Be wise (3)

Mind your friends

Scripture Readings

  • 2Timothy 2:14-26;
  • Proverbs 1:10-19

Introduction

Dr Google is for the most part of our society the beginning and the end of knowledge.  So, I find this site to help me select friends.  It says make friends with people like this:

  • People who can never remember when your birthday is.
  • People who can’t stop correcting you
  • People who wait for YOU to make plans (and then almost always cancel).
  • People who never want to do what you want to do.
  • People who never tell you why they’re mad, even though you know they’re so mad.
  • People who can’t be happy for you.
  • People who never ask how YOUR day/weekend/life was.
  • People who make you feel like everything is the worst.
  • People whom you can’t trust as far as you can throw them.

One person in this list one can’t miss is “you” – always in the centre and always the most important. This runs contrary to the Bible where God is in the centre: what I do, and the friends a choose are determined by God’s choice for me.

When one grows up, particularly around our teenage years, friendship is important.  We suddenly discover the importance of being part of a group.  We develop lifestyles which reflect our choice of friendship circle, we choose to dress like the others, wear make-up and hear styles showing that we are “counted in” -and of course there is the ever important idol worship of music artists.

Today, as we look at the Scriptures the message is clear:  mind your friends, or: make sure you pick the right friends.  Friends can be a blessing, but many folks out there are on the ash heap of life because they over-valued friendship and sacrificed which was supposed to be the most important aspect of the life of a Christian:  friendship with God.

The saying goes, “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.”

Pick your friends well

The verse to remember here is:

The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray. (Proverbs 12:26, NIV)

Right at the beginning of the counsel of the parents in the book of Proverbs, even before they go into life advice about money, business principles, or minding one’s tongue, the teaching of the parents go to picking the right friends.

It begins with, “If they say, come along with us …” This is the language of the gang.

They offer comradeship. They share one purse and have a common circle; they act as a brotherhood. In addition, they promise riches; precious wealth, spoil from their victims, belongs to the fraternity.

They hold out the thrill of possessing and wielding the power of life and death. They lie in wait for the righteous law-abiding citizen; they identify themselves with the power of the grave and the pit. They are sort of hell’s agents, grim reapers who swallow the innocent alive. This excitement and pleasure beguiles and enlivens the band and calls to the youth to join.

I feel for our young people today; I think in some way we grew up in a more innocent age.  Yes, we had our friendship circles, and we did participate in mischief.  Yes, there was the enticement of cigarettes, and yes we raided the orchards of many townsfolk for grapes and peaches.  Even then there was the pressure to give in to the wish of the group.  It was definitely not a cool thing to not be part of the gang.

But there was no drugs, no ice, no internet pornography; surely the enticement to sexual immorality was not as strong.  Add to this the pressure of the group to disregard respect for parents, teachers and law officers.  It was as if parents cared more for their children – when they out, when they will be back and who they are going with.

I think we should pray more for our young people.  We should talk to them about who they should choose to hang out with.

Sure we all know one thing:  once part of a group, one can easily become very silly.  Social group pressure can be enormous.  Just look at how a group of footy supporters act when sitting in the group.  If they sat all be themselves they could easily be seen as well-behaved and civilised; they same group can become monstrous, more so when you add a bit of alcohol to the mix. Don’t give in:

Like a muddied spring or a polluted well are the righteous who give way to the wicked. (Proverbs 25:26, NIV)

The Bible’s advice is clear this morning:  mind your friends.  Pick your friends well.

Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared. (Proverbs 22:24–25, NIV)

Do not envy the wicked, do not desire their company; for their hearts plot violence, and their lips talk about making trouble. (Proverbs 24:1–2, NIV)

When you are wise – and you understand that beginning of wisdom is the fear of God – then what rules your choice of friends is not what you want in the first instance, it is surely what they want you to do, how you should act, how you should talk, and what activities you should be involved in – who makes this choice for you is God:  his will is the most important.

Very soon in there walk with God all Christians should learn the Lord’s prayer:  Hallowed by The Name, Thy will be done, Thy Kingdom come.  Our example is the One who gave his life so we can indeed call God our Father, Jesus Christ:  that was his prayer, “Not my will, but Your will be done.”  He gave his life so that we can be free from the bondage of sin; He gave his Holy Sprit to bind us to Christ so that we will want to please Him an all we do.

