GOOD FRIDAY

kathylarkman,

“Oh the wonderful cross! Bids me come and die and find that I truly live. Love so amazing so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.”

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THE SPEAKING GOD WHO LISTENS

kathylarkman,

habits-of-grace“First sounds His voice. By his Word, He reveals Himself and expresses His heart, and unveils His Son as the culmination of His speaking. By His Word, He creates (Genesis 1:3) and re-creates (2 Cor. 4:4), not just individual members, but a body called the church.

And wonder of wonders, not only does He express Himself and bid us hear His voice, but He wants to hear ours. The speaking God not only has spoken, but He also listens- He stops, He stoops, He wants to hear from you. He stands ready to hear your voice.

Christian, you have the ear of God. We call it prayer.” David Mathis from Habits of Grace. God listening

PAINTING THE MORNING WITH PRAISE

kathylarkman,
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Hannah Spruijt, contributor of today’s post

Time alone is not something I have in abundance these days. I am blessed with a son who likes to follow me everywhere, all the time! I can’t even go upstairs alone to fetch something without hearing him trailing after me! I tend to find prayer and reading my Bible difficult with any form of distraction, so I’ve had to adapt our morning schedule so that I can have a few moments peace alone, in order to connect with my Father before the day begins.

With the joys and challenges of raising a tricky, spirited and wilful little boy daily bringing me to my knees, and sometimes to tears (!), this time in the morning has become SO precious and necessary. For the first time in my life, I feel I wouldn’t miss it for the world. Finding encouragement in God’s Word, imploring the Holy Spirit for his strength and enabling power, admitting how much I need Him just to get through the day and praising Him for his faithfulness and promises. This is now essential. I’m not trying to sound like a saint- it is the truth! I’m so aware of His grace helping me daily through this season of life.
In Matthew 6, Jesus is teaching the people how to pray. He warns against hypocrisy and showing off with our prayers, and tells us to ‘go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father’ (v6). I had a little chuckle to myself when I read this; I do try! I am very thankful that our sleep-training clock seems to work with my son, so as long as I make sure I’m done with praying before the ‘sun comes up’ I will (usually) be uninterrupted! Otherwise I hear a familiar little voice outside the half-open door “Mummy, are you still talking to Jeeesus?” Of course, I don’t have a problem with him joining me to pray then, but for my own sake, I value that time alone with the Lord so that I can pour out my heart to him (I pray aloud!).
I have recently been challenged by my devotional notes to use my prayer time to PRAISE as well as come to God with my list of needs. I’m going through a lovely book by Joni Eareckson Tada, and she pointed out how David made such a great life choice by deciding to reflect in the morning on the strength, love, goodness and protection of the Lord. In Psalm 59, David reveals there are men waiting outside his door wanting to kill him; I’d say that was pretty tricky situation! The Bible points out here how seeking God and praising Him in difficult times is special. Joni writes “when you begin the day singing about His strength, you’ll be less likely to ‘sing the blues’ when the day is over”. What a challenge for me! I often don’t feel like praising when I wake and think about all that needs to be done in the day, how tired I feel (ha, already!) and how I know I will need to be consistent and firm in boundary setting, yet showing the love of Jesus to my pickle… phew. But this is Joni’s prayer, and I make it mine too. Will you join me?
“How good it is, Father, to colour this day with praise before any other brushes paint it in dark shades of cynicism, negative talk, and despair. Thank you for meeting me in the quiet corners of the morning. With David I say, ‘You are my fortress, and my strong refuge. I sing of your strength and love because you share it so generously with me!’” AMEN

No Mission and ‘Persecuted Church’ meeting at Priory Street tonight

Tim Stephenson,
Cancelled

Once again, due to the difficult weather conditions, we’re not going to be meeting this evening.

However, please don’t let that stop you bringing our various mission activities before God. There’s a recent post from Steve and Ruth here as well as an update from Steve & Gill on Steve’s recent trip here.

