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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 


EVERY DAY PATIENCE

kathylarkman,
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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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SHARING WITH ONE ANOTHER: A RECAP

kathylarkman,

 

VICKY PHOTOWow, what an amazing evening we had together on Monday 27th March. We ate fabulous fish and chips and shared our lives together.

Over food at different tables we discussed the area of spiritual discipline we struggle with most: we had 1. Prayer 2.  Worship 3.  Bible study 4. Serving Others. This was a great time of discussing the challenges we face and getting to know people better to deepen fellowship.

Once the tables were cleared we joined all together to share and gain encouragement.

Each table fed back the things they had been discussion and then the rest of the group offered up encouragement. To bring it all together one lady brought us her personal reflections on the topic.

Challenges which were common to all areas were lack of time and getting distracted by work/family/anxieties/the world.

The main encouragement for all areas was remembering who we do it for; our amazing God who so loved us He sent his Son for us.

  1. Worship

The challenges were:

  • Singing out of tune
  • Songs being repetitive or too loud
  • Focus being on worship leader not God (Not our church)
  • It is hard to worship when you are in a difficult place personally.
  • Differences of worshipping alone or with others.
  • Not understanding what the song means so not fully being able to join in
  • Hard to connect to God if feeling unworthy.

The Encouragements to worship are:

  • nature which inspires many peoples worshipping
  • Realising that God requires a joyful noise not pitch perfect singing.
  • Focusing on who God is and it being all about God
  • It is just about being with God not always doing something
  • Worship can be up lifting and change you and your thinking and feelings
  • Reflecting on what Jesus has done for you and how much be loves you.
  • Thinking about singing old hymns and joining with the saints singing these songs for hundreds of years
  • It can make the heart soft before God
  • Prepares and focuses the mind to hear from God
  • Most of our songs contain direct quotes from scripture so it is a fabulous way to learn scripture and remember the great truths

Anne then shared about what worship means to her.

She reminded us we sing to an audience of one. It can be done at any time in the car, whilst going to school gates or doing daily chores. Sing over your washing up! God wants joyful songs! It doesn’t matter what you sound like to others and He hears it as joyful.

She pointed out it is a two way process. God sings over us:

Zephaniah 3:17

“The Lord your God is with you, the mighty warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you;in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with SINGING”

Finally she encouraged us with scripture which we read from various translations, my favourite being:

Ephesians 5 18-20 (the message)

“Drink the Spirit of God, huge draughts of him, Sing hymns instead of drinking songs! Sing songs from your heart to Christ. Sing praises over everything, any excuse for a song to God the Father in the name of our Master, Jesus Christ.”

I will give the rest of the feedback from this amazing night hopefully in coming weeks.

So sisters, if there was anything you wanted to discuss further send me a comment or email or grab me on Sunday.

Standing shoulder to shoulder,

Vicky