Monday, December 22, 2008

Celebrating Christmas - an abomination?


Through a friend of my wife - it has been brought to my notice that there are Christians who think that celebrating Christmas is an abomination in God's eyes. There are those who hold to Arthur Pink's views on Christmas

Pink's main arguments as far as I understand them are:

(1) There is not a word in Scripture which tells us to celebrate Jesus' birth

(2) That the date of Christmas is a pagan festival and most people who celebrate Christmas - do so without any thought for Jesus

(3) That Christmas (Christ Mass) is a Roman Catholic celebration and therefore an abomination

(4) That Christmas cards are an abomination to God (even if they have a verse of God's word inside) because God's word forbids unholy mixtures

I am not sure if the argument belongs to Pink, but there are people also arguing that Christmas trees are an abomination to God - because "when we are kneeling down to put presents under the tree - what do we think we are kneeling down to?"

Discuss!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Mutilated Christian girl, 10, forgives attackers 'They were out of their minds, they do not know the love of Jesus'

This is a photo of a 10 year old little girl called Nayak from Orissa in India. Her home was bombed by Hindu extremists because she was from a Christian family. But this ordeal has not shaken her faith, indeed she is thankful to God for saving her life.

"Christmas" she says, " is a time to thank the baby Jesus who saved me from the fire and saved my face which was disfigured and wounded."

This is a traumatic time for Christians in this part of India.

"Hindus have offered money, food and alcohol to anyone who murders Christians and destroys their homes – especially pastors. Thousands of homes and churches have been destroyed, and Christians have been forced to flee the violence. Many have been doused with kerosene and torched after refusing to renounce their Christian faith." (World Net Daily).

Nayak said: "[W]e forgive the Hindu radicals who attacked us, who burned our homes," she told Asia News. "They were out of their minds, they do not know the love of Jesus. For this reason, I now want to study so that when I am older I can tell everyone how much Jesus loves us. This is my future."

What an amazing witness and beautiful faith this little girl has. Praise God for her faith and determination and pray that her witness will have impact opn those who persecute her.

(Thanks for Wayne Dawg for bringing this news item to my attention).

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Posada













































On Monday evening The United Church and St John's Kirkheaton had a fantastic night as we had a life size 'Posada', taking the message of Christmas to the people of Kirkheaton. Starting with craft and games and dressing up as Mary and Joseph and wise men, shepherds and angels we set off through the village of Kirkheaton led by a real live donkey.

Posada is Spanish for 'Inn' and is a Mexican custom of remembering the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem. The Church Army have adopted this idea by encouraging churches to pass round a figures of Mary, Joseph and the donkey around the homes of the parishes. We decided to go one further and make it life size and hopefully took out a strong message of what Christmas was all about.

On the way we called at people's homes and a local 'inn' to sing carols. Through drama at the journey end we discovered that Angels had declared Jesus to be: 'The Christ', 'the Lord', 'the Son of God' and 'Jesus (the Lord is salvation), because he will save his people from their sins'. Whilst connecting with people's sentimental feelings of the baby in the manger it pointed away from this to the cross. By the end of the procession we had well over a hundred people amongst us, a good number of whom I am sure, were non Christians.

I hope to strengthen this next year by handing out tracts and inviting people to another evangelistic event.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

10 Questions to ask Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses






















I have come up with 10 questions to ask Mormons and JWs:

(1) What does one of Jesus’ names ‘Emanuel’ mean? Answer: God with us!

(2) Complete the Bible passage from Isaiah: He (Jesus) will be called, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty G.., Everlasting F….., Prince of Peace. Answer: Mighty God! and Everlasting Father! (Isaiah 9:6)

(3) Why did the Jews try to stone Jesus in John 10? Answer: For alleged ‘blasphemy’, because Jesus claimed to be God!

(4) God’s 10 commandments include “You shall have no other gods before me” and elsewhere we are commanded not to worship any other God’s. Given that God is the same yesterday, today and forever, why then in Daniel does He give Jesus authority, glory and sovereign power and in His presence allow ‘all people’s, nations and men of every language’ to worship Jesus? (Daniel 7:14) Answer: can only be because Jesus is God!

(5) If God is the only one who can give life – why did Jesus claim ‘I am THE way, THE truth and THE LIFE’ Answer: see (4) above.

(6) Can you complete the following sentence: Jesus said “ . am the resurrection and the Life” Answer: “I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE!”

(7) Complete the following sentence: “The Son (Jesus) is the radiance of God’s glory and THE E…. representation of his being, sustaining all things …” (Hebrews 1:3) Answer: EXACT REPRESENTATION

(8) Can you complete the following verse: “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who being in very nature G..”? (Philippians 2: 6) Answer: God!

(9) Thomas (John 20), having felt the scars of the resurrected Jesus called Jesus “MY LORD AND MY GOD” (the highest form of worship) why did Jesus not say “Hang on a minute Thomas – you are jumping from the frying pan of disbelief into the fire of blasphemy?” – why instead did Jesus say … “how slow you are to believe”? Answer: because Jesus claims to be God!

