Why I celebrate Christmas — Jinming Pap

“Christmas was never a thing in my childhood. Growing up in a small town in Jilin Province, Northwest China, Christmas was not part of our yearly celebration. I was only introduced to Christmas through vague references in Western movies. From these movies, I learnt that Christmas was all about Santa, gifts and Christmas melodies. …”

– At The Australian Church Record, Jinming Pap, who serves at Moore College, shares the good news she discovered about the real meaning of Christmas.

How I came to know Jesus – Annabel Nixey

“When my parents bought a house in Sydney in the early 80s, in God’s kindness, it was down the road from a church which loved Jesus and taught the Bible. It meant that I got to grow up hearing about Jesus the King.

My mum, in particular, modelled to me how to follow Jesus and the significance of prayer and Bible study. Even as a child I knew that her ‘quiet time’, reading the Bible in our front sitting room, was a treasured and protected time in her day.…”

– At The Australian Church Record, Annabel Nixey shares how she came to know the Lord Jesus.

D. A. Carson on the Two Jews Talking the Day Before the First Passover

“Picture two Jews, by the name of Smith and Brown. Remarkably Jewish names.

The day before the first Passover they’re having a little discussion in the land of Goshen, and Smith says to Brown, ‘Boy, are you a little nervous about what’s going to happen tonight?’…”

– Justin Taylor shares this wonderful illustration from Don Carson.

Heroes of the Faith: Apolo Kivebulaya

“Some heroes of the faith are forgotten and deserve rediscovery. One of these being Apolo Kivebulaya, a remarkable church worker in Africa for 40 years and a reminder of the way so many African Christians have spread Christianity on that continent.

Apolo was born into a peasant family in 1864 in Kampala in what is now Uganda…”

Canon J. John writes of Apolo Kivebulaya in his series on Heroes of the Faith.

Many in Uganda and DR Congo still give thanks for Apolo Kivebulaya.

Also published at Christian Today. (Photo: via J. John.)

How I came to know Jesus – Mike Leite

“The story of God’s grace and mercy in bringing me to faith in Jesus is very ordinary. Ordinary in the sense that mine is not a spectacular conversion story. God used ordinary means. He used ordinary people. And thus, mine is an ordinary story. …”

– More encouraging stories from The Australian Church Record.

Find Life that lasts: A national co-ordinated evangelism campaign

“How could we build back better after COVID?  Could evangelicals unite together to rebuild the church with a national co-ordinated evangelistic campaign?

COVID has created an unprecedented opportunity for evangelism, but churches and church leaders are feeling fragile and weary.

In Great Britain, churches are getting set for a national campaign leading up to Easter 2022, under the banner ‘Find life that lasts. It’s closer than you think.’…”

– Watch at The Pastor’s Heart.

How I came to know Jesus – Kirsten McKinlay

“Although I knew a lot of Bible stories, it wasn’t until a specific moment as a teenager that the overarching theme of the Bible, and the centre point of Christianity itself, made sense to me.

Until that moment, I was sure that being a nice and considerate person had earned me God’s favour. …”

– In another encouraging story from the ACR, Kirsten McKinlay shares how she came to Christ.

Faith

“It must be heart-breaking for someone with a life-threatening condition to know about a new treatment but have no access to it.  Family and friends will campaign and fundraise.  Every effort will be made by them because they know that there is a solution to the problem, and that they just need to get hold of it somehow.

For Christians, salvation is like that …”

– George Crowder at Church Society begins a series of posts on the Christian essentials of faith, hope and love.

Sunday morning encouragement

With thanks to Rob Smith and St. Andrew’s Cathedral.

Bringing the gospel to the North West

Here’s an encouraging and challenging video from the Diocese of North West Australia. Might you answer the call?

And a message from Bishop Gary Nelson to Christians in the North West –

“The diocese of North West Australia seeks to make disciples of all nations as we centre our church life in the saving gospel of Jesus Christ. As you pray, share your resources and visit, please remember to give God thanks for his unfailing, steadfast love to us. Thank you for your support.”

Read it all here.

Kanishka Raffel, the weeping Archbishop

“Much as been said about Kanishka in recent weeks, his Sri Lankan heritage, his background in law, his gifts of teaching and preaching, his intellect, and his commitment to indigenous reconciliation.

There is something else I have noticed. …”

– Murray Campbell sees something we should all learn from.

And watch Kanishka’s sermon here.

The Reformanda Initiative — in conversation with Mark Gilbert

In a recent podcast from The Reformanda Initiative in Rome, Mark Gilbert from Certainty4Eternity shares his own story about how he came to Christ.

He also has some practical advice on sharing the saving gospel with Roman Catholic friends. He says that genuine love is a key.

Very good to share (and to pray about).

Also see these books by Mark at Matthias Media.

This Easter is truly a time of celebration

“This Easter is truly a time of celebration.

Despite the ever-present threat of another virus hotspot, we sense that things are slowly returning to normal.

On our doorstep, outside St Andrew’s Cathedral, the city has come back to life and we can invite the city back in to celebrate with us.

What is so special about Easter Day?

The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the pivot of history.

In pandemic-weary Sydney you may baulk at that.

You are not the first. …”

The Daily Telegraph has published this Easter message from Dean of Sydney, Kanishka Raffel.

See it all here.

Image: St. Andrew’s Cathedral video.

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