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Verse for the Year: Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23

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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, Sep 27 2020 09:49AM

On Tuesday 22nd September the season officially changed from Summer into Autumn as we passed the equinox. We have certainly been able to tell the change has happened through the weather: the air has become colder, there have been strong winds and we have experienced plenty of rain.


Also at this time of year, many of us will be remembering to thank God for meeting our needs in our Harvest Services. We thank Him for the fruit of the earth as well as the fruit of the sea and for other good things that He provides us with.


All these form part of a promise from God which He made to His servant Noah in the Book of Genesis. God says: “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease” (Genesis 8:22). They are signs of God’s faithfulness to us.


There are times when we worry about what is going on in our world. This is not just everything that is happening with COVID-19, but there is all sorts of tumult in the society we live in and we wonder where this is all going to end and how these things will affect us.


The seasonal changes we are seeing remind us that we are not in control of this world: God is. His world, in the way in which He has established it to run, will endure until His timing is perfect. Jesus is at the heart of these plans. We know that Jesus died on the cross so that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). At the end of history, Jesus is coming again as earth’s King and Judge to claim His people and take them to be with Him forever. As those who trust in Him we are called to be ready and waiting for His return.


The changing seasons should be a sign of encouragement for us. God is keeping His promises year after year as He has done for millennia. The encouragement is that if He can keep these promises then He will certainly keep His promises of salvation to us. Whatever happens in our world and our society we know we can trust the One whose promises remain unchanging and who remains the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).


May our hope and our trust be firmly put in our unchanging God.


By bridcf, Sep 6 2020 09:05AM

Over our summer holidays and going on into the Autumn our ‘home improvement’ project is to clear the garden and to re-plant it to make it ‘wildlife friendly’.


One of the first things we did when we had cleared a patch of ground was to put up a bird feeding station. This is currently being colonised by a flock of sparrows and a rather large pigeon who eats the food from the floor that the sparrows have thrown down from the bird feeders above.


All of these birds are being given free food, which they are happily consuming. Everything is being provided for them.


In Matthew 6:26 Jesus says: Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Here, Jesus is reminding us that although birds do not sow, reap or store away food God still provides for them.


The point Jesus is making to us is one about priorities. He is telling us that the priority in life for God’s people is not to be food and drink, or the clothes we wear. Instead, our priority is to be in trusting and serving Him. If we obey God’s will for our lives then He will provide for us.


Jesus goes on to say that there is no use in worrying about these things or other things that we cannot control. We must give these to God rather than making ourselves anxious. Instead, we are to obey His call to seek first his [God’s] kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Matthew 6:33).


Just as God provides for the sparrows, as we trust and follow Jesus day by day then God will bless us and provide us with everything we need to live life for His glory. We also have the extra blessing of a treasure in heaven to enjoy at the end of life’s journey.


May each of us be encouraged to trust Jesus and see all our needs met in Him.


By bridcf, Aug 30 2020 01:30PM

Whilst we were on our holiday break we paid our annual visit to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park near Doncaster. On display are a wide variety of animals from around the world. You can see lions, tigers, hyenas, giraffes, okapi, red pandas, Gelada monkeys and polar bears. There are even areas where some British wildlife is in evidence!


These things are a reminder to us that it is God alone whose creative power provides us with such a rich variety of creatures to enjoy as part of His creation.


Psalm 24 (verses 1-2) takes up this theme as it says: The world is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters. Creation, in all its vastness, variety and splendour belongs entirely to God and it is a vital pointer to His greatness, glory and power.


If God is the King of Creation, then the Psalm shows us that He is powerful, majestic, mighty and worthy of our praise. However, our Creator is not a King who wants to be held at a distance: the great and glorious God wants us to come to Him. Those who have clean hands and a pure heart (verse 4), who trust in Him and live according to His Word, are those who can come.


Of course, in ourselves, it is impossible to meet these standards, but through Jesus, God’s great and mighty King and warrior, sin and death have been defeated and if we trust in Him we will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God our Saviour (verse 5). If we trust in Jesus we may follow the King of glory (verse 7) into heaven as part of His victory parade.


The psalm’s wonderful message for us is that the Creator and King of the Universe, in all of its splendour and diversity, wants a relationship with us, His created beings, and He has made this possible through Jesus. As we rejoice in the splendour of God’s creation may we also rejoice in what our Creator has done for us so that we may have a real relationship with Him which will last forever.


(Photographs taken on this and previous visits to YWP)


By bridcf, Aug 9 2020 01:07AM

Just recently we received an email from a couple who produce Christian gifts and art, which Aileen and I both liked. We decided to buy one of their Bible verse wall plaques.


On the plaque is a picture of some waves and the tail of a large fish or whale as it descends to the deep. The verse quoted with the picture comes from Isaiah 43:2 and says: 'When you go through deep waters I will be with you.'




This verse is also used in the hymn ‘How firm a foundation ye saints of the Lord’. Here, it says:

'When through the deep waters He calls thee to go,

the rivers of grief shall not thee overflow;

for He will be with thee in trouble to bless,

and sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.'


The message here is that God takes the difficult times we go through and uses them for His purposes. Specifically, the purpose the hymn highlights for us is to sanctify us, which means that the Holy Spirit is at work on the inside to make us more and more like Jesus in our hearts.


So when we go through tough times, as we are at the moment, we need to remember these important things: that God uses these difficult times to shape us as His people for His glory and that we have no reason for fear because whatever happens as His people we are secure in God’s hand.


May God bless us, encourage us and help us to keep our focus on Him so that we would stand firm in Him in these testing times and so bring Him glory.



By bridcf, Aug 1 2020 06:57PM

On Friday night we had some spectacular thunder and lightning over Bridlington. The boys – particularly Joshua – came to watch it at the top of the house with all the lights turned off. They enjoyed the spectacle, although our poor dog did not share their enthusiasm.


Sights and sounds like this reveal something of the tremendous power within nature. But this is not all. These things also remind us of the power of the Creator who made them. As we watch spectacles like lightning storms we should see them as declarations of the greatness, power and splendour of God which are not just intended for His people, but are a powerful message of God’s existence to the whole world.


Psalm 19 directs us to the wonder of God’s creation and the message He has for us there. It tells us that 'the heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands' (verse 1) and that 'their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.' (verse 4)


But God’s powerful message in creation is far surpassed by His message to us in the Bible. Here, He reveals Himself as the only One who has the power to forgive and to save men and women from their sin and grant them His eternal life. That is why the message of God’s forgiving power is so precious. Psalm 19 describes the words of God’s message like this: 'They are much more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.' (verses 10-11)


A thunderstorm can be a tremendous event demonstrating God’s creating power, but there is nothing more powerful than the person whose life has been brought from the darkness of sin to the light of Christ in salvation by the same God who created the universe. There is nothing more powerful than the person whose life is shaped and transformed by God working through His Word in their hearts and lives. May we be people who know the blessing of God’s power being at work within us as we seek to know and grow in Him more and more through the Word He has given to us.


THE PASTOR'S 

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