Blog

Not sure about tomorrow

I’m sitting here at my computer. It’s about 4 weeks ago as you read this article. What should I write about? I want you to read something relevant – a ‘now’ article that speaks to today.

Yet, I have no clue what will be happening in 4 weeks’ time. Will Covid-19 be less of a threat, or might we be in the throes of a second wave? What else will come along? Will another disaster overtake the news and the concerns in our minds?

Everything seems to be so changeable at the moment. Are you, like me, struggling to keep up?

The future seems very uncertain. Yet, that isn’t something new. It’s always been there, just Covid-19 has exposed it.

There’s a verse in the Bible that reminds of this. It says, ‘you do not even know what will happen tomorrow’ (James 4:14). We make our plans and we try to execute them. But we aren’t in control and, in reality, anything can happen.

Where can we look for certainty in an uncertain world? The Bible tells us we can find that certainty in God. There’s a phrase the Bible uses to describe God. It says that he knows ‘the end from the beginning’ (Isaiah 46:10). That means, that as God sees the future, he knows what will take place. Nothing will surprise him or catch him off guard.

As you look into the future, unsure of what comes next, where do you look for stability? I’d love to know what’s going happen and be able to map it out the way I want it to go. Yet, I know I can’t. As a Christian, it’s a great comfort to me to know that God knows the future and he’s got it covered.

If you want to know more about God and life with him, why not visit our YouTube channel. From September we will be livestreaming a service each Sunday morning. You are welcome to join us on a Sunday or watch later at a time that works for you.

Praying you all keep safe and well.

What have I missed?

There’s a phrase, ‘you don’t know what you have until it’s gone’. It’s so true isn’t it. Each day we can use the internet for all kinds of things. Then our connection goes down. Suddenly, we realise how much we rely on it.

For years we’ve had the freedom in our country to come and go as we please. We could visit each other in our homes, travel wherever we wanted. Over recent months those freedoms have been curtailed. Suddenly, when they’re gone, we realise what we had.

In March we cancelled all of our meetings as a church. No services, no opportunity to meet. I have to say, these were things I’d become used to. I’d say that I’d begun to take them for granted. Now they aren’t there, I miss them.

But why do I miss them? In part, it’s a community thing. Being shut off in our homes can be a lonely existence. To have the opportunity to meet with 100+ people on a weekly basis would be a welcome change.

Yet, that’s not the only reason. A church is more than just a group of people who meet together. A church is a picture and reminder of something incredible. At the heart of the Bible is the message of Jesus – a message of God saving people; a people from every nation, tribe and tongue.

When we meet as a church, I see that in the flesh. Around me are a diverse group of people, yet all of them loved by God. As I look across the room there are people of many ages, a mixture of many backgrounds, different abilities and different struggles. Yet, for all of them, if they trust Jesus, the Bible says, God calls them his children.

I’m looking forward to the time we can begin our services again. Now that the government has said we can open, we’re looking at how we can do that. For more information of our online services and future plans please check out our our Covid-19 status page or our Facebook page

Praying you all keep safe and well.

Being there

Practical, Pastoral and Penetrating. This book is a great help to anyone wanting to know how to support someone through trials, or even just how to be a biblical friend.

Writing from personal experience Dave, a pastor on the Arabian Peninsula, has written a book that will both encourage those who are struggling and guide those seeking to help them. It begins with two chapters that encourage a biblical and gospel oriented approach to the struggles of life. The remaining chapters deal with seven practical areas setting out how to be a friend and help to someone in pain.

There were three things I particularly appreciated about this book. First, the size. I know size isn’t everything, but I find it matters especially when it’s a book I would want to give to others. This book is big enough to get to the heart of the real issues, yet at the same time not too big that it would scare anyone.

The second thing I really appreciated was the gospel heart of the book and its author. This isn’t a book offering a quick fix for any situation or a checklist of spiritual friendship. Rather it works from the foundation that Jesus is the answer to all our situations and then seeks to encourage us to be friends that both know Jesus and point others to him.

Then, third, this book is a gold mine of wisdom gleaned from others. Don’t get me wrong, it is so much more than a collection of quotes, but the ones that are there are worth reading and spending time meditating on. I was particularly challenged and encouraged by the passage quoted from Horatius Bonar’s, ‘Words to winners of souls’.

In his pain Job had some ‘friends’, but they did not serve him well. Here is a book that will help us to think through and work out how we can be more helpful to people around us who are suffering. It is sure to both challenge and encourage.