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JanuaryJanuary--FebruaryFebruary 20102010

TheThe

EvangelicaEvangelicall

PresbyteriaPresbyteriann

JanuaryJanuary--FebruaryFebruary 20102010 -- £1.50£1.50

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TheThe EvangelicalEvangelical PresbyterianPresbyterian

The Evangelical Presbyterian

is published bi-monthly by the Presbytery of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. PleasePleasePleasePlease visit:visit:visit:visit: www.epcni.org.ukwww.epcni.org.ukwww.epcni.org.ukwww.epcni.org.uk

Policy

The views expressed are those of the Editor and Contributors which are understood to reflect the theological position of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church

Editor

Harold Gibson 'Stockbridge' 2 Barronstown Court DROMORE BT25 1FB

hgibson@barronstown.force9.net

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Cover Photograph

The south face of Mount Robson (3,954 m), the highest point in the Canadian Rockies. It is located in Mount Robson Provincial Park. one of Canada’s World Heritage Sites.

TakeTake NoteNote

AAAA Shifting,Shifting,Shifting,Shifting, ChangingChangingChangingChanging WorldWorldWorldWorld

C H Spurgeon in a sermon entitled Gods will about the Future spoke of this shifting, changing world. History should teach us that very little remains the same. As we reflect on the past decade, ‘the noughties’ as they have been dubbed, the majority of us find ourselves in different situations and circumstances at the beginning of 2010 than we were in January 2000.

Family, work and church situations have changed for many of us in the last decade. We live in a culture of change and the year that lies ahead will be sure to bring more change. It is election year in the United Kingdom and if all the political pundits are correct this will bring a change of Government at Westminster.

There are however, some things that never change. Christian people have a hope and assurance that gives them stability and peace in this troubled world. God is our refuge, he is the one who does not change. His Word is true and will never pass away. Jesus Christ is “the same yesterday, today and forever”. He is building his church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. This is the confidence with which the Lord’s people face the future.

Our present duty is to work for the Master while it is day for the night is coming when no man can work. Only God knows the future and he has promised to be with his people unto the end of the age.

Take Note: “I the Lord do not change.” (Mal 3.6)

JanuaryJanuary--FebruaryFebruary 20102010

TheThe EverEver--RollingRolling StreamStream

HHHHHHHHaaaaaaaarrrrrrrroooooooolllllllldddddddd GGGGGGGGiiiiiiiibbbbbbbbssssssssoooooooonnnnnnnn reflects on our priorities and use of time as we begin another year.

2010 has arrived and the first decade of the 21st century is now history. We remember vividly the change from 1999 to 2000 and all the warnings about a possible global shutdown—technological meltdown, aircraft falling out of the sky and various other scary predictions that (thankfully) never came to pass.

Time is likened to an ever-rolling stream in the well known hymn Our God, our help in ages past. It flows on and with its passing brings us one step nearer the finishing line. The Bible has much to say about time and our use of it in this life and at the beginning of a New Year we pause to reflect on these important truths.

TimeTimeTimeTimeTimeTimeTimeTime isisisisisisisis inininininininin God’sGod’sGod’sGod’sGod’sGod’sGod’sGod’s HandHandHandHandHandHandHandHand In today’s busy world much of our time is taken up with work and family commitments but we also have a fair amount of free and leisure time. (The leisure industry is a big employer in society today.) Yet it is true to say that we have no time because ultimately time does not belong to us. Psalm 31.15 reminds us “My times are in your hand.” Job said “the Lord gives and the Lord takes away”. We do not know what a day will bring. John Calvin’s comment on Psalm 31 says “Lord, it is your prerogative and you alone have the power to dispose of both my life and my death.”

There is a time to be born and a time to die. God is above time, he is eternal but intervenes in time. “When the time had come God sent forth his Son”. God’s timing is always perfect. There are those who scoff at God’s promises concerning time but Peter tells us that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day.

TimeTimeTimeTimeTimeTimeTimeTime isisisisisisisis totototototototo bebebebebebebebe usedusedusedusedusedusedusedused WiselyWiselyWiselyWiselyWiselyWiselyWiselyWisely The Psalmist reminds us of the brevity of life and the need to number our days and apply our hearts unto wisdom. Paul writing to the Ephesians says we are to redeem the time and make the most of every opportunity. James tells us that life is like a vapour that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.

The implications of many of the parables that Jesus told are for the followers of Christ to be engaged in the work of the Kingdom of God. We are told to work while it is day for night comes when no man can work! In this modern world it is so easy to fritter away our time. The hours spent watching television and generally being entertained is staggering. How is it that many Christians can find time for television and the theatre but can hardly spare a couple of hours in the week for worship and can never seem to find the time to pray? Some years ago a book by Neil Postman, Amusing ourselves to Death rightly captured the spirit of the age. C H Spurgeon in a similar vein said the church was ‘to feed the sheep, not to entertain the goats’.

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Christians are to be characterised by a seriousness in matters eternal and are to be “always abounding in the work of the Lord.” A hymn reminds us: “There’s a work for Jesus, none but you can do”. We are to buy up every opportunity and make full use of the time we have got left in this world.

TimeTimeTimeTimeTimeTimeTimeTime willwillwillwillwillwillwillwill comecomecomecomecomecomecomecome totototototototo anananananananan EndEndEndEndEndEndEndEnd The disciples asked Jesus “when shall the end be?” and many are asking today “how shall it all end?” Listen to the discussions on TV and radio on this subject and you will find all sorts of ideas and theories presented as to how and when the world might end. Dr Lloyd-Jones preaching on 2 Peter 3.8-9 said: “It is obviously not a date on a calendar, it is when the Gospel shall have been preached to all nations and among all people—’then cometh the end’”. 1

The world lives as though it will go on forever but a day is coming when our Lord will return and every eye shall see him and time shall be no more. This is still the day of grace and opportunity to preach and evangelise and to make disciples of all nations. As we stand at the beginning of a new year the challenge to bring the Gospel to our family, friends and neighbours confronts us. Paul told us to make the most of time because the days are evil.

The end will come as “it is appointed for men to die once” (Heb 9.27),and after this the judgement. We will all stand before God one day and give account of our lives. That will include our use of time. The Apostle Peter reminds us that we are to live our lives with an anticipation of the day when Christ shall return. He calls it that “blessed hope”. Amidst all the trials and difficulties of this life God’s people are called to persevere “looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by him in peace, without spot and blameless”.

The ever-rolling stream bears all its sons away, one generation passes to the next and it is our calling to work for Jesus while it is still day. What are your priorities for 2010?

Only one life, It will soon be past, Only what’s done for the Master Will last.

1 Expository Sermons on 2 Peter, D M Lloyd-Jones, Banner of Truth, 1983.

OurOurOurOurOurOurOurOur SpiritualSpiritualSpiritualSpiritualSpiritualSpiritualSpiritualSpiritual
OurOurOurOurOurOurOurOur SpiritualSpiritualSpiritualSpiritualSpiritualSpiritualSpiritualSpiritual HealthHealthHealthHealthHealthHealthHealthHealth————————SomeSomeSomeSomeSomeSomeSomeSome thoughtsthoughtsthoughtsthoughtsthoughtsthoughtsthoughtsthoughts fromfromfromfromfromfromfromfrom AAAAAAAA WWWWWWWW TozerTozerTozerTozerTozerTozerTozerTozer
SevenSevenSevenSeven areasareasareasareas of self examination that reveal the quality of our spiritual health:
What we most want
what we most think about
how we use our money
what we do with our leisure time
the company we enjoy
whom and what we admire
and what we laugh at.

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TheThe RoadRoad toto NowhereNowhere

RRRRRRRReeeeeeeevvvvvvvv AAAAAAAAnnnnnnnnddddddddrrrrrrrreeeeeeeewwwwwwww LLLLLLLLuuuuuuuuccccccccaaaaaaaassssssss, Omagh, begins a six-part series on Ruth.

Part 1:

The Road to Nowhere

(1.1-5) “Is the Lord King of our lives?”

Sadly, whether it be people fleeing natural disasters like the cyclone in Burma or the chaos and economic breakdown of places like Zimbabwe, we are all too familiar with the sight of refugees. And because of that, we can easily identify with the opening scene of the book of Ruth. A man, leaving the difficulties of his homeland behind him, fleeing to another land, to build a better life for himself and his family.

The book of Ruth is tucked away in the OT Scriptures, squeezed between two better known books and you could easily miss it, as you turn from the action of Judges to the continuing drama of 1 Samuel. But despite its size, the book of Ruth has a lot to say and we are going to explore its depths together.

