Be still and know – Vicar’s comment

I wonder how often you ask someone to give you their perspective on something about you or your life?

I’ve been struck recently by the fact that even when by God’s grace I think I sense where we’re heading, it’s possible to feel a bit ‘foggy’, like when you feel you see the day-to-day detail but not so much the bigger picture.

And so it’s worth remembering that God can use other Christians to help us gain godly perspective on things.

In Proverbs we read that ‘plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed‘ (Proverbs 15:22, NIV).

Modern life can be very ‘me, me, me’, but let’s make sure we are humbly open to godly, biblical counsel from others where it is to be found…even when it means admitting we might have blind spots!!

And of course, let’s be humble and honest before the Lord Jesus and seek his will in everything we are and everything we do.

Creator of everything is the most sensible approach we can have.

That’s why it’s been so good to focus on prayer at this time of year through the Thy Kingdom Come initiative.

So, whatever your circumstances at the minute, whether in busyness or rest, ‘Be still and know that I am God’, as well.

Yours in Jesus
Chris

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November 2019 Newsletter

Below are the 2 parts of the November 2019 Newsletter

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November outside 2019 November 2019 inside b

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Coping with Failure – Vicar’s comment

I wonder how you cope with failure??

My feeling is that in this country we don’t deal with it very well (although I don’t know enough about other cultures to compare).

It feels to me like times of failure are so often dealt with by acting as if they haven’t really happened and just moving on to the next thing, or by blaming other people or other things.

The honest admission by someone that they totally fell short of what was needed feels so few and far between.

Jesus’ first disciples didn’t always get it right; sometimes they failed, and spectacularly.

Think of Simon Peter. Even before he denied his Master, Jesus knew what was coming – and yet Jesus prayed for him in advance: ‘Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back , strengthen your brothers.’ Luke 22:31-32 (NIV).

With Jesus, our failures are nothing to fear.

He knew our weaknesses when we first came to Him.

Of course, our failures are certainly not to be celebrated either, but when we know God’s grace and love we don’t need to pretend or blame others when we mess things up.

Yours in Jesus,
Chris Collins

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October 2019 Newsletter

Here are the 2 parts of the October 2019 Newsletter.

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October 2019 outside

October 2019 inside

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“Know this love that surpasses knowledge” – Vicar’s Comment

I wonder if you’ve ever had the experience of tidying a room and it taking far longer than you planned.

Why? Well because as you went through all of your stuff, you kept finding things that you’d forgotten existed and so you spent time looking at them.

Perhaps you stumbled across an old diary or book of photos that you’d forgotten you had.

Whilst it might feel frustrating that it makes the task longer, I imagine there’s a chance you were glad to have been reminded of such half-forgotten memories.

In my own walk with Jesus, I’ve realised the value of spending time looking at the foundational truths of my Christian status which in the busyness and pressure of everyday life might become obscured.

In Christ, God gives us eternal life. He forgives us our sins. He makes us part of his family. He gives us his everlasting love. He gives us his Holy Spirit to live within us and give us new life.

Spend time with the big gospel truths; dwell on them, because God wants Christians to know their status.

As Ephesians 3: 19 shows us, God’s desire is that in Christ we ‘know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.’

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September 2019 Newsletter

Below are the 2 parts of the September 2019 Newsletter

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September 2019 inside

September outside 2019

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“Life in all its fullness” – Vicar’s comment

Our memory verses for the summer are taken from Psalm 139.

In the opening verse of that Psalm David says ‘O LORD, you have searched me and you know me’ (NIV), before going into further detail about how God knows him inside-out.

However, at the end of the Psalm David asks God to ‘See if there is any offensive way in me,’ (verse 24, NIV).

So which is it? Does God know us completely already or do we have to invite Him in to discover what’s going on deep inside us?? Well, of course, God does know us totally.

And therefore David asking God to search him surely has to do with David’s desire for self-knowledge – that God would show David the things that need to change.

Hopefully this summer offers opportunity for some rest and reflection, and I hope you will take some time both to ponder God’s love for you in Christ as well as invite Him to show you the things about yourself He wants to change.

Not so that you might despair, but so that going forward you might experience more of the life in all its fullness which Jesus spoke of.

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Summer 2019 Newsletter

Below are the 2 parts of the summer 2019 newsletter.

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Summer outside 2019

Summer 2019 Inside

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Thy Kingdom Come – Vicar’s Comment

The beginning of June is when most of the Thy Kingdom Come prayer initiative falls this year.

As Christians we all know prayer is a good thing, we all know it’s something we should be doing, and yet I think there’s something mysterious about it which perhaps we don’t often think about.

You see if God is an all-powerful God, as we believe, then why does He want us to ask Him to accomplish things, why doesn’t He just accomplish them anyhow??

After all, Jesus tells his disciples in Matthew 6:8 that ‘your Father knows what you need before you ask Him’ (NIV).

At one level, the answer is simply that God has asked us to pray for things and therefore that’s why we do it… we do it in obedience to Him even if we don’t fully understand.

But more than that, surely it is to increase our dependence upon Him, to acknowledge before Him that on our own we can do literally nothing for Christ’s Kingdom….and of course to deepen our relationship with Him.

For Christians do not pray to a God who is distant or disinterested, but One whose children address Him as ‘Abba, Father,’ (as we see in our Memory verse this month. Galatians 4:6 NIV.)

Yours in Jesus
Chris

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June 2019 Newsletter

Below are the 2 parts of the June 2019 newsletter.

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June outside 2019

June 2019 inside

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