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Issue No: 537     Published: 06 Feb 2012

THINKING GREEK OR HEBREW? continues

We are looking at the differences between the Jewish (Eastern) and Greek (Western) ways of thinking, so that we can better understand the ways and teachings of Jesus. (See also the last 3 week's PGIM's)

COMMUNITY V INDIVIDUAL

Greek (Western)


The Greek focus is on the individual.

Let's face it! In our society, 'I' is the most important letter in the alphabet! 'What is in it for me?'

In the church too, our focus is on what Jesus will do for us...... Jesus loves you. (true) 'Jesus saves' you. (true) Jesus will make you happy. (not true) Onward to the ultimate 'I'..... Jesus will make you rich! (not true) For our natural mind is focused on 'taking', not giving.

Eastern (Hebrew)

The Hebrew focus, on the other hand, is on the community in relationship with God.

This is the pattern of the Old Testament, with God choosing to work firstly through the families of the Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, etc).....

8 The child grew and was weaned, and on the day Isaac was weaned Abraham held a great feast. 9 But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking, 10 and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.” 11 The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son. 12 But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your maidservant. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned. 13 I will make the son of the maidservant into a nation also, because he is your offspring.” (Genesis 21:8-13)

We find this difficult to understand and accept, but the interests of the community, of the continuation of the godly line, was put ahead of the interests of the individual. Ironically, the rejected Esau then became the spiritual root of today's Muslim faith!

This sense of community continued through the checkered history of the nation of Israel, where effectively, the King represented the people before God, either for good or for evil.....

19 Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem two years. His mother’s name was Meshullemeth daughter of Haruz; she was from Jotbah. 20 He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, as his father Manasseh had done. 21 He walked in all the ways of his father; he worshiped the idols his father had worshiped, and bowed down to them. 22 He forsook the LORD, the God of his fathers, and did not walk in the way of the LORD..... 26 He was buried in his grave in the garden of Uzza. And Josiah his son succeeded him as king. 1 Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. His mother’s name was Jedidah daughter of Adaiah; she was from Bozkath. 2 He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and walked in all the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left. (2 Kings 21:19-22, 26-22:2)

Moving on to New Testament times, it is easy now to understand the confusion of Nicodemus, a celebrated elder, who naturally thought the spiritual state of the nation was in the ruling councils hands. Then Jesus turned this world on its head by proclaiming that salvation was now a personal choice.....

Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.” 3 In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” 4 “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!” 5 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” 9 “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked. 10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11 I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. 16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. (John 3:1-18)

However, the sense of community was not lost in the early church, where the good of the group as a whole was put ahead of the interests of the individual.....

The Believers Share Their Possessions

32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. 34 There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need. (Acts 4:32-5)


Jesus would have approved.

SOME SPIRITUAL IMPLICATIONS FOR TODAY

1. While salvation is now a personal decision, our ongoing community response is to be one of giving rather than taking..... 33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” (Mark 12:33)

2. 'Community' is focused on caring and sharing, of putting other's needs ahead of our own.

3. Religious form is superfluous. It is how we live in our community that truly reflects the genuineness of our salvation.

(To be continued next week.)

Acknowledgement: http://www.followtherabbi.com

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FROM THE WORD

The Birth of Isaac

"Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him. When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him. Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”

Hagar and Ishmael Sent Away

The child grew and was weaned, and on the day Isaac was weaned Abraham held a great feast. But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking, and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.” The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son. But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your maidservant. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned. I will make the son of the maidservant into a nation also, because he is your offspring.” Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the desert of Beersheba. When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. Then she went off and sat down nearby, about a bowshot away, for she thought, “I cannot watch the boy die.” And as she sat there nearby, she began to sob. God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. God was with the boy as he grew up. He lived in the desert and became an archer. While he was living in the Desert of Paran, his mother got a wife for him from Egypt." (Genesis 21:1-21)

The Believers Share Their Possessions

"All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need. Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement), sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.

Ananias and Sapphira

Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet. Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God.” When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. Then the young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him. About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?” “Yes,” she said, “that is the price.” Peter said to her, “How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.” At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events." (Acts 4:32 - 5:11)

The Greatest Commandment

"One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions." (Mark 12:28-34)

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DAVID'S DOODLINGS

FAITH AND WORKS

691. Man is made to work – but not all the time!

692. Show me faith. Show me works. And I will show you a faith that works.

693. Building faith takes time but good works are always ready and waiting.

694. How much faith does it take to do good works?

695. People come, people go, but needs go on forever.

696. Works reflect the light of Christ in us to a dark world.

697. Faith reflects our place in God, works reflect God’s place in us.

698. Faith is internal, works external.

699. Works are the reflection of our faith to a disbelieving world.

700. Works are the single most convincing expression of our faith.

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CRANWELLS CARTOONS

5 So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him. 6 The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. 7 Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists. 8 Then the angel said to him, “Put on your clothes and sandals.” And Peter did so. “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me,” the angel told him. 9 Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision. 10 They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him. 11 Then Peter came to himself and said, “Now I know without a doubt that the Lord sent his angel and rescued me from Herod’s clutches and from everything the Jewish people were anticipating.” 12 When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying. 13 Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer the door. 14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, “Peter is at the door!” 15 “You’re out of your mind,” they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, “It must be his angel.” 16 But Peter kept on knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished. (Acts12:5-16)










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TUESDAY TEACHINGS

THIS WEEK: A REVELATION OF……. SERVANTHOOD AND LEADERSHIP

The first of a new 7 part series, particularly exploring servanthood in leadership. Sure to challenge and make one think!

