Word of Life News – January 2018
Here we go then, a whole new year is ahead of us, Reverend Michael greets us with the following message:-
Happy New Year!
How many times do you hear those words in the first couple of weeks into the New Year? You might be sick of hearing of them even by now. But we have to ask, why do we say ‘Happy New Year’?
Do we want people to just be happy? Do we want them to feel an emotional high throughout the coming 12 months? Or do the words just trip off our tongues, without really thinking about what we are saying?
We, as born again Christians, have our spirit’s gladdened when we come to faith in Jesus Christ. We are happy because we are saved, we are happy because we have been redeemed, we are happy because we are washed in the blood of the Lamb. We are happy because we might be in this world but we are not of it!
We have a peace that knows no end. We have the Holy Spirit of God residing in us, keeping us on the right track, keeping us from evil. We know that we have begun eternity with Jesus and that precious life is being lived out before our eyes.
We have a happiness that knows no bounds because of all of the things above. We know we do not need to be anxious about anything and when we trust wholly in God, He supplies all of our needs. We do not need to worry about the world around us as we know God is in control of every event. We do not need to worry about nuclear war, famine, pestilence, greed, or man’s lust for power.
Why? Because we are happy every day; in Jesus Christ; our Lord; Saviour and Master. How are we happy? Because we have surrendered our lives to Him and our weakness is being perfected in His strength. Beloved, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us?
Because we are a new creation, we are a royal priesthood, we are saints of the Most High God, and we are delegated ambassadors of Christ Jesus.
Because we know that He who created us will never leave us nor forsake us, and we can trust in Him because He is the same yesterday, today and forever. And we know that He who began a good work in us will complete it until the day of His return, and we will share in His glory.
Why? Because God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever might believe in Him shall never perish.
An old hymn says “Count your blessings, name them one by one”. We need to remember that in the days, weeks and months ahead in 2018. When we start togive thanks to God for where, who and what we are in Him, then we can move ahead, and be in that state of happiness that the world envies.
The world is moving on, but it is no happier now than it was at any time since the fall of mankind. No matter what we try to fill ourselves with, of this world, we can never be happier than when we are in Him and know that He is in us. To God be the glory!
So the next time you say ‘Happy New Year’ to someone, be ready to say how they can truly have a happy Christ-filled New Eternity!
Lindsey and I would like to thank you all for your support, love and kindness over the past seven years or for however long you have been with us. We would also like to take this opportunity to wish you a Happy New Year and God bless you in all and everything you do.
Reverend Michael & Lindsay Hedley
Book Review – The Book That Made Your World
(How the Bible Created the Soul Of Western Civilisation) By Vishal Mangalwadi.
You may remember that back in November I promoted a series of lectures at the Christian Institute in Newcastle on the Reformation. One of the benefits of attending the lectures was the fantastic book stall of a hundred or so, books mainly on the reformation but also on social and Christian topics. One book that leapt out at me was“The Book That Made Your World”. It’s a book written by an academic but in a way that’s appealing to lesser mortals (i.e. me) who found himself occasionally reading it accompanied by a dictionary! But don’t let that put you off; it was just that I wanted to be sure of what some words really mean and not just what I thought they meant. Suffice to say this book has opened my mind to so many things, things that I didn’t know that I wanted to know, I am being educated! It follows on from the reformation and how that influenced the West to progress in a dynamic way overtaking the cultures of the East through the application of biblical principals into our society. It’s amazing to know that 3000 years ago Indian mathematicians developed the use of the zero (0) which at the time was revolutionary and led to the development of mathematics as we know it today, but the limitations of the culture prevented Indian mathematics to develop into the language of science. Similarly in Asia medical practice and astronomy was dogged by the same ideological culture that believed the world you see and touch is unreal – maya -an illusion, a dream. Similarly the Buddhist ideology of emptying the mind suppressed invention and enterprise whilst Islamic fatalism stifled creation. The bible promoted the application of the Ten Commandments and this had a positive effect on western society in that people had regard to their fellow man and honesty is regarded as a virtue. In contrast where cultures encouraged corruption, theft and covertness this led to the reduction of motivation and the entrepreneurial spirit. In contrast the Bible brings life in abundance, following the Reformation it influenced the formation of modern languages, our legal system is based on it as is family life, and I could go on. Our society would be much the poorer without its influence and if we allow secularism to rob us of our inheritance we will be much the poorer. My review only skips over the surface and I would encourage you to read and enjoy this book. Further information can be found on the author’s website Graham Baldwin
In my research for this month’s newsletter I found myself on the site of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ) and came upon the following testimony from a Pastor attending the Envision Conference for Church Leaders in Jerusalem and felt it appropriate to share here.
