Subscribe now

Everything in December 2014 issue

Article

December 2014
Evangelistic

Seeking & finding

Before coming to know the Lord Jesus, I used to think the Bible was changed every year. When I first heard about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, I thought Christianity changes every time. And when I began to be a friend of Jonathan, now my husband, I said to him, ‘I don’t mean…

Read more

Article

December 2014
Evangelistic

Learning from Zacharias and Elisabeth

400 years of silence! This was a long time to wait for God to reveal the Saviour, who had last been spoken of by the prophet Malachi, in the very last book of the Old Testament. Many of the Jews had forgotten all about it. In many Jewish families, husband-wife relationships were breaking down…

Read more

Article

December 2014
Evangelistic

God’s love to the rebellious

I was born in the railway town of Crewe, on 25 April 1962, the youngest of three boys. My father was pastor of a backstreet church there. My early days were good ones. The things I used to do were typical of what boys did. However, being a pastor’s son, expectations for good behaviour…

Read more

Article

December 2014
Evangelistic

Life through Christ

I came to live in Flint when I was four years old. It was a Saturday; and on the Sunday I was taken to Sunday school. I continued to go to church, took part in all its activities and eventually became a Sunday school teacher. A few years ago an incident occurred which led…

Read more

News

December 2014
News

Philippines

Christian charity Compassion has helped to rebuild homes across the Philippines, a year on since Typhoon Haiyan rampaged through the islands. According to a statement from the charity, which primarily helps children living in poverty, it raised £433,000 to send to the Philippines after the disaster struck. Reports at the time said that entire…

Read more

Article

December 2014
Evangelistic

Early impressions of Moldova

Maureen Wise, compassionate missionary to Moldova, shares impressions on serving the Lord in Eastern Europe. The initial buzz of conversation in the plane had quietened as passengers lapsed into reverie or sleep. I was returning from Moldova and, starved of news for the preceding months, I was devouring the contents of a Romanian newspaper…

Read more

News

December 2014
News

Heathrow discrimination

The Court of Appeal has ruled that a Christian worker, who lost her job at Heathrow airport after being falsely accused of making anti-Islam comments, has no employment protection rights. In the judgement, Lady Justice Arden said, ‘I have an uneasy feeling that the complex arrangements have the effect that the appellant has no…

Read more

News

December 2014
News

Red Cross bias

Former Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe has withdrawn her lifelong support from the Red Cross after it dismissed a man who opposed gay marriage. In an open letter to Prime Minister David Cameron, Ms Widdecombe said, ‘I addressed a fundraising event in Exeter just a few months ago. I put up with it when it…

Read more

Article

December 2014
Evangelistic

Where is God when things go wrong?

Ten years ago, on 26 December 2004, the worst recorded tsunami, and one of the worst earthquakes for human casualties ever, took place. Its epicentre was off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. About 250,000 people from all over the world, including many holiday-makers, were killed, one third of them children. The appalling devastation following…

Read more

Article

December 2014
Evangelistic

Be careful who you listen to!

Some decades ago in America, a train was travelling west in the depths of winter. It was freezing cold and snowing heavily, with blizzard conditions. On board was a young woman with her baby who wanted to leave the train at one of the remote stations along the route. Owing to the region’s remoteness,…

Read more

Article

December 2014
Evangelistic

Real goodness

Alcohol abuse and physical abuse were common in our household from as early as I can remember and, when I was six, my parents got divorced. I stayed with my mother, who instilled a moral compass and good values in me. At home life wasn’t easy for me. I was the eldest of two…

Read more

Article

December 2014
Evangelistic

Knocking at the door

I don’t have a dramatic or magical testimony. I was brought up in a Christian home. I attended church regularly and read the Bible occasionally. I thought I was a Christian because I did all the stuff that Christians do. But, deep down, I didn’t have peace in my heart. At one point during…

Read more

Article

December 2014
Evangelistic

Homeless at Christmas

Homeless people! We hear lots about them in the news, and sometimes we see them. They huddle in corners of the streets, pulling their tattered garments about them. Sometimes they take refuge under bridges to stay dry. In the winter, charity organisations afford them places to eat and sleep. They are pitiable, to say…

