MATTHEW: DAILY BIBLE READINGS week commencing 1 May 17

Eddie,

As you read each passage, pray for God’s help. Ask yourself:

  • What does God reveal about Himself?
  • How is your own heart revealed?
  • How does this passage underline the wonder of God’s love for us in Jesus Christ, and your own need of Christ as Saviour and Lord?
  • Turn these truths into prayer and praise.

1 May Mt 24:1-3

Jesus foretells the judgement that will soon fall on the temple (v.2). This provokes the disciples to ask when this will happen (v.3). But they also ask about the end of the age (v.3). Perhaps they assumed (wrongly) that the destruction of the temple would immediately be followed by Jesus’ return. But as we’ll see, in Mt 24 Jesus does not answer the WHEN question, but the WHAT: what should we be doing in the present age? Obedience in the present is better than speculation about the future.

2 May Mt 24:4-14

Jesus describes life on earth between His first and second comings. We should not be surprised that sin produces upheaval and distress of every kind, including persecution of the church. Nor should we be deceived by self-proclaimed messiahs who promise to sort this world’s ills. Instead, we should get on with gospel ministry, undeterred by hardship, confident that God will bring restore His broken world at the right time (v.14). Once again, Jesus is equipping us for present service, not future speculation.

3 May Mt 24:15-21

Jesus foretold the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple which took place in AD 70. The disciples had asked specifically about this (vv.2-3), and now Jesus addresses the issue (vv.15-16). The appalling suffering of those days foreshadows the final judgement at the end of the world. Jerusalem was judged for its rejection of the prophets, and ultimately of Christ. So it will be at the end of time for all who have persisted in rejecting God’s mercy. Jerusalem’s tragedy should drive us to God.

4 May Mt 24:22-28

Since Jerusalem’s distress prefigures the wider troubles of the present age, we might wonder how humanity can survive at all. Yet God will finally intervene and bring salvation for the sake of His people (v.22). In troubled times we are vulnerable to being misled by the claims of bogus “saviours” (vv.23-25); hence Jesus repeats His earlier warning (compare vv.4-5). We should not flirt with these false claims. When Jesus returns for us, there will be no uncertainty about it (vv.26-28).

5 May Mt 24:29-35

Thank God, the appalling distress of this present age will not have the last word. It will be overtaken by the glory of Christ’s return, and while His enemies mourn, His elect people will be gathered to safety at last (vv.29-31). As spring gives way to summer, so Christ’s return will certainly follow this present age (vv.32-34). We cannot know the precise date (v.36), but we can live in the light of the promise, because Jesus words stand forever (v.35). Set your course through life by the promise of His coming.

6 May Mt 24:36-41

In view of v.36, we should not spend time trying to work out a detailed calendar for our Lord’s return. The comparison with the days of Noah underlines how unexpected His coming will be. Even if troubles are increasing and persecution reaches new heights, for most people it will be “business as usual” (vv.37-39). The final and irrevocable separation of believers and unbelievers (vv.40-41) will catch many unawares. The only way to be ready is … to be ready at any moment. Are you ready today?

7 May Mt 24:42-51

Our sinful nature makes us slow to make changes in our life, even when we know we should (vv.42-43). Hence Jesus calls us to vigilance (v.44), because the time His coming will be unexpected. Yet our waiting is not to be passive, but active (vv.45-46). Serve the Lord faithfully and you will be richly rewarded (v.47). But to ignore or abuse our opportunities for serving Christ is to court disaster (vv.48-51). In the light of these words, would you say you are living wisely? Pray for the grace of faithfulness.

“Insects, Integrity & Israel”! (There’s a combination you don’t see too often!)

Ruth,

How’s that for a gigantic leaf!

“Wake up and smell the coffee”!  It’s a phrase normally used to encourage someone to ‘get real’ about a situation but this morning it took on a more literal sense.  As I (Steve) sat down at my desk to scan the online news, a pesky mosquito managed to bite me four times!  And this one seemed to have it in for me, as it left extra-itchy bite marks!  The insecticide spray was quickly found and the hunt was on!  But in the process of moving my desk, the coffee cafetiere was knocked off and its contents splattered all over the tiled floor!  I guess I should be thankful we don’t have carpets here!  The wee beastie was eventually found and dispatched with determination – or is that ‘extermination’!?  Thus began my coffee-scented morning!

