1. Death of Margaret Thatcher

2. North Korean Church Leaders Ask for Prayer Amid War Preparations

3. National Day of Thanksgiving Saturday 25th May 2013

4.Derek Prince Ministries

5. US Research: The Main Reason for Declining Church Attendance: Children’s Sports?

6. Dangerous Chaos Looms in Bangladesh. Elizabeth Kendal
 

 

1. Death of Margaret Thatcher

 

…Margaret Thatcher was born at home. Her father, Alfred Roberts, ran a grocer’s shop in Grantham, England, where the family lived upstairs. Alfred and his wife Beatrice (nee Stephenson) brought up Margaret and her older sister Muriel as firm Methodists. The girls were expected to attend church four times every Sunday… Red Star, the Soviet army newspaper, and Radio Moscow anointed her the Iron Lady, a label Thatcher accepted with delight because it portrayed her as an unwavering leader. She was soon photographed in the turret of a tank in West Germany, then the frontline in the Cold War…She differentiated the Conservatives on immigration by saying in January 1978 that “people are really rather afraid that this country might be rather swamped by people with a different culture”. It immediately put her ahead in the opinion polls…

Read more

Two Margaret Thatcher One Liners

                                          

  

 

2. North Korean Church Leaders Ask for Prayer Amid War Preparations

 

“We must respond now to the Christian leaders’ request to pray for them. Pray for Kim Jong-Un; that God will work in his heart and he will pursue peace and not war. Pray for wisdom for leaders in the United States, South Korea and China. Pray for Christians who are put in even more danger due to war preparations. Pray families will find food to feed their families. Finally, pray that no matter what happens Christians will remain strong in their faith.”

(Santa Ana, CA)—North Korean church leaders are asking Christians worldwide to pray for their country amid increased war threats and combat preparation by North Korean military officials.

Prayer for beleaguered believers in North Korea is more important than ever, says Open Doors, an organization that supports persecuted Christians in 60 countries. (Photo: KCNA/AP)

According to underground Christians, there is a war-like atmosphere in the country:

“We are to meet the decisive battle with a gun in one hand and a hammer in the other,” summarized a Christian leader about the message the North Korean people recently received from the “high command.”

“The military army, navy, air force troops, strategic rocket troops, the red guards and the red youth guards are already in combat mode. Urgent meetings are being held everywhere, regardless if it is day or night. At those meetings, officials make decisions on what needs to happen in case war breaks out and everyone, including women, needs to be combat ready.”

According to Open Doors sources, many cars on the roads are covered with camouflage nets. Also, soldiers are wearing hats with camouflage dried branches and carry guns. North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un released a statement to his people, saying that “If war breaks out because of the actions of the U.S. and puppet South Korean’s unpardonable behavior, they will end up with a disgraceful downfall, and our people will greet a brilliant new day of reunification. The day has come to show off the power of ‘Military First’ and our great nation to the whole world.”(Map: Lonely Planet)

However, Christians and other citizens fear war and its consequences.

“Many people are in a hurry to purchase emergency food supplies and daily goods just in case. The prices of goods, including food, are skyrocketing,” tells one believer in North Korea.

North Korean Christians are grateful for their fellow believers in the West and request their urgent prayers.

“I would like to thank the many brothers and sisters around the world for their continuous love and support,” says the Christian believer. “We know that our journey will not be an easy one, but we are sure that our faith, desperate hope and passionate desire will some day bear many fruit. No matter how difficult life is for us, we never blame or complain about our circumstances. God has promised us in the Bible that if we seek His Kingdom first, all other things will be given to us as well. Please pray for us.”

Jerry Dykstra, a spokesman for Open Doors USA, adds: “Beneath the surface of the all the rhetoric of war and the possible launch of nuclear missiles are the suffering and persecution of the estimated 200,000 to 400,000 Christians in North Korea. Also, an estimated 60,000 to 80,000 Christians are in harsh political prison camps. The government has been the No. 1 persecutor of Christians for 11 years in a row, according to the Open Doors 2013 World Watch List (www.worldwatchlist.us).

“We must respond now to the Christian leaders’ request to pray for them. Pray for Kim Jong-Un; that God will work in his heart and he will pursue peace and not war. Pray for wisdom for leaders in the United States, South Korea and China. Pray for Christians who are put in even more danger due to war preparations. Pray families will find food to feed their families. Finally, pray that no matter what happens Christians will remain strong in their faith.”

Source: OpendoorsUSA.org

Watch six minute video on suffering Christians in North Korea http://www.worldwatchlist.us/world-watch-list-countries/north-korea/

 

3. National Day of Thanksgiving Saturday 25th May 2013

 

Website:   http://www.thanksgiving.org.au/

NDOT products, with the exception of the stick on badges, have now being distributed to Koorong stores across Australia.  They are available for purchase across the counter in all stores Australia wide, or online from www.koorong.com  

For those unable to access a Koorong Store the same products plus the stick on badges may also be purchased through the NDOT office either by email at info@thanksgiving.org.au or by phone to 02 9939.2113  Purchases made through the NDOT office cost slightly more due to having to add postage and packaging costs into the purchase price.

ww.thanksgiving.org.au/resources/products/

NEW PRODUCTS FOR 2013

Two new products have this year been added to the range of items that can be purchased to add value to your celebration of the NDOT. Two new card designs are now available. There is a new Daisy design which is a conventional card but slightly smaller than the older cards. The second is a new Bottlebrush design in a postcard style card which does not require an envelope. Both cards come in packs of 5 and retail at Koorong for $3.00 a pack or $3.50 posted to you from the NDOT office. The highly popular mini thank you cards which sold out last year are back and we have increased the print run this year to meet the expected demand.

And just a word regarding our best sellers from last year:

Balloons

Balloons give an instant feeling of celebration, so are an ideal addition for a festival or for simply wanting to brighten up a room for a morning tea or thank you luncheon.  Events involving children would obviously benefit from the addition of balloons which could also be used to add colour to Sunday Thanksgiving Services.  Last year schools especially found the balloons, which come in packs of 25, an exciting and popular product.

Mini Thank You Cards

For those who are time poor but still want to say thank you to people they appreciate, the mini thank you cards received an overwhelming response last year.  In fact we underestimated demand and ran out of stock. They were very popular because there is no writing required, no addressing of envelopes and no stamps or trundling down to the Post Office to mail your card.  You simply put a pack of 30 cards in your wallet or purse and hand them out to people who give you good service or have been a blessing to your over a period of time.  Ideal ways of saying thank you to shop assistants, bus drivers, tradies, doctors, dentists or anyone else who come across your path and you want to say thank you for what they do for you. The good thing is they can also be used year round!

ENCOURAGE YOUR WHOLE CONGREGATION TO GET INVOLVED

Most Churches are always looking for ways to get their congregations more focused on outreaching and connecting with the community they serve.  There is no better, or less threatening vehicle, than the National Day of Thanksgiving to give people a natural way to be a blessing to others in their community.  Why not purchase products in bulk and break them down into small “kits” for purchase by members of the congregation for use as NDOT approaches.

A pack of 5 cards, 10 ribbons and 30 mini cards could be sold to members of the congregation for $9.00.  That would allow each member of the congregation to bless up to 45 people in their community by acknowledging them and expressing appreciation and thanks for who they are and what they do for others.  Multiply that by the number of people in your congregation and see what an impact your Church could have on bringing smiles to faces and impacting the culture of your community.  And what a conversation starter to open up opportunities to talk about the love of Jesus to non-Christians.   Saying thank you opens doors that nothing else can.

 

4. Derek Prince Ministries

 

Many of Derek Prince’s best messages are available online at  http://derekprince.tv/  as APP, audio or video in many languages.
Includes topics such as Prayer & Fasting, 7 Steps to Revival 
Books, CD’s and DVD’s are also available.
Their new office is  Unit 21 317 Woodpark Rd Smithfield NSW  2164 Phone 02 9604 0670 Website http://www.derekprince.com.au/

 

 

5. US Research: The Main Reason for Declining Church Attendance: Children’s Sports?

 

Christianity Today. Melissa Steffan April 8, 2013

Sunday used to be a day reserved by many Christians for attending worship services, but new research indicates the extent to which American churches today are competing against myriad other activities.

The biggest competition? Children’s sports.
According to a
new study published in the Review of Religious Research, an examination of declining attendance at 16 congregations revealed that many pastors place the most blame on children’s sports activities, since both practices and competitions are increasingly “scheduled on Sunday mornings at the very time when many churches traditionally have provided religious education.”

But that doesn’t mean that families whose kids are highly involved in athletics will stop attending church (though that does seem to be the case among churches that stigmatize parents who miss church for sports, as the Association of Religion Data Archives’s David Briggs points out).

Instead, more Protestant churches are offering alternate service times to accommodate members with Sunday morning commitments. They’re also increasing their emphasis on physical fitness programs or sports ministries.

According to Briggs (whose ARDA research roundup is worth reading), “More than two-thirds of congregations who said sports and fitness programs were a specialty of the congregation reported more than a 10 percent growth in attendance from 2000 to 2010. In contrast, only a third of churches with no athletic programs reported such growth.”

CT previously has reported on the topic of sports and how Christians have ‘succumbed to the sports culture.’

Link

 

6. Dangerous Chaos Looms in Bangladesh. Elizabeth Kendal

 
 Protests and counter-protests between pro-secular and pro-Islamist forces erupted in Bangladesh in February. 
The situation is increasingly out of control as the protests spread beyond Dhaka and have become riots. Some 100 people have already died. 
War crime trials have helped provoke the protests.
Senior opposition figures are being sentenced to death for crimes allegedly committed in the 1971 War of Independence. 
Many analysts (not just Islamists) fear the trials (which lack due process) are politically motivated. In return, Islamists claim the pro-secularist protesters are 'anti-Islamic'. 
Islamist websites contain threats to eliminate all 'infidels'. Human rights monitors confirm that minorities (mostly Hindus, who comprise 10 percent) are being specifically targeted. 
Christians are exceedingly vulnerable at only 0.6 percent of the population. Please pray for the Church in Bangladesh.  
Read more http://rlprayerbulletin.blogspot.com.au/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

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Understanding our Christian Heritage  http://www.chr.org.au/

National Christian Heritage Sunday  http://www.nchs.net.au/

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