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Issue No: 371     Published: 01 Dec 2008

STOP PRESS: VIOLENCE IN JOS, NIGERIA

In recent days we have all heard about the terrorists in India and the problems in Thailand.

Yesterday evening we received a text message from our friend and Ministry Representative for West Africa, Collins Christopher, who lives in Jos (Jesus Our Saviour). It is the place where the Moslem north and the Christian south of Nigeria meet.

D PAST 3 DAYS HAVE BEEN LIKE LIVING IN A WAR ZONE. BUT 4 HIS GRACE WE LIVE AS REFUGEES. IT IS DAT BAD. HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE N HOUSES HAVE BEEN BURNT. DIS WORST DAN 2001.

The violence appears to have started after a delay in posting results of the first local body elections in 10 years. It rapidly degenerated into ethnic/religious violence between the various communities, after several years of peace and bridge building. Several hundred, at least, have been killed, maybe more.

We would appreciate your prayers for protection for Collins and all involved in the Oasis of Love church. And for a rapid halt to the violence. Thank you.

TRANSFORMATION OF THE CHURCH: 4. CHARACTERISTICS OF KINGDOM PEOPLE

UNITY OF SPIRIT (Continued)

Sadly, there has never been unity in the church, not even in the supposed halcyon days of the first apostolic age, prior to 100AD. Paul discusses the issue.

On Divisions in the Church

Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly—mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? 4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere men? (1 Corinthians 3:1-4)


Right from the beginning then, people have, as Paul states it, been 'worldly' and followed the leadership of men instead of Jesus. This is a sign of immaturity in the church, of adherents being 'milk' feeders rather than mature partakers of 'solid food'.

All leaders are simply to be servants, allocated leadership roles by God to achieve His purposes. No single leader has it all.

5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. 7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. (1 Corinthians 3:5-7)

Jesus is our foundational leader.

11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 3:11)

The Holy Spirit is to be our guide.

16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16)

A huge responsibility comes with being in leadership.

17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple. (1 Corinthians 3:17)

We are all, both leaders and led, to follow God's will through Jesus.

21 So then, no more boasting about men! All things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23 and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God. (1 Corinthians 3:21-3)

Unity cannot be achieved in a church based upon current systems. Two thousand years of experience has proved that! The church needs to change.

It is only in recent times that the book of Hebrews has come to be truly understood. So it is logical then to conclude that the message it contains applies to the church of this day and age.

25 See to it that you do not refuse him (ie. Jesus) who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? 26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” 27 The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. (Hebrews 12:25-27)

To inherit the kingdom our focus must be upon God, not men.

28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our “God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:28)

To receive our full inheritance, to be 'sons' of God, we must be led by the Holy Spirit.

14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. (Romans 8:14-15)

True unity is unity of spirit. It cannot be built not within a structured setting but informally amongst those completely sold out to Jesus, those who allow the Holy Spirit to lead them into the perfect will of the Father. Those whose motivation is to see the kingdom of God come upon the earth now.

2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:2-3)

The cost is great but the reward unbeatable.

4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:4)

Lord, we conclude our discussions in this series on the transformation of the church by praying, as you commanded us to:

10 your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6;10)

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FROM THE WORD

On Divisions in the Church

"Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere men? What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames. Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple. Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a “fool” so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”; and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.” So then, no more boasting about men! All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God." (1 Corinthians 3:1-23)

Warning Against Refusing God

"Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. He could bring about no change of mind, though he sought the blessing with tears. You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, because they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned.” The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.” But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”" (Hebrews 12:14-29)

Prayer

"“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. “This, then, is how you should pray: ”‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." (Matthew 6:5-15)

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DAVID'S DOODLINGS

THE FOOLISH, THE WISE AND THE GODLY

2. The foolish need wisdom, the wise godliness, the godly the character of Christ.

3. The foolish deny God; the wise acknowledge Him, while the godly experience their God.

4. The foolish seek pleasure on earth. The wise build treasure in heaven. But the godly seek to build heaven on earth.

7. The foolish reject God, the wise respect God, while the godly live for their God.

8. The foolish speak before they think, the wise think before they speak, while the godly let their lives speak for them.

9. The foolish are satisfied with reading the Word, the wise follow the Word, while the godly are as one with the Word.

11. The lips of the foolish blaspheme God, those of the wise honour God, while the godly ones' lips glorify their God.

13. Unity of fellowship is spurned by the foolish, acknowledged by the wise, but sought by the godly.

14. Foolishness is effortless, wisdom a gift, but godliness requires submission.

15. Satan loves the foolish, attacks the wise, but fears the godly.

17. Fools believe they have all wisdom, the wise are prepared to learn from others, while the godly one's teacher is the Holy Spirit.

18. The foolish heart seeks only God’s blessings, the wise heart seeks to bless others, while the godly heart first blesses God.

