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5 Powerful Prayers for

Restoration of a

Broken World

Prayer 3 ~ Prayer to Restore 

Systems of Injustice

“But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds" declares the Lord, ”because you are called an outcast, Zion for whom no one cares."

Jeremiah 30:17

Dear God,

We look for Your guidance and wisdom to restore and heal systems of injustice that continue to permeate our country and the world. Amidst racism, educational disparities, and healthcare inequalities, remind us of Your sovereignty. Unify where there is division and help us to view each other in the image of You. Forgive us for times that we have played any role in perpetuating systems of injustice, and soften our hearts to listen and hear from those who are different than us. Thank you for Your restorative power that can heal broken hearts, systems, and indifference. Teach how to continue to glorify You in our actions, attitudes, and minds.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

Image by John Cameron

PAUSE FOR THOUGHT

5 Powerful Prayers for

Restoration of a

Broken World

Prayer 2 ~ Prayer to Restore 

Broken Relationships

“Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise”

Jeremiah 17:14

Dear God,

Thank you for being a restorer of broken friendships, marriages, family divisions, and peers. As we surrender our inadequacies and shortcomings to you, you will intervene for us. Give us the wisdom and reassure us that you are our ultimate provider and will equip us with all we need to restore our broken relationships. Remind us that we cannot restore anything or any relationship without the power of the Holy Spirit. Provide us with a willing heart, patience, forgiveness, and strength to trust You with all aspects of restoring relationships. You are in control. Help us to seek Your Word and way for direction.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

Image by Nguyen Thu Hoai

PAUSE FOR THOUGHT

5 Powerful Prayers for

Restoration of a

Broken World

Prayer 1 ~ Prayer to Restore our Minds

“Do not conform 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”

Romans 12:2

Dear God,

When our minds are distracted and overwhelmed by our personal and societal circumstances, renew and restore our minds daily. During times when we cannot think clearly, strengthen and direct our minds to your Word for hope and encouragement. Help us to keep our minds focused on You. Restore mental clarity and balance when anxiety rises. Restore positive thoughts and affirmations in our minds so that we can be beacons of hope and love. Give us the courage and discipline to continually seek your Word to renew our minds.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

Image by Suzanne D. Williams
Forest

PAUSE FOR THOUGHT

Here is another reflection from the Bolton and Rochdale Methodist District.

Click the link:

Image by Tobias Rademacher

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Why not take some time out and visit the Methodist online Labyrinth.

Click the link:

Eagle Flying

PAUSE FOR THOUGHT

Here is a reflection from the Bolton and Rochdale Methodist District.

Click the link:

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A Prayer from Revd Barbara Glasson, the President of the Methodist Conference:

Loving God,
If we are ill, strengthen us.
If we are tired, fortify our spirits.
If we are anxious, help us to consider the lillies of the field and the birds of the air.

Help us not to stockpile treasures from supermarkets in the barns of our larders.
Don't let fear cause us to overlook the needs of others more vulnerable than ourselves.
Fix our eyes on your story and our hearts on your grace.

Help us always to hold fast to the good,
See the good in others,
And remember there is just one world, one hope,
One everlasting love, with baskets of bread for everyone.

In Jesus we make our prayer,
The one who suffered, died and was raised to new life,
In whom we trust these days and all days,

Amen.

Image by Olivia Snow
Image by Paweł Czerwiński

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REFUGEE WEEK 2020 -

WHO IS YOUR NEIGHBOUR?

Here is a reflection for Refugee Week by Matt Forsyth, who part of the Churches Team at 'All We Can' (an international development and emergency relief organisation which is an integral part of the Methodist family).

Image by Paolo Nicolello

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REFUGEE WEEK 2020 - HOPE

This reflection for Refugee Week is by Inderjit Bhogal, who is a Theologian and Methodist Minister.  He is also a former President of the Methodist Conference. 

Image by Levi Clancy

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REFUGEE WEEK 2020

During this week we think and pray about refugees and migrants who have had to leave their homes, livelihoods and countries. An unprecedented 70.8 million people around the world have been forced from home. Among them are nearly 25.9 million refugees, over half of whom are children under the age of 18.

These are not just numbers, they are people, made in God’s image, like you and me. They are our neighbours.

All We Can, the Methodist Church in Britain and World Development & Relief are responding across the globe, enabling vulnerable communities to access the support they need. We are working to maintain essential health services, deliver soap and hygiene items and provide vital community healthcare education to Rohingya refugees living in the camps of Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh.

THIS IS ALL WE CAN'S RESPONSE TO COVID-19 IN REFUGEE CAMPS:

Image by Priscilla Du Preez

'God gives grace to the humble.'

Proverbs 3:34b

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HUMILITY & GRACE

I was reading my Bible recently when the phrase ‘God gives grace to the humble’ (Proverbs 3:34b) just jumped out. A couple of days later I could not remember where I had read it, so I popped it into Google. Immediately two scriptures were brought up:

  • ‘God opposes the proud, but shows grace to the humble’ James 4:6

  • ‘God opposes the proud, but shows grace to the humble’ 1 Peter 5:5

 

Then I remembered Jesus’ parable in Luke 18:9-14 when Jesus compares the prayers of a Pharisee and a tax collector. The former a pillar of the religious establishment and the latter a despised collaborator. The Pharisee, confident in his own righteousness, prayed ‘I am thankful I am not like other men, such as this tax collector, and I fast and tithe.  The tax collector prayed ‘God have mercy on me a sinner’. 

Jesus said ‘I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.’

 

The Pharisee was full of himself, in other words he was full of pride. Here is a danger for us Christians, because we are in God’s family, we can become complacent, so overconfidence or self can creep in. The antidote to prevent this, is to keep focussed on our Lord Jesus and the immense debt we owe him. Thus, our prayer should be like the tax collector ‘Lord, have mercy on me’.

 

Now look at the benefit: grace! We can never earn or deserve grace, yet when we come to God humbly, we receive this wonderful gift. Being humble is a vital part of living according to the Spirit and not in the flesh.

 

May you continually experience the grace and favour of God.

 

John Parker   June 2020

Image by Hubert Van den Borre

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REFLECTIONS FROM LOCKDOWN

 

The first 2 weeks of lock-down I was self-isolating due to Coronavirus-like symptoms.  Friends, family and church were most helpful.  In shopping, phoning up to see how I was and praying for me.  I thank God for you all.

When I was better, and able to go out once again, I experienced such freedom, particularly on my walks.  Everywhere was so peaceful.  No noise of traffic.  You could hear the birds sing clearly.  The weather was sunny and clear, making the countryside so beautiful and picturesque.  And all this, on my door-step.  I felt what a wonderful God we have!  Creating all this.  Has He given us this time to appreciate what He has done?  Has he given us time to be with our close families more?  Even so, this may be difficult for some?  It`s as though He wants us to be more intimate with Him.  Communication between neighbours have been better, especially on the 75th Anniversary of VE Day and on walks.

Being single has its advantages, in that you can do what you want when you want, like catching up with programmes I had recorded ages ago on TV.  In lock-down, you find you rely on God being your friend/house-mate leading you in your plans for you for the day.  What is helpful for me are the Zoom meetings, being able to see everyone on Sunday services – thank God for technology.  I also found the virtual Spring Harvest on YouTube helpful, when first thing in the morning I joined in the devotional by Pete Greig which I enjoyed.  Then I found that the Prayer course we are doing on Wednesday evenings is by the same person and, oh I find him so easy to listen to and his book so easy to read – well recommended.  The prayer meetings on Thursdays are special too.  It`s another time to see everyone and pray for our church, one another, other situations and being close to our God.

The disadvantages of lock-down are being on one`s own if you are unwell – there is no-one there to make you a cup of tea!  I particularly miss my singing with the choir and the worship band.  I do occasionally play my recorder but it is not the same.  Some songs come into my head, especially lately this old hymn “Near my God to Thee” which can be found on YouTube by various singers/choirs.  Although a funeral-type hymn, it helps us to con-template death, whether physically, spiritually i.e. death to self, in a more positive way.  I again think God is asking us to be more intimate with Him.  I also miss walking with my rambling group, where I can go further afield, do longer walks and have social contact with others.

I hope this lock-down will come to an end soon.  And, God willing, a vaccine/cure can be found quickly.  Virtual contact is fine but there is nothing to beat face-to-face connections in the flesh.  In the meantime, let us keep together, phone a person or two a day to wish them well, and take care, keep safe and God bless.

Myra             

Image by Emmanuel Phaeton

PAUSE FOR THOUGHT

Every so often over the last few weeks, I have felt a sense of tremendous loneliness even when I’m with my family. The weight of global events and the uncertainty of the current situation has borne down on me in a way that I have found hard to discuss at home and has brought a sense of being isolated with my thoughts and fears.

It is in these times that I have brought to mind the promise made by the risen Jesus to His disciples before His ascension to heaven - ‘remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age’ (Matthew 28.20). This promise is made by God again and again in the Bible - ‘Fear not, for I am with you’ (Isaiah 41.10), ‘I will never leave you or forsake you’ (Hebrews 13.5). We are even promised that there is nothing in creation that can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8.38-39).

It is a helpful and wondrous thing to remember that no matter what is happening to us, no matter how lonely we feel, we are never alone - God is with us always. I hope and pray that this knowledge can bring comfort and encouragement today.

Phil Robinson

PAUSE FOR THOUGHT

At the end of his gospel, Luke gives an account of 2 of Jesus`s followers talking with a stranger as they walked to Emmaus.  Later they recognised that the stranger was actually the risen Jesus!  `Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked to us on the road while He opened up the Scriptures?!` (Luke 24:32) They were so impacted and on fire that, though it was nearly dark, they rushed back to Jerusalem to broadcast the wonderful news that Jesus was alive – they had seen him!

 

John Wesley had his heart strangely warmed when he went reluctantly to an evening meeting in Aldersgate on the 24th May 1738.  What had caused that?  Listening to someone read Luther`s `Preface to the Epistle to the Romans`. It was a revelation to John and unlocked the very essence of the gospel of salvation contained in Paul`s letter to the Romans.  No longer was John merely a methodical, faithful, driven, believer but he had a personal assurance of his salvation in his heart by a touch of the Holy Spirit.  And this through hearing familiar Scripture opened-up/explained in a new way.

When anointed preachers or teachers open up God`s word it can be transformational.  Having come to faith in my early 30`s I was always hungry to absorb Scripture – God`s word really was my `daily bread`.  A few years later, when Miriam was about 5 or 6, we started going to Easter People (A Christian annual Conference held at the seaside).  At one such event I was listening to the evening preacher from a packed balcony and I could feel myself getting all warm inside.  When he gave an appeal at the end for anyone who wanted to receive the Holy Spirit, I knew that was for me.  I had to battle along the row and down the stairs and join the many people going forward.  When prayed for – the tears came, tears of joy and assurance.  What a blessing!  One which opened a new door in my relationship with Jesus.

God`s word tells us that He loves to give His Holy Spirit to those who ask; it follows on from the `Ask, seek and knock` verses in Luke 11.

I mentioned that Romans is a book about Salvation.  It is also one which highlights the Holy Spirit, who of course is part of our Salvation.  

Romans 5:5 `God has poured his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.`

Romans 8:15 `For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the spirit of sonship,.  And by Him we cry, “Abba, Father”

 

In our Zoom worship on 31st May Ollie shared what an impact it had on him hearing a Christian worship song which contains the words “I am a child of God”.  Listen to it now and let God minister to you.  Any questions?  Please get in touch.

 

Love, joy & peace by yours in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Margaret Parker

Image by Wil Stewart

DID NOT OUR HEARTS BURN WITHIN US

O Thou who camest from above

The pure celestial fire to impart,

Kindle a flame of sacred love

On the mean altar of my heart!

John Wesley

Gradient

PAUSE FOR THOUGHT

The National Methodist Choir in Great Britain have set up something called 'Virtual Church Choir' and are inviting people from across the globe from any Church denomination and background to join together in worshipping God virtually!
Watch the following videos to get a taste!  The first video is an introduction to the song and the second video is the song itself!
Be blessed!

DAY 11 ~ PENTECOST

Reflection:

On the Day of Pentecost, God sent His Holy Spirit, as Helper and Comforter, and enabled the disciples to proclaim – in different languages – the wonders of God so that people from all nations could understand.

This shows us that the Spirit of God is present for every situation. When we share our faith with our friends, we can ask the Spirit to help us ‘translate’ the good news of God’s love so that they can understand how it affects them in their situation.

At Pentecost we remember that the Holy Spirit is living in us. Let’s not get too used to that amazing fact! What a privilege we have. The Spirit awakens us to the love God has for us and helps us to love others.

Image by Aldo Prakash

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language?

Acts 2:1-8

Prayer:

 

Holy Spirit, thank You that You are living in me, showing me God’s love and helping me share that love with others.

 

 

Action:

The next time you have an opportunity to share your faith and talk about the love of Jesus, consciously remind yourself that the Holy Spirit lives within you.

DAY 10 ~ SILENCE

Reflection:

Silence has always been a big part of spiritual practice, but many have never tried it!

Solitude and silence can help us hear from God, because we can easily lose sensitivity to that still, small voice in all the noise and activity of our lives. In silence, you realise how little you hear that voice at other times.

Silence can be hard. Life is busy and finding a space and time for silence can be difficult. You have a thousand thoughts, like “what’s for dinner?”! But the beauty of silence is that it’s not God speaking through someone else, such as in a sermon or a Christian book, but God speaking directly to you.

Image by Harli  Marten
He said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then there came a voice to him that said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
1 Kings 19:11-13

Prayer:

 

...[be silent]...

Action:

Try silent prayer for five minutes – even if it’s difficult! Make a note afterwards of anything God seemed to say to you, through thoughts or feelings that came into your mind.

DAY 9 ~ CELEBRATE

Reflection:

How joyful God is when He welcomes
us back. We can have such skewed ideas
of God as if He is an angry dictator or fault-finding headteacher. But actually,
God is love and His attitude towards us is compassion and grace. Even when we are far from Him, He is willing to run and meet us, the way this father did.

Look how it says, ‘But while he was still
far off ’ – the father didn’t wait for the son to come all the way to him, but he went and made up the distance. God does that. God doesn’t just wait – He comes out to us in His love and He stretches His arms in welcome.

God is stretching His arm out right now, moving down the road waiting for your friends to come home.

Image by Jamie Street
So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate.
Luke 15:20-24

Prayer:

 

Loving God, please get my friends on the road where they see You running to meet them. Thank You that You welcome us with joy however far or however long we have been away.

Action:

Think of how you have been hurt by someone, or disagreed with them. How could you reach out and meet them where they are, just as Jesus does for us?

DAY 8  ~ ADORE

Reflection:

We expect there must be something that can separate us from the love of God. But God is saying, ‘I don’t care where you are, what you’re doing, how far away you are: my love for you will not change.’ Sometimes we think that God’s love is dependent on the way we act. But God is saying, ‘Listen, not even the heights of this earth could separate me or stop me from loving you.’ Christianity is first a relationship with God through Jesus, not first a series of activities!

The love of God is ultimately expressed in the Cross of Christ, which stands for all time as the sign and assurance of God’s unchanging love.

Love

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:37-39

Prayer:

 

Loving God, thank You for Your love from which nothing can separate us, and which does not depend on our efforts. Please reveal this love and the peace it brings, in the lives of the five people I am praying for.

Action:

Think about how you can show someone that they are loved and known by God.

DAY 7  ~ HELP

Reflection:

When St John says, ‘Dear children’ he’s speaking to everyone, all the children of God. He says we shouldn’t just say we
love people if we’re not doing anything to show that love – that if we have material possessions and yet we don’t show any pity for our brother or sister – how is that love? Not to say that that’s the only way to love people, but that’s a very practical way to love people. How generous are we as Christians? How caring are we as Christians? How hospitable are we as Christians, especially when it is not in our self-interest?

If we don’t act, it’s almost as if we think we deserve to be in a better position because it’s only by God’s grace that we’re not in the position of the one in need. Jesus himself says: ‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Everything that we do to people, we do as if we do it to Christ.

Image by Matthew Waring

We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?

Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.

1 John 3:16-18

Prayer:

 

Loving God, thank You for Your costly love. Please may my five friends understand something of the strength of Your love for them. Help us to use our resources well.

Action:

How could you use what you already have to show others how alive and active the love of Jesus is?

DAY 6  ~ PRAY FOR

Reflection:

What would the world be like if everybody loved each other? Imagine that! Of course love is difficult because our human nature, although capable of great love, is imperfect. Our selfishness keeps getting in the way. The Christian church is called to be a community of acceptance, forgiveness and love. This is not a cheap, easy, rose-tinted, naïve love. It is the stuff of revolution. As Mother (St) Theresa said, ‘I only love God as much as I love the person I love the least’. It is only possible with the Father’s love, Christ’s example and the Spirit’s power. And God teaches us to love as we pray.

To pray is to love.

Image by Debby Hudson

Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.

1 John 4:7

Prayer:

 

Loving God, help me to know You more. Through knowing You, may I show You more and love as You love. Please show Your love to my five friends – through me and others who love You.

Action:

How could you remind yourself to pray for your five friends? Could you set an alarm on your phone every day to pray that they may come to know your Jesus’ love?

