Wednesday, 28 August 2013

RIVER by Joel Pridmore

The word ‘River’ covers a wide spectrum of things. What are you on about? You may ask – Surely it just means a flow of freshwater flowing from a spring toward the sea. Well ok, fair enough – but think about the broad range of experiences that covers! Tiny trickles of a fresh spring, small streams at the bottom of the garden, wide canyons and valleys rushing with rapids, huge waterfalls with enough power to drive and crush huge masses, the tidally up and down estuary where salt water and fresh water meet as it joins the sea.

In his book in the Old Testament, Ezekiel paints a word picture for us of a river flowing from the temple. Within the picture the water gets deeper and deeper and there is abundant life wherever it flows. Eventually it meets the Dead Sea with its life-giving flow and death is overcome with life.

I believe there are different times, season and ‘depths’ of God that we experience at different times in our lives. For me, Ezekiel’s river speaks, at least in part, of the Holy Spirit.

For those who are Rivercamp for the first time this week, they may spend the first day wondering where the river is!!! If they are expecting a natural river, they might be disappointed. The ‘River’ in ‘Rivercamp’ is no physical but spiritual – the Holy Spirit.

May God take us deeper and deeper in our experience of His Spirit and may we flow with Him bringing life to that which is dying wherever we go.

“… so where the river flows everything will live.” (Ezekiel 47:9)

Monday, 19 August 2013

All You Need is Love. By Barbara Stone

A few months ago after Alison's message "You are what you eat" where she spoke about filling your life with Jesus. I decided on a new routine so that I can set aside more time each day to read the Bible and pray. I wanted to get to grips with The Bible on my Kindle so I could bring it to church with me and look up passages etc.

I tried to search for books in the Bible on the Kindle but couldn’t. I passed it on to my husband to sort out, which is what I usually do. I asked him to search for Corinthians.

Anyway, even he couldn't search as it turned out not to be a searchable version. He sent the Bible to my Ipad to try there and when it came through it was open at 1 Corinthians 13. "Now abideth these three - faith, hope and love and the greatest of these is love." He hadn't done it and he tried to explain to me about interfaces and stuff but I knew who had found it for me!

Early last year I asked you all to pray for Chris my son and my husband Roger who hadn't spoken to each other for over a year. It worked!!

Since then it's been a case of building up the relationship again, which has involved a lot of faith, hope and love. We know Jesus is always there for us, His children but it takes a lot of faith, hope, love and prayer to make the relationship work as it does of any relationship - the more time and effort you put in, the better it is. Thank goodness He doesn't give up on us and will give us a second chance when we fail him.

I've been playing Matt Redman songs a lot this week (and ElimSound of course). ‘Never once’ has been on mind all the time. “Never once did we ever walked alone, never once did you leave us on our own" he is faithful never giving up on us.

Chris has come to stay with us a few times this year and he wants to thank everyone for praying for him.

As for me, I'm still not devoting as much time to my relationship with Jesus as I should but I'm getting there and I know he won't give up on me.

Straw from the Ground. Blogspot by Liew Shan Berg

“By this we know love; that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. (1 John 3:16-18)

Dear friends, thank you all for your prayers for me while I was away doing the Engage summer placement with Christians Against Poverty. Working with the charity was a privilege indeed.

On our first day, when each of us received our files stating which team/department we will be working in, I was quite disappointed to find that I was working with Facilities, the team that maintains the building, does the post, move heavy stuff, set up for events, you name it! They're what I call the “can do anything” and “can do everything” team!

The reason for my disappointed was because I was hoping to work with a team which would have some bearing on my studies. But the moment I was musing in my heart about this, the LORD brought to my mind the conversation which the Catholic priest had with Brother Lawrence (recorded in his book Practicing the Presence of God) wherein Brother Lawrence expressed: “That he was pleased when he could take up a straw from the ground for the love of GOD, seeking Him only, and nothing else, not even His gifts.” I was convicted of my selfishness.

The LORD reminded me that I am at the charity for Him and that the work which I will engage in is HIS work. So, I asked the LORD to help me to love my brothers and sisters at the charity and be a blessing to them. I thank God, that I was able to bless my brothers and sisters and pray with them.

My friends, let us set our gaze on His lovely face this week. However important or trivial the task before us, let us seek to love and worship Him when we are about it. Let us only be motivated by His love in all things. =)

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

TENby, Dates & Tapestries
Blogspot by Cass & Joel Pridmore

On Thursday this week we celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary.

Dates such as anniversaries and birthdays hold special significance in our calendars and give us opportunity to consider the picture of our lives.

On this date in 2003 we were enjoying our honeymoon in the auspicious surroundings of a static caravan in Tenby… so, ten years on, we headed back to Tenby again for a repeat date with Fecci’s superb fish and chips with curry sauce! As we ate, we reflected on our journey so far – the good times and the bad times! Dates like these are landmarks when we can thank God for His faithfulness and His forgiveness. We have seen both of these significantly weaved into our picture in our ten years.

Hindsight, they say, is a beautiful thing – and there are always going to be things that you would have done differently. However, these are often the times when you will grow the most and when we can experience the grace of God. Our mistakes need not hold us back; often God takes our mistakes and uses them for benefit. There are also memories that we wish we could go back to. Good times from the past can seem so appealing, but cannot hold the things you’ve learned and there is always a new day waiting for you.

When you have key dates in your own calendar, take a moment to see how God has weaved your good times and the bad times into the beautiful tapestry of your life.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him”

(Romans 8:28)