Read more

Article

December 2014
Evangelistic

Surprised by forgiveness

I was born in a small village in south Buckinghamshire. At the age of two months I was christened in the local parish church just across the road. It was here I went to Sunday school. Three things from then stand out in my memory. When speaking about David and Goliath, the vicar demonstrated…

Read more

News

December 2014
News

Gender-abortion

A 21-year-old woman, called Aisling Hubert, is bringing a private prosecution against two doctors whom the Daily Telegraph alleged had ordered gender-based abortions of female babies. According to the Christian Legal Centre (CLC), which is supporting the pro-life campaign group Abort67 volunteer, Ms Hubert has sought expert legal and medical opinion, the latter offering…

Read more

Article

December 2014
Evangelistic

Redeemer Croydon

In September 2013, my family and I moved into Croydon to plant what is now Redeemer Croydon. The time since then has been the steepest learning curve I’ve ever experienced. It has been thrilling, exhausting, joyful, draining, and ultimately, under God, fruitful. In the year leading up to our launch, the Lord assembled a…

Read more

Article

December 2014
Evangelistic

Learning from Simeon and Anna

Among the delightful aspects of the story of the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, there is this incident involving Simeon and Anna, two elderly people in the Temple (Luke 2:22-38). They were part of a group of people earnestly waiting the coming of the Messiah — the One who God had promised would…

Read more

Article

December 2014
Reviews

Their own poets – Interstellar

‘As some of your own poets have said…’ Acts 17:28      These articles are intended to provide insight into aspects of popular culture which might provide opportunities to speak to non-Christians about the relevance of the gospel. Paul quoted non-Christian poets to make a meaningful connection with unbelievers.      Interstellar is the…

Read more

Article

December 2014
Evangelistic

Turned around

I grew up in a Christian family that attended church every Sunday morning and evening. I happily accepted the things I was told, as fact. But, towards the end of primary school, it was becoming obvious that living in a Christian family was not ‘normal’. I had problems at school and was unhappy, yet…

Read more

Article

December 2014
Evangelistic

Christmas – truth or tradition?

Truth and tradition have always been in contention. And this is especially true when it comes to the subject of Christmas. This is a season full of traditions, from Santa Claus, to Rudolph the reindeer, to Christmas trees. These are harmless and happy traditions, except when they push the truth out of Christmas. God’s…

Read more

Article

December 2014
Evangelistic

A Christmas letter

As Christmas approaches, some children write a letter to Father Christmas, ensuring he knows their wish list! At a Caring For Life (CFL) Supporters’ Day in September, one young lady who is supported by CFL read out a letter of a very different sort. Karen was referred to CFL by her parents when she…

Read more

Article

December 2014
Evangelistic

Drawn to Christ

I was brought up in a Catholic family and attended church every week. I was aware of God during my younger years. However, I fell away from Catholicism and ignored my religion, mostly because I had no real understanding of the Lord. I chose instead to make my own decisions, living the way I…

Read more

Article

December 2014
Evangelistic

Finding God’s way

I grew up going to Sunday school, kids’ clubs and attending church every week. As a boy, teenager and young man I did this mainly to please my mum and dad. I knew church was a good thing. I believed the Bible stories were true: Daniel in the lions’ den; Noah’s ark, and stories…

Read more

News

December 2014
News

City Church, Manchester

Sunday afternoon, 5 October 2014, saw the commissioning of City Church, Manchester, and its two pastors, Ralph Cunnington and Matt Waldock, who led the service. The pastors had been sent to plant this new church by Aigburth Community Church and Christ Church Liverpool, respectively, where they had previously been assistant pastors. The elders of…

Read more

Article

December 2014
Evangelistic

All our Christmases

Christmas Day 1914 marked one of history’s most famous football matches. A few months earlier, World War I had erupted and the fierce fighting had already claimed nearly a million lives. But around Christmas a series of unofficial ceasefires occurred along the Western Front. Despite the cold, frosty conditions, German soldiers began singing, ‘Silent…

