Do You Make Time To Pray Within Your Busy Daily Schedule?

I never tire of my young nephews. They pay the greatest attention to you and then mimic all that you do. This can be either flattering or embarrassing if what they mimic places you in a bad light. They copy the good and the bad indiscriminately.

Jesus, although both human and divine, needed to seek out times of prayer alone with God. He ministered generously and widely on a daily basis throughout an amazing three years, yet recognised his own need to pull aside and make space to be alone with his heavenly Father. It therefore comes as no surprise that we will constantly fail to find sufficient grace to continue in God’s ways, if we fail to draw aside and take some time with God.

Prayer can so often be reduced to little more than the swift recitation of a shopping list of requests laid at Jesus’ feet in the hope and expectation that God will do something constructive in response.

Many of these listed items are forgotten as soon as they have been presented. Once listed, we so often rise to return to the hurly-burly of life, having taken no time to allow God to speak to us and refresh us with his spirit.

There is no surprise here since the word ‘pray’ does mean to entreat or earnestly ask for. Yet, there are other aspects of prayer when we are to bring ourselves before God simply to sit and gaze upon his lovely countenance. This practice is increasingly difficult in a world in which we’re surrounded by distractions. However, without finding that space and taking that time, we will become consistently absorbed with these distractions and lose sight of God and lose touch with his peace.

Yet, as we wait upon God, we become self-aware and reflect upon those things we have done well and those things where perhaps we have let God down. We are invited by God to make a judgement about how we might better represent ourselves as his servants going forward.

(Dr Micha Jazz)

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

Fears that the Tunisian Church may become Police target!

As Britain holds a minute’s silence at noon today for the victims of the recent Islamic State (IS) attack in Tunisia, please also remember the small but growing church in this nation.

Tunisia is number 36 on the World Watch List. There are fears that the police will act against anything that isn’t the ‘Tunisian standard’ in an effort to crack down on extremist activities following recent attacks, and that the church could be included in this. Christians have also faced a series of attacks in North Africa recently, and this attack has added to the sense of anxiety.

Please Pray:

  • for comfort for the families of those who were killed and the survivors of the recent attack
  • for protection for the church from both extremist attacks and pressure from the police
  • for the church in Tunisia to be a source of hope and comfort in this time of distress

for wisdom for the leaders of Tunisia and other nations to know how to combat extremism.

For more information about Open Doors please visit:-

http://www.opendoorsuk.org

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

Pope Francis – Islamic State Atrocities Are Like Early Church Persecution

Christians who suffer torture and murder by ISIS are like the first century Christians who were “besieged by persecution”, according to the Pope.

Describing violent atrocities carried out by Herod who put James, brother of John to the sword and seized and jailed Peter, Pope Francis said “terrible, inhuman and inexplicable persecution” is unfortunately still present in many parts of the world.

Speaking on the feast of the apostles St Peter and St Paul, he said this persecution even today takes place often “under the eyes and in the silence of all”.

He said the courage of the apostles and the first Christian community in continuing the work of evangelisation without fear of death and martyrdom in a pagan empire was “a strong call to prayer, faith and witness” for believers today.

In his homily the Pope said: “How many forces in the course of history have tried, and still do, to destroy the Church, from without as well as within, but they themselves are destroyed and the Church remains alive and fruitful.”

He said Christians were duty-bound to evangelise. “A church or a Christian who does not give witness is sterile, like a dead person who thinks they are alive, like a dried up tree that produces no fruit an empty well that offers no water.”

And the strongest weapon for the Christian was prayer. “A Christian who prays is a Christian protected, preserved and supported, but especially not alone,” he said. “Prayer is the encounter with God, with God who never lets us down, with God who is faithful to His word, with God who does not abandon His children.”

The forces of evil such as ISIS will not prevail, he predicted.

“How many forces, throughout history, have tried – and try – to destroy the Church, both from outside and from the inside, but they are all destroyed and the Church remains alive and fertile!” This was because “the Church is not of the Popes, bishops, priests and even of the faithful, it is only Christ. Only those who live in Christ’s Church promote and defend the sanctity of life, the example of Peter and Paul.”

There is no force capable of defeating those with the power of faith, he said.

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

Churches Encouraged To Offer Support To Migrants

Following on from a Notice of Motion presented to this year’s Methodist Conference, all Methodist churches are being encouraged to provide support to at least one individual or family crossing Europe from the Mediterranean fleeing from conflict.

The Revd Olufemi R W Cole-Njie, who proposed the motion, said “Social action is at the heart of Methodism. When people are in need it is our role as the Church to step-up and help the hungry, the weak, the stranger. Thousands of people are fleeing their homes in fear for their lives. How can we on one hand say that we welcome Jesus into our lives, and yet on the other not welcome those in need?”

