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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Teacher's Strike: Just a thought . . .

Here's a thought . . .
How much is the planned strike action for tomorrow really about the pension rights of Public Sector workers such as teachers, and how much is really about the Unions wanting to flex their muscles and challenge the government?
The problem is that for anyone whose memory stretches back far enough, this has all the same ingredients of similar actions in the past that were primarily about Unions trying to prove that they were in charge, and using the aspirations of the workers as cannon fodder.
How easy it is for overpaid Union bosses with their expenses accounts on top of their high salaries, and their gilt-edged pension pots, to call their members out rather than  negotiating around the table. 
As I said, just a thought . . .

Siobhan Owen sings 'Siuil a Run/Walk With Me' (acapella)

When she was just 15 years old Siobhan Owen sang the haunting Irish traditional song, Siuil a Run (Walk with me). She was performing at the Triquetra Awards Dinner during the Australian Celtic Festival, Glen Innes, New South Wales.
This video gives you a good idea as to why I think that she's such a great young singer!

Inspirational Pictures for you ...

Joanne Lowe's Meditations

"Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?  Then said I, Here am I; send me."
Isaiah 6:8 (King James Version)
      Jessie Brown Pounds wrote a beautiful hymn "Anywhere with Jesus".  We sing this hymn but do we really mean what we are singing?  "Anywhere with Jesus, over land and sea, Telling souls in darkness of salvation free; Ready as He summons me to go or stay, Anywhere with Jesus when He points the way."
      We'll go over land and sea as a foreign missionary but are we willing to be a home missionary and go next door and across the street to tell them about Jesus?  We might have said to Jesus "Here am I; send me" but we won't go next door to tell them about Jesus and that He loves them so much He died for them.
      It is true that we need foreign missionaries but we also need home missionaries.  Think what would happen if everyone in our neighborhood fell in love with Jesus and started serving Him.  Not only would many souls be won to Jesus but marriages would be put back together and families reunited.
      Are you willing to shut off the television set and get out of your comfort zone to go next door to your neighbor and across the street and tell them that Jesus loves them?  So many times when we witness we preach to them instead of first telling them that Jesus loves them so much that He died for them.
      Do we really mean it when we say to Jesus "Here am I; send me" or are we just saying the words?  May God have mercy on us if we don't mean it.  Jesus died for us.  What are we doing for Him?  How can we do less than serve Him with all of our heart?  He loves us so much.  How much do we love Him?
Joanne Lowe

Great Christian Quotes by Billy Graham

"Being a Christian is more than just an instantaneous conversion - it is a daily process whereby you grow to be more and more like Christ."

"Comfort and prosperity have never enriched the world as much as adversity has."

"God has given us two hands, one to receive with and the other to give with."

"God proved His love on the Cross. When Christ hung, and bled, and died, it was God saying to the world, "I love you." "

"If we had more hell in the pulpit, we would have less hell in the pew."

"Suppose you could gain everything in the whole world, and lost your soul. Was it worth it?"

"Tears shed for self are tears of weakness, but tears shed for others are a sign of strength."

"There is nothing wrong with men possessing riches. The wrong comes when riches possess men."

"When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost."

"You're born. You suffer. You die. Fortunately, there's a loophole."

Isaiah 30: 'Woe to the Obstinate Nation'

