Sep 19, 2014

Friday Prayers 19 September 2014

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Partakers Friday Prayers!

19th September 2014!

We pray together and when Christians pray together, including across the internet and from different times, different nations, different churches and different denominations - that reveals Church unity!


Today we pray once more, a Morning Prayer from the Syrian Clementine Liturgy. This Liturgy, dates from the 4th century, and was celebrated in Syria and throughout the Church of Antioch. It is the oldest model known from Antioch, and is a liturgy is related to the Apostle James.

Come pray!


Syria at the moment is in turmoil. Let us pray for peace in this ancient land... Pray particularly for the christian communities, not only in Syria but throughout the region.


'a very senior Christian leader in the region yesterday, he said “intervention from abroad will declare open season on the Christian communities”. They have already been devastated, 2 million Christians in Iraq 12 years ago, less than half a million today. These are churches that don’t just go back to St Paul but, in the case of Damascus and Antioch, predate him. They will surely suffer terribly (as they already are) if action goes ahead."'


Archbishop of Canterbury - See more of this speech by clicking here


A Morning Prayer from the 4th Century Syrian Clementine Liturgy

O God,

You are the unsearchable abyss of peace,

the ineffable sea of love,

the fountain of blessings,

and the bestower of affection.

~~~~~

O God,

You who sends peace to those that receive it;

open to us this day the sea of Your love,

and water us with the plenteous streams

from the riches of Your grace.

~~~~~

Make us children of quietness, and heirs of peace.

Kindle in us the fire of Your love;

sow in us Your fear;