It’s the time of the year when insects of all shapes and sizes are plentiful and it can be a losing battle trying to keep them out of the house.  In addition to the insects, we also had to dispatch a small snake from the bathroom last week!  And this increase in creepy crawlies is all down to the fact that there’s been a humungous amount of rain here in Morogoro; so much so, that it even found its way into our kitchen through our roof!  The reddened dust has been dampened, the maize crops are reaching for the skies, the waterfalls are tumbling off the mountains behind us, and everywhere is a verdant green.  Temperatures are also dropping into the mid-20’s and some of the missionary folks can be heard uttering the words ‘It’s getting cold’ – hmmmm!

Conference season begins!  It’s also the time of the year when the IBM conference season is about to begin and yesterday marked a significant moment for me.  As you know, my main focus for the past three months has been the preparation of teaching material for this year’s pastors’ conferences – and yesterday, with a fair amount of relief and satisfaction, I was able to take my twelve teaching sessions to the printers! Actually, the relief was far more palpable than I expected it to be!  During the last sentence of translation with my language helper, as I pressed the ‘full-stop’ key on my laptop, I broke down and sobbed my eyes out!  Finally, it was ‘mission accomplished’!

Working hard with evangelist Yohana Dutuyi.

I’ve been very conscious of people praying for me over these last few months, and am indebted to those who’ve been lifting this cause up to God.  During this time I’ve been praying a verse from the prayer of Moses in Psalm 90: “May the favour of the Lord rest upon us, and establish the work of our hands for us.”  In other words: “Lord, enable me in this process, and make my labours effective and enduring for your glory.”  And I’ve definitely felt blessed and strengthened during this time.  On a number of occasions, whilst lying in bed at night with strained eyes and an aching neck, I would pray that I would be strengthened beyond my natural self to continue the next day.  Low and behold, I was!  It was tangible, and I felt God at work through this process in a number of ways.  He also provided me with a wonderful translator to work with, who’s been such a blessing to me.  When the energy to move forwards has been flagging, he’s spurred me on, and together we’ve pondered God’s Word and chewed the spiritual cud!  So, a huge thank you to those who have prayed; I believe those prayers have been answered.

Our subject this year is: “show me a leader with moral integrity”, based on a book by a Tanzanian bishop. Amongst the things we’ll be focussing on are the following topics: a mini study of biblical leaders with integrity; the qualities of a leader with integrity; the example of Jesus; servant leadership; compassion in leadership; obedient leadership; and how we deal with temptations and conflict in the ministry.  With several recent negative reports concerning church leadership here in Tanzania, and with various church leadership elections around the corner, there’s a feeling that this is exactly the right topic for this year.

The first conference starts on Wednesday 3rd May, so I’ll be leaving home on Monday, to do battle with the roads, some of which will be rough and not-so-ready!  We’ll be based in a small town called Barazani in the north of the country and, as you’ll see from the map, it’s situated right at the top of Lake Eyasi in the Rift Valley, just below the Serengeti plateau and the Ngorongoro Crater.  Whilst I did visit Barazani seven years ago (when the lake was completely dry!), I haven’t been to the church where the conference will be held.  I’ve been told that “at least the church has a roof”, so it could be interesting!  The towns marked with a blue star are the locations of all the conferences that will be taking place over the next seven months.

What’s Ruth been up to?  Ruth has been busy over the last couple of months with various projects.  An English course for beginners in March went well, despite having students with a wide range of abilities.  Part of her teaching included learning two worship songs, some simple prayers and memorising Psalm 117.  Two of her students, one a nominal Christian and the other a nominal Muslim, asked for Bibles at the end of the course, which Ruth was delighted to give them.  Pray that Monika and Thabiti will read their new Bibles and come to know the Lord.  The Retreat Centre has been fairly busy with different guests and groups.  We are running three courses at the Centre in May and June is fully booked with a couple of children’s camps and we’re looking forward to welcoming a work team from our home church, Corsham Baptist!  Ruth will also be attending a retreat for AIM ladies in May which is being held on the south coast of Tanzania.  In spite of her busy schedule Ruth is finding time to attend one of AICT Morogoro’s home groups on a Wednesday afternoon.  It means that she is getting to know various members of the church a little better and it’s good practice for her Swahili.  In fact, during the prayer time Ruth has been asked to pray on several occasions – which is rather daunting and out of her comfort zone!

