Chris Cartwright on why words matter
A HISTORIC CONFERENCE
More than 1,000 delegates gathered in Harrogate for the Leaders Summit 2016
WE CARRY A HOPE TO THE BROKEN Keynote speaker Alan Scott explains
how his church has reached thousands
BECOMING AN EXPECTANT PEOPLE
God allows us to look beyond our current circumstances, writes Chris Cartwright
NEW GENERAL SUPERINTENDENT
Elim’s new leader Chris Cartwright shares his Christian journey so far
A WISE, STATESMANLIKE LEADER
Tributes have flooded in for former GS Eldin Corsie, who has been called home
YOU ARE A REAL DELIGHT TO GOD
It can be difficult to understand just how much God loves us, says Lynda Heron
GOD’S TIMING REALLY IS PERFECT
Linda Murray has learned to be obedient after waiting 40 years to answer her calling
THE GOSPEL IN SPOTLIGHT
RTC graduates Rob and Natalie Holman are finding theatre perfect for evangelism
FAITH LIKE A MUSTARD SEED
Newcastle Elim is seeing a dream come true and many lives transformed
HANDS UP TO BE A VOLUNTEER
How missions work can change your life
HOW SOCIAL MEDIA CAN HELP
Kyle Cottingham’s top tips to help churches make the most of Facebook
THE ‘SECOND CHAIR’ OPPORTUNITY
Dave Newton on why associates matter
THE MISSION JIGSAW
Putting together the pieces for outreach is a challenge, writes Laurence Singlehurst
MISSION IS FOR ALL MEN says Simon Whitley in MPower this month
DEFEND THE MOST VULNERABLE
Lyndon Bowring urges us to protect the unborn
MOBILISING THE WATCHMEN A recent rise in tragic events is a wake-up call to the Church, warns alistair Cole
I TURNED BACK TO JESUS How Peter Acreman escaped his past of abuse and is experiencing real freedom
ANSWERS with Rajinder Buxton
AND FINALLY with John Lancaster[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][td_text_with_title custom_title=”First words”]
In this, my first editorial, I want to express my thanks to Peter Wreford and the whole Direction team for their dedication to producing a quality magazine, and for their wider passion for using words and images to share the richness and power of the Christian message in ways that people can understand.
We live in a world where we are bombarded by words. Whilst some would criticise the loss of conversation in the typical family setting, a Uni- versity of California study revealed that 100,000 words cross our eyes and ears every day. That information comes through various channels, including TV, radio, the web, text messages and video games.
The sheer volume of words coming at us is beyond our ability to take those words in. Is it any wonder the writer of Ecclesiastes says, “The more the words, the less the meaning, and how does that profit anyone?” (Ecclesiastes 6:11).
Yet, our very humanity reveals that we are hugely attached to words. Our lives are punctu- ated by moments and memories where words, or a single word, speak to us in a significant way. In a baby’s first word, a mother’s voice, the loving words of a spouse or the laughter of a friend we so often find joy, strength and hope.
A recent list of the most beautiful words in the English language includes words like comfort, epiphany, gossamer, halcyon, lagoon, lilt, lullaby, melody, whisper. Such words can evoke powerful emotions and lift us beyond ordinary everyday experience.
Words matter. They move us deeply. They have the power to affect us positively or nega- tively, to shape or distort, or, equally, to liberate and to inspire.
The Christian gospel is rooted in the power and potential of words to affect and influence our lives. Jesus himself is revealed in John’s Gospel as ‘The Word’ who was ‘in the beginning’ and who ‘became flesh’. Jesus’ very life was also in his words and he said that, “Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life.”
For all who follow Christ there is both the real- ity of having received his life-giving word ourselves and of being empowered and strengthened daily to live in the truth of a whole new vocabulary. The words that we increasingly build our lives on are words like ‘forgiven’, ‘accepted’, ‘chosen’ and ‘loved’. We learn not just in the classroom, but in direct relationship with Jesus through the Holy Spirit, the marvel of God’s mercy and the wonder of his grace.
I believe we have to guard our words, both those that we let in and those which we speak out. Yet I also believe that God calls us to be creative and courageous in using words. We can use them to build one another up, to encourage and to affirm. We can use them as the Psalmist encourages us, to worship and to praise the Lord for all that he is and all he has done.
We can use them also to tell our stories and to make God’s love known in ways that those around us can understand.
That’s the vocabulary of every follower of Jesus – words of worship, words of wonder and words of witness.
General Superintendent Elim Pentecostal Churches