Enough by Helen Roseveare

The following extract is taken from Enough by Helen Roseveare and will be read today at her funeral by Christian Focus author Irene Howat.

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What more can we say? Throughout the Bible, God draws the eyes of Christians forward to that wonderful time when we shall see him face-to-face, no longer darkly as in a mirror. Scripture only tells us a limited amount of the wonders of that time. So as we sing of it, we are seeking to express what we believe it will be like, to the best of our human comprehension.

There is a higher throne

Than all this world has known,

Where faithful ones from ev’ry tongue

Will one day come.

Before the Son we’ll stand,

made faultless through the Lamb;

Believing hearts find promised grace;

Salvation comes.

Hear heaven’s voices sing;

Their thund’rous anthem rings

Through em’rald courts and sapphire skies;

Their praises rise.

All glory, wisdom, pow’r,

Strength, thanks and honour are

To God our King, who reigns on high

For evermore.

And there we’ll find our home;

Our life before the throne.

We’ll honour him in perfect song

Where we belong.

He’ll wipe each tear-stained eye

As thirst and hunger die.

The Lamb becomes our Shepherd-King;

We’ll reign with him.

Keith and Kristyn Getty

In heaven, we will experience the ultimate fulfilment of all that grace has made possible for us, all that Christ’s death on the cross of Calvary bought for us – forgiveness of our sins, peace of heart, friendship with God, the ‘enough-ness’ in every area of our lives that we have been thinking about.

And it has all been made possible through grace – made possible through Jesus, our beloved Saviour. Before Jesus came to Gethsemane and Calvary, he prayed to his Father, ‘Father, glorify your name’ and the Father replied, ‘I have glorified it, and will glorify it again’ (John 12:28.) Was the Father not referring to the cross, as being the moment in history when he would most clearly reveal to us his glory – when grace would be shown to us in all its fullness?

As I try to conceive of the fullness of grace, my mind moves to Titus 2:11, ‘For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.’ He is talking of the Lord Jesus himself – he is the grace that brings salvation and has appeared to us all. And Paul goes on, ‘we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness’ (Titus 2:13-14). One day, he will return.

As we experience, by grace, the great things that he has done for us here in our present life, it still remains largely beyond our ability to conceive of the wonders of heaven.

No eye has seen,

No ear has heard,

No mind has conceived

What God has prepared for those who love him (1 Cor. 2:9).

He promises that, on that day, there will be no more tears, no more pain, no more regrets, no more fears, no more mourning, no more death. All the human emotions and frailties that distract us now, all that causes us to feel less than content, everything that makes us other than happy and at peace – they will be no more. All that causes us now to seek to know the enoughness, the all-sufficiency, of his grace – they were part of a world that has now passed away. On that wonderful day, not only will there be no hindrance to true worship of our beloved Lord and Saviour (the negative aspect of the work of grace), but there will be an utter fulfilment of all that his grace has procured for us (the positive aspect). And more, there will be enough time to love him as we should, and to worship and serve him utterly as we long to do.

What a wonderful prospect!

So as we are learning now that God’s grace and love and fellowship are indeed enough in this ‘down here’ life, we are encouraged by all the wonderful promises for the life-to come, the life ‘up-there’. All God’s promises, that we have watched being fulfilled here and now, will be finally completed when we are in his nearer presence.

In his vision, the Apostle John said:

I saw a new heaven and a new earth …

I saw the Holy City …

He will wipe every tear from their eyes.

There will be no more death or mourning

or crying or pain, for the old order of

things has passed away (Rev. 21:1-4).

But with that negative declaration of what there won’t be in heaven, there came (first, actually) the wonderful positive truth of what there will be in heaven.

Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people and God himself will be with them and be their God (Rev. 21:3).

As we look forward with longing to that day, we can pray with John, ‘Come, Lord Jesus’ (Rev. 22:20).

Now, while we are still on earth, we can truly sing wholeheartedly the first three verses of John Newton’s hymn:

Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me!