Stepping in the footsteps of Jesus – again! In early April, I was able to fit in a trip to Israel with Oak Hall. Flight timings and stopovers were not so friendly, but the privilege of showing people around this biblically significant land and treading in the footsteps of so many biblical characters, far outweighed the airport hang-abouts and blurry eyes!  Plus, the views from above weren’t too bad either!  Snow-covered mountains in Turkey, the Bosphorus Strait near Istanbul, the sprawling city of Cairo, the meandering Nile, the horn of East Africa, and the infamous city of Mogadishu!  The tour itself went very well, and it was great to see the guests taking in the sights and having their ‘wow’ moments as we opened our Bibles to reflect on events that happened over 2000 years ago and yet still have such an impact today.  We stayed in Jerusalem, Galilee, and Bethlehem and packed in as much as we could in the time available.

Steps up to the Huldah Gates; newer steps to the left and original steps to the right

On one of our mornings in Jerusalem we visited the south end of the Temple Mount and looked up at the steps leading to the Huldah Gates, through which many a biblical pilgrim would have entered on their way up into the Temple area.  We imagined the early church congregation meeting under Solomon’s Portico, just above the gates, and we read about Jesus and his disciples entering the Temple.  Apparently, so too did the astronaut Neil Armstrong!  When he visited Israel sometime after his trip to the moon, he was taken to these gates (now blocked up) by an Israeli archaeologist.  Armstrong asked whether Jesus might have stepped anywhere around there and the archaeologist replied: “Well, being as Jesus was a Jew and these are the steps that lead to the Temple, he must have walked up them many times”.  Armstrong then asked whether the steps they were standing on were the original steps, and the archaeologist confirmed they were.  Armstrong, who was a devout Christian, pondered for a while and then said this: “I find that I am more excited stepping on these stones than I was when I stepped on the moon.”  Whilst I can’t make the same comparison with standing on the moon, I can certainly appreciate his excitement and I guess that’s one of the reasons why I never tire of visiting this fascinating land.

    

We’ve included some diary dates below, and would be grateful for your prayers as we enter a busy conference period.  Please pray that God would move in the lives of the pastors and evangelists, and that He would enable me to teach well, with a Swahili that is beyond my natural ability!!  Please pray that we’d also experience good health and safety as we travel.  And join with us in thanksgiving for the fact that our conference budget has been met for this year with a generous donation, and for the progress that continues to happen at Sanga Sanga.  Many thanks!

Steve & Ruth

Dates for the Diary:

May
1st-7th:       Steve to Barazani – IBM conference 3rd-5th
4th-9th:       Ruth to Kilwa for AIM Ladies Retreat
15th-19th:   Ruth teaching English course at Sanga Sanga
18th-20th:   Steve to Dar for unit leader meetings
27th-31st:   Steve to Nairobi for UL meetings/Ruth holidaying with a visiting
friend

June
13th-18th:  Lindi (south) – 2nd IBM pastors’ conference
20th-30th:  Corsham Baptist team arrive to help out at Sanga

July
4th-6th:     Sanga Sanga – 3rd IBM pastors’ conference
7th-25th:   Ma & Pa Lancs come to visit!

August
1st-5th:    Ifakara – 4th IBM pastors’ conference

“Insects, Integrity & Israel”! (There’s a combination you don’t see too often!)

Ruth,

How’s that for a gigantic leaf!

“Wake up and smell the coffee”!  It’s a phrase normally used to encourage someone to ‘get real’ about a situation but this morning it took on a more literal sense.  As I (Steve) sat down at my desk to scan the online news, a pesky mosquito managed to bite me four times!  And this one seemed to have it in for me, as it left extra-itchy bite marks!  The insecticide spray was quickly found and the hunt was on!  But in the process of moving my desk, the coffee cafetiere was knocked off and its contents splattered all over the tiled floor!  I guess I should be thankful we don’t have carpets here!  The wee beastie was eventually found and dispatched with determination – or is that ‘extermination’!?  Thus began my coffee-scented morning!

It’s the time of the year when insects of all shapes and sizes are plentiful and it can be a losing battle trying to keep them out of the house.  In addition to the insects, we also had to dispatch a small snake from the bathroom last week!  And this increase in creepy crawlies is all down to the fact that there’s been a humungous amount of rain here in Morogoro; so much so, that it even found its way into our kitchen through our roof!  The reddened dust has been dampened, the maize crops are reaching for the skies, the waterfalls are tumbling off the mountains behind us, and everywhere is a verdant green.  Temperatures are also dropping into the mid-20’s and some of the missionary folks can be heard uttering the words ‘It’s getting cold’ – hmmmm!

