Saturday 26 December 2020

God's Got It Covered

This day proved to us that, even when we're unaware of what's coming, God knows and has it all in hand.

One of the things we learn about and utilise when we know the Lord is how we can lean on Him and reach out to Him when things go wrong, or even right!

I had an eye opening experience a short while ago. It caught both my husband and I off guard but we were totally in awe of how God had us covered!

My husband received a text message from our pastor in the morning asking if everything was okay and that God had really put it on his heart to pray for our family. He sounded genuinely concerned! To which my husband replied, “Yep, all great this end thanks!” What we didn't realise was that things were going to become very difficult for us later that day. But God knew this and He was starting to put things in place right from the morning to make things a little more bearable for us.

At 4:30pm our 2 year old, Elijah, suddenly started to show signs that he was in pain. He was crying, kicking his legs and rolling around on the floor. Whilst totally caught up in being clueless as to what's going on with him, how to help him or how severe our next step should be (ambulance?) my phone starts to ring. I can see it's our old neighbour but I'm really not in a position to answer her call at this point. A few minutes later, Elijah has calmed down so I drop her a quick message to apologise for missing her call and fill her in as to why. She advised me of a number we should call to get further medical advice. We were totally unaware of this number and it really felt like God put it on her heart to contact us at the exact time that she did so we could receive our 'next step' instructions. This call was very out of the blue. We're terrible at keeping in touch!

Upon making the call we were quickly advised to take our son to the children's emergency hospital, downtown. This filled me with dread for so many reasons. The main one being the fear of what was wrong with Elijah but also, I hate driving into the city at night, and parking in the city always seems impossible to successfully pay for! Thankfully, the drive was uneventful. Found the hospital. Found the right place to park. By this time, Elijah was fast asleep from the drive which was great as we all know you have to wait ages in hospitals! Praise the Lord, there was no queue and we waited for around 5 mins before we were seen!

While we were there, my son woke up and the pain started all over again. It got worse and worse to the point where he was screaming and clinging on to me for dear life. It really broke my heart. Thankfully, the doctor and nurse could see what was happening and quickly dosed him up on painkillers and antibiotics and sent us on our way.

After the stress of the evening and the emotions this brought about my brain felt like it flat-lined. I could just about function but I couldn't think straight.  So when I try to pay for my parking ticket and the machine keeps declining my card I start to panic. No cash. The place is deserted. This is my only payment method! Argh!

But God saw this coming. I start walking back to the car. How that'll help I don't know! But then I heard footsteps behind. It was a lady with her daughter who'd also blatantly just come from the same place as us judging by the huge plaster on the poor tot's head! I try to string a sentence together to tell her of my situation. I don't really know what I expected and I'm not sure I made a lot of sense either! But bless her, she understood and offered to pay for the ticket for me. Thank you Lord for that lady!  (I'm never parking downtown again!!

Got home. Got Elijah to bed. The next challenge was that we had to pick up a prescription for his antibiotics. It's 10:30pm on a Saturday evening and most places are now closed or working at reduced hours because of Covid (boooo!). Also, where we live, we need health cards to collect medication. Do you think we knew where these were?! My husband prayed about it and found them almost immediately!

I was warned by the doctor that the next 24 hours could be a bit worse for Elijah before we see an improvement. Well, praise the Lord this wasn't the case! He recovered a lot quicker than we expected, albeit a bit fearful at times.

This day proved to us that, even when we're unaware of what's coming, God knows and has it all in hand. He got the ball rollin' right at the beginning of the day by prompting someone to pray for us.

You have searched me, LORD, and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely. 5 You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Psalm 139 : 1-6 (NIV)

Author: Sam Tarplin 

May God bless and enrich your life

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Saturday 19 December 2020

The Government of Messiah

He is exceptional, distinguished and without peer. The one who gives the right advice. He is available to each one of us now!!

For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder. And He will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over His Kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness, from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. Isa 9:6-7


Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amos wrote this around 700 BC. He was writing and speaking mainly in Jerusalem. He was calling the nation back to God, and to proclaim the future of God's salvation through Messiah.

During times of gloom and despair, like the world has experienced the last year, it is a great message of hope to ALL, who will put their trust in Jesus. When we wholeheartedly trust and follow Him. He will bring us through.

JESUS is the Father's Gift to Us

"For unto us a child is born" The "Us" is the Hebrew Nation, and believers of all nations. The apostle John tells "He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him (Jew or Gentile) Yet to all who did receive Him to those who believe in His Name, He gave the right to become children of God. 

John 1:11-12

Wonderful Counsellor

He is exceptional, distinguished and without peer. The one who gives the right advice. He is available to each one of us now!! He only communed with His heavenly Father. Romans 11:33-34

Mighty God 

For the Lord your God is a God of gods, and Lord of lords. A great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality, and accepts no bribes. Deuteronomy 10:17 

Everlasting Father

He is timeless, He is God our Father. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

Jesus is the Father Eternal who watches over His own. He said “I and My Father are one.” John 10:30

Also we have the trinity. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

Price of Peace

His government will be one of justice and peace. Whatever is happening in the world, Jesus is still seated on His throne! Not until the Kingdom of heaven is established on this earth though, will there be lasting peace.