11111111 RoadRoadRoadRoadRoadRoadRoadRoad totototototototo NowhereNowhereNowhereNowhereNowhereNowhereNowhereNowhere As we turn to these opening verses, there are three basic lessons that we need to learn. Firstly, the road to nowhere is paved with promises. In the years immediately following WWII, many left Britain with its rationing and war damage, and emigrated to the dominions of Canada, Australia and New Zealand, in the hope of something better. And as chapter one opens, we find Elimelech doing something similar.

Understandable reasons Now it is important that we realize that he is leaving for understandable reasons. This is the time of the Judges and there is a‘” famine in the land”. (1.1 ESV) The period of the Judges is best summed up by the phrase that ‘”Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Jud. 21.25 ESV) There was this repeated cycle of rebellion, judgement, repentance and deliverance. This is Elimelech’s world and the fact that there is a famine, indicates that this is a period of judgement. So he decides to leave Bethlehem, which means house of bread, because there is no bread to be found there.

You can understanding Elimelech’s reasoning can’t you? Especially, when you bear in mind where he is going to. He is going to the ”country Moab”(v1), literally the fields of Moab. Conjures up a picture of fertility and prosperity doesn’t it?

Not quite as simple But whilst we might be able to identify with his choices, we must also realize that things are not quite as simple as they seem. Think about the country he is leaving. For all its difficulties, this is the Promised Land. Even with the famine, it is still the one corner of this world that Yahweh claims to be peculiarly his own, but Elimelech is leaving! Think also about the country he is going to. Yes, Moab is green and fertile, but it is a pagan land. A land of vile fertility cults. A cruel land that had sought, to dominate Israel, but this is where Elimelech is going! This is where he is hoping to raise his young family!

There is something wrong here. Yes, Moab has a lot going for it. It promises much, but it is a road to nowhere, because Elimelech is taking his family out of the sphere of blessing. In this regard he is a warning to us. As we traverse the narrow

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and difficult path of the Christian life (Matt 7.13-14), the green and fertile fields of the world are often in view, and they hold out the promise of a better, easier life and we are tempted by what we see. Rather ironically, the name Elimelech means something like God is my King, but the Lord isn’t King of Elimelech’s life as he makes his decision to leave. What about us? Is the Lord King of our lives, directing the choices that we make in life or are we more influenced by the green and fertile fields of the world?

22222222 Life’sLife’sLife’sLife’sLife’sLife’sLife’sLife’s KnocksKnocksKnocksKnocksKnocksKnocksKnocksKnocks

So the road to nowhere is paved with promises. Secondly, there are lessons to be learned from life’s knocks. There are always consequences to our actions, whether for good or ill. Not so long ago a 67 year old man, decided to take a shortcut across a tidal estuary in Devon. But he got into trouble and began to sink into the quicksand. By the time the coastguard reached him, he had sunk up to his waist!

Permanent stay And there are consequences to Elimelech’s choices. One being that a temporary stay becomes permanent. In v1 we are told that he went to sojourn in the country of Moab”, which may imply that initially at least, Elimelech only intended to stay temporarily, perhaps until the famine passed. But in the next verse we read, “They went into the country of Moab and remained there.” Now Elimelech may not have made a conscious decision to stay permanently, but you can understand how it happened. They move to Moab and begin to put down roots and before they know it, the years have just drifted by.

Missed opportunity Now Elimelech’s reason for moving was to escape disaster, but sadly disaster catches up with him in the green and fertile fields of Moab. Having left a land of want, he dies in a land of plenty (v3). We can imagine the devastating impact his death must have had upon his family, but in another sense this is a heaven sent opportunity. It is an opportunity for them ask some very important questions, about why their plans for a better life have been frustrated? It provides them with an opportunity to make better choices and to return home. But Elimelech’s loved ones don’t seem to ask those kind of questions. In fact they put down even deeper roots, because his sons take wives from amongst the Moabites (v4).

But this sad rerun of Elimelech’s bad choices has great motivating potential. Which one of us wants to see our children making bad choices? Bad choices that they have learned from us. Well, the answer is not to make those bad choices in the first place. The answer is to set our children a good example by only making biblically informed choices. We also need to show them how to learn from life’s knocks. That doesn’t mean that whenever something goes seriously wrong, it is an indication that we have made a bad choice and that the Lord is dealing with us. But it is an opportunity to sit down and to ask ourselves some important questions, and where necessary to acknowledge our mistakes and to correct them by making Christ honouring choices.

33333333 EndEndEndEndEndEndEndEnd ofofofofofofofof thethethethethethethethe RoadRoadRoadRoadRoadRoadRoadRoad

So we need to learn from lives knocks. Our final lesson is that the end of the road

is sometimes the beginning of hope. Sometimes things really do go from bad to worse and that was the case with Elimelech’s wife Naomi. Having lost her husband, she now loses her sons (v 5).

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Its one thing after another. What a bitter moment this is in Naomi’s life. Having lost everything, she is now far from home, with only her two Moabite daughters-in -law for company. But in actual fact this is a turning point in her life. Hope is beginning to dawn and the Lord is on the move. Shortly, she will receive news that will encourage her to make the right choice and to return to the land of blessing.

Now we might ask why this couldn’t have happened earlier? Couldn’t the Lord have brought Naomi to her senses before this? Well, the Lord is the best physician of our souls and he knows when the timing is right. Sometimes he allows us to run with our sinful choices for a while and to suffer the consequences. Sometimes he allows us to go a long way-away before he reels us back in, and sometimes it has to be that way, because it is only when we have gone to the extremities, that we are then ready to be brought back. Think of the prodigal. It was only when the money had run out and he was eating the pigs’ leftovers, that he was ready to return home. (Luke 15.16-17). The same is true for Naomi. Only now, when she has reached the end of the road, is she ready to set out on the road home. And even though she doesn’t realize it, the Lord is already at work in her life and there is hope at the end of the road.

We can all find the green and fertile fields of Moab attractive. We are all tempted by the prospect of an easier and more comfortable life. We can all make bad choices and stray into a foreign land, but the wonderful thing is that our Lord Jesus Christ once went into a self-imposed exile. He once went a long, long way- away from home into a foreign and hostile land, and he did so in order to give us hope at the end of the road and to bring us back home. Amen

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MeetMeet oneone ofof ourour Members!Members!

Meet one one of of our our Members! Members! Hugh Hugh Crawford, Crawford, Omagh Omagh Hugh

HughHugh Crawford,Crawford, OmaghOmagh

Hugh Crawford was born on 23 November 1919 in a thatched cottage between Gortin and Newtownstewart, Co Tyrone. He was an only child as his mother, Josephine, died from post- natal complications ten days after he was born and one week short of her 21 st birthday. Hugh’s father moved away to work and he saw him only infrequently. He died when still a young man.

EarlyEarlyEarlyEarlyEarlyEarlyEarlyEarly YearsYearsYearsYearsYearsYearsYearsYears Hugh’s maternal grandmother, Rebecca Mitchell, brought him up with her family in Drumlea, about three miles on the other side of Gortin. She was of “old, staunch Presbyterian stock” and taught her family the Word of God. Every Sunday they walked the three miles to Gortin Presbyterian Church, setting out only after giving affirmative answers to the questions: “Have you got your Bible, your Psalm Book and your Catechism? (the Shorter)”. If they complained about the rain her rejoinder was, “The quicker you go, the less of it you will get!” Hugh attended Drumlea Primary School. It was a difficult time for families as “the hungry thirties’, took its toll. He remembers well lifting potatoes and cabbage during his primary school years. He was saved at a children’s cottage meeting when he was about fourteen.

FirstFirstFirstFirstFirstFirstFirstFirst JobJobJobJobJobJobJobJob Hugh left school when he was 14 and got a job in a local grocery shop, the beginning of a lifetime in the retail trade. He did an egg collecting run, driven around in an old Bedford van. He tells how a woman in a remote place at the back of the Sperrin Mountains used to ask him to drop off a container of water with her sister, three miles away – “She likes our spring water”. It was always well sealed and when Hugh and his driver became suspicious they found it was poteen, and at the time Customs officials were scouring the country for its producers and traffickers!

WorkingWorkingWorkingWorkingWorkingWorkingWorkingWorking andandandandandandandand WorshippingWorshippingWorshippingWorshippingWorshippingWorshippingWorshippingWorshipping inininininininin BelfastBelfastBelfastBelfastBelfastBelfastBelfastBelfast After about eight years in Drumlea the shop-keeper sold up and Hugh went to work in Belfast. One day, during his first week, the usual morning delivery of lettuce failed, so the owner dressed up the left-over stock from the previous day to make it look the part. However, a woman customer asked Hugh directly whether the lettuce was fresh and when he admitted it wasn’t, she didn’t buy. On Friday night he got his pay and his ‘cards’. The owner said that Christianity was fine but we had to be practical! He moved then to Stewarts Cash Stores on the Beersbridge Road, the Stewarts that was eventually taken over by Tesco.