strengthen our weakness by Your power!

~~~~~

Bind us closely to You

and to each other

in one firm bond of unity;

for the sake of Jesus Christ.

Amen.

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Sep 18, 2014

Testimony - Sharon

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Testimony - Sharon

The story of Sharon, from China, who converted to Christianity from Daoism/Buddhism

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Sep 17, 2014

WOW Paul

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A 30 second summary of Paul's "poem" about Jesus from Colossians 1:15-20!

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

For in him all things were created:

things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities;

all things have been created through him and for him.

He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

And he is the head of the body, the church;

he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.

For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him,

and through him to reconcile to himself all things,

whether things on earth or things in heaven,

by making peace through his blood,

shed on the cross.

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Sep 16, 2014

POD - Psalm 44

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 Psalm 44



44:1 We have heard with our ears, God;
our fathers have told us,
what work you did in their days,
in the days of old.

44:2 You drove out the nations with your hand,
but you planted them.
You afflicted the peoples,
but you spread them abroad.

44:3 For they didn’t get the land in possession by their own sword,
neither did their own arm save them;
but your right hand, and your arm, and the light of your face,
because you were favorable to them.

44:4 You are my King, God.
Command victories for Jacob!

44:5 Through you, will we push down our adversaries.
Through your name, will we tread them under who rise up against us.

44:6 For I will not trust in my bow,
neither shall my sword save me.

44:7 But you have saved us from our adversaries, and have shamed those who hate us.

44:8 In God we have made our boast all day long,
we will give thanks to your name forever.

Selah.

44:9 But now you rejected us, and brought us to dishonor,
and don’t go out with our armies.

44:10 You make us turn back from the adversary.
Those who hate us take spoil for themselves.

44:11 You have made us like sheep for food,
and have scattered us among the nations.

44:12 You sell your people for nothing,
and have gained nothing from their sale.

44:13 You make us a reproach to our neighbors,
a scoffing and a derision to those who are around us.

44:14 You make us a byword among the nations,
a shaking of the head among the peoples.

44:15 All day long my dishonor is before me,
and shame covers my face,

44:16 At the taunt of one who reproaches and verbally abuses,
because of the enemy and the avenger.

44:17 All this has come on us,
yet have we not forgotten you,
Neither have we been false to your covenant.

44:18 Our heart has not turned back,
neither have our steps strayed from your path,

44:19 Though you have crushed us in the haunt of jackals,
and covered us with the shadow of death.

44:20 If we have forgotten the name of our God,
or spread forth our hands to a strange god;

44:21 won’t God search this out?
For he knows the secrets of the heart.

44:22 Yes, for your sake we are killed all day long.
We are regarded as sheep for the slaughter.

44:23 Wake up!
Why do you sleep, Lord?
Arise!
Don’t reject us forever.

44:24 Why do you hide your face,
and forget our affliction and our oppression?

44:25 For our soul is bowed down to the dust.
Our body clings to the earth.

44:26 Rise up to help us.
Redeem us for your loving kindness’ sake.

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Sep 15, 2014

Ask Dave - Question 9

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Question 9

How did you become a Christian?

(as interviewed by Mrs Heidi Trotman)

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Sep 14, 2014

Sermon - Discipleship

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Introduction

For about 30 years now, I have been a Christian Disciple - a follower of Jesus. It has been an exciting journey on the road of life. I have had my ups and my downs through that journey of 30 years. Most of it I have forgotten. But this I do remember - I know that Jesus has been there with me. I know, that I know, that I know. After my conversion and baptism, I was taken in hand and discipled. Once a week, for about a year, I had a midweek meeting with a mentor, for prayer, bible study, accountability and guidance.

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From my observation of Christianity today, that experience would now be rare, as Discipleship is generally in the control of a home group. That works well if that new convert gets some form of bible study, prayer and accountability. Often though, that is not the case and the home group is more an extended social club. Or we are just told to get on with it ourselves and the church isn't interested in helping in lifelong discipleship, outside of Sundays or home groups. The Christianity I see today is broad and wide, but it is also in large parts, wafer thin - there appears to be not much depth to it.


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Sep 13, 2014

Job - Why God? - Part 2

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Study 2 : Job 3, 4, 6, 8

Job finds his voice; he and his friends argue.

 

The pattern of the book is simple. Within the frame given by the prose of the first two and the last chapters and following an opening speech from Job there are 3 cycles of speeches: Eliphaz, Job,  Bildad, Job, Zophar, Job and round twice more. That should be 3x6 = 18 speeches but the last speech of Zophar is lost, perhaps deliberately to show the answers are incomplete.

The next chapter after these cycles of speeches (28) is a poem to Wisdom. That is followed by a speech of Job and a lengthy rant by a 4th guy, Elihu. Only then do we hear from the Lord God himself, pointing out how Job has failed to understand what has happened and to learn from it. Then, finally, there is an epilogue, probably drawn from the old tale, which is used to teach one final fundamental lesson about life.

The poetic dialogue begins after those first 2 chapters of prose we thought about last time. Job expresses his total horror at what has happened to him in chapter 3; his first friend, Eliphaz, tries to analyze what has happened to him; Job replies and then a second friend Bildad speaks, expressing his view of Job’s problems more openly and clearly than Eliphaz did. I will read chapter 3, then a little of what Eliphaz said in chapter 4,  and part of Job’s reply, then we will skip to what Bildad says in chapter 8 and Job’s reply.

Here is Job’s lament in chapter 3: 1 - 19. Note how striking the poetry is.

All that is very understandable. There is next to no sign in the Old Testament that they had any idea of a life after death except a descent to Sheol for an experience they knew nothing about. The NT is very different. There we find statements like “longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up in life” in 2 Cor 5: 4.

Question: why the difference between the OT ideas and those of the NT? What should our reaction be?

Answer: of course this all hinges on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. “Death is swallowed up in victory” as Paul says. We know that we should never share these negative attitudes of Job whatever happens to us in this life.

At this point I will skip to the next chapter because the last few verses of that chapter do not add much to the argument of the book. I will be doing this through these studies, picking out the most interesting and important bits of the book. That isn’t to say that it is not worth reading it all. It is. Here then is Job 4:1–9.

Eliphaz asks a very sharp and important question to all those of us who make a Christian profession. “Should not your piety be your confidence and your blameless ways your hope.” In other words he is asking whether Job was righteous just because it was the best thing to be from his point of view. Are we Christians because this is the best option – we can live more comfortable lives as Christians, or as sometime Christians (when it suits us) - we can keep the family happy – it sounds good in the community – we want to go to heaven when we die?

Question: are you a Christian for these or any other selfish ‘you based’ reasons.

Answer: the answer is yours, obviously. We should be Christian - we should be following Jesus -because we feel compelled to do so by who he is and what he has done for us, oblivious to our own immediate comforts. 200 years ago those who went on mission to the west coast of Africa lived on average for only a few months before they caught one of the lethal diseases of that area to which they had no natural immunity. They did not consider themselves, their own comforts and even their own lives, as of any significant account in the service of the King. Neither should we.