However, as Christians we can have peace now with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1

God’s gift to the World

God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whoever should believe in Him, should not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16

This portion of the prophecy was fulfilled when the Virgin Mary – brought forth her first born Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger. Luke 2:7

Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree.

1 Peter 2:24

The rest of Isaiah’s Prophecy

This will not come to pass until Messiah returns to earth. It is imminent. “You must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him” Matthew 24:44

What a great day that will be! When He carries the government on His all powerful shoulders!

This Child will become Israel's deliverer. Their King. Only then will the world know a righteous government! But about the Son he says ”Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever; and righteousness will be the sceptre of your Kingdom. Hebrews 1:8

On His Return

His government will not become stagnant, but there will be no end to the increase of His government of peace, no end to it’s growth. Jesus will sit on the throne of David, in Jerusalem 

See Psalm 122. At the moment, Jesus is sat down at the right hand of the Father, but when He returns He will rule with fairness giving the world a government of peace, justice and righteousness. The Bible also says 'To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on My throne, just as I overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne' Revelation 3:21


Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever, and righteousness will be the sceptre of Your Kingdom. Hebrews 1:8

Author: John Yates

May God bless and enrich your life

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Saturday 12 December 2020

God's Solutions OT & NT

What about now, in these days? Our mainstream “churches” follow practices even though we know that some of these are expressly forbidden in the Bible.

Exodus 24:9-10, 17-18

Then Moses went up, also Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, 10 and they saw the God of Israel. And there was under His feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone, and it was like the very heavens in its clarity … 17 The sight of the glory of the Lord was like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel. 18 So Moses went into the midst of the cloud and went up into the mountain. And Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.

Exodus 32:1, 3-4

Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron, and said to him, “Come, make us gods that shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him”… 3 So all the people broke off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron. 4 And he received the gold from their hand, and he fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made a moulded calf. Then they said, “This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!”


Exodus 24 tells us that the Elders of Israel saw an amazing sight on mount Sanai - they had a unique and glorious revelation. It was clear, it was awesome and it was fearful. Indeed, God’s promise in Exodus 19:6 was: 5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6 you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation”.  They had witnessed the reality of God with their own eyes, they had experienced His deliverance at the Red Sea and they had received His promise for the future. Despite all of this, not long after in chapter 32, when they felt that Moses’s return from the mountain was overdue, we find Aaron it seems, colluding with the wishes of the people to make a replacement god. They made their own image and corrupted their way before the Lord. 

There are two things that I want to talk about from this story. The first is that we must wait for the Lord – to do something without him will bring disaster. The second is the danger of forgetting. We can forget even the most powerful experiences, or things that the Lord has taught us and in so doing build other altars or cry for more signs of God’s deliverance or His presence with us.

Although the Moses story seems a far-off thing it really represents doesn’t it, a repeating pattern for those who declare that they are God’s people – in the bible and through History? A deliverance or revival comes and people’s lives are changed but they fail to remember that the source of it all was the Lord – they quickly forsake His directions and build their own practices and rituals, especially in successive generations. Jesus constantly took issue with the way in which the Jewish leaders misinterpreted and misdirected God’s intentions. They created for the people a God who was a hard taskmaster, who favoured the elite and despised the poor, with little compassion or mercy. No wonder the prophets had declared that God hated their religious practices and even their worship singing, and when Jesus came along, He was hated by the leaders but the common people “heard Him gladly”. The light of the gospel and promise of a nation of priests was a remote memory.

What about now, in these days? Our mainstream “churches” follow practices even though we know that some of these are expressly forbidden in the Bible. (Building images, calling people “Father”, appointing priests when there is only one, lauding it over each other, creating man-made hierarchies, forgetting that “he who wants to lead must become as a little child”, professionalizing worship, making the leaders and “the organization” more important than the flock, creating man-made traditions and worship structures that artificially separate people from the Lord, and indulging in politics. Trying to be “relevant” in the world instead of being obedient to the Lord that called them). 

I knew someone once - a senior manager who I got on well with. He told me that his son had gone to a Christian summer camp and come back a completely different person. He set off in pursuit of the experience that his son had, had and started attending church. Before long they found out who he was and invited him to a meeting about “how to make the church relevant in today’s society” – having been prompted that my friend was there, the chair (a senior cleric), introduced him to the assembled meeting and invited his comments. My friend commented to me that here he was – someone seeking the reality of knowing God – and apparently their best answer was to ask him to help them make the church “relevant” today.

The Bible talks about men trying to build things without having any regard to the original designer. Crucially there is almost no mention at all about seeking the Lord – seeking the Lord until He is found when we cannot mistake Him. The bible says: “and I will be found of you when you search for me with all of your heart” and “He that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him” and “Seek the lord whilst He may be found call on Him while He is near”. Instead we miss a step, forgetting that all of the heroes of faith had their struggles until they met the Lord for themselves. They had to wait for His timing, for His revelation, for His appearance NOT HE THEIRS.

The Israelites and their leaders abandoned waiting for Moses – they decided on the timescale (and the Lord’s revelation) before its fulfilment; they followed their own wisdom and leaders and corrupted their way… “Unless the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it”. After Moses came down the mountain to find the results of the people of God’s failure to wait for him, he interceded for the people and dealt with their sin and new tablets were written.

