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Verse for the Year: Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. 1 Chronicles 16:11

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In light of Government guidelines regarding coronavirus all of our services and meetings are now suspended until further notice.

 

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During March 2020 all of our services and meetings were suspended due to the impact of and Governement response to the coronavirus pandemic. As part of my keeping in touch with everyone I began to write weekly letters. These blog posts are simply extracts from those letters.

By bridcf, May 31 2020 11:35AM



We have been fascinated recently by the sunflower seeds that our boys planted and which were left on the study windowsill to germinate. Youngest son looked at them every day to see if anything was happening and after four days there was still no sign of growth. But when we got up on the morning of the fifth day five shoots had poked through the soil. Even more fascinating was the fact that another shoot could be seen just about to break the surface of the soil and had pushed right through by evening. The boys are now in competition to see whose seeds can produce the tallest sunflower!


As fascinating as this is and as bright and beautiful the sunflowers will be when they are fully grown, they will not last. The prophet Isaiah tells us this: The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever. (Isaiah 40:8)


For us as God’s people it is a call for us to look to what lasts. There can be many things in life that are like sunflowers. They grow big, tall and beautiful very quickly and can dominate our lives as they put everything else in their shade, but they will not last. On the other hand, Isaiah 40 is about the lasting comfort and strength that God’s people have. This comes from God’s message of salvation in the Bible that is fulfilled through Jesus and which we can know if we put our trust in Him. 1 Peter 1:23 puts it like this: For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.


We can enjoy the beauty of sunflowers for a short time but we must make sure that our lasting focus is fixed on Jesus.



By bridcf, May 23 2020 05:03PM

We are really beginning to notice a change in the seasons – the weather is becoming warmer, the days are getting longer, flowers are beginning to bloom and birds are busy building nests.


These things all point us to God their Creator and act as a reminder of His great faithfulness to us. In the Bible God promises this: As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease. (Genesis 8:22)

So often we take these things for granted but the Bible tells us that they happen because God is faithful to us and it is He alone who makes sure that the seasons take place as they should.

It is important that we are reminded of God’s continued faithfulness when the world seems to be so full of uncertainty. We can be encouraged that as we see His faithfulness displayed in the changing seasons then He will certainly be faithful to us, whatever the circumstances we are facing.


The words of a well-known hymn sum it up like this:


Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,

sun, moon and stars in their courses above,

join with all nature in manifold witness

to Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.


Great is Thy faithfulness!

Great is Thy faithfulness!

Morning by morning new mercies I see;

all I have needed Thy hand hath provided,

great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!


May we continue to look to God’s faithfulness as our strength and encouragement as we seek to live for Him day by day.


By bridcf, May 10 2020 11:38AM

One of our favourite second-hand bookshops is Barter Books at Alnwick in Northumberland. It is one of the largest second-hand bookshops in Europe and has been described as ‘the British Library of second-hand bookshops’.


But it is not just the large number and extensive range of books that the shop is famous for.


A number of years ago, in 2000, the owners of the shop bought a box of old books at auction. In the box was a motivational poster produced by the British government in 1939 in preparation for World War II which said ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’. Although over 2 million copies were printed, the poster was only rarely publicly displayed.


One journalist has described the poster as ‘an inspiring message from the past to the present in a time of crisis.’


‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ is good advice for all of us in our current lock-down situation. But it is not simply being 'calm' that we need. We also need a real sense of peace in order to cope with the daily pressures that we have to face.


The Bible says this: You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you (Isaiah 26:3). We can know real peace, even in the hardest situations, as we put our trust in the eternal God and look to Him as our strength and our salvation. He gives us hope for the future and walks with us day by day, leading and guiding us through life.


May God help each one of us not just to ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ but to know His peace in this situation as we seek to be steadfast in trusting Him day by day.








By bridcf, May 4 2020 02:39PM

On one of our daily walks along the sea front during the last week we were thrilled when we spotted our first swallow of the year. Swallows are a great sign that change is happening and that summer is on the way.


We can see other signs of change around us too. Trees are coming into blossom and birds are busy building their nests. These things remind us that our world is full of change.


Our own lives are also full of change. We meet new people, we move house or job, we embrace modern technology, we get older.


We are currently living through a time of change that no-one could have anticipated as we cope with social distancing and the restrictions of lockdown.


But the Bible gives us a great encouragement here. Whatever may change in the world around us or in our own lives, Jesus never changes. The Bible says this: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever. (Romans 13:8)


What this means for us is that Jesus’ promises to love us and help us and guide us never change. They are promises that are always true: yesterday, today and forever. They are promises that mean we can trust Him at all times and with all things.


There is an old chorus that reminds us of this great truth:


Yesterday, today, for ever, Jesus is the same.

All may change, but Jesus never! Glory to His Name!

Glory to His Name! Glory to His Name!

All may change, but Jesus never! Glory to His Name!


As we cope with the changes around us, let us be thankful that Jesus remains the same yesterday, today and for ever.


By bridcf, Apr 27 2020 01:16PM

On Thursday 23rd April we saw a range of comedians, celebrities and even royalty come together on the BBC for The Big Night In, a collaboration between Comic Relief and Children in Need to raise money for those who are most in need during the current Coronavirus pandemic. Many of those appearing on the programme wore clothing with the slogan Love Wins on it. The idea behind this was that even though we are all going through an awful time if we are generous and care for one another then out of this dreadful situation love wins. It is very much the message of hope that we need at the moment.


Love Wins is also the core of God’s message of hope to all of humanity. The Bible tells us: 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 3:16) Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross so that we could know God’s forgiveness from sin and begin a new relationship with Him that lasts forever demonstrated for all time that God’s Love Wins.


As Christians, we can be assured and encouraged that God’s Love Wins is where our hope truly lies both for the present time as well as into the future.


But God’s Love Wins demands a response of love from us, also. It demands a love that puts God and following Him first. It demands a love that cares for one another as His people. It demands a love that is shown to our community so that Jesus is revealed to those who do not yet know Him.


God’s Love Wins. Let us rejoice in His victory. God’s Love Wins. Let us respond in love to one another. God’s Love Wins. Let us relay His message of hope to others.


God’s Love Wins.


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