DAY 5  ~ OFFER

Reflection:

The loving God pursues us. He leaves the ninety-nine to find the one. From a rational perspective, He would do better to guard his ninety-nine and forsake the one that He’s lost because that would be more profitable. But actually, God’s love doesn’t seek profit – every individual sheep is worth pursuing.

Sometimes we can be exclusive about the people that we want to show love and care to. In verse 2 we read: ‘the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners, and eats with them”’.

But the Jesus that we claim to follow had
no requirement for those he ate with. The sinners and the tax collectors were people that he came to find. Jesus went to Matthew’s house – Matthew the tax collector – to have dinner with him. Jesus went out of his way to spend time to eat with a group of people whom society rejected.

In the same way, Jesus left Heaven and came down, not only to dine with us but also to die for us. He has done everything to find us.

Image by Martin Schmidli

'Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

So he told them this parable: “Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbours, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’

Luke 15:1-6

Prayer:

 

Loving God, thank You for coming to find us with Your love. Please reveal your love and peace to my friends.

 

 

Action:

Depending on where you are in the world, you may not be able to invite loved ones to church. But church was never a building, but the people of God. Therefore, in what ways can we leave our comfort zone and imitate Jesus by reaching out to them?

Image by Daniil Silantev

PAUSE FOR THOUGHT

BORN AGAIN

Dear Friends,

 

hat an amazing time of year this is. On Thursday 21st it was Ascension Day when we remember that 40 days after the resurrection (Easter Day) Jesus ascended and went into heaven. Before he left, he told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit came upon them. This happened 10days later at Pentecost, which is on 31st May. “Pente” being the Latin for 5, and we get words like pentangle meaning 5 sided. Next week I will write about Pentecost. This week however, there are two other important dates, but this time for Methodism. 21st May 1738 Charles Wesley became a Christian. Three days later on 24th May John his brother, and the better known of the two, had an experience which he wrote of in his journal saying  “Heavy-hearted, I reluctantly attended a group meeting that evening in a Moravian chapel on Aldersgate Street in London. It was there, while someone was reading from Martin Luther's Preface to the Epistle to the Romans, that I felt that my heart was "strangely warmed". I felt I did trust, Christ, Christ alone for salvation, and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins.”

At the time John Wesley was 35 years old and an ordained priest in the Church of England. John had a head knowledge of the Bible and of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, but he had never had an encounter with Jesus, never asked Jesus into his life, never asked for salvation and for the forgiveness of his sins. What happened was a transforming of his life when he came into the personal relationship with God, through Christ Jesus and in the power of the Holy Spirit.  He was born again, not as the Bible tells us in John 1:12-13 “Yet to all who receive him, to those who believe in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but of God.” Born again, for some people is a very contentious concept. Jesus talks about being born again in John 3:3-8 when talking with Nicodemus.

 “In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no-one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”” How can a man be born again when he is already old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born.” 5 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit] gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So, it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

John and Charles Wesley (Charles was the hymn writer) went on to found Methodism and were extremely influential in the 18th century, all because the Holy Spirit blessed them and they were “born again” in into God’s family and in serving Jesus they served the people of their day. 

This year Pentecost and John Wesley’s conversion day fall together symbolically illustrating

the power and the importance of the Holy Spirit in the lives of Christians. For without the Holy Spirit we are just doing “things” in our own power, perhaps important and necessary “things” but with the Holy Spirit directing and guiding us our works take on more relevance and are part of God’s plan for this world. The lives of the Wesley brothers and all who before them and all who have come after them have shown this.    

Friends, are you “Born again”?

Are you filled with the Holy Spirt?

Would you like to know that your sins are forgiven?

They can be if you ask Jesus into your life. Try it. It does work.

Please get in contact if you have questions, phone Sheila on 01695 628033

 

Every blessing

Sheila MacInally (Queens Hall Mission Minister) 

DAY 4  ~ SORRY

Reflection:

What’s beautiful about the Christian story is that God loved us before we came to
the realisation that we’re not perfect or righteous in our own strength, and before we turned to accept His love.

The love of God we see shown in countless Bible stories comes from a broken heart.
It is a love for someone which feels like an ache in the pit of the stomach. The kind of love which would do anything, however irrational it may seem to others, to find what is lost. As we shall read in tomorrow’s reflection, it is the love which risks everything for the sake of one who is lost.

Image by Caleb Woods
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.
Romans 5.6-8

Prayer:

 

Loving God, I am sorry for the times when I have not loved others as You love. Thank You that, before I thought of confessing, You had forgiven me. I confess all that is not right in my life today and ask for the forgiveness You so lovingly give. May this love transform my friends’ lives also.

Action:

During this week, how can I lay aside something important to me, so as to better serve one of my friends?

DAY 3  ~ THANKS

Reflection:

It is so powerful that even when we didn’t know God and didn’t really care about God, He loved us. He doesn’t love us because we do things right or dislike us because we do things wrong. The revolution of His love for us is that it can’t be earned. He just loves us. It is a pure gift.

In the same way God loves us before we knew it, He works for all whether they know it or not. God is working in everyone’s life. Some people see it, some people don’t. God’s love acts for all – but what God wants more than anything is for us to recognise it and welcome it. The calling of Christians

is to be those who point out how God is already at work in their lives; it is a calling to be channels, not creators of God’s love.

Image by Priscilla Du Preez
God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins... We love because he first loved us.
1 John 4.9-10, 19

Prayer:

 

Loving God, thank You that before we loved You, You loved us first. We recognise Your love for us today and choose to love You too. Thank You for my friends. Please open my friends’ eyes to Your love and action for them.

Action:

It is easy to take people for granted. Are there ways today that you can demonstrate to those you are praying for how grateful you are for them being in your life?

DAY 2  ~ PRAISE

Reflection:

Love is lived out. Love is not just a declaration. It is commitment in action. That God feels love for us is absolutely amazing. It is humbling. He’s always seeking to shape our lives by His love and he’s patient and kind with us.

One thing that God can really challenge
us on is whether our Christian lives show something different which is worth living for. If there’s nothing that looks particularly necessary or attractive about being a Christian, then what’s the point? We should go out of our way to try and demonstrate God to as many people as we can, not just in our prayers but in our actions and in our praise to Him. We should be loving people and full of God’s goodness, joy and grace. They may not call it ‘God’ at the time, but there’s something special about you which is your relationship with God. The fruit of that relationship is a loving nature.

Image by Guillaume de Germain
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1 Corinthians 13.4-7

Prayer:

Loving God, thank You for the way You love us. Please help me by the power of Your Holy Spirit to love as You love, so that my five people may come to know You.

Action:

In the next few weeks, how could you share the joy and love that we can find in Jesus with one of your friends?

DAY 1 ~ JESUS

Reflection:

John 3.16 is one of the best-known verses in the Bible because it emphasises God’s love for everyone. Jesus didn’t just love those who are easy to love, He loved the people who hated Him, who despised Him; He loved the people that others looked down on. He didn’t just love some people – He loved the whole world.

This speaks about the action that God took to show His love towards us – it shows us how love is an active word. God loved us so much that He chose to send His beloved child for us. Not because of anything that we did, not because we deserved it; but because He’s a loving God. God’s love is selfless and sacrificial and shows us what we are worth to Him. If God can love anyone, the least we can do is to do the same.

Image by Jonathan Borba
'For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.'
John 3:16-17

Prayer:

Loving God, thank You that You gave Your Son Jesus for me, and for all people. Help me accept the love that You showed me in sending Your Son. I pray for my five friends. Please open their hearts to Your love. And teach me to love more truly.

Amen

Action:

Ask yourself: is there anyone that comes to mind who God may be bringing to your attention?

Image by Kari Shea

PAUSE FOR THOUGHT

a word in time

He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.

Psalm 40:2

I am writing this reflection towards the end of the second week of the 2020 coronavirus lockdown in the UK. This is a challenging time for our nation and the world, a time of massive upheaval in what normal life looks like for us all. Priorities have changed immensely whether that be in the home, with family, in work or in being or knowing one or may of the amazing key workers. Our social interaction has changed overnight to the majority of the population being at home for the foreseeable future, interacting only by phone or online and to only leave home for necessary shopping or exercise. Keeping ourselves up to date with the news or how these changes to life are 'flattening the curve’ and the numbers of lives lost becoming more incomprehensible each day.

