Christmas carols

Last Monday, Steven and I went to a Christmas carols concert featuring the Ingestre choir directed by Roger Titley in Weston church, Mid-trent churches. It was my first time and I enjoyed it thoroughly; beautiful singing, friendly atmosphere. Here are a few photos! Have a blessed and peaceful Christmas.


We trust in the name of the Lord, our God

1 May the LORD answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
2 May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion.
3 May he remember all your sacrifices and accept your burn offerings. Selah
4 May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.
5 We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the LORD grant all your requests.
6 Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed; he answers him from his holy heaven with the saving power of his right hand.
7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
8 They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.


Behold the Lord upon his throne.

Dear sis and brothers, I'd love to share this beautiful song with you. It has been in my head almost all morning.
May the Lord pour his blessings abundantly on you and your beloved ones today. In the name of Jesus-Christ, our Saviour and Redeemer.

Behold the Lord - Kwasizabantu choir


With all my heart - Bechol libi

Dear friends, I have the pleasure to share with you this messianic song for the glory of our Lord. I hope that it will  bless you. Praise our God. In Jesus-Christ. N.


God pointing...Spirit leading..Kingdom coming..

‘Spirit-led Discipleship’
Leader: George Fisher

One of the ‘in’ words at the moment is discipleship, and rightly so. However, in most teaching and training on discipleship the Holy Spirit is hardly ever mentioned. This workshop will examine the vital role of the Holy Spirit in our discipleship and explore how being more open to the Spirit leads us to become effective disciples of Jesus.

‘Hearing & discerning the voice of God’
Leader: Tim Storey

In a world of noise and 24/7 information coming at us from all directions, it is increasingly hard to hear the still small voice of God. Whilst we may be able to take time out to go where it is quiet for a while, what about the rest of the time? Come along and let’s work out together how we can make sure God doesn’t just get a word in edgeways but that His voice is loud and clear in our lives each day.

‘Healing of past hurts’
Leader: Ali Summers

Discovering the inner journey of wholeness, freedom and intimacy that Jesus invites us into. We will explore some of the available prayer models which help us to find breakthrough in identifying lies and choosing forgiveness and healing.

‘Engaging in Worship’
Leader: Matt Hird

We will be exploring what engaging in worship means outside of the big events and conferences – how can we experience spirit-filled worship without a big band? There will be an opportunity to share insights as well as some practical tips for creating space for worshippers to encounter the Holy Spirit. Come willing to share and to receive.

‘Restoring the Apple’
Leaders: John Alessi and Carl Washington

It is often the case that the ministry of deliverance, particularly in the church in the West, is viewed with suspicion. It can seem archaic and weird, but the reality is quite the opposite, there are very powerful spiritual, emotional, and psychological dynamics that need to be addressed. If we are to see the glory of God in our communities we have to get the deliverance ministry back into the mainstream of the church, where it is seen as a component part of the body of Christ. In the ministry of Jesus, his deliverance ministry is one of the most outstanding features of his time on earth, and so it should be for us. The workshop will challenge our thinking of a ministry that is often overlooked


Page after page after page

Chris Bennett: The Dock project began back in 2009 and at that stage everything around here was still a building site, it was still scaffolding and big holes in the ground. But at that stage I was asked by Bishop Harold, I'm an ordained Church of Ireland Minister, and I'd been kind of looking for my next challenge and Harold suggested that the challenge might be trying to dream up and think up what might be an appropriate expression of church in the midst of the Titanic Quarter as it grew.
Chris Bennett: We have seen amazing growth in many ways but there's no doubt that The Tall Ships festival in Belfast in July certainly put us to the test. It was, in every way, a big event. Fifty ships, 50,000 visitors and, over four days, the Dock Café served 5,510 customers!
We've also just celebrated another milestone in that we have filled a complete Visitors' Book in Dock Café. It may not sound like much but, when we opened in 2012, we commissioned some lovely leather-bound visitors' - books though it seemed impossible that we would ever run out of space. Hundreds of pages, eight entries per page... there would never be that many customers through our doors, would there?
Page after page after page tells a story of visitors finding a welcome, wanderers finding a home, individuals finding friendship, busy people finding peace, stressed people finding space, sorrowful people finding a smile, sceptical people finding faith (or sometimes just some experience of God, or grace, or something divine that they can't quite put their finger on...)
The Dock charity is made up of a number of things: café, art gallery, museum and, of course, church – a church which continues to involve a team of dedicated volunteers and chaplains from across all church backgrounds, both Protestant and Catholic, who are committed to sharing every step of the journey of building community in this new part of Belfast.
We also have a prayer garden where people can rest and reflect, or talk to one of our Prayer Team. It's a little oasis of greenery and peace in the corner of The Dock Café and is open during Café hours; providing a space to reflect, read from our library of books, and maybe write a prayer and post it on the wall or in the prayer journal.
Find out more about this Fresh Expression project, read on, click here!