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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." ***

450. GOOD LOOKING
The Baptist church had a small congregation of very faithful people - all but Marvin the farmer, who had quit coming to church.

Pastor Feingold went to Marvin's farm, and asked him why he didn't attend anymore.

"Gee, Preacher," Marvin said, "I only have these coveralls and old boots, and I don't want to come to the Lord's house dressed so shabby."

Pastor Feingold said, "I've got a spare shirt, sports coat, slacks and shoes I'll give you if you'll come back!"

Marvin agreed, so Pastor Feingold returned that afternoon with the clothes. Next Sunday Marvin didn't show up again.

The Pastor went out to Marvin's farm and asked, "I gave you all those clothes, why didn't you come to church?"

"Well, brother," Marvin said, "I got up and showered and shaved, and I put on those neat duds, and I looked in the mirror. I looked so doggone good I went to the Episcopal church!"

449. MY BEST
A man died and went to heaven. He was met at the Pearly Gates by St. Peter who led him down the golden streets. They passed mansion after beautiful mansion until they came to the end of the street where they stopped in front of a shack. The man asked St. Peter why he got a hut when there were so many mansions he could live in.

St. Peter replied, "I did the best I could with the money you sent us."

448. VERY RELIGIOUS
My husband is very religious.....

He won't work if there's a Sunday in the week.

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: What creature has infrared receptors to help it catch prey in total darkness?

ANSWER: Snakes! Certain snakes, including Pythons and Boa Constrictors, have pits along their lips that are actually infrared heat receptors. These receptors can help a snake locate prey even in total darkness. (I pray not to be the prey! What am I worried about? New Zealand is about the only country that doesn’t have snakes!)

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: What is the lowest place on Earth?

Answer Next Week.

SOME FUN FACTS

1159. WE STILL HAVE TO TALK
About two thirds of the world’s population have no regular contact with newspapers, television, radio or telephones. (And the other third often wish they hadn’t!)

1160. EARTHQUAKE PREVENTION
Elephants can't jump. Every other mammal can. (A ‘trunk-ated’ disability)

1161. THE LAST SHALL BE FIRST
The cigarette lighter was invented before the match. (Took a bright spark to come up with it!)

A WORD PUZZLE FOR YOU

Make another word from this word using all the letters.

NEOLITH

Answer at the end of A David Musing

FREE DOWNLOAD: You can download the full version of our Trivia Book at TRULY TRIFFLING TRIVIA

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BIBLE QUESTION - THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW

5: What does Jesus say that the meek shall inherit?

a. Everlasting life
b. The Treasure of Heaven
c. The earth
d. The Throne of God

Source: http://biblequizzes.org.uk

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IF ONLY I'D THOUGHT OF IT!

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

SAYINGS FOR YOU TO PONDER

!!!!!!! A mistake is proof that somebody tried anyhow.

!!!!!! The most dangerous thing in the world is to try to leap a chasm in two jumps.

!!!!! A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he knows something.

!!!! When you became a Christian, God didn't call you to a playground, but a battleground!

!!! Sin will keep you from the Bible ~ but the Bible will keep you from sin.

!! Co-operate! Remember the banana ~ every time it leaves the bunch it gets skinned.

! Success comes in cans: Failure comes in can'ts.

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PETS RULE

65. A TALKING DOG?
A guy walks into a talent agency with a dog, and says "I've got a great act...my dog can actually talk."

"Surrrre he can," replies the talent agent, "prove it."

So the fellow asks the dog, "What is on top of a building?" "Roof, roof!" the dog replies.

"What does sandpaper feel like?" "Rough, rough!" the dog replies.

The talent agent starts to get impatient as the man asks his dog, "Who was the greatest baseball player of all time?" "Ruth, Ruth!" says the dog.

Instantly the talent agent throws open the door, and kicks the pair out of his office.

After a few seconds, the dog looks up at his master and says, "Should I have said DiMaggio?"

66. YOU GOTTA HELP ME!
There once was a lady who was very concerned about her missing parrot. Not knowing what to do, she called 911. "You gotta help me find my parrot!"

The operator patiently replied, "We can't help you with that, ma'am. This number only deals with emergencies." But the lady persisted, and then the operator told her not to be concerned, that the parrot should fly back in a few days. Then, out of desperation, the lady begged, "But you don't understand! The only thing he says is "Here, kitty, kitty!!!"

67. SHOWING HOW
There's a man trying to cross the street. As he steps off the curb a car comes screaming around the corner and heads straight for him. The man walks faster, trying to hurry across the street, but the car changes lanes and is still coming at him.

