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Issue No: 515     Published: 05 Sep 2011

ARE WE TOO COMFORTABLE?

How much is enough? ...... Always - a little more!

That is God you are talking about?.... No.

It is worldly riches about which I, and you, and everyone, talks about! For that is the way of the world. It is the same in Africa and Asia as it is in the West. We all want a little - or a lot - more than we have, in order to be 'comfortable'.

Our security is found in our possessions rather than in our God.

"That is not true of me, David!!!!!"

Take the advice of Jesus then.....

“If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Matthew 19:21b)

Is it still true then that you don't overvalue your possessions, when it comes to the crunch? Or is your reaction the same as that of the young ruler?

22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. (Matthew 19:22)

On another occasion, Jesus said.....

20 Looking at his disciples, he said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. 21 Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. 22 Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. 23 “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets. (Luke 6:20-22)

"You can't really mean David, that it is the poor who inherit the kingdom? That doesn't agree with my prosperity doctrine!!!"

Well, my friend, it wasn't me who said it, was it? And Jesus went on.....

24 “But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort. 25 Woe to you who are well fed now, for you will go hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep. 26 Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets. (Luke 6:24-26)

"What am I to do then, David?"

"Don't ask me - ask Jesus."

But here is my testimony. It may help. Kathy and I have been millionaires twice and bankrupt twice. After my second bankruptcy, we gave away all we were left with, and today only own our household possessions, which we have decreased over the years by shifting into smaller, then even smaller, rented accommodation!

One day, nearly 7 years ago now, the Lord spoke to me during a church service telling me He wanted us to shift from Tauranga, (which I loved and where I was very comfortable!) to Napier, where we still live. I went home and told Kathy, and lo and behold, she had had a similar word in a different way. I spoke to two ladies in our church and asked them, without saying anything, if they could ask the Lord for a word for me. Both came back with the identical word, "This is the way, walk ye in it" (from Isaiah 30:21) Clear confirmation.

We had 1 son who had yet to do his final year at school. He was our main concern. Arrangements were made for him to go to a new school in Napier. As we had no house to sell, within 1 month we were able to make the shift to our new location, as God had told us to.

Had we had a lot of physical possessions, this would not have been possible. For the harsh reality is, most peoples lives are ruled by their possessions.

God simply seeks our obedience, not our wealth! He does own the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10) after all! And at the price of cattle these days........!!!!!

In answer to the woman in the crowd who was blessing Mary for giving birth to Jesus.....

28 He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” (Luke 11:28)

We are to obey His teaching (including that on money - riches - becoming too comfortable).....

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. 24 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. (John 14:23-4)

And to be obedient when the Lord speaks to us directly through the Holy Spirit too.....

15 “If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17 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. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 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.” (John 14:15-21)

Is your personal comfort worth more to you than is Jesus?

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FROM THE WORD

The Rich Young Man

"Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.” “Which ones?” the man inquired.
Jesus replied, ”‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’” “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?” Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?” Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first. (Matthew 19:16-30)

Jesus and Beelzebub
"Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute. When the demon left, the man who had been mute spoke, and the crowd was amazed. But some of them said, “By Beelzebub, the prince of demons, he is driving out demons.” Others tested him by asking for a sign from heaven. Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall. If Satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? I say this because you claim that I drive out demons by Beelzebub. Now if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your followers drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you. “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe. But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up the spoils. “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me, scatters. “When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first.” As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.” He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”" (Luke 11:14-28)

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)

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DAVID'S DOODLINGS

SUCCESS

104. ‘Earthly Success’ is based upon achievement, ‘Godly Success’ upon relationship.

105. ‘To be, not to do, that is the answer.’ (with apologies to Shakespeare)

106. God desires our ‘being’ much more than our ‘doing’.

107. God prefers ‘ones self’ to ‘ones works’.

108. In God’s order ‘works’ should proceed, not precede, relationship.

109. On earth favours lead to friendship, while with God, friendship leads to blessings.

110. Money is slippery – hard to grasp and even harder to hold on to.

111. Earthly achievement’s are fleeting, a heavenly investment eternal.

112. Being a Christian is both to give and to for-give.

113. Nothing is less conspicuous than a famous man’s grave.

114. Having control over ones self is of much greater worth than having control over others.

115. You must clamber over the rocks of failure in order to ascend the mountain of success.

116. It takes the Holy Spirit to transform a ‘churchian’ into a ‘Christian’.

117. The world will meander, as long as men philander.

118. Sleep refreshes body, mind and spirit, but you have to wake up to experience the benefits.

119. Failure is often the first rung on the ladder of success.

120. 100% success is unattainable, but 100% effort is available to all.

