groom was God’s idea first. It is an earthy representation of a heavenly reality; Scripture calls it, ‘a mystery.’ (Ephesians 5:21-33). The mystery of the Godhead revealed to humanity. Therefore, we may never fully comprehend or experience, its meaning. That excites me as it tells me when we are transfigured into immortality, a whole new dimension of life begins! Marriage therefore has spiritual as well as physical dimensions and benefits! So don’t be too impressed with only temporal things. Marriage = Christ + Church (Ecclesia) God’s intention from creation was to have an intimate 8
relationship with mankind as we are made in His image. The relationship of Adam and Eve with God in the garden was one of transparency, fellowship, trust, communion, sharing, adoration and perfect harmony! Adam and Eve were a mirror of the trinity, (bone of bone, flesh of flesh, two joined as one) though separate in function, one in purpose. De-mystifying the Bride! Whose is she? The betrothed of Christ, a help meet/suitable for Christ, His Bashert. (Hebrew for soul mate or predestined partner in life) He has already signed the contract (Hebrew: Keturah) and paid the bride price for her with His very life and so to defile her is to dishonour Christ!
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Who is she ? She is Abraham’s seed, created from Christ’s side (the water and the blood). She has His DNA and therefore has His life giving (zoe`life’) in her blood. She is the handmaiden in, Ezekiel 16:6 that was rescued by the Lord. She is the virtuous Woman in, Proverbs 31. She is the beloved in Songs of Songs 3. She is Royalty, of the House of David, 1 Peter 2:9. She is Rachel weeping for her children, Matt 2. She is The New Jerusalem in, Revelation 21. What is her function?
A ‘War Time’ Bride NOT a ‘Warrior Bride’. She is sanctified, holy and anointed and appointed to occupy all that Jesus has restored to mankind until her Lord returns. She restores Zion until the Lord’s return. Her orders are to stand, hold her ground, not to surrender or compromise the parameters of Zion, nor to conspire and fraternise with the enemy in any way. What does she do? She is a temple keeper. She is preoccupied with preparing herself to serve her Lord upon His return. She is learning His ways, how to please Him and serve Him. (Esther 2:10) Her agenda is to uphold the honour of her lord, to increase His Kingdom and His prestige. She is learning the ways of the Kingdom, its laws and ethos and economy. She wants to be ready to rule and reign with Him and serve Him with understanding. She is a bride preparing to become a QUEEN! Her husband will be crowned KING of KINGS upon His return. What she doesn’t DO? She isn’t: UNCLEAN-UNFAITHFULUNPREPARED! Nowhere in Scripture does Her Lord send her to fight the enemy. What husband sends his bride to war? He is her protector, her shield and defender. He has left her under the protection of the Holy Spirit (John 14:15) and the resources of heaven are at her disposal to defend and keep her safe in Zion. Jesus put systems and mechanisms in place to protect Zion, all she has to do is activate the SOS protocol… i.e. call upon the Holy Spirit, He will help her. Everything contrary to this is a distraction and strategy of the enemy to pull her away from her priorities and trick her
into disobedience. Bridal Preparations This is the job of the Holy Spirit alone, He is Christ’s Agent on earth, the reagent that stands in place and manages all things regarding the Bride. He works tirelessly to protect Christs’ interests in the earth. He works through The 5 Fold Ministry: Prophetic, Pastoral, Evangelical, Apostolic and Teaching, to ensure that the Bride is fully equipped and ready to take her place as, The Royal Bride Ecclesia, the Queen of Zion! Ecclesia’s curriculum 1. Identification/selection If you remember Jacob’s conundrum with the wrong wife then you will appreciate that Jesus wants to get His Bride right as well. So, the Holy Spirit calls and elects Ecclesia. Just as Abraham’s servant was instructed specifically when he was sent to selected a wife for Isaac (a type of Christ) in Genesis 24. Please do read, it is rather instructive. Esther, is also lovely reading to get insight into the whole protocol of preparing yourself to enter the King’s presence. 2. Cleansing/Purification/ Sanctification Washing removes dirt, stains and scum that can be seen; that is outward beauty. Purification destroys impurities and inequity that is hidden. A new heart and mind. Sanctification sets us apart from common usage. We are then fit for the King! 3.
are put through circumstances that ‘educes’ (leads out) our natural gifts and talents and the Holy Spirit trains them into skills that are worthy of the King’s honour. This is where The 5 Fold Ministry/Functions become vital! Our spiritual gifts and natural talents are trained to work in complement with these functions. We must be of capable service to the king. Our curriculum is lifelong learning, where everyday is a school day and we are teachable, keen to be corrected and not overly sensitive and easily offended. We therefore unlearn and debunk the lies and propaganda of the enemy. (Rom 12:2) Learn the laws of God and the ethos of His ways. Learn how to live as citizens of Zion and practice Kingdom economy and society. 4.
Genesis 4:7 “sin plans to master you...” As disciples our objective is to achieve mastery over self. Having no fear of death, walking in the revelation of the life of Christ within us. Immune to pain, suffering, persecution, deprivation, humiliation etc… Seated in heavenly places with Christ Jesus. Ecclesia, this ‘Bridal Checklist’ is your life! Let’s cooperate with the Holy Spirit and submit to the process with the commitment and passion it deserves. What a privilege it is to be chosen to serve the Lord Jesus Christ our soon coming King. The time is running out. Ecclesia, get ready!
A popular misunderstanding is that education is about pouring into, rather it is leading out. We
By Angela Slack educator, curriculum/ literacy specialist, technical author and editor
October - December 2018
Triumphs Over Judgment
James 2:13 says in the KJV “For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.” It also says in the New International Version, “because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” Mercy is defined as :- “compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.” oxforddictionaries.com/definition/mercy
Mercy is normally shown to a person who is guilty and deserves punishment. Lam 3:22 says “It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his 10
compassions fail not.” In the different translations of this passage we see the following words being used; great love, faithful love, compassion, steadfast love and loving kindnesses. Adam and Eve’s sin and God’s response to it:They were instructed that if they sinned against God they would experience eternal death. (Gen 2:17), “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Satan tempted them and got them to disobey God because he wanted them to be punished. The Bible says in Hebrews 9:22
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(NIV), “In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” There had to be blood shed for man’s sin and here we see in the Garden of Eden God shedding blood to cover man’s sin. God could have chosen to completely disqualify man and start over but instead He chose to show mercy and redeem him. “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” God killed an animal to pay for their sins. (Gen 3:21.) The Woman Caught In Adultery There is a story found in John 8:1 – 11 that reads :-“ Jesus went unto
the mount of Olives. And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” The noteworthy points about this story are these:Under Jewish law a woman caught committing adultery was to be stoned to death. Jesus showed her mercy but He never denied the fact of her adultery nor the requirements of the law but He addressed the fact that no one was innocent of
sinning and that they deserved mercy. After the crowd had left without stoning her, Jesus said that He never condemned her but she should leave and stop sinning. King Ahab King Ahab of Israel was described as doing “…more evil in the eyes of the LORD than any of those before him.” It also says in verse 33 that he, “did more to arouse the anger of the LORD, the God of Israel, than did all the kings of Israel before him.” (1 Kings 16:30NIV) Even though God was upset with Ahab because of the murder of Naboth for his vineyard (1 Kings 21) we see Him showing mercy to him when He repented (showed remorse) for the act.
who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” A few noteworthy point about this passage:The Pharisees were a very devout, outwardly righteous group of people. The tax collectors were normally given a great amount of latitude in charging and collecting taxes. The result is that many of them were corrupt. The Bible is addressing those who were confident in their own righteousness. The self righteous Pharisee started to recount his religious acts as leverage before God. He considered himself worthier than the sinner.