Conference season begins!  It’s also the time of the year when the IBM conference season is about to begin and yesterday marked a significant moment for me.  As you know, my main focus for the past three months has been the preparation of teaching material for this year’s pastors’ conferences – and yesterday, with a fair amount of relief and satisfaction, I was able to take my twelve teaching sessions to the printers! Actually, the relief was far more palpable than I expected it to be!  During the last sentence of translation with my language helper, as I pressed the ‘full-stop’ key on my laptop, I broke down and sobbed my eyes out!  Finally, it was ‘mission accomplished’!

Working hard with evangelist Yohana Dutuyi

Working hard with evangelist Yohana Dutuyi.

I’ve been very conscious of people praying for me over these last few months, and am indebted to those who’ve been lifting this cause up to God.  During this time I’ve been praying a verse from the prayer of Moses in Psalm 90: “May the favour of the Lord rest upon us, and establish the work of our hands for us.”  In other words: “Lord, enable me in this process, and make my labours effective and enduring for your glory.”  And I’ve definitely felt blessed and strengthened during this time.  On a number of occasions, whilst lying in bed at night with strained eyes and an aching neck, I would pray that I would be strengthened beyond my natural self to continue the next day.  Low and behold, I was!  It was tangible, and I felt God at work through this process in a number of ways.  He also provided me with a wonderful translator to work with, who’s been such a blessing to me.  When the energy to move forwards has been flagging, he’s spurred me on, and together we’ve pondered God’s Word and chewed the spiritual cud!  So, a huge thank you to those who have prayed; I believe those prayers have been answered.

Our subject this year is: “show me a leader with moral integrity”, based on a book by a Tanzanian bishop. Amongst the things we’ll be focussing on are the following topics: a mini study of biblical leaders with integrity; the qualities of a leader with integrity; the example of Jesus; servant leadership; compassion in leadership; obedient leadership; and how we deal with temptations and conflict in the ministry.  With several recent negative reports concerning church leadership here in Tanzania, and with various church leadership elections around the corner, there’s a feeling that this is exactly the right topic for this year.

The first conference starts on Wednesday 3rd May, so I’ll be leaving home on Monday, to do battle with the roads, some of which will be rough and not-so-ready!  We’ll be based in a small town called Barazani in the north of the country and, as you’ll see from the map, it’s situated right at the top of Lake Eyasi in the Rift Valley, just below the Serengeti plateau and the Ngorongoro Crater.  Whilst I did visit Barazani seven years ago (when the lake was completely dry!), I haven’t been to the church where the conference will be held.  I’ve been told that “at least the church has a roof”, so it could be interesting!  The towns marked with a blue star are the locations of all the conferences that will be taking place over the next seven months.

What’s Ruth been up to?  Ruth has been busy over the last couple of months with various projects.  An English course for beginners in March went well, despite having students with a wide range of abilities.  Part of her teaching included learning two worship songs, some simple prayers and memorising Psalm 117.  Two of her students, one a nominal Christian and the other a nominal Muslim, asked for Bibles at the end of the course, which Ruth was delighted to give them.  Pray that Monika and Thabiti will read their new Bibles and come to know the Lord.  The Retreat Centre has been fairly busy with different guests and groups.  We are running three courses at the Centre in May and June is fully booked with a couple of children’s camps and we’re looking forward to welcoming a work team from our home church, Corsham Baptist!  Ruth will also be attending a retreat for AIM ladies in May which is being held on the south coast of Tanzania.  In spite of her busy schedule Ruth is finding time to attend one of AICT Morogoro’s home groups on a Wednesday afternoon.  It means that she is getting to know various members of the church a little better and it’s good practice for her Swahili.  In fact, during the prayer time Ruth has been asked to pray on several occasions – which is rather daunting and out of her comfort zone!

Stepping in the footsteps of Jesus – again! In early April, I was able to fit in a trip to Israel with Oak Hall. Flight timings and stopovers were not so friendly, but the privilege of showing people around this biblically significant land and treading in the footsteps of so many biblical characters, far outweighed the airport hang-abouts and blurry eyes!  Plus, the views from above weren’t too bad either!  Snow-covered mountains in Turkey, the Bosphorus Strait near Istanbul, the sprawling city of Cairo, the meandering Nile, the horn of East Africa, and the infamous city of Mogadishu!  The tour itself went very well, and it was great to see the guests taking in the sights and having their ‘wow’ moments as we opened our Bibles to reflect on events that happened over 2000 years ago and yet still have such an impact today.  We stayed in Jerusalem, Galilee, and Bethlehem and packed in as much as we could in the time available.

