google-site-verification: google3e8cc4742c5fd8a2.html 2013 April

Archive for April 2013

Think Spot

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Think Spot

28th April 2013

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I wonder what your last week was like! I know for me it was full of trial and yet with a deep-seated trust that God was in control, despite the events and discouragements I was undergoing! So, whether it was a week for you to forget or a week for you to remember, we now enter a new week! Last week we thought about trusting God in all circumstances! One of the natural outcomes of trusting God is joy - often an unspeakable joy that bubbles within you! A joy resulting from overcoming all that life throws at you, and overcoming those hurdles! It involves taking a daily commitment to follow Jesus Christ and not just a one off. It takes commitment, not comfort, to throw off hindrances and barriers. True joy results from being willing to allow the Holy Spirit to work in you, transforming you into the image of Jesus Christ, to the praise and glory of God the Father.

All of these things being done daily in your life lead to what I am convinced is the key to the reality of a successful Christian life - that key being joy. As you grow closer to Jesus, living in peace, trust and obedience, then your spiritual life will be your natural life and your natural life be your spiritual life! Your joy will abound and shine a light giving people a reason to ask "Where do you get all your joyous hope from?". You will then be able to· share Jesus as your source of joy. A joy that is anticipatory, expectant and true! Joy comes from putting Jesus first, others next and then yourself! Go practise it this week!

You can show this joy by singing, laughing, smiling, shouting praises to God, lifting hands in worship', and crying, but that is only the external part of joy. True joy also incorporates an internal joy. Real joy is when you can believe in: the mountain top when you are in your deepest valley. Abundant joy is being surrounded by darkness and still believing in 'the light'. Anticipatory joy is when amidst total confusion you still believe God has a plan of love for you. It was this type of joy that Jesus had, when in the garden praying, the night before he was betrayed, when full of mixed emotions and anguish he said "Not my will, but yours, Father!"

As sons and daughters of God, we have many reasons to be full of joy. Yet how often we forget! Here are some reasons for joy!

  • Psalm 51v8 & 12 - Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me-now let me rejoice. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.
  • Jeremiah 15v16 - When I discovered your words, I devoured them. They are my joy and my heart's delight, for I bear your name, O Lord God of Heaven's Armies.
  • Luke 15v8-10 "Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Won't she light a lamp and sweep the entire house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she will call in her friends and neighbours and say, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost coin.' In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God's angels when even one sinner repents."
  • 1 Peter 1v8-9 - You love Jesus Christ even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.

Do you desire to be' overflowing with joy today and this week? Go into this week with a joy that is anticipating and expectant! Do you need to hand over to Jesus a particular area of your life' where Jesus does not fully reign and have control? I pray that the Father will reveal more of Himself to you, as you daily seek His face, overcoming all hindrances to living a successful and joyful-Christian life. May the Holy Spirit who lives within you, if you are a Christian, continue to transform you into the image of the Son Jesus Christ, and all to the praise and glory of God the Father.

Amen.

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Ask Dave - Question 6

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Question 6

What are your thoughts on the

infilling of the Holy Spirit?

I will be hoping to return to the US & Canada in 2013! If you want a visit, leave a comment and we will see what ministry we can do together there!

However, over the following 6 weeks I will be answering one question a week:

  1. What inspired you to visit the USA in 2010?
  2. What Does Jesus Christ Mean to you?
  3. How do you help a new convert to become a disciple?
  4. When does one truly receive their salvation?
  5. If somebody is struggling with God and salvation, what can they do and how can we help them?
  6. What are your thoughts on the infilling of the Holy Spirit?

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HAHA 03

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HAHA 03

Church Begins!

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G’day and welcome to Partakers and to our series, HAHA – Heroes and Heretics Abound. Together we will look at the story of the church from its origins to the Age of Reasoning in the 18th century. Last time we looked briefly at the coming of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the church. Today in Part 3, we look briefly at the beginnings of Jesus’ church and its rapid spread across the Roman empire and beyond.

History is the story of the human family. From the Christian perspective all of history is encompassed in 2 statements “In the beginning…” and “I will come again…” Christianity is a historical religion, which stands or falls on the basis of historical fact that God entered into history in the person Jesus Christ. His life, death and resurrection are open to investigation. Disprove and of those facets and Christianity falls. The history of the Church is one of both glory and failure, depending on how closely if followed the teachings and practice of Jesus Christ. Paul writes in Galatians 4:4 “When the time was right, God sent His Son.”

How was the time right for when Jesus came?

  • Common language through much of the Roman Empire (Greek) allowing good communication.
  • There was relatively free travel throughout the Empire allowing the quick spread of God’s Good News.
  • There was discontent with the religions of the day.
  • Many Jews expected the Messiah!

Key thinking about the Church!

