HIS GRACE IS TRAINING US

kathylarkman,

CHRISTINE COLTMAN, CONTRIBUTOR FOR TODAY’S BLOG POST

They say that when you become a parent, everything changes. That is definitely true. Your own wants and desires are put behind those of the child you bring into this world. The one thing that I have found most unexpected upon having children is how they are absolutely and completely their own person. In some ways this is wonderful; in others, terrifying. Particularly when you realise that they are totally in control of their relationship with God.

For the first few years I was calm about this (they were, after all, tiny, sweet and mostly well-behaved). Then their speech and bad behaviour kicked in. Well-meaning Christian friends told me that I should use every example of bad behaviour as a teaching opportunity to tell them about Jesus. Try doing that as your three year old throws a truck at your head. I felt panicked, worried and upset by the ‘monsters’ I could see rising up in my children’s eyes as the bad behaviour kicked in.
I realised then that nothing terrifies me as much as the thought of my children choosing not to love Jesus. Yet God does not want us to be terrified of anything and gives us tools for these situations – prayer, and his Word. Bible verses are, and always have been, my peace in these moments. Nathan’s youth pastor and his wife wrote this verse on Arya’s dedication tree, and it has given me both comfort and direction:
‘Those who are planted in the house of the Lord will flourish in the courts of our God.’ Psalm 92 v 13

God has not promised that my children will become Christians. That decision belongs to them alone. But he has given us an abundance of promises – to be with me as I try to teach them about Jesus, that he will give me the words to say through his Holy Spirit, and most importantly that their Redeemer is strong, and that he will ‘thoroughly plead their case’ (Jeremiah 50).

God has given me the children I have for a reason. He has revealed himself to me for his glory. So I take heart that my Redeemer, who has overcome the world, will use the feeble efforts I make on his behalf to increase his kingdom, however that may be. I hope these verses below will encourage you in whatever field you are working, or for whoever you are praying desperately for. Our God is with us, his grace is training us, so let us fix our eyes on Jesus.
‘My sheep hear my voice,’ John 10 27
‘Men ought always to pray and not to lose heart.’ Luke 18 v 1
‘You have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.’ Psalm 61 v 5

Notices 9th June 2019

Louise,

PLEDGE DAY

Commitment to Pledge Funds: Improvements Planned for 16 Arnolds Mead

Today is our pledge day!!…please read the insert carefully.  In light of final cost estimates, we will bring a final proposal to the July Church Meeting.  If approved, we will communicate with donors giving details of when and how to fulfil the pledge, probably in September. 

We request that you give prayerful consideration to this appeal.  Once the work is completed, our capacity to deliver the gospel message through our Youth programme will be much improved.  Should you wish to pledge your financial support for this project, please post your paper form in the box at the back of church, OR do it online at corshambaptists.org/pledge.  Final deadline – 16th June

Any queries, please speak to Tim S or Roger H.

Reckless Abandon

As you are by now all aware,  ‘Reckless Abandon’ will be performed at church this Thursday (13th) at 7.30pm. Please either book online via the 4Front-Theatre website, or contact Louise to reserve a seat and pay on the door. If any remaining doubt or any difficulty with booking online, please contact Paul G on 077 0606 3851 or Louise at the church office 01249 701078. 

Also we still need: 

  • one or two more offers of accommodation for the actors for the Thursday night ;
  • ushers for the performance, and
  • help with drinks etc. for serving during the interval.

If you can help with any of these, please sign the sheet at the back of the church OR let Paul G know.

Midweek Service

Next service is on this Wednesday, 12th June, at 2pm.  The text is Mat.18:15-35. Eric will be leading and David will be preaching.

Ark News

A reminder that there won’t be an Ark in June due to the Gathering Weekend but we’ll be back in September.  AND there’ll be chance to see the wonderful puppets again at the planned Family Service on July 21st at 3.30pm.

Family Service by the Ark Team+

As mentioned, the next family service run by the Ark Team (plus others) will be on Sunday July 21st at 3.30pm.  It will be a short service with puppets, suitable for all ages, followed by tea.  So why not start inviting any friends and family members who don’t normally come to church?  And please pray!

