CHRISTINE COLTMAN, CONTRIBUTOR FOR TODAY’S BLOG POST
11For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, 14who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
The following are some excerpts taken from Christine Coltman’s notes on our recent bible study on Titus 2:11-14. The entirety of these notes are on this blog under the heading of 2018-2019 Bible Study Questions and Notes. May we all be blessed and changed to more like Jesus!
PART ONE v11, 14 – GOD IS FOR US (He won us)
…The reason why this is so motivational to us as Christians is that God was free not to be gracious to us. He has never, and will never owe us anything. But God did freely chose us, and sent his Son to die for us so that we could freely choose him….
Paul knew that there will be times when you need to tell people what the good life looks like, but if you want people to actually live a good life it’s great that we don’t have to focus on the good we must do for God, but can meditate on the good God has done for us.
PART TWO v12 – AND HIS GRACE WILL TRAIN US
…….I’m so grateful that Jesus is not the launching event for our faith who then clocks off and tells us to try our best. He is with us every step of the way, willing us on and strengthening us.
I’m also grateful that our acceptance with God is never on the basis of our performance – it is all his grace. When we say no to things that displease him, God is rooting for us through his enabling grace.
It says in tonight’s passage that he wants us to live for our best, ‘in this present age’ – that means right now. And that in itself is a challenge as we live in a fallen world, an ‘evil world’, as Paul says, where Satan often seems to reign. But as Douglas Milne says: ‘The best news of the gospel is that what it demands it gives to those who submit to it. That is the meaning of grace.’ We are never on our own as we undertake the training of grace….
…If we consider tonight’s section of Titus as verses that are (as indeed they are!) written to us right here, right now, we should take encouragement from them that God has promised to stick with us, making us the very best that we can be, through his enabling grace. The grace that saves us is the grace that trains us. Grace does not do one without the other – those he saves, he works hard in, with the aim of making us more like Jesus day by day.
PART THREE v13-14 – SO TRACK TOWARDS CHRIST’S RETURN (He is coming back for us)
…It’s massively encouraging and inspiring, particularly on the hard days when living the good life seems neither worth it nor even possible. This also means that our justification is complete and already finished. Verses 11 and 13 are in a sense the bookends of our lives – Jesus has appeared and he will return for those who love him….
….I know that I am certainly prone to holding on very lightly to his hope, and the result of this is that I replace Jesus with uncertain earthly things. This then means that I then easily fall prey to fear and anxiety. I basically try and carve out my own little heaven on earth that is more easily within my control.
The trouble with doing that is that then, when bad things hit, we fall apart. The only thing in life that cannot be taken from us is our hope in Christ, the security of the cross. When that our focus, the peace that is in us is firm and immovable because that hope is certain and true. That is what grace trains us to do – keep our focus on Jesus.
…I hope we can all be encouraged by these words as we remember what Jesus has done for us, as we live for him, wait for him to return; all not in our own strength, but through his.
God is for us and his grace will train us, so track towards Christ’s return
I am aware that this is my second post in a row with ‘crane’ in the title AND the first word of the title, but it’s hard to come up with a creative title that truly grips the reader. It’s not like a gripping few words also appear in the title. Leave me alone, alright!
So, I am back with a new update, and a lot of things have happened since my last post. The main thing was that Christmas happened! Yes, my first Christmas on a ship in Africa has been and gone, and it was great! As I mentioned in my last post (Is that plagiarism from myself or uncreativeness?) we have a large multicultural crew, which has meant opportunities to enjoy different Winter festivals and traditions from all over the world, such as the Dutch tradition of Sinterklaas as I wrote about last time. The Scandinavian crew also celebrated Santa Lucia. Yes, that one saint who carries a plate of her own eyes like she is a Del Toro enthusiast. Lucia (or Lucy) means light, which Scandinavians celebrate by wearing very fetching white robes and carrying candles and singing. I can admit, I wasn’t actually there, I was instead playing Dungeons and Dragons. It looked spectacular from the pictures I have seen.
