++Clive Read

Yours prayers have never been more urgently needed

For some months I have been aware that one of our number has been suffering with cancer, but I also acknowledged his right to privacy.

Today I have received an eMail from Primate Archbishop Peter Younghusband, who has AICW responsibility for UK and Ireland. The aggressive cancer has caused ++Peter to be very tired and lethargic, and in November he will start a new course of medical injections, to which he is not looking forward, but believes it may be one of the ways in which God will bring about his healing. ++Peter was spending much time in prayer and plans for the future of AICW, and I ask that you pray for Pauline and that her husband, their family and friends will see God at work. ++Clive

Work is increasing despite a reduction in energy, and heavy workload

I knew I had not communicated with the AICW family for some time, but had not realised how long it has been. Bishop Peter in the UK has shown his willingness to expand our tent, but surgery has brought many ambitions to a halt, but he is hoping to be ready to wear the other side of the yoke by the end of this year. Two weeks ago we were invited to attend the 50th Anniversary of our smallest seed in AICW when those living on SEALAND (a British fortress built 16 miles offshore in WWII to defend Britain against German bombers) which around 50 people in families occupied it after the British Government left it – it’s purpose service. Prince Michael who rules the Principality of Sealand, has written a history of their occupation, and gave it to Royal Navy Reserve Divisional Chaplain, Douglas Perkins, when and his wife, represented AICW and read a greeting of congratulation the AICW has sent to the Anniversary occasion. Much of my time has been taken with concern about my wife, Ann, who lost 22.5Kgs whilst the Hospital argued about whether she was allergic to Gluten. By keeping to the new diet, she has gained weight and – God Willing – we are believing she will be back to her ordinary weight early in 2018. Currently, with the help of +Luthando in Port Elizabeth, we are processing new applications from Kenya, Malawi and India

I read this today about a mother’s idea of a conversation between the two embryo (little people really) that she carried in her womb:

Two Babies Talk In The Womb, of Life After Delivery, in a Parable on Faith Faith is a tricky thing. It’s complete confidence in what we cannot see (Hebrews 11:1). But how can we possibly believe in something we can’t see? After all, if we can’t see something, how do we know it’s there? Well, there’s a parable that’s been circulating across the internet in which two babies talk in the womb. And their discussion about life after delivery and the “Mother” is a beautiful analogy meant to parallel faith and God! “For we live by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7 Like many inspiring movies and books, this short story may be fictional. However, the impact that this work will have on its readers is very real. Enjoy! “In a mother’s womb were two babies. One asked the other: ‘Do you believe in life after delivery?’ The other replied, ‘Why, of course. There has to be something after delivery. Maybe we are here to prepare ourselves for what we will be later.’ ‘Nonsense’ said the first. ‘There is no life after delivery. What kind of life would that be?’ The second said, ‘I don’t know, but there will be more light than here. Maybe we will walk with our legs and eat from our mouths. Maybe we will have other senses that we can’t understand now.’ The first replied, ‘That is absurd. Walking is impossible. And eating with our mouths? Ridiculous! The umbilical cord supplies nutrition and everything we need. But the umbilical cord is so short. Life after delivery is to be logically excluded.’ The second insisted, ‘Well I think there is something and maybe it’s different than it is here. Maybe we won’t need this physical cord anymore.’ The first replied, ‘Nonsense. And moreover, if there is life, then why has no one has ever come back from there? Delivery is the end of life, and in the after-delivery there is nothing but darkness and silence and oblivion. It takes us nowhere.’ ‘Well, I don’t know,’ said the second, ‘but certainly we will meet Mother and she will take care of us.’ The first replied ‘Mother? You actually believe in Mother? That’s laughable. If Mother exists then where is she now?’ The second said, ‘She is all around us. We are surrounded by her. We are of her. It is in her that we live. Without her this world would not and could not exist.’ Said the first: ‘Well I don’t see her, so it is only logical that she doesn’t exist.’ To which the second replied, ‘Sometimes, when you’re in silence and you focus and you really listen, you can perceive her presence, and you can hear her loving voice, calling down from above.'” Living By Faith It’s not always easy to trust in what we can’t see. It’s a choice we have to make. And thankfully, our Father God understands our struggle. He loves us like a parent. With faith as small as a mustard seed, He will move mountains (Matthew 17:20). So it’s our prayer that you will make the choice to believe! Where will you spend your eternity – Smoking or Non-Smoking?