The psalmist in Psalm 40 describes a desolate pit and miry bog that could easily be likened to our current situation in the UK, a time of separation from personal interaction with friends and family, a trauma and grief that we are currently experiencing as a nation whilst life and sometimes work ploughs on. However, as the psalmist recognises, there's a step change in setting our feet upon the rock and making our steps secure in our trust in God and the amazing humanity he created, and this will put a new song in our mouths. A song that in my mind that has been expressed, through the medium of clapping and the banging pots and pans, unifying our country in its appreciation for NHS and other key workers by applauding them our homes on a Thursday evening. This outpouring of love and appreciation for people risking their lives on a daily basis to look after those in need in this difficult time gave me the same feeling as F1 commentator Murray Walker when he said "I’ll have to stop because I’ve got a lump in my throat" and is a new song on the hearts of the population who’s priorities have changed almost overnight.

To reflect on the Singing the Faith song for today "Walk in the light", the good that God is bringing out of this unprecedented situation in my mind is one of unity, even if the journey to faith for many some may be slow, the changing of priorities and focus, we as Christians will pray, is one that we trust God will work in people's hearts to revel his love shown to use through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.

George Dixon-Gough, ONE Programme Development Officer

PAUSE FOR THOUGHT

Dear Friend,

In this time of crisis it is good to know that the best is yet to come! The weather has been lovely throughout most of the last nine weeks and looks set to continue, especially now the “lockdown” is gradually being relaxed. Summer is around the corner, the days have lengthened and hope is a very present expectation that life might return soon to some sort of normality.

Revelation 22:12 says, “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me and I will give to each person according to what they have done.”

The final chapters of the Bible answer conclusively all those who have asked throughout history, “Why doesn’t God do something about this mess?” We are certainly in a mess during this Covid 19 pandemic.  I wonder, have you asked this question? Has someone you love contracted the virus? Has someone died who meant a lot to you? Have you found the “lockdown” difficult, emotionally, physically, or spiritually? Not everyone has “sailed” through this time. Separation from work, family and friends and from many leisure activities has coursed many problems for people. Are you one of them?

The best is yet to come! There will be a vaccine found, the virus will eventually die out, life will find its balance once more for each and every one of us.  So, if the best is yet to come, how will it be achieved? John is the writer of Revelations and he is shown, by God, that he and we, will all know about the “best” when it comes. Life often throws us a curved ball and suddenly we are unable to see the future. But with Jesus in the last chapters of Revelation we see that there will be a time of rejoicing after the hardship faced at the end times. We don’t know when those times will be but we are called to live by faith resting upon the testimony of Jesus and believing when he said he will come again and take us to be with him ( John 14:1-6). 

The best is yet to come, can refer to the end of this virus, or a situation you find yourself in BUT it does also mean that Jesus is going to come again and the things of this world will pass away and those who name Jesus as their Lord and Saviour will live for ever in heaven with Jesus and our Father, God for all eternity. Now that is something I’m looking forward too! Many people have been accessing worship service sites and prayer sites recently, looking for answers, Friends, the final answer to all our problems is Jesus. It doesn’t mean we will suddenly cease to have troubles, illness, or suffer disasters, no, what it means is that with Jesus we have the blessed assurance that we will live with HIM for ever because we have asked him into our lives.

We say why does God allow tragedy to happen? Why doesn’t God intervene? God has given each one of us free-will. We can choose to make our own decisions. Wherever this Covid 19 pandemic came from, whether it be bats at a live animal market or escaped for a laboratory, its genus is man, not God. But we can step out from the blame culture and be restored by asking Jesus into our lives and have the assurance the best is truly yet to come – life eternal in heaven with God the Father, Christ Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Yes, the best is yet to come.

Do you want this peace?

Do you want this assurance?

Do you want to know that Jesus loves you?

Do you want to be forgiven of the past and your sins?

Jesus can do all this for you. Yes, for you!  

Please phone me, Sheila on 01695 628033if you would like to speak with me.

I pray the healing love of Jesus in your lives, now and always.

Sheila (Minister of Queens Hall)

THE BEST IS YET TO COME

'Look, I am coming soon!  My reward is with me and I will give to each person according to what they have.'

Revelation 22:12

PAUSE FOR THOUGHT

 have just had my copy of ‘Christianity’ magazine delivered and I was sitting in the sunshine reading it when I was reminded of Sheila’s sermon on Sunday.  One particular article started – ‘The coronavirus is so called because it visibly resembles a crown (corona in Latin).’  Sheila reminded us of the crowns we wear as Christians – crowns of beauty and splendour – and the crown we will receive in glory.  

John Lennox (writer of article) goes on to say ‘… hope is found in another corona: the crown of thorns that was forced on Jesus’ head at his trial before his execution’.  Yes, as we face one crown (the coronavirus) that is claiming to rule, we know we find hope in the Prince of Peace who went willingly to his death wearing the crown of thorns for us – his death and resurrection that brings us to Salvation. Hallelujah!  

Let me end by quoting the last sentence of John Lennox’s piece ‘A Christian, then, is not a person who has solved the problem of suffering but one who has come to love and trust the God who has suffered for them.’

 

Love and Blessings,

 

Rev’d. Helen.

CROWN

QUESTIONS

PAUSE FOR THOUGHT

I knew this, but it is easy to forget. I was at a conference last year and the speaker said ‘If you want to converse with God you have to ask him questions, and conversation really flows when you have follow-up questions.’

 

Recently I was due to chair a meeting on Zoom and I wanted to start off with a short time of devotion. So, whilst out jogging I asked God ‘What would you like me to say?’

This word came to mind and would not leave, it was the word ‘frustration’.

As I mulled this over and I realised, at times, for me life is frustrating. For instance, I missed not being able to play with Emmanuel, especially on his third birthday, it is difficult to get a feel for how we are doing at The Brick because I can’t drop in, etc. I then realised perhaps others were feeling disconnected.

So, I started the meeting by saying I had some small frustrations at the moment and I then read a scripture and prayed. Then, I asked everyone at the meeting how they were finding things. It was edifying to get some understanding of how Covid 19 was impacting others. From there it simply flowed about how Covid 19 was changing us as an organisation. It was a very beneficial meeting. 

 

All because God gave a one-word answer to a question.

Don’t be inhibited about asking God questions.

 

John Parker 2.5.20

UK BLESSING

Over 65 different churches and Christian groups in the UK have taken part in an online music video that has got over 2 million views

Representing hundreds of Christians in the country, worship singers from the UK have performed 'The Blessing', originally by Christian couple Cody Carnes and Kari Jobe, Chris Brown and Christian worship group Elevation Worship. 

In this cover version, each singer appears on screen filmed from their home and their church name comes on screen. Starting with worship leader Tim Hughes from Gas Street Church in Birmingham singing 'The Lord bless you and keep you', the video ends with hundreds of people harmonising 'He is for you' on screen. 

There are no individual names despite some famous faces, such as Lou Fellingham, Noel Robinson, Muyiwa Olarewaju, Carrie Grant and Graham Kendrick. 

Tim Hughes, who helped organise it, told Premier that after seeing a video of the same song being done in Pittsburgh in America, he got calls from his wife, Pete Grieg from 24/7 Prayer and Holy Trinity Brompton's Nicky Gumbel suggesting that UK churches do the same thing. 

"Basically, we thought, let's call lots of friends, lots of different networks and people and see if everyone can send in someone from their church singing this song and then we edited it all together. 

"It was amazing - these are musicians who aren't the most organised! We spoke to them on the Friday and Saturday and everybody had to be in by the Tuesday and everyone got behind it - everybody said yes and it's been a beautiful thing seeing it all come together."

It features members of the well-respected All Souls Langham Place orchestra, who also performed for the Royal Albert Hall's Prom Praise virtual concert on Saturday, next to a rap by Christian artist Guvna B. 

Different denominations are represented including the Church of England, Catholic Church, Vineyard, Elim, New Frontiers, the Coptic Church, Baptist, Methodist, United Reformed Church and the Salvation Army.  

There are congregation members from Holy Trinity Brompton, Trent Vineyard Nottingham, Soul Survivor Watford, Hillsong London as well as The Kingdom Choir who sang at Prince Harry and Meghan's wedding.

The song's lyrics are based on the Biblical passage Numbers 6 and is a famous benediction prayer often used to end a service with. 

Those praising the video on social media included oringal writer Kari Jobe, Bear Grylls, BBC presenter Dan Walker, Most Rev Justin Welby, Rt Rev Sarah Mullally, former Blue Peter presenter Simon Thomas and Gavin Calver - head of the Evangelical Alliance. 

Tim Hughes said he thinks there is an important shift happening in church music: "I felt like what God is doing in the church, in terms of worship, is we're seeing the sound of his people singing. There's been lots of worship leaders that God has raised up, and that's been beautiful, but I think actually the time has come where God is just raising up his church - the sound of his people - it's not one individual, it's just lots of people worshipping through song and I think this is like a little glimpse of what I believe we're going to see much, much more of."

Premier Christian News

PAUSE FOR THOUGHT

ENCOURAGEMENT

10th May 2020

Dear Friends,

Who has influenced you?

