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: 302     Published: 06 Aug 2007

ARE YOU THE UNDERDOG?

In life, little is as it seems.

Look at the clothes we wear, designed to make our body look better than it really is, or the book cover that promises much but delivers little. The church too, is most often quite different to what it appears to be.

Predominantly, church leaders strive for bigger congregations, larger and flasher buildings and more successful programmes. Indeed, we look up to those who have achieved this form of success, as illustrated by them in the plethora of 'Do It How I Did It' Christian conferences that abound throughout the world today. The essence of the message is simple. "If every church was as 'successful' as mine, with 5,000 members, the whole world would be 'saved'!" Of course, all those whose churches are small feel suitably guilty that they have not been able to reach the lofty heights of the speaker.

The seven (home?) churches of Revelation were a an early sample of how churches operate. Three were moderately successful (Ephesus, Pergamum, Thyatira), one was dead, (Sardis), another (Laodicea), the 'super star' church of the day. Yet God had a hard message for each of these five. "Get your act together!" But the harshest words of all were saved for the richest, seemingly most successful church of the lot, Laodicea - I am about to spit you out of my mouth. (Revelation 3:16b)
There remained churches, (Smyrna and Philadelphia), both of whom were going through tough times. Smyrna, poor and persecuted, Philadelphia, physically weak yet spiritually obedient. Struggling churches, yet giving God with their all. These were the churches that pleased God.

As we look round the world today, we see that the church is growing fastest in those places where, in human terms, it seems weak, it seems poor. In places, such as China, where it is being persecuted. No big buildings, large congregations or formal programmes there. Only dedicated, small groups of disciples, who endure hardship and persecution as the present reward for faith in Jesus.

Of course, the West is not China. We don't suffer persecution, but maybe ridicule in many places. But there are still lessons we can learn from the Revelation churches.

God is not interested in size. God is not interested in bigger and better buildings. God is not interested in powerful, humanly charismatic pastors leading big programmes.

God is interested in pastors and people who are 'sold out' to Him. Those prepared to give away worldly symbols of success in order to do His will. Those prepared to be ridiculed both by the world, and many in the church, as being 'foolish for Jesus'. The servant hearted who put Jesus and others before themselves. Truly the underdogs of the Christian world.

God seeks quality before quantity. Disciples before believers.

If you are really, really sold out to Jesus, you will know the pain of rejection. Both from the world and within the church. But Jesus is with you every step of the way. When the tears flow, He is there. When rejection comes, He loves you all the more. In spite of apparent circumstances, you are walking in His will and will receive His reward.

God desires submissive servants, not super stars.

Be encouraged, my friend, for our Jesus is with us.

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FROM THE WORD

TO THE CHURCH IN EPHESUS
“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands: 2 I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. 3 You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. 4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. 5 Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. 6 But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7 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 paradise of God.

TO THE CHURCH IN SMYRNA
8 “To the angel of the church in Smyrna write: These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again. 9 I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich! I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death.

TO THE CHURCH IN PERGAMUM
12 “To the angel of the church in Pergamum write: These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. 13 I know where you live—where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city—where Satan lives.
14 Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality. 15 Likewise you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. 17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.

TO THE CHURCH IN THYATIRA
18 “To the angel of the church in Thyatira write: These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze. 19 I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first. 20 Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. 21 I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. 22 So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. 23 I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds. 24 Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan’s so-called deep secrets (I will not impose any other burden on you): 25 Only hold on to what you have until I come. 26 To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations— 27 ‘He will rule them with an iron scepter; he will dash them to pieces like pottery’— just as I have received authority from my Father. 28 I will also give him the morning star. 29 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

TO THE CHURCH IN SARDIS
“To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2 Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. 3 Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. 4 Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. 5 He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels. 6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

TO THE CHURCH IN PHILADELPHIA
7 “To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. 8 I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. 9 I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. 10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth. 11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. 12 Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name. 13 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

TO THE CHURCH IN LAODICEA
14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. 19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. 21 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. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Revelation 2:1 -3:22)

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DAVID'S DOODLINGS

SUBMISSION AND OBEDIENCE
915. Obedience to God's will for our life is the highest call.

