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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] Eleventh Day…

Read: John 14:15-21 (CEB)

John 14:15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 I will ask the Father, and he will send another Companion, who will be with you forever. 17 This Companion is the Spirit of Truth, whom the world can’t receive because it neither sees him nor recognizes him. You know him, because he lives with you and will be with you.

18 “I won’t leave you as orphans. I will come to you. 19 Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Because I live, you will live too. 20 On that day you will know that I am in my Father, you are in me, and I am in you. 21Whoever has my commandments and keeps them loves me. Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”

Reflect:

We reach day eleven and for most of us Christmas is now a distant memory. Replaced with the return of normality, whatever that may look like.

Our passage for today reflects some of the themes of advent and Christmas itself; namely that God is with us.

I love this translations use of the word companion. Many other translations use the phrase Advocate or Helper. But, companion adds a new flavour to the work of the Holy Spirit and ties in well with the truth that Jesus speaks in the remainder of the passage.

We have the risk taking, grace awakening, dream filled, person of the Holy Spirit walking with us every step of the way.

We are no longer orphans.

Respond:

Holy Spirit thank you for your presence with us. Thank you that we are not alone, we have you as our guide. May we get to know you as you lead us in your truth. Reveal Jesus to us, this and every day. For His glory. Amen

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2012 in 12 Days of Christmas, Jesus

 

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Thankful Tuesday…

What’s this?

Two posts on one day?

You betcha!

On January 1st when New Year’s resolutions were swirling round, I came across one status that simply said, “what thing(s) are you going to continue to do in 2012?”

Two things I will be continuing in 2012 will be blogging and staying thankful.

So, with that here are Tuesday’s Ten Thanks:

1 ) Christmas

A great time with Team Blunders, no major illnesses, fun times and quality time with family.

2 ) Work

Thankful for the work that I do and returning to work today.

3 ) Friends

Christmas has been a great opportunity for spending time with some of our closest friends, looking forward to more meals and more time with friends in 2012.

4 ) Slow Cookers

Mrs B and I were given a Slow Cooker for Christmas – already well up and running with soups, meat joints, spag bol and an awesome beef and Guinness pie. Looking forward to more!

5 ) New Furniture

We have been saving for a while and managed to grab ourselves some superb bargains for the lounge. I am loving my ‘reading’ chair and we have a three seater sofa on order. So, if you come and visit you’ll now have somewhere a little more comfortable to slit.

6 ) New Year

I used to hate New Year, never really sure why. But, this one was great.  Great company and great laughs as we watched Big Ben ring in the New Year.  Really looking forward to 2012 and all that God will do in it!

7 ) New Projects

I love a new project and this year promises some great opportunities to grow, learn and develop new skills and I’m looking forward to it.

8 ) YouVersion

I love the YouVersion app. Mrs B and I have undertaken this year to read the Bible together, we are going to use a wide selection of the reading plans and see how we get on. I’m sure the stuff we read will pop up in one or two blogs throughout the year.

9 ) Winter Night Shelter & Eastbourne Foodbank

We’ve been continuing to hear great stories from these projects over the Christmas period. We’re both thankful for their work and we’re both looking forward to being more involved with them in future months.

10 ) BlogBlunders Readers

Thank you to all of you for reading these posts. What started off as an experiment has grown into something that I love. As I continue to learn to follow Jesus, to learn to pray, I hope that I will become a more accomplished writer in the process and to see what God has in store in the future…

Grace and peace,

Steve

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2012 in God, Holy Spirit, Tuesday Thanks

 

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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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[RENT] Rent…

Hello again,

Thank you for stopping by, hope you are having a great day.

We return today to our mini series on RENT the musical and today’s number is the title track.

Have a listen here:

The song kick starts the musical with a bang – introducing us to a few of the characters and giving a glimpse of their part in the story. You’ll probably agree that this is pretty much standard for the opening number of a musical.

But, where I think RENT differs is that you get an insight into the songwritters questions. Obviously they tie in with what the character thinks but just recently I’ve been struck by these words towards the end of the song:

How Can You Connect In An Age,
Where Strangers, Landlords, Lovers,
Your Own Blood Cells Betray

What Binds The Fabric Together
When The Raging, Shifting Winds Of Change
Keep Ripping Away

More lyrics: http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/r/rent/#share

The series of questions come rapidly and can almost be missed. They are very real questions that still need an answer today.

How do we connect with each other and what holds it all together?

Betrayed?

This stanza sums up a great deal about today’s world. How do we find community, friendship, acceptance, love and support in age where we are constantly let down? You could replace any of the betrayers with any number of people – politicians, friends, neighbours, spouses or even God.

The search for real community is what the character Mark is really looking for. But, he hides behind his camera to avoid it – to keep from getting hurt he removes himself from the one thing he actually wants. I am not advocating that we share absolutely everything with absolutely everyone. But, we do need people who we can be real with. Otherwise how do we really connect if the world is full of people who will betray us? Yes, our friends and family might let us down at times – but true friends will never betray us.

The book of Proverbs along with RENT gives us some great advice on choosing friends;

Consistent

We need friends who are consistent. Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity”. Some friends don’t love at all times – their love is based on what they can get from us. It is often the small number of close friends who stick by us that matter, “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24).

Honest

Our friends will be open, honest, and sincere. Solomon said, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy” (Proverbs 27:6). Sometimes we need the correcting word, sometimes we need friends who will bring correction because they love us. We need friends who check up on the state of our marriages, the way we parent, our finances and our private lives.

Wise Counsel 

Wisdom is so important in all areas of life, especially with friendships. Proverbs 27:9 says, “Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel” We need close friends who will be our wise council, perhaps older friends with a different view point, a reassuring conversation that they days do get easier or an encouraging positive conversation about life.

Mrs B and I have many friends who are much older than us who have been invaluable to our marriage, our parenting and our learning to follow Jesus.

Considerate

Our close friends will also be considerate, they will empathise with our situation and live out Proverbs 25:20, “Whoever sings songs to a heavy heart is like one who takes off a garment on a cold day, and like vinegar on soda”. They will know how we are feeling and act accordingly. They know when to make us laugh, they know when to hold us, they know when to cry with us and they know when to just have a cup of tea with us.

Our best friends will be those who are nearby — constant, honest, counseling, and considerate. Mark and Roger show this level of friendship throughout the entire musical. They are consistently honest with each other, at times brutal – but their friendship lasts beyond their disagreements, beyond their differences and beyond their frailties. They both demonstrate these four points of true friendship.

So, as we run the slide rule over our friendships we also need to run it over ourselves.

Are we constant in our friendships? Are we honest? Do we give wise counsel? Are we considerate, do we mourn with those who mourn and rejoice with those who rejoice?

Fabric Conditioner

The fabric that the characters are searching for in RENT is that of true friendship. True friendship binds the fabric together when the raging, shifting winds of change keep ripping away. Ultimately they find it by the end of the musical (but more on that as we progress through the posts)

Our prayer is that we learn to be true friends to those around us, it is a learning process and we will make mistakes along the way. But, we want to get better and that is the start!

Be blessed in your journeys in finding true friendship and may we learn to be great friends,

Grace and Peace,

Steve & Susie

 
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Posted by on December 8, 2011 in Community Living, Jesus, RENT

 

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