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: 245     Published: 03 Jul 2006

DO WE REALLY NEED IT?

Several times over recent weeks I have seen 'prophecies', from leading 'prophets', stating that the church is about to inherit vast resources from the (evil) world to enable it to fulfil its function of evangelising the earth, in order that Jesus can return. You may well know of these, as such teaching seems common in church circles today.

As time has gone on, I have felt increasingly uneasy in my spirit about the truth of this particular theme of prophecy. I needed to know, "is this true, is it misguided wishful human thinking, or worse still, a ruse by satan to delay Christians from fulfilling the Great Commission by waiting for the pennies, not to fall from heaven, but rather, to rise from hell!"

What follows, is what the Lord has shown me - and in the words of Paul I think that I too have the Spirit of God. (1 Corinthians 7:40) You may, or may not, agree!

All the figures quoted here are taken from "World Christian Trends AD 30 - AD 2200. Interpreting the annual Christian megacensus." by David Barrett and Todd Johnson.

Let's start with some figures that may surprise you.

!!! Christians by income: 58% rich (11% affluent, 37% well off, 10% just coping), 42% poor (29% needy, 13% absolutely poor).
!!! Annual Personal incomes of 2 billion Christians (church members) $US15.2 Trillion
!!! Worldwide Christian per capita income: $US8,050
!!! Average Christian Family income: $US34,000
!!! Average giving per church member per week: $US2.75 (1.8% of Income)
!!! Total Christian Giving: $US270 Billion
!!! To Churches: $US108 Billion
!!! To Christian Organisations: $US162 Billion
!!! New Church Buildings: $US8 Billion annually
!!! Foreign Missions: $US15 Billion
!!! Average Giving to Foreign Missions: $US0.15 (0.1% of income)
!!! Christian Broadcasting (Radio/TV): $US5.8 Billion

And now for some facts to shock you!

!*!*!* Emboldened by lax procedures, trusted church treasurers are embezzling each year $16 billion out of church funds, but only 5% ever get found out.

!*!*!* Christians spend more on the annual audits of their churches and agencies ($810 million) than on all their workers in the non-Christian world. (Obviously not hugely effective, given the figure for embezzlement above!)

!*!*!* The total cost of Christian outreach averages $330,000 for each and every newly baptized person.

!*!*!* Despite Christ’s command to evangelize,67% of all humans from AD 30 to the present day have never even heard of his name.

!*!*!* 648 million Christians today (called Great Commission Christians)are active in Christ’s world mission; 1,352 million Christians ignore this mission.

Now let's extrapolate these figures.

EVERY 1c OF CHRISTIANS WEEKLY GIVING TOTALS $US1 BILLION!

IF EVERY CHRISTIAN GAVE 10C MORE PER WEEK, $US10 BILLION WOULD BE AVAILABLE TO SPREADING THE MESSAGE OF THE KINGDOM. AT $US1 p.w. - $US100 BILLION!

IF CHRISTIANS GAVE AN AVERAGE OF 10% OF THEIR INCOME, TOTAL CHRISTIAN GIVING WOULD BE $US1,500 BILLION (1.5 TRILLION) OR $US375 FOR EVERY UNBELIEVER EVERY YEAR! SURELY MORE THAN ENOUGH TO FULFIL THE 'GREAT COMMISSION'!


This is not a thesis on tithing (all too often we don't value the 'widow's mite' in the way Jesus did. Some people cannot give 10% while others can easily afford more), simply expressing what our New Covenant, heart attitude towards kingdom giving, should be.

From the figures above, it is easily seen that we Christians don't really need more money to fulfil the Great Commission. We simply need to be kingdom minded stewards of what we have! To get kingdom priorities right in our lives and our wallet, and then to ensure what we do give is spent effectively.

Of course, in the final analysis, money, while it helps, and at times is necessary, won't of itself build the kingdom. For the kingdom consists of kingdom minded people and so is most effectively built by people reflecting Jesus to other people. While money is a practical help, ultimately, our living testimony is God's most effective weapon of witness to the world.

So, what about these prophets and their titillating prophecies? For any 'prophet' who promises financial prosperity, particularly if it doesn't have to be worked for, will be extremely well received, and likely well remunerated! But what is it that Jesus really wants - and the Holy Spirit is truly saying? Is God going to drop the Great Commission into our lap, something to be achieved through unlimited funding, or are we responsible for it's accomplishment? Are we simply to be believers, or does He desire us to become disciples, fully committed to His cause? You be the judge. Better still, read ALL the New Testament and let the Word itself be your guide!

