Training in Texas

Stuart & Lynne Little,
Texas flag on corrugated iron sheet

We have been here 5 weeks and its been a whirlwind, (nearly literally,  but more of that later).  We have met our fellow On Boarders and are living closely with them before we leave for Africa on Sunday 28th October.  We are resident at the Mercy ships International Support Centre (ISC) in East Texas.  We have a room in the guest house and Matthew is sharing with Ian who is in his early 20s in another accommodation block on the other side of the campus.  There are two other ladies on our course and a young family from the UK: Barney and Liz with their two boys – Noah who turned 5 last week and Judah (18 months).  So we will be joining 8 others on the ship with Noah….(oh err… its nearly biblical)

The Guest House at the ISC
The ISC has full time staff here looking after the Mercy Ship by recruiting ship volunteers & staff, seeking sponsorship and financial support, procuring stores and engineering & IT support and training.  There are a number of Brits on the staff here who have served aboard the ship in the past and become embedded in the Mercy ship mission. 
Because we have signed up to do more than 10 months aboard the Africa Mercy we are required to do the On Boarding training.  This is because Mercy ships want to ensure they have a core crew who understand the mission to bring hope and healing to the worlds poor following the 2000 year old model of Jesus. 
Our training here consists of three components…

The first week was Basic Training this includes aspects of ships safety such as fire fighting, first aid, life saving at sea and security including pirate awareness.  Matthew and Stuart needed to complete this and all have internationally recognised maritime certificate.  Impressed that Mercy Ships takes the training so seriously.

Yes, its hot in there because its on fire
Matthew works out which way is up.
I actually think we look quite cool
Its what you do team building
in a class room
Then there was a week of classroom based Foundations of Mercy Ships and we were joined buy others mainly from the USA who have expressed an interest in serving in the future.  This week provided the history and mission of mercy ships and the vision looking forward when  
Then three weeks of On Boarding where we have been joined by others new to Mercy Ships who will be working full time here at the ISC. These weeks are a once in a life time opportunity to study the Word and investigate how nation building took place in Old Testament times and what this may look like today.  We are encouraged to take an in depth look at our faith and what it means to follow Jesus and so live the life planned for us before we were so wonderfully knit together in our mothers womb.

So today, Friday 26th October, we have completed our training with a final presentation from each of us to highlight a few of the topics that have impacted us during the training.  It was quite moving to hear the diversity of response to going deeper into scripture especially the implications of taking part in missions in Africa today avoiding dependency and paternalism.

We have been here five weeks and experienced some American culture but it is evident this varies across USA and that Texas is quite different;  also they say if you don’t like the weather in Texas wait 15 minutes. We can testify to this having seen extreme heat and humidity and storms one of which had us standing by to take to our storm shelter refuge which is identified in all the buildings.  We also spent an evening with a couple whose house was hit by a tornado whilst they were still inside.

Tomorrow we will be packing ready for departure at 9.30 am Sunday morning to Dallas Fort Worth Airport (our time) to Africa.  We have three flights, via Atlanta and Paris before arriving in Guinea early Monday evening (UK and Guinea time) where we will spend two weeks working on a community project before finally joining the Africa Mercy on the 9th November.

We have been posting more photos on Instagram and Facebook during our time in Texas and will hopefully continue to do so when we get to Guinea.  See panel on right.

Thank you for reading this.

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Notice sheet 14th October 2018

Louise,
CBC Notices logo

Tanzania Mission Trip

The team, consisting of the following people, returns on Wednesday: Eddie and Kathy Larkman; Rhiannon and Tom Price; Rob Durant; Tim Stephenson; Megan Say; Julie King; Bex Larkman; Alan Homersley.  Eddie is delivering talks to the AIM missionaries, Alan is taking care of the youth work and Rhiannon Price and her team are leading the children’s work. Please pray specifically for travel and safety on the roads; activities – preaching, children and youth work; energy to do all this work and that the missionaries and children would be greatly blessed and refreshed by the visiting CBC team.

Missions and Persecuted Church prayer

This prayer meeting will take place tomorrow night, Monday 15th October, at 7:45pm at Priory Street. Please chat to Vanessa Naish or Wendy Rowe for more details.

The Ark

The next Ark is on Saturday 27th October at 10.00am at CBC Priory Street.  We will be thinking about light and hopefully making edible candles – you’ll have to come along and find out!!  Please PRAY for this session and particularly for attendance as it is during half term. Many thanks.