Read more

News

December 2014
News

Gay cake row

The decision of the Equality Commission to press a court case against Northern Ireland’s Ashers Baking Co. is both surprising and worrying, the Evangelical Alliance has said. In a statement, spokesman Peter Lynas condemned the decision to prosecute the bakery, which earlier this year apologised to a customer because, as a Christian-run family business,…

Read more

Historical

December 2014
Articles > Historical

Lieutenant General Sir Arthur Smith (1890-1977)

It was Lord Hardinge who said of General Havelock, the devoted Christian officer who was to become famous for his part in the relief of Lucknow, that he was ‘every inch a Christian and every inch a soldier’. This description would be equally appropriate of Lieutenant General Sir Arthur Smith KCB, KBE, DSO, MC,…

Read more

Article

December 2014
Evangelistic

Pilgrims’ Friend Society

Residents and supporters celebrated the end of a two-year redevelopment of the Pilgrims’ Friend Society’s (PFS) care site in Evington, Leicester, with a tape-cutting ceremony and a service at local Wycliffe United Reformed Church. Residents and supporters cheered as Alan Copeman, chairman of the PFS, and Rev. Paul Bassett from Melbourne Hall cut the…

Read more

Article

December 2014
Evangelistic

From head to heart

I had a normal upbringing in Dudley, but, unusually coming from an Indian background, I was never taught anything even vaguely linked to religion. I suppose the only religious influence I had was the little I was taught in RE lessons at school. Up until the age of about nine, I never even considered…

Read more

Article

December 2014
Evangelistic

Artillery Street, Colchester

Saturday 20 September saw nearly 90 people gather at Artillery Street Evangelical Church, including the Mayor and Mayoress of Colchester. The occasion was to celebrate and thank God for 175 years of the church’s life and gospel ministry in New Town, Colchester. Stuart Olyott preached from Acts 9:9-34, and reflected on the amazing grace…

Read more

Article

December 2014
Evangelistic

Christmas Day 1814

Christmas Day 1914 — just 100 years ago — witnessed an astonishing scene: German and Allied soldiers shaking hands in No Man’s Land, tentatively at first, and then more boldly as a Christmas truce marked a lull in the bitter fighting of World War 1. Even more surprising were the football matches that took…

Read more

News

December 2014
News

Christmas Carols Radio

Christmas Carols Radio A radio station has been launched that will play nothing but traditional Christmas carols and Bible thoughts 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  Christmas Carols Radio was founded by Ben Vane, a former radio producer, who is now an ordinand in training for ministry at Oak Hill Theological College.…

Read more

News

December 2014
News

CLIS lecture

Bedford’s central library was the venue for this year’s Christians in Library and Information Services’ (CLIS) annual lecture. This was a fascinating two-hander by Tony Collins, publishing director for Monarch Books and Lion Fiction, and Penelope Wilcock, established author of poetry and fiction including ‘The Hawk and the Dove’ series. Their theme was Christian…

Read more
EMF

News

December 2014
News

EMF

‘Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them’ (Psalm 111:2). These were the words with which Martin Leech, director of the European Missionary Fellowship (EMF), opened a session at the mission’s October autumn conference. EMF missionaries came from Belarus, Belgium, Czech Republic, Romania, Spain and the…

Read more

Article

December 2014
Evangelistic

Learning from Joseph

Joseph stands centre stage in nativity plays. He is right at the heart of the drama that unfolds in Bethlehem, but in the biblical account of the first Christmas, Joseph has a non-speaking part. Mary sings, angels speak, shepherds talk, the Magi (wise men) inquire, and Herod rages, but Joseph remains silent. None of…

Read more

News

December 2014
News

Asia Bibi

Christian woman Asia Bibi, who was accused of making derogatory comments about Muhammad during an argument with a Muslim woman, has seen her appeal rejected by the Lahore High Court. According to the BBC, the Pakistan high court rejected her appeal against the death sentence for blasphemy that had been issued by a lower…

