PRAISE GOD IT’S MONDAY!
A WEEKLY ‘WWW (world-wide word) OF ENCOURAGEMENT’
TO THOSE IN MINISTRY

A FREE service, currently connecting with Christian leaders from 3,000 denominations and ministries, in 70 countries.

Issue No: 229     Published: 13 Mar 2006

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David

GOD'S CALLING HIS CHURCH 2: FROM GREEK TO HEBREW

Far more than we realise, we are all products of the society we're brought up in. We understand this when it comes to our favorite foods. For us men, the code of 'football' we enjoy, and for the ladies, our society's marriage customs. Then there is social etiquette and hundreds of other things, both big and small, from the weather to the toilets we are used to!

When travelling abroad, we enjoy learning about new cultures, but are generally pleased to get back home, where we know, and are comfortable in, our familiar surroundings. Those who emigrate to another country adapt to their new situation, but it normally takes 1 or 2 generations before a family totally assimilates into the culture of their new country.

This principle also applies to the church. Over the centuries we have adapted the church to our culture, far more so than we realise. Very often too, we have attempted to export our Western culture, along with Jesus, to other parts of the world.

However, the greatest change in church culture is one we don't even consider, so ingrained has it become in us from very early times. This is the church's Hellenization, its change from Hebrew ways and precepts, to those of Greek thought, upon which Western society was built, and still operates today. The clash between the Hebrew and dominant Roman (Greek based) culture of the day, existed from the very beginning of the church, as Paul explained in his letter to the Colossians.

"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ." (Colossians 2:6-8)

Of course, by the time the Emperor Constantine made Christianity the official state religion of Rome in 350AD, the change was complete. Since then we have had a church based on the mind, upon reasoning, upon logic. Hence doctrine, theology and study have assumed a major, and sadly, ever more increasing role in the church. To the extent that 'Theological Qualification' is virtually an essential requirement for anyone wishing to pastor a church in the Western world today. And is increasingly becoming so in other areas also. For most, Christianity has become an intellectual exercise rather than a physical experience.

Greek thought places man at the centre of the universe, refusing to accept moral absolutes, believing that everything must be experienced or proven to be valid. Effectively this is humanism. This too, is the understanding of large parts of the church today, worshipping reason rather than God.

Hebrew thought and culture, on the other hand, is centred upon 'one' God. He lives inside His people, who are seen as His children. His people are to live like Him, rather than just giving mental assent to His lordship. This is beautifully displayed in the relationship between a Rabbi and his students. They stay close by him, hanging on to his every word, copying his mannerisms and ways until they became like the Rabbi they are under. Jesus is our 'Rabbi'. We are to become like Him in every way.

The apostle Paul faced this challenge of the clash of cultures within the early church. Apparently he wasn't impressive of appearance, super-confident, nor an eloquent orator. All things that appeal today in a super-preacher! What then was the secret of his success?

"When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power." (1 Corinthians 2:1-5)

That's right - the Spirit's power! Imitating Jesus. A church based not on men's wisdom but God's power! This is the church God is calling us to today. A church operating in the image and ways of Jesus!

PRINCIPLE 2: God is calling out to Himself today a 'church of 'Christ-like disciples'.

"You mean God, I am to be like you 24/7, not just 1/168!" "Yes David" "Okay Lord, I hear you, believe you, and will do my best to be as Jesus was - but without the beard, please, for mine is so wispy!"

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FROM THE WORD

PAUL'S DEFENCE OF HIS MINISTRY
"By the meekness and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you—I, Paul, who am “timid” when face to face with you, but “bold” when away! I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world. For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete. You are looking only on the surface of things. If anyone is confident that he belongs to Christ, he should consider again that we belong to Christ just as much as he. For even if I boast somewhat freely about the authority the Lord gave us for building you up rather than pulling you down, I will not be ashamed of it. I do not want to seem to be trying to frighten you with my letters. For some say, “His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing.” Such people should realize that what we are in our letters when we are absent, we will be in our actions when we are present. We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the field God has assigned to us, a field that reaches even to you. We are not going too far in our boasting, as would be the case if we had not come to you, for we did get as far as you with the gospel of Christ. Neither do we go beyond our limits by boasting of work done by others. Our hope is that, as your faith continues to grow, our area of activity among you will greatly expand, so that we can preach the gospel in the regions beyond you. For we do not want to boast about work already done in another man’s territory. But, “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends." (2 Corinthians 10:1-18)

