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Remaining thankful…

thankfulness thanks thanksgiving prayer Jesus

Tuesday’s top ten thanks…

1 ) NHS – does an amazing job and has looked after two families close to us over the past weeks, as well as H this morning. Thankful for a health service that is free and accessible.

2 ) Friends – thankful for the many friends we have in our lives.

3 ) New Pupils – some days I just love teaching and especially when I get the opportunity to teach someone new. I still enjoy the first look of a pupil who realises they are actually playing the guitar.

4 ) Technology – this Sunday we were able to FaceTime with my parents in Derby. Great for the boys to keep in touch with their grandparents. I think they enjoyed it too…

5 ) Foodbank – great people doing an amazing work – if you live in Eastbourne please visit here. Alternatively you may like to visit the Trussell Trust who pioneer the work.

6 ) Winter Night Shelter – not only thankful for the work of the Eastbourne branch, but starting to hear great stories from around the country of similar projects that are up and running.

7 ) Life Group – Thankful for the family that we meet with once a week, to celebrate life, pray and learn to follow Jesus.

8 ) Church Leaders – Thankful for those who step up and follow God’s calling. Very grateful for their leading and their encouragement.

9 ) New Music – a few months ago a pupil gave me a iTunes voucher, which I got around to spending the other day. New music from Joe Bonamassa and Kenny Wayne Shepherd have become staples in my work soundtrack

10 ) Communion – this Sunday was our monthly reflection, remembering and responding to the cross. I am always thankful to spend time as a church celebrating the communion meal and all that it represents.

Now over to you, what are you thankful for today?

Grace and Peace,

Steve

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Posted by on January 10, 2012 in Jesus, Tuesday Thanks

 

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[12 Days] Twelfth Day…

Read: Revelation 22:16 (CEV)

Revelation 22:16 I am Jesus! And I am the one who sent my angel to tell all of you these things for the churches. I am David’s Great Descendant, [c] and I am also the bright morning star. 17The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!”

Everyone who hears this should say, “Come!” If you are thirsty, come! If you want life-giving water, come and take it. It’s free!

Reflect:

Today is officially the end of Christmas for another year. The decorations are coming down (if they have not done already) and we now look towards Lent, Easter and Pentecost. I love this section from the book of revelation. I like the way this translation gives a sense of urgency in Jesus’ words. So, may we hear his words today – , “Come!” If you are thirsty, come! If you want life-giving water, come and take it. It’s free!

Advent and Christmas are about Jesus. The coming of Immanuel. It is about preparing for Jesus’ second coming – may we live each day knowing that we have done all we can to prepare for the return of the King.

The Spirit and the Church say, “Come!”

Respond:

Father, may we know your grace. We want to live doing all we can to prepare for the return of the king. May the living waters of Christ cleanse us, may the Spirit descend upon us, and the blessing of God be with us this day and always. Amen


 
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Posted by on January 5, 2012 in 12 Days of Christmas, Jesus

 

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[12 Days] Tenth Day…

Read: Psalm 24:1-2  (CEB)

Psalm 24:1 The earth is the LORD’s
and everything in it,
the world and its inhabitants too.
2 Because God is the one
who established it on the seas;
God set it firmly on the waters.

Reflect:

Tuesday morning. For most it is first day back to ‘normal’.

A great day to reflect on the past days of Christmas and look forward. Our Bible passage for today is not specifically Christmas orientated but does speak of a single truth that may help as work invades once more.

The Bible is quite clear, the earth is the Lord’s, he made it, therefore it is his.The coming of Jesus is a huge exclamation point on these verses. Rob Bell added to this thought as several others like it when he said,

The Earth is filled with the Glory of God, He never has to turn up, we have to notice Him

We need to continue to reawaken our minds to notice God. Jesus asks us to follow Him in everything we do. Be it work, marriage, parenting, shopping or any other task. It is the same question to a cleaner, a government official, a full time mum/dad or to those who work in an office.

Jesus asks us to follow him, to be Him in the places we live, the homes we visit, in the shops we use and especially in the places we work.

Let us make today count. The earth is the LORD’s and everything in it.

Respond:

Father, I thank you for my work, especially in this time.
Open my eyes today that I might see you at work.
Show me where you are at work in my colleagues lives,
That I may be a blessing to them and serve them.

May I stay awake to your presence with me today.
Bless those who I work with, those I like and those I struggle with.
May I be your grace and peace to them.

May I through your strength,
Put away all gossip, bitterness and anger
So, that I may be able to see you face in all that I meet.

Holy Spirit speak through me today,
Be in every conversation that I have
May I be a true and faithful witness to you at work today. Teach me to take risks for your mission.

In Jesus’ name

Amen

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2012 in 12 Days of Christmas, Jesus

 

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[12 Days] Ninth Day…

Read: Luke 15:1-10 (ETR Version)

Luke 15:1 Many tax collectors and sinners came to listen to Jesus. 2 Then the Pharisees and the teachers of the law began to complain, “Look, this man welcomes sinners and even eats with them!”

3 Then Jesus told them this story: 4 “Suppose one of you has 100 sheep, but one of them gets lost. What will you do? You will leave the other 99 sheep there in the field and go out and look for the lost sheep. You will continue to search for it until you find it. 5 And when you find it, you will be very happy. You will carry it 6 home, go to your friends and neighbors and say to them, ‘Be happy with me because I found my lost sheep!’ 7 In the same way, I tell you, heaven is a happy place when one sinner decides to change. There is more joy for that one sinner than for 99 good people who don’t need to change.

8 “Suppose a woman has ten silver coins, but she loses one of them. She will take a light and clean the house. She will look carefully for the coin until she finds it. 9 And when she finds it, she will call her friends and neighbors and say to them, ‘Be happy with me because I have found the coin that I lost!’ 10 In the same way, it’s a happy time for the angels of God when one sinner decides to change.”

Reflect:

For many today will be the ‘last day’ before work and work despair may well and truly of hit by now. So, what better time then to focus on the mission of God I hear you say and I’d agree.

The New Year is now up and running and this may be our last time to reflect before the school runs, sandwich making, to-do list, early morning starts and our 99mph days kick back into gear. As you read the Bible passage for today – let your mind wander and wonder, what if the vision behind these stories is true?

What if there was a God who would search for you in the same way as the shepherd and the woman did?

Respond:

Father God, thank you for the overflow of your love. Thank you for your grace that found me. Thank you that you sent Jesus to come and find us. Holy Spirit as this year unfolds may I learn more about your ways and may I live knowing that I am found. In Jesus name. Amen.

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2012 in 12 Days of Christmas, Jesus

 

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[12 Days] Feast of the Holy Name…

Jesusbest

Read: Luke 2:21-32

Luke 2:21When the eighth day arrived, the day of circumcision, the child was named Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived.

22-24Then when the days stipulated by Moses for purification were complete, they took him up to Jerusalem to offer him to God as commanded in God’s Law: “Every male who opens the womb shall be a holy offering to God,” and also to sacrifice the “pair of doves or two young pigeons” prescribed in God’s Law.

25-32In Jerusalem at the time, there was a man, Simeon by name, a good man, a man who lived in the prayerful expectancy of help for Israel. And the Holy Spirit was on him. The Holy Spirit had shown him that he would see the Messiah of God before he died. Led by the Spirit, he entered the Temple. As the parents of the child Jesus brought him in to carry out the rituals of the Law, Simeon took him into his arms and blessed God:

God, you can now release your servant;
release me in peace as you promised.
With my own eyes I’ve seen your salvation;
it’s now out in the open for everyone to see:
A God-revealing light to the non-Jewish nations,
and of glory for your people Israel.

Reflect:

Happy New Year to you all!

We reach day 8 in our series which is the day set aside as part of the church calender to remember the naming of Jesus. We remember that he was brought up in the tradition and ‘right’ way – Mary and Joseph carried out the relevant acts stipulated in the Old Testament, they followed their God and His ways. The naming of a child was huge part of society at that time. Your name was everything, it was your identity and indicated your family connections.

So, as we start 2012 you may like to begin by reflecting on one of the 200+ names of Jesus found in the Bible, I’ve put five here to get you started. But a quick google search should reveal the others.

What do the names add to your understanding of the character of Jesus?

Author of Life – Acts 3:15

Word – John 1:1

Immanuel – Isaiah 7:14

Prince of Peace – Isaiah 9:6

Saviour – John 4:14

Respond

Eternal God, thank you for revealing your character through your names. May I learn to reflect on these names and reflect on your character in 2012. May my goal be to know you and who you are. May I live for you alone. Amen

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2012 in 12 Days of Christmas, Jesus

 

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[12 Days] Seventh Day…

Read: Matthew 11:28-30 & Isaiah 40:28-31 (The Message)

Matthew 11:28-30“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Isaiah 40:28-31Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening?
God doesn’t come and go. God lasts.
He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine.
He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath.
And he knows everything, inside and out.
He energizes those who get tired,
gives fresh strength to dropouts.
For even young people tire and drop out,
young folk in their prime stumble and fall.
But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don’t get tired,
they walk and don’t lag behind.

Reflect:

We reach day seven, our Sabbath rest and also the last day of 2011. A day to reflect, to rest and to remember. Throughout scripture God points to a different way of living. To step of the escalator and follow Jesus. To walk with Jesus is not only refreshing, but also our true way of living. As we learn to wait and to watch Jesus, we learn to truly find life and the unforced rhythms of grace.

I hope you have a great New Year and that as you reflect on 2011 and look forward to 2012, may Jesus be your all in all.

Respond:

Father, thank you for rest. Thank you for days off, for time to celebrate with friends and family. As this year ends, may we look forward to all that you may do in 2012, may we learn to rest in your unforced rhythms of grace and live in the knowledge of you and your ways. Amen

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2011 in 12 Days of Christmas, Jesus

 

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[12 Days] Six Days…

Read: Genesis 1:1-5 (The Message)

Genesis 1-2First this: God created the Heavens and Earth—all you see, all you don’t see. Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness. God’s Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss.

3-5 God spoke: “Light!”
And light appeared.
God saw that light was good
and separated light from dark.
God named the light Day,
he named the dark Night.
It was evening, it was morning—
Day One.

You may like to carry on reading the creation narrative here.

Reflect:

We reach day six in our series and the obvious link is the six days of creation. We are not going to debate the creation narrative in this post – but look to our creator. Later on in the Biblical narrative we read some of King Solomon’s words that encourage us to remember our creator in the days of our youth. Or in other words while we still can, we choose to remember our creator.

The Gospel of John points us to the fact everything, whether seen or unseen was created for and through Jesus. As we start the countdown to returning to work/school/’normal’ life may we all find time in our busy schedules to regularly remember our creator.

Respond:

In the name of the Father, Son and Spirit, Lord I come. Before I forget your creation, before I forget your love, before I forget your story. I choose to remember my creator, his love and his story. May I learn to carve time out of my schedule to spend remembering you. Amen

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2011 in 12 Days of Christmas, Jesus

 

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