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: 447     Published: 17 May 2010

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MUSINGS ON THE KINGDOM - PAST, FUTURE AND PRESENT

KINGDOM PRESENT - THE KINGDOM PARABLES

The Parable of the Lost Sheep

Now the tax collectors and “sinners” were all gathering around to hear him. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” 3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

The Parable of the Lost Coin

8 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:1-10)


These 2 parables reinforce each other, although with different emphases, revealing the heart of Father God towards His children, that is, us.

Firstly, Jesus is again criticising the supposedly righteous religious people who do not see themselves as sinners. We have dealt with this previously.

Secondly though, these parables illustrate that God's nature is centered upon a desire to build a personal relationship with those He has created in His likeness.

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)

He put us in charge of the earth.

28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” (Genesis 1:28)

While God could have made us like robots, robots cannot form true relationships, as they are programmed, not having a choice (or no more than a pre-programmed one) about what they do. Real relationship can only come when two people choose to relate to each other, in free will.

God set up a freewill test for Adam and Eve which, as we know, they failed.

15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die." (Genesis 2:15-17)

And what was true of Adam and Eve was true in Jesus' time, and is still reality today. Many people, whether through choice, or a lack of knowledge, not having heard, do not have a personal relationship with the Father which, from New Testament times, must come through Jesus.

6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” (John 14:6-7)

I am sure God cries (not theologically correct, I know!) when He sees His 'sheep' or His 'coins' lost to Him! For that is the heart message of these parables. He will go to great effort to restore the relationship, whether it be to someone who has never known Him, or to one who has walked away, for whatever reason.

As a father loves and pities his children, so the Lord loves and pities those who fear Him [with reverence, worship, and awe]..... But the mercy and loving-kindness of the Lord are from everlasting to everlasting upon those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him, and His righteousness is to children's children(Psalm 103:13,17 Amplified Version)

In order to come to Him, we must first, as both the parables conclude, repent of our sins.

Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. (Luke 13:1-3)

On the first Day of Pentecost after the ascension of Jesus, the Holy Spirit came in power upon the church, as Jesus had promised He would. Peter confirmed the need for repentance as he told the people there;

36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” 37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” (Acts 2:36-39)

The last 2 weeks, I have had the wonderful experience where several of our staff here at Seekers have decided to go to, or return to, church, through what they have experienced here. A mini revival! I am sure the angels are rejoicing - as am I! PTL!

May we share in the Father's joy of seeing people coming to Him.

(Continued next week)

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FROM THE WORD

"And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day." (Genesis 1:24-31)

Jesus the Way to the Father

"Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it." (John 14:5-13)

"“Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay. God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, ”‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”’ “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day." (Acts 2:29-41)

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DAVID'S DOODLINGS

DARKNESS AND LIGHT

408. The only way to turn off darkness is to switch on the light.

409. The laws of both Nature and the Spirit reveal that light will always penetrate darkness.

410. Most people try to switch off darkness when in reality, they need to turn on the light.

411. There is nowhere so dark that it cannot be penetrated by light.

412. So often we don't appreciate the true value of light until we find ourselves in darkness.

413. Light doesn't shine brightly through a dirty window.

414. We must pull back the curtains to let light shine into the room of our life.

415. Light and darkness cannot co-exist. The one will always mingle with the other.

416. There must always be a barrier to separate light and darkness.

417. There are only two ways to turn light into darkness - building walls to exclude the light, or turning the light off at its source. The second is by far the easiest.

1276. For the darker the darkness, the brighter the light will be seen that shines within it.

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CRANWELL'S CARTOON

Now Jericho was tightly shut up because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in. 2 Then the LORD said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. 3 March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. 4 Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. 5 When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have all the people give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the people will go up, every man straight in.” (Joshua 6:1-5)



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TUESDAY TEACHINGS

THIS WEEK: A REVELATION OF... THE THREE PRIESTHOODS

This is a step of faith as it is only partly written at this stage! Will get me off my backside (figuratively speaking, as I will write it sitting down at my computer!) to get the series completed.

A look at the 3 priesthoods in the Bible so that we can better understand the priesthood we live in 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." ***

189. PRIDE GOETH BEFORE A FALL:
Five Americans, including a famous brain surgeon, a prominent minister of a large church, a college student, and the president of the National Mensa Society were flying across the Rockies in the same airplane. Suddenly the pilot emerged from the cockpit with four parachutes. As he strapped one on, he said, "We've developed mechanical difficulties and we're losing altitude." He tossed the three remaining chute packs on the floor, opened the hatch and jumped out.

Immediately, the brain surgeon stood up and said that since he could save lives with all of his skill and knowledge, he should have the first chute. The others agreed and he jumped from the plane. The Mensa Society president declared, "Since I am the leader of America's most intelligent people, I can do much to better the world. I deserve a parachute." Before the others could say a word, he snatched a pack from the hands of the student, slipped into the straps and jumped.

The minister immediately spoke up: "My friend, you are young and have many years ahead of you. I, on the other hand, have enjoyed a long life and am ready to meet my Maker. I want you to..."