CHRIST THE WISDOM AND POWER OF GOD
"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength. Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.”" (1 Corinthians 1:18-31)

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DAVID'S DOODLINGS

RELIGION, REVELATION AND GOD'S KINGDOM: 2

1022. Religion revolves round organisation, the kingdom of God, relationship.

1023. Religion is planned, God's kingdom, spontaneous.

1024. God's kingdom is visionary, religion, managed.

1025. Religion is birthed in the institutionalisation of a revelation of God's kingdom.

1026. 'God given' revelation quickly becomes 'man controlled' religion.

1027. God's kingdom is eternal, mankind's religion, transitory.

1028. Religion formalises the spontaneous informality of God's kingdom.

1029. God's kingdom 'upskills', religion removes the 'ups'.

1030. Religion is really 'the opiate of the priests'.

1031. To get closer to God we need to swap the bonds of religion for the liberation of His kingdom.

Please feel free to quote these quotes. Acknowledgement of David Tait as the author would be appreciated. There are now over 1200 David sayings for you to view at ...

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FROM YOU - TO ME - TO YOU

Rev. Arphaxad Mativo
NAIROBI, Kenya

March 6th 2006.

Dear David,

I am Pastor Arphaxad Mativo of New Hope Church, Tena, Nairobi and I have been a regular reader of your World Wide Word of Encourage, Thank God it is Monday. Your articles are very clear and have a specific message for each Monday. I enjoy reading them and I find a lot of wisdom in them.

Next time you are coming to East Africa please advise me I would like us to meet and share more. I was saved 28 years ago and I have been doing evangelistic work ever since. In 1980 God called me to pastoral work but I declined. In 2002 God pushed me into full time
pastoral work and I am enjoying it despite the fact that I work as a volunteer (no pay at all). God has been my paymaster and I have not failed to pay my rent, pay school fees for my children, provide upkeep for my family and others who depend on me! Its been a real miracle!

Please keep on writing these words of encouragement.

May the Lord bless you abundantly.

Your brother in the Lord,

Arphaxad Mativo
-------------------------------------------------------------
Your comments to me or fellow readers are always welcomed at... david@wwj.org.nz

This is an opportunity for you to express your views, which may not be my views. But none of us have a mortgage on all the truth - except for Jesus!

CRANWELL'S CARTOON









Then the LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Stretch out your hand with your staff over the streams and canals and ponds, and make frogs come up on the land of Egypt.’”
6 So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land. (Exodus 8:5-6)








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TUESDAY TEACHINGS

A REVELATION OF....... THE TABERNACLE OF MOSES - PART 1 (4)

We now come to the climax of our story, as our friend learns about the celebration of the Day of Atonement.

The application of the principles of the Day of Atonement, through which we are able to enter the Holy of Holies, is the key issue facing the church today, so this study is of particular relevance in these final days.

Previous teachings on this subject, the First Miracle of Jesus, the Book of Ruth, God's Character and Servanthood and Leadership, the Parable of the Sower, The Two Marathoners, The 3 Rivers of God The Spring Feasts, The Power of 3 in God & the Church, A Layman's History of the Times of the Feasts, The Autumn Feats, Revelation 12:11, The Way of Holiness, the 3 Miraculous Conceptions, Up the Mountain and Giving to God can be viewed at...

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LAUGHING AT OURSELVES

***Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves for they shall never cease to be amused***

*** "Those who can't laugh at themselves leave the job to others." ***

475. THINK FIRST
My Protestant clergy friend was speaking with a Catholic Priest and wanted to make a solid friendship. He spoke of many things and felt it was going well, but when he asked if his Father had been a Priest, the conversation was over.

474. THE NEW WINE
One communion Sunday, my communion steward prepared communion with a twist. When it came time to uncover the elements the grape juice looked darker than usual. I thought nothing of it and began to serve the communion. Promptly upon receiving the cup, each recipient's face had a peculiar, stunned look. When it came time for me to receive I discovered why the strange looks...the juice was prune juice! One parishioner stated, "Perhaps this is a Divine commentary on our spirituality...we need a little loosening up!"

