Sunday, 20 December 2015

The most precious gift you will ever receive

MCF Life Church Christmas Message 2015

Christmas is celebrated as the birth of Christ Jesus. The Messiah, Saviour, Redeemer and King. The fact is He was born to die for you and me, so that by His shed blood on the cross, the most precious gift known to mankind ever, could be received by just asking God for it.

Source:freedomborn.wordpress.com
Christmas!! What does Christmas mean to you? Is it a word that sends fear and tingling down your spine? Is your first response to say ‘Oh no, not that time of year again!?’ or is it to say ‘YES!! I love this time of year’. Does it excite you to think of all the presents you're going to get? Or is there a sense of horror at all the presents you've got to buy? When I mention the fact that its nearly Christmas to people I usually get one of the above responses or I'm told, ‘Oh shut up’ or ‘please don't tell me that!’ but the fact is, if people just stopped for a moment and reflected on why Christmas is celebrated by Christians, then I really believe that like me, they'd love this time of year.

So let me just break this down a little, firstly by splitting the word ‘Christmas’ in two (in fact its original form was 'Christ-Mas'). The first part is 'Christ' and without Christ there would be no celebration of Christmas. But then think for a moment, what happens on Christmas morning? Don't people give gifts to each other? So does Christ have something to do with giving a gift? YES! Absolutely, and not just any old gift, but the one gift that can never be surpassed, in fact it's the greatest and most special gift a person could ever receive, and it's also the very reason Christmas and indeed Easter are celebrated.

Source: quoteshunger.com
Christmas is celebrated as the birth of Christ Jesus. The Messiah, Saviour, Redeemer and King. The fact is He was born to die for you and me, so that by His shed blood on the cross, the most precious gift known to mankind ever, could be received by just asking God for it. What is it you might ask? The answer is; Eternal Life through repentance and the forgiveness of sins, or to put it another way, we get to go to Heaven when we die, because all the things we ever did wrong are forgotten by God the minute we turn away or stop doing those things we know are wrong, and ask Jesus to forgive us of them and invite Him into our lives. Basically Christ Jesus was born to offer you a way out of going to Hell. What a gift! and it's freely available for you right now. 

The gospel of John 3:16 says 'For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.' So with this in mind let us look at the word 'Mas', and then the real meaning of the word 'Christmas' or 'Christ-Mas'. I recently read an article which explained it really well, and this is a small part of what it said; The word ‘Mass’ in religious usage means a death sacrifice...... The word Christmas comes from ‘Cristes Maesse’, an early English phrase that means ‘Mass of Christ’. (or, 'the death sacrifice of Christ.') ....Here let it be noted that most people think that the word, ‘Christmas’ means ‘the birth of Christ’. In fact, by definition, it actually means ‘death of Christ’ (therefore Christmas points us to the cross).

So in essence it could be argued that Christmas, in its true meaning, and Easter should be celebrated around the same time, especially as we celebrate Christmas at the wrong time of year anyway, because Christ was actually born around our autumn season not the winter season. However, in reality, Christmas is where Christmas is, 25th December, and the reason I love celebrating the festival we call Christmas, is because I can't praise and give thanks enough to Almighty God for His act of incredible love that He showed to me by sending His Son Christ Jesus to be born of a virgin through the Holy Spirit, and to one day suffer the horrific death of crucifixion, so that through His shed blood I can have a relationship with Him now here on earth, and spend eternity with Him in Paradise. Something I do all year round, (praise Him that is), but at Christmas time people come to church who wouldn't normally come, which gives me a chance to share the truth of the gospel with them, that under normal circumstances I might not have the opportunity. In John 15:13 Jesus said ‘Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends’; and that's exactly what He was born for, and did for you and for me. What a great thing to celebrate!

So there you go, Christmas has nothing to do with some fictional fat guy in a red suit. Sorry to break your bubble if that's what you thought. Joking apart though, let me finish by asking you the question I started with: 'What does Christmas mean to you?' Your answer to this question could just change how you feel about it, and could in fact change your whole life.

May you know God's blessing this Christmas and New Year.



Author: Kevin Hunt

May God bless and enrich your life

Please feel free to share this article and other articles on this site with friends, family and others

Sunday, 13 December 2015

The Heart of Worship

Worship is all about an attitude of heart and life. It finds its true meaning in the expression of love and gratitude we feel to the Lord in our hearts when we reflect on all He is and what He has done for us.