I helped to judge the various Christmas decorated doors for the ship’s annual Christmas door competition. The crew here are very creative, as we saw trains, a Mercy Ship themed version of Twas the Night Before Christmas, human-animal hybrids, Grinches, Minions, toothless reindeer advent calendars, Christmas trees made out of rope and toilet role and LEGO. After this, the winners were announced on the dock at Carols by Candlelight , an annual tradition from Australia. I didn’t actually ask any of the Aussie crew about this, I just looked it on Wikipedia. the Australian contingent of the crew treated the rest of us to an Australian edit of Jingle Bells (Still have no idea what a ‘Ute’ is.) That same night, I learnt that Australia is actually a continent, and Australasia is a region. which is a sub-region of Oceania. Just so you know, I did pass A-Level Geography, but Geography isn’t about locations anymore. Instead, it’s about beaches and volcanoes, and maybe a few other things. At least that’s how it is in the British National Curriculum.
I was also given the honour of reading Isaiah 7: 11to 17 at the Christmas Eve service for the final Advent Candle lighting. My partner read from the book of Matthew. I like to think I was asked because I am the only Matthew on the ship. I didn’t light the candle, but I was standing by to extinguish the flame if got out of hand. I’m a trained firefighter, might I add. Then I played Crazy Uno and enjoyed a family tradition that turns out will not go away even if one half of the family is in a different continent.
And then came that very special day. I put out my stocking (Sent from home. Thank you Hannah and Zoe, I miss you very much!) whilst most of the crew put out their shoes, to find goodies from other crew in the morning. We enjoyed pastries and free coffee from Starbucks in the cafe. Soon enough, I received the on call pager. On call at Christmas? Yeah. I know terrible. It was a ship holiday though. Taking out the ship’s rubbish wasn’t how I was planning to spend Christmas, but I did get some more training in operating the stores crane after. My parents and I also connected with our home church and joined in worship over Skype. We enjoyed a Christmas lunch. One very talented crew member made a very nice cake replica of the ship. Of course, when enjoying various traditions, it is important to remind yourself of home, so the British crew were invited to watch the Queen together and play Charades in one of the British family cabins. Soon enough, another (and very special) Christmas was over.
And soon enough after that, I made a very big and expensive mistake.
After enjoying Boxing Day off, I returned to work. Crazy how fast you grow up to have two weeks off Christmas holiday one year, then next year. Working and only having a few days off for Christmas. This is still a operational ship, even when the hospital is closed for Christmas, so work still goes on twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. I was given the job of continuing the work that I mentioned in my last blog on the exterior of the bridge, which was grinding at rust and painting. My job as a deck hand is essentially taking care of the ship. In the morning, I had given various ‘ash’ patches (ash is the gray primer we use) a coat of white paint. These patches were easy to get to and reach. After lunch, I was going to use a ladder and harness to paint over the patches which were hard to reach, and I was joined by one of my colleagues to help me where I was working. I don’t want to go into too much detail, and this is very hard to write about, but basically one of the Bridge windscreens was hit, of course by accident, during work, and now there is a very large crack. I found out today (22nd January) from our new Danish Captain (the third in three months. We are still looking for a long-term captain) that a new window costs about 10,000 Euros. My fellow Deckies have been super supportive of me, and have been taking care of me, and really want to see me complete my training, and keep telling me that it was just an accident, and these things happen. And if I think about it, it is a lesson for tomorrow and to reflect on, not to grieve over.
“I get knocked down, but I get back up again, you’re never gonna keep me down”
Ok, so maybe Chumbawamba isn’t the most appropriate. But it’s the most motivational thing quote about growing from mistakes from the top of my head. But hey, we’ll be singing, when we’re winning. We’ll be singing…….
