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: 512     Published: 15 Aug 2011

WHOM DO YOU SERVE?

At an outreach, the evangelist normally delivers a challenge to the people, "Will you serve God or the devil?" Of course, the 'correct' answer from a Christian viewpoint, is God. For our salvation is based upon our (long term!) commitment to Jesus.

However, once we are 'saved', join, and become immersed in a church, this question needs to be asked again. "Whom do we really serve?" Is it 'God' or is it 'the church'?

Of course, many will argue that the two are the same. This is where we start to go astray. For reality is, all protestations aside, that the objectives of Jesus and those of the church are not always the same.

The pattern of church establishment over the past 20 centuries has been remarkably similar, irrespective of whether it is Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical or Pentecostal, or any other stream. In essence, God gives a revelation to an individual or group of people who are seeking Him with their whole beings. As Jesus said, when asked about God's greatest requirement of us.....

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. (Matthew 22:37)

God simply seeks 'sold out' followers to reveal His purposes to!

9 For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. (2 Chronicles 16:9a)

When a new revelation is received a revival or renewal takes place. However, after a time, people start to apply a system to what God has spontaneously done and a new church, denomination or grouping evolves, often developed by 'second generation' followers, to formalise the revelation received from the Lord by the founders.

The result of this is that the church, through their 'point of difference' to other churches, gradually becomes more important than God Himself. The group members are called to a loyalty to that particular 'church' that supersedes their loyalty to Jesus and the Father. 'The church' develops a life of its own that needs to be sustained by the people within it. Characteristic developments include.....

Firstly, buildings become a more central focus than Jesus. "God is in the 'House'"! How wrong can we be! Under the New Covenant (Testament), God resides in the individual believer, not in a building!

20 Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, 21 nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:20-21)

God's presence comes into a church through the people gathered there, not the building itself. Jesus confirmed this.....

20 For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18:20)

Secondly, a point of differentiation, a particular theology, loosely based round the revelation of the founders, is developed, to separate the new group from others. This again is unscriptural. Paul was very definite about this.....

19 Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. (1 Corinthians 9:19-23)

Bringing people to, and discipling them in the ways of Jesus is what is of importance, not the propagation of a particular theology.

Thirdly, an organisation with a life of its own will develop. This is likely to be highly structured with positions and titles becoming a feature. The leadership changes from being 'servants' of God and the people, to effectively re-establishing the Old Covenant priesthood of religious leadership, which Jesus so despised.....

13 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. (Matthew 23:13)

In earlier years of my walk with Jesus I was involved with a denomination, here in New Zealand, whom I have to thank for bringing me into an experience and understanding of the Holy Spirit. the group arose out of the Latter Rain Movement of the late 1940's and 50's. It was the 1990's though, before I became involved.

I was blessed to be able to relate to some of those who were in the movement at the beginning, when the people met in houses, where the leadership went without in order to promote the Gospel, and where healings and miracles occurred on a regular basis. Over the past 50+ years the denomination has developed related teaching institutions, a paid pastorate, a written constitution, built or purchased buildings etc., etc.. On speaking to those founders, without exception, the men (but not necessarily their wives) yearn for the days when the Lord, rather than the organisation, was the focus of their lives. Now, sadly, it is just one pentecostal denomination amongst many. For the Lord has moved on to seek others who are prepared to sacrifice their all for Him. And so the cycle continues.

My friend, do you still retain your first love? Is the focus of your life Jesus - or is it furthering the life of a religious organisation?

Jesus is calling out to me, and to you. He desires you. He desires me. All of me. All of you. Are we prepared to make the sacrifice? Of the world? Financial? Rejection by the religious? Friendship? Acceptance? Even our very life for Him? For these are the followers our God is seeking.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-4)

Today, may we serve Jesus with everything we are and have.

Amen.

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FROM THE WORD

The Greatest Commandment

"Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: ”‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” "(Matthew 22:34-40)

"Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me. What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make use of my rights in preaching it. Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize." (1 Corinthians 9:16-27)

"If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,
I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you. If only you would slay the wicked, O God! Away from me, you bloodthirsty men! They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name. Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD, and abhor those who rise up against you? I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." (Psalm 139:11-24)

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DAVID'S DOODLINGS

LEADERSHIP

156. In God, being led to lead is a calling. Leading when not led, guarantees an appalling mauling!

157. A Christian leader is but an ordinary person called to an extraordinary task. Both leaders and the led need to be reminded of this!

158. Worldly leadership builds up self, but godly leadership builds up others.

159. In God, understanding and sharing vulnerabilities is a sign of maturity and success, not an acknowledgement of failure.

