Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Encouragement in Communion

I've just come back from my home church in Swindon's communion service this evening, and I have to say that I have come away SO encouraged by what I've been reminded of. My Pastor led on 'Don't forget', so here goes:

Don't forget:

1. ...Where you've come from, thinking of Psalm 40 where it talks of God lifting us from the 'Miry bog' as the ESV puts it. The original greek describing this pit referred to a large pit that farmers would dig and line with clay in mind of dry season, leaving only a small hole at the top for access and water to enter. If you fell in then there was literally nothing you could do to help yourself.

2. ...The rock from which you've been hewn, thinking not of Jesus, but looking back to Abraham, the promises that were fulfilled miraculously in his old age alone, let alone the fact that we can now love God through his covenant with him. He was an idolatrous pagan before God took hold of him and promised to use him to build his people. We are no different.

3. ...The darkness from which you've been brought.

4. ...The pollution from which you've been cleansed.

5. ...The wrath from which we've been delivered.
'Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.' --John 3v36--

6. ...The death from which we've passed.
'Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.' --John 5v24--

And following these challenges, we had a time of open prayer, with only about 80 max of us in the church, and it was such a blessed time of thanking and praising God for who he is & what he's done for us, prayers looking forward to when we'll be in his presence eternally, and throughout the time of prayer and communion afterwards I had a ridiculously big smile across my face. Why? Because I had been reminded of the greatest truth that exists in my life; I am a sinner, saved by grace, righteous by Jesus' righteousness and an heir to the throne of heaven, and one day I shall stand before the Father himself and hear the words, 'welcome, my good and faithful son'.

Is it any wonder that we are encouraged to never stop meeting together? He knows we need this constant, daily encouragement, to live a life as part of his church, to live as part of the body, rather than a limb on its own. He knew what we desperately needed then and now, yesterday, today and tomorrow, and gave it. And his all-encompassing, soul-cleansing grace is something we need bring our hearts and minds back to each day if we are to stand firm.

Amazing grace just doesn't cut it, Heaven's going to rock.



weird is just your own personal brand of normal

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

New Blog Style & movings on

Yup, it's been 2 years so I thought it was definately time for a change. And though I vowed never to have a blog with pink in it again, yet here is the outcome.

I can't help it, I love this template! Check the link at the bottom of the page if you'd like it!

Anyhoo, as the post title suggests, I'm back off to Reading soon to start my General Primary PGCE. Another exciting step in my life that might possibly be the end of my education (and the beginning of others, mwa ha ha haaa!!)

But either way, I'm just very excited to know that this is where God wants me for this next year. He made it clear through prayer, bible meditation and by making the way straight for my application on the course. I was reminded and encouraged last week on a prayer and bible week in Hemel Hempsted that God's peace is the hallmark if you're walking with him and obeying him.

What an encouragement to know that God's peace that really does transcend all understanding accompanies you no matter where you are or what's going on. And it really has been a peace I can't understand from a human perspective, because so often I just want control, and yet God effectively says 'trust me, I know what I'm doing'.

Proverbs 3v5-6 remains one of my all-time favourtie verses, because of its preciseness, challenge and reassurance:

'Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.'

And the whole making your paths straight isn't about making everything peachy and grand, it's about knowing you're walking in his will for you, walking in his blessing, and walking closely with him. That's what gives you that peace.

So praise God for simple and amazing revelations, each and every day. Bring on Reading, and any of people are the Reading area, drop me a line or email so you can come visit or get food or something!



weird is just your own personal brand of normal

Monday, August 06, 2007

New bibles

I've just come back from a really challenging week of prayer and bible teaching that I love to go on each year, and really feel that I want to change translations from my trusty old NIV to something else more accurate to the original text.

Here's the short list:

  • ESV (English Standard Version)
  • NASV (New American Standard Version)
  • NKJV (New King James Version)
As far as I can gather from friends at the week away, and the people that were speaking, they've all got things going for them. So my question is whether anyone out there has any recommendations, bearing in mind I'll be doing pretty much everything form bible meditation to bible study with it :)

Thank you all & in the mean time, I think a trip to the local Christian Bookshop is in order...




weird is just your own personal brand of normal