(10) WHY THEN CAN’T YOU SEE THAT THE BIBLE IS CLAIMING THAT JESUS IS GOD?


Can you think of any more?

Remember though:

“Let your conversations be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you know how to answer everyone.” (Colossians: 4:6)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What about the Downs children who don't get a chance?

"More Down's syndrome babies are being born than before pre-natal screening became widespread, figures show.

The UK saw 749 Down's births in 2006, up from 717 in 1989 when tests came in.

The Down's Syndrome Association surveyed 1,000 parents to find out why they had pressed ahead with a pregnancy despite a positive test result.

A fifth said they had known somebody with Down's, a third cited religious or anti-abortion beliefs and 30% felt life had improved for people with Down's."

So writes the BBC.

In one sense this is encouraging, but isn't it about time that abortion of downs babies is made illegal?

My nephew has Downs and has been a constant inspiration to me and our whole family. He is now at college training to be an actor and has already been involved in film and a number of theatre productions. This week he celebrated his engagement. His life is not without struggles but whose is?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Bus Ministry in Liverpool

video
Above is a video of Church Army's Captain Rob Barker's bus ministry. I have so much respect for this guy - and all that he is doing at Ellesmere Port. As regular visitors to this blog will know I am presently raising monies for a bus ministry. If anyone or any church has a burning desire to support my work in prayer or sponsor my work and particularly a bus ministry, please contact me through my e-mail address (on profile).

God bless

Neil

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Is there more to life than this?

video

If you have questions about life, the universe and everything and live in Huddersfield, why not contact me (see my profile for e-mail address) and we can set up an Alpha course.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Say No to witchcraft on Halloween!
























We are busy preparing for three 'Laughter and Light' parties as an alternative to children getting dressed up for Halloween and causing havoc in the neighbourhood: One will take place at Kirkheaton, one at Grange Moor and a third at Rawhtorpe.

Involvement in new age and occult activities is rife in our area and we hope to teach our children to follow the Light of Christ rather than be drawn into following the darkness of the devil and his cohorts.

There is plenty of opposition, so I would welcome your prayers

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Atheists join Alpha

The British Humanist Assosiation are apparently going to do an Alpha (not literally). Supported by Richard Dawkins, they are going to publicise their 'good news' on buses in London. But the liberals have had their way again! (I mean the liberal humanists - as opposed to the conservative humanists). The advert will not deny God outright, but their message will state 'There's probably no God'. Mmmm I thought this was an agnositc view?

Never mind I believe that although the idea of this advertising comes from the devil, it will be counter productive. It will probably enhance the number of those going on the Alpha course who ask: "Is there more to life than this?".

If you want to research the answers to these question click here to find out where your nearest Alpha Course is. Alternatively if you live in Huddersfield, why not e-mail me (see my profile for details) and we will set up an Alpha course near you.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Looking for a rock solid investment? (Part Two)













Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.

Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasures for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life which is truly life.

1 Timothy6: 17 - 20

Surely this is a word in season. Many people will have read this from the Common Lectionary readings this morning.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Looking for a rock solid investment?












In these days of market crashes there is one and only one rock solid investment. There is one Trust that you can trust! That is the investment that will provide life long security, total peace of mind, and a better return then you can ever imagine:

Of course the investment and Trust that I am talking about is the trust in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. Repenting of your sins and walking with him in these uncertain times, will bring eternal life - a quality of life that can not be bettered. Everything else will at some stage let you down - but Jesus - never will!

Putting your trust in anything else is akin to worshiping a false god:

I waited patiently for the Lord
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.

He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.

Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the Lord.

Blessed is the man
who makes the Lord his trust,
who does not look to the proud
to those who turn aside to false gods.

Many, O Lord my God,
are the wonders you have done.
The things you planned for us
no one can recount to you;
were I to speak and tell of them,
there would be too many to declare.





Monday, September 29, 2008

The Ten Blogging Commandments









Evangelical Alliance have come up with Ten Blogging Commandments: What do you think?

1. You shall not put your blog before your integrity.
2. You shall not make an idol of your blog.
3. You shall not misuse your screen name by using your anonymity to sin.
4. Remember the Sabbath day by taking one day off a week from your blog.
5. Honour your fellow-bloggers above yourselves and do not give undue significance to their mistakes.
6. You shall not murder someone else’s honour, reputation or feelings.
7. You shall not use the web to commit or permit adultery in your mind.
8. You shall not steal another person’s content.
9. You shall not give false testimony against your fellow-blogger.
10.You shall not covet your neighbour's blog ranking. Be content with your own content.

PS in view of 8 above I better at least reveal my source: Ruth Gledhill of The Times

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Why Preach the Law? Part Four













4. The Law is Good for Us!

So many people regard the Law as a burden. It is not surprising in one sense because the Pharisees used the Law to burden people. This clearly was not the purpose of the Law and indeed contrary to the Law burdening people, it was seen by many who received it as freeing. In Deuteronomy The Law is repeatedly said to be given "for your own good".