Steve and Gill’s interactive missions evening

There are two more opportunities to attend the Bryants’ missions presentation on Wednesday evening 12th June and Tuesday evening 18th June.  For more details, please speak to the Morrells for 12th or the Albons for 18th June, or contact Steve and Gill.

**The Gathering Weekend Children’s programme**

Please sign up at the back to join the team.  There are one hour slots available so there is plenty of choice as to when you serve.  Last year was a great success for the children (and adult helpers) so don’t miss out this year on the fantastic time with the children – sign up before it’s too late.  Speak to Rhiannon if you have any questions regarding the children’s programme.

WEC Training childcare request 21st-31st July

There may be two children (from the same family) aged 18 months and three years who require childcare only (no teaching) during the WEC training week – just someone to be with the children while their parents attend the training.  If you can offer even an hour to look after these children please let Rhiannon Price know.  If you would like to buddy up with someone and bring your own children to play that is perfectly reasonable.  The training timetable is not yet available but last year there were slots that were no longer than two hours each (broken up by tea breaks and lunch throughout the day, during which time the parents resumed supervision). The training day was from around 9.30  till 4.30.  Please speak to Rhiannon if you are available in any capacity or if you have any questions.  Thank you.

9:15 Congregational Meeting – CHANGE OF DETAILS

Please note there will be a 9:15am congregational meeting on the 28th July from 11am-2ish.  This will be a meeting with lunch.  Venue to be decided.

Church on the Green Dates:

  • 23rd June – bring and share for Littles after service
  • 13th July – Andy and Georgia Wahl’s baptism, 2pm
  • 21st July – bring and share for Ben and Ruth Fry after service
  • 4th August – Eric Seager preaching at Church on the Green

…This week and beyond…

NONE LIKE HIM

kathylarkman,

Kathy Larkman

I have recently read(and re-reading) a book called None Like Him by Jen Wilken. I came across Jen on The Gospel Coalition and have found a great gospel resource in learning how to know God better! I highly recommend this book. The following is Jen’s own words as to the reason she wrote this book. Take time. You will be blessed. Lots of love, Kathy

“I wrote this book because of two convictions I hold regarding the importance of knowing what the Bible says about God’s character. 
Meditating on God’s character enriches our understanding of Scripture.
When I write my Bible studies, I ask my students to look first for what the text says is true about God. I have found this can be a hard question for them to answer. I know it was for me for many years. The more I learned of God’s character, the clearer it became that the Bible was first and foremost a book about who God was before it had anything to say about who I was. Once I began reading to discover God’s character I was able to see my own in relation to His, rather than independent of His. 
We don’t often take time to meditate on God’s attributes beyond just a passing acknowledgment, but when we do, our time in the Word is enriched.
My prayer is that None Like Him would help us become more fluent in our vocabulary of those truths, and that we would see God and ourselves more clearly as a result.
Meditating on God’s character is intensely practical.
Our daily lives would look very different if we took God’s character into consideration. God’s incommunicable attributes, in particular, should elicit a worshipful awe from us that causes us to see and embrace our limitedness in light of His limitlessness. Without that reference point, we can become convinced of our own awesomeness and work tirelessly to sustain it. We begin striving to take on the attributes that are not ours to possess, thus committing the idolatry the serpent offered Eve: “you will become like Him.” Once we recognize our desire for limitlessness as destructive, we are better able to submit willingly and joyfully to the God-ordained limits we have been given. And we are better able to worship Him.
If you’re looking for a book to use for a small group discussion time, or just for personal reflection or growth, I’ve structured the book with that in mind. Each of the ten short chapters explores one attribute, and then concludes with verses for meditation, four application questions, and a prayer. I hope you’ll keep a journal as you read, copying out the verses and writing your reflections and personal prayers in response to the questions. But however you use the book, I hope you’ll see God’s character emerge from the scriptures with greater clarity, and that you’ll be drawn to worship Him anew as you meditate on His perfections.
Happy reading!” -Jen Wilken 

Reckless Abandon

Tim Stephenson,

For the Waodani people living deep in the Ecuadorian jungle, murder, revenge and death by spear were a way of life. In 1956, 10 missionaries launched ‘Operation Auca’ to share God’s love with this previously unreached stone age tribe. Stepping into the jaws of death, the world watched on to see how the story would end.

