(January 18, 2022) Wayne Swift shares on realistic matters…
I can recall entering 2021 with a sense of optimism regarding the impact of covid-19. I thought we were through the worst of it. It didn’t turn out that way.
As we begin 2022, I simply don’t carry that same optimism but am rather realistic about our prospects. In an investment sense you might say I have downgraded expectations!
Plans are tentative and my hopes focus more on wellbeing than on activities. I do think of the health system and the many faithful people working under extreme pressures, they need our support, patience and prayers.
1. The church’s task is uncompromised!
What I am optimistic about is the God’s sovereignty and our ability to persevere. Jesus’ words remain the same, ‘I will build my church.’
(July 18, 2018) George Forbes, missionary spokesperson, reflects on these four important aspects of missions today…
1, Tentmakers in mission
A respected and decisive part of missions in the 20th century was filled by ‘tentmakers.’ I expect that time will prove that this support to long-term ministry missionaries has continued into the 21 century.
The term comes from the Bible – Dr Luke wrote about Paul in Acts 18:3, ‘Because he was of the same trade, he stayed and worked with them; for they were tentmakers by occupation.’ These were men and women using their professional skills in self-support, as they worked as much as their time permitted while fulfilling the ministry God had given them.
- Over the centuries there have been missionaries who also were ‘tentmakers’ – and ‘tentmakers’ who were not missionaries, however they all supported themselves in practical and active roles in their ministry.
- Many excelled in literature, radio, and other specialised support areas to release missionaries to their primary role as church planters and Bible teachers.
- I met many such ‘tentmakers’ and valued them as worthy servants of God in their field of commitment. I became a friend from Australia as we shared fellowship, meals and worship together.
- Some were builders; others were teachers, printers, literature and Bible distributors. There were pilots, mechanics, engineers, artisans and other occupations.
- All were committed to the kingdom of God and the growth of national churches.
(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…)
(January 20, 2018) Carol Round shares a revelation that leads to reaching out beyond ourselves…
In 2013, the word ‘selfie’ gained international recognition when it was named the Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year.
Their definition follows: ‘A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.
Selfies abound on social media, especially Facebook. Although the younger generation is more likely to post self-portraits, I’ve seen others, from their 50s on up, post photos, not of their faces necessarily, but of wounds they’ve accrued through accidents or after surgery.
The first ‘selfie,’ according to different websites I checked out, was posted on Facebook by a 22-year-old Australian man who had suffered a busted lip after tripping and falling face-first at a party. The man apologised for the somewhat blurry photo of his lower lip when he said, ‘Sorry about the focus, it was a selfie.’ (more…)
(October 17, 2017) Tim Edwards brings another timely challenge …
Sometimes in church services we can end up creating an environment which can appear to be a little insincere if we are not careful.
‘How?’ you ask.
Because although it can be a moment in time where we see people with smiles on their faces and even singing happy up-tempo songs, many may not feeling that way at all in their hearts. Some may be truly feeling really flat, miserable or unloved and need encouragement!
The reality of life is that we all walk through difficulties in our lives at various times – and we must recognise this, acknowledge it and be honest about it. But not give in to it.
Despite how we may feel on any given Sunday when we gather together we do so to worship, sing and celebrate God, pray, learn – and be encouraged.
But it is also a time for us to help each other to look to God! Our togetherness can, if we will allow it, be an opportunity to serve by reminding those we sense are troubled to keep their eyes fixed on him and not on the challenges.
Stay focused no matter what!
We see this focus as we read the prophet Jeremiah’s heart-breaking, sorrow-filled writings in his book of Lamentations.
(March 6, 2017) Missionary statesman George Forbes shares from experience on a successful mission’s strategy…
Missionary churches do not just happen!
They are born of a vision, founded by a pastor who has heard from God and grow to become a missionary church over a good period of time. They do not simply or suddenly appear. They are the outcome of multiple factors in the plan and purposes of God for the extension of his kingdom. (more…)
James Boyd encourages Christian character commitment and community caring:
I was struck when I misspelled the word ‘definitely’ the other day and the auto-correct tried to get me to use ‘defiantly!’
The difference between these two words is immense – definitely ‘being certain of something’ and defiantly ‘being resistant of something.’
Certainty and resistance
There’s a lesson here: As we walk the Christian path often these two words meet in our journey. Having faith means that we can be… (more…)
Dr Jim McClure, noted theologian, shares more current church dangers…
‘When I came to proclaim to you God’s secret purpose, I did not come equipped with any brilliance of speech or intellect. You may as well know now that it was my secret determination to concentrate entirely on Jesus Christ and the fact of his death upon the cross. As a matter of fact, in myself I was feeling far from strong; I was nervous and rather shaky. What I said and preached had none of the attractiveness of the clever mind, but it was a demonstration of the power of the Spirit! Plainly God’s purpose was that your faith should not rest upon man’s cleverness but upon the power of God’ (1Corinthians 2:1 1-5 JB Phillips). (more…)
Mark Ellis (with Michael Ashcraft, Special to ASSIST News Service) brings this incredible testimony.
When gang initiates shot musician Marcus Stanley eight times one night in 2004 on a Baltimore street, he feared that if he lived, his music career was over. (more…)
WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO KNOW HOW TO WORK THE CROWD!
Dick Hardy, pastoral leadership consultant, writes:
It is important for pastors and church leaders to know how to work a crowd.
Oh my goodness! You now think I have slipped a cog. How in the world can anyone in ministry possibly think about ‘working the crowd’? That is so phoney. Further, it must be as far away from godliness as one can get. What’s up with that? (more…)