12th July 2021
“When you pray, I will listen.
If you look for me wholeheartedly,
you will find me.” (Jer. Ch.29 v 12, 13)
Writing to you in this month of July, I greet you and wish you well in Jesus name. As you read, let me remind you of what you and I believe – the Lord is our shepherd, who cares for us and He is our physician, the healer, who binds up our emotional and spiritual wounds and soothes us with comfort. I hope you can reflect on this and agree, “Yes indeed. Jesus be praised.”
I came across this short story recently. Here it is. Worth a reading.
US President Franklin D. Roosevelt often endured long receiving lines at the White House. As the story is told, he complained that no one paid attention to what was said. So, he decided to experiment at a reception. To everyone who passed down the line and shook his hand, he said, “I murdered my grandmother this morning.” The guests responded with phrases like, “Marvellous! Keep up the good work. God bless you, Sir.” It wasn’t until the end of the line, greeting the ambassador from Bolivia, that his words were actually heard. Nonplussed, the ambassador whispered, “I’m sure she had it coming.”
Do you ever wonder if people are really listening? Or worse, do you fear that God isn’t listening? But how do we know if God is listening? Should we rely on feelings? Or see if God answers our prayers? We don’t need to rely on feelings or wait for a sign to know that God listens to us. He’s promised to listen, and He always keeps His promises. (2 Corinthians 1:20)
I encourage you to trust completely your holy God. He is listening to you when you pray. I am certain He will listen to your prayer now. A prayer for the very present.
“Dear God, thank you for hearing my prayers. Help me to trust your promise that you listen to me. Amen.”
It has been with much joy that we have been able to attend Morning Services every Sunday since Easter Sunday 6th April. Our congregations are now very used to the social distancing required and to the uncomfortable requirement of mask-wearing. However, as this article is written, we are very happily sitting on our own cushioned seats again and have just been able to sing our hymns albeit with our masks on to start with. Our congregations number around 24/30 but we do appreciate that a few of our friends are not comfortably reassured for meeting inside yet but we are definitely making worthwhile steps in the right direction.
Communion on 1st August should mark the end of the spaced out version of this special monthly event and we are sure that by Sunday 5th September, or failing that Sunday 3rd October, we will be sitting in our pews as normally and will be able to take Communion sitting in our pews. We should also be able to sing out loud unmuffled. Also we should be able to resume refreshments in our church hall and happy chats with our friends as we have all missed this so much during these past difficult 18 months.
Our Minister Alan has consistently led us in Christian worship every single Sunday and has painstakingly prepared stimulating and interesting sermons to reach out to all of us. Our organist Norman has greatly enhanced the hallowed atmosphere of our church with his superb mastery of all the hymn and anthem music which we have so welcomed. Once we can sing again normally we will all rejoice. However we have a real star in our congregation in the person of Brian Flynn who has twice sung unaccompanied high up in the gallery and enthralled all those present. On three separate Sundays we had Testaments of Faith from three completely different personalities and these wonderful and personal talks were inspiring, thought-provoking and heart-warming. These welcome friends were Brian Flynn, Karen Mitchell and Michelle Livingstone. Nobody could be other than appreciative of the sincerity of these speakers.
In the church calendar you will see anticipated dates of 19th September for Harvest, 24th October for the Church Anniversary and 7th November for a much needed Memorial Service to honour the six members of our church whose lives drew to a close during the restrictions of Covid-19 from March 2020 to the present. Our late friends will be named but this is not to be an occasion for eulogies but especially for remembrance.
As always the maintenance and management of every department of our church is being meticulously undertaken by a hard-working task force of willing volunteers who ask for no reward. An unbelievable amount of time is spent on the financial and secretarial affairs which require unremitting attention to detail on our behalf. Physically there has been – and always will be – a consistent necessity for work on the fabric of the church both inside and outside and once again this is undertaken wonderfully by good friends who know who they are. Our special thanks are due to every single one of you.
A THOUGHT PROVOKING QUOTATION
“I am an historian, I am not a believer, but I must confess as an historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very centre of history. Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all history“
H.G. Wells (1866-1946)
(IM) PERTINENT THOUGHTS ON COMMITMENT
We are all saddened to learn this week of the death of one of our church`s most valuable members, Someone Else. Someone`s passing created a vacancy that will be difficult to fill. Else has been with us for many years, and for every one of those years Someone did far more than a normal person`s share of the work. Whenever leadership was mentioned this wonderful person was looked to for inspiration as well as results:
`Someone Else can work with that group.` Whenever there was a job to do, a class to teach, or a meeting to attend, one name was on everyone`s lips: Someone Else. `Let Someone Else do it` was a common refrain.
It was common knowledge that Someone Else was among the largest givers in the church. Whenever there was a financial need everyone just assumed Someone Else would make up the difference. Someone Else was a wonderful person, sometimes appearing superhuman; but a person can only do so much. Were the truth known everybody expected too much of Someone Else. Now Someone Else is gone. We wonder what we are going to do. Someone Else left a wonderful example to follow, but who is going to follow? Who is going to do the things Someone Else did?
Remember – we can`t depend on Someone Else any more!
(from A Basket of Gems compiled by Mark Stibbe)