God’s Amazing Love For Us

Eddie,

It is misleading to say that God accepts us the way we are. Rather He accepts us despite the way we are.

Sinclair Ferguson

“Take me home, pot-holed roads, to the place I belong”!

Steve and Ruth Lancaster,

This post by Steve and Ruth Lancaster was originally published at Life in the Lancs Lane

Very nearly the words of a famous John Denver song from yesteryear!  It’s hard to believe that in less than four weeks time our first term here in Tanzania will come to a close and we’ll be touching down on the soggy soil of England!  Where has the last 2.7 years gone?!  For us, as we prepare for our home assignment, it’s a time of excitement and anticipation, but also a time of reflection as we ponder the happenings of our time here.  Has it been what we expected?  Could we have done anything differently and more effectively?  Has language learning been as hard as we thought it would be?  Have we settled down as well as we could?  Have we represented Christ well in our team, in our home and amongst the pastors we’re here to serve?  And, in one of my ‘glass half empty’ moments, has what I’ve done really made any impact?!  So many questions and evaluations as we prepare to head home on 7th March.

Last month we celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary – and to mark the occasion we spent a day in the African wilderness getting nibbled by tsetse flies!  We put our trusty car through its paces and bumped our way around the back of the Uluguru mountains to the Selous Game reserve.  It was only 115 miles away but it took us 5.5 hours to get there due to the fact that, for much of the time, we were doing less than 10 mph on a stony dirt track!  We had a top day on safari, seeing over sixty species of bird, and hundreds of hippos and crocodiles on the Rufiji River.  The one sobering aspect of our day was the lack of elephants.  The Selous used to be famous for its large elephant population (109,000 in 1976) but, during the last 40 years, 88% of its elephants have fallen to the poacher, a sad trend that continues across Tanzania.

For the rest of Jan/Feb it’s beenbusiness as usual, as we’ve continued in our various roles and made some preparations to hand over some of our responsibilities.  For Ruth, it’s been about the management and accounting work for IBM and Sanga Sanga, and for me, translation and preaching, as well as member care for some of the missionaries in the unit.


So, what exactly is this thing called “home-assignment”?!

Is it just a big long holiday for missionaries?  Is it like a sabbatical?  Is it secret code for a ‘fundraising trip’?  Do missionaries go on home assignment when they get so fed up with their host culture that they need a break?  Well, there’s probably an element of truth in all of these – but as definitions go they don’t paint the full picture, so let me try and explain.  In former years, within missionary circles the word’ furlough’ was used to describe such an activity.  The dictionary definition is this: “A period of time where a soldier is allowed to be absent from service, especially to return temporarily to their own town or country.”  I also found another definition, although I’m not so sure it’s too helpful….. “Work furlough is a correctional programme which allows prison inmates to leave an institution for the purpose of regular employment but returning to confinement at nights and weekends’ – hmmmm!  Let’s go with the first – although it does have its limitations because it suggests a time of getting away from active service.

Construction work at Sanga Sanga continues apace

Today, mission organisations prefer to use the term ‘home assignment’ because they want to emphasise that missionaries who are back in their home countries are still on active service, working and doing ministry, but just in a different venue.  And so that is why I’ll still be involved in preaching, and why we’ll both be out and about speaking at various AIM events and prayer groups, raising awareness of what AIM is doing in Africa, as well as informing people of what we’ve been doing during the last 2.7 years.  In fact, one of the main purposes of our HA is to reconnect with our sending church and report back to them.  It is our church that we are primarily responsible to, and it is our church, in partnership with AIM, that commissioned and sent us to Tanzania back in July 2013.  And so we need to spend time with them, along with other supporters, to inform and hopefully inspire, as well as to say a big ‘thank you’ to those who have supported us financially and prayerfully.

Home assignments—they’re biblical you know!

This is how it was right at the very beginning of the missionary era.  At the end of Acts 14, Paul and Barnabas are coming to the end of their first missionary journey, and after four years on the road they returned to their ‘sending church’ in Antioch.  “They gathered the church together and reported all that God had done through them….. and they stayed there a long time with the disciples”.  That, however, is where any comparison between the Lancs and Paul and Barnabas stops!  They travelled on foot everywhere; they planted church after church, and they also had to endure beatings, imprisonments and a lot of opposition from religious leaders and government officials!