I once was lost, but now am found;

Was blind, but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,

And grace my fears relieved;

How precious did that grace appear

The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares,

I have already come;

‘Tis grace that brought me safe thus far,

And grace will lead me home.

But then, when we arrive in glory, we will truly experience that of which we sing in verse 4, the glorious freedom of worship – the enough-ness of time!

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,

Bright shining as the sun,

We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise

Than when we first begun.

John Newton (1725-1807)

Other books by Helen Roseveare:

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eBook Special – Why Everything Matters by Philip G. Ryken

Today we feature an ebook special from our friends at Gospel eBooks. Why Everything Matters by Philip G. Ryken is available for $2.99. Found out more about this powerful book below.

Why Everything Matters

Ecclesiastes is for people who have their doubts about God, but can’t stop thinking about him. The author of Ecclesiastes had his doubts, too, and these have enabled him to speak to skeptics as well as believers down through the centuries.

Ecclesiastes is a book rich in literary artistry and multi-layered depths of spiritual meaning. Philip G. Ryken explores this wonderful Old Testament book, and reminds us again of the need to trust God with the questions, even when we do not have all the answers.

Why Everything Matters is a remarkable read that will inform and elevate every heart with essential wisdom for living a life that matters.

R. Kent Hughes, Senior Pastor Emeritus, College Church, Wheaton, Illinois

… a wonderful treatment of the book of Ecclesiastes. In his study of the text the author beautifully blends the mind of a scholar with the heart of a pastor. It is a faithful exposition of a book that is troubling to many.

Daniel L. Akin, President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, North Carolina

Philip Ryken has provided another crisp, lively and faithful exposition that will serve both Bible reader and Bible teacher alike. This book will be a great help in opening up the wonderful and unique world of Ecclesiastes. Highly recommended.

Sam Allberry, Assistant Pastor, St Marys, Maidenhead and Author of Is God Anti-Gay?

About the Author:

Philip G. Ryken became President of Wheaton College in July 2010. Prior to that he was Senior Minister of Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is also a prolific author and a member of the council of The Gospel Coalition.

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Helen Roseveare (1925-2016) A Tribute

Christian Focus Publications would like to extend its sincerest condolences to the family and friends of our dear Helen Roseveare, who passed away this morning. She dedicated her life to serving others even in the deep trials of life. She pioneered vital medical work in the rainforests of what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo and was an internationally respected speaker with WEC ministries. We are thankful at Christian Focus for Helen’s ministry through the books we have been blessed to publish. She spent her life in service for the Lord and today she is with Him, worshipping Him, in heaven.

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Catherine Mackenzie, Children’s Editor at Christian Focus, shares the impact Helen Roseveare had on her life.

This morning a good friend and encourager Helen Roseveare passed away, she had been longing to go home to be with Christ. Now this has happened we who remain look back at her life and rejoice in the work that the Lord gave her and in the witness she gave to his worthiness.

It was eleven years ago that I met Helen Roseveare for the first time. She had not long celebrated her eightieth birthday. I’d read her books and knew her story and somehow or other I had been invited to stay with her in Belfast. It was great to actually meet one of my heroines. She was not only encouraging, she was challenging. It was an environment – all be it just for a weekend – where I felt safe to be honest with her and Pat, her friend, about the challenges and struggles of my own little life. Even though she had been through so much herself (if you don’t know what I mean then read her books) my problems didn’t feel too insignificant to share. And the words she gave me before I left on the flight from Belfast to Inverness were straight forward – just telling me to keep on going. And I’m thankful to her and to God that I have through His strength.

After that she came over to my congregation to do a conference. It was there that she gave, as part of her message, four little words that I believe were the backbone to her life and reinforced, for me, the message of her books, the message she gave me before I left Belfast and the message her Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, gives all believers.

“Jesus is Worth it”.

Towards the end of that conference I had the pleasure of taking her and Pat for a tour of the Black Isle – a Scottish peninsula near Inverness. What took place at lunch that day is one of several distinct ‘Helen and Pat’ memories that will stay with me for the rest of my life. If you’ve not met either of them – let me describe these two women of God… in two words (believe me I could pick another 100 words to describe them and I wouldn’t do them justice.)

