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Issue No: 410     Published: 31 Aug 2009

SERMON ON THE MOUNT - THE KINGDOM WAY

A Tree and Its Fruit

15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. (Matthew 7:15-21)


EXPOSITION: The scriptural application is to all the 5 fold ministry, not just prophets. In the illustration, the fruit bearing trees are of two types, those producing good, and those producing bad, fruit. What distinguishes the two? Matthew Henry comments, If the doctrine be of God, it will tend to promote serious piety, humility, charity, holiness, and love, with other Christian graces; but if, on the contrary, the doctrines these prophets preach have a manifest tendency to make people proud, worldly, and contentious, to make them loose and careless in their conversations, unjust or uncharitable, factious or disturbers of the public peace; if it indulge carnal liberty, and take people off from governing themselves and their families by the strict rules of the narrow way, we may conclude, that 'this persuasion comes not of him that calleth us', (Gal. 5:8) Henry, Matthew, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Bible, (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers) 1997. Those who promote false doctrines will end up in hell.

TESTIMONY: For those involved in Christian 'ministry' (that is, all of us!) this passage is a timely reminder of the need to be so careful in what we speak, teach or preach.

While no one person has 100% of the truth, and inevitably, there will be one or two rotten or deformed fruit on our 'tree', as there is in the natural also. We are to be known by the good fruit in our life. In reality, by what we do rather than what we say, or say we do!

The problem in preaching and teaching is that we want to give a 'good' sermon or teaching. It is so tempting to 'spice it up' with words that stray from the truth. Maybe just a little to start off with, but more and more as time goes on.

For me personally, I have had to consider whether the 'revelations', the teachings you find in the 'David's Downloads' section of PGIM are truly from God, or from my imagination.

Ironically, in a way, I have had an advantage - perhaps you may say, a dangerous advantage! For I have had little theological training. At the time of writing these I was spending many hours reading the Bible through and through from cover to cover. While I have a lousy memory when it comes to learning verses, or even knowing where specific verses are found, I did build up a good overall understanding of Biblical principles. When the Lord gave me a revelation or inspiration about a particular subject, I was then able to search out the detail, line upon line, scripture upon scripture, to produce the teachings. As a confirmation, I have always had the teachings checked out by people more qualified and experienced than I in theological matters. For I have always been aware of wanting to be accurate scripturally in my writing.

Incidentally, knowledge and understanding are two quite different things. We can know a lot but understand little. I will never forget the time I conducted some meetings in Benin City in Nigeria. Some teachers from a local Bible Seminary came along, more than a little skeptical about this 'kiwi'. They mellowed. After the meetings however, one of the men came up to me, A Doctor of Theology, and told me that he had studied the Bible for many years, had tremendous knowledge of it which he taught to others, yet this seminar was the first time he had truly gained a real understanding of what the Bible was really all about. This has been repeated elsewhere also. For theology is based on knowledge while understanding is grounded in relationship.

While it is good to have revelation, the most important truth, as shared by Jesus in this illustration of the tree and its fruit, is living life according to the example of Jesus. The 'fruit of the Spirit' are an obvious parallel.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-3)

Does my life exhibit these? You had better ask Jesus. Or my wife! Many times it does, other times it doesn't.

Summing up:

Our best sermon is our life.

(To be continued next week.)

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FROM THE WORD

Life by the Spirit

"So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other." (Galatians 5:16-26)

Faith and Deeds

"What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead." (James 2:14-26)

Taming the Tongue

"Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check. When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water." (James 3:1-12)

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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.

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CRANWELL'S CARTOON






30 Now Sarai was barren; she had no children. (Genesis 11:20)
15 Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.” But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.” (Genesis 18:15)
2 Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. (Genesis 21:2)




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TUESDAY TEACHINGS

THIS WEEK: TRANSFORMATION OF THE CHURCH: 3. FROM KINGS TO KINGDOM continues...

We will consider the 3rd remaining relational aspect, relationship with the world.

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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." ***

89. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
A little girl was sitting on her grandfather's lap as he read her a bedtime story.
From time to time, she would take her eyes off the book and reach up to touch his
wrinkled cheek. She was alternately stroking her own cheek, then his again.

Finally she spoke up, "Grandpa, did God make you?"

"Yes, sweetheart," he answered, "God made me a long time ago."

"Oh," she paused, "Grandpa, did God make me too?"

