Issue 111 February – April 2018
Our quarterly newsletter edited by Venessa Crane.
Contributions are welcome.
Click here to email a contribution to Venessa.
Joy to the World …… the Lord is Risen!
Very early in this new year I saw a humorous post on social media – a road-side sign doctored to read: “Police now targeting: Shops selling hot cross buns on Boxing Day!” The crazy thing is – I heard that there were local shops doing just that – selling hot cross buns (for Easter) on Boxing Day (Christmas)!!!!
But when I think about it, even though we might cringe at the retail opportunism, it’s not that crazy after all – at least from the Bible’s point of view. In God’s plans and purposes, Christmas and Easter are inseparable. The Bible tells us that God’s plan was always to send His Son Jesus into the world not only as Immanuel – “God with us” (the Eternal Word becoming flesh and dwelling amongst us), but also as the Saviour (the One who would rescue us from our sins) who would die “as a ransom for many”.
The events of Easter then flow out of the events of Christmas (although some 30+ years originally separated them, not 3 months!). So we should have no qualms about buying hot cross buns so early in the year – they may help us focus on the significance of Christmas even more – plus they are yummy!
But more importantly they may help us to prepare for the dramatic and moving events of Easter: the suffering of Good Friday and the joyous hope of Resurrection Sunday.
Christmas (Joy to the world …) and Easter (the Lord is risen!) – the two pivotal events that have changed the world and defined our faith.
I trust you had a wonderful time celebrating the former, and I pray that God will bless you and encourage you as you remember the latter.
Let’s Have a Smile!
The following are called paraprosdokians. Paraprosdokian is a derivative of a Greek word, which means beyond expectation. A paraprosdokian is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence is unexpected and at times very humorous:
- It is ironic that the colours red, white, and blue stand for freedom, until they’re flashing behind you.
- Today a man knocked on my door and asked for a small donation towards the local swimming pool, so I gave him a glass of water.
- Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.
- I’m great at multi-tasking: I can waste time, be unproductive, and procrastinate all at once.
- If you can smile when things go wrong, you have someone in mind to blame.
- Take my advice; I’m not using it.
- Hospitality is the art of making guests feel like they’re at home when you wish they were.
- Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes.
- Ever stop to think and forget to start again?
- Women spend more time wondering what men are thinking than men spend thinking.
- He who laughs last thinks slowest.
- Is it wrong that only one company makes the game Monopoly?
- Women sometimes make fools of men, but most guys are the do-it-yourself type.
- I was going to give him a nasty look, but he already had one.
Extract from Noel Whittaker’s News Letter
Road Test a Devotional Study
A recurring theme in the messages that we receive in our church is that we should seek to attend church regularly, pray regularly and read the Bible regularly. We are also encouraged to join a small group and grow through fellowship with other Christians.
Thus, our church week could be said to consist of three components:
- Sunday – regular church attendance
- Weekday – small group participation
- Daily – reading, praying growing
I feel that the first two components can become part of our personal weekly schedule quite readily – part of what we do. The involvement of others in these activities also encourages us to maintain our commitment.
It is in the third component that I used to have a great deal of difficulty – that is maintaining my commitment to daily reading the Bible, praying and building an on-going relationship with God. God knows of this difficulty and he lead me to a solution for me – “Every Day with Jesus”. EDWJ was written by Selwyn Hughes who followed a forty-year writing ministry.
The way God led me to this solution was not straightforward. I was asked to take over the role of being the distributor of devotional guides in the Church. Whilst I was a user of the publication, by taking on the coordinator role, I became a devoted user.
Why is “Every Day with Jesus” so special. Well, each day you are given a particular part of the Bible to read, and this is accompanied by a commentary. Over each two months, a particular theme is covered. The theme for January and February is “Pursuing God – Do you long for a more vibrant and intimate relationship with God?”. Each day also has a special prayer and lists further readings for study.
In the introduction to the January-February edition, the Consulting Editor, Mick Brooks writes ‘As I have reflected on these daily reading notes, I am increasingly convinced that they are so much more than a daily devotional – a series of punctuated moments at the beginning or end of each day. “Every Day with Jesus” points us to our original design and the way in which God wants us to live our lives every day: it’s a lifestyle’.
So EDWJ helps this third component of daily reading and praying become entrenched and supported in our lifestyle. Selwyn Hughes also encourages you to take extra time to listen to what God wants you to hear and learn.
Whilst my comments have used EDWJ as the example, sister publications such as “Inspiring Women Every Day” and other publications aimed at particular age groups are just as relevant and have the same intent.
If you feel you would like to grow in the “daily – reading, praying growing” component of your life then give one of these devotional publications a go. Rob Murphy can give you a back copy for you to “road test”.
Charles Spurgeon – Quotable Quotes
(The “Prince of Preachers” is worth reading and worth quoting)
- “Nothing puts life into men like a dying Saviour”
- I have a great need for Christ: I have a great Christ for my need”
- “A Bible that’s falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t”
- “If you are renewed by grace, and were to meet your old self, I am sure you would be very anxious to get out of his company”
- “Nobody outgrows Scripture; the book widens and deepens with our years”
- “I believe the doctrine of election, because I am quite sure that if God had not chosen me I should never have chosen him; and I am sure he chose me before I was born, or else he never would have chosen me afterwards”
- “You will never glory in God till first of all God has killed your glorying in yourself”
- “Remember that the Lord Jesus came to take away sin in three ways; He came to remove the penalty of sin, the power of sin, and, at last, the presence of sin”
- “The law is for the self-righteous to humble their pride: the gospel is for the lost, to remove their despair”
- “Conversion is a turning onto the right road. The next thing to do is to walk on it”
- “Every Christian is either a missionary or an imposter”
- “I would rather teach one man to pray than ten men to preach”
- “The Bible is not the light of the world, it is the light of the Church. But the world does not read the Bible, the world reads Christians. You are the light of the world”
- “It was God’s word that made us; is it any wonder that his word should sustain us?”
- “The day we find the perfect church, it becomes imperfect the moment we join it”
Ladies’ Fellowship Christmas Social
Photos: Christmas devotions and busy hands crafting Christmas table centrepieces.
The Ladies’ Fellowship finished 2017 on a high note with our Christmas Social. We were thrilled that 20 friends joined with us for an evening of fun, worship and fellowship concluding with a delicious supper.
The Fellowship resumes its monthly meetings in 2018 on Tuesday, 20th February at 7.30pm in the Family Room. We would welcome any lady who would like to join us!
DIG18 Youth Conference
Click here to see the current preaching plan