Not in the dog house!

Tim Stephenson,

Habari!

Hi to you all,

It has been a good day, I know that because I am covered in paint and we are both sat outside with a cuppa for the last hour of sunlight – sun always sets around 6pm whatever time of year – Martin is quiet so I know he is tired!

Now that the plasterwork is finished and the ‘windows’ (read grates with mesh for windows) are in, we have started working back on the shower and toilet block that we built when the team were here – Martin is making doors for the cubicles and planning the plumbing and I am, of course, painting…

Jo preparing more paint

Jo preparing more paint

It took us just over a week to get the showers in the retreat house fully functioning, just in time as there will be a big group staying on the site for the next few days.

It is really good to notice that relationships with the staff on site are going well, as they now come and tell us about things that need fixing etc.
The bees have been a bit of a problem this week, that is African bees, with a bit of a reputation. They tend to swarm angrily around the workshop in the afternoons and we have to light fires, the smoke keeping them at bay. They also seemed to follow me around today wherever I was painting, they obviously have words to say about the colour or my sloppy technique? As long as you don’t make any sudden movements they are ok…
Staff were very happy when Martin made a new door out of scrap wood that was lying around for the dog house (ok so he wasn’t actually in the dog house, then…) see photo on facebook, if you are ‘friends’ !

I went along to a ladies prayer breakfast on saturday morning – sounds very civilised, and it certainly was – a great group of English speaking ‘gals’ from Zimbabwe, USA, Germany, Kenya, Tanzania as well as UK. We were saying goodbye to a German lady who has run an orphanage here for nearly 20 years. We had an interesting chat as she comes from Berlin and trained in the hospital where youngest daughter was born…

So life continues here in Morogoro and Sanga Sanga – not always full of excitment, like life the world over, but we are happy to work and know that the small things we do are making a difference.

I almost forgot! How could I possibly say that life is not exciting when the local council, or somebody official, came and scraped a few inches off the road surface up to our house this week – that may mean nothing but if you can imagine the difference between driving across the Grand Canyon and what is now a farm dirt track, then you will understand our joy!!

Let’s see what they can manage next week…?
Love to all,
Jo and Martin

Know me more…

Tim Stephenson,

At New Wine this week, I thought I’d try to distill the essence of Simon Ponsonby’s morning message: questions Jesus asked. Question 1:

“Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time?” John:14-9

The Lord invites and wants us to know Him better. No matter if he’s talking to Philip and the other disciples that had spent night and day with him for 3 years or someone in Corsham with a few tentative questions.

Either way, His answer is not a dismissive “Haven’t you got it yet?”, remember it was Adam and Eve that hid from God, He went looking for them.

Notices for 30th July 2017

Louise,

Infant Dedication

There will be an infant dedication service for Emily Taylor, daughter of Colin and Lydia, this morning at the 11:15am service.

Sunday evening service

This evening five people from the MK training course will be sharing in the service tonight.  Four are going to Senegal and one to Vietnam. It’s an opportunity for us to hear their stories and pray for them. See Steve or Gill Bryant for more details..

Donations to Oasis Team

We have received a request from the Oasis Team in Austria for the following items to be sent out with Neal and Lesley Grindrod.  If you would like to donate any of the items mentioned in the list then please place the item in the box (at the back of church) marked ‘Oasis’ before Sunday 3rd September. Thank you very much for your support. Please continue to pray for Neal and Lesley as they prepare to return to Austria for four months.

  1. Personally requested by the Oasis team:
  • Large box of ‘English’ teabags (PG Tips or similar)
  • Large bar of Cadburys Dairy Milk chocolate
  • 2x bars of Cadburys Marvellous Creations Jelly Popping Candy
  • 2x containers of Cream of Tartar (for baking)
  • 4 – 6 packets of jelly crystals (red, green and orange) for making jellies
  1. Requested for the refugee clothing room ministry:
  • Small and medium size underwear for men (new only please)
  • Small and medium size ladies’ underwear (new only please)
  1. Requested for the women and children’s outreach ministry:
  • Small bottles of ‘bubbles’ for the kiddies
  • Small bottles of food colouring (various colours) for colouring playdough

Please contact Wendy Rowe if you have questions about any of these items.

Midweek Service

The next midweek service will be on Wednesday 2nd August at 2pm.  The text will be 1 Samuel 24 and Eric Seager will be leading and preaching.  Please join us for light refreshments after the service.