205. Foolishness is of the flesh, wisdom of the mind, but godliness comes from a heart right with God.

305. The foolish can seek wisdom, the wise godliness, while the godly grow into the image of Christ.

306. The foolish rest content in hope, the wise find faith, while the godly unreservedly love both God and others.

427. The foolish seek nothing, the wise, 'to do', while the godly desire 'to be'.

484. The foolish lust after instant pleasure, the wise seeks knowledge, while the godly yearn for God's truth.

870. The foolish one looks inwards, the wise outwards, but the godly, upwards.

1273. The foolish give seeking earthly return, the wise, to build up treasures in heaven, while the godly give their all out of love for God, with no need of reward.

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CRANWELL'S CARTOON










JESUS CALMS THE STORM
22 One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. 23 As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. 24 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. 25 “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.” (Luke 8:22-25)











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TUESDAY TEACHINGS

GOD AND MAN continues...

We look at the length of wilderness times and our response to the wilderness.

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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." ***

776. THE PASTOR AND THE PAINTER
There was a painter who went to paint a pastors house one day. The Pastor
showed him everything he wanted done and then left for the day. The
painter wondered if he had brought too little paint to complete the job,
but he decided to start anyway.

Later in the day he had completed three sides of the house and realized he
didn't quite have enough for the fourth side. The painter decided to add
water to the paint to make it go further.

When the painter was cleaning his brushes and packing up his truck the
Pastor arrived home. He began to circle the house inspecting the work that
had been done. Upon coming around the fourth side of the house the Pastor
walked calmly to the painter and said "Repaint and thin no more!"

775. MORE BILLBOARDS
1. There was a church that had problems with outsiders parking in its parking lots, so they put up a sign: CHURCH CAR PARK - FOR MEMBERS ONLY Trespassers will be baptized!

2. "No God - No Peace. Know God - Know Peace."

3. "Free Trip to heaven. Details Inside!"

4. "Try our Sundays. They are better than Baskin Robbins."

5. "Searching for a new look? Have your faith lifted here!"

6. An ad for one Church has a picture of two hands holding stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments are inscribed and a headline that reads, "For fast, fast, fast relief, take two tablets."

7. When the restaurant next to another Church put out a big sign with red letters that said, "Open Sundays," the church reciprocated with its own message: "We are open on Sundays, too."

8. "People are like tea bags -- you have to put them in hot water before you know how strong they are."

9. "Fight truth decay -- study the Bible daily."

10. "How will you spend eternity - Smoking or Nonsmoking?"

11. "Dusty Bibles lead to Dirty Lives"

12. "Come work for the Lord. The work is hard, the hours are long and the pay is low. But the retirement benefits are out of this world."

13. "It is unlikely there'll be a reduction in the wages of sin."

14. "Do not wait for the hearse to take you to church."

15. "If you're headed in the wrong direction, God allows U-turns."

16. "If you don't like the way you were born, try being born again."

17. "Looking at the way some people live, they ought to obtain eternal fire insurance soon."

18. "This is a ch_ _ ch. What is missing?" (U R)

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: King Edward II of England (1324) decreed the
standard measurement of the ‘inch’ to be equal to what?

ANSWER: Three barleycorns laid end to end. (Measurement didn’t get
any easier after that – until metrics.)

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: Which 'King' in a pack of cards doesn’t have a
moustache?

Answer Next Week.

SOME FUN FACTS

456. ALL GOOD THINGS TAKE TIME
It takes the same amount of time to age a good cigar as it does good wine. (And good people?)

457. KEEP DIGGING
On average, it takes a ton of ore to produce sufficient gold to make one wedding ring. (And tons of experience to make the marriage work.)

458. THAT SINKING FEELING
Fourteen years before the Titanic sailed on an April day in 1912 on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York, a novel titled "Futility" was published about an unsinkable and glamorous Atlantic liner, the largest in the world. Like the Titanic, the fictional vessel was triple-screw and could make 24-25 knots. At 800 feet, it was a little shorter than the Titanic, but at 70,000 tons, its displacement was 4,000 tons greater. Like the Titanic itself, its passenger list was the creme de la creme and there were not enough lifeboats on board. On a cold April night, the fictional ‘unsinkable’ vessel strikes an iceberg and glides to the bottom of the Atlantic. The name of this liner, in the story by Morgan Robertson, was ‘The Titan.’ (A sad story of man’s ‘irresistible force’ meeting nature’s ‘immovable object’. Nature won – again!)

A WORD PUZZLE FOR YOU

Make another word from this word using all the letters.

This is a new, clever and amusing series I came across recently. The answers relate to the original word.

ASTRONOMER (Two word answer.)

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 - YOU BE THE JUDGE!

19) What caused Jephthah to tear his clothes?

A - he lost the battle
B - he was caught in a thicket
C - his daughter met him
D - his family attacked him

Source: www.biblequizzes.com

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IF ONLY I'D THOUGHT OF IT!