Fabric Deacon

The three-year term of our Fabric Deacon is coming to an end.  Martin Sheringham has indicated that he is willing to be nominated again. Nomination forms and rules are available on the table at the back.  Nominations close this evening at 6pm. The election will take place at the Church Meeting.

Church Meeting

Please note our next Church Meeting will take place on Monday 22nd October at 8pm.  Agenda and copies of the previous Church Meeting will be available on the table at the back of church next Sunday, 21st October.

WEBA Administrator

Looking for a part time job? The West of England Baptist Association, that CBC is part of, is looking for a part time Office Administrator at their office in Bristol. You can download the advert and application pack on the WEBA website.

WEBA Event

A day to inform leaders and members of churches, and to reflect on same sex attraction and how we can best support and reach those who are same sex attracted.  This event will take place at Clevedon Baptist Church on October 25th. Places (which include a sandwich lunch) cost £20 per person. Please visit https://www.webassoc.org.uk/event/welcoming-without-affirming/for more details.

Youth Weekend Away 26th-28th October – Help Needed!

We are looking to take a group of young people on our annual weekend away to a centre near Chepstow. To make this happen, we would really value practical help in the following ways:

(1) Individuals who are willing to help transport young people to and from the centre. We leave the church on Friday 26th at 4pm and leave the centre 3pm on Sunday 28th. If you can help please speak to Dan Ovens. (2) Please pray for the weekend-that young people will deepen their relationship with God and one another.

Light Party – Wednesday 31st October 5-7pm

Helpers are needed for this event.  Areas where you can help: pray for the event, team leaders, musicians, registration and sign out, baking, set up, set down.  Please speak to Rhiannon when she’s back if you would like more information. Thank you.

Women’s Bible Study

The next women’s bible study, continuing our study of Titus, will take place on Monday 29th October.  Study sheets are on the table at the back of the church.

2019 Africa Missions

A building trip to Sanga Sanga (spring 2019) and an AIM mission trip to Uganda (9th-16th August) are in the planning stages; expressions of interest should be made to the office or congregational leaders.

Lost Property

Some items of clothing etc.etc. have been collected throughout the building.  They have been placed on trolleys in the coffee hall. Please take what belongs to you.  All items will be disposed of if they are not claimed within a couple of weeks.

…This week…

Monday: Mums’ bible study, 10am; Missions and Persecuted Church prayer, 7:45pm

Thursday: Toddler Group, 10am; Corsham Money and Debt Advice Centre, 7:30pm

Friday: Corsham Money and Debt Advice Centre, 9:30am; Encounter, 3.45pm; Engage, 4:30pm; Energize, 5:30pm;

… Looking ahead over the next days, weeks and months – PLEASE READ CAREFULLY! …

22nd October: Church Meeting, 8pm

24th October: Midweek service, 2pm

26th-28th October: Youth Weekend away

27th October: The Ark, 10:00am

29th October: Women’s bible study, 7:30pm

30th October: Men’s bible study, (Jesus as Priest)

31st October: Light Party, 5-7pm

3rd November: Craft Club, 10am

7th November: Midweek service, 2pm

11th November: Remembrance Sunday

12th November: Fight Night, 8pm

19th November: Missions and Persecuted Church prayer, 7:45pm

21st November: Midweek service, 2pm

24th November: The Ark, 10am

25th November: Oscar Saunders’ dedication, 11:15am

GROW UP!

kathylarkman,
Silhouetted women holding hands

 

Kathy Larkman

Kathy Larkman, contributor for today’s blog post

“Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.” 1 Peter 2:2-3 NIV

Last week I met my third grandchild! My grand daughter, Sloane, is four months old and such a blessing! Sweet little coos and smiles as well as hungry cries consistently emanate from this little poppet. There is never a doubt when she is ready for her milk! When the bottle comes into her vision, she wails even more loudly until she latches on to the bottle. Her eyes roll back into her head as she murmurs sweetly- and she always…always….has a hunger for more in about three hours!

In the verse for today, Peter tells us to long for “spiritual milk” (biblical truth) so that we may grow up (become mature) in our salvation. Peter is using the “milk” word picture to point out how eagerly we should consume the Word of God; just like my grand daughter Sloane whose singular focus and enthusiasm is evident when it is time for her feeding.