Reckless Abandon is the stage adaptation of this inspiring true story of love, forgiveness and fearless faith.

In partnership with the MAF, 4Front Theatre are proud to present Reckless Abandon, the true and inspiring story of Elisabeth Elliot and the ‘Operation Auca’ missionaries.

Reckless Abandon is a feature length production (2hrs inc. 15 min interval) starring 10 actors.

Tickets priced £7 + booking fee. Ticket price goes fully to support the actors. Book at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/reckless-abandon-corsham-baptist-church-tickets-60866242570 or reserve a ticket through the office to pay on the night.

Notices 2nd June 2019

Louise,

Priory Street (Corsham)

            9.15am              Eddie Larkman

            11.15am            Eddie Larkman

            6:00pm             Gathering to Pray

Church on the Green (Rudloe)

            10:00am            Rob Durant

Reckless Abandon

By now you will all know about ‘Reckless Abandon’ to be performed at Corsham Baptist Church (Priory Street) on Thursday 13th June at 7.30pm as advertised on flyers and posters round the church. However, there seems to be some confusion about booking. Please either book online via the 4Front-Theatre website, or contact Louise to reserve a seat and pay on the door. If any remaining doubt or any difficulty with booking online, please contact Paul Garcia on 01249 713504 or Louise at the church office 01249 701078. Either way please do not rely on just turning up without booking, as if full, you may be turned away. Please note the ticket cost is not for CBC to make any money from but will go to pay the actors directly.

We still need accommodation for actors for the Thursday night.

Gathering to Pray at 6pm

Please gather with us this evening to pray for the children and youth in our church.  Come and learn about all the activities that CBC is involved with in reaching the children and youth in our community – sharing the gospel, showing love and growing men and women of Christ. You’ll hear about all the amazing work that is going on and then have an opportunity to cover it in prayer.

9:15 Congregational Meeting – CHANGE OF DETAILS

Please note there will be a 9:15am congregational meeting on the 28th July from 11am-2ish.  This will be a meeting with lunch.  Venue to be decided.

**The Gathering Weekend Children’s programme**

Please sign up at the back to join the team.  There are one hour slots available so there is plenty of choice as to when you serve.  Last year was a great success for the children (and adult helpers) so don’t miss out this year on the fantastic time with the children – sign up before it’s too late.  Speak to Rhiannon if you have any questions regarding the children’s programme.

Steve and Gill’s interactive missions evening

There are two more opportunities to attend the Bryants’ missions presentation on Wednesday evening 12th June and Tuesday evening 18th June.  For more details, please speak to the Morrells for 12th or the Albons for 18th June, or contact Steve and Gill.

11:15 BBQ

Please would 11:15er’s put Sunday 14th July after their service in the diary for a barbeque!  Details to follow in due course!

PLEDGE DAY – NEXT SUNDAY – 9 JUNE 2019

Commitment to Pledge Funds: Improvements Planned for 16 Arnolds Mead

As discussed at the recent church meeting, we have been aware for some time of the limitations 16 Arnolds Mead places on our youth ministry. The intention is to build a single-storey extension to the rear which will provide a reception space and to relocate the kitchen to the front, providing space for activities such as cooking and eating together.  We intend to fund the works by using the money from the pledge day first and then the funds already set aside in the Designated Buildings Fund.  

After the pledge day, and in light of final cost estimates, we will bring a final proposal to the July Church Meeting.  If approved, we will communicate with donors giving details of when and how to fulfil the pledge, probably in September. 