"Relax, pastor," interrupted the student. "We can both have a parachute. One of the most intelligent people in the world just jumped out of this airplane with my bookbag on his back."

188. YOU DIRTY RAT -- ER, RODENT...
A pastor was spending the Saturday afternoon at a house in the little country town where he preached. After lunch he was sitting out on the front porch with his host and his wife when their two children rushed up, one of them swinging a dead rat over his head by the tail. "Look, ma! Don't be afraid, it's dead," exulted the boy, oblivious to his mother's embarrassment. "Yeah, ma," shouted the girl. "We bashed him in the head with a stick, then we stoned him, then we took a rake to him, and we whacked him and hacked him until" - and then catching sight of the amused clergyman, she finished in a lowered, respectful voice - "until the good Lord called him home."

187. BET YOU CAN'T TELL JUST ONE...
The pastor had come home tired after a full day of visitation and counselling, when there was a knock at the door. A peek through the curtain revealed the pinched features of the church's resident busybody. "Oh, no," whispered the worn-out minister to his wife. "It's Miss Brisby! Tell her I went to bed early!" And he hurried upstairs to nominally justify the story by lying down on the bed.

After nearly an hour of reading and relaxing, he ventured out of the bedroom and listened at the top of the stairs. Not hearing anything, he started down, calling out to his wife, "Well, honey, did that dreadfully nosy old bore finally leave?"

As he finished the sentence he rounded the stair corner and saw his wife standing next to the woman in question. Both wore a shocked expression as they stared at him.

But his fast-thinking wife saved the day and said, "Yes, dear, she did; but now Mrs. Brisby is here and would love to see you! "

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:
1. What is the youngest book in the Old Testament?
2. What is the oldest book of the New Testament?

ANSWER:
1. The book of Malachi, written about 400 B.C.
2. Probably the book of James, written as early as A.D.45.
(400 years of silence until God revealed himself personally through
Jesus.)

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: What did Chester Greenwood invent in 1873?

Answer Next Week.

SOME FUN FACTS

226. POLITICAL INFLUENCE?
American President Franklin Pierce was arrested while in office for running over an old woman with his horse, but the case was dropped due to insufficient evidence in 1853. (‘My horse runneth over!’)

227. AMISH SPEAK
The Amish speak a dialect they call ‘Mudderschprooch’ or ‘Pennsylvania Dutch’ to the uninitiated. (As clear as mud!)

228. GOD'S SENTENCE
'I am.' is the shortest complete sentence in the English language. (Interestingly, it is also God’s name for Himself. He is the 'I Am'.)

A WORD PUZZLE FOR YOU

Make another word from this word using all the letters.

EMIRATE

Answer at the end of A David Musing

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BIBLE QUESTION - MOUNTAINS

15) Who dwelt in Mount Seir?

A - Esau
B - Jacob
C - Lot
D - Ishmael

Source: www.biblequizzes.com

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IF ONLY I'D THOUGHT OF IT!

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

!!!!!!! On your birthday, send a thank you card to your mom.

!!!!!! The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail and not his tongue.

!!!!! There are worse things than getting a call for a wrong number at 4 AM. It could be a right number.

!!!! When people complain that they don't get what they deserve, they don't know how fortunate they are.

!!! Worry is interest paid on trouble before it is due.

!! You were born an original. Don't die a copy.

! Your behavior is what you believe; all the rest is just talk.

100'S MORE TO BE FOUND AT...

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'TIL DEATH DO US PART

73. ATTRACTION TO LIGHT!
In the back woods of Arkansas, Mr. Stewart's wife went into labor in the middle of the night, and the doctor was called out to assist in the delivery.

To keep the nervous father-to-be busy, the doctor handed him a lantern and said, "Here, you hold this high so I can see what I'm doing." Soon, a wee baby boy was brought into the world. "Whoa there Scotty!" said the doctor. "Don't be in a rush to put the lantern down...I think there's yet another wee one to come."

Sure enough, within minutes he had delivered another little baby.

"No, no, don't be in a great hurry to be putting down that lantern, young man...It seems there's yet another one besides!" cried the doctor.

The new father scratched his head in bewilderment, and asked the doctor. "Do ye think it's the light that's attractin' them?"

74. LAST REQUESTS?
Mary Clancy goes up to Father O'Grady after his Sunday morning service, and she's in tears. He says, "So what's bothering you, dear?"

She says, "Oh, Father, I've got terrible news. My husband passed away last night."

The priest says, "Oh, Mary, that's terrible. Tell me, Mary, did he have any last requests?"

She says, "That he did, Father..."

The priest says, "What did he ask, Mary?"

She says, "He said, 'Please, Mary, put down that gun..."

75. DON'T WORRY MOM
My six-year-old grandson called his mother from his friend Charlie's house and confessed he had broken a lamp when he threw a football in their living room.

"But, Mom," he said, brightening, "you don't have to worry about buying another one. Charlie's mom said it was irreplaceable."

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BIBLE TRIVIA (Old Testament Family Life)

BY RABBINIC TIMES THE REDEMPTION CEREMONY....