The greatest adventure!


It's with great pleasure that I share this event with you! 

It's not too late to book your place for The Greatest Adventure on 14 November. Here's 10 good reasons why we think you should come!

Amazing speakers

  1. You won't hear anything like it anywhere else this year! We are pulling out all the stops for our 60thanniversary, with seven international speakers, from top World Watch List countries, including: North Korea, Iraq and Nigeria.

Inspirational worship

  1. Joyful praise and earnest intercession will be the order of the day with worship led by Sam Bailey of New Wine Worship. This is a chance to thank God for strengthening our persecuted family over the last 60 years and to pray for His continued presence with them.

Family time

  1. Meet some of your amazing brothers and sisters in Christ from around the world and learn from them how to live a truly radical life for God.
  2. Get acquainted with the Open Doors family: staff, new supporters, fellow volunteers, the faces behind the names and the phone numbers. We want to meet you, too!

Strength for the journey

  1. Do you need encouragement in your work for the Lord? Be inspired by what you can do as part of your church - and as an individual - and be encouraged by the way your support has helped our persecuted family.

Great deals

  1. There's a group discount for groups of 5 or more. Bring a car or coach load from your church or small group and share the blessing of the day!
  2. Charity rates are available on nearby hotels. Come for the weekend - and do your Christmas shopping, too! For more details, see the booking form or call Inspire on 01993 460015
  3. Food and drink included - that means less to think about on the day, just get up and go!
  4. Receive an exclusive early copy of our new discipleship resource for Lent 2016: Live Like a Refugee.

Don't miss The Greatest Adventure!

  1. Due to the demand for places, we have changed our booking to a much larger venue at the International Convention Centre, Birmingham - but spaces are filling fast! Don't miss out - join with 2000+ others for The Greatest Adventure of 2016!
Your sister in Christ,

Lisa CEO
Lisa Pearce
CEO Open Doors UK & Ireland



Good afternoon from Civray in the Poitou region. This is not quite a holiday but an exploration of the area where we are going to move next year. Yesterday we had a very relaxing time gardening in our new house together, Steven was clipping the overgrown bushes, a particularly massive bay leaf tree, while |I was battling with a cruel ivy round a lovely cherry tree and another ivy attacking our entrance gates. It took ages to get rid of it and the battle is not finished yet. We are planning to do more tomorrow. 
As you may realise, the Poitou is in France however when you walk round Civray you may think that you are in Great-Britain, The numbers of Brits living there or visiting families there is incredible. I am not sure that Steven should need to learn French, the lucky one! lol
Hope you are all having a beautiful day whether you are at work or on holidays. 
Blessings in Christ, N.


Hezekiah's illness and recovery!

Image result for (2 Timothy 1:10)

Isaiah 38New Living Translation (NLT)

Hezekiah’s Sickness and Recovery

38 About that time Hezekiah became deathly ill, and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to visit him. He gave the king this message: “This is what the Lordsays: ‘Set your affairs in order, for you are going to die. You will not recover from this illness.’”
When Hezekiah heard this, he turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Remember, O Lord, how I have always been faithful to you and have served you single-mindedly, always doing what pleases you.” Then he broke down and wept bitterly.
Then this message came to Isaiah from the Lord: “Go back to Hezekiah and tell him, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your ancestor David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will add fifteen years to your life,and I will rescue you and this city from the king of Assyria. Yes, I will defend this city.
“‘And this is the sign from the Lord to prove that he will do as he promised: I will cause the sun’s shadow to move ten steps backward on the sundial[a] of Ahaz!’” So the shadow on the sundial moved backward ten steps.