We request that you give prayerful consideration to this appeal.  Once the work is completed, our capacity to deliver the gospel message through our Youth programme will be much improved.  The Pledge Day will be on Sunday 9th June.  Should you wish to pledge your financial support for this project, paper forms are now available to be posted in a box at the back of church, and an online form is available at corshambaptists.org/pledge.

  • Pledge day – 9th June ;
  • Final deadline – 16th June

Any queries, please speak to Tim Stephenson or Roger Hammett.

A HUGE Thank you!!

Massive thanks to everyone who helped in whatever capacity with the Ark this year.  Whether it was (very importantly) praying, preparing, helping on the day or coming along and supporting us.  We are immensely grateful.  And don’t forget there won’t be an Ark in June due to the Gathering Weekend but we’ll be back in September.  AND there’ll be chance to see the wonderful puppets again at the planned Family Service on July 21st at 3.30pm.

Family Service by the Ark Team+

As mentioned above the next family service run by the Ark Team (plus others) will be on Sunday July 21st at 3.30pm.  It will be a short service with puppets, suitable for all ages, followed by tea.  So why not start inviting any friends and family members who don’t normally come to church?  And please pray!

…This week…

GOD IS WORKING ALL FOR OUR ULTIMATE GOOD

kathylarkman,
Kathy Larkman

Kathy Larkman, contributor for today’s blog post

I consider myself to be a late bloomer in my journey with the Lord. I floundered for many difficult, disobedient years. I didn’t really get the gospel and I became numb and swept away by false teaching and the ways of our society. Thankfully, over the years, the Lord has been sifting, purifying and healing my heart and mind. I have had to unlearn some unhelpful unbiblical theology and unhelpful thought patterns; to replace them with God’s word and Godly resources and people in my life. I am growing to love God’s Word. I have realized that when I am applying God’s word to my life, and I walking in full obedience. Over time, I am seeing that my obedience to God is bringing me freedom and joy! There is a greater pleasure in full surrender to Christ.
A scripture that has come to mean a lot to me and has given me comfort and hope in my messiness is Romans 8:28:
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”NLT

It is a promise I have clung to through the good, the bad, and the ugly; much of it brought on by my own disobedience, confusion, my rebellion.

But there are certainly still some days that I am wobbly. So every day I have the opportunity to test this anchor of my soul, especially when I think about the unknown of the future, my family, my church family, when difficult circumstances come my way.

Notice that Paul says “all things work together for good. “Not, all things are good. Because I am a follower of Christ doesn’t make me immune from awful things happening or experiencing painful heartache. It does mean that in God’s economy nothing is wasted; that I can’t escape his perfect purposes for me as his redeemed child. Of course we have seen the ultimate example of working all for good, in the death of our Lord Jesus.

God is teaching me that He is always good! The past few months have had some painful wobbles. May I ask you? Have you had some challenging times too? I want to encourage us that this is God’s word to us about this past year. “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” And it will be true in 2019- and 2020-and 2021! Every day and in every way, God is working things out for our ultimate good. And God in his mercy doesn’t have us stop at verse 28. Verse 29 supports and gives the reason for verse 28: “For God knew his people in advance and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. “Rom 8:29 NLT

transformedThis is the good to which all things in our lives as his children are working; that we become like Jesus! Our hearts will slowly realize God’s thinking, ways, and purposes are so far above and beyond our natural understanding. OUR view of what good is, is so far from God’s.

You see, these verses teach us that God knows what is ultimately best for us than we do; to trust God, His heart and character IN His word. I of course have my L plates on all the way to heaven. But I am thankful to God He will not let me go! If you are His child, Christ will not let you go either! I encourage you to take hold of this as well. “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” Rom 8:28-29

They are God’s word to us. God’s will for us is not to be necessarily healthy, wealthy, and wise; but God is working all things so that we will become more and more like His Son. There is nothing better. Let’s encourage one another to hold on to these promises, to cooperate with the Spirit as we grow to become more like our Lord Jesus Christ.

