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Welcome to the Easter 2001 Family Worship newsletter
http://www.familyworship.org.uk

Previous newsletters are available on the website archives at
http://www.familyworship.org.uk/newslett.htm#archive

Contents
========

FW Site stats
FW4 update
Recent site additions
Coming soon
The Joshua generation
Scripture spot
Songwriters' encouragement
Check out...
Newsletter information

With relentless "Humour spots" in-between every item...


FW Site Stats
-------------

Newsletter subscribers are now over 1,900  - a special welcome to new
subscribers

Visitors to the site increased to an average of 800 a day through
February/March 2001

We were honoured to be the number one site in the top ten at Premier
Radio, the UK's only Christian radio station, during March


FW4 update
----------

2 more tracks from FW4, Rising Generation are now available on mp3.com:

"I will lift up the name of the Lord" is an up-tempo praise song,
featuring some sizzling electric guitar and great vocals from the
children's choir. Ideal as an opening song for a time of worship.

"The depth of a mystery" is song specifically for Communion, and tells
the story of the Last Supper. Sung as a solo by David Morris, the vocal
is very moving, and is well complemented by the sensitive arrangement,
which features live cello and oboe.

Check out these tracks, plus the title track, at
http://www.mp3.com/familyworship

The album itself will be out in a few weeks time - details of how to
order will be in next month's newsletter.


Easter Resources
================

Check the special Easter pages at
http://www.familyworship.org.uk/easter.htm for links to Easter songs -
contemporary and traditional - as well as two royalty-free drama scripts
ideal for use in an Easter service.

The FW song, "Jesus thank you for the cross", has been our most popular
song for use at Easter; you can download it free at
http://www.mp3.com/familyworship as well as the backing track at
http://www.mp3.com/familyworshiptracks


Humour spot
===========

A mother asked her two-year-old to take his dirty clothes and put them
into the laundry basket. He looked puzzled, and so she explained, "You
know; it's the place where we put our dirty clothes before they're
washed."


My son picked up his clothes, ran into his parents bedroom, and threw
his clothes on the floor...on his dad's side of the bed!


Sale offer continues
--------------------

As announced last month, we're having a massive sale on CD's and
cassettes. Prices have been cut to just 3 for CD's and 2 for
cassettes. The reason for this is simple - FW is non profit-making, and
we're keen to shift as much stock as possible, to make room on the
shelves for FW4. Income from previous albums goes directly to funding
FW4 and future recordings, so by buying now, you'll be helping to fund
further resources.

We've sent out more orders in the past month than ever before, so if you
haven't ordered yet, then feel free to keep us busy! Check the shop out:
http://www.familyworship.org.uk/shop (and for non-credit or debit card
orders, http://www.familyworship.org.uk/Order.htm)


Humour spot
===========

The children were drawing Easter pictures at Sunday School. One girl had
drawn a lvoely picture, but in the top right corner there was an
aeroplane. "Why have you drawn that, sweetheart", asked the teacher,
"they didn't have planes in Jesus' time".

"Of course they did", said the girl, "what else would Pontius Pilot fly
in?"



The Joshua Generation
---------------------

Reading the story of the Israelites finally taking possession of the
promised land after 40 years wandering in the wilderness recently set me
thinking about the calling of God on this present generation. Sometimes
I feel myself that I belong to a generation that has done a fair amount
of wandering around itself! Not that we haven't seen blessing, and the
provision of God, but that sometimes it feels like we've gone round in a
circle and are not significantly closer to seeing the breakthrough in
our churches and nation that we would like.

The good news is that God is always faithful to his promises, and he has
promised to give us a future and a hope! Part of our inheritance is to
see the younger generation rise up and inherit themselves all that we
have longed for, and to be bold and courageous in possessing the land.

What does that mean in practice? Well, in Joshua's day. it was a
question of spying out the land, and then physical battles that needed
to be fought, with the supernatural intervention of God of course, in
first bringing down the walls of Jericho. Today, we are not fighting
against flesh and blood, but against the principalities and powers in
the heavenly realms, but the same principles apply: we need God's
supernatural help to bring down walls.

The Israelites walked and prayed in silence for 6 days, and then on the
7th day, sounded the trumpet and raised a shout. I'm convinced that if
we teach children and young people how to pray and praise effectively,
then they will see significant spiritual breakthrough in their
generation.



Humour spot
===========

(From the excellent web-evangelism bulletin -
http://www.gospelcom.net/guide/web-evangelism.html)

Our three small children announced one evening that they were going to
"play church." We were pleased and proud at the same time. We ate humble
pie, though, when we spied them running around in a panic, pretending to
get dressed and yelling, "Hurry up!" "It's time for church!" "We have
five minutes!" "We'll be late!"
 


Scripture spot
--------------

This month, John 3:16

"For God so loved the world that he sent his only Son, that whoever
believes in Him may never perish but have eternal life."

