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from: Pamela-Ruth Stewart

Passionately Restoring Scripture Ministries


JUNE 2020

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SUPER-SPREADERS - OF LIFE NOT DEATH

Dear explorer

I hope this Newsletter finds you well and safe as the fall-out from the Covid-19 pandemic continues. I will keep you in my prayers for God’s protection and provision, as some of you may be coping with painful and difficult circumstances. If you are dealing with the loneliness of self-isolation or the heart-breaking loss of a loved one, I pray God's comfort will surround you.

As we battle with keeping a social distance, washing our hands or sourcing a mask (I’m fortunate because my kind neighbour made one for me), this world is also battling record-breaking floods, tornado's, famine, plagues of locusts and economic downturn on an unprecedented scale. Much prayer is needed and I hope you will join me in daily praying for God’s mercy and intervention – but this will only happen if people turn and repent of ignoring God’s ways and Commandments and accept His love and forgiveness extended to us through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Margaret's PRAYER POINTERS PAGE

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I am pleased to let you know that Margaret’s Prayer Pointers Page continues to develop on an ongoing basis. Please take the time to visit our Prayer Page as Margaret has added several COVID-19 prayers to help everyone – click HERE to visit the page.

LOU'S LOVE FAITH TRUTH BLOG

We have updated Lou’s “ Love, Faith, Truth” Blog with new pictures and articles.

Click HERE to visit the page and sign up to receive regular inspirational blogs – you won’t be disappointed! Lou’s recent “You saw our Tears” blog is very moving and helpful if you are grieving. You can connect with Lou through her Blog comment box.

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UPCOMING EVENT - TORCH TRUST

My speaking engagements and street outreach work were cancelled due to Covid-19, but in July I am due to do a brief talk at a Regional Torch Trust meeting (for blind and partially sighted people and their carers) via a telephone conference call on Saturday the 4th. Torch Trust is a Christian organisation with a worldwide vision for people with sight loss. Details about Torch Trust can be found at www.torchtrust.org. If you know someone who might benefit from being connected into a local group you could pass on the information. It is important that this needy group of people have support and friendship.
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LATEST - LaD Cafe!

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It is interesting that the fear of death by Covid-19 has created a rapid increase in Death Cafes all over the world. I wonder if you have heard about them? Death Cafes are now on line stating that “never has there been such a need to talk about death and dying due to Covid-19.” There are over 11,000 cafes in 72 countries and their aim, whilst eating cake and drinking tea, is to create an awareness of death and to help people make the most of their finite lives.

I found it incredibly sad for people to believe there is nothing after this life - it must be so depressing and make life purposeless. It has made me want to introduce a different Cafe concept as an alternative to this - with the aim of sharing how we can look forward to an “infinite” (unlimited) life through Jesus Christ in the future. There is so much joy in that!
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Bearing this in mind, we plan to launch a “Life After Death” (LaD) virtual discussion Cafe via Zoom. Click HERE to visit the page to find out more about the questions that will be debated and the dates. Timing is 7.00pm – 8.00pm GMT. If you are interested you can register on the LaD page for a session and we will let you know the Zoom ID.

Please note there are a maximum of 10 places per session in order to enable better dialogue. Booking will therefore be on a first come first place basis! But if the session is full you can always resister for the next one.

if you know of someone who has lots of questions about Life after Death and would like to join the discussion to share their hopes and fears, please let them know about the LaD Cafe. They can visit the website www.prsministries.com and find the LaD page listed under contact on the menu bar and register there.

SUPER-SPREADERS

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Although in some areas lock-down has lifted, it is evident we will have to adjust to a “new normal” in the way we work, worship in our Churches and socialise. I heard of a Church abroad who opened their doors for a service but without singing being part of the worship. Apparently, if someone is a super-spreader of Covid-19, singing spreads the virus into the atmosphere in a massive way, infecting others as they breathe the tiny droplets in.

Do you know what a super-spreader is? A super-spreader is a person who carries the Covid-19 virus without any symptoms. This is known as Asymptomatic. Apparently, not everybody is equal when it comes to the transmission of infectious disease. It seems that for a least two decades there is something called the 20/80 rule – that a small core group of about one in five people transmit infections to far more people than the majority do.

How does a person become a super-spreader? It seems there are a number of theories, but no definite answer. Some speculate that it is to do with the immune system of the super-spreader which may not be good at suppressing the virus, or alternatively, may be so good that they do not feel symptoms themselves so carry on transmitting it to others. One thing seems certain – it is impossible to know who will be a super-spreader and who will not.

As I write this Newsletter, there is another type of super-spreader taking place around the world that is bringing death not life. It’s called hate. The recent senseless killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis has unleashed a senseless trail of violent riots, as protests rage and spread across the USA and rest of the world. Whilst justice should be served to the perpetrator of the senseless death and punished accordingly, the devastation that the super-spreaders of hate are causing to businesses and people’s livelihoods, the images of many being burnt to the ground and rampage looting, is shocking and frightening. I found it deeply disturbing to see how quickly hate can spread leading to more death, devastation and destruction.
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In the Old Testament, God ordered His people to destroy their enemies the Amalekites. The Amalekites were super-spreaders of hate and evil and showed no mercy to God’s people. God said the reason they were so evil and full of hate was because “They had no fear of Him (God)” Deuteronomy 25 vs 17-18. Isn’t it the same today? Where there is no fear (respect) of God, evil spreads rapidly.
It made me think what a difference it would make if Christians were fired up to be super-spreaders of the Good News of Jesus and super-spreaders of God’s Commandments.

The Ten Commandments were summed up by Jesus as “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: Love your neighbour as yourself. (Matthew 22vs29-37). Just think about the difference this would make in our world. The first 4 Commandments apply to how we should worship God and the rest apply to how we should treat each other. For instance, no one murders someone they love, no one steals from someone they love, no one lies to someone they love.

SUPER-SPREADERS

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But sadly, the Ten Commandments (God’s moral law) have been cut out of our schools and education system and when you look at the moral chaos all around us it is clear we are reaping what we have sown. When I’ve asked some young people on the streets about the Ten Commandments, they don’t know what I am taking about and even some Christians can’t name all Ten Commandments. Sadly, most Churches don’t teach them anymore. For instance, when did you last hear a message that included the Ten Commandments? When did you last hear someone explain that they will be the standard against which God’s Final Judgment will take place (Revelation 20vs11-25 & Acts 17vs30-31)? And how many people understand that the reason why we need to come to Jesus? The reason is because He is the only one who kept God’s Commandments perfectly (never sinned) and is therefore the only person qualified to be our Saviour and save us from God’s Judgment and wrath.
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Most people I have talked to on the streets believe that doing charitable works or good things is all that’s needed to go to heaven – they have no idea of the concept of sin before a holy God and that none of us are good enough! None of us can say we have kept all God’s Commandments and that is the reason God sent Jesus to be our Saviour.

God is a Holy God. He could not condone sin or let it go unpunished. Although God is love (1 John 4v8) He is also a just God (Luke 18v7 & Rev15v3). Justice requires that evil be dealt with and punished. The terrible, senseless killing of George Floyd has aroused great feelings that justice must be served – and that is right and proper. We cannot let evil go unpunished or it will spread like wildfire and destroy us all.

The most miraculous love this world has ever witnessed is God’s Son, Jesus Christ, paying the price for a law that we have broken so that God’s justice could be satisfied and forgiveness obtained. Jesus suffered death on the cross to take the burden of our sin and purchase our forgiveness. Three 3 days later He rose victorious from the tomb. This proved His power over death and His right to be a super-spreader of granting eternal life to those who would decide to believe, repent of sin and trust in Him.

Jesus promised that when we believe and repent, He will send the Holy Spirit to dwell within us and help us (Acts 1 and Ezekiel 36v27) – so that we have power to live to please God from that moment onwards by keeping His Commandments. That is why Jesus taught that “Unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” He explained, “Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life” (John 3 vs 3-6). With the Holy Spirit dwelling within us we can be transformed into the likeness and character of Jesus – it is impossible to do this through our own willpower or desire. The Scripture says “And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to Him at all” (Romans 8v14).

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This past Sunday was a special birthday for the Christian Church. It was the 2020th birthday of the Church, known as Pentecost or the coming of the Holy Spirit. I wonder how many Churches celebrated such a momentous occasion and encouraged Christians to seek a fresh infilling of God’s Spirit in order to be a super-spreader of Jesus and His teachings?

In the 1st century AD, Jesus promised His followers that after His ascension to heaven the Holy Spirit would come to dwell in His followers. The result was stunning, with the believers being empowered to be super-spreaders of the Good News of Jesus. The birth of the Holy Spirit transformed them completely. Before they had been weak, fearful and easily intimidated – now they were unstoppable! The ruling authorities tried to prevent them from being super-spreaders by throwing some into prison, beheading one (James) and stoning Stephen to death and whipping and intimidating others – but it made no difference the super-spreaders kept on spreading! How did they have the courage to do this despite fierce opposition?

It was the presence of the Holy Spirit within each believer which enabled them to continue being super-spreaders despite pain, suffering and loss. They knew that death was the entrance into eternal life. They knew that after death they would live again. It made them fearless super-spreaders going everywhere telling others that the only way to receive eternal life was through Jesus.

The first century Christians out-thought, out-lived and out-loved their neighbours and by their example of purity, holiness and compassion attracted many to faith in Jesus. The mandate Jesus gave to the Church was to go and be super-spreaders of the Gospel. It is no different for us today. God is looking for those who are willing to be super-spreaders of a message that brings life to a dying world before its too late. That message in a nutshell is:

“God showed how much He loved us
By sending His one and only Son into the world
So that we might have eternal life through Him.
This is real love – not that we loved God,
but that He loved us and
sent His Son as a sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:17 nlt).

TO FINISH!

Will you join me in asking God to fill us afresh with His Spirit? Then we can go and be super-spreaders of Jesus carrying the Good News of life not death to all nations and people.

And if you have never been born again of God’s Spirit – you can be - right now - by saying this prayer sincerely with all your heart:

Dear Heavenly Father,
I know that I am a sinner and need forgiveness
I believe that Jesus died to take the punishment for my sins on the cross
I want to repent (do a U turn) from my sins,
I ask Jesus to send the Holy Spirit to live within me and transform me
Help me to trust and follow Jesus all the days of my life
In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

If you have said that prayer and want further encouragement please click HERE
and send us your details and we will be in touch.
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I end with Margaret’s Pentecost prayer :

Lord, you challenge us at Pentecost
– for
When was the last time we heard the wind of your Spirit in our lives?
When was the last time we were lit up with love for you?
When did we last recognise your glory and power?

Do we believe this was an experience never to be repeated? That the Holy Spirit ended His work in that instant? If so, then maybe this is why the church seems so powerless in this age, so helpless.

We bring before you, O God, the particular problems of our age and our culture and ask that the Spirit renew in us a commitment to community and mutual trust.

To love others and ourselves, to protect the vulnerable, nature and our planet.

To walk out of darkness and into your most glorious light.
Holy God, we ask you in the name of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Amen

May the Lord bless you and pour out His favour on you and keep you safe.

Love and prayers to keep safe

Pamela X

Pamela