WHAT IS GOD’S GRACE?

kathylarkman,
Kathy Larkman

Kathy Larkman

We had a wonderful time of study and friendship last Monday as Jill Homersley led us in our final study in Titus: THE GOOD LIFE.

What a blessing it has been! Her summary was very helpful. She encouraged us to read and study the notes over the summer to help get its truths ingrained in us so much that we are living it out in our daily lives more and more! (You can find these on GRACE PLACE at cbcgraceplace.wordpress.com)

At the end of the reflective time, Jill shared openly and honestly her struggle at times with not being able to wrap her mind around the concept of what God’s grace actually is, which is a recurring theme in this book. (Titus 2:11) Jill is not alone, because there was a hum of conversation about this afterwards, and I have received comments from others since. I have certainly experienced this as well, and will again I am sure.

This struggle is part of the enemy’s scheme. (1 Peter 5:8) We have to expect that there is and always will be a spiritual battle going on as we grow in Christ. The enemy is set to confuse and discourage us and get us off course. (Ephesians 6:12) But God is greater and we must hold each other up in prayer and encourage one another to stand firm in the faith (1 Peter 5:9)and remind each other that Christ is in us and interceding for us.(Hebrews 7:25) We look to Christ for strength and perseverance as we wait for our complete redemption when He returns.

A simple definition of God’s grace I have come to appreciate is from John Piper: “God’s grace is the free and sovereign work of God to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves even though we don’t deserve it.”

This is something which would be good to memorize, so that when we encounter those “fuzzy, confused moments,” we can say it to ourselves to help to clear the cobwebs away.

God’s grace expresses itself in our personal lives when we accept and believe that God saved us through Jesus-the free and sovereign work of God to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves even though we don’t deserve it. God’s grace continues to save us everyday in our daily lives-the free and sovereign work of God to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves even though we don’t deserve it- to conform and transform us into Christ’s image. What does this look like on the ground? Here are just a few! Love our enemies, be kind to difficult people, to bear with mundane parts of everyday living, to learn patience and trust that our God is working all the good, the bad, and the ugly-for our good and His glory (Romans 8:28), to know true comfort and hope in this broken world with its injustice, cruelty, greed, selfishness, and rebellion; to know there will be an end to it all when Christ returns. God’s grace is the free and sovereign work of God to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves even though we don’t deserve it– to enable us to trust God with our relationships, to cope with heartache and pain in family, church family and friendship dynamics. The thing is, we CAN’T DO ANY OF THIS IN OURSELVES. That is why we need a Saviour and HIS GRACE, the free and sovereign work of God to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves even though we don’t deserve it in being able to trust God more and more every day, in every way as we walk with Christ who is IN US.

Do you believe this? My prayer is that we will grasp WHO GOD IS more each day through His word….his heartbeat is in every sentence. His GRACE is part of His character which he pours over us every single moment.

Still enjoying being here and what is a typical week like?!

A Little Odyssey,

Where does the time go?  Life is busy here and we realise that it has been too long since we last posted and in just over three weeks the ship leaves Guinea!  Around February and March is apparently the time in the field service where many people feel quite tired – several months have gone by and there are still several more to go.  Although, we weren’t here at the start of the field service in August, we were busy until we left the UK in September to head to the States for five weeks training, arriving in Guinea for field practice in October and finally arriving on the ship in November and it is true, we had times earlier this year when we have felt really tired.   We were also not able to get out and about as much during this time as we’ve been hampered by an injury to Lynne’s knee which has made getting around difficult.  We are so thankful that we have access to a Crew Physician, Rehab team and Radiology Team here on the ship.  An MRI has confirmed a torn meniscus (with a bit sticking out!) and Baker’s Cyst so we have just organised slightly earlier flights home in June to see a Consultant with a view to having an arthroscopy.  Despite these things, we have continued to so enjoy being here doing the jobs we have, serving with fellow crew members and meeting the nationals and the tiredness and knee pain (thanks to a steroid injection) are receding.