Fact is, the gang cannot deliver on its promises. As birds are ensnared by the invisible net, so the gangsters cannot see the trap they have set for themselves. They lie in wait for their own blood. In the end, the grave swallows them, and the pit takes them.  The so-called freedom they promise through drugs is what in the end will kill them too; the so-called sexual freedom to do with their bodies as they like, in the end get to them in all sorts of physical diseases, not to mention the mental torment some have to live with.  How many women just can’t forget the unborn child they aborted because of their sexual immorality.  There are scores wandering the streets searching for the boy or girl they gave away through substance abuse and promiscuity.  Regret always comes too late!

Real wisdom is to consider end of a thing. To see where a path leads is to discriminate whether it is fit for travel. Consider the end of the gang and be wise. For all its promises, it ultimately cannot deliver anything but death. The voice of peer pressure requires the antidote of wise instruction, wether it comes through friends, or fellow members of your church family.

This does not just apply to the young people in our midst today.  It is for us all.  This wisdom of the Scripture applies to who we take as business partners, who we hang out with socially, who we take that oversees trip with.  it determines what societies and social groups will have my name on their membership roll.

We need to be wise here – we cannot withdraw from this world; we need to have a voice in our society.  The Bible does not forbid us to have an influence in even a bad society.  No, we are called to be the salt and the light in this world.  But we should never be dictated to be the world how we should conduct our lives.  Because the Bible tells us very clearly that same-sex marriages are against his will; we therefore are guided by what God says, not by the world.  But we will surely sound the trumpet for the truth when we called to do so.

We do so because God wants us to be his ambassadors for the truth. There is this verse we need to hold on to in the times we live is.

… if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. (1 Timothy 3:15, NIV)

Take the message of God’s Word out of society – and that is our duty – and society has nothing to stand upon – truth is robbed of its meaning and replaced man’s idea of truth, which cannot stand the test of time.

The blessing of good friends

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity. (Proverbs 17:17, NIV)

A real friend is a blessing from God.

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24, NIV)

Your real friends, that is if you call yourself a Christian, should be a fellow Christian – which does not mean that all Christians make good friends, or that unbelievers can’t be good friends – we’ve got a long way to grow in our understanding of what the Bible expects of us as Christians to really love one another.

Your true, real friend will do as proverbs tells us this morning:

Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses. (Proverbs 27:5–6, NIV)

True friends are not nice – there is no command of the Lord that we should be nice.  Being nice can be extremely dangerous; being nice sometimes evades the truth and dances with falsehood to avoid the boat from rocking.  A true friend tells it like it is: the truth and nothing but the truth.  Let’s be honest, truth hurts and it opens wounds – but that’s what doctors do to make you better.  Always remember, God is more important than friends – his will is supreme.  Love your friend to death, but do not withhold rebuke when necessary.  Listen to the next three verses:

One who is full loathes honey from the comb, but to the hungry even what is bitter tastes sweet. Like a bird that flees its nest is anyone who flees from home. Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice. (Proverbs 27:7–9, NIV)

What does it say?  A friend in need is hungry for what is good in the same way a hungry person will eat honey.  A true friends heartfelt love and concern is like a spring of water in a barren desert. Such friends are people we should cherish and hang on to for dear life:

Do not forsake your friend or a friend of your family, and do not go to your relative’s house when disaster strikes you— better a neighbour nearby than a relative far away. (Proverbs 27:10, NIV)

If you are in need a friend nearby is much more precious than a brother far away.  Remember:

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17, NIV)

Some friends will not get it

Of course we need to pour out Christ’s love on those we come in contact with.  We should be ready to give account of the faith that lives within us; we should spread the message of the Gospel to all, irrespective of who they are.  And we should do so with the prayer that God will use our testimony to his glory and to bring the sinner to repentance and life.

But if it doesn’t happen don’t be discouraged.  Keep these verses in mind:

A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, but a mocker does not respond to rebukes. (Proverbs 13:1, NIV)

Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions. (Proverbs 18:2, NIV)

Annual Report

Reports to the Annual General Meeting on 16 March 2014

 

Minister’s Statement

Dear fellow workers in Christ,

But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. (Hebrews 12:22–24, NIV)

The writer of Hebrews, right through his letter, writes about being church of Christ, using the Old Covenant people of the Lord as a template.  By doing so, he in no way implies that those who lived under the Old Covenant were less church of the Lord; but what is very clear is that their worship, although commanded by God, was not perfect; it was incomplete, because the priesthood and the sacrificial system was temporary, constantly calling for more sacrifices and more priests.  The Law was onto fulfilled, because the promised perfect High Priest had not come.