Chris Wright points out that the Psalms are filled with ecstatic praise for God's Law:

The Law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
(19:7)

And then of course in Psalm 119 the Psalmist is constantly expressing his love for the Law:
Oh how I love your Law

I rejoice in following your statutes
as one rejoices in great riches (14)

I love your commands
more than gold, more than pure gold (127)

You see the Law is here valued even more than winning the lottery!
It is so highly valued because it leads to all truth:
I have chosen the way of truth
I have set my heart on your laws. (30)

Do not snatch the word of truth from my mouth
for I have put my hope in your laws. (43)

and is the source of grace:
be gracious to me through your Law. (29)

From these words we see that the Law is freeing, there is no sense of legalism here, "the Law is for our own good, it was constantly looking for what would benefit people as distinct to what would limit and oppress them."

As Jesus said about the Law regarding the Sabbath. "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath." (Mark 2:27)









Sunday, September 14, 2008

Why Preach the Law? Part Three

3. The Law is Based on the Character of God:

By obeying the Law the people of Israel were reflecting the character of God.: This is implicit in Deuteronomy 10: 12-13:

"And now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul and to observe the Lord's commands and decrees ..."

In Leviticus 19 (v2) the Law states:

"You shall be holy, for I the Lord am holy."

It is my observation that any striving to be holy and to "walk in his ways" is very much scorned upon in much of the church.
In Deuteronomy 10: 16 we receive the command: "circumcise your hearts"

Without preaching the Law there is no sense in which we as a church are striving to be like Him, without the Law being written on our hearts there is no sense in which we can claim to be born again.





Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Why Preach the Law? Part Two



2: The Law was Founded on Grace

Chris Wright points out the significance that it isn't until the 19th chapter of Exodus that the first law is written. "There are eighteen chapters of salvation and God's grace and faithfulness before there is a single chapter of law."

Indeed in chapter 19 before God speaks about the Law He says:


"You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all the nations you will be my treasured possession." (Exodus 19:4-5)

Here God places the giving of the Law in the context of what He has already done for the nation of Israel. The Law is given in order to enable Israel to live appropriately in response to God's love.

This is reinforced in Deuteronomy 6:20 "In the future, when your son asks you, 'what is the meaning of the stipulations, decrees and laws the Lord our God has commanded you?' tell him: 'We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand ... The Lord commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the Lord our God, so that we might prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today.'"

God asks us His people to response to His grace and salvation by being obedient to Him. Yes there is justice and there is punishment, but it is within the context of God's grace and mercy and salvation.

Indeed God describes Himself as:

"The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion ad sin." (Exodus 34: 6-7)

Wright concludes: "We must preach the Old Testament Law on the foundation of God's grace. The Law was never intended to be a means of salvation or a means of earning salvation, but was intended to be a response to salvation. It is the same dynamic ad for Christian obedience."

Monday, September 8, 2008

Why Preach the Law? Part One






I have read a wonderful article by Chris Wright, a man who I have great respect for after hearing him preach on Psalm 119. The subject of the article was 'Why preach the Law.

In the next few days I hope to summarise what he has to say on this.


Why Preach the Law?

1. Because all Scripture is God Breathed
When Paul wrote the words of 2 Timothy 3:16-17, most of the New Testament had not been written. He was referring to the Old Testament Scriptures and since he specifically says "All Scripture", this must include the Torah and the Pentateuch. It is therefore important that we preach the Old Testament Law as part of God's Word, and not simply to abandon it or ignore it.

For any Bible believing Christian this is a simple truth to grasp. Chris Wright is simply saying that we preach the Old Testament Law because it is part of God's Word. Hopefully, not too many people would disagree with that.

More tomorrow

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Hedonist in the Making



The other day I saw a young girl (about 6 yrs old) wearing a t-shirt that proclaimed: "It's all about me ME ME!"

This young girl is a hedonist in the making.

Little does she know of the prison she is building for herself.

Little does she know of Satan and his cohorts who are all too willing to help her.


The basic idea behind hedonistic thought is that pleasure is the only thing that is good for a person. Hedonism can be conjoined with psychological egoism - where people are motivated only by their self interest.

Isaiah observed this attitude in Israel: "Let us eat drink (and be merry)" you say, "for tomorrow we die!"

How sad that there is a real potential for this child to finish up like this:-




All this only reinforces the importance (and high calling!) of children's outreach in the church.

It was Bill Wilson of Metro Ministries and founder of Kidz Klub that said:

"It iseasier to build boys and girls then to repair men and women"
.
How true!

Friday, August 22, 2008

World view

The four fundamental questions of every world view are:

* what is the nature of the universe?

* what does it mean to be human?

* what has gone wrong with the world?

* what is the solution to our problem?

"The question that we as preachers need to ask is, whether it is the Bible that is giving them their fundamental understanding of the nature of the world, the identity of humanity, the reality of sin, and the solution that God offers through the cross and resurrection and the new creation that he will bring, or whether it is some other world view. We need to preach the Bible so that people have a coherent understanding of the world and where they fit in the great scheme of things"

(Chris Wright in Preach the Word)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Holiday Club Photos


"God's always with us - at our Big Top!"