Palm branches for Palm Sunday
Garden of Gethsamane presentation

Easter is a very special time to be on the ship.  Holy Week starts on Palm Sunday and we had palm branches brought down from up country to put round the boundaries of our dock space and on Deck 8 at the top of the ship and a service in the evening. 

During the week there were various events and services.  The Youth’s ‘Presentation in the Garden of Gethsemane’ on Maundy Thursday was particularly beautiful, reflective and atmospheric, as was the Good Friday ‘Tenebrae’ service.  Tenebrae is Latin for ‘darkness’ and the service is characterized by the gradual extinguishing of candles (battery operated ones for the ship!) until the room is in darkness at the end. 

Back to Roume
Tenebrae service

Easter Saturday we took the opportunity visit Roume Island again – probably for the last time.  We have really enjoyed the peace and beauty of Roume and enjoyed going with friends and making new ones.

There was an Easter Sunrise service, an Easter Celebration Service then a feast at lunchtime not dissimilar to Christmas.  So grateful to all the crew who put so much time and effort into planning and organising this week, including Chaplaincy, Food Service and Crew Service as well as other crew who use their creative and craft skills to make the ship look amazing.

Easter Sunrise service

Easter Sunday
Easter Sunrise service

We continue to be amazed and humbled at the work Mercy Ships does.  Tomorrow is the start of the final week of surgeries and the hospital will stay open for one more week after that.  The second round of Plastic surgeries has finished and a six week stint of Women’s Health surgeries (childbirth injuries and gynaecological) has also finished.  Medical Capacity Building where nationals are trained in many different medical areas continues pretty much all field service long in different parts of the country but has also now finished.  The final week of surgeries bring General Surgery (hernias and lipomas) and Maxillo Facial cleft lips.  Stuart and Mike, another carpenter, have also been capacity building by training the local day crew, in twos, in some basic carpentry skills.

Two of the Carpentry trainees

So, what is a typical week like.  We were ‘warned’ before we arrived at the ship that is is very easy to develop ‘FIMO’ (Fear Of Missing Out’) and we fairly quickly realised what that meant but we have still managed to fill our week!  Hmm!

We both generally work an 8.00 am to 5.00 pm working day which just whizzes by and our evenings have started to fill up – Stuart and Matthew also do ‘On-Call’ and Matthew has ‘Night Patrol’ to fit into all this.  We usually have dinner around 6 pm.  On Mondays Stuart goes to a book study group from 7.00 pm to 8.30 pm, Lynne started a small group but hasn’t been due to needing to rest, ice, etc her knee.  At 7.00 pm on Tuesday evenings we usually go to a ‘Music Get-Together’ to play and sing with a group of others, and on

Our OnBoarding family

alternate Tuesdays at 8.00 pm we meet up with our OnBoarding group (those that we did our training with in the US and Guinea field practice) to hear how we are getting on and encourage and pray for each other.  On Wednesday evenings from 6.00 pm to 7.00 pm there is a ‘Medical In-Service’ which is when one of the surgeons will give a presentation about their specialty or another area of experience.  It is fascinating, awe inspiring, at times somewhat incomprehensible to us non-medics and we have heard about facial tumours, thyroid surgery and goiters, obstructed labour, paediatric brain surgery, in-flight CPR,  treatment of  sacrococcygeal teratomas (what?!), ponsetti – we have learned so much!  For the medical crew, attendance at these, depending which country they are from counts toward their continuing professional development.   

Deck Team on Ice Cream duty
Local church we’ve attended recently

 Thursday evenings there is a Community Gathering from 7.30 pm to 8.30 pm followed by ice cream.Mercy Shippers seem to love their ice cream!  Fridays sometimes see us going out or Stuart going out with some of the men but has been on-call quite a few Fridays. 

Saturday we might go out for the day or  sometimes there is a film or just for part of the day,other event in the evening and Sunday varies – we have been to the Hope Centre service several times, we have recently been going to a local church or we may rest and catch up with things as in the evening is Church on the ship, followed by Brits tea in one of the family cabins.  There are always other ad hoc events going on too. 