Source: eastmountainvineyard.org
I love to sing and one of my favourite worship songs is ‘The heart of worship’ by Matt Redman.  My voice is not brilliant and I have always wished that the Lord had blessed me with a voice like Kari Jobe or Twila Paris because when I sing I really want to belt it out and glorify God. The truth however is that although the people around me hear my voice I know God hears my heart. I`m no Darlene Zschech but I get by. Over the years I have been blessed (if a little reluctant at times) to be involved in the worship team in my church.  I have loved this and the Lord has both challenged me and often blessed me in this way.

Recently I became very hoarse and my voice started to get really thin and unpredictable. It appeared I had a polyp (an abnormal growth of tissue) on my vocal chords. No problem, the wonderful NHS arranged for me to have it removed. Job well done: but unfortunately it is going to take a long time before I get my voice back properly if at all. I must admit I have gone through quite a bit of frustration at this. It came to a head when my husband and I recently went to a ‘Big Church Night In’ event at which Kari Jobe and Matt Redman were leading the worship. The atmosphere was electric and the worship was wonderful and all the people around me were singing their hearts out.  I felt really frustrated and a little sorry for myself (silly me), because I could not sing my heart out too. Then Matt Redman sang ‘I`m coming back to the heart of worship’ and the Lord started to do real work on my heart.

I felt the Lord say to me, ‘What is worship?’  Well Lord it`s like the song says; ‘It’s all about you’. I felt the Lord remind me that it was about Him and not about me. The song also says:

‘I'll bring You more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what You have required
You search much deeper within
Through the ways things appear
You're looking into my heart’

Source: Source: www.pinterest.com
And this is exactly what the Lord wanted me to learn. Worship is not just singing a song (which I guess I always knew) and I had also made it all about not being able to sing. He reminded me that Worship is all about an attitude of heart and life. It finds its true meaning in the expression of love and gratitude we feel to the Lord in our hearts when we reflect on all He is and what He has done for us.

For the rest of the night I stood singing my heart out in love to the Lord without opening my mouth or uttering a sound. Totally freed up from the need to get the notes right, or being conscious of what I sounded like. I experienced the true heart of worship, just Him and me, giving and receiving of love, with nothing to get in the way or distract. It was truly liberating and a really wonderful experience.

When we are in church it is encouraging to the worship leader and each other if we sing out loud. But if you get a chance, either for one song or at home whilst listening to a CD, close your eyes and keep your mouth closed and let your heart sing out to the Lord songs of love and worship (why not try this by playing the video below).  Experience the true heart of worship and you will be amazed what the Lord can reveal to you as you truly abandon yourself to worship him with NO distractions. John 4:23-24 ‘But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.’


Author: Jan Pearson 

May God bless and enrich your life

Please feel free to share this article and other articles on this site with friends, family and others

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Searching for peace and contentment in our lives

If we could come to a place in our lives where we want what we have rather than have what we want, then we are much more likely to be content.  We should also remind ourselves that this life is a journey and our true reward will be found not on earth but in heaven

Source: quotesgram.com
As part of my prayers each morning I always pray for people who have not yet been saved including those close to me. As I was in the process of doing this recently, God spoke to me through a thought He put into my mind about which made me think about life and how many unhappy people there are who never appear to be fulfilled.  This then made me think about my own life and about what makes me feel happy even though like everyone else I am subject to the ups and downs of life.  I sometimes get sad and frustrated and occasionally experience those days which we would rather not have, however on the whole I am happy and fulfilled and I would not swap my life for anyone else.  God provides all of my needs and each morning I hand my life over to Him and I ask Him to use me as a vessel for His heavenly kingdom, to His glory and not mine. I am sure this is the reason that I feel fulfilled, because God fills that need in my soul that wants to be valued and loved, every single day. Praise God. Philippians 4:12-13 'I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength'.

Source: bestlifemistake.blogspot.com
Modern society is hectic particularly in the developed World and there is no doubt that we live in a very materialistic age. People and especially the young are continually fed with commercial advertising that tells them that they must have the latest of everything, houses, computers, phones, cars, clothes, jobs etc. etc. etc. When the desired item is obtained it is not long before something bigger and ‘better’ or a new updated version comes along and this becomes the new ‘need’. This is a continuous cycle that will never fulfil the needs of the human soul because any fulfilment or happiness is only short lived. The problem is that these types of needs, and there is no other way of saying this, are selfish desires. 