I have been reading a biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and was amazed at the powerful effect that his mother had upon his life. The influence was pivotal in his becoming such an amazing man. I then thought about John Wesley and wondered what sort of man he would have been if he’d had a different mother than Suzannah? What about Samuel? Hannah agonised over her childlessness for many years and once her prayer was granted and Samuel was born, she dedicated him to the LORD. “The LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord for the whole of his life.” (1 Samuel 2:1-10) Hannah prepared Samuel in his early years so much so that he is one of the great prophets of the Bible. Barnabas is known as the “encourager” of the New Testament – we all need someone in our corner encouraging us to step out in faith and do what we are called to do.

 

Who took time with you to nurture you and encourage you? It might have been a family member, perhaps a schoolteacher, a Guide or Scout leader; perhaps a work colleague. Someone at some time in your life has been instrumental in influencing you profoundly.

who have you encouraged?

 

Who have you taken under your wing because you could see that they had potential, talent or gift or grace which needed encouraging? MY mother always said that her mother-in-law, my Granny, was her encourager. My mother could not cook, not even boil an egg when she married my father. Yet my Granny, took time to help and show her many things about being a good wife and mother. From my Granny, my mother learnt to treat each of her four children equally and that lesson I too have learnt, you do not give to one without the other! An encourager challenges but supports and helps the person to flourish and grow, physically, emotionally, intellectually,   C FCDDC and spiritually. An encourager helps the person to break loose and become independent and fly and reach the heights that are before them. 

Colossians 4:6 says, “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt…” Everything we say and do is influencing those around us – our children, family, friends, work colleagues and church family. We have the possibility of making a creative, powerful, and life-changing difference in someone’s life. Will we? Are we? If so, I pray that you continue to pray and support the person, and if not, perhaps you should be praying and asking God to give you someone to encourage. For each and everyone of us has received – let us now give!  

The greatest influencer in all our lives is Jesus, our Lord and Saviour – let us encourage not just with worldly gifts but let us encourage with the love and joy and peace and forgiveness and mercy of Jesus.

 

Blessings

Sheila

PAUSE FOR THOUGHT

BE STILL

For many the lock-down is an often dark and anxious or sad place, a lonely place.

But it is also a wake-up call for some and an opportunity for us all to re-assess what occupies so much of our time normally.  There are interesting, exciting testimonies among us of family members returning to God, or at least searching – this time in the right place! Praise God for these accounts.  And praise God for this once-in-a-lifetime gift of TIME.  

 

Distractions are probably at the highest level ever: constant TV or radio, gadgets pinging to demand our attention, teen-agers adept at handling 2 or 3 `screens` at the same time; box sets, Netflix, Amazon Prime and non-stop entertainment of all kinds. But God won`t shout or raise his voice above the incessant noise. He wants us to be STILL … available … listening … to be at peace in his company. As I look back on over 40 years as a Christian, I have picked up various `nuggets` of wisdom from anointed Christians, via sermons or Christian conferences but – more often – books. I give a flavour for you to “taste and see” if it works for you.

 

1. Joyce Hugget`s “Listening to God” was food to my hunger for a deeper life with God during my early years as a Christian, but also juggling being a busy wife & mother of 3 children, and novice Local Preacher. Joyce highlighted Jesus`s words in John 10 “I am the Good Shepherd. I know my sheep and my sheep know me.” v.14 and “the sheep listen to his voice and He calls his own sheep by name.” v.3. So that was a lesson on the importance of LISTENING. The other very important, practical, tit-bit was to minimise distractions during my morning `quiet time` of Bible reading and prayer: by having a piece of paper and pen by my side to make a note of any distracting thought – an item to add to my shopping list, one of the children needing something for school, the need to ring a friend or to pay a bill. Distractions come but we note them down and return to stillness before God.

2. Margaret Silf`s book `Taste & See` was also very helpful. I quote from p. 10:

“ A friend once told me an interesting fact that if you can imagine yourself in a stormy sea, and

then imagine yourself ten feet below the trough of the highest wave, the water would be perfectly calm. The picture appealed to me, and helps me to come to prayer. Like most people, I live most of my life on the `surface` of myself.  My conscious journey through a typical day is mainly occupied with the `waves` - sometimes manageable, sometimes storm-force and at the end of the day I can feel exhausted and fraught.” So to imagine that stillness and quietness ten feet down also helps me when prayer and stillness seems difficult.

 

3. Roger Foster & Gayle Beeb`s `Longing for God` (journeying to the heart of God) examines the lives of inspirational Christians going back to the early church. It has broadened my learning and adjusted my pre-conceptions of right and wrong ways to approach God.

 

4. Pete Greig`s “How to Pray” (my current book, used alongside The Prayer Course). The

book`s early advice is to `Pause`, as Susan has already mentioned in `Pause for Thought` on the Queen`s Hall webpage.  Pause, be Still.  Just this morning the book got my attention when the author quoted from Psalm 23, the verse after the very familiar “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want` …… v.2. `He makes me lie down in green pastures.” Is Jesus persuading us to be still and to find time to relax peacefully with him? TIME is something we have a lot of at the moment.

 

 

Margaret Parker

PAUSE FOR THOUGHT

JESUS LOVES THE LITTLE CHILDREN

This is one of my favourite Sunday School songs.

Jesus shows us the importance of coming to him as little children. This requires us to humble ourselves, and in doing so, he lifts us up.  

                                                                                    Susan Sharples

PAUSE FOR THOUGHT

Whether great of small, God and his gospel can do the impossible and transform lives.

Who could have thought that the assassin Saul could become the apostle Paul? Such graces occurred then, and still do today.

Who would ever have thought that a man now called David, who was once called Abu Bakr, the son of a grand Mufti, himself a Muslim imam and doctor Sharia law, would ever encounter Christ in a vision in a mosque at prayers, and become a preacher of the gospel to Muslims in the UK?

That is what the gospel does, for that is what God does.

 

In the Gazette number 6, Rev Sheila passionately encourages to fix our eyes on Jesus and pray. Let’s do so and include transformation of souls in our prayers.

 

John Parker

 

25 April 2020 

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Matthew 19:26

'The hearts of the great can be changed’.

An ancient Greek proverb

Dear Friends,

At last we hear that we have reached the peak of the Coronavirus infections. The number of people presenting to hospital with symptoms seems to have levelled out. We are all distressed to be told of the number of people in Care Homes who have died, whilst testing seems to have reached to “magic” number of 100,000 per day.  Many people, especially in the NHS and in the Care Sector have been going the extra mile in serving the community whilst wearing inadequate PPE, yet they continue to serve. Thank you. 

 What comes next? Social distancing in the main seems to be the norm and people are conforming to the rules which the government have issued. So, we turn our minds to supporting those who are grieving, to those who were not able to say good-bye to loved ones or give them the funeral they wanted. We need and must support those who have experienced trauma at work as they have sort to help in hospital or in Care Homes. The aftermath of this virus, yet unknown, will be serious, and not just for you and me at home, but for all who in one way or another have been personally touched by this pandemic. I was speaking to a mother who was very proud of her daughter who works 13 hour shifts at a hospital in full PPE and when after 13 hours of wearing it she takes it off and her face is swollen with the pressure and heat of wearing it. She is so drained that often she needs someone to help her take off her PPE as she has no energy left, either physical or emotional. Thank you to those who are on the frontline.

If we are now thinking about relaxing the “lockdown” what is the future?

What is the future for you?

Are you going to pick up the threads of your life and continue as before?

Has this time of isolation confirmed your lifestyle or are you going to do “things” differently?

Serious and life changing decisions we all need to make.

Whether the virus was from bat-droppings or from a lab in Wuhan, the world has changed, and we need to decide if we must change too. Whether we are a Christian or not we all must re-evaluate our lives. Psalm 51:10 says, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

This is a psalm of King David. David has been wonderfully blessed by God, he has been granted wealth, position, authority and wisdom and yet David becomes bored. When spring comes, instead of being at the head of his army, he is at home in the palace in Jerusalem twiddling his thumbs, ripe for mischief! Please do not blame Bathsheba, she thought David was away with the army, like her husband, Uriah. No, David was at home and he saw her bathing and as they say the rest is history! David is challenged about his behaviour by the prophet Nathan in 2 Samuel 12:7-12 and has his eyes opened to his failures, his sins. Psalm 51 is a cry of David to God to be forgiven. With forgiveness came the understanding of verse 10. David is seeking a new clean and pure heart and a steadfast spirit, not to sin again but be faithful to God and do the correct things and not what he wants to do.

