Walking in Reverse

by guest blogger Pastor Terry Nightingale

I was talking with a friend the other day.

He had been offered a role in an organisation where his unique abilities and connections would be vital for the next phase of their vision.

He was flattered with the offer but extremely reluctant to accept it. The trouble was, he had worked for the company several years previously and, although under different management back then, he had not found them willing to embrace his ideas. In fact, the feelings of rejection were still quite raw.

The organisation had moved on since that time with the new leadership team taking it in an exciting new direction, but my friend could only see the pain he felt eight years ago.

While we were talking, I found my self thinking of Moses.

Moses had left Egypt out of favour and under a cloud. After a misguided attempt to win justice for a fellow Israelite, he not only felt the rejection of his own people but the sentence of death from his adoptive father – the Pharaoh. Moses had no choice but to close that chapter of his life and move on.

Years later, and now with a wife and family, God called him back, ‘I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt… the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.’ (Ex 3: 7 – 10)

I wonder what went through Moses’s mind.

The first question he asks God is, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?’ In other words, ‘Lord, I burned that bridge decades ago, they didn’t want my help then; I’m sure as heck they don’t need it now.’ God had to reassure Moses that things were different now: there’s a different Pharaoh on the throne and the elders of Israel will listen to him.

A lengthy conversation ensued between the Lord and Moses and the reluctant prophet finally agreed to do the job.

The end of the story is worth noting: Moses led his people out of slavery, away from the threat of the Egyptian army, to the mountain of God where the community was effectively re-born as people of the living God.

History as we know it flowed from that moment.

Moses submitted to the pain of revisiting the past and a nation was established amidst miracles and wonders. For God’s purposes to move forward, one man had to step back into a place he thought he had walked away from. For Moses, returning to Egypt would have felt like going backwards, opening old wounds, but in God’s master plan it was the key to a significant advance of His purposes.

I wonder if God is calling you to return to something or someone. Life may have moved on, but God is a God of history as well as the future and the two are more than linked. In order for God to bear his fruit in and through you in the future, maybe he is calling you to walk through an old familiar door – even if just for a season.

God bless – Terry

If you found this encouraging you can find more short devotions like this one at https://pastorterry4.wixsite.com/website


About guest blogger Terry Nightingale:

Terry-Nightingale
Pastor Terry Nightingale

Terry is a pastor serving in the southern suburbs of Perth, Western Australia, having previously worked in education both in the UK and Perth. Terry has been involved in Christian ministry in a variety of ways over the years from teaching to evangelism, from music ministry to pastoral care.

Terry and Sue moved to Australia in 2003 from the UK. Today they have two grown-up children both married, and two grandchildren. They enjoy walking and watching Science Fiction movies.

Bible Bingo: A Great Game for the Whole Family

by Guest Blogger Alvin Gan

Most of us have, at one time or other, played a game of Bingo. This classic game with numbered cards and balls is a simple yet entertaining game that’s great for bringing people together.

Bible Games Central has designed a game that combines the fun and interaction of Bingo with learning about the books and sections of the Bible – Bible Bingo.

While usual Bingo cards contain numbers, the specially designed Bible Bingo cards feature the books of the Bible. Each card is organized into sections of the Bible, such as Old Testament Law, Old Testament History, New Testament Letters from Paul, amongst others. Each section has a unique border color that corresponds to the Bible Bingo Calling Cards. With repeated play using different Bible Bingo cards, players become familiar with the books and sections of the Bible.

Preparation

Download, print and cut up the Bible Bingo Cards. (Each sheet contains 2 unique cards.)

This printable contains 12 unique Bible Bingo Cards. You do not need to print all the cards. Just print as many as you need. (If you have more than 12 players, you will need to print multiple copies.)

alvin_7-18-20_5_Bible Bingo Cards

Download, print and cut up the Bible Bingo Calling Cards. There are 66 unique calling cards, corresponding to the 66 Books of the Bible. Place all 66 Bible Bingo Calling Cards in a stack. Give the Calling Cards a good shuffle to mix them up.

alvin_7-18-20_3_Bible Bingo Calling Cards

You may also like to download and print the following optional resources for your reference during the game or for your discussion thereafter.

Books of the Bible Chart

alvin_7-18-10_2_Books of the Bible Chart

Sections of the Bible Overview

alvin_7-18-20_Sections of the Bible Overview

 How to Play Bible Bingo

Give each player 1 Bible Bingo Card. (You can also give each player 2 or more cards.)

Have everyone cross out the “Free Space” square in the middle of their Bible Bingo Cards.

The game leader picks 1 Bible Bingo Calling Card at a time from the stack and calls out the book of the Bible and the section which it falls under.

Players with that book on their Bible Bingo Card can cross out that square.

The first player to cross out 5 squares in a row (in any direction) and shouts “Bible Bingo!” wins.

For those who enjoy Bingo may also be interested in Thanksgiving Bingo and Christmas Bingo.


Alvin Gan

Alvin Gan is the father of three noisy (but lovely) teenagers and founder of 2 websites that provide creative evangelism and discipleship resources.

www.LetTheLittleChildrenCome.com  specializes in unique child evangelism tools and resources to help convey the plan of salvation for kids effectively.

www.BibleGamesCentral.com develops Bible games for youths, kids and even adults to teach spiritual truths.

 

 

 

Bible Trivia for Everyone

by Guest Blogger Alvin Gan

Even though it has been more than four decades since the iconic “Trivia Pursuit” board game was launched in the 1980s, trivia games have continued to be extremely popular. Trivia game shows such as “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” and “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?” had huge followings and “Jeopardy” is still going strong after an incredible 36 seasons.