The Proud Pharisee There is a subtle kind of pride that can creep into our walk that we have to guard against. Pride will always make God resist us. (James 4:6) An example is found in Lk 18:9 – 14 (NIV) which reads:
This sinner threw himself on the mercies of God.
“To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those
THESE CASES, DEMONSTRATES GOD’s MERCY TO GUILTY PERSONS WHO CLEARLY DESERVED JUDGMENT.
God justified the humble tax collector and not the self righteous spiritual leader; the Pharisee.
We need to show genuine mercy to people for it determines God’s response to us. This is confirmed by in Matt. 5:7 which says, “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” Remember, we are saved only by God’s mercy and we cannot earn it nor brag. Except for the grace of God we could have been disqualified. p By David Ferguson Bible teacher, Pastor of Restoration Family Church Int.
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“Look at how kind and how severe God can be.” Romans 11:22 (GW)
I have often heard it said that God would not hurt or cause anything bad to happen to people. In fact there’s a whole move among a vast number of believers who hold this view. The Bible upon which we base our faith however, proves otherwise, just take a cursory look through the Old Testament and you will see. God, whose very nature is love, is also inherently just and cannot
allow evil to go unpunished. “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Genesis 18:25 What is justice? To be just is to apportion to each individual as they deserve. Why is justice important? For the fabric of civil society to
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remain in tact people must be rewarded as they deserve. A person who works must be paid according to his efforts. If a person who does nothing is rewarded with a wage while the person who works hard gets no reward then you end up with a population that does nothing and a nation that will eventually crumble.
Why love and justice cannot be mutually exclusive A nation that rewards its criminals while punishing the innocent will soon be a nation of criminals. Also, those against whom crimes are committed will become very incensed if those who have wronged them are not punished. In such cases the victims will take justice into their own hands resulting in individuals rising up against individuals, families against families and communities against communities with bloodshed everywhere. Justice must not only be done but must also be seen to be done. The need to be fairly treated is one of the basic needs of humanity and if we love people we should never deny them this need. To not punish a criminal because we ‘love them’ is a slap in the face of the victims. In such a case our ‘love’ for the criminal would demonstrate our indifference towards the victim. So, do we ‘love’ the criminal to the point of shunning the victim? If we love the victim we must bring them justice and if we love the criminal we must punish them for their own good. If love only rewards then everything will be turned upside down. Love must reward as well as punish (commonly called ‘tough love’). Law must have teeth God has put laws in place. As with all laws those who obey are safe but those who disobey are punished. If those who disobey God’s laws are not punished then no one will have respect for God or His laws. The same God who sees to it that His children never lacks any good thing is the same God who will
cast the wicked into a fiery furnace to burn and suffer an eternity of torment. Yes, the same God who blesses the righteous is the same God who will curse evil doers. The God of love must do what’s right and reward us as we deserve. Punishment for the disobedient and blessings for the obedient. Would you run an organization where blatant disobedience and misconduct go unpunished? Or support a government that allows anarchy/lawlessness in your society? Paul’s prophecy in 2 Thessalonians 2, that God would cause the insincere to believe a lie is being fulfilled before our very eyes. Very few today seem able to discern truth from lies hence the rapid spreading of the view that love does not punish wrongdoing. So, according to their theology, the young man who takes pleasure in hurting helpless old people while robbing them (though they put up no resistance) is to be counselled not imprisoned or punished in any way. The fact that such an ideology could take root in the Church begs belief. A pastor of one of the largest Churches in the world stated publicly that he will not preach about sin, hell or the devil. Even more disturbing is the fact that so many thousands of people are comfortable in a Church where they are not challenged to turn from sin or not warned about the eternal consequences of sin. They are high on themselves, how wonderful they are and how much they are loved, as if intoxicated by a drug. They block their ears to any mention of the holy standards of God.
When God causes us to suffer He does it for our own good. If we are God’s children we will see it as discipline and it will help us become better people. The suffering of the wicked however could have very different results. God does not destroy a person because he hates the individual but because He is just and must reward us according to what we deserve. His love longs for us to repent and do what is right so He can bless us. Listen to the heart of God, “‘Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,’ says the Lord God. ‘Therefore turn and live!’” Ezekiel 18:31-32 God’s love is demonstrated in that He made a way for us to escape judgement. He sent His son to die in our place and accepting His offer of Mercy will save us from His wrath and bring us back into His favour. God’s law is already enforced and cannot be reversed but the good news is that the guilty can find pardon. A theme that runs through all Scripture reveals that God punishes unrighteousness while blessing righteousness. This is the true and balanced view of God. Presenting God like an old grandad that would not as much as hurt a fly let alone a human being is just as bad as presenting Him as a monster who enjoys punishing or destroying people. Yes, the wicked will have a horrible tormenting end. Why? Because it’s their choice. p
People must be warned about the consequences of breaking the law, God’s law. God’s law says the penalty for sin is death i.e. sinners will be given the death sentence.
October - December 2018
By Homer Slack author, preacher, Bible teacher, IT tutor, programmer & graphic designer
give me a heart like yours
What a prayer to pray! Do we really know what we are asking of God? Could we really bear the pain He bears daily amongst His creation? What is His heart like anyway? How do we know when we have His heart? “He demonstrated His love for us that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us…” (Romans 5:8)
addictions? Only with the power of the Holy Spirit can all things be removed to change our heart of stone to a heart like God’s own heart. Surrender or submission does not come naturally to us as we want to stay in control of our lives. We seem to think (wrongly) that if we let go and trust in the Lord that somehow we will lose out, that He might not give us what we really want. Well there are many surrenders and submissions in God’s word, below are just a few examples.