Finally, please remember Nigerian church and in particular the girls recently abducted from Dapchi as well as those still missing from the 2014 abduction in Chibok. This link to the Open Doors’ page about Nigeria may also provide you helpful prayer points: https://www.opendoorsuk.org/persecution/countries/nigeria/?ref=wwmap

Four go mad in Austria – CBC Support to Oasis ministry to Refugees

Stuart Little,
Outside the Oasis with the van

Traiskirchen Austria – 18th -25th Feb 2018

Whilst Lesley and Neal were serving at the Oasis, Neal wondered if CBC could send a team to help with shower and toilet refurbishment works. In response, four members of CBC congregations, Martin S, Paul G, Chris D & me (Stuart L), took up the challenge and spent a week in Austria.

Setting of at 4am on Sunday 18th we drove to Calais and took the ferry to Dunkirk carrying a boot full of tools. We shared the driving through France, Belgium and Germany arriving at the Oasis centre at half past midnight on Monday the 19th. We were met by Steph and Jeremy, two members of the team, who had stayed up to welcome us and show us our accommodation in the centre. The car had held up, apart from the exhaust that had blown and would need some attention before driving back home.

The objective of the visit was to refresh somewhat dated short term accommodation facilities used in emergency by refugees. [For example some arrive at times when they are not able to register in the neighbouring camp]. In advance of our visit the Oasis team paid to replace the entire hot & cold-water systems in the building as they had suffered from several leaks in recent years due to corroded iron pipes. This work was only possible due to the financial gift CBC had made to the centre at Christmas and the team were very grateful.

Martin fitting the base for the shower tray

Martin fitting the base for the shower tray

After a briefing from Steph and Christoph on Monday morning we were off. Martin took charge of the shower tray and its support frame, Paul filling the holes in floors and walls where the new pipework had been installed. Chris assembled the sink unit and wall cabinet and I stood around and thought. Any instructions leaflets were in German, but Chris had an app on his phone that could translate simply by viewing the instructions via the camera, weird. We developed a plan on a massive piece of cardboard and referred to it a lot. Most days we worked between ten and twelve hours and we always had the support of Christoph and Rick to make many of the decisions.

The Oasis team provided us with some cooked meals and a fridge full of food, so we didn’t have to buy much for ourselves which was a real blessing. In the evenings Chris led us in a time of bible study that focused on our identity in Jesus. On Wednesday evening we took time to join in with one of the sessions attended by the refugees and sat through Bible study translated into German and Farsi. We also glimpsed refugee stories and soon realised that some were on a real journey discovering Jesus hearing the gospel at the Oasis.

Martin, Chris and Stuart enjoying pizza

Pizza never tasted better

On Thursday evening it became clear that we would not complete our task no matter how many hours we worked, so on the Friday we completed as much tiling as time would allow before joining the Oasis team in a meal. This left the local team with a final wall to tile and fit the basin, toilet and shower screen. This they did in a few days after we had left and some photos were sent to show us the completed work.

Paul with large saucepan

Paul’s cooking up a storm

Chris assembling cabinets with instructions in German

Chris assembling cabinets with instructions in German

With the exhaust patched up, we started back for home early Saturday morning and drove through the day arriving at the ferry minutes before our ferry was due to sail at 8pm and were told we had missed boarding and been transferred to the 6:30 am ferry. The gates were shut and red crosses barred our way. We prayed for a miracle and we were waved through at the last minute with the lorries.

On reflection one of the highlights of the week was Chris’s attendance with us. He would be first to admit he doesn’t have many DIY skills, but he helped out and kept the team grounded in building the Kingdom, CBC alongside the Oasis staff, all working together. Without this it would have been easy to think the trip was about a toilet and shower.

It wasn’t, it was about Jesus.

Martin surveys the render drying
Before
Left: toilet room, right: shower room
After

No praise evening tonight

Tim Stephenson,
Cancelled

Discretion being the better part of valor, we’ve decided to cancel the praise service tonight. Tuck up warm and we’ll see you soon!