Read more

Article

December 2014
Evangelistic

What Jesus means to me

I come from Hungary. I am 46 years old and married to Natalia. We have two sons, Daniel, who is 14 years old, and Dominic, who is 7. My parents live in Budapest. I have been in the UK for 15 years, but still keep my Hungarian accent! As a young man I represented…

Read more
Learning from the shepherds

Article

December 2014
Evangelistic

Learning from the shepherds

Shepherds weren’t very high up on the social scale, in the first century. In fact, the general view was that they weren’t to be trusted. They were often the victims of cruel stereotypes — like blondes today! People would comment to one another whether the sheep being herded along the side of the road…

Read more

Article

December 2014
Evangelistic

God’s faithfulness

I am a doctor in my early thirties, currently doing specialist training in paediatrics in the West Midlands. I have recently returned from Madagascar, where I served for three years at the Good News Hospital in Mandritsara. I enjoy learning languages and keeping chickens. My testimony is one of God’s faithfulness and grace. As…

Read more

Article

December 2014
Evangelistic

Filled with God’s love

I did not have the best start in life. I had a difficult birth, suffered an allergic reaction to cow’s milk while in special care, and was eventually diagnosed with multiple allergies and intolerances, as well as proneness to infection. Struggling with poor health, I grew up to face a family crisis at 10…

Read more

News

December 2014
News

Ebola

Church leaders in Ebola-affected Sierra Leone and Liberia have been playing a vital role in helping people to stay safe, Christian relief and development agency Tearfund has said. According to Patricia Conteh, projects officer for Tearfund in Sierra Leone, Tearfund partners have found that, because church leaders are widely trusted, they can use church…

Read more

Article

December 2014
Evangelistic

A seemingly chance meeting

One lunch-time at school, when I was 12 years old, I was sitting at a table in the canteen just minding my own business, when a group of 5th year lads came and sat with me. I was quite shy and embarrassed, and just wanted to get up and leave as quickly as possible.…

Read more

News

December 2014
News

Laos

Six Christians, including a three-year-old girl, who were arrested after meeting for worship in Laos were released in October, Barnabas Fund has reported. Pastor Sompong Supatto, who was arrested with them, had remained in custody for weeks, handcuffed and held in leg stocks. The believers were arrested on 28 September in Boukham village, Savannakhet province, as…

Read more

Article

December 2014
Evangelistic

Undeserved mercy

The Bible tells us that, ‘To you who believe, he [Jesus Christ] is precious’ (1 Peter 2:7). That is one of my favourite verses in the Bible and it describes my relation to Jesus Christ today. He is more precious to me than anything else in this world. But the Lord Jesus has not…

Read more

Article

December 2014
Evangelistic

Learning from Mary

Mary, the mother of Jesus, was not ‘immaculate’ as some suppose. Mary received grace, but does not dispense it. She, like every repentant sinner, came to ‘rejoice in God my Saviour’ (Luke 1:47). However, Mary does provide us with a wonderful picture of how we ought to respond to God when the good news…

Read more

Article

December 2014
Evangelistic

Learning from the magi and King Herod

Matthew 2, in the Bible, describes how Jesus was born in Bethlehem. His coming almost immediately divided people into two camps: opposition and acceptance. Those who opposed Christ are represented in this passage by King Herod, and those who accepted him by the magi. Christ is still dividing people. This old story is modern…

Read more

News

December 2014
News

Mary Jones centre

The story of how, around 200 years ago, 15-year-old Mary Jones walked barefoot over the hills of North Wales to Bala to buy a Bible is part of our Christian heritage. She saved up and made a 26-mile trek on rough paths and over rocky terrain to reach Rev. Thomas Charles, because she so wanted her own…

Read more

Review

December 2014

Paddington

Paddington A young, lost and lonely bear a long way from his home in ‘darkest Peru’ sits on his suitcase on a deserted platform at Paddington Station. He has a label saying ‘Please look after this bear, thank you’, but has been unable to find anyone among the rush hour commuters who even notices…

Read more