What was unchangeable over time was the holiness, justice, grace and mercy of God.

The verse above from chapter 12 therefore does not imply that God is less holy now that Jesus Christ has become our High Priest.  The city of God is not less holy, and coming into the presence of God is not less fearful.  The difference is the blood and sacrifice of Christ.  In this sense the worship of the Old Testament people and the worship of the New Testament people culminate in the Person of Jesus Christ.

Those who are saved know that their names are written in heaven. In Christ they rejoice with the host of angles and bring glory to God who showed mercy in Jesus Christ.

May God help us to never downgrade the calling of his church to glorify and magnify his holiness, just because, in Christ, there is no reason to fear his wrath upon sin.  May we still, in whatever we do as his church, remember: God is holy, and He demands of us to be holy.

Our congregation in Wee Waa

With the departure of a number of stalwarts to other congregations, things have changed for us. Almost in one go Mike and Wendy Weeks, Tom and Jenny Brown, and Stephen and Jen Downes and their boys left us to retire elsewhere, or to take up new employment.  This was followed by Martin and Marion Powel who retired to Brisbane.

Not long after that we suffered the loss of Kathy Rowe – now being with her Lord whom she served and loved for many years.  A few months later David moved on and is now living in Melbourne.

Towards the end of the year Tim and Shanna Whan announced that they were moving to Narrabri.

Losing any member in any congregation is difficult; losing so many people we have loved and appreciated vey much is almost devastating.  We look up to God for guidance; and we pray that those who left us are just as fruitful in the Lord where they are serving now.

With less bodies on the ground, it means just one thing:  to the glory of God, and to the praise of our Lord Jesus, we will have to love and support one another with greater fervour and dedication.

Sermon series

I trust that you found encouragement in the series of sermons from John last year.  Let’s remember:

  • Christ is life
  • Christ is light
  • Christ is the Good Shepherd
  • Christ humbled Himself to wash our feet, and demanded us to do the same
  • Christ was never surprised by his mission to die for the sin of sinners
  • Christ promised to go ahead and prepare room for those He would die for
  • Christ promised and sent the Holy Spirit to lead us and be our Comforter
  • Christ commissioned us to bear fruit
  • Christ commissioned us to pray
  • Christ gave his joy to be with us
  • Christ sent us away to take the full wrath of God upon Him so we can go free
  • Christ intercedes for his church

I thank Tim Downes, Tim Fragar, Peter Henderson and others who were willing to fill the pulpit when I could not do so.  I also thank those who did the Scripture reading, prayers and other things during the worship services.

Session

It is still the desire of Session to have more elders to help with the workload and responsibility.  Men please pray and ask if God is not calling you to be an elder to his people..

Prayer and Bible study

If all of us would attend every worship service every Sunday of the year, and the sermon part of the service is 30 minutes, we would be under the teaching of God’s word for 26 hours – per year! Compare that to the number of hours we lend our ears to the teaching of this world through mass media.

I thank God for active Bible study groups in our congregation.  Combined with the Adult Sunday School there are ample opportunity to learn more from God’s Word to be equipped for service.  Find our more about the different groups and get involved.

Let’s come together in corporate prayer, too.  The half an hour pryer before service each Sunday is encouraging, but it be attended better.  More fervent prayer will impact on our worship services too.

The Manse

The Manse is still open to visits!  Thanks to those who encourage us with visits and prayers.

Closing

May the Lord be good to us as we seek to bring glory to his Name.  We are praying for you, and we ask to do the same for us.

Your family in the Lord,

Rudi and Heila.

Session Statement 

Another year has flown by. It has been our second with Rudi and Heila. They have been a great encouragement on our walk.

Rudi has been taking the church through some interesting series of topical sermons, which have given us a better understanding of Gods love for us. We need to keep Rudi in our pray’s as seeks to open God’s word for us.

We also need to pray for each other as we seek to be a light for our community.

Session would also like to acknowledge and thank others for making our Sunday worship possible.

  • the music team, who come in week after week.
  • the overheads, which enable us not be informed but sing with one voice.
  • the bulletins, with information we can take home.
  • the COM. for the general running of our church.
  • the youth team, that teach our younger members of God’s love for all of us.
  • the door welcomers, coffee, and flowers, that add to church.
  • the mission committee, which help us see God’s work in the world.
  • the Bible study leaders, to help us in our growth.
  • the women’s ministry team for their support and encouragement.

