Mission Statement

In classical sacrifices, the people get the good bits, and the gods get the refuse, the bits that would get thrown out otherwise.

Not our God. Leviticus (particularly Leviticus 3) describes the sacrifices that our LORD demanded from His people of Israel. God gets the kidneys, the tail, and all the fat. He gets the prime steak, He gets the best.

Today we do not literally give sacrifices of animals. For us the ultimate sacrifice has been made through our Lord, Christ Jesus. But should always be our ambition to do the same thing - to offer God the best of what we have, to offer Him the fat, and not the smoke and bones.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Sudan Prayer Points

• South Sudan became a country on the 9th of July, 2011. Southern Sudan is predominately Christian, and Northern Sudan is predominately Muslim.
• There are currently between 40 000 and 100 000 Southern Sudanese held captive as slaves, mostly in the North.
• There have been ongoing small conflicts, with the North threatening to invade the South.
• There have been a lot of human rights violations, especially in relation to women
• There are over 70 000 street kids in the North alone. Numbers are not available for the South, but it is likely to be high due to the violence and HIV.
• Translation issues: there are 114 languages in Sudan. Only 10 have the whole Bible, and one has only just been completed. Pray for the missionaries who are involved in the laborious task of reducing a language to writing and then translating the Bible into that language.
• Northern Sudan has been terrorizing the people of the Nuba Mountains, one of the predominately Christian areas in North Sudan.
• Prevention by the Northern government of air to go to unapproved areas, meaning that international aid is used as a weapon of war, starving out people who the government does not approve of.
• The North is under Shiara law, which means a lot of restrictions on certain people groups, especially Christians and women.
• Witness in the North has been predominantly killed. There are still some Coptic Christians, and the Nuba mountains. Pray strength and continued witness for these people.

• In the South there is a lack of basic infrastructure and a reliance on oil. The North is currently demanding a levy of $32 per barrel – with the result that South is refusing to produce. There is the possibility of moving it via Kenya or Ethiopia, as their governments are supportive of the South.
• They are having a lot of issues in rebuilding the country. Pray wisdom as they do this, pretty much from scratch.
• The LRA is operating in Southern Sudan.
• Water for wells – many people are without clean water. Water for wells and other programs aims to provide wells and other clean water sources for these people. Pray success, that the wells will be replenished and not overdrawn, and that there be a minimum amount of waterborne diseases
• Unity for the church. With the struggle to exist under the Islamic Northern government, the church has been highly unified. Without this struggle, there has been some discord. Pray against this.
• Pray that there will be a determination to witness, including to their Northern neighbors. There is a lot of bitterness there, but pray that this never gets in the way of their gospel witness.

Things You Can Do:
Persecution Project has a petition to the UN
• Write to the UN – our representatives, their representatives, and other representatives. China, for example, has consistently overlooked the human rights abuses of the North because of the oil they were exporting (from the South). Let these countries know that things such as human rights abuses, including the imprisonment of people for religious beliefs, are not acceptable to the international community
Click to Give has a petition up: Beyond Kony, petitioning the US government and other governments to provide ongoing support to the areas affected by Joseph Kony (the LRA)

Our next session is on Israel on Monday the 2nd of April.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Women of the English Reformation

All these women (Anne Bolyen, Anne Askew, Katherine Parr, Lady Jane Grey, Catherine Willoughby) thought theologically. They were lay theologians. They read theological books, most especially the Bible, and anything to which they could gain access from the continental Protestant Reformers. They talked theology. Their inner circles of court ladies were twenty-four-hours-a-day Bible studies. They saw everything that happened to them through two lenses: the lens of the providence of God and the lens of the furtherance of the Reformed Religion… Each of these women… lived for one thing: to see the Reformed Religion overcome the opposition to it both within the church and outside it. They ached to see the Reformation triumph. They were not only observers of this high drama, they were participants.

From Five Women of the English Reformation, by Paul F.M. Zahl

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Seven Texts on Evangelism

Tim Challies posted this helpful piece, Seven Texts on Evangelism. Following are the seven texts:

1. There is work to be done
Matthew 9:37-38
Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

2. Jesus has commanded you to do it
Matthew 28:18-20
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

3. Success is guaranteed
John 10:16
And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.

4. Jesus is the only salvation
John 14:6
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

5. You were given the Holy Spirit for this purpose
Acts 1:8
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

6. People won’t be saved without hearing
Romans 10:11-15
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”

7. Evangelism is necessary for your own growth in Christ
Philemon 6
And I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.

HT: Scott Brown in this post.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Baptism Testimony

I have been going through some of my old stuff, and found my baptism testimony. I thought I'd share it here.