160. In God, if you’re not led to lead, you’ll be bled to death.

161. To lead or be led? The difference is ‘a’ for attitude!

162. Only God has the required glue to attach ‘super’ to ‘natural’.

372. To be a leader in the world is difficult, in the church, impossible. However, with God's help, we can do the impossible.

373. God loves obedient leaders.

374. Leaders are not God - for only God is perfect.

375. Our leaders are not God substitutes. They too, make mistakes, just as we do.

376. Truly godly leaders are more precious than diamonds - and equally hard to find.

377. The Bible tells us that there is only one God. Some leaders need to be reminded of this fact.

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CRANWELLS CARTOONS

1 The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” 3 But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the LORD. 4 Then the LORD sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. 5 All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship. But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep. 6 The captain went to him and said, “How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us, and we will not perish.” 7 Then the sailors said to each other, “Come, let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this calamity.” They cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah. (Jonah 1:1-7)


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TUESDAY TEACHINGS

THIS WEEK: A REVELATION OF……. THE WAY OF HOLINESS
PART 9 OF 9
CONCLUSION - THE PATTERN OF HOLINESS


As we come to the end of our study, it is time to summarise the main characteristics of holiness we have discovered over the past 8 weeks.

And then, of course, to seek to live them! Always the most difficult part!

We'll see what it involves.

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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." ***

379. TOO MUCH TO BARE
A Preacher, a missionary, and an overweight tenor from the church choir are visiting Israel when, all of a sudden, they are captured by Arab terrorists. They are informed by these terrorists that they are going to be shot.

The Preacher said, "We are men of God. You can't shoot us!"

When the terrorists refused, the Preacher asked the terrorists for one last request each.

"Okay," said the terrorist chief, "one last request each - but keep it short."

The Preacher says, "I would like to give a two hour sermon and not have anyone in my audience leave or fall asleep."

The tenor says, "I would like to give a two hour concert of my favorite hymns."

"And what about you?" the terrorist chief asked the missionary.

"Oh please!" said the missionary, kneeling with his hands raised in supplication. "Shoot me first!"

378. SUPERBOWL XXXIII - AFTERMATH
After John Elway dies and enters the Pearly Gates, God takes him on a tour. He shows John a tiny two-bedroom house with a raggedy Broncos banner hanging from the front porch. "This is your house, John. Most people don't get their own houses up here," God says.

John looks at the house, then turns around and sees one sitting on top of the hill. It's a huge two-story mansion with white marble columns, flowing fountains, a rolling lawn, and splendid patios. Flags for the State of Georgia line both sides of the sidewalk, and a huge Atlanta Falcons banner hangs between the marble columns.

"Thanks for the house, Lord," says John, "but let me ask you a question. I get this dinky little two-bedroom house, but Chris Chandler gets a mansion with brand new Falcon banners and flags flying all over the place. Why is that?"

God looks at him seriously for a moment, then with a smile God says, "That's not his place, it's mine!"

377. NOT TO BE OUTDONE
During Sunday services, a Pastor is so overwhelmed with religious fervor that he drops to his knees, puts his forehead to the ground and says "Before you Lord, I am nothing."

Not to be outdone, the Deacon also gets down on his knees, puts his forehead to the floor and says, "Before you Lord, I am nothing."

Moved by their humility, a layman in the fourth row steps into the aisle. He falls down on his knees, puts his forehead to the ground and says, "Before you Lord, I am nothing."

The Deacon, noticing the guy, elbows the Pastor. "So," he whispers. "Look who thinks he's nothing."

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FACTS FOR FUN

LAST WEEKS QUESTION: Is it true that the yo-yo was based on a weapon?

ANSWER: Yes. American Donald Duncan thought of the toy after watching a Philippine yo-yo in action. It was made of large wood disks and twine and used to hunt animals. The hunter would hurl it at his prey and the twine would catch the animal by its legs and so throw it to the ground. The name ‘yo-yo,’ was a word from Tagalog, an Indonesian language used in the Philippines. Duncan made his yo-yo smaller, but kept the name. This wasn't really the first yo-yo toy, though. Kids in China played with similar toys way back as far back as 1,000 BC. (Small things amuse small minds – and smaller minds notice them!)

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: When did ‘Superman’ first appear in print?

Answer Next Week.

SOME FUN FACTS

31. NOT THE SAME
A woman's heart beats faster than a man's. Any arthritic pains she may suffer from will almost always disappear as soon as she becomes pregnant. (Didn’t think men had a heart?)

32. SELF INTEREST
Court ladies of Henry VIII’s reign tinted their hair orange with the spice saffron until the king forbade it. He feared a saffron shortage would result from the fashion statement, and that it might reach his own dining table. (Stomach before beauty!)