Meetings over the Summer

Please note that our meetings and ministries are now closed over the school summer holidays and will recommence in early September.  If you have any queries, please speak to your lifegroup co-ordinator.

Please note…the church office will be closed from 4th-18th August and reopen on the 21st August.

Grace Place – Summer Reflections

Ladies, please visit GRACE PLACE summer reflections on Hebrews 12:1-3. May it be an encouragement to you as you run the race with godly perseverance over the summer months!  Please have a chat to Kathy Larkman for more information about her blog.

….This week…

30th July: WEC evening, 6pm

2nd August: Midweek service, 2pm

3rd August: WEC training concludes

16th August: Midweek service, 2pm

11th-18th August: Uganda Mission trip

30th August: Midweek service, 2pm

2nd September: Craft Club, 10am

22-24th Sept: Men’s camping weekend, Grittleton

 

ALL THAT HINDERS…FEAR OF BEING DIFFERENT

kathylarkman,

As we continue to consider areas where we may be hindered in the race God has marked out for us, can you relate to the hindrance of the FEAR OF BEING DIFFERENT AS A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST? I have personally struggled with this big time in my earlier years and it even rears its ugly head every now and again now.

I have always wanted people to like me. I want people to approve of me-think I am cool, “with it”, on the cutting edge of …..well, anything. In other words, I don’t want people to think I am this weird Jesus fanatic like we read about in the news. I don’t want to be associated with “Christians” who either live depressed, legalistic “can’t do anything fun” lives, or be the one no one wants to be around because I give the smelly fragrance of self righteousness and judgement. I have said, “I don’t like others to be uncomfortable and I don’t want to put people off.” What is wrong with this picture? Excuses. Self-justification. It reeks of “all about me,” also known as pride.

As followers of Christ, we want to be discerning and use wisdom with the world. But many times, I fall into the trap of Satan’s deception. The fear. The pride. I stay quiet. I don’t share the hope I have through Christ. I try to blend in. I don’t stand up for Christ and HIS values and ideals when given the opportunity; or when I see His honour and majesty of who He is being tarnished or blasphemed.

This is the deal: Christ calls us to be different! And, it isn’t about us. It is about Christ. All. The. Time. Being a follower of Christ is not an add on in our lives. Christ teaches us a set of values and ideals which is distinctive from the way of the world. He calls us to be different; to be counter-cultural. We are not to get our cue from those around us, but from Him, and so prove to be genuine children of our heavenly Father. All through the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus carries this theme to be different. He gives the Christian value-system which is as relevant today as it was then.

Being a follower of Jesus Christ lays the trajectory for all of life’s choices. It can be very difficult at times. I have failed miserably many times. I was sidetracked for many years. My heart deceived me!(Jeremiah 17:9) and the serpent deceived my mind. (2 Corinthians 11:3) Sisters, If our minds tend to negotiate, to compromise the gospel, to justify our disobedience, we must be aware of this deception.

Our Lord is gracious and compassionate, and has rescued us through Jesus Christ our Lord! He helps us in our struggles. He will help us to throw off the hindrance of pride and fear of being different than the world around us! He helps us to be salt, light, and hope to a broken world. We must encourage one another to CHOOSE to give to Him our all in humility and a teachable spirit every day. Let’s encourage each other to dig deep into the word of God which will equip us through the Holy Spirit.

Let’s run together, the race God has marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith! Let’s embrace being different!

Love, Kathy x

fear of man

 

Meet a missionary

Tim Stephenson,

Sorry for the terrible alliteration in the title, it just seemed irresistible ;-).

You will have seen in the church notices that Gill and Steve Bryant are holding an open evening with the WEC course participants this evening and we (the wider congregation) have been invited to join them.

So why not take this opportunity to find out more about both Steve and Gill’s work and that of the participants? Perhaps God is calling you to support this work in prayer, financially or some other way?

7.45pm at Priory Street

Notices for 23rd July 2017

Louise,

Church Meeting

At the church meeting held on Monday, the following people were welcomed into membership of Corsham Baptist Church:  Steve and Jenny Shiles; Alan and Jill Homersley; Emily Pillinger.  Ian Holmes and Norman Fuggle have been elected as Elders of CBC.

Infant Dedication

There will be an infant dedication service for Emily Taylor, daughter of Colin and Lydia, on Sunday 30th July at the 11:15am service.