I am NOT saying that the virus is judgement from God for the sin of the world, truly, I am not. What I am saying is that with this opportunity it is a good time for each one of us to look deeply into our own lives, the physical, emotional and yes, the spiritual and reflect as to whether we like what we see. If not, we have time, “lockdown” time to do something about it. 

Another conversation was about a family who were for one reason or another distant from each other. One brother not speaking to another and a daughter-in-law never visited her father-in-law. The daughter-in-law is now making Sunday lunch each week for her father-in-law and the brothers are planning a reunion party when it is safe to do so! All because this family had time to search their emotions and courage to do something about it.

Is there something you need to do; someone you need to contact? Please, do it, and do it now. Do not hesitate or prevaricate, do it now!

Do you need to be right with God? Have you ignored him? Have you denied him? Are you a believer who is a backslider? Do not waste any more time, change today! Ask to be forgiven, ask to be included in the Kingdom of Heaven with Jesus for all eternity, the opportunity for SALVATION is now, don’t waste it, the offer is open to all, “ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7) You have to do it. Do it now. Jesus is waiting to help you from darkness into light.

Salvation doesn’t mean that you will never again have difficulties or troubles. NO, it means you will never ever be alone, for God in Christ Jesus will be at your side helping and through the Holy Spirit guiding you – isn’t that true freedom, not just an arbitrary  directive from government about when we can go out but to have the blessed assurance of life eternal waiting for you and the protection of the Holy Spirit now, well Friends, what are you waiting for!

 

If you’d like to talk do phone me, I’m available most evenings on 01695 628033 or email me shekinahshining@gmail.com

 

Blessings in the name of the Risen Lord Jesus Christ

 

Sheila MacInally (Minister)

PAUSE FOR THOUGHT

“Ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you.”

Matthew 7:7

''For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (fear),

But a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline.'

                                                                         2 Timothy 1:7

PAUSE FOR THOUGHT

To the Church family,
An encouragement for us all
                                                      from Joan Noonan

AS THE WORLD GOES THROUGH THIS DEVASTATING TIME, WE KNOW THAT GOD IS IN CONTROL, AND HAS A PLAN.

LET US PRAISE, WORSHIP AND GLORIFY HIM IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES, GOOD OR BAD.

2 TIMOTHY 1:7

FOR GOD DID NOT GIVE US A SPIRIT OF TIMIDITY (FEAR),

BUT A SPIRIT OF POWER, OF LOVE, AND OF SELF-DISCIPLINE. AMEN.

 

AFTER I HAD ALREADY WRITTEN THIS, SHEILA POSTED A CARD TO ME WITH DAILY READINGS OF THE BEATITUDES – I WILL BLESS THE LORD AT ALL TIMES: HIS PRAISE SHALL CONTINUALLY BE IN MY MOUTH. (PSALM 34:1)   -    WHAT A CONFIRMATION…

 

REVELATION 22:21

THE GRACE OF THE LORD JESUS BE WITH GOD’S PEOPLE.  AMEN.

29th April 2020

PAUSE FOR THOUGHT

‘For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.’
Corinthians 1.16

Last Saturday morning, I went out for my Government-mandated daily exercise. I ran out on the back road from Southport into open countryside - a road that is normally too busy to run on, but was now beautifully still and quiet. I took time to notice the beauty of God’s creation all around - plants and flowers in bloom, green trees, the warmth of the sun and a gentle cooling breeze. I noticed crops sprouting that would feed and nourish us all, and gave thanks for the blessings the Lord gives us daily. As I ran on, an awesome thought struck me. I had seen a wide range of the wonders that God had created, and yet...this was one small road, on the edge of one small town, in one small county, in one small country, on one small planet, in one small galaxy in a colossal universe...and God had created it all. A thought that took my breath away (not always the best thing when running!) An awesome, universe-shaping God - and yet a God who cares for every little part of His creation, right down to you and me. The care and precision with which He formed stars and planets went into the creation of each of us. We are not processed on an assembly line, churned out as an identikit model, but as a unique treasure, made with a love deep enough to conquer death. We are praying for the well-being of everyone at Queens Hall, and also that you know how deeply you are loved by our Creator.

 

 

Phil Robinson

PAUSE FOR THOUGHT

These are the days of Elijah
Declaring the word of the Lord:
And these are the days of Your servant Moses
Righteousness being restored
And though these are days of great trial
Of famine and darkness and sword
Still, we are the voice in the desert crying
'Prepare ye the way of the Lord!'

Behold He comes riding on the clouds
Shining like the sun at the trumpet call;
Lift your voice, it's the year of jubilee
And out of Zion's hill salvation comes

Oh…comes…

And these are the days of Ezekiel
The dry bones becoming as flesh;
And these are the days of Your servant David
Rebuilding a temple of praise
And these are the days of the harvest
Oh, the fields are as white in Your world
And we are the labourers in Your vineyard
Declaring the word of the Lord!

Behold He comes riding on the clouds
Shining like the sun at the trumpet call;
Lift your voice, it's the year of jubilee
And out of Zion's hill salvation comes

By Robin Mark

DAYS OF ELIJAH

This song has been on my heart recently.  I've found myself singing/shouting! it in the shower.  It gives me goosebumps! 

'The dry bones becoming as flesh' brings such hope!  It's a song of encouragement and lifts my spirit.  A very timely song whilst in this period of uncertainty. 

Lynda Higham

We are in a prolonged night as it says in verse 5 but rejoicing comes in the morning, Friends, joy is coming. This pandemic will NOT last forever, and we may weep for loved ones who have died or the situation we find ourselves in, but know this, joy does come. Weeping and signing will flee away, for the Bible tells us this, not just in this wonderful psalm but right at the end of the Bible in Revelation 21:4 where it says 

“He (God) will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” 

God does this through his son, our Lord and Saviour, Christ Jesus, who died that we might live. Jesus has won for us life eternal where there is no more death, pain, sorrow or signing, for the old order of things is gone – GONE – and the new order reigns, life with God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit and with all who name Jesus as Lord and Saviour, Redeemer and friend. Isn’t that worth battling through the darkness of night, for joy is waiting for each one of us, hallelujah!

If you have faith in Jesus, if you believe he is the Son of God, who died for you then, the joy has come, the morning sunshine is bright in your life. However, if you haven’t welcomed Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour, it is not to late. You can ask him into your life right now, yes, now.

Do you like being in the darkness? 

Do you like being afraid?

Do you like wallowing in self-pity?

Do you want to be released from the burdens that are overwhelming you?  

You can be led from the darkness of night into the joy of the morning – yes you can, right this moment.

All you need to do is ask Jesus to be Lord of your life.  Ask him now he is waiting to bless you and restore you.

Ask, yes, ask, now.

When you accept Jesus as your Lord, when you invite him to have the supreme place in your life, you will then want to be released from the things which have been the cause of your darkness, your sins.

Name them and ask for them to be forgiven – and Friends, they will be. Jesus has taken your sins upon himself at Calvary, Jesus died for you and has taken your sins and offers you forgiveness. Your sins are remembered no more, you are “born again”, sinless and restored. Do you want that Friends, do you want to be healed, forgiven, renewed and refreshed?

The world is dark enough with the Coronavirus Pandemic, and wars and rumours of wars, with pain and disease, corruption and violence of body, mind and spirit. Don’t allow yourself to remain in the darkness of night, come Friends into the morning light and rejoice and sing of all that God has done for you. “For God so loved the world that he sent his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John3:16

 

Those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God and have asked him into their lives and sought forgiveness for their sins, have the blessed assurance of JOY in the morning and eternal life.

Do you want that?

Ask! Jesus is waiting to bring you joy and light and peace and forgiveness. ASK!

 

Blessings

Sheila MacInally, Queen's Hall Mission Minister

P.S. If you do make this commitment and you’d like to talk, please either telephone me on 01695 628033 or email me shekinahshining@gmail.com

I’d be very happy to listen.

PAUSE FOR THOUGHT

“Sing to the LORD, you saints of his;

Praise his holy name.

For his anger lasts only a moment, 

but his favour lasts a lifetime;

Weeping may remain for a night,

But rejoicing comes in the morning.”  

Psalm 30:4-5

Tom Parker writing in the Queen’s Hall Gazette in issue number 5, said ‘When traditional forms of evangelism are difficult, as at the moment, social media and online evangelism provide an excellent option.

 

Well here is something that I did and I am a non-Facebook technophobe. 

 

I was out jogging and I was praying and I asked God ‘What was the best way of sharing the good news of Jesus with my wider Parker family?’ I had just got going with Zoom and this came to mind ‘Use technology, you can use Zoom, so get going with something similar’. Sometime later after returning home I was praying and thinking and the answer came. ‘Use WhatsApp.’ I belong to a WhatsApp prayer group so I knew what was possible. Three issues then cropped up:

  • How do you set up such a group?

