Latest news and 'Thought for the day'
Thought for the Day by Alex Forrest (Voluntary Staff Worker)
14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Has anyone else found the fight against temptation particularly hard over the last 10 months? Exhaustion, boredom, depression, feeling like we’re just repeating the same thing over and over; the desire to escape into areas of self-fulfilment always feels strongest at times like these. Those things that we cling to for comfort, other than our Lord Jesus, feel just that bit more tempting, even if our faith may feel strong.
I find this message from Paul so encouraging and relatable in our battles against sin. When we fall into sin, we really feel like we are doing what we don’t want to do and not doing what we want to do, particularly now. How often do we find ourselves drawn to our phones before our bibles? How often do we spend hours wallowing in sadness before even thinking to pray? How often do we feel the sin within us controlling our desires instead of the Holy Spirit?
We know that sin always follows us in this life. It is always there hanging over us, tempting us in, talking us down. For 11 out of the 12 verses in this last section of Romans 7; the story seems cripplingly sad and inescapably broken. It looks like sin will always beat us in our weak flesh.
But that incredible verse 25 reminds us of our deliverance. It reminds us that sin is a defeated enemy. It reminds us that God has saved, redeemed, and rescued us from the clutches of sin through his son Jesus Christ.
In our painful and scary temptations, we can feel the peace of God which transcends all understanding guarding our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. We can feel a renewed determination to stand firm against sin, the world and the Devil. And we can know that our sin will never be greater than the love God has for us.
Thought for the Day by Ben Martin (Curate)
If you were to scroll down to the the Bulletin from last Tuesday you would have read my last bulletin where I talked about being a child of God. Quoting 1 John 3:1 ‘See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are
Well today I’m going to turn the tables…
Imagine this… a child comes home from school one day looking somewhat downcast. You ask them why and they say no one played with them at lunch?
What do you do?
How about this one? An email pings into your child’s inbox. It's from the University they hope to go to. They call you in excitedly. You open it together and it is a rejection letter saying they haven’t got a place.
What do you do?
Or imagine this unlikely scene… the kids are playing outside having fun with each and being kids… they start climbing the tree. They know they aren’t meant to. You’ve told them a thousand times not to because they will hurt themselves. You see them do it again and tell them again not to. A minute later you hear a shout and the tears come flooding as they’ve hurt themselves… just like you said.
What do you do?
What is the answer to all those… give them a hug, show them love and kindness.
In sadness, in rejection and in something that is their own fault as their parent what do you do? Give them a hug, show them love and kindness.
If that is what you would do as a parent, how much more will God.
In our sadness he is there.
In our rejections he is there.
Even in our sin he is there.
Because that is what a Father does.
God is a Father who we can always come to, in fact, he is a Father who always wants us to, regardless of what we have done.
(If you have time read Luke 11:11-13 & 15:11-32 and consider what sort of Father God we have).
Post Service Coffee Zoom on Sundays
On Sunday 31st our post service coffee will not just be a chat but the opportunity to ask questions about the Mental Health Awareness series of sermons on Lamentations 3 so far. This is an opportunity to understand further and discuss together.
It won't be a clinic to share our own difficulties, but there is a place for that, and we want to support and help one another all we can. So if you're struggling at the moment, please don't struggle alone. Get in touch with one of the staff or a trusted friend, or ask us for advice on who might be a good counsellor. It's one thing having a series on Mental Health Awareness, but we need to be able to help one another with this as well. And sometimes that means being able to ask for help too.
The series on Lamentations 3 goes on until February 14th, and you can catch up with the previous weeks on our YouTube channel.
Latest news update from the Friths in Bolivia
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Thought for the Day by Phil Washington (BH Member)
A Call to Courage
‘Be strong and courageous’ Joshua 1:9
Courage is the sword that vanquishes fear, and we need to wield it more often as Christians. I know that some are ‘timid’ by nature and that their knees buckle at the first whiff of danger. Yet, all believers are called to live courageously for the Lord.
What a task was given to Joshua to lead the people of God into the Promised Land. It was already occupied, and the towns were well defended. The people within them were strong, ready to fight and numerous. No walkover victory, you’d think. But to this task Joshua was called by God. ‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged’ the Lord said to him here in verse 9 – ‘For I am with you’.
We as Christians are called – even commanded – to be courageous. Our real enemies, are, by and large, unseen and fearful. They are the ‘principalities and powers’ in Ephesians 6:12. Normal life has it’s battles too. There are heartaches, disappointments, losses, defeats, griefs, illnesses and even death. But courage looks at these in the eye and faces up to all that comes along. It TRUSTS and RESTS in the Almighty power of God, who promises help, strength, deliverance and His presence. With faith it defeats the fear that lurks, goads, or even jumps out at us. ‘Fear not’ commands the Lord. Faith responds ‘Alright Lord, I’ll be strong, faithful and courageous, trusting in You’.
Brothers and sisters in Christ. We are going to need great courage in the days ahead. So, sharpen up your sword ready for battle.
Praying for Our Country
A message from Phil:
Thank you so much to all of you who prayed last week for the NHS, whether that was on your own or with others on Friday evening.
We want to carry on praying, not just for the NHS, but for our country and beyond during this pandemic.