The masked man kidnaps grandma












Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Riding Lights




Just had an amazing week at Riding Lights Theatre Co 'Summer School', where in one week under amazing direction and incite from Play Directors Peter Hutchinson and Bridget Foreman we put on a play called "Cloud Street".

Adapted from an award winning novel by Tim Winton, the play is about two Australian families who come together to share a huge run down house in Perth in the 1940s. Sam Pickles (played by myself and later a friend - Trevor) was a gamblerholic, married to an alcoholic with 2 children. His world view (god) was based very much around the 'Shifty Shadow' of fate. In contrast to this the other family (the Lambs, with 6 children) find meaning in work and God's grace.

The lambs never the less suffer tragedy when their son 'Fish' gets drowned in a a fishing accident. He is ('like Lazarus') 'brought back to life' but suffers brain damage in the event. Despite the tragedy and Fish's eventual return to the water to commit suicide, this play was very much about hope! A real sense in which God is present in times of disaster.

In our version of the play Fish was played (brilliantly and most movingly!) by Johnathan, a young guy with Asperge's Syndrome. Indeed most of the actors and actresses were much more gifted than I am but it was great to come alongside such talent and share in what was an awesome week.

"I know it's a bit run down and it needs a lick o paint, but yer old man's just had a win love - a big win! The Shifty Shadow's shifted - can't you just feel it!"

(Photos by: Andrew Dyer: Riding Lights)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Holiday Club

Wot no Posts?

The reason for not posting for a while is that I have just had an amazingly busy three weeks - the first a holiday club, then a much needed holiday and this last week a very busy week in which I took part in a play production by Riding Lights Theatre Company (more on the play later).

The holiday club (with a circus theme) took place between Tuesday and Friday followed by a service and BBQ on the Sunday. The huge hall of Kirkheaton Parish Church's 'Old School' was done out with striped drapes hanging down from the ceiling and striped canvass all round the room to give the image of The Big top. Two 'ringmasters' did the work of emcees, clowns performed to set the theme for the day, an act from a play (written by one of the church members) about an 'evil' masked man who wanted to close down the circus was performed daily, Bible stories were told in creative ways and we had times of worship and craft throughout.

My favourite Bible story was 'Super Sam' - the story of Samson and Delilah - where Super Sam burst onto the stage to the tune of Superman (is it a bird? ... is it a plane? ...). I loved the bit where 'der der der de diderlederr' (in God's strength) he was able to tear apart an attacking lion.

Most importantly each day, approaching 70 children were exposed to the gospel, and good relationships were built with them and their parents and carers.

Please pray for us as this coming week we are doing some follow up, as we contact these families as we try to invite them to more events and even to church.

(Pictures to follow)

Monday, June 30, 2008

Nothing but the blood of Jesus

video
What can wash away our sins?
What can make us whole again?
Nothing but the blood
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
What can wash us pure as snow?
Welcomed as the friends of God
Nothing but Your blood
Nothing but Your blood King Jesus

Paul Colman here sings two beautiful songs beautifully. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Come unto me all you are weary

video

Jesus said:

Come unto me you who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest.

I thought I would repost this - it might speak to somebody!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Those who hunt Christians like a pack of dogs after the fox

I have recently been making occasional comments on a blog that declares its hate for Jesus and for Christians.

I wonder if we Christians are sometimes partly responsible for their hate. I wonder if sometimes we might be like a resounding gong and clashing cymbal. I'm afraid I have to hold my hand up to this big time!

Some of these 'Jesus haters' have been hunting me down and sending the most crudest of messages about Jesus not to mention messages announcing my death. The latter doesn't bother me - I feel well protected by God. The former, doesn't shock me - I have worked with and served people who try to shock and seen them come into God's Kingdom as they repented and gave their lives to Jesus.

Saul of course was a great hater (even murderer) of those that followed Jesus, he used to hunt Christians like a pack of hounds after the fox! Until of course, his Damascus Road experience.

Christians need to pray for the Sauls of this world, that they will meet and come into a relationship with the Jesus that loved them so much that he was prepared to die for each of their individual lives. The Jesus who took the punishment for their sin and in doing so, offering the best quality of life and an everlasting relationship with God as Father to those who will trust and believe in Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Abraham and Isaac: The Uncanny Truth!

Like much of the Old Testament the account of Abraham's (non!) sacrifice of Isaac foretells the coming of Christ:

In fact the account so coincides with Jesus' death and resurrection that the word "uncanny" becomes a massive understatement.

(You might want to follow the reading in Genesis 22):

(1) v 2 (God said) "Take your son your only son, whom you love": Abraham had one son (who he had waited 100 years for - but that's by the by)whom he loved: God had one son ... "whom I love, with him I am well pleased"

(2) v3 Isaac was traveling to his death with the donkey: reminds us of Jesus' entry into Jerusalem as he travels towards crucifixion.

(3)The sacrifice was to take place v 4 "On the third day":

So Abraham had counted him dead until the third day - the same length of time that Jesus was known to be dead.