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FROM THE WORD

A CALL TO PERSEVERE

"But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh." (Jude 17-22)

THE WIDOW'S OFFERING

"Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” (Mark 12:41-44)

THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE BELIEVERS

"They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:42-47)

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DAVID'S DOODLINGS

BELIEVERS v DISCIPLES

236. A believer praises the Lord in good times, the disciple at all times.

237. The Holy Spirit resides in the believer but shines through the disciple.

238. A believer loves God with heart and mind while a disciple commits the will.

239. A believer loves God and others, but they are the disciple's life.

240. A believer lives in hope, but for the disciple, God's hope is certain.

241. A believer seeks forgiveness for sin but the disciple also determines not to walk that path again.

242. A believer has faith in God but the disciple's faith is tempered in the fire of testing.

243. A believer loves the Lord, but the disciple's love is unconditional.

244. The believer serves the Lord in strength, but the disciple is made perfect through weakness.

245. God is part of the believer's life, but the central focus of the disciple.

246. A believer forgives, but the disciple also forgets.

247. A believer communicates with God at their own convenience, but the disciple's heart is open to the Lord at all times.

430. A believer knows, but the disciple does.

1077. Believing is free, discipleship costs your life.

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FROM YOU - TO ME - TO YOU

DAVID'S DAILY DOODLING

David

When all else fails, try love.

Love it!!!
Shirley
-------------------------------------------------------------
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







Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. 2 Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh. (Philippians 3:1-2)









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TUESDAY TEACHINGS

A REVELATION OF....... THE TABERNACLE OF DAVID - Part 8

RELIGIOUS REJECTION!
Many sermons are preached about Michal and her resulting barrenness for 'religious' rejection of her husbands unseemly behaviour.

Ironically though, we neglect to understand how easily we too, slip into the same trap!

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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." ***

510 THE PARTY
A mother took her three-year-old daughter to church for the first time. The church lights were lowered, and then the choir came down the aisle, carrying lighted candles.

All was quiet until the little one started to sing in a loud voice, Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you..."

509 GOOD ADVICE
Shakey went to a psychiatrist for his phobia.

"Doc," he said, "I've got trouble. Every time I get into bed, I think there's somebody under it. I get under the bed, I think there's somebody on top of it. Top, under, top, under. You gotta help me, I'm going crazy!"

"Just put yourself in my hands for two years," said the shrink, "Come to me three times a week, and I'll cure your fears."

"How much do you charge?"

"A hundred dollars per visit."

"I'll sleep on it," said Shakey.

Six months later the doctor met Shakey on the street. "Why didn't you ever come to see me again?" asked the psychiatrist.

"For a hundred buck's a visit? A preacher cured me for free."

"Is that so! How?"

"He told me to cut the legs off the bed!"

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FACTS FOR FUN

LAST WEEKS QUESTION: Why do we ‘bless’ somebody after they sneeze?

ANSWER: Sneezing has long been regarded as a dangerous thing. The ancient Greeks feared that a sneeze could accidentally dispel the soul. People tried hard to hold back their sneezes and one that happened anyway was greeted with chants to return good fortune. The Romans, on the other hand, felt a sneeze was the body's attempt to dispel sinister spirits that could cause illness. Holding back a sneeze made you vulnerable to sickness. Still, benedictions were in order. A person who sneezed was congratulated and one about to sneeze was urged on with ‘Good luck to you!’ The Christian expression ‘God bless you’, was begun by papal fiat in the sixth century, issued by Pope Gregory the Great in response to a deadly plague sweeping through Italy. Sneezing was one of the symptoms of the plague. Pope Gregory urged healthy people to pray for the sick and he told them to say ‘God bless you’ when someone sneezed. If a person sneezed and had no one around to bless him, he was instructed to call directly on God saying, ‘God help me!’ (I receive plenty of blessings – from others as I sneeze often, and from God without the need for a special reason.)

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: Who were the Buccaneers?

Answer Next Week.

SOME FUN FACTS

491. PRECISELY RIGHT
The Dieri tribe in Australia has strict laws regarding who can marry whom. For example, a man can legally marry his mother's mother's brother's daughter's daughter. He can also marry his mother's father's sister's daughter's daughter. (Worked it out? Your ‘second cousin’.)

492. A WOOLY YARN
In 1571 England, a man could be fined for not wearing a wool cap. (A ‘politically correct’ move to avoid embarrassment of the bald? Likely to be re-introduced very shortly!)

493. SUNDAY TRADING
In Providence, Rhode Island, stores aren’t allowed to sell a toothbrush on the Sabbath. Yet, these same stores are allowed to sell toothpaste and mouthwash on Sundays. (A Law with no teeth to it?)

A WORD PUZZLE FOR YOU

Make another word from this word using all the letters.

IRONIES

Answer at the end of A David Musing

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BIBLE QUESTION - THE EXODUS

After the Israelites had left Egypt, Pharaoh began to regret letting them go and losing their services. He and his army went in pursuit to bring them back. How did the Israelites escape Pharaoh and his army?

a. They crossed over the desert of Shur.
b. They crossed over the Red Sea
c. They crossed over Mount Sinai
d. The Egyptian army became entangled in war with the Philistines.