“God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes on Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 We have heard these Scriptures many times of God’s love We are told, “wives submit to your for us but oh to have a heart like His! husbands as to the Lord also submit to one another in the fear of God” He died for us and we need to totally Ephesians 5:21-22 surrender to Him. “Likewise you younger people, He has unconditional love, we have submit yourselves to your elders. conditional and bargaining love. Yes, all of you be submissive to “If you do this for me God, I will one another, and be clothed with serve you there” or “if I can have humility, for ‘God resists the proud, this Lord, I will do this for You.” But gives grace to the humble.’” 1 We negotiate. God wants a total Peter 5:5 NKJV surrender of everything that has a place in our hearts that is not of Him. “Therefore humble yourselves under So what is in our hearts that needs the mighty hand of God, that He removing to make place for the Love may exalt you in due time,” 1 Peter of God? Money, jobs, family, career, 5:6 NKJV 14
October - December 2018
“He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8 NKJV When Samuel went to the house of Jesse to look for God’s next king of Israel he was confronted with seven of his sons, surely it will be one of these strong handsome men. (1 Samuel 16.) But it was none of them. Until Samuel asked: “Are all the young men here?” Jesse then mentioned his son David who was tending the sheep and sent for him and Samuel anointed him to be King of Israel. The Lord spoke to Samuel saying of Eliab, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward
repentant David wanting to take the punishment of his folly on himself and his family. Psalm 51 is another example of David’s repentant heart and I am sure this is the kind of heart God wants us to have.
appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” :V7 We read that David was a man after God’s own heart and we also know he did many foolish and dangerous things that resulted in the deaths of thousands. In the account of David wanting to take a census of Israel,
‘So Gad [the prophet] went to David and said to him, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Take your choice: three years of famine, three months of being swept away before your enemies, with their swords overtaking you, or three days of the sword of the Lord— days of plague in the land, with the angel of the Lord ravaging every part of Israel.’ Now then, decide how I should answer the one who sent me.” And David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Please let me fall into the hand of the Lord, for His mercies are very great; but do not let me fall into the hand of man.” So the Lord sent a plague upon Israel, and seventy thousand men of Israel fell. And David said to God, “Was it not I who commanded the people to be numbered? I am the one who has sinned and done evil indeed; but these sheep, what have they done? Let Your hand, I pray, O Lord my God, be against me and my father’s house, but not against Your people that they should be plagued.”
(1 Chronicles 20), he was challenged by Joab as this displeased God but David overruled him. It turns out there was over 1 million men who could fight and 470,00 of the tribe of Judah. There was a time when David was alone with a few fighting men in the Cave of Adullam and now he had 100’s of thousands at his disposal. Now pride entered his heart, wanting to take the glory and the credit for what he now owned and ruled. David eventually repented before God but there were Through David’s pride all these lives were lost. Here we see a consequences of his actions.
The lesson for me throughout Scripture is that no matter how hard we try, no matter how much we love God we cannot be like Him. Oh we can certainly try, I have, but the one thing that makes the difference is, we are flesh and blood, sinners and He is a Holy Almighty God who is Spirit. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:24 NKJV “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” 1 John 3:2 NKJV The one Scripture that is always at the forefront of my mind, about my love for Jesus are the words of Jesus Himself. “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him” NKJV. This means total submission and obedience to the Word of God even when we do not understand, we trust Him. This is how we become more like Him as through His Word He changes us from glory unto glory until in heaven we take our place. Until we cast our crowns before Him. Lost in wonder, love and praise. Genesis tells us we are created in the image of God. 2 Peter 1:4 says we can by the promises He has given us be partakers of the divine nature.” KJV That means His attributes are ours if we continue in our sanctification through His Word. p
October - December 2018
By Barbara Payne intercessor, evangelist, minister, holds Women Unite events in the UK
Love In Service
One thing is true about parenting, we don’t know it all. Think about it. Johnny is upset because he lost an argument with his brother. Do you...
• check if the rules of good conversation were adhered to and punish whoever wasn’t a good sport? • tell Johnny that’s how life is? • listen to Johnny and encourage him to tell his brother how he feels about what he said? • punish Johnny for what he told you he said? • have a family meeting about the issue? • Ignore it? Who knows? Any one of those options could be right today and then not right tomorrow.
Serve the needs
To help myself through the sea of parenting unknowns, I’ve decided to lean into this idea: As a parent, I’m a custodian of my child’s development (‘train up a child…’, Proverbs 22:6) and I do 16
this by serving their needs (that’s how I know the ‘way they should grow’). Now, needs aren’t solely determined by the person with the needs. Often within a day, I need water but I don’t know I do because I don’t feel thirsty. If even as adults, we are notoriously unclear about our needs; then in this matter, we cannot solely depend on our children to show us what they need. I said solely. It’s very easy to fall prey to listening to what others say our children need. “11 year olds need…” “children with autism
October - December 2018
need…” Our need for certainty and formulas can cause us to stunt our own intuition of knowing our children’s needs by applying a host of child development, social, cultural and other standards to our child rearing process. On balance, these principles are important and should be seen as handy tools. So, at the end of the day, we can’t say, ‘tantrum = timeout’ any more than a doctor can say, ‘heart disease = surgery.’
So, if the key to parenting is serving with love, then how do we apply
this key? Here are a few principles that I’m applying as I wrestle with the ever-changing landscape in my children’s lives. Your children are a mystery as complex as the universe. As parents, many of us suffer from the arrogance of believing that we ‘know’ our children. This arrogance causes us to act on our own assumptions, what others have told us and our own vicariously expressed needs. Ouch! The Maker of our children is the Eternal God who knows what they need. Cultivating your ability to listen to what my grandma called, ‘The Little Voice’ is key. Don’t parent yourself. Sometimes, the situations that our children face mirror situations that we’ve been in and their reactions trigger our own, sometimes unfulfilled needs. This is often challenging to spot, so being aware that this may happen is the first step to noticing it. It’s better to not respond and take time to process, than to step into a pre-written script that wasn’t written for your child. Recognize that today’s need may not be yesterday’s. Today, your child may need the affirmation of their voice, while yesterday, they needed a firm hand. Tomorrow, they may need to delay gratification while today they need indulgence. We can’t afford to have a one size fits all approach for this. Every moment requires (quick) discernment to see what’s really going on. Apologize quickly. You’re human. You will get it wrong. You met one need while another was screaming at you. Don’t panic! Don’t hide!
It’s a learning opportunity. Our children are human too and will make many mistakes. Part of what we get to model is humility in the face of our humanness. It’s such a gift to tell our children that we made a mistake.
Equal love, not equal treatment
We know that our children need to be lovingly served and that means meeting the needs as they present themselves. Our children also need to learn that their own needs change and that part of being an adult is parenting themselves. That means their ability to listen to God also needs to be cultivated. Without that, they can’t fully know their own needs. This differentiated approach to parenting our children should be transparent to them. They must understand that this journey is about equal love, not equal treatment. This, of course does not mean that one child gets treated ‘less than’ another. It’s just that the ‘medicine’ for a particular child in a particular situation will be different from another child and/or another situation. If we don’t make this differentiation clear, children cry foul and suspect that we are playing favorites.
Birthdays and Christmas
I think this has special application to how we parent through special occasions and holidays. These have explicit social and cultural expectations and we may have family traditions that dictate how we act during these times. Some special days require family gatherings with lots of food. So, if you have children with sensory sensitivities or who are socially anxious, what’s the best way to meet their needs while engaging
the family gathering? Some children can get support coping with the event and will participate and engage, while others may need to be supported by being given a quiet space outside the event. What about how we handle gift giving celebrations like birthdays and Christmas? I think the same rule applies. Deep insight into the needs can help us know how to celebrate through loving service to our children.
You get to do this!
A gifted tech toy may be a learning aide, entertainment or a distraction. All three options may meet legitimate needs and they may not. How will you know? God will tell you. He says, “My sheep hear my voice” (John 10:27) so you can definitely access His insight into the matter. Some insight requires courage to act on because it may go against social, cultural or even personal norms but guess what? The righteous are as bold as a lion and He gave you a spirit of power, love and self-discipline, so you can definitely act on the insight you get. Plus, you have the power to imitate Christ’s humility and value others above yourself. (Phil. 2:3) This means you can apologize when you get it wrong. The greatest gift we can give our children through our parenting is a model of living connected to God, listening to His voice, hearing and acting on His direction and acknowledging when we get it wrong. This is our life of loving service to our children, as a reflection of His love. p By Faith Clarke Author, consultant & manager of Melody of Autism helping parents run family centered ventures while supporting special needs children.