The Church of God

Of course there is only ONE CHURCH, and that was established by God to commemorate the Crucifixion and unfair death of His Son, Jesus. We know, like any village, there are many houses, all of which the owner’s  think their’s is special. Our minds may immediately think of Rome or Canterbury, but there are thousands of churches who believe themselves to be the unique successor to our Saviour.

Even within a church (and it suits me to use Church of Rome as an example) there are hundreds of different groupings of people with beliefs and practices they believe are unique and correct. The Roman Church has both Pentecostal and Evangelical groups that are worldwide, but let us not confuse Roman Evangelism with that of Our Father and His Son. We need to remain faithful to OUR beliefs, shaped by Our God, following and preceding the death of His sinless Son.

There can be good and eatable parts to a ‘bad’ apple! The Anglican Communion News Service published today tells us:

·        Bishop calls for stronger rape laws in sexual offences consultation

The Bishop of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, Howard Gregory, has called for equal treatment for male and female victims of rape, a clearer definition of rape, and for an end to the exemption that prevents men being charged with raping their wives. He also called for the current legal prohibition against anal sex to be removed.

 

·        Bishop says that the Church has forgotten the poor

The Bishop of Burnley in the north-west England diocese of Blackburn, has accused priests of deserting the nation’s poor and working class areas. In a speech at the evangelical New Wine festival, Bishop Philip North told the stories of people who had come to faith through ministry in deprived areas, before saying: “I could tell plenty of stories like that, stories where people from hard backgrounds living in the toughest parts of the country have come to faith in Jesus Christ through passionate and committed Christian ministry which has combined service and proclamation. What worries me though . . . is the stories I cannot tell.”

 

·        Television vicar to star in BBC series on the Camino

A new three-part BBC television series exploring pilgrimage will follow seven famous people as they embark on a 15-day pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago in Spain. The Revd Kate Bottley, vicar of Blyth and Scrooby with Ranskill, and Chaplain of North Nottinghamshire College in the Diocese of Southwell & Nottingham, is one of those taking part. Bottley became famous in the UK after staring in the Channel Four programme Gogglebox, which looks at how people watch television. She is now a presenter of the popular Songs of Praise television programme and BBC Radio Two’s national Sunday morning early breakfast programme.

 The Pope has called for a Forum to that will include discussion of a thesis on the 95 new aspects of evangelism, but we must remember that this is Roman Catholic evangelism, and may have nothing in common with Christian Evangelism, when Christ alone forgives our sin and changes the lives of sinners or brings them healing.

Religion is again gaining the headlines. Keep praying and labouring where God has placed you. Another man’s pasture may LOOK better than where God has placed you, but HE knows HIS plans for your future and the sheep he has given to you for safe-keeping till the day Christ’s return. ++

 

 

 

 

Primate’s Blog

My dear children

I suspect I am not alone in feeling that as the years advance the energy is reduced proportionately, I always said that I would die preaching in the pulpit, but God had other ideas. After I had finished my Sermon, and folded my notes, I suddenly found my lips mouthing out loud “I have an important announcement, from this moment I have resigned as Pastor of this church. It is a long story, but Jávea Evangelical Church was founded 22 years ago, and is NOT a member of AICW. I did not discuss the announcement with anyone (wife, son, congregation – or even God – because He knew that I would refuse to give up. He took the decision and mouthed the words through my lips. By the time I heard it, it was too late.

We are no longer from this weekend responsible for the Spanish version of THE WORD FOR TODAY by Bob Gass, after 20 years. We published our final edition of JÁVEA JEARD. It all became too much for us, following my multiple illnesses. Ann has also been very unwell, losing 22 Kgs of weight whilst Consultants argued over whether or not she was a Coeliac. She is, and allergic to GLUTEN that is used in baking and other food products.

We continue to grow as a Communion with three new applications in a week, Malawi, India and the Phillipines. The Vicar General of Malawi wrote (and I an grateful to His Grace Archbishop Peter McInnes of Australia for forwarding it to me:

Greetings from your flock in Malawi and I am Rev Fr. Joel Lewis Malanda Vicar General of the Malawi Province of Anglican Communion Worldwide.

I am Vicar General and was elected by the church when we established it in 2014 and they saw it fit because when I was in the Diocese of the Upper Shire Canterbury Anglican was Vicar General hence I am so.

The photos I have sent are of churches we have here in Malawi and we are growing from strength to strength.

We have women ministry called destiny women and south here their uniform is brown skirt and white short sleeve blouse while north is white skirt and white long sleeve blouse.