With the trivia games being so popular,  it’s not surprising that Bible trivia games are widely played in the Christian community. Bible Trivia games are great entertainment. You can have fun with friends while challenging each other’s knowledge of the Bible, and you can learn more about the Bible at the same time.

But there are some downsides to playing Bible trivia games. Not everyone is equally familiar with the Bible, and pitting one player against another may be embarrassing and discouraging for some. There is also the danger of more knowledgeable players dominating the game. This is not to say that we should stop playing Bible trivia altogether.

Bible Games Central has designed a unique version of Bible Trivia that overcomes these pitfalls. In this version of Bible Trivia, everyone has a chance to score points. For each question, there is one Answerer and one Asker, while the remaining players are Guessers who can score points by guessing if the answer given is right or wrong.

A downloadable Bible Trivia Board and Bible Trivia Cards are provided. (Questions are divided into 5 categories: (1) Easy, (2) People & Places, (3) How Many, (4) Old Testament, and (5) New Testament.)

The game works like this:

  1. The Answerer rolls the dice to determine the question’s category:

(1) Easy

(2) People & Places

(3) How Many

(4) Old Testament

(5) New Testament

(6) Answerer gets to choose

  1. The Asker (player on the left of the Answerer) draws the top card of that pile and reads the question aloud. If there are no remaining cards in that pile, the Answerer gets to choose any of the remaining categories.
  1. After the question is read, the Answerer indicates his/her answer by placing their token on either A, B, C or D on the Bible Trivia Board. Once the token is placed, Answerers cannot change their answer.

    alvin-gan_6-13-20

  1. The question then becomes open to all the Guessers. Guessers will indicate whether they agree or disagree with the Answerer by placing their tokens on either Agree or Disagree on the Bible Trivia Board. (To avoid confusion, each player should have a unique token.)
  1. The Asker reveals the correct answer after all Guessers have placed their tokens.

Since points are awarded to all who answered or guessed correctly, the difference between the scores of the strongest and weakest players is narrowed, making it more fun for everyone.

Playing Bible Trivia is a fun, interactive way to improve players’ knowledge of the Bible and may even motivate everyone to read the Bible more. Whether at home or church, Bible Trivia is a great game to play on a regular basis. So there is really no losers in a game of Bible Trivia.


Alvin Gan

Alvin Gan is the father of three noisy (but lovely) teenagers and founder of 2 websites that provide creative evangelism and discipleship resources.

www.LetTheLittleChildrenCome.com  specializes in unique child evangelism tools and resources to help convey the plan of salvation for kids effectively.

www.BibleGamesCentral.com develops Bible games for youths, kids and even adults to teach spiritual truths.

 

 

 

Godly Fire Rekindled

by Guest Blogger Maria Nagel

Have you ever wondered what is written in God’s book about you? If you’ve answered yes, the following is for you. I gave my life to Christ seven years ago and would consider myself a devout Christian. However, when the Covid-19 crisis hit worldwide, I asked myself three crucial questions:

  1. What does it mean to be a follower of Jesus Christ?
  2. What exactly does God expect of me in this end time?
  3. How can I fulfil what I was created for?

The answers came gradually through additional questions and facts.

  • Jesus speaks to his sheep ===> Whose voice is dictating my actions and influencing my life? Is it the voice of my spouse, my friends, my ego, the enemy . . . or the voice of my Shepherd, Jesus Christ?
  • Jesus is the light of the world and instructs us to be lights as well ===> How’s my light? Is it dim, off, or shining bright?
  • We were all given talents ====> What are my talents? Am I using them in a way that pleases God?
  • Jesus overcame the world ===> Am I an overcomer when facing problems, trials, and temptations?
  • Sin separates me from God ===> Is my garment still spotless and clean? Do I truly know and do what pleases and displeases God?
  • Before praying I am supposed to settle all disputes ===> Could it be that my prayers are not reaching God when I have unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, or other sins in my life?
  • Being a follower of Jesus Christ means being a soul winner ===> How am I contributing in spreading the Gospel?
  • The Holy Spirit is on earth. The Father appointed him to be my helper, comforter and teacher ===> How well do I know him? Do my thoughts, words, and actions draw him close to me or chase him away?
  • The Bible is the living word of God. It’s a super food. In these dark times I must not be only physically but also spiritually strong ===> Is my soul man being fed or starving?
  • The blood of Jesus is powerful ===> Do I invoke and apply it?
  • Jesus fasted and prayed ===> Do I follow his example? It’s time to extend my prayer list and also fast and pray for the needy, lost, depressed, sick, suicidal, and those who hurt me.
  • They shall know us by our love ====> As a Christian I am called to be a reflection of God who is love. I must learn to love my neighbour as myself. May all my actions be rooted in selfless love.

This train of thought birthed in me the decision to make the children’s books I’ve written and illustrated available as free downloads in over 15 languages.

Beloved, God needs you. The harvest is ripe and this dark world needs one more light: yours. Turn on your light. Rekindle your godly fire and fulfil what God has written in his heavenly book about you for this time. Cooperate with the Father on his terms. Time is short.

______________________________________

Maria T. Nagel is a wife, mother, inventor, author, and Illustrator. She is originally from Cameroon and currently lives with her family in Vienna, Austria. Maria went on mission by herself to the Philippines, China, and the Bahamas to share the gospel. Her eBooks for children are available free of charge in over 15 languages on her website.