      In this passage the Jews are compared to obstinate and rebellious children, and they are rebuked for constantly looking elsewhere for the answer to their problems, other than to God.  Today, people are just as obstinate when they face problems, preferring instead to attempt to find their own solutions rather than taking the problem to God and following what He says. The hope is always to find a quick and easy solution, and it usually ends up making the problem worse or creating a new one. By reading God's Word and actively seeking to carry out His will, we can maintain our bond with God, and deal with whatever may come our way in accordance with His will. We learn that we can never expect too little from man nor too much from God.
      Rahab was a mythical female sea-monster associated with Leviathan. It was a name associated with Egypt, where hippopotamuses sat idly on the River Nile. Perhaps it is this that is suggested as a likeness of Rahab.
      It was the prophets who kept the rebellious nature of the Jews in check. Because the people preferred the darkness to the light they told the prophets to keep quiet about visions that God gave in order to keep them from sin. It is no different in the world today, where people prefer the lies that cushion them from facing the truth, because the truth makes them feel uncomfortable. Yet to be comfortable in a lie is to live in a fool's paradise, and everything will come crashing down eventually.
      God warned Judah that turning to Egypt and other nations could not save them, because only He could do that. They were advised that they must repent and await God's will 'in quietness and trust' in order to find their salvation. Only those who make God alone their source of confidence and truth will find true comfort. God waits patiently to pour His grace on everyone who come to Him by faith in Jesus Christ. 
      It is when we trust God to help us through our difficulties that we grow in faith. He wants to teach us His ways, and wants us to live according to His will. When the people of Jerusalem left God's path He corrected them, and He will do the same for us as long as we are willing to follow all that He asks of us. As we do so we discover the abundance of His grace.
      The judgement of God will be accompanied by dense clouds of smoke, and by words that consume just as fire consumes. Often people in churches today do not want to hear of the wrath of God, only to be made to feel comfortable by words about how much God loves them, yet His wrath and anger are very real aspects of God's nature, and are designed to keep the rebellious in check. His anger is not against those people who obey His laws and who love Him, but against those who reject Him and who wilfully continue in sin.
1 “Woe to the obstinate children,” 
   declares the Lord, 
“to those who carry out plans that are not mine, 
   forming an alliance, but not by my Spirit, 
   heaping sin upon sin; 
2 who go down to Egypt 
   without consulting me; 
   who look for help to Pharaoh’s protection, 
   to Egypt’s shade for refuge. 
3 But Pharaoh’s protection will be to your shame, 
   Egypt’s shade will bring you disgrace. 
4 Though they have officials in Zoan 
   and their envoys have arrived in Hanes, 
5 everyone will be put to shame 
   because of a people useless to them, 
   who bring neither help nor advantage, 
   but only shame and disgrace.”

6 A prophecy concerning the animals of the Negev:
   Through a land of hardship and distress,
   of lions and lionesses,
   of adders and darting snakes,
   the envoys carry their riches on donkeys’ backs,
   their treasures on the humps of camels,
   to that unprofitable nation,
7 to Egypt, whose help is utterly useless.
   Therefore I call her
   Rahab the Do-Nothing.
8 Go now, write it on a tablet for them,
   inscribe it on a scroll,
   that for the days to come
   it may be an everlasting witness.
9 For these are rebellious people, deceitful children,
   children unwilling to listen to the Lord’s instruction.
10 They say to the seers,
   “See no more visions!”
   and to the prophets,
   “Give us no more visions of what is right!
   Tell us pleasant things,
   prophesy illusions.
11 Leave this way,
   get off this path,
   and stop confronting us
   with the Holy One of Israel!”
12 Therefore this is what the Holy One of Israel says:
   “Because you have rejected this message,
   relied on oppression
   and depended on deceit,
13 this sin will become for you
   like a high wall, cracked and bulging,
   that collapses suddenly, in an instant.
14 It will break in pieces like pottery,
   shattered so mercilessly
   that among its pieces not a fragment will be found
   for taking coals from a hearth
   or scooping water out of a cistern.”
15 This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:
   “In repentance and rest is your salvation,
   in quietness and trust is your strength,
   but you would have none of it.
16 You said, ‘No, we will flee on horses.’
   Therefore you will flee!
   You said, ‘We will ride off on swift horses.’
   Therefore your pursuers will be swift!
17 A thousand will flee
   at the threat of one;
   at the threat of five
   you will all flee away,
   till you are left
   like a flagstaff on a mountaintop,
   like a banner on a hill.”
18 Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
   therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.
   For the Lord is a God of justice.
   Blessed are all who wait for him!
19 People of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more.
   How gracious he will be when you cry for help!
   As soon as he hears, he will  answer you.
20 Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity
   and the water of  affliction,
   your teachers will be hidden no more;
   with your own eyes you will see them.
21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left,
   your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying,
   “This is the way; walk in it.”
22 Then you will desecrate your idols overlaid with silver
   and your images covered with gold;
   you will throw them away like a menstrual cloth
   and say to them, “Away with you!”
23 He will also send you rain for the seed you sow in the ground,
   and the food that comes from the land will be rich and plentiful.
   In that day your cattle will graze in broad meadows.
24 The oxen and donkeys that work the soil will eat fodder and mash,
   spread out with fork and shovel.
25 In the day of great slaughter, when the towers fall,
   streams of water will flow on every high mountain and every lofty hill.
26 The moon will shine like the sun, and the sunlight will be seven times
   brighter, like the light of seven full days,
   when the Lord binds up the bruises
   of his people and heals the wounds he inflicted.
27 See, the Name of the Lord comes from afar,
   with burning anger and dense clouds of smoke;
   his lips are full of wrath,
   and his tongue is a consuming fire.
28 His breath is like a rushing torrent,
   rising up to the neck.
   He shakes the nations in the sieve of destruction;
   he places in the jaws of the peoples
   a bit that leads them astray.
29 And you will sing
   as on the night you celebrate a holy festival;
   your hearts will rejoice
   as when people playing pipes go up
   to the mountain of the Lord,
   to the Rock of Israel.
30 The Lord will cause people to hear his majestic voice
   and will make them see his arm coming down
   with raging anger and consuming fire,
   with cloudburst, thunderstorm and hail.
31 The voice of the Lord will shatter Assyria;
   with his rod he will strike them down.
32 Every stroke the Lord lays on them
   with his punishing club
   will be to the music of timbrels and harps,
   as he fights them in battle with the blows of his arm.
33 Topheth has long been prepared;
   it has been made ready for the king.
   Its fire pit has been made deep and wide,
   with an abundance of fire and wood;
   the breath of the Lord,
   like a stream of burning sulfur,
   sets it ablaze.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Civil Rights Group loses non-profit tax status

