Urray & Kilchrist Church of Scotland Muir of Ord Church Magazine Winter 2011-12 The Church’s Mission Statement Our purpose is to bring glory to God through Jesus Christ by committing ourselves to regular worship, prayer and Bible study. We offer a warm welcome to all andaim to reach out to each other, our community and the world with the love of Christ. Enjoying the Church Christmas Meal Charity Ref No SCO 09902 Congregation Ref No 392220
Christmas with the kidsfrom the Renewal Care Home, Mariupol Church Christmas Meal
MINISTER’S LETTERYou might not have heard the news, but 2012 is the year the worldends! The 21st December is the exact date..... or so the story goes.You see, according to the theory, that date is remarkable since it isregarded as the end-date of a 5125-year-long cycle in the calendar ofthe ancient Mayan civilisation. So the logic is that they must haveknown something that we dont about that date, and therefore we hadall better enjoy these last 11 months!This is of course the latest in a long line of weird and wonderfulpredictions and theories about the end of the world as we know it, andof time running out. Well of course time will run out for us all. Byour very nature, we are all time-limited here on earth, and that factseems to preoccupy us terribly.But the truth is this; it is God who holds the future. He was the onewho created the universe and it is for Him alone to determine whatlies ahead.What the Bible tells us is that God sent His son Jesus, to save us. Hedied for our sin so we might, by the grace of God, know forgivenessand salvation. We also know that, on the third day, God raised JesusChrist from the grave and that He lives, reassuring His people of theireternal future and promising them that He will come again and thatthey will be forever with Him.I love the words which make up the chorus of the praise song BecauseHe Lives, written by Bill Gaither,Because He lives, I can face tomorrowBecause He lives, all fear is gone,Because I know he holds the future,And life is worth the livingJust because He lives.
So true. And because that is the case, we need not worry about whatlies ahead this year, indeed this very day, if we put our trust in Him.For there is nothing that can separate His people from the love ofGod, the Apostle Paul tells us that, (Please make time and read thewonderful words of Romans 8:35-39.)Therefore, the end of the world is for others to worry about.For us who love Him, the coming of the Lord and His kingdom is aday we await with fear and trembling, for sure, but also with a greathope and anticipation.And since there is not much, if anything, we can do about whattomorrow will bring, in the meantime, we focus on obeying andserving our Lord in His grace and mercy, and by our lives, pointingothers towards the Lord Jesus Christ, the Alpha and the Omega, theFirst and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Rev.22:13. Blessings Scott CHURCH FAMILY NEWSChurch RegisterDeaths30/10/11 Helen Skinner 8 Logan Way, Muir of Ord08/11/11 Ian Mackay Station House, Corry Rd, Muir of Ord02/12/11 Andrew Fraser Hawthorn Park, Muir of Ord07/12/11 Elsie Ross Highview House, Inverness.Weddings03/12/11 Alix Maclean and Ernst Robberts (Bunchrew House)Baptisms18/12/11 William MackenzieSimeon and Asia EwingAs many already know, Simeon and Asia hosted a group of childrenfrom the Renewal Children’s Home in Mariupol (where Simeon used
to work) for a Christmas holiday. The event was very successful, andbelow are letters of appreciation from Simeon and from Olya. Youcan see some photos on the cover page.Dear friends,Attached is a hand-made thank you from the children of RenewalChildren’s Home, Mariupol, and one from the supervisor who camewith them, Olya Victorovna. You can see how much this holidaymeant to them, and along with the kids we are truly grateful for yourhelp in making it happen. Your response was incredible, way morethan we anticipated. That always seems to be the way when God is atwork, but I am pleased to say it still surprises and delights every time!Indeed, we received so much in the end that the ‘leftovers’ have beenenough to cover the train fares all the way from and back toMariupol, 18 hours east of here! This was a real last-minute blessingto them, as usually children from the home don’t have to pay to travel,but when they arrived at the train station to come here, they were told“We don’t do that anymore” – and I think they almost cancelled thetrip because of it! The home has on-going building projects and otherbig financial needs, so to not have to spend a penny on this holidayhas been a truly great blessing for them.On a personal note, it was a wonderful experience for us, a smalltaste of things to come, and a reminder of the value of this work. Thehome in Mariupol is run by a church, and it is so much more thanputting a roof over some heads, clothes on some backs and food onthe table. These kids were so well behaved, kind and friendly, helpfuland disciplined. They always helped at mealtimes and washing up,and kept the place clean and tidy. And, just as I remember from whenI was working there, it seems everyone who passes through theredevelops a natural love for and reliance upon God, and the majorityof the kids give Him their lives and carry on walking with Him. MayGod use the house He has blessed us with in the same way!Many thanks again, and may God bless you right back - richly.With much love, Simeon, Asia, Amelia, bump. Olya Victorovna (supervisor).Olya 18, Vika 15, Alina 14, Masha 14, Anya 12, Lera 8, Nazar 13 and Vladik 12.
Dear friends!I want to thank you on behalf of all the children and the workers atRenewal care centre in Mariupol for the finances that you gave forour stay at Simeon and Asia’s place. It was a very nice time for thechildren full of fun, new experiences of living in a family. It was thefirst time we went out from Mariupol to stay in a family, and this is sonice that the children who all have wrong painful experience in thepast could see the proper relationship and learn some good thingsabout a family, they felt loved and got warm hospitality at Simeon’shome. And this is the most precious thing which can impact theirfuture. The children visited Kiev, went bowling, ice-skating, playedbilliard and table tennis at the pastor’s house. Apart from thatSimeon and Asia spoiled us with nice food and cakes. The childrendidn’t want to leave and they all want to stay in Rzhischiv forever☺.Thank you for having made this holiday possible and we appreciateyour Christmas gift! May God bless you, your families and yourchurch! Olya Belyakova, worker at Renewal centre, Mariupol, 10.01.12
Sunday School Christmas PartyAlthough the Sunday school Christmas party may seem like a longtime ago now, it will stick in the minds of those who were there for amuch longer time than you may imagine. We all had so much fun thatit’s imposable to put it into words. We played loads of great gameslike pass-the-parcel; musical statues and many, many more. At 3:30we sang jingle bells so that Santa would come to give out greatChristmas gifts to all who had been good (or I could just say to all ofus!) We also had a fabulous meal, just to make everything even betterthan it had been before (which wasn’t easy I can tell you) and also togive us all some more energy after running around as much as we did.Now you’ve heard all about the party I’m sure you’ll all want to comealong next time and join the fun, so see you there next time! By Eilidh MackenzieChurch Christmas MealOur church Christmas meal was once again held in the Priory HotelBeauly, and attended by a lively group of young, quite young and notso young members of the church family. We enjoyed a deliciousmeal of very generous portions, and, judging by the animated chatter,congenial fellowship was enjoyed by all. The tables were festive,crackers were pulled, hats were donned and there was much fun andlaughter reading the jokes and sayings in the crackers. Scott gavethanks for our many blessings, our food, the opportunity to socialisefreely in our faith and share a meal by way of celebrating Christ’sbirth and His coming into our lives. Wendy organised a quiz for ourfurther entertainment, and again, much fun was had digging into ourcollective knowledge to find the answers. Thank you, Wendy, foryour efforts. Thank you too, to Sheena, for organising the event andto Sheena and Frank for dealing with the money and paying on thenight. There are some photos on the cover page.
FORTHCOMING EVENTS The Church of Scotland’s Enquirers’ Conference at Scottish Police College, Tulliallan, 3-4 February 2012.If you are interested, there may be some last minute/cancellationplaces available. Phone Suzanne Brown or Carol-Anne Frame on0131 225 5722 THE GUILDThe Church of Scotland Guild celebrates its 125th anniversary in2012, and the January edition of Life & Work carries a series ofarticles to mark this event. To quote from Life & Work’s editor,Lynne McNeil: “Life & Work and the Guild share the same founder,the visionary Victorian, the Rev Professor Archibald Charteris, wholaunched the Guild eight years after the aforesaid journal. Initiallyfounded to bring more women into the church, the Guild has provedto be an enduring conscience and backbone. It has stood the test oftime – embracing social change and simply doing what it does best:actively working and campaigning for a better world in Christ’s name– effectively captured in the Guild’s motto: Whose we are and Whomwe serve.”Below is the timeline page which appeared in the January edition ofLife & Work and which gives an interesting skeleton history of theGuild. If you’d like to read the Guild articles, ask Aileen to lend youa copy. Church of Scotland Guild Timeline1858 Archibald Charteris licensed as a minister1863 Charteris marries Catherine Anderson1880 Charteris founds Young Men’s Guild1885 Dr Charteris appeals to women of the church through Life & Work to find out more about women’s work1885 Charteris appeals to Assembly for permission to investigate and report on the work of women and the possibility of organising an official unit1886 Women allowed to become doctors in Scotland1887 Charteris reports back to Assembly. C of S Woman’s Guild formed. Deaconess House opened.
1891 First Guild conference. Guild launches Mother’s Union movement.1892 Charteris elected Moderator of the General Assembly1893 Guild builds hospital next to school in Kalimpong. Guild launches scheme to bring country produce to poor of Edinburgh. Second Guild conference.1894 Guild-funded Kalimpong hospital opens. Guild “marriages” link started between branches.1898 Charteris retires1904 Guild Cottage opens for “women fallen victim to intemperance”.1905 Emmeline Pankhurst founds Suffragette movement1908 Charteris dies and is buried in Wamphray1912 Guild raises money to buy pulpit and falls for Charteris Memorial Church (Kirk o’Fields, Edinburgh). Biography of Charteris published1913 Kalimpong school expansion continues1918 Girls’ guild started. Mrs Charteris dies and is buried with her husband. Guild cottage closed.1919 Guild funds two hostels for women and girls – one in Glasgow and one in Edinburgh.1926 General Strike and start of great Depression1928 Guild begin to train members in public speaking1932 Mass AGM held at Usher Hall, Edinburgh. Request for Guild Representative to be Corresponding Member at General Assembly turned down1935 BBC broadcasts part of annual meeting1937 Jubilee Year – additional funds sent to Kalimpong. 7,000 members want to attend annual meeting, so venue moved to accommodate numbers.1939 Annual meeting held in McEwan Hall. Guild given responsibility for own finances. Presidents limited to 4-year office. Board of Trade authorised Guild members to get special coupons to obtain wool to knit for the troops1943 Ernest Bevin invites 90 Guild members to his conference of women to discuss new welfare state.
1947 Guild sends 3,000 layettes to German mothers as reconciliation.1953 Guild President invited to Queen’s coronation1956 First theme launched. Guild church at Barlanark dedicated.1957 70th anniversary of the Guild1959 Guild magazine Bulletin started1966 First women elders. Magazine Spotlight started.1969 Annual projects started following Elizabeth Anderson’s trip to World Council of churches conference. First women ministers ordained.1974 Guild Representative finally invited to be Corresponding Member at General Assembly1977 Queen attends Guild’s 90th anniversary AGM1982 Anne Hepburn, National President, opens Annual Meeting with “God, our Mother” prayer, sparking controversy and debate at General Assembly. Guild campaigns to boycott South African oranges in protest against apartheid.1987 Guild Centenary celebrations. Discussion topics launched. Guild hymn written by Betty Ewart.1996 First information officer appointed.1997 Church of Scotland Woman’s Guild becomes Church of Scotland Guild. Three year strategies launched.2000 Millennium banner exhibition tour2002 Thanks a Million campaign to mark project Partnership Scheme raising £1 million since 19972004 First Annual Guild Week (last week in November)2007 “The Extra Mile” launched. Guild members address MSPs on the issue of people trafficking.2008 Guild Week marked by Chain of Peace2009 First Regional Annual Meeting held in Castle Douglas2010 Second Regional Annual Meeting in Fort William
IT’S GOOD TO SMILE….The Sheik & the ScotsmanA wealthy sheik was admitted to St Vincents Hospital for heartsurgery, but prior to the surgery, the doctors needed to store his bloodin case it was found to be required during the procedure. As thegentleman had a rare type of blood, it couldnt be found locally, so,the call went out to other hospitals.Finally a Scot was located who had a similar blood type. The Scotwillingly donated his blood for the sheik. After the surgery, the sheiksent the Scotsman as appreciation for giving his blood, a new BMW,diamonds & US dollars.A couple of days later the sheik had to go through a correctivesurgery. His doctor telephoned the Scotsman who was more thanhappy to donate his blood again.After the second surgery, the sheik sent the Scotsman a thank-youcard & a jar of candies.The Scotsman was shocked that the sheik this time did not reciprocatehis gesture as he had anticipated. He phoned the sheik and asked him:"I thought you would be generous again, that you would give me aBMW, diamonds & money... but you only gave me a thank-you card& a jar of candies".To this the sheik replied: "Aye, but I’ve good Scottish blood in maveins noo".The Lord’s PrayerThere was a traveller man, walking in the north of Scotland. He wasstarving with hunger for he hadn’t eaten for a few days; the soles ofhis shoes were worn down to the road, and the blisters on his feetwere the size of eggs. He was in a terrible state. He was walking up aglen when he saw another traveller coming towards him. He was soglad to see somebody else. He shook hands with him and bade himgood day.“It’s good to meet you my friend,” he said, “you wouldn’t haveanything to eat in your pocket, would you – or a cigarette? I haven’teaten for a few days and my belly is sore with hunger”.“No, I’m sorry, I’m hungry too. I haven’t eaten either”.
Well, are there any houses up here? I could beg for a sandwich, orsomething else?”“Yes, there’s a manse no more than half a mile up the road, but forgoodness sake don’t go there. He’s a beast of a man and he’ll set thedog on you.”“I’ll have to try it – must is a hard master – thank you,” the firsttraveller replied and walked on up the hill.Eventually he came to the house, with two big gates and the sign“Manse”. He entered and knocked on the door. A butler answeredand asked bluntly “What do you want?”Well”, replied the traveller, “I’ve come to see the minister – not tobeg. I was told he’s the best minister in Scotland and I’ve come toask him to teach me something.”So the butler fetched the minister. “Well”, the minister said warily, “Ihear you want to see me.”“Oh yes, your reverence, I’ve heard you’re the best minister inScotland and I’ve travelled for days to come to see you so as you canteach me something.”The minister threw out his chest a bit at the compliment. “What doyou want me to teach you, my man?”“I want you to teach me the Lord’s Prayer” said the traveller.“Don’t you know the Lord’s Prayer, my man”?“No sir, I never learned it.”“Very well,” said the minister “I’ll teach you”, and he began “OurFather…”“Hold on a minute” said the traveller man, “Did you say OurFather?”“Yes, I did” said the minister.“So that means to say he’s your father?”“Yes, he is.”Well, if he’s your father, he must be my father”.“Of course he is.”“Well, if he’s your father and he’s my father, we must be brothers.”“Yes, putting it that way, we are.”“Well, would you see your brother go with an empty belly, and methat has not eaten for days?”
The minister gave a wee smile. “Very well, I’ll take you round theback and ask the cook to feed you.”The cook put out a big plate of meat for him and he tucked into it,putting what was left over into his handkerchief for later.“Well” said the traveller man “you’re a great cook, thank you, but Imust see the minister again.”Off goes the cook and comes back with the minister. “Have you hada good feed, my man?” he asked.“A wonderful feed your reverence, thank you, but you still haven’ttaught me the Lord’s Prayer.“No, I haven’t had a chance, so shall we start again?”The traveller man nodded, and the minister began “Our Father….”The traveller man put his hand up to stop the minister from sayinganything more and said “Excuse me, your reverence, but is he stillyour father?”“But of course.”“And is he still my father?”“Yes.”“So we’re still brothers then?”“Yes.”“Well, would you see your brother going with a pair of boots likethese, no soles on them and blisters the size of eggs on his feet and theblood running out of them?”Again the minister gave a wee smile. “All right then, but looking atyour feet, my shoes wouldn’t fit you, so take this note down to John,the cobbler in the village, and get a pair of boots, and tell him I’ll bedown in a few days to pay for them.”So off goes the traveller man, happy as a lark. He went to the cobblerand chose the best leather boots he had in the shop, and away he went.Now, a few days later, when the minister was having his afternoontea, a thought came to him –“I must go and pay for the traveller man’sboots – I forgot all about it.” He put on his coat and hurried away tothe cobbler.The cobbler looked up when the small bell above the door rang.When he saw it was the minister, he stopped what he was doing andsaid “Good afternoon your reverence, I haven’t seen you in a longtime.”