Someone invited Hugh to Oldpark Presbyterian and to his dismay he was ushered to the third row from the front of the packed Church. Two young men invited him to come on Sunday evening and to stay for the Christian Endeavour where he found about 150 present. He had a lasting friendship with one of the two young men and kept in contact with him until his death in 2007.

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BackBackBackBackBackBackBackBack totototototototo OmaghOmaghOmaghOmaghOmaghOmaghOmaghOmagh Hugh returned to Omagh in 1946, having been in Belfast for most of the Second World War. His grandmother died soon after and the old home fell into disuse, but he has a clear testimony about his childhood in it: Though father, mother, both me leave, The Lord me up will take. (Ps 27.10) Hugh joined C A Anderson, a general, provincial store in Omagh, in 1946 as a Junior Assistant and worked there for 44 years until his retirement in 1989. He managed the shop during his last twenty years. Anderson's was bombed several times during the troubles. One day near closing time, the yardman informed Hugh that a car had been left at the back and the driver had failed to return. As Hugh and the yardman were pushing the car out the police arrived and told them that there was a 500 lb bomb in it! That time, it was defused.

FamilyFamilyFamilyFamilyFamilyFamilyFamilyFamily LifeLifeLifeLifeLifeLifeLifeLife Around 1955 Hugh met Ethel McCallon from Sion Mills through meetings they both attended and they married in February 1957. Their only child, Sandra, was born in December. She was saved at a CEF meeting in her youth. In 1984 Sandra married William Workman, a mission worker with the Irish Mission of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, and based mainly in Athy. Sandra died after a long battle with cancer in August 2009, but the Lord enabled her to remain active in his service for much of her illness. It was a privilege for many to pray for her. Ethel had died, after a similar illness, in June 1995. Hugh remains thankful to the Lord for blessing him with a good wife, a lovely daughter and a very happy family life.

TheTheTheTheTheTheTheThe EvangelicalEvangelicalEvangelicalEvangelicalEvangelicalEvangelicalEvangelicalEvangelical PresbyterianPresbyterianPresbyterianPresbyterianPresbyterianPresbyterianPresbyterianPresbyterian ChurchChurchChurchChurchChurchChurchChurchChurch Hugh settled in a local church on his return to Omagh in 1946. He taught Sunday school for 20 years until the Minister upheld complaints from parents about Hugh speaking to the children about the need to be saved. Omagh Reformed Evangelical Church, which emerged from Omagh FP Church, integrated into the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in 1982. Hugh joined it when it moved to its new building on the Mountfield Road in 1990. He was elected a Deacon in 1991 and an Elder in 1992. He became Clerk of Session in 1992 which was significant for Hugh’s family history. There had always been a Hugh Crawford in the family since the 1700s and they had all been Clerk of Session. As the last Hugh Crawford in the line he is thankful to carry on the Clerk of Session family tradition. He has been

a reader of good books and magazines all his life.

has been a reader of good books and magazines all his life. AAAA AAAA WordWordWordWord WordWordWordWord

AAAAAAAA WordWordWordWordWordWordWordWord ofofofofofofofof ThanksThanksThanksThanksThanksThanksThanksThanks Hugh wishes to express his sincere thanks to the Omagh congregation, to the members of Presbytery and to his other Christian friends for their friendship, love, prayers and support, especially during the recent years of family sickness and

bereavement. He celebrated his 90

enthusiastic Church gathering and was presented with a painting of the area where he grew up. We wish him ongoing years of usefulness in Omagh and in the work

of the Kingdom of Heaven, at home and further afield. He has a great love for both.

th

birthday on 23 November 2009 at an

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AllAll LandsLands ToTo God!God!

NewsNews fromfrom India,India, NigeriaNigeria andand SouthSouth AfricaAfrica

PradeepPradeepPradeepPradeepPradeepPradeepPradeepPradeep KumarKumarKumarKumarKumarKumarKumarKumar writeswriteswriteswriteswriteswriteswriteswrites fromfromfromfromfromfromfromfrom Chhapara,Chhapara,Chhapara,Chhapara,Chhapara,Chhapara,Chhapara,Chhapara, India,India,India,India,India,India,India,India, 1818181818181818 NovemNovemNovemNovemNovemNovemNovemNovemberberberberberberberber 20092009200920092009200920092009 Greetings to you all in the name of Jesus Christ-our Lord and Saviour. We thank God that on 13 November 2009, 22 new believers were baptized in Chhapara, About thirty people applied but we selected 22 who were strong in their faith. Due to the anti- conversion law in our State it is very difficult to administer baptism so we brought a Minister from another State who provided each with the Certificate of Baptism required for Church membership. 15 of them later joined our Church. We give all the honour and glory to our Lord Jesus Christ.

TheTheTheTheTheTheTheThe RevRevRevRevRevRevRevRev PrakashPrakashPrakashPrakashPrakashPrakashPrakashPrakash KumarKumarKumarKumarKumarKumarKumarKumar MemorialMemorialMemorialMemorialMemorialMemorialMemorialMemorial Seekers'Seekers'Seekers'Seekers'Seekers'Seekers'Seekers'Seekers' CampCampCampCampCampCampCampCamp This was scheduled for 26-28 December 2009. The theme is I Press On. Please pray that great blessing will result from it. The Church was expecting an attendance of at least 150, many of them recent believers from the villages around Chhapara and among them about 50 young people who attended the Youth Retreat in October. The programme was made up of ten sessions dealing with Why you are here, The Way, The Truth, The Life, Discipleship, How to be Steadfast in the Faith and Going home again.

GarlandsGarlandsGarlandsGarlandsGarlandsGarlandsGarlandsGarlands ReturnReturnReturnReturnReturnReturnReturnReturn ……………………

It has been a privilege to have Sidney and Jean among us for some months. We hope they have benefited from the rest they both so badly needed and are supposed to have been able to take. They return to their work in Nigeria on 5 January 2010. Our prayers go with them for the journey, arrival and settling in. There will be many things just crying out for attention as soon as they appear. We wish them good health and very much fulfilment in the work of the Kingdom of Heaven as they take it up again in Nigeria. We will pray for them, their safety, their health, and encouragement in every sphere of their work.

health, and encouragement in every sphere of their work. BabyBabyBabyBaby BabyBabyBabyBaby forforforfor forforforfor
health, and encouragement in every sphere of their work. BabyBabyBabyBaby BabyBabyBabyBaby forforforfor forforforfor

BabyBabyBabyBabyBabyBabyBabyBaby forforforforforforforfor PamelaPamelaPamelaPamelaPamelaPamelaPamelaPamela andandandandandandandand MusaMusaMusaMusaMusaMusaMusaMusa …………………… We congratulate Pamela and Musa Gaiya on the birth of their daughter Gracie Alheri Agwai on 29 November 2009. We give thanks to God for the safe arrival and for Musa’s visa which came just shortly after the birth. We wish the whole family the Lord’s richest blessing and we look forward to having Pamela, Musa and Gracie among us during the coming months.

All Lands to God will carry Nigeria updates during 2010.

Musa and Gracie among us during the coming months. All Lands to God will carry Nigeria

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January January - - February February 2010 2010 FromFromFromFrom FromFromFromFrom RevRevRevRev RevRevRevRev

FromFromFromFromFromFromFromFrom RevRevRevRevRevRevRevRev NormanNormanNormanNormanNormanNormanNormanNorman Reid,Reid,Reid,Reid,Reid,Reid,Reid,Reid, 77777777 DecemberDecemberDecemberDecemberDecemberDecemberDecemberDecember 20092009200920092009200920092009 I am writing to share with you some very recent blessings which we have received here in the work of the Lord . We were greatly encouraged this morning as we met at Dumisani Theological Institute for our “start the week” prayer meeting, as we shared what we had experienced at communions the previous day.

We were in Somerset East yesterday where I conducted the communion service. It was a very special service and we felt the presence of the Lord in a way that I have rarely experienced before. There was a good attendance and the singing was wonderful. The attention to the preaching was remarkable. As I served the table I thought to myself how wonderful must be the marriage supper of the Lamb and I was almost overcome by the desire to be in heaven. The presence of the Lord was clearly sensed by others. After the service three of the Elders spoke to the congregation about blessing received and encouraged them to respond to the Word. One Elder said “We came here today for the Lord’s Supper but we have received so much more, we have seen Christ.” (I had preached on Philippians 2: The Humiliation and Exaltation of Christ). Pray that the word will remain with the people.