“We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God – those whom he has called according to his plan” Romans 8:28
Ok, so that’s the bad news. More good news! As for my training and work as a Deck Hand, I have started my duty as Night Patrol. What does that mean? That means that I have to work night shift. On night patrol, I have four fire and security and rounds to complete, which means taking a trip around the ship – from the Bridge working the way downwards to deck 2. Four times a night. And they take roughly an hour to complete. Walking round the ship for an hour, walking down many staircases. It is safe to say that I work all over the ship. Boy, does walking non stop for an hour do some ugly things to your feet. Somethings that I didn’t know could happen. In the morning, at sunrise, you have to raise the flags (Mercy Ships flag, flag of the country we are docked in, this case, Guinea, and the civil ensign of Malta. The Africa Mercy is registered as a Maltese vessel) so that’s pretty cool. Today, I received Fire Panel training, which means that I am authorized to watch over the fire panel during night shift when it’s needed.(receptionist needs a break, for example) It’s always needed. It has to be manned 24 hours a day. Thankfully, nothing big comes up during the night shift, which is good news, but nights to yourself go on for soo long, I had to motivate myself before my last night shift by listening to the Halo 3 soundtrack. I got a couple things signed off by the training officer in my training book. Steady progress. As for day work, It’s going good. I was a bit unsure whether the jobs of a Deck Hand would actually help the work on the hospital, but today, I was on Deck Three receiving and moving Medical Supply pallets, so I feel good. Some days can be good days at works, others are ‘Nothing days’ (my own term) which can be hard, particularly when the jobs don’t involve much physical work and it’s very hot.
I wore my Union Flag T-shirt last week. It was the same day of the vote in Parliament regarding Theresa May’s proposed Deal. Even in a different continent, you don’t escape Brexit. I just felt like wearing it, no political agenda. I was practically invisible that day. It had me wondering, because I am on a ship, is it a Union Jack?
Unfortunately, we recently said ‘Goodbye’ to Femi, the ship’s last Bosun and his wife. Whilst it is sad to see them leave, he is moving up, so it’s not all bad. Soon, they will be going to good ole’ England so that he can go to Officer School in Newcastle. He said that he would be happy to support me and answer any questions I have about my training over Messenger though. Our new Bosun, Ibrahim, who was getting ready to take over from Femi, as the Assistant Bosun is also great though, so us Deckies have been left in good hands. Monce, our last Filipino Chief Officer departed a few days ago, and his replacement, Octavian, looks to be a good replacement. (Monce, if you read this, I did want to see you off. Consider this my goodbye!) And yes, we have had three Captains in three months, our current Captain being Milo from Denmark.
For the New Year’s weekend, my parents and the other three wonderful people from our field practice took an excursion to Kindia. We saw a couple waterfalls, and we also visited the Mercy Ships Agricultural Centre. As well as the life-changing surgeries, Mercy Ships leaves a legacy in the countries that they serve in, with the Medical Capacity Building teams. At the Agricultural Centre, Eric, one of our volunteers, and a small group of Mercy Ships volunteers works with and trains representatives from a bunch of different NGOs different methods of sustainable development, which the NGOs will continue when we leave in June. They grow vegetables in a greenhouse, work to reuse water that has been used for the growth before, grow mushrooms, have a worm farm to produce compost and raise rabbits, to use their manure for fertiliser. It was truly amazing to see and learn more about.
As I mentioned we also visited a couple waterfalls in the area. The first we visited was ‘Brides Veil waterfall’. I tried to look it up, but it turns out the ‘Bride’s Veil’ is the name of a type of waterfall, that resembles a Bride’s Veil. Surprise, Surprise!
Here’s a big damn ant. Brownie points for those who understand the reference
The effort put by visitors making their mark on the huge tree by the waterfalls in mind-blowing. Some people haven’t just etched their name into the bark, they have chisled into it. Impressive. Never felt a waterfall before. It hurts your back with the strong, main part of the waterfall, It felt like getting shot with a machine gun. A very cold machine gun.
One of the cascades at Brides Veil.
This is a spiky tree. Never seen these before.
The main falls and the pool.