After the Virus

by Guest Blogger Dr. Howard Morgan

Howard-Morgan_logo

I believe the Lord wants to use this season of “sheltering in place” to give us all an opportunity to reassess where we are in our walk with the Lord, and what He has really called us to do. When we exit “Coronaville,” I believe that we are all to enter into new places of fruitful service for the Kingdom of God.

I find it interesting and significant that we have recently experienced the Passover season. This is the Biblical New Year, so it is a time for “new beginnings.” I believe that this is the time to get ready to leave your personal Egypt.

The Hebrew word for Egypt is “Mitzrayim” which means “constrain” or “bind” (as in shackle or imprison), or bondage, or slavery. I believe that the Lord wants to deliver us all from any bondage to the “gods of Egypt.”

That is, those influences, natural, human and demonic, which inspire thoughts, and the feelings those thoughts generate, which are in fact lies that constrain, bind, imprison and enslave you.

This is the season for freshly hearing the voice of God call you into new levels of freedom as you embark on your own personal Exodus from wherever and however “Egypt” still operates in your life. As you make the choice to “leave Egypt,” you can reaffirm and renew your faith in the New Covenant realities the death and resurrection of the Messiah offers you.

We are all called to bear “much fruit” (John 15:8; Colossians 1:10), as we overcome the many enemies we encounter, as we enter into the spiritual battle of conquering our own spiritual “Promised Land” which flows with “Milk and Honey” (Genesis 26:2-5; Leviticus 20:24; Numbers 14:8). This “Promised Land” is your personal inheritance, calling, and destiny in the Lord. The “Milk and Honey” promised to us is the “much fruit”
you bear and the great reward you will receive, as you faithfully steward your gifts, talents, and all that has been entrusted to you (Matthew 24:45-47, 25:19-23; Luke 12:42-44, 19:11-19; 1 Corinthians 4:2; Colossians 3:23; 1 Peter 4:10).

QUESTIONS

We are all aware that we are now living in serious and transformative times. The Lord does not want His people to return to the “old normal” but to enter into new realms of fruitfulness for His Kingdom. To help us pursue that goal as we “shelter in place,” I am asking a series of questions that I pray will help you probe the depths of what the Lord is speaking in your spirit (1 Corinthians 2:10-12).
What has the Lord called you to do?
What has God truly spoken to you?
What Scriptures has the Lord given you concerning His will for your life?
What prophetic words given to you are challenging, confirming, and encouraging you?
Do you want to fulfill God’s plans and purposes for your life?
What are the gifts He has given to you?
Are there gifts and talents that you are burying?
Why are you burying them?
Is there anything that stops you? What is it? Why do you allow it to determine your destiny?
What can you do about it? What is the first step you can take?
What and whose “words” are you believing?
Are they words of life or death? Of faith or unbelief? Are they words that encourage and help you?
Or words that discourage or even stop you?
Is there anyone who stops you? How do they do it? Why do they do it? What is their motive?
Why do you let them influence you?
Why are their beliefs about you more significant than your own beliefs about yourself?
Why are their words and actions more valuable to you than your own?
Are their words more important to you than the Word of the Lord? Why?

LIES

Are there “thorns” (lies) that are strangling your potential fruit for the Kingdom? (Luke 8:14)
Are there lies that have defined you in the past?
Are there lies that you still believe about yourself? your future? your gifts and callings?

What defines you? Who defines you? How is your Identity defined?
If I ask you to fill in this blank, what things would you say about yourself: “I am a ______.”

When lies define us, they create a false “self-image.” When we believe lies about ourselves, we don’t live in honesty with ourselves, with others, or with the Lord. When we live in a false self-image, we believe that “I am this kind of a person,” when you are actually not. Or, you believe, “I am not that kind of a person,” when in your heart of hearts, you know you are.

As the Lord deals with us about His plans for our life, we can sense this conflict and dishonesty in the depths of our spirit. If we don’t overcome the lies that create that dishonesty, we eventually surrender to them, and believe that is just who we are. We end up living very superficial mediocre spiritual lives with minimal fruit, and justify our life choices by believing, “Well that is just who I am.”
When we learn how to “cast down those lying thoughts” (2 Corinthians 10:5), and take off the “old self” which is built on those lies, and put on the “new self” – which is being renewed after the image of the Lord (Ephesians 4:22-24; Colossians 3:10), then the truths of God’s Word to us, His gifts and callings, will create in us a solid supernatural identity of who we are “in the Messiah” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Building upon that identity, “no
weapon formed against us can succeed,” (Isaiah 54:17). No one’s words or behavior, no wrong thoughts or bad feelings, no false human or supernatural authorities, nothing and no one can stop us from fulfilling all the Lord has called us to do (Romans 8.31-39).

WORDS FROM OTHERS

Not only are we entering a season where we must make new internal choices, but we are moving into a season where we must not allow other people’s words or actions determine our destiny. You will not let anyone exercise an authority over you that is not from the Lord. All godly authority is motivated to “build you up” (2 Corinthians 10:8, 13:10) to “teach and train you” (Ephesians 4:11-13) to find and fulfill your gifts, calling, and destiny in the Messiah!

FORGIVENESS

This is also where the life transforming power of forgiveness can come alive in your life. As you forgive everyone for everything, you set yourself free from them, and anything they have said or done. Holding onto unforgiveness, bitterness, and resentment, is like swallowing poison and expecting the other person (or persons) to die. As it has been truly said, forgiveness is a gift you give yourself! Give yourself that gift. Forgive so you
can forget and move on without those negative influences in your life. I know this is not easy to do, and I do not write it as if it is. When you come to the place where you find you just cannot forgive, turn to the Lord (which is exactly what repentance is) and ask Him, the Great Forgiver, to rise up within you and exercise His forgiving grace to flow into you and then through you. As you receive His forgiveness for yourself, you will find it
enabling you to forgive others.