An elder from the Dewar District, Mr Stali, accompanied me and translated. On the way home he told me about blessing he had received recently. He is in charge of a church at Lloyd location near Alice. He was discouraged as he had to conduct four funerals in a month, of young people who had died of AIDS. These young people he had never met as they had been living and working far from home, but they were brought home for burial by relatives who expected the Elder to conduct the funerals. At the last funeral he preached strongly against the sins in the community and told the people: “This is the last funeral I will conduct of someone I do not know. You must change your ways.” On the next Sunday when he came to preach at church, six men from the community were waiting for him. They said, “What you said at the funeral is true. We are here because we want to be saved and to join the church.” That was several months ago and those men are all attending regularly and are now members of the church, which was previously made up of mamas and children. Praise the Lord, He is clearly at work.

There is also evidence of blessing in the King District. At their communion yesterday the Lord’s presence was clearly evident. Both Ikho and Hombakazi were overjoyed as they told us today at the prayer meeting about the service yesterday. A new Elder was ordained and a Deacon appointed and they received four new members. The church was full and new people from the community have begun attending at Gwaba including a man just released from prison. At the new church building in King there is a new Sunday School established with 24 children attending regularly and new people from the community are attending. But do pray for the church at Qhugqwala where there are problems that this blessing might spread there.

“Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not faint.” Thank you for your prayers, May the Lord’s Name be praised for his blessings.

1111

TheThe EvangelicalEvangelical PresbyterianPresbyterian

BIGBIGBIGBIG WORDSWORDSWORDSWORDS forforforfor YOUNGYOUNGYOUNGYOUNG PEOPLPEOPLEPEOPLPEOPLEEE
BIGBIGBIGBIG WORDSWORDSWORDSWORDS forforforfor YOUNGYOUNGYOUNGYOUNG PEOPLPEOPLEPEOPLPEOPLEEE

Hi!Hi!Hi!Hi! What’sWhat’sWhat’sWhat’s youryouryouryour NewNewNewNew Year’sYear’sYear’sYear’s Resolution?Resolution?Resolution?Resolution?

ToToToTo alwaysalwaysalwaysalways dodododo youryouryouryour homeworkhomeworkhomeworkhomework asasasas soonsoonsoonsoon asasasas youyouyouyou getgetgetget home?home?home?home?

ToToToTo keepkeepkeepkeep youryouryouryour bedroombedroombedroombedroom tidy?tidy?tidy?tidy?

ToToToTo walkwalkwalkwalk thethethethe dogdogdogdog everyeveryeveryevery morningmorningmorningmorning beforebeforebeforebefore breakfast?breakfast?breakfast?breakfast?

REGENERATION: This means Being given a NEW LIFE
REGENERATION:
This means
Being given a
NEW LIFE

NextNextNextNext questionquestion:questionquestion ::: HowHowHowHow longlonglonglong willwillwillwill youyouyouyou keepkeepkeepkeep itititit upup?upup ???

NowNowNowNow answeransweransweranswer thisthisthisthis oneoneoneone honestlyhonestly:honestlyhonestly:::

CouldCouldCouldCould youyouyouyou gogogogo forforforfor aaaa wholewholewholewhole daydaydayday withoutwithoutwithoutwithout beingbeingbeingbeing grumpygrumpy,grumpygrumpy,,, awkwardawkward,awkwardawkward,,, cheekycheeky,cheekycheeky,,, lazylazylazylazy orororor disobedientdisobedient?disobedientdisobedient???

orororor disobedientdisobedient?disobedientdisobedient??? No matter how good our intentions are, we cannot turn
orororor disobedientdisobedient?disobedientdisobedient??? No matter how good our intentions are, we cannot turn

No matter how good our intentions are, we cannot turn ourselves into better people.

We have been born with sinful hearts. The only answer is to START ALL OVER AGAIN with a NEW HEART and a NEW LIFE.

That is called REGENERATION.

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JanuaryJanuary--FebruaryFebruary 20102010

Wait a minute… can’t I make my heart good by √ Going to church √
Wait a minute… can’t I make my heart good by
√ Going to church
√ Reading my Bible
√ Helping at home… and
√ Giving money to missionaries?
Have you heard of this man? U E O I N C D M S
Have you heard of this man?
U E O I N C D M S (unjumble)
He was a religious leader who came to visit Jesus at night
time. What did Jesus say to him?
You’ve done your best
God is pleased with you
Just keep up the effort and you’ll be OK
Jesus said:
You must be BORN AGAIN. There is NO OTHER
WAY to get to heaven. John 3:3
BEING BORN AGAIN means the same as REGENERATION

New Year’s Resolutions won’t change the person you are.

Only JESUS can give you a NEW HEART and a

NEW START. Why don’t you ask Him?

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TheThe EvangelicalEvangelical PresbyterianPresbyterian

DoDo youyou notnot know?know?

CCCCCCCChhhhhhhhrrrrrrrriiiiiiiissssssssttttttttoooooooopppppppphhhhhhhheeeeeeeerrrrrrrr DDDDDDDDoooooooohhhhhhhheeeeeeeerrrrrrrrttttttttyyyyyyyy, Stranmillis, asks:

“Are you thrilled by the doctrine of our

Union with Christ?”

The New Testament writers often used the term “Do you not know” to alert their readers to the fact that something they should have known and understood, they had failed to grasp. Are we any different from our brothers and sisters of the 1 st century? Paul writes: “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” (Rom 6.3-4) Dr Lloyd- Jones comments, “There is no thing, perhaps, in the whole range and realm of doctrine which, if properly grasped and understood, gives greater assurance, greater comfort, and greater hope than this doctrine of our union with Christ” 1

BaptismBaptismBaptismBaptismBaptismBaptismBaptismBaptism intointointointointointointointo ChristChristChristChristChristChristChristChrist “For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body”. (1 Cor 12.13) Baptism “into Christ Jesus” means union with Christ but many to whom Paul was writing were not aware of this vital union. However, believers then as now, whether they have grasped it or not, have been united to Christ as a result of the work of the Holy Spirit. “All of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus”.

DeathDeathDeathDeathDeathDeathDeathDeath ofofofofofofofof AdamAdamAdamAdamAdamAdamAdamAdam We were born in Adam and death spread to all men (Rom 5.12), but when we become united with Christ we are taken out of Adam, our ties to him die; we are dead to sin and are buried. As we were united to Adam, so we are now united to Christ. There is no middle road—we are either in Christ or still in Adam.

NewnessNewnessNewnessNewnessNewnessNewnessNewnessNewness ofofofofofofofof LifeLifeLifeLifeLifeLifeLifeLife “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me”. (Gal 2.20) We have newness of life in Christ and the Holy Spirit quickens us unto holiness, righteousness, and joy. God “has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places”. (Eph 1.3). Adam’s one sin brought all its evil consequences upon us, Christ’s actions brings all blessings upon us. All that is in Christ is mine because I am in him. This union means that our final salvation is guaranteed, for everything that happened to Christ happens to us.

“I am not going back to the grave of spiritual death nor to my grave-clothes of sin; but by divine grace I will still believe in Jesus, and go from strength to strength, not under law, not fearing hell, nor hoping to merit heaven, but as a new creature, loving because loved, living for Christ because Christ lives in me, rejoicing in glorious hope of that which is yet to be revealed by virtue of my oneness in Christ.” 2

Are you thrilled by the doctrine of our union with Christ?

1414

1 D Martyn Lloyd-Jones, The New Man—Exposition of Romans Chap 6, Banner of Truth, 1972, P 30

2 C H Spurgeon, The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit—Volume 27, Pilgrim Publications, P 628

JanuaryJanuary--FebruaryFebruary 20102010

PrayerPrayer DiarDiary:y: JanJan--FebFeb 20102010

Diar Diar y: y: Jan Jan - - Feb Feb 2010 2010 1111 1111 WitnessWitnessWitnessWitness

11111111

WitnessWitnessWitnessWitnessWitnessWitnessWitnessWitness

Pray for our Gospel witness and our desire to do it during 2010

22222222

BroadcastBroadcastBroadcastBroadcastBroadcastBroadcastBroadcastBroadcast

Pray for Rev. Gareth Burke on Thought for the Day, 4/11/18 January

33333333

Lord’sLord’sLord’sLord’sLord’sLord’sLord’sLord’s DayDayDayDayDayDayDayDay

Pray that we would know God’s powerful presence each Lord’s Day

44444444

GarlandsGarlandsGarlandsGarlandsGarlandsGarlandsGarlandsGarlands

Pray for Sid and Jean returning to Nigeria 5 January and for settling in

55555555

GroomsportGroomsportGroomsportGroomsportGroomsportGroomsportGroomsportGroomsport

Pray that we would know God’s power and blessing throughout 2010

66666666

ChristianChristianChristianChristianChristianChristianChristianChristian InstituteInstituteInstituteInstituteInstituteInstituteInstituteInstitute