I cam to Christ in early April this year (2006). I was reading the newspaper and was asked to participate in a survey on religious life on campus. I nearly sent them away - after all, it was my lunch break, and I wanted to read my paper. But something stopped me. I know now that that something was God. We,, I completed the survey and allowed my name and email address to be recorded. God was truly at work in my life that day. One of the two girls went to primary school with me, and clearly remembered both me and my sister (who was in the same grade as her). Well, Sonali invited me to go to church with her. I did, and soon realised the truth about God's love and the death of His Son, Jesus, so that we could be in a relationship with God.

Like the Gentiles in Acts, I was baptised in the Holy Spirit before I was water batized. My Holy Spirit baptism happened at the Alpha campt. I can honestly say that this was the most amazing experience of my life - that first feeling of the amazing, utterly incomprehenisble love that God has for me, and for all of us.

I only decided to get baptised by water last night - and indeed, if I had been asked on Sunday I would have said that I wasn't ready yet. To me baptism is about turning away from our sins, having them washed from us, in a symbolic union of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. There were some sins I just didn't think that I could turn away from, and I felt that it would be hypocritical to be baptised and then go right back to my old sins, and to intend that right through the baptism.

The sin that I was think of is through God's work, no longer a part of my life. It has long been a matter for prayer, and while it didn't work out the way I wanted it to, I can clearly see God's hand in it, and I know that it will work out for the best. Afteer all, Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."

I do not expect my life now I have been water baptised to be perfect, or for me to live a life free from sin. The only person without sin is Jesus. But I have made the decision to turn away from sin, and to me that makes a huge difference.

Bu being baptized I proclaim to all of you that I believe in Jesus Christ and wish to follow Him all the days of my life, however long or short they may be. I show myself willing to follow His example, and to do as He commanded us. I know I will fall short of the glory of our Saviour, but by living under His wing I know that I can meet all the challenges of my life with the strength that He gives me, and not just my own strength.

Thank you all for being a part of this wonderful ceremony.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Points from Praying for the Nations - Iran

I want to thank those who came to the first praying for the nations night! Our next one is on the 19th of March. I have included details of the prayer points so that those who were unable to attend can uphold this country in prayer

Iran is a predominantly Muslim nation. Islam makes up between 98-99% of the population. The government is theocratic, and is rather totalitarian.

Prayer Points
1. There is a lot of discrimination against the Armenian and Chaldeans, the two main ethnically Christian groups, with the result that many leave the country. Pray that these Armenians will find ways to provide for their families whilst remaining in Iran as a witness. These people are treated as second class citizens, unable to fully participate in the activities of their country. However, they are not likely to be killed by the government for Christian activity, as they are considered ethnically Christian.
2. Muslim Background Believers – they face a lot of persecution, from family and from the government. Adult males can be sentenced to death for apostasy (i.e. conversion from Islam). Pray for comfort and strength in difficult times, and for a strength of witness
3. Pray for three specific prisoners
a. Ps Youcef Nadarkhani – under death sentence. I have previously sent out an email about his situation
b. Ps Behnam Irani – serving a 5 year sentence, is in poor health, and guards have been ordered to beat him regularly
c. Ps Mehdi Foroutan – sentenced to 1 year in prison & has been transferred to an area catering mainly recovering drug addicts. Pray he is able to witness powerfully to those he come into contact with
4. Many Muslim Background Believers & those who work with them who are released from prison are martyred by extremist groups. Please pray for the families and congregations of:
a. Rev Haik Hovsepian Mehr (an Armenian, who testified in Ps Mehdi Dibaj’s trial for apostasy)
b. Ps Mehdi Dibaj (who was imprisoned for apostasy, released, and was later martyed)
5. Pray that all the persecution bear much fruit for Christ. That the blood of the martyrs would indeed be the seed of the Iranian church
6. For the witness of media – radio, TV, internet
7. For the translation of the Scriptures into minority languages

Other Ways You can Help
Sign the petition for Youcef Nadarkhani
• Write to the 3 prisoners (details available through Voice of the Martyrs)
• Petition our government (and / or the government of your home country) to take action to force Iran to uphold human rights
• Buy a Voice of the Martyrs Farsi-English Testament ($22)

Friday, 2 March 2012


Manhood from Hazardous Journeys on Vimeo.

All the videos in this set are beautiful (very visually stunning, and have a wonderful messege) but this one is stunning.

It is the third, so watch all three!

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Hudson Taylor

It does not matter, really, how great the pressure is; it only matters WHERE THE PRESSURE LIES. See that it never comes BETWEEN you and the Lord – then, the greater the pressure, the more it presses you to His breast.”
From Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret