Messages and Teaching Talks - Sharing God's word
Easter Week 2017 - Bible passages
Here are portions of Scripture to help us focus our attention during each day of Holy Week.
"Have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
"Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his teaching the islands will put their hope."
"Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations: Before I was born the Lord called me; from my mother’s womb he has spoken my name. He made my mouth like a sharpened sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me into a polished arrow and concealed me in his quiver. He said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will display my splendor.”
But I said, “I have labored in vain; I have spent my strength for nothing at all. Yet what is due me is in the Lord’s hand, and my reward is with my God.”"
"Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over."
"When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him."
"Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed."
"Don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus."
"Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”
So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)"
November 2016 - Church Weekend@Home
"If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory and the power for ever and ever." 1 peter 4:11
I saw over this Church weekend these words in practice. Thank you to all who and served in God’s strength, to those who shared with others. May God be praised and may He have all the Glory for all that happened this last weekend. The weekend is over and as we begin a new journey with Him right now may we serve with the strength He provides and as we speak the very words of God.
I have met some amazing people over many years. Some years ago on a Fields of Life trip to the US I went to a church and the visiting speaker was a guy called Nick Vujicic. Nick was born without arms or legs. I was so inspired an challenged by his story. I bought his books and DVD and was enthralled by his testimony. In his book and speaking that Sunday he said this, “I am ridiculously happy and truly blessed”.
God did not answer his prayer in the way that he had hoped. Yet he writes, “God used me to reach people in countless schools, churches, prisons, stadiums and meeting halls. Even better he says is I have hugged thousands of people in face to face encounters that allow me to tell them how very precious they are. (I had that privilege as he was lifted onto a table and even though with no arms what a hug I received that morning. One I will never forget). He goes on to say God took my unusual body and invested me with the ability to uplift hearts and encourage spirits.”
Later that year I showed his DVD to a gathering of head teachers in Uganda. Over 200 people sat in total silence as they listened to Nick’s story. You could hear a pin drop and as I looked around I saw something quite unusual in Ugandan culture tears rolling down the faces of my dear friends. When the DVD finished I knew prayer ministry was needed and the cries of confession was something I will never forget as they saw their problems were nothing in the light of what they had seen and then confession turned to praise as they thanked God for what they had. An experience that will live with me to the day I die.
And as I sat in silence in the quietness of the house this morning and as the daylight broke I thought of you and prayed for you by name and for some of you I know the struggles you are going through. For others that I don’t know your struggles and problems I prayed that you would know God’s presence is a very real way today and in the days that are ahead. Friends the verse the Lord gave me for you today is this. “Give thanks to the lord, for He is good. His love endures forever”. Psalm 107:1
Every Blessing for 2016
New Year 2016
Are you facing challenges ahead in your life? As a church we face the challenge of resourcing the extension plans and upgrade of the Church. Alongside this the challenge of proclaiming the gospel both in word and deed. Ezra was facing the huge challenge of leading the return journey to Jerusalem and the rebuilding of the temple. He had to lead a company of 5,000 people, including women and children, on a four-month hazardous trek through uninhabited regions – while carrying vast quantities of money and precious objects (8:15–27). Ezra wisely began with the leaders: ‘So I summoned... leaders and... men of learning’ (v.16). Leadership was a key to the fulfilment of Ezra’s vision for return and rebuilding.
The fulfilment of almost every God-given vision requires these three things:
- Everyone praying
Ezra was a man of prayer. Before he set out on the journey he proclaimed a fast. They all humbled themselves and asked God for a safe journey (v.21). God heard their prayer: ‘So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer’ (v.23).
- Everyone giving
‘I weighed out to them the offering of silver and gold and the articles that the king, his advisers, his officials and all Israel present there had donated for the house of our God’ (v.25).
- Everyone serving
‘Then the exiles who had returned from captivity sacrificed... They also delivered the king’s orders to the royal satraps and to the governors of Trans-Euphrates who then gave assistanceto the people and to the house of God’ (vv.35–36).