Steps up to the Huldah Gates; newer steps to the left and original steps to the right

Steps up to the Huldah Gates; newer steps to the left and original steps to the right

On one of our mornings in Jerusalem we visited the south end of the Temple Mount and looked up at the steps leading to the Huldah Gates, through which many a biblical pilgrim would have entered on their way up into the Temple area.  We imagined the early church congregation meeting under Solomon’s Portico, just above the gates, and we read about Jesus and his disciples entering the Temple.  Apparently, so too did the astronaut Neil Armstrong!  When he visited Israel sometime after his trip to the moon, he was taken to these gates (now blocked up) by an Israeli archaeologist.  Armstrong asked whether Jesus might have stepped anywhere around there and the archaeologist replied: “Well, being as Jesus was a Jew and these are the steps that lead to the Temple, he must have walked up them many times”.  Armstrong then asked whether the steps they were standing on were the original steps, and the archaeologist confirmed they were.  Armstrong, who was a devout Christian, pondered for a while and then said this: “I find that I am more excited stepping on these stones than I was when I stepped on the moon.”  Whilst I can’t make the same comparison with standing on the moon, I can certainly appreciate his excitement and I guess that’s one of the reasons why I never tire of visiting this fascinating land.

    

We’ve included some diary dates below, and would be grateful for your prayers as we enter a busy conference period.  Please pray that God would move in the lives of the pastors and evangelists, and that He would enable me to teach well, with a Swahili that is beyond my natural ability!!  Please pray that we’d also experience good health and safety as we travel.  And join with us in thanksgiving for the fact that our conference budget has been met for this year with a generous donation, and for the progress that continues to happen at Sanga Sanga.  Many thanks!

Steve & Ruth

Dates for the Diary:

May
1st-7th:       Steve to Barazani – IBM conference 3rd-5th
4th-9th:       Ruth to Kilwa for AIM Ladies Retreat
15th-19th:   Ruth teaching English course at Sanga Sanga
18th-20th:   Steve to Dar for unit leader meetings
27th-31st:   Steve to Nairobi for UL meetings/Ruth holidaying with a visiting
friend

June
13th-18th:  Lindi (south) – 2nd IBM pastors’ conference
20th-30th:  Corsham Baptist team arrive to help out at Sanga

July
4th-6th:     Sanga Sanga – 3rd IBM pastors’ conference
7th-25th:   Ma & Pa Lancs come to visit!

August
1st-5th:    Ifakara – 4th IBM pastors’ conference

Notice sheet for 30th April 2017

Louise,

Kathy Larkman

Kathy and Debbie are going to Tanzania from 3rd-9th May.  Kathy will be speaking at an AIM women’s retreat.  Please pray for her as she prepares her talks and as they both get ready to travel to Africa.

Craft Group

The quilt that has been made for the lady in Ruth and Steve’s community at Morogoro by the Craft group will be in the coffee hall today before it goes out to Tanzania.  Craft group will be meeting again on Saturday 6th May 10-12.30. For more information please speak to Kathy Ewins or Pam Mitchell.

Parents’ Evening

Dan Ovens would like to invite all parents of teens to his house on Thursday 4th May 7.30pm for a parents’ evening. The idea is to provide an opportunity for you to find out how your child is getting on, about what they get up to and future youth ministry plans (without relying on prising information out of your child!).  There will also be space for you to give honest evaluation, ask questions and share any concerns.

Steve and Gill Bryant

Please pray for Steve and Gill who will be in Germany from 6th to 15th May. They are speaking at two conferences – the first one is a WEC gathering for staff involved in training new missionaries and the second is a multi missions’ conference focused on meeting the needs of families serving overseas. They are also speaking at a conference for mission school heads in Hertfordshire Monday 1st May.

Traidcraft

Julie King will be stepping down from Traidcraft at the end of May.  If you would like to take this on, please speak to Julie.

**TANZANIA GIFT DAY** 7TH MAY

Next Sunday 7th May, we will be holding a gift day to support the work of our mission team that will be going to Tanzania in June to build a shower block at the AIM Sanga Sanga conference centre.  We are aiming to raise £5,000 to cover the cost of the building materials, but if additional money is raised it will be lodged in our Restricted Mission Fund and used to follow mission at home or overseas in due course.  Please do pray about how you can contribute towards this offering.

Special yellow envelopes for your Gift Day offering will be available on the table at the back of the building from today.  If you are able to gift aid your donation, please complete the declaration on the envelope.  If you are not able to do this, please just score out the declaration. When the offering is taken on the day, only the contents of the yellow envelopes will be included in the Gift Day total.  Blue envelopes and loose cash/cheques will be treated as regular giving to the general work of the church. Please speak to Lynne Little (Rudloe), Michael Prior (Priory Street 9.15) or Roger Hammett (Priory Street 11.15) should you wish to clarify these arrangements.