But the complaints of the people reoccurred as soon as there was trouble. Their anxious, self-centred hearts seemed to easily overtake the fear of the Lord even with His presence actually in the camp. They constantly need reassurances with signs and delivering miracles – even nearly to the point of total disaster. The Lord keeps saying “If they see my glory and my deliverance they will understand, follow me, accept Moses, be My people and be My glory” – BUT it never happens and the offer to be a nation of priests and missionaries is never fulfilled or realized (yet).

In the New Testament Jesus refuses to give the sign that the Jews want (despite the miracles and signs and wonders that accompany Him everywhere). The Jewish leaders were looking for something else; but Jesus said that no sign would be given except that of the prophet Jonah (as dead inside the belly of a fish for 3 days). Isaiah says “The Lord Himself shall give you a sign behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son” – Jesus was the sign – He fulfilled it all but they didn’t want to see it. Apparently today we are no different, people constantly clamour for a sign – a new sign, a new word, barely before the last one has finished being spoken! With so many “words” available but so little power evident, we can’t help but wonder what amount of waiting on the Lord has in fact been done?

For practically all of the prophets in the bible they were despised, not believed, cast out, considered cranks, (were admittedly often a bit odd), and suffered all kinds of sanctions for the word that they were bringing. There was a massive cost to speaking “the word from the Lord” and what about this – it was a word that “God’s People” did not want to hear. Is this the pattern with today’s prophesies or has it become a “taught skill” and a “desirable Christian asset”?

So, back with Moses and the Israelites would we be any different than they? Jesus said in one of His stories “If they will not believe Moses and the prophets then they will not believe even if someone rises from the dead to tell them”. Despite all that is said and the patience of the Lord in bringing His word to us, at the end of the Bible in Revelation 3 (Laodicea) we still have a church that can’t see even its own faults and where apparently the Lord is on the OUTSIDE of the church appealing to individuals to let him in. This is despite what Hebrews 12:18-29 says about the difference between the Israelites in the wilderness and us – It is vital that we listen to the message that it carries:

18 For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest, 19 and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore. 20 (For they could not endure what was commanded: “And if so much as a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned or shot with an arrow.” 21 And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.”)

22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel

25 See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, 26 whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” 27 Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.

28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. 29 For our God is a consuming fire.

Author: Chris Pearson 

May God bless and enrich your life

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Saturday 5 December 2020

Fan into flame

Without His power and infilling we live a Christian life that is powerless and every day we strive to walk by faith but lack the power to walk effectively.

During the last month I have been reading through the book of Acts.  It is a book I have read many times, and it brought back a very strong memory of when I was 17.  I had given my heart to the Lord when I was nearly 16 and had started a new job as a general dog`s body (sorry Office Junior) at Fort Dunlop.  I met a lovely man named Bernard who upon discovering I was a Christian invited me to a lunchtime Bible study he went to with a few work colleagues.  I think I was a bit of a novelty as being the only one under 55.  They poured over the Book of acts infinitum in this study looking intently at every little word or deed etc, but the study seemed to lack life and concentrate on what the disciples did and not what empowered them to do it.

  Over the years I have read Acts many times and gained something every time but suddenly this time of reading, the reality of one thing has challenged me time and time again.  The Apostles moved in the Power of the Holy Spirit!  Jesus had told them to wait in Jerusalem until they had received power when the Holy Spirit had come upon them and to be His witnesses throughout the world.  

So, they waited together and they prayed and then the Holy Spirit fell and their lives were literally transported into another realm.  Peter who had been left feeling weak and fearful after the crucifixion of Jesus was given amazing boldness to speak out the word of God to the crowd, and 3000 people believed. Constantly the apostles acknowledged it was only by the Power of the Holy spirit could anything happen.  Acts 3:12 “What is so surprising about this? (when Peter prays and the beggar is healed) And why stare at us as though we had made this man walk by our own power or godliness”  (NLT). Peter recognised that he could not do a thing through his own power or even his own godliness it was only by the Power of the Holy Spirit that the man was healed. The disciples walked and experienced daily the overwhelming presence and Power of the Holy Spirit Acts 4:31 “After this prayer the meeting place shook and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.  Then they preached the word of God with boldness” (NLT) 

This made me ask myself when was the last time I was in a prayer meeting like that?! We read in Acts of the way the Holy Spirit effected the lives of the Apostles in amazing ways. Stephen had an amazing revelation of Gods glory “Stephen being full of the Holy Spirit gazed steadily into heaven and saw the glory of God” Acts 7:55 (NLT) and Philip being directed by the Holy Spirit Acts 8:29-30 “The Holy Spirit said to Philip “Go over and walk beside the carriage. Philip ran over and heard the man reading from the prophet Isaiah.  Philip asked “Do you understand what you are reading?”  He then goes on to lead the Ethiopian man to the Lord and baptise him.  Then we read V39-40a  “When they came up out of the water the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away. The Ethiopian never saw him again….  Meanwhile, Philip found himself father north at the town of Azotus”

Wow can you imagine that! The Apostles learned that after receiving salvation and being freed from sins clutches, it was the Power of the Holy Spirit in a person's life that made a significant difference to how they then walk with the Lord in their daily living.  You read so many accounts in Acts of the Disciples preaching and leading people to the Lord but also praying for the new believers to receive the power of the Holy Spirit. They learned that this gift and power is God's will for everyone Acts 10:44 (NLT) “Even as Peter was saying these things the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the message.  The Jewish believers who came with Peter were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles too. For they heard them speaking in other tongues and praising God”