God does not mind us having possessions or being successful in life as long we do not put them above Him. Matthew 6:33 ‘But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well’. He is almighty and everything we have in our lives and in our World have been provided and given by Him.  It is all His, everything, and we should give thanks and praise to Him every single day for what He has provided in our lives, rather than spending our time desiring or being concerned about the things that we haven’t got. If we could come to a place in our lives where we want what we have rather than have what we want, then we are much more likely to be content.  We should also remind ourselves that this life is a journey and our true reward will be found not on earth but in heaven; Matthew 6:19-21 ‘Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also’

During my prayers God also spoke to me about how ‘giving’ makes me feel happy and fulfilled. Giving is not just about spending money and giving gifts but can equally as effective and rewarding by spending nothing. Just taking the time to help somebody is something that any of us can do and the only cost to us in many situations will be our time. Spending time with someone who is lonely or taking the time to show somebody some compassion are simple examples of how God can use us to demonstrate His love, using us as His vessel.  These are the types of thing that will help to fill the void within the soul and the reason why is that they are from God not from ‘the self’. Therefore real happiness and fulfilment can be attained by giving with a willing heart, with no agenda for recognition, or for our own earthly rewards, but a real desire to provide compassion and love, all of which are attributes of the heavenly kingdom. Matthew 6:1-4 ‘Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you’

When life is not going the way we would want or if we are in a particularly low place in our lives then why not try giving, for which you will then receive peace in your life and the blessings of God; Deuteronomy 15:10 ‘Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to’. As stated above we do not need money or possessions to be able to give, simply time will suffice, but when we do, the blessings of God will come into our lives and changes will start to happen.  Why not give it a try and remember that our Father gave everything for us by His amazing grace; John 3:16 ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life’ Praise God.



Author: Gary O’Neill

May God bless and enrich your life

Please feel free to share this article and other articles on this site with friends, family and others

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Are we only a handful of dust?

The dirt will return to dirt, but the spirit lives on forever in either the agony of hell or the glory of heaven.  Do you know Jesus as your Savior so that your eternal spirit can live in heaven, or will your eternal spirit burn in hell?

Source: www.haikudeck.com
Are we only a handful of dust, which is dirt? As unflattering as that sounds, we are only dirt.  Well, maybe a special kind of dirt. We are made from the elements of the ground, suspended in a molecular state, held together by gases, such as oxygen and hydrogen, which are also in a molecular state, formed by the magnetic fields of atoms, which they, themselves, are a magnetic field. What a miracle!  To prove that is true, consider cremation of an animal.  A two-hundred pound animal that is cremated will be reduced to a handful of dust, which is dirt.  The rest of the body returns to gases. Wait a minute!  There is something even more special than the dirt that we are made of - a soul.  A soul was also created, along with the dirt. So, the soul and dirt act as one unit. 

Here is another thought - the most awesome aspect of a created human being is that man’s body was made from existing dirt that God formed and breathed life into; Genesis 2:7 ‘The time came when the Lord God formed a man’s body from the dust of the ground and breathed into it the breath of life. And man became a living person’; and someday the body will return to dirt; Genesis 3:19 ‘All your life you will sweat to master it (the soil), until your dying day. Then you will return to the ground from which you came. For you were made from the ground, and to the ground you will return.’ But, the soul that was created to occupy the body was created by a spirit that did not exist prior to the creation of the body.  While the dirt will return to dirt, the spirit comes from nothing that has physical properties and will never die. 
                                                                  
Source: www.pinterest.com
Okay, so what is the point of what has been discussed? Well, no matter how important we think we are, no matter how rich or poor we are, no matter how much civil power we have, no matter about anything else, we were made from dirt; we are now dirt, and we will return to dirt.  The bible refers to it as ‘dust’, which is dirt. The thing that separates one special piece of dirt from another special piece of dirt is the unique spirit that occupies each special peace of dirt.  The dirt will return to dirt, but the spirit lives on forever in either the agony of hell or the glory of heaven.  Do you know Jesus as your Savior so that your eternal spirit can live in heaven, or will your eternal spirit burn in hell?

Just as a note from one piece of dirt to another piece of dirt. Do not evaluate yourself over someone else.  They may be a piece of dirt, but so are you.  God breathed life into your special piece of dirt, so that you can find, joy, peace and fulfilment by serving Him. Psalm 103:13-14 ‘As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him for he knows how we are formed; he remembers that we are dust’.

Yes, He loves you – the dirt and the spirit – ALL of you.