(4) v 6 "Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac":

In the same way, by God the Father asking for Jesus' obedience, He was effectively placing the wood of the cross on His one and only son.

(5) v 9 "(Abraham)bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar":

Here there is no sign of any struggle - Isaac could easily have over powered this old frail man but even to death is obedient to his father.

Philipians 2 records:

" Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

And being found in the appearance of man, he humbled himself and became OBEDIENT TO DEATH - EVEN DEATH ON A CROSS!"


Of course the major difference is that whilst Isaac was saved from death Jesus did die on the cross in place of the 'sons' of Abraham - as Abraham prophesied in v8 "God himself will provide the lamb"


I don't know if you noticed in verse 5 Abraham said something quite curious:


v5 "Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then WE WILL COME BACK TO YOU":

Could it be possible that Abraham knew something of resurrection?. After all, Abraham knew that God does not break His promises and God had promised that from the seed of Abraham will rise a great nation.


The good news is that the lamb who was slain instead of the "sons" of Abraham means that you too are invited to join that great nation that God promised.

Any takers?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

An Inconvenient Dream


Last night I had a dream:

I had passed away and had arrived outside Heaven's city walls, where I met Peter. I asked him which way I had to go to enter.

Peter said that before I could enter I had to write down every single sin that I had committed on the black board behind me. I turned round and saw the largest black board you ever did see - the height and length of Wembley Stadium.

Then Peter came up to me with a piece of chalk 30 feet long and six feet thick. He told me that when I had finished I had to walk down to my left and enter the pearly gates.

Well I didn't know where to start and overwhelmed at the task ahead of me, you could imagine how down I felt at this stage. I was in absolute despair.


Until that is I looked to my left and saw someone walking towards me. It was ....

YOU - YES YOU!!!

"Did Peter give you the same instructions as me?" I enquired
"Yes" came your reply.
"Aren't you heading in the wrong direction?" I asked - "the Pearly gates are down there to my left"

"Well yes" you replied, " I'll get down there eventually ... but I was wondering .... have you got any more chalk?"


Of course your sins are not really any greater than mine! But this "inconvenient dream" indicates that we simply do not deserve to be in God's presence. If you were to die tonight how sure are you that you will be able to enter into the kingdom of God?

The Bible says:

No one is righteous not even one (Romans 3:10)

All have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God (Romans 3:23)

The wages of sin is death (eternal separation from God) (Romans 6:23a)

but the gift of God is eternal life IN CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD (Romans 6:23 b)

if you confess with your mouth 'Jesus is Lord' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified (treated 'just as if I'd' never sinned) and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. (Romans 10:9-10)

Jesus is your black board eraser - only by repentance of your sin and accepting the gift of Jesus as your Lord and Saviour can you enter into an eternal relationship with God the Father:

What can wash away my sin?
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!

The alternative does not bear thinking about.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Above All

video

"Like a rose trampled to the ground, you took the fall and thought of me above all."

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Bible Believing Repentance Seeking Evangelising Arch-Bishop

John Sentamu is a Bible believing Arch-Bishop with tremendous gifts in evangelism. From past experience I know that he preaches the need for repentance and I was pleased to read that last week hundreds of people committed their lives to Jesus Christ following an invitation by the Archbishop of York at the Church Without Walls National Gathering in Scotland.

John Sentamu said, "The National Gathering was a tremendous event. I was thrilled and excited to see so many people come forward and commit their lives to Jesus Christ."


We need to pray for him and his work. When John came into office a couple of years ago now, he said that his mission was to give the church the confidence back to evangelize this nation. He is doing a good job!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

" I need someone who will look me in the eye and tell me how to find forgiveness because I am running out of time!"

The utube - scene from ER - below - brings out the danger of poor teaching in much of the church - in that it doesn't give the answers that people need for salvation. People are lost because much of the church has stopped preaching the message of: Jesus as the atonement for our sins!

The result? Well just look at the mess of the world we live in! video

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Dying and in need of salvation?

video

" I need someone who will look me in the eye and tell me how to find forgiveness because I am running out of time!"


This video reminded me of a man called David:

I used to work for an outreach to the homeless and less privileged. One day, we got a message that David – one of our regulars was in hospital and had only hours to live. He was a drug addict and spent much of his adult life in and out of prison.


When I visited him in hospital he told me that he was going to give all the mess of his life to Jesus and ask for forgiveness. And so there on his death bed, he repented of his sins and entered into a relationship with Jesus as Lord and Saviour.


The next morning a colleague of mine visited David and in tears was absolutely distraught having seen the state of David's once fit body. But this is thing that I want to tell you:- David turned round and prayed for her that she might have peace!


You see overnight the fruit of the promised Holy Spirit had started to grow in David's heart: Fruit of love, joy and peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self control. There was a real sense in which on his death bed David was more alive than ever we had seen him before!


David passed through the shadow of death soon later knowing that he was going to spend an eternity with God.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? ARE YOU DYING IN YOUR SINS - NOT AT PEACE, BECAUSE YOU DO NOT KNOW THE LOVE OF JESUS? THE BIBLE SAYS "THE PENALTY FOR SIN IS DEATH ... BUT THE GIFT OF GOD IS ETERNAL LIFE."