Youth too is active in the church. North has no priests currently, me and Fr. Michael Mtambo visit them but have candidates to be ordained we have no Bishop.

Fr Michael and I are two priests who were serving the church from its establishment until last year when we requested a bishop who is not Anglican to ordain the other six priests, we have Frs Lawrence Chipoya, Wilfred Kangoya, Beston Mitulo, Harrison Luka, Ganizani Makhuluzo and Bernard Kasanga to come to total number 8 priests.

We are very happy that we are now recognized worldwide.

We also humbly request the new logo from communion the one we have will not be in use from now.

Also all correspondence be addressed to the office of the Vicar General and we wish Your Grace the holy ghost continue leading you for the betterment of our church worldwide.

In His Vineyard

Rev Fr Joel Malanda

Vicar General

We are suffering heat of 40-50º but it is the humidity that folk are complaining about. I regret that these few words have taken so long to reach you, but my energy has ‘got up and went’. Please convey my episcopal greeting to your congregations.

++Clive

 

 

God’s Word for 1st – 3rd September from Bob Gass

THURSDAY 1 SEPTEMBER

‘Who works out everything in conformity with…his will.’ Ephesians 1:11 NIV (2011 Edition)

Your Personalized Road Map

The Bible says before you were born: ‘Every day of [your] life was recorded…Every moment…laid out before a single day had passed’ (Psalm 139:16 NLT). God personalized a road map for your life ‘in conformity with…his will.’ And it’s your job to discover it and walk within its confines. A respected pastor says: ‘You may know your ultimate destination, but need guidance on how to get there. First and foremost, “God’s Word is a lamp for your feet and a light for your path” (Psalm 119:105). He sees the big picture…the shortcuts and pitfalls…Don’t look for external guidance…the Holy Spirit lives inside you, and it’s from within that you’ll get the inside track.’ Meditate on these Scriptures and make them personal prayers: ‘God has made us what we are…to do good works, which [He] planned in advance for us to live our lives doing’ (Ephesians 2:10 NCV). ‘The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives’ (Psalm 37:23 NLT). ‘You clear the way for me, and now I won’t stumble’ (Psalm 18:36 CEV). ‘Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take’ (Proverbs 3:6 NLT). ‘Behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or…left’ (Isaiah 30:21 NLT). At the end of his life Paul could say, ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith’ (2 Timothy 4:7). Notice, sometimes Paul had to ‘fight’ to stay on course, but by God’s grace he made it – and so will you!

FRIDAY 2 SEPTEMBER

‘The children God has graciously given your servant.’ Genesis 33:5 NIV (2011 Edition)

Dad, Treasure Your Children

We live in a day when kids have never been given more of the things they want, and less of the things they need. What do they need? You! Not trinkets, treasures, and toys, but your love and your time. Read these unsettling words in a Newsweek column entitled, ‘Dear Dads, Save Your Sons,’ by psychologist Christopher Bacorn. He tells about an anxious mother in her mid-thirties who came to his office with her fifteen-year-old son. The boy’s dad had left four years before. Since then the teenager had descended into alcohol, gang membership, and violence. The mother had nowhere else to turn, and it was obvious the boy was at best a hostile participant. After attempting for thirty minutes to crack the steel vault of this boy’s heart, Dr. Bacorn realized the futility of it all. He wrote these poignant and sad words: ‘I’ve come to believe that most adolescent boys can’t make use of professional counseling…What a boy can use, and all too often doesn’t have, is the fellowship of men – at least one man who pays attention to him, who spends time with him, who admires him. A boy needs a man he can look up to. What he doesn’t need is a shrink…As a nation we’re racked by youth violence, overrun by gangs, guns, and drugs. The great majority of youthful offenders are male, most without fathers involved in their lives in any useful way.’ In Genesis we read that Jacob was a successful businessman, but he discovered that his greatest earthly treasure was ‘the children God has graciously given to your servant.’ Dad, have you discovered that?

