November 2010 Contents
What's in store for you in November's magazine
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
‘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
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
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.
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.
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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