"Yes, indeed, honey," he said, "God made you just a little while ago."

Feeling their respective faces again, she observed, "God's getting better at it, isn't he?"

88. NO PRAYER REQUIRED
The Sunday School Teacher asks, "Now, Johnny, tell me frankly, do you say prayers
before eating?"

"No sir," little Johnny replies, "I don't have to. My Mom is a good cook."

87. OUR WITNESS
After the christening of his baby brother in church, little Johnny sobbed all the way
home in the back seat of the car. His father asked him three times what was wrong.

Finally, the boy replied, "That priest said he wanted us brought up in a Christian
home, and I want to stay with you guys!"

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: Is it true that turtles don't age?

ANSWER: It is strange, but true. After reaching maturity, a turtle's body
doesn't continue to age biologically. They manifest what is known as
'negligible senescence', that is they increase in chronological age without
exhibiting increased mortality. To put it simply: they continue to grow and
reproduce after reaching maturity, but show no evidence of 'senescence',
a fancy word for 'aging'. Turtles do die, of course. Eventually, they'll
succumb to disease, injury, or predators - but there have been reports of
turtles living for more than 100 to 200 years! (Need all this extra time to
get places.)

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: Are fish more abundant in cold ocean water or
warm water?

Answer Next Week.

SOME FUN FACTS

337. NOT JUST RATS AND MICE
The largest order of mammals, comprising about 1,700 species, is rodents. Bats are second with about 950 species. (Another one for the road!)

338. SUN SHINES
The Sun is about midway in the scale of star sizes, but most are smaller ones. Only five percent of the stars in our galaxy are larger than the Sun. (You are my sunshine, my only sunshine…)

339. LIVING IN
The skin of the armpit harbours up to 516,000 bacteria per square inch, while drier areas, such as the forearm, have only about 13,000 bacteria per square inch. (But after deodorant is applied? Killers are we?)

A WORD PUZZLE FOR YOU

Make another word from this word using all the letters.

SWELTER

Answer at the end of A David Musing

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BIBLE QUESTION - WATER WATER EVERYWHERE!

18) The land given to Abraham lay between these two rivers:

A - Jordan and river of Egypt
B - Jordan and Euphrates
C - river of Egypt and Kidron
D - river of Egypt and Euphrates

Source: www.biblequizzes.com

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IF ONLY I'D THOUGHT OF IT!

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

!!!!!!! Flashlight: A case for holding dead batteries.

!!!!!! The shin bone is a device for finding furniture.

!!!!! A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well.

!!!! Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

!!! Diamonds are a girl's best friends. Dogs are man's best friend. So which is more intelligent ?

!! Nothing is fool-proof to a talented fool.

! Syntax is all the money collected at the church from sinners.

100'S MORE TO BE FOUND AT...

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LIFE'S A LAUGH

130. THE TAP
A taxi passenger tapped the driver on the shoulder to ask him a question. The driver screamed, lost control of the car, nearly hit a bus, went up on the footpath, and stopped centimeters from a shop window. For a second, everything went quiet in the cab, then the driver said, "Look mate, don't ever do that again. You scared the daylights out of me!"
The passenger apologized and said he didn't realize that a little tap could scare him so much.

The driver replied, "Sorry, it's not really your fault. Today is my first day as a cab driver - I've been driving a hearse for the last 25 years!”

131. QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS
A father and son went fishing one day.

After a couple hours out in the boat, the boy suddenly became curious about the world around him. He asked his father, "How does this boat float?" The father thought for a moment, then replied, "Don't rightly know, son."

The boy returned to his contemplation, then turned back to his father, "How do fish breathe underwater?" Once again the father replied, "Don't rightly know, son."

A little later the boy asked his father, "Why is the sky blue?" Again, the father replied. "Don't rightly know, son."

Worried he was going to annoy his father, he says, "Dad, do you mind my asking you all of these questions?"

"Of course not, son. If you don't ask questions, you'll never learn anything!"

132. FIGHTING FIRE WITH FIRE
I received a call from one of those annoying telephone marketers the other day. This lady asked me if I'd be willing to participate in a survey. I agreed to do so. She began the questions, but I interrupted her. "Wait a second," I said. "Who is this and what organization do you represent?"

She answered my question and continued asking questions. I interrupted her again. "What's the purpose of this survey?" I asked.

"Sir," she replied irritably, "I don't have time to answer your questions." She then hung up on me.