It's hard to find a good time that everyone can make, but we've chosen every Wednesday at 7.00pm for 30 minutes. For some this will be just before Small Group, so I really encourage you to come to this first, then go to Small Group (even if it's a little shorter to compensate). For others it's children's bed-time. So why not pray for our country with your children every Wednesday? I know many will be doing that already.
I've set aside each Wednesday at 7.00pm until the end of February. We may continue after that - who knows what the situation will be then? But for the moment why not join me in making that commitment to pray for our Country, each Wednesday evening, 7.00pm on Zoom? Join via ChurchSuite, see you on Wednesday.
Thought for the Day by Phil Moon (Vicar)
Praying in a global pandemic? Of course we do.
Last Friday we had a good pray for the NHS, and we’ll be praying each Wednesday at 7.00pm for half an hour on Zoom, not just for the NHS but for our country and beyond. When you’re in a pickle the natural response is to cry for help; that’s what we’ll be doing, and I’m sure we’ve all been praying for our country a lot in recent months. Crying for help. And our prayer meetings are a communal call for help.
It’s always particularly struck me how communal the early churches were, and I’ve been reminded of it again just this week. They ate together, they did evangelism together, they met together, they shared possessions together, they suffered together, and when things were good or perhaps particularly when things were bad, they prayed together. Of course they did.
Here’s just one example from Act 12. I love v5 “So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.” Of course they were. It’s what we expect isn’t it?
And I think if you asked people around here what they’d expect the church to be doing during a global pandemic, some of them at least would be expecting us to be praying. Together. Of course they would.
Praying in a global pandemic? Of course we do.
Thought for the Day by Simon James-Morse (Minister of Goldstone Church)
11 For this is the message which you [believers] have heard from the beginning [of your relationship with Christ], that we should [unselfishly] love and seek the best for one another;
16 By this we know [and have come to understand the depth and essence of His precious] love: that He [willingly] laid down His life for us [because He loved us]. And we ought to lay down our lives for the believers.
1 John 3:11, 16 (AMP)
It is easy to say the words, “I love you.” But putting these words into action is much more difficult because it requires more of us. It means being inconvenienced for someone – even laying down our lives for one another. Hopefully, we won’t ever have to ‘take a bullet’ or jump in front of a speeding train for someone. However, we may be called to put our agenda to one side and place the interests and needs of others before our own. As Christians, we are called to show this love-in-action to our families and our communities.
This calling is costly. It requires that we forgive, speak the truth, carry each other’s burdens, pray for one another, and yes, even lay down our own self-interests. It means living out all those “one another” Bible passages. This is a great calling and one we cannot do on our own. We need the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives to love others.
But when we love with more than just words, we are following Jesus’ example. To see the grandest gesture of love, look to the cross at Calvary. This is complete, pure and unconditional love in action. When we realise what Jesus did for us, we respond by loving Him – and loving others.
Dear Lord, the call to love others more than myself is a hard one. I confess that, deep down, I am selfish and prideful by nature. I need Your help to show true love to those You have placed in my life. Help me to love my family through my actions. Help me to love my friends through my tone of voice and attitude. Help me to love my co-workers by gladly doing things for them that seem hard or uninteresting. Thank You that through the power of the Holy Spirit I can be a light for You by the way I treat others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Thought for the Day by Matt Jones (Associate Minister for Music)
A real New Years resolution
We are back in the post-exilic period again! (See 08/01 for Ezra thought for the day)
This time we are in the account of Nehemiah. Ezra is involved, you can find him back in chapter 8, and with the other priests and Levites they are teaching and instructing the people. It may be worth you slowly reading through these chapters at another time, but to give you a summary:
Chapter 8 - Ezra and co. teach people what God’s word says
Chapter 9 - The people realise they haven’t lived rightly before God, according to His word, and confess their sins
Chapter 10 - After confessing their sin, the people recommit to God with promises.
This pattern we see in Scripture often. God’s Word leads people to repent and to recommit to God.
I don’t know if you made a New Years Resolution this year. To be honest, I think it’s gone out of fashion. It could be because people don’t really want to commit to change! It’s much easier to attempt to live up to standard you didn’t promise. But when faced with real truth, the truth of God’s Word, it cuts us to the quick (Hebrews 4:12) and we need to change.
So maybe you didn’t make a New Years Resolution this year, but there is always a good moment to turn to God, confess our sins and failings to Him, and to recommit this year and the rest of our live to Him.
Pray for the NHS with Phil and Anna
“Faithful in Prayer”
If you missed the video earlier in the week about praying for the NHS the video is below.
Reminder that there will be a prayer meeting specifically for the the NHS with Phil and Anna on Zoom on this evening, 7.30. The link is on ChurchSuite or click the button below
Let’s be Faithful in Prayer for the NHS.
Thought for the Day by Rich Arnold
Mental Health Awareness 2021
Please follow the link below to our Resources page for more information.
We have now restarted in church services with 8.00am, 10.00am and 6.30pm services. Numbers for the 10am & 6.30am services will still be limited and must be booked in advance via MyChurchSuite or the website. These services will still be livestreamed on YouTube which can be accessed direct via the website or via MyChurchSuite.