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

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Issue No: 308     Published: 17 Sep 2007

ARE WE COMPETITORS OR SPECTATORS?

At the present time, the Rugby World Cup is being played between the top 20 rugby nations in the world. There are teams from every continent, that is, from both the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It is being played to full stadiums, mainly in France, where this year's tournament is based. At the same time it is being watched on television by hundreds of millions of people, all around the world. In fact, the RWC is regarded as the world's third largest sporting event, after the Olympic Games and Football World Cup, both of which also, are held at 4 yearly intervals.

So at this big event, which hopefully the perennial favourites, our New Zealand All Blacks, will finally win after a 20 year drought, there are 600 players and hundreds of millions of spectators - including me - and even Kathy! Two good wins for the 'AB's' so far, 5 to go!

While the World Cup is a good, topical illustration to use, the broad subject here has been on my mind for some time.

For when it comes to the church, the question arises as to whether we are spectators or competitors? Which does God want us to be?

The second question is the easiest to answer. For Paul used the imagery of competing in the 'race of life', a number of times throughout his writings. For example:

7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:7-8)

Jesus too, said we need to be 'doers' rather than merely 'hearers' of the Word.

28 He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” (Luke 11:28)

If we can accept that we are to be players rather than spectators, then we must ask ourselves which we really are?

Back to the World Cup. Many of the spectators appear even more enthusiastic than the players, often having had made considerable sacrifices to get to see the games. Their enthusiasm however, often fuelled by spirits other than the Holy One, is often extreme and completely unrealistic. For it is the players, those who have done all the hard yards in training who fully understand the nature of the battle ahead. We spectators bask in the reflected glory of all the effort they have put in. Of course, when our team loses, it is also very easy for us to become highly critical of their performance!

I don't know about you, but I can see remarkable similarities to the church here!

In the church, we too set up our paid 'professionals', generally called pastors, whom we follow with enthusiasm - until they upset us some way! Then we pull them down even more quickly than we built them up! Now, why do we do this? The answer is simple really. In our busy and specialized world it is easier for us to get someone else to be 'spiritual guru' than to put in the 'hard yards' ourselves. In effect, we return to the Old Testament principle of having a priest as an intermediary between oneself and God. For it is much easier for us to be spectators than competitors in God's race of life.

Sadly, today's church generally encourages, often unwittingly, this situation. For we structure our 'organization' in such a way that it follows man's management foundations rather than kingdom principles.

Under kingdom principles, the 5 fold ministries are simply competitors assisting competitors fulfil the programme of God upon the earth.

It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-13)

To attain this situation there is going to have to be changes in both the attitudes of leaders and people. We will consider some of these in the weeks ahead - if I can stop watching too much rugby. (Just joking - I think!)

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FROM THE WORD

"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize." (1 Corinthians 24-27)

"For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing." (2 Timothy 3:6-8)

THE WISE AND FOOLISH BUILDERS
"“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law." (Matthew 7:24-29)

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DAVID'S DOODLINGS

TO BE or TO DO

701. Man expects 'to do' in order 'to be', but God requires us 'to be' in order 'to do'.

702. In God's dictionary, 'doing' follows 'being'.

703. 'To do' is simply living out our 'to be'.

704. If 'to do' does not follow out of our 'to be', then our 'to be' is 'not to be'!

705. 'To be' a witness is 'to do' God's will.

706. We are first called 'to be', then 'to do'.

707. Too often we try 'to do' when God is simply calling us 'to be'.

708. 'To do' good, it is best 'to be' good!

709. To best know what 'to do', we must first learn how 'to be'.

710. If 'what to do' is your question, look to 'what to be' to find your answer.

711. When 'to be or not to be' is the question, 'to be and to do' is the answer.

712. True 'being' results in 'doing'.

713. 'Being' without 'doing' is like a motor without a car. Makes plenty of noise but takes you nowhere!

714. 'To be' is the salt, 'to do' the light. We are called to be both.

1220. Our walk with Jesus is to start off with applying the 'don'ts' of the Law and to end up doing the 'do's' of His will.

1221. The sign of maturity in Jesus is when we live not only the 'dont's of the Law' but live the 'do's of righteousness, submission and obedience to God's will' in our lives.