916. Belief is of the mind, worship of the heart, but obedience is of the will.

917. The greatest change we can make is from gratifying our own will to obeying God's will for our life.

918. Obedience to God's will and ways is the very core of the Gospel.

919. Christian maturity develops as we submit to the will of God for our life.

920. In the world, submission is weakness, in God, strength.

921. In the world, submission comes from without, in God, from within.

922. I obey my master. The question is, "who is my master?"

923. Disobedience comes from Adam and Eve. Obedience is modelled by Jesus. Whom will we follow?

924. Disobedience is selfish, Godly obedience, selfless!

925. Obedience and suffering are common bedfellows.

926. Obedience is refined in the fire of testing.

927. If we obey those we respect, it begs the question, "Do we respect ourselves more than Jesus?"

928. If God knows more than me, shouldn't I take His advice?

929. As God grows in me, there is less and less room for me myself!

930. Heaven is reached through obedience to God's will, not simply the recitation of a 'Sinners Prayer'.

931. Godly obedience is the present outworking of belief and faith.

932. I cannot truly say I'm a believer if I'm not prepared to follow the path of the one in whom I believe.

933. Freewill is a choice, obedience the choice of freewill.

934. Doing what God wants us to do when it differs from what we want to do is our true test of obedience.

935. "I will obey You", is the ultimate form of worship.

936. The path of obedience takes a different route to that of our natural understanding.

937. To do what we don't understand, because God said it, is the ultimate test of obedience.

938. It may be easier to die as a martyr, than to die to one's self!

939. As I die, so God grows in me. There is only room for one of us!

940. In God, submission is a sign of success, not one of failure.

Please feel free to quote these quotes. Acknowledgement of David Tait as the author would be appreciated. There are now over 1300 David sayings for you to view at ...

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CRANWELL'S CARTOON

11 The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, “What
should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?” 12 “Pick me
up and throw me into the sea,” he replied, “and it will become calm.
I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.”
13 Instead, the men did their best to row back to land. But they
could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before. 14 Then they
cried to the LORD, “O LORD, please do not let us die for taking this
man’s life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man,
for you, O LORD, have done as you pleased.” 15 Then they took Jonah
and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. 16 At this the
men greatly feared the LORD, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD
and made vows to him. 17 But the LORD provided a great fish to swallow
Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights.
From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God. 2 He said:
“In my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me. From the
depths of the grave I called for help, and you listened to my cry.
3 You hurled me into the deep, into the very heart of the seas, and
the currents swirled about me; all your waves and breakers swept over
me. 4 I said, ‘I have been banished from your sight; yet I will look
again toward your holy temple.’ 5 The engulfing waters threatened me,
the deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head. 6 To the
roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in
forever. But you brought my life up from the pit, O LORD my God.
7 “When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, LORD, and my prayer
rose to you, to your holy temple. 8 “Those who cling to worthless
idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs. 9 But I, with a song of
thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good.
Salvation comes from the LORD.” 10 And the LORD commanded the fish, and
it vomited Jonah onto dry land. (Jonah 1:11-2:10)

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TUESDAY TEACHINGS

12 LESSONS TO BE LEARNED FROM ‘DIVIDING THE WATERS’ (Continues)

As we consider the vital question of how, as individuals, are to live in God's kingdom now.

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*** ANOTHER DAILY EZINE FROM WWJ!*** 'LAUGHING AT OURSELVES' Subscribe Today

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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." ***

628. THE HIGH TECH CHURCH
You know your church has gone over the electronic age when:

-The pastor reads his sermon from a palm-held computer "notepad"

-There are cell phone chargers next to tithe pew-pencil drill holes

-MCI takes out full-page ads in the church bulletin

-At the church flea market, used cell phones and answering machines outnumber bowling balls, blenders and electric can-openers.

When the bells are rung at the end of the service, half the congregation reaches into pockets or purses to see if it was for them. (Theologically speaking, of course, it was).

627. SOLDIERS IN HEAVEN
Little Willie asked his mother, "Mamma, don't soldiers ever go to heaven?"

"Of course they do!" protested his mother. "What makes you ask?"

"There are so many soldiers with beards but I never saw any pictures of angels with beards."

"Oh, that's because most men who go to Heaven get there by a close shave."
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: Do sword swallowers really swallow the sword?

ANSWER: : It's not a trick: they really do swallow the sword. It's not easy
though. Sword swallowers must relax the throat muscles and keep them
completely relaxed while the sword is inside. The swords are dull, but
without a steady hand – or sword - they can do damage to the throat,
oesophagus, or stomach. (Wouldn’t want to sneeze half way!)


THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: : In terms of chemical composition, what
substance does human blood most closely resemble?

Answer Next Week.

SOME FUN FACTS

317. YOUR ROOF
Mansard, gambrel, hip, gable, and lean-to are types of roofs on buildings. (Are roofs of the mouth all the same?)

318. MUCH READING
There is a house in Rockport Massachusetts, USA, built entirely of newspaper. The Paper House at Pigeon Cove, as it is called, is made of 215 thicknesses of newspaper. (Nothing is as old as yesterday’s news.)

319. AN EXPENSIVE DRIP
A dripping hot water faucet wastes an average of 40 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month. This is the equivalent of running a colour television 8 hours a day for about 31 days. (Avoid the violence though!)