Pray for the resources needed to defend Christians and the Christian faith

77777777

IndiaIndiaIndiaIndiaIndiaIndiaIndiaIndia

Give thanks for the new baptisms at Chhapara. See page 10

88888888

RichhillRichhillRichhillRichhillRichhillRichhillRichhillRichhill

Praise God for recent encouragements. Pray that these would continue

99999999

SouthSouthSouthSouthSouthSouthSouthSouth AfricaAfricaAfricaAfricaAfricaAfricaAfricaAfrica

Give thanks for recent blessing. Pray that it will increase. See page 11

1010101010101010

PulpitsPulpitsPulpitsPulpitsPulpitsPulpitsPulpitsPulpits

Pray for all who preach God’s Word each Lord’s Day in our pulpits

1111111111111111

KnockKnockKnockKnockKnockKnockKnockKnock

Pray for unity and vision as we advance the Kingdom of God in the area

1212121212121212

StudentStudentStudentStudentStudentStudentStudentStudent WorkWorkWorkWorkWorkWorkWorkWork

Pray for Stranmillis Students’ Bible Study Group, each Friday night

1313131313131313

OmaghOmaghOmaghOmaghOmaghOmaghOmaghOmagh

Pray for the visit of Dr Pipa, 16-17 February. See page 18.

1414141414141414

BookBookBookBookBookBookBookBook ShopShopShopShopShopShopShopShop

Pray that the books sold will be a blessing to all who read them

1515151515151515

JuniorJuniorJuniorJuniorJuniorJuniorJuniorJunior CampCampCampCampCampCampCampCamp

Pray for the Reunion, Groomsport, 15-16 January, and for the 2010 Camp

1616161616161616

FinaghyFinaghyFinaghyFinaghyFinaghyFinaghyFinaghyFinaghy

Pray for our forthcoming Mission, planned for Easter week,

1717171717171717

SundaySundaySundaySundaySundaySundaySundaySunday SchoolsSchoolsSchoolsSchoolsSchoolsSchoolsSchoolsSchools

Pray for the boys and girls, that many will come to love the Saviour

1818181818181818

CrosscollyerCrosscollyerCrosscollyerCrosscollyerCrosscollyerCrosscollyerCrosscollyerCrosscollyer StStStStStStStSt

Pray for new people coming to Helping Hand, that God would save

1919191919191919

EMFEMFEMFEMFEMFEMFEMFEMF

Pray for the advance of the Gospel throughout Europe, and for resources

2020202020202020

StranmillisStranmillisStranmillisStranmillisStranmillisStranmillisStranmillisStranmillis

Pray that the contacts we make would by God’s grace become converts

2121212121212121

IntersIntersIntersIntersIntersIntersIntersInters CampCampCampCampCampCampCampCamp

Pray for the camp reunion 29-31 January and for the 2010 Camp

2222222222222222

CrumlinCrumlinCrumlinCrumlinCrumlinCrumlinCrumlinCrumlin

Remember the vacancy and continue to pray for a new Minister

2323232323232323

PeruPeruPeruPeruPeruPeruPeruPeru

Colegio san Andrés in Lima is progressing. Pray for its spiritual life.

2424242424242424

CWICWICWICWICWICWICWICWI

Pray that God will use the new websites to draw Jewish people to Christ

2525252525252525

BallyclareBallyclareBallyclareBallyclareBallyclareBallyclareBallyclareBallyclare

Give thanks for the encouraging number of young people who attend

2626262626262626

LisburnLisburnLisburnLisburnLisburnLisburnLisburnLisburn RoadRoadRoadRoadRoadRoadRoadRoad

Pray for the development of the outreach work at Lisburn Road

2727272727272727

PresbyteryPresbyteryPresbyteryPresbyteryPresbyteryPresbyteryPresbyteryPresbytery

Pray for our monthly meetings, for wisdom, direction and efficiency

2828282828282828

SomertonSomertonSomertonSomertonSomertonSomertonSomertonSomerton RoadRoadRoadRoadRoadRoadRoadRoad

Pray that new people will begin to attend our church services

2929292929292929

HouseboundHouseboundHouseboundHouseboundHouseboundHouseboundHouseboundHousebound

Remember the elderly and housebound members of our congregations

3030303030303030

UgandaUgandaUgandaUgandaUgandaUgandaUgandaUganda

Pray for the literature work and the witness of the new library at Goli

3131313131313131

Lord’sLord’sLord’sLord’sLord’sLord’sLord’sLord’s DayDayDayDayDayDayDayDay

Give thanks for the day of rest and gladness. Pray that we will use it best

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TheThe EvangelicalEvangelical PresbyterianPresbyterian

KeyKey MattersMatters forfor PrayerPrayerJanJan--FebFeb 20102010

The following commend themselves as matters for special prayer at the present time at our Church Services, Prayer Meetings, and for family and personal prayer.

PresbyteryPresbyteryPresbyteryPresbyteryPresbyteryPresbyteryPresbyteryPresbytery CommitteesCommitteesCommitteesCommitteesCommitteesCommitteesCommitteesCommittees These Committees work on behalf of Presbytery by carrying out appointed tasks and by initiating matters for Presbytery’s consideration. They advise Presbytery through reports that usually contain recommendations. The Annual Reports of the Standing Committees are included in Presbytery’s Annual Report and provide

useful references to the Presbytery year

we suggest two of them for special prayer at this time

All the Committees do important work, but

The Foreign Missions Committee (David Watson Convener, Revs Gareth Burke and Billy Elliott with co-opted help) is working on a review of the Church’s Foreign Missions policy—the first major review since the 1980s. The aim is to produce a policy document incorporating the principles and strategy which Presbytery outlines in its ongoing discussions. The document will be summarised in booklet form for the congregations and will be accompanied by regular updates to motivate our thinking, our prayers and our support. This is a major project and the Committee is due to report in March 2010. Please pray for its members.

The new Church Development Committee (CDC) combines the former Church Extension and Church Strategy Committees. Its members are Rev Andrew Lucas —Convener, Rev Robert Johnston, Mervyn Langtry, David Watson. It is important that our Church has a clear sense of identity with good denominational objectives including literature and church planting. This requires both internal and external development with Presbytery and congregations working together and we should pray especially for the Committee as its seeks to lead this new phase of progress.

BuildingBuildingBuildingBuildingBuildingBuildingBuildingBuilding andandandandandandandand RefurbishmentRefurbishmentRefurbishmentRefurbishmentRefurbishmentRefurbishmentRefurbishmentRefurbishment ProjectsProjectsProjectsProjectsProjectsProjectsProjectsProjects The Trustees of the Evangelical Book Shop have drawn up plans to refurbish the premises. It will involve a redesign of the ground and first floors with new or upgraded facilities. The shop is an 1810 building and is now listed. We bought it in 1946 and it was restored in 1975 following severe bomb damage, but we now must bring it up to modern standards. We hope to begin the work in the summer of 2010 and the expenditure will be at least £100,000. Please pray for the Trustees, the Manager and the staff that the Lord will provide the wisdom, planning, strength and financial resources that they need. It will be a difficult transitional period for the Shop too. Evangelical Book Shop circulates Bibles, along with a huge range of reformed books and resources. The Shop serves the Church by providing various categories of practical support including the distribution of the Magazine.

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Our Knock congregation is also facing the huge task of replacing their main church building, constructed in 1928 and now in decline to such an extent that the Session are reluctant to spend money on all but essential maintenance. Please pray for wisdom and resources for this project too and especially that the Lord will use the new building for the extension of his Kingdom in east Belfast.

this project too and especially that the Lord will use the new building for the extension

JanuaryJanuary--FebruaryFebruary 20102010

TheThe EPEP Crossword:Crossword: MosesMoses

The The EP EP Crossword: Crossword: Moses Moses     TheTheTheThe EditorEditorEditorEditor
   

TheTheTheThe EditorEditorEditorEditor willwillwillwill awardawardawardaward aaaa BookBookBookBook TokenTokenTokenToken forforforfor thethethethe winningwinningwinningwinning enenenentrytrytrytry

 
CluesCluesCluesClues bybybyby JimJimJimJim LeckeyLeckeyLeckeyLeckey
CluesCluesCluesClues bybybyby JimJimJimJim LeckeyLeckeyLeckeyLeckey

AcrossAcrossAcrossAcross

1111

Plant, ex President (4)

1

     

2

     

3

   

4

 

5

   

6

   

7

 

4444

Tyranny (10)

                                         

8888

Son and Tribe (8)

 
                                         

10101010

God’s Name without worth (4)

       

8

           

9

       

10

       

11111111

Burnt in Holy Place (7)

