(March 25, 2018) Ben Godwin reminds us of Easter realities as he shares a king’s goodness toward a troubled young man…

The news spread rapidly. Israel had suffered a devastating defeat. King Saul and his son, Jonathan, had been slain in battle by the Philistines.

It was common in ancient regime changes to execute all the royal family to eliminate any heirs to the throne and a nurse acted quickly.

Terrified, she scooped up a five-year-old prince to whisk him to safety. But in her haste she stumbled,                          dropping the boy… and unfortunately both his legs were broken. Consequently, Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son, was lame the rest of his life.

Mephibosheth is a fitting type of the human race – he was of a royal line but crippled by a fall. 

Years later, during his reign as king, David wondered, ‘Is there still anyone who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?’ (2 Samuel 9:1 NKJV). He was told Mephibosheth was living like a pauper in an obscure town called Lodebar.

Lodebar means ‘without pasture or barren place.’ That describes our spiritual condition before we met our heavenly king! Life without God is a barren wilderness. Nothing can satisfy the hole in our soul that only he can fill.

David, a type of Christ, gave this maimed man four things which God has also given to us: (more…)


(March 19, 2018) Stuart Reynolds reflects …

It was Swiss theologian Karl Barth who said, ‘Take your Bible and take your newspaper, and read both. But interpret newspapers from your Bible.’

In this connection, do note how the Bible is a commentary on our times today:

  • The Bible says in 2 Timothy 3:1: ‘But mark this: There will be terrible (literally ‘violent’ in the Greek) times in the last days.’

But note also a testimony to God’s triumph in Psalm 2, which begins with these words:

  • ‘Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his Anointed One, saying, “Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.”’

Almost every news story could be introduced, explained and concluded with those words. Bad news is so often linked with rebellion against God or ignorance or breakage of his laws.

Let’s consider three important issues:

1) Humanity’s Petulance
A father was driving to school one day. His youngest child was standing on the back seat. Realising the danger, the father said, ‘Sit down, son, I may have to stop suddenly and I don’t want you to get hurt.’

‘No!’ squeaked the rebellious refusal from the rear, ‘I don’t want to!’ Again the father said, ‘Please sit down, I don’t want you to get hurt.’ ‘No!’ came the stubborn reply. (more…)


(February 22, 2018) Dan Wooding, Founder of ASSIST News Service, shares some very personal reminisces…

American evangelist Billy Graham – a confidant to presidents, a guiding light to generations of American Christians and a world-travelling preacher who saw millions give their lives to Christ, died today (Wednesday, February 21), at the age of 99.

Dr Graham, who was known as ‘America’s Pastor’ passed away at his home in Montreat, North Carolina.

‘The skinny preacher with the booming voice evangelised to nearly 215 million people over six decades and prayed with US presidents from Harry Truman to Barack Obama,’ said CNN. ‘Several presidents, including Lyndon Johnson, George W Bush and Bill Clinton, relied closely on his spiritual counsel.’






A dynamic young Billy Graham preaching



Billy Graham was the reason I got into journalism
But on a personal side, it was 50 years ago in London, England, when I got my first job in journalism. It was with The Christian, an historic British newspaper that the Graham Association had bought and modernised. (more…)


(February 22, 2018) Stuart Reynolds challenges …

Flies-on-the-wall’ documentaries are not new – if our television broadcast schedules are anything to go by, we can’t get enough of them!

And with the rapid progress of camera technology, such broadcasts have become deeper, clearer, even truer, spawning a whole new breed for our watching – from The Secret Life of Pets  to The Secret Life of 4 & 5 Year Olds,’ and, if you really want it, The Secret Life of Books and even of Buildings!

What about The Secret Life of Saints? What would ‘flies-on-the-wall’ learn and admire… or be unimpressed by?

Watchman Nee wrote: This is the test. How much of my life is seen? When men look on the surface, have they seen the whole, or is there more? Have I, in the unseen, a secret history with God?’ (more…)


(January 25, 2018) Tim Edwards shares some challenging post Christmas/pre-Easter/pre-Pentecost reflections…

To many Christmas 2017 is long gone! It’s almost the 30th of January 2018 already! We’re rushing towards another 30thEaster’s Good Friday… the 30th of March! In fact I’ve seen some Easter eggs and hot-cross buns in supermarkets already!

As we move ahead in 2018 our church is continuing to work our way through the Cover to Cover Bible with daily scripture readings. But – although we’re definitely moving forward – I feel led of God to share some thoughts that came to me last December that are so relevant for moving forward in 2018.

For example, I recall we found ourselves in what appeared to be the somewhat strange predicament of pre-Christmas preparations while studying scriptures traditionally associated with Easter!

Strong link between Easter and Christmas
The more I read, thought and prayed, the more I realised that the link between Christmas and Easter is so strong, so real, tangible and necessary.

Easter, the suffering and death and resurrection of Christ, couldn’t have happened without Christmas (the birth of Christ) and by the same token Christmas is simply not complete without Easter – they are two components of the same story; both vitally important and eternally joined.

Jesus himself drew the link between the two events in the middle of his trial at the hands of the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate: he referred back to the first Christmas and said, ‘The reason I was born and came into this world is to testify to the truth’ (John 18:37).

As he stood there approaching the designated time of his death, Jesus reminded the listening crowd of his birth, thereby joining the dots and bridging the gap for them by explaining what it was all about – that he came to testify to the truth, truth that would bring humanity into relationship with a loving God. (more…)


(January 22, 2018) Stuart Reynolds shares an interesting concept …

Muriel (not real names here) was a small town local church gossip. Unmarried, she was the self-appointed monitor of the church’s moral behaviour and was sure to keep an eye on people, sticking her nose into where it did not belong. Several church members were unhappy and uncomfortable with her extra-curricular activities, but feared her enough to maintain their silence.