Donations to Oasis Team

We have received a request from the Oasis Team in Austria for the following items to be sent out with Neal and Lesley Grindrod.  If you would like to donate any of the items mentioned in the list then please place the item in the box (at the back of church) marked ‘Oasis’ before Sunday 3rd September. Thank you very much for your support. Please continue to pray for Neal and Lesley as they prepare to return to Austria for four months.

  1. Personally requested by the Oasis team:
  • Large box of ‘English’ teabags (PG Tips or similar)
  • Large bar of Cadburys Dairy Milk chocolate
  • 2x bars of Cadburys Marvellous Creations Jelly Popping Candy
  • 2x containers of Cream of Tartar (for baking)
  • 4 – 6 packets of jelly crystals (red, green and orange) for making jellies
  1. Requested for the refugee clothing room ministry:
  • Small and medium size underwear for men (new only please)
  • Small and medium size ladies’ underwear (new only please)
  1. Requested for the women and children’s outreach ministry:
  • Small bottles of ‘bubbles’ for the kiddies
  • Small bottles of food colouring (various colours) for colouring playdough

Please contact Wendy Rowe if you have questions about any of these items.

Grace Place – Summer Reflections

Ladies, please visit GRACE PLACE summer reflections on Hebrews 12:1-3. May it be an encouragement to you as you run the race with godly perseverance over the summer months!  Please have a chat to Kathy Larkman for more information about her blog.

Meetings over the Summer

Please note that our meetings and ministries will now close over the school summer holidays and recommence in early September.  If you have any queries, please speak to your lifegroup co-ordinator.

Tea/Coffee @ 11:15am service

There is an opportunity to serve at the 11:15am Sunday service!  If you would like to help with the teas/coffees please contact Claire King on 01225 810994.

….This week…

24th July: WEC training commences at CBC

26th July: WEC open evening at Priory Street, 7.45pm

30th July: Infant Dedication, 11:15am service (Emily Taylor)

30th July: WEC evening, 6pm

2nd August: Midweek service, 2pm

3rd August: WEC training concludes

16th August: Midweek service, 2pm

11-18th August: Uganda Mission trip

30th August: Midweek service, 2pm

2nd September: Craft Club, 10am

22-24th Sept: Men’s camping weekend, Grittleton

ALL THAT HINDERS

kathylarkman,

woman w rucksack

…Let us throw off anything that hinders…” Hebrews 12:1b

Ed and I enjoy hiking. In our 9 years of marriage, we have walked parts of Brecon Beacons, Derbyshire, Cornwall, and of course, around our patch in the Cotswolds.
I remember one particular walk we did which circles around Castle Combe. We were on the last stretch walking uphill. It was about ¼ mile from our car. I came SO close to giving up; to ask Ed to go and get the car and pick me up! But I persevered uphill that last little bit. To reduce the weight off my back, Ed relieved me of the burden of my rucksack and carried it for me. This “hindrance” being taken away, I was able to persevere to the “finish line” to the car!

This visual picture reminds me of those things which might hinder us; those things we need to “throw off” in our race God has marked off for us. There may not be specific “sin”, but there may be lots of “stuff” in our lives which may be eclipsing or impeding our running the race. What might that look like? I would say it is anything that slowly pushes God to the periphery of our hearts and off His path. What instantly comes to my mind are: BUSYNESS. DISORDERED PRIORITIES.

I know that I have struggled with these at times throughout my race with the Lord. They took me off course. They got my heart and mind off of what really mattered. I began to major on the minors of life. My busyness came from disordered priorities which stemmed from self absorption and selfish interests. I was allowing my activities and my children’s activities to crowd out sitting at the feet of Jesus. My gospel foundation was being compromised and starting to deteriorate. My choices were becoming more like the world and less like a follower of Christ. My lips were saying Jesus is Lord, but my children saw the reality: that Kathy was Lord. And as the children grew older, my children began to follow my example. I didn’t understand why they were not interested in the things of the Lord until I looked in the mirror of my own busy, disordered life. Yikes.

I am NOT saying that activities, interests, and hobbies are wrong! Far from it! They are wonderful and God’s gift to us in bringing healthy outlet, enrichment and growth. It is when they become a hindrance to our race in Christ that He has marked out for us; when they push godly pursuits to the margins of our lives where God becomes a accessory or an afterthought of our week.  That is what I did in my earlier years. Please don’t do what I did.