473. EMPATHY
Jesus made a quick return to earth for a visit. He came upon a lame man, had compassion on him, and healed his leg. Further down the road, Our Lord came upon a blind man, had compassion on him, and healed him. A little further down the road, Jesus came upon a man sitting on the curb sobbing his heart out. Jesus asked him what was wrong. The man cried out in agony, "I'm a pastor!"

Jesus sat down beside him, put his arm around him.............. and cried too.
FREE DOWNLOAD: You can now download the book 'Laughing At Ourselves' in PDF format at LAUGHING AT OURSELVES

One of the most comprehensive sources of Christian Humour on the Net with 750 sermon fillers for your entertainment and use at ...

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FACTS FOR FUN

LAST WEEKS QUESTION: Why do we call twins who are attached to each other physically, ‘Siamese twins’?

ANSWER: We call physically-attached twins ‘Siamese twins’ because of a famous pair of twins in the 1800s who were actually from Siam. Chang and Eng, brothers attached at the chest, were brought to the US by famous circus promoter P.T. Barnum. They eventually married Sarah and Adelaide, unattached sisters, and had 22 children between them. They died in 1874, within hours of each other. If they had lived in the twenty-first century instead of the nineteenth, they most likely would have been surgically separated. (Would they have been happier though?)

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: : Is it possible for twins to have different fathers?

Answer Next Week.

SOME FUN FACTS

536. ONCE SEEN, ALWAYS SEEN
It takes glass one million years to decompose, which means it never wears out and can therefore be recycled an infinite number of times. (Will ‘glassnost’ last forever too?)

537. FLYING FUEL TANK
A Boeing 747 airliner holds 57,285 gallons of fuel! (Must be why it is such a big plane!)

538. TOURISTS TAKE NOTE
Those visiting Iceland should know that tipping at a restaurant is considered an insult! (Get an ‘icy’ reception!)

A WORD PUZZLE FOR YOU

Make another word from this word using all the letters.

WEARIEST

Answer at the end of A David Musing

FREE DOWNLOAD: You can download the full version of our Trivia Book at TRULY TRIFFLING TRIVIA

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BIBLE QUESTION - THE GOSPELS

What was the gospel writers' main purpose for writing their works?

a. They wanted to present a complete biography of Jesus.
b. They were asked to write their accounts for inclusion in the Bible.
c. They wanted to show that Jesus was the Savior and the Son of God.
d. The Roman Emperor Constantine wanted an account of Christianity.

Answer at the end of A DAVID MUSING.

Source: "TwoPaths Bible Study, www.twopaths.com"

Heaps more fun and serious 'God Facts' are found at...

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IF ONLY I'D THOUGHT OF IT!

"""OTHER'S SAYINGS TO ENLIGHTEN, AMUSE, OR BEMUSE"""

!!!!!!! The longest word in the English language is the one that follows... "And now a word from our sponsor."

!!!!!! My doctor is an eye, ear, nose, throat and wallet specialist.

!!!!! We've just moved into our dream house. It costs twice as much as we ever dreamed it would.

!!!! Someone who thinks logically provides a nice contrast to the real world.

!!! Heroes are people who rise to the occasion and slip quietly away." -Tom Brokaw

!! It takes twice as much money to live beyond your means as it used to.

! The fellow who's busy pulling on the oars hasn't got time to rock the boat.

100'S MORE TO BE FOUND AT...

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BIBLE RIDDLE

Q. What is the best way to get to Paradise?
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
A. Turn right and go straight.

Find out more Bible Facts at...

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PETS RULE

THINGS YOU ALWAYS WONDERED ABOUT...
Q: What do cat actors say on stage ?
A: Tabby or not tabby !

Q: How do you know if your cat has eaten a duckling ?
A: She's got that down in the mouth look !

Q: What do you get if cross a cat with a canary ?
A: Shredded tweet !

Q: What do you get if you cross a cat with a tree ?
A: cat-a-log !

Q: Why did the cat join the Red Cross ?
A: Because she wanted to be a first-aid kit !

Q: How do you know that cats are sensitive creatures?
A: They never cry over spilt milk!

Q: Why was the cat so small?
A: Because it only ate condensed milk!

Q: What does the lion say to his friends before they go out hunting for food?
A: 'Let us prey.'

Q: Why happened when the cat swallowed a coin?
A: There was some money in the kitty!