The Word of God in Scripture is where and how we grow in holiness and love others properly; where God reveals who He is-His character and our salvation in Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit draws us to His love and grace. As we cooperate with the Holy Spirit, God wakes us up to what it is to be His children. It is a way of life-not an add on where we fit God in with our own desires and agendas. No, it changes us! The darkness which covers our understanding is taken away as we follow the Lord. And as we follow the Lord, we are transformed into the likeness of Christ more and more. (2 Corinthians 3:18)

So let’s ask ourselves these questions:
Do we crave the Word of God with a singular focus and enthusiasm like Sloane has for her milk?
Or, are we indifferent, thinking that the study of Scripture doesn’t really contribute to our Christian maturity? Or worse, are we just going through the motions of being a “decent person” and trying to use God for our own ends?

portrait of a beautiful girl hipsterSadly, for many years I stumbled along this indifferent road, and sat miserably on the unhappy and disillusioned fence of living like the culture around me and trying to fit in God and His ways where it suited me. I was deceived into thinking that the lifelong process of reading/studying the Bible wasn’t vital to knowing God and realizing His love and grace for me. But God wouldn’t have it!  I became so miserable, that as I cried out to Him, the Holy Spirit began to open my deceived eyes and heart. I began to understand that God’s grace doesn’t stop at salvation, (Romans 5:2) and that I need to trust and obey God through His Word! I still have a long way to go and will still be learning and growing until the Lord takes me home. But my gift of salvation is bearing fruit in service to God and others, and love for God and others. Some days are still difficult. Of course I struggle. I am a sinner saved by God’s grace.  But the Lord is transforming me one day at a time as I struggle with Gospel hope and joy.

His salvation rescue and eternal life are only the beginning of the Good Life God has for us to live as we are studying in Titus. Growing to maturity is the call of every follower of Jesus Christ. Let’s pray to our Lord and Saviour to increase our hunger for His Word. Let’s encourage each other to take steps to study it eagerly so that we may know and love God more every day, love others, and grow to maturity. (Ephesians 4:16)

WHY THE HOPE OF HEAVEN IS BETTER THAN THE HOPE OF CHOCOLATE CAKE

kathylarkman,
Silhouetted women holding hands

 

_MG_9161_2015

Sharon Durant, contributor for today’s blog

“…in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time…”
Titus 1:2c

God never lies. If he made a promise, he will keep it. It is his very nature. He cannot deny himself and act against the person that he is. The truly Good News is that, through Jesus Christ, God has demonstrated his power, authority and ability to do all those things he promised.

God is the one with the power to make all this happen, and God doesn’t lie, so since God is the one who has promised me eternal life, this is a sure and certain hope.

By contrast.

untitledI could hope in myself for chocolate cake. It might happen. But it might not. Because I might not get off my backside and mix the ingredients. (Actually, I might not even have butter in the fridge. I think someone already finished it up.)

I could hope for my children to get fantastic degrees and become impressively intelligent and sorted adults. It might happen. But it might not. Because they are only humans and cannot control the weather tomorrow, let alone their future careers.

I can have confident hope in eternal life, though.

I can hope for an eternity with the one who loved me and gave himself for me. For certain. Because God promised it and God does not lie. He has the power, authority and ability to make it happen.

This is why the hope of heaven is more certain than the hope of chocolate cake. Because God does not lie, and he has said it will happen. He cannot stop being the faithful God he has always been and will always be (Yahweh – I am who I am and I will be who I will be). He does not lie. He cannot go against his character.

Plus! He has the power, authority and ability to make it happen. Sin wiped out – by Jesus’ blood.
God with us always – by the Holy Spirit, which God pours out on us without counting how much we’ve had, because we are abiding in Christ (or to put it simply, because we are joined to Jesus).
God’s house forevermore – by Jesus’ blood.

So today, there may not be chocolate cake. Even though chocolate cake is tangible and within my own power to make –which might make it seem more likely than heaven– I know how unreliable I am. I promise my children cake but then I get distracted and do the hoovering, watch some TV and then it’s too late to start baking. My hope in chocolate cake is misplaced because my own character and ability is so unreliable.

But I can sleep in peace tonight knowing there is definitely a confident hope of eternal life, because it depends on the character and ability of someone utterly reliable and all-powerful, who does not lie. My hope lies with God our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Notices for 30th September 2018

Tim Stephenson,
CBC Notices logo

@ Priory Street
@ Rudloe, Church on the Green
9.15am
11.15am
6:00pm
Eddie Larkman
Eddie Larkman
Mission-focussed service
10:00amRob Durant

Open Meeting

There will be a second “open meeting” this afternoon for anyone who would like to know more about, discuss or make comment on the proposed leadership restructure.  This will take place in the coffee hall at Priory Street at 4:30pm. Tim Stephenson, Operations’ Manager, will lead.