                                         

12121212

Miracles (7)

                                         

14141414

Special Box (3)

 
                         

11

             

15151515

Compass point (4)

         

12

                             

17171717

Record or witness (9)

                                         

19191919

Bright epidermis (7)

 
                           

13

 

14

       

21212121

Plague (10)

15

       

16

   

17

   

18

                 

23232323

Almighty Name (3)

                               

19

     

20

26262626

Furnace issue (5)

29292929

Lazy (4)

 
         

21

 

22

                         
         

30303030

Tabernacle area (5)

23

   

24

                       

25

       

31313131

Moses went here (6)

                                         

33333333

Precious metal (4)

 
             

26

 

27

   

28

     

29

       

35353535

Came with thunder (4)

30

                     

31

 

32

             

36363636

Moses had slow one (6)

                               

33

   

34

 

38383838

Weep (3)

39393939

Moses to smite this (4)

 
     

35

               

36

 

37

           
                   

40404040

Main part in substance (4)

                 

38

           

39

       

41414141

Unseen (4)

     

40

                 

41

             

DownDownDownDown

1111

Moses’ hiding placer (9)

 
                                         
 

1

H

 

A

 

R

K

 

2

W

 

I

S

E

   

3

F

 

4

S

T

5

A

R

 

2222

Midwives were this (6)

SolutionDecember

SolutionNovemberNovember--December

SolutionDecember

2009 Solution

2009

2009

NovemberNovember--December 2009

 

E

       

I

     

6

M

I

L

D

   

N

 

3333

5555

6666

7777

People of Canaan (10)

Coastal dwellers (11)

Set period of time (9)

Fruit for oil (5)

Having strength to do (4)

To speak (5)

 
 

A

       

F

   

7

C

     

E

     

N

 

StranmillisWinner:

Fox StranmillisWinner: StranmillisWinner: Stranmillis

Winner: Mrs

Mrs

Mrs

Mrs Pat

Pat

Pat

Pat Fox

Fox

Fox

 

V

 

8

C

 

9

H

E

R

O

D

T

H

E

G

10

R

E

A

11

T

 

E

   

A

 

E

     

U

           

E

     

I

9999

 

N

   

E

 

R

     

N

 

12

B

R

13

A

N

 

C

H

   

D

13131313

 

L

   

S

 

14

A

D

E

S

T

E

 

L

   

O

     

I

16161616

Peak of hill (3)

 

Y

   

A

 

L

     

E

 

T

 

15

L

O

 

N

G

   

N

18181818

Odious smell (5)

16

H

 

E

 

R

O

D

     

L

 

H

 

P

   

C

     

G

20202020

Title (4)

 

O

       

17

G

A

L

I

L

E

E

   

I

     

S

22222222

Locusts came on this (4,4)

18

S

 

T

 

O

O

D

     

O

 

E

 

O

   

L

       

24242424

25252525

27272727

28282828

The earth opened it (5)

Stone writing with this (6)

King of Bashan (2)

Having nothing within (5)

Quails covered it (4)

 
 

T

       

19

W

O

R

S

H

I

P

P

 

E

D

   

20

F

   

21

S

           

E

 

L

   

D

     

I

22

J

 

O

 

Y

F

U

23

L

   

24

P

 

25

26

M E

E

27

K

       

E

30303030

     

R

   

A

   

O

   

A

 

28

I

 

N

N

   

L

32323232

Tribe of Aholiath (3))))

 

29

F

 

I

R

S

T

B

O

R

 

N S

O

N

       

D

 

34343434

Parasite on man and beast (4)

                           

30

       

37373737

Number ten tribe (3)

 
   

A

   

E

   

R

   

T

 

G

 

I

F

T

S

 

The 2010 series of Crosswords will test our knowledge of six major Bible characters. We start with Moses. You will need to look at Exodus-Deuteronomy, but mostly at Exodus. Remember too that there are references to Moses throughout the Bible.

1

Please post your entry to the Editor to arrive, week commencing 24 January. (Not before!)

 

2

Mark your envelope ‘Crossword’.

3

The Editor will select the first correct entry from the bag as the winner.

1717

TheThe EvangelicalEvangelical PresbyterianPresbyterian

ChurchChurch NewsNews

Obituary:Obituary: MrsMrs IsabellaIsabella Gordon,Gordon, CrosscollyerCrosscollyer StreetStreet

Mrs Isabella Gordon passed on to be with her Lord and Saviour on 17 October 2009 in her 97 th year. She grew up in Ballygowan and came to work in Belfast shortly before her marriage to David in 1935. She managed the family shop in Buckingham Street, off the Grosvenor Road, until they were bombed out in 1972 and moved to North Belfast. Converted in her early 30’s she had a vibrant Christian testimony and joined Crosscollyer St. Church in 1982. She was active as a Sunday School teacher, Mother and Toddler group leader and in any other activity where she could be of help. Each Friday night they held a prayer meeting in their home for the needs of the district. Very faithful in her attendance at all services she and David (who predeceased her in 2008) were united together in marriage for 73 years. She spent the last years of her life under the excellent care of Lansdowne Nursing Home and looked forward to the regular Christian events held there. Though increasingly frail in body her mind remained sharp until the end. Our prayerful sympathy is extended to her daughters Olive and Maureen and her son George in Australia. “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on …. that they may rest

from their labours and their works follow them”

RCBRCBRCBRCB

Obituary:Obituary: MrMr WilliamWilliam JohnJohn McMurray,McMurray, SomertonSomerton RoadRoad

Mr McMurray a member and faithful Deacon in Somerton Rd congregation passed into the presence of his Saviour on 6 November 2009 in his 88 th year. Born in Dunloy, where his father was the railway crossing operator, Willie

worked all his life on the railways on track maintenance. Married to Lily in 1950 he joined Somerton Road church in 1957 where he was a faithful Deacon and church caretaker for over 30 years. Lily predeceased him in 2008. A quiet man with simple tastes, Willie was a man of prayer and regular in all his attendance at the means of grace. He was a good husband and father and very helpful to all his neighbours. His passing was sudden and unexpected to us but his heavenly home had been in preparation for many years since he trusted in Christ. We express our thanks to the staff at Lansdowne Nursing Home who ministered to his needs in his last years. Do pray for his handicapped only child Anne and give thanks she is being very well cared for. Willie has entered into his eternal reward and received his

“Well done good and Faithful servant”.

RCBRCBRCBRCB

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OmaghOmaghOmaghOmaghOmaghOmaghOmaghOmagh EvangelicalEvangelicalEvangelicalEvangelicalEvangelicalEvangelicalEvangelicalEvangelical PresbyterianPresbyterianPresbyterianPresbyterianPresbyterianPresbyterianPresbyterianPresbyterian ChurchChurchChurchChurchChurchChurchChurchChurch
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TuesdayTuesdayTuesdayTuesday 16161616 andandandand WednesdayWednesdayWednesdayWednesday 17171717 FebruaryFebruaryFebruaryFebruary 2010201020102010 atatatat 8.008.008.008.00 ppppmmmm
Rev Andrew Lucas will advise Ministers of the subjects for announcement
as soon as they are known

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25th25th25th25th25th25th25th25th AnniversaryAnniversaryAnniversaryAnniversaryAnniversaryAnniversaryAnniversaryAnniversary CelebrationCelebrationCelebrationCelebrationCelebrationCelebrationCelebrationCelebration

The Stranmillis congregation marked the 25th anniversary of Rev. Gareth Burke’s ordination to the Christian ministry on 13 November 2009. Over 100 members and friends gathered at Edenmore Golf and Country Club for what proved to be a most enjoyable evening, even though for one, it was a complete surprise!

Following a very enjoyable dinner a number of power-point items of past days were shown and modern technology enabled greetings from Scotland, America and New Zealand to be relayed. After a number of speeches and good wishes Mrs Florrie Gray and Mr Ken Kelly made presentations to Mr and Mrs Burke. In his reply Mr Burke spoke of his thankfulness to God and for the many people who had been influences on his life over the years. The evening continued with some items of praise from the Stranmillis young people followed by a table quiz. The singing of the Doxology and prayer offered by Mr Burke brought the evening to a close.

SpotlightSpotlight onon SocietySociety

IncreasingIncreasingIncreasingIncreasingIncreasingIncreasingIncreasingIncreasing governmentgovernmentgovernmentgovernmentgovernmentgovernmentgovernmentgovernment controlcontrolcontrolcontrolcontrolcontrolcontrolcontrol ofofofofofofofof familyfamilyfamilyfamilyfamilyfamilyfamilyfamily lifelifelifelifelifelifelifelife (recommendations of the Badman report) The Government wants to accept the recommendations of the Badman Report that home education should be formally regulated in England. Many parents can envisage circumstances where they would have to take their child out of school, if only for a short time. But under Government plans, parents who make this choice would be put on a national register, receive regular home visits from officials, and have to stay outside when their children are interviewed about what they are teaching them.