A. The mercy of God to Hezekiah.

1. (1) Isaiah’s announcement to Hezekiah.

In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, went to him and said to him, “Thus says the LORD: ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.’”

a. In those days: This happened at the time of the Assyrian invasion of Judah, because Jerusalem had not been delivered from the Assyrian threat yet (Isaiah 38:6). The events of this chapter are also recorded in 2 Kings 20:1-11.

i. “Interpreters agree that the events described in chapters 38 and 39 preceded the invasion of 701 B.C. . . Many date these events in 703 B.C., but the evidence more strongly suggests a date of about 712 B.C.” (Wolf)

b. Was sick and near death: We are not told how Hezekiah became sick. It may have been through something obvious to all, or it may have been through something known only to God. However Hezekiah became sick, it was certainly permitted by the LORD.

c. Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live: God was remarkably kind to Hezekiah, telling him that his death was near. Not all people are given the time to set your house in order.

i. We know from comparing 2 Kings 18:2 with 2 Kings 20:6, that Hezekiah was 39 years old when he learned he would soon die.

2. (2-3) Hezekiah’s prayer.

Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the LORD, and said, “Remember now, O LORD, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what is good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

a. Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall: This shows how earnest Hezekiah was in his prayer. He directed his prayer in privacy to God, and not to any man.

b. Remember now, O LORD: To our ears, Hezekiah’s prayer might almost sound ungodly. In it, his focus is on self-justification and his own merits. It is pretty much as if Hezekiah prayed, “LORD, I’ve been such a good boy and You aren’t being fair to me. Remember what a good boy I’ve been and rescue me.”

i. But under the Old Covenant, this was a valid principle on which to approach God. Passages like Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28 show that under the Old Covenant, blesssing and cursing was sent by God on the basis of obedience or disobedience. On that principle, David could write in Psalm 15: LORD, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart. (Psalm 15:1-2)

ii. But under the New Covenant, we are blessed on the principle of faith in Jesus (Galatians 3:13-14). Hezekiah’s principle of prayer isn’t fitting for a Christian today. We pray in the name of Jesus (John 16:23-24), not in the name of who we are or what we have done.

iii. “We come across similar pleas again and again in the prayers of God’s children of old. The Psalms abound with them. But we do not find them in the New Testament. The Church bases its pleas on Christ’s righteousness.” (Bultema)

c. And Hezekiah wept bitterly: Why was Hezekiah so undone at the prospect of death? Many Christians today would say, “Take me home, LORD!” But Hezekiah lived under the Old Covenant, and at that time there was not a confident assurance of the glory in the life beyond. Instead, Jesus brought life and immortality came to light through the gospel (2 Timothy 1:10). Also, under the Old Covenant Hezekiah would have regarded this as evidence that God was very displeased with him.

3. (4-5) Isaiah brings God’s answer to Hezekiah’s prayer.

And the word of the LORD came to Isaiah, saying, “Go and tell Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of David your father: “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will add to your days fifteen years.”’”

a. I will add to your days fifteen years: In response to Hezekiah’s prayer, God granted Hezekiah fifteen years more.

i. Because Hezekiah recovered, was God’s word (You shall die and not live, Isaiah 38:1) proved false? No; first, Hezekiah did in fact die, just not as soon as God first announced. Second, when God announces judgment it is almost always an invitation to repent and to receive mercy.

b. I have heard your prayer: Hezekiah’s prayer was important. By all indications, if Hezekiah had not made his passionate prayer, then his life would not have been extended. Prayer matters!

i. In fact, God gave two gifts to Hezekiah. First, He gave the gift of an extended life. Second, He gave the gift of knowing he only had fifteen years left. If he were wise, this would still give King Hezekiah the motivation to walk right with God and to set his house in order.

4. (6) The promise of deliverance from the Assyrian threat.

“I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria, and I will defend this city.”

a. This promise is in accord with the LORD’s previous prophecies of deliverance, and dates this chapter as being before God destroyed the Assyrian army (Isaiah 37:36-37).

b. The connection of the two promises indicates that one would confirm the other. When Hezekiah recovered his health, he could know that God would also deliver him from the Assyrians.