The Lord has been impressing upon me the growing need for us in todays church to again ask the Lord to increasingly fill us with the power of the Holy Spirit.  It seems obvious to me that we cannot function in our lives effectively without it.  Paul clearly explains in 1 Corinthians 12 how the Lord imparts His Spirit into His people in different ways to enable the body to function effectively and powerfully.  Today I think the Lord is encouraging us to recognise that we urgently need the Spirits power in our life.  Without His power and infilling we live a Christian life that is powerless and every day we strive to walk by faith but lack the power to walk effectively. The Lord has been reminding me that the Holy spirit is a gift, a wonderful gift from God and is not meant as an 'added extra' but as the central power source for our lives.  To live without the spirits power is like trying to be a torch without a battery! All the promise of light but no power to give light.

  Because it’s a gift we can ask The Lord to fill our lives with the power and person of His Holy spirit. If we have received this gift already, we need to ask him to re-fill us daily.   Paul reminds Timothy of this in 2 Timothy 1:5-6 ''I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice.  And I know the same faith continues strong in you.  This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you.  For God has not given us the spirit of fear and timidity but of power, love and self - discipline.''

We currently live in very different times, we cannot meet together in the usual way, we cannot rest in the security of church life, we cannot assume that weekly church attendance will be what we need to get us through.  I believe we are in a time of preparation both for what the Lord wants us to do after the pandemic, but also for what the Lord wants us to do during the pandemic.  I believe we are to continue to prepare our lives, I believe we are to continue to daily wait on Him and seek power and direction from Him for every aspect of our lives, even to the way we are to pray.  And to practice living in the reality of His provision through the Holy Spirit of power to fulfil what He wants to do through us to effect change and to proclaim His truths in the world we live in.   

Lord help us to fan into flames your gift of the Holy Spirit so we continue to grow in the fulness of the blessing of God every day.  

Author:  Jan Pearson

May God bless and enrich your life

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Saturday 28 November 2020

Finishing Well

Paul exhorts us in our life of faith as he finishes his race well.

On occasions, I have gone to watch a marathon.  There is no better place to spectate than at the approach to the finishing line. What excitement and admiration is generated amongst the supporters as those competitors come into view.  Men and women, who after hours of exertion enter the final stage and muster all their will-power. Somehow, they accelerate into a sprint towards the finishing line, which is beckoning them ahead. Many of these athletes will not win a spectacular prize but the cheers of the enthusiastic crowd spur them on.

 We see a special significance in the last days and words of famous people or those dear to us. The apostle Paul wrote his last letter in a Roman prison, knowing that this imprisonment was leading to his execution. We read:  ‘.. the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.’  This was his second letter to his spiritual son, Timothy, and Paul packed this letter with spiritual riches as he sensed he was reaching the end.

 Paul had served God as an apostle of Christ for about 30 years. His dramatic conversion occurred in the midst of a violent persecution campaign against the followers of Christ. Although his conversion and subsequent ministry resulted in countless lives experiencing the grace of God; Paul eagerly looked forward to entering the heavenly kingdom and receiving a crown of righteousness.

I want to mention 10 things in Paul’s letter that may help us finish well.

1. Guard the gospel:- the good deposit that has been entrusted to us. Paul makes an incredibly simple statement (for him!): ‘Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David, this is my gospel, for which I am suffering’

2. Expect hardship, endure hardship – this is no easy road. Paul recalls his sufferings and persecutions, some of which Timothy had witnessed.

3. Be holy: Paul describes a house with different articles in it, some made with silver and gold others made from wood and clay. Our actions decide which we will be.

4. Do not neglect your unique gifting: Paul exhorts us to do our best to present ourselves to God as approved workers

5. Do not be ashamed: Paul shows how he is not ashamed of the message and the Name of the Lord Jesus. Neither should we be ashamed of the Lord’s servants.

6. Do not get distracted: Paul mentions foolish and stupid arguments as well as myths, and lots of learning but not acknowledging the truth

7. Do not be deceived, keep your head in all situations: - Paul warns us about evil men and imposters as well as people who keep wanting something new

8. Do not desert your friends: Paul mentions his longstanding friend Demas who had left him at a time of need. 

9. Do not be discontent with your lot in life: Paul encourages us to be strong in God’s grace. His grace is always sufficient.

10. Do not give up on hope: Paul says that the Lord has stood with him in trials and will rescue him from every evil attack.

Some people like Paul, may sense that their time of departure is approaching. However, for others the end may come suddenly. Jesus said that we shouldn’t worry about tomorrow. Let us live well today.

Finishing is better than starting – Ecclesiastes 7:8 (NLT)

Author:  Richard Windridge

May God bless and enrich your life

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Saturday 21 November 2020

The Meaning of the Menorah

In these days our movements may be limited but God has called us to be light to the people around us.