MarginalizationMarginalizationMarginalizationMarginalizationMarginalizationMarginalizationMarginalizationMarginalization ofofofofofofofof ChristiansChristiansChristiansChristiansChristiansChristiansChristiansChristians (as seen in the Equality Bill) The Equality Bill will place a duty on public bodies—like schools and the police—to promote homosexual and transsexual ‘rights’. It will also impact upon private or voluntary bodies with Government contracts. Christian groups are concerned that the Bill will reopen many of the discrimination issues which have left Christians at the bottom of the pile when it comes to ‘equality and diversity’.

UnbelievingUnbelievingUnbelievingUnbelievingUnbelievingUnbelievingUnbelievingUnbelieving ThoughtsThoughtsThoughtsThoughtsThoughtsThoughtsThoughtsThoughts forforforforforforforfor thethethethethethethethe Day!Day!Day!Day!Day!Day!Day!Day! Lord Birt, former Director General of the BBC has suggested that atheists be given time on BBC’s Thought for the Day! Thankfully BBC Radio Ulster still gives air time to evangelicals and Rev Gareth Burke began a five week slot on Monday 21December. Pray for this opportunity that many will be challenged by the Gospel. Tune in at 6.55 and 7.55 am each Monday morning.

TheTheTheTheTheTheTheThe TopTopTopTopTopTopTopTop 100:100:100:100:100:100:100:100: whatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhat thethethethethethethethe nationnationnationnationnationnationnationnation reads!reads!reads!reads!reads!reads!reads!reads! In a survey of 100 books that defined the decade, three out of the top five included Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows (1), The Da Vinci Code (3) and The God Delusion (5). And what are many Northern Ireland Christians reading? The recent top sellers at the Wesley Owen bookshop in Belfast were The Shack, If You Want

to Walk on the Water get out of the Boat and The Purpose Driven Life!

Please now turn to page 23 and to the back page where we present reading materials which we believe will be of particular value in building up our spiritual lives. Surely we must recognise that such reading is indispensable for our growth.

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TheThe EvangelicalEvangelical PresbyterianPresbyterian

TheThe UnsearchableUnsearchable RichesRiches ofof ChristChrist

RRRRRRRReeeeeeeevvvvvvvv JJJJJJJJeeeeeeeeffffffffffffffff BBBBBBBBaaaaaaaallllllllllllllllaaaaaaaannnnnnnnttttttttiiiiiiiinnnnnnnneeeeeeee, Groomsport,

focuses on four “unsearchable riches”

which Paul learned on the Damascus Road.

A merchant from Covenanter times told friends that at St Andrews he heard a Mr

Blair preach—“that man showed me the majesty of God”; at Irvine he heard a certain Mr Dickson—“that man showed me all my heart”. Elsewhere he encountered Mr Rutherford—“that man showed me the loveliness of Christ”. A hearer of

Jonathan Edwards spoke similarly – “he always speaks so sweetly of Christ”. The apostle Paul loved to speak of his Saviour too—the sun of righteousness was the centre of his spiritual universe. In Eph 3:8 he uses this remarkable

expression: “the unsearchable riches of Christ”. Only God is unsearchable. There

is a vast chasm between the Creator and the creature and one difference is seen

right here. All creation is finite—even the depths of the ocean or the length of the horizon can be measured. The Creator alone is infinite and even when we have spent aeons of eternity in glory we will still confess that we only know the border

of God’s ways. The riches of Christ are as unsearchable as God himself. They

are “untraceable”, “unfathomable”, “inexhaustible”, and so on. They can be known, but never fully known. Paul spent his entire life searching out them out (Phil 3.10).

TheTheTheTheTheTheTheThe UnsearchableUnsearchableUnsearchableUnsearchableUnsearchableUnsearchableUnsearchableUnsearchable RichesRichesRichesRichesRichesRichesRichesRiches ofofofofofofofof Christ’sChrist’sChrist’sChrist’sChrist’sChrist’sChrist’sChrist’s PersonPersonPersonPersonPersonPersonPersonPerson Prior to the Damascus Road Saul of Tarsus believed that he worshipped the God

of the OT and that the life of Christ was discontinuous with that revelation. He was

not in the line of prophets and not the anticipated Messiah. Saul’s main objective was to rid the world of all such notions. In spite of his miracles and the wonder of his teachings, the Person of Christ had no attraction for Saul. Christ was the one person he hated with all his heart. But from that moment at Damascus this arch

persecutor was persuaded of the unsearchable riches of Christ’s Person. The man who formerly denied the deity of Christ became its foremost proponent.

Saul knew that it was the Lord who appeared to him from the Shekinah glory. (Acts 9.3) However, he had to ask about his exact identity, “Who are you Lord?” (9.5) “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting”. That word “Jesus” must have thrust Saul’s soul like a dagger—the last thing he wanted to hear. From that moment his entire world turned upside down as he learned that Christ possessed undiluted deity as well as true humanity. He could soon describe Christ as “God blessed for ever” (Rom 9.5), the One in whom “dwells all the fullness of the godhead in bodily form”. (Col 2.9) Is this a truth you rejoice in? Christ had to be both man and God, otherwise we have no salvation. While a true man had to endure punishment in our stead, since that was the realm in which sin entered, only God could bear the penalty due

to “a great multitude which no man could number” and rise gloriously from the dead.

TheTheTheTheTheTheTheThe UnsearchableUnsearchableUnsearchableUnsearchableUnsearchableUnsearchableUnsearchableUnsearchable RichesRichesRichesRichesRichesRichesRichesRiches ofofofofofofofof Christ’sChrist’sChrist’sChrist’sChrist’sChrist’sChrist’sChrist’s WorkWorkWorkWorkWorkWorkWorkWork Before the Damascus Road Saul thought that Christ’s work was the work of a madman. He believed that Christ got his comeuppance on the cross because of his wickedness. This is how he would have understood the teaching of Deut 21.33: “he that is hanged is accursed of God“. The Damascus Road changed all that, for in a flash Saul learned that Jesus was alive and that it could only have

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JanuaryJanuary--FebruaryFebruary 20102010

come about because God had raised him from the dead. What a shock! Saul came to see that the Father was well pleased with the work of his Son. The resurrection was proof of that. That was God's way of saying “Amen” to Calvary. Even a cursory study of Paul’s epistles will show that this was one of the “unsearchable riches” that Paul preached – Christ’s finished work. He rejoiced in the truth of Christ’s substitutionary curse-bearing atonement. Christ’s cross-work was redemption, “a deliverance from bondage by payment of a price”, for all who believed on him: “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us” (Gal 3.13). It was a propitiation, averting the wrath of God from over the heads of those who trust in him:::: “whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood“. (Rom 3.25) It reconciles us to God when we call upon him for “God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself”. (1 Cor 5.19) It is also the basis of our justification, enabling God to pronounce us righteous before the crown court of heaven: “therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”. (Rom 5:1) Sin and its problems can ever be resolved through the “unsearchable riches” of Christ’s work.

TheTheTheTheTheTheTheThe UnsearchableUnsearchableUnsearchableUnsearchableUnsearchableUnsearchableUnsearchableUnsearchable RichesRichesRichesRichesRichesRichesRichesRiches ofofofofofofofof Christ’sChrist’sChrist’sChrist’sChrist’sChrist’sChrist’sChrist’s GraceGraceGraceGraceGraceGraceGraceGrace The Damascus Road taught Saul that Jesus Christ is “full of grace and truth”. (John 1.14). Far from seeking salvation on that road, Saul was in the throes of eradicating Christianity with an intensity and bitterness probably never been equalled. Having done all he could in Israel to exterminate the faith he turned his attention to Syria with authorising letters in his pocket. Yet while Saul was closing in to kill, God was seeking him out to save him! Here is another of these “unsearchable riches” – the “unsearchable riches” of Christ’s grace and central in the message he preached:

“by grace are ye saved through faith and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” (Eph 2.8). Salvation is “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy” (Tit 3:5). Doubtless Paul frequently ended meetings with his own benediction, and what did he emphasize? “The grace of the Lord Jesus

Christ

salvation flow in? Grace alone! In 1 Tim 1.16 Paul urges us to consider Christ’s

own grace towards him as a motive to believe: “However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life”.

