Madrid air crash 18th September 2008

18th September 2008
Dear Praying Friends

You will probably have focused on Spain during the last few weeks as you heard about the terrible air accident at Madrid airport.
It was a sad time for our church in Madrid as one of the passengers was a member of the church which ours had started some twenty years ago in a satellite town near the capital and there is still a very close relationship. (His name was in British press reports).
He was very active in reaching out to surrounding villages. Please pray for his widow and three children, the oldest of whom had just married.

Because of the turmoil and uncertainty in the world today, let us fix our eyes on Jesus continually, as the author and finisher of our faith.

May the Lord bless you in His Service,

Rodney (Dibden) (Gideons)

Life – what’s it all about?

Life – What’s it all about?

We are all travellers on our own individual journey
through life. There are times when we have choices and
decisions to make and we plan ahead the best way we
can. From time to time there are issues such as
education, health care, employment, marriage, housing,
investment, retirement planning and so on which all
need our careful consideration. Our journey may be
uneventful for a time, then, something unexpected can
happen to change our course.
In life there are many questions and uncertainties –
some minor, some important, others critical. Even now
you may be facing one – about health, finance, business,
family or the future.
At different times in our lives we may find ourselves
asking questions about life itself such as – what is life
really all about? Is there life after death? Is God really
Finding answer to these questions is very important for
us all. Good health, financial stability, a happy family
and a hopeful future benefit all of us. However, these
are only temporal, whereas issues about life itself and
God are eternal.

To believe that God exists is one thing, and we can all
know something about Him through the world around
us and the universe beyond. The Bible says of Him …
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim
the work of His hands. Psalm 19 verse 1.
However, it is possible for every one of us to know Him
more than this. God is actually a person and not just a
power or an influence. He thinks, feels and acts in ways
that show us He is a real, personal, living being. But
you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
Psalm 86 verse 15.

God’s main means of speaking to us is through His
written Word, the Bible, which was written by the hands
of men who were directed by God Himself as they
wrote. The Bible is God’s account, past, present and
future of:
• His creation of the world, the universe, mankind and
all living creatures and plant life in perfect harmony
with Himself.
• Man’s rebellion against God which introduced sin
into the world and broke down the perfect
relationship that God had with him.
• His plan to restore man’s relationship with Himself
by rescuing him from the consequences of sin if he
will accept and follow God’s way.
• His plan for the end of the world as we know it and
for eternity.

The pressures and problems of modern day living can
often cause us to ask, “Does my life have any real
meaning or purpose”?
The first thing to understand is that our lives, each one
of us, are all part of God’s greater plan and purpose for
the earth and mankind as a whole. Man is not a highly
developed animal as some have suggested, but was
specially created by God and given a unique place in His
order of things. So God created man in His own image,
in the image of God He created him; male and female,
He created them. God blessed them and said to them,
‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and
subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of
the air and over every living creature that moves on the
ground’. Genesis 1 verse 31.
At that time in history they were perfect people living in
a perfect world, in perfect relationship with each other
and with God.
As you know this is far from the world we see around
us today. So what went wrong?

God made Adam and Eve with attitudes, emotions and
a free will of their own, just like you and me. They had
complete freedom and the only limitation God placed
on them was that they should not eat the fruit of one
particular tree in the garden. And the Lord commanded
the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden,
but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of
good and evil.’. Genesis 2 verses 16, 17.

However, Satan tempted them and they both ate the
fruit. This simple act of disobedience, which God calls
sin, broke down their perfect relationship with Him.
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good
for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for
gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave
some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
Genesis 3 verse 6.

Because they chose to disobey God their previously
perfect nature had now become sinful. From that time
onwards every person who has ever been born has
inherited that same sinful nature and resulting broken
relationship with God.
This has caused us all to make our own way in life,
entirely independent from God. This combination of
sinful nature and independence from God is the cause
of all the problems we see around us in the world today.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Romans 3 verse 23.