October - December 2018
I LOVE YOU REALLY, I DO
I was pondering recently, how people repeatedly express their feelings of love without thinking; action speaks louder than words. Has it not occurred to them how cheap and meaningless it is when they say, ‘I love you, really I do’. The song , ‘Love Is A Many Splendored Thing’ came to mind. What’s in the song? It was publicised first in the movie, by the same title’ in 1955. It has won the Academy Award for the, Best Original Song. The song has roused my curiosity. I had to look at the lyrics to find out what
October - December 2018
the songwriter has to say about love. It’s says, ‘love is nature’s way of giving a reason to be living’. Awesome! This in itself talks about life. When a person has a reason to live, he or she desires the fullness thereof as promised to us in John 10:10- that we may have life, and have it more abundantly. I had to dig deeper to find out the meaning of splendour in the Scripture. I will meditate on the glorious splendour of Your majesty. Psalm 145:5.
The God that I know is the God of forgiveness. He gives us another chance and another and yet another... Splendour is a brilliance, or gorgeous appearance, colouring, etc. It is grandeur, glory or brilliant distinction. It is majesty that goes beyond our sense of normality. A set apart condition. That is love. That which is something to behold as of royalty. Loving someone goes beyond man’s flaws. We all make mistakes, we fall though at times it is not a fault of our own. The Bible clearly says, For though a righteous man falls seven times, he will get up, but the wicked will stumble into ruins. Proverbs 24:16. How do we see people when they have fallen? How does Christ our Redeemer see us when we fall from grace? How does your loved ones, Church, society see you when you fall before their eyes? I know what Jesus would do. He gave His life up for you and me to save us from eternal damnation. He saved us to have a new life in Him. He shall have mercy on all who have fallen from grace, to all who have cried out, ‘God have mercy on me, I have fallen! Please help me, forgive me.’ If Christ The King is willing and shouts back at the repentant sinner, ‘I have
heard your cry. I have forgiven you’. Why can’t humans find it easy in their hearts to forgive? Why?
Our time will come to fulfil our purpose and reach our destiny when He sees us ready to glorify His name.
Falling away is one thing but to be shunned, condemned, judged stereotyped by the people who call themselves Christians who curse their offender and praise God out from the same lips is to be pitied. Clearly such people have not experienced the saving grace of the risen Saviour. A person who is a recipient of God’s grace understands the power of forgiveness. Such a one understands the true meaning of love and acceptance, having been given another chance to live again. For Christ our Saviour did not save us to live and enjoy life for ourselves only but to serve Him and to reach out to those who have fallen and are broken and to nurture them until they are strong and in a position to help others, who like them, have fallen.
Gideon was addressed as, “you mighty man of God” by an Angel of the Lord. Gideon looked around to see if there was anybody there apart from him. Little, rugged David, straight from the field, dirty and smelling of sheep dung was anointed as the future king of Israel. God had a glorious plan for both of them. The prophecy over these two men came to pass.
The Word of God is a lamp unto our feet it talks about unity in the body of Christ. It admonishes us to put away every evil thing from amongst us with all malice, bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour. Let no corrupt word proceed from our mouths. But what is good for the necessary edification that it may impart grace to the hearers. Let us all be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4 and Philippians 4) The God that I know in the Scriptures is the God of forgiveness. He gives us another chance and another and yet another but not to be taken for granted. For God sees the heart. My dear friends, do not judge a person for their past. The past shall not dictate their future. God sees a person in the future. We humans sees each other either who we were or who we are today. God knows the end from the beginning. We each have a timetable on God’s calendar.
Let us all look inwardly for a moment and reflect on the number of times Christ has forgiven us. What secret sins have you been hiding that you were only too embarrassed to tell someone? You asked God for forgiveness and He set you free. How many times have you fallen and God forgave you and picked you back up again? If God can do that for you straight after you asked for His forgiveness, can you not do the same to your brothers and sisters? Can you not allow the love that covers a multitude of sins to tenderise your heart with unconditional love and divine compassion? Can we not fill our hearts with only kind and gentle, loving words to win this fallen generation? Can we not become the loving arms of Jesus to people who need love? Can we not become the channel of His peace, love and forgiveness? God has given you a big heart, the capacity to hold His unmeasurable love without bounds, to sacrifice. Go and saturate this world with the love and forgiveness He died on the cross to give to all humanity. p By Stephanie Meakin Author, Founder/Presenter of Voice of Hope and Justice, Evangelist
October - December 2018
A Professional Truck Driver’s Encounter With God
Since I was a little boy I’ve always gone to Church with my parents religiously. I’ve just turned sixty years old this year. I can say I have the best birthday present from God in all my life. It’s the first time I have really encountered the power of God’s love in my life. Over the years I have made bad decisions that have affected not only my life but my family. Alcohol became my friend and comforter. I thought at first my drinking was to relax, unwind from a heavy, toilsome week on the road as a professional truck driver. There were times I was away from home for weeks and the thought of coming home to having a strong odd tipple of strong spirits would be a little treat. But it turned out to be a demonic disease that I could not possibly have the strength to stop. Just before my sixtieth birthday, I drank for two successive weeks without stopping. I was powerless. My children and their families were distraught. They were helpless. I was helpless. A distant relative rang the ambulance and I was rushed to the hospital. After I’ve sobered up, I discharged myself because I didn’t like the way they treated me. I wasn’t in the right frame of mind. I was heavily intoxicated. I thought I could stop myself from drinking.
However,when I got home I was looking for more drinks. I locked myself in the house. I drank myself nearly to death. My friend in UK and my daughters rang Churches, AA and other organisations to ask for help to get hold of me. All their efforts failed. I was left alone in my own despicable state. Finally, a neighbour alerted the paramedics who came to my house. They saw me unconscious on the floor with cuts and bruises in my face and body. I have no recollection how long I was out, covered in my own blood and vomit. I knew I fell down the stairs. They rushed me to the hospital. There they discovered I had pneumonia, heart problems and they also found bleeding in my brain. I was so weak and was riddled with pain. I remembered my friend from the UK rang me and I cried. I told her I knew it was God who saved me from dying. He has given me a second chance. I was in hospital for seven days. A friend of mine was sent by God to take me to his house until I was well enough to go back to my house. The hospital tests all came back negative. Pneumonia was gone and the bleeding in my brain had stopped. My heart is getting stronger. I felt the love of my family has helped me realised the preciousness of life. Above all I knew it was
I drank for two successive weeks without stopping. I was powerless. My children and their families were distraught. They were helpless. I was helpless.