Author: David Leatherman 

May God bless and enrich your life


Please feel free to share this article and other articles on this site with friends, family and others

Sunday, 22 November 2015

The miracle of God’s amazing provision

‘…the land produced much vegetation-all sorts of seed-bearing plants, and trees with seed bearing fruit.  Their seeds produced plants and trees of the same kind. And God saw that it was good’ (Genesis 1:12).

Source:www.knowing-jesus.com
In March 2014 my husband very excitedly secured himself an allotment.  When I went with my husband to share in his joy I was very surprised to be standing in front of a very large plot of extremely over grown land. I was initially deterred by the huge amount of work it would take to clear the land however my husband was not put off by my lack of enthusiasm, Praise God and he started to put a plan in place to get the land cleared ready for him to plant some seeds and reap a harvest. My husband worked really hard every weekend to prepare the allotment, he turned the land over and removed every single weed by hand. Our son and I helped one day and it was really hard physical work.  After months of preparation, dedication and passion my husband managed to get the allotment to a place where it was ready to plant some seeds. Praise God.

Just to grow cauliflowers alone, my husband had to sow the cauliflower seeds into pots and then after a few weeks he had to individually separate the small shoots (something known as pricking out). The very tiny delicate shoots had to be handled SO carefully.  After several weeks exposed to the sunshine the tiny shoots were ready to be transplanted into the prepared allotment land. The next stage in the process of growing the cauliflower was to lovingly water and feed the tiny shoots on a regular basis.  A few months later there was evidence of many tiny cauliflowers beginning to bud. It was amazing, a real blessing to be a part of this incredible experience. From a packet of seeds these cauliflowers started to take shape and then there was the growth of potatoes, beetroot, onions, corn and a whole range of other vegetables and several fruits, Praise God. The preparation for all of the range of vegetables (and fruit) was similar to the cauliflower. Hours and Hours of hard work, but my husband enjoyed every second because he told me that he felt really close to God through out the whole process. The huge amount of preparation and hard work reminded me of the scripture in Revelation 19:7, ‘…the bride has made herself ready….’

This photograph was taken from the same position as the
photograph above in June 2015
From the day my husband started work on his beloved allotment to his first harvest the bible scriptures kept going around in my mind and many Scripture’s came to life. Here are just a few of them; 

Hard work, commitment and focus;
Proverbs 13:4 ‘…those who work hard will prosper….’
Proverbs 6: 6-8 ‘… take lessons from the ants, you lazy bones….’
Proverbs 12:24 ‘Work hard and become a leader, be lazy and become a slave.’
Proverbs 14:23 ‘work brings profit but mere talk leads to poverty’

The ability to believe and see an end result;
2 Corinthians 5:7 ‘…. we live by faith and not sight’
Hebrews 11:1 ‘… assurance about what we do not see….’
James 1:6 ‘… You must believe and not doubt….’

The ability to not be deterred from his dream by any negative comments spoken;
Song of Solomon 2:15 ‘….catch the Foxes before they ruin the vineyard’
Psalm 1:1 ‘…The joy of those who do not follow the advise of the wicked…’
Proverbs 4:23 ‘….what we sow in our minds will run our life….’

The obvious scripture that is constantly alive in my mind is the Parable of the sower and the seed; Matthew 13:1-23.

A photograph of part of the harvest - Praise God
The ongoing lessons for me personally are far too many to mention but the greatest blessings has been to learn how to 'be just still and know that I am GOD', (Psalm 46:10), to watch the miracle of new life, to witness how hard work, faith and passion pay off to reap a ‘mighty harvest’. For me the blessing of the allotment is time away from mobile phones, the internet, housework, cooking and so on. It is a time of incredible peace, joy and absolute wonder, a time of prayer and thanksgiving, in acknowledgement of God’s amazing provision (Genesis 1:12). The allotment also deepens my love for my husband because when he plants a seed and there is evidence of new life he gets SO excited like a small child on his birthday and to be a part of this overwhelming joy is infectious and a real blessing to my life. God blesses my heart because it deepens my love for him. To God be all the Glory always. 

