Thursday, December 26, 2013
12/26/2013, #74, 4th Quarter 2013
Father, thank you for sending your Son and your Holy Spirit so that you could be with us in all our trials and temptations. I thank you for Joseph's willingness to listen to you your angel. Help each of us this Christmas season put away our human solutions and follow your advice.
Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. (Psalm 24:7-10)
Jesus, I don't have the strength to lift up those gates. Please help me lift them up so that you can come into my life more and more with your glory. Thank you.
He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. (John 3:31)
Lord Jesus, I am so weary of earthly counsel, please speak clearly to us your heavenly counsel.
And what he has seen and heard, that he testifies; and no one receives his testimony. (John 3:32)
Jesus, have mercy on your church and your people and help us accept your testimony.
He who has received his testimony has certified that God is true. (John 3:33)
Jesus, you are true -- you are truth itself.
For he whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure. (John 3:34)
Holy Father, pour out the abundance of your Holy Spirit on us so that we may hear and receive your words into our hearts.
The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into his hand. (John 3:35)
Father, please help us daily enter into that love life you have with your son Jesus.
He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." (John 3:36)
Jesus, I believe in you. Thank you for turning away the wrath of God from me.
In you, O LORD, I put my trust; let me never be ashamed; deliver me in your righteousness. (Psalm 31:1)
Father, through all my failures as a man and as a Christian, I still put my trust in you -- that you will deliver me in your righteousness.
Bow down your ear to me, deliver me speedily; be my rock of refuge, a fortress of defense to save me. (Psalm 31:2)
Jesus, you are my rock of refuge, my fortress and my sure defense: bow down and hear my cries to you and deliver me from all the tricks and traps of the evil one.
For you are my rock and my fortress; therefore, for your name's sake, lead me and guide me. (Psalm 31:3)
Lead me, Jesus, by your Holy Spirit so that I do not stumble or fall. Thank you.
Oh, love the LORD, all you his saints! For the LORD preserves the faithful, and fully repays the proud person. Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the LORD. (Psalm 31:23-24)
A word received: Open the door wider.
A word received: Rest in me; I AM in charge.
Luke 1:37 A word received: "For with God nothing will be impossible."
A word received: Call my people to turn to me.
St. Stephen December 26: 31 or 31:1-5; Jeremiah 26:1-9,12-15; Acts 6:8—7:2a,51c-60; Matthew 23:34-39
St. John December 27: 92 or 92:1-4,11-14; Exodus 33:18-23; 1 John 1:1-9; John 21:19b-24
Holy Innocents December 28: 124; Jeremiah 31:15-17; Revelation 21:1-7; Matthew 2:13-18
Notes from the Front Line
Daily: For our Bishop and for Christ the King Spiritual Life Center
December 22 The Rev'd Patricia Beauharnois, The Rev'd John Perry
December 23 Blessing on the Altar Guilds across the Diocese
December 24 The Rev'd Donald Latham
December 25 CHRISTMAS DAY - Thanksgiving for God becoming Man The Rev'd George Greene
December 26 That the Christ Child will be birthed in our hearts The Rev'd Darius Mojallali
***** News from Bishop Grant and Doctor Wendy
"He is our peace" (Ephesians 2:14)
As Christmas approaches, we are meeting the Prince of Peace in unexpected ways.
Three weeks ago, Anuak refugees, driven across the South Sudan / Ethiopia border by some Nuer cattle raiders, ended up in our congregation in Tiergol, where they were housed, fed and welcomed by - Nuer Christians!
Last week, our Dinka priest (who was serving that Nuer congregation in Tiergol) was in Gambella town for our clergy training days when fighting broke out in South Sudan. Although the dispute in South Sudan is political, it also has ethnic overtones. It became dangerous for our priest to return to Tiergol - or to remain in Gambella town where Dinka men are being threatened. Surrounded by the love and support of his fellow Nuer(!) clergy - he has been given transport and enough money to spend a couple of months with a Nuer family in Addis.
Also last week, it was with great joy that we watched as our Mothers' Union representatives from Opo, surrounded by their sisters from other language groups sang a worship song, the whole group clapping and dancing, some joining in the singing despite language differences. And during the prayer practicum at the same Mothers' Union gathering, it was a joy to see two translator / facilitators, whose people are traditional enemies, praying together.
This week, we've had two South Sudanese refugees staying on the compound, as they wait for papers which would allow them to travel to Addis Ababa. They had walked together through the night escaping fighting in a South Sudan border town and finally arriving at the Gambella Centre (which they were told would be the safest place). One was Nuer, one was Dinka.
Even as war looms, the Prince of Peace is present among His children here in Gambella. Peace, not as the world gives. Fighting evil, not as the world fights. Welcome, Lord Jesus. Welcome this Christmas.
As Christmas approaches the events of the first Christmas seem to be echoed in life around us - Herods (more than one) slaughtering the innocents next door in South Sudan seems the most obvious example.
But we've also had visits from wise men (and women) recently, these ones coming from the west. A group from the UK (including Grant's predecessor Andrew Proud and his wife Janice), together with a group from the US (including Johann and Louise Vanderbijl, SAMS USA missionaries who we hope will join us permanently here in Gambella). Both groups brought great gifts (no frankincense and myrrh) as they taught the clergy and the Mothers' Union, did some repairs around the compound (thanks Pat) and (very importantly) as they shared life with and learned from our African sisters and brothers.
Not surprisingly, Grant did not wear his glasses into the shower (this omission being rather a habit with him). So when he looked down and saw the little lizard enjoying the tiny shower space with him, it was, well, share and share alike, and he left the little guy to bask in the cool water. It was only later, glasses once again in use, that he realized his 'lizard' buddy was actually a large scorpion. Uncanny, unexpected protection - as usual!
It is the beginning of dry season. In Gambella, that also means that it is time to burn the grass and the bush that have grown during the rains. Last week it was time for the neighbours to set fire to the bush adjacent to our Centre. It quickly got out of control and threatened to set fire to our compound. Thankfully we had cleared a fire break next to our (fairly useless) wire fence, but this fire was big. Grant and one of our guards spent several hours making sure the fire didn't destroy our gardens and buildings. The heat was intense and our little garden hose and hand tools weren't much of a match for the flames, but "somehow" our property wasn't damaged- can't wait for a wall to keep out thieves, hyenas, feral dogs - and fire!
We are constantly aware that we have friends all over the world holding us in prayer. Thanks for that. Your love and prayers are certainly appreciated.
May the Peace of Jesus fill you all this Christmas season.
Grant & Wendy
Rt Rev Dr Grant LeMarquand and Dr Wendy LeMarquand are missionaries of SAMS (Society of Anglican Missionaries and Senders)
Bishop Grant is area bishop for the Horn of Africa (Ethiopia, Somalia, Eretrea, Djibouti); under the Most Rev Dr Mouneer Anis, Bishop of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa
***** Saving Kidnapped Archbishop Akinola Archbishop Akinola kidnapped 25 Dec 2013
Author: George Conger
The former Primate of All Nigeria, the Most Rev. Peter Akinola, and his driver were kidnapped by gunmen on 24 December 2013, but released unharmed later that day after he convinced his captors he had no money to pay a ransom.
Press reports from Nigeria have offered a confused account of the archbishop’s ordeal, variously stating a daughter of the archbishop was also taken, that the archbishop was freed after a gun battle between police and kidnappers, and that the police rescue team was led by the Ogun state governor.
What can be established so far is that at approximately 3:00 pm on the afternoon of Tuesday, 24 Dec 2013, the retired leader of the Anglican Communion’s largest province left the offices of the Peter Akinola Foundation Centre for Youth Industrial Training in Abeokuta, the capital of Western Nigeria’s Ogun State.
***** Please pray for the Suffering Church.
***** Sharing Opportunities -- Share Your Passion For Jesus!
Once again 10 parishes will be chosen to display/highlight in the Exhibit Hall at Convention how they manifest their passion for Jesus in their community. We're getting the word out early this year so parishes can put in their "bid" for a spot. Deadline for submitting a request for a spot (1/2 table space; 3-4 ft) is Friday, February 28, 2014. The 10 chosen parishes will be announced by mid-March. Your request must include the following information:
1. Name of parish
2. Title/theme of display
3. Brief description of your display
4. Contact name, phone & email
Submit your request to Deacon Nancy Goff by clicking here, by mail to 305-B Queens Dr., Hudson Falls, NY 12839 or you may call her at (518 ) 932-9286.
***** From: Jeanne Gizara
Mudge Missionary Prayer Mail, for 24 December 2013
Dear partners in prayer, This week's selective overview:
1) Merry Christmas!
2) It has been a busy week preparing for the New Year.
1) Pray for special Christmas blessings for everyone involved with our ministries and mission work.
2) Continue to pray for upcoming visits for Belize in January, March, May, and October.
3) Continue to pray in good times and lean times during the Christmas season, that the Holy Spirit would supply the needs of: faculty, family, finances, plans, programs, diocesan plans, and parish visits.
In Christ, Shaw+, and on behalf of Julie+