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Archive for May 2013

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Partakers Friday Prayers!

31st May 2013

We pray together and when Christians pray together, from different nations, different churches and different denominations - that reveals Church unity! Come! Let us pray together!

Today we pray for Joy and Lynn who are in need... Play the video and pray for these 2 ladies of great faith... Please also do leave a comment to show that you have and are praying for them... This will be of great encouragement to Joy, Lynn and their respective families and friends...

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Thursday Ponderings

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Pauline's Thursday Ponderings!

30th May 2013

G’day and welcome to Pauline's Thursday Ponderings!

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James 5:1-6 Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you.

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These words from the book of James contain strong warnings. But what has this to do with me I hear you ask, I am not wealthy. If you wear shoes and have access to clean water, that makes you rich comparatively. And I believe with that comes responsibility as a Christian. I believe we have a responsibility to buy fair trade food when it is on offer. We need to buy our clothes from companies that have well respected ethical policies. Get informed through Tearfunds Lift The Label campaign. We should not want to buy clothes that have been produced in a sweatshop.

~~~~~

Another practical thing you could do is join the Micah challenge to lobby governments about the promises they made to alleviate global poverty and to attain the Millenium development goals.

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Review your charity donations and work out exactly what proportion of your income you are giving away. Pray to see if God wants you to give away more or less.

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I hope these suggestions will help you deal with your wealth responsibly and in a Christ like way.

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Let me finish with some words from the prophet Micah . Micah 6:8 “He has shown you O man what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God."

~~~~~

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WOW Word 18

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WOW Word 18

The Goal of the Christian Disciple

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Today Alfie talks about the the Goal of the Christian Disciple!!

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Luke 9:23-26 Jesus speaking “Then he said to them all: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

What is the response of a Christian to be to these words of Jesus? As followers of Jesus Christ we are commanded to count the cost of following Him. That is how we carry our own cross for the sake of Jesus Christ. Jesus wants to be number one in the life of all those who choose to follow him! Jesus wants supremacy over everything in our lives, including family, friends, and possessions! Alas, that’s a cost too high for some! Play the video to see Alphy talking about a man who couldn’t give up something to follow Jesus and the consequences he faced because of that!

~

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POD - Psalm 128

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Psalm 128

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A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.

1 How joyful are those who fear the Lord-

all who follow his ways!

2 You will enjoy the fruit of your labor.

How joyful and prosperous you will be!

3 Your wife will be like a fruitful grapevine,

flourishing within your home.

Your children will be like vigorous young olive trees

as they sit around your table.

4 That is the Lord's blessing

for those who fear him.

5 May the Lord continually bless you from Zion.

May you see Jerusalem prosper as long as you live.

6 May you live to enjoy your grandchildren.

May Israel have peace!

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Think Spot

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Think Spot - 27th May 2013

G'day! Welcome to Partakers Think Spot at the start of new week on Monday the 27th May 2013!

Matthew 11:28-30 records these words of Jesus Christ. "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Are not those simply amazing words? Not just anybody could say them. If the person who said them couldn't actually fulfil that promise, that would be one of the biggest hoaxes in all of history. But Jesus Christ is no hoax! He remains the only person in all of human history who is able to fulfil those words and live up to the promises he makes. He is totally trustworthy.

We don't like to ask for help. We are trained as children to be independent and not to rely on anybody else for anything ever. But this is contrary to what Jesus is about. To rely fully on ourselves for all things is to walk by sight and commit the sin of pride. To rely on Jesus and ask Him for help in all things is to walk by faith and with humility. True independence and freedom comes from being dependent on Jesus Christ and not being held back by anything or anyone else, such as family and our own wealth and possessions.

How are you doing at the start of this new week? Maybe you are feeling desolation and regret caused by decisions made sometime in your past. Give them up willingly to Jesus and don't keep trying to take it back like a security blanket! Are you feeling abandoned and lonely? Let Jesus encompass you in an embrace of compassion and let the Holy Spirit comfort and counsel you. Or perhaps are you feeling tired, burnt out and burdened?. Let Jesus give you the strength to endure! Give the burden to Jesus and let Him take the weight for you. Maybe you need to make a major decision and don't know what to do. Seek the wisdom of Jesus in making that decision. He will help if you ask. That's all part of Jesus being Jesus.

It may well be that you are being overwhelmingly tempted to sin against God, another person or even yourself? You cant resist for too long if you do it in your own strength, because you will eventually succumb to it. But if you ask God to help you overcome the temptation, He will do it - if you allow Him control and use your own self-control! After all, self-control is one of the evidences of the Holy Spirit working in you!

