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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, Jun 22 2020 10:10AM

Most of us are now fed up of being under lockdown and so we need to have a focus of hope to get us through it. For some this has been being able to see friends and family or visit a garden centre. For others it is looking forward to enjoying a meal in a café or restaurant, visiting museums and places of interest when they re-open or going away on holiday. These are hopes that are well worth seeing fulfilled.


It is wonderful when our hopes are fulfilled and this is what the Christian life is all about – having a hope in an inheritance in heaven that Jesus has won for us and promises us is ours in Him. The Bible says:


Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:3-5)


Here is God’s wonderful hope that Jesus guarantees for us. We don’t have to worry about when it might be fulfilled or if it might happen because Jesus has made sure that it will. It is a sure and certain hope and it is a living hope because it is alive in Jesus. This is something we can hold on to in all of life’s struggles.


But Peter also points out that not only is Jesus giving us that living hope of an inheritance in heaven, but God is also shielding us and making sure that we get there to enjoy it! We need to be encouraged that our hope and trust in Jesus is one day going to be wonderfully fulfilled.


I pray that this living hope will help us to keep on going in our present situation and in whatever the future holds until the time when it is gloriously fulfilled and we are with the Lord forever.


By bridcf, Jun 14 2020 10:04AM

Every Wednesday, along with about 140 other church leaders, I attend a training session called ‘Leadership in Lockdown’. Of course, we can’t physically meet together, but technology allows us to meet online and communicate with one another.


This week the leader who hosts the meetings was looking to see who was there and commented on the backgrounds that they were sitting in front of. Some (like me) were sitting in front of bookcases, some in front of mantelpieces filled with family photographs and one person even appeared to be sitting in front of a chandelier. Technology had allowed the leader (as well as the rest of us) to gain a small insight into people’s homes and lives.


Seeing into others’ lives is the theme of one of my favourite psalms: Psalm 139. Whilst technology can only give us a small snapshot into the lives of others, this psalm shows us that God knows and sees the full picture of our lives. The opening verses say: O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. (verses 1-3)


David wrote this psalm. He found the thought that God knew everything about him very comforting because it showed that God loved him and cared for every detail of his life. David trusted God and knew that as he sought to be faithful to Him in life’s difficulties that God would be with him to lead and guide him in right ways.


David also knew that God could see his heart. So he asks this of God: Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (verses 23-24) He wants God to lead him in His right ways of salvation so that he can honour Him from his heart and with his life.


In our current lockdown situation this psalm should encourage us that God is with us. He sees and knows everything about us and about the situation we are in. We can be comforted by this knowledge and bring all things that trouble us and cause us anxiety to Him in prayer and be sure of His help and guiding through the current crisis, throughout life and to our place with our Saviour in heaven.


By bridcf, Jun 7 2020 09:23AM

I recently celebrated my birthday and one of the gifts that I was given was a map of Kingston-upon-Hull, which is where I come from, showing the main routes in the city. However, this map is a bit different because it is based on the famous London Underground map which simplifies the route of the railway lines and gives each one a different colour. So, on this map of Hull, the main routes have all been given different colours and the road layouts simplified. There is an advantage to this kind of map as it is easy to read and clearly shows you where you need to go.


As Christians we believe that God has given us a clear map and directions for travel for the whole of life. The map comes with the following instructions: Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)


Of course, the map we are given is the Bible. It is the route map to being made right with God through what He has done for us in Jesus and, once we have put our trust in Him, it is His way to guide us through life until we reach our destination in heaven. It is the map that we need on our journey day by day as we seek to trust and follow Jesus in every situation that we face.


What should bring us comfort and encouragement in times like these is that the Bible, God’s map for us, never changes and as we seek to follow that map closely He will lead us through every difficulty and trial that we are called to face.


May God encourage each one of us to keep our destination clear in our hearts and use the map He has given to us carefully so that we know His strength in each situation and reach the goal He has prepared for us.


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.


THE PASTOR'S 

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