October - December 2018
the hand of God who has delivered me and given me a new life. Within three weeks from going through a near death experience I was able to travel to visit my families who lived in the other part of the continent. I’m now back to work full time. Whilst I was driving a thought came to me… how is my relationship with my children? How is my relationship with my friend in the U.K. How is my relationship with my God? I can answer with confidence the first two relationships are great but what about with my God? I now know from the bottom of my heart how much He loves me and I love Him and I am forever grateful for the internal work He is doing in my life. I am born-again in the Holy Spirit. I am a new creature in Him. Thank you, Lord Jesus for saving me. My children and their friends prayed and helped me to connect with Jesus. I opened my heart to God and I have completely asked for His forgiveness. I have surrendered my life to Jesus because He is the only one who can help me lead a new life pleasing to Him. p
Driven to drink Interviewed by Stephanie Meakin
October - December 2018
The fact is even as Christians our hearts get hardened but the work of Christ through His Holy Spirit softens our hearts to love the way God said, with Agape [God kind of love] which makes us even more vulnerable. We would love to be dead to the flesh where nothing offends us or has the power to cause us hurt and pain and truly we desire to be in that place. Psalm 119:165 says, “Great peace have they who love your law: and nothing shall offend them,” some interpretations say, “nothing shall cause them to stumble.”
After the Hurt, Pain
Who usually causes us hurt and pain? The people who are closest to us and who we draw close to us. We will all at some point or other feel hurt and pain and become offended in our relationships, don’t believe the lie that we should never respond to what others say about or do to us. Rather, it is how we deal with offences that will invariably show the true condition of our heart and it will show if we are truly maturing in Christ. Typically, this is how we react to offence – we deny it, we avoid it, we bury it, we withdraw love and fellowship with the offender or we run to someone else and talk about it. This causes no resolution to the matter and invariably as Jamaican people would say, “di cup full, it run over and me can’t tek it no more.” Firstly, we have to admit that thing really hurt us. Personally, I run to God first and begin to deal with myself. I must get my emotions under control. We really need to be honest with ourselves. I must first ask myself these questions and follow these steps to resolution. 1. Does the other person really mean to hurt me? 2. Is it my own view of the situation or is it the truth? 3. Why has this thing hurt me, am I dealing with something deeper, perhaps a past unresolved unhealed
wound? [Perhaps the cut was not healed it only grew a scab but it covers a deep infected wound, it was oozing before and this bruise just causes the wound to break out.]
We have got to ask God to clean our heart of the issue, because nothing is so important to hold on to that would cause the blockage of the flow of the Holy Spirit.
I deal with myself first, I monitor my heart condition. We have got to pro-actively guard our heart with all diligence, it affects the issues of our life today and tomorrow. The word clearly says: “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life”. Proverbs 4:23 ESV. These are the words from the New Living Translation, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”
Let go and leave matters in God’s hands. Truly, to be free, one has to let go of offence. There can be no moving forward without letting go. Spiritually if we won’t let go we will be trying to walk forward while looking back and that will truly cause us to stumble and even fall. “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider that I have made it my own yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies
October - December 2018
Steps to healing: It is of utmost importance that we begin to take steps to forgiving… no offence is worth keeping. When one thinks - we were forgiven and shown mercy by a loving Father, not because we deserved it, then we really need to let others “off the hook.” We ARE ONLY FORGIVEN with the measure that we forgive others and truly we have not forgiven if many weeks, years and months later we still speak of the one who offended us in a negative way. The model prayer in Matthew 6 states clearly, “Forgive us our sins AS WE FORGIVE OTHERS.”
ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the [heavenly] prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature [pursuing spiritual perfection] should have this attitude.” Philippians 3:13 to 15a Put things into Godly perspective. Honestly some matters are a “scratch” and it is quite easy to get over those matters, while others are like being stabbed with a knife, they go deep and as long as we have taken it to God do not be impatient because those wounds take time to heal. It is imperative at first not to speak to others about it with a motive of damaging the offender’s character.
Remember you may be speaking from your own viewpoint and perspective and it may not be the WHOLE truth. God gives us conflict resolution strategies in Matthew 18 here they are: “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him ALONE If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the Church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
Notice all the steps above are about making ourselves right before God. Now if you are like me, fellowship will not be free with the other until I have carefronted the person. In my earlier days I did a lot of CONfronting but now I do CARE- fronting. For some it is easy to hide their emotions and it is the hardest thing to speak up. In some cultures we really learn the art of being good pretenders. For me the hardest thing is NOT TO SPEAK TRUTH. However, as I have grown in Christ I have learned to do this in Love. It makes no sense going to someone and all you do is vent your anger, this behaviour only leads to further conflict and invariably puts the other person on the defensive. Our flesh may have won but we need to take the softer road of RECONCILIATION and being a peacemaker for Christ’s sake. Conclusion: I couldn’t close this subject without telling you, if we follow these steps then there would be no divisions, no gossip, no slander, we are called to be peacemakers. Let’s ask God to heal us, clean our hearts and grant us the grace to do all to shine as light and preserve and flavour like salt of the earth. WALK GOOD IN CHRIST MY FRIENDS. p
October - December 2018
By Jacqueline Chin-Depass Leadership team member at Lifespring Church, broadcaster UKCC radio
all Marys Calling all Marys
The Women Who Love Jesus Best
Miriam is the Hebrew that is translated â€œMaryâ€? in the Bible. There are three Marys that have inspired many to follow Jesus Christ: Mary, the mother of Jesus
October - December 2018
Christ, Mary Magdalene, a disciple, and Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, who Christ had raised from the dead. But not every Mary has been as pure as the
mother of our Saviour, or has sacrificed so much to worship Him as Mary Magdalene, or have learnt to leave the legitimate things of this world and to sit at His feet as Lazarus’ sister did.
Miriam was only 26 years old, but had this terrible inferiority complex about herself. She was short and overweight, and had tried exercise and diet, but to no avail. She was most unhappy about herself. Most nights she spent her last thoughts before bed reading online articles on her laptop about how to be successful and influential. And her past certainly did not encourage her. Her father was one of those men who thought he knew everything and had the answer for every problem. When she failed her final examination at school, it caused quite a storm in her bedroom. He shouted and ranted about how he had studied hard and never went to teenage parties. That was why he had been so successful at college, had built such a great legal business. And that was why he could afford the fine residence on the hills in which they lived. Not to mention the vacations to various parts of the world every year. “What will become of you?” he shouted angrily at her. Distressed, she had become addicted to marijuana and hung out with dubious friends. But now many years later, her overweight really weighed on her mind. She was disturbed and worried about many things. For some unknown reason, she picked up the Bible her mother had given her on her last birthday. She had read the passage about Martha who was busy in the kitchen preparing food for guests in the home of Lazarus. Martha had complained to Jesus that her sister Mary was not helping in the kitchen. But Jesus had responded, “Martha, you are worried and disturbed about many things!” (Luke 10:39-42). When she read
those words, she had this strange feeling that God was trying to say the same thing to her. Indeed, she also was troubled about many things!
about her sister. Mary, who was not helping in the kitchen, but happily sitting at Jesus’ feet. The words of Jesus became yet another gleam of light.
Then last week she had read in the same Bible about a woman of Samaria who had been desperately seeking for love. After four husbands, she was living with another woman’s husband. (John 4:1-42) Miriam also had been desperately looking for love!
“One thing is needful,” Jesus told Martha, “and Mary has chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” Jesus had been first in the life of Mary, the sister of Lazarus. Mary Magdalene had thought no expense too great to spend on the Lord.