FAILURE

Don’t let past failures or the fear of failure stop you. So many people stop in their walk of faith because they have a fear of failure. Some because they are afraid of success. However fear operates in your life; do not let it determine your future or your destiny. God has not given us a “spirit of fear” (2 Timothy 1:7). Fear never comes from the Lord; it is always built on lies we believe. When we expose the lies, the fear will die. I have personally experienced the life transforming power of this truth.

Even if you fail, so what? Failure is not an issue for the Lord. Obedience and Faithfulness are. The Scriptures teach us that the Lord will say “Well done, my good and faithful servant,” not “my successful servant,” because God’s measure of success is our faithfulness and obedience.

God’s measuring systems is not like ours. In fact, Jesus taught us that the things people esteem are an abomination to God (Luke 16:15). We look on externals, God looks on the condition of our heart and at the fruit of our lives (1 Samuel 16:7; Jeremiah 17:10; Matthew 13:23; John 15:1-6 ). We are called to obey and leave the results to the one who “gives the increase” (1 Corinthians 3:7).

It is better by far to stand before the Lord on the Great Day of Accountability and say, “I obeyed and launched out in faith, although things didn’t work out – it ‘failed,’” than to tell Him that you “buried” what was entrusted to you, for whatever reason. The Lord will not be smiling at you!

When the Lord first called me into leadership in the Body of Christ, I was so aware of what I considered my own inabilities, weaknesses, and lack of qualifications, that I was very reluctant, resistant, and I discovered, rebellious to His calling. After many attempts to convince the Lord that He was making a mistake, and that He was only asking me because He actually wanted someone else, He said to me, “How dare you insult me!! If I
wanted someone else, they would be here.” That still did not convince me to accept His call. What finally did, was when He said these words to me; “It will be better for you on the Day of Judgment to become an Elder and fail, than not to become an Elder at all.” That put the fear of God into me, and I became an Elder, and that started me on my journey into ministry.

We are all wise to follow the last recorded words of Miriam (Mary), the mother of Yeshua (Jesus), who at the wedding at Cana told the wine stewards, “Whatever He tells you, do it!” (John 2:5).

APPROVAL OF OTHERS

Don’t seek for the approval of people, only for the approval of God (1 Corinthians 4:5; Romans 2:29). What ever you launch out to do, remember it is always primarily to please the Lord, and it is His approval, and only His approval we must seek. When you live in this place, you are truly free, and the words of Jesus become a reality in your life. “If the Son sets you free, you are free indeed!” (John 8:36) .

When the approval of anyone else is more important to you than the approval of the Lord, that person is now “Lord” of your life because you do what pleases them. So just put the word “lord” in front of their name and bow down to them. Because that is exactly what you are doing!

If you want anything more than the will of God, then that thing similarly becomes the “Lord” of your life. Put the word “lord” in front of the name of whatever it is and see how you bow down to it. It is the false god, the idol, that you truly worship and serve, because you do everything to get it, whatever it is.

MENTORS

Who in your life do you trust and respect? Invite them to mentor you into your next level of faithful and fruitful obedience.

If you don’t have anyone in your life you trust and respect, ask the Lord to give you such people. Seek them out, they are out there. There are lots of true shepherds in the Body of Christ. There is an old saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” Let the Holy Spirit guide you. Remember “If you seek, you will find. If you knock, the door will open” (Matthew 7:7; James 4:2).

The Lord may even use the internet to help you find the mentors, guides, pastors, or shepherds you are seeking. As you search, be wise and cautious. Godly mentors and shepherds are motivated to help you find and fulfill God’s will. As they pour into your life, they are worthy of your support. The “wolves in sheep’s clothing” (Matthew 7:15) are only interested in how they can use you or what they can take from you. They are experts at intimidation, manipulation, and control. God’s servants will always endeavor to express “the wisdom which comes from above” (James 3:13-18). They will never intimidate, manipulate, or control you.

Perhaps you are being called to open your life and begin to mentor others, and that is the new season for new fruit for you. Is God calling you to open your home for prayer, or worship, or Bible study? You don’t have to proclaim yourself as some great teacher; just as a fellow student, wanting to learn, change and grow and help others do the same. Is He calling you into other forms of service? The call to serve is as diverse as the needs we
see all around us.

NEW SEASON

This is the season of making a determination, that come what may, you will be found faithful on that day. You will be one of those to whom the Lord says, “well done.” Not because you never failed, but because you always were a “good and faithful” steward of that which has been entrusted to you (Matthew 25:20-23; Luke 19:16-19).

So beloved, what is the Lord telling you to do? What has He told you in the past? What stops you? Who stops you? Decide that it, or they, or both, will not determine your destiny anymore!! When we all leave “Coronaville” let us go on into new realms of faithful obedience and increasing fruitfulness for the Kingdom of God.

Wisely use this time to deal with those “gods of Egypt” that desire to keep you enslaved, and hear the Passover call to rise up and leave. Go where you have never gone before! Do what you have never done before! Become who you have never been before!
Remember Jesus taught us that “Everyone who is born of the Spirit is like the wind. You don’t know where the wind came from or where it is going” (John 3:8). When God called Abraham, in whose spiritual footsteps we are following (Romans 4:16), to leave his home, he left “not knowing where he was going” (Hebrews11:8).

Several years ago, we received this prophetic word in Minnesota. The Lord said, “You are going into uncharted waters where no one has gone before.” Of course, when you hear something like that, you just keep it in your heart and test it. About six months later, I was ministering in the UK, and at the end of a meeting a sister had a prophetic word for us. The Lord said, “I have the charts, and where you are going, I have already been.” Janet and I were amazed and knew exactly what this word meant, as it confirmed and completed what was said to us months earlier in another part of the world.

I believe the Lord is now saying to the whole Body of Christ, that “You are going into uncharted waters, where you have never been before, but I have the charts, and where you are going, I have already been.” This is the time for each of us to reset the sails of our life of faith and move into those “uncharted waters.” If you don’t do it now, when will you ever do it? Live your life with no regrets, no buried gifts, talents, or callings.

FREE FROM THE SPIRIT OF RELIGION

Some years ago, the Lord told me that He was “going to deliver the Body of Christ from the Spirit of the Christian Religion.” When He spoke that to me, I saw a picture in my spirit of a small country church with a pitched roof and a tall steeple. As I watched, the church was split in half by a huge tree emerging from the base of the building and breaking the building in two.

I believe the Lord is calling His people to get free from anything, or anyone, that seeks to intimidate, manipulate, and control them. Do not let any beliefs or people stop you from launching out into your personal deep waters, into your own “uncharted waters, where you have never gone before!”

Use this time at home to go before the Lord in prayer, worship and study of the Scriptures. You can freshly hear His voice, so that when the virus is defeated and life returns to “normal,” you don’t return to your “old normal”!

Launch out and take the risk of faith! As you do, you will learn, change, grow, and bear new fruit. You will go where you have never gone before! You will do what you have never done before! You will become who you have never been before! You will bear new fruit for the Kingdom of God and will stand before a smiling Jesus hearing Him say to you, “Well done….” (Matthew 25:20-23; Luke 19:16-19).

My offer to mentor you toward this goal……If, as you read this, something in your spirit is connecting with me and you think that I can be a mentor to you in your pursuit of God’s purposes for your life, email me, and we can begin to discuss how that process can
unfold.

Shalom and Blessings
Dr. Howard & Janet Morgan


howard-morganDr. Howard Morgan is a Messianic Jewish prophetic teacher whose anointed, insightful, and humorous ministry is inspiring, empowering and equipping believers around the world. He is a gifted communicator who is able to present Scriptural truths clearly and precisely, so that the principles of the Kingdom of God are plainly understood and easily applied. He and his wife Janet have over 40 years of ministry experience. They were pastors in New York City for eleven years and have been in full time travelling prophetic and teaching ministry since 1987. In addition to their teaching and writing ministry they are actively mentoring leaders and discipling believers at all stages of spiritual growth. They have an intense passion to see the entire Body of Christ come to spiritual maturity and fruitfulness, as well as a vision to see the Church restored to her Hebraic Roots, and to her Biblical relationship and responsibility to the Jewish people. For more about Dr. Morgan and his ministry, please visit his website, www.HMMin.com You may contact him at Drm@Hmmin.com

Christian House Sitters

By Guest Blogger Dr Ray White

Are you stuck at home due to the CoronaVirus? So am I, but once it is over I am looking forward to enjoying a lovely holiday somewhere special. You may be too.

BUT THE COST!!! And leaving your house empty carries many risks.

Don’t worry. We can help.

Christian House Sitters was started in order to provide rent-free vacations for Christians and reliable house sitters for homeowners who need someone they can trust to look after their home, pets, and garden while they are away.

Through a free registration with Christian House Sitters, we can help you go away feeling safe and secure knowing that your home is being looked after and, if necessary, your pets are being cared for and loved in their own home. Christian House Sitters offers rent-free vacation accommodation to our members all over the world.

Houseowners do not pay anything to have their property listed. House sitters are only charged £25 per year. In return for this, many enjoy numerous rent-free vacations each year.

Christian House Sitters is not a money-making business but a ministry to support the work and people of God. All fees from House Sitters membership go to support, feed and look after children at the Home of Peace Christian Children’s Home in Kenya. I hope you will visit our ministry website. You may also want to read a recent blog post telling something about the ministry’s background and giving current prayer requests.

We all enjoy travelling to new places, but accommodation can be very expensive. God designed us to take time off occasionally—we all need a holiday. Our spiritual, mental, and physical health benefits from having a break. We become more efficient as Christians and in our home and work lives. Christian House Sitters can help you do this. I hope you will visit our website to learn more about how it all works.

God bless you,

Ray

Recently Available Rent-Free Holidays through Christian House Sitters

Top Row: Gloucester England, New Zealand, Peak District England

Second Row: QLD Australia, Wisconsin USA


About Ray and Marilyn White

We are Marilyn and Ray White, a fun-loving Christian couple who have been in Christian work for over thirty years. Marilyn was born in England but moved to Zimbabwe as a baby. At the age of sixteen, she moved to South Africa. Ray was born in South Africa and grew up on a farm. We met in Johannesburg and got married in 1966.

Ray worked in business for many years. Then he worked for Youth for Christ in South Africa then went on to Bible College and pastored a church. In 1982 we moved from South Africa to England, where we now live in Somerset.

In addition to his theological training, Ray trained in psychology. Marilyn is also a trained counsellor and manager. In addition to the counselling, we trained Christian counsellors both in our local area and by invitation in other areas of the UK. In total over 700 people completed the training courses. Many are serving the Lord by working in or through their local churches. We also ran a secular Stress Management business.

We are now retired and focus our time and attention on Christian House Sitters (CHS), Home of Peace (the children’s home that is supported by CHS), TLC Children’s Trust TLC Children’s Trust (the charity that handles all the income from CHS and all funds for the children’s home).