THE HIGH TECH CAT
By Beverly Bardsley

The modern world leaves me a wreck,
But not my kitty -- she's high tech!

When snoozing she prefers to nap
On my laptop, not my lap.

For exercise and to relax
She takes a stroll across the fax,

Then leaps to land on the computer --
The narrow top seems built to suit her.

She dusts the screen off with her tail
While I'm reading my e-mail.

When I'm sleeping peacefully
She checks phone messages for me,

Then looks at me as if to say,
"Well, the button was marked PLAY."

If she's feeling really bored
She hits the button for record --

Words not for a stranger's ear
Go on tape for all to hear.

But as a self-respecting cat
There's one gizmo she draws the line at.

Of all the gadgets in the house
There's one she'll never touch - the mouse!

http://www.wwj.org.nz/pets.php

MANNERS AND CUSTOMS IN BIBLICAL LANDS

FEET WASHING

After the bowing, greeting and kissing are completed the guest will be offered water for cleaning his feet. A servant will assist, pouring the water on the guests feet over a copper basin, rubbing them with his hands before wiping dry with a towel.

Jesus took the place of the servant when wiping His disciples' feet, thus symbolising His servanthood role.

Adapted from: '1001 Surprising Things You Should Know About The Bible' MacGregor & Prys

Lots more 'God Facts' are found at...

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FAITH REVOLUTIONARIES STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD: Part 1

March 6, 2006

(Ventura, CA) – The controversy fueled by George Barna’s current best-seller, Revolution, has raised many questions about the nature of the people the California-based researcher labels “revolutionaries.” Defined as born again people who have made their faith in God the highest priority in their life, who believe that their faith has greatly transformed their life, and who often express and experience their faith through alternative forms the Church, Barna this week released additional data about the beliefs, practices and lifestyle of revolutionaries in comparison to those who fit a more tame spiritual profile.

Revolutionaries possess some attributes that fail to distinguish them from other born again Christians. For instance, they are just as likely to embrace new technology, view movies just as often, a similar proportion of them are overweight, and equivalent percentages of the two groups consider themselves to live a simple life, to feel at peace, and to be in control of their life. Even in the spiritual realm, they have identical profiles when it comes to the frequency of fasting and how often they talk to non-believers about faith matters.

However, Barna also outlined four areas in which revolutionaries are substantially different than other born again adults, and vastly different from adults who are not born again.

Integration of Faith in Life

Perhaps the aspect of life in which revolutionaries are most distinct from the mass of non-revolutionary born again adults relates to the integration of faith into lifestyle. Barna revealed the following differences between the two segments.

# More than seven out of every 10 revolutionaries are actively serving in their community, compared to 53% among non-revolutionary born again adults.

# The average amount of money donated by revolutionaries in 2005 was $2990. That surpasses the mean giving total among non-revolutionary born again adults ($1641) by 82%, despite household income levels that are similar.

# Almost two out of every three revolutionaries (64%) study the Bible every day. That’s close to three times the percentage of non-revolutionary born again adults who do so (23%).

# A majority of revolutionaries (54%) has a quiet time with God each day. Less than one-third of non-revolutionary born again adults (31%) follows that pattern.

# While close to half of all revolutionary families spend time each day studying the Bible together (42%), the same is true among just one out of every eight non-revolutionary born again families (12%). In fact, a majority of the non-revolutionary born again families admit to “never” or “rarely” studying God’s Word together.

# About six out of every ten revolutionaries (57%) experience “intimate, personally stirring worship of God” on a daily basis. The same held true for only four out of every ten non-revolutionary born again adults (39%).

# Non-revolutionary born again adults were just half as likely (15%, compared to 27% among revolutionaries) to engage in daily conversations with a mentor, friend or spiritual overseer in which they were held accountable for following the beliefs they possess.

# Most revolutionaries (56%) frequently commit their time and energy to helping disadvantaged people in their community. That substantially surpasses the level of involvement among non-revolutionary born again adults (40%).