In Christ,

Elder Tim Downes

Session Clerk

Galatians 5:25 – Live by the spirit, and walk by the spirit.

Report from the Committee of Management to the Annual General Meeting held on 16th March, 2014

The Committee of Management is grateful for the kind assistance of church members in repairs and general maintenance of the church property.  Many people help week by week keeping the gardens and buildings in good order.  Thank you to those who water, mow, tidy, and empty bins etc.  Thank you to those who teach, and those who lead us in music, praise and worship.

We have had a busy year and much has been achieved including the following:

Kitchen:  Following consultation with church ladies, a new kitchen was completed with new flooring. Thank you to the donor of the new Euromaid stove.

Church:  An audio desk was constructed & the sound system upgraded.  Thank you to those involved.  Small chairs and table are in the entry for the children.  An engineer has been assisting us following the movement of the church and subsequent necessary repairs.  Floor levels have been taken twelve months apart and we await the engineer’s advice and report. Damage to the eaves is to be repaired and the insurers are allowing us to complete all works at the same time.  The committee is investigating the best way to proceed with pier repair, allowing access to the drainpipe.

Plumbing:  An isolation tap has been installed at the Manse a/c and the mains pipe repaired.  External pipes outside the crèche & lounge room are repaired and sections of sewerage lines have been replaced.

External:  The back fence has been repaired and strengthened following storm damage from tree branches.  The front fence has been repaired and trees removed for safety to property and people.

Internal:  The crèche rooms have been painted and a new floor mat installed.  Most Sunday School rooms have been repaired and painted and the floors sanded and polished.  A large carpet section is in the second room.  A roof leak near the toilet vent pipe has been repaired which will now allow the plaster and paint work to be done in the first Sunday School room.  A stronger vacuum cleaner has been purchased which now has a very long hose allowing vacuuming under the pews in the church without damage to the wood.  A new system is in the lounge room for viewing missionary presentations and Adult Sunday School lessons.  The hall floor and entry has been resurfaced and we appreciate careful movement of furniture.

John Gray Ave. house:  Following approval from Presbytery and PCA –NSW, we have established a long-term lease with the residents.

Nurraby Children’s Services are in discussion with the committee and are considering the possible rental of the crèche.

The committee is assisting with the support of the S.R.E. teacher as requested.

Working bees have been well attended and we really appreciate such willing work.  Another will be held soon to clean out cupboards, (allowing the replacement of some furniture) and general maintenance inside and out.

We praise God for guiding us and answering our prayer for wisdom and for providing the means to run the material part of his church.

Heather May

Secretary, Committee of management

Financial Reports (in original printed report)

  • Income and Expense Statement for year ended 31 December 2013 and  
  • Proposed Budget to 31 December 2014
  •  Auditors Report
  • Detailed Balance Sheet as at 31 December 2013

Mission Committee Report for the period

1 January to 31 December 2013

The Mission Committee has concentrated on promoting and hosting various missionary organisations/speakers throughout the year.  As well as these visits we have endeavoured to bring missions before the congregation through regular prayer points in our weekly bulletin, publication of the Mission Mouthpiece and through the Missions Notice Board.

Missions Supported by our Church

We continued financial support this year for Russell and Ruth Briggs of Pioneers, Michael and Ulrike Safari at St John’s Anglican Parramatta, Matt and Louise George of ECM (European Christian Mission) and Debbie and Chris Bowers with Wycliffe Bible Translators.  Our quarterly support for 2013 for each missionary was $1250 (annually $5000). We also continued to financially support ‘Life Quip’ ($500), an annual mission at AgQuip. In 2014 we will support the Special Religious Education (SRE) position occupied by Kate Battistuzzi ($1000 annually).

Laptops for Masters Students

The year commenced with the request from Andy and Rosemary Williamson for donations to help supply two laptops for Masters students at Talua Bible College. The students were Tom Lionel and Pastor Christopher Kouha. A total of $1800 was raised to provide the students with a new laptop and software to undertake their studies. The two men wrote to the committee thanking the congregation for their financial support.

Visitors

Deb and Katie Bowers Visit 22nd September 2013

Deb and Katie arrived in Wee Waa in September and met with members of the congregation during their visit. Deb was interviewed at church on the 22nd September and informed the congregation of the work they are doing in Spokane. Chris was continuing to teach young pilots how to navigate and fly the new Kodiaks.