CAIR loses non-profit status
June 23, 2011 

      The Council on American-Islamic Relations has lost its nonprofit status, according to the Internal Revenue Service.
      The civil rights group, long accused of ties to radical Islam, is on a list of 275,000 organizations who have not filed the requisite paperwork with the IRS to maintain nonprofit status. Tax law requires annual disclosure of assets, expenditures and salaries for 501(c) non-profits. Both CAIR and sister organization CAIR Foundation have lost their status.
      A CAIR attorney initially told POLITICO that its appearance on the IRS list referred to a defunct arm of the nonprofit, and that CAIR and CAIR foundation were unaffected -- a claim that a review of the IRS documents did not support. CAIR then told POLITICO the IRS was to blame, citing a number of other errors that have occurred on the IRS list. However, CAIR could not produce their IRS disclosure forms for 2007 through 2010 -- which are required to be open for public inspection.
      "We are looking into all of these issues and are working with the IRS to clear things up," CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper told POLITICO. "CAIR was clearly not targeted or singled in any way by the IRS."
       CAIR was named an unindicted co-conspirator in a landmark terrorism financing trial in Texas. Some Islamic charities facing federal investigations have been advised by attorneys not to file IRS paperwork for legal reasons, but there is no evidence that CAIR is currently the target of a federal probe. 

Tim Hawkins - On the Perils of Childhood (With Bob John)

Monday, June 27, 2011


Here's a bit of good news for all those people in the UK who are concerned about the insidious creep of Islamic Fundamentalism. Hopefully it heralds a return to Common Sense and the safeguarding of this nation from a future Islamic takeover. No doubt those who support the introduction of Sharia Law and all the horrors that it implies, along with other unacceptable aspects of Islamic Fundamentalism, will protest at this decision, but the truth is that it's a victory for the great majority of people in the UK in terms of protecting their heritage. The following report comes from The Barnabus Fund.
A Muslim group holding extremist views have had their plan to build a huge £3 million mosque in Camberley, England, finally dismissed by local authorities. If the plans had been approved, the mosque would have had two 30-metre minarets overlooking the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and towering above the parade ground and the adjacent St Michael's Church. The proposal raised serious security concerns, especially in view of the frequent royal visits to Sandhurst.
The Victorian school building
currently used as a mosque
The Bengali Welfare Association had appealed against the rejection of the plan by Surrey Heath Borough Council in March 2010. The controversial plans to knock down the listed Victorian school currently used as a mosque and build the mega-mosque were initially approved by the council's planning committee.
The Planning Inspectorate last week described the proposed mosque as “little more than a fairly traditional design transposed into Surrey from somewhere in the Near East or the Indian subcontinent” and felt that the design would be inappropriate for the Royal Military Academy Conservation Area on the London Road. Both St Michael’s Church and the school were built on land donated by the former War Office for the benefit of the local community.
The Planning Inspectorate said that the proposed design did not appear to make any concessions to the fact that it was being built in a conservation area and felt that the loss of the existing school building would “not be adequately replaced or reflected in the proposed development”. The Planning Inspectorate also raised the concern that in order to face Mecca the building would have “turned its back on the street” and described the site as “not spacious enough for such a large building to stand within”.