Today is the day of salvation! Today is the day that you can enter into eternal life - a God given - God planned life as you come to a point of repentance and enter into a relationship with the one who died on that cross so that you may be forgiven.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Fundamentally Flawed!


When Darwin proposed his theory of evolution pushing 200 years ago he was convinced that future fossil discoveries would prove his theory to be true.


Darwin himself wrote:


"The number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed, [must] be truly enormous," he wrote. "Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against the theory" (Darwin, pp. 260-261).


Given that there is in excess of over a million species today, we should be able to find hundreds of millions of examples of fossil evidence of ‘intermediate forms’ gradually evolving into other species. To date despite a comprehensive world wide search by geologists, the total evidence of intermediate forms is … zero.


There can be no surprise that more and more top scientists believe that Darwin's Theory is fundamentally flawed.


My struggle is more with church goers who describe Evangelical Bible believing Christians as 'unthinking' than it is with scientists who are striving to find truth. Such people are more likely - (without thinking!) - to follow an outdated theory than accept the Bible as the complete truth.


To view a huge list of top scientist dissenters from Darwin's theory of Evolution - click on the title of this post.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

God does not believe in evolution!

'For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth.'

These words are from the Ten Commandments. They are spoken by no other than:

GOD HIMSELF!

Some people argue that when the claim that God made the earth in six days appears in the Genesis account of creation that part of the Bible is poetry or myth. But when God uttered these words was he telling the literal truth or simply being poetic? If the latter we must conclude that God either had a mix up of genre or we must also accept that the Ten Commandments are also nothing but poetry. For me this certainly suggests evidence for any Bible believing Christian to believe that God does not believe in the theory of (ape becoming man) evolution!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Evolution - (blind faith) for dummies?

I found this on Ray Comfort's website. I have been accused by atheists of having a blind faith. I believe there is no more blind a faith than those who put their faith and trust in the theory of evolution. This (now dying!? world view) that humans have evolved from another species of animal has been followed by millions of people without a shred of evidence for many years. I wouldn't want to put anybody down but (light heartedly) I like Ray suggest that the title of the book just about gets it about right!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Bus Ministry: Saving Souls for Christ

I am part of a developing team who have a growing vision for Bus Ministry in our town. We would like to raise money for a bus to see it used for example, as a Christian centre/drop in for mums and dads taking their children to school in the morning, for Christian activity for children after school and youth work in the evening.

I am convinced that God will use it to save souls for Christ and it will help to bring the crime rates down in some of our more difficult estates. How wonderful it will be when we see whole families realise their need to turn away from their sin and turn to Christ Jesus!; when whole families come to know the joy of their salvation! I really do believe God is saying that this work will have a huge impact in our area.
Please pray and watch this space!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Priests who talk dirty

'But among you there should not even be a hint of sexual imorality ... nor should there be obsenity, foolish talk or coarse joking which are out of place' Ephesians 5: 3-4

(This is an edited version of my original post)

The Bible makes it clear that it is wrong for Christians, especially leaders in the church to swear and get involved in obscene talk and sexual innuendo. Unfortunately it is my (recent and past) experience that this too often happens. I would even go as far as saying that in the Church of England this is endemic and I would call for Priests to repent of this! I have known people to walk away from church because there was no fruit in the lives of the leaders. I have also known people who have been very hurt by sexual comments of leaders in the church.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I am THE way THE truth and THE life and 'Indigo Children'


One thing that gets my goat is the typical post modern attitude of 'What's true for you is fine - its true to you - but it is not necessarily true to me.' This of course is utter nonsense. Truth is truth is truth!

Some time ago there was an article in the Metro paper about 'Indigo children'
Apparently Indigo Children:
* Have an indigo aura around them
* Can read your thoughts
* Can see the future
* Know when you are lying
* Have heightened senses
* Are the next step in the evolution of mankind
* Tend to be disobedient and are often misdiagnosed as having ADHD
*'The special powers of indigo children make them 'older' than the adults around them. They have come to us at this time because we
need old souls to help with the survival of the planet.'
* In short are here to save the planet

I do not know whether this looks like true teaching to you? Apart from the fact that I would rather have someone who is without sin to bring salvation than a disobedient child! Indigo children is new age teaching of today - but we know by tomorrow - these people might well have jumped on another merry go round of belief.

Jesus is quite clear in his teaching. When he says 'I am THE way THE truth and THE life' and that 'no one comes to the Father except through me' he means exactly that. There is only one way to the Father, only one truth and only one source of life and Jesus is the answer to all three.

David in Psalm 119 gives us clear indication as to the essentials of truth:

(1) Truth will always bring you close to God:
v 151: Yet you are near Lord and all your commands are true

(2) Truth is forever and unmovable:
v 89: Your word O Lord is eternal, it stands firm in the heavens
v 91: Your word endures to this day
v144: Your word is forever true

(3) The truth is absolutely and completely true or not true at all
v160: The sum (totality) of your word is truth

Hans Kung said: 'The church which abandons the truth, abandons itself.' How true!