Notice sheet for 18th March 2018

Louise,
CBC news logo

Midweek Service – 21st March, 2pm

This is our special Easter service when we consider the events of Easter week as recorded in Luke 22-24, sing traditional Easter Hymns and take Communion together. All welcome.

Women’s Retreat 20th-22nd April, Lox Lane, Shaftesbury

There are still a few places left!  Please speak to Anne Holmes if you would like to go.

Notice of Elder Election

Notice is hereby given that the appointment of an Elder will take place at the Annual General Meeting on the 16th April 2018.  Alan Christie’s current three year term will come to an end; Alan has said that he is happy to be nominated as Elder for another term. The paperwork for nominations will be available from 25th March and nominations will close on the 8th April 2018.

Easter Thank Offering – NEXT TWO SUNDAYS

25th March & 1st April 2018

Easter speaks of God’s love for us, and His will to spread that love among all peoples. On Sunday 25th March and 1st April 2018, we will be holding an Easter Thank Offering to support the work of our mission teams that will be going to Tanzania later this year, to undertake building works at the AIM Sanga Sanga conference centre (May), and to support a conference for AIM missionaries (October).  We are aiming to raise £4,000 towards the cost of building materials, and if additional money is raised it will be lodged in our Restricted Mission Trips Fund and used to support self-funding adults going on overseas mission in due course.  Please do pray about how you can contribute towards this offering.  Special yellow envelopes for your Thank Offering are available on the table at the back of the building. Please mark the envelope EASTER MISSION THANK OFFERING, and 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 both days, only the contents of the yellow envelopes will be included in the Thank Offering 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.

Craft Club

Please note the next Craft Club will be held on Saturday 24th March at 10:00am. Chat to Pam or Hazel if you would like more information.

Easter Cards for Persecuted Believers

These are available at the back of the church. Please take and send with a verse of encouragement and prayer. To go to Open Doors, PO Box 6, Whitney, Oxon, OX29 6WG.  More at www.opendoorsuk.org.

Prayer for Missions and the Persecuted Church

This prayer meeting will take place tomorrow night, Monday 19th March, at 7:45pm.  Please have a chat to Vanessa Naish or Wendy Rowe if you would like more information about the meeting.

Easter Ark

The Ark is on Easter Saturday 31st March 10-11am at Priory Street. Any age welcome, but it’s aimed at 0-7 year olds, with an adult.  As well as the normal puppets, Easter story and video, crafts, songs, drinks and cake, we will also have Easter hunts and a chocolate egg and Easter book to take home. Hannah Mitchell is producing an extra (beautiful) invitation if you are able to invite any friends along.

Women’s Breakfast!!

On Saturday 7th April at 9:30am there will be a women’s breakfast at “The Greenhouse” Wadswick Green.  Please sign up at the back or chat to Anne Holmes for more details.  Pancakes with bacon £3.95; Bacon s/w £3.95; Full English £8.95.

Women’s Bible Study

On Monday 26th March, 7:30pm.  Bible study notes are on the table at the back!

The Gathering Weekend

This exciting weekend is taking place on 7th and 8th July 2018.  Meetings on the Saturday will be at Priory Street and on the Sunday at the Springfield Campus. Tickets at £5 per person are available through your congregational leader.  Jenny Gaisford at 9:15am; John Godwin at the 11:15am service; Norman Fuggle at the midweek service & Adrian Pillinger at Church on the Green.

Ministry Report Annual Booklet

If you are a ministry leader, please would you prepare your report for inclusion in the ministry booklet which is produced for the Annual Church Meeting.  Please include information on activity for the past year and prayer requests. Please send the report, electronically, by 30th March to the church office.

