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Archive for January, 2007

Prayer Letter – Week Commencing 28/01/2007

It is my prayer that this finds you living life to the full, in and through our Saviour Jesus Christ, and that in all things He maintains the supremacy.Lymington is still here, and the Baptist church is still going strong.

Last week, visited 4 home groups (or Life Groups as they are called here), all studying the same passage of scripture based on the Sunday sermon.  You may recall, that part of my remit in visiting them, was to hear how they spent £100 blessing others in the community and how they will spend the £100 this year.  The responses were amazing.  The past was innovative and blessed quite a few people with the Gospel, with some coming to saving faith in Christ.  The future spend also looks promising, and all praise is due entirely to Jesus Himself.

This week, there are no Life Groups on, as there is the regular Members meeting on Wednesday night.  I was supposed to be leading worship there, which would have been interesting if I had done it in my usual style and manner!  Though today I mentioned it to the Pastor, and it transpires he had forgotten he had asked me and had asked someone else!! But I dont mind even though I had already done the preparations.  The only other event I have on this week is to attend the regular Local Evangelical Alliance in the Forest (LEAF) meeting on Friday evening.  However, that does not mean I dont have things to do!  I am still current writing up a series of podcasts to be recorded.  Still loads of coffee and cake to be had/eaten, and a few other things as well which will be negotiated this afternoon after my weekly chat with my supervisor, Nigel.

So please pray for those things.

Now more importantly, not least to me is this.  On Saturday evening (27th Jan), Youngmi (my wife) had severe pain in the area between the stomach & chest.  This lasted for about 20 minutes before easing.  Her temperature and pulse were within normal parameters, so it wasnt too serious.  She then basically slept and rested till Sunday evening, too tired to do anything other than read.  Monday, she was fine and despite protests, I dragged her to the doctor in the afternoon.  It transpires after the doctor put a camera down her throat, that her aesophagus is contracting/wrinkling due to excess stomach acid rising up.  Youngmi has a history of indigestion, but never told the doctor about it previously, despite my nagging!!  She returns to the doctor on Friday.  Please pray for healing: either miraculous or through the use of the drugs prescribed.

Please pray for Kerry, a guy I got talking to in Waitrose Cafe last week.  He is interested in spirituality, and we got round to talking about the Gnostic Gospels and the formatino of the New Testament.  Pray that Jesus will reveal his true self to him and that he will come to saving faith by reading and thinking through the real Gospels.

Till next time,

Dave

A Moment Of Epiphany…

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A Moment Of Epiphany…, originally uploaded by emptybelly.

In the Greek Orthodox Tradition, today is :

Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee: Triodion Begins Today

The Lord said this parable, “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 18:9-14

A Moment Of Epiphany…

A Moment Of Epiphany…, originally uploaded by emptybelly.

In the Greek Orthodox Tradition, today is :

Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee:

The Lord said this parable, “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 18:9-14

Prayer email 3 – WC 21/Jan/2007

I pray that this email finds you well and rejoicing in and through our Saviour, Jesus Christ…

This week please pray for:

  • Safe travelling on the roads… I dont like driving on British roads, even if it is only 20 miles away from home… There is always too much traffic on the road!!!
  • As you know, part of my remit is to visit the home groups (or Life groups as the church insists on calling them)… One of the things I do is to give them £100 (AUD250/USD180) from the church coffers in order that they may go out and bless others with it… I also have to ask what they did with the money they received last year!! Pray for these groups that the money would be used wisely and that God’s kingdom may be extended through it… At least a couple of people have come to faith through just the one group I have asked so far!!
  • As I have coffee with little old ladies… Pray that I can be blessed to be a blessing as I have coffee, cake and biscuits with these aged saints…
  • That as I make arrangements to have individual meetups with some of the men of the church… Some of them apparently may well be suspicious of my motives for meeting with them…
  • I am considering asking if I can follow-up those who have undergone the Alpha course and not continued searching… As some of you know, I am not a big fan of the theology of the Alpha course per se, but I can see that the format itself does help people along their spiritual journey…
  • As I contintue to complete a series of podcast scripts ready to be recorded…
  • Shortly I will have the opportunity to grill the church leadership on any topic or questions I like, under the remit that the Pastor thinks they will be able to handle anything thrown at them… Pray that I will ask the questions that God would have me ask, and that any challenges I present will not be construed as too confrontational!!
  • As part of my report I have to unify theory and practice and my topic will either be power or discipleship at Lymington Baptist Church…
  • Rejoice with me, as I receive emails from my colleagues who are abroad in Africa, Central Asia, Kosovo, Turkey who are doing wondrous work for Him (some in dangerous situations)…

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, continue to bless, sustain, encourage and cause you to rejoice in Him always…

Dave

20th Martin Luther King Memorial Lecture This is the text of the lecture given by the Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu on Saturday January 20th 2006.