A WORD PUZZLE FOR YOU

Make another word from this word using all the letters.

LYRIC

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

11) On the road at noon Paul met:

A - Herod
B - Jesus
C - Peter
D - Pilate

Source: www.biblequizzes.com

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IF ONLY I'D THOUGHT OF IT!

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

!!!!!!! God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

!!!!!! God grades on the cross, not the curve.

!!!!! God loves everyone, but probably prefers "fruits of the spirit" over "religious nuts!"

!!!! God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.

!!! He who angers you, controls you!

!! If God is your Copilot - swap seats!

! Prayer: Don't give God instructions -- just report for duty!

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. What is it that Adam never saw or had, yet left 2 of them for his children?
>
>
>
>
>
>
A. Parents.

Lots more riddles found at...

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TILL DEATH DO US PART!

296. THE VISITOR
A Swiss guy visited Sydney, Australia, and pulled up at a bus stop where two locals were waiting.

"Entschuldigung, koennen Sie Deutsch sprechen?" he asked. The two Aussies just stared at him.

"Excusez-moi, parlez vous Francais?" he tried. The two continued to stare.

"Parlare Italiano?" Other than a glance at each other, there was still no response.

"Hablan ustedes Espanol?" Still nothing.

The Swiss guy gave up and drove off, extremely disgusted. When he was gone, the first Aussie turned to the second and said, "Y'know, maybe we should learn a foreign language."
"Why?" the other replied. "That guy knew four languages, and it didn't do him any good."

295. CLOSE FAMILY!
A car was involved in an accident in a street. As expected, a large crowd gathered. A lawyer anxious to get there first could not get near the car. Being a clever sort, he started shouting loudly, "Let me through! Let me through! I am the son of the victim."

The crowd made way for him.

Lying in front of the car was a donkey.

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BIBLE TRIVIA

FOREST TREES.......
were regarded as symbols of holiness to the Jews. The 2 most common, the oak and the terebinth were derived from Hebrew words meaning God. Solomon's Temple was lined with wood from the cedars of Lebanon.

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

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CHURCHSPEAK

The spiritual meaning of words from nature include:

CLAY---------Man

DARKNESS----Sin, Satan

DEW----------Devotion

DROUGHT-----Judgement

DUST---------Natural man

FIRE----------Judgement, Testing, Purification (Sometimes Holy Spirit)

FLOOD--------Judgement

LIGHT---------God, Personal revelation we have received of God

LIGHTENING---Judgement

MOUNTAIN----Authority

MOON---------Jesus

RAIN----------Holy Spirit

RAINBOW------God's Covenant Promises

ROCK---------Jesus

SAND---------People

STARS--------Holy Spirit, Christians

STONES------Christians

SUN----------God the Father

THUNDER-----Voice of God

WATER-------Cleansing, Purification

WIND---------Holy Spirit

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DAVID'S DOWNLOAD

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF ...
A unique look at what may have been like to visit the Tabernacle of of Moses.

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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 12)

RIDING THE RIVER OF LIFE

Pondering this greatest of all cities as I float along,
“Is it possible that to it, one day, I will belong?”
Where the very glory of God has its home,
Living in perfect peace, no more to roam.

To view its great high wall, with twelve large gates,
Going in past the angels, now to be with my mates!
Seeing the names of the twelve tribes there inscribed,
With those of the Apostles on the foundations inside.

The wall is made of jasper, shining as clear as crystal,
The foundations of precious stones, emerald to beryl.
A main street of pure gold, like transparent glass,
Like everything else in this place, it has real class!

Floating down the stream,
Ever content in my dream,
I’m being cleansed inside,
No longer any sin to hide.

The voice inside now cries out – “Look! Look!
A city ahead – greater than any picture book!
The glory of God surrounds it from above,
And the light of the Lamb bathes it in love.”

To be continued over the weeks ahead.

More of David's poems at...

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A DAVID MUSING

From four to three, plus one, equals four again, with one delay. Make sense? Not for us either! Yes, another week of frustration as we continue to look for a building in which to start a shop for africa arise!

"Lord, may your will be done. In your time, Lord." A hard prayer to keep praying when you would prefer action now!

In cricket (the magnificent game that you Americans miss out on the delights of!), when one batter is calling to the other to take a run, where there are 3 calls - yes, no and wait. So it is in God. The call of 'wait' keeps you on tenterhooks, while God does 'His thing'. Few of us like waiting, but that is often God's call.

"Lord, give me grace to accept the call of 'wait' in my life"

Until next week...

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD.

His servant and yours

David Tait

Today's 'Word Puzzle' Answer: CYRIL

TODAY'S 'BIBLE QUESTION': Jesus (Acts 9)

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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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