Smart. They both graduated in medicine at a time when to be a female graduate in any discipline like this was rare.

Cosmopolitan. Both travelled extensively – before the easy days of online booking and satnav.

But if you had been the couple sitting beside us in the restaurant that day you wouldn’t have looked twice. You would have presumed ‘they’re just two little old ladies’. But that’s one point where the church and the world differs – God’s kingdom never puts the word ‘just’ before any category of believer – particularly little old ladies.

Our neighbouring diners were given a visual and audible lesson in this when, after lunch, Pat and Helen’s conversation went as follows:

“I don’t think we’ll ever be able to get back to Afghanistan but it is a beautiful country, and the Lord is at work there…” – or words to that effect.

As my chin dropped I could see the looks on the people at the table beside us as they turned and stared. Two women they had just spent the last hour ignoring were talking about a trip they had made to what was now one of the most notoriously violent countries in the world.

Helen and Pat started reminiscing about people who had lived and worked in that region and about the brief time they had spent in a nation that was now in the thick of a conflict that threw up words like Taliban and Terrorist.

I drove them back to my parent’s house and before too long they were on their way back to Belfast discussing, no doubt, their plans for the development of the girl’s clubs they were involved in and the future fundraising for their local church.

So don’t make assumptions about little old ladies… especially when you hear the word church and missionary in the same sentence … they may very well have been where we will never go, have done what we wouldn’t dream of, and have given up what we just aren’t willing to.

Helen Roseveare was a little old lady, during the time I knew her, but really age didn’t come into it. She was a woman after God’s own heart and Jesus was the one that her heart longed after. She’s with him this morning – still part of the church as she worships more fully in heaven. We who remain, continue as she did once to long for home.

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Christmas with CF4K

Our children’s imprint, CF4K, provides a range of resources which are ideal for sharing the wonders of Christmas with your kids. Here is just a selection, perfect as presents, gifts or as a resource for leaders :


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It’s the countdown to Christmas. There are 25 days to go until we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. In this book there are puzzles and codes, activities and crafts to help you remember the real reason for Christmas – the fact that God sent his Son to the world so that people could become God’s friends once more.

Look out for the full colour pull out advent calendar! Something you can use each day as you go through the book and as you count the days until the big day itself.


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What parent, Sunday School teacher or Pastor would not want a Christ-centered, Biblically faithful and understandable story written for children that is also well illustrated and well written? Now we have one which will not only benefit our children but will be loved and devoured by the adults who read it to them.

Harry L. Reeder, Pastor of Preaching & Leadership, Briarwood Presbyterian Church, Birmingham, Alabama


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“I remember your first Christmas. We said, ‘You’re here at last. We had waited for you for sooo long. On the very first Christmas another baby was born. The world had been waiting for Jesus, God’s Son, for many years.”

A family revisits Christmases gone by while also remembering the very Christmas and the child that God sent to save the world. Make your own memories by reading this book with a child.


Where to Buy:

Our Christmas selection is available at any good Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:

9781781916087 Buy Now:

 

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The Perfect Advent Devotional from Christian Focus

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At the centre of heaven is Christ, lovingly adored as the forever Lord of all. At the centre of Christmas is Christ, frail and cradled in the tender arms of a young mother. How can the two be put together? Heavenly glory and human frailty? That is the real wonder of Christmas. Pleased to Dwell is an energetic biblical introduction to Christmas. It is an invitation to ponder the Incarnation, and a God who was pleased to dwell with us.

Building anticipation with the great themes of the Old Testament, enjoying the remarkably distinct birth narratives of Matthew, then Luke, before surveying some great New Testament passages, Pleased to Dwell is an engaging introduction to the wonder of the Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us. This book offers a wealth of ideas for preachers, an easy access mini-reference tool for Bible students, and an enjoyable cover-to-cover read for everyone. Twenty-four short chapters would make a great advent devotional, but this book is not just for Christmas. God’s Son stepped into our world and that changes every day of the year!


