John Glass on meaning every word
1,300 YOUNG PEOPLE GATHER
A special report on Gathering 100, a highlight of Elim’s centenary celebrations
NEWS from Elim and the wider church
OUT AND ABOUT WITH THE GS
John Glass opens his diary in New Zealand
THE STORY OF A PASTOR’S WIFE
Val Reynolds shares what she has learned as a pastor’s wife in a book to help others
REAL JOY IS JESUS OVER YOU
God never intended us to deal with difficult situations ourselves, writes Lynda Heron
WHY I STUDY GOD’S GENERALS
Author Roberts Liardon explains why he writes about Christianity’s greatest heroes
HELPING PASTORS’ JOURNEYS
Elim couple David and Sheila Crabb have launched a pastoral care service
MEET ELIM’S UNSUNG HEROES
We introduce the people who work so hard at Elim International Centre
THE DIRECTIVE TO ALL CHRISTIANS
Alistair Cole examines the ways we can approach God so he speaks into our lives
EVERYTHING IS IN GOD’S HANDS
England Women’s footballer Eniola Aluko says she has learned sport isn’t everything
LEAVING A LEGACY IN EDUCATION
Dominic De Souza explains why Letchworth Elim launched a school
ACADEMY TO CHALLENGE LEADERS
Elim’s new academy aims to grow a culture of continual learning, writes Dave Newton
MUSIC REVIEWS with Ian Yates
DISCERNMENT NEEDED OVER AI
Lyndon Bowring warns of the dangers that robots may bring in the future
FULL STEAM AHEAD FOR THE MEN
Mark Lyndon-Jones looks at MPower’s successes and the events planned for 2016
NO ONE IS OUT OF GOD’S REACH
Watch out for those moments when God moves in a sovereign way, says Carl Beech
BOOKCASE with Richard Dodge
ANSWERS with Phil Weaver
AND FINALLY with John Lancaster
Over 50 million amateur photographers around the world share their photos on Flickr – a site that welcomes comments from fellow photographers and where each picture is usually accompanied by a description of its context.
A few years ago someone I know in the States posted a picture of their dog. I made a brief two-word comment but did not take the time to read the paragraph beneath it. Some time later I came back to the photo and was horrified to see what had been written. The dog was a long time family pet that had suffered a bad accident on their farm and, as no vet was accessible, their only recourse was to take a pistol to end its misery. In retrospect my comment on the photo before reading the caption of ‘great shot’ was perhaps not the best I might have used! Of course, I later apologised.
I wonder how many times a week an atheist says the word ‘goodbye’. It’s a phrase that only came into the English language in the late 16th century and is contraction of the phrase, ‘God be with you’. Words matter.
There are many sentences said unthinkingly or in haste that can lower the value of the expression. Too much money circulating in the economy means that the value of Sterling drops – so too with sentiments expressed too glibly.
How many times have we seen on Facebook someone sharing a major personal trauma that attracts a cascade of ‘praying for you’ comments that can mean anything from an upward glance to a half night of prayer.
A worthy New Year resolution might be to beware of what Jesus called in Matthew 12:36 ‘idle words’ – words that should work but don’t. Jesus cursed the fig tree because it promised more than it advertised. Expectantly foraging behind the foliage that promised produce, Jesus was left empty handed. Televangelists take heed.
Some readers may have heard me tell the story of a visiting preacher who turned off the overhead projector in the middle of a particularly long worship time, much to the amazement of the local pastor and the chagrin of the worship leader, to ask the congregation if any of them could remember the last but one song. No one could. He produced the acetate (how many of us remember them) and displayed a song in the vein of ‘All To Jesus I Surrender’ that had been forgotten almost before the decibels had drained away.
We expect our heavenly father to stand by his words, and consequently he expects us, as his children, to live by the same family rules. Ecclesiastes 5:2-6 is challenging at the best of times but especially pointed in The Message. So when I say, Happy New Year, I really do mean it – every syllable.
May 2016 prove to be a year of blessing, encouragement and affirmation for you and for all those you love. And may you experience the joy that comes with knowing that the God we serve will always keep his word.
Elim Pentecostal Churches