“No and I haven’t seen you in a long time either, John.”“Ah well, I haven’t managed to church as I’ve been so busy makingboots and shoes for the people in the village and the big house.”“Ah but you must make time to come to church, you know, John.”The cobbler hung his head.“Now” said the minister, “with your not coming to church lately, doyou still remember the Lord’s Prayer?”“Of course I do” said the cobbler.“Well would you mind quoting to me?”“Of course, your reverence, everyone knows the Lord’s Prayer, andhe started “Our Father…”“Hold on a minute” said the minister, “Did you say Our Father?”“Yes, I did” said the cobbler.“So that means to say he’s your father?”“Yes, he is.”Well, if he’s your father, he must be my father”.“Yes.”“Well, if he’s your father and he’s my father, he must be that travellerman’s father as well.”“Yes, putting it that way your reverence, yes he is.”“So if he’s your father, and my father and the traveller man’s father,we must all be brothers.”“Yes, I suppose we are.”“Well, you pay one half of your brother’s boots and I’ll pay theother!!!!” Sent in by Willie MacKenzie A WALK THROUGH THE BIBLE – NEHEMIAHNehemiah is the last of the Old Testament historical books. It recordsthe history of the third return to Jerusalem after captivity, telling howthe walls were rebuilt and the people renewed in their faith.As the story begins, Nehemiah was talking with fellow Jews whoreported that the walls and gates of Jerusalem were in disrepair, andrebuilding them became Nehemiah’s burden. Armed with royalletters from King Artaxerxes, Nehemiah travelled to Jerusalem. He
organised the people into groups and assigned them to specificsections of the wall. The construction project was not withoutopposition however. Sanballat, Tobiah and others tried to halt thework with insults, ridicule, threats and sabotage. Some of the workersbecame fearful, others weary. In each case, Nehemiah employed astrategy to frustrate the enemies: prayer, encouragement, guard duty,consolidation. Then a different problem arose, an internal one. RichJews were profiteering off their working countrymen. Hearing of theJews’ oppression and greed, Nehemiah confronted usurers and forcedthem to discontinue their exploitation. Then, with the walls almostcomplete, Sanballat, Tobiah and company tried one last time to stopNehemiah. But Nehemiah stood firm and the work was finished injust 52 days. What a tremendous monument to God’s love andfaithfulness. Enemies and friends alike know that God had helped.Then Ezra reappears and reads the law and the Levites explain it to anattentive audience. This leads to repentance, a reaffirmation of faithand religious revival, culminating in a signing up, by Nehemiah, thepriests, Levites and leaders on behalf of all the people, to the covenantagreement with God. The book closes with the records of the peopleand their villages, dedication of the new walls and the purging of sinfrom the land.CrossReachThe January CrossReach mailing contained the Circle of Carenewsletter and the February to May prayer letter, and there are copiesof both available on the pamphlet table in the church hall for anyonewho is interested.This quarter, Circle of Care focuses on the work CrossReach doesthrough its substance misuse services which have been offered nowfor over 50 years. Initially, this was by means of a number ofresidential rehabilitation services allowing people to leave behindtheir local environment and enter a protected and often remoteenvironment in order to work on their addictions and begin theirrecovery. It makes for sobering reading, reminding us that suchaddiction affects not only the sufferers but many, many more innocentpeople in the family, workplace and community in direct and indirectways. It and challenges us as Christians, and, to quote from the
leading article: “As the social care department of the Church,CrossReach must be the hands of Christ to do His work, the feet torun His errands and the voice to speak for Him (Lewis Cameron, TheChallenge of Need, 1971)”. The article goes on to describe work insome of the many projects around Scotland: Whiteinch “Move On”project, The Bridge project in the Western Isles, Simpson House,Edinburgh and closer to home, in Inverness, the Beechwood House“recovery tree”. Alice Cowie writes: “It was felt there was nothingthat reflected that we are a recovery unit, so from this small seed theidea grew of a recovery tree. The tree is in the main entrance, soall ….who enter can see it….. It symbolises the journey from the rootof addiction through to the canopy of recovery. Anyone can add aleaf to the tree…made of any material. A word is then selected whichhas significance for that individual…and is affixed to a leaf which theindividual places on the tree. .” A user remarked: “when I firstwalked into Beechwood House, I noticed the tree, so went over toread it. It kind of gave me a feeling of support knowing I was not theonly one feeling the way I felt”.Remember you can support the work of CrossReach by giving adonation and/or shopping in its web shop, shop.crossreach.org.uk/There is still time to enter the 2012 Design a Christmas cardcompetition 2012. You design must be original and not copied froman existing copyright card or clip art. Send your entry to:Christmas Card competition, CrossReach, 47 Milton Road East,EDINBURGH, EH 15 2SR Aileen NicholsonUrray and Kilchrist Church has been granted Eco-Congregation status by Eco-Congregation Scotland.
As such, we are committed to caring for creation; we make the linkbetween environmental issues and our Christian faith; we will respondwith practical action in the church and the wider community.Some 13 modules are available for congregations ranging from“Christianity and Creation” – some green theological perspectives to“Acorns to Oaks” – ideas and activities for children’s work. Themodule adopted to date at Urray is “Greening the Cornerstone” –guidelines on caring for church premises.Much of the work has taken place with respect to improving the hall.Several grants were received from bodies with an eco ethos in mind.Last winter we received a grant from Community Energy Scotland(CARES). This was used to insulate the suspended ceiling of themain hall with an increase from 15o mm to 300 mm of the glass woolquilt. The area over the kitchen and toilets was also covered. This isthe maximum required by Building Regulations. Energy efficientlighting was then fitted throughout the hall. A total of 78 tubes werereplaced. Cleaning of the diffusers was long overdue and the resultobvious. This reduced the electrical power used by 25% andincreased the luminosity by 33%. This benefited our electricityconsumption and reduced the hall’s carbon footprint.All doors were draught-proofed at the same time.In addition solar panels were installed above the kitchen and toilets.The panels will provide hot water to supplement the existing electricalimmersion element system.
Additional work was funded by the Scottish Community Foundation from Fairburn Wind Farm / Scottish and Southern Energy Community Benefit Fund.Under floor heating from a gas boiler source was installed in the mainhall. Previously, the hall was heated by inefficient wall heaters thathad been largely responsible for our 8 tonne carbon footprint. Onlythose positioned in the arc of the beam received any heat. Ultimately,the aim is to provide heating water from a ground source system thusadopting renewable principles. Already community groups havefound the hall very cosy and comfortable. Most hall users like havingheat at their feet, especially the children and senior citizens. Onebrownie will not get up from the floor at the end of the night.Dingwall and Seaforth Ward Discretionary Budget was tapped into,and this assisted greatly with the new heating system in terms of floorinsulation, plumbingand electrical works.Grateful thanks to Margaret Patterson, Councillor and Liz Cowie,Ward Manager for helpful advice.The Project was Part-Financed by the Scottish Government and theEuropean Community Highland LEADER 2007-2013 Programme.LEADER funding match funds grants from other parties to the tune of39% inclusive of our own contribution of 5% and ProjectManagement costs.Further insulation to the hall was carried out to the external wallswhich were increased in width by 150 mm. This enhanced the U-value to 0.15 w/0C/m2 A thick insulation board called Ecotherm wasinserted behind the plasterboard to achieve this . All the work was
done by local contractors so supporting the LEADER ethos of usinglocal resources. This also embraces eco thinking in that less carbon isproduced over short transport distances. LEADER conditionsencourage sharing with the local community and this was satisfiedsince half of our hall organisations are not church related. Gratefulthanks to Liz Whiteford, Highland LEADER project manager forguiding us through the complicated application and claim process.The Persecuted ChurchIn December, 2011, I enrolled as the Open Doors Churchrepresentative for Urray and Kilchrist congregation.Open Doors is an evangelical Christian ministry that servespersecuted Christians worldwide.If you have internet access they can be accessedat www.opendoorsuk.org. If you do not, information on Open Doors and other organisationsserving the persecuted Church is available on the notice board in ourChurch hall.I update the display often, and I would please ask you to read theavailable information and take leaflets from there at any time.My key roles will be: Drip feeding information and prayer requests throughout the year, as well as finding opportunities for a special focus on persecuted Christians; Sharing Open Doors’ ministry in a variety of ways, for example; International Day of Prayer for persecuted Christians (November);
Bible study and prayer groups; Encouraging you to receive the monthly magazine and prayer diary; Encouraging you to add your voice to critical advocacy campaigns; Encouraging prayer and introducing the stories of persecuted Christians;There are many examples of Christians being persecuted and I shareone of the latest: “Ugandan Girl Tortured for Christ Regaining Use of LegsBWERA, Uganda, January 17 (CDN) — A 15-year-old Christian girlin western Uganda who lost the use of her legs after her father locked her in a room for six months for leaving Islam has begun to take tentative steps. Susan Ithungu of Isango village, Kasese district, had been hospitalized since September 2010 after neighbours along with police rescued her from her father, Beya Baluku, who had given her hardly any food or water. He was arrested shortly afterwards but quickly released. She and her younger brother, Mbusa Baluku, lived alone with their father, who was divorced from their mother. In March 2010, Susan had trusted Christ for her salvation – prompting her father to threaten to slaughter her publicly with a knife. Pastor Joseph Baluku of Bwera Full Gospel Church in Kasese, said neighbours who discovered that the girl was locked in a room with almost no food or water notified authorities. After her release, they took her to a hospital”.In countries where faith costs the most, persecuted believers dependon our prayers and support.A Bible verse to remember “we are hard pressed on every side, butnot crushed; perplexed but not in despair; persecuted, but notabandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 John MacDonald
New Year ResolutionsQuestion: "What sort of New Year’s Resolution should aChristian make?"Answer: The practice of making New Year’s resolutions goes backover 3,000 years to the ancient Babylonians. There is just somethingabout the start of a new year that gives us the feeling of a fresh startand a new beginning. In reality, there is no difference betweenDecember 31 and January 1. Nothing mystical occurs at midnight onDecember 31. The Bible does not speak for or against the concept ofNew Year’s resolutions. However, if a Christian determines to make aNew Year’s resolution, what kind of resolution should he or shemake?Common New Year’s resolutions are commitments to quit smoking,to stop drinking, to manage money more wisely, and to spend moretime with family. By far, the most common New Year’s resolution isto lose weight, in conjunction with exercising more and eating morehealthily. These are all good goals to set. However, 1 Timothy 4:8instructs us to keep exercise in perspective: “For physical training isof some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promisefor both the present life and the life to come.” The vast majority ofNew Year’s resolutions, even among Christians, are in relation tophysical things. This should not be.Many Christians make New Year’s resolutions to pray more, to readthe Bible every day, and to attend church more regularly. These arefantastic goals. However, these New Year’s resolutions fail just asoften as the non-spiritual resolutions, because there is no power in aNew Year’s resolution. Resolving to start or stop doing a certainactivity has no value unless you have the proper motivation forstopping or starting that activity. For example, why do you want toread the Bible every day? Is it to honour God and grow spiritually, oris it because you have just heard that it is a good thing to do? Why doyou want to lose weight? Is it to honour God with your body, or is itfor vanity, to honour yourself?
Philippians 4:13 tells us, “I can do everything through Him who givesme strength.” John 15:5 declares, “I am the vine; you are thebranches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear muchfruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” If God is the centre of yourNew Year’s resolution, it has chance for success, depending on yourcommitment to it. If it is God’s will for something to be fulfilled, Hewill enable you to fulfil it. If a resolution is not God honouring and/oris not in agreement in God’s Word, we will not receive God’s help infulfilling the resolution.So, what sort of New Year’s resolution should a Christian make?Here are some suggestions:(1) pray to the Lord for wisdom (James 1:5) in regards to whatresolutions, if any, He would have you make;(2) pray for wisdom as to how to fulfil the goals God gives you;(3) rely on God’s strength to help you;(4) find an accountability partner who will help you and encourageyou;(5) don’t become discouraged with occasional failures; instead, allowthem to motivate you further;(6) don’t become proud or vain, but give God the glory. Psalm 37:5-6says, “Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will dothis: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justiceof your cause like the noonday sun.”
Frosty morning on the back road to Urray Church Minister: Scott Polworth Tel: 01463 870259 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Session Clerk: Duncan Cromb Tel: 01463 870860 E-mail: email@example.com Magazine editor: Aileen Nicholson Tel:01463 870030 E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org