Advent Sunday

Malachi 4:1-6
and Mark 1:1-6
Who can remember and tell me what is deemed to be the greatest cliffhanger for any continuing TV series ?
The shooting of JR which was shown on the 21/03/1980. There were T-shirts and mugs and all sorts over the summer with 'who shot JR?' or 'I shot JR.. Do you remember? There was lots of speculation too..Larry Hagman says that even the Queen Mother tried to find out from him who it was only to be politely declined the answer. Everyone had to wait because of an actor's strike..So do you remember who did it?
Somebody said: Kristin. Correct, it was revealed on the 21/11 that Kristin Shepard shot him.
It was the greatest TV cliffhanger but guess what, it wasn't the greatest cliffhanger, we can beat that!

Malachi is the last of the Old Testament prophets and he says : Remember the law of my servant Moses, the decrees and laws I gave him at Horeb for all Israel, Malachi 4:4. Israel struggled to remember and keep God's laws, God's word and they had prophets after prophets remind them and call them back to the Lord as they strayed and increasingly went after 'other gods'. In the 6th century they lost their land and were exiled to Babylon. The Lord God warned them this would happen if they weren't true to Him and it did happen because they didn't follow his Word. After the exile, as people trickled back in dribs and drabs, the city and the temple were rebuilt. Malachi didn't just encourage them to remember God's word, he said:
'See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes'. Over the years of silence that followed people started more and more to take hold of these and similar prophetic words and increasingly Israel became true to the word of the Lord and expecting an Elijah figure to come and announce the imminent arrival of the day of the Lord. They expected the Lord to do something mighty and so a great cliffhanger of speculation and expectation started.
 Malachi could have written this anytime from 568-433 B.C so speculation went on until a guy who looked like and sounded like a prophet appeared in the Judaean desert. Mark the first gospel writer pick up almost where Malachi left off - no birth of Jesus account, straight in with a huge announcement, Mark:1-1 Then just before Jesus goes back to heaven, read Matthew 28:18-20. To put it another way, remember the Word and share it with others till the day of the Lord. We sit within the greatest cliffhanger ever and Advent Sunday underlines and reminds us of this.
In conclusion, to remember God's word, it is necessary to read it, to share God's word, we have to live it and to teach God's word, we have to speak it, till he comes again!
Rev. S. Abram


An intelligent designer

At times, in the middle of a casual conversation, we have to answer some unexpected tricky questions. Those questions or statements could be just excuses or red herrings but still need answers or comments. They cannot be swept under the carpet as they seem to be one massive obstacle for some people to accept that the Lord is the creator. The doubts have taken over, the lies have confused them. Suddenly, science seems to be the reason why they cannot possibly believe in the Lord. Even though thousands of scientists and researchers are actually christian and that there is absolutely no problem with being a scientist and a Christian. To find objective and truthful answers, I suggest you visit the following site:
So where's the proof of God's existence? What would constitute objective proof of God? Well, consider the following self-evident and universally recognized truth: Concept and design necessitate an intelligent designer.
In accordance with our familiar axiom and in light of the tremendous advances we've made in molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics and information theory, the proof of God is all around us!

Through the microscope, we observe the E. coli bacterial flagellum. The bacterial flagellum is what propels E. coli bacteria through its microscopic world. It consists of about 40 individual protein parts including a stator, rotor, drive-shaft, U-joint, and propeller. It's a microscopic outboard motor! The individual parts come into focus when magnified 50,000 times (using electron micrographs). And even though these microscopic outboard motors run at an incredible 100,000 rpm, they can stop on a microscopic dime. It takes only a quarter turn for them to stop, shift directions and start spinning 100,000 rpm in the opposite direction! The flagellar motor has two gears (forward and reverse), is water-cooled, and is hardwired into a signal transduction (sensory mechanism) so that it receives feedback from its environment. ("Unlocking the Mystery of Life," video documentary by Illustra Media, 2002.)
When we apply the general principles of detecting specified complexity to biologic systems (living creatures), we find it reasonable to infer the presence intelligent design. Take, for example, the bacterial flagellum's stator, rotor, drive-shaft, U-joint, and propeller. It is not convenient that we've given these parts these names - that's truly their function. If you were to find a stator, rotor, drive-shaft, U-joint, or propeller in any vehicle, machine, toy or model, you would recognize them as the product of an intelligent source. No one would expect an outboard motor -- much less one as incredible as the flagellar motor -- to be the product of a chance assemblage of parts. Motors are the product of intelligent design.

