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Hope springs eternal…                                                                                                                                      A magazine of understanding

                                                                                                                                     ISSN 2058-5454                                     Cover story
                                                                                                                                     Issue 61, Volume 80                                6    A new reformation
               ’ve just been reading about a rather                                                                                  Spring-Summer 2017
                                                                                                                                     Editor Mary Hammond
               fascinating desert flower, whose life                                                                                 Design Plain Truth Studio                                 The Church can longer
                                                                                                                                                                                             measure its success through
                                                                                                                                     Copy Editor Jane Bravo
            Icycle is not only remarkable, but                                                                                       Archivist: Astrid Nordfjell                             attendance figures. So how
             quite thought-provoking too. ‘The                                                                                       The Plain Truth, P.O. Box 4421, Worthing BN14 8WQ.      can we judge if Christianity is
                                                                                                                                     Tel: (01903) 263354.  Fax: (01903) 830066.
             Rose of Jericho’, also known as the                                                                                     Advertising sales: Karl Ayling. Tel: (01903) 604342.    doing its job?
             ‘Resurrection flower’ (or to give the                                                                                   The Plain Truth began publication in 1934. This edition appears four times a   Cover: Volunteer members from a
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             plant its scientific name: Selaginella                                                                                  year, as resources allow, and follows a non-denominational editorial policy.  for refugees.
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             lepidophylla), can be found growing in                                                                                  Company Registration No. 4619778.                  Articles
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             the desert regions of the Middle East                                                                                   The Plain Truth (Ltd) is a company limited by guarantee.
             and Central America.                                                                                                    Copyright © 2017 The Plain Truth.                  8    Exploring aloneness and loneliness in our lives
                                                                                                                                     The Plain Truth is a registered trade mark.               A place to avoid, or an opportunity to embrace
                                                                                                                                     Printed in England by Newman Thomson, Burgess Hill, West Sussex.   and strengthen our faith?
             This resilient little plant can live quite happily in the arid                                                          Unless noted otherwise, scriptures are taken from The Holy Bible, New
             desert conditions until its environment becomes just too                                                                International Version, copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible   12  The conquest of fear
             hostile and its life-giving supply of moisture ceases. Then   The Plain Truth, we have brought together a number of     Society. Used by permission.                              In our world of fearfulness, Christianity makes a
             its branches dry up and curl inwards, forming a dead-  thought-provoking and reflective articles from our authors.      Trustees:
             looking round ball. It retracts its roots and waits in hope for   We look at topics that we hope will encourage our readers,   Sarah Anderson (Treasurer)                       remarkable claim.
             the desert winds to carry the plant to an area where there is   when circumstances in our lives – or the life of the Church   Gerrie Bayley                                14  Pray continually (reader testimony)
             water and it can continue to survive.                – seem negative, or the numbers just don’t stack up for a          Dr Peter Brierley
               But possibly the most amazing fact I discovered in the   successful outcome.                                          Mary Hammond                                              When things aren’t working out, despite our best
             report from Scientific Journal, Plant Science , was even after   Some of the subjects we cover include: overcoming fear;   Rev Roy Lawrence                                     laid plans, prayer is the answer.
             as much as 50 years without water, the plant can ‘resurrect’   aloneness and loneliness; answered prayer, and of course,   UPDATE ABOUT THE PLAIN TRUTH
             in a very short period of time – but only when it comes into   hope. For the Christian, seeking God’s help and renewing                                                    16   Let go – and let God
             contact with water.                                  our strength through prayer is very much like the life-         WEBSITE                                                      Are there things that we need to ‘let go’ in order
               Now you may already be ahead of me in this analogy, and  giving water to the Rose of Jericho. And like that small
             you can possibly see how this study captured my interest by   desert plant, restoration and transformation though seeking   Work is now underway on our new Plain               to move ahead?
             drawing parallels to the Christian’s life. But let me share my   the spiritual source of our strength can often happen   Truth website which we hope to have               19  The search for meaning
             thoughts with you.                                   without delay.                                                  completed as soon as funds permit. In the   THE PLAIN TRUTH  An important lesson of keeping hope alive –
                                                                    The Christian life was never promised to be an easy           meantime, if you’d like to get in touch with   APPEAL 2017
             A hard route to travel                               one. Rather, it is a life focussed and reliant on a creator     us to make a donation, or you have any                     despite the circumstances.
             The Christian life can be subject to hard and hostile times   God who loves us and gives us strength to deal with life’s   other questions to ask, then please contact       20  Bible characters: Potiphar’s wife
             as we can read in Corinthians : ‘We are hard pressed on every   challenges and do his work. And that work is showing   us via the following:
             side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted,   the world that we have a source of inner strength, despite   Donations: or telephone our        A story of temptation, rejection, revenge and
             but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed’. And in   the circumstances, and a hope within us. However, the   Donations Office on 01903 264556                           remorse.
             fact we know many of you reading this very magazine are   Christian hope doesn’t just lie in the things of this world,
             going through very tough personal battles. (You’ve written   but in a better world to come.                          Editorial:  or telephone 01638 741549  Regular features
             and told us so.) Others live in troubled and dangerous   A type of hope that is perhaps described by 18  century     Subscriptions and Enquiries:
             parts of the world. Places like Egypt, India and Pakistan   poet, Alexander Pope:                                    or telephone 01903 263354
             where living as a Christian puts the individual at risk of   Hope springs eternal in the human breast;                                                                     2    Editorial
             persecution for their faith.                           Man never Is, but always To be blest.                          PLEASE DONATE: Although we do not charge a subscription price for   4    Letters to the Editor
               During these times of hardship we can sometimes feel   The soul, uneasy, and confin’d from home,                    The Plain Truth, we are grateful to any readers who are able, through
             like curling up and withdrawing from the world around us,   Rests and expatiates in a life to come .                  donations, to support our desire to bring spiritual knowledge and   18  In the news
             just like the Rose of Jericho. But sometimes that’s just what                                                         understanding to our increasingly secular society. Cheques should be made
             we need to do for a while in our Christian journey – to                                                               payable to ‘The Plain Truth’ and sent to PO Box 4421, Worthing, BN14 8WQ.   22  A view from the High Street
                                                                                                                                   While our website is being renewed, you can find out further information via
             take some time out to reflect and pray before we can start   1  Plant Science, Volume 170, Issue 6, published June 2006, Pages 1173–1184.  email: or telephone The Plain Truth Donations   23  Hmm...
                                                                  2  Corinthians 4:8-10.
             to move forward again. In this Spring/Summer issue of   3  From An Essay on Man by Alexander Pope.                    Office on 01903 264556.                             Photos in this issue: unless stated otherwise.

             2 2 2  The Plain Truth  Spring-Summer 2017                                                                                                                                                      Spring-Summer 2017  The Plain Truth    3
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