We all get those feelings of regret, desolation, abandonment, loneliness, despair, burdened and temptation. Feelings are important, because they are part of the human experience and if we didn't have them, we would be merely mindless androids. But feelings can also be very misleading. As Christians, we have to take it by faith that Jesus is there for us through those times. Because you are lonely, doesn't mean you are alone. Because you are tempted, doesn't meant that you have already committed the sin. Take it by faith that Jesus is answering desperate cries for help and is helping you. Take a few seconds now in this short silence to hand over these things to Jesus and ask him to help you.

Or it may just be that you are starting the week and you are feeling great and enjoying your dynamic relationship with God! Then keep going and letting Jesus be your strength, your wisdom and your help. But don't keep it to yourself - that would be selfish! Go to others you know who are in need, helping them where you can with an encouraging word or helping to supply their need. Be the practical and imaginative answer to their prayers.

Go into this new week, confident that Jesus is able to help you in every situation you face. Ask him to come to you, and He will - just as He has done for countless millions.

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Sunday Worship

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Prayer For A Broken Country

by Sue Goodall

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Dear Lord,

Let others see in me:

An ounce of love;

A millilitre of kindness;

A drop of hope;

The tiniest flame of

Something different.

~

Dear Lord,

Help me to be:

A reservoir of love;

A resource of kindness;

A ray of hope;

The tiniest reveal of

Something enviable.

~

Dear Lord,

Let others meeting me:

Be open to see;

Open to hear;

And open to ask

All that they need to know

To meet you themselves.

Partakers

Amen

Partakers

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Partakers

About Sue Goodall

I was born in 1963 in Enfield and love writing, painting and singing. (Singing Grade V and clarinet grade VIII). Not to mention photography. I am a mum of one teen daughter and have two rescue cats. The three of them are very much loved and central to my life, as is my faith...

I became a Christian when I was eighteen. It's been a rollercoaster ride but without Him, well....

I LOVE the written word and find poetry can say - in my own, private opinion - so much more in such a few words. It can paint a metaphorical picture, get the reader considering and questioning and touch people's emotions.

I had prayed and asked God that is He would have me pursue writing and wanted to use the poems to speak to other people, He would show my CLEARLY and open doors. The next day, Dave Roberts asked me to record two poems.... WOW indeed! He is a great God!

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HAHA 07

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HAHA 07 - 4th & 5th Century - Leading Thinkers and Councils

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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 at the change for Christianity under Constantine – the church changed from being persecuted to being, as some would, compromised with its new found freedom.

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During this time as well, Christian thinking was being developed and clarified. There were several Councils called over the next 100 years which served that purpose. But let us look firstly at some of the leading Christian thinkers of the time, who helped formulate what we believe as 21st century Christians.

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Leading Christian thinkers of the 4th & 5th Centuries

Athanasius 296-373. Deacon of the church in Alexandria, opposed Arius in the Council of Nicea. Became Bishop of Alexandria in 328. Athanasius was exiled 5 times because of his opposition to Arianism! Athanasius was the champion of orthodox Christian thinking!

Hilary of Poitiers 295-368. Bishop of the Church at Poitiers, France. He was the main defender of orthodoxy in the Western Church who opposed Arianism.

Ambrose of Milan 339-397. Ambrose became Bishop of Milan in 374 at the age of 34, and was in that role for 23 years. He was the Governor of Milan, the capital of the Empire, before being chosen as bishop by popular vote or choice. He was unbaptized, untrained, and resisted the peoples choice initially. Ambrose was noted for his courage and unbending character, completed the overthrow of Arianism in the Western church.

Aurelius Augustine 354-430. Augustine was born of a pagan father and a Christian mother in Africa. He was converted to Christianity at the age of 32 and became Bishop of Hippo in 393. He is certainly one of the greatest theologians and thinkers in the history of the church. Most of mainstream Christianity today draws upon his teachings and thoughts. He was the first to clearly explain and express the doctrine of God's grace - that salvation was a gift of God and could not be earned. He taught that there was no salvation outside of the church. However he did promote a belief in purgatory and the use of relics, which much of the evangelical church today would consider in contrast to Christian teaching.

John Chrysostom 347-407. He was known as 'John the Golden Mouth', because he was a great orator, teacher and preacher. He was the Bishop of Antioch & Constantinople in the Eastern Church.

Jerome 340-420, was born in Italy, which was part of the Western Church. Jerome translated the Hebrew Old Testament into Latin (the popular language of the day) and the Latin Vulgate which was accepted by the Roman Catholic Church as its official Latin translation for centuries. Jerome lived in Bethlehem as a hermit for 35 years, and strongly promoted the monastic lifestyle as spiritually superior.