5. (7-8) A sign to confirm the promise.

“And this is the sign to you from the LORD, that the LORD will do this thing which He has spoken: Behold, I will bring the shadow on the sundial, which has gone down with the sun on the sundial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward.” So the sun returned ten degrees on the dial by which it had gone down.

a. This is the sign . . . that the LORD will do this thing which He has spoken: God showed even more mercy to Hezekiah. God was under no obligation to give this sign. In fact, God would have been justified in saying, “Hey Hezekiah, I said it and you believe it. How dare you not take My word for true?” But in real love, God gave Hezekiah more than he needed or deserved.

i. God shows the same mercy to us. It should be enough for God to simply say to us, “I love you.” But God did so much to demonstrate His love to us (John 3:16, Romans 5:8).

b. Behold, I will bring the shadow of the sundial . . . ten degrees backward: God promised to do something completely miraculous for the confirming sign. And it happened just as God promised: So the sun returned ten degrees on the dial by which it had gone down.

i. This was a wonderfully appropriate sign for Hezekiah. By bringing the shadow of the sundial move backward, it gave more time in a day - just as God gave Hezekiah more time.

ii. How was this miracle accomplished? We simply don’t know. God could have simply “moved the sun back.” Or, He may have simply provided the miraculous appearance of it on the sundial of Ahaz. It doesn’t really matter how God did it; He has miraculous resources and ways we know nothing about.

Source : click here

Sing to the Lord and thank Him

for He is awesome, powerful and merciful, swift to forgive and slow to anger. In Psalm 147 v 3 we read that 'He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.'

The Story of Psalm 147

This psalm tells us something about God’s love and his power. Here, power does not only mean that he rules everything. It also means that he is very, very strong. It is the second of the 5 *Hallelujah Psalms, 146-150. "*Hallelujah" means "*praise the *LORD". This means "tell the *LORD that he is very great". In verse 1, "*praises" are words that say how great somebody is. "*LORD" is the *covenant name for God. A *covenant is when two people (or groups of people) agree. Here, God agrees to love and give help to his people. His people agree to love and obey God. In verse 5 is another word, "*Lord". This is not the same Hebrew word as "*LORD". Hebrew is the language that the *Jews spoke. They wrote the psalms in Hebrew. "*Lord" translates a Hebrew word that means "master" or "someone with authority".
There are three parts in this psalm:
  ·   verses 1 - 6: God’s power in Israel and Babylon and in the skies above;
  ·   verses 7 - 11: God’s power on the earth with plants and animals;
  ·   verses 12 - 20: God’s power in giving his people what they need.
In the Greek Bible, (verses 1-11) make Psalm 146 and verses 12-20 Psalm 147. This Greek Bible makes Psalms 9 and 10 into one psalm. All the numbers from 10 to 146 are one less than in our Bibles. The *Jews translated their Hebrew Bible into Greek about 200 years before Jesus came to the earth.
We do not know who wrote Psalm 147. But many Bible students think that it was after the *exile. The note on verses 2 and 3 explains the *exile. The *Jews used Psalm 147 in the new *temple (house of God) in Jerusalem. Maybe Nehemiah or one of his friends wrote Psalm 147.