SATURDAY 3 SEPTEMBER

‘God…comforts us…so that we can comfort [others].’ 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV (2011 Edition)

Ministering to Others (1)

Years ago a lady visited an orphanage and asked the matron, ‘Is there a child here nobody has offered to adopt?’ The matron replied, ‘There is. She’s ten years old, not much to look at, and she has a hunchback.’ The lady said, ‘That’s the child I want!’ Thirty-five years later the director of the Orphanage Inspection Department in Iowa submitted the following report on a state-run facility: ‘This home is outstanding. It’s clean, the food’s good, the children are well-cared-for, and the atmosphere is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. The matron, Mercy Goodfaith, has a soul that oozes love; she has such beautiful eyes I forgot how homely her face was – or that she was a hunchback.’ Because a Good Samaritan had the courage to love and nurture a little girl others overlooked, Mercy Goodfaith went on to share that same love with hundreds of other orphans. Paul says, ‘God…comforts us…so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we…received.’ And Billy Graham adds: ‘Those who have suffered the most are best able to comfort others …to empathize with [their] afflictions because of what they’ve experienced…Our sufferings may be hard to bear, but our goal should be to learn all we can from what we’re called to endure so we can fulfill a ministry of comfort as Jesus did. “Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted” (Hebrews 2:18 NIV 2011 Edition). The sufferer becomes the comforter in the service of the Lord.’

God’s Word for 16th 17th August by Bob Gass

Why are you so fearful?’ Mark 4:40 NKJV

Don’t Be Afraid (1)

Notice how the disciples reacted to the storm on the Sea of Galilee, and see if you recognize any of the same traits in yourself: 1) Fear makes us doubt God’s care. The disciples asked Jesus, ‘Do You not care that we are perishing?’ (v. 38 NKJV). They didn’t ask about His strength: ‘Can you still the storm?’ Or His knowledge: ‘Are you aware of the storm?’ Or His know-how: ‘Do you have any experience with storms?’ Instead they voiced doubts about His character: ‘Do you not care?’ If you let it, fear will erode your confidence in God’s love and make you forget His faithfulness. 2) Fear makes us reach for control. Jesus was asleep, so the disciples woke Him and said, ‘Do something, quick!’ Fear comes from a perceived loss of control. When we’re afraid, we grab for a component of life that we can manage – like our diet, or our job, or the neatness of our house, or in many cases – people. The more insecure we feel, the more controlling we tend to become. 3) Fear makes us forgetful. The Bible says, ‘He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick’ (Matthew 8:16 NKJV). What a résumé! But fear gives us spiritual amnesia; it makes us forget what Jesus has already done and how good He has been to us. And what was Jesus’ response? ‘Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?’ Faith doesn’t eliminate fear; it silences it, robs it of its power, and draws us closer to God. And when that happens things begin to change for the better.

WEDNESDAY 17 AUGUST

‘Oh, that [we] would give thanks to the Lord for his goodness.’ Psalm 107:8 NKJV

Don’t Be Afraid (2)

When you’ve been through hard times, it can make you want to cut back on trusting God, and start playing it safe. When you’ve been through back-to-back storms, the security of the harbour starts looking good. Now it’s okay to rest and regroup, but don’t settle for safety and miss what God has planned for you. The Bible says: ‘Those who go down to the sea in ships, who do business on great waters…see the works of the Lord, and His wonders in the deep. For He commands and raises the stormy wind, which lifts up the waves of the sea. They mount up to the heavens, they go down again to the depths; their soul melts because of trouble. They reel to and fro…stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end. Then they cry out to the Lord in their trouble, and He brings them out of their distresses. He calms the storm, so that its waves are still. Then they are glad because they are quiet; so He guides them to their desired haven. Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness’ (vv. 23-31 NKJV). Where do we see God’s wonders? In life’s storms! Jesus issued 125 recorded commandments. Twenty-one of them are ‘Don’t be afraid’ or ‘Have courage.’ The second most common commandment, to love God and your neighbour, appears on only eight occasions. That means the one statement Jesus made more than any other was ‘Don’t be afraid!’ Why? Because He wants you to trust Him more!

God’s Word for Monday 15th August from God

‘When the Spirit has his way with us.’ Galatians 5:17 TLB

Spirit-Filled Living

Always remember that no matter how long you walk with God, your carnal nature never improves. It never becomes more like Jesus, even over time. That’s why we’re told to ‘crucify’ it daily (See v. 24). Even the apostle Paul struggled with his lower nature: ‘We naturally love to do evil things…opposite from the things that the Holy Spirit tells us to do; and the good things we want to do when the Spirit has his way with us are just the opposite of our natural desires. These two forces within us are constantly fighting…to win control over us, and our wishes are never free from their pressures…But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control’ (vv. 17, 22-23 TLB). You ask, ‘Is such a lifestyle even possible?’ Yes, but you must do these four things: 1) Remember that Satan never takes a day off. You’re constantly in his crosshairs, so you must protect yourself with God’s Word and prayer. 2) Identify the sin you’re most prone to. The Bible says, ‘Lay aside…the sin which so easily ensnares’ (Hebrews 12:1 NKJV). Why? Because the area of your greatest weakness is the one in which you’ll constantly be attacked. 3) Keep your spiritual tank full. ‘The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace’ (Romans 8:6 NIV 1984 Edition). 4) Walk in God’s strength, not your own. Does the fight ever end? No, but God’s power plus your choice to obey and keep fighting, always lead to clear and lasting victory.