As we have seen, sin separates us all from God, and this
has serious consequences. Every person whose sin still
separates them from God when they die, will, when this
world as we know it comes to an end, be called to stand
before God.

This is known as God’s ‘Great White Throne
Judgement’, and it will be a time when each person will
have to give an account of his or her whole life to God.
… For we will all stand before God’s judgement seat. It
is written, ‘As surely as I live’ says the Lord, ‘Every knee
will bow before Me; every tongue will confess to God’.
So then each one of us will give an account of Himself to
God. Romans 14 verses 10-12.

Because their sin continued to separate them from God
right up till the end of their lives they will be sent by
God to eternal torment. He will punish those who do
not know God and do not obey the gospel of the Lord
Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting
destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord
and from the majesty of His power. 2 Thessalonians 1
verses 8, 9.

As we have all been born sinful and separated from
God, then it must mean that we will all end up in eternal
torment, unless of course God has provided a way for
us to escape from these dreadful consequences.
Thankfully He has.

Because God is neither unjust nor unloving, He has
provided one way for us to escape the consequences of
our sin. If we follow His plan we will have our sins
forgiven and instead of spending eternity in torment, we
will be able to spend it with God Himself in eternal
So what is this way that God has provided? Let me
explain. God Himself has determined that the
consequences of sin can only be cancelled out by means
of a sacrifice that involves the shedding of blood. …
without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
Hebrews 9 verse 22.

Originally animals (usually lambs) were sacrificed and
each one had to be perfect. Because the people were
constantly sinning then this sacrifice had to be repeated
year after year. However, the people’s attitude and
behaviour remained unchanged as it was not in their
power to overcome it.
Because God is loving and merciful He wanted to
change the people’s hearts in regard to sin. So, two
thousand years ago, He sent His own Son, Jesus Christ,
into our world for the purpose of dealing with sin and
its consequences by becoming a final, once-and-for-alltime
sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. … but
now He has appeared once for all at the end of the ages
to do away with sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
Hebrews 9 verse 26.

You probably already know something about this, but
in any event, I will set out the details briefly. Jesus was
arrested by the Roman soldiers, taken through a mock
trial, condemned and crucified. He died upon the cross,
and in doing so He took upon Himself all the
consequences of the sins of the whole world. His body
was buried in a tomb but miraculously, three days later,
God raised Him back to life again.

Because Jesus never sinned in any way at all, He was
perfect, just like the lambs that were sacrificed before
Him, and the Bible calls Him … the Lamb of God who
takes away the sin of the world. John 1 verse 29.
This was God’s plan for dealing with the consequences
of all the sin of mankind and for restoring man’s broken
relationship with Himself.

However, not one of us can just take for granted that
Jesus’ sacrifice has dealt with the consequences of our
own sins. There is a personal response that God asks
each one of us to make and it is only by making this
response that our sins are forgiven and our relationship
with God restored.

Only the sincere heartfelt response that God asks for
will release us from being condemned to eternal
torment and separation from God at His judgement.
This response assures us of what the Bible calls our ‘free
gift of salvation’. It is free because there is nothing at all
we can do on our own to earn it. For it is by grace you
have been saved, through faith – and this is not from
yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that
no-one can boast. Ephesians 2 verses 8, 9.

It is only by putting an end to living our own way
independently from God, putting our lives into His
hands and believing by faith what Jesus has done for us,
that our sins are forgiven. This is the way God has
provided for mankind to receive His free gift of
salvation and live with Him for eternity.
Our response to God must be made in this life. God
does not hold us responsible for being born with a
sinful nature, but if we ignore or reject what He has
done to deliver us from that sinful nature and its
consequences, we will remain in danger of eternal
torment until we come to Him in repentance and faith.
Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but
whoever does not believe stands condemned already
because he has not believed in the name of God’s one
and only Son. John 3 verse 18.