And so, Muriel continued undeterred in her presumptions… until the incident with new church member, Harold. One evening just before the prayer meeting, she accused him of being an alcoholic… she’d seen his car parked in front of the town’s only bar that afternoon.  Before several others she sternly told Harold off, saying that everyone seeing his car there would know what he was doing!

Harold, a man of few words, stared at her for a moment, then turned and walked away. He didn’t explain, defend, or deny anything. He said nothing… but later that evening he quietly parked his car in front of unmarried Muriel’s house… and left it there all night!

Contrast that with this: Your car breaks down and you find yourself unexpectedly stranded at midnight in an unfamiliar, intimidating, dimly lit city back street. As you try to get your bearings, you hear the noise of voices from some young men who have just exited a building and appear to be loitering. Then they notice you, look at one another and start coming your way, their footsteps noisy on the cobbled pavement…

Wouldn’t it make all the difference in the world to know whether this ‘gang’ had just left a night club – or an anointed, exhilarating Bible study?

Two striking examples of loitering with intent – one presumptuous, the other pressing.

Loitering… legally, society deems loitering with intent’ to be a crime, but scripturally, it is about a claim – God’s claim. It’s not about stalking but seeking. Loitering with intent for God’s purposes comes from… (more…)


(December 16) Ed Delph shares a Christmas thought-provoker…

1. Here’s a Christmas-linked thought. ‘I opened two gifts this morning. They were my eyes.’

2. Here’s a Christmas-linked question: ‘What good is sight without light?’

Sight requires light. The same is true with insight.

Insight requires the light of revelation
A definition of revelation is when something that was or is hidden in darkness comes into the light. It’s a ‘reveal-a-tion’ and it could be physical, mental or spiritual.

Prophesies from God’s prophets given 750 years before the birth of Christ were fulfilled in the birth of Christ at Bethlehem.

Please read the account described in the first two chapters of Matthew and Luke…

  • Suddenly light appeared, leading to the  revealing of the presence of the greatest ever freely given ‘Christmas present.’
  • Information given 750 years earlier became revelation.
  • Knowledge became understanding.
  • The ‘Word of God’ became the ‘God of the Word’ now in flesh appearing.
  • Truth hidden by time and darkness became truth highlighted by the light.
  • Chronos (progression of time) became kairos (the right time) – the future became the present.



(December 5, 2017) Geraldine Brandt reminds us of a special lady who willingly trusted God to fulfil his word…

May I bring a particular aspect to the Christmas story – the biblical Mary that I see!

When we think of Christmas we naturally think of Jesus Christ, born of Mary, a virgin – born in a manger, born to die on a cross for the sins of the world. That’s as it should be!  There is no greater message to be proclaimed, nor any other focus that should be given.

But can I add that one of the greatest messengers of this truth is the mother of Jesus, Mary herself.

Mary does not preach this message, she lives it!  When we take time to go through the gospels and study this woman of God we find a very humble woman, great in faith, persistent in prayer and steadfast in her trust in God, specifically trusting that what he said about her son, Jesus, would come to pass.

Willing to obey
From the very beginning – Mary’s encounter with Gabriel, the archangel of God Most High – we see a woman who is willing to do the will of God, and to do that will without fanfare, complaint, or requested recognition. (more…)


(November 26, 2017) Brian Bell encourages keeping on track

 We live in a world where in sport of every kind athletics enjoy a high profile.  The apostle Paul says ‘bodily exercise is of some benefit, but godliness with contentment is of greater gain’ (1 Timothy 4:8).

Paul’s words remind us about priority, if you are able to exercise, it is good to do so, within your limitations.

At the 1968 Olympic Games held in Mexico City, Tanzania was represented in the marathon by John Stephen Akhwari. Part way through the race, Akhwari fell and was injured. He decided to get bandaged up and continue, which he did, finishing in last place over an hour behind the other runners.

When interviewed later Akhwari was asked, Why did you bother to get up and finish the race’ to which his reply was: ‘My country didn’t send me 5000 miles to start the race, they sent me 5000 miles to finish it.’

What a lovely perspective. You see, Akhwari could have stopped running; he was injured, he could not have won a medal position, so no one would have faulted him, but he decided to keep going.

As we approach another new year has there been an experience in the last year when you felt you couldn’t keep going? (more…)


(November 26, 2017) Stuart Reynolds challenges the church about subtle ‘twilight talk’ …

‘The place is here, the time is now, and the journey into the shadows that we’re about to watch could be our journey….You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension – a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You’ve just crossed over into the Twilight Zone….’

Many of us from more than a generation ago will recall these words from Rod Sterling, as he would introduce another episode of that cult classic TV show, The Twilight Zone, where there is no ‘up’ or ‘down’ or ‘out.’

The world without God has always lived in a Twilight Zone of darkness, desperation, destruction and death.

The burden of this article is over the increasing journey of retreat and regression the church has made back into that same zone of vagueness, uncertainty, and indistinctiveness, where …

  • Less and less is clear, sound and sure.
  • Commands have become suggestions.
  • Truth is a matter of opinion and feeling, resulting in a muddled-morality.
  • We have a mixed message that leaves us bereft of a truly ‘blessed assurance.’
  • Christian fundamentals have been replaced and succeeded by subtle and dangerous baseless assumption!