  • The Church's Foundation - Mt. 16:17-20 "On this rock, I will build my Church...". Christ loves the Church, builds the Church and nothing will prevent the building and growth of the Church.
  • The Church's Commission - Mt. 28:18-20 "Make disciples of all nations..."; Acts 1:8 "Be my witnesses..."
  • The Church's Mission - Acts 1:8...Jerusalem (Home), Judea (Home State/Province), Samaria (Neighbouring State/Province), Ends of the Earth (Overseas).
  • The Church's Authority - Matthew 28:18 - All authority is given to Jesus, He is with us as witnesses.

With the Church’s Authority established the Church spreads The Gospel Message (Acts 2:36-38) that Jesus is the Lord and the Christ; Acts 20:21 "Repentance towards God and faith in Jesus Christ.

As we saw last time, the Holy Spirit came at what is called Pentecost! (Acts 2:8). There the Gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ was preached to an international audience as Jews from every nation under heaven was there to witness this great event! Many were saved and thus returned to their home nations with this good news that Jesus was their Messiah! WOW!

In Jerusalem alone, according to Acts 4:4 5000 men were added to the Church in Jerusalem. Persecution & scattering come upon the early Church as it would have been normal for the Christians to make Jerusalem the focus of their ministry. For whatever reason, they still did not understand that the Gospel was also for the Gentiles. However, they soon discovered that the Gospel was indeed for the Gentiles and for throughout the world! How did God achieve this with His church?

For the answer to that, you will have to wait for the next in our series HAHA where we will see the Church spreading and getting organized! Thanks for listening! Come back to Partakers, where every day there is something new to encourage your walk as a Christian in the 21st century.

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Friday Prayers

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Friday Prayers

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26 April 2013

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~A Prayer (based on a prayer of Bonaventure)

Lord Jesus, as God's Spirit came

down and rested upon you, may

the same Spirit rest upon and be within us.

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O Yahweh, Grant us the gift of

understanding, by which your

precepts may enlighten our minds.

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O Jehovah, Grant us counsel, by

which we may follow in your

footsteps on the path of righteousness.

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O Great God, grant us courage, by

which we may ward off the

Enemy's attacks.

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O Sovereign God, grant us knowledge.

by which we can distinguish

good from evil.

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O Merciful God, grant us piety, by

which we may acquire

compassionate hearts.

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O Holy God, grant us fear, by which

we may draw back from evil

and submit to what is good.

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O ineffable God grant us wisdom,

that we may taste fully the

life-giving sweetness of your love.

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For we ask this O God our Father,

In the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us

Through the Son who died and rose again to ascend to Your right hand!

Amen.

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Thursday Ponderings

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Pauline_Ponderings

25th April 2013

About Healing!

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Healing doesn’t always happen first time. It is ok to ask again. Even when Jesus prayed for healing it didn’t always happen completely first time and he had to pray again. In Mark 8 verses 22-26, Jesus spits on a blinds mans eyes and puts his hands on him, then asks him if he can see. The blind man replies he can see people that look like trees walking around. Jesus puts his hands on the blind mans’ eyes once more and only then is his eyesight restored to normal.

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Healing does not require the person being healed to have faith. Jesus healed people who had no faith for healing. Luke 7:11 -15 tells of Jesus raising a man from the dead without being asked to do so, by anyone. Again in Luke 13:10-13 Jesus heals a woman who had been crippled for 18 years, she doesn’t ask him to and demonstrates no faith that she believes he can heal her, he just chooses to do so.

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Ill health can be a sign that there is sin in the person’s life but not always. Many times when Jesus heals someone there is no mention of sin. In John 9:2 the disciples ask Jesus about a blind man.’ Rabbi’, they said ‘who sinned, this man or his parents?’ Jesus replies’ Neither this man nor his parents sinned, this happened that the works of God may be displayed in him.’ At other times as in Matthew 9: 2 the person is told your sins are forgiven. Interestingly the mans health is not restored. It is only when the teachers of the law accuse him of blasphemy that He decides to heal the man. Obviously faith can play a part in healing. In Mark 10 Jesus heals Bartimaeus, with the words ‘ your faith has healed you’.

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Think Spot

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Monday Think Spot

22 April 2013

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G’day and welcome to Partakers and our Monday Think Spot! We have the start of a new week! Its Monday! I don’t know how your weekend went, but I had a weekend that I want to forget quickly! It could be said that I did not have a peaceful weekend dealing with situations that arose unexpectedly. I am at peace now but was not at the time! I had this little voice inside me repeatedly saying “Trust me… Be at peace with yourself.” The Holy Spirit was ministering to me amidst the turmoil despite my often not wanting to hear that!

Matthew 5:9 records Jesus speaking these words “God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.