So the guy turns around to go back, but the car changes lanes again and is still coming at him. By now, the car is so close and the man so scared that he just freezes and stops in the middle of the road.

The car gets real close, then swerves at the last possible moment and screeches to a halt right next him. The driver rolls down the window. The driver is a squirrel.

The squirrel says to the man says, "See, it's not as easy as it looks, is it?"

Pets rule here.....

http://www.wwj.org.nz/pets.php

BIBLE TRIVIA (Strange and Amazing Facts)

THE NEWEST VERSES IN THE BIBLE.....

..... are believed to be found in the Gospel of John, written round 100AD.

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

Pastors Conference: Church Leaders Need to Be Good Fathers

By Alex Murashko | Christian Post Reporter

Good church leadership begins at home, the first speaker of this year's annual pastors conference hosted by the Desiring God ministry at the Minneapolis Convention Center said Monday.

"The apostle Paul considers the fruit of a man's behavior in his home as one of the central qualifications for pastoral office," Pastor Doug Wilson of Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho, told those in attendance and an online viewing audience.

"He says that if a man does not know how to manage his household well, then how will he know how to care for the church of God as he says in 1 Timothy 3-5? From this we learn that fatherhood in the home and pastoral care in the church are analogous activities."

Wilson was introduced at the conference, themed "God, Manhood & Ministry – Building Men for the Body of Christ," by prominent evangelical pastor John Piper, who founded Desiring God. Piper had opened the conference with a prayer and a warning that the subject of manhood and fatherhood may be an emotional one for many of the pastors in attendance.

As the featured speaker of the opening night, Wilson said he wanted to talk about the role of a father in his home, how that translates if the father is a pastor, and address what happens when a man neglects that responsibility. His message was based on his study on an upcoming book, Father Hunger.

In a recent video posted on the Desiring God website, Wilson explains that "father hunger" is created "when fathers abdicate; when fathers are not fathers; when fathers don't exhibit the kind of backbone their wives and their children need them to exhibit; there's a natural and built-in Creational need that his wife and his children need him to exhibit that he's not exhibiting."

"When you withhold from your children … they have a deep awareness that something is missing," he said. Later in life, some people may not even be aware that the issue of not having a present father is causing them to seek to fill the void in the wrong places."

"Father hunger … is a hunger that creates an ache that runs deeper than any other kind of ache," said Wilson, who has written a number of books on family issues using the Bible as his main reference, including Reforming Marriage. "And because we do not live our lives in various water-tight compartments, an ache which begins in half the homes in your congregation, although it begins in the home it doesn't end in the home – it's not going to be kept out of your congregational life."

"It will certainly not be kept out of your pastoral counseling. And because of how God calls men to the ministry it will probably not be kept out of your pulpits," he added.

Wilson, who will be talking on the subject again on Tuesday and who will be having a discussion with Piper during a session on Wednesday, said he wanted to make sure his conference topic of discussion began and ended with the hope found in the Bible.

"Because many of us have had poor fathers, or have been poor fathers, or both, our temptation is to place a message like this as a thunderbolt in an angry and irritated Zeus. But the Father that Jesus brings us to is the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. He is the God of all grace and forgiveness," Wilson emphasized.

"One of the sins he forgives is our tendency to perpetuate fatherlessness. This is not a message of accusation, but rather one of repentance and hope."

DAVID'S DOWNLOAD

A REVELATION OF....... THE TABERNACLE OF DAVID

Sandwiched between Moses Tabernacle, representing the church, and Solomon's Temple, representing the Millennial reign of Christ, David's simple tent is a picture of the end time church that will last for but a short time before Jesus returns.

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WAXING LYRICAL

Words that tell a succinct story!

...EPT

While Jesus wept,
The Disciples slept,
Could not accept,
His divine precept.

His death swept,
Felt totally inept,
To themselves kept,
While time crept.

Resurrection concept,
No promises unkept,
They became adept,
So to service lept!

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A DAVID MUSING

On Tuesday, Kathy and I led the first meeting of 'Equipping Station', to be held in our city of Napier. This is the brainchild of God through our friend, Rodney Francis, of the Gospel Faith Messenger Ministry. It is designed to help people develop and apply spiritual gifts, particularly the gift of prophecy.

The meeting was well attended and blessed with the Holy Spirit's presence.

There is a hunger amongst members of the body for vision, training and release to do the work the Lord would have them do.

This hunger is a result of the kingdom movement that is being birthed around the world. People are desiring more of God, seeking to serve Him in the specific personal calling God has for each one. The preparation of the saints is the primary role of the ministry as described in Ephesians 4. 11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up

As servant leaders, may we learn to take the focus off ourselves and our vision, in order to train and release others to fulfill theirs.

Until next week.......

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD.

His servant and yours

David Tait

Today's 'Word Puzzle' Answer: HOTLINE

TODAY'S 'BIBLE QUESTION' ANSWER: 5c. The earth. (Matthew 5:5)

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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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