A hut, some bamboo and my father
The hotel we stayed at was very nice, with some quality food. Due to a missunderstanding, We have come up with a ‘Matthew Special’ deal. Basically, thinking you have ordered a shawarma, the staff bring out something else, but then you get you get your shawarma a little later. Delicious shawarma, delicious fish and some delicious omelette for breakfast. I also did some basic late night plumbing when I had to refill the cistern just to flush it, then part of the ‘flush’ mechanism broke off, and one of the bolts had to be put in just right to hold the button in place. Our driver became an honourary member of our group, which was helpful for us all, when we needed translations. The next day, we visited Kholissi falls. Sorry, Game of Thrones fans, it’s not what you think it is. Sadly, as the rainy season came to an end a few months ago, There wasn’t much to see, but it was cool to see apart from the two waterfalls there. The big somewhat green area between the fall areas car park and restaurant was an interesting sight to behold. I would like to say the ruins and rocks scattered across the land felt like a fantasy world landscape, the best comparison I can think of Amon Hen from Lord of the Rings. Although instead of fallen statue heads, there is an incomplete, industrial concrete structure. Hannah, maybe we can both be in New Zealand, except I am in a different continent at the same time. Astral projection, sort of? As of right now (26th January) the Little family is spread out across three continents. Enjoy your trip!
Finding a ledge to get into the pool was difficult
Collecting water to be recycled.
Inside the Greenhouse
A dragon fly
Part of the plot of land growing crops
During the Monday morning meeting, we have a ‘photo of the week’ the most recent was the Africa Mercy found in the port on Google Maps.
My own photo of the month is this. I was discussing productivity (golly, makes it sound like a business meeting) with a friend during a coffee break, and I forgot to mention how productive I was before the break. I was cutting rags. Amazing how you can put effort into an attempt of a professional, nice photo, which ends up looking terrible, yet not much effort can look so much better. You want proof, I took this photo of the Super Blood Wolf Moon during the eclipse.
Rule Brittania! Brittania rule the waves! I stopped working for a bit,
just to watch this Welsh registered fuel ship.
A school of fish between the ship and the dock.
Of course, New Years happened. I managed to inspire one of my fellow crew members with a Bible verse neither of us had really looked at before after another crew member asked us to collect a bunch of inspiring Bible verses to hand out to the rest of the crew to encourage us this year. We had an open mic in midships before gathering up on Deck 8 to watch the fireworks at midnight. Even fireworks let off from the islands. I was asked to blow the foghorn (Is that the verb? Blow? Sound? Operate) But they had enough people to do it, but I was on the Bridge and I was asked if I wanted to, so that is what is important. Is this the part where I reflect on the year that was 2018? No, I don’t like reflecting, read someone else’s blog for that. But what I will say, is that it was a big year for me, and marked the end of one chapter of my life, and start of another, and I pray that for everyone else who also had this in 2018, and for those who are in the middle of their current chapter, that they will have an enriching and good new chapter, even during an uncertain time for the world.
That’s all from me at the moment, thank you for reading! I also recently uploaded two new vlogs in two consecutive days on my YouTube channel, If you want to learn about animals and their species name, check them out in my Texas vlog part 2. Link to my channel in the side bar.
At Corsham Baptist Church we recognise our responsibilities to safeguard children, young people and vulnerable adults. You can read more about our policies and procedures to do this here.
Periodically, we run a Level 2 training course for all our new volunteers or as a refresher for those that have been around longer. This is carried out by Steve Bryant who is an approved West of England Baptist Association trainer. There are two upcoming opportunities:
Weds 27th February (evening)
Sat 2nd March (morning)
For more information please contact the office or fill out the form below with which date you prefer:
Today we are having three baptisms at Priory Street…Tom and Polly at the 9:15am and Adrianna at the 11:15am service. We welcome their friends and family to this special occasion.
Lesley and Neal in your prayers as they leave for Austria today!
recent Church Meeting Adrian Pillinger was re-elected as Elder and Martin
Sheringham was re-elected as Fabric Deacon.
We will run elections again for Safeguarding Deacon at the April Church
be held tomorrow night, 28th January at Priory Street at the usual time of
7:30pm. Study notes are on the table at
the back. Please take one in advance of
you new to the 11:15am service at Priory Street? If so, there is a newcomers’ lunch on Sunday,
3rd February after the service.