Let there be Science – David Hutchings

David Hutchings is a physics teacher who has recently co-authored a book on science and religion.  He will be coming to give a presentation on Christianity and science working hand in hand. This will be followed by a Q&A session and refreshments.  Date: Saturday 13th May @ 7:30pm at Priory Street.  Please invite non-Christian friends!

Uganda team fundraiser

Do you like to eat breakfast? Do you want to support the team going to Uganda? Then join us on Saturday June 17th at 10am for our fundraising brunch. There will be lots of breakfast choices as well as cakes. So why not drop in for something to eat and a chat and help raise some funds for the team.

 

…This week…

Monday: Mums’ bible study, 9:30am; Ladies’ bible study, 7:30pm

Tuesday: Rudloe Tots, 10:00am

Thursday: Toddler Group, 10:00am; Corsham Money and Debt Advice Centre, 7:30pm; Parents’ meeting at Dan’s house, 7:30pm

Friday: Corsham Money and Debt Advice Centre, 9:30am; Encounter, 3.45pm; Engage, 4:30pm; Energize, 5:30pm

Saturday: Prayer for gospel expansion 8.30am; Craft Club, 10:00am; Rudloe Cafe, 2:30pm

 

….At a quick glance….

7th May: Tanzania Gift Day; Prayer evening, 6pm

10th May: Midweek service, 2pm

13th May: Corsham Money and Debt Advice Centre training, 10am-4pm; Let there be Science, 7:30pm

14th May: Bailey infant dedication, 9:15am

15th May: Prayer for missions and the persecuted church, 7:45pm

18th May: Lucie Whiting wedding, 12:30pm

20th May: Corsham Money and Debt Advice, 10am-4pm

21st May: Infant dedication 9:15am service

22nd May: Ladies’ bible study, 7:30pm

24th May: Midweek service, 2pm

27th May: The Ark, 10am

3rd June: Craft Club, 10am

4th June: Pentecost service, 6pm

7th June: Midweek service, 2pm

11th June: Infant dedication: 11:15am service

13th June: Men’s night, bbq social

17th June: Uganda fund-raiser – brunch!

19th June: Missions and Prayer for the persecuted church, 7:45pm

21st June: Midweek service, 2pm

24th June: The Ark, 10am

26th June: Ladies’ Bible Study, 7:30pm

2nd July: Infant dedication 9:15am service

5th July: Midweek service, 2pm

8th July: Steph Grylls’/ Beren Miles’ wedding

 

Be Patient …… With Yourself!

kathylarkman,

lesley-grindrod

Lesley Grindrod, contributor for today’s blog

The well-known car bumper sticker “Be patient with me – God hasn’t finished with me yet!” crossed my mind as I sat down to write this morning. But no sooner had my fingers touched the keyboard than I felt the Holy Spirit unexpectedly nudge me with these words: “Be patient with yourself, I haven’t finished with you yet!”

Oh man! How I struggle to be patient with myself!  A constant, condescending, impatient ‘inner voice’ that shouts “That’s good, but it’s not really good enough. Why haven’t you done this yet? Why are you still doing that?” When is this going to happen?”

Be patient with yourself….” If you’re anything like me you’re a bit of a mess! We don’t want anyone else to know it and we do our best to put on a great face so no-one will ever know it …. but we know! We know every flaw, every mistake, every failure, every sin. And with every new mistake we beat ourselves up … ‘Why bother? I’m never going to make it!’

love is patient1 Corinthians 13 tells me that love is patient. God is love, and He is eternally patient with me. If I’m to imitate Him I must be patient with myself! I must believe God’s working in my life even when I don’t feel like He is.

Spiritual growth is often tedious work – one small step at a time. Ecclesiastes 1:3 says “Everything in earth has its own time and season.” There are seasons in our spiritual life too. Sometimes we’ll experience  short, intense bursts of growth (Spring) but also periods of stability, testing and even barrenness (Autumn & Winter).

So what about those habits and hurts you would like instantly removed from your life? Its fine to pray for a miracle, but don’t be disappointed if the answer comes from a gradual change. Be patient. Over time, a slow steady flow of water will erode the hardest rock and turn giant boulders into pebbles. Winter will eventually become Spring.

Try keeping a notebook or journal. Not a diary of events but a record of what you’re learning. Write down the insights and life-lessons God teaches you about yourself, life, relationships and everything else. Recording gives you opportunity to review, to look back and praise God for every lesson learned, every victory He’s achieved in you!

