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: 293     Published: 04 Jun 2007

IS YOUR CART BEFORE THE HORSE?

After we come to Jesus, most churches teach how to live better lives, most likely based upon the principles of the Ten Commandments.

It is true that our lives should change when we find Jesus, if indeed, we have had a genuine conversion. However, the methods we are encouraged to adopt in order to become like Him primarily involve our own efforts. We are expected to change to conform to the new 'Christian culture' into which we have entered. Swearing, smoking, lying, stealing, and maybe drinking, are 'out', while doing good and helping in the church are 'in'. We are likely to get involved in programmes teaching us the foundations of Christian living, those promoting excellence, ones of good work ethics, etc. etc..

From a human perspective this is great, particularly if we have not been previously exposed to Christian values, and may well be a revelation and inspiration to us. As a new, enthusiastic Christian we are likely to plunge ourselves headlong into doing all we can do to become like Jesus.

Initially we may have some success, and it is this success that keeps such programmes doing the rounds, in their various forms. Do this, do that, and you will become like, or more like, Jesus. Effectively, 'Christian PMA' (Positive Mental Attitude) or 'Christian self-development' courses.

However, as we go along in the Lord, our initial enthusiasm wanes, particularly as we discover, if we are honest with ourselves, that even with all our efforts, we are really little closer to becoming like Jesus than we were on the day of our conversion. I have known of numerous people who have entered into Christianity with great gusto, but who, after finding that the programmes don't really work, either for themselves, or from what they observe in others, leave the church and drift back into the world. Others may remain within the 'Christian club', but essentially give up on their battle to become like their Saviour.

What then are we doing wrong? Why are we failing? Why are we unable to become like Jesus as is promised in His Word?

since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. (Colossians 3:9b-10)

If we do believe God's Word, then surely it must be possible!

I personally struggled with this for many years. I have very strong willpower, yes, even 'wontpower'! I sought to change myself with a certain amount of success. But after years of trying hard, of following the programmes, I finally realised, with frustration, I was never going to become like Jesus, no matter how hard I tried. There had to be another way. And there is!

The problem is that the church in general does either not know, or is unable to impart, the true method by which we are to grow into the image of Jesus. Really, I had to discover it for myself, reading the Word again and again to see and absorb what it said. Finally I began to comprehend a different way. Remarkably, a way that didn't involve my work, but rather, giving up on myself! A way, not of strength, but submission. A way, not of effort, but of rest! A way, not of self-improvement, but of allowing the Holy Spirit, actually God Himself, to change me! As we get more deeply into the Word of God, this 'way of the Lord' becomes obvious in so many places. For example...

9 However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him”— 10 but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. 14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment: 16 “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?”
But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:9-16)


Yes, after many years of desperately seeking to become more like Jesus in my own strength, I finally realised that I had, all the time, been putting the cart before the horse! Yes, trying to pull the 'cart of righteousness' in my own strength without being led, guided, and changed by the 'horse of the Holy Spirit'. (metaphorically speaking)

My friend, the ways of the Lord are completely different to those of the world. To become like Jesus, we must go down, not up. We must 'give up' before we can 'grow up'. We must submit, not strive. We must allow Him to change us, not try to change ourselves.

How do we do this? Not by following a pastor or programme. Rather, by developing a deeper and deeper personal relationship with Jesus. By listening to and giving the Holy Spirit permission to change us. Then finally, putting aside our own dreams and ambitions, allowing the will of our glorious Heavenly Father to become pre-eminent in our life.

Are we prepared to give Him our all today?

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FROM THE WORD

LIFE THROUGH THE SPIRIT
"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you. Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory." (Romans 8:1-17)

LIVING AS CHILDREN OF LIGHT
"So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more. You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Ephesians 4:17-5:21)

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DAVID'S DOODLINGS

GROWING IN GOD

315. In nature, human growth occurs naturally. We expect the same in the Spiritual and get offended when others grow more quickly than us.

316. Human growth is measured in height, girth and wrinkles, spiritual growth by the 'fruit of the Spirit.' Often we confuse the two.

987. To see the view we must first climb the mountain.

988. Growing pains happen in the spiritual as well as the natural.

989. To grow in our God we must first shrink in our self.

990. 'Going down' is the secret to 'growing up' in God.

991. Without life's valleys we wouldn't truly appreciate the mountain tops.

992. 'No gain without pain' is truly also the dictum of the race of life.

993. The race of life goes round many corners.

994. The race of life is held on a cross country course, not on a cinder track.

995. Growth in God is in spurts, same as in the body. They are normally both challenging and satisfying at the same time.

1000. It's in the valleys of life we develop the strength needed to scale the mountain tops.

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CRANWELL'S CARTOON

21 When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. 22 Then one of the synagogue rulers, named Jairus, came there. Seeing Jesus, he fell at his feet 23 and pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” 24 So Jesus went with him. A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. 30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” 31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’” 32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

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TUESDAY TEACHINGS

NEXT WEEK FROM JORDAN TO JORDAN

Remarkably, God repeated the pattern He established with Moses and Joshua, with Elijah and Elisha.