1222. The 'don'ts of the Law' form firm foundations, but walls and roofs of a godly house are built of submission to God's will.

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FROM YOU - TO ME - TO YOU

Comment on editorial of 2 weeks ago. Sorry for not including it last week Mike. Too much rugby! Pity about Wales!(David)

DAVID
I have valued so many of your comments in past years and printed off quite a few to retain. This time we are not in agreement although we arrive at the same conclusion. "If we are to get to heaven we must bring our mental assent and physical actions together and live as Jesus lived" you say. No we "get to heaven" solely by grace, through faith and not by works (Ephesians 2, but you know that!)

It is all of grace- God's undeserved and unmerited favour. No works no mental assent or physical actions or attempts to live like Jesus will "get us to heaven". It is Old Covenant to strive to achieve some kind of life-style pass mark which gets us there. The said faith certainly implies and includes repentance and turning our backs on the old life. It is faith in the finished work of Jesus on the cross and includes allegiance to Him as Lord and Saviour. Ultimately since we are dead (Ephesians 2 again) there is absolutely zilch that a dead man can do to save himself so even our faith and desire to repent is God's grace gift to us. Furthermore if our new life was God's initiative "you have not chosen me but I have chosen you" and much more on the same lines, God cannot fail by loosing us. Everlasting life cannot be taken away or lost or how could it be everlasting?

BUT if a man or woman has received God's glorious unmerited gift of eternal life, There will be an inevitable response from their hearts. "Father you have done everything for me, you came to earth in the person of Jesus and died for me, what can I do in return?" "Son, daughter, you can keep my commandments, you can keep the new commandment of Jesus and you can seek to live as Jesus lived". It is a response of love and not a means of salvation. Further, if the Holy Spirit is within us, as we are taught happens when we are born again, He will use every endeavour to ensure that we now glorify Jesus since this is His role. If there is no sign of a real life-style change, not instant but always striving, I would have the gravest doubts as to whether the person had ever been truly born again at all. If indeed they are saved, there is no growth, no maturity and they will go to heaven as baby christians. When their works come to be judged, and rewarded, there will be nothing to reward but they will still be saved but, as Paul puts it, only as one escaping through the flames (lCorinthians 3 NIV translation)

So you and I reach the same place and conclusion but by a different route (which is not normally the case!)

I don't really come across the sinners prayer and am not sure about the Greek influence, you may be right. I certainly believe the devil is becoming yet more desperate as his end draws near and he also has read the words "Smite the shepherd and the flock will scatter" which may be another reason why so many leaders, their wives and families are in trouble.*
Kindest Regards and thanks for all you do.

MICHAEL MORTIMER. (Pastor Mike) Monmouth, South Wales, UK
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I love this one! (David)

David

I don't know if this is a well-known joke or not but yesterday when the speaker in our church service asked us why we insure the church buildings, someone called out "to protect us from acts of God" !!

Heather Mackie

-------------------------------------------------------------
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

38 As he taught, Jesus said, “Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted in the marketplaces, 39 and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. 40 They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely.” (Mark 12:38-40)

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TUESDAY TEACHINGS

A VISION OF THE TABERNACLE CHURCH

A CHURCH OF DESTINY Continued. Points 10-15.

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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." ***

641. LATIN
An old man walks into the University Offices and says "I'd like to enrol for a Latin course."

The Dean looks at him and asks rather coyly, "How old are you, Sir?"

"Ninety-three" is the reply.

"Then why do you want to learn Latin, at your time in life?"

"Well" the man explains "I realize I haven't got long for this world, but if I go to Heaven I'd like to be able to speak to God and the Angels in their own language, and I'd feel more comfortable if I knew some Latin."

The Dean thinks, and then asks "But what if you don't go to Heaven but go to - you know - the other place?"

"That's alright, I can already speak American."

640. SAINT MARY'S
Bill Gates my father is not. As church treasurer, he had two files labeled "St. Mary's Income" and "St. Mary's Expenditures." While copying them from a Macintosh to a PC,
he had no idea the PC would automatically truncate the file names to ten characters, eliminate spaces, and replace apostrophes with periods. Now the church's income is stored
in "St.Mary.sin" and expenses in "St.Mary.sex."