Please sign up on the sheet at the back of the church so we have an idea
for catering purposes. Speak to Joan
Cooper for more details.
will take place on Saturday 2nd February at 10am at Priory Street. Please chat
to Hazel Hammett or Pam Mitchell for more details.
11:15 Junior Church leaders and helpers
We are looking for more people to join the Junior Church Team at the 11:15 Priory Street service. We have five classes that all need help, from creche through to year 8. The commitment for a leader is 30 minutes’ preparation and on the day – you decide your availability and how frequently you can help out. Catch up with the sermon online! Please come for a taster session if you are not sure. Speak to any member of the Junior Church Team or contact Catherine D
Save the date! Saturday 2nd March, 7:00pm -Bible Society Event at Priory Street
As well as up to date information on Bible Society, there will be the exciting launch of the new book – ‘JONAH AND THE BONY-FINNED ASTEROID FISH’ Publication date – 26th February. Join us for a fun evening with readings, quiz, book-signing and supper. Watch this space for more information or talk to Tim S (9:15am), Jo S (11:15am) or Sue W (COTG).
books that Eddie recommends on God’s gift of rest:
Martin Sheringham is leading a building team to
the Oasis Centre, Traiskirchen, Vienna on 2/3rd February returning
9/10th February. They will be
remodelling a toilet to allow for wheelchair access. The team going with
Martin is Chris Drake, Paul Garcia and Andy Wahl – all from Church on the
Green. Please pray for their
Clothing Donations to the Oasis Refugee Centre
and the team would like to take clothing aid as they will be going in a van.
Oasis would like donations of clothing but they are mainly in need of new adult
men’s/women’s underwear and socks. Other warm second hand clothing – coats, hats
etc. would be welcome, but the greatest need is for the former. Please bring donations to the church and
leave in the box which will be in the church entrance or in the church office. Any queries, please contact Jo or Martin
service (The Ark)
A family service will take place at Priory Street on 17th March
at 3.30pm. The service will be fairly short and will finish with tea.
Please put the date in your diary and start inviting family and friends along.
We’ll also be advertising it at the Ark, Toddler group etc. Many thanks.
for summer course 2019
the last two years, CBC has hosted the WEC MK Staff Training course in
July/August. It has been a great opportunity for us to help and get to know
people of all ages from numerous countries, whom God has called to serve
overseas. The course is scheduled to take place again, from Sunday 21st July to
Thursday 1st August 2019. Some participants will only stay till Saturday 27th
July. If you are able to provide accommodation (including breakfast and most
evening meals) for someone for all or part of this time, please contact Steve
and Gill Bryant. Thank you so much for your help.
This letter comes with our love and greetings.
For a change, we are starting with family news.
We had a wonderful joy-filled day on 10th
November, when our youngest son, Peter, married
Miriam at Cornerstone Church in Nottingham.
Bethany and Michael will be
going to Liberia at the end of
January to serve at the ELWA
hospital run by Serving in Mission
(SIM). This hospital just outside
Monrovia hosted two of the
largest Ebola Treatment Units
during the epidemic that swept
through Liberia in 2014-2016.
We have just enjoyed a lovely Christmas spending
time with all of the family over the holiday period.
David lives locally and continues with his gardening
business. He still has plenty of winter work as the
weather is so mild at the moment.
Gill turned 60 in August and to celebrate we had
a special holiday in September, staying in a
cottage on the Norfolk coast. One of the
highlights was seeing seals playing in the sea
along a beautiful deserted golden beach.
This photo was taken in front of a seventeen
arch bridge near the home of some friends that
we visited on our way back from Norfolk. We
like this picture because of the ideas
represented by the bridge. More of this below….
