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November 2010 Contents

What's in store for you in November's magazine

Cover stories

Let the flame burn brighter Four women reveal what keeps their faith alive

Are you ready to listen? It’s a valuable skill that can change lives

Faith costs – and not only in faraway countries We hear from Christians in Iran, Egypt and the UK

Are you prepared to die? Donald Carson says we cannot live faithfully in this life, unless we are ready for the next

Celebrate Advent with a delicious Advent Ring cake

Features

‘Visiting Mumbai totally changed me’ West End Actress Tabitha Webb talks faith, career and becoming an advocate for Interserve

Bride stealing The trauma facing many young girls in Africa and India

Why we should pray for our leaders and trust in Jesus’ overruling power

In the army, university, seaport and shopping centre Meet the chaplains who take the Gospel to where the people are

'Retirement is an opportunity for change’ Meet the former headmistress who now leads a small church in Provence

What’s so special about the Olympics? We talk to those who have been involved

Happy Thanksgiving! Veronica Zundel finds a lot to admire in the American Way

Does God have a sense of humour? Oh yes he does! Says Andrew Perry


Regulars

Your letters on finding inspiration in Woman Alive and how to help women overseas

Agenda What to see, read and do this month

Would Like to Meet It’s heartbreak for Hopeful Girl

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Bookclub What you’re reading this month

 

Next month in Woman Alive

Celebrate Christmas with us

•    Ideas to spread the Christmas joy
•    How to keep your spiritual focus
•    Gift ideas, and things to make and do
•    Great prizes for you to win

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For you to win!

Double album from Joanna Hogg

Devotional Approaching God, by Lisa Repko Borden

DVD boxed set of The History of Christianity

Teaching book Growing a Caring Church, by Wendy Billington

Discipleship book Be Still My Soul, edited by Nancy Guthrie

Ideas for Christmas book Hallelujah Christmas, from TLM

Christian classics The Cloud of the Unknowing and The Practice of the Presence of God

A Godiva chocolate Advent calendar when you solve our Word Spiral

 

Joining us this month

Ali Herbert
Interviews actress Tabitha Webb

I’m a freelance writer and speaker who plays in a band, runs music classes for pre-schoolers (Sunrise Sounds) and is mum to Gracie (5) and Josiah (3). The run-up to Christmas always feels like a busy time, especially as my parents’ birthdays, along with my daughter’s, fall in November. So if I’m not careful, it can feel like a headlong rush into present-buying, family-logistics and consumer-madness. But, in amongst it all, I love the period of Advent and particularly the lighting of candles that some churches do. Candles have a wonderful way of focusing our gaze and quieting us – there is something mesmerising about the flame and they are a great reminder for me to stop, wait and prepare as I try and focus on the real heart of this wonderful season.

Wendy Billington
Shares the importance of listening

How can we make the season of Advent special?  We could, perhaps, make it a time to sort out relationships – with God, ourselves, family and friends . . .  Our God is a relational God and in Jesus he showed and taught us how to love him and one another.  This belief underpins my own life and the book I have written.  I realised that my experiences in life -  my two careers of teaching and running a travel agency, a major bereavement in early life, a broken marriage, my two brushes with cancer – had all contributed to making  me who I am now and equipping me for my current pastoral work in a large church in the south of England.  In the book I wanted to encourage mutual caring amongst all Christians, as well as to give those at the sharp end of care some of the tools needed for helping people with a variety of needs.

Andrew Boyd
Reports on persecution of Christians here in the UK

My home overlooks the South Downs in West Sussex, where I live with my wife and children. We are members of Kingdom Faith church. I am a journalist and ordained pastor with a calling to church and media. I make documentaries, usually in conjunction with Release International, which serves persecuted Christians around the globe.  That work has taken me to many countries to document stories of remarkable overcoming faith. I think a good way to make this Advent special would be to encourage your church to send cards to Christian prisoners of faith instead of sending them to one another. Your cards would make a great difference to those who will be spending Christmas behind bars for their faith and witness. You can find out how to contact prisoners by signing up for the Release International Prisoners of Faith alert, at: http://www.releaseinternational.org/pages/downloads/prisoners-of-faith-alert.php

Also writing for us this month are freelance writers and journalists: Lorraine Wylie, Mandy Pilz and Tracy Spiers

Prayer of the month

The UV Light of Jesus, by Michele Morrison

Lord Jesus Christ, it’s November and winter encroaches – winter, with its bitter cold days and its long, dark nights. I stand on its threshold, and the light is waning. My mood sags as the darkness seeps into my soul and quenches my joy. I struggle against it, but with the light of your love behind me, I see only the distorted and outsized shadows of my fears and apprehensions. Turn me round, my Lord, that I may gaze steadfastly into the unchanging beauty of your face.

Flood me with the rays of your faithfulness, renewing hope and raising expectations. Fill me with your Holy Spirit, dispelling doubt and driving out dark thoughts. Bathe me in the joy of your presence, bringing peace and harmony in place of turmoil and strife.

You, Jesus, are the true light source, and the darkness that threatens to encroach has been defeated by you at Calvary. I stand in your victory, forgiven and enlightened, abiding in the shadow of your wings.  Praise you, Jesus, and to you be all the glory. May I rest in the light of your life and your love, forever. Amen.

 

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