But worse still - the church that abandons the truth abandons Jesus!




Saturday, April 5, 2008

Christians on fire for God

A few days ago my wife and I were visited by two friends whom we were involved in seeing make a strong commitment of their lives to Jesus after some mission work that I did in Sheffield last year. It was lovely to see how they are on fire for God, to hear how they are enjoying some serious Bible study and that God has started to use them in (and out!) of their local church.

I remember during that mission that God was telling us that through it He was going to have an eternal impact on people's lives. He certainly wasn't wrong and our friends June and Julian are a testimony to that!

But that is what is happening when we step out of the church and evangelise the community. We are having eternal impact on peoples lives! Think about it!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Isaiah speaks of the Cross: Can these words help to bring salvation to some of our friends?

Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the
Lord been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender
shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us
to him.
He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with
suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces,
he was despised, and we esteemed him
not.
Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace
was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
We, all like sheep have gone astray,
each of us has turned his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was lead like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as sheep before his shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was
taken away.
And who can speak of his descendants?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he
was stricken.
He was assigned a grave for the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.

Mick (a fellow evangelist) my wife and I were in a discussion with a group of 'nearly Christians' a few nights ago in a nurture group. We were looking at Isaiah 53: 1-10 and I asked them to raise their hands when they thought they knew who and what I was reading about. By the time I had finished they all agreed that it could be about no one else but Jesus on the cross (their words not mine!). I then asked them about v 11 of that chapter 'After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied.' They discerned that this must then be about the resurrection. They were amazed to find out that the passages were written hundreds of years before Jesus was born to Mary. From their discussion and questions, my heart is telling me that they are nearly there.


At least three of these people have said that they hope to come to Friday's 'Sensing the Passion of Christ' (see blog below)

Please pray for them, that they fully receive Jesus into their hearts as Lord and Saviour!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Those who preach the 'gospel' as though it were fiction

Found this on Sermonillustrations.com

There is a tale told of that great English actor Macready. An eminent preacher once said to him: "I wish you would explain to me something." "Well, what is it? I don't know that I can explain anything to a preacher."

"What is the reason for the difference between you and me? You are appearing before crowds night after night with fiction, and the crowds come wherever you go. I am preaching the essential and unchangeable truth, and I am not getting any crowd at all."

Macready's answer was this: "This is quite simple. I can tell you the difference between us. I present my fiction as though it were truth; you present your truth as though it were fiction.

Don't think I need to say more!!


Thursday, February 28, 2008

Sensing The Passion of Christ

Many of us are very familiar with the story of the last few days of Jesus. But how might our understanding of the cross be enhanced if we literally engaged our senses to think about what Christ has done for us at the cross - 'The Greatest Expression of Love that the world has ever seen!'
On Friday 21st of March (Good Friday) we are holding an event called 'Sensing the Passion of Christ' at Dalton Baptist Church, which will enable us to do exactly that. When I put this event together a few years ago, I was very wary of the need not to have just a 'touchy feely' service and even though we are using our senses - the event gives a direct explanation of the reason that Jesus had to die and makes it clear that a response (repentance and trust and belief in Jesus) is necessary for the forgiveness of our sins.

God has used this event to bring a number of people into a living relationship with him through Jesus Christ.
Sensing the Passion of Christ was took place last year during a mission on a tough estate in
Sheffield. At the end of that evening, two people made a first time commitment to Jesus as their Lord and Saviour and are now regular attendees of their local church and on fire for God.

If you are local you may want to come and join us. I request one thing only: that if you do come - you bring a non Christian friend with you!

The BBC are airing a film throughout Holy Week called ‘The Passion’ and this is expected to have audiences of up to 10 million viewers. How easy this year it would be to ask our friends and neighbours if they have been watching ‘The Passion’ on BBC’ and then add a ‘By the way, we are doing something on the same theme as the film at church – why don’t you come along and see?’

How wonderful it would be if the Lord was to ‘add to the number, those being saved’ through this event again.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Narnia Holiday Club


I am busy putting together an Easter children's holiday club based on CS Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia. Building on the work and connections we have made at Upper Whitley Infant and Junior school, in Grange Moor Huddersfield, we hope that a good number of children will come to know the deep meaning and good news of Easter as we think about Aslan, but also about the real King who came to set us free from the consequence of our sin.

The two day event will have two themes: (1) Slave to Turkish Delight (2) Freed by the King. We will have games, craft and teaching based on these themes. We are very encouraged about the the school's involvement, in that they are allowing us to watch the whole of the film in class, allowing a promotional colouring competition, and an Aslan themed assembly.

I for one am getting really excited about this and believe great things can happen through the message we give and the connections we make. I would value your prayers!!!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Genocide!


video
I had a conversation with a friend today who told me of a relation who is suffering from mental health issues. He believes that a major reason for this is because she has earlier in her life had an abortion.