Russell and Ruth Brigg 26th to 28th November 2013

Russell and Ruth visited in November and were able to make several personal visits during their visit to members of the congregation. It was good to catch up with them and hear about what God had been doing in theirs and the students they meet with each serving with Pioneers in Melbourne.

Prayer for our Missionaries

We continue to encourage each Bible study group to pray for their specific missionary. We encourage each group to continue to contact them and keep them in prayer. As Bible study groups have changed for 2013 please speak to Tim Weaver if you are unclear which missionary your Bible study group is contacting and praying for. This is a great avenue for our church to communicate and encourage our missionaries in the work they do for our Saviour.

Meal for Mission

Meal for Mission was held in November, with the monies raised going to support the Presbyterian Inland Mission.  A total of $911.00 was raised to assist the Presbyterian Inland Mission to cover their costs with reaching people in remote communities of rural Australia.

Easter Tracts

Easter tracts were purchased from the Bible Society for distribution to the Wee Waa post boxes, out of town mail runs and residential boxes.  Easter service times were printed on the back of the leaflet.

Local and Foreign Theological Student Support for 2013 and new SRE support in 2014

This year our support for theological students went to two students from Presbyterian Theological College. The local student was Daniel Woods whom is studying to be a Presbyterian minister in Narrabri. The Foreign Theological student was Rira Cho from South Korea. They were both very grateful for the financial assistance.

 Outreach Posters

As part of mission to the community the mission committee updated the outreach posters at the front of the church. The mission notice board continues to be the main focus for pinning up newsletters and APWM information for the congregation to read. We encourage members of the congregation to check it regularly.

Prayer and Thankyou

The mission committee would like to thank the congregation for their support of the mission work during 2013.  Please continue to pray for our missionaries as they continue to serve God. We also encourage people to pray for new members for the committee.

Committee Members

This year – Hadley and Nita Alf, Peter Martin, Mike Weekes (Treasurer) and Tim (Secretary) and Jo Weaver. Mike Weeks retired from the committee after 25 years service. We are grateful for his service to the committee as the treasurer. Peter Henderson joined the committee in 2013 and will commence as the Treasurer for the Committee.

Tim Weaver

(Secretary)

Mission Account

2013 Reconciliation (in original printed report)

Women’s Ministry Report for 2013

In May, a small group went to the Anglican Women’s Conference in Gunnedah with Christine Jensen and Rick Lewers speaking.

Again this year, there were two ladies’ Bible Study groups meeting weekly.

Our committee planned and helped organise two church family games nights throughout the year, which Rudi and Heila ran and the nights were a great time of fellowship and fun.

WKC was not held in 2013, but instead they published a DVD with talks by Jenny Salt which we plan to watch at a teaching morning.

The Ladies Craft Group continued to meet on the 1st Saturday of each month in the church lounge.

In September, we held a ladies teaching morning at Namoi Valley Christian School, to watch Equip Conference talks on DVD. We invited the ladies from the Anglican Church to join us and it was a great time of fellowship and learning.

Each meeting we discussed pastoral needs and this often involved cooking meals for those who were sick or in need.

Finally, for our outreach event we held our bi-annual Christmas Carols Evening at Tim & Sue Fragar’s home, for carols, a gospel talk and dessert. We had a good number of ladies attend, and will continue at this stage to have that every second year.

We met in February for our planning meeting for this year and if everyone could be in prayer for our planned events for 2014, thank you.

Ladies please join us for our meetings, we welcome your ideas, feedback and support and prayer.

In Christ,

Kate Morrison

(Secretary)

Care Account Report 2013 (In Original Printed Report)

The Care Account was formed as an arm of the Women’s Ministry to help individuals and families in need.  The Account is administered by the Women’s Ministry.

I have examined the accounts of the Wee Waa Presbyterian Church Care Account Number 012-865 2448 50358 for the year ending December 2013.

The figures are a true and accurate reflection of the financial transactions of the organisation.