God’s detailed instructions to Moses on how to set up the tabernacle included a lampstand made out of a whole talent (35kg) of pure gold, hammered in all its intricate detail out of one lump. (see Exodus 25). The word ‘menorah’ is derived from an original Hebrew word meaning to shine or give light.   This crafted and intricate masterpiece held seven lamps burning olive oil which lit up the holy place in the tent of meeting. Seven is a significant number, denoting completion.  Seven lamps, yet mounted on one unit, God’s perfect presence among His people.

Today there is a large monument depicting the menorah standing outside of the Knesset (parliament building) in Jerusalem, reminding the leaders of the nation that they govern according to the light of their Lord.  And that they are called to be ‘a light for the nations’ (Isaiah 42:6-7, 49:6).  The emblem of the menorah is prominent on the Israeli coat of arms, flanked by olive branches, and is based on Isaiah 60:3, ‘Nations shall come to your light’.

In Jesus’ day there would have been a huge menorah lighting the temple area, in particular the treasury area (John 8:20).  In this very spot Jesus declares: ‘I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’  (John 8:12).  If not true then these words would have been serious blasphemy, which is why the religious authorities who refused to recognise Jesus wanted him arrested.  But it was not yet His time.

When the time was right Jesus was arrested, tortured and crucified, dying at the precise moment when the Passover lambs were slaughtered.  At that instant the massive temple curtain was torn from top to bottom and the light of the huge menorah streamed from the Holy Place into the outer court, signalling the start of God’s light pouring out to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and spreading to the ‘ends of the earth’.

As the light of the gospel reached the gentiles Jesus spoke through John to His church: ‘The words of Him who holds the seven stars [angels] in His right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands [congregations]’. (Revelation 2:1)

God’s purpose and plan for us today is:  ‘that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world’. (Philippians 2:15)  Impossible, were it not for the power of the Holy Spirit poured out for us and in us.

In these days our movements may be limited but God has called us to be light to the people around us.  Jesus commands us: ''You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.'' (Matthew 5:14-16)

Just one more detail – the cups on that first menorah described in Exodus 25 were made like almond blossoms.  The root of the original word for almond also means diligent and hardworking, because the almond was the first in the season to flower.  

So let us burn, with diligence, with the light of Jesus to the people around us.  Just as moths are drawn out of the darkness to a lamp, so they will come, that they too may receive the gospel message and shine for Jesus.  The shape of church as we know it has radically changed, and meeting may be limited, but the doors for effective witness are open.  Mission begins at home.

Author:  John Plumb

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Saturday 14 November 2020

The Menorah

But if the Menorah is lit, it does not matter what the lampstand looks like, it will look beautiful anyway.

A friend in our fellowship the other day had a vision of the Menorah (or Menora, apparently it can be spelt either way). She said she did not know why she had this but we all felt it was significant.  The Menorah was the lampstand that God told Moses to make as part of many things that were to go in the Tabernacle, as they were journeying through the desert towards the Promised Land. The instructions that God gave to Moses on how to make them are incredibly detailed. In Exodus 25:31-40 we read: “Make a lampstand of pure gold. Hammer out its base and shaft, and make its flowerlike cups, buds and blossoms of one piece with them. 32 Six branches are to extend from the sides of the lampstand—three on one side and three on the other. 33 Three cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms are to be on one branch, three on the next branch, and the same for all six branches extending from the lampstand. 34 And on the lampstand, there are to be four cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms. 35 One bud shall be under the first pair of branches extending from the lampstand, a second bud under the second pair, and a third bud under the third pair—six branches in all. 36 The buds and branches shall all be of one piece with the lampstand, hammered out of pure gold.

37 “Then make its seven lamps and set them up on it so that they light the space in front of it. 38 Its wick trimmers and trays are to be of pure gold. 39 A talent of pure gold is to be used for the lampstand and all these accessories. 40 See that you make them according to the pattern shown you on the mountain

The book of Hebrews reminds us in chapter 8:5-6 that all the items God told Moses to make are a copy and a shadow of heavenly things. It says: They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” 6 But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises.

But why did our friend have a vision of a Menorah and not just a plain old candle or lamp?

Could it be that:

1. It is a reminder to us, as the body of Christ, of our Jewish roots. As a nation and even as a church many have forgotten God’s Chosen People. Some even say that we, as Christians have taken the place of Israel, but the Bible makes it quite clear this is not so. In Romans 11:17-18 the message is easy to understand. God, by His grace, has grafted us in to the original vine: But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, 18 do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you.

2. As we know, seven is God’s perfect complete number. We know that the lampstand represents the presence of God among His people. In Revelation we see the lampstands representing the Spirit’s presence in Jesus’s letters to the churches.

3. The Menorah is shaped like a single vine with branches all coming out of one stem which reminds us of the fact that we must abide in Jesus, the main vine at all times if we want to bear fruit for Him. In John 15:5 it says: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

4. It is a symbol of what we need to be as the body of Christ.  First of all, the lamps have to be lit if they are going to do any good at all. If the lamps are not lit then the Menorah is just a pretty piece of decoration. It is just there for show. Without the Holy Spirit the Church can be just a pretty building. Jesus said something like this when talking of the Pharisees as ‘Whitewashed Tombs’. In Matthew 23 it says: "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. But if the Menorah is lit, it does not matter what the lampstand looks like, it will look beautiful anyway. It is also a symbol of our unity. We as a body should all be lights individually but all joined together by one spirit and common purpose, to be a light to the ever-darkening world. If one of the lights go out the whole body suffers and does not shine so brightly. We must endeavour to help that person to be lit again so that as a body all our parts are working correctly. 