‘All British’ goodbye breakfast to Judith
Bye to Lee at Guinea Gardens

We have made many new friends since arriving here.  Many have come and gone and those goodbyes can be tough but we are thankful for them all – we would rather have had them even for short while. Goodbyes are also a good excuse to eat out .

Obama where we enjoy going to eat.  

Hey!  That’s our berth!
Getting ready to move again

As the field service draws to a close, the ship had to move out of our berth to allow the berth to be dredged.  After two cancellations we moved one day; then moved another 20m later that day; we stayed there for two days – no make that another day
 

Masks on for another move

Followed by a long night

 – next to a ship unloading dusty stuff; then time to move back – oh wait, we’ll move once, and then again that day at 10pm!  It was a long night for the Deck crew as the Day Crew needed driving home when they’d finished.  Amazing how many football games are being played on the roads at 2am!!

As we start to pack up the outlook changes again and yesterday we watch the resident T-Rex (Terex) move two containers into place ready for the pack up team to begin their work.
Getting the pack up containers in position
Love this view of the islands and the sunset
Father and Son at work
As we finish this field service and look back over the last year, we are thankful to God for His goodness and faithfulness.  We thank Him for all of our friends we’ve met on this ship, the work of this ship and our family and friends back home supporting us.  In just over five weeks time we will be home for six weeks and Matthew will be following us a couple of weeks later as originally planned; we will return to the ship in August in time for the sail to Senegal and the next field service.





‘The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end.  They are new every morning, great is Your faithfulness.’    Lamentations 3:22-23

GRACE BE WITH YOU ALL

kathylarkman,

 

Esther King, Bible study leader for this month’s study

Titus 3:12-15
12As soon as I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, because I have decided to winter there. 13Do everything you can to help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way and see that they have everything they need. 14Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives.
15Everyone with me sends you greetings. Greet those who love us in the faith.
Grace be with you all.

This is Paul’s last instruction to Titus. Here, Paul turns the focus of Titus and the Cretan church over to the positive and practical things they must do.

We’re reminded that Titus isn’t from Crete and his work there isn’t his forever-job! Paul wants Titus to ‘put in order what was left unfinished’ – establishing leadership in the Cretan church – but he’s also sending reinforcements. Artemas and/or Tychicus. Not only that but he wants Titus to join him in Nicopolis if possible. I love this hint of the importance of fellowship and it stacks up with what Paul’s been saying in his letter. It reminds me of the kind of relationships Titus is supposed to teach as described in Titus 2. We’re to build each other up and encourage each other in the faith.

On a similar note, Paul gives another specific instruction. Zenas the lawyer and Apollos were most likely traveling Christian missionaries – reliant on the generosity of local believers to meet their needs so they could focus on furthering the work of the gospel. The Cretan believers are to do everything they can to help them and see that they have everything they need. What better way for the Cretans to serve and help to further the faith of the elect, than to support Zenas and Apollos who are devoted to doing just that themselves?

I love the way the word everything is repeated. Paul is telling them to be wholehearted in their support and I sense Paul emphasising this wholeheartedness in verse 14 where he says, ‘Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good.’ You can’t really be devoted to something if you’re not wholehearted about it, can you?

With this verse we’ve come full circle back to the ‘big idea’ we started with and I want to pick out a few key points:
1. We need to learn to be devoted to doing good. As our video clip at the start showed, and as we’ll know in our own hearts, doing good doesn’t come naturally! But this is a skill we must learn if we’re going to be productive in our knowledge of Jesus.
2. Living a productive life in our knowledge of Jesus means being changed by the knowledge of what God has done for us. God’s grace transforms us, changing EVERYTHING – our perspective, heart, behaviour and actions.
3. When we’re wholeheartedly devoted to doing good it makes the gospel attractive! It blesses people and causes them to look to God and praise him. And that’s what it’s all about!

WE are reading this letter, praying that it will change and equip us to further the work of the gospel today. We’re part of this cycle and we need to be actively involved so it will continue in perpetuity until Christ comes again! Amen!