Free speech vindicated in the Netherlands

Geert Wilders not guilty on all charges!

Free speech vindicated in the Netherlands, while Tulsa police captain fights for his constitutional rights here in America

Please sign our petition today!


Wilders not guilty on all charges
MP Geert Wilders has been cleared of charges of inciting hatred and discrimination by a court in Amsterdam.
      The court ruled that some of Wilders' statements were insulting, shocking and on the edge of legal acceptability, but that they were made in the broad context of a political and social debate on the multi-cultural society.
     The chief judge took some 20 minutes to dismiss the charges one by one, speaking in clear, non-legal language. There was applause from the public gallery when he had finished his statement.
     The public prosecution department earlier joined Wilders’ legal team in calling for a not-guilty verdict, saying certain statements by the PVV party leader were insulting, but not criminal.
     The department was forced to take the case by the high court after anti-racism campaigners protested at its refusal to prosecute Wilders.
     The case began on October 4 last year, but collapsed after three weeks when a special legal panel ruled the judges may have shown partiality following a string of legal blunders. New judges were then sworn in and the case was heard again this year. 

More Great Christian Quotes on the subject of 'Prayer.'

"It is not enough for the believer to begin to pray, nor to pray correctly; nor is it enough to continue for a time to pray. We must patiently, believingly continue in prayer until we obtain an answer. Further, we have not only to continue in prayer until the end, but we have also to believe that God does hear us and will answer our
prayers. Most frequently we fail in not continuing in prayer until the blessing is obtained, and in not expecting the blessing. Those who are disciples of the Lord Jesus should labor with all their might in the work of God as if everything depended upon their own endeavours. Yet, having done so, they should not in the least trust in their labour and efforts, nor in the means that they use for the spread of the truth, but in God alone; and they should with all earnestness seek the blessing of God in persevering, patient, and believing prayer. Here is the great secret of success, my Christian reader. Work with all your might, but never trust in your work. Pray with all your might for the blessing in God, but work at the same time with all diligence, with all patience, with all perseverance. Pray, then, and work. Work and pray. And still again pray, and then work. And so on, all the days of your life. The result will surely be abundant blessing. Whether you see much fruit or little fruit, such kind of service will be blessed."

- George Muller

"The neglect of prayer is a grand hindrance to holiness."
 - John Wesley

"Beware in your prayers, above everything else, of limiting God, not only by unbelief, but by fancying that you know what He can do. Expect unexpected things, 'above all that we ask or think'. Each time, before you Intercede, be quiet first, and worship God in His glory. Think of what He can do, and how He delights to hear
the prayers of His redeemed people. Think of your place and privilege in Christ, and expect great things!"

- Andrew Murray

"The reason why we obtain no more in prayer is because we expect no more. God usually answers us according to our own hearts."
- Richard Allelne

A cuckoo in the nest! Squirrel and puppies snuggle up together.

 How's this for cuteness!
 These pictures should bring a smile to your face, which is a good thing on a Monday morning.