We have an amazing God!

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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." ***

610. THE GUARANTEED BOOKING
A very religious couple was touring the Holy Land during the Christmas season and decided it would be very meaningful to them to spend Christmas Eve in Bethlehem, the birth place of Jesus. Arriving there, they searched high and low for a room, but none was available at any price. Finally, they pulled up in front of the Sheraton-Bethlehem and the husband got out of the car, telling his wife: "Stay here, sweetie. Let me see if I can do something for us."

He approached the desk and the clerk told him there were no rooms. "Sorry, sir. It's Christmas Eve, our busiest time." No matter how much the man offered to pay, the clerk
said he had nothing.

Finally, the man told the clerk, "I bet if I told you my name was Joseph, that the woman waiting in the car was called Mary, and that she had a newborn infant, you'd find us a room."

"Well," stammered the clerk, "I - I suppose so."

"Okay," said the man. "I guarantee you, they're not coming tonight, so we'll take their room."

609. KEEPING THE PROMISE
It was the day after Christmas. The pastor of a church was looking over their Nativity scene when he noticed the baby Jesus was missing from among the figures.

Immediately he turned and went outside and saw a little boy with a red wagon, and in the wagon was the figure of the little infant, Jesus.

So he walked up to the boy and said, "Well, where did you get Him, my fine friend?"

The little boy replied, "I got him from the church."

"And why did you take him?"

The boy said, "Well, about a week before Christmas, I prayed to the little Lord Jesus and I told him if he would bring me a red wagon for Christmas, I would give him the first ride in it."

FREE DOWNLOAD: You can now download the book 'Laughing At Ourselves' in PDF format at LAUGHING AT OURSELVES

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FACTS FOR FUN

LAST WEEKS QUESTION: From where does the saying ‘Hobson's Choice’ originate?

ANSWER: Hobson's Choice doesn't simply mean a difficult choice. It means no choice at all, rather like having to choose between the devil and the deep blue sea. It originated from Thomas Hobson, a 16th-century stable-keeper, and a paid-up member of the amalgamated union of the bloody-minded. He only hired out his horses on a strict rotation system. Customers couldn't choose a horse for themselves. You got the one nearest the stable door or none! (What other choice did Hobson have?)

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: Is it true that hair and nails continue to grow after death?

Answer Next Week.

SOME FUN FACTS

345. BEING PREPARED
The world’s most drought resistant tree is the ‘Baobab Tree’. It can store up to 35,900 gallons (160,000 litres) of water in its trunk for later use. (Water, water nowhere, but I still have plenty to drink.)

346. FROZEN GAS TANK
Gasoline has no specific freezing point, for it freezes at any temperature between -180 and -240 degrees Fahrenheit. When gasoline freezes, it never totally solidifies, but simply resembles gum or wax. (Whatever the temperature, it is really cold!)

347. COLD TO HOT
It takes as much heat to turn one ounce of snow to water as it does to make an ounce of soup boil at room temperature. (How about frozen soup?)

A WORD PUZZLE FOR YOU

Make another word from this word using all the letters.

GANGLIER

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 - PAUL

1) Paul's Jewish name was:

A. Jeremiah
B. Gideon
C. Saul
d. Absalom

Source: www.biblequizzes.com

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IF ONLY I'D THOUGHT OF IT!

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

!!!!!!! When God measures a man, He puts the tape around the heart instead of the head.

!!!!!! God has two dwellings - one in heaven and the other in a grateful heart.

!!!!! God is more interested in making us what He wants us to be than in giving us what we think we ought to Have.

!!!! The man who walks with God always knows in what direction he is going.

!!! In order to receive the direction from God you must be able to receive the correction from God.

!! The measure of a man is not how great his faith is but how great his love is.

! To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover the prisoner was YOU.

100'S MORE TO BE FOUND AT...

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MORE BIBLE RIDDLES

Thought we had done all possible Bible riddles in our last, very popular series. However, I have now found some more for you to enjoy, courtesy of Frank Schaefer of javacasa.com

Q. How do you get holy water?
>
>
>
>
>
>
A. You boil the hell out of it!

Lots more riddles found at...

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GREAT GROANS!

17.THE THREE BEARS TODAY
The three bears had been having some trouble recently and had ended up in family court. Mama and Papa bear were splitting up, and baby bear had to decide who he was going to live with. So, the judge wanted to talk to baby bear to see what he thought about living with either of his parents. When he asked baby bear about living with his father, baby bear said "No, I can't live with Papa bear, he beats me terribly."

"OK," said the judge, "then you want to live with your mother, right?"

"No way!" replied baby bear, "She beats me worse than Papa does."

The judge was confused by this, and didn't quite know what to do.

"Well, you have to live with someone, so are there any relatives you would like to stay with?" asked the judge. "Yes," answered baby bear, "my aunt Bertha bear who lives in Chicago."

"You're sure she will treat you well and won't beat you?" asked the judge.

"Definitely," said baby bear, "the Chicago Bears don't beat anybody."

