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September 2014

ISIS, Mirrors and Freedom
Well done! Good argument helpfully explored. I agree with almost everything you say and particularly would emphasise the irony of Christians who mistakenly think they can follow Jesus but believe we can respond to violence with violence, that is in ways that are contrary to his. When we meet violence with violence, because (as President Obama has disappointingly been saying) that's the only way we can respond, the only way 'they' understand, then it is violence that wins.
The wonder of Jesus' death is not so much that he was the ultimate victim (my only disagreement with you) but that he was the ultimate victor. Unlike those who saw him as an enemy he did not give in to fear and seek to destroy that which threatened him. This is why he says that no one has taken his l ife from him.
Our lives are often defined by others, or by our fear of others, but Jesus' life was defined by his mission, by his desire to give himself away, to put his life in the hands of others, even at such great cost. In this he triumphed over all the powers of sin and death. Christians who have the courage to live this way may lose their lives. But they may also change the world, just a little, and their reward is, of course, to gain eternal life. 'For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.' (Mk.8.35) We must pray that God gives us the strength together (for it is never just you or me) to follow Jesus faithfully.
Thanks again
Ashley Lovett

Building your church... or His Kingdom?
We are called to make disciples for the kingdom of GOD. The church depends on the strength of believers.
Mark Manjunath

Excellent article. Many thanks.
Nic Boyns

Russia, Ukraine religious leaders meet
We all want peace
Rachel Morton


Call to prayer for Scottish referendum
I think this is very good as far is it goes, the problem is that it does not go far enough. We need as Christians to wake up and face the fact that the world is becoming more and more dangerous, and our economic stability is far from guaranteed with the enormous debts that are around. This is hardly the time for breaking up a union that has stood well for three hundred years, reducing the UKs influence on Nato and putting at risk our seat on the United Nations top table.
The UK still has a considerable influence for good in a dangerous world, a break in the Union will have catastrophic effects on us all, our children and our childrens’ children. How can the rest of the UK then form a currency Union with an economy ove r which they have no influence?
I believe we should take stock as we stand on the edge of this precipice, pray that the truth of all these arguments will come out into the open, and ask that God will be merciful to us and allow the Union to continue.
The Revd Richard Blyth

Scottish referendum
Like so many I am a Scot living in England and have done so all my ministry in Evangelical/ Baptist churches. The forthcoming referendum has far reaching impact on the whole of the UK. I cannot over emphasise this matter not just because I am a Scot with no voting rights but because Scottish independence will effectively break up a 300 year union. No other members of that Union have been asked to express their opinion in a ballot which seems a strange way to bring about a "divorce"
Is it not sad that the year we remember soldiers, sailors and airmen from all corners of the United Kingdom, who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country, we may now end that oneness. An independent Scotland may in the future decide to stay out of any conflict entered by the rest of the UK. Where will that leave those presently serving service men and women and what happens to the security of our beloved Island?
I believe this should be a matter of earnest prayer for us all. This is the most momentous decision of this century so far in our country. 
The Revd Crawford McIntyre

Ministering to older people
Nice article, our friend turned 100 this year, and he still takes every opportunity to share what God has done in his life and is an inspiration to us! This is him... http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-17360119
Sarah Ison

Pennies from Heaven
Life is a gamble. Crossing the road is a gamble. Buying stocks & shares in the City which every church does is a gamble. Live & let live. Staying away from alcohol is far more important yet just about everyone drinks. Why did Jesus turn the water into you know what? When I win the lottery I will remember who hates gambling & keep the loot for myself.

The point of the story is that if you give something to God by sacrificing a negative, He will reward you. It doesn't have to be about gambling. It doesn't have to be about money. Give up alcohol and live life to the full, give up road rage, give up cursing, give up arguing with your neighbour, forgive someone...etc. Stand by your convictions, and He will reward you. It has happened to me more than once.
If you want to prove it doesn't work, try it and you can let me know, but give it time, stand by your promise to Him, and most of all rememb er you c an't con Him. Good luck.
Love Wendy x
Wendy Reakes

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State matters
Queen Elizabeth II (1926-2022)
Fresh Streams leadership statement following summer theology school
Response to Pension Scheme news; Following the Zeitgeist; A Theology of Unity in Diversity
Annual review; walking club; Rwanda
The Queen; does Jesus heal today?; Child Q
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