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Introduction

 

This is a page for anyone who is interested in the Christian faith. It seeks to be a blend of encouragement, comment on current issues, and maybe a challenge to those who haven't thought much about where life is going. If you want to pursue any points, please feel free to write to my e-mail address: c.wragg@orpheusmail.co.uk.

 

The page contains

 

   * More about me

   * Thoughts and Comments

   * The testimony of Joyce Whitton who died aged 86 on 6th November 2001

 

More about me

 

I have been a Christian for longer than I care to mention, but that does not mean that I have switched off the rational part of my mind! I have had several periods in my life when I have had to face the crunch question: "Is He really there, or am I just fooling myself?" Each time, sooner or later, I have had to conclude that there is no escape from the truths of Jesus Himself. He came, He taught, He died, and He rose again. He is alive, and there is no one else worth believing in!

 

I am a mathematics graduate, and like to think of myself as a scientist (after all it is a BSc I've got!), so to me faith has to be rational. You cannot prove God in a scientific or mathematical sense, but you can accept the logic and the feasibility of all that the bible teaches.

 

The Bible is an utterly amazing book. A Christian can study it all his or her life, and still find more amazing truths in it! To me it is God's revelation to man, the essential handbook about life.

 

I am a member of a community church in Norfolk which has a membership of 80+. It's greatest strength is in the love each member has for everyone else within it. We are unusual in that we spend a lot of our time working for each other and the local community on what we call Working Days (see Gal 5:13). We don't own a church building, but meet in a village hall for our main services, and in each others' homes for smaller events.

 

Thoughts and Comments

 

The World in which we live

 

I like walking, and have spent many days doing so with Nicola, my wife, in the Lake District, in Dorset, in Cornwall, and elsewhere. One of things most people can appreciate is the sense of awesome wonder when you are standing on a hill-top and see the mountains and valleys spread out before you.

 

But we should not only wonder at the nature of the world in which we live. Do you still wonder at the grace of God, at the thought of who He is, and what he does for you? What is man that you are mindful of him? If you no longer have those moments when you are overcome with that sense of smallness in the presence of God, perhaps there is something wrong ...?

 

Refresh your memory with Psalm 103!

 

A Creator God

 

I am told that the Christians of Darwin’s times welcomed the discoveries of the day, and saw no threat to belief from his theories. In fact, they marvelled all the more as science revealed more and more that simply glorified God in their minds. The more that was discovered the more they praised God. It is only in later times that many churches have begun to criticise theories of evolution and a big divide between science and religion has supposedly developed.

 

For me, the concept of evolution  itself is not difficult to accept. In the space of quite short periods of time, animals change their form and characteristics. It is not difficult to breed animals selectively to promote particular characteristics, so it is not hard to believe that creatures have evolved in different ways over periods of time. What is less easy to accept is the theories of life evolving over millions of years from single cells to intelligent humans, etc! I prefer to say these are just theories, and one day when I meet my God I will learn what really happened when he set the worlds in motion, and breathed life into the creatures of that time. For me we live in a world designed for purpose, not a freak accident.

 

Read Psalm 95, and Psalm 100.

 

Persecution

 

Many folk and ignorant of the persecution and lack of human rights suffered by Christians in the world today. The persecution by the Romans is well understood, but surely not in the 21st century?

In fact, many Christians still suffer harassment and persecution, imprisonment and even death in many countries. It may be no surprise that it happens in China, and countries like Iran and Iraq, but it also happens in Egypt, Nigeria and Pakistan to mention only a few of a much greater number of nations.

 

How can we who are Christians living in freedom to worship God, to meet together, own a Bible and read Christian books, help those who are persecuted? At the least we pray, we send money to help them rebuild their lives, but also there has to be political input too to ensure that human rights are respected in all countries, not just our own.  If you have not been aware of these things, I would encourage you to visit the Barnabas Fund website and find out what your brothers and sisters are suffering, and why, while we enjoy our comforts at home!

 

Read Hebrews 10:32-39

 

Serving the local church

 

Every Christian has a role within the local church, even if they don't always know what it is! I have done a number of things over the years, including serving as the church treasurer, and also as a trustee. I am currently an elder of the church. We don’t have a minister/pastor; the church is led by a team of four elders.

 

However your church is organised, It is always important to recognise the contributions made by each member of the congregation. In doing do, we should regularly pray for one another,  help each other, support, share and encourage. If you are a Christian, when did you last pray for your church treasurer, or the youth team, the musicians or the cleaners? And for the other office holders in your church? Remember the great number of gifts God has given to his church through different people! We all have gifts, and need to exercise them within our own churches.

 

Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-31

 

The Testimony of a Christian Lady

 

Joyce Whitton is my only aunt on my father's side. She died from breast cancer in November 2001 at the age of 86, having been a Christian from the age of nine. She had enjoyed good health throughout most of her life, but was diagnosed with cancer in March 2001. Although she did not suffer undue pain, she endured the onset of the disease for the following months, doing so with great cheerfulness and courage that lay rooted in her faith. She didn't just believe, she knew that she was going to see the Lord Jesus himself and be with Him! Everyone who spoke to her, cared for her, or met her in any capacity over these last months was left in no doubt where her heart was set, and was moved by her confidence and faith.

 

After the funeral, my wife and I had the task of going through the papers and possessions she left behind. Among these we came across her testimony. After her husband Percy died in 1977, she became very actively involved in a mission visiting hospital patients, and as time went by she was asked to talk to small groups about the work that she did. It was for one such talk that she wrote out her testimony to pass on to her hearers, and so we are able to read it now. It was something special, and so it is repeated here in the hope that you may find it equally uplifting, and possibly challenging. Please read it! I don't think you will be disappointed! View testimony

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