We joined WEC in 1989 and went to serve at Bourofaye Christian School (BCS) in Senegal, to help provide education and support for the children of missionaries. The parents’ goal is to use all possible means of sharing the Good News of Jesus, the One who is the bridge to God. Since returning to the UK in 2001 we have served as WEC’s International Missionary Kids
(MK) Consultants, seeking to help our MKs and their families as they cross the many bridges of transition in their lives, caused by living in more than one culture, changing schools frequently and facing lots of goodbyes. In October Steve helped to organise a day conference on family debriefing, a training day designed to help missions to support their families as they go through changes. Some transitions are planned or gradual, whereas others are traumatic and sudden, perhaps involving deportation or evacuation. Our goal in WEC is to support our families as much as we can, conveying Christ’s love to all of our workers and helping them towards maximum effectiveness. A summary of the training from the conference will be published in the January edition of our Educare magazine, which Gill has been working on.
MK Staff Training
In our last letter we asked for prayer for our summer training course for new MK workers. Thank you to those who prayed! We had 12 adults and one little girl on the course this year, heading for BCS and two other locations. Once again our church, Corsham Baptist, did a wonderful job in hosting our participants, catering and providing all kinds of support from child care to transport to tea and cakes. We are so grateful for the efforts of our wonderful church members and leaders, without whom it would be really difficult to run the course at an affordable cost. For 2019, it is scheduled once more to take place at Corsham Baptist Church from 21st July to 1st August, so we would appreciate your prayers again.
Travel in 2019
There are several overseas visits scheduled for 2019. Steve is still finalising a major trip, and it is likely that he will travel to East Asia for a couple of weeks in March. In May Steve will be attending the Child Safety and Protection Network conference and refresher training in the
US, to upgrade his own safeguarding knowledge in the international context. This is essential for him in his role as WEC’s International Safeguarding Officer. Both of us will go to Eurotck in Germany in May – an excellent opportunity for networking and mutual learning for agencies based in Europe. Steve has been invited to give some safeguarding training at two WEC conferences later in the year, Eurocon in Spain in September (regional conference for European team leaders), and the WEC France conference in October.
Once again we want to thank you for your support, prayers and interest in our work. We look forward to hearing your news too, especially at this time of the year when so many of us enjoy catching up.
Neal and Lesley G leave for Vienna next Sunday 27th January and return on Monday 8th April. Prayer requests:
That God would keep them both strong and healthy as they prepare to leave for Austria
That they will be able to ‘hit the ground running’ and be a blessing to the team and refugees
That God will continue to use them to build up and encourage Ali and Marzia in the faith (they have begun to look to Neal and Lesley as their spiritual parents)
That the team dynamic (relationships) will be healthy and they will fit in easily under the new leadership at Oasis
Accommodation for summer course 2019
For the last two years, CBC has hosted the WEC MK Staff Training course in July/August. It has been a great opportunity for us to help and get to know people of all ages from numerous countries, whom God has called to serve overseas. The course is scheduled to take place again, from Sunday 21st July to Thursday 1st August 2019. Some participants will only stay till Saturday 27th July. If you are able to provide accommodation (including breakfast and most evening meals) for someone for all or part of this time, please contact Steve and Gill B. Thank you so much for your help.
Building Mission Trip
Martin Sheringham is leading a building team to the Oasis Centre, Traiskirchen, Vienna on 2/3rd February returning 9/10th February. They will be re-modelling a toilet to allow for wheel chair access. The team going with Martin is Chris D, Paul G and Andy W – all from Church on the Green. Please pray for their preparations.
ANYONE HAVE ANY SNOW CHAINS WHICH MARTIN COULD BORROW FOR THE DRIVE
Donations to the Oasis Refugee Centre
Martin and the team would like to take clothing aid as they will be going in a mini-van. Oasis would like donations of clothing but they are mainly in need of new adult men’s/women’s underwear and socks. Other warm second hand clothing – coats, hats etc would be welcome, but the greatest need is for the former. Please bring donations to the church from January 26th onwards and leave in the big box which will be in the church entrance. Any queries, please contact Jo or Martin S.
will be held on Monday 28th January at the usual time of 7:30pm.