Leo I (Leo the Great) 390-461. Bishop of Rome 440-461 was born in Tuscany, Italy. He made a major advance in acceptance of the Bishop of Rome as the universal Bishop, arguing as he did from Matthew 16:18. He was referred to as the Pope by many Bishops at the Council of Chalcedon (451), and this was largely accepted in the Western Church. This was strongly supported by the Roman Emperor, who made it an offence against the State to resist the Bishop of Rome, or Pope.

As we can see by these people, Christian doctrine and thinking is continually developing. However some incorrect thinking was also invading the church. For example Arianism and the heretical thoughts of Arius were rife! Therefore over the next 100 years, various Church councils were called, not only to combat Arianism but also other heresies – some very subtle ones!

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Councils of the 4th & 5th Centuries

The Council of Nicea 324 AD, called by Constantine to resolve the Arian heresy. Arius, an elder from Alexandria taught that Jesus Christ was merely a created being and denied his deity. Athanasius, a deacon in the Alexandria church, opposed Arius and supported Christ's deity. The debate raged over whether Jesus Christ should be described as 'the same essence as the Father' (homousious), or 'like essence as the Father' (homoiousios). Eventually it was accepted that Jesus Christ was 'the same essence as the Father '. The Nicene creed contains the final statement about Jesus Christ's deity.

Council of Constantinople 381 AD, was called to discuss Apollonarianism and Sebellianism. Apollonarianism was a theory proposed by Apollinaris the Younger, Bishop of Laodicea. This theory was that Jesus had a human body and a human sensitive soul but didn’t possess a human rational mind but rather a divine mind. There was the theory of Modalism or Unitarianism which proposed that the Heavenly Father, the Resurrected Son and the Holy Spirit were different modes one God, rather than three distinct persons within the Godhead. Sebellianism differed slightly from this in that Sabellius, its proposer, acknowledged that Jesus was fully God. At the Council of Constantinople, these teachings were condemned as unbiblical and therefore were heresies. The Holy Spirit was affirmed to be a person, equal with the Father and the Son.

Council of Ephesus 431 AD, was called to discuss Nestorianism, at which it was condemned as a heresy. Nestorius protested, stating that Mary was the mother of the humanity of Jesus Christ, but not of His deity. Nestorian Christians engaged in a great missionary endeavour reaching across Asia to China in the Middle Ages. The council condemned and deposed Nestorius. Eutyches, Nestorius' opponent, was deposed 20 years later with being a heretic, teaching Jesus Christ had only a divine nature and was not fully human.

Council of Chalcedon 451 AD 500 bishops met and affirmed that Jesus Christ had 2 natures, both divine and human, unchangeably united in one person. Condemned Eutyches who believed Jesus Christ had only the 1 divine nature.

The heretical thoughts of Arianism, Nestorianism, Apollonarianism, Unitarianism, Modalism and Sebellianism are still in some religious thoughts today – particularly in the cults such as Mormonism and Jehovah Witnesses.

~

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Thanks for reading listening! Next time in our series HAHA, we look at how the church continue to expand and develop in the 4th and 5th centuries – discovering Eastern and Western Christianity and the advent of monasticism! 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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Partakers Friday Prayers!

24th May 2013

We pray today for all those grieving and mourning the loss of loved ones. We pray this in light of recent events involving untimely deaths

  • Oklahoma due to a tornado,
  • an innocent young man, Drummer Lee Rigby, brutally killed in Woolwich, London,
  • an innocent elderly man, Mohammed Saleem, killed in Birmingham
  • needless deaths in Bangladesh in the collapse of a factory,
  • deaths in Pakistan, Syria and other places where conflict is rife.

We pray together and when Christians pray together, from different nations, different churches and different denominations - that reveals Church unity! Come! Let us pray together! Today we are praying for all those grieving, regardless of the reason. Come! Let us pray for those in mourning...There is also space in the video for you to say your own prayers...

Father God,

be the strength for all those

who are grieving and mourning

the loss of loved ones.

~

Father God,

we pray that those in despair

will be helped and

where there is darkness

there will be light.

~

Father God,

embrace those needing comfort

with the Holy Spirit

and may He impart upon them

a peace that surpasses all understanding

Amen

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Thursday Ponderings

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Pauline_Ponderings

23rd May 2013

G’day and welcome to Pauline's Thursday Ponderings!

Ephesians 6: 10 – 17 - Finally, receive your power from the Lord and from his mighty strength. Put on all the armor that God supplies. In this way you can take a stand against the devil’s strategies. This is not a wrestling match against a human opponent. We are wrestling with rulers, authorities, the powers who govern this world of darkness, and spiritual forces that control evil in the heavenly world. For this reason, take up all the armor that God supplies. Then you will be able to take a stand during these evil days. Once you have overcome all obstacles, you will be able to stand your ground. So then, take your stand! Fasten truth around your waist like a belt. Put on God’s approval as your breastplate. Put on your shoes so that you are ready to spread the Good News that gives peace. In addition to all these, take the Christian faith as your shield. With it you can put out all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Also take salvation as your helmet and the word of God as the sword that the Spirit supplies.