18. INVESTIGATION
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson were going about their rounds, and trying to get into a house that they needed to search. After trying the door handle, Watson exclaimed "Oh, no, Sherlock, we'll never get in. It's locked!"

At which point, Sherlock removed a yellow citrus fruit from his pocket, and squeezed the juice into the keyhole. The door then opened, and the two were able to search the house.

"How did you manage that?" exclaimed Watson

"A-lemon-entry, my dear Watson," replied Holmes.

19. MORE FAST PUNS!
14. Every calendar’s days are numbered.
15. A lot of money is tainted. It taint yours and it taint mine.
16. A boiled egg in the morning is hard to beat.
17. He had a photographic memory that was never developed.
18. A plateau is a high form of flatter.
19. The short fortune-teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.
20. Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.
21. Once you’ve seen one shopping centre you’ve seen a mall.
22. Those who jump off a Paris bridge are in Seine.
23. When an actress saw her first strands of grey hair she thought she’d dye.
24.Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis.
25. Santa’s helpers are subordinate clauses.
26. Marathon runners with bad footwear suffer the agony of defeat.

Many more great groans...

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

BIBLE TRIVIA

MAGUS is a Persian word referring to the priests of Persia. From 'magus' we get the English word 'magic'.

In ancient times those who could predict eclipses and the motions of the planets must have seemed like magicians.

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

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

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QUICK FACTS ON CHRISTIANITY

Two Greatest Commandments
1. Love God with your heart, soul and mind.
2. Love your neighbor as yourself.

Four Last Things
1. second coming
2. judgment
3. heaven
4. hell

Seven Deadly Sins
1. pride
2. greed
3. lust
4. envy
5. gluttony
6. anger
7. sloth

Seven Ecumenical Councils
1. Council of Nicea (325 AD)
2. Council of Constantinople (381)
3. Council of Ephesus (431)
4. Council of Chalcedon (451)
5. Second Council of Constantinople (553)
6. Third Council of Constantinople (681)
7. Second Council of Nicea (787)

Twelve Apostles
1. James, son of Zebedee
2. John, son of Zebedee
3. Philip
4. Bartholomew
5. Thomas
6. Andrew (Peter's brother)
7. Simon Peter
8. Matthew the tax collector
9. James, son of Alphaeus
10. Simon the Zealot
11. Judas Iscariot
12. Thaddaeus

Fourteen Stations of the Cross
1. Jesus is condemned to death
2. The cross is laid upon him
3. Jesus' first fall
4. Jesus meets Mary
5. Simon of Cyrene bears the cross
6. Veronica wipes Jesus' face
7. Jesus' second fall
8. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
9. Jesus' third fall
10. Jesus is stripped of his garments
11. Jesus is crucified
12. Jesus dies
13. Jesus' body is taken down
14. Jesus's body is laid in the tomb

Many more Bible Facts at...

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DAVID'S DOWNLOAD

A REVELATION OF……. 3 MIRACULOUS CONCEPTIONS

And how they mirrored aspects of the life of Jesus up to 2050 years before He was born. Our God is amazing!

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WAXING LYRICAL

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! My longest poem too, so will print it in small bits!

VICTORY! (Part 3)

THE MOUNTAIN CLIMB
Until two of the party hit upon a brilliant idea,
A shortcut ahead, look! There, nothing to fear!
So off they went, full of confidence that they best knew,
More insight than the rest of us, two of the chosen few.

Jesus stands sadly by, watching them depart,
Their leaving weighing so heavily, on his heart.
Surprisingly he says, "Let them go, that is their choice,
Should they cry out though, I will still hear their voice."

Another of the party misses a turn in the track,
Off into the bush, a sense of
direction did lack.
Jesus stops us all, while he goes to look,
In finding this person, every care he took.

At the top of the mountain the scenery did change,
The summit now in view, well within our range,
Grasses indeed, now the landscape predominate,
Sprinkled about with wild orchids, looking great.

At the summit we rest, our faces all aglow,
We have made it! No more climbing to go!
We thank our guide Jesus, for taking us right up there,
But our own efforts too, we are wanting to compare.

To be continued over the weeks ahead.

More of David's poems at...

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

A DAVID MUSING

In 10 minutes PGIM will go out, irrespective of whether I have finished this article or not.

Deadlines!

Now 9!

We all face deadlines in today's busy world. Puts pressure on us. Tightens the stomach muscles. Unfortunately not permanently!

7.

Or my shape might get back to what it once was.

6.

Mistakes creep ikn as we try to meet our deadline! Will we make it? Doubt arises!

5.

More mnistakes. Tension rises! It's not good for us. We know. But we still get into it!

4.

again and again! Now thae oops the pressure is really on!!!

3 is coming up!

3.

Yes here it is!

Must run, and Im haven't said antyhing!

Ironicallly today is a holiday in New Zealand.

2. See you next week! More time then. Hope my compouter clock is right.

1.
Bye!!



Until next week...

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD.

His servant and yours

David Tait

Today's 'Word Puzzle' Answer: REGALING

TODAY'S 'BIBLE QUESTION' C. Saul (Acts 9)

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
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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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