Study notes are on the table at the back. Please take one in advance
of the meeting.
next Ark is on Saturday 26th January 10.00am at Priory Street.
Do come along and bring your friends for craft, bible story, singing,
puppets and refreshments. Aimed at 0-7s with an accompanying
adult (but all welcome!)
service (The Ark)
family service will take place at Priory Street on March 17th at
3.30pm. The service will be fairly short and will finish with
tea. Please put the date in your diary and start inviting family and
friends along. We’ll also be advertising it at the Ark, mums and tots
etc. Many thanks.
Request for 11:15 Junior Church leaders and helpers
We are desperate for more people to join the Junior Church Team. Please prayerfully consider joining so that we can be more effective in this wonderful ministry. We have all the resources required to teach. We have five classes that all need help: Crèche; the preschool and reception group called Romans; the age 5-7 group called Ephesians; the age 7-11 group called Galatians and the Philippians group for years 6-8. All it requires for a leader is 30 minutes or so to prepare for the lesson and giving your time during the sermon to serve Junior Church. With more people on the Rota this will be less frequent than it is for the current leaders and helpers and you can decide your availability and how frequently you can help out.You can catch up with the Sermon because it is recorded. If you volunteer as a helper, you would be helping the leader and ensuring we have two adults within the group setting. You will be a blessing to the children and will be blessed. Please come for a taster session if you are not sure. Please speak to any member of the Junior Church Team or Catherine D.
CATHERINE DONOVAN, CONTRIBUTOR FOR TODAY’S BLOG POST
As I approached the New Year, I caught myself reminiscing about the days when I approached each New Year with a studied analysis of what I had achieved the previous year and properly assessed resolutions. It became apparent that I had somehow lost the ability to make resolutions and plans and surrendered myself to a life of free fall. Whilst my excuse was in fact that I trusted God for every day and what it embraced, the quote by Benjamin Franklin “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” came to mind.
What underpinned the earlier years of very considered yearly resolutions was an absolute trust that God had a wonderful plan for me (Jeremiah 29:11); a lot of prayer, as I attended overnight prayer times seeking God about the year ahead; and a commitment to daily prayer and studying the Bible. The words of Henri J.M. Nouwen in his book “The Return of the Prodigal Son” expounded why perhaps I was less likely to make resolutions now for fear of failure:
“The further I run away from the place where God dwells, the less I am able to hear the voice that calls me Beloved, and the less I hear that voice, the more entangled I become in the manipulations and power games of the world”.
So this year, I am resolving to guard, purpose and timetable my “me and God time”. Whilst I recognize that I am incapable of achieving this in my own strength, I am thankful for the grace of God which Titus 2:12 says “teaches me to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age”. There is great comfort in knowing that God knows whatever is going on in our present lives. He knows it all.
I don’t know what your new year resolutions are or if you have any, but I encourage you to have what Franklin Covey refers to as “winning the daily private victory” by meditating and reading God’s word.
Church Meeting of the year will take place on Monday 21st January 2019 at
8pm. Agenda and previous minutes
available next Sunday.
We will be
having two baptisms on 27th January at Priory Street…Tom Price at the 9:15am
and Adrianna Hurley at the 11:15am service. If you feel you would like to be baptised, or
have any questions about this, please speak to Eddie Larkman or one of the
study at 7:30pm on Tuesday 15th January “Jesus as King”. Speak to Ian Holmes for more information. (FREE CHIPS to help fuel
Steve and Gill Bryant have put out their December newsletter.
Please take a copy from the table at the back.
that the Littles‘ blogs can be found at matthewswestafricanadventure.blogspot.com
and alittleodyssey.blogspot.com as they continue serving the Lord on Africa
Mercy off the coast of West Africa.