I do not wish to condemn anyone who for what ever reason has had an abortion, the guilt and suffering that those people go through must be horrendous and certainly healing can take place only through Jesus Christ (see video on my blog dated January 4th below). We in Britain can however condemn the system that allows abortion so freely!

As I understand, according to British Law, the legal grounds for abortion are:
(1) A risk of the pregnant woman loosing their life
(2) A risk of permanent 'grave' physical harm to the pregnant woman
(3) A risk of mental health to the pregnant woman if the pregnancy goes to full term
(4) A risk of serious handicap (mental or physical) to the baby

Never the less, the Christian Medical Fellowship report 'Higher rates of major depression, suicidal ideation, illicit drug dependence, and overall mental health problems' for those who have gone through with abortion.

Why then have the number of abortions risen so dramatically over the last 40 years? In 40 years in Great Britain there has been no less than 6.7 MILLION abortions! Last year alone the figure touched 200,000. Even David Steel who led the campaign to legalise abortions admits that abortion is now being used as a form of contraception in th UK.

(I was going to publish an horrific picture of a 24 week old aborted baby with this post, but I decided that it was too disturbing to view: instead I have downloaded a scan of a living 24 week old baby.)

In God's name: Isn't it time that this genocide was brought to an end?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Is your Church involved in Hope 08?

video
'The vision for Hope 08 is that the whole church goes to the whole nation for a year and beyond and that we tell our country about Jesus, with our words, because we believe in preaching the gospel of the cross of Jesus Christ, but with our lives, because we want to say that believing in Jesus changes our lives - we can't if our lives don't look different!' (Mike Pilavachi: founder of Soul Survivor)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Grandfather for the second time!

I know many wouldn't believe I am old enough, but on Saturday evening I became a grandfather for the second time. Yesterday I went to hospital to see Sophie. It was a God moment and I confess that as I held her in my arms I shed a couple of tears at the emotion of it all - she is absolutely beautiful! How can anyone look at a new born baby (her complex design, her amazing form, her her staggering beauty) and deny that God exists or not want to praise him?

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside and then out;
you formed me in my mother's womb,
I thank you, High God - you're breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration - what a creation!
You know me inside out,
you know every bone in my body;
you know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculptured from nothing into something.
Like an open book you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I'd even lived one day.

Psalm 139: 13 - 18 (The Message)

(photo to follow!)

Friday, January 11, 2008

Good evangelism?

video

Well what do you think? Try and put aside the fact that the evangelist is American. What (if anything) is good? what (if anything) is not so good about this evangelist's style? How is the student reacting to what is going on here? What do you think the outcome of this conversation will be?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Old Testament: Truth or Fiction?

I’ve been thinking today about the people in the Old Testament. There are many people in our churches today who question the inerrancy or infallibility of the Bible. We are too often told that the great people of the Bible such as Adam and Eve, Noah, Jonah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, the Prophets etc are not people of history. This certainly wasn’t the view of Jesus. His use of language when referring to Scripture can only conclude that Jesus believed that Scripture was the authoritative Word of God and that these people were historical figures. Jesus points out that it was the Holy Spirit that spoke the word of God through the writers of the Old Testament. Quoting Psalm 110:1 in Matthew 22.43 for example, Jesus said ‘‘How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls (Jesus) ‘Lord’? ’’

Abraham:

Jesus said about Abraham:

  • ‘ Before Abraham was born I am’ (John 8:56-58)

The crowd wanted to kill Jesus for saying these words – if Abraham was thought to be imaginary in those days – their reaction simply doesn't make sense.

Moses:
is repeatedly referred to by Jesus as ‘the giver of the law’:

  • ‘Moses said, ‘Honour your father..’’ (Mark 7:10)
  • ‘What did Moses command you?’ (Mark 10:3)
  • ‘Moses permitted you to divorce …’ (Matt 19:3)

Quite clearly, a fictional character could not be the giver of the Law or utter words that would be understood by real people as a command to them to act in a certain way. A made up person equally can not permit a real person to divorce. This would be nonsense!

Jonah:
Jesus clearly was of the mind that even Jonah was an historical character. Matthew 12:41 records Jesus as saying:

‘The men of Nineveh will stand up on the day of judgement, with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah and now one grater than Jonah is here’ (Matt: 12:41)

As Preowne comments: (Obadiah and Johan: Cambridge: 1894) Are we to suppose Jesus to say:

that imaginary persons who at the imaginary preaching of an imaginary prophet repented in imagination, shall rise up in that day and condemn the actual impenitence of those his actual hearers?’

The Law and the Prophets:
These too were seen as God’s word and actual people. Jesus continuously declared that he came to fulfil the (imaginary?) Law and the prophets

  • 'Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law and the Prophets ...' (Matt 5:17)
  • ‘this generation will be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets’ (Luke 11:50)

Jesus made similar comments about Adam and Eve and Noah ('As it was in the days of Noah') of Isaac and Jacob and many more. If those of Jesus’ day and more seriously Jesus himself respected these people as historical figures, who did as Scripture says they did, who are we as Christians some 2,000 years later to contradict Him?