It’s important to remember that the key to all this is in Paul’s sign off at the end of his letter. After he’s sent his greetings he writes, ‘Grace be with you all.’ This is a great reminder to us all! We can’t live productive lives without first being saved and receiving God’s grace. And once we’re saved, we can’t go on that journey of learning to be devoted to doing good without God’s grace. Grace will train us to have the right motivations and purposes. And we’ll certainly be made aware of God’s grace time and again as we make mistakes and get back on track. So, it’s really important! ‘God’s grace be with us all!’

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for speaking to us through this passage. Thank you for the way it exhorts Christians to avoid or deal with anything that threatens to prevent us from glorifying you and therefore pointing others to you. Thank you for the way it prompts and instructs us to actively participate in your work in the world. Lord, if it weren’t for your gift of grace, it would be impossible for us to be made righteous in your sight or glorify you at all. And we can’t live a life that glorifies you without your Holy Spirit working in and through us. Please help us to live for you and because you first loved us, to truly love you with all of our hearts, all of our souls, and all of our strength. AMEN

Notices 12th May 2019

Louise,

Fight Night

This will take place tomorrow night at 8pm.  All men welcome to this prayer evening.  Speak to Ian Holmes or a member of the men’s ministry team for further details.

Men’s Event

This Tuesday, 7:30pm…men’s event, (commencing with chips!).

Midweek Service

The next midweek service will take place this Wednesday 15th May at 2pm.  The text is Matthew 11.25-30 and Eric S will be leading and preaching.  Refreshments follow at 3pm.

Women’s Bible Study

Study notes are on the table at the back for the next women’s bible study taking place on Monday 20th May, 7:30pm.

Reckless Abandon

Reckless Abandon is the true story of ten missionaries who, in 1956 launched ‘Operation Auca’ to share God’s love with a previously unreached stone-age tribe. This moving and inspirational story for the stage is performed by the professional Christian Theatre Group ‘4Front-Theatre’ in partnership with Missionary Aviation Fellowship UK.It will be at CBC for one night only on Thursday 13th June at 7.30pm, cost £7. The son of one of our church members, Chris Drake will be performing. Please keep this date free and tell your friends. Booking is either through Louise with payment on entry or online via the 4Front-Theatre website. Please note the ticket cost is not for CBC to make any money from but will go to pay the actors.

Also required are: accommodation for each of the 11 actors, provision of a meal for the actors before the performance, volunteers for teas and coffees during the interval and a minimum of four ushers. A sign-up sheet is at the back.

9:15 Congregational Meeting

Please note there will be a 9:15am congregational meeting on the 6th June. This will be held in the sanctuary at 8pm.

11:15 BBQ

Please would 11:15er’s put Sunday 14th July after their service in the diary for a barbeque!  Details to follow in due course!

PLEDGE DAY – 9 JUNE 2019

Commitment to Pledge Funds: Improvements Planned for 16 Arnolds Mead

As discussed at the recent church meeting, we have been aware for some time of the limitations 16 Arnolds Mead places on our youth ministry. The intention is to build a single-storey extension to the rear which will provide a reception space and to relocate the kitchen to the front, providing space for activities such as cooking and eating together.  We intend to fund the works by using the money from the pledge day first and then the funds already set aside in the Designated Buildings Fund.  

After the pledge day, and in light of final cost estimates, we will bring a final proposal to the July Church Meeting.  If approved, we will communicate with donors giving details of when and how to fulfil the pledge, probably in September. 

We request that you give prayerful consideration to this appeal.  Once the work is completed, our capacity to deliver the gospel message through our Youth programme will be much improved.  The Pledge Day will be on Sunday 9th June.  Should you wish to pledge your financial support for this project, paper forms will be made available to be posted in a box at the back of church, and an online form will be placed on the church website, which will go directly to the Treasurer. 

  • Pledge forms included in notice sheets – 2nd June
  • Pledge day – 9th June
  • Final deadline – 16th June

Any queries, please speak to Tim S or Roger H.

…This week…