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A.W. Tozer on "Easter life"
April 2013

The resurrection of Christ is a once-done act. “For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him.” But Christians die. No matter how we may try to avoid the facts, Christians die as their Lord died before them. It is winter when we lay our loved ones down. So it seems to the natural heart. So it must have appeared to some of the Thessalonian Christians. Why otherwise would if have been necessary for Paul to write and exhort them not to sorrow as others who had no hope?

One thing the resurrection teaches us is that we must not trust appearances. The leafless tree says by its appearance that there will be no second spring. The body in Joseph’s new tomb appears to signify the end of everything for Christ and His disciples. The limp form of a newly-dead believer suggests everlasting defeat. Yet how wrong are all these appearances. The tree will bloom again. Christ arose the third day according to the Scriptures, and the Christian will rise at the shout of the Lord and the voice of the archangel.

Faith can afford to accept the appearance of defeat, knowing the true believer cannot be defeated finally. “Because I live, you also will live.” That’ is the message of Easter. What a blessing for the whole world if people would only believe it. (adapted) +Bill

An Orthodox "take" on Pentecost
May 2013

Consider, my beloved, how the All-holy Spirit filled the entire house where the divine Apostles were sitting and praying when the Holy Spirit descended into the upper room in the form of fiery tongues like a violent wind and thunder (Acts 2:2); and how the Holy Spirit made the house into something like a baptismal font, as Gregory of Thessaloniki says, in order to baptize the Apostles with His divine grace, concerning which baptism the Lord foretold them (Acts 1:5): “It filled the house where they were sitting, making it a spiritual font, and accomplishing the promise which the Saviour made them when He ascended, saying, ‘For John truly baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ Even the name which He gave them proved to be true, for through this noise from heaven the Apostles actually became sons of Thunder.”

At that very time the All-holy Spirit wrought a change in the mind of the Apostles, such that they began to understand clearly the lowliness and vanity of present good things, and on the other hand to understand the greatness and eternalness of the future good things. Therefore, those same Apostles who just a short while ago disputed among themselves who among them would be the first and greatest (Luke 22:24), after receiving the Holy Spirit considered it a great blessing to be less than everyone, to be despised by everyone on account of Christ, and to be looked upon as weaklings, fools, disgraces, with contempt, and as the trash and refuse of the world: “We are fools for Christ’s sake, we are weak, we are despised... we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day” (1 Corinthians 4:10-13).

Has Pentecost thus touched us yet?!?

(from St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite ) +Bill

When we submitted our initial design of the St Cyprian Centre to the Tunis city authorities, they informed us that they would only approve a single storey building behind the church (site of current Annexe). They advised us to reduce that building to one storey and incorporate some of the missing rooms in a slightly extended plan for the building on the other side of the church (site of current toilets and shops).

The revised design extends the two-storey building to the left of the church (current site of toilets and shops). The extended part of the building will allow us to include two conference rooms (that had originally been included in the building behind the church).

Barbers and God!
September 2013

A man went to a barbershop to have his hair cut and his beard trimmed. As the barber began to work, they had a good conversation. When they eventually touched on the subject of God, the barber said: 'I don't believe that God exists.' 'Why do you say that?' asked the customer. Well, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God doesn't exist. Tell me, if God exists, would there be so many sick people? Would there be abandoned children? If God existed, there would be neither suffering nor pain. I can't imagine a loving God who would allow all of these things.'

The customer thought for a moment, but didn't respond because he didn't want to start an argument. The barber finished his job and the customer left the shop. Outside, he saw a man in the street with long, stringy, dirty hair and an untrimmed beard. He looked dirty and unkempt.

The customer turned back, reentered the barbershop and said to the barber: 'You know what? Barbers do not exist.' 'How can you say that?' asked the surprised barber. 'I am here, and I am a barber. And I just worked on you!' 'No!' the customer exclaimed. 'Barbers don't exist because if they did, there would be no people with dirty long hair and untrimmed beards, like that man outside.' 'Ah, but barbers DO exist! That's what happens when people do not come to me.'

'Exactly!' affirmed the customer. 'I think it’s the same for God!'

(adapted) +Bill

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