Throwing off hindrances to our race is crucial, not only to maintaining our spiritual foundation, but in building it. Let’s take off those rucksacks that hinder us on the race God has marked out for us. Are you taking consistent time to sit at the feet of Jesus? Do your priorities reflect what you say you value the most as a follower of Christ? Can you discern God’s priorities in your life? If any of the answers to these questions is “no,” then it is time to address the hindrances of busyness and disordered priorities.

I will pray for you and please pray for me blog sister. May our Lord Jesus guard our hearts and minds of anything which might compromise our spiritual foundation; which might hinder us from running the race with godly perseverance!

Love, Kathy xo

 

 

 

 

 

Plumbing, Chai and Singing

Tim Stephenson,
Martin & Jo Sheringham

Habari!
Hi to you all
We are getting a little hotter here, hope the summer in the UK is still a good one (I guess if you’re a gardener the lack of rain might make it not so?!) Sounds like CBC has been and is very busy, for all the right reasons.

Our main job at the moment is sorting out the hot and cold water systems for the showers both in the retreat and on the campsite, not a fun job, although Martin is determined to get it all going, literally by hook or by crook! We have deployed an old electric water heater for the campsite which by end of play today should be up and running…tomorrow ‘we’ will be attempting to re-plumb the retreat system, please pray as this has been teeth-grindingly tricky and frustrating to fix!

Steve and Ruth have family visiting and have been able to enjoy a few days away with them, Cath Swanson has been in Senegal but is back now and Tony has been here but is now in Uganda/South Africa till next week. The whole team here have been so supportive and thoughtful and have allowed us to fit in as best suits us, which is perfect (hope they think so too!) They were especially kind this weekend as I was under the weather again and slept thru most of it, but all back, up and running now…

As mentioned in an earlier email the Tanzanian regular staff here have a chai break late morning but they always have a little service beforehand – singing, praying and reading the Bible – I joined them yesterday and they came and asked us to come again today. They have a book with the words for singing otherwise I would be totally lost and I can just about follow the Swahili Bible readings, if it is a familiar passage that is. Even though I understand so little I can still sing ‘Yesu nakupenda’ !

I just asked Martin if there was anything he wanted to add and he said…’he is mortally wounded because they don’t have any Knipex plumbing pliers here!’ His words not mine… He thoroughly enjoys the mad chaos of Morogoro town, driving badly is a forgotten art in England, he says!

We are home now from Sanga Sanga, cup of tea in the garden and watching the monkeys.

Love to all,
Jo and Martin

Hello to you all and greetings from Tanzania!

Tim Stephenson,
Martin & Jo Sheringham

It is winter here atm and so working in the mid-twenties is not too bad at all, I gather the UK has been hotter?!

The team have gone and Martin and I are now on the second bit of our little adventure in Africa… They did an amazing job and we can verify that the shower and toilet block we built is still standing. The Tanzanian builders who worked with us are now cracking on with the finishing off and we see them everyday even though we are now busy with other projects. I am mostly painting so far (I feel that that will be a never ending task, which is good as I quite enjoy it) and Martin is fixing things all over the place, no surprise there… Of course we cant just nip down to our local DIY store or plumbers’ merchants and pick up a widget or two, they don’t really exist in the same way here. But that is good as it stretches the brain and we have to use whatever is available: the throw-away-society doesn’t really exist either…

We are staying in a house in Morogoro at the foot of the Uluguru mountains, the view is really lovely! There are banana trees in the garden – not sure who will get the nearly ripe bananas first, us or the monkeys… We are trying to dive right into everyday life here, Swahili is improving a little each day (?) and we have been to the local church, all in Swahili, rather than the English speaking one.

God has kept us safe through all the new experiences and changes, which have been a little overwhelming at times and we realise more and more each day how much we need to bring to Him in prayer – He is so faithful and so good to us!
This verse struck me today as I was reading at lunchtime:

‘Take courage, do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded’
2 Chronicles 15:7

It encourages us when sometimes we feel that what we are doing is not very much or we are just tired of the physical work and it isnt really making a difference , not that we do it for a reward but rather that our Father – ‘Baba’ (Swahili) – sees our hearts and encourages us to keep on going!

Love to all and enjoy a good English summer…
Jo and Martin

New location for Rudloe congregation

Louise,

Please remember…no Rudloe Community Centre any more! Instead we are meeting on Sunday at the community centre at 2 Portal Ave, SN13 0LQ 🙂

Same time: 10am.