One of life’s frustrations is that God’s timetable is rarely the same as ours. I often feel frustrated, impatient with the seemingly slow progress I’m making in life. Remember God is never in a hurry, but He’s always ‘bang on time.’ He’s using our entire lifetime to prepare us for our role in eternity!

Dear friends, I don’t know what’s been happening in your life – what struggles you’re facing, what failures you’ve made. All I know is, if you love God, He is working on you. Be patient with Him. Be patient with yourself. Love is patient. Cut yourself some slack today. You’ll make it. God has promised you will!

Picture1

 

BEAR WITH ONE ANOTHER BIBLE STUDY AND FRIENDSHIP

kathylarkman,

one+anotherHi girls!

Tonight is the night for our time together; to eat cake, to share in friendship, old and new; and to study together in Scripture what it is to Bear with One Another aka Be Patient with One Another in our ongoing One Anothering Series this school year.  Sharon Durant will be leading us, along with Anne Holmes. So, don’t miss it! Bring a friend and get ready for a rich evening!

WHERE: Corsham Baptist Church Hall

WHEN: Monday, 24 April

TIME: 7:30 PM 

Notice sheet for 23rd April 2017

Louise,

Church Meeting

At the recent church meeting the following people were welcomed into membership at Corsham Baptist Church:

Rob and Liz Perks;

            Paul and Vicky Kelly;

            Geoff and Jean Oatley;

            Matt and Kirstyn Lee;

            Sharon Pearce

Paul Garcia was also re-elected Deacon for Church on the Green; Alan Kember was re-elected Deacon at Corsham Baptist Church and reaffirmed in his role as Church Secretary.

Holiday Club

A huge superhero thank you to all the helpers at holiday club! We had an amazing time learning about some of the lesser known heroes of the Bible. We had lots of new children attending this time so it was great to get to know more families in the community. Thank you for all your prayers.

Ladies’ Bible Study

Notes for the next ladies’ bible study which will take place tomorrow, Monday 24th April, are on the table at the back of the church.  Please take one in preparation of the study or speak to Anne Holmes or Kathy Larkman.

Midweek Service – 26th April

The text will be Ruth 1.  Eric Seager will be leading and David Morrell preaching.  The service starts at 2:00pm and concludes at 3:00pm with tea/coffee and homemade cake.

Youth Fundraiser

A very big thank you to everyone who supported the youth fundraiser yesterday.  All monies raised will go towards their mission trip to Uganda later in the year.

**TANZANIA GIFT DAY** 7TH MAY

On Sunday 7th May we will have a gift day to support the building work being carried out at Sanga Sanga in Tanzania. We are aiming to raise £5,000 to cover the cost of the building materials, but if additional money is raised, it will be lodged in the Restricted Mission Fund, and used to follow mission at home or overseas in due course. Please pray about how you can contribute towards this offering.  More details in the notice sheet next week. For further information please speak to Roger Hammett or Martin Sheringham.

Let there be Science – David Hutchings

David Hutchings is a physics teacher who has recently co-authored a book on science and religion.  He will be coming to give a presentation on Christianity and science working hand in hand. This will be followed by a Q&A session and refreshments.  Date: Saturday 13th May @ 7:30pm at Priory Street.  Please invite non-Christian friends!

The Ark

After the excitement of Easter and the holidays, don’t forget the next ark is on again on Saturday 29th April at 10.00am at CBC, Priory Street.  It is aimed at 0-7yrs but all are welcome, with an adult.

Traidcraft

Julie King will be stepping down from Traidcraft at the end of May.  If you would like to take this on, please speak to Julie.

Craft Group

The quilt that has been made for the lady in Ruth and Steve’s community at Morogoro by the Craft group will be in the coffee hall on Sunday 30th before it goes out to Tanzania.  Craft group will be meeting again on Saturday 6th May 10-12.30. For more information please speak to Kathy Ewins or Pam Mitchell.

Parents’ Evening (for parents of Young People)

Dan Ovens would like to invite all parents of teens to his house (16 Arnolds Mead) on Thursday 4th May 7.30pm for a parents’ evening. The idea is to provide an opportunity for you to find out how your child is getting on, about what they get up to and future youth ministry plans (without relying on prising information out of your child!).  There will also be space for you to give honest evaluation, ask questions and share any concerns.

Kathy Larkman

Kathy Larkman and Debbie Jackson are going to Tanzania from 3rd-9th May.  Kathy will be speaking at an AIM women’s retreat.  Please pray for her as she prepares her talks and as they both get ready to travel to Africa.