...... took place in the child's home with the priest and other guests present. The father presented the child to the priest who would ask, "Do you wish to redeem the child or do you want to leave him with me?"

The father answered that he would redeem the child and handed the priest 5 silver coins. The priest would then declare, "Your son is redeemed." After blessing the child, the priest would join the guests at a banquet table.

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

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Boris Johnson praises work of Street Pastors

Hundreds of Street Pastors and supporters are in London for the ministry’s inaugural conference to share their experiences and consider how they can minister more effectively to the people out and about on Britain’s streets each weekend.

The inaugural Street Pastors conference opened today with a keynote address from London Mayor Boris Johnson who praised their work in transforming the capital.

He said: “We can’t just transform the physical infrastructure because that’s not what really counts. What counts is the human capital of London.

“It’s the young people of London that we need to invest in if this city is to lengthen its lead as the greatest city on Earth.

“Street Pastors are already doing what you can and I think it is high time London knew more about what you did and the whole of London followed your example.”

Mr Johnson admitted that red tape was making it “too difficult to do good” for many organisations, including Street Pastors, but said he had no difficulty with Christian organisations sharing their faith through their work.

“Faith groups who want to slip in the odd cogent message in favour of salvation, I have absolutely no problem with that. Why not!” he quipped.

“That’s one of the things I think has been going wrong in the last few years – we’ve got a slightly politically correct super-sensitivity to anything remotely cast as religious advocacy. I’ve got no difficulty with it whatsoever.”

Mr Johnson played down his recent rescue of film director Franny Armstrong from a group of young girls brandishing an iron bar in London recently.

“I was doing none other than what you do, what Street Pastors do every night on the streets of London, people with the courage and the sense of public spirit to intervene with our kids who may be about to do something stupid or possibly even something fatal,” he said.

The Mayor admitted that there was “apprehension” in the minds of adults that often prevented them from intervening when they saw crime on the streets or, in the case of teachers, from exerting control over youngsters in the classroom.

“I want to see a clear and unambiguous statement from the Government that the law will give the benefit of the doubt to adults who responsibly and reasonably try to restrain children who are making life miserable for others,” he said, to the applause of conference delegates.

via OpenHeaven.com

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DAVID'S DOWNLOAD

A REVELATION OF... SERVANTHOOD & LEADERSHIP

A timely reminder of what our calling as 'Jesus Followers' and particularly as leaders is really all about. Essential reading, especially for anyone involved, or wanting to become involved, in Christian leadership. You might well change your mind!

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WAXING LYRICAL

This is my very first poem, written during a really hard period in my life. For we had
lost our business and I was fighting desperately, ultimately unsuccessfully, to stave off
bankruptcy. Written in the days before I became a Christian, (it took bankruptcy to do
that – some of us are slow learners!) but I was starting to look at what really are the
important things in life. Seems appropriate at this time, having just celebrated our 40th Wedding Anniversary.

BESIDE ME

When I look back on all we have done together,
Picking the daffodils in the wind and the rain,
I am so grateful that whatever the weather,
And bearing the back that gives you pain,
You have walked beside me.

At times it has been a lot of fun,
We have laughed, cried and had the odd thrill.
But more often you have had to run,
To race, to get the job done, but still,
You have walked beside me.

And now, when my life has collapsed around my ears,
Your strength has helped me to keep my sanity,
When I have been down and experienced new fears, While I have suffered great blows
to my vanity,
You have walked beside me.

I have worked so hard all these years,
To yours and the family’s cost.
It is hard sometimes to fight back the tears,
Yet no matter how much we have lost,
You have walked beside me.

Your beauty has always drawn me to you
Like the bee to the flower of the honeysuckle tree,
To me I know you have always been true
While surely, sometimes you have wanted to be free,
You have walked beside me.

And though life at times seems bitter, twisted and curled,
Your love gives me strength to go on fighting.
I am just the luckiest man in all the world,
To have your name next to mine in writing.
You have walked beside me.

And now as I have to rebuild my life’
To meet new challenges, to reach new goals.
How blessed I am to have you as my wife,
To know that however the countryside rolls,
You will walk beside me.

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A DAVID MUSING

Much of our country of New Zealand has been experiencing (relative) drought for the past few months, as we move from summer through autumn, here in the Southern Hemisphere. This dry, warm time has been very nice for us city dwellers and most horticulturalists, but bad for those farmers who rely on grass growth to feed our numerous sheep and cattle.

This week though, many of the drought areas have had some good rain. The grass has started to grow again as ground temperatures are still high enough for it to do so. More rain though, is required to fully replenish moisture levels in the soil.

A bit like our lives really. We go through through dry times in the Spirit, then the rain comes. A little touch is nice and helps get us going again, but we really need to 'soak in the Spirit' in order to be truly refreshed and empowered in our lives.

May we seek more of the 'Spirit of the Lord' today.

Until next week.......

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD.

His servant and yours

David Tait

Today's 'Word Puzzle' Answer: MEATIER

TODAY'S 'BIBLE QUESTION' ANSWER: 14) C - Kohathites (Joshua 21:21)

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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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