What Psalm 147 means

Verses 2 and 3 tell us that God is powerful among the countries of the world. God let the Babylonians beat his people that lived near Jerusalem. This happened about 600 years before Jesus came to the earth. The Babylonians destroyed the city and took the people away to Babylon. Babylon was a country east of Jerusalem. They made them live there for 70 years. They were exiles, (they lived away from their own country). This happened because God’s people did not love him nor obey him. But after 70 years, God destroyed Babylon and brought his people home. He built Jerusalem again and made his people feel happy again. Some of them had broken hearts. This is a way to say that they felt very, very sad (or depressed). Other people had injuries. 
Verse 6 tells us about poor people and *wicked people. "*Wicked" means "very, very bad". Perhaps the *psalmist meant the people of Babylon. God threw them to the ground. This means that he destroyed them. He did this when he sent the Persian army to fight the Babylonian army. But God lifted up the poor people. Perhaps they were the *Jewish people. He gave them help to go home from Babylon.
Verse 7 starts the next part of the psalm. The harp usually makes quiet music, but it can be loud.
Verse 8: In the Greek Bible, there is a bit more in this verse. At the end, it says ‘He gives plants for men to use’. Many English translations put this extra bit in.
Verse 9: A raven is a big, black bird. In this verse, God makes sure that other people, animals or birds feed themselves or their young. God does not do it himself. The *psalmist says that God really did it! This is because it is part of God’s great plan. The *psalmist is the person that wrote the psalm.
Verse 11: "In awe" means that you love somebody that you are a bit afraid of! People that are "in awe" of God obey him. Also, they *trust him, (or believe that he will do what he has promised to do).
Verses 12 - 14 start the last part of the psalm. God gives his people a city to live in, Jerusalem. Jerusalem is also called Zion. He gives them a safe country to live in. That is what safe *borders means. He gives his people good food. All this happened after the *exile. Psalm 149 in this set of psalms explains what the *exile was. Bible students think that the *psalmist wrote Psalm 147 after the *exile. It was a psalm for the new *temple. The *temple in Jerusalem was the house of God. 
Verses 15 - 18 tell us that God rules the earth as well as the people in it. "Frost" is very little bits of ice. It falls on plants and buildings in very cold weather. Hail is larger bits of ice. It falls like rain or snow. "Icy" means "very, very cold". In verse 18, the weather becomes warm again. Ice becomes water, and the water runs away. Again, God made the rules that the weather must obey. When it is cold, water changes to ice. When it gets warm, ice changes to water. 
Verses 19 - 20 end the psalm. They tell us that only the *Jewish people knew his rules and *laws. "*Laws" is another word for "rules". This is not true now, because everybody with a Bible knows God’s rules and *laws. These rules and *laws are not only about what is right and wrong. They are also about what happens in the world.
Word List
bandage ~ a piece of cloth that you put on a *wound.
border ~ edge of a country.
broken hearts ~ a way to say that someone is very, very sad.
covenant ~ two people have agreed what each should do (here, God and his people). Look in Psalm 120 about the covenant.
exile ~ away from your own country.
frost ~ cold white powder like snow.
hail ~ ice in rain.
hallelujah ~ say that the *LORD is great. (Jah is *Hebrew for *LORD.)
harp ~ a *musical instrument.
heart ~ part of the body. *Jews believed that you thought in your heart.
Hebrew ~ the language that the Jews spoke; they wrote the Psalms in Hebrew.
icy ~ very, very cold.
in awe ~ a bit afraid of someone that you love.
injury ~ a place on your body. Someone has hit you, or cut you with a knife.
Jew ~ a person who is born from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their children.
Jewish ~ a word that describes a *Jew or anything to do with a *Jew.
laws ~ the rules in a country. In Psalm 147, God’s rules.
LORD ~ the *covenant name for God (in a *covenant you agree with someone).
musical instrument ~ something that makes music when you hit it (cymbals, drum), blow in it (flute, trumpet, horn, shofar) or touch it in a quiet way (harp, lyre). Many of these are in Psalm 150 in Book 5 of The Psalms of David.
pleasant ~ nice; what we like to do.
power ~ See The Story of Psalm 147.
praise ~ to say how great someone is; or, words that say how great someone is.
psalmist ~ the person that wrote a psalm (or psalms).
punish ~ hurt someone because they have not obeyed the rules.
raven ~ a big, black bird.
temple ~ a place where people meet to worship God.
trust ~ believe that someone (usually God in the psalms) will be kind to you.
wicked ~ very, very bad.
wound ~ mark on the body. Someone hit it or cut it.
Have a blessed evening. N.
source click here


I am the light of the world!

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. John 8:12 (KJV)

John 8:12 (CJB) Yeshua spoke to them again: "I am the light of the world; whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light which gives life."

John 8:12 (NIV) When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

John 8:12 (NLT) Jesus, the Light of the World Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”


Who goes to heaven and who goes to hell?

Because sin is a deceiver, many have been misled into thinking that they can save themselves by their own good works. 
In a recent survey in three cities of America, the question was raised: Who goes to heaven and who goes to hell?