Lancaster Newsletter

Copies of Ruth and Steve’s latest newsletter is on the table at the back.  Alternatively you can go online https://lancsintanz.aimsites.org/flexing-the-sinews-and-ligaments/

…This week…

PLEASE NOTE AFTER-SCHOOL FRIDAY CLUBS START AGAIN ON 20th APRIL

Monday: mums’ bible study, 10am; prayer for persecuted church, 7:45pm

Wednesday: midweek service, 2pm

Thursday: Toddler Group, 10am; CMDAC 7:30pm

Friday: CMDAC 9:30am

Saturday: Prayer for gospel expansion 8.30am; craft club 10:00am

 

…Coming up…

25th March: Nominations for Elder open

26th March: Women’s bible study, 7:30pm

30th March: Good Friday service 9:30am @ Priory Street followed by Walk of Witness in town at 10:30am

31st March: The Ark, 10:00am (Easter Saturday)

4th April: Midweek service, 2pm

7th April: Women’s breakfast, The Greenhouse, 9:30am

8th April: Nominations for Elder close, 6pm

16th April: Annual Church Meeting, 8pm

18th April: Midweek service, 2pm (Baptism)

20th-22nd April: women’s retreat, Lox Lane

23rd April: Prayer for Missions and the Persecuted Church, 7:45pm

28th April: The Ark, 10:00am

30th April: Women’s bible study, 7:30pm

2nd May: Midweek service, 2pm

5th May: Craft Club, 10:00am

6th May: “The Gathering” on Sunday evenings starts

A PRAYING LIFE – A BOOK RECOMMENDATION

kathylarkman,

VICKY PHOTO

VICKY STEPHENSON, Contributor for today’s blog post

The foreword to this book opens with the phrase “It’s hard to pray”. This is often something I have felt, so I was challenged to read the book and reflect on my prayer life.

 

a praying life bookPaul Miller has a very open, easy to read style. The book starts by

looking at why we don’t pray. He hold up a mirror to our cynical frustrated hearts. Then he goes back to basics: Praying isn’t about the prayers but about relationship with God. The book is full of examples and very honest stories from the author’s own family life. There are moments of great joy but it also faces the hard reality of prayers not answered in the way we would like. He speaks of messy prayers; God knows we have messy life so why do we think that God expects to have perfect polished prayers? Just babble to God with whatever is in your head and after you have shared all of that it will be much easier to just sit and be still in His presence. There is a stress on the importance of time spent in prayer but not necessarily huge chunks at a time. Take baby steps, starting with five minutes maximum at a time but do it regularly. Use little prayers throughout the day to develop more awareness of the presence of God.

 

On this great foundation he builds the middle section which is a great biblical exposition of why we should pray and why we can trust God to answer. The end of the book draws it all together with very practical tips which I have found useful and encouraging: prayer journals and prayer cards for example.

 

I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who wants to reflect on where they are with their praying life. I look forward to chatting about to it to some of you.

 

Notice sheet for 11th March 2018

Louise,
CBC news logo

Learn to Witness

Please join us tonight for another Learn to Witness session at 6pm.

Men’s Curry Night with Renton Baker – Tuesday 13th March

Cost £7:50; time: 7:30 for 8pm; please contact Paul Kelly, Ian Holmes, Tim Mills or Tim Hogg if you would like to attend.

Women’s Retreat 20th-22nd April, Lox Lane, Shaftesbury

There are still a few places left!  Please speak to Anne Holmes if you would like to go.

Notice of Elder Election

Notice is hereby given that the appointment of an Elder will take place at the Annual General Meeting on the 16th April 2018.  Alan Christie’s current three year term will come to an end; Alan has said that he is happy to be nominated as Elder for another term. The paperwork for nominations will be available from 25th March and nominations will close on the 8th April 2018.

Easter Thank Offering – 25th March & 1st April 2018

Easter speaks of God’s love for us, and His will to spread that love among all peoples. On Sunday 25th March and 1st April 2018, we will be holding an Easter Thank Offering to support the work of our mission teams that will be going to Tanzania later this year, to undertake building works at the AIM Sanga Sanga conference centre (May), and to support a conference for AIM missionaries (October).  We are aiming to raise £4,000 towards the cost of building materials, and if additional money is raised it will be lodged in our Restricted Mission Trips Fund and used to support self-funding adults going on overseas mission in due course.  Please do pray about how you can contribute towards this offering.