Tears clouded her eyes, as she thought about her broken relationship with Jim. The radio preacher in her car had said that Hosea’s wife had been a harlot. (Hosea 1:2) Dear God, she prayed, I was so desperate for love, and in such financial turmoil, I almost thought I might sell myself!
At a Church play Last Easter about the resurrection of Jesus, it was the same Mary Magdalene who had come to the tomb looking for His body. Face to face with two angels, one asked her, “Why are you crying? Who are you looking for?”
Was there hope anywhere? Her mother’s voice echoed in her ears. “God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above all that you can ask or think!” (2 Cor 9:8)
And Mary had answered boldly “If you have taken Him away from here, tell me where you have laid Him and I will take Him away myself!” She would not be satisfied to live without Jesus.
Had not Jesus cast out seven demons out of Mary Magdalene. And wasn’t she the one that went out and bought an expensive box of ointment, boldly entered the home of a Pharisee, and into the room in which Jesus and His disciples were guests. Wasn’t she the same woman who began to wash the feet of Jesus with her tears and to wipe them with the hairs of her head, and even to kiss the Saviour’s feet. She remembered what she had read about the Pharisee who had invited Jesus to dinner. Yes, he began thinking within himself, “If Jesus is a prophet, He would know that this woman who touched him is a vile sinner.” But for Mary Magdalene, no expense was too great to spend upon the Lord Jesus. Suddenly, the first gleam of spiritual light struck deep into Miriam’s heart. “If God could deliver a sinful woman like Mary Magdalene, surely God could deliver me!” Suddenly, her thoughts roamed back to Martha who had complained to Jesus
Finally, Miriam contemplated Mary the mother of Jesus. When Mary visited her cousin, Elizabeth, who was pregnant with John, the Baptist, Mary had exclaimed, “My soul does magnify the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God, my Saviour!” (Luke 1:46, 47). She remembered her mother saying, “You see, child, even Mary was a sinner, and a sinner needs a Saviour. Every one of us can trust Christ to deliver us from the power of satan. He can take us from the kingdom of darkness and bring us into the Kingdom of light.” May the contemplation and meditation on the three Marys also inspire us to spend more time with the Lord, to be willing to sacrifice any expense because we love Him. May we recognize Him as our Saviour from sin, Who has brought us to live a completely new life with Him!
p By C Richard McCaw author, music teacher and many years as a Bible teacher
October - December 2018
October - December 2018
“In the baptism pool the young man went down into the water with the tattoo and came back up without it. By a miracle from God the tattoo of the devil was removed, gone, without a trace!”
This really happened. As told by David Pawson. He told the story of a young man whom he pastored in the town of Basingstoke in southern England. As it happened this young man recently got saved and wanted to be baptised but still had the marks of his worldly, God resisting past on his body, literally. He had a tattoo of the devil on his chest. Now that he was new on the inside he also wanted to be obedient to God’s word by getting baptised and also reflect this change on the outward by getting rid of this horrific tattoo. He wanted to be rid of it before he got baptised. He tried everything but nothing worked. He eventually consulted a plastic surgeon who told him that he could only get rid of it using one of two methods. 1. He could burn it off but this would leave a very bad scar or 2. He could cut it out and graft new skin taken from his thigh. He did not have the time to wait on the lengthy process of these procedures as he was getting baptised soon. The cost for doing these would be too much for him anyway. Having found no reasonable solution he decided to go ahead and get baptised with the devil still tattooed to his chest. He would not allow this to stop him going ahead. David Pawson was not available to baptise the young man so a friend of his did it on his behalf. In the baptism pool the young man went down into the water with the tattoo and came back up without it. By a
miracle from God the tattoo of the devil was removed, gone without a trace. Yes, miracles still happen this is a clear demonstration of God’s loving response to His obedient child. God knew how much it meant for this young man to have no further association with the devil in his life and possibly how that constant reminder of the tattoo would affect him as he embarked on his new life in Christ. God noted his willingness to obey what’s written in scripture and intervened, as is His prerogative to do, and what an expression of love it was? It must have really encouraged this young man to be firm in his decision to walk intentionally and purposely with God. How God rewarded his obedience is more proof that God blesses obedience as surely as He curses disobedience. On hearing the story of this young man my mind immediately went to the miracle of Naaman’s healing. As written in 2 Kings 5:1-14 Naaman, a highly respected and powerful man in Syria, had one very big problem. He had leprosy. A young maiden they had captured from Israel that was now working for Naaman’s wife told her of a prophet in Israel that could cure his disease. On hearing this Naaman made the necessary arrangements and ended up at the doorway of Elisha. Elisha didn’t come out to great or meat this obviously influential man with his entourage but simply sent
a message out to him. They were instructions to go dip himself in a river. He said, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean.” Naaman the ‘dignitary’ was angry and furious at the seemingly scant way Elisha dealt with him plus he thought for a miracle to work it needed a lot of ‘hocus pocus’. Maybe he was used to the sorcerers of pagan Syria who would mix potions and have rituals as they try to get their gods to do something supernatural. After much persuasion from his servants he reluctantly obeyed the instructions. This was what happened, “...he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.” Yes, God loves everyone but only the obedient pleases Him. Those who desire and obey Him are the ones who will realise the wonderful miracles and blessings of Christ, who will unveil His love as it were. The disobedient and rebellious He will punish. p  Youtube message ‘One of the best preachings I have ever heard(“Believers in hell”) - David Pawson’ 47 minutes in.
Story Teller To book the story teller email: firstname.lastname@example.org
October - December 2018
Think Films! Film: Hacksaw Ridge
Directed by Mel Gibson starring Andrew Garfield “Hacksaw Ridge is a 2016 biographical war drama film about the World War II experiences of Desmond Doss, [1919-2006] an American pacifist, combat medic who was a Seventh-day Adventist Christian, refusing to carry or use a firearm or weapons of any kind. Doss became the first conscientious objector to be awarded the Medal of Honor, for service above and beyond the call of duty during the Battle of Okinawa.” The Cynical Historian, Published on Apr 20, 2017 https://www. youtube.com/watch?v=M2YtA_frsyE
Mel Gibson as Director The movie has had well deserved critical acclaim for its direction and the performance of the actors and it was mainly because the story itself was true and the narrative was really inspiring. Some critics hail this movie as having pulled Mel Gibson back from his fall from directorial grace. The script pulled the best out of the actors Andrew Garfield, Hugo weaving and Vince Vaughn to name a few. They brought dramatic depth to their characters and their performances were individually inspiring and emotionally powerful. Mel Gibson as a Christian must have been tempted to be didactic and oversell Dos’ Christian views but his approach was ‘open minded’ and he didn’t try to concretely vilify the villains and create cardboard cut out heroes, he focused on the humanity of the characters and they were presented in a balanced way, as all being victims of the real enemy, war! Which in effect is a more accurately Christian perspective of the world. https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=V5ai4tI948Q
A Pacifist hero in a Violent War The title of Hacksaw Ridge couldn’t be more apt and filled with dramatic irony as the war scenes were repulsive in some instances but reflected the reality of war...there is no glory in it.
