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Dear Friend Your letters are always most welcomed and no doubt in the coming days your neighbourhood will start to put up Christmas decorations (this happens earlier and earlier each passing year) in preparation of celebrating one of the most important festivals in the Christian calendar, the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. There is a surprising freshness about Christmas, it comes round once every year and yet it always brings with it a quality of magic. Even though we may groan at the preparations that must be made, a feeling of excitement still runs through us all. Christmas is the one time of the year when an element of change comes into everyone’s life. We are forced to stop our hum-drum daily routine and take a few days break from our work and live in an entirely different manner to the rest of the year.


there’s always room for a couple of beers.
Sometimes we tend to take ourselves too seriously and we need to lighten up, so I thought I would share the following story that I came across with you all. A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was. The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous "yes." The professor then produced two cans of beer from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed. "Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things--your family, your children, your health, your friends, your favourite passions--things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. "The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your car. The sand is everything else--the small stuff."If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house, and fix the disposal."Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand." One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of beers.

Sanctuary Of Remembrance
I am often called upon to conduct the funeral services of our dearly departed Crusaders After conducting their service the family often request that their wreath and a card be placed upon the Altar in the Sanctuary of Remembrance at the Crusade. One of our Crusaders whose husband passed away two years ago has requested that both a Valentine card and Anniversary card be placed on the Altar in memory of their love each year. It is one of many requests that we receive here at the Sanctuary. Why do I mention this you may ask, because maybe you are not fully aware of our Sanctuary of Remembrance? If you would like your Loved One or your Favourite Pet to be remembered, then why not send a card, photograph or article that you would like to rest on the Altar of Remembrance, where prayers are said daily for those now at peace. Brother Roy

By Brother Mandus
Why not treat yourself to a good read and order one of the following Books: ‘Power Thinking’ In this book Brother Mandus devotes chapters to ‘The Creative Power of Prayer.’ ‘For Women Only, with Mankind in Mind’ This book tells you why women are ‘Queens’ of the Earth and should aspire to the God-given role that is theirs. ‘The Grain of Mustard Seed’ This book shares the good news about the gospels of Jesus Christ. ‘The Divine Awakening’ This book was written to authenticate Brother Mandus’ adventures in faith. Read about the medically certified cases of divine healing as witnessed by him. All the books are available from the Crusade’s online bookstore at: Or you can order from the Sanctuary. Price £6.00 plus p & p.

Why Faith in God Really Can Relieve Pain

This was an article that was published in the Mail on Sunday newspaper that drew my attention. Research at Oxford University had been carried out to see if one‟s faith in God could relieve pain. In a bizarre experiment, academics at the Oxford Centre for Science of the Mind induced electric shocks to 12 Roman Catholic and 12 atheist volunteers whilst viewing two images. Sassoferrato‟s 17th Century Virgin Annunciate (Virgin Mary,) and Leonardo da Vinci‟s 15th Century Lady with An Ermine. A sparking device was strapped to the back of each participant‟s left hand so that it could deliver an electric shock whilst they viewed the images. The volunteers were not told the true purpose of the experiment, only that it was designed to judge how people felt pain while contemplating pictures of different things. They spent half an hour inside an MRI scanner, receiving a series of 20 electric shocks in four separate sessions while looking at either the religious image or non-religious image. Each time the volunteer had to rate how much it hurt on a scale of 0 to 100.

The Catholic volunteers said that looking at the image of the Virgin Mary made them feel „safe‟, „taken care of‟ and „calm and peaceful‟. More significantly they reported feeling 12 per cent less pain after viewing the religious image. Also the front right-hand side of their brains lit up on the scanner, indicating that the neural mechanisms of pain modulation had been engaged. There was no such brain activity among the atheist volunteers, whose pain and anxiety levels stayed roughly the same throughout the experiment, whilst they found that the Catholic volunteers seemed to block out much of the pain. Writing in the scientific journal „Pain‟, the researchers concluded that at least some religious believers can moderate their pain by thinking about it more positively. I share the same thoughts on faith as expressed by the Anglican Bishop of Durham, the Right Rev Tom Wright, who said: “The practice of faith should and in many cases does, alter the person you are. It can affect the patterns of your brain and your emotions.” So it comes as no surprise to me that this experiment has reached such conclusions. In answer to the many questions I have received regarding faith, I am reminded of H G Wells. He was never a particularly religious man, but after he had studied the history of the human race and had observed human life, he came to an interesting conclusion: “Religion is the first thing and the last thing, and until a man has found God and been found by God, He begins at no beginning, he works to no end. He may have his friendships, his partial loyalties, his scraps of honour. But all these things fall into place and life falls into place only with God.”

I don’t know about you, but at this time of year I’m not really fond of the cold. It makes me feel miserable - and, if I’m honest, a bit bad – tempered at times! Recently I came across an article about the Inuit (Eskimos.) It was by a writer called Gontran de Poncin, who had spent some time living with them. He wrote: - “Here was a people living in the most rigorous climate in the world, in the most depressing surroundings imaginable…shivering in their tents in the autumn, fighting the recurring blizzard in the winter, toiling and moiling fifteen hours a day merely in order to get food and stay alive. Huddling in their igloos through this interminable night, they ought to have been melancholy men…instead, they were a cheerful people, always laughing, never weary of laughter.” Well I now find it difficult to complain about the cold after that! But doesn’t it just go to show that the most important thing is not our circumstances but how we react to those circumstances that really matters.

My Letter to the Lord
Why not share the needs of your family and friends with the Lord right now? That‟s right; just unburden all those thoughts in a letter to Him. This is a release Ministry and we entrust all our fears and worries to Christ. Believe and receive just as a child trusts its earthly parents to care for it, then so we must trust God. We share prayers at nine o‟ clock each weekday morning and your private letter will rest on the Sanctuary Altar. GOD is in your midst as you pray. Feel His love enfolding you and thank Him for the blessing of wellbeing. Now you can share blessings with others. We welcome your personal letters as well! It is a great honour to be able to read your words and to be able to offer prayers for you and your loved ones. All correspondence will receive our sincere attention, and we will help and assist you to the best of our ability, so please write in again soon.

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