God’s Word for Monday 15th August from Bob Gass

‘When the Spirit has his way with us.’ Galatians 5:17 TLB

Spirit-Filled Living

Always remember that no matter how long you walk with God, your carnal nature never improves. It never becomes more like Jesus, even over time. That’s why we’re told to ‘crucify’ it daily (See v. 24). Even the apostle Paul struggled with his lower nature: ‘We naturally love to do evil things…opposite from the things that the Holy Spirit tells us to do; and the good things we want to do when the Spirit has his way with us are just the opposite of our natural desires. These two forces within us are constantly fighting…to win control over us, and our wishes are never free from their pressures…But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control’ (vv. 17, 22-23 TLB). You ask, ‘Is such a lifestyle even possible?’ Yes, but you must do these four things: 1) Remember that Satan never takes a day off. You’re constantly in his crosshairs, so you must protect yourself with God’s Word and prayer. 2) Identify the sin you’re most prone to. The Bible says, ‘Lay aside…the sin which so easily ensnares’ (Hebrews 12:1 NKJV). Why? Because the area of your greatest weakness is the one in which you’ll constantly be attacked. 3) Keep your spiritual tank full. ‘The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace’ (Romans 8:6 NIV 1984 Edition). 4) Walk in God’s strength, not your own. Does the fight ever end? No, but God’s power plus your choice to obey and keep fighting, always lead to clear and lasting victory.

God’s Word for Sunday 14 August by Bob Gass

‘The measure [of thought and study] you give [to the truth you hear] will be the measure [of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to you.’ Mark 4:24 AMP

Bible Study: Make It Personal

Martin Luther said studying the Bible was like picking apples. First you shake the trunk, then you shake the limb, then you shake the branch, then you shake the twig, then you look under every leaf. There’s no other book in the world like it. You can read the same Bible verse a dozen times and get a dozen different insights. That’s because it’s ‘God-breathed’ (2 Timothy 3:16 NIV). Here’s what Jesus said about studying God’s Word: ‘[Things are hidden temporarily only as a means to revelation.] For there is nothing hidden except to be revealed, nor is anything [temporarily] kept secret except in order that it may be made known’ (Mark 4:22 AMP). Then He adds: ‘Be careful what you are hearing. The measure [of thought and study] you give [to the truth you hear] will be the measure [of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to you – and more [besides] will be given to you who hear.’ Do you want to grow spiritually? Build better relationships? Succeed in your career? Conquer anxiety and find peace? Break a bad habit? Be healed from the emotional wounds of your past? Then meditate on, ponder, think about, practice mentally, and verbalise the Word of God. Instead of living off someone else’s spiritual insight, study God’s Word for yourself and allow the Holy Spirit to bless you with life-transforming insights. Jesus said, ‘The Spirit takes my message and tells it to you’ (John 16:15 CEV). And you’ll experience the truth of those words when you personalise the Scripture you’re reading.

God’s Word for 13th August by Bob Gass

Do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.’ Romans 6:12 NIV (2011 Edition)

Pray for Self-Control

Self-control is one of the great keys to success in life. And since God’s Word has a lot to say about it, if you ask Him He will help you to cultivate it. What you struggled with when you were young will be different from the things you struggle with when you’re older, but you’ll face temptation in one form or another as long as you live. Self-control is one of the nine fruits of the Spirit listed in the Bible (See Galatians 5:22-23). It calls for bringing every aspect of your life under the mastery of the Holy Spirit. It’s a lifestyle characterized by discipline, not impulse. The Greek word for ‘self-control’ comes from a root word meaning ‘to grip.’ It calls for getting a grip on your spending so that you don’t go into debt for things you don’t need and can’t pay for. It calls for getting a grip on your temper and not saying things you’ll later regret: ‘Better…a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city’ (Proverbs 16:32 NIV 1984 Edition). It calls for getting a grip on your desires. If Joseph had failed to say no to the repeated advances of his boss’ wife, he’d never have seen his life’s dream fulfilled and sat on the throne of Egypt. Understand this: Satan has discerned your destiny and he’s out to stop you from reaching it. So pray for self