God blessed them in every way in the rebuilding of the house of God. But in spite of God’s faithfulness to them, the people were not faithful to God. They did not keep themselves pure. It was not so much the fact that they had intermarried, but the fact that they had ‘polluted’ themselves (9:11) with the ‘detestable practices’ (v.1) of the nations around. The leaders and officials had led the way in their unfaithfulness (v.2). Ezra, by contrast, gives us a great example of not taking sin lightly. He is absolutely devastated: ‘When I heard all this, I ripped my clothes and my cape... I slumped to the ground, appalled’ (v.3, MSG). He fell on his knees with his hands spread out to the Lord and prayed a prayer which it may be good to pray for ourselves and for the church today: ‘O my God, I am too ashamed and disgraced to lift up my face to you, my God, because our sins are higher than our heads and our guilt has reached to the heavens. From the days of our ancestors until now, our guilt has been great. Because of our sins, we… have been subjected to… humiliation’ (vv.6–7).
Yet, as with the people in Ezra’s time, so it is for the church today: ‘Our God has not deserted us’ (v.9).
Lord, help us to be a pure church, cleansed by the blood of Jesus, that speaks up for the voiceless, proclaims the eternal gospel to the nations, and rebuilds the church in our cities and countries.
(These were Nicky Gumbel’s thoughts from reading through the Bible in a year in this passage from Ezra. I hope you find them helpful and challenging)
Every Blessing for 2016
We are praying you have a blessed and happy Christmas and a happy new year. Remember:
"He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?"
We serve an awesome God!
Trevor, Ruth, David and Mikey
Festival of Hope - November 15th
Psalm 100 is an exhortation to praise God, and rejoice in him. And verse 5 what an encouragement that His love continues forever through all generations.
Yesterday in church Noel gave us what I believe was a prophetic word for the church moving forward. We have looked back over the last 175 years but now it is time to build on the foundations that have been laid over the years and to see people come to faith in the Lord Jesus. If you missed yesterday please take time to listen to the podcast by clicking here, or from our podcast page.
"Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations."
New Year Message 2015
I am not a great one for staying up and seeing in the New Year. Usually tucked up in bed by 10/10.30. But last night was different. As we begin the 175th year in Crinken’s history it was so lovely to spend time with God’s people praising and worshipping our great God and sharing testimony to God’s faithfulness. It was a Spirit filled night and not the kind most people had last night. Thank you for those who made the effort to come from some of our youngest to some of our ninety year olds. And I have never seen such an amazing pot luck supper. We could have fed all of Shankill. Thank you to all who made the night so special.
Ruth and I, David and Mikey would love to wish you all a very happy and blessed 2015. God has great things in store for us this year. May I leave you with some thoughts that I read this morning and I quote from Nicky Gumbel, “Look back and thank God. Look forward and trust God, Look around and serve God. Look up and seek God.”
I am not sure if you have made any new Year resolutions! I have decided that I am going to read through the Bible in a year. (Feel free to ask me any time how I am going). I would love if as many as possible could do this. To help you do this you can download an app to your ipad or iphone and its called “thebibleinoneyear” and can be found on the alpha international website. If you have android or other device you can go to https://www.youversion.com and download this one year bible reading from Holy Trinity Brompton and it is a one year free reading plan.
May you be richly blessed as you love and serve our great God this 2015.
The last year in the life of Crinken Church has been a blessing to our family as we have watched people coming to faith in Christ and seeing people grow in their relationship with Christ. There is a great team spirit involved in the church with Christ as our head and it has been wonderful working together as we spread the good news of Jesus Christ in our communities. It has been exciting to see lives transformed and my prayer for this coming year is to see people encountering Jesus and surrendering their lives to Him as He calls you to go and make disciples. My prayer and I encourage you to make it you prayer also is to see people come to a personal faith in Jesus for the first time.
Can Ruth and I take this opportunity to thank you all for your prayers, support and encouragement over this last year and we look forward to all He has in store for us this coming year.
"The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only who came from the Father, full of grace and truth"
May you all know God’s blessing and presence this Christmas time and throughout 2015.
Trevor, Ruth, David and Mikey
The shepherds in Bible times were a forgotten group of people. They were not included in society. They were not allowed attend religious festivals and could not give testimony in court. They were treated like outcasts, smelly and their job was boring and dangerous. But as Bethlehem celebrated no one gave them a second thought. They were the forgotten, the marginalised. And yet God had not forgotten them. They were the first to hear the good news of the birth of our Saviour. When they heard the news they acted on it straight away and went and found Jesus. Friends who are the forgotten today, the marginalised today. Maybe you are the one to bring the good news of Jesus to someone who has been forgotten by the world this Christmas time.