Isaiah 29: Woe to Jerusalem, David's City

      This chapter deals with: Judgements on Jerusalem and on its enemies. (1-8) The senselessness and hypocrisy of the Jews. (9-16) The conversion of the Gentiles, and future blessings for the Jews. (17-24).
      Ariel is a special name for Jerusalem, which is David's city. It may mean 'lion of God', in the sense that Jerusalem has the strength of a lion, or alternatively, it could also mean 'altar hearth', or the altar of burnt offerings, because Jerusalem is the place of the altar in the temple.
      Hypocrites never can please God, nor make their peace with him. God had often and long, by a host of angels, encamped round about Jerusalem for protection and deliverance; but now he fought against it. Proud looks and proud language shall be brought down by humbling providences. The destruction of Jerusalem's enemies is foretold. The army of Sennacherib went as a dream; and thus the multitudes, that through successive ages fight against God's altar and worship, shall fall. Speedily will sinners awake from their soothing dreams in the pains of hell.
      The people claimed that they were close to God, but they were a disobedient people, merely going through the motions, and so God would bring judgement on them. They practised their religion as a routine rather than a desire, and in doing so they removed the reality of it. They fooled themselves into believing that they were hidden from God's sight, yet the truth is that there is no place to hide for anyone. God can see us wherever we are, and knows the thoughts of our hearts even before we recognise them. Despite this, there are many people today who believe that they can hide their plans and schemes from God.
      The final passage in this chapter describes the world to come, which will be characterised by justice, understanding and joy, together with endless praise to God.
1 Woe to you, Ariel, Ariel, 
   the city where David settled! 
Add year to year 
   and let your cycle of festivals go on. 
2 Yet I will besiege Ariel; 
   she will mourn and lament, 
   she will be to me like an altar hearth. 
3 I will encamp against you on all sides; 
   I will encircle you with towers 
   and set up my siege works against you. 
4 Brought low, you will speak from the ground; 
   your speech will mumble out of the dust. 
Your voice will come ghostlike from the earth; 
   out of the dust your speech will whisper.

5 But your many enemies will become like fine dust,
   the ruthless hordes like blown chaff.
Suddenly, in an instant,
6 the Lord Almighty will come
with thunder and earthquake and great noise,
   with windstorm and tempest and flames of a devouring fire.
7 Then the hordes of all the nations that fight against Ariel,
   that attack her and her fortress and besiege her,
will be as it is with a dream,
   with a vision in the night—
8 as when a hungry person dreams of eating,
   but awakens hungry still;
as when a thirsty person dreams of drinking,
   but awakens faint and thirsty still.
So will it be with the hordes of all the nations
   that fight against Mount Zion.
9 Be stunned and amazed,
   blind yourselves and be sightless;
be drunk, but not from wine,
   stagger, but not from beer.
10 The Lord has brought over you a deep sleep:
   He has sealed your eyes (the prophets);
   he has covered your heads (the seers).
11 For you this whole vision is nothing but words sealed in a scroll. And if you give the scroll to someone who can read, and say, “Read this, please,” they will answer, “I can’t; it is sealed.”
12 Or if you give the scroll to someone who cannot read, and say, “Read this, please,” they will answer, “I don’t know how to read.”
13 The Lord says:
   “These people come near to me with their mouth
   and honor me with their lips,
   but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship of me
   is based on merely human rules they have been taught.
14 Therefore once more I will astound these people
   with wonder upon wonder;
the wisdom of the wise will perish,
   the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish.”
15 Woe to those who go to great depths
   to hide their plans from the Lord,
who do their work in darkness and think,
   “Who sees us? Who will know?”
16 You turn things upside down,
   as if the potter were thought to be like the clay!
Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it,
   “You did not make me”?
Can the pot say to the potter,
   “You know nothing”?
17 In a very short time, will not Lebanon be turned into a fertile field
   and the fertile field seem like a forest?
18 In that day the deaf will hear the words of the scroll,
   and out of gloom and darkness
   the eyes of the blind will see.
19 Once more the humble will rejoice in the Lord;
   the needy will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
20 The ruthless will vanish,
   the mockers will disappear,
   and all who have an eye for evil will be cut down—
21 those who with a word make someone out to be guilty,
   who ensnare the defender in court
   and with false testimony deprive the innocent of justice.
22 Therefore this is what the Lord, who redeemed Abraham, says to the descendants of Jacob:
   “No longer will Jacob be ashamed;
   no longer will their faces grow pale.
23 When they see among them their children,
   the work of my hands,
they will keep my name holy;
   they will acknowledge the holiness of the Holy One of Jacob,
   and will stand in awe of the God of Israel.
24 Those who are wayward in spirit will gain understanding;
   those who complain will accept instruction.”