Furthermore, the E. coli bacterial flagellum simply could not have evolved gradually over time. The bacterial flagellum is an "irreducibly complex" system. An irreducibly complex system is one composed of multiple parts, all of which are necessary for the system to function. If you remove any one part, the entire system will fail to function. Every individual part is integral. There is absolutely no naturalistic, gradual, evolutionary explanation for the bacterial flagellum. (Michael Behe, Darwin's Black Box, 1996.)
So if you are interested in this kind of issues, this is one piece of the puzzle, there is more on this website, http://www.allaboutcreation.org/
May the Lord bless you in abundance. In Jesus-Christ.


But as for you, continue in what you have learned...

2 Timothy 3:10-17
First, I have a question for you! Apart from Scriptures, what do we know about God? O.k. by the window, it's a beautiful day, we can see  beauty, design and order, coming from a loving creator, God. How do we know that he loves us? We need a revelation, i.e. lift the curtain. God has chosen to lift the curtain. Do we need to guess about God? God has spoken to lots of generations and inspire them to write that down for our benefit.
Unlike Paul whom I suppose was a formidable character, Timothy, Paul's adopted son, was a young man rather timid. In his letters, Paul encourages Timothy.
Today, my headings are P for purpose, U for usefulness and N for nature.

1) Purpose.
The purpose of the Bible is to equip the man of God for 'every good work'.The Bible brings you salvation through faith in Jesus-Christ (2 Timothy 3:15) Thus as early as in Genesis 3:15, some see a prophecy of Jesus' crucifixion,' he will crush your head' is alluding that Jesus'sacrifice has got rid of Satan, also, Noah's event shows us God dealing differently with the human race, then the call of Abram..eventually Christ comes and fullfills all these prophecies.
In the last book of the bible, in Revelation, we have the picture of a new Heaven and a new Earth.

2) Usefulness
v16 The bible is useful to keep us on the right path (psalm 191). As somebody once said, to prevent truth decay. In v 13 Paul mentions 'evil men and impostors'. Lots of people twist the Gospel, the latest being the Da Vinci code that picked up on late legends or Erich Von Daniken who is laughing all the way to the bank with  his book, "Chariots of the Gods"  . he Reformation led by Luther happened because people wandered away from the truth of the Gospel. Luther knew that they had to go back to what God had said.

3) Nature
The bible is 'God-breathed', says Paul, this is such an important piece of information. The bible is good, whole and accurate. Those scribes copied the manuscript year after year with great care and therefore, God's word has been preserved by the Holy Spirit.  If you want to know someone, it is not good to guess, you must not pidgeon hole people, it is the same with the Lord, He is revealing himself in the bible so we have to open the book, we have got to explore it!
In the Old testament, there are lots of examples where we see God going after his people. Then Jesus says I'm here now, come to me. He wants us to know him. Amen
Rev. S. A


News about the fundraising event!

So far so good, signatures are piling up. There is no date at the moment so watch this space!

I have posted photos of our half-term hols in the family/parish blog. Here are the 'important' ones, they summarise the hols, bbq galore and bird watching, very relaxing hols. Praise the Lord!

Imogen may not seem very excited about visiting the birds reserve...however, the bribe is in the 'excellent mocha' she was allowed to have there. (at a reasonable price, of course!)
I must stop rambling and dash to our PCC meeting. Have a blessed evening!