121. Easy success breeds arrogance, but success hard-earned, builds character.

122. God accepts us as we are. As we learn to accept this, he develops us into what we can be.

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CRANWELLS CARTOONS

THE PARABLE OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN
25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” 27 He answered: ”‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” 28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” 29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ 36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:25-37)


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TUESDAY TEACHINGS

THIS WEEK: A REVELATION OF…….
THE SEVEN REVELATIONS OF 'THE LAMB' Part 3
LAMB OF SALVATION
Moses and the Passover Lamb


That Jesus came as the fulfilment of the Feast of Passover, where the blood of the lamb was placed on the door-post to provide protection against the angel of death, is generally well understood in the church 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." ***

388. TRADITION
During a service at an old synagogue in Eastern Europe, when the Shema prayer was said, half the congregants stood up and half remained sitting.

The half that was seated started yelling at those standing to sit down, and the ones standing yelled at the ones sitting to stand up.

The rabbi, learned as he was in the Law and commentaries, didn't know what to do. His congregation suggested that he consult a housebound 98-year-old man, who was one of the original founders of their temple. The rabbi hoped the elderly man would be able to tell him what the actual temple tradition was, so he went to the nursing home with a representative of each faction of the congregation.

The one whose followers stood during Shema said to the old man, "Is the tradition to stand during this prayer?"

The old man answered, "No, that is not our tradition."

The one whose followers sat asked, "Is the tradition to sit during Shema?"

The old man answered, "No, that is not our tradition."

Then the rabbi said to the old man, "Please help us! The congregants fight all the time, yelling at each other about whether they should sit or stand."

The old man interrupted, exclaiming, "THAT is our tradition!"

387. FAVORITE HYMNS, BY PROFESSION
Dentist - "Crown Him with Many Crowns"
Weatherman - "There Shall be Showers of Blessing"
Building contractor - "The Church's One Foundation"
Tailor - "Holy, Holy, Holy"
Golfer - "There is a Green Hill Far Away"
Politician - "Standing on the Promises"
Optometrist - "Open Mine Eyes that I Might See"
Internal Revenue Service - "All to Thee"
Gossip - "Pass It On"
Electrician - "Send the Light"
Shopper - "Sweet By and By"

386. OBSERVANT
A Sunday school teacher asked the children, "Why should you be quiet in church?"

Little Johnny promptly answered, "Because people are sleeping!"

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FACTS FOR FUN

LAST WEEKS QUESTION: What do cats, camels, and giraffes have in common?

ANSWER: Cats, like camels and giraffes, walk by moving their front and hind legs on one side, then the front and hind legs on the other side. When most other animals move, the front leg on one side and the hind leg on the other move together. (Having only two legs makes decision making so much easier.)

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: How can birds sit on electric wires without being injured?

Answer Next Week.

SOME FUN FACTS

22. A LONG TERM INVESTMENT
Vintage port takes forty years to reach maturity. (Quicker than me!)

23. FAR SIGHTED
A bird sees everything at once in total focus. Whereas the human eye is globular and must adjust to varying distances, the bird's eye is flat and so can take in everything at once in a single glance. (So there really is a ‘birds-eye view’.)

24. THERE'S GOT TO BE AN EASY WAY
According to the U.S. government, people have tried more than 28,000 different ways to lose weight. (People haven’t yet accepted that all you need to do is stop eating and start exercising. We’re all the same!)

A WORD PUZZLE FOR YOU

Make another word from this word using all the letters.

LANCASTER

Answer at the end of A David Musing

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BIBLE QUESTION - THE KINGDOM OF GOD

4: What does Jesus compare the Kingdom of God to in one of his parables?

a. A grain of mustard
b. A piece of bread
c. A grain of wheat
d. A pomegranate seed

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IF ONLY I'D THOUGHT OF IT!