be

with you all” Grasp this unsearchable truth. What channel does

TheTheTheTheTheTheTheThe UnsearchableUnsearchableUnsearchableUnsearchableUnsearchableUnsearchableUnsearchableUnsearchable RichesRichesRichesRichesRichesRichesRichesRiches ofofofofofofofof Christ’sChrist’sChrist’sChrist’sChrist’sChrist’sChrist’sChrist’s UnionUnionUnionUnionUnionUnionUnionUnion withwithwithwithwithwithwithwith hishishishishishishishis PeoplePeoplePeoplePeoplePeoplePeoplePeoplePeople Here is yet another truth that Saul discovered on the Damascus Road. Christ said:

“Saul, Saul … why are you persecuting me?”(Acts 9.4) Saul had never persecuted Christ directly but in persecuting his people Saul was persecuting Christ. Such is the solidarity between Christ and his people and Saul saw it again a day or so later when Ananias greeted him with these beautiful words: “Brother Saul”. (9.17) Now that Saul belonged to Christ, he had become one with his people and the phrase “in Christ” became one of his favourites. This was one of the unsearchable riches of Christ that Paul preached. “Now are ye the body of Christ, and members in particular“(1 Cor 12.27). There is only one organisation which endures for ever:

the believers’ union with Christ. What do the unsearchable riches of Christ mean to you? “What think ye of Christ? is the test to try both your state and your scheme. You cannot be right in the rest unless you think rightly of him”

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TheThe EvangelicalEvangelical PresbyterianPresbyterian

WCWCFF
WCWCFF

FFaithaith andand LifeLifeSynodsSynods && CouncilsCouncils

3131
3131
A series of one page summaries of the 33 Chapters of the Westminster Confession, with
A series of one page summaries of the 33 Chapters of the Westminster Confession,
with comment where space permits. Please read the Confession Chapter itself!

SectionSectionSectionSectionSectionSectionSectionSection 11111111 TheTheTheTheTheTheTheThe PurposePurposePurposePurposePurposePurposePurposePurpose ofofofofofofofof SynodsSynodsSynodsSynodsSynodsSynodsSynodsSynods andandandandandandandand CouncilsCouncilsCouncilsCouncilsCouncilsCouncilsCouncilsCouncils These assemblies exist to develop the church and its government.

SectionSectionSectionSectionSectionSectionSectionSection 22222222 TheTheTheTheTheTheTheThe ConveningConveningConveningConveningConveningConveningConveningConvening ofofofofofofofof SynodsSynodsSynodsSynodsSynodsSynodsSynodsSynods andandandandandandandand CouncilsCouncilsCouncilsCouncilsCouncilsCouncilsCouncilsCouncils State officials may lawfully convene and attend a Synod with church leaders for consultation and advice about religious affairs. If the civil government is openly opposed to the church, church leaders may themselves meet together in Synod.

SectionSectionSectionSectionSectionSectionSectionSection 33333333 TheTheTheTheTheTheTheThe AuthorityAuthorityAuthorityAuthorityAuthorityAuthorityAuthorityAuthority ofofofofofofofof SynodsSynodsSynodsSynodsSynodsSynodsSynodsSynods andandandandandandandand CouncilsCouncilsCouncilsCouncilsCouncilsCouncilsCouncilsCouncils Church leaders meet in Synod with powers to consider and determine matters of doctrine, worship, conscience, church government and discipline. Their findings, if agreeable to the Word of God, are to be received with respect and submission, because of that agreement with the Word and also because of the divine institution and authority of church government.

SectionSectionSectionSectionSectionSectionSectionSection 44444444 TheTheTheTheTheTheTheThe LimitationLimitationLimitationLimitationLimitationLimitationLimitationLimitation ofofofofofofofof SynodsSynodsSynodsSynodsSynodsSynodsSynodsSynods andandandandandandandand CouncilsCouncilsCouncilsCouncilsCouncilsCouncilsCouncilsCouncils Since all Synods are fallible they cannot determine faith or practice on the basis of Synod authority. They serve the church by declaring and applying the Word.

SectionSectionSectionSectionSectionSectionSectionSection 55555555 TheTheTheTheTheTheTheThe SphereSphereSphereSphereSphereSphereSphereSphere ofofofofofofofof SynodsSynodsSynodsSynodsSynodsSynodsSynodsSynods andandandandandandandand CouncilsCouncilsCouncilsCouncilsCouncilsCouncilsCouncilsCouncils Synods and Councils must confine themselves to ecclesiastical issues. They must not involve themselves in civil affairs other than by humble petition in exceptional circumstances or to provide advice at the request of the civil authorities.

Synods, or Councils, mean different things in different forms of church government. In the Presbyterian system Synods would comprise all the Presbyteries in a geographical location as a level of church courts between Presbytery and General Assembly. This would more often apply today in larger countries. Not all Presbyterian Churches now have Synods, just Presbyteries and the General Assembly. In this case the Synod principles of this chapter would apply to these levels.

EPC has a Declaratory Act with reference to chapter 23—The Civil Magistrate to the effect that we do not receive it in any sense to mean that the State has a controlling power over church courts which are supreme in their own sphere. With the Church and State link between Chapters 23, 30 and 31 the principle of this Act applies to each of these chapters where relevant.

With only two Chapters of the Confession to go in this series, both on the Doctrine of the Last Things, it is useful to summarise. There are various views on the structure of the Confession, but the one we have adopted for our study is this:

The Word, Existence and Nature of God (1-2), God’s Decrees (3-5), Redemption (6-9), Order of Salvation—Ordo Salutis (10-18), Living the Christian Life (19-24), the Church (25-31), the Last Things (32-33).

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BookBook ReviewsReviews

Useful aids in maintaining the daily discipline of prayer, Bible study and family worship.

TabletalkTabletalkTabletalkTabletalkTabletalkTabletalkTabletalkTabletalk,,,, LigonierLigonierLigonierLigonier MinistriesMinistriesMinistriesMinistries and RRRR CCCC SproulSproul,SproulSproul www.ligonier.org

A monthly magazine that contains superb articles from leading

Reformed theologians and pastors together with a Monday-Friday devotional exposition of Scripture. Edited by Burk Parsons, this is a helpful and instructive journal that will prove to be a real spiritual tonic. For details and subscription see Ligonier webpage.

ForForForForForForForFor thethethethethethethethe LoveLoveLoveLoveLoveLoveLoveLove ofofofofofofofof GodGodGodGodGodGodGodGod DonDonDonDon CarsonCarson,CarsonCarson IVP, 2 Volumes, £14.99

Based on Robert Murray McCheyne’s chart of daily Bible readings these volumes are truly “a daily companion for discovering the riches

of God’s Word”. Here you will find a systematic 365 day plan that will

take you through the Psalms and New Testament twice and the Old Testament once in the course of a year. Carson’s helpful insights will help deepen your understanding of God’s eternal truth.

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TheTheTheTheTheTheTheThe PsalmsPsalmsPsalmsPsalmsPsalmsPsalmsPsalmsPsalms,,,, JohnJohnJohnJohn CalvinCalvin,CalvinCalvin Banner of Truth, Clothbound £18.00 £14.40£14.40£14.40£14.40 This is an abridged volume of Calvin’s Psalms by David Searle who tells us in the introduction that he has used Calvin’s commentary on the Psalms in his devotional reading of Scripture. This is a volume described as a treasure chest and for all who love the Psalms these selections will warm and edify the believer’s heart.

MatthewMatthewMatthewMatthewMatthewMatthewMatthewMatthew HenryHenryHenryHenryHenryHenryHenryHenry DailyDailyDailyDailyDailyDailyDailyDaily ReadingsReadingsReadingsReadingsReadingsReadingsReadingsReadings RandallRandallRandallRandall PedersonPederson,PedersonPederson Editor, Christian Focus Publications £11.99 £8.99£8.99£8.99£8.99 Many of us have been blessed by Matthew Henry’s commentary on the Bible. His insight and wisdom together with his pithy sayings have proved a help and comfort in various situations. Here is a collection of daily readings beautifully presented in a leather binding and pocket size so that it can travel with us everywhere!

TheTheTheTheTheTheTheThe GoodnightGoodnightGoodnightGoodnightGoodnightGoodnightGoodnightGoodnight BookBookBookBookBookBookBookBook RichardRichardRichardRichard BewesBewes,BewesBewes Christian Focus Publications, £7.99

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your evening reflections”. £5.99£5.99£5.99£5.99 Many other helpful daily reading books are available
your evening reflections”. £5.99£5.99£5.99£5.99 Many other helpful daily reading books are available
your evening reflections”. £5.99£5.99£5.99£5.99 Many other helpful daily reading books are available
your evening reflections”. £5.99£5.99£5.99£5.99 Many other helpful daily reading books are available
your evening reflections”. £5.99£5.99£5.99£5.99 Many other helpful daily reading books are available

Many other helpful daily reading books are available including Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening and Day One’s series 365 days with various authors.

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