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: What bird migrates from the Arctic to the
Antarctic each year?

ANSWER: The Arctic Tern. This travelling bird flies nearly 22,000 miles
(35,000km) each year in its migration (roughly the circumference of the
Earth), making it the animal with the greatest migratory range. Takes six
months to fly each way. It migrates to live! It lives to migrate! (Gets there,
then ‘terns’ round and goes back!)

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: : What controversy involving Pluto occurred in
1999?

Answer Next Week.

SOME FUN FACTS

299. GILBERT
The most intense hurricane to hit the Caribbean was Hurricane Gilbert in 1988. Wind gusts were measured at over 200 miles per hour (320kmh). (All cyclones used to be named after women. Feminists blew up a storm to get this changed. Wonder why? I know, I know…)

300. ON THE RUN
The simple act of walking requires the use of 200 muscles in the human body. Around 40 will lift your leg and move it forward. (Taking your muscles for a walk.)

301. MANY BOXES
It took 214 crates to transport the Statue of Liberty from France to New York in 1885. (Will the French reclaim it as ‘their own’?)

A WORD PUZZLE FOR YOU

Make another word from this word using all the letters.

UNDERDOG

Answer at the end of A David Musing

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BIBLE QUESTION - PAUL

17) After his escape, Paul spent some time in:

A - Ur of the Chaldees
B - Spain
C - Arabia
D - Greece

Source: www.biblequizzes.com

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IF ONLY I'D THOUGHT OF IT!

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

!!!!!!!!!!!! "What If...?"
God couldn't take the time to bless us today because we could not take the time to thank Him yesterday...

!!!!!!!!!!! What If...?
God decided to stop leading us tomorrow because we didn't follow Him today...

!!!!!!!!!! What If...?
God didn't walk with us today because we failed to recognize it as His day...

!!!!!!!!! What If...?
We never saw another flower bloom because we grumbled when God sent the rain...

!!!!!!!! What If...?
God stopped loving and caring for us because we failed to love and care for others...

!!!!!!! What If...
God took away the Bible tomorrow, because we would not read it today...

!!!!!! What If...
God took away His message because we failed to listen to His messenger...

!!!!! What if...?
God didn't send His only begotten Son because He wanted us to be prepared to pay the price of sin...

!!!! What If...?
The door to the church was closed because we did not open the door of our hearts...

!!! What If...?
God would not hear us today because we would not listen to Him yesterday...

!! What If...?
God answered our prayers the way we answer His call to service...

! What If...?
God met our needs the way we give Him our lives...


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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 we know Isaiah's parents were good business people?
>
>
>
>
>
>
A. They both raised a prophet.

(Picture: Isaiah as seen in the Cistine Chapel.

Lots more riddles found at...

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LAUGHING AT LIFE!

176. ONE AND A HALF BILLION YEARS
An off-ramp of a freeway in Long Beach, CA, has been torn up for years. Recently, someone put up a handmade sign reading, "Scientists tell us that the sun will burn out in one and a half billion years. It is sad that this contractor will have to finish working in the dark."

177. THE TREATMENT
We live in a small town where we have a volunteer Ambulance Corp. We are blessed with many dedicated and fully qualified attendants, who staff our ambulances and give freely of themselves. I was chatting with one of the EMS responders one day and she could hardly stifle a chuckle, so I asked her what was so funny and she told me this story...

It seems that she had gone to an automobile accident and was checking a patient who was lying on the road for injuries. As she knelt beside him and probed him, she asked, "Does this hurt or does that hurt?" After each probe, he replied, "No." When she had nearly completed her examination, she shifted to a better spot from which to finish the examination when after one of her probing questions, he exclaimed very loudly, "That hurts!"

When she asked where, he looked up at her with a look of real pain on his face and said, "Your kneeling on my fingers!"

178. TROOPER LOGIC
My son, a West Virginia state trooper, stopped a woman for going 15 miles over the speed limit. After he handed her a ticket, she asked, "Don't you give out warnings?"

"Yes, Ma'am," he replied. They're all up and down the road. They say, 'Speed limit 55.'"

179. A FIGHT
I got in a fight one time with a really big guy, and he said, "I'm going to mop the floor with your face."

I said, "You'll be sorry."

He said, "Oh, yeah? Why?"