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

'A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS!'

!!!!!!! Some power saws are a cut above the rest.

!!!!!! Don't force it, get a larger hammer.

!!!!! More of "MURPHY'S OTHER LAWS"

!!!! It is hard to understand how a cemetery can raise its burial costs and blame it on the higher cost of living.

!!! It is said that if you line up all the cars in the world end to end, someone would be stupid enough to try and pass them.

!! Flashlight: A case for holding dead batteries.

! The shin bone is a device for finding furniture.

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PETS RULE

47. KITTEN CAPERS
As chaplain in a university residence hall, I am supposed to uphold all of the school rules, which include a ban on pets. That changed when a kitten adopted me.

The freshmen in my dorm kept my secret. They covered for me by calling my kitten "the Book," since I had so many in my room.

One morning I was leaving the dorm with the kitten in a carrier. A student stopped me and asked, "Where are you taking the Book?"

I explained that I was taking the kitten to the vet. "She's getting neutered today," I told him.

"Hmmm," the student responded, "no sequels."

48. PERFECT!
My sister-in-law, a truck driver, had decided to get a dog for protection. As she inspected a likely candidate, the trainer told her, "He doesn't like men."

"Perfect," my sister-in-law thought and took the dog.

Then one day she was approached by two men in a parking lot, and she watched to see how her canine bodyguard would react. Soon it became clear the trainer wasn't kidding. As the men got closer, the dog ran under the nearest car.

49. DR CUTTER
Dr. Cutter is the local Veterinarian, known for his wry humor. He surpassed himself one summer day when a city dog was brought to him after an encounter with a porcupine. After almost an hour of prying, pulling, cutting and stitching, he returned the dog to its owner, who asked what she owed.

"A hundred and fifty dollars, Ma'am," he answered.

"Why that's simply outrageous!" she stormed. "That's what's wrong with you Maine people, you're always trying to over charge summer visitors. Whatever do you do in the winter, when we're not being gypped here?"

"Raise porcupines, Ma'am.

50. DANGER!
A customer in a little country drug store noticed a sign with the words "Danger! Beware of Dog!" written on it. But instead of a well-trained watch dog, all he saw was a harmless old hound dog sleeping on the floor next to the cash register.

He asked the owner of the store: "Is THAT the dog people are supposed to beware of?!"

"Yessiree, that's him," the owner replied.

The customer couldn't help but laugh. "That sure doesn't look like a dangerous dog to me. Why on Earth would you post that sign?"

"Because until I hung up that sign, folks kept tripping over him."

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BIBLE TRIVIA (Famous Words and Phrases)

THE HANDWRITING ON THE WALL

Taken from Daniel 5. King Belshazzar had seen a hand appear and write a mysterious message. Daniels interpretation was that the king had been found wanting in God's sight and would lose his kingdom that very night.

So the phrase is used now for something inevitable that we can all see happening.

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

Famine in East Africa: Who Cares?

Tobin Grant

Several Christian NGOs are on the move, provided they can get the appropriate funds.

More than 12 million people are at risk of starvation in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and other parts of East Africa, equivalent to the population of Ohio or Florida. Hundreds of thousands refugees have fled the drought-stricken region, and in the past three months, nearly 30,000 children have died. Yet the crisis has raised little attention in America. Private relief agencies are facing record low donations. The federal government is cutting its budget for humanitarian aid. And few Americans report even paying attention to the disaster.

Even though the need is great, some relief organizations are finding it difficult to raise the funds needed to assist the area. Jeff Palmer, executive director of Baptist Global Response, said the Southern Baptist international relief fund is operating with just enough funds for six months. Contributions from Southern Baptist churches to the fund in 2010 were the lowest in 20 years, with the fund receiving only 40 percent of what it did just a year earlier.

"We are now at a 'red alert' time for our human needs funding," Palmer said. "These projects help the poorest of the poor, the most neglected and marginalized and some of the most lost people groups in the world. We are approaching a baseline where we are going to have to start denying funds to critical projects."