Neal and Lesley Grindrod leave for Vienna on Sunday 27th January and return on
Monday 8th April. Prayer requests:
* That God would keep
them both strong and healthy as they prepare to leave for Austria
* That they will be able
to ‘hit the ground running’ and be a blessing to the team and refugees
* That God will continue
to use them to build up and encourage Ali and Marzia in the faith (they have
begun to look to Neal and Lesley as their spiritual parents)
* That the team dynamic
(relationships) will be healthy and they will fit in easily under the new
leadership at Oasis
for summer course 2019
For the last two years, CBC has hosted the WEC MK Staff Training course in July/August. It has been a great opportunity for us to help and get to know people of all ages from numerous countries, whom God has called to serve overseas. The course is scheduled to take place again, from Sunday 21st July to Thursday 1st August 2019. Some participants will only stay till Saturday 27th July. If you are able to provide accommodation (including breakfast and most evening meals) for someone for all or part of this time, please contact Steve and Gill Bryant. Thank you so much for your help.
Oasis Building Mission Trip
Martin Sheringham is leading a building team to
the Oasis Centre, Traiskirchen, Vienna on 2/3rd February returning
9/10th February. They will be
remodelling a toilet to allow for wheel chair access. Please pray for the
preparations required to make this trip successful. Thank you.
DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY SNOW CHAINS WHICH MARTIN COULD BORROW FOR THE DRIVE
Clothing Donations to the Oasis Refugee Centre
and the team would like to take clothing aid as they will be going in a
mini-van. Oasis would like donations of clothing but they are mainly in need of
new adult men’s/women’s underwear and
socks. Other warm second hand
clothing – coats, hats etc would be welcome, but the greatest need is for the
former. Please bring donations to church
during the week preceding the trip ie. from January 26th onwards and leave in
the big box which will be in the church entrance. Any queries, please contact Jo or Martin
be held on Monday 28th January at the usual time of 7:30pm. Study notes are on the table at the
back. Please take one in advance of the
next Ark is on Saturday 26th January 10.00am at Priory Street. Do come
along and bring your friends for craft, bible story, singing, puppets and
refreshments. Aimed at 0-7s with an accompanying adult (but all welcome!)
opportunity has arisen to help the most vulnerable in our community from the
end of January. The Blaikleys will be re-homing a Syrian refugee family, with
children, from 22nd January in Katherine Park. The Vulnerable Persons’
Resettlement Officer has given authorisation to share with the congregation the
need for provisions for this family in the form of becoming one of their seven
volunteers who help with things like taking them to register with a GP, showing
them around schools, teaching them how to use public transport etc. They would
also appreciate any toys and blankets, warm clothes for adults and children
(school uniform help when we know the school they are to attend especially
winter coats/hats/shoes). Sarah Blaikley will be setting up a meal train for
the family at the end of January but if you are able to offer any provisions,
would like to volunteer in any way or would like more information so you can
pray for the family, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
A family service will take place at Priory Street on March 17th at 3.30pm. The service will be fairly short and will finish with tea. Please put the date in your diary and start inviting family and friends along. We’ll also be advertising it at the Ark, mums and tots etc. Many thanks.
bible study, 9:30am; Fight
night; prayer for persecuted church and missions, 7:45pm
Tuesday: Men’s bible study, 7:30pm
Thursday: Toddler Group, 10am; Corsham Money and Debt Advice Centre,
Friday: Corsham Money and Debt Advice Centre, 9:30am
meet in and around Corsham and neighbouring towns and villages during the
week. If you would like more information
on any small groups, please speak to your congregational leaders.
18th-19th January: Leaders’ retreat
21st January: Church Meeting, 8pm
23rd January: Midweek service, 2pm
26th January: The Ark, 10am
27th January: Baptism service, 9:15am
and 11:15am service; Grindrods leave for
28th January: Women’s
bible study, 7:30pm
2nd February: Craft club,
3rd February: Swansons
visiting and preaching at Priory Street
6th February: Midweek
11th February: Men’s
18th February: Missions
and persecuted church prayer meeting, 7:45pm
20th February: Midweek
23rd February: The Ark,
25th February: Women’s
bible study, 7:30pm
1st March: Women’s World
Day of Prayer (Slovenia)
2nd March: Craft Club, 10am;
Bible Society Event, 7:15pm