  • How do you do a video?

  • How do you join the video to the WhatsApp?

 

I am blessed, my daughter Ruth was able to guide me through most of the difficulties I met.

It was a long job. There are 22 people in the group and for many I didn’t have their mobile numbers. So, I had to get these, form the group, record the video and join this to WhatsApp message. Phew! I manged to put it all together and I sent it out on Easter Sunday.

 

So, 21 people had a gospel message onto their phone. My sister-in-law declared ‘it was good’. That made it all worthwhile.

The interesting part of all this is that we are now all linked. That afternoon there were 45 messages between the group members. We can all contact each other, that was a wonderful spin-off. I will be using it again.

 

My pause for thought is let’s follow Tom’s advice and use online facilities, to bless people and share the gospel. Secondly, let’s not forget snail-mail, getting a letter in these times is very special.

 

 

John Parker 20.4.20

PAUSE FOR THOUGHT

25th April 2020

PAUSE FOR THOUGHT

WAYMAKER

 I've chosen the song 'Waymaker' to share with you because it epitomises God's character in the words Waymaker, miracle worker, promise keeper and light in the darkness.  In these days of lockdown as the song says, God never stops working by touching, healing and mending every heart and turning lives around. We can depend on Him.  Listen to this song and take comfort from it.  He is a wonderful God.  I listened to this last week on Spring Harvest Home(YouTube) and it gave me such an uplift.     

                                                                                    Myra Atherton

I have just started an eight week course on “How to Pray” by Pete Greig led by John and Margaret Parker on Wednesday nights at 7.30pm on Zoom.  

 

I have to say this has come at the right time for me because I don't know about you but this is how I'm feeling at the moment with the lock-down:  I have high and low moments with mixed emotions, my mind seems to wander all over the place, I start to pray, then easily get distracted.  So, after letting you know how I'm feeling about being distracted when praying, I open my “How to Pray” book.  It is based on the prayer Jesus taught his disciples  “When you pray ……”  I look at chapter 3:  

     To start you must STOP.  

     To move forward we must PAUSE.

This is the first step in a deeper prayer life.  Put down your wish list and wait, sit quietly, “Be still and know that I am God”.

 

Wow, I thought, this is just what I need to do: pause for a moment, clear out all daily situations of what I have read, heard, watched, and instead focus and retreat with Jesus to a quiet place.  As the book says, stillness and silence prepares your mind and primes your heart to pray from a place of greater peace, faith and adoration.  In fact it is in itself an important form of prayer.

 

As well, I like the advice in the book where it says 

     Keep it simple

     Keep it real

     Keep it up

Jesus says that we must always pray and NOT give up.

 

Looking forward to reading more of “How to Pray”.  Amen

Susan Sharples

PAUSE FOR THOUGHT

Prayer

PAUSE FOR THOUGHT

JOY

"... Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Nehemiah 8:10

I have two boys, one has just turned three today and the other is 16 months old.  They are a real 'joy'!  They are both active and it can get quite busy in our household!

Sometimes I am in need of strength!

I truly believe that strength does come from the joy that comes from God!  We all have tough days, and especially at a time like this, we all need strength to get through each day.

I pray that God helps us turn our eyes from all our situations and circumstances just for moment, so that we can look to Him and ask Him for joy.  May we experience the joy of the Lord like never before, which in turn will bring us the strength we need for each day.

In Jesus name I pray.  Amen.

Ruth Ejimofor

PAUSE FOR THOUGHT

GREAT IS THY FAITHFULNESS

'It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.'

Lamentations 3:22-23

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

1. Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father; 
there is no shadow of turning with thee; 
thou changest not, thy compassions, they fail not; 
as thou hast been thou forever wilt be.


Refrain: 
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!


2 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. [Refrain]


3 Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth, 
thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide, 
strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside! [Refrain]

written by Thomas Chisholm with the music composed by William M. Runyan

To me, this song says everything!

Verse one is 'PRAISE'

Verse two is about nature, beauty, the seasons, the world!

Verse three, what more could you want?

 

Every single verse matters!

 

This hymn touches most people and it certainly does me!  It epitomises everything I want to feel.  The tune is lovely as well.  This hymn expresses everything I want to express in worship to God!

 

 

Pat Ascroft 

20th April 2020

PAUSE FOR THOUGHT

doubting thomas - are we doubting? 

Dear Friends,

Last week we were praising because Jesus was alive, he had risen, hallelujah! 

Yet not all the disciples believed Jesus was alive. They had seen or been told Jesus was dead, crucified and buried three days before. They had been grieving for him and for their lost hopes and dreams, and now they were expected to believe he was alive. Little wonder there was scepticism. 

Do they trust Peter, do they trust the disciple whom Jesus loves when they both said Jesus was risen? Do they trust the women’s testimony? It was hard because who lives who has died?

The events are told in John 20:19-23 that Jesus appeared to them during the evening of that Day of Resurrection and they believed and were overjoyed. Yet Thomas was not there. He doubted. A week later Jesus again appeared to the disciples and we read of the event in John 20:24-31. 

Thomas, who has come down through history as “Doubting Thomas” is an interesting character in the history of the Church. Yet I think his label is unfair. Wouldn’t you and I doubt too if we knew of death and burial and yet we are told the beloved person was alive and seen? 

Jesus appeared though the doors were locked and stood amongst them, v.26. and spoke the words he had used the week before saying “Peace be with you” (v21, 26) This was a usual Hebrew greeting and would have calmed them by the use of normal words. Thomas’ reaction to Jesus appearance and his words, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Stop doubting and believe” v.27., was “My Lord and my God!” Thomas believed because of seeing and touching Jesus. 

For you and me in 2020 we cannot see or touch Jesus, we believe because of faith. Jesus left the Holy Spirit which is God with us in the world until he comes again, which he said he would. We are waiting for Jesus reappearance and until he comes, we through faith, believe. This is hard for most people throughout the world. Let us not despair for if the disciples found it difficult why not people 2000 years later. It is us to show that the Risen Lord lives in our lives and that our belief is strong and secure, without doubts and not shallow and vague. 

Thomas has another title, “didymus” meaning twin, we doubt know who his twin was, but it was used to identify him. We often do this within the context of conversations where several people have the same name! John 11:16 is the first time we hear about Thomas and what we hear is devotion and courage. Can this be the same Thomas? Yes! In v. 16 Thomas said, “Let us go, that we may die with him.” Yes, Thomas was prepared to die with Jesus, why? Earlier in the chapter, 11:8, we are told that Jesus had been threatened with death if he reappeared in Bethany. However, Lazarus, Jesus friend is dead, and Jesus wants to return to “wake him up”, v.11.

So, Thomas, has faith in Jesus. Yet he who has seen the resurrection of Lazarus, cannot believe in the resurrection of his Lord. Again, we catch a glimpse of Thomas later in John 14:5 when Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way.” Jesus is referring to his death and eternal life. Thomas is honest, he does not understand and seeks clarification. Do we ask when we don’t understand or do we pretend we know and then are confused or get the wrong end of the stick because of our hesitancy to ask for the truth!    

The last time we hear of Thomas is in John 21:2, he is with 6 other disciples and they go out fishing. All night they try to catch fish but without success. Downhearted they come to shore, and a “person” is standing on the shore and says, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No” they answer and then Jesus tells them what to do. They catch a large number of fish and the disciple whom Jesus loves (perhaps John himself) recognises Jesus and they eat together on the beach.

 

Thomas, is just like you and I, he is capable of great faith alongside doubt.

As we continue our walk with Jesus let us be strong in our faith, let us ask when we don’t understand something, let us have courage to stand firm when people scoff and deny that Jesus is Risen, that he is God’s Son and Saviour, our Saviour. Let us stand firm with the knowledge that through Jesus we have the blessed assurance of life eternal and that there is a “mansion” (John 14:1) waiting for each one of us in heaven. Why? Because God sent his Son, Jesus, into the world, to save the world, to deliver each one of us from the darkness of evil and bring us into the light of his presence and the joy of eternity. Hallelujah!

With the current situation in which we find ourselves let us be strong, not doubting, but trusting that God is in control of our lives. Man made this epidemic, not God. Let us have the courage and faithfulness that Thomas showed in John 11:16 when he said, “Let us also go, that we may die with him”. Are you ready to go with Jesus, to follow him?

Let us have courage, let us proclaim Jesus Lord and Saviour, Redeemer and Friend, not just of we who acknowledge him but of the world.

Let us have courage, let us be Thomas!

Blessings

Happy Easter

Sheila  

PAUSE FOR THOUGHT

we have a great high priest - Jesus the son of god

In these very challenging and unprecedented times, let's not forget that we have a High Priest - Jesus the Son of God. 