33. FLY AWAY
The average airspeed of the common housefly is 4.5 miles (7km) per hour; getting there by beating its wings about 20,000 times per minute. (Car designers could do well to copy their technology so as to engines rev higher.)

A WORD PUZZLE FOR YOU

Make another word from this word using all the letters.

CHOPIN

Answer at the end of A David Musing

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BIBLE QUESTION - THE KINGDOM OF GOD

1: What should we seek first?

a. The Kingdom of God and his righteousness
b. The Kingdom of God and eternal life
c. To love God with all our heart and mind
d. To obey the law and the prophets

Source: http://biblequizzes.org.uk

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IF ONLY I'D THOUGHT OF IT!

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

!!!!!!! Nothing is as good as it seems beforehand.

!!!!!! Calories are delicious.

!!!!! An object in motion will always be moving in the wrong direction.

!!!! If you want to make people angry, lie. If you want to make them livid, tell the truth.

!!! There is something wrong if you're always right.

!! After all is said and done, more is said than done.

! Before having a midlife crisis, it's good to have a life.

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EXTENSIVE EXPLANATIONS

24. ACADEMIC PHRASES AND MEANINGS
The following list of phrases and their definitions might help you understand the mysterious language of science and medicine. These special phrases are also applicable to anyone working on a Ph.D. dissertation or academic paper anywhere!

"It has long been known"... I didn't look up the original reference.

"A definite trend is evident"... These data are practically meaningless.

"While it has not been possible to provide definite answers to the questions"... An unsuccessful experiment, but I still hope to get it published.

"Three of the samples were chosen for detailed study"... The other results didn't make any sense.

"Typical results are shown"... This is the prettiest graph.

"These results will be in a subsequent report"... I might get around to this sometime, if pushed/funded.

"In my experience"... once

"In case after case"... twice

"In a series of cases"... thrice

"It is believed that"... I think.

"It is generally believed that"... A couple of others think so, too.

"Correct within an order of magnitude"... Wrong.

"According to statistical analysis"... Rumor has it.

"A statistically oriented projection of the significance of these findings"... A wild guess.

"A careful analysis of obtainable data"... Three pages of notes were obliterated when I knocked over a glass of pop.

"It is clear that much additional work will be required before a complete understanding of this phenomenon occurs"... I don't understand it.

"After additional study by my colleagues"... They don't understand it either.

"Thanks are due to Joe Blotz for assistance with the experiment and to Cindy Adams for valuable discussions"... Mr. Blotz did the work and Ms. Adams explained to me what it meant.

"A highly significant area for exploratory study"... A totally useless topic selected by my committee.

"It is hoped that this study will stimulate further investigation in this field"... I quit.

You can probably use some of these or variations!

25. FAT THEOLOGY
And God populated the earth with broccoli and cauliflower and spinach, green and yellow vegetable of all kinds, so Man and Woman would live long and healthy lives.

And Satan created McDonald's. And McDonald's brought forth the 99-cent double-cheeseburger. And Satan said to Man, "You want fries with that?"

And Man said, "Super size them." And Man gained pounds.

And God created the healthful yogurt, that woman might keep her figure that man found so fair.

And Satan brought forth chocolate. And woman gained pounds.

And God said, "Try my crispy fresh salad."

And Satan brought forth ice cream. And woman gained pounds.

And God said, "I have sent your heart healthy vegetables and olive oil with which to cook them."

And Satan brought forth chicken-fried steak so big it needed its own platter.

And Man gained pounds and his bad cholesterol went through the roof.

And God brought forth running shoes and Man resolved to lose those extra pounds.

And Satan brought forth cable TV with remote control so Man would not have to toil to change channels between ESPN and ESPN2.

And Man gained pounds.

And God said, "You're running up the score, Devil."

And God brought forth the potato, a vegetable naturally low in fat and brimming with nutrition.

And Satan peeled off the healthful skin and sliced the starchy center into chips and deep-fat fried them. And he created sour cream dip also.

And Man clutched his remote control and ate the potato chips swaddled in cholesterol.

And Satan saw and said, "It is good."

And Man went into cardiac arrest.

And God sighed and created quadruple bypass surgery.

And Satan created HMOs.

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BIBLE TRIVIA (Famous Words and Phrases)

THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH

Generally meaning 'just barely', the imagery comes from Job 19:20. The phrase was made popular when used as the title of a wildly successful play by American playwright Thornton Wilder.

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

Mexico: Prayer an effective weapon in the war against drugs

In June we reported on the Mexican drug war and a united Mexican-American prayer initiative focused on the arrest of the 17 most wanted drug cartel leaders. God is answering the prayers of many in Mexico and elsewhere with the interception of many drug shipments and by turning one cartel against another in chaotic fights for dominance.