1 Corinthians 12 says:  If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it. 

The Menorah was created to give light. Let us do what we were created for and be a shining example, a light in the darkness.

Author: Thelma Cameron 

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Saturday 7 November 2020

A Word of Encouragement

Thank God, we are saved now. But if we want to overcome, we have to endure. There is only one way to learn endurance, and that is enduring.

Standing Steadfast 

In Matthew 24:3, Jesus gives a discourse of things to come before the end of the age.
Now as He sat on the mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying. "Tell us when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and the end of the age''.
He continues with His prophetic discourse, saying ''there will be a progression of events, before the end of the age''.
Down The Plughole
A few days ago, the Lord gave me a picture which has led me to write this article.
It was a picture of a plug that had come out of a bath, full of water, and the water was swirling around at a very fast rate, down the hole. Many people were caught up, in this water and they were being sucked down. Many were frail, others were younger, and going down as well at a fast pace.
The stronger ones were able to swim against the flow, and were trying to save the weaker ones, who were being sucked down by the swirling water.
Some were crying out for someone to put the plug back in to try and save them, but their cries were hopeless. The Holy Spirit showed me that if they cried out strong enough in desperation, God would have put the plug back in.
Their own efforts were useless, without His help, they were unable to save themselves.
It is very evident in these days, that society has turned it's back on God.
And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. Matt 24:12
Not everyone will give in to fear, persecution, or lawlessness, What does Jesus promise for those who remain faithful?
"But he who endures to the end shall be saved." Matthew 24:13
Thank God, we are saved now. But if we want to overcome, we have to endure. There is only one way to learn endurance, and that is enduring. Endurance, is God's preparation for what lies ahead. We should not complain, as instructed in God's Word. 
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of you faith, produces, patience, (endurance) But let patience have it's perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-4
For us to be perfect and complete, we have to let our endurance be governed by the Holy Spirit. This is the key to surviving.
Waiting With Perseverance
When will our adoption be complete?
And not only they, but we also who have the first fruits of the Holy Spirit, even we ourselves  groan, within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. Romans 8:23
In Jesus, we are already God's children, we have the inner witness of the Holy Spirit crying out in us "Abba Father" but our adoption into God's Family is still in process. We do not yet have our resurrected bodies free from sin, disease and death.
For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope, for why does one still hope for what he sees? Romans 8: 24
We don't hope for what we already have, but what we don't have.
But if we hope for what we do not yet see, then we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. Romans 8:25
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God. Revelation 2:7
And I heard a  loud voice from heaven  saying "Behold, the tabernacle of God  is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. Revelation 21: 3
The Future Glory of God's People
The new Jerusalem is where God will dwell amongst His people for ever.
His bride will meet Him in the air, Jesus will return to earth and take His rightful place on the Mount of Olives, as King of All Kings, Lord of all Lords, and all nations will come and worship at His feet.
May the peace of God our heavenly Father, And the grace of Christ the risen Son, And the fellowship of God the Sprit Keep our hearts and minds within His love.

 Author: John Yates

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Sunday 1 November 2020

Standing in the Gap

We are called to repentance and to acknowledge our own part in this nation’s slide into godlessness in order that we may “Stand in the Gap” between the “dead and the living”. 


I have, like many of us, been pondering and reflecting on the words of prophesy and the call  of the Holy Spirit for the people of God to “stand in the gap” in these days and I must confess that I have been not a little confused and perturbed by what it means.

However, the Lord, in His mercy has led me to Numbers 16:46 - 48

And Moses said to Aaron, “Take your censer, and put fire on it from off the altar and lay incense on it and carry it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them, for wrath has gone out from the LORD; the plague has begun.” 47 So Aaron took it as Moses said and ran into the midst of the assembly. And behold, the plague had already begun among the people. And he put on the incense and made atonement for the people. 48 And he stood between the dead and the living, and the plague was stopped. 

These verses represent the climax of a story of arrogance, disobedience, and disrespect of God and His Holiness. It starts with Korah, a Levite and 250 of Israel’s leaders challenging Moses and Aaron suggesting that, as God was among them (the Levites) they were holy and Moses and Aaron had no right to “exalt themselves” above the congregation, despite the fact that they had been appointed and anointed by God to the task of ministering to the people.

So, a “competition” was arranged; Korah and his 250 against Aaron, to present incense before God. The outcome, of course, was a foregone conclusion! Aaron, as the chief priest, being the only one authorised by God to present incense before Him. As a result, Korah and his family were swallowed alive when the earth opened up beneath them and the 250 censer carriers were destroyed by fire from God.

You would think that the Israelites would have learned their lesson, but not a bit of it. The next day they “grumbled” against Moses and Aaron accusing them of “killing the people of God” despite the fact that they had witnessed God’s personal intervention and punishment of those who stood against Him. They also missed the point: that God, tempering His justice with mercy only punished those directly involved rather than their supporters. He was giving them a warning.

But the people chose to ignore the warning and God sent a plague amongst them. Moses and Aaron fell face down before the Lord and Moses instructed Aaron to take fire from the altar put incense on it and go in amongst the people and atone for them. Aaron obeyed and the plague ended, but not before, we are told, that 14,700 died in addition to those killed with Korah.