Mission Tea and Partner update

Straight after the open meeting this afternoon there will be tea and cake – any donations of cake will be gratefully received! (contact Wendy).  Afterwards The Gathering will be another mission event  (because it’s the fifth Sunday!). The focus will be on mission organisations that we are supporting such as Tearfund and BMS. Look forward to you joining us.

Men’s Fight Night

This will take place tomorrow night, Monday 1st October, at 8pm.  Please speak to Ian Holmes or another member of the men’s ministry team for further details.

Fabric Deacon

The three-year term of our Fabric Deacon is coming to an end in October. Martin Sheringham has indicated that he is willing to be nominated again. Nomination forms and rules are available on the table at the back. Nominations open on next Sunday 7th October and close on 14th October, 6pm. The election will take place at the Church Meeting on 22nd October, 2018.

Harvest Service Offerings – 7th October 2018

On Sunday 7th October, the offering from the harvest Festival services across all of our congregations will support the work of the Corsham Churches Foodbank and Tearfund.  Non-perishable food items collected will be taken to the Foodbank. Our monetary offering will be sent to Tearfund to support the work of the Living Waters Church in Malawi where their EAGLES project is empowering rural subsistence farming communities to grow crops in a more sustainable way, as they seek to combat the adverse impact of climate change.  Please do pray about how you can contribute towards this offering. If you are able to gift aid your donation, special yellow envelopes for your monetary offering are available on the table at the back of the building.  Please do mark them “HARVEST – TEARFUND”. When the offering is taken on the day, only the contents of the yellow envelopes, and loose cash/cheques will be included in the Harvest offering total.  Blue envelopes will be treated as regular giving to the general work of the church. Please speak to Rob Durant (Rudloe), Michael Prior (Priory Street 9.15) or Roger Hammett (Priory Street 11.15) should you wish to clarify these arrangements.

Church Meeting

Please note our next Church Meeting will take place on Monday 22nd October at 8pm.  Agenda and copies of the previous Church Meeting will be available on the table at the back of church on 21st October.

WEBA Event

A day to inform leaders and members of churches, and to reflect on same sex attraction and how we can best support and reach those who are same sex attracted.  This event will take place at Clevedon Baptist Church on October 25th. Places (which include a sandwich lunch) cost £20 per person. Please visit https://www.webassoc.org.uk/event/welcoming-without-affirming/ for more details.

WEBA Administrator

Looking for a part time job? The WEBA, that CBC is part of, is looking for a part time Office Administrator at their office in Bristol. You can download the advert and application pack on the WEBA website.

Light Party – Wednesday 31st October 5-7pm

Helpers are needed for this event.  Please sign up on the helpers’ sheet at the back of church.  Areas where you can help: pray for the event, team leaders, musicians, registration and sign out, baking, set up, set down.  Please speak to Rhiannon if you would like more information. Thank you.

Tanzania Mission Trip

This is taking place from 9th – 17th October.  The following people will be going: Eddie and Kathy Larkman; Rhiannon and Tom Price; Rob Durant; Tim Stephenson; Megan Say; Julie King; Bex Larkman; Alan Homersley.  Eddie will be delivering talks to the AIM missionaries, Alan will be taking care of the youth work and Rhiannon Price and her team will lead the children’s work. Please pray specifically for the following:     travel arrangements and safety on the roads; activities – preaching, children and youth work; energy to do all this work and that the missionaries & children would be greatly blessed and refreshed by the visiting CBC team.

Newspapers needed!!

Rhiannon needs some newspaper to take to Tanzania for a craft activity. If you have any papers please could you put them in the box marked ‘Tanzania newspapers’ in the church lobby. Thank you.

2019 Africa Missions

A building trip to Sanga Sanga (spring 2019) and an AIM mission trip to Uganda (9-16 August) are in the planning stages; expressions of interest should be made to the office or congregational leaders.

Youth Weekend Away 26th-28th October – Help Needed!

We are looking to take a group of young people on our annual weekend away to a centre near Chepstow. To make this happen, we would really value practical help in the following ways:

(1) Individuals who are willing to help transport young people to and from the centre. We leave the church on Friday 26th at 4pm and leave the centre 3pm on Sunday 28th. If you can help please speak to Dan Ovens.

(2) Please pray for the weekend-that young people will deepen their relationship with God and one another.

Prayer for Unsaved Relatives

There is another opportunity to pray for your unsaved relatives on Wednesday October 3rd from 2.00-3.00pm in the church.  Please speak to Helen Christie for further details.

Church Office

Please note the Church Administrator is away until 12th Oct. Enquiries should be directed to the Operations Manager, Tim Stephenson. Thank you.

