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LEADERSHIP IN ACTION: Why Study the Book of Nehemiah

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So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to workNehemiah 4:6
The challenges could not be greater. In fulfilment of the prophecy of Jeremiah, a minority of the people of Judah chose to leave captivity in Babylon and return to home. The walls of Jerusalem and the temple of God were rebuilt. Yet, they faced much opposition from the neighbours and over time the walls of Jerusalem came into disrepair. The people were greatly discouraged.
Then comes Nehemiah. A Judean who served in the Persian court as the king’s cupbearer, Nehemiah’s rise to leadership was birthed in crisis. When he asked about the welfare of his people back home, he heard most distressing news: The people of Judah are in great affliction and reproach. The walls of Jerusalem were broken down and the gates burned with fire.
Crisis can be the womb of opportunity.
Nehemiah rose up to be one of the greatest Hebrew leaders and indeed one of the great leaders of…

Paul’s Secret to Changing the World Part 03

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Ambition: It is a bane and it is a blessing. When it is ambition for personal advancement, especially where the ‘means justifies the end,’ then it can be harmful to the ambitious one and others. Yet, when ambition is directed towards a greater good, everyone benefits. As the adage says:
When you see someone reaching for authority, avoid him. He will hurt you. When you see someone reaching for responsibility, embrace him. He will bless you.
The latter clearly applies to the apostle Paul. He was so single-minded in his devotion for God, sold out to fulfilling his call with joy (Acts 20), fighting the good fight of faith and winning the prize, that the entire world has been blessed for centuries because of him.
He is one of the most influential people who ever lived; a man who changed the world. How did he do it?
In our first part, we learned Principle One - Grace: Don’t let your natural gifts get in the way of God’s grace. Be willing to surrender them all to God in order to live by grace an…

NORTH KOREA: What Is At Stake?

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It is not unusual for North Korea to be in the news. This highly-armed Stalinist state rattles the sabres from time to time. There are warnings, sanctions, negotiations, and then things go quiet.
Yet the current crisis is different - and more dangerous - than anything we have seen before. It has been said, with reason, that the stand-off with North Korea is the biggest confrontation since US President John F. Kennedy faced off Nikita Krushchev of the Soviet Union in the October 1962 Cuban missile crisis. This was probably the largest and most dangerous incident in the entire Cold War.
As a refresher, the Soviet Union placed nuclear-tipped missiles in Cuba, which is only 140 kilometres off the US coast. This was simply too close for comfort. President Kennedy solemnly warned that if the missiles were not removed, America would invade Cuba. For 13 days the world held its breath. It was the closest thing we have seen of Armageddon in living memory. Being a rational player, the Soviets ne…

Seven Pillars to Understanding the Future: Final Pillar Number Seven

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In this important series we have been learning the pillars that help us to make sense of the future. When you understand the future, we are better prepared to face it. So far, the pillars we learned include:
Pillar 01: Bible Prophecy is the key;
Pillar 02: We live in a spiritual world and the challenges, problems and solutions are equally spiritual;
Pillar 03: We have power and victory over the enemy;
Pillar 04: We are called to fearlessness;
Pillar 05: We are simultaneously ‘dead’ and ‘alive;’
Pillar 06: God provides a way of escape.
To these we add the seventh and final pillar. It is well described in Proverbs 4:18-19:
But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. 19 The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.
In short, Pillar 07 can be summarised as this: Your God-given future is bright. This is very true, however, the converse is also correct: A future without the living God is wicked, dark, and full of off…

JERUSALEM: A Burdensome Stone - Part 03

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Zechariah calls Jerusalem ‘a burdensome stone for all people.’ Whoever messes with it will be cut in pieces, even though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it (Zechariah 12:3). Could the whole world be obsessed with the holy city to the point of global conflict? Judging by the amount of international attention this city already receives - plus the uptake in violence - and you have a plausible scenario.
In Part 01 of this series, we learned that Jerusalem is the Number One foreign policy issue and will get increasingly more global attention in the days ahead. We also reviewed Jerusalem’s history from the time of its founding 4,000 years ago until the time of Christ. In Part 02, we reviewed Jerusalem’s history from the end of the Biblical period until today.
In this article, we will look at what is called ‘The Jerusalem Question.
2017 ANNIVERSARY YEAR
Among other things, the year 2017 will be remembered as the ‘anniversary year.’ It is the year of the 500th Anniversa…

Charlie GARD: Who Decides?

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A drama has been unfolding at the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London that has captured the attention of the world. Eleven month old Charlie Gard has been treated by the hospital for a very rare mitochondrial disease. He has brain damage and cannot breathe by himself.

The hospital wants to turn off his life support machine. Charlie’s parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, disagree. They have the opportunity to take Charlie to the United States to undergo experimental treatment which might, just might, prolong or improve his life. They managed to raise over $1 million for this purpose but the hospital said ‘No.’
The case was taken to the UK Supreme Court and they sided with the hospital. The court said there was no benefit to taking the child to the USA and his suffering would only be prolonged. Then Charlie’s case went to the European Court of Human Rights. They also agreed with the hospital and UK Supreme Court.
The domestic courts concluded that it would be lawful for the hospital …

Paul’s Secret to Changing the World - Part 02

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Paul the Apostle is one of the top 5 most influential people who ever lived. He turned the world upside down. In this series, we are exploring ‘Paul’s secret’ of how to change the world. That secret is found in Philippians 3:7-12.
In our first part, we learned Principle One: Don’t let your natural gifts get in the way of God’s grace. Be willing to surrender them all to God in order to live by grace and truth (John 1:14,17).
While natural gifts are a form of grace, a person who is infused with God’s grace will accomplish far, far more.
Principle Two:
And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith Philippians 3:9
The second secret of a world-changer is found in the above verse, which leads to Principle Two: Make sure it is Christ’s righteousness, not your own, that is found in you.
If you want to partner with God to change the world, you will be far more effective living…