Eliphaz continues in 4: 12 – 21. In a very striking passage he says he has had a dream which introduces the idea that will persist throughout all the speeches of all Job’s four friends (if friends they can be called) that Job must have done some thing very wicked for all this to have happened to him.

Part of Job’s reply is in chapter 6: 2 - 4, 14 – 17, 21 – 30. That brings a reply from his second friend Bildad in chapter 8.

It is now clear that the friends, and even Job himself, are working from the assumption that bad things only happen to bad people. Therefore Job must be in so much trouble because he is a bad person, having undisclosed sin in his life, which he is hiding from them and even from himself. We know what they don’t know, that that is not the case. Job has experienced all his troubles only as a result of what the author has described as a discussion in the heavenly counsel. Or in other words he is experiencing what I called the NCL, the normal chaos of life. We have to accept that sometimes things just happen for no reason that we can discern. Sometimes things happen because of other people – it was the Sabeans and the Chaldeans that stole all Job’s huge herds of oxen, donkeys and camels. But sometimes it is natural forces - it was lightning and storm that killed his sheep, his servants and his children.

That is our experience too. Some of the chaos of life we experience is because other people, unwittingly or deliberately, have disturbed the even progress of our existence. Some of the chaos is because of all sorts of natural things, tsunamis and storms, illness and accident, which may have deeply affected our lives.

That is the way the world is – for us as for Job. We don’t know why the world is this way, why it is so full of chaos, though we may think that a world in which there were no storms, no winds, no floods, would be a very boring and uninteresting place. God, the Lord has never promised to protect us from such things. He has promised to protect us through them. Isaiah said, speaking for the Lord to his people,

When you pass through the waters, / I will be with you;

and when you pass through the rivers, / they will not sweep over you.

When you walk through the fire, / you will not be burned; / the flames will not set you ablaze.

For I am the Lord your God, / the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour;

 

He does not say I will help you to avoid the rivers and dodge the fires. But when you are in them, battling with them, I will be with you.

Job will eventually understand, by the end of the book, but he is not there yet. He does not understand about the NCL – the normal chaos of life; nor does he realise that the CEP does not work – there is no cause/effect principle operating in moral and ethical life. Our piety does not protect us from what Job calls ‘the arrows of the Almighty’ in chapter 6 (which possibly gave rise to Shakespeare’s phrase ‘the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune’.)

 

Jesus clearly agrees. When told about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. He says ‘Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them – do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.’

 

We simply have to accept that the world we are in, the created world, created by our loving God, is subject to the Normal Chaos of Life and that no Principle of Cause/Effect  operates.

 

Too many people, too many Christians, try to convince themselves that there is no such thing as NCL. They say that the Lord is in control so there cannot be chaos. He is indeed in control but we do not know what he is doing, or why, so we are far better to accept that it looks like chaos to us and get on with living in our chaotic looking world.


Too many people, too many Christians, think that the CEP does operate and get very upset, sometimes even losing their faith, when it doesn’t work the way they think it should. They say things like ‘my lovely son or daughter died – life’s not fair – so I can’t believe in God any more.’ Why do they do that? He never promised a CEP. Why should he be blamed when it is clear there isn’t one?

 

 

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Sep 12, 2014

Partakers Friday Prayers

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Partakers Friday Prayers!

12th  September 2014


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!


Order of Prayer Service

Opening Prayer

1 John 1:8-10

Confession

Lord's Prayer

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Prayers for those facing challenging situation

Prayers for those grieving & in despair

Prayers for those imprisoned

Prayers for Churches Worldwide

Prayers for the world

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Time for your own prayers

The Creed

Benediction

Closing Prayer

~ ~ ~ ~ ~


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Sep 11, 2014

Thursday Testimony

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God in the Tornado

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G'day and welcome to Partake Glimpses Stories. Where we see together how Jesus is alive today, working in different peoples lives in different ways. We aim to show Jesus as being relevant to the world today, some 2000 years after He walked the earth, died  on  a Roman cross, rose again to new life from physical death and ascended back to the right hand of God the Father

Today I relate to you a story told to me by a friend of mine, Charlene, about an event which happened only this week to her in the United States of America!

A great wind in the darkness!

It was Thursday night, 26th May 2011 at 10:10pm.  I was alone sharing in prayer requests with friends on the Internet. It was a cool but blustery night, I had the doors open, letting the air circulate through the screens.  When all of a sudden, the house seemed to shake violently due to the awesome power of a mighty wind. The Rottweiler pup with me began to howl and seconds later the sirens in town went off! There was a tornado alert and the tornado was coming!

Being dark and stormy, plus surrounded by woods, I was kept from seeing any visual signs of the turmoil surrounding me. The sounds were deafening, the force caused the wind chimes to chime loudly and items to be tossed across the yard.

Silence is loud!

Shortly afterwards, the noise dissipated, and the night became calm. Both Aachen & I were OK, but she had saucer size eyes...I probably did too. Checking the weather news, there was a tornado watch alert. Whatever we received was a very mild form of what others recently have endured in Missouri and elsewhere.

Startling, yes...loud and full of power, yes...scary...no, there was peace and calm in the storm. Comfort in the midst of the winds. Praise be to our Almighty God. Next morning we found some items displaced and blown about, but only minimally.

Praise be to God!

Praising God, because just as Jesus was with the disciples in the midst of the storm in the story told in the Gospels, Jesus was here in the storms with me and protecting us! Wow!

Praise God for His loving watch care for this house, property and all that has been lovingly dedicated to God's glory and ministry. This is God's anointed place dedicated to outreach in sharing His love and Word to others. Praising God for the safety of the property and the gardens so far planted. This is a divinely inspired Women's Gardening ministry and outreach to those at risk in society. A ministry of helps and works revolving around the core of God's own Word and guidance.



If you have found this helpful, please do let us know how it has helped your own journey of faith. You can do this by leaving a comment below! Thank you.

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Sep 10, 2014

WOW Jesus

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Jesus Christ, the most extraordinary person who ever lived, who never wrote a book but has more books written about him than any other subject! History is split into BC and AD in honor of him! Jesus Christ, the God-man, who gives a WOW factor to anybody who will bow the knee and serve Him.

Here in this short video, I introduce my own WOW factor about Jesus. Jesus who promises salvation and how He still challenges and loves people today.

You can download a copy of this video by right mouse clicking here and saving...

I also have a seminar, WOWJesus, which I would also love to bring to your church or group. Contact details are below and at the end of the video. I look forward to hearing from you and how we can work together. Thank you.

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