Features

LET’S COME ALIVE WITH INFECTIOUS ENTHUSIASM ABOUT GOD’S LOVE!

(August 26, 2018) Jeff Benson brings a challenge…

There’s a lot to love about being part of one’s church community!

One of the things that I enjoy the most is engaging with people who have only recently come to faith in Jesus. One example is a particular young lady who gave her life to Jesus about 14 weeks ago… it’s been really exciting to see her come alive through experiencing God at work in her life.

Discovering God’s love is infectious!
As she’s come to understand God’s love for her and has been sensing his voice and guidance, she’s come alive with an enthusiasm that’s actually quite infectious. Here’s a snippet of something she posted on Facebook recently (She’s allowed me to use it):

‘Through the blood of Jesus Christ we have been saved, we’re free of sin and justified by faith! So many blessings have been just poured over me since I came to faith and it’s so overwhelming at times but I am so thankful because of how much my life has changed! God shined so much light into my life and knowing that I have a God who loves me so much, who is always there and has the best plans for my life is just so amazing.’

Note how much this new Christian used the word ‘so’: So many blessings, so overwhelming, so thankful, so much light, loves me so much, so amazing! (more…)

I’M IN THE LORD’S ARMY

(August 12, 2018) Brian Bell reflects on an ‘old’ but relevant truth

You may be familiar with the words of this ‘old’ children’s song…
‘I may never march with the infantry; ride with the cavalry; shoot with artillery;
I may never zoom o’er the enemy but I’m in the Lord’s army – YES SIR!

In recent times to help it ‘relate better’ to a more contemporary generation a verse has been added which speaks about Superman, Spiderman and Indiana Jones!

A vital fact
On the surface, the lyrics may seem to have little ‘spiritual’ content – I certainly was of that view… for a time, that is.

On reflection, however, while the song may not mention the Bible or characters within its pages (such as Joshua) that we would associate with the Lord’s army, as believers we are in the Lord’s army and this is a vital ‘spiritual’ fact.

This was emphasised to me recently when looking at Deuteronomy 20, a chapter dealing with instructions Moses gave to the Israelites about going into battle. (more…)

‘AS IS’ – FLAWS AND ALL

(July 18, 2018) Carol Round shares a comforting truth …

Have you ever purchased a product labelled ‘As is’?

We trust the lowered price of the item we’ve bought will be worth whatever hidden flaws might emerge later on.

One secret to overlooking flaws
On her 50th wedding anniversary, a woman revealed the secret of her long and happy marriage. She said, ‘On my wedding day, I decided to make a list of 10 of my husband’s faults which, for the sake of the marriage, I would overlook.’

One of her guests asked her what some of the faults she chose to overlook were.

‘To tell you the truth,’ she replied, ‘I never did get around to making that list. But whenever my husband did something that made me hopping mad, I would say to myself, “Lucky for him that’s one of the 10!”’

Paul’s advice was good: ‘Christ accepted you, so you should accept each other. This will bring honour to God’ (Romans 15:7ERV). (more…)

TROUBLING TIMES? KNOW THE POWER OF HOPE IN GOD!

(July 17, 2018) Tim Edwards shares on some scriptures he found challenging…

So what guides us through tough times? How should we focus and navigate the journey?

A couple of weeks ago in my daily Bible reading a particular verse really caught my attention – ‘Egypt will no longer be a source of confidence for the people of Israel but will be a reminder of their sin in turning to her for help’ (Ezekiel 29:16).

False hope
The Israelites were having their difficult times – aware that they could not match the power of the advancing Babylonians. But they did something which ultimately they would regret – they chose to put their hope in Egypt to save the day for them.

It was false hope, misplaced hope – a hope in politics and economics, not in their God. And God didn’t want his people trusting in, hoping in, and putting their confidence in anything, anyone other than him. Nor does he want us to do likewise!

So, how am I going to move forward with God in my life in my troubled times? How are you? (more…)

HOPE – AND GDPR!

(June 19, 2018) Norman and Margaret Moss share a great reflection…

Ah, what tangled worldwide webs we weave!

There’s a new acronym around: GDPR… which can, among other explanations, mean General Data Protection Regulation (European Union), Global Defence Posture Realignment (DoD Transformation Plan), Gross Domestic Product per Region, Group of Deputy Permanent Representatives (on the public disclosure of NATO documents), Graduate Degree Progress Report (Southern Methodist University; Texas) – or how about this one… Grateful Dread Public Radio (Baltimore, MD internet public radio station)!

 

But, Christian readers, sons and daughters of Almighty God, disciples of Jesus, GDPR does not stand for Get DePRessed – though I almost thought so when I first heard about it.

The Christian GDPR
Now this acronym stands for a great Bible truth of… God’s Deep Presence Rewards! (more…)

WAKE-UP CALL… OR ‘HOW THE TEXT WAS CONNED’

(June 18, 2018) Stuart Reynolds challenges all Christians – preachers, church leaders and church attenders…

Here’s a sign giving good advice re punctuation – and a grammatical warning!