Ray also has an active ministry preaching at various churches and running seminars by invitation. He served as a member of our Church Leadership Team for many years until we moved from Sussex to Somerset. He has written three books.

How Do I Share the Gospel?

College studentsby Guest Blogger Alvin Gan

Most of us are aware that God wants us to share the Gospel. Jesus gave the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” We are to go and tell others about the good news about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, so that they may receive eternal life through Jesus.

But perhaps what is less clear is how we should go about doing this? Pastors and preachers preach the Gospel over the pulpit. Missionaries travel the world to share the Gospel. But what about the rest of us?

Align Your Life with the Gospel

Before we go around telling others about Jesus, it is important that we first align our lives to the Gospel.

“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” 1 Peter 3:15-16

We can break this passage down into four parts below:

  1. In our hearts, revere Christ as Lord

In other words, be a true follower of Jesus. Let Jesus take the lead. Don’t live according to your own agenda, your own likes and dislikes, but according to the Word of God.

  1. Be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks for the reason of the hope that you have

What is the hope that we have? We all have sinned, and our sins separate us from God. But God has forgiven our sins; we now have a relationship with God, and we will one day be with Him in heaven.

What is the reason for our hope? Christ is the reason for our hope. He has taken the punishment for our sins by dying on the cross. He was buried but became alive again on the third day. Because we believe and have put our faith in Jesus, our sins have been forgiven.

The Bible tells us to be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks us for the reason of our hope. But take a step back and think about this: Would anyone ask us anything about this hope unless they see evidence of it in your life? Does your life give any hint that you have a relationship with God, and that you are looking forward to spending eternity in heaven with Him?

  1. Do this with gentleness and respect

Galatians 5:22-23 tells us that “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” When we tell others about Jesus, not everyone will accept the good news. Some may refuse to listen and other may disagree or even be outrightly hostile. We must be Spirit-led in our response. Do not pick a fight with anyone or try to shove Jesus down their throats. Instead, pray for them and ask the Holy Spirit to soften their hearts to the Gospel.

  1. Have a clear conscience

Actions speak louder than words. Walk the talk; ensure that your actions and lifestyle match your belief in Jesus. In that way, others will see the good work of the Holy Spirit in your life and be more receptive when you tell them about Jesus.

When after we have internalized the Gospel and have God in our lives, we can be ready to share it with others. But there is more . . .

What to Say When Sharing the Gospel

“For, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” Romans 10:13-14

It is important for us to tell others about Jesus, so that they can call upon Him. But what exactly do we say?

  1. Your personal story

One of the most powerful stories you can tell is that of your own life. You can tell them about your life before knowing Jesus, how you met Jesus, and how Jesus has transformed your life.

  1. The Gospel

The apostle Paul explains the Gospel this way:

“Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scripture.” 1 Corinthians 15:1-4

A simple way you can share the Gospel goes like this:

  • God is holy.
  • We are not holy. We all have sinned. We have done things that are wrong.
  • Because of our sins, we are separated from God.
  • Jesus is the Son of God. He is without sin but came to earth and died on the cross to take the punishment for our sins. He was buried and became alive on the third day.
  • Because of what Jesus has done, we can receive forgiveness for our sins. Jesus is the only way for us to become reconciled with God.
  • If we repent of our sins and ask God for forgiveness, He will forgive us. We can have a relationship with God now and one day be with God in heaven.

Using Gospel Tracts

Gospel tracts are a useful tool for sharing the Gospel. These small pamphlets explain the good news about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. They help us communicate the key points of the Gospel and show readers how they can receive salvation by putting their faith in Jesus. There is a large selection of Gospel tracts to choose from, catering to different audiences. For instance, tracts for the elderly have bigger font sizes. But more important than readability is relatability. Choose one that fits your reader’s profile. The most common tracts are designed for adults generally, but some designed for specific interest groups contain tailored language, humor and analogies. Tracts for youths feature visuals and topics that appeal to them. A good children’s tract contains features that capture and hold the child’s attention while not distracting them from the good news.

Another advantage of the Gospel tract is they usually contain pictures and colors that are helpful in illustrating the good news. Research has shown that more than half of the population are visual rather than auditory learners. Sharing the Gospel with illustrations and other visual aids often helps the listener better grasp and remember what you are telling them. For example, the bridge Gospel presentation illustrates that sin separates man from God but Jesus, through His death and resurrection, is the only way to bridge the gap. Another classic example uses the colors to share the Gospel. This can take the form of the Wordless Book or, more creatively, salvation bracelets, wordless magic bag, Gospel plane and other examples.

Rely on God

Whether you choose to share the Gospel with or without the use of a Gospel tract, bear in mind that it is the Holy Spirit who will minister to the hearts of your listeners. Pray for your listener and be sensitive to the leading of the Spirit.

If you have the privilege of leading someone to Jesus, remember that it is important to continue following up with the new believer. Remember Jesus’s commandment, to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). Sharing the Gospel and leading someone in prayer is only the beginning of a long discipleship process.


Guest Blogger Alvin Gan

Alvin Gan is the father of three noisy (but lovely) teenagers and founder of 2 websites that provide creative evangelism and discipleship resources.

www.LetTheLittleChildrenCome.com  specializes in unique child evangelism tools and resources to help convey the plan of salvation for kids effectively.

www.BibleGamesCentral.com develops Bible games for youths, kids and even adults to teach spiritual truths.

Laughing with God and Each Other

by guest blogger Michele Olson from Lake Girl Publishing

Have you ever loved an episode of the iconic TV masterpiece, I Love Lucy? Whether it’s the chocolate factory, stomping the grapes, or one of the many hijinks that Lucy and Ethel arrive at every week, the show has given countless people a ton of laughs.

The Bible talks about laughter in Proverbs 17:22 from The Message (MSG):

A cheerful disposition is good for your health; gloom and doom leave you bone-tired. Laughter can lead to a cheerful disposition.

I like to envision Jesus laughing. We get a hint of that when he talks about the children in Matthew 18:

“Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom. What’s more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it’s the same as receiving me.”

When he talked about this, he was with a child. Can you imagine Him enjoying the child before He made this statement – laughing and playing with the little one?

And from Mark 10:16

Don’t push these children away. Don’t ever get between them and me. These children are at the very center of life in the kingdom. Mark this: Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in.” Then, gathering the children up in his arms, he laid his hands of blessing on them.

Our Lord loved play, children, and laughing! We don’t often envision Him like that, but as a human, he had those moments, too.

As God, He loves everyone. As Jesus, He had people whose company He enjoyed while on earth. A good example is His friendship with Lazarus, Mary, and Martha. When Lazarus died, Jesus wept as we read in John 11:35. He wept in His humanity. It is possible He was thinking back to their times of laughter and fun. He was engaged with them as true friends and the sorrow on their faces brought Him to tears. Jesus knew firsthand every emotion we will ever experience.

Being a Christian is serious business, we are about the work of the Kingdom. But, let’s remember that within that calling, is the joy of laughter and humor. If you look closely, you’ll see the Holy Spirit puts moments in your path to make you smile, really smile.

When we are told in Scriptures that every tear will be wiped from our eyes, perhaps the next moment will be the biggest moment of laughter and sheer joy that we’ve ever known!

Enjoying the laughter in life, along with the sorrow is a big reason I wrote Being Ethel (In a world that loves Lucy), my novel that takes place on Mackinac Island in 1979. There’s romance, suspense, and an I Love Lucy loving nun! It’s a faith journey through the main characters who love to watch I Love Lucy together. If you wonder if it’s a book that might bring a smile to you, here are a few questions that will help you find out!

  • If you relish in re-enjoying or discovering new places, you’re gonna to love it! (Mackinac Island)
  • If you love a clean romance with mystery, almost cozy, but no murder, you’re gonna love it!
  • If you love Old Hollywood and have seen your share of black and white movies, you’re gonna love it!
  • If you love watching I Love Lucy and new insights from “fellow” viewers, you’re gonna love it!
  • If you love all the great TV and movies that focused on nuns, (Can I get a Hayley Mills, Julie Andrews what what?), you’re gonna love it!
  • If you like to see a faith walk of someone who struggles, but in an engaging, authentic, real person way, you’re gonna love it!
  • If you love the simplicity of the 70s and a life with no cell phones, you’re gonna love it!
  • If you love a Nora-Ephronesque approach to life with a bit of snarky attitude, you’re gonna love it!

It’s my great joy to share Being Ethel (In a world that loves Lucy) with others. Within the story is the greatest story ever told. Remember, our Savior laughed, and you can too. In Him we know ultimate creativity, love, and laughter. Rejoice and laugh! It will do your heart so much good.​


About the Author Michele Olson

Michele Olson--Women in Business SummitMichèle Olson has an over-forty-year career in advertising and marketing as a writer in all mediums, with an emphasis in health writing. She has also enjoyed a professional voice career including time as a DJ (yes, even when they still played records!) and has voiced local to national commercials and voice projects.

It has always been her dream to segue into fiction and Being Ethel (In a world that loves Lucy) is the first in a series based on Mackinac Island—a tiny island in the Straits of Mackinac that connect the Upper and Lower Peninsula of Michigan. A visitor there along with her husband for over thirty years, she loves to tell people about this unique place with no cars and plenty of fudge!

A mom, a mother-in-love, and a “Gee Gee” (G as in good), Michèle resides with her husband in the shadow of Lambeau Field, where life around football abounds. She cherishes her faith and family above all and is delighted to take you on this trip to Mackinac Island, a place that has brought her so much respite and joy. This is the first in a series of three novels to be set on the island. Next? It’s a trip back to Mackinac in Being Dorothy (In a world longing for home).

She loves connecting, so reach back through all the social media links provided.

Facebook.com/LakeGirlPublishing
Twitter @MoDawnWriter
Instagram.com/lakegirlpublishing
Email Info@LakeGirlPublishing
Website: LakeGirlPublishing.com

Bible Verses about Children

by Guest Blogger Alvin Gann

Scripture about children is abundant and can be found in both the Old and New Testaments. These passages teach parents how to raise their kids and disciple them to follow Jesus. While the Bible is full of Scripture about children, these Bible verses often address varying topics.

Here are several of them with downloadable wallpapers for your desktop and mobile devices:

Children Matter to God and His Plan for the Kingdom

An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.” Luke 9:46-48 (NIV)  

People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them. Mark 10:13-16 (NIV)


The Discipleship and Discipline of Children Is Important

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 11:18-19 (NIV)

    

 A rod and a reprimand impart wisdom, but a child left undisciplined disgraces its mother. Proverbs 29:15 (NIV)

    

Parents Should Not frustrate Their Children

Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.
Colossians 3:21 (NIV)

  

Young People Have a Role in God’s Kingdom

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12 (NIV)

  

 The Bible has much to say about the importance of teaching children! Various passages in the Bible teach us about parenting, discipling kids and raising them up as Christian leaders, and the simple faith of a child as a perfect example of what God seeks from those who want to enter His Kingdom.