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BIBLE TRIVIA (Relationship Between the Shepherd and the Sheep)

THE YOUNGEST BOY IN THE FAMILY BECOMES THE SHEPHERD.....

..... of the sheep. As the older son grows up, he begins to help his father with the crops, passing on the shepherding task to the younger brother, and so on. Such was the case with the family of Jesse where David, the eighth and final son, was the shepherd.

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

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Conflict and disillusionment within Islam - a call to pray for awakening and revival

By Elizabeth Kendal
Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin (RLPB) 018
Special to ASSIST News Service

AUSTRALIA (ANS) -- Muslim states have gained independence, Islamists have risen to power and Sharia Law has been widely adopted, but the promised utopia is not materialising. In fact the Islamic world seems more corrupt, violent, conflicted and insecure than ever. Now Islamic fundamentalists are rising up against Islamic pro-Sharia regimes accusing them of not being Islamic enough! No amount of appeasement is ever enough. Many Muslims are becoming disillusioned as tensions rise and conflicts rage within Islamic states, as the demands of Islamic fundamentalists become increasingly severe and unpalatable, and as Islamic dictators show how corrupt, repressive, power-hungry and violent they can be.

In Somalia, al Shabaab (the militant wing of the ousted Islamic Courts Union) has been waging jihad against the Western-backed Transnational Federal Government (TFG) since December 2006, even though the new TFG is Islamist and pro-Sharia. Al Shabaab wants a government that will implement Sharia Law fully and support regional and international jihad (Islamic 'holy war').

In Pakistan, Islamic fundamentalists in Islamabad's Red Mosque were demanding full implementation of Sharia Law and support for jihad as a 'great sacred religious duty of Muslims'. The government crushed them in May-June 2007. Al Qaeda responded by declaring jihad against the government and the battle for Pakistan has been raging ever since.

Likewise, tensions have been escalating in Nigeria's northern Sharia states for several years as uncompromising Sharia enforcers known as Hisbah frequently clash with the more pragmatic police and State authorities. On 26 July 2009 Boko Haram (the 'Nigerian Taliban') launched an uprising with an attack on a police station in the northern Sharia state of Bauchi. The resulting conflict between Boko Haram and government forces spread to Kano, Yobe and Borno, all northern Sharia states. Fighting raged for five days and claimed hundreds of lives, mostly Boko Haram fighters. During the uprising, three pastors captured by Boko Haram in Maiduguri, Borno state, were beheaded for refusing to renounce Christ and convert to Islam.

Most recently heavy fighting broke out in Rafah, Gaza, on 14 August as Hamas confronted the al Qaeda-aligned Jund Ansar Allah ('Warriors of God'), one of several fundamentalist groups in Gaza to denounce Hamas as being simply not Islamic enough. Some Islamic fundamentalists are comparing Hamas' siege of Rafah's Ibn Taymiyya Mosque to the Pakistan government's siege of Islamabad's Red Mosque.

Ahmad Al-Khanawy (41) is a filmmaker struggling with the narrow no singing, no dancing, no mixing, no laughing, legalistic Sharia provisions in Kano, northern Nigeria. He told the Washington Post (12 August): 'People want sha ria. But not this kind of sharia.' But is there another kind of Sharia? Is there another kind of Islam? Or is what the people really want actually another kind of faith? In Isaiah 2:1-4 it is promised that eventually the God of 'Zion' will be recognised as the one true God and the nations will flow to 'Zion' seeking God's instruction so they can walk in his ways. But not only is it promised that many peoples will flow in to 'Zion' seeking God, it is also promised that God's law and word will flow out from Zion. We need to be praying for both spiritual awakening amongst the lost and disillusioned and for revival in the Church -- the two will go together.

PLEASE PRAY SPECIFICALLY THAT GOD WILL:

* bring revival to his Church so that in these days of increasing darkness the Church may be a true servant of the gospel of light and that its message and righteousness will be magnetic as disillusionment, distress, conflict and insecurity grow in the world.

* awaken Muslims to the truth of the gospel.
May the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf be unstopped (Isaiah 35:5); the desert become fertile (vv1,2,6b,7) and be filled with joy and singing (v10).
* protect, preserve and build his Church in the Middle East and throughout the Muslim world (Isaiah 3:10).

* strengthen the faith and comfort the hearts of all persecuted believers (Isaiah 35:3,4).

Ramadan starts on 22 August.
Please consider participating in the Thirty Day Muslim Prayer Focus.
See http://www.30-days.net/ for booklet, PDF and email resources.

(NOTE: Following the tradition of Mohammed, the Taliban has reported that it is preparing for a Ramadan offensive in Swat, Pakistan.)

via OpenHeaven.com

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DAVID'S DOWNLOAD

A REVELATION OF... HOLINESS

A Christian is called to walk towards holiness. While not pretending to give you the complete answer, the 5 examples included here should help you in your understanding of what true holiness is about. And if you so desire, in its application to your life too!

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WAXING LYRICAL

When all else fails, we have our family! Or we should. When our family fails, they are still our family! Or they should be. Our family is our greatest source of both pleasure and frustration. They know us best. We cannot fool them. So here is a little about our family. Since the poem was written Andrew and Catriona have produced our baby Eva, our first grandchild. But 20,000km away in Scotland! Thankyou Lord for emails! (Written several years ago. Eva is now 8 and has a brother and sister!)

LIFE’S A LAWNMOWER, MATE!

Uptown, I heard a new saying - life’s a lawnmower mate?
Like us, in a range of models, whose features we debate.
Mechanical and manual, rotary and reel,
Push types and ride-ons, all made of steel.
Being sold with a promise, yes, so sparkling and new,
But we know they mean work, before we’re all through!
Oh yes, life’s a lawnmower, mate!

Like a new baby, right out of the box,
Full of promise, when kept off the rocks
Of trouble, that can soon blunt our blades,
Just as we look set, to mow many glades.
To mow through life, needs that something special,
If we are to succeed, to develop our full potential.
Oh yes, life’s a lawnmower, mate!

Take my life’s lawnmower for instance,
A racy model, but will it last the distance?
For the challenge of a newly grown field, I will always look,
Something different, preferably new, but never by the book.
Though sometimes to discover, I’ve bitten off more than I can chew!
To learn the art of patience, to pace myself, that is what I must do.
Oh yes, life’s a lawnmower, mate!

My wife Kathy, is a model so different,
With a long stroke bore, reliable, diligent.
For she was born like her mother, a nurse she’d always be,
Until she revved her sweet engine, ending up marrying me!
The years that followed, oft times were filled with pain,
Now she’s finally fulfilled, having gone nursing again.
Oh yes, life’s a lawnmower, mate!

Our eldest son Andrew was not a lawnmower fan,
Mowing lawns and gardening do not make the man!
So he revved up his mower for a journey over the sea,
To the land of Scotland, so his own man he could be.
Once settled, he was motivated to make a good living,
So tuning his motor, he went landscape gardening!
Oh yes, life’s a lawnmower, mate!

As the business built up, his lawnmower faster would run,
Until the day he realised, two mowers were better than one.
So he found a gorgeous, sleek new model, Catriona by name,
Another nurse, could be worse, their directions both the same,
For their mutual desire is to start a new church,
To harvest people, not leave them in the lurch.
Oh yes, life’s a lawnmower, mate!

To Brendan, our next, life’s lawnmower’s been less kind,
His teenage years a little temperamental, but never mind.
For a more honest and loyal model you would not find,
Always willing to help another mower, caught in a bind.
Now as he tunes his motor, pondering where to mow,
One day to find direction, then he’ll know where to go.
Oh yes, life’s a lawnmower, mate.

(To be concluded next week)

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A DAVID MUSING

Kathy and I are having a 3 day weekend off (well - only a little business!) as I have had a particularly busy time over the last month or two. So this PGIM has been written early. One of the few times!

We have a saying in New Zealand, 'All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy'. I don't know about dullness or otherwise, but we all certainly need a break from time to time to 'recharge the batteries'. To relax and do something different will be great.

In God too, we need to 'take a break' from our 'church routine' and spend time seeking Him to refresh our spiritual life. God is a God of change. Only problem is, we get so involved in our religious ways, we are often closed to hearing His voice.

So how about taking some time out and seeking His will for the days ahead. Could save a lot of angst in your life and ensure you are on track in His will.

Worth trying?

Until next week...

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD.

His servant and yours

David Tait

Today's 'Word Puzzle' Answer: WRESTLE

TODAY'S 'BIBLE QUESTION' ANSWER: 18) D - river of Egypt and Euphrates (Gen 15:18)

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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

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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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