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506, 2020

Does trust in God remove anxiety?

By |June 5th, 2020|

Does trust in God remove anxiety? “Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” Psalm 62:8 Have you ever felt bad for feeling bad? Have you ever felt ungodly for feeling uncertain about the future? For feeling anxious or depressed? Have you ever thought to yourself: “If only I trusted God more, I wouldn’t be feeling this way”? If you have, you’re certainly not alone, but you’re also not entirely correct. Of course, our fears and anxieties can be, and often are, driven by a lack of trust in God; by our failure to properly and deeply apply the promises of God to our hearts. But it’s not exclusively or always the case. And the assumption that if

2905, 2020

Let The Children Come

By |May 29th, 2020|

Let the Children Come It’s fair to say that COVID-19 has impacted all of our lives in some way. I don’t know about you but this is certainly not how I imagined 2020 would unfold. And yet, in a lot of ways, we’ve adapted quite well to our new kind of ‘normal’, even as we miss aspects of our pre-COVD-19 life. Technology and lots of hard work has allowed us to continue to engage in our weekly worship service via Church Online. What a blessing to be able to gather across our homes on a Sunday, to sing to God, to pray to Him and to hear from His Word. I trust that you and your family have leaned into God and the truth of His unfailing love, as

2205, 2020

Musings from the Middle East: Bethlehem

By |May 22nd, 2020|

Musings from the Middle East: Bethlehem Modern day Bethlehem is not a particularly pleasant place to be. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of fascinating history to see there. But the town is an overcrowded, bustling, unattractive tourist magnet. On every corner are the same overpriced souvenirs, and the town itself is poorly maintained and built on top of itself. It is nothing like the nativity postcard pictures of Bethlehem. Even the Church of the Nativity, possibly the most famous church in the world, built over the traditional site of Jesus’ birth, is a bit underwhelming. It is a series of structures built on top of each other, covering some rock caves with carvings and shrines created over the last 2,000 years. Perhaps the most spiritually attractive part

1505, 2020

Jesus Building His Church

By |May 15th, 2020|

Jesus is Building His Church Jesus once said, “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18). I don’t know about you but I used to think ‘the gates of hell’ represented Satan’s kingdom. I thought that Jesus was saying that he would build his church and that Satan’s kingdom could not stop it. I can remember hearing preachers talk about how gates weren’t weapons – and getting excited about how that meant Satan was on the defence! However, I don’t think that is what this verse is actually saying. The Greek phrase behind ‘gates of hell’ literally reads ‘gates of Hades’. Actually, this is how many other English versions translate it (NIV, NASB, CSB). Basically, ‘Hades’ represents the realm or

805, 2020

Story Behind the Song: Because He Lives

By |May 8th, 2020|

Story Behind the Song: Because He Lives With Mother’s Day this weekend, it seems fitting to share the story behind the well-known song ‘Because He Lives’. You might be wondering; how does this song relate to Mother’s Day? It’s the lyrics in the second verse and the story behind the song that reveal the connection. The second verse is not usually sung during corporate worship because the lyrics are so specific to motherhood that the context of the lyrics can seem confusing without explanation. The song was written by Bill and Gloria Gaither in the late 1960’s. Gloria wrote the lyrics when she was heavily pregnant with their third child. Like many beautiful and powerful songs, the lyrics were written through personal hardship and difficulty. At the end of

105, 2020

Where Do We Go Now?

By |May 1st, 2020|

Where Do We Go Now? Earlier this year (on Sunday the 26th of January to be precise), I preached a sermon titled ‘Where Do We Go from Here?’. We looked at Jesus’ challenging words in John 6 about the necessity of “eating” his flesh and “drinking” his blood to receive and enjoy true and lasting life (v.53-69), and we talked about where we believe God is leading us as a church into the future. It seems an odd combination, I know, but the point, I hope, was obvious. Wherever we go, whatever plans we make, whatever steps we take, the point of it all, and the hope through it all, is to bring us all closer to Jesus. This is why the church exists, after all; to glorify God

2404, 2020

When Life Doesn’t Go as Planned

By |April 24th, 2020|

When Life Doesn’t Go as Planned Today as I sit at home and write this, it’s my youngest daughter’s 11th birthday. So far, there’s been pancakes with ice-cream for breakfast, birthday balloons, and birthday presents. And tonight, we’ll attempt to recreate her favourite restaurant at home, with lots of sushi and a couple of train sets. But the reality is, though my daughter is having a great day, and tonight will be lots of fun, this birthday is not entirely how she expected it to be. There’ll be no grandparents joining in the celebrations, no cousins, no uncles and aunties, or friends. They will all be staying safely at home, and so will we. There will, no doubt, be lots of online chats and phone calls throughout the day,

2304, 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update #2

By |April 23rd, 2020|

Thursday 23rd April, 2020 Dear Church Family, Thank you to all those who have joined us for Church Online these last few weeks. We’ve had lots of encouraging feedback and we are excited by the opportunities before us in this unusual season. Yet we are also deeply aware that even though a church service streamed onto our TV or device is a blessing; it’s not the same as actually gathering together in the same place and in the same building. It’s my hope and prayer that this season of physical distancing will deepen our anticipation for the day when we will be able to gather together again as God’s people. Here is the latest update regarding our ongoing response to the restrictions and implications of the coronavirus