Latest news and 'Thought for the day'
Thought for the Day by Tim Gage (Curate)
One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: ‘Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!’ But the other criminal rebuked him. ‘Don’t you fear God,’ he said, ‘since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.’ Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ Jesus answered him, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.’
During the reporting of the last few weeks, something has become quite apparent, people fear to be alone. Perhaps this is not a surprising thing to hear. As people made in the image of God, who is Father, Son, and Spirit, we need the companionship of others to live. Yet one particular characteristic of this pandemic holds the greatest fear for many of us: dying … alone.
Due to the highly contagious nature of COVID-19, immediate family struggle to even be with their loved ones during those final moments. And this has been the case for many who have lost the battle with this virus. I am sorry to bring this up, but it is a grim yet important reminder of the truth of this current situation. Aware of this, I am needing to increasingly grasp that as a Christian, part of our faith involves trusting Jesus even in the manner and timing of our death. Yet from this position, the Bible holds out great encouragement for us.
As we approach Easter we prepare to follow the gospels through the Last Supper, the Cross and out of the Empty Tomb. And it’s because of the truth of this that fear of death cannot cripple us. Luke describes one part of Christ’s death where a thief calls on him for mercy and receives these words that Christians nearing death have treasured ever since: “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise”.
One area where we can share hope with our neighbours then is in that confidence that we are not alone, even if our nearest and dearest can’t attend our dying breaths. God is there with us and preparing to welcome us into paradise.
Book Review by Giles Cockman -
"Reset" by Dr David Jeremiah
I receive daily readings from Dr. David Jeremiah, whose Turning Point ministries have been an excellent source of teaching and encouragement for me these past couple of years.
I'd highly recommend his book "Reset" which has helped me to step back, identify where I've got into bad habits or allowed apathy to dull my desire to serve, focus on and obey God every day. It's been a real wake-up call.
The book uses a specific part of Nehemiah as it's core thread, after he rebuilt the walls of the demolished Jerusalem. As per the overview of the book, we follow Nehemiah's journey, being used by God to transform the Jews from a faithless remnant to a faithful, restored nation. David J parallels the story in Nehemiah to our own daily lives in the 21st century and challenges us by reading the Word and praying for the guidance of the Holy Spirit to renew our faith so it cannot be shaken by the happenings in the world around us.
It's a really practical book with lots of reflective questions. Like our sermons at BH, each chapter closes with application questions and points.
Furthermore, this reading below from David J's daily email bulletin has really moved me and uses the analogy of waves constantly crashing on the shore as a sign of his endless mercies. As we sing "Morning by morning new mercies I see, all I have needed thy hand hath provided, great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me".
Starting with John 1:16, he says:
Waves of Grace
And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.
A famous hymn says, “When sorrows like sea billows roll.” But John 1:16 talks about another kind of billowing reality—“grace for grace.” The idea seems to be drawn from the picture of ocean waves. Out of the fullness of Jesus Christ, we constantly receive one wave of grace after another. Just as a wave swells, curls, and crashes to the shore, then recedes as another follows, so the grace of God comes with endless waves of blessings.
God cares for us so deeply He records our sorrows. Psalm 56:8 says: “You number my wanderings; put my tears into Your bottle; are they not in Your book?”
In some way God captures our tears in His bottle and our pain in His Book. In other words, He cares for every heart pang. If He has captured your tears in His bottle, then let the anointing oil of the Holy Spirit bring comfort to your heart. And if He has written your hurts in His heavenly book, open His earthly Book and find a promise. You will receive one wave of divine grace after another.
Tears are the diamonds of heaven; sighs are a part of the music of Jehovah’s court and are numbered with “the most sublime strains that reach the majesty on high.”
Charles H. Spurgeon
 Horatio Gates Spafford, “It Is Well With My Soul,” 1873.
Helping Your Neighbours across the City
In these rather uncertain times there are many across the City that are finding it really tough.
Please click on the link below for information on the NHS Volunteer Responders organisation which could be a good way for BH Members to help.
Mental Health Awareness 2020
Please follow the link below to our Resources page for more information.