Special yellow envelopes for your Thank Offering are available on the table at the back of the building. Please mark the envelope EASTER MISSION THANK OFFERING, and 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 both days, only the contents of the yellow envelopes will be included in the Thank Offering 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.

“For Christ’s love compels us …” (2Co 5:14).

Easter Cards for Persecuted Believers

These are available at the back of the church. Please take and send with a verse of encouragement and prayer. To go to Open Doors, PO Box 6, Whitney, Oxon, OX29 6WG.  More at www.opendoorsuk.org.

Easter Ark

The Ark is on Easter Saturday 31st March 10-11am at Priory Street. Any age welcome, but it’s aimed at 0-7 year olds, with an adult.  As well as the normal puppets, Easter story and video, crafts, songs, drinks and cake, we will also have Easter hunts and a chocolate egg and Easter book to take home. Hannah Mitchell is producing an extra (beautiful) invitation if you are able to invite any friends along.

Women’s Breakfast

On Saturday 7th April at 9:30am there will be a women’s breakfast at “The Greenhouse” Wadswick Green.  Please sign up at the back or chat to Anne Holmes for more details.  Pancakes with bacon £3.95; Bacon s/w £3.95; Full English £8.95.

Craft Club

Please note the next Craft Club will be held on Saturday 24th March at 10:00am. Chat to Pam Mitchell or Hazel Hammett if you would like more information.

The Gathering Weekend

This exciting weekend is taking place on 7th and 8th July 2018.  Meetings on the Saturday will be at Priory Street and on the Sunday at the Springfield Campus. Tickets at £5 per person are available through your congregational leader.  Jenny Gaisford at 9:15am; John Godwin at the 11:15am service; Norman Fuggle at the midweek service & Adrian Pillinger at Church on the Green.

Lancaster Newsletter

Copies of Ruth and Steve’s latest newsletter is on the table at the back.  Alternatively you can go online https://lancsintanz.aimsites.org/flexing-the-sinews-and-ligaments/

Ministry Report Annual Booklet

If you are a ministry leader, please would you prepare your report for inclusion in the ministry booklet which is produced for the Annual Church Meeting.  Please include information on activity for the past year and prayer requests. Please send the report, electronically, by 30th March to the church office.

…This week…

PLEASE NOTE AFTER-SCHOOL FRIDAY CLUBS START AGAIN ON 20th APRIL

Monday: mums’ bible study, 10am

Tuesday: men’s curry night, 7:30pm

Thursday: Toddler Group, 10am; CMDAC 7:30pm

Friday: CMDAC 9:30am

Saturday: Prayer for gospel expansion 8.30am

 

…Coming up…

19th March: Prayer for Missions and the Persecuted Church, 7:45pm

21st March: Midweek service, 2pm

24th March: Craft Club, 10:00am

25th March: Nominations for Elder open

26th March: Women’s bible study, 7:30pm

30th March: Good Friday service 9:30am @ Priory Street followed by Walk of Witness in town at 10:30am

31st March: The Ark, 10:00am (Easter Saturday)

4th April: Midweek service, 2pm

7th April: Women’s breakfast, The Greenhouse, 9:30am

8th April: Nominations for Elder close, 6pm

16th April: Annual Church Meeting, 8pm

18th April: Midweek service, 2pm (Baptism)

20th-22nd April: women’s retreat, Lox Lane

23rd April: Prayer for Missions and the Persecuted Church, 7:45pm

28th April: The Ark, 10:00am

30th April: Women’s bible study, 7:30pm

2nd May: Midweek service, 2pm

5th May: Craft Club, 10:00am

6th May: “The Gathering” on Sunday evenings starts

 

 

An update on Anne-Cathy

Steve and Gill Bryant,
Group shot of the WEC Training Attendees July 17

Since writing the original article news has come through that Anne-Cathy has been diagnosed with the early stages of breast cancer which is believed to be treatable.

This also means that David and their two daughters are all back in France with her while she has the treatment. For those who remember them, they would appreciate your prayer.