• I must acknowledge that I am a sinner and have
lived my life entirely my own way without God. For
all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Romans 2 verse 23.
• I must turn away from all known sin in my life and
from living my own way independently from God.
Repent then and turn to God so that your sins may
be wiped out. Acts 3 verse 19.
• I must believe that Jesus is the Son of God and
trust by faith what the Bible says He did on my
behalf. … that Christ died for our sins, according to
the Scriptures, that He was buried and that He was
raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.
1 Corinthians 15 verses 3, 4.
• I must receive Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. In
doing this I will become a child of God. Yet to all
who received Him, to those who believed in His
name, He gave the right to become children of God.
John 1 verse 12.
• I must tell others what I believe and have done. If
you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord’ and
believe in your heart that God raised Him from the
dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart
that you believe and are justified, and it is with your
mouth that you confess and are saved.
Romans 10 verses 9, 10.
• I must be baptised. Repent and be baptised
everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the
forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift
of the Holy Spirit* Acts 2 verse 38.

*This is God’s Holy Spirit who He promises to
everyone who repents of his sins, to enable him to
live his life God’s way.
This is the response God asks us to make – now. Every
one of us who responds to God in this way will receive
His free gift of salvation.
If you wish to make your own personal response to
God you will find a model prayer further down this page.

When we make this response God asks for, in faith and
sincerity, we have the assurance that all our sins have
been forgiven. We will begin to enjoy a new life here
and now with God at the centre of everything. This will
be for the rest of our lives on this earth and then for
eternity. We will receive this new life from God now
and also strength from His Holy Spirit to help us to live
as He wants us to. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ He
is a new creation: the old has gone, the new has come.
2 Corinthians 5 verse 17.

We will go on to find that we enjoy meeting with other
Christians to worship God and get to know Him. We
will begin to find out about praying (talking to God),
reading the Bible and living our lives by what it says. As
our life changes, we will begin to find we no longer
want to do some of the things we used to do. We will
discover our tastes, lifestyle and outlook all begin to
change too as we find and follow God’s plan and
purpose for our life.

Responding to God is the turning point in our life –
turning from being our own master in all things, from
trusting in our own abilities and ingenuity, and from
relying on fragile and uncertain worldly resources. We
will begin to trust God and allow Him to lead and guide
us more and more. His plan for our lives will begin to
unfold. Trust in the Lord will all your heart and lean not
on your own understanding; in all your ways
acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3 verses 5, 6.

We will begin to understand and experience the love of
God and to find real peace which comes from the
assurance that our life and future are now safe in His
hands. Jesus says … Come to me, all you who are weary
and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke
upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and
humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Matthew 11 verses 28, 29.

You may already attend a church and have experienced
child baptism and/or confirmation. You may already
pray and read your Bible. You may do good deeds and
lead an honest life. If so, that is really good. However,
the Bible clearly shows us that this is not the way God
has provided for us to have our sins forgiven, to receive
His free gift of salvation, to have our relationship with
Him restored and to spend eternity with Him.

Once we have obeyed God by responding to Him as He
wants us to, then some of these activities will become a
natural part of our everyday life. However, on their
own they have no part in securing our salvation, which
is entirely a free gift from God. For it is by grace you
have been saved through faith – and it is not from
yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no
one can boast. Ephesians 2 verses 8, 9.

You may believe you are not good enough or worthy to
receive God’s free gift of salvation. You may feel you
need to try to better yourself in some way before being
able to receive His free gift. Please understand that
Jesus came to save you from the consequences of your
sins no matter what kind of life you have led or what
condition you believe yourself to be in. Don’t wait till
you feel good enough to come to Jesus – come as you
are. He came to seek sinners, not those who already
believe they are good enough. Jesus says … For I have
not come to call the righteous, but sinners.
Matthew 9 verse 13.

The Bible tells us what the world will be like as it draws
to a close. But mark this. There will be terrible times in
the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers
of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their
parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving,
slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the
good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure
rather than lovers of God. 2 Timothy 3 verses 1-4.

