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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
                                                                  Catholic Church offer practical help
 plant its scientific name: Selaginella   year, as resources allow, and follows a non-denominational editorial policy.  for refugees.
          The Plain Truth is an independent charity.
 lepidophylla), can be found growing in   Company Registration No. 4619778.  Articles
          Registered Charity No. 1098217.
 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.

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