PRAISE GOD IT’S MONDAY!
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Issue No: 462     Published: 30 Aug 2010

MUSINGS ON THE KINGDOM - PAST, FUTURE AND PRESENT

KINGDOM PRESENT - THE KINGDOM PARABLES

The Vine and the Branches

15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. 9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other. (John 15:1-17)


While not strictly a 'kingdom parable' The Vine and the Branches is an entirely appropriate one to conclude this series, as it sums up the requirements of kingdom living so beautifully.

The first key to kingdom living confirmed here is the importance of being in the vine. Of being in Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, and only Jesus!

Most Christians will say, "David, I am in Jesus!" But are you really? Do you follow a human leader, or do you follow Jesus? Do you follow a particular churches theology, or do you follow Jesus? Do you do good works of your own choosing, or do you follow Jesus? Do you have one foot in the world, or do you follow Jesus? Do you have faith in faith, or do you follow Jesus? And so on.......

My friend, I also have to ask myself these questions, for I am human too. It is so easy to slip into a religious lifestyle, thinking we are following Jesus, but in reality following a human, the ways of an institution, or our own will.

We can do nothing without Jesus. Without growing on the vine, we, the branches, cannot produce godly fruit. Yet, how often do we try and do things, even good things, in our own strength. For there are gOOd things and there are GOd things. One too many 'O's. Ooooooh Dear!

In a similar illustration elsewhere, we, as Gentiles, have been grafted into the, originally Jewish, olive tree. Like the Jews, we too can be pruned out if we do not live holy lives!

17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18 do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. (Romans 11:17-21)

This leads on nicely to the second part of the parable which instructs us to obey God's commands if we wish to remain in the vine of the kingdom.

Of course, as we all know, God's primary command is.....

The Greatest Commandment

35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: ”‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:35-40)


Obedience to God's will is the key to entering into the kingdom. From the Old Testament.....

Love the LORD your God and keep his requirements, his decrees, his laws and his commands always. (Deuteronomy 11:1)

to the New.....

23 Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. (John 14:23)

Indeed, we are to be slaves to righteousness!

15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? (Romans 6:15-16)

As we conclude our series on the 'Parables of the Kingdom' it seems appropriate to finish with a prayer, as instructed by Jesus.

9 “This, then, is how you should pray: ”‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 5:9-10)

Amen.

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FROM THE WORD

Ingrafted Branches

"Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their fullness bring! I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I make much of my ministry in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches. If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!"
(Romans 11:11-24)

Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit

"“If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?” Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. “All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me, but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me. “Come now; let us leave." (John 14:15-31)

Slaves to Righteousness

"What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:15-23)

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DAVID'S DOODLINGS

SUBMISSION AND OBEDIENCE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

924. Disobedience is selfish, Godly obedience, selfless!

925. Obedience and suffering are common bedfellows.

926. Obedience is refined in the fire of testing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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CRANWELL'S CARTOON


Then the LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Stretch out your hand with your staff over the streams and canals and ponds, and make frogs come up on the land of Egypt.’” 6 So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land. (Exodus 8:5-6)









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TUESDAY TEACHINGS

THIS WEEK: A PROPHECTIC PICTURE - 'THE ROCK'

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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." ***

233. THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL
At the Country Church Sunday School, the new teacher finished the day's lesson. It was now time for the usual question period. "Teacher," announced little Joey, "there's somethin' I can't figure out."

"What's that, Joey?"

"Well, accordin' to the Bible, the Children of Israel crossed the Red Sea, right?"
"Right."

"An' the Children of Israel beat up the Philistines, right?"

"Er-right."

"An' the Children of Israel built the Temple, right?"

"An' the Children of Israel fought the 'gyptians, an' the Children of Israel

"Again you're right." fought the Romans, an' the Children of Israel wuz always doin' somethin' important, right?"

"All that is right, too," agreed the teacher.

"So what's your question?"

"What I wanna know is this," demanded Joey. "What wuz all the grown-ups doin' all that time?"

232. NOT AGAIN!
A Lutheran minister gets stopped for speeding. The state trooper smells alcohol on his breath and then he sees an empty wine bottle on the floor, and he says, "Sir, have you been drinking?"

And the minister says, "Just water."

The sheriff says, "Then why do I smell wine?"

And the minister looks down at the bottle and says, "Good Lord, He's done it again!"


231. A BIG GOD
A little girl who, on the way home from church, turned to her mother and said, "Mommy, the Preacher's sermon this morning confused me."

The mother said, "Oh! Why is that? The girl replied, "Well, he said that God is bigger than we are. Is that true?"

"Yes, that's true," the mother replied.

"He also said that God lives within us. Is that true too?"

Again the mother replied, "Yes."

"Well," said the girl. "If God is bigger than us and He lives in us, wouldn't He show through?"