As we look at the world around us it is not difficult to
see this Biblical prophecy coming true. God has
revealed it to us for a purpose so we cannot afford to
ignore the facts. Time is passing quickly, so please
consider your own situation and future whilst there is
still time. Please do not ignore or reject God’s free gift
of salvation. I tell you now is the time of God’s favour,
now is the day of salvation. 2 Corinthians 6 verse 2.

When the end of the world as we know it comes, every
person, both past and present, who has accepted God’s
free gift of salvation and whose relationship with Him
has been restored, will enter into eternity to live with
God Himself forever. And I heard a loud voice from the
throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling place 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. 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. Revelation 21
verses 3, 4.

Everyone who has ignored or rejected God’s free gift of
salvation will have to appear before Him at His ‘Great
White Throne Judgement’. God has a book called ‘The
Book of Life’ and in it are all the names of those who
accepted His free gift of salvation and have had their
relationship with Him restored. At that judgement He
will condemn every person whose name is not in the
book to everlasting torment. If anyone’s name was not
found written in the Book of Life, he was thrown into the
lake of fire. Revelation 20 verse 15, and He will punish
those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel
of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with
everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of
the Lord and the majesty of His power.
2 Thessalonians 1 verses 8, 9.

By now you will appreciate that what you have just read
is of great importance to you. Who knows when his life
will end, leaving no further opportunity to respond to
God and receive His free gift of salvation. Please don’t
delay, your eternal future depends on it.
Here is a short personal prayer you can follow as you
make your own personal response to God. This prayer,
said in faith from a sincere heart, will be heard and
accepted by God.

Dear God, I believe in my heart that you are calling me
to become Your child.
I know I am a sinner and have lived my life
independently of you and gone my own way.
I now turn away from all the sin in my life and from
living independently of you, and ask you to forgive me.
I believe that Jesus is Your Son and that He sacrificed
His life on the cross for my sins, that He was buried and
that He rose from the dead after 3 days.
I now commit my life unreservedly into Your hands and
make Jesus Lord of my life.

If you prayed this prayer to God in sincerity, from your
heart, you can be certain that you are now a child of
God, part of His family and part of His church. You
may not feel any different right now, but, emotions
aside, you can trust God’s Word which says … For God
so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son,
that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have
eternal life. John 3 verse 16., and I tell you the truth,
whoever hears my Word and believes Him who sent Me
has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has
crossed over from death to life. John 5 verse 24.

A warm welcome awaits you in your new family now
that you have become a Christian, a child of God. It
will be really good for you to tell your friends and
family. As soon as possible you should become part of
a church where you can worship God, get to know Him
and enjoy good fellowship with other Christians. You
will also need to be baptised so take this further step
and begin to experience life as God intended.

The person who gave you this booklet will be able to
help you find a church where you feel at home and they
will also be able to answer any questions you might
For further help please contact:
E-mail: costablancaemail

The writer is grateful to the following publishers for their permission to use extracts from their highly acclaimed publications in the production of this booklet.
• “My Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chambers, copyright 1927,
Oswald Chambers Publications Association Limited, used by
permission of Discovery House Publishers, 3000 Kraft Avenue SE,
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49512, USA..

• “Ultimate Questions” by John Blanchard, copyright Evangelical Press
1987, used by permission of Evangelical Press, Faverdale North
Industrial Estate, Darlington, DL3 0PH, England.

Scripture verses taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society, used by permission of Hodder & Stoughton Limited.

This message is written and produced by Malcolm Hedley,
Costa Blanca Mission, 
E-mail: costablancaemail
Please respect the authorship of this article. For permission to use or adapt this material in full or in part, please contact me at the email address above.
And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Saviour of the world
1 John 4 v 14