“In this book we see the profound truths of the incarnation presented in a way that makes the Bible and its truth come alive. And, best of all, it is presented in an engaging style that makes it accessible to ordinary laypersons.”

Ajith Fernando, Youth for Christ

“What a really useful resource! As I read through it, I found that ideas for carol service talks just kept leaping off its pages.”

Rico Tice,  Christianity Explored

“Through a clear and accessible explanation of the profound miracle of the incarnation… An ideal introduction to a profound theme – and a great Christmas present!”

Jonathan Lamb, Keswick Ministries


About the Author:

Peter Mead is director of Cor Deo, a mentored ministry training programme based in Chippenham, England. He is on the leadership team of a church plant and leads the Bible Teachers & Preachers Networks at the European Leadership Forum.

Where to Buy:
Pleased to Dwell is available at any good Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:

Buy Now:

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Gospel Books – eBook Special

Today we feature an ebook special from our friends at Gospel eBooks. Walk or Stay is available for $2.99. Found out more about this powerful book below.

To Walk or Stay by Lara Williams

Her marriage slowly deteriorated behind the facade of a happy, Christian home. After six years together, with three young children, Lara Williams discovered the devastating reality of her husband’s marital betrayal. Lara gives tender guidance to any woman walking the unexpected paths of betrayal. But even more than that, she testifies of the victorious life in Christ available to everyone, regardless of any shattered hopes or suffocating fears.

“As a pastor, I highly recommend putting this gospel-centered book into the hands of anyone devastated by marital unfaithfulness.”

Robert K. Cheong, Pastor of Care and Counseling, Sojourn Community Church, Louisville, Kentucky and Author of God Redeeming His Bride

“Lara Williams teaches and reminds her readers that we are not in control, but God is, and as we accept God’s sovereignty and goodness, this radically changes how we view our relationship with Him, how we view ourselves, our circumstances, and how we view and relate to others.”

Jane Tooher, Ministry Department, Director of the Priscilla and Aquila Centre, Moore Theological College, Sydney, Australia

About the Author:

Lara Williams lives with her husband and three children in Greensboro, North Carolina. She holds a degree in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master of Divinity degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Her blog “To Overflowing” at www.tooverflowing.com encourages women to discover a wildly vibrant faith.

 

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New Release – The Big Ten Series

The Big Ten: Critical Questions Answered is a Christian apologetics series which addresses ten commonly asked questions about God, the Bible, and Christianity. Each book, while easy to read, is challenging and thought-provoking, dealing with subjects ranging from hell to science.

Our first two titles in this series come from James Anderson and William Edgar, read on to find out more and where to buy.


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Some people boldly claim, “Christianity is fine for some, but it isn’t for me”. Others feel it is just outdated and irrelevant. For better or worse, everyone in the Western world has come into contact with Christianity: we all have some opinion on it.

James Anderson, with a clear, humorous logic, explores what Christianity really claims, and shows the underlying reason and consistency behind these claims. By the end of Why Should I Believe Christianity?, while you may not agree with the Christian worldview, it is impossible to be left sitting on the fence.

… The Christian ministry, taken as a whole, must be understood as an apologetic calling. This is why books like Why Should I Believe Christianity deserve careful reading by pastors and laypeople alike. In this book, believers will find a compelling defense of the Christian worldview and the resources necessary to stand firm in a faithless age.

R. Albert Mohler, President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky

About the Author:

James Anderson

James N. Anderson specializes in philosophical theology, religious epistemology, and Christian apologetics at Reformed Theological Seminary. He has also had experience serving in churches and is currently active in Ballantyne Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, North Carolina.


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Wasn’t the South African Apartheid supported by Christians? Weren’t the Crusades motivated by greed, but advocated by the church? Don’t phoney television preachers manipulate viewers into donating money? William Edgar addresses these and other questions honestly, without attempting to dismiss or explain away their uncomfortable realities. He displays the good aspects of the church even more brilliantly through frankly and Biblically acknowledging the bad. If you have ever asked the question Does Christianity Really Work? this will be an interesting and enlightening read, whatever your prior convictions.