In addition to encouraging its own churches to do more, the Conference has urged the Government to accept immigrants fleeing war-zones on a much larger scale, commensurate with Britain’s size and resources.

Praising the enormous contribution that migrants and refugees make in Britain, the Conference welcomed the recent Statement by the Conference of European Churches that encouraged European Churches and Institutions to support refugees, and applauded the ongoing efforts of the Churches in Greece and Italy, particularly for the ‘Mediterranean Hope’ project.

The Revd Stephen J Burgess, Chair of the York & Hull District, added “What this practically looks like will be different in each community and for each church. But in putting this forward, we are encouraging and reminding our churches to fulfil the words of Wesley: ‘Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all places you can.’”

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

On The Lighter Side

An American man walked into a restaurant in London.

As soon as he entered, he noticed an African man sitting in the corner. So he walked over to the counter, removed his wallet and shouted, “Waiter! I am buying food for everyone in this restaurant, except that black African guy over there!”

So the waiter collected the money from the man and began serving free food to everyone in the restaurant, except the African.

However,instead of becoming upset, the African simply looked up at the American and shouted, “Thank you!”

That infuriated the man. So once again, the American took out his wallet and shouted, “Waiter! This time I am buying bottles of wine and additional food for everyone in this bar, except for that African sitting in the corner over there!”

So the waiter collected the money from the man and began serving free food and wine to everyone in the bar except the African.

When the waiter finished serving the food and drinks, once again, instead of becoming angry, the African simply smiled at the American man and shouted, “Thank you!”

That made the American man furious.

So he leaned over on the counter and said to  the waiter, “What is wrong with that African man? I have bought food and drinks for everyone in this bar except for him, but instead of becoming angry, he just sits there and smiles at me and
shouts ‘Thank you.’ Is he mad???”

The waiter smiled at the American and said, “No, he is not mad. He is the OWNER of this restaurant.”

May your enemies work unknowingly in your favour…….. .It shall come to pass in Jesus Mighty Name.
… Amen …

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

What We Share

We share our happiness with each other – and it becomes greater’

We share our troubles with each other – and they become smaller.

We share one another’s griefs and burdens – and their weight becomes possible to bear.

What do you share with your fellow man (or, indeed, woman)?

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

The Holy Spirit

The following envisionment is based upon a series of lectures about the Holy Spirit given by Kathryn Kuhlman in 1947 (the year I was born).

Kathryn said:-

“I see in my mind the three persons of the Trinity sitting down at a great conference table before the formation of the Earth ever took place.

God, the Holy Father, gave the others the news that even though He would create men to have fellowship with Him, that man would sin; and break that Fellowship.

The only way Fellowship could then be restored would be for someone to pay the price for that sin. For if another did not pay it, then man himself would have to continue to pay the price in unhappiness, disease, death, and eventually hell.

After the Holy Father finished sharing, His Son Jesus spoke up and said, ‘I’ll go. I’ll take the form of a man and go down to Earth to pay that price.  I’ll be willing to die on the cross so that man can be restored to perfect fellowship with us.’

Then Jesus turned to the holy spirit and said, ‘But I cannot go unless you go with me; for you are the one with the power.’

The Holy Spirit responded and said, ‘You go ahead and when the time is right, I shall join you on Earth.’

So Jesus came to Earth, was born in a manger, and grew to manhood. But, even though He was the very Son of God, He was powerless.

Then came that magnificent moment at the River Jordan when Jesus, coming up out of the baptismal waters, looked up and saw the Holy Spirit descending upon Him in the form of a dove.

It must have been one of the greatest thrills that Jesus received as He walked in the flesh on this Earth. And I can almost hear the Holy Spirit whisper in His ear, ‘I’m here now. We’re running right on schedule. Now things will really begin to happen.’

And they did happen. Filled with the Spirit, He was suddenly empowered to heal the sick, cause the blind to see, and even raise the dead. It was the time for miracles. For three years they continued, and then, at the end, the Bible says that He gave up the ghost, and the Spirit returned to the Holy Father.

After Jesus was in the grave for three days, that mighty third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, returned.

Jesus came out of the grave in a glorified body. He performed no more miracles during the short time He was here, but He gave His followers a great promise; the greatest promise of all in the Bible.

He said that same Holy Spirit who had lived in Him would return to live in all those who opened their lives to His power. The same things that He, Jesus, had done. His followers would do, also.

In fact, even greater things would be done because now the Holy Spirit would not be limited to one body, but would be free to enter all those everywhere who would receive Him.

The last words He said before He went away were,  ‘And you shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.’

God the Father had given him Him the gift. Now He was passing it on to the Church. Every church should be experiencing the miracles of Pentecost. Every church should be seeing the healings of the Book of Acts. This gift is for all of us.”

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey