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Between Ourselves

January '13

Our verse for this year is 2 Timothy 2: 1 ... be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

There is so much that is encompassed in that little word 'grace'; God's favour and goodwill to us. His love and mercy, attributes we could never earn or pay for, much more than we could ever afford. Thankfully God loves to fill our lives with His grace.

One of my favourite hymns includes this verse:

Run the straight race through God's good grace,
Lift up thine eyes, and seek His face;
Life with its way before thee lies,
Christ is the path, and Christ the prize.

October '12

When I was watching a gardening programme the other night where the presenter was clearing up the leaves, and then storing them in a black plastic bag, to make leaf mould which would not be ready for use in the garden for another year. It made me realise Gardeners are always thinking ahead whether it is choosing seeds, planting bulbs or turning over the soil.

Following Jesus gives us plenty to look forward to, but as we praise and worship God for all he has done and prepared for us through Jesus, we need to make sure we are planning things into our own schedules which will lead to us becoming a holy people.

Hebrews 12 v 14 - Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy, without holiness no one will see the Lord.

June '12

There is a process which can be carried out fairly regularly on a computer, to help it run better, called defragmentation. This involves the computer tidying up the files on the disc drive so it can find everything quickly.

It is difficult to perform any task if everything is out of its usual position.
Imagine someone walking into their house with six bags of shopping. They put them on the kitchen floor. They look at the sink and it is full of washing up from breakfast. The washing machine needs emptying and it is nearly lunchtime.

verything seems to need doing at once and the fact that some of the jobs were not done earlier has made all the tasks more difficult to accomplish in the present.

The time we set aside to spend with God, praying and reading our Bibles, can easily become fragmented so we lose bits of it to other tasks. Perhaps we need to pray the night before, about the time we hope to spend with God the next day.

May '12

It was nice today sharing communion together after our fellowship lunch. That is how the early church worshipped Jesus as we can see in Acts 2: 46.

There is so much to thank Jesus for. If we look back at our lives we can see where God has been working. If we look ahead we can see God's purposes for our lives unfolding. We can look at creation and be amazed at what God has done through Jesus - Colossians 1: 16. We can look at our daily lives and see what God has provided for us.

Everywhere we look we can find reasons for worshipping Jesus.

April '12

Psalm 100 v2: Worship the Lord with gladness: come before Him with joyful songs.

Part of worshipping God involves serving Him, and serving Him is something we must do with gladness. Anything God gives us is first a gift to enjoy, then a seed to sow. God has given us seeds to sow and we should sow them.

When we understand that servicve is God working through us we will realise that serving others is the highest calling of all. Remember in John 13 vv1-17 we read of how Jesus took the time to wash His disciples' feet.

Happiness or success in life is not a place where others serve us but where we serve them with gladness.


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March '12

Sometimes in the midst of our busy and hectic lives it's easy to forget that God wants us to be like Jesus. Trying to be like Jesus is too much for us to do by ourselves, we need the power of the Holy Spirit to transform us into Christlike people.
To change how we live we must change how we think. The way we think determines the way we feel and the way we feel influences the way we act.

Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will.

Philippians 4:8 Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.

Psalm 100 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before Him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is He who made us, and we are His;
We are His people, the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving
and His courts with praise;
give thanks to Him and praise His name.
For the Lord is good and His love endures for ever;
His faithfulness continues through all generations.

February '12

I hope like me you are enjoying our present series on Ephesians. God graciously blesses us week after week with wonderful Bible teaching.

Last Sunday we were told that Paul in his letter to the Ephesians was laying out an outline of prayer, thinking beyond their situation, in praying that the Holy Spirit would come alongside these believers with wisdom and revelation that they might know God better.

If there is one thing we all need, it is to know God better.

If there is one thing we need to do for one another, it is to pray that we know God better.

January '12

Our verse for this year is Ephesians 5 v 1-2:

"Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrent offering and sacrifice to God."

As young children copy their parents we are being told to copy God and live loving lives. Perhaps the key to living a life of love is to continually remind ourselves that we are God's dearly loved children. The more we think about God's love, grace and mercy to us, the more likely we are to offer love, grace and mercy to others.

Our example, of course, is Jesus. The more we think about His love for us, the things he said and did, the more likely we are to begin to imitate God.

December '11

This year's Christmas dinner went really well and I was wondering what had made the difference, and then I remembered the Christmas pudding.

Normally I would boil the Christmas pudding, leaving it simmering on the hob for about two hours. This left three hobs for the potatoes, carrots, brussel sprouts, peas, sweetcorn and the bread sauce, all of which were needed before the pudding. The pudding also produces a lot of steam, misting the kitchen up and it needs constant checking in case the water boils away.

The simmering Christmas pudding was generating stress in the kitchen.

This was solved by cooking it in the microwave oven for seven minutes after we had finished dinner.

We need to keep an eye out for anything that could be simmering away in the background of our lives; we may just need to ask God to help us do things in a different way.

Jeremiah 33 v 3 says "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know."




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