David's Blog

Two wives, widowed in the bombings of Coptic Churches in Egypt on Palm Sunday, speak

Two women, Samira and Sara have spoken movingly of their husbands, who were killed in the bombings on Palm Sunday in two Coptic churches in Egypt.
Samira's husband, Naseem (54), was a guard at St Mark's Church Alexandria and Sara's husband, Michael (28) was a deacon in St George Church, Tanta.
You can find their words on the Open Doors website here: Memories of husbands

Risen - showing on Saturday evening

As you'll see from the notices we're showing the film 'Risen' this Saturday at 7.30pm - popcorn & drinks from 7pm.

Here's a trailer for the film:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNGeGS_PUA8

Here too if you want to find out a little more about the film is an interesting interview with Joseph Fiennes who plays Clavius, the lead role in the film, a Roman Tribune and non-believer , who is charged with finding the body of the crucified Jesus.
In the interview he talks about the film, the making of it and to whom it might appeal. He also talks about another film he is making about Eric Liddell which serves as a kind of follow-up to 'Chariots of Fire'. It tells the story of the remainder of his life after he had turned his back on the celebrity and success that his Olympic gold medal brought him and gone to serve as a missionary in China.
You can find the interview here Interview with Joseph Fiennes

The final days of Jesus

If you want to think about what happened on each of the days of Jesus last week here are a series of short videos which will help you in that. Beginning at Palm Sunday a number of New Testament scholars give some historical, cultural and theological background to the events of Holy Week.
Click hereThe final days of Jesus

A Two-Minute Clip on Homosexuality Every Christian Should Watch

Here is a recording of Sam Alberry speaking at the General Synod of the Church of England last week and seeking to explain how Jesus message on marriage is life-giving. I came across the clip on the Gospel Coalition website.
 It can be watched here:  Sam Alberry on Jesus teaching on marriage

Killed for Christ in the Amazon

I came across this clip on the BBC website today from the Witness programme which tells the story of Jim Elliot and another 4 Christian missionaries who lost their lives in 1956 seeking to bring the good news of Jesus to an isolated tribe in Ecuador. This story had a significant impact on me as a young boy and indeed upon many more, before and since.

You can find the clip here: Killed for Christ in the Amazon

It features an interview with Valerie Shepard, the daughter of Jim & Elisabeth Elliot. You can read more about the story in Elisabeth Elliot's book Through Gates of Splendour

Forgiveness

I came across these helpful words on forgiveness in an article on the Park Forum by Steven Dilla.
You can find the whole article entitled Don't conjure forgiveness, extend it here: http://www.theparkforum.org/843-acres/dont-conjure-forgiveness-extend-it/


Forgiveness, for Jesus, is less about conjuring an emotion and more about praying to God for the ability to extend his forgiveness to those around us. “Once we start inhaling God’s fresh air, there is a good chance that we will start to breathe it out, too,” says N. T. Wright. “As we learn what it is like to be forgiven, we begin to discover that it is possible, and indeed joyful, to forgive others.”

Remember North Korea & those risking it all

Here from Open Doors (UK) is a very moving article on the challenges facing Christians in North Korea and evidence that God is at work in the middle of terrible suffering and adversity:
North Korea: Risking it all

10 questions to ask at the start of a New Year

'The beginning of a new year is an ideal time to stop, look up, and get our bearings. To that end, here are some questions to ask prayerfully in the presence of God.
  1. What’s one thing you could do this year to increase your enjoyment of God?
  2. What’s the most humanly impossible thing you will ask God to do this year?
  3. What’s the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your family life this year?
  4. In which spiritual discipline do you most want to make progress this year, and what will you do about it?
  5. What is the single biggest time-waster in your life, and what will you do about it this year?
  6. What is the most helpful new way you could strengthen your church?
  7. For whose salvation will you pray most fervently this year?
  8. What’s the most important way you will, by God’s grace, try to make this year different from last year?
  9. What one thing could you do to improve your prayer life this year?
  10. What single thing that you plan to do this year will matter most in ten years? In eternity?'
(The introduction and questions come from a post by  Donald S Whitney on the Crossway website - you can find the whole post here 10 questions to ask at the start of a New Year)

A Christmas mystery - a final quote for Advent

The following is taken from an article by James Anderson which was entitled 3 Christmas mysteries. In the article this was the first of them with the heading -The Incarnation of the Son of God. If you want to read of the other 2 mysteries you can access the whole article here: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/3-christmas-mysteries
James Anderson is associate professor of theology and philosophy at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte.

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. (John 1:14)
“The Word became flesh.” Those four words can sound so familiar to us that we fail to appreciate the magnitude of John’s statement (echoed by the other New Testament writers). The divine (v. 1) became human (v. 14). The infinite, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent Son of God took on a human nature: finite, limited in power, limited in knowledge, limited in space and time. It’s one thing to claim God would ever do such a thing. It’s yet another to suppose God could ever do such a thing—that he could clothe himself with frail humanity, veiling his divine glory without relinquishing for one moment any aspect of his divine nature. The Danish Lutheran philosopher Søren Kierkegaard referred to the incarnation as the “absolute paradox” of the Christian faith. How could the eternal inhabit the temporal? How could the finite accommodate the infinite?

We may not know how this mystery could be reality, but by the testimony of inspired Scripture we know with certainty (Luke 1:4) it was and is reality. This is a mystery of the first order.

Remember Asia Bibi & others this Christmas

Here's an encouragement to remember & pray for Asia Bibi and other Christians suffering for their faith this Christmas - read Martin Bashir's article on the BBC website
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-38222680
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