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Everything in December 2013 issue

Review

December 2013

The meaning of marriage

The battle for marriage is by no means over. It is a battle over the nature of what we are as human beings and over whether or not there are laws which are higher than those which national and international bodies can enact. In May Dr Sharon James gave a lecture on this subject…

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Article

December 2013
Evangelistic

‘Waves of love washed my bitterness away’

To say that Matt Collis had a difficult childhood is an understatement. But he found a way to deal with the cruelty and sadness. He shares his story of how despair gave way to hope and a new start. Following the divorce of my parents when I was two years old, my mother, twin…

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Article

December 2013
Articles > World Mission

Taken by surprise

There was no room for the good news about Jesus in the home I was raised in, the schools I went to or the university I attended. I treated those who tried to reach out to me with contempt, despising their so-called religion. I saw the world as a corrupt place. Whoever Jesus might…

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Article

December 2013
Evangelistic

Why Jesus came

Most people I talk to accept that Jesus was born in Bethlehem and made an impact on the world by his teaching, but that’s about it; and others have done the same sort of thing — so Christmas is a nice story for children, but has nothing to do with them as adults. But…

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Article

December 2013
Evangelistic

Drawn by God’s grace

My father was a volunteer Sapper in 1939 and, by the end of the war, a ‘convinced atheist’. I was born in 1948 and brought up to question what religion had to offer. I attended a CofE church for a while as a choirboy, where I developed a sarcastic view of the church in…

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Article

December 2013
Evangelistic

The right ingredients

Why putting the Christmas pudding together reminds Simoney Kyriakou of God’s perfect timing It has taken nearly 20 years for me to adapt a Christmas pudding recipe to match the tastes of my family. As it falls to my lot to make the puddings each year along ‘acceptable lines’, I know it takes about…

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News

December 2013
News > Youth Features

Blythswood Care shoe box appeal

Christian charity Blythswood Care celebrated the 20th anniversary of its Shoe Box Appeal this year. During the 20 years, 1.6 million shoe boxes have been distributed. Last year, Blythswood sent 118,000 shoeboxes filled with necessities to people in need in countries such as Albania, Serbia and Pakistan. In Europe, boxes were distributed to orphanages,…

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News

December 2013
News

Tinshill Free Church, Leeds

  What a joy it was to be present at the induction service for Joseph Cresswell, on 7 September, as the new pastor of Tinshill Free Church! Some 130 people gathered for the occasion. They were welcomed by former pastor, Glyn Williams, who has faithfully ministered at the church which he helped to found…

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Article

December 2013
Evangelistic

Christmas evangelism

Pray for all the efforts that are being made to point to the coming of Jesus Christ as the Saviour of the world. Pray for calendars, leaflets and tracts that will be given out. Pray for special Christmas evangelistic services. Pray that the words of the Christmas carols will cause people to think deeply…

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News

December 2013
News

Media cover-up

  The mainstream Western media is failing to report the widespread slaughter of Christians overseas, a UK Conservative councillor has claimed. Cited in a report from the Christian Institute, a blog from Alistair Thompson claimed that the scanty media reporting underlines a ‘systematic failure to stand up for Christians in the East, who over…

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News

December 2013
News

Eritrean clampdown

  Eritrean security forces have arrested 185 Christians, mostly women, following a raid on a prayer meeting to the north of the capital, Asmara. It is believed that the Christians had gathered in the suburb of Maitemenai to pray about the worsening exodus of Eritreans from the country. Paul Robinson, chief executive of Release…

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News

December 2013
News > Youth Features

A contagious summer

During summer 2013, around 600 young people and youth leaders came together to study God’s Word at various week-long Contagious youth conferences. Jon Shulver, Contagious Development Director, told ET more about this exciting and growing work. Since its beginning in 2000, Contagious has been built around three main principles. First, we are passionate about…

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News

December 2013
News

Taxing times

  Parliamentarians, including former Chancellor Lord Lawson, have pushed the UK government to recognise marriage in the UK’s tax system. Speaking in the Palace of Westminster, Lord Lawson drew people’s attention to a recent review of independent taxation from charity CARE, and said it was shameful that the UK tax system fails to have…