So, what can we learn from this episode? We too, as the Lord’s people, are surrounded by a world which displays arrogance, disobedience and disrespect and refusal to recognise the holiness of God. Sometimes, sadly, within the church.

We have received clear prophesies that God’s judgement is coming, and we see a warning of what’s to come in the current crisis. We, being anointed by the Holy Spirit and washed in the blood of Jesus are called to “take the fire” in amongst the people to make atonement for them and call them to repentance.

This will not make us popular. We will be ignored, ridiculed, and vilified and we too will have our calling, to bring the truth to people who would much rather stay in the dark, questioned.

The Lord is using this time to prepare us for this task just as Aaron and his sons were called to purify themselves before ministering before the Lord. We are called to repentance and to acknowledge our own part in this nation’s slide into godlessness in order that we may “Stand in the Gap” between the “dead and the living”.

As Lance Lambert says at the end of his prophetic word:

“It is time for you who love Me, who are faithful to Me, to take action! Stand before Me and plead The Finished Work of My Son. At least cry out to Me, that there will be those who turn from darkness, from sin, and be saved. For whosoever shall call upon My Name in the midst of these judgements, I will save!  It will cost you everything to stand in the gap, but you will enter into My heart, and know deep fellowship with Me. Such travail conceived in your heart by My Spirit will cost you deeply, but it will end in My Throne and Glory.”

Even so, come Lord Jesus.

Author: Alan Cameron

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Saturday 24 October 2020

In Remembrance of me

He knew we would need to hold the cup and drink the wine, to remind ourselves that it was His blood that signed the new covenant between God and us.

I have been recently been involved in clearing my mom's home as she decided that she is very happy at the care home she was moved to from hospital and would like to stay.  I always knew it would be at bit of an emotional journey clearing mom`s home as it was the home I grew up and lived in for 14 years.  Some of her possessions however have been part of my whole life, and I was prepared for being upset by going through her possession, but nothing really prepared me for the effect of finding so much of my Dad`s things (which were still at the house) would have on me as well. 

My dad died 6 years ago, and it`s not like I had forgotten him, but some of the memories had faded a little recently as I had been so involved with my mom.  As I opened drawers and cupboards the memories came flooding back; a pair of his glasses, the black tie he saved for funerals, his tyre pressure gauge (you just don’t see them anymore) and the shelves and shelves of really useful things he kept because “you never know when they will come in handy”!!  But the most evocative was his Palestine Photo Album.

The whole of the front and back is emboss leather with an inlaid leather picture of David`s tower in Jerusalem.  Inside is a selection of 1946 photos of my dads National Service which he served in Palestine, Israel (as is today) and Cyprus. To see dad with hair (he was always bald when we knew him) and in uniform with his comrades was quite amazing, it`s hard to imagine our parents having any other life than the life they had with us. There are also lots of pictures of what is today Israel but how it was in 1946, its absolutely fascinating.  I remember dad showing us this book when we were children and how I loved it then with its black and white photos and that tissue paper sheets between the pages of the album. 

The memories of dad just came rushing back as I held the book, it was a bit like he was there again telling me about when the fuel depot at Haifa was blown up …so many memories.  I was so glad we had never disposed of or lost it, because it was such a reminder of what dad was like, holding it in my hands transported me back to my childhood and the stories he used to tell me.

The strength of the memory made me think of the wisdom of the God. Jesus knew how easily as humans we forget things, how over time we can lose the reality of memory and experience, so He left something behind that would guarantee that we would never lose touch with the reality of His salvation and His wonderful grace to us.  This is the act of breaking bread together.

Paul says ''For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord Himself: On the night when He was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then He broke it in pieces and said “this is My body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me. In the same way, He took the cup of wine after supper saying “this cup is the new covenant between God and His people-an agreement confirmed with My blood.  Do this in remembrance of Me as often as you drink it.  For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lords death until He comes again.'' (NLT) 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

It was as I held my dad's photo album in my hands the memories came back, God knows that touch and taste often unlock the memories.  He knew we would need to handle the bread and give thanks for it, we would need to remind ourselves that it was with His body that Jesus paid for our forgiveness, Isaiah says ''He (His body) was pierced for our rebellion crushed for our sins.  He (His body) was beaten so we could be whole. He (His body) was whipped so we could be healed'' Isaiah 53:5. He knew we would need to hold the cup and drink the wine, to remind ourselves that it was His blood that signed the new covenant between God and us.

God new I might forget so He bids me to touch and taste as often as I can so the reality will not drift into clouded memory but stay vivid and effective every day.  To keep me realising where I came from and who I am now because of His intervention in the World and in my life. 

I am thankful that our fellowship has recently been focussing on taking time over communion and celebrating communion every week.  This has been wonderful and so much wonderful teaching has come out of our time, but even in that I find I can still personally not always dwell on the value of remembering that it was for me He died.  I need to remind myself and make time to allow the Holy Spirit to bring to my mind and my spirit the truths He wants to reveal to me 

I think it’s the same with reading the Word, we have to handle it to take time over it, to let it touch every part of our lives.  I am so grateful that today the Word of God can be accessed in many technical and none-technical ways.  We can see it and hear it but to me this time has given me the chance to just sit and hold the Word of God and read and re read it till it has become more precious than ever. To handle it and allow it to speak to me as never before, to give the Holy Spirit the time to illuminate it to me.  To touch it and to let it sink into my life and my memory, so that handling the Word is not something that is strange to me but something I can share with the Lord and allow Him to reveal His truths to me. 