But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David, a Saviour has been born to you, He is Christ the Lord."
I love messing around in the garden and growing things and seeing sometimes what the outcome is. Reflecting on this recently and reading again the parable of the sower with the seed falling in four different places, (namely the path, rocky ground, thorny ground and on the good soil) it got me thinking that the seed that fell in the first three places actually were useless. They did not bear any fruit. If I plant in the garden and get no return the place would be baren and there would be no flowers or shrubs to look at and no vegetables or fruit to eat. We sow seed in order for them to bear fruit whether it be thirty fold, sixty fold or hundred fold and we can enjoy the harvest from the initial planting. I really feel I have come to realize that the intention of Jesus in this parable was to compare the only good soil to the ones that were not a legitimate alternative. For Jesus there was one option for the true believer and that was that we would be fruit bearing Christians. The command of Jesus was quite clear with his parting message that we were to go and make disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey all that He commanded.
Today I visited a man in the village who has a wonderful array of flowers in his front garden. He calls me Michael, but I no longer correct him because the next time it will be something else. What’s in a name as Shakespeare once famously asked? The apostle Peter provides us with one of the best answers to that question.
The name Peter comes from the Greek Petros, meaning “Rock” or “Stone.” Peter’s original name was Simon Bar-Jonah and today we might call him Simon Stone.
But whatever we call him, he was impetuous, impulsive, brash, loud, self confident, outspoken even arrogant. Why would Jesus choose such a man? For the same reason He chooses us. He wants to take those same unlovely qualities and transform them for His use. We can all learn from Peter. Perhaps his most compelling characteristic wasn’t impulsiveness but his willingness to change and in Jesus’ hands, become a person mightily used of God.
What’s in a name? It’s nice to be called by your name and there is something special about being called the right name but the most important thing is to hear and obey when God calls us.
Christmas 2013 Message to Crinken Church Family
Ruth and I just want to take the opportunity to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and Peaceful New Year. I appreciate everyone’s efforts and commitment throughout 2013 as we have sought to serve and honour God together in Crinken. It has been a fantastic year and I am very excited about the possibilities that lie ahead in 2014 and look forward to the impact we can have in our local communities. It is a real privilege to work with you all as you are such a passionate and gifted people. I hope you all have a refreshing and restful break over the holiday period and take time to enjoy quality time with your families and friends. In the middle of it all - let’s not forget a God who at Christmas time stepped into humanity, breaking 400 years of silence, to fulfil an ancient promise of hope, joy, love and salvation.
“Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.”
Wishing you all a very blessed and peaceful Christmas
Trevor, Ruth, David and Mikey
I have written a brief report of my fact finding trip to South Sudan and a promise God gave to us on the trip which is the whisper for this week.
Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
What a real roller-coaster of a trip to S Sudan and Uganda....I saw huge need, felt almost despair and was challenged and finally inspired that what God is doing in Africa through FOL is making and can continue to make a difference. So often we focus on the problems...the odd dishonest staff member, the school in trouble, the project that seems to be failing. In S Sudan, we did have that feeling of desperation...the scale of the problems are so huge, the scale of our efforts seem so puny that there was almost a feeling of why bother? But when we focus on the size of the problem rather than focussing on the size of our God, we will get it wrong.
As I have said before, S Sudan doesn't even seem to register from a development point of view...some areas have simply nothing! No roads, no electricity, no water, no schools, no teachers, no change on what life was 100 years ago apart from cast-off Western tea shirts....and most of them in rags! Then you hear stories of the war, of the terror the LRA brought (up to just 2-3 years ago). Then you visit a former school site on the road to the Congo which has a mine-field (still being cleared!) in the playground (nobody told me about that !).
Ibba County is 100miles x 30 miles, has one very poor dirt road running East-West along the south and no roads, just bush tracks, running north-south. 7 wells for clean water for 60,000 people. 60 children dying daily from disease. This county, which we reckon has 40,000 children (nobody actually knows) has one 8 classroom primary school and perhaps 5 other bush-schools with maybe 4 classrooms each. No secondary school in the whole county. Only two people in the county have gone beyond secondary education. So Maybe 2000 children, out of 40,000 in the county, have access to education! What hope is there for the rest unless we can bring some hope? And I believe we are called to do so. Isaiah 61 seemed to be the scripture which challenged and inspired us during the trip...please read verses 1-4. And Joshua 1:9. I could go on.....
Then the team returned to Uganda and visited Annette in Bethel Royal...what an inspiration. (She was the lady that shared with us a few weeks back when we had some members of the choir with us) What a lady...if anyone should be nominated for saint-hood, she should! The school is deep in the bush in a very poor and harsh area of Uganda called Nakasangola. The project has everything we reckon a successful project should have...a secondary school for 560 of the most inspiring pupils you could hope to meet, over 20 acres in crop production for the school, a poultry project for eggs, a dairy project for milk ,a beef project for meat and a mill for producing their own maize-meal....all run by pupils. When the 4 choirs sang for us, we were reduced to tears....they sang a song of thanks for their school, their teachers, their school director, Annette, for their food, their clean water from the well...it was truly humbling.
And it doesn't stop there..Annette has over 100 community projects running...she took us to meet a lady who had been beaten and oppressed by her husband...a lady who had lost her voice...she gave her a pig...this lady now has 4 pigs, 9 cattle, a very productive garden and a new brick house powered with solar energy....absolutely awe-inspiring to see a downtrodden and beaten woman now with a voice and a prosperous future!
Annette and her team have built over 36 new houses in the local community and have dozens involved in income-generating projects. She has 30 orphan/abandoned children living with her in her own house....we were speechless at what a Godly woman, driven by a fierce love for God the Father and those in need around her, has achieved.
It gave me huge hope for what God can do in S Sudan....I look forward to how God will lead us in the days ahead as we partner with some of the most wonderful Christians I have even met. What a privilege to be involved in this wonderful, exciting and awe-inspiring journey.
To God be the Glory, great things He is doing!
Over the weekend many of the church family gathered together in Avoca Manor and it was a very special time. I think Saturday morning will remain in my memory for the rest of my days as God was very real and present in our midst. I think all who were in the room on Saturday morning did not want to leave the room as each one knew God was there and it was very, very special. I thank God for Roly’s and Susan’s input into the weekend and for the times of prayer ministry they had with people on a one to one basis of Saturday afternoon.
We were also challenged on Sunday morning to walk as Jesus walked, in obedience and love and faith. God has called each one of us to ministry and he has given us authority to minister in His name. (Matthew 28:16f) The one verse that kept coming back to me over and over again during the weekend is a verse that was given to me by God 23 years ago when I was struggling with the whole idea of serving Him and to follow wherever He called. “The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it”. 1 Thessalonians 5:24 This verse has been such a blessing in my ministry because over and over again I realize it is God who will do it it and it’s nothing to do with me but I must follow in obedience, in love and in faith.
May God bless each one of you today as you continue to follow and serve Him.
“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.”. Psalm 1:1-3
Psalm 1 makes it clear that we should be passionate about the Bible, reading it and reflecting upon it continually. The person who does this is described in verse 3 as being “like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.” Just as the tree draws constant nourishment from the nearby stream, so the Christian is refreshed and replenished by reading the Bible. Remember that Christianity is all about a relationship. God wrote the Bible because he wants to know us. The more we read it, the more we know of God, the more we learn to admire and adore the God who so longs to be in relationship with us. Be blessed as you read and meditate on God’s Word.
“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another all the more as we see the day approaching.”. Hebrews 10:25
God wants His children to regularly meet with other believers. He wants His people in church. Many people do not take this instruction seriously because they do not know the reason behind it. I often hear this chant, “I can worship God at home. I don’t need to go to church.”
Too many people believe the sole reason we go to church is to worship.
If that is the only reason then those people who claim that they can worship at home would have a strong argument.
Hebrews warns us against drifting away. It’s good to be accountable and be encouraged by one another. To neglect the regular gathering of fellow Christians is to miss out on this essential element in the development of our faith.
God desires a close relationship with His children. By becoming active in a local church, you safeguard yourself against missing out on all that God has for you. Gathering together protects your relationship with God. When you drift away from the family of God, it is only a matter of time until you drift away from fellowship with God.
“She did what she could”. Mark 14 :8a (to put this verse into context read Mark 14:1-9)
Preaching on this passage recently this 5 words have left a deep impression on me. “She did what she could”. What Mary Did Was a Giving Act, What Mary Did Was an Expensive Act, What Mary Did Was a Loving Act, What Mary Did Was a Beautiful Act, What Mary Did Was an Immortal Act.
The story is about a gift of love made by Mary of Bethany to her Lord, Jesus Christ. Each and every day, we have the same privilege of bringing a gift of love to our Saviour whether in our time, gifts, service, finance or whatever. Let us be more like Mary, less logical and more generous, less analytical and more compassionate, less self-centred and more Christ-centred and less concerned about what somebody might think or say and more anxious to honour the one who first loved me.
Those who give themselves totally and completely to Jesus Christ as Lord and who are willing to give what they have are those who have first given themselves. Giving ourselves is the key that opens all other doors.
As you study the scriptures below thank God that he loved you so much that he died for you, in your place, bearing your sin. What a SAVIOUR.
“Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed”. Isaiah 53:1-5
The Death of Jesus
At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.
And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).
When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.”
Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said.
With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.
The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!” Mark 15:33-39
On returning from Uganda I heard of stories where people have been suffering within our own church.Friends who have lost jobs, friends who have had sickness of one sort or another, friends who have had their house flooded and friends who have just been finding it tough at present with one difficulty or another. My mind wnet to those beautiful words in Romans where we find our security.
"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" Romans 8:37-39
Friends stay close to Him and keep your eyes fixed on Him at all times.
"No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven" Philippians 3:13-14
I want to thank you all for your partnership in the Gospel during 2012 and may you know God’s guiding hand throughout 2013 and beyond. And if you want some ideas for resolutions, here are Shoedel’s 7-UPS for the New Year:
- ‘The first is wake-up - Begin the day with the Lord. It is His day. Rejoice in it.
- The second is dress-up - Put on a smile. It improves your looks. It says something about your attitude.
- The third is shut-up - Watch your tongue. Don't gossip. Say nice things. Learn to listen.
- The fourth is stand-up - Take a stand for what you believe. Resist evil. Do good.
- Five, look-up - Open your eyes to the Lord. After all, He is your only Saviour.
- Six, reach-up - Spend time in prayer with your adorations, confessions, thanksgivings and supplications to the Lord.
- And finally, lift-up - Be available to help those in need - serving, supporting, and sharing.’
See you in 2013
Christmas 2012 Letter to Crinken Church Family
I want to thank you all for your hard work, wisdom and friendship during 2012.
It has been another incredible year. In difficult circumstances we have had to continue to work harder to maintain our ministry levels and thanks to the dedication of the leadership team, staff and volunteers it has been a fruitful year. The passion and vigour with which our volunteers commit so much of their time, enthusiasm and energy is nothing short of inspirational. We have seen continued ministry in the children’s and youth work. Parents and toddlers continue to reach out into the community with Christ’s witness being evident. We have seen ministry outreach into St Brendan’s and Cois Cairn. We have seen new outreach activities including parenting courses, the June community week, Christmas in the village in December and the recent community lantern walk. Of course The Bridge project excites many and we pray for a fruitful ministry there in the coming years. Already many are finding this a place of rest and solitude and we are seeing a great ministry there to students and musicians.
Many of you have taken part in so many different ways and are part of God's redemptive will in our broken world. I have seen in a very powerful way what Christian family and community really means this last year. I am convinced that with continued hard work God will grow Crinken into a church without walls reaching out and into the community and making an impact with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
As I look forward I am excited about building on the great work established by many over previous years and on top of all your hard work and efforts this last year.
Naturally, we could spend all our time examining structures, finances or measuring our indicators against our work plan which is important but at this time of year I am inclined to measure our success in the depth and purity of relationship with each other and those whom we seek to serve in the name of Christ as is our mandate and privilege.
Thank you for the honour and privilege it is to lead and be a part of this great church. Have a great Christmas and Peaceful New Year as we celebrate a God who became incarnate shattering 400 years of silence to enter our world to redeem and restore mankind.