Along with Psalm 23, this scripture is the most widely known in the
world, and at Easter time, it perfectly captures in one short sentence
the gospel, and the reason for the cross.

I love the all-inclusive nature of the verse: WHOEVER believes in him,
no matter what nationality, gender, age, social status, just whoever,
will have eternal life. God is able and willing to save absolutely
anyone and everyone, and that is completely his heart.

At some point for every Christian the verse needs to become personal as
well as generic: if we want to become the "whoever", then we need to
believe. Christian parents can teach their faith to their children, and
as they grow, at some point, they will need to personally believe for
themselves. (For some that may be a dramatic point of conversion, for
others, a realisation that they have always believed, and always will
continue to do so).

Non-christian children, youth and adults need to hear the gospel so that
they can choose to become the "whoever" themselves, which is the reason
for the Great Commission of Jesus to his disciples to go into the world
and preach the good news. God sent his Son, and then the Son sent us to
tell of the possibility and promise of eternal life.

This Easter, let's pray that our children will know the reason for the
cross themselves, and let's pray that we are effective in our churches
and in our personal lives in reaching out to the world that is still
needing to hear the news that "God so loved..."


           |
       \       /
         .---.
    '-.  |   |  .-'
      ___|   |___
 -=  [           ]  =-
     `---.   .---'
  __||__ |   | __||__
  '-..-' |   | '-..-'
    ||   |   |   ||
    ||_.-|   |-,_||
  .-"`   `"`'`   `"-.
.'                   '.



Songwriters' encouragement
--------------------------

One of the FW songs, "Jesus thank you for the cross", was selected
recently at mp3.com for their Easter musical online greetings card, with
the result that it has been sent to thousands of people in the run up to
Easter.

When I wrote this song a few years ago, it was with the simple aim of
being sung locally in our church to be of some use in helping children
to understand the reality and meaning of the cross. I had no idea that
it would be recorded, or that it would go on to be of use and blessing
far more widely than I could have imagined.

A key reason for writing the song had been that I'd heard a missionary
to Borneo talk of the amazing numbers of converions that they had seen
among some tribes there. He spoke about the new songs that were being
written, and how many of them focussed on the cross, and that he felt
that was a significant factor in the move of God that they were
experiencing.

I would encourage any songwriter, or aspiring songwrite, to write about
the cross at every opportunity: it is at the very centre of our faith
and worship, representing the ultimate act of love and sacrifice that
Jesus could offer. Songs about the cross will always provoke a reaction,
and we could never have too many of them - get writing!



Check out...
------------

The first new worship album from Graham Kendrick for 5 years has
recently been released. Titled "What Grace" it features a rich batch of
new songs, as well as a great arrangement of the traditional hymn, "Rock
of Ages". The songs are all Christ-centred, aiming to teach theological
truth as well as inspire worship. One feature of the album that we
especially like at Family Worship is the cross-generational flavour that
it has, featuring Matt Redman and Martin Smith on two tracks. This
partnering between the generations is a powerful statement in itself.
Graham, although most often described now as a "veteran" of praise &
worship (!) had a significant impact on the contemporary worship scene a
couple of decades back, in the same way that Martin and Matt are having
today. In joining together, they remind us that God loves to bring
freshness, creativity and vitality into our worship, but he is always
the same God, yesterday, today and forever.

Check out "What Grace" at http://www.makewaymusic.com


The importance of drama. There is an excellent article on using drama in
a ministry context. Check it out at:
http://www.childrensministry.net/wsmnewsletter/01Mar29/article36.html


Web-hosting - if you run a Christian website in the UK, for a church or
organisation, you are almost certainly paying too much for web-hosting.
We know, because we were, and so are pleased to recommend the host that
Family Worship now uses:
http://www.rockhosting.net


If you have a website that you would like us to cover in future
newsletters, please email
newsletter@familyworship.org.uk

River of Life Discount Christian Bookstore, US distributors for the
Family Worship resources are online with a great site featuring an
ever-increasing range of worship recordings, songbooks, etc. Check it
out at
http://www.riveroflifecbs.com

Don't forget that Family Worship, as well as loads of other "grass roots
level" ministries is featured in the Christian sections of mp3.com
http://www.mp3.com/familyworship

Check out the new, free FW Webmail - your-@familyworship.net -
http://familyworship.mail.everyone.net


Newsletter information
----------------------

This newsletter is written by Mike Burn and is published by Family
Worship Resources, part of Ichthus Christian Fellowship, London, UK
Copyright 2001, Mike Burn.

Inclusion of links and quotations does not imply full endorsement of the
contents. The newsletter may be forwarded or reproduced in full or in
part providing that the source is acknowledged.

To unsubscribe, send a blank email to
FamilyWorshipunsubscribe@topica.com

Send comments or queries, or suggested articles or links for inclusion
in future newsletters to
MikeBurn@familyworship.org.uk

Thanks for reading, and if you've made it this far, or even if you just
skipped to the end before hitting delete, blessings to you in Jesus'
name

Mike

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