THE 20th MARTIN LUTHER KING, Jr,
MEMORIAL LECTURE

THE MOST REV’D AND RT HON.
DR JOHN SENTAMU

THE ARCHBISHOP OF YORK

20 JANUARY 2007

Theme: THE OVERCOMERS

Introduction

It is a privilege to be asked to give this the 20th Martin Luther King Lecture. A year in which we are to commemorate the two hundredth Anniversary of the Act to Abolish the Slave Trade. I am grateful to David Udo and the Martin Luther King Twelve for their kind invitation and I am delighted to see so many friends in this room on the day which eleven years ago marked the first commemoration of Martin Luther King Day in the United States of America.

I am also honoured to be standing in the place of so many good men and women who have delivered this lecture before me. In particular the first person to deliver this lecture deserves a special mention. Bishop Wilfred Wood remains a much loved figure in Croydon and beyond and with good reason. His untiring work in London as a priest and Bishop and as a national and international campaigner against racism, justifiably earned him second place in the list of 100 Greatest Black Britons. He preached at my priesting in 1979

The Title for my lecture “The Overcomers” is a reference to that great anthem of the civil rights movement “We Shall Overcome”. I remember where I was when I last sang that song. It was almost exactly four years ago in January 2003 in Aston in Birmingham at a vigil for Charlene Ellis and Letisha Shakespeare. No more than a few days had passed when a community in mourning came together in the Church across the road from where those two girls were brutally gunned down. The community came together to mourn and lament the violence which had been done not only to the girls, but to the community as a whole.

On that night, young men joined with old women, mothers came with their children, Christians stood with Muslims as black, white and asian joined together to light candles and travel across the road and place them at the spot where the girls were slain. And as the candles were laid, the song began – “we shall overcome, we shall overcome, we shall overcome some day. Oh, deep in my heart I do believe, we shall overcome some day.”

And then the verses – “we’ll walk hand in hand”, “we shall all be free”, “we are not afraid”
“we are not alone” and “the whole world all around”. With each verse the poignancy of these words, at the same time a powerful lament for the fallen and a cry of justice for the living, these words formed an unspoken promise and bond for all those present – enough is enough, the violence must stop, together we will work to bring it to an end. We shall overcome.

A week later I joined with a group of teenagers, friends of Charlene and Letisha, for a concert they had organised at Villa Park. The concert was a memorial of hope to the girls from their friends – young people who were doubly at risk; of being pressured into joining gangs and of becoming the victims of those who would try to turn the streets of a city into the wild west. The young people’s cry was for a better life, one free from the threat of violence, of guns, knives and gangs. They were longing for a city that was generous, clean and safe.

That cry resonates far beyond Villa Park and has been heard in our cities and communities throughout the country. No place in our country is untouched by drugs. The associated violence and criminality of the drugs trade fills our prisons.

But as Christians our call, alongside that of the young people, was one of hope. A hope for a better world, not only in the eschatological world to come, but in our here and now where the call for us is to overcome. A sure hope that does not disappoint. Which reminds me of Bill and Pete. Bill asked his friend, “Pete, have you ever realised any of your childhood hopes?” “Yes”, replied Pete. “When my mother went to comb my hair, I often wished I didn’t have any” Pete now finds himself follically challenged! Hope is the struggle of the soul, breaking loose from what is perishable, and attesting her eternity. For surely they who want to enjoy the glory of the sunrise must live through the night!

If we are to truly be the overcomers and to make real the hopes of our young, then we must focus not only on the particular problems associated with inner city or outer urban communities, but must also consider those evils which form the backdrop against which these tragedies are being acted out.

If we are to truly overcome then we must do battle with the four modern demons of our time: Idolatry, materialism, militarism, and race-ism.

(more…)

Burning with Joy!!

Burning with Joy!!, originally uploaded by emptybelly.

Joy is prayer. Joy is strength. Joy is love. Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. God loves a cheerful giver. She gives most who gives with joy. The best way to show our gratitude to God and the people is to accept everything with joy. A joyful heart is the inevitable result of a heart burning with love. Never let anything so fill you with sorrow as to make you forget the joy of the Christ risen. – Mother Teresa

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