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Joanne Lowe's Meditations

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."
Ephesians 2:8,9 (King James Version)
      Last week I was talking with someone and this person said "I am doing good things and being kind to people so I will make it to Heaven."  Doing good things and being kind to people will not get us to Heaven.  The Bible is very clear that it is only by grace through faith in Jesus that we are saved.
      If we could go to Heaven by doing good things and being kind to people, then Jesus would not have had to suffer all of that excruciating pain on the cross when He died for our sins.  When we try to work our way to Heaven, what we are really doing is rejecting the gift of His beloved Son that God gave to us.
      I believe that it breaks God's heart and He cries when we don't accept the gift of Jesus which He so freely gives us.  If you have ever given someone a gift and the person didn't accept it, then you have just a little idea of how God feels when we don't invite Jesus into our heart to be our personal Saviour.
      Has there ever been a time in your life when you admitted that you were a sinner and repented of your sins?  If not, I urge you, I plead with you to ask God to forgive you for your sins and invite Jesus into your heart to be your personal Saviour.  He will be the best friend you have ever had and He will never leave you.
      Let Jesus come into your heart before it is too late.  Say yes to Jesus because you will either spend eternity in Heaven with Jesus or you will spend eternity in hell with satan.  What is your choice, Heaven or hell?  Only you can make the choice.
Joanne Lowe

Jackie Evancho & Sarah Brightman sing 'Time to say Goodbye'

Jackie Evancho is a girl with a wonderful gift, of that there can be no doubt. She has touched the hearts of millions of people. Here she is, singing the beautiful song Time to say Goodbye, as a duet with Sarah Brightman. Well over three million people have viewed this video, which is amazing in itself!

Leonard Ravenhill speaks on Repentance.

      Leonard Ravenhill discusses the importance of repentance, and discusses why the Church in America needs to repent to get out of its state of bankruptcy.
      You can download more sermons from Leonard Ravenhill at:

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Five News report on Johann Huibers recreation of Noah's Ark

Here are a couple of videos about the Noah's Ark project created by Johann Huibers in Holland. The first is from YouTube and was filmed for a Channel 5 news report and the second is on Vimeo and was filmed by W Pasman.

ark of noah from w.pasman on Vimeo.

The Work of God's Hands

 Wherever you look you see the work of God's hand and the work of men that have been inspired by Him to create beautiful surroundings.
 Wherever you are you can praise God for the beauty of the earth, and thank Him for giving us such a wonderful world. Then you can pray that mankind will become fit to inhabit it. 