In summary my experience of the allotment leads me to ask myself the question, where do I invest my time? Also, and more importantly; what harvest will I reap? I believe my heart is my allotment and I must do the hard work to prepare my heart so My God has a fertile land, wholly surrendered to His service and then the seed of his Word may bear His heavenly fruit through me, praise God. It is my responsibility with the help of the Holy Spirit to keep the land weeded and to ‘watch for the foxes’ (Song of Solomon 2:15), my mind is the doorway to my heart so I must ‘guard my mind always’ (Proverbs 4:23). I am a soldier at war so I must never be without my sword and my full armor on (Nehemiah 4:18 & Ephesians 6:10-17), we know 'the devil prowls around like a roaring lion' (1 Peter 5:8), BUT 'He who is in me has defeated him' (1 John 4:4)! Praise God, Amen.



Author: Christina O’Neill 

May God bless and enrich your life

Please feel free to share this article and other articles on this site with friends, family and others

Sunday, 15 November 2015

I Stand Amazed

…..here is love, vaster than the ocean. In the garden that night He demonstrated the greatest love. Knowing that we would not always love Him back, and many would choose never to love Him at all….

Source: peggywright.wordpress.com
I wanted to share a few scriptures and thoughts that link to a hymn I have been looking at recently. The hymn is ‘I Stand Amazed in the Presence’ by Charles H Gabriel, who was born in 1856 on a farm in Iowa, USA. Charles taught himself to play the family’s reed organ and later went on to become a well known teacher and composer, and this hymn is one of his more recognisable ones. You can enjoy the hymn for yourself by listening to the video at the end of this article.

For a while now I have been reflecting on the unfathomable mystery of God’s love, that He chose to sacrifice himself for me, a sinful man, from whom He could receive no useful thing. The hymn begins; ‘I stand amazed in the presence Of Jesus the Nazarene; And wonder how He could love me; A sinner, condemned, unclean’. This makes me think of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane shortly before He was arrested;

Matthew 26:36-39 ‘Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, ‘Sit here while I go over there and pray’.  He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me’. Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will’.

Source: www.pinterest.com
Matthew 26:42 ‘He went away a second time and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done’.

Matthew 26:44 ‘So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing’.

In the stillness of the garden that night, Jesus, full of anguish and sorrow, faced the prospect of drinking from the cup of God’s terrible wrath against sin, and a violent and brutal death by crucifixion. He would no doubt have been tempted, as any man would have been, to flee from the horror of those trials ahead…  But here is love, vaster than the ocean. In the garden that night He demonstrated the greatest love. Knowing that we would not always love Him back, and many would choose never to love Him at all, instead cursing His name. Despite the knowledge of all of our sin and disobedience towards Him, for you, and…. (the hymn continues) ‘For me it was in the garden; He prayed: “Not My will, but Thine.”; He had no tears for His own griefs; But sweat drops of blood for mine’.

Luke 22:43 ‘An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him’. ‘In pity angels beheld Him; And came from the world of light; To comfort Him in the sorrows; He bore for my soul that night’.

Isaiah 53:6 ‘We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all’. ‘He took my sins and my sorrows; He made them His very own; He bore the burden to Calvary; And suffered and died alone’.

John 3:16 ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life’. ‘When with the ransomed in glory; His face I at last shall see; ’Twill be my joy through the ages; To sing of His love for me’.

Jesus loved us so much that He was willing to drink of the cup of God’s wrath against sin so we didn't have to. Romans 5:9 talks about this wrath, where it says: ‘Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!’

And finally, Revelation 14:19-20 provides us with an agricultural representation of the end times, where God’s mercy is cut off forever from those who have chosen to love sin over God, and His wrath is poured out upon them. ‘The angel swung his sickle on the earth, gathered its grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God’s wrath. They were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses’ bridles for a distance of 1,600 stadia’. What is marvellous, and what is wonderful, is that when Jesus, by Himself, purged our sins at Calvary, He made a way for us to avoid this wrath.

‘O how marvellous! O how wonderful!; And my song shall ever be: O how marvellous! O how wonderful!; Is my Saviour’s love for me!’



Author: Mark Watson

May God bless and enrich your life

Please feel free to share this article and other articles on this site with friends, family and others

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Make your plan and God will direct it

Our God is an awesome God, all His timings and ways are just and perfect

Source: sheilaburrows.blogspot.com
The Word of God tells us to make our plans and He will direct them. Proverbs 16:3 ‘Commit your actions to the Lord, and  your plans will succeed’ and again in Proverbs 16:9 ‘In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps’. How true these scriptures are, for God not only directs but also appoints blessed encounters and provision.