October - December 2018
Some critics accused Mel Gibson of glorifying the war through his very graphic and gory scenes, where no bars were held to depict the carnage that is war, in a film where the hero is a pacifist. They missed the whole point of the movie. Doss isn’t a hero because his choice was easy it was this juxtaposition of a pacifist in the midst of war, where the constant dichotomy of environmental violence and inner peace makes his choice and actions heroic. We see Doss struggle to maintain his Christian belief as being real and relatable; we hail him for being true to them. Christian faith as portrayed To the non-Christian unbeliever, this juxtaposition of a Christian, pacifist, war hero is mind boggling but the records show that Doss was not the only one. Also, if you take the words of God seriously and be in the world but not of it you can in fact find the grace to demonstrate God’s love in very overwhelming circumstances. In the case of Doss, saving lives where everyone else was taking lives. We believe his story and bought into the fact that his military career was one of personal sacrifice, unflagging service to his country and an outward demonstration of his Christian faith, in God. Rather than religious rhetoric his faith is relevant and admirable as depicted by his comrades asking him to pray for them before they went into battle. It’s also tangible as he prays for, ‘one more and one more’ as he saves a miraculous 75 fellow soldiers without a weapon to defend himself, even after he suffers injury (his left arm was shattered by a sniper’s bullet) in the attempt to save as many as he could. The challenge set before us in the commemoration of Doss’ life as depicted in the film is whether we, if placed in similar circumstances, could have made the same choice to save life rather than take it even at the risk of losing our own. As a believer in Christ I know the power of God’s transcending love that works in my heart and without its effectual working power I would stand no chance, could you? p By Angela Slack educator, curriculum/ literacy specialist, technical author and editor
youth # SHARE Tattoos and God are they compatible?
the Bible says about tattoos and get ourselves tattooed, as long as they aren’t pagan symbols?
As you can see there is at least one verse in the Bible that speaks about this bluntly. Leviticus 19:28 clearly states, “You shall not make any cuts on your body for the Dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the Lord.”
From what it says you can see that the perception is that tattoos are not to be had. Although even Christians like to cut corners and say that the tattoo represents something religious, like let’s say a cross or a Bible verse printed upon a pretty scroll on your back. Despite all of the excuses the verse clearly states that you should not put any marks on your skin it did not identify good marks or bad marks it identified marks at all. So what that seems to mean to me is that whether it’s a cross or pitchfork it should not be on your skin. If you want to have something religious, or something showing your faith on you; wear a headband with words a necklace or more jewellery. Even if you want to look a certain way to define your looks the Bible doesn’t say anything negative
about piercings, so hey go crazy, but the Bible does say something about tattoos so be careful. As I head over to being careful; if you read all of Leviticus 19 you will see that before the mention of tattoos was a monologue about pagan rituals done by Egyptians and other non-Christian believers that were no longer to be practiced. This included the tattooing of the skin. In those days, the People of God were advised not to do those things because of their connection to old paganistic rituals. Let’s also consider that not all old things that were done by sinful people are banned forever; for example certain meats used to be forbidden and now they are not. Does that mean that since we can now eat all types of meat, as is stated in the Bible, that we can also disregard all
Now you see we have a debate, my only question to you is why do you need to have your skin marked so badly, that you could risk getting the wrong symbol and having it mean something wrong? Are the marks that you want to put on your skin really worth it, do you need to have your body become artwork that badly, that you would cross a line of no return? Lastly, I give you this; God does not mark His children physically in any way, so why would you feel the need to mark yourself whether with a positive message or not if it is not even required? You may do all the research and come to the conclusion that it’s okay for you. I would say for something that permanent that might have longlasting implications that you didn’t sign up for, think deeply about it. p By Petra Imani Nicholas Creative Writer and Poet
October - December 2018
The thought that women are petty, have negative thoughts about each other and that men are easygoing and easier to get along with than women is debatable. As a younger woman, I was influenced by the prevailing idea and so expected it. Women do seem quicker to make negative judgements about each other. Distrust is bred easily as we seem to believe what is said about another woman more readily than we don’t. Yet, women are nearly five times more likely to show an automatic preference for their own gender than men are to show such favoritism for other men, according to a study in the October issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Vol. 87, No. 4). Women have a strong need to be accepted by other women. Research by several reputable agencies prove that women are not catty or competitive with other women, but having learned that to win at the expense of others is bad, those with a naturally healthy competitive spirit, hide it. When it comes to the fore, it can look like hostile competition between women but may instead be women masking feelings of insecurity, fear of success and healthy aggression.
women who are making it are doing everything they can to help the other women,” says Christine Silva, the lead researcher on the study, conducted by cat fight? I smell a serpent! Catalyst, a nonprofit organization that focuses on expanding opportunities Women need each other. We naturally gravitate toward each other and with for women in the workplace. good reason; we laugh together about Gail Evans, professor of organizational our womanly issues. We support each behavior and author of “Play Like other: crying with each other, being a Man, Win Like a Woman” agrees, happy for each other, unwinding with and points out that most women view each other, praying for each other less experienced female coworkers and much more. as potential talent and are actually more likely than men to develop that Obedience and its relationship to talent through informal or formal God’s goodness is inextricable. If mentorship and also, women sponsor we obey the Bible, trusting God’s women at a greater rate than men do goodness towards us, then we will (70% compared to 30%). The Catalyst experience a fuller, more successful research also refutes the oft-repeated life and the peace that comes with “queen bee” myth. In fact, CJ Scarlet, this. He commands mentoring. is a business owner who has found the “Older women similarly are to support of women to be invaluable. be reverent in their behavior, not “I worked in predominantly male malicious gossips nor addicted to environments in my early career (the much wine, teaching what is right and U.S. Forest Service as a firefighter and good, so that they may encourage the US Marines as a photojournalist) the young women to tenderly love and during my years as a professional their husbands and their children, business woman, I have found women to be sensible, pure, makers of a to be much more willing to share home [where God is honored], goodideas, business information, tips for natured, being subject to their own success, and opportunities.” husbands, so that the word of God So if what this research reveals is true, will not be dishonored.” Titus 2:3-5 It certainly is in my experience, then AMP
“You see a lot of companies where the who is behind this notion that women Older women have an experience 30
October - December 2018
base from which to pull much wisdom of how they learned to cope with the responsibilities of life. They can teach younger women what they gleaned from both their successes and failings. Our best example in Scripture of what this looks like is the relationship between Ruth and Naomi. This friendship between daughterin-law and mother-in-law, so often a source of strife today, was an example of the older woman teaching the younger .(Titus 2:4-5) Ruth willingly forsook her gods and lifestyle for the relationship she shared with Naomi. This is not just an interesting thing that Ruth did; it commands admiration and respect. They were both widows, at the mercy of a society that only recognized men and where women were at the mercy of men to survive, whether by the hands of a husband, son, brother or a kinsman redeemer. God was able to use this foothold of friendship to reveal Himself to Ruth. Ruth clearly respected and trusted Naomi, she allowed Naomi to guide her in getting a husband which ensured a comfortable survival for herself and by extension her motherin-law.
was given to Mary at this visit. Mary spent three months with her cousin who was already pregnant with John, Jesus’ forerunner. Both women were connected by the sheer holiness and overwhelming purpose of God for the children they carried. Together they must have shared many special moments; compared notes, neither of them being pregnant before. They likely talked about morning sickness, cravings, shared the feel of at least John, moving in Elizabeth’s belly and found solace in the magnitude of this shared experience as women are wont to do when they get together. Can’t you hear them celebrating the removal of the shame that was the company of women who were barren in this era, as Elizabeth had been? These two examples of mentoring suggest that God would want us to learn from them. “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” Romans 15:4. It is interesting to note that in both these Biblical accounts, it is the younger woman that seeks out the older woman. Older women should be determined to learn so that they can be mentors and younger women should take the matter in hand and seek out these older women.