Home assignment also provides opportunities for spending time with family and friends.  Besides grappling with a new language and trying to adapt to living in a new culture, I think the hardest part about being overseas is the separation from family.  We’re so thankful for the modern conveniences of email and skype that the missionary of yesteryear could only dream of, but nothing beats face-to-face quality time with those who are nearest and dearest.  There’s also a need to take time out from a ‘field assignment’ and spend time in a home culture where things are familiar and relaxed, because after a while some of the cultural norms here can begin to wear you down.  I (Steve) have noticed this especially in the last six months where my grace and patience levels are low, my tolerance and compassion reserves are sometimes depleted, and my spiritual tank is in need of topping up!  In short, one can become rather tetchy and grumpy when things don’t happen as they would at home, and where you get fed up with certain aspects of a culture!  We’re certainly looking forward to a change of environment and temperature, doing some holidaying, and to recharging the batteries on a number of levels!

Twenty things we’re looking forward to on HA!

Not sweating, good internet connection, going to Israel, being at Corsham Baptist Church, exercising normally, spending quality time with family and friends, no mosquitoes, watching Carlisle United play, not battling with Swahili, eating pork pie and celery, not having power-cuts, long light evenings, driving on smooth roads where most people adhere to the highway code, being cold, meeting new nephews and nieces, playing golf on greens, preaching in English, skiing, climbing a mountain or two, and going to the chippie!

Livingstone and his first ‘home assignment’!  

Sorry folks, but I couldn’t finish our first term without referring once more to the good doctor!  David Livingstone set out for Africa in December 1840, and arrived back in England 16 years later in December 1856 for his first home assignment!  And even then, he nearly didn’t make it!  Twenty months before heading home he meandered his way across the continent of Africa, trekking from Luanda (in Angola) on the west coast, to Quillimane (in Mozambique) on the east coast, exploring the land and looking for ideal sites on which to set up mission stations.  He covered the 2230 miles by foot and on ox-back, only to arrive on the Mozambican coast, ravaged by malarial fever, to find that the ship which had been sent to pick him up, had run aground on a sandbar!

He then waited a further six weeks for another ship to come, and during the long journey home aboard the not-so- aptly named HMS Frolic, one of his African attendants, who had never seen the sea before, jumped overboard due to insanity!  The ship was then nearly wrecked on an island near the Bay of Tunis due to a snapped engine shaft, only to be saved at the last moment by a providential wind which carried them away from the rocks!  And finally, to add insult to many an injury, after five months at sea, the boat docked in Dover whilst his wife and friends formed a welcoming party for him….. in Southampton!!  Needless to say, we’re hoping that our journey home won’t take quite as long, and won’t be quite as eventful!


Ruth founds this beast, a Huntsman Spider, sitting on the
back seat of the car when she got home one day.  If she’d 
seen it during the journey, who knows what ditch this 
arachnaphobe would have driven into!

Thank you so much to those who have helped make this first term in Tanzania possible.  To those who support us financially and pray for us regularly – we want to say thank you for your partnership and backing.  And we hope you’ve enjoyed following our tentative steps into Tanzanian ministry and reading about some of our adventures and misadventures along the way!  Our aim has been to keep you informed about the ministries we’re involved in, but also to give you a glimpse of what life in Tanzania is like.  We’re not exactly sure when we’ll next be in touch via newsletter or blog, but we look forward to meeting up with many of you over the next 6 months, and we’ll certainly be in touch before we head back to Tanzania in September, God willing.

Malachite Kingfisher

Many blessings,

Steve and Ruth


Prayer Points:


  • That we would finish our term well and do what we need to do before we leave on 7th March.

  • We’re praising God for what we’ve been able to do through Him during our time here, thanking Him for safety and protection, and for His continued blessing on our lives.

  • Please pray that we’ll plan wisely for our HA and that we would also be a blessing and encouragement to those we meet.

  • Please continue to pray for the work of IBM – for Tony as he heads up the seminar programme, and for Matt as he continues to supervise the building of the conference centre.

  • Please pray for spiritual refreshment during our HA – and for re-charged batteries!


Postal address in UK (from 24th March – 7th Sept): West Sevington Farm, Yatton Keynell, Chippenham, Wiltshire SN14 7LE.

How’s that for a big-nosed moth!

Now he just needs some passengers!

“Take me home, pot-holed roads, to the place I belong”!

Ruth,

This post by Ruth was originally published at Life in the Lancs Lane

SuitcasesVery nearly the words of a famous John Denver song from yesteryear!  It’s hard to believe that in less than four weeks time our first term here in Tanzania will come to a close and we’ll be touching down on the soggy soil of England!  Where has the last 2.7 years gone?!  For us, as we prepare for our home assignment, it’s a time of excitement and anticipation, but also a time of reflection as we ponder the happenings of our time here.  Has it been what we expected?  Could we have done anything differently and more effectively?  Has language learning been as hard as we thought it would be?  Have we settled down as well as we could?  Have we represented Christ well in our team, in our home and amongst the pastors we’re here to serve?  And, in one of my ‘glass half empty’ moments, has what I’ve done really made any impact?!  So many questions and evaluations as we prepare to head home on 7th March.

003 002Last month we celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary – and to mark the occasion we spent a day in the African wilderness getting nibbled by tsetse flies!  We put our trusty car through its paces and bumped our way around the back of the Uluguru mountains to the Selous Game reserve.  It was only 115 miles away but it took us 5.5 hours to get there due to the fact that, for much of the time, we were doing less than 10 mph on a stony dirt track!  We had a top day on safari, seeing over sixty species of bird, and hundreds of hippos and crocodiles on the Rufiji River.  The one sobering aspect of our day was the lack of elephants.  The Selous used to be famous for its large elephant population (109,000 in 1976) but, during the last 40 years, 88% of its elephants have fallen to the poacher, a sad trend that continues across Tanzania.

For the rest of Jan/Feb it’s beenbusiness as usual, as we’ve continued in our various roles and made some preparations to hand over some of our responsibilities.  For Ruth, it’s been about the management and accounting work for IBM and Sanga Sanga, and for me, translation and preaching, as well as member care for some of the missionaries in the unit.

So, what exactly is this thing called “home-assignment”?!
Is it just a big long holiday for missionaries?  Is it like a sabbatical?  Is it secret code for a ‘fundraising trip’?  Do missionaries go on home assignment when they get so fed up with their host culture that they need a break?  Well, there’s probably an element of truth in all of these – but as definitions go they don’t paint the full picture, so let me try and explain.  In former years, within missionary circles the word’ furlough’ was used to describe such an activity.  The dictionary definition is this: “A period of time where a soldier is allowed to be absent from service, especially to return temporarily to their own town or country.”  I also found another definition, although I’m not so sure it’s too helpful….. “Work furlough is a correctional programme which allows prison inmates to leave an institution for the purpose of regular employment but returning to confinement at nights and weekends’ – hmmmm!  Let’s go with the first – although it does have its limitations because it suggests a time of getting away from active service.

Construction work at Sanga Sanga continues apace

Construction work at Sanga Sanga continues apace

Today, mission organisations prefer to use the term ‘home assignment’ because they want to emphasise that missionaries who are back in their home countries are still on active service, working and doing ministry, but just in a different venue.  And so that is why I’ll still be involved in preaching, and why we’ll both be out and about speaking at various AIM events and prayer groups, raising awareness of what AIM is doing in Africa, as well as informing people of what we’ve been doing during the last 2.7 years.  In fact, one of the main purposes of our HA is to reconnect with our sending church and report back to them.  It is our church that we are primarily responsible to, and it is our church, in partnership with AIM, that commissioned and sent us to Tanzania back in July 2013.  And so we need to spend time with them, along with other supporters, to inform and hopefully inspire, as well as to say a big ‘thank you’ to those who have supported us financially and prayerfully.

Home assignments—they’re biblical you know!
This is how it was right at the very beginning of the missionary era.  At the end of Acts 14, Paul and Barnabas are coming to the end of their first missionary journey, and after four years on the road they returned to their ‘sending church’ in Antioch.  “They gathered the church together and reported all that God had done through them….. and they stayed there a long time with the disciples”.  That, however, is where any comparison between the Lancs and Paul and Barnabas stops!  They travelled on foot everywhere; they planted church after church, and they also had to endure beatings, imprisonments and a lot of opposition from religious leaders and government officials!

001Home assignment also provides opportunities for spending time with family and friends.  Besides grappling with a new language and trying to adapt to living in a new culture, I think the hardest part about being overseas is the separation from family.  We’re so thankful for the modern conveniences of email and skype that the missionary of yesteryear could only dream of, but nothing beats face-to-face quality time with those who are nearest and dearest.  There’s also a need to take time out from a ‘field assignment’ and spend time in a home culture where things are familiar and relaxed, because after a while some of the cultural norms here can begin to wear you down.  I (Steve) have noticed this especially in the last six months where my grace and patience levels are low, my tolerance and compassion reserves are sometimes depleted, and my spiritual tank is in need of topping up!  In short, one can become rather tetchy and grumpy when things don’t happen as they would at home, and where you get fed up with certain aspects of a culture!  We’re certainly looking forward to a change of environment and temperature, doing some holidaying, and to recharging the batteries on a number of levels!

Twenty things we’re looking forward to on HA!
Not sweating, good internet connection, going to Israel, being at Corsham Baptist Church, exercising normally, spending quality time with family and friends, no mosquitoes, watching Carlisle United play, not battling with Swahili, eating pork pie and celery, not having power-cuts, long light evenings, driving on smooth roads where most people adhere to the highway code, being cold, meeting new nephews and nieces, playing golf on greens, preaching in English, skiing, climbing a mountain or two, and going to the chippie!

Livingstone and his first ‘home assignment’!  
David-LivingstoneSorry folks, but I couldn’t finish our first term without referring once more to the good doctor!  David Livingstone set out for Africa in December 1840, and arrived back in England 16 years later in December 1856 for his first home assignment!  And even then, he nearly didn’t make it!  Twenty months before heading home he meandered his way across the continent of Africa, trekking from Luanda (in Angola) on the west coast, to Quillimane (in Mozambique) on the east coast, exploring the land and looking for ideal sites on which to set up mission stations.  He covered the 2230 miles by foot and on ox-back, only to arrive on the Mozambican coast, ravaged by malarial fever, to find that the ship which had been sent to pick him up, had run aground on a sandbar!

He then waited a further six weeks for another ship to come, and during the long journey home aboard the not-so- aptly named HMS Frolic, one of his African attendants, who had never seen the sea before, jumped overboard due to insanity!  The ship was then nearly wrecked on an island near the Bay of Tunis due to a snapped engine shaft, only to be saved at the last moment by a providential wind which carried them away from the rocks!  And finally, to add insult to many an injury, after five months at sea, the boat docked in Dover whilst his wife and friends formed a welcoming party for him….. in Southampton!!  Needless to say, we’re hoping that our journey home won’t take quite as long, and won’t be quite as eventful!

“Incy wincy spider, sat down beside her.” Ruth found this beast, a Huntsman Spider, calmly sitting on the back seat of the car when she got home one day. If she’d seen it during the journey, who knows what ditch this arachnaphobe would have driven into!

“Incy wincy spider, sat down beside her.”
Ruth found this beast, a Huntsman Spider, calmly sitting on the back seat of the car when she got home one day. If she’d seen it during the journey, who knows what ditch this arachnaphobe would have driven into!

Thank you so much to those who have helped make this first term in Tanzania possible.  To those who support us financially and pray for us regularly – we want to say thank you for your partnership and backing.  And we hope you’ve enjoyed following our tentative steps into Tanzanian ministry and reading about some of our adventures and misadventures along the way!  Our aim has been to keep you informed about the ministries we’re involved in, but also to give you a glimpse of what life in Tanzania is like.  We’re not exactly sure when we’ll next be in touch via newsletter or blog, but we look forward to meeting up with many of you over the next 6 months, and we’ll certainly be in touch before we head back to Tanzania in September, God willing.

Malachite Kingfisher

Malachite Kingfisher

Many blessings,

Steve and Ruth

Prayer Points:

  • That we would finish our term well and do what we need to do before we leave on 7th March.
  • We’re praising God for what we’ve been able to do through Him during our time here, thanking Him for safety and protection, and for His continued blessing on our lives.
  • Please pray that we’ll plan wisely for our HA and that we would also be a blessing and encouragement to those we meet.
  • Please continue to pray for the work of IBM – for Tony as he heads up the seminar programme, and for Matt as he continues to supervise the building of the conference centre.
  • Please pray for spiritual refreshment during our HA – and for re-charged batteries!

Postal address in UK (from 24th March – 7th Sept): West Sevington Farm, Yatton Keynell, Chippenham, Wiltshire SN14 7LE.

How’s that for a big-nosed moth!

How’s that for a big-nosed moth!

Now he just needs some passengers!

Now he just needs some passengers!

“Take me home, pot-holed roads, to the place I belong”!

Ruth,

This post by Ruth was originally published at Life in the Lancs Lane

SuitcasesVery nearly the words of a famous John Denver song from yesteryear!  It’s hard to believe that in less than four weeks time our first term here in Tanzania will come to a close and we’ll be touching down on the soggy soil of England!  Where has the last 2.7 years gone?!  For us, as we prepare for our home assignment, it’s a time of excitement and anticipation, but also a time of reflection as we ponder the happenings of our time here.  Has it been what we expected?  Could we have done anything differently and more effectively?  Has language learning been as hard as we thought it would be?  Have we settled down as well as we could?  Have we represented Christ well in our team, in our home and amongst the pastors we’re here to serve?  And, in one of my ‘glass half empty’ moments, has what I’ve done really made any impact?!  So many questions and evaluations as we prepare to head home on 7th March.

003 002Last month we celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary – and to mark the occasion we spent a day in the African wilderness getting nibbled by tsetse flies!  We put our trusty car through its paces and bumped our way around the back of the Uluguru mountains to the Selous Game reserve.  It was only 115 miles away but it took us 5.5 hours to get there due to the fact that, for much of the time, we were doing less than 10 mph on a stony dirt track!  We had a top day on safari, seeing over sixty species of bird, and hundreds of hippos and crocodiles on the Rufiji River.  The one sobering aspect of our day was the lack of elephants.  The Selous used to be famous for its large elephant population (109,000 in 1976) but, during the last 40 years, 88% of its elephants have fallen to the poacher, a sad trend that continues across Tanzania.

For the rest of Jan/Feb it’s beenbusiness as usual, as we’ve continued in our various roles and made some preparations to hand over some of our responsibilities.  For Ruth, it’s been about the management and accounting work for IBM and Sanga Sanga, and for me, translation and preaching, as well as member care for some of the missionaries in the unit.

So, what exactly is this thing called “home-assignment”?!
Is it just a big long holiday for missionaries?  Is it like a sabbatical?  Is it secret code for a ‘fundraising trip’?  Do missionaries go on home assignment when they get so fed up with their host culture that they need a break?  Well, there’s probably an element of truth in all of these – but as definitions go they don’t paint the full picture, so let me try and explain.  In former years, within missionary circles the word’ furlough’ was used to describe such an activity.  The dictionary definition is this: “A period of time where a soldier is allowed to be absent from service, especially to return temporarily to their own town or country.”  I also found another definition, although I’m not so sure it’s too helpful….. “Work furlough is a correctional programme which allows prison inmates to leave an institution for the purpose of regular employment but returning to confinement at nights and weekends’ – hmmmm!  Let’s go with the first – although it does have its limitations because it suggests a time of getting away from active service.

Construction work at Sanga Sanga continues apace

Construction work at Sanga Sanga continues apace

Today, mission organisations prefer to use the term ‘home assignment’ because they want to emphasise that missionaries who are back in their home countries are still on active service, working and doing ministry, but just in a different venue.  And so that is why I’ll still be involved in preaching, and why we’ll both be out and about speaking at various AIM events and prayer groups, raising awareness of what AIM is doing in Africa, as well as informing people of what we’ve been doing during the last 2.7 years.  In fact, one of the main purposes of our HA is to reconnect with our sending church and report back to them.  It is our church that we are primarily responsible to, and it is our church, in partnership with AIM, that commissioned and sent us to Tanzania back in July 2013.  And so we need to spend time with them, along with other supporters, to inform and hopefully inspire, as well as to say a big ‘thank you’ to those who have supported us financially and prayerfully.

Home assignments—they’re biblical you know!
This is how it was right at the very beginning of the missionary era.  At the end of Acts 14, Paul and Barnabas are coming to the end of their first missionary journey, and after four years on the road they returned to their ‘sending church’ in Antioch.  “They gathered the church together and reported all that God had done through them….. and they stayed there a long time with the disciples”.  That, however, is where any comparison between the Lancs and Paul and Barnabas stops!  They travelled on foot everywhere; they planted church after church, and they also had to endure beatings, imprisonments and a lot of opposition from religious leaders and government officials!

001Home assignment also provides opportunities for spending time with family and friends.  Besides grappling with a new language and trying to adapt to living in a new culture, I think the hardest part about being overseas is the separation from family.  We’re so thankful for the modern conveniences of email and skype that the missionary of yesteryear could only dream of, but nothing beats face-to-face quality time with those who are nearest and dearest.  There’s also a need to take time out from a ‘field assignment’ and spend time in a home culture where things are familiar and relaxed, because after a while some of the cultural norms here can begin to wear you down.  I (Steve) have noticed this especially in the last six months where my grace and patience levels are low, my tolerance and compassion reserves are sometimes depleted, and my spiritual tank is in need of topping up!  In short, one can become rather tetchy and grumpy when things don’t happen as they would at home, and where you get fed up with certain aspects of a culture!  We’re certainly looking forward to a change of environment and temperature, doing some holidaying, and to recharging the batteries on a number of levels!

Twenty things we’re looking forward to on HA!
Not sweating, good internet connection, going to Israel, being at Corsham Baptist Church, exercising normally, spending quality time with family and friends, no mosquitoes, watching Carlisle United play, not battling with Swahili, eating pork pie and celery, not having power-cuts, long light evenings, driving on smooth roads where most people adhere to the highway code, being cold, meeting new nephews and nieces, playing golf on greens, preaching in English, skiing, climbing a mountain or two, and going to the chippie!

Livingstone and his first ‘home assignment’!  
David-LivingstoneSorry folks, but I couldn’t finish our first term without referring once more to the good doctor!  David Livingstone set out for Africa in December 1840, and arrived back in England 16 years later in December 1856 for his first home assignment!  And even then, he nearly didn’t make it!  Twenty months before heading home he meandered his way across the continent of Africa, trekking from Luanda (in Angola) on the west coast, to Quillimane (in Mozambique) on the east coast, exploring the land and looking for ideal sites on which to set up mission stations.  He covered the 2230 miles by foot and on ox-back, only to arrive on the Mozambican coast, ravaged by malarial fever, to find that the ship which had been sent to pick him up, had run aground on a sandbar!

He then waited a further six weeks for another ship to come, and during the long journey home aboard the not-so- aptly named HMS Frolic, one of his African attendants, who had never seen the sea before, jumped overboard due to insanity!  The ship was then nearly wrecked on an island near the Bay of Tunis due to a snapped engine shaft, only to be saved at the last moment by a providential wind which carried them away from the rocks!  And finally, to add insult to many an injury, after five months at sea, the boat docked in Dover whilst his wife and friends formed a welcoming party for him….. in Southampton!!  Needless to say, we’re hoping that our journey home won’t take quite as long, and won’t be quite as eventful!

“Incy wincy spider, sat down beside her.” Ruth found this beast, a Huntsman Spider, calmly sitting on the back seat of the car when she got home one day. If she’d seen it during the journey, who knows what ditch this arachnaphobe would have driven into!

“Incy wincy spider, sat down beside her.”
Ruth found this beast, a Huntsman Spider, calmly sitting on the back seat of the car when she got home one day. If she’d seen it during the journey, who knows what ditch this arachnaphobe would have driven into!

Thank you so much to those who have helped make this first term in Tanzania possible.  To those who support us financially and pray for us regularly – we want to say thank you for your partnership and backing.  And we hope you’ve enjoyed following our tentative steps into Tanzanian ministry and reading about some of our adventures and misadventures along the way!  Our aim has been to keep you informed about the ministries we’re involved in, but also to give you a glimpse of what life in Tanzania is like.  We’re not exactly sure when we’ll next be in touch via newsletter or blog, but we look forward to meeting up with many of you over the next 6 months, and we’ll certainly be in touch before we head back to Tanzania in September, God willing.

Malachite Kingfisher

Malachite Kingfisher

Many blessings,

Steve and Ruth

Prayer Points:

  • That we would finish our term well and do what we need to do before we leave on 7th March.
  • We’re praising God for what we’ve been able to do through Him during our time here, thanking Him for safety and protection, and for His continued blessing on our lives.
  • Please pray that we’ll plan wisely for our HA and that we would also be a blessing and encouragement to those we meet.
  • Please continue to pray for the work of IBM – for Tony as he heads up the seminar programme, and for Matt as he continues to supervise the building of the conference centre.
  • Please pray for spiritual refreshment during our HA – and for re-charged batteries!

Postal address in UK (from 24th March – 7th Sept): West Sevington Farm, Yatton Keynell, Chippenham, Wiltshire SN14 7LE.

How’s that for a big-nosed moth!

How’s that for a big-nosed moth!

Now he just needs some passengers!

Now he just needs some passengers!

Stay Rooted in the Gospel

Eddie,

When I first became involved in teaching God’s Word, I tended to assume that one of the great needs of Christians is to be instructed in the ‘deeper truths’ of the gospel. It was not long before experience (of my own life) and observation (of others’ lives) taught me how mistaken I had been. I began to see that in fact the ‘deeper truths’ (if there are such things) are really the old basic truths of the gospel. Far from being luxuries, they are necessities for Christian living.

Sinclair Ferguson (“The Christian Life”).

Notice sheet for 7th February 2016

Louise,

Prayer Meeting

There will be a prayer meeting this evening at 6pm. All welcome to attend!

Tanzania in June – deadline TODAY!!

You will have seen/heard the information over the last couple of weeks about a proposed trip to Tanzania to help with a construction project during the last two weeks in June.  If you missed it, please contact Stuart Little or Martin Sheringham who will be delighted to tell you more.  There has been enough interest so far to make this trip viable but we now need this interest to turn into commitment.  We would like to book flights soon and advise the Tanzanian team of numbers so they can plan a suitable package of work.  So if you intend to go, let Stuart know. Today is officially the deadline!!

Steve Bryant

Steve is currently on another WEC mission trip and will be going to several Asian and Middle Eastern countries, returning to the UK on the 13th February. Please pray for Steve and the work he will be involved in.

Israel Trip

Steve Lancaster will be leading a ten-day Oak Hall trip to Israel in June 2016. If you are interested in finding out more about the trip, please go to www.oakhall.co.uk and click on the “Israel & Palestine” link for more details (Trip code IS16), and speak to some of those from CBC who went in 2013!

Ladies’ Bible Study

The notes for the next ladies’ bible study are on the table at the back of church (pink sheets). Please take one in advance of the next meeting which is on Monday 22nd February, 7.30pm. Please speak to Anne Holmes or Kathy Larkman for more information on these studies.

The Lunch Club

The next TLC for our seniors will be this Tuesday 9th February at 12pm. If you would like to know more about these functions, please have a chat to Michael or Wendy Prior.

Missions’ Prayer Meeting

Our monthly prayer meeting for missions, persecuted church and our own missionaries will take place on Wednesday, 10th February at 7.45pm. Please talk to Wendy Rowe for more details.

Church Directory 2016

The 2016 church directory has been produced. Please take a copy for your household. Feel free to take an extra copy if necessary.

Life Groups

There are now approximately 15 life groups that meet during the week in and around Corsham! Speak to Vicky Stephenson if you would like to join a group.

This week at CBC…

Monday: Mum’s bible study, 10am

Tuesday: The Lunch Club, 12 o’clock

Wednesday: Early morning prayer, 7.15am; Prayer for missions and the persecuted church, 7.30pm

Thursday: Toddler Group, 10am; Corsham Money & Debt Advice Centre, 7.30pm

Friday: Corsham Money & Debt Advice Centre, 9.30am

Saturday: Prayer for Corsham /Gospel expansion, 8.30am in the prayer room

Looking ahead…

17th February: Midweek Service, 2pm

22nd February: Ladies’ Bible Study, 7.30pm

27th February: The Ark, 10am

2nd March: Midweek service, 2pm

5th March: Craft Club, 10am

6th March: Evening prayer meeting, 6pm

8th March: TLC, 12pm

12th March: Life Group Leaders’ morning meeting, Priory Street

16th March: Midweek service, 2pm

19th March: Same-sex marriage discussion 9.00am-12.30pm

Pray to God as He has revealed Himself in Jesus Christ

Eddie,

“Never ask in prayer for any blessing till you are sure your mind is turned to Jesus Christ; then speak to God as you see Him there.”

William Temple: Readings in St John’s Gospel, p.233

But What About Our Regrets?

Eddie,

There’s a part of me that would like to turn the clock back for a possible “do-over,” especially for certain stretches of my life. But then again, not really. Your name is Redeemer, and you’re the God who restores years eaten away by locusts. I choose to rest in your love rather than stew in my regrets. I have great confidence and hope in your commitment to make all things new.

Scotty Smith.

Using tech to glorify God

Adrian,

Almost all of us now have a smartphone in our pockets, and all too often we allow them to distract us from our relationship with God instead of helping us.

It has been on my mind for sometime to highlight a few ways we might use our phones in our walk with God. The article will make a few iPhone App recommendations since these are ones I use, but there are many alternatives out there on the various App stores – so do look around and find the apps that work for you.

Reading God’s Word

Probably the area most familiar to us is the number of Bible applications that are available. These provide access to many translations of the bible both in English and foreign languages. The apps generally provide functionality to highlight passages and make notes against the text; some even come with access to a huge number of study resources for personal study and sermon preparation.

A few good examples are:

Listening to God’s Word

Our sermons at Corsham Baptist Church are made available online each week here. Rather than having to keep checking back each week for new sermons you can use a class of application called a Podcast App. These apps let you subscribe to our sermons and as soon as a new one is available it can download the latest message directly to your phone ready for your to listen to. There are many other great sermons and podcasts available on the internet too that you can subscribe to.

Example apps

Some interesting Christian Podcasts (use the app’s search feature to find these)

You can also find apps such as Audible that give you access to audio books including audio bibles. Christian Audio is another good source for getting hold of Christian Audio resources.

Prayer

Your phone can aid your prayer life. PrayerMate is a great application to help guide and plan your prayers. Organise your areas of prayer into various groups (e.g. Family Members, Mission, Friends & Colleagues, Countries, Personal growth as a Christian etc.) and also subscribe to prayer request feeds from various mission organisations and churches.

During your prayer time the app will pick an assortment of items each day to pray for – covering a broad range of prayer points and making sure you don’t forget the people you said you’d pray for etc.

Journalling

It can be helpful as a Christian to keep a Journal – and now with your phone you can do this digitally and have it with you everywhere you go! I’m by no means perfect at logging items but I do find the following helpful to record:

  • Sermon notes
  • Things I’ve prayed for – so I am reminded of answers to prayer
  • Books I’ve read
  • Bible/book quotes that have particularly impacted me
  • Jotting down notes when God reveals something in a fresh way to me

A great app serving this purpose on the iPhone is DayOne. It lets you categorise entries so you can easily look through past prayer points for example. Also a great place to record photos and notes as a family journal too.

My hope and prayer is that something in this article has been helpful to you as you follow Jesus.

Adrian

Be Quick to Listen, Slow to Speak

Eddie,

From Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s sparkling little book, “Life Together” (1938):

The first service that one owes to others in the fellowship consists in listening to them. Just as love to God begins with listening to his Word, so the beginning of love for the brethren is learning to listen to them. It is God’s love for us that he not only gives us his Word but also lends us his ear. So it is his work that we do for our brother when we learn to listen to him. Christians, especially preachers, so often think they must always ‘contribute’ something when they are in the company of others, that this is the one service they have to render. They forget that listening can be a greater service than speaking. Many people are looking for an ear that will listen. They do not find it among Christians, because these Christians are talking when they should be listening…

Anyone who thinks that his time is too valuable to spend keeping quiet will eventually have no time for God and his brother, but only for himself, for his own words and plans.