My husband and I recently booked a holiday in Wales, but we were humming and harring over the location and the actual date of when to go.  We eventually settled on going to Laugharne, South Wales, from Saturday 26th September to Saturday 3rd October. Having made the decision we proceeded to search for a Pentecostal Church to attend for Sunday service, we searched for a Church as close as possible to where we were staying, as we did not want to miss service while we were away. After a little research we found Calvary Church at Haverfordwest, which was approximately 27 miles away from where we were staying. We also chose this Church as we knew the Pastor and his wife.  Pastor Adrian Vaughan is married to Hazel (nee Weaver) who is the daughter of Pastor Weaver of Calvary Temple, Balsall Heath, Birmingham which was our original home church.

Source: beverlylynnt.wordpress.com
So on the Sunday, armed with our sat nav we set out to arrive in time for the start of the 10.30am morning service.   When we arrived the service had already started as it was actually a 10.00am start and not 10.30am as stated on the Internet, however we were still lovingly welcomed. Interestingly, the Pastor was reminiscing about his time at Calvary Temple, Birmingham (our original church) and then announced that ‘Madge’ was going to be the speaker.  Herbie (my husband) and I looked at each other in surprise, exclaiming ‘Madge it can’t be, there’s only one Madge’ and we couldn’t believe our ears.  Our eyes didn’t deceive and sure enough Madge stood up and proceeded up to the stage to deliver the Word.

You see this is a two-fold testimony in that Herbie and I got married in 1971 and this is when we started to go to Calvary Temple in Birmingham.  I gave my heart to the Lord (born again) on the 03rd September 1978.  This is where Madge came in, you see at the time I was childless, but after much powerful prayers and prophecy/vision given to me by Madge, who I remember prophesying by explaining to me the following vision; –  ‘I came into church one Sunday morning and I asked her (Madge) to hold our baby girl to enable me to go after her brother who had run off outside church’. It is worth remembering that at the time of the prophecy, I was childless. I did not get pregnant until I had given my heart to the Lord, even though I had two miscarriages.  I eventually had a bouncing baby boy on the 14th February 1984, followed by a beautiful baby girl on the 28th June 1985. To God be all the praise and glory.

The provision part of this testimony is that after the Sunday morning service had finished Pastor Vaughan invited us to come back to their home for lunch along with Madge who was staying with them before she returned home on the Monday.  So we were well fed and watered and had a wonderful time catching up on old times (we hadn’t had any contact with Madge for approx. 30 years).  The day ended with us being able to go back to the evening service at Calvary Church. 

Our God is an awesome God, all His timings and ways are just and perfect. Ecclesiastes 3:1 ‘There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens’ Praise God.

Author: Inie Jean 

May God bless and enrich your life


Please feel free to share this article and other articles on this site with friends, family and others

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Psalm 1 - Seeking the right counsel

Choose your friends/advisors carefully and prayerfully, because those closest to you can have the ability to make or break you.

Source: www.whatsonmymindgrapes.com
The first Psalm in the bible talks about the dangers of getting the wrong counsel, listening to wrong voices and mixing with the wrong people. Psalm 1:1-3 ‘Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers’. The Word of God therefore clearly warns us to seek our counsel carefully.

Implicit in the Word is stability, nourishment, productivity, strength, durability and success.  So choose your friends/advisors carefully and prayerfully, because those closest to you will have the ability to make or break you. When seeking advice or counsel we should always discern any advisor before they speak into our lives, making sure that they are:

               1.  People of integrity
               2.  People of faith
               3.  People with influence
               4.  People with complimentary gifts
               5.  People who share your vision
               6.  People who are loyal
               7.  People who are creative

Source: www.emblibrary.com
If we look for these seven qualities in those who are advising us there is every chance we will receive good counsel and we will have a better chance of succeeding in what God has called us to do.  This will also help ensure that we get input from God, giving us confidence that any advice we have been given is not just worldly.  Advice that is not from God is usually not good advice and can often make our situations worse than before, so again, we should always seek our counsel carefully. 

Isaiah 30:21 tells us that if we know our Father then He will direct us; ‘Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it’.  We should therefore make sure that any goals or plans that we have set are in harmony with God’s will for us, because if they are not, having the best counsel ‘in the world’ won’t help us one iota.

Romans 8:15 ‘So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, ‘Abba, Father’

Psalm 32:1-2 ‘Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit’ 

Psalm 40:4 ‘Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods’


Way back in the Old Testament the Prophet Isaiah foretold that there would be a child born who would be called ‘Wonderful Counsellor’, (amongst other glorious titles).  The prophesy was fulfilled with the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; Isaiah 30:31 ‘For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace’. If our counsel comes directly from the ‘Wonderful Counsellor’ himself, and this may be through somebody with the seven qualities described above, then we can be certain that this will be good counsel, which is the very counsel we should be seeking.  Praise God.