Zimbabwe 10th June 2008

10 June, 2008
Zimbabwe Call to prayer for Zimbabwe

It has been years now that the nation of Zimbabwe is going through severe turmoil. The people of this nation are in one of the worst humanitarian crises known to the world – famine, as well as threatened by a political time bomb.
On 27 June, 2008, they will have another round of elections to vote for president. There are rumours and reports of a lot of atrocities committed in this nation. The solution to this nation’s problems is not political, social, economical or humanitarian, but spiritual. Over the past few years many people have prayed and are still praying that God will intervene in this nation’s struggle. Now is the time that we must express our faith that God is in control and that He does answer prayer. Let us, as never before, cry out to God to have mercy and let us trust Him.
Mark 11:23 Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.
Let us pray the following in Unity:
“I confess and believe that the Triune God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is sovereign and rules from heaven and is in control over Zimbabwe!”
Psa 47:8 God reigns over the nations; God sits on his holy throne.
Jer 10:7 Who would not fear you, O King of the nations? For this is your due; for among all the wise ones of the nations and in all their kingdoms there is none like you.
“I confess and believe that God sees and responds to everything that happens in Zimbabwe!”

Psa 2:1-4 Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.” He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision.
Psa 33:13-15 The LORD looks down from heaven; he sees all the children of man; from where he sits enthroned he looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth, who fashions the hearts of them all and observes all their deeds.
Gen 16:13 So she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.”
“I confess and believe that God has a purpose and a plan for Zimbabwe!”

Act 14:16 In past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways.
Act 17:26-27 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us.
Isa 14:26 This is the purpose that is purposed concerning the whole earth, and this is the hand that is stretched out over all the nations.
“I confess and believe that God answers prayer!”

Isa 41:17 When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst, I the LORD will answer them; I the God of Israel will not forsake them.
Isa 58:9-10 Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’ If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.
Matt.7:7 Keep on asking and it will be given to you.
“I confess and believe that God will bring salvation!”

Psa 42:11 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.
Psa 79:9 Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; deliver us, and atone for our sins, for your name’s sake!
“I confess and believe that God wants the wicked to repent and turn to Him!”

Eze 18:23 Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord GOD, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?
“I confess and believe that the lives of the righteous are in God’s hand and that He controls life and death!”

Job 12:10 In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.
“I confess and believe that justice will come to Zimbabwe!”

Luke 18:7 And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them?
“I confess and believe that God’s mercy will triumph over judgement!”

Jas 2:13 For judgement is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgement.
“I confess and believe that forgiveness is available for every sin of Zimbabwe!”

Eph 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,
Luke 24:46-47 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”
“I confess and believe that light will overcome darkness!”

John 1:4-5 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
“I confess and believe that God loves the people of Zimbabwe!”

Rom 8:35-39 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
“I confess and believe that the church in Zimbabwe will bring glory to the Name of Jesus!”

Mat 16:18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
“I confess and believe that help is available right now at the throne of grace in this hour of Zimbabwe’s need!”

Heb 4:16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on Zimbabwe

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Matthew 5 v 9)

Our confidence is in the Lord

6th January 2008
On the first Sunday of this year we sang “Our confidence is in the Lord”.
During the week following that Sunday I found that this was really tested, to a point where I had difficulty sleeping.
During prayer I was reminded of that hymn and those words “Our confidence is in the Lord”. I had to really give those problems to the Lord and make an effort to believe that my confidence was truly in Him.

By focussing on believing, the problems, for various reasons disappeared, I was so blessed.

Dear Heavenly Father:
Help us, Lord, to have our confidence in You alone. Help us to trust You. We know Lord, that we cannot trust in mankind, his wisdom or ability.
We need your help to strengthen our faith , based on Jesus Christ, especially in difficult times, and to give Praise and Worship, Honour and Glory to You at all times.
We pray especially at this time for each fellowship listed on our website. That they will grow closer to You, and for the leaders to be God pleasers rather than man pleasers. That each fellowship will be effective in showing Christ’s love to others, to be a witness for His Kingdom. We pray that only the true Word is preached in each of those fellowships and that YOU alone are glorified.

Hebrews 4 v 16
“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Psalm 62 v 1
“Truly my soul silently waits for God; from Him comes my salvation.
He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved.”
Jane – 6th January 2008

prayer diary – prayer requests – prayer podcasts – all about prayer!