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News

December 2013
News

Church disrepair

  Churches across the UK are increasingly calling on the National Churches Trust (NCT) to help provide urgent funding for repair and renovation. According to the NCT’s annual review for 2012-2103, demand for church repair and modernisation grants has continued to grow. According to the review, in 2012 NCT was involved in making or…

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Historical

December 2013
Articles > Historical

The power of God’s grace

Christian Watt stirred the glowing embers of the fire. With her parents away, she was alone in the family’s ‘butt and ben’ cottage in Broadsea, near Fraserburgh, in the far north of Scotland. ‘No!’ she thought decidedly to herself. ‘I will not marry James Sim’. Born into a fisherman’s family, Christian had long ago…

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Article

December 2013
Evangelistic

A warm welcome

My name is Lucie Boulter and I have been attending Melbourne Hall, a church in Leicester, for 16 years. I was introduced to the church by my then boyfriend, now husband, Carl Boulter. He and his family had been attending Melbourne Hall through the generations and still continue to worship there. When Carl first…

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Article

December 2013
Evangelistic

God’s astonishing love

‘Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!’ (1 John 3:1). The apostle John begins his first letter, in the New Testament, with an exclamation of astonishment. He was an old man when he wrote these words. It’s safe to say that he…

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Article

December 2013
Articles > Guest column

Guest Column – The inside job

The movie Inside job tells the story of the banking crisis of 2008 from within the world of banking itself. Narrated by Matt Damon, it tells a story of greed from the world of bankers, regulators and ratings agencies. At the heart of the whole system is profound human fallenness, which can only lead…

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News

December 2013
News

Sunday work

Three judges have reserved judgement in the case of Christian children’s worker Celestina Mba v. The Mayor and the London Borough of Merton. Ms Mba took the parties to the Court of Appeal on Wednesday 23 October over their refusal to provide reasonable accommodation for her devoutly held Christian beliefs. Supported by barrister Paul…

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Article

December 2013
Scientific (including creation)

Can faith and science work together?

How should we cope with apparent conflicts between faith and science? This issue was faced by Dr Ming Wang while investigating wound-healing in eyes. This account is adapted from his speech at the American Scientific Affiliation’s annual conference, on 20 July 2013, at Belmont University, Nashville, TN (www.thecollegefix.com/post/14052). I would like to share a…

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News

December 2013
News

Born to be King

On a hot afternoon on 22 July 2013, Prince George entered our world in St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, in London. He immediately became third in line to the throne of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, as well as the Commonwealth. His destiny is to reign. Westminster Abbey bells pealed. There was a 41 gun…

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Have a truly happy Christmas!

Article

December 2013
Evangelistic

Have a truly happy Christmas!

Have a truly happy Christmas! May the star of truth lead you to the blessed Saviour, as it did the Magi! How the Lord first spoke to the Magi who came from the East is a mystery which the Bible does not explain. We only know they followed the star and brought their gifts…

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Christmas presents for the children

Article

December 2013
Evangelistic

Christmas presents for the children

Jesus took it for granted that his disciples would share with their offspring: ‘You … know how to give good gifts to your children’, he once declared (Luke 11:13). It is natural and normal to love children. Christmas is a time to express that love by giving presents. The quality and quantity of gifts…

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News

December 2013
News

Coalition for Marriage

  Campaign group the Coalition for Marriage (C4M) has published a free guide to help schools and teachers who are concerned about their legal rights and responsibilities. Since the government backed same-sex marriage, teachers and those in education are worried that their beliefs about marriage will not just be disrespected, but considered against the…

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Article

December 2013
Evangelistic

Drawn to Jesus Christ

My early life was in a caring and settled family. My father spent life in military service. He was a man of integrity and ordered discipline, something I have since come to appreciate. He passed from this life when I was in my early teens. I recall that, through his long illness, he displayed…

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Article

December 2013
Evangelistic

Getting the big picture

Here’s the story of my journey to faith. I was one of five children — the only boy. I guess you could say that I was brought up in a religious family insomuch as it was a norm to walk to church three times each Sunday! But that was as far as religion went…