 

Jesus our High Priest is full of compassion and understands exactly how we feel and what we are going through.  He is not out of touch with our reality and present predicaments.

Jesus our High Priest, in the days of His flesh - while He was here on earth had difficult times and challenging moments but was never overcome by them.

His total dependence and reliance on God brought Him complete victory.  And if Jesus our High Priest lives within you, you are also an overcomer.

Therefore, in the midst of this pandemic/plague may our eyes and heart remain fixed on Jesus - our High Priest.  May we have courage to boldly approach the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in this time of great need (Heb 4:16)

His grace is all we need!

Uche Ejimofor

'Seeing then that we have a great High Priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.'

Hebrews 4:14

PAUSE FOR THOUGHT

WOrking together for good

We might never have had the songs of Fanny Crosby had she not been afflicted with blindness. George Matheson would never have given the world his immortal song, “O Love That Will Not Let Me Go,” had it not been for his passing through the furnace of affliction. The “Hallelujah Chorus” was written by George Frederick Handel when he was poverty-stricken and suffering from a paralyzed right side and right arm. Affliction may be for our edification and Christian development. Sickness is one of the “all things” which work together for good to them that love God. Don’t resent it. Don’t be embittered by it.

Today's scripture

We know that all things work together for good to them that love God . . . - Romans 8:28

Today's prayer

You do not make mistakes, Father. If sorrow comes into my life, let me use it to help others know about You.

PAUSE FOR THOUGHT

A WORD IN TIME

16th April 2020

Jesus said to them, '… the Son can do nothing on his own,

but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise.’ (v. 19) '… anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life ... he has passed from death to life.' (v. 24)

Background

 

This passage is a reflection by Jesus responding to hostile Jewish authorities’ intent on killing him.

Verses 19-20 – Jesus’s self-defence is that he is only able to do and act as he sees his Father (God) acting. He can do nothing as an individual separate self. He is ‘one’ with his father, but this unity, is not one that he has created, but flows out of his intimate relationship with the Father.

Hearers will be astonished at what the Father acting through Jesus can do.

Verse 21 – The Father raises the dead and brings them life, so also the Son can give life to all he chooses.

Verses 22-23 – Jesus shares in two activities traditionally understood to belong to God: giving ‘life’; and exercising ‘judgement,’ reflecting Jewish belief that God will hold humans to account for their actions in the end times.

Here Jesus says that his Father has delegated to him, the role of judgement. The reason being that people will honour the Son as they honour the Father.

We might consider that Jesus, our human God-brother, knows first-hand what it is to live a limited human existence and is therefore well placed to judge us.

Verse 24 – Jesus says that a person believing his words has already passed from death to life eternal. The act of believing is the passing through and that person is not judged, not condemned.  

The phrase ‘passing’ is a reminder of the Israelites ‘passing’ from slavery into ‘freedom’ through the Red Sea. A changed status, but it still took 40 years before they embodied that freedom sufficiently, lived into it, to enter the Promised land.

Verse 25 – The time when the dead will hear the Son of God has come, and those who hear will live.

Verse 26-27 – Here Jesus explicitly makes himself equal with the Father. He can have ‘life’ in himself and ‘exercise judgement’ both activities reserved to God.

The Son of Man is a phrase which suggests Jesus is the archetype of every human, created in the image of God.

Verse 28-29 – The hour of judgement and resurrection is close, also for those who are already in their graves.

 

To Ponder:

  • Can you remember a time when you had a sense that God was doing something through you, beyond your individual capability? How would you describe your experience?

  • If judgement belongs to the Son, what stance should humans take regarding judging others or even themselves? How does that work in practice?

  • Is living intimately with God, more about ‘doing’ what we imagine God might want us to do, or about receiving the ‘being’ of God? What relationship do the ‘doing’ and ‘being’ have to each other? What might be the problems of separating them?

Jenny Ellis

Methodist Minister

Author of Bible notes for 'A Word in Time' (daily Methodist devotional)

PAUSE FOR THOUGHT

15th April 2020

A PRAYER FOR DELIVERANCE

By Pete Greig (27/7 Prayer)
Lord Jesus Christ,

we ask you to protect us from the spread of the coronavirus.  You are powerful and merciful, let this be our prayer;

Response:

“Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge.  I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.”  (Psalm 57)

Jehovah Shalom, Lord of Peace,

we remember those living in coronavirus hotspots and those currently in isolation.  May they know your presence in their isolation, your peace in their turmoil and your patience in their waiting.  Prince of Peace, you are powerful and merciful: let this be their prayer:

Response:

“May your mercy come quickly to meet us, for we are in desperate need.  Help us, God our Saviour, for the glory of your name.”  (Psalm 79:8)

God of all Comfort and Counsel,

we pray for those who are grieving, reeling from the sudden loss of loved ones.  May they find your fellowship in their suffering, your comfort in their loss, and your hope in their despair.  We name before you those known to us who are vulnerable and scared - the frail, the sick and the elderly ...... God of all Comfort, you are powerful and merciful: may this be our prayer:

Response:

"He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again.  On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us."  (2 Corinthians 1:10)

Jehovah Rapha, God who heals,

we pray for all medical professionals dealing daily with the intense pressures of this crisis.  Grant them resilience in weariness, discernment in diagnosis, and compassion upon compassion as they care.  We thank you for the army of researchers working steadily and quietly towards a cure -give them clarity, serendipity and unexpected breakthrough today.  Would you rise above this present darkness, Sun of Righteousness, with healing in your rays.  May this be our prayer:

Response:

"Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm.  Nothing is too hard for you." (Jeremiah 32:17)

God of all wisdom,

we pray for our leaders: the World Health Organisation, national governments and local leaders too - councils, hospitals, schools etc.  Grant them wisdom beyond their own wisdom and faith beyond their own faith.  God of all Wisdom and Counsel, you are powerful and merciful: may this be our prayer:

Response:

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear."  (Psalm 46:1-2)

May El Shaddai, the Lord God Almighty who loves you, protect you.  May Jesus Christ, His Son who died for you save you.  And may the Holy Spirit who broods over the chaos fill you with his presence, intercede for you and, in you, for others at this time. 
Response:

"The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom.  To him be glory for ever and ever.  Amen."  (2 Timothy 4:18)

14th April 2020

PAUSE FOR THOUGHT

HEALING WORDS

Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing

to the bones.

Proverbs 16:24

READ 

A recent study has shown that encouraging words from a health-care provider can help patients recuperate faster from their ailments. A simple experiment exposed volunteer study participants to a skin allergen to make them itch and then compared the reactions between those who received assurance from their physician and those who didn’t. Patients who received encouragement from their doctors had less discomfort and itching than their counterparts.  

The writer of Proverbs knew how important encouraging words are. “Gracious words” bring “healing to the bones,” he wrote (Proverbs 16:24). The positive effect of words isn’t limited to our health: when we heed the wisdom of instruction, we’re also more likely to prosper in our efforts (v. 20). So too encouragement buoys us for the challenges we face now and may encounter in the future. 

We may not yet fully understand why or even how much wisdom and encouragement bring strength and healing to our daily lives. Yet the cheers and guidance of our parents, coaches, and colleagues seem to help us endure difficulty and steer us toward success. Similarly, the Bible brings us encouragement when we face trials, equipping us to bear up under even the most unthinkable circumstances. Help us, God, to be strengthened by Your wisdom and to, in turn, offer the healing and hope of “gracious words” to those You’ve placed in our lives.  

 

By: Kirsten Holmberg

Our Daily Bread

PAUSE FOR THOUGHT

13th April 2020

HE IS RISEN

1In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

2And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

3His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:

4And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.

Matt 28:1-4

                                             

Hallelujah! This is the defining moment that changes everything. Christ’s work is completely fulfilled. Sin and death are defeated, The Father has raised His Son from the dead—and we get to experience that miracle with Him. We too will be raised from the dead. The grave is not our final resting place. There is a celebration that awaits us in heaven. Any injury and disappointment experienced in the here and now no longer have the power to diminish our lives. We have the power to be victors in life, no matter what the circumstance or battle before us.

 

In John’s divine revelation of heaven he writes: “Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: ‘Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns’” (Revelation 19:6, NIV). How can we read about the resurrection and not say hallelujah? David exhorts us: “Exalt the Lord our God and worship at his footstool; he is holy” (Psalm 99:5, NIV).

 

As we’ve walked in Jesus’ footsteps through His death and resurrection, this is the moment to stop and savor the simple phrase, “He has risen, just as He said” (Matthew 28:6, NIV). Now is the time to say “Hallelujah!” and express our praise to God.


 

You are risen, O Lord, just as you declared. Hallelujah!

 

Darlene Zschech 

Revealing Jesus

Watch the Victor's Crown video below