Mary and Elizabeth are another example of this older/younger woman relationship. Although we know very little about the relationship from the Bible, it is believed by some that the swaddling clothes Vickie Kraft, author of Women in which baby Jesus was wrapped, Mentoring Women, says, “I believe
that God’s promise to provide gifted persons for the equipping of the Church includes His giving gifted women to local congregations. I believe God gives each congregation the gifted women it needs to minister to the unique needs of its women. When older women train the younger women... not only are the women encouraged, but families and marriages are strengthened and stabilized.” The Bible commands mentoring; women are called to it; they are qualified for it; it Builds the Church; and it benefits the mentor. How could Christian women possibly say no to mentoring when God says yes? Oh, how younger women are searching for mature, godly role models—a Sarah, a Naomi, an Elizabeth—to guide them in the truth of God’s Word. Women are ordained through Scripture, called of God and in need of one another. The sisterhood IS SACRED let’s preserve it! p By Lorraine Rainford Women’s Pastor and Integrative Nutrition Health and Lifestyle Coach. References: Christianity Today International,
https://www.christianitytoday.com/womenleaders/2013/february/women-and-competition. html?paging=off (Lynn Margolies, PhD at PscychCentral.com https:// www.ellevatenetwork.com/articles/5625-7-thingsevery-woman-needs-to-know-about-other-women) (https://mintools.com/blog/older-women-mentoring. htm) womensministry.lifeway.com/2016/06/29/5-reasonsfor-mentoring-in-womens-ministry/
October - December 2018
In Praise of Hymn
I Cannot Tell Why He, Whom Angels Worship
I cannot tell why He, whom angels worship, Should set His love upon the sons of men, Or why, as Shepherd, He should seek the wand’rers, To bring them back, they know not how or when. But this I know, that He was born of Mary, When Bethl’hem’s manger was His only home, And that He lived at Nazareth and labored, And so the Savior, Savior of the world, is come.
I cannot tell how silently He suffered, As with His peace He graced this place of tears, Or how His heart upon the Cross was broken, The crown of pain to three and thirty years. But this I know, He heals the broken-hearted, And stays our sin, and calms our lurking fear, And lifts the burden from the heavy laden, For yet the Savior, Savior of the world, is here.
I cannot tell how He will win the nations, How He will claim His earthly heritage, How satisfy the needs and aspirations Of east and west, of sinner and of sage. But this I know, all flesh shall see His glory, And He shall reap the harvest He has sown, And some glad day His sun shall shine in splendor When He the Savior, Savior of the world, is known. I cannot tell how all the lands shall worship, When, at His bidding, every storm is stilled, Or who can say how great the jubilation When all the hearts of men with love are filled. But this I know, the skies will thrill with rapture, And myriad, myriad human voices sing, And earth to heaven, and heaven to earth, will answer: At last the Savior, Savior of the world, is King.
Reviewing Great Christian Hymns Words & Music: William Fullerton (1857-1932). https://www.jubilate.co.uk/tunes/londonderry-air Sang traditionally on Christmas Sunday Mornings, “Not the easiest mouthful, but it is to the beautiful tune Londonderry Air (the tune to O Danny Boy)...we[are] taken not only by the gorgeous melody, but by the striking lyrics. Each verse begins with the admission that we don’t know God’s ways, but with the rising strains of the second half of the verse we proclaim what we do know: that the Savior of the world is here.” https://preachingpanda.com/journal/2015/11/2/i-cannot-tell
October - December 2018
You confuse my gentleness with weakness; You call me foolish because I am kind; You don’t appreciate my candor; You get upset when I speak my mind; You don’t celebrate my integrity; To other’s deceit you are blind; When I am quiet and introspective you would rather I take sides; Yet you alienate me from your clique by setting the bar too high and lower it for your own kind;
Hope in me is a spring eternal willing me on to survive; If I hated you that would be weakness and surely unkind; It would cripple and destroy me, a mere placebo for my wounded pride; Loving you has to be my answer, my modus operandi; For only love offers redemption and the promise of eternal paradise;
It’s hard enough to please you as you don’t know your own mind; No matter how hard I work for you from morning until night; My progress makes no difference; my due promotion is denied: At every point of my journey, You are there to break my stride.
So mock me in this lifetime; Berate me and deride; Love has been my portion, my solid anchor and my guide; A faithful companion no matter how dark the night; Like the sun each morning love rises hot, full, rich, pure as light. © Angela Slack
My indomitable spirit is not broken, Joy soothes and strengthens my traumatised mind,
October - December 2018
Note To Self... God’s Love is...
learn to accept his love
Continued from pg 5
You have questions we’ve got answers
paralyse you more than being in a wheelchair.” “Risk, then, is not just part of life. It is life. The place between your comfort zone and your dream is where life takes place.”
“The only limit of our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.”
“The best things in life cannot be seen or touched – they must be felt by the Heart.”
“The Almighty God has blessed our land in many ways... He has given to our country a faith which has become the hope of all peoples in an anguished world. So we pray to Him now for the vision to see our way clearly—to see the way that leads to a better life for ourselves and for all our fellow men—to the achievement of His will for peace on earth.”
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the 32nd President of the United States who guided the nation successfully through World War II. When he started his political career he contracted polio while drinking water at a Campground and became paralysed from the waist down. He was thereafter wheelchair bound. Quotes by him:
Harriet Tubman was called the Moses of slavery emancipation. She helped thousands of slaves into freedom along the train lines. She was injured at an early age by a stone that was thrown at a runaway slave. The stone caught her in the head and so she constantly had headaches and seizures all throughout her life.
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
Quotes by Harriet Tubman:
Helen Keller, was the first deaf person to get a Bachelor’s degree. Here are one of my favourite life quotes by her:
October - December 2018
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” “I freed a thousand slaves I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.” Perhaps you feel that God may have forgotten you, you may feel like giving up, you may even be in the depths of despair. God is true to His word Isaiah 55:11 states “...so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. His word concerning you will be established.” ENDURE INTO THE PROMISE. p Answered By Jacqueline Chin-Depass Leadership team member at Lifespring Church, broadcaster UKCC radio
First runner up in ‘THE Sensationnel’ Black Beauty Hair Awards 2013
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Weather we sing out ‘Ye olde Carols’, ‘deck the halls’, eat ‘figgy pudding’, stuff a turkey, or roast a ham, is not what matters. It is tha...
Published on Sep 10, 2018
Weather we sing out ‘Ye olde Carols’, ‘deck the halls’, eat ‘figgy pudding’, stuff a turkey, or roast a ham, is not what matters. It is tha...