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Scottish census

News

December 2013
News

Scottish census

  Christianity is in steep decline in Scotland, and the proportion of its population professing to be Christian is well below the equivalent figure for England and Wales. In 2001, 65.2 per cent of the country’s 5,062,000 people claimed to be Christian. Ten years later, this proportion has dropped to 53.8 per cent of…

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Article

December 2013
Evangelistic

Drawn to Jesus Christ

I would like to share with you how I became a Christian. My father was in the army, so we lived abroad. When I was 11 we came back to England. My mother is a Catholic and she brought us three children up in the Catholic faith. I was quite an earnest child and…

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News

December 2013
News

New Down’s test

  The UK’s National Health Service is to start trialling a simple blood test during pregnancy, which can detect Down’s syndrome in the developing foetus. According to a report from the BBC, this could significantly reduce the number of women needing invasive testing. The study, to be carried out at Great Ormond Street Hospital,…

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News

December 2013
News

Doctrines of grace conference

  Who could have planned a voluntary Bible study on the doctrines of the Reformed faith on board the mission ship MV Doulos? This ship has been decommissioned now by OM, but in 2004-06 our family served on board and we witnessed vigorous interest in solid Christian doctrines from many young people. Each Saturday…

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Article

December 2013
Evangelistic

No room at the inn!

  It was lunchtime in college. A friend suggested we nip into town for a quick burger. Arriving at the fast food outlet, we found the queue extended from counter to door. Had we joined it, we would have been late for our afternoon lecture. ‘No room at the inn’, said my friend, ‘we’ll…

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Article

December 2013
Evangelistic

A new life

I want to tell you how I came to be a Christian and what God has done for me. My parents first brought me to Buckingham Chapel in Bristol when I was aged four. I attended Sunday school and church on a regular basis, right up to the age of about 17. Then I…

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Article

December 2013
Evangelistic

God’s gentleness

I became a Christian at the age of 20, when I was a student at Falmouth College of Arts in Cornwall. I grew up in south Buckinghamshire, living with my mum and stepfather from the age of eight after my parents divorced and remarried. I’m not from a religious background at all. The only…

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Article

December 2013
Evangelistic

True satisfaction

I was born and brought up in South Wales. My parents had moved there as part of my father’s calling to be a pastor, and my earliest memories include church attendance as one of life’s normal activities. My brother, my sister and I were required to attend morning and evening services on Sunday, as…

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Article

December 2013
Evangelistic

Challenged and converted

  Someone I used to work with once said to me, ‘I find it hard to believe that you, a reasonably intelligent human being (!), can take God so seriously or believe that the Bible is true!’ Well, I can honestly tell you that there was a time in my life when I didn’t…

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News

December 2013
News

Africa Christian Textbooks (ACTS)

  From small beginnings, Christian ministry ACTS has spread across the nation of Nigeria and beyond. In 1993, ACTS was formally inaugurated with the support of its host institution, the Theological College of Northern Nigeria (TCNN), Bukuru. All its operations were part-time and books were received through the support of several sympathetic publishers and…

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Article

December 2013
Evangelistic

What if Christmas was in June?

If Christmas was in June, we could stop dreaming of a white Christmas, and Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer would not have been invented.   So much of our Christmas traditions are the result of the holiday being held in mid-winter. But Christmas is not in mid-winter everywhere.      Several years ago I was in…

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News

December 2013
News

Caring at Christmas – and for life!

Last Christmas was the first time Johnnie had ever walked into a church. He came along to a Christmas service before spending the day at Crag House Farm, the home of ‘Caring For Life’. Last Christmas, this was Johnnie’s story: brought up in care, in numerous foster homes, he was desperate to have a…

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News

December 2013
News

CAR anarchy

  Rising numbers of Christians are being killed or driven into hiding by local Muslims in the Central African Republic (CAR), reports have warned. As the Islamist Seleka militants continued to wreak havoc across the stricken country, Christians in the city of Bangassou organised a protest against them on 8 October. However, according to…