# More than four out of five revolutionaries (82%) had shared their faith in Jesus Christ with a non-believer in the preceding 12 months. That was considerably more than the 54% among non-revolutionary born again adults. (To be continued)

The Barna Group, Ltd. (which includes its research division, The Barna Research Group) is a privately held, for-profit corporation that conducts primary research, produces media resources pertaining to spiritual development, and facilitates the healthy spiritual growth of leaders, children, families and Christian ministries. Located in Ventura, California, Barna has been conducting and analyzing primary research to understand cultural trends related to values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors since 1984. If you would like to receive free e-mail notification of the release of each new, weekly update on the latest research findings from The Barna Group, you may subscribe to this free service at the Barna website www.barna.org

© The Barna Group, Ltd, 2006.

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DAVID'S DOWNLOAD

A REVELATION OF... THE CHARACTER OF GOD

Understanding God takes more than a lifetime! Through into eternity. Even then, I suspect he may come up with a surprise or two! But this simple revelation may help you understand Him better, as it has helped me.

Download the PDF at...

http://www.wwj.org.nz/pdf/wwj26p56.pdf

A MINUTE IS A LONG TIME IN GOD

When you are relaxed and enjoying life,
And all is normal with kids and wife.
When you are living in such a beautiful place,
And all is going well in running your race.
You are happy with how life is treating you,
Challenges yes - not too many - just a few.

Then along comes God, with His own plan,
Designed to upset the comfort of a man.
One minute the world seems simply so good,
The next, upon its head, is now being stood!

"David, I'm asking you to shift city and church",
My comfortable brain, with pain it did now lurch!

"But surely my God, this cannot be true?"
"Yes my son, it's what I'm asking of you."
"Well Lord , please give confirmation,
To help me overcome my consternation!"

Over the past two weeks, confirmations I've been given,
Logical improbabilities so great, must be God driven.
"Oh Lord, surely this is what you want me to do,
Have your way in my life Lord, I give in to you.
For you know best Lord, your plan for me,
I accept it now Lord, on bended knee."

Yes, one brief minute is a long time in God you know,
But obey His voice we must, if in Him we are to grow.

More of David's "poetry" here...

http://www.wwj.org.nz/waxing.php?

A DAVID MUSING

I love it when God confirms things unexpectedly!

On Thursday, some financial provision, which is vital for the things the Lord has asked us to do.

Then on Friday evening, at our weekly meeting of keen Christians, we got to prophesy over each other. For many in the group, it was a first attempt at prophecy. And the accuracy of the results was amazing! It does my heart so much good to see others hear directly from God rather than waiting to get His leading through someone else, such as the 'big prophet'. God wants us all to communicate directly with Him! No intermediaries are required. Just willing hearts, waiting upon Him.

Worth trying? Sure is!

So until next week...

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD.

His servant and yours

David Tait

Today's 'Word Puzzle' Answer: SWEATIER

TODAY'S 'DO YOU KNOW?' ANSWER: c. They wanted to show that Jesus was the Savior and the Son of God.: Mark 1:1, Luke 1:1-4, John 20:30-31. The four gospels were probably first used like sermons in Christian worship service to show the reasons for believing in Jesus' divinity and to call people to commitment to their faith.

REPRODUCTION OF NEWSLETTER CONTENT

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ABOUT US

WALKING WITH JESUS MINISTRIES is a non-profit, non-denominational, Bible based ministry located in Hastings, New Zealand. A ministry dedicated to developing discipleship, fostering unity amongst God’s people to achieve the Great Commission, and in doing so, preparing for Christ’s return. It is securely based upon the foundational principles of the Apostles Creed while recognising the wide and rich diversity of beliefs amongst Christians in other areas. In accordance with the Lord’s direction, materials produced by the ministry are available, free of charge, to genuine enquirers upon request. The ministry is solely funded by donations, as the Lord provides. A list of materials available (plus some fun!) is obtainable and freely downloadable from our website
wwj.org.nz or by contacting us as follows.

Walking With Jesus Ministries
290 Flaxmere Avenue
Flaxmere
Hastings
New Zealand

Phone: (06) 8799 911 International (+64) 6 8799 911
Email: enquiries@wwj.org.nz
Web: wwj.org.nz

Our role is to bless and encourage those in ministry while promoting co-operation and unity of direction amongst the body of Christ, as emphasised 3 times by Jesus in His longest prayer, immediately prior to His arrest and crucifixion. "… so that they may be one as we are one." (John 17:12, 21, 23-4) Our website is currently being developed to encourage your participation one with another, to share resources, and to enable you to promote events and items of interest to the body as a whole – and have a smile while doing it!

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