Root and Fruit - UK Pastor's Testimony from Envision 2017
Back in January this year, I was blessed to attend the annual pastors and leaders conference in Jerusalem. While on the conference trip to Shiloh, I was praying at the site where the Ark rested when I saw a root on the ground. I picked it up and felt God say I should take it back home. My hope and prayer before going to Israel was that I would be able to be a blessing to that nation in some way, but also that I would be able to bring something of a powerful spiritual nature back to the UK.
I wasn't exactly sure how God was going to use it, but when I got back I knew I was to show people the root and share the story of how it came to be in my possession. I received some quizzical looks when I took it out the following Sunday during the sermon, but I explained that I was just being obedient to what God had said and that I was also honouring Israel.
Towards the end of the sermon, I started to pray for the Holy Spirit to come and for anyone who wanted to receive a touch from the Holy Spirit to come forward. I said I believed God had sent me back with something and I was to pray for anyone that wanted to receive what He had for them.
Most of the congregation started to come forward. I wasn't sure what to do with the root, so I just gave it to one of the first people I prayed for and then people spontaneously started passing it round to others. It was a very powerful time, but it was the young people who were especially impacted. Nearly the entire youth group came forward for prayer and started gathering in circles to pray for each other, which was a first. A number of them started speaking in tongues for the first time. After praying for everyone, the young people then gathered round to pray for me. As they started to pray, one of them went out in the Spirit and she has been speaking powerfully and prophetically every since. She's 14.
A week later, I was preaching at our Student weekend. There were about 70 of them. I did the same thing: shared the story about the root and asked for anyone that wanted me to pray for them to come forward. They all did. In the end, they started to pray for each other - it was amazing to watch. The 14 year oldfrom the previous week was with us and I couldn't hold her back! The meeting had gone on for some time and I tried to close it, without much success. But when I thought I finally had and went to sit down,shepicked up the mic and started spontaneously preaching! It was quite a night and they haven't stopped talking about it since.
One thing I have done while talking about the root is reminding people that, when they were born again, they were grafted into a different family tree. The roots of their family line are now found in Israel and go back to Jesus, David, Abraham, etc. What a family to belong to; what a heritage! So I tell them to boast now about your 'great uncle' Paul, and your '
great great great grandfather' Moses. With that heritage behind us, how can we fail?
Praise Dance & Exercise Workshops.
Good news for the ladies, following on from the Meditation and Movement Workshop last October, Valerie is looking to run a 4 week series of workshops commencing on Saturday 13th January from 10.30am followed by a shared lunch at 12.30. A good way to get to know each other, improve your health, grow spiritually all at the same time. Please register your interest direct to Val on 01670 761117.
A series of six one hour meetings commencing on 14th February at 6.00pm
17th February. An evening of food, fellowship and worship Nigerian style!
What’s On – This Month’s Programme
Sunday 10.30am – 12.30pmSunday Worship.
Tuesday10.30am – 11.30amChurch Prayer.
6.00pm – 7.30pmFoundation Group all welcome.
Thursday10.00am – 12.00Little Rainbows
6.30pm – 8.00pmBible Study – The Book of Romans.
Friday 10.30am – 12.00pmCoffee morning.
Last Friday of the month will be coffee/diner ending at 2.00pm.
24th JanuarySid Little
Contributions for future editions are welcome from church members and should be sent to Graham Baldwin at or via the church no later than the 21st of each month for inclusion in the following issue. Please note that sermons can be downloaded from the church web site. Alternatively they are available for purchase on CD at £1.00 per copy from Pastor Michael Hedley.
Contact us at:
Pastor Michael Hedley and Lindsey Hedley
Word of Life Church
Wesleyan Reform Union
North Seaton Road, Ashington, Northumberland, NE63 0JN
Tel 01670 814425 Mob Michael 07879 253072 Lindsey 07854 820012