Signed:  Mrs Liz Paulston

1 March 2014

Thursday Ladies’ Bible Study Group (only printed report received this year)

We meet at 3 p.m. on Thursdays at 543 Gardens Road and welcome ladies to join us. We study Know Your Bible Studies which is prepared by C.W.C.I., a non-denominational Christian Women’s group.  Since Wendy Weekes left, Heila and I have been leading the group.  Last year we studied: Psalms, Philippians, 2 Samuel and a topical study using many books called The Problem with Pain.  This term we are studying Hebrews and next term will be Judges.  Studies usually alternate between old and new testaments. We start (and usually also finish) with afternoon tea and enjoy good deep discussion and fellowship with one another.  We share prayer concerns and generally support one another understanding the confidential nature of the group.

Heather May  and     Heila Schwartz

Researchers not allowed to talk about the negative effects of abortion

Three women physicians, Donna Harrison, Mary Davenport and Martha Shuping, were invited months ago to give lectures on complications of abortion for the MWIA, the Medical Women’s International Association. Donna Harrison’s presentation demonstrated that nations with laws protective of mothers and unborn babies have excellent maternal mortality statistics. Mary Davenport had a talk about abortion as a risk factor for preterm birth, the cause of 15 million neonatal deaths each year internationally. Martha Shuping had a presentation that included two case reports of women who suffered severe psychological harm from abortion, even though they had obvious risk factors that were not discussed in the informed consent process. These risk factors were actually quoted from an abortion provider textbook endorsed by the National Abortion Federation! This was valuable information for physicians to hear, especially those from developing nations who are under tremendous pressure to legalize abortion due to the false belief that legalized abortion is a panacea for maternal mortality.

About 20 minutes into the interview, the Secretary General of MIWA, a Canadian woman, burst into the room (I kid you not. …and all of this is on camera), and came up to the table and said “What presentation is this? Donna Harrison said “it’s not a presentation”.

Read more …

Dr  Mary Davenport

Dr Mary Davenport

The Surprising Countries Most Missionaries Are Sent From and Go To

The Center for the Study of Global Christianity (CSGC) at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary calculates that Christians sent out approximately 400,000 international missionaries in 2010. And nearly half of the world’s top missionary-sending countries are now located in the global South.

Of the ten countries sending the most missionaries in 2010, three were in the global South: Brazil, South Korea, and India.”

The United States still tops the chart by far in terms of total missionaries, sending 127,000 in 2010 compared to the 34,000 sent by No. 2-ranked Brazil.

But examine the data differently—in terms of missionaries sent per million church members—and Palestine comes out on top at 3,401 sent, followed by Ireland, Malta, and Samoa. (South Korea ranks No. 5 at 1,014 missionaries sent per million church members).

Most missionaries continue to go to mostly Christian nations. “The ‘top nine’ receiving countries were home to only 3.5% of the world’s non-Christians but received more than 34% of all international missionaries. All nine have Christian majorities, and they were home to over 34% of the world’s Christians in 2010.

73% of all non-Christians nations globally received only 9% of all international missionaries, the lion’s share are in China, India, and Nigeria, where large numbers of home missionaries also work among non-Christians.

The country that received the most missionaries in 2010? The United States, with 32,400 sent from other nations.

Samoa received more than one missionary for every three non-Christians.

The CSGC also estimates that in just seven years, more than 9 in 10 people in the world will be religious, up 2 percent over similar data collected in 2010. It predicts that Christianity will be only the fifth-fastest growing religion in the world, coming in behind the Baha’i faith, Islam, Sikhism, and Jainism.

 

The Bible in miniture

On 31 October 1517, Luther posted his historic Ninety-five Theses, launching his defiant protest against the vile perversions and grave abuses of the church in Rome. This decisive act became the hinge upon which history turned. And at the very core of this Protestant movement were the Psalms, which continued to play a defining role throughout Luther’s life and ministry.

While being hidden by supporters in Wartburg Castle, the German Reformer translated the Bible into the German language. Included in this work were the Psalms, which Luther referred to as ‘the Bible in miniature’.

Read full article

Impromptu Church Picnic

With such beautiful spring weather, we decided to have an impromptu church picnic last Sunday after morning worship.

We went to Yarrie Lake just outside town and had a marvellous afternoon of good fellowship.  Thanks, Jo, for sharing your photos.

Next time we have something similar again, be there!

Presbyterian Inland Mission Centenary

Do you want a good book – true Australiana?

Then order your copy of this beautifully edited book with lots of photos taken by Rev Dr John Flynn, founder of the Australian Inland Mission, of which the Royal Flying Doctors later became part of.

Stephen Dyer went along with most present day missionaries of the outback of Australia and took pictures of their work.

This is a real gem.  Order from pim.org.au