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FACTS FOR FUN

LAST WEEKS QUESTION: How old are ‘prefab’ (prefabricated) houses?

ANSWER: Quite old! Going back as far as the beginning of the nineteenth century, a prefabricated house was sent to Hawaii by religious Bostonians wanting to help missionaries living there. (No fabrication!)

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: Which country has the lowest crime rate in the world? Is it Japan, Singapore, Togo, New Zealand or Canada?

Answer Next Week.

SOME FUN FACTS

181. MALE LOYALTY
The male fox mates for life. If the female dies, he remains single for the rest of his days. However, if the male dies, the female will hook up with a new mate. (It would take a brave man to comment on this! ….. No David!)

182. PINK ELEPHANTS
In regions of India where the soil is red, elephants can take on a permanent pink tinge because they regularly spray dust over their bodies to protect themselves against insects. (And if the soil is white…?)

183. MANY ROOMED
The majestic Habsburg's Schounbraun Palace in Vienna has 1,441 rooms, of which 40 are opened to public tours. At age six, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart performed for the royals in this palace. (Able to get well away if you have an argument with your spouse!)

A WORD PUZZLE FOR YOU

Make another word from this word using all the letters.

HITTER

Answer at the end of A David Musing

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BIBLE QUESTION - WHERE IS THE QUOTATION FROM?

11) he will save his people from their sins.

A - Colossians 1:27
B - Matthew 1:21
C - 1 Corinthians 5:11
D - Ezekiel 18:32

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IF ONLY I'D THOUGHT OF IT!

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

!!!!!!! Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day; teach that person to use the Internet and they won't bother you for weeks.

!!!!!! I read recipes the same way I read science fiction. I get to the end and I think, "Well, that's not going to happen."

!!!!! Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.

!!!! The other night I ate at a real family restaurant. Every table had an argument going.

!!! Have you noticed since everyone has a camcorder these days no one talks about seeing UFOs like they used to.

!! All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.

! Have you noticed that a slight tax increase costs you two hundred dollars and a substantial tax cut saves you thirty cents?

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140. WHICH TEAM?
It's a little-known fact that William Tell and his son were avid bowlers as well as archery buffs. Unfortunately, all the league records were destroyed by a fire, and we will
never know for whom the Tells bowled.

141. ON GUARD
A very rich man kept a pair of lions to guard his property. Each of them took turns being on duty. One night, a group of midgets tried to rob him but the lion on patrol caught them and ate them.

When the police arrived, the sergeant asked skeptically, "Well, so where is this group of midgets you say broke in ?" The rich man pointed proudly to his guardians and said,
"It's all in the lion of duty."

142. THE THOUGHT
A farmer was milking a cow and a fly was buzzing around. He shooed it away with his hand and it flew into the cow's ear. He kept milking and saw the fly in the milk bucket.

The farmer thought, "Hmmm, in one ear and out the udder."

143. GOOD ADVICE
For all of you suffering with the flu and other winter ailments, my doctor told me to wash in tide, because its too cold to wash out tide.

144. MILK PROCESSING
Did you hear about the farmer who brought a bucket of milk to church so it could be pastorized?

145. A PLOT
Joseph Stalin's grave was a Communist Plot.

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BIBLE TRIVIA (Manners and Customs - Clothing and Accessories)

JEWISH MEN DID NOT WEAR JEWELLERY .....

...... as a general rule. They did often carry a a cane or staff with some ornamentation at the top. Certain men wore a ring on their right hand, or on a chain round the neck. This was their signet ring or seal, which served as the personal signature of the owner.

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

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Evangelists Say Muslims Coming to Christ at Historic Rate

by Sarah Stegall, Charisma Online

Christians ministering quietly in the Middle East say Muslims are coming to Christ at an unprecedented pace despite intense persecution of those who leave Islam.

"Probably in the last 10 years, more Muslims have come to faith in Christ than in the last 15 centuries of Islam," said Tom Doyle, Middle East-Central Asia director for e3 Partners, a Texas-based missions agency.

A former pastor, Doyle has been to the Middle East around 80 times and last week returned to the US from a trip to Jerusalem, where he said both Muslims and Jews are turning to Christianity.

Earlier this month, more than 200 former Muslims were baptized during a training conference in Europe led by Iran-born evangelist Lazarus Yeghnazar. Brenda Ajamian, a former missionary to the Middle East who partners with Yeghnazar's 222 Ministries International, said the event was unlike anything she'd seen during her years ministering in Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan.

"That many Muslims who converted to Christ in one place boggled my mind because missionaries have worked in the Arab world and Muslim world generally for years and without much fruit," Ajamian said. "God is at work among Muslims."

Ajamian said she was told at the conference that drug addiction and depression run rampant in many nations, particularly in Iran, where the cleric-led government has attempted to squash pro-democracy movements. "People are so fed up with the kinds of lives they lead. ... They're turning to Christ even in spite of the very real possibility of persecution and death and imprisonment," she said.

Desperation is also a big factor in bringing many Jews to Christ, Doyle said. "In the last 20 years more Jews [also] have become followers of Jesus than in the last 2,000 years of Christianity," he said.

Radio, television and Internet-based Christian programming have been key in evangelizing Muslim nations. Yeghnazar claims more than 3,000 Iranians are converted each month through his Farsi-language television and Internet broadcasts.

And Doyle said Father Zakaria Botross, a born-again Coptic priest, reaches about 60 million people through his television programs broadcast across the Middle East. "The apostle Paul to the Muslims is no question Father Zakaria," Doyle said.

But many Muslim-background believers have said they came to Christ after having dreams and visions of Jesus.

"I can't tell you how many Muslims I've met who say: ‘I was content. I was a Muslim, and all of a sudden I get this dream about Jesus and He loved me and said come follow Me,'" Doyle said.

Doyle notes that the supernatural is an important part of the Islamic faith. Through the course of his life, Mohammed claimed to have had visions and encounters, particularly of the angel Gabriel.

"God is going into their context," said Doyle. But instead of finding guidance from Allah, Muslims are finding Jesus.

Haytham Abi Haydar, pastor of the Arabic Fellowship Alliance Church in Dearborn, Michigan, a heavily Islamic Detroit suburb, said dreams and the supernatural are important to Muslims. "They're so powerful and real. They do consider that as a channel to speak to God and see something important," said Abi Haydar, who's also heard of Jesus coming to Muslims in dreams.

Ajamian said churches of Muslim-background believers are growing "like wildfire" both in the Middle East and in Europe, which has seen a boom in immigration from Muslim nations.

"The Muslims that are saved ... it's like they can't tell the story fast enough," Ajamian said.

Doyle said though the harvest is ripe in Middle Eastern nations, the spiritual warfare also has ramped up. "People feel it. It just feels more intense," he said.

The stress, he said, is particularly high right now during Ramadan, the time Muslims fast and pray in commemoration of the time they believe Mohammed divinely received the first verses of the Quran. He said people are getting sick and even having nightmares.

"When Ramadan comes, you really sense the war in the heavenlies," he said.

Christians in many Muslim nations can be imprisoned or killed for converting from Islam. But Ajamian said the persecution is a sign that God is answering prayers for the Muslim world. "There's a move of God," she said. "...The devil doesn't like it, but there is a huge move."

Source: CharismaMag.com

© 2010 Strang Communications

via OpenHeaven.com

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DAVID'S DOWNLOAD

DAVID'S DOODLINGS

A 'pot pouri' of 900+ diverse thoughts to muse upon, have a chuckle over, and which may even inspire you to reach deeper into God.

From the ‘peculiar pen(cil)’ of David Tait.

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WAXING LYRICAL

Life is a battle when we are walking in God's will for our life, for the enemy doesn't like it. But we must never forget that we have the victory - even though it sometimes may not seem like it!

WHEN BAD THINGS ARE GOOD

There is a man, I do know,
Who in God, desires to grow,
When something bad in life, does come along,
He's not now sad, for it makes him strong.

When satan tries to destroy his day,
He can now tell him to go away,
Has learned that, when doing God's will,
Satan will run you, through his mill.

He will accuse you of being blind,
And put evil thoughts in your mind,
A mighty battle now does take place,
Before you go on to win the race.

While satan's antics seem so real,
They're an illusion designed to steal
God's vision and purpose from our life,
Continually forcing us into strife.

The time to worry I have found,
Is when the devil is not around.
For when we proceed on our own way,
He takes time off to go and play.
He'll try his tricks on another one,
As our God, he tries to outgun.

So bad things are good, when we're in God's design.
Defeated satan - you have no power, us to decline!

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A DAVID MUSING

My mind is abuzz with lots of different noise as I sit here writing this. A band practicing next door for a ball tonight (Saturday), radio going in the shop, people speaking to me, a Christian conference streaming from the internet! Bombarded with noise! Any wonder my brain is addled! This has been the result. Hope it makes some sense to you!

non(SENSE)

Name is Tait.
Life is great.
Something I ate?
Don't know mate!

A nonsense rhyme!
Basil and thyme.
A taste divine.
It's all thine!

Catch the drift?
Mind miffed.
Spirit to lift.
Paradigm shift.

God is good.
He could,
If you would.
Understood?

Excuse the rave.
Jesus does save.
No more a slave.
Mind to behave.

Nomination!
Salvation!
Maturation!
Graduation!

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Until next week.......

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD.

His servant and yours

David Tait

Today's 'Word Puzzle' Answer: TITHER

TODAY'S 'BIBLE QUESTION' ANSWER: 11) B - Matthew 1:21

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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!

For comments upon and contributions to this service, please contact
david@wwj.org.nz

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