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Article

December 2013
Evangelistic

A living relationship

I went to church frequently; I read the Bible a lot and never doubted that it was true. I knew all the answers and could talk the talk. Yes, I lived a good, honest life — a very good, honest life. But I was headed for hell. Deep down, I knew that, in God’s…

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Article

December 2013
Scientific (including creation)

The myth of neutrality

Those seeking to secularise society often claim that their position is the most reasonable, because it is the only one that’s neutral — the only one free from influences arising from religious beliefs. Prominent among these is Jonathan Miller, who rejects the label ‘atheist’, describing himself simply as a ‘disbeliever’. This, of course, implies…

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News

December 2013
News

Caring for the carers

Anyone thinking of finding a good care home for grandma must be having second thoughts after the latest horror stories. In one care home, 19 elderly people are said to have died as a result of neglect and abuse.       Reactions have included government talk of tightening regulations, employing ‘mystery shoppers’ and even using…

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News

December 2013
News

Eritrean clampdown

  Eritrean security forces have arrested 185 Christians, mostly women, following a raid on a prayer meeting to the north of the capital, Asmara. It is believed that the Christians had gathered in the suburb of Maitemenai to pray about the worsening exodus of Eritreans from the country. Paul Robinson, chief executive of Release…

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News

December 2013
News

Nairobi Conference

  There must be decisive action taken to prevent the global Anglican Church from being corrupted by theological liberalism, Andrea Williams has said. Presenting her call for ‘decisive action’ at the Global Anglican Future Conference in Nairobi (GAFCON), the chief executive of Christian Concern and General Synod member said that, across the Anglican Communion…

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Article

December 2013
Evangelistic

Friends of sinners

One day Jesus passed by a tax office and saw a man named Matthew, a tax collector, and said, ‘Follow me’ (Matthew 9:9). Matthew did follow and invited Jesus to dinner at his house. Matthew’s friends, like him tax collectors and ‘sinners’, came to dinner and sat down with Jesus. The term ‘sinner’ here…

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Article

December 2013
Iran

An Iranian finds Christ

Saeed Mokhlessi writes: I was born in Iran in a fairly devout Muslim family. From an early age, we were taught the basic principles of Islam and I was encouraged to believe and obey them. I remember, from the age of 4 or 5 I used to get excited when the month of Ramadan…

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Article

December 2013
Evangelistic

A sure and certain hope

As Christmas approaches, we look forward to a celebration of Christ’s birth. It’s a time of peace and joy. We often forget that this baby had a mission — to ‘save his people from their sins’ (Matthew 1:21).   This would require him to be betrayed, humiliated, tortured and finally killed in order to…

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Article

December 2013
Philippines

Typhoon Haiyan and Relief

TYPHOON RELIEF Manila was not affected by the typhoon but areas in central Philippines were terribly devastated. The worst affected areas are in northern Leyte and particularly the City of Tacloban as well as the large island of Samar. It is very difficult at the moment to get any personal news except what is…

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Review

December 2013
Reviews > Book

David Livingstone – The Unexplored Story

David Livingstone – The Unexplored Story Stephen Tomkins Lion Publishing 240, £9.00 ISBN: 978-0-7459-5568-1 Star Rating: 3 This concise, fast-moving narrative relates what the last page of the book calls ‘the puzzle of Livingstone’s life’. Taking a strictly chronological approach, Stephen Tomkins follows the steps of the great Scottish missionary-explorer across southern and central…

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Review

December 2013

Adoniram Judson

Adoniram Judson Vance Christie Christian Focus Publications 384, £8.99 ISBN: 978-1-78191-147-1 Star Rating: 4 Few men since the apostle Paul can have experienced the intensity of missionary life more than Adoniram Judson (1788-1850). In this addition to the ‘History Makers series’ of biographies, Vance Christie recounts the inspirational story of America’s first foreign missionary.…

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Review

December 2013
Reviews > Book

Bitesize Biography – Zachary Macaulay

Bitesize Biography – Zachary Macaulay Faith Cook EP Books 160, £6.99 ISBN: 978-0-85234-784-3 Star Rating: 4   What a gem this little book is! A combination of thorough research and imaginative description combine to produce a gripping account of one of the key players in the abolition of the gigantic evil of slavery, within…

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