From the Editor

From the Editor

From the Editor

Ah December -– like a lost friend who turns up out of the
blue with a wonderful gift...a few days of rest! For some of us the whole
activity of this season is far from restful, but I guess there exists a sense of
completion (2000 is finished) and a new beginning -– even if it is only
psychological. Another summer is here (in the southern hemisphere), meaning the
cycle of seasons has done it's thing again, just as God set it up to do. Like
the seasons, so much of what happens in our lives is automatic...BUT there are
God given choices today, about so many areas of life. So many of us would
mention regrets "I should have done this ...or that...I missed the boat...if
only I had...". What a crazy thing to think for a moment that we are washed up
ready to be put away...God is with us!!! Even when our visions seem dead -–
act! Do something, step forward -– what do you want to do? God wishes to give
us the desires of our hearts (I think He may have secretly put them there in the
first place).

Faith without works is dead, abiding alone. Even as we rest
may I encourage you to 'encourage those around you'. Not empty meaningless
words, but truthful affirmation; acknowledging that God has put beautiful people
alongside us -– lets not wait until they're gone to let them know we love and
appreciate them.

You may recall the story of the officiating minister who said
"I will not bury this man until someone says something nice about him". The
congregation sat in silence while everyone tried to think of just one thing they
might say to appease the situation. After several hours, one shy little man
stepped forward and indicated that he might have something useful to say. The
minister quickly ushered him into the pulpit and in a trembling voice the man
said "Uh, well...it's just that...his brother was twice as bad".

1 Corinthians 12:6-7 outlines all sorts of giftings different
individuals are given. God is the giver - we are the recipients, meaning
there is no place for pride...nor self pity...nor arrogance...nor manipulation...nor
mean-ness...nor one-up-manship...nor idle laziness...
That's normal human
stuff! Verses 6-7 are fantastic as they outline the whole point of the exercise,
the reason God gives gifts to men -– firstly 'diversities of operations,
but the same God...the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to
profit withal'.

Have a great month and new year -– we'll be back in 2001.

Andrew Smith