Author: Herbert Jean 

May God bless and enrich your life


Please feel free to share this article and other articles on this site with friends, family and others

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Drawing Closer to God

We no longer have to go through the rituals of the Old Testament to get right with God. We just have to realise that Jesus sacrificed himself for our sins so that we can be forgiven and not be condemned for our sins.

Source: on-call-devos.net
This is something that really jumped out at me the other day: I’ve recently been reading through the book of Numbers in the Old Testament and, being a bit OCD, I started at the beginning and I am reading right through to the end. To put it bluntly – it’s hard going! 'Sacrifice two of these, one of those and five of them, bring a drink offering for this and a grain offering for that'. The more I read, the busier the Israelites seemed to be. They were a grumbling people who God was trying to put right before He led them into the Promised Land. They seem to have spent an amazing amount of time trying to get right with God and to keep themselves spiritually clean. Not only that, God also instructed his people to make a sanctuary for him so He could dwell among them and His directions were very detailed, precise and exact. Many of the skilled people were working hard to make the things that God asked of them. God was leading them on a very real journey and it was hard work!

Source: www.pinterest.com
Things are very different now. We hit the New Testament and Jesus showed up. He came to take on our sins and be the ultimate sacrifice so that we are forgiven. We no longer have to go through the rituals of the Old Testament to get ourselves right with God. We just have to realise that Jesus sacrificed himself for our sins so that we can be forgiven and not be condemned for our sins. I suppose in a sense that makes things quite a bit more simple! 

Nowadays we are busy with other things in our lives such as work, kids/grandkids, hobbies, house work, commuting, the list goes on! When we finally have a moment free we want some ‘me time’. All these things we put first before trying to find time to spare for the Lord, our Saviour, the one who endured an agonising death on the cross for our sake! I am just as guilty of not spending enough time in fellowship with my saviour as anyone else, but how do we find time for God in our busy lives? We need to prioritise and take Jesus with us! What’s more important; spending time in prayer thanking God for all our provisions or doing the washing up? If the washing up is turning into a pile because we have been spending time with God then we should sing praises to God while we wash up! Read your bible, worship or pray on your commute to work (careful if you’re driving!) Be mindful of WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) Would He appreciate where your conversation is going? Do you have an opportunity to ask someone if you could pray for them. Take Jesus everywhere with you and let him be a part of what you are doing. Now you are spending time with God. 

Why not take a few moments to stop what you are doing and listen to the wonderful worship song below.  Try and find a quiet space free from distractions and clear your mind to just focus on God. Play the video below and wait for God to speak into your life. You will experience an incredible peace by doing this. Praise His wonderful name. James 4:8 ‘Come near to God and he will come near to you’. 


Author: Samantha Tarplin 

May God bless and enrich your life

Please feel free to share this article and other articles on this site with friends, family and others

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Are you satisfied with your life?

The fact is we have all been created by God to do His will and glorify His Name, whether you realise it or not that is actually why and what you were born for

Source: www.pinterest.com
Well! what a summer...or should that be 'what summer?' the weather hasn't been exactly what we would expect for this time of year (in the UK) or at least what we would hope for. But then that's the Great British weather for you. It's a bit like life really, in that it's not always what we expect or would hope for. As youngsters we often dream of what we will be when we grow up, and for the lucky few they may achieve in some measure their dreams, but for the majority it just doesn't turn out the way they would have hoped, and for those people either they make the best of their lot or they just give up and lose all hope. The problem is very few people realise why and what they were created for and try their very best to get on with life doing it their way, believing that they don't need anyone to help and certainly don't want anyone telling them how they should live their lives. After all, they say ‘it's my life and no-one is going to tell me how to live it, I'll do what I want.’ They certainly don't think that they need God, especially if they don't believe in Him. These are generally the people who when something goes wrong in their lives the first thing they do is blame God, which when you think about it is contradictory and pretty daft, but it enables them to blame anyone but themselves. 