The typical answer in every city was: 
those who are good go to heaven and those who are bad go to hell.

But the Bible clearly teaches that “by observing the law [trying to be good], no one will be justified [declared righteous]” (Galatians 2:16). Paul repeats the same statement in Romans 3:20, and then adds, “Through the law we become conscious of sin.”

The Jews of Christ’s day made the tragic mistake of believing that they could be saved by keeping the law alone. For this reason, in the beginning of his ministry, Jesus invited these sincere Jews who desperately tried to work their way to heaven, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened [very discouraged], and I will give you rest” [Matthew 11:28].

Let us depend on Jesus's shared blood, the word of God and the Full help of the Holy Spirit, these are what the grace of God is all about.


1. God’s grace brings salvation to all people (2:11).

When Paul writes, “For the grace of God has appeared,” he is referring to the embodiment of grace in the person of Jesus Christ, who was “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). It is not that God’s grace is missing from the Old Testament. No one was saved in the Old Testament apart from God’s grace. But as John 1:17 states the contrast, “For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.” God rightly could have sent His Son to condemn us and judge us. But instead (John 3:17), “For God did not send His Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”

2. God’s grace trains us who are saved in godliness (2:12-14a).
The word “instructing” means, “child-training.” It includes teaching, but also, correcting and disciplining. It is a process that begins at salvation and continues until we stand before the Lord. 

But, note that grace does not mean, “hang loose and live as sloppily as you please.” Rather, grace trains, disciplines, and instructs us in godly living. 

Paul mentions three ways that grace trains us:

A. GRACE TRAINS US TO DENY UNGODLINESS AND WORLDLY DESIRES (2:12A). means, living in a self-controlled manner, not yielding to various passions and impulses.

B. GRACE TRAINS US TO LIVE SENSIBLY, RIGHTEOUSLY, AND GODLY IN THIS PRESENT AGE (2:12B). This refers to a life of integrity and uprightness in your dealings with others. It means conforming to God’s standards of conduct, as revealed in the commandments of His Word.

(3). GRACE TRAINS US TO LIVE GODLY.This refers to holiness and devotion to God, beginning on the heart level. It means to live a God-ward life, knowing that He examines your heart. You confess sinful thoughts to Him and live in the love and fear of God. As Paul expressed his concern (2 Cor. 11:3), “But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.”

The forward look is toward the second coming of Jesus Christ. The backward look is toward the cross and its implications on our lives.

God’s grace instructs us to look “for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.”
If your focus is set on the hope of Christ’s return, you will purify your life from every known sin (1 John 3:2-3).

“Who” refers back to “our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.” None other than He “gave Himself for us”! If that thought doesn’t grip your heart, you’re in deep spiritual trouble. Paul shows that this past grace that was shown to us produces godliness in us.


Benefit cuts push people to foodbanks

The Employment minister Priti Patel told the House of Commons that she did not accept claims that the increase in sanctions had anything to do with the rise in foodbanks.
The opposition MPs suggest that the Government has cracked down too hard on the welfare system and pushed people into hunger.
The Trussell Trust says that more than 1 million food parcels were handed out in 2014, an increase of 19% on to the previous year.

        The Bishop of Truro and the Rt Revd Tim Thornton found that about of 1/3 of the referrals to foodbanks were prompted by delays and errors in benefits (News, 12/12/14). Their report recommends allowing Jobcentre Plus staff to use their discretion over whether to impose a sanction or not. 
The latest wave of cuts will slash £12 billion a year from social-security spending with tax credits for working families to be cut significantly. The Gvt is considering altering the criteria by which child poverty is judged. 
      The Archbishop of York is in favour of the Living Wage, currently set at £2.35 more per hour than the minimum wage noting that many firms that use it notice improved productivity and staff loyalty. 


Keep watch over the door of my lips.