On June 21, Mexican authorities arrested Jose de Jesus Mendez Vargas, known popularly as the 'El Chango' (the monkey), the leader of one of the factions of the la Familia Michoacana cartel and one of the remaining 17 most wanted on the prayer list. They also caught the top hitman for the Knight Templar drug gang in the western state of Michoacan. Also in Michoacan, authorities announced the seizure of 44 metric tons of chemicals used to produce methamphetamine. Mexican soldiers found the largest marijuana plantation ever detected in Mexico, a huge field covering almost 300 acres (120 hectares). Pinal county deputies seized more than 1,800 pounds of marijuana in the Vekol Valley, a well-known smuggling corridor. The marijuana had a street value of more than $1 million.

Ninety-one police officers were arrested in Tiaxcala, Tiaxcala state, on charges of robbery and collusion among public officials. More than 3 tons of methamphetamine and precursor chemical were found in an industrial are of El Marqes, Queretaro state. Mexican Federal Police captured alleged Los Zetas Leader Albert Gonzalez Pena, aka 'El Tigre', in Xalapa, Veracruz state. He was responsible for moving drugs farthing in to northern and central Mexico and was also linked to various other criminal activities in Veracruz state.

In August another Mexican drug lord, Jesus Enrique Rejon Aguilar, was captured. He is suspected of being behind numerous deaths in northeastern Mexico. CNN reported on July 25 that over 1,000 involved in human trafficking have been arrested in Juarez and 20 young women were rescued from their grip.

Leaders of the prayer initiative ask for continuing prayer until all the remaining most wanted drug barons will be captured or otherwise removed from circulation and that the drug shipment routes and networks will be interdicted and destroyed.

Source: IPC, CNN, Bridgebuilders

via openheaven.com

DAVID'S DOWNLOAD

A REVELATION OF... DIVIDING THE WATERS

A revelation based upon the 3 times the waters were divided in the Bible (The Red Sea with Moses, The River Jordan with Joshua and The River Jordan again with Elijah and Elisha.) and their meanings for the restoration of God's church in these end times.

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WAXING LYRICAL

One of the first poems I ever wrote. Written in a time of trouble - as most of the best
poetry is.

A FRIEND IS THERE

A friend is there to lend an ear,
To listen while you shed a tear,
To understand while others scorn,
To give you comfort as you mourn.
Yes, a friend is there.

A friend is there about you to care,
The one with whom you can always share,
Is there to help you carry your load,
As you walk along life’s wearying road.
Yes, a friend is there.

A friend is there when your burden is great,
You’re crying out inside, ruing your fate,
Desperately wanting to tear out your hair,
Because life, it seems, is just not fair.
Yes, a friend is there.

A friend is there to help you through,
To be with you when you’re feeling blue,
To support you as you come to terms,
With that stinking, rotten, can of worms.
Yes, a friend is there.

A friend is there to gear you vent your spleen
As you look back, wondering what might have been,
Had you done this or had you done that,
You wouldn’t be in the place you are at.
Yes, a friend is there.

A friend is there to help heal the sores,
To turn you away from settling old scores,
To look at life in a different light,
Helping you separate day from night.
Yes, a friend is there.

A friend is there both on heaven and in earth,
Waiting, yearning, to help with the rebirth,
One who is precious both above and down here,
The one in whom you can confide, without fear.
Yes, a friend is there.

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A DAVID MUSING

Over the last fortnight the world's financial system has again come under great strain. There is no need to get into details here, even though, being trained as an economist many years ago, the subject interests me.

Added to recent natural disasters of quakes and weather events, the world is a less certain place to live in than it was a few years ago.

I must particularly draw your attention to the current famine situation that has parts of Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya in its vice-like grip. I have ministered in some of the affected areas in Kenya and have friends there who are now suffering greatly in areas where, particularly the children are dying of sickness and malnutrition.

We are currently helping in what little way we are able, given the circumstances in which we presently find ourselves. It is not easy out there for anyone, but our difficulties pale into insignificance compared to theirs!

I urge you to support those organisations that are helping people with food and other humanitarian aid to this area. If you would like to assist through us, please email me at david@wwj.org.nz and I will contact you.

The need is so great that we all must help in order to make a difference.

Thank you.

Until next week.......

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD.

His servant and yours

David Tait

Today's 'Word Puzzle' Answer: PHONIC

TODAY'S 'BIBLE QUESTION' ANSWER: 1. a The Kingdom of God and his righteousness (Matthew 6:33)

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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
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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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