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All over the world, the majority of people share a common desire for peace! But what is peace? The peace the world wants varies from the peace which we as Christian know to be true. The world sees peace as the absence of conflict and people being generally ‘nice’ to one another. Peace in the Christian context goes further, saying peace is perfect harmony with God, perfect harmony with other people, with circumstances and with self. While we are to aim for peace in all those areas, perfect peace in all those areas will not come until Jesus Christ comes again, and takes Christians to be with Him.

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However, that doesn't give us as Christians a mandate to sit around not doing what we can for peace. Unsurprisingly the Bible has a lot to say about peace! Jesus commanded us to be peacemakers (Matthew 5:9) because our God is a God of peace (1 Thessalonians 5:23), and the Kingdom of God to which we belong is about peace in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). Peace is to be our business! In a world full of peaceless-turmoil, such as conflicts between nations, conflicts between neighbours, conflicts even within families and conflicts within and between churches, Christians are to be peacemakers!

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If you are a Christian, you have peace with God because Jesus Christ is your peace between God and yourself (Ephesians 2:13-18)! More than that, we are to be at peace with others! Now this can be hard! We are commanded to be peacemakers (Matthew 5:9, James 3:17-18), living at peace with everyone (Romans 12:17-20) and do everything possible which leads to peace and mutual encouragement (Romans 14:13-19).~

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Go in peace this Monday, into this week, knowing that the God of peace lives inside you if you are one of His children! Go dispense this peace as God’s peacemaker where you go! You can be the peacemaker in your place of work, where you live, where you visit, where you socialize and even where you shop or play sport! If you are struggling to be a peacemaker in a difficult circumstance then ask this Holy Spirit who lives inside you to help you! He will help you if you ask! If you would not consider yourself a Christian and at peace with God, then ask Him to help you become one!

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Father, we pray that this week we will do all we can as your followers to be peacemakers, to do all we can for peace and to make peace where ever we go and make a difference in world in conflict. We ask this through the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit who lives inside all those who have peace with you. Amen!

~

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Ask Dave - Question 5

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Question 5

If somebody is struggling with

God and salvation,

what can they do and

how can we help them?

I will be hoping to return to the US & Canada in 2013! If you want a visit, leave a comment and we will see what ministry we can do together there! This is a general interview about my life and my Christianity.

However, over the following 6 weeks I will be answering one question a week:

  1. What inspired you to visit the USA in 2010?
  2. What Does Jesus Christ Mean to you?
  3. How do you help a new convert to become a disciple?
  4. When does one truly receive their salvation?
  5. If somebody is struggling with God and salvation, what can they do and how can we help them?
  6. What are your thoughts on the infilling of the Holy Spirit

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HAHA 02

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HAHA 02

Birth of the Church

The Promised Holy Spirit Comes!

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G’day and welcome to Partakers and to our series, HAHA – Heroes and Heretics Abound. Together we will look at the story of the church from its origins to the Age of Reasoning in the 18th century. Today we look briefly at the coming of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the church – the start of its history.

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Jesus has ascended back to the right hand side of the Father! The apostles have been commanded to go make disciples! But they were first told to wait. Wait for what, or rather, who? They were to wait for the coming of God the Holy Spirit who was being sent! Throughout His ministry Jesus had talked about how after He had departed that God the Holy Spirit would be sent to indwell those who follow Him (John 15v26). This would be in fulfilment of Ezekiel 36:27 “And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” Here is the start of the church! A wow moment in church history – the birth of the church – the body of Christ! Acts 2:1-2 “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.” ~

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No more waiting! The Holy Spirit came and the church was born and empowered! That is how the church has maintained a presence for the past 2000 years – only because of the presence of God within the believers. So what is the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the church?

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The Holy Spirit’s prime role is to see that Jesus Christ the Son of God is praised and glorified (John 16v13-14). The Holy Spirit testifies for Jesus Christ (John 15:26) and witnesses for Jesus Christ and His salvation (Acts 1:8).

The Holy Spirit is the Paraclete, the Comforter! The Holy Spirit is one who is called to stand alongside Christians (John 14v16). Jesus said it would be better for Him to go away and send the Holy Spirit to live within his followers (John 16v7). The Holy Spirit ministers to Christian in the same way as Jesus would be to us if Jesus were here in person.

Declares God’s Word: The Holy Spirit has a prime role in revelation and declaring the Word of God. It was He that spoke through the prophets (Ezekiel 2v2) and it was He who inspired the Bible (2 Peter 1v21). Further to this, the Holy Spirit interprets and illuminates God’s Word (John 16v12-15; 1 Corinthians 2v10-16) to people!

Conviction: The Holy Spirit is sent to convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:8)

Salvation: Christian Disciples are born of the Holy Spirit and are known as regenerated (John 3v3-8)!

Indwelling: God lives inside each Christian Disciple through the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit, a person cannot be a Christian Disciple (Romans 8v9; Gal 2v20; Colossians 1v25-27)! WOW! God is a personal God, lives within His people and is not merely a statue to be placed on a shelf.

Sealing / Ownership: The Holy Spirit indwelling the Christian Disciple is assured proof of being God’s possession (2 Corinthians 1v22; Ephesians 1v3)

Security: The Holy Spirit is a deposit, guaranteeing our future redemption, salvation and inheritance (Ephesians 1v13; 2 Corinthians 1v22).

Filling: This speaks of the Holy Spirit’s control or domination of our lives. The imperative here is that we are to be filled (Ephesians 5v18), and go on being filled. He gives power to enable Christian Disciples to evangelise (Acts 1v8; 4v8, 31).

Sanctification: The Holy Spirit transforms us into the likeness of Christ (2 Corinthians 7-18), as we walk, live in, and are led by the Spirit (Galatians. 5v16; Romans 8v13).

Baptism: This expression occurs 7 times in the New Testament. It occurs 4 times in the gospels, referring to Jesus baptizing with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 1 Corinthians 12v13 states that we are all baptized with the Holy Spirit into one body.

Service: The Holy Spirit equips us for service. God is working in you to will and to act accordingly to his purpose (Phil. 2v13), to be my witnesses (Acts 1v8).

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As we look together at the church down through history, we will see evidence of the Holy Spirit being at work in people’s lives, the global spread of Christianity and the development of the Church over time. Next week we look briefly at the embryonic church in the Book of Acts before progressing forward. Thanks for listening! Come back to Partakers, where every day there is something new to encourage your walk as a Christian in the 21st century.

~

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Friday Prayers

19 April 2013

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Opening Prayer

Almighty God our Father, we lift before you all those injured and killed in these events:

  • Baghdad Bombings
  • Iran & Pakistan Earthquake
  • Boston explosion
  • Texas explosion and fire

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General Prayer of Comfort

Lord God, from your wellsprings of grace and mercy, hear and answer the words of our mouth and cries of our hearts... Be a comfort for those grieving, surround them in your love and wipe the tears from their eyes... Help those administering aid, counsel and support... Amen!

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Time for you to give prayer to God

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Closing Prayer

O Father!

We ask all these things,

through the majestic name of Your Son, Jesus Christ

and in the power of the Holy Spirit who lives inside us!

Amen!

~

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Thursday Ponderings

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Pauline_Ponderings

18th April 2013

Be Kind!

1 Corinthians 13:4 says ”Love is ... kind” How often have we read that verse but not stopped to think about it. Of course I’m kind, we would cry if questioned. But what does kind mean? The oxford dictionary definition of kind is (adjective ) - having or showing a friendly, generous, and considerate nature...

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Well that’s ok ... but is it? How friendly are you? Do you make an effort to speak to people you don’t know at church or do you always speak to people you’ve known for years? How many people that you don’t know very well have you invited back for a coffee in the last month? I’m afraid those of you who are shy do not have a let out clause. You may have to pray a bit harder before you go up and speak to someone you don’t know very well, than those of us who are more confident , but you cannot be a Christian, and remain in the clique you’ve been in for years.

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God doesn’t ask us to do anything that He doesn’t equip us fully to do but do we have faith in Him to be there for us to help us through any awkward silences. Those of you who are retired – how fantastic is that – you have so many more free hours to serve God, So many free hours to invite people round for coffee. So many free hours to be friendly. So many free hours to be kind.#

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Just in case you doubt that that’s what God wants you to do. Romans 12:13 “..... practice hospitality.......” Hebrews 13:2 “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers…” and 1 Peter 4:9 “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.

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Going back to the oxford dictionary definition of kind, just to remind ourselves – “having or showing a friendly, generous, and considerate nature.” Hmm generous, that’s a tricky one isn’t it. Unfortunately, here in the west our attitude is all too often – well I tithe, that’s enough, or I support such and such a charity. Or a good one is, well I give my time instead.

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Jesus described what he means by generosity in Matthew 19:21 He said, “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.” And in Luke 12:33, he says “Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.

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Obviously generosity applies to time as well but being generous with your time does not mean you don’t have to be generous with your money and possessions. The last adjective in the dictionary definition of kind is considerate. I think the verse love others as you love yourself sums this up nicely. Basically it means treat others as you would like them to treat you .

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WOW Word 13

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Alfie brings you a WOW Word

WOW Word - Covenant

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Today Alphie talks about the Covenants of God!

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Luke 22:20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.

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Throughout history God has made covenants with humanity! These culminate in the New Covenant which was sealed through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. How much do you know about the Covenants between God and humanity? Come and see how Alphie may help either to remind you or teach you more about the amazing promises of God!

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Psalm 23 for the victims

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1 The LORD is my shepherd,

I shall not be in want.

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,

he leads me beside quiet waters,

3 he restores my soul.

He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil,

for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

6 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,

and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

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