Answer at the end of A DAVID MUSING.

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

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IF ONLY I'D THOUGHT OF IT!

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

!!!!!!! Free advice generally cost more than the other kind.

!!!!!! He is truly wise who gains wisdom from another's mishap.

!!!!! Keep your head and your heart going in the right direction and you will not have to worry about your feet.

!!!! The most effective answer to an insult is silence.

!!! Worry takes as much time as work and pays less.

!! You can only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.

! Truth will be truth regardless of a closed mind, ignorance, or refusal to believe.

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PETS RULE!

HOW MANY DOGS?
How Many Dogs Does It Take To Change A Lightbulb?

ROTTWEILER: Just one. You want to make something of it?

DOBERMAN: Immediately decides to change the brand of lightbulb and find a more efficient form of lighting--perhaps a fluorescent bulb.

AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERD: One, but just "try" to convince them that the burned-out bulb is useless and should be thrown away.

JACK RUSSELL TERRIER: Two, but the job never gets done--they just keep arguing about who is supposed to do it and how it's supposed to be done!

BULLDOG: Just one. But it takes them three years to do it.

POMERANIANS: Don't change light bulbs, although sometimes their agent will get a German Shepherd in to do the job for them while they're out.

PUG: Er, two. Or maybe one. No -- on second thought, make that two. Is that OK with you?

GOLDEN RETRIEVER: The sun is shining, the day is young, we've got our whole lives ahead of us, and you're inside worrying about a stupid burned-out light bulb?

AFGHAN: Lightbulb? What lightbulb?

CAT: I don't waste my time with these childish jokes.

SHIBA-INU: Zero! Shiba's aren't afraid of the dark!

SCHIPPERKE: It's your lightbulb--change it yourself. Unless... is there food involved??

POODLE: Sorry, Just had my nails done.

BEAGLE: How many cookies do I get?

LAB: Why change it? The darker it is, the longer I can sleep.

BASENJI: LIGHTBULB?? We don't change no steenking lightbulbs!!

MALAMUTE: Let him do it, you can pet me while he's busy.

BOXER: If I could stop wiggling my butt long enough to quit falling off the chair.........

AMERICAN BULLDOG: One. JUMP, remove bulb ,land. JUMP, replace bulb, land.
Two: What lightbulb? So? We can play in the dark.

COCKER SPANIEL: "I'll be glad to change the light bulb for you, but first can't we play catch with the tennis ball, or frisbee - and then I want to lick your face and rest my head in your lap and look up at you with my sad eyes. What, you're changing the light bulb yourself - you didn't have to do that - but I looooove you so much for being my friend
and doing that."

DALMATIAN: Just one, but it will really hate the new bulb.

CORGI: I can't reach the stupid lamp!

SPRINGER: Lightbulb? That thing I just ate was a lightbulb?

STANDARD POODLE: None. Go get human, sit under it, look up and point it out--then go lie down in disgust that it took so long.

BORDER COLLIE: Just 1, and he'll rewire the house while he's at it.

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MANNERS AND CUSTOMS IN BIBLICAL LANDS

EARLY GATHERING PLACE
Early Christian worship was held in people's homes. The earliest evacuation of a 'church' was from the 3rd century AD where a room in a house set aside for worship and furnished as a chapel.

In the early days believers took seriously their responsibility to care for other believers from out of town. This was important in times of persecution for those who travelled spreading the Gospel.

Churches as we know them started being built in the late AD300's, after Christianity became the State Religion of Rome .

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

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EXPLOSIVE GROWTH IN BRAZIL WILL MAKE 250,000 CHURCHES A REALITY

Brazilians are proud of their country. (Particularly at World Cup time! But surprisingly, without success this time round!) It is one of the few nations in Latin America with a sound economy, it produces some of the world's best coffee, and Brazil's soccer team has triumphed at World Cup soccer for five years in a row. "God is smiling on our nation," Brazilians often quip. "In fact, he loves us so much, God must be a Brazilian."

One remarkable statistic not much quoted in the national media is the explosive growth of the Evangelical church. In 1991, government statistics indicated that Evangelicals made up barely nine percent of the population. The 2000 census has revealed that Evangelicals in Brazil have exploded to more than 20 percent in barely 10 years!

This sudden burst of growth has bewildered many, but there is a substantive explanation for it. Looking back to the 1980s, the Evangelical church in Brazil enthusiastically launched its own missionary movement. Churches and denominations began to send missionaries to nations all over the world - many of them in the 10/40 Window. These missionaries were Brazilian nationals sent and paid for by their home churches. This movement of genuine concern for the lost around the world was something akin to the sending ethic of the South Korean church, and it clearly pleased God. It became abundantly apparent that a sending church is also a growing church.

In 1993, at the First Brazilian Congress on Missions, church leaders started thinking about strategic church planting in their own nation as well. It was here that leaders from different denominations and para-church agencies adopted a DAWN project titled 'Brazil 2010' with the seeing a church within easy access of every Brazilian. Initial research showed that by the end of 1994, there were about 63,000 Evangelical churches, while 250,000 churches would need to be planted by 2010! This challenge was taken to all five of Brazil's major regions. Churches and denominations were encouraged to respond to the challenge and to plant new fellowships of believers far and wide. Church planters and strategic coordinators were trained and church planting strategies were launched.

As new churches began to appear all over the nation, a new saying was gaining in popularity: "There are three things you can easily find in any town in Brazil - a bradesco (bank) a guarana (Brazilian soda) and an Evangelical church."

Further research showed that while in and around the cities the church had been growing rapidly, in Brazil's Amazon jungle more than 30,000 villages were still completely unreached. The challenge of the unchurched jungle communities has evoked a strong response in many churches in Brazil. Teams of church planters have been dispatched from over 40 cities to the Amazon with the goal to plant riverbank churches. In Manaus, the hub in the Amazon region, some large churches have developed fleets of riverboats to take medical teams and church planters up the Rio Negro and the Amazon to the many hundreds of tributaries and smaller rivers of the region.

Recent research shows that the growth of the Evangelical church has more than trebled since 1994. It is estimated that by the end of 2004 there were 209,000 Evangelical churches in Brazil. At this rate, the goal of 250,000 churches will be surpassed before 2010.

Source: Joel News Service

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DAVID'S DOWNLOAD

A REVELATION OF... THE 3 RIVERS OF GOD

The principle of the 'river' in scripture and how it applies to our lives and the church today. One of the most popular of my teachings, having helped many people understand more about God and themselves.

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VICTORY!

The inspiration for the first two parts of this poem came from a cross-island trek Kathy
and I went on when we were staying on the beautiful Island of Rarotonga, in the Cook
Islands. For those who don’t know, The Cooks are situated around the Tropic of Capricorn
in the Pacific Ocean. A great place to visit! The last part is based loosely on the book
of Revelation, Chapters 21 and 22, the biblical promise of what is to come. Hope it is
both enjoyable and challenging to you. Of course it is just verse, so is not all strictly
theologically accurate! Called poetic licence! (Part 4 of 9)

Having got to the top of the mountain and come down, we can now enjoy the beautiful waterfall, a picture of the Holy Spirit. Now desiring to move on to the realm of living in the Father's will.

VICTORY!

RIDING THE RIVER OF LIFE

“What is this I do hear?” the Spirit said,
“New words appearing, inside your head.
They are the ones I have been longing to hear,
So you my son, in a new direction, I can steer.”

“For I must explain,” the Spirit then told me,
“To move on, your decision only, must it be,
For to do the will of our Father is the highest call,
To attain this goal, you must sacrifice your all.”

“I can show you the way, point out the bends,
But the success of this journey, on you depends,
For this step involves 100% commitment,
Your own desires, being substituted for atonement.”

“Sounds good to me” I said, after some deep thought,
For giving up dreams is not what I had been taught
As being the real way to be successful in life.
But pursuing them, had only brought me strife.

“So how do we proceed?” I asked the Spirit,
“’Tis easy”, he said, “if you really want to do it.
Look over to the far side of the pool,
See there, the river starts, it’s so cool!”

Turning towards the river to look for a wee while,
“Not many swimming in it,” I think with a smile,
To my mind, that was so good to see,
Appealed to the adventurer, within me.

Seeing one person take the plunge,
Bobbing up and down like a sponge.
Struggling at first, fighting against the flow,
Before relaxing – now that’s the way to go!

(To be continued next week)

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A DAVID MUSING

This week, along with good health, has seen the start of the distribution of our Psalms CD's into the first of the New Zealand Hospices, for free, along with distribution through a Christian bookshop, on a 'donations' basis.

It gives great satisfaction, particularly after last week's health experiences, to know that people who need it will now be getting comfort, encouragement and inspiration from God's Word.

When you are working in God's will, according to His instruction, there is a rest, peace and satisfaction beyond normal human experience. My desire is that you may experience this in your life too. It's well worth the sacrifice!

So until next week...

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD.

His servant and yours

David Tait

Today's 'Word Puzzle' Answer: NOISIER

TODAY'S 'DO YOU KNOW?' ANSWER: The easiest question yet! b. They crossed over the Red Sea Exodus 14:4-30. In one of the best known miracles of the Old Testament, Moses raised his staff and the waters of the sea divided so the Israelites could cross over on dry land. When Pharaoh and his army came in pursuit, the waters returned and swept them all away to their deaths.

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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