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

!!!!!!! There is always a lot to be thankful for, if you take the time to look. For example, I'm sitting here thinking how nice it is that wrinkles don't hurt.

!!!!!! One reason to smile is that every seven minutes of every day, someone in an aerobics class pulls a hamstring.

!!!!! Car sickness is the feeling you get when the monthly payment is due.

!!!! The best way to keep kids at home is to make a pleasant atmosphere- and let the air out of their tires.

!!! Families are like fudge . . . mostly sweet, with a few nuts.

!! Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground.

! Laughing helps. It's like jogging on the inside.

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GREAT GROANS!

57. A DOG NAMED MACE
A mechanic who worked out of his home had a dog named Mace. Mace had a bad habit of eating all the grass on the mechanic's lawn, so the mechanic had to keep Mace inside.

The grass eventually became overgrown.

One day the mechanic was working on a car in the backyard and dropped his wrench, losing it in the tall grass. He couldn't find it for the life of him, so he decided to call it a day.

That night, Mace escaped from the house and ate all the grass in the backyard.

The next morning the mechanic went outside and saw his wrench glinting in the sunlight. Realizing what had happened he looked toward the heavens and proclaimed, "A grazing Mace, how sweet the hound, that saved a wrench for me!"

59. JEOPARDY!?
Did you hear about the big winner on JEOPARDY!? He went home the next day, and his wife demanded, "Who were those women I saw you outwit last night?"


60. THE BUTCHER
The woman said to her butcher, "Those sausages you sold me yesterday were meat at one end and nothing but cornmeal at the other end."

The butcher replied, "Well, you know how it is . . . it's difficult these days to make both ends meat."

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BIBLE TRIVIA

ABRAHAM'S JOURNEY SOUTHWARDS...

.....from Haram led through the length of Canaan, then the Negeb Desert to Egypt, and finally northwards, towards the Promised Land. His caravans were not like camel caravans seen today in the desert. It is likely that, until he reached Egypt, he travelled on foot, with no beasts of burden, except perhaps, a few donkeys.

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

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“The Church has left the Building!"—On Sunday, the Congregation moves to the Marketplace

Aimee Herd

"It's easy to become so insular and isolated as a church and as Christians…that we need to be shaken from our inertia and reminded what God has called us to be and do."
All across America this Sunday, churches will usher members, not inside their doors, but outside, in participation of the Faith in Action program.

According to putyourfaithinaction.org, "Faith in Action is a 4-week, churchwide campaign that creates in your congregation an outward focus and a heart to serve. FIA culminates in a Sunday where regular services are cancelled and the entire congregation engages in service projects in, and with, the community."

This year's Sunday for action was October 12th. Pastor Mac Starring, from New Hampshire, shared his experience during last year's Faith in Action Sunday, as he walked through a farmer's market in his small town and encountered neighbors and families who asked him what he (a pastor) was doing in the marketplace on a Sunday morning… "We've closed the church," he answered. "Oh, no—you've closed the church!?" His answer was met with shock. "Just for today, so that we can focus on serving people around town," he explained.

Pastor Mac summed up that experience: "People were dismayed to think that the church had closed. Yet the church—and God—obviously weren't that important to them. After all, look where they were on Sunday. It underscored for me once again the importance of outreach. Ongoing outreach—not just a one-time event.

Source: Faith in Action

Via: The Outreach Files: October 08. beautifulfeettaskforce.injesus.com

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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

Normally writing verse takes longer than writing prose. But not this time!

IN A HURRY!

Time is short,
Too much sport!

Bad attitude,
No gratitude!

Put Jesus first,
Develop thirst!

Do come aboard,
Jesus is Lord!

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A DAVID MUSING

I looked at the date of this PGIM and saw it was 1 December! WHAT!!! Can't be December already! Where has the year gone!

I know, you will think, "He must be getting old!" While I will admit to 'older' (than I was last year!) I believe that there is another factor also - the increasing pace of life in our modern world.

I am an active person, so can cope with, and mostly enjoy, lots of things happening.

But I am conscious that busyness plays havoc with relationships when it gets out of control. With our family, with friends and with Jesus.

We now come towards Christmas, when ridiculously, if you think about it, we miss the real reason for the season in our haste to get everything done! Is it really about Jesus? For most of us - not really! Maybe family, maybe even, acts of kindness. Or maybe Christmas has sad memories for us.

Whatever our situation, let us not forget that people are more important than things. And Jesus, the most important of all! It is His birthday (well it isn't really, but that's another story!) we celebrate, isn't it?

Until next week...

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD.

His servant and yours

David Tait

Today's 'Word Puzzle' Answer: MOON STARER

TODAY'S 'BIBLE QUESTION': C - his daughter met him (Judges 11:34-36)

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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
7 Bull Street
Ahuriri
Napier
New Zealand

Phone: (06) 835 0567 International (+64) 6 835 0567

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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