 

…This week…

Monday: Mums’ bible study, 9:30am; Ladies’ bible study, 7:30pm

Tuesday: Rudloe Tots, 10:00am

Wednesday: Midweek service, 2pm

Thursday: Toddler Group, 10:00am; Corsham Money and Debt Advice Centre, 7:30pm

Friday: Corsham Money and Debt Advice Centre, 9:30am; Encounter, 3.45pm; Engage, 4:30pm; Energize, 5:30pm

Saturday: Prayer for gospel expansion 8.30am; the Ark, 10:00am; Rudloe Cafe, 2:30pm

 

….At a quick glance….

4th May: Parents’ evening Dan’s house, 7:30pm

6th May: Craft Club, 10am

7th May: Tanzania Gift Day; Prayer evening, 6pm

10th May: Midweek service, 2pm

13th May: Corsham Money and Debt Advice Centre training, 10am-4pm; Let there be Science, 7:30pm

14th May: Bailey infant  dedication, 9:15am

15th May: Prayer for missions and the persecuted church, 7:45pm

18th May: Lucie Whiting wedding, 12:30pm

20th May: Corsham Money and Debt Advice, 10am-4pm

21st May: Infant dedication 9:15am service22nd May: Ladies’ bible study, 7:30pm24th May: Midweek service, 2pm27th May: The Ark, 10am3rd June: Craft Club, 10am4th June: Pentecost service, 6pm7th June: Midweek service, 2pm11th June: Infant dedication: 11:15am service; afternoon social for 9:15er’s;13th June: Men’s night, bbq social 

 

 

EVERY DAY PATIENCE

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Hannah Spruijt, contributor of today’s post

Patient. It’s not a word that describes me best! And unfortunately, it is those who are nearest and dearest to me who know it all too well. Don’t get me wrong, I can keep my cool to a certain extent, but then I have a definite ‘snapping’ point and all too easily, I lose it.  Since having my little boy I’ve learned SO much about my inability to be patient; two year olds have a marvellous way of pushing all the right buttons to reveal our true colours! Sometimes in the evening when I reflect back over the day’s happenings, I feel shame and guilt that my sin has impacted my parenting. What does the Bible have to say about patience in bearing with one another? What do I need to learn?

Firstly, God’s character gives us the blueprint to follow. Psalm 103 (one of my favourites) says “The LORD is merciful and gracious; he is slow to get angry and full of unfailing love” (v8, NLT).  Mercy means to have patience and a forgiving disposition towards someone who is in your power; God is patient with us and He is always ready to forgive us when we turn to Him.  Secondly, we are commanded to be patient!  In amongst lots of advice for the young church in Thessalonica, Paul instructs the new believers to “be patient with one another” (1 Thess 5v14) in preparing for Christ’s return; he doesn’t give any exclusions like ‘if you feel like it’ or ‘in certain situations’ or ‘only if the other person is worth being patient for’! Simply, we must be patient with everyone.  Another Bible passage that comes to mind is where the fruits of the Spirit are listed in Galatians 5 (v22-23).  As Christians, we know if we are truly seeking to grow in our walk with God and are committed to learning and changing to become more like Jesus, the Holy Spirit will enable us to cultivate these Christ-like character traits in our hearts and lives. But how does this happen?

I want to share a little testimony to God’s goodness. In the last six months God has been working in my life in a way I have never known before. A very dear lady has been investing her time and energy in praying with me, encouraging me and holding me accountable for my personal prayer life, Bible study and other areas too. It has been amazing that our series on ‘One-Anothering’ has coincided with this time and I have been able to relate very personally to all the areas we’ve covered! My walk with God, my anxiety levels, how I make choices, my marriage and even how I parent have all been impacted.

I can see that as I seek to be more Christ-like and I daily commit myself to God, the Holy Spirit prompts me and I feel his ‘nudging’ in the moments when my patience is draining and anger is rising.  If I am truly in step with Him, it is far easier to feel the nudge and act upon it; I ask God for immediate help in a quick prayer, I think about what I say before I say it, and I remember God’s kindness and mercy to me before I deal with my son.

I am still definitely not getting it right all the time, and I can tell when I am not in step with the Spirit and I have to repent, but I am so glad to be a work in progress (Phil 1v6) and thankful to God for his goodness in how he ‘giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater’ as the old hymn says. If He extends His grace and His mercy to us, day by day and moment by moment, how much more should we be bearing with one another with patience, kindness and gentleness in response?

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