Curious to learn more about what the Bible says about children? There is a resource from Let the Little Children Come that provides various Bible verses about children that address each of these topics and more! This resource includes Bible verses on each subtopic, along with an option to read these verses in six different translations. Also included in this website page are various Bible quotes about children on downloadable wallpapers! These can also double as social media images that you can share on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Visit Let The Little Children Come for more resources on the Gospel for kids.

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Guest blogger: Alvin Gan

Alvin Gan is the father of three noisy (but lovely) teenagers and founder of 2 websites that provide creative evangelism and discipleship resources.

www.LetTheLittleChildrenCome.com  specializes in unique child evangelism tools and resources to help convey the plan of salvation for kids effectively.

www.BibleGamesCentral.com develops Bible games for youths, kids and even adults to teach spiritual truths.

Celebrating Easter Every Day

by Guest Blogger Lee Ann Mancini

Whenever I hear of an upcoming celebration, I feel the joy rising up within me. I love celebrations. Whether informal or formal, I’m always glad to have a reason to celebrate. The word celebrate literally means “to assemble to honor.” It comes from the Latin word celebrare meaning “to honor a person, day, or season with festivities.”

There are many special occasions in life that we celebrate, such as birthdays, weddings, graduations, national holidays, etc. However, for the Christian, the most important celebration of all is Easter. Why is that the case? First Corinthians 15:14 boldly states, “If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless, and so is your faith.” If Christ had not risen from the grave, our faith would be useless, our salvation meaningless, and our preaching pointless. As a matter of fact, while Jesus’ birth was miraculous and His deeds were extraordinary, His greatest work—that of conquering death—was of incomparable significance. The importance of Jesus’ resurrection cannot be exaggerated. Without the resurrection, there is no salvation—or Christianity!

Knowing this, we can easily see why Easter is the most important holiday of all for the Christian. It is a joyous time to worship the Lord with family and friends. But in addition to celebrating on Easter Sunday, we should celebrate what Jesus has accomplished every day of the year! What do I mean by this?

I mean we should follow the commandment set forth in Deuteronomy 6:4-8, which says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” We are called to celebrate what Christ has done for us every day of the year! We are called to express our love and devotion to Him in every season!

Help Your Children Express Their Love for Jesus Every Day!

Here are some ways you can help your children express their love for Jesus both at Easter and every day of the year:

  1. Teach your children to say simple prayers.
    • “Thank you, Jesus, for the Easter miracle of rising from the grave. Help me to remember to thank you every day for what you have done for me and for everyone who believes in you.”
    • “I love you, Jesus! Help me to see new life all around me. Help me to give thanks to you because your death has brought me new life.”
    • “Dear Father, thank you for giving us your Son and for raising Jesus to life so we can live with you in heaven forever.”
  1. Lead by example. Encourage your children to engage in simple acts of kindness.
    • During Easter, visit someone who is elderly or lonely. Bring them flowers with a Bible verse attached. Spend time with them, and remind them how much Jesus loves them.
    • Express your love for Jesus through your words and actions. Say a kind word to a stranger, or lend a helping hand. After doing someone a favor, remember to tell that person, “Have a blessed day!”
    • Encourage your children to draw pictures with handwritten notes at the bottom. Send these in the mail to a loved one. Add your own personal message, expressing how much you love that friend or family member and are praying for them. Show you care for them just as Jesus loves and cares for you!
  1. Here are some other fun ideas:
    • Pick one day each week to do something different with your children:
      1. Tuesday or “Two’s Day”: Every time you say Jesus’ name, say it twice.
      2. Thursday or “Thirsty Day”: Every time you take a drink of water, say, “Jesus, you give us living water.”
    • Saturday or “Salty or Sugary Saturday”: Make foods that are fun to eat using salt or sugar. Thank Jesus for all the wonderful treats!
    • Bulletin Boards: Bulletin boards are not just for school! Have your child cut out pictures from magazines, draw pictures, or take photos that reflect the risen Jesus and new life. Post them on a special bulletin board.
    • Placemats: Make homemade placemats! Pick a Bible verse. Have your child draw pictures of God, Jesus, and the Bible that relate to that verse. Alternatively, cut out pictures from biblical magazines. Glue them on a piece of paper, and laminate them to use as placemats. Once children learn the Bible verse, make a new placemat!

I know some of these ideas may sound simple, but ask yourself, “When is the last time I did something like this to help my child grow in the faith?” If you have done something like this recently, that’s wonderful! Keep on doing what you’re doing! If you have not, then it’s never too late to start!

Celebrate the Day of Ascension

In addition to Easter, don’t forget to celebrate the Day of Ascension—or what some Christians call “the Feast of Ascension.” This refers to the day Jesus went to heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father. Only after the ascension was Jesus’ work complete. Hebrews 10:11-12 states, “Day after day, every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again, and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this Priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, He sat down at the right hand of God.” Jesus’ sacrifice was “finished” on the cross, but His work was not completed until He ascended to the Father! Just as the apostles saw Jesus ascend into the heavens, we too will see Him descend on the very last day. What a celebration that day will be!

Please Check This Out

Please check out this wonderful reading of God’s Easter Miracles. The sound effects are wonderful! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9C5GGlQH20Y&t=301s


More about Guest Blogger Lee Ann Mancini

LeeAnnMancini

Teaching women and children to raise up the next generation for Christ, Lee Ann Mancini’s desire is for children to begin to know and love Jesus from an early age. Read more.

 

Lee Ann’s passion for teaching children how to love people as Jesus did eventually led to the creation of the Adventures of the Sea Kids: