Riding the Next Wave

This post by Joth Hunt was originally published at Seventy Two

I’m not a surfer but I did grow up by the sea and I have always enjoyed riding a wave by body boarding. I understand that the best surfers are those who know which are the best waves to ride. They patiently watch the horizon to learn the language of the sea before choosing the largest and best waves. Missional listening and leadership is partially about watching the societal and cultural waves on the horizon and then, with the help of the Spirit, getting ready to ride those waves in the best way possible.

No one saw the wave of COVID coming, and if they had, they probably wouldn’t have realised what a huge impact it was going to have. It was like a wave that understandably caught even the best surfer unawares! However, as we see the vaccines roll out and the potential of life returning to some kind of normality, it is worth looking out to the horizon and asking what cultural waves might be heading our way and whether it is possible to missionally serve our communities by riding some of these waves.

I can’t say with great certainty what these waves might be, but I do want to suggest three possible waves worth considering:

Mental Health

The first wave I think worth highlighting is the potential for a wave of mental health issues as people come out of lockdown and restrictions. Many of us are aware of how lockdown has challenged our own mental health and wellbeing. Some of us have been quite surprised by how we have reacted to the challenges that we have faced. Personally, I have yearned to get out of the routine space of home and find a new scene. During the winter months this, of course, has been much harder to do. I have found myself become restless, frustrated and very tetchy and my sleep at times has been inconsistent. If we are aware that our own mental health has been challenged during these times, it can’t be too difficult to imagine the amount of mental strain there has been for others.

As we slowly come out of lockdown, I find myself wondering how the Church will be available to others in society to help them find their way out of this tough period. I’m fascinated that before COVID hit our shores the Wellbeing Cafe movement was well underway. My understanding is that during COVID a number of communities have begun virtual Wellbeing Cafes. Spaces for people to just be and to be listened to. Ruby Wax, the founder of Frazzled Cafe, once said, “Being heard, to me, has always been half the cure.”

I’m encouraged when I hear of churches that are beginning to consider how they might respond to this need through ‘Wellbeing Cafes’, listening services and support groups that will give people time and space to process what has happened but also rediscover their feet through new rhythms of health and wellbeing.

A Time to Grieve

One of the most difficult things during this time for many people has been the lack of opportunity to mourn and grieve the consequences of this pandemic. I am wondering whether there might be a wave of unexpressed grief both individually but also corporately. The vast majority of people will have known at least one person who has died of COVID or passed away during this time when a full and ‘proper’ process for giving thanks and the availability to comfort each other just hasn’t been allowed to take place. I fear that it would be very easy for this lack of formalised grief to be forgotten as we celebrate the easing of lockdown and restrictions. Churches could have a key role to play in giving people time and space to give thanks for those who have passed away and to grieve together in an appropriate and respectful manner.

We could also prepare ourselves to be available to pastorally support those who have lost loved ones during this period and who are still dealing with their own grief alongside the guilt of having a funeral process that fell below their expectations and needs. Churches again could be playing a key role here in revisiting those who are grieving and giving space and time to allow this extraordinary and unprecedented grief to be expressed and comforted.

A Time to Re-evaluate

The third wave that may be on the horizon is one of re-evaluating all that has happened and how that has impacted the things that we hold as being important. I can’t imagine that there are too many people who have not stopped during the past year and asked themselves some very deep and fundamental questions about their lives, values and beliefs.

I have been encouraged in recent months by a number of churches that have been hosting ‘Alpha’ type events online and found a good uptake of people wishing to engage. I have just heard from one of our pioneers of a number of people that have sought him out for conversations during this time of lockdown, wanting to find a person to reflect with and process their thoughts and emotions. This seems to me a real opportunity. Moments of disaster and crisis will always create a desire to question and to review.

I’m not sure how large this wave might be or how long it might last but I think it might be significant enough for those churches who dare to ride it to discover opportunities to share the story, values and beliefs of the Christian faith with people who are keen to re-evaluate.

Of course, I might be wrong about all these potential waves and there may be others that are heading toward the coastline but I do think all three are worth considering and possibly attempting to ride as we come out of this long period of lockdown.  The period of COVID that we have experienced has been unprecedented and challenging but the season that we are about to enter into may be one that brings waves of fresh and new opportunities. May the Spirit of God prepare his Church for such a time as this and lift us up onto each new wave, enabling the good news of Christ to be seen and shared with all that will hear.

 

The post Riding the Next Wave appeared first on Seventy Two.

Notices for Sunday 11 April 2021

This week

Good news! We are continuing with in-person services this week. Numbers will be limited and pre-booking is required please. – contact Tim or the Church Office to do this

Sunday Services

Zoom Junior Church

  • I give permission for …………… to interact on zoom. 
  • I give permission for a leader to contact me (Parent’s name) by email/ phone/text for the purpose of  setting up these Zoom meetings. And then add your name.

Mid-Week Service Wednesday 14th April 2pm

All are welcome -and again pre-booking is required. Please contact Tim or the Church Office to do this.

Pray for the Muslim World

Ramadan starts on Tuesday 13th April. We have an opportunity to pray through this important time. There is a daily prayer guide available here as a printed leaflet or a download for £2.00. https://30daysprayer.org.uk/order/

Momentum Yes!

Find out more about missions and the unreached by attending this free interactive, online video-based course, which teaches, inspires, and equips to rethink God’s mission. AIM has already run this course, and and WEC is hosting it next, over 6 Tuesday evenings, starting on 20th April. You can find out more and book your free place here: https://wec-uk.org/events/momentumyes

Word Alive – Seminar Tracks

Starting Monday 12th there will be weekly “seminar tracks’ with excellent Biblical teaching from renowned speakers – take a look here

Souper Friday on Facebook

Souper Friday is now in Facebook! We want to reach local people who need support with food parcels, so if you’re on Facebook please ‘like’ the page and engage with the posts via likes/shares/comments. You can find the page here: www.facebook.com/souperfriday
If you have any questions about Facebook, feel free to contact Jasmine Warren.”

Activities during lockdown

  • Souper Friday continues to reach out to our community and neighbours
  • Community Money Advice is handling work remotely, but do get in touch if you are aware of or are having money difficulties ;
  • Several small groups meet and share online.

Please send items for next week’s notices to Cathy Simon and/or Tim Stephenson by 12 noon on Friday

ARE OUR SOULS SATISFIED IN CHRIST ALONE?

This post by kathylarkman was originally published at GRACE PLACE

… This is a question that I want to answer….YES, of course!!!! But I know my sinful heart. And it isn’t…not all the time. But I continue to pray that my soul will be satisfied in Him alone; a process as a growing Christian. God’s love is patient, and He will never let me go. Can you relate?

For example, He gives us constant reminders of who He is and what He’s done for us in Christ. The celebration and reflection of holy week of Christ’s death and resurrection is always doing its work, not just at Easter. It is, after all, the foundation of our faith- the good news of the gospel. So I ask myself, should not the gospel take front and centre in our lives everyday? Should not this change the way we think and live?

I came across the song below in my worship time some months back, and it has resurfaced with deeper profundity in my heart. So I want to share with you.

Galatians 2:20 “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Philippians 3:7-11 “ I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with Him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; but rather I become righteous through faith in Christ. I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised Him from the dead. I want to suffer with Him, sharing in His death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!”

My Worth Is Not In What I Own

My worth is not in what I own
Not in the strength of flesh and bone
But in the costly wounds of love
At the cross

My worth is not in skill or name
In win or lose, in pride or shame
But in the blood of Christ that flowed
At the cross

As summer flowers we fade and die
Fame, youth and beauty hurry by
But life eternal calls to us
At the cross

I will not boast in wealth or might
Or human wisdom’s fleeting light
But I will boast in knowing Christ
At the cross

Two wonders here that I confess
My worth and my unworthiness
My value fixed, my ransom paid
At the cross

And I rejoice in my redeemer
Greatest treasure
Wellspring of my soul
I will trust in him, no other
My soul is satisfied in him alone

My. Soul. Is. Satisfied. In. CHRIST. Alone.

Songwriters: Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty, Graham A. Kendrick

Knowing these awesome truths and asking God to retrain our thinking and desires will change the way that we see ourselves and others. It will change the way we live. It will change the way that we respond to different situations and people. Our souls will become satisfied in Christ alone….more every day. Thank you Lord!

Praying this for us all of us sisters. May the gospel hope change us from the inside out.

Notices for Easter Sunday 2021

This week

Good news! We are continuing with in-person services this week. Numbers will be limited and pre-booking is required please. – contact Tim or the Church Office to do this

Joint Good Friday Service

Joint Good Friday service for Church on the Screen and CBC on the 2nd April at Priory Street, 10am

Access the link here

Easter Sunday Services

Zoom Junior Church

  • I give permission for …………… to interact on zoom. 
  • I give permission for a leader to contact me (Parent’s name) by email/ phone/text for the purpose of  setting up these Zoom meetings. And then add your name.

Easter Trail

Join the trail over the weekend from Friday to Monday. Find the eggs around town,  unscramble the letters to find the word that reminds us about Easter. Collect packs from outside church on Saturday between 3pm and 5pm. For more information contact Rhiannon : childrensworker@corshambaptists.org

Easter Thank Offering

Easter speaks of God’s love for us, and His will to spread that love among all peoples.  On Sunday 4 April 2021, we will be holding an Easter Thank Offering to support the work of our Mission Partners. Our first priority will be to provide for those partners who would normally have benefitted from our Harvest, Carol and Nativity service offerings last year (Tearfund, The Oasis Centre, & Compassion), and thereafter where the need is greatest.  The money raised will be lodged in our Restricted Mission Fund. Please do pray about how you can contribute towards this offering.

The easiest way to make an offering is by online bank transfer to the Corsham Baptist Church account at Lloyds Bank (contact the office or Treasurer if you need the details), and reference the transaction RES MISSION FUND.  Alternatively, you could post a cheque to the Treasurer at Priory Street, clearly marked EASTER 21 THANK OFFERING on the reverse. 

If you are able to book for the in-person service at Priory Street on Easter Sunday, please put your offering in the wooden offering box which will be placed at the back of the building.  When the offering is taken, only the contents of plain envelopes (marked EASTER 21 THANK OFFERING) and loose cash/cheques will be included in the Thank Offering total.  Blue offering envelopes will be treated as regular giving to the general work of the church.  

Unfortunately, Covid operating restrictions prevent us from leaving supplies of the special yellow envelopes we normally use for Thank Offerings on open display in the building.  However, if you have completed a gift aid declaration in favour of CBC, we will recover gift aid on your offering (cheques, and bank transfers only) unless you advise us otherwise.

Word Alive – Save the Dates!

Starting at 4 pm on Tuesday 6 April and continuing to 9th April, Word Alive will be streaming meetings to enable you and all the family to ‘Plug into the Word’ including activities for children and young people. Take a look at the website here.

And it doesn’t all finish on the 9th April either. Starting Monday 12th there will be weekly “seminar tracks’ with excellent Biblical teaching from renowned speakers – take a look here

Souper Friday on Facebook

Souper Friday is now in Facebook! We want to reach local people who need support with food parcels, so if you’re on Facebook please ‘like’ the page and engage with the posts via likes/shares/comments. You can find the page here: www.facebook.com/souperfriday
If you have any questions about Facebook, feel free to contact Jasmine Warren.”

Activities during lockdown

  • Souper Friday continues to reach out to our community and neighbours
  • Community Money Advice is handling work remotely, but do get in touch if you are aware of or are having money difficulties ;
  • Several small groups meet and share online.

Please send items for next week’s notices to Cathy Simon and/or Tim Stephenson by 12 noon on Friday

The Ark Easter Children’s Service March 2021

Welcome to the Easter Ark!

Title and incidental music: www.bensound.com Blessed be the Name of the Lord: Clinton Utterbach Words and Music: (c) 1988, 19898 Polygram Music Publishing Ltd

All About Easter – A Resurrection Rhyme: Read by Bob Hartman, written by Bob Hartman, illustrated by Mark Beech.

Thank You Lord For This Fine Day: © 1975 Celebration/Kingsway’s Thankyou Music

Did you Know: Hillsong Kids

I Know Jesus Loves me: Ishmael

We are holders of CCLI streaming licence no: 48626

Notices for 28 March 2021

This week

Good news! We are continuing with in-person services this Sunday (28th). There will be a Midweek Service at 2pm on the 31st as well as a Good Friday service on the 2nd at 10am at Priory Street. At this stage there is still no congregational singing

Numbers will be limited and pre-booking is required please. – contact Tim or the Church Office to do this

There is some sign from the Baptist Union that we may be allowed to meet and even sing outdoors to celebrate Easter Sunday. We have decided start planning this and pray it will indeed be allowed.

Zoom Junior Church

  • I give permission for …………… to interact on zoom. 
  • I give permission for a leader to contact me (Parent’s name) by email/ phone/text for the purpose of  setting up these Zoom meetings. And then add your name.

Lent reflections by 9:15 and CotG

A message from the Ovens’

A great big thank you to those who have been involved in the planning of the extension as well as those who have generously given. It is a wonderful space and we can’t wait to be using it for youth work. We are loving having the space and feeling thoroughly blessed! Much love the Ovens

Easter Thank Offering

Easter speaks of God’s love for us, and His will to spread that love among all peoples.  On Sunday 4 April 2021, we will be holding an Easter Thank Offering to support the work of our Mission Partners. Our first priority will be to provide for those partners who would normally have benefitted from our Harvest, Carol and Nativity service offerings last year (Tearfund, The Oasis Centre, & Compassion), and thereafter where the need is greatest.  The money raised will be lodged in our Restricted Mission Fund. Please do pray about how you can contribute towards this offering.

The easiest way to make an offering is by online bank transfer to the Corsham Baptist Church account at Lloyds Bank (contact the office or Treasurer if you need the details), and reference the transaction RES MISSION FUND.  Alternatively, you could post a cheque to the Treasurer at Priory Street, clearly marked EASTER 21 THANK OFFERING on the reverse. 

If you are able to book for the in-person service at Priory Street on Easter Sunday, please put your offering in the wooden offering box which will be placed at the back of the building.  When the offering is taken, only the contents of plain envelopes (marked EASTER 21 THANK OFFERING) and loose cash/cheques will be included in the Thank Offering total.  Blue offering envelopes will be treated as regular giving to the general work of the church.  

Unfortunately, Covid operating restrictions prevent us from leaving supplies of the special yellow envelopes we normally use for Thank Offerings on open display in the building.  However, if you have completed a gift aid declaration in favour of CBC, we will recover gift aid on your offering (cheques, and bank transfers only) unless you advise us otherwise.

Word Alive – Save the Dates!

Starting at 4 pm on Tuesday 6 April and continuing to 9th April, Word Alive will be streaming meetings to enable you and all the family to ‘Plug into the Word’ including activities for children and young people. Take a look at the website here.

And it doesn’t all finish on the 9th April either. Starting Monday 12th there will be weekly “seminar tracks’ with excellent Biblical teaching from renowned speakers – take a look here

Daniel calls for a Fire Pit

Not to re-enact Daniel 6 but to keep the young people warm and socially distanced during the planned Youth Easter Event. If you have a fire pit going spare that you are willing to loan to the youth pastor, please contact Dan Ovens

Souper Friday on Facebook

Souper Friday is now in Facebook! We want to reach local people who need support with food parcels, so if you’re on Facebook please ‘like’ the page and engage with the posts via likes/shares/comments. You can find the page here: www.facebook.com/souperfriday
If you have any questions about Facebook, feel free to contact Jasmine Warren.”

Activities during lockdown

  • Souper Friday continues to reach out to our community and neighbours
  • Community Money Advice is handling work remotely, but do get in touch if you are aware of or are having money difficulties ;
  • Several small groups meet and share online.

Please send items for next week’s notices to Cathy Simon and/or Tim Stephenson by 12 noon on Friday

A WORD FROM CHRISTINE ABOUT MONDAY’S UPCOMING BIBLE STUDY

This post by kathylarkman was originally published at GRACE PLACE

Christine Coltman

I am so excited for our meeting this Monday the 29th at 7.30pm on the zoom women’s Bible study! 

This year we’ve been looking at the story of God’s sovereignty in Genesis and how he is the faithful, covenant-keeping God. Last month Sharon brought us to Jacob, and his massive struggle with God. She told us that only way to win with God is to lose, and to give ourselves completely to him. 

The cast of characters that we are going to look on Monday are seemingly determined to lose, but not in terms of giving their lives to God, just in terms of making a horrific mess of things. We have the turmoil of Rachel and Leah’s relationship, the catastrophic response of Jacob’s sons to Dinah’s rape, and Judah and Tamar’s awful night-time encounter. These people try to live life their own way and they fail – spectacularly. But God remains true as we will see, and continues to uphold the loving covenant that he made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  

We’ll see the incredible path God traced through the lives of these real, sinful women (who are more like us than we perhaps want to admit), all the way to Jesus and his wonderful rescue mission, and all the way to us, his redeemed daughters.  

Praying for you all as we get ready to meet and learn even more about our faithful, incredible God. 

Leadership in the Wilderness: Am I willing to embody what I’ve previously been unwilling to accept?

This post by Nigel Coles was originally published at Seventy Two

Exodus 3:7-14

When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, ‘Moses! Moses!’ And Moses said, ‘Here I am.’

‘Do not come any closer,’ God said. ‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.’ Then he said, ‘I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.’ At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.

The Lord said, ‘I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey – the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.’

But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?’

And God said, ‘I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.’

Moses said to God, ‘Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, “The God of your fathers has sent me to you,” and they ask me, “What is his name?” Then what shall I tell them?’

God said to Moses, ‘I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: “I am has sent me to you.”’ 

We’ve all been there. You discern God is calling you to do something, ‘but’ …!

Forty years previously Moses had a gut feeling the Lord wanted to set his people free from Egypt, but his feelings ran away with him, literally. He took things into his own hands, killed an Egyptian and then buried the evidence (Exodus 2:11-12). We have no real idea how clearly Moses either heard or saw God at work in the forty years which passed, until he hears the voice of God calling him at the burning bush. Forty years without any headlines, profile or leaps of faith. Forty years when, to the outside world, nothing significant was going on in the life of Moses. Sound familiar?

It’s always a huge mistake to assume nothing significant is going on simply because we don’t see the immediate evidence before our eyes. Remember Jesus, concludes preaching his manifesto of the kingdom of God in Nazareth, where he grew up, by quoting Isaiah and saying, ‘today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing’. This episode ends with his old neighbours and fellow Nazarenes ‘furious’ and they ‘drove him out of the town’ (Luke 4:1-30). What was going on in the life of Jesus during those thirty years?

For forty years in Moses’ life; for thirty years in Jesus’ life; they lived in relative obscurity, but we can be sure of one thing: I AM was working his purposes out. This is because the primary desired way for God’s purposes being worked out are in us, before they flow through us. The pandemic has pulled back the curtain on our reality, the spotlight is on. Now is the time to ensure what’s on the inside and the outside match up. Am I living on purpose?

No mistake these are big questions, but we all need to answer them. I need to answer them for myself. Here’s where I am with this one:

I want to pursue every step of the purpose of God

These are the kinds of words I pray … in my best moments! There’s a recognition here I must act. If God calls me in a particular direction, my job is to follow. If God calls me to stand up and be counted, my job is to step up.

Jesus’ all-embracing call is ‘come follow me’. [1] Paul tells us we have an ‘obligation’ and ‘those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God’. [2] John reminds us ‘we know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands’. [3] Peter comes straight to the point ‘just as he who called is holy, so be holy in all you do’. [4] I’m sure I don’t need to remind you of the biblical imperative to avoid compartmentalising Christianity and driving a wedge between doing and being, but I do need to remind myself. I find it interesting it is James who, I believe was the earthly brother of Jesus, warns us: ‘do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says’. [5]

‘Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God’ (Exodus 3:6). This is not very present day is it? We live in a day when the primary appeal to the world appears to ‘come and find a new best friend called Jesus and walk together with him’. I’m not suggesting that is an invalid basis for first encountering Jesus, but if we don’t get beyond this to recognise more of the character of God, we don’t end up following the Jesus revealed to us in our Bibles.

I’ve needed to face again, whilst I am influenced by and sometimes carried along by the cultural tide of post-modernity, so my feet don’t feel as if they’re on the ground, that God has called me to faithful obedience, or as Eugene Peterson put it, ‘a long obedience in the same direction’.

Mark Sayers makes me uncomfortable, because his words resonate so deeply within me when he writes about:

The disappearance of a mode of church engagement characterized by commitment, resilience, and sacrifice among many Western believers. In its place a new mode of disengaged Christian faith and church interaction is emerging. This new mode is characterized by sporadic engagement, passivity, commitment phobia, and a consumerist framework. [6]

When I boil this down to my ordinary life, pursuing the call of an extra-ordinary God, the daily time when I both listen and seek to discern my next steps, beyond listening, has become again the wellspring of my life. Covid-19 if nothing else has provided a wake-up call to the UK church: this is not a game; eternal issues are at stake; ‘apart from me you can do nothing’ [7] Daily, a step at a time, incremental change is what I’m committed to. If unforgiveness, bitterness, or any particular kind of sin is what I need to attend to, then that’s my next step.

When I think about my leadership of others, I have to recognise I’m limited in what I can achieve. I need to regularly work through in the presence of the Lord, my own issues (for which I need to take responsibility) and others’ issues, which are not my responsibility. However, sometimes I can shine a light, just a little ahead, to help another’s next step.

Evangelicals were criticised a lot when I became a Christian in the mid 1970’s, for making people feel guilty if they missed their daily quiet time and for not providing much guidance beyond ‘pray and read your bible’ to new Christians. I must admit, my experience wasn’t like that. But please take some time out to reflect on:

  1. What pathways do I/we encourage new Christians on today?
  2. What is the cultural framework new Christians are most influenced by today?
  3. How can I more clearly reveal the pathway of Jesus, ‘the way’?

Today I am called to be braver, truer and kinder than ever before. My conviction has never been greater: I can trust the word of God and I can trust the Holy Spirit. Both are true for me, so they must be true for others too.

I want to align my whole life with the purpose of God

Will I allow God to sift my heart, so the purposes of God are not eclipsed? ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?’ (Exodus 3:11) Where did Moses’ reluctance come from? Is he merely recognising who he thinks he is? Was it low self-esteem, a lack of personal ambition or a lack of leadership capacity? My hunch is probably a blend of all.

Contrast this day with the day he killed the Egyptian forty years before when outwardly he didn’t appear to be struggling with any of these (Exodus 2:11-14). As I ponder this, two conversations come to mind, this week: one where the person in front of me tried their best to convince me what a great job they were doing, which included a demolition of their predecessor. The other, with someone who appeared too keenly (in my opinion) aware of their own limitations but was determined to press on in pursuit of God’s purposes. To other people, what they see of me, tends to be the edited version I’m prepared to reveal. I know sometimes my weaknesses can sound like strengths and my humility can sound like arrogance. The truth is the Lord sees me, like Moses, for who I really am, plus who he’s called me to become. In his presence, I need to allow him to search my heart, because I find it too easy to allow either my strengths, or my weaknesses, to distract me from pursuing God’s best for my life, which turns out to be his purposes too.

I want to guard my heart, to make God’s purpose, my purpose

Will I recognise God has equipped me to follow him in my life? I am learning from Jesus to live my life as He would live my life if He were me. Plenty of people have said these words before me, but I don’t put them in quotation marks because I’ve made them my own. What has the pandemic revealed to me? Following Jesus is about following Him! It’s his way, not the Church way, I’m looking for.

‘Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it’ (Proverbs 4:23). I keep coming back to this one and I marry it up with what Paul says, in Philippians 4:7 when he says ‘the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus’. This is how it actually works. Everything does either flow or get dammed up, depending on my heart before the Lord. It is the reality of our relationship with Jesus: it’s ‘If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you’ versus if you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers’ (John 15:6-7)

If we fast forward through next forty years of Moses’ life, we see he comes up against two particular challenges time and time again: himself and the people of God. (oh no, this really is acting like a mirror). The reality is Moses’ journey was far from straightforward – ‘wandering though the wilderness was more than a metaphor! But then, when I stop and think about it, why wouldn’t it be? Here we have a human being, trying to lead other human beings.

What keeps Moses on track, or keeps bringing him back on track, is he keeps stepping into the presence of God. Moses does get drawn away by busyness, He does moan again and again about the people of God. He does get down, he does allow his reserves to practically run dry. But note this, it’s not so much the Lord has an answer for his every question, more his presence is the answer.

‘I will be with you’ (Exodus 3:12). God’s call is God’s enabling.

 

[1] Mark 1:17

[2] Romans 8:12-14

[3] 1 John 2:3

[4] 1 Peter 1:15

[5] James 1:22

[6] Disappearing Church: From Cultural Relevance to Gospel Resilience.

[7] John 15:5

 

The post Leadership in the Wilderness: Am I willing to embody what I’ve previously been unwilling to accept? appeared first on Seventy Two.

Notices for 21 March 2021

This week

Good news! We will go ahead with in-person services for this Sunday (21st), the following (28th) and there will be a Midweek Service at 2pm on the 31st as well as a Good Friday service on the 2nd at 10am at Priory Street. At this stage there is still no congregational singing

Numbers will be limited and pre-booking is required please. – contact Tim or the Church Office to do this

There is some sign from the Baptist Union that we may be allowed to meet and even sing outdoors to celebrate Easter Sunday. We have decided start planning this and pray it will indeed be allowed.

Zoom Junior Church

  • I give permission for …………… to interact on zoom. 
  • I give permission for a leader to contact me (Parent’s name) by email/ phone/text for the purpose of  setting up these Zoom meetings. And then add your name.

Lent reflections by 9:15 and CotG

Easter Ark Saturday 27 March

‘The Ark @ Corsham Baptist Church’ Easter themed children’s service will be available from 7am on Saturday 27th March. You can find it on Facebook, the church website or the CBC Junior church channel. It has puppets, craft, Bible story and songs. We are also giving away a gift/craft pack – let us know if you’d like one. Please pray for this event.

Souper Friday on Facebook

Souper Friday is now in Facebook! We want to reach local people who need support with food parcels, so if you’re on Facebook please ‘like’ the page and engage with the posts via likes/shares/comments. You can find the page here: www.facebook.com/souperfriday
If you have any questions about Facebook, feel free to contact Jasmine Warren.”

Activities during lockdown

  • Souper Friday continues to reach out to our community and neighbours
  • Community Money Advice is handling work remotely, but do get in touch if you are aware of or are having money difficulties ;
  • Several small groups meet and share online.

Please send items for next week’s notices to Cathy Simon and/or Tim Stephenson by 12 noon on Friday