The Sleeping Church

      Are you part of 'The Sleeping Church' that the devil is so proud of, or are you a battle-tested warrior in the army of Christ? If you cannot honestly answer yes to the latter then you belong to the former, make no mistake. Of course, your head will be full of excuses as to why that is, but can you not see that the reason for the excuses is because you are not passionately committed to winning the battle?
      Sunday by Sunday folk occupy chairs and pews in churches to take part in a worship service that fails to really get off the ground. More often than not the minds of so many people will be wandering to other things, other matters, rather than focussing on God. You don't go to church for your benefit but for God's benefit. The Bible tells us to '... seek first His kingdom and His righteousness' (Matthew 6:33 NIV), but do you?
      Go into the majority of church services on a Sunday morning and sit for fifteen minutes prior to the time the service begins and what will you find? Do you find people prayerfully and quietly preparing themselves to meet with God and be spiritually fed? NO! You hear the incessant chatter that calls to mind the Tower of Babel! In fact, it's so bad that sometimes those few folk that do try to contemplate the time that are about to spend with the Lord find it almost impossible to think because of the noise. I can recall a time when, as the pastor of a church, I had to remonstrate with the congregation because the babble in the sanctuary was so loud before the service that I was unable to concentrate fully as I prayed whilst in the vestry next door. Where has the reverence for God gone when people consider chattering to their friends more important than seeking the face of God in silent prayer?
      The content of the service often does little to improve matters either. The hymns are more often viewed as 'church entertainment' rather than a means of reaching up to God in worship and praise. The comments that you hear will reflect more upon whether people liked the tune than whether the words meant anything to them. On the subject of hymns, why do so many churches resort to mere songs that tickle the ears rather than hymns that elevate their souls to heaven itself by their content? All too often, the answer is that people want to come to church and be entertained by the songs and music.
      Who is there at the service to actually take part? Surely it should be everyone! Yet all too often everything to do with worship is left to the pastor standing at the front of the assembled congregation. It is the pastor who must pray aloud the prayers that, although often lacking in holiness, the congregation will dutifully add their 'Amen' to when they are drawn to a close. It's as if the congregation, in their failure to learn how to pray, require that prayer is by proxy, the joint proxy of the congregation being laid on the shoulders of the pastor.  Where is the value in prayer such as this? I suggest that there simply is none at all!
      Then we have the sermon or homily or message, whatever description you wish to apply. Is it a message that is uplifting and edifying, or a message that helps you to understand what God not only expects of you but demands it as well? Do the words of the preacher act as a fan to the spiritual embers that are burning inside you fanning them into a roaring fire that seeks to ignite others with the message that you have heard? Are you prepared, after hearing the message, to become arsonists for God, setting fires in the lives of others whom you will meet as you go about your daily lives beyond the safety of the church walls?
      Whenever I preach I expect that God will work, using his Holy Spirit to stir people into action in the Lord's work. For people to come up to me at the close of the service and smile, shake my hand and say "That was nice" tells me that I failed to move them to action. I much prefer it when they scurry past me, annoyed because they have been stirred to discomfort by the Spirit as a result of the words that God placed on my lips. After all, I'm there for God's benefit not to be popular.
      The truth is that whilst the battle rages outside of the church walls, and all too often inside them as well, the Church is slumbering, almost it would seem oblivious to the fate that the body of the Church seems to be so apathetic towards. It's time for the Church to wake up, and that means every member of the body, including you! 
      Where are the Prayer Meetings and the Bible Studies, and where are the Sunday Schools in so many of our churches. Many churches do not have a Prayer Meeting, and yet the most tried method of judging the effectiveness of any church in Kingdom terms is to look at the attitude that prevails in it regarding prayer. Unless every aspect of church life and ministry is underpinned and supported with and by prayer then it is doomed to failure. Whilst Christ is the foundation of the Church, prayer is the foundation of  the church's life at grass-roots level. No matter what programmes a church may try to implement, if it lacks the underpinning of prayer then it will never achieve its potential. 
      If there are no Bible Studies where members may gather to increase their knowledge of God's Word, then those same members will remain as spiritual babes.  For faith to mature it must be fed regularly.
      Check off the following attributes of the church that is awake against your own place of worship:

  • Worship God and not worship man.
  • Minister to God and not to man.
  • Hear and Fear God and not hear and fear man.
  • Focus on Jesus Christ and His redemptive work on the cross.
  • Believe in the Bible and practice accordingly.
  • All aspects of the church activities are centred on the above.
  • All aspects of the lives of the believers are centred on the above.
  • Very end times focussed, just as Jesus has commanded and the Apostles have duly obeyed. So did the early Christians.
  • There is an increasing intensity of the moving and manifestation of the Holy Spirit in all aspects of above. 
      Do not be side-tracked by thinking about all the programmes that your church has in place. Whilst they may well be commendable, what do they do towards reaping the harvest of souls into the heavenly kingdom? God's business is about the salvation of souls, and our business should be to work as we are called to see God's business come to fruition. The world is full of things that will seek to entice you away from doing as God demands, but the choices you make are up to you. You can follow your heart's desire in worldly terms or you can follow God's leading in heavenly terms.
      If your church is lacking in spiritual zeal and the fire of the Holy Spirit, repent now and pray for help to put matters right before the Lord! Do not leave it a moment longer! You are called by God to be warriors on the battle-field, not generals watching from a distant hill-top. I pray that if you are part of the sleeping church then you will wake up before it's too late.