Thank You Lord for every remembrance of You and help me to daily bring you into my life and dwell on the memory of how You saved a sinner like me.  Help me to hold in my hand the memory of who I was and what You have made me in Yourself through Your sacrifice on the Cross. 

Author: Jan Pearson

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Saturday 17 October 2020

Reflection on Psalm 139

Do you find it scarier to know that there is nowhere you can go where God is not present, or do you find that affirming and comforting that wherever you are God is with you?

Psalm 139 is one of my favourite passages of Scripture,

I’m overwhelmed by the depth of God’s love for us, that He knew me and loved me before I was even born.

15 You even formed every bone in my body

when You created me in the secret place, 

carefully, skilfully shaping me from nothing to something.

16 You saw who You created me to be before I became me!

Before I’d ever seen the light of day, (TPT)

I find it both challenging and reassuring at the same time, that God knows all there is to know about me, he knows me so completely better than I know myself perhaps.

How do we get our heads around a God who is everywhere, who knows all there is to know about us, who knows us better than we know ourselves, who knows all our thoughts before they are on our lips, yet still loves us with that deep abiding abundant love of Father God. Love so deep and profound, unconditional love not because of anything we have done but because God is Love. Those who live in love live in God and He in them.

Psalm 139 reminds us that God is everywhere, there is nowhere we can go that God is not present, our awesome Creator God.

Do you find it scarier to know that there is nowhere you can go where God is not present, or do you find that affirming and comforting that wherever you are God is with you?

It has taken me along time to grapple with the verses towards the end which talk of hatred, disgust and despise of people. I often used to skip-over these verses but after many years of reflection have come to realise that we need to offer our hearts to God, our thoughts should be focused on God’s purpose and not on any resentments or regrets of the past. God knowns all there is to know about us, He knows our hearts and calls us to love one another.

How do we create a world built on love?

Well it begins with us, each one of us making a commitment to live in Love, to seek God’s heart, to seek to live in and reflect the redemptive, abundant, sacrificial love God has for His children and to know that deep abiding love that the Psalmist speaks of. The faithful eternal love of God. Shown to us in Jesus Christ, when we accept Jesus into our lives and our hearts by the power of the Holy Spirit living in us, we can seek to build a world motivated by the sacrificial, redemptive Love of God.

 Psalm 139 (The Passion Translation TPT)

1 Lord, you know everything there is to know about me.

2 You perceive every movement of my heart and soul,

and You understand my every thought before it even enters my mind.

3–4 You are so intimately aware of me, Lord.

You read my heart like an open book

and You know all the words I’m about to speak

before I even start a sentence!

You know every step I will take before my journey even begins.

5 You’ve gone into my future to prepare the way,

and in kindness You follow behind me

to spare me from the harm of my past.

With Your hand of love upon my life,

You impart a blessing to me.

6 This is just too wonderful, deep, and incomprehensible!

Your understanding of me brings me wonder and strength.

7 Where could I go from Your Spirit?

Where could I run and hide from Your face?

8 If I go up to heaven, You’re there!

If I go down to the realm of the dead, You’re there too!

9 If I fly with wings into the shining dawn, You’re there!

If I fly into the radiant sunset, You’re there waiting!

10 Wherever I go, Your hand will guide me;

Your strength will empower me.

11 It’s impossible to disappear from You

or to ask the darkness to hide me,

for Your presence is everywhere, bringing light into my night.

12 There is no such thing as darkness with You.

The night, to You, is as bright as the day;

there’s no difference between the two.

13 You formed my innermost being, shaping my delicate inside and my intricate outside,

and wove them all together in my mother’s womb.

14 I thank You, God, for making me so mysteriously complex!

Everything You do is marvellously breath-taking.

It simply amazes me to think about it!

How thoroughly You know me, Lord!

15 You even formed every bone in my body

when You created me in the secret place,

carefully, skilfully shaping me from nothing to something.

16 You saw who You created me to be before I became me!

Before I’d ever seen the light of day,

the number of days You planned for me

were already recorded in Your book.

17–18 Every single moment You are thinking of me!

How precious and wonderful to consider

that You cherish me constantly in Your every thought!

O God, Your desires toward me are more

than the grains of sand on every shore!

When I awake each morning, You’re still with me.

19 O God, come and slay these bloodthirsty, murderous men!

For I cry out, “Depart from me, you wicked ones!”

20 See how they blaspheme Your sacred Name

and lift up themselves against You, but all in vain!

21 Lord, can’t You see how I despise those who despise You?

For I grieve when I see them rise up against You.

22 I have nothing but complete hatred and disgust for them.

Your enemies shall be my enemies!

23 God, I invite Your searching gaze into my heart.

Examine me through and through;

find out everything that may be hidden within me.

Put me to the test and sift through all my anxious cares.

24 See if there is any path of pain I’m walking on,

and lead me back to Your glorious, everlasting ways—

the path that brings me back to You.

Author: Diane Webb

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