From now on, when skeptics ask, ‘Where in the world has Christianity done any good,’ we have a powerful and convincing reply … Bill debunks myths and blows the dust off of little known historical facts about the impact of the Gospel in a hurting world … a remarkable book

Joni Eareckson Tada, Activist for the disabled and author of Joni, the award-winning Tell Me the Promises, and other classics

About the Author:

William Edgar

William Edgar is Professor of Apologetics at Westminister Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, and an accomplished jazz pianist.


Where to Buy:

The Big Ten series is available at any good Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:

9781781917756  Buy Now:

 

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Steven J. Lawson on John Knox

Reformation Day Recap

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John Knox is one of the most colourful figures in church history and his impact is still felt around the world. The real story of Knox surpasses the best fiction novels. Five hundred years after his death, Steven Lawson seeks in this book to ignite our faith for Jesus through Knox’s story. If you think of Knox as the dull Presbyterian, prepare to think again. Let this seminal figure in the history of the Scottish Reformation inspire you to stand firm in your faith and let God impact your spiritual life.

John Knox by Steven J. Lawson Reviewed:

“…Take a deep breath as you turn the first page; this story may leave you breathless; but you will almost certainly feel spiritually fitter by the end!”

Sinclair B. Ferguson, Associate Preacher, St Peter’s Free Church, Dundee, Scotland

“Steven Lawson, himself a bold preacher, has given us a biography of Knox that inspires similar courage. In this day of jellyfish, may God use this book to raise up more Christians like Knox!”

Joel R. Beeke, President, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan

“… Lawson has captured the essence and main contours of Knox’s vital ministry-no easy task. Read and ponder, and then pray that God would raise up again such thunderers of the Bible as Knox-yes, in Scotland, and to the ends of the earth.”

Michael A. G. Haykin, Professor of Church History and Biblical Spirituality, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky

About the Author:

Steven J. Lawson is president of OnePassion Ministries, a ministry designed to bring about biblical reformation in the church today, as well as the Professor of Preaching in the masters and doctoral programs at The Master’s Seminary, Sun Valley, California and Teaching Fellow for Ligonier Ministries. We look forward to his latest title in early 2017 titled, The Cost: What it takes to follow Jesus. Here is a sneak preview of the cover, keep an eye out for more information:

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Where to Buy:
John Knox: Fearless Faith is available at any good Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:

Buy Now:

 

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Reformation Day – The Trailblazers Series

Trail-Blazers

October 31st is an important day for lots of people, where candy and all things scary are the focus. But this date should be remembered by Christians for a much more significant event – Reformation Day. On the 31st October, 1517, Martin Luther’s nailing of his ninety-five theses to the door, provoked a debate that culminated in what we now call the Reformation.

The Trailblazers series, aimed at teens and tweens, features a number of Christian figures who were to play a significant role in this historic period in history. These inspiring biographies are perfect introductions to young and old alike to these vital characters.

“An excellent series, great reading for kids and adults alike.”

Tim Challies, Blogger at www.challies.com

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Where to Buy:

Books in the ever growing Trailblazers series are available at any good Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:

Buy Now:

 

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Job Alert – Christian Focus Publications

Office Administrator/Secretary

Christian Focus Publications, a Christian publishing company based near Tain in the Highlands of Scotland, are looking for an Office Administrator/Secretary to be part of our friendly team.

You should have a working knowledge of Microsoft Office, be well organised and possess good communication skills. You must be able to work well under your own initiative as well as being part of the existing team. Given that this is work is a ministry, a strong Christian faith is essential.

This post is office based and full-time (37.5 hours per week)

More details on the job are available from info@christianfocus.com

Interested in applying? Please send your CV and a covering letter, detailing your relevant experience, to info@christianfocus.com

Closing date: 14th November 2016

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