Source: www.dunbarelectric.com
The Bible is quite clear about the state of mankind, it says in Romans 3:23 ‘For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’, this excludes nobody. In other words we all get it wrong. The fact is we have all been created by God to do His will and glorify His Name, whether you realise it or not that is actually why and what you were born for.  This is why for many people no matter how successful they are, there is still an emptiness inside them that can't be filled with money, no matter how much they have or material things. God is the only one who can truly satisfy and make us feel whole. So how can we get this satisfaction and wholeness? Well the bible tells us how, in the following scriptures:

God's Love - Romans 5:8 ‘But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners Christ died for us’.

God's Remedy - Romans 6:23 ‘For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord’.


God's Promise - Romans 10:9 ‘If you confess with your mouth. ‘Jesus is Lord’, and believe in your heart God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved’.


Our response - 1 John 1:9 ‘If we confess our sins, (all the things we've done wrong), He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness’.

The Outcome - John 1:12 ‘Yet to all who receive Him, (Jesus) to those who believed in His Name, He gave the right to become children of God’.

Why not give God a chance? What do you have to lose? Actually nothing, but you have everything to gain because God's promise is that He will provide all your needs whether spiritual or physical. Philippians 4:19 says ‘And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus’.

Author: Kevin Hunt

May God bless and enrich your life


Please feel free to share this article and other articles on this site with friends, family and others

Sunday, 11 October 2015

The Reason for Truth

Under the old covenant, man, in general, could not look upon God or even be in the presence of God. God chose only a few to intercede on man’s behalf and even then only at specified times. Jesus came to bring the new covenant whereby all men at any time can go directly to God through Him.

Source: www.pinterest.com
The truth of God’s creation is not a concern under my control. I am simply subject to that truth. What matters to me is the pursuit of that truth.  In the text of theology, what is true is always true and what is false is always false.  Truth cannot change.  Prior to the coming of Jesus, the truth of all creation was given by God to certain men who were responsible for disseminating that truth.  They were most commonly referred to as prophets.  The Scriptures tell us in Hebrews that Jesus came to fulfill the law and to begin a new dispensation and reveal the last and complete truth to be given to man.  When He came, we were released from all the Leviticus laws, rituals, sacrifices, and services of the previous dispensation. We were given a new covenant (agreement between God and His people). Under the old covenant, man, in general, could not look upon God or even be in the presence of God. God chose only a few to intercede on man’s behalf and even then only at specified times.  Jesus came to bring the new covenant whereby all men at any time can go directly to God through Him.

Source: www.outreachmedia.org.au
The Bible says there is only one mediator now between God and man - Jesus (I Timothy 2:5).  The priesthood is no longer needed or wanted (Hebrews 9:18-19). Another person such as a priest or pastor acting as a mediator is not only not needed any longer, but is actually not wanted in light of the dispensation to come.  The Scripture says at the death of Jesus, the veil between man and the presence of God in the Holy of Holies (which only a priest could enter and only once a year) was ripped from top to bottom.  This is all very important because now Jesus is the ONLY mediator between God and man. NOW JESUS AND HIS TRUTH (the Scriptures) will be the source of all truth.

In the last dispensation, (the next dispensation to come), man and/or an organization will be part of the great deception.  The great deception will ultimately try to reenact the previous dispensation that, among other things, separated man from God through the priesthood or prophets. That is what Jesus came and died to release us from. Basically, the great deception will try to once again elevate man or an entity such as a church as God.  If that can be done, then man can choose to live by the standard he devises. Time and again we are rebuked by Scripture to test all things to the new covenant.  We are to test all human teachers, and yes, even the clergy.  Any lion can wear the cloak of a sheep and for a while appear to be a sheep. Therefore, truth and the basis of truth is very important. Jesus spoke in John 8:32 that the truth will set you free. This quote is misused by much of the Christian community as well as the secular community.  Study the text of this verse and you will see its correct meaning. The truth that the secular world has to offer does not set you free, but rather makes you captive to it and you are enslaved by it.  On the other hand, the truth of the Holy Father through Jesus Christ, who brought the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, does not enslave you, but rather, really sets you free.  Why do I seek truth? Because it sets me free and I want to be free.

My final resolve is this:  If Jesus is not who He said He was, then I do not have time for Him.  If He is who He said He was, I cannot live apart from Him. One of my favourite verses in the Old Testament is Proverbs 2: 1-6. ‘My son, if you receive my words, and treasure my command within you. So that you incline your ear to wisdom and apply your heart to understanding; Yes, if you cry out for discernment and lift up your voice for understanding, if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding’


Author: David Leatherman


May God bless and enrich your life

Please feel free to share this article and other articles on this site with friends, family and others