Christians are to put on the armour of God for we are in a spiritual battle at all times. Let's look briefly at each piece!

  • It talks about the belt or girdle of truth or sincerity. If we are not sincere in our faith we may fall.
  • The breast plate of righteousness is talking about the righteousness we claim from Christ dying for our sins. It is important to keep short accounts with God, when we sin we need to say sorry fast and turn from our sin otherwise we cannot rely on Christ’s righteousness as our breast plate. Any sin drives a wedge between us and God and leaves Satan a space to get a foothold in our lives.
  • On our feet should be the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. Are you renowned as a peace maker? Does peace follow you? Do you forgive easily and let go of wrongs?
  • The shield of faith is essential, satan continually attacks our faith and our thought life. We need to stand strong in our faith,resist the devil and he will flee.
  • The helmet of salvation covers our mind and protects it. Rest in Gods salvation, we did not earn it He gave it to us freely because He loves us.
  • The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, is a brilliant way of standing up to the devil. Quote scripture at Him, He will run so fast. That is what Christ did when He was led to the dessert for 40 days and nights to be tempted. Of course to quote scripture you have to know it so if you don’t know lots make sure its a goal to learn some handy ones such as: He who is in you, is greater than he who is in the world! Nothing can separate us from the love of God and there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus! Isn’t that the best news for the Christian?

Come back tomorrow for more on Partakers! Why not leave me a comment below to let me know your thoughts! Thank you!

(You can find a more about the Spiritual Armour on this site by clicking here: http://davegroberts.podbean.com/2010/09/07/add-spiritual-armour/

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WOW Word 17

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Alfie brings you a WOW Word

WOW Word - Your Cross

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Today Alfie talks about the WOW Word - Your Cross!

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Luke 9:23-26 Jesus speaking “Then he said to them all: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

What is the response of a Christian to be to these words of Jesus? As followers of Jesus Christ we are commanded to count the cost of following Him. That is how we carry our own cross for the sake of Jesus Christ. Jesus wants to be number one in the life of all those who choose to follow him! Jesus wants supremacy over everything in our lives, including family, friends, and possessions! Alas, that’s a cost too high for some! Play the video to see Alphy talking about a man who couldn’t give up something to follow Jesus and the consequences he faced because of that!

~

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POD - Psalm 117

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Psalm 117

Praise God, everybody!

Applaud God, all people!

His love has taken over our lives;

God's faithful ways are eternal.

Alleluiah!

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You can download all the Psalms as mp3 by clicking here (you will remain on this site!)

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Think Spot

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Think Spot

20th May 2013

I wonder what you think meekness is. Isn’t meekness, merely weakness? That’s what we are told often enough by people outside the church! Yet meekness is not weakness! Meekness is giving up our personal rights to God alone!A meek person is one who claims no personal rights of their own, and who is willing to yield all possessions and personal rights to God. A meek person sees these things as being loaned by God for His work and glory. Being meek in all situations takes a strong character, for example Moses (Numbers 12:1-3).Giving up your rights and all you own to God alone, is talked about often in the Bible. Some of the results of giving up your rights to God can be found in: - Psalm 22:26; Psalm 25:9; Psalm 37:8-11; Psalm 149:4 Isaiah 29:19; Matthew 11:28-30.As followers of Jesus you and I need to give up our own rights and possessions to Him because:

  • You and I belong to God (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)#
  • We are instructed to be meek by Jesus (Luke 9:23)
  • It follows the example. of the New Testament church (Acts 5:32)

When we insist on our own personal rights and those rights are violated, the main consequences are anger and anxiety. They occur when we try to control or change something God never intended us to change or control. When we react and resist, we deny God His right to do what; He wants to do. When we get angry and when we worry, these are signs that there are rights God wants us to yield to Him.How do you yield rights and possessions over to God? Firstly, identify them! Check where in your life anger and or anxiety exist. Then ask the Holy Spirit to work on your heart, prayerfully considering each area, yielding all to Jesus. When you do that, God becomes responsible for those areas.Secondly, expect God to test His rights. Having handed them to God, He may allow situations to occur which will deny you these rights, to see if that right was really given to Him. It may be necessary to once again yield that right to Jesus. As you respond to each test, meekness develops.Go into this week, knowing that God is at work in you! you are to be His servants and you are not your own! you were bought at a price by God! Through the meekness of Jesus Christ’ work on the cross.Father I pray that as we give our personal rights to you, that you give us strength to overcome with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives within us as your children. We ask this in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ! Amen!

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