 

 

 

 


Contextually misused scripture misquotes
If misused punctuation can cause misunderstanding and trouble, so can misused contextparticularly in respect of reading and quoting Bible verses out of context!

Here’s an example. You can read in the Bible that ‘There is no God.’ However, when read in context, here’s what the Bible actually says: ‘The fool says in his heart, “There is no God”’ (Psalm 14:1).

In being prepared for ministry, it is rightly and repeatedly hammered home to prospective preachers – and needs to still be remembered by those more experienced – ‘a text without a context is a pretext!’ (more…)

ATHEIST PILOT MOCKED GOD, UNTIL HE RAN OUT OF FUEL IN A SNOWSTORM

(June 14, 2018) Mark Ellis shares how danger led to salvation…

Raised in the secular Seventies, completely un-churched, he had no room for God until he ran out of fuel in an Alaskan storm, miles from his destination.

‘I was a God mocker,’ says Mark Rose, founder of Genesis Alive, and author of Last of the Long Hunters, a story of the pilots who fly the Alaskan Arctic.

Rose learned to fly at 16, and by age 22 had become a bush pilot who helped take care of a fleet of helicopters that worked on the Alaska pipeline. ‘My ego meter was on 101,’ he admits.

Low on fuel

 

Mark Rose with helicopter

One day he flew some hunters to the upper part of a large river on the Arctic. But on his return flight, carrying one passenger, several things went wrong.

First, herds of caribou had moved in, covering his first and second choices for a landing spot. Then he began to run low on fuel, so he called ahead for a weather check at the small airport near Kotzebue, on the Baldwin Peninsula.

‘Come on in, the weather’s fine,’ the FAA flight service operator told him. (more…)

AVOIDING SPIRITUAL FAINTING SPELLS

(May 14, 2018) Ben Godwin brings a friendly encouragement …

My first hospital visit was a fiasco!

I was a teenage preacher and had never been in an Intensive Care Unit. The man I visited had open heart surgery and was on a ventilator. As I prayed for him, I was overcome by the sights, sounds and smells and became dizzy.

The room started spinning so I stepped into the hall to gather myself. I saw his wife, called her name, tried to shake her hand but blacked out and hit the floor!

Moments later, I regained my senses via smelling salts. So much for being God’s man of faith and power!

Fainting is ‘a loss of consciousness due to abnormal blood circulation.’ In a spiritual sense, to faint means ‘to lose heart or courage, to give up, or to quit.’ Many believers today suffer from spiritual fainting spells –they abandon their faith and give up on God.

 

 

 

 

Here are six main culprits: (more…)

JESUS MIRACULOUSLY HEALED WOMAN’S ‘INCURABLE’ CANCER

(May 11, 2018) Mark Ellis shares…

She was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells in the bone marrow, which is considered incurable. But with Jesus-centred faith, prayer, and a powerful dream, God brought a miraculous healing that confounded her doctors.

‘They said I had three to five years to live,’ says Tecla Miceli. ‘It was dreadful and I was scared to death.’

Tecla grew up in Sicily and came to the USA as a 16-year-old with her parents. Fortunately the cancer was caught at an early stage. As she was opposed to chemotherapy doctors agreed to monitor the progression of the cancer with bone surveys and blood tests every 60 days.

‘The oncologist did a spinal and it came out at 17 blood plasma level and the threshold is 5,’ says Gary LaFerla who accompanied his mother to the doctor visits.

Alarming cancer cells increase
At 17%, doctors were willing to wait on the chemo. But after three years of monitoring Tecla, doctors noticed an alarming increase in cancer cells. ‘It was full blown cancer, at least 27% in her blood,’ Gary says.

Raised as a nominal Catholic, Tecla was born again through the influence of Gary and his sister Laura, who were involved at Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa, California.

Nicky Cruz, the former gang member, was speaking when Tecla visited Calvary Chapel for the first time. Moved by his message, she felt compelled to go forward. (more…)

THE FIBONACCI SEQUENCE

(May 2, 2018) Peter Fitzgerald challenges Christians in business, indeed every believer…

Fibonacci is amazing stuff; it involves something I was never very good at – mathematics.

In business marketing applying the mathematical principle of multiplication will work immensely more powerfully for you than the principle of addition.

Parallels can be found in the growth of Christianity (Acts 6:1), the spread of the gospel message (Mark 4:6; Acts 12:24), and God’s promise to bless his servant Abraham (Hebrews 6:14)… it’s plethuno – to increase, abound, multiply.

Heard of the Fibonacci Sequence?
It’s named after Italian mathematician Leonardo of Pisa, known as Fibonacci, who was considered ‘the most talented Western mathematician of the Middle Ages.’

Check out the Fibonacci sequence on Google (eg https://www.livescience.com/37470-fibonacci-sequence.html) and see some amazing multiplication in nature!

This growth sequence doesn’t go as we normally count – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and so on. It’s a series of numbers where a number is found by adding up the two numbers before itStarting with 0 and 1, the sequence goes 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, and so forth. Written as a rule, the expression is xn = xn-1 + xn-2.

(more…)