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that the U.S. is sending $122 million to the region, bringing the total U.S. assistance to the region to more than $580 million to help with food distribution, nutrition, clean water, sanitation, healthcare, and security. Overall, around 4.6 million people are assisted through U.S. funds.

"What is happening in the Horn of Africa is the most severe humanitarian emergency in the world today, and the worst that East Africa has seen in several decades," Clinton said last week at the International Food Policy Research Institute.

USAID recommends that those who would like to help the victims of the famine should contribute directly to one of the relief organizations already working in the region.

The listed organizations include World Vision, which has relief operations in northern Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia, according to Mike Weickert, director of humanitarian and emergency affairs at World Vision. It plans on setting up an additional response center in southern Somalia, near the border between Somalia and Ethiopia. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimated that up to 140,000 Somali refugees have trekked through this region this year.

"Our World Vision assessment team visited Dolo last week and was struck by the extremely harsh conditions," said Weickert. "We met mothers who had delivered babies along the way, including one who had given birth on the hood of a car. Children are visibly ill and weak and urgent action is necessary to ensure their survival."

Samaritan's Purse is another relief organization working on the ground near the Somali border in Kenya, providing food, water, and other necessities. The relief organization is also running a work-for-pay program that provides employment for those in the area. Members of its staff report seeing animals left to die writhing on the ground, people walking miles just to get water to carry home, and families living in harsh conditions within refugee camps.

Government programs are facing cuts with the recent discussions over the national debt. Former U.N. ambassador Tony Hall wrote on Sojourners' God's Politics blog about how Congress is considering cuts to its food aid programs, programs that would help in the Horn of Africa. In April, the House passed a budget that made severe cuts to food, nutrition, and other relief programs. The budget included a 41 percent cut to U.S. disaster assistance programs, a 43 percent cut in funding for the Global Fund for HIV/AIDS, and a 30 percent reduction in international food programs.

"Some of America's political leaders are considering budget cuts that would make it all but impossible for us to respond to crises like these in the future," Hall said. "Why are they cutting funding for emergency food aid in the middle of a famine? In 1984, people of faith and conscience said 'never again.' It's time for America to start living up to this promise."

Support for federally funded programs and donations to nonprofit relief organizations may remain low, however, unless Americans start paying attention to the news about the famine. The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press reported Wednesday that a minority of Americans even feign attention to the famine. Only 15 percent reported that they had been closely following the news about the food shortage in Somalia; twice as many paid close attention to the stock market. And while only 4 percent in the Pew survey said Somalia was the story they were following the most, five times as many Americans said the stock market was their top story.

Former U.S. Senator Bill Frist, R-Tenn. recently returned from visiting refugee camps in Kenya, part of a U.S. delegation that included Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden.

"A lot of people don't realize, especially in this environment of what's happening in terms of the economy here and at home, that this is the most acute food security emergency anywhere in the world now and in recent years," said Frist.

Copyright © 2011 Christianity Today.

via openheaven.com

DAVID'S DOWNLOAD

A REVELATION OF... THE CHARACTER OF GOD

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WAXING LYRICAL

It's funny how subjective time can be!

LIFE!

Life is short
When watching sport......

But life is so very eternally long,
When the preacher misses the gong.......

Yet, if you time them both on your watch,
The sermon will be shorter than the match!

Funny that!

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A DAVID MUSING

As you read today's PGIM we will be just returning from our week's holiday.

Oh dear, back to work! Well....... maybe not! For from Friday, for the next 6 weeks until 23 October, New Zealand is hosting the Rugby World Cup, so the whole country will be in a festive mood for 6 weeks, as long as our much vaunted 'All Blacks' keep winning their matches that is! Even if they don't, I am sure we will be good hosts and entertain the nearly 100,000 visitors who are coming for the event, most hospitably.

Not a patch on the celebration for His followers when Jesus returns though! May His kingdom be established in us first so we can truly rule and reign with Him.

Until next week.......

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD.

His servant and yours

David Tait

Today's 'Word Puzzle' Answer: ANCESTRAL

TODAY'S 'BIBLE QUESTION' ANSWER: 4a. A grain of mustard ... Mark 4:30-31

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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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