I said, "Well, you won't be able to get into the corners very well."

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BIBLE TRIVIA

THE CASTOR OIL PLANT.......

grows and withers quickly, particularly when handled. Some believe it to be the 'guord plant, referred to in Job 4, although the spiky, dark green leaves and reddish yarn ball blooms do not make gourds!

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

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CHRISTIAN AM STATION IN BRAZIL PLANTS 5 CHURCHES IN 4 YEARS

"Response has been tremendous with five new churches already formed as a result of the Christian programming."
Dan Wooding July 15, 2007

(Nova Russas, Brazil)—Five churches have been planted in northeastern Brazil as a result of Avant Ministry's broadcasts on AM-780, a 10,000 watt station in the city of Nova Russas. In 2003, Avant Ministries, a missionary sending agency headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, that recruit s, equips, sends, supports and serves missionaries to more than twenty countries, facilitated the purchase of the 10,000-watt station, the first Christian station in the region.

Its signal is within hearing range of 1.2 million people living in small towns and isolated villages within a 150-mile radius.

Source: ASSIST News Service via The Outreach Files

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DAVID'S DOWNLOAD

A REVELATION OF……. 3 KINGDOM AGES OF GOD

An excellent tool to help better understand Bible history and God's plan for mankind throughout the ages. Kingdom ages, that is! And to get a glimpse of the kingdom yet to come and how we can participate in it.

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WAXING LYRICAL

Another lesson God gave me on Bowentown Beach.

THE PATH
I came to a path as I walked along the beach,
An insignificant path, with a lesson to teach.
For we need, from our mistakes to learn,
If the right way in life, we are to turn.

My walk had not been going too good,
Wanting to get back as soon as I could.
My mind wasn’t working as well as it should.
"I am sure my path was near that log of wood!"

You know how it is, being engaged in wishful thinking,
Believing you’re afloat, when in reality, you’re sinking!
When you are fed up, having had enough,
The mind starts believing ridiculous stuff!

So it was, with this path today,
I was so keen to be on my way,
That I told myself it was the right one,
No doubt about it, ‘twas good as done.

At first glance, it looked just like the right path,
If it wasn’t, no worry, would surely be a laugh.
Surely doesn’t matter whatever path I take,
My goal, in the end, I am bound to make!

(To be continued next week.)

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A DAVID MUSING

WAITING (Continues this week - again!)

Wait for a time,
Then a little more,
Seeking a rhyme,
What's it all for!

I want it now!
Not next week!
You do know how!
To me now speak!

God, all is in your power,
Don't let my life go sour!
I already know what is the best!
No need to put me to the test!

Still nothing happens this week!
"Just wait for Me my son,
Rest in Me, let Me to you speak,
One day, all will be done."

Tuesday comes around,
A new deal awaits.
Found common ground,
With Christian mates.

Full of promise,
Full of hope.
Surely can't miss!
Nope! Nope! Nope!

Wednesday now,
Sign a deal!
We know how!
It's a steal!

Then get a call,
Deal does fall!
Lord I give up!
Hand You the cup.

Agony is inside,
It I can't hide.
What now can I do?
But give it to you.

It's Friday afternoon,
Speak to another man,
Another deal soon?
Yes God, you can!

Wait, wait; wait, wait,
No more, bull at a gate.
God, your will be done,
I'm at peace - your son.

Another deal done,
Contract written.
End of the fun.
End of the mission.

Given to his lawyer,
We're nearly there!
Need go no further,
No need to despair.

The lawyer says no,
No place now to go!
It has fallen over,
Home again Rover!

This time peace does reign,
Getting upset is no gain.
It's in the Lord's hands now,
Just needs to show us how!
--------------------------

Monday comes, another deal.
Great rent, it's a steal!
At last, something now, to us to show,
But is it the best, must wait to know.

Two weeks more,
Before we hear,
A deal in store,
Or a bum steer?

But now peace reigns,
God makes the gains.
It's all up to Him,
The battle to win.

(To be continued next week.)

Until next week...

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD.

His servant and yours

David Tait

Today's 'Word Puzzle' Answer: GROUNDED

TODAY'S 'BIBLE QUESTION': Arabia (Gal 1:17)

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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
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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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