This verse, Set a guard. O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips' reminds us to be careful about what you say; I remember listening to my mum having random conversation with the ladies at the check-out of our Supermarché Casino, being impressed at how she could muster courage and speak to complete strangers, being kind and caring. My mum was not shy and she'd love to say encouraging words to others. Our Lord wants us to pay attention at what we say. And I must confess that it can be very difficult depending on who you talking to or rather depending on the things people say to you. The term 'winding you up' comes to mind. This is when I call on the name of Jesus for help as I have realised I can't do nothing without Him.
What about you my brothers and sisters, do you find taming your tongue hard?
What comes to my mind is this other passage in James. 
4 And a tiny rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot wants it to go, even though the winds are strong.
5 So also, the tongue is a small thing, but what enormous damage it can do. A tiny spark can set a great forest on fire.
6 And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is full of wickedness that can ruin your whole life. It can turn the entire course of your life into a blazing flame of destruction, for it is set on fire by hell itself.
7 People can tame all kinds of animals and birds and reptiles and fish,
8 but no one can tame the tongue. It is an uncontrollable evil, full of deadly poison.
9 Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it breaks out into curses against those who have been made in the image of God.
10 And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! James 3:8
James does not mince his words! Not only what he talks about sums up most of we hear everyday on the news, irate wifes or husbands, politicians, scandals of all sorts, murders and of course deadly wars. As followers of Jesus, we are called to 'guard their mouths  and their tongues' and as a result 'it    keep themselves from calamity.' Proverbs 21:23-24.
One more verse to keep on our heart!
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29

Have a blessed day. In Jesus' name. N.


God's steadfast love

How do we know that God loves us? At times, we feel lonely and miserable, unable to function, however the thought of being loved by our Father in heaven is balm on our wounds. 

All the following verses in the Bible, the word of God, tell us so. Remember that 'All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;17so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16

- but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 
Romans 5:8 

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 1 John 4:16

John 3:16 - For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Romans 8:37-39 - No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Ephesians 2:4-5 - But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved ...

 The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. 
Zephaniah 3:17 -

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 
1 Peter 5:6-7 - 

So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3: 17-19

 But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. 
Psalm 86:15 



My soul is so dry


My soul is so dry that by itself it cannot pray;
Yet you can squeeze from it the juice of a thousand prayers.

My soul is so parched that by itself it cannot love;
Yet you can draw from it boundless love for you
and for my neighbour.

My soul is so cold that by itself it has no joy;
Yet you can light the fire of heavenly joy within me.

My soul is so feeble that by itself it has no faith;
Yet by your power my faith grows to a great height.

Thank you for prayer, for love, for joy, for faith;
Let me always be prayerful, loving, joyful, faithful.

Guigo the Carthusian, died 1188

Guigo was a Carthusian monk in the 12th Century (1140-1193) who elaborated on St. Benedict’s practice of Lectio Divina from the 6th Century. The Carthusians were a contemplative, ascetic religious order of monks founded in the early 12th century.
Guigo knew the sweetness of meditating on Bible passages and he wrote about this almost 900 years ago in his book, The Ladder of Monks. 
You don’t have to be a monk to climb the ladder of monks that stretch up into the heavens! His words set the table with the manna from heaven that we all hunger for!
Jacob's Ladder Meditation

This morning, I picked up 'Just as I am' by Ruth Etchells, a wonderful prayer book that I enjoyed reading a few years ago. And as I read the above prayer I wanted to know a  bit more about the author, Guigo the Carthusian. 
Have a blessed day!


Divine meditation.

The Art of Divine Meditation by Joseph Hall

Joseph Hall endeavored to teach the art of meditation. It is a heavenly business that does benefit the soul! 

Joseph tells us that it is wrong to conceal meditation from many, for its benefit may  be universal.
This is the kind of meditation pursued by the divine psalmist who upon viewing the glorious frame of the heavens was led to wonder at the merciful respect God had toward so lowly a creature as man.

His view is that 'some of the ancient monks proved so excellent in this divine business because they intermixed bodily labour with their contemplations! 

Joshua 1:8

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.


Programme of the mission, Mid-trent Churches

Here is the programme for the week of the mission. It is such an exciting time for Mid-trent team and everyone living in the villages. Keep us in your prayers so that many come and find Christ our saviour and redeemer. Oh Lord, we pray for an outpouring of your Spirit on each speaker, and on everyone attending those sessions. We ask in the name of Jesus our Saviour and redemeer. Amen.