This week and beyond

TESTIMONY: LESLEY GRINDROD

kathylarkman,
Silhouetted women holding hands
LESLEY NEW PHOTO

Lesley Grindrod

I haven’t often shared the testimony of my childhood years, but as I read the first chapter of Titus and prayed about what I should write for this blog, memories of those days came flooding back and I felt the Lord urging me to share some of them with you.
My two younger sisters and I were brought up in a God-fearing but extremely legalistic Christian home. My parents came to faith through the ministry of an older couple they met doing ‘street ministry’ in London. This couple didn’t belong to a church and were accountable to no-one. I came to realise many years later they had a very twisted view of what it meant to be a Christian. Unfortunately Mum and Dad believed everything they taught them.
Among other things, my parents were convinced that following the Levitical law as closely as possible would gain them extra ‘brownie points’ with God. My Dad even went to the extreme of being circumcised at 40 years old! We children were forbidden to play games or speak of anything other than scripture on Sundays. We were never allowed to listen to the radio or watch TV. We could not invite school friends to our home, or visit them in theirs.
Mum taught me to play piano, but the lid was often slammed shut on my fingers when my irate father overheard me playing anything he didn’t approve of -anything other than old hymns or choruses!
We kept the Old Testament ‘food laws’ rigidly, couldn’t wear clothing that mixed wool and cotton, weren’t allowed to celebrate Christmas or Easter (these were considered pagan festivals) and were never allowed to go on school trips or join ‘ungodly’ organisations like the Girl Guides.
Just before bed one night, aged seven or eight, my father taught us about Noah’s ark – that God judged the earth by drowning everyone that didn’t accept Christ. In panic, I tearfully prayed ‘the sinner’s prayer’ pleading to be saved from God’s wrath. After all, what child wouldn’t be terrified of drowning?
As you can imagine by the time I was in my teens I completely rebelled against this harsh and vengeful God. I left school and started work as a reporter on my local paper. With my first wage I rented a tiny flat, leaving my family home for good. My parents refused to acknowledge my existence for many years. At 17, I was alone, vulnerable and quickly embraced a completely heathen lifestyle.
But oh, how great is the mercy, kindness and compassion of God! After many years of living outside of his grace, He brought people into my life that would show me a completely different Gospel, one of mercy, forgiveness, redemption and overwhelming, undeserved love.
It’s taken many years to ‘unlearn’ the false teaching I received as a child. I still struggle at times with assurance of my salvation; that I don’t need to earn God’s love. Paul warned Titus about the horrible consequences of false teaching and the havoc it causes.
Sisters, we are so blessed to belong to a church where Bible truth is faithfully taught. Let’s be careful to guard our hearts against what is false, never take our leaders for granted and receive the teaching they bring with great gratitude and respect.

WEBA Office Administrator Vacancy

Tim Stephenson,
WEBA logo

Looking for a part time job? The West of England Baptist Association that CBC is part of is looking for a part time Office Administrator at their office in Bristol.

You can download the advert and application pack here on the WEBA website.

Notice sheet for 23rd September 2018

Tim Stephenson,
CBC Notices logo
@ Priory Street @ Rudloe, Church on the Green
9.15am

11.15am

6:00pm

Rob Durant

Rob Durant

“Gathered to Remember”

10:00am Alan Christie

The Ark starts again on Saturday September 29th

The puppets have finished their Summer holidays (and the helpers too) and it’s time to start the Ark again.  Hooray. Do come along if you are 0-7ish (bring an adult to join in the fun too!) on Saturday September 29th at 10.00am at Priory Street.  We will be learning about Noah’s Ark with craft, songs, bible story and of course the puppets.  Finishing at 11.00am with drinks and cakes.  Invite your friends too and above all please pray for this new term.  Thank you.

Women’s Bible Study

The next women’s bible study will take place at Priory Street on Monday 24th September at 7:30pm. Study notes on Titus are on the table at the back of church.  Please take one in preparation of the meeting.

Midweek Service

This will take place on Wednesday 26th September at 2pm.  The text is Psalm 46. Eric Seager will be leading and preaching.

Open Meeting

There will be a second “open meeting” on Sunday, 30th September for anyone who would like to know more about, discuss or make comment on the proposed leadership restructure.  This will take place in the coffee hall at Priory Street at 4:30pm. Tim Stephenson, Operations’ Manager, will lead.

Church Office

Please note the Church Administrator is away until 11th Oct (back in the office 12th October).  Emails should still be sent to the church office and messages may be left on the church phone which will be checked regularly.  All other enquiries should be directed to the Operations Manager, Tim Stephenson, during this period. Thank you.

This week and beyond